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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Thinking of cruising on an extended winter sun holiday, think again if you’re under 80 as you might be sorely disappointed. Just back from 4 weeks in the Caribbean on Oriana, many people named this the Hospital Cruise. Day 1 and ... Read More
Thinking of cruising on an extended winter sun holiday, think again if you’re under 80 as you might be sorely disappointed. Just back from 4 weeks in the Caribbean on Oriana, many people named this the Hospital Cruise. Day 1 and before we even left Southampton someone had to be offloaded due to illness. 30 hours out of Southampton and had to turn back for an air sea rescue at Falmouth. Arrived in Barbados and rumour has it 7 more were offloaded. 24 hours out of Antigua and had to turn back to offload 2 more people. Arrival in the Azores was diverted to a different island to offload another before finally arriving in San Miguel. Left San Miguel this evening but had to turn back again to offload another sick person. Approaching the English Channel on our final day and another air sea rescue at Falmouth. The captain did a remarkable job in getting us to each destination on time which meant we were speeding along at 20 knots so can’t complain there but the whole cruise was like a floating old peoples home. Nothing against oldies as I’m no spring chicken but I do think some shouldn’t have been on that cruise at all and it did make for a somewhat depressing time. In an emergency situation it would have been chaos as so many were infirm, immobile and downright obese, not to mention the most grotesque manners I have ever seen. The fares had been greatly reduced, no doubt to fill up the ship and it showed. A couple in Tiffany’s Piano Bar one day should have been turned out, the woman had her bare feet up on her husband’s lap and he was caressing her feet whilst people around them were having a nice cup of coffee with their cake. The ship:- Oriana is lovely but finishing service next year, she really needs to go as her age is showing. I hope the executive chef goes with her as the food was pretty diabolical in both the restaurant and cafe. Caribbean cruise and only one or two days of Caribbean food, rest of the time it was repetitive, boring, uninspiring and tasteless. Far too many dishes made out of leftovers. Guacamole one evening in the restaurant was just mashed processed peas, come on now!! The shop on board is pricey to say the least, duty free drink and perfume is more expensive than supermarkets at home (UK). Thankfully we were able to stock up on bottles of rum etc from the local shops at each port. Can’t stand the shows with the Headliners, too old hat but Roy Walker was quite funny regardless of the same old same old. The morning and afternoon talks were excellent and we loved the quizzes at different times of the day. Thankfully it was possible to sit out on deck most of the sea days and there were lots of them so just as well. Not into all the classes on offer as like to be outside but there was plenty to do. Ports:- Madeira, Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua, Tortola BVI, St. Martin and Azores. A quick run down on them. Funchal, Madeira, great place, have been before, plenty to do on the island but this time just mooched around town. Previously have been on a trip all around the island to see the sights. Have taken local transport into the interior and have visited the beautiful gardens and basket chairs at Monte. Bridgetown, Barbados. Did our own thing here by walking into town from the terminal. On arrival you will be bombarded with people trying to sell you a tour and it didn’t finish there, the rest of the day in town was the same. Didn’t like this place at all, some pretty undesirable people unlike other ports of call and there wasn’t much to see or do in town either. The Coconut Bar next to the cruise terminal was selling rum punch for $7, beware, it was shocking, nothing more than a sweet sugary drink with a dash of rum essence in it, not at all genuine. See my photo of the bar. Castries, St. Lucia, one of my favourite places. Did the ships “Scenic North” excursion and it was fabulous, taking in an old fort, silk painting, spectacular views, rum punch at the Sandals Resort and different beach stops just to take in the view and have a quick paddle. Back in Castries afterwards we walked around the market, visited the rum shops and then had a drink at Zephirins Bakery just along from the cruise terminal next to the market. BE VERY CAREFUL here as we ordered drinks and gave the waitress a $ note but had difficulty in getting our change, really had to get firm with her. See my photo enclosed as confirmation of the bar. Fort de France, Martinique. Very quiet place with little to do but we did the ships excursion to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo. Bear in mind this is not two separate places as we thought but one. The guide thought it would be nice to show us as much on the way as she thought necessary but we ended up taking 2 hours getting to the zoo and then only had 45 minutes there when it would have been better the other way round. Lovely Zoo though but didn’t care much for the island in general. Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis. Loved this island. Did the ship excursion to the Rainforest, wonderful and the guide was exceptional. Went very high up on the island and had plenty of time to walk around the beautiful gardens adjacent to the rainforest, lots of wonderful birds and green monkeys too. After a walk through the rainforest the guide provided us with rum punch, cake and bananas, he was a gem. Ali I think his name was. Back down in the port area we just browsed around the numerous shops and tried out all the different drinks. St. John’s, Antigua. Second visit here, last time I did the helicopter trip to the Montserrat volcano which was about a quarter of the price it was this time so we just stayed in the centre but again was bombarded with people trying to sell you their tours, really got on our nerves in the end. Not a whole lot to do in town so just walked by the harbour, had a few drinks and soaked up the sun. Tortola, BVI. Lovely. Took the ship excursion “The Best of Tortola”. Not disappointed as drove high up into the mountains with several stops of the fabulous views and then spent time at Cane Garden Bay for about an hour, so idyllic. We were the first group to arrive so were lucky as by the time we left the other groups had arrived and it was more than crowded. The driver/guide knew everyone at all the stops which made for a fun time. Back at the port and we just browsed around the few shops that were there. Phillipsburg, St. Martin. Second visit here, did a tour to the French part previously whereby it poured with rain but this time it was to the Dutch part and also taking in some of the French side. Did the ship excursion “Island Delights”. Didn’t really warrant the title but enjoyed it as we went to a Caribbean cookery demonstration with tasting, food was scrumptious then onto a rum distillery with tastings, plenty to try ranging from 20% to 40%, phew, declined the 40%. Afterwards went on to a perfumery where they are made, didn’t really like this much, the perfumes were too “homemade” but nice to see what went into them. Back at port and time to browse the numerous shops, needless to say, bought more rum. Ponta de garda, Azores. Lovely little town with more to do than the ships tour guide mentioned, she played it down somewhat. However, we did the ship excursion “Sights and Cheese and Wine Sampler”. Nice trip up into the mountains with tremendous views and to a little village with a church and it’s nativity scene, then to the crater lakes which were a beautiful green. Following a different road back we stopped at various places for photographs and then back into town to a hotel for the wine and cheese tasting. Badly organised as had to queue endlessly for the cheese and wine, it should have been placed on the individual tables for people to help themselves. The wine was 10 euros a bottle if you wanted to buy it but we walked back to the ship and bought the same wine for 5 euros in one of the shops. We took lots of ship excursions but they were reasonably cheap so decided to make life easy for ourselves and it worked quite well. All in all a great destination cruise but all the oldies made it rather depressing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
It was nothing more than a floating retirement home.Daytime activities consisted of boring quizzes,seminars on weight loss and pain relief,watercolour painting and something called Knit and Natter (think old ladies sitting in circle ... Read More
It was nothing more than a floating retirement home.Daytime activities consisted of boring quizzes,seminars on weight loss and pain relief,watercolour painting and something called Knit and Natter (think old ladies sitting in circle knitting and gossiping).The evening entertainment was just diabolical; the mediocre ship theatre group putting on mediocre shows,an irish comedian rehashing jokes from the ark and,wait for it, a harp player wtf. the food was nice but nothing special but the service was good. as for the cabin it was fine for the first week but then it was flooded by a burst pipe and the treatment we received from the deck manager and housekeeping manager was just unbelievable.i only hope they don't treat their mothers the way they treated mine. they wouldnt move us so we had 3 days in a damp smelly cabin (my mother was up all night being ill because of the smell) and all we got was a cheap bottle of p&o plonk (we don't drink) and a tiny box of p&o chocolates.needless to say we have made formal complaints this was our first and last cruise with p & o. next year its back to royal caribbean Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise to give my daughter and husband a taste of cruising. It did not occur to us that there would be large groups of big women on hen parties who tended to monopolise the facilities. The cabins at the back of the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise to give my daughter and husband a taste of cruising. It did not occur to us that there would be large groups of big women on hen parties who tended to monopolise the facilities. The cabins at the back of the ship were very noisy and the disco in the Pacific Lounge will keep you awake till the small hours. We have cruised on Oriana before and although we knew the engines were very noisy we did not expect the disco scene. P&O should advertise this as a party cruise. Take your earplugs. The crew were very friendy and helpful and the food was good. The best parts were ashore in Bruges and Guernsey. We booked a shuttle bus to Bruges through viator as the P&O bus is very expensive. This was very good and you could get tickets at the kiosk otside the dock entrance. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Party of 6. Picked this cruise because or itinerary. Appreciate Oriana is an older ship but it has had a recent overhaul. Ship is smart in a rather retro style. We made extensive use of the Lords Tavern bar which is the nearest to a large ... Read More
Party of 6. Picked this cruise because or itinerary. Appreciate Oriana is an older ship but it has had a recent overhaul. Ship is smart in a rather retro style. We made extensive use of the Lords Tavern bar which is the nearest to a large English pub and the staff were great. Went to Indian Sindhu restaurant one night which was superb and well worth the small supplement. Main dining food and service could not be faulted unlike the buffet which was very average. As an example we were given stale bread at breakfast on a number of breakfasts. Bread choice was poor. We could only get white or brown rolls or pre sliced bread. Cooked food choice was limited. No ice cream available at lunch or dinner. I am not being picky but these things and more all add up. This was a 1st on P & O and unfortunately has now put us off. We generally had a good cruise but did not get off feeling special as we have with our favourite Celebrity cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Just returned from a cruise on the 23rd may from Southampton, shop was lovely , very clean , food was lovely especially the beach house but you had to pay a surcharge of £7.50 each but well worth the visit to be honest I think you should ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise on the 23rd may from Southampton, shop was lovely , very clean , food was lovely especially the beach house but you had to pay a surcharge of £7.50 each but well worth the visit to be honest I think you should be able to visit this restaurant free of charge as part of the holiday as it was not cheap to go on this cruise. The cabin was lovely and comfortable and staff were excellent could not fault it. However unless you are aged over 75yrs of age this ship was very boring as far as the entertainment, it was terrible, the itinerary was knit and natter, how to get rid of water retention, seminars on the war and more war, films then on id Dunkirk, Churchill , I am all for remembering what the elderly did for their country but I don't want to have it thrown down my neck on my holidays. The band symmetric were atrocious they should have put them overboard , no idea who auditioned them , had a tropical night and we thought this might be good, my god it was terrible the band were singing oh when the saints come marching in, I have never had this song played at any party never mind a tropical party, everyone gave up and called it a night it was so bad. P@O really need to get their act together for entertainment, you could not get in any of the 8.30 shows as all the old codgers would eat at 6.00 and then all sit in that theatres a good 1/2 hrs before the shows even started so you could never get a seat, they were rude and impolite to the crew , they expect some respect but obviously they need to learn to be respectful to their younger passengers, I am 56 but I felt like I was on my last legsNEver again on this ship Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose it to search the Northern Lights. Erm well this ship should be labelled a Care Home at sea. Everything seemed to be geared towards the elderly. Ok let's start with the positives. The ship is classic classy and clean. ... Read More
We chose it to search the Northern Lights. Erm well this ship should be labelled a Care Home at sea. Everything seemed to be geared towards the elderly. Ok let's start with the positives. The ship is classic classy and clean. The itinerary great. The staff work extremely hard and very friendly. The negatives...average age 80. Lots of repeat cruisers as they love the ship. Now we're not in the bloom of youth being 63 and 70...but the ship lacked any element of fun. I've never seen so many miserable grumpy faces in one place and believe me hubby and I did try to interact with our fellow passengers. As for the entertainment, we'll all geared towards elderly. Classical concerts, harpists,pianists. Oh we did have a comedian and a wonderful tenor. That performed. But then we had one evening show of We'll Meet Again really!!!! Basically it was above unless you enjoy quizzes bingo and spending most of your time glued to your pint in the Lird Taverners, they were all squashed in there like sardines. Lots of people don't even venture off, well to be honest most couldn't. So we will not be cruising in this ship again, we should have heeded a couple of previous reviews that read the same. We felt so sorry for a few 20 somethings there were on there, they looked bored to tears and they were as were we. I've ever seen corridors look so empty at certain times. Pacific lounge where the Dj set up was mostly deserted and he was. Stuck in 60/70song choice time warp. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
our first time cruise left us thinking would we do it again? . Once on board and got bearings the restaurant was a set meal from a menu which for us was rich for our taste and same with breakfast next morning . On talking to other guests ... Read More
our first time cruise left us thinking would we do it again? . Once on board and got bearings the restaurant was a set meal from a menu which for us was rich for our taste and same with breakfast next morning . On talking to other guests they told us where to go to get self service food, what a difference , the variety of choice was amazing and if lucky get to sit by a window and watch the view and eat. the staff in this restaurant worked really hard at clearing the tables of used crocks, helping people with disability, carry their food and help find a table .The cabin we had was inside which was a liveable size but having no windows you had to have the light on all the time. we also found that you were charged £6.00 per day per person per day, again guests told us that we can opt out by getting a form from reception. as this cruise was to see the northern lights it got very cold when berthed in alta -25 wind chill factor as a result the ship had some burst pipes which were dealt with the minimum inconvenience to the passengers. the entertainment on board at times was mediocre at best some good some bad. we did not go any shore excursions so cannot comment about them as regards value for money. the activities on board was how to line dance, ballroom dancing, play bridge, gym, a cinema with a good selection of films. we did manage to see the northern lights 4 times, which when talking to other guest who have done this trip before never saw them. but the one thing we will take home with us is the stunning views of Norway the friendly locals and of course the ships company Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Went to see the Northern Lights which were fantastic. The ship was good but not suitable for a trip to the Arctic in Winter. There was a computer failure at check in and it took three hours for the luggage to reach our cabin. Our cabin ... Read More
Went to see the Northern Lights which were fantastic. The ship was good but not suitable for a trip to the Arctic in Winter. There was a computer failure at check in and it took three hours for the luggage to reach our cabin. Our cabin was very cold; the heating did not come on until the following morning but it was very unreliable throughout the voyage. The ship left three hours late blaming unusually heavy traffic on the Solent. The 1800 passengers had been checking the weather forecast so we all new it would be 15 below but this was a complete suprise to P & O. There were burst pipes and power failures and when the ship returned to warmer waters the ice that had formed in the ceilings voids melted and water came through the ceilings. We were another 48 hours without heat in the cabin and they only gave us 1 blanket. Some passengers had ice inside their cabins. The engines were so noisy it was difficult to hear in the restaurant. It was quieter in the buffet but here it is a scramble to get a table as the buffet is not big enough to accommodate everybody. Probably not a problem for a warmer route where passengers can go on deck. The staff were very friendly and the food was good. I would describe fellow passengers as seniors and the entertainment was biased to that age group - plenty of quizzes, bingo, knitting, ballroom dancing etc and with a couple of exceptions the shows by third rate singers screaming at full volume. The ship does not have double doors so when an outside door is opened there is a terrific icy blast and heat is lost. The public areas were always cold so don't expect to have your shoulders bare for formal nights. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
It started with computer failure at Embarkation taking over 2 hours to fix. The crew were excellent in the face of adversity. Many cabins were cold from the start of the cruise. As we approached Alta the heating all over the ship stopped ... Read More
It started with computer failure at Embarkation taking over 2 hours to fix. The crew were excellent in the face of adversity. Many cabins were cold from the start of the cruise. As we approached Alta the heating all over the ship stopped working in temperatures of -15. Then the following day the galley didn’t have power. The chefs managed to prepare a hot meal though. Eventually at mid day the captain explained the issues and blamed the cold. Some cabins got heating by the evening but many were without heating for a further 24 hours. Bathrooms were flooded, the Conservatory had leaks from the ceiling, the cinema and Lords Taven were flooded due to the sprinkler system developing a fault, the forward lifts broke down. Al Fresco was so cold that it was closed then experienced a flood which closed it for the rest of the cruise. Even after we docked the Conservatory had another leak from the ceiling. Having travelled in a much older ship to Alta without any problems my husband and I were not impressed. At times the menu on offer was uninspiring. We enjoyed the four ports and did see the Northern Lights but P&O need to give Oriana some major TLC. We have cruised on Britannia so were disappointed with Oriana Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We had booked a suite. We should have been in a separate waiting area to board. However, no-one bothered to show us where this was. Embarkation was delayed by two hours+ due to computer failure. When we were finally called to check in ... Read More
We had booked a suite. We should have been in a separate waiting area to board. However, no-one bothered to show us where this was. Embarkation was delayed by two hours+ due to computer failure. When we were finally called to check in we found ourselves behind rather a large number of people, those who knew where the 'first class' waiting area was. This despite our being amongst the first to arrive at Departures. Once on board no-one told us where to go. We simply followed on behind others, hoping for the best. Our cabin was lovely. The only disappointment being that when we had looked at the cabin plan on booking it seemed that there was a dressing room. This turned out to be a second toilet. We felt that arrangements for disembarking to go on excursions were not well managed, in that the outer doors were kept open, which resulted in parts of the ship being very cold indeed. Surely a warm air curtain could be installed. There were unfortunate incidents of pipes freezing, a boiler breaking down, flooding in the crews' quarters, leaking in the cinema, etc. Many people were walking round, sitting in the bars and going to dinner wearing overcoats. The Captain advised us this was due to the temperature in Alta being -25 and that temperatures had never previously gone below -10. This is a really poor excuse. Fine dining was poor. There was only one fine dining restaurant open for lunch. The Al Fresco and Conservatory restaurants were cold and resembled works canteens. Red wine should not be served chilled. Cheese should be served at room temperature not chilled. Onboard activities were dire. Knit and Knatter, carpet bowls, talks on sore feet and aching backs were just a few of the thrilling activities. In the main staff were good. The bar staff, on the other hand, are lazy, slow and unhelpful. One female member of staff in particular, working on Reception, was a very poor advert for P&O. She was hostile, rude and unhelpful. Disembarkation was ok. Read Less
Oriana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms N/A 0.0
Fitness Recreation N/A 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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