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

Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . ... Read More
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . We were not disappointed, had a great 3 nights, (shame it wasn’t longer )with superb food ,fantastic entertainment &very efficient happy staff. It was great to see so many ex crew on board as passengers what a feat of organising.Well Done Steve . The entertainment was excellent .the boundless energy of the Headliners Theatre Company is a credit to them .&the live musicians did not disappoint . We were blessed with fine weather for our stop in Guernsey,(which is a bonus as the stop there is always weather dependent ) A huge thankyou to the in seen behind the scenes crew who work equally as hard to ensure a great time is had by all . Sad to see Oriana go Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we ... Read More
This was my and my friends first cruise. We choose this one as we thought we would try cruising with a short break to see if we liked it. Well I can 100% say it was amazing from the time we arrived at Mayflower terminal until the time we disembarked. The efficiency and ease of boarding was so relaxed and stress free - a very slick operation !! The Oriana is a beautiful, stylish and elegant boat and I strangely felt very attached to it and became extremely emotional when I had to disembark ! The cabins (as was the whole ship) were immaculately clean and well appointed with plenty of storage room and wonderfully comfortable beds and pillows. Room service was 1st class with information booklets left in room each day and chocolates. All dining facilities were faultless and the freedom dining worked very well for us. We initially felt a bit concerned about sitting with people we didn't know, but this worked really well. Entertainment was superb and the staff excellent, so many of them, we never had to wait to be served. I have read lots of reviews, mostly good, but some poor ones and cant help but feel these might have been from people who are extremely picky and just like to complain! Although this is the only cruise I have been on I can honestly say we could not fault it and had an amazing time. One day after coming home I booked a family cruise to the fjords next year on the Ventura. I would have liked to gone on the Oriana again but dates did not suit us . Hope to go on the Oriana before it goes out of service next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise ... Read More
We are Americans, and veteran cruisers. This was our first P&O cruise and chose it for the itinerary. Wanting to see Ireland without all the driving was most important to us.I have to say we were extremely impressed with the cruise from start to finish.Some of the previous reviews i had read were of concern to me due to negativity.Not from us. I felt like i owed P&O more money when we were done. Great food,clean cabins,attentive staff and all around fun with our fellow British "mates". Seriously,some of the nicest people I've ever cruised with.Will definitely do P&O again. Unfortunately,Oriana is being retired next year.I'm sure the other ships will do her proud. We generally cruise the Carribean from the U.S, and the Meditteranen from Venice but will certainly look at the Canary Islands for an upcoming itinerary. Boston to Heathrow is comparable in price to Boston to Miami for airfare.Thanks P&O and Oriana for a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a ... Read More
After reading reviews about the Oriana, our expectations, were not very high. However we were pleasantly surprised, to find the ship, alot better than, what we had read, in the reviews. It was the first time we had sailed on a smaller, adult only, ship. We loved the art deco design, of the ship,and the size of the ship. So easy to get around. Lots of different bars, and entertainment places. Every area of the ship, was always, clean and tidy.We had an outside cabin (Deluxe Window), on A deck, which was lovely and clean, and plenty of space to hang all our clothes. Our cabin stewardess was a so friendly, she made us feel very welcome. The food, and service, in the restaurant, and bars in the evening, were excellent.All the staff, in the restaurant, were friendly and helpful. The evening entertainment ,was excellent too. Plenty to choose from, to suit all tastes. Loved The Brit Tones and E Sarah Carter, and the man who sang, a mixture of Simon and Garfunkle and other songs, and played the guitar, in various bars, around the ship. We could not fault the Oriana, and would love the chance to sail ,on this ship again. We sailed, all around Ireland, which was nice. It enabled us to see, different parts, of Ireland, Cobh, Dublin, Killybegs, and Galway.We only went on one shore excursion, to visit, Blarney castle, great morning out,which left us plenty of time to look around Cobh, in the afternoon, before sailing. All the ports had lots of excursions you could book, or you could just get off the ship, and do your own thing. Dublin and Galway, both had, city sightseeing buses, which is always a good way to see a city, and for getting around. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at ... Read More
Booked this cruise about 54 weeks, yes over a year before embarkation! The appeal of this cruise was the overnight stay in Amsterdam. Always wanted to visit Amsterdam, always wanted to cruise. This seemed like the perfect combination at an affordable price. As this was my first cruise, I had spent many of my lunchtimes researching the ship and ports of call. Not necessary at all as even without prior knowledge and going in cold we would have managed to have sussed out how to go on with all things cruising. The closer we got the excitement was building, and then we received a message from P & O that The Oriana had broken down, boiler problems whilst leaving Gibralter en route back to Southampton. This resulted in a delayed start for us, absolutely gutted. The knock-on to this was that the itinerary was changed, still a full day in Bruges but only between 5 & 6 hours in Amsterdam; in Amsterdam actually disembarked at 8.20am and back just after 1pm. Not enough time to explore but a taster never the less. The above delay was disappointing but we were determined to make the most of our shortened break. And so we did. By the way I think P & O handled the whole delay fairly well. Our allotted time for embarkation was 3pm, but we decided to turn up just after 11.30am, from getting out of the car (CPS were brilliant) to get on the ship was the grand total of 20 minutes and we were eating lunch at 12:00 pm in the Peninsular Restaurant. Food: Breakfast, we ate all 3 mornings in the conservatory buffet restaurant. Great selection of food to cater for all tastes Lunch, only ate lunch once on the ship and this was in the Peninsular. This was a waiter served lunch which was great quality. Evening Meal, on freedom dining we dined all of our stay in the Peninsular Restaurant. We turned up at various times during the 3 nights and asked for a table of two, every night we were given a pager but never waited more than 10 minutes. The standard of food and service was outstanding. Entertainment: We spent the majority of our ship time between the ‘Lords Tavern’ when there were quizzes and the ‘Crow’s Nest’ when nothing in the tavern took our fancy. Drinks were reasonably priced and the venues had a great atmosphere. The ‘Crow’s Nest’ was a great relaxing venue where you could have a drink and watch the world go by, and when dark just sit and chill with a beverage of choice. We did spend an hour one evening in the Theatre and watched the comedian Micky Zany, which was well worth it with a lot of laugh out loud moments. Other nights the theatre entertainment was not to our fancy but others appeared to enjoy what was on offer. Ports of Call: Bruges, we decided to make use of the free shuttle bus from port to Blankenberge. The bus drops you very close to the railway station. A return ticket is €6.20 to Bruges, which is a 15 – 20 mins train journey, then a 20 minute stroll to get to the centre of Bruges. We spent most of the day wandering the streets taking in all it had to offer, especially the Belgian Beer, Chocolates, Waffles and Frites . On the whole a beautiful city Amsterdam, due to the delayed start to our cruise and the amended itinerary the limited hours we had in the city was nowhere enough time to fully explore. But the feeling I got was that Amsterdam needs to be experienced at night to get the full experience Summary: As this was our first cruise we didn’t know what to expect. This was the most enjoyable holiday we have ever take, so much so we booked the same itinerary for next October but for one day longer. This will be our way to holiday for the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland ... Read More
We felt we needed a quick cruise so we selected Oriana's 7 night trip round Ireland on which some friends were booked. We got a good cabin at a good price with a very generous on board spend allowance. Packing was a problem as Ireland is not known for the driest weather but we only experienced a few drops during the entire week. The ports -1 Cobh. Known for being a major emigrant port, the last call of the Titanic and the sinking of Lusitania in 1915 was a delightful little town with good rail links to Cork from right alongside the ship. The museum 'The Queenstown Story' is right in the old station and is really worth a visit for only a few Euro. As it was Sunday when we called, the whole town turned out to see us and it was a really festive call. 2 Dublin. Easy shuttle into the city where we caught a Hop On Hop Off bus ('DoDublin'). The driver/guide was so funny we kept the video running just to record his fabulous humour - informative too! 3 Killibegs (port for Donegal). Quite small but the biggest fishing port in Ireland where we visited a craft exhibition laid on especially for the ship, talked to the local fishermen and tug crews. So friendly and good WiFi and food. 4 Galway. A long tender into port but the town laid on a big trip boat which eased the tender delays. Again, full of live entertainment and very pretty. The captain and crew (and fellow passengers) were all on top form and good sea days at both the beginning and end of the cruise meant that it was well balanced and seemed a lot longer. Thoroughly recommended. Oriana had a refit at the end of last year (2016) which we think had been very well done. All the cabin upholstery had been renewed (although cushions on the bigger cabin settees had not been replaced sadly) and all the seating and decor in all the bars and restaurants looked very well updated. The new carpets caused a few respiratory issues on the Amazon cruise we did in January but they had settled down by the time of this cruise. We felt that P&O had done a focussed refit on the passenger areas and Oriana looked all set for a few more years service. Our Deluxe outside cabin was so similar to our Deluxe balcony cabin from January a deck above that we found ourselves bumping into the window in the morning expecting to find a balcony door behind the curtains! There seemed to be fewer items in the cabin tea tray but our Steward Elton (great guy) was always refreshing it as well as supplying glasses, lemons and ice when we wanted it without any fuss. He was also very happy to empty the fridge on our arrival and to stow its contents under the bed so that we had the fridge available for entertaining.We noted that nearly all room service items (except breakfast) are now chargeable. Didn't worry us but upset some people. We had booked Freedom dining (which we were told was going to be the only form of regular dining on the new ship) and, as we dined with our same friends every night, we were able to arrange the same table at approximately the same time so as to enjoy our rapport with the same waiting team. As usual , it was almost exactly like Club dining but with the flexibility of Freedom dining with the added bonus of getting seated half an hour before the late sitting time in Club that we often opt for. Sadly lobster never made an appearance on either formal night. The quizzes we popular and well managed and the one guest speaker, Carole Phillips talking about her service in the Police was very entertaining and engaging. Headliners were particularly good on this cruise and had the sense to perform their Destination Dance show early on with its spectacular Riverdance final - very apt for Ireland. The classical pianist was very good but was AWOL for his last appearance sadly. We didn't go on any excursions as we were a foursome and could arrange our own schedule at reasonable cost - and there was no shortage of friendly locals to make sense of everywhere we went and to make excellent recommendations. It was almost in our native language! There were 300+ first time cruisers aboard and all the ones we met seemed to be enjoying themselves although the hardening of tender boarding restrictions, while sensible in our opinion, disappointed some of the more physically challenged guests. The only odd issue that we had not come across before was the charging of tax on all shipboard items in the shops. Apparently this is because the cruise was wholly within the EU and therefore everything had to be tax paid. This explains the popularity of ports such as St Peter Port, Guernsey, and Gibraltar whose tax-free status means that a visit there on any cruise apparently allows the cruise to 'leave' the EU for tax purposes. Check it out in the P&O online Advice Centre. Unfortunately Irish prices are rather higher than in the UK - but at least you get extra Club points in Tesco's! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a ... Read More
This was Our first Cruise, it was everything we were told it was going to be ,excellent,from start to finish, apart from the weather, (and i cant hold P&O responsible for that,) the staff on board were absolutely fantastic both on a personal level,and professional level , the ship herself was neat and clean as was the cabin, the house keeping was outstanding, and all aboard went out of their way to help(my wife is disabled) if i could give a 11/10 i would ,from the captain down to the bottle washer ,everyone went out of their way to help, the food was great and plenty of it (i put on half a stone in a week), ease of access to all decks (using the lifts ) was easy We Highly recommend P&O Cruises, and will definitely travel with them again, With Grateful thanks to all aboard the Magnificent ORIANA, Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because we had sailed on the Oriana 3 years ago and enjoyed it immensely, we had not been to Guernsey, Scotland or Ireland before so this was the cruise for us. We were not disappointed, embarkation was pretty ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had sailed on the Oriana 3 years ago and enjoyed it immensely, we had not been to Guernsey, Scotland or Ireland before so this was the cruise for us. We were not disappointed, embarkation was pretty smooth considering about 1900 people need to check in, we chose self help disembarkation (I can recommend this if you are able to carry your own bags off the ship) The ship itself does need a bit of sprucing up which is being done in November this year however it still looks good. We chose a outside cabin, this was just the job for us, let's face it if you are going to sit in your cabin all day don't bother going on a cruise. Service - Philip looked after us and he was a credit to P&O he did a great job. Dining was excellent, I enjoyed every meal I chose and was served, as usual a good selection of dishes. We spent 8 nights and all together we enjoyed every minute, we will certainly sail with P&O again especially on the Oriana. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our 3rd cruise with P&O Cruises - excellent value. A smaller ship. 1) Accommodation - inside cabin ideal 2) Food - varied, excellent choices, plentiful and constantly available 3) Drinks - waiter service always available ... Read More
Our 3rd cruise with P&O Cruises - excellent value. A smaller ship. 1) Accommodation - inside cabin ideal 2) Food - varied, excellent choices, plentiful and constantly available 3) Drinks - waiter service always available 4) Entertainment - first class and varied 5) Facilities - excellent and varied - particularly for immobile guests 6) Crew - friendly and professional 7) Cleanliness - first class - hand gel available throughout the ship 8) Weather - despite unpredictable British weather in September, the sea being very choppy around the Scottish Isles, the ship was stable and comfortable 9) Ports - easily accessible, some by tender boats which were very frequent 10) Information - daily and comprehensive 11) Trips ashore - enjoyable and varied - good value 12) Days at sea - relaxing and enjoyable 13) Embarkation/disembarkation - Southampton is so convenient. 14) Recommendation - P&O cruises highly recommended - we will be booking again for next year Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We read some less than shining reviews about Oriana and her crew so we wanted to set the record straight from our point of view! It's just our opinion but I hope it helps someone make a more balanced decision. We had a brilliant ... Read More
We read some less than shining reviews about Oriana and her crew so we wanted to set the record straight from our point of view! It's just our opinion but I hope it helps someone make a more balanced decision. We had a brilliant four days away from home! Sailing to Brugge and Amsterdam. The ship is older, and smaller than some. Although you wouldn't know it. Some areas need a refit or a spruce up but every where you go it's well maintained and clean! The Pacific Lounge has a charm about it, like a time warpy charm back to the 80s, and ideally P&O would stop their practice of cramming the Headliners in there to perform the abba show... But it was still a good watch! The entertainment was exceptional for a mini cruise, we thought it wouldn't stand up to the longer itineraries but we packed as much into 4 days as we could and there was plenty we didn't have time for. The crew are the best in the fleet! They knock spots off Ventura and Oceana, the company should be most proud of them. We had a rough sea day back to Southampton and the captain kept us well informed and turned as soon as he could to get the ship more stable. The "motion discomfort bags" were deployed in double time (I'm not taking the Micky, that's what they're called). We even saw waiters and bar staff helping older passengers to navigate the public areas and get to their rooms safely. It wasn't that bumpy but I'm able bodied and agile so I wouldn't have worried, but the entire crew pulled together and kept everyone comfy! They even kept the buffet open later after lunch for those that had missed it. The standard of food on P&O has taken a dip in recent years, some cynics call this the "carnival effect" but we didn't notice on this ship! We have noticed on others though. So Oriana's chefs and cooks are doing a brilliant job. All of the meat was fantastic and we had enough food at every sitting, despite this we were always offered more (but who seriously needs more than five courses when two thirds of the world are starving). Even the late night buffet for second dinner was brilliant and fresh hot chocolate every night, as much as you wanted until you could feel diabetes setting in! We had one dinner at Marco Pierre Whites Ocean Grill for a nominal £18 surcharge and I'd have happily paid £25! It was the best meal out I've had in my life, I think I passed out half way through my trifle - and came too only to find a hand made (no machines here) latte that the wonderful Donna our waitress had made specially for me to revive me! We also had one breakfast in 'Alfresco' which was lovely also. I don't like a fry up daily so Al fresco was the place to go, I wish I'd found it sooner. It's gets really busy and we had a ten minute wait for a table for four of us, but we could have sat outside and been seated immediately. In alfresco they make omelettes and eggs to order, fresh breakfast paninis and more fresh fruit than a del monte advert. Worth a try if your going on Ventura, deck 12 aft. A word of warning to your livers! The bar tenders in he crows nest have a great habit of "accidentally" adding extra rum to your piña coladas!!!!! I also have a great habit of accidentally drinking three in a row.... Between the six of us we must have tried every cocktail they make, and possibly a few more! But at £5 a go for at least four shots of booze and an umbrella who can moan? They do Virgin Mocktails too for the little ones or the less alcoholic amongst you. But I didn't try them! Costa coffee is served in the atrium, and the food their is free with your cruise it's just the specialty drinks that are extra. Light bites and cakes galore. Costa is cheaper onboard than on shore too, and always piping hot. We ventured to afternoon tea on our sea day, as usual for P&O the afternoon tea is a little lack lustre... And be staff suitably grumpy and formal. It all adds to the atmosphere though :) Our cabin was tiny, we decided to to try an inside for the first time as it was only a short cruise. We used to pay for balconies only to never use them, and now we just go for an obstructed view as its jive to have the day light. But as I say, we went all dungeon on this trip. If you're okay with no natural light and the feeling of the walls coming toward you then go for an inside, but if like me you get a little claustrophobic pay the extra £50 for an obstructed view! Our cabin was clean, comfy and had everything we needed except enough plug sockets. Take a four way socket with you if you have more than thing to charge over night. If you forget you can leave your phone at reception with your charger and they'll charge it for you. They're lovely too! The water pressure is a joke on this ship!!! Be very careful! It's so strong I had a daily exfoliation if I needed it or not. Seriously it's really really good flow in the shower. Another note worth considering and I promise this is the last thing, is that there are no kids on board. For the childless like us, this is heavenly. This means in reality that you can always use the pools, dinner is civilised and there is more pudding left on the buffet. I hope you've found my ramblings helpful. We can't wait to get back on Oriana and we hope she has many more decades in service. We've been on all the P&O ships between us except for Artemis and Britannia, and so far Oriana really really is the best! Thanks to the crew for a truly memorable and top spec holiday! Worth every penny! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
First of all don't take any notice of negative reviews you've to do it yourself and you'll find nothing to complain about. Our cruise was Norway, Iceland Faroe Isles, and Orkney Isles it was beautiful the views in Norway are ... Read More
First of all don't take any notice of negative reviews you've to do it yourself and you'll find nothing to complain about. Our cruise was Norway, Iceland Faroe Isles, and Orkney Isles it was beautiful the views in Norway are breathtaking, Iceland the Glaciers also unbelievable, its a trip well worth doing. The ship is a lot like a ' Gentleman's Club' very comfortable and lots of lovely little venues to use for quietly reading or having a meet up with friends. Drinks not expensive just pub prices, not hotel prices which some cruises are. Don't be afraid to ask for tap water and no charge with ice, nice change if fed up with the waiters keep asking if you want a drink. The cinema is great lovely to see latest films whilst at sea. Heated swimming pool, first time ever known heated outside pool, really lovely Entertainment good, good variety, shows with entertainment group, classical music, musicians, comedy evenings covers all ages and every taste. Food really good, just went into restaurant for meals, 8.30 evening worked really well for us. All Fresco for breakfast and lunch, not a lot of variety but adiquate for us as well as snacks afternoon in conservatory. Cabin we were only in inside cabin 8th deck but plenty room, plenty drawers and wardrobe space, cabin steward great very effient. In all a really great cruise met some lovely people in dining room from our table and others in dining room. At evening met up again, spent time with lots of interesting people usually glad to tell you about all the cruises they've been on, or where they've been. The spa is relaxing and the gym is great if you workout, which we don't.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
General Overview As first time cruisers we did not really know what to expect. My husband is a part-time wheelchair user, able to walk short distances, so we were a little concerned about embarkation and how he would get around the ... Read More
General Overview As first time cruisers we did not really know what to expect. My husband is a part-time wheelchair user, able to walk short distances, so we were a little concerned about embarkation and how he would get around the ship. On arrival at the Terminal we were immediately greeted with aides, whose job it was to make our transition aboard as easy and stress free as possible. They were wonderful, putting us at ease and taking all the worry out of boarding in such circumstances. I hope this will reassure anyone considering cruising who might also be either partially or totally dependent on a wheelchair. We also noticed that some passengers had motorised disability scooters. Of course, whichever type you use, it must be able to fit into your cabin, as you are not permitted to leave any such vehicles in the corridors, for obvious health and safety reasons. We had a deluxe balcony cabin which was very roomy and the folded up wheelchair did not encroach on our space in the least. We were not too lucky with the weather, but that is something beyond anyone's control and the experiences we had and the wonderful ambience of the ship more than made up for that. On our first night out the sea was a little rough and I have to admit to being seasick, but the administration of travel sickness tablets remedied that within 24 hours. Next time (and I hope there will be a next time) I will take them prior to boarding as a precautionary measure. Dining Our allocated dining room was the Oriental, first sitting at 6.30 pm. Can I offer a word of advice when booking your cruise to select a large table, seating at least 6 or 8? In this way, you will be seated with a group of people who will become your friends. We were very fortunate to be seated with 2 other couples who were total strangers to us, but with whom we developed a strong friendship. The dining experience on Oriana was superlative -- the choice of food, the excellent service from all of the restaurant staff and the little "extras" such as the singing of "Happy Birthday" by the waiters only added to our enjoyment. The food is of such high quality that I also suggest taking some clothing along which has a bit of "give" in the waist! (There are, however, excellent gym facilities on board should you prefer that option!) We particularly enjoyed the Room Service facility and utilised it on several occasions, most especially for breakfast, where we were able to enjoy it at our leisure in our cabin. The Peninsular Restaurant offers open seating for breakfast, which we visited a couple of times. The choice and quality of fare in all of the food outlets can only be described as exceptional. Entertainment The range of entertainment on board was limitless. The Theatre Royal offered such diverse acts as ventriloquists, vocalists and pianists, as well as the in-house theatre group which entertained us with a variety of performance genres -- our favourites being tributes to Abba and Queen. We were also occasional visitors to the Casino where we were taught the principles of Black Jack and Roulette in a very interesting workshop one afternoon. The stakes in the casino are usually quite low, but we did manage to come out with some winnings nevertheless, despite being total novices! There are numerous other entertainments on board, ranging from Bridge to Quizzes, there is something for everyone, whether you decide to use the facilities or not. Our cabin We had a deluxe balcony cabin on B deck. As previously mentioned, apart from one day, the weather was not really warm enough to utilise it to its full extent, but our cabin was roomy and comfortable. The compact bathroom was kept fully stocked with beautifully laundered white cotton towels, and came with a complimentary supply of toiletries. The beds were amazingly comfortable; the bedding of soft Egyptian cotton. The cabin steward did a magnificent job of keeping it clean and tidy, and turned the beds down each night, leaving a delightful little chocolate on the pillows. It was these little extra touches that made the holiday so unforgettable. There is a TV and fridge in the cabin for your convenience and shipboard messages are relayed through the speaker system, as well as on the TV channel devoted to the bridge, on which essential details such as weather conditions and current placement on the globe can be tracked. Services It would appear that "Service" is the watch word for every single member of staff on the Oriana, as indeed I am sure it also applies to all the other ships in the P & O fleet. Whatever you are doing, the staff are always meticulously polite and eager to meet your every need. I have never been called "Madam" so many times (but in the most fitting circumstances!) Many of the staff obviously work behind the scenes, but their efforts are nevertheless apparent --the invisible cleaners, the staff who work in the kitchens, laundry and engine rooms all played their part. We could not find any negative points to comment on as far as all the previously mentioned areas are concerned, but if I must pinpoint one irritation it must be the difficulty encountered on many occasions when traversing the raised areas of the corridors of the ship. These are the metal ridges or lips along which the watertight doors close. We found them to be high enough to bring the wheelchair to a halt when the front wheels hit them, forcing us to have to "lift" the front wheels over the obstructions. The fact that we had to do this so many times resulted in some damage to the said wheels, which fortunately will be repaired under the insurance, but this is something to be aware of. If these areas could be made more wheelchair friendly, then this single point of contention would be resolved. Ports of call Our ports of call were La Coruna, Casablanca, Gibraltar, Cadiz and Lisbon. At all of the ports we were able to go ashore as the staff were so helpful getting the wheelchair down the gangway and helping my husband to disembark and embark on his return to the ship. We had a particularly entertaining day in Casablanca where we took a Petit Taxi, driver by Mushtak, on a whistle stop tour of the city (and some!) visiting off the beaten track sights, including an authentic Berber Pharmacy (Mustak's words) - sure the pharmacist must have been one of Mustak's relatives! Great day all round. We found various levels of accessability in the other ports we visited, mainly due to the "friendliness" of the pavements and kerbs towards the wheelchair. We found Lisbon to be particularly bad for wheelchair users. We enjoyed our cruise very much and will certainly look to repeating this experience, probably with P and O again, as their staff were absolutely brilliant. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We were on board Oriana from 18th - 28th March 2013. Never cruised before and we went as a surprise for my in-laws, who were celebrating their 40th Anniversary by going on this cruise and also my father in-law's 60th birthday. They ... Read More
We were on board Oriana from 18th - 28th March 2013. Never cruised before and we went as a surprise for my in-laws, who were celebrating their 40th Anniversary by going on this cruise and also my father in-law's 60th birthday. They were pleasantly surprised when we found them at afternoon tea in the Conservatory! We traveled as a couple along with my brother in-law and his wife. Arriving on the ship we thought it was very grand and were amazed at the size (having never even really seen a cruise ship up close before!) As we arrived fairly late (to not ruin the surprise) our cabin was ready straight away. The cabin was big enough, clean and our cabin steward was friendly and helpful. Food on board was delicious, we ate in the Oriental - late sitting and once we had explained the situation at dinner we were moved so that we could all sit together, very accommodating. Also ate in the conservatory and Al Fresco regularly. We tried all the bars, our favorite for pre-dinner drinks was Andersons. Saw a couple of the theatre acts, Headliners and Lomax Brothers. I went to one film at the cinema, though my husband saw a couple. We also went to the 'Audience with Michael Stark', which was very good. Unfortunately we only used the pool/spa once as weather was not fantastic, but it didn't spoil our holiday at all. Ports visited: La Coruna - Very pretty, lots of lovely shops (I like shopping).We wandered round on our own rather than booking an excursion. Casablanca - We booked on an excursion 'Portugese Connections' which was a two hour coach trip each way to El Jadida. Very interesting tour which we all enjoyed. Having been to this port now I think I would always go on an excursion rather than travel on our own. Cadiz - Lovely place, we walked around for a while then got on one the bus tours. Shops were closed due to it being Palm Sunday, they had a parade in the afternoon. Weather fantastic and we all got sunburn. Other ports visited are listed in the port section below. Fellow passengers were of an older age group than us but we spent one evening chatting to a 93 year old ex navy gentleman who was interesting and good company and overall found passengers friendly. Only thing annoying was an elderly couple at dinner who moaned loudly about everything, every night at dinner!Felt sorry for the waiters as they work very hard and are very polite. All in all, disappointed to have to disembark, I would have loved a longer cruise, however, most workplaces don't allow such extended leave for cruising so maybe when we retire (a long time away yet). Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We used CPS parking, no problems and would use again, very convenient. Loved the Sailaways, fantastic food ( both Evening Meal and breakfasts ) in the Peninsular Restaurant, enjoyed dressing up in the evenings, the company of the people ... Read More
We used CPS parking, no problems and would use again, very convenient. Loved the Sailaways, fantastic food ( both Evening Meal and breakfasts ) in the Peninsular Restaurant, enjoyed dressing up in the evenings, the company of the people on our table of 6, people very friendly and enjoyed the entertainment (especially Jimmy James). Brugges was lovely, we made our own way by free shuttle bus and then train (€3-80 each return on the Sunday, with hourly trains ) Not keen on Le Havre, would probably book a tour if we were there again. Guernsey was delightful, timed ticket for the tender over, try to return slightly earlier than the 3-30 peak queue, but this only took 30 minutes to wait for the return tender. We walked past the castle to the underground U-Boat fuel storage museum, displaying war memorabilia, very interesting, then walked back to the (Duty free shops) Our friends took a local £1 bus tour round the island which lasted an hour and a half. We found the cruise very relaxing, the daily newsletter ensured we knew what was happening and when, so loads to keep us occupied. Already looking for another cruise, but this time with our son. We really liked the atmosphere of the Oriana, particularly the open decks at the back of the ship, the Sailaways, with everyone singing and flag waving were a highlight. We were driving home within 20 minutes of walking off the ship, everything was very well organised. We hope to return to the Oriana. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Hello, My wife and Son and i have just come back from a very pleasant break on the P & O ship Oriana.The Oriana is a mid-size ship, adult only,and is geared for the UK market.The car parking at The QE2 terminal was hassle free.we were ... Read More
Hello, My wife and Son and i have just come back from a very pleasant break on the P & O ship Oriana.The Oriana is a mid-size ship, adult only,and is geared for the UK market.The car parking at The QE2 terminal was hassle free.we were on the ship in under 20 minutes. The luggage outside our Cabins on A Deck waiting for us. The Cabin steward Seby middle aged from India was A1+ for service with a smile,nothing too much bother for him.The cabin was a Large inside with bath & shower,twin beds & sofa and dressing table,double wardrobe & two sets of drawers with Fridge,Safe and Remote TV,very nice, Tea & coffee & biscuits constantly replaced.The Oriana is a elegant ship without being too " Glitchy". All the staff very friendly and helpful. The food in the Peninsular restaurant 2nd sitting 8.30 pm Table 38 was first class, both our Indian waiter's helpful and gave a well organized meal. The wine steward Regina from the Philippines was a delight to deal with every thing A1.The drinks were very reasonably priced.a Bottle of the House Red £12.50,very nice.The Entertainment was of a good standard as always on P & O ships.The excursions were well organised and again reasonably priced. With free coach shuttle service or Tender boat a each port. All the interior of the ship was in an excellent state, spotlessly clean. The disembarking was as smooth as the boarding,Car ready & waiting. We would recommend the Oriana to any one, as good all round value for money cruise ship. Regards Julie & Graham & James Gilbert Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
had a fantastic time on the Oriana although a few things need improving. We arrived in Southampton and soon found the drive way we had paid to park on for the five days as it worked out A LOT cheaper than parking at the terminal would ... Read More
had a fantastic time on the Oriana although a few things need improving. We arrived in Southampton and soon found the drive way we had paid to park on for the five days as it worked out A LOT cheaper than parking at the terminal would highly recommend http://www.parkatmyhouse.com/uk/ have used them several times before for cruises as the price difference can be enormous. Upon arriving at the QE2 terminal we were dismayed to see an enormous cue winding its way all round the terminal to where the waiting area is, however we only waited about 15 minutes and were checked in and through security and on-board. Much better than our previous experience of boarding the Balmoral at Mayflower where we waited over an hour after checking before boarding even commenced. Cabin F161 was ready and easy to find as it was just on the starboard side of the atrium. our suitcases arrived at exactly the same time that we did so we had plenty of time to get unpacked and settled in before drill and sail away. Cabin was spacious and nicely decorated although a bit tatty in some places on the drawers and the dressing table. sides were also dusty and stayed this way throughout the cruise. Apart from the that our steward Mahamod was very friendly and saw to any small requests we had. Emergency drill soon crept up on us and we had to make our way to ocean grill at the top of the atrium this i found quite odd as in the case of an emergency we had to pass the boat deck and carry on going up. Although it was a very nice room, could have almost been steaming our way across the Atlantic on on of the original queens. However it got very busy and really couldn't hold the amount of people required to muster there. After this it was time for some tea and we went up to the conservatory and it was manic in there! Many people refusing to use the hand sanitizer upon entry. Sail away was in windy and drizzly weather and had the assistance of tugs to get away from the berth and was only a few minutes late leaving as i believe the Independence of the seas was leaving before us. Exploring the ship we found her to be showing a lot of wear and tear surprising because she only had a refit at the beginning of the year, for example the brass on the banisters of the stairwells showing a lot of tarnishing and the tables in the crows nest and pillars in theater both extremely scratched, this surprised us as the Balmoral at the end of May was in nothing but but mint condition apart from the dated decor could almost have have been brand new. Dinner came with a fair bit of apprehension as we were on a table for four and not our customary table for two, we needn't have worried however as we ate with a couple from the isle of white who were possibly the nicest people we have ever met on holiday and dinners became a highpoint of the day as conversation flowed easily and was entertaining. The menu however wasn't to my taste now I am a fussy eater but have always found at least one soup/ starter I liked in the past however I could only have one on the last night, this wasn't a major problem as it left more time for conversation. The mains and desserts I never found anything short of delicious. After dinner entertainment is where although i believed the cruise was lacking especially for the age demographic on board at the time, I understand that the Oriana normally attracts a more mature traditional clientele but as on this cruise there was a lot of passengers in the early 20's to 30's range there really wasn't much to do for them apart from the 60's and 70's party one night. However the the show Stage Door on the last night was wonderful. As i said there where quite a few different passengers on-board and some i think were surprised by what they found. I even heard a lot of comments such as "It's not as good as PO ferries Pride of York!" this pretty much sums up a lot of the passengers on-board. Many were rude. Ports of call- Brugge: We did the excursion 'taste of Brugge' it was extremely good and very informative although it was a walking tour it was not fast paced and manageable. Guide was wonderful and could easily answer even the most vague questions. Le Havre: Didn't get off and spent the day in the steam room and relaxing on deck and our table companions said we made the right choice. Guernsey - First time there and found it lovely! going ashore by tender was easy and organized and we had hired a car and drove round the island thoroughly enjoyed it. went to the occupation museum and the little chapel both were wonderful. Never been to such a wonderful place. will definitely be returning! Disembarkation was slow as they were running behind. Now for the pros and cons Pros: Nice sized ship and a proper ship not trying to be a floating resort. Very clean at all times. Beautifully decorated. Lots of outdoor deck space. Good shops Comfortable seats in both theater and cinema. Cons (room for improvement nothing was terrible) Staff not as friendly as on Balmoral did what they had to nothing more. Showing some major wear and tear. Cafe Al Fresco not large enough for the amount of people wanting to use it late at night. Hand sanitizer not strictly enforced. Overall we had a fabulous holiday and met some wonderful people. First time with P&O and as I have said staff not as friendly as Balmorals, But by far the superior ship, basically give me the Oriana with Balmorals staff and I'd be in heaven. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Our first ever cruise on Ventura last summer was unforgettable for all the right reasons, and after a 4 nighter on Celebrity Ecplise to Cork in May, we went for a last night 7 nighter on the most elegant looking of all cruise ships, ... Read More
Our first ever cruise on Ventura last summer was unforgettable for all the right reasons, and after a 4 nighter on Celebrity Ecplise to Cork in May, we went for a last night 7 nighter on the most elegant looking of all cruise ships, Oriana. We thought Celebrity Eclipse was a stunning ship, but lacked a certain something of the P&O ships...she felt like a floating hotel more than a cruise liner. Along with QM2, Oriana is probably the most famous cruise ship in Britain. When you mention her, everyone knows her. After mentioning our cruise on her, people think I earn mega money! So does she fit the reputation? Why do we find so many negatives with these holidays which are always a relaxing and exciting experience....even if you think the food is not as good as it once was or that you were being ripped off? It makes me feel that some of the comments about ships on here are so picky, people would find fault with perfection. Loved the traditional layout of Oriana. You felt the tradition and style of cruising on her lost with the modern floating hotels, but she has all the modern features you want from a ship. We made straight for the Crows Nest for our departure from Southampton and the trip through the Solent. We felt the Crows Nest knocked the Sky Lounge on Celebrity for six. Especially as you cannot smoke there! The captain informed us of a strong south-westerly wind Force 6-7. Oriana didn't move an inch in the choppy English Channel and we retired at 1am after a wonderful evening. Sadly at 4am, I was awake as we hit big waves as we entered the Bay of Biscay. Apparently we hit the tail of a hurricane and encountered swells of over 5 metres off the bow quarter. A few of us were up and wondering around the ship trying to find our sealegs! Baring in mind we were doing 22 knots through those conditions, Oriana handled them superbly, as the water in the stern pool emptied all over the deck! The next day we stayed in our cabin as she continued to move in the swell and after being ill, I gave up and took some tablets! By the evening Captains Cocktail party, the sea eased and from the on Oriana came into her own in lovely conditions. We stayed onboard for Vigo as the idea of the cruise was for some late summer sun. A wonderful day sunbathing at 23C was had on a quiet ship. Lisbon was even hotter at 33C and we took the shuttle to the city centre. We walked about for a bit, but wasn't too impressed with it. Maybe we should have gone on a tour to the big tower further up the river, but the sunbeds were calling us again. Bilbao was a real surprise. 38C! Again we stayed onboard. What we loved the most was the slow cruise from Lisbon to Bilbao at a steady 15 knots....proper cruising. A beautiful sunset and dinner in the exceptional Oriana Rhodes restaurant ended a perfect day as we settled down to another fabulous evening. The captain made an announcement at 8am on the Saturday to say that Gale Force 8 winds meant that our call at Brest had been cancelled, but we weren't bothered as we planned to stay on the ship anyway. That was a bonus too, as the Entertainment Team put into action a new schedule of entertainment, including another fascinating session with Antiques expert John Cameron from BBC1's Cash in the Attic. We slowly 'pottered' our way back to Southampton at 16 knots and although we hit a weather front with Force 7 winds and a 3 metre swell, Oriana hardly moved, with just a gentle pitching. We had 1,000 first time cruisers onboard and three weddings! After the rough passage on the way out, many people spoke to the captain who was excellent in explaining everything. He also made the trip back over the Bay as smooth as possible considering the conditions, so 10 out of 10! So in summary. Yes in places Oriana is in need of that refit. Only one of her jacuzzis were working, but apart from this, she was excellent. Food. Oriana Rhodes was fantastic, a real shame it's ending. We ate in the Oriental Restaurant, the 8:30pm sitting. Superb, friendly service. Our wine waiter was excellent too. Every meal was excellent and in many cases, we only had two courses as it was so filling. We did notice a certain amount of vibration from the ships props, but seeing as you are sat right above them, it wasn't that bad....try doing on the Isle of Wight ferry for vibration! We found the Conservatory really good. The breakfast knocks socks off Celebrity. On her, we felt like we were eating in the restaurant at John Lewis! Too big! Oriana's was just right. Our favourite bar turned out to be Andersons...what a wonderful atmosphere in there....our kind of place. Crows Nest was a lovely place to be during the evening, very sophisticated with quality entertainment, from jazz to talented pianists on each night. Being in our 30s with no kids, we just wanted to relax and enjoy the ship, we were not too bothered about tours and the entertainment was just a bonus for us. We felt the Headliners were really good but maybe not as good as the team on Ventura last year. I really enjoyed the talk on the Channel Tunnel (my other half sunbathed!!) and we both enjoyed John Cameron and the Queen tribute. The whole team were thoroughly professional and put 100% into each performance. We felt the prices for alcohol were spot on. We felt Celebrity was too expensive and it's never nice spending in dollars. Maybe she could do with a heated, covered pool in the future for cloudy, wet weather, but apart from that, Oriana is a special ship. Walking around the wooden decks and the tired stern you get a sense of breeding and tradition in which the ship was designed. A portrait of the Queen by Andersons gave a real sense of occasion too. With this in mind, we've booked another cruise. We will enjoying the pomp and ceremony of the 175th anniversary on Ventura's 17 night Eastern Med cruise next year, this will also be our honeymoon!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This is our First 7 day P&O Oriana cruise. We had a taster two night on the Ventura. This was in a balcony suite. Very good experience but were undecided for a full cruise as the 'STAG' 'HEN' 2 night was ... Read More
This is our First 7 day P&O Oriana cruise. We had a taster two night on the Ventura. This was in a balcony suite. Very good experience but were undecided for a full cruise as the 'STAG' 'HEN' 2 night was hectic. And very busy during embarkation & leaving ship (queues) We are pleased to report that the 7 day was well organised & easy going. We parked across river & 'bused in' Also well organised & Friendly with car waiting ready to go. Oriana accommodation,food,lounges & restaurants smart & well presented. Better than expected as advised by some previous reviews. Ship does show signs of wear, but all minor. We did not need to visit any of the other specialist restaurants. We had an enjoyable time, albeit disappointed that the French visit was cancelled, winds and shallow harbour. We had constant threat of tail end of hurricane winds off America but only slight seas. Weather Hot in Vigo, Lisbon & Bilbao. Trips were half day, well organised. Two days at sea but increased to three when missing Port of Brest. food well presented & tasty first sitting Oriental restaurant. we had a rear window table over props. Vibration and swell at times, but ok. Selection of vegetables were set each evening for all available meals. At Home we would have matched veg to dishes, Although all cooked to a high standard. All staff friendly & polite. O/all a very good experience. We have been used to Thompson Fly cruise holidays which we have enjoyed. They offer full day trips & less days at sea. P&O experience is above that of Thompson Celebration & Spirit ships in nearly all aspects except staff which are on par. one advantage not having to wait at airports & loss of time. We will consider more cruises from UK ports, but are mindful of heavier seas than the med; Albeit one day we had a slight swell & no ripples & glassy . Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I had booked myself and 2 of the ugly sisters on this cruise as a treat for my sister from the USA who was over to see my dad who was on his last legs plus my other sister who had been looking after dad for years but was under extreme ... Read More
I had booked myself and 2 of the ugly sisters on this cruise as a treat for my sister from the USA who was over to see my dad who was on his last legs plus my other sister who had been looking after dad for years but was under extreme pressure as he had been in hospital since a fall in January. A week before the cruise P&O offered us another cabin (for sole occupancy) at a favourable rate but I decided to take my husband along so we shared one cabin and the 2 ugly sisters the other. (They had the original cabin with the on board credit)! My American sister was looking forward to Dublin but was having trouble with her foot so she booked a tour through P&O and took in all the sights and had tons of photos to prove it. Dublin was very interesting and we did the open topped bus tour and got off at the Guinness museum then walked back at our leisure. We caught the train from Cohn to Cork city but wishes he had just stayed in Cohn as Cork was ideal for shopping but when we got back we did the Titanic tour and felt we wasted our time travelling to/from Cork. Bilbao was fantastic. We did the Guggenheim museum and spent about 3 hours there but my American sister felt there was too much of the same thing in the top floor - I've forgotten what the name of the exhibition was but it was all pieces of junk picked up and turned into "art". The building itself though was stunning and the walk to the museum wasn't too strenuous. Brest was a complete and utter waste of time - so much so we wished we had stayed on the ship. The weather was fine during the trip - not too hot and no rough seas at all. We had a table for 8 and shared it with a mum, her 16 year old son, her mother & her man friend. They were good fun and we enjoyed every meal. The only down side was that our table was a bit too close to one of the serving stations and whoever sat that side invariably got knocked a bit when the waiters were busy. Our waiter & his assistant was excellent. Not over familiar but when they knew your preferences they went out of their way to make sure you were taken care of. My sister and I took part in a few of the onboard quizzes and my other sister liked to find a quiet spot and read her book. My husband attended the lectures (like he always does) and I caught up with my sleep! I like the fact you don't have to pay for the movies on the in cabin TV and would beg P&O to not bring in such charges. I like the tea & coffee in the cabin and the cabin steward was fantastic. I don't think I ever saw them but the cabin was always prepared. I was a bit disappointed there was no Portunus party as it was only a 7 day trip so I make sure from now on I make sure we go for 10 days of more! Yup. It was a good trip. P&O is our favourite cruise line with Princess a close second. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
The whole experience of our little mini cruise was good from beginning to end and there were so many things that as a first time cruiser I was not expecting that hopefully other first timers will find this review useful. We pulled up ... Read More
The whole experience of our little mini cruise was good from beginning to end and there were so many things that as a first time cruiser I was not expecting that hopefully other first timers will find this review useful. We pulled up at the Dock Gate and unloaded the luggage and suddenly realized we just handed it over to the guys on the conveyor and that was it - how simple - none of this in a long queue shuffling the bag further forward to check in, the next time we saw our luggage was when we went to our cabins and there is was outside the! Okay we did have to join the snaking queue to check in, but that moved freely (and we only had hand luggage) and everyone in the queue was in holiday mood. The actual check in was friendly and informative and very efficient with a lot of information being imparted and the security pass being issued and the passport formalities being completed. We had turned up early - midday ish and so were delighted to be let straight onto the ship although hardly surprising we were told cabins would not be ready until 2ish, we were invited to use the time to explore the boat and partake of lunch in the conservatory. First impressions were good - lovely floral arrangements and an ice sculpture as we boarded by the main reception area. Walking around the ship we were very pleasantly surprised with all the facilities available and the plentiful outside space. We really loved the area at the rear of the conservatory that looked down on the various other levels down to the pool. It provided a great deal of outdoor space and looked lovely, it would appear from other ships plans that they are not as well planned as this and this wonderful space has been given over to Cabins. There were loads of lovely quiet areas (despite the cruise being fully booked) and again perhaps because it is a slighter older ship there were enclosed spaces, where as plans of other boats indicate that some of these spaces are free flowing and therefore wouldn't give you the peace and quiet the places like Crihtons and Andersons gave us. I could easily imagine myself spending time curled up with a book in the library on a longer cruise. The cabin was fine - we had booked the cheapest option - for two nights when we knew we were going to be busy there didn't seem much point in spending money on a view or facilities we were hardly have time to use. Certainly next time around, if we are on a two week cruise I would upgrade to hopefully a balcony cabin. There was plenty of storage space and some nice touches - lovely toiletries, bud vase and dish of sweets, the evening turndown service and good night choccy all added to the pampered feeling. The Daily newspaper was useful and very informative and a great port guide was provided with loads of useful information on. The restaurant (we were in the Oriental) was lovely and the food choice good (but not brilliant) and at times the service could do with being a little faster - you wanted to start your main as it would be getting cold before the vegetables had arrived. The staff were friendly and helpful. The evening shows were good and the Theatre Royal a lovely setting. Some of the bars felt a little crowed at night but there was always space, some times you just needed to wonder off to find a new place. Tiffany's was lovely at night, and so was the Crows nest (although the fact that you could smoke in here did spoil it a little for us). There was never any hard sell - tours were available if you wanted them but also a courtesy bus to take you into Blankenburg so you could do your own thing and local maps provided. Prices on board were very reasonable, all in pounds sterling so no exchange rate issues, and no service charge automatically added. On our last night were asked to have our luggage out by 2:00 am but we didn't know that until we stopped off in our cabin mid evening, ad were asked to vacate the cabins by 8:00 am which meant taking hand luggage into the restaurant for breakfast. We in fact asked our steward if we could leave a bag in the cabin and she was happy for us to do this and we just collected it straight after breakfast. We didn't rush to disembark and left about 9:45am, by that time most people had left and the boat was being cleaned and prepared for the next cruise. We arrived in the baggage hall to find our luggage ready and waiting on a trolley for us - what service. It was the smoothness of the check in and departure that we loved and beats flying any day. Overall we loved it - only complaint being it wasn't long enough and we will defiantly book another cruise soon. I enjoyed the traditional feel of boat and will probably look to another P&O boat for the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
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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