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ORIANA Xmas Jolly Day 1

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    ORIANA Xmas Jolly Day 1

    First of all thank you to James of cruise.co.uk for the free cruise my wife and I are very grateful.
    Arrived at Southampton at about 12 noon the booking in was excellent before we had fully got out of the taxi at the QE11 Terminal a porter was there loading our three large cases up on a trolley.
    As we walked into the terminal [no queue] we were met and greeted by a P&O lady who took us straight to a vacant check-in desk. Had a short scare when the check-in lady said I have just got to check a problem with your passports [I had already discussed the 6 months left on the passport 3 weeks ago and given the OK] great sigh of relief when she came back and said no problem.
    No queue at the scanner machines then straight through the lounge and on-board.
    The weather had now taken a turn for the worst. The early morning mist replaced by freezing cold rain, so that killed off the Sail-away.
    The rooms were not yet available so up to the Conservatory Buffet for some refreshments. I had a nice piece of grilled salmon with some salad and my wife opted for a small bowl of mixed beans. The conservatory very quickly became overcrowded, so we went on walkabout, we knew the layout of the ship as we had spent about 3 weeks on her a year ago.
    1pm told the rooms were ready, we were allocated F132 an “ND” grade room. Our suitcases were already outside our room well impressed last time never got them till about 10pm. There seemed to be a problem with the room lighting they would not provide much light in the room making it very claustrophobic, there being no other similar rooms available we paid and upgraded from the 5th floor to an outside cabin on the 11th floor room A266 a large spacious room. Staff were very helpful in arranging the room change and transferred our entire luggage to the new room.
    We were not keen on the menu in the Oriental Restaurant and there were no special diet meals available as it was the first night. So off to the Buffet where I chose some crab cakes with some salad these were excellent and glad I chose them hope they get repeated again had a Thai flavour to them.
    The veg had all been cooked in butter no good for a vegan diet. But the chef offered to cook some fresh butter free veg for my wife. Very impressed with the Buffet chef he was very helpful understood vegan diets.
    After our meal we wandered down to the Tiffany bar/lounge were we stayed for the remainder of the evening the lounge chairs were thread bare on the arms with wadding visible but comfortable. A pianist played some excellent tunes, not sure if it is because I now wear hearing aids but the music he played was wonderful to listen too.
    Clocks forward one hour tonight and we are now off to bed.

    #2
    A great start, and please don't mind me saying I know just what you mean about the difference once you get the hearing aids. Remember struggling with the conversation at dinner? No more ..... oh, the joy!!!

    Cheers,
    Lynn

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      #3
      What a lovely Christmas present. Great start to your blog, Bon Voyage....HT

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        #4
        Have a good cruise, enjoy!!!! I am on Oriana for the first time at Easter.

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          #5
          Great start to your blog and cruise. Never been on Oriana so looking forward to reading about her and seeing any photos.
          Cheers Drew and Linda

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            #6
            Have a great cruise, look forward to the blogs

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              #7
              Have a lovely holiday, look forward to sharing it with you............................................... .....Carol

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                #8
                Bon voyage and hope the weather isn't too bad for the first few days.
                Quite windy here on the south coast..
                Regards
                Garfield

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                  #9
                  Have a good time. We're very interested in your opinion of the ship as the in-laws are sailing on 3 January. Judith

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                    #10
                    congratulations on winning the cruise. looking forward to your blogs.
                    don't want to work, just want to cruise.

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                      #11
                      Interesting that you were able to upgrade your cabin, it is a question that has been asked on the Q and A section and the usual answer is it is unlikely as ships like to sail full. Do you feel the ship has empty cabins? ...Carol

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                        #12
                        the ship is full, our cabin had faulty lights, there was only a window cabin available from one no show, so we paid to upgrade to it.

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                          #13
                          If the original cabin had faulty lights, I don't think I would have been happy to pay for an upgrade. Did they give you a discount?

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                            #14
                            no idea if i got a discount, the lights were dim would not brighten up the room. We are on a giveaway cruise from james so too embarresed to complain about paying to upgrade when we got the cruise for free.

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                              #15
                              Had a phone call from P&O today they are refunding our credit card in full for the upgrade we paid.

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