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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to ... Read More
Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to cabin. !6 night cruise and weather bad from start to finish, but that cannot be blamed on P&O. All seasoned cruisers said they had never been on a cruise with so much wind, rain, mist and cloud. We went on this cruise because we love Oriana and we wanted one last trip before she is sold to China. So were not too bothered that we had visited most stops previously. One place we hadn't been to before was Terceira in the Azores. This was really the only decent weather we had on the whole trip and it was a lovely island. We had booked a 4 x 4 tour (8 hours) through Viator with ProIsland Tours. I cannot recommend them enough. We covered the whole island and were taken to many places the ship's own tours couldn't access. We had also taken a half day 4 x 4 tour the previous day on Sao Miguel. Again it had been booked through Viator with BioBird tours. Many of those on cruises are very wary of booking trips through anyone other than P&O. We have done it many times and have never been worried about a missed sail-away. The tours' content is usually much more comprehensive and they are usually at least a third cheaper than ships' tours. Give them a go if you've not tried them. After the Azores we visited Madeira, where we used the local bus to visit Santa Cruz. Next was La Palma where we took a P&O tour to a silk farm. OK, but tended to be herded about a bit and were unable to stop to photograph nice views where we were not scheduled to stop. Then came Gran Canaria. Again we took a P&O tour which gave a leisurely overview and took us to some places we had not visited before. We were particularly impressed with our stop in Port Mogan. Fuertaventura was not worth the visit really, unless you wanted to go to a beach. Again we took a local bus and travelled up to a town on the north coast. Last stop was Lisbon where the weather was so bad that it didn't warrant getting of the ship. However, we had to get gifts and so had to go shopping. Got soaked to the skin. The two sea days on the return were once more dull, misty and rainy. We disembarked (very efficiently) in Southampton to a lovely sunny day. Now Thursday and weather still great. Perhaps UK is worth considering. Overall impression of cruise was good because we like the ship so much - no children, good food, good entertainment, nice bars to sit in etc. Would just like to give a tip to anyone who may be considering buying a wine package on board. Don't bother. There is little, if anything, to be saved. In fact, unless you choose the most expensive wines on the lists available (only about 4 of them), you could find that you had paid more than if you had bought them individually from the full wine list. Read Less
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
Sail Date: February 2019
Hoped to see the Northern Lights, sadly, they did not appear. First time on this ship which is showing its age. Cabin kept very and tidy. 99% of staff were very good. Service in waiter service restaurants very slow at times. No ... Read More
Hoped to see the Northern Lights, sadly, they did not appear. First time on this ship which is showing its age. Cabin kept very and tidy. 99% of staff were very good. Service in waiter service restaurants very slow at times. No strict enforcement of using antibacterial hand gel before entering restaurants. Food very good in all restaurants. Long walk for our forward cabin to restaurants at the stern of the ship. As we were at sea for quite a few days, entertainment was poor. Headliners shows were excellent. Theatre Royal seating very uncomfortable. P&O need to offer all inclusive cruises as other cruise lines do. Ports visited were very good. Disembarkation was poor as they had not sorted out the exits properly. Abundance of thermal clothing taken not needed as shore temperatures not as low as expected. Lots of deck areas close due to bad weather. P&O would sell more in the onboard shops if they reduced prices. 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
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We embarked in Southampton and the embarkation went smoothly. We were staying at the Holiday Inn near the Mayflower Terminal were we embarked on the Oriana about 10 minutes from the hotel. We explored this area of Southampton and ... Read More
We embarked in Southampton and the embarkation went smoothly. We were staying at the Holiday Inn near the Mayflower Terminal were we embarked on the Oriana about 10 minutes from the hotel. We explored this area of Southampton and Westquay shopping centre 5 minutes walking and also the main street where lots of shops and eateries were. This holiday Inn was quite well situated Herbert Walker Road. The ship although refurbished was old and smelly especially in the corridors outside the cabins. My cabin was perfect, Deck 10 B186. Large, spacious cabin, enough space for all our clothes (12 cruise days - cold winter wear) and 3 large suitcases and 2 small hand luggage. John our Steward kept it immaculately clean and everything we asked he complied no problem at all. We had tea and coffee facilities in the cabin and chocolates placed on the bed every evening by John. Good size balcony. Bath/shower bathroom good size. I think we had 2 complimentary bottles of water when we arrived. So cabin and service extremely good in cabin. And all cabin stewards outside our cabin were very friendly and smiling. The Oriental Dining room in which we had our evening dinners was good. We got to know our waiters, wine waters etc and they were all very nice and friendly and always smiling and courteous and anything we asked they went out of their way. The first evening dinning there I was not impressed by the food. We have gone on other cruises and the food was much much better but as the days went by the food improved. Entertainment and activities mostly for the over 70s. Some of the shows were nice but mostly directed to the over 70s aged group. And then when you thought well I will have a nice drink with my friends we are on holiday - last orders 12.30 - 1 pm - . Disco was also closed at approximately that time with hardly anybody on the dance floor as most of the music was for the older generation. It was quite difficult to be entertained during the day especially when the weather was cold and you couldn't use the pools outside. Quite a boring cruise ship. Outside of the theatres and pubs/bars if you wanted to use the toilets some were closed permanently throughout the cruise and they were smelly. Lunch/breakfast at the Conservatory buffet. Most of the food was a bit bland. Mostly English stuff, steak and kidney, English breakfast, salads and pies a few indian dishes which were nice. But it was a fight for tables. Some of the old generation have no manners at all. People were looking for tables to sit and eat their lunch or dinners and the people were just sitting there talking and not moving at all. There were not enough tables and they just would not bulge. One time we just could not find a table at all and my husband complained to the head waiter who said they would be closing in 15 minutes! and we could not find a table to eat our lunches! they just would not move! He said a man had been there sitting since 7 am! and this was perhaps 10 am and we could not have out breakfast! Most of the staff up here were not smiling or friendly, they were courteous and helpful but could not do anything to move people nor find us a table. Laundry Rooms. The first day we found a big laundry room where I washed the clothes we had used in Southampton without any problems, lots of irons so I ironed a few clothes thinking I will iron the rest the next day or so (how wrong was I). This laundry room was closed till nearly the end of the cruise. We had 2 more laundry rooms but they were half the size or smaller. One day I had to wait from 10 - 2 pm in the laundry room to have my chance to do our laundry I had a queue of I don't know how many people and more after me. It was horrendous but I didn't dare move and lose my turn. Here I learned of all that was wrong in the ship, people had been in their cabins without water for a few days! Some were complaining of another dinning room that was open for lunch that the waiters were rude. (bring your own washing powder or buy from reception). One sea day one of the other passengers was complaining that the shops in the ship were closed. I didn't see this as I did not go to the shops that day. The only good thing about this cruise was my cabin and cabin stewards. The waiter team in the Oriental dining room and the tours which were well organised. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was supposed to be a special cruise for our 60th wedding anniversary but it turned out to be very very disappointing, I realise that we are getting on a bit but we still like to have a good time and we certainly didn’t on this ship, ... Read More
This was supposed to be a special cruise for our 60th wedding anniversary but it turned out to be very very disappointing, I realise that we are getting on a bit but we still like to have a good time and we certainly didn’t on this ship, we have been on the Oriana before and should never gone again, we have cruised many times and I must say this was the worst by far. We experienced very rough seas and of coarse that’s not the fault of the ship, the crew were lovely and work very hard, as for the food it was very poor and the entertainment was third rate, I think whoever put it together thought anything was good enough for the elderly passengers, as for any dancing in the evenings it was okay if you were into old time dancing which we are not and if you liked to knit and natter or play bingo during the day then this was the cruise for you. The open dining was a feasco having to cue up for about an hour to get a table for two, I think there were a lot of disappointed people on this cruise and I know that we would never go with P&O again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
our first time cruise left us thinking would we do it again? . Once on board and got bearings the restaurant was a set meal from a menu which for us was rich for our taste and same with breakfast next morning . On talking to other guests ... Read More
our first time cruise left us thinking would we do it again? . Once on board and got bearings the restaurant was a set meal from a menu which for us was rich for our taste and same with breakfast next morning . On talking to other guests they told us where to go to get self service food, what a difference , the variety of choice was amazing and if lucky get to sit by a window and watch the view and eat. the staff in this restaurant worked really hard at clearing the tables of used crocks, helping people with disability, carry their food and help find a table .The cabin we had was inside which was a liveable size but having no windows you had to have the light on all the time. we also found that you were charged £6.00 per day per person per day, again guests told us that we can opt out by getting a form from reception. as this cruise was to see the northern lights it got very cold when berthed in alta -25 wind chill factor as a result the ship had some burst pipes which were dealt with the minimum inconvenience to the passengers. the entertainment on board at times was mediocre at best some good some bad. we did not go any shore excursions so cannot comment about them as regards value for money. the activities on board was how to line dance, ballroom dancing, play bridge, gym, a cinema with a good selection of films. we did manage to see the northern lights 4 times, which when talking to other guest who have done this trip before never saw them. but the one thing we will take home with us is the stunning views of Norway the friendly locals and of course the ships company Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Never again on the Oriana unless you are over the seventy age mark and would like to sit like zombies. The days entertainments were adult Colouring by numbers,Craft and Chat get together & knitting & Chat also line dancing and ... Read More
Never again on the Oriana unless you are over the seventy age mark and would like to sit like zombies. The days entertainments were adult Colouring by numbers,Craft and Chat get together & knitting & Chat also line dancing and they are only the high lights. Getting onto the ship was no trouble fill in the medical card, collect your on board cards and on to the ship you go and there the enjoyment ends. for four of five days there was a virus on board but we were not told, but when salt & pepper comes in little paper, hand antibacterial gel every where, on day five everything was back to normal. I must say that we did not have the best in weather 5 days of winds and bad seas but once we reach canary island the weather did get better for two days, who said go for the hot weather was not on the Oriana this December. The Conservatory [The Buffet] Poor meals Al Fresco [ Passable] Freedom Dining [Passable] If you like the formal evening you can eat and drink anywhere But if you not the buffet is all you get and you can drink only in one bar because you are not dress up for the rest. This ship I was please to get off and I was not the only one I'm sure. 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
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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