Great news for you Paul .....
Having travelled on Oriana back in April this year (2009), we could not agree more with your comments, including serious leaks in the corridors, and as a result looked to cancel our X919 booking. However nothing else came up, so we decided to take the cruise just to see some Winter sunshine.
Now the great news ..... Did we get onto a different ship to the one we boarded in April?? The ship looked bright & fresh, the exterior paintwork & wood were being tended to every day, the entertainment staff were actually joining in with us passengers rather then doing their own thing, the menu has been totally revamped, plus the return of the 'always available' options, as well as a Hot Savoury 'Dessert' course such as Croute Windsor, and Canapé Ivan Hoe.
For the Dance Troupe, well what can I say? It was their first stint on board & they were fantastic, full of enthusiasm eager to meet & chat us passengers - okay so there were a few mis-haps with some props, but that will come with time & practice, they were without doubt one of the best troupes we have seen.
For info, here are a few examples of the revised menu offereings ......
All the beef was described as 'grass fed',
Oak smoked Salmon
Award Winning Bury Black Pudding - though we never worked out which award ;o)
Monk Fish tail in bacon
Pheasant, Venison and bacon game pie
Gressingham Duck breast
Pigeon (they can happily cook all the one's in our village)
Creme de Cacao Valrhona chocolate pot with marmalade surprise - OMG !!!
Mocha flavoured Panne Cotta with caramel sauce, grated chocolate and coffee beans
and how about this for this list of additional ice-creams ....
Liquorice, Elderflower, Very Cherry, Lemon Grass, Brandy Fruit cake, Belgian Chocolate Truffle, Rhubard and Ginger, as well as Pink Grapefruit sorbet. Okay some odd sounding ones, but they just had to be tried & were lovely.
We can't comment on if the vegetarian options have changed greatly, but they also looked good.
This new menu is to be rolled out across the fleet over the next few months, so look out for a few surprises on your next P&O cruise.
So, has our faith in Oriana been restored? Most definitely, well done to Capt. Julian Burgess, CD Nigel Travis, Exec Chef Andy Yuill, their teams & all the others working so hard on board to make the experience far more in keeping with how it used to be.
Alan & Katrina
Last Cruise: Queen Victoria November 2014
Next: P&O Britannia March 2015
Then: Minerva April 2015
and : Royal Princess August 2015
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4+2), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura(2), Oceana(3), Oriana(11), Ventura(2), Victoria(5)
QM2(2), QE2(9), QV(6), QE, Caronia(2), Minerva II, Fred.Olsen(8), NCL Jade, =X= Eclipse, HAL Ryndam, Aza.Journey