As I wanted to sail the Panama Canal, this was an ideal trip. A really lovely cruise, commencing with smooth embarkation at Southampton, as always. The ship, thankfully, was adults only (also a better class of person) and although most were doing the world cruise, a lot of passengers were doing various parts. I disembarked and flew back from San Francisco, which went extremely smoothly. I note someone has referred to the Arcadia as an 'enormous ship'. Far from it, it's a P&O mid-sized ship. If you want 'enormous', I suggest the Britannia! As a 'solo' traveller, each morning, on sea days, there is a 'solos coffee morning', which was fairly well attended. This gave us a chance to meet, have a free coffee and chat over plans and previous days etc. I do feel there could be more organised for the solo traveller though. The staff are, generally, very polite, friendly and attentive. Having said that, one of the female hosts was very rude to the passengers on one of the quiz evenings. The cabin was roomy with a lovely balcony (shame the glass was never cleaned). Plenty of wardrobe space, a good sized bathroom (shame the extractor fan hadn't seen a duster for weeks), but lacking in television programme choices (take a tip from Britannia) and the map could barely be read. I ought to add, although a solo cruiser, I always book a double cabin to ensure comfort. The food, as a freedom diner, was good in the Meridan Restaurant, although the menu did start to become monotonous and I certainly wouldn't be keen to do the world cruise with the menu choices. The buffet choices were excellent, although at times, not well replenished. Sindhu (Atol's restaurant), was excellent and I dined there twice, likewise Marco's Ocean Grill. One experience not to be missed is Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea!! The Oasis Spa is worth a visit, although it must be said, they do need to tidy up and be careful of the trailing cables (H&S?) in the hairdressing salon. The Shows weren't that professional and a lot of mistakes stood out. The talks I attended were excellent. Some of the tour organisation was not so good, especially in the US, in fact at times I'd say organised chaos. Madeira, Barbados and Curacao were lovely. If you get the chance I do recommend the 'Sunset & Champagne' evening cruise at Barbados - wonderful. Not sure about the 'champagne', but the very generous free G&Ts went down a treat!! The Panama Canal was exceptional, what an experience. A shame a few hogged the seats in the Crow's Nest Bar from crack of dawn, which didn't allow some of us to get a view or take photos. I thoroughly recommend doing the Canal, the trip, for that alone, was worth every grand spent!! The only down-side is that the Captain didn't mix, even on his Gala Evening. When met in the lifts, not even an acknowledgement.

Most Enjoyable First Stage of the World Cruise

Arcadia Cruise Review by MrsBoxerDog

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Around the World
  • Cabin Type: Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
As I wanted to sail the Panama Canal, this was an ideal trip. A really lovely cruise, commencing with smooth embarkation at Southampton, as always. The ship, thankfully, was adults only (also a better class of person) and although most were doing the world cruise, a lot of passengers were doing various parts. I disembarked and flew back from San Francisco, which went extremely smoothly.

I note someone has referred to the Arcadia as an 'enormous ship'. Far from it, it's a P&O mid-sized ship. If you want 'enormous', I suggest the Britannia!

As a 'solo' traveller, each morning, on sea days, there is a 'solos coffee morning', which was fairly well attended. This gave us a chance to meet, have a free coffee and chat over plans and previous days etc. I do feel there could be more organised for the solo traveller though.

The staff are, generally, very polite, friendly and attentive. Having said that, one of the female hosts was very rude to the passengers on one of the quiz evenings.

The cabin was roomy with a lovely balcony (shame the glass was never cleaned). Plenty of wardrobe space, a good sized bathroom (shame the extractor fan hadn't seen a duster for weeks), but lacking in television programme choices (take a tip from Britannia) and the map could barely be read. I ought to add, although a solo cruiser, I always book a double cabin to ensure comfort.

The food, as a freedom diner, was good in the Meridan Restaurant, although the menu did start to become monotonous and I certainly wouldn't be keen to do the world cruise with the menu choices. The buffet choices were excellent, although at times, not well replenished. Sindhu (Atol's restaurant), was excellent and I dined there twice, likewise Marco's Ocean Grill. One experience not to be missed is Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea!!

The Oasis Spa is worth a visit, although it must be said, they do need to tidy up and be careful of the trailing cables (H&S?) in the hairdressing salon.

The Shows weren't that professional and a lot of mistakes stood out. The talks I attended were excellent.

Some of the tour organisation was not so good, especially in the US, in fact at times I'd say organised chaos. Madeira, Barbados and Curacao were lovely. If you get the chance I do recommend the 'Sunset & Champagne' evening cruise at Barbados - wonderful. Not sure about the 'champagne', but the very generous free G&Ts went down a treat!!

The Panama Canal was exceptional, what an experience. A shame a few hogged the seats in the Crow's Nest Bar from crack of dawn, which didn't allow some of us to get a view or take photos. I thoroughly recommend doing the Canal, the trip, for that alone, was worth every grand spent!!

The only down-side is that the Captain didn't mix, even on his Gala Evening. When met in the lifts, not even an acknowledgement.
MrsBoxerDog’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Cabin AD D72
Outside double with balcony. Small seated area in cabin near bed, tea/coffee making facilities. Usual weak hairdryer, not that it mattered as I always have my hair done on board. Steward, polite, but no 'go' in him.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Island Tour
    Having been to Barbados before and not seen a lot of the island, this was a perfect way to see more. The Tour took us from west to east and up to the top. A lovely trip and not too long.
    View All 122 Island Tour Reviews
  • Trolley Tour
    A wonderful way to see the town on a the Trolley Tour. I thoroughly enjoyed, although it didn't take anywhere near the time we had been led to believe when booking. Afterwards we were dropped in town near the tourist information and a very helpful young man marked various points (café, postcard shop) on a map. As a 'solo' I felt very safe here and enjoyed a coffee at the Iguana Café (although extremely slow service) on the water's edge, watching the world go by. I can't wait to return.
    View All 32 Trolley Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Badly organised. Saw the houses at Beverley Hills, which was the best of the tour. We were dropped off at West Hollywood and left to our own devised in a most unsavoury area, which seemed most frightening. Thankfully, a couple on our tour took me under their wing. Hollywood is most disappointing and very overrated - I have no wish to return.
    View All 41 City Tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    A good all round tour ending in a crater where a restaurant had been built. A lovely break with coffee, optional wine and biscuits. A good tour and not too long.
    View All 50 Island Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Not helped by the hailstorm. I have no desire to return - a disappointment. After the tour I got the shuttle to a plaza, everything was shut, although a Starbucks did open for the P&O passengers. Macy's? I prefer John Lewis.
    View All 30 City Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Due to bad organisation we lost some of the views due to this tour running into the dark. Good to see the Golden Gate. Out of the three US stops this was the best. The next morning, whilst waiting to leave, I took myself off. Fisherman's Wharf was a total waste of time, but Pier 39 was great - I recommend.
    View All 25 City Tour Reviews