Oriana Cruise Review by penelopenicholson
- Sail Date: January 2016
- Destination: Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Outside Twin with Window
For the first few days we could not get out on deck because of high winds. First stop was Tenerife where we took a HOHO bus. In fact we did quite a few of these buses at the various destinations. They are usually the cheapest way to see the towns. Once we left Tenerife the sun came out.
We stopped at the usual Caribbean islands. In Antigua I was due to due a snorkelling trip in the afternoon but this was cancelled at 1.00 as the boat had broken down and, because there were two other ships in, there were no spare ones. So I booked snorkelling at Costa Maya which was a mistake as the sea was very rough. At least I got half my money back. In Puerto Limon we did the countryside, canal and train tour which I can thoroughly recommend. We saw plenty of wild life on the canal. Next stop was Roatan where we did a snapshot tour which included the iguana farm. If it had been a really hot day we would have had difficulty walking among the iguanas but there were still a fair amount of them around. In Progreso we did the trip to Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins. It was a two hour coach trip but once there was worth the trip.
The weather until the day before New Orleans was lovely. By the time we arrived it was fairly cold but dry. Immigration took a long time. We eventually got off at 11.45 with a few hundred waiting. No one was allowed back on until everyone had been through immigration. We went on the paddle steamer to the site of the Battle of New Orleans. In the evening we saw the parade rehearsals for the mardi gras. The next day we went to the World War 2 museum which we can thoroughly recommend but you need more than one day there. Unfortunately we could not get into Key West so had a leisurely sail to Miami where we did the boat trip to Star Island in the morning, then HOHO bus in the afternoon and the following day local bus to Miami Beach. Port Canaveral was the next stop. There is absolutely nothing there to do if you do not book a tour. In Charleston we did a horse and carriage ride which was a lot cheaper than booking via the ship. Bermuda and Madeira were the last two stops.
The outside entertainment was excellent. The best was a comic juggler called Pete Matthews who P & O managed to book at last minute due to being let down. He was hilarious. Next were Walk like a Man, 4 Seasons tribute, brilliant. Roy Locke, New Zealander was also good. The Headliners, in my opinion, were the worst we have ever seen. It is about time there were some new shows. Most of the speakers were good. The films at the cinema were dire. 90% of them seemed to be violent, sex and bad language.
We had an outside cabin on F deck. The steward wasn't the best we have had. Don't think he knew where the dusters or vacuum cleaner were kept! We dined in the Oriental restaurant, first sitting. Our main waiter was very good but his assistant was useless. The food was very good and very hot most of the time.
We hardly saw the captain. We thought it was strange that no farewell party had been given, considering it was a 50 night cruise, but on the last night we were given a glass of champagne on entering the restaurant, which actually was a lot better than the bunfight cocktail parties. The disembarkation was very smooth and we got off about ten minutes before our due date.
Overall impression of Oriana. Although our second favourite ship she is in need of refit. When we were in Crichtons for cards and syndicate quizes the waste bin was overflowing and cups and glasses were not taken away. In fact a half bottle of water stayed on the side for four days and in the end we put a notice on it. In the Crows Nest under the seats bits of titbits were left there for days before being cleared up. There was always a toilet in the various ladies' toilets closed for maintenance. As usual there were the usual moaners who complained about everything. Apart from all this we had a lovely cruise and would recommend the itinerary to any one, but avoid New Orleans and Charleston in February!
Its a shame that P & O will be altering the dress code from end of March by changing the dress code to just formal and casual. Even on this cruise if the gentleman had forgotten their jackets they were allowed into the dining rooms. Only a short time ago my husband had to go back to get his jacket because we misread the dress code. The men look so much better in suits. Part of cruising is the dressing up. I just wonder how long before the dress code is changed to casual only.
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