One of P&O Cruises' smallest and oldest ships, 1,880-passenger Oriana entered service in 1995, but a bow-to-stern facelift in 2011 and another makeover in 2016 have kept it feeling fresh. The very British ship is traditional in both design — with its defining Tiffany glass ceiling in the grand foyer and Art Deco accents throughout the ship — and values. (Picture formal nights, and assigned seating at dinner.)
What We Love
Oodles of Deck Space: With acres of teak, the wraparound Promenade Deck, large Lido Deck and tiered aft areas of A, B, C, and D Decks are great for sunbathing — and there are enough sun loungers for everyone. We also love dipping into the ship's whirlpools and three swimming pools.
Specialty Dining in Sindhu: Michelin-starred Indian Chef Atul Kochhar devised the menu and trained the chefs at Sindhu, a delightful restaurant where, for a small surcharge, you can indulge in a rich and flavorful fusion of British and Indian cuisine.
Best Known For
English Pub Ambiance: Many passengers love sinking a pint of bitter in the Lord’s Tavern Sports Bar, while for others the gentleman’s club style of Anderson’s Bar or the forward-facing Crow’s Nest is the hangout of choice for their gin and tonics.
Suite Living: There are eight generously sized suites, each at 500 square feet, that won’t break the bank.
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Who It's Best For
Grown-ups: This adults-only ship is well-suited to those who don’t want to spend their vacation in the company of unruly kids and teenagers, yet who like to socialize with a mature crowd. (After a family experience? Try the line's children-friendly ships: Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana, and Ventura.)
Anglophiles: If you want to cruise as the Brits do, this is your ship, where there's daily afternoon tea with clotted cream and jam and Sunday supper to boot.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Entertainment Isn't a Strength: The shows in the Theatre Royal aren't cutting-edge Broadway, and cabaret and comedians in the Pacific Lounge are rarely risqué.
Gamblers, Be Aware: The small Monte Carlo Casino is about as far from the Vegas scene as it’s possible to imagine. This is not a hangout for high-rollers.
Gary Buchanan is a UK-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written multiple books about cruising.