1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Arcadia Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
Call our partner agents to book

By Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor

Arcadia Overview

Editor's Note: Fresh from a November 2017 refurbishment, Arcadia now boasts a spruced-up Aquarius Pool and Bar and new carpet and furniture throughout. Suites received new sofa beds, lamps, throws, headboards, curtains and balcony doors.

Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Arcadia price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

About Arcadia


Adult-only vessel that's great for couples, singles and groups of friends


There's no ballroom and limited space for dance enthusiasts

Bottom Line

Mid-sized traditional vessel aimed at the British market that recently has had a £34 million refurbishment

Arcadia has an interesting background and at the end of 2013 sailed into a new chapter of its life thanks to a £34 million refit, which transformed different areas of the vessel and created 24 new cabins on an underused section of the Sun Deck. Other changes included a new-look shopping area, top-deck bar and late-night dancing venue, plus the introduction of the Asian-themed restaurant East.

Unlike P&O's purpose-built vessels, Arcadia was originally ordered in 2000 by Holland America Line, destined to become the fifth Vista-class ship. Then it was allocated to Cunard as the next Queen Victoria, before being launched in 2005 under the P&O brand. (Ship aficionados can spot tell-tale signs of its previously intended guise, such as an adapted Cunard-style funnel). The atrium is also smaller, and not quite the heart of the ship as it is on its sister vessels. However, that really is a very small point as Arcadia offers a raft of attractive facilities including excellent entertainment and top-notch speciality dining to appeal to P&O's mature and predominantly British passengers who rate style, ambience and a relaxed atmosphere over gimmicks and adrenaline-fuelled activities.

Arcadia is one of the line's three adult-only vessels and became one of the first P&O ships to offer weddings because its Bermudian registry allows captains to marry couples at sea.

Based in Southampton and sailing on a variety of itineraries from short taster cruises to round-the-world voyages, the bright (but tasteful) refit brings Arcadia in line with the fleet's newer vessels.

Fellow Passengers

The majority of passengers are British, and typically a mature, over-60s crowd, many of whom are fiercely loyal to P&O and have sailed with the line for years -- often decades. This demographic changes dramatically on mini-cruises, which attract lively groups of families and friends celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions.

Arcadia Dress Code

By day the atmosphere is easygoing, and most passengers opt for casual shirts, shorts, trousers and beachwear. From 6 p.m. the dress code is formal or "evening casual" in bars and restaurants. There are usually four formal nights on two-week cruises (usually on sea days) and for cruises over seven nights there is a black and white themed ball. P&O cruisers love to dress up and even on three-night itineraries you can expect one formal night.

P&O defines evening casual as separates or dresses for ladies and open-neck polo shirts and casual trousers (not shorts) for men. Smart dark denim is also fine but not trainers, football shirts or tracksuits and passengers typically err towards the smarter side of casual.

Black tie nights are glamorous affairs, with passengers keen to go with the flow rather than buck the trend. If you want to break out a full-length ball gown on formal evenings you won't look out of place. For men, dinner jackets or tuxedos are the norm, but a dark lounge or business suit and tie can be worn as an alternative.

Arcadia Gratuity

Editor's note: From May 2019, auto-gratuities will be removed.

A £7 per person, per day, gratuity is automatically added to your bill, which is distributed to staff in the main restaurant (waiter, assistant waiter and head waiter) and your cabin steward. Additional tips are discretionary. It is not possible to pre-pay tips prior to boarding the ship; however pre-purchased onboard credit can be used to cover service charges. The onboard currency is British pound sterling (GBP).

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
G Deck
F Deck
Prom Deck
E Deck
D Deck
C Deck
B Deck
A Deck
Lido Deck
Sun Deck
Sky Deck

Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Arcadia price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Arcadia Ship Stats

  • Crew: 866
  • Launched: 2005
  • Decks: 11
  • Passengers: 2,094
  • Registry: Bemuda
  • CDC Score: 97
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Arcadia Member Reviews

Sail Date: Jan 2019
the opportunity to have a look round the city. Embarkation was extremely smooth and we boarded Arcadia early. When we first saw our cabin we were concerned where all of our clothes and possessions were...Read More
Sail Date: Dec 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...Read More
Sail Date: Sep 2018
of Canada we had not touched the eastern side so this was an ideal choice. We have sailed on Arcadia before and enjoyed the fact that it was child free. Because it was transatlantic both ways so a number...Read More
David George, Chester
Sail Date: Oct 2018
The last time I sailed on Arcadia was five years ago. I’d blown some of my savings on a once-in-a-lifetime world cruise and loved every minute. The ports were fabulous and the service on board could not...Read More

P&O Cruises Fleet