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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
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise to Norway as it fitted in with our leave dates, and was a destination that we had not been to before. We have been on 3 previous cruises (all with different carriers), so also wanted to see how P&O compared to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to Norway as it fitted in with our leave dates, and was a destination that we had not been to before. We have been on 3 previous cruises (all with different carriers), so also wanted to see how P&O compared to the others. We liked the P&O website, as it was clear, and also allowed us the opportunity to view -and pre-book- the various shore excursions, as well as some of the spa services (although we found out on board that there was a wider range - and like other carriers, they dont give information about the Formal nights -which causes inconvenience on board ship). Aradia is a medium / large ship - designed for just over 2000 passengers- and its an 'Adults only' ship. It has 1 x (all meal) Buffet restaurant, 1 x Breakfast/Evening meal Restaurant - on 2 levels- one for the 2 set Dining times, and the other 'Freedom' Dining, A couple more serving area for snacks by the pools, and the 2 'Premium; - ie pay extra Restaurants: Marco Pierre Whites' Ocean Grill' and Atul Kochhar's Sindhu restaurant. edit - and a little cafewith cakes/pastries There is a small cinema (tickets from the Library./Internet room) - showing different films every day from the last 12 months of so of general release (similarly for about 3 TV movie channels), an Open pool at the rear, and a further, slightly larger pool/deck area under a covered roof.. The Gym is forward- with the usual range of exercise machines/ weights etc - albeit it only opens between 0800 & 2000 - even if there are no staff in there - which is a bit of a pain if you wanted to have a little exercise before breakfast / a shore excursion. (Why cant they open it at 06:30 / 07:00 ?) We had a decent size (though fairly typical ) balcony cabin on Deck A which included a shower over a small bath,. Good storage space for washbags. 3 Launderettes (I thinki) -on decks, 4,5 and 6) - with free washing machines and driers, albeit only 1 ironing board in the one I used, and its a little 'cosy; - but fair play, its free-having been charged on other ships. Passengers: Predominantly Brits, with a few from North Amercia and its clearly geared to the UK Domestic market in terms of cuisine, entertainment and atmopshere. We found it very relaxed on board - with the staff friendly (although appeared happier on a Princess Cruise we took last year), and we didnt encounter real 'in your face' selling of Jewellry/ Spa services / Photo etc - as on Princess. P&O obviously recognise that Brits will probably chuck most of the flyers without reading. The ship didnt feel overcroweded, and there was good general space - and no real pinch points (where some ships try to cram shops/cafes into the narrower centre of the ship). Entertainment: Ships own singing/dance company -'The Headliners' were really good. We saw 2 shows- both about 45 -50 mins long - one a 70's Boogie Night, and other 'Queen ' tribute. All the performers were good, and they were high energy productions (credit to the sound guys and technicians) and we lost count of the costume changes. In addition,, we also enjoyed 2 of the guest singers. Again, all the acts performed for about 45-50 minutes. We also had 2 individual 'enhancement' speakers - one about Royal Yacht Britannia, and another about the Constellations and Northern Lights. - If you dont see them 'live', they are replayed on a loop on another TV channel. Excursions: We went on 2 and found them good value for money, with very knowledgable and information LOCAL guides. The tours were well organised and went to some very interesting places. Finally, the food. This was the biggest disappointment for us. There was a distinct lack of anything other than white bread (some brown, but where was the granary / rye , fresh crusty etc ?) and there was no fresh salmon option for breakfast - but was on the buffet for lunch and evening meals. We also found the buffet range a little limited. We had freedom dining, and liked the quality of meals on the Formal nights- but on other nights, we - or others on the table sent back completely / left quite a bit of food as it didnt appear well cooked (they seemed to have a problem with chips and mash). Speciality restaurants: We ate in Marco Pierre's on the first night , and Sindhu on 2 of the last 4 - and they were both a quality above the other restaurants- particularly Sindhu. These meals were all beautifully cooked and presented (though like some of the other meals, couldve been a tad warmer), and the staff all attentive. In addition, the menus's didnt seem to reflect where were going- as it wouldve been nice to at least try and experience some of the local cuisine. Overall, we would travel on P&O again, but would probably take a slightly lower cabin grade because we'd want to offset that against paying for the speciality restaurants. We'd also bring our own, healthier bread on board/ look to buy similar on shore. Good entertainment, and the prices are very comparable to other carriers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Fantastic ship. First time cruising for us, was a bit worried that it would be boring as we had our two boys aged 17 and 12 with us but actually it was brilliant. Embarkation was the quickest process ever, much better than going to the ... Read More
Fantastic ship. First time cruising for us, was a bit worried that it would be boring as we had our two boys aged 17 and 12 with us but actually it was brilliant. Embarkation was the quickest process ever, much better than going to the airport and dealing with all what goes on there. Basically we arrived at Southampton, followed the guys directing us to our spot, they took our suitcases, next time we saw them was when we arrived on the ship. Fantastic. So quick and no pressure all. When I first encountered the long skinny corridors of the ship I was unaware of how closed in I would feel, but that lasted all of about 5 minutes and then I just got used it. Our cabin was an inside cabin, much more spacious than I'd imagined and furnished in a clean and basic way, everything I needed for my 6 day stay. More than adequate. Our boys room was 2 doors down so perfect too. Can't really comment on the Kids Clubs as we didn't use them, although they seemed pretty busy with happy kids and parents picking up, our kids weren't interested in doing anything other than playing football, once they'd seen the pitch up above the 15th floor, basically they spent the whole holiday rooted to that place. Never would I have imagined they would love this cruise as much, considering they moan about everywhere we go on holiday, spoilt brats! (well, the teen does anyway). The ambience on the ship was nice and laid back, which I also hadn't expected, for some reason I thought it would all be a bit po-faced. Nothing further from the truth. The food was absolutely fantastic in The nice restaurants, a real dining experience, from the quality of the service from the sheer broad range of recipes. Even my children enjoyed wearing shirts and ties and getting dressed up for what was a lovely family occasion each evening, 5 or 6 courses, with just the right amount on your plate, not full up to the brim but just the perfect amount, beautifully thought out and presented dishes, everything I tasted was stunning. The waiters were cheerful and hospitable and couldn't have been more helpful. Personally, the food was one of the best things about the ship for me, although the buffet restaurants were good for the kids on a couple of nights (when they wanted to rush through dinner quickly), although adequate, I much preferred the longer sit down dining experience of the silver service restaurants. The entertainment covered every aspect, you could never be bored on that ship. From good old Tom O'Connor, (for those of you under 40, a stand up comic/tv presenter from back in the 70/80s) who put on a clean fun hour with a few chuckles, although clearly not to everyone's taste, some people in their forties (my age) were sat there looking like their face had been slapped, I only wish they'd have left the show and done us all a favour as I felt bad for Tom, although I expect he didn't really see too far into the audience after the front row. Bless him, he did well for a man of his age to stand there and recall all those gags & stories. Good lighthearted evening was had by my husband and I anyway! So much entertainment, think we saw The Beatles and Queen cover bands, which were ok, then there was the casino, which we didn't go any gambling in but looked fun if you wanted to partake. From sewing to ballroom dancing to wine clubs, there was a club to suit every person's fancy, even if you didn't want to do any of it you could just relax on the ship's sundeck or pool area and take it easy. We didn't go into the spa, even though we were given the hard sell, 'as you always are' but it worked out very expensive, which you kind of know anyway so we gave that a miss as it wasn't high on our priority list. The shore days were good, easy instructions were given to manoeuvre to and from the port, we enjoyed going to Bilbao and experiencing all the art installations at The Guggenheim , although our children were bored, uncultured urchins that they are, but easily remedied by sitting in the 'very' expensive cafe and eating while they waited for us! We visited Guernsey, La Rocha and Bilbao on port days which were all pleasant ways to spend a few hours mooching about with helpful instructions on what to do and how to get back without too much effort. Disembarkation was just as quick as embarkation. Good trip, thoroughtly enjoyed by all and would probably go again, although not to the same places and with a gap of a couple of years, as wouldn't want to spoil the memories. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First time on the Arcadia. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not as there was no Atrium. It took a few days to work out where things where. I will definitely choose the Arcadia again. Lifts on the outside were great. Everyone ... Read More
First time on the Arcadia. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not as there was no Atrium. It took a few days to work out where things where. I will definitely choose the Arcadia again. Lifts on the outside were great. Everyone was so friendly and as it was Adults only, there was no pushing and shoving to get to the pool loungers first. The choice of food could have been more adventurous as there only seemed to be a difference of 2-3 choices. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the disembarkation was very efficient. I would still like P & O to have an All Inclusive package instead of having to pay for all drinks. I don't drink wine very often so a wine package which they do didn't appeal to me but coffees and other soft drinks were also expensive. We visited the Norweigen Fjords and were very lucky with the weather. Still snow on the mountains and we were in the sunshine. Beautiful. Obviously we had to take clothes for all weathers as we weren't sure what it was going to be like. I did think the price of all the Trips were very expensive. All in all, a fantastic holiday. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
It was our silver anniversary, have been to Norway before but still amazed us with its scenery and waterfalls .First time for my wife on p&o, my second, Cabin was very good, situated on c deck near lifts, got lost several times early ... Read More
It was our silver anniversary, have been to Norway before but still amazed us with its scenery and waterfalls .First time for my wife on p&o, my second, Cabin was very good, situated on c deck near lifts, got lost several times early on, think they could have put deck plans in the lifts.Have done several cruises with Thomsons, so had to compare to them, Entertainment in theatre was good, headliners put on good shows, guest artists also, witnessed accident in there, some chap fell down stairs, the attention he got was excellent, 2 nurses there inside 5 minutes, and emergency tannoy was done then and upto 15 staff attended in another 5 minutes. Thanks to this swift attention he fully recovered by next nght. Food,the choice of English fare at lunch time in the buffet was poor, breakfast was good, in the Meridian there was a lot of repetition, though it was nicely cooked and large portions.The grill was brilliant, 3 lovely courses, well presented although it took over 2 hours to get through it.Staff were friendly and attentive. Lastly the weather was very good, got very hot on a couple of days. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Everything about our holiday was excellent the staff did a very a good job and were very friendly and helpful. Food was really nice and always warm got on really well with the people on our table and could have a good laugh with the ... Read More
Everything about our holiday was excellent the staff did a very a good job and were very friendly and helpful. Food was really nice and always warm got on really well with the people on our table and could have a good laugh with the dinning staff. The entertainment was so good we went to see some of the shows twice. The cabin was up to a good standard and our steward was very nice and helpful. the sour excursions were really good & some of the tour guides did there jobs brilliantly. there was always plenty to do and to see. The on board shop had a good selection of items & very well priced. the ship was always clean & tidy easy access on and off the ship. Yet another excellent holiday with p&o and can not wait for our 4th holiday with arcadia next year. keep up the good work p&o Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise as we wanted to return to Norway, see the Art Deco town of Alesund & try Arcadia. The trip was excellent. There were no queues for embarkation when we arrived (2.20) and were on the ship within 10 minutes. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to return to Norway, see the Art Deco town of Alesund & try Arcadia. The trip was excellent. There were no queues for embarkation when we arrived (2.20) and were on the ship within 10 minutes. The ship has recently been re-furbished and has an elegant feel. The three-tired theatre is particularly impressive and there are plenty of places to sit, drink and relax . Like Aurora, Arcadia has a skydome - so plenty of swimming opportunities if you don't want to use the main outside pool. The theatre company's shows were very good and we particularly liked the classical guitarist. Jacqui Scoot - a singer- had a good choice of programme - but we only went once, as the amplification was so loud it spoilt her excellent voice.Again the 2 female violinist amplification was too much and I wondered if they could play anything other than fast, loud music? However I'm sure that others will have enjoyed them.-Commentating on entertainment is probably a mine-field, as it is so much a persons individual preferences. We chose freedom dining (having done both previously) However this time it didn't seem to work as smoothly. On a couple of occasions there was a 15 minute queue before another 15 minute wait for a table ( & that wasn't waiting for a table for 2 - of which there are many more now) Staff were most apologetic and once in, the choice of menu was good, staff pleasant & attentive (they always seem to know when water/wine glasses are ready to be re-filed), we were neer rushed and vegetables were always hot - rather than luke warm (which we had on Queen Mary 2) We also tried Ocean Grill and Sindhu (2 speciality restaurants) - worth paying the cover charge. Delicious food, in lovely surroundings. As we had been on a previous cruise to Norway, we often went off the ship, exploring & doing our own thing. However would recommend the following:-(1) The Rauma Railway from Andalnes. This trip is 3 hours & goes one way on the train & the other by coach, so giving you the opportunity to stop and take photos of the magnificent scenery. We preferred this to the Flam railway. (2)The Flor & Fjaere garden (from Stavanger) A gardener's delight and you do need to go on an organised trip here if your departure time is before 6pm. See trip advisor for my detailed write up of all the ports visited. I think the only way to see the fjords really is by cruising and as we were ahead of our timing near Hellyst, the captain took us on an extra journey in the Geiranger fjord and turned the ship completely round so that passengers did not have to charge from one side of the ship to the other for photos of the various waterfalls. This was a treat, with clear blue skies, temperatures of 23 degrees and stricking scenery. Other very scenic trips include going to Mountt Dalsnibba; taking the venicular or cable car in Bergen and the Birksdal Glacier. Disembarkation was efficent & timings were kept to. Altogether and excellent holiday & we might even go again to Norway some time. Now looking forward to part of a world cruise segment next February on Aurora. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I chose this cruise because I wanted to visit the Fjords, I wanted to do more than 7 days and I wanted an adult friends ship, although these dates didn't coincide with school holiday. I have only ever sailed P&O and the Arcadia ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to visit the Fjords, I wanted to do more than 7 days and I wanted an adult friends ship, although these dates didn't coincide with school holiday. I have only ever sailed P&O and the Arcadia was the ship that was going, when I wanted to go. The ship is slightly smaller than the Ventura which I have been on twice before but she still is a lovely ship. It didn't take me long to familiarise myself with the ship. I chose Freedom Dining as I like to dine as and when. I was very pleased with my choice all round. With Arcadia you do get what I would class a more sedate entertainment - albeit all very good. One good point if you are a dancer then there is lots of dancing (ballroom, latin etc) on this ship and The Globe is a good venue for this (instead at the bottom of the atrium as on Ventura). The headliner shows were all very good. My cabin (single inside) was great - steward very nice. The buffet was good - lots of choice and very friendly staff, yes sometimes it is busy but that is only to be expected. All the staff were lovely and obliging, everywhere was clean. I would chose this ship again if it were going where I want to go without a hesitation. thanks P&O for another amazing cruise. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Always wanted to do a cruise never again, though we have been told we was very very unlucky, it was like an old peoples home age range between 75-100 no I'm not kidding, I like old people but wouldn't choose to be surrounded by ... Read More
Always wanted to do a cruise never again, though we have been told we was very very unlucky, it was like an old peoples home age range between 75-100 no I'm not kidding, I like old people but wouldn't choose to be surrounded by 1000s on holiday, even the old people complained it was like a depressing old people home. The entertainment was poor cheap, and once again for the elderly, no wifi unless you wanted to pay £85 for 2 weeks, the pools are very small also I was looking forward to being on deck listening to the sea and reading a book, but oh no loud music all day once again for the elderly, we was on A deck and woken some morning at 6am with noise from the deck above while it was being cleaned. Food was good, and service excellent also cabin maid excellent. It's worth trying the independent restaurants for an extra £15 per person very good value. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first taste of a cruise and 6 nights appeared to be an ideal duration. We really enjoyed our time on her. The food was of an excellent standard in the restaurants and for a small fee we tried the upmarket Shindu Indian ... Read More
This was our first taste of a cruise and 6 nights appeared to be an ideal duration. We really enjoyed our time on her. The food was of an excellent standard in the restaurants and for a small fee we tried the upmarket Shindu Indian Restaurant and the Ocean Grill restaurant (twice). Both were excellent, but the Ocean Grill particularly outstanding. Our cabin was what we expected, comfortable and of a good standard. I'm pleased to say that we were never bored as there was plenty to do on board. The service, in my opinion was excellent. The staff were all very attentive and couldn't do enough to help and always had a smile on their faces. Our favourite place to relax was The Crows Nest, with great views to the front and the price of the drinks no more than you would pay in your local pub. We also tried the gym and hydrotherapy pool which we would definately use more if we returned to her. We chose not to go on any excursions as we preferred to explore La Rochelle, Bilbao and St Peter's Port ourselves. Free shuttle buses to the towns were provided as were regular return trips back to the ship. The ship appeared to be in very good condition and after several days was very easy to navigate around. Our excursion on Arcadia was very positive and left us with some great memories. So much so we are now looking forward to another cruise next year. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good ... Read More
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good bathroom with bath and tea making facility.There was poor hanging space in the wardrobe but we managed. Meals we found a bit dull,do not go on PO expecting food to wow you,they are often very ordinary,it was sometimes dried out or overcooked in the Belvedere which is similar to a works canteen.Salads are ok and you can get tea or coffee anytime,deserts were also so,so. Evening meals we took freedom dining option which we liked as you are able to choose time to eat and not be stuck with people you may not get on with.These meals are also hit and miss,we always found soups were best part,meat was sometimes very fatty or tough,othertimes they were fine,very inconsistent. Entertainment was first class with great singers,dancers,modern and classical shows we thoroughly enjoyed.A special mention to the young people of the Headliners show team,magnificent The ports especially in the Far East were all we expected,loved Japan.Crossed the Pacific visiting Hawaii,San Francisco,San Diego and Mexico. Transversing the Panama Canal was another highlight we would not have missed. Caribbean isles of Aruba and St Martin were to follow ending at the Azores in Punta del Gardaga before home again.Disembarkation went smoothly. We did get the notorious Arcadia cough (hoped it was a myth)My husband was so bad he went to the doctor and could not leave the cabin for several days which was a pity as there were lots of hobbies and activities to join in,name it and there was something for everyone. Public areas were lovely,enjoyed the piano bar after dinner,praise to Natalie,John and the saxophonist. Swimming pools were ok,heated but the jaquzzis were a joke,never bubbly (excuse given that they were only spa baths) why then were there dials etc to make the tubs active? Drinks on board were affordable and the staff in all areas were well trained,polite and very friendly. Being such a long cruise laundry areas are small and cramped and difficult to get a wash done but we managed ok.Also very small and cramped was the Cinema with only 30 seats. We loved our time except when not well,were disappointed with the cuisine(too many curries)enjoyed activities we joined but will probably not use Arcadia again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my ... Read More
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my critiscisms of Arcadia, simply do not apply. For example, I have seen the Captain almost every day and exchanged pleasantries on numerous occasions. The jacuzzis are hot and, yes, the water jets work. The pool is warm..ish and therefore passengers actually swim in it!! Etc etc I have friends who concurred with my original views and who also travelled on the Aurora recently and, like me, feel that it is managed better than the Arcadia. Finally, yesterday, I was talking to some fellow passengers who commented, without prompting, that the Arcadia has issues. To my mind, the Arcadia, which was a ship originally built for the more up-market Cunard brand, should be the pride and joy of the P&O fleet but, unfortunately, it is not. Sad really as run well, they could charge a premium. What is therefore clear to me is that P&O give a great amount of freedom to the management team on each ship. This means that the brand offering can be different on each ship and better or worse, depending on your viewpoint of course. This therefore begs the question...What value the P&O branding? I have to ask, therefore, whether their marketing department is keeping tabs on the feed back and whether their reports are read by a Senior management team who take action. To my mind, when something small goes wrong, it is often symptomatic of a larger problem. In my experience of business, most customer experience enhancements cost little, or nothing, to implement. So here is my post and if anyone feels that it is factually incorrect then I hope you will let me know and I will tell you my exact experience. Arcadia is great if you… Are happy with good to very good general service Like to spend time in a well equipped modern gym with spinning bikes and treadmills etc , where most of the equipment functions correctly. Like a good size cabin with a very large and comfortable bed. Like a cabin with a half bath as well as a shower. Want your cabin to be always well cleaned and tidied and to have good quality linen. Don't mind waiting 45 minutes to an hour for room service. Like to have a cabin with a modern and large TV which connects to your own storage devices (USB) and plays almost every film and audio format available as well as photo files. Aren't too bothered by a poor quality (Fuzzy) picture on said TV when watching all of the ships channels. Like swimming in unheated swimming pools that are cold unless they have been warmed by the sun in a tropical location. Are happy to sit in a tepid jacuzzi that doesn't have jets or bubbles as they have been purposefully disconnected, for "health and safety reasons" Don't want to eat high quality or Gourmet food. Like onions, mustard, pesto and an odd assortment of other additions, being added to all and every one of their pre prepared sandwiches. Like odd food combinations. Eg pineapple slice and Edam cheese toasties, fresh prawns always in Pesto sauce or with some other weird addition , Mackerel curry?? Like eating food that can have different ingredients than described on the menu. Understand that the quality of the ingredients in the Marco Pierre White restaurant is substantially lower than you might expect in his UK restaurants. Like poor quality Sirloin or Rib-Eye steak that is pre cut and only served 1/3 inch thick. Don't mind having to ask the occasional member of staff to repeat themselves two or three times because you don't understand them. Are happy to watch a film in the wrong Aspect Ratio where James Bond is 7ft tall and his Aston Martin looks like a bus. Are tone deaf and can't tell that some of the bar singers are occasionally out of tune or are just not very good. Want to enjoy some of the best production shows you are ever likely to see on a ship. Don't mind seeing the same shows repeated on long voyages. Love watching some great guest singers perform to a very high standard. Like watching great shows in a beautiful theatre. Like a wide variety of entertaining guest speakers who make presentations on a multitude of interesting topics. Like to watch recent release films in a purpose built cinema with comfy chairs and great viewing positions and don't mind the poor quality of the picture projected onto the screen by the out of date projector. Like to learn ballroom dancing and to have the chance to practice every night with professional and entertaining dance coaches. Like to play table tennis. Like to play Bridge. Like to buy Original Art at sea. Like to spend an evening down at the local pub with a good choice of beers and music and quizzes etc. Like to gamble in a Casino. Want to be able to have your own spirits in your cabin and don't mind paying £6 a litre for the mixers. Eg Tonic or ginger ale etc . Always take your own thick cushions with you so that you can enjoy sitting on the very uncomfortable reclining beds by the indoor pool. ( they have an iron rail in an odd position that sticks into your buttock ) Understand that the crew are much too busy to respond to your complaints and have to keep a straight face when they pass on what their senior mangers tells them, even though they know it is total rubbish. Understand that there will be times when there are no cups available in the buffet or that the tea box will not always have the one tea you prefer. Understand that the buffet will not always have the one dish from the menu that you want, unless you ask for it. Want WIFI and don't mind paying a premium rate for a very slow connection. Don't think that the huge rust patches on the outside of the ship are symptomatic of the crews attitude. Don't mind not seeing the Captain around the ship very often and don't expect him to personally attend the Captains Cocktail Party or make the daily announcements. Don't mind paying the doctors fee of £60 plus, when that is the only way the pharmacy will give you a "non prescription" cream. (which they have dozens of on the shelf in the pharmacy.) Like a ship with a modern and well thought out interior. Enjoy using a hydropherapy pool with strong water jets and don't mind paying extra for the privilege of using it or that it is occasionally closed with no explanation of why. Don't mind going to occasional ports of call that have little to offer but are probably cheap to Park at. Notes: My wife and I have been cruising for over 25 years and have cruised on P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Cruise and Maritime, NCL, Costa, Cunard and Fred Olsen. We believe that almost every cruise ship and itinerary combination has a price at which it is good value providing you are happy to accept any known limitations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We choose this cruise as previous passengers always spoke highly of Arcadia and the itinerary was very attractive. Unfortunately, excursions were poorly planned and organised: black tie events and smart jacket events were changed I.e. ... Read More
We choose this cruise as previous passengers always spoke highly of Arcadia and the itinerary was very attractive. Unfortunately, excursions were poorly planned and organised: black tie events and smart jacket events were changed I.e. reduced and cancelled, from the original itinerary; the only (very small) dance floor is taken over by the dance club so no where to party in the evening wearing the evening outfits bought for the cruise; liveliest bar in the evening for a drink and everything stops at 10:30 for (another) quiz; no quiet reading area as all are in bar areas where you are expected to order drinks by constant bar staff. There is more but no point as P&O not interested. Many passengers as disappointed as us and had said used to be lovely cruise ship but experiences had been changing over last couple years. Excursions were poor and none allowed for special opportunities to make most of local traditions such as cherry blossom time in Japan, church procession in the Azores port, poorly planned trips to Great Wall and Forbidden City. immigration arrangements ate into our limited port time which meant we could not explore independently as committed to poor excursion departure times. Very expensive holiday when add in 50 X daily drinks, tips, spa treatments as everything is chargeable and promoted deals are not honoured. Real shame as the staff are so lovely and 50 days together does create a working bond with them. Needless to say, husband says never again :- Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our first P&O cruise, and we had high expectations. Our cabin was good and activities, including entertainment and daytime talks, were all good to excellent. I particularly enjoyed the daily cricket matches run by Adam - ... Read More
This was our first P&O cruise, and we had high expectations. Our cabin was good and activities, including entertainment and daytime talks, were all good to excellent. I particularly enjoyed the daily cricket matches run by Adam - excellent. Most staff were polite and helpful, but we found some Reception staff unhelpful and slow to get back to us. My biggest problem was with the food. I am vegetarian, and found the choices limited and often poorly presented. We opted for set dining in the Meridian Restaurant. We have enjoyed this set type if dining on other cruises and as one of our party had mobility issues restaurant service was preferable. Examples of food I was offered included a potato sandwich (not even any butter, and I was told it was a vegetable sandwich) and risotto that was a solid lump of rice with very little else added! I asked for brown bread sandwiches and was told brown bread is only used for fish! The meat eaters in my party were bored with very similar choices day after day, and some of the meat was very tough and unedible. We all found the pseudo language which regularly had to be interpreted for us very tiresome, and strange dishes and combinations of flavours odd and off putting. The lunchtime buffet in the Belvedere Restaurant was much better and had a wide variety of choices. Waiters and restaurant staff were helpful and always polite. It was such a shame they had to serve such poor quality food. One other thing that caused us problems - my husband has severe migraine if there are bright flashes, and he always finds the presence of photographers a challenge, particularly on formal nights. There must be other people who are affected by this? All in all, we enjoyed the cruise, but would have struggled with more than 3 weeks of the food! Labelling of the decks and venues on the ship is poor. Why does each deck have a name, a number and a letter? Simplify this P&O! I was really pleased that the pools had fresh water, as opposed to sea water on some other ships. The gym was well equipped but there were often no wipes or towels. The Palladium Theatre is excellent. The only concern we had was the obsessive use of the smoke machine, regardless of its relevance! One other thing that caused us problems - my husband has severe migraine if there are bright flashes, and he always finds the presence of photographers a challenge, particularly on formal nights. There must be other people who are affected by this? All in all, we enjoyed the cruise, but would have struggled with more than 3 weeks of the food! We expected better from P&O. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We booked this section of the Arcadia's world trip in early 2015 as we were tempted by the stay in Sydney, the airline offered and the Great Barrier Reef. As an afterthought I consulted Cruise Critic and saw that many of the reviews ... Read More
We booked this section of the Arcadia's world trip in early 2015 as we were tempted by the stay in Sydney, the airline offered and the Great Barrier Reef. As an afterthought I consulted Cruise Critic and saw that many of the reviews commented on the "Arcadia Cough". Having just had a terrible time in Florida and New York with a cough and wheezing chest I tried to cancel the trip. Our travel agent refused to cancel and in the end we decided that we should risk it. Thank goodness for that! We loved the Arcadia and I can honestly say that I did not hear anyone coughing throughout the trip. The first night in the Meridian free dining restaurant was not a roaring success as I chose the tomato soup (It was nominated as a favourite of Arcadia passengers) which was worse than any tomato soup I had ever tried. I mentioned it to the waiter who passed on my comment to the restaurant manager who listened politely and said he would pass on my comments to the Chef. From that moment the food became better and better if I can forgive them for the Morton Bay Bug which they served on the first of two Formal nights. I always took breakfast in the Belvedere self-service restaurant which had a huge choice of hot and cold dishes. I would have liked some Indian-style dishes occasionally but that is nit-picking. My mother had her breakfast at 9.30 am in the cabin. Our cabin was a last minute allocation and it was designed for handicap access. It had the biggest bathroom (shower only) I have ever had in a cruise ship and an excellent balcony on the port side reasonably near the forward lifts on Egypt deck. The theatre, the Crow's Nest bar and the pub are all at the front of the ship. It was nice to be able to sit in various places on the ship without having to put up with cocktail pianists and loud singing duos which for me blighted such ships as the Victoria. It reminded me of the QM2 in its sound free zones. We loved the bridge classes and the daily duplicates run by Tony and Sheila Cordery and the mini-concerts in the Globe. but for the most part the theatre acts were forgettable. The entertainment team were great fun and never forgot that they were there for us - I have been on many ships where the Entertainment staff were very highhanded in their approach. We took private tours at all the ports of call and thought that Yorkey's Knob was the most enjoyable and worth another day because of the choice of excursions. Manila was an interesting port but there was very little to do other than shopping. The Queen Mary 2 is till our favourite ship but our Arcadian experience was extremely enjoyable Read Less
Sail Date: March 2016
Cruised from Sydney to San Franciso segment of a World Cruise. Mainly English and Aussies on board. No children on this ship. Entertainment was wonderful, the ballroom dancer instructors were the highlight of our sea days aboard the ... Read More
Cruised from Sydney to San Franciso segment of a World Cruise. Mainly English and Aussies on board. No children on this ship. Entertainment was wonderful, the ballroom dancer instructors were the highlight of our sea days aboard the Arcadia. Mainly retired people on board - I guess you need to be retired to have this much time available for a holiday! We met a couple who did a world cruise every year on the Arcadia, and they were just as excited each embarcation! A highlight of our trip was walking on the Great Wall of China; an amazing construction. We also visited Papua New Guinea, Manilla, Hong, Kong, Nagasaki and Osaka as well as 2 stops in Honolulu. We were extremely fortunate with good weather - we had rain on only one day. There was plenty to do on board and we met delightful people who we still email. Recommended! Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
General: I took the cruise on the Arcadia 1-17 March 2016, Sydney-Brisbane-Yorkey’s Knob (Cairns)-Alotau (Papua New Guinea)-Manila-Hong Kong. The Arcadia caters largely for the over-65s, mainly British clientele, some of whom seem ... Read More
General: I took the cruise on the Arcadia 1-17 March 2016, Sydney-Brisbane-Yorkey’s Knob (Cairns)-Alotau (Papua New Guinea)-Manila-Hong Kong. The Arcadia caters largely for the over-65s, mainly British clientele, some of whom seem to spend most if not all the year cruising. Pricewise, the cruise is good value. Perhaps because of that, the ports of call were not particularly interesting and nor was the entertainment on board but if you want a relaxing time at sea, this ship will satisfy. Incidentally, I found Alotau one of the more interesting stops but I didn’t take any of the package shore excursions – I booked my own in advance through the local travel agent, Villink, located in the Alotau International Hotel. It was less touristy, the car was air-conditioned and I believe I learned more; and it was at a lower cost that the similar on-board shore excursion on offer. Don’t expect decent WiFi even if you are willing to pay the extortionate price charged for WiFi use on board – speeds are very slow, so at 50p a minute, best to wait to the next port of call to log-in. There were two safety alerts (a fire in an elevator; smoke from the incinerator) during the cruise. They were efficiently dealt with though I don’t understand why passengers were woken at 3.00 AM to tell them of the first alert (without further instructions or directions being given). Unless passengers are instructed to do something or to act in a particular manner (even it is only to stay in the cabin), I can’t see the purpose of ruining their sleep, causing panic (some passengers commented that they were concerned), or create unnecessary interest that might obstruct the crew (some passengers wanted to see what was happening). If this is an established safety procedure, it is a bad one and needs to be rethought. There is Sunday Christian worship and regular Christian Fellowship meetings take place. No other faiths are generally catered for though Jews do get to meet for the Jewish Sabbath. Observant Jews and Muslims need not apply (see ‘food’ below). The ship is generally well run, though I did get a sense of complacency, especially as regards the kitchens/restaurants. Overall, the ship is of the quality of a 3-star hotel but occasionally rises a notch higher. It needs to be said that most passengers were happy with the ship. Pros Friendly, efficient cabin stewards. Most staff are friendly and helpful. Dining options are adequate and cuisine quality acceptable, though not exceptional. Complaints do get actioned and rectified. P&O has been in the business a long time so knows what to expect – embarkation and disembarkation at ports of call are generally efficiently handled.. Good value for money overall (though some shore excursions are over-priced). Self-service laundry facilities are available on board (though cramped and insufficient for overall demand – be ready for some frayed tempers if you have not cleared your machine immediately after it has completed its cycle). There some nice, comfortable places to sit and while away the time looking out to sea, in particular the Crow’s Nest at the front of the ship. Cons Entertainment is basic and not generally high quality though there were some acts that were so good (e.g. Fogwell Flax) that the Palladium Theatre could not accommodate all demand. The films screened are basically DVDs (not in HD) and start times do not always accord with the printed schedule. The programme of talks is adequate and one or two even interesting but overall, worthy rather than stimulating. The scheduling was also not ideal as the talks frequently clashed with teatime etc. (see below). The talks had no relationship to the places being visited –e.g. on the history of Australia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Hong Kong etc.. Of course, there is a Port Talk before each port of call but that is more about sights, shopping and shore excursions, with modest historic background. The food is generally unexceptional. The ship does not cater well (at all?) for people with special dietary needs For example, it was not uncommon for 50% of the eight main course dishes on offer to contain pig products in some form (of the 4 main course choices during one lunchtime, 3 had pig products in them); and no effort was made to keep such products separate either in preparation or presentation from other dishes. There was usually one vegetarian option (out of 8) for dinner in the Meridian dining room. It is easy enough to keep pig products separate from others, to use a different griddle for grilling pork from other meats etc. but no such effort is made. Although most of the clientele might be reliving the 1960s and 70s, there is no reason for P&O not to make an effort to accommodate the 21st century (see also comments on electrical sockets and wifi). Also there doesn’t seem to be any great effort to give a taste of the cuisine of the ports to be/just visited (other than Australia). For instance, Papua New Guinea produces cocoa, coffee, bananas, fish, sago, cassava, yams – none of these appeared on the menu. Of the two main restaurants, the Meridian provides a silver service dining experience. The food can be good but too often is below par (e.g. sometimes microwaved and, consequently, dry and unappetising dishes often served lukewarm). There is also an element of complacency evident in the preparation – e.g. a mass-produced tart base is used for too many dishes. One particularly egregious example was a ‘macaroon tart’ which was the offending tart base filled with something that tasted like ‘Angel Delight’ with half a macaroon biscuit shell on top. The same tart base (a typical mass-produced casing used for quiches, tarts and anything else that comes to mind) was used two days later for a rhubarb and apple crumble ‘tart’. Cooking for large throughput is not easy and complacency has to be guarded against. One thing about the Meridian – it opens very late for breakfast (07.30 when in port, 08.00 on other days). Bearing in mind the age of the ship’s clientele, elderly folk who have difficulty sleeping, this is far too late. Also, on port days one wants to disembark as early as possible. A start one hour earlier would be better. The Belvedere is self-service and gives too much the impression of a staff canteen, in choice of dishes, layout and even smell. The quality varies from mediocre to passable. Access to the food is also not always easy – try pouring the soup without spilling it! A few design and style changes could easily make it a lot more appealing. The smoothies on offer are far too sweet (like most things on board, at least for my taste) – not really smoothies as I know them. With so many elderly passengers, diabetes might be a problem that needs to be more widely addressed (it’s not just sufficient to offer the occasional diabetic pastry). The specialty restaurants (Ocean Grill, Sindhu) are both good but the menus are fixed for the duration of the voyage so a couple of visits will mean you’ve exhausted the dishes you want to eat (or that don’t appear elsewhere on the ship). I was a little surprised to find that the Sindhu did not use tablecloths. Tea time was very short, lasting 45 min so if you arrive late, expect to be rushed out. Scones were usually acceptable, though sometimes stale. Clotted cream was served, so full marks (in the Meridian only) for this. It was impossible to find a decent cup of coffee on board. There were 3 establishments claiming to serve Costa Coffee (admittedly, not the best of the international chains) but if they were representative of Costa Coffee generally, then it’s time for a change. Why can one not get a decent espresso or cappuccino elsewhere? The attempts at cappuccino in the main restaurant were more like coffee dregs soaked in warm water and then swamped with milk. The baristas need some proper training. I also object to the misleading WiFi sign appearing at these 3 establishments – there is no free WiFi on board and the WiFi in the Costa Coffee places is the same as that for the ship as a whole (and available only at great cost). Drinks – the price of on-board drinks is comparable to what can be found in the UK (outside central London). The duty and tax savings are, therefore, not passed on to the passengers. Although good hygiene is important, the anti-bacterial gel that was not only offered at the door but almost forced on diners entering the restaurants, made one feel rather like being at school or hospital ward (doubly unwelcome when one takes into account the average age of the passengers). More effective would be issuing facemasks to people with coughs and sneezes! It was all a bit too much. And the injunction to wipe down machines after use in the gym was usually obeyed by the passengers but often ignored by the staff themselves. The gym is an adequate size/ well-equipped considering the age of the passengers, but might become inadequate if the average age fell by say 10 years. Incidentally, the gym is open between 08.00-20.00 only. As there is little or no supervision in the gym, I don’t understand why opening hours are not extended (to, say, 07.00-21.00). The Library has a reasonable stock of classic and modern fiction but not much in the way of good non-fiction (a lot of books on birds and a big collection on, often outdated, travel guides. In some ways this is understandable in view of the cost of books these days). There is comfortable seating in the library itself but there could be more of it. Although the Arcadia’s ‘Helpful Information’ claims that cabins are equipped with British style electrical sockets, in fact there is only one such socket in the cabin and generally the ship has US-style sockets throughout. Adapters were supplied by Reception (after the deficiency was raised as a concern). The ship lacks also an adequate number of power points in public areas to meet the needs of the modern age, for charging phones, computers, tablets, cameras etc.. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We joined the world cruise in Sydney with about 1000 others. It does seem a tad disappointing fore 'around the world' cruisers that they have so many fairly transient passengers with them. The standard of the food was excellent ... Read More
We joined the world cruise in Sydney with about 1000 others. It does seem a tad disappointing fore 'around the world' cruisers that they have so many fairly transient passengers with them. The standard of the food was excellent as was the service we received in the Meridaian restaurant. The cabin steward also provided excellent service. What was lacking ? Perhaps the Entertainment team was not able to galvanise the passengers to the extent that we have experienced on other world cruises. Another common problem is the lack of or even misinformation provided to dependent travellers for shore visits. Obviously P & O are very keen to push their own over-priced excursions. Another continuing disappointment is the expensive and unreliable wifi. Surely in 2016 Carnival can provide such a basic service as Wifi to all passengers and include it in the cruise price. They should also be able to provide a good quality coffee service - the Costa served in the coffee lounges is not the sane as you would get in a Costa anywhere in the world. But this is all nit-picking - we did have a fabulous time and appreciate the overall quality provided by P & O. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If only we had done the research first! Our cruise from Sydney to Southampton started with a very long queue, despite having "priority" boarding as suite passengers. There was no ... Read More
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If only we had done the research first! Our cruise from Sydney to Southampton started with a very long queue, despite having "priority" boarding as suite passengers. There was no "priority", we were queued up with everybody else, and was surprised at how many people had turned up earlier than their advised embarkation time. Not a huge problem and certainly not anything to spoil our cruise. When we finally arrived at our suite, we were welcomed by our very courteous and professional butler, and we were delighted with the Champagne, chocolates and bottled water in the fridge, not to mention the full set of White Company products in the bathroom. If we had found this website previously, we may not have been surprised at the size of the suite. As other passengers have already commented, it is not as big as expected and with the table and chairs being at the bottom of the bed, it can feel a little cramped. However, the balcony is huge, complete with sun loungers and a table and chairs. On our first night we met people who were doing the world cruise, and we heard many entertaining comments about the first half of the cruise. Tales of arguments and fights in the laundry, complete with people being "put off" due to their behaviour, was very amusing. During the cruise to Brisbane and Cairns we were very happy with our suite, however, we became aware that the engine noise during the evening did spoil the conversation with our fellow passengers at dinner, due to the noise of the engines. This turned out to be even worse during future the longer days at sea. More about this later in the cabin review. Positives about the cruise included the pre booked shore excursions, which we found reasonably priced and well organised; the gym was very well equipped; the staff were very polite and hard working, and the entertainment was overall very good. The negatives, we would have to include the disappointment with the tiredness of the suite, and arriving back from a shore excursion to find men moving equipment on our balcony prior to sailing through the Panama Canal. Lucky the previous forum passenger who was informed 2 days earlier and received complementary wine!! We didn't even get a phone call. However, we don't want this review to be a list of negative comments, because our only real gripe was the noise in the suite and the subsequent handling of the unresolved problem. Other passengers had been moved to different cabins, but apparently "there were no other cabins" for us. We were not asking for compensation of any sort, hence we refused the meal and wine, but we are left feeling very let down by P&O cruises, despite us spending a small fortune on a half world cruise. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I have just returned from 4 nights on Arcadia, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Sydney, part of her round-the-Pacific-and the Americas jaunt from the UK. I had a balcony cabin A13 - on Australia Deck. Very nice. Spacious, light, tea and ... Read More
I have just returned from 4 nights on Arcadia, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Sydney, part of her round-the-Pacific-and the Americas jaunt from the UK. I had a balcony cabin A13 - on Australia Deck. Very nice. Spacious, light, tea and coffee making facilities, comfy bed, wonderful room attendant, could not fault it - or perhaps one thing, the print in the picture frame on the wall had slipped in the frame. Nice print - alas badly framed. Irritating. The crew were all very friendly and seemed to be relaxed and enjoying their jobs. Kid free ship with mainly older passengers so nothing was a hassle. I even used the pool. The public rooms were sedate, quiet and very relaxing. I never heard one whinge the whole time I was on board. I thoroughly enjoyed the food and drinks and the drip coffee in the Belvedere was probably the best coffee I have had on any cruise ship. I did not try the specialty restaurants The weather was mostly good. The TV had a great range of programmes and the pool areas were not be blasted with loud offensive music all day. After a recent disaster cruise with P&O Australia this four days of bliss with P&O UK was just what I needed to reaffirm my commitment to holidays at sea with that wonderful old company. What a difference a dark blue funnel can make eh ? Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I wished to visit some of the itinerary. Unfortunately the cabin allotted to us was very noisy and we missed many a morning lecture due to loss of sleep. eventually we were moved but his occurred several times so we were not happy ... Read More
I wished to visit some of the itinerary. Unfortunately the cabin allotted to us was very noisy and we missed many a morning lecture due to loss of sleep. eventually we were moved but his occurred several times so we were not happy travellers. Staff were very good but food was not the usual standard expected from previous cruises. Lectures appeared mainly for men so I found the cruise rather boring. Most tours ashore we took were ok except one which was not worth the money charged, that was the Kyoto panorama as it was mostly travelling by coach and one stop to visit a shrine and not enough time allowed for that before we travelled on for lunch so we feel it was very over priced.. Too many shows were repeated Most day time events offered were for selling products e.g. spa treatments, wine events Internet too expensive and I felt sorry for the officer in the library who had both internet and librarian duties who was often run off his feet with problems Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Boarding at Valparaiso went well. Our cabin was great, and we were on G deck, the lowest passenger deck. The cabin was very clean, and certainly larger than what we have had with other cruise lines at a similar level. What was good ... Read More
Boarding at Valparaiso went well. Our cabin was great, and we were on G deck, the lowest passenger deck. The cabin was very clean, and certainly larger than what we have had with other cruise lines at a similar level. What was good that our suitcases slipped under the bed, which we have not been able to do with some cruise lines. Our cabin steward Johnny was first class. Cabin was left immaculate each day. The ship was very clean throughout. Newsletters for the UK and Australia were available daily, which meant we did not feel disconnected from the World. The theatre shows were very much hit and miss for me. I have a low tolerance regarding entertainment, and if I am not enjoying a show within the first 10 minutes, I have no hesitation in leaving. I only stayed through 4 shows in the 20 days sailing. Some acts were dreadful unfortunately. We were on Freedom Dining, and unfortunately in the main, it was not a pleasant experience, to the point that we used the buffet more than the restaurant. We felt rushed most times, with being seated, handed a menu, and before we had even had time to introduce ourselves to the other table members, let alone time to study the menu, we were being asked what we wanted to order. The food was so so. My wife had to send her meals back twice due to asking for no meat to be served with blood in it, and having it delivered oozing blood. On one occasion, she ordered roast pork, and it was mainly fat and gristle, so she left most of the meal. If that had happened on our preferred cruise line, the waiter would have asked what was wrong, and would have offered a replacement, but the plate was just whisked away. Ordering the ice cream or sorbet was a joke, because each time itcould be drank from the bowl because it was melted. No good putting ice cream in hot dishes guys. One other thing on it. We are used to the table waiter going though the menu, explaining what each item was, and making his recommendations, then waiting a short while before taking orders. I am not French, and could not understand what some of the meals were with the menus referring to the meals using French words. A dumbo maybe, but surely, plain simple menus in English would not be too hard to do. The buffet was great. No problems there at all. The tables were cleared quickly, the choice of food was good, and we could take as long or as little time as we wanted to, to eat. Also, a nice touch seeing the tables in the buffet laid up for the evening dining. The pub, the Crows nest, and The Globe were evening hangouts for us, and we enjoyed each venue. The musical entertainment was good, the quizzes were good, the staff were great. The Battle Of The Sexes was great fun, but I would have liked to have seen some debates on World issues take place. The itinerary was not great, but we knew that, so no issues on it at all. Unfortunate that we could not get into Bora Bora, and disappointed to hear some passengers complaining about it. We have been there before, so no issue on not making it in. The dress code was relaxed in the main, though I think it could have been slightly more relaxed for the buffet in the evening, with the wearing of dress shorts and a shirt, or collared top allowed, especially so on boarding day and port days. It was good seeing the staff asking people to leave because they were wearing shorts, but disappointed that on one occasion they asked a man to leave, and 2 minutes later ignored a young woman that came In with thigh high cut off jeans with ragged ends. The dress code is a close thing, because on several occasions we seen women wearing what would be termed shorts being allowed into the dining areas, whereas a man wearing pants the same length would have been refused. Disembarking in Sydney was great. We self disembarked at 7:15am, though I staff member tried to prevent us leaving, because he said that he had not been informed that clearance had been given. We soon convinced him that it had, and that we were going off like it or not. From ship to the airport in 30 minutes using the train from Circular Quay. Cost $14 each, which included the airport access fee. (Seniors fare for Australians holding a Seniors Card. I think a couple of $$ more for those that do not hold one). This was a first cruise with P&O for us, after spending some years using another cruise line, so I guess the question is, would we book with them again. A close thing, but the answer would be yes. There was nothing drastic enough that would prevent us booking again with them. We managed the dining problems we encountered by simply using the backup option, and that was fine. When leaving the shows early, we simply went and listened to entertainment in another venue. Overall satisfaction was not excellent, but certainly good. Some tweaking of the entertainment and training of dining staff would have brought an excellent rating from us. 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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