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11 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Baltic Sea

We chose this cruise as we had been on this ship last year so we were familiar with the layout. We had been recommended to do the cruise around the Baltics by several people who were on last years cruise, The embarkation for the ship was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on this ship last year so we were familiar with the layout. We had been recommended to do the cruise around the Baltics by several people who were on last years cruise, The embarkation for the ship was fantastic, within half an hour of us arriving at the port we were on the ship. The only thing that held us up was trying to find a porter with a trolley to take the luggage away. We found our cabin easily but had to wait for our suitcases as they were all being scanned. Better safe than sorry! The cabin had a balcony and was well kept, clean and tidy. Our cabin steward was great as she was always ready with a smile and a greeting. We had a timed dining slot and were served by the same waiters throughout the cruise, they were brilliant. We built up a rapport with them as they came from India and the tests were being played. The food was very good and nothing was too much trouble for our waiters. Every meal we were asked if everything was ok, which we liked. We did try the restaurant for breakfast at the start of the cruise but ended up using the buffet instead as I wanted to choose what I wanted rather than get things off the set menu. The entertainment on the ship was fantastic. All the shows that we saw were West End standard. The entertainment team on the cruise were also very good. Plenty of different activities to take part in if you wanted to. We opted out of the service charge as the tips we gave were to the people who looked after us. As I was travelling with 2 less able walkers I booked the shore excursions online before we went. Oslo was expensive but beautiful, Gotland was full of history, Tallinn was wonderful and easily accessible on foot, Helsinki was amazing as we did the harbour cruise, St Petersburg was breath taking, the buildings were so grand that we couldn't understand how they survived the revolution, Warnemunde was the only place that it rained but it didn't detract us from walking around. Again it was easily accessible on foot. there were plenty of shops and cafes. Copenhagen was our last stop but the trip we took coincided with the visit of Mr Macron to the Queen. We managed to see the palaces but then got stuck in the traffic around the city as streets were closed and there were police everywhere. We did get to see the little mermaid. After that coach trip we were glad to be back on board. The tour guide was very apologetic but she did change the itinerary so that we could see the palaces before the police locked it down. We do like the Arcadia as it is an adults only ship and if we take another cruise it will probably be on that ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise as my mum isn’t very mobile and we didn’t plan to do excursions. Our mini suite was very large and well presented. Our cabin was kept pristine by Javier. The food in all areas was really good and the wine ... Read More
We chose this cruise as my mum isn’t very mobile and we didn’t plan to do excursions. Our mini suite was very large and well presented. Our cabin was kept pristine by Javier. The food in all areas was really good and the wine was . We had a number of extras. I had a hair pamper day which was really good value for money. We also had a spa day and as it was a day we were in port we had it all to ourselves, which was rather nice. There was various entertainments every day and you would find it hard to say there wasn’t something for everyone, from bingo and quizzes to plays and musicals. My mum isn’t very good in her pins and the staff in all areas couldn’t have been more attentive and helpful. I wouldn’t hesitate to book with P&O again. Thank you to all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Took this short cruise for a short break to celebrate New year away from home. The best bit about P and O cruises is the Sindu restaurant. Ate here twice in 5 nights. This was a typical cruise ship food and entertainment. Very ... Read More
Took this short cruise for a short break to celebrate New year away from home. The best bit about P and O cruises is the Sindu restaurant. Ate here twice in 5 nights. This was a typical cruise ship food and entertainment. Very disappointed in the dance hosts and venue. The male host never moved away from the cds he was playing and the lady only danced a couple of times. On other cruise ships the dance hosts are dancing all the time. A few cha cha classes were offered during the morning and that was it.They never showed us any sequence dancing and when asked they didn't know them! The dance floor up om 10th floor had no bar and took the waiter over 30 mins to bring the drinks. felt very cramped and stuck away. A shortage of chairs to sit on. Dancing in the globe theatre ..again lack of seats. A waiter was really rude when I was leaning up against the viewing area. Dance hosts useless hardley moved away from the music player. never showed any dancing . Can they dance I began to ask myself! Lack of things to do apart from quiz and a talk. Not the standard of the Oriana or Cunard. Food is typical of mass catering but plenty of choice. Cabin boy excellent and very attentive. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Have just come back from our first P&O cruise, it was an adult only trip. Was a nice ship, cabin was lovely, Joe looked after us well. first night was good menu was good staff very nice we had freedom dinning , next day was a sea day ... Read More
Have just come back from our first P&O cruise, it was an adult only trip. Was a nice ship, cabin was lovely, Joe looked after us well. first night was good menu was good staff very nice we had freedom dinning , next day was a sea day and we had a force 8-9 gale, all day and all night not nice but then the next morning and rest of cruise nice and smooth. Really enjoyed it, breakfast in the Meridian was always good lunch up the top self service so much choice. The shows were very good, Roy Walker was on the second week and was so funny, headliners put some good shows on. Acts around the ship were ok but Perry Grant was so funny , you always knew if the was a crowd it was Perry. We only did two trips St Petersburg was amazing, guide so good and then we did Yepes guide was good to. Other ports we just got off got the Hop on hop off busses in Oslo and Stockholm they were good , Tallin just walked in and the old town so lovely. Enjoyed the cruise very much, there were a lot of older people on board and a few snobby we only do P&O people who looked at you strange when you said you had done other company's ha ha but over all very good enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was the first time we have travelled with P & O and,regrettably, it will be the last. We booked this cruise because it had the itinerary at the time of year that we wanted, not because of the ship. Reading the reviews (after ... Read More
This was the first time we have travelled with P & O and,regrettably, it will be the last. We booked this cruise because it had the itinerary at the time of year that we wanted, not because of the ship. Reading the reviews (after booking!), I was unsure of the experience and, sad to say, it met my worse expectations. Carnival have different brands and the P&O experience is at the bottom. I fully agree with previous comments regarding the bland, boring quality of the food in the Belvedere - the "international" area of the buffet is a daily serving of curry with the rest of the choices being just uninspiring. Who decided to locate the bar in the cold pool area so that the wine waiters had to wear outside jackets whilst serving at table? P&O know their customers well and the whole boat couldn't be more British in terms of food and entertainment. There is a token gesture towards "enrichment" on 'at sea days' or you can play Bingo, have a pub quiz or karaoke. If you are really desperate how about attending the special lectures designed to sell you their services and products? The average age of passengers was well over 60 but you could still play cricket and tennis on the cold deck in the middle of the Baltic! Cruising is a business and Carnival seem to have thought about every way of getting money out of you. By the way you have to ask for a statement (none is provided) otherwise you receive an invoice on the morning of departure. If there's a problem, with time constraints, there may be no time to argue. I'm not suggesting that this practice is, in any way, intentional but if, nobody has much time to query any mistakes, the system could well work in the Company's favour. The ship is getting tired. The public areas have had a facelift but the staterooms are showing their age. Ours had wedges in the gaps between the balcony doors and the frame. When the ship rolls certain areas creak. No doubt if you are a first time cruiser or have simple tastes, the experience is wonderful. If you have cruised on other lines you know better. It really is a case of "you get what you pay for" and I must agree with the majority of poor reviews. Oh and the cough is still there but it seems to take about 10 days to become noticeable and the toilet mentioned in other reviews is still a problem. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I have read numerous reviews of of two P&O cruise ships (Oriana & Arcadia) that I have recently sailed on in the past 6 months and my experiences have differed considerably from the negative reviews that I have read. In posting ... Read More
I have read numerous reviews of of two P&O cruise ships (Oriana & Arcadia) that I have recently sailed on in the past 6 months and my experiences have differed considerably from the negative reviews that I have read. In posting this review I want to be objective in what Arcadia as a ship offered and what the holiday experience was, relative to the positive and negative aspect of the ship. The cruise was 14 nights to the Baltic region with a 2 day stopover in St Petersburg, Russia. Embarkation. We were requested to arrive at 14:00 hours and we were 30 minutes early. We arrived by car with a pre-booked valet parking facility. On arrival our luggage was speedily collected for transfer to the ship. The embarkation procedure was efficient and we were on board with 45 minutes. We proceeded direct to our cabin, met our steward (by chance) in the corridor who escorted us to our cabin. To our surprise, all our luggage had arrived and was already in the cabin. (that was a first for us). Muster and lifeboat drill At about 3:30pm we heard via the public address (in the cabin) that we were to assemble at our designated muster station with life jackets at 4:00pm for the mandatory lifeboat drill. Our muster station was deck 2 of the Meridian restaurant. We attended as requested and all went well. It was whilst we were departing the restaurant to return to our cabin, that we experienced a bottleneck vacating the restaurant at the stairwell. On Arcadia, the stairs are considerably narrower than on Oriana or Aurora, in fact about half the width. I thought that this was a negative feature at a time when everybody would be trying to leave a muster station to climb a deck up to the lifeboats. Captains Gala Evening Captain Trevor Lane, the current Master of Arcadia is clearly a well respected Captain and a motivator of his crew. His address at the Captains Gala evening was the best I have witnessed. Not only introducing himself but getting all his senior officers up in front of the passengers…in fact I wondered who was left on the bridge driving the ship. His ship-wide broadcasts when leaving port always ended with the comment, “sit back, relax and let my wonderful crew look after you.” For the most part, wonderful they were. Dining We opted for fixed (Club) dining and requested a table of 8 second sitting. We had great companions as in previous cruises. The food in Arcadia’s Meridian dining room (lower level) was generally OK, we had two issues when it was served tepid, but that was not the norm. Service was generally efficient, the waiters were friendly and responsive to our requests. There was one occasion when my wife and I ordered a steak and it was very tough to cut and chew. We addressed the problem with the waiter who immediately offered to replace them, but as our fellow diners were completing their main course, we declined and said that the waiter should report it to his supervisor..he did and the manager spoke to us later with an apology. The menus read very well, by that, I mean they look delicious, however, what is served on the plate does not always correspond to the mental visualisation of what I just ordered. The waiters are very good, but as they no longer offer silver service, meals are plated in the galley and the main course is quite meagre portions. For example sirloin of beef consisted of 2 thin slices of beef and a single roast potato, and a few greens. One fellow diner, grouped his food to one side of the plate…big plate - small food. Fine dining it is not! Each evening meal is a five course offering...if you want it! In our group of eight, rarely did everyone order all the courses. Take all five courses and then ask why are you complaining of meagre portions? Certainly on our table, diners wanted more vegetables. Desserts were very good and well presented…for those who wanted them. When the ship was cruising (about 20knots), there was a considerable noisy vibration from the propulsion “azipod” units (propellors), unfortunately right under our dining table. It was not so bad if the ships speed reduced to about 15 knots. In all cruise ships that I have sailed on, I have found that the self service cafeteria, (Conservatory, Belvedere etc ) will divide passengers opinions. At peak times they are all busy, its usually difficult to find a seat, the menu tends to be repetitive and food under the warming lights quickly becomes dried and crusty. It is however, quick, convenient and usually means there is no dress code. It’s also usually available outside the operating hours of the main restaurants. Fellow passengers are usually my personal focus of complaint. On Arcadia it was no different to our experiences on Aurora or Oriana. Special premium dining On Arcadia there are two premium dining restaurants , the "Ocean Grill" (Pierre Marco White) and “East" (Atul Kochher). We tried both. The Ocean Grill was very good, a £15 per person supplement, my wife and I dined there during our overnight stop in St Petersburg. Several tables were occupied by the ships officers, (must be good then?). The food was delicious the service initially a little slow, but nevertheless we did not feel rushed and we were very content. The East restaurant was a different experience. All 8 diners on our normal table in the Meridian restaurant collectively agreed to try the East restaurant, this was towards the end of the cruise, we had enjoyed each others company and lets all go Asian cuisine. A table was reserved for 8:30pm the following evening. The service was slow, resulting in main courses being plated and served, then accompanying side dishes (noodles, vegetables) etc followed later, they were mostly cold, We all Complained, sent them back, wait another 10/15 minutes, side dishes arrive, main course now consumed or cold. One fellow diner offered to stand a couple of bottles of wine for us all. They were placed in ice buckets away from our table, we had to ask twice for the wine waiter to bring wine to our table and charge our glasses. (our normal wine waiter in the Meridian restaurant would automatically keep the glasses topped up…without prompting!). Finally when the meal was cleared two of the ladies asked for tea, It arrived cold, one in a badly chipped cup. This was the final straw, one member of our table called for the manager, and complained stating that the experience was not worth the £15 per head supplement. The manager (an officer by rank) disappeared for around 30 minutes before returning to state that £15 per couple (£7.50 per head) would be deducted. "OK, can we have a complaint form please?" We finally left at around 11:15pm from a table reservation of initially 8:30pm. The following day a telephone message was left in our cabin from the Catering manager, apologising for the experience. Had we all dined as individual couples, would we have experienced the same poor service? Probably not, because no one else in the restaurant that evening appeared to have a problem. Were we a difficult group? No, just 8 diners that the team serving us for some reason could not service. Entertainment Arcadia has a superb theatre, spread over three decks, with an upper and lower level, it contains a hi tech stage and lighting system that would rival the best London West End theatres. The Headliners entertainers were very professional and slick in their performances. Individual performers also entertained in the form of musicians, comedians and instrumentalists. There were no problems in getting seats to view the performances. We did not use the “Globe” lounge, which on one evening when making our way to the theatre, passing the Globe lounge, we noticed very few passengers seated and a soloist merrily singing to an empty dance floor. It was still the same when we returned an hour later. There was one guest speaker who gave several “enrichment" presentations centred around the Titanic disaster and the RNLI Lifeboat organisation (odd subject for a cruise ship!), however, he was well received and his presentations well attended. General Ship layout Arcadia is larger than Aurora or Oriana (we have sailed twice on each ship), but Arcadia's interior is a fairly bland layout, apart from the theatre there is no “wow” factor. The atrium is functional and quite boring. The Crows Nest was recently refitted and is contemporary but there is a visual design flaw with the forward facing windows. When you are seated in the forward section, there is a thick aluminium frame that corresponds with the horizon, which means you cannot see the horizon and thus the panoramic vista. There were never any problems in finding a seat to enjoy a drink or coffee in any of the lounges on the ship. There were several buckets and “hazard warning cones” positioned along a main thoroughfare on deck 3 to capture water dripping from the ceiling, this corresponded to the temporary closure of the ships cinema (The Screening Room) due to flooding. Clearly a plumbing problem, necessitating shut down of the cabin water supply from midnight to 4:00am on one night to effect repairs. Other than those minor issues, the ship was clean throughout. None of the plumbing issues caused us any inconvenience, nor did it spoil or have any impact on our vacation. Its amazing to me to read how such routine issues result in some reviewers, condemning ship, crew and cruise line, with a “we’ll never sail again” comment. Spa My wife used the Spa facilities on a couple of occasions and was complimentary about the girls and the service. I noted though, that its one place on the ship were it is easy to run up a bill quickly. However, far be it for me to complain, the Memsahib was very satisfied. Ports itinerary This was a very enjoyable cruise from the ports itinerary, the highlight for us being St Petersburg and Tallin. The cruise combined a good mix of “at sea” days and port days. The approach through the archipelago into Stockholm was a fabulous sight. It necessitated an early alarm setting, about 05:30 am, but the sun was shining, the sea flat calm as the Captain and pilot slowly manoeuvred the 83,000 tonne ship through channels very close to the myriad of islands to gain access to Stockholm port. Great photo opportunities - I took more than 200 shots. Summary. The Baltic cruise weather was largely windy with some sunny days , a few wet ones and general daytime temperatures were in the 10C (50F) to 18C (65F) range. Sea state moderate but Force 5 to 7 winds ruled out using the balcony. Arcadia is a sleek looking ship, with a full walk round promenade deck, we did not use all the facilities, such as Casino, Pub, card room, but we did enjoy our cruise. the dining is not “fine dining” but generally the food was good. The majority of our meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner was taken in the Meridian restaurant. We prefer to dine with the fixed arrangement. Apart from the incident in the East restaurant we found all the ships crew to be very friendly and efficient. This one incident would not prevent us from sailing again with P&O, (in fact we already have another cruise with P&O booked for next year on Oceana), we put it down to “one of those things”. The ships itinerary was more important to us and that was completely satisfactory. We slept soundly and experienced no problems that would spoil our holiday. We were allotted a 10:15am time slot to disembark and this was achieved 15 minutes early. We would not describe Arcadia as our favourite ship, it was OK and it was quite bland. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
this wa sour very first cruise and we chose an adults only ship..the cabin was superb and the organisation onboard extremely good, food and service incredible...there are many negatives ...one in three of the passengers had an horrendous ... Read More
this wa sour very first cruise and we chose an adults only ship..the cabin was superb and the organisation onboard extremely good, food and service incredible...there are many negatives ...one in three of the passengers had an horrendous cough, which we had been warned about , it is known as Arcadia cough and is absolutely disgusting to listen to...we recommend that the air conditioning is completely sanitised, in order to eradicate this germ. There is an immediate turn round in southampton, so this procedure must be planned well in advance and the ship taken out of service. There is much rust on the outside and the windows in the upper meridian outside are filthy. Disembarking was a complete shambles in the upper meridian, the young man was completely ineffective in getting an orderly procedure in place, worse than any airport we have been to. added to this the weather was perishing and many of the trips should be shown to prevent walking problems for those with sticks etc..... Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Well here's a true review of our time aboard the beautiful,elegant Arcadia. Thanks to all the many negative reviews posted previously,you led us to expect the worst,but what we did get was an amazing cruise holiday. From the ... Read More
Well here's a true review of our time aboard the beautiful,elegant Arcadia. Thanks to all the many negative reviews posted previously,you led us to expect the worst,but what we did get was an amazing cruise holiday. From the embarkation,which was professional ,speedy, considering P&O had three ships sailing all at the same time,with the lovely Arcadia in the lead! ...Was really something to behold.What a photo opportunity that was!! .....Our balcony cabin was great,everything we needed,spotlessly clean,only two flights of stairs above most of the amenities.....We were given club dining ,2nd sitting on a table for 6,we were bit apprehensive at first ,dining with strangers,but we need not have worried ,we met the most charming couple,whom we still keep in touch with,it only enriched our holiday even further,so don,t worry ,if it's not a table for 2 .you're given (we saw most of them around us),trust me .WE were the ones enjoying ourselves..... As for the Ship being described as a 'floating nursing home',well all to be said about that is ,how mean spirited of you all . Even wheelchair bound,they were a joy,full of mischief and fun. Inspirational..........Average age on this cruise was 62(going on 22) Loved it! As for the itinerary,well if you get the chance to visit St Petersburg,you wont be disappointed,a wonder to behold ,all those treasures,not to be missed. Take the early morning tours,we did,it was almost empty,so we could have the palaces to ourselves,it gets manic,the later you go..........Stockholm,Helsinki,Copenhagen,all beautiful cities,but very expensive.Skagen & Warnemunde,very pretty.....We highly recommend lovely Arcadia!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
P&O cost cutting is becoming more and more evident. Our cruise to Iceland in perfect cruising weather and unbelievably calm seas barely averaged a speed of 12kts. We cruised all the way back at 11 kts until we slowed to 9 kts for a ... Read More
P&O cost cutting is becoming more and more evident. Our cruise to Iceland in perfect cruising weather and unbelievably calm seas barely averaged a speed of 12kts. We cruised all the way back at 11 kts until we slowed to 9 kts for a while. Eventually did 12.6 kts when in the channel but I didn't look after that. There were other cost cutting measures too, only one speaker who spoke every sea day ( 6 out of 11 ) on the same old subject - Concorde. Daytime entertainment boring, too many badly disguised sales pitches. On sea days when there is no prospect of warmth and sunshine P&O must simply do better and provide some variety. Evening entertainment varied from brilliant (comedian) to dire (pick your own) Headliners were a new troupe but did improve Neverther less a good way to see Iceland we enjoyed seeing it but won't be going back Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We embarked from Southampton on the Arcadia. It's a great ship - not huge and also no children - although as a result probably an "army" of disability scooters - not really a big problem. Arcadia has recently been refitted - ... Read More
We embarked from Southampton on the Arcadia. It's a great ship - not huge and also no children - although as a result probably an "army" of disability scooters - not really a big problem. Arcadia has recently been refitted - and mostly the ship seemed in very good order. The wooden balcony rails need re-varnishing but other than that all pretty good. The cruise itself was excellent -the ports of call: Zeebrugge, Gdynia /Gdansk, Klaepida, St.Petersburg, Tallinn, Copenhagen. A very good mixed bag with of course the Jewel in the Crown being St. Petersburg (2 full days in port). We used P&O for the tours in Gdynia /Gdansk and Tallinn - both well organised. The Tallinn one was rather short but as my wife is mobility impaired it was termed a "simple" tour - which it was. Also, I would say Tallinn is overrun by cruise-ships and there's very little peace and quiet from the souvenir shops and stalls in the small and quaint old-town. St. Petersburg was brilliant. We had arranged tours ourselves through Allah Tours - a local Russian company. They were superb - no worries about Visas or anything the organisation and the programme for the 2 days was 5-Star including cooked lunches in local restaurants. The ship's progress apart from one short period after Tallinn was marked by superb weather and millpond conditions. Even when the weather was stormy for a few hours only, there was minimal discomfort to passengers. Staff on PO&O are very customer-service focused and we had a superb Butler, and Cabin Stewardess who were well up to standard. Dining in the main Restaurant was good - the menu choices left a little to be desired - I felt maybe P&O were cutting some corners to save cost here. The Head Waiter and Table Waitiers were all excellent and bent over backwards to satisfy my wife's vegetarian needs. The wine-waiter was attentive and well-briefed and provided great personal service. Entertainment. The shows by the Headliners in the Palladium Theatre were excellent, although the staging with far too numerous and disturbing lighting effects (flashing lights, strobes and pyrotechnics) were well over the top and purely for showing off the expensive equipment - they added nothing to the singing and dancing on stage - and in fact detracted from the overall enjoyment (other cruisers agreed). We enjoyed 5 lectures by Pete Finlay on Concorde with a lot of good background information well-researched, humerous and interesting. As usual an overkill of activities by the hard-working Entertainments Director and her staff kept us fully if not over-occupied. One last point. Our Suite on D deck was perfect. Well-equipped and large enough to relax inside and out on our large balcony recliners and armchairs. The daily cleaning and servicing was 5 star, although I must point out the dust on the outside of the ventilator in the bathroom should be cleaned and sanitised every day to prevent germs spreading...P&O should know this. We will be back on P&O and may try a newer ship next time. All in all a great experience..... Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My wife and I took this cruise with her parents who are both in their late 70s. This would be their first sea cruise but they have done many river cruises before. The Arcadia was first rate. Apart from the occasional dodgy ... Read More
My wife and I took this cruise with her parents who are both in their late 70s. This would be their first sea cruise but they have done many river cruises before. The Arcadia was first rate. Apart from the occasional dodgy evening entertainment everything about this ship and her staff was first class. The food was amazing, the service incredible. The cabin maid worked her socks off as did all the cleaning staff. Playing cricket as we crossed the North sea was a pretty unusual experience. The seas were very kind with every day a millpond. We stopped in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg (2 days), Tallinn, Warnemunde and finally Gothenburg. In all the ports except St Petersburg we just made our way into town and looked around. In St Petersburg we used a local tour company for a 'relaxed' private tour. The only port that I would not return to would be Copenhagen, a bit like Birmingham but with less charm! Everywhere else was very pleasant. Tallinn in particular was very charming if a little crowded. Read Less
Sail Date August 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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