segunda-feira, 30 de maio de 2011

A Christmas gift from ORIANA

For each passenger onboard ORIANA for a Christmas cruise a small box will arrive in their cabin during Christmas eve, contained with in is a luxury gift from P&O in the form of a small leather note wallet for the ladies and a diary for the gentlemen, both designed by luxuery leather and silver experts Thomas Lyte Ltd of London
Below is a photo of one such wallet.

domingo, 29 de maio de 2011

ORIANA's plaque collection

Located to the side of the reception desk on deck 5 is ORIANA's collection of plaques which were presented to ORIANA on the occasion of the ships maiden call.
Of all different shapes and sizes the collection charts ORIANAs first years of service as she visited destinations worldwide.
Below are a some photos taken of a very small number of the plaques

The First Plaque presented by CLUBE DE ENTUSIASTAS DE NAVIOS in April 1995.

Image Copyrights Steve Martin.

quinta-feira, 26 de maio de 2011

ORIANA in Funchal for the 2000 new year's eve

On the 31th December of 2000 ORIANA was once again in Madeira to welcome another new year in the "floating garden".On a Canary Isles cruise, she arrived at early morning from Tenerife, and immediatly moored at berth 3 of the harbour, as it's usual in every new year's eve she spends with us.As the day was slowly moving towards the much expected midnight, for the fireworks display, the harbour was getting more crowded with other cruise ships with the same idea, and so joining ORIANA in this magnificent event. With her in port that day were Thomson's now retired and scrapped THE TOPAZ, BLACK WATCH and FLAMENCO occupying all the berths available in port. On the anchorage SAGA ROSE, MELODY, ARKONA and the MAXIM GORKIY, whose arrival happened by early evening, were also present.After the prestigious fireworks, the delight for thousands of tourists every year, ORIANA left Funchal at fourty past midnight inbound the northern spanish port of Vigo, on her way back home.
Photos: © Nuno Jesus, whom we thank for another great contribution.

quarta-feira, 25 de maio de 2011

Onboard ORIANA

Children’s Facilities

From her entry into service until November this year ORIANA has been a family friendly ship giving a enjoyable cruise experience for all ages.
Understanding that parents and children may not always want to be spend their time onboard together ORIANA features a extensive children’s facilities and program.
The children’s facilities currently on board cater for ages 2 up to 17.
The onboard children’s programme is called “The Reef” and spilt into 4 different age groups each with there own name relating to the sea , the first age group 2 to 5 year olds are called Splashers, 5 to 8 year olds are Surfers ,9 to 12 year olds are Scubas and for 13 to 17 are h2o all of which are overseen by ORIANAs youth crew appropriately named The Reef Rangers.
To accommodate the different age groups there are different areas dedicated to each groups needs.
On deck 4 amidships is located ORIANA’s night nursery which looks after younger children onboard when their parents wish to have a child free evening,
With drop off time being before 11pm, the youth crew ensure all in their charge are fast asleep for the night,
The night nursery is open until 2am although parents are free to collect their children and anytime during evening.
The remainder of the children’s areas onboard are all located on the aft
end of deck 8 these consist of a clubroom for each age group with a outdoor play area and paddling pool .
These are Peter Pans for 2 to 4 and 5 to 8 year olds, Decibels for 9 to 12 year olds and Outer Space for 13 to 17 year olds
Each space being especially designed to appeal to its age group by both the surroundings and activities on offer.
The activities on offer include physical exercise in the form of youth sports, swimming and even space hopping around the ship.
And also mental stimulation in the form of quizzes, and various fun paper work.
To appeal to their creative side the youth crew also involve the children in arts, crafts and drama and also give them the opportunity to create their chocolate in some enjoyable and messy cookery classes.;
For the younger age group Peter Pans features a padded play area with slide and ball pool, to attract children’s eyes it features decoration of colourful scenes from the children’s book Peter Pan.

Peter Pans.

For the older age groups their respective areas feature a more mature
theme featuring a contemporary décor such as blue neon lit columns.
Both feature computers ,game consoles and juke boxes for musical entertainment.

Decibels Seating area.

Decibels boasts a pool table for many hours of pool tournaments and also a large comfortable seating area around arranged around a flat screen television while Outer Space has a fully equipped arcade to entertain its teenage crowd for hours.

Outer Space Arcade.

During the evenings both Decibels and Outer Space become a dedicated disco with their own DJs allowing for complete adult free entertainment until 11pm.
Since both parents and children may not want to always dine together as has been mentioned in a previous post a evening children’s meal is laid on in The Conservatory Buffet restaurant during between 5:15 and 6pm.

Following her return from refit in December this year ORIANA will become a adults only ship with the current children’s areas being removed to be replaced with new accommodation including balcony cabins and the removal of the outdoor play area and Paddling pool which will become a seating area.
Details of the refit can be found here on the blogs dedicated Refit section:

Photos Copyright P&O Cruises.

terça-feira, 24 de maio de 2011

Departure from Southampton

One of the most exciting experiences to be had on board ORIANA is departing from her home port of Southampton.
After the excitement of boarding ORIANA earlier in the day and settling in on board, the highlight is sailing time which is normally 4:30 to 5pm
After the SOLAS requirement of lifeboat drill announced by the captain , passengers will then head towards the open deck space of the Sun and Promenade Decks in preparation for departure.
In fine British tradition a sail away band plays on the dockside and champagne is served as the final ropes are released.
Finally with all ready ORIANA signals her departure with a blast on her horn.
Below are some photos from ORIANA's departure on 20th July 2008.
Where she passed fleetmate ARTEMIS and Cunard's QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 in her last months of service.

Passengers assemble and drinks are served

Union Flags wave as ORIANA thrusts off the berth
The sail away band wave goodbye.

ORIANA seen from QE2

QE2 departs

Photo copyrights: Steve Martin &

domingo, 22 de maio de 2011

Amendments to ORIANAs December schedule

As reported last month ORIANAs return to service following her refit in November will be delayed until 12th December from the original date of 30th November.

Originally scheduled for to return to service with a 3 night cruise to Belgium and The Netherlands followed by a 14 night cruise to the Atlantic islands.

Following the announcement of the extended time in refit, P&O last week put on sale a new cruise of 5 nights to Germany and Belgium, details can be found at P&Os official site

With the 14 night cruise being removed completely the remainder of the cruises for the month remain unaffected.

sábado, 21 de maio de 2011

ORIANA in Funchal December 2010

Two different images of ORIANA in Funchal last December. Yet again the iberian and atlantic festivities brought P&O's handsome lady to Madeira.
Above ORIANA leaves Funchal for the Canaries whilst her Christmas cruise, on 20th December. She did returned on the following week, for her new year's cruise and passage in Madeira, on 31th December, as the image bellow states it.
Photos kindly sent by Jorge Ferreira. You should visit his recent founded blog about one of P&O's sister companies inside Carnival group, AIDA Cruises.

sexta-feira, 20 de maio de 2011

ORIANA's contribution to P&O's future

When ORIANA entered service in 1995 it was P&Os expectation that she would proudly take British cruising into the 21st Century whist retaining elements of traditional ocean liners.
Of course companies like P&O are also aware at any moment the time could be right to begin the planning of a even newer liner and despite being at the time the lines newest ship P&O had already began studying ORIANA for features which their next ship could inherit.
The next ship would turn out to be AURORA who entered service 5 years later in 2000 whose design did indeed feature many of ORIANA's elements but also had its differences.
The drawing below is a early one of AURORA when the design featured more of ORIANA's styling most noticeably from around the area above the bridge and the shape of the funnel.

Below are some photos of ORIANA and AURORA in Funchal Madeira and las Palmas Gran Canaria showing the ships form similar angles allowing for a comaparison of the two.

Drawing Copyright P&O, Photos Copyrights Steve Martin

quarta-feira, 18 de maio de 2011

Onboard ORIANA

For many cruise passengers the highlight of the experience of shipboard life is the dining, the image of ladies dressed in elegant formal dresses and gentleman in tuxedos entering the restaurants to take their places at the table is a powerful reminder of a time that has long since passed, one which ORIANA with her formal nights allows passengers to relive in her two main restaurants The Peninsular and The Oriental.
The Peninsular and The Oriental both located on Deck 6, The Peninsular being positioned amidships and The Oriental aft.
Named for the Iberian Peninsula of the company’s name The Peninsular Restaurant is elegantly appointed in light wood and a colour scheme of green complemented with a mirror panelled ceiling along the outer edges of the room and elegant cut crystal glass light fittings the largest of which occupies the centre of the room.
With large windows along both sides the room that allows plenty of light to enter the room during the day.

The Peninsular Restaurant.

Adorning the centre aft wall of the restaurant is a magnificent painting by artist Rose Warnock which to reflect ORIANA’s world cruising role depicts the epic journey of Odysseus from Greek mythology.
Entrance to The Peninsular Restaurant is by two sets of double glass doors one on the starboard and the other on the port side where passengers are always warmly and enthusiastically greeted by the Restaurant Manager and the head waiters
To add a sense of old world glamour each of the table feature a art deco styled table lamp which like all the furniture onboard was made especially for ORIANA.
Access to The Peninsular Restaurant is via the mid ships staircase.
In addition to being used for Dinner The Peninsular Restaurant is also used for the open seating Breakfast and Lunch.
Onboard ORIANA there is several options available for breakfast, from lighter options including Fruit salad and breakfast cereal to a traditional Full English breakfast available to drink is tea, coffee and a variety of fruit juices.
On a sea day The Peninsular Restaurant opens for breakfast at 8am until 9.30am and on port day opens at 7.30am until 9am .
For lunch The Peninsular offers a four course meal with the alternative of a lighter salad option or a hot sandwich.
The Peninsular is open from midday to 1.30pm for lunch.
Below is a example of a lunch menu from fleet mate AURORA

In a arrangement that dates back to the ocean liners of the early 20th century adjoining The Peninsular is ORIANA’s main galley and further aft is the larger of the two restaurants, The Oriental Restaurant.
Named for the ‘O’ in company name it is stylistically similar to The Peninsular the main differences being that The Oriental features a darker wood and red colour scheme and instead of featuring a wall painting The Oriental features aft facing windows in addition to those along the starboard and port sides, allowing for stunning views of ORIANAs wake while dining.

Unlike The Peninsular The Oriental is not used for breakfast and lunch however it does get a another use when it is used as the venue for the chocolate buffet, a event which is popular with many of the passengers especially those who have sweet tastes
Because of its location in ORIANA's stern access is only available via the aft lifts and staircase.

Overlooking ORIANA's wake.

The Oriental prepared for the chocolate buffet.

The main dining event of the day is dinner and the opportunity on formal evenings to dine not only in exquisite surroundings and for ORIANA’s chefs to demonstrate their considerable culinary ability but also for passengers to dress up and feel special and valued as they are served a beautifully prepared dinner
Dinner is served in two sittings the first being at 6:30pm and the second at 8:30pm.
For dinner the restaurants are club dining, meaning that same table is reserved for each passenger every night.
Each table is assigned two waiters and one wine waiter who each have a section of tables to look after.
The meal it self is served over five courses beginning with the starter and soup courses.

An example of a dinner menu.

In addition to the main menu, the chefs also cater for passengers who have special dietary requirements such as sugar free for diabetic or Gluten free

Offered with the dinner is the option for a drink of wine or other beverage for a additional cover charge.
So high is the standard that each executive chef in the P&O Cruises fleet is a member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs which is one of the worlds foremost societies for food excellence.
To recognise this achievement on the final formal night during the meal the chefs perform a walk of both restaurants for the passengers to show their appreciation in the form of enthusiastic applause.

Although it might not be good for the waistline the effort made by the chefs is certainly appreciated by all on board.

Photo copyrights P&O Cruises

terça-feira, 17 de maio de 2011

A world class cruise liner

Although ORIANA was primarily designed for the British market in her role as a worldwide cruise ship she as earned a place in the affections of many from all around the world.

With her elegant lines reminiscent of the ocean liners and her refined interior decor she has become a firm favorite for cruisers from all continents during her world cruise.

She is also a favorite of ship enthusiasts for whom it is always a pleasure to see her fine hull lines instead of the larger economy of scale ships of recent years.

Below are some P&O issued of ORIANA in various ports around the world.

Docked in Sydney.

Transiting the Panama Canal.

Docked in Barbados.

In Norway.

Tendering off Lanzarote.

Photo copyrights P&O Cruises

domingo, 15 de maio de 2011

ORIANAs Bridge wings

One small feature which helps to add to ORIANA's more traditional appearance is her open bridge wings, however as originally intended by both designers and electrical engineers ORIANA would have featured enclosed bridge wings.
The electrical engineers opinion was that all of state of the art bridge equipment should be in a fully enclosed environment.
ORIANA's first master Commodore Ian Gibb had other ideas, it was his opinion that the wings should be open so that both the captain and the crew should be able to feel the wind on their faces and it was on his personal instance that the design was taken to incorporate the open bridge wing into ORIANA's design.

Below are two images showing ORIANA's bridge exterior.

ORIANA's bridge being installed.

ORIANA while docked in Funchal 21st August 2010.

Photos Copyrights: P&O Cruises & Steve Martin

quinta-feira, 12 de maio de 2011

Recent change of captains

On 3rd May a familiar face returned to ORIANA, namely Captain Hamish Reid.
Captain Reid who's most recent command has been fleet mate VENTURA assumed command from Mark Symonds who had joined ORIANA in February.
In recent years Captain Reid has spent more time in command of OCEANA, however most regular P&O passengers associate him with ORIANA.
During construction at Meyer Werft P&O assigned the then Executive Officer Reid to ORIANA.

Captain Reid

Captain Reid will be in command of ORIANA until 7th August.

Photo Copyright:P&O Cruises

quarta-feira, 11 de maio de 2011

Onboard ORIANA

Amidships on the promenade deck is ORIANA’s most popular dance venue Harlequins.
Easily visible while walking along the promenade Harlequins welcomes passengers to come and dance with its double chrome doors and statue of Harlequin and Columbine.
Once inside the theme continues with smaller statues adorning the outer edges of the room at the back of the seating.

In order to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the venue there is plenty of comfortable seating on offer and a full service bar which offers dancers refreshment between dances and to the audience who enthusiastically watch and applaud.

Situated in the centre of the room is the impressive inlaid wooden, sprung dance floor which has the double distinction of being both the largest onboard ORIANA in the P&O Cruises fleet making ORIANA the ship to be on for avid dancers.
It is equipped with state of the art lighting and sound systems which among other things allows for audio inputs to switched from the sound system to the live band or host
To add a real sense of occasion the adjoining stage is equipped to take a live band and its from here during the evenings that guest band Natural High can often be heard playing different styles of music while dancers either enjoy a slow waltz or a up tempo dance.

During the day it becomes the perfect venue for dance classes held by the ORIANA’s dance instructors who teach a variety of ballroom dances and also classes by the entertainment team who host a variety of lively dance classes including : Tab dancing, Country dancing and Line dancing.

During the evenings when the bar opens and the live entertainment begins Harlequins acts as a exquisite ballroom allowing for both amateur and experienced dancers.
On various nights special dances are held such as the captains welcome dance on the first formal night aboard and the Black & White dance which is held on another formal night during the cruise.

On festive cruises a special evening dance is held on both Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day.
Harlequins was designed to effortlessly alter its role during the later hours of the night the emphasis changes to that of a disco and Harlequins becomes a fashionable nightclub which has dancing until the early hours of the morning.
One of the most popular nights hosted in Harlequins is the 60s and 70s night, where the guest band play all the popular songs from those decades with the entertainment team dressed in the wardrobe era to evoke memories for the passengers who experienced it first hand.
In general Harlequins opens about 7:30 pm however this occasionally changes to 9pm depending on the evenings entertainment, if there is no specific dance on then it's normal for a live band to play any requests and then for music to be played on the sound system while the band rests
Harlequins normally closes at about 1 or 2 pm the following morning

Photo © P&O Cruises