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Please tell me the gift shop products are still available as that's the only way I can get my name on a ruler or a keychain?!?!
What happens if you've already booked on oriana for a date after the sale?
We got hooked on cruises about 12 years ago and have taken holidays on P&Os ships several times a year since. But like a lot of people, we see a creeping Americanisation of what was once a unique British cruise line.
The ships are getting bigger and that means choice of ports is much more limited. And the number of adult-only ships has decreased as well. Despite their huge popularity they're down to two with no plans to add another. Everything is changing at P&O. Rather than being unique, they're chasing exactly the same market as everyone else. I liken it to what happened at M&S. Remember when they changed their whole ethos? They moved from being specialists to where they are now, competing with all the other high street stores selling similar products. They lost all uniqueness (and profit in the process).
Of course, Oriana had to go at some point - but this is quite a significant departure for us because it seems to signal the end of an era with P&O and the opening of a new chapter which we don't particularly like. The company is evidently moving away from its roots and going head to head with all the other bland tower-blocks on the sea. The Americanisation of British cruising is truly underway and and we need to look for a new line. Someone that still does smaller ships and adult only holidays?
Paul Ludlow speaks of customer feedback. Apparently people tell him they "want to live life at ‘100%" on holiday. This is certainly the direction the line is going but I don't know anybody who actually wants that. For the vast majority of people I've met over the years - cruising is far more about relaxing, chilling-out and waking up in a new city every day.
I wish P&O all the best with this new direction but I think it's doomed to fail. There are just far too many people competing for the same family market. This saturation will drive prices down and lower prices can only mean much lower quality (see my M&S analogy and where this journey took them).
I have to disagree regarding your comment about Americanisation being a wholly bad thing. If P&O had been up to the standard of Princess Cruises I for one would never have left them. I have cruised since 2003 and and unfortunately irrespective of size, P&O have definitely gone down in standard. Princess have if anything improved and are way ahead in my opinion.
Gary, I guess that was an inevitability after they decided to chase the same mainstream market everyone else is chasing. The result of chasing a saturated market is lower prices and they nearly always lead to a drop in quality and standards.
I hope there is no charge for your brandnew afternoon teas. Have been on many cruises with different cruise lines and have never ever been asked to pay extra for afternoon tea. We were charged on Brittany's. So disappointed.
Why are the smaller ships going? Not everyone wants a sailing megalith and we are willing to pay the extra to sail on the smaller ships.
We arrived back in Southampton on Oriana 23.6 - rumours of the sale were rife on board. I am glad that we have already booked on her 2019 Svalbard Cruise, which will probably be her penultimate one with P&O. Oriana is a lovely ship and will be much-missed personally
Always sad when a ship is retired but sadly not been on this one!! Love to sail with P &O have been on the larger ships and Oceana which we are going on again later this year not sure but thought I'd read somewhere it had been having a facelift so looking forward to seeing what they've done.
Well well well, not surprised but anxious to know what is next for this fabulous ship?
I understand that the Iona runs on gas and there is limited ports around the globe that supplies such fuel. Bring back Oriana!!