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Sail Date: February 2011
A short cruise Auckland to Sydney on " Arcadia " February 2011.We took this short cruise as a very pleasant way to get to Sydney instead of sitting in a metal tube and hanging around airports.Embarkation; at Auckland was ... Read More
A short cruise Auckland to Sydney on " Arcadia " February 2011.We took this short cruise as a very pleasant way to get to Sydney instead of sitting in a metal tube and hanging around airports.Embarkation; at Auckland was OK, but there were 3 cruise ships in port and we embarked via tin shed 10 on Queens Wharf. It was alright for the 150 getting on in Auckland but would have been stretched for too many more.On boarding we were "greeted" by the standard photographer and a girl who asked" do you know where you are going ? " Not exactly the best way to present your ship ! Accommodation; we had booked an Outside but had an upgrade to a DB Balcony; the cabin was really nice and was a decent size. Bathroom was also of a reasonable size although we felt the mini tub was unnecessary and would prefer a shower cubicle. The cabin had an excellent verandah, spacious and furnished with traditional cushioned steamer chairs, ideal for a long cruise. Nice little touches like electric jug and tea/coffee making facilities; air con.was easy and reliable to control. Cabin steward was excellent and nothing too much for him.Public rooms; a mixture of really nice and very ordinary; it didn't seem to have any " flow" with various spaces here and there. DEcor was low key but quite nice but we did think the lack of an atrium as the centre point of most ships was lacking and let down the overall impression. Lovely theatre but back up , The Globe, was miniscule and did nothing for us. So pleased they didn't appear to have the crappy "art auctions" that most other ships have, but a very pleasant art gallery with really original works on display. The ship could really do with a secondary theatre of a decent size for smaller shows .Dining; Main Meridian restaurant appeared quite pleasant on 2 levels and didn't seem to be as noisy as many we have struck. Food here was generally good and a decent choice.The Belvedere Buffet was disappointing; breakfast was your standard English breakfast offerings with little in the way of "extras" to tempt one; and why have the cereals and fruit at the stern end when 80% of passengers enter from the centre of the ship ! Lunch was very poor; a standard choice daily with no attempts at variance; and have you ever seen beverage dispensers with notices "Fruit Juices only available from 6 a.m to 12 noon ?? " It is a big area and plenty of seating, but service was almost non-existent with few attempts to clear and clean tables; could do with a brush up all round ; perhaps the largely British passengers preferred the dining room ?We also tried the alternative venues; Arcadian Rhodes was very nice and the food excellent; but service again almost non- existent, had to ask for wine list, and appalled when staff were clearing tables around us before we had finished, and locking away the liqueur trolley offerings in a cupboard as if to say "let's get out of here ". ( and it was only 9 p.m. ) The Orchid ( up top on deck 11 ) was a different matter; with an Asian influence, excellent staff and altogether an extremely pleasant evening, the 10 GBP cover charge being well worth it. Would go back there in a flash.Drinks policy ; we applaud P&O for what was a lesson to be learned by a lot of other cruise lines; prices everywhere., bars and restaurants were extremely reasonable and one could also purchase spirits to "take away" to your room at duty free prices and drink at your leisure ; so no need to "smuggle" bottles on board like some ships and a policy that should be seriously looked at by other operators; people will always buy ships stock if its properly priced , have a very pleasant experience, and not feel ripped off or under suspicion of having something in your bag you shouldn't have.Entertainment; in our short time on board we came to the conclusion that shows were very good; we had the funniest man on one night and again being interviewed the next afternoon, Tom O'Connor, who had everyone in stitches without a single smutty reference of swear word; well done. Production show on the last sea night was excellent; but the so-called Australian Cultural show on the in-port Sydney night was an embarrassment, and the company should know better. The cruise staff were so-so, seemed to be there because they had to be. We liked the idea of the big main pool up top with the opening roof ( that actually opened ! ) and the slightly smaller one outside on the after deck; and also very much liked the fact that all the outside decks were teak planked and not plastic covered. There was no space in the ship that would accommodate the numbers of people for trivia or bingo that are so popular on "Princess" ships, but once again its horses for courses and probably not the same type of crowd.A small note, full marks to P&O for the daily newsletter "Horizon" ;very professionally produced and knocks spots off the "Princesss Patter "Itinerary; we obviously did not experience the full offering but we did feel that the World Cruise itinerary was sparse to say the least in ports visited., would have wanted more ports to see on the way. It was a pity for the 850 round trippers on board that the weather in Auckland and the 2 days in Sydney was poor but one can't control that. That said, what a superb location the Passenger Terminal has at Circular QuayDisembarkation; we stayed on board overnight in Sydney and disembarked on Sunday morning; a lot of people wanted to get off on Saturday but were not allowed, presumably because it would have needed extra Customs and MAF attendance but did seem rather officious and unnecessary.Overall. A very pleasant experience, and as we said a great way to cross the Tasman; we would use the ship again given the right itinerary and the right price, but like everything in life there were pluses and minuses and all these come into account when making the final choice. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Arrived at Southampton port, embarkation very well organised and efficient,when we arrived at our stateroom all our baggaged had been delivered much more efficient than our previous cruise with P+O on Artemis. Arcadia is a very ... Read More
Arrived at Southampton port, embarkation very well organised and efficient,when we arrived at our stateroom all our baggaged had been delivered much more efficient than our previous cruise with P+O on Artemis. Arcadia is a very impressive ship very well appointed and clean. Activities on board cover a good range if you want to get involved, with two pools, gym, cinema, theatre, deck games,line dancing, etc. Service in the Meridian restaurant was first class could not fault it in any way, the food was also very good. The Belvedere restaurant served a good variety of food during the day with a themed menu in the evening, this could get busy at peak times but we always managed to find a table. We did not visit the Arcadian Rhodes as there was a cover charge of £15 a head or the Orchid Restaurant where there was also a cover charge of £10 a head which we thought was expensive on top of the price we paid for the cruise. The port and shore excursions, Two of the ports we were scheduled for had to be changed due to an incident on board as a crew member was missing and we had to turn the ship round and retrace where we had sailed from as he was presumed lost overboard , he was eventually found on the ship but it was then too late to make Malaga and we ended up in Palermo Sicily, what a disappointment to say the least. Our last port of call was due to be Cadiz but due to bad weather forecast in the Bay of Biscay the Captain decided to miss out Cadiz and head for LaHavre to make the journey more comfortable for passengers by missing the worst of the weather, although we did have two days of rough seas. Unfortunately it was a bank holiday in LaHavre so no shops were open. Entertainment was very good. One seminar to avoid is 'Secrets to a flatter stomach'. You will be asked if you want to book a consultation after the talk, this will cost you £15.00 and he will measure your body fat mass etc.and advise on exercise. What is not mentioned in the seminar is that this is a ploy to sell a detoxifying Catalonian mud foot soak which will cost you £61 for a months supply. This is a very underhand method of selling. I came out of there feeling I had been misled into a selling situation. As the trips are quite expensive I research on the internet and find you can do most of them a lot cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
Arcadia J910 Fjords & Iceland 16.07- 31.07.09 We left home on 15.07.09 at 10.00 & started the long journey down to Southampton, via M1, M69 , M40 & .eventually M27. We had intended to visit a NT house , but the ... Read More
Arcadia J910 Fjords & Iceland 16.07- 31.07.09 We left home on 15.07.09 at 10.00 & started the long journey down to Southampton, via M1, M69 , M40 & .eventually M27. We had intended to visit a NT house , but the weather did not encourage a lazy summer day in the countryside. This was a prediction of the cruise in general. We reached Southampton at approx 16.00 and booked into the Novotel, as recommended by Keith. It was a good choice, as City, QE2 & the new Ocean Terminal were accessible from there. It is also very close to the Railway station, but I would not like to do the walk with cruise luggage to the hotel! We rested with an adult beverage in the 'garden,' whiling away a few hours, until dinner time. We retired early for the night and I woke at 06.00 & watched both Artemis sailing up the river to her berth at the Mayflower dock and Arcadia manoeuvring into the dock beside the Ocean Terminal. We ate breakfast, which was included in the room price (£79) and then wandered around some shops,. We had to vacate the room at noon, so drove directly to the Ocean Terminal, where we lined up, waiting for our turn to off load our baggage.. This was dealt with efficiently and were in the Belvedere, eating our lunch by 1pm. It was interesting 'people watching.' One unfortunate soul, came up in a wheel chair, asked 2 people to move up at the table they were sitting at and then proceeded to get out of the wheel chair and proceed to walk to get his lunch! I am afraid that my sympathy for him was short lived. At 2pm we were allowed to proceed to our cabin, where most of our luggage was waiting. We had booked a cabin with a partial sea view, which was 'blocked' by safety equipment. Fortunately we were between life boats, so I had a decent view most mornings, for 'sail in.' By the time we had unpacked, it was time for 'Muster Stations.' I won't say Lifeboat drill, as we went to the dining room with our lifejackets, but did not go outside. We then had a tour of the gym, where Adrian won a 'G Form' treatment. This he took on the 1st Port day, at 5 pm on our return from Ypres. This entailed having electrodes put on his stomach- 1 hrs treatment was supposed to loose 2lb body fat. But at a cost of £50 per hr, it is a very expensive form of treatment. Adrian 'won 30 minutes', so should have lost 1lb, which he more than made up for on the cruise. I signed up for the Hydro Therapy Treatment- £10 per day, or £75 per cruise. However on the 1st day the offer was £55 for the cruise, which I thought was a good rate, so I used my on board allowance. I tried to get in every evening, when Adrian went to the gym. We went up on deck, where we watched 'Sail Away.' Artemis left first, I was surprised that there was no salute, as both ships are in the P&O fleet.  As we left, we had a good view of the Ocean Terminal, but it was cool on deck 10, where I had gone in the hope that Artemis might catch me on the web cam as she sailed away. We then got ready for dinner, where we met out table companions, Gordon & Claire from Kendal and Graham & Lynne from near Stonehenge. We were very grateful their company and fortunate that we got on so well together for the next 15 nights. We heard many complaints from other people that we ate breakfast & lunch with, but you cannot please everyone, all the time. . We were also fortunate with our waiters, Priyank & Suraj., who served at the speed of light. We never had to wait,& Suraj soon realised that Adrian was partial to ice cream with any sweet course and also would have cheese & biscuits as well. He had a great deal of humour and would ask' Anyone for Cheese & Biscuits,' looking directly at Adrian! No wonder he had to go to the gym every evening. Ports. Ypres- Fri 17.th July We had problems in Zebrugge, the coach was pulled over by Belgian Customs & Exercise. I am not sure what they were looking for, but the bus driver didn't have all the necessary documentation, so another coach was sent for! We wasted 3/4 hr in the process! We had the whole tour, but in reverse, so we were late back to the ship, which fortunately waited for us, as it was a ship's tour! Eventually, the weather improved, so we got some good pictures at Tyne Got cemetery, with the battle fields in the background. Even though Adrian's Granddad survived the war, he was gassed during the battle of Passendale. ( the fields where the battle took place can be seen in the background) He suffered for the rest of his life. We heard later that there had been problems with other morning tours when they returned to the ship, as the tide had changed and a gangway had to be moved. However the crane driver went off, as it was his dinner time, so more than 1,000 passengers were stranded on shore. Fortunately the Meridian restaurant remained open, even though it was past 1.45pm. One wonders if Belgium workers were on a 'Work to Rule,' or whether they are always like that. Not a good advertisement for Tourism! 1st Sea day We went to 3 port lectures, but decided that we would only take tours in Iceland, as the Norweigan Ports were accessible. We decided to book on the 'Jewels of the North' Tour in Akureyri. We left the theatre and went straight down to the Tours Desk, but were told that the Tour was 'wait listed' so booked on Nature & Flora. Fortunately we did manage to eventually get on our preferred tour. That evening was our first 'Formal Night,' held around the covered Neptune Pool. What a strange place to have the Commodore's reception party! I was spoken to by the Commadore, who asked me if I was Ok, to which I replied,'Well I would have been if I had had a Hair Drier(HD). I do not often use one, but as I had been to the Hydro therapy pool, my hair was wet. I looked for the HD and that & the kettle were missing. What a day to remove them for testing! In his speech, the commodore mentioned that if you find that you do not have a HD, then phone your room steward and they will provide you with one! Later one of the photographers annoyed me, as she pointed the camera at me as I was eating a roll! ( I did not buy that photo ,or any others on principle, they were so expensive) Later in the cruise the same photographer came to re-arrange us, just as we were being served dinner. Again I refused to move, but none of our table companions wanted a photo taken either, I was just the spokes person! Don't the photographers get training in Thinking Skills. It does not take too much intelligence to realize that passengers don't like eating cold food. I must be getting old to be grumbling! Stavanger Sun 19th July An early view of Stavanger from Cabin E126 Stavanger on a Sunday was lifeless until after mid-day. We walked around the town & I could not believe that a tourist place had nothing open, not even cafes. Fortunately, the Oil Museum eventually opened, so we were able to use their 'facilities.' We looked to have a cup of coffee, but could not find one listed on the menu, although Pills Larger was at a hefty equivalent of almost £9. This was the same cost as the entry to the museum. We eventually ambled back to the ship, where we had lunch ( having looked at a restaurant menu near to the ship & seen that soup was the equivalent to £12.00) Later walked through the old town ( as seen in the above image) This had plenty of character and so we sat on a bench in the warm sun for a short while. It was then back to the ship and to the Aquarius Pool deck, where we sat in comfort and promptly fell asleep. I must say that I favoured those comfortable chairs, but the settees were not built for people with short legs! Eidjord was wet, so we went on a trip on the Troll train. When we got off, the rain had stopped, so we went for a walk up river. It took 40 mins to walk to the place where the Kayaking was taking place & 25 mins on the return. I am sure the area is pretty when it is fine, Bergen Tue 21st July We took the free shuttle bus into Bergen and started walking towards the Bryggen district. On the way, we saw the Ulikren cable car shuttle bus, so we took it. The glass top gave good views, without getting cold.  We had a shot of Arcadia, moored at the commercial port, through the mist, which kept swirling to & fro. On the return journey, the bus did a tour of the Harbour district, so we had an idea where to go, but there was no commentary. We later went to the Bryggen district & saw Discovery, Prinsendam & Astori and another cruise ship also in Bergen. The Fish market was colourful & interesting, but I was surprised that it was outside- I expected to be an indoor market. Alusend Wed 22nd July It was a much sunnier day in Alusend. Alusend was the start of the Shetland Bus during WW2. We walked around for a few hours taking photos, but returned to the ship for lunch. We then went back to look at the WW2 memorial near the Tourist Information centre, where we eventually spent some Kroner. I bought a mug & Adrian bought a hat& tie - the last of the big spenders. We then had a fire boat had a fire boat send off from Norway,  2nd Sea Day Today's Port lectures were for Reykjavik, Iceland & Dublin, Ireland. We immediately went to the Tours desk & booked the Golden Circle Tour. At the same time I had asked if we were on the 'Jewels of the North' tour in Akureyri, which included the Godafoss waterfall. Amazingly, they had just had a cancellation, so I was at the right place at the right time- unusual for us! We also had put our clocks back 1 hr, taking us back to BSTso had an extra hour in bed, which I was grateful for. I do find 4 port days in a row, rather tiring. We had sailed above the Artic circle overnight, but the seas were reasonably calm. I woke early in the morning, with the sun high in the sky, so thought it was about 10.00- it was actually 05.00. We heard later that the sun had actually setovernight, the 1st time for 2 months. Iceland -Akureyri. Fri 24th July 12 buses in all set off on the trip Jewels of the North which included the 'Godafoss Falls,'  A crater( filled with supposedly non biting mosquitoes, but they bit me) Lava formations The quide has one foot on the American Plate & one on the European plate in this Rift Valley.  and the mud pools.  The trip was excellent, but was rushed as we were leaving at 2pm. We returned 15 minutes after scheduled sailing time, but 2 other coaches were after us. We just made lunch in the dining room- there was no way we were going to the 'Belvedere' after the manic queuing that we had to put up with that morning. They were totally unprepared for the influx of passengers. You would have thought that with 3/4 of the ship's passengers going on trips ,that they would have adjusted the time of breakfast in the dining room! Sail away at 2 pm was superb as there was a fresh snow fall the previous day & the sun on the snow was stunning. We again had a dusk & dawn night, at no time was it dark! Sat 25th July Reykjavik, Iceland Again , I woke early, as the sun was so high in the sky. We had decided to order room service for breakfast, which arrived promptly. It was another early start, but this trip wasn't so rushed. Our German guide was well informed and again we went into Rift Valleys, which reminded me of Canada( it must have been the Loon which I heard)  We then went to the Gysir reagion, where we saw more mud, instead of the Earth's crust, Blue Pools and Gysers of various heights. Unfortunately, while we were eating a lunch of Soup, Salmon and Salad, the clouds came and the sun went in. Gullafoss Falls were still stunning. We returned, via a Hydro Eletric plant which is not yet complete, but utilizes the Thermal Springs and we also had a sketchy tour of Reykjavik, where we were taken to the 'Pearl.' There were excellent views of the town from the top. Sail away was again stunning, as the air was so clear. My only regret was that I didn't see the Blue Lagoon, but as I was unwilling to shower with nothing on, before entering the water, we decided not to take that tour option. Sea Days 3&4 We were warned that the weather would become 'bumpy' once we were in open seas, but I believe the 3rd Officers comment from the bridge at noon on Monday was unnecessary. He was trying to inform us of the depth of sea below us, but when he continued his analogy by informing us that Arcadia would only take 5 minutes to reach the bottom, many passengers thought that he had overstepped the mark. I was told my another officer that he had been reprimanded! We went to Digital Living lectures and the ship's company 'laid out informative demonstrations. It was also our final Formal night, as we were in port for the 2 following evenings. The Commadore had told us at the 1st Formal night, that in 40 years at sea, he had never been to Ireland, so maybe we stayed in port for him. Dublin Tue 28th July We spent an interesting morning finding a bank. We had omitted to take sufficient Sterling for our tips, so had asked to change N.Kroner on the ship. Adrian was unhappy with the exchange rate, so we decided to take a chance in Dublin. We were happy with the rate we were given, even though we had to change into € first then £. We then passed the statue of Molly Malone ( or the Tart with the Cart amongst other names for her) We then jumped on the Hop on Hop off bus & were lucky with the driver that we had, as he was doing his own commentary. His opinion of the government cannot be repeated. We stayed on as far as the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, where we took the Tour. Adrian was a taster! We then had a wonderful lunch of Irish Beef & Yorkshire pudding! We jumped back on the HoHo bus, as far as O'Connell street, where we tried to walk back to the place where the shuttle bus had dropped us off. It started to rain, so we jumped back on the bus again. We had thought of going round Trinity College , so that we could see the Book of Kells, but when we saw the queues, we decided that we would have to pay another visit to Dublin in the future. On our return to the ship, we saw that Boudicca was also in port. Cobh Wed 29th July The Sail in was during the morning, so we went up to the Aquarius pool deck to watch, where a sail in party was taking place! I am sure the people of Cobh were regretting our arrival! As Adrian & I had been to Cork before, we decided to explore Cobh. We climbed up to the church and took in the views. It started to rain ( whats new?), so we sheltered in anArt Gallery, but the prices were beyond our means. I took a few photos and interestingly we saw a photo of the church taken from a Titanic Tender, without the Spire on the church, as this wasn't added until 1916. I must admit that the most impressive part of Cobh was the sail in. Sea Day 5 After a poor start, the weather brightened up & we had our one & only sun bathing afternoon. Our intention was to read, but sleep soon took over. I now know why I have been so tired on this cruise, as I never totally relaxed. As soon as the sun came out I fell asleep. We had 3 hrs of sun, as we sailed up the coast of Cornwall & Devon. I do wonder where everyone would have sat outside, as in my opinion, there were insufficient sun loungers & certainly those around the Neptune Pool were too low for me. [IMG]http://i30.tinypic.com/2hgy5xx.jpg[/IMG] Southampton Fri 31st July Disembarkation was quick. Our car had been moved by CPS to the car park at the QE2 terminal and we were on the road before 9am. Southampton was full of ships, Ventura was at the Ocean Terminal, Celebrity Equinox at the City? Terminal and Crown Princess at the Mayflower Terminal. Arcadia Experience We tended to favour the Meridian restaurant for all our meals. We did go to the Belvedere (self service) occasionally, but found that the service was ultra slow—10 minutes queuing for a bowl of porridge is unacceptable. Adrian experienced the same for cooked breakfast. Why the dining room was not opened earlier when at least 12 coaches were departing on trips at 8am is beyond me. We also sometimes went to the Belvedere for a cup of tea late afternoon and found that small spoons could not be found. Arcadia Rhodes My only experience was on the Galley Tour, as we entered through Arcadia Rhodes. It looked good, & I am told that there were separate kitchens and food stores. But for £15p.p extra cover charge, we declined, as we were happy with the service in the Meridian. Digital Living I signed up for the Internet, which I found painfully slow, but eventually I was credited with an additional 55 minutes. We spent quite a few hours in various rooms; The Sea Room, The Bay & The Ocean Room, listening to free Technology Seminars & Computer Work Shops., given by Karen Wyness. From 1st August, she will be using the Bay Room as her base, as she suffered so many interruptions in the Sea room, where the Lap Tops for passenger use were also situated. It was a no win situation, passengers who had paid for lectures were being disturbed, and those who had paid for Internet access could not use the Lap Tops if she was lecturing. At one time we were in a seminar in the Ocean Room, when passengers were coming in & helping themselves to chairs for use in the cinema ( which I am told was too small) She stopped that, as she said that passengers should not be moving furniture ( Health & Safety) A little later, a woman passenger came & stood in the room, & when asked what she wanted, she said 'Bridge- are these people paying for this?' Bridge started 15minutes later. Entertainment This was excellent. The Headliners Theatre Company had been formed and had 6 weeks rehearsal in London, before embarking on the Ship in mid May. We watched them every night and they put on 8 excellent performances, even dancing through a Force 9 Gale. We also had a variety of artists: Week 1 Suzanne Gayle- vocalist- 2 shows Kyle Esplin- billed as piano/ vocalist, but his piano skills were incredible- 2 shows Week 2 Allan Stewart, I split my side laughing at his traditional British Humour, but some of the older passengers objected to being ridiculed. Bruce Morrison- Singer They both performed twice in the evenings, but Bruce joined forces with Sally Sagoe for a 'heartwarming sketch about Queen Victoria. He also performed on the last afternoon, but we fell asleep on deck, so missed him. Quest Speakers Brian Hanrahan - BBC's diplomatic editor Jeanette Kupermanr- ex Fleet Street Jorurnalist & Anthropologist Sally Sagoe was the Cruise director. My only comment would be that she needs to revise her programme of jokes. She was cruise director when we were on Artemis in Oct 2006, and she is still using the same jokes- which fell flat! However she did an excellent job devising both day & evening entertainment; keeping 2,000+ passengers happy with the weather that we experienced is no mean feat! Over all the cruise was a good experience, we could have asked for the weather to be kinder, but as my photos show, it improved as we travelled further North. I would certainly sail from Southampton again. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and ... Read More
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and externally there are areas showing age but considering she is at sea virtually daily and has been around the globe many times it can be expected. Daily maintenance is carried out as would be expected and if anyone was woken by the chipping drills on the lifeboat davits then perhaps they prefer lie-ins after 10.00 a or cant be bothered if their lifeboat wasn't serviced. Change of itinerary, we were notified by email 5 days before departure explaining the reason why a prolonged stop in Malaga was necessary. Some fellow cruisers said they did not know until they boarded. Can't explain this but I would suggest that as we are registered in the P&O Cruise Personaliser, where our email is recorded, this could be the reason for those who do not use this system. Yes we missed out a port of call and stayed in Malaga while she was being repaired, the captain kept us informed of the progress of the work. Unfortunately the 22-strong team of divers, flown in from the USA and elsewhere were unable to correct the problem with the port-side pod within the expected time and after arriving on Thursday (at top speed), we departed just after midnight on Sunday/Monday morning. Malaga is a lovely place and a leisurely walk or free for all passengers shuttle bus into the main area was provided.. We missed two sea days and one port. After departure one passenger decided to be seriously ill (not norovirus) but as Arcadia does not have a heli-pad, the Captain sailed at full speed for Venice for the passenger hope all was well) to be transferred to waiting ambulance on the quayside. Safety is a high priority and itinerary change is usually, sometimes weather also for other reasons but some people have to moan and disrespect P&O, fortunately the majority of fellow passengers we spoke to were happy with their cruise. Part-way through their was an outbreak of the dreaded Norovirous. We were not affected, The crew immediately put special measures in place specifically not being allowed to touch any item, plates, cutlery etc, having everything served to you. Not such a bad thing you know! Some passengers believing that they would never suffer from the virus did not wish to gel their hands before going into the restaurant. Probably the same passengers, and you know who you are, who do not bother to wash hands after using the toilets, who rush about and don't care ignoring warning notices and whose disgraceful disrespect of hygiene spread the infection. We noticed several mature passengers not washing hands after using the toilets and not wanting to gel before entering the food areas. After precautions were lifted, sadly a few passengers in the buffet decide to double-fill their plates, charge into the queues to get their fill totally regardless of common courtesy and respect for their fellow passengers and the hard-working crew. We found the food of a good standard and no complaints and I am a fussy eater. All the staff were polite and helpful. The entertainment was of a high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment especially the murder mystery and Johnny Youle the guitarist. The Rising Sun pub has great atmosphere and the Palladium theater is one of the best that we have sat in on a cruise ship. Our cabin on C deck was spacious and our steward was very professional and friendly. The excursions were varied, we did Malaga (both booked and ourselves, yes we had time!) we did hop-on-off bus in Cagliari, walking tour in Split (great courier). Would we go on Arcadia again, YES Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi ... Read More
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi to/from the port. Excellent package. Embarkation was very efficient and we boarded very quickly, with the luggage arriving in reasonable time. We booked early May and one of the cabins offered was at the stern, but it had a big balcony and we thought [rightly as it turned out] that we'd have brilliant views of the Fjords. The cabin was spacious with plenty of clothes storage, seating space with a settee and a good sized bathroom. Our steward, Umesh, was efficient, friendly and brought ice for our drinks each evening, so deserved his good tip! The only thing I missed was a towelling robe and slippers, as I would have expected those in a de-luxe cabin. The ship was just big enough for us, although I was grateful for the small map which I clutched for days. The cabin was smart and very clean, but the balcony area was quite rusty in areas and both that and the balcony rail needed painting. Although the balcony was huge, there was an overhang so we didn't get as much sunshine as the deck below. But then they had us gazing down on them as they sunbathed..... Dining standards were very varied and although we tried Freedom Dining on the first night, after a projected hour's wait till 9pm, we reverted to our 2nd sitting booking and were with a great group on our table for six in the window. Two very good waiters looked after us very well during the whole voyage. The food varied from day to day and a few times we had to send food back to the kitchen, including the infamous steaks. My worst choice was lamb, which turned out to be three slices of fat smothered in gravy and should never have left the kitchen The replacement slices were beautiful and it does pay to complain as the head waiter came over personally to apologise. We did eat twice in the Sindhu restaurant and really enjoyed the food in there, although some of it didn't strike us as particularly Indian or Eastern. The staff went to particular trouble for me as I'm allergic to chilli and I never suffered once! Surroundings were lovely and it was pleasant to enjoy a drink in the quiet East bar before strolling next door to eat. We always breakfasted in the Belvedere as there was a good choice of cereals and fresh fruit and we did indulge in the occasional bacon butty. Lunch was usually there too as we prefer salads and there was a wide selection to choose from. If we did have a hot meal, we were generally disappointed as the food was rarely hot and not brilliant. Their curry night was excellent though! Drinks were reasonably priced, especially the wines at the evening meal and there was a comprehensive choice of world wines. We enjoyed most of the entertainment, especially the Headliners with their superb, enthusiastic, high standard, special musical evenings. Definitely West End quality. The comedian was extremely funny and had an appreciative audience. Enjoyed the historian too as her lectures on the Vikings were very interesting with amusing observations which added to the content. Joined in the daily quizzes, though not all the answers were accurate as for just one example, butterflies do NOT eat through their feet! We only took one shore excursion as we love to stroll off the ship in our own time and explore locally. All the small ports seemed to have similar souvenirs and high prices, but Trondheim and Bergen were well worth exploring on one's own.The trip we chose was the Grieg visit, which was well hyped as a special event with a piano recital. Lovely trip round Bergen to begin with, followed by the tour of Grieg's house and museum with the recital as the icing on the cake in a beautiful concert hall. The pianist was talented and we'd just begun to enjoy this treat when it was over after less than half an hour. So disappointing and we did feel rather short changed. Overall we enjoyed our first P&O trip and as we always try and see the good in everything, any little gripes like the costly Wifi and lack of signals to catch up with the home news, [no Brexit for 12 days....bliss!] were easily put to one side. But the great joy was the Fjords themselves in the sunshine from our private little paradise with panoramic views and the sensation of being all alone in this wilderness with the snow topped mountains and towering waterfalls. Loved the experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as we had been on this ship last year so we were familiar with the layout. We had been recommended to do the cruise around the Baltics by several people who were on last years cruise, The embarkation for the ship was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on this ship last year so we were familiar with the layout. We had been recommended to do the cruise around the Baltics by several people who were on last years cruise, The embarkation for the ship was fantastic, within half an hour of us arriving at the port we were on the ship. The only thing that held us up was trying to find a porter with a trolley to take the luggage away. We found our cabin easily but had to wait for our suitcases as they were all being scanned. Better safe than sorry! The cabin had a balcony and was well kept, clean and tidy. Our cabin steward was great as she was always ready with a smile and a greeting. We had a timed dining slot and were served by the same waiters throughout the cruise, they were brilliant. We built up a rapport with them as they came from India and the tests were being played. The food was very good and nothing was too much trouble for our waiters. Every meal we were asked if everything was ok, which we liked. We did try the restaurant for breakfast at the start of the cruise but ended up using the buffet instead as I wanted to choose what I wanted rather than get things off the set menu. The entertainment on the ship was fantastic. All the shows that we saw were West End standard. The entertainment team on the cruise were also very good. Plenty of different activities to take part in if you wanted to. We opted out of the service charge as the tips we gave were to the people who looked after us. As I was travelling with 2 less able walkers I booked the shore excursions online before we went. Oslo was expensive but beautiful, Gotland was full of history, Tallinn was wonderful and easily accessible on foot, Helsinki was amazing as we did the harbour cruise, St Petersburg was breath taking, the buildings were so grand that we couldn't understand how they survived the revolution, Warnemunde was the only place that it rained but it didn't detract us from walking around. Again it was easily accessible on foot. there were plenty of shops and cafes. Copenhagen was our last stop but the trip we took coincided with the visit of Mr Macron to the Queen. We managed to see the palaces but then got stuck in the traffic around the city as streets were closed and there were police everywhere. We did get to see the little mermaid. After that coach trip we were glad to be back on board. The tour guide was very apologetic but she did change the itinerary so that we could see the palaces before the police locked it down. We do like the Arcadia as it is an adults only ship and if we take another cruise it will probably be on that ship. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival ... Read More
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival time was 15.00, we arrived about 20 minutes early but went straight through and we were having a cup of tea in our cabin by 15.15. Cabin was good and as expected. Steward, Thomas looked after us very well. Very windy crossing overnight to Coruna but the only thing that woke us at 04.00 was the banging of an unsecured balcony connecting door between ours and next doors.A phone call to reception got an immediate response and back to sleep we went. Although on Freedom dining we mainly dined in the Belvedere and found that satisfactory, although the flow of people around the various serveries could have been better managed by having a stock of trays and cutlery etc at the entrance as well as at the serveries. We went to the Meridian restaurant about 4 times (3 for black tie nights) and found the service and food quality to a good standard. We enjoyed the cruise, although the humidity in the Caribbean was much higher than usual- even the locals were complaining, so activity was curtailed to a extent. Most of the cruisers were above 50 years old, and were a happy group, although of course, there were the usual small number of those whose expectations seemed to be rather unrealistic. The Captain had a great sense of humour which helped particularly on days when the weather was not so good, and he did his best to keep out of the way of the worst. Ports of call, with the exception of Coruna where the weather was wet and there was not much of interest, were good and varied and gave us a insight into the Caribbean life both for the poor and the rich. Disembarkation went well although with a time slot of 9.15 to 9.30 there was some hanging about in the lounge having had to leave the cabin by 8.00. Whilst it's unlikely we would do this length of trip again- 16 sea days was great to relax but got a bit boring after leaving Ponta Delgada, we were certainly happy with the ship and if we were to cruise again would be looking for one of her other trips. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Hope you are prepared for this! We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. Windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make ... Read More
Hope you are prepared for this! We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. Windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make sure everyone attended (a bit of a shambles in the theatre with some people who didn't show their card and never got asked for it). Then back to complete unpacking and ready for dinner. First sitting on table for six and delightful table companions. One couple had been upgraded to a suite so at that point felt quite jealous.... First night a little windy but nothing untoward however it gradually increased - force 7, force 8, until one evening yes, you guessed it force 10..... (so glad I had taken my seasick tablets!!) However I felt Arcadia coped well, although the bangs, bumps and creaking did cause several comments. I no longer felt jealous of , our now friends , in the suite as it was situated at the stern right over the propellers and very very noisy and bumpy in their cabin. It was five days before we could really venture outside safely. No swimming pool neither - far too dangerous. But it was lovely being rocked to sleep each night. Finally got into New York which was extremely busy and very hot (Donald Trump and United Nations in town!!!!!) Very high security everywhere and lots of roads closed off to traffic so our taxi driver had to drop us off in the middle of the road. Then the fun started again, New Port missed because the hurricane was catching up, made Boston safely in the pouring rain but Bar Harbor missed because again bad weather catching up. Eventually got safely into Halifax where we had a trip to Peggy's Cove which was far too short - about 40 minutes there- then back on board ready to leave. BUT NO - a rope tight around asipod so we were stuck! So instead of sailing away for Saguenay we stayed in Halifax and the next day we wandered into the quayside. By the way, we had to berth much further down than usual so we had to use a shuttle bus just to get out of the secure area where we were. Then we had to miss Saguenay and straight on to Quebec for our two day stay-Wrong Again we didn't arrive until 9 pm the first day so one day there missed. Second day in Quebec was lovely. Bright and sunny. THEN as we prepare for sail away the captain informed us that instead of going on to Sydney we were going to head BACK to Saguenay as that was a much nicer port sailing up the fiord . If anyone does go to Saguenay, the "La Fabuleuse " show is not to be missed. It is absolutely amazing, brilliant, wonderful..... However by this time many people were very unhappy as missing out on tours, disappointed at missing seeing relatives and often general lack of information. Personally, hubby and I felt the captain did the best he could and the excursion staff went all out to rearrange tours and put on additional ones for people where possible. Total of three ports missed and shortened stay in Quebec. Of course this further change to the itinerary meant six days at sea coming home instead of five. However P&O did compensate a bit with the odd bribe here and there..... BUT FOR US the icing on the cake was on the third day into the cruise whilst in the middle of the Atlantic we booked a further cruise -ON ADONIA! Eight days later we joined a large queue of people trying to find a new cruise to book...honestly the loyalty manager didn't even know about the sale of Adonia.. Arcadia is still a good ship although perhaps a little tired in places. Unfortunately several couples had to move cabin because of leaks etc - one couple three times, but she is going in for a full refit in November when all these problems will be solved (hopefully). The food in the MDR was excellent. Plenty of choice and as much as you wanted if you asked. The Headliners on this cruise were the best we have seen on any cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the shows. The entertainment manager was also brilliant and really worked hard as did his team. Other entertainment varied but I always feel it is personal choice - I didn't like the second show by the comedian but hubby did! I loved the local dance team brought on -but hubby didn't. The usual Art and Bridge classes were well attended and there were plenty of interesting talks etc every day. Overall I think it was a good cruise despite lots of problems and as usual all the P&O staff on board were brilliant and couldn't do enough for you. Can not say the same for the shop staff who are often quite rude and pushy. Next cruise in May is on Oriana for the first time but we will certainly go back to Arcadia as soon as possible. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I was not sure what to expect as a first time cruiser but I was pleasantly surprised with it. I was on the cruise with my husband and his brother (who had an inside cabin). Our cabin with a balcony was clean and the steward, Ritesh, was ... Read More
I was not sure what to expect as a first time cruiser but I was pleasantly surprised with it. I was on the cruise with my husband and his brother (who had an inside cabin). Our cabin with a balcony was clean and the steward, Ritesh, was fantastic, He was polite, courteous, friendly, helpful and cheerful. Nothing was too much trouble. We had our evening meals in the lower Meridian restaurant and the 2 waiters (Kevin and Richard) who looked after us made us feel as if we were the only passengers that they were looking after. I found the food to be very good but my husband (who is a very fussy eater) was sometimes disappointed with what he had chosen. But the waiters tried to rectify the situation. The entertainment in the palladium theatre was fantastic. It was lovely to listen to a comedian without being bombarded with foul language. We did 2 trips from the ship and the one from Olden was amazing but the trip from Flaam was not so good and I did put in a written complaint to the shore excursion team. We are hoping to do another trip on the Arcadia next year. 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
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
this wa sour very first cruise and we chose an adults only ship..the cabin was superb and the organisation onboard extremely good, food and service incredible...there are many negatives ...one in three of the passengers had an horrendous ... Read More
this wa sour very first cruise and we chose an adults only ship..the cabin was superb and the organisation onboard extremely good, food and service incredible...there are many negatives ...one in three of the passengers had an horrendous cough, which we had been warned about , it is known as Arcadia cough and is absolutely disgusting to listen to...we recommend that the air conditioning is completely sanitised, in order to eradicate this germ. There is an immediate turn round in southampton, so this procedure must be planned well in advance and the ship taken out of service. There is much rust on the outside and the windows in the upper meridian outside are filthy. Disembarking was a complete shambles in the upper meridian, the young man was completely ineffective in getting an orderly procedure in place, worse than any airport we have been to. added to this the weather was perishing and many of the trips should be shown to prevent walking problems for those with sticks etc..... Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We were aware of some of the negative feedback about Arcadia before we set sail; however, we decided to be open minded about everything. It's fair to say, there will always be parts of a cruise that could have gone better, but for us, ... Read More
We were aware of some of the negative feedback about Arcadia before we set sail; however, we decided to be open minded about everything. It's fair to say, there will always be parts of a cruise that could have gone better, but for us, the 17 day Eastern Med cruise went without a hitch. Arcadia was spotlessly clean, with attentive and helpful staff wherever we went on board. The passenger areas are vast on this ship, and we were never aware there were around 2000 people on board. There are an array of quiet lounges, coffee bars etc, together with an excellent choice of food served in the Meridian and Belvedere Restaurants. The evening shows in the Palladium Theatre were both varied and of a very high standard, with the Arcadia cast really giving their all at each performance. Our overall impression of Arcadia is that she is a lovely ship with great facilities, but lacks any 'wow' factor compared to other cruise ships which is shame. All ports of call were excellent and bar Gibraltar, we had enough time to see everything we wanted to. When we booked this cruise, the itinerary said that departure from Gibraltar was early afternoon, where in reality, we were told to be back on board for mid-day! I know P&O will say that it reserves the right to change the times, but we really did not have anywhere near enough time. The ship left late anyway owing to the numbers of passengers queuing to rejoin the ship. A few things we would mention. P&O need to be mindful of trying to extract every last pound out of their passengers. We seem to be besieged by the ship's photographers wherever we went, whether disembarking at the ports, at sail-a-way parties or at dinner. That's OK to a point, but it did become a little annoying at times! The photographs then appeared in the gallery at £11.80 each. A member of staff told me that around 60% are not sold and are destroyed. Perhaps if they were priced more sensibly, sales would increase and it might reduce wastage at the same time! We felt the biggest rip-off of all was a 'behind the scenes' tour, which was advertised in the Horizon paper. As this was something that really appealed to us, I rang reception only to be told the tour was priced at £75 per person! Come on P&O, can't you at least give something back to your loyal customers, rather than view them as cash-cows! We sailed with Celebrity a couple of years ago where such a tour was complimentary, and we didn't pay a dollar to be on the bridge for half an hour with the Captain! Shame on you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
You only get one chance for a first impression. If that is bad, forget everything else! Mistakenly, we thought that P&O had 'grown out of' their appalling embarkation shambles at Southampton by now (We are are in 2015). But ... Read More
You only get one chance for a first impression. If that is bad, forget everything else! Mistakenly, we thought that P&O had 'grown out of' their appalling embarkation shambles at Southampton by now (We are are in 2015). But no, we were made to stand in line for anything up to two hours and the cafe was shut. Cunard, who use these same terminals, seat you comfortably with an open cafe and call you by initial.. How are P&O going to cope with twice the number of passengers when their new Britannia enters service this spring? AD ASTRA? Having survived the above, we were delighted to find the 10yr-old Arcadia, probably the most elegant of the Fincantieri-built Vista Class (Panamax) ships, to be in excellent fettle. Her late-2013 refit had brought, inter alia, new carpets and colour schemes throughout. The mainly-Indian crew were cheerful and efficient and she remains a happy ship. For the first time, we tried 'Freedom Dining' and, while there were the expected 'pinch points', when everyone turned up at once, we found this arrangement more preferable than the fixed scheme. While you paid a small premium for the Gourmet restaurants of East and the Ocean Grill, there was a fee bottle of wine if you ate early. The food throughout was good. The daily 'Horizon' programme gave you plenty of options for the following day, including the dress code for that night's evening, which we thought about right. There were helpful introductory talks about our ports- of-call and guest speakers on other topics. I took lessons in Spanish and my wife was able to polish up her Bridge. Whilst WIFI was available throughout the ship, it is still far too expensive. The librarians who monitored it, however, were courteous, knowledgeable and efficient. The saunas were unreliable and the temperature of the water in the Neptune Pool was very variable. We like the sliding roof. Our fellow passengers, apparently with an average age of 67 years, were mainly obese Brits and Australians, some with tattoos and a few in wheelchairs. Although many were coughing, unstifled, we escaped the dreaded 'Arcadia Cough'. Above all, Arcadia was commanded by the excellent Coventry born-and-bred Caprtain Aseem Hashmi, who made it his business to see and be seen throughout the ship. the crew's discipline was excellent. We look forward to our next opportunity to sail in this ship once more, but only when the outrageous embarkation arrangements at Southampton have been sorted out. In total contrast, the new Pier 27 Terminal in Francisco was superb, and disembarkation there was as easy as ever. Moored there, on the sunny and fog-free morning we arrived, we had a view of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Starboard side of the ship, with the Bay Bridge on the Port side. Wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
P&O cost cutting is becoming more and more evident. Our cruise to Iceland in perfect cruising weather and unbelievably calm seas barely averaged a speed of 12kts. We cruised all the way back at 11 kts until we slowed to 9 kts for a ... Read More
P&O cost cutting is becoming more and more evident. Our cruise to Iceland in perfect cruising weather and unbelievably calm seas barely averaged a speed of 12kts. We cruised all the way back at 11 kts until we slowed to 9 kts for a while. Eventually did 12.6 kts when in the channel but I didn't look after that. There were other cost cutting measures too, only one speaker who spoke every sea day ( 6 out of 11 ) on the same old subject - Concorde. Daytime entertainment boring, too many badly disguised sales pitches. On sea days when there is no prospect of warmth and sunshine P&O must simply do better and provide some variety. Evening entertainment varied from brilliant (comedian) to dire (pick your own) Headliners were a new troupe but did improve Neverther less a good way to see Iceland we enjoyed seeing it but won't be going back Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Having broken the back of the laundry after Xmas & New Year cruising in the Med onboard Arcadia (Cruise J218) we can now reflect on the cruise .... at our dispassionate leisure. It is nice to get back to simple fare like mince and ... Read More
Having broken the back of the laundry after Xmas & New Year cruising in the Med onboard Arcadia (Cruise J218) we can now reflect on the cruise .... at our dispassionate leisure. It is nice to get back to simple fare like mince and tatties, beef hotpots and the like, although the food on board was excellent too - despite the hi-falutin' names given to some of the courses. (Our previous (and first) cruise on Arcadia (J202) in April/May 2012 was not a particularly pleasurable experience for us. However, we are very pleased to report that our initial misgivings of a repeat cruise aboard Arcadia were largely dispelled.) We're both getting on in years. My wife is disabled and 95% confined to a wheelchair so it is always a welcome break for me not to have to shop, cook and look after the household maintenance and fiscal admin and, instead, getting some sea air, visual stimulation and gastronomic pampering a la P&O style. Arcadia was completely free of noro-virus on boarding. It remained so for the whole of the 18-night cruise thanks to the particularly strict hygiene protocols imposed by P&O for the first two days of the cruise and, of course, the compliance of all the passengers and crew. (I 'elbowed' my choice of deck in the lifts etc.) The weather was a good deal better than we expected for December and January even for the Med. We were on the starboard side (that's the right hand side looking towards the sharp-end for you landlubbers.) and we were favoured by being on the sunniest side of the ship especially in port (it really is the luck of the draw between which side of the ship gets the sun when berthed alongside). In Livorno (N Italy) it touched 100F full frontal (but only 90F in the shade) on the balcony of our cabin. Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) touched 94F full frontal the day before. Outbound the Bay of Biscay was a bit choppy but a mill-pond on the return crossing but otherwise never too turbulent elsewhere. Online, I had pre-booked a private taxi tour of Lisbon which turned out to be cheaper and better than any arranged P & O excursions tour. Our charming and helpful mini-skirted driver, Maria, was there waiting for us at the bottom of the gang-way with a freshly-valetted, sparkling car. (This is the second time we have successfully used the 'Net to book a taxi-tour - the last time being Madeira on a previous cruise.) At the ship's side in Livorno we joined 4 other passengers on an ad hoc 3-hour mini-bus tour to Pisa for Euros 20 each. It was well worth it. Even the cups of cafe latte and cappuccino we had in a cafe were no more than one would expect to pay in Starbucks back home or even in the Cafe Vivo on board ship - with a direct view of the Leaning Tower thrown in for free! Our favourite port-of-call was Barcelona - we both loved the relaxed atmosphere of the warm and sunny Ramblas and surrounding areas with visitors of all ages just strolling about, care-free. Everywhere was neat and well-kempt with easy wheelchair access. Our least favourite port visit was Gibraltar where the shuttle-bus driver was very curt, rude and most unwelcoming. So much so that we returned to the ship rather than go shopping and spend our money for Gibraltar's economic benefit. (It just so happened our side of the ship gave us an awesome view of The Rock itself .... and to make us feel at-home, a Morrison's grocery store directly opposite to us!) We were told afterwards that the driver was probably a Spaniard from Algeciras. Cunard's Queen Elizabeth was also berthed alongside so there was a total of 4,000+ passengers and up to 1,600 crew let loose on Gibraltar .... we were afterwards told it was jam-packed and not easy-going for wheel-chairs. The ever-attentive, cheerful, friendly, mostly Indian waiters and cabin stewards are a significant part of the P & O brand of cruising - we only hope that P & O never lose sight of this fact. They are not excessively subservient nowadays and will engage in friendly repartee when given half the chance. Be stuffy with them and they'll be stuffy with you. We thanked our cabin steward for some little deed he had done for us - he replied, with a broad appreciative grin that it was his duty! Try and find that attitude in the UK - if you can! We cannot comment on the entertainment provided on board as we didn't partake of any part of it. Being on 2nd sitting for dinner - complete with a G & T before, a large glass of wine during, and usually a large Courvoisier to accompany coffee ... we were only too happy to return to our cabin, get comfortable in pyjamas and dressing gown and relax, even sit on the balcony looking up at the stars, perchance to dream. We feel we have to comment about some of the moaning minnies and maurices we encountered on board. It may be the downside of Arcadia being an Adults-only ship(?). Some were uncomfortable with us joining their lift and looked down their noses at my wife in her wheelchair almost as if being unable to walk might be catching! (Beware the mirrors in the lifts that catch all the expressions of all the occupants from all angles!). We encountered some older passengers who languidly strolled the corridors without a thought for any others. There were times when they'd just stop dead to look at something (like a photograph in The Gallery or a ship in a glass display case.) and who'd get an unexpected surprise of some part of a wheelchair gently but firmly reminding them that they could be more aware of who and what may be just behind them. I just cannot stop the momentum of a wheelchair as quickly as they can stop! We encountered an elderly trio (who we came to refer to as the Gruesome Threesome) who, within minutes of our asking to join their table in the crowded Piano Bar for a pre-prandial drink, who then spotted an just-vacated table nearby and quite abruptly moved to it, without a by-your-leave. It was then we noticed that they didn't have any drinks to move ... so they were maybe rabidly tee-total. The Temperance Three? But how UNfriendly and intolerant can you get? There was one memorable breakfasting old dear who complained at length that the knife provided for buttering her toast was rather too heavy for her! We guessed that she just had to find something to moan about. (And that was at the very start of her day!). Where's all that indomitable spirit that's often said about the older generation? And my goodness! Some of those apparently frail little old dears can seriously pack the food away. 'Full English' breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and 6-course dinners ....... their plates were cleared. Maybe they complained about the food because they couldn't get enough of it? Any way - to round off and despite some of the foregoing, this Christmas and New Year cruise was most enjoyable and memorable for us. (We are both determined to spend our money rather than allow our savings interest be taxed to contribute to the free provision of a 4/5 bed-roomed detached house in a desirable area of London for the likes of Hook Hamza and his family. So, to this end, our next cruise is already booked for April/May 2013 on board Adonia (the smallest of the seven P & O ships accommodating only 710 passengers instead of the Arcadia's 2000+). The cruise is to the central Med this time. Because it is a smaller ship it can get into the smaller ports that cannot accommodate the bigger ships like Arcadia. The cruise dates cover both our birthdays (don't ask!) and visits eight ports amongst which are Cartagena in Spain, Sarande in Albania (should be very interesting?), Kotor in Montenegro, Rijeka in Croatia, and our very favourite destination city of Venice .... for the second time.) It hardly seems worth unpacking from our last cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Arcadia,embarked Southampton 05 January; 1900 on board, mostly Brits with 400 Aussies going home on the return leg of a World Cruise. No virus on board, unlike the Vic,it stayed that way. The officers and crew took every precaution in a ... Read More
Arcadia,embarked Southampton 05 January; 1900 on board, mostly Brits with 400 Aussies going home on the return leg of a World Cruise. No virus on board, unlike the Vic,it stayed that way. The officers and crew took every precaution in a friendly and persuasive way. Bay of Biscay, into wind Force 11 going to 12, waves 12 metres high. Speed slowed, Due to the weather and possible damage to ship. Captain cancelled first stop Azores, This gave an extra sea day. Onto Barbados, where most passengers just stretched their legs. Then Aruba, crystal blue sea, spent the day on beach with the show's Headliner Dancers Needed to go to the clinic after that! Taxi to beautiful public beach for six people $30 each way. The ship's crew did a big build up on Panama Canal .Loved the experience, in at 0800 hours, out 1700 hours with commentary by Canal Historian. Fair to say no client disappointed. Then Acapulco for the day. Eight Brits took a sight see with a local guide in his people carrier, Saw the Acapulco homes of the famous ( 1940ish stars). Total cost , one third of price for the ship excursions to same places. San Francisco on 24 January and back to Heathrow, upgraded on BA. Belvedere Buffet food okay, but Trevor the Chief Executive Chef, had it laid out like school dinners with hot Brit pudding available every day even in 32C! Always dour, not many smiles in the Chefs Meridian parade. The Meridian restuarant staff were patient, kind and considerate. Headliners Show's were the best we have seen on 12 cruises. Four quizzes every day, plus " The Battle of the Sexes", men versus women at lunch time on sea days. Ladies built a tremendous lead due football being shown at same time. However, the men recovered to win by 203 to 202. This was because the final quiz had questions put forward by the Ladies to the Men and vice versa. Try being aware of the Chief Security Officer's surname and name the food and beverage computer program. Answer Crunch Time. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
Impressions of the P&O Ship Arcadia After our First Class rail journey from Durham to Southampton, we were delighted that our check-in was swift and we were soon directed to an inside Cabin C 184, which was spacious and very well ... Read More
Impressions of the P&O Ship Arcadia After our First Class rail journey from Durham to Southampton, we were delighted that our check-in was swift and we were soon directed to an inside Cabin C 184, which was spacious and very well appointed. My only criticism of the check-in and the security procedure was that the staff concerned showed little interest in the many mature and aged people. A pleasant word would have been comforting to some anxious customers. The cabin C 184 had plenty of storage facilities. However the lighting in front of the wardrobes was poor. Our cabin steward introduced himself and soon agreed to exchange the duvets on the beds for sheets and blankets. We attended the routine boat drill before dinner. Having attended many Captain's cocktail parties in the past, we decided to miss our invitation and relax before dinner on the second evening. Dining. Throughout the cruise, we ate in the Meridian Restaurant. We shared a table for eight. The standard of our meals was extremely high. The waiters were efficient and patient. We had no complaints. On one evening, my wife quietly stated to her table companion that she wished that she had chosen a different course. Our waiter overheard and pleasantly and quickly changed her meal. There was much choice at all meals, from the exotic to the simple. I heard no complaints. Sanitisation of hands was available. We used the gel on every occasion, but many diners did not. We think that there should be more insistence by P&O for this safeguard. Entertainment. We made our way to the Palladium Theatre after dinner on the first night of our cruise. There were no seats available, so we stood at the back. The singing was raucous. Even the song "I'm leaning on a lamppost at the corner of the street", a romantic song, seemed to be sung at the maximum volume. We tried other shows later, but the amplification offended us and we did not stay for very long. The classical pianist Naomi Edemariam gave us much pleasure. Her playing was of a high standard. Our grumble concerning her concerts was that they were badly timed. A 5.15pm start for First Sitting cruisers, left very little time for us to prepare for the evening meal. The cinema on the ship was abysmal, with few seats and a poor screen. We thought that the choice of films was depressing. The art lectures were very informative and I must say that the one on "Turner" was one of the best I have heard. We also attended two lectures on health by the Deputy Manager of the Spa. He was both amusing and very interesting. He has left us with much to think about after the cruise. It was somewhat annoying that the lectures were given in open areas, with passing cruisers, whose chatter could be disruptive. It would have been more satisfactory if the lectures had been given in the many closed areas of the ship. Fellow Guests. Throughout the cruise we found much friendliness among those whom we came into contact. Politeness and good conversation made for a pleasant atmosphere. We thought that the disabled passengers were heroic and, despite their difficulties, very good humoured. Ports of Call. June 4th. Our first call was to Malaga, where we were very keen to visit the Cathedral. We were not disappointed and at a cost of 4 Euros each we spent a fruitful time in The Cathedral and in the Museum. We were also able to join in a Mass service in an adjoining church. A satisfying morning excursion. June 7th. We wended our way on to Dubrovnik, via the Straits of Messina, with good views of the Italian and Sicilian coasts. One could see the snow covered Mount Etna in the distance. The Captain announced that on arrival in Dubrovnik, he had permission to enter the port for only one and a half hours, after which he would manoeuvre the ship to anchor in the bay for the rest of the day. This meant that we could go ashore by the gangway, but we had to return in a tender. This did present a problem for some elderly passengers. Dubrovnik was magnificent, with its glittering walls and pavements. One felt that one was experiencing a perfectly preserved medieval city. There was little evidence of the bombing of the city by the Serbs. We returned to the ship with a pleasant memory. We were able to attend a Mass at the Monastery of St. Francis. June 8th. The entry into Venice was spectacular, as the ship slowly sailed past the many interesting sights. At a cost of £8 each, my wife and I joined others on a large motor launch and were deposited at a landing stage very close to St. Mark's Square. We achieved our objectives, visiting St. Mark's and seeing the Titian painting in the Frari, but at great effort. The crowds in the streets were enormous and we were pleased to take the launch back to the ship. With all its wonderful sights, I do not think that this visit was too sensible. The majority on the Arcadia were mature people and those we talked to said they found the visit exhausting. June 9th. The visit to Split was a revelation. Leaving the tender, we were faced with a very modern front to the harbour. Thoughtful construction had resulted in the idea of antiquity in a modern setting. Glittering pavements combined with simple garden areas to give a most pleasant result. However it was the remains of Diocletian's Palace which gave us the greatest thrill of our holiday. There was much exciting evidence of life in Roman times. The Catholic Cathedral had been built on the site of the palace and the building seemed to merge into what was left of the original buildings. A museum adjoining the Cathedral had many fine exhibits, which demonstrated the history of the area. Our short visit made us contemplate a holiday in this city in the future. June 10th. Our visit to Corfu was very disappointing. On leaving the ship, we were faced with a continuous excess of traffic, pollution, crowds, litter and overwhelming heat. We visited a Catholic church near to the harbour and made a pilgrimage to the famous cricket ground. We returned early to the ship. We would not return. June 11th. Our voyage from Corfu to Zakinthos was short and completed overnight. A cloudless warm evening, combined with a very calm sea, plus the slow movement of the ship through the water, created a magical atmosphere on deck. We strolled on a deserted Promenade Deck after dinner. Our fellow cruisers were busy at shows or at activities within the ship. We would not have exchanged our romantic moments with anyone. Anchoring at Zakinthos, we were taken ashore by tender, where our first local attraction was the sight of a dead dog in the harbour. Moving into the town, we were face with heavy traffic, much litter, dirty streets. Visits to a Catholic church and two Orthodox churches were interesting. We were particularly impressed by a number of men who were making visits to the Orthodox churches. They sang as they moved around and kissed a number of icons in various parts of the churches. Gibraltar our last port of call, was largely unchanged from our previous visits. Alistair, in Reception, directed us to the Cathedral in Main Street, where we attended the Cathedral for the 9.0am Mass. Incidents. As regular cruisers, we were invited to an evening party aboard ship in the Viceroy Room, given by Chief Engineer Jewkes. Making our way to Deck 10, I asked a passing white-suited member of the ship's crew for directions to the party. He answered, "I'll show you". He then led us up stairs and along corridors to the party venue. As he turned to leave us, I said, "What do you do on the ship?" He answered, "I'm the Captain". He was not joking. We both laughed. As the cruise developed, my wife Mary complained of a unpleasant smell in the toilet area in our cabin. We complained to the cabin steward, who reported the matter to the Deck Supervisor. He visited the cabin and ordered the steward to use more chemicals. This made no difference and we pursued the matter, both with the Deck Supervisor and with the staff at Reception. A plumber attended and after an attempt at repair declared that the problem could not be put right quickly. I pressed for another cabin and eventually we were transferred to cabin B85, which was a mini-suite. We were pleased at the upgrade, but were disappointed that it took so long (four days) to remedy the unpleasant situation. My pressure brought an interview with Helen Skoins (Head of Passenger Oganisation), who pleasantly arranged for her deputy, Karen Wright, to transfer us to the better cabin. Strangely, our experience with the defective toilet did not spoil our holiday. On the whole our accommodation was good. The cooking on board was of a very high standard. I have often praised the food on the Queen Mary 2, but the meals on Arcadia were better. Service by staff was excellent. We enjoyed our cruise and would not hesitate to sail on Arcadia in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now ... Read More
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now included. BIG MISTAKE!! Ship was tired, maintenance work forever going on around the deck, why do we pay for a holiday to have this, should be in dock to get it done. Staff were deplorable, couldn’t care less, never saw our maid for the first 2 days after which she would shout along the corridor to her colleague at 7.30 in the morning. Had to speak to her about this several times. Freedom dining was a farce, only dined there 4 times in 16 days as the wait was at least 30-40 minutes after which the table service was even worse. First night it took 3 hours to complete our meal. Food was acceptable but totally boring. Resorted to the Belvedere “café” for the remainder of the days where the waiting staff couldn’t even be bothered to supply us with water of an evening. The food here was shocking, totally mixed up, fried cod in batter next to curry dishes so had to go elsewhere if you wanted chips. Too salty and the same old thing night after night. Couldn’t get ice cream, imagine that. Our cabin wasn’t clean either, spilled stuff on ledges was still there after the whole holiday and it wasn’t our spillage either. Toilets around the ship were mostly blocked and out of order and nothing being done about it. Norovirus broke out the last week. Thankfully never caught it due to being careful. Entertainment was boring, no guest acts, no-one we had ever heard of, they usually have someone of renown but not this time, never attended one show. The cruise itinerary was good though and we enjoyed all the ports although Fredericia was our least favourite. We only booked trips in St. Petersburg for obvious reasons (no visa needed) and they were fine although the evening river cruise was like an old ex serviceman’s outing, all old tables on an old boat, one glass of sweet plonk and the nibbles were inedible to me. The shuttle bus to town from the ship in places that were too far to walk was £4 per person each way, a total rip off and P & O homed in on this knowing there was little choice for us. I could write a book on this cruise. All in all it was like a cheap package holiday to Spain. They stress when booking that no logo clothes or words to that effect are to be worn but there were plenty about the ship and no-one ever attempted to do anything about it. Will look forward to trying a better cruise line next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and l wished to go back to Praidi Vitoria in the Azores as the last time we visited the lsland it was raining so hard we did not get the chance to appreciate it. We booked on Arcadia as she was visiting Prai di Vitoria and Ponta ... Read More
My wife and l wished to go back to Praidi Vitoria in the Azores as the last time we visited the lsland it was raining so hard we did not get the chance to appreciate it. We booked on Arcadia as she was visiting Prai di Vitoria and Ponta Delgada,sailing on 21st November 2018 which we realised was a slight gamble with the weather at that time of year. The boarding of the ship went very smoothly and it was from the City terminal,Southampton which we had never sailed from before. Our cabin was a P B grade inside and we have used this type of cabin before so no great surprises as it works for us . The one surprise we did have was that in the midships section on B deck it was the only inside cabin and opposite us was the top of the range suites. The position of the cabin meant easy walking distance to both the Crows Nest and the Belvedere buffet restaurant. As it turned out it was not a good choice as the cabin was really noisy not just motion of the ship which we expect but on one side was a locker where they stored bottles and cans etc and next to it was a door to possibly an air con room? Which rattled all the while and on the other side a stewards pantry which also seemed to have extra noise . l mentioned this to reception and they sent someone up who seemed to think it was just ship motion and of course he came in the day time not the middle of the night. They did offer to move us down to G Deck which is not where we like to be so we declined and spent the cruise with ear plugs in and very little sleep at night. So personally we would not recommend that cabin and thought it was graded too high for its position but it was our choice to stay so we cannot complain. Regarding the cruise it all went well to Lisbon then the Canary Islands but after we had visited Madeira with a welcome overnight we had the news that we would not be visiting the Azores due to really bad weather coming across the Atlantic and would now be going to Cadiz and Vigo in Spain as an alternative. Although very disappointed we think it was a wise decision by the Captain and we did seem to keep ahead of any really rough weather and whenever it was rough at all the Arcadia seemed to handle it very well with the stabilisers out. Our call to Vigo was made that bit more enjoyable as the ship stayed till 10pm so we could go ashore and see the Xmas lights , then as we left we were advised the Bad weather was catching us up so the ship put on extra speed and we arrived in Southampton on Thursday evening instead of Friday morning. We have only given a low rating as it was not quite the cruise we booked for other than the bad choice of cabin everything was more or less good. We did freedom dining and found the food good and the revamped crows nest was nice either in the day or at night. The entertainment was very poor except for the Headliners theatre company who we thought very good considering some of them where on their first tour. The Captain was very informative keeping us up to date on weather and destination and the library was well stocked with books so we could relax and enjoy the cruise Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.6
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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