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21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. Of the 10 ports of call, 6 we had not visited before and we found them all very interesting. we had outside cabin on F deck and while it was a bit smaller than that on other ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. Of the 10 ports of call, 6 we had not visited before and we found them all very interesting. we had outside cabin on F deck and while it was a bit smaller than that on other ships it was adequate and was kept scrupulously clean by the cabin steward. The only complaint would be that the cabin had 2 upper bunk beds which were folded up against the wall as they were not needed. As we had queen bed layout the bunk beds gave restricted head room at each side of the bed resulting in frequent head bumps. The twin bed layout we saw in other cabins appeared to give more room. We chose freedom (anytime ) dining which worked reasonably well though if we requested table for 2 we usually had to wait 15 or 20 minutes and occasionally 35 - 40 minutes, but generally this wasn't a problem. The meals in the Peninsular restaurant were of a high quality and consistently good throughout the cruise.. The Conservatory (self service buffet) was a bit hectic at breakfast on sea days but was generally comparable to other ships we have been on. The smaller Al Fresco restaurant on the Lido deck was excellent for a light lunch. The entertainment was largely enjoyable with good mix of light and classical performances, while the Headliner company put on some top class shows. The Chaplin Cinema was also a useful alternative entertainment and screened some top class films. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Chose the cruise due to the good ports, some new to us and some we had not visited for several years. Ports did not disappoint, we tend to do our own trips however had good P&O excursions to Capri ( despite the whinging from ... Read More
Chose the cruise due to the good ports, some new to us and some we had not visited for several years. Ports did not disappoint, we tend to do our own trips however had good P&O excursions to Capri ( despite the whinging from passengers re tendering ) and wine tasting in Livorno. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, would have been better if some passengers listened to the instructions. Varied our dining in the Restaurant, Conservatory and our favourite Beach House, all of a good standard. You may notice a theme on the previous items and that is that some passengers appear to constantly complain which was bit annoying for those of us who where on holiday!. Found the waiters and service excellent. Went to a performances, classic guitar and ventriloquist where excellent. Comedian not the best. Overall a good holiday and we are looking to book again for next year. All I would ask others is if you did not enjoy yourself please try a coach holiday. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony ... Read More
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony upgrade. We weren't lucky but it wasn't a great loss as the resultant weather was atrocious. We started off on a low with a 5 hour delay due to an engine problem not mentioned in the cruise log. Finally left around 9pm. Made up time & arrived La Rochelle on time. Weather warm 22C overcast with slight drizzle. All trips went ahead as advertised. The on to Santander where the weather started to deteriorated with thunder, lightning & very heavy rain. Back on the ship & off to La Corona with a sunny start & sat out in the Piazza square in glorious sun for 1/2 hour. All trips cancelled due to a Spanish coach drivers strike! Then more incessant downpours in high winds. The trouble started after we left for Guernsey heading for the Bay of Biscay. The wind overnight built up rapidly to gale force 10 then maxed out at 11! The swell increased to 6.5 metres & the ride was very uncomfortable but the captain seemed more concerned that the ship was coping admirably while most passengers including myself were pretty scared. I'm starting to think that we shouldn't have left La Corona & should have waited until conditions improved. We finally after 36 hours of hell arrived at St Peter Port, Guernsey where conditions had improved considerably but the captain decided that using tenders was going to be unsafe. This upset a lot of passengers who were looking forward to sampling the joys of the island. Conditions improved during the day but still deemed to be too dangerous for tenders. Instead we upped anchor & left for Southampton 3 hours early arriving around 4am. There was a lot of noise made tying up on our berth so impossible to get any sleep. Disembarked at 9.15 am & relieved to be back on land! Food was really good & recommend freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant. Top Tip: Avoid The Conservatory which was a bit like the "Wild West" & a scrum. Andersons bar very good service & comfortable seats. Two formal nights when one would have done. Wine prices very reasonable & excellent selection. Oriana nicely refurbished & survived the violent seas which we were grateful for but the passengers really suffered. I won't be cruising again to Northern Spain after this which ruined what was supposed to be a relaxing break for my elderly mother & myself. Marks out of 10 only 5 unfortunately. I still can't believe I paid to go on this cruise & feel some sort of compensation warranted as a lot of 1st timers who won't be returning. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Went for our 40th anniversary on a late booking, lucky to get a mini suite and it was so wonderful felt so special as only used to balconies, but the room surpassed all my dreams. Yes due to problems late leaving so no exciting sail away ... Read More
Went for our 40th anniversary on a late booking, lucky to get a mini suite and it was so wonderful felt so special as only used to balconies, but the room surpassed all my dreams. Yes due to problems late leaving so no exciting sail away but as we had a bottle of complimentary champagne to drink on our balcony enjoyed. Weather started good and we enjoyed La rochelle, santander even though the storm was horrendous and lovely La coruna with only a shower, the sea was definitely choppy but known worse from past cruises, think captain should have not been so open about the forth coming conditions as lots of passengars we spoke to were quite frightened and come 10 oclock all venues were very empty, previous cruisers said he should not have said as much as he did. people went back to their cabins early, though the sea did not seem that rough at that stage. Very sad not to get off at Guernsey felt for the passengers who had never visited there, do feel we could have got off lunchtime but the captain seemed like he just wanted to head back to southampton asap so he could get the ship ready for the next big cruise, and feel he let the passengers down and the cost involved losing a port day and the extra so called entertainment he said was laid on was rubbish, even sail away in doors was poor. Really hope this cruise has not put anyone off just so bad luck with the weather which we have never experienced, we have always had great cruises with PO and off soon on lovely Ventura and back on Oriana next year. Had freedom dining but ate in main restuarant every night and met different cruisers for chats. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Firstly, this was our 1st cruise with P&O out of 9 cruises...and will most definitely be our last P&O!! We had heard many good reports about P&O that we couldn't wait...how disappointed we were. It certainly did not live ... Read More
Firstly, this was our 1st cruise with P&O out of 9 cruises...and will most definitely be our last P&O!! We had heard many good reports about P&O that we couldn't wait...how disappointed we were. It certainly did not live up to our expectations. We sailed from Southampton to France, Spain and Guernsey. We didn't have the best weather...but that's out of anyone's control. We liked the layout of the ship...although she was a little small. We liked club dining idea in the Oriental....although the menu choice left a lot to be desired, as did the service...can't possibly swap cream for ice cream, didn't know our names and we were often given the wrong meal!!! but by the end of the cruise when they were all expecting their tips they couldn't do enough for you!!! We liked our cabin, an outside...but unfortunately, that's where the "we liked's" ends!!! The title of the review is "Rest home at Sea"...because that is exactly how we feel about our cruise (we are just in our 50's). The average age appeared to be an "old" 75 yrs old (and that's being polite). There was no "atmosphere" on the ship....bars were often silent like a library where you dared not speak because people were asleep with their false teeth hanging out. The entertainment was definitely not for us....bridge, whist, crafting, waltz lessons, knitting...OMG!!! For the first time ever... we so desperately wanted to get off ship.....!!!! The Captain had most of the passengers petrified with his OTT announcements when the weather took a turn for the worst. If it's going to be so bad....stay in port....but oh no.... that will cost money!!! Add into this... we couldn't get off in Guernsey. The Captain decided that the sea conditions were too rough...hmmmm!!!! it was the best day weather wise of the whole cruise!!! everyone was so disappointed that we could not get off but could do no other than sit and watch the little sail boats circle us while we sat there like lemons!! We contacted P&O on our return re compensation for missed port but they didn't want to know.....maybe the bar takings were down for the cruise and so the Captain needed to get those till ringing for one last time???? Will we try P&O again??? no....Not good enough P&O....plus, we're not ready to wait for God yet!! P.S. can't wait to get back on NCL. and P.P.S. ....can't wait to get back on Thomson!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I just returned from a 19 day cruise on the ORIANA around the med and Adriatic.,We drove down the night before and stayed at Chilworth Manor, just to make it an extra days holiday.,Now most hotels ask you to vacate by 10.00am ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a 19 day cruise on the ORIANA around the med and Adriatic.,We drove down the night before and stayed at Chilworth Manor, just to make it an extra days holiday.,Now most hotels ask you to vacate by 10.00am ,ours was 12.00. The reason I tell you this will become clear. Our boarding time was 1500hrs, having no problem with this we thought we can wait at the terminal.so taxi in to terminal where we were given a ticket and took a seat to await our embarkation. During the time we were waiting on a number of occasions ALL the check in desks were empty so we asked could we check in....not board but just check in.We were told no..have to wait until 3-00 .Eventually the Evesway coaches arrived and were given priority, obviously there will be people on the coaches that have early boarding times and those that have later times like us.....Eventually we were called to CHECKIN at 1515hrs.Now we dont mind "waiting our turn" but when you have check in desks doing NOTHING surely the people already at the terminal could have at least checked in,and called to board at their required time, it just seems a very haphazard way to embark passengers,We think PO have to look at this again. The Ship....This was our first time with PO and also the smallest ship we have been on and were impressed with the layout and design of her,..did not have to walk far to get to any venue.all public spaces were clean and"shipshape" .Also first inside cabin we have had,and we were pleasantly surprised,plenty of room,for clothes etc quite comfortable. except for the first day and half where we hit a force 10. DINING....We had freedom dining (anytime) and never had a problem getting a table ,usually to share.which we enjoy. the food was ....OK but there was nothing on any of the menus that made us go WOW.and it was certainly catered for "brits", having said that ,the service was EXCELLENT.with all the waiting staff very friendly and approachable. The reason for the heading VERY "BRITISH.is that during our cruise we spoke to many other passengers about both PO and the ORIANA,and it was VERY evident that many of them were very "protective"about both. ie Will NEVER try another cruise line, and in many cases no other ship,when we told them we have used PRINCESS ,ROYAL CARIBEAN and Thomson..some got quite irate,....they seem to regard it as their own private cruise line. ENTERTAINMENT......This was a "music at sea" cruise, unfortunately we were not informed until after we booked,it was all classical music. Luckily I enjoy some of this,but my wife doesnt,having said that I enjoy some classical music, I mean QUALITY performers, and unfortunately some were not....the violinist and flautist were world class but the male singers were at best average. Every PO ship apparently have their "HEADLINERS" who are the ships entertainment crew.These did a number of shows throughout the cruise,and they are all very talented...BUT in my opinion every one was... to loud..and to fast,... slick and profesional...yes,but most shows were non stop "medleys"of ABBA ,Musicals etc. I dont think they actually finished a song before going into another. The other entertainment was pretty good, a comedian, a fantastic group (Bluejays) and an ex HOLLIES member who was very entertaining. One of the things we found annoying was ,if you wnt to one of the lounges in the evening for entertainment,lasting and hour,as soon as it was over,you had to leave as there was nothing to keep you there,not even music.. DAYTIME....As I said this was our first time with PO,and the "things to do"was ,in my opinion very poor, We are not interested in .BRIDGE,WHIST, KNITTING, SEQUENCE DANCING or Shuffleboard...we overheard people say they only went to play it because there was nothing else to do...we even went to the cinema 3 times to ease the boredom. SHORE EXCURSIONS....Where do I start? I think by now everyone who cruises knows that ships excursions are a rip off....that goes for ANY line. but by far and away the "CATANIA HIGHLIGHTS" tour was one of the worst. ie Bus from ship,coast road to a "photo opportunity" a large piece of lava rock in the sea with a "fort" on top (which we couldnt go into) then back to a square which was a 10mnt walk from the ship to see a cathedral (which we could not enter because service on) where we were told we had 2 HOURS of"free time" then walked about 200yrds to where the shuttle dropped off to the bus to take us back to the ship which would have been quicker walking to. ABSOLUTELY SCANDALOUS....needless to say there were a lot of complaints ,but no refund given. The next port of call CORIGLIANO CALABRO....ANOTHER waste of time,shuttle to "town" (20 mnts) then if wanted to 3EU another shuttle to a castle at top of hill (could walk if fit enough) that was it. VENICE...Fell in love with Venice first time we went,and even though my wife had to visit a dentist there,it is still a magical place. TRIESTE..This place oozes money and class, very expensive top end shops,and some beautiful architecture.Again straight off ship into town. ZADAR...Beautiful place...straight off ship by short shuttle ride lovely walk along promenade into the town where we found a great little bar as you go through the gate right up the steps absolutely great, outdoors with cushions and rugs on the floor reeealy nice place to have a quiet drink. KOTOR.....Also a lovely place, unfortunately the tender boarding was a shambles, waited in lounge until called down, only to find they had not disembarcked the ones already in it.so waited for 45 mnts on stairs before boarding, the ones coming back on board had been waiting on hour on the water to get back...absolute shambles, but once ashore lovely walks and interesting things ..like the "great wall" brilliant. CORFU.....Now we come to the not so good part, we actually sailed into Corfu harbour only for the captain to announce he didnt feel it was safe to try and dock?? He later announced that we would dock in CARTAGENA instead, ok no problem...even printed and arranged excursions etc for passengers ...later he announced that due to currents and tides there he didnt feel it was "viable" to attempt to call in there......maybe it had something to do with port fees ?? So on to GIBRALTER..straight of ship ,there are taxis,minibuses etc to use for tours as you come off,these are a lot cheaper than ships tours..we paid £25 for a wonderful 2,/ 1/2 hour trip around and top of the rock.with a great guide. This was the ONLY port in a weeks sailing, not really good enough PO. Finally,I would say we would try PO again,but a much bigger ship like the Azura maybe.maybe it has better stabalisers .as this ship moved a little to much and to often for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have cruised with another cruise line sixteen times, the last one was dire in all it's glory. Some friends of ours who also had the same experience decided to try P&O in 2016. They said that they had had a good time and the ... Read More
We have cruised with another cruise line sixteen times, the last one was dire in all it's glory. Some friends of ours who also had the same experience decided to try P&O in 2016. They said that they had had a good time and the food was good. Unfortunately in June 2017 something had changed the food was forgettable, unless of course you like: Cottage pie: Sausage & mash: Fish & chips: Beef burgers: Spaghetti: Curry (repeated most nights in the Conservatory Cafeteria); At least the vegetables were seasoned and cooked properly. The food in the dining room didn't fare much better but the choice was better. Naturally should you wish to eat well then put your hand into your pocket and withdraw circa £20.00 per person to eat in the alternative themed restaurants which also charged additional prices for other speciality meals. The themed restaurants on many cruise ships are simply taking the mick! Why should I want fork out (excuse the pun) more money to eat decent food when w've just spent over 3 grand getting onboard and that doesn't include drinks etc. The excursions were hampered by cold wet and windy weather in all locations apart from Lisbon Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in our cabin (deluxe outside) C156. This was very roomy with plenty of hanging space and a useful sitting area. This was our first cruise on Oriana since her refit and we were impressed. She ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in our cabin (deluxe outside) C156. This was very roomy with plenty of hanging space and a useful sitting area. This was our first cruise on Oriana since her refit and we were impressed. She looked pristine. All public areas were much better than before but the greatest improvement was the Conservatory. It is now a light and airy place with fresh tiles and some very good art work. We eat here on a couple of occasions and it was so much better than before. Not everything was perfect. The unthoughtful people on the previous cruise had drunk all the "Jaipur IPA" and even though it was obviously very popular no one had bothered to restock. Shame. Oriana needed some essential repair work(???) so we missed the port of Corigliano Calabro having overnight stays in Civitavecchia and Salerno instead. Unfortunately we also missed out on Marseille due to weather conditions - although I did wonder if the essential repair work also was a factor here. Food was of the usual high standard. We were on Freedom Dining which we prefer as we like a table for 2. The only problem with this was that people began queuing as early a 5pm so you really did have to be joining the queue well before 6pm if you wanted to get a table for 2. On a few occasions we were just a little too late and had to drag ourselves off to the bar with a pager which was no problem. The entertainment was very good. Headliners were excellent (as usual) and we also really enjoyed the Troubadors and the Spinettes. Chris Lubbe was also a very interesting and inspiring guest speaker. Overall, a very enjoyable cruise, so much so that we took the opportunity to book again whilst on board for another Mediterranean cruise on Oriana in October. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Just returned from an 18 nt cruise around the med. i always submit a review so once again here are positives and negatives.EMBARKATION; excellent.through security and into cabin in no time at all, luggage waiting for us, met our cabin boy ... Read More
Just returned from an 18 nt cruise around the med. i always submit a review so once again here are positives and negatives.EMBARKATION; excellent.through security and into cabin in no time at all, luggage waiting for us, met our cabin boy Minquel. Cabin; well kept cabin, large double bed, small frdige, small tv. we were an inside cabin. Now the negatives about the cabin, wardrobes with doors rails facing opposite way making it very hard to access clothes in and out, safe inside wardrobe but almost on floor, had to bend right down and couldnt see inside, also very small and narrow could only get a passport wallet inside so gave up on that.Positives, plenty of hot water, we had a bath which was brilliant, plenty of storage space in bathroom. Tea and coffee on hand. luggage under bed. DINING: we were freedom and loved it sat with some lovely people very enjoyable. Good food nice waiters. Enjoyed the black tie nights very much.BARS: Liked the quizzes in the sports bar, singers in the pacific, loved watching the ballroom dancers in harlequins. great shows put on by the Headliners. also went to some lectures, they were excellent.DECOR: the ship had recently had a refit having never been on the Oriana before couldn't say anything about it, but we liked it very much, beautiful carpets, typical of the old cruise liners of yester year. POOLS: we used to sit on the crystal pool much quieter, loved the sun chairs, better than the lounge beds. EXCURSIONS: only went on the Rome 3 point one as we were there last year, ok not so go rep. We booked on board to go on the Godfather tour that was brilliant lovely countryside, marvellous driver on the hairpin bends. Good rep very enjoyable day. DISEMBARKATION: no problems well organised. Car was parked in the CPS carpark, no problems with them. We had a wonderful cruise loved the Oriana, met nice people and lots of moaners especially those moaning because we couldnt dock in Marseille because of high winds. also the itinerary had been changed 2 days before departure. didnt go down Messina straites and back so had extra day in port for Rome and extra day in Salerno. both awful ports but still enjoyed staying on board plenty to do. All in all loved it plenty of positives and only the wardrobe negative. Ignore the moaners go and enjoy the lovely ship we did, looking forward to our next cruise with P&O in August. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
The ship is smaller than the other cruises we have been on and being all adults was a bonus . It does move and creak more than the modern ships and we did have a storm for a day and a half which was quite uncomfortable and let to things ... Read More
The ship is smaller than the other cruises we have been on and being all adults was a bonus . It does move and creak more than the modern ships and we did have a storm for a day and a half which was quite uncomfortable and let to things being cancelled . The conservatory buffet restaurant is always full and difficult to find places to sit but the mail restaurant is lovely , food , staff and consistent . Very rare you could get a table for two though . The ports we stopped at were lovely . We did a special trip to " search for the northern lights " which took us an hour on a very hot stuffy coach ( we all had layers on to keep warm at the other end ) and luckily did see the lights for about 10 minutes but this is not for the feint hearted and anyone that doesn't like the cold !!! The ice hotel was lovely and the husky sledding was wonderful. The entertainment on this ship was limited in comparison to Ventura and Azura and catered for older people . As it was so cold a lot of he outdoor activities were not practical when they did take place and the decks were closed a lot for safety reasons . There was lectures on in the theatre daily . The staff on the ship are consistently wonderful with only reception staff not as openly friendly ( think they have the hardest job ) . Personally won't be booking another cruise on the Oriana , purely personal preference and the age and size of the ship Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Back on P&O after two Celebrity and one Princess cruise, check in was very crowded but we were onboard quick enough and straight to our outside cabin. A long time since we had not had a balcony, would we miss it ?, well yes we did even ... Read More
Back on P&O after two Celebrity and one Princess cruise, check in was very crowded but we were onboard quick enough and straight to our outside cabin. A long time since we had not had a balcony, would we miss it ?, well yes we did even though it was cold and inclement weather. The cabin seemed small,l although we managed to hang all our clothes which included some very bulky coats etc. The televisions are very small and not interactive as on other ships. The cabin steward happily took away and stored some of the large cases as they did not fit under the bed. The security safe is in the wardrobe at floor level, not easy for the over 60's to access which is most of the clients ? We were on freedom dining and most nights were seated straight away although later diners had to have pagers. The food and service in the Peninsular was excellent. We sampled various venues for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon tea during the cruise and all were very good. I would say however that the conservatory offering was not as good as the American ships. During the sea days we took part in most of the quizzes, and a few of the other activities on offer, the table tennis being on an outside deck curtailed my enthusiasm to play, and the short mat bowls whilst in port was a farce due to the ships tilt. The entertainment was varied and we enjoyed the headliners, comedian Jay Magee, and two good speakers. The formal nights were well supported and the photographers were not in your face all the time which made a change. We were lucky enough to see the northern lights although the full moon did not help, they were generally like a grey wisp of cloud but did come out greenish on the photographs. People on the second night were not so fortunate. The weather on the return leg was very rough, force eleven with the usual array of those that carried on as normal and those that could not. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Having taken a cruise 2 years ago on Oceana we made a decision never to travel with P&O again, however, as they were the only cruise company making this trip we had no choice and booked the Northern Lights Cruise on Oriana in March ... Read More
Having taken a cruise 2 years ago on Oceana we made a decision never to travel with P&O again, however, as they were the only cruise company making this trip we had no choice and booked the Northern Lights Cruise on Oriana in March 2017. The cruise itself was fantastic but after giving P&O a second chance we definitely will not be travelling with them again. The embarkation was quick and our cases were outside our cabins soon after we arrived. We were disappointed with the small amount of wardrobe space especially as we had heavy coats and boots with us. The safe was inside the wardrobe and at floor level which made it difficult to see when opening or closing it because of the clothes hanging over it. The TV was not interactive and offered hardly any channels other than P&O's promotions which, having to spend a couple of days in bed due to a chest infection was not good. Although the ship had apparently undergone a refurbishment the wash basins in the bathrooms were chipped (a good place to hoard germs) and the toilets were very temperamental when flushing. Each day we noticed at least one toilet in the public toilets out of use and washbasins waiting for repair. Considering this was a winter trip the entertainment offered was very poor. We expected lots if indoor activities and fun but apart from quizzes and games on the Wii machine there was very little to do, not even an indoor pool which we have enjoyed even on a "hot" cruise. Even the choice of the films in the cinema were geared to one genre, nothing gentle that we could watch. The craft get-together was a washout unless you had the foresight to bring your own equipment. Craft kits were being sold on board but there were no tools available to make these and no instructor either. The art class was another one that had to be paid for, we've never paid for craft and art classes on other ships. The Entertainments Manager could have arranged so many more fun activities but apart from seeing her introducing acts in the theatre she was conspicuous by her absence. This cruise definitely needed an injection of fun and laughter but to us P&O seems to be a company where you just sit, read and drink!! Maybe it's typically English - BORING. Thank goodness for the comedians who were excellent and introduced laughter in this very boring Company, but the Headliners just screeched to make themselves heard over the band which was far too loud. The food and service in the Peninsular was excellent but the Conservatory choices were dismal, nowhere as good as American ships. The cleanliness in the Conservatory was almost non-existent, we saw a hoover being used twice but not around the table legs where the crumbs collected. On other cruise lines there has been a visible presence of hand rails and banisters being cleaned but this was lacking on this ship. The majority of the crew were very helpful with the exception of a couple of the reception staff who seemed as though they couldn't "be bothered" and were rude. There seemed to be only one lad who knew his job and could answer our questions. We booked several shore excursions and enjoyed them all, the highlight being the ice hotel, we would certainly recommend that. We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights which completed our trip and the talk on setting cameras to allow photographs to be taken was invaluable and we took several good natural photos of them (not enhanced as the ones for sale on the ship were). Disembarkation was chaotic. There was no organisation with the cases and people were wandering around trying to find them. Ours were in three different places! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We embarked on P&O Oriana on the 6th March 2017 at the Mayflower Terminal in Southampton on a 12 night Northern Lights Cruise to Norway’s Arctic Circle. We had stayed at the De Vere New Place, Shirral Heath, using their cruise ... Read More
We embarked on P&O Oriana on the 6th March 2017 at the Mayflower Terminal in Southampton on a 12 night Northern Lights Cruise to Norway’s Arctic Circle. We had stayed at the De Vere New Place, Shirral Heath, using their cruise package which we always find value for money. We got a taxi to the port at 11:00 am. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient and we were on board by 1:30 pm. Our bags appeared outside our cabin on A deck by 2:30 pm. unfortunately one case had its digital lock smashed but nothing was taken. We put it down to poor handling at Southampton. We had an internal cabin which was an automatic upgrade from the front of the ship to the middle on A Deck. Unfortunately this put us below the Riviera Pool which was being heated. We heard the noise of the machinery and the movement of water. I think we will not select automatic upgrade on our next cruise. Oriana had undergone a refurbish in November with nice new carpets, bed linen, and new furniture in the restaurants. Unfortunately there were still stained ceiling tiles in the Oriental Restaurant and our cabin. The lifts had a number of damaged buttons. The ship lost all electrical power one morning but only for about 20 minutes. Also Oriana’s toilet system is still temperamental with the occasional failure to flush and toilets filling with water. It appears as though P&O had run out of money and not finished the refurbishment. We were on first sitting on a table of 8 in the Oriental Restaurant with 3 nice couples. The food was good but my wife, who is a Type 1 diabetic, found that the chef was not as accommodating in his efforts to supply low fat/sugar meals as they had been on our last cruise on Arcadia. She was not able to add choices from the lunch menu. This led to less varied meals for my wife. We will talk to P&O before our next cruise which is on Britannia to the Caribbean. Our first port of call was Andalsnes where we took the train from the port to Bjorli Station, then came back by coach via the Troll Wall visitor centre. (The Slettafossen Waterfall was not accessible by road due to the weather.) Stunningly Beautiful Countryside. Our next port of call was Tromso where it was snowing heavily, but we did manage to visit the Arctic Cathedral, take the cable car up to the top of Mount Storsteinen and visit the Polar Museum. In Alta we did a leisurely tour the first afternoon seeing the Northern Lights Cathedral and then we visited the Igloo Hotel the next day which was absolutely fascinating. The scenery at these ports is absolutely stunning. Unfortunately we only caught a fleeting glimpse of the Northern Lights in Alta, better luck next time! After we left Alta we ran into a bad storm on our way to Stavanger and did not sleep that night. In Stavanger we just did a leisurely stroll around the town which is just a small port. We, and a good number of other passengers, went down as what can only be described as a very heavy head cold after we left Alta. This made the last 3 days of the cruise uncomfortable. Now this is not the fault of P&O but I would like to make a comment on the cleanliness of the ship. We never saw anyone cleaning the handrails or banisters and hoovering of public areas was noticeable by its absence. One evening in the Conservatory comments were made about the amount of bits of food that were on the floor. It looks like cost cutting is affecting all areas of the ship. The service of our cabin steward could not be faulted and our waiters in the restaurants and Tiffanys were always smiling and very helpful. We enjoyed the entertainment which with single acts, pianists, magician/comedians and the Headliners were all very good And the excursions previously mentioned were handled efficiently and we thought value for money. The drinks are still at acceptable prices but the wines are getting very expensive. All said we had a nice cruise and saw a part of the world we have always wanted to visit. This was our 3rd time on Oriana in 3 years but she is now 22 years old and is beginning to show her age as her cabins and bathrooms are looking very tired. We will say a fond farewell and look forward to our next cruise on Britannia in the Caribbean. This will be our first fly cruise and we are keeping our fingers crossed. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Totally brilliant Northern Lights cruise, surely no-one can have anything negative to say about it? Our first time on Oriana, having previously sailed on Aurora, Oceana, Ventura and Britannia plus a couple of non P&O ships. Nice ... Read More
Totally brilliant Northern Lights cruise, surely no-one can have anything negative to say about it? Our first time on Oriana, having previously sailed on Aurora, Oceana, Ventura and Britannia plus a couple of non P&O ships. Nice classic ship, teak decks, wrap around promenade, good size and with that lovely stern. Particularly liked the railed balconies as you could lie in bed and see something, not just salted up glass! Liked her so much we have booked another cruise. There is engine noise which is particularly noticeable in the rear restaurant but it didn't stop our table from having a good time. Enjoyed the food in the restaurants. Only heard one complaint from an older lady who had health issues and strong opinions. Sometimes if all is not right in your world it can make you negative. Wasn't a fan of the conservatory, the biggest problem being it was very busy on a cold weather cruise when the outside space could not be used. Personally I didn't like the quality of the food compared to the restaurants. Al Fresco was nice but small. Our cabin was on deck 10 mid aft and our usual method of moving around the ship was just to pop out to stern and work our way up or down. Cabin was a good size, good storage, mirrors everywhere. Shower over bath which wouldn't be my normal option but I can live with it and balcony as per normal. Only negative was the small TV and no navigation chart. A nice surprise was the atlas and binoculars but I do hate it when people write all over books! I can find my own way around a map! Entertainment on the whole was good. Two excellent guest speakers. Julian Smith the saxophonist. A classical guitarist (apologies forgotten name). The Blue Tones. We tend not to go to Headliner shows anymore as other half can't cope with the volume. Our first port of call was Andalsnes. There had been fresh snow and they had to grit the dock for us. We took the train excursion and benefitted from going early as it snowed pm. After lunch we wandered around Andalsnes which didn't take long but it was great in the driving snow. Tromso next and, however, you do it, I would recommend the cable car, particularly if there is fresh snow. We also did a night excursion reindeer sledging. More on that next. Alta for two days next where on the first day, for reasons known only to us, we did another reindeer excursion. Of the two I would recommend the Alta option as the ride was longer (bit of a shock when we realised we were on a frozen river!), warm and cosy sledges and the journey on the coach is scenic. Next day we had a husky ride. Again, brilliant, but somehow we had spare time and our guide added on a short tour of the town. I would have preferred a longer sledge ride! On the second night we had a wonderful display of the Northern Lights from the ship. The next night we saw them again although photography was not as good as the ship was at sea. I couldn't believe how many numpties there were trying to use flash on their mobile phones. They should have gone to the talk given on how to photograph them and what not to do. A quick mention about the ship photographers. We don't normally partake but they were out on some of the excursions and took some good shots and they were also photographing the Northern Lights. Last port was Stavanger which thankfully wasn't a Sunday so there was a bit more activity than last time we were there. We didn't realise what was to come next as we missed the announcement (this was one of the few complaints we heard from other passengers that they kept missing announcements). Having coped with storm Doris easily on the way up we were surprised by Force 11 on the way back. The Captain tannoyed through to the cabins I believe at about 11.30 pm to advise us to stay in bed and not go out on our balconies and that the ship was battened down. I was already in bed, occasionally rising into the air, doing a figure of eight and coming back down again. Other half being ex Merchant Navy couldn't resist a quick foray before the Captain advised against it and rapidly came back in again reporting that he thought he could smell cigarette smoke from next door's balcony! All in all a wonderful cruise experience and one we would like to do again in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We have not cruised with P&O since a rather poor experience on Ventura some years ago but this cruise restored our faith in the company and we had a wonderful cruise to see the Northern Lights. The Oriana is an excellent ship and ... Read More
We have not cruised with P&O since a rather poor experience on Ventura some years ago but this cruise restored our faith in the company and we had a wonderful cruise to see the Northern Lights. The Oriana is an excellent ship and had really good entertainment throughout the cruise. The ship has a dedicated cinema which we liked. The food was really good, far better than we remembered from our previous P&O voyages and the ship is really clean and well maintained. I struggled to see any of the problems that other reviewers had mentioned about the ship feeling tired. Other cruisers were of a varied age which ranged from 20's to 80's but all seemed to enjoy the trip and I only heard a few complaints. Even the force 11 gale on the penultimate night did nothing to damper our enjoyment even though the scheduled entertainment could not go ahead for safety reasons. The crew were friendly and efficient and the service was very good. The excursion prices were high but even doing things ourselves was not much cheaper as Norway is an expensive country. We loved the whole trip. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Chose to see the Northern Lights and we weren't disappointed It's the first "cold" cruise we have ever undertaken and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Oriana is smaller than we are used to having become ... Read More
Chose to see the Northern Lights and we weren't disappointed It's the first "cold" cruise we have ever undertaken and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Oriana is smaller than we are used to having become accustomed to the larger Azura, Britannia and Ventura. Like everything they all have their unique features. On Oriana I particularly liked the setting out and space between the tables for two in the Peninsula restaurant. I also thought the quality of the food in the Peninsula was the best we have experienced. Negative...as it's older a bit creakier and the in cabin entertainment/television provision is the poorest of any of the P&O fleet sailed so far. This was exacerbated by the navigation channel which was not working for the entire voyage. As the vessel is smaller there seems a bit less variety in the Conservatory buffet. One constant not to be missed is Sindhu...words simply do not do Atul Kochars specialist restaurant justice. You may think the cover charge is expensive but if you enjoy Indian food its worth every penny Service in general is pretty good but on a couple of occasions staff did try to blag you...as seasoned cruisers we found if you stood to your guns they would eventually relent and get what you want. Wine / bar service was particularly slow in comparison. In terms of excursions the P&O team excelled with the usual clockwork organisation. Couple of tips - the Tromso Husky Adventure is brilliant but if the timing allows try and do it at dusk...absolutely enchanting - do not miss a trip to the Ice Hotel...mesmerising although I don't think I would be brave enough to stay overnight without sufficient "antifreeze " - if it's the Northern Lights you are after it maybe worth considering booking both "In Search" excursions. Bearing in mind they are fickle you may not see them one night so booking both doubles your chances. I did hear some murmurs of complaints mainly from those on the first night who didn't see anything. With this in mind it may be worth booking locally in Alta so you are not fixed to defined P&O time slots / crowds Strangely for a smaller ship the entertainment venues didn't seem that busy and we always seemed to find a seat. Embarkation at Mayflower terminal seemed a little less organised than normal at Ocean but once on board our baggage was already waiting for us outside our cabin. Disembarkation was well organised and painless as usual despite arriving half an hour late as a result of having to negotiate a Force 11 storm on the penultimate night. I should say handled extremely professionally by the ships company. In summary - a good cruise with spectacular scenery and Northern Lights that I will never forget. Would I do another "cold cruise"...you bet! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Few, if any other were offering a cruise to the Northern Lights when we wanted to go so we took a chance on an older & smaller ship than we usually consider. About us: Fussy & critical if needs be. Boarding: Southampton. As ... Read More
Few, if any other were offering a cruise to the Northern Lights when we wanted to go so we took a chance on an older & smaller ship than we usually consider. About us: Fussy & critical if needs be. Boarding: Southampton. As usual a protracted affair. Cabin [Balcony] A generously proportioned area with a large double bed - backache ensued as the mattress leans towards the more firm, sofa area and a curtain between the two which serves a a separate space should you wish to watch the minuscule TV and your partner want to rest. The ship has had a makeover and revamp and this is expressed very tastefully not only in the cabins but, as I am given to understand, throughout the ship. The bathroom is spacious and has a decent sized basin with surround for toiletries. In this case the bathrooms means just that, behold a bath! with shower over if you don't fancy a soak. The usual toiletries, tissues and shower gel dispenser. As I say the TV is minuscule and considering the demographic it does not make for comfortable watching from the bed. You may say who would you want to watch TV on a cruise? Well, me! I work full time and relish the opportunity to relax and watch a film whilst languishing. Dining: Tables for two are small in number but we did manage to secure a table for four to ourselves, spare place settings removed and were delighted with both food and service. The dining room is beautiful with its pale green curtains and tortoiseshell table lamps. A welcome departure from the almost clinical feel of the Britannia. An alternative eatery which we found to our liking is the Al Fresco restaurant on the Lido deck serving light bites at breakfast & lunch but the tables are few so you need to be prompt, as usual people sit for far too long with an empty cup which further frustrates things. Theatre: usual standard of entertainment. Cinema: Very, very warm when a lot of people were in there - had to leave as snoring not appreciated. All other public spaces are comfortable and enjoy the luxury of not being so populated at the larger ships. Hubby and I are in our early 60's and whilst we do enjoy a more vibrant ship when travelling with our young granddaughters the Oriana is a lovely place to rest and relax in truly delightful surroundings with her teak deck that you can actually complete a walk of the entire ship without having to jump in and out of lifts or use a sat nav to find a staircase - a la Britannia. Ports of call: We rarely book excursions preferring to head straight to the nearest tourist information to get a much better deal, but Norway is expensive and the tours comparable in price so we splashed out and took several, one or two in each port - excepting the See the Northern Lights trip [a much bemoaned trip branded by many as a complete "rip off" - it would be pure hearsay to repeat the many grizzles but we're glad that on the last night the lights revealed themselves to us whilst stood nowhere more perfect than our balcony. The Tromso cathedral recital was well worth a visit. Beautiful music in a stunning setting. Andalsnes and the train to Bjorli was on a wait list by the time we got round to booking but we hopped off the ship early and headed for the tourist centre. For around £64 we secured a coach trip out to Bjorli to include a regional snack and a ski lift to the top of the ski area. Great way to see the local countryside and the meal in a paper bag was taken in a barn with seating covered in reindeer pelts. A new offering by the tourist centre, the barn wasn't finished so the loos weren't yet operative but the lady of the venture let a hoard of us use her own loo which was very kind. Owing to the bit of a storm brewing we were advised not to take the ski lift as the rescue would take up to two hours if stranded. The visit to the Huskies in Alta was wonderful. Friendly and excitable they yelp until they pull you along a wooded track at speed. Afterwards you are invited to walk round and see the dogs which are friendly and appear to relish posing for a selfie. So, in summary, a very relaxing and pleasurable cruise even though we did levitate from the bed a couple of times during a storm or two but no matter the good ship Oriana did us proud all the same. Suffice to say we have booked a cruise for 2018 Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
choose this cruise for the northern lights experience. embarkation was run smoothly and organised by the port staff. disembarkation run by p&o staff was a complete nightmare. the cabin was good and well looked after by the ... Read More
choose this cruise for the northern lights experience. embarkation was run smoothly and organised by the port staff. disembarkation run by p&o staff was a complete nightmare. the cabin was good and well looked after by the steward. cannot fault the staff on board the ship who could not do enough for you. however a cruise like this aimed at adults only, seemed to base its entertainment and on board activities at the over 60`s... i understand that is the main target group for this ship most of the year, fair enough..but if there are going to do two special cruises a year to the northern lights which is going to attract an age group from early 20`s upwards then there have to review the on-board activities to suit. my fiancee and myself are in the 35 to 50 age group and found the sea days very long and boring as there was nothing to do. shore excursions where run fine and there was plenty of shuttle buses to and from the port to town center`s Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We choose this cruise to see Norway in winter also to see the northern lights and to go dog sledging we were very lucky to see the northern lights and the weather was perfect for our sledge ride we booked an excursion to see the Northern ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see Norway in winter also to see the northern lights and to go dog sledging we were very lucky to see the northern lights and the weather was perfect for our sledge ride we booked an excursion to see the Northern lights we did not see the lights on the excursion but from the ship we would not recommend the excursion as we were taken on a coach ride to what looked like a car park with a Tee-Pee serving hot chocolate and cake (the dearest hot chocolate and cake we have ever had).We would highly recommend the husky ride in Tromso and a visit to the Ice hotel. On to the ship all of the crew were helpful and friendly the ship is one of the best we have sailed on we had an outside cabin we would recommend going for single beds as it gives you more space. We were freedom dining and had to wait some nights we also ate in The Beach House and Sindhu we would recommend them both.The entertainment was good all round we will do this cruise again especially on the Good Ship Oriana. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
The Northern Lights cruise was one of our must do cruises. Embarkation was trouble free and we were soon onboard. We knew our way around as we have sailed on the Oriana before. Our cabin was on deck 9 aft. It had a perfect view of the ... Read More
The Northern Lights cruise was one of our must do cruises. Embarkation was trouble free and we were soon onboard. We knew our way around as we have sailed on the Oriana before. Our cabin was on deck 9 aft. It had a perfect view of the back of the ship and in the perfect position to get back and forth to the restaurant or the promenade deck. We chose not to do the whole dining experience but to to the casual dining in the Conservatory which was buffet style and themed every night. There was always something to choose from or a roast meat and veg. Always a soup and plenty of cold meats and salads. The desserts not my choice but very varied and my husband sampled them all. Our first few days were cruising towards the Arctic Ocean and our first stop Andalsnes, a small town knee deep in snow and looking very pretty. There were various trips going from here but we chose to explore ourselves. Our second stop was at Tromso. We had 2 days here and after exploring the first day, took one of the excursions the second day. We visited the Polar museum, a visit to the Cathedral and a trip on the cable car. Our guide for the afternoon was very informative and we enjoyed the whole experience. Our third stop was Alta. From here we visited the Ice hotel and a husky sled ride. What an experience. We learnt about the upkeep of the dogs and were able to pet them, they are very friendly dogs. We also learnt the history of the ice hotel, how long it's open , how long it took to build etc. Since coming home I have watched the. Joanna Lumley documentary about Norway. And the main reason for going the Northern Lights.Yes we got to see them from the ship on two nights. Fabulous. Our last stop was Stavanger, again we chose to explore ourselves. During sailing days there was plenty to do on the ship. There was a wide range of activities from dancing to shuffleboard. A full programme. If you chose to just relax and read there were plenty of places to do that. Evening entertainment wasn't everyone's cup of tea, we enjoyed some and was disappointed with others but it's all a matter of choice. The service of the crew was excellent always friendly and always polite, they couldn't do enough for you. Disembarkation day was excellent, no problems. It wa a first time cruis for some of our party, they enjoyed it so much they are looking to go again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose Oriana in order to get away from the British winter and to see if our last visit to the Amazon was a wonderful fluke. As in 2016, the Gulf ports were all interesting tho we necessarily visited fewer this time. Port highlights ... Read More
We chose Oriana in order to get away from the British winter and to see if our last visit to the Amazon was a wonderful fluke. As in 2016, the Gulf ports were all interesting tho we necessarily visited fewer this time. Port highlights included 1 Fort Lauderdale which we found clean, civilised, friendly and obviously very wealthy. 2 Key West. Very quirky and artificial but hot, sunny and fun - 'America at sea'. 3 New Orleans. This port is alays at the top of our list as it is unique. Docking in the middle of the city means you are in the centre of the action from the moment you arrive. We love the fact that music is everywhere and the food is wonderful. P&O had provided Chris Walker as a speaker. He is a jazz band leader, jazz fanatic and a thoroughly nice guy. His talks on the jazz greats were always fascinating and his final talk on what to do in the Big Easy was very helpful. The music he and the Oriana musicians performed were entertaining and innovative. You can hear his show on Radio Solent if you can get it. 4 Progreso Not a remarkable port but we berthed with Carnival Triumph and the antics (and size!) of some of the US passengers was worth sitting on the balcony for a couple of hours to watch. 5 Montego Bay. Take the Martha Brae raft ride excursion. Drifting down the quiet, scenic river on a 2-man bamboo raft was remarkably restful. OK the ship sailed without us (to make way for an MSC ship which had been pre-arranged but, as we were late back, unexpected!) but the splendid Captain Box arranged for a tender to pick us up and then gave everyone a glass of fizz as we boarded. See your ship sailing away, even if you know you won't be left behind, is an unnerving experience. 6 St Vincent. Take the catamaran trip to Bequia which is a real ocean passage on a big boat with a real 'desert' island beach to enjoy a few hours on. And a great lunch too! The Amazon. Last time we sailed the river (on Fred Olsen's Boudicca) it was not as hot and humid as on this occasion - up to 35 C and near 100% humidity. The visit to a native village and January Lake from Manaus were both unmissable as was the piranha fishing and wildlife boat trip from Santarem. We ducked out of the Boi Bumba festival show at Parintins as we had seen it before. Although a 'must do' it is a real threat to safe hearing and we did hear it quite clearly from the ship! What we also heard, or rather felt, was the deafening vibration in the Oriental restaurant as we manoeuvered at speed down the river in the evening. All taken in good part by the diners and again the Captain plied the drink the next night Oriana has a very imaginative Hotel team who ran their first Oriana 'Brunch' - fizz, galley walk through, a 'serve yourself' lunch seeing how the galley actually works and plenty to wine - and the Captain's Lounge Sailaways. For about £30 you join about 20 other passengers in what is probably the wardroom at the front of B deck and are fed canapes and cocktails as the ship sails. Our second experience at Manaus involved a delay in departure which meant the drink kept flowing for about 90 minutes - very unhealthy! Of course the Captain and navigating officers are all involved with the sailaway but Captain Box happily exchanged pleasantries from the bridge above us. We'll miss him. Of course all this is designed to be revenue earning for P&O but the crew enjoy the events and they are both good value for money. A fun cruise with an excellent itinerary, lots of good passengers who were very into cabin parties and an excellent captain and crew. And the refit had been a good one too - if only they had replaced the cabin cushions! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
A super cruise on the recently refurbished beautiful ship - Oriana. Although, Oriana has retained many of the original features throughout the ship all areas have been refurbished- carpets, curtains, cabins, bathrooms, theatre and Pacific ... Read More
A super cruise on the recently refurbished beautiful ship - Oriana. Although, Oriana has retained many of the original features throughout the ship all areas have been refurbished- carpets, curtains, cabins, bathrooms, theatre and Pacific lounge. In the Atrium a new living wall of plants has been installed. We received excellent service & selection of meals in the restaurants. Overall, great entertainment- with a good selection of groups, singers and comedians. On this cruise we had a speaker - Ken Joy who gave lectures/talks on the entertainment business which was very enjoyable. It was a it strange sailing on New Years Eve - so no deck party or fireworks! The cruise itinerary was good - Madeira, La Gomera, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Agadir - brilliant, Lisbon - good tour to Sintra and final port - La Coruna. We experienced calm seas for the time of year & we were lucky with the Bay of Biscay. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I was so looking forward to my first Christmas Cruise - but 16 nights later I was glad to disembark- disappointed is an understatement - the entertainment was dreadful - and the entertainment team - all five of them - had little experience ... Read More
I was so looking forward to my first Christmas Cruise - but 16 nights later I was glad to disembark- disappointed is an understatement - the entertainment was dreadful - and the entertainment team - all five of them - had little experience - they were geared for entertaining children - not passengers of a mature age - and calling for Santa on Christmas Eve to come out of the funnel went down like a ton of bricks - perhaps Christmas Carols might have been more appropriate- so we waited with baited breath to see what had been planned for Christmas Day apart from a five course dinner - in a word -.nothing - the Horiszon was the same as the previous day with the exception of a film - BFG at 2pm which we went to to pass the afternoon - boredom was setttimg in fast - I was quizzed out but the end of the trip - wasn't into line dancing - didn't want to learn bridge - and wondered occasionally if passengers were asleep or dead - The evening entertainment left a lot to be desired apart from a coup,e of acts - and News Years Eve - was thrown together at the last moment - three or four venues all doing different things - the captain managed to prevent the usual countdown to midnight in the Harlequin- 8 bells eithervside of midnight and that was it - bit of a damp squid - and the dancing re started - The food was excellent as was the service in the dining room and our cabin - but P& O may have a a large fan base but they want to pull their socks up and not take us for granted - change the entertainment and entertainers - don't treat elderly passengers as if we are all on our last legs - Yes I am aware I will have people telling me to stop moanimg etc - but we spent a lot of money for a Christmas Cruise expecting something really special - Apart from the tan - I wish I had stayed at home Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The ship is looking tired and is still noisy at times; especially when docking or leaving port. We booked this cruise because we wanted a JOLLY CHRISTMAS holiday. What we actually got was P & O's care home at sea ! There ... Read More
The ship is looking tired and is still noisy at times; especially when docking or leaving port. We booked this cruise because we wanted a JOLLY CHRISTMAS holiday. What we actually got was P & O's care home at sea ! There was nothing jolly about it - decorations were sadly lacking' I think that Oriana must have been at the back of the queue when they were distributed. Nothing like Britannia last Christmas. Several cabins were flooded & at times the water was off altogether. Our cabin was spotless & we found our steward most obliging. The food in the restaurant was outstanding as was the service !!! but I cannot say the same for the buffet .The selection here was poor & badly laid out (there did not seem to be a natural progression when choosing dishes) Breakfast time was a football match -- vacant seats were rare . The theater group were absolutely fantastic; great shows well performed; they really worked very hard & were a bright spot of our holiday. Most of the ports of call were O.K. except for Agadir, we did not book a trip as there was not really anything to suit our abilities. This is not a cruise port - it is a noisy working container port AND IT SMELLS !!. Take it off the list P & O. Last but not least, I must mention out Christmas gifts from P & O. You really out scrooged yourselves on that one - 9 chocolates in a stocking. I know that the vast majority of passengers on this cruise were in advanced years but we hadn't reached 2nd childhood to be given not very nice sweets. (Again , not up to last year or any other year for that matter) It was simply penny pinching This cruise, being for adults only, attracted people in advancing years so bare that in mind if you are looking for next year. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
You have to accept that Oriana is a ship and the sea and weather can determine many things. She is not a hotel as on land so before you book understand that ships float on water and things can get bumpy and leaks may occur and it really is ... Read More
You have to accept that Oriana is a ship and the sea and weather can determine many things. She is not a hotel as on land so before you book understand that ships float on water and things can get bumpy and leaks may occur and it really is not an ideal place for the elderly in poor health or not too clever on their feet. Oriana as a ship albeit a little old (like its senior passengers) has been refitted to high standards and is beautiful. If you choose to cruise on her you will be pleasantly surprised about how much she has got right when compared to other cruises (not amusement park type cruises). Hospitality, décor, service, great HOT food, all score top marks with consistency throughout the entire ship every single day. What's wrong with her? Nothing ! Ok, so they left the Christmas decorations on the jetty when they sailed, Christmas & New Year is what you make it and if you are surrounded by moaners then you have to do it yourself. We had a great time and a few moans ourselves but it didn't get in the way of our enjoyment of the cruise. The cabin was spotless with great service from maid Roselyn, thanks. Drinks and ice delivered free of charge every night by room service. Dining was fabulous in all restaurants but the Shindu and Beach House made special nights perfect. Entertainment was ok, but ballroom dominated the cruise to the upset of all ages that were still breathing and young at heart. Made a donation to charity when Tom O'Connor got on stage, please retire. The itinerary was ok too, missed one port, but needs a little rearranging as some ports were closed and being at sea at New Year was a bit boring when the weather was bad due to the captain changing direction due to the swell. Embarkation and Disembarkation was first class, recommend not turning up too early, we arrived on time and went straight on board. We have after many cruises now given up on the Canaries for winter sun as if the weather was better the cruise would have been very different. We met some lovely people of all ages on the cruise who focussed on having a great time. I have to say that the ship itself beats Britannia, Oceana and Arcadia for all round service and hospitality getting all the key things 100% right. We hope that Oriana's refit is a template for Oceana and others, however not sure that you will get the same first class service. Unfortunately we will not be cruising on Oriana again until we are eighty plus as we are only in our fifty's and this cruise is directed to the average age group of 76. Nevertheless we enjoyed our first cruise on Oriana. Thank you P&O. 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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