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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining ... Read More
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining experience was good (Belvedere excluded). Entertainment; the Headliners Company were exceptional. Some wonderful ports of call Alotau, San Francisco, Napier, Nha Trang, Singapore. No fighting for deck chairs on Arcadia...acres of space. Service was uniformly excellent throughout. Dance hosts Brenda & Jeffrey converted many non-dancers. Superb. Quiet ship, most go to bed early...little to do after the theatre. Negatives: No meaningful second entertainment venue. Due to the above, the ship was quiet from 9.30pm (i.e. post theatre). Areas of the ship smelled foul throughout the cruise. The ship needs an overhaul not just an engine refit. Extremely dated. Too many quizzes, day and night. Cheap and cheerful? No, just cheap! If we want a quiz we go to our local. Not what we hoped for on a world tour. Dining 3/5 The Meridian Restaurant delivered a good (not great) selection of food served warm (rarely if ever hot). The levels of service were influenced by variables such as the waiting team, distance of your table from the galley, dramas in the kitchen etc. Comparable with banquet catering served at say, a wedding rather than a fine dining experience. None the less, the Meridian (main dining room) would score 4/5. The Belvedere buffet was another story. The choice, quality and presentation of food was mediocre to poor. Even by P&O's moderate standards this 'restaurant' left a lot to be desired. With the possible exception of Curry Night, this place should be avoided if possible. Score 2/5. Hence the overall dining score of 3/5. Sindhu, P&O's asian fine dining restaurant seemed to attract mixed views; rather like Marmite! We don't like Marmite so 3/5. The Ocean Grill (by day the ship's officers mess, by night Marco Pierre White's fine dining experience) was incredibly popular, with generally good to excellent reviews. Whether this popularity was due to the need to utilise the copious on-board spending money to be found on a World Cruise or, truly reflected the quality of food and service on offer might be debated. In our opinion, it is not as good as say The Epicurean Restaurant on Azura/Ventura where the extra charge is double that for The Ocean Grill. None the less, in terms of food quality, service and value for money it rates 5/5. Room Service was generally good to excellent. Of course it was somewhat limited in choice when compared to the restaurant however it was cooked to order, often hot and for the most part, delivered on time. This is probably the only way to get warmish toast on board. 4/5. Cafe Vivo, tucked away in the dark, no doubt as an afterthought of the ship's architect; was illuminated by excellent staff who brought sunshine to it's customers. Much too small. 5/5. Entertainment 3/5 It is not so long since P&O Cruise Directors proudly introduced their entertainment team of sixteen staff. On this cruise (a world cruise) the now Entertainment Manager introduced his team of six. A sign of the times? Headliners Theatre Company were excellent on this cruise as were the ship's orchestra. From memory, they presented nine different shows; although these were repeating for the third time during our 82 days on board Arcadia. Guest entertainers (the usual suspects) were flown out to join the ship and varied in standard. For example, a "comedian" who normally performs in the Havana or Manhattan night club venues on Azura/Ventura would be starring at Arcadia's theatre. No choice really since there is no alternative showroom venue such as on Oriana, Oceana, Aurora etc. The Globe, a 200 seater utility room is used for dancing (users complain that the floor is much too small with tensions often mounting between sequence and ballroom dancers as they vie for space), classical recitals, occasional musical 'jams' featuring the ships orchestra and other in-house musicians. There is music of some description in each of the bars and lounges as the same in-house musicians play musical chairs and change venue each evening. Somewhat repetitive over the nearly three months on board. The Retreat, another small, utilitarian facility is primarily used for ballroom, sequence or line dancing, either for lessons during the day, or, as an alternative to The Globe during the evening. The Retreat is much smaller than The Globe, therefore not ideal for dancing. Guest speakers were shipped out on a regular basis and once again varied in attractiveness dependent on your taste. Most notably, Eric (Knocker) Knowles, Wayne Sleep and Lord Michael Howard offered lectures on their chosen subjects and life in general. The Ocean Room is a multi-purpose facility busy delivering art, crafts and card lessons by day but idle at night. Could be better utilised as a second venue after dark. Service 5/5 The service throughout the ship was uniformly excellent, particularly the reception. Often receiving the brunt of complaints from frustrated passengers we witnessed the reception staff defuse potentially difficult circumstances. Dragana and Sandra were outstanding. Shore Excursions 4/5 Not normally fans of organised shore excursions, we found that for the more exotic ports of call to be found on a world cruise itinerary they were essential. Yes, they were painfully expensive but to our surprise, more often than not, they delivered great value for money. 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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Took this short cruise for a short break to celebrate New year away from home. The best bit about P and O cruises is the Sindu restaurant. Ate here twice in 5 nights. This was a typical cruise ship food and entertainment. Very ... Read More
Took this short cruise for a short break to celebrate New year away from home. The best bit about P and O cruises is the Sindu restaurant. Ate here twice in 5 nights. This was a typical cruise ship food and entertainment. Very disappointed in the dance hosts and venue. The male host never moved away from the cds he was playing and the lady only danced a couple of times. On other cruise ships the dance hosts are dancing all the time. A few cha cha classes were offered during the morning and that was it.They never showed us any sequence dancing and when asked they didn't know them! The dance floor up om 10th floor had no bar and took the waiter over 30 mins to bring the drinks. felt very cramped and stuck away. A shortage of chairs to sit on. Dancing in the globe theatre ..again lack of seats. A waiter was really rude when I was leaning up against the viewing area. Dance hosts useless hardley moved away from the music player. never showed any dancing . Can they dance I began to ask myself! Lack of things to do apart from quiz and a talk. Not the standard of the Oriana or Cunard. Food is typical of mass catering but plenty of choice. Cabin boy excellent and very attentive. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
most things pretty good without a wow factor. Dining in main restaurant was a very pleasant experience with good food and great service. The evening buffet sadly was not so good very limited choice and apathetic service We ... Read More
most things pretty good without a wow factor. Dining in main restaurant was a very pleasant experience with good food and great service. The evening buffet sadly was not so good very limited choice and apathetic service We were allocated eight thirty dining which was far to late for us, we tried to change this but request was refused. Entertainment was ok, very good guest speaker relating her experiences as a senior police officer. Dancing ballroom, sequence, and line dancing all available. Shows and guest artists all very good. Arcadia attracts a mainly elderly crowd so may not be the ideal choice for younger people Ship clean and well maintained with cabin stewards excellent as always. Ports of call all interesting, with Cartagena and Valencia great places to wander explore plazas and ancient buildings A must visit is to see the futuristic development in Valencia wonderful buildings in a great setting . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We embarked on P&O Arcadia on the 11th September 2016 at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on a transatlantic cruise to New York and the Eastern Seaboard including Canada. It was one more destination ticked off our Bucket List. We had ... Read More
We embarked on P&O Arcadia on the 11th September 2016 at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on a transatlantic cruise to New York and the Eastern Seaboard including Canada. It was one more destination ticked off our Bucket List. We had stayed at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, which is very nice, the night before where we left our car, and got a taxi to the port. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient and we were on board by 2:00 pm. Our bags appeared outside our cabin on C deck at 3:30 pm. The inside cabin was clean but wardrobe space was a little inadequate for a 24 night cruise. We set sail across the Atlantic and the weather was not too bad for the time of year and we arrived in New York at 11:16 am but it was not until 4:00 pm that we cleared customs and walked up to Times Square. We returned at 6:00 pm and took the night time tour up the Empire State Building which was brilliant and then we went to the Brooklyn Bridge and finally Times Square which was still very busy at 11:30 pm when we returned to the ship. The second day we went on a 3 sights tour by coach which was disappointing as the traffic was grid locked and it rained. We managed to see Fifth Avenue, Macys and the 9/11 Memorial. The coach pick up points were changed at each point and caused confusion and time delays which meant we were late going to Central Park and half the Coach group was dropped off at the ship before continuing. I tried to talk to the Tours Desk on the ship about the shambles but I was dismissed with a wave of the hand and told to ‘put it in writing’, extremely rude and unhelpful. The next stop was Newport, Rhode Island where we went ashore by tender and just walked about Newport which is a pretty town. Next was Boston where we did the Freedom Trail Walk and visited the Quincy Market. We thoroughly enjoyed Boston. It is a wonderful mix of new and old areas. Portland was next where we did our own thing. Very quiet but a nice port of call. Next was St Johns, New Brunswick where it absolutely chucked it down so we walked along the front to a shopping centre, had coffee and walked back. Next was Halifax where we berthed in the industrial port and got shuttle buses to where we should have docked at Pier 22. But the shuttle bus would only go to Pier 23 which presented a small problem to those of limited mobility. The Boardwalk at Halifax is a lovely walk and we enjoyed a quiet day strolling along and enjoying the town. The next port of call was Quebec where again we were berthed in the industrial area and not the Cruise Terminal which meant the walking tours of which we participated took and extra 20 minutes to reach the city. The tour guide confirmed that all her paperwork showed we should have been at the Cruise Terminal but we were usurped by Celebrity Summit. Quebec is a fabulous city and we enjoyed it immensely and spent the second day doing our own thing. The final stop was Sydney, Nova Scotia where we went ashore by tender. Celebrity Summit was berthed at the cruise terminal even though the Harbour schedule showed Arcadia should be berthed. I assume Celebrity paid more money. The return trip by tender was lively as the wind had got up and caused quite a swell. Sydney is very run down and in hindsight it would have been wise to do a tour but once again we did our own thing which wasn’t up to much. Our trip back across the Atlantic was a little rough but we have had worse. Unfortunately we were late arriving in Southampton due to a combination of the weather and a problem (not specified) in the engine room. This meant we did not disembark until noon being one of the last groups to disembark. The ship is well maintained and it was very clean and well looked after. The waiters, Bar Staff and Cabin Steward worked tirelessly and were friendly and helpful. We had Freedom Dining in the Upper Meridian Restaurant. Service was very slow at times although the food was good and hot. We did not use the specialist restaurants but we did use the Belvedere Buffet Restaurant for breakfast and the occasional lunch and we found it to be very good but with less selection at lunch than we have been used to on previous P&O ships. The Reception Desk was not very helpful and appeared to be under instruction to protect the company from the passenger and offer as little information as possible. This was commented upon by a number of people we talked to on board. The Tours desk is there to sell tours. They are completely disinterested in any feedback and at times were extremely rude. P&O must address this concern as it is driving customers away. The entertainment by the Headliners was as good as usual and the visiting acts were all very good and we very much enjoyed the entertainment. P&O have changed the way they charge for Wi-Fi access from cost per number of minutes to cost per 24 hours. This ranged between £7.75 for basic access to £24.95 for all the bells and whistles. There was much complaining on board about this change. I have never seen so many Tablets and Smart Phones in use on a cruise before. This was our first cruise to the Eastern Seaboard of North America and our seventh cruise with P&O. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and would recommend it although every time we travel with P&O we see more evidence of cost cutting. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
There are not many ships that cross the Atlantic twice. P&O and Cunard are regularly on this trip. Phoenix also offers this route but there you are 44 nigths on the ship. We also had to book with one of these companies. We booked the ... Read More
There are not many ships that cross the Atlantic twice. P&O and Cunard are regularly on this trip. Phoenix also offers this route but there you are 44 nigths on the ship. We also had to book with one of these companies. We booked the trip from England to USA and Canada from 9th of September 2016 to the 5th of October 2016. Arcadia allowes smoking only on the outer deks. If these deks are colsed (as they are when the winds are strong) you cannot smoke anywhere else. P&O do not have indoor smoking lounges! We would also like to warn future passengers, that they have to pay extra (12.95 - 16.00 £ p.p.) if they want to eat good food. The self service restaurant (Belvedere on deck 9) is one of the badest restaurants where we ever have been. The public rooms are not big enough for more than 2000 passengers and therefore often crowded. 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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Fabulous cruise. Service and food was great. Great entertainment. 1. They need to sort out spaces for wheel chair people and mobile scooters, to sit in the theatre, as they blocked the emergency exit most nights on the right hand side. ... Read More
Fabulous cruise. Service and food was great. Great entertainment. 1. They need to sort out spaces for wheel chair people and mobile scooters, to sit in the theatre, as they blocked the emergency exit most nights on the right hand side. No one around to check these not blocked. 2. We booked the gondola ride, it said 15 mins walk to gondola station. That ok if able bodied. I have a bad hip and use a walking stick. It was half an hour walk in 90 deg temps. There was NO mention of five bridges With steps each side, to go over. Gondola ride was good, except a little shorter than stated. Ours was 23 mins that was with 3 mins waiting to dock. Went to St Marks square in our free time on the trip, lovely. Then my leg and ankle began to swell, I felt unwell and we decided to come back early. We had to pay again (£8-00) each as we're not on the allotted trip time back. Although we think we had paid in the trip money and should have been allowed. Got back to the area of drop off to find another 25 min walk for me to the ship. No shuttle busses this time. I felt so angry none of this was stated for non able bodied walkers. Especially the steps on the bridges. I complained on board as had a lot of other people, they were not interested, said if they state all that nobody will go on trip. Better to know the truth. It was the one trip we looked forward to. 3. Hvar, our friends got of, and went into town but soon returned, everywhere said we don't take euros. Dubrovnik was fine most places did. 4. We had S009 right on top of the Sun deck. Fabulous balcony room. Sun everyday. Perfect steward Paul. So helpful when I had to see the Dr for my leg. Never got a sunbed. Had to b there by 8 am at pool. We sat on our balcony. Overall a fab trip. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First time on the Arcadia. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not as there was no Atrium. It took a few days to work out where things where. I will definitely choose the Arcadia again. Lifts on the outside were great. Everyone ... Read More
First time on the Arcadia. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not as there was no Atrium. It took a few days to work out where things where. I will definitely choose the Arcadia again. Lifts on the outside were great. Everyone was so friendly and as it was Adults only, there was no pushing and shoving to get to the pool loungers first. The choice of food could have been more adventurous as there only seemed to be a difference of 2-3 choices. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the disembarkation was very efficient. I would still like P & O to have an All Inclusive package instead of having to pay for all drinks. I don't drink wine very often so a wine package which they do didn't appeal to me but coffees and other soft drinks were also expensive. We visited the Norweigen Fjords and were very lucky with the weather. Still snow on the mountains and we were in the sunshine. Beautiful. Obviously we had to take clothes for all weathers as we weren't sure what it was going to be like. I did think the price of all the Trips were very expensive. All in all, a fantastic holiday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise as we wanted to return to Norway, see the Art Deco town of Alesund & try Arcadia. The trip was excellent. There were no queues for embarkation when we arrived (2.20) and were on the ship within 10 minutes. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to return to Norway, see the Art Deco town of Alesund & try Arcadia. The trip was excellent. There were no queues for embarkation when we arrived (2.20) and were on the ship within 10 minutes. The ship has recently been re-furbished and has an elegant feel. The three-tired theatre is particularly impressive and there are plenty of places to sit, drink and relax . Like Aurora, Arcadia has a skydome - so plenty of swimming opportunities if you don't want to use the main outside pool. The theatre company's shows were very good and we particularly liked the classical guitarist. Jacqui Scoot - a singer- had a good choice of programme - but we only went once, as the amplification was so loud it spoilt her excellent voice.Again the 2 female violinist amplification was too much and I wondered if they could play anything other than fast, loud music? However I'm sure that others will have enjoyed them.-Commentating on entertainment is probably a mine-field, as it is so much a persons individual preferences. We chose freedom dining (having done both previously) However this time it didn't seem to work as smoothly. On a couple of occasions there was a 15 minute queue before another 15 minute wait for a table ( & that wasn't waiting for a table for 2 - of which there are many more now) Staff were most apologetic and once in, the choice of menu was good, staff pleasant & attentive (they always seem to know when water/wine glasses are ready to be re-filed), we were neer rushed and vegetables were always hot - rather than luke warm (which we had on Queen Mary 2) We also tried Ocean Grill and Sindhu (2 speciality restaurants) - worth paying the cover charge. Delicious food, in lovely surroundings. As we had been on a previous cruise to Norway, we often went off the ship, exploring & doing our own thing. However would recommend the following:-(1) The Rauma Railway from Andalnes. This trip is 3 hours & goes one way on the train & the other by coach, so giving you the opportunity to stop and take photos of the magnificent scenery. We preferred this to the Flam railway. (2)The Flor & Fjaere garden (from Stavanger) A gardener's delight and you do need to go on an organised trip here if your departure time is before 6pm. See trip advisor for my detailed write up of all the ports visited. I think the only way to see the fjords really is by cruising and as we were ahead of our timing near Hellyst, the captain took us on an extra journey in the Geiranger fjord and turned the ship completely round so that passengers did not have to charge from one side of the ship to the other for photos of the various waterfalls. This was a treat, with clear blue skies, temperatures of 23 degrees and stricking scenery. Other very scenic trips include going to Mountt Dalsnibba; taking the venicular or cable car in Bergen and the Birksdal Glacier. Disembarkation was efficent & timings were kept to. Altogether and excellent holiday & we might even go again to Norway some time. Now looking forward to part of a world cruise segment next February on Aurora. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my ... Read More
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my critiscisms of Arcadia, simply do not apply. For example, I have seen the Captain almost every day and exchanged pleasantries on numerous occasions. The jacuzzis are hot and, yes, the water jets work. The pool is warm..ish and therefore passengers actually swim in it!! Etc etc I have friends who concurred with my original views and who also travelled on the Aurora recently and, like me, feel that it is managed better than the Arcadia. Finally, yesterday, I was talking to some fellow passengers who commented, without prompting, that the Arcadia has issues. To my mind, the Arcadia, which was a ship originally built for the more up-market Cunard brand, should be the pride and joy of the P&O fleet but, unfortunately, it is not. Sad really as run well, they could charge a premium. What is therefore clear to me is that P&O give a great amount of freedom to the management team on each ship. This means that the brand offering can be different on each ship and better or worse, depending on your viewpoint of course. This therefore begs the question...What value the P&O branding? I have to ask, therefore, whether their marketing department is keeping tabs on the feed back and whether their reports are read by a Senior management team who take action. To my mind, when something small goes wrong, it is often symptomatic of a larger problem. In my experience of business, most customer experience enhancements cost little, or nothing, to implement. So here is my post and if anyone feels that it is factually incorrect then I hope you will let me know and I will tell you my exact experience. Arcadia is great if you… Are happy with good to very good general service Like to spend time in a well equipped modern gym with spinning bikes and treadmills etc , where most of the equipment functions correctly. Like a good size cabin with a very large and comfortable bed. Like a cabin with a half bath as well as a shower. Want your cabin to be always well cleaned and tidied and to have good quality linen. Don't mind waiting 45 minutes to an hour for room service. Like to have a cabin with a modern and large TV which connects to your own storage devices (USB) and plays almost every film and audio format available as well as photo files. Aren't too bothered by a poor quality (Fuzzy) picture on said TV when watching all of the ships channels. Like swimming in unheated swimming pools that are cold unless they have been warmed by the sun in a tropical location. Are happy to sit in a tepid jacuzzi that doesn't have jets or bubbles as they have been purposefully disconnected, for "health and safety reasons" Don't want to eat high quality or Gourmet food. Like onions, mustard, pesto and an odd assortment of other additions, being added to all and every one of their pre prepared sandwiches. Like odd food combinations. Eg pineapple slice and Edam cheese toasties, fresh prawns always in Pesto sauce or with some other weird addition , Mackerel curry?? Like eating food that can have different ingredients than described on the menu. Understand that the quality of the ingredients in the Marco Pierre White restaurant is substantially lower than you might expect in his UK restaurants. Like poor quality Sirloin or Rib-Eye steak that is pre cut and only served 1/3 inch thick. Don't mind having to ask the occasional member of staff to repeat themselves two or three times because you don't understand them. Are happy to watch a film in the wrong Aspect Ratio where James Bond is 7ft tall and his Aston Martin looks like a bus. Are tone deaf and can't tell that some of the bar singers are occasionally out of tune or are just not very good. Want to enjoy some of the best production shows you are ever likely to see on a ship. Don't mind seeing the same shows repeated on long voyages. Love watching some great guest singers perform to a very high standard. Like watching great shows in a beautiful theatre. Like a wide variety of entertaining guest speakers who make presentations on a multitude of interesting topics. Like to watch recent release films in a purpose built cinema with comfy chairs and great viewing positions and don't mind the poor quality of the picture projected onto the screen by the out of date projector. Like to learn ballroom dancing and to have the chance to practice every night with professional and entertaining dance coaches. Like to play table tennis. Like to play Bridge. Like to buy Original Art at sea. Like to spend an evening down at the local pub with a good choice of beers and music and quizzes etc. Like to gamble in a Casino. Want to be able to have your own spirits in your cabin and don't mind paying £6 a litre for the mixers. Eg Tonic or ginger ale etc . Always take your own thick cushions with you so that you can enjoy sitting on the very uncomfortable reclining beds by the indoor pool. ( they have an iron rail in an odd position that sticks into your buttock ) Understand that the crew are much too busy to respond to your complaints and have to keep a straight face when they pass on what their senior mangers tells them, even though they know it is total rubbish. Understand that there will be times when there are no cups available in the buffet or that the tea box will not always have the one tea you prefer. Understand that the buffet will not always have the one dish from the menu that you want, unless you ask for it. Want WIFI and don't mind paying a premium rate for a very slow connection. Don't think that the huge rust patches on the outside of the ship are symptomatic of the crews attitude. Don't mind not seeing the Captain around the ship very often and don't expect him to personally attend the Captains Cocktail Party or make the daily announcements. Don't mind paying the doctors fee of £60 plus, when that is the only way the pharmacy will give you a "non prescription" cream. (which they have dozens of on the shelf in the pharmacy.) Like a ship with a modern and well thought out interior. Enjoy using a hydropherapy pool with strong water jets and don't mind paying extra for the privilege of using it or that it is occasionally closed with no explanation of why. Don't mind going to occasional ports of call that have little to offer but are probably cheap to Park at. Notes: My wife and I have been cruising for over 25 years and have cruised on P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Cruise and Maritime, NCL, Costa, Cunard and Fred Olsen. We believe that almost every cruise ship and itinerary combination has a price at which it is good value providing you are happy to accept any known limitations. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good ... Read More
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good bathroom with bath and tea making facility.There was poor hanging space in the wardrobe but we managed. Meals we found a bit dull,do not go on PO expecting food to wow you,they are often very ordinary,it was sometimes dried out or overcooked in the Belvedere which is similar to a works canteen.Salads are ok and you can get tea or coffee anytime,deserts were also so,so. Evening meals we took freedom dining option which we liked as you are able to choose time to eat and not be stuck with people you may not get on with.These meals are also hit and miss,we always found soups were best part,meat was sometimes very fatty or tough,othertimes they were fine,very inconsistent. Entertainment was first class with great singers,dancers,modern and classical shows we thoroughly enjoyed.A special mention to the young people of the Headliners show team,magnificent The ports especially in the Far East were all we expected,loved Japan.Crossed the Pacific visiting Hawaii,San Francisco,San Diego and Mexico. Transversing the Panama Canal was another highlight we would not have missed. Caribbean isles of Aruba and St Martin were to follow ending at the Azores in Punta del Gardaga before home again.Disembarkation went smoothly. We did get the notorious Arcadia cough (hoped it was a myth)My husband was so bad he went to the doctor and could not leave the cabin for several days which was a pity as there were lots of hobbies and activities to join in,name it and there was something for everyone. Public areas were lovely,enjoyed the piano bar after dinner,praise to Natalie,John and the saxophonist. Swimming pools were ok,heated but the jaquzzis were a joke,never bubbly (excuse given that they were only spa baths) why then were there dials etc to make the tubs active? Drinks on board were affordable and the staff in all areas were well trained,polite and very friendly. Being such a long cruise laundry areas are small and cramped and difficult to get a wash done but we managed ok.Also very small and cramped was the Cinema with only 30 seats. We loved our time except when not well,were disappointed with the cuisine(too many curries)enjoyed activities we joined but will probably not use Arcadia again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We booked this section of the Arcadia's world trip in early 2015 as we were tempted by the stay in Sydney, the airline offered and the Great Barrier Reef. As an afterthought I consulted Cruise Critic and saw that many of the reviews ... Read More
We booked this section of the Arcadia's world trip in early 2015 as we were tempted by the stay in Sydney, the airline offered and the Great Barrier Reef. As an afterthought I consulted Cruise Critic and saw that many of the reviews commented on the "Arcadia Cough". Having just had a terrible time in Florida and New York with a cough and wheezing chest I tried to cancel the trip. Our travel agent refused to cancel and in the end we decided that we should risk it. Thank goodness for that! We loved the Arcadia and I can honestly say that I did not hear anyone coughing throughout the trip. The first night in the Meridian free dining restaurant was not a roaring success as I chose the tomato soup (It was nominated as a favourite of Arcadia passengers) which was worse than any tomato soup I had ever tried. I mentioned it to the waiter who passed on my comment to the restaurant manager who listened politely and said he would pass on my comments to the Chef. From that moment the food became better and better if I can forgive them for the Morton Bay Bug which they served on the first of two Formal nights. I always took breakfast in the Belvedere self-service restaurant which had a huge choice of hot and cold dishes. I would have liked some Indian-style dishes occasionally but that is nit-picking. My mother had her breakfast at 9.30 am in the cabin. Our cabin was a last minute allocation and it was designed for handicap access. It had the biggest bathroom (shower only) I have ever had in a cruise ship and an excellent balcony on the port side reasonably near the forward lifts on Egypt deck. The theatre, the Crow's Nest bar and the pub are all at the front of the ship. It was nice to be able to sit in various places on the ship without having to put up with cocktail pianists and loud singing duos which for me blighted such ships as the Victoria. It reminded me of the QM2 in its sound free zones. We loved the bridge classes and the daily duplicates run by Tony and Sheila Cordery and the mini-concerts in the Globe. but for the most part the theatre acts were forgettable. The entertainment team were great fun and never forgot that they were there for us - I have been on many ships where the Entertainment staff were very highhanded in their approach. We took private tours at all the ports of call and thought that Yorkey's Knob was the most enjoyable and worth another day because of the choice of excursions. Manila was an interesting port but there was very little to do other than shopping. The Queen Mary 2 is till our favourite ship but our Arcadian experience was extremely enjoyable Read Less
Sail Date: March 2016
Cruised from Sydney to San Franciso segment of a World Cruise. Mainly English and Aussies on board. No children on this ship. Entertainment was wonderful, the ballroom dancer instructors were the highlight of our sea days aboard the ... Read More
Cruised from Sydney to San Franciso segment of a World Cruise. Mainly English and Aussies on board. No children on this ship. Entertainment was wonderful, the ballroom dancer instructors were the highlight of our sea days aboard the Arcadia. Mainly retired people on board - I guess you need to be retired to have this much time available for a holiday! We met a couple who did a world cruise every year on the Arcadia, and they were just as excited each embarcation! A highlight of our trip was walking on the Great Wall of China; an amazing construction. We also visited Papua New Guinea, Manilla, Hong, Kong, Nagasaki and Osaka as well as 2 stops in Honolulu. We were extremely fortunate with good weather - we had rain on only one day. There was plenty to do on board and we met delightful people who we still email. Recommended! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We joined the world cruise in Sydney with about 1000 others. It does seem a tad disappointing fore 'around the world' cruisers that they have so many fairly transient passengers with them. The standard of the food was excellent ... Read More
We joined the world cruise in Sydney with about 1000 others. It does seem a tad disappointing fore 'around the world' cruisers that they have so many fairly transient passengers with them. The standard of the food was excellent as was the service we received in the Meridaian restaurant. The cabin steward also provided excellent service. What was lacking ? Perhaps the Entertainment team was not able to galvanise the passengers to the extent that we have experienced on other world cruises. Another common problem is the lack of or even misinformation provided to dependent travellers for shore visits. Obviously P & O are very keen to push their own over-priced excursions. Another continuing disappointment is the expensive and unreliable wifi. Surely in 2016 Carnival can provide such a basic service as Wifi to all passengers and include it in the cruise price. They should also be able to provide a good quality coffee service - the Costa served in the coffee lounges is not the sane as you would get in a Costa anywhere in the world. But this is all nit-picking - we did have a fabulous time and appreciate the overall quality provided by P & O. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I have just returned from 4 nights on Arcadia, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Sydney, part of her round-the-Pacific-and the Americas jaunt from the UK. I had a balcony cabin A13 - on Australia Deck. Very nice. Spacious, light, tea and ... Read More
I have just returned from 4 nights on Arcadia, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Sydney, part of her round-the-Pacific-and the Americas jaunt from the UK. I had a balcony cabin A13 - on Australia Deck. Very nice. Spacious, light, tea and coffee making facilities, comfy bed, wonderful room attendant, could not fault it - or perhaps one thing, the print in the picture frame on the wall had slipped in the frame. Nice print - alas badly framed. Irritating. The crew were all very friendly and seemed to be relaxed and enjoying their jobs. Kid free ship with mainly older passengers so nothing was a hassle. I even used the pool. The public rooms were sedate, quiet and very relaxing. I never heard one whinge the whole time I was on board. I thoroughly enjoyed the food and drinks and the drip coffee in the Belvedere was probably the best coffee I have had on any cruise ship. I did not try the specialty restaurants The weather was mostly good. The TV had a great range of programmes and the pool areas were not be blasted with loud offensive music all day. After a recent disaster cruise with P&O Australia this four days of bliss with P&O UK was just what I needed to reaffirm my commitment to holidays at sea with that wonderful old company. What a difference a dark blue funnel can make eh ? Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This cruise was horrendous and will be our last cruise wth P&O. Our main gripe was the food. Apart from the restaurants where there was a supplement of £15 or so the food was inedible. Food on the buffet, Belvadere was always cold or ... Read More
This cruise was horrendous and will be our last cruise wth P&O. Our main gripe was the food. Apart from the restaurants where there was a supplement of £15 or so the food was inedible. Food on the buffet, Belvadere was always cold or lukewarm even the soup. It all looked unappetising unless you are a rabbit as the salad and cold meats looked fine. The Meridien restaurant served food which was either cold or the meat was so tough you couldn't cut it with a knife. I found it embarrassing to ask the waiter to take my plate away so we stopped going there. One evening we waited 45 minutes after we had ordered tomato soup. The cabin was quite noisy when the wind blew and it creeked quite a lot in the night. Our cabin steward was a saint ( Lloyd) and I wish him well on his future cruises. There was a strong smell of sewerage on quite a number of decks near the lifts and when suffering with motion sickness this did not bode well. Each evening we went to the Paladium theatre to watch the shows. Some were good mainly the acts which had been brought in. We found the dancing fairly repetitive. This was not our first cruise and does not come anywhere near Cunard, so much needs to be done to bring it back to the standard which previous travellers who had been loyal to P&O claimed it had been but we're now terribly disappointed. We met so many lovely couples and singles that it stopped us leaving the cruise midway Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
The food in the Meridian Restaurant and the service was appalling as was the food in the Belvedere, as a result I have managed to lose 8 lb in weight not what you would expect to lose on a cruise. We did not experience the food in the ... Read More
The food in the Meridian Restaurant and the service was appalling as was the food in the Belvedere, as a result I have managed to lose 8 lb in weight not what you would expect to lose on a cruise. We did not experience the food in the specialised restaurants as this should not be necessary apart from a special occasion. It would seem that Kersh used these restaurants as the norm so should not really comment about the two main restaurants. The entertainment was a joke most evenings, the Headliners were very loud and their dance moves were the same each evening they appeared but to different music. The comedians were light relief and the Beatles tribute act was good also Garry Barlow. The shopping area resembled Primark (for those who have heard of this shop)and they were not flexible on their perfume prices. We loved the little shop which we named the 99p shop because it sold everything and the salesmen were very pleasant. Who wants to eat Christmas Day lunch at 6.45pm on Christmas Day I certainly don't and neither do I want turkey roll, 2 undercooked sprouts, hard carrots and a pastry parcel which who knows what it contained. I didn't endeavour to find out. Very, very disappointing. Oh and £75 to see the Captain on the bridge and the behind the scenes of the theatre, I don't think so. Best of luck to those cruisers who are on the Arcadia travelling round the world. We met some lovely passengers and to them I thank them so much. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
we have been on cruises for the past ten years .And i have to say this cruise was not the best .The ship is great and our cabin was fine .But the food was not up to what we expeted from p and o . Our first two nights the food came to the ... Read More
we have been on cruises for the past ten years .And i have to say this cruise was not the best .The ship is great and our cabin was fine .But the food was not up to what we expeted from p and o . Our first two nights the food came to the table warm. And my wife hade to send back two main courses in the first three days .The midnight buffet looked like left overs from lunch The shows were good . We were on d deck on a outside cabin every day we went to a lifts and the same glass was there for four days .What does that say about the standards on this ship .We will not cruise with p and o again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
As loyal passengers to P&Os Aurora and Oriana we chose to try the Arcadia. First impressions were all in favour of this ship. Having a forward cabin and a gale force seven sea, the waves hitting the ship ,a loud slapping noise as ... Read More
As loyal passengers to P&Os Aurora and Oriana we chose to try the Arcadia. First impressions were all in favour of this ship. Having a forward cabin and a gale force seven sea, the waves hitting the ship ,a loud slapping noise as the ship rose and fell. The upper landings would viabrate in these conditions. As the cruise progressed cabin corridors walls were showing paper peeling in areas. Our Cabin where pictures had been removed and a very large television put in their place the wall could have done with cleaning with saddlesoap as the original clean wall showed up the rest. The balcony was very large but due to the weather and seas was not used to its fullest potential and noise from neighbours even just talking seemed loud. The main walk ways were through bars,shops, and art gallery. Some carpets were worn and in one area it was replaced, by the shops the floor had gaffa tape on raised joins. The bars had music for all tastes a lot of the time in many cases too loud.The bar staff and waiters gave excellent service The Globe had an excellent disco and DJ and during day the Sumba going on. The Crows Nest was the biggest let down the Horizon magazine advertised it to be open to late at twelve the waiters were coming round and saying the bar is closing would you like to order a drink. In addition this bar served two flat draught pints and argued that the customer was wrong, even though we saw the barrel being changed while there. The cinema was small but the seating was very comfortable and the selection of films was good The Palladium Theatre entertainment had to many solo acts which got boring after a time. The headliners first show was cancelled no reason given then when they did appear the performances made up for the rest. The Restaurants choice and quality of food and service was very good the cutlery was let down by the blunt knives I was given to understand this was going to change in two months. Classes and talks and TV options during the day was good The Arcadia cough was evident at times. Beware as on our cruise there were two motorised wheel chairs as big as golf caddies very fast and silent when coming towards you. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Have just come back from our first P&O cruise, it was an adult only trip. Was a nice ship, cabin was lovely, Joe looked after us well. first night was good menu was good staff very nice we had freedom dinning , next day was a sea day ... Read More
Have just come back from our first P&O cruise, it was an adult only trip. Was a nice ship, cabin was lovely, Joe looked after us well. first night was good menu was good staff very nice we had freedom dinning , next day was a sea day and we had a force 8-9 gale, all day and all night not nice but then the next morning and rest of cruise nice and smooth. Really enjoyed it, breakfast in the Meridian was always good lunch up the top self service so much choice. The shows were very good, Roy Walker was on the second week and was so funny, headliners put some good shows on. Acts around the ship were ok but Perry Grant was so funny , you always knew if the was a crowd it was Perry. We only did two trips St Petersburg was amazing, guide so good and then we did Yepes guide was good to. Other ports we just got off got the Hop on hop off busses in Oslo and Stockholm they were good , Tallin just walked in and the old town so lovely. Enjoyed the cruise very much, there were a lot of older people on board and a few snobby we only do P&O people who looked at you strange when you said you had done other company's ha ha but over all very good enjoyed it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first P&O Cruise and the last!! We did not pre-book any excursions prior to the cruise. When we boarded the ship we saw the woman on the Excursion Desk. She said most of the excursions were full. We asked if they were ... Read More
This was our first P&O Cruise and the last!! We did not pre-book any excursions prior to the cruise. When we boarded the ship we saw the woman on the Excursion Desk. She said most of the excursions were full. We asked if they were putting on more slots and she said they probably would be. Two days later, we ended up only booking one excursion. Obviously we had to take some of the blame but as I had cruised with Thomsons twice, there had never been a problem with them putting extra coaches on. So I assumed that P&O would be no different. The woman on the desk was really unhelpful and unfriendly. The other problem we encountered was that the toilets outside the Meridien restaurant on at least 4 nights out of 7 had no toilet paper at all in them. On reporting it to Reception, again not very helpful or approachable. We also experienced a problem with our toilet in the cabin and reported it 3 days before we disembarked. The day of disembarkation the bathroom was flooded at 5am and somebody came to look at it together with the cabin steward. We were 'accused' of putting foreign objects down the toilet, which we did not and then were told 'it's probably from the upper deck'. No apology. Also the cabin steward looking after our cabin (G51) was so rude, he walked away whilst I was trying to have a conversation with him. This is no way to treat paying passengers! Also, we had to leave our cabins by 8am (why so early??) but the thing that really has upset us that the cabin steward had already made up the bed and cleaned the bathroom with new toiletries and tea/coffee etc at 7.20am when we returned from breakfast. The new sheets had also been put into our room the night before for the next guests. Obviously they can't wait to get rid of us. I would never recommend P&O and have made a formal complaint re the cabin steward. I am now going back to Thomsosn where we had wonderful tours with exceptionally good crew. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Our first trip on Arcadia. We are seasoned cruisers, and we were very impressed with every aspect of the ship. We enjoyed the layout, food and entertainment very much. The cleanliness onboard was excellent and the staff warm and ... Read More
Our first trip on Arcadia. We are seasoned cruisers, and we were very impressed with every aspect of the ship. We enjoyed the layout, food and entertainment very much. The cleanliness onboard was excellent and the staff warm and friendly. We visited Amsterdam, Zeebruger and Guernsey. Although the weather was not great, there was much to see as we had not visited these places before. The boarding of the tender was a bit hair raising due to the swell in Guernsey but the staff handled it all very well. The initial embarking and disembarking went very smoothly with minimum fuss. We thought we may encounter Hen and Stag parties as it was a short trip, but there was no evidence of such like, just a broad age group relaxing and having fun. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This was the first time we have travelled with P & O and,regrettably, it will be the last. We booked this cruise because it had the itinerary at the time of year that we wanted, not because of the ship. Reading the reviews (after ... Read More
This was the first time we have travelled with P & O and,regrettably, it will be the last. We booked this cruise because it had the itinerary at the time of year that we wanted, not because of the ship. Reading the reviews (after booking!), I was unsure of the experience and, sad to say, it met my worse expectations. Carnival have different brands and the P&O experience is at the bottom. I fully agree with previous comments regarding the bland, boring quality of the food in the Belvedere - the "international" area of the buffet is a daily serving of curry with the rest of the choices being just uninspiring. Who decided to locate the bar in the cold pool area so that the wine waiters had to wear outside jackets whilst serving at table? P&O know their customers well and the whole boat couldn't be more British in terms of food and entertainment. There is a token gesture towards "enrichment" on 'at sea days' or you can play Bingo, have a pub quiz or karaoke. If you are really desperate how about attending the special lectures designed to sell you their services and products? The average age of passengers was well over 60 but you could still play cricket and tennis on the cold deck in the middle of the Baltic! Cruising is a business and Carnival seem to have thought about every way of getting money out of you. By the way you have to ask for a statement (none is provided) otherwise you receive an invoice on the morning of departure. If there's a problem, with time constraints, there may be no time to argue. I'm not suggesting that this practice is, in any way, intentional but if, nobody has much time to query any mistakes, the system could well work in the Company's favour. The ship is getting tired. The public areas have had a facelift but the staterooms are showing their age. Ours had wedges in the gaps between the balcony doors and the frame. When the ship rolls certain areas creak. No doubt if you are a first time cruiser or have simple tastes, the experience is wonderful. If you have cruised on other lines you know better. It really is a case of "you get what you pay for" and I must agree with the majority of poor reviews. Oh and the cough is still there but it seems to take about 10 days to become noticeable and the toilet mentioned in other reviews is still a problem. 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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