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29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and ... Read More
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and externally there are areas showing age but considering she is at sea virtually daily and has been around the globe many times it can be expected. Daily maintenance is carried out as would be expected and if anyone was woken by the chipping drills on the lifeboat davits then perhaps they prefer lie-ins after 10.00 a or cant be bothered if their lifeboat wasn't serviced. Change of itinerary, we were notified by email 5 days before departure explaining the reason why a prolonged stop in Malaga was necessary. Some fellow cruisers said they did not know until they boarded. Can't explain this but I would suggest that as we are registered in the P&O Cruise Personaliser, where our email is recorded, this could be the reason for those who do not use this system. Yes we missed out a port of call and stayed in Malaga while she was being repaired, the captain kept us informed of the progress of the work. Unfortunately the 22-strong team of divers, flown in from the USA and elsewhere were unable to correct the problem with the port-side pod within the expected time and after arriving on Thursday (at top speed), we departed just after midnight on Sunday/Monday morning. Malaga is a lovely place and a leisurely walk or free for all passengers shuttle bus into the main area was provided.. We missed two sea days and one port. After departure one passenger decided to be seriously ill (not norovirus) but as Arcadia does not have a heli-pad, the Captain sailed at full speed for Venice for the passenger hope all was well) to be transferred to waiting ambulance on the quayside. Safety is a high priority and itinerary change is usually, sometimes weather also for other reasons but some people have to moan and disrespect P&O, fortunately the majority of fellow passengers we spoke to were happy with their cruise. Part-way through their was an outbreak of the dreaded Norovirous. We were not affected, The crew immediately put special measures in place specifically not being allowed to touch any item, plates, cutlery etc, having everything served to you. Not such a bad thing you know! Some passengers believing that they would never suffer from the virus did not wish to gel their hands before going into the restaurant. Probably the same passengers, and you know who you are, who do not bother to wash hands after using the toilets, who rush about and don't care ignoring warning notices and whose disgraceful disrespect of hygiene spread the infection. We noticed several mature passengers not washing hands after using the toilets and not wanting to gel before entering the food areas. After precautions were lifted, sadly a few passengers in the buffet decide to double-fill their plates, charge into the queues to get their fill totally regardless of common courtesy and respect for their fellow passengers and the hard-working crew. We found the food of a good standard and no complaints and I am a fussy eater. All the staff were polite and helpful. The entertainment was of a high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment especially the murder mystery and Johnny Youle the guitarist. The Rising Sun pub has great atmosphere and the Palladium theater is one of the best that we have sat in on a cruise ship. Our cabin on C deck was spacious and our steward was very professional and friendly. The excursions were varied, we did Malaga (both booked and ourselves, yes we had time!) we did hop-on-off bus in Cagliari, walking tour in Split (great courier). Would we go on Arcadia again, YES Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. ... Read More
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. Along with the vital and technically brilliant repair to one of her Azipod propeller seals calling for an extended stay in Malaga, there was an outbreak of Norovirus onboard (thanks clearly to passengers embarking with it and still not washing their hands throughout the cruise) along with issues with mounting a tender back onboard as well as an unfortunate Medivac situation which meant for a very early arrival in Venice… But contrary to most other passengers on-board, we would like to say we felt each situation was handled professionally and as smoothly as humanly possible. We strongly feel the crew should be commended not only for their efforts, but also for their extreme patience, with what must easily have been the most negative and hostile group of passengers (and dare I say most 'senior') we have ever experienced in my history of nearly 20 cruises, who to put simply got on the ship with a big chip on their shoulder just because one port needed to be cancelled due to the repair. They then proceeded to be devoid of any understanding that not everything will always go to plan on ship and just moaned and whinged for the rest of the holiday REALLY bringing down the atmosphere all over the ship and exhausting the crew... Anyway! Overall we had a great time! Excellent staff pretty much without exception - but I am sure part of this is if you treat them with respect you get the same in return. Our Cabin Steward 'Harish' couldn't have been more polite, efficient and friendly. Food in the main restaurant and buffet was good on the most part - although the main menus do seem to have been 'dumbed' down a little in the last year or so. Treated ourselves to the Ocean Grill and Sindhu on a couple of occasions and was impressed. Entertainment from the Headliners in the fantastic and comfortable Palladium Theatre was FIRST CLASS! Mr Tinkerton's Circus worthy of special mention - probably the best show I have ever seen on any ship! Congratulations to P&O for clearly investing heavily in this side of things. However, after seven wonderful cruises on her over the last 8 years with a further two booked including the full World Cruise in 2021, we have become very accustomed to Arcadia herself never disappointing us. Arguably the best-looking ship in the fleet with a lovely blend of features and facilities, we were admittedly shocked and saddened by her general exterior condition as well as some lack of maintenance, care and attention to some of her public spaces as well as private cabins and their balconies. We were assured this was being addressed and we look forward to seeing this on our next couple of cruises which we are very much looking forward to. But in just one last thought, perhaps in P&O's approach of marketing their cruises as a 'holiday' where it’s all about the destination instead of the journey, people’s respect for the ships is not would it should be as, if it wasn’t for the atmosphere these passengers created, it would probably have been one of top 5 cruises we have ever done. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi ... Read More
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi to/from the port. Excellent package. Embarkation was very efficient and we boarded very quickly, with the luggage arriving in reasonable time. We booked early May and one of the cabins offered was at the stern, but it had a big balcony and we thought [rightly as it turned out] that we'd have brilliant views of the Fjords. The cabin was spacious with plenty of clothes storage, seating space with a settee and a good sized bathroom. Our steward, Umesh, was efficient, friendly and brought ice for our drinks each evening, so deserved his good tip! The only thing I missed was a towelling robe and slippers, as I would have expected those in a de-luxe cabin. The ship was just big enough for us, although I was grateful for the small map which I clutched for days. The cabin was smart and very clean, but the balcony area was quite rusty in areas and both that and the balcony rail needed painting. Although the balcony was huge, there was an overhang so we didn't get as much sunshine as the deck below. But then they had us gazing down on them as they sunbathed..... Dining standards were very varied and although we tried Freedom Dining on the first night, after a projected hour's wait till 9pm, we reverted to our 2nd sitting booking and were with a great group on our table for six in the window. Two very good waiters looked after us very well during the whole voyage. The food varied from day to day and a few times we had to send food back to the kitchen, including the infamous steaks. My worst choice was lamb, which turned out to be three slices of fat smothered in gravy and should never have left the kitchen The replacement slices were beautiful and it does pay to complain as the head waiter came over personally to apologise. We did eat twice in the Sindhu restaurant and really enjoyed the food in there, although some of it didn't strike us as particularly Indian or Eastern. The staff went to particular trouble for me as I'm allergic to chilli and I never suffered once! Surroundings were lovely and it was pleasant to enjoy a drink in the quiet East bar before strolling next door to eat. We always breakfasted in the Belvedere as there was a good choice of cereals and fresh fruit and we did indulge in the occasional bacon butty. Lunch was usually there too as we prefer salads and there was a wide selection to choose from. If we did have a hot meal, we were generally disappointed as the food was rarely hot and not brilliant. Their curry night was excellent though! Drinks were reasonably priced, especially the wines at the evening meal and there was a comprehensive choice of world wines. We enjoyed most of the entertainment, especially the Headliners with their superb, enthusiastic, high standard, special musical evenings. Definitely West End quality. The comedian was extremely funny and had an appreciative audience. Enjoyed the historian too as her lectures on the Vikings were very interesting with amusing observations which added to the content. Joined in the daily quizzes, though not all the answers were accurate as for just one example, butterflies do NOT eat through their feet! We only took one shore excursion as we love to stroll off the ship in our own time and explore locally. All the small ports seemed to have similar souvenirs and high prices, but Trondheim and Bergen were well worth exploring on one's own.The trip we chose was the Grieg visit, which was well hyped as a special event with a piano recital. Lovely trip round Bergen to begin with, followed by the tour of Grieg's house and museum with the recital as the icing on the cake in a beautiful concert hall. The pianist was talented and we'd just begun to enjoy this treat when it was over after less than half an hour. So disappointing and we did feel rather short changed. Overall we enjoyed our first P&O trip and as we always try and see the good in everything, any little gripes like the costly Wifi and lack of signals to catch up with the home news, [no Brexit for 12 days....bliss!] were easily put to one side. But the great joy was the Fjords themselves in the sunshine from our private little paradise with panoramic views and the sensation of being all alone in this wilderness with the snow topped mountains and towering waterfalls. Loved the experience. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation at mayflower terminal in Southampton was excellent and trouble free. By the time we had a quick lunch on-board, our luggage was to be found outside our cabin on Egypt deck. The cabin was exactly as we have become accustomed to ... Read More
Embarkation at mayflower terminal in Southampton was excellent and trouble free. By the time we had a quick lunch on-board, our luggage was to be found outside our cabin on Egypt deck. The cabin was exactly as we have become accustomed to on P and O ships – small, clean, and adequate for what we need. We knew in advance that the window was totally obscured by a life-boat and so it didn’t bother us. The cabin was kept spotless by Lorie who worked her socks off during the cruise bless her. The only gripe about the cabin was that although it was nice to have a bath in there, the water was never hot enough. We enquired about this and were told that the water temperature was regulated to avoid anyone being accidentally scalded. I would think that since I’m over 50 years old, I could be trusted with hot water by now! The entertainment on board was mixed to be honest. The Headliners probably were the best that we had ever seen, being really professional to say the least. Not surprising really since they’d come to the end of their contract and hence their performances were polished due to so much practice. The other entertainment was not particularly to our taste so I’d best not criticise unnecessarily as that wouldn’t be fair. We liked the cinema with its massive armchairs, but be warned, booking in advance is required. We witnessed people being asked to move when ticketholders arrived and found interlopers in their seats! Food. We opted for freedom dining for evening meal in the Meridian which worked out very well. I think it reasonable to say that of all the P and O cruises we’ve been on, the menu and quality of the food on Arcadia was probably the best we have experienced. There appeared to be a lot more choice and the presentation and temperature of the meals was praiseworthy. The Belvedere buffet (or, ‘the canteen’ as we liked to call it) offered food that we could describe as perfectly functional and adequate. Not fancy but OK. The reason we were less enamoured by the Belvedere was simply because the sheer number of people using it made it a scrum to get ones food. Also, having to search for a table was frankly a pain. This was not helped by horrible couples occupying a table for four or six who made it clear that other people were not welcome to join them, despite there being a shortage of seating. Hence, some people were seen to wonder around the buffet looking quite glum just hoping that a table would become free for them to occupy. Because of this we decided to skew our dining times so that we ate when we hoped the least amount of other guests would also be eating (for example, breakfast at 11 am, lunch at 3 pm). Crew. All excellent, polite, friendly. No issues to report at all in the bars, dining room or shops etc. The ships officers were best described as a little aloof and not too willing to engage with passengers. This was evident at the Captains reception when there were plenty of officers present, but they just looked like the event was a chore and didn’t engage with passengers – or if they did, it was perfunctory only. We saw this again at the private cocktail party we attended (for those guests of Mediterranean tier) where the officers gathered in little groups to chat among themselves and the fact that they were really supposed to be mingling and interacting with guests like ourselves who had been on P and O ships several times appeared to pass them by. Ports of call. Fabulous, especially St Petersburg - but Skagen, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Warnemunde were very good too. We walked literally miles around these cities using Google maps to guide us with no issues to report in terms of harassment by locals or anything else. Even St Petersburg in Russia was awesome with none of the potential problems such as pickpockets that one sometimes hears about. Overall, P and O did a good job and we were happy with the cruise on Arcadia. Can’t say any fairer than that! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as its an adults only ship, which is in some ways rather nice but even though I'm of a certain age its nice to mix with some younger people. Having said that most people on the cruise were very friendly. Getting ... Read More
We chose this cruise as its an adults only ship, which is in some ways rather nice but even though I'm of a certain age its nice to mix with some younger people. Having said that most people on the cruise were very friendly. Getting on the ship at Southampton was trouble free and very efficient. The ships is really nice, just the right size, the public areas and bars have been updated, are nicely decorated and comfortable, nice little areas to sit and chat or play cards, read etc. it all flowed very well into the central atrium . The restaurant is quite nice but there are far too many large tables, we were travelling with our friends so preferred a table for 4, we did share a table with other guests a few times but after a long day touring sometimes we preferred just us 4, this was a problem some nights and one of the staff who showed you to tables was very rude indeed so much so that we reported him to the manager for bad customer service. However, most of the staff were very pleasant, especially Jeff Beck, yep that's correct that's what he was called and very customer focused, he was brilliant, he told us he will be on the new Iona, so we will see him again next year as we are booked on it. The food varied from very nice to ok, served hot and if you wanted more it wasn't a problem. We tried Sindu as we had previously on the Azura and it was really good then, this time I'm sorry to say it wasn't nearly as good and not worth the extra money. The cabins (we had balcony) were pleasant, comfortable and spotless, we were cared for by Heidi, he was lovely. The beds are comfortable, plenty of storage space and the cases fitted nicely under the bed. Bathrooms were of a decent'ish size and had White Company toiletries. Entertainment:- FANTASTIC the Headliners shows were amazing, like west end shows every time, unfortunately that was the last trip that particular group were performing together, such a shame they were unbelievably professional truly amazing. Also a group called The Waves were extremely good, very versatile in all music and got everyone boogying, the singer was brilliant as was all the group. Guest appearances were also very entertaining, we had a comic singer Berni Flint was exceptional and pianist/singer (cant remember his name) was very good too, got a standing ovation!! We even had Valerie Singleton guesting, talking about her life, she was very interesting and funny. Also a Geologist giving talks about the earth, dinosaurs etc, very good. I would recommend this ship, its just the right size, very pleasant to be on and easy to get around. Looking forward to going on the new Iona, although its rather large, we tend to keep to the smaller ships but it'll be worth going on a brand new ship. All in all my summery of this trip to the Baltics was very enjoyable, we saw some great places and in general had a very good cruise. I like P&O on the whole but customer service ( only in some parts) need a bit of refreshing. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our 2nd cruise on P&O after sailing on Britannia last year which we had immensely enjoyed. The reason we chose this cruise was because the dates suited us well, the itinerary was interesting with new ports of call like La ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on P&O after sailing on Britannia last year which we had immensely enjoyed. The reason we chose this cruise was because the dates suited us well, the itinerary was interesting with new ports of call like La Verdon and Cherbourg in France which we hadn't been to before and the price was great with free parking at Southampton and £45pp on board credit. Moreover P&O removed gratuities from May this year. We drove to Southampton from NW London which took only about 1hr 20mins. We drove straight to mayflower terminal, took the luggage off the car which was swiftly taken away by the porters, handed the keys of the car to an attendant who took the car and parked it in a secure car park. We made our way inside the terminal and were given a boarding card and asked to wait. Although our boarding time was 3pm on boarding paperwork, we were inside the terminal by 12pm. After a short wait, we were asked to go and check in and once that was complete, we boarded the ship by 12.45pm and were asked to go for lunch to the buffet. Whilst waiting for the lift, an announcement was made that cabins were ready. So we headed straight to the cabin to drop off our hand luggage. Our cabin was on deck 8 in forward part of the ship. Lovely cabin with a large balcony, good size of cabin with huge flat screen tv, lots of storage space and a bathroom with a bath rather than a shower cubicle. This was unusual as we hadn't had a balcony cabin with a bath since our cruise on Zuiderdam ( Holland & America line) back in 2003. The cabin was always kept clean by our room attendant, Ariel, who we saw daily. Couldn't fault with the cleanliness of the cabin. Luggage had arrived before we got to our cabins which was really very quick. We then proceeded for lunch to the buffet restaurant on deck 9. Lunch was simple with not many vegetarian choices however was adequate. We then explored rest of the ship which was very elegant with 2 lovely pools ( one of which had a retractable roof), lots of deck space, plenty of indoor and outdoor bars, 2 speciality restaurants (Atul Kochhar's Indian restaurant Sindhu and Marco Pierres seafood restaurant), lovely 2 tier theatre, English style pub, casino, show room for music events, screening room for films, library, spa, gym and of course the main dining rooms. Everything looked great with new carpets and decor. Seemed the ship had a makeover recently. However what the ship lacked was a grand atrium like what Britannia had. The reception was on deck one which had a seating area and shore excursion and loyalty desks nearby but no coffee bar or anything. Hence most of the indoor activities occurred on decks 2 and 3. Despite the inside of the ship being very elegant, the outside of the ship didn't seem to be very well maintained. Lots of rust marks everywhere. The ship needed to be painted through out on the outside. We rarely find this a problem on other ships as there are always crew members painting away but on this ship we never saw anyone maintaining the outside areas of the ship. However indoors was very well looked after which mattered more to us as passengers. The mandatory safety drill occurred around 5.30pm and due to location of our cabin, we had to go to theatre for our drill. It took about 20mins or so and once that was complete we put the life jackets back in our cabins and headed for the sail away party on the open bar located on the aft of the ship. Since drinks are not included in the price of your cruise fare, you had to purchase all the soft and alcoholic drinks ( except coffee and tea unless you wanted costa coffee). The drink prices were reasonable with a pint of beer costing between£4 and £4.80. Small glass of wine was around £4 and large around £6. Bottles of wine started from around £17. You could choose to have all your drinks included at a cost of £40pp per day. As this was pricy, I guess not many would have chosen that. The good thing about P&O unlike many other cruise lines is that you could bring in 1L of wine or spirit per person when you board. Hence we took advantage of that and brought 1L of gin and wine. You could only drink these in the cabins though. However despite paying for beers, wines and some cocktails, we ended up with a surprisingly small bar bill. We had chosen anytime dining so were allocated dining room on deck 3. Unfortunately there was always a wait to get seated in the dining room if you didn't want to share a table. Hence were given a buzzer and the waits were generally from 15 to 45mins on some evenings. This was the biggest disappointment for us as in most other cruise lines which offer freedom dining, this is not the case. I think P&O need to look at having more tables for 2s and 4s. However once we got our table, the service was great and the vegetarian food options were very good with a seperate vegetarian food menu on offer. Hence you didn't have to order meals in advance for following evening which was great. Loved there starters and mains and I don't think we had a single meal which we didn't like. Desserts were good too but less choice compared to some other cruise lines. However their cheese plate was excellent with different types of cheese on offer daily. Very pleased with that. Show times in main theatre were at 8.45pm and 10.30pm daily. Due to the long waiting times to get a dinner table, we rarely could make to the 8.45pm show in time and found 10.30pm show very late. However managed to see most of the production shows which were all very good. Loved their circus (featuring music from Greatest showman) and Queen (featuring music by rock group Queen) shows. We were disappointed by the guest entertainers especially a guy called Grumblewood who somehow featured in 3 shows. Not sure why P&O can't get some good show performers. The 2 girl band Harmony had good voices but Motown music is not something we really like. Again they performed in 2 shows. Surely P&O could have got some other guest performers rather than repeating shows from same artists. There were quizzes, karaoke, bingo, music performances, etc. happening in other bars and lounges of the ship every evening. So plenty to do in the ship and no chance of getting bored. Casino was not very big and only had 2 working poker machines. Films were shown daily in screening room but as it was a smaller venue, needed to get tickets in advance from library or reception. Never got a chance to go there as there was plenty of other things to do. Buffet breakfasts and lunches were disappointing especially if you are a vegetarian. Not much choice compared to buffet meals in other ships we have been on. This is where P&O needs to significantly improve. Also on sea days, it was difficult to find seating in the buffet. Seems seating is a big issue on this ship, whether it's buffet or in main dining rooms. Didn't find that being a big issue on Britannia last year. The speciality restaurant Sindhu was excellent and definitely worth £20pp. Highly recommend anyone who likes Indian food to go there for a meal. Service was good and unlike main dining room, your table was reserved and you were seated as soon as you got there. We didn't get a chance to go to Marco Pierres restaurant but menu looked good and even had a few items for vegetarians. Booking for that restaurant was £17.50pp with certain items like lobsters having a supplement. There were 2 formal black tie nights where we had to wear suits for dinner. This was compulsory in Main dining rooms, speciality restaurants and most bars and lounges. I think P&O should make this optional like most cruise lines are doing these days. Not many want to bring suits whilst on vacation. Generally we enjoy captains night but this time the timing was odd at 8pm. Hence we missed most of it and got there at the tail end as we were late in finishing dinner thanks to long wait in getting a table despite getting to dining room early. Moreover as this ship doesn't have an atrium as such, the captains speech was in the retractable pool area which doesn't give the feel of a proper captains gala event of everyone being gathered around the atrium as we had done in Britannia last year. All the ports of call were excellent and we were lucky to have no rain on any of the days. In fact in Guernsey and Santander, we had completely clear sunny days. In La Verdon and Cherbourg, it was partly cloudy but sunny and warm especially in Bordeaux where temperatures hit 26c. Both the sea days were dry too. The first sea day was very sunny and warm whilst second was bit cooler and partly cloudy. We had shore excursions booked with P&O at every port. In Guernsey (the only tender port), we did an excursion to Isle of Sark. This was the best excursion we did. Took a 45min scenic ferry ride from Guernsey to Sark. Lovely car free island. First we did a walking coastal route tour for 2 hours and then had free time. So much to see and do on this pretty island. Would love to go back there again one day. In Santander we did a trip to Bilbao and visited Guggenheim museum. Another lovely excursion however we felt we needed another couple of hours in Bilbao which is a lovely city. So will need to go back there again some day. In La Verdon, we did a trip to Bordeaux. Passed through the vineyards and chateaus on our way there. Had few hours to explore this beautiful city on our own before going to a wine museum which was excellent. In our last port of call, Cherbourg, we did an excursion to Mont St Michel which was an amazing experience. The only downside was that it was nearly 2.25 hours drive from Cherbourg each way through scenic countryside. However once we got there, we were mesmerised with the beauty and setting of this historic religious place. Spent 4 hours there (half with guide and rest free time) and time went fairly quickly before our drive back to ship. Highly recommend everyone to visit this place once in their lifetime. The week went very quickly and enjoyed every moment of it. Plenty of activities to do on sea days and hence no time to get bored. Also the great weather helped to take advantage of the outdoors. The only issue we had was there was no hot water in cabins on our side of ship due to boiler breakdown for nearly 1.5 days. I had to report it several times before it got fixed. However they offered us to have hot showers in spa if we wanted to. Other than that, we encounters no problems. The service was very good in most areas of the ship and generally most staff greeted and smiled away. However staff in buffet areas were not very friendly and lacked knowledge of food on offer eg. on one sea day they had burgers in pool area but no chips or French fries. I asked around 3 members of staff about location of chips and was sent on a goose chase around the whole buffet area but never managed to find any. Disembarkation was the best we had seen on any ship. We were asked to leave main baggage outside cabin on previous night which is a norm on most ships. On day of departure we were asked to vacate cabins by 8am after breakfast and wait in lounges. No sooner we got there, we were told we could leave ship if we wanted to (despite normal disembarkation time not scheduled till after 9am). We disembarked straight away and after collecting our luggage, proceeded to collect our car and were on the road soon after 8.30am and home before 10am. I highly recommend this cruise for anyone wanting a stress free cruise without any hassle of flights and wanting to visit interesting ports in Spain, France and Channel Islands. We are already planning one for next year. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We flew to London via Hong Kong, had New Years with a family member before spending two nights in Southampton. We had booked a balcony cabin on C deck near the aft, it was very comfortable although was showing some signs of wear, the ... Read More
We flew to London via Hong Kong, had New Years with a family member before spending two nights in Southampton. We had booked a balcony cabin on C deck near the aft, it was very comfortable although was showing some signs of wear, the bathrooms definitely need updating. However we had a great Cabin Steward who went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was kept spotless and as I say it was very comfortable. The location does tend to allow for more movement during rougher seas, but it did not bother us. Overall the service we received on board was excellent throughout form food and drink servers to other personnel at reception etc. We dined in both specialty restaurants and enjoyed most meals, although on occasion service was a little stressed, yes there were times food did disappoint but once again overall it was a pleasant experience for the duration of 45 days. We found Captain Cook a delight, always friendly and ready for a chat, he had a great deal to deal with on this cruise with deaths, illness and storms, but he handled it all extremely well. Most fellow passengers were friendly and yes there were the habitual complainers, thank goodness we tend to keep to ourselves and the lovely group of fellow passengers we shared drinks and dinner with sometimes. The ship is older and the outside looks quite beaten up, salty seas take their toll for sure, but interior wise she is kept immaculately clean. On occasion we did see the odd bucket to collect a drip, but hardly anything to worry about. Dining in the Buffet was very good and a good variety for all meals served, the dining room was also very good and service did vary from time to time. Is the food very English, one could say yes, but there were plenty of options, besides it was great to try different things. Drinks can be pricey along with laundry, we gave up on the self service laundry, very cramped and always busy...We did not have prepaid gratuities on the ship, so we tipped our individuals accordingly and they were happy with that. We don't mind tipping for good service and it goes in the right pockets... Disembarkation in Sydney was a bit shambolic as we were supposed to disembark in Brisbane, but a cyclone ended that. we opted to drive ourselves back to Queensland as flights offered by Carnival were not appealing and no excess baggage allowance! They put us up overnight in Sydney, sadly we had a disgraceful hotel allocated, old, tired and dirty, cockroaches in the room! Would we chose to cruise on Arcadia again, yes but we did find 45 days a little long, I am sure some shorter sectors may appeal in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the ... Read More
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the Headliner productions. I have seen many excellent performances on many cruise ships over the years, but they were OUTSTANDING in every one of their shows. The decorations on the ship were first class, the ship really had a great Christmas feel. Thirdly the food and service in both the Meridian dining room and Belvedere could not be faulted….well done to all the staff involved. I will not forget Christmas Day from the Bucks fizz at breakfast to excellent Christmas day dinner to The Runaround Kids in the theatre at night. The ports were stunning each island offering something different from golden sands and deep blue sea to rum tasting in Barbados and shopping in Nassau with Christmas decorations in all the shops and bargains to be had. The ship docked almost on the beach in Grand Turk, which was a great place to feel the sand between your toes The only two negatives for me were the unfortunate “Arcadia cough” which so many passengers seemed to suffer with, and the rudeness, on our second day, by a member of the team when we popped into the games room. I thought I would be bored on a 28 day cruise but far from it, from the excellent films that were shown either in the globe or screening room to the live music being played around the ship it was an experience to treasure. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
was our 50th wedding anniversary, decided on this one to celebrate, we had a lovely time made some lovely friends in table sharing, crew were great and friendly, our cabin crew and table waiters were really great people who could ... Read More
was our 50th wedding anniversary, decided on this one to celebrate, we had a lovely time made some lovely friends in table sharing, crew were great and friendly, our cabin crew and table waiters were really great people who could never do enough for us. we enjoyed the evening entertainments, especially the "headliners" who were very professional. but indeed all the entertainment were first class in our view, the weather in the Canaries was really nice, 25 c and blue skies, we had nice days out during our own thing, and then went back onto the sundeck, lovely relaxing days, sad to miss out on the Azores, but the captain explained it was due to bad weather and he was taking into account the welfare of all on board, which -everyone we spoke to agreed, it was just one of those things, we went instead to Cadiz and the Vigo in Spain. still enjoyable. we thought the dining experience was nice, the Meridian dining at night, with a nice and a relaxed buffet style at any time if you wanted it toward top deck, all in all great experience. embarkation and disembarkation was so easy, so much easier than flying. thanks guys Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Winter no-fly cruises to the Caribbean are very good value and its not surprising that we meet up with the same people nearly every time we sail - particularly the friendly shuffle boarders. This one included Bermuda, the Bahamas and Grand ... Read More
Winter no-fly cruises to the Caribbean are very good value and its not surprising that we meet up with the same people nearly every time we sail - particularly the friendly shuffle boarders. This one included Bermuda, the Bahamas and Grand Turk which made it even more popular than usual. All good ports, particularly for impressing American passengers off the ships we met who were astounded to learn that we were out for 28 nights! Mind you, judging by the fun and games aboard all the ships we met, they pack as much as we do in 28 nights into a 4 night cruise from Miami! Our taxi got us to Arcadia in good time for an early embarkation. In fact having got our luggage into the system at 1145 we had no time for coffee in the lounge and were directed straight onto Arcadia - far too early for lunch! However we learnt from our table companions later that the air bridge failed mid-afternoon and they were delayed and had to embark via the crew gangway. Captain Martin Allen was apparently first time in command and proved a steady and informative captain throughout. The ship was a year out of refit and was in good order. We didn't really like the new seating in the Intermezzo bar as most of the comfy seating had been replaced by chairs but no doubt this practice helps accommodate the ever-increasing passenger numbers that cruise companies shoe-horn onto their vessels. Our cabin was clean and comfortable and our steward Christopher was a real gem. Always friendly, willing to meet our every request - and always had our cabin cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast. We noticed a couple of changes in the catering. At lunchtime in the Meridian restaurant the delicious curries no longer made a daily appearance sadly, particularly as P&O say they are so proud of the curry tradition on aboard their ships. More strange was the appearance of sharing plates. These don't really work if you are seated on one of the many tables for 6/8 as you may well be a fair distance from your partner! 'Company policy'. But the ever obliging crew always made a sharing plate available for one. The other issue we had was that P&O now require their Entertainment Managers to move the time of activities on a daily basis - 'to be fair to everyone'. But no-one has ever been able to do everything they want aboard and changing the times around merely frustrated everyone wanting to get into a pattern of speakers, deck games, choir and quizzes. However full marks to EM Alex Percival (also on his first cruise 'in command') - when I commented on the 'How are Doing?' survey early in the cruise, he called me up and we met for a talk about it. The changes were 'Company policy' again. But these are minor gripes about the constant change that is inevitable in any business and the positives far outweighed the negatives. The Headliners were just finishing their time aboard and were one of the best we've seen. Their new show 'Mr Tinkerton's Clockwork Circus' was a triumph. P&O are really moving their show offering up a gear. And good to see the team helping out with activities round the ship on a daily basis. The weather may have been poor in the North Atlantic but the benefit of Carnival's central control system really helped. Yes, by having to take a northerly track across the Pond to avoid the weather we didn't get much sun but it was very much the lesser of two evils. The weather in the Caribbean was a bit damp at times (it was the tail end of the hurricane season after all) but the Captain invariably got his daily forecast right so it helped in planning the day. He did get it wrong once, in St Maarten when we met him walking ashore just before a tropical shower hit the ship - lucky he wasn't in uniform! Luckily we avoided a storm on the way home and had to substitute La Coruna for Praia Da Vitoria in the Azores - a much better option in our opinion. The popularity of this type of longer cruise inevitably attracts an older crowd. We were told that the average age was 71 (hopefully not including the crew!) and it was a sad fact that we had an unusually large number of medical issues requiring the Captain to divert and alter the schedule to meet these urgent issues. Some good decisions, which incidentally showed that Arcadia can still lift her coat tails and exceed 24 knots when required - to the detriment of the Chief Engineer's credit card no doubt! On a personal basis we enjoyed the Scenic Sailaway from St Lucia. Thankfully these are not widely advertised aboard nowadays as they are so popular - and excellent value at the price. A group of about 40 enjoyed excellent canapés and unlimited drinks in East Bar as we sailed out on a lovely evening. We made friends in our quiz team with a couple whose daughter was getting married aboard and we were delighted to be involved. A lovely family. One grouse we've had in the past was that the higher levels of the Peninsular Club have their lunches very early in the cruise. We were invited three days out! However it was no problem changing to join those later in the cruise and the ship is also always happy to accommodate requests for particular table hosts which makes the event even more memorable. By then we had got to know most of the wine waiters through the excellent wine tastings and getting a little extra to drink at all the events was a bonus! So a leisurely and entertaining cruise when ticked all the boxes for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as we had been on this ship last year so we were familiar with the layout. We had been recommended to do the cruise around the Baltics by several people who were on last years cruise, The embarkation for the ship was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on this ship last year so we were familiar with the layout. We had been recommended to do the cruise around the Baltics by several people who were on last years cruise, The embarkation for the ship was fantastic, within half an hour of us arriving at the port we were on the ship. The only thing that held us up was trying to find a porter with a trolley to take the luggage away. We found our cabin easily but had to wait for our suitcases as they were all being scanned. Better safe than sorry! The cabin had a balcony and was well kept, clean and tidy. Our cabin steward was great as she was always ready with a smile and a greeting. We had a timed dining slot and were served by the same waiters throughout the cruise, they were brilliant. We built up a rapport with them as they came from India and the tests were being played. The food was very good and nothing was too much trouble for our waiters. Every meal we were asked if everything was ok, which we liked. We did try the restaurant for breakfast at the start of the cruise but ended up using the buffet instead as I wanted to choose what I wanted rather than get things off the set menu. The entertainment on the ship was fantastic. All the shows that we saw were West End standard. The entertainment team on the cruise were also very good. Plenty of different activities to take part in if you wanted to. We opted out of the service charge as the tips we gave were to the people who looked after us. As I was travelling with 2 less able walkers I booked the shore excursions online before we went. Oslo was expensive but beautiful, Gotland was full of history, Tallinn was wonderful and easily accessible on foot, Helsinki was amazing as we did the harbour cruise, St Petersburg was breath taking, the buildings were so grand that we couldn't understand how they survived the revolution, Warnemunde was the only place that it rained but it didn't detract us from walking around. Again it was easily accessible on foot. there were plenty of shops and cafes. Copenhagen was our last stop but the trip we took coincided with the visit of Mr Macron to the Queen. We managed to see the palaces but then got stuck in the traffic around the city as streets were closed and there were police everywhere. We did get to see the little mermaid. After that coach trip we were glad to be back on board. The tour guide was very apologetic but she did change the itinerary so that we could see the palaces before the police locked it down. We do like the Arcadia as it is an adults only ship and if we take another cruise it will probably be on that ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Always wanted to go to the Baltics, but this cruise stood out as not many go to all the Capital cities plus St Petersburg, but this one did and the ports of call certainly didn't disappoint. St Petersburg was the stand out ... Read More
Always wanted to go to the Baltics, but this cruise stood out as not many go to all the Capital cities plus St Petersburg, but this one did and the ports of call certainly didn't disappoint. St Petersburg was the stand out highlight , but Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo and Tallin were also excellent stops. Embarkation/Disembarkation was extremely smooth and easy. We went on Arcadia in her inaugaral year back in 2005 and she was a lovely ship, although I have to say now some 13 years on she is looking a little tired in some areas, mainly cabin and balconies. Public areas are ok, but nothing exciting. The entertainment in the Theatre was pretty mediocre, but some of the acts in the Lounge bars were very good. We were on Freedom dining and the food on th whole was very good without being outstanding. We ate at each of the select dining options, Sindhu was very good and The Ocean Grill provided the best starter I had on the entire cruise, but not sure that that the cover charge is worth it. Overall very enjoyable cruise, but that was down to the Ports more than the ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
having sailed on this ship before and having lots of problems on it was, wondering if it would be the same. Having said that P&O were very helpful to us and we had already booked this cruise before sailing on the last. So we had a ... Read More
having sailed on this ship before and having lots of problems on it was, wondering if it would be the same. Having said that P&O were very helpful to us and we had already booked this cruise before sailing on the last. So we had a wonderful cruise the weather of course made it even more enjoyable. The scenery was outstanding. CABIN We had changed our cabin because of the trouble on the last cruise and booked the larger inside, it was brilliant lots of room more like a suite, plenty of storage space, nice large flat screen tv the usual channels and films. Great cabin boy Brian who looked after us exceptionally well even though he had many more cabins to look after. MDR restaurant was great sat on a different table of 6 each night, really good company and conversations. Food good too yum yum BUFFET belvedere was good always exceptionally busy but always managed to find a seat. We only ate in the buffet for breakfast, lunch and sometimes afternoon tea, food ok lots of choice. ENTERTAINMENT the theatre shows were excellent, the headliners team work very hard to put on a good show for us. Mike Doyle the comedian was great just couldn't stop laughing he was on twice. Indigo May was good, they were a duo wonderful singing. Jo & Liv were excellent, they were Irish singers Jo was quite hilarious too. The only thing i would say about the Arcadia is it lacks the alternative entertainment which you get on the other same size ships (mid size) all in all we had a lovely cruise. I will say the atrium is awful Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had a balcony cabin and sailing from Southampton for a belated 40th wedding anniversary. An extensive wine list and reasonably priced, A bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru 2012 was £24-95 around the price in Majestic or Waitrose ... Read More
We had a balcony cabin and sailing from Southampton for a belated 40th wedding anniversary. An extensive wine list and reasonably priced, A bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru 2012 was £24-95 around the price in Majestic or Waitrose ashore. Excellent food but whatever time we came the Freedom Dining was busy and we had pagers several times and delays. P&O should drop Haugesund - Not worth the stop (Bergen better). We had fabulous hot and sunny weather with 29C in Olden. Flam is a very lovely little place and the mountain train trip up to Myrdal is bucket list good. The stop by the falls with the mystical music and dancing spirits is good fun too. Good entertainment. One gripe - why no proper filter decaffeinated coffee - even after dinner instant decaf coffee served. Come on P%&O - not classy! Overall very enjoyable. Shame that P&O prices for future cruises seem steep. We plan on a Baltic cruise in June 2019 and Celebrity are higher rated; bigger cabins and better deal Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We picked this cruise because it left from Southampton (no flying) and visited countries we had not seen before at the right time of year. The drive to Southampton was smooth and we arrived at 12.15, with a couple of hours to spare, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it left from Southampton (no flying) and visited countries we had not seen before at the right time of year. The drive to Southampton was smooth and we arrived at 12.15, with a couple of hours to spare, the port parking were very organised and efficient. We expected to sit in the departure lounge but were processed straight away and on the ship in the buffet by 12.30, cabins were ready by 12.45. Our cabin was a standard inside, C deck forward, adequate but clean and tidy, very quiet at night and a fantastic cabin steward. Arcadia is an adult only ship, with few people on board under retirement age and a lot with poor mobility. We had fixed dining at 18.30, the menus were varied and always well cooked, we used the buffet on black tie nights because we didn't dress up for them (the majority of people dressed up for black tie, some of them going a bit over the top), the buffet food was hit and miss, limited in selection occasionally. Breakfast was a bit "smash and grab" in the buffet so we went to the MDR if we were up early enough. The poolside grill served lovely fish and chips in the afternoons too. The ship was clean and smart, there were always crew to be seen cleaning handrails and surfaces down or painting parts of the ship. There were a couple of buckets about catching water drips, certainly around the retractable roof of the pool. The swimming pools were small but we enjoyed using them in the hot weather, the jacuzzi 's were rather weak but heated. On one day we bought tickets for the hydropool and steam rooms, this was fantastic, hot and powerful, and we were the only ones using them. There were several musicians to choose from to listen to during the day, some better than others, we ended up watching a guitarist/singer most evenings because we found the main headliners show much too loud to enjoy, they need to sort their sound system out. We did not attend any of the daytime entertainment, it was aimed more at the elderly guests than ourselves, other than quizzes there was bingo, ballroom dance lessons, knit and natter, painting, and talks on the Queens household. The crew are all friendly and welcoming, smiling and will try to assist with anything you ask. The excursions booked varied, Easy Marseilles and Port trip wasn't easy and only spent 20 minutes in the port, but the Lisbon amphibious duck tour was fabulous with an excellent tour guide. We also enjoyed the catamaran trip and swim in Palma, not quite what we expected but a good day none the less, I do think there should have been someone checking the safety of swimmers, it seemed a bit slap dash with no counting of passengers at any time but the day was relaxed, I swam with fish, the bbq was ok and the sun shone. Gibraltar we used a taxi tour from the dock, this was great too, we saw the apes, St Michaels cave and the siege tunnels and went to lookout points. Classical Rome and Pompeii tours from the ship were both organised and well run, crowds of people at both sites but we saw what we went for. Cartagena we wandered around ourselves, the museum and Roman amphitheater were marvelous. We self disembarked with ease and were driving out of the port by 07.20, all very organised. All in all a good cruise, it is definitely the way to travel, I would go again but would probably not go with P&O, I would research the cruise line next time and go on a ship which is more relaxed about dress codes and has a younger age group. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because there were a number of ports we have not visited before. i can say that we were not disappointed, The main highlights were sailing in and out of Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Service was excellent in all ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there were a number of ports we have not visited before. i can say that we were not disappointed, The main highlights were sailing in and out of Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Service was excellent in all departments and we found the ship in good condition and looks well after her refit. this was our first adult only cruise and it had its share of grumpy old people A couple of observations 1. I have never had to be in the theatre 45 mins before the performances to get a seat The entertainment team had there work cutout filling spare seats to pack everyone in. 2. Alot of queuing to get into freedom dining. I think it is getting more and more popular than fixed. 3. The position of the Costa near the cinema seems a waste of time. The entertainment team worked hard especially as the average age was 'elderly'. Overall a good cruise but personally prefer a bigger ship with more space and entertainment venues. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
First experience of cruising for more than 17 nights. This cruise was. 44 nights with 4 night stay in Sydney. The cruise was great. A few days of rough weather over bay of biscay (as expected). Sea sickness tablets worked a treat, ... Read More
First experience of cruising for more than 17 nights. This cruise was. 44 nights with 4 night stay in Sydney. The cruise was great. A few days of rough weather over bay of biscay (as expected). Sea sickness tablets worked a treat, There were two ports we had to abort because of bad weather: bay of islands and Tonga. This is something you have to expect when cruising which us beyond the control of the captain. Headliner shows always excellent and always generates a full house. Some of the other not always great. Lots of activities during the day to keep you busy during sea days. Spa very expensive. Gym facilities great and free. Food a little disappointing but plenty of it - you won't go hungry! We went on most excursions but a lot of the time you can do your own thing a lot cheaper. Highlights were: Alcatraze, Panama Canal, Pearl Harbour. We enjoyed all the ports on this cruise. Absolutely fab. Best ports San Francisco, Auckland and Sydney. Left luggage - a case on ship which we will collect in April when Arcadia returns to Southampton. We were concerned about the long haul flight for our return journey which turned out great. We flew with Singapore Airlines from Sydney to Singapore and then Singapore to Heathrow. Time just flew. Great current movies on flight, constant drinks and food/meals coming round. Would definitely fly again with them the same journey. 10 out of 10 flight. I think this length of cruise was enough for us but alot of other cruisers were staying on for the full 99 nights. If you are considering this cruise next year I would say go for it. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival ... Read More
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival time was 15.00, we arrived about 20 minutes early but went straight through and we were having a cup of tea in our cabin by 15.15. Cabin was good and as expected. Steward, Thomas looked after us very well. Very windy crossing overnight to Coruna but the only thing that woke us at 04.00 was the banging of an unsecured balcony connecting door between ours and next doors.A phone call to reception got an immediate response and back to sleep we went. Although on Freedom dining we mainly dined in the Belvedere and found that satisfactory, although the flow of people around the various serveries could have been better managed by having a stock of trays and cutlery etc at the entrance as well as at the serveries. We went to the Meridian restaurant about 4 times (3 for black tie nights) and found the service and food quality to a good standard. We enjoyed the cruise, although the humidity in the Caribbean was much higher than usual- even the locals were complaining, so activity was curtailed to a extent. Most of the cruisers were above 50 years old, and were a happy group, although of course, there were the usual small number of those whose expectations seemed to be rather unrealistic. The Captain had a great sense of humour which helped particularly on days when the weather was not so good, and he did his best to keep out of the way of the worst. Ports of call, with the exception of Coruna where the weather was wet and there was not much of interest, were good and varied and gave us a insight into the Caribbean life both for the poor and the rich. Disembarkation went well although with a time slot of 9.15 to 9.30 there was some hanging about in the lounge having had to leave the cabin by 8.00. Whilst it's unlikely we would do this length of trip again- 16 sea days was great to relax but got a bit boring after leaving Ponta Delgada, we were certainly happy with the ship and if we were to cruise again would be looking for one of her other trips. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
As a customer on a present cruise I am not interested/concerned with a future refit as everything should be in tip top condition now before the planned refit. The ship was due to set sail for Germany at noon on 31st October. Well I have ... Read More
As a customer on a present cruise I am not interested/concerned with a future refit as everything should be in tip top condition now before the planned refit. The ship was due to set sail for Germany at noon on 31st October. Well I have never been on a ship that had so many toilet facility failures during a cruise. Lifts, sinks, toilets and laundry machines out of action, all going to be put right though with the refit? The food, staff were amazing as were the entertainment provided The cabin on deck 7 was great. B32 Port side with bath overhead shower and balcony. The ship seems to creak quite a lot, so much so that my wife had to wear ear plugs at night to get to sleep. We were transported to Southampton by feeder coach, which was brilliant, we were on the ship and at our cabin within twenty minutes after leaving the coach, the cabin was great , however the bathroom was starting to look a bit tired, but served its purpose. We had decided to book freedom dining which was a great decision, the entertainment and activities were so very good throughout the entire cruise. The staff throughout the entire ship were simply amazing. We visited some great Caribbean islands and met some great people both on and off the islands. Overall the cruise was very enjoyable, would I travel on the ship again? well yes I suppose we would, especially after this much needed refit. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Hope you are prepared for this! We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. Windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make ... Read More
Hope you are prepared for this! We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. Windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make sure everyone attended (a bit of a shambles in the theatre with some people who didn't show their card and never got asked for it). Then back to complete unpacking and ready for dinner. First sitting on table for six and delightful table companions. One couple had been upgraded to a suite so at that point felt quite jealous.... First night a little windy but nothing untoward however it gradually increased - force 7, force 8, until one evening yes, you guessed it force 10..... (so glad I had taken my seasick tablets!!) However I felt Arcadia coped well, although the bangs, bumps and creaking did cause several comments. I no longer felt jealous of , our now friends , in the suite as it was situated at the stern right over the propellers and very very noisy and bumpy in their cabin. It was five days before we could really venture outside safely. No swimming pool neither - far too dangerous. But it was lovely being rocked to sleep each night. Finally got into New York which was extremely busy and very hot (Donald Trump and United Nations in town!!!!!) Very high security everywhere and lots of roads closed off to traffic so our taxi driver had to drop us off in the middle of the road. Then the fun started again, New Port missed because the hurricane was catching up, made Boston safely in the pouring rain but Bar Harbor missed because again bad weather catching up. Eventually got safely into Halifax where we had a trip to Peggy's Cove which was far too short - about 40 minutes there- then back on board ready to leave. BUT NO - a rope tight around asipod so we were stuck! So instead of sailing away for Saguenay we stayed in Halifax and the next day we wandered into the quayside. By the way, we had to berth much further down than usual so we had to use a shuttle bus just to get out of the secure area where we were. Then we had to miss Saguenay and straight on to Quebec for our two day stay-Wrong Again we didn't arrive until 9 pm the first day so one day there missed. Second day in Quebec was lovely. Bright and sunny. THEN as we prepare for sail away the captain informed us that instead of going on to Sydney we were going to head BACK to Saguenay as that was a much nicer port sailing up the fiord . If anyone does go to Saguenay, the "La Fabuleuse " show is not to be missed. It is absolutely amazing, brilliant, wonderful..... However by this time many people were very unhappy as missing out on tours, disappointed at missing seeing relatives and often general lack of information. Personally, hubby and I felt the captain did the best he could and the excursion staff went all out to rearrange tours and put on additional ones for people where possible. Total of three ports missed and shortened stay in Quebec. Of course this further change to the itinerary meant six days at sea coming home instead of five. However P&O did compensate a bit with the odd bribe here and there..... BUT FOR US the icing on the cake was on the third day into the cruise whilst in the middle of the Atlantic we booked a further cruise -ON ADONIA! Eight days later we joined a large queue of people trying to find a new cruise to book...honestly the loyalty manager didn't even know about the sale of Adonia.. Arcadia is still a good ship although perhaps a little tired in places. Unfortunately several couples had to move cabin because of leaks etc - one couple three times, but she is going in for a full refit in November when all these problems will be solved (hopefully). The food in the MDR was excellent. Plenty of choice and as much as you wanted if you asked. The Headliners on this cruise were the best we have seen on any cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the shows. The entertainment manager was also brilliant and really worked hard as did his team. Other entertainment varied but I always feel it is personal choice - I didn't like the second show by the comedian but hubby did! I loved the local dance team brought on -but hubby didn't. The usual Art and Bridge classes were well attended and there were plenty of interesting talks etc every day. Overall I think it was a good cruise despite lots of problems and as usual all the P&O staff on board were brilliant and couldn't do enough for you. Can not say the same for the shop staff who are often quite rude and pushy. Next cruise in May is on Oriana for the first time but we will certainly go back to Arcadia as soon as possible. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I booked this cruise at the last minute, so had no choice of cabin. However, the price was very good and I didn’t have to pay a single supplement. Given the low price, my views are different to those I would have had if I had paid the ... Read More
I booked this cruise at the last minute, so had no choice of cabin. However, the price was very good and I didn’t have to pay a single supplement. Given the low price, my views are different to those I would have had if I had paid the full price. It was also my 8th time on Arcadia. The itinerary was very good with the first port of call being Skagen in Denmark which is a quiet Danish holiday resort. Plenty of excursions on offer but I spent the time walking around the time. There was a free shuttle to the town centre and the drop off point was also near to the local harbour where there were plenty of restaurants which seemed to attract many locals. Beer and aon open fish sandwich worked out at £25, not cheap, but it was very tasty. Next port of call was Kiel, Germany. This was during the Kiel week festival, so the town was very busy with stalls and fairground alongside the river. Although berthed in the centre, it was a long walk from the ship to the terminal building – around 800m and a further 1Km to the town centre – a bit different from the advertised 400m. No shuttle service was offered. Not too much to see in the town, so I spent much of the day on the riverside sampling local food and drink. Around £3 for a beer and the same price for a bratwurst, The entertainment seemed to be gathering pace as we left the port, but it was still an interesting day. Stockholm next. Here I used the hop on hop off water bus which departed from the stop at the rear of the ship. Cost around £15 and does a loop around many of the sights that takes 50 minutes or so. A relaxing way to see the sights and given that the shuttle cost £5 each way unless you had booked the select fare, it was a good choice. Stockholm is very easy and also safe to tour on your own. Although the ship offered many excursions, some of them didn’t give enough time to explore properly. Now on to Helsinki. This was on 23rd June and many places were closed for the mid-summer holiday. Looks like the Fins enjoy their national holidays and leave town, so apart from the local market, many places were closed. Shuttle to the town was £4 each way and well worth it. The city is easy to make your own way around, but if you are there on a national holiday, booking an excursion may be a good option. Now 2 days in St Petersburg. This was my 7th visit, so was looking to do something a bit different and not too tiring. There are options to do 2 day intensive excursions with P&O or through various local companies. All ship excursions and those booked locally before you travel include a Russian visa, so they tend to be the best way of seeing St Petersburg. I did an afternoon excursion to the Faberge museum which was run in several mini buses, so small group sizes. This gave a very leisurely visit and it was very easy to see all the exhibitions. The guide was very good. The following day I did a boat trip on the Neva and visited the Yusopov palace – where Rasputin was likked. Again, a smallish group and very easy to see everything. Now a day in Tallinn. Here I did the Taste of Tallinn excursion and we were just a group of 6, so it was just like a private tour. The tour gave a comprehensive guide of the old town and stopped at 4 places to sample local delicacies. Not sure about the cost of a shuttle here as I did the excursion. Final port of call was Copenhagen. Here we had one of the prime berths and it was an easy 30 minute or so walk into town. This passed many interesting sights and varying the way back passed the little mermaid. I was very happy with the service provided by all the staff on board and was well looked after by my cabin stewardess Wenzie. Food in the dining room was to my liking but I did have many meals in Sindhu at £16 or £18 for the Asian tasting meal and also a few in the Ocean Grill. Both of these dining options does show just how good food can be and for me well worth the extra charge. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss but this comes with doing too many cruises on the same cruise line – you get used to the shows. There were some interesting talks and those given by Kirov Arts about St Petersburg, Faberge eggs, and other merchandise they sold were interesting as they talked about the history of the various items. Throughout the cruise there was some maintenance work being carried out. This included a much needed sanding of the decks which did cause problems for a few people. Overall, the ship to me was in a reasonable condition and nowhere near as tired as some people have stated but this is a very personal view. Now the big issue I had with the cruise. This was the cabin I had been allocated – E2 at the front of E deck. This is the first time I have had a forward balcony cabin on Arcadia (I prefer the stern cabins), but have had them before on Queen Victoria/Elizabeth. QE and QV cabins were fine, but I would not have one again on Arcadia due to noise and vibration that was not noticeable on the two Queens. This is one of the metal fronted balcony cabins at the front of E deck. It also only has a shower rather than a shower over the bath. I prefer the shower only as it does make the bathroom that little bit bigger. I did find some issues with noise in this cabin. First, for about an hour either side of docking the cabin was noisy and once the bow thrusters were powered up to complete docking there was a lot of vibration. Secondly, the balcony door did not fit properly causing a whistling sound. This was excessive and I had to be moved to another cabin for the night. The door was fixed the following day but by the time the ship returned to Southampton it was starting to whistle again. Third, the cabin is next to an air-conditioning unit which seems to be noisy when in port - after leaving port the noise drops. Fourth, crew access the front of the ship on D and E deck early in the morning and many days there was a clanking/metallic sound every morning around 6am. Also, there were cigarette butts on the balcony which I can only assume has come from the crew areas. In closing, despite the problem with the cabin, it has not put me off cruising on Arcadia, but I would be reluctant to book a saver fare in case I was allocated a forward cabin on E deck. If I was able to select a grade that avoided this area, then I would consider a saver fare, but for me it will more than likely be a select fare and to tick the no upgrade box. I’m back on Arcadia in October 18 and I have one of my favourite cabins on the stern. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Having sailed on arcadia before on a leg of her world cruise we had no hesitation booking this Baltic trip. We wanted to see some new destinations and as we had not been to any of these ports before it fitted the bill perfectly, also on ... Read More
Having sailed on arcadia before on a leg of her world cruise we had no hesitation booking this Baltic trip. We wanted to see some new destinations and as we had not been to any of these ports before it fitted the bill perfectly, also on all our previous cruises we had never sailed out of Southampton so the whole deal was totally new to us. Arcadia was just as we remembered ,a nice friendly ship with plenty of amenities and really friendly staff who could not have been more helpful, the difference this time was the age of passengers ,we felt young at early sixties and as such a lot of the activities were geared to that age group and evening shows were changed to earlier time slots, all well and good but you then had to eat early to catch the second show or go to the early show and rush to get in the dining room, we can only assume this was not popular as it reverted back to normal times after a few nights .Food was of a generally good standard but there were some strange choices in the belvedere at lunchtimes, the food in the Meridian was of a good quality and was served by very efficient and friendly waiters. Our cabin was small but adequate as we only use it to sleep and shower/change in and was kept spotless by our steward Hansel, full credit to him Some passengers were complaining that the ship was on a downward spiral but that never came across to us, like all ships it needs constant attention and the whole of the rear decking was replaced in our fortnight but you just work around it, also some painting was been done on some of the corridors prior to a mini refit at the back end of the year. If there was anything which was a problem it had to be overcrowding on sea days(and most meal times) in the belvedere self service, it did get quite chaotic at times!! Also on a cruise to these destinations at this time of year the sky dome should have been kept closed as by the time it did get shut the cooler weather had got in and left people with no option but find a warmer area to relax, which is why the belvedere was always full !!!! Would we sail on Arcadia again? Yes as its a lovely ship and just the right size but maybe to a different destination with a younger age base, next up Aurora for us as booked for next year and looking forward to more new destinations!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We spotted this passing by a travel agent. We were attracted to the ports of call and we're not disappointed. Straight off the coach and onto the ship in 10 minutes , no waiting at all. Disembarkation was equally as smooth although ... Read More
We spotted this passing by a travel agent. We were attracted to the ports of call and we're not disappointed. Straight off the coach and onto the ship in 10 minutes , no waiting at all. Disembarkation was equally as smooth although we had to wait for nearly an hour for some other passengers. We had a restricted view cabin which was fine as we weren't in the cabin that long.The cabin did need a bit of sprucing up but that did not detract from the overall holiday. We tried all the dining options and were not too keen on the Belvedere. We were on freedom dining and had no problem getting into the MDR each evening as we didn't mind sharing. I loved both Sinhdu and Ocean Grill and I went to the lunchtime grill by the pool a couple of times. I didn't get the chance to try the afternoon tea , just didn't have time. We only had 2 sea days in the Baltic , 5 altogether ,so the best part of the cruise for me was getting off ! The service was excellent throughout, especially from the cabin steward who was always cheerful and from room service at breakfast. We used the Belvedere for one breakfast , one lunch and one dinner and although there was a large choice , there was quantity over quality. Perhaps a more streamlined menu? We went to quizzes, a good range of talks and some entertainment but only twide in the Palladium , a lovely theatre. The shore excursions in St Petersburg were good . We only did one other , into Sweden from Copenhagen. That was very poor in that we only had 20 mins in Lund and 50 mins in Malmo which we spent most of having lunch. I would certainly go on a Baltic cruise again and would go on the Arcadia if the itiniary was one we wanted. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this as our first cruise as a taster to see whether cruising suited us. We had booked a mini suite and were therefore given a priority embarkation time of 12.30.The embarkation procedure was remarkably efficient considering the ... Read More
We chose this as our first cruise as a taster to see whether cruising suited us. We had booked a mini suite and were therefore given a priority embarkation time of 12.30.The embarkation procedure was remarkably efficient considering the number of passengers involved.We were in our cabin just after 1.00 and our luggage arrived soon afterwards. The cabin was spacious with ample wardrobe space a comfortable seating area a good bathroom with separate shower and a large balcony. Soon after arriving our steward introduced himself and he did a fantastic job throughout the cruise keeping our cabin in tip-top condition. We used both the Belvedere buffet and the Meridian restaurant during the cruise and the food in both was excellent. After a couple of days we realised you needed to pick your time to eat as both facilities were very busy. One of our fears was that as there were 2000 passengers the ship would feel claustrophobic this was not the case in fact at times (apart from mealtimes) we wondered where all the passengers were. We were surprised at how stable the ship was we expected a certain amount of roll but it was sometimes hard to believe you were actually at sea. The entertainment was enjoyable certainly 10 out of 10 for effort some nights were better than others Roy Walker stood in for Killer Queen and he was excellent. We had not pre-booked any trips and this was a mistake as we were unable to book a trip at Stavanger which was our first port of call,however we enjoyed simply strolling round the town. We were able to book trips at Olden and Bergen both of which we felt were worthwhile. Disembarkation at Southampton was every bit as efficient as embarkation and by 8.30 we were on our way home. Would we cruise again? Within a week of being home we had booked another cruise for later this year! Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

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