As this was our Wedding Cruise we were really excited when we arrived at Southampton early at 11am. We waited to board the ship and were guided to "Priority Boarding" as I had my wedding dress and bouquet in separate bags which was brilliant. We were in our cabin by 12.30 pm and immediately went to lunch whilst waiting for our suitcases. As we had been on Arcadia for Christmas 2006 we were really looking forward to another brilliant cruise which unfortunately didn't turn out to be the case. Although being senior citizens ourselves we were quite shocked to see that a lot of the guests were a lot older than ourselves and seemed to go to bed very early. The rush for the first sitting at dinner, made our second sitting in the Meridian restaurant very quiet with a lot of tables with spare places or completely empty.
We were looked after brilliantly by our wedding coordinator and P&O and nothing was too much trouble. We were really treated like VIP's with lots of little extras in our cabin on arrival, i.e. flower arrangement and bottle of champagne. Later a basket of fruit arrived also which was replenished every few days. We were also treated by the Executive Chef when a small Christmas Cake,Stollen cake and shortbread biscuits were delivered also. Each evening we received canapes whilst we were getting ready for dinner in the evening. Our Christmas Day wedding day dawned and I went to the spa for hair, nails and make up to be applied. Our wedding at 5pm was brilliant with Captain Ian Walters taking the small service. Our guests really enjoyed themselves and we went into the Orchid Bar for canapes after the many photos taken by the ship's photographer all around the ship. We arrived fashionably late for Christmas Day evening dinner and a round of applause was given to us as we went down the stairs to our table on the ground level, with balloons decorating the table. All in all a lovely day!
The rest of the cruise was OK but we were disappointed that the ship seemed to be very quiet after leaving the restaurant in the evening, most of the bars seemed deserted. The shows were brilliant and the Headliners Group really worked their socks off to entertain everybody. Another sore point was the fact that the new top deck wasn't completed after the refit and all the cruise we were not allowed to go on it as the decking was still being completed and sanded down, which caused shavings etc. dropping onto the Acquarius deck furniture leaving it covered in dust! Also the carpets outside the Spinnaker Bar were completely soaking wet and had a dehumidifier constantly on plus the men's toilet outside the Globe Bar was permanently closed due to a breakdown and the smell that came from that area got progressively worse throughout the cruise. At the end of this cruise I felt a little disappointed and have decided to go on another P&O ship Aurora to celebrate our 1st Wedding Anniversary Christmas cruise as hopefully it will be a little more upbeat and lively as there will be children on board!!!