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13 P&O Cruises Oriana Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We embarked in Southampton and the embarkation went smoothly. We were staying at the Holiday Inn near the Mayflower Terminal were we embarked on the Oriana about 10 minutes from the hotel. We explored this area of Southampton and ... Read More
We embarked in Southampton and the embarkation went smoothly. We were staying at the Holiday Inn near the Mayflower Terminal were we embarked on the Oriana about 10 minutes from the hotel. We explored this area of Southampton and Westquay shopping centre 5 minutes walking and also the main street where lots of shops and eateries were. This holiday Inn was quite well situated Herbert Walker Road. The ship although refurbished was old and smelly especially in the corridors outside the cabins. My cabin was perfect, Deck 10 B186. Large, spacious cabin, enough space for all our clothes (12 cruise days - cold winter wear) and 3 large suitcases and 2 small hand luggage. John our Steward kept it immaculately clean and everything we asked he complied no problem at all. We had tea and coffee facilities in the cabin and chocolates placed on the bed every evening by John. Good size balcony. Bath/shower bathroom good size. I think we had 2 complimentary bottles of water when we arrived. So cabin and service extremely good in cabin. And all cabin stewards outside our cabin were very friendly and smiling. The Oriental Dining room in which we had our evening dinners was good. We got to know our waiters, wine waters etc and they were all very nice and friendly and always smiling and courteous and anything we asked they went out of their way. The first evening dinning there I was not impressed by the food. We have gone on other cruises and the food was much much better but as the days went by the food improved. Entertainment and activities mostly for the over 70s. Some of the shows were nice but mostly directed to the over 70s aged group. And then when you thought well I will have a nice drink with my friends we are on holiday - last orders 12.30 - 1 pm - . Disco was also closed at approximately that time with hardly anybody on the dance floor as most of the music was for the older generation. It was quite difficult to be entertained during the day especially when the weather was cold and you couldn't use the pools outside. Quite a boring cruise ship. Outside of the theatres and pubs/bars if you wanted to use the toilets some were closed permanently throughout the cruise and they were smelly. Lunch/breakfast at the Conservatory buffet. Most of the food was a bit bland. Mostly English stuff, steak and kidney, English breakfast, salads and pies a few indian dishes which were nice. But it was a fight for tables. Some of the old generation have no manners at all. People were looking for tables to sit and eat their lunch or dinners and the people were just sitting there talking and not moving at all. There were not enough tables and they just would not bulge. One time we just could not find a table at all and my husband complained to the head waiter who said they would be closing in 15 minutes! and we could not find a table to eat our lunches! they just would not move! He said a man had been there sitting since 7 am! and this was perhaps 10 am and we could not have out breakfast! Most of the staff up here were not smiling or friendly, they were courteous and helpful but could not do anything to move people nor find us a table. Laundry Rooms. The first day we found a big laundry room where I washed the clothes we had used in Southampton without any problems, lots of irons so I ironed a few clothes thinking I will iron the rest the next day or so (how wrong was I). This laundry room was closed till nearly the end of the cruise. We had 2 more laundry rooms but they were half the size or smaller. One day I had to wait from 10 - 2 pm in the laundry room to have my chance to do our laundry I had a queue of I don't know how many people and more after me. It was horrendous but I didn't dare move and lose my turn. Here I learned of all that was wrong in the ship, people had been in their cabins without water for a few days! Some were complaining of another dinning room that was open for lunch that the waiters were rude. (bring your own washing powder or buy from reception). One sea day one of the other passengers was complaining that the shops in the ship were closed. I didn't see this as I did not go to the shops that day. The only good thing about this cruise was my cabin and cabin stewards. The waiter team in the Oriental dining room and the tours which were well organised. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had never been in a Christmas Cruise before and thought it would be magical. The cruise itself was nice but as for Christmas Spirit it was lacking. The crew wearing santa hats and a 20 minute carol service by officers and crew doesnt ... Read More
We had never been in a Christmas Cruise before and thought it would be magical. The cruise itself was nice but as for Christmas Spirit it was lacking. The crew wearing santa hats and a 20 minute carol service by officers and crew doesnt make what I expected a christmas cruise to be, especially when you consider the price. Two places we visited had a long walk to the entrance of the dock and no transport was provided. When this was mentioned to the crew member we were told that she could walk this in 15 minutes or so minutes. Not really interested in what a fit person could walk it in. Another Port we were advised it was. 'Long walk' to the town. We didn't go ashore there at all as no transport was provided again. I wouldn't do another Christmas cruise when you consider you could do two cruises for the price paid. The Oriana definatey needed a little tender loving care. Some of the ceiling tiles in the crowsnest where either dropping or being held up with tape. Dining was good, the food imaginative, well presented and cooked. The headliners were okay, not the best we had seen and there was no crew show which was disappointing. Entertainers were good, nothing earthshattering. The crew were helpful but did seem a little bored with everything. The television choices werent good. The larger ships have choices of tv programmes and films in the tv. Daytime activities were very limited and if you didn't want to go to the pictures but I play bridge so that was a something. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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
Myself, my husband and my sister and her husband returned home yesterday from a great cruise from Southampton to the Caribbean, Mexico and on to different parts of the USA i.e. New Orleans, Carolina Fort Lauderdale and many more exciting ... Read More
Myself, my husband and my sister and her husband returned home yesterday from a great cruise from Southampton to the Caribbean, Mexico and on to different parts of the USA i.e. New Orleans, Carolina Fort Lauderdale and many more exciting places, The food was wonderful. The Staff very polite and very helpful, lovely sized ship with no children (adults only) Being a confined wheelchair user the only problem was I found it difficult to get out on to the prom deck due to the lip in the threshold being a bit high when coming in but hay - ho !!!! nothings perfect for wheelchairs. Seeing so many new places in this world without having to do long haul flights is the only way to travel when you are confined to a wheel-chair. But the entertainment was the best we have ever had on any cruise will be back for more thanks everyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I chose this Cruise for my wifes 71 birthday ,It turned out to be one of the best cruises we have on over the past 25 years The ship itself is in need of a little TLC rather dated going in for a re-fit shortly The entertainment on ... Read More
I chose this Cruise for my wifes 71 birthday ,It turned out to be one of the best cruises we have on over the past 25 years The ship itself is in need of a little TLC rather dated going in for a re-fit shortly The entertainment on board was second to none comedy from the likes of Tom OConner and Theatre shows of excellent quality and of course the excellently presented quizzes. We were booked in to Freedom Dining this gave us an opportunity to meet different people each night a great idea The food served up was of a British selection generally but on occasions an International dish was an alternative well presented delivered by well presented table stewards The Conservatory Buffet Restaurant had well presented food especially at breakfast and two stewards looking after we elder and infirm passengers I cannot praise them enough for the way they looked after me . A loving ship one which I will definitely return to, Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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
Excellent cruise that was blessed with good weather throughout. The Cruise started on a cold but calm day in uk and we sailed after an easy embarkation having a lovely lunch and by the time we got to our cabin our luggage was there . The ... Read More
Excellent cruise that was blessed with good weather throughout. The Cruise started on a cold but calm day in uk and we sailed after an easy embarkation having a lovely lunch and by the time we got to our cabin our luggage was there . The food throughout was superb with the dining Room staff as usual on top of everything. ,the entertainment equal to the best west end shows and drink prices had remained quite stable. The Boat is so stable you hardly feel the movement and soon we were at Lisbon on a warm sunny day and doing the rounds of that great city with its tremendous bargains ,Gibraltar was as always a great stop a little piece of England in the sun with its Apes as always ready to snatch whatever you had out of your hands,be warned they can be aggressive. Casablanca was lively and full of bargains d9nt let the many "guides" help you it is easy to get about and bargains especially leather work are everywhere. On to Marbella very quite out of season but warm and sunny and nice to have a coffee sat in the sun. Cadiz next ,historical and interesting but nothing special . Our next stop was Vigo but the weather had deteriorated and the Captain ,happily ,decided to weather the storm in port ,good decision as Vigo is a boring and un-necessary stop. Weather improved and a two day sail saw us back in Southampton Early Morning. A great cruise thank you Oriana and your great Staff and Crew and P&O too we will be back on this Boat again soon. Do your own excursion arrangements its so much cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As usual, we travelled down to Southampton on the previous day and stayed, for the first time, in the Novotel, very close to Southampton Docks. This was a good choice and we will be using this hotel again in October when we join MSC ... Read More
As usual, we travelled down to Southampton on the previous day and stayed, for the first time, in the Novotel, very close to Southampton Docks. This was a good choice and we will be using this hotel again in October when we join MSC Magnifica. As it is so close to the hotel, we had decided that we would eat at TGI Fridays and we booked it a couple of days prior to driving down. Good job we did, it was exceedingly busy and, if you like Burgers, the food was excellent. We checked out of the hotel at 12 noon and drove the new route to the dockyard, which has been much improved since the roadworks have been done. As we arrived at the terminal, a red helicopter flew over our car and landed adjacent to Dock Gate 4. As we dropped off our bags, the luggage-handler informed us that Prince Edward was going on board the Oriana for lunch and the helicopter had just delivered him. We did not have parking included in our P & O deal, as it was a very late offer and really reasonable, so we had selected Cruise Parking online and were told to go into the Short-stay car park after dropping off our bags and look for the yellow flag. We did as instructed and were met by one of their representatives who completed his paperwork, had our key and told us that the car would be back in the same Carpark from 8.30 am on the day we returned. So off we went with our hand luggage. There was some delay in boarding due, according to the announcements, to an electrical inspection, which had resulted in conveyor belts and lights not working for a little while. Whilst we were waiting we saw Prince Edward being introduced to the P & O booking staff, before he went on board for lunch. At about 1300 boarding was started and we were surprised how quickly we boarded after that, and we were on board before 1400. Another announcement informed us that our cases would be delivered by early evening, but we had only been in our cabin for about 15 minutes (unpacking our hand luggage) when I decided to have a quick look outside the cabin window, which looked out on the aft deck pool. As I was walking back to the cabin, I spotted our cases (all three of them) in the corridor leading down to our cabin, so that was a bonus. The reason I had been looking outside our window was that we had been allocated an outside cabin that had a promenade view and we were worried about how easy it would be for passengers to see into the cabin. I didn't need to worry as, unless you had the nets open and lights on, this was not the case. We were also a little concerned about any noise issues if people positioned chairs or sunbeds just outside the window as we do like an afternoon siesta sometimes. Again, noise was not an issue, even when the Sailaway parties took place on the aft pool deck which was just one deck lower and overlooked by our deck's promenade. We had, however read a number of reviews stating that the vibration in these aft cabins was a real problem, so this was a worry. In fact, the only time I noticed this vibration was when we entered or left port, when the thrusters were used, so it didn't disturb us as much as the reviews suggested it would. We usually choose our cabin in mid-ships if we have the choice and this would still be my preference as I like looking out across the sea, rather than where we have just been. Our cabin was a B2 cabin which was an upgrade on our Guarantee Cabin, I think by virtue of it being quite high in the ship. It was very clean and had plenty of storage room. Our three cases all fitted under the bed although it was a bit of a struggle getting them there because there was no a lot of room at either side of the bed. However we both had bedside cabinets with drawers, dressing table with good lighting for putting on my makeup and doing my hair, three-door wardrobe, chest of drawers with four half-width drawers on top. Tea-making facilities were provided (proper English breakfast tea) and we used these on a number of occasions. There was a small TV, which also broadcast the captain's announcements if you elected to leave the TV on the ship's Information channel. The bathroom was a reasonable size and the configuration of the shower meant that I was never once attacked by the dreaded wet shower-curtain. All in all, the cabin was everything we needed and my only complaint about it was the size of the safe. I know they say that size doesn't matter, but this safe just held my purse, a wallet and my travel document wallet. As someone who always puts jewellery, IPads and phones away in the safe, I was less than impressed. We had a lovely steward who had also joined the ship that day, but she had been on 2 other P & O ships so she was well used to the routine. We left a sunny Southampton as we joined in the Sailaway Party, which was a really good way to start our trip. The first port we went to was Olden, where we had not been before and it was beautiful. We did our own thing, buying a motorised train tour as we left the ship. As you expect in Norway, this was not cheap (about £15 each), but we had a running commentary with humour and lots of information, and our driver was also very informative and helpful. He slowed down/stopped to give us time to take photos of some breath-taking views, making sure we all crossed the road safely. It was here we saw our first examples of the hairy houses that abound in this region of the world. Our next stop was in Alesund, where we had been before, but we struggled to recognise the port until we remembered that the first time we visited there had been a festival in progress to the area had been covered with marquees and exhibitions. It was getting colder as we crossed across to Akureyri in Iceland, probably due to the fact we sailed inside the Arctic Circle - definitely another tick on my bucket list - and something we didn't realise we would be doing when we left home. When we docked In Akureyri we took a stroll around the town, up to the very modernistic cathedral, which was perched at the top of some 100 steps. Of course, those people who had been before knew that there was a much more accessible entrance from around the side, but we did not know that then. There was plenty of colour in the town with brightly painted houses and shops fronted by polar bears and trolls, great backdrops for the 'funny' pictures we took. We really liked this place and we stopped at a cafe called the Backpacker hostel for a cappuccino and free Wifi. Our coffee was lovely and the place was very well used by walkers and tourist alike. As we left port we had the first experience of the Captain using the TV when it was not turned on, to make an important announcement about our next port. The weather was deteriorating quite appreciably so it was not really surprising when the Captain explained that he had decided, in conjunction with the local Pilots and Carnival Headquarters, to avoid the journey down the western coast to Isafjordur and instead travel down the eastern side of the country and on to Reykjavic. Although many people were disappointed, I never heard one adverse comment about the decision. In fact, soon after we left Akureyri they had a snowfall of 45 cms and the weather we avoided was very rough with a 5 metre swell. It was a little bumpy as we cruised around to Reykjavic, but we were so pleased when the Captain took us very slowly past the largest Glacier Field in the whole of Europe. This was such an impressive sight that I was almost pleased we had missed out Isafjordur to allow us to have this experience. When we got off the ship in Reykjavic, it was all we could do to stand up in the wind. We did a little wandering around, but did not stay ashore too long as it was quite cold and rainy. We did find our free Wifi, at a cafe called Café du Paris. We are not particularly into shows on board, but our dining companions were very complimentary about the ones they attended. We did visit the cinema on board twice, and saw another film in the Theatre. The cinema is definitely far more comfortable than the Theatre if you are sitting for a couple of hours, but for shows lasting about an hour, the Theatre is fine. Our next stop was in the Faroe Islands at Torshavn where we again wandered around, stopping again for our usual Wifi and cappuccino at the local library/cafe. This was where we took more photos of the houses with their hairy roofs made from grass, which provide a greatly enhanced insulation from the icy boasts. Our last stop was at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. I loved this town and we enjoyed the local Craft Fayre, the Cathedral and the ambience of the place. This is definitely somewhere I would like to return to, perhaps as part of a roaming holiday around Scotland, as there is a Ferry that runs from Aberdeen to Kirkwall. By this time we had got to know our dinner companions quite well and looked forward to our evening meal. We usually chose a table for two whenever we can, because my hubby is quite deaf, so sharing a table can be quite challenging as he misses much of the conversation. However, we did enjoy our table for six on this cruise. We did dine at the Sorrento Restaurant (additional charge of £5 each, plus £6.95 for Hubby's Lava Rock Steak) and enjoyed eating together at a table for two on this evening. Our starters were so large, however, that I was not able to do justice to my Lasagne, which was a little too large and a bit stodgy. It was still a good night but I wouldn't say that the meals were any better than those in the MDR. In fact, the two Marco Pierre White menus we had in the MDR were exceptional, and the Beef Wellington was the best I have ever had, cooked exactly as requested. Overall, we so enjoyed this cruise, perhaps all the more because we booked it so close to the sailing date because it was a last-minute decision. Would I recommend this cruise - yes I would! Would I do P & O again - again yes I would!   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This is an old ship which has been adapted for wheelchair users in an appalling way. Bedrooms are small and compact which has little space to accommodate a fold up wheelchair or small mobility scooter. We had our bed in a queen size set ... Read More
This is an old ship which has been adapted for wheelchair users in an appalling way. Bedrooms are small and compact which has little space to accommodate a fold up wheelchair or small mobility scooter. We had our bed in a queen size set up which left little room to either side of the bed. There is loads of cupboard and draw space, a small TV, small fridge and tea making facilities. There a corner settee and table which two people could just about sit on. The shower room was basic and only one person could get into the room and to sit on the toilet the door had to at least part shut. The shower was accessible but I had to lean on one wall to maintain my balance when the ship was at sea. The only way I could store my wheelchair and maintain some room in the cabin was remove the foot rests and store it by the cabin door. During the day there were two of us that let the wheelchairs in the lift area or folded up outside my door. Our cabin was not in a main thorough fare so this did not cause major problems. Getting around the ship We tried to access the open deck area on deck 7 and on trying to get out the door proved to very difficult. The doors open out and my wife needed to hold the door open and in my attempt to get out I flipped the wheelchair backwards. Luckily I was unhurt. On closer inspection it was noted that the ramp out onto the deck was far too steep. Once out onto the deck I could not re-enter the ship without someone lifting the front wheels over the metal threshold which was about 3-4 inches in height. There was the same problem on deck 13 although getting out onto the deck was a little easier. Getting from the forward lift to deck 12 was always a leap of faith and hope no one got hurt as I transited the corridor. The access to the deck was up a narrow corridor, only just wide enough for a wheelchair, which was also a ramp and had male and female toilet off. My wife had to hold open the door for me to transit the corridor and if anyone was in the loo and stepped out a wheelchair could cause a nasty injury. The carpets in all the corridors made it difficult to push a wheelchair along as the flock of the carpet made to chair pull to one side and difficult to propel on one's own. Access to the show areas. There are two show areas the Theatre Royal and The Pacific Lounge and both have ramps and problems with seating. The Pacific Lounge which has a slight incline which my wife could push me up but once into to the lounge there were step down to most of the seating and only access to a few end chairs. These were often taken and there was no reserved area for disabled and there carers so unless one of the first into the shows there was no ware to sit. The Theatre Royal is more difficult to access as the ramp is very steep and we could not get up the ramp without assistance. There are two ramps both steep and one after the other and once at the top there is an area for wheelchair users. This area for the wheelchairs is like being in a dock and one feel like a criminal. There is no seating for cares beside the wheelchairs although they have comfortable seating segregated by a solid wooden banister and a walkway. Sitting in the area seems to suggest those in a wheelchair are second class and don't need company whilst watching a show. Sitting in this raised area made me feel as though I was in court awaiting judgment and I felt all that was needed was a spotlight on this area to complete the humiliation. Eating in the Conservatory. This is the self service restaurant and although there are lots of seating those that are not on the main walkway is inaccessible. Due to the seating layout it was impossible to get to tables by the window areas as any gap was either too narrow or block by waste bins. Although I did find the staff most helpful when getting food as they always wanted to help and carry your tray to the tables. Disembarkation. At several ports the gangways were very steep with steps in the middle. Because of this anyone in an electric wheelchair could not get off even though the ship gangway is flat. As I was in a manual wheelchair I was manhandled off. I question the safety of being got off the ship in this way and the health and safety of the staff who manhandle those off the ship. Also again anyone disabled would feel a second class citizen.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
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 booked this cruise as we felt it would be a lovely way to celebrate Christmas. We travel with two severely disabled young adults who are our children and have cruised many times, albeit, not with P & O. I have to state at the ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we felt it would be a lovely way to celebrate Christmas. We travel with two severely disabled young adults who are our children and have cruised many times, albeit, not with P & O. I have to state at the beginning of this review, that it is without a doubt, the worse cruise our family has taken. Firstly, I will highlight the good points. The cabins were good and kept totally clean throughout the cruise by our steward, who spoke little English, but was good at his job. Some of the reception staff were helpful and friendly, but some were not. We were allocated a table in the Peninsular restaurant, and, although we would normally use alternative dining due to my sons dietary needs and disabilities, we had to use the Peninsular as food in the conservatory was so awful! During our cruise, there were a number of Norovirus cases, and apparently, due to this, precautions were obviously taken with regards to stopping self service in the conservatory and Alfresco's. We do feel that if the use of hand gel had been insisted upon earlier in the cruise, this may not have happened. It always amazes us that some people absolutely refuse to use the gel that is there to safeguard them! We feel that if there was one member of staff allocated to making sure this was used, it would save problems in the long run. The food in the conservatory was dire. The choice was extremely limited and the themed dinner buffets made it useless to us as all food in there was spicy. The themes were Indian, Thai, Mexican, Caribbean, Country and Western, with no alternatives. We have never been on a ship where the is so little choice. Also, portion control was practised, which again, we have never had on any ship we have been on. This is the first cruise where 3 of our party has not put on any weight at all. On one occasion, I asked for some Cheddar cheese to accompany crackers in the conservatory. I was given a piece of cheese which was approximately the size of half a cheese triangle. I asked if I could have more and was told that was a portion. We accept that the staff had to serve the food due to the virus on board, but many dozens of people felt that P & O saved an awful lot of money on food during the cruise. We also appreciate that some people are greedy and take food they do not eat. This was not the case, the portions were minute. Alfresco was where we ate our breakfast most days. The staff were good, but again, portion control was practised. My son eats only soft food and so a cheese omelette was the perfect choice. The omelettes were thinner than most crepes and although he has a small appetite, we needed to go back for another omelette for him each day. We were served to one piece of bacon and half a tomato. Scramble eggs were being served by the half spoonful. The Peninsular was good and they tried very hard to cater for my children. I cannot fault them at all. As this was a Christmas cruise, we expected the atmosphere to be festive and the entertainment to match the season. This was absolutely not the case! After the first 3 days, I found myself apologising to my family for taking them away from Christmas. Even the staff were unable to disagree that it seemed Christmas was cancelled. On Christmas Eve, it seemed we may have Christmas after all. Santa arrived on deck accompanied by Christmas music. The choir sang and were really good. Later, the crew sang Carols, and the show, 'Jingle all the way' was very festive. Apart from church services, that's where it ended! Christmas day was a huge anti-climax with very little to do. The only difference to the normal days entertainment was that words were added, ie frosty shuffleboard, Rudolph carpet bowls etc. It was pathetic! Christmas dinner in the Peninsular was good and quite festive. I can truthfully say that I have never heard so many people saying that they couldn't wait to get back to Southampton. I am not just talking about the usual moaners that all ships have, but families and people who had travelled with P & O many times. We spoke to many, many people who felt this way and the staff were apologising for the lack of Christmas. I had people who were horrible to my children, which has never happened on any other cruise. I have never been so glad to leave a ship and return home and will never travel with P & O again. I will also not recommend them to family or friends. We feel we lost our Christmas Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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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