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

Where do you start with P&O’s Oriana cruise from Southampton(Madeira/Tenerife/Lisbon etc). December 2018 Firstly, the decommissioning of the vessel in 019 is ambitious. 010 might have been more appropriate. A thoroughly ... Read More
Where do you start with P&O’s Oriana cruise from Southampton(Madeira/Tenerife/Lisbon etc). December 2018 Firstly, the decommissioning of the vessel in 019 is ambitious. 010 might have been more appropriate. A thoroughly dated outfit appealing to a well over 65’s demographic. The activities and entertainment plan were something out of the 70’s. Frontline staff were busy smiling without really understanding our questions and you left with a sense of frustration. Food was hit and miss. The Conservatory is a free for all with one in 6 dishes acceptable. Very bland food in general lacking any real flavor added to the bad customer experience. Room service to cabin was poor. Incorrect order brought complete with soggy bread! Breakfast ends at 9.30.....on a cruise!? Cabins are ok but again way out dated with 14 inch TV screens, yet huge mirrors wasting space. Choice of in cabin entertainment was miserable for this day and age. The incredibly loud PA announcer jovially speaking Ruth Madoc style every morning with......And today on Deck 10 its basket weaving........ The halcyon days of ‘Hi De Hi’ are still with us apparently. Tip.... Do not attempt to let them book a taxi for you. We had to wait 90 minutes! Sniggering British staff behind the curtains on reception letting the Asian front line staff hold the baby A two star operation ‘priding’ itself on 3 Black tie evenings which were poorly attended. Why in this day and age have them? Subsequently we were left with one choice for dinner which added costs to our bill. The final complaint though is too shocking to contemplate. The captain was clearly naive and probably conditioned to P&O practice in thinking it’s ok to give us the negative news about ship to shore communication once he had set sail. He continued to drip feed us ‘we are working on it’ lines knowing full well it was out of order at the original starting point. To depart Southampton on a 12 day trip without the Internet or phone service leaving passengers completely stranded in their quest for contact with homes, business, loved ones was the worst error of judgment we have witnessed. We had to wait for 4 days until first stop to get on land before frantically connecting with anyone. The arrogance of the operator clearly thinking this type of practice in 2018 is acceptable. If you are unfortunate in cruising with P&O please look at their internet packages. The big standard 7.95 a day only covers Facebook and a few sites. No emails, YouTube etc. Those are extras!!!! Our overview of P&O is not good. They are a weak company with a tired fleet and out dated planning. Clearly targeting much older customers who are unlikely to complain about the lack of communicado and the daily grind of school dinners. Bland, boring and a complete lack of empathy with frustrated customers. If you are booking a cruise with them, make sure you check the itineraries thoroughly otherwise you will be in for a comedy of errors which include cribbage, crochet and failed New Faces talent from 1977! A Horror show. Avoid P&O at all costs! The worst cruise company out there. #fail #past glories #arrogant #disaster #cruise nightmare #watchdog #investigate Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been ... Read More
There were many issues and mainly to do with the dining experience, members of staff, certain basic food and drinks not being available. First, I would like to advise this was my first cruise. I travelled with my mother, and has been on many cruises but never P&O. My mother has always referred to the service as being outstanding on every cruise (cruise Maritime, Thompsons, Fred Olsen). First morning, I attended the buffet breakfast area (conservatory) at around 9.30am to be faced with huge queues waiting for hot food, these queues seem to be taking a considerable amount of time to move. I have been to many 4-5-star hotels all over the world and I expect to queue at busy periods but the queue would always move quickly. After observing for 10 minutes while I wait (moved ever so slightly in this time), it was instantly clear why the queues were not moving. The hot food was not being replenished quick enough, now this was simple things like mushrooms, bacon, fried eggs as so on (basic breakfast food that is normally consumed by most people). I queued and eventually selected what I wanted, but the overall wait was approximately 25 minutes. I did contemplate getting more but the waiting time outweighed the hunger. This continued throughout the duration of the cruise, (every day apart from the last day, this was mainly due to me and my mother arriving at 6am so we could disembark early). Day 3 and onwards, again I had to wait around the same time as above only to be told there was no mushrooms today or they had completely run out. One day that stands out, the 5th day 28th July 2017, I even asked the member of staff behind the counter, only to be told there had not been any mushrooms cooked and there is none being cooked. At my amazement, when I returned to my seat, my mother had mushrooms. Clearly, I was lied to and again they had simply run out, bear in mind, we always attended breakfast between 9am and 10am. The staff in the conservatory buffet seemed very under trained and had no idea how to interact with the guest. Not once did they say, "good morning", Good Afternoon", or Good Evening". Most of the time they spent talking amongst themselves, it also seemed they had their own game going on. I like to watch people, several of the staff would look at each other and make some form of facial gesture, the other one would then laugh, this was though they were insulting the guest and this made me and my mother very uncofortable. As a little test, I left my plate on the side of my table, 3 members of staff were just chatting and laughing, the plate was eventually removed after about 15 minutes. I am unsure what uniform the Management wear, but to me it was a clear there was lack of supervision in the so-called restaurant. I also witnessed a waiter clearing a table and rather than sweep the crumbs etc. from the table on to a tray or their hand, with my astonishment they just swept it on the floor, there was still around 2 hours of service left, appalling. Throughout the duration of the cruise There was no draught Larger in the Crow’s Nest, (well this is what we were advised). The first club dining night, our table (55) had to wait around 45 minutes between starter and main course. This was nothing to do with the waiters. I would like to say the club dining waiters were very professional and an asset to P&O. I I have made an official complaint via P&O website. I have received a reply (took 29 days which falls outside their complaints process, and only I feel i only received a response due to chasing twice) which basically told me what P&O set out to achieve (type of mission/vision statement) but nothing on how they will be dealing with my dissatisfaction. There was also no apology for the late response and they had the cheek to advise they would welcome me back on board. I have replied back to still state my dissatisfaction, and guess what no response. I have even called the customer services to be told we can not put you through to the complaints department, you need to send an email (trust me this doesn't work), I was advised a Manager would call me ASAP (this call took place on 6th September 2017 and i m now writing this on 7th September 2017, and surprise, surprise, I am still waiting for a call. To sum up. DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE WITH P&O and look for an alternative operator. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Our embarkation time was 1430 but we arrived a bit early to find chaos in the embarkation hall that was bursting at the seams. The IT system had been down since 1130 and no one was moving. They eventually decided to embark us and for ... Read More
Our embarkation time was 1430 but we arrived a bit early to find chaos in the embarkation hall that was bursting at the seams. The IT system had been down since 1130 and no one was moving. They eventually decided to embark us and for credit cards to be swiped on-board, but then the IT system came online so it was back to normal and wait. At check in I was given our (2) cards and also a map of the ship and told to keep my card in the pocket in the map. I asked for a second map for my wife and was told that this was not allowed, 1 map per party. We did meet a couple on-board and asked them about their boarding experience. They said that they had avoided the turmoil as their daughter worked for Carnival and they had been taken straight on-board. It's not what you know but who you know. Arrived on-board to be told that the conservatory restaurant was still open so dumped our bags in our cabin and made our way there. The BBQ was still open although the sign said that it would close at 1430, our initial boarding time so if it were not for the IT glitch it would have closed before we boarded and no BBQ for us. Our cabin was spacious and well appointed but I did not realise that they made TV's that small. The bed was fine but had 2 of the hardest pillows I have come across in a long time. The ship is obviously showing it's age as there was a fixed ashtray in the bathroom next to the toilet. As we had booked late we had been given anytime dining in the Peninsular Restaurant. After our late lunch we made our way there at about 8pm. The card we had been given from P&O said that the Restaurant. Manager would make every effort to seat us straight away but that there could be a slight wait. The manager appeared very officious and told us that there would be a 50 minute wait for a table. I pointed out the information supplied by P&O and I did not feel that 50 minutes was a slight wait. I was told that he was not responsible for what P&O told me but he was telling me there would be a 50 minute wait. We therefore agreed to share and were seated with a young couple. Starters were fine, soup for me and prawn cocktail for my wife but it went downhill from then. My wife selected the specialty stew for her main course, not good. I had steak and it was 1/4" thick and could only be described as a piece of very poor frying steak. Pudding was no better, my wife's sticky toffee pudding was a piece of dried up ginger sponge that had been sitting around so long that when the sauce was poured over it failed to be absorbed. My Pavlova was a hard disk of meringue, no cream and 3 slices of Kiwi fruit sitting on top and our table companion had exactly the same experience. Petit fours with coffee was 1 tiny square of soft shortbread per person. This experience was so poor, officious manager and very poor food that we decided there and then not to go back the following night, Even though we had taken black tie etc we gave it a miss and went to the Conservatory in smart casual. Even here the food left a lot to be desired. Squid in Chill Sauce was part of the mains. When have you seen squid rings that are perfectly uniform and when cut through the cross section is perfectly circular, bringing to mind rubber "O" rings? Have they now progressed from crab sticks? Breakfast was generally good but on both mornings I had a chocolate muffin, and both times the muffin was dry and stale. Rather than pay P&O for the excursion to Bruge our taxi driver had advised us to take the shuttle to Blankenburg and then the train, and as P&O were not my favourite people at this time that is what we did and had a great day out. There were 2 nights of entertainment on-board, the first by the ships dancers who started off a little slowly but soon warmed up and it was a very enjoyable evening. The second night was a Freddie Mercurie tribute and he was excellent. Half the ship seemed to be taken over by hens, no problems but they really enjoyed the entertainment and by the end of the show he had everyone on their feet and waving their arms. Because we look after our grandchildren we found we could go on this trip at very short notice, and had gone to enjoy the black tie night. We did not do this mainly because of the attitude of the manager at the Peninsular and the very poor quality of the food. Having had chaos during boarding disembarking was not much better with lack of information and long lines. My lasting impression is that P&O set themselves an extremely low standard and consistently failed to achieve it. I very much doubt if we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Just got back from a 2 night cruse to Bruges. This ship is very very tired. we had an outside cabin that you could barely see out of the window due to the stains on the window. The bathroom was very old a beaten up with rust on the door ... Read More
Just got back from a 2 night cruse to Bruges. This ship is very very tired. we had an outside cabin that you could barely see out of the window due to the stains on the window. The bathroom was very old a beaten up with rust on the door frame and fittings, a dirty old shower hose greeted you every time we had a shower. The sink looked like it had had a respray at some point but most of that paint had pealed off and looked very ugly. The staff on the ship clearly do not want to be there and are just going through the very basic of motions. Food was very poor compared to other cruses that we have been on, I would compare it to those cheep pub chains where you can eat what you like for £3.99. Drinks are very expensive, £6.25 for a small glass of wine. We spent an hour or so in the Casino where the English croupier was a complete novice and was very very scruffy. The overall experience was poor and speaking to fellow passenger's they felt the same. We got the feeling that the ship is about to go out of service and that they are just trying to get every penny out of the ship before they decommission it. I had high expectations as the broacher on line makes it out to be one of the best ships on the ocean but I have to say I have been on better passenger ferry's.   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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