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Sail Date: February 2018
What a disaster in the making! It started with a computer failure affecting check-in, but most retained their sense of humour and were looking positive about the trip to Norway and the Northern Lights. Little did they know of the ... Read More
What a disaster in the making! It started with a computer failure affecting check-in, but most retained their sense of humour and were looking positive about the trip to Norway and the Northern Lights. Little did they know of the catalogue of disasters and misinformation to come. Cabins without heating for days on end in cold Arctic conditions, power failures leading to only curry to eat, flooded bathrooms in cabins, endless flooding around the old tub, leading to the question “was there more water inside the old tub than outside in the sea” On asking an engineer if the old tub was fit for purpose, the reply, after careful consideration came back “she’s still floating so she’s fit for purpose “ well done for the sense of humour that got us through this debacle. Better than the lame excuses from the Captain that blamed the cold weather, and exaggerated the wind chill factor when there was hardly a breeze, that is when he finally decided he should make some official comment, albeit belated, to the customers. Get real and be prepared, we were going about 500 miles north of the Artic Circle for goodness sake. We’ve been on older boats for longer periods in much colder weather and no problems. Need to rethink your strategy P&O. Just waiting now for P&O to offer an apology and compensation. Where are you P&O? Enjoyed the trips though, so it wasn’t all bad. The Northern Lights excursions were great, good facilities at the destinations, not being left abandoned in a field as some who obviously didn’t go, suggest. Excellent photos, I took some 150 stunning pictures, better than the ship’s professional photographer, so well chuffed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife prefers colder climates, so she chose this cruise to Norway, (on P and O through a mutual friends recommendation on this company). We couldn't have been more impressed, and YES, we got to see the Northern lights two nights on ... Read More
My wife prefers colder climates, so she chose this cruise to Norway, (on P and O through a mutual friends recommendation on this company). We couldn't have been more impressed, and YES, we got to see the Northern lights two nights on the trot, amazing and magical, it put the icing on our Honeymoon and made the cruise even more special. The crew were fantastic, from cleaners to waiters, from stewards to bar staff, from crew members to the Captain. This was both our first cruise as adults, and would do it again tomorrow, if fact, if it had been going back northwards we could have happily stayed on it and done it again there and then. The on shore excursions were brilliant and very well organised, the talks given by William Joyce on our solar system were very interesting, and the on board entertainment was very enjoyable. Excellent, Magical, and wonderful, in all aspects................. Thank you P and O, and the crew of the Oriana for making our Honeymoon just perfect......... Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Having not cruised with P & O since the maiden sailing of Brittania and only ever cruised Norway in the summer - the Northern Lights sounded just right. Over the past 3 years, we've enjoyed 3 Princess cruises and 3 Celebrity ... Read More
Having not cruised with P & O since the maiden sailing of Brittania and only ever cruised Norway in the summer - the Northern Lights sounded just right. Over the past 3 years, we've enjoyed 3 Princess cruises and 3 Celebrity cruises. Having read some other reviews of the cruise which departed February 23, I have to agree. We booked an outside cabin, as all balconies were sold but we were happy with this, until we opened the door. Swing a kitten - yes but a cat NO! At this time I will state, per our customer questionnaire - Toilet paper is disgusting quality, food choice - how many tons of green beans did the chef buy? The Indian staff were all, without exception, their wonderful friendly selves and it's these people that make a P and O cruise. If you're on a special diet (health) the menu choice was very limited. I suggest you should take all your meals in the restaurants as it overcomes fighting for table space. We spent a day sitting in Andersons fully clothed including hats and scarves, due to the loss of heating. Luckily our cabin didn't suffer any water leaks. We only booked a couple of P and O excursions but did enjoy a day out through Aldennes tourist office @ 600Nkr. It was also a challenge not to get run over by speeding battery wheelchair riders. Oriana is a very expensive cruise ship and has had her day. All we can say is we've booked 2 further cruises on Celebrity. Oh by the way, we're Carnival shareholders but wonder why? Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I thought I would try an adults only trip. The contrast with the family ship Azura in the school holidays was delightful. I travelled solo and I definitely enjoyed an adults only ship. The efficiency and organization of the ship was ... Read More
I thought I would try an adults only trip. The contrast with the family ship Azura in the school holidays was delightful. I travelled solo and I definitely enjoyed an adults only ship. The efficiency and organization of the ship was excellent. With so many good points it was difficult to find any negatives. EMBARKATION – was excellent. It took about 30 minutes from the time of going through the outside door to entering my cabin. DISEMBARKATION – was also excellent, well organized and quick. I was outside the terminal building about 9.00 am. CABIN – mine was a pleasant cabin with an outside picture window, midships and fairly low which should have been good for rough seas. I felt sea sick for 2 days. The cabin space and storage was very adequate for a solo traveller. DINING – The food generally was good. The Buffet Restaurant was self-service. This was not large enough during busy times and during those times it was difficult to find somewhere to sit. The Oriental Restaurant, waiter service, was open in the evening and was a fixed time restaurant with 2 sittings. The back of the restaurant was noisy and vibrated. The other white table cloth restaurant, waiter service, was open to all with open dining for breakfast and lunch meals. The afternoon tea service there was excellent. There was also open dining in this restaurant in the evening (for selected diners?) Also there were 2 paid-for restaurants which I did not try. SPECIAL DIETS – Special diets appeared to be well catered for. Soya milk and soya spread were available. Other diets were catered for at the buffet breakfast. A vegetarian menu was available to order. Vegans might struggle. ENTERTAINMENT – the films, lectures and activities were excellent. There was a huge variety of activities to choose from. TRAVELLING SOLO – the morning coffee meetings, afternoon tea tables for solo travelers, and the morning schedule for solo travelers who wished to go ashore together was very good. HEALTH AND BEAUTY – The free health lecture programme is excellent. There is a gym and beauty salon. The gym induction period finished at 5.00 pm on the embarkation day. With the meal, seeing to cases, and the ship’s drill, I did not see this information until too late – after 5.00 pm on the induction day. Maybe this could be included on an introduction to the ship sheet or the gym induction could be the following day. (I did not notice if there was another induction period). GOING ASHORE. Passengers usually had the full morning and afternoon ashore which was fine. Ship’s shore excursions can be expensive. SAVING SUNBEDS – some sunbeds near the pool appeared to be ‘saved’ with blue towels preventing other people from using them. Perhaps a better system could be found. SNACKS IN CABIN – if one is travelling solo and is ill for a day or two this might be useful. The breakfast service in the cabin is excellent. I never saw any information about 24 hour snacks or food in the cabin which some cruise companies offer. TIPS can be added to the passengers statement or alternative arrangements can be made. SHOPS – shops are available for personal items, clothes etc. CONCLUSION – would I travel on the Oriana again – definitely yes – especially if there was a better pricing system for solo travelers who are usually charged about double compared to some other passengers. Apart from feeling sea-sick/ill for 2 days I enjoyed the cruise. It was amazingly well organized and efficient. The staff were charming, helpful and efficient. The Oriana is a very good ship for couples, adults and solo travelers and I would recommend it for a pleasant, interesting cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Had a great time food was good in all the restaurant's room was clean and comfortable our cabin stewardess was very attentive all ways helpfull kept the room spotless loved the ship Very good service from the staff all in all a ... Read More
Had a great time food was good in all the restaurant's room was clean and comfortable our cabin stewardess was very attentive all ways helpfull kept the room spotless loved the ship Very good service from the staff all in all a great cruise at a excellent price ports of call loved laPalma and Lisbon Lanzarote was warm just did a drop off excursion entertainment was ok in parts ventriloquist are not my cup of tea but dance troop were very good tend to do our Own thing in the day time ship was a bit rocky and did vibrate a bit not had that on other ships but got used to it she's a lovely ship would go on her again dinning was very good food was hot and tasty in both the main dinning room and self service glass house was a nice for a change of venue sizzling steak is all way good in there Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Could not resist the Black Friday deal a great way to try P&O. Firstly though I must say I do feel for all those who had their 50 night cruise cancelled some of whom were on this one. The cruise exceeded my expectations. The cabin ... Read More
Could not resist the Black Friday deal a great way to try P&O. Firstly though I must say I do feel for all those who had their 50 night cruise cancelled some of whom were on this one. The cruise exceeded my expectations. The cabin was great and our steward Mateus was excellent. The entertainment crew were fantastic, we could all do with some of Georgie's energy!!!!! The food in both the buffet and Oriental restaurant was excellent. The Headliners put on several brilliant shows. Also enjoyed Manuel Matinez my sides ached after his second show in the Pacific Lounge, Peter Howarth and Walk Like A Man. Both Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly. Excursions were good value can highly recommend the Toboggan run in Madeira with the cable car would do this again. Holiday went far too quickly, Atlantic very very choppy weather not great but did not spoil one minute Cannot wait for my next trip which will be on Aurora in November then Arcadia in December. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had never been in a Christmas Cruise before and thought it would be magical. The cruise itself was nice but as for Christmas Spirit it was lacking. The crew wearing santa hats and a 20 minute carol service by officers and crew doesnt ... Read More
We had never been in a Christmas Cruise before and thought it would be magical. The cruise itself was nice but as for Christmas Spirit it was lacking. The crew wearing santa hats and a 20 minute carol service by officers and crew doesnt make what I expected a christmas cruise to be, especially when you consider the price. Two places we visited had a long walk to the entrance of the dock and no transport was provided. When this was mentioned to the crew member we were told that she could walk this in 15 minutes or so minutes. Not really interested in what a fit person could walk it in. Another Port we were advised it was. 'Long walk' to the town. We didn't go ashore there at all as no transport was provided again. I wouldn't do another Christmas cruise when you consider you could do two cruises for the price paid. The Oriana definatey needed a little tender loving care. Some of the ceiling tiles in the crowsnest where either dropping or being held up with tape. Dining was good, the food imaginative, well presented and cooked. The headliners were okay, not the best we had seen and there was no crew show which was disappointing. Entertainers were good, nothing earthshattering. The crew were helpful but did seem a little bored with everything. The television choices werent good. The larger ships have choices of tv programmes and films in the tv. Daytime activities were very limited and if you didn't want to go to the pictures but I play bridge so that was a something. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The service received from P&O from the online booking to embarkation to the staff on board to disembarkation was superb, the cruise however was very disappointing. Oriana is a lovely boat in very good condition At 65 years young ... Read More
The service received from P&O from the online booking to embarkation to the staff on board to disembarkation was superb, the cruise however was very disappointing. Oriana is a lovely boat in very good condition At 65 years young I’d guess we were about 20 years below the average age and not needing walking aids we were in the minority. It was like being in an old folks home at sea.....not my choice of holiday venue. I felt that P&O dumbed down their offer to suite the age and expectations of the passengers. The entertainment was poor....when you end up visiting the cinema five times on a 14 night holiday it says a lot for what’s available.....when I saw colouring in as one of the activities the warning bells rang!! We normally like a drink in The Crows Nest in the day, we nicknamed it Gods Waiting Room....full of folk fast asleep with their mouths wide open. Seriously if the car hadn’t been tightly packed in a CPS car park we’d have jumped ship and flown home. The highlight of the holiday was the three other couples we shared our dining table with, very experienced cruisers, but like us new to Christmas cruises.....and like us all said the last time ever, sad really The Xmas atmosphere was zilch, at £4000 an expensive mistake Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Never again on the Oriana unless you are over the seventy age mark and would like to sit like zombies. The days entertainments were adult Colouring by numbers,Craft and Chat get together & knitting & Chat also line dancing and ... Read More
Never again on the Oriana unless you are over the seventy age mark and would like to sit like zombies. The days entertainments were adult Colouring by numbers,Craft and Chat get together & knitting & Chat also line dancing and they are only the high lights. Getting onto the ship was no trouble fill in the medical card, collect your on board cards and on to the ship you go and there the enjoyment ends. for four of five days there was a virus on board but we were not told, but when salt & pepper comes in little paper, hand antibacterial gel every where, on day five everything was back to normal. I must say that we did not have the best in weather 5 days of winds and bad seas but once we reach canary island the weather did get better for two days, who said go for the hot weather was not on the Oriana this December. The Conservatory [The Buffet] Poor meals Al Fresco [ Passable] Freedom Dining [Passable] If you like the formal evening you can eat and drink anywhere But if you not the buffet is all you get and you can drink only in one bar because you are not dress up for the rest. This ship I was please to get off and I was not the only one I'm sure. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
On the whole I was pleasantly surprised by Oriana after hearing a lot of bad press about the ship. The thing I enjoyed most about Oriana was the deck space, I thought it was wonderful and so much better than more modern ships, ... Read More
On the whole I was pleasantly surprised by Oriana after hearing a lot of bad press about the ship. The thing I enjoyed most about Oriana was the deck space, I thought it was wonderful and so much better than more modern ships, there's so much room for everyone, we sailed in winter but I can imagine there's ample space if going to hot destinations. The inside of the ship is finished to a high quality also and I found the bed in our outside cabin incredibly comfortable. Only downside of the room was the noise from the bathroom which seemed to come from the air extractor. Otherwise, the room was very pleasant albeit it was larger as we had a disabled cabin. Food is of a standard to other cruise ships and varied as usual with service being attentive in the main restaurants, I think the buffet restaurant on Oriana could be bigger, we didn't visit the Beach House which has used up part of this space on top deck but in my opinion it would be better served as an expansion in space for the buffet. The layout of the ship is interesting and a little confusing, a lot of lifts don't go to all places and if you push a wheelchair like I was doing you have to do a bit of preplanning, I would seriously advise downloading the detailed map of the cruise on to your phone, the one they give you on check-in isn't that great in my opinion. The itinerary we went on was quite enjoyable to Zeebrugge and Amsterdam, will share some tips with you for both and some suggestions if on a wheelchair. - Zeebrugge: I highly advise skipping the shore excursions to Bruges and instead just use the free shuttle to Blankenberge train station. There are hourly trains to and from Bruges for €5 return and even further afield so can easily do a half day or day. They also have a lift onto the shuttle if you have a wheelchair and subsequently you can get assistance on to and off of the train so this is also a viable option for wheelchairs, just be aware of the cobbles in Bruges although there are some more favourable routes to the centre. - Amsterdam: It's great how the ship arrives right in the centre, you can easily walk to most sites, tram lines go by frequently and there's nothing stopping you going further afield in the Netherlands as the central train station is next door to the cruise port! If you're in a wheelchair I would highly recommend a firm called 'Staxi' - they will take you anywhere in Amsterdam for €25 on their wheelchair accessible van, this is a great option and we used it to go to the Rijksmuseum (awesome for wheelchairs) and on an accessible canal cruise. Overall I enjoyed Oriana and would be happy to sail on the ship again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The Oriana is an elderly but pleasant ship with good lines. She looks good. She still retains the best of the original decoration of her designers, when she was the pride of the old P & O Company. She has good communal areas, with both ... Read More
The Oriana is an elderly but pleasant ship with good lines. She looks good. She still retains the best of the original decoration of her designers, when she was the pride of the old P & O Company. She has good communal areas, with both principal and secondary show lounges, and a comfortable cinema. So given entertainment which suits your taste or interest, there are good venues to satisfy them. Embarkation was standard, without too much waiting. The balcony cabin was pleasant enough, although there was little welcome - no bottle of wine, just two bottles of mineral water, a single bloom in a vase without water, two small and partly used shampoo and conditioner bottles sitting in the bath area, with two full ones beside the washbasin. And one small bar of soap. It didn't matter but it reinforced our opinion that over a comparatively short period of time, little economies have been creeping forward. Our cabin steward did his job adequately, but we had to ask for things which hitherto would have been checked, such as soap, room service menus, and towels. None of this was important but it may indicate something. Dining in the freedom section was fine, without much waiting and although the service was slow, the food was in the main acceptable. Not special. But not bad either. The buffet, which we used when entertainment would have been at risk through delays in the dining room, was, sometimes, very good indeed, with some interesting themed food evenings. So all in all, so far, everything average. What was not average on this voyage was the Music Festival. We booked this cruise last year specifically for the Festival albeit not everyone on board was aware of it, or appreciated it. But for us it raised a standard cruise to an outstanding one. There is no point in describing the content of the Festival. Suffice it that it went alongside the standard singing and dancing, show music singers, comedians and illusionists which seem the standard norm for today's cruise liners. If you like troupes like the Headliners then no doubt you would be satisfied although one show was cancelled due to illness which affected the ship, and one of the female Motown singing shows was cancelled due to rough weather. Service in the bars and restaurants was uniformally cheerful. At reception, well, I posed a request for information which would have come from the ship's bridge, and it was not answered. The impression I had that she could not really be bothered with it. That may not be fair, but there it is. The ports of call were interesting but of the three P & O excursions be booked before joing the ship, two were cancelled through lack of numbers. That left insufficient time to research what else to do. But no harm done. We found excellent alternatives at a fraction of the cost, refunded after our return. And what we really enjoyed on board , the table tennis table, just protected from the open deck but plentifully supplied with bats and balls - unique in our experience. No signing for bat and ball at reception in case, presumably, we stole them. Good fun and good exercise. Would we travel again with P & O? Yes, if they allow another Music Festival. No, if they do not. Without something like that, these cruises seem to us to become very much the same. And rather boring. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at ... Read More
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at an affordable price. As this was my first cruise, I had spent many of my lunchtimes researching the ship and ports of call. Not necessary at all as even without prior knowledge and going in cold we would have managed to have sussed out how to go on with all things cruising. The closer we got the excitement was building, and then we received a message from P & O that The Oriana had broken down, boiler problems whilst leaving Gibralter en route back to Southampton. This resulted in a delayed start for us, absolutely gutted. The knock-on to this was that the itinerary was changed, still a full day in Bruges but only between 5 & 6 hours in Amsterdam; in Amsterdam actually disembarked at 8.20am and back just after 1pm. Not enough time to explore but a taster never the less. The above delay was disappointing but we were determined to make the most of our shortened break. And so we did. By the way I think P & O handled the whole delay fairly well. Our allotted time for embarkation was 3pm, but we decided to turn up just after 11.30am, from getting out of the car (CPS were brilliant) to get on the ship was the grand total of 20 minutes and we were eating lunch at 12:00 pm in the Peninsular Restaurant. Food: Breakfast, we ate all 3 mornings in the conservatory buffet restaurant. Great selection of food to cater for all tastes Lunch, only ate lunch once on the ship and this was in the Peninsular. This was a waiter served lunch which was great quality. Evening Meal, on freedom dining we dined all of our stay in the Peninsular Restaurant. We turned up at various times during the 3 nights and asked for a table of two, every night we were given a pager but never waited more than 10 minutes. The standard of food and service was outstanding. Entertainment: We spent the majority of our ship time between the ‘Lords Tavern’ when there were quizzes and the ‘Crow’s Nest’ when nothing in the tavern took our fancy. Drinks were reasonably priced and the venues had a great atmosphere. The ‘Crow’s Nest’ was a great relaxing venue where you could have a drink and watch the world go by, and when dark just sit and chill with a beverage of choice. We did spend an hour one evening in the Theatre and watched the comedian Micky Zany, which was well worth it with a lot of laugh out loud moments. Other nights the theatre entertainment was not to our fancy but others appeared to enjoy what was on offer. Ports of Call: Bruges, we decided to make use of the free shuttle bus from port to Blankenberge. The bus drops you very close to the railway station. A return ticket is €6.20 to Bruges, which is a 15 – 20 mins train journey, then a 20 minute stroll to get to the centre of Bruges. We spent most of the day wandering the streets taking in all it had to offer, especially the Belgian Beer, Chocolates, Waffles and Frites . On the whole a beautiful city Amsterdam, due to the delayed start to our cruise and the amended itinerary the limited hours we had in the city was nowhere enough time to fully explore. But the feeling I got was that Amsterdam needs to be experienced at night to get the full experience Summary: As this was our first cruise we didn’t know what to expect. This was the most enjoyable holiday we have ever take, so much so we booked the same itinerary for next October but for one day longer. This will be our way to holiday for the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Wanted to experience a bigger ship to thought we would try the Oriana going to,, Spain, Italy, Gibraltar etc. Oriana holds around 2,000 passengers and was the biggest ship we have ever been on. We stayed in Soton the night before and ... Read More
Wanted to experience a bigger ship to thought we would try the Oriana going to,, Spain, Italy, Gibraltar etc. Oriana holds around 2,000 passengers and was the biggest ship we have ever been on. We stayed in Soton the night before and boarded early. One thing I always look for is the entertainment, and I must say I was blown away by the Headliners theatre company, up there with the best I have ever seen on a ship. The theatres were excellent and to be honest the whole ship came to life in the evenings, such as Harlequins bar and the bar the other end of the ship I can't remember what it was called but there were fun quizzes in there. In the day there were a lot of activities going on and it wasn't really our thing. Sea days are great for relaxing but there wasn't too much opportunity of that short of actually sitting in your cabin all day. I did go to the spa for a massage once which was very therapeutic and recommended. For a ship of its size Oriana was very efficient at getting all the passengers and crew off at every port- there aren't really any hold ups. Some lovely places I hadn't visited for 30 yeras. Overall a good experience, I may come back again but perhaps on a shorter cruise with no sea days. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Firstly this ship is haunted. I’ve been on it twice and same things happened. I’d stop and let someone pass and find out nobody was there. Eventually my mother asked why I kept stopping and turning round and I told her. She laughed it ... Read More
Firstly this ship is haunted. I’ve been on it twice and same things happened. I’d stop and let someone pass and find out nobody was there. Eventually my mother asked why I kept stopping and turning round and I told her. She laughed it off until something (Invisable) started jumping up and down on her bed one night and I eventually asked the DJ if anyone had died on ship and he said “plenty” I complained to reception but the reply was “We have had no complaints about ghosts madam”. They even followed me to a class. The ship is fairly nice and plenty of restaurants and bars to lounge in. It’s quiet and seems to attract much older people so You get a lovely relaxed feel and it’s staff are very hard working throughout. We were single so were put with a large group of other singles at dinner and it was a blast as all had company and I thought that was a lovely gesture of P&O on this ship. I met an amazing bunch and highly recommend them to continue this as singles usually feel very alone when cruising . I tend to go to spa and have lots of different treatments as they are all great and found it very relaxing and plenty of products to choice from if you wish to take some home. I love cruising and P&O do great trips you can book and also have a free shuttle bus so everything is catered for. The staff are the friendliest most hardworking from ~room servicing to restaurants and this ship has great food. It’s exceptionally clean,good decor and my favourite ship (I’ve been on lots of P&O ships and this is a favourite so went twice to various places. I highly recommend it and those cocktails. Entertainment is brilliant and I mean top west end ,but better. headliners are the best I’ve ever experienced. They put on such good shows that I count down the evenings they are on and try to get a seat as early as possible. They have a Costa, cinema and pretty much everything you need so you are not bored when at sea. Variety of classes to enjoy and have learned so much from them. Like diets and other information for hair ,skin and a variety of things. The worst bit is having to leave a i never want to get off P&O cruises. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland ... Read More
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland is not known for the driest weather but we only experienced a few drops during the entire week. The ports -1 Cobh. Known for being a major emigrant port, the last call of the Titanic and the sinking of Lusitania in 1915 was a delightful little town with good rail links to Cork from right alongside the ship. The museum 'The Queenstown Story' is right in the old station and is really worth a visit for only a few Euro. As it was Sunday when we called, the whole town turned out to see us and it was a really festive call. 2 Dublin. Easy shuttle into the city where we caught a Hop On Hop Off bus ('DoDublin'). The driver/guide was so funny we kept the video running just to record his fabulous humour - informative too! 3 Killibegs (port for Donegal). Quite small but the biggest fishing port in Ireland where we visited a craft exhibition laid on especially for the ship, talked to the local fishermen and tug crews. So friendly and good WiFi and food. 4 Galway. A long tender into port but the town laid on a big trip boat which eased the tender delays. Again, full of live entertainment and very pretty. The captain and crew (and fellow passengers) were all on top form and good sea days at both the beginning and end of the cruise meant that it was well balanced and seemed a lot longer. Thoroughly recommended. Oriana had a refit at the end of last year (2016) which we think had been very well done. All the cabin upholstery had been renewed (although cushions on the bigger cabin settees had not been replaced sadly) and all the seating and decor in all the bars and restaurants looked very well updated. The new carpets caused a few respiratory issues on the Amazon cruise we did in January but they had settled down by the time of this cruise. We felt that P&O had done a focussed refit on the passenger areas and Oriana looked all set for a few more years service. Our Deluxe outside cabin was so similar to our Deluxe balcony cabin from January a deck above that we found ourselves bumping into the window in the morning expecting to find a balcony door behind the curtains! There seemed to be fewer items in the cabin tea tray but our Steward Elton (great guy) was always refreshing it as well as supplying glasses, lemons and ice when we wanted it without any fuss. He was also very happy to empty the fridge on our arrival and to stow its contents under the bed so that we had the fridge available for entertaining.We noted that nearly all room service items (except breakfast) are now chargeable. Didn't worry us but upset some people. We had booked Freedom dining (which we were told was going to be the only form of regular dining on the new ship) and, as we dined with our same friends every night, we were able to arrange the same table at approximately the same time so as to enjoy our rapport with the same waiting team. As usual , it was almost exactly like Club dining but with the flexibility of Freedom dining with the added bonus of getting seated half an hour before the late sitting time in Club that we often opt for. Sadly lobster never made an appearance on either formal night. The quizzes we popular and well managed and the one guest speaker, Carole Phillips talking about her service in the Police was very entertaining and engaging. Headliners were particularly good on this cruise and had the sense to perform their Destination Dance show early on with its spectacular Riverdance final - very apt for Ireland. The classical pianist was very good but was AWOL for his last appearance sadly. We didn't go on any excursions as we were a foursome and could arrange our own schedule at reasonable cost - and there was no shortage of friendly locals to make sense of everywhere we went and to make excellent recommendations. It was almost in our native language! There were 300+ first time cruisers aboard and all the ones we met seemed to be enjoying themselves although the hardening of tender boarding restrictions, while sensible in our opinion, disappointed some of the more physically challenged guests. The only odd issue that we had not come across before was the charging of tax on all shipboard items in the shops. Apparently this is because the cruise was wholly within the EU and therefore everything had to be tax paid. This explains the popularity of ports such as St Peter Port, Guernsey, and Gibraltar whose tax-free status means that a visit there on any cruise apparently allows the cruise to 'leave' the EU for tax purposes. Check it out in the P&O online Advice Centre. Unfortunately Irish prices are rather higher than in the UK - but at least you get extra Club points in Tesco's! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were on the P&O Oriana for a round Ireland cruise. It was our second time on this ship and we found the food much improved from the first time. However, I was disappointed with the actual dining experience. We had booked a saver ... Read More
We were on the P&O Oriana for a round Ireland cruise. It was our second time on this ship and we found the food much improved from the first time. However, I was disappointed with the actual dining experience. We had booked a saver fare and had no say in what size dining table or sitting we preferred. When we had boarded, we found a card with our Dining details waiting in our cabin. We both jumped for joy as it was just what we wanted, 2nd sitting on a table for 8. Great we thought! However, on the first night there were 6 of us, that was OK we thought, the other two are probably tired from travelling. Two of the six that night discovered there was nothing on the menu to fulfil their cultural dietary needs. Thus, they didn't join the table again. The missing two, never appeared at all. So for the rest of the cruise there were only 4 of us on a huge table for 8. When I looked around, I noticed there were many other empty seats. May I also point out there was an empty table for 4 adjacent to our table. My question is, did the Maitre'd know that our table would now be a maximum of 4, on a table laid out for 8, for the rest of the cruise? Call me old fashioned, but if he did, why couldn't he fill our table or reduce our table layout. We have cruised for twenty years and have always looked forward to the Dining experience and meeting new people. I did ask our waiter if he could reduce our table so that we could speak and be heard more easily with our fellow diners, of which he replied 'move to the other side of the table'', to which I replied 'how will that help' ? Even in our local Indian, they clear away unused places at the table. Free time dining seems the answer. On the whole, the cruise experience was good, we embarked at Southampton and that ran very smoothly. We found the cabin staff very friendly and efficient. The Theatre entertainment was OK and we did try to see a showing each night however, we did find a lack of entertainment elsewhere.We were looking to settle down with a pre dinner drink to some live music but the bars seemed quite lifeless except for the pub. Also found the same after the theatre showing. We did use the ship's spa facilities and found the experience very relaxing and enjoyable. We also enjoyed sitting on deck in the sea air, and listening to the captain's reports, especially when the crew informed us of dolphin sightings. We chose this cruise for the ports of call and took two P&O excursions, one from Cobh to Kinsale which we found quite interesting. The second was from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher which again was a good trip. The ship tendered from Galway and we must say the organisation was very good getting us across to shore to pick up our coach tour in time but have to say failed miserably to get us back in good time. We found several tours arrived back at the same time and not enough boats to take us to the ship, thus we had to queue a very long time. P&O seem to pride themselves with providing a traditional cruise experience which they do but they need to up there game on the dining experience which requires more interaction from the staff to their guests, otherwise we think they are on the slippery slope. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise as we liked the destinations and an Adult only ship. We were very lucky with the weather for the whole two weeks. The ship is lovely and we had no complaints with our outside cabin, our Cabin Steward was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we liked the destinations and an Adult only ship. We were very lucky with the weather for the whole two weeks. The ship is lovely and we had no complaints with our outside cabin, our Cabin Steward was excellent and could not do enough for us, in fact all the staff were really hard working and incredibly polite which is more than can be said of some of the customers. There were times when I was ashamed to be British listening to some "Senior Citizens" talking to the staff. Food was excellent and the formal nights were very good. We made the effort to dress up and felt the more special for doing so. If you want to wear football shirts and shorts go on Thompsons is my advice. We had a totally wonderful time which was made perfect by all the friends we made via the Roll Call facility on CC. Overall this was a great cruise and we booked next year before we got off. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We first spotted this cruise for Summer 2016, when a sail-past of the Cornish Coast and of Cape Wrath were included in the itinerary, but we were too late to book the accommodation we wanted. The 2017 cruise did not mention either of ... Read More
We first spotted this cruise for Summer 2016, when a sail-past of the Cornish Coast and of Cape Wrath were included in the itinerary, but we were too late to book the accommodation we wanted. The 2017 cruise did not mention either of these, and P & O could not confirm at what time of day they would happen. Nevertheless, the itinerary covered places we had not yet visited and included quieter locations rather than large towns, so July 30th 2017 saw us on board Oriana, after a straightforward embarkation. We enjoy scenic cruising and spend much of our time outside, on our balcony or on the open decks. We don't bother with any other entertainment and usually eat in the self-service area of whatever cruise line we are with, because of the excellent views and informal atmosphere. Given light evenings, it is possible to spot wildlife, scenery and natural phenomena from up near the top of the ship, rather than eating in the middle of the crowded dining room with no view. The first morning found us indeed sailing past the coast of Cornwall, so that was a tick off our wish list. The day also provided flocks of gannets for our entertainment, plus views of the Wolf Rock and Smalls Lighthouses. It was in the early evening, after our meal, when the ship was between Ireland and Wales, as we were watching the sea go by from our balcony, when I spotted an object in the sky which, at first sight, looked like a microlight. Binoculars revealed a very large red birthday balloon in the shape of number 5, with three smaller balloons suspended underneath it. Because it was my Grand-daughter's fifth birthday, I went inside to share the photo with her via email while my husband continued to watch and film the balloon, which dipped down to the water and the small balloons touched the waves before the ensemble lifted and continued towards Wales. No more than minutes later, the Captain spoke over the speaker system into the staterooms to announce that a member of staff in the Crow's Nest had spotted either a parachute or microlight go down in the sea, that we were turning round to search and that a full search and rescue operation would take place. Although we immediately shared our observations and photos with the Reception staff, the search had to go on. Thankfully, the sea was calm and the Lifeboat personnel were not put at additional risk. Once the lifeboat and helicopter were on the scene, (and mercifully nothing was found), we continued on our way to Greenock. There, we took a boat trip on Loch Long and Loch Goil in the afternoon, making use of our wet weather gear, but the evening provided a spectacular sunset as consolation. The sun shone for us at Portree, Isle of Skye, making our wildlife boat trip well worthwhile, with Sea Eagles performing for us and seals lounging about. Kirkwall, in the Orkneys, offered cloudy weather but we enjoyed the town and particularly St Magnus Cathedral. We were sent on our way in the evening by pipers and dancers. Invergordon was also wet, but we were well dressed by the RIB operators when a small group of 12 went out onto the Cromarty Firth to look for Bottlenose Dolphins and other wildlife. Our search was successful, but we were surprised, even though it had begun to rain steadily, to find ourselves back at the ship an hour early. Enquiries at the Tour Desk revealed that the RIB operators had mistaken the length of the trip and we received a proportional refund. Another sunset provided photo opportunities. We knew we would be passing Cape Wrath at some point, so we asked at Reception about the expected time of arrival there, as we would need to be outside to view it. The answer came back of midday the next day. No need to get up early, then; however, at 8 am, a quick look at the TV map of our route showed we were well past it. Later, the Log confirmed we went past at 7 am. Cruise ships are most unlikely to be five hours ahead of schedule! After our return home, Oriana confirmed that we had been misinformed, but said conditions meant we wouldn't have been able to view the Cape anyway. It looked clear enough to us at the time. The rest of the day at sea, with more beautiful evening skies, took us to Belfast. We took the shuttle bus into the town, which was empty at that time on a Sunday morning, apart from many armoured police vehicles. We were told that several Marches were to take place that morning; heavy rain which penetrated our defences made us decide to return to the ship and consider our options after lunch. Better weather in the afternoon allowed a tour on the Hop On Hop Off bus, but with no hopping! Photographs were a challenge to snap as we passed points of interest at speed, but the tour was comprehensive and a good option. (The next day, there was trouble between youths and police in Belfast.) Another sunset and we reached Dublin, with sunshine and a walk round the town on our own. The shuttle bus dropped us at an awkward spot, but we visited the Cathedrals and Trinity College before taking a river trip, which turned out to be not really worthwhile apart from the commentary. Our route back to the shuttle bus took us along the river we had just travelled, with better views from the shore! The ship was docked not far from the town, with views back along the Liffey to enjoy. Before we left, a sudden downpour produced a spectacular, extremely bright and long-lived rainbow on our, the starboard, side of the ship. Cobh was our last Irish port and an interesting place in its own right, with the Titanic Memorial Garden, St Colman's Cathedral and other attractions to visit. Again, a band and some folk in the dress of the Titanic era waved us farewell. Another sunset was followed by the final sea day, with stronger winds and interesting waves. We may have encountered yachts taking part in the Fastnet Race, as they whipped past us.That evening, we were warned that conditions at St Peter Port might prevent us from landing the tenders. The final day at St peter Port was bright and sunny, with Ventura at anchor alongside us. Although it looked fine to us, it was decided by both Captains to wait until midday to see if conditions improved; apparently there are strong currents in the harbour. Tenders pottered about and the tourist boats of a similar size came and went, but we stayed aboard. Eventually our Captain told us that, because our tenders are not as sturdy and stable (!) as those on Ventura, and because of the general age and decrepitude of our passengers compared to Ventura's, (that's what he meant anyway), we would not be going into port, but would be leaving, while Ventura's passengers enjoyed their afternoon on shore. A new policy with P & O seems to be that you must prove yourself able to step across a marked gap on the slope to the theatre before being allowed to use the tenders. Many of us on Oriana would have been able to disembark that day, we believe, but where do you draw the line! Leaving St Peter Port early denied us the opportunity at least to enjoy the view from afar, in a sheltered position for the sunbathers. However, maybe the Captain felt it would be insensitive to allow us to continue watching Ventura’s passengers heading off into port. By 1400 hours, we were on the way back to Southampton. We elected to carry our own luggage off at Southampton, with no problems and were on our way home by 8 am. All this covers most of the title, but what about The Bad? We were disappointed by the attitude of the staff in the Conservatory self service facility because they seemed to lack any enthusiasm for what they were doing and often needed prompting to clear a table or remove dishes. We felt that hygiene was poor too, compared with other ships, because tables were wiped with a cloth apparently without disinfectant, crumbs were swept to the floor and in the evening, used table mats were simply turned over. The hand sanitisers were promoted for about two days before we were entrusted to do it without prompting. Similarly, we never saw surfaces being wiped on the ship in general, although this may well have happened at other times. In addition, the choice of food in the Conservatory was extremely limited for those who, like us, dislike spicy food. The themed evenings provided only one alternative on the many spicy food nights and usually only one soup, also spicy. On the two occasions we ate downstairs, the choice was much better, but a lasagna I ordered was lacking in the expected sauce between the layers and boasted only a puddle in the bottom of the dish, so I had to ask for more. Our favourite meal was breakfast, where the Full English set us up for the day. We choose our itineraries, not our ships, but I think we will be ignoring P & O after our next, booked, trip to Northern European Capitals in December on Aurora. To end on a positive note, P & O allow wine, for consumption in your own room, to be taken on board " in reasonable quantities", at any port. Take note, other Cruise lines! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We were interested to see the locations around the UK but when we arrived at Guernsey, the last port of call, the Captain refused to allow us to go ashore despite customers on the Ventura, anchored alongside, being allowed to go ashore. ... Read More
We were interested to see the locations around the UK but when we arrived at Guernsey, the last port of call, the Captain refused to allow us to go ashore despite customers on the Ventura, anchored alongside, being allowed to go ashore. The Captain claimed the weather was too bad, the tenders inadequate and the customers too old. Some customers were old but that is no reason to cancel the visit for everybody. The weather and sea conditions looked fine to me and there was much annoyance amongst fellow passengers, so much so that it was the major topic of discussion for the rest of the trip. The comedian Roy Walker was amusing and the talk by Ian Brown interesting. The evening meals were of a good standard but felt rushed as did breakfast. The conservatory food was poor so we opted for the seated meals on almost all occasions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We have cruised mostly with P&O and been on Oriana before. We thought she is very nice, following her refurb last year (although if our bathroom wasn't missed, they don't appear to have included cabin bathrooms in their ... Read More
We have cruised mostly with P&O and been on Oriana before. We thought she is very nice, following her refurb last year (although if our bathroom wasn't missed, they don't appear to have included cabin bathrooms in their refurbishment plan. Still got the dated & scratched pink suite and very dated shower curtain). On-board entertainment, food & wait staff attitude (in Conservatory) have seriously deteriorated since our last experience on Oriana / P&O in 2015. Headliners were a let down this cruise - voices not enthusiasm and an old 'has been' (Roy Walker) was wheeled out again! The best bit was their guest speaker, Ian Brown but he unfortunately only had 3 spots. Absolutely nothing to gain from grumbling but very disappointed that Captain would not allow tender disembarkation in Guernsey on penultimate day but we all watched Ventura guests leaving on their tenders! If Oriana tenders aren't up to the job (single hull apparently) P&O should reconsider St Peterport as part of her itinerary! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a ... Read More
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a personal level,and professional level , the ship herself was neat and clean as was the cabin, the house keeping was outstanding, and all aboard went out of their way to help(my wife is disabled) if i could give a 11/10 i would ,from the captain down to the bottle washer ,everyone went out of their way to help, the food was great and plenty of it (i put on half a stone in a week), ease of access to all decks (using the lifts ) was easy We Highly recommend P&O Cruises, and will definitely travel with them again, With Grateful thanks to all aboard the Magnificent ORIANA, Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been ... Read More
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been on many cruises but never P&O. My mother has always referred to the service as being outstanding on every cruise (cruise Maritime, Thompsons, Fred Olsen). First morning, I attended the buffet breakfast area (conservatory) at around 9.30am to be faced with huge queues waiting for hot food, these queues seem to be taking a considerable amount of time to move. I have been to many 4-5-star hotels all over the world and I expect to queue at busy periods but the queue would always move quickly. After observing for 10 minutes while I wait (moved ever so slightly in this time), it was instantly clear why the queues were not moving. The hot food was not being replenished quick enough, now this was simple things like mushrooms, bacon, fried eggs as so on (basic breakfast food that is normally consumed by most people). I queued and eventually selected what I wanted, but the overall wait was approximately 25 minutes. I did contemplate getting more but the waiting time outweighed the hunger. This continued throughout the duration of the cruise, (every day apart from the last day, this was mainly due to me and my mother arriving at 6am so we could disembark early). Day 3 and onwards, again I had to wait around the same time as above only to be told there was no mushrooms today or they had completely run out. One day that stands out, the 5th day 28th July 2017, I even asked the member of staff behind the counter, only to be told there had not been any mushrooms cooked and there is none being cooked. At my amazement, when I returned to my seat, my mother had mushrooms. Clearly, I was lied to and again they had simply run out, bear in mind, we always attended breakfast between 9am and 10am. The staff in the conservatory buffet seemed very under trained and had no idea how to interact with the guest. Not once did they say, "good morning", Good Afternoon", or Good Evening". Most of the time they spent talking amongst themselves, it also seemed they had their own game going on. I like to watch people, several of the staff would look at each other and make some form of facial gesture, the other one would then laugh, this was though they were insulting the guest and this made me and my mother very uncofortable. As a little test, I left my plate on the side of my table, 3 members of staff were just chatting and laughing, the plate was eventually removed after about 15 minutes. I am unsure what uniform the Management wear, but to me it was a clear there was lack of supervision in the so-called restaurant. I also witnessed a waiter clearing a table and rather than sweep the crumbs etc. from the table on to a tray or their hand, with my astonishment they just swept it on the floor, there was still around 2 hours of service left, appalling. Throughout the duration of the cruise There was no draught Larger in the Crow’s Nest, (well this is what we were advised). The first club dining night, our table (55) had to wait around 45 minutes between starter and main course. This was nothing to do with the waiters. I would like to say the club dining waiters were very professional and an asset to P&O. I I have made an official complaint via P&O website. I have received a reply (took 29 days which falls outside their complaints process, and only I feel i only received a response due to chasing twice) which basically told me what P&O set out to achieve (type of mission/vision statement) but nothing on how they will be dealing with my dissatisfaction. There was also no apology for the late response and they had the cheek to advise they would welcome me back on board. I have replied back to still state my dissatisfaction, and guess what no response. I have even called the customer services to be told we can not put you through to the complaints department, you need to send an email (trust me this doesn't work), I was advised a Manager would call me ASAP (this call took place on 6th September 2017 and i m now writing this on 7th September 2017, and surprise, surprise, I am still waiting for a call. To sum up. DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE WITH P&O and look for an alternative operator. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Public areas and deck space very good.It is nice that the older ships still have the traditional spacious promenade deck. Good choice of food in buffet and main restaurant. Also enjoyed a meal in Sindhu (supplement payable). Weather ... Read More
Public areas and deck space very good.It is nice that the older ships still have the traditional spacious promenade deck. Good choice of food in buffet and main restaurant. Also enjoyed a meal in Sindhu (supplement payable). Weather mixed,could have been better, but nothing P&O can do about that.Really enjoyed the designated cinema it is a good option if you don't like the shows on offer.Ports of call where La Rochelle,Santander,El Ferrol and Guernsey. Shuttle bus needed to La Rochelle 25minutes. Nice place but not a great deal to see and do. Lovely beach in walking distance of where ship docked in Santander and plenty of shops too. El Ferrol would be a pretty port in good weather, unfortunately rained most of the day we were there. But we received a good send off with a band and musket fire from the towers at the port entrance.Town in walking distance of ship. We spent a few hours in the maritime museum,well worth a visit -entrance free but donations welcome. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
First time cruisers very special experience for my partner and I on the lovely Oriana she look amazing Embarkation went smoothly with no fuss we then boarded Oriana how exciting found our cabin LOOKED Good lots wardrobe spacers only ... Read More
First time cruisers very special experience for my partner and I on the lovely Oriana she look amazing Embarkation went smoothly with no fuss we then boarded Oriana how exciting found our cabin LOOKED Good lots wardrobe spacers only negative bath were small soap decanter broken slip mat for bath found it were a plus as at times there were movement when hit winds sea waves ,,we then found our way around the ship it was a little daunting as this was all new to us. food and drinks very good drinks prices very much like uk we personally did not enjoy the conservatory experience [ to much like a canteen very busy lots of noise like a feeding frenzy very rude people ] but staff very good . we used the peninsular and alfresco for dinner / breakfast .Entertainment were Average enjoyed Headliners opera flute not to our taste. comedian little sad maybe we were younger as were told average age for cruising were 69 years plus.every evening we would get news letter which were very informative Ref whats happening next day on Decks . in the spa areas to which we took advantage of this spa experience we had couples massage with hot stone very lovely therapist helpful but tried to sell and over sell products which we felt we spent already shame / also booked for my nails awful experience with the nail therapist I already had Gel nails so this was a treat sadly therapist started to file Gel as she couldn't remove polish with soak were upset as my nails felt weak after this she told me I needed more conditioning treatment I Have never been told this with my professional Nail Tech back home she applied shelliac colour look o.k still over whelmed by my experience .shore excursions we booked online before the cruise as we were told popular cruise excursions sell out but found most were available., enjoyed the experience and trips we Booked- in Future I think we could use ports shuttle make our way take our time saying that some Guides were very Interesting very Proud Of their Countries Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Oriana was our first cruise. We liked the ports for this and the time of year was good as was the weather. NO complaints at all. Service was excellent throughout. Only problem really was the tender process at a couple of ports ... Read More
Oriana was our first cruise. We liked the ports for this and the time of year was good as was the weather. NO complaints at all. Service was excellent throughout. Only problem really was the tender process at a couple of ports which took forever and ate into our time on shore. Bit unorganised I think. Shore excursions on P and O quite expensive so we arranged one ourselves and went cycling in Barcelona which was absolutely brilliant and only cost us £26 each. Entertainment I think not quite so good. Headliners were better before but they improved as the cruise went on. Few talks in the theatre from outside personalities than before. The programme was a little bit "samey". The spa was excellent and the girls were really lovely. I went there a few times. All in all - a really good cruise so thank you Oriana and see you again 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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