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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony ... Read More
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony upgrade. We weren't lucky but it wasn't a great loss as the resultant weather was atrocious. We started off on a low with a 5 hour delay due to an engine problem not mentioned in the cruise log. Finally left around 9pm. Made up time & arrived La Rochelle on time. Weather warm 22C overcast with slight drizzle. All trips went ahead as advertised. The on to Santander where the weather started to deteriorated with thunder, lightning & very heavy rain. Back on the ship & off to La Corona with a sunny start & sat out in the Piazza square in glorious sun for 1/2 hour. All trips cancelled due to a Spanish coach drivers strike! Then more incessant downpours in high winds. The trouble started after we left for Guernsey heading for the Bay of Biscay. The wind overnight built up rapidly to gale force 10 then maxed out at 11! The swell increased to 6.5 metres & the ride was very uncomfortable but the captain seemed more concerned that the ship was coping admirably while most passengers including myself were pretty scared. I'm starting to think that we shouldn't have left La Corona & should have waited until conditions improved. We finally after 36 hours of hell arrived at St Peter Port, Guernsey where conditions had improved considerably but the captain decided that using tenders was going to be unsafe. This upset a lot of passengers who were looking forward to sampling the joys of the island. Conditions improved during the day but still deemed to be too dangerous for tenders. Instead we upped anchor & left for Southampton 3 hours early arriving around 4am. There was a lot of noise made tying up on our berth so impossible to get any sleep. Disembarked at 9.15 am & relieved to be back on land! Food was really good & recommend freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant. Top Tip: Avoid The Conservatory which was a bit like the "Wild West" & a scrum. Andersons bar very good service & comfortable seats. Two formal nights when one would have done. Wine prices very reasonable & excellent selection. Oriana nicely refurbished & survived the violent seas which we were grateful for but the passengers really suffered. I won't be cruising again to Northern Spain after this which ruined what was supposed to be a relaxing break for my elderly mother & myself. Marks out of 10 only 5 unfortunately. I still can't believe I paid to go on this cruise & feel some sort of compensation warranted as a lot of 1st timers who won't be returning. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Went for our 40th anniversary on a late booking, lucky to get a mini suite and it was so wonderful felt so special as only used to balconies, but the room surpassed all my dreams. Yes due to problems late leaving so no exciting sail away ... Read More
Went for our 40th anniversary on a late booking, lucky to get a mini suite and it was so wonderful felt so special as only used to balconies, but the room surpassed all my dreams. Yes due to problems late leaving so no exciting sail away but as we had a bottle of complimentary champagne to drink on our balcony enjoyed. Weather started good and we enjoyed La rochelle, santander even though the storm was horrendous and lovely La coruna with only a shower, the sea was definitely choppy but known worse from past cruises, think captain should have not been so open about the forth coming conditions as lots of passengars we spoke to were quite frightened and come 10 oclock all venues were very empty, previous cruisers said he should not have said as much as he did. people went back to their cabins early, though the sea did not seem that rough at that stage. Very sad not to get off at Guernsey felt for the passengers who had never visited there, do feel we could have got off lunchtime but the captain seemed like he just wanted to head back to southampton asap so he could get the ship ready for the next big cruise, and feel he let the passengers down and the cost involved losing a port day and the extra so called entertainment he said was laid on was rubbish, even sail away in doors was poor. Really hope this cruise has not put anyone off just so bad luck with the weather which we have never experienced, we have always had great cruises with PO and off soon on lovely Ventura and back on Oriana next year. Had freedom dining but ate in main restuarant every night and met different cruisers for chats. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Firstly, this was our 1st cruise with P&O out of 9 cruises...and will most definitely be our last P&O!! We had heard many good reports about P&O that we couldn't wait...how disappointed we were. It certainly did not live up to ... Read More
Firstly, this was our 1st cruise with P&O out of 9 cruises...and will most definitely be our last P&O!! We had heard many good reports about P&O that we couldn't wait...how disappointed we were. It certainly did not live up to our expectations. We sailed from Southampton to France, Spain and Guernsey. We didn't have the best weather...but that's out of anyone's control. We liked the layout of the ship...although she was a little small. We liked club dining idea in the Oriental....although the menu choice left a lot to be desired, as did the service...can't possibly swap cream for ice cream, didn't know our names and we were often given the wrong meal!!! but by the end of the cruise when they were all expecting their tips they couldn't do enough for you!!! We liked our cabin, an outside...but unfortunately, that's where the "we liked's" ends!!! The title of the review is "Rest home at Sea"...because that is exactly how we feel about our cruise (we are just in our 50's). The average age appeared to be an "old" 75 yrs old (and that's being polite). There was no "atmosphere" on the ship....bars were often silent like a library where you dared not speak because people were asleep with their false teeth hanging out. The entertainment was definitely not for us....bridge, whist, crafting, waltz lessons, knitting...OMG!!! For the first time ever... we so desperately wanted to get off ship.....!!!! The Captain had most of the passengers petrified with his OTT announcements when the weather took a turn for the worst. If it's going to be so bad....stay in port....but oh no.... that will cost money!!! Add into this... we couldn't get off in Guernsey. The Captain decided that the sea conditions were too rough...hmmmm!!!! it was the best day weather wise of the whole cruise!!! everyone was so disappointed that we could not get off but could do no other than sit and watch the little sail boats circle us while we sat there like lemons!! We contacted P&O on our return re compensation for missed port but they didn't want to know.....maybe the bar takings were down for the cruise and so the Captain needed to get those till ringing for one last time???? Will we try P&O again??? no....Not good enough P&O....plus, we're not ready to wait for God yet!! P.S. can't wait to get back on NCL. and P.P.S. ....can't wait to get back on Thomson!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I just returned from a 19 day cruise on the ORIANA around the med and Adriatic.,We drove down the night before and stayed at Chilworth Manor, just to make it an extra days holiday.,Now most hotels ask you to vacate by 10.00am ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a 19 day cruise on the ORIANA around the med and Adriatic.,We drove down the night before and stayed at Chilworth Manor, just to make it an extra days holiday.,Now most hotels ask you to vacate by 10.00am ,ours was 12.00. The reason I tell you this will become clear. Our boarding time was 1500hrs, having no problem with this we thought we can wait at the terminal.so taxi in to terminal where we were given a ticket and took a seat to await our embarkation. During the time we were waiting on a number of occasions ALL the check in desks were empty so we asked could we check in....not board but just check in.We were told no..have to wait until 3-00 .Eventually the Evesway coaches arrived and were given priority, obviously there will be people on the coaches that have early boarding times and those that have later times like us.....Eventually we were called to CHECKIN at 1515hrs.Now we dont mind "waiting our turn" but when you have check in desks doing NOTHING surely the people already at the terminal could have at least checked in,and called to board at their required time, it just seems a very haphazard way to embark passengers,We think PO have to look at this again. The Ship....This was our first time with PO and also the smallest ship we have been on and were impressed with the layout and design of her,..did not have to walk far to get to any venue.all public spaces were clean and"shipshape" .Also first inside cabin we have had,and we were pleasantly surprised,plenty of room,for clothes etc quite comfortable. except for the first day and half where we hit a force 10. DINING....We had freedom dining (anytime) and never had a problem getting a table ,usually to share.which we enjoy. the food was ....OK but there was nothing on any of the menus that made us go WOW.and it was certainly catered for "brits", having said that ,the service was EXCELLENT.with all the waiting staff very friendly and approachable. The reason for the heading VERY "BRITISH.is that during our cruise we spoke to many other passengers about both PO and the ORIANA,and it was VERY evident that many of them were very "protective"about both. ie Will NEVER try another cruise line, and in many cases no other ship,when we told them we have used PRINCESS ,ROYAL CARIBEAN and Thomson..some got quite irate,....they seem to regard it as their own private cruise line. ENTERTAINMENT......This was a "music at sea" cruise, unfortunately we were not informed until after we booked,it was all classical music. Luckily I enjoy some of this,but my wife doesnt,having said that I enjoy some classical music, I mean QUALITY performers, and unfortunately some were not....the violinist and flautist were world class but the male singers were at best average. Every PO ship apparently have their "HEADLINERS" who are the ships entertainment crew.These did a number of shows throughout the cruise,and they are all very talented...BUT in my opinion every one was... to loud..and to fast,... slick and profesional...yes,but most shows were non stop "medleys"of ABBA ,Musicals etc. I dont think they actually finished a song before going into another. The other entertainment was pretty good, a comedian, a fantastic group (Bluejays) and an ex HOLLIES member who was very entertaining. One of the things we found annoying was ,if you wnt to one of the lounges in the evening for entertainment,lasting and hour,as soon as it was over,you had to leave as there was nothing to keep you there,not even music.. DAYTIME....As I said this was our first time with PO,and the "things to do"was ,in my opinion very poor, We are not interested in .BRIDGE,WHIST, KNITTING, SEQUENCE DANCING or Shuffleboard...we overheard people say they only went to play it because there was nothing else to do...we even went to the cinema 3 times to ease the boredom. SHORE EXCURSIONS....Where do I start? I think by now everyone who cruises knows that ships excursions are a rip off....that goes for ANY line. but by far and away the "CATANIA HIGHLIGHTS" tour was one of the worst. ie Bus from ship,coast road to a "photo opportunity" a large piece of lava rock in the sea with a "fort" on top (which we couldnt go into) then back to a square which was a 10mnt walk from the ship to see a cathedral (which we could not enter because service on) where we were told we had 2 HOURS of"free time" then walked about 200yrds to where the shuttle dropped off to the bus to take us back to the ship which would have been quicker walking to. ABSOLUTELY SCANDALOUS....needless to say there were a lot of complaints ,but no refund given. The next port of call CORIGLIANO CALABRO....ANOTHER waste of time,shuttle to "town" (20 mnts) then if wanted to 3EU another shuttle to a castle at top of hill (could walk if fit enough) that was it. VENICE...Fell in love with Venice first time we went,and even though my wife had to visit a dentist there,it is still a magical place. TRIESTE..This place oozes money and class, very expensive top end shops,and some beautiful architecture.Again straight off ship into town. ZADAR...Beautiful place...straight off ship by short shuttle ride lovely walk along promenade into the town where we found a great little bar as you go through the gate right up the steps absolutely great, outdoors with cushions and rugs on the floor reeealy nice place to have a quiet drink. KOTOR.....Also a lovely place, unfortunately the tender boarding was a shambles, waited in lounge until called down, only to find they had not disembarcked the ones already in it.so waited for 45 mnts on stairs before boarding, the ones coming back on board had been waiting on hour on the water to get back...absolute shambles, but once ashore lovely walks and interesting things ..like the "great wall" brilliant. CORFU.....Now we come to the not so good part, we actually sailed into Corfu harbour only for the captain to announce he didnt feel it was safe to try and dock?? He later announced that we would dock in CARTAGENA instead, ok no problem...even printed and arranged excursions etc for passengers ...later he announced that due to currents and tides there he didnt feel it was "viable" to attempt to call in there......maybe it had something to do with port fees ?? So on to GIBRALTER..straight of ship ,there are taxis,minibuses etc to use for tours as you come off,these are a lot cheaper than ships tours..we paid £25 for a wonderful 2,/ 1/2 hour trip around and top of the rock.with a great guide. This was the ONLY port in a weeks sailing, not really good enough PO. Finally,I would say we would try PO again,but a much bigger ship like the Azura maybe.maybe it has better stabalisers .as this ship moved a little to much and to often for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have cruised with another cruise line sixteen times, the last one was dire in all it's glory. Some friends of ours who also had the same experience decided to try P&O in 2016. They said that they had had a good time and the food was ... Read More
We have cruised with another cruise line sixteen times, the last one was dire in all it's glory. Some friends of ours who also had the same experience decided to try P&O in 2016. They said that they had had a good time and the food was good. Unfortunately in June 2017 something had changed the food was forgettable, unless of course you like: Cottage pie: Sausage & mash: Fish & chips: Beef burgers: Spaghetti: Curry (repeated most nights in the Conservatory Cafeteria); At least the vegetables were seasoned and cooked properly. The food in the dining room didn't fare much better but the choice was better. Naturally should you wish to eat well then put your hand into your pocket and withdraw circa £20.00 per person to eat in the alternative themed restaurants which also charged additional prices for other speciality meals. The themed restaurants on many cruise ships are simply taking the mick! Why should I want fork out (excuse the pun) more money to eat decent food when w've just spent over 3 grand getting onboard and that doesn't include drinks etc. The excursions were hampered by cold wet and windy weather in all locations apart from Lisbon Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in our cabin (deluxe outside) C156. This was very roomy with plenty of hanging space and a useful sitting area. This was our first cruise on Oriana since her refit and we were impressed. She ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in our cabin (deluxe outside) C156. This was very roomy with plenty of hanging space and a useful sitting area. This was our first cruise on Oriana since her refit and we were impressed. She looked pristine. All public areas were much better than before but the greatest improvement was the Conservatory. It is now a light and airy place with fresh tiles and some very good art work. We eat here on a couple of occasions and it was so much better than before. Not everything was perfect. The unthoughtful people on the previous cruise had drunk all the "Jaipur IPA" and even though it was obviously very popular no one had bothered to restock. Shame. Oriana needed some essential repair work(???) so we missed the port of Corigliano Calabro having overnight stays in Civitavecchia and Salerno instead. Unfortunately we also missed out on Marseille due to weather conditions - although I did wonder if the essential repair work also was a factor here. Food was of the usual high standard. We were on Freedom Dining which we prefer as we like a table for 2. The only problem with this was that people began queuing as early a 5pm so you really did have to be joining the queue well before 6pm if you wanted to get a table for 2. On a few occasions we were just a little too late and had to drag ourselves off to the bar with a pager which was no problem. The entertainment was very good. Headliners were excellent (as usual) and we also really enjoyed the Troubadors and the Spinettes. Chris Lubbe was also a very interesting and inspiring guest speaker. Overall, a very enjoyable cruise, so much so that we took the opportunity to book again whilst on board for another Mediterranean cruise on Oriana in October. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Just returned from an 18 nt cruise around the med. i always submit a review so once again here are positives and negatives.EMBARKATION; excellent.through security and into cabin in no time at all, luggage waiting for us, met our cabin boy ... Read More
Just returned from an 18 nt cruise around the med. i always submit a review so once again here are positives and negatives.EMBARKATION; excellent.through security and into cabin in no time at all, luggage waiting for us, met our cabin boy Minquel. Cabin; well kept cabin, large double bed, small frdige, small tv. we were an inside cabin. Now the negatives about the cabin, wardrobes with doors rails facing opposite way making it very hard to access clothes in and out, safe inside wardrobe but almost on floor, had to bend right down and couldnt see inside, also very small and narrow could only get a passport wallet inside so gave up on that.Positives, plenty of hot water, we had a bath which was brilliant, plenty of storage space in bathroom. Tea and coffee on hand. luggage under bed. DINING: we were freedom and loved it sat with some lovely people very enjoyable. Good food nice waiters. Enjoyed the black tie nights very much.BARS: Liked the quizzes in the sports bar, singers in the pacific, loved watching the ballroom dancers in harlequins. great shows put on by the Headliners. also went to some lectures, they were excellent.DECOR: the ship had recently had a refit having never been on the Oriana before couldn't say anything about it, but we liked it very much, beautiful carpets, typical of the old cruise liners of yester year. POOLS: we used to sit on the crystal pool much quieter, loved the sun chairs, better than the lounge beds. EXCURSIONS: only went on the Rome 3 point one as we were there last year, ok not so go rep. We booked on board to go on the Godfather tour that was brilliant lovely countryside, marvellous driver on the hairpin bends. Good rep very enjoyable day. DISEMBARKATION: no problems well organised. Car was parked in the CPS carpark, no problems with them. We had a wonderful cruise loved the Oriana, met nice people and lots of moaners especially those moaning because we couldnt dock in Marseille because of high winds. also the itinerary had been changed 2 days before departure. didnt go down Messina straites and back so had extra day in port for Rome and extra day in Salerno. both awful ports but still enjoyed staying on board plenty to do. All in all loved it plenty of positives and only the wardrobe negative. Ignore the moaners go and enjoy the lovely ship we did, looking forward to our next cruise with P&O in August. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
The ship is smaller than the other cruises we have been on and being all adults was a bonus . It does move and creak more than the modern ships and we did have a storm for a day and a half which was quite uncomfortable and let to things ... Read More
The ship is smaller than the other cruises we have been on and being all adults was a bonus . It does move and creak more than the modern ships and we did have a storm for a day and a half which was quite uncomfortable and let to things being cancelled . The conservatory buffet restaurant is always full and difficult to find places to sit but the mail restaurant is lovely , food , staff and consistent . Very rare you could get a table for two though . The ports we stopped at were lovely . We did a special trip to " search for the northern lights " which took us an hour on a very hot stuffy coach ( we all had layers on to keep warm at the other end ) and luckily did see the lights for about 10 minutes but this is not for the feint hearted and anyone that doesn't like the cold !!! The ice hotel was lovely and the husky sledding was wonderful. The entertainment on this ship was limited in comparison to Ventura and Azura and catered for older people . As it was so cold a lot of he outdoor activities were not practical when they did take place and the decks were closed a lot for safety reasons . There was lectures on in the theatre daily . The staff on the ship are consistently wonderful with only reception staff not as openly friendly ( think they have the hardest job ) . Personally won't be booking another cruise on the Oriana , purely personal preference and the age and size of the ship Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Back on P&O after two Celebrity and one Princess cruise, check in was very crowded but we were onboard quick enough and straight to our outside cabin. A long time since we had not had a balcony, would we miss it ?, well yes we did even ... Read More
Back on P&O after two Celebrity and one Princess cruise, check in was very crowded but we were onboard quick enough and straight to our outside cabin. A long time since we had not had a balcony, would we miss it ?, well yes we did even though it was cold and inclement weather. The cabin seemed small,l although we managed to hang all our clothes which included some very bulky coats etc. The televisions are very small and not interactive as on other ships. The cabin steward happily took away and stored some of the large cases as they did not fit under the bed. The security safe is in the wardrobe at floor level, not easy for the over 60's to access which is most of the clients ? We were on freedom dining and most nights were seated straight away although later diners had to have pagers. The food and service in the Peninsular was excellent. We sampled various venues for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon tea during the cruise and all were very good. I would say however that the conservatory offering was not as good as the American ships. During the sea days we took part in most of the quizzes, and a few of the other activities on offer, the table tennis being on an outside deck curtailed my enthusiasm to play, and the short mat bowls whilst in port was a farce due to the ships tilt. The entertainment was varied and we enjoyed the headliners, comedian Jay Magee, and two good speakers. The formal nights were well supported and the photographers were not in your face all the time which made a change. We were lucky enough to see the northern lights although the full moon did not help, they were generally like a grey wisp of cloud but did come out greenish on the photographs. People on the second night were not so fortunate. The weather on the return leg was very rough, force eleven with the usual array of those that carried on as normal and those that could not. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Having taken a cruise 2 years ago on Oceana we made a decision never to travel with P&O again, however, as they were the only cruise company making this trip we had no choice and booked the Northern Lights Cruise on Oriana in March ... Read More
Having taken a cruise 2 years ago on Oceana we made a decision never to travel with P&O again, however, as they were the only cruise company making this trip we had no choice and booked the Northern Lights Cruise on Oriana in March 2017. The cruise itself was fantastic but after giving P&O a second chance we definitely will not be travelling with them again. The embarkation was quick and our cases were outside our cabins soon after we arrived. We were disappointed with the small amount of wardrobe space especially as we had heavy coats and boots with us. The safe was inside the wardrobe and at floor level which made it difficult to see when opening or closing it because of the clothes hanging over it. The TV was not interactive and offered hardly any channels other than P&O's promotions which, having to spend a couple of days in bed due to a chest infection was not good. Although the ship had apparently undergone a refurbishment the wash basins in the bathrooms were chipped (a good place to hoard germs) and the toilets were very temperamental when flushing. Each day we noticed at least one toilet in the public toilets out of use and washbasins waiting for repair. Considering this was a winter trip the entertainment offered was very poor. We expected lots if indoor activities and fun but apart from quizzes and games on the Wii machine there was very little to do, not even an indoor pool which we have enjoyed even on a "hot" cruise. Even the choice of the films in the cinema were geared to one genre, nothing gentle that we could watch. The craft get-together was a washout unless you had the foresight to bring your own equipment. Craft kits were being sold on board but there were no tools available to make these and no instructor either. The art class was another one that had to be paid for, we've never paid for craft and art classes on other ships. The Entertainments Manager could have arranged so many more fun activities but apart from seeing her introducing acts in the theatre she was conspicuous by her absence. This cruise definitely needed an injection of fun and laughter but to us P&O seems to be a company where you just sit, read and drink!! Maybe it's typically English - BORING. Thank goodness for the comedians who were excellent and introduced laughter in this very boring Company, but the Headliners just screeched to make themselves heard over the band which was far too loud. The food and service in the Peninsular was excellent but the Conservatory choices were dismal, nowhere as good as American ships. The cleanliness in the Conservatory was almost non-existent, we saw a hoover being used twice but not around the table legs where the crumbs collected. On other cruise lines there has been a visible presence of hand rails and banisters being cleaned but this was lacking on this ship. The majority of the crew were very helpful with the exception of a couple of the reception staff who seemed as though they couldn't "be bothered" and were rude. There seemed to be only one lad who knew his job and could answer our questions. We booked several shore excursions and enjoyed them all, the highlight being the ice hotel, we would certainly recommend that. We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights which completed our trip and the talk on setting cameras to allow photographs to be taken was invaluable and we took several good natural photos of them (not enhanced as the ones for sale on the ship were). Disembarkation was chaotic. There was no organisation with the cases and people were wandering around trying to find them. Ours were in three different places! Read Less
Oriana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 3.8
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms N/A 4.1
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.9

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