Overview. The itinerary was the deciding factor in booking this cruise. Fantastic to be able to visit such iconic locations as Chichen Itza, Mexico, Key West, Miami, Kennedy Space Centre, New Orleans................I could go on!! To be able to visit all these places without the need for constant packing and unpacking and not having to be on the road for days at a time or hanging around in airport departure lounges for hours is brilliant. Were you to try and piece together your own itinerary utilising air and road travel with hotels you would be looking at a cost of several times more than the price we paid for this cruise. It certainly wouldn't be as relaxed or as comfortable as our floating hotel. Dining: We booked a saver fare and therefore could not request, or even express a preference for, our dining option. We were dreading being allocated club dining with a sitting at 8.30 pm on the same table of eight people each night. You are only informed of your dining allocation when you board and first go to your cabin where a note is left informing you of your dining allocation. We were lucky and were given freedom dining in the Peninsular Restaurant. That meant we could eat at what time we liked on a table for two. If a table for two were not immediately available then you were given a pager to let you know when one was available. The pager enabled you to chill out in one of the bars rather than waiting outside the restaurant. If you didn't mind sharing a table with others then you would be seated immediately without any need to wait The food in the Peninsular Restaurant was generally excellent. Some really memorable meals of beautiful fish and excellent meats (the rib of beef cooked rare was some of the best beef I have had) Of course some dishes were better than others and very occasionally a dish would arrive at your table that should not have been allowed out of the kitchen. That is inevitable when you are catering for such numbers. All you had to do was speak to the waiter and your meal would be replaced or changed without question. The waiting staff seemed to genuinely want you to enjoy your food. Some passengers seemed to delight in moaning about the food (and just about everything else as well) but I feel that says more about them than it does about the overall excellent food. We used the Sindhu Indian Fusion for-fee Restaurant three times and had some of the best Indian food we have ever had. Beautifully cooked and presented. I like my Indian food extra chilli hot and given 24 hours notice they were more than happy to adjust their dishes to my taste. Huge portions as well so make sure you go there hungry. That same piece of advice applies to their other for-fee offering - The Beach House. Great food, massive portions and lovely to be able to sit outside weather permitting and look out over the ships stern and watch the Sunset – magical. Entertainment: Inevitably on a 35 night cruise - a mixed bag. We really enjoyed the Beatles Tribute Band Beatles Experience. They performed on two nights and we saw both of them. Thoroughly enjoyed both evenings. The New Orleans Jazz band brought on board whilst we were in dock overnight were excellent. The type of jazz they played is not really our thing but they played so well and with such passion and enthusiasm that we had a great evening. The undisputed highlight was the Jazz Trio that were with us from Southampton until they very sadly departed in New Orleans. We both agreed that they were the best jazz trio we have ever seen. All of them were brilliant musicians and had such a passion and feel for the jazz they played. Ashley from Canada was the pianist, Max from Chicago was the drummer and Manuel from Argentina played the Bass. We were lucky enough to be present when one of our fellow passengers, Peter, who was a hugely talented saxophonist and who had brought his alto sax. with him, joined the trio on stage. A great evening. Cabin: A perfectly adequate 2 berth inside cabin. Bathroom fittings were a little tired but the shower was excellent. Inevitably a small cabin but it had everything you would need and wasn't so small that it felt oppressive Service: From the moment we checked in at Southampton Cruise Terminal to the time we left the terminal at the end of our cruise the service we received from just about everyone was impeccable. It was lovely to be able to return to Oriana at the conclusion of a days sightseeing ashore, to be welcomed back by friendly, smiling faces. I must make mention of our cabin steward Dominic Rodrigues from Goa. From the first moment we met him he was so friendly, warm and kind. He serviced our cabin beautifully. He became a friend to us. There are many others I feel should be named who gave us great service. I tried to take photo's of the staff to include their name badge but some of the photo's were not clear enough to be able to read the name badge. Apologies to those I have left out and to those whose name I have misspelled In the Peninsular Restaurant - Vivek from Mauritius. Pamdian Reddiar - the Restaurant Manager. Cristina and Franco from the Philippines - our wine waiters. Our waiters, Kunai, Cline and Mauril. Hilary Fernandes - head wine steward. Then in the Sindhu Restaurant Krishna - the Restaurant Manager. Really helpful. Irene - our charming waitress

So much more that a cruise. A fantastic not-to-be-missed life adventure.

Oriana Cruise Review by Luke Page

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2016
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Inside Twin Cabin
Overview.

The itinerary was the deciding factor in booking this cruise. Fantastic to be able to visit such iconic locations as Chichen Itza, Mexico, Key West, Miami, Kennedy Space Centre, New Orleans................I could go on!! To be able to visit all these places without the need for constant packing and unpacking and not having to be on the road for days at a time or hanging around in airport departure lounges for hours is brilliant. Were you to try and piece together your own itinerary utilising air and road travel with hotels you would be looking at a cost of several times more than the price we paid for this cruise. It certainly wouldn't be as relaxed or as comfortable as our floating hotel.

Dining:

We booked a saver fare and therefore could not request, or even express a preference for, our dining option. We were dreading being allocated club dining with a sitting at 8.30 pm on the same table of eight people each night. You are only informed of your dining allocation when you board and first go to your cabin where a note is left informing you of your dining allocation. We were lucky and were given freedom dining in the Peninsular Restaurant. That meant we could eat at what time we liked on a table for two. If a table for two were not immediately available then you were given a pager to let you know when one was available. The pager enabled you to chill out in one of the bars rather than waiting outside the restaurant. If you didn't mind sharing a table with others then you would be seated immediately without any need to wait The food in the Peninsular Restaurant was generally excellent. Some really memorable meals of beautiful fish and excellent meats (the rib of beef cooked rare was some of the best beef I have had) Of course some dishes were better than others and very occasionally a dish would arrive at your table that should not have been allowed out of the kitchen. That is inevitable when you are catering for such numbers. All you had to do was speak to the waiter and your meal would be replaced or changed without question. The waiting staff seemed to genuinely want you to enjoy your food. Some passengers seemed to delight in moaning about the food (and just about everything else as well) but I feel that says more about them than it does about the overall excellent food. We used the Sindhu Indian Fusion for-fee Restaurant three times and had some of the best Indian food we have ever had. Beautifully cooked and presented. I like my Indian food extra chilli hot and given 24 hours notice they were more than happy to adjust their dishes to my taste. Huge portions as well so make sure you go there hungry. That same piece of advice applies to their other for-fee offering - The Beach House. Great food, massive portions and lovely to be able to sit outside weather permitting and look out over the ships stern and watch the Sunset – magical.

Entertainment:

Inevitably on a 35 night cruise - a mixed bag. We really enjoyed the Beatles Tribute Band Beatles Experience. They performed on two nights and we saw both of them. Thoroughly enjoyed both evenings. The New Orleans Jazz band brought on board whilst we were in dock overnight were excellent. The type of jazz they played is not really our thing but they played so well and with such passion and enthusiasm that we had a great evening. The undisputed highlight was the Jazz Trio that were with us from Southampton until they very sadly departed in New Orleans. We both agreed that they were the best jazz trio we have ever seen. All of them were brilliant musicians and had such a passion and feel for the jazz they played. Ashley from Canada was the pianist, Max from Chicago was the drummer and Manuel from Argentina played the Bass. We were lucky enough to be present when one of our fellow passengers, Peter, who was a hugely talented saxophonist and who had brought his alto sax. with him, joined the trio on stage. A great evening.

Cabin:

A perfectly adequate 2 berth inside cabin. Bathroom fittings were a little tired but the shower was excellent. Inevitably a small cabin but it had everything you would need and wasn't so small that it felt oppressive

Service:

From the moment we checked in at Southampton Cruise Terminal to the time we left the terminal at the end of our cruise the service we received from just about everyone was impeccable. It was lovely to be able to return to Oriana at the conclusion of a days sightseeing ashore, to be welcomed back by friendly, smiling faces. I must make mention of our cabin steward Dominic Rodrigues from Goa. From the first moment we met him he was so friendly, warm and kind. He serviced our cabin beautifully. He became a friend to us. There are many others I feel should be named who gave us great service. I tried to take photo's of the staff to include their name badge but some of the photo's were not clear enough to be able to read the name badge. Apologies to those I have left out and to those whose name I have misspelled In the Peninsular Restaurant - Vivek from Mauritius. Pamdian Reddiar - the Restaurant Manager. Cristina and Franco from the Philippines - our wine waiters. Our waiters, Kunai, Cline and Mauril. Hilary Fernandes - head wine steward. Then in the Sindhu Restaurant Krishna - the Restaurant Manager. Really helpful. Irene - our charming waitress
Luke Page’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Fitness & Recreation
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Cabin Review

Inside Twin Cabin
Cabin OC A118
See main review
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Charleston
    Maybe we should have taken a tour. Just walking around on our own failed to impress. If I were to return I would do an organised tour. So perhaps our three star rating is a little unfair to all that Charleston has to offer. It's just not readily accessible to the unaccompanied traveller in our experience.
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  • City Tour
    Miami is a surprisingly beautiful City. From the waterfront to the Art Deco area it has a surprising amount of class and not just opulent excess (although it has that in spades too)
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  • Island Tour
    Another typical cruise ship OK whistle-stop tour of the Island.
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  • Ernest Hemingway House & Tour
    Fascinating example of a Colonial style house built in the 1850's and preserved internally with the same interior decor and fixtures and fittings as there would have been during Hemingways occupancy (most of the 1930's)
    The resident and beautiful cats are a real bonus for Cat lovers. If you don't like Cats then it's probably best avoided - they are everywhere and rightly believe the house is there for their comfort and convenience
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  • Madeira (Funchal)
    The Town Centre is walking distance from the Port. An attractive and friendly City. Our third visit now - it's a geographically convenient stop-off for Cruise ships sailing from Southampton.
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  • New Orleans
    One of the highlights of our Cruise. We took the tram (streetcar) from the Port to Jackson Square in the French Quarter and then walked up to Bourbon Street. We walked the length of Bourbon Street in the mid-morning which for us was probably the best time to see it - before it's wilder side takes over. Don't bother with the so called "must do" Cafe Du Monde on Jackson Square. It's a shabby cafe with poor service, dirty toilets (rest rooms) and vile coffee. We didn't try the famous beignets (small, heavily sugared doughnut-type cakes) We saw plates of them being served to others and they looked as sickly as blazes. Judging by the amount that were left uneaten it would seem our judgement was not wrong.
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  • Dunn's River Falls
    A theme park type experience. Accosted by crude, rude and foul mouthed "traders" as you leave the site. The trip and our experience of the locals as personified by those traders at Dunn River Falls was sufficiently bad to put me off ever wishing to return to Jamaica. A great shame, because our guide from the Port who accompanied us to the Falls and back was an utterly charming and fun Jamaican lady with a fantastic personality.
    Something needs to be done to sort out those Traders at Dunns River Falls - they are not good ambassadors for Jamaica.
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  • Ponta Delgada
    Nothing special - just a geographically convenient stop-off for Transatlantic cruises heading back to Southampton.
    It is quite pretty but apart from it's location, I can't see what else it has going for it that would make you want to visit.
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  • Kennedy Space Center
    Fantastic Tour. A lifetimes ambition realised and it didn't disappoint in any way. A true highlight of our 35 night cruise
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  • Chichen Itza
    Chichen Itza is incredible and worth the tour price. The tour arrangements were poor. We were led to believe that the two hour coach trip from the Port of Progreso would be broken up with a comfort stop. This comfort stop turned out to be one of those awful commercial, money grabbing tourist traps that was just five minutes drive from Chichen Itza itself. So we did just about the full two hour journey with no stops at all. The reason being that our comfort stop was at a so called "Mayan Cultural Village" This is where the tour company undoubtedly get some form of financial sweetener for offloading it's cargo of walking dollar bills (tourists like us) to be hassled and pressured into buying the usual array of tourist tat. Needless to say - I bought nothing and would not do so on principle.
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  • Southampton
    Just used it to embark. Living about 35 miles away, Southampton is a local City for us. Nevertheless it is full of fascinating history if you know where to look. Take a guide or a tour - you are unlikely to find it yourself. The sights of London, Windsor, Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard and Stonehenge (don't bother unless a collection of huge stone boulders impresses you) are all within reach
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  • Island Tour
    An OK whistle-stop tour of the Island.
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