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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Where do you start with P&O’s Oriana cruise from Southampton(Madeira/Tenerife/Lisbon etc). December 2018 Firstly, the decommissioning of the vessel in 019 is ambitious. 010 might have been more appropriate. A thoroughly ... Read More
Where do you start with P&O’s Oriana cruise from Southampton(Madeira/Tenerife/Lisbon etc). December 2018 Firstly, the decommissioning of the vessel in 019 is ambitious. 010 might have been more appropriate. A thoroughly dated outfit appealing to a well over 65’s demographic. The activities and entertainment plan were something out of the 70’s. Frontline staff were busy smiling without really understanding our questions and you left with a sense of frustration. Food was hit and miss. The Conservatory is a free for all with one in 6 dishes acceptable. Very bland food in general lacking any real flavor added to the bad customer experience. Room service to cabin was poor. Incorrect order brought complete with soggy bread! Breakfast ends at 9.30.....on a cruise!? Cabins are ok but again way out dated with 14 inch TV screens, yet huge mirrors wasting space. Choice of in cabin entertainment was miserable for this day and age. The incredibly loud PA announcer jovially speaking Ruth Madoc style every morning with......And today on Deck 10 its basket weaving........ The halcyon days of ‘Hi De Hi’ are still with us apparently. Tip.... Do not attempt to let them book a taxi for you. We had to wait 90 minutes! Sniggering British staff behind the curtains on reception letting the Asian front line staff hold the baby A two star operation ‘priding’ itself on 3 Black tie evenings which were poorly attended. Why in this day and age have them? Subsequently we were left with one choice for dinner which added costs to our bill. The final complaint though is too shocking to contemplate. The captain was clearly naive and probably conditioned to P&O practice in thinking it’s ok to give us the negative news about ship to shore communication once he had set sail. He continued to drip feed us ‘we are working on it’ lines knowing full well it was out of order at the original starting point. To depart Southampton on a 12 day trip without the Internet or phone service leaving passengers completely stranded in their quest for contact with homes, business, loved ones was the worst error of judgment we have witnessed. We had to wait for 4 days until first stop to get on land before frantically connecting with anyone. The arrogance of the operator clearly thinking this type of practice in 2018 is acceptable. If you are unfortunate in cruising with P&O please look at their internet packages. The big standard 7.95 a day only covers Facebook and a few sites. No emails, YouTube etc. Those are extras!!!! Our overview of P&O is not good. They are a weak company with a tired fleet and out dated planning. Clearly targeting much older customers who are unlikely to complain about the lack of communicado and the daily grind of school dinners. Bland, boring and a complete lack of empathy with frustrated customers. If you are booking a cruise with them, make sure you check the itineraries thoroughly otherwise you will be in for a comedy of errors which include cribbage, crochet and failed New Faces talent from 1977! A Horror show. Avoid P&O at all costs! The worst cruise company out there. #fail #past glories #arrogant #disaster #cruise nightmare #watchdog #investigate Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Cruised on Oriana to Northern lights in March 2018. My first time with P&O and my last. Starting with Embarkation at the Mayflower terminal Southampton, P&O give you a time to turn up and I arrived at my exact time of 1.30 to ... Read More
Cruised on Oriana to Northern lights in March 2018. My first time with P&O and my last. Starting with Embarkation at the Mayflower terminal Southampton, P&O give you a time to turn up and I arrived at my exact time of 1.30 to find that everyone else including coaches had also arrived at this time. My driver pulled up at the rank and took my cases from the boot while a porter leant on his sack truck watching him! My driver then had to leave as it was so congested and I dragged my cases past the porter and 2 more until I got to the conveyor belt! Never had to drag my cases before on any other cruise line. I entered the terminal that was full and was given a fast pass to join a long line waiting to check in? After getting to the front of the line I was shown to another smaller line! I waited till it was my turn, the lady behind the desk was slow and not very friendly told me her card machine was playing up but try it anyway! Put my card in and waited then it declined it! Oh try again its my machine so she reset everything and put card back in and waited and waited till it got declined again! Oh she said its my machine join the line at guest services when you board and it will work there, I said I had onboard credit and would wait till the line was small but was told that my onboard credit wouldn't work until I registered my card so off I went to join line number 3! card worked fine and I could finally be on board. Other cruises I have been on have had a anytime policy and I have been onboard in a third of the time! First impression of the ship was better than I thought, it looked in good condition and had some nice décor, on reaching my cabin I was not so impressed as it was very small, my suitcase just fitted between the bed and the wall and stayed there as it didn't fit under the bed like on other ships, ok for me as a solo but not good for a couple, I had booked and outside cabin to get a nice window to look out of but the bed was in front of it and the only real way to look out properly was to kneel on the bed. On first impression it looked clean but more of that later. As per all ships we all attended a safety drill before sailing, I was in Harlequins and it seemed most of the ship was also mustered in harlequins, all seats had gone and very little standing room but people just kept coming in, lots of elderly people on sticks etc all stood up and crammed in, the drill took ages to start and we had to put life jackets on in a space that was only just about big enough to breath let alone put a life jacket on. Finally the drill ended and many people headed to bars and cafes to sit down after standing for so long only to be told they could not be served with a life jacket so elderly not very mobile passengers had to return to there cabins to return life jackets before they could sit down? We sailed away to no sail away party and the awful vibration from the propellers that has been a feature of Oriana since its build. Thankfully when we increased speed it did get less noticeable. The buffet on Oriana looks ok on first entry but its split in 4 and each section of food is repeated in the other sections so very little selection compared to other lines, I arrived at 7 a.m for breakfast the opening time and had sausage and bacon, the sausage was cold and the bacon was like cold cardboard, a waiter asked if I would like a drink and I asked for freshly squeezed orange juice, he returned after 15 mins with a glass screw top bottle of sugary orange juice with a label, sell by date, barcode etc like you would buy from a shop and was probably squeezed a month or more ago, he did say it was fresh from the bottle as a bit of a joke! This was a paid item that I could have got from the juice machine for free in the buffet however this machine only had water as an option after a couple of days! P&O couldnt seem to afford to run the drinks machines in the buffet. The buffet was very cold and bar staff and smokers kept opening the 2 glass sliding doors and the wind and snow would blow in as this was an artic cruise! All meals from then on were for me in the restaurant. The Restaurant was nice but not enough small tables, I only have main course and pudding and leave to enjoy the music each night, one night I sat down at 6.30 with the plan of seeing the show at 7.30. I was on a table of 8 and sat till 7.30 before my first food arrived, this was a table of elderly couples who spoke quietly to their partner and not to anyone else so 1 hour of sat in silence watching them eat! Many waiters cant speak English and on asking for tea you get coffee, this is partly because they all seem to be from one nation and talk in their own language all night, on other lines its a mix of nations who all converse in English and therefore their language skills improve. Entertainment on board is worse than an old peoples home, I get up a 6 in the morning, I have breakfast then back to the cabin, 11.15 go to the only lecture on board and the room is full as its the only thing on, the room has 2 small screens that swing back and forth with the movement of the ship and from the back of the room cant been seen properly and the room has pillars so sometimes you cant see the screen or only part of it! The theatre had no pillars and 3 large screens and sat empty! Then its lunch 12 till 1, I would go to the piano music in Tiffany's but you very often cant get a seat as people sit most of the day in there drinking Costa coffee and when quiet piano music is played they talk loudly over it. So 1 till 4 is in the cabin as nothing to do except a piano recital, when he said he would play music that was written before the piano was invented I gave up, I like classical music but he never played anything I recognized. 4 in the afternoon is afternoon tea, I go because I am bored not hungry. Then back to the cabin till 6 then its evening meal, if I get in at 6 I might get a small table! 7.30 the first bit of entertainment starts the 8.30 its the show that's squeaky and twee and looks like a red coat show from the 70's despite being the new show premiered tonight?? just random songs and dance with no storyline, way below the west end shows that are the norm for the industry, guest acts were thankfully good. So by 9.15 the shows are over and I would go to listen to the house band Inspiration who were very good but had to keep stopping while the dance teacher dragged couples (6 couples if she was lucky) to the floor for a rumba 1 and other sequence dances! Other music on board was poor, a duo who keep stopping, and most of the time the keyboard player just plays solo while she sits looking bored instead of singing! A trio playing old fashioned music and a very good piano player playing background music that everyone talks over. So you can see why my tablet used over 20gb of data as it was for 90% of the day my only entertainment and I franticly downloaded things at each port to use on the sea days when no signal was available as was not going to pay the high price for wifi on the ship. Things were scheduled in the daytime, these included shopping, knit and natter, craft and natter, footprint analysis, cellulite something or other, the spa giving free advice to try and get you to sign up to something paid, sequence dance class and my favourites deck quoit's and deck cricket!! on a icy deck that was closed for safety but they still wrote please keep your sun loungers away from the areas of play, who uses a sun lounger on an icy windswept deck in the Arctic??? the ship is run like an old peoples home and they seem to be dyslexic like me as P&O should read OAP and it was a over 18 cruise so they must have meant a over 81 cruise. So as for the Northern lights, all public rooms except the crows nest have no exterior views so its either the crows nest with all the lights on and it cant hold 1800 people or the outside deck that was closed off most of the time due to the excessive movement of the ship and the ice and wind! So its not really fit for purpose as most of the time the crows nest is the only viewing area and for 3 days the windows were covered in snow and ice! All windows were dirty and none were cleaned until we got back to Southampton. The ship pitches and rolls badly in slight to moderate seas, we had a force 7 and the ship kept slamming down into the ocean with a noise that sounded like someone playing a bass drum next to my bed, I cant believe this ship is stabilized or if it is that they used them? I have been in worse storms on other ships and not moved half as much. Made me laugh that they told everyone they needed a tripod to photograph the northern lights and lots of people bought the overpriced ones on board and set them up on a rolling and pitching deck to get a stable image????? one night in Alta it was forecast for heavy snow all night (why dock at Alta for 2 nights to see the northern lights next to the airport with all the flood lights on??) but they still sent people off on an expensive trip to stand in a field in a blizzard to look for the northern lights through thick clouds, surprised this was not a safety issue on the roads and elderly people stood in a cold field, some asked for a refund as it was obvious they would see nothing but none I heard of got one. The bridge gave little information, even crossing the Arctic circle was not announced. On cruising into Tromso on a nice morning with no ice on the promenade deck, no high winds and a smooth sea I found the deck closed and was instructed that only deck 12 was open for the smokers, on reaching deck 12 it was covered in ice and was next to the swimming pool that was part frozen but this was safer? Soon as we docked deck 7 was opened again! Bar staff would pester you for a drink when you had one but when you wanted one you couldn't find one and when you did they disappeared with your order to another bar returning 15 to 20 mins later, my favourite is I ordered a non alcoholic cocktail that I drink on other ships, the barman looked confused, walked to his computer and typed it in and turned and said “computer says no” and that was it, no how do you make it or can I suggest you try this instead! After being in my cabin for many hours each day I noticed about an inch of dust under the fridge, guessing it had never been cleaned since the fridge was put in, pulled the luggage mat down from the top of the wardrobe and got covered in dust again I don't think anyone had cleaned the top of it since the ship was built as it was thick up there, the sprinkler was also covered in thick blue dust and so was the air vent, the shower bubbled every time I heard a toilet flush next door, some passengers had flooding from this and some had no heating. We had one sail away party at the last port to cd music not a live band and the party finished while we were still docked! We left about 15 mins after the sail away party finished??? Disembarkation in Southampton hurray I can finally get off. Got a 9.15 time slot, left the cabin at 8 and sat in the restaurant waiting to leave, people by me had a 9.00 and some had a 9.30 I think some had a 9.45 time slot, no announcements were given, at 9.12 an officer came in and said you can ALL go! So a long line for the gang plank chaos in the baggage hall and chaos outside as all the cars etc tried to pick everyone up at once. The ship is run as an old peoples home, is not fit for purpose for arctic cruises, needs a good clean, needs re plumbing and larger public rooms as for instance the theatre hold 650 people x 2 shows 1300 total with 1800 passenger on board! When anything is put on everyone goes to it and overcrowds the room as nothing else is going on elsewhere. Never did see the northern lights, many on board bought photos of the lights from the photo desk and will be telling people they did see them! My first and last P&O cruise, never been so bored or fed up and counting the days till I can get off on any other ship. Not going to write and complain to P&O as I don't want a discount cruise or onboard credit, they would have to pay me a lot of money to ever go on another P&O ship of any description. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We embarked in Southampton and the embarkation went smoothly. We were staying at the Holiday Inn near the Mayflower Terminal were we embarked on the Oriana about 10 minutes from the hotel. We explored this area of Southampton and ... Read More
We embarked in Southampton and the embarkation went smoothly. We were staying at the Holiday Inn near the Mayflower Terminal were we embarked on the Oriana about 10 minutes from the hotel. We explored this area of Southampton and Westquay shopping centre 5 minutes walking and also the main street where lots of shops and eateries were. This holiday Inn was quite well situated Herbert Walker Road. The ship although refurbished was old and smelly especially in the corridors outside the cabins. My cabin was perfect, Deck 10 B186. Large, spacious cabin, enough space for all our clothes (12 cruise days - cold winter wear) and 3 large suitcases and 2 small hand luggage. John our Steward kept it immaculately clean and everything we asked he complied no problem at all. We had tea and coffee facilities in the cabin and chocolates placed on the bed every evening by John. Good size balcony. Bath/shower bathroom good size. I think we had 2 complimentary bottles of water when we arrived. So cabin and service extremely good in cabin. And all cabin stewards outside our cabin were very friendly and smiling. The Oriental Dining room in which we had our evening dinners was good. We got to know our waiters, wine waters etc and they were all very nice and friendly and always smiling and courteous and anything we asked they went out of their way. The first evening dinning there I was not impressed by the food. We have gone on other cruises and the food was much much better but as the days went by the food improved. Entertainment and activities mostly for the over 70s. Some of the shows were nice but mostly directed to the over 70s aged group. And then when you thought well I will have a nice drink with my friends we are on holiday - last orders 12.30 - 1 pm - . Disco was also closed at approximately that time with hardly anybody on the dance floor as most of the music was for the older generation. It was quite difficult to be entertained during the day especially when the weather was cold and you couldn't use the pools outside. Quite a boring cruise ship. Outside of the theatres and pubs/bars if you wanted to use the toilets some were closed permanently throughout the cruise and they were smelly. Lunch/breakfast at the Conservatory buffet. Most of the food was a bit bland. Mostly English stuff, steak and kidney, English breakfast, salads and pies a few indian dishes which were nice. But it was a fight for tables. Some of the old generation have no manners at all. People were looking for tables to sit and eat their lunch or dinners and the people were just sitting there talking and not moving at all. There were not enough tables and they just would not bulge. One time we just could not find a table at all and my husband complained to the head waiter who said they would be closing in 15 minutes! and we could not find a table to eat our lunches! they just would not move! He said a man had been there sitting since 7 am! and this was perhaps 10 am and we could not have out breakfast! Most of the staff up here were not smiling or friendly, they were courteous and helpful but could not do anything to move people nor find us a table. Laundry Rooms. The first day we found a big laundry room where I washed the clothes we had used in Southampton without any problems, lots of irons so I ironed a few clothes thinking I will iron the rest the next day or so (how wrong was I). This laundry room was closed till nearly the end of the cruise. We had 2 more laundry rooms but they were half the size or smaller. One day I had to wait from 10 - 2 pm in the laundry room to have my chance to do our laundry I had a queue of I don't know how many people and more after me. It was horrendous but I didn't dare move and lose my turn. Here I learned of all that was wrong in the ship, people had been in their cabins without water for a few days! Some were complaining of another dinning room that was open for lunch that the waiters were rude. (bring your own washing powder or buy from reception). One sea day one of the other passengers was complaining that the shops in the ship were closed. I didn't see this as I did not go to the shops that day. The only good thing about this cruise was my cabin and cabin stewards. The waiter team in the Oriental dining room and the tours which were well organised. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Just returned from my ferry boat ride around the Canary Islands . Because as far as I’m concerned that’s all you could call it . This ship is far too small and out of date to be taking on the Atlantic. Most of the passengers were ill ... Read More
Just returned from my ferry boat ride around the Canary Islands . Because as far as I’m concerned that’s all you could call it . This ship is far too small and out of date to be taking on the Atlantic. Most of the passengers were ill with sea sickness . I spent the first four days lying on my bed as I was too ill to leave my room . But I wasn’t missing much as the daytime activities were a disgrace . Come on now .... knit and natter . A puffy eyes seminar . How to have good posture seminar . I have never felt so bored and fed up in my life . As for the evening entertainment, it was very good when it was actually on . The cabin was another story well it wasn’t really a cabin it was more a two berth caravan . With the most dated bathroom that you certainly won’t get lost in . The food could be compared to school dinners . The buffet dining room is just like sitting in Morrisons cafe . The only decent place to eat on the ferry is the Sibiu Indian restaurant, were you get five star service and beautiful food but surprise surprise you have to pay . From the minute we stepped foot on this ferry it just shouted out cheapness and certainly not luxury. In fact when it berthed in other ports I felt like the poor relative . But nothing could be further from the truth because it cost well over £4000 which I may as well have chucked overboard Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I Have recently got back from a 12 night cruise in hope of seeing the northern lights but we could not see them but I admit that was nobodies fault , it was down to nature but my main problem was with the cruise itself , I did not enjoy ... Read More
I Have recently got back from a 12 night cruise in hope of seeing the northern lights but we could not see them but I admit that was nobodies fault , it was down to nature but my main problem was with the cruise itself , I did not enjoy much about this cruise , Our cabin was in a bad location and as it was a cold cruise because it was going to Norway and the further it got the colder it got so understandably they had to keep the doors closed on the lido deck which on a warm cruise you would've walked through to make it to the conservatory dining restaurant and it was a long walk and I was travelling with elderly parents in their mid 60's & they found it a lot having to walk a mile each time they wanted to get something to eat . The conservatory restaurant was always super extremely crowded and at breakfast most mornings you had to really scrimp around before you could find a clear table ans it was always absolute mayhem down there , the food was nothing special at all it was like the low quality junk you'd find at an all you can eat buffet for about £8.99 , mass catering . The better food you had to pay for like to dine in either the oriental or Indian restaurant you had to pay quite a bit more and I paid something in the region of £1200.00 so why in the hell should I have to pay for any extras ??? It should all be included , P&0 already had £1200 of my money why should they get anymore . I think this whole cruise was a huge con absolute rip off . The atmosphere of the conservatory restaurant was about as classy as ASDA's cafe but about ten times as rushed and crowded , I will never do another cruise with P&0 ever again ... They have really let themselves go down the toilet . The cabin was looked after very well and the cabin Steward that was looking after all the cabins on the deck I was on did a wonderful job and REALLY looked after us really well and was always happy and polite and nothing was too much trouble and he would chat with me for a couple of minutes while he was working and was very friendly . The cabin was comfortable and I had all the towels and sheets I needed , the one problem that did take longer to sort out that it should've done was an issue with the climate control it was on the coolest setting it would go and was only blowing out REALLY hot air , I was sticky and clammy because it was so warm in there and had to sleep on top of the bed before they finally fixed it , it took them four days to get on it despite the fact that I'd been up at the desk more times than I can remember to complain about it & they kept saying it was beyond their control and someone was fixing it and it could take an hour up to 24 hours and it took much longer , I thought it was complete unacceptable , it would sweetened it a little if they had said while we are sorting this out help yourselves to as many cold drinks from the refrigerator in your cabin and you won't be charged for them , they're on us until we can get this sorted out but they didn't even do that . The entertainment was totally naff & was either aimed at chavs or old people , There were a couple of decent films I saw in the Chaplin Cinema in the evening but that was it . Music was completely awful over commercialised cack and was chosen by someone without a brain or what appeals most to drunk idiots on a Friday or Saturday night . The whole thing has become really chavified where most things appealed to that kind of person . At dinner time in the evening it clearly stated either formal which meant shirt , tie and dinner Jacket and shoes or on smart casual it stated smart trousers , collar shirt and smart jumper no jeans or tracksuit / jogging bottoms or football shirts and when I went into the Conservatory restaurant there were more than half who were inappropriately dressed . I saw Flip flops , Trainers , Football shirts , Skull & Bones shirts , Vests on really gross overweight fat men with beer bellies and at dinner this is a really unpleasant thing to have to look at ... Even on the formal night there were individuals dressed in this manner I was repulsed & put off to be honest I thought I'd mistakenly walked into either Pontins or Butlins dining area as the kind of person these holidays now seem to be attracting this type of character If P&0 are going to have the dress codes then they need to do one of two things either do a beter job at enforcing them or ABOLISH them altogether that way we'd know where we were ... but I guess this was bound to happen , the chav's have cottoned on to and taken over everything else in Britain and ruined it so it was only a matter of time before they discovered cruising and put their filthy stamp on what was once a pleasant relaxing experience . In another decade there will be drunkenness ,fighting and football hooliganism on these ships . They are very fast declining . The daytime activities were weak as they come . Pathway to Yoga , Footprint Analysis , Lunchtime puzzle . One of your entertainment team will provide a "fun" silent puzzle handout to complete at your leisure . Afternoon social Dancing , Walk in Fluid Retention Clinic , Port day picture Quiz , Nit & Natter .... I honestly almost gave up the will to Live it was so damn boring . On the days where I was at sea were the worst because the activities got even more tedious. The Lords Tavern was the worst evening entertainment . awful bland repetitive over commercial music being played at full volume followed by a dumb quiz and the entertainment staff were a bunch of irritating morons . I REALLY HATED this cruise with a passion & will NEVER , EVER go on anything else to do with P&0 or anything which they have had any involvement in . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was supposed to be a special cruise for our 60th wedding anniversary but it turned out to be very very disappointing, I realise that we are getting on a bit but we still like to have a good time and we certainly didn’t on this ship, ... Read More
This was supposed to be a special cruise for our 60th wedding anniversary but it turned out to be very very disappointing, I realise that we are getting on a bit but we still like to have a good time and we certainly didn’t on this ship, we have been on the Oriana before and should never gone again, we have cruised many times and I must say this was the worst by far. We experienced very rough seas and of coarse that’s not the fault of the ship, the crew were lovely and work very hard, as for the food it was very poor and the entertainment was third rate, I think whoever put it together thought anything was good enough for the elderly passengers, as for any dancing in the evenings it was okay if you were into old time dancing which we are not and if you liked to knit and natter or play bingo during the day then this was the cruise for you. The open dining was a feasco having to cue up for about an hour to get a table for two, I think there were a lot of disappointed people on this cruise and I know that we would never go with P&O again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because it was advertised as a cruise around the fjords and fine dining restaurants. There was one restaurant you could class as fine dining called Sindhu, it was as good as you can get and so was the staff. The rest ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was advertised as a cruise around the fjords and fine dining restaurants. There was one restaurant you could class as fine dining called Sindhu, it was as good as you can get and so was the staff. The rest of my review is about everything but this superb place with its excellent staff. The other select restaurant was the beach house, my wife said McDonalds was better! The remaining places to eat were like cattle markets, not the luxury cruise it was sold as. As for the fjords then the briefest of time was spent around these as we cruised from one port to another, there was lots more to see but it seemed like they preferred to sail home slowly to save fuel. We booked one of the best 8 cabins, thank heavens we did as we had to spend quite a bit of time in it as activities like knit and knatter, bridge classes and water colour art class wan't us and trying to get a seat in lounge for a coffee was a nightmare. Power failures, aircon failures etc we not ideal, blamed on the freezing conditions outside, hey what a surprise they found out it gets cold in the arctic! Every time I've been there its been cold, very cold. Shore excursions we very uninspiring with lots of waiting queuing and wasted time. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
What a disaster in the making! It started with a computer failure affecting check-in, but most retained their sense of humour and were looking positive about the trip to Norway and the Northern Lights. Little did they know of the ... Read More
What a disaster in the making! It started with a computer failure affecting check-in, but most retained their sense of humour and were looking positive about the trip to Norway and the Northern Lights. Little did they know of the catalogue of disasters and misinformation to come. Cabins without heating for days on end in cold Arctic conditions, power failures leading to only curry to eat, flooded bathrooms in cabins, endless flooding around the old tub, leading to the question “was there more water inside the old tub than outside in the sea” On asking an engineer if the old tub was fit for purpose, the reply, after careful consideration came back “she’s still floating so she’s fit for purpose “ well done for the sense of humour that got us through this debacle. Better than the lame excuses from the Captain that blamed the cold weather, and exaggerated the wind chill factor when there was hardly a breeze, that is when he finally decided he should make some official comment, albeit belated, to the customers. Get real and be prepared, we were going about 500 miles north of the Artic Circle for goodness sake. We’ve been on older boats for longer periods in much colder weather and no problems. Need to rethink your strategy P&O. Just waiting now for P&O to offer an apology and compensation. Where are you P&O? Enjoyed the trips though, so it wasn’t all bad. The Northern Lights excursions were great, good facilities at the destinations, not being left abandoned in a field as some who obviously didn’t go, suggest. Excellent photos, I took some 150 stunning pictures, better than the ship’s professional photographer, so well chuffed. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been ... Read More
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been on many cruises but never P&O. My mother has always referred to the service as being outstanding on every cruise (cruise Maritime, Thompsons, Fred Olsen). First morning, I attended the buffet breakfast area (conservatory) at around 9.30am to be faced with huge queues waiting for hot food, these queues seem to be taking a considerable amount of time to move. I have been to many 4-5-star hotels all over the world and I expect to queue at busy periods but the queue would always move quickly. After observing for 10 minutes while I wait (moved ever so slightly in this time), it was instantly clear why the queues were not moving. The hot food was not being replenished quick enough, now this was simple things like mushrooms, bacon, fried eggs as so on (basic breakfast food that is normally consumed by most people). I queued and eventually selected what I wanted, but the overall wait was approximately 25 minutes. I did contemplate getting more but the waiting time outweighed the hunger. This continued throughout the duration of the cruise, (every day apart from the last day, this was mainly due to me and my mother arriving at 6am so we could disembark early). Day 3 and onwards, again I had to wait around the same time as above only to be told there was no mushrooms today or they had completely run out. One day that stands out, the 5th day 28th July 2017, I even asked the member of staff behind the counter, only to be told there had not been any mushrooms cooked and there is none being cooked. At my amazement, when I returned to my seat, my mother had mushrooms. Clearly, I was lied to and again they had simply run out, bear in mind, we always attended breakfast between 9am and 10am. The staff in the conservatory buffet seemed very under trained and had no idea how to interact with the guest. Not once did they say, "good morning", Good Afternoon", or Good Evening". Most of the time they spent talking amongst themselves, it also seemed they had their own game going on. I like to watch people, several of the staff would look at each other and make some form of facial gesture, the other one would then laugh, this was though they were insulting the guest and this made me and my mother very uncofortable. As a little test, I left my plate on the side of my table, 3 members of staff were just chatting and laughing, the plate was eventually removed after about 15 minutes. I am unsure what uniform the Management wear, but to me it was a clear there was lack of supervision in the so-called restaurant. I also witnessed a waiter clearing a table and rather than sweep the crumbs etc. from the table on to a tray or their hand, with my astonishment they just swept it on the floor, there was still around 2 hours of service left, appalling. Throughout the duration of the cruise There was no draught Larger in the Crow’s Nest, (well this is what we were advised). The first club dining night, our table (55) had to wait around 45 minutes between starter and main course. This was nothing to do with the waiters. I would like to say the club dining waiters were very professional and an asset to P&O. I I have made an official complaint via P&O website. I have received a reply (took 29 days which falls outside their complaints process, and only I feel i only received a response due to chasing twice) which basically told me what P&O set out to achieve (type of mission/vision statement) but nothing on how they will be dealing with my dissatisfaction. There was also no apology for the late response and they had the cheek to advise they would welcome me back on board. I have replied back to still state my dissatisfaction, and guess what no response. I have even called the customer services to be told we can not put you through to the complaints department, you need to send an email (trust me this doesn't work), I was advised a Manager would call me ASAP (this call took place on 6th September 2017 and i m now writing this on 7th September 2017, and surprise, surprise, I am still waiting for a call. To sum up. DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE WITH P&O and look for an alternative operator. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first time crossing the Atlantic and our last. If you are under late 70's this ship is not for you as the entertainment was terrible with only 3 acts through out the cruise worth watching. There was no day time ... Read More
This was our first time crossing the Atlantic and our last. If you are under late 70's this ship is not for you as the entertainment was terrible with only 3 acts through out the cruise worth watching. There was no day time entertainment around the pool (well a saxofone player did try but was moaned at for bent too loud as they were trying to rest!! Lunchtimes and breakfast in the self serve hall was like a bun fight (you would think they had never been fed). To top it all we had a naked (supposed sleep walker) who was playing with himself and after being reported still carried on. So therefore a lot of woman were worried about wandering around at night on their own. To my mind he should have been put off the ship or at least apprehended when we got back to Southampton but I think it was swept under the carpet to try and keep it quiet. We are now looking towards another cruise line for the future after using P&O for several years. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
P&O Cruise Ref: X620. If I could give this ship 0/5 for a review I would, but as I can't I'll have to rate it as 1/5. The ship was due to go into port for a re-fit straight after this cruise & to be honest I ... Read More
P&O Cruise Ref: X620. If I could give this ship 0/5 for a review I would, but as I can't I'll have to rate it as 1/5. The ship was due to go into port for a re-fit straight after this cruise & to be honest I wouldn't bother spending the money & just scrap the whole thing instead. Right from the start things were going wrong, the first cabin I had (rear of ship) had such bad vibrations & noise that I had to call reception & complain twice. Their first suggestion was to offer me earplugs! After spending nearly £4000 for the cruise, I saw this as an absolute joke. After four days on board, they said that some people had missed the sailing & so moved me to another cabin, this time on deck 11 instead. This was much better for vibration, but had the disadvantage of being right under the sunbathing area & so I was woken every morning at 6.30am by the staff dragging them across my ceiling. I had to complain more than once about this whilst on board. The other disadvantage was that most sail away parties was on the same deck & so the noise from it came through my cabin & these often went on longer than advertised in the daily newsletter. Again I complained about this whilst on board. The only excursion that I enjoyed was on the submarine, I felt that the others didn't offer the same value for money. There was a constant water leak in the conservatory for the duration of the cruise. They put buckets out to catch the water & after a couple of weeks they put up a curtain to block an area off, it looked like Santa's grotto & was awful. In the restaurant they had the soup & custard in bowls next to each other & many times I saw other guests put soup on their desserts & vice versa. I've done cruises previously with Royal Caribbean & given P&O's reputation, I was expecting an even higher level of service, but this was the worst cruise I've ever been on. DO NOT GO FOR A CRUISE ON THIS SHIP! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was my first time with P&O and on the Oriana. At first everything was fine and the crew were very lovely. We had problems with the air conditioning sticking on either too hot or too cold but we could forgive that as it was going ... Read More
This was my first time with P&O and on the Oriana. At first everything was fine and the crew were very lovely. We had problems with the air conditioning sticking on either too hot or too cold but we could forgive that as it was going in for a refit in November. Mid week a the Norovirus broke out and everything changed. The hygiene standards actually worsened and did not improve. They had no idea of infection control and I witnessed on lots of occasions very poor disinfectant techniques. The staff obviously had very little knowledge of how to disinfect adequately. There were many empty soap dispensers on the ship and the only hand sanitation was in the dining room, where we had one squirt as we went in.Very little information was given to passengers. The staff were obviously under pressure from their supervisors and their attitude changed, especially the waiters who were rude and incompetent. They didn't even look at or acknowledge when people thanked them. This was my fourth cruising experience but first with P&O. Thankfully the first three lovely and staff were brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed them but had this been my first ever cruise I would never step board on a ship again. There were so many other things that went wrong or were bad practises that I would have to write a book to include them. Thankfully we didn't contract the virus but I wasn't in the least bit surprised it was a problem on board. I felt so sorry for the passengers boarding the Oriana as we were getting off. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Our embarkation time was 1430 but we arrived a bit early to find chaos in the embarkation hall that was bursting at the seams. The IT system had been down since 1130 and no one was moving. They eventually decided to embark us and for ... Read More
Our embarkation time was 1430 but we arrived a bit early to find chaos in the embarkation hall that was bursting at the seams. The IT system had been down since 1130 and no one was moving. They eventually decided to embark us and for credit cards to be swiped on-board, but then the IT system came online so it was back to normal and wait. At check in I was given our (2) cards and also a map of the ship and told to keep my card in the pocket in the map. I asked for a second map for my wife and was told that this was not allowed, 1 map per party. We did meet a couple on-board and asked them about their boarding experience. They said that they had avoided the turmoil as their daughter worked for Carnival and they had been taken straight on-board. It's not what you know but who you know. Arrived on-board to be told that the conservatory restaurant was still open so dumped our bags in our cabin and made our way there. The BBQ was still open although the sign said that it would close at 1430, our initial boarding time so if it were not for the IT glitch it would have closed before we boarded and no BBQ for us. Our cabin was spacious and well appointed but I did not realise that they made TV's that small. The bed was fine but had 2 of the hardest pillows I have come across in a long time. The ship is obviously showing it's age as there was a fixed ashtray in the bathroom next to the toilet. As we had booked late we had been given anytime dining in the Peninsular Restaurant. After our late lunch we made our way there at about 8pm. The card we had been given from P&O said that the Restaurant. Manager would make every effort to seat us straight away but that there could be a slight wait. The manager appeared very officious and told us that there would be a 50 minute wait for a table. I pointed out the information supplied by P&O and I did not feel that 50 minutes was a slight wait. I was told that he was not responsible for what P&O told me but he was telling me there would be a 50 minute wait. We therefore agreed to share and were seated with a young couple. Starters were fine, soup for me and prawn cocktail for my wife but it went downhill from then. My wife selected the specialty stew for her main course, not good. I had steak and it was 1/4" thick and could only be described as a piece of very poor frying steak. Pudding was no better, my wife's sticky toffee pudding was a piece of dried up ginger sponge that had been sitting around so long that when the sauce was poured over it failed to be absorbed. My Pavlova was a hard disk of meringue, no cream and 3 slices of Kiwi fruit sitting on top and our table companion had exactly the same experience. Petit fours with coffee was 1 tiny square of soft shortbread per person. This experience was so poor, officious manager and very poor food that we decided there and then not to go back the following night, Even though we had taken black tie etc we gave it a miss and went to the Conservatory in smart casual. Even here the food left a lot to be desired. Squid in Chill Sauce was part of the mains. When have you seen squid rings that are perfectly uniform and when cut through the cross section is perfectly circular, bringing to mind rubber "O" rings? Have they now progressed from crab sticks? Breakfast was generally good but on both mornings I had a chocolate muffin, and both times the muffin was dry and stale. Rather than pay P&O for the excursion to Bruge our taxi driver had advised us to take the shuttle to Blankenburg and then the train, and as P&O were not my favourite people at this time that is what we did and had a great day out. There were 2 nights of entertainment on-board, the first by the ships dancers who started off a little slowly but soon warmed up and it was a very enjoyable evening. The second night was a Freddie Mercurie tribute and he was excellent. Half the ship seemed to be taken over by hens, no problems but they really enjoyed the entertainment and by the end of the show he had everyone on their feet and waving their arms. Because we look after our grandchildren we found we could go on this trip at very short notice, and had gone to enjoy the black tie night. We did not do this mainly because of the attitude of the manager at the Peninsular and the very poor quality of the food. Having had chaos during boarding disembarking was not much better with lack of information and long lines. My lasting impression is that P&O set themselves an extremely low standard and consistently failed to achieve it. I very much doubt if we will be back. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Having just returned from our worst cruise ever on board Oriana I feel people need to know what to expect, she is an old ship and a very noisy one especially in during dinner in the restaurant but that is the least of your worries. We ... Read More
Having just returned from our worst cruise ever on board Oriana I feel people need to know what to expect, she is an old ship and a very noisy one especially in during dinner in the restaurant but that is the least of your worries. We did a 3 night mini cruise to Guernsey and Bruges which was no better than a P&O ferries booze cruise, now don't get me wrong, I enjoy a drink and dance into the small hours but when there is rowdy hen parties and stag do's on board all drunk and displaying distasteful behaviour you will understand that this wasn't a typical cruise although how they managed to get drunk is beyond me as it takes about 30 minutes to receive a drink from rude, dull, mute staff, service is beyond a joke. Dinner was terrible with no presentation and we didn't attend on the final night as it wasn't worth the effort and chose to eat in Bruges some decent food, yes, decent food!! something that is not available on Oriana, however,partially warmed up left overs are aplenty and eaten by drunk revellers at midnight. I could write on and on negatively but I'm sure you get the picture, when I complained about things that happened on board and pointed out that I would go back to sailing 5* with Celebrity I was told that they cant compete at that level and don't try to. Disgusted in P&O !!!! you have lost 8 customers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We went on this cruise specifically to see the total eclipse of the sun and since that was a natural phenomena I am pleased to say that it was great. However In almost every other respect the cruise was a disappointment. It was so poor ... Read More
We went on this cruise specifically to see the total eclipse of the sun and since that was a natural phenomena I am pleased to say that it was great. However In almost every other respect the cruise was a disappointment. It was so poor in fact that we complained officially to our travel agent and P&O. We wrote to P&O on April 12th, received an acknowledgement a month later, after our travel agent had chased them for a response, and received a final reply dated May 27th, which totally failed to address any specifics and read like a mission statement for P&O! So to specifics.... the ship arrived late in Southampton....no information in terminal except word of mouth from other passengers suggesting engine problems. On board late afternoon. Pretty hungry as we had not eaten since breakfast. Evening meal was to be 8.30 pm so we looked for a snack and drink. Found Conservatory. This is self service Caff/canteen. Seating was dirty. No food available! Looked over the rest of the ship. Public areas generally were scruffy and the Ladies' room I visited had one cubicle shut (out of order) and the whole area was noticeably dirty! Not a good start, but we tried to remain hopeful. Lifeboat drill....shambolic...no check on whether passengers attended, no details of lifeboat station, no checks of lifejackets. We hoped there would not be an emergency! First evening dining...soup cold and watery, hot sweet chilled (could it have been frozen?). White wine warm. We continued to remain hopeful but our optimism was misplaced. The food continued to be poor. I don't think we saw anything approaching a fresh vegetable for 2 weeks! No fresh berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry). The menus were pretty uninspired. The highlight one lunchtime was faggots! Worse than this the ship continued to be dirty. Our corridor outside the cabin had a thick layer of dust down each side, and the handrails were sticky underneath...ugh! The entertainment was not good. We gathered from other passengers that all P@O ships' Headliners shows are standard to all the ships so many people would look at the day's offering and say "I saw that on Arcadia". Not much originality then, and the performance was more dance school than West End. There was a good lecturer talking about the eclipse. The officers, Captain included, were not in evidence at all, and the information available from the bridge was minimal. Many passengers had joined the cruise to see the Northern Lights. There were specific excursions (pretty pricey) to do so and they were fine, but there were several occasions when the lights could be seen from the ship. It would have been helpful if there could have been announcements when that was the case, since one was unlikely to be on deck late at night in freezing temperatures on the off chance! We have been on a ship for 32 days, (with 6/7 sea days at a time) and not been bored. On this ship we found time hung heavily on sea days and in the evenings. The crew were not rude but neither were they cordial. We had been used to seeing smiling faces and friendly greetings from crew members on other lines, and to seeing cleaning, polishing, painting and maintenance going on at all times. The most we saw on Oriana was someone with a bucket of water and a cloth sloshing hopefully on table-tops (spraying the chair upholstery). This only after we had been advised that there was MORE sickness on board! The increased vigilance after that announcement seemed to involve turning off the washroom hand-driers. I'm not sure why. Our cabin was kept cleaner than some other areas of the ship, but the broken shower gel dispenser was still there when we left, and the toilet seat broke, was replaced by an old one (stained underneath) which then broke to be replaced at last by a new seat. The ship had engine problems throughout the voyage. We left the final port (Stavanger) with only the starboard engine functioning. When we reached Southampton we crashed into the wrong dock. This was because of the weather, we were told, but strangely all the other ships around had docked happily, and the bad weather had been forcast. Perhaps not having your engines working might have made the difference. We spent a further 24 hours on board. We could have left after 11pm on the day we should have disembarked, but by the time that possibility was mooted it was too late to get accommodation in Southampton, or to drive home (a 6/7 hour journey in our case). We were so glad to get home! Incidentally we had chest infections by the time we got back. Most passengers were unwell, it seemed, in one way or another. P@O have offered us a credit against another cruise. They cannot be serious! Never again! Just spent a week on Marco Polo (Cruise and Maritime) to restore our faith. They get 4/5 stars across the board. We really do enjoy our holidays normally, it takes a great deal to make us unhappy! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Our first cruise on 'Oriana' was fifteen years ago, and we were so looking forward to being aboard her again, in fact we were hoping that this Xmas cruise to the Caribbean would be wonderful, but it truly wasdn't. It was ... Read More
Our first cruise on 'Oriana' was fifteen years ago, and we were so looking forward to being aboard her again, in fact we were hoping that this Xmas cruise to the Caribbean would be wonderful, but it truly wasdn't. It was quite dispiriting to see how tired ‘Oriana’ is looking these days, with ‘The Conservatory’ (correctly known as ‘The Piggery’) being the worst. Cabinets broken or deteriorated, dirty walls, filthy windows, crockery grubby, and most people eating up there piling their plates to the rafters then leaving most of it. I had to contact the Deputy Captain to organise for our bathroom to be re-grouted, get a new shower curtain to replace the filthy old one and replace the curtains by the balcony as they were badly torn and stained. We had a balcony cabin on 'B' deck & had rather expected it to be better appointed with scuff marks on the wardrobe doors and on the lovely old wood. However, we realise she is now coming up to 21 years of age and even with the refits she’s had, P&O could give her a lot more TLC, as it’s heart-breaking to see such a graceful ship being so neglected. For example the seats in the cinema & theatre should be replaced as they are truly uncomfortable, sunken and grubby, same goes for Anderson’s Bar with the furniture tired, worn stuffing and discoloured, and although the carpets are kept spotless at night many of them are betraying worn & frayed edges. The best bit about ‘Oriana’ is the staff – who we found to be absolutely tremendous, they are the ones who have made our holiday memorable. Food was good and bar prices reasonable. The worst or most disappointing bit? A great many of the passengers, their meanness, the tattoed crude men who couldn't be bothered to dress halfway decently on black tie evenings, the lack of basic good manners, lack of hygiene, many uncouth – not shy about the ‘F’ word around the ship and just their general boorishness. We witnessed drunken behaviour, women in a mad rush to leave the theatre after a show wearing vertiginous heels then falling over and breaking their ankles or wrists. Why rush when they’re on holiday? And why wear stupid high heels when the ship was experiencing choppy weather & was unstable? It just beats me. In the daily newsletter P&O were constantly having to remind passengers about their dress code, to not save seats in the theatre & cinema, to not take their own litre bottles of spirit or their own wine into the public areas & just ask the staff for mixers or coke & the old perennial annoyance of leaving deck-chairs by the pool with towels & books on them, departing for a 2-3 hour lunch, and wondering why fellow cruisers were cheesed off with them when they eventually returned. On formal nights a great many passengers couldn’t be bothered to dress properly so that they were turned away by staff at the restaurant door then they became aggressive, or on the last night not bothering to tip their waiters or just to pass them a £10 pound note which disgusted us. Next time we will have a really good think about a different line (and this sounds snobbish & I don't mean it to) but if we have to pay extra to get away from the “Butlins-on-Sea” crowd then so be it. I paid a great deal of money for this cruise and I feel robbed. With regret I don’t think we ever wish to return to ‘Oriana’. Have to do our homework before our next one as much of what we witnessed was really off-putting. Many of the staff were unhappy and were badly treated by some passengers who you wished frankly you could chuck overboard. I was also shocked that some passengers had had their cruise paid for by the Government then had the cheek to say they thought the experience to be 'not what they expected and their food was rubbish'.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
My wife and myself were first time cruisers, we where travelling with my mother and brother who are experienced cruisers. The Ship: LIke a classic car I'm sure it was fantastic when new and will be a classic in 50 years time but at ... Read More
My wife and myself were first time cruisers, we where travelling with my mother and brother who are experienced cruisers. The Ship: LIke a classic car I'm sure it was fantastic when new and will be a classic in 50 years time but at the moment its in its naff period looking tired and need of a full overhall. On going work seems to be undertaken during the cruise with carpet and floor tile replacement. Reading elsewhere this is an attempt to stamp out the constant outbreaks of norovirus that seem to trouble the ship. The crew practised infection control for the first few days, which if a little inconvenient was better than catching norovirus. Its a little sad when not catching norovirus was the highlight of the cruise! Food : We had great expectations of dressing up and sitting down to a restaurant quality meal each evening. The catering in the Oriental restaurant fell way short of expectations. If you like school dinners you will be happy, steer clear of anything with rice or fish, they are both overcooked. The service in the oriental was excellent whilst in the canteen it was poor. The couple on the next table ordered prawn cocktail and steak & chips every night, they had the right idea! The food in the canteen (conservatory restaurant) was much the same. Breakfasts however where good. The Alfresco is nice for breakfast. We took afternoon tea a couple of times. The sandwiches and cakes where ok but it alll arived at once and the staff did their utmost to clear the room as quickly as possible with all courses arriving at the same time. It was very rushed and not at all relaxing. If you want a nice meal pay the supplement ant eat in the ocean grill, we used it twice and it was fantastic. I don't understand why this is such so much better than the standard catering! Excursions & activities: I would say the average age of customer is 65 - 75. The activities seem to cater well for this age group. We are are late 40s . We took the jeep safari in Lisbon which was great, it was the only trip that appealed. If you are younger than us and like lively time, do yourself a favor and choose another boat. I spent a lot of time in the gym and health club which are both excellent. The Cinema is good with a variety of films playing. To sum up, I would not recommend P&O if you are expecting a sophisticated experiance, Go Cunard. If you like something more lively go Royal Caribbean. In our case I don't think cruising is not for us, I think the experience has put us off for life. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Just got back from a 2 night cruse to Bruges. This ship is very very tired. we had an outside cabin that you could barely see out of the window due to the stains on the window. The bathroom was very old a beaten up with rust on the door ... Read More
Just got back from a 2 night cruse to Bruges. This ship is very very tired. we had an outside cabin that you could barely see out of the window due to the stains on the window. The bathroom was very old a beaten up with rust on the door frame and fittings, a dirty old shower hose greeted you every time we had a shower. The sink looked like it had had a respray at some point but most of that paint had pealed off and looked very ugly. The staff on the ship clearly do not want to be there and are just going through the very basic of motions. Food was very poor compared to other cruses that we have been on, I would compare it to those cheep pub chains where you can eat what you like for £3.99. Drinks are very expensive, £6.25 for a small glass of wine. We spent an hour or so in the Casino where the English croupier was a complete novice and was very very scruffy. The overall experience was poor and speaking to fellow passenger's they felt the same. We got the feeling that the ship is about to go out of service and that they are just trying to get every penny out of the ship before they decommission it. I had high expectations as the broacher on line makes it out to be one of the best ships on the ocean but I have to say I have been on better passenger ferry's.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
Cruises are too expensive for you to waste your money on this cruise line. I have been lucky enough to have cruised for many years from very small ships to the largest in the world (Royal Caribbean Allure of the Sea- It was the largest in ... Read More
Cruises are too expensive for you to waste your money on this cruise line. I have been lucky enough to have cruised for many years from very small ships to the largest in the world (Royal Caribbean Allure of the Sea- It was the largest in 2012 when I cruised it). But I consider myself a pretty decent judge after about 25 cruises. But by far, this ship is the WORSE and most badly operated ship I've ever sailed on. The 12 floor buffet deck staff is miserable and the ship overall is dirty and old. Mind you, old is okay, if it's clean and is operated by helpful and warm staff, but I barely saw anyone cleaning a banister or vacuuming a floor-even during shore leave. The staff is sloppy and make it very clear they don't want to be there. All could be forgiven if the food was at least decent, but that's the worse part of the cruise. The food stinks and when the staff has to serve you, they just kind of plop the food on your plate and don't even look at you. There is something REALLY wrong with this cruise line , hence the old saying, The fish rots from the head down, I truly believe this to be true because EVERY head waiter and person "in charge" I dealt with were equally rude and and unconcerned about accommodating their guests. The Cabin was dirty and our private bathroom was dysfunctional and badly cleaned. I would see the same dirt on the bathroom floor for 5 days and each time I mentioned it to our steward I was told he thoroughly cleans the floors every morning....WHAT? This is so long because I just want you to think before sailing on this cruise line. If you are accustomed to bad service and don't care about cleanliness, then by all means sail away on Oriana, but if you're a person who goes on a cruise to enjoy being taken good care of and making your vacation a truly memorable event....then Pass on P&O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
We booked this cruise after being recommended by family members who had cruised on this ship four years ago - they could not believe how much it had changed!! This proved to be the worst cruise ship we have ever been on (we have been on ... Read More
We booked this cruise after being recommended by family members who had cruised on this ship four years ago - they could not believe how much it had changed!! This proved to be the worst cruise ship we have ever been on (we have been on Princess Lines and Caribbean) the staff were rude and unhelpful and looked as they would rather have been anywhere other than working on this ship!! The food was just about edible it had no taste and was poorly presented. The cabins were dirty and we had stains and holes in our bed linen, the toilets in the main area were either disgusting or out of order. The so called entertainment provided was dire - the singer in one of the bars was so bad that people were getting up and leaving. The general hygiene and cleaning of areas round the pool area was so bad - food left on the floor plates and crockery just left on tables with staff walking past and totally ignoring it!! I could go on and on and I will in my letter to P&0 - I feel like we wasted almost £5,000 to suffer such a bad experience!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
I heard loads of good things about this operator, I wondered what all the fuss was about, no new fancy ships in the fleet, only just heard about the Britannia, so I thought, give it a go and booked onto the Oriana, as I always thought of P ... Read More
I heard loads of good things about this operator, I wondered what all the fuss was about, no new fancy ships in the fleet, only just heard about the Britannia, so I thought, give it a go and booked onto the Oriana, as I always thought of P & O as being our ferry company. Well I set off for Southampton QE2 dock , all went well, check in was efficient. Then we saw the ship, my wife commented on how dated and tired it looked, I gave her hope and reminded her that Oriana had a refurb 2 years ago, wait until we get inside. We entered from deck 5 and a quick glance around assured us the inside was better than the outside. I was struck by the lack of wow factor, it was very ordinary. (we paid a heap of money to get 'ordinary'). Now it started to go wrong. We found our cabin C100, it was a cupboard, it was approx 2.5m wide...yes TWO and HALF METRES wide and approx 3.5m long, My wife put on a brave face and refrained from crying, I went to reception and requested a move.'We are full but I will put you on a waiting list'...what a patronising statement. So we had to stay in there. We as others do go straight to the buffet to get a flavour of whats to come and walk around the open decks, it was awful, all the hand rails were bare wood as the varnish had been worn away there were oil marks from oil that was leaking from the life boats, which were looking well tired and lacking TLC. The whole ship was shabby.I digress, the food we were looking forward to, was, well, my wife said it was ok! I thought otherwise. We were 'Free Dining' which is good for us, as we like to meet new people. The menu was very, ordinary, very English, you know how, you get 2 for a £10 deals in a pub? well that's exactly what they serve on the Oriana. It must be said, the best breakfast at sea I've ever had, spoiled only by the garbage bread they serve. I like to try everything so we had actually booked into the specialty restaurant, SORRENTO's, save your money it too is rubbish, why? I hear you ask, well we ordered steak fillet, or Fillet Steak we say in England. We actually got the scraggy ends of the fillet steak and spent most of our time cutting tendons out of the meat and paid an extra £6.50 each on top of the £7.50 each to book, what a swizz. But what I found totally abhorrent with P & O was the total lack of women working in the restaurants the ship was very nearly totally male, no/few ethnic origin women interfacing the passengers, this alone speaks volumes about how P & O treat people, they totally lack respect. To finish off on a positive note, the entertainment was fair. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
As first time cruisers, we were looking forward to the hyped up cruise with p&o on the Oriana . Deluxe room very ordinary on C deck. Food at the main restaurants very average, with self service at the conservatory comparible to ... Read More
As first time cruisers, we were looking forward to the hyped up cruise with p&o on the Oriana . Deluxe room very ordinary on C deck. Food at the main restaurants very average, with self service at the conservatory comparible to motorway service stations. Continental breakfast served in your room was extremely disappointing - so poor we had to leave it !! Al Fresco restaurant probably the better breakfast/ snack areas- still very 2*.Fortunatley we had booked a table at the Ocean Grill for our last night dinner which was 10/10. No complimentary water in your room- £1.00 a small bottle! Entertainment cheesy and downmarket! Painting Maintenance carried out on the upper deck which left a few cruisers with paint covering their outer wear- no attempt to stop passengers using these areas. Average age in the 60's.. All in all, very disappointing. Won't be in a rush to return! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
I had been looking forward to this cruise for months, Having been on other PO Cruises the Aurora, Adonia, Ventura, Oceana, The only was I can describe the ship is well past its sell by date,My cabin was tired and grubby, the carpet very ... Read More
I had been looking forward to this cruise for months, Having been on other PO Cruises the Aurora, Adonia, Ventura, Oceana, The only was I can describe the ship is well past its sell by date,My cabin was tired and grubby, the carpet very worn and filthy, The shower was old and very mouldy around the shower unit the shower head caked in old scale, The wardrobe smelt damp and the doors rattled, I asked for a different cabin but told they had none available,The whole corridor stank of sewage, the smell was over powering and I am sorry a steward with a can of air freshener does not really cure the problem.I was not told on embarkation that there had been Norvo Virus on the previous cruise and was quite shocked when I ventured into the Conservatory to find waiters serving all the food and the sachets of salt and pepperThe Conservatory restaurant the only way I can describe is a bad Motorway cafe, Bunfight at the ok corral, The tables were not cleaned,The area at the far end on the deck had a smoking area and all you could smell at the end of the Conservatory was smoke not nice while trying to eat a meal and each time the door opened the smoke invaded,The Peninsular Restaurant, where did you find the staff. were they trained by Basil Faulty, they were rude and very unhelpful, during breakfast I had the experience of a waiter pushing my chair in while I was eating if he had asked I would have moved but no he preferred to just push so I ended up wearing my breakfast no apology, If you asked for further coffee or tea they refused the main aim was to sit you down and get you out as soon as possible. They were very abrupt I guess that was the training from the school of Faulty Towers,Afternoon tea Peninsular after the free for all in the Conservatory thought I would do things the good old PO way and have a proper afternoon tea, well Basil Faultys training was shown to its best, Offered Scones and little fancy cakes, then came the tea, something missing oh yes the sandwiches, they arrived after the cakes, teacakes and scones, Woe betide anyone that asked for more cream of more tea, the looks from the waiters would have turned Sybil Faulty to stone,All that was missing was Manuel but I am sure he was in hiding as the place was chaos.Evening meal..I was in the Oriental , that was a great improvement on the other restaurant, the staff were slightly better, But what have you done to the fantastic food, did you leave it behind in Southampton, everything was over cooked and stuck in fat to the plate, and the choices were nothing like my previous cruises.Standards have dropped,I had cheese and biscuits one evening one tiny piece of cheese and 2 small crackers and he had gone, If you want to see the photo ask, Your food used to be the highlight of my cruises,Entertainment the Headliners were very good as were the other acts and the male tenor from New Zealand was fabulous, However I don't go on a cruise just for entertainment,The swimming pool was warm and very inviting but not very clean , The hot tub was also not clean, not sure why standards have dropped.The service in the bars was brilliant but the quizzes and day time activity's left a lot to be desired,The port stops were good and I enjoyed myself , In Lisbon I did try and find out the cost of flights back but none available as I would have left then,You have major problems with toilets, blocked dirty, no wonder there is Norvo Virus its down to cleanliness and PO seem to have missed that,Within a day of leaving the cruise I was very ill, with a non specific infection which nearly killed me , and required me to have triple antibiotics, and home nursing from the district nurse, and daily visits from the Doctor, as I refused to go into hospital (personal reasons) What ever I picked up on the cruise has left me sick for the last 5 weeks, Yes I was tested for many things, but nothing specific, All I do know when I boarded Oriana I was well, I would love to know if others had been ill,Would I travel with PO again that would be No the standards have dropped. I also would never have boarded had I known the problem on the previous cruise with Norvo Virus, and I do think all passengers should had been made aware on Embarkation. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
I last cruised Oriana in 2003, when it was family friendly and when P&O was not owned by Carnival. I shall start with the not so good, and finish with the terrible. It was once a ship brimming with babies laughter and yet having a ... Read More
I last cruised Oriana in 2003, when it was family friendly and when P&O was not owned by Carnival. I shall start with the not so good, and finish with the terrible. It was once a ship brimming with babies laughter and yet having a class that was quintessentially British, with food that was superb throughout the ship and with dedicated, loyal staff under the genial 'Captain Birds Eye' (the passengers nickname). Now, after the refit that has removed the toddler's paddling pool, their play area and the creche, all to enable the construction of a small block of cabins; the ship, with an average passenger age of over 80, has the joyless air of 'God's waiting room on sea'; the food in the main restaurants is average at best, the choice of wines very limited; the food and drink in the alternative food outlets eg The Conservatory, is totally repetitive and its serving completely marred by the edicts demanded by the disease ridden state of the ship (more of that later); the staff are still going about their tasks with fortitude and good humor, but when gently pressed by the passengers refer to the Captain with many unflattering terms, the mildest of which was Captain B***-S***. I have seen other reviews for this cruise that say that the Captain was the most informative ever; if giving us a long description of the expected and prevailing weather conditions, and how it was only by his own masterly navigation skills that the passengers were saved from an experience of tsunamic proportions, then yes I agree; others I met called him a patronizing BS. That covers the faults (to my mind), deliberately brought about by Carnival for monetary gain. I now come to the Norovirus issue: As widely reported, eg. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/norovirus-sweeps-through-cruise-ship-oriana-like-wildfire-8412319.html Oriana had already had at least two very widespread cases of this virulent disease. On this cruise, at least 4 cases were personally reported to me, with Bills from the medical staff on board running to several thousand pounds. Though the staff refused to discuss it, getting very obstructive, it was rumored that every bed in the medical section was occupied. It was also a fact that one passenger died during the cruise and rumors had a further 4 corpses stored below. What is known, is that the eating experience in the alternative food outlets was ruined by the staff being forced to wear the same latex gloves during an entire dining session and being forbidden to make any bodily contact with the passengers; this, despite all passengers having to bathe their hands in disinfectant gel. As we were awaiting disembarkation, on the Prom Deck, we observed trains of white coated and masked staff wielding spray guns pushing through the crowds of passengers, and then huge rolls of carpet being brought up from below. Inquiry yielded the information that the virus had been detected in the carpet below the theater stage and that emergency re-carpeting had been ordered. It then was revealed that members from the Southampton Maritime Health Authority, were on board and that Chief Exec. from Carnival was expected. As there has been no news in the media, I assume that the usual cover-up has prevailed. I understand that Oriana is to make only one more transatlantic voyage and that her last cruise is to be in Spring 2014. In my opinion, she is no longer fit for purpose and should be withdrawn from service immediately; it seems obvious that, in view of the advanced age of her passengers, it is only a matter of time before, what is now just a gross inconvenience, becomes a tragedy of epidemic proportion. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Sailed out from Southampton 28/07/2012,the car parking was well organised,and checked in at the Mayflower terminal went pretty smooth.Once on board directed straight to the conservatory buffet,and told that the ship was still been ... Read More
Sailed out from Southampton 28/07/2012,the car parking was well organised,and checked in at the Mayflower terminal went pretty smooth.Once on board directed straight to the conservatory buffet,and told that the ship was still been prepared.First impressions wow,nice ship.We embarked at 1200 and luggage arrived at approx 1500 to our cabin D108 on deck8 port side close to the front of the ship.Cabin was best described as functional but dated,decor bland and in need of upgrade,but enough room.Bathroom was again small,with an orange old fashioned glow from the plastic fittings.The toilet flush had a mind of its own,and flushed occasionally,or when it felt like.During the night it would flush without command,quite strange,but sometimes unnerving.Safety drill at 1700 in harlequin's , quite a farce with everybody fighting for room. Moving on we were on 1830 sitting in the peninsular restaurant,all in all good food,but nothing special,and the service quite poor,apart from the last couple of nights,tip time approaching.During Breakfast and lunch we would challenge ourself to the battlefield of the conservatory,please sharpen your elbows,as this is dog eat dog.A joke really as the food was ok.Themed evenings were good and sorrento (italian) was worth a visit at a supplement. Excursions a total rip off.DO YOUR OWN THING.Bergen and Olden good,Stavanger,poor in our opinion,Norway really expensive 9 quid a pint.Ship in general well maintained,but constant work/repairs done at sea.A complete floor section was replaced over three days at sea outside my cabin.No warning and no apologies.Fumes, noise,dust,a total disgrace,the deck manager and reception just said essential repairs beyond their control.The ship was only three quarter full,so alternative cabins were available,only at a supplement,an absolute joke. Another negative was the vibration at the rear of the ship from the propellers,please stay away from the aft,it drives you mad,thud.thud all the time. Entertainment,during the day poor.At night the headliners shows good,and I liked the separate cinema.Comedian Bobby Knutt ok but repetitive and singer Peter Cutler,although good,we had seen on Azura in March.Exactly the same show. Bars ok in general,with the crows nest the pick.Celeste a duo were very good,and always tried to accommodate requests.Guest speaker Alan Kennedy excellent,but all in all entertainment below average. Drinks prices good , I suppose,but watch your account.There is no interactive tv,so no account display in your rooms.Anybody who has a loyalty card(past PO cruisers)check you on board spend discounts,ours was missed,and even when showing our membership cards on the last day,we have still to receive our fifty quid discount.PO please keep it towards the refurb costs,after three cruises with yourself enough is enough,You have lost me.Lastly disembarkation.Carry your own baggage and get off handy.alternative is a three hour wait.All in all standard are slipping,I was looking forward to this holiday,and was glad to get off-never again,totally disappointed. Read Less
Oriana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 3.8
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms N/A 4.1
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.6
Family 2.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.9

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