Farewell to an Old Friend!
Oriana has always been one of my favourite ships, I have been fortunate to have been on her a couple times and it saddens me to think I will not get on her again, well under the name Oriana! Oriana joined the P&O fleet back in 1995 so she is nearly as old as I am, but when she joined back in 1995, cruising seemed to be more about the cruising and the connection with the Ocean and the Ports of Call than it is today. Take for instance something like the Oasis of the Seas or the Norwegian Epic, you could literally go to sea for 7 days and still have plenty to do.
Although saying that, I and many that have cruised on Oriana have always said for a small ship she is very spacious, she has the most stunning theatre, which to me walking in was like being in the West End, Harlequins which for a long time she held the title for having the largest dance floor at sea, you also have Anderson Lounge which is only found on the older of the P&O ships, and even a Pub.
Oriana like the Aurora have the tiered back, which on most modern ships of today you will find that they have Balconies on the back which look out, but by having the back of the ship open to decking it gives such an element of space, and Oriana has lots of it, the only thing she is missing over the Aurora is the Undercover pool.
Oriana has two sailings left once she arrives back into Southampton, a mini cruise followed by a final farewell to Norway and the North Cape. She will arrive back into Southampton on the 9th August. Plans for her farewell have not yet been announced but I would be surprised if P&O do not do anything, although she will not be with guests on the 9th August so perhaps those on the last sailing will be surprised as she leaves Southampton for her last cruise.
Oriana also holds a lot of traditional including the Golden Cockerel. The Golden Cockerel was passed to the Oriana down in the Med from the SS Canberra before she went out of service. The Golden Cockerel is to represent the fastest ship in the P&O fleet, and this is unique to P&O although again they have not said what will happen to this either – Will traditional just fade away?
Although we will say goodbye to the Oriana in August this does not mean the end for her, some may remember the Old Arcadia, well she went off to become Ocean Village, then when Ocean Village sadly ceased she went to P&O Australia, now you can do the old Arcadia or Ocean Village – whichever you are more fond of remembering her as – on Cruise and Maritime as there new flagship – the Columbus.
Have you got any memories or stories from the Oriana?