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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
we chose this cruise as it was the only one going where we wanted to go, this said we should have heeded as our first trip on this ship was bad enough but, it has had a 'refit' boar ding was slow, on arriving in cabin the ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it was the only one going where we wanted to go, this said we should have heeded as our first trip on this ship was bad enough but, it has had a 'refit' boar ding was slow, on arriving in cabin the curtains, bed runner and cushions looked dirty , the bathroom had black gunk in areas around the bath, storage average. So off we go sail away party consisted of about 6 dancers around the pool singing and dancing to YMCA whoopie, going around the ship discovered the retractable roof has been out of action since December, maintainace being done was like having a lounger by a steel works. tried freedom dining such a shambles on the first night, went straight to fixed dining where service was very good, friendly after 2 days husband was ill not sure if food poisoning or the bug ended confinement for 8 days, only supposed to order from recommended recovery menu, ordered omelette which arrived with a cooked salad, complained appoligies given but no feed back hit bad weather force 8 as a consequence the bathroom was covered in black stuff which had come up through the drainage hole, where the retractable roof was open that end of the ship was a wind tunnel, freezing cold, food on the floor near pool were 2 stewards right by it chatting officer walks by says nothing, bars average, but slow entertainment rubbish my local has better, guest speakers one Sue Halderness (only fools and horses) brilliant other a criminoligst couldn't string two words together. no hot water for a day, toilet not working had to hand pump it for over a week, had coffee poured over my breakfast faulty pot, went to make appointment to get nails done had to wake up the receptionist from her sleep propped up on the computer screen, I now give up with this there is plenty more, so please if you are considering this cruise line avoid at all costs, in our case £6000 + Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Don't believe anyone who tells you that it is a big ship so it won't be affected by the weather. We set off in a force nine gale. Spent the night being sea sick in the cabin, only to be told that we couldn't berth in ... Read More
Don't believe anyone who tells you that it is a big ship so it won't be affected by the weather. We set off in a force nine gale. Spent the night being sea sick in the cabin, only to be told that we couldn't berth in Zebrugge next morning due to the weather and were heading back out to sea. All day the wind howled, for 12 hours the boat rocked and rolled, went round and round in circles and we were unable to leave the cabin or the toilet due to sea sickness. Missed out on all the meals as so unwell. There followed another awful night sailing back to Southampton in gale force winds. I have never felt so sea sick in my life. This was my first cruise which I was so looking forward to, but NEVER again ! Total waste of money and no compensation for not berthing at destination. So please think before you go. On the plus side Embarkation and Disembarkation was quick and efficient. Cabin was clean, warm and comfortable. Ship was in good condition. Can't comment on entertainment and activities as was unable to do anything. Can't comment on dining experience. Service from staff was good Can't comment on shore excursions as ship didn't berth in destination. Did not travel with children Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Being disabled we needed an adapted cabin. Our original Carribbean cruise on the Aurora was cancelled and the only cruise we could get with our specific needs was on the Arcadia. We booked it because we've never been away at ... Read More
Being disabled we needed an adapted cabin. Our original Carribbean cruise on the Aurora was cancelled and the only cruise we could get with our specific needs was on the Arcadia. We booked it because we've never been away at Christmas and thought it'd be a nice idea. It left on the 16th December and returned on 9th January 2018. What a huge mistake we made! From the start it went down hill when we arrived at the port. Only two porters taking luggage and both tied up unloading a coach. By the time we received help we were cold and already fed up. Check in was it's usual chaos, took about an hour and a half. Next the cabin, what a let down. Supposedly a disabled cabin but not enough room to swing a cat. If you had anything bigger than a narrow wheelchair it wouldn't fit. Travellers beware! The food in the main dining venues was boring and somewhat lacking in taste and most of the service staff throughout the ship were either lapse or stressed. Sat for over 2 hours at the Neptune bar and not one waiter approached, we had to hunt for one when in need of a drink. Christmas cheer was not forthcoming and the decorations mediocre. Casino short on croupiers, New Year's Eve, a black tie event and nobody to open the Roulette tables. The whole trip was one big opportunity for P&O to fleece the passengers of as much money as possible. Getting off didn't go much better, again no porters. We'd booked a wheelchair taxi and the driver was parked at the very end of the bay and asked could she get a little closer. The reply came in the form of 'well they've managed for three weeks on board ship...' How's that just to round off the whole sorry saga? Have now cancelled the further two cruises we have for this year and won't use P&O again. Standards have plummeted since our original cruises in 2007. Surely we can't be the only one's who've had a bad experience on this cruise. According to P&O they only received good comments, we very much doubt that. Read Less
39 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
For various reasons, my wife and I booked a week to Norway on the Arcadia. We are fairly experienced cruisers, using Celebrity and Azamara. This cruise was truly awful. Where to start? Firstly,hygiene---a major risk on ships---bed linen ... Read More
For various reasons, my wife and I booked a week to Norway on the Arcadia. We are fairly experienced cruisers, using Celebrity and Azamara. This cruise was truly awful. Where to start? Firstly,hygiene---a major risk on ships---bed linen changed once a week and tablecloths only changed when soiled. In the buffet, no attempt was made to clean the tables between guests; that is unacceptable in a ship where many guests seemed not to observe the most basic hygiene. Next, the food. It was sparse in the main restaurant, good in the pay restaurant, and truly poor (if plentiful, obviously, as people control what volumes of food they take) in the buffet. The quality was disgusting---all the fruit was tinned, as were the tomatoes at breakfast. Taste buds did not have to do much, as nothing tasted of anything. The soups were thin and anodyne, the salad dressings seemed to consist of coloured water, and what fresh salad was served was sparse and poor quality. Desserts were equally without flavour. Was anything good? The scenery in the fjords was spectacular (provided by Nature, not P&O). The embarkation and (blessed) disembarkation were excellent. Some of the entertainment was good, much average. The bars did not serve any crisps or nuts with drinks but they were available from the packet at cost. Some staff, especially in the pay restaurant and the bars were good. The Freedom Dining was shambolic, as if a table for two was gold dust---up to 45 minutes wait. Guests using open seating do not wanted to be coerced into sitting at tables for eight where guests arrive and eat at varying times. The purser's desk did agree with these comments, and admitted that some passengers paid full price for their cabins, but the rest were sold at great reductions to fill the ship, and the food budget and style was obviously beamed at the large numbers of subsidised guests, This was a 3* experience at far from 3* prices. I advise anybody to avoid P and O if they have any standards. I shall never use them again. Once was twice too many! Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose the Arcadia because of the itinerary it offered there were many places we had not visited, we have cruised extensively with other lines and had an outstanding experience but this ranks as the worst. After reading other comments I ... Read More
We chose the Arcadia because of the itinerary it offered there were many places we had not visited, we have cruised extensively with other lines and had an outstanding experience but this ranks as the worst. After reading other comments I can only agree the ship is littered with stained upholstery and carpets and a smell of sewage is present most of the time, when the public toilets were working (mostly not) they overflowed sinks were blocked etc they blame people putting foreign objects down them but that can't be a problem perpetually as comments here prove, we had dripping ceilings with buckets etc. Jacuzzis were always roped off and just everything looked tired including the staff who looked thoroughly demoralised in the Meridian buffet they were surly and unsmiling, did not give way to passengers expecting them to move out of the way,tables weren't always wiped after cleaning and the cold meats buffet resembled a jumble sale, and the buffet menu was uninspiring, although outside around the pool there were better options. In the main dining room the staff were exceptional although overstretched they couldn't do enough for us and the menu was good and we would recommend this venu for breakfast also as it saves the problem of searching for tables etc upstairs and the food for breakfast here and in the buffet was good Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Ship (Arcadia) was reportedly all good prior to booking our cruise, Unfortunately once on board we noticed this terrible smell on prom deck which seemed to go throughout the ship. Buckets catching leaks from what could have been waste ... Read More
Ship (Arcadia) was reportedly all good prior to booking our cruise, Unfortunately once on board we noticed this terrible smell on prom deck which seemed to go throughout the ship. Buckets catching leaks from what could have been waste pipes on nearly every floor level all through the cruise. The cabin was kept very clean by our steward at all times. Dinning was varied in the main dinning room (Meridian) where you would get great service on some tables, but then other tables would be waiting for ages to get plates in front of you. The Canteen or (Belvedere) as it was called seemed to have more empty spaces on the hot plate rather than food containers with very little choice of hot food on offer (Salad was always available with a good choice of meats and fish, not always looking very appetizing mind). The entertainment was a little lack lustre apart from the very last night when there was a very good effort put in by the entertainment team in the Rising Sun pub on board, the booked acts that we had seen varied from talks to comedians (comedian was pasted his sell by date please note) the last night on board seemed to have had the best all round entertainment with booked acts (shame it wasn't every night). Activities on deck suffered due to the weather and time of year I think (Hurricane Barbara paid us a visit too). We missed a planned port of call due to Barbara (Amsterdam) to which we was looking forward to greatly. The general opinion on board whilst speaking to other cruisers was that they were all generally very disappointed with one thing or another about the ship, cruise, service on board..................would we go on this ship again? NO! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
First impressions. I thought I had walked onto a Brittany Ferries boat to Santander - with better cabins. All the atmosphere of Stamford Bridge after Chelsea have been beaten at home. Average age of the passengers to the Caribbean was ... Read More
First impressions. I thought I had walked onto a Brittany Ferries boat to Santander - with better cabins. All the atmosphere of Stamford Bridge after Chelsea have been beaten at home. Average age of the passengers to the Caribbean was apparently 69 (clearly they must have included the young dancers to get the average that low). More zimmers and mobility scooters concentrated in one place than I could ever imagine, making it slightly dangerous at times. Looking for a wall plug in the cabin revealed all kinds of nasties, including somebody's socks and underpants - and a pair of glasses. The room boy is apparently expected to clean 20 rooms a day - twice. Food was substandard - but beautifully served. Service overall was excellent. Leaking water all over the place and an awful smell of waste in the main shopping areas. A tired ship in dire need of some serious work. Would I use P & O again? Not a chance in this life. Good points? 3 weeks of warm weather and we met some nice people - plus the occasional complete dipstick (but that's life). Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Food and service was the poorest I have ever encountered in over 3 decades of cruising. Arcadia are obviously putting cost first and trying to attract a new breed of cruiser who are not that particular. The food in the MDR was more like ... Read More
Food and service was the poorest I have ever encountered in over 3 decades of cruising. Arcadia are obviously putting cost first and trying to attract a new breed of cruiser who are not that particular. The food in the MDR was more like you could expect in a budget holiday camp, I actually LOST weight on the cruise, The food in the self service was even worse. Our cabin was totally inadequate for a disabled cabin, the wall at the bottom of the bed had been badly damaged by previous occupants as there war insufficient room to get a wheelchair through,, not that it mattered as the bed was at a 45degree angle to the dressing table meaning my wife couldn't use it. The carpet was full of stains and the cabin was dirty. On arrival there was a vase with a single flower in it which died, we decided to see if the cabin boy would throw it away or replace it... I threw it away at the end of the cruise 24 days later. Entertainment was poor to say the least, the cheapest berths in ports were obviously taken up... all in all a poor cruise. Sorry P&O you have lost a customer Read Less
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
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This cruise was horrendous and will be our last cruise wth P&O. Our main gripe was the food. Apart from the restaurants where there was a supplement of £15 or so the food was inedible. Food on the buffet, Belvadere was always cold or ... Read More
This cruise was horrendous and will be our last cruise wth P&O. Our main gripe was the food. Apart from the restaurants where there was a supplement of £15 or so the food was inedible. Food on the buffet, Belvadere was always cold or lukewarm even the soup. It all looked unappetising unless you are a rabbit as the salad and cold meats looked fine. The Meridien restaurant served food which was either cold or the meat was so tough you couldn't cut it with a knife. I found it embarrassing to ask the waiter to take my plate away so we stopped going there. One evening we waited 45 minutes after we had ordered tomato soup. The cabin was quite noisy when the wind blew and it creeked quite a lot in the night. Our cabin steward was a saint ( Lloyd) and I wish him well on his future cruises. There was a strong smell of sewerage on quite a number of decks near the lifts and when suffering with motion sickness this did not bode well. Each evening we went to the Paladium theatre to watch the shows. Some were good mainly the acts which had been brought in. We found the dancing fairly repetitive. This was not our first cruise and does not come anywhere near Cunard, so much needs to be done to bring it back to the standard which previous travellers who had been loyal to P&O claimed it had been but we're now terribly disappointed. We met so many lovely couples and singles that it stopped us leaving the cruise midway Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We have cruised many times in the past, we tend to pick cruises by intenery rather than company, so we have been on many diffrent ships from high end to budget. So I will do good and bad points of this cruise. Good Points; Good ... Read More
We have cruised many times in the past, we tend to pick cruises by intenery rather than company, so we have been on many diffrent ships from high end to budget. So I will do good and bad points of this cruise. Good Points; Good embarkation and disembarkation, well organised and very quick, the shows we saw from the Headliners group were enjoyable, tea and coffee makers in the cabins, the bath in the cabin, our cabin steward, the trips we did in St Petersburgh, many of the other stops we made. Bad point: The ship, when we arrived on the ship we noticed buckets in various places to catch leaks! the cabin had had 2 pictures on the wall which had been replaced by a tv, but the outline of the pictures were still there (a simple lick of paint would solve this), the decor was very dated and needed a revamp, the atrium was only 2 floors near the back of the ship, this made the ship seem a bit souless, and also meant the Captains welcome party was held in the indoor swimming pool area, wearing evening wear felt uncomfortable as it was very hot, in saying that the rest of the ship was really cold, and as some-one who feels the heat even I had to wear extra cloths. Activities, or lack of I should say, we have never been bored on a cruise before, but this was the case on this cruise, there was 1 speaker for a 2 week cruise, the activities were mainly unhosted! the advice talks (skincare, haircare, posture ect) were all about hard sell, and the hard sell was very expensive items, the cinema showed a couple of good films, but mostly very depressing films. the gym shut at 8pm....why! the library locked the books away atfer 8pm..(not sure where they thought the passangers would take them), the in cabin entertainment was terrible, for 2 weeks the same 5 films played on a loop, there was a news channel, and of course football! Also a ships tour was advetised, when I enquired about it I was told it was £75 per person...again why? Dinning, the word freedom implied you could dine as and when you wanted, this was true, but once you were seated the chances of being served for a while were pretty slim(we waited 20 mins of a couple of occasions for the menue), the waiters were working hard but the recent staff movement (to Brittania) left them trying to do to much. the food was nice but choice was quite limited, the buffett was also nice, but again quite limited for a buffett, and curry seemed to be on the menue a lot. Half the buffett was 'resevered' each evening for the officers..... In summery, having cruised with Princess which is owned by the same company, we did expect certain standards, The officers on this ship have forgotten we are the fare paying passengers, and not the great unwashed to be avoided. We will not sail with P&O in the future and I think they may find many other passangers will feel the same, now I know some people love this ship and will not agree with this review, but this is how we found this cruise to be, Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
First cruise with P&O (have cruised with other companies) and will never even consider another cruise with them. Good points; Very good well organised embarkation and disembarkation, good excursions in St Petersburgh, good itenery, ... Read More
First cruise with P&O (have cruised with other companies) and will never even consider another cruise with them. Good points; Very good well organised embarkation and disembarkation, good excursions in St Petersburgh, good itenery, cabin steward was great and some staff very friendly the dance troupe were good and put on some good shows. So on to the bad points; The ship is in poor condition, in our cabin 2 pictures had been replaced with a tv and you could still see the outline of them, a lick of paint would have covered this, nealy everthing about the ship is beige, the food in the main dinning room was nice but limited, the food in the buffet was also very limited and curry seemed to be the main meal a lot of the time, half the buffet was 'reserved; for officers each day, the ship has no central atrium which is the heart of most ships, the Captains welcome party was held in the very hot indoor swimming pool area, wearing evening wear did not feel comfortable in the heat, in saying that the rest of the ship was so cold, as a person who feels the heat even I felt the need for extra cloths. The daytime activities were non-existent, and only one speaker for a two week cruise, the tv was a complete waste of time and repeated the same 5 films for 2 weeks. The gym closed at 8pm.....why. The library locked the books up if no staff were in attendance! Any activity that was on (foot print analysis) was doing the hard sell each time, (£120 for arch supports). The tour of the ship (which we have never paid for on any other ship) was £75 per person. One of the comedians was telling jokes about celebreties from the past that only if you were in your 80's you would understand. In summary, We feel P&O have lost the way, to be bored on a cruise is unheard of, and many other people felt the same way, the 'Officers' seemed to have forgotton that we are the fare paying passanger, and therefore a bit of interaction would not go amiss, this is not a low budget cruise but feels like one. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
My wife and I have cruised 24 times in the last 16 Years, but this was not a good experience. After 7 Days on board I picked up the 'Arcadia Cough' which lasted for 5 weeks, I have never ever had such a bad chest and cough, ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 24 times in the last 16 Years, but this was not a good experience. After 7 Days on board I picked up the 'Arcadia Cough' which lasted for 5 weeks, I have never ever had such a bad chest and cough, the only other cough I had was on Arcadia 2 Years ago never had another until boarding this ship again. My wife also had the cough and also had conjunctivitis which she has never had in her life before. The Air conditioning was never stable ie hot the cold also smells were also coming thro ie burning etc and other odours . Food on Board was not good my wife could count on one hand the meals that were ok ? . I have never sent so may meals back as being not edible . Food was luke warm , plates were cold also never had a steak that was cooked correctly or edible. Also had a upset stomach for a least 5 weeks now ok that I am at home with food cooked properly. Hot Plates in the Buffet were covered in cling film all over and dishes placed on top hence food not at the correct temp alas never saw any one checking the food temp with probes to ensure temp was ok to eat. Seems that the main chiefs were on Britannia to create a good impression we must have had the left overs. Staff however were very good and did the best they could. Would not book in advance another cruise with P & O again, only deals that are very cheap last minute that all that P & O are worth now I am sorry to say . I would never have thought that standards could ever get this low. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
My mum and dad and,my husband and I,sailed on January 6th 2015,on the first leg of the world cruise,southampton to san Francisco, which ended in the death of my mother,in san Francisco. The ship was turned around the same day as she ... Read More
My mum and dad and,my husband and I,sailed on January 6th 2015,on the first leg of the world cruise,southampton to san Francisco, which ended in the death of my mother,in san Francisco. The ship was turned around the same day as she docked from the xmas cruise,our cabin had dust and fluff on the top of the wardrobe doors,my mums cabin had numerous ships crossword papers stuffed in the top of the dividing wall of the bathroom,our balconys were spotted with old paint drops , the glass, and floor needed a good scrub with a brush. The two swimming pools were emptied simutanously, because they had painted them with the wrong paint ,and passengers were getting paint on them,one sauna was out of action,the whrirlpools didn't work,the one on the aft deck was leaking and some of the floor was all spongy to walk on.Some of the waiters could not totally understand your order and I saw one waiter hiding near the funnels grill,out of the way from passengers ,looking at least three times at his watch,he stood there about 10 mins,another waiter was in a dream and didn't even know where to take the dirty trays, while another waiter served my meal by crossing over me,and on the wrong side.It was eveident there was new and totally inexperienced waiters being trained along side the experienced. Within a few days passengers began to have a barking cough,which rampaged the ship,we all caught it and felt so ill we stayed in our cabins , our appetite went and the warmer we got the worse it got.Our aircon didn't work properly on A deck,it was so hot up there compared to one deck down,we had the smell of food constantly wafting around our corridor. All these things were brought to the attention of the staff, excuses and untruths were relayed to us. The day before cabo san lucas ,my mother was taken to the medical centre,carged over £2000,for oxygen and anibiotics.and removed from the ship the next day,taken to a private hospital,and told by the ship we would have someone to take care of us,well, that's another story,after much stress and trauma of being in a first time port ,and lots of money we got back to the ship in san Francisco,but had no hotel or flights ,because the ship had cancelled them and offered no help to reinstate,saying they were to busy getting new passengers on.Had to pay for hotel stay,and own flights home,my mother suddenly died in that hotel room,that night.With no help from the ship,P&O, or the port agent, the stress and worry caused by the lack of care was responsible for this. Did you Know there is no regulation body to oversee,the cruise ship industry,they are charging what they they can getaway with and doing what exactly what they want to do ,knowing they can, with no questions asked, or authoritive bodies to answer too. Never will I sail with them again and will be cancelling next years cruise also,in fact I thing the cruise industry has got so big, and interested only in taking as much money of you as they can,i doubt wether we will cruise ever again,having had first hand experience when things go wrong,and don't expect your insurance company to be there either,they go through a system of paper work and anylisis to see if they are liable ,before you get any help,which is time ,emails to the uk doctor,time differences to take into account,etc,and on it goes. Arcadia,was the worst ship I have sailed in,and if you are sensitive to sea movement, she is not the ship for you,as she rolls from side to side,at the onset of swell. Old people beware,they wont look after you,you will need a lot of money to pay out first before you get any back off the insurance,even if you do,and you will find you could be in a strange place should you take ill and off load you in a port.Which seems to be the priority of the medical centre,could not get rid of my mother,and another passenger at the same time,fast enough. Fifty years my parents had cruised ,back to the days of Canberra,and this is how it ended. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
Having returned from our 12 day cruise aboard Arcadia, we wish to express our great disappointment. As this was our first cruise the ship was not as we'd expected, having read information of the (refit carried out in 2013!).. If ... Read More
Having returned from our 12 day cruise aboard Arcadia, we wish to express our great disappointment. As this was our first cruise the ship was not as we'd expected, having read information of the (refit carried out in 2013!).. If we'd given our cabin, & corridors a star rating it would have been 2! As the carpets, walls in corridors were badly stained! Our cabin was very depressing, extremely creased net curtain, pillows had a stale smell, & I had to clean hairs out of bathroom cabinet, before I could put my toiletries in!.. On boarding the ship, we went for a look around, until our cabin was ready, we liked the look of the hydro pool, and heated beds, so payed £200 to use for the 12 days, & oh how pleased we did, as once we set sail for the 3 day trip to Madeira, we realised just how little there was to do on board..... One of the main reasons we choose this cruise, was not having to do long flights. The down side of this is it appeals to a lot older age group, and the amount of wheel chairs, mobility scooters on board, it felt more like a floating old peoples home, and not the luxury cruise we'd been looking forward to... We found all staff very friendly, even given the long hours they were expected to work, nothing was to much trouble. Evening entertainment in the theatre was very good. The food in meridian restaurant was also very good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
Myself and my disabled wife paid £3000 for a twelve night trip aboard Arcadia sailing from Southampton back to Southampton returning on the 9th December 2014. From the outside Arcadia looked great and we were very excited when waiting to ... Read More
Myself and my disabled wife paid £3000 for a twelve night trip aboard Arcadia sailing from Southampton back to Southampton returning on the 9th December 2014. From the outside Arcadia looked great and we were very excited when waiting to board her, our excitement disappeared when we entered our mini suite number Delta 001, it was very tired and dated and there was mildew on the bathroom tiles in the shower. The shower door was very loose which we reported to reception. We unpacked and ventured out to explore the ship and have lunch, we found most of the staff rude surly and unhelpful when you asked for anything and they looked very board. We had our life boat muster drill in the Palladium Theatre on deck three, this was our first view of the theatre and was very impressed by it and looking forward to the shows there. On the first night we were introduced to the entertainment team led by Cruise Director.  The Headliners singing and dance group were fantastic and very hard working. The dinning room staff were most of the time very surly bordering on rude and we found the menus boring. The best place to eat was East but this cost you £15 per head to eat there. We had a coffee maker in our suite and when we ran out of coffee sacks had a very hard job to get them replaced by the butler service department. Room service was beyond belief, you ordered what you wanted but what you received nearly always was not what you had ordered it was our daily amusement seeing what was delivered to our suite by the staff. The shops on board are very expensive the staff very rude and pushy when dealing with you. What they sell can be bought cheaper on shore and that is what we did most of the time. Other than the head Liners the only act we liked was the comedian his to shows was great the other acts was good on their first show but their second show was not so good and let them down. Most of the time the swimming pools were closed due to the weather conditions in the area that we were in. We do not think that the way Arcadia rolled that the Captain ever deployed the ships stabilizers was this to save fuel for the company we wonder? We have sailed with P&O on a number of times and this was our worst ever cruise with them and the condition of the ship and the attitude of most of the crew spoilt a rather expensive holiday for us. some of the ports we visited the gangways were way beyond the safety levels of decent laid down for disabled people it took four crew members to get my wife and her wheel chair down the gradient of the gang way safely. We were also disappointed with the television on board you could not track your on board account or order room service yet these were brand new televisions fitted whilst she was docked at Southampton but did not work to their capabilities. The two best ships that P&O have Ventura and Azure are based abroad so if you wish to cruise on them you have to fly out to join them what a shame for us passengers who cannot fly but love these two ships. Our advice to you if you are thinking of going on a cruise on the Arcadia is don't she needs a complete refit or sold on she is to old and dated.     Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
we were on this ship last year and had a good time all round, food, staff, entertainment etc.  we could not be leave we were on the same ship this time.  Dreadful place to arrive in, like a shed.  No signs leading you to your ship. One ... Read More
we were on this ship last year and had a good time all round, food, staff, entertainment etc.  we could not be leave we were on the same ship this time.  Dreadful place to arrive in, like a shed.  No signs leading you to your ship. One lane only to the shed where you parked, disabled people really struggling, have never in 20 years of cruising with PO seen any thing like it . Cabin clean and very friendly cabin girl. Toilet problems every day all along our part of the deck, cabin toilet overflowed all over bathroom floor, no one came to clean the floor, even after it was reported. Food was cold, overcooked or undercooked, and rushed to a point of rudeness in the main restaurant, hardly any choices, drab and tasteless, so we went to restaurant on top of ship, in only to get some vegetable's, again it was not good, but far better then main restaurant. The entertainment worst we have ever known, Headliners are always so good, complete disappointment, 2 of the male singers could not sing a note, and the whole 18 days became very boring, we always looked forward to a show etc at night, never had so many early nights in my life. Cabin entertainment was also very bad. People were coughing all over the ship, which was very worrying, I have now found out this is very common on this ship, and known for the Arcadia cabin cough, (charming) 2 days after we returned from the cruise mu husband wad dreadfully ill, and became critical, emergency doctors, and ambulance. He had Legionaries decease and pneumonia, lost a stone and 6lbs in 10 days. We have written to PO twice to inform them what has happened, in the hope that if there was some thing wrong in our cabin they could check it out, so no body else got it. We have received no phone calls from them, no letters, and no response at all. We have cruised with them for over 20 years, and can not be leave there lack of response to this very serious matter. Shame on you PO, and you should look at the dreadful reports you are getting on this ship, I wish we had read them before we booked. Can not tell you how unhappy and extremely disappointed we are.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
To temper what I am about to write, I will start by saying I never write reviews as I am aware that peoples' opinions are varied and what may be excellent to some is terrible to another. I also don't like the idea of complaining ... Read More
To temper what I am about to write, I will start by saying I never write reviews as I am aware that peoples' opinions are varied and what may be excellent to some is terrible to another. I also don't like the idea of complaining for the sake of making a fuss - however our experience on Arcadia visiting the Norwegian fjords was without doubt the worst holiday we have ever had. What I comment upon will undoubtedly cause controversy and probably offence, but I intend this as an accurate reflection of what our experience actually was. In defence of P&O, their formula works for them and they didn't actually do anything wrong; some of the issues with our holiday were actually outwith their control so it is not actually the abysmal time we had which I object to, more the feeling of being misled by what we would receive, this being our first ever cruise. Firstly, it seems to have been a mistake opting for an adults only cruise. The lack of children was substituted for a population whose average age was easily in excess of 70 and consequently ALL "entertainment" was aimed at this age group. There was absolutely nothing to do unless you wanted to watch variations on the Royal Variety Performance or play bingo. Trying to negotiate the ship, or worse still disembark at ports, was a nightmare due to the sheer volume of wheelchairs, walking frames and groups of people congregating about lifts and gangplanks. There were at least 20 people onboard with highly complex developmental problems in motorised carriages and although I don't begrudge any of these people enjoying their holidays having to watch people being spoon fed or worse, fed through tubes, at dining tables in the restaurant of an evening was not how I envisaged our cruise from the promotional material received. In many respects we felt like we were trapped on a floating nursing home. Worse than this however was the issue of the majority of other passengers (which is why I feel a bit bad that P&O are receiving poor feedback). The average weight of most of the passengers was about 25 stones and some of these peoples' manners and behaviour could have made primates blush. One evening we visited the Crow's Nest bar to be sat at a table next to five women in their 60s having a belching competition. On the rare occasion we went to the buffet Belvedere cafeteria we were astounded by the pushing and shouting and sheer volume of food consumed by people as well as the swearing and general unpleasantness of our fellow passengers. Between my partner and I we came to "fondly" refer to the Belvedere as "stuff 'til you chuck"! As far as I could ascertain, the ship was merely a cheap catering joint to uncouth, drunken, beer swilling, obese people entirely from the North of England who would consume vast quantities of fried food all day. Watching people drinking pints of lager at breakfast was not pleasant, and neither was it uncommon. Walking the decks was marred by a perm-fog of cigarette smoke. Evenings set out as blacktie were seemingly ignored by some to no response and although if people want to wear alternative attire that should be no problem but allowing people in shorts, vests and flip-flops into cocktail bars ruins the ambience somewhat. In order to escape some of the hoards we often went to the East and Ocean Grill restaurants which had a premium of £40 per night added as well as our wine bill which made the whole experience quite costly for an all-inclusive cruise. If you wanted to use the steam room or jacuzzi there was an additional charge of £100 per person for 7 days which we thought was extortionate until cabin fever set in about day 4 and we capitulated only to be told we couldn't use these facilities unless we purchased them at the start of the cruise. I also feel the choice of ports of call could have been better selected - we spent two days of 10 hours each at Andlesnes and Olden which although undeniably beautiful were lacking in amenities. Indeed in Olden, the only thing to do was to visit the Briksdal glacier. This was 15km away from the port and could only be visited via a P&O arranged excursion at a cost of £120. It seems that unless paying an exorbitant price to P&O to bus you about with people it was obvious we had nothing in common with we were pretty much captive on the ship. On the one day we visited Bergen, European city of culture in 2008 we were only granted 5 hours shore leave, and even then had to wait to disembark while the legions of wheelchairs were taken down the gangplank. How it is possible to visit an entire city in fewer than 5 hours I am not certain - I would have greatly liked to attend a concert at the Grieghallen but sadly this was not to be. In room entertainment was terrible, there were essentially no TV or film choices at all in the cabins and what was minimally provided did not seem to work most of the time. However, this was not too much of a problem since the TV resolution was so poor actually making sense of the image was impossible. The cabin was clean and tidy and linen was replaced daily. I have absolutely no complaints about the cabin staff, nor any of the staff in general actually who were mainly courteous and efficient in trying circumstances. Indeed I witnessed one of the other passengers shout and swear in a waiter's face when he reminded him to use the alcohol hand gel prior to entering the restaurant. I cannot praise the staff highly enough. The general decor in the communal areas was reasonable but in the cabins was very tired and in need of replacing. It resembles 1990s Laura Ashley currently which is unusual since it was initially decorated in 2004. Ultimately, we were expecting to travel to Norway in style with likeminded, childless, professional people who were cultured and interesting and to be able to soak up the life of northern Europe and the rugged beauty of the fjords and all promotional literature from P&O continued to perpetuate this misapprehension. Basically we got a floating budget holiday resort reminiscent of Pontins. It was like an 18-30s holiday for the working class middle aged and elderly, although worse since 18-30s holidays expect a certain level of customer care. By the end of the week we felt like we had been in prison and couldn't wait to disembark at Southampton. If you want sophistication and culture I would advise avoiding this at all costs. If you don't care where you go, what you do and are only interesting in getting drunk and eating as much cheap, processed food as you can before you vomit and wallowing in Butlins style camaraderie then go for it! (Incidentally, my partner and I are both 32)   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2013
Assuredly a very damning summary - but we disembarked from Arcadia on the completion of this voyage very disappointed at what we had endured for so long. We are not new to cruising, nor are we new to Grand Voyages - but this was our first ... Read More
Assuredly a very damning summary - but we disembarked from Arcadia on the completion of this voyage very disappointed at what we had endured for so long. We are not new to cruising, nor are we new to Grand Voyages - but this was our first experience of Arcadia and of P&O -and it will certainly be our last. Anyone who has booked, or is contemplating booking a 'Grand Voyage' cruise on P&O's Arcadia should very seriously think again. The Cruise : The first half of the cruise from Southampton to Sydney was a nightmare - by the time the ship reached Sydney the morale of the passengers was such that as well as the 600 plus Australian passengers who were desperately glad to be disembarking, the vast majority of those remaining on board would have joined them if they possibly could. Particular details of all that went wrong can be gleaned from the vast number of adverse reviews and comments already on the Internet relating to how passengers on the Arcadia were treated on this voyage. In short, no-one likes feeling that they have been duped, cheated, short changed, commercially exploited and are being treated with dismissive contempt. Moreover, the dismissive contempt continued once back on dry land. Communications with P&O regarding their gross negligence in NOT complying with their own 'Booking Conditions' were replied to 'cut and paste' responses consisting of sequences of platitudes and gibberish totally unrelated to the issues raised IF P&O had fulfilled its contractual obligations and the ship's management had treated passengers as if they were on a Cruise Liner rather than as interlopers on a Cargo Vessel - would we have enjoyed the cruise ? - Definitely not - and here are some of the reasons why : The 'Grand Voyage' : The Arcadia carries well over 2000 passengers - and at any one time 75-80% are on board for only one or occasionally two sectors of the 'Grand Voyage' Arcadia is one of the newer breed of 'Vegas' resort ships designed to provide the mass market with relatively short 'fun' cruises with lots of alcohol,gambling, mindless loud music and very dim lighting in all public areas from 1800hrs onwards, holiday camp/end of pier quality entertainment and singalongs coupled with the provision to gorge for 24hrs a day on mass produced,low quality meals typical of a works canteen or supermarket cafeteria. The so called 'Grand Voyage' was nothing more than four such 'fun' cruises (sectors) strung together. When the first sector was complete everything (menus, entertainment, lecture topics, films etc - even the errors and mis-spellings in the daily entertainment guide were for the most part repeated on each following sector. The 'Ship' ; Consistent with the 'resort ship' model large areas of Arcadia are devoted to revenue generating activities in contrast to the minimal space afforded to non-revenue services addressing the interests and comfort of passengers. eg: the small library with cramped seating for 10, the 30 seat 'cinema' and the ridiculous laundries are 'not fit for purpose'. In contrast the casino,totally unoccupied for most of the day has an enormous floor area housing four card tables, two roulette tables and 65 slot machines and boasts a seating capacity for 112 passengers. Public toilets are small in both space and number, are often 'out of order' and very basically equipped. The buffet restaurant has the ambiance of a motorway cafe with formica topped tables,unset for breakfast and lunch - pick up a tray,plate and cutlery, join the long queue to choose your food and then search for a seat !! Again consistent with the 'resort ship' model all vestiges of past elegance and refinement associated with cruising - particularly on Cunard - and to a lesser extent on P&O - have disappeared from Arcadia and been replaced with pretentious nonsense which fools but few. The most glaring examples relate to evening dining in the main restaurant: To gain access one must adhere to the ship's 'dress codes' - Problems occur when the dress code is 'Smart' - interpreted by P&O as meaning 'gentlemen must wear a jacket' - Hence, males wandering around the decks in trainers, baggy trousers and T-shirts can grab a jacket and gain access unchallenged whilst gentlemen elegantly dressed for dinner in tailored trousers,smart shirt and tie are refused entry! Upon gaining entry you will be presented with a menu adorned with dishes described in mouth-watering language with lots of 'juz' and 'drizzles' which bear little relation to what eventually appears from the kitchen. Set plates are augmented by 'silver service' - consisting of never more than potatoes cooked in a different style from those already on the set plate plus one other,usually overcooked and tepid vegetable. On the topic of food, apart from the general low quality of what is provided in the 'set menu' restaurant, prospective passengers should be aware that many items- particularly fruit, salads and cold meats and seafood - displayed in the 'buffet restaurant' are often well past their 'sell by' date - photographs of heaps of sweating, rotten bananas, pears etc are available on request. Also on view in the buffet from 3.00am onward would be tray after tray of pre-cooked fried eggs left to rubberise until being reheated when the restaurant opens!!! I could go on and on but .....!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2012
My husband and I have just returned from a weeks cruise on the P&O's Arcadia ship. This was our 6th cruise all previous ones have been with Cunard. The Embarkation was quite drawn out, we were ushered quickly onto the ship as ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a weeks cruise on the P&O's Arcadia ship. This was our 6th cruise all previous ones have been with Cunard. The Embarkation was quite drawn out, we were ushered quickly onto the ship as we were priority but then were herded up into the 'Crown Nest' (a room at the front of the ship at the top) and served uneatable nibbles and bucks fizz. We were kept there until after 2pm as the cabins were not ready, we then had to wait until after 5pm before our cases arrived! We were very disappointed with the ship and the crew. We found the Arcadia to be in desperate need of an update, it is old and tired. There is no ballroom, the films are shown in a freezing cold space called the Globe or in a screening room that only sits 30 people meaning one has to queue for an hour just to secure a place. People complained about the cold in the Globe but nothing was done, a lot of people walked out the rest sat in their coats. We found the food to be very poor in the Meridian restraunt and the staff surley. There was no 'anytime' dining and we had to eat at 8.30 on a table with 8 strangers. The Grill restaurant was excellent with a very good staff but their menu only changed twice making eating there a bit repetitive. The captains cocktail party was held at the swimming pool area as there was no room anywhere else. Neither the captain or his crew mingled with the guests, he made a short speech then vanished. Our cabin was a suite, it was large, with a whirlpool bath, two sinks and a stand alone shower, (larger than on the equivalent grade on Cundard) but it was shabby and not very clean. The beds and bedding were of a low quality and the cabin steward unhelpful. There appeared to be only a couple of launderettes on board, this would cause a problem on a long voyage with people having to queue and one had to provide their own soap powder. The library was a small tatty room with a few computers in it which one had to pay 20p per minute to use. Nothing would induce us to travel with P&O again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2012
Taking this cruise was a big mistake as in February both China & Japan are very cold at this time of the year, also there were 6 continuous sea days from Japan to the next port of call and warmer climate. The ship itself is beautiful, ... Read More
Taking this cruise was a big mistake as in February both China & Japan are very cold at this time of the year, also there were 6 continuous sea days from Japan to the next port of call and warmer climate. The ship itself is beautiful, including the balcony cabin, but there is little else to commend. Lots of empty bars, containing bored waiters, and a few sleeping passengers. It was nice to drink some English beers once again instead of the ozzie stuff. Most of the ports of call were a waste of time. Apart from Hong Kong & the 2 Japanese ports which were well located, the remaining ports were in the middle of nowhere and involved long ques for long bus rides to out of the way retail outlets. 3 hours each to Beijing, 1 hour each way to Shanghai. The Shanghai trip dropped us in a side street outside one retail outlet. On the return journey, we saw from the bus windows, what a beautiful city we had missed. The chargeable trips were expensive and badly organised. 10 or more coaches simultaneously at the same point of interest resulted in chaos and long ques yet again. Second sitting dining is only for insomniacs. 8.30pm dinner means first course around 9pm; so we did not frequent this very often. The food was reasonable except for the under cooked vegetables, but this is a feature of cruise dining it would seem. What you expected on your plate was not always what you got. Food in "The Belvedere" self serve restaurant was just disgusting. Same old stuff every day, mostly dubious curry. Nothing fresh, everything over stewed, green potatoes, black bananas, stale ex-frozen bread, and very surly staff. On several days we failed to have an evening meal. Those who cruise will be aware of "THE SHIPS COUGH". On this cruise was of epidemic proportions. This trip was a sector of a world cruise and many people on board had spent a fortune to go "all the way round" on the trip of a lifetime in relative luxury. Many were angry and disappointed and one can hardly blame them. P & O (uk) should be ashamed. The standards have plumbeted, the little things and courtesy's of the past have gone. The best event of our trip was disembarking in Sydney and we felt sorry for those who remained on board with another 50+ days to endure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2011
We returned this morning from our 3 night break on the Arcadia. What a lovely ship and our cabin and balcony were good too. Jimmy James from Jimmy James and the Vagabonds who was around during the Motown years was the cabaret. What a ... Read More
We returned this morning from our 3 night break on the Arcadia. What a lovely ship and our cabin and balcony were good too. Jimmy James from Jimmy James and the Vagabonds who was around during the Motown years was the cabaret. What a fantastic performer, really showed us how a professional should sing and perform even at the age of 71. He received a standing ovation from the entire audience together with whistles and cheers. It was marvellous. Now the negatives. The food was dreadful, we tried two different soups and both tasted like the cheapest packet soups, if they were not packet soup I have no idea how they managed to make soup so horrible. We also objected to being served up what seemed like frozen croquet potato, roast potato and chips. You will note I said potato and not potatoes because P&O don't like you to have more than one. The meat was very second rate and the fish was so overcooked it tasted like it had been cooked the day before and re-heated. The descriptions on the menu looked rather nice so it was a great disappointment when we tasted the bland concoction we were served. There was only one option for vegetarians and on all three days there was nothing very interesting or inspiring for them to eat. The buffet restaurant was very badly laid out so not only was there not very nice food, but you had to walk the entire length of the restaurant before you could decide what you wanted to eat, and then have the same walk back again to actually take something. No-one comes around with tea or coffee at breakfast like they do on Princess. Now the service. Well this was appalling to say the very least. The majority of staff walk around looking so miserable. You smile at them and they don't smile back, of course there are exceptions. Our waiter was so surly and miserable, not giving us a chance to read the menu before expecting us to decide on choice, then slapping the meal down in front of us. Taking the plates away as you were still chewing the food and others still eating. We felt like all he wanted to do was get us out as quickly as possible. I particularly appreciated the loud sniffing snort he made whilst standing right behind me. This action really added to the enjoyment of our meal. I feel it would be churlish of me not to mention the cheese platter which I ordered for dessert thinking that they could not possibly go wrong with that. The menu said cheese platter with crackers and dried fruit and nuts. A plate the size of a saucer was placed in front of me and a lovely platter of cheese presented. At last I thought, at last something to eat which would be delicious. 'Which piece of cheese would you like'? I just looked at him and requested a small piece of each please. A look of horror followed. I was given tiny pieces of cheese on the tiny plate but no fruit from the tiny dish. I asked for some of the dried fruit and nuts please. Another look of horror, one walnut and two dates stuck together was my quota. Now the crackers. 'Which cracker madam'? An assortment please. Another look of horror as three crackers were piled on top of the cheese on the tiny plate. Please could I have a larger plate. Oh my goodness, how awful of me to make such a request. One more thing. In the bars you are pestered continuously to buy drink. They come up to you the minute you sit down just as you pick up the drink menu. Then when you say you are just reading the menu and not quite ready yet they return in another couple of minutes and so it goes on. It feels like there is no area you can sit without being pestered to buy drink. I apologise for such a long review. I did try and speak to the food manager but unfortunately he did not get back to me even though reception asked him to contact me. We went on this cruise to see if we liked it before booking a longer cruise. No way would we cruise P&O now. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Cruised with P & O on previous occasions and have always been very satisfied, but not so on this disastrous mini-cruise. We only had two ports of call on the itinary but Zeebrugge was pulled from the programme before we got on board, ... Read More
Cruised with P & O on previous occasions and have always been very satisfied, but not so on this disastrous mini-cruise. We only had two ports of call on the itinary but Zeebrugge was pulled from the programme before we got on board, leaving us with basically a ferry trip to Le Havre. Worse still - no apology or even a mention from the captain or officers of this change. From our first lunch it was clear that the quality of food and service had plumetted. This continued throughout the 'cruise' with overcooked or warm dishes, food that had not been fully thawed and even tinned peaches for dessert served by disinterested and unfriendly waiters. Together with other passengers it seemed clear to us that we had been abandoned as a '3 day' crowd who were not worth the effort. Many thought the captain had in fact remained in Southampton until the second time when he deemed to 'broadcast' prior to our leaving Le Havre. P&O continued to astound with their total lack of organisation relating to Russell Watson concerts, where ticketing arrangements had not been organised and general chaos ensued, crowds of very angry people battling to get into the theatre. Following pressure from passengers P&O finally relented and produced some sort of system for the last night. Overall a pathetic performance from P&O further exacerbated by the fact that four weeks after writing to the Managing Director not even an acknowledgement has been received. Disgusting!!!!!!!!! 1. On embarkation (3 December) we were handed a letter from Nick Burrows, Head of Customer Services , which informed passengers that 'severe winds are forecast for our call to Zeebrugge' and that this was being 'pulled' from the programme. Some passengers were not even handed this letter, and we later found out that Zeebrugge was not on the schedule already printed in Horizon and given to passengers who had taken a back-to-back cruise from the Canaries, but that Le Havre was. 2. From our first lunch (12.30 hours) it was clearly obvious that your cuisine as displayed in The Belvedere was lacking in quality and presentation. The hot salmon dish was very overcooked, dry and served warm; the noodles with prawns were not hot enough and neither was the curry dish. Waiters were not welcoming, were unfriendly and few in number; tables were not being cleared quickly enough. Anyone who had not cruised before must have been very unimpressed. 3. The Captain, Ian Walters, addressed passengers via. tannoy to explain the emergency drill but failed to apologise or even mention the fact that Zeebrugge had been pulled from the schedule. If as Nick Burrows suggests Zeebrugge was shelved due to bad weather then obviously we all accept and welcome such a change, but surely any reputable Captain should have the manners and courtesy to apologise. In fact none of Captain Walters' officers apologised or mentioned Zeebrugge in any form. Obviously most passengers were very disappointed to miss out on their visit to Bruges. 4. Our first dinner in Meridian (table no. 48 for eight guests ) was extremely disappointing. The dishes we had which were supposed to be hot were barely warm, the quality of the food and the presentation were far below the cuisine we have enjoyed on past cruises. Our waiters were totally disinterested and did not introduce themselves -- the service we endured was unfriendly, surly and slow. On past cruises the section waiter, wine waiter and our table waiters have introduced themselves and were only too happy to be of service. The wine waiter even pulled a face when those at the far end of the table could not hear what he was saying. He then made no attempt to come over to repeat himself but just stood in the same spot cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted. On a number of occasions waiters and other staff pushed in front of passengers showing no courtesy whatsoever. It seems that P & O should be training their staff in manners and how to treat their guests. 5. Breakfast in The Belevedere on Sunday morning was a complete fiasco and more like a cattle market than a renowned cruise ship dining venue. People were struggling to find a table and the queues at each serving station were very long. Waiting time to reach the serving area was approx. 10-15 minutes and again the food was barely warm. As previously the waiters could not cope with clearing the tables quickly enough. Whilst waiting in the queue we were told by a couple who had never cruised before that although they had reserved a table for two for dinner they were forced to dine alone on their first night -- one dining in the upper level of Meridian and the other in the lower level!!! Unbelievable. 6. Sunday dinner was much the same as the previous evening. With the exception of Chicken Caesar Terrine which was quite frozen and had to be sent back, plus Poached FRESH Peaches in Champagne and Vanilla, which actually turned out to be TINNED SLICED PEACHES IN A BOWL WITH A SIDE PORTION OF HALF MELTED ICE CREAM. The waiter actually admitted the fresh peaches had "run out" and therefore the peaches being served were tinned!!!! So much for P & O's Food Philosophy statement on the cover page of each dinner menu:-"..............silver-service waiters who become friends, .......................we offer a wealth of unique dining experiences created for the British palate using, wherever possible, the finest local and sustainable ingredients such as ................., we are dedicated to the continuing development of our ingredients, menus, venues and service, ..............all our dishes are thoughtfully and freshly prepared to ensure the most exceptional dining experience with every meal." Needless to say you can see from the above comments and complaints that a lot of the claims in your Philosophy Statement do not bear any resemblance to the food you actually serve or the service your staff are giving. 7. Arcadia's staff and officers really excelled themselves over the disorganisation of the Russell Watson concert. Despite having known for months about the 3-day mini cruise it was obviously impossible for P & O to consider well in advance how to efficiently organise the seating arrangements for both 8.45pm and 10.45pm concerts. Following hundreds and hundreds of passenger complaints regarding the viewing arrangements, Arcadia's staff eventually came to their senses and realised that some organisation was required. They came up with the idea that passengers would present their table card at the theatre entrance which would be marked. However after rushing our dinner and missing coffee, we were amongst a couple of hundred passengers who missed out on Sunday's performance. Needless to say the mood was disappointment, frustration and anger. Staff were confronted by irate passengers wanting complete reassurance that they would be guaranteed good front row seats for a further performance on Monday night. Because of complaints we had already submitted on board, we had a meeting with an Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Craig, who was polite and courteous. He assured us that we would be served quickly at dinner that evening so that we could get to the performance in plenty of time. Luckily we had excellent seats and thoroughly enjoyed the performance. 8. Captain Walters finally deemed to address passengers for the second time since embarkation at approximately 8.15 p.m. on the Monday evening to inform us that we would be leaving Le Havre at 9.00 p.m. Once again no mention of Zeebrugge and inconsiderately no mention of the Russell Watson seating fiasco or 'thank you for sailing with P & O' or 'hope you have enjoyed your cruise'. We have not been at all impressed by his captaincy as regards passenger relations. Most passengers were of the opinion that he had either stayed in Southampton or had enjoyed a two day four hour vacation at our expense. We have not spoken to any passenger who actually saw Captain Walters wandering around his ship. No other officer has deputised on his behalf to make announcements on the PR side. All in all we are extremely disappointed and disillusioned with the whole P & O experience on board Arcadia. The mood among fellow passengers appeared to be the same as ourselves and many considered the fact that it was because it was a 3-day mini cruise which didn't require standards to be as good as longer cruises. Is this the case? From our previous P & O cruises experiences, we consider that your standards have dropped dramatically. Although we complained about much of the above on board, we have felt compelled to write to you for your comments. Yours faithfully Sandra and Ian Hampton Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We booked primarily to vist the Christmas Market in Bruges and see Russell Watson in a cabaret setting. Arrived and went through a tedious check in process for our £400 a night suite. Once checked in we were informed that the Bruges ... Read More
We booked primarily to vist the Christmas Market in Bruges and see Russell Watson in a cabaret setting. Arrived and went through a tedious check in process for our £400 a night suite. Once checked in we were informed that the Bruges leg was off because of the weather conditions, bear in mind this is an ocean going cruise liner and the captain said in his letter it could be difficult to berth! Our butler we saw once a day when he brought our awful canapes, out of three nights only one lot were eaten, sadly he didn't catch on that we were unhappy. No issues with our bedroom steward he was great and very helpful. Food was perhaps the most dissapointing element, cheap and tacky was my view with overcooked vegetables, frozen peas and soggy cauliflower to name but two. Cheap cuts of meat including micro sirloins which came from cows fed on grass ! well whatever next. Cold food was served frequently and sent back never to re-appear one night several on our table sent 3 bowls of soup back, Spinach & Stilton it was vile. Staff were or seemed very low ? not there usual helpful and courteous lot, though I have to say there were some exceptions in the main they seemed offhand and not bothered ? Information was sparce, anyone who has travelled to France will know that all shops are closed on Sundays yet not only were we to sepnd 2 full days in Le Havre but the shops on board were not allowed to open and we were unable to purchase duty free due to HMRC rules (no problems on your Ferries though Mr P&O) I think we were all being lied to, it seems the staff were already aware that the next sailing was also not going to Bruges ? maybe the same weather had been ordered by the captain. Russell Watson, when we eventually managed to get in to see him, was brilliant but then he wasn't being organised by P&O was he. Travel advice ???? Thinsk long and hard before you book on this line. 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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