We embarked Arcadia on 9 March, 2012 in Sydney, enroute to Southampton on 27 April. Embarkation was easy, staff receptive. NOTE: 10 of my previous cruises have been on Princess ships. We got a very good deal from our agent $100 per day pp.
Our cabin was NA grade, obstructed view on E deck, what we paid for and what we got, nothing special about he cabin, lifeboat outside window. Bed a little hard, good shower and bath, small TV, but no real complaints about cabin. Steward very good.
I am a Coeliac - Gluten Free and on most occasions I got the correct advice from staff re GF food. The food on board was adequate in both Food Court and in MDR. We took second sitting. Food service was very good. Food Court layout very good, not much congestion due to seperate areas for different food.
The mainly Indian staff on board were very good.
Entertainment reasonable, Headliners singers/dancers very good. Bands on board good. Sophistication Duo in particular, we became their fans, even buying a CD.
Drinks on board very reasonable prices and you could buy liquor from ship's shop and consume it in your cabin, plus no restriction on what you brought on board. Excellent !
Condition of furnishings on ship a little tardy, overdue for refurbish.
Now the VIRUS and HYGEINE, like many others on board I contracted the dreaded Arcadia Virus after leaving Singapore, various symptoms, coughing, high temperature, just felt like dying. etc. Went to Ships Doctor, confined to cabin for 4 days. Even the Doctor remarked the hygeine standards of many pax on board were not good, leading to spread of the virus. I noted also lack of cleaning in toilets and handrails, which you see a lot of on Princess.
Ports were good, missed Seychelles due to Pirates and St Helena because of seas, such is life. We did ships shorex not private tours.
We did a walk off in Southampton, off the ship at 0745.
Would I travel on P&O UK again? probably not due to HYGEINE standards. Also TOO MANY Formal nights for me !