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Sail Date: May 2014
We had a lovely first cruise aboard the Oriana. The staff were all very attentive, especially in the main restaurant (Peninsular). With the freedom dining we were offered a choice of dining every day 2,4,6 or 8 tables, this worked very ... Read More
We had a lovely first cruise aboard the Oriana. The staff were all very attentive, especially in the main restaurant (Peninsular). With the freedom dining we were offered a choice of dining every day 2,4,6 or 8 tables, this worked very well for us meeting new people every night. The meals were fantastic in all the restaurants but especially the peninsular. The Conservatory was used during the day along with the Al Fresco restaurant, both self service and great. The Alfresco restaurant serves till 2.30 in the morning, with Hot chocolate and Horlicks on the menu. We had a seven port stop in Portugal, Spain and Canary Islands and loved every minute of it. We saw signs of repair as in painting on the ship, but apart from some slight rust marks it was fine (well come on it is constantly in a salt environment). I saw no curled carpets. The Cinema projector is overdue for updating and let down some great films, that we should have been able to see in HD All in all we enjoyed our first cruise and we felt everyone was there to help us enjoy our time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
First cruise from Southampton 4 days of hell because of the weather and seas but when we got to the islands it was very good. Weather was hit and miss but really enjoyed it loads to do .staff v good captain reassured us about weather ... Read More
First cruise from Southampton 4 days of hell because of the weather and seas but when we got to the islands it was very good. Weather was hit and miss but really enjoyed it loads to do .staff v good captain reassured us about weather conditions . Would do it again . Met some nice people on our table where we ate most nights, we were very concerned about the set meals in the restaurant but loved it! The food /service was magnificent , and the menus were amazing!!! All silver service would Defo recommend this. The photos on board a little expensive they would sell more if cheaper the beer was reasonable but drinking water was riddiculass £1.90 a bottle and as my wife suffers with crohns disease and needs loads of fresh(not tap) water this was a bad thing for us!! All water in big bottles were free on ocean village 1 I had a cepap machine for my snoring had to ask steward for an extension for electric which he got for me , as no electic sockets near the beds. Over all we enjoyed our little adventure not to much to moan about really value for money at 699 for 2 weeks for us both . We drink most nights in the lords taverner. Oh yes and put up with that boring music man. There every night he was terrible , apparently after other our age46 and 47 ish complained re lack of entertainment for our age group they were told the entertainment is geared up for adults only !,, so after questioning this they were told oh for over 70 year old s so beware if your 40 + entertainment is bit poor!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
A group of six of us went to the Norwegian Fiords. None of us had been on a cruise before. We definitely enjoyed a lot of it, but still don't feel ready for this sort of travelling yet. We are all in our 60s. Departure from ... Read More
A group of six of us went to the Norwegian Fiords. None of us had been on a cruise before. We definitely enjoyed a lot of it, but still don't feel ready for this sort of travelling yet. We are all in our 60s. Departure from Southampton was wonderful, especially as we all live a couple of miles away. One hour travelling and we were all sitting having lunch aboard. Beats flying hands down. Felt P and O are a bit stingy considering we paid nearly £1000.00 each. For example, only a small bottle of mineral water each provided in your cabin on the first day. After that you have to pay. Departure from Southampton was very exciting, but spoiled by the fact you had to purchase the champagne being brought round. It wouldn't have cost the company much to make it complimentary and would have made guests feel special. We were unfortunate in that the weather was not brilliant. This meant people stayed inside the ship and consequently it felt very claustrophobic at times. Several times we had to queue to get into restaurants, failed to watch a film because the cinema was full and had to fight for a table in the self service restaurants. We also found there was much more movement on the boat that we expected and a continual vibration from the propellers. Several of us felt very strange when back on land and had difficulty sleeping with the noise from the engines. The quality of the food was superb and the entertainment great. We did feel some things were geared for an older age group. There was a lot of ball room dancing and the lectures were very much geared towards health issues such as cracked heels! Trips are very expensive and there is little information to let you know how easy they are to do independently. The fiords are so beautiful and it was well worth going just to see them. All in all I am glad we have been on a cruise, but am unlikely to repeat the experience as I do not think they are good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
I had cruised before but not with P&O and wanted to see if the larger-shiop experience was as good as it was made oiut to be. Oriana is about as large as I would want to go in terms of ship size - 69000 tons - and offered a good range ... Read More
I had cruised before but not with P&O and wanted to see if the larger-shiop experience was as good as it was made oiut to be. Oriana is about as large as I would want to go in terms of ship size - 69000 tons - and offered a good range of facilities. I will first of all get a gripe off my chest. I had booked this trip several months before using the 'Vantage' fare, due to having to arrange time off work in advance. Big mistake, because had I waited I could have taken one of their 'getaway' fares at half the cost of the ticket that I actually paid for. The Vantage promise is a hollow one, because that fare will never reduce. They simply offer a different fare structure, to fill vacant cabins, about 6 weeks before the cruise. I won't get caught again; if I ever sail with P&O in the future it will be as a short-notice customer. No recompense is offered to those paying a higher fare. I could have had a balcony cabin for the same price I paid for my standard outside one. Due to these offers, the ship was full with a sign up at reception saying there were no spare cabins available. The ship is suited to British tastes. It has a wide variety of entertainment venues and bars, although the main Theatre became full when the 'Headliners' were performing. The one place to avoid was the 'Conservatory' self-service restaurant, which we called 'the bunfight'. Breakfast in 'Al Fresco' was nice, if there was seating available (it is a small venue) or the Peninsular restaurant. The ship was very stable and even in a swell it seemed to move very little. One of the pools (Terrace) was closed for 'maintenance' for the last part of the cruise; there were two others but the Terrace Pool is the best as it has two hot tubs and is fairly well protected from the weather. The small Spa on Deck 12 has an indoor hot tub but only takes around 5 people - on a ship with 1800 passengers this is not really enough. Do not bother with Steiners - I had a pedicure which was so badly done that my feet hurt for the remainder of the cruise. The 'Oriental' restaurant suffers from vibration at high engine speeds, making conversation difficult at times due to rattling tableware. The food quality was good, but somebody got it wrong somewhere because on the last day I caught Norovirus from an unknown source. The infection did not spoil the cruise, because it did not appear until I was back home, but it took the edge off what was otherwise a very enjoyable week cruising the fjords of Norway. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Just back from Oriana as part of the 'Grand Event' 3 July - a 4 night cruise. We had an enjoyable cruise, despite P&O! We met several lovely people, had some entertaining conversations, a number of laughs and saw some ... Read More
Just back from Oriana as part of the 'Grand Event' 3 July - a 4 night cruise. We had an enjoyable cruise, despite P&O! We met several lovely people, had some entertaining conversations, a number of laughs and saw some interesting sites. The service from P&O unfortunately was not good, often it felt as though we 'four night cruisers' were an annoyance or inconvenience. Were we being penalised for not going for at least a seven night cruise? The 'Grand Event' was billed by P&O as being 'the pinnacle of our celebrations this year'. Well I suppose it was for P&O personnel, but they seem to have overlooked the fact that it is the cruisers who are the vital ingredient! Right at the start, we were prevented from access to our cabin whilst Princess Anne was about to pass nearby, being sent on a spurious alternative route by 'something in a uniform'. The service from the waiters was poor where it existed! Anything was too much trouble! Another cup of tea, fruit juice, glass of water, vegetables, milk with porridge .... How inconvenient asking for such things! Grumpy, insolent, rude .. You name it, they showed it! Food was variable, sometimes excellent, often average and occasionally poor -- and they called it 'beef broth'! At the end of the cruise as we left our cabin, the steward could hardly be bothered to say goodbye! And as regards a customer questionnaire ... well, Reception said, 'Not for four nights' Seems we didn't matter and they didn't care! One thing is definite ..... Next time we'll certainly make sure we remove the auto tipping. So what about 175 years? -- A celebration ?? .... Given our experience the future strap line should be: 'P&O - 175 years and still not got it right!' Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Cake & Eat it? lets see! 17 Nights & No flying required (always a bonus!), Ports of call Malaga, Dubrovnik, Venice (2 Days), Split, Corfu & Cadiz. A difficult one to call this as at £1000 pp (after deducting o/b ... Read More
Cake & Eat it? lets see! 17 Nights & No flying required (always a bonus!), Ports of call Malaga, Dubrovnik, Venice (2 Days), Split, Corfu & Cadiz. A difficult one to call this as at £1000 pp (after deducting o/b spend) this was a 'real steal' and we received our very 1st ever upgraded from Deck E to C. Having checked out the reviews there were no real 'nightmare' stories although it was clear from some that the Oriana was due for a refurb! and boy were they right. Cabin was fine & most staff friendly, Food was excellent as always, Entertainment Team were quite good for P & O but the facilities available left a lot to be desired from 1) Toilets not working or worst continually flushing all night on its own, 2) Power failures one of which led to the 1st sitting being delayed. 3) No water! I kid you not 4) Gym equipment already broken at start and never repaired for the duration. 5) None of the Jacuzzi's worked properly, and those that were available were either full of sand or simply hot water with no bubbles. 6) Sauna never got to temperature as heaters were to small to heat large area 7) No lights in changing rooms 8) Some staff were arrogant, rude or simply uninterested. 8) No cold water - always hot despite on being on lowest temperature 9) Public Toilets regularly out of order. I'm not one to complain (yeah right, my better half guffaws!!) but overall I consider we got a bargain cruise, however, it was not sold cheaper based on the condition of the ship. So it could be a case of me having my cake and eating it, either way the Oriana is a very nice ship but in dire need of an overhaul. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Having just returned from a 11night cruise with P&O on Oriana, leaving from Southampton on the 28th December, visiting Madeira the canary islands Lisbon and Vigo. I feel compelled to write a review so that other ... Read More
Having just returned from a 11night cruise with P&O on Oriana, leaving from Southampton on the 28th December, visiting Madeira the canary islands Lisbon and Vigo. I feel compelled to write a review so that other inexperienced cruise customers can have i hope an unbiased view,as even though i asked other people prior to booking this cruise and also scoured the on line reviews i don't feel i saw the points that i will raise laid out in black and white even though once on the cruise certain aspects that i found were not for us were known to others. So having said all that I'm sure for a lot of others on the cruise it did exactly what it said on the tin,lots of roll out the barrel sing along, talks on swollen joints, knitting classes, ballroom dances, football on TV,old rom com movies and ancient sitcoms in cabin and a headline act of Richard Digance. My partner and i have been on one other cruise about 4 years ago with royal Caribbean mariner of the seas (i will use a system 1-10 ,5 or below is i consider unacceptable for the price of the cruise) 1 the ship itself facilities ,cabin, 2 food 3 service 4 entertainment on all these points without fail Royal Caribbean came in at 8/9 we had a great time. On arriving at Southampton to check onto the Oriana we joined the long queue to board and this is when it first struck us that all was not as we expected we looked around at the majority of our fellow passengers and for one bizarre minute we thought we had got into the wrong queue and were lining up for a post Christmas offer to join a new northern nursing home, We assured ourselves that this was just a statistical blip owing to the prompt time we joined the ship and decided to bravely go on board beyond the point of no return. We found the food during the day ie breakfast and lunch was boring ,repetitive, and unimaginative like one would get at a average works canteen,it was difficult to find a seat and we felt we were participating in a rushed bun fight daily. We were lucky as we went for the late sitting we did find ourselves seated with some very nice people, and enjoyed the evening meals as they were relaxed with a set seat and the food up to the expected standard. The Oriana itself also felt very tired and dated when comparing it to the Mariner of the Seas. so for all the reasons given i would score Oriana 3/4 in all the categories listed above,we would not personally repeat the experience and had the cruise gone on much longer i think after day 5 we would have got off and flown home. As I say I'm sure this may be to some peoples taste and a lot of the fault may be my naivety and or lack of research ,i hope others might just add this review into the mix before deciding if a similar cruise is for them. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Our cabin was great, good view from the window, our cabin steward was helpful, kept everything in very good order, I couldn't fault anything there. The dining staff were attentive, friendly, amazed me by remembering things, (like ... Read More
Our cabin was great, good view from the window, our cabin steward was helpful, kept everything in very good order, I couldn't fault anything there. The dining staff were attentive, friendly, amazed me by remembering things, (like did I have coffee with milk or not). The food was well prepared, served and always perfect, the variety of the menu was staggering. Each meal, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, it would have been impossible to not find something delicious even for the most 'picky' eater. The presentation was excellent. The ship was always clean, the entertainment staff friendly and helpful. The evening shows were always wonderful. The only thing that was unfortunately not up to standard was the reception staff. It appeared to me that they would tell you anything just to get rid of you. We had a problem with the shaver power point in the bathroom, when I asked for someone to check it, I was told that there was another power point near the bed. I knew that this was not so, but she insisted it was correct. Also the captain announced that a survey was being distributed. I went to reception 3 times over 4 days requesting a copy of the survey. Each time I was assured that one would be delivered to our cabin. In fact the last person insisted that he would deliver it personally. It never arrived. Why I couldn't just be given one on the first request is incomprehensible! If for some reason, it was a limited survey, that was not included in the captain's announcement. I feel that it was just slack staff!! Would this minor problem stop me from cruising again, the answer is a definite NO. But I do feel that P&O need to be aware of some staffing problems. Read Less
As [our travel agent], provided a taxi from home to the Mayflower Terminal, joining the ship was very stress free. The actual embarkation process was quite efficiently carried out by P&O staff and we were soon in our cabin on ... Read More
As [our travel agent], provided a taxi from home to the Mayflower Terminal, joining the ship was very stress free. The actual embarkation process was quite efficiently carried out by P&O staff and we were soon in our cabin on deck 10 and our luggage was delivered to our cabin within a few minutes. The Oriana is a fine well built ship and no expense has been spared, it seems, in quality of the furnishings and equipment. We were pleased with our cabin with balcony which seemed well sound proofed. The Captain, Rory Scott and his officers ran the ship in a very professional manner. The Captain was to be seen around the vessel chatting to passengers but was also we were told quite strict which is always a good thing. Entertainment was really extremely good with the ships dance and song troupe being very versatile and putting their all into their shows. The other entertainers, John Evans; the comedian; Martin Daniels the conjurer/Comedian and Gerard Kenny, the singer/song writer were really excellent. The Maritime Theme lecturers were also very good with the cinema venue often filled to overflowing. The food in general was good with breakfasts being excellent, lunches a bit variable as regards some choices. For instance hot pot and cottage pie are not what one expects on a P&O cruise. Our biggest disappointment however were the main courses at dinner (second sitting) in the Oriental restaurant. Apart from the Captain's Gala Dinner the meat was sometimes tough or overcooked and the fish rather tasteless. We were not alone in commenting on this as others on our table for six echoed this. A pity as this the main meal of the day on a cruise. Our waiters were again very good indeed and perhaps we should have complained about the meat, etc. to our head waiter. We enjoyed the ports of call and the excursions we went on we enjoyed with the guides doing a very good job, one or two having a great sense of humour as well. We had good weather almost throughout the voyage with only quite a gentle swell in the Bay of Biscay. Arriving back in Southampton the disembarking process was pretty efficient probably because of P&O'S considerable experience in Southampton. Finally one or two criticisms: We think P& O are wrong to carry children of up to 11 years old free of charge outside school holiday times, this encourages parents to allow them to miss schooling. It also means that people who book cruises at these times have to put up with noisy and sometimes badly supervised children The children on this cruise completely ignored pool rules and the ships staff made no effort to our knowledge to enforce the rules regarding jumping and diving. We also noticed that P&O are not giving those little touches that other cruise lines give such as chocolates on the pillow each night, fruit in the cabin, toiletries in the bathrooms. This was our first cruise with P&O, but people told us that these used to be provided. In fairness however the provision of binoculars and an atlas in the cabin was a plus point. Overall we did really enjoy our cruise on the Oriana. CopeEdwards@aol.comNovember 2002 Read Less
I promised I would write a review so here goes. Advance apologies if anyone finds my opinions different to theirs! Prices are in £ sterling. General Info This was our eighth cruise..David is my husband and we take our cruises together! ... Read More
I promised I would write a review so here goes. Advance apologies if anyone finds my opinions different to theirs! Prices are in £ sterling. General Info This was our eighth cruise..David is my husband and we take our cruises together! Cruised from Southampton to The Canaries and back to Southampton. The cruise duration was 9 nights. Getting to ship/embarkation. We drove to Southampton and gave the car to Andrews to look after. The journey was a bit fraught as there were holdups on M27 and we had to leave the motorway and find our way through the centre of Southampton. The embarkation was smooth..our cases were taken as we arrived and we saw them again once we reached our cabin. We waited for about 3/4 hour before embarkation and were seated comfortably in the terminal where you could buy drinks, newspapers, magazines and other odds and ends. Quite tranquil. The ship was loaded according to cards handed out as you booked in..all hassle free. First we were taken to one of the beautiful lounges on this ship. It was Anderson's. We made our own way to our cabin after a decent interval as nobody seemed to be coming to escort us. We were highly impressed on our first glimpse of the interior... most tasteful and the 3 deck atrium was quite stunning. The ship has a high level of cleanliness which was maintained throughout the cruise. Cabin we were on deck 9 in the Forward section of the ship...which was very long. I certainly got exercise getting there. The cabin was C128 and was an outside cabin with very large window. The cabin was 150 sq.ft. which included the bathroom. This was the smallest cabin we have ever had. The bathroom had a bath with shower over and it would have been more spacious if there had been just a shower. The cabin used large mirrors judiciously to enhance the size of the room. The bed was 6ft wide..2 singles joined together. We did think to separate the beds to make extra space in the middle..but were too lazy to bother. The wardrobe space had 3 doors with the rails front to back rather than sideways. This was an irritant as you had to reach in trying to unhook those wretched hangers! This was a space saving device I guess. To be fair we had adequate space and we were able to store our large suitcases under the beds. We had two chests of drawers one each side of the bed with 4 drawers in each, plus a dressing table with 4 very spacious drawers. One special plus was the fridge..so much better and cheaper than a minibar. We took on board our own wine and drinks. Also there was a kettle and mugs plus tea coffee milk and sugar so you could make your own refreshments. There were biscuits and chocolate drinks as well. We thought this was a great plus and we found making your own cuppa whenever you wanted was wonderful. There was a TV with remote and we were able to get BBC World, CNN etc. I would like to ask cruise lines to get Sky news as I just hate BBC World which seems to think giving any news about UK as irrelevant! While I am on this topic congratulations to P&O who screened the World Cup Matches not only in the Pacific Lounge but in our cabins...my husband was delighted. The bathroom was well equipped with liquid soap over the shower..Molton Brown no less which is quite an upmarket brand. There was also a bag of goodies including cottonwool, sewing aid, nail files etc. The two bathroom cabinets were quite adequate. All in all the cabin was good...very light. Walking around the ship we thought the inside cabins were equal size with outside..good to know if you plan to have an inside. Also found that cabins in the same letter grade were priced according to location...we were KC forward. KA were on a higher deck and were also in a better location...i.e midships. The next grade cabin up D grade were a much better size and were also well located, but on the port side of the ship they had 3-4 people and were used by families. We would look for a D grade cabin if we could get a special price, but if we really wanted a cruise we would go the same grade as this time. The sound insulation was quite good, although we had only couples next door to us and we heard no noise from above. We were pleased as we cannot stand extraneous noise. Dining & Food We were late bookers and had no choice of dining. We were first sitting and were on a table for 6 people. The other 4 were 2 couples travelling together and all were very pleasant, so no problems there. The food was quite good...not as good as QE2 or Crystal but nevertheless plenty of choice and well presented. Our waiters were very good..all came from Goa and were most professional. The portions were generous and there was always a fish dish and vegetarian selections. Considering the number of passengers on the ship the dining experience was good. We ate in the Peninsular restaurant but the other, the Oriental was a better looking room, purely because it was at the back of the ship with a wrap around window. Dining room was according to cabin location so we were placed in Peninsular. We did sneak into the Oriental for some breakfasts and lunches but it was discouraged and we were asked which restaurant we normally dined in..we ofcourse told a lie..anything to write a good review.. Our readers need to know these things. Breakfast in the dining room ended at 9am..a grave mistake in our opinion. We feel that breakfast should last until 9.30am at least. Dinner began at 6.30 and second sitting was 8.30pm. Because we do not like to dine so early we took advantage of the restaurant in the conservatory...you know, the Lido. Each evening part of this restaurant was transformed into Le Jardin and there was a cover charge of £3.50 per person, which was well worth it in our opinion. We were able to sit in the perfect location overlooking the water with our own waiter taking care of all our needs and the food was really good and very well presented. We ate there more than in the dining room as we enjoyed the experience so much..well done P&O. Turning to breakfast and lunch in the conservatory, I simply do not like the hugger mugger atmosphere of these places..they are generally crowded and noisy and this was no exception..kids shouting others crying and a generally unrelaxed atmosphere. Give me the starched tablecloths and the dignity of the main restaurant any day. There were no themed dinners and no baked Alaska nights..good. My birthday was one night and we managed to avoid the usual happy birthday song, but when we got to our cabin there were the balloons on the door and inside a plate of Belgian chocs. and a card signed by the captain. Very tasteful and much appreciated. The dress code was always adhered to, and we were impressed with the standard of dress on formal nights..people on the Oriana were in my opinion better dressed than on QE2. Of the nine nights 3 were formal, 4 were informal and 2 were casual (first and last nights)There were more men in Tuxes than I had thought would be and I certainly never felt overdressed in my finery. Ship's facilities Found the staff at all levels very helpful and polite..except for one waiter who took umbrage when I asked for fresh tea at breakfast..the cup he poured was stewed. He told me many people liked it like that and made a big production of it. Then he asked my husband if he should go and get another pot of hot water to serve the coffee..very sarcastic.. but there is always the odd rude person isn't there. On board shops had a lot of stock..but the evening clothes for sale were pretty awful and one dress was marked as though it had been worn. Lots of jewellery and perfume..usual inch of gold. Not much to talk about really though quite adequate and there were two shops one on deck 7 and another on deck 6..do ask any questions you would like answered about the shops. They did give a talk about Tanzanite, which I had seen in the Caribbean. The young woman giving the talk about it seemed to read the details and knew very little. When I went to look at the display in the jewellery section, I thought it was vastly overpriced as was the Swarzovski jewellery. The Pave was good and they had a reasonable selection. The Casino gave me a pain..I just love to play the slots but I was convinced that these were calibrated to give least return...I went through £10 in about 10 minutes and this was the worst result on Slots that I have ever had. The other gaming room was well organised and attended,..but we did not play. Looked at the equipment in the gym which was on a high deck..very good and there was a spa there too which was always deserted. Dear reader, I took all my gym clobber but regret to inform you that after looking at all the young men and women exercising ferociously, I just did not get round to my regular exercise. The decks at the aft section where the pools were situated were always crowded on fine days at sea and I have to tell you the German towel syndrome was well in evidence (please do not take offence German readers..this is a British joke) In my opinion British people are very guilty of the towel on sunbed habit. This was a great drawback for us..You simply had to go out and stake your claim about 9am to get a bed. I was unable to get one except on the side promenade deck during the entire cruise. Not to sound too snobbish but the types who do this kind of thing were a bit downmarket and I would not have liked to confront them. The Jacuzzis were also quite crowded. I did not visit the hairdresser..I find them generally overpriced and not that good, so prefer to take my own dryer and fix my own hair. Looked at the cyber study, but sessions on the internet were very expensive and I did not use it. Nor did it ever seem crowded. Liked the library, though I do wish there were some audio books to borrow. I always take one or two as they are amazingly soporific and I never get to listen to more than one side before I am asleep. Hellishly expensive on the batteries! You could borrow 2 books at a time and titles were up to date..some very new ones. You could also buy paperbacks on board, a good idea. The Thackeray room attached to the library was a lovely relaxing room in which to read. I used it all day on the rough day we had on the way home. My husband was disappointed by the lack of bridge players on board. There were 8 others and nobody else came, so he did not get a game. We went to the trivia quizzes. One was at 5.30pm..a stupid time as those going to first sitting found it inconvenient. There was always a good crowd there. Photo gallery same as any other ship..nothing to say really, although as it was on a walkway, it was a bit inconvenient at times. Lots of bars to drink in...not that interested in this so really can only tell you if bars are your scene, you will not be disappointed on Oriana. We loved Tiffany court where a pianist tinkled away before and after dinner..we sipped our cocktails and listened to his great improvisations. I have to say that drink prices on Oriana were very reasonable. I think the drinks on the ship were cheaper than on any other ship we have cruised on. Nothing to say about discos..I am well past that age! Entertainment The theatre Royal was highly impressive..a really large theatre with tiered red plush seats, complete with individual aircon. in each seat..how different!. can only say that this was the best theatre on board that I have seen. The shows were fine..We did enjoy the productions. We heard that they had changed the dance troupe and were trying out a new company..well done P&O as we enjoyed the music and verve of the artists. There were two nights of classical piano recitals in the Curzon room. Most music was well known and well played and I found them most enjoyable. Another artist was an excellent illusionist plus a stand up comedian on a couple of nights....and that was it. The ports of call were well known to us: Vigo..for Santiago De Compostela. We have done the tour before so went shopping in Vigo for ciggies for friends in UK. We do not smoke but the cost of a carton was £10..very cheap. Lanzarote..where we took our only organised tour. The guide was one of the best we have ver had and the landscape of the island was highly dramatic. I would thoroughly recommend this tour. Santa Cruz Tenerife...we wandered around the town of Santa Cruz and found it most relaxing. Madeira.. last port of call. We had been there twice before, but always like a wander around the town of Funchal. Heard that our tablemates enjoyed their tour greatly. There was always a bus to get into town, except in Funchal where a boat was laid on to take you to the middle of town.. all very satisfactory. We had one very rough night on the second night out..I was rather scared, but that was just because it was uncomfortable. The only other rough weather was just after we left Madeira when a strong wind whipped the sea up and there was a most uncomfortable day spent indoors. OK, Now how would I improve this cruise experience.. There were 200 children on the ship...children got very heavy discounts. I think some even went free under a certain age. For us this was one of the downsides. We have children ..and in fact we have grown up teenage grandchildren, but we do not like to spend our cruises with kids..OK you can slate me if you like, but we had thought that in June the kids would still be in school and I have to say I heartily disapprove of parents removing their children in term time to go on hols. I know it is expensive to holiday in the school hols. but we were surprised to see quite so many children. They were well catered for on board and I am sure they enjoyed themselves. We certainly did not like them around at meal times. Why is it that young children wait until meal times to bawl, scream and generally carry on? This was especially apparent in the conservatory where I advise you to keep away if you are looking for tranquility. I am now looking for ships other than Saga where children are not catered for.. having read the review about Arcadia maybe that ship will be the one for me! Next..cinema listings. The cinema is superb and was under utilised both for talks and decent films. They had Charlotte Grey and A beautiful Mind on..but films were poorly advertised and I have written to P&O to suggest they have an advertisement outside the cinema to say what is showing. The films shown in the cabins bore no resemblance to the written program so I did not see any I liked. I am a real film fan and so I was disappointed, especially as the cinema is so good. Saw Harry Potter and Monsters Inc. Both were rather spoilt as parents dropped their children in the cinema and left them.. whereupon some played merry hell. Guest Speakers...where were they?? There was an erudite gentleman who spoke about ports and the tours. We enjoyed his knowledge and thought he was great. There was one other guest speaker, a lady who spoke twice about getting your life in balance..bit jargony and I have a really great balance in my life and did not go on a cruise for self improvement. This lack of guest speakers was a great disappointment to us, having been on other cruises where the guest speakers were pure enjoyment. The under utilisation of so many wonderful lounges. The lounges on this ship were some of the best I have ever seen. How great to serve afternoon tea in such gracious surroundings..but no! Afternoon tea was served in the restaurant or in the dreaded Conservatory..not at all gracious. I like a serene room with a musician in the background and waiters in elegant gloves serving finger sandwiches, scones and cakes using china that is elegant..maybe too much to ask? But this is a British ship and we should be doing tea in style! Well I think by now you will all be bored. As I have been writing I can see that I did really like the Oriana, especially as I paid only £799 for this cruise booked only 3 weeks in advance. There were many other passengers who had paid the same price as us. An inside cabin could be had for £699..so who can complain. I think that the World Cup affected sales and so we were lucky. I would give the cruise 7/10 and would have given a better score except for my moans outlined above. Please feel free to ask questions..but do it soon as we are about to leave on another cruise..this one booked a year in advance. We leave on 11th July on Saga Rose to Iceland, Norway, Shetlands etc and then to Ireland and Scotland. Cheers, annspeakman@homechoice.co.ukJuly 2002 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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