Oriana’s Final Cruise

Reports about cruises on Oriana
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Suekersh
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Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 26 Jul 2019, 16:39

Sorry very long report. I don’t have anyone to tender for me until David returns from his bike tour so I have to wait for a good signal.

Oriana X913 Final cruise boarding day
Monday July 22, 2019.

Le left home early yesterday anticipating a long journey due to the annual migration of Northerners to the South Coast.
It was no where near as bad as we we thought and we only hit traffic delays about an hour from Southampton.

We arrived at the holiday Inn just before 1 p.m. but our room was ready and we were allowed to check in.
The hotel is generally very quiet and perfect to just relax and get over the journey but this time it was anything but. I guess that is the trouble with going away during the school holidays.
There are no facilities here for young children but the long corridors are perfect for them to run up and down shouting and screaming and banging doors and they made full use of these limited facilities.

The following morning as we went to breakfast there was a man wrapped only in a towel, carrying his toothbrush, roaming the corridor asking for toothpaste. Surely a phone call to reception would have solved his dilemma and spared his blushes.

We arrived at the terminal around 11:30 am and check in was already very busy. We just about had time to catch up with friends and have a coffee before we were called to board ship.

The priority embarkation lunch was in the Oriental restaurant and we secured a large table so that our friends could join us. It was still quiet in there with hundreds of tables to choose from but one Orianarite just had to complain about us reserving seats and keep on complaining to anyone who would listen right through lunch. We just laughed it off as on this ship we are used to them. Within 5 minutes everyone had joined us and the champagne and wine started flowing. It was great catching up with everyone and seeing the officers and crew we have met previously. We booked the select dining venues as well as a Captains Sailaway Party from Honningsvaag. The waiter was rubbing his hands in glee at the thought of his commission on ten bookings for the Captains sailaway and a booking for ten in the Beach House.

When we finally got to the cabin all of our cases had been delivered and set about the unpacking and stowing everything away.

Muster was at 4 p.m. and The Big Final Sailaway from Southampton followed shortly afterwards at the Riviera pool. Caravan were playing and the weather was perfect. I had a couple more glasses of bubbles but didn’t stay long as the best spot for sailaway on this ship is the aft terrace area and many others had the same idea.

There was no band or anything special to mark Oriana’s final sailaway with passengers from Southampton. As we passed Carnival house there were staff from there waving us off but it was all very low key. We passed the new Saga ship on our way out but as they weren’t leaving until 9p.m they didn’t even answer Captain Sarah’s salute to them. They had fireworks planned for their first sailaway from Southampton.

Bob and Maureen came round with supplies for pre dinner drinks as our cabin is bigger we will meet at ours each evening. The cabin steward will think we have drinking a problem.

We had been allocated our usual table in the restaurant and were looked after by Xavier and Diarmid . The food was excellent and the only disappointment so far is that the Captains choice wine package had changed yet again. Not only has the price increased significantly but our favourite Whakka papa sauv blanc is no longer included in the package. We decided against purchasing the package and will buy as we go.

On our way to the theatre we stopped off by the shops as a liquor tasting event was on. Vodka with Cranberry juice not my fav tipple but it would have been rude to refuse.

The Headliners theatre company proficiently performed Stage door to a packed Theatre. I hope all of their shows are as good as this one.

We finished the night in the Lords Tavern but although we didn’t disgrace ourselves we didn’t do very well either in the welcome on board quiz.

A great start to Oriana’s final cruise.


1 st Sea day to Torshavn Faroe Islands

Tuesday 23 July 2019

I started the morning with a body conditioning class in the gym. Paulo one of the gym instructors set out a circuit whilst we were warming up. I am hoping to keep up the early morning sessions especially on sea days.

I had thought we were sailing up the East coast of GB so was surprised to see that we were passing Lands End as were lots of other passengers.

At 10 am P & O had organised a social media meet up group. This was very well attended and I knew about half the people there from either previous cruises or through Face book. It was a great meet up but would have been better with coffee tea and biscuits.

The guest speakers are Orca conservationists and are talking about the sea life we may see on this cruise. There had been many sightings of dolphins during the morning.

I made a quick dash up to the gym for the spa raffle but neither Maureen or I won any of the prizes on offer which were either £50 or £100 voucher towards the cost of spa treatments.

From there it was back down to deck 7 and the Battle of the Sexes where the women beat the men by around 100 points. To be fair there were at least twice as many ladies to men.

We met the men who had been to other events around the ship and went for a late lunch in the restaurant. There was a bbq outside on the deck but we all opted to be served in the restaurant. By the time we had finished we were amazed to find it was very hot and sunny on deck. I changed into the only piece of swim wear I had packed and enjoyed a few hours soaking up the sun. This was very unexpected but I am always grateful for any sun and hot weather.

It was the first formal night and The Captains Welcome Aboard Party.
Our party was for 6 p.m. in the Pacific Lounge and Captain Sarah spoke about the weather and the itinerary.

We had all chosen from the always available menu which is unusual for a formal night. There must have been a mix up with formal night dates as it wasn’t a Marco menu which it is tomorrow night even though it’s not a formal night. However at the end of the meal the port marinated Stilton appeared. Bonus and I jokingly asked the waiter if he could save us some for tomorrow as well.

Kara Lily Hayworth was performing The Cilla Black Songbook. She had an exceptional voice but hadn’t got the Cilla accent when singing. She is an excellent entertainer and everyone I spoke to had enjoyed her show.

John James Trio provided the music for the Formal Night ball whilst Caravan played the greatest hits in the Pacific Lounge.

It was a pleasant calm night on deck so after a few dances we took our drinks outside and enjoyed the late sunset. We called by the cabin on the way to find canapés had been delivered. They must have arrived after we had already left for the Captains cocktail party so we took these out on deck with us. Yummy smoked Salmon and caviar for a late night snack. The invites for the Ligurian luncheon in a few days time had also been delivered.

Tomorrow is our 2 nd Sea day before our first port of call.

2nd Sea day to Torshavn - The Faroe Islands.
Wednesday 24 July 2019

Another bright dry morning as I made my way to the gym class. We had left the protection of the land and the Atlantic rolling motion was making Oriana move around a little. Nothing too bad but the gym instructor changed the class from body conditioning to an Ab workout on the floor. This suited me fine as I much prefer lying down to standing up. It was quite an arduous class though and I suspect I will feel the effects tomorrow.

Garry decided not to join me for breakfast and I joined a large table of seasoned cruisers. We soon realised that we had been on the same cruises previously on Oriana.

Oriana’s Fun of the Fair was held in the Atrium area. Lots of activities going on including Cocktail mixing. Various games like ‘Splat the rat’ and throwing ping pong balls into pint glasses, Guess the cake weight. All good fun and the officers were out and about chatting to passengers. Maureen and I had a go at making our own cocktail with help from a barman. I made a Mojito and Maureen a very alcoholic Singapore Sling. I don’t think we will be much use in the Battle of the sexes quiz today.

The Battle of the sexes was busy and as Anthony had set us the challenge of bringing as many blue items as possible to the quiz the tables were loaded with the items. There were were far more ladies than men and Anthony decided to help the men out and take the average. Per team. This meant that the men won the extra 20 points but as the ladies once again won the general knowledge quiz we are still well in the lead.

We met the men for another leisurely lunch in the dining room. I really need to stop eating so much.

We had a relaxing afternoon reading until it was time to get ready for dinner which even though not a formal night it was Marcos Beef Wellington menu. The food was excellent and at the end of the meal Diarmid arrived with two pots of port marinated Stilton he had managed to squirrel away for us. Fabulous service. The Head waiter had obviously been made aware as he was hovering waiting for our reaction. I just love this ship and the crews attention to the passengers. Nothing is too much trouble.

Fogwell Flax was in the theatre. Not my favourite entertainment but I decided to go with the flow. His show was very mixed and excellent in parts but boring and repetitive in others. He has an excellent voice and I hope that his next show will be the one where he does his impressions of various hit singers. He did mention that his wife is on board as the craft instructor so he may be on for the whole cruise.

We finished the night in the Lords Tavern and tried our luck at the Great British comedy quiz. We knew the names of the shows of the video clips shown but couldn’t remember who wrote them or produced them so we didn’t do very well. We are hoping that they do a ‘Beers of the Caribbean’ quiz as that is more our level.

Tomorrow is our first Port of Call.

Torshavn - The Faroe Islands
Thursday, 25 July 2019

The islands are situated between Norway and Iceland, Torshavn named after the Norse God Thor and their word for harbour, is the Capital and is situated on Streymoy, an island which is the same size as the Isle of Wight and only 250 miles north of Scotland. The Faroes are under the sovereignty of Denmark but have their own language, flag and culture.

The sail in was superb with the small islands appearing out of the sea mist as the sun burnt it off. Very picturesque but a little chilly on deck at 13 C.

I went to the Abs class and we finally docked whilst we were in breakfast. I took a few more photos from the aft deck of the unusual grass roofed, colourful wooden houses. The whole town looked so well looked after and very pretty.

We met our friends at 10 am to disembark. A shuttle bus had been laid on to get everyone safely through the working port area. As soon as we started walking down the gangway the smell of fish hit us. Fish is the main source of income on the islands and is known as the Cod capital.

The locals were extremely welcoming and friendly. It is such a pretty little town with its multi coloured houses and colourful parks.

We wandered out of the port area and found a coffee shop which had free WiFi. The coffee however was not free but extortionate at £19 for 4 coffees but the WiFi was reliable and fast.

We continued our exploration of the small town and walked through Tinganes , which is the Old Torshavn situated between the two harbours. It was so well preserved that the houses looked new rather than from the 17 th century. The harbour was full with a mixture of old traditional wooden fishing boats along side the modern yachts and Oriana looked huge in comparison.

Once back on board we headed for Al frescos for a light lunch but as there was a queue for tables and it wasn’t warm enough to eat out we decided to lunch in the main dining room again.

After a lazy afternoon, I went out to watch the sailaway and a tug boat was performing pirouettes and water display to see us off. This went on for about 40 minutes and was a lovely send off. I think Southampton port could have arranged something to see us off from there but didn’t. Well done and thank you Torshavn for making us feel so welcome.

After another excellent dinner we went to see the Headliners perform Destination Dance in the theatre, then up to the Crows Nest to listen to the Orchestra playing music from the movies.

As the clock goes forward an hour overnight we all voted for an earlyish night, although we do have a Sea Day tomorrow.


cruisin_duo
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by cruisin_duo » 26 Jul 2019, 17:22

Sue, Thank you for posting. We love reading your reports, as they are so descriptive. Look forward to more posts when you are able. It goes without saying, as you no doubt will, enjoy your cruise.


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by AileenB » 26 Jul 2019, 17:31

Thanks from me too, Sue!

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GillD46
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by GillD46 » 26 Jul 2019, 17:31

A great read so far, Sue. Thank you.
Gill


anniec
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by anniec » 26 Jul 2019, 19:32

As usual, a lovely review - very many thanks and greatly appreciated.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your cruise as much as I enjoy your musings, and look forward to the next installment.


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by MaureenB » 27 Jul 2019, 10:18

Many thanks from me too Sue. I do enjoy your reviews. Enjoy yourselves and keep them coming😀
Best wishes
Maureen


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by CaroleF » 27 Jul 2019, 11:57

Great read, thank you. We have had a cruise, not that long ago where we've had a Formal Night with no Marco menu and then had it on the next night, not Formal. Why do they do that? I wouldn't have thought it was too difficult to co-ordinate the two. We've only been on Oriana twice, once for three nights when the then Deputy Captain was Neil Turnbull and his parents were on our table so he joined us on each formal evening, and was so entertaining and informative, and the other was a seven night Fjords cruise, both quite a long time ago. I would have thought Southampton could have arranged something for Oriana's last departure. I just can't envisage this very English ship in China!

Carole

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OCEANIAFAN
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by OCEANIAFAN » 27 Jul 2019, 12:35

Thanks Sue enjoy the rest of your cruise.

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david63
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by david63 » 27 Jul 2019, 12:56

CaroleF wrote:
27 Jul 2019, 11:57
We have had a cruise, not that long ago where we've had a Formal Night with no Marco menu and then had it on the next night, not Formal. Why do they do that?
Left hand and right hand syndrome? Or more likely that is what Operations in Southampton have told them to do!!

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Dancing Queen
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Dancing Queen » 27 Jul 2019, 14:50

I'm so pleased we have some feedback on Oriana's final cruise.
Jo


LadyPCruiser
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by LadyPCruiser » 27 Jul 2019, 15:07

Thanks for taking the time sue - hope you enjoy the reminder of the trip - we love Oriana - we are on Aurora next so looking forward to that

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 29 Jul 2019, 07:35

Hi all, We sailed past the North Cape at 5 am and are now in Honningsvaag.

The last 3 days report. Sorry it’s another long one.

Oriana X913 final voyage

Sea Day to Lofoten Islands
Friday 26 July.

There was a fabulous sunrise at 5 a.m but I only saw it on the TV Screen. By the time I was up and dressed it had gone and the mist soon came down and stayed with us all day. It was very thick and the fog horn was sounded at regular intervals.

I went to the fab class before breakfasting in the main dining room.

We spent the morning chatting to Denise and Brian in the reception area before the Battle in the Lords Tavern.
The scores are drawing closer as Anthony once again favoured the men and gave them the extra 20 points for bringing him the best gift from Torshavn. The men’s gift was a flag from a local football match.
The ladies are still in the lead . Our next challenge is to collect as many selfies of ourselves with a member of crew.

We headed to Al Frescos for lunch but we were disappointed to find it was closed for 3 days so once again we headed to the main dining room.

Ian Fraser who was Oriana’s first ever Cruise Director was in the theatre speaking about life on the Oriana at the very beginning nearly 25 years ago.

We had booked for dinner at the Beach House and had a lovely meal. The waiters were happy to have their photo taken with us for our photo challenge.

There was a slight hitch as half of our second bottle of wine disappeared into other passengers glasses. The passengers had asked a young waiter to refill their glasses rather than waiting for the wine waiter. He had mistakenly picked up the wrong bottle and they didn’t notice the difference. The wine waiter was horrified when he realised what had happened and immediately brought us another full bottle. What a result!

We staggered into see Fogwell Flax perform his second show which was excellent. It was his ‘voices’ show and he sang many of the famous hits in the style of the original artists. So different from his first show.

Caravan performed ‘The sounds of Philly’ in the Pacific Lounge. We have heard this many times and we really enjoy the music. We were all so tired that we decided to return back to the cabin as we have a very early start tomorrow and have to be in the Pacific Lounge for 7:30 a.m. for the first tender across to the Lofoten Isles.

Lofoten Isles
Saturday 27 July 2019

The Loftoten islands extend for 70 miles off the North West Coast of Norway and are within the Arctic Circle. There are seven main Islands and bridges have been built to connect them. We had expected it to be extremely cold.

It was a stunning beautiful hot day. Amazing weather so far North.
We had a very early start as our trip was the first tender from the ship into the town of Leknes. We had to meet at 07:30a.m. Easy for us but for our friends who think there is only one 9 o clock in a day it was a challenge. The tender across was about 15 minutes and it was the calmest crossing we have ever had. The sea was like a mill pond, perfect conditions.

Our tour guide was a young Italian girl, Francesca from Verona. She was very informative and gave out lots of little snippets of information like the fact that there are more sheep than humans on the islands and more babies are born in September than any other month because in December it doesn’t ever get light. Even she couldn’t get over how hot and clear the weather was. The sun and warmth certainly pleased her and she referred to it regularly. I got the feeling that although she loves Norway she misses the temperature and the outside social life of Italy.

We passed a lot of stunning scenery and the locals were camping out wherever they could find a piece of grass without a rock. We passed the small beach which was heaving with locals making the most of the few hours of summer. There weren’t many in the sea but some were braving it.

Our first stop was at the Icebar at Svolvaer which is the largest permanent one in Norway. We were given a thick cape and gloves to wear. It was extremely cold inside. The ice sculptures were amazing and I braved the ice slide. The alcoholic drink which was wine and Crowberry (I’ve never heard of Crowberry but apparently it’s not a spelling mistake) and served in a glass made from ice was most welcome and the second one even more so.

Our next stop was the Art gallery in Henningsvaer but as it wasn’t particularly interesting the six of us went into the town known as the Venice of the North , only because it has a Canal and a wooden bridge. It was quite pretty but we couldn’t find a bar. Francesca arrived and took us to a climbers bar which not only served draft beer but had a fabulous spot overlooking the canal. As we were running out of time we shared 3 pints of beer between six of us. At £10 a pint it was a good idea. Francesca was very concerned that we wouldn’t make it back to the coach on time but we didn’t let her down.

The journey back was along the same road (as there is only one). Having seen the scenery on our way out and for me having seen one rocky hill they all look the same, and after the cocktails in the icebar and the beer and hot sun I took the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.

Back at the ship we had lunch from the buffet and sat outside in the sun on the aft deck. There were lots of tables for two but all of the larger tables were taken up by either singles or couples. Why do people do this? In the end we grabbed 3 tables for 2 and moved them together.

Maureen and I left the men to their afternoon siesta and found a couple of sun beds on aft deck. We really could have been in the Caribbean it was so hot.

We were late leaving as a trip had been delayed and Captain Sarah advised passengers to grab a coffee and come back to the Riviera Pool for the Sailaway Party half an hour later. I am sure the bar manager was very happy with her!

During dinner the men had to leave the restaurant after their main course as the gin festival which meant that all bottles purchased at the festival got an extra 15% off. This started at 7 p.m. in the middle of dinner. They managed to secure the last few bottles of the Whitley & Neill Rhubarb and ginger gin at a bargain price. The shop manager hadn’t realised how popular this event would be but almost every purchase had been for this particular gin. We can collect them on 4 th August as the Duty free shops are closing a few days before the end of the cruise.

The Headliners performed in the Theatre The Night of a thousand stars, but after 5 minutes an announcement was made that due to technical reasons the show had to be temporarily stopped.

Hughie came rushing in and took over the stage. He showed why he is so successful as an Entertainment Manager and kept the audience entertained with cheesy long winded jokes and then a song. All of this off the cuff. Unfortunately Simon one of the main singers had an injury but the show went on with just his taped voice. The good news that he wasn’t badly injured came at the end of the show.

As the show was delayed for about 15 minutes, by the time we got to the Lords Tavern they were on question 19 so we missed the quiz on our era the 60 s and 70 s.

The 60’s and 70’s Party was held in the Pacific Lounge with the excellent group Caravan providing the music.

Sea Day to Honningsvaag
Sunday 28 July 2019

After such a hectic day yesterday I slept in and missed the gym class and had a lazy morning. I did manage to collect a few more photos of various crew members before the Battle of the Sexes at noon.

I needn’t of worried as all the men between them only had 3 photos whereas the ladies had in excess of 200 with our Team Captain Brooke having got 150 of those. I think I had the most random one when I had asked a young male crew member cleaning the ladies loos for a photo. He was so pleased and said he had never been asked for a photo with a passenger before. I told him it was a first for me as well as I had never had my photo taken in the ladies loos before.

The ladies won the general knowledge quiz again and even Anthony couldn’t favour the men this time as we had a landslide victory with the number of photos taken so we gained an extra 20 points.

We met the men for lunch and when we returned to the cabin our tickets for the Captains Lounge Sailaway Party had arrived but only 2 of them. We had booked 4 tickets the other 2 for Bob & Maureen. I paid a visit to reception to sort it out as we had receipts for 4 places.

It was our 2 nd formal night of the cruise and it was the Chef de Rotisserie menu with Port Marinated Stilton to finish. Another excellent meal.

We weren’t that impressed with the entertainment on offer but decided to give the comedy magician a go. We stood at the back and lasted about 3 minutes. Why do people find a man blowing balloons up funny? We left and went into Harlequins for a dance whilst our friends went to see Fogwell Flax’s 3 rd show. We did stand at the back of the theatre for a short while but his second show was certainly his best.

We had arranged to meet our friends either in the Crows Nest or Anderson’s. We started in the Crows Nest and I ordered a gin flight. I was very disappointed to find that the ship had run out of Whitley and Neill Rhubarb and ginger gin which should be on the Northern Star gin flight. We left the Crows Nest to try our luck in Anderson’s but it was the same there. I asked them if they would replace the W & N gin with a Chase Rhubarb and Bramble gin. After much discussion with the bar tender the waitress came back and said yes. It was very nice but not a patch on the W & N. Our friends joined us in there after the show had finished.

As we wanted to be up early in the morning to witness our sail past the North Cape we returned to the cabin and set the alarm for 04:30 a.m.


cruisin_duo
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by cruisin_duo » 29 Jul 2019, 08:57

Another good read Sue.

You’ve had some early starts.

Enjoy sailing past the North Cape.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 31 Jul 2019, 09:38

Sail by the North Cape and Honningsvaag.
Monday 29 July 2019

We needed to be up and out very early this morning to witness the sail past the North Cape. Captain Sarah had said that it would be 5 a.m. and she was spot on. We were out for 4:45 and saw amazing rainbows. We could see the Cape in the distance but then the mist came down. We thought it was going to spoil the party but it lifted again just before we sailed past. We were still around 2 miles out but we could clearly see The Globe which marks the northernmost point in Europe, and is situated 71degrees 10’ 21 on the island of Magerøy.
In January 2018 we sailed past the Southernmost tip of South America as we rounded Cape Horn and now we have sailed past the most Northern Point in Europe. This cruise will take us another 10 degrees North before we start heading South again.

We had a trip booked to see around the island and a visit to The Christmas House and a gallery. We saw many reindeer and Nicko our guide told us that all the reindeer on the island are owned by 6 or 7 Sami families and that there are far more reindeer than humans living here. It is a hard life as the Sami’s March their reindeers South for the winter and North for the summer.

The landscape was quite stunning in parts but very bleak in others. The Christmas shop was very small and rammed full of very expensive Christmas trinkets. I didn’t see anyone make a purchase and as P & O generally entertain us for Christmas I took a few photos then went to look at the reindeer. It was extremely cold and after a few minutes I returned to the warmth of the coach.
Our next stop was an usual gallery where the art work is produced using scraps of paper which the locals collect for the owner. Garry bought me some unusual earrings and then we headed out to look around the fishing village. Once again I was glad to get back on the coach.

Back in Honningsvaag we found the local supermarket for a few cabin supplies and then headed back to the warmth of the ship.

At the Welcome on board lunch all of our table booked for the Captains Lounge sailaway from Honningsvaag cocktail party. Our itinerary had shown that we were to sail past the North Cape in the early evening. We all met in reception at 4:15 and were escorted to the Captains Lounge. The champagne and various cocktails flowed very well and the canapés were delicious. It was certainly a boozy party and all of the guests appeared to be enjoying it.

Some of the party went out onto the balcony but I decided to watch from a window and stay warm. I am not sure when the itinerary was changed but we didn’t sail past the North Cape again.

We had forewarned our waiters that we might be a little late into dinner and that we wouldn’t require any starters.
We all made into dinner but the early morning start, and the champagne and cocktails took their toll and we skipped the entertainment and headed back to our cabins.

During the evening room service delivered a gift of a bottle of our favourite white wine from our friend on board.

Tomorrow we are at sea and it is our Ligurian lunch day. More alcohol!

Sea Day to Longyearbien
Tuesday 30 July 2019

I didn’t make the gym again after the excesses of yesterday and knowing that we had more to come today.

I had breakfast in the dining room and I was happy to be shown to a table that Ian and Linda were already on. I often breakfast without a Garry and it is always good to see familiar faces.

My waiter told me that I had the last of the marmite on board. P & O are no longer using plastic for environmental reasons which I totally agree with. The jams and marmalade in the buffet are served open and everyone helps themselves. I am not a fan of the buffet anyway but I definitely won’t be partaking in communal preserves. At least in the restaurant the individual jars are still available but the marmite comes in individual little heart shaped plastic pots, so bye bye marmite on cruise ships.

Our Ligurian lunch was with Ken the Food and Beverage Manager who we have known for a few years. We had sorted the table with Ken and the loyalty manager and filled it with our cruising friends.
We had a great lunch with excellent company and it was particularly poignant as we don’t know when we will meet up with Ken again.

The menu was new to us and Ken recommended the lamb. The fish option was salmon which Garry chose and looked delicious. I will order that at Christmas on Aurora. The wine flowed well all afternoon. Our wine waiter was Neil who is also our wine waiter for dinner. Being on the Food and Beverage managers table certainly kept the wine flowing well.

During the lunch, Captain Sarah announced a Medical emergency and helicopter evacuation. Oriana would have to stay in the vicinity of Bear Island for the Helicopter to lynch down for the medi vac. Which could take 4 hours. It must be very worrying for the passengers involved and a call was put out for blood doners.

After a very long lunch our afternoon was spent relaxing as is normal after the Ligurian lunch. If we were somewhere warm it would have been on the aft deck on a sun bed but today it was the cabin and my comfy bed. During the afternoon a plate full of marmite was delivered to our cabin. We know who we have to thank for those.

We hadn’t been resting long before there was a knock on the door and we were asked to evacuate the cabin because the helicopter had arrived. We took the opportunity to go down to the main dining room to sample the afternoon tea. We really didn’t need more food but in all of our many cruises we have never done this before.

Our friends came to our cabin for pre dinner drinks before dinner. I had another surprise at dinner when the salmon from the lunch menu was presented to me. I didn’t have to wait until Xmas in Aurora to sample it after all.
The entertainment was Killer Queen in the Pacific Lounge and to ensure we had front row seats we collected our books and went there straight after dinner to secure them. It was worth the wait. The show was excellent and Simon appears to have recovered quickly.

Tomorrow we are in Longyearbyen the furthest North we go and only a 10 degrees south of the North Pole.

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Jan Rosser
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Jan Rosser » 31 Jul 2019, 10:01

Really enjoying your reports Sue - bringing back lovely memories of my two cruises into the Arctic Circle the last one being with the family a couple of years ago - looking forward to the next chapter :thumbup:
Janis

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GillD46
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by GillD46 » 31 Jul 2019, 13:14

Sounds as though you are being well looked after Sue. Really enjoying your reports - as always.
Gill

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allatc
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by allatc » 02 Aug 2019, 16:53

Why did you have to leave your room when the helicopter arrived ?

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by david63 » 02 Aug 2019, 21:46

allatc wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 16:53
Why did you have to leave your room when the helicopter arrived ?
I believe that it is standard procedure if you are in the same area of the ship where the helicopter lands for safety reasons as landing on a moving ship is not one of the easiest maneuvers to execute.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 03 Aug 2019, 07:41

Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Wednesday 31 July 2019

This is the furthest North we will ever be at 78 degrees and only 600 miles from the North Pole. I went out early onto the aft deck and was disappointed as looking back I could see that we had past a few glaciers. I know we will see them tonight but if we had had some information from the Bridge I would have gone out earlier to see them.

My butler took the opportunity to catch up on the laundry as there was no rush to get off. A lot of passengers had the same idea and it turned out that the A deck launderette was out of action and had been for a few days.

We arrived very early morning and although overcast it wasn’t as cold as I expected. The disused coal mines could be seen quite easily from the ship and the small town of Longyearbyen was only a short shuttle bus ride away. All of the buildings appeared to be wooden and very basic.

The sun burnt off the cloud and we could see snow on the mountains. It is such a bleak and desolate place that it is hard to understand the attraction of living here. There is no public transport here but there is a small airport with flights to Oslo.
The town had provided a shuttle bus and it was only a short ride.
The town was very easy to navigate around and the shops catered for the tourists. There are less people live here than the amount of passengers on Oriana. There really wasn’t much to see and after an hour of wandering around we found a bar and sampled the local beer.

We were back on the ship just in time for lunch in the dining room. Out on deck the sun was very warm as there was no wind. Many passengers were making use of the deck and the pools.

We had arranged to meet friends for a meal in the Beach House and had a table for 10 set up by the windows. We left Longyearbyen at around 18:30 and reached the first glacier sail by at around 20: 30. Captain Sarah stayed there for about a hour gradually turning the ship around to give everyone a view and the chance to take photos.

The Runaround kids were performing in the theatre but having seen them previously we decided to stay on deck to see the glaciers. They will be on again. Our friends did go to see them as they hadn’t seen them before. They said the theatre was half empty. Such a shame that a top act was put on in the theatre the night that the glaciers were the main attraction.

Once we had left the first glacier we left the Beach House and found seats at the Terrace bar where there was a cheese and wine party being held.

We arrived at the 2 nd glacier just before midnight. As we were well above the Arctic circle this area stays light for 24 hours and even though it was cold the sun was bright and it was difficult to equate to it being almost midnight. The sun really made the glaciers come to life with all the different colours showing through. If it had been cloudy it wouldn’t have been the same experience. Once again Captain Sarah ensured everyone had a chance to see and photograph the glacier.
The final glacier was close by and we could see the deserted Russian coal mine in the distance.

It had been a fabulous night and certainly one of the many highlights of this cruise.

1 st Sea Day to Tromso, Norway.
Thursday 1 August 2019
As I was very late getting to bed last night I slept in and didn’t wake up until 7 a.m.which meant I missed the gym class again.

I had Breakfast in MDR and saw a whale for the first time this cruise. It was very close to the ship and as the day went on there were many more sightings.

I couldn’t understand why the library was so busy but looking on the back of the Horizon the mystery was solved. The new Chinese owners are not interested in the books and DVD s so they are free to take home. There is a charity box on reception if anyone wanted to make a donation. It was like the Locusts had swarmed and decimated everything.

Battle of the sexes at noon in the Lords Tavern and slight change to the format but the ladies won the round again. Our Captain Brooke is extremely knowledgeable but is also a great guesser. If she is given more than one answer from the ladies she always seems to choose the right one.
We had lunch in the MDR where we saw some more sea life. Not sure if they were small whales or large dolphins.

The Headliners performed the Motown Show Stop in the Name of Love which was another excellent show.
The quiz in the Lords Tavern was on booze. We thought we might have had a chance and indeed we got the best score we have had this cruise with 17 but one table had a full house with 20 points.

Caravan were playing Motown music in the Pacific Lounge.


2 nd Sea Day to Tromso, Norway.
Friday 2 August 2019
Whoops I over slept again and another gym class missed.

Breakfast in MDR no whales today as I wasn’t near a window. A great table though and we chatted all over breakfast. I felt a bit guilty when I left and there was a huge queue of passengers waiting for breakfast.

The ladies won the battle again. This time 2 lots of 20 questions to try to help the men catch up but it didn’t happen.

The men met us for lunch which was fish & chips served in the Lords Tavern. This is usually on once per cruise on a Friday. It was popular despite not being well advertised in the Horizon newspaper.

Our 3rd formal night and our friends anniversary. Bob had booked Sindhu for us to celebrate. It was menu one and far too much choice. The food was excellent. I opted for the soft shell crab followed by the lamb shank, and finished with the bread & butter pudding with ginger custard. It was all amazing as usual.

We had time to return to the cabin for a Pit stop before claiming our front row seats in the Pacific Lounge for the 22:30 show of the Runaround kids.
There was a classical duo in the Theatre at 19:30 and 21:30. In Hughies words he had changed the show timings around as the Classical fans generally wanted to be in bed before 22:30.

The Runaround kids were brilliant as usual. Passengers were up dancing to the music and the Pacific lounge was rocking.

Tomorrow we are in Tromso.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by GillD46 » 03 Aug 2019, 10:16

All sounding very enjoyable.
Gill

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 05 Aug 2019, 09:23

Tromsø, Norway
Saturday 3 August 2019

Once again we couldn’t believe the weather. Beautiful clear blue skies and the scenery was stunning as we sailed into Tromsø which is situated on the forest covered island of Troms. It is known as the Gateway to the Arctic and has been the starting point of several Arctic Expeditions.

The temperature was only about 14 degrees but felt much warmer in the sun. We set off wearing layers and gradually lost these during the day. The shuttle bus dropped us in the City Centre by the Radisson Blu Hotel. Our plan was to get up to the cable car before the tour buses arrived. We could have caught the local bus but decided a taxi would be quicker. The first taxi driver spoke little or no English and we had less Norwegian. We moved to the next in the queue and had more luck with him. I did feel sorry for the other driver as he may have been waiting a time for a fare but when he showed us a child seat when we had asked for the cable car we realised we could have been there all day.

Our driver was very pleasant and informative and passed us his card in case we wanted a taxi back into town.
There was a short queue at the cable car but it didn’t take long to clear. Each car held 24 people and the journey to the top only took around 5 minutes. We had thought the views sailing in were stunning but from the top it was breathtaking. We could see Oriana in the distance and we pin pointed the Arctic cathedral which was to be our next stop.
The mountains were topped with snow but even at the top the sun was so hot. Once the tours arrived it got very busy so we headed back down and left them to it. We were lucky to see it when it was quiet and could move around and take photos easily.

We walked it to the Arctic cathedral which took about 15 minutes easy walking. It was only 50 krone to get inside and the huge stained glass window was awesome as was the organ and the chandeliers. We wondered why they were closing the doors as we were leaving and found out later that there was two weddings the first only a few minutes after we had left. Unfortunately for the passengers who had booked an afternoon trip to see the cathedral only saw the outside of it as it closed for the weddings until 4 p.m.

We did consider walking it back into town over the bridge but as there was a taxi waiting looking for a fare we jumped in there instead and saved our energy for looking around the market and town. It was a lovely place and very friendly. We finished sat outside a local bar where the men experienced another ‘how much’ moment for a pint of beer.

Back on ship we were far too late for the restaurant so opted for a light lunch in Al Fresco before getting a spot in the sun on the aft deck.we stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.

The very final Great British Sailaway on Oriana started at 16:30. It was our first Sailaway this cruise from the Aft deck and was extremely well attended by passengers, officers and crew not on duty. It was great fun and very emotional. Passengers were baying for Hughie Taylor the entertainment manager to be thrown into the pool. He saved his self from the indignity of that and jumped in fully clothed. Well done Hughie.

It was well after 17:30 before I left the aft deck leaving me less than an hour to shower and get ready for dinner and the evenings Tropical night theme. It was a rush and we had to cancel pre dinner drinks with our friends.

The Tropical night theme in the Fjords didn’t appear to go down very well with Oriana’s passengers as there were very few Tropical outfits to be seen at dinner. Generally lots of passengers dress in the colourful Caribbean shirts and dresses.

After dinner we headed to the theatre to see a new act for us. It was a Simon & Garfunkel tribute act called the the ‘The Sounds of Silence’ . They were brilliant and got a standing ovation.

In the Lords Tavern the theme for the quiz was The Caribbean. We did well with a score of 17 but still next good enough to get into the tie break.

The Tropical night party was held in the Pacific with Caravan providing the music.

Sea Day to Ålesund
Sunday, 4 August 2019

Another relaxing sea day but the weather was cloudy and cold. The sun we had yesterday had gone into hiding. I poked my head out for a millisecond and then didn’t bother again.

My butler did the final washload whilst I was in breakfast and reported back that it was very busy but no laundry gossip.

Today was duty free collection day. This was very early as it is normally on the last sea day before disembarkation. They didn’t appear to be as organised as normal and the young assistant tried to fob us off with one bottle of the wrong gin. Luckily Garry spotted it as I wouldn’t have been happy if my much anticipated Whitley & Neil Rhubarb and Ginger gin was missing.

The shops were holding the Norwegian Bazaar but the prices were high and I didn’t see anything that ‘Shouted buy me’

The ladies once again won the Battle in the Lords Tavern and are now 235 points ahead of the men. Anthony has pre warned us that he still has 3 challenges to set us to try to bring the scores in line.

After lunch the Headliners performed the play ‘Relatively Speaking’ in the theatre. As we had seen it previously on Adonia and it is over 2 hours in length we decided to give it a miss.
One of our friends pointed out that the play had first been performed on Artemis then shortly afterwards P & O sold the ship, it was then performed on Adonia, and shortly afterwards P & O sold the ship, now it is Oriana’s turn. I just hope it is not performed on Aurora or Arcadia.

For pre dinner drinks I decided to copy P & O s idea of the gin flight. We had been collecting the short glasses in anticipation of this and squirrelled them away in the wardrobe.
We started with the Whitley & Neill Rhubarb and ginger, ( I have missed this gin so much this cruise) then a Larios pink gin and finished with the Mediterranean Gin. It was a hit and our cabin steward thought it hilarious when he saw our friends coming out of our cabin carrying their six glasses ready for tomorrow night.

One of our favourite groups The 4 Tunes were singing in the Theatre. A new band member had joined and it was his first performance with them. They were fabulous and their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody was the best I have heard. We have certainly been spoilt with the entertainment this cruise.

It was the Great British Pub Quiz in the Lords Tavern which came in two parts. We didn’t do particularly well in the first part but did in the multi media section and we were in the tie break. We didn’t win the wine though as we were way out on guessing the height of the Elizabeth tower which houses Big Ben.

Caravan were once again playing in the Pacific the lounge with their tribute to the Bee Gees.

Tomorrow we are in Ålesund.


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by cruisin_duo » 05 Aug 2019, 10:42

Sue,

Enjoying your reports.

We can’t believe how quickly your cruise seems to be going.

Enjoy the rest of the cruise.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by GillD46 » 05 Aug 2019, 12:56

What a great time you’re having.
Gill

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 07 Aug 2019, 09:37

Ålesund, Norway
Monday 5 August 2019

We docked early morning and it was quite cloudy first thing. The forecast was for it to improve and indeed by the time we had breakfasted and sorted ourselves out the sun was shining and the cloud clearing.

We didn’t get far off the ship when we found the HO HO bus kiosk selling tickets at half price. It worked out at £15 person which was very good value as it took us to the Aksla viewpoint via the Sunmore museum at the top then back throug the town to the Art Nouveau Centre, the church and back to the cruise terminal. At the Aksla viewpoint we decided just to take a few photos rather than get off and wait another 40 minutes for the next bus. There wasn’t enough there to occupy us for 40 minutes and although the sun was out it still felt chilly.
The full tour took an hour and 15 minutes and we saw some fabulous views.

In town we found the shops and a cafe where we stopped for a coffee. and spent up the last of Krone. After the shopping and coffee between us we had 19 Krone left and found a 20krone pack of nuts which the shop assistant kindly let us have for 19 Krone. We now have nibbles to go with our gin flight tonight.

Back on ship we lunched in Al Fresco before getting beds on the sundeck. The sun was hot and I made use of the swimming pool. I can now say I have swum in Norway.

The Headliners performed their British Blockbuster show Reel to Reel in the theatre. Another excellent performance from this very talented group.
We then had to ‘leg it’ from the front to the back of the ship to see comedian John Evans. I don’t normally go to see the comedians on ship as I just don’t find them funny. John Evans was billed as one of the UKs top funny men and certainly about 50% of the audience found him very funny. Even though I rarely go to see any of them and never more than once I recognised over 90% of his jokes from previous cruises. He kept many passengers very amused if their raucous laughter was anything to go by.

To morrow we are at sea en route to Belfast

Sea Day to Belfast
Tuesday 6 August 2019
The weather had turned cold, cloudy and miserable. We have been so lucky this cruise with the great weather in the Ports of call but the sea days although the sea has been like a mill pond the sun has never broken through the thick clouds.

After breakfast I went to look at the Oriana Farewell Market set up in the Atrium area. It was packed and I really couldn’t be bothered fighting my way through to buy some tat. There were hundreds of Oriana bears left wearing the pink tops but no blue ones.

Commodore Ian Gibbs Oriana’s first Captain was doing a book signing in the atrium.
The jewellery shop were having an auction of ‘fine’ jewellery with starting bids all under £500. They sold one item during the 15 minute auction. I had my eye on a Zultanite Ring which seemed a good price but decided against it as we will be visiting St Maarten next January.

The Battle of the sexes was at noon and for the first time this cruise the men won the round. The ladies are still in the lead by 155 points with just one more round to play. Anthony set us another challenge which involves finding leprechauns and having a photo took with them.

At 4 p.m. it was The Big Oriana Auction in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. We joined the queue for this which spread from the restaurant doors back around the atrium and up the stairs to deck 7. We were greeted at the restaurant by Alan Carr wearing an Oriana Sailor Outfit. The event had been completely underestimated in terms of passengers attending and the poor waiters were unsetting tables already prepared for dinner and setting them for afternoon tea. More waiters were brought down from the buffet afternoon tea to try to serve the hoards in the restaurant.
The waiters worked so hard to ensure that everyone had at least a cup of tea and a sandwich. The event was delayed due to the numbers of passengers still queuing to get into the restaurant. It was a huge success with lots of items being sold for ‘silly money’. The auction alone raised over £3,000.

Our Peninsular party was at 6 p.m. in the Pacific Lounge and the prize was worth winning for a change. I am not sure i f this was a one off because of it being the final cruise as the prize was a pair of beautiful cut glass Champagne flutes.

We had booked to eat in the beach House at 7 p.m. so after the party we returned to our cabin for another pre dinner drink. The days are running out and we still have gin to use up. I am sure we will manage it.

The meal was delicious as usual and I had my favourite seafood hanging kebab again.
We finished in time to go to the quiz in the Lords Tavern on The sciences. We scored 19/20 but the usual suspects beat us again with a perfect 20.

The Simon and Garfunkel tribute act performed another superb show in the theatre. The late show is never as full as the early one and we had no problem finding seats. I really hope we see this act again in the future on Aurora or Arcadia.

When we arrived back at the cabin we had invites from Paul Ludlow the president of P & O cruises to join him and the senior officers of Oriana for a celebratory farewell Oriana Cocktail Party. The invites are for Ligurian Tier Guests and the top 20 most travelled guests.

Tomorrow we will arrive in Belfast.

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barney
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by barney » 08 Aug 2019, 09:45

Thank you for the wonderful reports Sue.

It feels like we are right there with you.

Saved me a few bob :clap:


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by anniec » 08 Aug 2019, 12:12

barney wrote:
08 Aug 2019, 09:45
Thank you for the wonderful reports Sue.

It feels like we are right there with you.

Saved me a few bob :clap:
Hear hear! Really enjoy Sue's reports.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 08 Aug 2019, 13:32

Although we've moved on and not cruised on her for a while I'll be sorry to see Oriana go. She was our first ever cruise in 1999 and I'll never forget that initial "Wow" walking into the atrium for the first time. The main reason we deserted her was our next cruise was on Aurora and we got a taste for balcony cabins, which of course are fewer and more expensive on Oriana. We did manage to stretch to one on our last trip after her adults only refit.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Stephen » 08 Aug 2019, 13:58

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
08 Aug 2019, 13:32
Although we've moved on and not cruised on her for a while I'll be sorry to see Oriana go. She was our first ever cruise in 1999 and I'll never forget that initial "Wow" walking into the atrium for the first time. The main reason we deserted her was our next cruise was on Aurora and we got a taste for balcony cabins, which of course are fewer and more expensive on Oriana. We did manage to stretch to one on our last trip after her adults only refit.

Same here, although it was 2006 when we were on her..........and being laid up for two days with sea sickness :sick:
Last edited by Stephen on 08 Aug 2019, 13:59, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Whynd1 » 08 Aug 2019, 17:58

Thank you Sue for your lovely report.
So sad to see Oriana leave the fleet.

Lindsey


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by welshynurse » 08 Aug 2019, 21:27

Really lovely to read your reports
Oriana was my first cruise and got some lovely memories of quality time with Dad on it

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 09 Aug 2019, 09:05

Belfast, Northern Ireland
Wednesday, 7 August 2019

The forecast was for a mixture of sun and cloud.
The port provided a shuttle bus to Donegal square in the centre of Belfast. On the bus we passed the troubled Harland & Wolff shipyard. There were men with banners saying Save our Shipyard.

Our plan was to catch the HO HO bus but when we found out is was 1 3/4 hours round we decided against it. Our friends decided to go for it and we arranged to meet up with them in the Crown Liquor bar for lunch. Last year when we were here we had booked a Black Cab tour so we had already seen the must see sights and had been to the Titanic museum. The city centre has many interesting buildings.

The rain stayed away all morning and we arrived at the Crown Liquor saloon still dry. We managed to secure the last private booth. There are ten of these differently-shaped cosy and elaborately carved wooden boxes, lettered from A to J. The bar is now owned by the National Trust and is extremely ornate with so many stained glass windows. It is a traditional Victorian pub dating back to 1826, and has a huge choice of real ales and serves classic pub food.

The food was excellent but the service a little slow.

Back on ship preparations were being made for the final Sailaway Party. As the weather wasn’t as bad as forecast Hughie announced that it would take place on the Aft deck rather than the Pacific Lounge as planned. The weather wasn’t great and kept spitting but at least it gave everyone a chance to see it.
Paul Ludlow did a short speech and afterwards the crew ,officers and some of the artistes on board performed. We didn’t see it all as it was late starting and we have early sitting dinner.

Straight after dinner it was the Ligurian Tier cocktail party in Harlequins. Only 108 Ligurian plus 20 most travelled passengers.
Paul Ludlow spoke again and confirmed that Aurora was NOT being sold BUT if someone offered him silly money then it would be different. He assured us that P & O will continue to cater for our age group but that the big ships are the future for P & O. The champagne and other drinks flowed well and there were plenty of canapés on offer.

We went to the late show in the theatre which as the Headliners performing for the very last time We’ll Meet Again. This was the last time ever that this show will be seen on any of the fleet. It was an apt ending for both the ship, the cast who having worked together since January, the crew who are all going to different ships or home on leave and the passengers whose cruising days on Oriana are over for ever.

The 4 Tunes were singing in the Pacific Lounge and we headed there to listen to them. It was standing room only and we only stayed for a short time.

Tomorrow is our final Sea day.

Sea Day to Southampton
Thursday 8 August 2019

The weather was fine and the sea calm which it had been for all this cruise. We have never experienced such calm seas before.

After breakfast we continued with the packing and had the bulk of it done before the final battle of the sexes.
The noon day announcement was very emotional as an officer had written a poem about a Oriana. There were many tissues out.

The ladies won the battle easily and were awarded the extra 20 points for the most photos of leprechauns. The final score was 2740 to the ladies and 2470 to the gents. Anthony gave the Captains a bottle of wine but as Brooke doesn’t drink wine she past it to me. Anthony did a fabulous job running the Battle of the Sexes Quiz and although it wasn’t as ferocious and vocal as many of the Battles I have attended he kept good order at at all times. We joked with him about favouring the men but he was very fair.

Our men met us for our last lunch on Oriana in the main dining room, then at 3 p.m we all headed to Tiffany’s to meet up with other friends. We got a couple of tables together and swapped photos and tales of the cruise. We will meet Bob and Maureen again next year on Aurora and Brian and Denise on Arcadia if not before, but it was very sad to say goodbye to Brendan and Rob as they are from Oz and we have no idea when we will see them again. They have invited us to stay with them in Oz but as we don’t want fly any more it probably won’t happen. I did jokingly say that we could sail out on Arcadia and stay with them for a year until Arcadia returns but that wasn’t met with any enthusiasm.

Maureen and I left to get our final days Bingo ticket which was held in the Pacific Lounge. I had never seen so few passengers in for the very last session. The reason was the jackpot of just over £500 had been won already, we probably wouldn’t have bothered playing if we had known.
However I am glad that we did as I won the very last game on Oriana. It was a shared win of £320 so £160 each. I shared my winnings with Maureen as we have a 50/50 agreement.

It was formal night even though it was the final night of the cruise. It was a bit of a rush as we had arranged pre dinner drinks for 6 p.m. as we needed to use up the last of our cabin supplies.

It was Marcos lobster menu and the Parade if the Chefs for our final dinner. We drank the wine from the Battle of the Sexes, and P & O gave everyone a glass of bubbles to toast the chefs, waiter and wine stewards.
We said our goodbyes, collected our final night menu and rushed to the theatre to get seats.

Claire Sweeney who had performed as a dancer on Oriana’s maiden cruise had been invited back for the final cruise. She was fabulous and kept the audience enthralled with her stories and her singing. It was a wonderful final performance on Oriana and she got a standing ovation.

The comedian John Evans was in the Pacific Lounge but having seen him a couple of nights ago we opted instead for a Harlequins and a final dance on Oriana’s lovely ballroom floor. We will so miss this ship .

Tomorrow we dock in Southampton at 8 a.m.















.

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GillD46
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by GillD46 » 09 Aug 2019, 11:10

While not a ship we cared for, it does sound so sad.

I hear passengers are not allowed off the ship until 11am, any info on this?
Gill


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by cruisin_duo » 09 Aug 2019, 12:12

Thank you Sue for taking time to update us on Oriana’s last voyage with P&O. Sad that we won’t get to sail on her again.

Safe journey home.


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by AileenB » 09 Aug 2019, 16:16

Thanks again from me Sue. Love to read your reports. A bit sad about Oriana .... only on her once in 2016. Met you on the cruise to New Orleans at the Battle of the Sexes! :-)

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by allatc » 09 Aug 2019, 17:28

So it's Farewell to Oriana. Sad moment. although I recall she has always had some problems particularly with vibration.
It was Oriana that got me (us) into cruising. Back in the 1990's she was used for a corporate event called City IT where IT system and component vendors would hire her for a a weekend and then invite prospective clients for a hard sell. It sounds like a jolly but as a client I can say it was hard work. We embarked Friday afternoon. Muster drill at 5pm followed by Opening session in the theatre. Oriana sailed to Guernsey
Dinner at 7pm hosted by someone hoping to sell to you, followed by entertainment in lounge.
Breakfast at 8am hosted by someone hoping to sell to you; meetings every 45 minutes with people hoping to sell to you; lunch in there somewhere; dinner at 7pm, yes with people hoping to sell to you, Sunday morning 6am breakfast, 7.30 disembark.
It was said they sold more booze on that two day event than in a normal week.

I found myself thinking " if I wasn't in these continual meetings I think I could take to this cruising lark".

So it was that we did our first proper cruise in 2000 on Aurora in her maiden season, and it's all thanks to Oriana.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Manoverboard » 09 Aug 2019, 18:05

A fond farewell indeed :clap:

We first observed the beautiful Oriana when she was berthed in Madeira pre Millennium I recall, several years later we booked a cruise on her to the Fjords.

How can we ever forget that majestic white piano being played on the stern deck as we glided out of Olden or maybe it was the heavy snow in Copenhagen that did it for us as we slid and skidded up a mini hill towards her berth during a Christmas Market's Cruise.

Nice memories old girl, Oriana not Sue of course :(

.
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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Kenmo1 » 09 Aug 2019, 19:06

Just been catching up with your brilliant review,Sue, while eating my beans on toast as we come back to reality. We were lucky this morning to get off when we did as we managed to catch the 10.45 am Red Jet back to the Isle of Wight and I am now packing for our coach trip on Monday for our 5 day visit to Edinburgh for the Tattoo. However, that disembarkation this morning seemed a bit of a mess but we were ok as our cabin was on C deck and they let A, B and C get off because only their luggage had been offloaded by 10.20 am. What time did you manage to get off ? It must have messed up any train connections for people from the other decks, although anyone on PO coaches would have been waited for but the train service doesn't do that. We were certainly so lucky with the weather and the seas on this fabulous cruise. We did tours in Torshaven, Lofoten Islands and Honnisvag to the North Cape and loved the scenery everywhere. We even had an extra hour at the lovely beach on the Lofoten Island as our coach broke down and we had an extra hour there while a huge pick up truck pulled the coach off the small ditch, all the time causing massive queues with all those mobile homes which were trying to get into the car park. We had been to both Tromso and Alesund before and I was gutted to find that the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso was shut in the afternoon so we couldn't go in. We had walked across the bridge first thing and decided to go up in the cable car first thinking that would be the busiest but it made it too late get into the Cathedral so walked back across that bridge to the Radison Blu feeling very disappointed. In Alesund we climbed the 418 up and down Mount Aksla but the 10 years since we last did it certainly caught up with us and our knees. Thank you again for the super review. Hope Garry has recovered from my accosting him on deck 8. Next time perhaps he could show my husband where the launderette is. Best wishes, Maureen.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Happydays » 09 Aug 2019, 19:49

As usual I enjoyed reading your reports! You certainly know how to enjoy yourself 😉

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Happydays » 09 Aug 2019, 21:31

Kenmo1 wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 19:06
Just been catching up with your brilliant review,Sue, while eating my beans on toast as we come back to reality. We were lucky this morning to get off when we did as we managed to catch the 10.45 am Red Jet back to the Isle of Wight and I am now packing for our coach trip on Monday for our 5 day visit to Edinburgh for the Tattoo. However, that disembarkation this morning seemed a bit of a mess but we were ok as our cabin was on C deck and they let A, B and C get off because only their luggage had been offloaded by 10.20 am. What time did you manage to get off ? It must have messed up any train connections for people from the other decks, although anyone on PO coaches would have been waited for but the train service doesn't do that. We were certainly so lucky with the weather and the seas on this fabulous cruise. We did tours in Torshaven, Lofoten Islands and Honnisvag to the North Cape and loved the scenery everywhere. We even had an extra hour at the lovely beach on the Lofoten Island as our coach broke down and we had an extra hour there while a huge pick up truck pulled the coach off the small ditch, all the time causing massive queues with all those mobile homes which were trying to get into the car park. We had been to both Tromso and Alesund before and I was gutted to find that the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso was shut in the afternoon so we couldn't go in. We had walked across the bridge first thing and decided to go up in the cable car first thinking that would be the busiest but it made it too late get into the Cathedral so walked back across that bridge to the Radison Blu feeling very disappointed. In Alesund we climbed the 418 up and down Mount Aksla but the 10 years since we last did it certainly caught up with us and our knees. Thank you again for the super review. Hope Garry has recovered from my accosting him on deck 8. Next time perhaps he could show my husband where the launderette is. Best wishes, Maureen.
I hope you've packed something waterproof it hasn't been cold but the last few days it's been wet☔🌂 good luck!

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 10 Aug 2019, 20:22

GillD46 wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 11:10
While not a ship we cared for, it does sound so sad.

I hear passengers are not allowed off the ship until 11am, any info on this?
We should have been off for 10 am but Captain Sarah in her wisdom decided to turn the Oriana around before berthing. No idea why but hopefully there was a valid reason as it delayed the offloading of luggage. We were on D deck so our 10 am disembarkation became 10:30 am. We were kept well informed by the Hotel General Manager and if you can remember my first report regarding the wasp sandwich eating woman well she was still chewing on them as we disembarked. She was always first in the queue for everything but as the suitcases had been disembarked in deck order they let off A B and C Decks first. She had to wait and wasn’t happy and let everyone know about it. None of us were happy but at least we could understand the safety issues of passengers getting off whilst still unloading luggage for our deck.
Unfortunately we had a long distance to travel and where we are normally on the road for 4 1/2 hours it took us 7 1/2 hours to get home.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 10 Aug 2019, 20:27

Kenmo1 wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 19:06
Just been catching up with your brilliant review,Sue, while eating my beans on toast as we come back to reality. We were lucky this morning to get off when we did as we managed to catch the 10.45 am Red Jet back to the Isle of Wight and I am now packing for our coach trip on Monday for our 5 day visit to Edinburgh for the Tattoo. However, that disembarkation this morning seemed a bit of a mess but we were ok as our cabin was on C deck and they let A, B and C get off because only their luggage had been offloaded by 10.20 am. What time did you manage to get off ? It must have messed up any train connections for people from the other decks, although anyone on PO coaches would have been waited for but the train service doesn't do that. We were certainly so lucky with the weather and the seas on this fabulous cruise. We did tours in Torshaven, Lofoten Islands and Honnisvag to the North Cape and loved the scenery everywhere. We even had an extra hour at the lovely beach on the Lofoten Island as our coach broke down and we had an extra hour there while a huge pick up truck pulled the coach off the small ditch, all the time causing massive queues with all those mobile homes which were trying to get into the car park. We had been to both Tromso and Alesund before and I was gutted to find that the Arctic Cathedral in Tromso was shut in the afternoon so we couldn't go in. We had walked across the bridge first thing and decided to go up in the cable car first thinking that would be the busiest but it made it too late get into the Cathedral so walked back across that bridge to the Radison Blu feeling very disappointed. In Alesund we climbed the 418 up and down Mount Aksla but the 10 years since we last did it certainly caught up with us and our knees. Thank you again for the super review. Hope Garry has recovered from my accosting him on deck 8. Next time perhaps he could show my husband where the launderette is. Best wishes, Maureen.
Hi Maureen, it was great to meet up with you again. Garry was certainly surprised by the strange lady accosting him in the corridor but he was more concerned about what your husband thought when you said you wanted to take him home with you.
Hope to meet again in the future but unfortunately not on the lovely Oriana.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 10 Aug 2019, 20:30

AileenB wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 16:16
Thanks again from me Sue. Love to read your reports. A bit sad about Oriana .... only on her once in 2016. Met you on the cruise to New Orleans at the Battle of the Sexes! :-)
Aileen that was a fabulous cruise and my first on Oriana after taking early retirement on 31 December 2015. I was actually on Arcadia when I retired on the beach in St Lucia but I classed that as a holiday then.

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by david63 » 10 Aug 2019, 21:29

Suekersh wrote:
10 Aug 2019, 20:22
We were on D deck so our 10 am disembarkation became 10:30 am.
In the recent past Ligurian tier have had priority disembarkation, next off after suites - has that now changed?

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by GillD46 » 10 Aug 2019, 23:11

Gosh your journey home sounds horrid. Such a shame things ended badly. Still, you had a wonderful time and I’m sure the next one will be just around the corner.

Thanks for all the great reporting.
Gill

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 11 Aug 2019, 17:04

david63 wrote:
10 Aug 2019, 21:29
Suekersh wrote:
10 Aug 2019, 20:22
We were on D deck so our 10 am disembarkation became 10:30 am.
In the recent past Ligurian tier have had priority disembarkation, next off after suites - has that now changed?
No change David, We had priority but the earliest disembarkation for this cruise was 10 am due to the planned late arrival at 8 a.m. it was even later due to Captain Sarah deciding to turn the ship round before docking. Normally they wait for all luggage to be off and in deck order before allowing any passengers off. The decision was made that once A B & C luggage was off to let those passengers disembark. This was changed quite swiftly to A deck passengers only but many were already off. As soon as D deck luggage was ready we were then given priority over those left on board. Not ideal but I think the ship did the best they could to manage the situation.


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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by LadyPCruiser » 19 Aug 2019, 19:47

Really enjoyed reading your reports Sue - just come back from our cruise on Aurora - the ships are quite similar I thought - when is your next adventure?

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Re: Oriana’s Final Cruise

Post by Suekersh » 21 Aug 2019, 10:00

LadyPCruiser wrote:
19 Aug 2019, 19:47
Really enjoyed reading your reports Sue - just come back from our cruise on Aurora - the ships are quite similar I thought - when is your next adventure?
Hi,
Our next cruise is at Xmas on Aurora, then we doing back 2 back and staying on for the 55 night cruise to America and Caribbean.

The Aurora is very similar in size to Oriana and has the same tiered aft deck but I don’t find Aurora as easy to navigate round as a Oriana. No doubt I will get my bearings when we are not jumping from ship to ship. Aurora has the glass a House which is a plus but doesn’t have a Harlequins which is a minus.

When are you cruising next?

Sue

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