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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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
we chose this cruise as first time cruisers and to see Etna, also to celebrate my big birthday. What a disappointment. First we were informed by P & O that we would not be stopping at Messina ( Etna ) due to remedial work that ... Read More
we chose this cruise as first time cruisers and to see Etna, also to celebrate my big birthday. What a disappointment. First we were informed by P & O that we would not be stopping at Messina ( Etna ) due to remedial work that needed doing in Malaga, Now a print out given to us on our last day a board stated that 22 divers plus equipment was coming over from USA to do the work, now that was not organised in 24 hours!! The work took longer than stated & we eventually sailed at 12:07 am four days later. During this time any information from the bridge was sparse, nothing from the Cap'tain' for 2 days. Norovirus then broke out.....just what you need on your holiday, again very little Health Education or advice from the Bridge, on one occasion the Captain could not even say the word 'symptom' Swimming pool had to be drained after what looked like faeces floating in the water. Rust on ship, and very little care taken to spruce her up. Davets on lifeboats would not retract one life boat at Dubrovnik, so more delays, also due to the long stay in Malaga we could not moor up at quay in Dubrovnik and had to use the tenders but only if you passed the step test which meant another location missed by many. Cabin adequate and bed comfy, Dining staff & waiters excellent and polite but officers rude and snobby. This cost £6.500 pounds, was it well spent? I dont think so. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted an adult only cruise in the peak summer period. This was our first P and O cruise for a few years and boy have they joined the race for the bottom. Prepare to pay for anything and everything that makes the cruise a little ... Read More
We wanted an adult only cruise in the peak summer period. This was our first P and O cruise for a few years and boy have they joined the race for the bottom. Prepare to pay for anything and everything that makes the cruise a little special. When did they start charging for room sevice?? Drinks prices on the rise to encourage the packages? Postives- Large cabin with decent size shower. White company products. Ports of call very pleasant. Shore excursions enjoyable. Tea and coffee in room. Costa coffee available. Pricing in GBP and not $ or EURO. Buffet food not too bad. Meeting shore excursion on the pier much better than sitting in a theatre. However We arrived at Southampton and the embarkation was delayed and chaotic due to a faulty gangway. No cruise staff to be seen, no water available and no chairs in the part of the building we were stuck in. The dock staff told us the equipment breaks down all the time as if this was meant to make us feel any better. Arcadia is really looking tired. Rusty and unkempt. It really needs radical work or selling on. Our balcony cabin was tatty with broken binoculars and filthy furniture. It just feels like they have given up on it. The carpets were curling up and should have been replaced. Our steward looked weary and now the tips are included did little to go the extra mile. The clientele was very old, very white and it had the ambience of the local Royal British Legion. Service was pretty dire we had the laughable 'freedom dining' which means share a table or always wait 45 minutes. Not once did a waiter introduce themselves. They just plonked the food down and rushed off to the next table. If you got a wine waiter once you were doing well. No point in having a drinks package as you would struggle to get a refill. The captain was miserable and avoided all contact with the customers. I guess that attitude works it way down the crew ladder. The smell of sewage/drains was ever present around deck three. How can they leave that situation unchecked? The casino slots were museum worthy. How tricky is it to replace the slot machines once every decade? This will be our final cruise with P & O. Princess and Celebrity give a better service even If they also have some older ships. Read Less
29 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Although I am a regular reader of reviews I have never before felt the need to write one myself. We have always taken the view that you can’t please all the people all the time and there will always be some professional complainers. We ... Read More
Although I am a regular reader of reviews I have never before felt the need to write one myself. We have always taken the view that you can’t please all the people all the time and there will always be some professional complainers. We do not fall into that category. So having cruised with P&O eight times in the last four years on all their ships I think we are capable of offering a balanced view of expectations and a benchmark for comparison purposes. Our experiences have always been favourable with no complaints, resulting in repeat bookings. Having booked this cruise some 18 months ago mainly because of the destinations it was disappointing to receive an email four days before departure advising that one of the ports of call (Messina) would be cancelled because essential repair work need to be carried out in Malaga. Not a deal breaker in itself, although we have experienced P&O cancelling ports at the last moment at least twice before, but what followed certainly tested any loyalty we feel to P&O. Somehow the essential work (to a propeller) did not prevent the ship arriving in Malaga a full 18 hours ahead of schedule, the work then ran into four days with little or no communication from the Bridge on the delay. It was obvious to all that the work had been pre planned for some time with a diving team having to be flown in from the US to complete the work. Draw your own conclusions why the work had to be done in the middle of a cruise when it was known about some considerable time before. This led to the ships Customer Services Manager issuing a letter to guests “for Insurance purposes for any potential claim” confirming that “no refunds or compensation had been given by P&O” for the changes. At best it was a clumsy and misguided attempt to deflect responsibility. Sorry P&O but my contract is with you and I am not going to make a claim on my insurance (even if I could) and incur increased premiums because of your inability to provide the contracted service. The senior management on the Bridge were conspicuous by their absence with communication poor at best, particularly during the delay in Malaga. In fairness communication did improve slightly after Malaga but we think that was because of all the complaints. We then had an outbreak of norovirus, (P&O claimed it was brought onboard at Southampton). For the record, neither we nor a number of other guests we spoke with had been asked to complete the health declaration at embarkation, (a similar situation occurred when we travelled with P&O last March). If this simple procedure had been complied with perhaps the virus outbreak would have been prevented or contained. On a positive note there did seem to be a plentiful supply of sun beds. We were not sure if this was because more had been provided or because half the guests were struck down with norovirus and the other half down at reception complaining! Throughout the 19 days there was continuous “essential” maintenance work being carried out, mainly on the lifeboats, with intolerable noise from early morning, it was like being on a building site. Lets be clear, this was not the routine maintenance that you always encounter on a cruise but full blooded heavy duty work. It got so bad guests were calling it the Maintenance Cruise. This essential work continued right up to the last sea day. One night we were sat in the Crows nest at midnight to the sound of sanding or similar accompanying the music. Of course this raises the question of how you define essential; essential for safety which raises questions, or essential to P&O and their profitability over the enjoyment of guests. Incidentally, it was quite ironic that following this “essential” lifeboat maintenance one of the tenders could not be lifted back in to position because of a ”technical problem”, necessitating a two and half hour delay in leaving Dubrovnik. You could not make it up. The ship has absolutely no wow factor, no focal point in terms of atrium and we felt it had a bit of a strange layout, consequently there was no atmosphere. Much of the ship looked tired, with warped decking particularly Deck 10 Port side which was dangerous, dirty tatty window frames in the restaurant, just to mention a couple of areas. Most public areas appeared clean on first glance, but having said that we often saw cups, glasses and ashtrays that were not cleared away from outside areas for at least 24 hours. We only saw a vacuum cleaner being used twice and had doubts that our cabin had seen one throughout the 19 days. Likewise we saw litter on a carpeted stairwell that stayed there for at least two full days. Many of the staff seemed unhappy (it was almost as if something had happened prior to departure which had upset them all), we felt there were fewer staff and certainly our steward had a huge workload. Generally the Medina restaurant appeared disorganised with long waits to be seated, further long waits to be served and then food which was mediocre in relation to our previous experiences. At times we felt it was a training ship for new recruits as the food and service differed from meal to meal. One final point, P&O have a dress code, please apply it or dispense with it. Some people were going to dinner in tatty jeans and T-shirt, not quite the dress code P&O advertise. So there you have it. A cruise we had been looking forward to for 18 months proved to be a major disappointment. Thankfully the destinations did not disappoint (not fussed on Cagliari), however the bits in between left a lot to be desired. We did meet some lovely people, (one who had booked the world cruise on the ship for 2020 and was cancelling), and without exception they all said they were bitterly disappointed with the ship and their experiences mirrored many of the aspects I have mentioned. By the way I have just read a review of the same cruise on CC congratulating the Capt and crew for their outstanding service saying what a great cruise and criticising a negative, whinging hostile group of passengers – mostly senior. Well I don’t fit into any of those categories (far from it), but there are times when you do have to call out poor service, shoddy communication and a lack of respect for guests enjoyment. I leave you to draw your own conclusions but if the majority of reviews and online comments about the cruise are negative then it says a lot. For the first time ever I have not been contacted by P&O to provide a review of the cruise. I wonder why? Would we cruise on Arcadia again? Most definitely not. Will we cruise with P&O again? Well we have two further cruises booked with them and are waiting their response to a formal complaint. We will see how they respond and then decide. If you have already booked to go on Arcadia I really hope that you have a better experience. If you are thinking on going on Arcadia my advice is to keep reading all the reviews and then make your decision based on the balance of reviews. Good luck. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as it was going to places we wanted to visit, we had not been on Arcadia before and my birthday occurred during the cruise period. First impressions were very much on the lines of this HAS been a lovely ship but is ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was going to places we wanted to visit, we had not been on Arcadia before and my birthday occurred during the cruise period. First impressions were very much on the lines of this HAS been a lovely ship but is now very tired. We had no wish to spend three and half days in Malaga and as the stay lengthened were concerned other ports may have to be cancelled. One can only presume the additional work was brought about by the company extensively running the azipod in a damaged condition. Why divers had to be flown from USA goodness only knows. As usual information from P&O was scant For most of the cruise large sections of the Promenade deck were closed to passengers while.painting was carried out. The overpowering small of paint was not pleasant albeit it did help mask the stench of sewage which pervaded the starboard side of that deck. At least three lifts were out of action for the whole cruise. Food in the Belvedere was tasteless as was custard in all restaurants. In Dubrovnik someone had the bright idea to put a trainee "driver" in charge of a tender. The vessel was packed, little air and at the port he had no idea what he was doing as a result we bobbed around and watches another tender overtake us and dock. The shops supply of yellow buckets were put to good use catching dripping water presumably from the air-conditioning. There was more but this is long enough. We certainly won't be going back on Arcadia Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary specifically to visit Messina and Venice we received an email on the 20th June 4 days before we were boarding Arcadia telling us that we would not be going to Messina now as the ship needed to have ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary specifically to visit Messina and Venice we received an email on the 20th June 4 days before we were boarding Arcadia telling us that we would not be going to Messina now as the ship needed to have technical work done and would be staying in Malaga our first port of call for longer ,we arrived in Malaga a day earlier than we were supposed to ,we arrived on Thursday and we were told we would be leaving on Saturday evening once the work had been completed but were then told Saturday afternoon that we would not be leaving until Sunday evening making us arrive a day later at all the other destinations we were visiting and the excursions that we booked were all cancelled and 2nd day in to the cruise we were told that there was an outbreak of norovirus and this got worse as the the time went on the buffet was limited due to this and we felt we were in a 2 star Hotel rather than being on a supposed to be luxury cruise that cost £6,140 a very expensive mistake the ship was old and tired looking lots of visible rust and supply’s being stored on the promenade deck work on the lifeboats was being done every day you do not go on a cruise to be surrounded by noisy works being undertaken you go to relax ,The food was tasteless especially in the meridian restaurant and we were also told that the ship would be increasing speed to make sure we reached the ports we were going to and also sailing back to Southampton so what was supposed to be leisurely days at sea turned in to a race with windy decks and a wave machine in the pool . Will not be ever going back on Arcadia again I think the ship needs to be retired .do not waste your money going on this ship Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Have previously cruised on P and O Britannia and loved it, so I chose a cruise of the Med on Arcadia, the itinerary was important.....but we were emailed 4 days prior to sailing with a changed itinerary as Arcadia was damaged and they ... Read More
Have previously cruised on P and O Britannia and loved it, so I chose a cruise of the Med on Arcadia, the itinerary was important.....but we were emailed 4 days prior to sailing with a changed itinerary as Arcadia was damaged and they would repair her in Malaga, so Messina was removed from our itinerary, so they could repair Arcadia in Malaga! So off we sailed on a faulty ship, and the repairs lasted 3 and a half days. So one can only say that P and O repaired their ship during the holidaymakers time. 3 and a half days stuck in Malaga, I could have taken a mini break for £300! Day 3 Norovirus breaks out. I am told that although a cleaning person was sent to the cabins of the sick and a questionnaire was pushed under the door, the sick were not checked over by a doctor unless a private consultation was requested at private medical prices!! Incredible.....as the virus was gifted to passengers on board. Food was dreadful, cooked by amateurs it seemed and very often inedible, oh well there was always the cheese and biscuit option. Indifferent service by tired overworked staff. Lack of communication from the Captain and medical team. Intercom systems that didn't work, so important announcements were missed. Sloppy cleaning of tables in the buffet and outside deck areas, no wonder the virus took hold. Dreadful experience and deplorable PR. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was a disater,stuck in Malaga for 3 days to carry out repairs that were known of in southampton.if booking a cruise beware,they reserve the right to change the schedule at a moment's notice.cabin staff were grumpy,we ... Read More
This cruise was a disater,stuck in Malaga for 3 days to carry out repairs that were known of in southampton.if booking a cruise beware,they reserve the right to change the schedule at a moment's notice.cabin staff were grumpy,we couldn't see out of the window it was filthy,first job on board for us was to clean the cabin,hairs in the bath and the bed from previous guests.food was at best average,ocean grill was very good as was the spa.the habit of reserving Sun beds is rife and out of control not managed..the crew were constantly working on the lifeboats with the prom deck blocked off for most of the cruise,the noise was horrendous.if this is p&o standard it falls well short.Water on board is as expensive as beer,there was an outbreak of norro virus. My tip for going on this ship pack a bottle of anti bacterial spray.I asked for some hand gel but was refused.on a positive note the entertainment was first class.but wouldn't book with them again.loyalty is all very well but value for money is sadly lacking,a tired looking ship. Read Less
SOS
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Day 4 in Malaga due to engineering problem. This appears to have been kown about for some time - is its coincidence the remedial work was undertaken on a longer length cruise? I think not. On a 20 day cruise thats a lot of time. One post ... Read More
Day 4 in Malaga due to engineering problem. This appears to have been kown about for some time - is its coincidence the remedial work was undertaken on a longer length cruise? I think not. On a 20 day cruise thats a lot of time. One post missed so far with warning of changed itinerary to come Communication bad, yesterday found a message on return from day out to advise another day in port. With modern technology this could have been achieved by group email/ SMS. ship noticeably cleaner after infection control measures were taken to avoid potential norovirus outbreak. Food awful. Limited choice and poor culinary skills. It's truly a bad day when you are likely to return from a cruise lighter than you arrives onboard. Cabin and restaurant excellent. I can only conclude this is the reason many people are so loyal to them. In the present cruising climate they need a serious shakeup if they want to continue to make happy cruise memories. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. Just before departure we were advised that we would spend 3 and a half days in Malaga to repair the ship Azipod which was damaged on a previous cruise. Why was the ship not fixed before? Every ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. Just before departure we were advised that we would spend 3 and a half days in Malaga to repair the ship Azipod which was damaged on a previous cruise. Why was the ship not fixed before? Every port of call was a disaster because we were late at every port and had to suffer more crowds of tourists than expected. Messina was cancelled as was our tour in Venice. We were not impressed. Maintenance was a continual activity on the prom deck every day and the noise of tools could be heard inside the ship, the general state of this ship was very poor and generally tired. The food in the main restaurant was no better than a one star place, tasteless, lacking imagination and rather boring. Glasses were not clean. Norovirus started on day 3 and remained for most of the cruise.Entertainment was mediocre and only 2 speakers in 19 days. Service was average and it seemed as if there had been a reduction in the numbers of staff in the bars.Cabins are in need of updating and rather beige.The ships tour presenter was extremely condescending to passengers. We paid a lot of money for what is advertised as a luxury cruise experience, we beg to differ after our experience and its debatable we would ever use P&O again. Loyalty does not seem to count for much these days. We wrote to P&O and wonder if we will ever get a reply? Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. ... Read More
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. Along with the vital and technically brilliant repair to one of her Azipod propeller seals calling for an extended stay in Malaga, there was an outbreak of Norovirus onboard (thanks clearly to passengers embarking with it and still not washing their hands throughout the cruise) along with issues with mounting a tender back onboard as well as an unfortunate Medivac situation which meant for a very early arrival in Venice… But contrary to most other passengers on-board, we would like to say we felt each situation was handled professionally and as smoothly as humanly possible. We strongly feel the crew should be commended not only for their efforts, but also for their extreme patience, with what must easily have been the most negative and hostile group of passengers (and dare I say most 'senior') we have ever experienced in my history of nearly 20 cruises, who to put simply got on the ship with a big chip on their shoulder just because one port needed to be cancelled due to the repair. They then proceeded to be devoid of any understanding that not everything will always go to plan on ship and just moaned and whinged for the rest of the holiday REALLY bringing down the atmosphere all over the ship and exhausting the crew... Anyway! Overall we had a great time! Excellent staff pretty much without exception - but I am sure part of this is if you treat them with respect you get the same in return. Our Cabin Steward 'Harish' couldn't have been more polite, efficient and friendly. Food in the main restaurant and buffet was good on the most part - although the main menus do seem to have been 'dumbed' down a little in the last year or so. Treated ourselves to the Ocean Grill and Sindhu on a couple of occasions and was impressed. Entertainment from the Headliners in the fantastic and comfortable Palladium Theatre was FIRST CLASS! Mr Tinkerton's Circus worthy of special mention - probably the best show I have ever seen on any ship! Congratulations to P&O for clearly investing heavily in this side of things. However, after seven wonderful cruises on her over the last 8 years with a further two booked including the full World Cruise in 2021, we have become very accustomed to Arcadia herself never disappointing us. Arguably the best-looking ship in the fleet with a lovely blend of features and facilities, we were admittedly shocked and saddened by her general exterior condition as well as some lack of maintenance, care and attention to some of her public spaces as well as private cabins and their balconies. We were assured this was being addressed and we look forward to seeing this on our next couple of cruises which we are very much looking forward to. But in just one last thought, perhaps in P&O's approach of marketing their cruises as a 'holiday' where it’s all about the destination instead of the journey, people’s respect for the ships is not would it should be as, if it wasn’t for the atmosphere these passengers created, it would probably have been one of top 5 cruises we have ever done. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We had been wanting to try another cruise line and this P&O visit to the Mediterranean fitted in with with this. Arriving at the Cruise terminal at the appointed time meant a swift processing and rapid boarding even if the cabins ... Read More
We had been wanting to try another cruise line and this P&O visit to the Mediterranean fitted in with with this. Arriving at the Cruise terminal at the appointed time meant a swift processing and rapid boarding even if the cabins were not ready. When we were able to access ours we found clean, the bed looked good and the bathroom was fine. The cases arrived shortly after so we were into unpacking when the call for life boat drill came. Our muster station was the Palladium theatre along with countless other. Unfortunately the place we chose had steep steps, The drill was straightforward and included putting on a life jacket. As we had opted for Freedom Dining and we had been advised to get to the upper deck of the Meridian early so we had a chance of a table for 2, we queued up half an hour early. Using this tactic we always had the same table for two and were we well looked after by James & Michael. We tried lunch once in the Meridian but this did not offer the soup and salad we like. The Belvedere was huge, daunting and difficult to find what we wanted. Thereafter we had a snack in the cabin and a coffee in the Vivo cafe. The menus are lengthy in the Meridian. It rapidly became clear that all meat varied from tough to very tough so we almost always had fish.On one occasion the fish was impenetrable and was replaced with properly cooked one which was as palatable as my wife’s. For some nights there were fancy menus designed by Marco Pierre White or a Chef’s special. We had a glass of wine one night and my red was not fit to be drunk. We used the Cafe Vivo which was good value and served Costa coffee at the right temperature. On this cruise most of the time people were out side enjoying the sun. We did notice that the two seats in the Art Gallery were invariable taken, the being the only sitting places that were free of waiters bring to sell drinks. Due to a “technical problem” so the email from P&O we would be spending an extra day in Malaga. The technical problem turned out to be fishing gear fouling a propeller and also turned out to require much more time and we actually sailed at 1205 am on the fifth day. Malaga was the one port on the itinerary that we did not want to go to. P&O (Carnival) stated that there would be no compensation for this or missing the call at Messina beyond a token gesture about Spanish taxes on drinks. A letter to this effect was delivered to our cabin with the implication that we should claim on our insurance for missing Messina. Claiming on the insurance means that the premium will rise to cover this and I do not pay for expensive policies so that Carnival can avoid facing the cost of compensating us for our loss of enjoyment. A knock on of the prolonged stay was that we had to fit in 3 formal nights in 5 days so these nights were nothing special. There was an out break of norovirus which was a brought under control speedily. However the hand sanitisation was not enforced at every restaurant and not easily seen in the bars and cafe. Indeed at one the officer (maitre d’) made no effort whatsoever to help those of us who wanted to us the sanitiser before entering a restaurant he was in charge of. The rest of the cruise was blessed with calm seas so maximum speed could be maintained and the time in the remaining ports was as planned. However it was hot with Cagliari being over 35 degrees. Disembarkation was relatively painless. We are giving P&O another chance as we were able to relax and do as we pleased. Ports: Malaga. Shuttle bus to centre or a longish walk. Interesting for a day Venice. Ordered ticket never arrived. Split: Used the free shuttle bus which was a good move as the walk looked as though it dodged ferry terminals and a bus station. Diocletian's Palace was well worth seeing and is free. Dubrovnik. Anchor port but the tenders were both frequent and easy to use and much better than a shuttle bus as we were landed on the edge of the old town. Well worth exploring but pick up a map. Cagliari. Far too hot so we did not explore it. We did find an air conditioned cafe at the top of a department store. Gibraltar. Afternoon call. Walked into town as the queues for the shuttle seemed lengthy and it only gets you so far. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this ship because we have a world cruise booked on her in January 2020 (she was the only P&O ship available for a world cruise). We wanted to test the water so to speak by booking this 3 day mini cruise where we had the same ... Read More
We chose this ship because we have a world cruise booked on her in January 2020 (she was the only P&O ship available for a world cruise). We wanted to test the water so to speak by booking this 3 day mini cruise where we had the same cabin we have booked on the world cruise. We were very pleasantly surprised, Arcadia is a lovely ship, smaller in size than we are accustomed to but we actually preferred it. It's much friendlier than larger ships where you actually talk to someone and then run in to them again on another day! The organization from embarkation through to disembarkation including a trip ashore by tender was amazing and hassle-free. The cabin (de luxe balcony) was very clean and comfortable, the entertainment was fabulous and the staff were always very polite and couldn't do enough to please. To be honest we weren't too impressed with the quality of the food in the Meridian restaurant although it was quite acceptable and I also found that the air conditioning throughout the ship was a bit severe. We were unable to turn it off in the cabin and there was no dressing gown provided, but to be fair I am a person who feels the cold very much and absolutely hates air conditioning. Nothing is ever perfect and this ship is the closest you will get I'm sure and we can't wait to sail on her again in January. Read Less
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as sailing around the fjords had been on our bucket list for some time. We booked late, all that was left was cabins with restricted views. We had a cabin on E deck, with a magnificent view of a lifeboat which of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as sailing around the fjords had been on our bucket list for some time. We booked late, all that was left was cabins with restricted views. We had a cabin on E deck, with a magnificent view of a lifeboat which of course we were expecting. The cabin was kept scrupulously clean throughout the cruise by our cabin boy, Sandum. We gave him a generous tip when we returned to Southampton, especially as tips are now at the passengers’ discretion. We were happy with the cabin on the whole but we would have liked some warning when crew members were going to be working outside our window on the lifeboats! We were allocated First Sitting in the Meridian Dining Room. Our first meal there was not a success as my husband had to return his steak which was impossible to cut through, a replacement was immediately served which was much better than the original. We later learnt that several people at that sitting were unhappy with their steaks, apparently a new supplier was at fault. I ordered sticky toffee pudding for dessert, this is the first time I have had this pudding without any sticky toffee! It was very dry and the custard was tasteless and runny. The next evening we returned for our second meal at First Sitting. This time the staff got our wine order wrong, we had ordered Sauvignon Blanc but for some reason the wine waitress turned up with Zinfandel! She returned a second time to say we had ordered Zinfandel, we again said she had got the order wrong. She then returned a 3rd time, this time with a Head Waiter who asked us again if we had ordered Zinfandel. Again we said, ‘No’ ! The next day whilst having lunch in the Belvedere Buffet a Restaurant Manager (Clive) was doing his rounds asking people if they were happy with the food. We told him of our experiences and he immediately offered us Freedom Dining on the upper floor of the Meridian Restaurant. Our dining experience upstairs was far better than First Sitting, food was hotter, service much more professional and caring and we managed to get a window table each evening. We later met up with a fellow passenger who was on our table at First Sitting, he told us he had sent back 5 meals because they were almost cold. We were surprised to see a cruise ship displaying so much rust, especially on the outside where surely first impressions are important! Also on the decks we were surrounded by rails and doors badly in need of another coat of varnish, more rust, lots of drips affecting the deck. On all our previous cruises we have remarked on how hard the crew work on maintaining all areas of the ship. We did not see this on Arcadia, during the whole length of the cruise we just saw 2 crew members repainting. On Princess and Celebrity there are crew on deck continually varnishing and painting throughout the cruise. Also the interior of the ship looks tired, carpets look dirty, handrails on stairs lack the gleam that we are used to, again, we have seen cleaners polishing stair handrails all the time on other cruise lines. The highlight of the holiday was cruising through the fjords. Spectacularly beautiful with stunning waterfalls and awesome glaciers. We spent most of our time on the top deck for this part of the cruise because of our restricted view in the cabin. We only did one ship’s excursion, to the wonderful Briksdal Glacier. This was one tour we didn’t mind paying for, the glacier is thousands of years old. The walk up to it is steep in parts but quite manageable. Like on all cruises, the price of excursions is expensive. Several of the ports had ‘hop on - hop off’ buses and shuttles, I can recommend these, so much cheaper than a ship’s tour. Interesting ports of call, especially Bergen with its historic buildings and fish market. Entertainment on board was good. Special mention must go to the on-board orchestra who were exceptionally talented. We enjoyed the violinist and the magician particularly. The ship’s company of singers/dancers worked hard to keep us entertained. We enjoyed the Queen tribute in particular. We like quizzes and managed to do at least 2 a day. We also attended the very informative lectures on the Vikings by Sandy. So generally we enjoyed the cruise which we chose for the itinerary. P and O was not our first choice of cruise company but it was the only one which had this itinerary for the preferred duration. We noted several fellow passengers were die- hard, loyal P and O customers and would not have sailed with any other cruise company. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation at mayflower terminal in Southampton was excellent and trouble free. By the time we had a quick lunch on-board, our luggage was to be found outside our cabin on Egypt deck. The cabin was exactly as we have become accustomed to ... Read More
Embarkation at mayflower terminal in Southampton was excellent and trouble free. By the time we had a quick lunch on-board, our luggage was to be found outside our cabin on Egypt deck. The cabin was exactly as we have become accustomed to on P and O ships – small, clean, and adequate for what we need. We knew in advance that the window was totally obscured by a life-boat and so it didn’t bother us. The cabin was kept spotless by Lorie who worked her socks off during the cruise bless her. The only gripe about the cabin was that although it was nice to have a bath in there, the water was never hot enough. We enquired about this and were told that the water temperature was regulated to avoid anyone being accidentally scalded. I would think that since I’m over 50 years old, I could be trusted with hot water by now! The entertainment on board was mixed to be honest. The Headliners probably were the best that we had ever seen, being really professional to say the least. Not surprising really since they’d come to the end of their contract and hence their performances were polished due to so much practice. The other entertainment was not particularly to our taste so I’d best not criticise unnecessarily as that wouldn’t be fair. We liked the cinema with its massive armchairs, but be warned, booking in advance is required. We witnessed people being asked to move when ticketholders arrived and found interlopers in their seats! Food. We opted for freedom dining for evening meal in the Meridian which worked out very well. I think it reasonable to say that of all the P and O cruises we’ve been on, the menu and quality of the food on Arcadia was probably the best we have experienced. There appeared to be a lot more choice and the presentation and temperature of the meals was praiseworthy. The Belvedere buffet (or, ‘the canteen’ as we liked to call it) offered food that we could describe as perfectly functional and adequate. Not fancy but OK. The reason we were less enamoured by the Belvedere was simply because the sheer number of people using it made it a scrum to get ones food. Also, having to search for a table was frankly a pain. This was not helped by horrible couples occupying a table for four or six who made it clear that other people were not welcome to join them, despite there being a shortage of seating. Hence, some people were seen to wonder around the buffet looking quite glum just hoping that a table would become free for them to occupy. Because of this we decided to skew our dining times so that we ate when we hoped the least amount of other guests would also be eating (for example, breakfast at 11 am, lunch at 3 pm). Crew. All excellent, polite, friendly. No issues to report at all in the bars, dining room or shops etc. The ships officers were best described as a little aloof and not too willing to engage with passengers. This was evident at the Captains reception when there were plenty of officers present, but they just looked like the event was a chore and didn’t engage with passengers – or if they did, it was perfunctory only. We saw this again at the private cocktail party we attended (for those guests of Mediterranean tier) where the officers gathered in little groups to chat among themselves and the fact that they were really supposed to be mingling and interacting with guests like ourselves who had been on P and O ships several times appeared to pass them by. Ports of call. Fabulous, especially St Petersburg - but Skagen, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Warnemunde were very good too. We walked literally miles around these cities using Google maps to guide us with no issues to report in terms of harassment by locals or anything else. Even St Petersburg in Russia was awesome with none of the potential problems such as pickpockets that one sometimes hears about. Overall, P and O did a good job and we were happy with the cruise on Arcadia. Can’t say any fairer than that! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as its an adults only ship, which is in some ways rather nice but even though I'm of a certain age its nice to mix with some younger people. Having said that most people on the cruise were very friendly. Getting ... Read More
We chose this cruise as its an adults only ship, which is in some ways rather nice but even though I'm of a certain age its nice to mix with some younger people. Having said that most people on the cruise were very friendly. Getting on the ship at Southampton was trouble free and very efficient. The ships is really nice, just the right size, the public areas and bars have been updated, are nicely decorated and comfortable, nice little areas to sit and chat or play cards, read etc. it all flowed very well into the central atrium . The restaurant is quite nice but there are far too many large tables, we were travelling with our friends so preferred a table for 4, we did share a table with other guests a few times but after a long day touring sometimes we preferred just us 4, this was a problem some nights and one of the staff who showed you to tables was very rude indeed so much so that we reported him to the manager for bad customer service. However, most of the staff were very pleasant, especially Jeff Beck, yep that's correct that's what he was called and very customer focused, he was brilliant, he told us he will be on the new Iona, so we will see him again next year as we are booked on it. The food varied from very nice to ok, served hot and if you wanted more it wasn't a problem. We tried Sindu as we had previously on the Azura and it was really good then, this time I'm sorry to say it wasn't nearly as good and not worth the extra money. The cabins (we had balcony) were pleasant, comfortable and spotless, we were cared for by Heidi, he was lovely. The beds are comfortable, plenty of storage space and the cases fitted nicely under the bed. Bathrooms were of a decent'ish size and had White Company toiletries. Entertainment:- FANTASTIC the Headliners shows were amazing, like west end shows every time, unfortunately that was the last trip that particular group were performing together, such a shame they were unbelievably professional truly amazing. Also a group called The Waves were extremely good, very versatile in all music and got everyone boogying, the singer was brilliant as was all the group. Guest appearances were also very entertaining, we had a comic singer Berni Flint was exceptional and pianist/singer (cant remember his name) was very good too, got a standing ovation!! We even had Valerie Singleton guesting, talking about her life, she was very interesting and funny. Also a Geologist giving talks about the earth, dinosaurs etc, very good. I would recommend this ship, its just the right size, very pleasant to be on and easy to get around. Looking forward to going on the new Iona, although its rather large, we tend to keep to the smaller ships but it'll be worth going on a brand new ship. All in all my summery of this trip to the Baltics was very enjoyable, we saw some great places and in general had a very good cruise. I like P&O on the whole but customer service ( only in some parts) need a bit of refreshing. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We loved our cruise of the Baltic on board the Arcadia. Having been disappointed by many aspects of life on Britannia we were a little apprehensive about another P&O ship. We didn’t need to worry Arcadia met up to all our ... Read More
We loved our cruise of the Baltic on board the Arcadia. Having been disappointed by many aspects of life on Britannia we were a little apprehensive about another P&O ship. We didn’t need to worry Arcadia met up to all our expectations. We were surprised to find out that the ship had actually been built for the Holland America Line which we love and several aspects of the ships Design were clearly echoing what we have grown to expect on Holland America. The food was very good but not outstanding. The entertainment was excellent with the Headliners the best troop we have seen on any ship. The ship was spacious with plenty of places to find a quiet spot to relax. All in all we would definitely travel on the ship again and loved the relaxed friendly atmosphere on board. The Baltic itinerary was excellent with lots of interesting ports of call . Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on ... Read More
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on Arcadia and I was very pleasantly surprised. She is a lovely mid sized ship and easy to navigate round. I was worried initially after reading some of the reviews but I can honestly say that this was the nicest ship I have sailed on with P&O. We had no problems which affected us. If I wanted to be really picky, then some of the lifts were out of use and some of the ladies toilets were also out of order, but there were plenty others around the ship to use. The food was plentiful and tastefully served in the Meridian restaurant, our waiters were very good and attentive. Arcadia has a wonderful 3 tier theatre with comfortable seating and the Headliners entertainment team were the best I have seen on any P&O ship yet. We have another cruise booked on this ship in December and can't wait. Oh and also went through the Bay of Biscay which I always dread and for the 1st time EVER, never felt any movement and didn't have to wear my sea bands. One very happy passenger! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our 2nd cruise on P&O after sailing on Britannia last year which we had immensely enjoyed. The reason we chose this cruise was because the dates suited us well, the itinerary was interesting with new ports of call like La ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on P&O after sailing on Britannia last year which we had immensely enjoyed. The reason we chose this cruise was because the dates suited us well, the itinerary was interesting with new ports of call like La Verdon and Cherbourg in France which we hadn't been to before and the price was great with free parking at Southampton and £45pp on board credit. Moreover P&O removed gratuities from May this year. We drove to Southampton from NW London which took only about 1hr 20mins. We drove straight to mayflower terminal, took the luggage off the car which was swiftly taken away by the porters, handed the keys of the car to an attendant who took the car and parked it in a secure car park. We made our way inside the terminal and were given a boarding card and asked to wait. Although our boarding time was 3pm on boarding paperwork, we were inside the terminal by 12pm. After a short wait, we were asked to go and check in and once that was complete, we boarded the ship by 12.45pm and were asked to go for lunch to the buffet. Whilst waiting for the lift, an announcement was made that cabins were ready. So we headed straight to the cabin to drop off our hand luggage. Our cabin was on deck 8 in forward part of the ship. Lovely cabin with a large balcony, good size of cabin with huge flat screen tv, lots of storage space and a bathroom with a bath rather than a shower cubicle. This was unusual as we hadn't had a balcony cabin with a bath since our cruise on Zuiderdam ( Holland & America line) back in 2003. The cabin was always kept clean by our room attendant, Ariel, who we saw daily. Couldn't fault with the cleanliness of the cabin. Luggage had arrived before we got to our cabins which was really very quick. We then proceeded for lunch to the buffet restaurant on deck 9. Lunch was simple with not many vegetarian choices however was adequate. We then explored rest of the ship which was very elegant with 2 lovely pools ( one of which had a retractable roof), lots of deck space, plenty of indoor and outdoor bars, 2 speciality restaurants (Atul Kochhar's Indian restaurant Sindhu and Marco Pierres seafood restaurant), lovely 2 tier theatre, English style pub, casino, show room for music events, screening room for films, library, spa, gym and of course the main dining rooms. Everything looked great with new carpets and decor. Seemed the ship had a makeover recently. However what the ship lacked was a grand atrium like what Britannia had. The reception was on deck one which had a seating area and shore excursion and loyalty desks nearby but no coffee bar or anything. Hence most of the indoor activities occurred on decks 2 and 3. Despite the inside of the ship being very elegant, the outside of the ship didn't seem to be very well maintained. Lots of rust marks everywhere. The ship needed to be painted through out on the outside. We rarely find this a problem on other ships as there are always crew members painting away but on this ship we never saw anyone maintaining the outside areas of the ship. However indoors was very well looked after which mattered more to us as passengers. The mandatory safety drill occurred around 5.30pm and due to location of our cabin, we had to go to theatre for our drill. It took about 20mins or so and once that was complete we put the life jackets back in our cabins and headed for the sail away party on the open bar located on the aft of the ship. Since drinks are not included in the price of your cruise fare, you had to purchase all the soft and alcoholic drinks ( except coffee and tea unless you wanted costa coffee). The drink prices were reasonable with a pint of beer costing between£4 and £4.80. Small glass of wine was around £4 and large around £6. Bottles of wine started from around £17. You could choose to have all your drinks included at a cost of £40pp per day. As this was pricy, I guess not many would have chosen that. The good thing about P&O unlike many other cruise lines is that you could bring in 1L of wine or spirit per person when you board. Hence we took advantage of that and brought 1L of gin and wine. You could only drink these in the cabins though. However despite paying for beers, wines and some cocktails, we ended up with a surprisingly small bar bill. We had chosen anytime dining so were allocated dining room on deck 3. Unfortunately there was always a wait to get seated in the dining room if you didn't want to share a table. Hence were given a buzzer and the waits were generally from 15 to 45mins on some evenings. This was the biggest disappointment for us as in most other cruise lines which offer freedom dining, this is not the case. I think P&O need to look at having more tables for 2s and 4s. However once we got our table, the service was great and the vegetarian food options were very good with a seperate vegetarian food menu on offer. Hence you didn't have to order meals in advance for following evening which was great. Loved there starters and mains and I don't think we had a single meal which we didn't like. Desserts were good too but less choice compared to some other cruise lines. However their cheese plate was excellent with different types of cheese on offer daily. Very pleased with that. Show times in main theatre were at 8.45pm and 10.30pm daily. Due to the long waiting times to get a dinner table, we rarely could make to the 8.45pm show in time and found 10.30pm show very late. However managed to see most of the production shows which were all very good. Loved their circus (featuring music from Greatest showman) and Queen (featuring music by rock group Queen) shows. We were disappointed by the guest entertainers especially a guy called Grumblewood who somehow featured in 3 shows. Not sure why P&O can't get some good show performers. The 2 girl band Harmony had good voices but Motown music is not something we really like. Again they performed in 2 shows. Surely P&O could have got some other guest performers rather than repeating shows from same artists. There were quizzes, karaoke, bingo, music performances, etc. happening in other bars and lounges of the ship every evening. So plenty to do in the ship and no chance of getting bored. Casino was not very big and only had 2 working poker machines. Films were shown daily in screening room but as it was a smaller venue, needed to get tickets in advance from library or reception. Never got a chance to go there as there was plenty of other things to do. Buffet breakfasts and lunches were disappointing especially if you are a vegetarian. Not much choice compared to buffet meals in other ships we have been on. This is where P&O needs to significantly improve. Also on sea days, it was difficult to find seating in the buffet. Seems seating is a big issue on this ship, whether it's buffet or in main dining rooms. Didn't find that being a big issue on Britannia last year. The speciality restaurant Sindhu was excellent and definitely worth £20pp. Highly recommend anyone who likes Indian food to go there for a meal. Service was good and unlike main dining room, your table was reserved and you were seated as soon as you got there. We didn't get a chance to go to Marco Pierres restaurant but menu looked good and even had a few items for vegetarians. Booking for that restaurant was £17.50pp with certain items like lobsters having a supplement. There were 2 formal black tie nights where we had to wear suits for dinner. This was compulsory in Main dining rooms, speciality restaurants and most bars and lounges. I think P&O should make this optional like most cruise lines are doing these days. Not many want to bring suits whilst on vacation. Generally we enjoy captains night but this time the timing was odd at 8pm. Hence we missed most of it and got there at the tail end as we were late in finishing dinner thanks to long wait in getting a table despite getting to dining room early. Moreover as this ship doesn't have an atrium as such, the captains speech was in the retractable pool area which doesn't give the feel of a proper captains gala event of everyone being gathered around the atrium as we had done in Britannia last year. All the ports of call were excellent and we were lucky to have no rain on any of the days. In fact in Guernsey and Santander, we had completely clear sunny days. In La Verdon and Cherbourg, it was partly cloudy but sunny and warm especially in Bordeaux where temperatures hit 26c. Both the sea days were dry too. The first sea day was very sunny and warm whilst second was bit cooler and partly cloudy. We had shore excursions booked with P&O at every port. In Guernsey (the only tender port), we did an excursion to Isle of Sark. This was the best excursion we did. Took a 45min scenic ferry ride from Guernsey to Sark. Lovely car free island. First we did a walking coastal route tour for 2 hours and then had free time. So much to see and do on this pretty island. Would love to go back there again one day. In Santander we did a trip to Bilbao and visited Guggenheim museum. Another lovely excursion however we felt we needed another couple of hours in Bilbao which is a lovely city. So will need to go back there again some day. In La Verdon, we did a trip to Bordeaux. Passed through the vineyards and chateaus on our way there. Had few hours to explore this beautiful city on our own before going to a wine museum which was excellent. In our last port of call, Cherbourg, we did an excursion to Mont St Michel which was an amazing experience. The only downside was that it was nearly 2.25 hours drive from Cherbourg each way through scenic countryside. However once we got there, we were mesmerised with the beauty and setting of this historic religious place. Spent 4 hours there (half with guide and rest free time) and time went fairly quickly before our drive back to ship. Highly recommend everyone to visit this place once in their lifetime. The week went very quickly and enjoyed every moment of it. Plenty of activities to do on sea days and hence no time to get bored. Also the great weather helped to take advantage of the outdoors. The only issue we had was there was no hot water in cabins on our side of ship due to boiler breakdown for nearly 1.5 days. I had to report it several times before it got fixed. However they offered us to have hot showers in spa if we wanted to. Other than that, we encounters no problems. The service was very good in most areas of the ship and generally most staff greeted and smiled away. However staff in buffet areas were not very friendly and lacked knowledge of food on offer eg. on one sea day they had burgers in pool area but no chips or French fries. I asked around 3 members of staff about location of chips and was sent on a goose chase around the whole buffet area but never managed to find any. Disembarkation was the best we had seen on any ship. We were asked to leave main baggage outside cabin on previous night which is a norm on most ships. On day of departure we were asked to vacate cabins by 8am after breakfast and wait in lounges. No sooner we got there, we were told we could leave ship if we wanted to (despite normal disembarkation time not scheduled till after 9am). We disembarked straight away and after collecting our luggage, proceeded to collect our car and were on the road soon after 8.30am and home before 10am. I highly recommend this cruise for anyone wanting a stress free cruise without any hassle of flights and wanting to visit interesting ports in Spain, France and Channel Islands. We are already planning one for next year. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
we chose this cruise as it was the only one going where we wanted to go, this said we should have heeded as our first trip on this ship was bad enough but, it has had a 'refit' boar ding was slow, on arriving in cabin the ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it was the only one going where we wanted to go, this said we should have heeded as our first trip on this ship was bad enough but, it has had a 'refit' boar ding was slow, on arriving in cabin the curtains, bed runner and cushions looked dirty , the bathroom had black gunk in areas around the bath, storage average. So off we go sail away party consisted of about 6 dancers around the pool singing and dancing to YMCA whoopie, going around the ship discovered the retractable roof has been out of action since December, maintainace being done was like having a lounger by a steel works. tried freedom dining such a shambles on the first night, went straight to fixed dining where service was very good, friendly after 2 days husband was ill not sure if food poisoning or the bug ended confinement for 8 days, only supposed to order from recommended recovery menu, ordered omelette which arrived with a cooked salad, complained appoligies given but no feed back hit bad weather force 8 as a consequence the bathroom was covered in black stuff which had come up through the drainage hole, where the retractable roof was open that end of the ship was a wind tunnel, freezing cold, food on the floor near pool were 2 stewards right by it chatting officer walks by says nothing, bars average, but slow entertainment rubbish my local has better, guest speakers one Sue Halderness (only fools and horses) brilliant other a criminoligst couldn't string two words together. no hot water for a day, toilet not working had to hand pump it for over a week, had coffee poured over my breakfast faulty pot, went to make appointment to get nails done had to wake up the receptionist from her sleep propped up on the computer screen, I now give up with this there is plenty more, so please if you are considering this cruise line avoid at all costs, in our case £6000 + Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for my husband to experience the Panama Canal . Don’t expect to much of anything on this ship very poor in so many areas and ways P&O have really dropped their standards. Dated cabins with dirty stained sweaty ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my husband to experience the Panama Canal . Don’t expect to much of anything on this ship very poor in so many areas and ways P&O have really dropped their standards. Dated cabins with dirty stained sweaty pillows threaded quilt covers dirty shower curtain that wasn’t changed for the duration of our 24 day cruise, unhelpful rude reception staff ( females mainly) dirty ripped chair covers on the furniture ( horizon pool ) are only a few of our many disappointments and concerns for others planning to sail on this ship. The restaurant and waiting staff were very polite helpful and friendly however freedom dining doesn’t exist as even although we booked this dining we were revived a pager for each meal. This cruise was an expensive mistake however a lesson learned. I’m really not someone who normally writes reviews however If this saves even one other person parting with £6000 plus of their hard earned money then my time and review will be worth it. Think twice before booking this ship. 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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