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1 P&O Cruises Oriana Cruise Reviews for River Cruises to Norwegian Fjords

We went on this cruise specifically to see the total eclipse of the sun and since that was a natural phenomena I am pleased to say that it was great. However In almost every other respect the cruise was a disappointment. It was so poor ... Read More
We went on this cruise specifically to see the total eclipse of the sun and since that was a natural phenomena I am pleased to say that it was great. However In almost every other respect the cruise was a disappointment. It was so poor in fact that we complained officially to our travel agent and P&O. We wrote to P&O on April 12th, received an acknowledgement a month later, after our travel agent had chased them for a response, and received a final reply dated May 27th, which totally failed to address any specifics and read like a mission statement for P&O! So to specifics.... the ship arrived late in Southampton....no information in terminal except word of mouth from other passengers suggesting engine problems. On board late afternoon. Pretty hungry as we had not eaten since breakfast. Evening meal was to be 8.30 pm so we looked for a snack and drink. Found Conservatory. This is self service Caff/canteen. Seating was dirty. No food available! Looked over the rest of the ship. Public areas generally were scruffy and the Ladies' room I visited had one cubicle shut (out of order) and the whole area was noticeably dirty! Not a good start, but we tried to remain hopeful. Lifeboat drill....shambolic...no check on whether passengers attended, no details of lifeboat station, no checks of lifejackets. We hoped there would not be an emergency! First evening dining...soup cold and watery, hot sweet chilled (could it have been frozen?). White wine warm. We continued to remain hopeful but our optimism was misplaced. The food continued to be poor. I don't think we saw anything approaching a fresh vegetable for 2 weeks! No fresh berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry). The menus were pretty uninspired. The highlight one lunchtime was faggots! Worse than this the ship continued to be dirty. Our corridor outside the cabin had a thick layer of dust down each side, and the handrails were sticky underneath...ugh! The entertainment was not good. We gathered from other passengers that all P@O ships' Headliners shows are standard to all the ships so many people would look at the day's offering and say "I saw that on Arcadia". Not much originality then, and the performance was more dance school than West End. There was a good lecturer talking about the eclipse. The officers, Captain included, were not in evidence at all, and the information available from the bridge was minimal. Many passengers had joined the cruise to see the Northern Lights. There were specific excursions (pretty pricey) to do so and they were fine, but there were several occasions when the lights could be seen from the ship. It would have been helpful if there could have been announcements when that was the case, since one was unlikely to be on deck late at night in freezing temperatures on the off chance! We have been on a ship for 32 days, (with 6/7 sea days at a time) and not been bored. On this ship we found time hung heavily on sea days and in the evenings. The crew were not rude but neither were they cordial. We had been used to seeing smiling faces and friendly greetings from crew members on other lines, and to seeing cleaning, polishing, painting and maintenance going on at all times. The most we saw on Oriana was someone with a bucket of water and a cloth sloshing hopefully on table-tops (spraying the chair upholstery). This only after we had been advised that there was MORE sickness on board! The increased vigilance after that announcement seemed to involve turning off the washroom hand-driers. I'm not sure why. Our cabin was kept cleaner than some other areas of the ship, but the broken shower gel dispenser was still there when we left, and the toilet seat broke, was replaced by an old one (stained underneath) which then broke to be replaced at last by a new seat. The ship had engine problems throughout the voyage. We left the final port (Stavanger) with only the starboard engine functioning. When we reached Southampton we crashed into the wrong dock. This was because of the weather, we were told, but strangely all the other ships around had docked happily, and the bad weather had been forcast. Perhaps not having your engines working might have made the difference. We spent a further 24 hours on board. We could have left after 11pm on the day we should have disembarked, but by the time that possibility was mooted it was too late to get accommodation in Southampton, or to drive home (a 6/7 hour journey in our case). We were so glad to get home! Incidentally we had chest infections by the time we got back. Most passengers were unwell, it seemed, in one way or another. P@O have offered us a credit against another cruise. They cannot be serious! Never again! Just spent a week on Marco Polo (Cruise and Maritime) to restore our faith. They get 4/5 stars across the board. We really do enjoy our holidays normally, it takes a great deal to make us unhappy! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Oriana Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin N/A N/A
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms N/A 4.1
Fitness & Recreation N/A N/A
Family 2.0 3.6

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