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436 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews

This world cruise was a big disappointment when compared to Arcadia's 2010 world cruise. P & O's pre-departure administration was poor and error prone. The embarkation was appalling. The ship's interior is drab and ... Read More
This world cruise was a big disappointment when compared to Arcadia's 2010 world cruise. P & O's pre-departure administration was poor and error prone. The embarkation was appalling. The ship's interior is drab and shabby with badly marked bulkheads, scuffed furniture, tape holding things together and numerous water leaks. My cabin had a visible dent in the mattress and the window's double glazing was blown. There were four electrical problems in the cabin of which only three were repaired. Plated meals in the main restaurant made a travesty of the supposedly fine dining. The food was pleasant but the menus were highly repetitive. The volume in the theatre was ear splitting and requests to turn it down even slightly were refused. Very few well known entertainers or lecturers were employed. Reception staff were unreliable. The staff were pleasant and hard working but had considerably more to do than in 2010. The fare had not increased greatly but cost cutting has had a dire effect on quality. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
What a cheap company. Never ever again a P&O cruise. None tasting food. Cheap entertainment. Dirty ship on all public spaces. Looked like the ship was 25 years old. Terrible design on many places. Many officers, especially English, ... Read More
What a cheap company. Never ever again a P&O cruise. None tasting food. Cheap entertainment. Dirty ship on all public spaces. Looked like the ship was 25 years old. Terrible design on many places. Many officers, especially English, don't know how to behave in front of passanger. Without passangers they wouldn't had any jobs. Very disapponting with behavior like that. A world cruise on 106 days and coffe morning with the captain and they serve bisquits you can buy in tesco. Not even a baked cake. Second captain didn't even bother to show up. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Having read many of the reviews of this cruise/ ship I feel I must redress the balance somewhat. This was our first long cruise and due to the inability to fly, our only way to get to Australia to visit family. We boarded Arcadia with ... Read More
Having read many of the reviews of this cruise/ ship I feel I must redress the balance somewhat. This was our first long cruise and due to the inability to fly, our only way to get to Australia to visit family. We boarded Arcadia with no problem and were soon on board- our first stop being in the Belvedere buffet for a very welcome drink while we waited for our luggage to be delivered to our cabin. We didn't have to wait long and were soon able to unpack. Our cabin steward was more than helpful and always willing to do anything we asked (& more). The crew we encountered were all seemed very happy and were very visible around the ship - none more so than Captain Hashmi. We could not have asked for a more convivial Captain and crew. The tour team led by Sam was, again more than helpful and always willing to give any information about ports of call and tours etc. Yes, they aren't the cheapest but they still represent good value, especially in new ports of call when you might be unsure about visiting places on your own. The Ports of call out to Sydney were many and varied and all proved to be very enjoyable. All in all we found it to be a superb way to spend 6 & half weeks travelling. Yes, the Arcadia cough was ever present, BUT I feel the spread was partly due to passengers not covering mouths when coughing and not respecting other people by keeping out of the way when at their worst. We took Vitamin C with us and took it daily whilst on the voyage and thankfully did not succumb, so maybe if people thought a little before embarking on the voyage it could be prevented somewhat? We are all responsible for looking after ourselves after all. After spending time in Australia we returned home on Queen Mary 2 and have to say that Arcadia gave us more happy memories and they all suffered with the Cunard cough. So no difference there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
The cruise was the first leg of the World Circumnavigation and offered a very good trip calling at Caribbean Islands, Panama Canal, Mexico and finishing in San Francisco. We have cruised on the Arcadia three times previous to this trip, ... Read More
The cruise was the first leg of the World Circumnavigation and offered a very good trip calling at Caribbean Islands, Panama Canal, Mexico and finishing in San Francisco. We have cruised on the Arcadia three times previous to this trip, and I would consider we are well qualified to comment on the appalling decline in most aspects of the ship and service. Firstly, our cabin D70 was filthy, (I just could not believe that a high profile company such as P&O can get away with advertising pictures of cabins that are nothing like what you actually get) and what you might expect a bedroom to be in a low class B&B that might charge in the region of £25.00 a night. I always examine a room for cleanliness as I certainly did on this occasion. We found a dirty tissue under the bed, then I pulled out the bedside cabinets to find a build up of of fluff, dust and hairs that must have accumulated over several weeks, (I wish it was possible to show the photographs I took) the cabinets were not heavy and could easily be pulled out to vacuum the carpet and skirting. Behind the head of the bed was exactly the same. The sealant around the bath was dirty and mould stained and although the bath and basin were clean, many dry hairs from the previous occupants were to be seen on the floor. Worse still was the state of the bedding, the quilt cover and pillow cases were worn out and stained with small tears. The pillows were disgusting, smelt awful, and stained to such a degree that I just cannot understand why they have not been replaced. I made these comments on my Customer Satisfaction form at the end of the cruise, but to be honest I am sure they don't even bother with them as you never hear anything back from P&O. The food in the Meridian Restaurant was good and our waiters for dinner were excellent, but breakfast in the Meridian was a different story, the waiters couldn't wait to get rid of you and re-set the tables for lunch. Most ( and I mean most ) people on this particular cruise went down with the Arcadia Cough, as it has become known, a virus that a lot of people believe is in the air conditioning that you are unable to turn off in your cabin. Can you believe I actually heard the assistant in the shop saying that it's good for business as he has been selling so many cough and cold remedies. The ship doctor has made a fortune charging an initial £50.00 plus whatever medicines he gives you. Although I could go on and on, the only other thing I am going to mention is the smoking area on the open deck right outside the doors of the Belvedere Restaurant. This should be moved to somewhere different so you don't get the strong smell of cigarettes while eating your meal every time the doors open at that end of the restaurant. I shall not be wasting my well earned money on this cruise ship in decline again.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I am writing this to slightly redress the balance of reviews for Arcadia's 2015 circumnavigation - we sailed from Southampton to Sydney, departing on January 6th and flying back from Sydney on February 22nd. The ship has recently been ... Read More
I am writing this to slightly redress the balance of reviews for Arcadia's 2015 circumnavigation - we sailed from Southampton to Sydney, departing on January 6th and flying back from Sydney on February 22nd. The ship has recently been refurbished and all of the public rooms were very nicely presented. We especially liked the East Bar and Intermezzo was very comfortable. There were a lot of elderly passengers but, as this was a world cruise with a total duration of over 100 nights, we expected this. However, the vast majority of passengers were able bodied, whatever their age. Some reviews comment on boorish behaviour; personally, I found the behaviour of almost all of the passengers exemplary. There are also some comments about obesity and greed - many people cruise to eat a lot and why not? I do agree with comments about the cabins; our cabin was always slightly grubby, I am not sure that the bathroom floor was washed while we were resident and there was dust under the bed and in the wardrobe. The bed was changed frequently but the sheets, quilt cover and pillowcases were not good quality, never smelt fresh, and were sometimes marked. I expected better. We did comment in our questionnaire about the poor quality of the pillows and they were replaced - for the final night of our cruise! The food was very good and occasionally exceptional. There was a wide choice at every meal. The waiters and wine waiter were brilliant and endeavoured to meet every need. Some passengers did become ill – probably no more than would have fallen ill in the UK in January and February. I saw people coughing without covering their mouths and people who were clearly unwell still attended shows and went on trips etc. However, only a small minority of people were ill. There is a medical centre on the ship but it is not the NHS and anyone visiting the doctor does have to pay similar costs to private medical care at home. There was always plenty to do, whatever your age, for example: Spanish classes; art classes; cinema; ‘boot camp’; yoga; port talks; barbecues; ice-carving; library; bingo; casino; guest speakers; craft lessons; chocaholics buffet, etc. We visited some marvellous ports and, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise. Arcadia’s cabins do need an upgrade but the holiday represented good value for money. Don’t be put off by the negativity – do take medicines for minor complaints.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We have just returned from a cruise on the Arcadia - San Francisco to Sydney - and to say we were disappointed is an understatement. Having sailed on the last world voyage of the Oriana in 2012 from Brisbane to San Francisco, we were ... Read More
We have just returned from a cruise on the Arcadia - San Francisco to Sydney - and to say we were disappointed is an understatement. Having sailed on the last world voyage of the Oriana in 2012 from Brisbane to San Francisco, we were expecting a similar fabulous experience. The Arcadia had little to offer in the way of entertainment, shops and service. It is widely known that once on board you are captive and the prices are steep, but the Arcadia did absolutely nothing to disguise or sweeten the pill. For instance: I purchased a Citizen Eco Watch in the morning and was told to come back at 3.00pm because I needed to have two links removed from the strap. I returned at 3.30pm and was told the strap had not yet been altered and to come back at 5.30pm. The job was done in two minutes while I waited. Often Bar Stewards on the pool decks spent a great deal of time chatting and were nowhere to be seen. I ordered a Tom Collins, but with lemonade and not Soda Water. This was just too hard because their computerised billing system stipulated Soda Water and it would throw their stocktaking out. It is a bit rich to charge £6 for a double Southern Comfort (without a mixer) when a litre bottle in the Duty Free Shop costs £19, bearing in mind the ship not only buys everything duty free, they get a quantity discount from the suppliers as well. In Maui the ship charged £51 for the whale watching tour. On shore, the most expensive tour on offer that we saw was US$16. The Laundrettes (on three decks with three washers and dryers each) were totally inadequate and situated in very tiny cubicles so that passengers using these facilities were squashed in like sardines. The washers took 45 minutes to complete the cycle - a ridiculous amount of time for clothes that merely needed to be freshened up. I have come to the conclusion that the enjoyment of a cruise also depends largely on the time of year and where one boards the ship as to the make up of the passengers, which of course the shipping line has no control over. For instance, sailing from Galveston on Thanksgiving on a family friendly ship can be a nightmare if the ship does not have an adult only area!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My mum and dad and,my husband and I,sailed on January 6th 2015,on the first leg of the world cruise,southampton to san Francisco, which ended in the death of my mother,in san Francisco. The ship was turned around the same day as she ... Read More
My mum and dad and,my husband and I,sailed on January 6th 2015,on the first leg of the world cruise,southampton to san Francisco, which ended in the death of my mother,in san Francisco. The ship was turned around the same day as she docked from the xmas cruise,our cabin had dust and fluff on the top of the wardrobe doors,my mums cabin had numerous ships crossword papers stuffed in the top of the dividing wall of the bathroom,our balconys were spotted with old paint drops , the glass, and floor needed a good scrub with a brush. The two swimming pools were emptied simutanously, because they had painted them with the wrong paint ,and passengers were getting paint on them,one sauna was out of action,the whrirlpools didn't work,the one on the aft deck was leaking and some of the floor was all spongy to walk on.Some of the waiters could not totally understand your order and I saw one waiter hiding near the funnels grill,out of the way from passengers ,looking at least three times at his watch,he stood there about 10 mins,another waiter was in a dream and didn't even know where to take the dirty trays, while another waiter served my meal by crossing over me,and on the wrong side.It was eveident there was new and totally inexperienced waiters being trained along side the experienced. Within a few days passengers began to have a barking cough,which rampaged the ship,we all caught it and felt so ill we stayed in our cabins , our appetite went and the warmer we got the worse it got.Our aircon didn't work properly on A deck,it was so hot up there compared to one deck down,we had the smell of food constantly wafting around our corridor. All these things were brought to the attention of the staff, excuses and untruths were relayed to us. The day before cabo san lucas ,my mother was taken to the medical centre,carged over £2000,for oxygen and anibiotics.and removed from the ship the next day,taken to a private hospital,and told by the ship we would have someone to take care of us,well, that's another story,after much stress and trauma of being in a first time port ,and lots of money we got back to the ship in san Francisco,but had no hotel or flights ,because the ship had cancelled them and offered no help to reinstate,saying they were to busy getting new passengers on.Had to pay for hotel stay,and own flights home,my mother suddenly died in that hotel room,that night.With no help from the ship,P&O, or the port agent, the stress and worry caused by the lack of care was responsible for this. Did you Know there is no regulation body to oversee,the cruise ship industry,they are charging what they they can getaway with and doing what exactly what they want to do ,knowing they can, with no questions asked, or authoritive bodies to answer too. Never will I sail with them again and will be cancelling next years cruise also,in fact I thing the cruise industry has got so big, and interested only in taking as much money of you as they can,i doubt wether we will cruise ever again,having had first hand experience when things go wrong,and don't expect your insurance company to be there either,they go through a system of paper work and anylisis to see if they are liable ,before you get any help,which is time ,emails to the uk doctor,time differences to take into account,etc,and on it goes. Arcadia,was the worst ship I have sailed in,and if you are sensitive to sea movement, she is not the ship for you,as she rolls from side to side,at the onset of swell. Old people beware,they wont look after you,you will need a lot of money to pay out first before you get any back off the insurance,even if you do,and you will find you could be in a strange place should you take ill and off load you in a port.Which seems to be the priority of the medical centre,could not get rid of my mother,and another passenger at the same time,fast enough. Fifty years my parents had cruised ,back to the days of Canberra,and this is how it ended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
You only get one chance for a first impression. If that is bad, forget everything else! Mistakenly, we thought that P&O had 'grown out of' their appalling embarkation shambles at Southampton by now (We are are in 2015). But ... Read More
You only get one chance for a first impression. If that is bad, forget everything else! Mistakenly, we thought that P&O had 'grown out of' their appalling embarkation shambles at Southampton by now (We are are in 2015). But no, we were made to stand in line for anything up to two hours and the cafe was shut. Cunard, who use these same terminals, seat you comfortably with an open cafe and call you by initial.. How are P&O going to cope with twice the number of passengers when their new Britannia enters service this spring? AD ASTRA? Having survived the above, we were delighted to find the 10yr-old Arcadia, probably the most elegant of the Fincantieri-built Vista Class (Panamax) ships, to be in excellent fettle. Her late-2013 refit had brought, inter alia, new carpets and colour schemes throughout. The mainly-Indian crew were cheerful and efficient and she remains a happy ship. For the first time, we tried 'Freedom Dining' and, while there were the expected 'pinch points', when everyone turned up at once, we found this arrangement more preferable than the fixed scheme. While you paid a small premium for the Gourmet restaurants of East and the Ocean Grill, there was a fee bottle of wine if you ate early. The food throughout was good. The daily 'Horizon' programme gave you plenty of options for the following day, including the dress code for that night's evening, which we thought about right. There were helpful introductory talks about our ports- of-call and guest speakers on other topics. I took lessons in Spanish and my wife was able to polish up her Bridge. Whilst WIFI was available throughout the ship, it is still far too expensive. The librarians who monitored it, however, were courteous, knowledgeable and efficient. The saunas were unreliable and the temperature of the water in the Neptune Pool was very variable. We like the sliding roof. Our fellow passengers, apparently with an average age of 67 years, were mainly obese Brits and Australians, some with tattoos and a few in wheelchairs. Although many were coughing, unstifled, we escaped the dreaded 'Arcadia Cough'. Above all, Arcadia was commanded by the excellent Coventry born-and-bred Caprtain Aseem Hashmi, who made it his business to see and be seen throughout the ship. the crew's discipline was excellent. We look forward to our next opportunity to sail in this ship once more, but only when the outrageous embarkation arrangements at Southampton have been sorted out. In total contrast, the new Pier 27 Terminal in Francisco was superb, and disembarkation there was as easy as ever. Moored there, on the sunny and fog-free morning we arrived, we had a view of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Starboard side of the ship, with the Bay Bridge on the Port side. Wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
After two nights in San Francisco we boarded Arcadia for our voyage through the Pacific to Sydney. First impression was that the staff looked worn out. I do understand that change-over days are hectic & tiring for them all. All went ... Read More
After two nights in San Francisco we boarded Arcadia for our voyage through the Pacific to Sydney. First impression was that the staff looked worn out. I do understand that change-over days are hectic & tiring for them all. All went reasonably well for the first four days & the food was quite acceptable but then my wife developed what we were to find out was called "Arcadia Cough", I got it a couple of days later. There were hundreds of passengers affected & the ship's shop had run out of stock of cough syrup before reaching San Francisco! Fortunately we were able to buy some from the medical section. This cough really did spoil our holiday in many ways. My wife was reluctant to go to theatre shows knowing she would most likely have a coughing fit. We chose not to join a dining table with other guests for the same reason, & we normally like to have interaction with others. The menus soon became repetitive & the entertainment just mediocre. Our grade EA deluxe balcony cabin, number A106 on deck eight, was reasonably well appointed but no bathrobes supplied. Last year on Aurora in the same cabin grade they were supplied. Also it was not possible to switch off the air conditioning, just turn it up or down; we're sure Arcadia Cough must be something to do with the air-con systems on this ship. The ports of call were a little disappointing too, Honolulu was our first stop...a horrible city! But Lahaina on Maui, our second stop, was lovely. Then five sea days before reaching Pago Pago in American Samoa, another disappointment as was the next stop in Apia, Samoa. Then on to Suva, Fiji, which was okay. Finally four more sea days to our final destination of Sydney. We only booked one shore excursion with P & O, a whale watching & lunch trip in Honolulu. Distinctly average food & an overpriced trip. We do tend to arrange our own excursions on arrival in ports, far more economical. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
After two nights in San Francisco we boarded Arcadia for our voyage through the Pacific to Sydney. First impression was that the staff looked worn out. I do understand that change-over days are hectic & tiring for them all. All went ... Read More
After two nights in San Francisco we boarded Arcadia for our voyage through the Pacific to Sydney. First impression was that the staff looked worn out. I do understand that change-over days are hectic & tiring for them all. All went reasonably well for the first four days & the food was quite acceptable but then my wife developed what we were to find out was called "Arcadia Cough", I got it a couple of days later. There were hundreds of passengers affected & the ship's shop had run out of stock of cough syrup before reaching San Francisco! Fortunately we were able to buy some from the medical section. This cough really did spoil our holiday in many ways. My wife was reluctant to go to theatre shows knowing she would most likely have a coughing fit. We chose not to join a dining table with other guests for the same reason, & we normally like to have interaction with others. The menus soon became repetitive & the entertainment just mediocre. Our grade EA deluxe balcony cabin, number A106 on deck eight, was reasonably well appointed but no bathrobes supplied. Last year on Aurora in the same cabin grade they were supplied. Also it was not possible to switch off the air conditioning, just turn it up or down; we're sure Arcadia Cough must be something to do with the air-con systems on this ship. The ports of call were a little disappointing too, Honolulu was our first stop...a horrible city! But Lahaina on Maui, our second stop, was lovely. Then five sea days before reaching Pago Pago in American Samoa, another disappointment as was the next stop in Apia, Samoa. Then on to Suva, Fiji, which was okay. Finally four more sea days to our final destination of Sydney. We only booked one shore excursion with P & O, a whale watching & lunch trip in Honolulu. Distinctly average food & an overpriced trip. We do tend to arrange our own excursions on arrival in ports, far more economical. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
As regular passengers with Celebrity, we embarked upon P&O’s Arcadia, sailing from Southampton in early December with some trepidation, particularly as our only other cruise with P&O on the Azura was not all we had hoped for, ... Read More
As regular passengers with Celebrity, we embarked upon P&O’s Arcadia, sailing from Southampton in early December with some trepidation, particularly as our only other cruise with P&O on the Azura was not all we had hoped for, although that was partly because we prefer smaller ships. However, this particular cruise was excellent value for money. The embarkation process at Southampton was fast and efficient, and a little tip for you, rather than pay the extortionate hotel and parking prices near to the Port. It's worth the taxi fare to stay twenty minutes away at the Southampton North Premier Inn where the staff are nice and friendly, and the hotel and parking is considerably cheaper. Like Celebrity, P&O allow you to board the ship early whilst you wait for your cabin to be ready. Because this cruise was such excellent value for money, we decided to treat ourselves to a balcony cabin on this occasion. Our cabin had plenty of room, and was very clean and bright with a large flat screen TV, although the wardrobes were opposite the bathroom door which was a tad annoying at times. Also, the balcony was quite small, and we had a problem with the dividing partition which kept swinging open. As for the rest of the ship, well, we really liked it, despite the fact that it creaked a lot, and in our opinion didn't seem quite as stable as the other thirty or so ships we have been on. I think it's something to do with its unique engine design, but don't let that put you off, although if you are not a good sailor, it's probably better to travel on this ship in the months where the weather is likely to be better with calmer seas. It's a lovely, spacious, modern, clean ship, and its bars and restaurants are well appointed, particularly the Crow’s Nest with its panoramic views on deck 10. It never seemed crowded to us, and it has a great theatre, and a very well equipped gym with the latest equipment. It also has an awesome hydrotherapy pool and thermal beds which are worth paying the additional premium for, and although we never used it, the main pool was situated in an area with a retractable roof, which is is obviously great for when the weather isn't so good. Also really liked the Promenade Deck (Deck 3) with its wrap around walking deck, and P&O’s policy of allowing you to bring a reasonable amount of alcohol on board for your own consumption in your cabin. Another major plus is the fact that P&O show Premier League football, both in the Rising Sun pub and on the tv in your cabin on the Arcadia. Both the Spa and the shops were expensive, but I guess while people are prepared to pay those prices, that will not change. The itinerary for the cruise took in Vigo, a really nice city in northern Spain with great wine. Try the Albariño white wine, it's our favourite and it's produced in this region of Spain. Next stop was to Porto, beautiful city with great character. A good idea is to visit one of the many Port distilleries , and take a trip along the Douro river. Then onto Cadiz, where the weather was terrible, so we didn't see it at its best. The following stop was Malaga. Apparently it's Spain's sixth largest city according to the guide we had, and looked like a lovely place to spend a couple of days. We chose to take the ship’s excursion to Mijas which has some stunning views, and according to my wife is a pretty village, although on the day we were there it must have been the coldest, windiest place on earth, not something you would expect in Southern Spain. Our next port of call was to Gibralter. For some strange reason we only had four hours here, so not a lot of time to see very much, but a great place to buy any alcohol you may want as its is very cheap here! There are also some well known English shops here such as C&A, Marks and Spencer, WHSmiths etc, but expect to pay a little extra. The last port of call was Lisbon, another beautiful city with plenty of character. If like us, you are addicted to football, there are English newspapers for sale, just after your get off of the ship. We chose to see Lisbon independently, choosing the open top sightseeing bus all cities seem to have these days. Allow at least four hours for the different routes. Generally speaking, we really enjoyed the cruise. The food was excellent, the staff were friendly, (apart from those in Café Vivo – no idea why they are working in customer service when they can't even smile), the ship’s reception staff were easily the friendliest we have encountered, and strangely, all but one of them were men. So having started the cruise with some reservations, this positive experience with P&O means we will definitely cruise with them again, even though I don't believe their loyalty programme is as good at Celebrity's. Talking of which, we will rejoin the beautiful Celebrity Century in January before she leaves their fleet. A great shame, it's our favourite ship! Never mind, P&O is growing on us!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Arcadia cruise 9-20 December 2014 cruise J421 Our first impression was a good one as we arrived at the new Mayflower Teminal. It is very well designed and set out, much improved on the "shed" we were in in 2008. We had to wait ... Read More
Arcadia cruise 9-20 December 2014 cruise J421 Our first impression was a good one as we arrived at the new Mayflower Teminal. It is very well designed and set out, much improved on the "shed" we were in in 2008. We had to wait two hours for a friend who was joining us but had lost his passport. We were guided to comfortable seats in a roped off area complete with brass stands, brass knobs and royal blue rope. There were refreshments and a ringside view of everyone coming and going. We booked this cruise at future cruise sales when we were on Aurora in June. I use a mobility scooter and need to book an adapted cabin so it was agreed at the time of booking that cabin C2 would be suitable to my needs. I had the scooter with me when we booked. Despite this and filling in all the forms in advance, when we checked in P&O reckoned we were not in a cabin suited to a scooter so another 40 mins while they sorted that one out. Eventually we got on board and after checking the cabin made our way to the Belvedere Buffet for a very tasty lunch. Good first impression on the food, even for my partner who is vegetarian, something very few caterers understand. Muster drill was a bit of a comedy. They kept announcing to keep the lifts for for the lame and lazy but they were full of the fit.  I eventually got into a lift with a woman in her nineties but the lift would not go where we wanted and took us up and down ad nauseam. We were in there so long her father was waiting for us when we got out to demand I make an honest woman of her. You might be surprised at the number of people complaining about what a farce having a muster drill was, you would think that after the Costa Concordia disaster they would see it in a different light. We were on Freedom Dining and it felt like they were operating a smart wheeze at dinner. When you arrive you are given a pager and told there is a half hour wait so "you might be more comfortable waiting in one of the bars". We had just bought a drink when the pager went off. Less than ten minutes, they must have really upped the drinks revenue. We were all pleased with dinner but that awful refined diesel oil that they try to pass for butter had followed us from the last cruise. Thankfully the buffet had little pats of Irish butter so we smuggled some out. We came back after lunch to a letter for each of us accusing us how not having registered a credit card and threatening to stop our credit. This has happened every time we have sailed with P&O despite all the rigmarole of them swiping cards and taking signatures at check in. It turns out that the P&O computer system could not cope with my partner's name which starts O'R...... They do not do apostrophes and said he would need to change the spelling to Or..... I presume he cannot be the only traveller with an apostrophe and as it has been causing problems for us since 2008 I am sure it could have been sorted. The cabin was fine and the steward kept on top of it but it really needed a good deep clean as there was a lot of fluff going back a long time under the bed and settee. There were a couple of inexcusable problems in the bathroom. A very badly scored toilet seat, the scores yellow with urine and a mouldy bathmat. We complained and they were replaced. The food onboard ship has been excellent. Every morsel tasty, good quality and well cooked. A hundred times better than our first Arcadia Christmas 2008. Then we paid £5700 for a balcony cabin for the two of us and parted with the money as we believed they would really push the boat out (if you will pardon the pun) but apart from a wallet "from Santa" tossed unwrapped onto the bed there was nothing extra. On that cruise there was a standing joke about being served potato croquettes and carrot medallions at every meal and by the end of the cruise it was not a joke, it was a recurring horror story. That was the one where at afternoon tea, William, the vegetarian got two slices of bread with just a rocket leaf! He asked if he could not at least have a cheese sandwich and was told he should have given 24 hours notice for that.  So well done Arcadia, you have redeemed yourselves. One of the highlights in the Palladium theatre was a great male singing quartet. Former West End Musical singers who have formed a group. Their performance was amazing on the first night hence the reason we headed off early and camped out in the front row for their next show.  Check our fourtunes.com Ports Our first port was Vigo. A tip for disabled visitors. Ask any taxi driver on the rank to call you an accessible cab and they phone "Eurocabs" for you. I was able to drive my scooter right into the cab. There is a €5 cover charge but it was only an extra €4 to take us to the top of the town. Porto was next. Another tip for disabled visitors. It is very hilly you might make it down to the railway station with its magnificent tile murals and the cathedral, great views of the river from there and the port producers on the opposite bank. If you go further down be prepared to get a taxi back to the coach drop off. We have been to Cadiz many times and we were hoping for good weather to walk along the shore then make our way back into the city via the Roman Amphitheatre but the rain was torrential and relentless so we gave up and returned to the ship. At which tme the sun came out and we got an hour sitting out but it was short lived then back to rain. Malaga was a gem, What a lovely city. A great central shopping street, very stylish with all the top brands. A well developed port with an attractive marina, more shops cafes, bars and well kept beaches. At each corner an attractive square with beautiful historic buildings all very sympathetically preserved.  We took the accessible mini bus shuttle into the city but walked back through the marina and along the promendade. Do not be afraid to stop for refreshments in the marina, it is all very reasonable priced and they have the cutest, tamest sparrows that will eat out of your hand. We were told in the booking info that we would spend the morning in Gibraltar. Once the daily paper has been circulated we learned we dock at 7 and leave at 11.30. People tend to save their shopping for Gib as it is so British but as shops open at 10 there was just an hour before one needed to head back to port. My companions went up the Rock on the cable car but it was not accessible for me, too many steps. So I stayed in the car park below. I tried the Almeda Botanical  Gardens but same again, steps!. I guess that was to be expected from a settlement built for mountain goats.  They found the cable car quick and the top of the rock unusually quiet. The monkeys (Macaques) were there but much better behaved. There are signs up threatening. £4,000 fine for feeding them. There were babies, very cute, we have pictures. Protective adults, not very cute with threatening grimaces and great pictures of the view all around is it was such a clear morning. I was reading that the Macaque population had got out of control so they have introduced a system of modern birth control (Marie Stopes eat your heart out) and exported a few families to a park in Scotland. We had a wonderful day in Lisbon, 7 hours. My companions hired Segways from Red Tour Segways in Rua Dos Fanquieros, a man we have patronised for years.  I was impressed by the performance of my scooter but Lisbon being so flat the load was reduced a little despite carrying half the P&O buffet round my midriff. I set off with such good intention but the food is all so good!!!!! Measuring it out later the scooter did about 7 miles so just made it back to the cabin before the battery died. It is the one question people ask me all the time. "How many miles do you get out of it?" But there are so many variables it is almost impossible to answer.  I found a lovely local deli in a back street selling smelly fish and cheese and got some good wines for the couple who are looking after the car. We had Coffee and Nata, the Portugese custard tart, a Christmas speciality, at the St Nicholas cafe in the main pedestrian street that runs off Black Horse Square.  We had been warned about thieves and pickpockets but the biggest surprise was the number of men who sidled past muttering "cocaine? hashish? Marihuana?" I bet they shopped any tourists who bought drugs to the police for a cut of the profit as there were lots of Polis around who must have known what they were doing. I tried sidling up to people muttering "Sennacot? Omeprazole? Rennies?". Once the rush hour traffic was clear the streets were fairly quiet as there is a two day rail and metro strike on. To those of us who have been coming to Lisbon for many years you can see how badly it has suffered under the recession. Many empty shops and abandoned premises with older shopkeepers presiding over out of date stock that was once their livelihood. Many more beggars, local people and not addled with drink or drugs just abandoned by the state. They have made a good start with dropped pavements and are half way to full accessibility. Half way, in the you drive off the pavement and get to the other side of the crossing to be met by a 6inch kerb.  Then back to the ship and the two day cruise back to Southampton. All in all it was a good cruise. So we would definitely do Arcadia again after this one. Well done P&O .   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Meridian Dining Room We thought the dining room was very noisy, the noise might be made worse because of the large open area in the floor between the upper and lower levels The Grill Excellent food and staff, and a very relaxing ... Read More
Meridian Dining Room We thought the dining room was very noisy, the noise might be made worse because of the large open area in the floor between the upper and lower levels The Grill Excellent food and staff, and a very relaxing atmosphere East We thought the lighting was a little bright but the food and staff were excellent Shore Excursions Most of the excursions went smoothly apart from Oslo; we had pre-booked and paid for two excursions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. At the time of booking there was two hours between the return of the first excursion and the start of the second. We boarded the ship our tickets had been already delivered to our cabin, we immediately noticed the timing of the Oslo excursions had changed; the second excursion was now starting well before the return time of the first. When we queried this with the shore excursions team we were informed that it was Christmas Eve and everything would close early so the timings had been changed. Perhaps when the excursions were organised Christmas Eve should have been taken into consideration; however we did receive a full refund for the second excursion very quickly Cabin B171 Is located at the back of the ship in a quiet position with a very spacious balcony, was very clean and well maintained However one night there was a problem with the plumbing, just as we were going to dinner we noticed that the toilet would not flush so we reported the problem, we were informed that there was problem with the entire rear section of the deck as a pipe had become disconnected and they were working on it. Just after Midnight we returned to our cabin, went in the bathroom and were greeted with an appalling smell, the toilet was overflowing with sewerage; it had been flowing across the floor and going down the floor drain. I immediately pressed the flush, the toilet bowl emptied and the problem stopped. We phoned Housekeeping; they sent two members of their team to sanitise the bathroom. The next day we went down to the Reception and spoke with the Head of Housekeeping and asked him why nobody went round the affected cabins to check if there had been any blow-back problems? We were informed that because the incident happened at night they did not check the cabins because it would disturb the guests. We thought this was a very poorly conceived and flawed policy Conclusion A very likeable and friendly ship   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This cruise took place over New Year, we went in order to get a bit of sunshine. It was not Arcadia's fault sunshine was at a minimum. So we got to Southampton slightly earlier than our check in time but that was not a problem. ... Read More
This cruise took place over New Year, we went in order to get a bit of sunshine. It was not Arcadia's fault sunshine was at a minimum. So we got to Southampton slightly earlier than our check in time but that was not a problem. Checking in the car was smooth and easy, checking in to board the ship was equally easy. We went straight to the self service restaurant and had lunch and within a short period of time our cabin was ready. D135, lovely bed, functional cabin, plenty enough wardrobe and shelving for us. Balcony was dark, small and dirty, cigarette ends etc. the cabin smelt 'sweaty' when we first went in, I did not complain, I realise with a quick turn around etc it is difficult. Sprayed some air freshener and got on with it. Eventually I went and found our cases and we unpacked. The Meridien Restaurant was fab, excellent food and service. The Belvedere was what it was, a self service canteen. We dined in the Ocean Grill on New Years Eve and I was disappointed, but others thought it wonderful. One evening on returning to our cabin after a dinner there was a terrible smell of fried chips in the cabin, D132 had ordered room service unfortunately the waiter could not read and delivered them to D135. One would have thought the clue was in the fact the cabin was empty.........and that's part of the problem with this ship. Lack of care, training, not understanding, I am not sure but whilst everything on the surface is fine, if you look underneath, service is shabby, the ship is dirty and no one cares. We had a lovely holiday and the food was very good but I certainly will not venture out with P & O again. The hi de hi messages every morning telling me when bingo was starting amongst other things put me off. The Captain or his deputy every morning announced weather etc but often spoke so fast one could not understand what was being said. Again, lack of training or just lack of caring. Who knows.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our second cruise, the first being on the Carnival Spirit to Alaska 2 years ago. I had read quite a few negative comments about P&O in general and the Arcadia in particular on this site so I was slightly cautious about the ... Read More
This was our second cruise, the first being on the Carnival Spirit to Alaska 2 years ago. I had read quite a few negative comments about P&O in general and the Arcadia in particular on this site so I was slightly cautious about the whole experience however it turned out that we had nothing to worry about! Check in at the terminal in Southampton was quick and smooth and within an hour of arrival we were on board and eating in the Belvedere where the food was good and plentiful. Then to our balcony cabin where we were greeted by Francis, our very pleasant cabin steward. I originally booked select dining but changed it to freedom dining after reading a few reviews on this site and what a good decision that was. Rather then being fixed to a time and a table we were able to decide at what time to eat and the size of table to sit at. We preferred dinner for 2 and had no problems with this selection on any of our nights, even the hugely popular gala night on Christmas Day. During our 7 nights we tried the buffet in the Belvedere (3 nights), smart casual in the Meridian (2 nights), black tie in the Meridian (1 night) and our final night was in the specialist East restaurant on Deck 11. We were never disappointed with the food and the service - all proved to be outstanding so I don't know where these recent complaints come from about surly staff and poor quality food! We never used the lifts because we wanted to keep fit and leave them to those who really needed them, i.e. there were quite a few wheel chair users etc. about the ship but this was never an issue for us despite some people moaning on this site. Full credit to them for going on a cruise and enjoying the experience in their own way. We stopped in 3 ports - Zeebrugge, Copenhagen and Oslo so a few words about each. Zeebrugge - we used some of our very generous £250 on board spend to buy a tour to Ghent which we thoroughly enjoyed. A very informative guide who took us to some places we would have missed had we done it on our own. Copenhagen - for the morning we took a train across the Oresund Bridge to Malmo in Sweden, walked around for an hour, had a coffee near the square and then returned to Copenhagen for lunch time, saw Tivoli Gardens, the palace, Christmas Market (tiny) where we enjoyed a mulled wine, Nyhavn, Little Mermaid and back to the ship. All within easy walking distance. Oslo - we walked 10 minutes to the railway station and took the train to the Olympic ski jump at Holmenkollen, saw the ski museum and went to the top of the jump. Deep snow and freezing cold but a brilliant experience. Back to Oslo, saw the palace and then walked back to the ship. We were warned about £15 coffees in Oslo but ours at the ski Jump were less than £3 each and we were given a super cinammon bun as well! So what did we like? The ship, the captain and his crew, the food, the service, the cities we visited, most but not quite all of the entertainment. Micky Zany was very funny and actually told jokes rather than the current comedy trend of trying to make fun of daily life and/or resorting to toilet humour which actually is never funny. The Headliners were very professional and the lead singer had a superb voice. Peter Howarth from the Hollies was great. The port talks were very useful and informative but one key point was missed which is mentioned later in this review. What didn't we like? The quizzes were quite dreadful, badly organised and ridiculous questions, we heard many people complaining about them and we stopped going after we sat through 2 of them. Very expensive internet at 50 pence per minute. Not in this day and age P&O!! Your excuses about satellite don't work for me! We felt we had to complain about the lack of some key information for Oslo. Some numpty announced when we were back on board at the end of the day that a representative from Customs was aboard in order to refund 40% VAT on any purchase over 315 Krona! WHY didn't they tell us this before we left in the morning? Had they done so then we would have purchased a lovely but very expensive jacket for my wife. Norway's loss and ours I guess. We complained to a Receptionist who said it was in the daily paper but then she couldn't find it (because it wasn't there love!) but really she couldn't have cared less. We didn't visit Reception very much but the people there were not very welcoming which is a shame because everyone else was great! Anyway - overall a brilliant experience for us and we would definitely sail with P&O again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Having returned from our 12 day cruise aboard Arcadia, we wish to express our great disappointment. As this was our first cruise the ship was not as we'd expected, having read information of the (refit carried out in 2013!).. If ... Read More
Having returned from our 12 day cruise aboard Arcadia, we wish to express our great disappointment. As this was our first cruise the ship was not as we'd expected, having read information of the (refit carried out in 2013!).. If we'd given our cabin, & corridors a star rating it would have been 2! As the carpets, walls in corridors were badly stained! Our cabin was very depressing, extremely creased net curtain, pillows had a stale smell, & I had to clean hairs out of bathroom cabinet, before I could put my toiletries in!.. On boarding the ship, we went for a look around, until our cabin was ready, we liked the look of the hydro pool, and heated beds, so payed £200 to use for the 12 days, & oh how pleased we did, as once we set sail for the 3 day trip to Madeira, we realised just how little there was to do on board..... One of the main reasons we choose this cruise, was not having to do long flights. The down side of this is it appeals to a lot older age group, and the amount of wheel chairs, mobility scooters on board, it felt more like a floating old peoples home, and not the luxury cruise we'd been looking forward to... We found all staff very friendly, even given the long hours they were expected to work, nothing was to much trouble. Evening entertainment in the theatre was very good. The food in meridian restaurant was also very good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
my self and my wife have just returned from one of our best cruises ever we went on a 12 night canary cruise on arcadia we had a ball from start to finish' the entertainment by the headliners theater company would equal any west end ... Read More
my self and my wife have just returned from one of our best cruises ever we went on a 12 night canary cruise on arcadia we had a ball from start to finish' the entertainment by the headliners theater company would equal any west end show. we also had a singer roger wright who was brillaint. the food we ate in the meraden freedom dineing was what you would expect in a top class restuarant and what a choice. the staff throughout the ship were very helpful and always smileing.we were always kept busy with talks on life boats painting. quizes. and enterained with some very good music throughout the ship we met some lovely people who like ourselves cant wait untill the next one thanks p and o Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I have recently returned from a trip on this ship to The Canary Islands. My friend and I were upgraded to a deluxe balcony cabin but I honestly don't know what makes it deluxe. The cabin was clean enough, beds were lovely and comfy ... Read More
I have recently returned from a trip on this ship to The Canary Islands. My friend and I were upgraded to a deluxe balcony cabin but I honestly don't know what makes it deluxe. The cabin was clean enough, beds were lovely and comfy and having tea and coffee facilities in the cabin was an added bonus. However, the little bath (which only a small child could fit into ) was the only feature I could see that would give the cabin it's deluxe status. Not worth having really. The cabin itself creaked rather a lot as the ship rolled constantly throughout the voyage. Like a previous reviewer I also wondered if the stabilisers were deployed. So much so that I even mentioned this to the deputy captain when I had an opportunity to speak with him. The sea was not particularly rough but the ship rolled causing many passengers to feel ill especially on the first day. We tried to buy seasickness tablets in the shop only to be told they had run out of them. The shop assistant failed to tell us we could buy them at reception so we ended up buying the little acupuncture wrist bands instead. Staff on board were friendly and polite at all times. The entertainment was brilliant. The main attraction "The Headliners" were fabulous, their shows were packed out at every performance . Roger Wright and Rachel Russell were also fabulous. I wasn't so keen on the comedian. He was good on his first show but not on his second. He kept asking the audience if they were having a good time. A time waster!!! We had no complaints at all about the food on board. We ate every night in The Meridian restaurant and freedom dining meant we shared tables with lots of other guests. It was lovely meeting so many different people. The staff were friendly and polite here too. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise.........the alternative was to stay at home while our husbands were trekking in Nepal so I think we made a good choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was only our second cruise the first being with Royal Caribbean, no comparison. The ship looked OK and our cabin although a bit dingy was passable, however, it soon became apparent that this ship was getting past it's sell by ... Read More
This was only our second cruise the first being with Royal Caribbean, no comparison. The ship looked OK and our cabin although a bit dingy was passable, however, it soon became apparent that this ship was getting past it's sell by date. It rocked and rolled in a sea that didn't look that bad, whether stabilisation was being used I do not know but it certainly did not seem like it, I have had better crossings through the Bay of Biscay on a car ferry. We did not eat in our designated dining area but used the Buffett, the food was no comparison to what we enjoyed on the Royal Caribbean Buffett, it was edible but that was about it, and trying to find somewhere to sit when you had your meal was a challenge in itself. Entertainment,I know that people enjoyed the headliners however I found the whole of the entertainment in the theatre (apart from the comedian) repetitive and boring just a load of people prancing around the stage singing and dancing to different themes on different evenings no story or meaning, that's just my opinion. There is one big plus on this cruise, if you like a quiz you will be spoiled for choice, there never seemed to be an hour that went by where somewhere on the ship you could not find a quiz, drove me nuts. The so called shops are just one big con, supposedly duty free, you could buy the rubbish they were selling in the UK for less, then toward the end of the cruise they would have a sale I assume if this sale was real you would be hacked off if you had bought the same item a few days earlier in the cruise, how to make friends. Anyway I could go on but getting bored thinking about it, my advice buyer beware its not as advertised on many counts. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Myself and my disabled wife paid £3000 for a twelve night trip aboard Arcadia sailing from Southampton back to Southampton returning on the 9th December 2014. From the outside Arcadia looked great and we were very excited when waiting to ... Read More
Myself and my disabled wife paid £3000 for a twelve night trip aboard Arcadia sailing from Southampton back to Southampton returning on the 9th December 2014. From the outside Arcadia looked great and we were very excited when waiting to board her, our excitement disappeared when we entered our mini suite number Delta 001, it was very tired and dated and there was mildew on the bathroom tiles in the shower. The shower door was very loose which we reported to reception. We unpacked and ventured out to explore the ship and have lunch, we found most of the staff rude surly and unhelpful when you asked for anything and they looked very board. We had our life boat muster drill in the Palladium Theatre on deck three, this was our first view of the theatre and was very impressed by it and looking forward to the shows there. On the first night we were introduced to the entertainment team led by Cruise Director.  The Headliners singing and dance group were fantastic and very hard working. The dinning room staff were most of the time very surly bordering on rude and we found the menus boring. The best place to eat was East but this cost you £15 per head to eat there. We had a coffee maker in our suite and when we ran out of coffee sacks had a very hard job to get them replaced by the butler service department. Room service was beyond belief, you ordered what you wanted but what you received nearly always was not what you had ordered it was our daily amusement seeing what was delivered to our suite by the staff. The shops on board are very expensive the staff very rude and pushy when dealing with you. What they sell can be bought cheaper on shore and that is what we did most of the time. Other than the head Liners the only act we liked was the comedian his to shows was great the other acts was good on their first show but their second show was not so good and let them down. Most of the time the swimming pools were closed due to the weather conditions in the area that we were in. We do not think that the way Arcadia rolled that the Captain ever deployed the ships stabilizers was this to save fuel for the company we wonder? We have sailed with P&O on a number of times and this was our worst ever cruise with them and the condition of the ship and the attitude of most of the crew spoilt a rather expensive holiday for us. some of the ports we visited the gangways were way beyond the safety levels of decent laid down for disabled people it took four crew members to get my wife and her wheel chair down the gradient of the gang way safely. We were also disappointed with the television on board you could not track your on board account or order room service yet these were brand new televisions fitted whilst she was docked at Southampton but did not work to their capabilities. The two best ships that P&O have Ventura and Azure are based abroad so if you wish to cruise on them you have to fly out to join them what a shame for us passengers who cannot fly but love these two ships. Our advice to you if you are thinking of going on a cruise on the Arcadia is don't she needs a complete refit or sold on she is to old and dated.     Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
What a travesty the previous reviewer of this cruise has provided. 1. The staff throughout the ship were excellent and could not have done more for you. The restuarant staff in particular made it a pleasure to be going to each meal. The ... Read More
What a travesty the previous reviewer of this cruise has provided. 1. The staff throughout the ship were excellent and could not have done more for you. The restuarant staff in particular made it a pleasure to be going to each meal. The food was of a good standard always hot. always plenty of choice. 2. It was November/December which means it is more likely to be rough. It was indeed rough on the first 3 days down to Madeira, yes the ship was moving about but , really it should be expected by anyone booking a cruise at that time of year. In any event Arcadia coped extremely well with the conditions. 3. The ship, to me, looked in very good condition and my cabin ( a balcony on deck 6) wasreally lovely and kept that way by my cabin steward. 4. The swimming pool was closed on some of the days due to the conditions and also to have it refurbished. It seemed a sensible opportunity to do this work.. 5. The shows were all good to excellent apart from the comedian. His jokes were from the 60s and making fun of people in the audience is always an easy way to get cheap laughs, sad. Roger Wright and the Headliners could not have worked harder and provided wonderful entertainment. The backing band must be one of the best on any ship. I am really at a loss to know what more some people expect. I am willing to make appropriate comments if anything is not up to standard but I really thought this was a really good cruise on a beautiful ship and with some much more space per person than on Azura. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Having experienced great holidays on Princess Cruises we decided to try something different. On booking we were reassured by P&O Sales that we had the best cabin (C097) and there was no point putting us down for an upgrade but it ... Read More
Having experienced great holidays on Princess Cruises we decided to try something different. On booking we were reassured by P&O Sales that we had the best cabin (C097) and there was no point putting us down for an upgrade but it turned out to be the worst and we ended up sleeping in Customer Service Reception on a bench seat opposite the Reception desk. Eventually we were moved to a new cabin which was initially was unavailable, but the rude and unprofessional Night Manage's behavior was not acceptable and put a cloud over the rest of the cruise. However we had no choice but to make the most of it as the month before our cruise we had just buried my mother. Acadia needs a refit or scrapping for various reasons, read on... The food was good and plenty of it, however there is a point during the day around 5pm/6pm when all restaurants are closed apart from a small serving hatch by the pool manned by one person cooking burgers and chips for the entire ship! We had to speak to the manager as it would seem that to get a decent service you had to moan a lot. Once we had the meeting with the restaurant manager thinks improved. Please understand that to have continuous waiters raising trays above my partners head all night was very distracting and some armpits smells got into ones taste buds. Service generally very good though. The Players put on great shows in the theater. Anything else belonged overboard. Too many quizzes. Dressed up in our best dinner wear for black tie night in the Crows Nest was disturbed and ruined by that haunting announcement. "The quiz will now start..." All dressed up in a black tie and dinner wear for a quiz ! The cruise sail away parties were OK as we joined in as it kept us warm as we thought the skipper was following bad weather reports on the way to and around the Canaries Islands. If they really need to have so many quizzes they should consider doing it through them via the in room TV media and keeping the show bars and lounges free of "question number 22" ! The cabin was unsuitable and not fit for purpose due to what some have said was down to "flexing". Cabins around C097 were all complaining and we hadn't left Southampton yet. It s believed that P&O knew about this problem and put guests into these cabins anyway in hope that they would not complain. We did, left the cabin and moved into reception until a new cabin was found. We really had to put up a fight with the night manger who did nothing until we refused to remove from reception and go back to our cabin "There was nothing that he could do" he kept saying, "there are no other free cabins" oh but we could have a single cabin each.??? Totally not 5 star treatment or even 1. We stayed in another cabin the next day but not before being forced to sign a liability contract to say we would not claim no further from P&O and not a hint of apology until the next day which was false and too late. Crew hospitality and service was let down by the abrupt and unprofessional night manager, the buffet restaurant staff were only interested in taking trays and crockery away which was constant and annoying. The restaurant staff lifting trays above your head continuously, however those that we did not get directly involved with were very good. There was one engineer who at 01:00 hours ignored the do not disturb sign after we had waited all day to get the toilet fixed and stood outside our door with his mobile talking to someone. Basic hospitality missing here ? We won't be using P&O again although we were looking forward to cruising on the Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Overall an enjoyable cruise on a beautiful ship. The embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. One of the highlights of the holiday was the food in the Meridian restaurant, which we found to be excellent, as mentioned ... Read More
Overall an enjoyable cruise on a beautiful ship. The embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. One of the highlights of the holiday was the food in the Meridian restaurant, which we found to be excellent, as mentioned by other reviewers the service was slow on some nights, but that was not a problem to us, as we enjoyed a leisurely meal with good wine, company and good service. The public areas of the ship were all very impressive and well maintained with a good choice of bars with musicians, restaurants and sitting areas, Our cabin decoration, was a bit jaded, especially the bathroom, but was spotlessly clean, very comfortable and our cabin steward was excellent. We enjoyed the Ports we visited and took P&O excursions in all of them but we did not have enough time in most of the destinations. It may be helpful to include travelling time and length of time which will be spent in Port in the description of the excursions. The entertainment programme was disappointing. We would have liked a wider variety of lectures or perhaps some art related classes and a more varied programme of music. The 'port talks' were little more than a sales pitch to sell the excursions. There were endless quizzes, but we did enjoy the nightly 'Syndicate' quiz in The Crow's Nest and the Headliners dancers were excellent. We also enjoyed the dance classes with Paul and Carole Anne. The service across the whole ship was excellent, especially the waiters who were very professional, but so serious. There was no friendly welcome or chat (apart from the bar staff in The Crows Nest), We felt that the advertising campaign of 'having a little fun' was not evident on the Arcadia, no-one appeared to be having much fun, there was also no 'wow' factor. In our (admittedly limited) experience of cruises there has always been surprises ie. speciality midnight buffets with ice or fruit carving, chef's parade accompanied by music and flaming baked alaskas etc. Nothing like this happened on this cruise - or if it did we missed it! However, we did have a lovely holiday, we appreciated the Captain's sense of humour in his daily bulletins and will probably have another cruising holiday - but possibly not with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We were sent a invite to view a P & O ship and choose the Arcadia because it was adult only and because we had seen a cruise we liked during Dec /Jan. We are so glad we went because we would have wasted a very large amount of money if ... Read More
We were sent a invite to view a P & O ship and choose the Arcadia because it was adult only and because we had seen a cruise we liked during Dec /Jan. We are so glad we went because we would have wasted a very large amount of money if we had just booked! Compared with other ships we had sailed on the Arcadia is very dated, even though it was supposed to have had a refit in 2013. The ceilings seem very low even in the dining room were they are usually (on other ships) very open. The dining room itself was dated, The curtains looked old and not luxurious as you would expect in a dining room, some of the dining chairs were scratched and had stains on the upholstery. There was no wow factor, in fairness when you looked up, the first floor dining room did look a bit better with some 'blingy' lights etc. The public toilets near the dining area were terrible, I certainly would not want to use them when I was in my evening clothes. There was no flowers or plants to make the area look better, there was no hand cream - something even local pubs seem to have now and the worst thing was the cubicle itself, the seat was badly stained - not new stains, but from long use. There were not even as good as local shopping centre toilets! We were shown a number of cabins, again the standard seemed low compared to other ships - black mildew around the window in a ocean view and no care taken to make the bed look attractive, pillows and cushions needed 'plumping' etc. In the balcony cabin, they balcony furniture looked worn and dated, not at all inviting. The bedlinen was badly creased - just small things that could have been done better. The bars, theatre etc all looked fine, but is fine good enough on a cruise? Usually there are elements of wow factor and luxury,surely that is what you expect when booking a cruise holiday? Overall we were very disappointed. To be fair some people who had never cruised said they thought it was nice, but they had nothing to compare with. P & O please up your game. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Arcadia J416 Western Mediterranean Another lovely cruise! Weather was much better than we expected for mid-September. Temperatures were mostly in the 30’sC. We drove down on the day of the cruise and traffic was fine, the new roadworks ... Read More
Arcadia J416 Western Mediterranean Another lovely cruise! Weather was much better than we expected for mid-September. Temperatures were mostly in the 30’sC. We drove down on the day of the cruise and traffic was fine, the new roadworks seem to be progressing nicely and as long as you follow the signs and not the satnav it was fine. We arrived at Ocean Terminal just before noon and the car was picked up by CPS. We were quickly checked in as we had priority due to our cabin being a mini suite. Once on-board we were directed to the Meridian restaurant for a lovely lunch. Starting with a glass of bubbly is a lovely way to start a cruise. Our cabin B87 was the same one as on our last cruise a few weeks ago and the room was laid out exactly as we had asked, impressive! It is a lovely spacious cabin with lots of wardrobes and drawers. The balcony is lovely, a large table, a small table, 2 upright chairs and 2 recliners with foot stools and still space to walk about. The bathroom is large, 2 sinks, a separate shower and a Jacuzzi bath this shower over it. We had Macqueen as our cabin steward for the first 3 days and he was so lovely, then Celeste took over our care and did a good job too. The extra touches are so nice in a mini suite, the flowers, chocolates and champagne, the daily canapés and the never ending bowl of fruit. The Bay of Biscay in both directions was as calm as a mill pond!! I do miss the band on the quayside as we sailed away from Southampton, it’s a pity that has stopped. But the other sailaways were lovely by the pool led by the Entertainments team. Cruise director Jon Bartram was excellent throughout the cruise. In particular the Great British Sailaway with was on the afternoon immediately after the Scottish vote so it was quite emotionally charged and had excellent choice of music. The weather joined in too… thunder and lightning with style!! We need to use an adapted shuttle as mum uses a rollator and needs to roll onto the vehicle not use the steps and this was the first cruise we have done where this was availatble at nearly every port. Consequently we got off the ship everywhere except Gibraltar. All the staff on these shuttles were incredibly helpful and this gave mum lots of confidence to be a bit more adventurous than we normally are. The food was excellent; we were on Table 60 in Lower Meridian second sitting. Superb waiters and Robert the Head waiter who saw to Mum’s allergy each evening was so helpful and considerate of her needs. Our table companions-table of 8- were a delight and we were often rushing along the ship to get to the theatre before the show started – we were talking so much we had to miss coffee some evenings!! The entertainment was very good, great Headliners troupe and good ‘stars’. We loved Tom O’Conner, Roger Wright and Jimmy Lowe – Elton John tribute, we thought he was the real deal!! All in all it was another excellent cruise and we are looking forward to next year’s already. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.6
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

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