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27 P&O Cruises Oriana Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to ... Read More
Embarkation the quickest ever after a smooth coach journey down from Woolley Edge in Yorkshire. Great to have luggage dealt with efficiently - you do not have any contact with it from handing it over to coach driver, until delivery to cabin. !6 night cruise and weather bad from start to finish, but that cannot be blamed on P&O. All seasoned cruisers said they had never been on a cruise with so much wind, rain, mist and cloud. We went on this cruise because we love Oriana and we wanted one last trip before she is sold to China. So were not too bothered that we had visited most stops previously. One place we hadn't been to before was Terceira in the Azores. This was really the only decent weather we had on the whole trip and it was a lovely island. We had booked a 4 x 4 tour (8 hours) through Viator with ProIsland Tours. I cannot recommend them enough. We covered the whole island and were taken to many places the ship's own tours couldn't access. We had also taken a half day 4 x 4 tour the previous day on Sao Miguel. Again it had been booked through Viator with BioBird tours. Many of those on cruises are very wary of booking trips through anyone other than P&O. We have done it many times and have never been worried about a missed sail-away. The tours' content is usually much more comprehensive and they are usually at least a third cheaper than ships' tours. Give them a go if you've not tried them. After the Azores we visited Madeira, where we used the local bus to visit Santa Cruz. Next was La Palma where we took a P&O tour to a silk farm. OK, but tended to be herded about a bit and were unable to stop to photograph nice views where we were not scheduled to stop. Then came Gran Canaria. Again we took a P&O tour which gave a leisurely overview and took us to some places we had not visited before. We were particularly impressed with our stop in Port Mogan. Fuertaventura was not worth the visit really, unless you wanted to go to a beach. Again we took a local bus and travelled up to a town on the north coast. Last stop was Lisbon where the weather was so bad that it didn't warrant getting of the ship. However, we had to get gifts and so had to go shopping. Got soaked to the skin. The two sea days on the return were once more dull, misty and rainy. We disembarked (very efficiently) in Southampton to a lovely sunny day. Now Thursday and weather still great. Perhaps UK is worth considering. Overall impression of cruise was good because we like the ship so much - no children, good food, good entertainment, nice bars to sit in etc. Would just like to give a tip to anyone who may be considering buying a wine package on board. Don't bother. There is little, if anything, to be saved. In fact, unless you choose the most expensive wines on the lists available (only about 4 of them), you could find that you had paid more than if you had bought them individually from the full wine list. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I was on the Oriana with my partner and can honestly say this was not the "holiday from hell" as one couple suggested. We were well looked after. It could have been a lot worse when we had the power failure, but the weather was ... Read More
I was on the Oriana with my partner and can honestly say this was not the "holiday from hell" as one couple suggested. We were well looked after. It could have been a lot worse when we had the power failure, but the weather was very good, a scorching hot day, a bar-b-q was laid on and we still got our evening meal. Only thing I recall not working that evening was the air-conditioning. The cabins were stifling hot but we survived. Well done to all the P & O crew for making our trip a pleasant one and especially to the Captain for keeping up updated. For the inconvenience caused we all got an extra £100 spending money on board, glass of champagne with our evening meal on "Indian buffet night", what more could you ask for. One thing I was disappointed with was the Casino, only 11 machines working out of 18 for the entire journey. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this cruise for a bit of winter warmth and also to celebrate husband's 70th birthday. Oriana is a favourite ship of ours and we are disappointed to learn that it going out of commission later this year. Embarkation was slick ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a bit of winter warmth and also to celebrate husband's 70th birthday. Oriana is a favourite ship of ours and we are disappointed to learn that it going out of commission later this year. Embarkation was slick and smooth and we were on the ship in no time at all. The ship was beautifully laid out, I didn't feel that it was shabby in the least and I know it had not long been refitted. Our cabin was good, plenty of wardrobe space, even for me! Only bugbear was the safe which was set right at the bottom of the wardrobe and it was smaller than usual so not easy to access. Dining was excellent. We were on Freedom dining but the waiters on our first evening were very quick, and good with their service so we tried to book the same table each night, most times successfully. Headliners shows were excellent and the headliner entertainers were very hands on, line dancing lessons, salsa dance lessons, fitsteps and joining in with the choir. We would always make a point of seeing the Headliners shows but maybe not so much of the other entertainers. We didn't take advantage of the shore excursions but enjoyed the ports, especially Madeira. We would have preferred to have stayed later in Madeira instead of Tenerife but I know these things can't always be arranged. We will never tire of cruising, we just love it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
we have just come home from the best cruise yet. Embarkation was perfect, check in to cabin only 20mins. The Oriana is a great sized ship, everything within walking distance. The food in the main restaurants was edible, nothing amazing. We ... Read More
we have just come home from the best cruise yet. Embarkation was perfect, check in to cabin only 20mins. The Oriana is a great sized ship, everything within walking distance. The food in the main restaurants was edible, nothing amazing. We found the food in the buffet restaurant wonderful, happy to eat there most nights. We absolutely adored the beach house and sindhu restaurants. Staff couldn't do enough to help and would go the extra mile. excursions were great, but if you need a tender to go ashore, check the weather 1st. We were stuck in one for 45 minutes, bobbing around in really rough weather, there was a queue of them as they took ages to on/off load. Panic attack!! We had an inside cabin which was more than adequate. our cabin steward, sinesh, was very attentive and cabin left immaculate after he'd left. Sorry to see Oriana "retire", such a beautiful ship. On the whole, well done p and 0, look forward to sailing on Britannia next year Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I just returned from a 19 day cruise on the ORIANA around the med and Adriatic.,We drove down the night before and stayed at Chilworth Manor, just to make it an extra days holiday.,Now most hotels ask you to vacate by 10.00am ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a 19 day cruise on the ORIANA around the med and Adriatic.,We drove down the night before and stayed at Chilworth Manor, just to make it an extra days holiday.,Now most hotels ask you to vacate by 10.00am ,ours was 12.00. The reason I tell you this will become clear. Our boarding time was 1500hrs, having no problem with this we thought we can wait at the terminal.so taxi in to terminal where we were given a ticket and took a seat to await our embarkation. During the time we were waiting on a number of occasions ALL the check in desks were empty so we asked could we check in....not board but just check in.We were told no..have to wait until 3-00 .Eventually the Evesway coaches arrived and were given priority, obviously there will be people on the coaches that have early boarding times and those that have later times like us.....Eventually we were called to CHECKIN at 1515hrs.Now we dont mind "waiting our turn" but when you have check in desks doing NOTHING surely the people already at the terminal could have at least checked in,and called to board at their required time, it just seems a very haphazard way to embark passengers,We think PO have to look at this again. The Ship....This was our first time with PO and also the smallest ship we have been on and were impressed with the layout and design of her,..did not have to walk far to get to any venue.all public spaces were clean and"shipshape" .Also first inside cabin we have had,and we were pleasantly surprised,plenty of room,for clothes etc quite comfortable. except for the first day and half where we hit a force 10. DINING....We had freedom dining (anytime) and never had a problem getting a table ,usually to share.which we enjoy. the food was ....OK but there was nothing on any of the menus that made us go WOW.and it was certainly catered for "brits", having said that ,the service was EXCELLENT.with all the waiting staff very friendly and approachable. The reason for the heading VERY "BRITISH.is that during our cruise we spoke to many other passengers about both PO and the ORIANA,and it was VERY evident that many of them were very "protective"about both. ie Will NEVER try another cruise line, and in many cases no other ship,when we told them we have used PRINCESS ,ROYAL CARIBEAN and Thomson..some got quite irate,....they seem to regard it as their own private cruise line. ENTERTAINMENT......This was a "music at sea" cruise, unfortunately we were not informed until after we booked,it was all classical music. Luckily I enjoy some of this,but my wife doesnt,having said that I enjoy some classical music, I mean QUALITY performers, and unfortunately some were not....the violinist and flautist were world class but the male singers were at best average. Every PO ship apparently have their "HEADLINERS" who are the ships entertainment crew.These did a number of shows throughout the cruise,and they are all very talented...BUT in my opinion every one was... to loud..and to fast,... slick and profesional...yes,but most shows were non stop "medleys"of ABBA ,Musicals etc. I dont think they actually finished a song before going into another. The other entertainment was pretty good, a comedian, a fantastic group (Bluejays) and an ex HOLLIES member who was very entertaining. One of the things we found annoying was ,if you wnt to one of the lounges in the evening for entertainment,lasting and hour,as soon as it was over,you had to leave as there was nothing to keep you there,not even music.. DAYTIME....As I said this was our first time with PO,and the "things to do"was ,in my opinion very poor, We are not interested in .BRIDGE,WHIST, KNITTING, SEQUENCE DANCING or Shuffleboard...we overheard people say they only went to play it because there was nothing else to do...we even went to the cinema 3 times to ease the boredom. SHORE EXCURSIONS....Where do I start? I think by now everyone who cruises knows that ships excursions are a rip off....that goes for ANY line. but by far and away the "CATANIA HIGHLIGHTS" tour was one of the worst. ie Bus from ship,coast road to a "photo opportunity" a large piece of lava rock in the sea with a "fort" on top (which we couldnt go into) then back to a square which was a 10mnt walk from the ship to see a cathedral (which we could not enter because service on) where we were told we had 2 HOURS of"free time" then walked about 200yrds to where the shuttle dropped off to the bus to take us back to the ship which would have been quicker walking to. ABSOLUTELY SCANDALOUS....needless to say there were a lot of complaints ,but no refund given. The next port of call CORIGLIANO CALABRO....ANOTHER waste of time,shuttle to "town" (20 mnts) then if wanted to 3EU another shuttle to a castle at top of hill (could walk if fit enough) that was it. VENICE...Fell in love with Venice first time we went,and even though my wife had to visit a dentist there,it is still a magical place. TRIESTE..This place oozes money and class, very expensive top end shops,and some beautiful architecture.Again straight off ship into town. ZADAR...Beautiful place...straight off ship by short shuttle ride lovely walk along promenade into the town where we found a great little bar as you go through the gate right up the steps absolutely great, outdoors with cushions and rugs on the floor reeealy nice place to have a quiet drink. KOTOR.....Also a lovely place, unfortunately the tender boarding was a shambles, waited in lounge until called down, only to find they had not disembarcked the ones already in it.so waited for 45 mnts on stairs before boarding, the ones coming back on board had been waiting on hour on the water to get back...absolute shambles, but once ashore lovely walks and interesting things ..like the "great wall" brilliant. CORFU.....Now we come to the not so good part, we actually sailed into Corfu harbour only for the captain to announce he didnt feel it was safe to try and dock?? He later announced that we would dock in CARTAGENA instead, ok no problem...even printed and arranged excursions etc for passengers ...later he announced that due to currents and tides there he didnt feel it was "viable" to attempt to call in there......maybe it had something to do with port fees ?? So on to GIBRALTER..straight of ship ,there are taxis,minibuses etc to use for tours as you come off,these are a lot cheaper than ships tours..we paid £25 for a wonderful 2,/ 1/2 hour trip around and top of the rock.with a great guide. This was the ONLY port in a weeks sailing, not really good enough PO. Finally,I would say we would try PO again,but a much bigger ship like the Azura maybe.maybe it has better stabalisers .as this ship moved a little to much and to often for us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Just returned from an 18 nt cruise around the med. i always submit a review so once again here are positives and negatives.EMBARKATION; excellent.through security and into cabin in no time at all, luggage waiting for us, met our cabin boy ... Read More
Just returned from an 18 nt cruise around the med. i always submit a review so once again here are positives and negatives.EMBARKATION; excellent.through security and into cabin in no time at all, luggage waiting for us, met our cabin boy Minquel. Cabin; well kept cabin, large double bed, small frdige, small tv. we were an inside cabin. Now the negatives about the cabin, wardrobes with doors rails facing opposite way making it very hard to access clothes in and out, safe inside wardrobe but almost on floor, had to bend right down and couldnt see inside, also very small and narrow could only get a passport wallet inside so gave up on that.Positives, plenty of hot water, we had a bath which was brilliant, plenty of storage space in bathroom. Tea and coffee on hand. luggage under bed. DINING: we were freedom and loved it sat with some lovely people very enjoyable. Good food nice waiters. Enjoyed the black tie nights very much.BARS: Liked the quizzes in the sports bar, singers in the pacific, loved watching the ballroom dancers in harlequins. great shows put on by the Headliners. also went to some lectures, they were excellent.DECOR: the ship had recently had a refit having never been on the Oriana before couldn't say anything about it, but we liked it very much, beautiful carpets, typical of the old cruise liners of yester year. POOLS: we used to sit on the crystal pool much quieter, loved the sun chairs, better than the lounge beds. EXCURSIONS: only went on the Rome 3 point one as we were there last year, ok not so go rep. We booked on board to go on the Godfather tour that was brilliant lovely countryside, marvellous driver on the hairpin bends. Good rep very enjoyable day. DISEMBARKATION: no problems well organised. Car was parked in the CPS carpark, no problems with them. We had a wonderful cruise loved the Oriana, met nice people and lots of moaners especially those moaning because we couldnt dock in Marseille because of high winds. also the itinerary had been changed 2 days before departure. didnt go down Messina straites and back so had extra day in port for Rome and extra day in Salerno. both awful ports but still enjoyed staying on board plenty to do. All in all loved it plenty of positives and only the wardrobe negative. Ignore the moaners go and enjoy the lovely ship we did, looking forward to our next cruise with P&O in August. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Check in and disembarkation The actual check in went very smoothly, which is more than can be said about the security area, great inconsistencies, some passengers were asked to remove their belts, others were not. When my belongings ... Read More
Check in and disembarkation The actual check in went very smoothly, which is more than can be said about the security area, great inconsistencies, some passengers were asked to remove their belts, others were not. When my belongings were going through X-ray I was told I had a knife in my carry-on bag, which it goes without saying I did not. They insisted I did, they emptied the contents of my bag out into trays, after putting everything through and not finding any knife they decided a mini bambi stapler (less than 3 inches long) was the culprit. When I travel this stapler is always with my office bits and pieces in my carry-on bag, over the years it has been through at least 20 different airports and 10 cruise terminals without any problems, but obviously someone at Southampton security thought I might hijack the ship with it. Security are very good at taking things out of bags, but their training hasn't got as far lesson 2, how to repack a bag. Disembarkation was a pain, on most boats you receive a form to request a disembarkation time, but not on this cruise, in the daily events sheet it stated that you had to telephone reception to request a time, we did this within a hour of receiving the events sheet and were informed that we had already been allotted a disembarkation time of 9.30 and were told it was not possible to change it. So on disembarkation day we carried off our own luggage at 7.30. Huge Gastrointestinal Health Problem On our arrival in our cabin there were health warning letters and leaflets. It appears there had been numerous cases of gastrointestinal illnesses on the previous cruise and this continued on our cruise, for the first eight days the ship was on a permanent state of 'Sickness Red Alert' with the captain announcing that they were working with Public Health England to try and resolve the problem. In the Conservatory passengers were not allowed the help themselves to food, not even water or a cup of tea, in the main dining rooms there were no salt and pepper pots, this was to stop the passengers infecting them by touch. Although the Captain repeatedly stated that extra deep cleaning was taking place throughout the ship, l believe much more could have been done, such as changing table cloths and wiping down chair arms between dinners. Think about this, no salt and pepper pots to help stop the spread of infection, but the tables were re-laid on tablecloths which could have been used by an infected person. Also I thought there should have been much more cleaning of the handrails on the stairways and corridors, I am sure there must have been some cleaning of them but I only saw this once on day 17 of the cruise. One of the Headliner's theatre shows was cancelled a few minutes before it was due to start because of illness in the cast, but it was not said what the nature of the illness was. On day nine of the cruise the 'red alert' was withdrawn and the paper sickness bags were removed from the stairways. My wife and I were lucky, we did not catch anything. Dining Overall the food was far better than that we had previously encountered on the Arcadia, but was still not quite as good as that found on the average Princess or Holland America ship. The restaurants were well run with excellent management and friendly waiters. Peninsular Restaurant We were on freedom dining and like to have a table for two as listening to a load of rhubarb rhubarb as to how many cruises someone has been on can be more than a little boring, most nights we did not have to wait for a table, and when we did the longest wait was only ten minutes or so. One thing which did let the restaurant down was the sauces, it did not matter if it was tartar, béarnaise or custard etc. all were watery, however the soups were thicker and always hot. Excellent wine selection, good wine packages, the wine stewards were friendly but their finesse and experience varied with Karen being right on the ball, but others not knowing it was not the done thing to empty the sediment dregs out of the bottle into the glasses, a little more training might be needed? The Conservatory Average buffet type food, the deserts were below the average. The Beach House During the evening part of the Conservatory is converted to the Beach House, ate there twice, would struggle to find things on the menu I would like to try for a third visit. Much more could be done to make it look like a separate restaurant, such as portable screens between the walkway through to the Conservatory and the restaurant. You have to pay to eat there, then pay even more supplements for certain dishes, thought this was bit naughty. Sindhu This is the Indian/Asian restaurant which is situated where the Grill used to be and before that the piano lounge. Ate there three times, had both menus one and two both were excellent, thought it was well worth paying the supplement. Room Service Menu Very poor, no hot dishes available, it appears that the Oriana is the only P & O ship where this is the case, not good at all. Entertainment This was a music festival at sea cruise, but we had not booked the cruise because of that, we just liked the itinerary. The general entertainment was excellent with Tom O'Conner and The Four Tunes both doing two fantastic shows each, plus in the bars there was the excellent Chris Shaw. The Headliners theatre group was a little below the average, their dancing was better than their singing, the worst entertainment act was a musical group named Blue Wave, the singer was not good at all, but she might have been suffering with a sore throat, the on-board illness or something like that? Tendering There was only one tender port on this cruise, the operation could have been a little better, the resulting delays might have been caused by the use of some of the local boats as tenders, they were of different sizes and quite slow. Internet Did not like the way it was charged, you could not buy any packages by the minute, only by 24 hour periods, at three different levels of service, at three different prices, did not like this at all. Cabin B215 This is in a good location on deck 10, with passenger cabins below and above it was nice and quiet, well designed with useful drawer and wardrobe space, but the television was too small. Size wise the cabin appeared a little bigger than the average balcony cabin found on other ships. The beds were comfortable. Would be happy to stay in this cabin again. Cabin Steward Having a good cable steward makes a big difference to a cruise, my wife and I fell very lucky by having Avelino as ours, he was excellent, the cabin was spotless, he had the knack of being around when we needed him and being invisible when we didn't. He's probably the best steward or butler we have ever had. Alarms At 3.00AM on the first night the ships emergency alarm went off, it seemed like ages before any announcement was made to say it was a false alarm, we were starting to get dressed as it was impossible to get through to reception because 1,800 other passengers were trying to do so at the same time. The Captain announced this had been caused by a computer fault. Late one afternoon further into the cruise there was an emergency announcement for a specialist crew team only, this was to go to a fire in the AC room on deck 13, this was not a drill. On another day at 5.45AM by mistake there was an announcement in the passenger cabins wanting the Medical Emergency team. Conclusion Overall the ship appeared to be well run and maintained. My wife and I were a little surprised by this as the ship was due to go into dock in a month or so for a major refit, yet apart from some rather worn areas of carpet the ship looked to be in excellent condition. We have been on many ships which were not due for refurbishment, but were in a much worse condition than the Oriana. We have already booked another Oriana cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We booked this cruise a year ago as, with TEN ports of call, it seemed remarkably good value TheShip ... Read More
We booked this cruise a year ago as, with TEN ports of call, it seemed remarkably good value TheShip We’ve been on Oriana three times before, but since we were last on her we’ve been on Oceana, a very “glitzy” ship, and the elegant and beautiful Queen Elizabeth. Stepping back onto Oriana, with her very plain décor and rather uninspiring atrium, was somewhat underwhelming. However, it didn’t take long for us to remember the things we love about this old lady of the seas, in particular the curved aft decks and the lovely dance floor in Harlequins. It felt like coming home! We do understand that on a ship maintenance is ongoing, but it was rather annoying that a new deck was being laid on the sun deck above the outside seating and Terrace bar, which meant that for the whole of the cruise it was like eating and drinking on a building site with constant noise throughout the day. Cabin We chose cabin C304, which we’ve been in twice before, as it’s the first one from the back with both a bath and a shower. It has a large window – balcony cabins are expensive on Oriana as she has so few - but being so near the back it’s easy to make yourself a cup of tea and walk out onto the aft deck with it instead of sitting on a balcony. The cabin is fine, although the wardrobe space is challenging on an 18 night cruise! Our steward, Silvestre, was very sweet and we think he liked us as he sometimes gave us extra chocolates! I do wish P&O would bring back decent biscuits though, I’m not keen on the ones they have now. Passengers Someone told me that the average age on this cruise was 82! I don’t know if that’s true, but there certainly weren’t many people under 60, or even 70. Most people we shared a table with were very pleasant, there were a few who were rather boring, but nobody we really didn’t like. The practice of reserving sunbeds/chairs with towels and books is still very much in evidence, one morning I was up early (about 6am) and wandered out onto the aft deck, to find about half a dozen chairs already “reserved”. Food We started off having breakfast in the Conservatory (buffet), but after a couple of days decided that we preferred to sit outside Al Fresco. Neither of us wanted the “full English breakfast” so we were happy with the selection of fruit, pastries and bacon or sausage panini. Lunch was also sometimes at Al Fresco (pizza, pasta and salads) or at the buffet. We noticed that the desserts were not as nice as they used to be, and also they often ran out and people had to ask for more. In the evening we were on Freedom Dining in the Peninsular restaurant. We soon realised that the area in the middle became very hot, so always asked for an outside table for six or eight. The food was OK, sometime it was lukewarm and sometimes the vegetables were a bit strange, but it was edible. We don’t feel it’s as good as it used to be. Twice we ate at The Beach House (£5 supplement), mainy because we wanted to eat outside as the weather was so beautiful. On the second occasion we were offered a table inside, despite having requested an outside one when we booked. We were then told that you couldn’t request a particular table – it would have been nice to have been told that when we booked. We refused to sit inside and said we would wait until someone finished their meal, we were not even offered an apology or a complementary drink, as we felt sure a restaurant on land would do if they felt customers were upset. The food was very good, although to be honest there weren’t many things on the menu which appealed to me, I preferred it when it was Sorrento. Few people seemed to eat at Sindhu (£15 per person supplement), it always looked almost empty when we walked past. We certainly would not pay that for an Indian meal. It was disappointing that there is no longer a Chocoholics buffet. On the last day but one there was a special tea in the Conservatory, with lots of cakes and a chocolate fountain, but it was not advertised in the Horizon so a lot of people didn’t know about it. I only found out because I happened to go in for a cup of tea. Daytime Activities There were seven sea days on this cruise, and fortunately the weather was good on all except the first two and we were able to sunbathe or sit on deck, as there was not a great deal going on around the ship which appealed to us. I always enjoy the line dancing at 10am for a bit of exercise, and the Port Presentations were good (apart from the Australian presenter’s appalling pronounciation of French/Italian/Spanish names and words, which gave us a laugh!). There were no cookery demonstrations, no ice carving, no interview with the Captain or the Headliners, few of the usual things. There was only one guest speaker for the whole cruise, speaking on the topic of Shakespeare and the Elizabethan theatre – I have no idea what he was like as I didn’t meet anyone who’d seen him. Where are the ex-politicians, sports personalities, actors and actresses etc? If the weather hadn’t been so good we might well have been bored. Evening entertainment We always enjoy the Headliner’s shows, even though we’ve seen them several times before, but it would be nice if there were a few new ones soon. Just about everyone we spoke to had seen all the shows before. This group were one of the best we’ve seen, and we particularly enjoyed their Abba and Queen tributes. The guest artistes were all quite good, but there were rather a lot of singers. Two female singers, two male singers, a group of four male singers, and a trio of female singers. There were also two comedians who were mildly amusing rather than hilariously funny, and a saxophonist who had appeared on X Factor or BGT (don’t know as I never watch either!). Dancing We are keen ballroom, latin and sequence dancers, and this is one of the main reasons we enjoy cruising, particularly on Oriana with her lovely dance floor. There were two bands who played in Harlequins – the John James Trio (who have been on Oriana for a long time) and Maria and the Goodfellas. John James plays good music to strict tempo, but the other band were appalling. They were more a jazz-blues type band, certainly not a dance band, and they didn’t have the first clue about dancing. Goodness knows how P&O employed them as a dance band. The dance instructors had a word with them and things improved a little, but not much. After a few nights my husband and I were so fed up that we asked for a meeting with the Entertainments Manager (Elaine) to complain. She said she’d try to schedule John James to be in Harlequins more often, especially on formal nights, but it didn’t really happen. We also had to make a complaint about the temperature in Harlequins. Some places (such as the Pacific Lounge, where people were just sitting watching a show) were freezing cold, but the dance venue was far too hot. When you are dancing a lot you get very hot, and need the air conditioning to be on full blast. After we made a formal complaint it did improve, however then people who were watching moaned that they were cold! Sorry, but the comfort of the dancers has to come first. The instructors, Deborah and Gordon Maguire, were lovely, but we were disappointed they only taught beginners classes – most cruises we’ve been on have an intermediate class in the afternoon. We did manage to pick up one new step though, which was pleasing. The ports This was a particularly good itinerary with TEN ports – Cadiz, Marseille, Corsica, Civitavecchia, Sicily, Sardinia, Sorrento, Corigliano Calabro, Tangiers and Lisbon. We went on four shore excursions, but we do feel some are expensive for what they are. For example, in Sicily we decided a swim in the sea would be nice, so booked the beach transfer to Giardini Naxos. This was £38 per person for a 50 minute coach ride, two and a half hours on the beach with sunbeds (we had to pay an extra 5 euros for an umbrella!) and the coach ride back. Someone is making a lot of money! The best excursion was the City Tour and guided walk in Tangiers, which was very interesting. In Conclusion It was an enjoyable cruise, despite quite a lot of little niggles. We do feel that there have been so many cutbacks in recent years, small things which added to the enjoyment of a cruise. A good example is on formal nights – a lady whose second cruise this was remarked that it was lovely to see the passengers making so much effort, but a real pity that P&O seemed to make no effort whatsoever. We told her that until recently Harlequins would be decorated with balloons on formal nights – black and white on b/w night, pink and white on Ladies night – and all the ladies were given a red carnation. The waiters used to dress in waistcoats in the colours of whichever country you were visiting, and on Tropical night they all had beautiful, brightly coloured shirts. Now they wear the same black and white uniforms all the time. We will cruise with P&O again, and probably on Oriana again, but I really think P&O need to get their act together and start improving the standards again. I would say they are no more than 3* at the moment. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We booked this cruise as we have been on this ship twice before. The ship is now in desperate need of a re-fit. On arrival our cabin floor had not been vacuumed properly and the was dirt and fluff evident. The bathroom basin and bath ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we have been on this ship twice before. The ship is now in desperate need of a re-fit. On arrival our cabin floor had not been vacuumed properly and the was dirt and fluff evident. The bathroom basin and bath were faded and chipped and the wc had a black lime scale stain around the water line. The extract vent was clogged and blocked up so that it did not operate. Whilst the bathroom was clean, it gave the impression of being dirty. Our cabin suffered from an aggravating grinding noise coming from the cabin ceiling when the ship travelled at speed. On complaining to reception at 2.30 am one morning, we were given the use of an inside cabin, but I could not sleep in it as it felt claustrophobic, so I went back to our original cabin whilst my wife slept in the temporary one. It took four days to fix the problem, however as our cabin was under the sun deck, at 7.30am each morning we woken up by the crashing of sun beds being put out. We could not walk completely around the promenade deck due to the amount of maintenance being carried out. This continued for the whole 12 days. The food was excellent in all the restaurants. The majority of the staff however, whilst doing their jobs well, seemed miserable an unsmiling. The service at dinner was very fast with plates being removed whilst you were still chewing last mouthful. P&O have lowered the standard of dress code, so that despite there being notices to the contrary, some men turn up dressed in their vests at breakfast and lunch, not something that enhanced my dining experience. No one policed the dress code, so it was up to the guests to wear what they wanted. Other than the black tie evenings there were no nights were a jacket and tie were required. Again smart jeans and polo shirts could be worn at dinner, although some passengers had a funny idea as to what constitutes smart. The entertainment was first class, with quality west end singers etc. The excursions were as expected and the usual sightseeing trips. If you are looking for a cruise where you can dress up and feel special, look elsewere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose the cruise because of the destinations, which were all fantastic. The food served in all the restaurants was incredible, we have never tasted food this good before. We are seasoned cruisers and have found that all ships serve very ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the destinations, which were all fantastic. The food served in all the restaurants was incredible, we have never tasted food this good before. We are seasoned cruisers and have found that all ships serve very good food, that is the attraction of cruising. But I can honestly say that this team produced the best menus ever, even better than the QM2. P&O please do not break up this team. Thank you P&O for a really great cruise, we will return. The destinations were all fantastic. We had visited many before so we had a chance to look at other places. Great Street music in Cadiz and a fantastic food market in a cloister with vaulted barrel roofs. In Valletta we took the bus to St Julian's Bay for a cappuccino and a cake overlooking the bay, at a McCafe, fantastic. Venice was also fantastic, the bridge of sighs the Rialto the gondolas the list is endless. Do yourself a favour and book up and go there. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our sixth cruise with P&O. We are aged 61. I have to disagree with the negative reviews of this ship. I will try and provide the information that I found useful. We love the Oriana. Yes, it's an old ship, due for a re-fit ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise with P&O. We are aged 61. I have to disagree with the negative reviews of this ship. I will try and provide the information that I found useful. We love the Oriana. Yes, it's an old ship, due for a re-fit next year, but she has the feel of an old fashioned liner, something we both like. Lots of polished wood and brass and a wonderful Promenade deck. I am not a good sailor it even in a Force 8 she was very stable...although I made sure I topped up my Stugeron anti-seasick tablets! The ship is clean and nicely decorated. We were on Deck 10, Cabin B231, a balcony cabin. Our stewardess was lovely and happily brought a bucket of ice and placed it in our fridge every day at 5pm. The cabin was spacious with a curtained off sitting area with sofa, table, fridge and TV. Lots of wardrobe and drawer space and wonderfully comfortable beds. The bathroom has a bath and over bath shower and provides toiletries. There is also a fixed wall hairdryer. All towels, as well as swimming towels are provided and change daily if required. Lovely to return to cabin after breakfast and dinner to find the cabin tidy, bed made up and a chocolate on our pillows. We booked late so did not get onboard spending money and were unable to choose location of our cabin or dining option. However, having previously had set dinner time in Oriental restaurant we were pleased to find we had Freeom Dining in the Peninsular restaurant, we find this restaurant much better as the Oriental is above the engines and the vibrations can be disconcerting when eating. Freedom dining means that you can choose to eat whenever you wish between 6 and 9.30pm. As we wanted a table for two each evening we started to queue at 5.45 and always managed to get a table for two. The service was very good and the food was excellent. We were usually able to request the same table each evening when we arrived at the restaurant. We ate breakfast a couple of times in the Conservatory self-service but it was a bit of a 'free for all' and we decided to eat all meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Peninsular. The quality was much better than the self service and was hot and served to us. They were more than willing to adapt menu to our requests. Drinks, especially cocktails are a bit pricey onboard but the good thing about P&O cruises is that you can take your own alcohol onboard. We took our own bottles and mixers for our pre dinner drinks in our cabin. Our only complaint would be that there were not enough daily activities in the programme for younger people. We were not interested in bridge, deck quoits, short tennis, knit and natter or Pilates! There were a few good classes, Atul Kochars cookery demonstration for example but it would have been nice to have had some talks, films, presentations on the ports we were visiting. We only went to one Headliners show, which was very good. Many people criticise it as being second rate 'Butlins style' entertainment but they are energetic young people who work incredibly hard. Take it for what it is... A fun night of entertainment with no onward journey home at the end of the show! There were several good musicians and entertainers, including Micheal Christian Durrant, an excellent classical guitarist and Roy Walker, a comedian. We visited Lisbon-beautiful and walkable from the ship, Casablanca-nothing to see other than the Mosque and Rik's cafe. As we were issued with a terrorist security alert we cancelled our pre-booked trip ashore but went ashore on our own using the free shuttle bus service to the Place des Nations. An hour was enough to get a feel for the place and we were glad to return to the ship. We didn't feel threatened but would not want stay there for long. Next stop Gibraltar.....wonderful. We booked a trip to the Tunnels at Fortress Gibraltar. Then dropped off for shopping time in the town. There is a very good glass blower in the town, which is free entry. Malaga was nice but Cadiz was our favourite. Due to weather conditions our visit to Vigo was cancelled which meant a night in port in Cadiz and an extra day, which was a bonus. You could visit all of these parts without booking P&O shore excursions. So, for us, a thoroughly enjoyable cruise getting away from the pre-Christmas hype at home and we enjoyed glorious sunshine and temperatures of 20 degrees plus. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Embarkation at Southampton was a breeze taking less time to board than it did to find our cabin! From leaving the taxi to getting into our cabin was 20 minutes at most and our luggage was waiting at the door. The cabin (with balcony) ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton was a breeze taking less time to board than it did to find our cabin! From leaving the taxi to getting into our cabin was 20 minutes at most and our luggage was waiting at the door. The cabin (with balcony) was certainly better than the pictures which was a pleasant surprise. Tipping the guy who looked after our room certainly paid off as we seemed to have a full bucket of ice, plenty of tea , coffee and biscuits whenever we wanted them. I have to give special praise to the catering g and serving staff on Oriana, we never has anything approaching a bad meal, no matter where we chose to eat. There were one or two occasions when some courses took a little longer to materialise but with 1800 people to feed it has to be expected. Even on the two occasions when we ordered room service the food was great, however I have to take umbrage at being told it would take 45 minutes, when it never took longer than 10 minutes! Entertainment on board was varied and plentiful and of a very good quality. I cannot remember seeing so much in 12 days before! Now to the itinary, first stop was Lisbon that had bad memories for me as the last time I had been here there had been a two week old strike by the garbage collectors and in mid summer, the aroma was, how shall I say it? Bloody awful. This visit was much better smell wise but I guess my view of Lisbon will always be tainted. Lisbon will certainly never compete for the most beautiful of places in the World but it was nice to stretch our legs and turn down a large number of Roles watches for 25 euro. Next port of call was Casablanca, where we had a tour of the mosque, which is well worth a visit just to admire the workmanship if nothing else. At this point I should mention that we did not book any P&O excursion, something we will rectify in the future. We always felt that our tour guide was receiving a backhanders at the places we went to on the tour except for the mosque, which he was a mine of information on and answered all questions. Next we went to Gibraltar, which will always have a soft spot in my heart from many visits in the RN. We went on a tour, something I had never done in my previous 25 visits, and learnt a lot about the rock and it's history. Our tour ended with a lot of free time to explore Main Street and it's many retail outlets.This was the highlight of the cruise for my other half, who indulged herself mightily! Next port of call was Malaga, where we went on a couch tour with an insane coach driver, how on earth he managed to get the coach down some of the narrow streets I will never know. It was a pleasant enough tour with no particular highlights, although it gave us a good guide as to where we wanted to walk afterwards. Next day was Cadiz which we both enjoyed both the coach tour and walking do wn the narrow streets filled with just about anything you can think of to buy, it is fairly reminiscent of The Lanes in Brighton. We later ventured a little further afield and found a huge department store that just sold everything, it is huge! We were due to visit Vigo as our last foreign port of call but the weather put paid to that as it was really blowing further north and so we stayed and extra day in Cadiz, I don't think anyone complained as Vigo is not very exciting. Disembarking was as easy as embarking, we chose to take our own luggage ashore. From our cabin to the taxi was maybe 20 minutes. On the whole for a first cruise, I would thoroughly recommend it, even this late in the year! We had warm sunshine everyday, the only time we saw rain was in the taxi on the way back to Southampton station. The cruise was excellent value for money and we are certainly looking to embark on our 2nd cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Having had a bad Caribbean cruising experience in January/February with another company, together with 2 friends, my wife and I booked a 'don't give up' recovery cruise with P&O who we have cruised with several times ... Read More
Having had a bad Caribbean cruising experience in January/February with another company, together with 2 friends, my wife and I booked a 'don't give up' recovery cruise with P&O who we have cruised with several times before. The overall experience was excellent with absolutely no problems with embarkation and disembarkation, a really nice inside cabin, staff who were both helpful and cheerful, excellent food and great entertainment. The Oriana is a very happy ship with credit due to the senior staff who clearly work well together with the rest of the staff. It is good to see so many officers walking around the ship on a regular basis. All the visits to the ports of call went well and without hitch which is a refreshing change to what we experienced earlier in the year - even the security personnel were able to smile! A special mention for 'Mikey', the Entertainments Manager, whose team were brilliant throughout the cruise with some excellent 'sail away' sing along sessions, particularly, the one which celebrated the Queen breaking the longest reigning Monarch record. The Oriana's resident 'dance and sing' troupe called The Headliners were absolutely fantastic - you won't see better anywhere else in the cruise world! The guest artists were all first class with Tom O'Connor an absolute standout giving two 45 minute hilarious sessions without one swear word! Keep an eye out for Ben Makisi, a tenor from New Zealand, who was just brilliant. As ever, the food was first class in all of the restaurants with the 'Select Dining' being particularly enjoyable with our two waiters, Sankey & Biju, being able to join in the fun whilst maintaining a very professional service. One last point for a lot of other cruise companies to take note of - P&O does not mind you taking your own drink on board for consumption in your cabin. Refreshing in so many ways! All in all, a great experience. Thank you P&O for restoring our faith in cruising. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
this was are first ever cruise so I have nothing to compare against but I can certainly tell when a ship is looking worn out. On arrival day one we had been on the ship no more than five minutes and spa treatments were being introduced ... Read More
this was are first ever cruise so I have nothing to compare against but I can certainly tell when a ship is looking worn out. On arrival day one we had been on the ship no more than five minutes and spa treatments were being introduced to us in a elevator of all places whilst we were still were carrying our hand luggage. We arrived at are cabin a hour or so later when it was ready a nice enough cabin but a few maintenance problems I.e. cupboard doors, toilet flush issues but the cabin was always kept very clean. What I found more disappointing was the general look of the ship you could see she was a grand lady in her day and still could be, but she is worked constantly without time for a refit and all maintenance is carried out at sea. All the time on our cruise the maintenance was carried out a patch work quilt of grey primer paint and white flecks of paint on the decks through grinding, a generator the size of a large van on the sun deck due to some problems below, the attrium water feature never worked for the duration of the cruise it's a shame as we were looking forward to this holiday for a long time. The food we found hit and miss Eating in the conservatory Don't bother! Eating the Oriental average. Eating in peninsular average. Eating in the ocean grill excellent. Eating in the beach house good. The entertainment on board was OK but it got a bit the same old thing at the end of the cruise. I spoke to a few people on the cruise about there experience on board and the one thing they all had in common was the way p&o had lost a lot of there traditional values, and All the changes seen on board are for the worse. As I said at the beginning of this review we hadn't cruised before so had nothing to compare it with but from my findings this was a long way from perfect compared to other cruise companys. We won't be bothering again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Ok, so she is 20 years old, so what? Her war paint is cracked in places, her bones creak and groan when she is under pressure from the weather but she is still a grand and refined lady of the seas. The decor is splendid and the ... Read More
Ok, so she is 20 years old, so what? Her war paint is cracked in places, her bones creak and groan when she is under pressure from the weather but she is still a grand and refined lady of the seas. The decor is splendid and the furnishings in all public areas is designed and arranged to make everyone as comfortable as possible. The food, as always with P and O, was excellent in all areas although breakfast got a bit boring after the first few days with no great variation in what was on offer on a daily basis. Having said that however, what was on offer was hot where necessary and cold where required. The dinner menus were, as always, varied, well presented and one of the highlights of our holiday, being well cooked and extremely tasty. Being freedom diners we were lucky to find a table we really enjoyed being served at, and were able to sit there most evenings if we requested. The staff and crew that we had dealings with were the most friendly, efficient and courteous ever encountered on our several past cruises. The entertainment team were endlessly smiling and hard working ,with seemingly boundless energy. One complaint however was the Headliners dance routines and show productions, how many more times do we, as regular cruisers, have to sit and watch the same shows. This is not intended to detract from the members of the Headliners hard work and dedication. Many thanks to all the crew, however or wherever they were working. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We've travelled before with P&O and on other cruise lines, but this ship was definitely our favourite. We found no problem with the food, in fact finding it tasty and of a high standard, we also found there to be no queues, at the ... Read More
We've travelled before with P&O and on other cruise lines, but this ship was definitely our favourite. We found no problem with the food, in fact finding it tasty and of a high standard, we also found there to be no queues, at the times we wished to dine. The service and staff were exceptional throughout the ship (and we can be very picky) and they were always polite, friendly and attentive, always going above and beyond. We found the ship, in all areas, including our cabin, to be very clean. Furthermore, the Captain and members of the bridge were very informative about the voyage and often brought light-hearted humour to their announcements. Also, we found the entertainment to be of a very good standard, with something for everyone, but we were very disappointed with the Amethyst Duo who regularly performed in the Lords Tavern. We only found two things to be disappointing throughout the cruise and these were the closing of Al Fresco towards the end of the cruise and the running out of some drinks, again towards the end of the cruise. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and would definitely sail with P&O, especially the Oriana, again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Excellent from word go.Lovely comfortable ship,plenty to do,good entertainment,great cinema,comfortable cabin and excellent food.Liked it so much that upon return,we immediately booked for a 14 day to the Canary Islands on October 20th. ... Read More
Excellent from word go.Lovely comfortable ship,plenty to do,good entertainment,great cinema,comfortable cabin and excellent food.Liked it so much that upon return,we immediately booked for a 14 day to the Canary Islands on October 20th. Had some great ports of call in Italy,visited Sicily,Sardinia and loved Portofino.Cannot praise it enough.Went last year on the Arcadia 17 night to Corfu,Croatia Venice.Cant wait to book our 2016 P@O CRUISE We traveled to Southampton by rail and from which,with a railcard ,it only cost £26.40 from our home town Weston-super-mare to Southampton.A journey of around Two and a half hours The ship provided a daily news letter of activities ,talks ,cinema times and all you need to know for life on board. We chose this ship (also the Arcadia)as they are both adult only which is our preference.There were all age groups on board . Entertainment is good but you can choose to go or do exactly as you please.The peninsula restaurant was excellent and where you can choose your time of dining.The Observatory is non-stop Buffet restaurant self serve with excellent food.So much to do on board.Liked Tiffany lounge which is the piano bar at night, also the Lords Tavern.On sea days,weather permitting,there are deck activities.Again,as I say ,its up to the individual if they want to take part.Me,I like the sun deck with my Kindle! and the cinema.We chose to disembark ourselves and with the train connection,was home at midday.The cabin,although an inside one was very comfortable with TV and we could make drinks.Although having said that,you can get tea and cffee at anytime from the Buffet restaurant Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Having cruised with both NCL and Royal Caribbean on numerous occasions we decided to try P&O bringing my mother and partner, both of whom are in their eighties and have never cruised before. We ate in the self service restaurant on the ... Read More
Having cruised with both NCL and Royal Caribbean on numerous occasions we decided to try P&O bringing my mother and partner, both of whom are in their eighties and have never cruised before. We ate in the self service restaurant on the first night while our meal sitting was changed from late to early. The meal was awful so for breakfast the following morning we ate in the main dining room. Ham and eggs ordered - piece of ham hiding under the egg served on a huge white plate not even some parsley to cheer it up! Omelette ordered by Mum was no bigger than her palm again served on a huge white plate. My mother is diabetic and to be fair they looked after Mum really well and her adapted diabetic menus were excellent Her blood sugar levels stayed low even though she had far more to eat than she normally would including puddings. She ordered the night before and they prepared her what we ate without sugar or too many carbs. Last night she even had baked alaska ( no sugar in meringue and diabetic ice cream ) Meals in The Oriental were variable with Starters and Puddings being better than Mains. Portion sizes were small - 5 chips with steak, 4 very small slices of duck( 1 breast probably served 3 guests) and meat tasteless and tough. We ate breakfast and lunch in the self service where seating was always a problem.There was no variation in the food at breakfast with no one cooking omelettes and eggs to order as we are used to. Lunch was ok although one day I had a chocolate eclair filled with sour cream. These were removed quickly after I pointed it out and was brought a fresh one. We ate in the Italian one night and had a lovely meal with generous portions. Embarkation was efficient with cabin available immediately. Disembarkation was another issue. Cabins have to be vacated by 8 and breakfast finished at 8:30. However first passengers were not called until almost 9. The queues were horrendous and after being called at 9:45 we waited in line until nearly 10:30 only then to be told that the air bridge was unsafe and we would now have to dis embark on Deck 6 not 7. At no point was an announcement made or apology given just an officer walking among us and shouting instructions. My Mother's cabin was on deck 8 starboard and very noisy. There were complaints from guests in these cabins and as soon as we docked in Southampton they proceeded to take down the deckhead panel. Unfortunately my mother is not keen to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Having sampled cruising with P&O on a two night cruise on Arcadia to Guernsey in August (which I have also reviewed), we booked a 12 night cruise on Oriana to Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. After we had booked read a number of varying ... Read More
Having sampled cruising with P&O on a two night cruise on Arcadia to Guernsey in August (which I have also reviewed), we booked a 12 night cruise on Oriana to Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. After we had booked read a number of varying reviews on Oriana, some very negative, and we wondered if we had made a mistake in selecting this ship. Not at all! We loved her and would sail on her again. Oriana is a traditional and elegant ship, well maintained. She is 20 years old so you cannot expect her to be all shiny and new. We didn't feel she was tired and old. A very friendly ship in every way. If you want all the latest innovations and features then maybe she is not for you. Embarkation was swift and efficient. As is usual, everyone is sent to "The Conservatory" buffet for lunch. The Conservatory buffet is not our favourite eating venue, but is very popular with some. It's always a bit crowded and doesn't seem to flow particularly well. We did use it a couple of times for snacks and afternoon tea, but much preferred the Peninsular and Oriental Restaurants where the food is much better. Our cabin was an upgrade from an inside to an outside which was a bonus. It was very clean and perfectly formed. At 150 square feet it is compact, but it had plenty of hanging and drawer space. Only negative was the very tiny safe, in which you could only fit a few things stacked up, like wallet, purse and phone and perhaps a small tablet and camera. Our bathroom had a shower over a small sized bath with shower curtain. Fairly compact, but with plenty of storage in the mirrored cabinets, and was acceptably clean. Our cabin steward, Antonio, was very friendly and efficient. We loved our meals in the Oriental Restaurant on the second sitting at 8:30 pm Our waiters (Parveen, Reynaldo and Romeo) were excellent and nothing was too much trouble. Menus had plenty of choice and the quality of the food was very good. Breakfasts and lunches in the Peninsular Restaurant were also very good. We also eat twice in the Ocean Grill (Marco Pierre White) which was well worth the extra supplement. The service we received in all the bars was excellent, our favourite being The Crows Nest, where Mervyn looked after us well. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment too - very good shows, particularly The Crew Show! A lot of activities are for the older clientele, of which there were many! We are in our 60's and felt we were amongst the younger group. Having said that we always found plenty to do and some of the guest speakers were excellent, particularly Tony White. Oriana coped very well in the bad weather and the captain did a very good job of keeping us safe, especially when our call at Malaga was aborted. If I have any negative comment at all, it's purely that this particularly adults only ship seems to attract an age group of 70's, 80's and 90's. Those of us in our 50's and 60's were the minority. I also think that some of the last minute "silly" deals to get onboard Oriana are attracting a different type of clientele.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Oriana was a nice clean comfortable ship, the food was excellent And so were all staff. The shows were really good and the comedian was really funny. There is ballroom dancing, quiz nights, shows, cinema etc, or you could just go for a ... Read More
Oriana was a nice clean comfortable ship, the food was excellent And so were all staff. The shows were really good and the comedian was really funny. There is ballroom dancing, quiz nights, shows, cinema etc, or you could just go for a quiet drink. We did freedom dinning in the main restaurant most nights and met lots of very interesting people. Formal nights are my favourite because that is a big part of the cruising experience, for me anyway. You don't have to dine in the main dinning room you can use the conservatory buffet service if you like a more casual atmosphere. Gratuities are just under £4.00 per passenger per day which I think is very reasonable. Spa,Gym,Cinema,pools, whirlpools and plenty of sun loungers, reading rooms, wi-fi (not free). Our cabin was outside on C deck(9) It was clean and the beds were comfortable.😀 Royal Caribbean cruises are glamorous exciting new and more expensive, P&O are older(except for the awaited Britannia) traditional relaxing smaller ships - we have tried both cruise companies and like them equally they are just very different cruise experiences. Pam Dave Yorkshire Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Travelled down from Wetherby with Inter cruise,this seemed to take a long time and when we arrived at Southampton we were held on the coach for 15minutes before we were allowed to join the queue as 13coaches had arrived together.it took ... Read More
Travelled down from Wetherby with Inter cruise,this seemed to take a long time and when we arrived at Southampton we were held on the coach for 15minutes before we were allowed to join the queue as 13coaches had arrived together.it took almost 45min to embark. When we arrived in our cabin no A141 we were astounded by how small it was. We have sailed on many ships and ferries and this was smallest cabin ever seen. The major problem with the cabin was the wardrobe design.The hanging rail was 2mtrs high but also there hanging rail went from front to back,so to find the clothes you wantyou had to rummage along the rail and disturb all clothing.This wardrobe was not fit for purpose.We complained to the reception but the person we spoke to did not help us,he said it was the way the cabin was configured. The next day we asked to see someone higher and the hotel Manager came to see us in our cabin,he said he was only able to put us on a wait list for a cabin change as the ship was sailing fully booked.We felt as though we were not getting any help at all from anybody until on the 4th day we received a letter from the customer services manager asking to meet us.He said our son had been in touch with Southampton about our problem.We met him in our cabin and some how he managed to find us a better cabin and paid a fair supplement to change ,this cabin was excellent. The ship we liked but many staff were unusually quiet.Waivers in the dining room were very good and efficient but conservatory staff did not seen very happy.The food in the conservatory was not the best and was quitecold at times.This may be why there was a outbreakof novoviruson board for most of the cruise.The Or I an a is a nice ship but certain areas need updating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My wife and myself were first time cruisers, we where travelling with my mother and brother who are experienced cruisers. The Ship: LIke a classic car I'm sure it was fantastic when new and will be a classic in 50 years time but at ... Read More
My wife and myself were first time cruisers, we where travelling with my mother and brother who are experienced cruisers. The Ship: LIke a classic car I'm sure it was fantastic when new and will be a classic in 50 years time but at the moment its in its naff period looking tired and need of a full overhall. On going work seems to be undertaken during the cruise with carpet and floor tile replacement. Reading elsewhere this is an attempt to stamp out the constant outbreaks of norovirus that seem to trouble the ship. The crew practised infection control for the first few days, which if a little inconvenient was better than catching norovirus. Its a little sad when not catching norovirus was the highlight of the cruise! Food : We had great expectations of dressing up and sitting down to a restaurant quality meal each evening. The catering in the Oriental restaurant fell way short of expectations. If you like school dinners you will be happy, steer clear of anything with rice or fish, they are both overcooked. The service in the oriental was excellent whilst in the canteen it was poor. The couple on the next table ordered prawn cocktail and steak & chips every night, they had the right idea! The food in the canteen (conservatory restaurant) was much the same. Breakfasts however where good. The Alfresco is nice for breakfast. We took afternoon tea a couple of times. The sandwiches and cakes where ok but it alll arived at once and the staff did their utmost to clear the room as quickly as possible with all courses arriving at the same time. It was very rushed and not at all relaxing. If you want a nice meal pay the supplement ant eat in the ocean grill, we used it twice and it was fantastic. I don't understand why this is such so much better than the standard catering! Excursions & activities: I would say the average age of customer is 65 - 75. The activities seem to cater well for this age group. We are are late 40s . We took the jeep safari in Lisbon which was great, it was the only trip that appealed. If you are younger than us and like lively time, do yourself a favor and choose another boat. I spent a lot of time in the gym and health club which are both excellent. The Cinema is good with a variety of films playing. To sum up, I would not recommend P&O if you are expecting a sophisticated experiance, Go Cunard. If you like something more lively go Royal Caribbean. In our case I don't think cruising is not for us, I think the experience has put us off for life. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I have previously cruised with P&O once before but that was as a teen so I probably had different expectations to what I have now. I had read lots of the reviews on here and wasn't sure as to what to expect thanks to the amount of ... Read More
I have previously cruised with P&O once before but that was as a teen so I probably had different expectations to what I have now. I had read lots of the reviews on here and wasn't sure as to what to expect thanks to the amount of negative reviews and I also heard that there was norovirus on the previous cruise. The cruise was definitely a lot better than the reviews I had read. Embarkation was very smooth and fast. The entertainment was without a doubt fantastic. The food was superb, and our waiter was a highlight of our holiday. Yes, we were by far one of the youngest on the cruise (group of earlier 20 year olds, as apposed to the 60/70 year olds) but I don't see how people can say that this is a bad thing as it didn't affect our holiday at all as the entertainment would suit any ages really. The only slight annoyance was that for the first 3 days, the staff could have been a bit more polite as they took the norovirus very seriously and were very insistent on not touching cutlery etc, but I suppose id rather have staff take norovirus seriously instead of not bothering to do anything. Overall, a fab holiday. Ignore the other reviews - go with an open mind. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We booked this cruise after being recommended by family members who had cruised on this ship four years ago - they could not believe how much it had changed!! This proved to be the worst cruise ship we have ever been on (we have been on ... Read More
We booked this cruise after being recommended by family members who had cruised on this ship four years ago - they could not believe how much it had changed!! This proved to be the worst cruise ship we have ever been on (we have been on Princess Lines and Caribbean) the staff were rude and unhelpful and looked as they would rather have been anywhere other than working on this ship!! The food was just about edible it had no taste and was poorly presented. The cabins were dirty and we had stains and holes in our bed linen, the toilets in the main area were either disgusting or out of order. The so called entertainment provided was dire - the singer in one of the bars was so bad that people were getting up and leaving. The general hygiene and cleaning of areas round the pool area was so bad - food left on the floor plates and crockery just left on tables with staff walking past and totally ignoring it!! I could go on and on and I will in my letter to P&0 - I feel like we wasted almost £5,000 to suffer such a bad experience!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We escaped the English winter with it's rain and gales to encounter the same at sea - fortunately we are good sailors and with the combined expertise of P&O and an excellent Captain had no worries about safety. Lisbon is a pretty ... Read More
We escaped the English winter with it's rain and gales to encounter the same at sea - fortunately we are good sailors and with the combined expertise of P&O and an excellent Captain had no worries about safety. Lisbon is a pretty boring place and having been there many times, debated whether to go ashore or not. We walked to a small bar not too far from the ship, where I left my husband to seek out a little shop I know to get some supplies for the cabin, the sun did come out and we were able to sit outside the cafe for a while. We then continued South and the weather improved immensely. We did not get off the ship in Agadir but sat in the sun on deck, then Cadiz - a really super place, then one of our favourites - Gibraltar, finally La Corunna where the weather definitely took a turn for the worse. It was not the roughest sea we have ever experienced, having been cruising for 34 years - the nice thing was that the Captain kept coming over the tannoy to tell passengers what was happening, I must compliment him on that - no wonder he is to captain the new ship Britannia. We always ask for a table for 2 in the dining room, but lately this does not seem to happen so we used the Conservatory self service restaurant, one steward in particular was most helpful always carrying my tray back to the table and helping my husband wherever he could, not his job he was a wine steward! We had a meal in Sorrento (Italian) one evening and it was excellent, although not quite as good as the one on Azura - once again the staff were so helpful, one young woman insisting on taking my husband's arm to help him to a comfortable seat outside, our usual after dinner venue. The entertainment was reasonable, although we don't bother with the shows as we have seen them - but the tenor Benjamin Makisi was fantastic. Despite the rough seas we enjoyed our little break and look forward to November when we are off again. Read Less
Sail Date January 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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