Oriana - Canary Islands
I have just returned from a 10-night cruise to Madeira, the Canary Islands and Vigo, Spain. This was my third P&O cruise in 18 months, first on Arcadia, second on Oceana and this one on Oriana. In terms of food and service, Arcadia was excellent, Oceana not so good, but Oriana very poor. Is this because of cost cutting due to the economic climate or just a general drop in standards? Does anyone else think that standards have dropped on P&O, especially this ship?
Additionally, is maintenance being neglected? We had one day where there was a major power failure (most of the morning) with a shorter one in the afternoon. There were a number of leaks all over the ship and water was cut off from whole decks at a time whilst work was carried out.
Notwithstanding, the ship is in a beautiful condition inside and out with plenty of comfortable places to sit and relax, especially Anderson's and the Crows Nest. It also put on the best ship's entertainment I have ever experienced - the Headliners Theatre Group.
Sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your cruise on P&O.
I also have cruised before, and was not impressed. I am happy that you found the onboard entertainment to be wonderful, as did I. To be honest, I really enjoyed being in the company of the male dancers, as I am sure you did too. They are hot. Did you meet declan the canadian dancer ?? My oh My, if only I was alone. But the memories I have !!!
Glad you enjoyed his "Entertainment" also
Don't get me wrong - we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, actually more so than we did Oceana last year. It was just that standards seemed to have slipped, for example no delivery of "Britain Today" to the cabin, no laundry bag and laundry list, no card to hang on the door to ask for room service breakfast. All these had to be asked for or fetched.
Didn't get an opportunity to meet any of the entertainment staff, although one or two acted as hosts on shore excursions.
A cruise is always a fantastic holiday. I agree with you, the holiday/cruise on P&O was great, just the standards were slipping.
Its such a small company now...P&O, the only reason that carnival and Royal Caribbean were having a bidding war over the company is because of the Princess brand :-P
I have also sailed on Oriana to the Canaries this year - we had Norovirus on the way home from Madeira!
Also went on Oceana a few months ago and have been on Arcadia a few times as well in past few years.
My fav in order are Arcadia, Oceana and then Oriana. We never saw a cheese board at dinner on Oriana, very strange. The food on Oceana was as good as any other ship in the fleet when I was on her in September this year...
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
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