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24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Always wanted to do a cruise never again, though we have been told we was very very unlucky, it was like an old peoples home age range between 75-100 no I'm not kidding, I like old people but wouldn't choose to be surrounded by ... Read More
Always wanted to do a cruise never again, though we have been told we was very very unlucky, it was like an old peoples home age range between 75-100 no I'm not kidding, I like old people but wouldn't choose to be surrounded by 1000s on holiday, even the old people complained it was like a depressing old people home. The entertainment was poor cheap, and once again for the elderly, no wifi unless you wanted to pay £85 for 2 weeks, the pools are very small also I was looking forward to being on deck listening to the sea and reading a book, but oh no loud music all day once again for the elderly, we was on A deck and woken some morning at 6am with noise from the deck above while it was being cleaned. Food was good, and service excellent also cabin maid excellent. It's worth trying the independent restaurants for an extra £15 per person very good value. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
General: I took the cruise on the Arcadia 1-17 March 2016, Sydney-Brisbane-Yorkey’s Knob (Cairns)-Alotau (Papua New Guinea)-Manila-Hong Kong. The Arcadia caters largely for the over-65s, mainly British clientele, some of whom seem ... Read More
General: I took the cruise on the Arcadia 1-17 March 2016, Sydney-Brisbane-Yorkey’s Knob (Cairns)-Alotau (Papua New Guinea)-Manila-Hong Kong. The Arcadia caters largely for the over-65s, mainly British clientele, some of whom seem to spend most if not all the year cruising. Pricewise, the cruise is good value. Perhaps because of that, the ports of call were not particularly interesting and nor was the entertainment on board but if you want a relaxing time at sea, this ship will satisfy. Incidentally, I found Alotau one of the more interesting stops but I didn’t take any of the package shore excursions – I booked my own in advance through the local travel agent, Villink, located in the Alotau International Hotel. It was less touristy, the car was air-conditioned and I believe I learned more; and it was at a lower cost that the similar on-board shore excursion on offer. Don’t expect decent WiFi even if you are willing to pay the extortionate price charged for WiFi use on board – speeds are very slow, so at 50p a minute, best to wait to the next port of call to log-in. There were two safety alerts (a fire in an elevator; smoke from the incinerator) during the cruise. They were efficiently dealt with though I don’t understand why passengers were woken at 3.00 AM to tell them of the first alert (without further instructions or directions being given). Unless passengers are instructed to do something or to act in a particular manner (even it is only to stay in the cabin), I can’t see the purpose of ruining their sleep, causing panic (some passengers commented that they were concerned), or create unnecessary interest that might obstruct the crew (some passengers wanted to see what was happening). If this is an established safety procedure, it is a bad one and needs to be rethought. There is Sunday Christian worship and regular Christian Fellowship meetings take place. No other faiths are generally catered for though Jews do get to meet for the Jewish Sabbath. Observant Jews and Muslims need not apply (see ‘food’ below). The ship is generally well run, though I did get a sense of complacency, especially as regards the kitchens/restaurants. Overall, the ship is of the quality of a 3-star hotel but occasionally rises a notch higher. It needs to be said that most passengers were happy with the ship. Pros Friendly, efficient cabin stewards. Most staff are friendly and helpful. Dining options are adequate and cuisine quality acceptable, though not exceptional. Complaints do get actioned and rectified. P&O has been in the business a long time so knows what to expect – embarkation and disembarkation at ports of call are generally efficiently handled.. Good value for money overall (though some shore excursions are over-priced). Self-service laundry facilities are available on board (though cramped and insufficient for overall demand – be ready for some frayed tempers if you have not cleared your machine immediately after it has completed its cycle). There some nice, comfortable places to sit and while away the time looking out to sea, in particular the Crow’s Nest at the front of the ship. Cons Entertainment is basic and not generally high quality though there were some acts that were so good (e.g. Fogwell Flax) that the Palladium Theatre could not accommodate all demand. The films screened are basically DVDs (not in HD) and start times do not always accord with the printed schedule. The programme of talks is adequate and one or two even interesting but overall, worthy rather than stimulating. The scheduling was also not ideal as the talks frequently clashed with teatime etc. (see below). The talks had no relationship to the places being visited –e.g. on the history of Australia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Hong Kong etc.. Of course, there is a Port Talk before each port of call but that is more about sights, shopping and shore excursions, with modest historic background. The food is generally unexceptional. The ship does not cater well (at all?) for people with special dietary needs For example, it was not uncommon for 50% of the eight main course dishes on offer to contain pig products in some form (of the 4 main course choices during one lunchtime, 3 had pig products in them); and no effort was made to keep such products separate either in preparation or presentation from other dishes. There was usually one vegetarian option (out of 8) for dinner in the Meridian dining room. It is easy enough to keep pig products separate from others, to use a different griddle for grilling pork from other meats etc. but no such effort is made. Although most of the clientele might be reliving the 1960s and 70s, there is no reason for P&O not to make an effort to accommodate the 21st century (see also comments on electrical sockets and wifi). Also there doesn’t seem to be any great effort to give a taste of the cuisine of the ports to be/just visited (other than Australia). For instance, Papua New Guinea produces cocoa, coffee, bananas, fish, sago, cassava, yams – none of these appeared on the menu. Of the two main restaurants, the Meridian provides a silver service dining experience. The food can be good but too often is below par (e.g. sometimes microwaved and, consequently, dry and unappetising dishes often served lukewarm). There is also an element of complacency evident in the preparation – e.g. a mass-produced tart base is used for too many dishes. One particularly egregious example was a ‘macaroon tart’ which was the offending tart base filled with something that tasted like ‘Angel Delight’ with half a macaroon biscuit shell on top. The same tart base (a typical mass-produced casing used for quiches, tarts and anything else that comes to mind) was used two days later for a rhubarb and apple crumble ‘tart’. Cooking for large throughput is not easy and complacency has to be guarded against. One thing about the Meridian – it opens very late for breakfast (07.30 when in port, 08.00 on other days). Bearing in mind the age of the ship’s clientele, elderly folk who have difficulty sleeping, this is far too late. Also, on port days one wants to disembark as early as possible. A start one hour earlier would be better. The Belvedere is self-service and gives too much the impression of a staff canteen, in choice of dishes, layout and even smell. The quality varies from mediocre to passable. Access to the food is also not always easy – try pouring the soup without spilling it! A few design and style changes could easily make it a lot more appealing. The smoothies on offer are far too sweet (like most things on board, at least for my taste) – not really smoothies as I know them. With so many elderly passengers, diabetes might be a problem that needs to be more widely addressed (it’s not just sufficient to offer the occasional diabetic pastry). The specialty restaurants (Ocean Grill, Sindhu) are both good but the menus are fixed for the duration of the voyage so a couple of visits will mean you’ve exhausted the dishes you want to eat (or that don’t appear elsewhere on the ship). I was a little surprised to find that the Sindhu did not use tablecloths. Tea time was very short, lasting 45 min so if you arrive late, expect to be rushed out. Scones were usually acceptable, though sometimes stale. Clotted cream was served, so full marks (in the Meridian only) for this. It was impossible to find a decent cup of coffee on board. There were 3 establishments claiming to serve Costa Coffee (admittedly, not the best of the international chains) but if they were representative of Costa Coffee generally, then it’s time for a change. Why can one not get a decent espresso or cappuccino elsewhere? The attempts at cappuccino in the main restaurant were more like coffee dregs soaked in warm water and then swamped with milk. The baristas need some proper training. I also object to the misleading WiFi sign appearing at these 3 establishments – there is no free WiFi on board and the WiFi in the Costa Coffee places is the same as that for the ship as a whole (and available only at great cost). Drinks – the price of on-board drinks is comparable to what can be found in the UK (outside central London). The duty and tax savings are, therefore, not passed on to the passengers. Although good hygiene is important, the anti-bacterial gel that was not only offered at the door but almost forced on diners entering the restaurants, made one feel rather like being at school or hospital ward (doubly unwelcome when one takes into account the average age of the passengers). More effective would be issuing facemasks to people with coughs and sneezes! It was all a bit too much. And the injunction to wipe down machines after use in the gym was usually obeyed by the passengers but often ignored by the staff themselves. The gym is an adequate size/ well-equipped considering the age of the passengers, but might become inadequate if the average age fell by say 10 years. Incidentally, the gym is open between 08.00-20.00 only. As there is little or no supervision in the gym, I don’t understand why opening hours are not extended (to, say, 07.00-21.00). The Library has a reasonable stock of classic and modern fiction but not much in the way of good non-fiction (a lot of books on birds and a big collection on, often outdated, travel guides. In some ways this is understandable in view of the cost of books these days). There is comfortable seating in the library itself but there could be more of it. Although the Arcadia’s ‘Helpful Information’ claims that cabins are equipped with British style electrical sockets, in fact there is only one such socket in the cabin and generally the ship has US-style sockets throughout. Adapters were supplied by Reception (after the deficiency was raised as a concern). The ship lacks also an adequate number of power points in public areas to meet the needs of the modern age, for charging phones, computers, tablets, cameras etc.. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We really didn't know what to expect as this as our first cruise but have no complaints really as we thought it was wonderful and service very good at all times. The decor was fine and we are shocked by some peoples comments about The ... Read More
We really didn't know what to expect as this as our first cruise but have no complaints really as we thought it was wonderful and service very good at all times. The decor was fine and we are shocked by some peoples comments about The Arcada as it hasn't been our experience at all. The choice of food was excellent wherever on the ship we chose to eat and our cabin was kept beautifully clean. We joined in many activities and found everybody friendly but it has to be said some people are not happy unless they are complaining about something especially their experiences on other ships which made me wonder why they chose to come on this one!!! The evening entertainment was really good most nights especially The Headliners ( Oh Billy you were fantastic) and comedian Mickey zany. Waiters in Meridian were fantastic and service first class and we were treated like royalty in the Meridian by Jessel and Rinson and our wine waiter Veineeth and the waiters all sang to us on our birthdays and anniversary which a lovely touch. The captain had a lovely voice and we looked forward to his announcements each day which were informative and friendly and he sent me a card on my birthday too! Photographers were always about if you wanted your photo taken but we did feel the prices were too expensive and had they been cheaper I'm sure both myself and others would buy more. All in all this was a lovely cruise and we and my brother and sister in law enjoyed it immensely. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was my first cruise and after reading the recent reviews I was very concerned that I would not have enjoyed it . There was no need to worry as it was brilliant I could not fault this ship in anyway . The crew and staff were very ... Read More
This was my first cruise and after reading the recent reviews I was very concerned that I would not have enjoyed it . There was no need to worry as it was brilliant I could not fault this ship in anyway . The crew and staff were very helpful . our cabin steward Robert was very helpful and always had a smile . the cabin had plenty of room and the bed was very comfortable. the entertainment was brilliant they work very hard . they always say you either love cruising or hate it I have got the bug now will defentley be booking another one next year . well done p and o lovely ship arcadia. the service we received was excellent could not fault it in anyway. i liked the fact you could join in the activities if you wanted to or just relax which is what we done . we went on first sitting in the dinning room we had lots of choices of food 4 courses every night very filling . well done to all the chiefs it must be a hard job making all those meals . i don't now why people are so negative on here as p and o do there best to make sure you have a good holiday . cant wait till next year when I can go again so I will be busy saving for my next one. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We didn't know what to expect as this was our first cruise. Southampton: Embarkation was brilliantly organised CPS (Cruise Parking service) Attendants took our cases from the boot, next time we saw them was in our cabin so for ... Read More
We didn't know what to expect as this was our first cruise. Southampton: Embarkation was brilliantly organised CPS (Cruise Parking service) Attendants took our cases from the boot, next time we saw them was in our cabin so for us more relaxing then flying. Disembarking: I was a bit worried but needn't have been, as we got a note in the cabin telling us what to do on the day. We took our own case's off the ship, left at 8:00pm and nothing was to much trouble for anyone. Once down we got a trolley, collected our car keys and we was off home. No Forced Gratuity: Just ask for a form to fill in and some envelopes if you want to give to Steward etc. Reception was very good and not rude, plus there was a long line of people waiting for these forms. Sail away: I didn't enjoy but many did, I went to the last one which was very good so maybe I should have gone to the other's, can only say on the first two I did. Lots of things extra you had to pay for on board, yoga, hydra pool etc. The Chocoholics: For me wasn't worth the money Wine Tasting: For me wasn't worth the money, plus I couldn't understand the lady given the presentation. Photo Package: Which we bought wasn't worth the money But this was our first cruise, and you learn by your mistakes. Cabin: was kept beautifully clean, plenty of coffee, tea, milk biscuits etc. Plus I loved my little chocolate on my pillow. Lovely white fluffy towels, plus blue pool towels Soap, shampoo, bubble bath etc, shower cap. Shower was excellent plus once you was in your cabin, you couldn't here anyone from the next rooms, still I used earplugs. We gave him his tip early, because I felt so guilty he had to come twice to do our cabin, our room as never been so clean on holiday. Food: Was superb and good in all venues, however Gala night we found the choice of meals not very good. If you want hot milk just ask and they will warm it up for you, and at 10pm you can have hot chocolate, ovaltine etc. Shows: Headliners put some good shows on, Killer Queen was excellent, better then We Will Rock You in London when that was on. Mickey Zany Comedian was so funny, and the three girls they had on Jenny was excellent Duty free: Perfume on the day you could buy 2 bottle 1 half price, spirits 2 bottles for £ 20 Shore Excursions: Fire Mountain was Excellent, but the others Lisbon have a good read up and you can do this quite easy yourself, Hop On Hop Of Bus is good and shows you more then the tour. I can't understand some people's comments about the Arcadia or P and O, and it makes me wonder why they come back on the same ship or use the same company for that matter. All in all we had a great experience, and booked again for next November same ship but with a different Itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
This was my first cruise and I was travelling alone, I wanted to try cruising without committing to a) too much time on board or b) a really expensive, lengthy cruise just in case cruising wasn't for me. Admittedly my expectations ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was travelling alone, I wanted to try cruising without committing to a) too much time on board or b) a really expensive, lengthy cruise just in case cruising wasn't for me. Admittedly my expectations were mixed having heard good and bad reports about both P&O and Arcadia herself. I now think that some reviews were maybe a little harsh, or some people got very unlucky! I took the Intercruises/Cruise Connect coach service advised by P&O from Nottingham to Southampton on embarkation day. The bonus of using this service meant that embarkation cards were given to us on the coach. By the time I had perched on a seat and filled in my health declaration our embarkation card colour and letter was being called. I felt a bit bad for the people who had clearly watched me walk in, sit down and almost immediately get called up for check-in! Check-in was fast and efficient. The lady at the desk was friendly but got the job done quickly and I progressed through security with no issues and straight on the ship. Having managed to avoid the photographer I found my way to my cabin. It would be helpful to have a sign as you embark telling you which deck you are embarking onto but this was a minor niggle, and would really only be necessary at the start of the cruise as the ship is easy to navigate once you have got your orientation. The cabin was larger than I expected, and within minutes of my arrival my cabin steward came to introduce himself with a card confirming my dining arrangements. I will agree with previous reviews at this point that my cabin was very tired. There were some historic marks on the sheets (looked like ink), the sofa/sofa bed sank a little when I sat on it, and the bathroom was very tired with cracks in the floor and towels that had lost their fluffiness. I looked past this as much as possible, after all I was really only sleeping in there. It was an inside cabin, so there was no need to spend time in there to look at the view! There was a sailaway party on the first evening, but with it being a Winter cruise it lacked some of the care free sunshine qualities that I imagine would be a real excitement on summer cruises. The roof was over the pool which would be open in better conditions and the warmth of the people had condensated the windows so it wasn't really possible to see that we were moving! The entertainment team did their best to extract some enthusiasm, as did the photographers, but I think these parties work better on longer, sunnier cruises! After a wander around the ship, a quick shower and a change of clothes I headed to dinner at the Meridian Restaurant. I was on freedom dining and had heard horror stories of people waiting for hours to be seated, so I went a little earlier than I would normally eat. I was seated immediately, completing a table of 8 that was a mix of couples and other solo travellers who were all very friendly. As I was the last to be seated the food order was promptly taken and although I wasn't blown away by the choice of food, it was very tasty and very nicely presented. The wait staff were attentive but not instrusive and it never took long to get 8 plates for each course to the table. Day 1 was a sea day so I took the opportunity of walking the three laps of the prom deck to get a mile under my belt, and got to witness some lovely rainbows disappearing into the sea. After this it was time to warm up with a coffee in the crows nest while perusing the daily Horizon and planning the rest of the day. After heading up to the Belvedere for a small salad for lunch I attended a session in the Casino where one of the casino staff talked us through all of the tables as an introduction to the games on board. I particularly enjoyed a taster of the 3 card poker. Then I sat in the Piano Bar with a drink and a book for a couple of hours. As I had planned excursions for all three port days I decided that today would be my best opportunity for afternoon tea. While I was impressed with the quality of what I was served, the staff seemed underprepared for the numbers of people that turned up. Some tables were already set with cakes while others weren't, some tables got sandwiches and tea first while we started with crumpets and teacakes, which seemed a little out of sequence, but I was sharing a table with people who were light hearted and we laughed about it all eventually. A little disappointing though. Another lovely dinner for black tie night, and I made it to the show tonight too. Enjoyable, but nothing to write home about. Day 2 and I was up early for a buffet breakfast after watching the ship dock in Amsterdam. In the morning I walked into Amsterdam centre which was a mere ten minutes from the ship, after blasting around the main sites of interest I headed back to the ship for a quick bite to eat before my afternoon excursion to see some windmills and cheesemaking in the Dutch countryside. It was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours, and the tour guide was really knowledgeable and informative. Tonight I decided to dine alone for a bit of peace and quiet after a busy day and was touched that the drinks waitress took a few minutes to chat to me during a busy shift. The show tonight was a comedian, and after hearing a fellow passenger complaining most of the afternoon about cruise comedians, I was impressed by him (all of the 'usual' cruise jokes that the grumpy lady predicted were none existent!). Day 3 and I woke to watch us docking in Zeebrugge. I made the most of a dry morning by looking at the view from the sun deck and had a leisurely breakfast in the Meridian before taking another trip to Damme, a small but pretty village, a bus trip around the edge of Bruges taking in the windmills and a chocolate shop, and Loppem castle, a small but beautiful castle on the outskirts of Bruges. Back to the ship for a chill, shower and change before dinner and by far the best show of the cruise, a four piece male harmony group called Troubadour. They were so good in fact that I went to both shows, and was duly impressed both times. At the second show I met a group of fun-loving girls who found out that I was cruising alone and kindly asked if I wanted to join them for the rest of the evening, however I politely declined as I needed a good nights sleep before... Day 4 and again another early dock into Le Havre. Today I had to be off the ship as soon as possible to take a full day trip to Paris. It was a long coach trip but this allowed most of us to sleep! The tour guide was friendly again and pointed out some local sights as we left Le Havre and then left us to sleep! On arriving in Paris, our amazing coach driver negotiated his way around the sights for us, including driving through the very narrow arches at the Louvre. Around 1.30 we stopped at Notre Dame and we had a couple of hours of time to wander round and get something to eat. I don't think I made the most of the time in Paris, but that is entirely my fault! After boarding the coach again we made a quick stop at the Eiffel Tower for some last minute pictures as the light began to fade. On the way out of Paris we again passed some more impressive sights, and a smooth, speedy coach trip back to the ship. Due to the nature of the excursion I knew we would be some of the last on board but in fact our coach was THE last one to return, so almost as soon as we got back on board it was time to set sail again. As I had had a long day and it was getting late, I decided to eat in the Belvedere for the first time in the evening. It was an Asian themed night which I was looking forward to but the queue seemed to move slowly so even though the food looked good and tasted good, by the time I got to it, most of the food was cold. I decided to skip the show tonight and pack so that I was ready for disembarkation in the morning. Overnight there was a smooth crossing back to Southampton, and disembarkation went without a hitch. I would recommend to anyone to get to your disembarkation lounge early. My lounge time was 9am but I was there from around 8.15 as I had an early breakfast and couldn't return to my cabin after 8am. By 8.30 the officer in charge of our lounge was disembarking me and the other early birds. By 9am I had found my luggage and was on my coach. The coach trip back was smooth and fast as I was the second stop. I would highly recommend the coach connections if you don't fancy driving to Southampton. It was convenient, the drivers were friendly, and everything ran to time. All of the staff that I came across in passing were very friendly, the bar staff in particular. I would cruise with P&O again, but maybe on a bigger, newer ship. My parents have always spoken highly of their Caribbean cruise on Azura a couple of years ago. If P&O want to keep Arcadia in commission, I would highly recommend spending money renovating the cabins, and it would be nice to have a more impressive atrium area - this was a little underwhelming. I'm already booked to cruise again next Summer on the Celebrity Reflection, so it will be interesting to compare the two - even though I know Reflection is a much newer ship. On the whole this was a good introduction to cruising, but I don't think I could have survived more than 7 nights on this ship, there just wasn't enough to do. Maybe in Summer when the weather is good and the outdoor pool and sun decks are more useable it would be more bearable, but in Winter there just isn't enough to do on this 'mid-sized' ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Cruised from Southampton via Azores to Carribbean and Madeira. The Arcadia was fabulous and the staff in bars and restaurant superb,friendly and couldnt do enough for you. James,Philip and Amruta,Lenson,Sunjay. Had cabin d25 but ... Read More
Cruised from Southampton via Azores to Carribbean and Madeira. The Arcadia was fabulous and the staff in bars and restaurant superb,friendly and couldnt do enough for you. James,Philip and Amruta,Lenson,Sunjay. Had cabin d25 but there was a backdraft and it smelled of wee and pooh. Bathroom could of been bleached. The daytime activities need updating as yoga,waltzing,poetry,painting was the same day after and repetative. Need new activities for 40 -60 years old as we all dont have one foot in the grave. Activities for 70-80 year olds. Boring. The food was superb and good in all venues. However in meridian your food is plated and served where a few years ago with p n o was given a bare plate and served all veg etc. Standards have slipped or is it cutback or penny pinching. Had to ask my cabin guy for shampoo or whatever we were low on before getting the product. 15 mins to clean and hoover cabin not enough. Also pillows smelt of sweaty heads. Will take my own in future. Launderette superb and free on d deck d64. A band called sunshine were superb. Some acts as saxophonists,victor michael and beatles experience brilliant. Shows last 45 mins in evenings in palladium. Again major overhall needed. Cabins need overhall aa dated and bathroom need the smell of bleach. Captains lane and Hashmi superb and knowledgeable. Did not use fitness but spa expensive. Used room service and Erdan was superb. On time and couldnt do enough. Antigua shore trip and barbados bus superb. Redduit beach good but when you get there they torture you. Just a firm no sorts them out. Disapointed with cane garden bay as too rough to go in sea. Need to do away with lardy da was 5* the boat isnt. 3* at best. After 6pm unless u got long trousers u cannot get a drink in shorts. Good cruise but all activities need an overhall. Staff mentioned were superb. Need to be made aware of your allowances from day one in the horizon newspaper. Great getting on no probs but getting off long wait after an hour late disembarking from designated area of meridian. Never seen so many wheelchairs,crutches and benidorm buggies on a liner. Average age was 70-80. Film cocoon came to mind or floating care home. Watch the air con as you get a cough know as arcadia cough after few days. Want to cruise a better holiday and possibly do p & o again but there must be better lines and ships available. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
this wa sour very first cruise and we chose an adults only ship..the cabin was superb and the organisation onboard extremely good, food and service incredible...there are many negatives ...one in three of the passengers had an horrendous ... Read More
this wa sour very first cruise and we chose an adults only ship..the cabin was superb and the organisation onboard extremely good, food and service incredible...there are many negatives ...one in three of the passengers had an horrendous cough, which we had been warned about , it is known as Arcadia cough and is absolutely disgusting to listen to...we recommend that the air conditioning is completely sanitised, in order to eradicate this germ. There is an immediate turn round in southampton, so this procedure must be planned well in advance and the ship taken out of service. There is much rust on the outside and the windows in the upper meridian outside are filthy. Disembarking was a complete shambles in the upper meridian, the young man was completely ineffective in getting an orderly procedure in place, worse than any airport we have been to. added to this the weather was perishing and many of the trips should be shown to prevent walking problems for those with sticks etc..... Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was only our second cruise the first being with Royal Caribbean, no comparison. The ship looked OK and our cabin although a bit dingy was passable, however, it soon became apparent that this ship was getting past it's sell by ... Read More
This was only our second cruise the first being with Royal Caribbean, no comparison. The ship looked OK and our cabin although a bit dingy was passable, however, it soon became apparent that this ship was getting past it's sell by date. It rocked and rolled in a sea that didn't look that bad, whether stabilisation was being used I do not know but it certainly did not seem like it, I have had better crossings through the Bay of Biscay on a car ferry. We did not eat in our designated dining area but used the Buffett, the food was no comparison to what we enjoyed on the Royal Caribbean Buffett, it was edible but that was about it, and trying to find somewhere to sit when you had your meal was a challenge in itself. Entertainment,I know that people enjoyed the headliners however I found the whole of the entertainment in the theatre (apart from the comedian) repetitive and boring just a load of people prancing around the stage singing and dancing to different themes on different evenings no story or meaning, that's just my opinion. There is one big plus on this cruise, if you like a quiz you will be spoiled for choice, there never seemed to be an hour that went by where somewhere on the ship you could not find a quiz, drove me nuts. The so called shops are just one big con, supposedly duty free, you could buy the rubbish they were selling in the UK for less, then toward the end of the cruise they would have a sale I assume if this sale was real you would be hacked off if you had bought the same item a few days earlier in the cruise, how to make friends. Anyway I could go on but getting bored thinking about it, my advice buyer beware its not as advertised on many counts. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
We joined the Arcadia at Southampton for our very first cruise. Embarkation was fairly swift, despite the long queues. Everyone was then directed to the Belvedere Restaurant for a buffet lunch, prior to the cabins being ready at 2pm. ... Read More
We joined the Arcadia at Southampton for our very first cruise. Embarkation was fairly swift, despite the long queues. Everyone was then directed to the Belvedere Restaurant for a buffet lunch, prior to the cabins being ready at 2pm. Plenty of time to explore Arcadia before we went to the cabin to unpack. The first night was a Black Tie evening and we eat in the Ocean Grill (Marco Pierre White) which was absolutely wonderful. The service was excellent despite one waiter saying it was an exceptionally busy evening doing almost 50% more covers than usual. The first night's entertainment was a Badness (Madness) tribute which although we weren't too keen on, others seemed to love. We had breakfast in the buffet Belvedere the next morning where there was a good choice of food, but we much preferred the service and quality of food in the Meredian Restaurant, where we had breakfast on the second morning. The day we arrived in Guernsey (St Peter Port) the weather was lovely and there was a tender to the Port. We managed to get on an early one and were in St Peter Port by 08:30 am. The tenders dock very centrally and right on the edge of town. We didn't book any excursions, but visited Candie Gardens first which were lovely and very tranquil. There was a lovely restaurant/cafe up some steps near the Town Church with lovely views over the bay. Following a walk around the town (very pretty), we visited Hauteville House - the home of Victor Hugo during his exile. We had booked in advance for our one hour tour. If you don't book ahead there's every chance you won't get onto a group of 10 for each tour. Afterwards we strolled around the shops before heading back to the tender. A bit of a queue so best not to cut things too fine. The second evening was casual and we had a drinks in the Crows Nest which we loved, followed by a superb meal in the East Restaurant. Highly recommend both the speciality restaurants! We didn't book until we were onboard, but I believe there is a definite financial advantage to pre-booking as the cover charge is cheaper. The evening went far too quickly and before we knew it it was time to pack, sleep, early breakfast and vacate our cabins. We've now booked a cruise on Oriana in November to Portugal and Spain! Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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