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Sail Date: July 2019
We booked on this cruise long before the news of Oriana's sale broke, because Svalbard was on the destination list. The cruise itself was blessed with good weather for nearly all of the port days and even some sea days, and the ... Read More
We booked on this cruise long before the news of Oriana's sale broke, because Svalbard was on the destination list. The cruise itself was blessed with good weather for nearly all of the port days and even some sea days, and the sea was calm throughout. We had some foggy days which kept the ship's siren busy, but otherwise the cruise went very well. The Oriana offers large amounts of deck space and it was very sad to disembark her at Southampton for the final time on the 9th August. We did have one medical emergency during the cruise requiring a helicopter evacuation, which was handled very professionally by the captain Sarah Breton, but it did not disrupt our itinerary. The cruise to the glaciers in Svalbard was made in calm and clear weather, which gave us stunning views and a lifetime's worth of fantastic memories. At some ports we partook of the ship's excursions, whilst at others we did our own thing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . ... Read More
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . We were not disappointed, had a great 3 nights, (shame it wasn’t longer )with superb food ,fantastic entertainment &very efficient happy staff. It was great to see so many ex crew on board as passengers what a feat of organising.Well Done Steve . The entertainment was excellent .the boundless energy of the Headliners Theatre Company is a credit to them .&the live musicians did not disappoint . We were blessed with fine weather for our stop in Guernsey,(which is a bonus as the stop there is always weather dependent ) A huge thankyou to the in seen behind the scenes crew who work equally as hard to ensure a great time is had by all . Sad to see Oriana go Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 ... Read More
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 night trip with friend for birthday. Bit of a blow to start as ship had a "technical" problem so would not sail on Friday but midday on Saturday to allow for repairs. Disappointed but we would get over it. Then the Captain revised this, for us to leave earlier on Saturday morning so we were cheered up a bit. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Went to get buffet lunch which was typical P&O roast beef that was fine but not exceptional - as was the case with nearly all meals on board but it was what we were expecting. Then a drink in the Lords Tavern bar. Largish bar with seats very close together. Asked for a Pina Colada - Whoops not on the list so no. Asked about the 3 taster beer selections - Whoops this not available either - I sensed a theme here! Ship looked in generally good condition though a very dated. Liked the Tiffany ceiling at the Tiffany bar and the other smaller bars such as Anderson's. Pacific lounge looked good too. Cabin OK but some funny bits see below. There was to be a life boat drill but they kept this secret till about 20mins before it was due. Had to take life jackets with us - really do not know why. As other lines have abandoned this and you just turn up and get the lecture. Weather raining so under shelter on pool deck for drinks with friends. Now dinner. Bit of a surprise it all looked pretty good and lamb shank is one of my favourites so off to good start. Made the mistake of asking for bottle of Pinot Grigio. "sorry we have run out" Eh! first day of cruise and 24hrs in home port? Seems the ship is being run down for sale in about a month. Great entertainment is the evening - Singers and Dancers did a medley of Bill Board Hits which everyone knew and was one of the best. Then off to the Drifters tribute which was likewise very good. Comedian Mike Doyle was excellent well worth seeing. He did some reminiscing about past cruises on Oriana as he had been there from the start. Mentioned some of the staff that were on this cruise to say farewell to the ship. Sailed as promised at around 930am Saturday. Bought our duty free which was particularly good value then a relaxing day. Had lunch which was a bit bland and then almost time to get ready for formal night and some photos. Guernsey was fine and we simply walked around St Peter Port there was a market and car show on the quay side which was interesting as many of the shops were shut as it was a Sunday. Have to say here didn't they know there would be 2 cruise ships in with people eager to spend their cash! Now the really BAD news as we walked in to the Oriental dining room for early sitting I could hear a loud rumble accompanied by a lot of vibration. This increased as we approached our table and was now overpowering so much so you could hardly hear yourself talk let alone think. So bad that if you left your cutlery on the plate it danced across it! Meal was fine lobster and beef wellington but they do not seem to like you asking for seconds - felt a bit like Oliver Twist. So uncomfortable actually that they won and I never asked again. Once we dropped anchor outside St Peter Port and the turned off the engine all was OK but we were now halfway through the meal and the Sunday night there would be no respite as we hammered our way up the English Channel. We discovered the best bar being the Crow's Nest at the front of the Ship. Large bar with live music - similar in many respects to the Commodore clubs on Cunard. P&O have now said there is not need to tip staff. Well this time around there was really no one apart from our cabin steward that would deserve anything. Service was pretty poor all around and very basic. You had to ask for everything whether it be ketchup and mint sauce or trying to catch someones eye because they had forgotten an order - everything seemed too much trouble. I just wonder if they have dropped the tips and not increased their pay? The ship was fine despite its age and some bad design decisions around the cabins. I liked the smaller bars but it was simply too crammed in the Lords Tavener. I am sorry to say I pity those passengers on the remaining cruises if they have to put up with the engine noise and vibration in the Oriental Restaurant. As we had experienced before there were many on board who cruise only with P&O and there were also lots of ex staff who were saying farewell to the ship. They will just not hear anything mildly critical or constructive said about the ship. Which is sad really because every company should be aiming to improve. There many things on this ship and cruise that were great but others not so. If all you surround yourself with is yes men then you will fail. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Although being promised that standards on Oriana would maintain or exceed our cruises last year, this was not the case. One port was amended before we commenced the cruise and another was cancelled due to our berth at Dublin being ... Read More
Although being promised that standards on Oriana would maintain or exceed our cruises last year, this was not the case. One port was amended before we commenced the cruise and another was cancelled due to our berth at Dublin being unavaiable! Due to engine issues we still managed to be back in Southampton approximately 10 hours ahead of schedule...... still trying to understand this. Our Cabin was well looked after by Dina. Food stanards and variety were not as on previous cruises-but restaurant staff continued to provide exceptional service, replacing a meal where the meat could not be cut no matter how i tried. Entertainment was at best mediocre with the only exceptions being the Shamrock Tenors, Gaels Afloat and Anita Mays. The service from the future cruise desk was poor and had to be reminded that we were waiting for a quotation for a future Carribean cruise.Embarkation and Disembarkation were excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I selected a farewell cruise on the Oriana, before she slips away to China. I was not disappointed with the ship, she still felt very special, it will be a shame to see her go. The cruise was an adults only, touring France, Spain and ... Read More
I selected a farewell cruise on the Oriana, before she slips away to China. I was not disappointed with the ship, she still felt very special, it will be a shame to see her go. The cruise was an adults only, touring France, Spain and Guernsey in June 2019. Well worth visiting the destinations, plenty to see and do , either using the tour excursions, or being an independent traveller as I did. It was all very safe. I enjoyed the cruise, but wished there had been a few more younger passengers, it seemed to be overrun with the "more mature aged" travellers. Zimmers all around the boat, a shame really. I guess that must be due to the time of year and maybe the smaller boat. The staff were lovely, as always on P&O working so hard and making the cruise a special one. I loved the sail away, great turnout, flags everywhere! Cabin good, inside one, with plenty of room. ~Great bathroom with bath and shower. Entertainment mediocre could do with changing the repertoire, P&O getting a bit boring and predictable with the headliners. Films and screenings, couldn't fault - excellent. Meals and restaurants - very high standard. Enjoyed the entertainments with music in the Crows Nest, some nice acts playing relaxed music - very nice indeed. So all in all an excellent cruise - thank you P& O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to ... Read More
Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to cabin. !6 night cruise and weather bad from start to finish, but that cannot be blamed on P&O. All seasoned cruisers said they had never been on a cruise with so much wind, rain, mist and cloud. We went on this cruise because we love Oriana and we wanted one last trip before she is sold to China. So were not too bothered that we had visited most stops previously. One place we hadn't been to before was Terceira in the Azores. This was really the only decent weather we had on the whole trip and it was a lovely island. We had booked a 4 x 4 tour (8 hours) through Viator with ProIsland Tours. I cannot recommend them enough. We covered the whole island and were taken to many places the ship's own tours couldn't access. We had also taken a half day 4 x 4 tour the previous day on Sao Miguel. Again it had been booked through Viator with BioBird tours. Many of those on cruises are very wary of booking trips through anyone other than P&O. We have done it many times and have never been worried about a missed sail-away. The tours' content is usually much more comprehensive and they are usually at least a third cheaper than ships' tours. Give them a go if you've not tried them. After the Azores we visited Madeira, where we used the local bus to visit Santa Cruz. Next was La Palma where we took a P&O tour to a silk farm. OK, but tended to be herded about a bit and were unable to stop to photograph nice views where we were not scheduled to stop. Then came Gran Canaria. Again we took a P&O tour which gave a leisurely overview and took us to some places we had not visited before. We were particularly impressed with our stop in Port Mogan. Fuertaventura was not worth the visit really, unless you wanted to go to a beach. Again we took a local bus and travelled up to a town on the north coast. Last stop was Lisbon where the weather was so bad that it didn't warrant getting of the ship. However, we had to get gifts and so had to go shopping. Got soaked to the skin. The two sea days on the return were once more dull, misty and rainy. We disembarked (very efficiently) in Southampton to a lovely sunny day. Now Thursday and weather still great. Perhaps UK is worth considering. Overall impression of cruise was good because we like the ship so much - no children, good food, good entertainment, nice bars to sit in etc. Would just like to give a tip to anyone who may be considering buying a wine package on board. Don't bother. There is little, if anything, to be saved. In fact, unless you choose the most expensive wines on the lists available (only about 4 of them), you could find that you had paid more than if you had bought them individually from the full wine list. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the ... Read More
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the best I have enjoyed on any ship,the standard and presentation is excellent. I think if people complain about the standard of food in the restaurant then they must be hard to please. The choices are excellent each night and plentiful. Well done P & O. Plenty of shows although I do not usually go to many which is my personal choice. I enjoyed the cinema on sea days although not all films were to my personal preference. Plenty going on around the ship at different times and the Lisbon sail away party was excellent. It had to be held indoors due to bad weather but it was fun. The entertainment team were friendly and always made quizzes etc exciting and had banter with passengers. We has a large outside cabin as there were three in our party and it was plenty big enough for us. It had a large window which we all enjoyed especially when in port. Our cabin steward Angelo was excellent (Deck 9 cabin 192) he kept our cabin spotless and always found time to speak to us each time we saw him. All the staff we came across were really friendly and helpful. There was quite a lot of older passengers on this trip and I saw on more than one occassion staff helping them to their seats and carrying their trays in the buffet restaurant. I know from speaking to other passengers how much this was appreciated. It was quite nice not queing like you sometimes have to on the larger ships and we never had to wait long for the lift to get about (we have on the larger ships on many occasions). Drinks were reasonably priced a bottle of the house Rose was £16.50 which was very reasonable and it was a decent quality. A pint of John Smiths bitter was £4 10. We enjoyed a pre dinner drink at Andersons bar where you got snacks with your drinks in a lovely sophistacated atmosphere. I had read the ship looks tired well maybe in some places but in the main it is spotless clean and very classy. I know a lot of people who I spoke to love this ship and I can see why now I have been on it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
A little warmth to celebrate the, nearly, end of winter and a reunion with Oriana after several years. We were pleasantly surprised at the smooth check in, there must have been at three couple in the queue ahead of us - passports ... Read More
A little warmth to celebrate the, nearly, end of winter and a reunion with Oriana after several years. We were pleasantly surprised at the smooth check in, there must have been at three couple in the queue ahead of us - passports checked, photos taken and straight on board. Waiting for the luggage to be delivered was a little disappointing, 2hrs of hanging around punctuated with a disastrous lifeboat drill. The muster station only had seating capacity for 75% of attendees and the ship was not running at full capacity. Old folk with sticks were left standing for nearly 40minutes and why oh why do P&O still insist on trying on survival vests when other lines (Fred Olsen) are happy just to demonstrate. Our inside cabin on deck 5, central to minimise any rough seas, potentially a four berth cabin with two folded up bunks. This means extra wardrobes and drawers. Having unpacked we went for a walk around and were pleased how well the old lady had been spruced up - newish carpet and chairs a greatly improved buffet restaurant. Chaplain's cinema was still there and showed several recent releases (2018). We had opted for 'Open Dining' and ate in the Peninsular for all but two nights - we generally asked to join a table for 6 and were always seated immediately, okay sometime there was a delay while the table filled. Waiters and wine waiters were attentive and efficient but we felt that the cost of food loaded on board had been a little too tightly controlled. Also main courses were no longer silver service but this has been the case for quite a while. An excellent port lecturer ( but two a day is simply too much to absorb), theatre shows were the usual high standard as were visiting cabaret acts. Enrichment lecturers a bit disappointing - one just showed film clips, very professionally, the other we had seen before. Classical concert duo were excellent they entertained with humour and played from a wide ranging repertoire. We did three shore trips all of which were as advertised and without hiccoughs, the on board photographers were considerably less intrusive than usual. The captain however we too unobtrusive. We did not once see her on board and the mid-day announcement was seldom made by her. We had done this itinerary a few times before so most ports of call were a pleasant reminder. However the smallest of the Canaries La Gomera was a first for us and the excursion to the National Park was excellent, a forest that occupies a bout one third of the island. We were saddened to learn, whilst on board, that this was to be our last cruise on Oriana. The powers that be reckon that the 4,500 passenger Iona will absorb the 1500 passengers from Oriana which is being sold to another operator as a casino cruise ship. So for us its Aurora or Fred Olsen. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
You know how it is. Days before departure you check that everything you could possibly need is packed and then with hours to go before closing the front door, you realise something is missing. In my case, I like to think there was good ... Read More
You know how it is. Days before departure you check that everything you could possibly need is packed and then with hours to go before closing the front door, you realise something is missing. In my case, I like to think there was good reason for forgetting the crampons. After all, they’re not the first things that spring to mind when you’re packing trousers and shirts. But joining Oriana for her cruise to the Arctic Circle in search of the Northern Lights, perhaps I should have done. I had found space for base and mid layers, pullovers and fleeces – even hand-warmers and a bobble hat – but not spikes for my sturdy shoes. Fortunately a local sports shop had a set for just £5 and I left the house ready for anything that Norway could throw at me. THE SHIP Oriana might be facing her last few months with P&O before she heads to China to join another cruise line, Twinkle, but it was clear from the moment I stepped on board that she intends to leave in style. Officers and crew provided levels of service that were second to none – no wonder that I heard so many fellow passengers say how much they will miss Oriana. In my book, mid-size ships are manageable and 1900 passengers seems just about right. Big beasts might be fine for late night revellers but Oriana has more than enough space to meet my needs and so it is a relief to know that we still have Aurora, a ship of similar size to Oriana and also for adults only. The public areas match Aurora’s as well and include shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, a well-stocked library, a comfortable cinema and a large theatre. There are also card rooms, lounges, an alternative venue for shows and – if you like dancing – Harlequins offers live groups to get you in the mood. My favourite spot was Tiffanys for a Costa coffee and if you time it right, an array of cakes and pastries are served late morning – at no extra cost. During the cruise I used the Peninsular restaurant and enjoyed some excellent dinners. I should eat more fish and so made the most of the wide variety on offer – salmon, lobster, cod, sea bass, scallops, bream, the lot. But occasionally I opted for the beef, pork or calves’ liver and all were delicious. Superb service adds to the pleasure, of course, and Sabir’s friendly welcome into his restaurant each evening was appreciated. Junior staff were equally impressive – in the Conservatory, new recruits Mark and Jitendra cheerfully offered help with everything from making the toast at breakfast to topping up the tea bags. Special events add variety to daily routines. One was a wine tasting seminar, hosted by Donna, Oriana’s chief wine steward. Ably helped by Christina, Jane and Jude, we sampled a range of wines as we listened to advice on wine tasting and learnt a lot about the winemaking process. The supplementary charge of £10 was good value and the convivial company passed a pleasant hour. THE PORTS Sailing closer to the Arctic Circle the prospect of aurora borealis lighting up the night skies became the main topic of conversation and at our first port, Andalsnes in Norway’s Rauma region, mountains draped in snow and lower slopes flecked with frost added to the anticipation. Time to test out my choice of winter wear! It felt good to scrunch through virgin snow on leaving the town behind. Andalsnes is small and you quickly discover trails through beautiful scenery. Around me, I saw young crew members experience snow for the first time, making snow angels and throwing snowballs, and their happiness was contagious. This is why I was here. To feel young again! The air was pure, the temperature freezing and I had no regrets about overfilling my case with warm layers. The crampons were a different story. One of them kept falling off my shoe – I knew they were too cheap - and I had to shuffle back to town to visit a sports shop for advice. It was succinct. Bin them and buy proper spikes. For a mere £45 (Norway is not cheap) I walked out wearing the finest set in Norway and they were worth every penny. At each port we visited I had them with me and I traversed ice and snow with ease. After the smallness of Andalsnes, Tromso felt very different. Walking out of the city across the bridge high above Tromso Sound with snow flurries and chill winds blowing in from the sea was ... bracing? Having crossed, the Ice (or Arctic) cathedral stands before you and is worth visiting for its triangular beauty; it lies about a mile from the shuttle bus drop-off point. Back in the city centre a hot chocolate (£4) in one of the many cafés thawed me out nicely. Alta was our final port before turning south to Stavanger and it was also the town where there would be most chance of seeing the Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon of bands of different colours swirling across the sky. We stayed for two nights and there’s no use beating about the bush – the Lights remained switched off for the duration. To have any hope of seeing them, clear skies and low temperatures are essential but during our stay there was simply too much cloud cover. However there was a bonus in that we had daytime sunshine with evening snowfalls that transformed the landscape and made Alta’s fjord and mountains look even more magical. ACTIVITIES Alta is home to the Northern Lights cathedral, a futuristic building constructed of steel and concrete and virgin snow made it an even more dramatic sight. The entrance charge is around £10. There were plenty of tours available. Mine to the Igloo Hotel to see bedrooms carved from blocks of ice was fascinating. An overnight stay, the ice bed piled with reindeer skins, is particularly popular with honeymoon couples, the guide told us. Unlike hotels elsewhere, this one melts away each Spring to be re-built in late Autumn. Reindeer sleigh rides were popular activities but the most fun seemed to be had by those who went husky sledding. There is no need to worry about the dogs being forced to work – they can’t wait to get started and once they return they expect lots of fuss and thanks. Taryn, the ship’s senior loyalty manager, enjoyed every minute of the experience. “There was so much screaming and giggling,” she told me, “especially when I had to be dragged out of hip-deep snow!” WORTH BOOKING? The failure of the Northern Lights to make an appearance did little to dim my enthusiasm for this cruise. Every port was markedly different from anything I had seen before and returning to the welcome warmth of the ship each afternoon to be spoilt by officers and crew made the holiday even more special. The cruise also felt different in another way: more than 700 of the 1800 passengers on board were new to cruise holidays. Ian and Angela from Staffordshire had never cruised before and enjoyed every minute. “It was brilliant! We’ve never seen so much snow and we’ve never had service like this. No wonder people keep coming back,” Ian said. “We’ll certainly be booking another cruise.” And so will I. My search for the Northern Lights resumes when I board Aurora next February. If you decide to do the same, be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes! And don’t stint on the crampons. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Hoped to see the Northern Lights, sadly, they did not appear. First time on this ship which is showing its age. Cabin kept very and tidy. 99% of staff were very good. Service in waiter service restaurants very slow at times. No ... Read More
Hoped to see the Northern Lights, sadly, they did not appear. First time on this ship which is showing its age. Cabin kept very and tidy. 99% of staff were very good. Service in waiter service restaurants very slow at times. No strict enforcement of using antibacterial hand gel before entering restaurants. Food very good in all restaurants. Long walk for our forward cabin to restaurants at the stern of the ship. As we were at sea for quite a few days, entertainment was poor. Headliners shows were excellent. Theatre Royal seating very uncomfortable. P&O need to offer all inclusive cruises as other cruise lines do. Ports visited were very good. Disembarkation was poor as they had not sorted out the exits properly. Abundance of thermal clothing taken not needed as shore temperatures not as low as expected. Lots of deck areas close due to bad weather. P&O would sell more in the onboard shops if they reduced prices. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise as this would be the last opportunity to see Oriana before her sale in August. We had first cruised on Oriana in July 1995. We were pleasantly surprised at the good condition of the ship, although there was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as this would be the last opportunity to see Oriana before her sale in August. We had first cruised on Oriana in July 1995. We were pleasantly surprised at the good condition of the ship, although there was extensive rust around the bow section. A Chinese “spy” was spotted in an anorak inside using a lap top and large notepad, obviously trying to plan where all the pianos will go when it reaches China. The new name will be Piano Land!!! What an insult to a good ship. The captain was very conspicuous by her entire visual absence throughout the 12 night cruise. Some said she should return to container ships from where she came since you do not need to speak to containers. Service in the Peninsular restaurant was at times very slow and to get a drink was at times difficult. Our cabin suite B153 on B deck was spacious but the only “extra” was exclusive dining for breakfast in the Sindhu restaurant. Other lines provide more for suite passengers. We did encounter a violent storm 11 at the northern edge of the Norwegian basin but the ship coped with this well. Food was middle of the road very British as one would expect. Disembarkation was chaotic to the point of being unacceptable. The land bridge between ship and terminal was declared unsafe. There was another crew gangway which could have been used but this was refused. How the port and Carnival can get into this situation defies reason. We waited from 8.00 am until 09.30 am to get off. Our 3 cases were not in deck order and one had been dropped from a great height causing both external and internal damage. We could not complain as we had only 20 minutes to reach our train by taxi. A very poor and disappointing ending. If you embark on a similar cruise you should have good dealers, take appropriate warm clothing and waterproof shoes and be prepared not to see the northern lights. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
No Northern Lights but great experience. Tours all very expensive but worth it. The Captain was anonymous during the whole cruise which was dissapointing. No updates at all from her, and no reassurance during the force 10 storm in ... Read More
No Northern Lights but great experience. Tours all very expensive but worth it. The Captain was anonymous during the whole cruise which was dissapointing. No updates at all from her, and no reassurance during the force 10 storm in the Norwegian sea ( for 12 hours) when many passengers were very worried. My wife and i, and 18 others paid £55 each to sail into Alta in the viewing area of the Captains lounge and it was very nice. Good views, good food and good company...but alas, our Captain couldnt be bothered to come in and say hello when we was in her own suite ! No enforcement of hygene wash at the entrance to the restaurants. Many many people just ignored this so im surprised no outbreak of Norovirus. Entertainment was average but cinema showed some good films. Food was first class and service was very good. Disembarkation was a shambles. Its a shame this particular ship is leaving, i would definately liked to travel again on her..but not with this Captain. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We normally cruise Holland America out of Fort Lauderdale for our winter Caribbean cruise. However, the cruise departing Southampton on 6 January meant only a short flight down from the North. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Our ... Read More
We normally cruise Holland America out of Fort Lauderdale for our winter Caribbean cruise. However, the cruise departing Southampton on 6 January meant only a short flight down from the North. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Our cabin was an outside on the 5th deck, although we were upgraded due to noise issues with an adjacent 'technical area'. This deck house keeper was very proactive on our behalf in securing the change. Impressive Rakesh! Our new cabin was lovely and there were no further problems. The Dining experience was mixed. On the whole the food was good although in the dining room (perhaps because we were far from the kitchen) it could be tepid, rather than piping hot. The Conservatory lido area was well-run and kept clean. There were themed choices each evening and the Indian night was highly popular with passengers and officers. All the dining room/Conservatory staff were excellent-among the best I have come across. Regarding activities, the library was excellent and I attended many lectures and talks on themes such as the British Music Halls and Astronomy etc. Also there were separate musical concerts featuring Glenn Miller's hits and film theme tunes. The Headliners theatre group undertook a wide and varied range of musical productions and these were augmented by visiting singers and comedians who came aboard, including some local acts. Again, as good an entertainment as I have come across. Indeed, the cruise entertaiment manager Mr Percival was totally proactive in interacting with the passsengers as were his wonderful team. Portwise I partcularly enjoyed my tours of Bermuda and Cartagena in Columbia( a change of itinerary due to weather conditions). Grenada always enchants as does the Commonwealth of Dominica. Everyone was impressed by our visit to the Azores. Disembarkation was slow due to the customs doing a very thorough check on departing passengers. But P and O do not control this. Although Oriana is getting a bit old and tired, it is still a great favourite with all who sail in her. Sadly, she is being replaced and while a new ship will be wecome, I wonder if the elegance of this ship will be easy to replacate. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I was on the Oriana with my partner and can honestly say this was not the "holiday from hell" as one couple suggested. We were well looked after. It could have been a lot worse when we had the power failure, but the weather was ... Read More
I was on the Oriana with my partner and can honestly say this was not the "holiday from hell" as one couple suggested. We were well looked after. It could have been a lot worse when we had the power failure, but the weather was very good, a scorching hot day, a bar-b-q was laid on and we still got our evening meal. Only thing I recall not working that evening was the air-conditioning. The cabins were stifling hot but we survived. Well done to all the P & O crew for making our trip a pleasant one and especially to the Captain for keeping up updated. For the inconvenience caused we all got an extra £100 spending money on board, glass of champagne with our evening meal on "Indian buffet night", what more could you ask for. One thing I was disappointed with was the Casino, only 11 machines working out of 18 for the entire journey. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Where do you start with P&O’s Oriana cruise from Southampton(Madeira/Tenerife/Lisbon etc). December 2018 Firstly, the decommissioning of the vessel in 019 is ambitious. 010 might have been more appropriate. A thoroughly ... Read More
Where do you start with P&O’s Oriana cruise from Southampton(Madeira/Tenerife/Lisbon etc). December 2018 Firstly, the decommissioning of the vessel in 019 is ambitious. 010 might have been more appropriate. A thoroughly dated outfit appealing to a well over 65’s demographic. The activities and entertainment plan were something out of the 70’s. Frontline staff were busy smiling without really understanding our questions and you left with a sense of frustration. Food was hit and miss. The Conservatory is a free for all with one in 6 dishes acceptable. Very bland food in general lacking any real flavor added to the bad customer experience. Room service to cabin was poor. Incorrect order brought complete with soggy bread! Breakfast ends at 9.30.....on a cruise!? Cabins are ok but again way out dated with 14 inch TV screens, yet huge mirrors wasting space. Choice of in cabin entertainment was miserable for this day and age. The incredibly loud PA announcer jovially speaking Ruth Madoc style every morning with......And today on Deck 10 its basket weaving........ The halcyon days of ‘Hi De Hi’ are still with us apparently. Tip.... Do not attempt to let them book a taxi for you. We had to wait 90 minutes! Sniggering British staff behind the curtains on reception letting the Asian front line staff hold the baby A two star operation ‘priding’ itself on 3 Black tie evenings which were poorly attended. Why in this day and age have them? Subsequently we were left with one choice for dinner which added costs to our bill. The final complaint though is too shocking to contemplate. The captain was clearly naive and probably conditioned to P&O practice in thinking it’s ok to give us the negative news about ship to shore communication once he had set sail. He continued to drip feed us ‘we are working on it’ lines knowing full well it was out of order at the original starting point. To depart Southampton on a 12 day trip without the Internet or phone service leaving passengers completely stranded in their quest for contact with homes, business, loved ones was the worst error of judgment we have witnessed. We had to wait for 4 days until first stop to get on land before frantically connecting with anyone. The arrogance of the operator clearly thinking this type of practice in 2018 is acceptable. If you are unfortunate in cruising with P&O please look at their internet packages. The big standard 7.95 a day only covers Facebook and a few sites. No emails, YouTube etc. Those are extras!!!! Our overview of P&O is not good. They are a weak company with a tired fleet and out dated planning. Clearly targeting much older customers who are unlikely to complain about the lack of communicado and the daily grind of school dinners. Bland, boring and a complete lack of empathy with frustrated customers. If you are booking a cruise with them, make sure you check the itineraries thoroughly otherwise you will be in for a comedy of errors which include cribbage, crochet and failed New Faces talent from 1977! A Horror show. Avoid P&O at all costs! The worst cruise company out there. #fail #past glories #arrogant #disaster #cruise nightmare #watchdog #investigate Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise for a bit of winter warmth and also to celebrate husband's 70th birthday. Oriana is a favourite ship of ours and we are disappointed to learn that it going out of commission later this year. Embarkation was slick ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a bit of winter warmth and also to celebrate husband's 70th birthday. Oriana is a favourite ship of ours and we are disappointed to learn that it going out of commission later this year. Embarkation was slick and smooth and we were on the ship in no time at all. The ship was beautifully laid out, I didn't feel that it was shabby in the least and I know it had not long been refitted. Our cabin was good, plenty of wardrobe space, even for me! Only bugbear was the safe which was set right at the bottom of the wardrobe and it was smaller than usual so not easy to access. Dining was excellent. We were on Freedom dining but the waiters on our first evening were very quick, and good with their service so we tried to book the same table each night, most times successfully. Headliners shows were excellent and the headliner entertainers were very hands on, line dancing lessons, salsa dance lessons, fitsteps and joining in with the choir. We would always make a point of seeing the Headliners shows but maybe not so much of the other entertainers. We didn't take advantage of the shore excursions but enjoyed the ports, especially Madeira. We would have preferred to have stayed later in Madeira instead of Tenerife but I know these things can't always be arranged. We will never tire of cruising, we just love it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Thinking of cruising on an extended winter sun holiday, think again if you’re under 80 as you might be sorely disappointed. Just back from 4 weeks in the Caribbean on Oriana, many people named this the Hospital Cruise. Day 1 and ... Read More
Thinking of cruising on an extended winter sun holiday, think again if you’re under 80 as you might be sorely disappointed. Just back from 4 weeks in the Caribbean on Oriana, many people named this the Hospital Cruise. Day 1 and before we even left Southampton someone had to be offloaded due to illness. 30 hours out of Southampton and had to turn back for an air sea rescue at Falmouth. Arrived in Barbados and rumour has it 7 more were offloaded. 24 hours out of Antigua and had to turn back to offload 2 more people. Arrival in the Azores was diverted to a different island to offload another before finally arriving in San Miguel. Left San Miguel this evening but had to turn back again to offload another sick person. Approaching the English Channel on our final day and another air sea rescue at Falmouth. The captain did a remarkable job in getting us to each destination on time which meant we were speeding along at 20 knots so can’t complain there but the whole cruise was like a floating old peoples home. Nothing against oldies as I’m no spring chicken but I do think some shouldn’t have been on that cruise at all and it did make for a somewhat depressing time. In an emergency situation it would have been chaos as so many were infirm, immobile and downright obese, not to mention the most grotesque manners I have ever seen. The fares had been greatly reduced, no doubt to fill up the ship and it showed. A couple in Tiffany’s Piano Bar one day should have been turned out, the woman had her bare feet up on her husband’s lap and he was caressing her feet whilst people around them were having a nice cup of coffee with their cake. The ship:- Oriana is lovely but finishing service next year, she really needs to go as her age is showing. I hope the executive chef goes with her as the food was pretty diabolical in both the restaurant and cafe. Caribbean cruise and only one or two days of Caribbean food, rest of the time it was repetitive, boring, uninspiring and tasteless. Far too many dishes made out of leftovers. Guacamole one evening in the restaurant was just mashed processed peas, come on now!! The shop on board is pricey to say the least, duty free drink and perfume is more expensive than supermarkets at home (UK). Thankfully we were able to stock up on bottles of rum etc from the local shops at each port. Can’t stand the shows with the Headliners, too old hat but Roy Walker was quite funny regardless of the same old same old. The morning and afternoon talks were excellent and we loved the quizzes at different times of the day. Thankfully it was possible to sit out on deck most of the sea days and there were lots of them so just as well. Not into all the classes on offer as like to be outside but there was plenty to do. Ports:- Madeira, Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua, Tortola BVI, St. Martin and Azores. A quick run down on them. Funchal, Madeira, great place, have been before, plenty to do on the island but this time just mooched around town. Previously have been on a trip all around the island to see the sights. Have taken local transport into the interior and have visited the beautiful gardens and basket chairs at Monte. Bridgetown, Barbados. Did our own thing here by walking into town from the terminal. On arrival you will be bombarded with people trying to sell you a tour and it didn’t finish there, the rest of the day in town was the same. Didn’t like this place at all, some pretty undesirable people unlike other ports of call and there wasn’t much to see or do in town either. The Coconut Bar next to the cruise terminal was selling rum punch for $7, beware, it was shocking, nothing more than a sweet sugary drink with a dash of rum essence in it, not at all genuine. See my photo of the bar. Castries, St. Lucia, one of my favourite places. Did the ships “Scenic North” excursion and it was fabulous, taking in an old fort, silk painting, spectacular views, rum punch at the Sandals Resort and different beach stops just to take in the view and have a quick paddle. Back in Castries afterwards we walked around the market, visited the rum shops and then had a drink at Zephirins Bakery just along from the cruise terminal next to the market. BE VERY CAREFUL here as we ordered drinks and gave the waitress a $ note but had difficulty in getting our change, really had to get firm with her. See my photo enclosed as confirmation of the bar. Fort de France, Martinique. Very quiet place with little to do but we did the ships excursion to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo. Bear in mind this is not two separate places as we thought but one. The guide thought it would be nice to show us as much on the way as she thought necessary but we ended up taking 2 hours getting to the zoo and then only had 45 minutes there when it would have been better the other way round. Lovely Zoo though but didn’t care much for the island in general. Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis. Loved this island. Did the ship excursion to the Rainforest, wonderful and the guide was exceptional. Went very high up on the island and had plenty of time to walk around the beautiful gardens adjacent to the rainforest, lots of wonderful birds and green monkeys too. After a walk through the rainforest the guide provided us with rum punch, cake and bananas, he was a gem. Ali I think his name was. Back down in the port area we just browsed around the numerous shops and tried out all the different drinks. St. John’s, Antigua. Second visit here, last time I did the helicopter trip to the Montserrat volcano which was about a quarter of the price it was this time so we just stayed in the centre but again was bombarded with people trying to sell you their tours, really got on our nerves in the end. Not a whole lot to do in town so just walked by the harbour, had a few drinks and soaked up the sun. Tortola, BVI. Lovely. Took the ship excursion “The Best of Tortola”. Not disappointed as drove high up into the mountains with several stops of the fabulous views and then spent time at Cane Garden Bay for about an hour, so idyllic. We were the first group to arrive so were lucky as by the time we left the other groups had arrived and it was more than crowded. The driver/guide knew everyone at all the stops which made for a fun time. Back at the port and we just browsed around the few shops that were there. Phillipsburg, St. Martin. Second visit here, did a tour to the French part previously whereby it poured with rain but this time it was to the Dutch part and also taking in some of the French side. Did the ship excursion “Island Delights”. Didn’t really warrant the title but enjoyed it as we went to a Caribbean cookery demonstration with tasting, food was scrumptious then onto a rum distillery with tastings, plenty to try ranging from 20% to 40%, phew, declined the 40%. Afterwards went on to a perfumery where they are made, didn’t really like this much, the perfumes were too “homemade” but nice to see what went into them. Back at port and time to browse the numerous shops, needless to say, bought more rum. Ponta de garda, Azores. Lovely little town with more to do than the ships tour guide mentioned, she played it down somewhat. However, we did the ship excursion “Sights and Cheese and Wine Sampler”. Nice trip up into the mountains with tremendous views and to a little village with a church and it’s nativity scene, then to the crater lakes which were a beautiful green. Following a different road back we stopped at various places for photographs and then back into town to a hotel for the wine and cheese tasting. Badly organised as had to queue endlessly for the cheese and wine, it should have been placed on the individual tables for people to help themselves. The wine was 10 euros a bottle if you wanted to buy it but we walked back to the ship and bought the same wine for 5 euros in one of the shops. We took lots of ship excursions but they were reasonably cheap so decided to make life easy for ourselves and it worked quite well. All in all a great destination cruise but all the oldies made it rather depressing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We don’t normally cruise in November, but decided to join some good friends and the Oriana’s Caribbean itinerary sounded perfect. The ship is in its last year for P&O and there were many onboard who were upset that she was leaving ... Read More
We don’t normally cruise in November, but decided to join some good friends and the Oriana’s Caribbean itinerary sounded perfect. The ship is in its last year for P&O and there were many onboard who were upset that she was leaving the fleet. However, she is in relatively good condition although there are few places on board that are showing their age. Generally the food was good in the MDR. We are not keen on self-service, so,cannot comment on the standard of food there. We were amazed to find the Cruise Director, Hughie Taylor, was still working for P&O. We first met him back in the early 80’s on board Canberra. The entertainment programme was the same old and general consensus was that it needs updating. The guest speakers and many of the guest entertainers we had seen several times before. Again P&O need to look again at this, especially as many of their passengers are serial cruisers. Unfortunately on this trip there were several medical evacuations by either helicopter or the ship turning back to a previous port. There were also many passengers using mobility devices. We thought that there was a restriction on how many were allowed aboard and found it worrying what would,happen in an emergency. P&O seems intent on reducing the number of smaller ships in their fleet and there was much discussion on board about how short-sighted this is. We love Oriana for its size and think it will be a great loss. Not everyone likes these huge new liners that seem to be taking over and spilling 5000+ passengers out at every port. If we had any complaint with the crew, it would be the indifference of some of the younger entertainment team. There was never a Plan B if rain stopped play of quoits and shuffleboard..just a feeble excuse that there was nothing else planned. The ports of call were all great. Having been to them all before, we never took a shore excursion, but heard from those that did that they were good, if not a little expensive. All in all we had a good time and are now looking forward to our forthcoming trip in January on Aurora. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
we have just come home from the best cruise yet. Embarkation was perfect, check in to cabin only 20mins. The Oriana is a great sized ship, everything within walking distance. The food in the main restaurants was edible, nothing amazing. We ... Read More
we have just come home from the best cruise yet. Embarkation was perfect, check in to cabin only 20mins. The Oriana is a great sized ship, everything within walking distance. The food in the main restaurants was edible, nothing amazing. We found the food in the buffet restaurant wonderful, happy to eat there most nights. We absolutely adored the beach house and sindhu restaurants. Staff couldn't do enough to help and would go the extra mile. excursions were great, but if you need a tender to go ashore, check the weather 1st. We were stuck in one for 45 minutes, bobbing around in really rough weather, there was a queue of them as they took ages to on/off load. Panic attack!! We had an inside cabin which was more than adequate. our cabin steward, sinesh, was very attentive and cabin left immaculate after he'd left. Sorry to see Oriana "retire", such a beautiful ship. On the whole, well done p and 0, look forward to sailing on Britannia next year Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
It was nothing more than a floating retirement home.Daytime activities consisted of boring quizzes,seminars on weight loss and pain relief,watercolour painting and something called Knit and Natter (think old ladies sitting in circle ... Read More
It was nothing more than a floating retirement home.Daytime activities consisted of boring quizzes,seminars on weight loss and pain relief,watercolour painting and something called Knit and Natter (think old ladies sitting in circle knitting and gossiping).The evening entertainment was just diabolical; the mediocre ship theatre group putting on mediocre shows,an irish comedian rehashing jokes from the ark and,wait for it, a harp player wtf. the food was nice but nothing special but the service was good. as for the cabin it was fine for the first week but then it was flooded by a burst pipe and the treatment we received from the deck manager and housekeeping manager was just unbelievable.i only hope they don't treat their mothers the way they treated mine. they wouldnt move us so we had 3 days in a damp smelly cabin (my mother was up all night being ill because of the smell) and all we got was a cheap bottle of p&o plonk (we don't drink) and a tiny box of p&o chocolates.needless to say we have made formal complaints this was our first and last cruise with p & o. next year its back to royal caribbean Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this cruise because it was going to Greenland (never met anyone who had been to Greenland) First stop was Stornaway. It was great because it was raining. Remember the long hot spell. Next stop was Reyjavik. Been there before with ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was going to Greenland (never met anyone who had been to Greenland) First stop was Stornaway. It was great because it was raining. Remember the long hot spell. Next stop was Reyjavik. Been there before with P&O and it was a big let down. I kept telling everyone how boring iceland was, being covered with lava. This time we walked into town from the shuttle bus stop, and it was a big eye opener. The shops were great and the locals friendly. One place not to miss is the Harpa Hall which is Reykjavik,s concert hall. If you are lucky and get there on a sunny day the prismatic windows throw all the colours of the rainbow onto the entrance plaza. Back to Oriana. Been on her before and we felt just at home. The most comfortable cinema afloat. On to Greenland. First stop was to Quaquortoc. On the way the bridge announced a sighting of a large iceberg. Fortunately it was about a mile away, still it did look good in the sunshine. Arrived at Quaquotoc, took a thirty minute stroll around town, swatted some flies, and then back on board. Still, I done it, ive been to Greenland. Next part of the journey was through Prinz Christian Sund. Absolutely magical. Small 'growlers' everywhere and more glaciers than I could shake a stick at (not that i carry a stick). This steady, sedate cruise was not to be missed even if lunch was. In a way a bit of a shame because the oriana food was really, really good. We arrived at Nuuk (the capital) where we had a whale watching trip booked. Off we went to view these whales which the captain said were in the vicinity. The boat was a bit oldish wooden vessel but was very capable and seaworthy. It wasn,t long before we were in the right area. Sure enough a pair of hump back whale appeared. Photo time came and just as the whale was giving us the big goodby with its tail, and I was taking the first pressure on my camera; the numpty in front of me decided to stand up and shout whoohoo with his arms in the air. Fifteen hundred miles just for a photo of his back. I thought 'what a plonker' or words to that effect. On arriving back at Nuuk we decided to walk into town. Off we trudged, in the rain, but the distance and the hill was a bit too much for us. Pity there was no shuttle bus. We were in the habit of taking breakfast in Al Fresco . We soon realised that we were surrounded by "holier than thou" muscle mechanics with their yoghourt and bowls of Meusli who want to start or finnish their daily fitness regime by digging through to the bottom of the dish using a spoon as a spade. The noise generated by these breakfast miners is pretty shattering to those of us who are hard of hearing and must wear hearing aids to enjoy the company of others. Not all disabilities are visible, but these plate thumpers dont care about others as long as others can admire their lycra clad, nearly perfect bodies. The only flaw in a nearly perfect cruise was on a Black Tie night. Two waiters collided and I took a good shower of milk. Humble appologies and here is a basket of inedible fruit to compensate. No dry cleaners on board. Still not to worry, these things can happen Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
A great cruise with one or two problems in the cabin (see cabin review under). The itinerary was excellent which is why we chose this. People moan about the ship but for a ship of this age it was clean and tidy and the stabilizers worked a ... Read More
A great cruise with one or two problems in the cabin (see cabin review under). The itinerary was excellent which is why we chose this. People moan about the ship but for a ship of this age it was clean and tidy and the stabilizers worked a treat in the odd rough sea we experienced. It's a nice size ship so you don't get the problem of overcrowding and thankfully it's an adult only ship. Maintenance was constantly being done on deck such as painting and varnishing which to me should not be done whilst there are paying passengers on board, unfortunately I suffer bad headaches from the smell of paint but it was hard to avoid such areas. It's way out of date with it's daily activities and shows compared to the new modern large cruise ships but hey ho, you can't have everything. Food, as usual with P & O is boring old fashioned everyday cooking and most of the time, especially in the restaurant, it was dry. The menu is repetitive rather than an experience as on Celebrity ships. Since our last cruise they have reorganised the Conservatory dining experience whereby the food stations have been split into smaller stations which was much better as you didn't have to join a long queue to get your food. The timing of the afternoon tea always is a nuisance for us as coming back from being on shore around 5pm it's closed until 6pm so for that crucial hour when you are wanting a snack before second sitting dinner there's nothing. The shows are the same boring old "Headliners" and comedy/music acts but the talks in the Theatre during the day and the port presentations made up for it. Nigel Marvin the TV wildlife presenter was on board and his talks were excellent and funny too. New ideas are needed for the theatre. The ports of call were superb. Sadly too windy for the tenders in Stornoway so we were the unlucky ones who didn't get ashore. Luckily we had been before. Reykjavik: Did the Golden Circle Tour with P&O and it was excellent, expensive but worth it. The Almannagja Fault was the first stop, where two tectonic plates meet, then Gulfoss waterfall and lunch (yum yum, superb) then the spouting geyser which performed well. On to the Kerio crater, stunning colour and then the Geothermal Power Plant. Arrived back at the ship so decided to take the shuttle into Reykjavik for the evening. Prins Christian Sund: This was an unscheduled trip which the captain announced the day before. It was the icing on the cake. The weather was more than stunning, cold but superb. The trip through the sound lasted around 6 hours and was the best part of the whole cruise. The scenery was simply outstanding. Qaqortog: Lovely little town to walk around, warm sunny day so had to buy a head net as the flies/mozzies were horrendous. Found plenty to do despite it being small but as photographers, it was great. A little walk out of town and a grocery store sold the local beer which they opened for you and we sat outside on the tables provided to drink it. Seal fur factory was interesting but at the same time quite sad. The only hotel was very busy and provided great views. Nuuk: Hmmm, not my idea of a stop off place but still glad to experience it. Decent walk from ship to town and no shuttle not that it bothered us being walkers but would be very difficult for some. Overcast and misty to start the day so we walked to the old town which was ok but that's about all. Got some atmospheric photos before it decided to pour with rain for the rest of the day. Go to the library (green building in the centre of town) for free internet access, worked quite well. Isafjordur: Small little town which provided plenty of places to take photos. Walked all around the outskirts and noticed lots of pretty little houses along with a good view of the ship anchored in the bay. Beer tasting right near the ship was excellent, spent rather too much time in there trying the different beers and was quite hard on my purse too. Akureyri: Went whale watching on a ships excursion this morning. Took and hour's ride out into the fjord before we saw any whales then there were two together which was great. Spent about an hour circling them and watching them spurt and dive (humpbacks). Got frozen to the bone as we stayed at the front of the boat in head wind as didn't want to miss anything. Resorted to inside on the way back. Back in town and we walked to the Botanical Gardens, absolutely delightful. Walked all around the town before going back to the ship. Plenty going on in town so never short of something to see. Torshavn: Sadly another wet wet day. We had decided to walk around the town and enjoy the local hospitality but another couple from the ship asked if we'd like to join up with them so we all took a local taxi trip around the main island (Tour No 5: Tjornuvik) for 2 hours. The scenery was stunning. The taxi driver didn't speak English but it didn't really matter as you can always read up about the local history yourself after visiting. He stopped for us wherever and whever we wanted to take photos which was great. A beautiful island, would thoroughly recommend it. Greenock: Nice warn day and we decided just to walk around the town and area, not much of a place but we had seen all the ships excursion places on our own visits ot Scotland and last time we docked in Greenock we took the train into Glasgow so didn't want to do that again this time. Lots of days at sea but they never seemed to drag as there was always something to do and walking around the deck for exercise was certainly an experience some days due to the strong winds. Lots of icebergs on the way to and from Greenland and the ship sailed within a mile of the sinking of HMS Hood so we had a minutes silence out of respect and flower petals were thrown into the sea to commemorate the sad event. Nothing more to be said, a great cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we ... Read More
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we disembarked. The efficiency and ease of boarding was so relaxed and stress free - a very slick operation !! The Oriana is a beautiful, stylish and elegant boat and I strangely felt very attached to it and became extremely emotional when I had to disembark ! The cabins (as was the whole ship) were immaculately clean and well appointed with plenty of storage room and wonderfully comfortable beds and pillows. Room service was 1st class with information booklets left in room each day and chocolates. All dining facilities were faultless and the freedom dining worked very well for us. We initially felt a bit concerned about sitting with people we didn't know, but this worked really well. Entertainment was superb and the staff excellent, so many of them, we never had to wait to be served. I have read lots of reviews, mostly good, but some poor ones and cant help but feel these might have been from people who are extremely picky and just like to complain! Although this is the only cruise I have been on I can honestly say we could not fault it and had an amazing time. One day after coming home I booked a family cruise to the fjords next year on the Ventura. I would have liked to gone on the Oriana again but dates did not suit us . Hope to go on the Oriana before it goes out of service next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise to give my daughter and husband a taste of cruising. It did not occur to us that there would be large groups of big women on hen parties who tended to monopolise the facilities. The cabins at the back of the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise to give my daughter and husband a taste of cruising. It did not occur to us that there would be large groups of big women on hen parties who tended to monopolise the facilities. The cabins at the back of the ship were very noisy and the disco in the Pacific Lounge will keep you awake till the small hours. We have cruised on Oriana before and although we knew the engines were very noisy we did not expect the disco scene. P&O should advertise this as a party cruise. Take your earplugs. The crew were very friendy and helpful and the food was good. The best parts were ashore in Bruges and Guernsey. We booked a shuttle bus to Bruges through viator as the P&O bus is very expensive. This was very good and you could get tickets at the kiosk otside the dock entrance. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise ... Read More
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise from start to finish.Some of the previous reviews i had read were of concern to me due to negativity.Not from us. I felt like i owed P&O more money when we were done. Great food,clean cabins,attentive staff and all around fun with our fellow British "mates". Seriously,some of the nicest people I've ever cruised with.Will definitely do P&O again. Unfortunately,Oriana is being retired next year.I'm sure the other ships will do her proud. We generally cruise the Carribean from the U.S, and the Meditteranen from Venice but will certainly look at the Canary Islands for an upcoming itinerary. Boston to Heathrow is comparable in price to Boston to Miami for airfare.Thanks P&O and Oriana for a great trip. Read Less
Oriana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 3.8
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms N/A 4.1
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.6
Family 2.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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