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2 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Asia

We booked this section of the Arcadia's world trip in early 2015 as we were tempted by the stay in Sydney, the airline offered and the Great Barrier Reef. As an afterthought I consulted Cruise Critic and saw that many of the reviews ... Read More
We booked this section of the Arcadia's world trip in early 2015 as we were tempted by the stay in Sydney, the airline offered and the Great Barrier Reef. As an afterthought I consulted Cruise Critic and saw that many of the reviews commented on the "Arcadia Cough". Having just had a terrible time in Florida and New York with a cough and wheezing chest I tried to cancel the trip. Our travel agent refused to cancel and in the end we decided that we should risk it. Thank goodness for that! We loved the Arcadia and I can honestly say that I did not hear anyone coughing throughout the trip. The first night in the Meridian free dining restaurant was not a roaring success as I chose the tomato soup (It was nominated as a favourite of Arcadia passengers) which was worse than any tomato soup I had ever tried. I mentioned it to the waiter who passed on my comment to the restaurant manager who listened politely and said he would pass on my comments to the Chef. From that moment the food became better and better if I can forgive them for the Morton Bay Bug which they served on the first of two Formal nights. I always took breakfast in the Belvedere self-service restaurant which had a huge choice of hot and cold dishes. I would have liked some Indian-style dishes occasionally but that is nit-picking. My mother had her breakfast at 9.30 am in the cabin. Our cabin was a last minute allocation and it was designed for handicap access. It had the biggest bathroom (shower only) I have ever had in a cruise ship and an excellent balcony on the port side reasonably near the forward lifts on Egypt deck. The theatre, the Crow's Nest bar and the pub are all at the front of the ship. It was nice to be able to sit in various places on the ship without having to put up with cocktail pianists and loud singing duos which for me blighted such ships as the Victoria. It reminded me of the QM2 in its sound free zones. We loved the bridge classes and the daily duplicates run by Tony and Sheila Cordery and the mini-concerts in the Globe. but for the most part the theatre acts were forgettable. The entertainment team were great fun and never forgot that they were there for us - I have been on many ships where the Entertainment staff were very highhanded in their approach. We took private tours at all the ports of call and thought that Yorkey's Knob was the most enjoyable and worth another day because of the choice of excursions. Manila was an interesting port but there was very little to do other than shopping. The Queen Mary 2 is till our favourite ship but our Arcadian experience was extremely enjoyable Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This cruise was a 20 day leg of a world cruise, from Hong Kong to Dubai and was our third cruise on Arcadia, sixth with P & O. The boarding process in Hong Kong was efficient and went very smoothly. One unfortunate aspect of this ... Read More
This cruise was a 20 day leg of a world cruise, from Hong Kong to Dubai and was our third cruise on Arcadia, sixth with P & O. The boarding process in Hong Kong was efficient and went very smoothly. One unfortunate aspect of this cruise was the itinerary change; we had booked this cruise because we liked the itinerary and although we had already been to most of the ports before we had not been to Muscat so were looking forward to going there, but instead of going to Muscat we went to Abu Dhabi. If we had known about the itinerary change at the time of booking we would not have booked a post cruise Dubai hotel, but we were stuck with it because we had none changeable air tickets. Acadia still went to Muscat but this was now on the next leg of the cruise after we had disembarked. P & O stated that the itinerary change was upon advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office regarding civil unrest in Egypt, so they cancelled visits to the ports of Safaga and Sokhna. Arcadia was due to visit these ports on the next leg of the world cruise, not the leg we were on, so we feel that P & O should have left the itinerary on the leg we were on unchanged!!! Internet research appeared to show that other cruise lines were still sailing to Safaga and Sokhna. Meridian Restaurant Owing to the noise level and rushed service in the Meridian restaurant we tended to have diner in the Ocean Grill. The Meridian is quiet at lunch times, but the food was not very good. Ocean Grill The Ocean is an oasis of excellent food and service, well worth paying the supplement to dine there. However it is possible that things might go downhill because an early dinner’s offer of a free bottle of wine. This has placed the excellent and very hard working maître d' and wait staff under great pressure and it is near impossible for the tiny galley to keep up with the all the orders. We hope this ill-conceived policy does not reduce the Ocean Grill's standard of service down to the rushed, bang it down service of the Meridian Restaurant. Wine Package P & O offer a wine discount package, however you cannot purchase a package in the Ocean Grill only the other restaurants or by telephoning the Wine Line. So I telephoned the Wine Line, the gentleman I spoke with informed me of the details and said they should have been a leaflet in the cabin, he confirmed that although a Wine Package could only be purchased in the main restaurants and bars it could be used in the Ocean Grill and East. As there was no leaflet in our cabin I asked if I could have one, and was told to telephone Room Service as they would deliver one to the cabin straight away. I telephoned Room Service, the lady I spoke with said that they did not have the leaflets but would get one from a bar and bring it to the cabin, it never arrived, so I went down to a bar and collected one myself. The Belvedere The food was not up to the standard of the equivalent Restaurant on Princess Cruises. Formal Nights According to the printed information we received when boarding there were going to be 5 formal nights on the 20 night cruise, however this information proved to be incorrect as P & O changed this to 4. We thought this was still too many as it was very hot. P & O might like to consider scraping formal nights and imposing a sensible dress code similar to Oceania Cruises smart casual? Shore Excursions The excursions ran fairly well, a few arrived back at the ship later than the scheduled times, I thought the coaches were a little overcrowded, although there were always enough seats, but very few spare. Immigration All immigration formalities went well with the exception of India. It appears that Indian Immigration Officers should have boarded Acadia in Malaya to process the passengers and crew during the transit between Malaya and India. However they failed to board in Malaya, and only boarded after the ship arrived in India. The passengers had to queue up the entire length of the ship and halfway back again. We were fifty minutes in the queue, ship's crew were going along the queue with cups of water and asking if anyone was feeling faint? This ridiculous immigration process meant that some of the shore excursions left an hour late. Considering the Indian Government charge a high fee in advance for visas, which are compulsory if you are going ashore or not, it was a very poor show. It is very unlikely we would ever book another cruise which included a port in India. Reception All the reception staff were welcoming and excellent at their jobs, well done the reception. Leaks At times when walking around the ship we noticed various buckets placed to catch water dripping out of the ceilings. We didn't know if the dripping water was because of plumbing leaks or air conditioning problems. One of the public area toilets was out of action for days whist the crew was trying to dry it out with a large blower unit. Laundry We used the laundry service 4 times, 3 times the laundry came back in the stated service time and once it was a day late. They charge extra for dress shirts, but they do not do a good job, very poorly ironed. Self-Service Launderette There are not enough self-service laundrettes, they are free of charge but are badly designed with only three machines in each and nowhere to sit. There were several arguments between passengers in the laundrettes, regarding taking other people's washing out of the machines. Acadia Cough We were on Acadia at Christmas, at that time a lot of passengers had what they were calling the 'Acadia Cough', in March and April the 'Acadia Cough' was still prevalent. Cabin B136 This cabin is located in a fairly quiet position Port side aft. It is located opposite a store cupboard but that was not bothersome, however just down the passageway there is crew staircase and it might be this that causes an occasional smell of cooking in the early mornings and evenings. Some of the cabin wall coverings have been patched (rather badly). The bathroom backs onto the bathroom of B134 and appeared to be better insulated for noise than the average cruise ship bathroom. The shower is over the bath, the shower attachment was rather worn and looked like it should have been replaced. One possible problem is noise from B140, the party wall between the cabins is rather poorly insulated for noise. Conclusion The ship is looking a little tired in places, but overall is not looking too bad. However I do believe that P & O are cutting corners to save a pound or two and overall things were not as good as they used to be. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
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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