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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having enjoyed a number of cruises on Oriana over the years we felt we had to be on her for her last P&O voyage sailing to Svalbard via the Faroe islands, Norway and Belfast. She was still in very good condition after 24 year's ... Read More
Having enjoyed a number of cruises on Oriana over the years we felt we had to be on her for her last P&O voyage sailing to Svalbard via the Faroe islands, Norway and Belfast. She was still in very good condition after 24 year's service although mechanical issues on recent voyages have shown that she is feeling her age The itinerary worked very well and, although the weather was usually a bit dreary at sea, the ports were generally warm and clear and we had no rough seas. The highlight of the voyage for us was the terrific evening/night sailing the Svalbard glaciers in beautiful weather (and midnight sun). First class. Considering the fact it was the last voyage, P&O pulled out the stops any many extra activities were organised. There were a couple of surprisingly empty sea days but they were more than made up for by: • The presence of Oriana's first captain and her first cruise director (Captain Ian Gibb and Ian Fraser) was much appreciated. They both gave very entertaining and nostalgic presentations and were very keen to get involved and were very accessible. It was good to see how Captain Sarah Breton interacted with Ian Gibb in particular. They obviously have great respect for each other. She was the life and soul of the party at the excellent auction of memorabilia held for the Teenage Cancer Trust which raised several thousand pounds. • Ken Vard (speaking on the history of ocean liners) is one of our favourite guest lecturers and to have him aboard was a real bonus. He was on our first P&O cruise on Aurora back in 2004 and is as good now as he was then. A pity that Tom O’Connor is no longer sailing, he’s almost part of the furniture • P&O UK President, Paul Ludlow, joined in Belfast and made a good impression. It’s good to have the top man recognise such an occasion. At a cocktail party he hosted he very sensibly steered away from the subject of big ships and was even heard to say that he has no plans to sell Aurora . Lets hope he’s right! • The formal celebration, unusually held on the last night, was a very good, though inevitably nostalgic, evening • And the sail-in to Southampton left not a dry eye in the house. We were later in than usual so that everyone could be on deck to witness the event. The fire tug made it an event and even the Captain had a catch in her voice in her final announcement One of the strongest impressions we had was that the crew were feeling sad too. For a lot of them Oriana has been home for many years and it was obviously a wrench for them to leave both her and their fellow crewmembers. But they kept their standards sky high to the bitter end. And now they too have gone to pastures new. Good bye old girl, we'll miss you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We booked on this cruise long before the news of Oriana's sale broke, because Svalbard was on the destination list. The cruise itself was blessed with good weather for nearly all of the port days and even some sea days, and the ... Read More
We booked on this cruise long before the news of Oriana's sale broke, because Svalbard was on the destination list. The cruise itself was blessed with good weather for nearly all of the port days and even some sea days, and the sea was calm throughout. We had some foggy days which kept the ship's siren busy, but otherwise the cruise went very well. The Oriana offers large amounts of deck space and it was very sad to disembark her at Southampton for the final time on the 9th August. We did have one medical emergency during the cruise requiring a helicopter evacuation, which was handled very professionally by the captain Sarah Breton, but it did not disrupt our itinerary. The cruise to the glaciers in Svalbard was made in calm and clear weather, which gave us stunning views and a lifetime's worth of fantastic memories. At some ports we partook of the ship's excursions, whilst at others we did our own thing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . ... Read More
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . We were not disappointed, had a great 3 nights, (shame it wasn’t longer )with superb food ,fantastic entertainment &very efficient happy staff. It was great to see so many ex crew on board as passengers what a feat of organising.Well Done Steve . The entertainment was excellent .the boundless energy of the Headliners Theatre Company is a credit to them .&the live musicians did not disappoint . We were blessed with fine weather for our stop in Guernsey,(which is a bonus as the stop there is always weather dependent ) A huge thankyou to the in seen behind the scenes crew who work equally as hard to ensure a great time is had by all . Sad to see Oriana go Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the ... Read More
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the best I have enjoyed on any ship,the standard and presentation is excellent. I think if people complain about the standard of food in the restaurant then they must be hard to please. The choices are excellent each night and plentiful. Well done P & O. Plenty of shows although I do not usually go to many which is my personal choice. I enjoyed the cinema on sea days although not all films were to my personal preference. Plenty going on around the ship at different times and the Lisbon sail away party was excellent. It had to be held indoors due to bad weather but it was fun. The entertainment team were friendly and always made quizzes etc exciting and had banter with passengers. We has a large outside cabin as there were three in our party and it was plenty big enough for us. It had a large window which we all enjoyed especially when in port. Our cabin steward Angelo was excellent (Deck 9 cabin 192) he kept our cabin spotless and always found time to speak to us each time we saw him. All the staff we came across were really friendly and helpful. There was quite a lot of older passengers on this trip and I saw on more than one occassion staff helping them to their seats and carrying their trays in the buffet restaurant. I know from speaking to other passengers how much this was appreciated. It was quite nice not queing like you sometimes have to on the larger ships and we never had to wait long for the lift to get about (we have on the larger ships on many occasions). Drinks were reasonably priced a bottle of the house Rose was £16.50 which was very reasonable and it was a decent quality. A pint of John Smiths bitter was £4 10. We enjoyed a pre dinner drink at Andersons bar where you got snacks with your drinks in a lovely sophistacated atmosphere. I had read the ship looks tired well maybe in some places but in the main it is spotless clean and very classy. I know a lot of people who I spoke to love this ship and I can see why now I have been on it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
A little warmth to celebrate the, nearly, end of winter and a reunion with Oriana after several years. We were pleasantly surprised at the smooth check in, there must have been at three couple in the queue ahead of us - passports ... Read More
A little warmth to celebrate the, nearly, end of winter and a reunion with Oriana after several years. We were pleasantly surprised at the smooth check in, there must have been at three couple in the queue ahead of us - passports checked, photos taken and straight on board. Waiting for the luggage to be delivered was a little disappointing, 2hrs of hanging around punctuated with a disastrous lifeboat drill. The muster station only had seating capacity for 75% of attendees and the ship was not running at full capacity. Old folk with sticks were left standing for nearly 40minutes and why oh why do P&O still insist on trying on survival vests when other lines (Fred Olsen) are happy just to demonstrate. Our inside cabin on deck 5, central to minimise any rough seas, potentially a four berth cabin with two folded up bunks. This means extra wardrobes and drawers. Having unpacked we went for a walk around and were pleased how well the old lady had been spruced up - newish carpet and chairs a greatly improved buffet restaurant. Chaplain's cinema was still there and showed several recent releases (2018). We had opted for 'Open Dining' and ate in the Peninsular for all but two nights - we generally asked to join a table for 6 and were always seated immediately, okay sometime there was a delay while the table filled. Waiters and wine waiters were attentive and efficient but we felt that the cost of food loaded on board had been a little too tightly controlled. Also main courses were no longer silver service but this has been the case for quite a while. An excellent port lecturer ( but two a day is simply too much to absorb), theatre shows were the usual high standard as were visiting cabaret acts. Enrichment lecturers a bit disappointing - one just showed film clips, very professionally, the other we had seen before. Classical concert duo were excellent they entertained with humour and played from a wide ranging repertoire. We did three shore trips all of which were as advertised and without hiccoughs, the on board photographers were considerably less intrusive than usual. The captain however we too unobtrusive. We did not once see her on board and the mid-day announcement was seldom made by her. We had done this itinerary a few times before so most ports of call were a pleasant reminder. However the smallest of the Canaries La Gomera was a first for us and the excursion to the National Park was excellent, a forest that occupies a bout one third of the island. We were saddened to learn, whilst on board, that this was to be our last cruise on Oriana. The powers that be reckon that the 4,500 passenger Iona will absorb the 1500 passengers from Oriana which is being sold to another operator as a casino cruise ship. So for us its Aurora or Fred Olsen. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
You know how it is. Days before departure you check that everything you could possibly need is packed and then with hours to go before closing the front door, you realise something is missing. In my case, I like to think there was good ... Read More
You know how it is. Days before departure you check that everything you could possibly need is packed and then with hours to go before closing the front door, you realise something is missing. In my case, I like to think there was good reason for forgetting the crampons. After all, they’re not the first things that spring to mind when you’re packing trousers and shirts. But joining Oriana for her cruise to the Arctic Circle in search of the Northern Lights, perhaps I should have done. I had found space for base and mid layers, pullovers and fleeces – even hand-warmers and a bobble hat – but not spikes for my sturdy shoes. Fortunately a local sports shop had a set for just £5 and I left the house ready for anything that Norway could throw at me. THE SHIP Oriana might be facing her last few months with P&O before she heads to China to join another cruise line, Twinkle, but it was clear from the moment I stepped on board that she intends to leave in style. Officers and crew provided levels of service that were second to none – no wonder that I heard so many fellow passengers say how much they will miss Oriana. In my book, mid-size ships are manageable and 1900 passengers seems just about right. Big beasts might be fine for late night revellers but Oriana has more than enough space to meet my needs and so it is a relief to know that we still have Aurora, a ship of similar size to Oriana and also for adults only. The public areas match Aurora’s as well and include shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, a well-stocked library, a comfortable cinema and a large theatre. There are also card rooms, lounges, an alternative venue for shows and – if you like dancing – Harlequins offers live groups to get you in the mood. My favourite spot was Tiffanys for a Costa coffee and if you time it right, an array of cakes and pastries are served late morning – at no extra cost. During the cruise I used the Peninsular restaurant and enjoyed some excellent dinners. I should eat more fish and so made the most of the wide variety on offer – salmon, lobster, cod, sea bass, scallops, bream, the lot. But occasionally I opted for the beef, pork or calves’ liver and all were delicious. Superb service adds to the pleasure, of course, and Sabir’s friendly welcome into his restaurant each evening was appreciated. Junior staff were equally impressive – in the Conservatory, new recruits Mark and Jitendra cheerfully offered help with everything from making the toast at breakfast to topping up the tea bags. Special events add variety to daily routines. One was a wine tasting seminar, hosted by Donna, Oriana’s chief wine steward. Ably helped by Christina, Jane and Jude, we sampled a range of wines as we listened to advice on wine tasting and learnt a lot about the winemaking process. The supplementary charge of £10 was good value and the convivial company passed a pleasant hour. THE PORTS Sailing closer to the Arctic Circle the prospect of aurora borealis lighting up the night skies became the main topic of conversation and at our first port, Andalsnes in Norway’s Rauma region, mountains draped in snow and lower slopes flecked with frost added to the anticipation. Time to test out my choice of winter wear! It felt good to scrunch through virgin snow on leaving the town behind. Andalsnes is small and you quickly discover trails through beautiful scenery. Around me, I saw young crew members experience snow for the first time, making snow angels and throwing snowballs, and their happiness was contagious. This is why I was here. To feel young again! The air was pure, the temperature freezing and I had no regrets about overfilling my case with warm layers. The crampons were a different story. One of them kept falling off my shoe – I knew they were too cheap - and I had to shuffle back to town to visit a sports shop for advice. It was succinct. Bin them and buy proper spikes. For a mere £45 (Norway is not cheap) I walked out wearing the finest set in Norway and they were worth every penny. At each port we visited I had them with me and I traversed ice and snow with ease. After the smallness of Andalsnes, Tromso felt very different. Walking out of the city across the bridge high above Tromso Sound with snow flurries and chill winds blowing in from the sea was ... bracing? Having crossed, the Ice (or Arctic) cathedral stands before you and is worth visiting for its triangular beauty; it lies about a mile from the shuttle bus drop-off point. Back in the city centre a hot chocolate (£4) in one of the many cafés thawed me out nicely. Alta was our final port before turning south to Stavanger and it was also the town where there would be most chance of seeing the Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon of bands of different colours swirling across the sky. We stayed for two nights and there’s no use beating about the bush – the Lights remained switched off for the duration. To have any hope of seeing them, clear skies and low temperatures are essential but during our stay there was simply too much cloud cover. However there was a bonus in that we had daytime sunshine with evening snowfalls that transformed the landscape and made Alta’s fjord and mountains look even more magical. ACTIVITIES Alta is home to the Northern Lights cathedral, a futuristic building constructed of steel and concrete and virgin snow made it an even more dramatic sight. The entrance charge is around £10. There were plenty of tours available. Mine to the Igloo Hotel to see bedrooms carved from blocks of ice was fascinating. An overnight stay, the ice bed piled with reindeer skins, is particularly popular with honeymoon couples, the guide told us. Unlike hotels elsewhere, this one melts away each Spring to be re-built in late Autumn. Reindeer sleigh rides were popular activities but the most fun seemed to be had by those who went husky sledding. There is no need to worry about the dogs being forced to work – they can’t wait to get started and once they return they expect lots of fuss and thanks. Taryn, the ship’s senior loyalty manager, enjoyed every minute of the experience. “There was so much screaming and giggling,” she told me, “especially when I had to be dragged out of hip-deep snow!” WORTH BOOKING? The failure of the Northern Lights to make an appearance did little to dim my enthusiasm for this cruise. Every port was markedly different from anything I had seen before and returning to the welcome warmth of the ship each afternoon to be spoilt by officers and crew made the holiday even more special. The cruise also felt different in another way: more than 700 of the 1800 passengers on board were new to cruise holidays. Ian and Angela from Staffordshire had never cruised before and enjoyed every minute. “It was brilliant! We’ve never seen so much snow and we’ve never had service like this. No wonder people keep coming back,” Ian said. “We’ll certainly be booking another cruise.” And so will I. My search for the Northern Lights resumes when I board Aurora next February. If you decide to do the same, be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes! And don’t stint on the crampons. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise for a bit of winter warmth and also to celebrate husband's 70th birthday. Oriana is a favourite ship of ours and we are disappointed to learn that it going out of commission later this year. Embarkation was slick ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a bit of winter warmth and also to celebrate husband's 70th birthday. Oriana is a favourite ship of ours and we are disappointed to learn that it going out of commission later this year. Embarkation was slick and smooth and we were on the ship in no time at all. The ship was beautifully laid out, I didn't feel that it was shabby in the least and I know it had not long been refitted. Our cabin was good, plenty of wardrobe space, even for me! Only bugbear was the safe which was set right at the bottom of the wardrobe and it was smaller than usual so not easy to access. Dining was excellent. We were on Freedom dining but the waiters on our first evening were very quick, and good with their service so we tried to book the same table each night, most times successfully. Headliners shows were excellent and the headliner entertainers were very hands on, line dancing lessons, salsa dance lessons, fitsteps and joining in with the choir. We would always make a point of seeing the Headliners shows but maybe not so much of the other entertainers. We didn't take advantage of the shore excursions but enjoyed the ports, especially Madeira. We would have preferred to have stayed later in Madeira instead of Tenerife but I know these things can't always be arranged. We will never tire of cruising, we just love it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
we have just come home from the best cruise yet. Embarkation was perfect, check in to cabin only 20mins. The Oriana is a great sized ship, everything within walking distance. The food in the main restaurants was edible, nothing amazing. We ... Read More
we have just come home from the best cruise yet. Embarkation was perfect, check in to cabin only 20mins. The Oriana is a great sized ship, everything within walking distance. The food in the main restaurants was edible, nothing amazing. We found the food in the buffet restaurant wonderful, happy to eat there most nights. We absolutely adored the beach house and sindhu restaurants. Staff couldn't do enough to help and would go the extra mile. excursions were great, but if you need a tender to go ashore, check the weather 1st. We were stuck in one for 45 minutes, bobbing around in really rough weather, there was a queue of them as they took ages to on/off load. Panic attack!! We had an inside cabin which was more than adequate. our cabin steward, sinesh, was very attentive and cabin left immaculate after he'd left. Sorry to see Oriana "retire", such a beautiful ship. On the whole, well done p and 0, look forward to sailing on Britannia next year Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this cruise because it was going to Greenland (never met anyone who had been to Greenland) First stop was Stornaway. It was great because it was raining. Remember the long hot spell. Next stop was Reyjavik. Been there before with ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was going to Greenland (never met anyone who had been to Greenland) First stop was Stornaway. It was great because it was raining. Remember the long hot spell. Next stop was Reyjavik. Been there before with P&O and it was a big let down. I kept telling everyone how boring iceland was, being covered with lava. This time we walked into town from the shuttle bus stop, and it was a big eye opener. The shops were great and the locals friendly. One place not to miss is the Harpa Hall which is Reykjavik,s concert hall. If you are lucky and get there on a sunny day the prismatic windows throw all the colours of the rainbow onto the entrance plaza. Back to Oriana. Been on her before and we felt just at home. The most comfortable cinema afloat. On to Greenland. First stop was to Quaquortoc. On the way the bridge announced a sighting of a large iceberg. Fortunately it was about a mile away, still it did look good in the sunshine. Arrived at Quaquotoc, took a thirty minute stroll around town, swatted some flies, and then back on board. Still, I done it, ive been to Greenland. Next part of the journey was through Prinz Christian Sund. Absolutely magical. Small 'growlers' everywhere and more glaciers than I could shake a stick at (not that i carry a stick). This steady, sedate cruise was not to be missed even if lunch was. In a way a bit of a shame because the oriana food was really, really good. We arrived at Nuuk (the capital) where we had a whale watching trip booked. Off we went to view these whales which the captain said were in the vicinity. The boat was a bit oldish wooden vessel but was very capable and seaworthy. It wasn,t long before we were in the right area. Sure enough a pair of hump back whale appeared. Photo time came and just as the whale was giving us the big goodby with its tail, and I was taking the first pressure on my camera; the numpty in front of me decided to stand up and shout whoohoo with his arms in the air. Fifteen hundred miles just for a photo of his back. I thought 'what a plonker' or words to that effect. On arriving back at Nuuk we decided to walk into town. Off we trudged, in the rain, but the distance and the hill was a bit too much for us. Pity there was no shuttle bus. We were in the habit of taking breakfast in Al Fresco . We soon realised that we were surrounded by "holier than thou" muscle mechanics with their yoghourt and bowls of Meusli who want to start or finnish their daily fitness regime by digging through to the bottom of the dish using a spoon as a spade. The noise generated by these breakfast miners is pretty shattering to those of us who are hard of hearing and must wear hearing aids to enjoy the company of others. Not all disabilities are visible, but these plate thumpers dont care about others as long as others can admire their lycra clad, nearly perfect bodies. The only flaw in a nearly perfect cruise was on a Black Tie night. Two waiters collided and I took a good shower of milk. Humble appologies and here is a basket of inedible fruit to compensate. No dry cleaners on board. Still not to worry, these things can happen Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
A great cruise with one or two problems in the cabin (see cabin review under). The itinerary was excellent which is why we chose this. People moan about the ship but for a ship of this age it was clean and tidy and the stabilizers worked a ... Read More
A great cruise with one or two problems in the cabin (see cabin review under). The itinerary was excellent which is why we chose this. People moan about the ship but for a ship of this age it was clean and tidy and the stabilizers worked a treat in the odd rough sea we experienced. It's a nice size ship so you don't get the problem of overcrowding and thankfully it's an adult only ship. Maintenance was constantly being done on deck such as painting and varnishing which to me should not be done whilst there are paying passengers on board, unfortunately I suffer bad headaches from the smell of paint but it was hard to avoid such areas. It's way out of date with it's daily activities and shows compared to the new modern large cruise ships but hey ho, you can't have everything. Food, as usual with P & O is boring old fashioned everyday cooking and most of the time, especially in the restaurant, it was dry. The menu is repetitive rather than an experience as on Celebrity ships. Since our last cruise they have reorganised the Conservatory dining experience whereby the food stations have been split into smaller stations which was much better as you didn't have to join a long queue to get your food. The timing of the afternoon tea always is a nuisance for us as coming back from being on shore around 5pm it's closed until 6pm so for that crucial hour when you are wanting a snack before second sitting dinner there's nothing. The shows are the same boring old "Headliners" and comedy/music acts but the talks in the Theatre during the day and the port presentations made up for it. Nigel Marvin the TV wildlife presenter was on board and his talks were excellent and funny too. New ideas are needed for the theatre. The ports of call were superb. Sadly too windy for the tenders in Stornoway so we were the unlucky ones who didn't get ashore. Luckily we had been before. Reykjavik: Did the Golden Circle Tour with P&O and it was excellent, expensive but worth it. The Almannagja Fault was the first stop, where two tectonic plates meet, then Gulfoss waterfall and lunch (yum yum, superb) then the spouting geyser which performed well. On to the Kerio crater, stunning colour and then the Geothermal Power Plant. Arrived back at the ship so decided to take the shuttle into Reykjavik for the evening. Prins Christian Sund: This was an unscheduled trip which the captain announced the day before. It was the icing on the cake. The weather was more than stunning, cold but superb. The trip through the sound lasted around 6 hours and was the best part of the whole cruise. The scenery was simply outstanding. Qaqortog: Lovely little town to walk around, warm sunny day so had to buy a head net as the flies/mozzies were horrendous. Found plenty to do despite it being small but as photographers, it was great. A little walk out of town and a grocery store sold the local beer which they opened for you and we sat outside on the tables provided to drink it. Seal fur factory was interesting but at the same time quite sad. The only hotel was very busy and provided great views. Nuuk: Hmmm, not my idea of a stop off place but still glad to experience it. Decent walk from ship to town and no shuttle not that it bothered us being walkers but would be very difficult for some. Overcast and misty to start the day so we walked to the old town which was ok but that's about all. Got some atmospheric photos before it decided to pour with rain for the rest of the day. Go to the library (green building in the centre of town) for free internet access, worked quite well. Isafjordur: Small little town which provided plenty of places to take photos. Walked all around the outskirts and noticed lots of pretty little houses along with a good view of the ship anchored in the bay. Beer tasting right near the ship was excellent, spent rather too much time in there trying the different beers and was quite hard on my purse too. Akureyri: Went whale watching on a ships excursion this morning. Took and hour's ride out into the fjord before we saw any whales then there were two together which was great. Spent about an hour circling them and watching them spurt and dive (humpbacks). Got frozen to the bone as we stayed at the front of the boat in head wind as didn't want to miss anything. Resorted to inside on the way back. Back in town and we walked to the Botanical Gardens, absolutely delightful. Walked all around the town before going back to the ship. Plenty going on in town so never short of something to see. Torshavn: Sadly another wet wet day. We had decided to walk around the town and enjoy the local hospitality but another couple from the ship asked if we'd like to join up with them so we all took a local taxi trip around the main island (Tour No 5: Tjornuvik) for 2 hours. The scenery was stunning. The taxi driver didn't speak English but it didn't really matter as you can always read up about the local history yourself after visiting. He stopped for us wherever and whever we wanted to take photos which was great. A beautiful island, would thoroughly recommend it. Greenock: Nice warn day and we decided just to walk around the town and area, not much of a place but we had seen all the ships excursion places on our own visits ot Scotland and last time we docked in Greenock we took the train into Glasgow so didn't want to do that again this time. Lots of days at sea but they never seemed to drag as there was always something to do and walking around the deck for exercise was certainly an experience some days due to the strong winds. Lots of icebergs on the way to and from Greenland and the ship sailed within a mile of the sinking of HMS Hood so we had a minutes silence out of respect and flower petals were thrown into the sea to commemorate the sad event. Nothing more to be said, a great cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we ... Read More
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we disembarked. The efficiency and ease of boarding was so relaxed and stress free - a very slick operation !! The Oriana is a beautiful, stylish and elegant boat and I strangely felt very attached to it and became extremely emotional when I had to disembark ! The cabins (as was the whole ship) were immaculately clean and well appointed with plenty of storage room and wonderfully comfortable beds and pillows. Room service was 1st class with information booklets left in room each day and chocolates. All dining facilities were faultless and the freedom dining worked very well for us. We initially felt a bit concerned about sitting with people we didn't know, but this worked really well. Entertainment was superb and the staff excellent, so many of them, we never had to wait to be served. I have read lots of reviews, mostly good, but some poor ones and cant help but feel these might have been from people who are extremely picky and just like to complain! Although this is the only cruise I have been on I can honestly say we could not fault it and had an amazing time. One day after coming home I booked a family cruise to the fjords next year on the Ventura. I would have liked to gone on the Oriana again but dates did not suit us . Hope to go on the Oriana before it goes out of service next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise ... Read More
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise from start to finish.Some of the previous reviews i had read were of concern to me due to negativity.Not from us. I felt like i owed P&O more money when we were done. Great food,clean cabins,attentive staff and all around fun with our fellow British "mates". Seriously,some of the nicest people I've ever cruised with.Will definitely do P&O again. Unfortunately,Oriana is being retired next year.I'm sure the other ships will do her proud. We generally cruise the Carribean from the U.S, and the Meditteranen from Venice but will certainly look at the Canary Islands for an upcoming itinerary. Boston to Heathrow is comparable in price to Boston to Miami for airfare.Thanks P&O and Oriana for a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a ... Read More
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a smaller, adult only, ship. We loved the art deco design, of the ship,and the size of the ship. So easy to get around. Lots of different bars, and entertainment places. Every area of the ship, was always, clean and tidy.We had an outside cabin (Deluxe Window), on A deck, which was lovely and clean, and plenty of space to hang all our clothes. Our cabin stewardess was a so friendly, she made us feel very welcome. The food, and service, in the restaurant, and bars in the evening, were excellent.All the staff, in the restaurant, were friendly and helpful. The evening entertainment ,was excellent too. Plenty to choose from, to suit all tastes. Loved The Brit Tones and E Sarah Carter, and the man who sang, a mixture of Simon and Garfunkle and other songs, and played the guitar, in various bars, around the ship. We could not fault the Oriana, and would love the chance to sail ,on this ship again. We sailed, all around Ireland, which was nice. It enabled us to see, different parts, of Ireland, Cobh, Dublin, Killybegs, and Galway.We only went on one shore excursion, to visit, Blarney castle, great morning out,which left us plenty of time to look around Cobh, in the afternoon, before sailing. All the ports had lots of excursions you could book, or you could just get off the ship, and do your own thing. Dublin and Galway, both had, city sightseeing buses, which is always a good way to see a city, and for getting around. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The news was confirmed last week: Oriana is history, or she will be by May 2019. Much of the chatter I heard in the launderette on C Deck was all about her sale. There were whispers about men in suits having been seen around the ship, ... Read More
The news was confirmed last week: Oriana is history, or she will be by May 2019. Much of the chatter I heard in the launderette on C Deck was all about her sale. There were whispers about men in suits having been seen around the ship, ‘obviously’ checking things out ahead of making an offer. Generally laundrette gossip is best ignored but this time the rumours were true. Oriana fitted so nicely into the current fleet, I thought, being mid-sized (around 1900 passengers) and adult only. With the trend towards ever-bigger ships (Britannia is nearly twice the size and the latest – Iona – will be even larger), I suppose it was inevitable that Oriana would have to go but I'm relieved that we will still have three other smaller ships to choose from - Arcadia which is for adults only, Aurora which becomes child-free shortly, and Oceana. Oriana was launched in 1995 and yes, she was showing her age on this cruise. As a regular passenger I can accept her idiosyncrasies but goodness knows what first-time cruisers must think. Black scum marks around lavatory bowls are one sign of age, wonky propeller shafts another. At critical speeds when the ship is turning to leave a port, throbbing from the propellers can make dining in the Oriental Restaurant a noisy affair with glasses clinking and cutlery rattling. Numerous attempts in dry dock have been made to resolve the problem but none has succeeded as far as I can make out. Yet the ship retains the charm of a bygone age. The décor is luxurious, if a little shabby chic in some areas these days, with beautiful artwork in the stairways. A Costa coffee in Tiffany’s passes a pleasant hour, especially after 11.30 when a selection of cakes and pastries are offered. My favourite was the Victoria sponge and not only because it was free. The daily watercolour classes on sea days proved popular and I disembarked with one or two paintings that passed muster. Port talks attracted many to the Curzon theatre, not all of them devoted to selling excursions; there were also tips for those planning to go ashore independently. I avoided most of the shows each evening because I have seen nearly all of them on previous cruises. However, there were some new ones. I enjoyed Billboard because the music was from my era of the Sixties and the Seventies, and the Headliners delivered it with great spirit. Full marks to the sound engineers too for mixing a proper balance between vocalists and backing music – for once, screeching was minimal. Another brilliant act was Ida, four opera-trained sopranos. They impressed me on Andrew Neil’s TV show last Christmas and they impressed everybody who saw them in Curzon Theatre – they won a standing ovation. There are too many quizzes for my liking but at least the Chaplin Cinema offers an escape with quite a few recent releases being screened. The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman portrays Churchill brilliantly) drew a large audience and The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman playing P T Barnum was another highlight. On other days, the sun deck was a glorious spot to relax, a place where I enjoyed the luxury of time to read; thankfully the library on Deck 8 is well-stocked. I tried to use the gym regularly – you have to with so much food on offer – and it is well-equipped. But beware of some of the talks that take place there because their main purpose seems to be to sell you something. There were talks on posture and healthy eating, for example, and I overheard passengers too polite to leave being sold things like shoe insoles for £75 or activity programmes for more than £100. Port disembarkations went smoothly with little or no queuing at gangways. Venice used to be a nightmare but the new terminal has improved things. I walked ashore rather than fork out for the vaporetto transfers. It takes only ten minutes to reach Piazzale Roma and a further 45 to negotiate the maze of narrow streets to St Mark’s Square. We had tender transfers in Albania and they went well, perhaps because I arrived for my ticket ahead of the scheduled time. Mind you, I am not sure Sarande was worth visiting. The resort is in desperate need of money to fund its development but the locals were very friendly and they made up for the pitted pavements. It was early in the cruise that I spotted Alan Carr, Senior Restaurant Manager. Alan is always a welcome sight because he is someone who demands high standards from his teams. It was no surprise, then, that service in the Oriental ‘club dining’ restaurant was always excellent. Dinners were a cruise highlight with meals attractively presented and delivered on hot plates. Breakfast in The Conservatory, a self-service outlet on Lido deck, was never marred by a shortage of items at the different serveries. Headwaiters and the galley team ensured they were always topped up and I defy anyone to say that they were not spoilt for choice. It may have helped, of course, that Alan would often eat in The Conservatory where he could keep a watchful eye on things. My outside cabin was on E deck and in John Tayag I had the best steward I have ever known. This 26 year old Filipino from Mexico Pampanga was on his first contract and every day he cheerfully ensured that my home was maintained perfectly – in fact he made the bed so immaculately it was almost as if he changed the linen every day. Another character central to my enjoyment of this cruise was Senior Loyalty Manager, Hope Lyttle. Hope is a scouser and her sense of humour made visits to the sales desk to research future cruises a pleasure. Her team members were on the mark too and I disembarked at Southampton having booked what will now be a farewell cruise on Oriana as well as two more on Aurora, a ship very similar to Oriana in terms of style and size. Overall, Oriana continues to impress me. She has her faults, most of them linked to her advancing years, but in terms of service from the officers and crew I find it difficult to fault her. Every day of this cruise I enjoyed outstanding levels of world-class service. And that, after all, is what counts. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
On reading the previous reviews I wanted to cancel this cruise but I am so glad I didn’t do this. We had a wonderful experience on the Oriana. We met a fabulous group of people for dinner. Yes our fellow passengers were a little older ... Read More
On reading the previous reviews I wanted to cancel this cruise but I am so glad I didn’t do this. We had a wonderful experience on the Oriana. We met a fabulous group of people for dinner. Yes our fellow passengers were a little older but they were so interesting and what stories they had to tell. Oriana is no tug boat and can cruise the Atlantic with the best of the cruise ships. The food was fabulous in all restaurants especially the beach house. Well done guys, a great experience. The entertainment was excellent, we really enjoyed the theatre each evening and then off to Tiffany’s for a late night drink and listen to the pianist. Although he did seem a little grumpy at times when people were talking or giving off a high pitched laugh. He would cross his arms and wait for them to stop. We found this very amusing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise as we thought it would give us the best chances to see the northern lights and we were not disappointed as we saw them both nights in Alta (it was apparent we were very lucky as some people we spoke to, were on their ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we thought it would give us the best chances to see the northern lights and we were not disappointed as we saw them both nights in Alta (it was apparent we were very lucky as some people we spoke to, were on their 4th -6th northern lights cruise as they had never seen them). As for the cruise we again were not disappointed. It was our first cruise and we were a bit apprehensive about feeling too confined. Oriana is a lovely old ship, yes she is a mid size ship (not a ferry!!). The public areas are well presented and there is ample space to walk around. As for going on a cruise into the arctic, one expects it could get cold on the ship, but we had the appropriate clothing to help. We soon learnt that when the ship had been in port, the ship felt colder, so in the evenings we would just wear something a bit warmer. We had an outside cabin that yes the window did make it colder, but then we would not have been able to see the sun rise and watch the amazing scenery when we woke up (a small price to pay). As other reviews have mentioned yes there was the issue with leaking and the heating not working, but the ships engineers worked very hard to sort it and these things happen unfortunately and yes the ship was very cold, but it did not spoil my holiday. The staff on the ship, we thought all worked very hard and were very polite and friendly. There was plenty of lovely food on board and plenty of different foods to choose from. There was table service in the lovely penninsular restaurant or the conservatory for a buffet service (it can get very busy) with the lovely views. I would highly recommended paying extra to eat at the Sindu restaurant at least once; absolutely divine. As for anyone requiring a special dietary meal (health!!), you will not be disappointed. Yes there were gluten free options, but not only that, my mum is a celiac and she had a specific waiter who took her order for the next evening and if she wanted a non gluten free option, he always made sure she could have it, if the chef could tweak it (penninsular restaurant). All restaurants/coffee lounge she had no issues with, as they were most obliging. Our cabin was compact, but room enough for what we required. The disembarkation at the ports, chaos!!! Sorry must have missed that!! Longest time I had to wait to disembark was 5-10 mins and it ran smoothly. There was plenty to do on the ship to suit most people; the activities are made available to you if you choose – if you do not like them, bring a book or I brought adult colouring. There were shows to see, films to watch or you could just sit in Tiffanys’s or the Crow’s Nest to listen to the pianist or singer. As for being an OAP ship, I never felt that (I am 43yrs), and for a ship going into the arctic, I would say the average age was about 55-60, as agreed by other guests (talking to people who cruise a lot, the hotter cruises have the older people). As for mobility scooters haring around the ship, no, I must have missed that too!!. I did see a number of people in push around wheel chairs and thought it was a nice chance for them to see the world without too much hassle. We met some lovely people on this cruise (both first time cruisers and long time cruisers) and freedom dining enable this or you could choose to have a table to yourself. You could be as social as you wanted. There were a small minority of people, obviously, that you hoped you would never see again (apparently known as POMS – p and o moaners), and these all were long time cruisers (maybe they have been on too many and expect too much!!). In a nutshell, if you want to see the northern lights this cruise is a fantastic way to see them (well hopefully) and depending on your outlook in life, is maybe how you see your holiday! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife prefers colder climates, so she chose this cruise to Norway, (on P and O through a mutual friends recommendation on this company). We couldn't have been more impressed, and YES, we got to see the Northern lights two nights on ... Read More
My wife prefers colder climates, so she chose this cruise to Norway, (on P and O through a mutual friends recommendation on this company). We couldn't have been more impressed, and YES, we got to see the Northern lights two nights on the trot, amazing and magical, it put the icing on our Honeymoon and made the cruise even more special. The crew were fantastic, from cleaners to waiters, from stewards to bar staff, from crew members to the Captain. This was both our first cruise as adults, and would do it again tomorrow, if fact, if it had been going back northwards we could have happily stayed on it and done it again there and then. The on shore excursions were brilliant and very well organised, the talks given by William Joyce on our solar system were very interesting, and the on board entertainment was very enjoyable. Excellent, Magical, and wonderful, in all aspects................. Thank you P and O, and the crew of the Oriana for making our Honeymoon just perfect......... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Could not resist the Black Friday deal a great way to try P&O. Firstly though I must say I do feel for all those who had their 50 night cruise cancelled some of whom were on this one. The cruise exceeded my expectations. The cabin ... Read More
Could not resist the Black Friday deal a great way to try P&O. Firstly though I must say I do feel for all those who had their 50 night cruise cancelled some of whom were on this one. The cruise exceeded my expectations. The cabin was great and our steward Mateus was excellent. The entertainment crew were fantastic, we could all do with some of Georgie's energy!!!!! The food in both the buffet and Oriental restaurant was excellent. The Headliners put on several brilliant shows. Also enjoyed Manuel Matinez my sides ached after his second show in the Pacific Lounge, Peter Howarth and Walk Like A Man. Both Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly. Excursions were good value can highly recommend the Toboggan run in Madeira with the cable car would do this again. Holiday went far too quickly, Atlantic very very choppy weather not great but did not spoil one minute Cannot wait for my next trip which will be on Aurora in November then Arcadia in December. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at ... Read More
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at an affordable price. As this was my first cruise, I had spent many of my lunchtimes researching the ship and ports of call. Not necessary at all as even without prior knowledge and going in cold we would have managed to have sussed out how to go on with all things cruising. The closer we got the excitement was building, and then we received a message from P & O that The Oriana had broken down, boiler problems whilst leaving Gibralter en route back to Southampton. This resulted in a delayed start for us, absolutely gutted. The knock-on to this was that the itinerary was changed, still a full day in Bruges but only between 5 & 6 hours in Amsterdam; in Amsterdam actually disembarked at 8.20am and back just after 1pm. Not enough time to explore but a taster never the less. The above delay was disappointing but we were determined to make the most of our shortened break. And so we did. By the way I think P & O handled the whole delay fairly well. Our allotted time for embarkation was 3pm, but we decided to turn up just after 11.30am, from getting out of the car (CPS were brilliant) to get on the ship was the grand total of 20 minutes and we were eating lunch at 12:00 pm in the Peninsular Restaurant. Food: Breakfast, we ate all 3 mornings in the conservatory buffet restaurant. Great selection of food to cater for all tastes Lunch, only ate lunch once on the ship and this was in the Peninsular. This was a waiter served lunch which was great quality. Evening Meal, on freedom dining we dined all of our stay in the Peninsular Restaurant. We turned up at various times during the 3 nights and asked for a table of two, every night we were given a pager but never waited more than 10 minutes. The standard of food and service was outstanding. Entertainment: We spent the majority of our ship time between the ‘Lords Tavern’ when there were quizzes and the ‘Crow’s Nest’ when nothing in the tavern took our fancy. Drinks were reasonably priced and the venues had a great atmosphere. The ‘Crow’s Nest’ was a great relaxing venue where you could have a drink and watch the world go by, and when dark just sit and chill with a beverage of choice. We did spend an hour one evening in the Theatre and watched the comedian Micky Zany, which was well worth it with a lot of laugh out loud moments. Other nights the theatre entertainment was not to our fancy but others appeared to enjoy what was on offer. Ports of Call: Bruges, we decided to make use of the free shuttle bus from port to Blankenberge. The bus drops you very close to the railway station. A return ticket is €6.20 to Bruges, which is a 15 – 20 mins train journey, then a 20 minute stroll to get to the centre of Bruges. We spent most of the day wandering the streets taking in all it had to offer, especially the Belgian Beer, Chocolates, Waffles and Frites . On the whole a beautiful city Amsterdam, due to the delayed start to our cruise and the amended itinerary the limited hours we had in the city was nowhere enough time to fully explore. But the feeling I got was that Amsterdam needs to be experienced at night to get the full experience Summary: As this was our first cruise we didn’t know what to expect. This was the most enjoyable holiday we have ever take, so much so we booked the same itinerary for next October but for one day longer. This will be our way to holiday for the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland ... Read More
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland is not known for the driest weather but we only experienced a few drops during the entire week. The ports -1 Cobh. Known for being a major emigrant port, the last call of the Titanic and the sinking of Lusitania in 1915 was a delightful little town with good rail links to Cork from right alongside the ship. The museum 'The Queenstown Story' is right in the old station and is really worth a visit for only a few Euro. As it was Sunday when we called, the whole town turned out to see us and it was a really festive call. 2 Dublin. Easy shuttle into the city where we caught a Hop On Hop Off bus ('DoDublin'). The driver/guide was so funny we kept the video running just to record his fabulous humour - informative too! 3 Killibegs (port for Donegal). Quite small but the biggest fishing port in Ireland where we visited a craft exhibition laid on especially for the ship, talked to the local fishermen and tug crews. So friendly and good WiFi and food. 4 Galway. A long tender into port but the town laid on a big trip boat which eased the tender delays. Again, full of live entertainment and very pretty. The captain and crew (and fellow passengers) were all on top form and good sea days at both the beginning and end of the cruise meant that it was well balanced and seemed a lot longer. Thoroughly recommended. Oriana had a refit at the end of last year (2016) which we think had been very well done. All the cabin upholstery had been renewed (although cushions on the bigger cabin settees had not been replaced sadly) and all the seating and decor in all the bars and restaurants looked very well updated. The new carpets caused a few respiratory issues on the Amazon cruise we did in January but they had settled down by the time of this cruise. We felt that P&O had done a focussed refit on the passenger areas and Oriana looked all set for a few more years service. Our Deluxe outside cabin was so similar to our Deluxe balcony cabin from January a deck above that we found ourselves bumping into the window in the morning expecting to find a balcony door behind the curtains! There seemed to be fewer items in the cabin tea tray but our Steward Elton (great guy) was always refreshing it as well as supplying glasses, lemons and ice when we wanted it without any fuss. He was also very happy to empty the fridge on our arrival and to stow its contents under the bed so that we had the fridge available for entertaining.We noted that nearly all room service items (except breakfast) are now chargeable. Didn't worry us but upset some people. We had booked Freedom dining (which we were told was going to be the only form of regular dining on the new ship) and, as we dined with our same friends every night, we were able to arrange the same table at approximately the same time so as to enjoy our rapport with the same waiting team. As usual , it was almost exactly like Club dining but with the flexibility of Freedom dining with the added bonus of getting seated half an hour before the late sitting time in Club that we often opt for. Sadly lobster never made an appearance on either formal night. The quizzes we popular and well managed and the one guest speaker, Carole Phillips talking about her service in the Police was very entertaining and engaging. Headliners were particularly good on this cruise and had the sense to perform their Destination Dance show early on with its spectacular Riverdance final - very apt for Ireland. The classical pianist was very good but was AWOL for his last appearance sadly. We didn't go on any excursions as we were a foursome and could arrange our own schedule at reasonable cost - and there was no shortage of friendly locals to make sense of everywhere we went and to make excellent recommendations. It was almost in our native language! There were 300+ first time cruisers aboard and all the ones we met seemed to be enjoying themselves although the hardening of tender boarding restrictions, while sensible in our opinion, disappointed some of the more physically challenged guests. The only odd issue that we had not come across before was the charging of tax on all shipboard items in the shops. Apparently this is because the cruise was wholly within the EU and therefore everything had to be tax paid. This explains the popularity of ports such as St Peter Port, Guernsey, and Gibraltar whose tax-free status means that a visit there on any cruise apparently allows the cruise to 'leave' the EU for tax purposes. Check it out in the P&O online Advice Centre. Unfortunately Irish prices are rather higher than in the UK - but at least you get extra Club points in Tesco's! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise as we liked the destinations and an Adult only ship. We were very lucky with the weather for the whole two weeks. The ship is lovely and we had no complaints with our outside cabin, our Cabin Steward was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we liked the destinations and an Adult only ship. We were very lucky with the weather for the whole two weeks. The ship is lovely and we had no complaints with our outside cabin, our Cabin Steward was excellent and could not do enough for us, in fact all the staff were really hard working and incredibly polite which is more than can be said of some of the customers. There were times when I was ashamed to be British listening to some "Senior Citizens" talking to the staff. Food was excellent and the formal nights were very good. We made the effort to dress up and felt the more special for doing so. If you want to wear football shirts and shorts go on Thompsons is my advice. We had a totally wonderful time which was made perfect by all the friends we made via the Roll Call facility on CC. Overall this was a great cruise and we booked next year before we got off. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a ... Read More
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a personal level,and professional level , the ship herself was neat and clean as was the cabin, the house keeping was outstanding, and all aboard went out of their way to help(my wife is disabled) if i could give a 11/10 i would ,from the captain down to the bottle washer ,everyone went out of their way to help, the food was great and plenty of it (i put on half a stone in a week), ease of access to all decks (using the lifts ) was easy We Highly recommend P&O Cruises, and will definitely travel with them again, With Grateful thanks to all aboard the Magnificent ORIANA, Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Oriana was our first cruise. We liked the ports for this and the time of year was good as was the weather. NO complaints at all. Service was excellent throughout. Only problem really was the tender process at a couple of ports ... Read More
Oriana was our first cruise. We liked the ports for this and the time of year was good as was the weather. NO complaints at all. Service was excellent throughout. Only problem really was the tender process at a couple of ports which took forever and ate into our time on shore. Bit unorganised I think. Shore excursions on P and O quite expensive so we arranged one ourselves and went cycling in Barcelona which was absolutely brilliant and only cost us £26 each. Entertainment I think not quite so good. Headliners were better before but they improved as the cruise went on. Few talks in the theatre from outside personalities than before. The programme was a little bit "samey". The spa was excellent and the girls were really lovely. I went there a few times. All in all - a really good cruise so thank you Oriana and see you again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Totally brilliant Northern Lights cruise, surely no-one can have anything negative to say about it? Our first time on Oriana, having previously sailed on Aurora, Oceana, Ventura and Britannia plus a couple of non P&O ships. Nice ... Read More
Totally brilliant Northern Lights cruise, surely no-one can have anything negative to say about it? Our first time on Oriana, having previously sailed on Aurora, Oceana, Ventura and Britannia plus a couple of non P&O ships. Nice classic ship, teak decks, wrap around promenade, good size and with that lovely stern. Particularly liked the railed balconies as you could lie in bed and see something, not just salted up glass! Liked her so much we have booked another cruise. There is engine noise which is particularly noticeable in the rear restaurant but it didn't stop our table from having a good time. Enjoyed the food in the restaurants. Only heard one complaint from an older lady who had health issues and strong opinions. Sometimes if all is not right in your world it can make you negative. Wasn't a fan of the conservatory, the biggest problem being it was very busy on a cold weather cruise when the outside space could not be used. Personally I didn't like the quality of the food compared to the restaurants. Al Fresco was nice but small. Our cabin was on deck 10 mid aft and our usual method of moving around the ship was just to pop out to stern and work our way up or down. Cabin was a good size, good storage, mirrors everywhere. Shower over bath which wouldn't be my normal option but I can live with it and balcony as per normal. Only negative was the small TV and no navigation chart. A nice surprise was the atlas and binoculars but I do hate it when people write all over books! I can find my own way around a map! Entertainment on the whole was good. Two excellent guest speakers. Julian Smith the saxophonist. A classical guitarist (apologies forgotten name). The Blue Tones. We tend not to go to Headliner shows anymore as other half can't cope with the volume. Our first port of call was Andalsnes. There had been fresh snow and they had to grit the dock for us. We took the train excursion and benefitted from going early as it snowed pm. After lunch we wandered around Andalsnes which didn't take long but it was great in the driving snow. Tromso next and, however, you do it, I would recommend the cable car, particularly if there is fresh snow. We also did a night excursion reindeer sledging. More on that next. Alta for two days next where on the first day, for reasons known only to us, we did another reindeer excursion. Of the two I would recommend the Alta option as the ride was longer (bit of a shock when we realised we were on a frozen river!), warm and cosy sledges and the journey on the coach is scenic. Next day we had a husky ride. Again, brilliant, but somehow we had spare time and our guide added on a short tour of the town. I would have preferred a longer sledge ride! On the second night we had a wonderful display of the Northern Lights from the ship. The next night we saw them again although photography was not as good as the ship was at sea. I couldn't believe how many numpties there were trying to use flash on their mobile phones. They should have gone to the talk given on how to photograph them and what not to do. A quick mention about the ship photographers. We don't normally partake but they were out on some of the excursions and took some good shots and they were also photographing the Northern Lights. Last port was Stavanger which thankfully wasn't a Sunday so there was a bit more activity than last time we were there. We didn't realise what was to come next as we missed the announcement (this was one of the few complaints we heard from other passengers that they kept missing announcements). Having coped with storm Doris easily on the way up we were surprised by Force 11 on the way back. The Captain tannoyed through to the cabins I believe at about 11.30 pm to advise us to stay in bed and not go out on our balconies and that the ship was battened down. I was already in bed, occasionally rising into the air, doing a figure of eight and coming back down again. Other half being ex Merchant Navy couldn't resist a quick foray before the Captain advised against it and rapidly came back in again reporting that he thought he could smell cigarette smoke from next door's balcony! All in all a wonderful cruise experience and one we would like to do again in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We have not cruised with P&O since a rather poor experience on Ventura some years ago but this cruise restored our faith in the company and we had a wonderful cruise to see the Northern Lights. The Oriana is an excellent ship and ... Read More
We have not cruised with P&O since a rather poor experience on Ventura some years ago but this cruise restored our faith in the company and we had a wonderful cruise to see the Northern Lights. The Oriana is an excellent ship and had really good entertainment throughout the cruise. The ship has a dedicated cinema which we liked. The food was really good, far better than we remembered from our previous P&O voyages and the ship is really clean and well maintained. I struggled to see any of the problems that other reviewers had mentioned about the ship feeling tired. Other cruisers were of a varied age which ranged from 20's to 80's but all seemed to enjoy the trip and I only heard a few complaints. Even the force 11 gale on the penultimate night did nothing to damper our enjoyment even though the scheduled entertainment could not go ahead for safety reasons. The crew were friendly and efficient and the service was very good. The excursion prices were high but even doing things ourselves was not much cheaper as Norway is an expensive country. We loved the whole trip. Read Less
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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