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15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for my husband to experience the Panama Canal . Don’t expect to much of anything on this ship very poor in so many areas and ways P&O have really dropped their standards. Dated cabins with dirty stained sweaty ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my husband to experience the Panama Canal . Don’t expect to much of anything on this ship very poor in so many areas and ways P&O have really dropped their standards. Dated cabins with dirty stained sweaty pillows threaded quilt covers dirty shower curtain that wasn’t changed for the duration of our 24 day cruise, unhelpful rude reception staff ( females mainly) dirty ripped chair covers on the furniture ( horizon pool ) are only a few of our many disappointments and concerns for others planning to sail on this ship. The restaurant and waiting staff were very polite helpful and friendly however freedom dining doesn’t exist as even although we booked this dining we were revived a pager for each meal. This cruise was an expensive mistake however a lesson learned. I’m really not someone who normally writes reviews however If this saves even one other person parting with £6000 plus of their hard earned money then my time and review will be worth it. Think twice before booking this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We flew out of Perth on Boxing Day, West Australia, for this cruise, we thought it would be the best cruise experience with exotic ports of calls and were so eager to experience these. Have cruised for many many years, but this was the ... Read More
We flew out of Perth on Boxing Day, West Australia, for this cruise, we thought it would be the best cruise experience with exotic ports of calls and were so eager to experience these. Have cruised for many many years, but this was the worst experience on the high seas we have had. OK so the steering gear didn't want to work but at least we were in Southampton! Glad it wasn't in the middle of the Pacific or Atlantic. Having a problem with certain foods I wrote to P & O months in advance naming items I could not have. We dined in the main dining room so my diet could be accommodated I was given food that I threw up! I felt very vunerable as I wondered what other meals I was going to get a reaction to. Phoned Reception to let them know and was then contacted by a nurse in the Medical Centre by phone. I was told to keep in my Cabin and not go out on the paid Tour of Madeira we had just arrived at! Why we asked? Having told them it was a reaction to food I should not have been given. The reply came back You may have the Norovirus! Great, I asked if I get a reaction to food again and let the Reception know [so the bathroom can be cleaned] I will be treated as some dirty passenger that doesn't wash their hands after going to the loo will I? Yes, came the reply back, you may have the Norovirus! Well what a difference in shipping lines my husband and I thought. Here I was been given food I should not have and I get treated like this. The year before on the Maasdam [Holland America] same thing happened but the doctor at least checked me over and was happy for me to mix with the passengers as she said you haven't the virus. Their medical centre gave me medication to help my digestive system. Not P & O Arcadia, I was not even seen by a member of the medical team! Then we get to Aruba and my husband was not well, he lost his voice and had a temperature. Turns out a passenger had been let on board the ship with a nasty virus, my guess was at least 50% of the passengers caught this virus. The virus made heavy mucous in the Trachea, so the patient coughs very hard to try to get the mucas up. Husband was put on anti biotics, a week later I had the same infection and same treatment. The virus affected my throat and my well being for the rest of the cruise till we got to Sydney. Why do they let sick people on board and allow them to mix in public areas while infectious? They should be kept in confinement like I was when I didn't have the Norovirus. I have had three lots of antibiotics and my voice is still affected. Enjoyed the Quiz Night in the Crows Nest though, but it was a bit late at 10.30pm! The beds were very comfortable but the bed linen always smelt of sweat even when they were changed with new bedding! The air conditioning was not consistant in temperature, we ended up having a new control. But I rather suspect the air conditioning was not affective due to the people next to us leaving their doors open as they smoked on their balcony and the wind blew their smoke into our balcony. I agree with another comment here that the Hotel Manager of the Ship doesn't manage smokers! One evening at dinner one of the guys mentioned he had approached a smoker on the Promenade deck smoking, so the smoker throws his cigarette over board which as a regular cruiser we know that could cause a fire! We were all aghast. The rear lifts on our deck B were always smelling of smoke, the carpets in those lifts were always dirty, in fact we had never seen such dirty carpet in the lifts as we had the Arcadia. We saw cleaners in the evenings when we went down to dinner cleaning the buttons of the Lift, but that is the only time, unlike Holland America where cleaners are always busy cleaning everything. Hawaiian Tour was pleasant and we were lucky to have a 24 seater bus! More personal. However, the driver finished 10 minutes earlier than planned and was told to make the time up instead of returning to the ship. When we did return to the ship we and approx 300 others had to stand in line for scanning by the US authorities. Most of us were senior Citizens, and some were disabled. No thought had been addressed to accommodate the waiting in line for 40 odd minutes to be scanned. When we get on board the main Dining Room was closed, so my disabled husband had to go to find food up on deck 9 without me. With crutches it was not easy. I was told to remain in my cabin and my 'special meal' would be brought to me, so we could not eat together! Sadly we had to complain to the Cabin Steward who was very accommodating and pleasant, nothing was too much trouble for him, that our shower recess grouting when we boarded had black mould. He explained he was not allowed to use bleach and would have to get someone in to clean the dirty grout. Later we were asked by the Deck Manager if he could get the tiles regrouted! Not wanting to experience the smell of chemicals with the glue we declined. Ten days out of Sydney we finally were able to clean out teeth in cold water, up till then we had to use hot water, we had complained earlier, but was told that the plumber did not have the relevant pipes to make the cold water come to the tap in the vanity basins. We do not think this was $44,000 + worth of cruise although it was 7 weeks, the mini suite was fine, the Head Waiter Manuel was fantastic, he would go that extra mile where others would not! Would we go on P & O Europe again? NEVER if that is the best they can come up with! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chosen as a taster cruise and I won't be doing it again in a hurry. I've stayed in far more luxurious all-inclusive resorts with better food and service. We couldn't dock due to the weather, which can't be helped but as ... Read More
Chosen as a taster cruise and I won't be doing it again in a hurry. I've stayed in far more luxurious all-inclusive resorts with better food and service. We couldn't dock due to the weather, which can't be helped but as this is not an unusual situation I question whether P&O could have made this more clear when booking. So instead of the Christmas market we were stuck on board but there were no additional activities for people now confined to ship. I feel P&O could have at least offered a complimentary drink or some free activities. I'm sure they made lots of profit from guests stuck on ship and charging £15 for bingo is daylight robbery. 4g data doesn't work on ship so you either pay your network through the nose or purchased a wifi package from P&O. I did the latter and the connection was poor at best. Another money making scheme by P&O. Then a service charge was added automatically to my invoice for drinks etc! In my opinion tipping should reflect individual service and including it automatically is simply a way of hiding the actual cost of the cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship is tired, and badly needs updated. The engine noise and vibration made conversation and sleep almost impossible. The entertainment,with the exception of the two duos and the performance of Jimmy James was poor. The films offered ... Read More
The ship is tired, and badly needs updated. The engine noise and vibration made conversation and sleep almost impossible. The entertainment,with the exception of the two duos and the performance of Jimmy James was poor. The films offered were old and dated, with no new releases. At times the staff appeared stretched, although always polite and very hard working. Probably the only plus factor. The smoking areas on open deck were appalling, the smell invading not only the open deck but eating areas and stairwells in the ship. The route to Bermuda, our first port, from Southampton seemed strange given the fact that this was an autumn cruise. This resulted in 6 days sailing in cold/cool, damp and cloudy conditions. The food was uninspiring, as an example, the fresh fruit appeared to be limited to melon, pineapples, apples and bananas. Strawberries were offered but most of the time they were frozen. The degree of hard sell in the Oasis spa, led me to cancel several appointments, as I was unwilling to endure this at the end of each appointment. This was supposed to be a special holiday for my husband and I, celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary, and my husbands retirement. We were bitterly disappointed. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose the Arcadia as I wanted a Christmas/New Year cruise. The only open air deck where you could eat and get a drink was the Aquarius Pool deck which was on Deck 9. This was mostly crowded with constant loud unrelenting piped music. ... Read More
I chose the Arcadia as I wanted a Christmas/New Year cruise. The only open air deck where you could eat and get a drink was the Aquarius Pool deck which was on Deck 9. This was mostly crowded with constant loud unrelenting piped music. Who want's that on what is supposed to be a relaxing holiday. Requests to have it turned down were met with "This is what the passengers want". Has anyone ever been asked? I had a balcony cabin in the Aft on deck 4 and could hear the constant beat of the music from my balcony. On Christmas Eve, loud 'head banging' music was playing at 7.45 am. Not a Christmas Carol in sight! The designated smoking area on this deck took the whole of the port side making it very unpleasant for non-smokers. Smoke could even be smelt in the entrance to the Belvedere restaurant every time the door was opened. Both the Jacuzzi / hot tubs were on the port side, therefore,in a designated smoking area. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air ... Read More
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air conditioning or extremely hot. This ship has no WOW factor at all. It would be better “dry docked” and opened as an old people’s home. The entertainment in the theatre from the ship’s cast was extremely poor. One show was entitled “music from the Blues Brothers” but when they started singing “under the boardwalk” that was our queue to leave. The cast weren’t so much as singing the songs more like screaming the songs. The guest entertainment was fine, no problems with them and very entertaining. The guest speakers were also first rate although the ship’s technicians let them all down badly on more than one occasion. Either the microphone or the visual aids weren’t working. We felt annoyed and embarrassed on behalf of the speakers. The hygiene in the restaurant in respect of hand sanitising was hit and miss. New Year’s Eve was a “Free for all” to get into the dining room and we had to ask for the sanitising gel. On average the food was good but the majority of waiters just weren’t interested. On NY Eve one of us ordered medallions of beef and that is all that was on the plate, no vegetables or potatoes, just beef! The food at breakfast was cold most of the time. Cabin steward provided excellent service. All one side of the ship, Port side, was smoking which made it very uncomfortable walking around the ship and sitting in certain areas, I.e. certain parts of the Belvedere restaurant. We are in our 60s and would not consider sailing on the Arcadia ever again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
ARCADIA J721 We have just returned from the Xmas and New Year cruise on Arcadia. On embarking we found a note saying that one of our excursions had been cancelled. We went to the excursions desk to see what else was available. The ... Read More
ARCADIA J721 We have just returned from the Xmas and New Year cruise on Arcadia. On embarking we found a note saying that one of our excursions had been cancelled. We went to the excursions desk to see what else was available. The man on the desk seemed to have upset the lady in front of us and when we spoke to him he was brusque to the point of being rude. We reported his attitude to Sandra on reception and next day we had a phone conversation with the excursions manager who apologised and said that was totally out of character. I thanked her for her response but said we would not take any other trips. Things were unfortunately to go downhill from this point. My wife had three outfits with her that she had worn for the weddings of our children and was keen to have photos taken on the formal nights. The lady who took the initial one, which was quite good, said the set of photos would be no problem and we paid £70 on our cruise card for a package of 10 pics. The second photo was a disaster ,washed out and not at all what we were expecting including one with her eyes closed at the dinner table. That one was not retaken. Looking at it the next day with the photographers they said they could tweak it to make the saturation better and clone out the crease in my lapel but we were not happy. We felt we were making a fuss. We went to reception to check if the payment had gone through and see if we could withdraw it. Sandra , one of the reception managers called the photographic manager and we went to the photo section. With Sandra doing most of the talking they talked us into giving them another chance with the photo manager saying they could do better. On Xmas night, in the chaos of the officers carol service blocking all three floors of the atrium, effectively cutting the ship in two, we met the photography manager and asked about the next portrait. She said go down to the lowest floor by the atrium and the photographer there would take it. We went down and joined the queue but twenty minutes later, as we were nearing the front he caused uproar by announcing, with his back to the queue, that he had to go to another venue and we would have to come back at nine o'clock. My wife who has brain damage due to two open craniotomies remonstrated with him to no avail and went off to look for the photography manager who we met on the stairs. She blanked us completely and we went straight to reception. My wife was complaining to them when we saw the photographer taking photos of the couples who were in front and behind us in the queue. They were the ones who were complaining the most. This was too much for her and I'm afraid she was rude to the reception staff demanding to see a manager. On being told that none were available she got even louder and they finally said someone would come. My wife was in tears by the time an officer , in his mess uniform, appeared. He immediately said "I am the hotel manager, I am not going to deal with this tonight you have been rude to my staff, it's their Christmas too, they are away from their families. I will deal with this tomorrow" My wife said she didn't think we were welcome on Arcadia and perhaps we should get off as soon as possible. The officer then said he could arrange for us to be disembarked in Antigua, turned and presumably went back to his Xmas dinner/party. We never did see or hear from him again. There was no xmas spirit for us that Christmas so we went back to the cabin where my wife spent a sleepless night worrying about how we were going to re-pack and find our way home from Antigua. All this trauma knocked my wife psychologically and she would not make eye contact with any officers after this and this triggered back her eating disorder, Dysphagia. She needed to visit the excellent medical centre for a swollen ankle so they have a complete copy of her previous medical history. I never did get the chance to tell the officer that I have worked many more Xmas days than he ever has. Three days later Sandra from reception phoned to ask if we were OK. I said no and she said did I want a meeting with the hotel manager or the photographic manager. I said no, I was on holiday and did not want to spend it traipsing round the ship to pointless meetings forcing my wife to relive the incidents. I told Sandra all I needed from her was the refund of my photography fee and I wanted nothing more to do with them. Unfortunately we had to pass through the photography department on a regular basis and at every formal night they were all over the passengers. On our last formal night our dinner was interrupted twice in 5 minutes by over eager snappers and my wife had to stop trying to eat to stop the onset of Dysphagia and the embarrassment that would have caused on our dinner table. While I have your attention. 1. Why no shuttle buses? Particularly in St Vincent and Barbados 2. Why did the whirlpool never work? Although you could pay £20 pppd for the one in the spa. 3. Why did no one check that the hand sanitiser was being used in the buffet? 4. On disembarkation we returned from breakfast at 0730hrs to find our cabin door wide open, the bedding stripped and no towels when washing our hands and our hand luggage containing iPads , cameras etc on full view. This seemed to be normal practice but very worrying as passengers were already leaving the ship carrying their own cases. 5. As requested we went to reception to book a time for disembarkation and later received a card with a completely different time, I give up. 6. The new sunbeds in the Neptune pool are unbelievably uncomfortable, did no one try them before purchase? 7. The standard of guest entertainers in the Palladium was was pretty poor, particularly while in the Caribbean. 8. The Xmas and New Years dinners were poor in choice and quality and the waiting staff seemed really stressed. As 9. The formal night "Marco menu" dinners were not well received on our table and on one memorable night 5 out of the 6 had the ever present steak and chips whilst the final member had salad. This must tell you something. 10. On the formal nights, most of which seemed pointless, there was nothing to do after the theatre except sit in the corridor bars as the only other venue,the Globe, was occupied by the strict tempo ballroom dancing, shufflers not welcome! This was evidenced by one unfortunate who was tapped on the shoulder during the "gay Gordon's " and told he was out of sequence. 11. The three x 5ft wide galley style laundrettes containing only 3 washing machines and three tumble driers are a joke. Quite dangerous as the doors at each end can strike whoever is standing within the area. This is also occupied by the ironing board and one of the only three irons on board(3 ?) at least one of which would not come up to temperature. 12. There is no drinks package except that approved by your wine "expert". Like the ballroom dancing, no deviation is allowed. We feel that all of the above is symptomatic of the decline in standards of service on P&O. It is no longer a restful holiday as you are pursued round the ship on a daily basis by people wanting you to spend money on photos, speciality restaurants,spas etc. Nothing is offered unless P&O are making money from it. It is highly unlikely that we will ever cruise with P&O again as it is quite clear we are no longer welcome on your ships,but your comments would still be welcome. We will go back to Fred Olsen where we can get far better, less pretentious food, drink packages and will be made to feel more welcome. Their ships may be older and less luxurious than yours but at least you feel they are pleased to have you on board and you are not just a piece of data to be processed through the system as on the Arcadia. Our Peninsular rating seems to have been frozen, presumably because we complained. UNLESS YOU HAVE A VISIBLE DISABILTY AVOID CARNIVAL. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had been to The Fiords before and wanted a short cruise where we could get an accessible cabin. We tried all the other cruise lines without success and as a last resort tried P&O. They had one balcony cabin left and we booked that. ... Read More
We had been to The Fiords before and wanted a short cruise where we could get an accessible cabin. We tried all the other cruise lines without success and as a last resort tried P&O. They had one balcony cabin left and we booked that. When we arrived at the ship the check in was easy and without hitch. That's where it stopped. We were told our cabin was ready and to go to deck six. As we were both on mini scooters getting a lift was almost impossible, everybody kept pushing in front of us (and these were supposed to be adults ) We got a lift after over half an hour and went up to deck 6 only to find our cabin C2 was right at the front of the ship. There was no easy way to open the door and we had to wait for our cabin steward to open the door for us. That was just the start ! The balcony was totally inaccessible for two reasons , firstly the electric curtains opened the wrong side and covered the door, secondly the balcony was so small the chairs each had one leg resting on the ramp and therefore the both rocked from side to side. There was no room to put the footrest out so they were piled on top of one another. If the chairs were pushed forward off the ramp they were against the balcony rail ! The cabin was at the very font of the ship and the dining saloon was at the very back, a long way to go if you are disabled. The toilet roll holder was 12" from the floor, needs raising 2ft. Finally the TV wiring would have been condemned by any electrician as being dangerous ! If it was not for the very high quality of the food and the very helpful staff this holiday would have been a total disaster. I have already reported this to P&O but they have not had the decency to reply. If you are disabled be warned, reject cabin C2. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We tried cruising for the first time 2 years ago, aboard Britannia, and it was absolutely brilliant. Modern ship, lots of entertainment, great technology in the cabins and despite the volume of people queuing was not an issue. We fancied ... Read More
We tried cruising for the first time 2 years ago, aboard Britannia, and it was absolutely brilliant. Modern ship, lots of entertainment, great technology in the cabins and despite the volume of people queuing was not an issue. We fancied going to Russia so thought we'd again use P & O this time aboard the adult only ship and the only one with an indoor pool, what a terrible mistake that was. Embarkation aboard the ship was great, very easy and smooth. Cabins were ready at 2pm which we were very impressed with. Straight to the cabin and unfortunately we were really disappointed. The cabins was very clean and the balcony was bigger than on Britannia, sadly that is where the positives end. The bathroom suite is canary yellow, not a big problem but outdated to say the least and the bathroom had a bath as opposed to a stand alone shower. If you are taller than 5' then the bath is of no use what so ever as you must choose between bathing your legs or torso as opposed to both. The cabin itself had only 1 electricity socket ( amazing that that is possible in this day and age), the tv was terrible (yes you don't go on holiday to watch tv) and the information channel regularly down. You also couldn't watch things when you wanted, ie presentations aboard the ship or films etc. The cabin was decorated in a 1980's style, complete with faded marks where pictures had once been hung on the walls. I was astounded to hear that the ship was only commissioned in 2005 !. Onto the dining and this was the worst of all. We as a family are definitely not food connoisseurs and are more than happy to eat simple food rather than something fancy. We on several occasions ate dinner in the horizon buffet and to compare it to school dinners would be insulting to schools nationwide. The food was bland, tasteless and at best lukewarm. A sampled a sticky toffee pudding one night and there was no sugar in it, just bland over cooked sponge. The meat was suspiciously past its best and one occasion the staff got a thermometer out and swiftly all the meet was removed from the counters. It was genuinely terrible, lunchtime food was not much better and breakfast was a daily competition to try and find a table amongst the hoards of people sat occupying tables and not partaking of the delicious food on offer. The alternative was the main restaurant, which I have to say was excellent, but because it was so good (and the buffet so poor) it was always busy. We were freedom diners so this inevitably meant each night we had to join a queue to get a buzzer and wait for a table. Whatever time you went this happened (so there was no way of avoiding it), on average we waited around 20 mins for a buzzer and then up to 40 mins for a table. Entertainment on board was really varied. I understand they were catering for a certain demographic but the incessant cross selling be it foot insoles, cd's, tat from the gift shops, excursions, photo experiences and even a tour of the ship was exhausting and over the top. P & O seem to have completely lost there way in this regard. The horizon theatre company on board I have to say were excellent, the Queen show is the best I have ever seen aboard a ship. The other entertainers were poor, at every opportunity a duo were rolled out to sing throughout the ship and their singing was dreadful. Some of the quizzes were good fund, especially the Mr & Mrs and the harpist was outstanding. But tribute acts, comedians or entertainment were otherwise severely lacking, especially during sea days where the best options were to either complete a jigsaw in the library or attend an Italian for beginners session (we were in the Baltic nowhere near Italy and the beginners session ran every seaday!). I also very much got the feeling that a new ploy by P & O is to offer discounted holidays to those on board if they run seminars/ "entertainment" on sea days. One such example is a lady on board who ran a session on the first day around the psychology of serial killers, which drew a great crowd. This first session was great but as the sea days continued so did her sessions and they became gradually less interesting, no further mention of serial killers just how to stop procrastinating and sleep better. Oh and low and behold at the final session she had a CD to promote, who would have thought we'd paid our hard earned cash to yet again be entertained and then milked for every penny. Service onboard was really mixed, our cabin steward was absolutely excellent nothing was too much trouble. The staff in the main restaurant (not the dreaded buffet) were also excellent, very attentive & kind.The staff around the ship and at bars were similarly excellent. Unfortunately the staff on reception however are not so wonderful, at reception you must again queue (very much a theme on this ship) and when you reach reception will be met with a reply to whatever your question which aims to both patronise and fob you off in equal measure. Reception appeared genuinely clueless when it came to all queries, be it disembarkation, shore excursion meeting times, problems with your cabin or advice. We spoke to many on board who experienced the same level of disservice. Finally the shore excursions, for us the Splendour of St Petersburg trip made the entire holiday, absolutely fantastic and worth every penny. Other trips we arranged ourselves or wandered from the port. I would never again travel with P & O, the ship is falling apart: toilets are constantly blocked and the ship creaks throughout the night. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The cruise itinerary very good and Norwegian fjords and sceneries stunning. Cleanliness very average or even poor on open pool deck area and windows dirty throughout the cruise. Shows good, guest stars and Arcadia band very good and ... Read More
The cruise itinerary very good and Norwegian fjords and sceneries stunning. Cleanliness very average or even poor on open pool deck area and windows dirty throughout the cruise. Shows good, guest stars and Arcadia band very good and professional. Other bands very average and no nice, big enough dancing places. Two small bottles of water complimentary-a joke! Breakfast and Lunch buffet with little imagination nor a lot of taste. Had to ask at several occasions to re stock spoons, sweetener or food stuff - What are all the 'Station Managers' for.No nibbles in bars for pre dinner drinks. High charge for freshly squeezed orange juice??? Ship definitely needs a revamp. Hotel manager and entertainment manager had an easy task as the buffets and daily programs hardly changed during entire cruise. There were loads of smokers on the rather cool cruise and not one inside spot for smokers! After all that we still enjoyed the cruise because of the itinerary but sad to say next cruise will be with a different cruise line. One pays good money for a cruise like this and could expect a bit more service and finesse in culinary. Also tidying, cleaning up. The one day the outside pool deck area was covered in soot and not cleaned up all day and they covered the pools which were still covered the next day poor show . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We had sewage pouring through the ceiling , confirmed by the officer at reception,a awful smell , that must be bad for all our health decorating in the aisles ,closing our balcony all day for painting and varnishing. Whilst it was a sea ... Read More
We had sewage pouring through the ceiling , confirmed by the officer at reception,a awful smell , that must be bad for all our health decorating in the aisles ,closing our balcony all day for painting and varnishing. Whilst it was a sea day also!! Closing off the sun deck at the rear for on going repairs more than once during our 2 weeks , once again on sea days instead of when in port and most people are off the ship Making sure everyone entering the buffet HAVE to do the hand sanitizer. Could go on and on . The staff had to put up with a lot of people complaing and it's all down to the head office at P &to i.e. Carnival to sort these problems out Why would I pay for a balcony when I couldn't use it , could have had inside cabin This ship needs taking out of service for a total overall , refurbishment and refit of sewage unit as soon as possible Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Wife treated me to this cruise as a birthday present St.Peterport and Bruges being two places we'd never visited before. Couldn't fault embarkation at Southampton and luggage was already in cabin when we got there but we ... Read More
Wife treated me to this cruise as a birthday present St.Peterport and Bruges being two places we'd never visited before. Couldn't fault embarkation at Southampton and luggage was already in cabin when we got there but we immediately noticed the air conditioning wasn't working although the steward was straight on the case and it was fixed within a few hours. The cabin itself looked tired and not as clean as some of the other ships we've been on indeed the whole ship seemed to look a bit tired and jaded as did some of the staff in the buffet restaurant who didn't seem very happy . I seem to recall reading that she's due for a refit in October and I could see why. Our toilet stopped working after 3 days as did several others in the public areas and several leaks became evident in various areas with buckets strategically placed. We dined in both the Meridian and Belvedere restaurants, the service in the Meridian was great, even when my wife on the formal night couldn't find anything that tempted her the head waiter arranged an alternative menu for her whilst I tried the Marco Pierre White menu which I have to say was delicious. Whether it's because the Arcadia is a smaller ship I found the food didn't measure up in the buffet restaurant to other ships we've been on e.g Celebrity, Ncl, or even Thomson. Our main disappointment with the cruise was being unable to be tendered ashore at Guernsey due to the winds being too strong and then leaving nearly 3 hours early on the Thursday and having a very slow cruise up the channel to anchor up off the coast of Belgium at 5pm on Friday ready to dock at Zeebruge Saturday, begs the question why couldn't a plan B be put into effect when the Captain knows the weather is too severe when he first arrives at a port that requires a tender ashore rather than waste a whole day hanging around. When we did arrive in Zeebruge we had booked a See Bruge in a day excursion which I have to say ,due to the excellent guide we had we both really enjoyed. We're booked on the Britannia in October around the Med and hope it will restore our faith in P&O because we're also booked on th Azura next June for Iceland , but having done the Balltic on Azura can't envisige any problem. As regards on board entertainment nothing really tempted us to see any shows in the main theatre although on other cruises we always have , we did catch a duo in one bar called Lyrical Flame and remember remarking to my wife on finishing our drink come on let's leave the crime scene, nuff said. My wife used the spa and had a pedicure and manicure which she enjoyed but she did point out to me her nails had started to chip within 2 days. It's fair to say we've had much better cruises the highlight of this one being the Bruge experience rather than the ship experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose this cruise for a bit of nostalgia as once worked for this cruise line years ago, we have done many cruise lines for holidays over the years, RCIL, Princess, Holland, P&O Australia , MSC and Marco Polo etc, we thought we'd ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a bit of nostalgia as once worked for this cruise line years ago, we have done many cruise lines for holidays over the years, RCIL, Princess, Holland, P&O Australia , MSC and Marco Polo etc, we thought we'd take my parents on this one for a short Jaunt over the channel, Food was very average, and absolutely no quality control with the deserts, puds were dry and sauces tasteless, but what really left a bad taste in our minds during and after the cruise was the so called "Black Tie Night" now we are both used to formals (which is what we expected) and in todays terms has always meant smart, trousers, shirt and tie as minimum, needless to say , not on this one, we were told , no jacket ,no entry (with the words "ENFORCED" used, but we can use the Buffet or speciality restaurant, (how nice of them) unfortunately the buffet on the night was dismal , limited and appalling, and i was virtually fuming, now i normally carry a waist coat and jacket but overseas travel weight limits us, what is most annoying is the feeling of being penalised for not being a traditionalist, don't get me wrong i like tradition and silver service along with fine food, but this is a ship that does neither, its a slap the plate on the table and whos next. certainly wont be rushing back, and its sad to see such an iconic cruise line go down hill and not keep up with the times Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We choose the Arcadia because of the destinations she was going to, my husband and I had never been to some of the country's before. Having sailed on the Britannia we didn't think twice about sailing with P&O again. ... Read More
We choose the Arcadia because of the destinations she was going to, my husband and I had never been to some of the country's before. Having sailed on the Britannia we didn't think twice about sailing with P&O again. Embarkation was perfect and we were pointed in the direction of our cabin. Our cabin was somewhat tired looking to say the least and the windows so filthy it was had to see out, on investigation of the rest of the ship every window on the ship was the same making it very difficult at times to see anything. The noise from the bar above our cabin gave us a late night before sleep and a early morning wake up call when beer barrels were being changed and chairs moved back into place, we asked if we could be moved and we were to over the engine room!! The dreadful smell by the shopping area lasted the whole cruise as did the water dripping through the ceiling into buckets, and once onto me god knows what this water is? The food in the Belvedere was sometimes rather bland even though everyday we had curry on the menu. I have never lost weight on holiday before but managed to come home 3lbs lighter. Constant pestering by waiters from the bar, ocean grill and the Sindhi restaurant trying to get you to spend more money while trying to eat your meal became unbearable. To top it off the fire alarm went off and there was an incident in the Paladin theatre. The entertainment was very good and the shore excursions were fine except Cagliari where you are swamped by Street sellers not a nice place to go, nothing to see either P&O would be better off forgetting this place and spending more time in Gibraltar. Black tie evenings is an enjoyable part of cruising for some!! but for those passengers who do not wish to dress up (as this is their holiday after all and they pay the same for their holiday as everyone else), they are not allowed into large areas of the ship on those occasions, why? very unfair don't you think. Poor staff working very long hours with no days off, no wonder they all looked fed up and no one was smiling you might get the odd one give you a smile but you would be lucky. Reception staff were wonderful as were the cabin staff.This boat yes I am calling her a boat as until she has a complete refit and the staff have better working conditions she doesn't deserve to be called a SHIP. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise along with a trip to India. The ship is very tired and needs total refurbishment. The hot food in the buffet was inedible, cold food acceptable. The restaurants were good with a good choice of menus. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise along with a trip to India. The ship is very tired and needs total refurbishment. The hot food in the buffet was inedible, cold food acceptable. The restaurants were good with a good choice of menus. The entertainment was awful and it was very evident that the ships company were tired and lacked enthusiasm. There was a dreadful smell of sewage on the ship which was so bad we could not sit on our balcony. This ship is not good and certainly not the luxury experience we expected. The only saving grace was the staff who were exceptional and did their upmost to help you. We would never go on this ship again, in fact we are not sure if we would use P & O cruises again. It is a shame as we have been on P & O before and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The standards are slipping and it was certainly not luxury. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Arcadia is looking dated. We have cruised with P&O for a few years now, but each time we do so, we spot ever more "cut-backs" in service, standards and facilities. Too few staff for the sort of personal attention P&O ... Read More
Arcadia is looking dated. We have cruised with P&O for a few years now, but each time we do so, we spot ever more "cut-backs" in service, standards and facilities. Too few staff for the sort of personal attention P&O promise - clearly an area where cut-backs have been made in recent years. Despite these cut-backs, prices have increased by considerably more than inflation would justify! Whoever designed the current cabin layout should have been sacked - weak reading lights and light switches directly where one rests one's head when sitting up in bed; a bath only big enough for a child; a TV mounted on the stained wall which clearly shows signs where something has previously been removed from the wall! A distinct lack of seating on sea days throughout the ship. Breakfast and Lunch in the Self service Restaurant were poor with a limited selection; items often ran out but took some time to be replenished. Evening entertainment was a mixed bag; one of the planned shows, we had seen twice before! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We have spent several Christmas holidays on cruises and have loved them! However, this was our first time with P and O and we were sadly disappointed with the whole ship. The Baltic itinerary was enjoyable and we were well prepared for ... Read More
We have spent several Christmas holidays on cruises and have loved them! However, this was our first time with P and O and we were sadly disappointed with the whole ship. The Baltic itinerary was enjoyable and we were well prepared for bad weather which was surprisingly pleasant except for a serious storm which meant we could not get to Amsterdam. We didn't mind the enforced change of plan ( visited Le Havre instead - not too exciting!!) as this can happen on sea cruises. BUT - the ship was a total disappointment in so many ways. We paid extra to ensure our choice of dinner sitting but found ourselves on "Freedom" which we did not want and joined a queue of many others wishing to change their dining arrangement. We accepted a table on 1st sitting which proved FREEZING COLD - unbearably so as it was right by the back wall of the dining room. After several nights we were placed on a table with a delightful welcoming couple and at last we could dine without wearing our outdoor fleece jackets! The food offering was of very poor quality with few vegetables and strange menu options often not properly described ( 3 chocolate desserts on one night / a salad starter with no mention on the menu of the cold poached egg on the top).The Christmas dinner was a disgrace - 2 overcooked sprouts and a shrivelled sausage and stuffing garnish accompanied the turkey. The buffet restaurant was also poor and breakfast was equally disappointing. I had to ask for a banana and hunt for a natural yogurt . The only bread was off a cheap and nasty sliced loaf. I felt the ship had little festive atmosphere with little in the way of Christmas decorations in many public areas including bars. I was concerned about the staff, many of whom had a poor command of spoken English and seemed to have had little training for their roles. Our cabin steward did a very good job but some of the bar and buffet staff seemed demoralised and lacked any enthusiasm for their jobs which impacted on customer service and the general atmosphere. The evening entertainment options were OK,but the most fun we had on the entire cruise was the crew pantomime. There was no real party atmosphere and the late night dancing spot fell very flat. We have cruised with other companies but sadly. will probably not be going with P and O again unless there is a real change in attitude and evidence of an improvement in standards to match their competitors in a similar price range. Read Less
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
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
The food in the Meridian Restaurant and the service was appalling as was the food in the Belvedere, as a result I have managed to lose 8 lb in weight not what you would expect to lose on a cruise. We did not experience the food in the ... Read More
The food in the Meridian Restaurant and the service was appalling as was the food in the Belvedere, as a result I have managed to lose 8 lb in weight not what you would expect to lose on a cruise. We did not experience the food in the specialised restaurants as this should not be necessary apart from a special occasion. It would seem that Kersh used these restaurants as the norm so should not really comment about the two main restaurants. The entertainment was a joke most evenings, the Headliners were very loud and their dance moves were the same each evening they appeared but to different music. The comedians were light relief and the Beatles tribute act was good also Garry Barlow. The shopping area resembled Primark (for those who have heard of this shop)and they were not flexible on their perfume prices. We loved the little shop which we named the 99p shop because it sold everything and the salesmen were very pleasant. Who wants to eat Christmas Day lunch at 6.45pm on Christmas Day I certainly don't and neither do I want turkey roll, 2 undercooked sprouts, hard carrots and a pastry parcel which who knows what it contained. I didn't endeavour to find out. Very, very disappointing. Oh and £75 to see the Captain on the bridge and the behind the scenes of the theatre, I don't think so. Best of luck to those cruisers who are on the Arcadia travelling round the world. We met some lovely passengers and to them I thank them so much. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We have travelled with P&O before and indeed in 2012 enjoyed a cruise on Arcadia. How things have changed on the Arcadia. The first negative was the dining arrangements, after one night of a table for 6 in the stern, we asked to be ... Read More
We have travelled with P&O before and indeed in 2012 enjoyed a cruise on Arcadia. How things have changed on the Arcadia. The first negative was the dining arrangements, after one night of a table for 6 in the stern, we asked to be moved because it was very difficult to hear anyone speak above the vibration noise. We were moved to another table and sat with four friendly people and in that respect dinner was a highlight. However, the food left a lot to be desired. The plated up meals were an insult and although I am not a big eater, one of the stewards' suggested I might like some chips to add to the parsimonious helpings. The staff worked very hard and unlike the suggestion that plating meals would free the staff up to talk to passengers, the opposite was true. In respect of entertainment it seemed geared to those passengers in their 80s, 1940s show tunes from singers of limited ability. The acts that came on for a few days were by contrast good. On one occasion we had recourse to use the medical service and we found the staff to be uncaring and the instructions given contradictory. It did feel on occasions to be like a care home and the ship broke its own stated policies in respect of allowing people with limited mobility to board the tenders to go ashore. Certainly,it would have been difficult to leave in an emergency as the hatches were blocked with mobility scooters. The future cruises staff told us that to avoid the preponderance of mobility scooters we should go on a fly cruise. Gratuities were an issue. It was not clear who got what when they were added to the bill. We had two explanations from staff and also heard a senior officer in the hotel department, saying it was to help the Asian crew demonstrate their income when applying for a mortgage in their own country! We like many others gave cabin and dining room staff a gratuity to reflect their efforts. Like ourselves, other passengers noticed the poor morale of the crew. We were not alone in experiencing rudeness. In response to comments on the end of cruise critique, we received a letter. What characterised it was to blame another department on the ship. Perhaps the lack of a purser overseeing the passenger experience by all departments could be blamed. In summary P&O have dumbed down, the cruise was not good value and only good dining companions and some of the ports saved the day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
If you have been with P&O since the start of 1970 as I have, over 20 cruises, you will notice how things have changed. More and more things have be dropped. Menu's have been cut down as have wine lists. Food not up to old ... Read More
If you have been with P&O since the start of 1970 as I have, over 20 cruises, you will notice how things have changed. More and more things have be dropped. Menu's have been cut down as have wine lists. Food not up to old standards. Service not to bad. Year ago you would have people from television or films for entertainment, but not now. Shows still the same old thing. The sail away is terrible. Same old records same old flag waving. I feel they treat you like little children. Doctor charges, drinks and shopping on board is very expensive . Could see really no duty free. When there is a sale all the old junk is brought out. Once you could go to the Bridge for nothing. Now you are charged. Trips on shore again are expensive. A trip in a taxi to a place can be less than half of what P&O Charge. One trip I did with four other people cost with tip 85 pounds and we saw more than the trip P&O were advertising. If we had gone with the P&O trip the cost would have been 250.00 pounds. After 20 trips over the years with the company, we will not be going with them again. Wake up P&O. Other companies are more advance. On this last cruise we heard nothing but complaints about Britannia. Only one couple said they liked it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
Arcadia was not for us. I am a wheelchair user and we had booked early in order to get an accessible room on Arcadia - A120 - a 'luxury' balcony. Embarkation and disembarkation went quickly and smoothly. Our room was small, ... Read More
Arcadia was not for us. I am a wheelchair user and we had booked early in order to get an accessible room on Arcadia - A120 - a 'luxury' balcony. Embarkation and disembarkation went quickly and smoothly. Our room was small, not what we would call suitable for a wheelchair dependent person and it was in a poor state of repair. Some problems were; no lowered wardrobe rail, the safe was very low, the bathroom cabinet/vanity unit was too high for a wheelchair user (and there was no lowered shelf), I had to wheel through the shower to get to the toilet which didn't have a lift up/down transfer arm and there were problems with the steep, short slope to the balcony and keeping the outward opening balcony door open whilst I wheeled through. Our balcony had a lot of rust around its edges, there were bleach-like stains on the floor, there were remnants of decking type paint on the wooden slope and there were paint splashes on the recliners. Some of the staff were very kind and helpful but most were sullen and unhelpful and on two separate occasions one of the ship's officers were quite rude in response to a polite question. Service in the restaurant was very slow and we waited 50 minutes between courses several times. Some of the crew were lovely and very helpful though. We took photographs of the room and balcony and on our return home I wrote a polite letter to the CEO and asked for a reply from him personally. I sent over 30 x A4 coloured pictures to support the letter. I said we didn't want vouchers or money, we requested straight answers to four questions:- 1. Why was the brochure so unrealistic, why doesn't it warn disabled passengers their mobility and accessibility needs might not be met on Arcadia? 2. Why were Arcadia staff so unwilling to assist or help disabled passengers? 3. Why are so called 'adapted' rooms so poorly accessible on Arcadia? 4. Why was this cabin in such poor repair? He did not reply himself, the Customer Service Executive did. She didn't answer any questions directly but said the decorative repair was below their normal standard and she said that some things 'concerned' her and some concerned her deeply. Not concerned enough to say she would do anything to remedy the situation though. I said we didn't want money or vouchers and she didn't offer any. She also didn't offer anything towards the cost of copying the large number of coloured pictures or the postage. Towards the end of the letter she asked us to let her know if we travelled with P&O again so she could ensure we received good treatment etc. Rightly or wrongly, we felt this was a brush-off and move on letter from P&O. We won't be travelling with P&O again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Having just come back from Arcadia, I cant make up my mind on where the problems and issues I experienced with the ship came from? Was it P&O's fault for promising an Adult only ship but presented what was nearly a "floating ... Read More
Having just come back from Arcadia, I cant make up my mind on where the problems and issues I experienced with the ship came from? Was it P&O's fault for promising an Adult only ship but presented what was nearly a "floating care home" or was it my fault for not reading or ignoring reviews and going there in the first place? Its presented as ADULT only, but what I did not expect was the actual reality of the "Adult Age" that attracts folks to Arcadia (average 75-80 year old, Captian confirmed this as one of his stats). Apart from the condition of the ship, the next thing you notice is the entertainment, its poor and lazy, all background piano playing lounge music (and not that great) wherever you go. Buffet is a nightmare, at lunch I joined the Belvediere on an empty line behind two elderly ladies who discussed and poked at every dish available before picking (and in one case putting back food at least twice) for at least 15 mins. And by this point there where 30 frustrated people in the Q behind us, but these two carried on regardless, jeeezz, and that took my tolerance to a whole new level! But that sadly that was not a one off, its what you experience everywhere and everyday on Arcadia. P&O should be reakky honest when advertising this ship and who it caters towards, its an Adult 70+ friendly ship as that is what they deliver to that market. Ship: Tired looking even after the partial refit, with a distinct lack of public area cleaning apart from at night (glass doors and chrome you would not want to touch, including lifts). Buffet: At a push, reasonable food for buffet, (but aimed at the English market in choice) but with the usual issues of finding a clear table not covered in someones bag, book or belongings as reserved. Main Restaurant (8:30 sitting) - Excellent, service and food of very good standard. Freedom Dining: Never did it, but heard complaint after complaint from passengers that did. Biggest complaint I heard was it was slow to take you in, then they rushed you back out again to free the table Entertainment: As I said above, poor in fact very poor by the standards I have seen on other P&O ships, including the Headliners team. And as far as the entertainments team are concerned, wow! The laziest I have ever seen on any ship, apart from silly dancing everyday 4 days or so around the pool, I seen them more sunbathing with the passengers than entertaining! Days at Sea: Nothing happens unless you want to play Bridge, other card games or go to a quiz. Apart for the odd thing happening on deck, in reality its all very quiet and I guess subdued to suit the elderly guests and the book readers,,,mmm Cabin: A rear balcony and for the first three nights we hardly slept due to the noise and vibration of the propellers as the ship was at full speed to reach port and the whole place was shaking, but to be honest we got used to it and it would not put me off rear cabins in the future Staff: Cabin and waiting staff I cannot praise highly enough. Very friendly and efficient Conclusion: I would not go back on Arcadia again and its more to do with the mindset of both the age group experienced and the entertainment P&O thinks it should provide for its majority age bracket on this ship. And to get that into perspective I am mid sixties and my wife is nearly seventy, so God help those even younger than us. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Bad: the ship in a lot of areas is beginning to look really tired even after the partial refit Bad: entertainment is geared towards their older clientele which is 75+ on average, very quiet with lounge playing piano players as the ... Read More
Bad: the ship in a lot of areas is beginning to look really tired even after the partial refit Bad: entertainment is geared towards their older clientele which is 75+ on average, very quiet with lounge playing piano players as the majority of entertainment Bad: the worst Headliners show team I have ever seen on P&O, very poor show standard, it was embarrassing most nights. Bad: the laziest Entertainment Crew that I have ever experienced so don’t look to them to fill your sea days, too busy sunbathing with the passengers! Good - Cabin, bar /service and waiting staff Good - Food standard and presentation compared to my experience of other P&O ships To be considered Not for young Adults or most folks under 60, but primarily aimed at an elderly market and Arcadia will cater for them as their bulk audience first in what they deliver 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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