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7 P&O Cruises Arcadia Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. ... Read More
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. Along with the vital and technically brilliant repair to one of her Azipod propeller seals calling for an extended stay in Malaga, there was an outbreak of Norovirus onboard (thanks clearly to passengers embarking with it and still not washing their hands throughout the cruise) along with issues with mounting a tender back onboard as well as an unfortunate Medivac situation which meant for a very early arrival in Venice… But contrary to most other passengers on-board, we would like to say we felt each situation was handled professionally and as smoothly as humanly possible. We strongly feel the crew should be commended not only for their efforts, but also for their extreme patience, with what must easily have been the most negative and hostile group of passengers (and dare I say most 'senior') we have ever experienced in my history of nearly 20 cruises, who to put simply got on the ship with a big chip on their shoulder just because one port needed to be cancelled due to the repair. They then proceeded to be devoid of any understanding that not everything will always go to plan on ship and just moaned and whinged for the rest of the holiday REALLY bringing down the atmosphere all over the ship and exhausting the crew... Anyway! Overall we had a great time! Excellent staff pretty much without exception - but I am sure part of this is if you treat them with respect you get the same in return. Our Cabin Steward 'Harish' couldn't have been more polite, efficient and friendly. Food in the main restaurant and buffet was good on the most part - although the main menus do seem to have been 'dumbed' down a little in the last year or so. Treated ourselves to the Ocean Grill and Sindhu on a couple of occasions and was impressed. Entertainment from the Headliners in the fantastic and comfortable Palladium Theatre was FIRST CLASS! Mr Tinkerton's Circus worthy of special mention - probably the best show I have ever seen on any ship! Congratulations to P&O for clearly investing heavily in this side of things. However, after seven wonderful cruises on her over the last 8 years with a further two booked including the full World Cruise in 2021, we have become very accustomed to Arcadia herself never disappointing us. Arguably the best-looking ship in the fleet with a lovely blend of features and facilities, we were admittedly shocked and saddened by her general exterior condition as well as some lack of maintenance, care and attention to some of her public spaces as well as private cabins and their balconies. We were assured this was being addressed and we look forward to seeing this on our next couple of cruises which we are very much looking forward to. But in just one last thought, perhaps in P&O's approach of marketing their cruises as a 'holiday' where it’s all about the destination instead of the journey, people’s respect for the ships is not would it should be as, if it wasn’t for the atmosphere these passengers created, it would probably have been one of top 5 cruises we have ever done. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
was our 50th wedding anniversary, decided on this one to celebrate, we had a lovely time made some lovely friends in table sharing, crew were great and friendly, our cabin crew and table waiters were really great people who could ... Read More
was our 50th wedding anniversary, decided on this one to celebrate, we had a lovely time made some lovely friends in table sharing, crew were great and friendly, our cabin crew and table waiters were really great people who could never do enough for us. we enjoyed the evening entertainments, especially the "headliners" who were very professional. but indeed all the entertainment were first class in our view, the weather in the Canaries was really nice, 25 c and blue skies, we had nice days out during our own thing, and then went back onto the sundeck, lovely relaxing days, sad to miss out on the Azores, but the captain explained it was due to bad weather and he was taking into account the welfare of all on board, which -everyone we spoke to agreed, it was just one of those things, we went instead to Cadiz and the Vigo in Spain. still enjoyable. we thought the dining experience was nice, the Meridian dining at night, with a nice and a relaxed buffet style at any time if you wanted it toward top deck, all in all great experience. embarkation and disembarkation was so easy, so much easier than flying. thanks guys Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Had a lovely cruise. But found that there was nothing at night. Freedom dining . Went at 7. O clock and was lucky if we finished at nearly 9.pm which meant that the show at 8.30 we missed and had to wait till 10.30 for next one. If we ... Read More
Had a lovely cruise. But found that there was nothing at night. Freedom dining . Went at 7. O clock and was lucky if we finished at nearly 9.pm which meant that the show at 8.30 we missed and had to wait till 10.30 for next one. If we did not go to show not much to do we are not drinkers so just walked about. Only 2 nights were la te. I am an older person but I won't go on another ship with most older people too many wheelchairs. I am sorry for saying that I know that but for the graceful of God I don't use one.i can't jive about but love to watch other people. Had a great rest bed by 9. 30 most nights. Cabin was lovely Steward looked after us. The ports visited were great and weather was kind to us. I suppose there were lots of positives as well as negatives can't please all Thanks to all will be back on another ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We were aware of some of the negative feedback about Arcadia before we set sail; however, we decided to be open minded about everything. It's fair to say, there will always be parts of a cruise that could have gone better, but for us, ... Read More
We were aware of some of the negative feedback about Arcadia before we set sail; however, we decided to be open minded about everything. It's fair to say, there will always be parts of a cruise that could have gone better, but for us, the 17 day Eastern Med cruise went without a hitch. Arcadia was spotlessly clean, with attentive and helpful staff wherever we went on board. The passenger areas are vast on this ship, and we were never aware there were around 2000 people on board. There are an array of quiet lounges, coffee bars etc, together with an excellent choice of food served in the Meridian and Belvedere Restaurants. The evening shows in the Palladium Theatre were both varied and of a very high standard, with the Arcadia cast really giving their all at each performance. Our overall impression of Arcadia is that she is a lovely ship with great facilities, but lacks any 'wow' factor compared to other cruise ships which is shame. All ports of call were excellent and bar Gibraltar, we had enough time to see everything we wanted to. When we booked this cruise, the itinerary said that departure from Gibraltar was early afternoon, where in reality, we were told to be back on board for mid-day! I know P&O will say that it reserves the right to change the times, but we really did not have anywhere near enough time. The ship left late anyway owing to the numbers of passengers queuing to rejoin the ship. A few things we would mention. P&O need to be mindful of trying to extract every last pound out of their passengers. We seem to be besieged by the ship's photographers wherever we went, whether disembarking at the ports, at sail-a-way parties or at dinner. That's OK to a point, but it did become a little annoying at times! The photographs then appeared in the gallery at £11.80 each. A member of staff told me that around 60% are not sold and are destroyed. Perhaps if they were priced more sensibly, sales would increase and it might reduce wastage at the same time! We felt the biggest rip-off of all was a 'behind the scenes' tour, which was advertised in the Horizon paper. As this was something that really appealed to us, I rang reception only to be told the tour was priced at £75 per person! Come on P&O, can't you at least give something back to your loyal customers, rather than view them as cash-cows! We sailed with Celebrity a couple of years ago where such a tour was complimentary, and we didn't pay a dollar to be on the bridge for half an hour with the Captain! Shame on you! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
As a fortieth wedding anniversary treat we booked cruise J503 on Arcadia. Denise, my wife is wheelchair bound and this was our first cruise without family so we were concerned whether we would cope. Embarkation was a breeze. Our daughter ... Read More
As a fortieth wedding anniversary treat we booked cruise J503 on Arcadia. Denise, my wife is wheelchair bound and this was our first cruise without family so we were concerned whether we would cope. Embarkation was a breeze. Our daughter dropped us off, our suitcases were collected by a porter and we entered the departure area to book in. Within 20 minutes we were in our cabin. The cabin itself was ok but hardly fully adapted as described. Plenty of storage space but a lack of a full length wardrobe left Denise's dresses half folded. P&O make much of their fine dining experience but again it was slightly disappointing. Food was not always very hot and at times could only be described as bland. Choice of vegetables seemed to be anything you liked, as long as it was brocolli ! Conversation with other passengers, many of whom were Arcadia regulars, suggested that the standard of dining had diminished since the abolition of silver service. Plates now arrive fully plated and are unceremoniously plonked in front of you. However, waiter service and wine waiter service was excellent. Port and shore excursions were good. At Cadiz most boarded coaches for Seville but my days of manhandling Denise onto a coach have long gone so we spent an enjoyable day wandering around Cadiz. Messina is not a place I wish to return to in a hurry! I have never seen so much graffiti, it was scrawled everywhere. The whole place looked as if it could do with a good lick of paint. The harbour was full of floating rubbish. However, it has a magnificent cathedral. Pretty Corfu was the next stop. Unfortunately no shuttle buses were provided for the disabled so we were left with a lengthy walk to the old town. P&O please note, if you supply a service (ie shuttle bus) for able bodied passengers, by European Disability Law you MUST provide the same service for disabled passengers otherwise you are guilty of disability discrimination. Rant over. Must admit we quite enjoyed the 2 mile stroll into town. Next was beautiful Dubrovnik. We booked a wheelchair accessible tour here and were taken by adapted minibus way into the country to a farm that milled it's own flour, then onto Cavtat, then to Dubrovnik old town. Excellent tour with an excellent guide. Venice followed and again we booked an wheelchair accessible tour. Expensive but well worth the money. From the ship to Tronchetto Island to board a valparetto for the trip to St Marks Square. We had a personal guide all day as part of the tour package. Fabulous day. Split was an anti-climax as we knew that the ship was tendered here, so we spent a relaxing day on board recovering from Dubrovnik and Venice. Then followed a lengthy trip to Gibraltar for a flying visit ( 4 hours) and being Sunday most of the shops were closed. And finally to Southampton where disembarkation was just as smooth as embarkation. On board entertainment generally was excellent. The Headliners Theatre Group produced some excellent shows. Arcadia herself is showing signs of wear and tear. Buckets catching dripping water became a more frequent sight as the cruise went on. I think a decent refit is long overdue. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed it despite a few gripes. I may be a little generous giving it four stars. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
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
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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