We normally cruise Holland America out of Fort Lauderdale for our winter Caribbean cruise. However, the cruise departing Southampton on 6 January meant only a short flight down from the North. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Our ... Read More
We normally cruise Holland America out of Fort Lauderdale for our winter Caribbean cruise. However, the cruise departing Southampton on 6 January meant only a short flight down from the North. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Our cabin was an outside on the 5th deck, although we were upgraded due to noise issues with an adjacent 'technical area'. This deck house keeper was very proactive on our behalf in securing the change. Impressive Rakesh! Our new cabin was lovely and there were no further problems. The Dining experience was mixed. On the whole the food was good although in the dining room (perhaps because we were far from the kitchen) it could be tepid, rather than piping hot. The Conservatory lido area was well-run and kept clean. There were themed choices each evening and the Indian night was highly popular with passengers and officers. All the dining room/Conservatory staff were excellent-among the best I have come across.
Regarding activities, the library was excellent and I attended many lectures and talks on themes such as the British Music Halls and Astronomy etc. Also there were separate musical concerts featuring Glenn Miller's hits and film theme tunes. The Headliners theatre group undertook a wide and varied range of musical productions and these were augmented by visiting singers and comedians who came aboard, including some local acts. Again, as good an entertainment as I have come across. Indeed, the cruise entertaiment manager Mr Percival was totally proactive in interacting with the passsengers as were his wonderful team.
Portwise I partcularly enjoyed my tours of Bermuda and Cartagena in Columbia( a change of itinerary due to weather conditions). Grenada always enchants as does the Commonwealth of Dominica. Everyone was impressed by our visit to the Azores.
Disembarkation was slow due to the customs doing a very thorough check on departing passengers. But P and O do not control this.
Although Oriana is getting a bit old and tired, it is still a great favourite with all who sail in her. Sadly, she is being replaced and while a new ship will be wecome, I wonder if the elegance of this ship will be easy to replacate. Read Less