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20 P&O Cruises Arcadia Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

Firstly, I wanted to give more stars, I really did, but having had my first cruise in 2013 on Oriana which was wonderful, this one was just not worth all the money. Embarkation was easy and at the exact time stated on our tickets. On ... Read More
Firstly, I wanted to give more stars, I really did, but having had my first cruise in 2013 on Oriana which was wonderful, this one was just not worth all the money. Embarkation was easy and at the exact time stated on our tickets. On board swiftly and all luggage was outside our cabin (E78 - outside, restricted view). Cabin was perfect, mid ship and above the prom deck so no need to use lifts much. Cabin was clean (apart from hair in the bath plug hole which should have been noticed really), also the little plastic holder for our cabin steward's details was empty. Cabin steward introduced himself in such a rushed way that I didn't catch his name and no towel animals - I know it's not important but the little personal touches were what made P&O special in my opinion. Ate in the Belvedere for lunch most days if we were on board which was very nice and one of the things which I thought was better than the Oriana. We usually found a seat no problem or ate by the Neptune pool. Also tried the Neptune snack bar. Hotdogs were nice but I didn't like the burgers - tasted like cheap tinned ones. Dinner was Meridian 2nd sitting on a table of 8. Our table companions were all very nice and service was very quick, which was the problem really. Having had silver service last time the difference is huge. The waiting staff seem rushed and harassed (obviously less than previously) and did not really chat at all. On our last cruise they chatted and there was banter and fun (napkin flowers) but I felt we were in a fast food establishment at times - Enjoy your Starters? Enjoy your Dinners? Enjoy your Desserts? Goodnight! Bars were all good and we enjoyed the quizzes in the Rising Sun and Bingo 3 times (had a little win). The Crow's nest is lovely and I sat in there on sea days reading a lot. Theatre is very nice and the Headliners were great, as was the comedian. I didn't see anything else though my partner enjoyed the captains talk. The ports - Madeira, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Lisbon - were all very good, though my parents said Santa Cruz, Tenerife was not (we did the Loro Parque trip which was brilliant) worth visiting as it's the capital and mainly for business. Plenty of time in each port too which was good. One disappointment was that things were out of order for our whole cruise, a few of the public toilets, all the spa pools were filled and the water was hot but they didn't work and on two of the hot port days the Neptune pool was covered with net as out of order! Also they ran out of a few of the drinks early and when I tried to get my nails done during the first week they had ran out of Gel - available widely now so no excuse really. Generally we had a good cruise apart from the obvious cut backs which aren't reflected in the price. Fellow passengers were mostly older but in the main friendly. There were one or two selfish wheelchair/mobility scooter users, example - someone stopped for a chat to people sat in piano bar blocking the aisle where around 5 people were waiting to get past! All totally ignored and most walked back and through the seating area eventually, though I think one man climbed over the wheelchair to make a point but was still ignored. I really don't understand this attitude of self importance, and they say it's the 'youth' who are rude usually. Though we did laugh about these incidents. I think next time I will look at another cruise company as although I loved the size and décor of Arcadia I feel that much has been lost in cutbacks so I don't see the point of paying the extra in future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my first cruise and after reading the recent reviews I was very concerned that I would not have enjoyed it . There was no need to worry as it was brilliant I could not fault this ship in anyway . The crew and staff were very ... Read More
This was my first cruise and after reading the recent reviews I was very concerned that I would not have enjoyed it . There was no need to worry as it was brilliant I could not fault this ship in anyway . The crew and staff were very helpful . our cabin steward Robert was very helpful and always had a smile . the cabin had plenty of room and the bed was very comfortable. the entertainment was brilliant they work very hard . they always say you either love cruising or hate it I have got the bug now will defentley be booking another one next year . well done p and o lovely ship arcadia. the service we received was excellent could not fault it in anyway. i liked the fact you could join in the activities if you wanted to or just relax which is what we done . we went on first sitting in the dinning room we had lots of choices of food 4 courses every night very filling . well done to all the chiefs it must be a hard job making all those meals . i don't now why people are so negative on here as p and o do there best to make sure you have a good holiday . cant wait till next year when I can go again so I will be busy saving for my next one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We didn't know what to expect as this was our first cruise. Southampton: Embarkation was brilliantly organised CPS (Cruise Parking service) Attendants took our cases from the boot, next time we saw them was in our cabin so for ... Read More
We didn't know what to expect as this was our first cruise. Southampton: Embarkation was brilliantly organised CPS (Cruise Parking service) Attendants took our cases from the boot, next time we saw them was in our cabin so for us more relaxing then flying. Disembarking: I was a bit worried but needn't have been, as we got a note in the cabin telling us what to do on the day. We took our own case's off the ship, left at 8:00pm and nothing was to much trouble for anyone. Once down we got a trolley, collected our car keys and we was off home. No Forced Gratuity: Just ask for a form to fill in and some envelopes if you want to give to Steward etc. Reception was very good and not rude, plus there was a long line of people waiting for these forms. Sail away: I didn't enjoy but many did, I went to the last one which was very good so maybe I should have gone to the other's, can only say on the first two I did. Lots of things extra you had to pay for on board, yoga, hydra pool etc. The Chocoholics: For me wasn't worth the money Wine Tasting: For me wasn't worth the money, plus I couldn't understand the lady given the presentation. Photo Package: Which we bought wasn't worth the money But this was our first cruise, and you learn by your mistakes. Cabin: was kept beautifully clean, plenty of coffee, tea, milk biscuits etc. Plus I loved my little chocolate on my pillow. Lovely white fluffy towels, plus blue pool towels Soap, shampoo, bubble bath etc, shower cap. Shower was excellent plus once you was in your cabin, you couldn't here anyone from the next rooms, still I used earplugs. We gave him his tip early, because I felt so guilty he had to come twice to do our cabin, our room as never been so clean on holiday. Food: Was superb and good in all venues, however Gala night we found the choice of meals not very good. If you want hot milk just ask and they will warm it up for you, and at 10pm you can have hot chocolate, ovaltine etc. Shows: Headliners put some good shows on, Killer Queen was excellent, better then We Will Rock You in London when that was on. Mickey Zany Comedian was so funny, and the three girls they had on Jenny was excellent Duty free: Perfume on the day you could buy 2 bottle 1 half price, spirits 2 bottles for £ 20 Shore Excursions: Fire Mountain was Excellent, but the others Lisbon have a good read up and you can do this quite easy yourself, Hop On Hop Of Bus is good and shows you more then the tour. I can't understand some people's comments about the Arcadia or P and O, and it makes me wonder why they come back on the same ship or use the same company for that matter. All in all we had a great experience, and booked again for next November same ship but with a different Itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We really didn't know what to expect as this as our first cruise but have no complaints really as we thought it was wonderful and service very good at all times. The decor was fine and we are shocked by some peoples comments about The ... Read More
We really didn't know what to expect as this as our first cruise but have no complaints really as we thought it was wonderful and service very good at all times. The decor was fine and we are shocked by some peoples comments about The Arcada as it hasn't been our experience at all. The choice of food was excellent wherever on the ship we chose to eat and our cabin was kept beautifully clean. We joined in many activities and found everybody friendly but it has to be said some people are not happy unless they are complaining about something especially their experiences on other ships which made me wonder why they chose to come on this one!!! The evening entertainment was really good most nights especially The Headliners ( Oh Billy you were fantastic) and comedian Mickey zany. Waiters in Meridian were fantastic and service first class and we were treated like royalty in the Meridian by Jessel and Rinson and our wine waiter Veineeth and the waiters all sang to us on our birthdays and anniversary which a lovely touch. The captain had a lovely voice and we looked forward to his announcements each day which were informative and friendly and he sent me a card on my birthday too! Photographers were always about if you wanted your photo taken but we did feel the prices were too expensive and had they been cheaper I'm sure both myself and others would buy more. All in all this was a lovely cruise and we and my brother and sister in law enjoyed it immensely. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
So many things to comment on, easier to bullet point: No silver service at dinner anymore = rushed courses Lack of vegetables generally = tiny meals Often had to ask for after dinner mints, water & liqueurs Forced gratuity ... Read More
So many things to comment on, easier to bullet point: No silver service at dinner anymore = rushed courses Lack of vegetables generally = tiny meals Often had to ask for after dinner mints, water & liqueurs Forced gratuity = rude and unbothered staff (you can opt out but reception staff quite rude) No more Jacuzzis ? not allowed under British Law (again, according to reception staff) are we not in international waters? Swimming pool (in non smoking area) not open for nearly 3 days with no explanation. General lack of communication when something goes awry Dumbing down of formal attire – since when did a glittery tracksuit become formal wear? Would be helpful if the tour guides on excursions had a grasp of the English language so that everything was not “THE most important this or that” and not repeated several times. Sail Away party done in smoking area so we all stank afterwards. Every single Oasis Spa “talk/demonstration” was actually just a huge, very pressured, sales pitch. Extra charges constantly eg hydro spa pool, Pilates classes, etc. The “Chocoholics” event was underwhelming. A series of chocolate cakes (approx seven varieties) repeated on numerous trays, a few traditional round cakes and a chocolate fountain that was tightly guarded, also held in the buffet area not the beautiful Meridian restaurant – this did not show of the chefs skills in the slightest. Add on the “bands” in the bars, lounge and globe Disco – it would help if they could sing! Headliners were lovely but some of the shows are over 5 years old and showing it. Disco seemed to only have 10 songs on its play list, mostly consisting of Barry White, Minnie Ripperton and Alesha Dixon. Don’t ask for anything from Motown as they have known and have no clue what 60s & 70s music is. Add on a £800 bill at the end for 3 drinks per day and two spa treatments and basically it has put us of cruising for a very long time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This cruise took place over New Year, we went in order to get a bit of sunshine. It was not Arcadia's fault sunshine was at a minimum. So we got to Southampton slightly earlier than our check in time but that was not a problem. ... Read More
This cruise took place over New Year, we went in order to get a bit of sunshine. It was not Arcadia's fault sunshine was at a minimum. So we got to Southampton slightly earlier than our check in time but that was not a problem. Checking in the car was smooth and easy, checking in to board the ship was equally easy. We went straight to the self service restaurant and had lunch and within a short period of time our cabin was ready. D135, lovely bed, functional cabin, plenty enough wardrobe and shelving for us. Balcony was dark, small and dirty, cigarette ends etc. the cabin smelt 'sweaty' when we first went in, I did not complain, I realise with a quick turn around etc it is difficult. Sprayed some air freshener and got on with it. Eventually I went and found our cases and we unpacked. The Meridien Restaurant was fab, excellent food and service. The Belvedere was what it was, a self service canteen. We dined in the Ocean Grill on New Years Eve and I was disappointed, but others thought it wonderful. One evening on returning to our cabin after a dinner there was a terrible smell of fried chips in the cabin, D132 had ordered room service unfortunately the waiter could not read and delivered them to D135. One would have thought the clue was in the fact the cabin was empty.........and that's part of the problem with this ship. Lack of care, training, not understanding, I am not sure but whilst everything on the surface is fine, if you look underneath, service is shabby, the ship is dirty and no one cares. We had a lovely holiday and the food was very good but I certainly will not venture out with P & O again. The hi de hi messages every morning telling me when bingo was starting amongst other things put me off. The Captain or his deputy every morning announced weather etc but often spoke so fast one could not understand what was being said. Again, lack of training or just lack of caring. Who knows.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Having returned from our 12 day cruise aboard Arcadia, we wish to express our great disappointment. As this was our first cruise the ship was not as we'd expected, having read information of the (refit carried out in 2013!).. If ... Read More
Having returned from our 12 day cruise aboard Arcadia, we wish to express our great disappointment. As this was our first cruise the ship was not as we'd expected, having read information of the (refit carried out in 2013!).. If we'd given our cabin, & corridors a star rating it would have been 2! As the carpets, walls in corridors were badly stained! Our cabin was very depressing, extremely creased net curtain, pillows had a stale smell, & I had to clean hairs out of bathroom cabinet, before I could put my toiletries in!.. On boarding the ship, we went for a look around, until our cabin was ready, we liked the look of the hydro pool, and heated beds, so payed £200 to use for the 12 days, & oh how pleased we did, as once we set sail for the 3 day trip to Madeira, we realised just how little there was to do on board..... One of the main reasons we choose this cruise, was not having to do long flights. The down side of this is it appeals to a lot older age group, and the amount of wheel chairs, mobility scooters on board, it felt more like a floating old peoples home, and not the luxury cruise we'd been looking forward to... We found all staff very friendly, even given the long hours they were expected to work, nothing was to much trouble. Evening entertainment in the theatre was very good. The food in meridian restaurant was also very good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
my self and my wife have just returned from one of our best cruises ever we went on a 12 night canary cruise on arcadia we had a ball from start to finish' the entertainment by the headliners theater company would equal any west end ... Read More
my self and my wife have just returned from one of our best cruises ever we went on a 12 night canary cruise on arcadia we had a ball from start to finish' the entertainment by the headliners theater company would equal any west end show. we also had a singer roger wright who was brillaint. the food we ate in the meraden freedom dineing was what you would expect in a top class restuarant and what a choice. the staff throughout the ship were very helpful and always smileing.we were always kept busy with talks on life boats painting. quizes. and enterained with some very good music throughout the ship we met some lovely people who like ourselves cant wait untill the next one thanks p and o Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I have recently returned from a trip on this ship to The Canary Islands. My friend and I were upgraded to a deluxe balcony cabin but I honestly don't know what makes it deluxe. The cabin was clean enough, beds were lovely and comfy ... Read More
I have recently returned from a trip on this ship to The Canary Islands. My friend and I were upgraded to a deluxe balcony cabin but I honestly don't know what makes it deluxe. The cabin was clean enough, beds were lovely and comfy and having tea and coffee facilities in the cabin was an added bonus. However, the little bath (which only a small child could fit into ) was the only feature I could see that would give the cabin it's deluxe status. Not worth having really. The cabin itself creaked rather a lot as the ship rolled constantly throughout the voyage. Like a previous reviewer I also wondered if the stabilisers were deployed. So much so that I even mentioned this to the deputy captain when I had an opportunity to speak with him. The sea was not particularly rough but the ship rolled causing many passengers to feel ill especially on the first day. We tried to buy seasickness tablets in the shop only to be told they had run out of them. The shop assistant failed to tell us we could buy them at reception so we ended up buying the little acupuncture wrist bands instead. Staff on board were friendly and polite at all times. The entertainment was brilliant. The main attraction "The Headliners" were fabulous, their shows were packed out at every performance . Roger Wright and Rachel Russell were also fabulous. I wasn't so keen on the comedian. He was good on his first show but not on his second. He kept asking the audience if they were having a good time. A time waster!!! We had no complaints at all about the food on board. We ate every night in The Meridian restaurant and freedom dining meant we shared tables with lots of other guests. It was lovely meeting so many different people. The staff were friendly and polite here too. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise.........the alternative was to stay at home while our husbands were trekking in Nepal so I think we made a good choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was only our second cruise the first being with Royal Caribbean, no comparison. The ship looked OK and our cabin although a bit dingy was passable, however, it soon became apparent that this ship was getting past it's sell by ... Read More
This was only our second cruise the first being with Royal Caribbean, no comparison. The ship looked OK and our cabin although a bit dingy was passable, however, it soon became apparent that this ship was getting past it's sell by date. It rocked and rolled in a sea that didn't look that bad, whether stabilisation was being used I do not know but it certainly did not seem like it, I have had better crossings through the Bay of Biscay on a car ferry. We did not eat in our designated dining area but used the Buffett, the food was no comparison to what we enjoyed on the Royal Caribbean Buffett, it was edible but that was about it, and trying to find somewhere to sit when you had your meal was a challenge in itself. Entertainment,I know that people enjoyed the headliners however I found the whole of the entertainment in the theatre (apart from the comedian) repetitive and boring just a load of people prancing around the stage singing and dancing to different themes on different evenings no story or meaning, that's just my opinion. There is one big plus on this cruise, if you like a quiz you will be spoiled for choice, there never seemed to be an hour that went by where somewhere on the ship you could not find a quiz, drove me nuts. The so called shops are just one big con, supposedly duty free, you could buy the rubbish they were selling in the UK for less, then toward the end of the cruise they would have a sale I assume if this sale was real you would be hacked off if you had bought the same item a few days earlier in the cruise, how to make friends. Anyway I could go on but getting bored thinking about it, my advice buyer beware its not as advertised on many counts. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Myself and my disabled wife paid £3000 for a twelve night trip aboard Arcadia sailing from Southampton back to Southampton returning on the 9th December 2014. From the outside Arcadia looked great and we were very excited when waiting to ... Read More
Myself and my disabled wife paid £3000 for a twelve night trip aboard Arcadia sailing from Southampton back to Southampton returning on the 9th December 2014. From the outside Arcadia looked great and we were very excited when waiting to board her, our excitement disappeared when we entered our mini suite number Delta 001, it was very tired and dated and there was mildew on the bathroom tiles in the shower. The shower door was very loose which we reported to reception. We unpacked and ventured out to explore the ship and have lunch, we found most of the staff rude surly and unhelpful when you asked for anything and they looked very board. We had our life boat muster drill in the Palladium Theatre on deck three, this was our first view of the theatre and was very impressed by it and looking forward to the shows there. On the first night we were introduced to the entertainment team led by Cruise Director.  The Headliners singing and dance group were fantastic and very hard working. The dinning room staff were most of the time very surly bordering on rude and we found the menus boring. The best place to eat was East but this cost you £15 per head to eat there. We had a coffee maker in our suite and when we ran out of coffee sacks had a very hard job to get them replaced by the butler service department. Room service was beyond belief, you ordered what you wanted but what you received nearly always was not what you had ordered it was our daily amusement seeing what was delivered to our suite by the staff. The shops on board are very expensive the staff very rude and pushy when dealing with you. What they sell can be bought cheaper on shore and that is what we did most of the time. Other than the head Liners the only act we liked was the comedian his to shows was great the other acts was good on their first show but their second show was not so good and let them down. Most of the time the swimming pools were closed due to the weather conditions in the area that we were in. We do not think that the way Arcadia rolled that the Captain ever deployed the ships stabilizers was this to save fuel for the company we wonder? We have sailed with P&O on a number of times and this was our worst ever cruise with them and the condition of the ship and the attitude of most of the crew spoilt a rather expensive holiday for us. some of the ports we visited the gangways were way beyond the safety levels of decent laid down for disabled people it took four crew members to get my wife and her wheel chair down the gradient of the gang way safely. We were also disappointed with the television on board you could not track your on board account or order room service yet these were brand new televisions fitted whilst she was docked at Southampton but did not work to their capabilities. The two best ships that P&O have Ventura and Azure are based abroad so if you wish to cruise on them you have to fly out to join them what a shame for us passengers who cannot fly but love these two ships. Our advice to you if you are thinking of going on a cruise on the Arcadia is don't she needs a complete refit or sold on she is to old and dated.     Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
What a travesty the previous reviewer of this cruise has provided. 1. The staff throughout the ship were excellent and could not have done more for you. The restuarant staff in particular made it a pleasure to be going to each meal. The ... Read More
What a travesty the previous reviewer of this cruise has provided. 1. The staff throughout the ship were excellent and could not have done more for you. The restuarant staff in particular made it a pleasure to be going to each meal. The food was of a good standard always hot. always plenty of choice. 2. It was November/December which means it is more likely to be rough. It was indeed rough on the first 3 days down to Madeira, yes the ship was moving about but , really it should be expected by anyone booking a cruise at that time of year. In any event Arcadia coped extremely well with the conditions. 3. The ship, to me, looked in very good condition and my cabin ( a balcony on deck 6) wasreally lovely and kept that way by my cabin steward. 4. The swimming pool was closed on some of the days due to the conditions and also to have it refurbished. It seemed a sensible opportunity to do this work.. 5. The shows were all good to excellent apart from the comedian. His jokes were from the 60s and making fun of people in the audience is always an easy way to get cheap laughs, sad. Roger Wright and the Headliners could not have worked harder and provided wonderful entertainment. The backing band must be one of the best on any ship. I am really at a loss to know what more some people expect. I am willing to make appropriate comments if anything is not up to standard but I really thought this was a really good cruise on a beautiful ship and with some much more space per person than on Azura. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Having experienced great holidays on Princess Cruises we decided to try something different. On booking we were reassured by P&O Sales that we had the best cabin (C097) and there was no point putting us down for an upgrade but it ... Read More
Having experienced great holidays on Princess Cruises we decided to try something different. On booking we were reassured by P&O Sales that we had the best cabin (C097) and there was no point putting us down for an upgrade but it turned out to be the worst and we ended up sleeping in Customer Service Reception on a bench seat opposite the Reception desk. Eventually we were moved to a new cabin which was initially was unavailable, but the rude and unprofessional Night Manage's behavior was not acceptable and put a cloud over the rest of the cruise. However we had no choice but to make the most of it as the month before our cruise we had just buried my mother. Acadia needs a refit or scrapping for various reasons, read on... The food was good and plenty of it, however there is a point during the day around 5pm/6pm when all restaurants are closed apart from a small serving hatch by the pool manned by one person cooking burgers and chips for the entire ship! We had to speak to the manager as it would seem that to get a decent service you had to moan a lot. Once we had the meeting with the restaurant manager thinks improved. Please understand that to have continuous waiters raising trays above my partners head all night was very distracting and some armpits smells got into ones taste buds. Service generally very good though. The Players put on great shows in the theater. Anything else belonged overboard. Too many quizzes. Dressed up in our best dinner wear for black tie night in the Crows Nest was disturbed and ruined by that haunting announcement. "The quiz will now start..." All dressed up in a black tie and dinner wear for a quiz ! The cruise sail away parties were OK as we joined in as it kept us warm as we thought the skipper was following bad weather reports on the way to and around the Canaries Islands. If they really need to have so many quizzes they should consider doing it through them via the in room TV media and keeping the show bars and lounges free of "question number 22" ! The cabin was unsuitable and not fit for purpose due to what some have said was down to "flexing". Cabins around C097 were all complaining and we hadn't left Southampton yet. It s believed that P&O knew about this problem and put guests into these cabins anyway in hope that they would not complain. We did, left the cabin and moved into reception until a new cabin was found. We really had to put up a fight with the night manger who did nothing until we refused to remove from reception and go back to our cabin "There was nothing that he could do" he kept saying, "there are no other free cabins" oh but we could have a single cabin each.??? Totally not 5 star treatment or even 1. We stayed in another cabin the next day but not before being forced to sign a liability contract to say we would not claim no further from P&O and not a hint of apology until the next day which was false and too late. Crew hospitality and service was let down by the abrupt and unprofessional night manager, the buffet restaurant staff were only interested in taking trays and crockery away which was constant and annoying. The restaurant staff lifting trays above your head continuously, however those that we did not get directly involved with were very good. There was one engineer who at 01:00 hours ignored the do not disturb sign after we had waited all day to get the toilet fixed and stood outside our door with his mobile talking to someone. Basic hospitality missing here ? We won't be using P&O again although we were looking forward to cruising on the Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Check in was swift and painless,we arrived at our balcony cabin along with our luggage.We found the cabin to be spacious and in good order and the balcony to be of a good size.We appreciated being able to bring a bottle of gin and brandy ... Read More
Check in was swift and painless,we arrived at our balcony cabin along with our luggage.We found the cabin to be spacious and in good order and the balcony to be of a good size.We appreciated being able to bring a bottle of gin and brandy onboard for pre dinner drinks and a night cap,although the drinks in the bars and wine in the restaraunt were of British pub prices.Our last cruise was with Royal Carribean,their drinks prices were very expensive. Breakfast was taken in the buffet self service restaraunt,the choice was excellent,no complaints from us.Lunch we tended to take by the pool,and dinner in the Meridian silver service restaraunt.The service and choice here was very good and nice to see guests making an effort adhering to the dress code[unlike RCI] We visited the Palladium theatre to see Bobby Crush and watched a few shows by the theatre company all very enjoyable. My favourite was the British sailaway from Cadiz,great fun,well done entertainment team,everyone was up and going for it. The crows nest was agood venue for drinks after the theatre although my husband quite liked the casino, There were alot of elderly people on board,but i say well done to them for making the effort to go on holiday and dressing up so spledidly. All in all it was a very good experience,the only down side was the weather on the last two sea days,I thought it would have been warmer.We would definately use Arcadia again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Arcadia just doesn't have the aura of Aurora! (Sub-titled Has P & O lost the plot?) We are both fairly new to cruising and Cruise J202 to The Atlantic Islands onboard Arcadia was our first time on this particular ... Read More
Arcadia just doesn't have the aura of Aurora! (Sub-titled Has P & O lost the plot?) We are both fairly new to cruising and Cruise J202 to The Atlantic Islands onboard Arcadia was our first time on this particular (adults-only) ship after having taken our three previous cruises on Aurora. I celebrated my 73rd birthday while on board. My wife who had her 65th birthday just before we embarked, is mobility disabled and almost completely confined to a wheel-chair. We travelled to Southampton via the dedicated service of Eavesway Travel. [After loading our luggage on to the coach at Nottingham Trowell Services on the M1 .... we didn't see it again until it was delivered to our balcony cabin for the disabled - A31]. It was a splendid service. The decor and presentation of this cabin was excellent and impressive although, as we slowly discovered, there was much less drawer storage than on Aurora but, surprisingly, there was no easy chair or sofa in the cabin - only 2 rather uncomfortable straight-backed chairs. We hadn't packed bath-robes as they had always been provided on the Aurora but William, our ever-resourceful cabin steward managed to provide 2 within a day of asking. Arcadia is well-appointed .... quite posh even - as you'd expect from a ship that was originally built to be Cunard's Queen Victoria. All the public parts were very smart and clean although there were less-public parts of the ship that were a bit shabby with peeling varnish on the balcony hand-rails, corroded bottom rails under the glass panels of our balcony, peeling white paint on the balcony light-housing, paint and varnish splatters on (our) balcony deck. 'A little tired' is how we would describe it. (Photo's are available!) We found the food to be excellent and had the edge on Aurora's offerings last Xmas & New Year with quite generous portions. The executive chef, Steve Butcher and his chefs did a splendid job. (On our last cruise on Aurora we unfortunately contracted noro-virus during a rather serious out-break. First my wife was quarantined in our cabin for 2 full days. On the 3rd day - inevitably, I'd guess, I went down with it - losing us 5 days out of a 15-day cruise. (After our return I read somewhere that the virus was 'rife' on Aurora.) It's worthy of comment that P & O didn't provide as much as a free bottle of water which we were exhorted to drink lots of, despite not having to provide us with the richer ship-board fare for several days. How mean can P & O get?) Unfortunately Arcadia had a minor outbreak of noro-virus on this cruise, too! It struck me that it broke out about the same number of days into the cruise as on Aurora! Maybe the virus is endemic on board (some) cruise-ships and the few days before the outbreak is the incubating period for the new passengers? (I have only just read that Arcadia already had the virus on board on the last leg of the world cruise immediately prior to this cruise). We had the somewhat ludicrous situation of those little jars of marmalade and jams being served with tongs at breakfast! (I'd bet though they were put on the serving plate by human hand!). On the last night at dinner our waiter was personally sprinkling salt from a salt-cellar over each diner's food thus slowing down the service (I guess they'd run out of the individual paper-wrapped salt and pepper). On 1 occasion I was served my breakfast on a dirty plate (a small smear of food that had got baked onto the rim). Hardly conducive to hygiene in the prevailing circumstances. We nevertheless managed to avoid contracting the noro-virus again by taking extra precautions such as using my elbow to press lift buttons, using anti-viral Kleenex tissues we'd taken with us, as a barrier when touching toilet door-handles and scrupulously washing hands on returning to our cabin etc, etc. In a Gents toilet the hot-air hand-dryer carried a notice saying it had been deliberately switched off for hygiene reasons and to use the paper towels instead. The towel dispenser was empty! (You've got to laugh - haven't you?) I do, however, wonder about the hygiene of the wine-stewards' ubiquitous pens for signing bar chits which are handled by all and sundry unless you go tee-total! (Fat chance of that!) And what about those now somewhat dog-eared breakfast menus handed out every morning and those wooden menu-holders at dinner at night? The general demeanour and disappointingly poor attitude of some (few) crew-members was noticeable. For example, when pushing my wife in her wheel-chair the full length of the (rather long) corridor (we were forward and the dining room was well aft!) a crew member pushing a laden trolley coming in the opposite direction was quite determined not to give way to let us through and it was we who backed up! We'd never experienced that ever before - or since, as usually the crew have always given way with a pleasant smile and good grace. Nor did the waiters seem as cheerful as we have come to expect. Maybe it was the new tipping system they are unhappy about or was it just their morale that was low? (Some of our fellow cruisers had the gratuities taken off their on-board accounts at an early stage). At one memorable breakfast, it took our table of 8 souls a whole hour and 10 minutes to finish - with appallingly slow service. We waited 20 minutes before we were served tepid weak tea. A fellow passenger ordered croissants at 8:45am but after reminding the waiter was told at 9:20 there were no more. (They did however manage to rustle up 2 cold croissants for the lady - eventually). On complaining to the head waiter the excuse given was that they were 'very busy' as too many passengers had turned up for breakfast at the same time. (How very inconsiderate of them!) This was simply not true and some passengers who arrived after us were served promptly and had left the dining room while we were still waiting to be served plus there were quite a few vacant places at some nearby tables. We were effectively the forgotten table. (It was an at-sea day anyway but it caused really serious disruption to our plans for doing absolutely nothing at all for the day!) There were often quite long queues to enter the main dining room for meals. I mentioned earlier about the shabbiness in a few places. Passengers pay quite a high premium for having a balcony so it is galling to be denied its use. For instance, when power-washing the balconies the cabin stewards would close off a run of 10 balconies for a whole hour while they started cleaning at one end and worked steadily down all 10. Why not do the balconies singly on a schedule? Rather heavy cosmetic de-rusting and renovation of the ship's super-structure (noisy grinding and riveting activities) was performed on some days - just above the balconies on our side of the ship which made it impossible to use the balconies for quite long periods of time. On one day the whole of the starboard side (the sunny side, as it happened!) of the promenade deck was barred to passengers while the ship's crew swung out the life-boats on their davits - for inspection and power-washing for most of the day-time hours. There were a couple of hours when there was noticeably very little crew activity. At the same time a large area of the Sun Deck 10 was also closed off for ship maintenance! (I readily accept that certain tasks are vital for the safety of passengers and crew but could not P & O after, say, every 2 or 3 cruises, take a full 24-hour day to turn the ship around from one cruise to the next instead of the current 7 or 8 hours turn-around? That way they could blitz the ship and do the heavier maintenance work. But, I think I know the answer to that!) On disembarkation day, 2 of the available 4 lifts were taken out of service so that the crew could expeditiously move a small mountain of cardboard boxes and cushions. This made the disembarkation process somewhat protracted and more difficult for passengers - a high proportion of whom were elderly and/or disabled and had long journeys in front of them! I reached the conclusion that fare-paying passengers were just not conducive to the smooth and efficient running of this particular P & O cruise ship! Or, is P & O losing the plot? Here's a tip. I took a chance and over the Internet booked a private taxi-tour for 3½ hours on Madeira. It worked perfectly. Carlos, our driver was so very helpful and even took over the wheel-chair pushing duties from me. And all for just 80 Euros for the pair of us and was much cheaper (and better!) compared to any similar tour booked through the ship's excursion desk. In Cadiz I took a 1-hour taxi-tour of the city costing 40 Euros with a non-English speaking driver who valiantly called out the name of the historical buildings to me just like an Englishman abroad - if you shout loud enough then Johnny Foreigner will always understand. It was however, very pleasant to escape the wild northern European weather for several days. Plus I was excused duties of chief cook and bottle-washer, too! Over-all and despite the fore-going we DID enjoy the cruise! Rather like the curate's egg .... It was good in parts! (We have a previously booked 2012 Xmas and 2013 New Year cruise aboard Arcadia! The comparison will be revealing!) Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
first impressions of Arcadia were good, with quick embarkation although cabins were not ready until mid afternoon. Cabin was clean and as expected with all fittings operational. The clientelle on board were mainly in the 50-80 age group ... Read More
first impressions of Arcadia were good, with quick embarkation although cabins were not ready until mid afternoon. Cabin was clean and as expected with all fittings operational. The clientelle on board were mainly in the 50-80 age group with a lot of electric chairs around. Consequently after dinner a lot of passengers retired to their cabins and not sen until next day. Food was for most part excellent, especially in the Meridian Dining Room. The food in the Belvedere restaurant (Breakfast and Lunch) not quite so. Some hot items were cold, but the biggest difficulty is finding a seat, as most passengers seemed to think if you sat at their table you were invading personal space, whilst others seemed content to just sit and chat denying others opportunity to sit. This resulted in some fraying of tempers. We sailed from Southampton not Dover as stated - for some reason Southampton is not shown as an embarkation point. The first 2 days we encountered poor weather with a moderate swell causing the ship to roll a fair bit, although this did not affect my wife or myself quite a few passengers were not well. The weather improved on day 3 and stayed fine during all of our Canary port visits. Entertainment on board was excellent for the first week but too specialised in the second week. Week one we had a singer and a singer comedian whilst week two we had a classical violinist and a magician. All parts of the ship were in good repair and we had lots of day time activities which we took advantage of. The ship talks were very well received. My main gripe about this ship is the lack of personal hygiene in disinfection of hands. Most passengers ignored the hand gels despite a number of personal protests by myself, but what I found even more disgusting is that staff on boarding the ship also disregarded quayside disinfection and the gangway supervisors failed to stop them. This is unbelievable and in my personal opinion a dereliction of duty and for crew should become a disciplinary matter. I will express this opinion directly to P&O. On our journey home we were unable to visit Oporto owing to rough sea states and swell and because even worse weather was closing in behind us, so we continued north for a short stop over in Vigo. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Arcadia: Canaries, Nov 2010. 10.45pm, no buses were coming into the village and taxis could only manage to the foot of the hill two miles distant from the house. The snow was lying in mounds on both sides of the road and only a few ... Read More
Arcadia: Canaries, Nov 2010. 10.45pm, no buses were coming into the village and taxis could only manage to the foot of the hill two miles distant from the house. The snow was lying in mounds on both sides of the road and only a few foolhardy souls, in possession of four wheel drive vehicles were venturing out onto the roads. There was no option open to us other than to phone a friend with a four by four and petition him into taking us into Glasgow, where we would transfer to our pre booked coach to Southampton. In Glasgow the temperature was -15 and the bus station had run out of all coffee and tea making facilities as on the previous night the station had had to provide overnight accommodation to a hundred or more stranded souls, as the city's transport system ground to a halt as a result of the worst snowfall in memory. The coach however departed on schedule, but without any tea or coffee making facilities or toilets, as a result of frozen pipes. The driver however did make reasonable time in spite of the weather and did provide us with regular refreshment stops. Around 2pm we reached Southampton and our first experience of P&O began. Transition from dockside check in to ship was smooth and efficient , as the staff processed some 2000 passengers ( other organisations could learn much by studying the methods employed by cruise companies in efficiently processing large volumes of people) The ship was spic and span without much of the glitz and sparkle of rivals, presenting a quintessentially British air about it with dark polished wood and grained leather. It was elegant and dare I say traditional in outlook: I liked it and over the next two weeks she would continue to grow in my affection. My cabin was beautifully turned out, with ample storage space a large double bed, coloured TV ,fridge, settee and an adequate balcony. Needless to say the balcony provided an abundance of fresh air at night ,a welcome location for an unhurried breakfast and a most welcome haven at the end of a hectic day ashore for the imbibing of several gin and tonics as the ship slipped its moorings in the early evening. This was particularly so on leaving behind the beautiful island of Madeira with its incredible Christmas panorama of coloured twinkling lights. I do not intend to say much about the ports ,having visited the Canaries many times previously and I'm sure they have been more than adequately covered by other cruisers. Suffice to say that the highlights of this particular cruise for me were both Madeira and Santiago De Compostella, surely one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. (nr port of Vigo) My first impressions of P&O are generally favourable when compared to my previous experience of solely American themed ships. Here's what I think. Drinks and Wine list. The wine list was more varied in the range of countries represented and the prices were fair. There was even an excellent house red provided at a nominal £10. My last outing, on Celebrity, saw an average price of $28 from mostly a selection of US produce. Drinks likewise were reasonably priced , in some cases cheaper than at home, and nothing was added. ( on US ships a percentage mark up is added to every drink). Duty free could be had at any time and taken immediately to your room for private consumption.( expressly forbidden on US ships). Cocktails were widely available and again reasonably priced with a new cocktail being selected each day as " cocktail of the day" and available at around £3 ( half the price of US ships) Transfers. This has been my first and only cruise were I have not had to pay a transfer to reach the main city or town from portside. Last year I regularly paid $10. Again, a big plus for P&O. Entertainment. The major productions were on a par with other big cruise lines but again more inclined towards a British audience. The small cinema on board provided modern films to British taste (eg Young Victoria) and repeated them on a regular basis. The TV again provided a good range of programmes and modern films with both British and Continental appeal. The library maintained a good selection of material more inclined towards a British clientele .( British biographies etc) Quizzes ,which were a regular and well attended feature were aimed again at a British audience, with a more eclectic intellect..( US ships ask mainly about US topics with little international input). The art gallery on board provided a good range of art work both for perusal and sale , although I did miss the "art auctions", regular features on US ships. More could be done on the "lecture" opportunities available .I could have given better presentations on both Vettriano and Perez. Lectures& Talks . These daily features were most relevant to a British audience and were both entertaining and informative, featuring a journalist, professor of history and political science and a Concorde engineer. On one occasion the captain was interviewed by the cruise director and regaled the audience with some exciting and funny stories from earlier in his career at sea. On another day the Headliners theatre cast presented themselves on stage and again opened themselves up to questions from the cruise director. I enjoyed all of these events.. In the evenings there was a variety of entertainment provided both in the theatre and around the many bars and smaller venues on board. This could range from a jazz band in traditional pub setting, or dance band in the ballroom, to the full theatre extravaganza, or quiet intimate surroundings of the crow's nest for a classical piano recital. There was always something to entertain. Formal evenings. There were more formal evenings on P&O than on other lines so far experienced. Likewise with the semi-formal evenings ,sometimes indistinguishable from the more formal evenings. If you like dressing up, then P&O is for you. I must admit the formal evenings herald a touch of class to the cruise and I like them. (mitigates against having too many "bears") I must say however that since Arcadia is an adults only ship ,perhaps there's not so much of a sense of occasion on the more family friendly ships? Dining. The formal dining room was two tiered and offered two sittings,. one at 6.30 and the other at 8.30. I had mixed reactions about the food and service. I just felt that something was lacking. One day I would be disappointed in the food or service and on another day I would rave about it. There just didn't appear to be consistency from the kitchens! I have no real gripes to make about the food other than to say that I have had better on other cruise lines. Having said that however ,other cruisers thought that the food was exceptional and that I was just being awkward. One person I spoke to said that the food on Arcadia was better than the QE2. I just suppose that you can't please all the people all the time! I didn't get the opportunity to visit the Gary Rhodes restaurant but I did hear good reports. I did on the other hand visit the Orchid restaurant ( Asian cuisine at £10 pp supplement) which was exceptional. Here the food and service excelled my expectations and perhaps was a reflection on the levels I had expected from the formal dining room. On the night that I visited, the captain and his senior staff were seated adjacent to my table. This spoke volumes. I highly recommend a visit to the Orchid. The self service restaurant on the 9th floor of the ship never disappointed. There was always a great range of hot and cold dishes to be had (24/7) ,served in the most pleasant surroundings (except at breakfast time when it was crowded). In the evenings the tables here were draped in white linen tablecloths and place settings already set out. This was the place to go if you didn't fancy the formal events. Room Service. I used this on several occasions and was never disappointed. The room service manual offered all sorts of things from drinks to meals and snacks and duty free. Late afternoon sandwiches were most welcome as was the odd breakfast. Every day I was the beneficiary of freshly sliced lemon and lime , courtesy of room service, for my pre prandial G&T. Overall my first experience of P&O was most enjoyable and a precursor of more to come. This cruise had much to commend it, from its child free environment with its quintessentially British outlook through its wide entertainment and friendly and efficient staff. I will definitely travel with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
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 ... Read More
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.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
My wife and I, both 60, chose this cruise mainly because it sailed from Southampton and because it went to Madeira and the Canaries. We are fed up with flying out to meet cruise ships and the ridiculous airline baggage allowances. We can ... Read More
My wife and I, both 60, chose this cruise mainly because it sailed from Southampton and because it went to Madeira and the Canaries. We are fed up with flying out to meet cruise ships and the ridiculous airline baggage allowances. We can get more luggage allowance going to our holiday villa in Florida than we can on a fly/cruise package where formal wear is required in addition to everyday holiday wear. This was our first cruise with P&O and I have to say that the embarkation experience was almost pleasurable, fast, efficient and without hassle. We arrived 40 minutes early and were onboard within 30 minutes of arriving. First impressions of the Arcadia were good. It is modern, clean and has a wide variety of eating and drinking venues. We had a rear balcony stateroom on deck C which we chose to be able to relax watching the ship's wake with a G&T in hand. This choice ended being not as rosy as it may seem as, when the ship is making 20 knots or so and the wind was in the right direction, there was a constant spray of water drawn onto the balcony. We also experienced smuts of oil from the funnel. Not too unbearable but worth noting. The balcony furniture is bare hardwood with cushions which were grubby and, as we later found, not waterproof. A shower of rain soaked into the cushions and then soaked our clothing as we sat on them. The stateroom was adequate in size with plenty of storage space and a fair sized bathroom. Our Steward, Joe, kept it immaculate and was always willing to help in any way. As there is quite a narrow gap between the end of the bed and the wall, P&O should consider fitting curved-end mattresses as some other cruise lines do to prevent painful collisions with passenger's legs. Dining was an interesting experience. We had chosen the first sitting at 18:30 and were lucky enough to get a table for 2 in the Meridian (main) restaurant. Our waiters, Clary and Dinesh were wonderful and nothing was too much trouble. My wife is a fussy eater and when she did not fancy a choice from the menu Clary would have something made up especially in the kitchen. Our wine waiter, Brian, was also excellent and would have a glass of my favourite wine on the table within a minute or two of sitting down. He would also show us the next day's menus so that I could decide what wine I fancied. We did not try the Arcadian Rhodes as I personally dislike his style of cooking and we never felt the need to try the Oasis fusion restaurant. All in all, the main restaurant food was good although a little too much emphasis on red meat for my wife's liking. We had breakfast in the Meridian once and found the service to be good but, the opening hours were restricted and did not suit us. Now the negative! The food in the Belvedere (self-service) restaurant was awful! Breakfast was the only reasonable offering but the food was often cold or at best lukewarm and the toast seemed like it had been made in an oven rendering it hard and almost burnt. We did try dinner there once on Italian night and I have to say that their interpretation of Italian food was not a pleasurable experience. Lunches were very boring and things like mashed potato with puddles of cooking oil and cottage pie which I am convinced was made from tinned mince were inedible. We often opted to have a burger or hotdog from the Neptune Pool Grill instead. I don't expect to pay for a "luxury" cruise and be offered things like toad in the hole, pasties and a limited choice of vegetables. I want exciting tasty food which is hot! Bar service was generally very good except on the Aquarius sun deck at the rear of the ship. A wait of 10 minutes for a waiter was not uncommon. We had to complain three times, once about a hair in my breakfast, once about rudeness to my wife by a barman and once about a prawn sandwich in the Belvedere which did not label its sandwiches after 22:00. I am allergic to prawns and was lucky that I noticed before any damage was done. All complaints were responded to with profuse apologies from the relevant managers and one even offered us a free drink at that night's sail-away party. Apart from the above, we enjoyed our cruise although we were unlucky to have a Hoorah Henry and Henrietta in the next stateroom who always slammed their balcony door, constantly dragged their balcony furniture across the balcony and talked at the top of their voices both inside and outside of their stateroom. We learned so much about their personal lives that I could write a book on the subject. The entertainment was very poor! Someone once said that cruise ship entertainers are either "Has-beens" or "Wannabes" and I think they were right. One "top" act was a singer who professed to sing operatic music but, didn't have an operatic voice, tried to sing a Freddie Mercury song and failed and his operatic attempts were embarrassing as he was clearly fighting to reach some notes. He did have a very good voice but needs some advice on what to sing. The onboard entertainments team tried hard but failed to entertain. Disembarkation was even better than embarkation and it took just 10 minutes from being called to disembark to being stood by our car with our suitcases. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
My wife and I, both 60, chose this cruise mainly because it sailed from Southampton and because it went to Madeira and the Canaries. We are fed up with flying out to meet cruise ships and the ridiculous airline baggage allowances. We can ... Read More
My wife and I, both 60, chose this cruise mainly because it sailed from Southampton and because it went to Madeira and the Canaries. We are fed up with flying out to meet cruise ships and the ridiculous airline baggage allowances. We can get more luggage allowance going to our holiday villa in Florida than we can on a fly/cruise package where formal wear is required in addition to everyday holiday wear. This was our first cruise with P&O and I have to say that the embarkation experience was almost pleasurable, fast, efficient and without hassle. We arrived 40 minutes early and were onboard within 30 minutes of arriving. First impressions of the Arcadia were good. It is modern, clean and has a wide variety of eating and drinking venues. We had a rear balcony stateroom on deck C which we chose to be able to relax watching the ship's wake with a G&T in hand. This choice ended being not as rosy as it may seem as, when the ship is making 20 knots or so and the wind was in the right direction, there was a constant spray of water drawn onto the balcony. We also experienced smuts of oil from the funnel. Not too unbearable but worth noting. The balcony furniture is bare hardwood with cushions which were grubby and, as we later found, not waterproof. A shower of rain soaked into the cushions and then soaked our clothing as we sat on them. The stateroom was adequate in size with plenty of storage space and a fair sized bathroom. Our Steward, Joe, kept it immaculate and was always willing to help in any way. As there is quite a narrow gap between the end of the bed and the wall, P&O should consider fitting curved-end mattresses as some other cruise lines do to prevent painful collisions with passenger's legs. Dining was an interesting experience. We had chosen the first sitting at 18:30 and were lucky enough to get a table for 2 in the Meridian (main) restaurant. Our waiters, Clary and Dinesh were wonderful and nothing was too much trouble. My wife is a fussy eater and when she did not fancy a choice from the menu Clary would have something made up especially in the kitchen. Our wine waiter, Brian, was also excellent and would have a glass of my favourite wine on the table within a minute or two of sitting down. He would also show us the next day's menus so that I could decide what wine I fancied. We did not try the Arcadian Rhodes as I personally dislike his style of cooking and we never felt the need to try the Oasis fusion restaurant. All in all, the main restaurant food was good although a little too much emphasis on red meat for my wife's liking. We had breakfast in the Meridian once and found the service to be good but, the opening hours were restricted and did not suit us. Now the negative! The food in the Belvedere (self-service) restaurant was awful! Breakfast was the only reasonable offering but the food was often cold or at best lukewarm and the toast seemed like it had been made in an oven rendering it hard and almost burnt. We did try dinner there once on Italian night and I have to say that their interpretation of Italian food was not a pleasurable experience. Lunches were very boring and things like mashed potato with puddles of cooking oil and cottage pie which I am convinced was made from tinned mince were inedible. We often opted to have a burger or hotdog from the Neptune Pool Grill instead. I don't expect to pay for a "luxury" cruise and be offered things like toad in the hole, pasties and a limited choice of vegetables. I want exciting tasty food which is hot! Bar service was generally very good except on the Aquarius sun deck at the rear of the ship. A wait of 10 minutes for a waiter was not uncommon. We had to complain three times, once about a hair in my breakfast, once about rudeness to my wife by a barman and once about a prawn sandwich in the Belvedere which did not label its sandwiches after 22:00. I am allergic to prawns and was lucky that I noticed before any damage was done. All complaints were responded to with profuse apologies from the relevant managers and one even offered us a free drink at that night's sail-away party. Apart from the above, we enjoyed our cruise although we were unlucky to have a Hoorah Henry and Henrietta in the next stateroom who always slammed their balcony door, constantly dragged their balcony furniture across the balcony and talked at the top of their voices both inside and outside of their stateroom. We learned so much about their personal lives that I could write a book on the subject. The entertainment was very poor! Someone once said that cruise ship entertainers are either "Has-beens" or "Wannabes" and I think they were right. One "top" act was a singer who professed to sing operatic music but, didn't have an operatic voice, tried to sing a Freddie Mercury song and failed and his operatic attempts were embarrassing as he was clearly fighting to reach some notes. He did have a very good voice but needs some advice on what to sing. The onboard entertainments team tried hard but failed to entertain. Disembarkation was even better than embarkation and it took just 10 minutes from being called to disembark to being stood by our car with our suitcases. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

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