Oriana Cruise Ship, P&O Cruises
Cruise to Arctic to see Northern Lights. Ship had outbreak of noro virus and technical problems that plagued the next cruise. Took hours to check in due to supposed 'deep clean'. How a ship can be deep cleaned in an afternoon to eradicate Noro virus I don't know as it takes days to deep clean small areas in a hospital.
Left Southampton very early morning over 12 hours late as repairs were not completed in time, so missed out on the excitement of sail away. Noro virus restrictions from the outset. Buffet was a shambles, people everywhere, queuing for half hour for a cup of tea as only one drinks station open. Food (when you could get some) was very average canteen style. Main restaurant food again very mediocre. Ocean grill (extra charge) was decent. Trips incredibly overpriced and disorganized. Noro virus spread continued throughput the cruise making it very unpleasant to be on this ship. Ship broke down yet again, in spite of being in port at Alta having more repairs so next Port Tromso arrived at 4pm! Ship also missed Bergen, allegedly due to weather but suspect the ship just didn't have time as had to travel so slowly due to engine problems. And as for P&O customer service?- the most rude and indifferent people I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. I will never set foot on the Oriana or cruise with PO again, there are simply better cruise lines out there who treat customers with respect not disdain.
- Holiday details: Mar 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: Stay at home
8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
I was on the Oriana Dec 2012 on the 10 day Christmas Market cruise. I was one of the three passengers that got this out into the media, to let the people on the next cruise aware what was going on.
My wife was very ill from the Noro bug, in fact she has been ill on & off with feeling unwell all year. I will say that we did come to a final compensation cash payment and not money towards another cruise, as my wife will never go on another cruise ship. But like other reviewers if i had been made aware that Noro was on the previous cruise i would not have got on the cruise. It also seems that everyone is giving the captain the same nickname of Captain b*** s***. Happy cruising everyone
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
This is an honest review for first time cruise experience. The car service and embarkation at Southampton was quick, easy and efficient. First impressions were disappointing - Entering this ship looked like entering a regular freight/ passenger ship -nothing enticing or exciting. Then shown to buffet dining area which was mayhem and looked and tasted like school canteen - Very bad first impressions. Deluxe Balcony cabin was not deluxe, bathroom looked like something from the 70's being peach, with a smell of stale water and damp towels. The balcony door didn't close properly and we were absolutely freezing all night even after they had 'fixed' the problem. The main areas of the ship are comfortable but I was totally shocked when told that this ship had been refurbished a year ago - perhaps the 80s look is coming back in fashion?? The entertainment was basically like your typical famous UK camp resorts where the compares are the entertainers. I was astounded that P&O repeated the entertainment on a 2 day rota and several other passengers had seen the same entertainers over the past years they have cruised WOW?. Food in the main dining restaurant was ok however several members of staff had a major BO problem. The spa services was nothing exceptional and very expensive. Staff on the whole were ok but they must be coming to the end of their contract as the majority look as if they couldn't be bothered. The Marco Pierre White restaurant was exceptional and a definite must for anyone!! The excursions are extortionate and a cash cow for P&O.
The ability to visit different cities is the best service of a cruise and I enjoyed the experience and loved the people I met on the ship which made the trip for me. The idea of cruising for me was that a cruise would be luxury as opposed to a ship being a means of travel. If this had been longer than 4 days I would have got off and flew back. I was on a ship -P and O was not a cruise for me.
- Holiday details: Nov 2013, Booked Independently
- Advice: Dine in Marco Pierre White Restaurant
- Good For: , City Breaks
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
We sailed on Oriana July and Oct this year (2013), we found both cruises to be excellent value for money. October we were on Canaries cruise and chose an inside cabin which was bit smaller than outside but for what time we spent in it was really not a problem. Check in as normal smooth and did not take very long about 20 minutes and were on ship. Food was excellent and we tried all restaurants and all meal times esp loved Al Fresco at night to unwind. Staff very friendly and did not think overly pushy. Entertainment there was something for everyone we actually had ballroom dancing much to surprise to all at home but was good fun. We did not take any excursions as they can be a bit pricey and there was nothing that really took our fancy. All in all not bad and not to mention the people you meet like they say its the friends you have yet to meet how true.
3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
OK, I realize that as first-time cruisers we were going to be easily impressed, but we genuinely were impressed. We loved almost every moment on Oriana and can't wait to go again. I am shocked at some of the bad reviews on here but maybe more experienced cruisers tend to be more critical. And yes, they are really freakily scared of the Norovirus, and you get squirted with anti-bac gel at every turn, which can get a bit tiresome, but hey, we didn't get it! So they're doing the right thing.
Boarding was so easy, and our F-deck inside cabin was clean and comfortable, if a little claustrophobic at first but we got used to it. We thought the old girl was wonderful (OK she's looking a little bit worn but still looked good to us!), the food was very good, and we could find almost no faults at all with the lovely crew or anything else really about the ship. The weather could have been better on our Ireland, Iceland and Fa-roes cruise, and there was a definite shortage of whales and dolphins, but that's not P&O or Oriana's fault. However I do think they need to have a look at some of the excursions. Some were really not that great.
We discovered the Conservatory buffet restaurant first and were very satisfied. Very nice food, and of course the option was there to fill up on what you really liked and/or try different dishes. We only dined in the Peninsular Restaurant once and though our steaks were absolutely excellent, the starter and dessert were nothing special and the whole formal atmosphere and over-attentive (gravelly) waiters did not make for a relaxing meal for us. I found it quite intimidating, not used to it I suppose. The other nice thing about the Conservatory, for us as smokers, was being able to take our coffees straight out on the rear top deck afterwards and relax with a cigarette.
We met some very nice people on the Terrace Bar deck and enjoyed their company as we looked (mostly in vain) for sightings of wonderful sea creatures. BUT, I heard some tales of unpleasant behavior from our supposedly social "betters". One or two instances of quite disgraceful arrogance and rudeness was reported to have been aimed at us "lower class" passengers who had picked up a cheap deal on the internet. Nasty.
DUBLIN - Terrible disappointment, unless you are a shopaholic. Tour was quite boring (highlight was front doors!), River Liffey was filthy and full of shopping trolleys in upper part of city, river cruise was far too short (and undertaken in a downpour so couldn't see much anyway), though the boat guys were very entertaining! Got absolutely drenched getting back to the coach, where we were told we could not go back to the Oriana as expected, as they were moving her from her anchorage in Dublin Bay into the port, and we had to stay in Dublin another 2 hours! We all got credited £10 for the inconvenience, but that only just covered 2 pints of Guinness and Magners (called, strangely, Bulmers there for legal reasons!. Some people with mobility problems were quite upset and distressed by the whole episode, having already suffered problems by having to transfer by tender from an anchored ship.
ICELAND - 3 stops here. Were lucky really with mostly dry weather but OMG it was cold! And this was July/August! Totally stunning scenery! Amazing stuff! We were totally blown away. Sadly, I heard that the Whale-watching trips were mainly not very lucky with sightings, and one had to return to port due to bad seasickness. Our excursion in Akureyri was spoiled by a seriously barking-mad guide who seemed to think she was there to tell us her life story! Quite weird, but she pulled herself together and got on with the job after someone strongly pointed out her shortcomings as a tour guide!! And the Waterfalls were well worth the trip!
FA ROE ISLANDS - Big disappointment because we could not dock at our original destination due to very bad sea conditions. They managed to find us a more sheltered mooring on another island but this meant that some excursions were cancelled, including our Schooner Sailing trip. Ok, it would probably have been awful anyway cos it poured down all day, but still a disappointment.
The cruise back down from the Fa roes and through the Hebrides was a bit rough, but I was surprised how many people were badly affected. I thought it was exciting!
I realize, looking back on my ramblings, that I have made it sound like a nightmare cruise, but it really wasn't. It was wonderful! Can't wait to go on another, on Oriana if poss, but somewhere warmer next time!
- Holiday details: Jul 2013, Booked Independently
- Advice: Keep an eye out for Duty-free discount days
3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Arrived at Southampton on the 14th April and Boarded no Problems, until I noticed Norvo Virus precautions , I asked if Norvo was on the previous cruise as I would not have travelled, due to non related medical problem I would not put myself at risk,I was assured there had not been a problem, I went to my cabin and was disgusted at the standard of it, there was mould in the shower and on the walls, This is an inside cabin on C deck, The Air con was on full and the whole room smelt of damp, I went and complained and was told they had been cleaning the system, By now I wanted off this cruise, but we had set sail, The restaurant was disorganised, and the food was either cold or over cooked, and the staff in Pensiular were totally dysfunctional, I asked to be moved to different restaurant , again it was better than the first, The Salt and pepper was in sachets and in the Conservatory the buffet was being served by waiters, and passengers were not helping themselves very odd for a cruise that did not have a Norvo problem, I avoided the self service areas as too risky and stuck to using my cabin for toilet trips, Lunch and Breakfast I took in the Pensular restaurant which was awful rude waiter pushing chairs in while I was eating, had to ask for everything, The same at Lunchtimes, the food resembled school dinner meals not what I expected from P&O considering I have done many cruises with them, Afternoon tea was a joke 35 minutes for a sandwich and one scone, After 2 days I was feeling rough not Norvo rough but very weak , but considering I had eaten barely nothing other than sorbet and cheese , I was not surprised, At Lisbon I priced up a flight home as I was not happy and did not want to continue on what was a much needed holiday, but there were no flights out that fitted, I spent the rest of the cruise sat in Tiffanys coffee bar and doing nothing else, The ship was dirty public areas in need of a good clean and staff in need of some customer training skills, I left the ship on the 21st and have since been diagnosed with pleurisy and Pneumonia, and taking triple antibiotics, and tomorrow 7th May will be going into hospital for bacterial tests, I have an underlying medical condition which I would not have put myself at risk of any infection, I feel as passengers we should have been advised of the risks before boarding, I will be taking this up with P&O once I have the bacterial results but I have never been so ill in my life, I should have been admitted to hospital but due to the risks of being on a ship that had Norvo the Doctors have been visiting me everyday since, I would never travel with P&O again, Watch this space for more updates,
- Holiday details: Apr 2013, Booked Independently
- Advice: Dont take the risks
11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
The cruise on Oriana was one of the best we have been on with P&O ( 25 cruises ).
The food was excellent and our waiter and wine waitress provided excellent service.
The reception staff were very friendly and helpful... wish I could have said that about the reception staff on Oceana... The shows were great and the ship was very clean and all the staff we spoke to were very friendly.
Our cabin was clean and the cabin stewardess was very efficient and polite.
We managed to get on board by 12.00 and we disembarked by 08.45 which was fantastic.
I can't find any thing to moan about so I won't. Well done P&O for a change. The Prichards
- Holiday details: Apr 2013, booked with Bolsover
- Advice: Have lunch in the Peninsular restaurant and drink in the crows nest.
15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Cabin okay but noisy as next to service area. No where to sit in quiet, background music everywhere even the reading room had noise from the bar next door. Food poor... Uninspiring and arty farty portions. Entertainment was the usual crass stuff but there was a cello duo but the recitals coincided with duplicate bridge sessions. Some good talks on Concorde and Henry VIII's navy.
I felt I was on a floating old people's care home. I'm 68 and felt like I was a youngster.
After 4 days I wanted to get off. I was so disenchanted and bored. It was only the daily duplicate bridge that stopped me from jumping overboard.
Excursions were limited for me as my mobility is poor. The trip on Sicily was dreadful. Long, boring and we were meant to have tea at a good restaurant... It was like a transport cafe with awful snack food and dreadful coffee. Bare tables and chairs completed the illusion.
I have done many cruises with Fred Olsen and will never cruise with P&O again. I would advise you to do the same.
- Holiday details: Apr 2013
- Advice: Avoid
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
This is our worst ever cruise with P&O.
The food was not nearly as good as previous cruises, and the waiters were very inexperienced. The entertainment, day and night was very poor compared with other cruises. There were not enough entertainment officers, and the evening entertainment, they showed a film in the theatre on 3 nights, even though there is a cinema on board, presumably, they hadnt enough stars booked. I have to say the Headliners were brilliant and the best we have seen on any other cruise.
Sadly, the ship is showing its age now and needs a serious overhaul. Our F deck cabin was extremely noisy, it sounded like the anchor was loose. We didnt have a decent nights sleep, and after 35 nights it was extremely tiring.
The cabin had a burst pipe and we had to be evacuated at 11pm.
The embarkation was terrible and took 3 hours, which was the result of not enough staff.
The disembarkation was horrendous, and our luggage could only be located after 3 baggage handlers looked for it, finding our cases on areas for A deck, and E deck, NOT F deck which we were on.
P&O seem to be cutting back so much that it is showing badly, and they don't seem to be the caring company they used to be. Oh dear, we don't think we will cruise with them any more, which is a pity as this was our 10th cruise but it will certainly be our last.
- Holiday details: Feb 2013, booked with Victoria Travel
- Advice: Syndicate quiz in evening
10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Our cruise was the one that followed the cruise that hit the headlines. We had traveled to Southampton two days before cruise so had not received e-mail re delay in boarding. We were sent into a waiting area for four hours with several hundred other passengers. There were snacks and drinks available which we had to pay for which I thought was bad as we had missed one meal on board.
On boarding we were informed that all service venues were closed and all meals would be taken in dining room which was a bit of a bind. The shops and photo shop you could not touch anything. When they eventually opened self service they had waiters at each station serving food which meant you still did not have the freedom to put size of portion etc. Drinks were also made for you and my husband was not pleased at been handed a cup of hot water and a tea bag when he asked for tea as he likes the hot water to be poured over the bag. They actually reopened everything three days before returning to Southampton almost as if hooped we would forget by the time we docked.
Seemed strange people who were sharing cabins with infected passengers were still around the public areas on ship surely they could be carrying the virus.
Christmas well they waited until Christmas eve to tell passengers who had decorations on their doors to take them off although most had been there since sailing according to the Horizon they were a fire risk. But alright to have suitcases lining corridor most of the last day. The piped music played in the corridor also seemed to stop on Christmas Day. The only Christmas activity during the day was the passenger choir singing carols and other than that it could have been any other day.
Like other comments we have decided in our fifties we are not old enough
for P & O adult only cruises the average was 74.5 with over 50% disabled in fact many were on board for the whole winter a bit like a floating residential home.
Think the main thing that really annoyed us was the way it was the passengers who had to give way all the time and no appreciation shown just being told it was for our own good. The last two days the captain and cruise director kept telling us about all the good feed back they were getting I think hoping to convince everyone that it was good. One passenger said even if they had put a bottle of wine in each cabin as a sign of appreciation for patience shown it would have been something it seemed as if they had got your money and that was it.
We have travelled with P&O in the past and when ever there have been problems they given something to make up for it like a free wine service on first nights meal or credit on cabin bill and just a small gesture could have made all the difference as this was not the holiday we had expected and we are unlikely to travel with P&O again.
I wrote and told them how we felt and the reply was basically they were following procedure so that was it.
I must compliment the waiters for their had work and cheerfulness despite been worn out.
- Holiday details: Dec 2012, Booked Independently
- Advice: Ocean Grill excellent food
14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Oriana: January 2013, Transatlantic to Caribbean and back.
I last cruised Oriana in 2003, when it was family friendly and when P&O was not owned by Carnival.
It was once a ship having a stern pool complex, brimming with babies laughter and had a class that was quintessentially British and up to date. Food was superb throughout the ship and with dedicated, loyal staff under the genial 'Captain Birds Eye' (the passengers nickname).
Now, after the take over by Carnival, and the refit that has removed the toddler's paddling pool, their play area and the creche, all to enable the construction of a small block of cabins; the ship, with an average passenger age of over 80, has the joyless air of 'God's waiting room on sea', and the reputation of a floating cess-pit of vomit-bugs. The food in the main restaurants is average at best, the choice of wines very limited. The food and drink in the alternative food outlets eg The Conservatory, is totally repetitive and its serving completely marred by the edicts demanded by the disease ridden state of the ship (more of that later). The staff are still going about their tasks with fortitude and good humor, but when gently pressed by the passengers refer to the Captain with many unflattering terms, the mildest of which was Captain B***-S***. I have seen other reviews for this cruise that say that the Captain was the most informative ever; if giving us a long description of the expected and prevailing weather conditions, and how it was only by his own masterly navigation skills that the passengers were saved from an experience of tsunamic proportions, then yes I agree; others I met called him a patronizing BS. He was notable by his absence, only appearing to have his photograph taken along side a passenger!
That covers the faults (to my mind), deliberately brought about by Carnival for monetary gain.
I now come to the Norovirus issue:
As widely reported, eg.
Oriana had already had at least two very widespread cases of this virulent disease. On this cruise, at least 4 cases were personally reported to me, with Bills from the medical staff on board running to several thousand pounds. Though the staff refused to discuss it, getting very obstructive, it was rumored that every bed in the medical section was occupied. It was also a fact that one passenger died during the cruise and rumors had a further 4 corpses stored below.
What is known, is that the eating experience in the alternative food outlets was ruined by the staff being forced to wear the same latex gloves during an entire dining session and being forbidden to make any bodily contact with the passengers; this, despite all passengers having to bathe their hands in disinfectant gel.
As we were awaiting disembarkation, on the Prom Deck, we observed trains of white coated and masked staff wielding spray guns pushing through the crowds of passengers, and then huge rolls of carpet being brought up from below. Inquiry yielded the information that the virus had been detected in the carpet below the theater stage and that emergency re-carpeting had been ordered. It then was revealed that members from the Southampton Maritime Health Authority, were on board and that Chief Exec. from Carnival was expected. As there has been no news in the media, I assume that the usual cover-up has prevailed. I have seen that both Carnival and and the Southampton Health Authorities blame new passengers for bringing the virus on board. I find this hard to believe, unless passengers had been scrambling/defecating, under the stage!!
I understand that Oriana is to make only one more transatlantic voyage and that her last cruise is to be in Spring 2014. In my opinion, she is no longer fit for purpose and should be withdrawn from service immediately; it seems obvious that, in view of the advanced age of her passengers, it is only a matter of time before, what is now just a gross inconvenience, becomes a tragedy of epidemic proportion.
My wife has a poorly functioning liver and has to keep herself hydrated at all times. Despite taking 2 litres of water every night, the air-conditioning, set to remove every bug carrying molecule of moisture from our inside cabin, made her lose 2kg on the cruise and to become severely ill on shore. She had to be rushed to hospital semi conscious and had to have 3 litres of saline intravenously.
- Holiday details: Jan 2013, Booked Independently
- Advice: Take your own coffin and a large stack of sandwiches
- Good For: Beach
16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Just back from our oriana cruise , 24 nights from6th jan to 30th jan 2013 to the caribbean. We had been on this ship 14years ago and thought since we had a great time we would do it again on the same ship,but we were most dissappointed, leaky bathroom dirty marked mattresses,food bad,entertainment poor,apart from headliners they were really good,too many days at sea,only half days on shore ,never again,still nova virus so everone was very worried, also cabin cough from aircondition , could not wait to get back, would not refund or part refund for bad excurtion on st kitts railway they overbook people with no room to sit very poor .
- Holiday details: Jan 2013, booked with iglu.com
- Advice: change staff and chef
13 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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