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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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Cruise chosen as we wanted to explore a bit further into the Adriatic. As such we enjoyed going ashore taking some excursions which were good and also self exploring. The ship being larger than vessels we usually cruise on took some ... Read More
Cruise chosen as we wanted to explore a bit further into the Adriatic. As such we enjoyed going ashore taking some excursions which were good and also self exploring. The ship being larger than vessels we usually cruise on took some time to get to know the surroundings, still baffled with the self sevice Belvedere. One has to do at least one circuit to find out what's on offer, then the problem to find a seat. Don't leave your table mid-meal to get a drink or when you return you will find everything removed. Staff very pleasant and willing to help, including reception which I usually find is the weakest link on other ships. Allocated a table in the Meridian right at the stern and directly over the propeller shaft. The vibration made the table for us unusable, no other tables available so changed to Freedom Dining which is anything but. This means queuing at the restaurant entrance for at least 10 - 15 minutes to be given a pager to tell you when the table is ready:ni another 10 - 15 minutes. This inconvenience I feel could be sorted, why not give pagers at the bar?. Waiting staff very courteous, helpful, offering to change meals if they weren't as expected, as well as giving extra ice cream. Cabin pleasant, clean, good stewardess, helpful as was everybody else. Entertainment, apart from the hardworking Headliners, Jon Courtney was not up to the standard we have enjoyed on other cruises. The so called entertainments manager/director was conspicious by his absence and lack of any talent. I think this led to a flat feeling throughout the cruise. I think our next cruise, already looking, will be on a smaller, more intimate ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise to revisit Venice but arrangement for getting ashore was a nightmare. We are 86 and 84 and the majority of passengers were of a similar age. Shuttle buses were not provided so we were faced with a 1000m walk to a ferry ... Read More
We chose this cruise to revisit Venice but arrangement for getting ashore was a nightmare. We are 86 and 84 and the majority of passengers were of a similar age. Shuttle buses were not provided so we were faced with a 1000m walk to a ferry and once ashore a similar distance to St. Marks Square over 4 bridges. You can imagine the queues at reception complaining, particularly as the ship moored next to us provided shuttle buses. Regarding the ship itself we found the entertainment left a lot to be desired with the exception of the Headliners theatre group and Jon Martin, But why did everything have to be so loud? singers in a constant battle with the band and conversation in piano bars nigh on impossible. We found the staff throughout the ship to be both friendly and efficient and our cabin steward in particular was outstanding. However some thought should be given to the dining arrangements. The Meridian restaurant is on two floors the upper floor designated for " freedom" dining where in theory you can eat at any time between 6 and 9 not so! you join a queue for an average of 10 to 15 minutes to receive a bleeper and a further wait while the poor harassed staff do there best to find a table. Why on earth both restaurants cannot be fixed dining and those that want to eat at anytime can use the Belvedere . We made some good friends and overall had a good time but feel we are more suited to the smaller ships such as the Fred Olsen Cruise Line provides. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I chose this cruise because as a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer I cannot cope with the intense heat during the Summer. Having sailed with P&O previously we knew that they catered well for the disabled. I was not ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because as a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer I cannot cope with the intense heat during the Summer. Having sailed with P&O previously we knew that they catered well for the disabled. I was not disappointed, our accessible stateroom was both functional and attractive. The ensuite, was a wet room with plenty of handrails. I asked our cabin Stuart if he could find me a perching stool that I could use when at the wash up. This he acquired in a very short time. The balcony was also easily accessible to me on my mobility scooter. We had decided to take the Freedom Dinning option because we felt that this gave us more freedom when to eat. We also liked the fact that we sat with different people every evening. In 17 nights we only sat with the same people twice and that was on the same evening. Our preferd table size was 6, because it is easier to hold a conversation which includes all. Although we did sometimes sit on a table for 8 which tended to slip into 2 conversations of 4's. The food and menu selection was as usual excellent. The diet must begin now We've returned home! The entertainment during the week was very good consisting of The Headliners, who put on 4 different shows. The comedian Tom O'Connor who was very entertaining. A superb guitarist called Byron Johnston and a group called the Beatles Experience, who were excellent. These are only some of the artists that were on the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the different ports of call. Cadiz, Cagliari, Salerno, Messina ( Where we took a Shore excursion to Taormina which was beautiful.), La Spezia (Where we went on an excursion to see Pisa. The weather forecast on this day was thunder storms. P&O announced on board that passengers who wished not to go because of the bad weather would be reimbursed. We decided to brave the weather and although we got soaked we are glad they we took the opportunity to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa.) Elba, Toulon, Barcelona and Ceuta. Although we only went on 2 of P&O's shore excursions we did manage to see the different places using the hop on hop off buses which had ramps that made them accessibly for me and my scooter. We enjoyed all the ports of call except 1 which was Salerno. This was in our opinion not worthy of a P&O stop. It should have been Naples but we were told of the exchange a few months past. We both enjoy sailing on the Arcadia because we like her size and the fact that it's an adult only ship. The service we received was as usual excellent. The cruise was most enjoyable and could only have been improved by dryer weather.!!!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
There are not many ships that cross the Atlantic twice. P&O and Cunard are regularly on this trip. Phoenix also offers this route but there you are 44 nigths on the ship. We also had to book with one of these companies. We booked the ... Read More
There are not many ships that cross the Atlantic twice. P&O and Cunard are regularly on this trip. Phoenix also offers this route but there you are 44 nigths on the ship. We also had to book with one of these companies. We booked the trip from England to USA and Canada from 9th of September 2016 to the 5th of October 2016. Arcadia allowes smoking only on the outer deks. If these deks are colsed (as they are when the winds are strong) you cannot smoke anywhere else. P&O do not have indoor smoking lounges! We would also like to warn future passengers, that they have to pay extra (12.95 - 16.00 £ p.p.) if they want to eat good food. The self service restaurant (Belvedere on deck 9) is one of the badest restaurants where we ever have been. The public rooms are not big enough for more than 2000 passengers and therefore often crowded. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The cruise was pretty good overall despite having some adverse weather on both outbound and inbound journeys. However the ship seems to handle the swell pretty good. Sadly the ship is showing signs of age and a constant sewage smell was ... Read More
The cruise was pretty good overall despite having some adverse weather on both outbound and inbound journeys. However the ship seems to handle the swell pretty good. Sadly the ship is showing signs of age and a constant sewage smell was evident around certain areas of the ship. The buffet was the usual bun fight with many passengers remaining at the tables even though they had finished eating. Consequently it was always a job finding a table. The food was reasonable at breakfast with a decent choice, lunch was manic and tea was adequate. The themed dinners were a bit in and out. Some good some bad. Oddly enough he Best of Britain theme was probably the worst. We ate at the Meridian on the Freedon dining option and this worked well. The food and service was excellent overall and we never had a bad meal when we went there. There were tables of 2, 4, 6 and 8. Obviously the tables for 2 were always in demand. We can't comment on the speciality restaraunts as we didn't use them but heard good things about them. Entertainment was pretty good in the man theatre with the visiting artists very good, especially the American ones. The Headliners were OK and did some good shows. However we felt that the out of theTheatre entertainment was very much the same. Made up of duo's and Trio's with female vocalists. All performing prettying much the same sort of stuff. The Globe theatre is a waste. It is too small and the acoustics are terrible. We found the bar staff and waiters excellent and did a great job. The drinks prices being very much as a local British pub. Sadly we thought that the shops were a bit boring with not a lot to tempt a purchase and the new internet packages are extortionate. A package of a small amount of dats and email was £12.50 per day and the full package with Skype or FaceTime was £25 a day. And this was for a 24 hour period. So you lost at least 8 hours because of the night. We enjoyed the route and most Ports of call were interesting .. We hadn't been North of New York before so it was a very good experience overall. Having been on the Arcadia before the cruise was pretty much as we expected. As always there was the usual beentheredunthats and moaners, but we enjoyed it so they dnt matter really . Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Food and service was the poorest I have ever encountered in over 3 decades of cruising. Arcadia are obviously putting cost first and trying to attract a new breed of cruiser who are not that particular. The food in the MDR was more like ... Read More
Food and service was the poorest I have ever encountered in over 3 decades of cruising. Arcadia are obviously putting cost first and trying to attract a new breed of cruiser who are not that particular. The food in the MDR was more like you could expect in a budget holiday camp, I actually LOST weight on the cruise, The food in the self service was even worse. Our cabin was totally inadequate for a disabled cabin, the wall at the bottom of the bed had been badly damaged by previous occupants as there war insufficient room to get a wheelchair through,, not that it mattered as the bed was at a 45degree angle to the dressing table meaning my wife couldn't use it. The carpet was full of stains and the cabin was dirty. On arrival there was a vase with a single flower in it which died, we decided to see if the cabin boy would throw it away or replace it... I threw it away at the end of the cruise 24 days later. Entertainment was poor to say the least, the cheapest berths in ports were obviously taken up... all in all a poor cruise. Sorry P&O you have lost a customer Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We embarked on P&O Arcadia on the 11th September 2016 at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on a transatlantic cruise to New York and the Eastern Seaboard including Canada. It was one more destination ticked off our Bucket List. We had ... Read More
We embarked on P&O Arcadia on the 11th September 2016 at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on a transatlantic cruise to New York and the Eastern Seaboard including Canada. It was one more destination ticked off our Bucket List. We had stayed at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, which is very nice, the night before where we left our car, and got a taxi to the port. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient and we were on board by 2:00 pm. Our bags appeared outside our cabin on C deck at 3:30 pm. The inside cabin was clean but wardrobe space was a little inadequate for a 24 night cruise. We set sail across the Atlantic and the weather was not too bad for the time of year and we arrived in New York at 11:16 am but it was not until 4:00 pm that we cleared customs and walked up to Times Square. We returned at 6:00 pm and took the night time tour up the Empire State Building which was brilliant and then we went to the Brooklyn Bridge and finally Times Square which was still very busy at 11:30 pm when we returned to the ship. The second day we went on a 3 sights tour by coach which was disappointing as the traffic was grid locked and it rained. We managed to see Fifth Avenue, Macys and the 9/11 Memorial. The coach pick up points were changed at each point and caused confusion and time delays which meant we were late going to Central Park and half the Coach group was dropped off at the ship before continuing. I tried to talk to the Tours Desk on the ship about the shambles but I was dismissed with a wave of the hand and told to ‘put it in writing’, extremely rude and unhelpful. The next stop was Newport, Rhode Island where we went ashore by tender and just walked about Newport which is a pretty town. Next was Boston where we did the Freedom Trail Walk and visited the Quincy Market. We thoroughly enjoyed Boston. It is a wonderful mix of new and old areas. Portland was next where we did our own thing. Very quiet but a nice port of call. Next was St Johns, New Brunswick where it absolutely chucked it down so we walked along the front to a shopping centre, had coffee and walked back. Next was Halifax where we berthed in the industrial port and got shuttle buses to where we should have docked at Pier 22. But the shuttle bus would only go to Pier 23 which presented a small problem to those of limited mobility. The Boardwalk at Halifax is a lovely walk and we enjoyed a quiet day strolling along and enjoying the town. The next port of call was Quebec where again we were berthed in the industrial area and not the Cruise Terminal which meant the walking tours of which we participated took and extra 20 minutes to reach the city. The tour guide confirmed that all her paperwork showed we should have been at the Cruise Terminal but we were usurped by Celebrity Summit. Quebec is a fabulous city and we enjoyed it immensely and spent the second day doing our own thing. The final stop was Sydney, Nova Scotia where we went ashore by tender. Celebrity Summit was berthed at the cruise terminal even though the Harbour schedule showed Arcadia should be berthed. I assume Celebrity paid more money. The return trip by tender was lively as the wind had got up and caused quite a swell. Sydney is very run down and in hindsight it would have been wise to do a tour but once again we did our own thing which wasn’t up to much. Our trip back across the Atlantic was a little rough but we have had worse. Unfortunately we were late arriving in Southampton due to a combination of the weather and a problem (not specified) in the engine room. This meant we did not disembark until noon being one of the last groups to disembark. The ship is well maintained and it was very clean and well looked after. The waiters, Bar Staff and Cabin Steward worked tirelessly and were friendly and helpful. We had Freedom Dining in the Upper Meridian Restaurant. Service was very slow at times although the food was good and hot. We did not use the specialist restaurants but we did use the Belvedere Buffet Restaurant for breakfast and the occasional lunch and we found it to be very good but with less selection at lunch than we have been used to on previous P&O ships. The Reception Desk was not very helpful and appeared to be under instruction to protect the company from the passenger and offer as little information as possible. This was commented upon by a number of people we talked to on board. The Tours desk is there to sell tours. They are completely disinterested in any feedback and at times were extremely rude. P&O must address this concern as it is driving customers away. The entertainment by the Headliners was as good as usual and the visiting acts were all very good and we very much enjoyed the entertainment. P&O have changed the way they charge for Wi-Fi access from cost per number of minutes to cost per 24 hours. This ranged between £7.75 for basic access to £24.95 for all the bells and whistles. There was much complaining on board about this change. I have never seen so many Tablets and Smart Phones in use on a cruise before. This was our first cruise to the Eastern Seaboard of North America and our seventh cruise with P&O. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and would recommend it although every time we travel with P&O we see more evidence of cost cutting. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our 4th cruise to Norway and we had been to all the ports before; we chose it to experience Arcadia and just relax on board. The ship is enormous and throughout the cruise there were passengers 'lost' whilst looking ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise to Norway and we had been to all the ports before; we chose it to experience Arcadia and just relax on board. The ship is enormous and throughout the cruise there were passengers 'lost' whilst looking for some particular room or facility. Arcadia's Palladium Theatre is superb, with very few interruptions to sight lines. However, its cinema is tiny and operates a ticket system due to the small seating capacity. The seats themselves are very comfortable, like Pullman seats in a cinema. We found the food in both the Belvedere and Meridian restaurants to be of a good standard and were very satisfied with both presentation and quality. We did not use the added-value restaurants; I did consider using the Ocean grill for the first gala night but changed my mind when I heard reception calling out the engineers to deal with an urgent fault on their combi oven! The Belvedere is large enough to cope with demand at most times of the day and on our cruise was open for breakfast from 0630-1130 most days. We also used the Neptune Grill for snack lunches by the main pool - they offer a fixed menu of items such a hot dogs, fish & chips, burgers and sandwiches. The classical pianist on our cruise was very talented and a virtuoso, but it was disappointing to note that even with a very full ship, his concerts were relatively poorly-attended. The Globe is a nice venue for this type of entertainment, the Arcadia orchestra also put on a 'history of Jazz' concert which we enjoyed. We only partook of one shore excursion on this cruise, and it was a shambles. We booked to visit Troldhaugen in Bergen (Grieg's House). The Italian guide did not seem to know what the arrangements would be when we got to the house & museum, and it became evident that there was no real clue of what we would be doing and when. We did get the advertised piano recital, but we had to stand around in the rain for some time waiting for the previous one to finish. The house itself is small and not suitable for large groups, so I would recommend going there on a day when there are no cruise ships in port if possible. The P&O tour escort was very good, and she took note of all the problems with the tour for upward transmission. Overall, my first impression of Arcadia was very good. Having said that, personally I prefer smaller ships and so our next P&O cruise will be on Oriana. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We went on our first cruise with our daughter and their four children, we chose the Ventura thinking it was large so have plenty to do. We live in Southampton area so also a benefit. The embarkation went very smoothly although one lady ... Read More
We went on our first cruise with our daughter and their four children, we chose the Ventura thinking it was large so have plenty to do. We live in Southampton area so also a benefit. The embarkation went very smoothly although one lady attendant did tell my husband to keep moving when he stopped fo a breather when walking through the departure loung which we felt quite rude as he is a very poorly man. We had a four birth inside cabin and shared with our 16 and 17 year old grandsons which was fine apart from once the two ladders are in position for the top bunks you need to be a bit agile so that you can move under them to lower bunks, cabin was however fine. We found that the ship was too big for my husband as it was too much walking to get to the restaurants and theatres etc so we borrowed a wheel chair which was a big help however the lifts are very busy at meal times in the evening so you can wait with frustration as lifts come and go with no room for a wheelchair. The theatre was popular so you need to get there as soon as you have finished your meal, we were first sitting and found that we should leave the restaurant by 8 pm to get along to the theatre for the show. Sadly there was very little for our two grandsons to do so they were quite bored, Internet was too expensive so we didn't get that though it would have helped. It said on the itinerary football but when they went there adults were playing tennis in the area, I think this was due to there being only a handful of their age group on board. There were a few films on but for children only Jungle Book one afternoon and a Skywars film which they are not into. The two smaller children that our daughter had in their cabin had a wonderful holiday and really enjoyed the children's clubs every day however she was able to put them in at 2 pm for the afternoon but the adult film started at 1.30 so they couldn't even see that. The restaurant food was nice but repetitive on the Ventura though I'm told by avid cruisers that other ships had not been so repetitive. The free dinning food was all nice as well though finding a table for a large group can be tiring. Soft drinks for the children were expensive even if you buy a drinks card. All the staff on the ship were very attentive and couldn't do enough for you, cabins were kept clean and bedding changed if the smallest mark was seen on any of the bedding. Our daughter and the children have said they will never do another cruise however my husband and I are going to try one more on a smaller ship just to see how they compare. By the way they provide shuttle busses at every port but don't just jump on it and pay £4 each way as sometimes it's not far to walk. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We wanted to see Iceland and we have cruised on Arcadia before. She has always been our favourite ship so this seemed an ideal choice for us. As usual embarkation and disembarkation was easy and well-organised. Food standards have taken an ... Read More
We wanted to see Iceland and we have cruised on Arcadia before. She has always been our favourite ship so this seemed an ideal choice for us. As usual embarkation and disembarkation was easy and well-organised. Food standards have taken an appalling tumble. Very, very disappointing. Can't say I truly enjoyed any meal. Breakfast was OK, although they've stopped doing their lovely bircher muesli. Plenty of alpen and choice of fruit and nuts to add yourself but it's not the same. Lunch in the buffet never looked very appetising to me. Husband complained that food was often cold and it did look sort of congealed. I usually had a salad. Cakes not as good as anything you would make at home. Ate in the buffet a few times in the evenings. Never anything to get excited about. They have a funny habit of providing cold plates for the hot food and warm plates on the salad bar. Also I got into the habit of using my napkin to dry the plates before I put food on them - often still wet from the dishwasher. Horrified to be served oven chips one evening. I use them at home when I'm in a hurry or just can't be bothered. Didn't expect to get them after paying thousands of pounds for the holiday. No longer silver service in the restaurant. Waiters take the order and literally dump the plates in front of you. Menus uninteresting and dull to say the least. Tomato soup, prawn cocktail, steak and bread and butter pudding on the menu every single evening. Raw pastry on the salmon en croute, one evening played hunt the meat as I cut the lamb from the gristle, carve the edge of the roast potatoes to get the edible bit, steamed vegetables undercooked and tasted like a salt pot, I could go on. P & O have really let their standards go. Entertainment pretty good. Some good pianists and vocalists in the bars. I wasn't sure that Roy Walker of Catchphrase fame would be quite my bag, but he was very funny and we saw him twice. Some good films screened. Several times we left bars because the service was so slow that we couldn't get a drink. The stewards were working flat out and were as friendly and anxious to serve as they ever have been. Just not enough of them. More P & O cutbacks. My biggest disappointment was the abolition of evening dress codes. 4 formal nights but what happened to the semi-formal nights? And the smart casual nights are no longer smart. Many people trying to make the effort but spoiled by a significant number of passengers who were allowed into bars looking as if they were about to dig the garden. For your information, P & O, there's no such thing as smart jeans! Ports and excursions were fine. Husband and I always find it a bit of a lottery - should we take an excursion or should we go it alone? Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don't. We just put it down to experience and we'll know better if we come to this port again. I would say Belfast - use the city hop on, hop off bus. Costs £10 per person - you get a commentary as you go round, and if you see something you like you just get off the bus and when you're ready, get on a later bus to continue the tour. All the other ports - should have used an excursion (Stornaway, Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Akureyri, Shetland and Orkney. All nice places, but small and limited things to do independently.)In some ways I wish we hadn't used Arcadia because the lowered standards have spoiled our feelings for the ship. For me the cruise should be an event. Previously I was made to feel like a somebody for 2 weeks of the year. The shine has gone. As it is, we will probably look for a cruise line that charges more, but gives us our money's worth. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was a wonderfully exciting itinerary taking in Belfast, Stornoway in the Western Isles of Scotland, 3 ports in Iceland, Shetland and Orkney. A rare chance to turn right out of Southampton and head for the Celtic Sea, lovely views of ... Read More
This was a wonderfully exciting itinerary taking in Belfast, Stornoway in the Western Isles of Scotland, 3 ports in Iceland, Shetland and Orkney. A rare chance to turn right out of Southampton and head for the Celtic Sea, lovely views of the Cornish coast bathed in sunlight. Embarkation was amazing we arrived at our allotted time (please see your e ticket and take careful note) we went straight to check in , from there to security and we were onboard within 30 mins with our cases outside our rooms. P and O prioritises those who arrive at the time on their ticket - so no waiting around. We left our car with the capable and friendly staff at CPS. Our Cabin C10 was an inside double on Canada deck, ample storage space etc - perfectly adequate for the price paid, the extra added advantage is the forward balcony accessed 10 steps away at the end of the corridor - down side is excessive movement in heavy seas being at the front of the vessel, if prone to seasickness bring Kwells or reception have prescription strength sea sickness pills. Arcadia is an Adults only ship - there was a good mix of ages - we are under 40 and this was our 15th cruise. Our dinner table was amazing - we were a table of 6 - we had requested a 2 but I am so happy we had our dinner companions and new friends -two of whom were solo travellers ( how P and O successfully match table companions is amazing) . We were allocated a window table at the aft end of the Meridian restaurant lower and we as usual requested first sitting - we prefer to eat at 6.30 its usually around 8pm when we leave the restaurant. KK and Chris our waiters were as ever amazing ! I am a difficult eater and KK selected great choices when I couldn't make up my mind. Most days there were three "P and O Favourites" on the menu most evenings - prawn cocktail, sirloin steak with béarnaise sauce and bread and butter pudding. Food is modern british classics generally geared for the UK market. The weather was not the greatest but this was northern Europe at the end of the season - still long days but choppy seas and fairly inclement weather - tender operations had to be stopped at the call at Stornoway. Iceland is an amazing destination - my advice would be use Grayline Iceland for your Golden Circle tours or similar - so be aware Iceland is VERY expensive - pre book all your activities to make your budget and your time ashore go further. Eat well at the ship before going ashore- a Panini and water at one of the waterfalls was over £12.00 - the Icelandic knitted jumpers etc were over £100.00 Whales are in abundance to watch from the ship on the Fjord leading toe Akeuri, we saw over 14 whales on the approach in the early morning - make the effort to hit the open decks. The Myvatn Mineral baths is a great alternative to the Blue Lagoon - we went on and P and O excursion - we didn't really have enough time to enjoy it long enough but it was the only way to get there - being about 2 hours from the Berth. Shetland was beautiful - the sun shone for us and we went on an excursion to see Carole's Ponies (as seen on the Island Parish) then ate fish and chips in the sun - again it was a tender port but p and o laid on hot drinks etc on the quayside (was this because the Noble Caledonian Vessel was tied up alongside??? ) Do make an effort and get out on an excursion on these Scottish islands its well worth it and the local guides are amazing - our guide at Kirkwall on Orkney had been asleep in her bed when HMS Royal Oak was torpedoed in world war 2! The ladies craft stalls in the terminal building at Kirkwall are a great place to do your gift shopping. Highland Park Distillery worth a visit. we were also treated to a pipe band as we sailed away from Orkney. P and O's own entertainment is becoming somewhat samey for regular customers - we had Roy Walker of catchphrase fame, The Opera Boys and Electra - some of the Headiners singing left pitch to be desired!! Guest speakers were not really relevant to the cruise - well I suppose one of the royal yachtsman talking about royal yacht brittania was a tenuous connection as the royal family took an annual western isles cruise. Arcadia cough was audible in the crows nest on the last see day but on the whole a good standard of health and hygiene was maintained. The buffet was not too inspiring but neptunes grill made a great lunch alternative. our last sea day was so rough that the headliners show had to be cancelled. The Screeening Room showed a great range of up to date movies. On the whole a great cruise on Arcadia which all ran to plan. Many many repeat customers who are loyal to P and O and the Arcadia. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had not been to Norway before and wanted to see the fjords. Embarkation was really good , we virtually got straight on the ship and were amazed to find our luggage outside the door . Usually we ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had not been to Norway before and wanted to see the fjords. Embarkation was really good , we virtually got straight on the ship and were amazed to find our luggage outside the door . Usually we have a balcony but this time chose an inside cabin . I feared it would seem claustrophobic but this wasn't the case at all, the cabin , although smaller than we were used to , had plenty of room for our cases and clothes bought to cover all weather situations .our steward Vincent kept the cabin spotless and always left us chocolates when he turned down the bedding in the evening . The bed was comfortable and toiletries hairdryer and tea/ coffee ( plus biscuits ) were provided and two complimentary bottles of water supplied in the fridge . The ship was kept very clean by an army of cleaners throughout the day and all staff were friendly . We dined in the meridian and the food was good and service excellent .For breakfast and lunch we ate in the buffet and there was always a good choice ....loved the concept of afternoon tea ! The entertainment in the theatre by the resident team The Headliners was very good and the theatre itself was big enough to accommodate everyone . There were two pools , one on deck , the other with a retractable roof and there were plenty if sun beds . The four ports were lovely but it was a shame that it rained in Bergen , or as the tour guide said " raining cats dogs and trolls ! " The fjords were awesome , well worth the visit . A lovely cruise on a very nice ship . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The opportunity to visit so many countries in one trip was what attracted us. Copenhagen, Stockholm St Petersburg, Helsinki, Talinn and Bruges. We were very lucky to have great weather which meant we were on the top deck with swimming ... Read More
The opportunity to visit so many countries in one trip was what attracted us. Copenhagen, Stockholm St Petersburg, Helsinki, Talinn and Bruges. We were very lucky to have great weather which meant we were on the top deck with swimming pools when not on trips. From arrival at Sothampton everything was very efficient and impressive. Happy with room and our steward was fantastic and seemed to work night and day. Choose Freedom dining which meant we could go to dinner anytime and sit with different people each time, or on our own if we wanted. The choice and quality of food was amazing. Theatre entertainment good and also saw a couple of very new films in their very comfortable but small cinema (need to book as only 30 seats but free). All trips well organised And enjoyable with great guides. Would highly recommend. Talinn was our favourite stop visiting the old city and an interesting market with handmade crafts, followed by coffee and cake at Deja Vu with live singing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Dinner first night was mediocre, had to share a table with a couple but next night they chose to sit by the entrance, perhaps because they were t-total. Next night food again was average apart from the asparagus which resembled more like ... Read More
Dinner first night was mediocre, had to share a table with a couple but next night they chose to sit by the entrance, perhaps because they were t-total. Next night food again was average apart from the asparagus which resembled more like floppy green beans delicately balanced over an egg. No way could you have done that with fresh asparagus. Following night had a potatoe on my plate that you wouldn't have fed to a pig. When asked if I enjoyed my meal, my reply drew the attention of the manager. Another problem was if you ordered your wine after the food, it wouldn't turn up until half way through your main course. We complained in the end. We were told to order our wine at lunchtime and were informed that P&O bring all their food onboard at Soton FROZEN, nothing fresh. I'm pretty sure I once upon time saw an ad with a chef buying in a local market? It's fantasy. The Food & Beverage manager wasn't interested, he said it was the same process on all their Cruises. I asked him if he had been on a P&O ferry, to which he laughed, until I suggested he should as the food was better. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Enjoyed cruise just what myself and better half needed, have been on Arcadia before One or two thing P&O need to get to grips with dress codes ,flip flops and jogging bottoms Being allowed in main restaurants !! The choice ... Read More
Enjoyed cruise just what myself and better half needed, have been on Arcadia before One or two thing P&O need to get to grips with dress codes ,flip flops and jogging bottoms Being allowed in main restaurants !! The choice of food is getting very restrictive ? Part of ship needs brightening up, ( most of the bars ) Boarding fine ,very organised Disembarkation good Chose freedom dining,it seemed they weren't set up for it having done this on other ships It didn't flow Shows good,but didn't do headliners shows all repetitive Had been to all ports before so did own thing, we didn't have to rush about for trips Weather great Service very good One thing I do want to comment on is ,if your old and infirm does not give you the right to be ignorant and intolerant towards staff whose first language isn't English fortunately this was not common among the majority of passengers First class meals in specialised restaurant (sindhu Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Fabulous cruise. Service and food was great. Great entertainment. 1. They need to sort out spaces for wheel chair people and mobile scooters, to sit in the theatre, as they blocked the emergency exit most nights on the right hand side. ... Read More
Fabulous cruise. Service and food was great. Great entertainment. 1. They need to sort out spaces for wheel chair people and mobile scooters, to sit in the theatre, as they blocked the emergency exit most nights on the right hand side. No one around to check these not blocked. 2. We booked the gondola ride, it said 15 mins walk to gondola station. That ok if able bodied. I have a bad hip and use a walking stick. It was half an hour walk in 90 deg temps. There was NO mention of five bridges With steps each side, to go over. Gondola ride was good, except a little shorter than stated. Ours was 23 mins that was with 3 mins waiting to dock. Went to St Marks square in our free time on the trip, lovely. Then my leg and ankle began to swell, I felt unwell and we decided to come back early. We had to pay again (£8-00) each as we're not on the allotted trip time back. Although we think we had paid in the trip money and should have been allowed. Got back to the area of drop off to find another 25 min walk for me to the ship. No shuttle busses this time. I felt so angry none of this was stated for non able bodied walkers. Especially the steps on the bridges. I complained on board as had a lot of other people, they were not interested, said if they state all that nobody will go on trip. Better to know the truth. It was the one trip we looked forward to. 3. Hvar, our friends got of, and went into town but soon returned, everywhere said we don't take euros. Dubrovnik was fine most places did. 4. We had S009 right on top of the Sun deck. Fabulous balcony room. Sun everyday. Perfect steward Paul. So helpful when I had to see the Dr for my leg. Never got a sunbed. Had to b there by 8 am at pool. We sat on our balcony. Overall a fab trip. Read Less
41 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The worst 17 nights on board I can recall. P & O have lost the plot. They are only concerned about getting people on board, not about how they look after them. It may be a few years since we travelled with them and I know that ... Read More
The worst 17 nights on board I can recall. P & O have lost the plot. They are only concerned about getting people on board, not about how they look after them. It may be a few years since we travelled with them and I know that things can change but the only changes we noticed were negative. Toilets not flushing and emptying their contents onto the bathroom floor, stained towels and sheets, no pool towels, waiting for cutlery in buffet, whirlpools and lifts out of order for duration, cold food served, grubby bath and basin, soiled carpets in public areas, Cut back on costs with more sea days than normal and early departures, on board staff were unhelpful and almost rude in some cases, a few were however excellent, as they all used to be. Dining was OK in the Meridian despite dropping silver service, the Ocean grill and Sindu were good. Belverdere buffet was poor, not much selection and repetetive, cold and kept waiting for clean cutlery. Entertainment was acceptable although not as good as previously. No, I'm not just having a moan, generally it was awful. Really awful. #This is the life, pay for 5 star and get 2 star service. Thanks P&O, you ruined my 30th wedding anniversary, and I paid good money for the privelege. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
The ship was lovely, staff top class food good nice size and enough variety, green Beene with everything thing but I like them. What I do have a problem with was the carpets being changed during the cruise, getting to our room became a ... Read More
The ship was lovely, staff top class food good nice size and enough variety, green Beene with everything thing but I like them. What I do have a problem with was the carpets being changed during the cruise, getting to our room became a problem as mum 81 and I have parkinsons so stepping over piles of carpet a no go I felt sorry for the workers, trying to fit it whilst the ship was full. Also the pool was repainted and emptied. But by the time I came home I didn't whant to hear a piano again. Did not realise the entertainment was so boring, pianos flutes and tenners, the Beatles hour (my type of thing good dance music) was pre taped music no staff anywhere, three people in the dance floor. But quizzes 2 staff, and a lot of the daytime entertainment do it yourself. I had been on Ventura last year had a great time. This time the ship looked like a goaststhost town by 9 pm. Boring the shows in the theatre well done, dancers best iv seen but same old shows. We dinned with some lovely people, and visited great countries. had a nice time not a great time, this ship is for you if you like pianos, 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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