quarta-feira, 29 de junho de 2011

Cruise Experience

Day 1- 20thJuly 2008
After a drive of over a hour from my home in Wiltshire in the South West of England, Southampton stretched out ahead and within its expansive docks was our destination Berth 106 Mayflower Cruise Terminal, which since the early hours had been occupied by ORIANA.
Continuing through the city streets being guided by illuminated signs indicating ORIANA’s location made the excitement all the more real.
The anticipation was great, ORIANA was both the first cruise liner that I had been aware of as a child thanks to the amount of media attention the ship had received during her construction and naming and on a more personal level the first ship that I cruised on.
As the car drew closer to the docks my anticipation grew further, as it always does ,for the first time I was going to be in a balcony cabin with a private sea view, perfect to enjoy the views the majestic Norwegian Fjords would offer.
Before I had time to think of anything else ORIANA’s CANBERRA inspired funnel and gleaming white upper decks appeared over the industrial shapes of the dock cranes.
As always when docked in her home port ORIANA looked impressive and elegant dressed overall with her gleaming paintwork contrasting with the cloud filled sky .

A first glance while approaching ORIANA.
Being me I had already worked out the exact location of our cabin and counting back from the first balcony on the port side saw the first glimpse of my home for the next week.
Quickly arriving at the terminal we were quickly directed where to park and were immediately joined by a dockside attendant who in a scene reminiscent of the days of the Ocean Liners was loading our luggage on to his trolley to take it for loading on to ORIANA.

Passengers arrive at the terminal.
After navigating through the other passengers also depositing their luggage we arrived at Departures check in area and stood in line along with everyone else just beyond the desks through the floor to ceiling windows ORIANA’s sharp bow was with the water playfully reflecting over the raised black letters that spell out her name.
Check in desks at the Mayflower Terminal.
With passports and tickets in hand slowly the queue decreased at first before pace increased and it seemed like we would finally get closer to the check in desk and as we did more of ORIANA became visible.
Although classed as a midsized ship from check in hall ORIANA appeared far larger than just medium to all the expectant waiting passengers.
Finally we arrived at the desk and the familiar processes began Name, Passport, Ticket, how will you paying onboard ?
As the check in process proceeded we took he opportunity to read the first of the ORIANA Today newspaper which welcomed all passengers onboard on behalf of Captain David Pembridge, it also gave a good insight of what to expect for the first evening onboard with a listing of events on offer.

Finally with check in complete and cruise cards in hand we were directed to the security screening area which as expected is taken very seriously and like at airports requires the removal of jackets and other loose outer clothing to be scanned separately, before a walk through of the metal detector, all being overseen by the vigilant security officers Once through and reunited with hand luggage and camera that was scanned it was almost time to board ORIANA, with the option of having a boarding photograph taken by the onboard photographers before entering the enclosed gangway which led to ORIANA.

Mayflower Terminal enclosed passenger boarding gangway © Team Engineering.
Walking down the gangway towards ORIANA with the many other passengers all excited to be boarding the ship I too was excited, a week of experiencing ORIANA’s elegant surroundings and 1st class service while visiting what is considered by many to be the most stunning natural features on the European mainland.
Traditionally cruising was pastime that was more associated with the older generations, with very few people under the age of 50 taking cruises, however times change and on this occasion ORIANA had passengers of all ages making their way on board from children in pushchairs to 80 and 90 year olds.
The expectations of over year of waiting finally came when a little after 1:20pm we passed through ORIANA’s midships entrance on deck 5 after scanning the cruise card through the computer to officially check in onboard.
After the crowded check in area and the hustle and bustle of the security screening entering ORIANA was to quote a cliche like stepping into another world despite the many other passenger passing through the atrium and its water fall created a calm and relaxing atmosphere complemented by the elegant Tiffany style ceiling 4 decks above which to my mind helped create a true authentic Ocean Liner atmosphere.
Despite being the third time I had stepped onboard ORIANA to begin a relaxing cruise and not being new to me I still couldn’t help but be impressed by its refined elegance.
As is normal for embarkation the passenger cabins were still being readied by the cabin stewards which was expected to be completed by 2pm, with complimentary lunch was being served in The Conservatory buffet restaurant on deck 12 alternatively the bars were open for liquid refreshment.
After enjoying a small lunch I decided to take a walk around ORIANA to re-familiarise myself with the ship, it certainly felt good to be back onboard and it didn’t take me long to feel at home again.
That day ORIANA was not alone in Southampton joining her was fleet mate ARTEMIS who was docked ahead of ORIANA in Berth 101 City Cruise Terminal and further down River The legendary Cunarder QUEEN ELIZABETH 2.

Concluding my walk around ORIANA a announcement was made that all cabins were now ready for occupation.
Arriving at the cabin I found our luggage was sat by the door having been brought up by the ships crew.
I thrilled to take my first look inside Deluxe Balcony Cabin B128, it was larger than I expected almost the size of a small flat with a decent a size sitting area looking out on to excellent sized balcony, like the other cabins
on ORIANA it was richly appointed with deep carpets and matching curtains.

Deluxe Balcony Stateroom.

Meeting our cabin steward who ran us through where to go for the upcoming safety drill and after parting with a friendly comment and reminder if there was anything we would require just to ask we were left to the tradition of unpacking luggage before preparing for safety drill.
Maritime law dictates that every time a ship takes new passengers that it is required to hold a safety drill that musters passengers in their designated room or muster station onboard and that they be talked through the on board safety procedure by the captain from the bridge culminating with the trying on of life jackets.
For this cruise our designated muster station was Andersons on the Promenade deck and we arrived there to settle in for the drill by the appointed time of 4:15pm.
Although a very important part the drill the sight of people of various ages trying to put on the jackets did make smile to myself.
The lifeboat/safety drill lasted about half a hour and concluded by 4:45pm at which time the portside open decks began to fill with passengers who anticipated the famous British style sail away from Southampton.
Choosing to watch from the Promenade deck I was lucky to find a space at the ships rail from which point I had a view over the brass band which had set up on the dockside and began playing with the sound of ragtime and Jazz music.

The excitement really began to build on ORIANA as sailing time loomed with signs that departure was near, all the ships engines had now been brought online and the smoke emitting from the funnel began to become thicker with its shadow on the dockside becoming more solid.
Adding to the refined yet party like atmosphere champagne was served and Union Jacks given out by the entertainments team who came to join in the events on deck.
At about 10 past 5 the last of ORIANA’s lines were let go by the dockside stevedores as ORIANA was finally ready for her departure.
By now the excitement and party atmosphere had built to a level which can only be really seen onboard a ship at such times.
Just before departure Captain Pembridge gave his customary announcement indicating ORIANA’s readiness to depart and the order of departure of ships in port before wishing the passengers a good cruise onboard.
At 5:20pm ORIANA began slowly to thrust off the berth to the sound of the band playing the Rod Stewart's Sailing as ORIANA eased her way into the middle of the river with those who lined the rails cheering and flag waving enthusiastically.

A video filmed from ORIANA's promenade
Certainly there was no denying that, as the band reached the end of the music and ORIANA took over with her sound as her horn blew there is no form of transport that compares with the occasion of a ship sailing.
It was a event in its self to watch the excitement of my fellow passengers as the cruise began in the most appropriate way
As ORIANA picked up speed passing by and exchanging greetings with ARTEMIS who departed moments after.
Continuing down Southampton Water ORIANA approached QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 the venerable ship was to depart after we had passed by and I felt a certain excitement, I of course knew all about QE2 but this was the only time that I had seen the ship in person.
ORIANA seen from QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 Copyright: Flickr.com.
Sounding her horn ORIANA was met only by silence as QE2’s crew seemed to ignore ORIANA before suddenly the sound of her deep throated horn to which passengers from both ships cheered , waved and took photographs of each over.
ARTEMIS and QE2 depart as ORIANA's passengers look on.

Well wishers wave as ORIANA passes by.

With most of the festivities over and dinner fast approaching it was almost time go and receive the first exquisitely prepared meal of the cruise.
Being the first night onboard and realising that most of the passengers will be wanting to spend their first evening onboard relaxing the first dinner is a casual night, although meaning different things to different people in general it means a smart shirt with no tie and smart looking trousers.
To my delight I was informed by a card placed in the cabin that our dining venue would be The Peninsular Restaurant, being the restaurant which I had dined in previously I had somehow become attached to the room and felt a certain familiarity with it.
The service was nothing short of excellent after arriving for the first time their was a queue of waiters ready to show each passenger to their table before nodding politely and heading back to do the same for another passenger.

Once most of the passengers were seated the waiters and wine waiters for each table introduced them selves as and handed out the first of the evening dinner menu. As always a large section was on offer catering for all tastes and as I enjoyed the my first meal onboard ORIANA for over year I took a moment to look around and like I had the previous times to remind my self although the surrounds were exquisite and the for beyond compare this wasn’t a dream.
After indulging in all five courses of the meal it eventually came time to leave and enjoy the rest of the evening.
For my family and I after what had been a long and tiring day on this occasion that would be several quiet drinks in some of the more relaxed bars and for me a one final walk of the day around the ship.
On the promenade deck in Lords Tavern the sound of excited voices marked the reunion of old friends and the making of new ones as the sound of 70s and 80s music filled the air .
Moving on forward ORIANA’s guest band Natural High played for the welcome onboard dance in Harlequins, although this night I wasn’t going to be dancing perhaps later in the cruise after some drinks anything was possible.
Walking towards the atrium the sound of shopping from the atrium and gambling from the casino made interesting mix as several of the officers who were socialising with the passengers posed for photographs with them near the waterfall, just managing to catch the forward lift up to deck 13 and to The Crows Nest , where I found my parents in a animated conversation with one of the barmen.
It was nice to be back on ORIANA, only the first night and so much seemed to be going on onboard,
As ORIANA turned her course to head north towards Norway , the parties continued until the early hours, no one needed to worry about getting up early, there was no rush , tomorrow was a day at sea to unwind and discover fully at our own pace the delights that ORIANA had to offer.

Photo copyrights P&O Cruises & Steve Martin

domingo, 26 de junho de 2011

Cruise Experience

Beginning from this Wednesday will be the first of a new series of weekly posts, "Cruise Experience."
In this series each week will talk about one day of a cruise on ORIANA from the personal perspective, we will look at everything from departure from Southampton to disembarkation.
For the first cruise we will look at a 7 day cruise to the Norwegian Fjords in July 2008
It is our hope that with this series we will be able to offer a interesting insight into cruising onboard ORIANA.
In addition if you would like to share any experiences, photos or comments about ORIANA they are always welcomed.

Photo Copyright P&O Cruises

sábado, 25 de junho de 2011

Funchal's new year's eve of 2002 with ORIANA

On the 31th December of 2002, Funchal was getting ready for another typical new year's eve celebration and like many years of old, the great cruise ship gathering was no exception.
Eleven passenger ships were scheduled to welcome the new 2003 in a phenomenal way, ORIANA among them.
But this time she would only arrive by late afternoon, giving a less time wait for midnight to the benefit of anxious passengers.

Funchal's harbour on 2002 new year's eve prior to the arrival of ORIANA.

Other ships in port were Festival's EUROPEAN STARS and former P&O's SPIRIT OF LONDON, FLAMENCO, THE TOPAZ, MSC's MELODY, Phoenix Reisen's former cunarder the SS ALBATROS, MONA LISA former P&O's VICTORIA recently sold for german interest, AIDA CARA, Fred Olsen's BLACK WATCH, ferry boat LOBO MARINHO and SAGA ROSE.Half an hour before ORIANA's arrival, EUROPEAN STARS left her berth free heading next for the anchorage and at nearly 6:15 pm ORIANA secured her place in port having just arrived from Southampton. She would overnight in Funchal only to depart at 5 pm the next day inbound the Canary Islands.

The city woke up on the first day of 2003 with 5 cruise ships in port.

Once again we thank Nuno Jesus for another great batch of new year's photos.

quarta-feira, 22 de junho de 2011

Onboard ORIANA


To conclude our look at ORIANA’s venues and public spaces we will take a closer look at the largest space onboard the atrium.
Although not strictly a venue as such it is never the less a very important space since it serves the important role of serving as passengers first impression of ORIANA.
Due to its location the atrium is also a space that passengers pass trough everyday while going from one public room to another or passing through to the restaurants.
In comparison to the atria from other ships especially those aimed at the North American market ORIANA’s can be considered to be smaller and lacking the over the top Las Vegas glitz and glamour.
ORIANA instead offers her passengers a altogether more refined entrance one more befitting which gives a perfect introduction of the design philosophy of ORIANA what can be called elegant and refined good taste The first thing that greets passengers embarking ORIANA is the base of the atrium staircase which sweeps in spiral down the entire height of the four story atrium from Deck 8 to Deck 5.
A ORIANA welcome.

Immediately backing the staircase is a marble wall which at its centre has waterfall that descends from the top of the atrium to the bottom ending in pool directly behind the lowest flight of stairs, the effect being created by fibre strands which the water runs down.
In the tradition of ocean liners the staircase is elegantly crowned by a beautiful glass ceiling which boasts a Tiffany style decoration that gives a the passengers below a beautiful piece of art to look up in awe at as the ascend or descend.
Each level of the atrium has its name and contains various passengers service areas and plenty of seating areas for passengers to relax to the sound of the flowing waterfall.
Beginning from deck 5 level which is called Garden Court contains the Reception Desk, more traditionally called the Pursers Desk, which is opposite the staircase and is manned 24 hours a day and offers passengers assistance with any enquires they may have, also available daily from the desk is the Britain Today news paper sheet which gives passengers a run down of the main news stories both at home and internationally.

Continuing up to the next level of the atrium on Deck 6 which is the called the Queens Court which is contains the first of ORIANA’s shopping areas The Emporium which sells postcards, sweets, batteries and other general essential items, next to The Emporium is the lower level of The Knightsbridge shops , named after the prestigious area in London, it has on offer a number of ORIANA named souvenirs, including a ceramic ship model, key rings, T-shirts as well as the casual clothing selection.
The upper Knightsbridge is located above on the promenade deck level named Royal Court, which is ORIANA’s high end shop selling formal wear and more expensive souvenirs and jewellery.

Shopping ORIANA style.

The opening hours for The Emporium is open daily from 8am until 11pm on port days and 9:30am until 10:30pm on sea days for Knightsbridge the opening times are the same as The Emporium on sea days and on port days due to tax reasons Knightsbridge opens shortly after the ships departure until 11 pm.
Also on this level of atrium is ORIANA’s tour office where passengers can receive information from the tours team about the excursions on offer in various ports during the cruise and can purchase shore excursions from there as well.

The top most level of the atrium is named Tiffany Court and is occupied entirely by Tiffany’s Bar which is ORIANA’s coffee bar, which offers passengers relaxing surroundings to enjoy a drink and chat complete with ambiance created by the waterfall, and piano music or alternatively use as a reception room before dining in the ORIANA Rhodes Restaurant.
Daily from 11:30 am until 3:30pm Tiffany’s also offers a light snack menu for those who wish to enjoy a quick bite to eat, these include sandwiches and Salads.
Tiffany’s opens at 8am daily and is open until around 1am the following morning.

The elegant Tiffany bar.

During the festive period the atrium takes on a more informal and jovial character as it is adorned by Christmas decorations, which hang from the balustrades of the staircase and a beautiful gingerbread village created by chefs onboard is placed at the base of the staircase featuring Snomen , and eve a Father Christmas and his raindeer riding down the hand rail of the staircase.

Christmas time on ORIANA.

Photos copyright: P&O Cruises & Steve Martin.

segunda-feira, 20 de junho de 2011

Staying active

While many of ORIANA’s passengers enjoy a drink while relaxing on the open decks or being pampered in the Oasis spa other passengers prefer keeping them selves more active while enjoying the refreshing sea air.
ORIANA’s extensive open sun and lido decks allow her passengers many different options for keeping active.
For sporting fans who prefer to participate rather than watch ORIANA offers the sports court located amidships on the sun deck, a multipurpose space the court has on offer many different sports, from football, basketball, tennis, cricket.
So no balls are lost overboard or passengers below are disturbed while sunbathing the area is enclosed by netting.
The sports court can be used by families or groups of friends to play amongst them selves as a one of game or organising their own tournaments to invite others to join or alternatively the entertainment team use the court to host shipboard tournaments of various sports which all passengers are able to join, occasionally maybe with the attendance of some of ORIANA’s off duty officers and crew as both spectators and participants.

ORIANA at sea showing her three swimming pools and sports court.

Along the starboard side of the sports court are the golf nets which offers fans of the game a space to actively practice their technique and their swing.

The most popular activity that ORIANA’s open decks feature is in her three swimming pools, these are the Riviera pool, the Crystal pool, which is the largest pool in P&O Cruises fleet and was the largest pool onboard any ship until December 2009, both of which are located on the lido and the Terrace pool located on the open aft area of deck 8 as the name suggests it is surrounded by ORIANA’s handsome terraced aft decks.
To allow for all on board the ship to get full enjoyment of the pools the Rivera is designated for over 16s only while the Crystal and Terrace pools are both family friendly.

One of the more unusual uses for the Crystal Pool diving lessons.

Relaxing around and in ORIANA's Terrace Pool.

For passengers who like a more relaxed exercise than ORIANA’s broad promenade offer a excellent and traditional space to walk at a gentle pace around.
In comparison to newer cruise ships such as the crown class, whose origins are in the North American market, ORIANA’s teak decked wrap around promenade is extremely spacious being almost double the width.

A view of ORIANA's Promenade deck while docked in Funchal.

At sea.

Often the aim of a daily walk around the deck is to walk 1 mile (1.6KM) which for ORIANA is roughly 3.5 times around the Promenade.

Photos Copyright P&O Cruises and Steve Martin

quinta-feira, 16 de junho de 2011

ORIANA at Geiranger

Another popular destination that ORIANA visits during the summer months is Norway and its famous fjords which can be counted among the most impressive natural features of the European mainland, one which can only be truly appreciated by approaching them sea.
Although not a original destination for P&O the Norwegian fjords gained popularity with P&O and its increasing cruise activity in the early 20th Century.
One of the most visited and iconic in the fjords is Geiranger located in the municipality of Stranda.
Like most destinations in the the so called fjordland ships of ORIANA's size eclipse by far all the surrounding buildings.
Below are some photos take of ORIANA's visit to Geiranger on the 23rd of July 2008.

ORIANA at anchor.

Two of ORIANA's tenders.

ORIANA's iconic funnel and impressive backdrop.

quarta-feira, 15 de junho de 2011

Onboard ORIANA

Chaplin’s Cinema

In keeping with the tradition of her predecessor CANBERRA, ORIANA
offers her passengers the option of watching a blockbuster film every night of the cruise in her onboard cinema Chaplin’s located towards the aft end of D deck .

Chaplin's Cinema's location on D Deck (8).

Named for the famous English comic actor Charlie Chaplin it welcomes passengers by having two statues of Chaplin in role as his most famous character -The Tramp, originally the idea was to have one statue of Chaplin next to the door and famous actress on the opposite side.
However during the course of the designing stage it became evident that it would be impossible to choose a single actress so the decision was made to have two Chaplins.

Chaplin stands ready to welcome the passengers.

The statues reflect the two sides of Chaplin's on screen persona, one eagerly and almost childlike looking in at the cinema while the other stands looking tired and resigned.
Seating 200 passengers at a time it features a full sized cinema screen and projection system.
The room is designed with a contemporary elegance of a relaxing grey/blue colour scheme complementing the light wooden panelled walls .
To cater for all tastes, a variety of films are shown from classics to modern action and romantic films.
For passengers who are interested in what is going to be shown during the cruise passengers have in their cabin a list of all upcoming films as wall as a announcement in the ships daily Horizon Newspaper
Aside from its main use Chaplin’s is used to host the port talks where a lecturer from the shore excursions team will give a talk on the upcoming ports of the cruise these offer a perfect introduction to ports pointing out local customs and points of interest.

Small attendance at a lecture in Chaplin's.

Another use which the Chaplin’s often is used for is ORIANA’s very own Radio/Television show which is hosted from there most evenings from around 5pm until 6:30pm.
The show takes on the format of a quiz and a music request programme and encourages passenger interaction by having a phone in to win several Prizes which are available.
The inclusion of a Cinema on a modern cruise ship is a rarity even Cunards QUEEN MARY 2 billed as the last and greatest Ocean Liner does not feature one , within P&O’s own fleet only ORIANA, AURORA and ARCADIA offer a dedicated cinema space, the remainder instead incorporating it as a secondary use of the theatre.
As a point of comparison the 2005 built ARCADIA features a much smaller boutique cinema The Screening Room which has seating for only 30 passengers and unlike ORIANA and AURORA it was added during ARCADIA’s December 2008 refit, the space having previously been occupied by the ships cybercafé.

A comparison between Chaplins , Left and The Screening Room, Right.

Chaplin's Cinema is just one example of how ORIANA with her emphasis on the classic style of cruising endeavours to be as authentic as possible.

Photos Copyright: P&O Cruises

terça-feira, 14 de junho de 2011

Rumours about ORIANA

In 2008 with the entry in to service of VENTURA and the announcement of another crown class vessel to be delivered 2 years later rumours began to spread on the Internet that it was possible that one of P&O's existing fleet would be transferred to one of the other brands of Carnival.
One of the most repeated of these began on P&O's website Forum section where a passenger who claimed to have contacts within the company said that they had heard that ORIANA was to be transferred to the infomal Ocean Village brand as OCEAN VILLAGE THREE.

Of course there was no truth behind the rumours and a year later it was announced that the brand would be discontinued with the existing ships being transferred to P&O Cruises Australia as Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl respectively .

Although the notion of ORIANA herself in such a role is a strange one, her former fleet mate ARCADIA (1997) became the first OCEAN VILLAGE in 2003.
Below are two photographs taken by Nuno Jesus of ORIANA & ARCADIA docked together in Funchal, Madeira on the 9th October 2001.

Photos Copyright : Nuno Jesus.

segunda-feira, 13 de junho de 2011

Quiet evenings onboard ORIANA

Although ORIANA offers a lively nightlife on her clubs and bars from time to time passengers will prefer a more relaxed laid back night.
This of course is always a option as ORIANA offers many areas where passengers can go to gently unwind with or without a drink.
These include The Crows Nest on Deck 13 and Tiffany's on Deck 8 surrounding the top of the atrium, where passengers can enjoy a relaxing drink under the Tiffany style glass celling with the sound of the waterfall in the background and occasionally the accompaniment of lounge music from the pianist.

Stunning views and relaxing surroundings in The Crows Nest.

A traditional bar scene in Andersons.

Always a elegant venue-Tiffany's.

Images Copyright: P&O Cruises.

sábado, 11 de junho de 2011

Celebrating a cruising legend onboard ORIANA

On the 15th November 1998 ORIANA played host to the launch of the book telling the story of the educational cruise ship UGANDA built in 1952 for P&O's subsidiary company British-India for their East Africa service.
After major modifications made in 1968 she began a new career as a educational cruise ship offering many school children their first experience of sea travel among these was the current managing director of P&O Cruises Carol Marlow.
In later years UGANDA served as both a troop ship and hospital ship in the Falkands War.
UGANDA was broken up in 1992.

Book Cover.

A contrast of 60s & 90s cruising styles ORIANA & UGANDA.
It is fitting that ORIANA with her classic style was avalible for another legends story to be told.

Photos: SS UGANDA Trust and Steve Martin

quarta-feira, 8 de junho de 2011

Onboard ORIANA

The Library

For the literature lover the place to be onboard ORIANA is the ships Library and The Thackeray Room located amidships on Deck 8
Like most of the other rooms onboard ORIANA they are designed both to be timelessly elegant and also to fit in with ORIANA’s combination of classic and modern facilities.
Theses areas continue ORIANA’s royal connections by featuring furniture designed specifically for her by Viscount David Linley nephew of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Viscount David Linley.
With the exception of a few other modern cruise liners including fleet mate AURORA, a dedicated library space is becoming quite a rarity with the modern trend tending to be a smaller room which also features computers creating more of a combined Library/Computer Study space.
In its character the library is another of ORIANA’s rooms which continues the ocean liner feel which is prominent throughout many areas of the ship it is achieved here by having the room panelled in a dark wood with all the wooden bookcases set into the walls, of note is the light fixtures in the room which bare more than a passing resemblance to those featured on the Olympic class liners of the early 20th century, its dark green carpet completing the classical relaxing effect.
The Library invites passengers to linger around its large octagonal table which often can be found with a large jigsaw puzzle on it for passengers to work on at their own leisure.
Like many of the public spaces onboard ORIANA there is subtle reminder to passengers that they are indeed on a ship, in The Library this is done by the inclusion of a Atlas on its own dedicated table, always available for the passengers to look at the destinations being visited the cruise.
Like any good Library there is on offer a good mix of both Fiction and non-Fiction books for passengers to indulge their literary passion, with a selection of books being available for purchase.
During the last days of a cruise onboard is usual for the library staff to have a book sale normally in the atrium which includes books of all genres and for all ages.
During the hours the library is open the desk is manned by a Liberian who is more than willing to help with any enquiries passengers may have.
The Library is open for borrowing from 8am to 8pm on sea days and open 8am to 1pm and then again from 4pm to 9pm on port days.

After choosing a new book to read or seeking a restful place to write a diary entry or letters home passengers might choose to relax in the refined writing room The Thackeray Room named for the renowned 19th century author of Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray who travelled on several of the company’s vessels for a free cruise to Egypt in 1844.

William Makepeace Thackeray.

The room features more of Viscount Liney’s furniture including a elegant grandfather clock.
It continues with a similar theme to The Library with the predominate colour being green with wooden highlights, adding to the country house feel.

The room invites passengers to read with its high back comfortable chairs or to write with its elegant writing tables and desk lamps,
The Thackeray Room is the perfect place to find a quiet comfortable place either before or after dinner to relax having a good read.
On the opposite side of The Library is Crichtons a venue which hosts another Ocean liner tradition - card games.
Named for one of P&O’s former directors Sir Andrew Crichton, it is popular with many of the more senior passengers for whom the card tournament is still a must ,although no longer played for reward it is a past time that generations ships passengers have enjoyed.

Sir Andrew Crichton.

The room offers a elegant and quiet venue with many tables to socialise over a game of cards or for one of the number of board games on offer.

Copyright: Beyondships.com
Use of Chichtons is mostly unsupervised for card and board games with most being families or groups of friends arranging games amongst them selves.

Of organised activities during the cruise there is various card tournaments and a nightly syndicate quiz with the prize at the end of the cruise being a bottle of P&O’s own label wine.
With many of her fleet mates lacking a games room, the activities traditionally associated with such a room are usually found another often unsuitable venue.

Image Copyrights : P&O Cruises