Our first time - advice please

Oriana cruises in 2018

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brixhamrfc
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Our first time - advice please

Post by brixhamrfc »

Well, I am taking wifey on our first cruise next August....and I feel like a fish out of water. Can any of you lovely people offer a complete newbie any advice whatsoever, to stop me making an idiot of myself on board ? Many thanks to you all.

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oldbluefox
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by oldbluefox »

Welcome!!
There is a New to Cruising section on the forum which has all sorts of tips advice for newbies but if you have any specific questions please do post them and I'm sure somebody will be able to answer them.
Where are you going? And which ship?


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by brixhamrfc »

Thank you so much for getting back so quickly. We are going on Oriana, 19 days around the Med, next August.....I see there is a 2 day taster cruise from Southampton to Zeebrugge right before this one, so I am going to tag that on as well, giving us 2 days to get to know the ship before the main cruise, and giving us 21 days in total ....good idea do you think ? The info in the brochures is confusing re dining.....We have elected to have freedom dining, and I'm not sure whether that allows us to dine in Peninsular and Oriental restaurants, as I say, the info is, I feel, contradictory.
I would love any tips, especially about dress codes... I am a scruffy sod by nature (I consider Compo well dressed).....I would also like to take a some drink on board as well, is this still allowed, or will they confiscate it ? Many thanks again good people.


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Quizzical Bob »

Welcome Brixham, and be warned - cruising is very addictive!

On Oriana freedom dining is in the Peninsular restaurant at the moment.

https://ask.pocruises.com/help/PO/life- ... dom_dining

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barney
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by barney »

Welcome to the forum
We have a soft spot for Oriana, she's a lovely old ship with a nice atmosphere.
Freedom dining is they way forward these days although many still prefer the set sitting club dining, so it suits all sorts.
That is the beauty of cruising. Do as much or as little as you like.

As for the dress code, smart casual is the usual with a few formals thrown in.
Smart casual just means a smart pair of trousers and a smart shirt. nothing too fancy is needed.
Formal means a dinner suit for the gents, although any smart suit & tie is acceptable, and a posh frock for the ladies.
We think that making the effort for dinner adds to the holiday experience.

I've known quite a few over the years who have told me that they didn't fancy the formal nights and dressing up, only to love it and say it's the best bit of the holiday.

As for drinks, fill your boots !!!
They don't seem too concerned about it.
I usually take a few bottles of bubbly and a wine box.

Any questions about ports, just ask.
100% sure someone on here has been there.
Last edited by barney on 09 Nov 2017, 14:54, edited 1 time in total.

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qbman1
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by qbman1 »

barney wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 14:51
Welcome to the forum
We have a soft spot for Oriana, she's a lovely old ship with a nice atmosphere.
Freedom dining is they way forward these days although many still prefer the set sitting club dining, so it suits all sorts.
That is the beauty of cruising. Do as much or as little as you like.

As for the dress code, smart casual is the usual with a few formals thrown in.
Smart casual just means a smart pair of trousers and a smart shirt. nothing too fancy is needed.
Formal means a dinner suit for the gents, although any smart suit & tie is acceptable, and a posh frock for the ladies.
We think that making the effort for dinner adds to the holiday experience.

I've known quite a few over the years who have told me that they didn't fancy the formal nights and dressing up, only to love it and say it's the best bit of the holiday.

As for drinks, fill your boots !!!
They don't seem too concerned about it.
I usually take a few bottles of bubbly and a wine box.


Any questions about ports, just ask.
100% sure someone on here has been there.
Seems to be a change afoot on the booze front - see this ongoing thread:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6420

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Stephen
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Stephen »

brixhamrfc wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 12:55
Thank you so much for getting back so quickly. We are going on Oriana, 19 days around the Med, next August.....I see there is a 2 day taster cruise from Southampton to Zeebrugge right before this one, so I am going to tag that on as well, giving us 2 days to get to know the ship before the main cruise, and giving us 21 days in total ....good idea do you think ? The info in the brochures is confusing re dining.....We have elected to have freedom dining, and I'm not sure whether that allows us to dine in Peninsular and Oriental restaurants, as I say, the info is, I feel, contradictory.
I would love any tips, especially about dress codes... I am a scruffy sod by nature (I consider Compo well dressed).....I would also like to take a some drink on board as well, is this still allowed, or will they confiscate it ? Many thanks again good people.
Welcome to the forum brixhamrfc

Whatever you do don't mention the word 'Tips' on here. :D
Last edited by Stephen on 09 Nov 2017, 15:07, edited 1 time in total.

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qbman1
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by qbman1 »

Not to you anyway !

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barney
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by barney »

qbman1 wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 15:04
barney wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 14:51
Welcome to the forum
We have a soft spot for Oriana, she's a lovely old ship with a nice atmosphere.
Freedom dining is they way forward these days although many still prefer the set sitting club dining, so it suits all sorts.
That is the beauty of cruising. Do as much or as little as you like.

As for the dress code, smart casual is the usual with a few formals thrown in.
Smart casual just means a smart pair of trousers and a smart shirt. nothing too fancy is needed.
Formal means a dinner suit for the gents, although any smart suit & tie is acceptable, and a posh frock for the ladies.
We think that making the effort for dinner adds to the holiday experience.

I've known quite a few over the years who have told me that they didn't fancy the formal nights and dressing up, only to love it and say it's the best bit of the holiday.

As for drinks, fill your boots !!!
They don't seem too concerned about it.
I usually take a few bottles of bubbly and a wine box.


Any questions about ports, just ask.
100% sure someone on here has been there.
Seems to be a change afoot on the booze front - see this ongoing thread:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6420
I stand corrected cubie.

I wasn't aware of that.
Will curb my enthusiasm a bit :crazy:

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qbman1
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by qbman1 »

You're understandably excited after that 7-5 win over Reading Under 10s !

Wouldn't worry, the booze malarkey only came to light today
Last edited by qbman1 on 09 Nov 2017, 15:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Stephen
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Stephen »

barney wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 15:33
qbman1 wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 15:04
barney wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 14:51
Welcome to the forum
We have a soft spot for Oriana, she's a lovely old ship with a nice atmosphere.
Freedom dining is they way forward these days although many still prefer the set sitting club dining, so it suits all sorts.
That is the beauty of cruising. Do as much or as little as you like.

As for the dress code, smart casual is the usual with a few formals thrown in.
Smart casual just means a smart pair of trousers and a smart shirt. nothing too fancy is needed.
Formal means a dinner suit for the gents, although any smart suit & tie is acceptable, and a posh frock for the ladies.
We think that making the effort for dinner adds to the holiday experience.

I've known quite a few over the years who have told me that they didn't fancy the formal nights and dressing up, only to love it and say it's the best bit of the holiday.

As for drinks, fill your boots !!!
They don't seem too concerned about it.
I usually take a few bottles of bubbly and a wine box.


Any questions about ports, just ask.
100% sure someone on here has been there.
Seems to be a change afoot on the booze front - see this ongoing thread:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6420
I stand corrected cubie.

I wasn't aware of that.
Will curb my enthusiasm a bit :crazy:
Don't apologise to him barney. Who's he ;) :D

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by oldbluefox »

If you are sailing out of Southampton I would say not to bother with the 2 day acclimatise cruise. You will have a couple of days to unwind and explore the ship as she will be two days at sea so there is plenty of time to find your sea legs and discover what the ship has to offer.
Tips will be added to your onboard account unless you choose to remove them. Personally we have always found cabin stewards and waiters to be very friendly and helpful so we tend to leave the tips as they are but it is a personal preference.
Similarly on formal nights I think you will find most people like to dress up in DJs with ladies in cocktail or long dresses. As barney says some wear a dark lounge suit. My advice, unless you are dead set against the idea, is to go for it rather than feel left out. The ship photographers will be out and about to take formal pictures if you so wish and it is a good opportunity to dress up . However if you choose not to nobody will have your arm up your back although on those evenings you will not be allowed to eat in the main restaurants and some bars will not be available to you.
A word of warning though..................... cruising is addictive. We said we would give it a try just to see if we liked it................. :lol:

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by qbman1 »

I dunno - you certainly get a completely different atmosphere on a 2-nighter so that followed up by a "proper" cruise will give a taste of the full cruising spectrum !

We did a booze cruise on Aurora back-to-back with a Fjords cruise and spent turnaround morning in town in Southampton. When we got back to the ship, the atmosphere was so different, we thought we had boarded the wrong ship !

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by oldbluefox »

But if they don't like the first cruise will it prejudice their feelings for the second ...........................
Don't ask me cos I'm not into booze cruises. :angel: :angel: :angel:

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Mervyn and Trish
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

I notice that along with the change in policy on the amount of drink you can bring on board the term "party cruise " is to be dropped and dress codes are to be enforced.
Last edited by Mervyn and Trish on 09 Nov 2017, 17:28, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by brixhamrfc »

Thank you so much everyone, these ahem, "tips" (I promise I won't say it again) are really useful. As it's a special year next year, wife has a "special" birthday, plus it's our Ruby Wedding Anniversary, I want it to be special.....got the DJ already, though I will feel very uncomfortable at first, but I like your comments about feeling good in it after a while.....wifey is all excited about the "posh frocks" bit, so we'll be fine on that front. I would like to take a bottle of champers on board, and that seems , from your comments, to be ok. Wine is a different matter....can't stand the stuff, being a beery swine, but I guess turning up with a forklift truck isn't going to go down well, so I'll just buy it on board....
I think I will go for the extra 2 day cruise to Zeebrugge, I hear what you say about it , well, being a slightly different clientelle, but it will give us 2 days extra PLUS about an extra 12 hours, and we'll already be on board....
qbman1 we are up in your neck of the woods again this sat....Newbury...hoping for a better result than last week at Maidenhead !


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by CaroleF »

The only thing you'll need to worry about is saving for your second cruise. As far as the 2 night cruise, if you do this just bear in mind that the atmosphere aboard will be entirely different from the one you'll experience on your longer cruise. As Foxy says some of the so-called Party Cruises can be noisy and I'd hate those two nights to make you think, Whatever have we done? Just warn your wife not to judge what the cruise is going to be like from the first two nights. I'm sure you'll really enjoy the formal evenings, good for you to be already prepared. You'll find the majority of men on the full cruise will be wearing Black Tie and the ship does take on a glamorous atmosphere on a formal evening. Enjoy yourselves.


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Quizzical Bob »

We've never done a bcak to back an perhaps others can advise. It may be worth asking for the same cabin for the two cruises.


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by brixhamrfc »

Another silly "newbie" question.....as wifey is diabetic, her drink intake is rather limited......does Oriana serve anything other than diet coke, do you know ? Perhaps diet lemonade, or sugar free flavoured water > thanks guys, your answers are really helpfullll....Quizzical Bob, tried that re the cabins, can get next door, which is good enough for us.....cabins with balconies, should be good.....

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

I don't know the details because we are fortunate not to have the problem, but P&O are very good at dealing with all types of dietary requirement.


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by brixhamrfc »

Thank you again Mervyn and Trish....one for the Travel Agents then....make them earn their commission

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by qbman1 »

If you or your TA ring P&O, I have always found them really helpful and they will send on advance notification of any requirements to the ship. We once had to request a specific table in the MDR (long story !) and they even arranged that for us

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by david63 »

On the point of doing back-to-back - if you do not have the same cabin then the staff on board will do most of the moving for you (or at least that is what used to happen)


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by brixhamrfc »

Another daft question if I may.....TIME.....on board ship, does it keep to UK time,, or local time ? If local, is there an announcement to remind you to change your watch ?

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by david63 »

brixhamrfc wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 08:17
Another daft question if I may.....TIME.....on board ship, does it keep to UK time,, or local time ? If local, is there an announcement to remind you to change your watch ?
Local time. When the clocks go back you will be told by everyone as well as it being in the daily Horizon paper and there will be a card on your bed to remind you before you retire for the night. When the clocks go forward then that usually happens at midday


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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by brixhamrfc »

Very helpful David....thank you so much.

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Manoverboard »

b2b out of Southampton is a good plan.

Due to the location of our Terminal it was but a short walk to John Lewis, M&S and chums ... the wife had a great time :cry:

You may have to depart the ship after the two dayer via the Crew's exit and it will be necessary to upgrade / replace your cruise card for the second one.

It you fancy an anniversary-esque lunch in Southampton consider ' The Pig in the Wall '

ps .... Hello and Welcome :wave:
Moby or Mob is far easier to type ...

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Meg 50 »

david63 wrote:
16 Nov 2017, 14:54
On the point of doing back-to-back - if you do not have the same cabin then the staff on board will do most of the moving for you (or at least that is what used to happen)
If the 2 dayer is at the start - It might be worth packing accordingly so your main luggage remains unpacked until you move next door
Meg
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Onelife »

Hi Brix

Great destination for a first cruise ....enjoy!

As for tips........don't forget the more practical things in life such as dental floss etc

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Meg 50
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Meg 50 »

don't get so bound up panicking about dress codes that you miss that they only take effect from 6pm and forget to pack day wear!

I completely forgot to add that into the equation first cruise.... Luckily, OH mentioned it in passing in time for me to sort that too
Last edited by Meg 50 on 18 Dec 2017, 14:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by brixhamrfc »

Manoverboard wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 11:39
b2b out of Southampton is a good plan.

Due to the location of our Terminal it was but a short walk to John Lewis, M&S and chums ... the wife had a great time :cry:

You may have to depart the ship after the two dayer via the Crew's exit and it will be necessary to upgrade / replace your cruise card for the second one.

It you fancy an anniversary-esque lunch in Southampton consider ' The Pig in the Wall '

ps .... Hello and Welcome :wave:
Do we have to get off after the mini cruise ? I wanted to stay on board.....

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Meg 50
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Meg 50 »

no, as long as you don't get in the way.
meals will be provided.
Moby meant that if you do, you use the same entrances and shuttle buses ( if necessary) as the crew
Meg
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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by towny44 »

brixhamrfc wrote:
29 Dec 2017, 08:37
Manoverboard wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 11:39
b2b out of Southampton is a good plan.

Due to the location of our Terminal it was but a short walk to John Lewis, M&S and chums ... the wife had a great time :cry:

You may have to depart the ship after the two dayer via the Crew's exit and it will be necessary to upgrade / replace your cruise card for the second one.

It you fancy an anniversary-esque lunch in Southampton consider ' The Pig in the Wall '

ps .... Hello and Welcome :wave:
Do we have to get off after the mini cruise ? I wanted to stay on board.....
We have never done a B2B but I understand you can stay on board, although you may need to visit passenger services to obtain a new cruise card; and there will be no room service and breakfast will be finished serving by about 9:00am. You will find that once most passengers have disembarked, which will be about 9:30, that the ship is a bit like a mausoleum, totally lifeless and a very sad place to be, but it should begin to liven up as the new passengers start to embark.
John

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by CaroleF »

We stayed on board once in the Caribbean as we were doing a back to back and didn't find it at all lifeless. We had breakfast and spent some time on our balcony watching all the comings and goings, or should I say goings and comings, very entertaining. Once most of the departing guests had left we went and got our new cruise cards. We were able to go to lunch in the buffet before the crowds descended. That evening as it was open dining as it always is in the Caribbean, as flights arrive at all different times, we had booked one of the select dining restaurants. It was a fairly restful day and after two weeks in the Caribbean getting off at most ports, it was good to have a relaxing day. One amusing thing did happen. Just before we were due to sail we had a call from Reception to check we were on board. Apparently when we were given our new cruise cards they weren't registered as us having boarded the ship or something so Security thought we weren't on board! We assured them we were!

Carole

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Manoverboard »

brixhamrfc wrote:
29 Dec 2017, 08:37
Manoverboard wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 11:39
b2b out of Southampton is a good plan.

Due to the location of our Terminal it was but a short walk to John Lewis, M&S and chums ... the wife had a great time :cry:

You may have to depart the ship after the two dayer via the Crew's exit and it will be necessary to upgrade / replace your cruise card for the second one.

It you fancy an anniversary-esque lunch in Southampton consider ' The Pig in the Wall '

ps .... Hello and Welcome :wave:
Do we have to get off after the mini cruise ? I wanted to stay on board.....
Tis ok to stay onboard, we have done that as well ... just sat out in the sunshine watching the world go by :thumbup:

ps ... In your case it seems appropriate to stay on board as that will make the cabin changeover more convenient for you.
Moby or Mob is far easier to type ...

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Re: Our first time - advice please

Post by Meg 50 »

towny44 wrote:
29 Dec 2017, 09:35
We have never done a B2B but I understand you can stay on board, although you may need to visit passenger services to obtain a new cruise card; and there will be no room service and breakfast will be finished serving by about 9:00am. You will find that once most passengers have disembarked, which will be about 9:30, that the ship is a bit like a mausoleum, totally lifeless and a very sad place to be, but it should begin to liven up as the new passengers start to embark.
we haven't done a B2B, but we had a late flight home from Malta and could stay onboard until 4.30pm. It is a very strange feeling watching the in-coming passengers wandering around exploring
Meg
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