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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We hadn't cruised before but the idea of the Asia cruise with a tour of the Golden Triangle really appealed to us. We weren't disappointed with any part of the holiday, we saw so many places we would probably never visit on a ... Read More
We hadn't cruised before but the idea of the Asia cruise with a tour of the Golden Triangle really appealed to us. We weren't disappointed with any part of the holiday, we saw so many places we would probably never visit on a holiday, Vietnam in particular. The Arcadia was a lovely ship, not too big, we had always dreaded being on a huge "block of flats" type ship and this was perfect. The entertainment provided was in general excellent with a couple of shows which didn't appeal to us but as the saying goes "you can't please all the people all the time" :) The the entertainment staff were lovely, friendly and multi talented, one of them even led the Spanish lessons. We opted for Freedom dining as we didn't want to be regimented by what time we were to dine and it was a wise choice as there were days we didn't get back on board till close to the first sitting and the later sitting was too late for us. The food was always outstanding and the service was good without being overbearing. Our cabin, a deluxe balcony, was great and our cabin Steward was so hardworking and helpful, even giving us tips for time ashore and where to eat and shop. Some people (long seasoned cruisers) complained about the ship saying it was due a refit but apart from some cosmetic wear and tear we thought she was in good shape. Overall this was a great trip and as we said rounded off by the week in India, we would definitely book a P&O cruise again! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good ... Read More
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good bathroom with bath and tea making facility.There was poor hanging space in the wardrobe but we managed. Meals we found a bit dull,do not go on PO expecting food to wow you,they are often very ordinary,it was sometimes dried out or overcooked in the Belvedere which is similar to a works canteen.Salads are ok and you can get tea or coffee anytime,deserts were also so,so. Evening meals we took freedom dining option which we liked as you are able to choose time to eat and not be stuck with people you may not get on with.These meals are also hit and miss,we always found soups were best part,meat was sometimes very fatty or tough,othertimes they were fine,very inconsistent. Entertainment was first class with great singers,dancers,modern and classical shows we thoroughly enjoyed.A special mention to the young people of the Headliners show team,magnificent The ports especially in the Far East were all we expected,loved Japan.Crossed the Pacific visiting Hawaii,San Francisco,San Diego and Mexico. Transversing the Panama Canal was another highlight we would not have missed. Caribbean isles of Aruba and St Martin were to follow ending at the Azores in Punta del Gardaga before home again.Disembarkation went smoothly. We did get the notorious Arcadia cough (hoped it was a myth)My husband was so bad he went to the doctor and could not leave the cabin for several days which was a pity as there were lots of hobbies and activities to join in,name it and there was something for everyone. Public areas were lovely,enjoyed the piano bar after dinner,praise to Natalie,John and the saxophonist. Swimming pools were ok,heated but the jaquzzis were a joke,never bubbly (excuse given that they were only spa baths) why then were there dials etc to make the tubs active? Drinks on board were affordable and the staff in all areas were well trained,polite and very friendly. Being such a long cruise laundry areas are small and cramped and difficult to get a wash done but we managed ok.Also very small and cramped was the Cinema with only 30 seats. We loved our time except when not well,were disappointed with the cuisine(too many curries)enjoyed activities we joined but will probably not use Arcadia again. Read Less
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: March 2016
We choose this cruise as previous passengers always spoke highly of Arcadia and the itinerary was very attractive. Unfortunately, excursions were poorly planned and organised: black tie events and smart jacket events were changed I.e. ... Read More
We choose this cruise as previous passengers always spoke highly of Arcadia and the itinerary was very attractive. Unfortunately, excursions were poorly planned and organised: black tie events and smart jacket events were changed I.e. reduced and cancelled, from the original itinerary; the only (very small) dance floor is taken over by the dance club so no where to party in the evening wearing the evening outfits bought for the cruise; liveliest bar in the evening for a drink and everything stops at 10:30 for (another) quiz; no quiet reading area as all are in bar areas where you are expected to order drinks by constant bar staff. There is more but no point as P&O not interested. Many passengers as disappointed as us and had said used to be lovely cruise ship but experiences had been changing over last couple years. Excursions were poor and none allowed for special opportunities to make most of local traditions such as cherry blossom time in Japan, church procession in the Azores port, poorly planned trips to Great Wall and Forbidden City. immigration arrangements ate into our limited port time which meant we could not explore independently as committed to poor excursion departure times. Very expensive holiday when add in 50 X daily drinks, tips, spa treatments as everything is chargeable and promoted deals are not honoured. Real shame as the staff are so lovely and 50 days together does create a working bond with them. Needless to say, husband says never again :- 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
Sail Date: February 2012
OK, first off the good news: Arcadia is a great ship, the crew is excellent, the food is really good, the spa is brilliant, knowledgeable speakers on Asian art & astronomy etc, pretty good comedians/magicians, mediocre dance groups ... Read More
OK, first off the good news: Arcadia is a great ship, the crew is excellent, the food is really good, the spa is brilliant, knowledgeable speakers on Asian art & astronomy etc, pretty good comedians/magicians, mediocre dance groups which seemed to rely on decibels only, destinations were OK but shore excursions were patchy. The major negative is that you could be on a floating nursing home what with Zimmer frames & even self propelled buggies. Furthermore the North of Watford Gap accents seemed to be predominant & started to grate, where do they get the money from? Fortunately our table of 6 included some exiles from London to Norwich & a sprightly couple, mentally at least, from QLD. The major issue was that the combination of South & North hemisphere populous getting together in Hong Kong before the voyage guaranteed a "Contagion" situation & 99% of passengers had no clue about contagious diseases even though there were anti bacterial hand solutions in evidence wherever you went on board. The problem was that most people were totally ignorant regarding methods of contagion, if only they had run that film every day ! Embarcation in HKG was reasonably painless but disembarkation was a total mess in Brisbane,an obvious example of the left not knowing what the right was doing. It meant a total crush to find baggage & ZERO organisation, whoever was responsible for this should be fired, how to ruin a vacation! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2012
Taking this cruise was a big mistake as in February both China & Japan are very cold at this time of the year, also there were 6 continuous sea days from Japan to the next port of call and warmer climate. The ship itself is beautiful, ... Read More
Taking this cruise was a big mistake as in February both China & Japan are very cold at this time of the year, also there were 6 continuous sea days from Japan to the next port of call and warmer climate. The ship itself is beautiful, including the balcony cabin, but there is little else to commend. Lots of empty bars, containing bored waiters, and a few sleeping passengers. It was nice to drink some English beers once again instead of the ozzie stuff. Most of the ports of call were a waste of time. Apart from Hong Kong & the 2 Japanese ports which were well located, the remaining ports were in the middle of nowhere and involved long ques for long bus rides to out of the way retail outlets. 3 hours each to Beijing, 1 hour each way to Shanghai. The Shanghai trip dropped us in a side street outside one retail outlet. On the return journey, we saw from the bus windows, what a beautiful city we had missed. The chargeable trips were expensive and badly organised. 10 or more coaches simultaneously at the same point of interest resulted in chaos and long ques yet again. Second sitting dining is only for insomniacs. 8.30pm dinner means first course around 9pm; so we did not frequent this very often. The food was reasonable except for the under cooked vegetables, but this is a feature of cruise dining it would seem. What you expected on your plate was not always what you got. Food in "The Belvedere" self serve restaurant was just disgusting. Same old stuff every day, mostly dubious curry. Nothing fresh, everything over stewed, green potatoes, black bananas, stale ex-frozen bread, and very surly staff. On several days we failed to have an evening meal. Those who cruise will be aware of "THE SHIPS COUGH". On this cruise was of epidemic proportions. This trip was a sector of a world cruise and many people on board had spent a fortune to go "all the way round" on the trip of a lifetime in relative luxury. Many were angry and disappointed and one can hardly blame them. P & O (uk) should be ashamed. The standards have plumbeted, the little things and courtesy's of the past have gone. The best event of our trip was disembarking in Sydney and we felt sorry for those who remained on board with another 50+ days to endure. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
As regular cruisers we chose our first P & O cruise for its exciting itinerary. Hong Kong to Dubai on a leg of the Arcadia World Cruise. The itinerary did not disappoint and there were some good features on the Arcadia, tea and ... Read More
As regular cruisers we chose our first P & O cruise for its exciting itinerary. Hong Kong to Dubai on a leg of the Arcadia World Cruise. The itinerary did not disappoint and there were some good features on the Arcadia, tea and coffee facilities in the good sized balcony cabin, which you do not get on many American Boats, good headline acts in the theatre, and our evening waiters were efficient. The problem was the standard of food which they were given to serve. The menu was filled with fancy descriptions but what was produced was reminiscent of school dinners. Universally sloppy the only thing with texture was the steaks which were as tough as old boots. A piece of salmon, one scallop and one prawn does not make for a gala night seafood grill, vegetables were either overcooked or stuck together. Breakfast in the buffet offeredplenty of 'English' fare but bacon and black puddings were swimming in grease and the one and only omelette station kept breaking down. We tried the main dining room for breakfast and found slow service and food not cooked to order, i.e. I asked for dry scrambled eggs and after a full 40 minutes got slop! To top it all the lack of finesse was astounding. We drink decaffeinated coffee and the best on offer in the main dining room was a sachet opened and poured into a cup in front of us then topped us with hot water. We tried, in some desperation, to get a decent coffee by paying for it in the coffee shop only to spot the staff putting the same sachets in to the cup, topping it up with frothy milk and charging us for a cappuccino. On complaining we were told 'everyone knows that P & O don't carry decaf coffee' There was a prevalent attitude of P & O can do no wrong or, if there was an obvious problem, 'It isn't my job'. This was particularly prevalent on the embarkation of tours, which were totally disorganised. Being a leg of the World Cruise we found that many of the passengers were very elderly and the atmosphere on board was almost depressing, with little activity in any of the evening venues other than the theatre. Musicians were playing but with next to no audience they looked board to tears, we fancied going to the disco on Abba night but were too embarrassed to dance as we were the only ones there. We felt quite sorry for these entertainers and were not surprised to meet passengers who said that they were ready for going home. We also met P & O die hards who said that Arcadia was the worst ship in the fleet. It was not all bad, but when the food is poor then the overall enjoyment of the holiday is compromised. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Wife and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary - so this was a special cruise. We selected this cruise based on the ports of call. We knew most of the passengers would be retired folks. We first cruised with P&O in the late ... Read More
Wife and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary - so this was a special cruise. We selected this cruise based on the ports of call. We knew most of the passengers would be retired folks. We first cruised with P&O in the late 1980's and upto this cruise our favorite cruise line was Princess. So for folks reading this here is a brief summary: Ports of call fantastic Cabin stewards/bar staff/restaurant staff fantastic Evening entertainment was good Cabin faultless Given we have done so many Princess cruises it is very hard not to make comparisons between Princess and P&O - during the course of this cruise wife and I developed a saying BOP (better on Princess) So here is the list Drinks - on Princess you can buy an unlimited soft drink package approx $35 per 7 day cruise - not possible on P&O. Variety of drinks much better and also cheaper on Princess. Food - Princess is miles ahead. On Arcadia the food variety was incredibly boring and unimaginative. In fact we gave up eating in the main restaurants and paid supplements to eat in the specialty restaurants (the Orchid is fantastic). Excursions - Arcadia, expensive and not imaginative with many admin errors/mistakes leading to almost arrogance. My wife and I called it the 'Excuses Desk' as opposed to Excursion Desk. Open & below deck facilities - Arcadia isn't bad - but Princess is just better. In summary I cannot stress how bad the food was - boring, boring and more boring. I've eaten better in Tesco cafeteria. I think it is very possible P&O are deeply cutting costs and it is in the food and beverage area where this is most evident. I'd rather pay more for my ticket then eat what was served up - actually I did pay more by eating in the specialty restaurants. So next cruise back to Princess... Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.6
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

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