I recently went on a ten day cruise around the Canary Islands on the P & O ship the Oriana. The ship set sail on the 15 September 12. We were delighted that we were able to get on board with none of the usual problems of queuing in my car. We had to wait a little while to get in our cabin as it was still being prepared. We were pleased when we got in as the cabin windows on this ship are particularly large and being on A deck got a particularly good view. The cabin was of the usual standard, small but ok. It did have a very tired looking pink bathroom suite but this was acceptable.
We had not been on the Oriana before and on looking around found it to be, in our view, a lot better than the Oceana. (Which needed a serious refit). Everything went well for the first eight days, the trips though expensive were well organised and getting to the coaches was quick and easy. My only complaint about this was the Oporto trip. The city was rather dirty and every available wall was covered in graffiti. The wine tasting visit was a disappointment as all there was to see were a lot of storage barrels, all other processes were completed elsewhere and shipped here. The most exciting part was tasting the Port wine and then the usual souvenir shop visit. Most items available in the UK at cheaper prices. A 50 minute trip along the river followed this. Basically a boat ride with little of any interest to see. Comments were made by a number of people about it being an overpriced trip.
I should have realised there were issues on the ship regarding the Noro virus as on leaving the toilets after washing your hands you had to use tissue to open the toilet exit door and put in a bin outside. For the first eight days there were no issues. On the second to last night we had our usual meal in the Oriental restaurant where I concluded my meal with a glass of Port and some Stilton cheese. I did notice that the container for the cheese had been packed down with cheese with what looked like the remnants from other containers. The colour and taste was not the same as other nights. I perhaps mistakenly ate this and thought no more about it till the following day when I had an attack of diarrhea. It wasn't to bad and I put it down to the usual complaint of rich food. It continued a little until the next day when I decided to see the nurse to help stop it as we had a long journey the next day on leaving the ship. Big mistake as we were immediately told, after the nurse had taken a step back, to go to our room and stay there until a nurse would come and see us. Two hours later a nurse arrived suitably dressed, gloves apron etc. She took our blood pressure, temperature and pulse, with nothing apparently wrong, (she didn't tell us,) she decided that we had the Noro virus (gastro enteritis) telling us that we were both confined to the cabin for the rest of the trip and we would have to be last to leave the ship. They would come to deep clean our room on two occasions during that day. When they did come it was a joke. He arrived with mask, gloves, apron and shoe covers and proceeded to wipe a few bits down and promptly left. The second visit was the same as the first but he managed to wipe our suitcase handles this time! I would add that the privilege of having a consultation was Â£35 each for myself and my wife who had also shown some minor symptoms. I started to get cabin fever later in the day with room service meals not being much and television being very limited. The next day, departure day, we had been given no information about our disembarkation. So I made several calls and on each occasion I was told rather curtly to stay where we were and someone would come to take us and our luggage off the ship. When they gave the last announcement that all remaining passengers must leave the ship and we were still there I rang again. The receptionist realised her mistake and called for the deck manager to come to our room. There were no apologies at any time. The deck manager arrived with no idea what was going on. He immediately took us off the ship to the car park. He showed no concerns re being near us or touching anything we had touched?
I would add that prior to my first bout of diarrhea we had been on the ship 36 hours so probably got the virus from something or someone on the ship. I have emailed P & O two weeks ago but have heard nothing.
My complaint is the way we were treated, much like lepers. The curt way we were spoken to and the fact that something we had got on board had ruined or last 24 hours or perhaps the whole trip and no mention of being sorry or showing any empathy towars our situation. I will seriously consider not going on any more P & O cruises if this is the way you are treated .