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Sail Date: November 2018
was our 50th wedding anniversary, decided on this one to celebrate, we had a lovely time made some lovely friends in table sharing, crew were great and friendly, our cabin crew and table waiters were really great people who could ... Read More
was our 50th wedding anniversary, decided on this one to celebrate, we had a lovely time made some lovely friends in table sharing, crew were great and friendly, our cabin crew and table waiters were really great people who could never do enough for us. we enjoyed the evening entertainments, especially the "headliners" who were very professional. but indeed all the entertainment were first class in our view, the weather in the Canaries was really nice, 25 c and blue skies, we had nice days out during our own thing, and then went back onto the sundeck, lovely relaxing days, sad to miss out on the Azores, but the captain explained it was due to bad weather and he was taking into account the welfare of all on board, which -everyone we spoke to agreed, it was just one of those things, we went instead to Cadiz and the Vigo in Spain. still enjoyable. we thought the dining experience was nice, the Meridian dining at night, with a nice and a relaxed buffet style at any time if you wanted it toward top deck, all in all great experience. embarkation and disembarkation was so easy, so much easier than flying. thanks guys Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was my and my husband’s honeymoon – having never done a cruise before we did not know what to expect and so this is an honest review from first time cruisers ! Embarkation This was swift and well organised. Having arrived ... Read More
This was my and my husband’s honeymoon – having never done a cruise before we did not know what to expect and so this is an honest review from first time cruisers ! Embarkation This was swift and well organised. Having arrived at the Cruise Terminal around midday with an embarkation time of 2.30, we were lucky to be sat in Arcadia’s Belvedere Restaurant at 1.45 having lunch with our room ready soon after. Disembarkation This was dealt with very well. We were at our allocated place at 9.45am and in our car by 10.10am Dining There are two main places to dine – Meridian and Belvedere (the latter being the buffet). We dined at The Meridian on 3 occasions and found the food to be average. We had salmon on two occasions and each time it was severely overcooked (crusty almost). It was also disappointing that some of the specified ingredients were not actually included within the meals – ie crab salad consisted of just carrot and onion (no crab !), and a sponge with a hazelnut crumble and a praline wafer had no wafer and just a whole hazelnut placed on top of the sponge ?? We knew that by choosing Freedom Dining we may well be given a pager if there was no available table so that we could “enjoy a drink in the piano bar”. Each time we ate in the Meridian we got there as it opened and were immediately given a pager and had to wait nearly an hour each time. On two occasions of waiting such a length for a table for two we were made to sit on a table for four (didn’t mind this but surprised after waiting especially). Also when you are shown to your seat you walk past many empty tables which just makes one wonder whether being given a pager is to make you spend money at the bar ? The food in the Belvedere Restaurant is also only average – again fish being put out for guests to eat already well overcooked (boquerones completely inedible like cardboard and already burnt salmon). Also there are two rows of food shielded by a plastic screen. Whilst it is appreciated that the screen is to ensure germs are kept away from food, it is also impossible to reach the food at the back and the chefs did not attempt to assist ! The carvery consisted of a small joint of meat with re-cooked frozen roast potatoes and cauliflower cheese with bland, watery carrots and swede – no other vegetables apart from brussel sprouts one day. Also the Belvedere, for some of the evening, was half shut off to paying passengers so that the crew could eat. This was ridiculous as passengers were having to chase free tables and some even had to eat by the Neptune Pool when the half of the shut off Belvedere only contained about 6 crew members ??? Also the air con is on full blast in The Belvedere making it freezing to sit and eat Entertainment The theatre has shows at 8.45 and 10.30 and we understand that these are new timings. However we could not see a show until the fourth night as unless you “claimed your seat” at about 7.30 you did not stand a chance of seeing the show at 8.45. We were told by other passengers that the previous timings for shows worked very well for passengers. There is music at other venues – ie Crow’s Nest, the Rising Sun and the Globe – but these are only for about 30 minutes at a go and were usually on all at the same time and so there are times within the evening that there is no music/entertainment at all. As to the Globe, this is way too small and The Retreat is a waste of space according to other passengers being used only by the dance instructors. The casino was never used, on our trip, by passengers and we felt extremely sorry for the numerous members of staff just standing around for hours on end each night. Black Tie Events We enjoy dressing up – who doesn’t – but we were offended one night in the Crow’s Nest. Unlike others going into the Meridian Restaurant we had dressed up. However due to being overwarm and nowhere to place his suit jacket, my husband left it in our cabin after our meal. We went to the Crow’s Nest for a drink only to be asked to leave because of no jacket ! Despite my husband obviously wearing suit trousers and a tie it was still not good enough. We explained that it was too hot for a jacket and were told that as long as he had it by his side it would be acceptable !! Really -what was the difference in having it by the side or not wearing it !!! RIDICULOUS The Black Tie Gala Dance in The Globe was also poor. We attended the second one only to find it was really a night for the dance instructors to tell everyone what dance they could do and not for general enjoyment of those who did not wish to do The Waltz or whatever Accommodation The ship had a major refurb last year. Well our Deluxe Balcony Cabin was ok – nothing special, dated and in need of modernisation. The balcony was rusty and the panels between balconies were extremely noisy – wooden wedges are used to stop the rattling but these don’t last long before falling out ! Our cabin keys did not work on three occasions and we were told not to place them next to our mobile phones – we had not done this ! In fact the last time they did not work we visited Reception who for some reason already had the new ones ready for us – how did they know that our keys were not working ?? Alcohol Since booking our cruise 16 months ago P&O’s alcohol policy has changed in that you can only bring on 1 litre each of spirits each. They claim that this is in line with other cruise lines and also to ensure that no passengers become unruly – however they are more than happy to sell alcohol to you ! As to cocktails – don’t bother buying them. They may seem a reasonable price but they are not as if you watch them being made no actual measures of spirit are put in – just a swig and so you are paying through the nose just for juice. Cruise Loyalty Staff We attended the Cruise Loyalty and Future Cruise office once (the queues were ridiculous) but did not like the attitude of the lady who we spoke to. She could not get rid of us quick enough and there was not even anyone else waiting. We decided to use the Library to look at the cruises we spoke to her about and found them to be cheaper on P&O’s own website ! Staff The Entertainment staff were ok – never pushing you to do anything but there was a severe lack of things to do but maybe that is because of the general age of the Arcadia’s clientele ? Our Cabin Steward worked very hard – very long hours and always a smile. As to the restaurant and waiting staff – they simply are a credit to P&O. They are so polite and friendly and professional and remembered your drink and your name. Ports of Call It was a shame that on some port days most of the shops were shut ! Summary We have used this first cruise as a learning curve and having booked our second for 2020 will ensure we don’t make the same mistakes ! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Our 15th cruise with P&O and our first on Arcadia, which means that we have now been on all ships in the P&O fleet at least once, so can make direct comparisons between them all. We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the Fjords ... Read More
Our 15th cruise with P&O and our first on Arcadia, which means that we have now been on all ships in the P&O fleet at least once, so can make direct comparisons between them all. We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the Fjords to Flaam and Olden, as our previous attempt (on Britannia) failed as P&O cancelled both ports a few months before (this has happened at least 6 times that I know of with Britannia). The itinerary certainly didn't disappoint. Both places were lovely and the cruises down the very long fjords were spectacular, especially as we had an aft corner wrap suite, which enabled us to enjoy some evening meals on the huge balcony whilst soaking in the views. Stavanger was pleasant (but we have been twice before) and Haugesund was interesting but like a ghost town - even though we were there Friday lunchtime! Although we very much liked our suite and we particularly enjoyed the Ocean Grill (Marco Pierre White restaurant), we found the main dining room (Meridian) to be the first poor one that we have experienced with P&O. The food was fine, but the layout is very poor. Tables for four were too small and a large proportion were alongside the main thoroughfare around the restaurant, so were not relaxing at all. We are used to having to take a pager for evening meals at peak times (Freedom dining) but have never had to stand around waiting for a table to become available at lunchtime before - yet we had to do this several times. I was told by a staff member that the waiters don't like this particular restaurant either and, frankly, you could tell. We are great fans of the main dining rooms elsewhere in the fleet (especially Aurora, which is superb) but not this one. P&O had just introduced new lunchtime menus on this ship, which are downright confusing. Rather than just list starters, main courses and desserts, you now have all sorts of random headings and now don't know whether what you have ordered is a starter or main course size - or whether it's hot or cold! This was catching a lot of people out, not just us. Given how poor the main dining room was, we really missed not having a Glasshouse (which we enjoy for a late lunch after a morning ashore, or when the main dining room menu doesn't appeal) or a Beach House (for when you are after something more casual). We avoid the buffet like the plague, but our adult daughters used it and said that the food areas were too small and had limited choice. We very much enjoyed the ability for suite passengers to have breakfast in Sindhu and the staff there were fantastic. It also saved us 7 further visits to the poor main dining room. We had one evening meal there and, again, the table was too small for four (tables for two were the same size). Even though curry is my absolute favourite food, I do not like Sindhu's take on it (same on all the other ships) but the three ladies all loved it (as they always do), so do not be deterred. The Headliners troupe on this cruise were all very good (that's not always the case) but none of the other entertainment appealed and, as has become the norm, daytime entertainment was dire. Embarkation was a little delayed due to a problem with the air bridge at the QE2 terminal. This still hadn't been fixed by our return, so we disembarked at City Cruise Terminal so, as well as now having travelled on all P&O ships, we have now used all Southampton cruise terminals! So, overall, it was the itinerary and the fact that we were very relieved to have booked a suite that made the cruise acceptable, but we wouldn't rush to return to Arcadia as it is now our least favourite P&O ship. By contrast, Aurora is our favourite, although the absence of an Epicurean restaurant (the one on Britannia is our favourite restauarant at sea) means that no ship is perfect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had a balcony cabin and sailing from Southampton for a belated 40th wedding anniversary. An extensive wine list and reasonably priced, A bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru 2012 was £24-95 around the price in Majestic or Waitrose ... Read More
We had a balcony cabin and sailing from Southampton for a belated 40th wedding anniversary. An extensive wine list and reasonably priced, A bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru 2012 was £24-95 around the price in Majestic or Waitrose ashore. Excellent food but whatever time we came the Freedom Dining was busy and we had pagers several times and delays. P&O should drop Haugesund - Not worth the stop (Bergen better). We had fabulous hot and sunny weather with 29C in Olden. Flam is a very lovely little place and the mountain train trip up to Myrdal is bucket list good. The stop by the falls with the mystical music and dancing spirits is good fun too. Good entertainment. One gripe - why no proper filter decaffeinated coffee - even after dinner instant decaf coffee served. Come on P%&O - not classy! Overall very enjoyable. Shame that P&O prices for future cruises seem steep. We plan on a Baltic cruise in June 2019 and Celebrity are higher rated; bigger cabins and better deal Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
As a customer on a present cruise I am not interested/concerned with a future refit as everything should be in tip top condition now before the planned refit. The ship was due to set sail for Germany at noon on 31st October. Well I have ... Read More
As a customer on a present cruise I am not interested/concerned with a future refit as everything should be in tip top condition now before the planned refit. The ship was due to set sail for Germany at noon on 31st October. Well I have never been on a ship that had so many toilet facility failures during a cruise. Lifts, sinks, toilets and laundry machines out of action, all going to be put right though with the refit? The food, staff were amazing as were the entertainment provided The cabin on deck 7 was great. B32 Port side with bath overhead shower and balcony. The ship seems to creak quite a lot, so much so that my wife had to wear ear plugs at night to get to sleep. We were transported to Southampton by feeder coach, which was brilliant, we were on the ship and at our cabin within twenty minutes after leaving the coach, the cabin was great , however the bathroom was starting to look a bit tired, but served its purpose. We had decided to book freedom dining which was a great decision, the entertainment and activities were so very good throughout the entire cruise. The staff throughout the entire ship were simply amazing. We visited some great Caribbean islands and met some great people both on and off the islands. Overall the cruise was very enjoyable, would I travel on the ship again? well yes I suppose we would, especially after this much needed refit. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Embarkation well organised, onboard for late lunch. Deluxe balcony cabin very clean, plenty of space but needs decorating and new bath fitments. Food was consistently good both in meridian restaurant and Buffett. Cabin steward, waiters etc ... Read More
Embarkation well organised, onboard for late lunch. Deluxe balcony cabin very clean, plenty of space but needs decorating and new bath fitments. Food was consistently good both in meridian restaurant and Buffett. Cabin steward, waiters etc and reception all great. Toilets often out of service around ship which was a nuisance. Headliners in the Palladium were fantastic, better than Broadway! Entertainment team real fun. So why the disappointment? Would have all been ok really if it was a 7 day trip but for 24 days the variety in daily activities was limited and evenings were not really organised to occasion with the lamentable DJ one of the problems.One passenger said "its a cruise for the oldies, what did you expect"? Whilst it was adults only we did expect more. Gym was ok but all the talks in there were repeated and limited knowledge- just a marketing ploy. New York stop went fine although immigration took a while. We booked our own trips as ships too expensive. Had to cancel Bar Harbour and then Quebec one as only 1 full day there. Information from the Captain was limited - we were told due to the hurricane weather Newport stop bypassed as it was a tender & would not be safe - ok. Onto Boston. Bar Harbour & Sidney - also tender ports cancelled although we found out later other ships had no problems using them. Propeller problem gave us 2 days in Halifax which is lovely, but due to lack of info we all rushed back at 4 pm to be told we had the extra time. Quebec only 1 full day and then a right mix up for the excursion team again when backtracking to Saguenay instead of Sidney! Too many days at sea a not enough port stops! We did have Champagne that the family had organised for our Anniversary - but delivered 6 days late! We were given onboard spending but bought things we didn't really want in the expensive onboard shops so they got it back. Also advised we would have money off future trip but when we enquired were given very misleading info so won't bother for a while. To us the ship was not really big enough for a long trip and was more geared to seniors more senior than we are. Saying that, there were some great ones onboard! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have just enjoyed a 12 night cruise onboard the Arcadia departing from Southampton , talking in Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Tangiers, Cadiz and Lisbon with a couple of sea days. We boarded with little fuss and realatively little ... Read More
We have just enjoyed a 12 night cruise onboard the Arcadia departing from Southampton , talking in Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Tangiers, Cadiz and Lisbon with a couple of sea days. We boarded with little fuss and realatively little waiting at Southampton, our slot was three but as we arrived early we actually managed to get on about one thirty, it would have been better to have arrived at our allotted slot as then we'd have gone straight on, note to self for future reference. The ship is slightly smaller and older ( although recently refitteed) than we are used to, not as flashy as many of the newer and bigger liners , but it has an intimacy that size doesn't allow. As this was an adults only ship cruising in November we expected an older age demographic on board ( we're in our late fifties ) so weren't surprised that the majority of the passengers were retirement age and we met many a sprightly eighty year old but also noticed younger couples ( we wondered if they may have found it a bit overwhelming to be surrounded by so many older people). We booked late and cheap so we didn't get our preferred 6.30 dinner slot, or the free time dining and had to be content with 8.30 ( very late for us ) but we survived and had excellent dinner companions which made up for it. The food and service onboard were excellent, I was absolutely sure we'd have put on weight but found that we had not, as everything was very healthy and as you can have pretty much whatever you want you naturally pace yourself. The stateroom ( cabin ) was very nice, clean, with perfectly adequate facilities, we had the cheapest inside cabin, slightly smaller than we've had on our usual Princess cruise ships, but not significantly so, did panic slightly about where to put the empty cases but they slip under the bed so no problem. Nice flat screen tv with sky news, BBC news, several free film and tv channels and programs produced for the cruise itinary and information about the ships status. The onboard entertainment program seemed OK but we tend to rest and read when not in port, we attended a dance show in the comfortable theatre and enjoyed that. We also took part in some late night quizzes which were fun. The Spa was very good except that when I booked a special deal the receptionist I saw did not understand the offer and sold me the wrong treatments ( that did not qualify) but after a little upset the matter was resolved to my satisfaction. The massages I had were very very good and the Spa is excellent . I did find the retail area limited, and the staff who manned it badly trained, I actually asked the retail manager if a necklace I was interested in buying was "Opal" or " Imitation Opal" to be told it was " Cubic Zirconia" , I was quite surprised that he decided to " blag " me instead of simply stating that he didn't know the answer to my question, having spent many years in the jewellery trade I do know it wasn't a cubic zirconia and I told him so, he made an aside to a colleague that he'd had me throw off the ship, very unprofessional. Apart from him and the mix up in the Spa the other staff were all lovely and received tips from us above the usual ones added to your account . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Dinner first night was mediocre, had to share a table with a couple but next night they chose to sit by the entrance, perhaps because they were t-total. Next night food again was average apart from the asparagus which resembled more like ... Read More
Dinner first night was mediocre, had to share a table with a couple but next night they chose to sit by the entrance, perhaps because they were t-total. Next night food again was average apart from the asparagus which resembled more like floppy green beans delicately balanced over an egg. No way could you have done that with fresh asparagus. Following night had a potatoe on my plate that you wouldn't have fed to a pig. When asked if I enjoyed my meal, my reply drew the attention of the manager. Another problem was if you ordered your wine after the food, it wouldn't turn up until half way through your main course. We complained in the end. We were told to order our wine at lunchtime and were informed that P&O bring all their food onboard at Soton FROZEN, nothing fresh. I'm pretty sure I once upon time saw an ad with a chef buying in a local market? It's fantasy. The Food & Beverage manager wasn't interested, he said it was the same process on all their Cruises. I asked him if he had been on a P&O ferry, to which he laughed, until I suggested he should as the food was better. Read Less
41 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The worst 17 nights on board I can recall. P & O have lost the plot. They are only concerned about getting people on board, not about how they look after them. It may be a few years since we travelled with them and I know that ... Read More
The worst 17 nights on board I can recall. P & O have lost the plot. They are only concerned about getting people on board, not about how they look after them. It may be a few years since we travelled with them and I know that things can change but the only changes we noticed were negative. Toilets not flushing and emptying their contents onto the bathroom floor, stained towels and sheets, no pool towels, waiting for cutlery in buffet, whirlpools and lifts out of order for duration, cold food served, grubby bath and basin, soiled carpets in public areas, Cut back on costs with more sea days than normal and early departures, on board staff were unhelpful and almost rude in some cases, a few were however excellent, as they all used to be. Dining was OK in the Meridian despite dropping silver service, the Ocean grill and Sindu were good. Belverdere buffet was poor, not much selection and repetetive, cold and kept waiting for clean cutlery. Entertainment was acceptable although not as good as previously. No, I'm not just having a moan, generally it was awful. Really awful. #This is the life, pay for 5 star and get 2 star service. Thanks P&O, you ruined my 30th wedding anniversary, and I paid good money for the privelege. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first taste of a cruise and 6 nights appeared to be an ideal duration. We really enjoyed our time on her. The food was of an excellent standard in the restaurants and for a small fee we tried the upmarket Shindu Indian ... Read More
This was our first taste of a cruise and 6 nights appeared to be an ideal duration. We really enjoyed our time on her. The food was of an excellent standard in the restaurants and for a small fee we tried the upmarket Shindu Indian Restaurant and the Ocean Grill restaurant (twice). Both were excellent, but the Ocean Grill particularly outstanding. Our cabin was what we expected, comfortable and of a good standard. I'm pleased to say that we were never bored as there was plenty to do on board. The service, in my opinion was excellent. The staff were all very attentive and couldn't do enough to help and always had a smile on their faces. Our favourite place to relax was The Crows Nest, with great views to the front and the price of the drinks no more than you would pay in your local pub. We also tried the gym and hydrotherapy pool which we would definately use more if we returned to her. We chose not to go on any excursions as we preferred to explore La Rochelle, Bilbao and St Peter's Port ourselves. Free shuttle buses to the towns were provided as were regular return trips back to the ship. The ship appeared to be in very good condition and after several days was very easy to navigate around. Our excursion on Arcadia was very positive and left us with some great memories. So much so we are now looking forward to another cruise next year. 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
Sail Date: April 2015
Having just completed a mini trip to brussels & le havre on Arcadia . We were looking forward to a relaxed trip having paid the extra to upgrade to a suite. We duly arrived at 12.45 after problems with entry to the port gate ( Not P ... Read More
Having just completed a mini trip to brussels & le havre on Arcadia . We were looking forward to a relaxed trip having paid the extra to upgrade to a suite. We duly arrived at 12.45 after problems with entry to the port gate ( Not P & O but an accident on route to Aurora cruise terminal). Having arrived and suitcases off loaded,the first batch of people at the entry were a group of hen party with offensive sweatshirts joining the cruise , check in was good but again we had to ask for were we go for priority check in ,the room was as promised and all suite facilities in place . Having our walk around, we lunched on a cold burger up on the upper deck and upon walking around ship as you do, we noticed the Meridian open,upon enquiry this was open for Suite guests ( Not the best of P & O communication as never advised at check in) Having been on many cruises with P & O and having myself been refused entry to a bar without a jacket expected standards to be maintained . Having complied with dress code only to find the hen party tables dressed in sailor outfits with large blow up members doing games with whistles etc is not what you expect and feel sorry for passengers sampling a first cruise. Overall P & O need raise the standards on these mini cruises ,think about what they want to gain ,as for us this will be a last short cruise due to the drop in standards expected and received on all other P & O cruises lets hope they get better as we are booked on Brittania in December Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We joined Arcadia for her 15 day Baltic cruise in August. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend her to those who like a medium sized slightly more formal adult's only ship. This was our second cruise on her, our first ... Read More
We joined Arcadia for her 15 day Baltic cruise in August. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend her to those who like a medium sized slightly more formal adult's only ship. This was our second cruise on her, our first was a short 3 nighter, and we hated her, dirty, in need of maintenance and the staff gruff, we nearly cancelled this Baltic cruise. But we were so glad we didn't, she was clean with plenty of fresh paint and the staff were excellent, a very different experience. We stayed in Southampton the night before, as we always do at the Premier, just perfect. We did not get complementary parking so instead of paying the exorbitant costs for dockside parking we found a gem on the parkatmyhouse website. We will definitely do this again the next time we cruise from Southampton. Check in as always with P&O was efficient and quick and we were on the ship early at about 12.30. Our port side balcony cabin was ready by 2 and we were very pleased with it. We were extremely well served by our steward, one of the best we have ever had, the cabin was spotless. He didn't miss anything; including making sure our ice bucket was replenished every day. We were in E133, a glass fronted balcony, and not all on E deck are, in line with the lifeboats, right by the lifts. Our only complaint is that it was rather noisy. We like being by the lifts and have never had this problem on other ships, inconsiderate pax holding conversations outside the door, and banging from a crew door to the kitchens on the promenade deck below were not good. This did not spoil out enjoyment of the cabin overall but a couple of cabins further towards the aft would probably be quieter. We had a really lovely table for 8 on the MDR upper dining level right in front of the big aft windows, perfect. We spent very enjoyable evenings with our table companions, though the MDR did suffer from vibration from the engines on occasion, maybe a maintenance issue? The food was very good, British silver service, but still very good. Out waiters and the wine waiter were all efficient though they did not interact as much as we would have liked. The buffet for breakfast and lunch was generally good, though the layout of the servery did occasionally result in long queues. The food was of a good quality, though perhaps not always as hot as we would like and sometimes choices ran out and were not replaced promptly, it was also slightly repetitive. Overall good, but we prefer the server layout of the newer bigger ships. We never had a problem finding seats, though often had to share. But why do they have long blinds down the window obstructing the view, maybe this will change when she goes into dry dock. We liked the Neptune grill in the inside pool, only limited opening times and a sometimes along wait, but the food, jacket potatoes, burgers etc, was freshly cooked and well come when returning from a port visit. We visited both the Orchid and Ocean Grill extra charge restaurants. We always visit the speciality restaurants at least once for a change. The Orchid was lovely; we had an excellent meal, good value at £10 each. The Ocean Grill was a different matter. This was our 5th visit to a White's restaurant on P&O and our first disappointment, we had experienced some outstanding meals, including during our first Arcadia cruise. We did not want to make a fuss in the restaurant as it was clear others were enjoying their meal but when asked if we enjoyed the food we explained that the pork was far to fatty, and inedible. The restaurant manager then started to argue with us at the table. This was unacceptable to us to we left without paying and went straight to the customer serviced desk. Without going into the boring details we ended up with an apology from the food and beverage officer and did not pay for the meal. We did DIY in all the except St Peterburg ports where we did a 2 day grand tour and the ballet with Alla tours. I have reviewed them elsewhere but would highly recommend them. Apart from Russia all the ports were easily do-able yourself. P&O were really good in providing a free shuttle in all the ports where we were not docked in the city centre. I did quite a bit of research beforehand and had a good idea of what we would do in each port. We followed the really useful Fodders guide walks in some of the ports (available on their web site). The entertainment overall was very poor, this was a comment that we heard many times. The shows were okay, but a couple of the singers awful. There was little other entertainment, this is one of the reasons were prefer larger ships. We went to a couple of the talks but found the timing not good for us. This was a fairly port intensive cruise and on sea days we found the timings too early. We normally really enjoy the talks on P&O and this was a disappointment. We had good weather overall better than expected, only a little rain. The weather and temperature advice given in the Horizon newsletter each day and confirmed by the captain was generally accurate. Some days we needed a light jumper or fleece, rain a couple of times but mostly we were in short sleeves. The seas were really kind, even the North Sea was calm. The sunsets were amazing. Overall a really enjoyable cruise, though we would not go on Arcadia again for a long cruise, though would consider a short one if it was over a weekend, we both work! We have also decided that we prefer Celebrity to P&O, the service and the quality of the food and drink is much higher, 5 star as against 4. We find the cost of P&O higher than Celebrity up front, but spend less on board so the cost for us ends up about the same. Having said that we would consider cruising on P&O again if the price and ports were attractive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2012
This cruise was a great mix of English, Australians an a few Kiwis. It was the friendliest cruise I have ever been on. Not necessarily with the crew though. The shows in the theatre were brilliant and the best I have ever seen oh any ... Read More
This cruise was a great mix of English, Australians an a few Kiwis. It was the friendliest cruise I have ever been on. Not necessarily with the crew though. The shows in the theatre were brilliant and the best I have ever seen oh any cruise, I couldn't believe how lucky we were to have Pam Ayres one night.We also had the Tenor boys and a variety of other very professional shows. We actually went every night. The day time activities were also just the best. I was absolutely impressed with the fuss free and smooth boarding, it took no time at all. How ever, we were not at any stage shown to our cabin, we had to muddle our own way there. We were given a small bottle of water at LA and then another at Sydney, not at all very generous. We had to pay for it after that. The food in the belvedere was just terrible.The night we had Indian that was all there was, tough for people like me who don't eat Indian, same with their Sea food night, no alternative. Generally speaking the food was dull, boring and bland. often to the point of being inedible. The absolute worst for me the mashed potatoes were just slop.Surely they should notice by the amount of plates going back still full. Certainly the worst I have ever experienced. We called it Woollies Cafe. The menu had no imagination what so ever.The waiters were slow and disorganised, the plates and dirty tables piled up, we had to ask for the tables to be wiped down so we could sit there. The food in the Meridian was delicious, well served and presented. Waiter for the most were friendly happy souls. As they had 8 black tie nights in the month, we ate in the Buffet instead, much to our horror. Toilets were repeatedly out of order - or there was no water or electricity. . At other times it was wash basins or hand driers not working - the knock on effect being empty paper towel holders. There were also some very strange, garbage type, or sewer smells in several places on the ship.Not a pleasant experience as you can imagine. Although she is a beautiful ship, she is not a patch on many of the others. The library was so small, you would be lucky to get a seat in there. It is no wonder so many people on the ship were ill with chest infections, including us. First time we have ever been ill on a cruise. We are in agreement with many that we spoke to on the ship, we will not be cruising with P& O again. this is just my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Wife and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary - so this was a special cruise. We selected this cruise based on the ports of call. We knew most of the passengers would be retired folks. We first cruised with P&O in the late ... Read More
Wife and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary - so this was a special cruise. We selected this cruise based on the ports of call. We knew most of the passengers would be retired folks. We first cruised with P&O in the late 1980's and upto this cruise our favorite cruise line was Princess. So for folks reading this here is a brief summary: Ports of call fantastic Cabin stewards/bar staff/restaurant staff fantastic Evening entertainment was good Cabin faultless Given we have done so many Princess cruises it is very hard not to make comparisons between Princess and P&O - during the course of this cruise wife and I developed a saying BOP (better on Princess) So here is the list Drinks - on Princess you can buy an unlimited soft drink package approx $35 per 7 day cruise - not possible on P&O. Variety of drinks much better and also cheaper on Princess. Food - Princess is miles ahead. On Arcadia the food variety was incredibly boring and unimaginative. In fact we gave up eating in the main restaurants and paid supplements to eat in the specialty restaurants (the Orchid is fantastic). Excursions - Arcadia, expensive and not imaginative with many admin errors/mistakes leading to almost arrogance. My wife and I called it the 'Excuses Desk' as opposed to Excursion Desk. Open & below deck facilities - Arcadia isn't bad - but Princess is just better. In summary I cannot stress how bad the food was - boring, boring and more boring. I've eaten better in Tesco cafeteria. I think it is very possible P&O are deeply cutting costs and it is in the food and beverage area where this is most evident. I'd rather pay more for my ticket then eat what was served up - actually I did pay more by eating in the specialty restaurants. So next cruise back to Princess... Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
As this was our Wedding Cruise we were really excited when we arrived at Southampton early at 11am. We waited to board the ship and were guided to "Priority Boarding" as I had my wedding dress and bouquet in separate bags which ... Read More
As this was our Wedding Cruise we were really excited when we arrived at Southampton early at 11am. We waited to board the ship and were guided to "Priority Boarding" as I had my wedding dress and bouquet in separate bags which was brilliant. We were in our cabin by 12.30 pm and immediately went to lunch whilst waiting for our suitcases. As we had been on Arcadia for Christmas 2006 we were really looking forward to another brilliant cruise which unfortunately didn't turn out to be the case. Although being senior citizens ourselves we were quite shocked to see that a lot of the guests were a lot older than ourselves and seemed to go to bed very early. The rush for the first sitting at dinner, made our second sitting in the Meridian restaurant very quiet with a lot of tables with spare places or completely empty. We were looked after brilliantly by our wedding coordinator and P&O and nothing was too much trouble. We were really treated like VIP's with lots of little extras in our cabin on arrival, i.e. flower arrangement and bottle of champagne. Later a basket of fruit arrived also which was replenished every few days. We were also treated by the Executive Chef when a small Christmas Cake,Stollen cake and shortbread biscuits were delivered also. Each evening we received canapes whilst we were getting ready for dinner in the evening. Our Christmas Day wedding day dawned and I went to the spa for hair, nails and make up to be applied. Our wedding at 5pm was brilliant with Captain Ian Walters taking the small service. Our guests really enjoyed themselves and we went into the Orchid Bar for canapes after the many photos taken by the ship's photographer all around the ship. We arrived fashionably late for Christmas Day evening dinner and a round of applause was given to us as we went down the stairs to our table on the ground level, with balloons decorating the table. All in all a lovely day! The rest of the cruise was OK but we were disappointed that the ship seemed to be very quiet after leaving the restaurant in the evening, most of the bars seemed deserted. The shows were brilliant and the Headliners Group really worked their socks off to entertain everybody. Another sore point was the fact that the new top deck wasn't completed after the refit and all the cruise we were not allowed to go on it as the decking was still being completed and sanded down, which caused shavings etc. dropping onto the Acquarius deck furniture leaving it covered in dust! Also the carpets outside the Spinnaker Bar were completely soaking wet and had a dehumidifier constantly on plus the men's toilet outside the Globe Bar was permanently closed due to a breakdown and the smell that came from that area got progressively worse throughout the cruise. At the end of this cruise I felt a little disappointed and have decided to go on another P&O ship Aurora to celebrate our 1st Wedding Anniversary Christmas cruise as hopefully it will be a little more upbeat and lively as there will be children on board!!! Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

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