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Review: Oriana

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

An Oriana Anniversary

  • By SilverTraveller Zippey

    4 reviews

  • May 2013
  • Husband
  • Special occasion
  • Outside

139 people found this review helpful

What could be better than to celebrate a 30th wedding anniversary by cruising through the Norwegian Fjords? A destination which offers majestic views and awe inspiring scenery.

Embarkation was smooth; luggage whisked away and within an hour of leaving Southampton Railway station, we were in our outside cabin on F deck. By 2pm we were enjoying lunch in the Conservatory self service restaurant – very welcome as we had experienced a 6 hour rail journey, with limited catering facilities on the train.

The Oriana is an older ship which came into service in 1995, although it was completely refurbished a couple of years ago. It was the first time for us on a P&O ship [other than a ferry!] although we are fairly experienced cruisers. The ship is adults only and appeals to the older age group traveller. The crew were extremely helpful, especially with passengers needing additional support. The information provided by the cruise company states that passengers should be able to manage by themselves as help cannot be guaranteed. However, perhaps because the majority on board were able bodied, there was always a smiling face and a helping hand.

There were 2 formal nights, where 'Black Tie' was de rigeur in the main dining rooms. If passengers didn't want to dress up they could eat in the more casual venues. I would have appreciated information from P&O that one of the formal nights was a 'Black & White' evening……my blue evening dress was acceptable but I would have liked to have complied with the dress code.

Activities on board were fairly average but a nice touch was the cinema where current [or fairly current!] movies were shown. We saw Quartet, Les Miserables and Argo, all very good. The Theatre shows were ok but not outstanding.

The food, again, was good but not particularly 'special '. This was a Norwegian Fjords cruise so an evening of smorgasbord or traditional dishes would have helped get us into the Norwegian mood. Likewise, the guest lecturer was very interesting but why not something about Edvard Greig?

One thing you must remember about P&O is that it caters for a mainly British market, and the ship is run on 'British lines'. This is very acceptable if you wish to enjoy the same type of food, entertainment etc as you are used to in Britain. However, if you hope to get a 'taste' of the country you are visiting you would be disappointed.

I think P&O lost a lot of good marketing opportunities by not offering lectures about the country, although they did promote some Port lectures, which gave information about the 4 places we visited.

The days in port were short – and even shorter than expected as we were late disembarking on 3 of the 4 days!

IFinally, the anniversary. What happened? Well the husband presented me with pearls, and the waiters sang 'Congratulations'. We shared the cake we had ordered in advance with our fellow table guests. P&O do not offer anything special for guests celebrating a special birthday or anniversary….we pre booked ours at the Cruise Show.

We enjoyed the cruise – the views and the fjords were fabulous…but it could have been better.

Will we cruise with P&O Cruises again? Only if it's a very special offer!

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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