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33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and ... Read More
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and externally there are areas showing age but considering she is at sea virtually daily and has been around the globe many times it can be expected. Daily maintenance is carried out as would be expected and if anyone was woken by the chipping drills on the lifeboat davits then perhaps they prefer lie-ins after 10.00 a or cant be bothered if their lifeboat wasn't serviced. Change of itinerary, we were notified by email 5 days before departure explaining the reason why a prolonged stop in Malaga was necessary. Some fellow cruisers said they did not know until they boarded. Can't explain this but I would suggest that as we are registered in the P&O Cruise Personaliser, where our email is recorded, this could be the reason for those who do not use this system. Yes we missed out a port of call and stayed in Malaga while she was being repaired, the captain kept us informed of the progress of the work. Unfortunately the 22-strong team of divers, flown in from the USA and elsewhere were unable to correct the problem with the port-side pod within the expected time and after arriving on Thursday (at top speed), we departed just after midnight on Sunday/Monday morning. Malaga is a lovely place and a leisurely walk or free for all passengers shuttle bus into the main area was provided.. We missed two sea days and one port. After departure one passenger decided to be seriously ill (not norovirus) but as Arcadia does not have a heli-pad, the Captain sailed at full speed for Venice for the passenger hope all was well) to be transferred to waiting ambulance on the quayside. Safety is a high priority and itinerary change is usually, sometimes weather also for other reasons but some people have to moan and disrespect P&O, fortunately the majority of fellow passengers we spoke to were happy with their cruise. Part-way through their was an outbreak of the dreaded Norovirous. We were not affected, The crew immediately put special measures in place specifically not being allowed to touch any item, plates, cutlery etc, having everything served to you. Not such a bad thing you know! Some passengers believing that they would never suffer from the virus did not wish to gel their hands before going into the restaurant. Probably the same passengers, and you know who you are, who do not bother to wash hands after using the toilets, who rush about and don't care ignoring warning notices and whose disgraceful disrespect of hygiene spread the infection. We noticed several mature passengers not washing hands after using the toilets and not wanting to gel before entering the food areas. After precautions were lifted, sadly a few passengers in the buffet decide to double-fill their plates, charge into the queues to get their fill totally regardless of common courtesy and respect for their fellow passengers and the hard-working crew. We found the food of a good standard and no complaints and I am a fussy eater. All the staff were polite and helpful. The entertainment was of a high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment especially the murder mystery and Johnny Youle the guitarist. The Rising Sun pub has great atmosphere and the Palladium theater is one of the best that we have sat in on a cruise ship. Our cabin on C deck was spacious and our steward was very professional and friendly. The excursions were varied, we did Malaga (both booked and ourselves, yes we had time!) we did hop-on-off bus in Cagliari, walking tour in Split (great courier). Would we go on Arcadia again, YES Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on ... Read More
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on Arcadia and I was very pleasantly surprised. She is a lovely mid sized ship and easy to navigate round. I was worried initially after reading some of the reviews but I can honestly say that this was the nicest ship I have sailed on with P&O. We had no problems which affected us. If I wanted to be really picky, then some of the lifts were out of use and some of the ladies toilets were also out of order, but there were plenty others around the ship to use. The food was plentiful and tastefully served in the Meridian restaurant, our waiters were very good and attentive. Arcadia has a wonderful 3 tier theatre with comfortable seating and the Headliners entertainment team were the best I have seen on any P&O ship yet. We have another cruise booked on this ship in December and can't wait. Oh and also went through the Bay of Biscay which I always dread and for the 1st time EVER, never felt any movement and didn't have to wear my sea bands. One very happy passenger! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as it took in 7 ports of call of interest. This was our 5th cruise with P&O but the first time on Arcadia. Weather was fine and calm which helped, but everything from food to entertainment was the best we have ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it took in 7 ports of call of interest. This was our 5th cruise with P&O but the first time on Arcadia. Weather was fine and calm which helped, but everything from food to entertainment was the best we have experienced. In the past some dishes in the restaurant were a little soggy such as chips and battered fish therefore we had avoided them but not so on this ship. Executive chef was Trevor Glass, well done to him and his team. Entertainment we saw most included Jo and Liv, Blue Wave and the Headliners all of which were excellent. Ship was well maintained and clean, staff very friendly and attentive, although there was the odd Arcadia pipe leak with a bucket under catching the water until repaired but don’t let this put you off. Thoroughly enjoyed by my wife and myself together with our friends who were first time cruisers. Mark W Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Our 15th cruise with P&O and our first on Arcadia, which means that we have now been on all ships in the P&O fleet at least once, so can make direct comparisons between them all. We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the Fjords ... Read More
Our 15th cruise with P&O and our first on Arcadia, which means that we have now been on all ships in the P&O fleet at least once, so can make direct comparisons between them all. We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the Fjords to Flaam and Olden, as our previous attempt (on Britannia) failed as P&O cancelled both ports a few months before (this has happened at least 6 times that I know of with Britannia). The itinerary certainly didn't disappoint. Both places were lovely and the cruises down the very long fjords were spectacular, especially as we had an aft corner wrap suite, which enabled us to enjoy some evening meals on the huge balcony whilst soaking in the views. Stavanger was pleasant (but we have been twice before) and Haugesund was interesting but like a ghost town - even though we were there Friday lunchtime! Although we very much liked our suite and we particularly enjoyed the Ocean Grill (Marco Pierre White restaurant), we found the main dining room (Meridian) to be the first poor one that we have experienced with P&O. The food was fine, but the layout is very poor. Tables for four were too small and a large proportion were alongside the main thoroughfare around the restaurant, so were not relaxing at all. We are used to having to take a pager for evening meals at peak times (Freedom dining) but have never had to stand around waiting for a table to become available at lunchtime before - yet we had to do this several times. I was told by a staff member that the waiters don't like this particular restaurant either and, frankly, you could tell. We are great fans of the main dining rooms elsewhere in the fleet (especially Aurora, which is superb) but not this one. P&O had just introduced new lunchtime menus on this ship, which are downright confusing. Rather than just list starters, main courses and desserts, you now have all sorts of random headings and now don't know whether what you have ordered is a starter or main course size - or whether it's hot or cold! This was catching a lot of people out, not just us. Given how poor the main dining room was, we really missed not having a Glasshouse (which we enjoy for a late lunch after a morning ashore, or when the main dining room menu doesn't appeal) or a Beach House (for when you are after something more casual). We avoid the buffet like the plague, but our adult daughters used it and said that the food areas were too small and had limited choice. We very much enjoyed the ability for suite passengers to have breakfast in Sindhu and the staff there were fantastic. It also saved us 7 further visits to the poor main dining room. We had one evening meal there and, again, the table was too small for four (tables for two were the same size). Even though curry is my absolute favourite food, I do not like Sindhu's take on it (same on all the other ships) but the three ladies all loved it (as they always do), so do not be deterred. The Headliners troupe on this cruise were all very good (that's not always the case) but none of the other entertainment appealed and, as has become the norm, daytime entertainment was dire. Embarkation was a little delayed due to a problem with the air bridge at the QE2 terminal. This still hadn't been fixed by our return, so we disembarked at City Cruise Terminal so, as well as now having travelled on all P&O ships, we have now used all Southampton cruise terminals! So, overall, it was the itinerary and the fact that we were very relieved to have booked a suite that made the cruise acceptable, but we wouldn't rush to return to Arcadia as it is now our least favourite P&O ship. By contrast, Aurora is our favourite, although the absence of an Epicurean restaurant (the one on Britannia is our favourite restauarant at sea) means that no ship is perfect. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Getting on and off the ship first class, ship it's self was clean and tidy accept the rip in the seat in the Palladium. Cabin was clean but not dusted before or during our stay.I left my name on the stand of the TV in the dust. I ... Read More
Getting on and off the ship first class, ship it's self was clean and tidy accept the rip in the seat in the Palladium. Cabin was clean but not dusted before or during our stay.I left my name on the stand of the TV in the dust. I personalty own my own cleaning business, So wasn't happy. Entertainment great and the activities. Wasn't told there would be a formal night before we left so was very upset when there was one on board. The service in the restaurant was terrible, first we never had glasses or flowers on our table for the first 2 nights, 2 of the ladies had a bottle of white wine between them and had to ask for the bottle every time they wanted a drink, Three of us on our table of 6 didn't drink alcohol, but not once was we offered anything to drink. The food was bland tasteless and served with no grace everything was to much trouble, but the last night they fell over each other to serve us we even had soft drinks offered us. Would have helped if there was transport from the port to the centre of Amsterdam. Its was a good walk and being in our 50's, 70's and 80's we were tied to do much else. This was to be a warm up to my 60th birthday to see if I liked it to go on a longer one. Still trying to make up my mind !!|!!!!, All my friends are long term cruisers . One lady with us had only been home a week from a Caribbean cruise , she was served a bowl of soup the bowl was red hot but sadly she had to send it back as the soup was cold. Oh and to finish on a funny note.... our 82yr old member and 53yr member of the group was waiting for the lift on our last day, when it arrived there was a couple having sex on the floor of the lift. We did laugh but !!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Having sailed on our first cruise on Britannia last year in the Caribbean, thought we’d try a mini cruise as a weekend break and an opportunity to see what the experience of departing on a cruise from Southampton is like. So, our choice ... Read More
Having sailed on our first cruise on Britannia last year in the Caribbean, thought we’d try a mini cruise as a weekend break and an opportunity to see what the experience of departing on a cruise from Southampton is like. So, our choice of vessel was basically made for us but I was looking forward to trying another ship in the P&O fleet… The boarding process was a breeze, I think it took us 40 minutes from self-parking the car at the Mayflower terminal to getting in our cabin. We even got fast tracked to check in, which was a nice touch. Not sure why though as we’re not on any loyalty tier yet having only been on the one P&O cruise previously. Luggage arrived only about 15 mins after we got to the cabin, which allowed us to unpack and get right up to the Aquarius bar to find a spot and have a few drinks in the lovely (but unexpected!) Southampton sunshine. It was very busy in that bar but never difficult to flag down one of the waiting staff and the wait for drinks was not long at all. Given the duration of the cruise there were lots of hen / 50th / 40th birthday parties and a fair number of stag parties on board; as a result the age group was broad, not dissimilar to our cruise in the Carribbean, with fewer elderly passengers and more of our age, 40s & 50s. Now it’s fair to say that there was a party atmosphere in the Aquarius bar / sun deck and it wasn’t peaceful and quiet – I’m sure it would have been a bit loud for some but we loved the party vibe. It never got out of hand, though. Now I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, but we also enjoyed the Great British Sailaway on the Saturday up there (although having a few beers definitely helps!) We were Freedom dining and apart from not reading on the card that you should go to the desk on Deck 3, and as a result queuing on Deck 2 for no reason, we didn’t have to wait at all on the first night when we shared. On the second night, we asked for a table for two and only waited about 20 mins with a pager whilst having a drink. Food was great, the same standard as we remembered from Britannia, including the cooked breakfast in the MDR. I’ve read that Arcadia is looking tired in the public areas; well, we didn’t see any evidence of that, even though our previous experience was a ship only 18 months old. The only bars other than the one on the sun deck that we tried were the Intermezzo and the Crow’s Nest which we always enjoy. We didn’t get the chance to see any entertainment on this occasion given the brevity of the cruise, plus the main act on Friday, Killer Queen, we’d seen before only last year. Our cabin steward was good and all the other staff we interacted with were just fine. We loved the port call at St Peter Port, despite the fact that a tender was needed; there’s no doubt that a port visit where the ship is alongside is by far the best option, but the crew handled the tendering process efficiently and we waited no longer than 15 mins for our number to be called. We waited on the quayside for about 20-30 mins to get the tender back, which was fine and there was water on hand in case it got too warm for anyone. We didn’t pay for any excursions and did our own thing. St Peter Port is a lovely small town, narrow streets with shops both well-known UK brands and more boutique style. We found a great craft beer bar the Golden Lion, and then wandered over to Castle Cornet where the views were excellent over the town and the bay towards where the ship was docked. To have done it justice though we should have devoted more than the hour we had available, given it costs £10.50 each to get in. Disembarkation was even easier than embarkation, as soon as we had breakfast we went straight out (they were early calling from the Meridian), and we were in the car by 9:15am. Overall this was a really fun trip and a great way to spend a weekend away, and sample what Arcadia has to offer. I wouldn’t choose to sail on here for a longer cruise if I’m honest but that’s just down to the fewer select dining choices versus Britannia. The promenade deck is plus, but unlike some other diehard cruisers I’m not about to use this as a primary selection criteria! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose this cruise for a bit of nostalgia as once worked for this cruise line years ago, we have done many cruise lines for holidays over the years, RCIL, Princess, Holland, P&O Australia , MSC and Marco Polo etc, we thought we'd ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a bit of nostalgia as once worked for this cruise line years ago, we have done many cruise lines for holidays over the years, RCIL, Princess, Holland, P&O Australia , MSC and Marco Polo etc, we thought we'd take my parents on this one for a short Jaunt over the channel, Food was very average, and absolutely no quality control with the deserts, puds were dry and sauces tasteless, but what really left a bad taste in our minds during and after the cruise was the so called "Black Tie Night" now we are both used to formals (which is what we expected) and in todays terms has always meant smart, trousers, shirt and tie as minimum, needless to say , not on this one, we were told , no jacket ,no entry (with the words "ENFORCED" used, but we can use the Buffet or speciality restaurant, (how nice of them) unfortunately the buffet on the night was dismal , limited and appalling, and i was virtually fuming, now i normally carry a waist coat and jacket but overseas travel weight limits us, what is most annoying is the feeling of being penalised for not being a traditionalist, don't get me wrong i like tradition and silver service along with fine food, but this is a ship that does neither, its a slap the plate on the table and whos next. certainly wont be rushing back, and its sad to see such an iconic cruise line go down hill and not keep up with the times Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Lovely ports of call made us choose this itinerary and adult medium ship. Dining was excellent, lectures varied and interesting, the evening entertainment was on the whole very good but the Headliners on ship singers and dancers were ... Read More
Lovely ports of call made us choose this itinerary and adult medium ship. Dining was excellent, lectures varied and interesting, the evening entertainment was on the whole very good but the Headliners on ship singers and dancers were absolutely excellent. All very talented and ranked as good as any west end show. The cabin was the problem A86 mid aft four down from midships on port side. See cabin review and beware! Not worth the money. Excursions were varied and we took advantage of many in countries as Australia, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Japan, South Korea and China all well organised on time and educational. The dining area was well laid out although our table 48 was over the top of the propellor shafts and not only noisy but juddered from the vibrations. Most ships seem to think that rear ship for dining front for theatre and entertaining all at low level. Better if higher up, less shaking and stick the night club and gyms down the rear. Conversation had to be raised when ship moving above 17 knots, obviously designers never take a holiday on cruise ships. Still did not spoil a wonderful holiday (except cabin) see below. Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.6
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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