1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Arcadia Review
  5. Arcadia Cruise Reviews
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose the Arcadia as I wanted a Christmas/New Year cruise. The only open air deck where you could eat and get a drink was the Aquarius Pool deck which was on Deck 9. This was mostly crowded with constant loud unrelenting piped music. ... Read More
I chose the Arcadia as I wanted a Christmas/New Year cruise. The only open air deck where you could eat and get a drink was the Aquarius Pool deck which was on Deck 9. This was mostly crowded with constant loud unrelenting piped music. Who want's that on what is supposed to be a relaxing holiday. Requests to have it turned down were met with "This is what the passengers want". Has anyone ever been asked? I had a balcony cabin in the Aft on deck 4 and could hear the constant beat of the music from my balcony. On Christmas Eve, loud 'head banging' music was playing at 7.45 am. Not a Christmas Carol in sight! The designated smoking area on this deck took the whole of the port side making it very unpleasant for non-smokers. Smoke could even be smelt in the entrance to the Belvedere restaurant every time the door was opened. Both the Jacuzzi / hot tubs were on the port side, therefore,in a designated smoking area. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air ... Read More
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air conditioning or extremely hot. This ship has no WOW factor at all. It would be better “dry docked” and opened as an old people’s home. The entertainment in the theatre from the ship’s cast was extremely poor. One show was entitled “music from the Blues Brothers” but when they started singing “under the boardwalk” that was our queue to leave. The cast weren’t so much as singing the songs more like screaming the songs. The guest entertainment was fine, no problems with them and very entertaining. The guest speakers were also first rate although the ship’s technicians let them all down badly on more than one occasion. Either the microphone or the visual aids weren’t working. We felt annoyed and embarrassed on behalf of the speakers. The hygiene in the restaurant in respect of hand sanitising was hit and miss. New Year’s Eve was a “Free for all” to get into the dining room and we had to ask for the sanitising gel. On average the food was good but the majority of waiters just weren’t interested. On NY Eve one of us ordered medallions of beef and that is all that was on the plate, no vegetables or potatoes, just beef! The food at breakfast was cold most of the time. Cabin steward provided excellent service. All one side of the ship, Port side, was smoking which made it very uncomfortable walking around the ship and sitting in certain areas, I.e. certain parts of the Belvedere restaurant. We are in our 60s and would not consider sailing on the Arcadia ever again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
ARCADIA J721 We have just returned from the Xmas and New Year cruise on Arcadia. On embarking we found a note saying that one of our excursions had been cancelled. We went to the excursions desk to see what else was available. The ... Read More
ARCADIA J721 We have just returned from the Xmas and New Year cruise on Arcadia. On embarking we found a note saying that one of our excursions had been cancelled. We went to the excursions desk to see what else was available. The man on the desk seemed to have upset the lady in front of us and when we spoke to him he was brusque to the point of being rude. We reported his attitude to Sandra on reception and next day we had a phone conversation with the excursions manager who apologised and said that was totally out of character. I thanked her for her response but said we would not take any other trips. Things were unfortunately to go downhill from this point. My wife had three outfits with her that she had worn for the weddings of our children and was keen to have photos taken on the formal nights. The lady who took the initial one, which was quite good, said the set of photos would be no problem and we paid £70 on our cruise card for a package of 10 pics. The second photo was a disaster ,washed out and not at all what we were expecting including one with her eyes closed at the dinner table. That one was not retaken. Looking at it the next day with the photographers they said they could tweak it to make the saturation better and clone out the crease in my lapel but we were not happy. We felt we were making a fuss. We went to reception to check if the payment had gone through and see if we could withdraw it. Sandra , one of the reception managers called the photographic manager and we went to the photo section. With Sandra doing most of the talking they talked us into giving them another chance with the photo manager saying they could do better. On Xmas night, in the chaos of the officers carol service blocking all three floors of the atrium, effectively cutting the ship in two, we met the photography manager and asked about the next portrait. She said go down to the lowest floor by the atrium and the photographer there would take it. We went down and joined the queue but twenty minutes later, as we were nearing the front he caused uproar by announcing, with his back to the queue, that he had to go to another venue and we would have to come back at nine o'clock. My wife who has brain damage due to two open craniotomies remonstrated with him to no avail and went off to look for the photography manager who we met on the stairs. She blanked us completely and we went straight to reception. My wife was complaining to them when we saw the photographer taking photos of the couples who were in front and behind us in the queue. They were the ones who were complaining the most. This was too much for her and I'm afraid she was rude to the reception staff demanding to see a manager. On being told that none were available she got even louder and they finally said someone would come. My wife was in tears by the time an officer , in his mess uniform, appeared. He immediately said "I am the hotel manager, I am not going to deal with this tonight you have been rude to my staff, it's their Christmas too, they are away from their families. I will deal with this tomorrow" My wife said she didn't think we were welcome on Arcadia and perhaps we should get off as soon as possible. The officer then said he could arrange for us to be disembarked in Antigua, turned and presumably went back to his Xmas dinner/party. We never did see or hear from him again. There was no xmas spirit for us that Christmas so we went back to the cabin where my wife spent a sleepless night worrying about how we were going to re-pack and find our way home from Antigua. All this trauma knocked my wife psychologically and she would not make eye contact with any officers after this and this triggered back her eating disorder, Dysphagia. She needed to visit the excellent medical centre for a swollen ankle so they have a complete copy of her previous medical history. I never did get the chance to tell the officer that I have worked many more Xmas days than he ever has. Three days later Sandra from reception phoned to ask if we were OK. I said no and she said did I want a meeting with the hotel manager or the photographic manager. I said no, I was on holiday and did not want to spend it traipsing round the ship to pointless meetings forcing my wife to relive the incidents. I told Sandra all I needed from her was the refund of my photography fee and I wanted nothing more to do with them. Unfortunately we had to pass through the photography department on a regular basis and at every formal night they were all over the passengers. On our last formal night our dinner was interrupted twice in 5 minutes by over eager snappers and my wife had to stop trying to eat to stop the onset of Dysphagia and the embarrassment that would have caused on our dinner table. While I have your attention. 1. Why no shuttle buses? Particularly in St Vincent and Barbados 2. Why did the whirlpool never work? Although you could pay £20 pppd for the one in the spa. 3. Why did no one check that the hand sanitiser was being used in the buffet? 4. On disembarkation we returned from breakfast at 0730hrs to find our cabin door wide open, the bedding stripped and no towels when washing our hands and our hand luggage containing iPads , cameras etc on full view. This seemed to be normal practice but very worrying as passengers were already leaving the ship carrying their own cases. 5. As requested we went to reception to book a time for disembarkation and later received a card with a completely different time, I give up. 6. The new sunbeds in the Neptune pool are unbelievably uncomfortable, did no one try them before purchase? 7. The standard of guest entertainers in the Palladium was was pretty poor, particularly while in the Caribbean. 8. The Xmas and New Years dinners were poor in choice and quality and the waiting staff seemed really stressed. As 9. The formal night "Marco menu" dinners were not well received on our table and on one memorable night 5 out of the 6 had the ever present steak and chips whilst the final member had salad. This must tell you something. 10. On the formal nights, most of which seemed pointless, there was nothing to do after the theatre except sit in the corridor bars as the only other venue,the Globe, was occupied by the strict tempo ballroom dancing, shufflers not welcome! This was evidenced by one unfortunate who was tapped on the shoulder during the "gay Gordon's " and told he was out of sequence. 11. The three x 5ft wide galley style laundrettes containing only 3 washing machines and three tumble driers are a joke. Quite dangerous as the doors at each end can strike whoever is standing within the area. This is also occupied by the ironing board and one of the only three irons on board(3 ?) at least one of which would not come up to temperature. 12. There is no drinks package except that approved by your wine "expert". Like the ballroom dancing, no deviation is allowed. We feel that all of the above is symptomatic of the decline in standards of service on P&O. It is no longer a restful holiday as you are pursued round the ship on a daily basis by people wanting you to spend money on photos, speciality restaurants,spas etc. Nothing is offered unless P&O are making money from it. It is highly unlikely that we will ever cruise with P&O again as it is quite clear we are no longer welcome on your ships,but your comments would still be welcome. We will go back to Fred Olsen where we can get far better, less pretentious food, drink packages and will be made to feel more welcome. Their ships may be older and less luxurious than yours but at least you feel they are pleased to have you on board and you are not just a piece of data to be processed through the system as on the Arcadia. Our Peninsular rating seems to have been frozen, presumably because we complained. UNLESS YOU HAVE A VISIBLE DISABILTY AVOID CARNIVAL. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Being disabled we needed an adapted cabin. Our original Carribbean cruise on the Aurora was cancelled and the only cruise we could get with our specific needs was on the Arcadia. We booked it because we've never been away at Christmas and ... Read More
Being disabled we needed an adapted cabin. Our original Carribbean cruise on the Aurora was cancelled and the only cruise we could get with our specific needs was on the Arcadia. We booked it because we've never been away at Christmas and thought it'd be a nice idea. It left on the 16th December and returned on 9th January 2018. What a huge mistake we made! From the start it went down hill when we arrived at the port. Only two porters taking luggage and both tied up unloading a coach. By the time we received help we were cold and already fed up. Check in was it's usual chaos, took about an hour and a half. Next the cabin, what a let down. Supposedly a disabled cabin but not enough room to swing a cat. If you had anything bigger than a narrow wheelchair it wouldn't fit. Travellers beware! The food in the main dining venues was boring and somewhat lacking in taste and most of the service staff throughout the ship were either lapse or stressed. Sat for over 2 hours at the Neptune bar and not one waiter approached, we had to hunt for one when in need of a drink. Christmas cheer was not forthcoming and the decorations mediocre. Casino short on croupiers, New Year's Eve, a black tie event and nobody to open the Roulette tables. The whole trip was one big opportunity for P&O to fleece the passengers of as much money as possible. Getting off didn't go much better, again no porters. We'd booked a wheelchair taxi and the driver was parked at the very end of the bay and asked could she get a little closer. The reply came in the form of 'well they've managed for three weeks on board ship...' How's that just to round off the whole sorry saga? Have now cancelled the further two cruises we have for this year and won't use P&O again. Standards have plummeted since our original cruises in 2007. Surely we can't be the only one's who've had a bad experience on this cruise. According to P&O they only received good comments, we very much doubt that. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise as it was the right time of year, never been to Caribbean before & will be very reluctant to travel with P&O again, unfortunately the luxury was lacking. Desperately short staffed making the few staff there was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the right time of year, never been to Caribbean before & will be very reluctant to travel with P&O again, unfortunately the luxury was lacking. Desperately short staffed making the few staff there was very unhappy & appearing to be tired. Took 4 days & 5 visits to reception to get cruise card working correctly. Meals were very poor, not hot & tasteless. Service in restaurant very slow & again not hot. Daytime entertainment consisted mainly of quizzes, bingo & bridge. No music in any of the bars during day, only at the swimming pool on odd sea days. No decent djs. Drink prices not bad but refused to pay top price for cans of beer, these are purchased cheaper than draught & don’t taste the same. Jeep tour on Antigua fantastic, Champagne & sunset cruise on Barbados very good but no champagne only sparkling wine no tour representative & left at cruise terminal on return with no shuttle bus. Old tours shown on tv, some not even avaible anymore. Disembarkation was very disorganised, we’re told we would be the next to leave in about 10 mins, then was told a different area was disembarking so would be another 15/20 mins. Any complaints was met by excuses with no one taking responsibility. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
First trip with P&O after 20+ cruises with other providers. The ship had just been refurbished and it showed. Really good job. I will say upfront that they got everything right with this cruise, from boarding to disembarkation. See ... Read More
First trip with P&O after 20+ cruises with other providers. The ship had just been refurbished and it showed. Really good job. I will say upfront that they got everything right with this cruise, from boarding to disembarkation. See my ratings below. The only complaints would be small personal niggles, which cannot really be put down to P&O. So everything was not perfect, but everyone has different tastes/standards. For instance, our table waiter at dinner was slow, but he was polite and still did a good job. In the scheme of things an extra 10/15 minutes at the table is not the end of the world. Standards of entertainment were excellent, even though not all artists were our cup of tea. They were all very professional, which cannot be said of some other cruise lines. Choice of entertainment throughout the day was huge and, again, if you wanted to complain, you would have to say that their was too much and you couldn't fit it all in. This was a 24 day cruise with a lot of sea days. Suits some but not others, but it is your choice when you book, so how do people justify complaining about this (some did!!). Similarly, products throughout the ship, including trips & internet, were quite expensive, but aren't they always? If you can get this cruise at the right price it is tremendous value. My one stand out comment would be the excellent choice and standard of food throughout the ship. Coupled with the Arcadia being an Adults Only ship, this celebration of my wife's 65th Birthday could not have gone better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival ... Read More
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival time was 15.00, we arrived about 20 minutes early but went straight through and we were having a cup of tea in our cabin by 15.15. Cabin was good and as expected. Steward, Thomas looked after us very well. Very windy crossing overnight to Coruna but the only thing that woke us at 04.00 was the banging of an unsecured balcony connecting door between ours and next doors.A phone call to reception got an immediate response and back to sleep we went. Although on Freedom dining we mainly dined in the Belvedere and found that satisfactory, although the flow of people around the various serveries could have been better managed by having a stock of trays and cutlery etc at the entrance as well as at the serveries. We went to the Meridian restaurant about 4 times (3 for black tie nights) and found the service and food quality to a good standard. We enjoyed the cruise, although the humidity in the Caribbean was much higher than usual- even the locals were complaining, so activity was curtailed to a extent. Most of the cruisers were above 50 years old, and were a happy group, although of course, there were the usual small number of those whose expectations seemed to be rather unrealistic. The Captain had a great sense of humour which helped particularly on days when the weather was not so good, and he did his best to keep out of the way of the worst. Ports of call, with the exception of Coruna where the weather was wet and there was not much of interest, were good and varied and gave us a insight into the Caribbean life both for the poor and the rich. Disembarkation went well although with a time slot of 9.15 to 9.30 there was some hanging about in the lounge having had to leave the cabin by 8.00. Whilst it's unlikely we would do this length of trip again- 16 sea days was great to relax but got a bit boring after leaving Ponta Delgada, we were certainly happy with the ship and if we were to cruise again would be looking for one of her other trips. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Getting on and off the ship first class, ship it's self was clean and tidy accept the rip in the seat in the Palladium. Cabin was clean but not dusted before or during our stay.I left my name on the stand of the TV in the dust. I ... Read More
Getting on and off the ship first class, ship it's self was clean and tidy accept the rip in the seat in the Palladium. Cabin was clean but not dusted before or during our stay.I left my name on the stand of the TV in the dust. I personalty own my own cleaning business, So wasn't happy. Entertainment great and the activities. Wasn't told there would be a formal night before we left so was very upset when there was one on board. The service in the restaurant was terrible, first we never had glasses or flowers on our table for the first 2 nights, 2 of the ladies had a bottle of white wine between them and had to ask for the bottle every time they wanted a drink, Three of us on our table of 6 didn't drink alcohol, but not once was we offered anything to drink. The food was bland tasteless and served with no grace everything was to much trouble, but the last night they fell over each other to serve us we even had soft drinks offered us. Would have helped if there was transport from the port to the centre of Amsterdam. Its was a good walk and being in our 50's, 70's and 80's we were tied to do much else. This was to be a warm up to my 60th birthday to see if I liked it to go on a longer one. Still trying to make up my mind !!|!!!!, All my friends are long term cruisers . One lady with us had only been home a week from a Caribbean cruise , she was served a bowl of soup the bowl was red hot but sadly she had to send it back as the soup was cold. Oh and to finish on a funny note.... our 82yr old member and 53yr member of the group was waiting for the lift on our last day, when it arrived there was a couple having sex on the floor of the lift. We did laugh but !!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Just got back from Arcadia’s first cruise after her refit. Everything was as you would expect apart from a few little niggles Cabin clean and tidy Celeste was a great cabin steward, unobtrusive but efficient. Food was ... Read More
Just got back from Arcadia’s first cruise after her refit. Everything was as you would expect apart from a few little niggles Cabin clean and tidy Celeste was a great cabin steward, unobtrusive but efficient. Food was standard P&O fare good but not over fussy, waiters all friendly and helpful Only niggle on the food was their decision to mash up the Stilton on the second night so the crust was served without any cheese. Didn’t make sense to me. Drinks were reasonable. Wine list very extensive. Those we tried were excellent. Heard some people being refused certain spirit brands on the menu not in stock. I was refused tanqery gin as it was out of stock. I guess this will be resolved by next cruise. All new carpets looked great the refit has improved the ship. Still some water coming through the ceilings in some P.O. lick areas and a couple of lifts not working. But to be honest we’ve seen that on lots of other ships. All in all great cruise pity we couldn’t afford more time off work for a longer cruise. We will no doubt cruise on her again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
As a customer on a present cruise I am not interested/concerned with a future refit as everything should be in tip top condition now before the planned refit. The ship was due to set sail for Germany at noon on 31st October. Well I have ... Read More
As a customer on a present cruise I am not interested/concerned with a future refit as everything should be in tip top condition now before the planned refit. The ship was due to set sail for Germany at noon on 31st October. Well I have never been on a ship that had so many toilet facility failures during a cruise. Lifts, sinks, toilets and laundry machines out of action, all going to be put right though with the refit? The food, staff were amazing as were the entertainment provided The cabin on deck 7 was great. B32 Port side with bath overhead shower and balcony. The ship seems to creak quite a lot, so much so that my wife had to wear ear plugs at night to get to sleep. We were transported to Southampton by feeder coach, which was brilliant, we were on the ship and at our cabin within twenty minutes after leaving the coach, the cabin was great , however the bathroom was starting to look a bit tired, but served its purpose. We had decided to book freedom dining which was a great decision, the entertainment and activities were so very good throughout the entire cruise. The staff throughout the entire ship were simply amazing. We visited some great Caribbean islands and met some great people both on and off the islands. Overall the cruise was very enjoyable, would I travel on the ship again? well yes I suppose we would, especially after this much needed refit. Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

Find a Cruise