My husband and I have just returned from a weeks cruise on the P&O's Arcadia ship.
This was our 6th cruise all previous ones have been with Cunard.
The Embarkation was quite drawn out, we were ushered quickly onto the ship as we were priority but then were herded up into the 'Crown Nest' (a room at the front of the ship at the top) and served uneatable nibbles and bucks fizz. We were kept there until after 2pm as the cabins were not ready, we then had to wait until after 5pm before our cases arrived!
We were very disappointed with the ship and the crew. We found the Arcadia to be in desperate need of an update, it is old and tired. There is no ballroom, the films are shown in a freezing cold space called the Globe or in a screening room that only sits 30 people meaning one has to queue for an hour just to secure a place. People complained about the cold in the Globe but nothing was done, a lot of people walked out the rest sat in their coats.
We found More
the food to be very poor in the Meridian restraunt and the staff surley. There was no 'anytime' dining and we had to eat at 8.30 on a table with 8 strangers. The Grill restaurant was excellent with a very good staff but their menu only changed twice making eating there a bit repetitive.
The captains cocktail party was held at the swimming pool area as there was no room anywhere else. Neither the captain or his crew mingled with the guests, he made a short speech then vanished.
Our cabin was a suite, it was large, with a whirlpool bath, two sinks and a stand alone shower, (larger than on the equivalent grade on Cundard) but it was shabby and not very clean. The beds and bedding were of a low quality and the cabin steward unhelpful.
There appeared to be only a couple of launderettes on board, this would cause a problem on a long voyage with people having to queue and one had to provide their own soap powder.
The library was a small tatty room with a few computers in it which one had to pay 20p per minute to use.
Nothing would induce us to travel with P&O again. Less
Arcadia Cruises to the Baltic Sea
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Value for Money
Cabin review: Mini Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
A large cabin with twin sinks, a whirlpool bath and stand alone shower.
The balcony was grubby with broken sunbeds.
The beds and bedding were not very comfortable and the wardrobe space was small and would not be adequate on a long trip.
The whole cabin could do with new furniture and a redecoration.
There is a free Shuttle bus from the port into Bergen which only takes about five minutes. One can easily walk up to the Funicular railway passing shops and market stalls. The fare was quite reasonable. We had to queue for about half an hour to board. Once on the top of the mountain there are a couple of cafes and excellent views. We chose to walk down, there are good paths and stunning views. It is steep but easily managed by us and took about an hour with a couple of stops to rest on benches.
We did not see the need to take a ships tour.
There is not a listing for this port so have added the review to Bergan.
The ship provided a tender boat across to Geiranger. This is a tiny place consisting of appx., 12 tourist/cafe shops and a smattering of houses in the steep cliffs. We walked along the edge of the mountains, this is a nice walk passing a few local houses. The Fjords are spectacular, snow lies thickly on the tops of the mountains which are vertical, there are huge waterfalls thundering down them into the sea.
Again there is not a listing for this port. The ship docks in land, no need for a tender. Directly outside the ship there is a tiny little train that runs every 15 mins or so, it chuggs slowly along right down to Olden lake, it stops a couple of time for photo opportunities as there are spectacular views. There is an on board commentary, the trip takes around an hour. (there are several of these trains meaning one does not have to wait long to catch one). They cost 150kronas per person, very cheap and there is no need to take an expensive ships tour unless one wants to visit the Glacier.
Our 4th port was cancelled and we ended up in Zeebrugge.
One can take a free shuttle bus from the port to the local station where one can catch a train into Bruge, this takes appx., 10 mins although the trains only arrive once an hour. Maybe they are more frequent in the summer months? There is not much to see in Zeebrugge itself, a beach and a few shops.