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Falmouthgirl

Wonderful Wonderful Oriana And Our Cruise To The Arctic Circle..

20 posts in this topic

At last my husband was given the all clear enabling us to look for a cruise at last, we decided on the fourteen day cruise to the Arctic circle aboard P&O Oriana, as it was a late booking we had to take the cabin and dining times assigned to us and we were notified by E-Mail that no changes could be made.

It was a 14 day cruise to the Arctic Circle from Southampton taking in seven ports we had not visited before and duly arrived on board the Oriana on the 11th July, with priority embarkation we were soon through checkout and in the lounge with a glass of champagne and some very nice titbits being offered a couple.. of glasses later we were told our cabin was ready.

We were allocated an inside cabin on B deck midships [deck 10] the cabin was a large inside twin beds and a large mirror on the wall which made the cabin seem even larger. a settee and table , four large drawers between the beds and a five drawer dressing table with four smaller drawers alongside , a television stood on top with shelves to put bags and hats and any other paraphernalia such as cameras and chargers on it, there was also a hair dryer in the drawer

A three door wardrobe stood beside it giving us plenty of room for long dresses, suits and shoes the cases went under the bed, the bathroom was the usual shower with curtain washbasin and toilet with plenty of room for toiletries and plenty of light , our cabin was positioned a few cabins from the lift which made us central and made it easy for us to access all the facilities so far so good.

Our cases appeared promptly and after unpacking we did a tour of the ship before lifeboat drill, I have sailed on the Aurora and had expected her to be very similar although there were some differences , for instance the Crystal pool on Oriana didn't have a roof as does the Aurora but the weather was so good it didn't matter , the prom deck is a wrap around deck which we like, Andersons and Harlequins , the Lords Tavern all on the same deck, Chaplin's cinema the library the casino we explored them all before time for the sailaway a glass of champagne In hand and alongside like minded people we waved Southampton goodbye on our quest to see Norway the trolls and the sprites.

After we went back to our cabin we found we were allotted freedom dining 6.30 until 9.30pm we usually do fixed dining on a table for 6 to 8 so went down at 8pm and the queue was horrendous everyone had the same idea, we were given pagers and said we would share a table we met two other couples and shared after that we met at 8pm every night and shared , I know it's defeating the object of the exercise of mixing every night with different people
but we all got on so well and had a wonderful dining experience.

Our waiters were always spot on and cheerful especially the wine waiter I saw no shortage of them as someone on a previous review had mentioned, there was a great choice on the menu and Salmon, steak and Chicken were always available, the food was hot and delicious not having to wait for veg etc is a bonus a good move on PO's part the same at lunch a good choice and the sweets were mouth watering the service great no complaints on our table.
We also came down for cream teas cornish cream, scones, teacakes and crumpets, sandwiches and fancies with a choice of teas and served in a china teapot my idea of heaven.

They have two restaurants with extra charges the Ocean grill and the Italian the Sorrento we all dined there one evening on the open deck at the stern my OH had the steak sizzler on a hot stone it looked like a small Sunday joint he thoroughly enjoyed it I had the wonderful sea bass it has a surcharge of just 5 pounds and well worth a try. the staff were very efficient and pleasant.

We had 2 days across the North sea the first day was glorious sunshine where we took to sunbathing on the back terraces and swimming a couple of quizzes and line dancing, time then for the Captains gala night, we were up in the Crows nest mingling a glass or two in our hands and the Captain made his speech, his name was Captain Ashley Cooke and he told some great jokes one about married life being a game of cards it starts of with hearts and diamonds and ends up with clubs and spades....
Also we would now be able to say we went to the Arctic with Captain Cooke..

Our first Port was Olden we moored alongside and took ourselves off on a glacier bus which took us up some mountains where there was snow still on them and some pretty villages and then we walked around the town a very small but pretty community very lonely in the winter I should image.

The second port and was named Andalsnes was shrouded in mist we had to tender in it reminded us of an Alpine village with it's pretty houses and snow capped mountains it , we did a leisurely walk around the village those who went up in the mountains didn't see very much because of the mist.

Next came Trondheim sun shining a beautiful Sunday we walked ashore [they had a shuttle] and reckoned it would take 10-15 minutes to walk but I would say it only took 5mins you crossed the bridge and there was sailing ships museum we were very excited to find it as we are very interested in the tall ships unfortunately it was closed, on into the wide streets , past the Royal palace it cost 6 pounds if you were an OAP and -8 if not to look around all very interesting lots of antiques and a lot of history.
There is a large market square then on to the cathedral made up of Norman and gothic the original was built in 1075 we spent quite a time looking around, then on towards the fortress and the old town bridge where the river is lined with old coloured warehouses all very accessible.

We also came across the Trampe-- the bicycle lift.. the bicycle lift helps cyclists up the steep hill almost up to the fortress the cyclist inserts a keycard and pushes the start button they then put their foot on the footplate and are pushed up the hill there are lots of cyclists in Norway the pathways are marked out for them.
No need to take expensive coach trips every thing was at hand and they were charging 6 pounds return on the shuttle bus for those who booked the reduced fares this was the only port this was in operation .


Lofoten Islands, Leknes there are seven Islands it was very wet and murky and we were tendered in and the we caught a complimentary bus we didn't do much just had a look around and back to the ship to dry out.

Alesund, was a lovely tranquil and pretty town sun shining we walked of the ship and into town there was the Art Nouveau centre and the Aalesunds museum with exhibitions we were interested in the German occupation by the Germans in the 2nd world war , it also had a large Aquarium and a bus to transport you it is supposed to be the largest and best in Scandinavia we didn't manage to get there we walked to the church which was magnificent.

Flam... Sognefjord is the deepest of all the fjords at the head is Flam and the famous Railway. we waited for the ship to dock and my husband went down the jetty to the Flam ticket office and bought two tickets for the railway at a cost of 80 pounds [the PO trips cost in the region of 63pounds each for the same journey,] we boarded the train and had a wonderful journey stopping at a huge waterfall where a sprite ? or Siren was singing and dancing beyond the gallons of water pouring down ,wonderful scenery and waterfalls all the way ,old churches snow capped mountains a wonderful journey .

Last but not least Wonderful Bergan the last port in Norway again we sallies forth into the brilliant sunshine along the waterfront the Queen Victoria was just tying up and a pullmantur the Empress was also tied up so it was quite busy, we went along the quayside it's full of brightly painted wooden warehouses almost medieval closely packed together now used for a variety of purposes, long tall buildings .
We crossed the road to the fish market selling all sorts of fish . they cooked it there and you could purchase it and eat it at the tables, the place was buzzing we were going to do the Vernacular but the queues were so long we decided against it.

We discovered that they were hosting the first leg of the Tall ships race the next day [ I live in Falmouth and we are hosting it in August on the leg to Lisbon] I was sorry there were none anchored up I love to see them with their sails out. Bergen was my favourite but all these ports had something special and you were able to easily do your own thing without organised and expensive coach trips.

Entertainment..
The headliners worked hard yes ,I had seen some of the shows before but they were just as good they also put in a Abba tribute plus a Freddy Mercury tribute which were both very good, and a souls and motown night we had two singers, and a Cliff Richards sound and look a like and Tom O'Connor all very enjoyable and if you wanted a bit of culture there was a classical pianist at the start and end of the cruise.

All in all this cruise ticked all the boxes the ports the food , quietness of the cabin and the great staff all so cheerful I would recommend it and would certainly think of going this way again. sorry it's such a long review but once I started I found so much to say

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 
 
5

Staff
my cabin steward was a real ambassador for PO cruises, nothing to much trouble always happy I recommend him, we were always late out in the evening and although I told him not to bother but he insisted, as for the waiters they were so efficient and friendly even though we had different ones  and the wine waiter was tip top on his toes noticing when we needed him.
 
 

Plenty to do on board , Quizzes, dancing , Gym, films and a guest speaker on U boats  battles etc art. classes even Zumba to keep fit something for everyone..
 
There certainly were some great bands especially up in the Crows nest, and around the ship, they seem to have  the entertainment sussed on this ship,

As for the food it was plentiful and varied good choices and now plated came piping hot,  we were very satisfied it seemed as though they had pulled out all the stops to make this cruise a great on for us.

 

The Itinerary was one we had not done before and it didn't fail to delight us wonderful stops we would recommend it and maybe do it again  and go further North maybe.

 

Hope you enjoy it I have put up a photo album  of some of our shots but I am not a great photographer  .

 

CG

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
REVIEW
 
 
 
 
Furby, oldbiddy1, DavidH and 3 others like this

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Very good review - enough to whet your appetite

 

You should try the 'Search for the Northern Lights' - we did it March and had a fantastic cruise on the Oriana

 

David

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Thanks Dennis I thought I should share this as there are quite a few PO fans on the forum, CG

 

Well funnily enough I just wrote that on a separate new thread Cornish Girl.

 

And that is one of the joys of this Forum: there are so many regular P&O cruisers who appreciate exactly the style that P&O offer.

 

I know you are one of them having done so many P&O cruises and in particular a couple of proper length World Cruises.

 

Great review and thanks for sharing it on the Bolsover Cruise club Forum. 

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Great revue CG, we are doing the Fjords next year on Brittania and will be visiting some of the places you have been. Your information on these ports of call is very useful and greatly appreciated. We are looking forward to that cruise even more after reading your revue. Thank you.

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We have just returned from a similar cruise on Oriana, only difference itinerary wise was that we visited Geiranger instead of Olden. We didn't have as good weather as you had, but did have some cracking days: Bergen and two of the sea days were great. Alesund was a complete washout unfortunately with driving rain all day. But the weather was unpredictable even though the captain (Robert Camby) tried to keep us up to date and we did have the last knockings of Hurricane Bertha to contend with.

 

The Cliff Richard tribute must live onboard as he was also on ours. The other entertainers were very good as well Victor Michael, Beverley Davison, Manuel Martinez and The Four-Tunes. The Headliners were excellent.

 

Our only moan would be that the house bands were too samey. Surely, it is about time that P&O had one of those bands doing more beat and rock orientated covers. Ballroom dancers and classical music fans are well catered for, but there is nothing live for the rock generation on a nightly basis.

 

Although the terms of the Saver fare do not allow changes, there were plenty onboard who did manage to change their allocated dining. Just a case of if you don't ask you don't get.

 

RayO

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Hi Rayo

 

Yes they will help out if they can  as I previously said on asking they did come up with the table for four on second sitting bur after sampling the freedom dining we decided we liked it so declined. CG

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Cornish Girl I think we were one of the couples you met each night for dinner (Liz and George), yes I agree with you it was a wonderful cruise and we have booked to sail on the Oriana again this year.  I have emailed you.  Wonderful, just wonderful, hope we meet again soon.  Lizbeth.

 

 

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What a glowing review, it sounds like you had a great time and met some lovely people, exactly what we enjoy in a holiday. 

 

Thanks CG

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At last my husband was given the all clear enabling us to look for a cruise at last, we decided on the fourteen day cruise to the Arctic circle aboard P&O Oriana, as it was a late booking we had to take the cabin and dining times assigned to us and we were notified by E-Mail that no changes could be made.

It was a 14 day cruise to the Arctic Circle from Southampton taking in seven ports we had not visited before and duly arrived on board the Oriana on the 11th July, with priority embarkation we were soon through checkout and in the lounge with a glass of champagne and some very nice titbits being offered a couple.. of glasses later we were told our cabin was ready.

We were allocated an inside cabin on B deck midships [deck 10] the cabin was a large inside twin beds and a large mirror on the wall which made the cabin seem even larger. a settee and table , four large drawers between the beds and a five drawer dressing table with four smaller drawers alongside , a television stood on top with shelves to put bags and hats and any other paraphernalia such as cameras and chargers on it, there was also a hair dryer in the drawer

A three door wardrobe stood beside it giving us plenty of room for long dresses, suits and shoes the cases went under the bed, the bathroom was the usual shower with curtain washbasin and toilet with plenty of room for toiletries and plenty of light , our cabin was positioned a few cabins from the lift which made us central and made it easy for us to access all the facilities so far so good.

Our cases appeared promptly and after unpacking we did a tour of the ship before lifeboat drill, I have sailed on the Aurora and had expected her to be very similar although there were some differences , for instance the Crystal pool on Oriana didn't have a roof as does the Aurora but the weather was so good it didn't matter , the prom deck is a wrap around deck which we like, Andersons and Harlequins , the Lords Tavern all on the same deck, Chaplin's cinema the library the casino we explored them all before time for the sailaway a glass of champagne In hand and alongside like minded people we waved Southampton goodbye on our quest to see Norway the trolls and the sprites.

After we went back to our cabin we found we were allotted freedom dining 6.30 until 9.30pm we usually do fixed dining on a table for 6 to 8 so went down at 8pm and the queue was horrendous everyone had the same idea, we were given pagers and said we would share a table we met two other couples and shared after that we met at 8pm every night and shared , I know it's defeating the object of the exercise of mixing every night with different people

but we all got on so well and had a wonderful dining experience.

Our waiters were always spot on and cheerful especially the wine waiter I saw no shortage of them as someone on a previous review had mentioned, there was a great choice on the menu and Salmon, steak and Chicken were always available, the food was hot and delicious not having to wait for veg etc is a bonus a good move on PO's part the same at lunch a good choice and the sweets were mouth watering the service great no complaints on our table.

We also came down for cream teas cornish cream, scones, teacakes and crumpets, sandwiches and fancies with a choice of teas and served in a china teapot my idea of heaven.

They have two restaurants with extra charges the Ocean grill and the Italian the Sorrento we all dined there one evening on the open deck at the stern my OH had the steak sizzler on a hot stone it looked like a small Sunday joint he thoroughly enjoyed it I had the wonderful sea bass it has a surcharge of just 5 pounds and well worth a try. the staff were very efficient and pleasant.

We had 2 days across the North sea the first day was glorious sunshine where we took to sunbathing on the back terraces and swimming a couple of quizzes and line dancing, time then for the Captains gala night, we were up in the Crows nest mingling a glass or two in our hands and the Captain made his speech, his name was Captain Ashley Cooke and he told some great jokes one about married life being a game of cards it starts of with hearts and diamonds and ends up with clubs and spades....

Also we would now be able to say we went to the Arctic with Captain Cooke..

Our first Port was Olden we moored alongside and took ourselves off on a glacier bus which took us up some mountains where there was snow still on them and some pretty villages and then we walked around the town a very small but pretty community very lonely in the winter I should image.

The second port and was named Andalsnes was shrouded in mist we had to tender in it reminded us of an Alpine village with it's pretty houses and snow capped mountains it , we did a leisurely walk around the village those who went up in the mountains didn't see very much because of the mist.

Next came Trondheim sun shining a beautiful Sunday we walked ashore [they had a shuttle] and reckoned it would take 10-15 minutes to walk but I would say it only took 5mins you crossed the bridge and there was sailing ships museum we were very excited to find it as we are very interested in the tall ships unfortunately it was closed, on into the wide streets , past the Royal palace it cost 6 pounds if you were an OAP and -8 if not to look around all very interesting lots of antiques and a lot of history.

There is a large market square then on to the cathedral made up of Norman and gothic the original was built in 1075 we spent quite a time looking around, then on towards the fortress and the old town bridge where the river is lined with old coloured warehouses all very accessible.

We also came across the Trampe-- the bicycle lift.. the bicycle lift helps cyclists up the steep hill almost up to the fortress the cyclist inserts a keycard and pushes the start button they then put their foot on the footplate and are pushed up the hill there are lots of cyclists in Norway the pathways are marked out for them.

No need to take expensive coach trips every thing was at hand and they were charging 6 pounds return on the shuttle bus for those who booked the reduced fares this was the only port this was in operation .

Lofoten Islands, Leknes there are seven Islands it was very wet and murky and we were tendered in and the we caught a complimentary bus we didn't do much just had a look around and back to the ship to dry out.

Alesund, was a lovely tranquil and pretty town sun shining we walked of the ship and into town there was the Art Nouveau centre and the Aalesunds museum with exhibitions we were interested in the German occupation by the Germans in the 2nd world war , it also had a large Aquarium and a bus to transport you it is supposed to be the largest and best in Scandinavia we didn't manage to get there we walked to the church which was magnificent.

Flam... Sognefjord is the deepest of all the fjords at the head is Flam and the famous Railway. we waited for the ship to dock and my husband went down the jetty to the Flam ticket office and bought two tickets for the railway at a cost of 80 pounds [the PO trips cost in the region of 63pounds each for the same journey,] we boarded the train and had a wonderful journey stopping at a huge waterfall where a sprite ? or Siren was singing and dancing beyond the gallons of water pouring down ,wonderful scenery and waterfalls all the way ,old churches snow capped mountains a wonderful journey .

Last but not least Wonderful Bergan the last port in Norway again we sallies forth into the brilliant sunshine along the waterfront the Queen Victoria was just tying up and a pullmantur the Empress was also tied up so it was quite busy, we went along the quayside it's full of brightly painted wooden warehouses almost medieval closely packed together now used for a variety of purposes, long tall buildings .

We crossed the road to the fish market selling all sorts of fish . they cooked it there and you could purchase it and eat it at the tables, the place was buzzing we were going to do the Vernacular but the queues were so long we decided against it.

We discovered that they were hosting the first leg of the Tall ships race the next day [ I live in Falmouth and we are hosting it in August on the leg to Lisbon] I was sorry there were none anchored up I love to see them with their sails out. Bergen was my favourite but all these ports had something special and you were able to easily do your own thing without organised and expensive coach trips.

Entertainment..

The headliners worked hard yes ,I had seen some of the shows before but they were just as good they also put in a Abba tribute plus a Freddy Mercury tribute which were both very good, and a souls and motown night we had two singers, and a Cliff Richards sound and look a like and Tom O'Connor all very enjoyable and if you wanted a bit of culture there was a classical pianist at the start and end of the cruise.

All in all this cruise ticked all the boxes the ports the food , quietness of the cabin and the great staff all so cheerful I would recommend it and would certainly think of going this way again. sorry it's such a long review but once I started I found so much to say

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 
 
5

Staff
my cabin steward was a real ambassador for PO cruises, nothing to much trouble always happy I recommend him, we were always late out in the evening and although I told him not to bother but he insisted, as for the waiters they were so efficient and friendly even though we had different ones  and the wine waiter was tip top on his toes noticing when we needed him.
 
 

Plenty to do on board , Quizzes, dancing , Gym, films and a guest speaker on U boats  battles etc art. classes even Zumba to keep fit something for everyone..
 
There certainly were some great bands especially up in the Crows nest, and around the ship, they seem to have  the entertainment sussed on this ship,

As for the food it was plentiful and varied good choices and now plated came piping hot,  we were very satisfied it seemed as though they had pulled out all the stops to make this cruise a great on for us.

 

The Itinerary was one we had not done before and it didn't fail to delight us wonderful stops we would recommend it and maybe do it again  and go further North maybe.

 

Hope you enjoy it I have put up a photo album  of some of our shots but I am not a great photographer  .

 

CG

Pleased to read that your husband is all clear.
Must agree with you it is a magical journey up to the Artic Circle. I was lucky enough to visit whilst on board Queen Victoria.
Norway is one of my favourite locations.
 
It worth however catching the train from Trondheim to Hell, Just for the photo on the railway station. 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Hi Liz lovely to see you on the forum, yes it is us, and you'll never believe it but we were also eyeing up the cruise you are taking, however, we have had to change our plans [family celebration] we are off on the Ventura next weekend which suits us. Take care love to George and do write a review on the cruise you are taking it sounds great.CG

Lizbeth likes this

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Hi CG, will do, we have just been assigned our cabin, it is on D deck right at the back, does anybody know what it is like (above the engine) as we have always been assigned cabins on B deck, very quiet.  Do I need to bring plenty of headache pills.  However, on the bright side it is near the pool and might be easy to get a sun bed.

Liz.

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Hi CG, will do, we have just been assigned our cabin, it is on D deck right at the back, does anybody know what it is like (above the engine) as we have always been assigned cabins on B deck, very quiet.  Do I need to bring plenty of headache pills.  However, on the bright side it is near the pool and might be easy to get a sun bed.

Liz.

lizbeth the engines are not at the back I am being a bit technical at this point they are set further forward, but you do suffer from vibration more than anywhere else on the ship people have complained of vibrations in the dining room, but I would certainly not be overly concerned .

We think she is still a lovely ship even if she is looking a bit tired in places we have sailed twicw on her before and would certainly swop places with youlaugh.png

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Hi CG, will do, we have just been assigned our cabin, it is on D deck right at the back, does anybody know what it is like (above the engine) as we have always been assigned cabins on B deck, very quiet.  Do I need to bring plenty of headache pills.  However, on the bright side it is near the pool and might be easy to get a sun bed.

Liz.

Hi Liz, we had some vibration on a forward outside cabin on Oriana that affected my wife.

In theory there should be slightly less vibration on an inside cabin in comparison to an opposite outer cabin, because the inner cabin is not directly connected to the ship's hull and the corridor acts as a damper.

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Great review nice to hear some really positive points, sometimes a review can be doom and gloom but this has made me reminisce about my cruise experiences well done, and glad you had such a lovely time.

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What a do devil review. I am back on her, after 5 years, at the end of May. We actually like the vibration which for some reason seems comforting. My wife only worries when it stops as, when out at sea, it means something us wrong. We deliberately pick a cabin near the stern on C deck.

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