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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
A family group of 6 booked 5 cabins for a quick getaway. Embarkation at Sydney was so quick due to a wonderful staff member giving us priority boarding. That is when our troubles with passengers started. A very angry man tried to accuse ... Read More
A family group of 6 booked 5 cabins for a quick getaway. Embarkation at Sydney was so quick due to a wonderful staff member giving us priority boarding. That is when our troubles with passengers started. A very angry man tried to accuse the younger ones of cutting in but thanks to lovely staff we tried to ignore them. The ship was nice but I was not impressed with such low ceilings and missed having a central atrium where it was nice to sit and relax with a great coffee. I found the rooms were a decent size but my carpets were very badly stained. We had fantastic dinner companions but I was quite upset by the stares from other passengers constantly. I know some had originally thought we were entertainers (due to the young girls having very bright coloured hair). Most meals were wonderful, my family's only wish was for crispy bacon of course being British they only served boiled bacon. I did enjoy the shows but found no real entertainment during the day, probably due to it only being the short sector. Our biggest concerns were the rudeness of the British passengers and comments that were made to the girls even though they were dressed quite appropriately. Most staff were excellent the only problems were the usual with new staff starting as the same day as us. Bar staff fantastic, reception staff need to be made more aware of Australian rules and regulations( in regards to immigration) as we kept being given different info in regards to our disembarkation in Brisbane. Coming from Brisbane myself I felt embarrassed about where we had to dock but the staff there were amazing. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We sailed on a 24 night cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong and stayed in cabin E150. The cabin was spacious and had a slightly larger balcony than other deck cabins, as we were aft of the lifeboats. Cabin steward, Mitesh, was excellent and ... Read More
We sailed on a 24 night cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong and stayed in cabin E150. The cabin was spacious and had a slightly larger balcony than other deck cabins, as we were aft of the lifeboats. Cabin steward, Mitesh, was excellent and managed to clean our room most days without us even seeing him. Overall the cruise, entertainment and food were excellent and very good value for money. Although some passengers considered the decor slightly tired we thought it was fine but understand that the ship is due a refit in May. We did have to pay for wi-fi connection, which seemed a little penny pinching for what otherwise was great value. Very much enjoyed Chris Shaw, who was fab on the saxophone and also Iris Gonzales who tried very hard to teach us Spanish! Never short of things to do and had a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
What a wonderful adventure we have been on! We originally chose this cruise for the itinerary and it didn't disappoint, however we ended up enjoying our sea days so much more than we expected. There is so much to do on board the ... Read More
What a wonderful adventure we have been on! We originally chose this cruise for the itinerary and it didn't disappoint, however we ended up enjoying our sea days so much more than we expected. There is so much to do on board the ship, but the highlight of our particular cruise were the ballroom dance lessons taught by the very talented, kind and funny teachers Jeffrey and Brenda. They were so good that by evening number two we were up and having a go in the Globe Theatre. We met some lovely people and have some very happy memories of our evenings there. The staff were friendly and helpful, there was so much choice when it came to eating and the menu, when the sea was rough the captain slowed the bost/sped it up so we travelled through the worst of it overnight. The deck parties when leaving port were grat fun. We had to leave the boat in San Francisco, but would have happily stayed on. What a fabulous way to see the world! I can't recommend it enough, I know some people have a few niggles with things, but don't let it put you off. Most people are happy and friendly and pleased to be on board and are more than willing to share their top tips for making the most of the holiday. We would love to go back someday and do another leg of the World cruise with P and O. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I have to admit that I was concerned about choosing P&O Arcadia for our cruise from San Francisco - Sydney when I saw all the poor reviews compared to the reviews on our usual cruise line, Royal Caribbean. However, the timing and ... Read More
I have to admit that I was concerned about choosing P&O Arcadia for our cruise from San Francisco - Sydney when I saw all the poor reviews compared to the reviews on our usual cruise line, Royal Caribbean. However, the timing and itinerary was right for us, so we decided to risk it and I'm so glad we did! From the beginning, we were treated wonderfully by the staff, both our cabin attendant, our waiters and every service member we came across! They were all gracious and kind. My husband has a special diet and the attention and care he received in the dining room was absolutely amazing - special advance ordering of dinner menu's, along with great advice and knowledge on the part of the head waiter in charge of that. Thank you Abel! On one evening, when we were dining in the specialty restaurant, our head waiter even popped up there to take my husband's order for the following evening! We chose early seating dinner (1830, or 6:30pm for us Americans), and met two wonderful couples to fill out our international table of 6 - from New Zealand, Britian and America. When our New Zealand couple disembarked, we had a wonderful gentlemen couple from the UK that we wished we'd had more time to come to know. They were fabulous people and great conversationalists! Although I truly enjoyed the itinerary and the ports, the sea days were also a real treat on this cruise. The ship was roomy and never felt over-full. We almost always had our choice of lovely places to sit. Drink prices in the bars were very reasonable and no gratuity added to each purchase, as they are on our usual American cruises. I enjoyed watercolor classes each morning and found many friendly passengers, willing to share their tables, introduce themselves and chat. The highlight of this cruise for us was the ballroom dancing classes! Jeffrey and Brenda were amazingly patient, kind and funny teachers who led us through 14 new dances and hosted evening dances in the Globe theater where we could practice our new skills. Out of the 14 dances we had so much fun learning, we only really retained 3 of them for the long-term. Many were "sequence dances" which were so much fun to learn and participate in on our cruise, but aren't popular in the U.S., so we won't worry too much that we can't remember them. But we'll always fondly remember our super fun, overcrowded dance classes and evening dances with all the other wonderful couples - laughing along with Jeffrey and Brenda as we stumbled into each other on the floor. The ship even had a "Tea Dance" with lovely special pastries and teas exclusively for the dance class participants. I'll always remember that lovely touch. I felt that P&O really went the extra mile to include every passenger in "the party". The dance classes and watercolor classes were free with the cruise, and really made the cruise for us, giving us a venue for activities where we could meet others and enjoy. The entertainment on the ship was top notch. The ships headliners were fabulous and had quite a few different shows. Every one of them was wonderful. I was wowed with the level of talent and always looked forward to seeing what was next. As Americans, our only disappointment was the buffet, which we found almost always underwhelming. I'm afraid much of that may have been cultural, since we normally eat large salads at lunch time and there didn't seem to be much of a salad selection. Often there would be lettuce, corn, beets, sometimes hard boiled eggs and one or two watered down salad dressings - thousand island mostly. I normally made do with a small salad and the soup of the day which was usually pretty good. Food being food, we managed. And we enjoyed the occasional afternoon tea with all the yummy scones and pastries! I had to wonder on this cruise if I was on the same ship that I read all the poor reviews on before we embarked? We loved every minute of our 24 days on Arcadia! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise after having been on the 2016 version which wasn't a full circumnavigation. This one was and it's cold in the UK in January. Some comments follow: 1. Embarkation/disembarkation was very good. (We'd ... Read More
We chose this cruise after having been on the 2016 version which wasn't a full circumnavigation. This one was and it's cold in the UK in January. Some comments follow: 1. Embarkation/disembarkation was very good. (We'd reached the top Peninsular Club tiers so it wouldn't be so good if you are below the Caribbean tier). 2. We had the same balcony cabin as last year. It was "OK". P&O regularly clean the balconies but it never makes much difference. They just range between slightly dirty and pretty mucky. The balcony chairs and tables never seemed to be clean. 3. The cabin steward was pleasant enough but there was never enough time in the day to properly clean all the cabins. I was never aware of our cabin being hoovered. When you store your suitcase under the bed there will be years of accumulated fluff on it when you need it again once your 4 months is up. 4. We had a table for two in the Meridian restaurant for our evening meals. The food was usually pretty bland but perfectly edible. (Apart from the frogs legs and rabbit that appeared on the menu a couple of times - I've no idea why P&O offer these). Overall, the food standards have slipped over the years. Oddly, the food seemed much better when we had lunch in the Meridian. 5. We ate once on the Ocean Grill, entirely thanks to a "freebee" from P&O. I thought I'd change from the usual steak option and had the Buffalo burger instead. I can't recommend it. 6. The port itinerary was generally very good. The Papua New Guinea visit was a waste of time though, but I think P&O only stop there to let the Australian Great Barrier Reef pilot off. 7. Our favourite ports were San Francisco, Sydney, Osaka, Nagasaki, Singapore and Aqaba (for Petra). Bora Bora (rained and not much there), Nha Trang (not much there) and all the UAE ones (courtesy coaches to Malls that were in the middle of nowhere) were disappointments. The worst was Colombo but that was because the courtesy coach dropped us at Mall with hardly any shops in it. Even the Arcadia crew, who were looking forward to what they called 'decent food', were more than a little disappointed. Looking at Colombo as we drove through it in the courtesy coach , there certainly looked to be much nicer places we should have been taken to. 8. We booked a limited number of Shore Excursions since we were well aware of the high P&O prices from previous cruises. Often it's possible to get to the same places P&O take you to for a tenth of the cost. Most of the excursions we did take were fine except for the Shanghai one where the rain just poured down. It didn't help that our bus was the one that didn't turn up on time. 9. We didn't visit the Palladium Theatre to be entertained during the whole cruise. I just do not like the Headliners and my past experiences of other acts has put me off going to the shows completely. (Yes, I know, other reviewers really rate the Headliners). I did watch some of the guest speakers on the in-cabin television and they were actually all very good. 10. I am proud to say that I did not go to any Sailaway party around the Aquarius Pool and I feel I'm a better person for that! (My wife went to one or two, but we never talk about it. She was probably just there because she needed a cigarette). In summary, P&O standards have slipped a bit over the years. There are various things that aren't just quite right with the cabins, the food, the entertainment and even the ship.(I forgot to mention that the bow of the Arcadia was looking pretty rusty compared to some other cruise ships we came across). All that said, I think it's still reasonable value for money and I'll probably go on another cruise with them in 2018 or 2019. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining ... Read More
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining experience was good (Belvedere excluded). Entertainment; the Headliners Company were exceptional. Some wonderful ports of call Alotau, San Francisco, Napier, Nha Trang, Singapore. No fighting for deck chairs on Arcadia...acres of space. Service was uniformly excellent throughout. Dance hosts Brenda & Jeffrey converted many non-dancers. Superb. Quiet ship, most go to bed early...little to do after the theatre. Negatives: No meaningful second entertainment venue. Due to the above, the ship was quiet from 9.30pm (i.e. post theatre). Areas of the ship smelled foul throughout the cruise. The ship needs an overhaul not just an engine refit. Extremely dated. Too many quizzes, day and night. Cheap and cheerful? No, just cheap! If we want a quiz we go to our local. Not what we hoped for on a world tour. Dining 3/5 The Meridian Restaurant delivered a good (not great) selection of food served warm (rarely if ever hot). The levels of service were influenced by variables such as the waiting team, distance of your table from the galley, dramas in the kitchen etc. Comparable with banquet catering served at say, a wedding rather than a fine dining experience. None the less, the Meridian (main dining room) would score 4/5. The Belvedere buffet was another story. The choice, quality and presentation of food was mediocre to poor. Even by P&O's moderate standards this 'restaurant' left a lot to be desired. With the possible exception of Curry Night, this place should be avoided if possible. Score 2/5. Hence the overall dining score of 3/5. Sindhu, P&O's asian fine dining restaurant seemed to attract mixed views; rather like Marmite! We don't like Marmite so 3/5. The Ocean Grill (by day the ship's officers mess, by night Marco Pierre White's fine dining experience) was incredibly popular, with generally good to excellent reviews. Whether this popularity was due to the need to utilise the copious on-board spending money to be found on a World Cruise or, truly reflected the quality of food and service on offer might be debated. In our opinion, it is not as good as say The Epicurean Restaurant on Azura/Ventura where the extra charge is double that for The Ocean Grill. None the less, in terms of food quality, service and value for money it rates 5/5. Room Service was generally good to excellent. Of course it was somewhat limited in choice when compared to the restaurant however it was cooked to order, often hot and for the most part, delivered on time. This is probably the only way to get warmish toast on board. 4/5. Cafe Vivo, tucked away in the dark, no doubt as an afterthought of the ship's architect; was illuminated by excellent staff who brought sunshine to it's customers. Much too small. 5/5. Entertainment 3/5 It is not so long since P&O Cruise Directors proudly introduced their entertainment team of sixteen staff. On this cruise (a world cruise) the now Entertainment Manager introduced his team of six. A sign of the times? Headliners Theatre Company were excellent on this cruise as were the ship's orchestra. From memory, they presented nine different shows; although these were repeating for the third time during our 82 days on board Arcadia. Guest entertainers (the usual suspects) were flown out to join the ship and varied in standard. For example, a "comedian" who normally performs in the Havana or Manhattan night club venues on Azura/Ventura would be starring at Arcadia's theatre. No choice really since there is no alternative showroom venue such as on Oriana, Oceana, Aurora etc. The Globe, a 200 seater utility room is used for dancing (users complain that the floor is much too small with tensions often mounting between sequence and ballroom dancers as they vie for space), classical recitals, occasional musical 'jams' featuring the ships orchestra and other in-house musicians. There is music of some description in each of the bars and lounges as the same in-house musicians play musical chairs and change venue each evening. Somewhat repetitive over the nearly three months on board. The Retreat, another small, utilitarian facility is primarily used for ballroom, sequence or line dancing, either for lessons during the day, or, as an alternative to The Globe during the evening. The Retreat is much smaller than The Globe, therefore not ideal for dancing. Guest speakers were shipped out on a regular basis and once again varied in attractiveness dependent on your taste. Most notably, Eric (Knocker) Knowles, Wayne Sleep and Lord Michael Howard offered lectures on their chosen subjects and life in general. The Ocean Room is a multi-purpose facility busy delivering art, crafts and card lessons by day but idle at night. Could be better utilised as a second venue after dark. Service 5/5 The service throughout the ship was uniformly excellent, particularly the reception. Often receiving the brunt of complaints from frustrated passengers we witnessed the reception staff defuse potentially difficult circumstances. Dragana and Sandra were outstanding. Shore Excursions 4/5 Not normally fans of organised shore excursions, we found that for the more exotic ports of call to be found on a world cruise itinerary they were essential. Yes, they were painfully expensive but to our surprise, more often than not, they delivered great value for money. 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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Arcadia is one of my favourite ships and I have sailed on her a few times. The fact it is adult only is lovely and makes for a more relaxing cruise. As a single lady I fine this a safe way of travelling and a way of meeting like minded ... Read More
Arcadia is one of my favourite ships and I have sailed on her a few times. The fact it is adult only is lovely and makes for a more relaxing cruise. As a single lady I fine this a safe way of travelling and a way of meeting like minded people. The only downside to travelling alone is the price P&O charge for a cabin it is often double the price! The food is good but standards have dropped over the years no silver service and no portion control in the resturant. The entertainment was exellent and a good variety . My cabin was on G deck and was lovely all but there being a few problems initially with cleanness . I worry that the staff cuts are leading to poorer service in all areas which isn't the fault of the staff! The staff rush around and no longer have time to interact with passengers and on occasions can present as rude. Arcadia was going in for a refute which was due and I look forward to seeing the improvements on my next cruise in March 2018. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
As I wanted to sail the Panama Canal, this was an ideal trip. A really lovely cruise, commencing with smooth embarkation at Southampton, as always. The ship, thankfully, was adults only (also a better class of person) and although most ... Read More
As I wanted to sail the Panama Canal, this was an ideal trip. A really lovely cruise, commencing with smooth embarkation at Southampton, as always. The ship, thankfully, was adults only (also a better class of person) and although most were doing the world cruise, a lot of passengers were doing various parts. I disembarked and flew back from San Francisco, which went extremely smoothly. I note someone has referred to the Arcadia as an 'enormous ship'. Far from it, it's a P&O mid-sized ship. If you want 'enormous', I suggest the Britannia! As a 'solo' traveller, each morning, on sea days, there is a 'solos coffee morning', which was fairly well attended. This gave us a chance to meet, have a free coffee and chat over plans and previous days etc. I do feel there could be more organised for the solo traveller though. The staff are, generally, very polite, friendly and attentive. Having said that, one of the female hosts was very rude to the passengers on one of the quiz evenings. The cabin was roomy with a lovely balcony (shame the glass was never cleaned). Plenty of wardrobe space, a good sized bathroom (shame the extractor fan hadn't seen a duster for weeks), but lacking in television programme choices (take a tip from Britannia) and the map could barely be read. I ought to add, although a solo cruiser, I always book a double cabin to ensure comfort. The food, as a freedom diner, was good in the Meridan Restaurant, although the menu did start to become monotonous and I certainly wouldn't be keen to do the world cruise with the menu choices. The buffet choices were excellent, although at times, not well replenished. Sindhu (Atol's restaurant), was excellent and I dined there twice, likewise Marco's Ocean Grill. One experience not to be missed is Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea!! The Oasis Spa is worth a visit, although it must be said, they do need to tidy up and be careful of the trailing cables (H&S?) in the hairdressing salon. The Shows weren't that professional and a lot of mistakes stood out. The talks I attended were excellent. Some of the tour organisation was not so good, especially in the US, in fact at times I'd say organised chaos. Madeira, Barbados and Curacao were lovely. If you get the chance I do recommend the 'Sunset & Champagne' evening cruise at Barbados - wonderful. Not sure about the 'champagne', but the very generous free G&Ts went down a treat!! The Panama Canal was exceptional, what an experience. A shame a few hogged the seats in the Crow's Nest Bar from crack of dawn, which didn't allow some of us to get a view or take photos. I thoroughly recommend doing the Canal, the trip, for that alone, was worth every grand spent!! The only down-side is that the Captain didn't mix, even on his Gala Evening. When met in the lifts, not even an acknowledgement. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Arcadia is looking dated. We have cruised with P&O for a few years now, but each time we do so, we spot ever more "cut-backs" in service, standards and facilities. Too few staff for the sort of personal attention P&O ... Read More
Arcadia is looking dated. We have cruised with P&O for a few years now, but each time we do so, we spot ever more "cut-backs" in service, standards and facilities. Too few staff for the sort of personal attention P&O promise - clearly an area where cut-backs have been made in recent years. Despite these cut-backs, prices have increased by considerably more than inflation would justify! Whoever designed the current cabin layout should have been sacked - weak reading lights and light switches directly where one rests one's head when sitting up in bed; a bath only big enough for a child; a TV mounted on the stained wall which clearly shows signs where something has previously been removed from the wall! A distinct lack of seating on sea days throughout the ship. Breakfast and Lunch in the Self service Restaurant were poor with a limited selection; items often ran out but took some time to be replenished. Evening entertainment was a mixed bag; one of the planned shows, we had seen twice before! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Took this short cruise for a short break to celebrate New year away from home. The best bit about P and O cruises is the Sindu restaurant. Ate here twice in 5 nights. This was a typical cruise ship food and entertainment. Very ... Read More
Took this short cruise for a short break to celebrate New year away from home. The best bit about P and O cruises is the Sindu restaurant. Ate here twice in 5 nights. This was a typical cruise ship food and entertainment. Very disappointed in the dance hosts and venue. The male host never moved away from the cds he was playing and the lady only danced a couple of times. On other cruise ships the dance hosts are dancing all the time. A few cha cha classes were offered during the morning and that was it.They never showed us any sequence dancing and when asked they didn't know them! The dance floor up om 10th floor had no bar and took the waiter over 30 mins to bring the drinks. felt very cramped and stuck away. A shortage of chairs to sit on. Dancing in the globe theatre ..again lack of seats. A waiter was really rude when I was leaning up against the viewing area. Dance hosts useless hardley moved away from the music player. never showed any dancing . Can they dance I began to ask myself! Lack of things to do apart from quiz and a talk. Not the standard of the Oriana or Cunard. Food is typical of mass catering but plenty of choice. Cabin boy excellent and very attentive. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was my first cruise with P&O. Much was as I expected. The cabin was functional (inside). Evening entertainment very good. Daytime entertainment poor. Main restaurant excellent service and food. Buffets very disappointing, very ... Read More
This was my first cruise with P&O. Much was as I expected. The cabin was functional (inside). Evening entertainment very good. Daytime entertainment poor. Main restaurant excellent service and food. Buffets very disappointing, very basic and difficult to use as it was split up into so many sections. All the staff were very good in all departments with nothing to complain about, just praise. The main disappointment for me was that we were hit with a force 10/11 gale ("Barbara") which was no fault of P&O. However, rather than seek shelter in Oslo which seemed a sensible idea to most passengers that I spoke to, we were subjected to a 36 hour 'dash' across the North Sea in full Force 10/11 gale to seek shelter off the Norfolk coast. During this period, I personally encountered an elderly lady who had fallen out of her wheel-chair with her husband desperately trying to help her back into her chair: several elderly ladies and gentlemen with various walking aids, stranded in corridors, corners, lifts etc, unable or fearful of moving due to the ships sometimes violent movements and many passengers, including my-self who decided that a starvation diet was preferable to the risk of trying to eat something which probably would not want to stay inside ! It seemed to us mere mortals that the decision by P&O to cross the North Sea in a Force 10/11 gale had more to do with the cost of mooring in Oslo against the cost of a free mooring off Norfolk, that then the comfort of the passengers. But perhaps we were all wrong. I am sure P&O had their very good reasons for giving us a ride on natures 'big dipper' !! However, overall, it was a good and interesting 'first trip' with P&O and I am sure I will do it again, but not in the North Sea, but still with P&O who offered generally a very good service, in a very good ship and excellent staff. Other than the period during the force 10/11 gale, I can find no fault with the cruise as a whole with excellent sailing conditions and regular informative information from the bridge. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. We booked a mini suite and well worth it for the extra space and little extras (spa bath, toiletries, champagne and canopies) a big balcony - constant hot water - a very comfortable ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. We booked a mini suite and well worth it for the extra space and little extras (spa bath, toiletries, champagne and canopies) a big balcony - constant hot water - a very comfortable suite. Yes probably 70% of the guests were over 70 but that didn't spoil the atmosphere. The food was superb and constant - we were glad we opted for freedom dining as you got to sit with different people each night - we made new friends. The service was 1st class everything ran like clockwork - the staff were all very polite and helpful, the Captain kept us constantly up to date as unfortunately we had to sail through Storm Barabara and yes it was rough for 24 hours but the crew made everyone feel as comfortable as possible. Sadly never got to use the spa or pool but the gym was great. All the bars had comfy seating - all waiter service. Christmas Day was lovely and an amazing dinner with lots of extras. The afternoon tea in the Meridian was superb and fine dining well wouldn't recommend the Ocean Grill nothing special compared to the Meridian BUT the Sindhu oh my goodness what a treat. The ambience, decor and well the food was outstanding, best Indian food we have ever tasted. Went on a couple of trips and enjoyed having a tour guide so you get all the history. Was lovely being able to dress up for dinner but if you didn't want to you could eat in the buffet restaurant which also served good quality food. The entertainment teams and casino staff worked hard and we had lots of fun - all in all a great time with easy embarking and disembarking Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We have spent several Christmas holidays on cruises and have loved them! However, this was our first time with P and O and we were sadly disappointed with the whole ship. The Baltic itinerary was enjoyable and we were well prepared for ... Read More
We have spent several Christmas holidays on cruises and have loved them! However, this was our first time with P and O and we were sadly disappointed with the whole ship. The Baltic itinerary was enjoyable and we were well prepared for bad weather which was surprisingly pleasant except for a serious storm which meant we could not get to Amsterdam. We didn't mind the enforced change of plan ( visited Le Havre instead - not too exciting!!) as this can happen on sea cruises. BUT - the ship was a total disappointment in so many ways. We paid extra to ensure our choice of dinner sitting but found ourselves on "Freedom" which we did not want and joined a queue of many others wishing to change their dining arrangement. We accepted a table on 1st sitting which proved FREEZING COLD - unbearably so as it was right by the back wall of the dining room. After several nights we were placed on a table with a delightful welcoming couple and at last we could dine without wearing our outdoor fleece jackets! The food offering was of very poor quality with few vegetables and strange menu options often not properly described ( 3 chocolate desserts on one night / a salad starter with no mention on the menu of the cold poached egg on the top).The Christmas dinner was a disgrace - 2 overcooked sprouts and a shrivelled sausage and stuffing garnish accompanied the turkey. The buffet restaurant was also poor and breakfast was equally disappointing. I had to ask for a banana and hunt for a natural yogurt . The only bread was off a cheap and nasty sliced loaf. I felt the ship had little festive atmosphere with little in the way of Christmas decorations in many public areas including bars. I was concerned about the staff, many of whom had a poor command of spoken English and seemed to have had little training for their roles. Our cabin steward did a very good job but some of the bar and buffet staff seemed demoralised and lacked any enthusiasm for their jobs which impacted on customer service and the general atmosphere. The evening entertainment options were OK,but the most fun we had on the entire cruise was the crew pantomime. There was no real party atmosphere and the late night dancing spot fell very flat. We have cruised with other companies but sadly. will probably not be going with P and O again unless there is a real change in attitude and evidence of an improvement in standards to match their competitors in a similar price range. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We wanted a Christmas break and saw the Baltic cruise advertised, which seemed o fit the bill perfectly having only done warm Christmas breaks before. The embarkation was slow but I would say average for a ship of this size, although ... Read More
We wanted a Christmas break and saw the Baltic cruise advertised, which seemed o fit the bill perfectly having only done warm Christmas breaks before. The embarkation was slow but I would say average for a ship of this size, although the baggage handling was excellent. When boarding the ship the Christmas atmosphere was distinctively missing, the decorations were below par, The cabins were nice although smelt of greasy hair. The ship did give out small poinsettia's and a Christmas present. The entertainment was also below par the best part was the Christmas pantomime which was hilarious. The feature acts were opera, a harpist, a singing quartet, Tom O'Conner and the ships dancers who were good. The ships band were quite good but they started their show and then stopped for an hour or so for horse racing to take place, there was no continual entertainment it was all bitty and people lost interest. The golf nets were good to spend 20 mins in as the temperature was too cold to spend any longer up on deck. We had bad weather Gale force11 and the sea's were horrendous 45-50 foot waves on 24 Dec but the ship coped well. The Captain ('Capertain Cook') was brilliant and announced that as the weather was so bad we would be running for a safe harbour off the Norfolk coast. This did pay dividends as the sea was calm and Christmas dinner was enjoyable. we did however lose the day in Amsterdam but gained an alternative stop in Le Harve. The bad things. The Buffet was not good and the restaurant could not cope with the amount of people as the main restaurant closed at 9.30 am. The main restaurant food was good but there was a limited choice at breakfast and the specialities (egg Benedict etc.) were only available 1 day a week, other cruise lines we have been on would even produce this for you in the buffet. As stated there was no real feeling of Christmas, there was a sickness bug (I heard it was the Norovirus) on the ship which at the first point was handled well, I did complain 3 time about the waiters wiping the chairs in the Buffet with the same cloth they then wiped the tables down with also on the last morning the steps they had put in place during the outbreak where completely relaxed, My partner had the sickness and diarrhoea within 24 hours of leaving the Ship. I would not recommend tis trip unless you are over 65 and like to spend your time knitting and reading. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Ship (Arcadia) was reportedly all good prior to booking our cruise, Unfortunately once on board we noticed this terrible smell on prom deck which seemed to go throughout the ship. Buckets catching leaks from what could have been waste ... Read More
Ship (Arcadia) was reportedly all good prior to booking our cruise, Unfortunately once on board we noticed this terrible smell on prom deck which seemed to go throughout the ship. Buckets catching leaks from what could have been waste pipes on nearly every floor level all through the cruise. The cabin was kept very clean by our steward at all times. Dinning was varied in the main dinning room (Meridian) where you would get great service on some tables, but then other tables would be waiting for ages to get plates in front of you. The Canteen or (Belvedere) as it was called seemed to have more empty spaces on the hot plate rather than food containers with very little choice of hot food on offer (Salad was always available with a good choice of meats and fish, not always looking very appetizing mind). The entertainment was a little lack lustre apart from the very last night when there was a very good effort put in by the entertainment team in the Rising Sun pub on board, the booked acts that we had seen varied from talks to comedians (comedian was pasted his sell by date please note) the last night on board seemed to have had the best all round entertainment with booked acts (shame it wasn't every night). Activities on deck suffered due to the weather and time of year I think (Hurricane Barbara paid us a visit too). We missed a planned port of call due to Barbara (Amsterdam) to which we was looking forward to greatly. The general opinion on board whilst speaking to other cruisers was that they were all generally very disappointed with one thing or another about the ship, cruise, service on board..................would we go on this ship again? NO! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first cruise and we loved it. The ship was lovely and the crew were so friendly The food was great. The crew made the whole Christmas wonderful. The high light for us was the entertainment Roy Locke made our holiday and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it. The ship was lovely and the crew were so friendly The food was great. The crew made the whole Christmas wonderful. The high light for us was the entertainment Roy Locke made our holiday and we will try to book a cruise when he is appearing. Michelle Perrett the harpist was super too We could go on and on but why not just say EXCELLENT and really mean it Only one slight blip. My brothers excursion to Rosenberg Castle arrived only to find the castle shut 10am to 2pm. Shouldnt the guide have known this? Our excursions were fabulous with lots of information We experienced Storm Barbara and we were given plenty of information and put at our ease throughout the experience If my husband & I had plenty of money we would have refused to leave the ship!!!!. We understood that Arcadia was going on to a World Cruise. Some people are so lucky. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
A great first cruise on a wonderful ship with amazing staff and crew. The food was excellent with outstanding choice and quality. We could not find a single fault except, perhaps, the weather, But if you go on a cruise in the north sea at ... Read More
A great first cruise on a wonderful ship with amazing staff and crew. The food was excellent with outstanding choice and quality. We could not find a single fault except, perhaps, the weather, But if you go on a cruise in the north sea at this time of year and don't expect some rough seas then you a crazy. We sailed through a force 10 gale with great ease and the captain found us a nice calm anchorage for Christmas day. Due to the storm we were unable to get to Amsterdam so an extra port of call was added, Le Herve turned out to be a nice replacement. One thing that did annoy us a little was...Other passengers moaning about anything they could think of, I'm sure P&O would love to hear about your little problems but we're having a great time and DID'NT want to hear them. (Who the hell decides to take a shower in the middle of a force 10 gale, slips and them blames the captain!!!) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Our first cruise on Arcadia was somewhat disappointing, what with a Norovirus outbreak on board, drainage problems (buckets collecting leaks) and a very disappointing entertainment programme. The food (1st sitting in the Meridian) was ... Read More
Our first cruise on Arcadia was somewhat disappointing, what with a Norovirus outbreak on board, drainage problems (buckets collecting leaks) and a very disappointing entertainment programme. The food (1st sitting in the Meridian) was excellent, as was the service and wine waiting in there. - thanks Crispino and Clyde !! We tried the buffet for lunch a couple of times but found it manic, with insufficient tables and long queues for lukewarm food. We've had nicer cabins (looking a bit old, limited space, no interactive tv and a bathroom floor drain which erupted black sediment one evening) but you get a loaded fridge (water at £1-50p for a small bottle and £1-95 for a can of lemonade), a kettle and a hairdryer. For some unexplained reason, they took the laundries out of commission for the last three days of the cruise, so you couldn't use the washers/dryers/ironing facilities. Wi-fi cost £12-50p for 24 hours and the cabin signal was terrible, so you're better off going to the ships library and using the monitors there. The top billing went to Tom O'Connor, now 77 years old, and prone to mumbling into the microphone, so we struggled to get some of his material. There was an average tenor singer, plus two talented piano players who share one keyboard, and we enjoyed them very much. Other than that, no tribute bands or acts which had a "wow" factor. We took the Flanders Fields tour (cost £40 each) and it was well worth it. As usual, P & O try to sell you photos, tours, bingo, art, jewellery, wii-fi, speciality dining and other tat in order to lighten your wallets/purses. Most of the staff were polite and friendly, but there are always a couple who looked like they didn't want to be there. The force 11-12 gale was interesting and many stayed in their cabins on Xmas Eve, and the stop at Amsterdam was cancelled due to bad weather, replaced by a stop at Le Havre. Unfortunately most everything in Le Havre was shut that morning. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise to coincide with my husbands birthday. From day one we had a fantastic time The cabin with balcony was spacious, the bathroom a bit cramped but adequate and everything cleaned to a high standard every day. Cabin ... Read More
We chose this cruise to coincide with my husbands birthday. From day one we had a fantastic time The cabin with balcony was spacious, the bathroom a bit cramped but adequate and everything cleaned to a high standard every day. Cabin staff ..especially Rona were always cheerful even though it was obvious they were under pressure to complete their work. We found waiting for the lifts a bit challenging but decided on day one that it would be easier to climb the stairs, luckily we are fit and able to do so We decided on freedom dining and it suited us well. The restaurant staff were always helpful . The food was good and we were not rushed. Talk around the dinner table ineviitably turned to 'how many cruises have you been on' this was bit tiresome but if people make cruising a full time hobby its to be expected Entertainmement was as good as some West end shows The drinks are reasonably priced with no surcharges. The daily charges for cabin services reasonable. In all a brilliant trip and will use P&O again Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
First impressions. I thought I had walked onto a Brittany Ferries boat to Santander - with better cabins. All the atmosphere of Stamford Bridge after Chelsea have been beaten at home. Average age of the passengers to the Caribbean was ... Read More
First impressions. I thought I had walked onto a Brittany Ferries boat to Santander - with better cabins. All the atmosphere of Stamford Bridge after Chelsea have been beaten at home. Average age of the passengers to the Caribbean was apparently 69 (clearly they must have included the young dancers to get the average that low). More zimmers and mobility scooters concentrated in one place than I could ever imagine, making it slightly dangerous at times. Looking for a wall plug in the cabin revealed all kinds of nasties, including somebody's socks and underpants - and a pair of glasses. The room boy is apparently expected to clean 20 rooms a day - twice. Food was substandard - but beautifully served. Service overall was excellent. Leaking water all over the place and an awful smell of waste in the main shopping areas. A tired ship in dire need of some serious work. Would I use P & O again? Not a chance in this life. Good points? 3 weeks of warm weather and we met some nice people - plus the occasional complete dipstick (but that's life). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Had a lovely cruise. But found that there was nothing at night. Freedom dining . Went at 7. O clock and was lucky if we finished at nearly 9.pm which meant that the show at 8.30 we missed and had to wait till 10.30 for next one. If we ... Read More
Had a lovely cruise. But found that there was nothing at night. Freedom dining . Went at 7. O clock and was lucky if we finished at nearly 9.pm which meant that the show at 8.30 we missed and had to wait till 10.30 for next one. If we did not go to show not much to do we are not drinkers so just walked about. Only 2 nights were la te. I am an older person but I won't go on another ship with most older people too many wheelchairs. I am sorry for saying that I know that but for the graceful of God I don't use one.i can't jive about but love to watch other people. Had a great rest bed by 9. 30 most nights. Cabin was lovely Steward looked after us. The ports visited were great and weather was kind to us. I suppose there were lots of positives as well as negatives can't please all Thanks to all will be back on another ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
most things pretty good without a wow factor. Dining in main restaurant was a very pleasant experience with good food and great service. The evening buffet sadly was not so good very limited choice and apathetic service We ... Read More
most things pretty good without a wow factor. Dining in main restaurant was a very pleasant experience with good food and great service. The evening buffet sadly was not so good very limited choice and apathetic service We were allocated eight thirty dining which was far to late for us, we tried to change this but request was refused. Entertainment was ok, very good guest speaker relating her experiences as a senior police officer. Dancing ballroom, sequence, and line dancing all available. Shows and guest artists all very good. Arcadia attracts a mainly elderly crowd so may not be the ideal choice for younger people Ship clean and well maintained with cabin stewards excellent as always. Ports of call all interesting, with Cartagena and Valencia great places to wander explore plazas and ancient buildings A must visit is to see the futuristic development in Valencia wonderful buildings in a great setting . Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I have just returned from this cruise as a solo traveller and think some people writing reviews must be talking about a different ship!! ARRIVAL and embarking was fast, painless and friendly (drove to Southampton. Porters took luggage ... Read More
I have just returned from this cruise as a solo traveller and think some people writing reviews must be talking about a different ship!! ARRIVAL and embarking was fast, painless and friendly (drove to Southampton. Porters took luggage and CPS parked my car. Luggage at cabin before I was!!) DINING: chose club dining, largest table (8). Never a que. food was excellent. Waiters fast, polite, sense of humour. Lovely to see same people on table, share the days events and learn about each other over the twelve days. All singles, varying ages, lovely group of people! Buffet breakfast and lunch - never had to que (?? At least six serving stations). Lots of choice of hot lunches or varied salads, and full English breakfast and continental. Amazing staff, tables kept clean. Yes if you were looking to sit on your own it might be hard to find a table BUT you gain much more if you brave it and sit with others - I met so many people who loved to chat - people are friendly if you give them a chance! STAFF - they were ALL so helpful, friendly, courteous and nothing was too much trouble. Only on two days was there an unpleasant smell on lower decks for a couple of hours - it wasn't the end of the world!! I've smelled worse in supermarkets loos! The maintenance crew were also excellent. It was an adult only cruise. At 56 I was one of the youngest but I expected that. There was a wealth of experience and stories shared over a meal or a coffee - I loved it! EXCURSIONS - probably best to book before boarding as everybody else seemed to do so a lot of popular trips were full. Make sure you are aware of walking/standing times if you have problems. Gibraltar secrets of the rock tour - amazing BUT more than 45 mins walking. Some serious up and down gradients and stairs in and out of the caves. ENTERTAINMENT: lots to do during the day. Headliner's evening shows got better as the cruise continued. Other entertainers were excellent too. Plus lots of other things going on around the ship. DISEMBARKING: early yes, but as ship heading off to Caribbean at 5:30 not unexpected. Very organised (would have been even easier if some passengers listened to instructions and waited .. !! Was like being back in nursery school!!) I must have been on a different ship/cruise to the moaners because I wish I could have stayed onboard for the Caribbean cruise leaving later on. Oh! no sign of cabin cough and the Bay of Biscay apparently behaved itself Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have just enjoyed a 12 night cruise onboard the Arcadia departing from Southampton , talking in Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Tangiers, Cadiz and Lisbon with a couple of sea days. We boarded with little fuss and realatively little ... Read More
We have just enjoyed a 12 night cruise onboard the Arcadia departing from Southampton , talking in Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Tangiers, Cadiz and Lisbon with a couple of sea days. We boarded with little fuss and realatively little waiting at Southampton, our slot was three but as we arrived early we actually managed to get on about one thirty, it would have been better to have arrived at our allotted slot as then we'd have gone straight on, note to self for future reference. The ship is slightly smaller and older ( although recently refitteed) than we are used to, not as flashy as many of the newer and bigger liners , but it has an intimacy that size doesn't allow. As this was an adults only ship cruising in November we expected an older age demographic on board ( we're in our late fifties ) so weren't surprised that the majority of the passengers were retirement age and we met many a sprightly eighty year old but also noticed younger couples ( we wondered if they may have found it a bit overwhelming to be surrounded by so many older people). We booked late and cheap so we didn't get our preferred 6.30 dinner slot, or the free time dining and had to be content with 8.30 ( very late for us ) but we survived and had excellent dinner companions which made up for it. The food and service onboard were excellent, I was absolutely sure we'd have put on weight but found that we had not, as everything was very healthy and as you can have pretty much whatever you want you naturally pace yourself. The stateroom ( cabin ) was very nice, clean, with perfectly adequate facilities, we had the cheapest inside cabin, slightly smaller than we've had on our usual Princess cruise ships, but not significantly so, did panic slightly about where to put the empty cases but they slip under the bed so no problem. Nice flat screen tv with sky news, BBC news, several free film and tv channels and programs produced for the cruise itinary and information about the ships status. The onboard entertainment program seemed OK but we tend to rest and read when not in port, we attended a dance show in the comfortable theatre and enjoyed that. We also took part in some late night quizzes which were fun. The Spa was very good except that when I booked a special deal the receptionist I saw did not understand the offer and sold me the wrong treatments ( that did not qualify) but after a little upset the matter was resolved to my satisfaction. The massages I had were very very good and the Spa is excellent . I did find the retail area limited, and the staff who manned it badly trained, I actually asked the retail manager if a necklace I was interested in buying was "Opal" or " Imitation Opal" to be told it was " Cubic Zirconia" , I was quite surprised that he decided to " blag " me instead of simply stating that he didn't know the answer to my question, having spent many years in the jewellery trade I do know it wasn't a cubic zirconia and I told him so, he made an aside to a colleague that he'd had me throw off the ship, very unprofessional. Apart from him and the mix up in the Spa the other staff were all lovely and received tips from us above the usual ones added to your account . Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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