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7 P&O Cruises Oriana Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - British Isles & Western

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
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony ... Read More
Wanted a cruise from. Southampton as very convenient for my mother living in Portsmouth. Itinerary sounded interesting La Rochelle, Santander, La Corona & Guernsey. We booked an outside cabin on deck 9 aft & tried for a balcony upgrade. We weren't lucky but it wasn't a great loss as the resultant weather was atrocious. We started off on a low with a 5 hour delay due to an engine problem not mentioned in the cruise log. Finally left around 9pm. Made up time & arrived La Rochelle on time. Weather warm 22C overcast with slight drizzle. All trips went ahead as advertised. The on to Santander where the weather started to deteriorated with thunder, lightning & very heavy rain. Back on the ship & off to La Corona with a sunny start & sat out in the Piazza square in glorious sun for 1/2 hour. All trips cancelled due to a Spanish coach drivers strike! Then more incessant downpours in high winds. The trouble started after we left for Guernsey heading for the Bay of Biscay. The wind overnight built up rapidly to gale force 10 then maxed out at 11! The swell increased to 6.5 metres & the ride was very uncomfortable but the captain seemed more concerned that the ship was coping admirably while most passengers including myself were pretty scared. I'm starting to think that we shouldn't have left La Corona & should have waited until conditions improved. We finally after 36 hours of hell arrived at St Peter Port, Guernsey where conditions had improved considerably but the captain decided that using tenders was going to be unsafe. This upset a lot of passengers who were looking forward to sampling the joys of the island. Conditions improved during the day but still deemed to be too dangerous for tenders. Instead we upped anchor & left for Southampton 3 hours early arriving around 4am. There was a lot of noise made tying up on our berth so impossible to get any sleep. Disembarked at 9.15 am & relieved to be back on land! Food was really good & recommend freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant. Top Tip: Avoid The Conservatory which was a bit like the "Wild West" & a scrum. Andersons bar very good service & comfortable seats. Two formal nights when one would have done. Wine prices very reasonable & excellent selection. Oriana nicely refurbished & survived the violent seas which we were grateful for but the passengers really suffered. I won't be cruising again to Northern Spain after this which ruined what was supposed to be a relaxing break for my elderly mother & myself. Marks out of 10 only 5 unfortunately. I still can't believe I paid to go on this cruise & feel some sort of compensation warranted as a lot of 1st timers who won't be returning. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was an around Britain no fly cruise with local pick-up and drop-offs. The coach taking us to the port was on time and we went straight on board with very little delay.The cabin had plenty of storage space and was adequate.The meals ... Read More
This was an around Britain no fly cruise with local pick-up and drop-offs. The coach taking us to the port was on time and we went straight on board with very little delay.The cabin had plenty of storage space and was adequate.The meals were of the usual high standard and service was friendly and efficient. Bar prices were about the same as in a pub but some of the prices in the shops were quite high. The day trips seemed a bit pricey, and although you got a 5% discount if you booked more than 5 days in advance this wasn't very clear on the receipt. On the day we went to Dublin we did not moor up until after 2pm and by the time we had got to the city centre it was 4pm. Traffic was terrible due to road works and the buses being on strike. All in all a pleasant trip Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our 3rd cruise with P&O Cruises - excellent value. A smaller ship. 1) Accommodation - inside cabin ideal 2) Food - varied, excellent choices, plentiful and constantly available 3) Drinks - waiter service always available ... Read More
Our 3rd cruise with P&O Cruises - excellent value. A smaller ship. 1) Accommodation - inside cabin ideal 2) Food - varied, excellent choices, plentiful and constantly available 3) Drinks - waiter service always available 4) Entertainment - first class and varied 5) Facilities - excellent and varied - particularly for immobile guests 6) Crew - friendly and professional 7) Cleanliness - first class - hand gel available throughout the ship 8) Weather - despite unpredictable British weather in September, the sea being very choppy around the Scottish Isles, the ship was stable and comfortable 9) Ports - easily accessible, some by tender boats which were very frequent 10) Information - daily and comprehensive 11) Trips ashore - enjoyable and varied - good value 12) Days at sea - relaxing and enjoyable 13) Embarkation/disembarkation - Southampton is so convenient. 14) Recommendation - P&O cruises highly recommended - we will be booking again for next year Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Our first cruise, to Ireland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Orkneys, Dublin and back to Southampton. Our room A196 mid ship was a good position top price for a Non balcony room. The room itself was in need of refurbishment lots of rust round ... Read More
Our first cruise, to Ireland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Orkneys, Dublin and back to Southampton. Our room A196 mid ship was a good position top price for a Non balcony room. The room itself was in need of refurbishment lots of rust round windows and in bathroom. The room was cleaned regularly but not very well the kettle was dirty and not cleaned during our stay. Our last day at sea, new bed linen was put in our room for the next cruise, just made us feel it's time to go and make room for the next passengers. Food ... Overall average, the breakfast was ok nothing special and it was difficult to get a table for four at some times. Lunch was also nothing special. Dinner was better, good choice, well presented and served by friendly waiters. But not always perfect some basic mistakes in the cooking , not fine dinning at its best. Entertainment... Didn't impress us second rate singers, comedians, musicians and only one film worth watching. Making days at sea boring. Ports of call... KILLYBEGS fantastic day out hired a taxi who took us along the old road ,where coaches can't go, lots of photo stops, a stop at a spinners and hand weavers work shop, on to Glencolmcille Folk Village. Lunch at a small restaurant, all the time being entertained by our driver who was bought up in the area. The cost was half what P&O would charge for a similar trip but we saw so much more. Now, having been allocated £540.00 on board spending money and not being drinkers the only thing to spend it on was trips out. ICELAND we did The Golden Circle, The Jewels of the North on both these trips we saw the main attractions albeit in a rush with hundreds of other tourists, over priced not that impressed. Our other trip was to The Abondoned Village of Hesteyri this was a complete disaster, we were taken by boat across the Glacier fjord about 18 miles, an hours journey on a rough sea day was far from comfortable some passengers sitting outside getting cold and wet. On arrival we had to transfer to a small rubber dingy six at a time to go the last 100 metres or so the the floating jetty, sitting on the rubber side with nothing to hold onto was extremely dangerous if any one was to fall into the water it was very very cold and for anyone with a heart condition could have been fatal. We were not informed about this before we left. On the positive side we were away from the crowds, just 36 of us a few walkers in a cold wilderness and the food supplied was quite good. However the tour description left a lot to be desired, the Abondoned houses turned out to be local weekend holiday homes and the old whaling factory was a mile away. Think carefully before booking this excursion. FAROES ISLANDS we choose the Sagas and Legends a very good trip with good guide enjoyed these islands and would very much like a holiday there. ORKNEYS the weather was against us here it rained all day and was windy so our trip was not great couldn't see the views , but we did see enough to know that we should come again, just what we did four weeks later on a coach tour of Scotland, by ferry from Jon o Grotes and a fantastic coach trip seeing all the attractions not available with P&O trips. DUBLIN our last port was a trip out on their local open top bus getting on or off where ever you wanted to, too much to see on one visit. To sum up cruising is not for us, we like value for money and the freedom to do what we want to when we want to. So our next holiday is two weeks all inclusive in a five star hotel for half what the cruise cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The Cruise This 2 night "taster" cruise from Southampton serves as an introduction for people new to cruising but is also called a "booze cruise" by groups of party lovers seeking a weekend's entertainment. The ... Read More
The Cruise This 2 night "taster" cruise from Southampton serves as an introduction for people new to cruising but is also called a "booze cruise" by groups of party lovers seeking a weekend's entertainment. The September2011 trip catered for all ages and seemed very popular with "hen party" groups. The food and service were, frankly, mediocre and possibly even worse than our previous P&O experience through the Panama Canal several years ago. Accordingly, I wrote to Ms Carol Marlow (MD of P&O) listing the specific problems we encountered but the response received indicates that they believe they are doing a good job, in spite of our observations. Oceana Oceana is rather dated (launched in 2000) and, by modern standards, the cabins are small but adequate. That said, it is a comfortable size and has a good layout providing good choice of dining options, several bars and entertainment in two theatres. With capacity for about 2,000 passengers we feel that it is an ideal size, having cruised on sister ships like Dawn Princess and Sea Princess several times. P&O Hospitality and Service Cruising should be a treat and customers like to be made to feel welcome and looked after. Unfortunately, P&O have overdone their cost cutting and you are left feeling that they have skimped on everything, particularly food and drink. Their Champagne Sail Away was a pretty dull experience, as they provided no drinks and passengers were reluctant to buy flat bubbly at nearly £4 per glass. The staff, who are mostly from India, are hard working but seemed miserable and lacked motivation. They are no doubt poorly paid and rely on tips to supplement their income, only to find that P&O cannot get this right either. Food and Drink All cruise ships have a massive catering task and other cruise lines consistently demonstrate that high quality, well presented dishes can be served very efficiently. P&O seem so far behind competitors using exactly the same facilities, with menus that are not tempting, poor presentation and food often served cold. Even on the formal Gala Night the meal was nothing special. Whilst we prefer fixed dining with a table of 4 or 6 fellow travellers, others like the flexibility of "anytime" dining and can select from the same menu. A "self service" buffet is also available on the upper deck but P&O don't bother to lay the tables and even paper serviettes are hard to find. We tried it on arrival and once later because P&O did not serve afternoon tea but it was very poor. Getting pre- dinner drinks or wine with a meal can take ages. Orders are taken reasonably quickly but the waiters have no incentive to hurry back with anything. Don't expect and nuts or nibbles either, as P&O even charge for these. Wine and drinks were reasonably priced but there was no happy hour. Entertainment The resident song and dance group on Oceana had immense energy and put on a couple of good shows. The main theatre seats around 500 people, so can be a busy place. Gareth Gates gave three performances to capacity audiences on the last night and was well received, in spite of appearing very nervous. There were several music quizzes (but none of the ever popular trivia quizzes) in the bar but participants were expected to compete individually rather than in groups. This destroyed the social nature of such gatherings but, nevertheless, many were keen to compete for one miserable prize of key ring. Excursions P&O offered various excursions ranging from transport to Bruges (£28), Brussels (£35), Ypres and Ghent. Bruges in a Day included a guided walk and canal boat ride (£45). With a free shuttle to Blankenberge station every 10 minutes, many passengers, ourselves included, simply took the short train ride to Bruges (costing 3.60 euros return at weekends). Specific Problems 1. Embarkation took 55 minutes, as passengers were queuing around the terminal at 2 pm. We observed the quoted check in time only to find that passengers boarded as early as 11:00. Hence we missed lunch and endured avoidable delays. 2. Our tiny cabin was really cold because the air conditioning control was faulty. We had to report this twice before it was partly fixed the following day. Reception offered my wife a blanket as a solution when the engineer failed to materialise. 3. We dined at the 8:45 sitting but were well into our second course before the wine we ordered arrived. Maybe table waiters should take orders for drinks as with other cruise lines. 4. It took 20 minutes to get a pre-dinner drink each night. Orders were taken fairly quickly but the waiters then disappear with cruise cards for ages. They didn't bother with coasters, so icy drinks tended to drip on evening clothing. Being charged for any nibbles is so petty. 5. We have seen the kitchens in full action (with the Head Chef on the equivalent Sea Princess), so understand the challenge. If Princess can serve hot, well presented quality food, why is P&O unable to do so? 6. It proved impossible to deviate from the printed menu to suit dietary needs or preferences. There was no chance of starting breakfast with mixed berries and yogurt (as on Princess) and even getting some bacon with an omelette proved difficult. 7. When passengers dress for a Gala dinner they expect the menu to be a bit special. Ours was little better than the evening before. 8. Most Brits enjoy formal afternoon tea, which P&O failed to offer on this cruise. Surely even the tabloid reading passengers that they appear to attract would expect this. 9. Breakfast on the last day was served in two sittings (at 6:45 and 7:45), forcing passengers to queue all around the atrium. When the floods of people were seated, the waiters could simply not cope, orders were misplaced and most of the food arrived cold. The orange juice had been watered down and even toast failed to arrive. It was 10. Passengers were left in doubt as to whether tips would be added to their bill, like most other cruise lines, or should be given directly to deserving members. Our attentive cabin attendant had the foresight to leave an envelope in each cabin as a gentle reminder. Nothing was added to our bills and P&O provided no envelopes for gratuities. Conclusion P&O doubtless has many loyal British clients but we cannot understand why. We can only assume that they have never experienced Princess or Celebrity cruises or that they like to travel from Southampton. These alternative cruise lines are part of the same parent group but do the job so much better at a very similar price. We gave P&O a second try but found it to be even worse than NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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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