Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to cabin.
!6 night cruise and weather bad from start to finish, but that cannot be blamed on P&O. All seasoned cruisers said they had never been on a cruise with so much wind, rain, mist and cloud.
We went on this cruise because we love Oriana and we wanted one last trip before she is sold to China. So were not too bothered that we had visited most stops previously. One place we hadn't been to before was Terceira in the Azores. This was really the only decent weather we had on the whole trip and it was a lovely island. We had booked a 4 x 4 tour (8 hours) through Viator with ProIsland Tours. I cannot recommend them enough. We covered the whole island and were taken to many places the ship's own tours couldn't access. We had also taken a half day 4 x 4 tour the previous day on Sao Miguel. Again it had been booked through Viator with BioBird tours.
Many of those on cruises are very wary of booking trips through anyone other than P&O. We have done it many times and have never been worried about a missed sail-away. The tours' content is usually much more comprehensive and they are usually at least a third cheaper than ships' tours. Give them a go if you've not tried them.
After the Azores we visited Madeira, where we used the local bus to visit Santa Cruz. Next was La Palma where we took a P&O tour to a silk farm. OK, but tended to be herded about a bit and were unable to stop to photograph nice views where we were not scheduled to stop.
Then came Gran Canaria. Again we took a P&O tour which gave a leisurely overview and took us to some places we had not visited before. We were particularly impressed with our stop in Port Mogan.
Fuertaventura was not worth the visit really, unless you wanted to go to a beach. Again we took a local bus and travelled up to a town on the north coast.
Last stop was Lisbon where the weather was so bad that it didn't warrant getting of the ship. However, we had to get gifts and so had to go shopping. Got soaked to the skin.
The two sea days on the return were once more dull, misty and rainy. We disembarked (very efficiently) in Southampton to a lovely sunny day. Now Thursday and weather still great. Perhaps UK is worth considering.
Overall impression of cruise was good because we like the ship so much - no children, good food, good entertainment, nice bars to sit in etc.
Would just like to give a tip to anyone who may be considering buying a wine package on board. Don't bother. There is little, if anything, to be saved. In fact, unless you choose the most expensive wines on the lists available (only about 4 of them), you could find that you had paid more than if you had bought them individually from the full wine list.
Very small, but just adequate when you don't spend a lot of time in there. Good position for smoother trip in choppy seas and very handy for lifts to all venues.
Engine noise was loud, but we got used to it after a while.
Angelo kept the cabin clean and tidy and was unobtrusive.
Too much "herding" about.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Half day 4 x 4 tour. Driver, Pedro, was excellent and was able to drive us round the shores of the lakes. The weather was so bad that those on bus tours saw absolutely nothing at all because they could not access the routes we took.View All 41 Sete Cicades Crater Lake Tour Reviews
Only a good stop if you want a day on a beach