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Sail Date: May 2014
We had a lovely first cruise aboard the Oriana. The staff were all very attentive, especially in the main restaurant (Peninsular). With the freedom dining we were offered a choice of dining every day 2,4,6 or 8 tables, this worked very ... Read More
We had a lovely first cruise aboard the Oriana. The staff were all very attentive, especially in the main restaurant (Peninsular). With the freedom dining we were offered a choice of dining every day 2,4,6 or 8 tables, this worked very well for us meeting new people every night. The meals were fantastic in all the restaurants but especially the peninsular. The Conservatory was used during the day along with the Al Fresco restaurant, both self service and great. The Alfresco restaurant serves till 2.30 in the morning, with Hot chocolate and Horlicks on the menu. We had a seven port stop in Portugal, Spain and Canary Islands and loved every minute of it. We saw signs of repair as in painting on the ship, but apart from some slight rust marks it was fine (well come on it is constantly in a salt environment). I saw no curled carpets. The Cinema projector is overdue for updating and let down some great films, that we should have been able to see in HD All in all we enjoyed our first cruise and we felt everyone was there to help us enjoy our time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
First cruise from Southampton 4 days of hell because of the weather and seas but when we got to the islands it was very good. Weather was hit and miss but really enjoyed it loads to do .staff v good captain reassured us about weather ... Read More
First cruise from Southampton 4 days of hell because of the weather and seas but when we got to the islands it was very good. Weather was hit and miss but really enjoyed it loads to do .staff v good captain reassured us about weather conditions . Would do it again . Met some nice people on our table where we ate most nights, we were very concerned about the set meals in the restaurant but loved it! The food /service was magnificent , and the menus were amazing!!! All silver service would Defo recommend this. The photos on board a little expensive they would sell more if cheaper the beer was reasonable but drinking water was riddiculass £1.90 a bottle and as my wife suffers with crohns disease and needs loads of fresh(not tap) water this was a bad thing for us!! All water in big bottles were free on ocean village 1 I had a cepap machine for my snoring had to ask steward for an extension for electric which he got for me , as no electic sockets near the beds. Over all we enjoyed our little adventure not to much to moan about really value for money at 699 for 2 weeks for us both . We drink most nights in the lords taverner. Oh yes and put up with that boring music man. There every night he was terrible , apparently after other our age46 and 47 ish complained re lack of entertainment for our age group they were told the entertainment is geared up for adults only !,, so after questioning this they were told oh for over 70 year old s so beware if your 40 + entertainment is bit poor!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
A group of six of us went to the Norwegian Fiords. None of us had been on a cruise before. We definitely enjoyed a lot of it, but still don't feel ready for this sort of travelling yet. We are all in our 60s. Departure from ... Read More
A group of six of us went to the Norwegian Fiords. None of us had been on a cruise before. We definitely enjoyed a lot of it, but still don't feel ready for this sort of travelling yet. We are all in our 60s. Departure from Southampton was wonderful, especially as we all live a couple of miles away. One hour travelling and we were all sitting having lunch aboard. Beats flying hands down. Felt P and O are a bit stingy considering we paid nearly £1000.00 each. For example, only a small bottle of mineral water each provided in your cabin on the first day. After that you have to pay. Departure from Southampton was very exciting, but spoiled by the fact you had to purchase the champagne being brought round. It wouldn't have cost the company much to make it complimentary and would have made guests feel special. We were unfortunate in that the weather was not brilliant. This meant people stayed inside the ship and consequently it felt very claustrophobic at times. Several times we had to queue to get into restaurants, failed to watch a film because the cinema was full and had to fight for a table in the self service restaurants. We also found there was much more movement on the boat that we expected and a continual vibration from the propellers. Several of us felt very strange when back on land and had difficulty sleeping with the noise from the engines. The quality of the food was superb and the entertainment great. We did feel some things were geared for an older age group. There was a lot of ball room dancing and the lectures were very much geared towards health issues such as cracked heels! Trips are very expensive and there is little information to let you know how easy they are to do independently. The fiords are so beautiful and it was well worth going just to see them. All in all I am glad we have been on a cruise, but am unlikely to repeat the experience as I do not think they are good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
I had cruised before but not with P&O and wanted to see if the larger-shiop experience was as good as it was made oiut to be. Oriana is about as large as I would want to go in terms of ship size - 69000 tons - and offered a good range ... Read More
I had cruised before but not with P&O and wanted to see if the larger-shiop experience was as good as it was made oiut to be. Oriana is about as large as I would want to go in terms of ship size - 69000 tons - and offered a good range of facilities. I will first of all get a gripe off my chest. I had booked this trip several months before using the 'Vantage' fare, due to having to arrange time off work in advance. Big mistake, because had I waited I could have taken one of their 'getaway' fares at half the cost of the ticket that I actually paid for. The Vantage promise is a hollow one, because that fare will never reduce. They simply offer a different fare structure, to fill vacant cabins, about 6 weeks before the cruise. I won't get caught again; if I ever sail with P&O in the future it will be as a short-notice customer. No recompense is offered to those paying a higher fare. I could have had a balcony cabin for the same price I paid for my standard outside one. Due to these offers, the ship was full with a sign up at reception saying there were no spare cabins available. The ship is suited to British tastes. It has a wide variety of entertainment venues and bars, although the main Theatre became full when the 'Headliners' were performing. The one place to avoid was the 'Conservatory' self-service restaurant, which we called 'the bunfight'. Breakfast in 'Al Fresco' was nice, if there was seating available (it is a small venue) or the Peninsular restaurant. The ship was very stable and even in a swell it seemed to move very little. One of the pools (Terrace) was closed for 'maintenance' for the last part of the cruise; there were two others but the Terrace Pool is the best as it has two hot tubs and is fairly well protected from the weather. The small Spa on Deck 12 has an indoor hot tub but only takes around 5 people - on a ship with 1800 passengers this is not really enough. Do not bother with Steiners - I had a pedicure which was so badly done that my feet hurt for the remainder of the cruise. The 'Oriental' restaurant suffers from vibration at high engine speeds, making conversation difficult at times due to rattling tableware. The food quality was good, but somebody got it wrong somewhere because on the last day I caught Norovirus from an unknown source. The infection did not spoil the cruise, because it did not appear until I was back home, but it took the edge off what was otherwise a very enjoyable week cruising the fjords of Norway. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Just back from Oriana as part of the 'Grand Event' 3 July - a 4 night cruise. We had an enjoyable cruise, despite P&O! We met several lovely people, had some entertaining conversations, a number of laughs and saw some ... Read More
Just back from Oriana as part of the 'Grand Event' 3 July - a 4 night cruise. We had an enjoyable cruise, despite P&O! We met several lovely people, had some entertaining conversations, a number of laughs and saw some interesting sites. The service from P&O unfortunately was not good, often it felt as though we 'four night cruisers' were an annoyance or inconvenience. Were we being penalised for not going for at least a seven night cruise? The 'Grand Event' was billed by P&O as being 'the pinnacle of our celebrations this year'. Well I suppose it was for P&O personnel, but they seem to have overlooked the fact that it is the cruisers who are the vital ingredient! Right at the start, we were prevented from access to our cabin whilst Princess Anne was about to pass nearby, being sent on a spurious alternative route by 'something in a uniform'. The service from the waiters was poor where it existed! Anything was too much trouble! Another cup of tea, fruit juice, glass of water, vegetables, milk with porridge .... How inconvenient asking for such things! Grumpy, insolent, rude .. You name it, they showed it! Food was variable, sometimes excellent, often average and occasionally poor -- and they called it 'beef broth'! At the end of the cruise as we left our cabin, the steward could hardly be bothered to say goodbye! And as regards a customer questionnaire ... well, Reception said, 'Not for four nights' Seems we didn't matter and they didn't care! One thing is definite ..... Next time we'll certainly make sure we remove the auto tipping. So what about 175 years? -- A celebration ?? .... Given our experience the future strap line should be: 'P&O - 175 years and still not got it right!' Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Cake & Eat it? lets see! 17 Nights & No flying required (always a bonus!), Ports of call Malaga, Dubrovnik, Venice (2 Days), Split, Corfu & Cadiz. A difficult one to call this as at £1000 pp (after deducting o/b ... Read More
Cake & Eat it? lets see! 17 Nights & No flying required (always a bonus!), Ports of call Malaga, Dubrovnik, Venice (2 Days), Split, Corfu & Cadiz. A difficult one to call this as at £1000 pp (after deducting o/b spend) this was a 'real steal' and we received our very 1st ever upgraded from Deck E to C. Having checked out the reviews there were no real 'nightmare' stories although it was clear from some that the Oriana was due for a refurb! and boy were they right. Cabin was fine & most staff friendly, Food was excellent as always, Entertainment Team were quite good for P & O but the facilities available left a lot to be desired from 1) Toilets not working or worst continually flushing all night on its own, 2) Power failures one of which led to the 1st sitting being delayed. 3) No water! I kid you not 4) Gym equipment already broken at start and never repaired for the duration. 5) None of the Jacuzzi's worked properly, and those that were available were either full of sand or simply hot water with no bubbles. 6) Sauna never got to temperature as heaters were to small to heat large area 7) No lights in changing rooms 8) Some staff were arrogant, rude or simply uninterested. 8) No cold water - always hot despite on being on lowest temperature 9) Public Toilets regularly out of order. I'm not one to complain (yeah right, my better half guffaws!!) but overall I consider we got a bargain cruise, however, it was not sold cheaper based on the condition of the ship. So it could be a case of me having my cake and eating it, either way the Oriana is a very nice ship but in dire need of an overhaul. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Having just returned from a 11night cruise with P&O on Oriana, leaving from Southampton on the 28th December, visiting Madeira the canary islands Lisbon and Vigo. I feel compelled to write a review so that other ... Read More
Having just returned from a 11night cruise with P&O on Oriana, leaving from Southampton on the 28th December, visiting Madeira the canary islands Lisbon and Vigo. I feel compelled to write a review so that other inexperienced cruise customers can have i hope an unbiased view,as even though i asked other people prior to booking this cruise and also scoured the on line reviews i don't feel i saw the points that i will raise laid out in black and white even though once on the cruise certain aspects that i found were not for us were known to others. So having said all that I'm sure for a lot of others on the cruise it did exactly what it said on the tin,lots of roll out the barrel sing along, talks on swollen joints, knitting classes, ballroom dances, football on TV,old rom com movies and ancient sitcoms in cabin and a headline act of Richard Digance. My partner and i have been on one other cruise about 4 years ago with royal Caribbean mariner of the seas (i will use a system 1-10 ,5 or below is i consider unacceptable for the price of the cruise) 1 the ship itself facilities ,cabin, 2 food 3 service 4 entertainment on all these points without fail Royal Caribbean came in at 8/9 we had a great time. On arriving at Southampton to check onto the Oriana we joined the long queue to board and this is when it first struck us that all was not as we expected we looked around at the majority of our fellow passengers and for one bizarre minute we thought we had got into the wrong queue and were lining up for a post Christmas offer to join a new northern nursing home, We assured ourselves that this was just a statistical blip owing to the prompt time we joined the ship and decided to bravely go on board beyond the point of no return. We found the food during the day ie breakfast and lunch was boring ,repetitive, and unimaginative like one would get at a average works canteen,it was difficult to find a seat and we felt we were participating in a rushed bun fight daily. We were lucky as we went for the late sitting we did find ourselves seated with some very nice people, and enjoyed the evening meals as they were relaxed with a set seat and the food up to the expected standard. The Oriana itself also felt very tired and dated when comparing it to the Mariner of the Seas. so for all the reasons given i would score Oriana 3/4 in all the categories listed above,we would not personally repeat the experience and had the cruise gone on much longer i think after day 5 we would have got off and flown home. As I say I'm sure this may be to some peoples taste and a lot of the fault may be my naivety and or lack of research ,i hope others might just add this review into the mix before deciding if a similar cruise is for them. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Our cabin was great, good view from the window, our cabin steward was helpful, kept everything in very good order, I couldn't fault anything there. The dining staff were attentive, friendly, amazed me by remembering things, (like ... Read More
Our cabin was great, good view from the window, our cabin steward was helpful, kept everything in very good order, I couldn't fault anything there. The dining staff were attentive, friendly, amazed me by remembering things, (like did I have coffee with milk or not). The food was well prepared, served and always perfect, the variety of the menu was staggering. Each meal, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, it would have been impossible to not find something delicious even for the most 'picky' eater. The presentation was excellent. The ship was always clean, the entertainment staff friendly and helpful. The evening shows were always wonderful. The only thing that was unfortunately not up to standard was the reception staff. It appeared to me that they would tell you anything just to get rid of you. We had a problem with the shaver power point in the bathroom, when I asked for someone to check it, I was told that there was another power point near the bed. I knew that this was not so, but she insisted it was correct. Also the captain announced that a survey was being distributed. I went to reception 3 times over 4 days requesting a copy of the survey. Each time I was assured that one would be delivered to our cabin. In fact the last person insisted that he would deliver it personally. It never arrived. Why I couldn't just be given one on the first request is incomprehensible! If for some reason, it was a limited survey, that was not included in the captain's announcement. I feel that it was just slack staff!! Would this minor problem stop me from cruising again, the answer is a definite NO. But I do feel that P&O need to be aware of some staffing problems. Read Less
As [our travel agent], provided a taxi from home to the Mayflower Terminal, joining the ship was very stress free. The actual embarkation process was quite efficiently carried out by P&O staff and we were soon in our cabin on ... Read More
As [our travel agent], provided a taxi from home to the Mayflower Terminal, joining the ship was very stress free. The actual embarkation process was quite efficiently carried out by P&O staff and we were soon in our cabin on deck 10 and our luggage was delivered to our cabin within a few minutes. The Oriana is a fine well built ship and no expense has been spared, it seems, in quality of the furnishings and equipment. We were pleased with our cabin with balcony which seemed well sound proofed. The Captain, Rory Scott and his officers ran the ship in a very professional manner. The Captain was to be seen around the vessel chatting to passengers but was also we were told quite strict which is always a good thing. Entertainment was really extremely good with the ships dance and song troupe being very versatile and putting their all into their shows. The other entertainers, John Evans; the comedian; Martin Daniels the conjurer/Comedian and Gerard Kenny, the singer/song writer were really excellent. The Maritime Theme lecturers were also very good with the cinema venue often filled to overflowing. The food in general was good with breakfasts being excellent, lunches a bit variable as regards some choices. For instance hot pot and cottage pie are not what one expects on a P&O cruise. Our biggest disappointment however were the main courses at dinner (second sitting) in the Oriental restaurant. Apart from the Captain's Gala Dinner the meat was sometimes tough or overcooked and the fish rather tasteless. We were not alone in commenting on this as others on our table for six echoed this. A pity as this the main meal of the day on a cruise. Our waiters were again very good indeed and perhaps we should have complained about the meat, etc. to our head waiter. We enjoyed the ports of call and the excursions we went on we enjoyed with the guides doing a very good job, one or two having a great sense of humour as well. We had good weather almost throughout the voyage with only quite a gentle swell in the Bay of Biscay. Arriving back in Southampton the disembarking process was pretty efficient probably because of P&O'S considerable experience in Southampton. Finally one or two criticisms: We think P& O are wrong to carry children of up to 11 years old free of charge outside school holiday times, this encourages parents to allow them to miss schooling. It also means that people who book cruises at these times have to put up with noisy and sometimes badly supervised children The children on this cruise completely ignored pool rules and the ships staff made no effort to our knowledge to enforce the rules regarding jumping and diving. We also noticed that P&O are not giving those little touches that other cruise lines give such as chocolates on the pillow each night, fruit in the cabin, toiletries in the bathrooms. This was our first cruise with P&O, but people told us that these used to be provided. In fairness however the provision of binoculars and an atlas in the cabin was a plus point. Overall we did really enjoy our cruise on the Oriana. CopeEdwards@aol.comNovember 2002 Read Less
I promised I would write a review so here goes. Advance apologies if anyone finds my opinions different to theirs! Prices are in £ sterling. General Info This was our eighth cruise..David is my husband and we take our cruises together! ... Read More
I promised I would write a review so here goes. Advance apologies if anyone finds my opinions different to theirs! Prices are in £ sterling. General Info This was our eighth cruise..David is my husband and we take our cruises together! Cruised from Southampton to The Canaries and back to Southampton. The cruise duration was 9 nights. Getting to ship/embarkation. We drove to Southampton and gave the car to Andrews to look after. The journey was a bit fraught as there were holdups on M27 and we had to leave the motorway and find our way through the centre of Southampton. The embarkation was smooth..our cases were taken as we arrived and we saw them again once we reached our cabin. We waited for about 3/4 hour before embarkation and were seated comfortably in the terminal where you could buy drinks, newspapers, magazines and other odds and ends. Quite tranquil. The ship was loaded according to cards handed out as you booked in..all hassle free. First we were taken to one of the beautiful lounges on this ship. It was Anderson's. We made our own way to our cabin after a decent interval as nobody seemed to be coming to escort us. We were highly impressed on our first glimpse of the interior... most tasteful and the 3 deck atrium was quite stunning. The ship has a high level of cleanliness which was maintained throughout the cruise. Cabin we were on deck 9 in the Forward section of the ship...which was very long. I certainly got exercise getting there. The cabin was C128 and was an outside cabin with very large window. The cabin was 150 sq.ft. which included the bathroom. This was the smallest cabin we have ever had. The bathroom had a bath with shower over and it would have been more spacious if there had been just a shower. The cabin used large mirrors judiciously to enhance the size of the room. The bed was 6ft wide..2 singles joined together. We did think to separate the beds to make extra space in the middle..but were too lazy to bother. The wardrobe space had 3 doors with the rails front to back rather than sideways. This was an irritant as you had to reach in trying to unhook those wretched hangers! This was a space saving device I guess. To be fair we had adequate space and we were able to store our large suitcases under the beds. We had two chests of drawers one each side of the bed with 4 drawers in each, plus a dressing table with 4 very spacious drawers. One special plus was the fridge..so much better and cheaper than a minibar. We took on board our own wine and drinks. Also there was a kettle and mugs plus tea coffee milk and sugar so you could make your own refreshments. There were biscuits and chocolate drinks as well. We thought this was a great plus and we found making your own cuppa whenever you wanted was wonderful. There was a TV with remote and we were able to get BBC World, CNN etc. I would like to ask cruise lines to get Sky news as I just hate BBC World which seems to think giving any news about UK as irrelevant! While I am on this topic congratulations to P&O who screened the World Cup Matches not only in the Pacific Lounge but in our cabins...my husband was delighted. The bathroom was well equipped with liquid soap over the shower..Molton Brown no less which is quite an upmarket brand. There was also a bag of goodies including cottonwool, sewing aid, nail files etc. The two bathroom cabinets were quite adequate. All in all the cabin was good...very light. Walking around the ship we thought the inside cabins were equal size with outside..good to know if you plan to have an inside. Also found that cabins in the same letter grade were priced according to location...we were KC forward. KA were on a higher deck and were also in a better location...i.e midships. The next grade cabin up D grade were a much better size and were also well located, but on the port side of the ship they had 3-4 people and were used by families. We would look for a D grade cabin if we could get a special price, but if we really wanted a cruise we would go the same grade as this time. The sound insulation was quite good, although we had only couples next door to us and we heard no noise from above. We were pleased as we cannot stand extraneous noise. Dining & Food We were late bookers and had no choice of dining. We were first sitting and were on a table for 6 people. The other 4 were 2 couples travelling together and all were very pleasant, so no problems there. The food was quite good...not as good as QE2 or Crystal but nevertheless plenty of choice and well presented. Our waiters were very good..all came from Goa and were most professional. The portions were generous and there was always a fish dish and vegetarian selections. Considering the number of passengers on the ship the dining experience was good. We ate in the Peninsular restaurant but the other, the Oriental was a better looking room, purely because it was at the back of the ship with a wrap around window. Dining room was according to cabin location so we were placed in Peninsular. We did sneak into the Oriental for some breakfasts and lunches but it was discouraged and we were asked which restaurant we normally dined in..we ofcourse told a lie..anything to write a good review.. Our readers need to know these things. Breakfast in the dining room ended at 9am..a grave mistake in our opinion. We feel that breakfast should last until 9.30am at least. Dinner began at 6.30 and second sitting was 8.30pm. Because we do not like to dine so early we took advantage of the restaurant in the conservatory...you know, the Lido. Each evening part of this restaurant was transformed into Le Jardin and there was a cover charge of £3.50 per person, which was well worth it in our opinion. We were able to sit in the perfect location overlooking the water with our own waiter taking care of all our needs and the food was really good and very well presented. We ate there more than in the dining room as we enjoyed the experience so much..well done P&O. Turning to breakfast and lunch in the conservatory, I simply do not like the hugger mugger atmosphere of these places..they are generally crowded and noisy and this was no exception..kids shouting others crying and a generally unrelaxed atmosphere. Give me the starched tablecloths and the dignity of the main restaurant any day. There were no themed dinners and no baked Alaska nights..good. My birthday was one night and we managed to avoid the usual happy birthday song, but when we got to our cabin there were the balloons on the door and inside a plate of Belgian chocs. and a card signed by the captain. Very tasteful and much appreciated. The dress code was always adhered to, and we were impressed with the standard of dress on formal nights..people on the Oriana were in my opinion better dressed than on QE2. Of the nine nights 3 were formal, 4 were informal and 2 were casual (first and last nights)There were more men in Tuxes than I had thought would be and I certainly never felt overdressed in my finery. Ship's facilities Found the staff at all levels very helpful and polite..except for one waiter who took umbrage when I asked for fresh tea at breakfast..the cup he poured was stewed. He told me many people liked it like that and made a big production of it. Then he asked my husband if he should go and get another pot of hot water to serve the coffee..very sarcastic.. but there is always the odd rude person isn't there. On board shops had a lot of stock..but the evening clothes for sale were pretty awful and one dress was marked as though it had been worn. Lots of jewellery and perfume..usual inch of gold. Not much to talk about really though quite adequate and there were two shops one on deck 7 and another on deck 6..do ask any questions you would like answered about the shops. They did give a talk about Tanzanite, which I had seen in the Caribbean. The young woman giving the talk about it seemed to read the details and knew very little. When I went to look at the display in the jewellery section, I thought it was vastly overpriced as was the Swarzovski jewellery. The Pave was good and they had a reasonable selection. The Casino gave me a pain..I just love to play the slots but I was convinced that these were calibrated to give least return...I went through £10 in about 10 minutes and this was the worst result on Slots that I have ever had. The other gaming room was well organised and attended,..but we did not play. Looked at the equipment in the gym which was on a high deck..very good and there was a spa there too which was always deserted. Dear reader, I took all my gym clobber but regret to inform you that after looking at all the young men and women exercising ferociously, I just did not get round to my regular exercise. The decks at the aft section where the pools were situated were always crowded on fine days at sea and I have to tell you the German towel syndrome was well in evidence (please do not take offence German readers..this is a British joke) In my opinion British people are very guilty of the towel on sunbed habit. This was a great drawback for us..You simply had to go out and stake your claim about 9am to get a bed. I was unable to get one except on the side promenade deck during the entire cruise. Not to sound too snobbish but the types who do this kind of thing were a bit downmarket and I would not have liked to confront them. The Jacuzzis were also quite crowded. I did not visit the hairdresser..I find them generally overpriced and not that good, so prefer to take my own dryer and fix my own hair. Looked at the cyber study, but sessions on the internet were very expensive and I did not use it. Nor did it ever seem crowded. Liked the library, though I do wish there were some audio books to borrow. I always take one or two as they are amazingly soporific and I never get to listen to more than one side before I am asleep. Hellishly expensive on the batteries! You could borrow 2 books at a time and titles were up to date..some very new ones. You could also buy paperbacks on board, a good idea. The Thackeray room attached to the library was a lovely relaxing room in which to read. I used it all day on the rough day we had on the way home. My husband was disappointed by the lack of bridge players on board. There were 8 others and nobody else came, so he did not get a game. We went to the trivia quizzes. One was at 5.30pm..a stupid time as those going to first sitting found it inconvenient. There was always a good crowd there. Photo gallery same as any other ship..nothing to say really, although as it was on a walkway, it was a bit inconvenient at times. Lots of bars to drink in...not that interested in this so really can only tell you if bars are your scene, you will not be disappointed on Oriana. We loved Tiffany court where a pianist tinkled away before and after dinner..we sipped our cocktails and listened to his great improvisations. I have to say that drink prices on Oriana were very reasonable. I think the drinks on the ship were cheaper than on any other ship we have cruised on. Nothing to say about discos..I am well past that age! Entertainment The theatre Royal was highly impressive..a really large theatre with tiered red plush seats, complete with individual aircon. in each seat..how different!. can only say that this was the best theatre on board that I have seen. The shows were fine..We did enjoy the productions. We heard that they had changed the dance troupe and were trying out a new company..well done P&O as we enjoyed the music and verve of the artists. There were two nights of classical piano recitals in the Curzon room. Most music was well known and well played and I found them most enjoyable. Another artist was an excellent illusionist plus a stand up comedian on a couple of nights....and that was it. The ports of call were well known to us: Vigo..for Santiago De Compostela. We have done the tour before so went shopping in Vigo for ciggies for friends in UK. We do not smoke but the cost of a carton was £10..very cheap. Lanzarote..where we took our only organised tour. The guide was one of the best we have ver had and the landscape of the island was highly dramatic. I would thoroughly recommend this tour. Santa Cruz Tenerife...we wandered around the town of Santa Cruz and found it most relaxing. Madeira.. last port of call. We had been there twice before, but always like a wander around the town of Funchal. Heard that our tablemates enjoyed their tour greatly. There was always a bus to get into town, except in Funchal where a boat was laid on to take you to the middle of town.. all very satisfactory. We had one very rough night on the second night out..I was rather scared, but that was just because it was uncomfortable. The only other rough weather was just after we left Madeira when a strong wind whipped the sea up and there was a most uncomfortable day spent indoors. OK, Now how would I improve this cruise experience.. There were 200 children on the ship...children got very heavy discounts. I think some even went free under a certain age. For us this was one of the downsides. We have children ..and in fact we have grown up teenage grandchildren, but we do not like to spend our cruises with kids..OK you can slate me if you like, but we had thought that in June the kids would still be in school and I have to say I heartily disapprove of parents removing their children in term time to go on hols. I know it is expensive to holiday in the school hols. but we were surprised to see quite so many children. They were well catered for on board and I am sure they enjoyed themselves. We certainly did not like them around at meal times. Why is it that young children wait until meal times to bawl, scream and generally carry on? This was especially apparent in the conservatory where I advise you to keep away if you are looking for tranquility. I am now looking for ships other than Saga where children are not catered for.. having read the review about Arcadia maybe that ship will be the one for me! Next..cinema listings. The cinema is superb and was under utilised both for talks and decent films. They had Charlotte Grey and A beautiful Mind on..but films were poorly advertised and I have written to P&O to suggest they have an advertisement outside the cinema to say what is showing. The films shown in the cabins bore no resemblance to the written program so I did not see any I liked. I am a real film fan and so I was disappointed, especially as the cinema is so good. Saw Harry Potter and Monsters Inc. Both were rather spoilt as parents dropped their children in the cinema and left them.. whereupon some played merry hell. Guest Speakers...where were they?? There was an erudite gentleman who spoke about ports and the tours. We enjoyed his knowledge and thought he was great. There was one other guest speaker, a lady who spoke twice about getting your life in balance..bit jargony and I have a really great balance in my life and did not go on a cruise for self improvement. This lack of guest speakers was a great disappointment to us, having been on other cruises where the guest speakers were pure enjoyment. The under utilisation of so many wonderful lounges. The lounges on this ship were some of the best I have ever seen. How great to serve afternoon tea in such gracious surroundings..but no! Afternoon tea was served in the restaurant or in the dreaded Conservatory..not at all gracious. I like a serene room with a musician in the background and waiters in elegant gloves serving finger sandwiches, scones and cakes using china that is elegant..maybe too much to ask? But this is a British ship and we should be doing tea in style! Well I think by now you will all be bored. As I have been writing I can see that I did really like the Oriana, especially as I paid only £799 for this cruise booked only 3 weeks in advance. There were many other passengers who had paid the same price as us. An inside cabin could be had for £699..so who can complain. I think that the World Cup affected sales and so we were lucky. I would give the cruise 7/10 and would have given a better score except for my moans outlined above. Please feel free to ask questions..but do it soon as we are about to leave on another cruise..this one booked a year in advance. We leave on 11th July on Saga Rose to Iceland, Norway, Shetlands etc and then to Ireland and Scotland. Cheers, annspeakman@homechoice.co.ukJuly 2002 Read Less
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
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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