By Ashley Kosciolek
Cruise Critic Editor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Dining

In common with the rest of the ship, Oriana's restaurants are very much geared for British tastes, complete with Marmite at breakfast. Three meals a day, plus snacks in between, are spread across two main dining rooms, two alternative for-fee eateries, a buffet venue, two cafes and, of course, room service.

Free Dining

Peninsular Restaurant and Orient Restaurant (Deck 6): These two restaurants serve as the ship's main dining rooms, both of which were recently refurbished with new carpeting and chairs.

There are two breakfast sittings in the Peninsular, which is also open for waiter-served lunch, offering a more formal option than the buffet.

Both restaurants are open for dinner. Passengers with set-seating Club Dining will be assigned one of two times -- 6:30 or 8:30 p.m. -- in Orient, where they will dine with the same fellow passengers for the duration of the sailing.

Those opting for anytime Freedom Dining can arrive at Peninsular whenever they choose between 6 and 9 p.m.

Tables for two are available, but once they have gone, other tables seat groups of up to eight passengers.

Typical dinner menu fare might include shrimp cocktail, beef Wellington, pheasant and baked Alaska, as well as a good selection of wine, starting from around £12 a bottle. There's little point in taking your own wine to meals, as there's a steep corkage charge of £20.

The Conservatory (Deck 12): Early Continental breakfast and, subsequently, full breakfast are served in the cavernous Conservatory, Oriana's buffet venue, which received new counters, additional seating, and new lighting, furniture and carpeting during the 2016 refit. It's also open for lunch, which is immediately followed by tea until 5 p.m.

For a more informal dinner with open seating, the Conservatory serves nightly themed buffets, such as Asian, fish and seafood, Mediterranean and Indian.

Passengers eager to get in at opening times result in queues forming quickly, but leave it until a bit later, and it's easy to go straight to the expansive buffet serving all kinds of salads, hot dishes, puddings and a cheese selection for lunch and a good selection of sandwiches, cakes and hot snacks at teatime.

Tiffany's (Deck 8): Cruisers looking for a light breakfast or a bite between meals can choose from a selection of free items. They can also get their coffee fix at Tiffany's branded Costa outpost for an extra fee.

Al Fresco (Deck 12): This complimentary cafe with a Mediterranean vibe is open for breakfast and then offers selections like pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads and desserts through to the evening.

Room Service: Room service is available 24 hours. Complimentary breakfast can be ordered for delivery between 7 and 11 a.m. by hanging an order form outside your cabin door the night before. There is a per-item fee when passengers order from either of two menus, one available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and another from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Items include a selection of small and large plates, wraps, desserts and cream tea.

Fee Dining

Sindhu (Deck 8); £17.50: Although P&O Cruises has dissolved its former partnership with chef Atul Kochhar, creator of Sindhu, an outpost of the restaurant replaced Marco Pierre White's Ocean Grill during Oriana's 2016 refit. The space features elegant yet simple decor in shades of brown and cream. Although the surrounds are a bit lacklustre, the menu shines, featuring items like ginger and mint tiger prawns, crisp soft-shell crab, black chickpea dumplings with masala hummus, lobster with spiced coconut and mango sauce, duck breast with mustard poha and aubergine fritters, vegetable and paneer dumplings with saffron sauce, cardamom bread and butter pudding, and a chilled mango and passion fruit parfait.

The Beach House (Deck 12); £7.50: This venue, which occupies part of the Conservatory buffet at dinnertime, has a good range of starters like bacon and cheese potato skins, boneless chicken thighs, nachos and hush puppies; mains that include salmon, chicken, a Cuban sub and stir-fried sizzler plates with prawns, turkey, New York strip steak or grilled chili halloumi; and some tempting desserts, including a decadent chocolate fondue for two people for £4 extra. Other optional chargeable items are a garlic seafood kebab, double-decker burger, beef brisket, beef and pork short ribs, and a cook-it-yourself beef fillet, which comes out on a hot lava rock.

Oriana Ship Stats

  • Crew: 760
  • Launched: 1995
  • Decks: 11
  • Passengers: 1800
  • Registry: Bermuda
  • CDC Score: 90

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