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9 P&O Cruises Oriana Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 ... Read More
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 night trip with friend for birthday. Bit of a blow to start as ship had a "technical" problem so would not sail on Friday but midday on Saturday to allow for repairs. Disappointed but we would get over it. Then the Captain revised this, for us to leave earlier on Saturday morning so we were cheered up a bit. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Went to get buffet lunch which was typical P&O roast beef that was fine but not exceptional - as was the case with nearly all meals on board but it was what we were expecting. Then a drink in the Lords Tavern bar. Largish bar with seats very close together. Asked for a Pina Colada - Whoops not on the list so no. Asked about the 3 taster beer selections - Whoops this not available either - I sensed a theme here! Ship looked in generally good condition though a very dated. Liked the Tiffany ceiling at the Tiffany bar and the other smaller bars such as Anderson's. Pacific lounge looked good too. Cabin OK but some funny bits see below. There was to be a life boat drill but they kept this secret till about 20mins before it was due. Had to take life jackets with us - really do not know why. As other lines have abandoned this and you just turn up and get the lecture. Weather raining so under shelter on pool deck for drinks with friends. Now dinner. Bit of a surprise it all looked pretty good and lamb shank is one of my favourites so off to good start. Made the mistake of asking for bottle of Pinot Grigio. "sorry we have run out" Eh! first day of cruise and 24hrs in home port? Seems the ship is being run down for sale in about a month. Great entertainment is the evening - Singers and Dancers did a medley of Bill Board Hits which everyone knew and was one of the best. Then off to the Drifters tribute which was likewise very good. Comedian Mike Doyle was excellent well worth seeing. He did some reminiscing about past cruises on Oriana as he had been there from the start. Mentioned some of the staff that were on this cruise to say farewell to the ship. Sailed as promised at around 930am Saturday. Bought our duty free which was particularly good value then a relaxing day. Had lunch which was a bit bland and then almost time to get ready for formal night and some photos. Guernsey was fine and we simply walked around St Peter Port there was a market and car show on the quay side which was interesting as many of the shops were shut as it was a Sunday. Have to say here didn't they know there would be 2 cruise ships in with people eager to spend their cash! Now the really BAD news as we walked in to the Oriental dining room for early sitting I could hear a loud rumble accompanied by a lot of vibration. This increased as we approached our table and was now overpowering so much so you could hardly hear yourself talk let alone think. So bad that if you left your cutlery on the plate it danced across it! Meal was fine lobster and beef wellington but they do not seem to like you asking for seconds - felt a bit like Oliver Twist. So uncomfortable actually that they won and I never asked again. Once we dropped anchor outside St Peter Port and the turned off the engine all was OK but we were now halfway through the meal and the Sunday night there would be no respite as we hammered our way up the English Channel. We discovered the best bar being the Crow's Nest at the front of the Ship. Large bar with live music - similar in many respects to the Commodore clubs on Cunard. P&O have now said there is not need to tip staff. Well this time around there was really no one apart from our cabin steward that would deserve anything. Service was pretty poor all around and very basic. You had to ask for everything whether it be ketchup and mint sauce or trying to catch someones eye because they had forgotten an order - everything seemed too much trouble. I just wonder if they have dropped the tips and not increased their pay? The ship was fine despite its age and some bad design decisions around the cabins. I liked the smaller bars but it was simply too crammed in the Lords Tavener. I am sorry to say I pity those passengers on the remaining cruises if they have to put up with the engine noise and vibration in the Oriental Restaurant. As we had experienced before there were many on board who cruise only with P&O and there were also lots of ex staff who were saying farewell to the ship. They will just not hear anything mildly critical or constructive said about the ship. Which is sad really because every company should be aiming to improve. There many things on this ship and cruise that were great but others not so. If all you surround yourself with is yes men then you will fail. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Party of 6. Picked this cruise because or itinerary. Appreciate Oriana is an older ship but it has had a recent overhaul. Ship is smart in a rather retro style. We made extensive use of the Lords Tavern bar which is the nearest to a large ... Read More
Party of 6. Picked this cruise because or itinerary. Appreciate Oriana is an older ship but it has had a recent overhaul. Ship is smart in a rather retro style. We made extensive use of the Lords Tavern bar which is the nearest to a large English pub and the staff were great. Went to Indian Sindhu restaurant one night which was superb and well worth the small supplement. Main dining food and service could not be faulted unlike the buffet which was very average. As an example we were given stale bread at breakfast on a number of breakfasts. Bread choice was poor. We could only get white or brown rolls or pre sliced bread. Cooked food choice was limited. No ice cream available at lunch or dinner. I am not being picky but these things and more all add up. This was a 1st on P & O and unfortunately has now put us off. We generally had a good cruise but did not get off feeling special as we have with our favourite Celebrity cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were on the P&O Oriana for a round Ireland cruise. It was our second time on this ship and we found the food much improved from the first time. However, I was disappointed with the actual dining experience. We had booked a saver ... Read More
We were on the P&O Oriana for a round Ireland cruise. It was our second time on this ship and we found the food much improved from the first time. However, I was disappointed with the actual dining experience. We had booked a saver fare and had no say in what size dining table or sitting we preferred. When we had boarded, we found a card with our Dining details waiting in our cabin. We both jumped for joy as it was just what we wanted, 2nd sitting on a table for 8. Great we thought! However, on the first night there were 6 of us, that was OK we thought, the other two are probably tired from travelling. Two of the six that night discovered there was nothing on the menu to fulfil their cultural dietary needs. Thus, they didn't join the table again. The missing two, never appeared at all. So for the rest of the cruise there were only 4 of us on a huge table for 8. When I looked around, I noticed there were many other empty seats. May I also point out there was an empty table for 4 adjacent to our table. My question is, did the Maitre'd know that our table would now be a maximum of 4, on a table laid out for 8, for the rest of the cruise? Call me old fashioned, but if he did, why couldn't he fill our table or reduce our table layout. We have cruised for twenty years and have always looked forward to the Dining experience and meeting new people. I did ask our waiter if he could reduce our table so that we could speak and be heard more easily with our fellow diners, of which he replied 'move to the other side of the table'', to which I replied 'how will that help' ? Even in our local Indian, they clear away unused places at the table. Free time dining seems the answer. On the whole, the cruise experience was good, we embarked at Southampton and that ran very smoothly. We found the cabin staff very friendly and efficient. The Theatre entertainment was OK and we did try to see a showing each night however, we did find a lack of entertainment elsewhere.We were looking to settle down with a pre dinner drink to some live music but the bars seemed quite lifeless except for the pub. Also found the same after the theatre showing. We did use the ship's spa facilities and found the experience very relaxing and enjoyable. We also enjoyed sitting on deck in the sea air, and listening to the captain's reports, especially when the crew informed us of dolphin sightings. We chose this cruise for the ports of call and took two P&O excursions, one from Cobh to Kinsale which we found quite interesting. The second was from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher which again was a good trip. The ship tendered from Galway and we must say the organisation was very good getting us across to shore to pick up our coach tour in time but have to say failed miserably to get us back in good time. We found several tours arrived back at the same time and not enough boats to take us to the ship, thus we had to queue a very long time. P&O seem to pride themselves with providing a traditional cruise experience which they do but they need to up there game on the dining experience which requires more interaction from the staff to their guests, otherwise we think they are on the slippery slope. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We were interested to see the locations around the UK but when we arrived at Guernsey, the last port of call, the Captain refused to allow us to go ashore despite customers on the Ventura, anchored alongside, being allowed to go ashore. ... Read More
We were interested to see the locations around the UK but when we arrived at Guernsey, the last port of call, the Captain refused to allow us to go ashore despite customers on the Ventura, anchored alongside, being allowed to go ashore. The Captain claimed the weather was too bad, the tenders inadequate and the customers too old. Some customers were old but that is no reason to cancel the visit for everybody. The weather and sea conditions looked fine to me and there was much annoyance amongst fellow passengers, so much so that it was the major topic of discussion for the rest of the trip. The comedian Roy Walker was amusing and the talk by Ian Brown interesting. The evening meals were of a good standard but felt rushed as did breakfast. The conservatory food was poor so we opted for the seated meals on almost all occasions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony ... Read More
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony upgrade. We weren't lucky but it wasn't a great loss as the resultant weather was atrocious. We started off on a low with a 5 hour delay due to an engine problem not mentioned in the cruise log. Finally left around 9pm. Made up time & arrived La Rochelle on time. Weather warm 22C overcast with slight drizzle. All trips went ahead as advertised. The on to Santander where the weather started to deteriorated with thunder, lightning & very heavy rain. Back on the ship & off to La Corona with a sunny start & sat out in the Piazza square in glorious sun for 1/2 hour. All trips cancelled due to a Spanish coach drivers strike! Then more incessant downpours in high winds. The trouble started after we left for Guernsey heading for the Bay of Biscay. The wind overnight built up rapidly to gale force 10 then maxed out at 11! The swell increased to 6.5 metres & the ride was very uncomfortable but the captain seemed more concerned that the ship was coping admirably while most passengers including myself were pretty scared. I'm starting to think that we shouldn't have left La Corona & should have waited until conditions improved. We finally after 36 hours of hell arrived at St Peter Port, Guernsey where conditions had improved considerably but the captain decided that using tenders was going to be unsafe. This upset a lot of passengers who were looking forward to sampling the joys of the island. Conditions improved during the day but still deemed to be too dangerous for tenders. Instead we upped anchor & left for Southampton 3 hours early arriving around 4am. There was a lot of noise made tying up on our berth so impossible to get any sleep. Disembarked at 9.15 am & relieved to be back on land! Food was really good & recommend freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant. Top Tip: Avoid The Conservatory which was a bit like the "Wild West" & a scrum. Andersons bar very good service & comfortable seats. Two formal nights when one would have done. Wine prices very reasonable & excellent selection. Oriana nicely refurbished & survived the violent seas which we were grateful for but the passengers really suffered. I won't be cruising again to Northern Spain after this which ruined what was supposed to be a relaxing break for my elderly mother & myself. Marks out of 10 only 5 unfortunately. I still can't believe I paid to go on this cruise & feel some sort of compensation warranted as a lot of 1st timers who won't be returning. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Your luggage is taken from you as soon as you arrive at the port for delivery to your cabin which is great. Embarkation was reasonably efficient. No compulsory hand sanitization though which was rather surprising. Cabin (inside, deck 10 ... Read More
Your luggage is taken from you as soon as you arrive at the port for delivery to your cabin which is great. Embarkation was reasonably efficient. No compulsory hand sanitization though which was rather surprising. Cabin (inside, deck 10 was very small, had to get rid of the table and all the clutter in order to have room to put our things. Plenty of wardrobe and drawer space though. Kettle, cups, glasses and a good supply of coffee in the cabin, never went short. Ship was satisfactory and not as old as some reports I've read. Everywhere was very clean and tidy. Waiter service throughout was poor, staff didn't seem to care much. In the restaurant, even after 5 days the waiter didn't remember our likes and dislikes. An added charge of £5.50 per day per person was extortionate for the service we received. Food was poor, ordinary and tasteless, lack of fresh veg and potatoes but plenty of cold salads. Many meals in the café were slop, my interpretation of food served in sauces/gravy rather than carved meats of which at lunch time there was often none. No fresh percolated coffee at dinner in the restaurant, only instant, imagine that. The Conservatory (café) was a shambles, food laid out in sections which meant people were constantly criss-crossing one another with trays of food which was a constant hassle and as usual, never enough table spaces. Smoking areas seemed to be all over the ship but in designated areas. As soon as the doors opened, the wind blew the smoke in the bar and café. Maid service to our cabin was excellent, Mayvale was perfect. Drinks are reasonably priced, same as the High Street with nothing extra added for service. Wi-Fi was expensive so didn't use as was able to do so ashore on our own devices. Library had a good selection of jigsaws on the go if that's what you like doing. Plenty of fiction and other books but never the travel ones you need in order to look up the ports you are visiting. Never enough crosswords printed on sea days, no-one thought to print more. The ports were excellent, Guernsey, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Stornoway, Kirkwall, Portree and Glasgow. Pity the info given to us beforehand was true and readily accessible before embarkation. Two days to go and P & O still couldn't tell me how we were getting from the ship into Cork. In the end they laid on a shuttle bus which we used in the morning and then went on the Jameson Whiskey trip in the afternoon which was excellent. St. Peter Port, Guernsey - tender here, seas were very rough but the crew got everyone ashore and back safely. You had to collect a numbered ticket in the waiting area of the ship beforehand until your number was called to go ashore. The wait was 30-40 minutes. Dublin a shuttle bus was available and the city is very walkable and was our favourite place on the cruise. Lively and plenty to see and do, plan beforehand for best way to spend your day there. Belfast, a shuttle bus was provided here too. We went on the Giants Causeway trip which included a trip along the coastal road beforehand with several stops for photos. On the return journey we were given a ride through Belfast city centre, all in all an excellent trip and a longish day out as it's a fair way to the Causeway. Stornoway was a new destination for the ship, Tender here. Very small but a great place to discover and the highland dancers and bagpipe players in the street made for an interesting afternoon. Lovely little harbour. Kirkwall - was told in writing from P & O that the ship docked 0.5 miles from the town centre. WRONG, it was 2.5 miles. A shuttle bus was provided but we walked there and caught the shuttle back. A pleasant walk with an interesting town but again, very small. Portree, tender here and another rough day but the crew excelled. Nice little town but with 1800 people from a ship descending on the town is was incredibly crowded and also had loads of other tourists there too. We walked well out of town and enjoyed the views from the top of the hill. Greenock (for Glasgow). Another boo boo from P & O. Again, was told in writing that a shuttle bus would be provided into Glasgow. WRONG, had to make our own way there. Took a Scotrail day return for £6.90 per person into Glasgow, takes 35-50 minutes depending on how many stops the train makes. A good 15-20 minute walk from the ship to the station in Greenock but delivers you right in the centre of Glasgow. An interesting day for us photographers as there are so many wonderful buildings and a great atmosphere with street artists everywhere. The station architecture in a masterpiece. The itinerary states one day at sea and two days of "sail by's" which is a complete con as you are at sea these days too but sail nearer to land and can just make out what's on shore. Theatre timings are not well planned. First show at 8.30pm, second at 10.30pm which meant as second sitting diners we had to go to the show at 10.30 finishing at 11.30, a little too late for the early start in the morning and with a ship full of "old" people, and I stress "old", I doubt many could keep away this late. The earlier show was so full there weren't enough seats as we dined in the café a couple of times in order to see the show. Same with the cinema, had to sit on the floor for the duration as there weren't enough seats. Shows were the same old, same old, would love cruises to come up with something different. There was a large percentage of P & O dedicated cruisers on board and I felt that P & O were a little reluctant to improve things as there was no need with so many old timers. It's only when you have cruised with another line that you can make a comparison and there is definitely room for improvement here. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the dates. Some of my friends said to me ''oh you are not going on that old tub'' so I did not have high expectations. However, on boarding the ship I found it to be ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the dates. Some of my friends said to me ''oh you are not going on that old tub'' so I did not have high expectations. However, on boarding the ship I found it to be better than I expected. It is an old ship and does need money spending on it, but I was not as disappointed as I had expected to be. My cabin C155 on Deck 9 was small but compact with plenty of room for me travelling alone, with lots of wardrobe space. The bathroom, especially the shower was very small with a skimpy curtain which clung to me when I turned the warm water on. My main problem on this cruise was the lack of soundproofing in my cabin. I could hear everything the couple in the next cabin said, and they were only talking, not shouting. I complained and asked to change cabins, all to no avail. I do not believe that they did not have any spare cabins. I had to turn my television on and wait until they had stopped talking before I could go to sleep. This really marred my enjoyment and my ability to go to sleep when I wanted to. My cabin was fairly clean but would have benefited from a thorough vacuuming of the carpet. The bed was very comfortable with very nice bedding. The food in the main dining room where I ate in the evening was very good, absolutely no complaints there. However, in the Buffet the crew/staff were more lax and unwilling to help and seemed to do as little as possible and seemed totally disinterested in doing their job. On our last day I was in the Crows Nest with a friend having coffee, and my friend asked for some warm milk in a little jug as her coffee was too strong, and the waiter turned and looked at her angrily and said ''WHAT!!'' in a most indignant way - we were both stunned at his action. The crew on this ship really let it down in a major way. A week previously I had been on another cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse to the Baltics, and the crew were so professional, friendly and helpful, vastly different from the crew on the Oriana. The entertainment in the evening was very good. One comedian in particular was very good and was as good as any professional we see on the TV. I do not think I would go on this ship again. I need to know that once in my cabin I can sleep if I want to, without listening to other people's conversations for hours. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Our first cruise, to Ireland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Orkneys, Dublin and back to Southampton. Our room A196 mid ship was a good position top price for a Non balcony room. The room itself was in need of refurbishment lots of rust round ... Read More
Our first cruise, to Ireland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Orkneys, Dublin and back to Southampton. Our room A196 mid ship was a good position top price for a Non balcony room. The room itself was in need of refurbishment lots of rust round windows and in bathroom. The room was cleaned regularly but not very well the kettle was dirty and not cleaned during our stay. Our last day at sea, new bed linen was put in our room for the next cruise, just made us feel it's time to go and make room for the next passengers. Food ... Overall average, the breakfast was ok nothing special and it was difficult to get a table for four at some times. Lunch was also nothing special. Dinner was better, good choice, well presented and served by friendly waiters. But not always perfect some basic mistakes in the cooking , not fine dinning at its best. Entertainment... Didn't impress us second rate singers, comedians, musicians and only one film worth watching. Making days at sea boring. Ports of call... KILLYBEGS fantastic day out hired a taxi who took us along the old road ,where coaches can't go, lots of photo stops, a stop at a spinners and hand weavers work shop, on to Glencolmcille Folk Village. Lunch at a small restaurant, all the time being entertained by our driver who was bought up in the area. The cost was half what P&O would charge for a similar trip but we saw so much more. Now, having been allocated £540.00 on board spending money and not being drinkers the only thing to spend it on was trips out. ICELAND we did The Golden Circle, The Jewels of the North on both these trips we saw the main attractions albeit in a rush with hundreds of other tourists, over priced not that impressed. Our other trip was to The Abondoned Village of Hesteyri this was a complete disaster, we were taken by boat across the Glacier fjord about 18 miles, an hours journey on a rough sea day was far from comfortable some passengers sitting outside getting cold and wet. On arrival we had to transfer to a small rubber dingy six at a time to go the last 100 metres or so the the floating jetty, sitting on the rubber side with nothing to hold onto was extremely dangerous if any one was to fall into the water it was very very cold and for anyone with a heart condition could have been fatal. We were not informed about this before we left. On the positive side we were away from the crowds, just 36 of us a few walkers in a cold wilderness and the food supplied was quite good. However the tour description left a lot to be desired, the Abondoned houses turned out to be local weekend holiday homes and the old whaling factory was a mile away. Think carefully before booking this excursion. FAROES ISLANDS we choose the Sagas and Legends a very good trip with good guide enjoyed these islands and would very much like a holiday there. ORKNEYS the weather was against us here it rained all day and was windy so our trip was not great couldn't see the views , but we did see enough to know that we should come again, just what we did four weeks later on a coach tour of Scotland, by ferry from Jon o Grotes and a fantastic coach trip seeing all the attractions not available with P&O trips. DUBLIN our last port was a trip out on their local open top bus getting on or off where ever you wanted to, too much to see on one visit. To sum up cruising is not for us, we like value for money and the freedom to do what we want to when we want to. So our next holiday is two weeks all inclusive in a five star hotel for half what the cruise cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Thus was our 16th cruise and looking forward to boarding what was the flag ship of P&O the Oriana. Great start as we had to wait to board approx. 2 hours due to an out break of Norovirus on the previous cruise.This then set the theme ... Read More
Thus was our 16th cruise and looking forward to boarding what was the flag ship of P&O the Oriana. Great start as we had to wait to board approx. 2 hours due to an out break of Norovirus on the previous cruise.This then set the theme for the rest of our cruise.Mayhem in the Conservatory restaurant as waiters served and all the dishes had to be handed out trays and plates,drinks etc.the already rather small area became Butlins at sea.The cabin A311 was smaller than we were used too and the wardrobe inadequate.The safe which became an issue later on was too small.The only real saving grace was the Tea making facilities as with all P&O we have been on and the lovely hot shower albeit in a very small bath.The first meal in the Peninsular restaurant which is now freedom dining was poor.We are used to asking for an receiving a table for two as is our wish, but was informed we could wait up to an our for this.So sitting with a table of 6 we listened to the gripes and moans of the other two couples sending back their food swapping dishes to try to see if their partners were any better, so we decided the following night to try the Ocean Grill of Marco Pierre Whites fame.This was a pleasant and rewarding experience costing us about £46 with wine for two.We returned to the Peninsular on the following evening and found it better, but not great, so the last evening we went back to the Ocean Grille. having booked the excursion called "Bruges on your own" which basically a bus ride into Bruges at 9.30am and a certain pick up time of 4pm costing £74 for the two of us, which my wife wanted to do to make sure we got there and back in time for the ships departure,but alas on the morning poor Yorick it was not meant to be.The safe was having none of it all of our passports and money remained sealed behind the metal door, the code meant nothing to this junk of metal, so we called for assistance at reception.We were promised 10 minutes -this came and went -we phoned and explained that the coach is about to depart for Bruges without us another 5 minutes he said - so I asked my wife to go down and explain our predicament and see if we could get a slight delay to the rep.dealing with the excursion -10 more minutes she was told - and eventually after 25 minutes a guy turned up put a card in a slot tutted and said "the safe is kaput,I will have to call for the guy with the tools" " how long" I asked""10 minutes" he said after 10 minutes I phoned reception and they said he must have gone the long way round,10 minutes after that he turned up and proceeded to drill out the front of the safe UUMM this is the 21st century and yet here we are drilling out an ancient safe because the electrics have gone tits up.When at last he managed to drill off the front I retrieved our documents and monies and headed off to be with my wife.The coach had gone and the shuttle bus was full so we had to wait for the next which meant we missed the connection at the station and as the train only goes on ten passed the hour, we had to wait and hour ,which meant getting to Bruges at 12pm and the last train we could catch back was 2.30 because they stopped running the shuttle at 4pm.It ruined the day and although I managed to get a refund for the excursion there was no apology -- nothing. The comedian on the first and third night was average, using every cruise joke I had heard previously -the Girl singers on the second were good but not great.The band was the smallest I have seen on a ship with the leader on the piano emotion less -pan face never smiled and looked like the rest of them bored. The crew looked worried and fed up -there was never a time for a joke or smiles and having been on Holland of America where they are exceptional and various others this was unusual --the doomed ship. When we were on a short trip on the Queen Victoria we didn't want to get off -- this time we had no regrets. Its a shame P&O a cruise with no magic only problems.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
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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