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449 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews

Arcadia is my favourite ship. I have sailed on Cunard QM2 but on that 7 days was too many. Arcadia may not be perfect the buckets are still about but she has a soul and the friendliest most helpful crew at sea. Embarkation was a bit ... Read More
Arcadia is my favourite ship. I have sailed on Cunard QM2 but on that 7 days was too many. Arcadia may not be perfect the buckets are still about but she has a soul and the friendliest most helpful crew at sea. Embarkation was a bit slow as there were visas to check and a new online check in system was being trialled. It is the only time my luggage has beat me to the cabin!!! Our cabin steward was Elias and he was with us until Fremantle, then Jofran took over. Both were above excellent. Our cabin A173 was wonderful. We spent many mornings having coffee on the balcony watching the wake. There is a bit of soot around but I knew that before I booked the cabin. Reception will launder free of charge if required willingly with an apology. We usually have breakfast and lunch in the Belvedere then dinner in the Meridian. The food is excellent in both. We never needed a pager for the MDR on Freedom Dining and we did not necessarily go the same time every night except for the first night club dining was stopped due to social distancing. Once in 99 nights is no big deal. We always share a table as it is a great way to meet people. We dined twice in Sindhi which is excellent but missed Ocean Grill as we had saved it for the last leg but the specialty restaurants were closed after 23 March due to social distancing measures. The guest speakers were excellent. Didi Conn (Frenchy in Grease) was very friendly and sociable. Bob Champion, Ben McBean, Wayne Sleep, Terry Brown, Sharron Davies, the wonderful Reza Muhammad and Geoff Peters were my favourites. The headliners were great and the guest acts excelled. I enjoyed Dean Stansby, Suzy Madin, Fogwell Flax, David Copperfield and Jeff Stevenson, Mark Rueberry, to name a few. I did not like Micky Zany at all and would not watch him again. The very best performance was Entertainments Manager Nick Cosslett singing Music of the Night he earned a standing ovation in the early show. The guest entertainers were outstanding for the last 31 days of the cruise especially as some had only signed on for 5!!! We had 3 Captains, Ashley Cook, Wesley Dunlop and Luko Vojvoda. All were great. However a very special thanks is owed to Captain Luko who got us home safe and in good health when Covid19 was wreaking havoc across the world. His 08:55 daily messages lifted spirits. As he said we were all in it together. The itinerary took a bashing but it could not be avoided the last place I wanted to be after the outbreak was Asia and the Australian ports were a bonus. We had a stretch of 31 days at sea but at least we had plenty of toilet rolls!!! P&O went over and above in my opinion and we have been richly compensated for the changes of port in future cruise credit and extra OBC. I booked a cruise titled Arcadia’s Western Circumnavigation and that is what I got just the bit in the middle was slightly amended!!! Would I go again you bet already booked for 2021 so fingers crossed. Thank you Arcadia you gave me the holiday of a lifetime and I am missing you already. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The cruise set off prior to virus and went well until half way round when virus caught up with us it then became a mystery tour which p & o dealt with in a brilliant way. The boat was a bit old and other were buckets around catching ... Read More
The cruise set off prior to virus and went well until half way round when virus caught up with us it then became a mystery tour which p & o dealt with in a brilliant way. The boat was a bit old and other were buckets around catching drips, but it didn't interfer with anything. Restaurant was excellent good service and food. The self service restaurant was ok breakfast was really good, so was lunch evening meal always seemed to have a curry in some shape or form, but always had steak which was cooked to order. We only went to sidhu once but it was very good. The entertainment was varied and mostly very good. The ports that we did stop at were well described and lots of tips if you were doing it on your own. The captain's that we had were very good especially captain Luca he had to deal with the change of ports and authorities regarding the virus. It was a disappointment not to have the cruise that we signed up for but p and o did everything in their power to still give us an experience to remember. We really enjoyed our cruise and a big thank you to p and o in this difficult time. Some people didn't enjoy the experience but we did. In the extreme circumstances a really lovely holiday. Didn't use the fitness centre or any of the trips to comment on. However there was an excellent bridge tutors which we attended they were brilliant. The library was also well stocked and a used book swope which was also good. The shop was ok but take own washing powder if you want to wash. Laundrette was also good I never had any problem getting a machine. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we travelled which cut out the waiting time to board the ship. All went without a hitch and we were straight on board in no time. Our cabin was very good, clean and tidy and our steward was just excellent with great attention to detail - nothing was too much trouble. Food was also very good and the service could not be faulted, especially as my husband has a nut allergy. Every care was taken when preparing his food. The entertainment on-board in the theatre was first class and the magic show was just amazing. The ship was very nice however there were a few places where a bit of TLC would not have gone amiss. It was a disappointment when we were invited to attend the Captain's party only for him to not show - understandably we were informed he was busy on the bridge but when we were told the Deputy Captain would attend it would have been nice of him/her to make himself known!!!! After about 15 minutes the majority of people dwindled away! Next came New Year's Eve and the party we had been looking forward to. Unfortunately there was no "big party", only the bars doing their own thing. The staff worked hard but it was not what we expected. Then for the sail away party - or not. Admittedly it was very cold and the staff tried to get the few people involved who had shown up but where were the flags, etc. After a song from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England (which were not the usual songs played at a sail away party) the staff disappeared. There was not the atmosphere there that there usually is. Would we travel with P&O again? In short Yes but not for New Year -sorry P&O! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After over half a dozen wonderful cruises on Arcadia, we booked this special new years cruise without hesitation and again we were not disappointed! Everything from start to finish was very good indeed. From a smooth and quick ... Read More
After over half a dozen wonderful cruises on Arcadia, we booked this special new years cruise without hesitation and again we were not disappointed! Everything from start to finish was very good indeed. From a smooth and quick embarkation, the very tasteful Christmas Decorations in Arcadia's already classy public areas to our lovely mini suite and generally attentive and happy crew it really was a 'new year' to remember. It was also nice to see routine maintenance such as painting the hull being done after my concern of her rather 'stained' condition from a previous cruise to Venice. Just those handrails on the balconies to do now P&O! ;-) We couldn't have been happier with our mini-suite cabin. Clean, tidy and well appointed with plenty of space and good amounts of storage. A lovely sized balcony and being slightly larger it had space for a a table and chairs as well as a couple of loungers. Our steward was always polite and friendly but it does worry us just how many cabins they are having to do - it's amazing the standards they achieve. Enjoyed just about everything we ate whether it be in the main restaurant, buffet or Sindhu - the speciality fusion restaurant on-board. One or two dishes came out a little 'different' to what we expected in the main restaurant but still tasted good! However we really did notice the sheer workload of the restaurant stewards (we were club dining)- almost looking rather rushed and frantic at times! A good selection of entertainment was provided - especially being a new years cruise. The Palladium theatre is without doubt the best theatre of the fleet and the headliners did a good job with 'Astonishing' and the 'Burt Bacharach' tribute show - both really enjoyable with high quality audio and lighting. P&O really are upping there game across the fleet in this respect! Overall we found all the service on-board polite and attentive and there's always a few wonderful 'characters' who really help to make your holiday. Of course if you treat them with respect then you get the same in return - a lesson a number of passengers could take note of.... Only ports of call were Amsterdam and Zeebrugge. Both always enjoyable and worth a visit. This was my 18th cruise - most of which were on all the various P&O ships as well as one or two on Cunard, and for me Arcadia is the most special indeed. The right mix of facilities and spaces, quite understated (not too much fake ritze and glitz) and of course the real wow factor and beautiful lines of a Vista Class Vessel - not to mention being by the most stable and comfortable of the fleet! Yes her Atrium is small and a little underwhelming at first but it does make an excellent social space throughout the day and especially in the evenings - something many other atrium's can't boast being often just too big! Remember people are much quicker to complain and moan often using these forums to air their gripes rather than just discussing directly with P&O. The fact that P&O is having no problem filling this lovely ship with a VERY high level of loyal and returning custom speaks for itself. Loved it so much we just booked the full world cruise on her in 2021 - can't give it a higher recommendation than that! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We’ve just returned from a most enjoyable new year cruise to Amsterdam on the Arcadia. The experience was absolutely fantastic with friendly and attentive staff, excellent standard of food in the Meridian restaurant and some quality ... Read More
We’ve just returned from a most enjoyable new year cruise to Amsterdam on the Arcadia. The experience was absolutely fantastic with friendly and attentive staff, excellent standard of food in the Meridian restaurant and some quality entertainment. We have cruised with other companies before and found that P&O is much better value in terms of cruise price and also the price of services and drinks on board. The bars and communal areas are all very comfortable with plenty of different options to choose from; all are well decorated and it’s easy for time to pass by on a sea day. The cabins are standard size and whilst, as other reviews comment, the decor is a little tired, our cabin was clean, comfortable and out steward made every effort to ensure our trip was as enjoyable as possible. The food in the meridian restaurant was of a very good standard and well presented with plenty of choice. The vegetarian menu was by the the best we’ve seen. We’ll definitely be booking another cruise with P&O again in the future. Overall, absolutely no complaints! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I went on the Arcadia Christmas cruise to Norway and Denmark on 19th December 2019. We have not been on this ship before but have been on other P&O ships. I do not know how this ship gets bad reviews, mind you looking at ... Read More
My wife and I went on the Arcadia Christmas cruise to Norway and Denmark on 19th December 2019. We have not been on this ship before but have been on other P&O ships. I do not know how this ship gets bad reviews, mind you looking at some of the passengers I don't think they would enjoy anything. The ship was clean and tidy and well decorated for Christmas. Yes there are a few paint chips and scuff marks but how does anything like that spoil a cruise. There were new carpets in the lobby and gangways, we could not fault the ship. The food was excellent. We only used the buffet for breakfast and occasional lunch which again we could not fault for quality and choice. We were seated at the same table in the Meridian restaurant with two other great couples. There was a wide choice of food. One evening we went to the Sindhu and had a great meal and the service was very good. We also went to the Ocean Grill one evening and were both disappointed by the food and the service. The food was not very nice and the service was rushed. If this is supposed to be a menu that Marco Pierre White designed then we think he should go back on the ship and check it out. The Headliners Theatre Company put on very good shows and the visiting acts throughout the 10 days were entertaining. The Entertainments Manager was newly arrived and together with his team did an excellent job. The bars around the ship were always buzzing with something happening. The Captain was informative and quite funny with his announcements. The shore excursions are expensive but that is the same on any cruise line. We went on two excursions but one was good the other not so good. Our cabin was A15 on Australia deck. The cabin has a balcony but compared to other P&O ships the cabin itself was quite small. The cabin was kept immaculate by our cabin steward Beverley who did a great job nothing was too much for her. Overall we had a great time and would say that you should not take any notice of the negative reviews .Some people will complain all the time and some would collapse if they had to smile or say "Good Morning". Some don't even look at you and seem amazed when you speak to them. Perhaps they don't do that on Cunard which we heard on many occasions being dropped into the conversation! We Loved it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Hammering, Drilling and Maintenance We were on our third cruise with P and O. We were so looking forward to this which was my birthday present cruise in December. We thought our cabin had seen better days but had the very professional ... Read More
Hammering, Drilling and Maintenance We were on our third cruise with P and O. We were so looking forward to this which was my birthday present cruise in December. We thought our cabin had seen better days but had the very professional Hilda as our steward and she took care of usvand was always smiling. Most of the staff were wonderful and so happy. On boarding we decided to loaf around in the pool area and had to leave pretty quick as the pool was empty and being painted. I have asthma and paint doesn't serve me well. The paint stench last a few days. The Meridien restaurant was superb and the staff were magical professionals. MAINTENANCE... For a few nights we heard something like a ball continually bouncing above our cabin....then scraping and banging. It kept us awake for hours and we eventually informed reception who said we should call when it's happening (snotty attitude). Must say that Katarina at reception was superb and suggested a wonderful walking tour of Lisbon which included history and shopping at smaller stores. Our walking talking tour was the highlight of our cruise and we thank Katarina. MAINTENANCE... Bang, bang at night again. We called reception and someone was sent to check it out (above cabin A 098) We were told that it was kitchen staff washing dishes and prepping food which we thought was a lie as the ships map didn't show a kitchen above us. The banging eventually stopped and we couldn't sleep as we were too wound up. We are happy go lucky and easy going but this was too much. Next day I heard banging and scraping whilst in the buffet and there was a white sheet covering an area which hid a worker banging and scraping. I have a video recorded ready for YouTube. It seems the floor area and the mural above were more important than us passengers. Everyone was upset. I was as this was my 68th birthday and I was but days out of hospital and in need of peace. The first part of the cruise we were often, snottily, told that we couldn't sit in a certain area as it was for officers only. That's fair enough but a whole side which was never full??? One night there was a lot of banging in the balcony area of our cabin and a polite maintenance guy came and fixed it in the morning. We were given $200 extra onboard spend and a beautiful bouquet of flowers as an apology but what price an unhappy holiday? Is there anything that can be done to stop the stench of cigarettes wafting into the buffet? Or the awful people that smoke in the public toilets???? We thought the entertainment wasn't up to much and the sound testing could have been more professional - continual 1 2 ing is not necessary these days. The four piece in the Rising Sun looked terribly miserable. The food and service was very good in the Belvedere although the continual upselling at the tables was too much. The Meridien food, service and ambience was high quality. I hate giving bad reviews but be careful folks. I've been in the Hotel, Club and Entertainment business for most of my life and, ironically, not fussy but this was way too annoying for us. I feel cheated DS Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Firstly the price paid is a huge factor in the context of any review - your expectations are naturally higher paying £1000 per night than our bargain £79.00 each for a balcony cabin. At this value my expectations were certainly exceeded. ... Read More
Firstly the price paid is a huge factor in the context of any review - your expectations are naturally higher paying £1000 per night than our bargain £79.00 each for a balcony cabin. At this value my expectations were certainly exceeded. We have sailed on 20 cruises, mostly Cunard, and this was our first trip on an adult only ship. I hadn’t expected much difference but it was SO much calmer without noisy children rushing around. The weather was dreadful on the departure day from Southampton and rather than put us all through hell the captain delayed leaving until 3.00 am the next morning when things were forecast to be calmer - at no doubt a considerable cost to P&O in port fees. Impressive touch. Tip - if you are a delicate sailor when seas get rough there is considerably less movement in the cabins midship compared to where we were at the front. And you don’t hear the loud bangs of the waves hitting the bow. Food was excellent and even better in the speciality dining venues - worth waiting for the special offers to sample. In fact no meal disappointed but the Lido was a bit of a scrum at breakfast and lunch. Much more relaxing in the dining rooms. We opted for Freedom Dining but the queues and waits were so long unless you ate right at the beginning or towards the end of the session, when the food took a while to arrive. Next time we will go for fixed dining and have our table waiting for us. The ships interior wasn’t up to Cunards high boutique standards but then the price was considerably lower. And it felt comfortable all round. Cabin fine, You do have to climb into a uselessly small bath to have a shower which could be a mobility issue but beds were comfy. Not many tv channels. Our cabin steward Maria was just lovely - prepared everything with such care. The was a smell of sewage at times in the central atrium area but perhaps they will sort this next April in the refurbishment. No tips or service charge on the drinks which along with the excellent shore excursions were much cheaper than Cunard. Excellent entertainment in a stunning theatre. Lovely spa too and one acupuncture session instantly cured my frozen shoulder after two years. Would we go back? For the right destinations at the right price definitely! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
O.K. so if you opt for a cruise to Northern Norway at the end of November you've got to expect that the weather might be problematic and it was! This was not a great cruise experience and unfortunately this was not entirely due to ... Read More
O.K. so if you opt for a cruise to Northern Norway at the end of November you've got to expect that the weather might be problematic and it was! This was not a great cruise experience and unfortunately this was not entirely due to the various storms and gales that we sailed through. To warn future searchers for the Northern Lights you should research the itinerary carefully. Technically we were in Narvik and Tromso for 2 days each but we left in the very early hours of the 2nd day in each place so less than 20hrs in each case would be the truth.Also luck was not with us. On safety grounds the captain took us to Narvik first ( we were scheduled to visit Tromso).  Narvik was cold,windy and very snowy and there were problems with Shuttle buses into town. It was walkable, in the right gear, but a 15 minute wait to get back on board in pretty poor conditions with no shelter I could have done without. The weather in Tromso, when we did arrive, meant that there was very little chance of seeing the Northern Lights. We had a chat with some local guides and they told us that all trips that evening had been cancelled as there was no chance of a sighting but to add insult to injury they said that on the day that we had originally been scheduled to be there, there had been a fine display. Boo! Also they were busy refunding the ship's passengers who had booked private tours. P&O clearly had better local knowledge, or worse ethics, than the locals as their Northern lights tours at nearly £100 a go, went ahead. I understand that they were unsuccessful. Due to the bad weather going back (as opposed to the bad weather going!) we missed Stavanger entirely, which resulted in 4 sea days before Southampton. We were o.k. as regards sea sickness and coped well with the movement of the ship. Also it didn't seem to affect our appetites but the decks and indoor swimming pool were all closed for most of the time and I must confess to a touch of 'cabin fever'. The ship creaked and groaned, various buckets appeared to catch the drips and there was a spectacular eruption in the floor of the Belvedere restaurant. The ship did show considerable signs of wear and tear. Our first cabin's balcony partition had to be wedged closed with a wooden peg and the emergency exit in the Meridian flew open spontaneously several times at Dinner. Coffee machines malfunctioned and various toilets were out of order. The ship was noisy as you would expect in stormy weather and some nights sleep was very difficult.So all this is pretty negative, but there are some positives. We were very impressed by most of the crew. Our cabin steward was superb, most of the waiters at dinner were friendly, efficient and helpful and the staff at reception were cheerful and effective. It was deemed necessary for us to move cabins and the move was well organised by various members of the crew. A problem in the dining room was dealt with in a most sensitive and professional manner. The captain kept us well informed as regards the weather and the itinerary changes but there were times when I felt that I was listening to Eeyore as regards his less than optimistic utterances. "We are all in this together' springs to mind.The food varied from the good to the excellent,the entertainment in the evenings was interesting, in a good way, although one Headliners show fell victim to the weather at the last minute. The lectures by John Maclean were most interesting.So there were some pluses.  However, back in Southampton the failure of the Airbridge caused disembarkation chaos.Sometimes you can't catch a break!  Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cruise Norway 26/11/19 What can I say, been on a good few P&O cruises and enjoyed them all even in bad weather and heavy seas but this one to Norway on Arcadia was bad. The cruise was advertised by Iglu as a 12 nighter with 4 ... Read More
Cruise Norway 26/11/19 What can I say, been on a good few P&O cruises and enjoyed them all even in bad weather and heavy seas but this one to Norway on Arcadia was bad. The cruise was advertised by Iglu as a 12 nighter with 4 stops two of those being overnight, good selling point, to us overnight means overnight so less time at sea but Iglu's overnight meant leaving port at 1 or 2 am so more time at sea not less. Itinerary clearly stated six sea days but with bad weather and not docking at Stavenger because of that weather, we spent 9 days at sea, no joke and not pleasant. Another selling point of this cruise was sailing down Romsdalsfjord where we hoped to take photographs, what they didn't say was we would be going through the fjord in pitch dark at night, (pointless). The weather was bad most of the trip, can't be helped no fault of P&O's, and most of the trip the Arcadia moaned, groaned and creaked day and night the noises she made were very unnerving and scary at times as I said above we've cruised in bad weather before but never had feeling of dread as on this ship the captains broadcasts were no help and never inspired confidence, prophet of doom, you know things are bad when people tell you they are afraidfor their lives indeed so afraid some abandoned Arcadia at Tromso to fly home at their own expense and many first time cruisers on board said they would never cruise again, we held our nerve and stuck it out. On a lesser note but very concerning the food was almost as rough as the weather and restaurant layout illogical. First day there I could find no individual yogurt pots instead P&O have gone down the money saving route and are now using large open tubs of different flavoured yogurt which you scoop from yourself, fine, until I saw a woman dipping her fingerin each tub of yogurt and tasting each in turn, disgusting, needless to say no yogurt for us on that trip no wonder you read of norovirus problems on Arcadia. I enjoy a sachet of brown sauce with breakfast, no more sachets, just bottles of HPwith crusty brown tops, lots of curry on board but if you prefer french fry's instead of rice with it you must queue again on the other side of restaurant while your main course go's cold, no real butter or cream served to go with a scone the list go,s on. As said, I have enjoyed P&O on past cruises and hope to do so in future but I doubt we'll go on this ship again the way the itinerary differed from that advertised I would class Arcadia a tramp steamer not a passenger liner, infactI would have to be press-ganged to board her again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had ... Read More
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had sailed through the fog (the first couple of days) the weather was really good. Interesting ports of call and extremely easy to get ashore when in port. The ship is very comfortable but quite tired. Everything works as it should be but there are signs around windows etc to suggest that perhaps a re-fit ought to be imminent. The cabin was very comfortable but quite clearly had been constructed later when the P & O decided to make the Arcadia child free. The food was excellent although my other half thought that there could have been some more plain dishes on the menu. However we didn't have a meal that was not to our tastes. Both the cabin staff and the dining staff were very good, pleasant and ready to converse with the passengers. We enjoyed the excursions we booked and the arrangements to meet for them was really excellent, on the pier or just off and so no nonsense about meeting in the theatre on the ship. All in all it was an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Initially, we chose this cruise because it was quite cheap and we could pay monthly. As the time for the cruise drew nearer I was quite nervous because I'd seen some bad reviews for the ship. My fears soon vanished when we arrived ... Read More
Initially, we chose this cruise because it was quite cheap and we could pay monthly. As the time for the cruise drew nearer I was quite nervous because I'd seen some bad reviews for the ship. My fears soon vanished when we arrived at the terminal. Embarkation was simple and quick and we were soon in our room. The cabin was much larger than I expected, very roomy and plenty of storage space. We had a great room steward, Thomas, who looked after the cabin really well. We had a meal in the Belvidere Buffet which was excellent. Later we went to the Meridian restaurant where we introduced to our waiters Joe and Lee. The food and service were absolutely fantastic, every single day. I can't praise the service highly enough, nothing was too much trouble and the food was so lovely. The Palladium Theatre was excellent and provided first-rate entertainment from the Headliners and various other entertainers. The ship talks were interesting and varied. Gym facilities are excellent and there are free dance classes. The spa is lovely and I had an excellent series of acupuncture sessions with Koko and learned a great deal about Chinese medicine. The two pools are excellent, especially the whirlpools. There are several excellent bars and the Globe does some very interesting talks too. The library is good. The shore excursions were fabulous and good value for money, especially the Corfu and Sardinian ones. Was there anything I disliked??? Yes, there was, the cruise had to end. It was an experience of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruise WVDV6X. ARCADIA 16 September – 10 October 2019. Canada Sorry for the delay with this review. Family issues have taken up my time since we have returned Our 6th P and O cruise so far. To my mind in many ways the best cruise ... Read More
Cruise WVDV6X. ARCADIA 16 September – 10 October 2019. Canada Sorry for the delay with this review. Family issues have taken up my time since we have returned Our 6th P and O cruise so far. To my mind in many ways the best cruise we have been on, (ish) Embarkation was very fast and efficient. The same with disembarkation, we left ahead of schedule Our cabin was B17, an inside and at the front. Front and high up!! But to be honest it was a great position, very very quiet. Great cabin. We had a little swell on the return across the Atlantic, but you would never know it. Ok a few annoying squeaks and rattles from the ship, but I bet even the posh suites have them. Arcadia handles very well A great ship, we loved Arcadia. Spent a lot of time in the viewing room, and the Palladium Theatre The headliners group was the best we have ever seen, and I would have been happy to have paid to see them perform, (I don’t want to give P & O any ideas though!). We had seen many of the productions before on previous cruises. But without exception this group blew the previous productions right out of the water. Loved the new show, Astonishing. Also the Palladium has a fabulous stage; it allows the production to completely step up another level. We’ve been on some of the American lines, and it’s good to see the Brits can go for it, and rival them! The seating is comfortable and varied, just don’t get stuck behind a pillar! Or sit in either of the “goldfish bowls”, the view is generally obstructed to a degree Other entertainers. We had seen Phil Hitchcock on Princess and it was the same act that we saw several years ago. We had seen Elektra before, but Im thinking one of the girls has been replaced. Roy Walker of course, he never offends, great guy and as always a show worth seeing. Stephanie Webber was good (couldn’t get my partner to attend a second concert). Jon Courtenay, a good show to be fair ( I liked him anyway) We found the crew happy and friendly without exception. The service has not suffered one bit because of the daily gratuities being dropped. Although we still tipped out room steward Linda as we always do. We found Linda approachable and always fun, even when she was clearly knackered and on her knees!! They are worked so hard The port presentations were fantastic. A very personable guy with lots of flair, (John, I think?). He loves lobster and a glass of vino ( a lot). A Brit that now lives in Aus. The presenter makes it worth going to each and every presentation regardless if you intend to book a shore excursion or not We came across Terry Brown again. He is the murder mystery guy. We had him onboard on Aurora a couple of years ago and attended his talks. But didn’t take it any further, (that cruise was a hot one to the Middle East and the sun/pool was more of a draw! Sorry Terry). This time I applied to be a murder suspect and was lucky enough to be chosen. It’s all great fun and Terry is the hilarious glue that holds it all together. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. P & O you need to follow this up and have more murder mystery guest’s speakers Food. We ate mostly in the Belvedere restaurant. Open from 6.30 am – 1.30am. Mostly because we like to be flexible with times and our menu. It was fine and served a purpose. I did find Belvedere a little ridged and the menu a little restricted at times. The food and service however was first class. A little gripe is, why have specially cooking areas in the middle of the “buffet line”, it makes no sense to me. It just holds everyone up. You can’t get to the dishes you want when there is a “mosh pit” of people waiting for let’s say an omelette right in the middle of the line. I also agree with some other comments. The food being bland and tasteless at times. Garlic bread –no garlic!! Lemon tart/sponge no hint of lemon!! We did not take a drinks package as P & Os options just don’t appeal The Lido enclosed deck was just too cold to enjoy at times. Not P & O fault. But they still held a couple of events their when it was simply too cold to enjoy. I kind of think, work around it maybe The viewing room. I loved it. It’s a boutique cinema that holds 30 people only. Tickets are to be pre booked. We used it a lot and so enjoyed it. The seating is so comfortable, and we enjoyed most of the films Especially enjoyed the poolside food stations. It saves going into the Belvedere for lunch/snacks if you’re enjoying the undercover pool. Everything is cooked prepared to order. However a note.... I do think a tea/coffee station needs to available here (Oceana style) as you still have to go into the Belvedere for these. There is plenty of room to install!! The cruise destinations I found to be a little underwhelming in general. Quebec was fab, although we ended up having three days and not two (it rained heavily for two of the days!). Other ports of call were fairly small and didn’t have a lot to offer. P and O tours were mostly sold out, so we set sail with no further capacity to be available We did the hop on/off bus in Quebec and Halifax. Both were ok with a couple of nice stops on each tour, and as always a good way to travel. The Blue Bus in Charlotteown, and even though we visited on a different day to our ticket (due to the cruise being altered) they honoured the ticket. Sydney, no tours available and it rained heavily. Thankfully a good cruise terminal and a market. Sept-lies a good day but just nothing to do except walk along the seafront, and that was fine. Gaspe, a walk around the bay to a museum that we felt was too expensive to enter. We then walked through the town, visited the wooden church. What saved the day here was on the quayside the local pub had some entertainment, with dancing and live music Not P & Os fault, but I did find the destinations a bit disappointing in general. Would I go again....sorry no! However I cant wait to cruise again on Arcadia, loved her. I thought we had great value for money overall Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.1
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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