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32 P&O Cruises Arcadia Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was the first time we had travelled with P&O although we have done numerous cruises with Cunard, Royal Caribbean et cetera. We had of course read reviews before boarding and noted that there had been a number of previous negative ... Read More
This was the first time we had travelled with P&O although we have done numerous cruises with Cunard, Royal Caribbean et cetera. We had of course read reviews before boarding and noted that there had been a number of previous negative remarks, some of them quite caustic. We were initially surprised at quite how overwhelmingly British are P&O ships. Prices are in sterling and generally lower than on ships with dollar pricing. There is also a refreshing absence of having to pay a 15% tip for every drink. Food has the emphasis on “British traditional”, with plentiful supplies of sausage, black pudding and several varieties of tea. On one occasion the “dish of the day” was cottage pie although more exotic dishes were also available. As we left one port ‘Jerusalem’ was belted out lustily by the passengers from the deck to the puzzlement of the locals. The passengers were also mainly British and, as befits a lengthy world cruise for those with time to spare, elderly. There had been reports of passengers being ill, but of course the same bunch of folk at home would have had illness problems as well. The ‘Arcadia’ cough episode seemed to be over. The crew were uniformly attentive, friendly, and cheerful. As is our practice, we quickly found out the names of the important people (cabin steward, table waiters, bar waiter et cetera) and established cordial relations. We felt that the standard and variety of the food in the main restaurant was slightly below that of other lines, although we heard extremely satisfied comments from fellow diners concerning the speciality restaurants. In the self-service ‘Belvedere’ breakfast was top class, lunch and dinner rather limited in choice. Puds were great and there was always a selection of cheese including Stilton (try getting that on a US ship). We never went hungry. We found the ship bright and airy with pale colours everywhere contributing to the atmosphere. There were minor problems in our cabin including the air conditioning although these were fixed promptly. There were some scuffs and scratches which indicated that a “wash and brush up” would be a good idea quite soon; we think this may be occurring in the autumn. Bars presented Brit-flavoured entertainment (pub torch singers, karaoke and so on) of a professional standard. We only attended one show – a Queen tribute – which had us (and everyone else) singing along. Our favourite bar was the Crow’s Nest – high up with superb views and entertainment that leaned towards classical. We agreed we really didn’t ‘get’ a lot of the critical comments. Okay if you’re poorly you are not going to have great time (although we didn’t need them ourselves we heard good reports of the medical service). I have yet to meet a rude crew member on any cruise line. So I’m sorry if people didn’y have a good time – we did. We will ‘do’ P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
As regular passengers with Celebrity, we embarked upon P&O’s Arcadia, sailing from Southampton in early December with some trepidation, particularly as our only other cruise with P&O on the Azura was not all we had hoped for, ... Read More
As regular passengers with Celebrity, we embarked upon P&O’s Arcadia, sailing from Southampton in early December with some trepidation, particularly as our only other cruise with P&O on the Azura was not all we had hoped for, although that was partly because we prefer smaller ships. However, this particular cruise was excellent value for money. The embarkation process at Southampton was fast and efficient, and a little tip for you, rather than pay the extortionate hotel and parking prices near to the Port. It's worth the taxi fare to stay twenty minutes away at the Southampton North Premier Inn where the staff are nice and friendly, and the hotel and parking is considerably cheaper. Like Celebrity, P&O allow you to board the ship early whilst you wait for your cabin to be ready. Because this cruise was such excellent value for money, we decided to treat ourselves to a balcony cabin on this occasion. Our cabin had plenty of room, and was very clean and bright with a large flat screen TV, although the wardrobes were opposite the bathroom door which was a tad annoying at times. Also, the balcony was quite small, and we had a problem with the dividing partition which kept swinging open. As for the rest of the ship, well, we really liked it, despite the fact that it creaked a lot, and in our opinion didn't seem quite as stable as the other thirty or so ships we have been on. I think it's something to do with its unique engine design, but don't let that put you off, although if you are not a good sailor, it's probably better to travel on this ship in the months where the weather is likely to be better with calmer seas. It's a lovely, spacious, modern, clean ship, and its bars and restaurants are well appointed, particularly the Crow’s Nest with its panoramic views on deck 10. It never seemed crowded to us, and it has a great theatre, and a very well equipped gym with the latest equipment. It also has an awesome hydrotherapy pool and thermal beds which are worth paying the additional premium for, and although we never used it, the main pool was situated in an area with a retractable roof, which is is obviously great for when the weather isn't so good. Also really liked the Promenade Deck (Deck 3) with its wrap around walking deck, and P&O’s policy of allowing you to bring a reasonable amount of alcohol on board for your own consumption in your cabin. Another major plus is the fact that P&O show Premier League football, both in the Rising Sun pub and on the tv in your cabin on the Arcadia. Both the Spa and the shops were expensive, but I guess while people are prepared to pay those prices, that will not change. The itinerary for the cruise took in Vigo, a really nice city in northern Spain with great wine. Try the Albariño white wine, it's our favourite and it's produced in this region of Spain. Next stop was to Porto, beautiful city with great character. A good idea is to visit one of the many Port distilleries , and take a trip along the Douro river. Then onto Cadiz, where the weather was terrible, so we didn't see it at its best. The following stop was Malaga. Apparently it's Spain's sixth largest city according to the guide we had, and looked like a lovely place to spend a couple of days. We chose to take the ship’s excursion to Mijas which has some stunning views, and according to my wife is a pretty village, although on the day we were there it must have been the coldest, windiest place on earth, not something you would expect in Southern Spain. Our next port of call was to Gibralter. For some strange reason we only had four hours here, so not a lot of time to see very much, but a great place to buy any alcohol you may want as its is very cheap here! There are also some well known English shops here such as C&A, Marks and Spencer, WHSmiths etc, but expect to pay a little extra. The last port of call was Lisbon, another beautiful city with plenty of character. If like us, you are addicted to football, there are English newspapers for sale, just after your get off of the ship. We chose to see Lisbon independently, choosing the open top sightseeing bus all cities seem to have these days. Allow at least four hours for the different routes. Generally speaking, we really enjoyed the cruise. The food was excellent, the staff were friendly, (apart from those in Café Vivo – no idea why they are working in customer service when they can't even smile), the ship’s reception staff were easily the friendliest we have encountered, and strangely, all but one of them were men. So having started the cruise with some reservations, this positive experience with P&O means we will definitely cruise with them again, even though I don't believe their loyalty programme is as good at Celebrity's. Talking of which, we will rejoin the beautiful Celebrity Century in January before she leaves their fleet. A great shame, it's our favourite ship! Never mind, P&O is growing on us!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is the third cruise we have had with P & O over 7 years but the adults only Arcadia was by far the worst. The cruise is mainly targeted at elderly people and the average age must have exceeded 80 years during our voyage. Standards ... Read More
This is the third cruise we have had with P & O over 7 years but the adults only Arcadia was by far the worst. The cruise is mainly targeted at elderly people and the average age must have exceeded 80 years during our voyage. Standards have slipped, food quality not as good and reflected the age group. Alcoholic drinks are rather expensive. Very little entertainment on board unless you are a bingo player then you will be in your element, however don't fall asleep whilst playing. We also noticed people falling asleep at breakfast at 0900 hours... what next? The Headliners entertaining in the Palladium were awful and put us off most of the evening entertainment. Guest stars were OK with Roy Walker being excellent. Cost of Wi-Fi is a joke and should be free to passengers not GBP 0.50 per minute. Trips ashore are getting shorter and more expensive with insufficient free time on the trips. Insufficient sunbeds on the Aquarius sun deck and you had to be careful in not being run over by a motorised wheel chair. On one occasion I was assaulted by a woman wheedling a walking stick. P & O please get your act together and move with times otherwise you will lose business to your competitors. We will seriously consider other cruise companies after this voyage Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
we were on this ship last year and had a good time all round, food, staff, entertainment etc.  we could not be leave we were on the same ship this time.  Dreadful place to arrive in, like a shed.  No signs leading you to your ship. One ... Read More
we were on this ship last year and had a good time all round, food, staff, entertainment etc.  we could not be leave we were on the same ship this time.  Dreadful place to arrive in, like a shed.  No signs leading you to your ship. One lane only to the shed where you parked, disabled people really struggling, have never in 20 years of cruising with PO seen any thing like it . Cabin clean and very friendly cabin girl. Toilet problems every day all along our part of the deck, cabin toilet overflowed all over bathroom floor, no one came to clean the floor, even after it was reported. Food was cold, overcooked or undercooked, and rushed to a point of rudeness in the main restaurant, hardly any choices, drab and tasteless, so we went to restaurant on top of ship, in only to get some vegetable's, again it was not good, but far better then main restaurant. The entertainment worst we have ever known, Headliners are always so good, complete disappointment, 2 of the male singers could not sing a note, and the whole 18 days became very boring, we always looked forward to a show etc at night, never had so many early nights in my life. Cabin entertainment was also very bad. People were coughing all over the ship, which was very worrying, I have now found out this is very common on this ship, and known for the Arcadia cabin cough, (charming) 2 days after we returned from the cruise mu husband wad dreadfully ill, and became critical, emergency doctors, and ambulance. He had Legionaries decease and pneumonia, lost a stone and 6lbs in 10 days. We have written to PO twice to inform them what has happened, in the hope that if there was some thing wrong in our cabin they could check it out, so no body else got it. We have received no phone calls from them, no letters, and no response at all. We have cruised with them for over 20 years, and can not be leave there lack of response to this very serious matter. Shame on you PO, and you should look at the dreadful reports you are getting on this ship, I wish we had read them before we booked. Can not tell you how unhappy and extremely disappointed we are.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our 3rd P & O cruise we did 2 in Australia on the Pacific Jewel which were both excellent, this one on the Arcadia leaving from Southampton left a lot to be desired. Having booked this cruise in Australia we found after we ... Read More
This was our 3rd P & O cruise we did 2 in Australia on the Pacific Jewel which were both excellent, this one on the Arcadia leaving from Southampton left a lot to be desired. Having booked this cruise in Australia we found after we were on board that not enough information about this cruise had been given to us, we were not told of the dress requirements and in consequence on a special night of celebration were apparently supposed to wear black tie apparel which we did not have and so a special celebration which should have been in the restaurant had to happen in the Belvedere which we found to be second rate, the food left a lot to be desired on that day and every other day, the themed nights were pretty ordinary and if you did not like that particular themed food there was nothing else on offer so we found ourselves eating bread rolls and dessert which was unsatisfactory. The cabin staff were very good and our cabin was serviced every day, he was also very friendly and helpful. The reception staff left a lot to be desired and were not very informed, they constantly told us that if we did not use all our money up on board we did not get any back, which was our own money, not onboard credit which we later found out that the British passengers had all received and upon talking to them they seemed quite dismayed that we had not even been offered any, apparently most received 400 British pounds per person, apparently it seems that other nationalities do not get this.Once the reception staff realised that we were using our own money they told us oh its your money so if you dont spend it you get it back, no apologies were forth coming. The tour director was another unhelpful staffer, we asked about the ferries to the mainland in Italy only to be told that we could not go there as we may not make it back to the ship before it sailed, and we would blame him if he gave us the details we needed. We did infact go to the mainland and made it back on time without his giving us the information about the ferries, he could have given us the information and told us its at our own risk instead of saying I cant tell you anything because we dont recommend you do this. We are adults and only needed to know where the ferries were, bad customer relations. We certainly would not recommend the Arcadia to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My wife and I have just completed this cruise. Overall it was enjoyable and must be related to the cost. However, with the exception of the nightly theatre entertainment I am afraid that I must review the total experience in a more ... Read More
My wife and I have just completed this cruise. Overall it was enjoyable and must be related to the cost. However, with the exception of the nightly theatre entertainment I am afraid that I must review the total experience in a more negative light. The food generally left much to be desired. The quality of many of the items was poor and the standard of the service quite appalling. It would seem that in comparison with our previous cruises with P & O savage cost cuttings have been implemented in more recent times. In the main Meridian restaurant the number of waiters was completely inadequate and it was not unusual to wait 25 - 30 mins. between courses. There seemed to be no Maître D (at least I never saw him) and the Head Waiter visited our table once during the entire cruise and that following my complaint to the Waiter regarding the poor service and inferior quality of certain items on the menu. These delays incurred problems of reaching and securing a reasonable seat at the 8.30 pm. theatre show situate at the opposite end of the ship. Meals taken in the Belvedere buffet restaurant were also invariably of indifferent standard and quality. The staff throughout the ship without exception were all extremely friendly, courteous and helpful, carrying out their duties in the most demanding of circumstances. There is far too much emphasis in the desire to extract as much money as possible from their clients. Most of the onboard activities incorporate some form of sales initiative and one is inundated with art picture sales and photography. How do they manage to sell these pictures at such ridiculously inflated prices? Would we cruise with P&O again? If if offered a choice probably not. There were too many areas of discontent on this cruise for us to try and avoid making such a decision Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Embarked Arcadia Ship Southampton 5th January 2011. for World Cruise lasting 84 days. No problems with embarkment, from arrival to embarkment 45minutes.I dont want to bore you with loads of text, so i will let you know what we thought was ... Read More
Embarked Arcadia Ship Southampton 5th January 2011. for World Cruise lasting 84 days. No problems with embarkment, from arrival to embarkment 45minutes.I dont want to bore you with loads of text, so i will let you know what we thought was good and what was disappointing for us.Please dont get me wrong when you read our disappointments, as we really enjoyed ourselves, however, it is just a shame that they cant get some of the easy and simple things right!! Majority of time thoroughly enjoyed, and i myself was fed up of the moaners and groaners on the cruise.... but i really would like people who are interested to know!My first disappointment was the size of the so called `Suite`,( AD Category Aft )having paid 40,000 sterling for suite accommodation, (for this trip of a lifetime!) we were shown to a little larger than average double bedroom. I always thought that a suite provided you with a bedroom, and some sort of separate sitting area, but this wasnt the case. Dont be fooled by the video or 360o views of rooms. (they look twice the size in pics and video`s). There was a small sofa, and table but they touched the bed, so we had to ask for the chairs to be removed so we had some space. Wish i had paid half this price and had a normal balcony room, which were only slightly smaller.We had to request that our balcony be painted, most of the balcony area was full of rust, with regular leaking water from outside pipes.Having said this, they did paint it when brought to their attention.If you didnt fancy dressing up to go to Main Restaurant (which you can imagine happened for us, during 84 nights)it it was off to the Belvedere. Food in Belvedere (Main Buffet Cafe Grill) was of good quality, however, in the evening it was extremely limited, ( plentiful at breakfast and lunch) just one counter open. (similar to school dinners lol) So if you didnt like the themed menu (which was very restrictive) ie. Pasta one night, Curry another, seafood another, but only one theme per night, you would have to go back and order room service, which again was very limited and most of the dishes on the room service menu, were chargeable, can you believe that!!!!! Because I couldnt! after paying 500.00 per night!Entertainment: Almost non- existent in the day. I think we seen the Cruise Director 4 times in the whole cruise???? Very Poor. (Considering we had so many sea days, travelling one ocean to another)A couple of good Acts during the night in the Palladium. Few and Far between. And in 84 days we had approx 3 days where they provided some sort of entertainment around the outdoor Aquarius pool, The bar, service and cabin staff were excellent, always friendly and accommodating. Ports of Call where great and tours were well organised! Staff were extremely friendly!!!But overall had a great time visiting many beautiful countries and Islands. Although, we may think of booking with P&O again, they wouldnt be my first choice and we wont be rushing..... id rather go with other liners who are not so penny pinching!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
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 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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