Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining experience was good (Belvedere excluded). Entertainment; the Headliners Company were exceptional. Some wonderful ports of call Alotau, San Francisco, Napier, Nha Trang, Singapore. No fighting for deck chairs on Arcadia...acres of space. Service was uniformly excellent throughout. Dance hosts Brenda & Jeffrey converted many non-dancers. Superb. Quiet ship, most go to bed early...little to do after the theatre. Negatives: No meaningful second entertainment venue. Due to the above, the ship was quiet from 9.30pm (i.e. post theatre). Areas of the ship smelled foul throughout the cruise. The ship needs an overhaul not just an engine refit. Extremely dated. Too many quizzes, day and night. Cheap and cheerful? No, just cheap! If we want a quiz we go to our local. Not what we hoped for on a world tour. Dining 3/5 The Meridian Restaurant delivered a good (not great) selection of food served warm (rarely if ever hot). The levels of service were influenced by variables such as the waiting team, distance of your table from the galley, dramas in the kitchen etc. Comparable with banquet catering served at say, a wedding rather than a fine dining experience. None the less, the Meridian (main dining room) would score 4/5. The Belvedere buffet was another story. The choice, quality and presentation of food was mediocre to poor. Even by P&O's moderate standards this 'restaurant' left a lot to be desired. With the possible exception of Curry Night, this place should be avoided if possible. Score 2/5. Hence the overall dining score of 3/5. Sindhu, P&O's asian fine dining restaurant seemed to attract mixed views; rather like Marmite! We don't like Marmite so 3/5. The Ocean Grill (by day the ship's officers mess, by night Marco Pierre White's fine dining experience) was incredibly popular, with generally good to excellent reviews. Whether this popularity was due to the need to utilise the copious on-board spending money to be found on a World Cruise or, truly reflected the quality of food and service on offer might be debated. In our opinion, it is not as good as say The Epicurean Restaurant on Azura/Ventura where the extra charge is double that for The Ocean Grill. None the less, in terms of food quality, service and value for money it rates 5/5. Room Service was generally good to excellent. Of course it was somewhat limited in choice when compared to the restaurant however it was cooked to order, often hot and for the most part, delivered on time. This is probably the only way to get warmish toast on board. 4/5. Cafe Vivo, tucked away in the dark, no doubt as an afterthought of the ship's architect; was illuminated by excellent staff who brought sunshine to it's customers. Much too small. 5/5. Entertainment 3/5 It is not so long since P&O Cruise Directors proudly introduced their entertainment team of sixteen staff. On this cruise (a world cruise) the now Entertainment Manager introduced his team of six. A sign of the times? Headliners Theatre Company were excellent on this cruise as were the ship's orchestra. From memory, they presented nine different shows; although these were repeating for the third time during our 82 days on board Arcadia. Guest entertainers (the usual suspects) were flown out to join the ship and varied in standard. For example, a "comedian" who normally performs in the Havana or Manhattan night club venues on Azura/Ventura would be starring at Arcadia's theatre. No choice really since there is no alternative showroom venue such as on Oriana, Oceana, Aurora etc. The Globe, a 200 seater utility room is used for dancing (users complain that the floor is much too small with tensions often mounting between sequence and ballroom dancers as they vie for space), classical recitals, occasional musical 'jams' featuring the ships orchestra and other in-house musicians. There is music of some description in each of the bars and lounges as the same in-house musicians play musical chairs and change venue each evening. Somewhat repetitive over the nearly three months on board. The Retreat, another small, utilitarian facility is primarily used for ballroom, sequence or line dancing, either for lessons during the day, or, as an alternative to The Globe during the evening. The Retreat is much smaller than The Globe, therefore not ideal for dancing. Guest speakers were shipped out on a regular basis and once again varied in attractiveness dependent on your taste. Most notably, Eric (Knocker) Knowles, Wayne Sleep and Lord Michael Howard offered lectures on their chosen subjects and life in general. The Ocean Room is a multi-purpose facility busy delivering art, crafts and card lessons by day but idle at night. Could be better utilised as a second venue after dark. Service 5/5 The service throughout the ship was uniformly excellent, particularly the reception. Often receiving the brunt of complaints from frustrated passengers we witnessed the reception staff defuse potentially difficult circumstances. Dragana and Sandra were outstanding. Shore Excursions 4/5 Not normally fans of organised shore excursions, we found that for the more exotic ports of call to be found on a world cruise itinerary they were essential. Yes, they were painfully expensive but to our surprise, more often than not, they delivered great value for money.

Arcadia - Southampton to Singapore 2017

Arcadia Cruise Review by johnnierainey

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Around the World
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience.

Positives:

Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair.

Overall, the dining experience was good (Belvedere excluded).

Entertainment; the Headliners Company were exceptional.

Some wonderful ports of call Alotau, San Francisco, Napier, Nha Trang, Singapore.

No fighting for deck chairs on Arcadia...acres of space.

Service was uniformly excellent throughout.

Dance hosts Brenda & Jeffrey converted many non-dancers. Superb.

Quiet ship, most go to bed early...little to do after the theatre.

Negatives:

No meaningful second entertainment venue.

Due to the above, the ship was quiet from 9.30pm (i.e. post theatre).

Areas of the ship smelled foul throughout the cruise.

The ship needs an overhaul not just an engine refit. Extremely dated.

Too many quizzes, day and night. Cheap and cheerful? No, just cheap!

If we want a quiz we go to our local. Not what we hoped for on a world tour.

Dining 3/5

The Meridian Restaurant delivered a good (not great) selection of food served warm (rarely if ever hot). The levels of service were influenced by variables such as the waiting team, distance of your table from the galley, dramas in the kitchen etc. Comparable with banquet catering served at say, a wedding rather than a fine dining experience. None the less, the Meridian (main dining room) would score 4/5.

The Belvedere buffet was another story. The choice, quality and presentation of food was mediocre to poor. Even by P&O's moderate standards this 'restaurant' left a lot to be desired. With the possible exception of Curry Night, this place should be avoided if possible. Score 2/5. Hence the overall dining score of 3/5.

Sindhu, P&O's asian fine dining restaurant seemed to attract mixed views; rather like Marmite! We don't like Marmite so 3/5. The Ocean Grill (by day the ship's officers mess, by night Marco Pierre White's fine dining experience) was incredibly popular, with generally good to excellent reviews. Whether this popularity was due to the need to utilise the copious on-board spending money to be found on a World Cruise or, truly reflected the quality of food and service on offer might be debated. In our opinion, it is not as good as say The Epicurean Restaurant on Azura/Ventura where the extra charge is double that for The Ocean Grill. None the less, in terms of food quality, service and value for money it rates 5/5.

Room Service was generally good to excellent. Of course it was somewhat limited in choice when compared to the restaurant however it was cooked to order, often hot and for the most part, delivered on time. This is probably the only way to get warmish toast on board. 4/5.

Cafe Vivo, tucked away in the dark, no doubt as an afterthought of the ship's architect; was illuminated by excellent staff who brought sunshine to it's customers. Much too small. 5/5.

Entertainment 3/5

It is not so long since P&O Cruise Directors proudly introduced their entertainment team of sixteen staff. On this cruise (a world cruise) the now Entertainment Manager introduced his team of six. A sign of the times?

Headliners Theatre Company were excellent on this cruise as were the ship's orchestra. From memory, they presented nine different shows; although these were repeating for the third time during our 82 days on board Arcadia.

Guest entertainers (the usual suspects) were flown out to join the ship and varied in standard. For example, a "comedian" who normally performs in the Havana or Manhattan night club venues on Azura/Ventura would be starring at Arcadia's theatre. No choice really since there is no alternative showroom venue such as on Oriana, Oceana, Aurora etc.

The Globe, a 200 seater utility room is used for dancing (users complain that the floor is much too small with tensions often mounting between sequence and ballroom dancers as they vie for space), classical recitals, occasional musical 'jams' featuring the ships orchestra and other in-house musicians.

There is music of some description in each of the bars and lounges as the same in-house musicians play musical chairs and change venue each evening. Somewhat repetitive over the nearly three months on board.

The Retreat, another small, utilitarian facility is primarily used for ballroom, sequence or line dancing, either for lessons during the day, or, as an alternative to The Globe during the evening. The Retreat is much smaller than The Globe, therefore not ideal for dancing.

Guest speakers were shipped out on a regular basis and once again varied in attractiveness dependent on your taste. Most notably, Eric (Knocker) Knowles, Wayne Sleep and Lord Michael Howard offered lectures on their chosen subjects and life in general.

The Ocean Room is a multi-purpose facility busy delivering art, crafts and card lessons by day but idle at night. Could be better utilised as a second venue after dark.

Service 5/5

The service throughout the ship was uniformly excellent, particularly the reception. Often receiving the brunt of complaints from frustrated passengers we witnessed the reception staff defuse potentially difficult circumstances. Dragana and Sandra were outstanding.

Shore Excursions 4/5

Not normally fans of organised shore excursions, we found that for the more exotic ports of call to be found on a world cruise itinerary they were essential. Yes, they were painfully expensive but to our surprise, more often than not, they delivered great value for money.
johnnierainey’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Cabin DC D 167
The deluxe balcony cabin on D deck was both comfortable and serviceable, if a little tired in places. Previous cruiser's mishaps on the room carpets and soft furnishings were permanent and there for all to see. The decor and layout is now dated with the ludicrously positioned bed lamps the butt of many visiting comedians. Constant warnings about the frailties of the toilet system seemed to be heeded by the guests. Our cabin's w.c. backed up only once during the nearly three month cruise. The balcony and balcony furniture (2 x deck chairs, 1 x leg stool, 1 x service table) were also a little tired. The cabin stewards worked extremely hard to keep the room in good order and they are to be commended. The air-conditioning, whilst in theory adjustable, was fierce with several passengers having to seek medical advice for sore throat/chest infections.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews