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Sail Date: March 2019
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the ... Read More
We have been with P & O in the past and have enjoyed it, I read some negative reviews previously but I could find no fault with this ship,staff,food,entertainnment. It was good value for money. The food in my opinion is some of the best I have enjoyed on any ship,the standard and presentation is excellent. I think if people complain about the standard of food in the restaurant then they must be hard to please. The choices are excellent each night and plentiful. Well done P & O. Plenty of shows although I do not usually go to many which is my personal choice. I enjoyed the cinema on sea days although not all films were to my personal preference. Plenty going on around the ship at different times and the Lisbon sail away party was excellent. It had to be held indoors due to bad weather but it was fun. The entertainment team were friendly and always made quizzes etc exciting and had banter with passengers. We has a large outside cabin as there were three in our party and it was plenty big enough for us. It had a large window which we all enjoyed especially when in port. Our cabin steward Angelo was excellent (Deck 9 cabin 192) he kept our cabin spotless and always found time to speak to us each time we saw him. All the staff we came across were really friendly and helpful. There was quite a lot of older passengers on this trip and I saw on more than one occassion staff helping them to their seats and carrying their trays in the buffet restaurant. I know from speaking to other passengers how much this was appreciated. It was quite nice not queing like you sometimes have to on the larger ships and we never had to wait long for the lift to get about (we have on the larger ships on many occasions). Drinks were reasonably priced a bottle of the house Rose was £16.50 which was very reasonable and it was a decent quality. A pint of John Smiths bitter was £4 10. We enjoyed a pre dinner drink at Andersons bar where you got snacks with your drinks in a lovely sophistacated atmosphere. I had read the ship looks tired well maybe in some places but in the main it is spotless clean and very classy. I know a lot of people who I spoke to love this ship and I can see why now I have been on it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
A little warmth to celebrate the, nearly, end of winter and a reunion with Oriana after several years. We were pleasantly surprised at the smooth check in, there must have been at three couple in the queue ahead of us - passports ... Read More
A little warmth to celebrate the, nearly, end of winter and a reunion with Oriana after several years. We were pleasantly surprised at the smooth check in, there must have been at three couple in the queue ahead of us - passports checked, photos taken and straight on board. Waiting for the luggage to be delivered was a little disappointing, 2hrs of hanging around punctuated with a disastrous lifeboat drill. The muster station only had seating capacity for 75% of attendees and the ship was not running at full capacity. Old folk with sticks were left standing for nearly 40minutes and why oh why do P&O still insist on trying on survival vests when other lines (Fred Olsen) are happy just to demonstrate. Our inside cabin on deck 5, central to minimise any rough seas, potentially a four berth cabin with two folded up bunks. This means extra wardrobes and drawers. Having unpacked we went for a walk around and were pleased how well the old lady had been spruced up - newish carpet and chairs a greatly improved buffet restaurant. Chaplain's cinema was still there and showed several recent releases (2018). We had opted for 'Open Dining' and ate in the Peninsular for all but two nights - we generally asked to join a table for 6 and were always seated immediately, okay sometime there was a delay while the table filled. Waiters and wine waiters were attentive and efficient but we felt that the cost of food loaded on board had been a little too tightly controlled. Also main courses were no longer silver service but this has been the case for quite a while. An excellent port lecturer ( but two a day is simply too much to absorb), theatre shows were the usual high standard as were visiting cabaret acts. Enrichment lecturers a bit disappointing - one just showed film clips, very professionally, the other we had seen before. Classical concert duo were excellent they entertained with humour and played from a wide ranging repertoire. We did three shore trips all of which were as advertised and without hiccoughs, the on board photographers were considerably less intrusive than usual. The captain however we too unobtrusive. We did not once see her on board and the mid-day announcement was seldom made by her. We had done this itinerary a few times before so most ports of call were a pleasant reminder. However the smallest of the Canaries La Gomera was a first for us and the excursion to the National Park was excellent, a forest that occupies a bout one third of the island. We were saddened to learn, whilst on board, that this was to be our last cruise on Oriana. The powers that be reckon that the 4,500 passenger Iona will absorb the 1500 passengers from Oriana which is being sold to another operator as a casino cruise ship. So for us its Aurora or Fred Olsen. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
You know how it is. Days before departure you check that everything you could possibly need is packed and then with hours to go before closing the front door, you realise something is missing. In my case, I like to think there was good ... Read More
You know how it is. Days before departure you check that everything you could possibly need is packed and then with hours to go before closing the front door, you realise something is missing. In my case, I like to think there was good reason for forgetting the crampons. After all, they’re not the first things that spring to mind when you’re packing trousers and shirts. But joining Oriana for her cruise to the Arctic Circle in search of the Northern Lights, perhaps I should have done. I had found space for base and mid layers, pullovers and fleeces – even hand-warmers and a bobble hat – but not spikes for my sturdy shoes. Fortunately a local sports shop had a set for just £5 and I left the house ready for anything that Norway could throw at me. THE SHIP Oriana might be facing her last few months with P&O before she heads to China to join another cruise line, Twinkle, but it was clear from the moment I stepped on board that she intends to leave in style. Officers and crew provided levels of service that were second to none – no wonder that I heard so many fellow passengers say how much they will miss Oriana. In my book, mid-size ships are manageable and 1900 passengers seems just about right. Big beasts might be fine for late night revellers but Oriana has more than enough space to meet my needs and so it is a relief to know that we still have Aurora, a ship of similar size to Oriana and also for adults only. The public areas match Aurora’s as well and include shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, a well-stocked library, a comfortable cinema and a large theatre. There are also card rooms, lounges, an alternative venue for shows and – if you like dancing – Harlequins offers live groups to get you in the mood. My favourite spot was Tiffanys for a Costa coffee and if you time it right, an array of cakes and pastries are served late morning – at no extra cost. During the cruise I used the Peninsular restaurant and enjoyed some excellent dinners. I should eat more fish and so made the most of the wide variety on offer – salmon, lobster, cod, sea bass, scallops, bream, the lot. But occasionally I opted for the beef, pork or calves’ liver and all were delicious. Superb service adds to the pleasure, of course, and Sabir’s friendly welcome into his restaurant each evening was appreciated. Junior staff were equally impressive – in the Conservatory, new recruits Mark and Jitendra cheerfully offered help with everything from making the toast at breakfast to topping up the tea bags. Special events add variety to daily routines. One was a wine tasting seminar, hosted by Donna, Oriana’s chief wine steward. Ably helped by Christina, Jane and Jude, we sampled a range of wines as we listened to advice on wine tasting and learnt a lot about the winemaking process. The supplementary charge of £10 was good value and the convivial company passed a pleasant hour. THE PORTS Sailing closer to the Arctic Circle the prospect of aurora borealis lighting up the night skies became the main topic of conversation and at our first port, Andalsnes in Norway’s Rauma region, mountains draped in snow and lower slopes flecked with frost added to the anticipation. Time to test out my choice of winter wear! It felt good to scrunch through virgin snow on leaving the town behind. Andalsnes is small and you quickly discover trails through beautiful scenery. Around me, I saw young crew members experience snow for the first time, making snow angels and throwing snowballs, and their happiness was contagious. This is why I was here. To feel young again! The air was pure, the temperature freezing and I had no regrets about overfilling my case with warm layers. The crampons were a different story. One of them kept falling off my shoe – I knew they were too cheap - and I had to shuffle back to town to visit a sports shop for advice. It was succinct. Bin them and buy proper spikes. For a mere £45 (Norway is not cheap) I walked out wearing the finest set in Norway and they were worth every penny. At each port we visited I had them with me and I traversed ice and snow with ease. After the smallness of Andalsnes, Tromso felt very different. Walking out of the city across the bridge high above Tromso Sound with snow flurries and chill winds blowing in from the sea was ... bracing? Having crossed, the Ice (or Arctic) cathedral stands before you and is worth visiting for its triangular beauty; it lies about a mile from the shuttle bus drop-off point. Back in the city centre a hot chocolate (£4) in one of the many cafés thawed me out nicely. Alta was our final port before turning south to Stavanger and it was also the town where there would be most chance of seeing the Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon of bands of different colours swirling across the sky. We stayed for two nights and there’s no use beating about the bush – the Lights remained switched off for the duration. To have any hope of seeing them, clear skies and low temperatures are essential but during our stay there was simply too much cloud cover. However there was a bonus in that we had daytime sunshine with evening snowfalls that transformed the landscape and made Alta’s fjord and mountains look even more magical. ACTIVITIES Alta is home to the Northern Lights cathedral, a futuristic building constructed of steel and concrete and virgin snow made it an even more dramatic sight. The entrance charge is around £10. There were plenty of tours available. Mine to the Igloo Hotel to see bedrooms carved from blocks of ice was fascinating. An overnight stay, the ice bed piled with reindeer skins, is particularly popular with honeymoon couples, the guide told us. Unlike hotels elsewhere, this one melts away each Spring to be re-built in late Autumn. Reindeer sleigh rides were popular activities but the most fun seemed to be had by those who went husky sledding. There is no need to worry about the dogs being forced to work – they can’t wait to get started and once they return they expect lots of fuss and thanks. Taryn, the ship’s senior loyalty manager, enjoyed every minute of the experience. “There was so much screaming and giggling,” she told me, “especially when I had to be dragged out of hip-deep snow!” WORTH BOOKING? The failure of the Northern Lights to make an appearance did little to dim my enthusiasm for this cruise. Every port was markedly different from anything I had seen before and returning to the welcome warmth of the ship each afternoon to be spoilt by officers and crew made the holiday even more special. The cruise also felt different in another way: more than 700 of the 1800 passengers on board were new to cruise holidays. Ian and Angela from Staffordshire had never cruised before and enjoyed every minute. “It was brilliant! We’ve never seen so much snow and we’ve never had service like this. No wonder people keep coming back,” Ian said. “We’ll certainly be booking another cruise.” And so will I. My search for the Northern Lights resumes when I board Aurora next February. If you decide to do the same, be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes! And don’t stint on the crampons. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise for a bit of winter warmth and also to celebrate husband's 70th birthday. Oriana is a favourite ship of ours and we are disappointed to learn that it going out of commission later this year. Embarkation was slick ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a bit of winter warmth and also to celebrate husband's 70th birthday. Oriana is a favourite ship of ours and we are disappointed to learn that it going out of commission later this year. Embarkation was slick and smooth and we were on the ship in no time at all. The ship was beautifully laid out, I didn't feel that it was shabby in the least and I know it had not long been refitted. Our cabin was good, plenty of wardrobe space, even for me! Only bugbear was the safe which was set right at the bottom of the wardrobe and it was smaller than usual so not easy to access. Dining was excellent. We were on Freedom dining but the waiters on our first evening were very quick, and good with their service so we tried to book the same table each night, most times successfully. Headliners shows were excellent and the headliner entertainers were very hands on, line dancing lessons, salsa dance lessons, fitsteps and joining in with the choir. We would always make a point of seeing the Headliners shows but maybe not so much of the other entertainers. We didn't take advantage of the shore excursions but enjoyed the ports, especially Madeira. We would have preferred to have stayed later in Madeira instead of Tenerife but I know these things can't always be arranged. We will never tire of cruising, we just love it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
we have just come home from the best cruise yet. Embarkation was perfect, check in to cabin only 20mins. The Oriana is a great sized ship, everything within walking distance. The food in the main restaurants was edible, nothing amazing. We ... Read More
we have just come home from the best cruise yet. Embarkation was perfect, check in to cabin only 20mins. The Oriana is a great sized ship, everything within walking distance. The food in the main restaurants was edible, nothing amazing. We found the food in the buffet restaurant wonderful, happy to eat there most nights. We absolutely adored the beach house and sindhu restaurants. Staff couldn't do enough to help and would go the extra mile. excursions were great, but if you need a tender to go ashore, check the weather 1st. We were stuck in one for 45 minutes, bobbing around in really rough weather, there was a queue of them as they took ages to on/off load. Panic attack!! We had an inside cabin which was more than adequate. our cabin steward, sinesh, was very attentive and cabin left immaculate after he'd left. Sorry to see Oriana "retire", such a beautiful ship. On the whole, well done p and 0, look forward to sailing on Britannia next year Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this cruise because it was going to Greenland (never met anyone who had been to Greenland) First stop was Stornaway. It was great because it was raining. Remember the long hot spell. Next stop was Reyjavik. Been there before with ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was going to Greenland (never met anyone who had been to Greenland) First stop was Stornaway. It was great because it was raining. Remember the long hot spell. Next stop was Reyjavik. Been there before with P&O and it was a big let down. I kept telling everyone how boring iceland was, being covered with lava. This time we walked into town from the shuttle bus stop, and it was a big eye opener. The shops were great and the locals friendly. One place not to miss is the Harpa Hall which is Reykjavik,s concert hall. If you are lucky and get there on a sunny day the prismatic windows throw all the colours of the rainbow onto the entrance plaza. Back to Oriana. Been on her before and we felt just at home. The most comfortable cinema afloat. On to Greenland. First stop was to Quaquortoc. On the way the bridge announced a sighting of a large iceberg. Fortunately it was about a mile away, still it did look good in the sunshine. Arrived at Quaquotoc, took a thirty minute stroll around town, swatted some flies, and then back on board. Still, I done it, ive been to Greenland. Next part of the journey was through Prinz Christian Sund. Absolutely magical. Small 'growlers' everywhere and more glaciers than I could shake a stick at (not that i carry a stick). This steady, sedate cruise was not to be missed even if lunch was. In a way a bit of a shame because the oriana food was really, really good. We arrived at Nuuk (the capital) where we had a whale watching trip booked. Off we went to view these whales which the captain said were in the vicinity. The boat was a bit oldish wooden vessel but was very capable and seaworthy. It wasn,t long before we were in the right area. Sure enough a pair of hump back whale appeared. Photo time came and just as the whale was giving us the big goodby with its tail, and I was taking the first pressure on my camera; the numpty in front of me decided to stand up and shout whoohoo with his arms in the air. Fifteen hundred miles just for a photo of his back. I thought 'what a plonker' or words to that effect. On arriving back at Nuuk we decided to walk into town. Off we trudged, in the rain, but the distance and the hill was a bit too much for us. Pity there was no shuttle bus. We were in the habit of taking breakfast in Al Fresco . We soon realised that we were surrounded by "holier than thou" muscle mechanics with their yoghourt and bowls of Meusli who want to start or finnish their daily fitness regime by digging through to the bottom of the dish using a spoon as a spade. The noise generated by these breakfast miners is pretty shattering to those of us who are hard of hearing and must wear hearing aids to enjoy the company of others. Not all disabilities are visible, but these plate thumpers dont care about others as long as others can admire their lycra clad, nearly perfect bodies. The only flaw in a nearly perfect cruise was on a Black Tie night. Two waiters collided and I took a good shower of milk. Humble appologies and here is a basket of inedible fruit to compensate. No dry cleaners on board. Still not to worry, these things can happen Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
A great cruise with one or two problems in the cabin (see cabin review under). The itinerary was excellent which is why we chose this. People moan about the ship but for a ship of this age it was clean and tidy and the stabilizers worked a ... Read More
A great cruise with one or two problems in the cabin (see cabin review under). The itinerary was excellent which is why we chose this. People moan about the ship but for a ship of this age it was clean and tidy and the stabilizers worked a treat in the odd rough sea we experienced. It's a nice size ship so you don't get the problem of overcrowding and thankfully it's an adult only ship. Maintenance was constantly being done on deck such as painting and varnishing which to me should not be done whilst there are paying passengers on board, unfortunately I suffer bad headaches from the smell of paint but it was hard to avoid such areas. It's way out of date with it's daily activities and shows compared to the new modern large cruise ships but hey ho, you can't have everything. Food, as usual with P & O is boring old fashioned everyday cooking and most of the time, especially in the restaurant, it was dry. The menu is repetitive rather than an experience as on Celebrity ships. Since our last cruise they have reorganised the Conservatory dining experience whereby the food stations have been split into smaller stations which was much better as you didn't have to join a long queue to get your food. The timing of the afternoon tea always is a nuisance for us as coming back from being on shore around 5pm it's closed until 6pm so for that crucial hour when you are wanting a snack before second sitting dinner there's nothing. The shows are the same boring old "Headliners" and comedy/music acts but the talks in the Theatre during the day and the port presentations made up for it. Nigel Marvin the TV wildlife presenter was on board and his talks were excellent and funny too. New ideas are needed for the theatre. The ports of call were superb. Sadly too windy for the tenders in Stornoway so we were the unlucky ones who didn't get ashore. Luckily we had been before. Reykjavik: Did the Golden Circle Tour with P&O and it was excellent, expensive but worth it. The Almannagja Fault was the first stop, where two tectonic plates meet, then Gulfoss waterfall and lunch (yum yum, superb) then the spouting geyser which performed well. On to the Kerio crater, stunning colour and then the Geothermal Power Plant. Arrived back at the ship so decided to take the shuttle into Reykjavik for the evening. Prins Christian Sund: This was an unscheduled trip which the captain announced the day before. It was the icing on the cake. The weather was more than stunning, cold but superb. The trip through the sound lasted around 6 hours and was the best part of the whole cruise. The scenery was simply outstanding. Qaqortog: Lovely little town to walk around, warm sunny day so had to buy a head net as the flies/mozzies were horrendous. Found plenty to do despite it being small but as photographers, it was great. A little walk out of town and a grocery store sold the local beer which they opened for you and we sat outside on the tables provided to drink it. Seal fur factory was interesting but at the same time quite sad. The only hotel was very busy and provided great views. Nuuk: Hmmm, not my idea of a stop off place but still glad to experience it. Decent walk from ship to town and no shuttle not that it bothered us being walkers but would be very difficult for some. Overcast and misty to start the day so we walked to the old town which was ok but that's about all. Got some atmospheric photos before it decided to pour with rain for the rest of the day. Go to the library (green building in the centre of town) for free internet access, worked quite well. Isafjordur: Small little town which provided plenty of places to take photos. Walked all around the outskirts and noticed lots of pretty little houses along with a good view of the ship anchored in the bay. Beer tasting right near the ship was excellent, spent rather too much time in there trying the different beers and was quite hard on my purse too. Akureyri: Went whale watching on a ships excursion this morning. Took and hour's ride out into the fjord before we saw any whales then there were two together which was great. Spent about an hour circling them and watching them spurt and dive (humpbacks). Got frozen to the bone as we stayed at the front of the boat in head wind as didn't want to miss anything. Resorted to inside on the way back. Back in town and we walked to the Botanical Gardens, absolutely delightful. Walked all around the town before going back to the ship. Plenty going on in town so never short of something to see. Torshavn: Sadly another wet wet day. We had decided to walk around the town and enjoy the local hospitality but another couple from the ship asked if we'd like to join up with them so we all took a local taxi trip around the main island (Tour No 5: Tjornuvik) for 2 hours. The scenery was stunning. The taxi driver didn't speak English but it didn't really matter as you can always read up about the local history yourself after visiting. He stopped for us wherever and whever we wanted to take photos which was great. A beautiful island, would thoroughly recommend it. Greenock: Nice warn day and we decided just to walk around the town and area, not much of a place but we had seen all the ships excursion places on our own visits ot Scotland and last time we docked in Greenock we took the train into Glasgow so didn't want to do that again this time. Lots of days at sea but they never seemed to drag as there was always something to do and walking around the deck for exercise was certainly an experience some days due to the strong winds. Lots of icebergs on the way to and from Greenland and the ship sailed within a mile of the sinking of HMS Hood so we had a minutes silence out of respect and flower petals were thrown into the sea to commemorate the sad event. Nothing more to be said, a great cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we ... Read More
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we disembarked. The efficiency and ease of boarding was so relaxed and stress free - a very slick operation !! The Oriana is a beautiful, stylish and elegant boat and I strangely felt very attached to it and became extremely emotional when I had to disembark ! The cabins (as was the whole ship) were immaculately clean and well appointed with plenty of storage room and wonderfully comfortable beds and pillows. Room service was 1st class with information booklets left in room each day and chocolates. All dining facilities were faultless and the freedom dining worked very well for us. We initially felt a bit concerned about sitting with people we didn't know, but this worked really well. Entertainment was superb and the staff excellent, so many of them, we never had to wait to be served. I have read lots of reviews, mostly good, but some poor ones and cant help but feel these might have been from people who are extremely picky and just like to complain! Although this is the only cruise I have been on I can honestly say we could not fault it and had an amazing time. One day after coming home I booked a family cruise to the fjords next year on the Ventura. I would have liked to gone on the Oriana again but dates did not suit us . Hope to go on the Oriana before it goes out of service next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise ... Read More
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise from start to finish.Some of the previous reviews i had read were of concern to me due to negativity.Not from us. I felt like i owed P&O more money when we were done. Great food,clean cabins,attentive staff and all around fun with our fellow British "mates". Seriously,some of the nicest people I've ever cruised with.Will definitely do P&O again. Unfortunately,Oriana is being retired next year.I'm sure the other ships will do her proud. We generally cruise the Carribean from the U.S, and the Meditteranen from Venice but will certainly look at the Canary Islands for an upcoming itinerary. Boston to Heathrow is comparable in price to Boston to Miami for airfare.Thanks P&O and Oriana for a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a ... Read More
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a smaller, adult only, ship. We loved the art deco design, of the ship,and the size of the ship. So easy to get around. Lots of different bars, and entertainment places. Every area of the ship, was always, clean and tidy.We had an outside cabin (Deluxe Window), on A deck, which was lovely and clean, and plenty of space to hang all our clothes. Our cabin stewardess was a so friendly, she made us feel very welcome. The food, and service, in the restaurant, and bars in the evening, were excellent.All the staff, in the restaurant, were friendly and helpful. The evening entertainment ,was excellent too. Plenty to choose from, to suit all tastes. Loved The Brit Tones and E Sarah Carter, and the man who sang, a mixture of Simon and Garfunkle and other songs, and played the guitar, in various bars, around the ship. We could not fault the Oriana, and would love the chance to sail ,on this ship again. We sailed, all around Ireland, which was nice. It enabled us to see, different parts, of Ireland, Cobh, Dublin, Killybegs, and Galway.We only went on one shore excursion, to visit, Blarney castle, great morning out,which left us plenty of time to look around Cobh, in the afternoon, before sailing. All the ports had lots of excursions you could book, or you could just get off the ship, and do your own thing. Dublin and Galway, both had, city sightseeing buses, which is always a good way to see a city, and for getting around. Read Less
Oriana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms N/A 0.0
Fitness Recreation N/A 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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