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

I selected a farewell cruise on the Oriana, before she slips away to China. I was not disappointed with the ship, she still felt very special, it will be a shame to see her go. The cruise was an adults only, touring France, Spain and ... Read More
I selected a farewell cruise on the Oriana, before she slips away to China. I was not disappointed with the ship, she still felt very special, it will be a shame to see her go. The cruise was an adults only, touring France, Spain and Guernsey in June 2019. Well worth visiting the destinations, plenty to see and do , either using the tour excursions, or being an independent traveller as I did. It was all very safe. I enjoyed the cruise, but wished there had been a few more younger passengers, it seemed to be overrun with the "more mature aged" travellers. Zimmers all around the boat, a shame really. I guess that must be due to the time of year and maybe the smaller boat. The staff were lovely, as always on P&O working so hard and making the cruise a special one. I loved the sail away, great turnout, flags everywhere! Cabin good, inside one, with plenty of room. ~Great bathroom with bath and shower. Entertainment mediocre could do with changing the repertoire, P&O getting a bit boring and predictable with the headliners. Films and screenings, couldn't fault - excellent. Meals and restaurants - very high standard. Enjoyed the entertainments with music in the Crows Nest, some nice acts playing relaxed music - very nice indeed. So all in all an excellent cruise - thank you P& O. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
On the whole I was pleasantly surprised by Oriana after hearing a lot of bad press about the ship. The thing I enjoyed most about Oriana was the deck space, I thought it was wonderful and so much better than more modern ships, ... Read More
On the whole I was pleasantly surprised by Oriana after hearing a lot of bad press about the ship. The thing I enjoyed most about Oriana was the deck space, I thought it was wonderful and so much better than more modern ships, there's so much room for everyone, we sailed in winter but I can imagine there's ample space if going to hot destinations. The inside of the ship is finished to a high quality also and I found the bed in our outside cabin incredibly comfortable. Only downside of the room was the noise from the bathroom which seemed to come from the air extractor. Otherwise, the room was very pleasant albeit it was larger as we had a disabled cabin. Food is of a standard to other cruise ships and varied as usual with service being attentive in the main restaurants, I think the buffet restaurant on Oriana could be bigger, we didn't visit the Beach House which has used up part of this space on top deck but in my opinion it would be better served as an expansion in space for the buffet. The layout of the ship is interesting and a little confusing, a lot of lifts don't go to all places and if you push a wheelchair like I was doing you have to do a bit of preplanning, I would seriously advise downloading the detailed map of the cruise on to your phone, the one they give you on check-in isn't that great in my opinion. The itinerary we went on was quite enjoyable to Zeebrugge and Amsterdam, will share some tips with you for both and some suggestions if on a wheelchair. - Zeebrugge: I highly advise skipping the shore excursions to Bruges and instead just use the free shuttle to Blankenberge train station. There are hourly trains to and from Bruges for €5 return and even further afield so can easily do a half day or day. They also have a lift onto the shuttle if you have a wheelchair and subsequently you can get assistance on to and off of the train so this is also a viable option for wheelchairs, just be aware of the cobbles in Bruges although there are some more favourable routes to the centre. - Amsterdam: It's great how the ship arrives right in the centre, you can easily walk to most sites, tram lines go by frequently and there's nothing stopping you going further afield in the Netherlands as the central train station is next door to the cruise port! If you're in a wheelchair I would highly recommend a firm called 'Staxi' - they will take you anywhere in Amsterdam for €25 on their wheelchair accessible van, this is a great option and we used it to go to the Rijksmuseum (awesome for wheelchairs) and on an accessible canal cruise. Overall I enjoyed Oriana and would be happy to sail on the ship again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Went for our 40th anniversary on a late booking, lucky to get a mini suite and it was so wonderful felt so special as only used to balconies, but the room surpassed all my dreams. Yes due to problems late leaving so no exciting sail away ... Read More
Went for our 40th anniversary on a late booking, lucky to get a mini suite and it was so wonderful felt so special as only used to balconies, but the room surpassed all my dreams. Yes due to problems late leaving so no exciting sail away but as we had a bottle of complimentary champagne to drink on our balcony enjoyed. Weather started good and we enjoyed La rochelle, santander even though the storm was horrendous and lovely La coruna with only a shower, the sea was definitely choppy but known worse from past cruises, think captain should have not been so open about the forth coming conditions as lots of passengars we spoke to were quite frightened and come 10 oclock all venues were very empty, previous cruisers said he should not have said as much as he did. people went back to their cabins early, though the sea did not seem that rough at that stage. Very sad not to get off at Guernsey felt for the passengers who had never visited there, do feel we could have got off lunchtime but the captain seemed like he just wanted to head back to southampton asap so he could get the ship ready for the next big cruise, and feel he let the passengers down and the cost involved losing a port day and the extra so called entertainment he said was laid on was rubbish, even sail away in doors was poor. Really hope this cruise has not put anyone off just so bad luck with the weather which we have never experienced, we have always had great cruises with PO and off soon on lovely Ventura and back on Oriana next year. Had freedom dining but ate in main restuarant every night and met different cruisers for chats. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We booked this 2 night 'taster' cruise for 4 of us in 2 outside cabin's at a cost of £189 per couple which was excellent value for money. As first time cruisers, this was our chance to see what it was like and the ... Read More
We booked this 2 night 'taster' cruise for 4 of us in 2 outside cabin's at a cost of £189 per couple which was excellent value for money. As first time cruisers, this was our chance to see what it was like and the experience overall was very good. It would be nice to know about things like the restaurants, where you can and can't have breakfast, they time of your evening meal sitting etc. in advance, but with a health scare on the ship before our cruise I accept things were probably a little more difficult than usual. The Oriental and Peninsular restaurants were excellent, great food and very attentive service. The up top Conservatory restaurant was poor both for service and food quality, more of a canteen in our opinion. The entertainment was great and the overall experience was very enjoyable. Not sure how people can manage without a window at least, and I'd recommend the widow cabin's, not huge but well equipped and comfy bed. Sadly 2 of our party did not take well to the movement on-board and sea-sickness / unbalanced feelings prevailed meaning this is likely to be our first and last time on-board, but that's what this was for so I'd highly recommend a 2 night taster cruise for anyone thinking about a longer time on-board ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had read the recent reviews of Oriana as we always do prior to a cruise. We can assure readers that there is no need to worry about a cruise on Oriana. Although older , we loved her .The cabins are a bit small, but the restaurants , ... Read More
We had read the recent reviews of Oriana as we always do prior to a cruise. We can assure readers that there is no need to worry about a cruise on Oriana. Although older , we loved her .The cabins are a bit small, but the restaurants , bars and facilities are well designed and welcoming. All the staff are lovely and the food was exceptional in all the venues. We particularly liked Al Fresco and Sindhu, but there was really no need to leave the main dining room which was excellent. . We ae not big fans of the Headliner style show and the one or two shows we saw were very dated . However the guest entertainers have really improved, including Bernie Flint who was excellent along with Ukebox, and the guest speaker Diane Simpson was good.. This would have been a five star review but for the debacle that was the "overnight " visit to Dublin. We, and many others we spoke to understood this to mean an afternoon arrival in Dublin, followed by a full day or at least a half day the next day. We had planned to go to Phoenix Park this time, as we had an overnight visit with Fred Olsen in May and had done the sights. It was only on board that we found out that we were docking at 2.30 pm, which actually became three o'clock by the time the ship was set up for disembarkation. Those on tours were allowed off first and so general passengers did not leave until at least 3.30, pm if they had bothered to queue from about 2 o'clock in the restaurant. We watched the shuttle buses fill up slowly, as, even though there was a late arrival P&O insisted on scanning people's cruise cards to charge them £5 each way to travel in to Dublin which held up the process. By 4 o'clock we decided to try our luck and went to the restaurant to obtain a ticket , knowing that the eight shuttle buses had now left there were no more buses. There were at least 150 people still waiting. We gave up at this point. The ship left at 1 o'clock in the morning , the next day being a day at sea. We believe this to be very misleading. Beware any trip advertised as overnight I would suggest. ! ' Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was an around Britain no fly cruise with local pick-up and drop-offs. The coach taking us to the port was on time and we went straight on board with very little delay.The cabin had plenty of storage space and was adequate.The meals ... Read More
This was an around Britain no fly cruise with local pick-up and drop-offs. The coach taking us to the port was on time and we went straight on board with very little delay.The cabin had plenty of storage space and was adequate.The meals were of the usual high standard and service was friendly and efficient. Bar prices were about the same as in a pub but some of the prices in the shops were quite high. The day trips seemed a bit pricey, and although you got a 5% discount if you booked more than 5 days in advance this wasn't very clear on the receipt. On the day we went to Dublin we did not moor up until after 2pm and by the time we had got to the city centre it was 4pm. Traffic was terrible due to road works and the buses being on strike. All in all a pleasant trip Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise to see parts of the British Isles we had not visted before. This objective was achieved, allbeit somewhat briefly.... This was our third trip on Oriana, which, despite getting "tired" in places (refit due ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see parts of the British Isles we had not visted before. This objective was achieved, allbeit somewhat briefly.... This was our third trip on Oriana, which, despite getting "tired" in places (refit due in November) still continues to give excellent service in food, and clean comfortable accomodation.(just hope the refit cures the rattles & creaks). All of the staff that we encountered were friendly and helpful. There were however a few issues that marred our experience this time...... enough to make us seriously question any future cruising..... The least serious of these (which would not in itself deter future trips) was the slightly too high level of audio in both Theater Royal and Pacific Lounge. More seriously ...... Our enjoyment of the decks Aft was continuosly ruined by YOUR POLICY regarding the permission of smoking. It is not possible to find a position free of the POLLUTION of cigarette smoke due to the natural eddy currents of the wind. A serious suggestion to solve this problem (possibly being able to be implemented during the refit ?)........... Provide a purpose built comfortable "smoking shelter" on one of the highest decks, at the base of the funnel, containing an efficient extraction system that routes foul air into the funnel....... Bann smoking entirely in ALL other areas onboard. It is appreciated that certain factors of Shore Excursions are beyond the control of P&O organisers.... e.g. Weather, traffic jams/incidents etc.... however, IN DEPTH EXPERIENCE on the part of the organisers SHOULD indicate where problems are most likely to arise. One of the most obvious is the need, particularly in the elderly, to relieve oneself regularly. If availability of facillities and timings are made crystal clear at the outset, preferably in each tour description before booking, your customers can make a more informed decision. With regard to timings in general.......Some tours seem to leave very little time to explore the destinations, (particularly when circumstances such as late arrival in port, have already delayed the start of the tour....e.g. Dublin !!... reducing its value for money). One part of the opperation that seems to soak up a lot of time (often at the most "critical moment" of the journey) is that of exiting the coach. Most modern coaches are fitted with a side door......... that door is fitted for a purpose!........ If, as suggested by some, "Health & Safety" rules prevent their use, then the onus for their safe use should be placed upon the user, not the opperator. This should be made abundantly clear!........If it is simply not possible to open a side door, then the guide or the driver should direct passengers to exit in an orderly fashion, starting with those seated at the rear. This would also give him more time to assist the disabled seated at the front. Please P&O.... make your Shore Excursions a little more refined experience! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We have just returned from a P&O short cruise to Guernsey and Zeebrugge on the Oriana. A holiday didn't get off to a good start as the ship could not dock due to high winds and our trip was cut short by 24 hours. Our four ... Read More
We have just returned from a P&O short cruise to Guernsey and Zeebrugge on the Oriana. A holiday didn't get off to a good start as the ship could not dock due to high winds and our trip was cut short by 24 hours. Our four night cruise became a 3 night cruise. We live in Lancashire and had already arrived in Southampton before we learned this and it was difficult to gain infromation as the P&O staff were not in uniform so it was hard to establish who they were amongst the passengers. However I take my hat off to P&O for springing into action and finding accomodation for over 1500 passengers in and around Southampton which included dinner and wine. As if this wasn't enough they then added £30 per passenger to our cabin card for spending on board the ship and have written to us confirming we will receive a 50% percent refund of the cost of our holiday to compensate us for the lost night at sea. We were collected from our hotel on embarkation day by coach and taken to the teminal to be checked in and boarded. The entire process took less than an hour and 30 minutes. Very impressive!. You would never get that from an airline. We had an inside cabin which was sufficient for the time we planned to spend in it. The bed was very comfortable and our cabin steward kept it spotlessly clean for us. The nightly turn down service with little chocoloates left on our pillows was a nice touch. The ship itself is a little dated and could do with a refit. The pools looked overdue a clean and many of the pictures in the coridors leading to the cabins had been wiped with a damp cloth and allowed to dry with smears which gave the ship a slightly unkempt look which was a shame as there were other areas that were immaculate. The gym was suprisingly large and well equipped for the size of the ship and the spa looked ok through the window although we never actually went in. The dining rooms were elegant and we particularly liked the ambience of Crows Nest bar with the talented jazz musicians who provided very pleasant entertainment. There was plenty of other entertainment on the ship. We weren't on long enough to sample most of it but there is something for everyone. We were very well fed with excellent five course meals in the evening although we did not always get what we had ordered. We were on freedom dining which meant that we could attend the Peninsular Restaurant at a time to suit us. We had to queue but it wasn't for long and were seated with lovely people every night. The Gala Dinner was lovely with just about everybody wearing black tie and evening gowns. The buffet breakfast was a bit of a free for all, not enough places to sit inside and was not worth the queue. We ordered room service on our final evening and this was very good. The cost of drinks both soft and alcoholic is very reasonable with a bottle of Prosecco costing less that £20 and table wine is also at very good value. The shore excursions are also very well priced, We did the Bruges on your Own and this cost less for the two of us than a return taxi would have cost. We had prebooked a couples massage for our sea day and although the sea day was cancelled we still went ahead with the treatment and shortened our time ashore. I have to be honest and say it was a total rip off. It didn't compare to any professional massage I have received in a salon but cost twice as much at £146 for both of us with an additional 10% added to our cabin card on board for gratuities. The treatment room was a bit clinical but at the same time a little grubby. I appreicate that scented candles would probably create a fire hazard but a bit of ambient lighting and another form of scent would have given it more atmosphere. It was carried out by two girls of oriental descent one of whom sniffed constantly and to be honest it all felt a bit sleazy. Our eyes were kept covered for most of it and towards the end we both became aware of something with a strong smell of vicks or eucalyptus being wafted under our noses. When the treatment was complete we were asked to dress and remain in the room. The therapists returned with water from a cooler for us to drink but then came the hard sell of Elemis products that they tried to convince us they had used by asking us to smell them. The smell was similar but I'm certain it was not the aroma we experienced when our eyes were covered. Nice try but you didn't fool us! In conclussion I would definitely cruise with P&O again and would even sail on the Oriana again too. She's an old girl but has a lovely faded charm. I will opt for a fixed time to dine but would still be happly with an inside cabin as I did hear that the outsides with a balcony got a little cold at night. Well done to P&O for dealing so efficiently with the crisis on what should have been our first day/night and thank you for the lovely accomodation and dinner you provided. We look forward to sailing with you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Just returned from a 3 night mini cruise departing Southampton and stopping at Zeebrugge and Le Havre. Other than a Disney mini cruise this was our first experience for 12 years and a taster cruise for a longer 12 night cruise booken in ... Read More
Just returned from a 3 night mini cruise departing Southampton and stopping at Zeebrugge and Le Havre. Other than a Disney mini cruise this was our first experience for 12 years and a taster cruise for a longer 12 night cruise booken in August on Celebrity Solstice. The weather was hot 23 - 26 degrees which was great although the embarkation lines were full of people fanning themselves whilst waiting in line. The embarkation was smooth and the wait was approximately 20 minutes which was fine for us. We were sat at the riviera bar by 2.30 and getting ourselves settled in nicely. I did think that as Oriana was adults only that it may have turned out to be booze cruise style experience. However despite there being some large groups of female birthday and hen parties the mini cruise did not suffer as a result. We had an inside cabin on deck 10 which for 3 nights in the Channel/North Sea was more than adequate. We ate in the orintal restaurant on 2 nights and 1 night in Ocean Grill, and in my opinion opting for the Ocean Grill experience despite the £17.95 cover charge was well justified. The menu selection in both the Peninsualr and the Oriental is the same and was good (but not great) Breakfast we decided to opt for the Peninsular as I'm not a fan of "cattle class" buffet style venues, however when walking through it didn't seem too bad. The service at breakfast was a little slow, however we were in no rush so it didn't bother us.......however on debarkation day the waiters seemed to be "on speed" and rushed the food to us rather too hastily. The experience has given us an insight into what we may expect on future longer cruises and we were definitly not disappointed and would reccoment to anybody who is uncertain about cruising. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
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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