A Day Onboard MV Oriana

P&O Cruises MV Oriana Ship Tour and Review Cruise Ship Blogger

Hey Owlets,

If you've ever been on a cruise before you'll know that your first ship is always the most special - it's the one that started everything and it will forever live in your memory. Well for Dad that first ship was a long time ago and has since been scrapped - as a child he went on the original Oriana in 1976 and it's always kept a place in his heart. So much so, in fact, that he's always wanted to experience the magic of the current Oriana. 

Having learned that this season would be her last he was absolutely devastated because he'd never get pay her a visit. Considering since my first P&O cruise I've been singing "you make my dreams come true" after it being on repeat in one of the lounges, I had to do as the song says. A few months later, the lovely team at P&O Cruises invited us on board for the day to explore the namesake of Dad's first ship.

P&O Cruises MV Oriana Ship Tour and Review Cruise Ship Blogger

MV Oriana is the oldest ship in P&O's fleet, and in today's world when old always seems to be a bad thing, this couldn't be further from the truth. When you step off the gangway you're transported to an era of classic hollywood glamour. You're welcomed into the beautiful atrium by a friendly crew member who I can guarantee you'll accidentally ignore because you'll be too busy taking in the palatial surroundings. The atrium stretches up through four decks with shops, cafes bars and seating areas filling each layer of the atrium. I felt like I could've spent all day in the Royal Court bar, staring at the beautiful stained-glass-effect ceiling. When the rest of the atrium is so open and easy to walk through the contrast of the cosy space, subtle lighting and comfy chairs makes this bar feel very intimate and completely unique.

P&O Cruises MV Oriana Ship Tour and Review Cruise Ship Blogger

At just shy of 70,000 tonnes (compared to Azura's 115,000) you board the ship expecting it to feel quite small but it's the complete opposite. Down every corridor you find another lavish venue, with many of them being unique to Oriana. As well as a show lounge the size of most smaller ships' main venues, it's home to the incredible Theatre Royal which wouldn't look out of place in a small corner of London's West End. Oriana is home to some incredible venues that you just don't see on other ships - including a cinema used for showing films, holding port talks and hosting guest speakers.

P&O Cruises MV Oriana Ship Tour and Review Cruise Ship Blogger

Oriana feels like the "Mary Poppins bag" of the cruise industry - she seems to have an endless amount of space despite being the smallest vessel in P&O's fleet. As well as the huge number of indoor venues she also has a generous amount of outside space - there's never a feeling of trying to cram everything in. On the upper decks she has three outdoor swimming pools, meaning you never have to worry about it being too crowded. If you prefer to get some exercise and enjoy the sea air then head to the promenade deck for a walk around the spacious deck which, unlike many cruise ships, is a complete loop.

P&O Cruises MV Oriana Ship Tour and Review Cruise Ship Blogger

Something that struck me was the friendliness of all of the staff. Even though they knew we weren't guests they were no less welcoming or eager to help, even before any passengers had boarded. After our tour of the ship we headed in for lunch - having been on Azura earlier that month I thought I knew what to expect but the food on Oriana was on a completely different level, and in usual P&O standard they had a gluten free section laid out ready, although this was smaller than on Azura. 

P&O Cruises MV Oriana Ship Tour and Review Cruise Ship Blogger

When you think of a company selling their ship it conjures up sad images of her beginning to show neglect as they count down the weeks until she leaves, but honestly she's just as beautiful now as I imagine she has been throughout her entire P&O career. Every corner of the ship is immaculate and you can feel just how much everyone loves her. I understand the need to renew ships and bring new into the fleet, but it does make me sad to think of her no longer calling Southampton home. 

MV Oriana seems to have touched so many people's hearts. I went to the loo just before getting off the ship and ended up stuck in the bathroom for ten minutes because a passenger stopped to tell me how much she loved Oriana and the huge role the ship had played in her life. Equally when, a few weeks ago, I put some photos of our visit on my Facebook page the comments were flooded with people sharing memories and wishing her well.

P&O Cruises MV Oriana Ship Tour and Review Cruise Ship Blogger

Oriana may be almost a quarter of a century old, but she's still perfect. Every so often a special ship comes along that everybody seems to fall in love with, and it's clear that Oriana is firmly in the "love boat" category. If you've ever wanted to witness her charms first hand there's a few sailings left that aren't completely sold out, and honestly I'm tempted to book myself. I may have only been on board for the day, but I already understand why she's adored by everyone.

Safe travels Oriana - you can add me to the list of those that will miss you. 

Love and Feathers, 
The Owlet 💜 
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