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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for my husband to experience the Panama Canal . Don’t expect to much of anything on this ship very poor in so many areas and ways P&O have really dropped their standards. Dated cabins with dirty stained sweaty ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my husband to experience the Panama Canal . Don’t expect to much of anything on this ship very poor in so many areas and ways P&O have really dropped their standards. Dated cabins with dirty stained sweaty pillows threaded quilt covers dirty shower curtain that wasn’t changed for the duration of our 24 day cruise, unhelpful rude reception staff ( females mainly) dirty ripped chair covers on the furniture ( horizon pool ) are only a few of our many disappointments and concerns for others planning to sail on this ship. The restaurant and waiting staff were very polite helpful and friendly however freedom dining doesn’t exist as even although we booked this dining we were revived a pager for each meal. This cruise was an expensive mistake however a lesson learned. I’m really not someone who normally writes reviews however If this saves even one other person parting with £6000 plus of their hard earned money then my time and review will be worth it. Think twice before booking this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We flew to Southampton a day early so that we could have a stress free embarkation the following day, this gave us the opportunity to have a look round the city. Embarkation was extremely smooth and we boarded Arcadia early. When we ... Read More
We flew to Southampton a day early so that we could have a stress free embarkation the following day, this gave us the opportunity to have a look round the city. Embarkation was extremely smooth and we boarded Arcadia early. When we first saw our cabin we were concerned where all of our clothes and possessions were going to go but in fact there was plenty of storage space and we were able to put everything away neatly and were quite happy with our "new home" for 2 months. This was our first cruise so being on a ship was totally new to us and we were very impressed. Our preferred dining option became the Meridian restaurant where we had club dining, which was on a fixed table in the second sitting. We initially thought this was a bit late (8.30pm) but in fact it worked out very well for us. Our waiter for the duration of the cruise was fantastic as were all the other staff, they work so hard and have some difficult passengers to deal with. There were plenty of activities to participate in if you wished. We enjoyed some talks and presentations, in particular, the Port and Shore excursion presentations by the very knowledgeable Sam and the nature/bird presentations by Nigel Marven. The Captain had various problems to deal with, including passengers ill-health and avoiding a cyclone in the South Pacific meaning we had to miss 2 ports. This was handled really well despite the Force 10 storm and safety obviously had to come first. Would we go on Arcadia again? Yes, it was a fantastic experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Opportunity to transit Panama Canal.Embarkation excellent. Cabin reasonable. Staff very friendly and helpful. Special mention to Sam for port excursion talks- excellent and Albano our cabin steward who was excellent. Misty Blue trio very ... Read More
Opportunity to transit Panama Canal.Embarkation excellent. Cabin reasonable. Staff very friendly and helpful. Special mention to Sam for port excursion talks- excellent and Albano our cabin steward who was excellent. Misty Blue trio very good and sail away parties enjoyable. Downside lack of dress code enforcement- on formal nights people seen in shorts, t shirts which spoils it for those making an effort. Quizzes every night in almost every bar- bad if you don’t like quizzes -crows nest should be a quiz free zone!! Too many smoking areas around the ship spoiling the walk around the promenade deck!!! Smoking rules not enforced especially round the pool in the Aquarius bar. Booked the Ocean Grill and Sindhu on a few occasions as we didn’t like queuing for food -menu limited and fish in Ocean Grill very dry- staff good though. Had to ask for more toiletries when ours ran out which is bad. Ship had so many leaks so buckets wer strewn around the deck -not very nice. Seemed to be too many passengers for the size of the ship- had to wait ages for lifts- ok for us but people with disabilities suffered. Sometimes couldn’t get into the theatre as people had been reserving seats early on.Lack of performances from Headliners. Guest speakers on the whole were very entertaining. Captain’s cocktail party was farcical -too many people in the Neptune bar to be enjoyable. I don’think we will travel with P and O again as we have travelled with Cunard before and although more expensive it is a little less like a holiday camp. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the ... Read More
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the Headliner productions. I have seen many excellent performances on many cruise ships over the years, but they were OUTSTANDING in every one of their shows. The decorations on the ship were first class, the ship really had a great Christmas feel. Thirdly the food and service in both the Meridian dining room and Belvedere could not be faulted….well done to all the staff involved. I will not forget Christmas Day from the Bucks fizz at breakfast to excellent Christmas day dinner to The Runaround Kids in the theatre at night. The ports were stunning each island offering something different from golden sands and deep blue sea to rum tasting in Barbados and shopping in Nassau with Christmas decorations in all the shops and bargains to be had. The ship docked almost on the beach in Grand Turk, which was a great place to feel the sand between your toes The only two negatives for me were the unfortunate “Arcadia cough” which so many passengers seemed to suffer with, and the rudeness, on our second day, by a member of the team when we popped into the games room. I thought I would be bored on a 28 day cruise but far from it, from the excellent films that were shown either in the globe or screening room to the live music being played around the ship it was an experience to treasure. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The last time we went on Arcadia was before her refit so was pleasantly surprised when we saw her again and saw how sympathetically P&O had done the refurbishment. The ship always flowed naturally and even with the insertion of new ... Read More
The last time we went on Arcadia was before her refit so was pleasantly surprised when we saw her again and saw how sympathetically P&O had done the refurbishment. The ship always flowed naturally and even with the insertion of new rooms and a longer Rising Sun Pub which was always packaged. We had a deluxe balcony cabin which had also been refurbished and was nice. The only fault we have is the air conditioning which you can only switch higher or lower and not turn off completely. We had second seating for dining and a table for two which we prefer and had lovely waiters who couldn't do enough for you and there was always something on the menu you could have. The Headliners shows were the best on this ship to any that we have seen before. And this troop was superb. The other entertainment brought on where really hit & miss and only the Basetones and Bruce Parker were to my liking. There's was always something going on throughout the day and if you wanted something to do, there was always something there. Our ports of call were good and a couple we had not been to before. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first "C'mas & New Year" cruise and only our 2nd with P & O. Intriguingly, the first was on Arcadia back in 2006. Subsequent experiences on Cunard and Regent may have tainted our view of this cruise ... Read More
This was our first "C'mas & New Year" cruise and only our 2nd with P & O. Intriguingly, the first was on Arcadia back in 2006. Subsequent experiences on Cunard and Regent may have tainted our view of this cruise tbh. For the most part it was, pretty much, what we expected. We opted for freedom dining and we had an aft suite on the port side. We met some interesting & friendly people and enjoyed the "shared table" experience quite often, particularly at lunch time. P & O do a few things very well - embarkation was surprisingly painless and swift, we had a lovely buffet on arrival. Sadly that was the only "lovely buffet" we had all trip. Entertainment is, generally, first class. The ship entertainers varied from mediocre to outstanding. We particularly liked the lounge pianist Steve Kingsbury who entertained us regally whether it be afternoon or evening. His range & versatility, the ability to switch from classical to musicals and "pop" was terrific. Lovely guy too, enjoyed chatting with him around the ship, he helped to make our cruise special. Equally, Small Talk duo were very good and the Headliners group were excellent, except for a couple of very "shouty" lead female singers whose performances were often marred by them simply screeching instead of singing. Guest entertainers varied too but some, like the Base Tones, Runaround Kids (on C'mas day) and, remarkably, Bernie Flint were fantastic in our view. Elektra and Ida were also very good - it just seems so long since we saw them performing! Others ere ok, sometimes just not our taste The fine dining options were superb, we chose to eat 6 times in Ocean Grill and 5 in Sinhu - they were that good. Food and service in both is excellent. The additional "extra supplement" charges for some items in OG is really irritating though. We ate breakfast in Sindhu too as we were in a suite. This is an example of P & O getting it right. Comfortable surroundings, assigned table, great service and good food options. Nadia and the rest of the team there are all very good. The main dining room was very good for lunch and the food in the evening was usually hot and well presented. Not always the most inspiring menu choices, perhaps, but everything was fine The real disappointment on the food side was the buffet - which was fairly awful for both lunch and dinner. We only bothered occasionally but I have never seen such a poor selection of salad items, desperately sad looking cold meat and fish offerings and the hot food was generally themed but always seemed to lack any imagination. Most of the time the cold selection did not vary from day to day - but it was a miracle if the same dressings appeared. Never been a fan of scampering around to find a table anyway but the lack of seating in the buffet, particularly, at busy lunch times is quite marked on this ship. I enjoyed the spa, used it most days, and had several massages - Sophie and Shanda are excellent therapists. The Spa Manager, from Zimbabwe, was lovely and extremely courteous and professional - not sure how you spell her name, Kundzi or similar, I think - sorry I didn't take note of it because she was great. Unfortunately,the crossing was lively so we didn't get to use the pools much. Which brings us to some of the problems: The Captain decided to re-route to avoid bad weather but his some pretty huge swells and bad weather anyway. The first few nights were atrocious and sleep was almost impossible at the aft of the ship due to the excessive vibration and incredible noises that emanated from the back of the vessel. We also had a few technical issues with the suite, these ranged from a loud banging all day and night - which I discovered was due to a badly fitted dividing panel between us and next door's balcony. We were told the shower would be re-grouted but waited over a week, including days when we were off the ship on trips, for that to happen, when it did it was when we returned to the suite at c 5.00 pm & wanted to prepare for dinner, so the lack of communication was an issue there. A similar issue in respect of a broken lounger chair handle also occurred. The change of route also cost us our first day in port at Bermuda, which was major disappointment for many of us - who chose the trip, in part, due the stop over in Bermuda! When the ship came loose from its moorings and floated around Hamilton harbour at 3.00 am we, seriously, started to question the overall control and management of the vessel. The Captain's attempts at humour and glib comments about the mishaps didn't do much to endear him to us either. I would not wish to be on a ship if he was at the helm again - I've never had to think about that before. Along with several others that I spoke to who shared the same opinion,, we found him to be far too aloof and, basically, cavalier about the whole thing. The good news was that we enjoyed the ports, although Nassau was a bit of disappointment. The "best of " excursion left quite a bit to be desired there. However, Antigua, St Lucia Grand Turk and Barbados more than made up for that, as did a wet nd windy stop in the Azores. Terceira was very interesting and we loved visiting the city of Angra as well as Praia de Vittoria, a quaint and colonial port. We were baffled by the shore excursion process - no staff to control it just a free for all getting of the ship, which was frenetic and caused long queues in several ports. Local guides did all the controlling & shore excursion staff simply pointed people, vaguely, in the right direction to find them. That was just plain weird tbh and could be handled far more efficiently and effectively. Fortunately, in our case, the local guides were first class and managed to rescue the situation well on each occasion. My other gripe is the fact that public lounge areas are not the most practical for a ship this size. The Piano Bar is actually just a corridor with seats in it! Many of which are not suitably positioned to hear/see the entertainment on offer. Likewise, the Crows Nest seating arrangement is awful - half the seats face sideways or directly opposite the stage area. Intermezzo is a strange and not particularly comfortable lounge that rarely gets used and looks a bit of an after thought. Overall, there were some highlights, some disappointments and some serious flaws - it will be some time before we consider cruising with P & O again tbh. I would have to say that we did enjoy spending the festive period on board but wouldn't rush back to repeat it. I think the advantage of not flying was outweighed by the lack of variety of day time entertainment on the ship and, on this trip, the risk of a bad crossing at that time of year but we prefer smaller ships anyway. Bit of a lengthy review but it was an eventful cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We flew out of Perth on Boxing Day, West Australia, for this cruise, we thought it would be the best cruise experience with exotic ports of calls and were so eager to experience these. Have cruised for many many years, but this was the ... Read More
We flew out of Perth on Boxing Day, West Australia, for this cruise, we thought it would be the best cruise experience with exotic ports of calls and were so eager to experience these. Have cruised for many many years, but this was the worst experience on the high seas we have had. OK so the steering gear didn't want to work but at least we were in Southampton! Glad it wasn't in the middle of the Pacific or Atlantic. Having a problem with certain foods I wrote to P & O months in advance naming items I could not have. We dined in the main dining room so my diet could be accommodated I was given food that I threw up! I felt very vunerable as I wondered what other meals I was going to get a reaction to. Phoned Reception to let them know and was then contacted by a nurse in the Medical Centre by phone. I was told to keep in my Cabin and not go out on the paid Tour of Madeira we had just arrived at! Why we asked? Having told them it was a reaction to food I should not have been given. The reply came back You may have the Norovirus! Great, I asked if I get a reaction to food again and let the Reception know [so the bathroom can be cleaned] I will be treated as some dirty passenger that doesn't wash their hands after going to the loo will I? Yes, came the reply back, you may have the Norovirus! Well what a difference in shipping lines my husband and I thought. Here I was been given food I should not have and I get treated like this. The year before on the Maasdam [Holland America] same thing happened but the doctor at least checked me over and was happy for me to mix with the passengers as she said you haven't the virus. Their medical centre gave me medication to help my digestive system. Not P & O Arcadia, I was not even seen by a member of the medical team! Then we get to Aruba and my husband was not well, he lost his voice and had a temperature. Turns out a passenger had been let on board the ship with a nasty virus, my guess was at least 50% of the passengers caught this virus. The virus made heavy mucous in the Trachea, so the patient coughs very hard to try to get the mucas up. Husband was put on anti biotics, a week later I had the same infection and same treatment. The virus affected my throat and my well being for the rest of the cruise till we got to Sydney. Why do they let sick people on board and allow them to mix in public areas while infectious? They should be kept in confinement like I was when I didn't have the Norovirus. I have had three lots of antibiotics and my voice is still affected. Enjoyed the Quiz Night in the Crows Nest though, but it was a bit late at 10.30pm! The beds were very comfortable but the bed linen always smelt of sweat even when they were changed with new bedding! The air conditioning was not consistant in temperature, we ended up having a new control. But I rather suspect the air conditioning was not affective due to the people next to us leaving their doors open as they smoked on their balcony and the wind blew their smoke into our balcony. I agree with another comment here that the Hotel Manager of the Ship doesn't manage smokers! One evening at dinner one of the guys mentioned he had approached a smoker on the Promenade deck smoking, so the smoker throws his cigarette over board which as a regular cruiser we know that could cause a fire! We were all aghast. The rear lifts on our deck B were always smelling of smoke, the carpets in those lifts were always dirty, in fact we had never seen such dirty carpet in the lifts as we had the Arcadia. We saw cleaners in the evenings when we went down to dinner cleaning the buttons of the Lift, but that is the only time, unlike Holland America where cleaners are always busy cleaning everything. Hawaiian Tour was pleasant and we were lucky to have a 24 seater bus! More personal. However, the driver finished 10 minutes earlier than planned and was told to make the time up instead of returning to the ship. When we did return to the ship we and approx 300 others had to stand in line for scanning by the US authorities. Most of us were senior Citizens, and some were disabled. No thought had been addressed to accommodate the waiting in line for 40 odd minutes to be scanned. When we get on board the main Dining Room was closed, so my disabled husband had to go to find food up on deck 9 without me. With crutches it was not easy. I was told to remain in my cabin and my 'special meal' would be brought to me, so we could not eat together! Sadly we had to complain to the Cabin Steward who was very accommodating and pleasant, nothing was too much trouble for him, that our shower recess grouting when we boarded had black mould. He explained he was not allowed to use bleach and would have to get someone in to clean the dirty grout. Later we were asked by the Deck Manager if he could get the tiles regrouted! Not wanting to experience the smell of chemicals with the glue we declined. Ten days out of Sydney we finally were able to clean out teeth in cold water, up till then we had to use hot water, we had complained earlier, but was told that the plumber did not have the relevant pipes to make the cold water come to the tap in the vanity basins. We do not think this was $44,000 + worth of cruise although it was 7 weeks, the mini suite was fine, the Head Waiter Manuel was fantastic, he would go that extra mile where others would not! Would we go on P & O Europe again? NEVER if that is the best they can come up with! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Don't believe anyone who tells you that it is a big ship so it won't be affected by the weather. We set off in a force nine gale. Spent the night being sea sick in the cabin, only to be told that we couldn't berth in ... Read More
Don't believe anyone who tells you that it is a big ship so it won't be affected by the weather. We set off in a force nine gale. Spent the night being sea sick in the cabin, only to be told that we couldn't berth in Zebrugge next morning due to the weather and were heading back out to sea. All day the wind howled, for 12 hours the boat rocked and rolled, went round and round in circles and we were unable to leave the cabin or the toilet due to sea sickness. Missed out on all the meals as so unwell. There followed another awful night sailing back to Southampton in gale force winds. I have never felt so sea sick in my life. This was my first cruise which I was so looking forward to, but NEVER again ! Total waste of money and no compensation for not berthing at destination. So please think before you go. On the plus side Embarkation and Disembarkation was quick and efficient. Cabin was clean, warm and comfortable. Ship was in good condition. Can't comment on entertainment and activities as was unable to do anything. Can't comment on dining experience. Service from staff was good Can't comment on shore excursions as ship didn't berth in destination. Did not travel with children Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chosen as a taster cruise and I won't be doing it again in a hurry. I've stayed in far more luxurious all-inclusive resorts with better food and service. We couldn't dock due to the weather, which can't be helped but as ... Read More
Chosen as a taster cruise and I won't be doing it again in a hurry. I've stayed in far more luxurious all-inclusive resorts with better food and service. We couldn't dock due to the weather, which can't be helped but as this is not an unusual situation I question whether P&O could have made this more clear when booking. So instead of the Christmas market we were stuck on board but there were no additional activities for people now confined to ship. I feel P&O could have at least offered a complimentary drink or some free activities. I'm sure they made lots of profit from guests stuck on ship and charging £15 for bingo is daylight robbery. 4g data doesn't work on ship so you either pay your network through the nose or purchased a wifi package from P&O. I did the latter and the connection was poor at best. Another money making scheme by P&O. Then a service charge was added automatically to my invoice for drinks etc! In my opinion tipping should reflect individual service and including it automatically is simply a way of hiding the actual cost of the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take ... Read More
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take it because it was cheaper than the train tickets from London to Bruges and it would include 'hotel' and food, so it seemed like a good deal. Turns out it wasn't the best idea. Due to high seas and strong winds we could not dock at Zeebruges so it turned into a cruise to nowhere, which would have been fine if the whole point wasn't to see the Bruges Christmas Market. We were also not offered anything in compensation, which I know they don't have to do, you take your chances, however, every other cruise line I've been on has at minimum reimbursed for port charges and most have given passengers a small OBC. While the inability to dock couldn't be helped, the way they handled it could have been much better. I've been on many cruises where we have missed a stop and the entertainment team has always gone out of the way to add items to the itinerary to account for the added number of people that would be on board (since it's assumed most passengers will disembark at the port. This was not the case with the Arcadia. For example their were 2 showings of Mama Mia Here we go Again, in a VERY small venue and it was completely packed. There was nothing else going on this that venue the remaining time, so they could have easily added one or two additional showings. I think the worse part was lunch, they only have one side of the buffet open even though, again everyone was on board. There were very few places to sit and people were waiting a long time for items to be replenished. Outside of the issue with missing the port, the food (which is very subjective) was very British, full english available both mornings, although the scrambled eggs were not cooked well, they were very runny with a sign above them stating you shouldn't eat egg products that were not fully cooked. The first day lunch buffet featured prime rib but all of it was completely well done, which is a total waste of good food. I found most items on the buffet to be cold, the way the buffet is set up it does not keep the items warm at all. I was assigned late dining in the main dining room and had dinner there the first night, not a lot on the menu that appealed, the shrimp cocktail was a bed of lettuce with what we call in the states salad shrimp (or bait LOL). They were very tiny and smothered in sauce. The main was a steak and chips, I ordered it rare and it was medium which apparently is the best they could do. The chips were great, but could have used some ketchup. Dessert (pudding) was advertised as a triple chocolate molten cake, which was not a cake. It was more of a dense gelatinous mousse, inedible, the accompanying ice cream was good. I decided the next night that nothing on the menu in the main dining room interested me, a lot of fish and liver. So, I went to the Asian themed buffet. Again the food could have been much better if it wasn't cold. The sweet and sour chicken used the same chicken goujons from the Neptune grill but overcooked (very stringy). The little egg rolls were the best thing on the buffet, I must have caught them at the right time because they were actually hot. Entertainment - I felt like this ship is stuck in the late 90s, it reminded me very much of the first cruise I went on where the entertainment was only 'live music' in the different bars. I believe there was one 80s music trivia. While it's an older ship and there aren't all the bells and whistles you'll find on a newer ship (zip line, water slides, rock walls, ice skating etc), I would expect something more. They could have done the comedy game shows like the quest or match your mate. They have one very small theater for movies, seats about 30 but the movies they showed were old ones already out on DVD. There was also NOTHING to do during the early diner seating, other than hang out in a bar. I even tried the casino but while it was open they had no dealers for any of the games and just some VERY OLD slot machines. Cabin - as I booked so late I had a gty inside which I did not find out which cabin until I got to the port. I was in E165 which is aft. The cabin was fine, it was my first inside cabin and I did miss the window especially since I spent a lot of time there due to the lack of entertainment I spent a good deal of time reading and napping LOL. I did sit by the pool on afternoon to be able to see the ocean but it was a bit chilly. The cabin steward was fine, he brought ice every evening as requested. Specialty / Room Service Dining - I was originally going to Ocean View which has a cover charge of 22.95, which I was fine with paying until I looked at the menu and saw that 99.9% of the items had a surcharge, I believe the only item you could get w/o a surcharge was the salmon or chopped steak, since that annoyed me I didn't go, just up the charge and include everything. I also did not order room service, first because I couldn't find the room service menu and then second because there was a charge. I think the ships that are going to charging for room service are ridiculous and I'm boycotting. Breakfast room service is included. Overall service was fine, I did have a hard time getting the bar servers in the dining room to take my order and they were very slow returning your key. I also found it ridiculous that the bars didn't have ice. I know they don't like ice in Europe but usually cocktails are the exception. Overall, I was disappointed in missing our port and the entertainment on the ship was not to my liking, however, if you are with a group and can make your own fun, I think this could be a good ship to take. Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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