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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first time crossing the Atlantic and our last. If you are under late 70's this ship is not for you as the entertainment was terrible with only 3 acts through out the cruise worth watching. There was no day time ... Read More
This was our first time crossing the Atlantic and our last. If you are under late 70's this ship is not for you as the entertainment was terrible with only 3 acts through out the cruise worth watching. There was no day time entertainment around the pool (well a saxofone player did try but was moaned at for bent too loud as they were trying to rest!! Lunchtimes and breakfast in the self serve hall was like a bun fight (you would think they had never been fed). To top it all we had a naked (supposed sleep walker) who was playing with himself and after being reported still carried on. So therefore a lot of woman were worried about wandering around at night on their own. To my mind he should have been put off the ship or at least apprehended when we got back to Southampton but I think it was swept under the carpet to try and keep it quiet. We are now looking towards another cruise line for the future after using P&O for several years. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Myself, my husband and my sister and her husband returned home yesterday from a great cruise from Southampton to the Caribbean, Mexico and on to different parts of the USA i.e. New Orleans, Carolina Fort Lauderdale and many more exciting ... Read More
Myself, my husband and my sister and her husband returned home yesterday from a great cruise from Southampton to the Caribbean, Mexico and on to different parts of the USA i.e. New Orleans, Carolina Fort Lauderdale and many more exciting places, The food was wonderful. The Staff very polite and very helpful, lovely sized ship with no children (adults only) Being a confined wheelchair user the only problem was I found it difficult to get out on to the prom deck due to the lip in the threshold being a bit high when coming in but hay - ho !!!! nothings perfect for wheelchairs. Seeing so many new places in this world without having to do long haul flights is the only way to travel when you are confined to a wheel-chair. But the entertainment was the best we have ever had on any cruise will be back for more thanks everyone. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
P&O Cruise Ref: X620. If I could give this ship 0/5 for a review I would, but as I can't I'll have to rate it as 1/5. The ship was due to go into port for a re-fit straight after this cruise & to be honest I ... Read More
P&O Cruise Ref: X620. If I could give this ship 0/5 for a review I would, but as I can't I'll have to rate it as 1/5. The ship was due to go into port for a re-fit straight after this cruise & to be honest I wouldn't bother spending the money & just scrap the whole thing instead. Right from the start things were going wrong, the first cabin I had (rear of ship) had such bad vibrations & noise that I had to call reception & complain twice. Their first suggestion was to offer me earplugs! After spending nearly £4000 for the cruise, I saw this as an absolute joke. After four days on board, they said that some people had missed the sailing & so moved me to another cabin, this time on deck 11 instead. This was much better for vibration, but had the disadvantage of being right under the sunbathing area & so I was woken every morning at 6.30am by the staff dragging them across my ceiling. I had to complain more than once about this whilst on board. The other disadvantage was that most sail away parties was on the same deck & so the noise from it came through my cabin & these often went on longer than advertised in the daily newsletter. Again I complained about this whilst on board. The only excursion that I enjoyed was on the submarine, I felt that the others didn't offer the same value for money. There was a constant water leak in the conservatory for the duration of the cruise. They put buckets out to catch the water & after a couple of weeks they put up a curtain to block an area off, it looked like Santa's grotto & was awful. In the restaurant they had the soup & custard in bowls next to each other & many times I saw other guests put soup on their desserts & vice versa. I've done cruises previously with Royal Caribbean & given P&O's reputation, I was expecting an even higher level of service, but this was the worst cruise I've ever been on. DO NOT GO FOR A CRUISE ON THIS SHIP! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I chose this Cruise for my wifes 71 birthday ,It turned out to be one of the best cruises we have on over the past 25 years The ship itself is in need of a little TLC rather dated going in for a re-fit shortly The entertainment on ... Read More
I chose this Cruise for my wifes 71 birthday ,It turned out to be one of the best cruises we have on over the past 25 years The ship itself is in need of a little TLC rather dated going in for a re-fit shortly The entertainment on board was second to none comedy from the likes of Tom OConner and Theatre shows of excellent quality and of course the excellently presented quizzes. We were booked in to Freedom Dining this gave us an opportunity to meet different people each night a great idea The food served up was of a British selection generally but on occasions an International dish was an alternative well presented delivered by well presented table stewards The Conservatory Buffet Restaurant had well presented food especially at breakfast and two stewards looking after we elder and infirm passengers I cannot praise them enough for the way they looked after me . A loving ship one which I will definitely return to, Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Check in and disembarkation The actual check in went very smoothly, which is more than can be said about the security area, great inconsistencies, some passengers were asked to remove their belts, others were not. When my belongings ... Read More
Check in and disembarkation The actual check in went very smoothly, which is more than can be said about the security area, great inconsistencies, some passengers were asked to remove their belts, others were not. When my belongings were going through X-ray I was told I had a knife in my carry-on bag, which it goes without saying I did not. They insisted I did, they emptied the contents of my bag out into trays, after putting everything through and not finding any knife they decided a mini bambi stapler (less than 3 inches long) was the culprit. When I travel this stapler is always with my office bits and pieces in my carry-on bag, over the years it has been through at least 20 different airports and 10 cruise terminals without any problems, but obviously someone at Southampton security thought I might hijack the ship with it. Security are very good at taking things out of bags, but their training hasn't got as far lesson 2, how to repack a bag. Disembarkation was a pain, on most boats you receive a form to request a disembarkation time, but not on this cruise, in the daily events sheet it stated that you had to telephone reception to request a time, we did this within a hour of receiving the events sheet and were informed that we had already been allotted a disembarkation time of 9.30 and were told it was not possible to change it. So on disembarkation day we carried off our own luggage at 7.30. Huge Gastrointestinal Health Problem On our arrival in our cabin there were health warning letters and leaflets. It appears there had been numerous cases of gastrointestinal illnesses on the previous cruise and this continued on our cruise, for the first eight days the ship was on a permanent state of 'Sickness Red Alert' with the captain announcing that they were working with Public Health England to try and resolve the problem. In the Conservatory passengers were not allowed the help themselves to food, not even water or a cup of tea, in the main dining rooms there were no salt and pepper pots, this was to stop the passengers infecting them by touch. Although the Captain repeatedly stated that extra deep cleaning was taking place throughout the ship, l believe much more could have been done, such as changing table cloths and wiping down chair arms between dinners. Think about this, no salt and pepper pots to help stop the spread of infection, but the tables were re-laid on tablecloths which could have been used by an infected person. Also I thought there should have been much more cleaning of the handrails on the stairways and corridors, I am sure there must have been some cleaning of them but I only saw this once on day 17 of the cruise. One of the Headliner's theatre shows was cancelled a few minutes before it was due to start because of illness in the cast, but it was not said what the nature of the illness was. On day nine of the cruise the 'red alert' was withdrawn and the paper sickness bags were removed from the stairways. My wife and I were lucky, we did not catch anything. Dining Overall the food was far better than that we had previously encountered on the Arcadia, but was still not quite as good as that found on the average Princess or Holland America ship. The restaurants were well run with excellent management and friendly waiters. Peninsular Restaurant We were on freedom dining and like to have a table for two as listening to a load of rhubarb rhubarb as to how many cruises someone has been on can be more than a little boring, most nights we did not have to wait for a table, and when we did the longest wait was only ten minutes or so. One thing which did let the restaurant down was the sauces, it did not matter if it was tartar, béarnaise or custard etc. all were watery, however the soups were thicker and always hot. Excellent wine selection, good wine packages, the wine stewards were friendly but their finesse and experience varied with Karen being right on the ball, but others not knowing it was not the done thing to empty the sediment dregs out of the bottle into the glasses, a little more training might be needed? The Conservatory Average buffet type food, the deserts were below the average. The Beach House During the evening part of the Conservatory is converted to the Beach House, ate there twice, would struggle to find things on the menu I would like to try for a third visit. Much more could be done to make it look like a separate restaurant, such as portable screens between the walkway through to the Conservatory and the restaurant. You have to pay to eat there, then pay even more supplements for certain dishes, thought this was bit naughty. Sindhu This is the Indian/Asian restaurant which is situated where the Grill used to be and before that the piano lounge. Ate there three times, had both menus one and two both were excellent, thought it was well worth paying the supplement. Room Service Menu Very poor, no hot dishes available, it appears that the Oriana is the only P & O ship where this is the case, not good at all. Entertainment This was a music festival at sea cruise, but we had not booked the cruise because of that, we just liked the itinerary. The general entertainment was excellent with Tom O'Conner and The Four Tunes both doing two fantastic shows each, plus in the bars there was the excellent Chris Shaw. The Headliners theatre group was a little below the average, their dancing was better than their singing, the worst entertainment act was a musical group named Blue Wave, the singer was not good at all, but she might have been suffering with a sore throat, the on-board illness or something like that? Tendering There was only one tender port on this cruise, the operation could have been a little better, the resulting delays might have been caused by the use of some of the local boats as tenders, they were of different sizes and quite slow. Internet Did not like the way it was charged, you could not buy any packages by the minute, only by 24 hour periods, at three different levels of service, at three different prices, did not like this at all. Cabin B215 This is in a good location on deck 10, with passenger cabins below and above it was nice and quiet, well designed with useful drawer and wardrobe space, but the television was too small. Size wise the cabin appeared a little bigger than the average balcony cabin found on other ships. The beds were comfortable. Would be happy to stay in this cabin again. Cabin Steward Having a good cable steward makes a big difference to a cruise, my wife and I fell very lucky by having Avelino as ours, he was excellent, the cabin was spotless, he had the knack of being around when we needed him and being invisible when we didn't. He's probably the best steward or butler we have ever had. Alarms At 3.00AM on the first night the ships emergency alarm went off, it seemed like ages before any announcement was made to say it was a false alarm, we were starting to get dressed as it was impossible to get through to reception because 1,800 other passengers were trying to do so at the same time. The Captain announced this had been caused by a computer fault. Late one afternoon further into the cruise there was an emergency announcement for a specialist crew team only, this was to go to a fire in the AC room on deck 13, this was not a drill. On another day at 5.45AM by mistake there was an announcement in the passenger cabins wanting the Medical Emergency team. Conclusion Overall the ship appeared to be well run and maintained. My wife and I were a little surprised by this as the ship was due to go into dock in a month or so for a major refit, yet apart from some rather worn areas of carpet the ship looked to be in excellent condition. We have been on many ships which were not due for refurbishment, but were in a much worse condition than the Oriana. We have already booked another Oriana cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We booked this 2 night 'taster' cruise for 4 of us in 2 outside cabin's at a cost of £189 per couple which was excellent value for money. As first time cruisers, this was our chance to see what it was like and the ... Read More
We booked this 2 night 'taster' cruise for 4 of us in 2 outside cabin's at a cost of £189 per couple which was excellent value for money. As first time cruisers, this was our chance to see what it was like and the experience overall was very good. It would be nice to know about things like the restaurants, where you can and can't have breakfast, they time of your evening meal sitting etc. in advance, but with a health scare on the ship before our cruise I accept things were probably a little more difficult than usual. The Oriental and Peninsular restaurants were excellent, great food and very attentive service. The up top Conservatory restaurant was poor both for service and food quality, more of a canteen in our opinion. The entertainment was great and the overall experience was very enjoyable. Not sure how people can manage without a window at least, and I'd recommend the widow cabin's, not huge but well equipped and comfy bed. Sadly 2 of our party did not take well to the movement on-board and sea-sickness / unbalanced feelings prevailed meaning this is likely to be our first and last time on-board, but that's what this was for so I'd highly recommend a 2 night taster cruise for anyone thinking about a longer time on-board ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was my first time with P&O and on the Oriana. At first everything was fine and the crew were very lovely. We had problems with the air conditioning sticking on either too hot or too cold but we could forgive that as it was going ... Read More
This was my first time with P&O and on the Oriana. At first everything was fine and the crew were very lovely. We had problems with the air conditioning sticking on either too hot or too cold but we could forgive that as it was going in for a refit in November. Mid week a the Norovirus broke out and everything changed. The hygiene standards actually worsened and did not improve. They had no idea of infection control and I witnessed on lots of occasions very poor disinfectant techniques. The staff obviously had very little knowledge of how to disinfect adequately. There were many empty soap dispensers on the ship and the only hand sanitation was in the dining room, where we had one squirt as we went in.Very little information was given to passengers. The staff were obviously under pressure from their supervisors and their attitude changed, especially the waiters who were rude and incompetent. They didn't even look at or acknowledge when people thanked them. This was my fourth cruising experience but first with P&O. Thankfully the first three lovely and staff were brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed them but had this been my first ever cruise I would never step board on a ship again. There were so many other things that went wrong or were bad practises that I would have to write a book to include them. Thankfully we didn't contract the virus but I wasn't in the least bit surprised it was a problem on board. I felt so sorry for the passengers boarding the Oriana as we were getting off. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had read the recent reviews of Oriana as we always do prior to a cruise. We can assure readers that there is no need to worry about a cruise on Oriana. Although older , we loved her .The cabins are a bit small, but the restaurants , ... Read More
We had read the recent reviews of Oriana as we always do prior to a cruise. We can assure readers that there is no need to worry about a cruise on Oriana. Although older , we loved her .The cabins are a bit small, but the restaurants , bars and facilities are well designed and welcoming. All the staff are lovely and the food was exceptional in all the venues. We particularly liked Al Fresco and Sindhu, but there was really no need to leave the main dining room which was excellent. . We ae not big fans of the Headliner style show and the one or two shows we saw were very dated . However the guest entertainers have really improved, including Bernie Flint who was excellent along with Ukebox, and the guest speaker Diane Simpson was good.. This would have been a five star review but for the debacle that was the "overnight " visit to Dublin. We, and many others we spoke to understood this to mean an afternoon arrival in Dublin, followed by a full day or at least a half day the next day. We had planned to go to Phoenix Park this time, as we had an overnight visit with Fred Olsen in May and had done the sights. It was only on board that we found out that we were docking at 2.30 pm, which actually became three o'clock by the time the ship was set up for disembarkation. Those on tours were allowed off first and so general passengers did not leave until at least 3.30, pm if they had bothered to queue from about 2 o'clock in the restaurant. We watched the shuttle buses fill up slowly, as, even though there was a late arrival P&O insisted on scanning people's cruise cards to charge them £5 each way to travel in to Dublin which held up the process. By 4 o'clock we decided to try our luck and went to the restaurant to obtain a ticket , knowing that the eight shuttle buses had now left there were no more buses. There were at least 150 people still waiting. We gave up at this point. The ship left at 1 o'clock in the morning , the next day being a day at sea. We believe this to be very misleading. Beware any trip advertised as overnight I would suggest. ! ' Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was an around Britain no fly cruise with local pick-up and drop-offs. The coach taking us to the port was on time and we went straight on board with very little delay.The cabin had plenty of storage space and was adequate.The meals ... Read More
This was an around Britain no fly cruise with local pick-up and drop-offs. The coach taking us to the port was on time and we went straight on board with very little delay.The cabin had plenty of storage space and was adequate.The meals were of the usual high standard and service was friendly and efficient. Bar prices were about the same as in a pub but some of the prices in the shops were quite high. The day trips seemed a bit pricey, and although you got a 5% discount if you booked more than 5 days in advance this wasn't very clear on the receipt. On the day we went to Dublin we did not moor up until after 2pm and by the time we had got to the city centre it was 4pm. Traffic was terrible due to road works and the buses being on strike. All in all a pleasant trip Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise to see parts of the British Isles we had not visted before. This objective was achieved, allbeit somewhat briefly.... This was our third trip on Oriana, which, despite getting "tired" in places (refit due ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see parts of the British Isles we had not visted before. This objective was achieved, allbeit somewhat briefly.... This was our third trip on Oriana, which, despite getting "tired" in places (refit due in November) still continues to give excellent service in food, and clean comfortable accomodation.(just hope the refit cures the rattles & creaks). All of the staff that we encountered were friendly and helpful. There were however a few issues that marred our experience this time...... enough to make us seriously question any future cruising..... The least serious of these (which would not in itself deter future trips) was the slightly too high level of audio in both Theater Royal and Pacific Lounge. More seriously ...... Our enjoyment of the decks Aft was continuosly ruined by YOUR POLICY regarding the permission of smoking. It is not possible to find a position free of the POLLUTION of cigarette smoke due to the natural eddy currents of the wind. A serious suggestion to solve this problem (possibly being able to be implemented during the refit ?)........... Provide a purpose built comfortable "smoking shelter" on one of the highest decks, at the base of the funnel, containing an efficient extraction system that routes foul air into the funnel....... Bann smoking entirely in ALL other areas onboard. It is appreciated that certain factors of Shore Excursions are beyond the control of P&O organisers.... e.g. Weather, traffic jams/incidents etc.... however, IN DEPTH EXPERIENCE on the part of the organisers SHOULD indicate where problems are most likely to arise. One of the most obvious is the need, particularly in the elderly, to relieve oneself regularly. If availability of facillities and timings are made crystal clear at the outset, preferably in each tour description before booking, your customers can make a more informed decision. With regard to timings in general.......Some tours seem to leave very little time to explore the destinations, (particularly when circumstances such as late arrival in port, have already delayed the start of the tour....e.g. Dublin !!... reducing its value for money). One part of the opperation that seems to soak up a lot of time (often at the most "critical moment" of the journey) is that of exiting the coach. Most modern coaches are fitted with a side door......... that door is fitted for a purpose!........ If, as suggested by some, "Health & Safety" rules prevent their use, then the onus for their safe use should be placed upon the user, not the opperator. This should be made abundantly clear!........If it is simply not possible to open a side door, then the guide or the driver should direct passengers to exit in an orderly fashion, starting with those seated at the rear. This would also give him more time to assist the disabled seated at the front. Please P&O.... make your Shore Excursions a little more refined experience! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because we had sailed on the Oriana 3 years ago and enjoyed it immensely, we had not been to Guernsey, Scotland or Ireland before so this was the cruise for us. We were not disappointed, embarkation was pretty ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had sailed on the Oriana 3 years ago and enjoyed it immensely, we had not been to Guernsey, Scotland or Ireland before so this was the cruise for us. We were not disappointed, embarkation was pretty smooth considering about 1900 people need to check in, we chose self help disembarkation (I can recommend this if you are able to carry your own bags off the ship) The ship itself does need a bit of sprucing up which is being done in November this year however it still looks good. We chose a outside cabin, this was just the job for us, let's face it if you are going to sit in your cabin all day don't bother going on a cruise. Service - Philip looked after us and he was a credit to P&O he did a great job. Dining was excellent, I enjoyed every meal I chose and was served, as usual a good selection of dishes. We spent 8 nights and all together we enjoyed every minute, we will certainly sail with P&O again especially on the Oriana. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Our 3rd cruise with P&O Cruises - excellent value. A smaller ship. 1) Accommodation - inside cabin ideal 2) Food - varied, excellent choices, plentiful and constantly available 3) Drinks - waiter service always available ... Read More
Our 3rd cruise with P&O Cruises - excellent value. A smaller ship. 1) Accommodation - inside cabin ideal 2) Food - varied, excellent choices, plentiful and constantly available 3) Drinks - waiter service always available 4) Entertainment - first class and varied 5) Facilities - excellent and varied - particularly for immobile guests 6) Crew - friendly and professional 7) Cleanliness - first class - hand gel available throughout the ship 8) Weather - despite unpredictable British weather in September, the sea being very choppy around the Scottish Isles, the ship was stable and comfortable 9) Ports - easily accessible, some by tender boats which were very frequent 10) Information - daily and comprehensive 11) Trips ashore - enjoyable and varied - good value 12) Days at sea - relaxing and enjoyable 13) Embarkation/disembarkation - Southampton is so convenient. 14) Recommendation - P&O cruises highly recommended - we will be booking again for next year Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Your luggage is taken from you as soon as you arrive at the port for delivery to your cabin which is great. Embarkation was reasonably efficient. No compulsory hand sanitization though which was rather surprising. Cabin (inside, deck 10 ... Read More
Your luggage is taken from you as soon as you arrive at the port for delivery to your cabin which is great. Embarkation was reasonably efficient. No compulsory hand sanitization though which was rather surprising. Cabin (inside, deck 10 was very small, had to get rid of the table and all the clutter in order to have room to put our things. Plenty of wardrobe and drawer space though. Kettle, cups, glasses and a good supply of coffee in the cabin, never went short. Ship was satisfactory and not as old as some reports I've read. Everywhere was very clean and tidy. Waiter service throughout was poor, staff didn't seem to care much. In the restaurant, even after 5 days the waiter didn't remember our likes and dislikes. An added charge of £5.50 per day per person was extortionate for the service we received. Food was poor, ordinary and tasteless, lack of fresh veg and potatoes but plenty of cold salads. Many meals in the café were slop, my interpretation of food served in sauces/gravy rather than carved meats of which at lunch time there was often none. No fresh percolated coffee at dinner in the restaurant, only instant, imagine that. The Conservatory (café) was a shambles, food laid out in sections which meant people were constantly criss-crossing one another with trays of food which was a constant hassle and as usual, never enough table spaces. Smoking areas seemed to be all over the ship but in designated areas. As soon as the doors opened, the wind blew the smoke in the bar and café. Maid service to our cabin was excellent, Mayvale was perfect. Drinks are reasonably priced, same as the High Street with nothing extra added for service. Wi-Fi was expensive so didn't use as was able to do so ashore on our own devices. Library had a good selection of jigsaws on the go if that's what you like doing. Plenty of fiction and other books but never the travel ones you need in order to look up the ports you are visiting. Never enough crosswords printed on sea days, no-one thought to print more. The ports were excellent, Guernsey, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Portree and Glasgow. Pity the info given to us beforehand was true and readily accessible before embarkation. Two days to go and P & O still couldn't tell me how we were getting from the ship into Cork. In the end they laid on a shuttle bus which we used in the morning and then went on the Jameson Whiskey trip in the afternoon which was excellent. St. Peter Port, Guernsey - tender here, seas were very rough but the crew got everyone ashore and back safely. You had to collect a numbered ticket in the waiting area of the ship beforehand until your number was called to go ashore. The wait was 30-40 minutes. Dublin a shuttle bus was available and the city is very walkable and was our favourite place on the cruise. Lively and plenty to see and do, plan beforehand for best way to spend your day there. Belfast, a shuttle bus was provided here too. We went on the Giants Causeway trip which included a trip along the coastal road beforehand with several stops for photos. On the return journey we were given a ride through Belfast city centre, all in all an excellent trip and a longish day out as it's a fair way to the Causeway. Stornoway was a new destination for the ship, Tender here. Very small but a great place to discover and the highland dancers and bagpipe players in the street made for an interesting afternoon. Lovely little harbour. Kirkwall - was told in writing from P & O that the ship docked 0.5 miles from the town centre. WRONG, it was 2.5 miles. A shuttle bus was provided but we walked there and caught the shuttle back. A pleasant walk with an interesting town but again, very small. Portree, tender here and another rough day but the crew excelled. Nice little town but with 1800 people from a ship descending on the town is was incredibly crowded and also had loads of other tourists there too. We walked well out of town and enjoyed the views from the top of the hill. Greenock (for Glasgow). Another boo boo from P & O. Again, was told in writing that a shuttle bus would be provided into Glasgow. WRONG, had to make our own way there. Took a Scotrail day return for £6.90 per person into Glasgow, takes 35-50 minutes depending on how many stops the train makes. A good 15-20 minute walk from the ship to the station in Greenock but delivers you right in the centre of Glasgow. An interesting day for us photographers as there are so many wonderful buildings and a great atmosphere with street artists everywhere. The station architecture in a masterpiece. The itinerary states one day at sea and two days of "sail by's" which is a complete con as you are at sea these days too but sail nearer to land and can just make out what's on shore. Theatre timings are not well planned. First show at 8.30pm, second at 10.30pm which meant as second sitting diners we had to go to the show at 10.30 finishing at 11.30, a little too late for the early start in the morning and with a ship full of "old" people, and I stress "old", I doubt many could keep away this late. The earlier show was so full there weren't enough seats as we dined in the café a couple of times in order to see the show. Same with the cinema, had to sit on the floor for the duration as there weren't enough seats. Shows were the same old, same old, would love cruises to come up with something different. There was a large percentage of P & O dedicated cruisers on board and I felt that P & O were a little reluctant to improve things as there was no need with so many old timers. It's only when you have cruised with another line that you can make a comparison and there is definitely room for improvement here. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise as the ship was smaller than some and we had cruised before on Oriana and we enjoyed it very much last time. However this time the food was very poor, service in the restaurant was 3rd rate and most of the staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was smaller than some and we had cruised before on Oriana and we enjoyed it very much last time. However this time the food was very poor, service in the restaurant was 3rd rate and most of the staff around the ship we very amateur. We sat at the same table each night and had the same staff. They were very bad at bringing quickly the correct food which was always cold. For one meal the waiter actually threw the starter on plate. At another meal the soup bowl came with the soup dripping down the sides. The bar staff were very sullen and made it an effort to serve us. However the staff in Al Fresco were wonderful. We had most of our breakfast and lunches there. Although the choice of food was limited, we always managed to eat well. All the staff were excellent even remembering the porridge for my husband each morning. Robert the Head Waiter was wonderful. The comfort around the lounges was very dull. Not one lounge or bar had outside windows that you could see through. The only place with windows was the Crows Nest which is far from cosy. It long overdue to have a refit. Our cabin wash basin was a disgrace and the beds were not as comfortable as ships beds usually are. We don't think we will travel again on P and O if this is the quality of the food and service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was a two-night trial cruise to Bruges for us (our second ever cruise and first with P&O) in advance of a longer cruise later in the year. We upgraded to a mini-suite to see what the quality was like. We had a very mixed ... Read More
This was a two-night trial cruise to Bruges for us (our second ever cruise and first with P&O) in advance of a longer cruise later in the year. We upgraded to a mini-suite to see what the quality was like. We had a very mixed experience. Embarkation delayed due to an IT failure but handled very well under the tricky circumstances. We were ushered into a specially corded off section of the otherwise chaotic waiting area with free biscuits and coffee, before an efficient boarding process - making us only an hour late. Initial impressions of the mini-suite were good - the size of the balcony and the room; complimentary champagne, chocolates and canapes plus a warm welcome from our cabin steward. But on closer inspection many of the featured extra elements were disappointing: the room's binoculars for example were old and couldn't be focused with disintegrating rubber eyepieces ; the balcony metal work was in the process of being painted (the wet-paint notice blew away shortly after departure) making use of the balcony a tad tricky; whilst out on the excursion, the cabin's balcony rail was varnished without any indication whatsoever - until we leaned on it. On the last night, the ship was gently rolling around a tiny bit due to the motion of the ocean but the creaking and squeaking from the cabin ceiling was extraordinary. The cabin's bathroom was seriously lacking "luxury". Substantial sections of grout around the bath area were filthy and black with mould - see photos. On the last evening of the cruise I tried to use the featured "whirlpool" accessory but it buzzed briefly, stopped and filled the bath water with small bits of black debris and left a smell of drains. I reported these matters to reception and the initial response was hopeful. Two people arrived within minutes including the cabin steward. They said they would look at the matter whilst we were at dinner. From then on we didn't receive any further communication or see the steward for the rest of the trip. We didn't even receive a final account from him and reception staff had to print one off for us on departure. So if there is a next time, we're sticking to a simple balcony or an outside view cabin with fewer things to go wrong and costing much less. For meals we opted for freedom dining and on both evenings chose to sit with other diners rather than wait 50 minutes for a table for two. The food was very good with a fair choice and wine options by the glass or bottle with prices that compared well with high street restaurants. Service was efficient and we had a very pleasant time meeting some interesting people - this was one of the best elements of the experience. The second night was black tie but this formality was observed by barely half the passengers which was irritating as we'd made the effort. We tried out various bars and the service everywhere on the ship was efficient, friendly and welcoming. For entertainment we saw an absolutely superb Dean Richardson perform an enjoyable Freddie Mercury tribute in the Theatre Royal. We also went to see a film in the Chaplin Cinema; I'm not sure what imaging technology was being used there but the experience was like watching the film on a very old TV with washed out and distorted colours. The staff at the spa centre were really informative and friendly - they took us on a tour round all the facilities and we would have returned here had the cruise been longer. We booked a P&O coach excursion to Bruges and this, although a tad expensive, was easy, relaxing, informative and we had a great day. Other passengers went to Bruges by public transport. Interestingly, the world's longest tram line runs the entire length of the Belgian coast (and right past the port entrance) and we were thinking that that would have been an excellent way to spend the day (if you like trams and haven't been to Bruges). Disembarkation was excellent: very smooth and efficient and you certainly got the impression that they didn't want you hanging around. All in all, I think we had a good "ferry" type experience in that it was all over very quickly and the ship was comfortable. But it felt like we were getting in the way of the various maintenance jobs that were being done before the ship's next long trip. Paying for a mini-suite upgrade was a waste of money in that it didn't provide anything like the full luxury experience we imagined. I probably would choose a bigger ship for a longer cruise next time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Mixed review for this weekend cruise to Belgium, Entertainment was really good,Balcony Cabin snug but clean and functional ,good bars, tiny casino and basic shops. Ship is quite small but has everything you need for a short trip. Now for ... Read More
Mixed review for this weekend cruise to Belgium, Entertainment was really good,Balcony Cabin snug but clean and functional ,good bars, tiny casino and basic shops. Ship is quite small but has everything you need for a short trip. Now for the not so good, delayed check in caused chaos.Once we did finally get on board the crew and service was poor to say the least, curt, uninterested and unorganized staff throughout the ship. Not the usual standard we have come to expect and pay for with P and O. We were hurried through dinner and even asked to leave our table before we had completely finished on both nights, in order for the table to be ready for the second sitting, not our late arrival but their inefficiency, poor time management and almost no visible leadership. Disembarkation morning was awful, so many facilities roped off, closed or being cleaned, they just wanted us off the ship and were none to subtle about it either.... so disappointed P and O, you have lost four customers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Cruise check in slow due to computers being down. (2nd time this has happened to us at Southampton) On embarkation we had just enough time to attend the mandatory lifeboat drill.(Not sure how they knew who was there as there was no role ... Read More
Cruise check in slow due to computers being down. (2nd time this has happened to us at Southampton) On embarkation we had just enough time to attend the mandatory lifeboat drill.(Not sure how they knew who was there as there was no role call). Ship looked old and in desperate need of a refit. It doesn't take long to get round a ship this size and i can't think of anything i saw that was an improvement on previous my cruise experiences. Whllst the stewards and operatives did their bit to make you feel welcome i didn't sense, due to dining option questions raised, this carried across to the hierarchy. Officers seemed uninterested and hurried. Pro's - Andersons Bar (Good Cocktails) -Crows Nest Bar - BRUGES (well worth a visit, lots of beer and choclate) Lunch ashore, the Flemish Beef Stew paricularly good Cons - Sports Bar (Plastic Beer Glasses) - Cabin (See below) - Shopping Area (Limited) - Fully booked alternative dining - Conservatory (Top Deck Cafeteria) poorest for food/layout and seating Only a 2 night taster to introduce my Niece & Nephew (20's) but would always choose a more updated ship and probably not P & O Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Our embarkation time was 1430 but we arrived a bit early to find chaos in the embarkation hall that was bursting at the seams. The IT system had been down since 1130 and no one was moving. They eventually decided to embark us and for ... Read More
Our embarkation time was 1430 but we arrived a bit early to find chaos in the embarkation hall that was bursting at the seams. The IT system had been down since 1130 and no one was moving. They eventually decided to embark us and for credit cards to be swiped on-board, but then the IT system came online so it was back to normal and wait. At check in I was given our (2) cards and also a map of the ship and told to keep my card in the pocket in the map. I asked for a second map for my wife and was told that this was not allowed, 1 map per party. We did meet a couple on-board and asked them about their boarding experience. They said that they had avoided the turmoil as their daughter worked for Carnival and they had been taken straight on-board. It's not what you know but who you know. Arrived on-board to be told that the conservatory restaurant was still open so dumped our bags in our cabin and made our way there. The BBQ was still open although the sign said that it would close at 1430, our initial boarding time so if it were not for the IT glitch it would have closed before we boarded and no BBQ for us. Our cabin was spacious and well appointed but I did not realise that they made TV's that small. The bed was fine but had 2 of the hardest pillows I have come across in a long time. The ship is obviously showing it's age as there was a fixed ashtray in the bathroom next to the toilet. As we had booked late we had been given anytime dining in the Peninsular Restaurant. After our late lunch we made our way there at about 8pm. The card we had been given from P&O said that the Restaurant. Manager would make every effort to seat us straight away but that there could be a slight wait. The manager appeared very officious and told us that there would be a 50 minute wait for a table. I pointed out the information supplied by P&O and I did not feel that 50 minutes was a slight wait. I was told that he was not responsible for what P&O told me but he was telling me there would be a 50 minute wait. We therefore agreed to share and were seated with a young couple. Starters were fine, soup for me and prawn cocktail for my wife but it went downhill from then. My wife selected the specialty stew for her main course, not good. I had steak and it was 1/4" thick and could only be described as a piece of very poor frying steak. Pudding was no better, my wife's sticky toffee pudding was a piece of dried up ginger sponge that had been sitting around so long that when the sauce was poured over it failed to be absorbed. My Pavlova was a hard disk of meringue, no cream and 3 slices of Kiwi fruit sitting on top and our table companion had exactly the same experience. Petit fours with coffee was 1 tiny square of soft shortbread per person. This experience was so poor, officious manager and very poor food that we decided there and then not to go back the following night, Even though we had taken black tie etc we gave it a miss and went to the Conservatory in smart casual. Even here the food left a lot to be desired. Squid in Chill Sauce was part of the mains. When have you seen squid rings that are perfectly uniform and when cut through the cross section is perfectly circular, bringing to mind rubber "O" rings? Have they now progressed from crab sticks? Breakfast was generally good but on both mornings I had a chocolate muffin, and both times the muffin was dry and stale. Rather than pay P&O for the excursion to Bruge our taxi driver had advised us to take the shuttle to Blankenburg and then the train, and as P&O were not my favourite people at this time that is what we did and had a great day out. There were 2 nights of entertainment on-board, the first by the ships dancers who started off a little slowly but soon warmed up and it was a very enjoyable evening. The second night was a Freddie Mercurie tribute and he was excellent. Half the ship seemed to be taken over by hens, no problems but they really enjoyed the entertainment and by the end of the show he had everyone on their feet and waving their arms. Because we look after our grandchildren we found we could go on this trip at very short notice, and had gone to enjoy the black tie night. We did not do this mainly because of the attitude of the manager at the Peninsular and the very poor quality of the food. Having had chaos during boarding disembarking was not much better with lack of information and long lines. My lasting impression is that P&O set themselves an extremely low standard and consistently failed to achieve it. I very much doubt if we will be back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
We have travelled on this ship before so we were quite pleased to see that she is now adult-only and that a three-week itinerary was available in the school holidays. We were a little concerned that standards would have dropped, as we had ... Read More
We have travelled on this ship before so we were quite pleased to see that she is now adult-only and that a three-week itinerary was available in the school holidays. We were a little concerned that standards would have dropped, as we had noticed this each time we sailed with P&O. We weren't wrong. P&O are no longer the luxury line they would like you to believe they are. Oriana was rusty, battered and well overdue the refit scheduled for November this year. She is showing all of her 21 years. The furniture and fittings on board were tatty. Wood was scuffed and dented. Fabrics were grubby and in some cases worn into holes (notably the chairs in the little reading room off the library. Carpets were marked and patched. There was a problem with leaks and blowers were being used to dry out the carpets where this occurred. They were constantly painting and varnishing, even replacing handrails in places. The cabins look dated and although comfortable enough, ours wasn't kept clean. The bathroom floor was only mopped once and there was something brown and nasty all over the plinth below the drawers. Used glasses were not replaced with clean ones unless they were emptied out by us. The service on board had gone way downhill. We were on a table overlooking the stern in the aft restaurant and we were almost always the last served. As we were on the second sitting, this often meant that it was almost 9.30 before our main course arrived. They have too few staff serving too many tables. The food was usually only warm and the quality and variety was poor. Gone are the lovely seafood and chocaholic spreads which used to be served in the restaurant. Their poor relations are now served in the Conservatory buffet, where quality and choice was again poor. The "regional dish" on the menu each night had nothing to do with the region we were in. There used to be a wide variety of fresh fruit available but now it is apples, oranges, pears and bananas. The variety of cheeses served was poor- very few farmhouse ones or regional ones. There is no longer silver service in the main restaurants; food comes ready plated and you have to ask if you want different veg, then take pot luck with what arrives. Everything seemed to come with aubergines and courgettes. We were constantly pestered to spend £15 a head to eat in the speciality Indian restaurant. The other grill restaurant cost a £5 supplement but then virtually everything on the menu carried an extra charge. There was also a service charge. Someone on our table ended up paying an extra £28 for a meal for two which wasn't anything very special. P&O now charge for some of their shuttle services if you are not on a "select" fare. When we were in Corfu this was a £4 each way 4-minute trip. On previous visits we have been taken up to the fort but this time we were dropped at the bottom near the port. In Cagliari we have previously been taken to the top of the town near the palace but this time we had to walk from the port gates. This charging didn't happen in every port but it never used to happen at all. The itinerary really was not suited to the age and mobility of the customers. A few days before we were due to sail we were told that we would not be visiting Crotone because the keel depth was too great for the port. I dare say that when these itineraries are booked months if not years ahead, all that kind of thing is taken into account. This was just an excuse. We heard later that migrants land at Crotone so maybe that was the reason. They took us to Corigliano Calabro, an old hilltop village with very steep streets and few shops. The place was not geared for tourists at all. There was what might have been an interesting castle right at the top of the town but most people gave up before they reached it. It says something that after an hour there were about four bus-loads waiting to return to the ship. Everyone was complaining that this was not a port worth visiting. Later in the trip we visited Sarande in Albania. This was a rather grubby resort with a definite third-world air to it. It had a pleasant enough promenade but the amount of steps made it inaccessible for the less mobile and extremely difficult for wheelchairs as the roads were steep. Another stop was Monemvasia, a pretty medieval town on an island joined to the mainland by a mile-long causeway. This also had very steep, slippery cobbled streets which were again unsuitable for those with walking difficulties. The entertainment on board was not as good as previously. Things like cookery demonstrations and flower arranging had vanished. The cocktail and wine tasting sessions which used to be free carried a £10 per person charge. Talks were all historical in theme or trying to sell you something. There were classical concerts but the performers were not as good as on previous cruises and the pianos needed tuning. We didn't go to any of the shows so can't comment on those. Neither they nor the comedians or singers appealed. Cocktails were so weak they tasted as if there was barely any alcohol in them, unlike on previous cruises when we enjoyed them. The bar staff were not as friendly or efficient as they have been in the past. The only plus point was the addition of a good range of craft beers in the Lords Tavern. We were bothered by the smell of cigarette smoke from the smoking area. It blew into the Conservatory restaurant (the smokers are right outside the door) and the whole aft stairwell stank of it. Often the smoke blew across the aft deck where others were trying to enjoy their meals. It was very disappointing to see such a noticeable drop in standards. P&O are no longer the luxury cruise line they would like to think they are. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We booked this cruise a year ago as, with TEN ports of call, it seemed remarkably good value TheShip ... Read More
We booked this cruise a year ago as, with TEN ports of call, it seemed remarkably good value TheShip We’ve been on Oriana three times before, but since we were last on her we’ve been on Oceana, a very “glitzy” ship, and the elegant and beautiful Queen Elizabeth. Stepping back onto Oriana, with her very plain décor and rather uninspiring atrium, was somewhat underwhelming. However, it didn’t take long for us to remember the things we love about this old lady of the seas, in particular the curved aft decks and the lovely dance floor in Harlequins. It felt like coming home! We do understand that on a ship maintenance is ongoing, but it was rather annoying that a new deck was being laid on the sun deck above the outside seating and Terrace bar, which meant that for the whole of the cruise it was like eating and drinking on a building site with constant noise throughout the day. Cabin We chose cabin C304, which we’ve been in twice before, as it’s the first one from the back with both a bath and a shower. It has a large window – balcony cabins are expensive on Oriana as she has so few - but being so near the back it’s easy to make yourself a cup of tea and walk out onto the aft deck with it instead of sitting on a balcony. The cabin is fine, although the wardrobe space is challenging on an 18 night cruise! Our steward, Silvestre, was very sweet and we think he liked us as he sometimes gave us extra chocolates! I do wish P&O would bring back decent biscuits though, I’m not keen on the ones they have now. Passengers Someone told me that the average age on this cruise was 82! I don’t know if that’s true, but there certainly weren’t many people under 60, or even 70. Most people we shared a table with were very pleasant, there were a few who were rather boring, but nobody we really didn’t like. The practice of reserving sunbeds/chairs with towels and books is still very much in evidence, one morning I was up early (about 6am) and wandered out onto the aft deck, to find about half a dozen chairs already “reserved”. Food We started off having breakfast in the Conservatory (buffet), but after a couple of days decided that we preferred to sit outside Al Fresco. Neither of us wanted the “full English breakfast” so we were happy with the selection of fruit, pastries and bacon or sausage panini. Lunch was also sometimes at Al Fresco (pizza, pasta and salads) or at the buffet. We noticed that the desserts were not as nice as they used to be, and also they often ran out and people had to ask for more. In the evening we were on Freedom Dining in the Peninsular restaurant. We soon realised that the area in the middle became very hot, so always asked for an outside table for six or eight. The food was OK, sometime it was lukewarm and sometimes the vegetables were a bit strange, but it was edible. We don’t feel it’s as good as it used to be. Twice we ate at The Beach House (£5 supplement), mainy because we wanted to eat outside as the weather was so beautiful. On the second occasion we were offered a table inside, despite having requested an outside one when we booked. We were then told that you couldn’t request a particular table – it would have been nice to have been told that when we booked. We refused to sit inside and said we would wait until someone finished their meal, we were not even offered an apology or a complementary drink, as we felt sure a restaurant on land would do if they felt customers were upset. The food was very good, although to be honest there weren’t many things on the menu which appealed to me, I preferred it when it was Sorrento. Few people seemed to eat at Sindhu (£15 per person supplement), it always looked almost empty when we walked past. We certainly would not pay that for an Indian meal. It was disappointing that there is no longer a Chocoholics buffet. On the last day but one there was a special tea in the Conservatory, with lots of cakes and a chocolate fountain, but it was not advertised in the Horizon so a lot of people didn’t know about it. I only found out because I happened to go in for a cup of tea. Daytime Activities There were seven sea days on this cruise, and fortunately the weather was good on all except the first two and we were able to sunbathe or sit on deck, as there was not a great deal going on around the ship which appealed to us. I always enjoy the line dancing at 10am for a bit of exercise, and the Port Presentations were good (apart from the Australian presenter’s appalling pronounciation of French/Italian/Spanish names and words, which gave us a laugh!). There were no cookery demonstrations, no ice carving, no interview with the Captain or the Headliners, few of the usual things. There was only one guest speaker for the whole cruise, speaking on the topic of Shakespeare and the Elizabethan theatre – I have no idea what he was like as I didn’t meet anyone who’d seen him. Where are the ex-politicians, sports personalities, actors and actresses etc? If the weather hadn’t been so good we might well have been bored. Evening entertainment We always enjoy the Headliner’s shows, even though we’ve seen them several times before, but it would be nice if there were a few new ones soon. Just about everyone we spoke to had seen all the shows before. This group were one of the best we’ve seen, and we particularly enjoyed their Abba and Queen tributes. The guest artistes were all quite good, but there were rather a lot of singers. Two female singers, two male singers, a group of four male singers, and a trio of female singers. There were also two comedians who were mildly amusing rather than hilariously funny, and a saxophonist who had appeared on X Factor or BGT (don’t know as I never watch either!). Dancing We are keen ballroom, latin and sequence dancers, and this is one of the main reasons we enjoy cruising, particularly on Oriana with her lovely dance floor. There were two bands who played in Harlequins – the John James Trio (who have been on Oriana for a long time) and Maria and the Goodfellas. John James plays good music to strict tempo, but the other band were appalling. They were more a jazz-blues type band, certainly not a dance band, and they didn’t have the first clue about dancing. Goodness knows how P&O employed them as a dance band. The dance instructors had a word with them and things improved a little, but not much. After a few nights my husband and I were so fed up that we asked for a meeting with the Entertainments Manager (Elaine) to complain. She said she’d try to schedule John James to be in Harlequins more often, especially on formal nights, but it didn’t really happen. We also had to make a complaint about the temperature in Harlequins. Some places (such as the Pacific Lounge, where people were just sitting watching a show) were freezing cold, but the dance venue was far too hot. When you are dancing a lot you get very hot, and need the air conditioning to be on full blast. After we made a formal complaint it did improve, however then people who were watching moaned that they were cold! Sorry, but the comfort of the dancers has to come first. The instructors, Deborah and Gordon Maguire, were lovely, but we were disappointed they only taught beginners classes – most cruises we’ve been on have an intermediate class in the afternoon. We did manage to pick up one new step though, which was pleasing. The ports This was a particularly good itinerary with TEN ports – Cadiz, Marseille, Corsica, Civitavecchia, Sicily, Sardinia, Sorrento, Corigliano Calabro, Tangiers and Lisbon. We went on four shore excursions, but we do feel some are expensive for what they are. For example, in Sicily we decided a swim in the sea would be nice, so booked the beach transfer to Giardini Naxos. This was £38 per person for a 50 minute coach ride, two and a half hours on the beach with sunbeds (we had to pay an extra 5 euros for an umbrella!) and the coach ride back. Someone is making a lot of money! The best excursion was the City Tour and guided walk in Tangiers, which was very interesting. In Conclusion It was an enjoyable cruise, despite quite a lot of little niggles. We do feel that there have been so many cutbacks in recent years, small things which added to the enjoyment of a cruise. A good example is on formal nights – a lady whose second cruise this was remarked that it was lovely to see the passengers making so much effort, but a real pity that P&O seemed to make no effort whatsoever. We told her that until recently Harlequins would be decorated with balloons on formal nights – black and white on b/w night, pink and white on Ladies night – and all the ladies were given a red carnation. The waiters used to dress in waistcoats in the colours of whichever country you were visiting, and on Tropical night they all had beautiful, brightly coloured shirts. Now they wear the same black and white uniforms all the time. We will cruise with P&O again, and probably on Oriana again, but I really think P&O need to get their act together and start improving the standards again. I would say they are no more than 3* at the moment. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We booked this cruise as we have been on this ship twice before. The ship is now in desperate need of a re-fit. On arrival our cabin floor had not been vacuumed properly and the was dirt and fluff evident. The bathroom basin and bath ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we have been on this ship twice before. The ship is now in desperate need of a re-fit. On arrival our cabin floor had not been vacuumed properly and the was dirt and fluff evident. The bathroom basin and bath were faded and chipped and the wc had a black lime scale stain around the water line. The extract vent was clogged and blocked up so that it did not operate. Whilst the bathroom was clean, it gave the impression of being dirty. Our cabin suffered from an aggravating grinding noise coming from the cabin ceiling when the ship travelled at speed. On complaining to reception at 2.30 am one morning, we were given the use of an inside cabin, but I could not sleep in it as it felt claustrophobic, so I went back to our original cabin whilst my wife slept in the temporary one. It took four days to fix the problem, however as our cabin was under the sun deck, at 7.30am each morning we woken up by the crashing of sun beds being put out. We could not walk completely around the promenade deck due to the amount of maintenance being carried out. This continued for the whole 12 days. The food was excellent in all the restaurants. The majority of the staff however, whilst doing their jobs well, seemed miserable an unsmiling. The service at dinner was very fast with plates being removed whilst you were still chewing last mouthful. P&O have lowered the standard of dress code, so that despite there being notices to the contrary, some men turn up dressed in their vests at breakfast and lunch, not something that enhanced my dining experience. No one policed the dress code, so it was up to the guests to wear what they wanted. Other than the black tie evenings there were no nights were a jacket and tie were required. Again smart jeans and polo shirts could be worn at dinner, although some passengers had a funny idea as to what constitutes smart. The entertainment was first class, with quality west end singers etc. The excursions were as expected and the usual sightseeing trips. If you are looking for a cruise where you can dress up and feel special, look elsewere. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Having been on Azura for our first cruise (bustle and the queues, lack of seats etc), we wanted to try a smaller ship and the Iberian destinations were the main interest. We were very pleasantly surprised with Oriana, having read the ... Read More
Having been on Azura for our first cruise (bustle and the queues, lack of seats etc), we wanted to try a smaller ship and the Iberian destinations were the main interest. We were very pleasantly surprised with Oriana, having read the negative views of some over her age, rusting, tired furnishing etc - we found the inside decor was fine, spacious communal areas, service team constantly touching up outside rusted deck areas, and best of all we always managed to find a seat in any bar, the buffet and theatre, and didn't really have to queue anywhere. Prom deck is a great facility, plus the open decks on each aft deck - great spaces for sitting out and always chairs or sun beds available. Cabin was compact, clean and kept beautifully by steward Clevy - only downside is wardrobes with doors which limits hanging space and obstructs access in room when opening them. Much prefer open wardrobes in newer ships. The safe was low on the floor at the back of the wardrobe too, so a hands and knees job to reach it - not ideal for people with mobility issues or dodgy knees. Hairdryer was quite dated. We met some lovely people in shared dining and the ship is small enough to meet familiar faces again during the week. Ports of calls in Guernsey, La Rochelle, Bilabo and La Coruna were all different and interesting. We did the excursion to Santiago de Compostela and enjoyed the old town, despite rain. Entertainment was superb all week - much better standard of entertainer than expected for a smaller, adult only ship. Embarkation and disembarkation both a breeze. Loved the ship and would sail on her again happily. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the dates. Some of my friends said to me ''oh you are not going on that old tub'' so I did not have high expectations. However, on boarding the ship I found it to be ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the dates. Some of my friends said to me ''oh you are not going on that old tub'' so I did not have high expectations. However, on boarding the ship I found it to be better than I expected. It is an old ship and does need money spending on it, but I was not as disappointed as I had expected to be. My cabin C155 on Deck 9 was small but compact with plenty of room for me travelling alone, with lots of wardrobe space. The bathroom, especially the shower was very small with a skimpy curtain which clung to me when I turned the warm water on. My main problem on this cruise was the lack of soundproofing in my cabin. I could hear everything the couple in the next cabin said, and they were only talking, not shouting. I complained and asked to change cabins, all to no avail. I do not believe that they did not have any spare cabins. I had to turn my television on and wait until they had stopped talking before I could go to sleep. This really marred my enjoyment and my ability to go to sleep when I wanted to. My cabin was fairly clean but would have benefited from a thorough vacuuming of the carpet. The bed was very comfortable with very nice bedding. The food in the main dining room where I ate in the evening was very good, absolutely no complaints there. However, in the Buffet the crew/staff were more lax and unwilling to help and seemed to do as little as possible and seemed totally disinterested in doing their job. On our last day I was in the Crows Nest with a friend having coffee, and my friend asked for some warm milk in a little jug as her coffee was too strong, and the waiter turned and looked at her angrily and said ''WHAT!!'' in a most indignant way - we were both stunned at his action. The crew on this ship really let it down in a major way. A week previously I had been on another cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse to the Baltics, and the crew were so professional, friendly and helpful, vastly different from the crew on the Oriana. The entertainment in the evening was very good. One comedian in particular was very good and was as good as any professional we see on the TV. I do not think I would go on this ship again. I need to know that once in my cabin I can sleep if I want to, without listening to other people's conversations for hours. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Oriana review x608 Just back from my first cruise aboard the wonderful Oriana. Despite bad weather, this was an excellent cruise, the staff were fantastic, entertainment perfect as was the food. I have no negative points to mention at ... Read More
Oriana review x608 Just back from my first cruise aboard the wonderful Oriana. Despite bad weather, this was an excellent cruise, the staff were fantastic, entertainment perfect as was the food. I have no negative points to mention at all even the rough seas on the bay of Biscay and the torrential rain in la caruna cannot dampen my enthusiasm. We had a 1pm check in time and arrived half an hour later and were fast tracked to the front of the queue. We boarded promptly and went straight to the conservatory for lunch. We had a look round the ship and found our cabin was already ready and our luggage soon arrived. The cabin was quite small with a tiny bathroom but big enough and had a large window. Tip : this cabin had two fold up bunks so do have the single bed configuration or it could be awkward to walk past the folded bunks. We had a 6.30 dining time in the oriental restaurant and a table for 8 which was excellent and our table mates were good company. The waiting staff were very pleasant and efficient and the food was excellent. My only negative comment regarding the Oriental was the very loud vibration coming from below, causing the cutlery and chandeliers to vibrate violently. This was particularly bad the first evening when leaving Southampton. The first port was Guernsey. This was a beautiful place and we came off the ship by tender boats very efficiently. We ate breakfast in the Conservatory buffet every day and found this to be fine and only busy on sea days. The second port was la Rochelle. Very pretty place but very few shops and lots of restaurants. Bilbao, we opted for the San Sebastian on your own trip. This was enjoyable as the place is very pleasant with a lovely beach but I could have done without the 3 hours in total sitting on the coach. La Caruna, it rained all day and there was a shuttle bus but we docked near shops and a harbour so we walked in and found a number of places to look round but the rain sent us back to the ship quite quickly. Entertainment - this was superb with a number of venues all providing different things. The Headliners were a new troup and they did 2 shows which were excellent. We saw a comedian, Jeff Stevenson who was good as was singer Eve Sheratt and a classical guitarist called Nils who was also very good indeed. I loved the staff talent show which was excellent and very entertaining. I used all three swimming pools which were lovely and warm. A fantastic cruise all round. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Ohhh well what can i say about the Oriana! Soon as we boarded the ship we couldn't lift a finger!They treat you like royalty ....we met the captain ( quite young for a captain you wouldnt expect that really,and he was polish) drinks ... Read More
Ohhh well what can i say about the Oriana! Soon as we boarded the ship we couldn't lift a finger!They treat you like royalty ....we met the captain ( quite young for a captain you wouldnt expect that really,and he was polish) drinks are quite reasonable! £3.50 for a gin and tonic HOUSE!.food is mint! leave a bar at 3am and they got PIZZA and Spring rolls everywhere!run very well for 1800 passengers and 800 crew! its big but not as big as the Brittania! thats enourmous! you can put a sign on your door and they bring your breakfast to your room! clean you room 3 times a day! and EVEN leave chocolates on your pillow! really nice touch leaving chocolates on pillows i think! Best place by far was LA PALMA!! a spanish friend told me its the best place in SPAIN the whole of SPAIN! and i cant disagree! really nice hot tub ( i love the jacuzzi me) entertainment was great and some really nice russian dancers! other passengers are very friendly! if you asked to join them at the evening entertainment you would be greeted with ( OFCOURSE OFCOURSE) which was nice...i would recommend it...i want to do a russina cruise but Oriana is unbelievable..made some great friends for life...everyone treats you like royalty 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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