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wiggieswigmore

Northern Lights Cruise With P&o

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We are thinking of taking a Northern Lights cruise with P&O next year.  We have cruised with P&O many times before.  Can anybody advise us who has previously taken this cruise whether the excursions are expensive, if they, are they worth the outlay; what excursions are a 'must see'  and what the cruise is like in general as we normally cruise to warmer climes!  It will be aboard Oriana which we have not cruised on since 2004.  We did hear she is getting a tad long in the tooth, so would also appreciate some feedback on her too. Thank you

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We did 'In search of the Northern Lights' March 2014 and had fabulous cruise. 

The only excursion we did was at Alta at 10-30 pm searching for the lights, very little difference between P & O price and private operator. Would recommend the P & O excursion. I posted some photo's in the gallery section of this site.

One point to bear in mind is that a VIDEO camera is NO USE for photographing the lights, you need a time lapse facility but the general advice was concentrate on seeing the Lights not on taking photo's

Like any ships 20 years old Oriana needs updating but must admit having done the USA & Caribbean 32 nights this year we found her very comfortable

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I was on Oriana September 2013, I found her very comfortable, yes shes an older lady and has a bit of wear and tear but overall we had a very good 18 night cruise on her. She has lots of areas to relax and being adult only is a bonus.

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We were on Orinana in May and, have to say, were very disappointed. We went on her 5 years ago and this trip was nothing like. Corridors in the public areas were bare, food poor and we came back saying we would nit travel on her again. She felt as if she was due to be sold.

On the photographic side - inless you use a tripod etc you will not get great pictures. A professional photographer friend of mine went in May as even he struggled!

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We went on the Northern lights cruise last year and loved it so much we are going again next February.
Yes the Oriana is getting on a bit but still a lovely ship, it was the first time we have been on her but I bet she was amazing when she was new :)
The excursions are quite expensive but you are in Norwayn where everything is expensive and it must be very expensive to live and run a business there. Remember that Alta you are further away from Oslo that Oslo is from home!
We went on several trips, all were well worth the money in my opinion. We went on the Search for the Northern light on both evenings in Alta but only saw them the first night, the second night was coudy and we saw nothing, so remember you may not see them at all... But you will have a wonderful time anyway :)
 

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Hi,

We are going next February too and it will be our first cruise. We are a little concerned about the whole trip as you read quite a few negative comments about the Oriana but we've decided that it will be what it will be and we shall make the best of it. We just hope and prey that the lights show up as this is the whole point of doing the trip, I guess we will just have to keep our fingers crossed!

One thing I want to ask you guys, looking at the itinerary we were wondering why they are taking two days at sea on the way back to Southampton. To us it seems like wasting a valuable day that could be spent in the north where the lights are. Any thoughts?

GiGi

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You are right GiGi, you could do Flaam to Southampton with just one day at sea...
Another question would be why there are no 'search for the northern lights' type trips in Tromso? Last year we saw them briefly from the ship in port so I think they are missing an opportunity there...

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The reason why 2 days at sea on way back it is now P&O company policy to spend less time at ports and more at sea that is why they removed times of arrival and departure from brochures/website it is more wider times like early afternoon departure/early evening. The reason for this is less time in port lower port fees, more time spent onboard means you spend more money so more profit but the main reason is so the ship goes slower so it saves a fortune in fuel. Funnily enough just returned from Princess cruise, owned by same company Carnival, they spend full days in port and tell you time of arrival and departure in brochure/website and dont go slow between ports unless distance dictates.

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Interesting. I guess it makes sence for the company but not fair to thier guests, I'd rather have had one night less than float about in the North Sea for two days!

Can anyone tell me what the food in the buffet is like. I don't have a big appetite and on holiday tend to get foodied out quite quickly and get to the point where I just want something light but be able for hubby to have something substantial.

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Hi GiGi, the food in the buffet restaurants is usually really good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. P&O often do theme evenings in the buffer for dinner which will usually be highlighted at the restaurant each day as well as in your daily newspaper delivered to your room. I've always found the buffet to be very good with a nice mixture of choices.

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We are going on Oriana in February to hopefully see the Northern lights.

I had seen lots of reports about problems, mainly plumbing.

It did give me pause before I booked, but my partner was so keen to do this trip.

Hopefully there won't be problems, 

There aren't many cruise ships that do the Northern Lights, Fred and CMV, plus Hurtigruten.

My S-I-L went on a Hurtigruten ship to see the lights and was not impressed, so P&O it was.

I'm going with a PMA, and fingers crossed we see the Aurora.smile.png

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