arrived home yesterday from cruising on the Oriana 'Canaries Highlights' was the name of the cruise. All I can say is, if you are able bodied and agile, avoid this like the plaque!
We had 180 wheelchairs on board, besides the zimmer frames and walking sticks. The lounges mostly contained folk asleep, and the sun beds were snapped up early, so no chance of catching a tan. The entertainment was abysmal during the day. 'Art' auctions was laughable, the quality was amazingly poor, and the salesman hyped the trashy pictures up so much, he could have sold coals to Newcastle! The beauty advice was simply a means of trying to sell the products on board, not giving helpful unbiased advice. The products for sale in sthe shops, consisted of out of date tired fashionable garments, or printed Oriana wear (you'd have to pay me to be seen in them)the prices were 50% off on a lot of clothing, but to be honest I wouldn't have had it given.
Had my hair done a copuple of times. Even that amazed me, saw someone having a streaking cap (thought foils were used always these days). There are the old fashioned hairdriers with ladies with nets and rollers under them. Fine if you've a perm and want a wash and dry, but I wanted spikey with wax, had to use my own as they didn't have such stuff. But it was nice to have it washed instead of struggling in the cabin.
The cabin was okay, the steward was from Malaysia and she worked very hard. She changed the towels twice a day and the bed was changed regularly, but the comforter on the top was filthy, and the pillows smelled stale. Took my own but had to use their hard ones on the last night.
The food was okay, but don't expect gourmet, they are catering for a large number and getting the food out hot and tasty is beyond all trying, managed to gain 7 pounds, so really can't complain about standards there. The main problem was, if you wanted to dine in the conservatory, (buffet style) at main meal times, this was impossible there simply wasn't enough tables and seating. You could have gone outside to with your buffet food but it was too chilly for us. There was another little place to eat called alfresco, but that also had no spare tables at busy times.
Staff were excellent, the waiters and cleaning staff all seemed to be of Asian origin, which surprised me on an English ship, but they were polite and always courteous.
The night entertainemtn was good, if you could get in, we were second sitting for eating, and there was often a full house sign at the theatre when we tried to get in.
The trips were good, if you wanted to go on your own steam, there was often a good shuttle service, run by the various tourist departments of the countries we visited.
The last straw came yesterday morning, we were to vacate our cabins for 8.30a.m. but disembarking at 10a.m. meant we had to find a space for waiting our turn to disembark. The lounges were shut tight to us! I was furious, there was a lounge on offer for wheelchairs and disabled but for anyone else, it meant perching on a window sill or standing around. For one and a half hours, I felt this was unacceptable, and went ot ask for some lounges to be nmade available. Didn't get anywhere but managed to find a seat in a cinema, they'd maybe forgot to shut us out of! They were full of instructions as to where we weren't allowed but nobody ushered us to a decent waiting area. I am not part of a cattle herd, nor do I appreciate being treated as such.
Be aware, that this ship is very very similar to a cross channel ferry crossing, do NOT expect luxury here. And if you fancy the buffet go and grab your lunchtime table at around 11.30a.m. If you fancy to sunbathe by the pool, on a hot day, get out there by 8 a.m. and you can relax in comfort, much later.... forget it.
I'll never cruise again! Good luck
P & O Cruises