We chose this cruise as we wanted to see the Northern Lights and experience Norway with snow. We have previously been to the North Cape on P &O’s Arcadia, but in the summer. Embarkation on Oriana was a breeze...we arrived at 1pm, and were on board by 1.30...even though our official embarkation time was 2.30. Our cabin, a deluxe outside on C deck, was clean and spacious with lots of storage. A bit dated, but then we have been on Oriana once before and know that she is an old lady. Our luggage arrived shortly after us, and having unpacked had fun getting the suitcases stowed away under the bed...clearance is not great but leaving the cases open worked a treat. We were on Freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant...and as we were happy to share with others (we were 3 adults, although not all in the same cabin) we never had a problem getting seated for dinner immediately. Food was consistently of a good or high standard...Certainly no complaints at all, and in my opinion, was better than on our previous P &O cruise last summer. Could have been a bit hotter on a couple of occasions but not cool enough to warrant sending back. We also often asked for extra veg, as we like our veg and the standard portions can be a bit small. Dining staff (with one exception) were always efficient and friendly, but we could see they were pretty rushed at times, so lengthy dialogue with the waiters did not feature! We dined in Sindhu one night...fabulous food and service. Had afternoon tea in the main dining room a couple of times, very nice, better than the buffet. We were not overly impressed with the buffet, but we tend to use Al Fresco for breakfast (much more civilised!) and dont bother much with lunch. On the days we did have lunch in the buffet we had no problems getting a table, and stuck mainly to salads which were fine. We didnt avail oursleves of much of the entertainment...we have seen all the Headliner shows before, although we did see the comedian, the Harpist ( briliiant!), and Ben Makesi ( excellent). We are happy to retire to the Crows Nest after dinner and listen to whoever is performing there. Particularly liked one artiste..... Also, this was a specialist cruise...so many evenings whilst up in the Arctic circle , we were out on deck with our camera in search of the elusive lights...drinking mulled wine. Lovely! The ship is old, but the atmosphere on board was very friendly. The public areas are lovely and well maintained. I have read a couple of other reviews about this cruise and wonder if we were on the same one! The average age on board (as quoted by one ) was definately NOT 74...there were a lot of younger people on board and far, far less people with scooters and wheelchairs than normal...as expected really bearing in mind the itinerary and time of year. I really get quite annoyed when genralising sweeping statements are made about the passengers ages on this ship. Yes, of course some are quite elderly, but that is the same on any ship, and because it is adult only you dont get young families with children. I am not elderly, but really enjoyed my time onboard, chatting with people of all ages...which we did. Ports...Andalsnes...we went on a P &O trip on the Rauma railway...amazing scenery. We went by coach to Bjorli ski resort and got the train back...definately the best way to do it as the guide on the coach was very informative, whereas information on the train was less so. Tromso and Alta.....between us we went on Husky rides and Reindeer rides ...not cheap but great fun. We visited the Ice Hotel (a must), went in search of the lights...not too sure about the value here but just one of those things really, and went to a concert in the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso....beautiful. This is one of those cruises where I think you just have to bite the bullet and book at least a couple of trips if you want to get any real benefit of a cold cruise. Stavanger we just mooched around...it is an easy port to do just that and the town is very nice...the old town being particulalrly pretty. I am now looking forward immensely to 3 weeks in the Med this summer on the same ship. She is not modern and glitzy, but offers a more traditional cruising experience....has a lovely tiered aft, and is like a ship should be ...rather than a block of flats on water! Some will not enjoy that experience, so my advice is do your research before you book a cruise! She is also very expensive if you want a balcony cabin....

Great experience..even without the Northern Lights!

Oriana Cruise Review by Mysticalmother

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Europe
We chose this cruise as we wanted to see the Northern Lights and experience Norway with snow. We have previously been to the North Cape on P &O’s Arcadia, but in the summer.

Embarkation on Oriana was a breeze...we arrived at 1pm, and were on board by 1.30...even though our official embarkation time was 2.30.

Our cabin, a deluxe outside on C deck, was clean and spacious with lots of storage. A bit dated, but then we have been on Oriana once before and know that she is an old lady. Our luggage arrived shortly after us, and having unpacked had fun getting the suitcases stowed away under the bed...clearance is not great but leaving the cases open worked a treat.

We were on Freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant...and as we were happy to share with others (we were 3 adults, although not all in the same cabin) we never had a problem getting seated for dinner immediately. Food was consistently of a good or high standard...Certainly no complaints at all, and in my opinion, was better than on our previous P &O cruise last summer. Could have been a bit hotter on a couple of occasions but not cool enough to warrant sending back. We also often asked for extra veg, as we like our veg and the standard portions can be a bit small. Dining staff (with one exception) were always efficient and friendly, but we could see they were pretty rushed at times, so lengthy dialogue with the waiters did not feature! We dined in Sindhu one night...fabulous food and service. Had afternoon tea in the main dining room a couple of times, very nice, better than the buffet. We were not overly impressed with the buffet, but we tend to use Al Fresco for breakfast (much more civilised!) and dont bother much with lunch. On the days we did have lunch in the buffet we had no problems getting a table, and stuck mainly to salads which were fine.

We didnt avail oursleves of much of the entertainment...we have seen all the Headliner shows before, although we did see the comedian, the Harpist ( briliiant!), and Ben Makesi ( excellent). We are happy to retire to the Crows Nest after dinner and listen to whoever is performing there. Particularly liked one artiste.....

Also, this was a specialist cruise...so many evenings whilst up in the Arctic circle , we were out on deck with our camera in search of the elusive lights...drinking mulled wine. Lovely!

The ship is old, but the atmosphere on board was very friendly. The public areas are lovely and well maintained. I have read a couple of other reviews about this cruise and wonder if we were on the same one! The average age on board (as quoted by one ) was definately NOT 74...there were a lot of younger people on board and far, far less people with scooters and wheelchairs than normal...as expected really bearing in mind the itinerary and time of year. I really get quite annoyed when genralising sweeping statements are made about the passengers ages on this ship. Yes, of course some are quite elderly, but that is the same on any ship, and because it is adult only you dont get young families with children. I am not elderly, but really enjoyed my time onboard, chatting with people of all ages...which we did.

Ports...Andalsnes...we went on a P &O trip on the Rauma railway...amazing scenery. We went by coach to Bjorli ski resort and got the train back...definately the best way to do it as the guide on the coach was very informative, whereas information on the train was less so.

Tromso and Alta.....between us we went on Husky rides and Reindeer rides ...not cheap but great fun. We visited the Ice Hotel (a must), went in search of the lights...not too sure about the value here but just one of those things really, and went to a concert in the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso....beautiful. This is one of those cruises where I think you just have to bite the bullet and book at least a couple of trips if you want to get any real benefit of a cold cruise.

Stavanger we just mooched around...it is an easy port to do just that and the town is very nice...the old town being particulalrly pretty.

I am now looking forward immensely to 3 weeks in the Med this summer on the same ship. She is not modern and glitzy, but offers a more traditional cruising experience....has a lovely tiered aft, and is like a ship should be ...rather than a block of flats on water! Some will not enjoy that experience, so my advice is do your research before you book a cruise! She is also very expensive if you want a balcony cabin....
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Cabin Review

Cabin C235
Spacious and clean albeit furntiture a bit dated. Bathroom small but has shower over bath, a bonus cor me!
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