Newest Review: ... on what activities are coming up. It also gives talks on the next ports of call. We used to watch these whilst we were having breakfas... more
P&O C RUISES - ORIANA TRANSATLANTIC
Member Name: Travelator
Advantages: Good value for money, spacious surroundings, lots to do
Disadvantages: None really, I love this ship
This is my favourite ship of all time. It is geared for the UK market and even though she has been in service for some years, she has not lost any of her luxurious charm. When we first sailed on this ship, my first impression was that it was 'all cabins' but this is only the look from the outside. Inside it is very spacious and the Atrium I stunning. We always enjoyed coffee at 11am in the Atrium café where service is swift and polite. We never had to wait for a table.
Cabins. We have sailed in both an inside and a balcony cabin and I would certainly recommend paying that little bit extra for a balcony. It is you own little bit of private space to enjoy the views of the sea and the ports. The balcony has two chairs or loungers and a coffee table. There is the advantage that you can smoke on your balcony but not anywhere inside the ship (fair enough).
Our last cabin contained a double bed, a dressing table, a two seated sofas, which could also be turned into a bed if you were travelling with children. There was a coffee table and a small fridge I the room. A small television is in every room and this broadcasts adverts on what activities are coming up. It also gives talks on the next ports of call. We used to watch these whilst we were having breakfast in bed.
Room service. For us, the advantage of free room service is a must. We always have breakfast delivered to our room and enjoy it in bed. (Lazy monkeys). Having said that, on the odd occasion when we did get up early the Conservatory café serves an excellent self service breakfast. There is everything you could wish for but be aware! Seating is sometimes limited during the busy times. 8.30am to 9.30am are the busiest times and should be avoided at all costs.
On our last sailing we were alarmed by the fact that the lifeboat drill wasn't carried out until the following morning, when the ship was already way out at sea. Fortunately, for us, we knew the ship's layout very well so if there had have been an emergency, we would have known exactly where to go but for other people...it could have been a problem.
Fine Dining - In the evening the Conservatory turns into 'the Bistro' where fantastic steaks can be eaten. There is a small charge for this but it is well worth the money. In the main dining room, there is a first and second sitting meal. The food is varied and of excellent quality. On a two week cruise, you never get offered the same thing twice. We choice a table for two and we were treated so well. The service was excellent and quick.
On our last sailing we did a transatlantic crossing. We love the sea and we love watching it but please be aware that on a transatlantic cruise, you have six full days at sea without making land. For some of our fellow travellers, this became boring. We love it but it isn't for everyone. The other thing to bear in mind is that a crossing from Southampton to Galveston is a two week cruise and you often get poor weather before you get down to the Bahamas. We had one day when a storm raged and the doctor was called out to many of our fellow passengers to administer sea sickness injections. Having, said that, we have also done this route before when the sea has been as still as a millpond all the way.
Bringing your own alcohol on board! A word to the wise. if you do go ashore and take advantage of the cheap booze, it will be taken off you as you get back on board and then delivered back to your room when you are ready to disembark. The cynical people among you might think that this policy forces you to buy drinks from the ship, but I couldn't possibly comment.
Drink prices. These are no more than you would pay in a pub in the UK. There are great offers on every day for 'cocktail of the day'. I took advantage of one of these offers and had two cocktails and promptly fell asleep on my sun lounger for the rest of the afternoon. They are quite strong so handle with care.
The swimming pools: The Crystal and Riviera Pools are on the Lido deck and get very busy on the 'at sea' days, so you have to get up early and send one of your party to go and get your sun loungers before they all go. Both pools are slightly heated and comfortable to swim in. There is a much quieter and well sheltered pool on D Deck at the aft of the ship (that's the back end for all you land lubbers). This tends to be easer to get a sun lounger and it is also much quieter. There is, however, still an excellent bar service provided. For those of you who like the shade, there is lots more shade to be had around this pool.
D Deck also has the ships cinema where all the new films are shown on a regular basis. There is also the library and Tiffany's Court coffee lounge on this Deck, so it's great for the whole day.
Summary: Excellent cruise for first timers or seasoned travellers.
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