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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose it to search the Northern Lights. Erm well this ship should be labelled a Care Home at sea. Everything seemed to be geared towards the elderly. Ok let's start with the positives. The ship is classic classy and clean. ... Read More
We chose it to search the Northern Lights. Erm well this ship should be labelled a Care Home at sea. Everything seemed to be geared towards the elderly. Ok let's start with the positives. The ship is classic classy and clean. The itinerary great. The staff work extremely hard and very friendly. The negatives...average age 80. Lots of repeat cruisers as they love the ship. Now we're not in the bloom of youth being 63 and 70...but the ship lacked any element of fun. I've never seen so many miserable grumpy faces in one place and believe me hubby and I did try to interact with our fellow passengers. As for the entertainment, we'll all geared towards elderly. Classical concerts, harpists,pianists. Oh we did have a comedian and a wonderful tenor. That performed. But then we had one evening show of We'll Meet Again really!!!! Basically it was above unless you enjoy quizzes bingo and spending most of your time glued to your pint in the Lird Taverners, they were all squashed in there like sardines. Lots of people don't even venture off, well to be honest most couldn't. So we will not be cruising in this ship again, we should have heeded a couple of previous reviews that read the same. We felt so sorry for a few 20 somethings there were on there, they looked bored to tears and they were as were we. I've ever seen corridors look so empty at certain times. Pacific lounge where the Dj set up was mostly deserted and he was. Stuck in 60/70song choice time warp. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I Have recently got back from a 12 night cruise in hope of seeing the northern lights but we could not see them but I admit that was nobodies fault , it was down to nature but my main problem was with the cruise itself , I did not enjoy ... Read More
I Have recently got back from a 12 night cruise in hope of seeing the northern lights but we could not see them but I admit that was nobodies fault , it was down to nature but my main problem was with the cruise itself , I did not enjoy much about this cruise , Our cabin was in a bad location and as it was a cold cruise because it was going to Norway and the further it got the colder it got so understandably they had to keep the doors closed on the lido deck which on a warm cruise you would've walked through to make it to the conservatory dining restaurant and it was a long walk and I was travelling with elderly parents in their mid 60's & they found it a lot having to walk a mile each time they wanted to get something to eat . The conservatory restaurant was always super extremely crowded and at breakfast most mornings you had to really scrimp around before you could find a clear table ans it was always absolute mayhem down there , the food was nothing special at all it was like the low quality junk you'd find at an all you can eat buffet for about £8.99 , mass catering . The better food you had to pay for like to dine in either the oriental or Indian restaurant you had to pay quite a bit more and I paid something in the region of £1200.00 so why in the hell should I have to pay for any extras ??? It should all be included , P&0 already had £1200 of my money why should they get anymore . I think this whole cruise was a huge con absolute rip off . The atmosphere of the conservatory restaurant was about as classy as ASDA's cafe but about ten times as rushed and crowded , I will never do another cruise with P&0 ever again ... They have really let themselves go down the toilet . The cabin was looked after very well and the cabin Steward that was looking after all the cabins on the deck I was on did a wonderful job and REALLY looked after us really well and was always happy and polite and nothing was too much trouble and he would chat with me for a couple of minutes while he was working and was very friendly . The cabin was comfortable and I had all the towels and sheets I needed , the one problem that did take longer to sort out that it should've done was an issue with the climate control it was on the coolest setting it would go and was only blowing out REALLY hot air , I was sticky and clammy because it was so warm in there and had to sleep on top of the bed before they finally fixed it , it took them four days to get on it despite the fact that I'd been up at the desk more times than I can remember to complain about it & they kept saying it was beyond their control and someone was fixing it and it could take an hour up to 24 hours and it took much longer , I thought it was complete unacceptable , it would sweetened it a little if they had said while we are sorting this out help yourselves to as many cold drinks from the refrigerator in your cabin and you won't be charged for them , they're on us until we can get this sorted out but they didn't even do that . The entertainment was totally naff & was either aimed at chavs or old people , There were a couple of decent films I saw in the Chaplin Cinema in the evening but that was it . Music was completely awful over commercialised cack and was chosen by someone without a brain or what appeals most to drunk idiots on a Friday or Saturday night . The whole thing has become really chavified where most things appealed to that kind of person . At dinner time in the evening it clearly stated either formal which meant shirt , tie and dinner Jacket and shoes or on smart casual it stated smart trousers , collar shirt and smart jumper no jeans or tracksuit / jogging bottoms or football shirts and when I went into the Conservatory restaurant there were more than half who were inappropriately dressed . I saw Flip flops , Trainers , Football shirts , Skull & Bones shirts , Vests on really gross overweight fat men with beer bellies and at dinner this is a really unpleasant thing to have to look at ... Even on the formal night there were individuals dressed in this manner I was repulsed & put off to be honest I thought I'd mistakenly walked into either Pontins or Butlins dining area as the kind of person these holidays now seem to be attracting this type of character If P&0 are going to have the dress codes then they need to do one of two things either do a beter job at enforcing them or ABOLISH them altogether that way we'd know where we were ... but I guess this was bound to happen , the chav's have cottoned on to and taken over everything else in Britain and ruined it so it was only a matter of time before they discovered cruising and put their filthy stamp on what was once a pleasant relaxing experience . In another decade there will be drunkenness ,fighting and football hooliganism on these ships . They are very fast declining . The daytime activities were weak as they come . Pathway to Yoga , Footprint Analysis , Lunchtime puzzle . One of your entertainment team will provide a "fun" silent puzzle handout to complete at your leisure . Afternoon social Dancing , Walk in Fluid Retention Clinic , Port day picture Quiz , Nit & Natter .... I honestly almost gave up the will to Live it was so damn boring . On the days where I was at sea were the worst because the activities got even more tedious. The Lords Tavern was the worst evening entertainment . awful bland repetitive over commercial music being played at full volume followed by a dumb quiz and the entertainment staff were a bunch of irritating morons . I REALLY HATED this cruise with a passion & will NEVER , EVER go on anything else to do with P&0 or anything which they have had any involvement in . Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise as we wanted to see the Northern Lights and experience Norway with snow. We have previously been to the North Cape on P &O’s Arcadia, but in the summer. Embarkation on Oriana was a breeze...we arrived at 1pm, ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to see the Northern Lights and experience Norway with snow. We have previously been to the North Cape on P &O’s Arcadia, but in the summer. Embarkation on Oriana was a breeze...we arrived at 1pm, and were on board by 1.30...even though our official embarkation time was 2.30. Our cabin, a deluxe outside on C deck, was clean and spacious with lots of storage. A bit dated, but then we have been on Oriana once before and know that she is an old lady. Our luggage arrived shortly after us, and having unpacked had fun getting the suitcases stowed away under the bed...clearance is not great but leaving the cases open worked a treat. We were on Freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant...and as we were happy to share with others (we were 3 adults, although not all in the same cabin) we never had a problem getting seated for dinner immediately. Food was consistently of a good or high standard...Certainly no complaints at all, and in my opinion, was better than on our previous P &O cruise last summer. Could have been a bit hotter on a couple of occasions but not cool enough to warrant sending back. We also often asked for extra veg, as we like our veg and the standard portions can be a bit small. Dining staff (with one exception) were always efficient and friendly, but we could see they were pretty rushed at times, so lengthy dialogue with the waiters did not feature! We dined in Sindhu one night...fabulous food and service. Had afternoon tea in the main dining room a couple of times, very nice, better than the buffet. We were not overly impressed with the buffet, but we tend to use Al Fresco for breakfast (much more civilised!) and dont bother much with lunch. On the days we did have lunch in the buffet we had no problems getting a table, and stuck mainly to salads which were fine. We didnt avail oursleves of much of the entertainment...we have seen all the Headliner shows before, although we did see the comedian, the Harpist ( briliiant!), and Ben Makesi ( excellent). We are happy to retire to the Crows Nest after dinner and listen to whoever is performing there. Particularly liked one artiste..... Also, this was a specialist cruise...so many evenings whilst up in the Arctic circle , we were out on deck with our camera in search of the elusive lights...drinking mulled wine. Lovely! The ship is old, but the atmosphere on board was very friendly. The public areas are lovely and well maintained. I have read a couple of other reviews about this cruise and wonder if we were on the same one! The average age on board (as quoted by one ) was definately NOT 74...there were a lot of younger people on board and far, far less people with scooters and wheelchairs than normal...as expected really bearing in mind the itinerary and time of year. I really get quite annoyed when genralising sweeping statements are made about the passengers ages on this ship. Yes, of course some are quite elderly, but that is the same on any ship, and because it is adult only you dont get young families with children. I am not elderly, but really enjoyed my time onboard, chatting with people of all ages...which we did. Ports...Andalsnes...we went on a P &O trip on the Rauma railway...amazing scenery. We went by coach to Bjorli ski resort and got the train back...definately the best way to do it as the guide on the coach was very informative, whereas information on the train was less so. Tromso and Alta.....between us we went on Husky rides and Reindeer rides ...not cheap but great fun. We visited the Ice Hotel (a must), went in search of the lights...not too sure about the value here but just one of those things really, and went to a concert in the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso....beautiful. This is one of those cruises where I think you just have to bite the bullet and book at least a couple of trips if you want to get any real benefit of a cold cruise. Stavanger we just mooched around...it is an easy port to do just that and the town is very nice...the old town being particulalrly pretty. I am now looking forward immensely to 3 weeks in the Med this summer on the same ship. She is not modern and glitzy, but offers a more traditional cruising experience....has a lovely tiered aft, and is like a ship should be ...rather than a block of flats on water! Some will not enjoy that experience, so my advice is do your research before you book a cruise! She is also very expensive if you want a balcony cabin.... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was supposed to be a special cruise for our 60th wedding anniversary but it turned out to be very very disappointing, I realise that we are getting on a bit but we still like to have a good time and we certainly didn’t on this ship, ... Read More
This was supposed to be a special cruise for our 60th wedding anniversary but it turned out to be very very disappointing, I realise that we are getting on a bit but we still like to have a good time and we certainly didn’t on this ship, we have been on the Oriana before and should never gone again, we have cruised many times and I must say this was the worst by far. We experienced very rough seas and of coarse that’s not the fault of the ship, the crew were lovely and work very hard, as for the food it was very poor and the entertainment was third rate, I think whoever put it together thought anything was good enough for the elderly passengers, as for any dancing in the evenings it was okay if you were into old time dancing which we are not and if you liked to knit and natter or play bingo during the day then this was the cruise for you. The open dining was a feasco having to cue up for about an hour to get a table for two, I think there were a lot of disappointed people on this cruise and I know that we would never go with P&O again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because it was advertised as a cruise around the fjords and fine dining restaurants. There was one restaurant you could class as fine dining called Sindhu, it was as good as you can get and so was the staff. The rest ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was advertised as a cruise around the fjords and fine dining restaurants. There was one restaurant you could class as fine dining called Sindhu, it was as good as you can get and so was the staff. The rest of my review is about everything but this superb place with its excellent staff. The other select restaurant was the beach house, my wife said McDonalds was better! The remaining places to eat were like cattle markets, not the luxury cruise it was sold as. As for the fjords then the briefest of time was spent around these as we cruised from one port to another, there was lots more to see but it seemed like they preferred to sail home slowly to save fuel. We booked one of the best 8 cabins, thank heavens we did as we had to spend quite a bit of time in it as activities like knit and knatter, bridge classes and water colour art class wan't us and trying to get a seat in lounge for a coffee was a nightmare. Power failures, aircon failures etc we not ideal, blamed on the freezing conditions outside, hey what a surprise they found out it gets cold in the arctic! Every time I've been there its been cold, very cold. Shore excursions we very uninspiring with lots of waiting queuing and wasted time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
our first time cruise left us thinking would we do it again? . Once on board and got bearings the restaurant was a set meal from a menu which for us was rich for our taste and same with breakfast next morning . On talking to other guests ... Read More
our first time cruise left us thinking would we do it again? . Once on board and got bearings the restaurant was a set meal from a menu which for us was rich for our taste and same with breakfast next morning . On talking to other guests they told us where to go to get self service food, what a difference , the variety of choice was amazing and if lucky get to sit by a window and watch the view and eat. the staff in this restaurant worked really hard at clearing the tables of used crocks, helping people with disability, carry their food and help find a table .The cabin we had was inside which was a liveable size but having no windows you had to have the light on all the time. we also found that you were charged £6.00 per day per person per day, again guests told us that we can opt out by getting a form from reception. as this cruise was to see the northern lights it got very cold when berthed in alta -25 wind chill factor as a result the ship had some burst pipes which were dealt with the minimum inconvenience to the passengers. the entertainment on board at times was mediocre at best some good some bad. we did not go any shore excursions so cannot comment about them as regards value for money. the activities on board was how to line dance, ballroom dancing, play bridge, gym, a cinema with a good selection of films. we did manage to see the northern lights 4 times, which when talking to other guest who have done this trip before never saw them. but the one thing we will take home with us is the stunning views of Norway the friendly locals and of course the ships company Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Went to see the Northern Lights which were fantastic. The ship was good but not suitable for a trip to the Arctic in Winter. There was a computer failure at check in and it took three hours for the luggage to reach our cabin. Our cabin ... Read More
Went to see the Northern Lights which were fantastic. The ship was good but not suitable for a trip to the Arctic in Winter. There was a computer failure at check in and it took three hours for the luggage to reach our cabin. Our cabin was very cold; the heating did not come on until the following morning but it was very unreliable throughout the voyage. The ship left three hours late blaming unusually heavy traffic on the Solent. The 1800 passengers had been checking the weather forecast so we all new it would be 15 below but this was a complete suprise to P & O. There were burst pipes and power failures and when the ship returned to warmer waters the ice that had formed in the ceilings voids melted and water came through the ceilings. We were another 48 hours without heat in the cabin and they only gave us 1 blanket. Some passengers had ice inside their cabins. The engines were so noisy it was difficult to hear in the restaurant. It was quieter in the buffet but here it is a scramble to get a table as the buffet is not big enough to accommodate everybody. Probably not a problem for a warmer route where passengers can go on deck. The staff were very friendly and the food was good. I would describe fellow passengers as seniors and the entertainment was biased to that age group - plenty of quizzes, bingo, knitting, ballroom dancing etc and with a couple of exceptions the shows by third rate singers screaming at full volume. The ship does not have double doors so when an outside door is opened there is a terrific icy blast and heat is lost. The public areas were always cold so don't expect to have your shoulders bare for formal nights. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
It started with computer failure at Embarkation taking over 2 hours to fix. The crew were excellent in the face of adversity. Many cabins were cold from the start of the cruise. As we approached Alta the heating all over the ship stopped ... Read More
It started with computer failure at Embarkation taking over 2 hours to fix. The crew were excellent in the face of adversity. Many cabins were cold from the start of the cruise. As we approached Alta the heating all over the ship stopped working in temperatures of -15. Then the following day the galley didn’t have power. The chefs managed to prepare a hot meal though. Eventually at mid day the captain explained the issues and blamed the cold. Some cabins got heating by the evening but many were without heating for a further 24 hours. Bathrooms were flooded, the Conservatory had leaks from the ceiling, the cinema and Lords Taven were flooded due to the sprinkler system developing a fault, the forward lifts broke down. Al Fresco was so cold that it was closed then experienced a flood which closed it for the rest of the cruise. Even after we docked the Conservatory had another leak from the ceiling. Having travelled in a much older ship to Alta without any problems my husband and I were not impressed. At times the menu on offer was uninspiring. We enjoyed the four ports and did see the Northern Lights but P&O need to give Oriana some major TLC. We have cruised on Britannia so were disappointed with Oriana Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise as we thought it would give us the best chances to see the northern lights and we were not disappointed as we saw them both nights in Alta (it was apparent we were very lucky as some people we spoke to, were on their ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we thought it would give us the best chances to see the northern lights and we were not disappointed as we saw them both nights in Alta (it was apparent we were very lucky as some people we spoke to, were on their 4th -6th northern lights cruise as they had never seen them). As for the cruise we again were not disappointed. It was our first cruise and we were a bit apprehensive about feeling too confined. Oriana is a lovely old ship, yes she is a mid size ship (not a ferry!!). The public areas are well presented and there is ample space to walk around. As for going on a cruise into the arctic, one expects it could get cold on the ship, but we had the appropriate clothing to help. We soon learnt that when the ship had been in port, the ship felt colder, so in the evenings we would just wear something a bit warmer. We had an outside cabin that yes the window did make it colder, but then we would not have been able to see the sun rise and watch the amazing scenery when we woke up (a small price to pay). As other reviews have mentioned yes there was the issue with leaking and the heating not working, but the ships engineers worked very hard to sort it and these things happen unfortunately and yes the ship was very cold, but it did not spoil my holiday. The staff on the ship, we thought all worked very hard and were very polite and friendly. There was plenty of lovely food on board and plenty of different foods to choose from. There was table service in the lovely penninsular restaurant or the conservatory for a buffet service (it can get very busy) with the lovely views. I would highly recommended paying extra to eat at the Sindu restaurant at least once; absolutely divine. As for anyone requiring a special dietary meal (health!!), you will not be disappointed. Yes there were gluten free options, but not only that, my mum is a celiac and she had a specific waiter who took her order for the next evening and if she wanted a non gluten free option, he always made sure she could have it, if the chef could tweak it (penninsular restaurant). All restaurants/coffee lounge she had no issues with, as they were most obliging. Our cabin was compact, but room enough for what we required. The disembarkation at the ports, chaos!!! Sorry must have missed that!! Longest time I had to wait to disembark was 5-10 mins and it ran smoothly. There was plenty to do on the ship to suit most people; the activities are made available to you if you choose – if you do not like them, bring a book or I brought adult colouring. There were shows to see, films to watch or you could just sit in Tiffanys’s or the Crow’s Nest to listen to the pianist or singer. As for being an OAP ship, I never felt that (I am 43yrs), and for a ship going into the arctic, I would say the average age was about 55-60, as agreed by other guests (talking to people who cruise a lot, the hotter cruises have the older people). As for mobility scooters haring around the ship, no, I must have missed that too!!. I did see a number of people in push around wheel chairs and thought it was a nice chance for them to see the world without too much hassle. We met some lovely people on this cruise (both first time cruisers and long time cruisers) and freedom dining enable this or you could choose to have a table to yourself. You could be as social as you wanted. There were a small minority of people, obviously, that you hoped you would never see again (apparently known as POMS – p and o moaners), and these all were long time cruisers (maybe they have been on too many and expect too much!!). In a nutshell, if you want to see the northern lights this cruise is a fantastic way to see them (well hopefully) and depending on your outlook in life, is maybe how you see your holiday! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We had booked a suite. We should have been in a separate waiting area to board. However, no-one bothered to show us where this was. Embarkation was delayed by two hours+ due to computer failure. When we were finally called to check in ... Read More
We had booked a suite. We should have been in a separate waiting area to board. However, no-one bothered to show us where this was. Embarkation was delayed by two hours+ due to computer failure. When we were finally called to check in we found ourselves behind rather a large number of people, those who knew where the 'first class' waiting area was. This despite our being amongst the first to arrive at Departures. Once on board no-one told us where to go. We simply followed on behind others, hoping for the best. Our cabin was lovely. The only disappointment being that when we had looked at the cabin plan on booking it seemed that there was a dressing room. This turned out to be a second toilet. We felt that arrangements for disembarking to go on excursions were not well managed, in that the outer doors were kept open, which resulted in parts of the ship being very cold indeed. Surely a warm air curtain could be installed. There were unfortunate incidents of pipes freezing, a boiler breaking down, flooding in the crews' quarters, leaking in the cinema, etc. Many people were walking round, sitting in the bars and going to dinner wearing overcoats. The Captain advised us this was due to the temperature in Alta being -25 and that temperatures had never previously gone below -10. This is a really poor excuse. Fine dining was poor. There was only one fine dining restaurant open for lunch. The Al Fresco and Conservatory restaurants were cold and resembled works canteens. Red wine should not be served chilled. Cheese should be served at room temperature not chilled. Onboard activities were dire. Knit and Knatter, carpet bowls, talks on sore feet and aching backs were just a few of the thrilling activities. In the main staff were good. The bar staff, on the other hand, are lazy, slow and unhelpful. One female member of staff in particular, working on Reception, was a very poor advert for P&O. She was hostile, rude and unhelpful. Disembarkation was ok. Read Less
Oriana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms N/A 0.0
Fitness Recreation N/A 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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