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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Where do you start with P&O’s Oriana cruise from Southampton(Madeira/Tenerife/Lisbon etc). December 2018 Firstly, the decommissioning of the vessel in 019 is ambitious. 010 might have been more appropriate. A thoroughly ... Read More
Where do you start with P&O’s Oriana cruise from Southampton(Madeira/Tenerife/Lisbon etc). December 2018 Firstly, the decommissioning of the vessel in 019 is ambitious. 010 might have been more appropriate. A thoroughly dated outfit appealing to a well over 65’s demographic. The activities and entertainment plan were something out of the 70’s. Frontline staff were busy smiling without really understanding our questions and you left with a sense of frustration. Food was hit and miss. The Conservatory is a free for all with one in 6 dishes acceptable. Very bland food in general lacking any real flavor added to the bad customer experience. Room service to cabin was poor. Incorrect order brought complete with soggy bread! Breakfast ends at 9.30.....on a cruise!? Cabins are ok but again way out dated with 14 inch TV screens, yet huge mirrors wasting space. Choice of in cabin entertainment was miserable for this day and age. The incredibly loud PA announcer jovially speaking Ruth Madoc style every morning with......And today on Deck 10 its basket weaving........ The halcyon days of ‘Hi De Hi’ are still with us apparently. Tip.... Do not attempt to let them book a taxi for you. We had to wait 90 minutes! Sniggering British staff behind the curtains on reception letting the Asian front line staff hold the baby A two star operation ‘priding’ itself on 3 Black tie evenings which were poorly attended. Why in this day and age have them? Subsequently we were left with one choice for dinner which added costs to our bill. The final complaint though is too shocking to contemplate. The captain was clearly naive and probably conditioned to P&O practice in thinking it’s ok to give us the negative news about ship to shore communication once he had set sail. He continued to drip feed us ‘we are working on it’ lines knowing full well it was out of order at the original starting point. To depart Southampton on a 12 day trip without the Internet or phone service leaving passengers completely stranded in their quest for contact with homes, business, loved ones was the worst error of judgment we have witnessed. We had to wait for 4 days until first stop to get on land before frantically connecting with anyone. The arrogance of the operator clearly thinking this type of practice in 2018 is acceptable. If you are unfortunate in cruising with P&O please look at their internet packages. The big standard 7.95 a day only covers Facebook and a few sites. No emails, YouTube etc. Those are extras!!!! Our overview of P&O is not good. They are a weak company with a tired fleet and out dated planning. Clearly targeting much older customers who are unlikely to complain about the lack of communicado and the daily grind of school dinners. Bland, boring and a complete lack of empathy with frustrated customers. If you are booking a cruise with them, make sure you check the itineraries thoroughly otherwise you will be in for a comedy of errors which include cribbage, crochet and failed New Faces talent from 1977! A Horror show. Avoid P&O at all costs! The worst cruise company out there. #fail #past glories #arrogant #disaster #cruise nightmare #watchdog #investigate 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have never cruised on P&O before, or adults only, so were a little apprehensive for this cruise. We were given an arrival slot of 3pm but this worried me about being late so we left home at 1pm and only live in Portsmouth so ... Read More
We have never cruised on P&O before, or adults only, so were a little apprehensive for this cruise. We were given an arrival slot of 3pm but this worried me about being late so we left home at 1pm and only live in Portsmouth so didn’t have far to drive. At the terminal, check in was a swift process and they never mentioned us being early so within about twenty minutes we were in our cabin with our luggage arriving very quickly after us. The balcony cabin on B deck (Britannia) was very spacious with loads of storage space, which was a worry of my husband as I had 6 suitcases. There was a mini bar, with a range of drinks and snacks and we got two small free bottles of water. We took everything out of the fridge to put our own stuff in. There is an option which we also took which was buying 6 large bottles of water too for about £10. There was a beautiful flower in a vase which was really unusual and bloomed for the whole of the cruise. There was a seating area and the chairs on the balcony were nice. We had binoculars which were not that great, lucky we had our own, and a map book in the cabin too. The bathroom was adequate size, with a bath and shower over and lots of storage space again. There was one of those old fashion hairdryers on the wall in the bathroom which wasn’t very good but there was another in the cabin which was good. The room attendant came in and introduced herself to us which was nice. As we had two rooms next to each other (travelled with my sister and her husband) we asked the room attendant to ask for the adjoining balcony door to be removed. This did happen when we were next in port. As stated this was an adult only cruise and most of the people were very nice. Others however seemed to think they were more important than us and were rude. They didn’t queue for food or lifts and seemed to know the staff very well so most probably regulars. One thing that really bugged me was the sunbeds! They are supposed to be used within 30 or items removed. I spent many days by the pool and many days sunbeds were reserved and the ‘owners’ only returned for a few minutes at a time through the day. Leaving people waiting for a lounger. I would have, however, asked a member of staff if I could not find a single lounger. The ports on this cruise were amazing and the tours we bought with P&O were good value for money. Equally on some shore days we just jumped on the hop on hop off bus/boat. In Venice it was cheaper to buy the hop on hop off boat ticket than to pay P&O to take you into the city on their tender. The food was amazing on this cruise and as we were ‘trying to be good’ we mostly ate in the restaurant rather than the buffet as I think you tend to over eat there. Afternoon tea is not to be missed. (Yogi, our server was great, table 11 in freedom dinning) The cinema is great and we watched some good films and I also went to the gym for classes and use of the machines which was great too. I never found the sauna. There were lots of talks and activities for a range of people however, it was mostly not to our taste. I would have loved to learn to dance but hubby had a bad leg so couldn’t participate. There was bingo and quiz nights too which were fun. The men enjoyed the World Cup, well mostly because sometimes the system wasn’t tested and parts of games were missed and people had to move to other areas or own room to watch. One frustrating thing was buying pints of beer in different lounges/bars. The price booklets are the same in all venues but waiters are reluctant to go to another bar to get you a pint and try to sell you the bottles of beer which works out more expensive. There is tea and coffee available from the machine in the buffet or after a meal in the restaurant and these are also topped up every day in your cabin, you also get 2 packets of biscuits every day along with a chocolate on your pillow each nifght. The public areas were always clean and shorts were not allowed in any restaurant in the evening, nor was swimwear, which was nice. The staff at reception made us feel like it was an inconvenience to talk to them sometimes but the staff in the shops were friendly. The prices, as expected in the shops were steep so never really bought anything. The muster of the lifeboats seemed a little disorganised and we were all squeezed into a small area with the staff member not really having control of the passengers. The entertainment was ok, there were lots of things to choice from every day and evening, some of it wasn’t to our taste or liking, but we did enjoy the four tunes, and some other bands. The resident group were ok and I enjoyed the queen night. I also enjoyed the magician. Disembarking was crazy we chose to get off at 9 am and were told to go to the theatre and wait, but when we got of the ship our luggage was everywhere with no real organisation. On the whole I would consider going with P&O again but mainly due to the size of the cabin and the food. 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
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We were interested to see the locations around the UK but when we arrived at Guernsey, the last port of call, the Captain refused to allow us to go ashore despite customers on the Ventura, anchored alongside, being allowed to go ashore. ... Read More
We were interested to see the locations around the UK but when we arrived at Guernsey, the last port of call, the Captain refused to allow us to go ashore despite customers on the Ventura, anchored alongside, being allowed to go ashore. The Captain claimed the weather was too bad, the tenders inadequate and the customers too old. Some customers were old but that is no reason to cancel the visit for everybody. The weather and sea conditions looked fine to me and there was much annoyance amongst fellow passengers, so much so that it was the major topic of discussion for the rest of the trip. The comedian Roy Walker was amusing and the talk by Ian Brown interesting. The evening meals were of a good standard but felt rushed as did breakfast. The conservatory food was poor so we opted for the seated meals on almost all occasions. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
After reading several mixed reviews regarding the Oriana I was a little nervous of what my husband would think as this was his (not mine) first cruise. Well it was great! I honestly don't know what people find to moan about. Yes ... Read More
After reading several mixed reviews regarding the Oriana I was a little nervous of what my husband would think as this was his (not mine) first cruise. Well it was great! I honestly don't know what people find to moan about. Yes she is a older lady (the ship) but just the right size for us and the food was excellent. Our cabin (balcony is worth it for us) was nice and clean each day & our steward lovely as were 99% of the staff. We did not see much entertainment as that is not our thing but heard it was good. Some of the carpets are a little worn but the elegance and charm of this ship in the dining esp make up for these little things. The Oriana is having a re-vamp this year anyway.I will say she creaks a little at night and I did know I was at sea unlike some of the bigger ships but not a problem. The drinks are a reasonable cost and they don't mind you bringing a bottle of wine on board to drink in your room (there is a fridge). The only couple of faults we found were the cover charge in the Indian restaurant was a bit steep and as we booked on board by a lady who was drumming up business was not told this so it was a bit of a shock when the chit came for signature, however the food again was faultless. The only other annoying thing was the stern bar area - the seats are taken up by people not having a drink just sitting reading so if you want to just have a drink and chill in the sun there is no room, I think they should be asked to move its a BAR AREA and there are plenty of other seats dotted around the ship. This is also the case if you want to eat lunch outside again not much room. All this said there is not much to not like and we would have happily got straight back on for another 12 nights upon docking back at Southampton. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
We have just returned from a P&O short cruise to Guernsey and Zeebrugge on the Oriana. A holiday didn't get off to a good start as the ship could not dock due to high winds and our trip was cut short by 24 hours. Our four ... Read More
We have just returned from a P&O short cruise to Guernsey and Zeebrugge on the Oriana. A holiday didn't get off to a good start as the ship could not dock due to high winds and our trip was cut short by 24 hours. Our four night cruise became a 3 night cruise. We live in Lancashire and had already arrived in Southampton before we learned this and it was difficult to gain infromation as the P&O staff were not in uniform so it was hard to establish who they were amongst the passengers. However I take my hat off to P&O for springing into action and finding accomodation for over 1500 passengers in and around Southampton which included dinner and wine. As if this wasn't enough they then added £30 per passenger to our cabin card for spending on board the ship and have written to us confirming we will receive a 50% percent refund of the cost of our holiday to compensate us for the lost night at sea. We were collected from our hotel on embarkation day by coach and taken to the teminal to be checked in and boarded. The entire process took less than an hour and 30 minutes. Very impressive!. You would never get that from an airline. We had an inside cabin which was sufficient for the time we planned to spend in it. The bed was very comfortable and our cabin steward kept it spotlessly clean for us. The nightly turn down service with little chocoloates left on our pillows was a nice touch. The ship itself is a little dated and could do with a refit. The pools looked overdue a clean and many of the pictures in the coridors leading to the cabins had been wiped with a damp cloth and allowed to dry with smears which gave the ship a slightly unkempt look which was a shame as there were other areas that were immaculate. The gym was suprisingly large and well equipped for the size of the ship and the spa looked ok through the window although we never actually went in. The dining rooms were elegant and we particularly liked the ambience of Crows Nest bar with the talented jazz musicians who provided very pleasant entertainment. There was plenty of other entertainment on the ship. We weren't on long enough to sample most of it but there is something for everyone. We were very well fed with excellent five course meals in the evening although we did not always get what we had ordered. We were on freedom dining which meant that we could attend the Peninsular Restaurant at a time to suit us. We had to queue but it wasn't for long and were seated with lovely people every night. The Gala Dinner was lovely with just about everybody wearing black tie and evening gowns. The buffet breakfast was a bit of a free for all, not enough places to sit inside and was not worth the queue. We ordered room service on our final evening and this was very good. The cost of drinks both soft and alcoholic is very reasonable with a bottle of Prosecco costing less that £20 and table wine is also at very good value. The shore excursions are also very well priced, We did the Bruges on your Own and this cost less for the two of us than a return taxi would have cost. We had prebooked a couples massage for our sea day and although the sea day was cancelled we still went ahead with the treatment and shortened our time ashore. I have to be honest and say it was a total rip off. It didn't compare to any professional massage I have received in a salon but cost twice as much at £146 for both of us with an additional 10% added to our cabin card on board for gratuities. The treatment room was a bit clinical but at the same time a little grubby. I appreicate that scented candles would probably create a fire hazard but a bit of ambient lighting and another form of scent would have given it more atmosphere. It was carried out by two girls of oriental descent one of whom sniffed constantly and to be honest it all felt a bit sleazy. Our eyes were kept covered for most of it and towards the end we both became aware of something with a strong smell of vicks or eucalyptus being wafted under our noses. When the treatment was complete we were asked to dress and remain in the room. The therapists returned with water from a cooler for us to drink but then came the hard sell of Elemis products that they tried to convince us they had used by asking us to smell them. The smell was similar but I'm certain it was not the aroma we experienced when our eyes were covered. Nice try but you didn't fool us! In conclussion I would definitely cruise with P&O again and would even sail on the Oriana again too. She's an old girl but has a lovely faded charm. I will opt for a fixed time to dine but would still be happly with an inside cabin as I did hear that the outsides with a balcony got a little cold at night. Well done to P&O for dealing so efficiently with the crisis on what should have been our first day/night and thank you for the lovely accomodation and dinner you provided. We look forward to sailing with you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
My wife and I booked this cruise primarily due to the price being so good, as well as a good itinerary. Boarding was fine no problems, The cabin, due to it being an older ship was smaller than we have been used to, but once we were used ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise primarily due to the price being so good, as well as a good itinerary. Boarding was fine no problems, The cabin, due to it being an older ship was smaller than we have been used to, but once we were used to it it wasn't a problem. Due to bad weather the ship was unable to depart on time and we spent the first night in Southampton, which had a number of knock on effects on the planned itinerary, we sailed directly to Gibraltar rather than stopping at Lisbon which we stopped at on the way back, and the port of La Coruna was removed from the itinerary. The entertainment was first class and of particular note were the classical recitals by Mikhail Shilyaev and Byron Johnston. The food in the main restaurant and the speciality restaurants was excellent and the cover charges were very reasonable. The buffet could be very crowded but the food was generally good. The staff on the ship were all friendly and very helpful, as an example our room steward removed the table from our room to give us more space, provided extra hangers and bedding and was generally very attentive to our needs. All the ports we interesting with lots to do without needing to book excursions. Overall the ship was starting to show its age, but this gave it a certain amount of character and did not impact our enjoyment of the cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We were travelling from Southampton to Madeira and then into the Canary Isles. We had chosen a suite which was really nice, clean, spacious and even given the time of year we had plenty of opportunity to utilise it. Boarding was fine in ... Read More
We were travelling from Southampton to Madeira and then into the Canary Isles. We had chosen a suite which was really nice, clean, spacious and even given the time of year we had plenty of opportunity to utilise it. Boarding was fine in Southampton the vehicle drop off was very quick and efficient and getting on board didn't take too long, what didn't work was that although asked to attend around midday, the rooms are not available so you are hustled into the Conservatory self service restaurant, which everyone seems to complain about and we called "The Zoo". I felt particularly since there are only a couple if dozen suites in particular, the room should have been ready as we had the romantic notion of going to our room and opening the champagne, instead I found myself in a canteen.....very disappointing. Things improved as we got to our room, we liked the size of the ship not so huge as to feel lost, food was extremely good, we just avoided the canteen. During the day the Al Fresco was fine for a light meal, lunch and afternoon tea available in the other two main restaurants and dinner was very nice in the Orient Restaurant which had set dinner times. It was good to see most people made a decent effort for the black tie events even on one day where it was rough and a lot of people were suffering. The average age was about 65 however there were some younger people on board and I don't think age matters, there were plenty of talks, dances, movies and shows during the day, the art class was particularly good. We didn't do the organised shore excursions we just walked into the towns in Madeira, La Gomera, Las Palmas, Lanzarote and Lisbon, all were very interesting and the weather was nice, dry and predominantly sunny. I felt that due to the policy of cutting prices so severely before sailing there was a definite element who would not normally cruise, this took away some of the exclusivity and feeling that you were among friends. The people who were at our evening dining table struggled to hold a civil conversation, some thought should be put into who you are seated with as this ruined our enjoyment of dining. Due to this we booked the separate dining of Marco Pierre White and the Sorrento on a number of occasions, both were very good and worth it though but again this spoiled the trip as did the fact that although the suites are quite expensive again there are no real perks apart from the odd fruit basket or flowers, some cruises have separate lounges, fast track embarkation etc and we felt P&O lacked that special feel. Staff were very pleasant throughout and worked extremely hard, we had a pleasant experience but I don't think I would use P&O again unless I went cut price, last minute and felt I was getting some sort of bargain! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We have just returned from our first P&O cruise on Oriana to Norweign Ffords (9th to 16th June 2012) and well I can say I was very impressed, even after reading reviews and comments from previous passengers. We have done 40 cruises ... Read More
We have just returned from our first P&O cruise on Oriana to Norweign Ffords (9th to 16th June 2012) and well I can say I was very impressed, even after reading reviews and comments from previous passengers. We have done 40 cruises and we really enjoy the tranquility, relaxing pace, and great service, on the ones we had been on, so hopefully this review will help others decide on the Oriana. First I will start with the negatives so we can get them out of the way, there are not many but here goes. The vibration was evident at the lower rear part of the ship, but bearing in mind her age I think I was not that bad, we have been on much louder noisy engine cruises in the past, where you need to shout or have written text conversations!! but the Oriana was not that bad. The use of Sanitisers were a bit of a let down, because they only enforced it in the Conservatory Dining area, (Buffet style dining), the Main Dining and Speciality restaurants did not have sanitisers present, but that may be because you dont touch the food, or tongs etc. which is fair enough. But there were a large number of passengers on this ship that did not wash their hands after using the toilet, so would have liked to see more sanitisers where food was being served.! It would also have been good to have sanitiser at the entrance of the gangway going back on the ship (some other cruise liners do this and it worked well), Especially as passengers were using the handrails and pressing the buttons on the lifts etc, where germs linger! we did put this down on our comments form, but not sure if this will be taken up or just ignored like some comments you give to the cruise liners..Especially when you hear that Norovirus is on some ships.. The entertainment was ok, but some shows were good and some were just ok, but throughout the ship would have been good to have varied entertainment, as I think there was too much (musicians and not enough modern), basically piano, jazz, classical, in each of the bars, and well you just wanted a bit of boogie music, but not wait until midnight for the disco, I understand that the majority of passenger age groups on this ship were over 65, but there was a lot of young people onboard in their 30,40,50, and it would be good to cater for this age group too. Our biggest disappointment in the entertainment category was that we chose the wrong week to holiday as it was Euro2012, and each night bars had the football on, now this is good for the passengers that were into football but the majority of the passengers were struggling to find areas that were away from the shouting and cheering of the football. The night before we arrived back, we thought would have been a party type, enjoyable evening but you guessed it, 2 bars and one showlounge (pacific lounge) had the football on, which a lot of passengers were annoyed at, as the only place to go was the Royal Theatre to see the commedian who was already on that week, so much the same gags again... and the Viewing bar Crows Nest had Classical jazz music on, which was quite loud, but again as there was no-where else to go that was quite enough, away from the loud cheering etc of football. It was a bit of a let down, especially as it was our last day and a day at sea.. Perhaps this might be different to other dates of the year when they may have something else on, other than football times... The Cabin was spacious, and had a large window, which was great for watching coming in and out of port and waking up the sun shining in through it, although the sky was very bright and Light outside until around midnight, when it got a little dark, but it was like 4 in the afternoon when it was 11pm, we did notice it when we got back to UK, as it was dark by 6-8pm, so we did miss the light nights. The wardrobe space and drawer space was great, there were two sets of cabinets with 4 drawers which were quite deep, each side of the bed, and a large one at the dressing table with 4 drawers big ones. The Safe was an issue, it was very narrow and low to the ground practically, so if you have kneeling or bending issues this may cause a problem, but it was free and it was a number code you put in yourself, (just remember what it is, and you have to keep it pressed shut when you put the number in and press close, as it didnt close then.). The toilets throughout the ship, were clean and working well, the hand dryers were always not working, but there were hand towels to use, (disposable paper ones), but there was a notice on the back of the main toilet entrance door to say "Please use paper towel to open door handle" but there was no bin to put this paper towel in, other than back inside the toilet, so you could not open the door with the towel unless you can run quick back to the bin inside and run out in the duration that the time took to open and close the door! A bin should have been provided so you can put it in, and open the door using the towel.! Not much else on the negatives, so onto the positives. The food was great, hot and well cooked, I have dietary requirements in that I am Dairy Free Lactose Intolerant, and the Head Waiter Colin came to me each day, took my order for the next nights meal, asked if there was anything I wanted for the buffet menu in the Conservatory dining area, and I asked for Dairy Free Ice Cream which was there for me each day. I also have to take food with my night time medication, so I asked Colin if I could get a Sandwich which did not have any butter or mayonaise etc, in it but just salad, with the most delicious Cooked Ham I have ever tasted, and he said he would get it arranged and put in my room by room service each night ready for me when I get back to the cabin this happened every night and it was great and fresh.. We also went to the Marco Pierre restaurant onboard, The Ocean Grill and again the night before we went there, Colin came with their menu and I chose what I wanted and they made dairy free vegetables (ie no butter or milk in them), and a dessert for me that was dairy free. He took my order and passed it to the Chef in the Grill restaurant and it was already done for us dining their the next day. I must stress that you have to try this restaurant, it was fantastic, the atmosphere was relaxed, they gave a good time between each course, and it was excellent quality of food served, we both had steak and I like mine Well Done and my other half likes his medium and they were perfect. The whole experience in this dining room is perfect and you must try it, and hope you have the same experience we had. In the buffet restaurant they had staff that were layed on specifically to help the disabled or elderly, and they got their foods to their table for them, and helped with their trays to their table, which I have not seen designated staff do this in the other cruises we have been on, so perhaps it may be because of the age group on the Oriana being more 65 plus, but it was a great service. The prices of the drinks onboard were reasonable, but they had a good selection of beers and spirits on their menus, but it was cheaper to have a can (150ml) than a draft tap soft drink. Overall experience on the Oriana was great, and will definately recommend her and go on her again. The destinations we visited were really good having never done a Ffords cruise, been to Stavanger and Bergen in the past, (I used to be a cabin stewardess that worked on an airline that flew to these destinations weekly, but not ventured out of the airport!). So it was nice to see other parts of the places. The Gierangerfford was great, so picturesque and tranquil, we went on an RIB fast boat down the fford, and it was breathtaking, the various waterfalls, the high mountains, you have to be there to touch and feel the water and feel the spray from the waterfalls to believe how wonderful it was. The Briksdal Glacier with the Troll train (although it is not a train but individual carts with around 7 seats which are so cute and like they are travelling on electric tracks rather than engine diesel driven. ), They take you up to the glacier which again is spectacular, very blue in colour, but there is a steep hill to walk up, so may not be suitable for some people with mobility issues, or gets breathless easy, as I am, but when I saw some 70/80 year old ladies whizz past me I thought I have to do this, I am only 46, ! but it was hard for me, but worth it when you get there to the glacier and it is all down hill on the way back to the Troll car again. then back down the track which has great photo opportunities and scenery is fab. You get back down and you have TeaCoffee and a good selection of cakes home made from this cafe at the bottom of the glacier, (it is included in the tour price so you dont have to pay for the teas etc), the cakes were absolutely gorgeous, and the tea had lemon in it, so if you dont like lemon tea then take the coffee, or ask if they have a different plain tea bag. But it is well worth the wait when you get back from the cold glacier, with the chilly winds. I do recommend taking warm gloves, earmuffs, scarf, and warm clothing Layers would be best, but great walking shoes, as there is uneven tracks to get to the glacier. You get about 20 minutes or more at the glacier and to get back down to the Troll Car. But they do wait for you. Stavanger doesnt have much in way of Souveniers shops, they do have one at the terminal where the cruise is docked, but the town centre is mostly clothes shops or art shops, and are very expensive. The dock where the Oriana was sited was a long walk from the town centre, there were two other cruise ships closer to the dock but perhaps it is first come first served not sure. But it is not well sign posted, and they are building something next to the dock so you cannot cut through, there is a sign at the top of a hill that says Cruise entrance, but again it is confusing to where you go, so not very well organised, perhaps P&O need to put up some Laminated signs saying where to go, and fix them to the barriers around the building works, to get back to the ship, as at some point you feel as though you are going further and further away from the ship, but it is actually a long way around this building works. then back down to the other side, then further walk along the side of the houses then to the entrance of the dock where the Gangway is.. At least it was dry day so you did not mind walking the distance. but again for mobilty or breathless passengers this may be too long to walk and give yourself plenty of time for stops along the way, to get to the ship before the sailing time. Southampton embarking was a first for us, as we usually fly to desitanation abroad to join the cruise, and we were a bit nervous at how long we would have to wait, will it be busy at check in and will it be stressful to get onboard. But we were pleasantly surprised by the organised way it was done, we gave our luggage to a porter at a conveyor belt that put your luggage onto the ship, and screened it then we went to the check in area, where there were a vast amount of check in desks, and it was straight forward, onto the waiting lounge, where they then called you by deck levels, again so free flowing. it was onboard shown to your cabin, then you were up to Conservatory for some food, whilst your cabin and luggage are being onboard, You then hear a tanoy call that says All Cabins are ready for you. this is around 2pm, then you go to your cabin and your luggage is already inside, It is a pity they dont unpack for you!! Some cruise liners we have been on have taken a good few hours to get your luggage to your cabin, not sure why this is, when P&O Oriana can get it there within short time..?? On the way back to Southampton, you get offered to Self Disembark, at 7.30am or wait your time slot for around 9am onwards, we took the 7.30am self disembark, which you have to take your luggage off yourself, (otherwise if we waited for 9am they would have taken it off for us, and we woulld then find it on the quayside on your deck level sections). We went through immigration, and it was straightforward, then off to get a taxi which was waiting at the quayside terminal, or you could have your car brought to the terminal waiting for you, it is a great system and one I will definately be using again. A lot better than the Airport check in and security, immigration etc..delays. Overall again the great time we had on Oriana was so relaxing, well worth it, and will be going on her again soon. We have just booked Azura for the Caribbean in February 2013, now that we have been on P&O and very much enjoyed it, so really looking forward to this one. Will let you know how we get on. We have booked the Suite this time with a butler, (we had this on the Celebrity cruises and it was great, so hopefully we will have same service with the butler on this Azura). Hope you enjoyed reading this and found it helpful when booking or going on Oriana. 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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