Christmas and new year on oriana 2017


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#1
wales
95 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Well, where do I start..After excellant embarkation in southampton wew were reall excited. Had our canapes etc in Pacific lounge which was very nice. Then to cabin then muster station. So far so good. The an announcement saying no hot water as boiler broken all passengers ger £25 pp credit. Delayed sailing until following mirning.
The outward cruise was perfect the sea was so calm. We were all expecting loads of christmas activities but all we had was a few christmas carols.We did attend christmas morning service which was nice read by Captain Derek James who was one of the best Captains we have had but after that zilch. We expected waiters walking around offering mulled wine and mince pies as Thomson do.
We were very very disappointed in ports of call all container ports so shuttle buses everywhere not easy for disabled passengers.
The cruise home was horrendous so Lisbon was avoided due to heavy seas (not pando fault) as a result of this we arrived back in southampton a day early.
Would I cruise with pando again christmas and new year sorry the answer is no. In fact while on board we prebooked 2 cruises using the £50 deposit scheme but have just cancelled both.
#2
Cornwall, UK
2,122 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We too were on this cruise and agree with most of what you say....we also did it 2 years ago which was very different although the same itinerary........although we called at Lisbon on Christmas Eve on that one which made a huge difference.....the four full sea days at the beginning was too much with little going on to make it feel Christmassy......whose idea was it t have Santa appear on deck at 7.30 pm when first sitting were at dinner? On our previous cruise he appeared at 5.00 ish and we all sang carols on deck with the officers.......with mulled wine being served....far better!
Once the cancelled visit to Lisbon was announced we expected the Entertainment officer to arrange some extra things to do during the day but Hughie Taylor (a longstanding staff member) was notable by his absence/silence....not good enough I'm afraid. We have done nearly 40 cruises and this was unfortunately the worst ever.
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Still to come:-

Oriana Christmas in the Canaries 21 Dec 2017
Ventura Caribbean & USA 5 Feb 2018
Marella Discovery 2 Aegean & Adriatic 28 Sep 2018
#3
wales
95 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
So glad you agree with most of what I posted.
Like you we have done several cruises but this one took the biscuit!On some days christmas was non existant. Where was the atmosphere? The biggest laugh was the staff panto and we did enjoying singing on christmas morning.
Having been home for a few days we did think there would1 have been a bigger response to the cruise.
P and O really need to up their game if they want to keep their loyal customers who are their bread and butter.
#4
Leeds
144 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I'm gutted for you both, sounds nothing like our Christmas cruise on Oriana back in 2011. I do think that the cruise director can have a big influence on cruises (especially Christmas cruises) and it sounds like he didn't make much effort this time. Having sailed with this particular cruise director a few times I'm sad to say that I'm not that surprised.
All the best
Damian
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To come:
Azura A821 Mediterranean
Ventura N921 Canaries
Already enjoyed:
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#5
bucks
669 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
We have had 4 Christmas cruises with P&O over the years
The first one was our first ever cruise and was a fly cruise to the East Med on Adonia. We had a lot of port changes due to the then political situation but the cruise was wonderful. There was so much to do.
I started learning bridge. There were plays on sea days in the afternoon and also a play reading group. There were great speakers and craft activities. We were spoilt for choice. It was in the days of the so called “silver service” and the food was great. We loved our table of 8 and the food in the MDR

The following year we did a Southampton Christmas cruise on Arcadia to the West Med. Again very good though the cutbacks were starting to show. No more bridge tuition. Less entertainment in the day unless you counted the quizzes. Good destinations though.

Then we had two years of Christmas cruises that were disappointing. Both to the Canaries as the option of going into the Med was now a thing of the past. First on Oceana then the next year on Adonia. Oceana was poor. Our cabin was plagued with issues. The bathroom door wouldn’t shut and it took them a couple of days to fix this. The toilet kept overflowing- took days to fix. There was a fault with the balcony doors and eventually they had to be rehung. Our corridor was full of dehumidifiers
Atmosphere on the ship not great and very little to do in the day. We abandoned the buffet after a day or two as hygiene seemed bad and many passengers handling food and then putting it back. Not P&O’s fault per se but they did nothing to try and stop it. MDR food very poor - especially Christmas Day and indeed P&O acknowledged by email that food on the cruise was below their standard. Very glad to get home
Following year went back to Adonia. Ok at best but entertainment team especially poor and for first time I felt it was like Butlins at Sea. We went to Agadir to a working port and most pax stayed on the ship because of the political situation- a poor choice of port at that time and a poor day in port because of the noise and fumes of the port. Then we missed Lanzarote because of winds. Food ok at best and the contrast with our first Christmas cruise was striking.

While I love to be away at Christmas and New Year I just don’t fancy what P&O now offer compared to 5-7 years ago. I don’t want to cruise to Madeira and the Canaries again. I don’t have the time to spend 3 weeks cruising to and from the Caribbean and I don’t want to head for Hamburg and Amsterdam and Oslo in the middle of winter
I’d be happy to cruise back to the Med

I just felt over our last cruises a sense of boredom unless you were happy with the quizzes etc. I read a lot and like to people watch but not all day.
#6
Lancashire... UK
880 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Hi....I have wondered how P&O Xmas cruises would be and from what is being said on here...disappointing. I think one of the problems of "long term" cruisers is that we notice the cutbacks....on all cruise lines....and we become very disappointed because we want what we have had in previous years. Looking at pricing for a Xmas cruise 2018 it works out at less than £100 per night...inside cabin. early saver. I have also looked at Xmas coach holidays in the UK but they work out at more than £100 per night and out of a 5 day (4 Night) trip 2 days are taking up with travelling to & from destination so I am not sure that works out at better value. As to the standard of hotel/food/entertainment offered with the coach companies I don't know. Maybe if P&O upped their prices to a more realistic figure and offered a better festive experience onboard that would be more acceptable.
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#7
bucks
669 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by janny444
Hi....I have wondered how P&O Xmas cruises would be and from what is being said on here...disappointing. I think one of the problems of "long term" cruisers is that we notice the cutbacks....on all cruise lines....and we become very disappointed because we want what we have had in previous years. Looking at pricing for a Xmas cruise 2018 it works out at less than £100 per night...inside cabin. early saver. I have also looked at Xmas coach holidays in the UK but they work out at more than £100 per night and out of a 5 day (4 Night) trip 2 days are taking up with travelling to & from destination so I am not sure that works out at better value. As to the standard of hotel/food/entertainment offered with the coach companies I don't know. Maybe if P&O upped their prices to a more realistic figure and offered a better festive experience onboard that would be more acceptable.
None of our Christmas cruises was particularly cheap as we always book balconies but I agree we would pay more for better food and better experiences
I do look at what’s on offer at Christmas each year and as I mentioned in my earlier post destinations are putting me off. There also seems to be a trend now for separate cruises at Christmas and New Year whereas the four we took covered both

I have also looked a festive uk coach holidays but never booked. When you look up the hotels used on review sites such as trip advisor the reviews are poor especially for coach trips
#8
Lancashire... UK
880 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Yes I take your point about hotels that coaches use...mmmm....like you not sure. The price I said was for an inside cabin and not a balcony but I was trying to compare what you can get for the price of a coach trip and maybe an inside cabin would be preferable to a hotel room used by coach companies.
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P&O Oceana Caribbean Dec 2010
Princess Star Mediterranean Sept 2011
P&O Azura Caribbean Dec 2011
RCI IOTS Canaries April 2012
Princess Caribbean Round Britain May 2012
P&O Oceana Canaries Nov 20112
Celebrity Infinity Norway & Fjords May 213
Princess Crown Mediterranean July 2013
P&O Ventura Mediterranean Oct 2013
Thomson Spirit Ireland May 2014
MSC Magnifica Northern Cities Sept 2014
MSC Splendida Northern Cities Sep 2016
P&O Azura Fjords Sept 2017
P&O Azura Spain,Portugal & France April 2018
Thomson Discovery European Experience Sept 2018
P&O Azura Fjords April 2019
P&O Ventura Spanish Cities & Portugal Sept 2019