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Oriana Cruise Review by Grandkel

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Oriana
Oriana
Member Name: Grandkel
Cruise Date: August 2013
Embarkation: Southampton
Destination: Baltic & Northern Europe
Cabin Category: LE
Cabin Number: D195
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Oriana Cruise Reviews | Baltic & Northern Europe Cruise Reviews | P&O Cruises Cruise Deals
Member Rating   2.0 out of 5+
Dining 3.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 1.0
Entertainment 2.0
Spa & Fitness 1.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 1.0
Embarkation 5+
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 2.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Oriana Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Oriana Deck Plans
Disability

This is an old ship which has been adapted for wheelchair users in an appalling way.

Bedrooms are small and compact which has little space to accommodate a fold up wheelchair or small mobility scooter. We had our bed in a queen size set up which left little room to either side of the bed. There is loads of cupboard and draw space, a small TV, small fridge and tea making facilities. There a corner settee and table which two people could just about sit on. The shower room was basic and only one person could get into the room and to sit on the toilet the door had to at least part shut. The shower was accessible but I had to lean on one wall to maintain my balance when the ship was at sea.

The only way I could store my wheelchair and maintain some room in the cabin was remove the foot rests and store it by the cabin door. During the day there were two of us that let the wheelchairs in the lift area or folded up outside my door. Our cabin was not in a main thorough fare so this did not cause major problems.

Getting around the ship

We tried to access the open deck area on deck 7 and on trying to get out the door proved to very difficult. The doors open out and my wife needed to hold the door open and in my attempt to get out I flipped the wheelchair backwards. Luckily I was unhurt. On closer inspection it was noted that the ramp out onto the deck was far too steep. Once out onto the deck I could not re-enter the ship without someone lifting the front wheels over the metal threshold which was about 3-4 inches in height. There was the same problem on deck 13 although getting out onto the deck was a little easier.

Getting from the forward lift to deck 12 was always a leap of faith and hope no one got hurt as I transited the corridor. The access to the deck was up a narrow corridor, only just wide enough for a wheelchair, which was also a ramp and had male and female toilet off. My wife had to hold open the door for me to transit the corridor and if anyone was in the loo and stepped out a wheelchair could cause a nasty injury.

The carpets in all the corridors made it difficult to push a wheelchair along as the flock of the carpet made to chair pull to one side and difficult to propel on one's own.

Access to the show areas.

There are two show areas the Theatre Royal and The Pacific Lounge and both have ramps and problems with seating. The Pacific Lounge which has a slight incline which my wife could push me up but once into to the lounge there were step down to most of the seating and only access to a few end chairs. These were often taken and there was no reserved area for disabled and there carers so unless one of the first into the shows there was no ware to sit. The Theatre Royal is more difficult to access as the ramp is very steep and we could not get up the ramp without assistance. There are two ramps both steep and one after the other and once at the top there is an area for wheelchair users. This area for the wheelchairs is like being in a dock and one feel like a criminal. There is no seating for cares beside the wheelchairs although they have comfortable seating segregated by a solid wooden banister and a walkway. Sitting in the area seems to suggest those in a wheelchair are second class and don't need company whilst watching a show. Sitting in this raised area made me feel as though I was in court awaiting judgment and I felt all that was needed was a spotlight on this area to complete the humiliation.

Eating in the Conservatory.

This is the self service restaurant and although there are lots of seating those that are not on the main walkway is inaccessible. Due to the seating layout it was impossible to get to tables by the window areas as any gap was either too narrow or block by waste bins. Although I did find the staff most helpful when getting food as they always wanted to help and carry your tray to the tables.

Disembarkation.

At several ports the gangways were very steep with steps in the middle. Because of this anyone in an electric wheelchair could not get off even though the ship gangway is flat. As I was in a manual wheelchair I was manhandled off. I question the safety of being got off the ship in this way and the health and safety of the staff who manhandle those off the ship. Also again anyone disabled would feel a second class citizen.

 


Publication Date: 08/24/13
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