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Getting Started Again

Well, it has been a long while since I wrote anything here. I think I’ve been hibernating! But spring is nearly here (we’ll forget about last weekend’s snow) and more importantly it’s nearly time for our first cruise this year.

Yes, we’ll be on P&O’s Oriana for four nights starting May 31st. It’s just a quick tour around the English Channel, with calls at Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, and Guernsey, but we are very much looking forward to it. Oriana is an older P&O ship – that is, it dates from before the merger with Carnival – and she’s a very individual ship, a one-of design. She went into service in 1995 and for her first two seasons she partnered Canberra. Indeed, reading about Oriana’s design and construction it’s clear that she was designed very much as a successor to Canberra; much research was done into what made Canberra so successful and the results were fed into the Oriana design process.

Here are some links to images on Bart de Boer’s excellent ‘Ship Parade‘ site that will show you what I mean: exterior and interior. I’m particularly looking forward to experiencing those wonderful-looking tiered open stern decks, and also enjoying the Crow’s Nest observation lounge – high up, and with the best views forward. I think it’s a pity that so many more modern ships don’t have these things: the aft of the ship is generally completely taken up with cabins, and the best forward-facing location is often the gym! But never mind – progress must occur.

The big news on the UK cruising scene this week is of course the arrival of P&O’s latest liner ‘Ventura’. P&O are calling her “the Superliner designed for Britain”. Well, maybe – we’ll ignore the fact that she’s actually a Princess “Grand” class ship, and concentrate on the internal changes that have been made (we’re told) to accommodate ‘British tastes’. That certainly includes a smaller casino and an extra bar, so maybe they’ve got it right! But I’m sure that she will be good for P&O, and indeed we are booked to cruise in her in September. Comparing her with Oriana will be interesting.

2 Responses to “Getting Started Again”

  1. Dana says:

    Welcome back!

  2. Malcolm says:

    Tom, I know that you regard yourself more of an itinerary person than a ship person, but it will be interesting to see if you like old P&O or new P&O better?

    I still think that you will learn to love sea-days too!

    Enjoy both cruises.


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