OVERVIEW: Anyone cruising aboardOriana, an adults-only ship, will get a well-organized cruise experience. It suits mature adults seeking to cruise aboard a large ship with the facilities of a small resort.
My mother and I have just returned from our 10 night "Atlantic Coasts" cruise on Oriana. It was the first time that I have sailed with P & O, my mother has travelled with them before. Embarkation at Southampton took quite a long time due to the airport- style security checks, but once through those we quickly found our cabin and began to settle in. Our luggage took nearly 3 hours to reach us (we began to think that we would have to go to dinner (2nd sitting) in the clothes that we had travelled in, but luckily the cases arrived in the nick of time). The food was good quality and well presented. If I had to be critical, I would say that it was more like top-end canteen food than a smart restaurant. The waiters were efficient and polite, but on occasions, the service felt rushed as if they wanted us out of the way asap (45 mins to eat from start to finish). The entertainment on board was very good. The ship's troupe called "Headliners" were very versatile and professional and the guest artistes were similarly very watchable. There was a (very popular) cinema showing recent release (eg Argo, Flight, Lincoln, Skyfall etc) at regular intervals throughout the day. The ports of call were interesting. Although the weather varied from warm and sunny (Cadiz) to wet (Gibraltar) there was enough in each place to warrant getting ashore for either an excursion or a walk around. The ports were compact enough to explore on foot. The only place we were not too impressed with was Casablanca (and most people on board seemed to agree)-lovely people, but very poor in places. The excursions were quite reasonably priced and there was plenty of choice, including trips for those who had limited mobility. We found that our (inside) cabin was quite spacious, with plenty of room to hang and store our clothes. It had a small fridge in it, so we were able to take a wine box on board to have a drink before dinner each night (not that the price of drinks on board was excessive). My mother has sailed on Oriana before (just before the ship had her refit) and thought that not much had changed. We both felt that things were being done to meet a budget and that here was pressure to describe things as "excellent" on the cruise questionnaire (we made up our own minds on that) . Overall, I would rate the cruise as good-it was good value for money (we paid the lower "Getaway" fare), but there was an indefinable something missing that would have made it even better. Would we go again? I would, but my mother wouldn't....
14 out of 14 people found this useful
Times cruised before: 3-5 Sailed: March, 2013
Occasion: Family holiday
Quality of Food
Peninsular restaurant and Conservatory self-service. Ate mainly salads and evening set menu.
All were very good.
Best was Cadiz, worst was Casablance.
Everyone worked so hard, we feel we couldn't single anyone out as it would be unfair on the rest.
Yes, we were never bored!
It was better than we thought, there was ample space for our luggage and clothes.