We joined Arcadia on Sunday 4th July at Southampton, to sail to the Canaries.
The embarkation process was very good and we where on board and having lunch by 1pm in the buffet restaurant. Just after 2pm we had access to our cabin. This was internal on Canada(C)deck. The cabin was a good size with plenty of storage. Our cabin stewardess(Merlin)was friendly and kept the cabin clean and tidy and well stocked with tea and coffee. The ship is clean and constantly being maintained (could find maintenance staff with a paint brush at some point of the day - this is not a complaint, it is good that the ship is kept in good order). General decor is also good with the various areas having their own colour scheme. Breakfast / lunch in the Meridian was good if you got there on time, we missed it for breakfast on two occasions to to clock changes. The Belvedere was so so - TIP FIND A SEAT FIRST THEN GET YOUR MEAL. Evening meal at table 29 was very good in the Meridian, the waiters and wine steward were all very attentive. (could not always say the same for the Breakfast & lunch service at other tables, it was a bit hit and miss. Probably because at the end of the cruise, you are tipping your evening table).
We tried the Rhodes restaurant, although we had been told it can take 2 hr, when the restaurant is less than half full you do not expect it to take over 2 hrs and still not have your coffee. I felt the meals in the Meridian were tastier if not presented on the plate to the same level. The head waiter was very apologetic and rectified the situation to our satisfaction. We also tried the Orchid Restaurant and bar - both are outstanding for service and food.
The age range of passengers was from 18 to 90 many in the fifty plus bracket. Due to the ship not allowing children(a reason we selected Arcadia)there are some areas that were under utilised on this cruise (sports area / Electra disco / Card & Computer rooms)could they be used for other pursuits?. The entertainment staff could also come up with some more time fillers for passengers other that Bingo / Quiz / loose women type talk every day.
The weather we had was very unsettled with warm sunny days every second day. On the dull days it was a book or a movie, (TV films are very repetitive) or Bingo etc.
We have booked trips in the past but find that you do not always have time to see the local area. So we opted to do our own thing, however some of the ports did not have enough (other than shops) to keep us going all day.
This was our sixth cruise, our first with P&O and we would use Arcadia again.