P&O Cruises


Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

P&O Cruises
Cruise StyleMainstream
Ship SizeSmall

Insider Take


With its teak decks and art deco style interiors, the 10-deck Oriana appeals to all generations and has a modern, yet authentic ambiance. In 2006, the 69,000-ton, 1,818-passenger ship was given a bit of a revamp and some of the interior spaces and cabins were given an update, with more children’s facilities being added. P&O Cruises’ Oriana joined the fleet in 1995, she was named by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Kids have the use of colourful play areas from the ‘Peter Pans’ and’ Decibels’ for the younger children to the ‘Outer Space’ teen chill out area, there’s also a night nursery on board. Oriana has 914 cabins, 594 outside cabins, eight suites, 16 mini-suites and eight specially designed disabled cabins, plus there’s also a wedding chapel so couples have the option of getting married at sea.Read More

Ship Overview

Recently rebranded as one of three “adult-only” ships in the P&O fleet, the 1,818-passenger Oriana, which was last refurbished in 2011, is an attractive midsized cruise ship designed for traditional British tastes. Setting sail from a U.K. port, the upgraded ship, with its signature three-tiered stern decks, is equipped with enough lounge chairs on its spacious teak Lido deck for sunbathing, people watching, and relaxing. Twenty-seven new cabins were added, in addition to two specialty restaurants. Classic and conservative in style, she attracts a more mature crowd seeking a predictable cruise format. The stunning Tiffany glass atrium and panoramic Crow’s nest bar are eye-pleasing aesthetic highlights. Having an onboard atmosphere of nostalgic timelessness, expect mainly British entertainment, a subdued décor, and lots of smokers.

The first contemporary “super ship” to be built specifically for the British market, Oriana was christened in 1995 by Queen Elizabeth II. Named after the novelist William Thackeray, the eponymous writing room next to a well-stocked library on the Oriana drips with British flavor. Sip a pint at Lord’s Tavern, an authentic British pub, where passengers enjoy socializing and sing-a-longs, or savor a hot drink at Tiffany’s coffee bar. The Oriana is perfectly suited for those seeking foreign travel while retaining a British ambience, from food preferences to music and themed activities that include gardening, Scottish dancing, and cricket.

Although the Oriana is showing signs of age in spite of a recent facelift, a newly refreshed aft deck, uncluttered and without balcony accommodations, offers commanding sea views overlooking the ship’s wake. Cruise to Greece, Turkey, and Croatia or head towards Tallinn, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg. While sailing to fascinating ports of call throughout Europe, activities range from quietly assembling a jigsaw puzzle or reading to dance lessons and golf chipping. Outfitted with a good array of facilities to stay active day and night, perhaps the Oriana’s best features are located in the velvet-draped Theatre Royal and at the front of the sundeck in the Crow’s Nest, where passengers can nurse an affordable cocktail with priceless sunset views.

Since 1937, P&O Cruises (originally the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company) has been a force in passenger shipping. Although the company’s suggestion that they invented leisure cruising cannot be proven, P&O is assuredly a pioneer of modern cruising. The company acquired Princess Cruises in 1974. P&O then purchased Sitmar Cruises and merged it with Princess in 1988, and the passenger-cruise business—known as P&O Princess—was spun off in 2000.

P&O Cruises is the oldest cruise in the world and remains Britain’s leading cruise line, sailing the U.K.’s largest and most modern fleet. The ships are equipped with every traditional big-ship amenity, including swimming pools, stylish restaurants, spas, bars, casinos, theaters, and show rooms.

Seven ships in the P&O fleet offer a diverse range of venues for relaxation and entertainment, including cocktail bars, nightclubs, cinemas, games rooms, and cabaret lounges. Enjoy live bands, dramatic musicals, and deck parties, cabaret singers, comedians, specialty acts, classical recitals, and concerts. Theme evenings include tropical, 1960s and ’70s, or Black and White Ball. Other activities include quizzes and panel games, with prizes awarded to winning teams. A select number of itineraries offer the opportunity to spend the evening, or even overnight, in port.

An abundance of balcony and outside cabins on P&O ships ensures that a view to the sea is never far away. Accommodations, from inside cabins to lavish suites, cater to a wide cross section of budgets and tastes. In the interest of passenger health and safety, smoking has been prohibited indoors, including in all cabins and suites and on private balconies. Outdoor smoking venues are published on board.

To offer passengers a variety of choices, P&O has adapted their fleet to match the preferences of their primary markets. Although most of the ships cater to families as well as couples and singles of all ages, Arcadia, Adonia, andOriana are adults-only ships. The Aurora, Azura, Oceana, and Ventura complete the P&O armada and welcome both adults and children. Following customer feedback, P&O announced major refurbishments for the Ventura, Oceana, and Arcadia in 2013.

  • 9 passenger decks
  • 2 restaurants
  • 2 dining rooms
  • buffet
  • pizzeria
  • Safe
  • refrigerator
  • DVD (some)
  • 4 pools
  • Fitness classes
  • gym
  • hot tubs
  • sauna
  • spa
  • steam room
  • 11 bars
  • casino
  • dance club
  • library
  • Laundry facilities
  • laundry service
  • Internet terminal
  • No-smoking cabins


Celebrity-chef restaurant
Music Festivals at Sea cruises showcase classical music and opera
Every cruise includes a galley tour combined with popular chocoholic’s buffet
Cabins are small compared to newer ship standards
Outside aft-facing staterooms have views over outside decks rather than a real sea view
There is no covered pool

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins


All accommodations have adequate storage space, a vanity desk and chair, seating area with small sofa, TV, safe, hair dryer, refrigerator, tea/coffeemaker, and telephone. Mineral water and a packet of toiletries are provided to guests on arrival. In Deluxe Balcony (and higher) categories, slippers and the use of bathrobe, atlas, and binoculars during the cruise are offered. Some standard inside cabins have a shower only; all other cabins have a bathtub. In cabins that have them, lower twin beds cannot be made up into a double bed when upper berths are in use.

Minisuites and suites have a spacious seating area, balcony, a trouser press, ironing board, DVD, and whirlpool tub. In addition, there are flowers, a fruit basket, chocolates, and champagne on arrival and canapés delivered daily. Suites also have a walk-in dressing area and guest powder room as well as butler service.

Eight cabins are wheelchair accessible.

Food & Drink


Breakfast and lunch are open seating in the Peninsular and Oriental dining rooms; dinner is served in two traditional seatings. The Marco Pierre White’s Ocean Grill restaurant is situated in the sumptuous surroundings of the Curzon Room. The other alternative restaurant is the Mediterranean-styled Al Fresco. Both require reservations and carry a surcharge. The Conservatory buffet restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and pizza; its beverage stations are open around the clock. Themed buffets are popular. Room service is available at extra cost.


The iconic Anderson’s bar with its Queen Anne chairs and oak wood is named after one of the P&O founders and is a popular watering hole known for its country club atmosphere. Enjoy a predinner drink at the Crow’s Nest Bar with its view over the bow. Adding realistic ambience at the sports-oriented Lord’s Tavern is a wall-sized mural of a cricket ground.

Spa & Fitness

Head to the Lido deck for the newly revamped Oasis Spa and book well in advance for spa and beauty treatments for both men and women. Well-equipped with experienced staff and massage rooms, adjoining steam room, sauna, and 12-person whirlpool, the Oasis also has a beauty salon for pre-evening hair styling and facial treatments. Indulge in an antiaging skin treatment using plant extracts or precious minerals. Improve circulation with a Thai, Swedish, or aroma hot stone therapy.

Key cruising tips


Entered Service
Number of Cabins
Passenger Capacity
Crew Members
Passengers to Crew Ratio
Gross Tons
106 feet
853 feet

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