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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
we chose this cruise as it was short and e073 cabin was available read on bigest problem with cabin,the embarkation was a shambles the trips were poorly organised went to cherbourg on Bastille day evertwhwere was closed next stop santander ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it was short and e073 cabin was available read on bigest problem with cabin,the embarkation was a shambles the trips were poorly organised went to cherbourg on Bastille day evertwhwere was closed next stop santander no courtesy bus into town very long walk bearing in mind this cruise is mainly for older folks with walking difficulties do P&O care no they dont,we all know how the British love to queue well P&O love people to do that the whole standard of thic cruise company sadly has dropped,they seem to be theonly ship that use a lorry and crain to get the disembarkation gangways fixed seems every thing is being done on the cheap,the only nice thing i can say about this cruise ai that the food was good apart from the piles of green beans, most of the staff were good but not all as we have found before,didnt like the constant smell of paint round the ship painting every day with a radiator roller and one inch brush probably why it takes so long Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This cruise was horrendous and will be our last cruise wth P&O. Our main gripe was the food. Apart from the restaurants where there was a supplement of £15 or so the food was inedible. Food on the buffet, Belvadere was always cold or ... Read More
This cruise was horrendous and will be our last cruise wth P&O. Our main gripe was the food. Apart from the restaurants where there was a supplement of £15 or so the food was inedible. Food on the buffet, Belvadere was always cold or lukewarm even the soup. It all looked unappetising unless you are a rabbit as the salad and cold meats looked fine. The Meridien restaurant served food which was either cold or the meat was so tough you couldn't cut it with a knife. I found it embarrassing to ask the waiter to take my plate away so we stopped going there. One evening we waited 45 minutes after we had ordered tomato soup. The cabin was quite noisy when the wind blew and it creeked quite a lot in the night. Our cabin steward was a saint ( Lloyd) and I wish him well on his future cruises. There was a strong smell of sewerage on quite a number of decks near the lifts and when suffering with motion sickness this did not bode well. Each evening we went to the Paladium theatre to watch the shows. Some were good mainly the acts which had been brought in. We found the dancing fairly repetitive. This was not our first cruise and does not come anywhere near Cunard, so much needs to be done to bring it back to the standard which previous travellers who had been loyal to P&O claimed it had been but we're now terribly disappointed. We met so many lovely couples and singles that it stopped us leaving the cruise midway Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Booked a year early as a medical report put this to be probably my last cruise. Period. First I received a few days in advance that one port would be eliminated due to repairs needed to be done in Malaga meaning an extra day annoyed! ... Read More
Booked a year early as a medical report put this to be probably my last cruise. Period. First I received a few days in advance that one port would be eliminated due to repairs needed to be done in Malaga meaning an extra day annoyed! Then off we go with a dicky propulsion unit needing divers etc in Malaga Malaga was fine as we knew we had an extra day but soon after arrival we were told that we had to stay another day meaning 3.6 days in Malaga ! See my extra info on divers later. So we left Malaga but the next announcement was we had norovirus which started to kill the pleasure even more. We raced at 22 knots to venice . It was just as we left Venice we met the USA divers who told a slightly different story . The Malaga stop had not had Spanish diving approval which took some time before two faults we found . The repairs needed that extra day after all but even then the divers explained they had to dive in Venice BUT these was only allowed with Italian diver plus. The divers were leaving Venice to check out the bits at split and that is where I did not see them any more. P&O never explained all this and generally were poor in information . The norovirus controls were lifted at about 2 thirds of the cruise ! So P&O will probably point at their terms of business in removing a ports for repairs and Put norovirus down to other reasons. As this was to be my last cruise I can only explain that after a multicruise life this was a different P&O and a poor show even though some items were good. As regards the Arcadia as a ship I comment it is poor with 30 seat only cinema, a dining room aft which to my 91 year old near cabin user in B2 as against my B22 Was a trek ! The spa helped my poor feet in place of a massage due to walking round Malaga on a Sunday with not much open. I,m home sad at this last cruise and leaving my view of modern P&O to be forgotten. Nothing can compensate for that last bad cruise but nothing likely to come....will tell you if! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air ... Read More
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air conditioning or extremely hot. This ship has no WOW factor at all. It would be better “dry docked” and opened as an old people’s home. The entertainment in the theatre from the ship’s cast was extremely poor. One show was entitled “music from the Blues Brothers” but when they started singing “under the boardwalk” that was our queue to leave. The cast weren’t so much as singing the songs more like screaming the songs. The guest entertainment was fine, no problems with them and very entertaining. The guest speakers were also first rate although the ship’s technicians let them all down badly on more than one occasion. Either the microphone or the visual aids weren’t working. We felt annoyed and embarrassed on behalf of the speakers. The hygiene in the restaurant in respect of hand sanitising was hit and miss. New Year’s Eve was a “Free for all” to get into the dining room and we had to ask for the sanitising gel. On average the food was good but the majority of waiters just weren’t interested. On NY Eve one of us ordered medallions of beef and that is all that was on the plate, no vegetables or potatoes, just beef! The food at breakfast was cold most of the time. Cabin steward provided excellent service. All one side of the ship, Port side, was smoking which made it very uncomfortable walking around the ship and sitting in certain areas, I.e. certain parts of the Belvedere restaurant. We are in our 60s and would not consider sailing on the Arcadia ever again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
The food in the Meridian Restaurant and the service was appalling as was the food in the Belvedere, as a result I have managed to lose 8 lb in weight not what you would expect to lose on a cruise. We did not experience the food in the ... Read More
The food in the Meridian Restaurant and the service was appalling as was the food in the Belvedere, as a result I have managed to lose 8 lb in weight not what you would expect to lose on a cruise. We did not experience the food in the specialised restaurants as this should not be necessary apart from a special occasion. It would seem that Kersh used these restaurants as the norm so should not really comment about the two main restaurants. The entertainment was a joke most evenings, the Headliners were very loud and their dance moves were the same each evening they appeared but to different music. The comedians were light relief and the Beatles tribute act was good also Garry Barlow. The shopping area resembled Primark (for those who have heard of this shop)and they were not flexible on their perfume prices. We loved the little shop which we named the 99p shop because it sold everything and the salesmen were very pleasant. Who wants to eat Christmas Day lunch at 6.45pm on Christmas Day I certainly don't and neither do I want turkey roll, 2 undercooked sprouts, hard carrots and a pastry parcel which who knows what it contained. I didn't endeavour to find out. Very, very disappointing. Oh and £75 to see the Captain on the bridge and the behind the scenes of the theatre, I don't think so. Best of luck to those cruisers who are on the Arcadia travelling round the world. We met some lovely passengers and to them I thank them so much. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first P&O Cruise and the last!! We did not pre-book any excursions prior to the cruise. When we boarded the ship we saw the woman on the Excursion Desk. She said most of the excursions were full. We asked if they were ... Read More
This was our first P&O Cruise and the last!! We did not pre-book any excursions prior to the cruise. When we boarded the ship we saw the woman on the Excursion Desk. She said most of the excursions were full. We asked if they were putting on more slots and she said they probably would be. Two days later, we ended up only booking one excursion. Obviously we had to take some of the blame but as I had cruised with Thomsons twice, there had never been a problem with them putting extra coaches on. So I assumed that P&O would be no different. The woman on the desk was really unhelpful and unfriendly. The other problem we encountered was that the toilets outside the Meridien restaurant on at least 4 nights out of 7 had no toilet paper at all in them. On reporting it to Reception, again not very helpful or approachable. We also experienced a problem with our toilet in the cabin and reported it 3 days before we disembarked. The day of disembarkation the bathroom was flooded at 5am and somebody came to look at it together with the cabin steward. We were 'accused' of putting foreign objects down the toilet, which we did not and then were told 'it's probably from the upper deck'. No apology. Also the cabin steward looking after our cabin (G51) was so rude, he walked away whilst I was trying to have a conversation with him. This is no way to treat paying passengers! Also, we had to leave our cabins by 8am (why so early??) but the thing that really has upset us that the cabin steward had already made up the bed and cleaned the bathroom with new toiletries and tea/coffee etc at 7.20am when we returned from breakfast. The new sheets had also been put into our room the night before for the next guests. Obviously they can't wait to get rid of us. I would never recommend P&O and have made a formal complaint re the cabin steward. I am now going back to Thomsosn where we had wonderful tours with exceptionally good crew. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This was the first time we have travelled with P & O and,regrettably, it will be the last. We booked this cruise because it had the itinerary at the time of year that we wanted, not because of the ship. Reading the reviews (after ... Read More
This was the first time we have travelled with P & O and,regrettably, it will be the last. We booked this cruise because it had the itinerary at the time of year that we wanted, not because of the ship. Reading the reviews (after booking!), I was unsure of the experience and, sad to say, it met my worse expectations. Carnival have different brands and the P&O experience is at the bottom. I fully agree with previous comments regarding the bland, boring quality of the food in the Belvedere - the "international" area of the buffet is a daily serving of curry with the rest of the choices being just uninspiring. Who decided to locate the bar in the cold pool area so that the wine waiters had to wear outside jackets whilst serving at table? P&O know their customers well and the whole boat couldn't be more British in terms of food and entertainment. There is a token gesture towards "enrichment" on 'at sea days' or you can play Bingo, have a pub quiz or karaoke. If you are really desperate how about attending the special lectures designed to sell you their services and products? The average age of passengers was well over 60 but you could still play cricket and tennis on the cold deck in the middle of the Baltic! Cruising is a business and Carnival seem to have thought about every way of getting money out of you. By the way you have to ask for a statement (none is provided) otherwise you receive an invoice on the morning of departure. If there's a problem, with time constraints, there may be no time to argue. I'm not suggesting that this practice is, in any way, intentional but if, nobody has much time to query any mistakes, the system could well work in the Company's favour. The ship is getting tired. The public areas have had a facelift but the staterooms are showing their age. Ours had wedges in the gaps between the balcony doors and the frame. When the ship rolls certain areas creak. No doubt if you are a first time cruiser or have simple tastes, the experience is wonderful. If you have cruised on other lines you know better. It really is a case of "you get what you pay for" and I must agree with the majority of poor reviews. Oh and the cough is still there but it seems to take about 10 days to become noticeable and the toilet mentioned in other reviews is still a problem. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
What a cheap company. Never ever again a P&O cruise. None tasting food. Cheap entertainment. Dirty ship on all public spaces. Looked like the ship was 25 years old. Terrible design on many places. Many officers, especially English, ... Read More
What a cheap company. Never ever again a P&O cruise. None tasting food. Cheap entertainment. Dirty ship on all public spaces. Looked like the ship was 25 years old. Terrible design on many places. Many officers, especially English, don't know how to behave in front of passanger. Without passangers they wouldn't had any jobs. Very disapponting with behavior like that. A world cruise on 106 days and coffe morning with the captain and they serve bisquits you can buy in tesco. Not even a baked cake. Second captain didn't even bother to show up. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Having cruised for over 25 years, several with P& O, we returned from this Christmas/New Year cruise exceedingly disappointed with the level that standards had dropped to. The hygiene levels were very poor indeed. We lost count of the ... Read More
Having cruised for over 25 years, several with P& O, we returned from this Christmas/New Year cruise exceedingly disappointed with the level that standards had dropped to. The hygiene levels were very poor indeed. We lost count of the number of times we had to ask for the tables to be wiped down in the Belvedere Restaurant (Buffet), because of food or drink spills still on the tables. Toilets were repeatedly out of order - on 1 day we visited 6 sets of toilets between promenade deck and the pool deck before we found any working. Some individual toilets never worked for the entire cruise. At other times it was wash basins or hand driers not working - the knock on effect being empty paper towel holders. Other than in the Meridian restaurant there was no effort made by staff to encourage people to use the hand gels. There were also some very strange, garbage type, smells in several places on the ship. One of the days returning from the Caribbean, the water in the Neptune Pool continued to overflow for several hours. This made this important main area impossible to use - water was swimming around the tables and chairs, normally used for eating, reading, playing cards or having a coffee. A very dangerous situation for some of the less mobile passengers. The water travelled as far as the lift areas and upto the Belvedere restaurant. The carpets took days to dry out. Why did it take so long to make the decision to empty the pool? - Bad management!!!! The entertainment listed in the Horizon seemed to be mainly seminars by spa and gym staff - very little else. This seemed to prove our opinion of the ship being very understaffed. It is no wonder so many people on the ship were ill with chest infections, including us. First time we have ever been ill on a cruise. We are in agreement with many that we spoke to on the ship, we will not be cruising with P& O again. We will be returning to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, who still care about the passengers   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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Our 15th cruise with P&O and our first on Arcadia, which means that we have now been on all ships in the P&O fleet at least once, so can make direct comparisons between them all. We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the Fjords ... Read More
Our 15th cruise with P&O and our first on Arcadia, which means that we have now been on all ships in the P&O fleet at least once, so can make direct comparisons between them all. We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the Fjords to Flaam and Olden, as our previous attempt (on Britannia) failed as P&O cancelled both ports a few months before (this has happened at least 6 times that I know of with Britannia). The itinerary certainly didn't disappoint. Both places were lovely and the cruises down the very long fjords were spectacular, especially as we had an aft corner wrap suite, which enabled us to enjoy some evening meals on the huge balcony whilst soaking in the views. Stavanger was pleasant (but we have been twice before) and Haugesund was interesting but like a ghost town - even though we were there Friday lunchtime! Although we very much liked our suite and we particularly enjoyed the Ocean Grill (Marco Pierre White restaurant), we found the main dining room (Meridian) to be the first poor one that we have experienced with P&O. The food was fine, but the layout is very poor. Tables for four were too small and a large proportion were alongside the main thoroughfare around the restaurant, so were not relaxing at all. We are used to having to take a pager for evening meals at peak times (Freedom dining) but have never had to stand around waiting for a table to become available at lunchtime before - yet we had to do this several times. I was told by a staff member that the waiters don't like this particular restaurant either and, frankly, you could tell. We are great fans of the main dining rooms elsewhere in the fleet (especially Aurora, which is superb) but not this one. P&O had just introduced new lunchtime menus on this ship, which are downright confusing. Rather than just list starters, main courses and desserts, you now have all sorts of random headings and now don't know whether what you have ordered is a starter or main course size - or whether it's hot or cold! This was catching a lot of people out, not just us. Given how poor the main dining room was, we really missed not having a Glasshouse (which we enjoy for a late lunch after a morning ashore, or when the main dining room menu doesn't appeal) or a Beach House (for when you are after something more casual). We avoid the buffet like the plague, but our adult daughters used it and said that the food areas were too small and had limited choice. We very much enjoyed the ability for suite passengers to have breakfast in Sindhu and the staff there were fantastic. It also saved us 7 further visits to the poor main dining room. We had one evening meal there and, again, the table was too small for four (tables for two were the same size). Even though curry is my absolute favourite food, I do not like Sindhu's take on it (same on all the other ships) but the three ladies all loved it (as they always do), so do not be deterred. The Headliners troupe on this cruise were all very good (that's not always the case) but none of the other entertainment appealed and, as has become the norm, daytime entertainment was dire. Embarkation was a little delayed due to a problem with the air bridge at the QE2 terminal. This still hadn't been fixed by our return, so we disembarked at City Cruise Terminal so, as well as now having travelled on all P&O ships, we have now used all Southampton cruise terminals! So, overall, it was the itinerary and the fact that we were very relieved to have booked a suite that made the cruise acceptable, but we wouldn't rush to return to Arcadia as it is now our least favourite P&O ship. By contrast, Aurora is our favourite, although the absence of an Epicurean restaurant (the one on Britannia is our favourite restauarant at sea) means that no ship is perfect. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I was on this ship in 2018 and also had been on it in 2008. Over the ten years a number of items are in need of attention. In my balcony cabin, one of the high storage bins handle came off in my hand when I opened it. A small mat placed ... Read More
I was on this ship in 2018 and also had been on it in 2008. Over the ten years a number of items are in need of attention. In my balcony cabin, one of the high storage bins handle came off in my hand when I opened it. A small mat placed adjacent to the balcony door was curled up to the extent that it posed a significant tripping hazard. On my balcony, there was significant corrosion on the gunwale, the handrail was in need of sanding and varnishing and the lock on the balcony door was significantly corroded. Ten years ago P&O said that their tipping policy was to provide envelopes to allow customers to tip anyone they wished. That changed to the American style automatic tipping added to you bill - now at £7 per person per day! I told my cabin steward on day one that I would be tipping him personally and removed the automatic tipping at reception. I was very annoyed to receive a letter near the end of the cruise, which noted that I had removed the automatic tipping and inviting me to reinstate it. What really annoyed me was that this letter was not in an envelope and was hand delivered by the steward - a serious breach of customer confidentiality in my view. The staff were all great and helpful and that made up for some of the negatives. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Getting on and off the ship first class, ship it's self was clean and tidy accept the rip in the seat in the Palladium. Cabin was clean but not dusted before or during our stay.I left my name on the stand of the TV in the dust. I ... Read More
Getting on and off the ship first class, ship it's self was clean and tidy accept the rip in the seat in the Palladium. Cabin was clean but not dusted before or during our stay.I left my name on the stand of the TV in the dust. I personalty own my own cleaning business, So wasn't happy. Entertainment great and the activities. Wasn't told there would be a formal night before we left so was very upset when there was one on board. The service in the restaurant was terrible, first we never had glasses or flowers on our table for the first 2 nights, 2 of the ladies had a bottle of white wine between them and had to ask for the bottle every time they wanted a drink, Three of us on our table of 6 didn't drink alcohol, but not once was we offered anything to drink. The food was bland tasteless and served with no grace everything was to much trouble, but the last night they fell over each other to serve us we even had soft drinks offered us. Would have helped if there was transport from the port to the centre of Amsterdam. Its was a good walk and being in our 50's, 70's and 80's we were tied to do much else. This was to be a warm up to my 60th birthday to see if I liked it to go on a longer one. Still trying to make up my mind !!|!!!!, All my friends are long term cruisers . One lady with us had only been home a week from a Caribbean cruise , she was served a bowl of soup the bowl was red hot but sadly she had to send it back as the soup was cold. Oh and to finish on a funny note.... our 82yr old member and 53yr member of the group was waiting for the lift on our last day, when it arrived there was a couple having sex on the floor of the lift. We did laugh but !!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining ... Read More
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining experience was good (Belvedere excluded). Entertainment; the Headliners Company were exceptional. Some wonderful ports of call Alotau, San Francisco, Napier, Nha Trang, Singapore. No fighting for deck chairs on Arcadia...acres of space. Service was uniformly excellent throughout. Dance hosts Brenda & Jeffrey converted many non-dancers. Superb. Quiet ship, most go to bed early...little to do after the theatre. Negatives: No meaningful second entertainment venue. Due to the above, the ship was quiet from 9.30pm (i.e. post theatre). Areas of the ship smelled foul throughout the cruise. The ship needs an overhaul not just an engine refit. Extremely dated. Too many quizzes, day and night. Cheap and cheerful? No, just cheap! If we want a quiz we go to our local. Not what we hoped for on a world tour. Dining 3/5 The Meridian Restaurant delivered a good (not great) selection of food served warm (rarely if ever hot). The levels of service were influenced by variables such as the waiting team, distance of your table from the galley, dramas in the kitchen etc. Comparable with banquet catering served at say, a wedding rather than a fine dining experience. None the less, the Meridian (main dining room) would score 4/5. The Belvedere buffet was another story. The choice, quality and presentation of food was mediocre to poor. Even by P&O's moderate standards this 'restaurant' left a lot to be desired. With the possible exception of Curry Night, this place should be avoided if possible. Score 2/5. Hence the overall dining score of 3/5. Sindhu, P&O's asian fine dining restaurant seemed to attract mixed views; rather like Marmite! We don't like Marmite so 3/5. The Ocean Grill (by day the ship's officers mess, by night Marco Pierre White's fine dining experience) was incredibly popular, with generally good to excellent reviews. Whether this popularity was due to the need to utilise the copious on-board spending money to be found on a World Cruise or, truly reflected the quality of food and service on offer might be debated. In our opinion, it is not as good as say The Epicurean Restaurant on Azura/Ventura where the extra charge is double that for The Ocean Grill. None the less, in terms of food quality, service and value for money it rates 5/5. Room Service was generally good to excellent. Of course it was somewhat limited in choice when compared to the restaurant however it was cooked to order, often hot and for the most part, delivered on time. This is probably the only way to get warmish toast on board. 4/5. Cafe Vivo, tucked away in the dark, no doubt as an afterthought of the ship's architect; was illuminated by excellent staff who brought sunshine to it's customers. Much too small. 5/5. Entertainment 3/5 It is not so long since P&O Cruise Directors proudly introduced their entertainment team of sixteen staff. On this cruise (a world cruise) the now Entertainment Manager introduced his team of six. A sign of the times? Headliners Theatre Company were excellent on this cruise as were the ship's orchestra. From memory, they presented nine different shows; although these were repeating for the third time during our 82 days on board Arcadia. Guest entertainers (the usual suspects) were flown out to join the ship and varied in standard. For example, a "comedian" who normally performs in the Havana or Manhattan night club venues on Azura/Ventura would be starring at Arcadia's theatre. No choice really since there is no alternative showroom venue such as on Oriana, Oceana, Aurora etc. The Globe, a 200 seater utility room is used for dancing (users complain that the floor is much too small with tensions often mounting between sequence and ballroom dancers as they vie for space), classical recitals, occasional musical 'jams' featuring the ships orchestra and other in-house musicians. There is music of some description in each of the bars and lounges as the same in-house musicians play musical chairs and change venue each evening. Somewhat repetitive over the nearly three months on board. The Retreat, another small, utilitarian facility is primarily used for ballroom, sequence or line dancing, either for lessons during the day, or, as an alternative to The Globe during the evening. The Retreat is much smaller than The Globe, therefore not ideal for dancing. Guest speakers were shipped out on a regular basis and once again varied in attractiveness dependent on your taste. Most notably, Eric (Knocker) Knowles, Wayne Sleep and Lord Michael Howard offered lectures on their chosen subjects and life in general. The Ocean Room is a multi-purpose facility busy delivering art, crafts and card lessons by day but idle at night. Could be better utilised as a second venue after dark. Service 5/5 The service throughout the ship was uniformly excellent, particularly the reception. Often receiving the brunt of complaints from frustrated passengers we witnessed the reception staff defuse potentially difficult circumstances. Dragana and Sandra were outstanding. Shore Excursions 4/5 Not normally fans of organised shore excursions, we found that for the more exotic ports of call to be found on a world cruise itinerary they were essential. Yes, they were painfully expensive but to our surprise, more often than not, they delivered great value for money. 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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Took this short cruise for a short break to celebrate New year away from home. The best bit about P and O cruises is the Sindu restaurant. Ate here twice in 5 nights. This was a typical cruise ship food and entertainment. Very ... Read More
Took this short cruise for a short break to celebrate New year away from home. The best bit about P and O cruises is the Sindu restaurant. Ate here twice in 5 nights. This was a typical cruise ship food and entertainment. Very disappointed in the dance hosts and venue. The male host never moved away from the cds he was playing and the lady only danced a couple of times. On other cruise ships the dance hosts are dancing all the time. A few cha cha classes were offered during the morning and that was it.They never showed us any sequence dancing and when asked they didn't know them! The dance floor up om 10th floor had no bar and took the waiter over 30 mins to bring the drinks. felt very cramped and stuck away. A shortage of chairs to sit on. Dancing in the globe theatre ..again lack of seats. A waiter was really rude when I was leaning up against the viewing area. Dance hosts useless hardley moved away from the music player. never showed any dancing . Can they dance I began to ask myself! Lack of things to do apart from quiz and a talk. Not the standard of the Oriana or Cunard. Food is typical of mass catering but plenty of choice. Cabin boy excellent and very attentive. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
most things pretty good without a wow factor. Dining in main restaurant was a very pleasant experience with good food and great service. The evening buffet sadly was not so good very limited choice and apathetic service We ... Read More
most things pretty good without a wow factor. Dining in main restaurant was a very pleasant experience with good food and great service. The evening buffet sadly was not so good very limited choice and apathetic service We were allocated eight thirty dining which was far to late for us, we tried to change this but request was refused. Entertainment was ok, very good guest speaker relating her experiences as a senior police officer. Dancing ballroom, sequence, and line dancing all available. Shows and guest artists all very good. Arcadia attracts a mainly elderly crowd so may not be the ideal choice for younger people Ship clean and well maintained with cabin stewards excellent as always. Ports of call all interesting, with Cartagena and Valencia great places to wander explore plazas and ancient buildings A must visit is to see the futuristic development in Valencia wonderful buildings in a great setting . Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
There are not many ships that cross the Atlantic twice. P&O and Cunard are regularly on this trip. Phoenix also offers this route but there you are 44 nigths on the ship. We also had to book with one of these companies. We booked the ... Read More
There are not many ships that cross the Atlantic twice. P&O and Cunard are regularly on this trip. Phoenix also offers this route but there you are 44 nigths on the ship. We also had to book with one of these companies. We booked the trip from England to USA and Canada from 9th of September 2016 to the 5th of October 2016. Arcadia allowes smoking only on the outer deks. If these deks are colsed (as they are when the winds are strong) you cannot smoke anywhere else. P&O do not have indoor smoking lounges! We would also like to warn future passengers, that they have to pay extra (12.95 - 16.00 £ p.p.) if they want to eat good food. The self service restaurant (Belvedere on deck 9) is one of the badest restaurants where we ever have been. The public rooms are not big enough for more than 2000 passengers and therefore often crowded. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Dinner first night was mediocre, had to share a table with a couple but next night they chose to sit by the entrance, perhaps because they were t-total. Next night food again was average apart from the asparagus which resembled more like ... Read More
Dinner first night was mediocre, had to share a table with a couple but next night they chose to sit by the entrance, perhaps because they were t-total. Next night food again was average apart from the asparagus which resembled more like floppy green beans delicately balanced over an egg. No way could you have done that with fresh asparagus. Following night had a potatoe on my plate that you wouldn't have fed to a pig. When asked if I enjoyed my meal, my reply drew the attention of the manager. Another problem was if you ordered your wine after the food, it wouldn't turn up until half way through your main course. We complained in the end. We were told to order our wine at lunchtime and were informed that P&O bring all their food onboard at Soton FROZEN, nothing fresh. I'm pretty sure I once upon time saw an ad with a chef buying in a local market? It's fantasy. The Food & Beverage manager wasn't interested, he said it was the same process on all their Cruises. I asked him if he had been on a P&O ferry, to which he laughed, until I suggested he should as the food was better. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my ... Read More
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my critiscisms of Arcadia, simply do not apply. For example, I have seen the Captain almost every day and exchanged pleasantries on numerous occasions. The jacuzzis are hot and, yes, the water jets work. The pool is warm..ish and therefore passengers actually swim in it!! Etc etc I have friends who concurred with my original views and who also travelled on the Aurora recently and, like me, feel that it is managed better than the Arcadia. Finally, yesterday, I was talking to some fellow passengers who commented, without prompting, that the Arcadia has issues. To my mind, the Arcadia, which was a ship originally built for the more up-market Cunard brand, should be the pride and joy of the P&O fleet but, unfortunately, it is not. Sad really as run well, they could charge a premium. What is therefore clear to me is that P&O give a great amount of freedom to the management team on each ship. This means that the brand offering can be different on each ship and better or worse, depending on your viewpoint of course. This therefore begs the question...What value the P&O branding? I have to ask, therefore, whether their marketing department is keeping tabs on the feed back and whether their reports are read by a Senior management team who take action. To my mind, when something small goes wrong, it is often symptomatic of a larger problem. In my experience of business, most customer experience enhancements cost little, or nothing, to implement. So here is my post and if anyone feels that it is factually incorrect then I hope you will let me know and I will tell you my exact experience. Arcadia is great if you… Are happy with good to very good general service Like to spend time in a well equipped modern gym with spinning bikes and treadmills etc , where most of the equipment functions correctly. Like a good size cabin with a very large and comfortable bed. Like a cabin with a half bath as well as a shower. Want your cabin to be always well cleaned and tidied and to have good quality linen. Don't mind waiting 45 minutes to an hour for room service. Like to have a cabin with a modern and large TV which connects to your own storage devices (USB) and plays almost every film and audio format available as well as photo files. Aren't too bothered by a poor quality (Fuzzy) picture on said TV when watching all of the ships channels. Like swimming in unheated swimming pools that are cold unless they have been warmed by the sun in a tropical location. Are happy to sit in a tepid jacuzzi that doesn't have jets or bubbles as they have been purposefully disconnected, for "health and safety reasons" Don't want to eat high quality or Gourmet food. Like onions, mustard, pesto and an odd assortment of other additions, being added to all and every one of their pre prepared sandwiches. Like odd food combinations. Eg pineapple slice and Edam cheese toasties, fresh prawns always in Pesto sauce or with some other weird addition , Mackerel curry?? Like eating food that can have different ingredients than described on the menu. Understand that the quality of the ingredients in the Marco Pierre White restaurant is substantially lower than you might expect in his UK restaurants. Like poor quality Sirloin or Rib-Eye steak that is pre cut and only served 1/3 inch thick. Don't mind having to ask the occasional member of staff to repeat themselves two or three times because you don't understand them. Are happy to watch a film in the wrong Aspect Ratio where James Bond is 7ft tall and his Aston Martin looks like a bus. Are tone deaf and can't tell that some of the bar singers are occasionally out of tune or are just not very good. Want to enjoy some of the best production shows you are ever likely to see on a ship. Don't mind seeing the same shows repeated on long voyages. Love watching some great guest singers perform to a very high standard. Like watching great shows in a beautiful theatre. Like a wide variety of entertaining guest speakers who make presentations on a multitude of interesting topics. Like to watch recent release films in a purpose built cinema with comfy chairs and great viewing positions and don't mind the poor quality of the picture projected onto the screen by the out of date projector. Like to learn ballroom dancing and to have the chance to practice every night with professional and entertaining dance coaches. Like to play table tennis. Like to play Bridge. Like to buy Original Art at sea. Like to spend an evening down at the local pub with a good choice of beers and music and quizzes etc. Like to gamble in a Casino. Want to be able to have your own spirits in your cabin and don't mind paying £6 a litre for the mixers. Eg Tonic or ginger ale etc . Always take your own thick cushions with you so that you can enjoy sitting on the very uncomfortable reclining beds by the indoor pool. ( they have an iron rail in an odd position that sticks into your buttock ) Understand that the crew are much too busy to respond to your complaints and have to keep a straight face when they pass on what their senior mangers tells them, even though they know it is total rubbish. Understand that there will be times when there are no cups available in the buffet or that the tea box will not always have the one tea you prefer. Understand that the buffet will not always have the one dish from the menu that you want, unless you ask for it. Want WIFI and don't mind paying a premium rate for a very slow connection. Don't think that the huge rust patches on the outside of the ship are symptomatic of the crews attitude. Don't mind not seeing the Captain around the ship very often and don't expect him to personally attend the Captains Cocktail Party or make the daily announcements. Don't mind paying the doctors fee of £60 plus, when that is the only way the pharmacy will give you a "non prescription" cream. (which they have dozens of on the shelf in the pharmacy.) Like a ship with a modern and well thought out interior. Enjoy using a hydropherapy pool with strong water jets and don't mind paying extra for the privilege of using it or that it is occasionally closed with no explanation of why. Don't mind going to occasional ports of call that have little to offer but are probably cheap to Park at. Notes: My wife and I have been cruising for over 25 years and have cruised on P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Cruise and Maritime, NCL, Costa, Cunard and Fred Olsen. We believe that almost every cruise ship and itinerary combination has a price at which it is good value providing you are happy to accept any known limitations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
we have been on cruises for the past ten years .And i have to say this cruise was not the best .The ship is great and our cabin was fine .But the food was not up to what we expeted from p and o . Our first two nights the food came to the ... Read More
we have been on cruises for the past ten years .And i have to say this cruise was not the best .The ship is great and our cabin was fine .But the food was not up to what we expeted from p and o . Our first two nights the food came to the table warm. And my wife hade to send back two main courses in the first three days .The midnight buffet looked like left overs from lunch The shows were good . We were on d deck on a outside cabin every day we went to a lifts and the same glass was there for four days .What does that say about the standards on this ship .We will not cruise with p and o again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
As loyal passengers to P&Os Aurora and Oriana we chose to try the Arcadia. First impressions were all in favour of this ship. Having a forward cabin and a gale force seven sea, the waves hitting the ship ,a loud slapping noise as ... Read More
As loyal passengers to P&Os Aurora and Oriana we chose to try the Arcadia. First impressions were all in favour of this ship. Having a forward cabin and a gale force seven sea, the waves hitting the ship ,a loud slapping noise as the ship rose and fell. The upper landings would viabrate in these conditions. As the cruise progressed cabin corridors walls were showing paper peeling in areas. Our Cabin where pictures had been removed and a very large television put in their place the wall could have done with cleaning with saddlesoap as the original clean wall showed up the rest. The balcony was very large but due to the weather and seas was not used to its fullest potential and noise from neighbours even just talking seemed loud. The main walk ways were through bars,shops, and art gallery. Some carpets were worn and in one area it was replaced, by the shops the floor had gaffa tape on raised joins. The bars had music for all tastes a lot of the time in many cases too loud.The bar staff and waiters gave excellent service The Globe had an excellent disco and DJ and during day the Sumba going on. The Crows Nest was the biggest let down the Horizon magazine advertised it to be open to late at twelve the waiters were coming round and saying the bar is closing would you like to order a drink. In addition this bar served two flat draught pints and argued that the customer was wrong, even though we saw the barrel being changed while there. The cinema was small but the seating was very comfortable and the selection of films was good The Palladium Theatre entertainment had to many solo acts which got boring after a time. The headliners first show was cancelled no reason given then when they did appear the performances made up for the rest. The Restaurants choice and quality of food and service was very good the cutlery was let down by the blunt knives I was given to understand this was going to change in two months. Classes and talks and TV options during the day was good The Arcadia cough was evident at times. Beware as on our cruise there were two motorised wheel chairs as big as golf caddies very fast and silent when coming towards you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Cruised from Southampton via Azores to Carribbean and Madeira. The Arcadia was fabulous and the staff in bars and restaurant superb,friendly and couldnt do enough for you. James,Philip and Amruta,Lenson,Sunjay. Had cabin d25 but ... Read More
Cruised from Southampton via Azores to Carribbean and Madeira. The Arcadia was fabulous and the staff in bars and restaurant superb,friendly and couldnt do enough for you. James,Philip and Amruta,Lenson,Sunjay. Had cabin d25 but there was a backdraft and it smelled of wee and pooh. Bathroom could of been bleached. The daytime activities need updating as yoga,waltzing,poetry,painting was the same day after and repetative. Need new activities for 40 -60 years old as we all dont have one foot in the grave. Activities for 70-80 year olds. Boring. The food was superb and good in all venues. However in meridian your food is plated and served where a few years ago with p n o was given a bare plate and served all veg etc. Standards have slipped or is it cutback or penny pinching. Had to ask my cabin guy for shampoo or whatever we were low on before getting the product. 15 mins to clean and hoover cabin not enough. Also pillows smelt of sweaty heads. Will take my own in future. Launderette superb and free on d deck d64. A band called sunshine were superb. Some acts as saxophonists,victor michael and beatles experience brilliant. Shows last 45 mins in evenings in palladium. Again major overhall needed. Cabins need overhall aa dated and bathroom need the smell of bleach. Captains lane and Hashmi superb and knowledgeable. Did not use fitness but spa expensive. Used room service and Erdan was superb. On time and couldnt do enough. Antigua shore trip and barbados bus superb. Redduit beach good but when you get there they torture you. Just a firm no sorts them out. Disapointed with cane garden bay as too rough to go in sea. Need to do away with lardy da was 5* the boat isnt. 3* at best. After 6pm unless u got long trousers u cannot get a drink in shorts. Good cruise but all activities need an overhall. Staff mentioned were superb. Need to be made aware of your allowances from day one in the horizon newspaper. Great getting on no probs but getting off long wait after an hour late disembarking from designated area of meridian. Never seen so many wheelchairs,crutches and benidorm buggies on a liner. Average age was 70-80. Film cocoon came to mind or floating care home. Watch the air con as you get a cough know as arcadia cough after few days. Want to cruise a better holiday and possibly do p & o again but there must be better lines and ships available. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
I have read numerous reviews of of two P&O cruise ships (Oriana & Arcadia) that I have recently sailed on in the past 6 months and my experiences have differed considerably from the negative reviews that I have read. In posting ... Read More
I have read numerous reviews of of two P&O cruise ships (Oriana & Arcadia) that I have recently sailed on in the past 6 months and my experiences have differed considerably from the negative reviews that I have read. In posting this review I want to be objective in what Arcadia as a ship offered and what the holiday experience was, relative to the positive and negative aspect of the ship. The cruise was 14 nights to the Baltic region with a 2 day stopover in St Petersburg, Russia. Embarkation. We were requested to arrive at 14:00 hours and we were 30 minutes early. We arrived by car with a pre-booked valet parking facility. On arrival our luggage was speedily collected for transfer to the ship. The embarkation procedure was efficient and we were on board with 45 minutes. We proceeded direct to our cabin, met our steward (by chance) in the corridor who escorted us to our cabin. To our surprise, all our luggage had arrived and was already in the cabin. (that was a first for us). Muster and lifeboat drill At about 3:30pm we heard via the public address (in the cabin) that we were to assemble at our designated muster station with life jackets at 4:00pm for the mandatory lifeboat drill. Our muster station was deck 2 of the Meridian restaurant. We attended as requested and all went well. It was whilst we were departing the restaurant to return to our cabin, that we experienced a bottleneck vacating the restaurant at the stairwell. On Arcadia, the stairs are considerably narrower than on Oriana or Aurora, in fact about half the width. I thought that this was a negative feature at a time when everybody would be trying to leave a muster station to climb a deck up to the lifeboats. Captains Gala Evening Captain Trevor Lane, the current Master of Arcadia is clearly a well respected Captain and a motivator of his crew. His address at the Captains Gala evening was the best I have witnessed. Not only introducing himself but getting all his senior officers up in front of the passengers…in fact I wondered who was left on the bridge driving the ship. His ship-wide broadcasts when leaving port always ended with the comment, “sit back, relax and let my wonderful crew look after you.” For the most part, wonderful they were. Dining We opted for fixed (Club) dining and requested a table of 8 second sitting. We had great companions as in previous cruises. The food in Arcadia’s Meridian dining room (lower level) was generally OK, we had two issues when it was served tepid, but that was not the norm. Service was generally efficient, the waiters were friendly and responsive to our requests. There was one occasion when my wife and I ordered a steak and it was very tough to cut and chew. We addressed the problem with the waiter who immediately offered to replace them, but as our fellow diners were completing their main course, we declined and said that the waiter should report it to his supervisor..he did and the manager spoke to us later with an apology. The menus read very well, by that, I mean they look delicious, however, what is served on the plate does not always correspond to the mental visualisation of what I just ordered. The waiters are very good, but as they no longer offer silver service, meals are plated in the galley and the main course is quite meagre portions. For example sirloin of beef consisted of 2 thin slices of beef and a single roast potato, and a few greens. One fellow diner, grouped his food to one side of the plate…big plate - small food. Fine dining it is not! Each evening meal is a five course offering...if you want it! In our group of eight, rarely did everyone order all the courses. Take all five courses and then ask why are you complaining of meagre portions? Certainly on our table, diners wanted more vegetables. Desserts were very good and well presented…for those who wanted them. When the ship was cruising (about 20knots), there was a considerable noisy vibration from the propulsion “azipod” units (propellors), unfortunately right under our dining table. It was not so bad if the ships speed reduced to about 15 knots. In all cruise ships that I have sailed on, I have found that the self service cafeteria, (Conservatory, Belvedere etc ) will divide passengers opinions. At peak times they are all busy, its usually difficult to find a seat, the menu tends to be repetitive and food under the warming lights quickly becomes dried and crusty. It is however, quick, convenient and usually means there is no dress code. It’s also usually available outside the operating hours of the main restaurants. Fellow passengers are usually my personal focus of complaint. On Arcadia it was no different to our experiences on Aurora or Oriana. Special premium dining On Arcadia there are two premium dining restaurants , the "Ocean Grill" (Pierre Marco White) and “East" (Atul Kochher). We tried both. The Ocean Grill was very good, a £15 per person supplement, my wife and I dined there during our overnight stop in St Petersburg. Several tables were occupied by the ships officers, (must be good then?). The food was delicious the service initially a little slow, but nevertheless we did not feel rushed and we were very content. The East restaurant was a different experience. All 8 diners on our normal table in the Meridian restaurant collectively agreed to try the East restaurant, this was towards the end of the cruise, we had enjoyed each others company and lets all go Asian cuisine. A table was reserved for 8:30pm the following evening. The service was slow, resulting in main courses being plated and served, then accompanying side dishes (noodles, vegetables) etc followed later, they were mostly cold, We all Complained, sent them back, wait another 10/15 minutes, side dishes arrive, main course now consumed or cold. One fellow diner offered to stand a couple of bottles of wine for us all. They were placed in ice buckets away from our table, we had to ask twice for the wine waiter to bring wine to our table and charge our glasses. (our normal wine waiter in the Meridian restaurant would automatically keep the glasses topped up…without prompting!). Finally when the meal was cleared two of the ladies asked for tea, It arrived cold, one in a badly chipped cup. This was the final straw, one member of our table called for the manager, and complained stating that the experience was not worth the £15 per head supplement. The manager (an officer by rank) disappeared for around 30 minutes before returning to state that £15 per couple (£7.50 per head) would be deducted. "OK, can we have a complaint form please?" We finally left at around 11:15pm from a table reservation of initially 8:30pm. The following day a telephone message was left in our cabin from the Catering manager, apologising for the experience. Had we all dined as individual couples, would we have experienced the same poor service? Probably not, because no one else in the restaurant that evening appeared to have a problem. Were we a difficult group? No, just 8 diners that the team serving us for some reason could not service. Entertainment Arcadia has a superb theatre, spread over three decks, with an upper and lower level, it contains a hi tech stage and lighting system that would rival the best London West End theatres. The Headliners entertainers were very professional and slick in their performances. Individual performers also entertained in the form of musicians, comedians and instrumentalists. There were no problems in getting seats to view the performances. We did not use the “Globe” lounge, which on one evening when making our way to the theatre, passing the Globe lounge, we noticed very few passengers seated and a soloist merrily singing to an empty dance floor. It was still the same when we returned an hour later. There was one guest speaker who gave several “enrichment" presentations centred around the Titanic disaster and the RNLI Lifeboat organisation (odd subject for a cruise ship!), however, he was well received and his presentations well attended. General Ship layout Arcadia is larger than Aurora or Oriana (we have sailed twice on each ship), but Arcadia's interior is a fairly bland layout, apart from the theatre there is no “wow” factor. The atrium is functional and quite boring. The Crows Nest was recently refitted and is contemporary but there is a visual design flaw with the forward facing windows. When you are seated in the forward section, there is a thick aluminium frame that corresponds with the horizon, which means you cannot see the horizon and thus the panoramic vista. There were never any problems in finding a seat to enjoy a drink or coffee in any of the lounges on the ship. There were several buckets and “hazard warning cones” positioned along a main thoroughfare on deck 3 to capture water dripping from the ceiling, this corresponded to the temporary closure of the ships cinema (The Screening Room) due to flooding. Clearly a plumbing problem, necessitating shut down of the cabin water supply from midnight to 4:00am on one night to effect repairs. Other than those minor issues, the ship was clean throughout. None of the plumbing issues caused us any inconvenience, nor did it spoil or have any impact on our vacation. Its amazing to me to read how such routine issues result in some reviewers, condemning ship, crew and cruise line, with a “we’ll never sail again” comment. Spa My wife used the Spa facilities on a couple of occasions and was complimentary about the girls and the service. I noted though, that its one place on the ship were it is easy to run up a bill quickly. However, far be it for me to complain, the Memsahib was very satisfied. Ports itinerary This was a very enjoyable cruise from the ports itinerary, the highlight for us being St Petersburg and Tallin. The cruise combined a good mix of “at sea” days and port days. The approach through the archipelago into Stockholm was a fabulous sight. It necessitated an early alarm setting, about 05:30 am, but the sun was shining, the sea flat calm as the Captain and pilot slowly manoeuvred the 83,000 tonne ship through channels very close to the myriad of islands to gain access to Stockholm port. Great photo opportunities - I took more than 200 shots. Summary. The Baltic cruise weather was largely windy with some sunny days , a few wet ones and general daytime temperatures were in the 10C (50F) to 18C (65F) range. Sea state moderate but Force 5 to 7 winds ruled out using the balcony. Arcadia is a sleek looking ship, with a full walk round promenade deck, we did not use all the facilities, such as Casino, Pub, card room, but we did enjoy our cruise. the dining is not “fine dining” but generally the food was good. The majority of our meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner was taken in the Meridian restaurant. We prefer to dine with the fixed arrangement. Apart from the incident in the East restaurant we found all the ships crew to be very friendly and efficient. This one incident would not prevent us from sailing again with P&O, (in fact we already have another cruise with P&O booked for next year on Oceana), we put it down to “one of those things”. The ships itinerary was more important to us and that was completely satisfactory. We slept soundly and experienced no problems that would spoil our holiday. We were allotted a 10:15am time slot to disembark and this was achieved 15 minutes early. We would not describe Arcadia as our favourite ship, it was OK and it was quite bland. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This cruise was a 20 day leg of a world cruise, from Hong Kong to Dubai and was our third cruise on Arcadia, sixth with P & O. The boarding process in Hong Kong was efficient and went very smoothly. One unfortunate aspect of this ... Read More
This cruise was a 20 day leg of a world cruise, from Hong Kong to Dubai and was our third cruise on Arcadia, sixth with P & O. The boarding process in Hong Kong was efficient and went very smoothly. One unfortunate aspect of this cruise was the itinerary change; we had booked this cruise because we liked the itinerary and although we had already been to most of the ports before we had not been to Muscat so were looking forward to going there, but instead of going to Muscat we went to Abu Dhabi. If we had known about the itinerary change at the time of booking we would not have booked a post cruise Dubai hotel, but we were stuck with it because we had none changeable air tickets. Acadia still went to Muscat but this was now on the next leg of the cruise after we had disembarked. P & O stated that the itinerary change was upon advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office regarding civil unrest in Egypt, so they cancelled visits to the ports of Safaga and Sokhna. Arcadia was due to visit these ports on the next leg of the world cruise, not the leg we were on, so we feel that P & O should have left the itinerary on the leg we were on unchanged!!! Internet research appeared to show that other cruise lines were still sailing to Safaga and Sokhna. Meridian Restaurant Owing to the noise level and rushed service in the Meridian restaurant we tended to have diner in the Ocean Grill. The Meridian is quiet at lunch times, but the food was not very good. Ocean Grill The Ocean is an oasis of excellent food and service, well worth paying the supplement to dine there. However it is possible that things might go downhill because an early dinner’s offer of a free bottle of wine. This has placed the excellent and very hard working maître d' and wait staff under great pressure and it is near impossible for the tiny galley to keep up with the all the orders. We hope this ill-conceived policy does not reduce the Ocean Grill's standard of service down to the rushed, bang it down service of the Meridian Restaurant. Wine Package P & O offer a wine discount package, however you cannot purchase a package in the Ocean Grill only the other restaurants or by telephoning the Wine Line. So I telephoned the Wine Line, the gentleman I spoke with informed me of the details and said they should have been a leaflet in the cabin, he confirmed that although a Wine Package could only be purchased in the main restaurants and bars it could be used in the Ocean Grill and East. As there was no leaflet in our cabin I asked if I could have one, and was told to telephone Room Service as they would deliver one to the cabin straight away. I telephoned Room Service, the lady I spoke with said that they did not have the leaflets but would get one from a bar and bring it to the cabin, it never arrived, so I went down to a bar and collected one myself. The Belvedere The food was not up to the standard of the equivalent Restaurant on Princess Cruises. Formal Nights According to the printed information we received when boarding there were going to be 5 formal nights on the 20 night cruise, however this information proved to be incorrect as P & O changed this to 4. We thought this was still too many as it was very hot. P & O might like to consider scraping formal nights and imposing a sensible dress code similar to Oceania Cruises smart casual? Shore Excursions The excursions ran fairly well, a few arrived back at the ship later than the scheduled times, I thought the coaches were a little overcrowded, although there were always enough seats, but very few spare. Immigration All immigration formalities went well with the exception of India. It appears that Indian Immigration Officers should have boarded Acadia in Malaya to process the passengers and crew during the transit between Malaya and India. However they failed to board in Malaya, and only boarded after the ship arrived in India. The passengers had to queue up the entire length of the ship and halfway back again. We were fifty minutes in the queue, ship's crew were going along the queue with cups of water and asking if anyone was feeling faint? This ridiculous immigration process meant that some of the shore excursions left an hour late. Considering the Indian Government charge a high fee in advance for visas, which are compulsory if you are going ashore or not, it was a very poor show. It is very unlikely we would ever book another cruise which included a port in India. Reception All the reception staff were welcoming and excellent at their jobs, well done the reception. Leaks At times when walking around the ship we noticed various buckets placed to catch water dripping out of the ceilings. We didn't know if the dripping water was because of plumbing leaks or air conditioning problems. One of the public area toilets was out of action for days whist the crew was trying to dry it out with a large blower unit. Laundry We used the laundry service 4 times, 3 times the laundry came back in the stated service time and once it was a day late. They charge extra for dress shirts, but they do not do a good job, very poorly ironed. Self-Service Launderette There are not enough self-service laundrettes, they are free of charge but are badly designed with only three machines in each and nowhere to sit. There were several arguments between passengers in the laundrettes, regarding taking other people's washing out of the machines. Acadia Cough We were on Acadia at Christmas, at that time a lot of passengers had what they were calling the 'Acadia Cough', in March and April the 'Acadia Cough' was still prevalent. Cabin B136 This cabin is located in a fairly quiet position Port side aft. It is located opposite a store cupboard but that was not bothersome, however just down the passageway there is crew staircase and it might be this that causes an occasional smell of cooking in the early mornings and evenings. Some of the cabin wall coverings have been patched (rather badly). The bathroom backs onto the bathroom of B134 and appeared to be better insulated for noise than the average cruise ship bathroom. The shower is over the bath, the shower attachment was rather worn and looked like it should have been replaced. One possible problem is noise from B140, the party wall between the cabins is rather poorly insulated for noise. Conclusion The ship is looking a little tired in places, but overall is not looking too bad. However I do believe that P & O are cutting corners to save a pound or two and overall things were not as good as they used to be. Read Less
30 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
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

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