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1 Helpful Vote
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
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
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise as we wanted to return to Norway, see the Art Deco town of Alesund & try Arcadia. The trip was excellent. There were no queues for embarkation when we arrived (2.20) and were on the ship within 10 minutes. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to return to Norway, see the Art Deco town of Alesund & try Arcadia. The trip was excellent. There were no queues for embarkation when we arrived (2.20) and were on the ship within 10 minutes. The ship has recently been re-furbished and has an elegant feel. The three-tired theatre is particularly impressive and there are plenty of places to sit, drink and relax . Like Aurora, Arcadia has a skydome - so plenty of swimming opportunities if you don't want to use the main outside pool. The theatre company's shows were very good and we particularly liked the classical guitarist. Jacqui Scoot - a singer- had a good choice of programme - but we only went once, as the amplification was so loud it spoilt her excellent voice.Again the 2 female violinist amplification was too much and I wondered if they could play anything other than fast, loud music? However I'm sure that others will have enjoyed them.-Commentating on entertainment is probably a mine-field, as it is so much a persons individual preferences. We chose freedom dining (having done both previously) However this time it didn't seem to work as smoothly. On a couple of occasions there was a 15 minute queue before another 15 minute wait for a table ( & that wasn't waiting for a table for 2 - of which there are many more now) Staff were most apologetic and once in, the choice of menu was good, staff pleasant & attentive (they always seem to know when water/wine glasses are ready to be re-filed), we were neer rushed and vegetables were always hot - rather than luke warm (which we had on Queen Mary 2) We also tried Ocean Grill and Sindhu (2 speciality restaurants) - worth paying the cover charge. Delicious food, in lovely surroundings. As we had been on a previous cruise to Norway, we often went off the ship, exploring & doing our own thing. However would recommend the following:-(1) The Rauma Railway from Andalnes. This trip is 3 hours & goes one way on the train & the other by coach, so giving you the opportunity to stop and take photos of the magnificent scenery. We preferred this to the Flam railway. (2)The Flor & Fjaere garden (from Stavanger) A gardener's delight and you do need to go on an organised trip here if your departure time is before 6pm. See trip advisor for my detailed write up of all the ports visited. I think the only way to see the fjords really is by cruising and as we were ahead of our timing near Hellyst, the captain took us on an extra journey in the Geiranger fjord and turned the ship completely round so that passengers did not have to charge from one side of the ship to the other for photos of the various waterfalls. This was a treat, with clear blue skies, temperatures of 23 degrees and stricking scenery. Other very scenic trips include going to Mountt Dalsnibba; taking the venicular or cable car in Bergen and the Birksdal Glacier. Disembarkation was efficent & timings were kept to. Altogether and excellent holiday & we might even go again to Norway some time. Now looking forward to part of a world cruise segment next February on Aurora. Read Less
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
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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