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5 P&O Cruises Oriana Cruise Reviews for Cruises for the Disabled Cruises to Europe - British Isles & Western

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
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 as the ship was smaller than some and we had cruised before on Oriana and we enjoyed it very much last time. However this time the food was very poor, service in the restaurant was 3rd rate and most of the staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was smaller than some and we had cruised before on Oriana and we enjoyed it very much last time. However this time the food was very poor, service in the restaurant was 3rd rate and most of the staff around the ship we very amateur. We sat at the same table each night and had the same staff. They were very bad at bringing quickly the correct food which was always cold. For one meal the waiter actually threw the starter on plate. At another meal the soup bowl came with the soup dripping down the sides. The bar staff were very sullen and made it an effort to serve us. However the staff in Al Fresco were wonderful. We had most of our breakfast and lunches there. Although the choice of food was limited, we always managed to eat well. All the staff were excellent even remembering the porridge for my husband each morning. Robert the Head Waiter was wonderful. The comfort around the lounges was very dull. Not one lounge or bar had outside windows that you could see through. The only place with windows was the Crows Nest which is far from cosy. It long overdue to have a refit. Our cabin wash basin was a disgrace and the beds were not as comfortable as ships beds usually are. We don't think we will travel again on P and O if this is the quality of the food and service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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
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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