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435 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews

I write this review because of the absence of reviews prior to booking. It is only my second cruise, the first being Norwegian Fjords on Britannia 2018, which was perfect in every way. OK, so to start, remembering my first cruise was on ... Read More
I write this review because of the absence of reviews prior to booking. It is only my second cruise, the first being Norwegian Fjords on Britannia 2018, which was perfect in every way. OK, so to start, remembering my first cruise was on a very new ship, the bar was set very high. My first impressions were 'not as good as Britannia, bit tired, not a glamorous, or big'. This lasted for a day, and then I started to really like the ship and accept that she is just a bit older, so bound to be less perfect. It was spotlessly clean, with the same amazing shows, service, quality of food. Would I go on her again? Definitely. We had a balcony room D41 which was perfectly placed. I used the gym 10 out of the 14 day cruise - well equipped and never busy, and right at the front of the ship looking out to sea. We ate in the Select Dining Sinduh and Ocean Grill a couple of times - superb, especially Sinduh. We had freedom dining and ate around 8 to 8.30 each evening. We generally got a table for 4 straight way, but on a couple of occasions, were given a blepper to call you when a table was ready. This all worked perfectly, and was exactly as we had expected. We went to St Petersberg, and I can recommend it big time, I would also recommend the ship. It is also an adult only ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had selected this cruise as many people do for a specific celebration, in our case a 30th wedding aniversary. We had also wanted to go to Russia. Having read some of the previous reviews I was a little apprehensive, but they were wide ... Read More
We had selected this cruise as many people do for a specific celebration, in our case a 30th wedding aniversary. We had also wanted to go to Russia. Having read some of the previous reviews I was a little apprehensive, but they were wide of the mark in my view. Yes the ship does look like you would expect it to having spent 25 years in salt water and all weathers, but it is well looked after and cared for. The staff were attentive but not at all pushy, food was very good both in the Belveder / Lido. We had chosen first sitting 6.30 in the main restaurant the Meriden menus every night were varied and the food of a very high standard, service was spot on. The entertainment was of a very high standard, especially the Headliners shows very much West End standard,as well as a great choice of things to do on sea days. The cabin was very good, only negative was just one socket- but this was not a problem. Tea and coffee and a plentiful supply of milk was excellent. Shore excursions were excellent especially in St Petersburg and Riga. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Here is some info that I wish I would have known before I went, hopefully it will make your trip/cruise a bit easier. The car and ticket check in with security were very easy and relaxed. Just join the queue of cars, pull out your bags ... Read More
Here is some info that I wish I would have known before I went, hopefully it will make your trip/cruise a bit easier. The car and ticket check in with security were very easy and relaxed. Just join the queue of cars, pull out your bags onto the pavement , sign your keys over to the waiting staff and walk to the terminal, your bags appear by magic at your cabin shortly after. Our cabin on b deck is as small as a two star hotel but there is a big space under the bed for cases. The notice left on our dresser for freedom dining said we had to be at a specific restaurant at a certain sitting, which we later found was at 8.30 but apparently we did not have to go to that restaurant and could eat somewhere else if we liked at extra cost if using another restaurant or the buffet at no additional cost. There was ample wardrobe space for two of us for two weeks in a chilly Baltic arena. Not much time to unpack before the Southampton sail away party which was a loud way of introducing the entertainment crew who seem a nice bunch. Lots of elderly people in this cruise and we found out why later as it is a very relaxing way of travelling to new places with all your immediate needs catered for. Fridge magnets are a good idea to stick the daily itinerary to walls that are nicely finished plastic coated steel. Freedom dining was requested by us but apparently six months wasn’t enough time to secure this however when on a cruise with 5 other people it was a good way of catching up. The constant music in the outdoor Aquarius bar was a bit loud at times but other quiet areas were available .Just inside however the smoking area was too close to the door allowing the smell of tobacco into the buffet area. There are three areas to smoke on the Arcadia, all under cover but no indoor smoking at all so take a windproof warm jacket with a hood if going north. The buffet area is open most of the time so proving very difficult to keep the weight down but there is well stocked gym and three laps around the deck is one mile. The paid for internet is very very slow even when on the ships own pcs. If you use a cloud based photo storage system it would be quicker to wait until you are at home to sync your photos but wether or not the location tags upload correctly I will have to see. The staff are always milling around cleaning, clearing and maintaining but in general are pleasant with some being very pleased to see you at any time and others having a grumpy demeanour most of the time so just like all of us then. The ship “Arcadia “ has obviously done a lot of miles and looks a little tired in places, the most obvious of which is the back with rust lines running over the name so really time to paint that bit soon. Our balcony on Bermuda deck had a doorway between each of our neighbours that could be opened if required but it does rattle in the wind so new bushes are required. Apparently there is sometimes a “back of the house” tour around the ships workings for around £75 but it was not available on our trip which I was very disappointed about as an engineer myself, but it was quite cost prohibitive anyway. Our cabin had a 37 inch flat screen Tv with usb and hdmi ports which proved useful to plug my hard drive in to with my films on as the reception on the onboard channels was terrible and sends your eyes funny after a while. The TV also had screen mirroring but as it was a Samsung I did not have the app. Our cabin had a thermostat on the wall but whatever I put it nothing seemed to change and there was a constant draft around your head when sitting up in bed so we were glad to have a small settee in the room. The wine and champagne lessons where brilliant and by far the best on board entertainment. I could go on but that would just be boring. :) Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We really enjoyed our 14 night cruise to the Baltic. We have cruised with Cunard, Celebrity and P&O in the past and Arcadia exceeded our expectations. Admittedly, the atrium doesn’t have the wow factor of other ships but it more than ... Read More
We really enjoyed our 14 night cruise to the Baltic. We have cruised with Cunard, Celebrity and P&O in the past and Arcadia exceeded our expectations. Admittedly, the atrium doesn’t have the wow factor of other ships but it more than compensated in terms of friendliness and entertainment. We found the food in the dining room consistently good both at lunch and dinner. The buffet could be very busy especially on sea days but we enjoyed the freshly cooked burgers at the grill near the pool. Afternoon tea in the dining room was a real treat and eating at the Sindhu (especially when there was an offer on) was a delight. There was plenty of choice of entertainment and everyone should find something to suit their taste. I really enjoyed the orchestra and the Headliners put on some excellent shows. The cinema ( free but you must book seats at the library desk) gave me an opportunity to catch up on some recent blockbusters. This was a good way to spend an afternoon either on sea days or if you had some spare time after a visit to a port. Generally the staff were very good - we came across a few morose waiters but a smile and thank-you from you, as the customer, goes a long way. Our cabin steward was very efficient. We were a little apprehensive before we joined the cruise with some very poor reviews and lots of talk about the ship being ‘tired’. Yes, some areas which saw heavy traffic were a little worn but generally we were happy with the look of the ship.Overall, we had a great cruise so if you’ve booked with Arcadia, please don’t be put off by the critics. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I have been regular passengers with P&O over the last 9 years having just completed out twentieth cruise. In August we sailed on the Arcadia and I have to say that there were a lot of things wrong with the ship. We have ... Read More
My wife and I have been regular passengers with P&O over the last 9 years having just completed out twentieth cruise. In August we sailed on the Arcadia and I have to say that there were a lot of things wrong with the ship. We have seen standards fall over the years but the situation is becoming critical. Where has all the serving staff gone? There are nowhere near enough waiters in the bars and it is almost impossible to get served anywhere without having to go to the bar and order there. This ties the one or two waiters to the bar area which stops them going around the tables to take passenger’s orders. It’s a Catch 22 situation. The quality of the draught beers was terrible with beers tasting of cleaning fluid which forced me to drink only bottled beer for almost the entire cruise. There is no bar service on the promenade deck at all leaving passengers to have to fetch drink from an internal bar and carry them all the way outside. The Cabin Stewards have been downsized so much that they now have to do around twenty cabins each and the strain is showing as, despite their best efforts, the stewards are not doing everything they should. Take balcony cleaning for instance: According to the Deck Managers I have spoken with on various ships, cabin stewards are supposed to clean the balconies daily but, yet again, my wife had to suffer dirty furniture, dirty glass, dirty handrails and a dirty balcony floor. We finally took action ourselves and asked reception of a mop, bucket and squeegee so that we could do the job ourselves. This had an effect as our steward was instructed to clean our balcony daily but it didn’t last long. Arcadia is looking tired and rusty and in port, she looks filthy with unclean glass and windows and rust everywhere. The cabin and bathrooms are showing their age. Most public areas are clean I’m glad to say. The food is just awful in the buffet restaurant, too little choice, poorly cooked and arranged in a totally illogical manner. The move by P&O to bulk sauce dispensers rather than sachets, has led to the demise of Salad Cream which has now been replaced with a substitute that is nowhere near as good. Who thought up the idea of serving frozen butter portions? It is impossible to butter a roll unless you wait 10 minutes for the butter to soften enough to be spread. What has happened to the availability of Flora spread? It has been replaced with a generic “Margarine” which tastes awful. The service in the Main Dining Room is just awful, too slow and haphazard and the food quality is poor compared with previous cruises. The waiters work very hard and I do not blame them at all but the management and P&O themselves need to take a step back and realize that passenger comfort and service are what really matters on a cruise ship. Everything seems to be about saving money! My wife and I have five more cruises booked with P&O and we are already considering cancelling some of them next year (luckily they were booked onboard so we paid only £50 deposit each). We very much doubt that we will sail with P&O after 2020 as we would rather pay more to get proper service and quality with other cruise lines. Arcadia was in Norovirus lock-down when we boarded and this lasted for four days.Everything is served to you, even a glass of water in the buffet. Thankfully it ended but the lock-down returned for the last four days of the cruise due to a “few” cases of Norovirus, our sources said that it was a large number of passengers affected. Considering that Norovirus was being reported on the Arcadia back in June of this year, they clearly have a serious problem. We still enjoyed our cruise despite all the above and we cannot fault the waiting staff and our cabin steward. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as there were three ports of call new to ourselves. Lido Deck Too large a comfortable seating area earmarked for smokers, particularly when public areas (on land) are discouraging the habit. Dining ... Read More
We chose this cruise as there were three ports of call new to ourselves. Lido Deck Too large a comfortable seating area earmarked for smokers, particularly when public areas (on land) are discouraging the habit. Dining Surprisingly, choice of all three courses at dinner required when ordering. One does not always know whether one might even wish for a third course after the first and second courses but, if so required, the third course should then be allowed to be chosen accordingly. Lido Buffet 'Frozen' pats of butter taking 10 minutes + to soften and thus able to be spread by which time one's toast was even colder! Though 'Freedom Diners' we ate dinner in the Lido Buffet on several evenings as the menu was just as good as the Meridian Restaurant, without the waiter service of course. Sun Deck subjected to falls of soot particularates causing sun bathers to scatter and the Lido Pool to be temporarily closed for cleaning. Admittedly these are fairly inconsequential points, none of which spoilt our cruise but, nevertheless, may be worthy of note for the powers that be. We appreciate that everyone can't be pleased and conscious that there's a great deal to organise and be responsible for and for that we were grateful and contributed to a generally enjoyable cruise. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Booked this cruise to celebrate a friends anniversary. They have cruised before, we hadn’t. Very disappointed. Ship is worn and dated with painting going on all the time. Pool at the rear is dirty with broken tiles. People squashed ... Read More
Booked this cruise to celebrate a friends anniversary. They have cruised before, we hadn’t. Very disappointed. Ship is worn and dated with painting going on all the time. Pool at the rear is dirty with broken tiles. People squashed around on sun beds with little room to move. Regularly felt sick from the sulphur dioxide and soot covering the back of the ship. Regularly had black spots all over my body and any clothes. Staff were not bothered when we complained and the pool didn’t get cleaned. Food is bland and tasteless, especially the fine dining. I have had better school dinners. Entertainment was tacky and more suited to black pool butlins! What a waste of money. Never again! Have travelled all around and this is not luxury. It is 3* at best. Could have flown to Thailand or similar and stayed in a 5* hotel for the cost of this trip. Save your money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now ... Read More
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now included. BIG MISTAKE!! Ship was tired, maintenance work forever going on around the deck, why do we pay for a holiday to have this, should be in dock to get it done. Staff were deplorable, couldn’t care less, never saw our maid for the first 2 days after which she would shout along the corridor to her colleague at 7.30 in the morning. Had to speak to her about this several times. Freedom dining was a farce, only dined there 4 times in 16 days as the wait was at least 30-40 minutes after which the table service was even worse. First night it took 3 hours to complete our meal. Food was acceptable but totally boring. Resorted to the Belvedere “café” for the remainder of the days where the waiting staff couldn’t even be bothered to supply us with water of an evening. The food here was shocking, totally mixed up, fried cod in batter next to curry dishes so had to go elsewhere if you wanted chips. Too salty and the same old thing night after night. Couldn’t get ice cream, imagine that. Our cabin wasn’t clean either, spilled stuff on ledges was still there after the whole holiday and it wasn’t our spillage either. Toilets around the ship were mostly blocked and out of order and nothing being done about it. Norovirus broke out the last week. Thankfully never caught it due to being careful. Entertainment was boring, no guest acts, no-one we had ever heard of, they usually have someone of renown but not this time, never attended one show. The cruise itinerary was good though and we enjoyed all the ports although Fredericia was our least favourite. We only booked trips in St. Petersburg for obvious reasons (no visa needed) and they were fine although the evening river cruise was like an old ex serviceman’s outing, all old tables on an old boat, one glass of sweet plonk and the nibbles were inedible to me. The shuttle bus to town from the ship in places that were too far to walk was £4 per person each way, a total rip off and P & O homed in on this knowing there was little choice for us. I could write a book on this cruise. All in all it was like a cheap package holiday to Spain. They stress when booking that no logo clothes or words to that effect are to be worn but there were plenty about the ship and no-one ever attempted to do anything about it. Will look forward to trying a better cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Travelled to Southampton with Intercruises. A very comfortable coach, and pleasant driver. Speedy check in and then straight to the Meridian restaurant where we had drinks and snacks. We had cabin B40 and we were very pleased with the ... Read More
Travelled to Southampton with Intercruises. A very comfortable coach, and pleasant driver. Speedy check in and then straight to the Meridian restaurant where we had drinks and snacks. We had cabin B40 and we were very pleased with the space. Balcony was a decent size and there was the usual facilities - kettle fridge etc. We had been a little concerned re some very negative reviews, but honestly found the ship in good repair and evidence of maintenance being carried out most days. We always have room service for breakfast on the first day to avoid the scrum in the buffet. This was delivered on time and correct orders then and on the other occasions we used it. We enjoyed a couple of the shows, some weren’t for us, but that never bothers us at all. We enjoyed the Arcadia orchestra playing in the Crows Nest on a few occasions.We enjoyed an evening at the cinema which was well attended and is designated seats by ticket only, saving any problems of people bringing in chairs and parking themselves in front of you. Freedom dining was a little frustrating as we had quite long waits on a few occasions. We then tended to go down for dinner earlier, and didn’t seem to have to wait as long. We found the food to be ok. Vegetarian menu is available each evening, so that’s a change from previously where you had to order the night before. There were good choices and we were quite happy with the food in the main. Dined in Sindhu - absolutely delicious, and Ocean grill, again very nice food and excellent service in both restaurants. The first two ports of call in Denmark, Skagen and Fredericia were wonderful. Blessed with great weather, we loved the atmosphere in both of these places. Pricey though! Having been to St Petersburg before and used Alla tours, who were amazing, we wanted one day tours this time and used P&O. Faberge eggs on day one - very interesting. Day 2 we did a trip where we were dropped at 3 different locations and left to our own devices ( complete with a note which said , in Russian, I am lost, please ring this number! That was a great day. We rented the map and audio pen and found that useful. Gdynia was a delight. A lovely marina and a really interesting museum which was in an old sailing ship in the harbour. Cheapest and most delicious ice cream of the trip! Oslo was super - saw the amazing sculptures, and we loved Helsinki . Weather wasn’t marvellous for the last two ports, but it was Norway so we kind of expected it. We also had a norovirus outbreak during the last few days. Still witnessed people using the toilets and walking straight out. So, all in all, a good time was had. We love trying different cruises lines and have tried eight, but do pick cruises for the itinerary so we are booked again on Arcadia in 2021 on an itinerary that suits us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships. We ... Read More
Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships. We had an outside balcony cabin which was clean and absolutely fine. I’m unsure why people criticise the ship for being outdated, it was a bit rusty in places but the cabins and public rooms were absolutely in keeping with other ships and certainly better than the average/budget cruise lines. Most staff were great but at times very secretive, the waits for freedom dining and length of service in the restaurant were unacceptable at times, some staff went a long way to make us happy and some didn’t. The itinery was great with the highlights being St Petersburg and Helsinki. Gdynia was a short train ride from Gdansk. Entertainment was very good. The ship employed a number of resident musicians performing all styles from classical to jazz to popular. There were bands, an orchestra, soloists, a dance group and an entertainment team, more than on many cruise lines. There was more choice of entertainment and venues than other larger ships. The food was mainly good but at times bland. The Belvedere buffet was as you would expect from a self service restaurant. Trips and shuttle bus were too expensive. P+O continue to look at ways to get extra money. This doesn’t seem as bad on slightly older ships like Arcadia but it certainly is a trend on newer larger ships which have less space per passenger and seem to find more and more things to charge for, although it might try Arcadia does offer done welcome relief from this. Staff regularly go the extra mile but I can’t help at thinking times this is driven by money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our first time with P +O, having previously sailed with Holland America, Oceana, Regent. We costtravelled with 2 friends who had been on 3 previous cruises with P+O. Our expectations were not high but our friends made the trip most ... Read More
Our first time with P +O, having previously sailed with Holland America, Oceana, Regent. We costtravelled with 2 friends who had been on 3 previous cruises with P+O. Our expectations were not high but our friends made the trip most enjoyable. We had an outside balcony cabin which was clean but very outdated. The whole ship was tired and needs a complete refit to bring it up to date. Having said that the majority of staff were very friendly and were interactive. We had loads of banter. The itinery was on the whole very good, the highlights being Fredericia, St Petersburg and Helsinki. Godynia was a waste of time and would have preferred an extra day in Helsinki. The entertainment overall wasn't bad, the resident musicians and acts were okay. We went to the main theatre on 4 occasions and enjoyed what we saw. The food in the main dining room, and buffet was perfectly edible but boring and unremarkable. There was a distinct lack of of seasoning and we thought that the ship had bought a job lot of Green Beans and Spinach. The Belvedere buffet resembled a canteen The real bad points: Trips were expensive, there was a charge of £4 pp each way on the shuttle bus from the port into the centre. This meant it would cost a total of £16 per cabin, a complete rip off. Bottled water had to be paid for and one always felt that P+O were always looking at ways to get extra money. You never felt that they ever wanted to go the extra mile and exceed ones expectations Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a special holiday for us – my mum was 80 last year and always wanted to visit St Petersburg, but she won’t fly – so a Baltic cruise we thought would be ideal. This was our second cruise we had wanted to book the cruise to ... Read More
This was a special holiday for us – my mum was 80 last year and always wanted to visit St Petersburg, but she won’t fly – so a Baltic cruise we thought would be ideal. This was our second cruise we had wanted to book the cruise to the Baltics last year but had left it late to book, as there was 3 of us and we couldn’t get a deal for a cabin for 3. Last year we went on a short cruise (6 days) with Royal Caribbean – before booking a more expensive 16 day cruise with P&O this year. I must say the best part of the P&O cruise was the staff and service – we had a really great cabin steward who just made our cruise better with the warm service and the waiters and waitresses as the bars and restaurants worked hard and were great. On the whole though we rate the cruise a 3 out of 5. Three days in to the journey and some of the lifts weren’t working, some of the public toilets weren’t working (which was blamed on travellers putting things down the toilet systems) and 3 days before the end of the cruise we had a Norovirus breakout. You may think these things happen, but then I’ve since read that during Arcadia’s previous cruise in July 2019 (and June) – all these three things occurred during those journey's – broken lifts, blocked toilets and the norovirus breakouts? The ship needs serious overhauling – these things are basic. I think P&0 have their loyal core travellers - but to us as new to cruising I’m afraid we wouldn’t pick P&O again – the main thing for us was the food – it just wasn’t as good quality as food with Royal Caribbean last year. We had two meals at the Meridian restaurant which were inedible – pork fillet (so tough you couldn’t get your fork into it) and Hake was a lump of small grey fish, full of bones – looked and tasted disgusting. We ate at the Ocean Grill, twice – first time was exceptional and second time was just ok (again the fish was awful with the fish not being white, having the skin still on and bones) we also ate at Sindhu which we enjoyed. We felt the entertainment fell way short of what the Royal Caribbean had offered last year – just couldn’t get the hype with the singing/dancing group – who seemed to be involved every other night – just stage school singing and dancing. We booked 3 excursion trips with P&O – the first was exceptional – vintage tram tour of Helskini, we had a great tour guide who just made the day - everything was spot on. We also booked a 2 day tour of St Petersburg – very expensive – but there was a lot to see and do and we didn’t want to miss anything. I would question the need to visit the food market on the first day – I saw this as a waste of our time. The food we had to eat on both days wasn’t good – we understood that we were visiting a local restaurant on the first day – but then to get Greek salad (what’s Russian about that) beef stroganoff (with some sort of meat that had been cooking it seemed for days and no sauce) and then a piece of cake with ice cream that was frozen and couldn’t eat – the only part we enjoyed was the bread, water and wine. Plus the service – there was no welcome, hello or smile to be had by anyone serving us. Again the tour guide was exceptional. The third trip was the Leisurely Oslo tour – which was £40 for a 2 hour trip – 1.5 hours in the coach seeing the sights of Oslo – which was ok – we had picked this at mum being 81 had two full days in St Petersburg so though a coach tour would have been ideal and more leisurely – but the destination to the ski jump just didn’t work when out of season and you didn’t get to see the ski jump in use so to speak – they would have been better stopping at the park. Really overpriced and a bit of a rip-off. Another thing was the location of the cabin, as not being regular cruisers we were given a cabin in the front of the ship and we felt the ship moving quite a bit and indeed got motion sickness when the weather was rough travelling to and from Oslo. I had phoned as we had booked so far in advance and prices had fallen by £600 when I made a call to see if we could upgrade to another part of the ship – but was told there wasn’t any point there was not difference in the cabins – but why then do you have the different price ranges for the same cabin class. Felt we had been fobbed off with this – not good customer service. Embarkation and Disembarkation – went smoothly – from arriving at the terminal to checking in – we were in our rooms in half-an hour. Our cabin steward (Michael) was superb – friendly, efficient and good humoured. . Perhaps because we had meals that we didn’t enjoy and a couple that were inedible we felt that paying the extra £700 between the three of us for the Select Price/Option for freedom dining we just didn’t see the value on this occasion as we only “walked in” on 2 of our nights on all the other nights when we ate at the Meridian restaurants we had to wait between 20-40 minutes – no big deal as you could go to the piano bar for a pre dinner drink – but maybe this should be limited to numbers for it to work.Seemed to us that most people had opted for the freedom dining – the 8.30 sitting in the bottom restaurant was more than half empty With regard to the destination the highlights for us apart from seeing St Petersburg, was Helsinki (would definitely go back) and indeed enjoyed all the destinations apart from Gdynia (there was nothing there you would need to fork out for an excursion to Gdansk) would have preferred perhaps an extra day in Helsinki or could stopping in Estonia be an option. P&O beats Royal Caribbean in terms of drinks prices – much cheaper paying for your drinks in pounds – RC much more expensive with cocktails being around $11-$14 dollars – where here we paid just under £7 for a cocktail and wine here much more value for money. It’s not a cheap trip with on board spend, and excursions we spent over £9K for the three of us – so we wanted it to be better. We enjoyed ourselves and I don’t normally complain but we so wanted to love this cruise so we could pick P&O again – but it fell short for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
we chose this cruise as it was short and e073 cabin was available read on bigest problem with cabin,the embarkation was a shambles the trips were poorly organised went to cherbourg on Bastille day evertwhwere was closed next stop santander ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it was short and e073 cabin was available read on bigest problem with cabin,the embarkation was a shambles the trips were poorly organised went to cherbourg on Bastille day evertwhwere was closed next stop santander no courtesy bus into town very long walk bearing in mind this cruise is mainly for older folks with walking difficulties do P&O care no they dont,we all know how the British love to queue well P&O love people to do that the whole standard of thic cruise company sadly has dropped,they seem to be theonly ship that use a lorry and crain to get the disembarkation gangways fixed seems every thing is being done on the cheap,the only nice thing i can say about this cruise ai that the food was good apart from the piles of green beans, most of the staff were good but not all as we have found before,didnt like the constant smell of paint round the ship painting every day with a radiator roller and one inch brush probably why it takes so long Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
we chose this cruise as first time cruisers and to see Etna, also to celebrate my big birthday. What a disappointment. First we were informed by P & O that we would not be stopping at Messina ( Etna ) due to remedial work that ... Read More
we chose this cruise as first time cruisers and to see Etna, also to celebrate my big birthday. What a disappointment. First we were informed by P & O that we would not be stopping at Messina ( Etna ) due to remedial work that needed doing in Malaga, Now a print out given to us on our last day a board stated that 22 divers plus equipment was coming over from USA to do the work, now that was not organised in 24 hours!! The work took longer than stated & we eventually sailed at 12:07 am four days later. During this time any information from the bridge was sparse, nothing from the Cap'tain' for 2 days. Norovirus then broke out.....just what you need on your holiday, again very little Health Education or advice from the Bridge, on one occasion the Captain could not even say the word 'symptom' Swimming pool had to be drained after what looked like faeces floating in the water. Rust on ship, and very little care taken to spruce her up. Davets on lifeboats would not retract one life boat at Dubrovnik, so more delays, also due to the long stay in Malaga we could not moor up at quay in Dubrovnik and had to use the tenders but only if you passed the step test which meant another location missed by many. Cabin adequate and bed comfy, Dining staff & waiters excellent and polite but officers rude and snobby. This cost £6.500 pounds, was it well spent? I dont think so. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted an adult only cruise in the peak summer period. This was our first P and O cruise for a few years and boy have they joined the race for the bottom. Prepare to pay for anything and everything that makes the cruise a little ... Read More
We wanted an adult only cruise in the peak summer period. This was our first P and O cruise for a few years and boy have they joined the race for the bottom. Prepare to pay for anything and everything that makes the cruise a little special. When did they start charging for room sevice?? Drinks prices on the rise to encourage the packages? Postives- Large cabin with decent size shower. White company products. Ports of call very pleasant. Shore excursions enjoyable. Tea and coffee in room. Costa coffee available. Pricing in GBP and not $ or EURO. Buffet food not too bad. Meeting shore excursion on the pier much better than sitting in a theatre. However We arrived at Southampton and the embarkation was delayed and chaotic due to a faulty gangway. No cruise staff to be seen, no water available and no chairs in the part of the building we were stuck in. The dock staff told us the equipment breaks down all the time as if this was meant to make us feel any better. Arcadia is really looking tired. Rusty and unkempt. It really needs radical work or selling on. Our balcony cabin was tatty with broken binoculars and filthy furniture. It just feels like they have given up on it. The carpets were curling up and should have been replaced. Our steward looked weary and now the tips are included did little to go the extra mile. The clientele was very old, very white and it had the ambience of the local Royal British Legion. Service was pretty dire we had the laughable 'freedom dining' which means share a table or always wait 45 minutes. Not once did a waiter introduce themselves. They just plonked the food down and rushed off to the next table. If you got a wine waiter once you were doing well. No point in having a drinks package as you would struggle to get a refill. The captain was miserable and avoided all contact with the customers. I guess that attitude works it way down the crew ladder. The smell of sewage/drains was ever present around deck three. How can they leave that situation unchecked? The casino slots were museum worthy. How tricky is it to replace the slot machines once every decade? This will be our final cruise with P & O. Princess and Celebrity give a better service even If they also have some older ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our first cruise. Have to agree with previous review by 'mendumrw' with regard embarkation. It wasn't so much the delay (hey these things happen) but we were disappointed in the way P&O handled the delayed ... Read More
Our first cruise. Have to agree with previous review by 'mendumrw' with regard embarkation. It wasn't so much the delay (hey these things happen) but we were disappointed in the way P&O handled the delayed passengers. A hot day, nowhere to obtain refreshments at the terminal; lots of queuing/shuffling. By the time we boarded ship nowhere to get food (when staff were asked they directed us to the closed buffet, which did not actually open until 6pm). Choatic to get a drink at sailaway party as so many of us late embarkers arrived en masse after a crowded muster drill. What would it have cost P&O to explain reasons and apologise for the delay, provide a few jugs of iced water at muster drill, kept the buffet open, or offered a complimentary drink? Any way moan over, what did we think of the ship..... As said it was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to, but we thought the ship was lovely. Apart from embarkation day there always seemed to be plenty of space to sit and watch the waves, take in the sun, get a drink etc. There are a lot of deck areas to choose from. Our balcony cabin was spacious, very clean and everything in working order. Didn't see anything that was 'tired'. There was some outside maintenance works / painting going on occasionally, but we have friends who cruise regularly and say they find this is the norm. We felt the food was good, and especially liked the themed nights in the buffet. We ate in the Sindhu one evening - it was OK but nothing remarkable (a taster menu, which was a bit 'bland' for us). A quiet night in the Sindhu (as it was black tie night) so it was a pity that they chose to squash the few diners into one small area, so all conversations were shared (perhaps one should request a quiet table, especially as there were many empty). We found the service on the ship very good - the waiters, barmen, cabin crew etc all worked so hard, and all friendly and polite to us. We found it easy to entertain ourselves at the ports (even Cherbourg) and only went on one excursion. We have been on many holiday excursions and they are always too rushed, not enough time to explore and too much time spent on a coffee and cake stop (or whatever) and this was no exception, but it was well organised with a good guide. Would we go on a cruise again - yes we would. Apart from the poor start, the remainder of the time we felt comfortable, well fed, well looked after and entertained. We would go on Arcadia again - yes definitely. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date June 2019
Although I am a regular reader of reviews I have never before felt the need to write one myself. We have always taken the view that you can’t please all the people all the time and there will always be some professional complainers. We ... Read More
Although I am a regular reader of reviews I have never before felt the need to write one myself. We have always taken the view that you can’t please all the people all the time and there will always be some professional complainers. We do not fall into that category. So having cruised with P&O eight times in the last four years on all their ships I think we are capable of offering a balanced view of expectations and a benchmark for comparison purposes. Our experiences have always been favourable with no complaints, resulting in repeat bookings. Having booked this cruise some 18 months ago mainly because of the destinations it was disappointing to receive an email four days before departure advising that one of the ports of call (Messina) would be cancelled because essential repair work need to be carried out in Malaga. Not a deal breaker in itself, although we have experienced P&O cancelling ports at the last moment at least twice before, but what followed certainly tested any loyalty we feel to P&O. Somehow the essential work (to a propeller) did not prevent the ship arriving in Malaga a full 18 hours ahead of schedule, the work then ran into four days with little or no communication from the Bridge on the delay. It was obvious to all that the work had been pre planned for some time with a diving team having to be flown in from the US to complete the work. Draw your own conclusions why the work had to be done in the middle of a cruise when it was known about some considerable time before. This led to the ships Customer Services Manager issuing a letter to guests “for Insurance purposes for any potential claim” confirming that “no refunds or compensation had been given by P&O” for the changes. At best it was a clumsy and misguided attempt to deflect responsibility. Sorry P&O but my contract is with you and I am not going to make a claim on my insurance (even if I could) and incur increased premiums because of your inability to provide the contracted service. The senior management on the Bridge were conspicuous by their absence with communication poor at best, particularly during the delay in Malaga. In fairness communication did improve slightly after Malaga but we think that was because of all the complaints. We then had an outbreak of norovirus, (P&O claimed it was brought onboard at Southampton). For the record, neither we nor a number of other guests we spoke with had been asked to complete the health declaration at embarkation, (a similar situation occurred when we travelled with P&O last March). If this simple procedure had been complied with perhaps the virus outbreak would have been prevented or contained. On a positive note there did seem to be a plentiful supply of sun beds. We were not sure if this was because more had been provided or because half the guests were struck down with norovirus and the other half down at reception complaining! Throughout the 19 days there was continuous “essential” maintenance work being carried out, mainly on the lifeboats, with intolerable noise from early morning, it was like being on a building site. Lets be clear, this was not the routine maintenance that you always encounter on a cruise but full blooded heavy duty work. It got so bad guests were calling it the Maintenance Cruise. This essential work continued right up to the last sea day. One night we were sat in the Crows nest at midnight to the sound of sanding or similar accompanying the music. Of course this raises the question of how you define essential; essential for safety which raises questions, or essential to P&O and their profitability over the enjoyment of guests. Incidentally, it was quite ironic that following this “essential” lifeboat maintenance one of the tenders could not be lifted back in to position because of a ”technical problem”, necessitating a two and half hour delay in leaving Dubrovnik. You could not make it up. The ship has absolutely no wow factor, no focal point in terms of atrium and we felt it had a bit of a strange layout, consequently there was no atmosphere. Much of the ship looked tired, with warped decking particularly Deck 10 Port side which was dangerous, dirty tatty window frames in the restaurant, just to mention a couple of areas. Most public areas appeared clean on first glance, but having said that we often saw cups, glasses and ashtrays that were not cleared away from outside areas for at least 24 hours. We only saw a vacuum cleaner being used twice and had doubts that our cabin had seen one throughout the 19 days. Likewise we saw litter on a carpeted stairwell that stayed there for at least two full days. Many of the staff seemed unhappy (it was almost as if something had happened prior to departure which had upset them all), we felt there were fewer staff and certainly our steward had a huge workload. Generally the Medina restaurant appeared disorganised with long waits to be seated, further long waits to be served and then food which was mediocre in relation to our previous experiences. At times we felt it was a training ship for new recruits as the food and service differed from meal to meal. One final point, P&O have a dress code, please apply it or dispense with it. Some people were going to dinner in tatty jeans and T-shirt, not quite the dress code P&O advertise. So there you have it. A cruise we had been looking forward to for 18 months proved to be a major disappointment. Thankfully the destinations did not disappoint (not fussed on Cagliari), however the bits in between left a lot to be desired. We did meet some lovely people, (one who had booked the world cruise on the ship for 2020 and was cancelling), and without exception they all said they were bitterly disappointed with the ship and their experiences mirrored many of the aspects I have mentioned. By the way I have just read a review of the same cruise on CC congratulating the Capt and crew for their outstanding service saying what a great cruise and criticising a negative, whinging hostile group of passengers – mostly senior. Well I don’t fit into any of those categories (far from it), but there are times when you do have to call out poor service, shoddy communication and a lack of respect for guests enjoyment. I leave you to draw your own conclusions but if the majority of reviews and online comments about the cruise are negative then it says a lot. For the first time ever I have not been contacted by P&O to provide a review of the cruise. I wonder why? Would we cruise on Arcadia again? Most definitely not. Will we cruise with P&O again? Well we have two further cruises booked with them and are waiting their response to a formal complaint. We will see how they respond and then decide. If you have already booked to go on Arcadia I really hope that you have a better experience. If you are thinking on going on Arcadia my advice is to keep reading all the reviews and then make your decision based on the balance of reviews. Good luck. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as it was going to places we wanted to visit, we had not been on Arcadia before and my birthday occurred during the cruise period. First impressions were very much on the lines of this HAS been a lovely ship but is ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was going to places we wanted to visit, we had not been on Arcadia before and my birthday occurred during the cruise period. First impressions were very much on the lines of this HAS been a lovely ship but is now very tired. We had no wish to spend three and half days in Malaga and as the stay lengthened were concerned other ports may have to be cancelled. One can only presume the additional work was brought about by the company extensively running the azipod in a damaged condition. Why divers had to be flown from USA goodness only knows. As usual information from P&O was scant For most of the cruise large sections of the Promenade deck were closed to passengers while.painting was carried out. The overpowering small of paint was not pleasant albeit it did help mask the stench of sewage which pervaded the starboard side of that deck. At least three lifts were out of action for the whole cruise. Food in the Belvedere was tasteless as was custard in all restaurants. In Dubrovnik someone had the bright idea to put a trainee "driver" in charge of a tender. The vessel was packed, little air and at the port he had no idea what he was doing as a result we bobbed around and watches another tender overtake us and dock. The shops supply of yellow buckets were put to good use catching dripping water presumably from the air-conditioning. There was more but this is long enough. We certainly won't be going back on Arcadia Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary specifically to visit Messina and Venice we received an email on the 20th June 4 days before we were boarding Arcadia telling us that we would not be going to Messina now as the ship needed to have ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary specifically to visit Messina and Venice we received an email on the 20th June 4 days before we were boarding Arcadia telling us that we would not be going to Messina now as the ship needed to have technical work done and would be staying in Malaga our first port of call for longer ,we arrived in Malaga a day earlier than we were supposed to ,we arrived on Thursday and we were told we would be leaving on Saturday evening once the work had been completed but were then told Saturday afternoon that we would not be leaving until Sunday evening making us arrive a day later at all the other destinations we were visiting and the excursions that we booked were all cancelled and 2nd day in to the cruise we were told that there was an outbreak of norovirus and this got worse as the the time went on the buffet was limited due to this and we felt we were in a 2 star Hotel rather than being on a supposed to be luxury cruise that cost £6,140 a very expensive mistake the ship was old and tired looking lots of visible rust and supply’s being stored on the promenade deck work on the lifeboats was being done every day you do not go on a cruise to be surrounded by noisy works being undertaken you go to relax ,The food was tasteless especially in the meridian restaurant and we were also told that the ship would be increasing speed to make sure we reached the ports we were going to and also sailing back to Southampton so what was supposed to be leisurely days at sea turned in to a race with windy decks and a wave machine in the pool . Will not be ever going back on Arcadia again I think the ship needs to be retired .do not waste your money going on this ship Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Have previously cruised on P and O Britannia and loved it, so I chose a cruise of the Med on Arcadia, the itinerary was important.....but we were emailed 4 days prior to sailing with a changed itinerary as Arcadia was damaged and they ... Read More
Have previously cruised on P and O Britannia and loved it, so I chose a cruise of the Med on Arcadia, the itinerary was important.....but we were emailed 4 days prior to sailing with a changed itinerary as Arcadia was damaged and they would repair her in Malaga, so Messina was removed from our itinerary, so they could repair Arcadia in Malaga! So off we sailed on a faulty ship, and the repairs lasted 3 and a half days. So one can only say that P and O repaired their ship during the holidaymakers time. 3 and a half days stuck in Malaga, I could have taken a mini break for £300! Day 3 Norovirus breaks out. I am told that although a cleaning person was sent to the cabins of the sick and a questionnaire was pushed under the door, the sick were not checked over by a doctor unless a private consultation was requested at private medical prices!! Incredible.....as the virus was gifted to passengers on board. Food was dreadful, cooked by amateurs it seemed and very often inedible, oh well there was always the cheese and biscuit option. Indifferent service by tired overworked staff. Lack of communication from the Captain and medical team. Intercom systems that didn't work, so important announcements were missed. Sloppy cleaning of tables in the buffet and outside deck areas, no wonder the virus took hold. Dreadful experience and deplorable PR. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was a disater,stuck in Malaga for 3 days to carry out repairs that were known of in southampton.if booking a cruise beware,they reserve the right to change the schedule at a moment's notice.cabin staff were grumpy,we ... Read More
This cruise was a disater,stuck in Malaga for 3 days to carry out repairs that were known of in southampton.if booking a cruise beware,they reserve the right to change the schedule at a moment's notice.cabin staff were grumpy,we couldn't see out of the window it was filthy,first job on board for us was to clean the cabin,hairs in the bath and the bed from previous guests.food was at best average,ocean grill was very good as was the spa.the habit of reserving Sun beds is rife and out of control not managed..the crew were constantly working on the lifeboats with the prom deck blocked off for most of the cruise,the noise was horrendous.if this is p&o standard it falls well short.Water on board is as expensive as beer,there was an outbreak of norro virus. My tip for going on this ship pack a bottle of anti bacterial spray.I asked for some hand gel but was refused.on a positive note the entertainment was first class.but wouldn't book with them again.loyalty is all very well but value for money is sadly lacking,a tired looking ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
SOS
Day 4 in Malaga due to engineering problem. This appears to have been kown about for some time - is its coincidence the remedial work was undertaken on a longer length cruise? I think not. On a 20 day cruise thats a lot of time. One post ... Read More
Day 4 in Malaga due to engineering problem. This appears to have been kown about for some time - is its coincidence the remedial work was undertaken on a longer length cruise? I think not. On a 20 day cruise thats a lot of time. One post missed so far with warning of changed itinerary to come Communication bad, yesterday found a message on return from day out to advise another day in port. With modern technology this could have been achieved by group email/ SMS. ship noticeably cleaner after infection control measures were taken to avoid potential norovirus outbreak. Food awful. Limited choice and poor culinary skills. It's truly a bad day when you are likely to return from a cruise lighter than you arrives onboard. Cabin and restaurant excellent. I can only conclude this is the reason many people are so loyal to them. In the present cruising climate they need a serious shakeup if they want to continue to make happy cruise memories. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Booked a year early as a medical report put this to be probably my last cruise. Period. First I received a few days in advance that one port would be eliminated due to repairs needed to be done in Malaga meaning an extra day annoyed! ... Read More
Booked a year early as a medical report put this to be probably my last cruise. Period. First I received a few days in advance that one port would be eliminated due to repairs needed to be done in Malaga meaning an extra day annoyed! Then off we go with a dicky propulsion unit needing divers etc in Malaga Malaga was fine as we knew we had an extra day but soon after arrival we were told that we had to stay another day meaning 3.6 days in Malaga ! See my extra info on divers later. So we left Malaga but the next announcement was we had norovirus which started to kill the pleasure even more. We raced at 22 knots to venice . It was just as we left Venice we met the USA divers who told a slightly different story . The Malaga stop had not had Spanish diving approval which took some time before two faults we found . The repairs needed that extra day after all but even then the divers explained they had to dive in Venice BUT these was only allowed with Italian diver plus. The divers were leaving Venice to check out the bits at split and that is where I did not see them any more. P&O never explained all this and generally were poor in information . The norovirus controls were lifted at about 2 thirds of the cruise ! So P&O will probably point at their terms of business in removing a ports for repairs and Put norovirus down to other reasons. As this was to be my last cruise I can only explain that after a multicruise life this was a different P&O and a poor show even though some items were good. As regards the Arcadia as a ship I comment it is poor with 30 seat only cinema, a dining room aft which to my 91 year old near cabin user in B2 as against my B22 Was a trek ! The spa helped my poor feet in place of a massage due to walking round Malaga on a Sunday with not much open. I,m home sad at this last cruise and leaving my view of modern P&O to be forgotten. Nothing can compensate for that last bad cruise but nothing likely to come....will tell you if! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. Just before departure we were advised that we would spend 3 and a half days in Malaga to repair the ship Azipod which was damaged on a previous cruise. Why was the ship not fixed before? Every ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. Just before departure we were advised that we would spend 3 and a half days in Malaga to repair the ship Azipod which was damaged on a previous cruise. Why was the ship not fixed before? Every port of call was a disaster because we were late at every port and had to suffer more crowds of tourists than expected. Messina was cancelled as was our tour in Venice. We were not impressed. Maintenance was a continual activity on the prom deck every day and the noise of tools could be heard inside the ship, the general state of this ship was very poor and generally tired. The food in the main restaurant was no better than a one star place, tasteless, lacking imagination and rather boring. Glasses were not clean. Norovirus started on day 3 and remained for most of the cruise.Entertainment was mediocre and only 2 speakers in 19 days. Service was average and it seemed as if there had been a reduction in the numbers of staff in the bars.Cabins are in need of updating and rather beige.The ships tour presenter was extremely condescending to passengers. We paid a lot of money for what is advertised as a luxury cruise experience, we beg to differ after our experience and its debatable we would ever use P&O again. Loyalty does not seem to count for much these days. We wrote to P&O and wonder if we will ever get a reply? Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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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