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436 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the ports of call. Just before departure we were advised that we would spend 3 and a half days in Malaga to repair the ship Azipod which was damaged on a previous cruise. Why was the ship not fixed before? Every ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. Just before departure we were advised that we would spend 3 and a half days in Malaga to repair the ship Azipod which was damaged on a previous cruise. Why was the ship not fixed before? Every port of call was a disaster because we were late at every port and had to suffer more crowds of tourists than expected. Messina was cancelled as was our tour in Venice. We were not impressed. Maintenance was a continual activity on the prom deck every day and the noise of tools could be heard inside the ship, the general state of this ship was very poor and generally tired. The food in the main restaurant was no better than a one star place, tasteless, lacking imagination and rather boring. Glasses were not clean. Norovirus started on day 3 and remained for most of the cruise.Entertainment was mediocre and only 2 speakers in 19 days. Service was average and it seemed as if there had been a reduction in the numbers of staff in the bars.Cabins are in need of updating and rather beige.The ships tour presenter was extremely condescending to passengers. We paid a lot of money for what is advertised as a luxury cruise experience, we beg to differ after our experience and its debatable we would ever use P&O again. Loyalty does not seem to count for much these days. We wrote to P&O and wonder if we will ever get a reply? Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. ... Read More
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. Along with the vital and technically brilliant repair to one of her Azipod propeller seals calling for an extended stay in Malaga, there was an outbreak of Norovirus onboard (thanks clearly to passengers embarking with it and still not washing their hands throughout the cruise) along with issues with mounting a tender back onboard as well as an unfortunate Medivac situation which meant for a very early arrival in Venice… But contrary to most other passengers on-board, we would like to say we felt each situation was handled professionally and as smoothly as humanly possible. We strongly feel the crew should be commended not only for their efforts, but also for their extreme patience, with what must easily have been the most negative and hostile group of passengers (and dare I say most 'senior') we have ever experienced in my history of nearly 20 cruises, who to put simply got on the ship with a big chip on their shoulder just because one port needed to be cancelled due to the repair. They then proceeded to be devoid of any understanding that not everything will always go to plan on ship and just moaned and whinged for the rest of the holiday REALLY bringing down the atmosphere all over the ship and exhausting the crew... Anyway! Overall we had a great time! Excellent staff pretty much without exception - but I am sure part of this is if you treat them with respect you get the same in return. Our Cabin Steward 'Harish' couldn't have been more polite, efficient and friendly. Food in the main restaurant and buffet was good on the most part - although the main menus do seem to have been 'dumbed' down a little in the last year or so. Treated ourselves to the Ocean Grill and Sindhu on a couple of occasions and was impressed. Entertainment from the Headliners in the fantastic and comfortable Palladium Theatre was FIRST CLASS! Mr Tinkerton's Circus worthy of special mention - probably the best show I have ever seen on any ship! Congratulations to P&O for clearly investing heavily in this side of things. However, after seven wonderful cruises on her over the last 8 years with a further two booked including the full World Cruise in 2021, we have become very accustomed to Arcadia herself never disappointing us. Arguably the best-looking ship in the fleet with a lovely blend of features and facilities, we were admittedly shocked and saddened by her general exterior condition as well as some lack of maintenance, care and attention to some of her public spaces as well as private cabins and their balconies. We were assured this was being addressed and we look forward to seeing this on our next couple of cruises which we are very much looking forward to. But in just one last thought, perhaps in P&O's approach of marketing their cruises as a 'holiday' where it’s all about the destination instead of the journey, people’s respect for the ships is not would it should be as, if it wasn’t for the atmosphere these passengers created, it would probably have been one of top 5 cruises we have ever done. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had been wanting to try another cruise line and this P&O visit to the Mediterranean fitted in with with this. Arriving at the Cruise terminal at the appointed time meant a swift processing and rapid boarding even if the cabins ... Read More
We had been wanting to try another cruise line and this P&O visit to the Mediterranean fitted in with with this. Arriving at the Cruise terminal at the appointed time meant a swift processing and rapid boarding even if the cabins were not ready. When we were able to access ours we found clean, the bed looked good and the bathroom was fine. The cases arrived shortly after so we were into unpacking when the call for life boat drill came. Our muster station was the Palladium theatre along with countless other. Unfortunately the place we chose had steep steps, The drill was straightforward and included putting on a life jacket. As we had opted for Freedom Dining and we had been advised to get to the upper deck of the Meridian early so we had a chance of a table for 2, we queued up half an hour early. Using this tactic we always had the same table for two and were we well looked after by James & Michael. We tried lunch once in the Meridian but this did not offer the soup and salad we like. The Belvedere was huge, daunting and difficult to find what we wanted. Thereafter we had a snack in the cabin and a coffee in the Vivo cafe. The menus are lengthy in the Meridian. It rapidly became clear that all meat varied from tough to very tough so we almost always had fish.On one occasion the fish was impenetrable and was replaced with properly cooked one which was as palatable as my wife’s. For some nights there were fancy menus designed by Marco Pierre White or a Chef’s special. We had a glass of wine one night and my red was not fit to be drunk. We used the Cafe Vivo which was good value and served Costa coffee at the right temperature. On this cruise most of the time people were out side enjoying the sun. We did notice that the two seats in the Art Gallery were invariable taken, the being the only sitting places that were free of waiters bring to sell drinks. Due to a “technical problem” so the email from P&O we would be spending an extra day in Malaga. The technical problem turned out to be fishing gear fouling a propeller and also turned out to require much more time and we actually sailed at 1205 am on the fifth day. Malaga was the one port on the itinerary that we did not want to go to. P&O (Carnival) stated that there would be no compensation for this or missing the call at Messina beyond a token gesture about Spanish taxes on drinks. A letter to this effect was delivered to our cabin with the implication that we should claim on our insurance for missing Messina. Claiming on the insurance means that the premium will rise to cover this and I do not pay for expensive policies so that Carnival can avoid facing the cost of compensating us for our loss of enjoyment. A knock on of the prolonged stay was that we had to fit in 3 formal nights in 5 days so these nights were nothing special. There was an out break of norovirus which was a brought under control speedily. However the hand sanitisation was not enforced at every restaurant and not easily seen in the bars and cafe. Indeed at one the officer (maitre d’) made no effort whatsoever to help those of us who wanted to us the sanitiser before entering a restaurant he was in charge of. The rest of the cruise was blessed with calm seas so maximum speed could be maintained and the time in the remaining ports was as planned. However it was hot with Cagliari being over 35 degrees. Disembarkation was relatively painless. We are giving P&O another chance as we were able to relax and do as we pleased. Ports: Malaga. Shuttle bus to centre or a longish walk. Interesting for a day Venice. Ordered ticket never arrived. Split: Used the free shuttle bus which was a good move as the walk looked as though it dodged ferry terminals and a bus station. Diocletian's Palace was well worth seeing and is free. Dubrovnik. Anchor port but the tenders were both frequent and easy to use and much better than a shuttle bus as we were landed on the edge of the old town. Well worth exploring but pick up a map. Cagliari. Far too hot so we did not explore it. We did find an air conditioned cafe at the top of a department store. Gibraltar. Afternoon call. Walked into town as the queues for the shuttle seemed lengthy and it only gets you so far. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this ship because we have a world cruise booked on her in January 2020 (she was the only P&O ship available for a world cruise). We wanted to test the water so to speak by booking this 3 day mini cruise where we had the same ... Read More
We chose this ship because we have a world cruise booked on her in January 2020 (she was the only P&O ship available for a world cruise). We wanted to test the water so to speak by booking this 3 day mini cruise where we had the same cabin we have booked on the world cruise. We were very pleasantly surprised, Arcadia is a lovely ship, smaller in size than we are accustomed to but we actually preferred it. It's much friendlier than larger ships where you actually talk to someone and then run in to them again on another day! The organization from embarkation through to disembarkation including a trip ashore by tender was amazing and hassle-free. The cabin (de luxe balcony) was very clean and comfortable, the entertainment was fabulous and the staff were always very polite and couldn't do enough to please. To be honest we weren't too impressed with the quality of the food in the Meridian restaurant although it was quite acceptable and I also found that the air conditioning throughout the ship was a bit severe. We were unable to turn it off in the cabin and there was no dressing gown provided, but to be fair I am a person who feels the cold very much and absolutely hates air conditioning. Nothing is ever perfect and this ship is the closest you will get I'm sure and we can't wait to sail on her again in January. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi ... Read More
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi to/from the port. Excellent package. Embarkation was very efficient and we boarded very quickly, with the luggage arriving in reasonable time. We booked early May and one of the cabins offered was at the stern, but it had a big balcony and we thought [rightly as it turned out] that we'd have brilliant views of the Fjords. The cabin was spacious with plenty of clothes storage, seating space with a settee and a good sized bathroom. Our steward, Umesh, was efficient, friendly and brought ice for our drinks each evening, so deserved his good tip! The only thing I missed was a towelling robe and slippers, as I would have expected those in a de-luxe cabin. The ship was just big enough for us, although I was grateful for the small map which I clutched for days. The cabin was smart and very clean, but the balcony area was quite rusty in areas and both that and the balcony rail needed painting. Although the balcony was huge, there was an overhang so we didn't get as much sunshine as the deck below. But then they had us gazing down on them as they sunbathed..... Dining standards were very varied and although we tried Freedom Dining on the first night, after a projected hour's wait till 9pm, we reverted to our 2nd sitting booking and were with a great group on our table for six in the window. Two very good waiters looked after us very well during the whole voyage. The food varied from day to day and a few times we had to send food back to the kitchen, including the infamous steaks. My worst choice was lamb, which turned out to be three slices of fat smothered in gravy and should never have left the kitchen The replacement slices were beautiful and it does pay to complain as the head waiter came over personally to apologise. We did eat twice in the Sindhu restaurant and really enjoyed the food in there, although some of it didn't strike us as particularly Indian or Eastern. The staff went to particular trouble for me as I'm allergic to chilli and I never suffered once! Surroundings were lovely and it was pleasant to enjoy a drink in the quiet East bar before strolling next door to eat. We always breakfasted in the Belvedere as there was a good choice of cereals and fresh fruit and we did indulge in the occasional bacon butty. Lunch was usually there too as we prefer salads and there was a wide selection to choose from. If we did have a hot meal, we were generally disappointed as the food was rarely hot and not brilliant. Their curry night was excellent though! Drinks were reasonably priced, especially the wines at the evening meal and there was a comprehensive choice of world wines. We enjoyed most of the entertainment, especially the Headliners with their superb, enthusiastic, high standard, special musical evenings. Definitely West End quality. The comedian was extremely funny and had an appreciative audience. Enjoyed the historian too as her lectures on the Vikings were very interesting with amusing observations which added to the content. Joined in the daily quizzes, though not all the answers were accurate as for just one example, butterflies do NOT eat through their feet! We only took one shore excursion as we love to stroll off the ship in our own time and explore locally. All the small ports seemed to have similar souvenirs and high prices, but Trondheim and Bergen were well worth exploring on one's own.The trip we chose was the Grieg visit, which was well hyped as a special event with a piano recital. Lovely trip round Bergen to begin with, followed by the tour of Grieg's house and museum with the recital as the icing on the cake in a beautiful concert hall. The pianist was talented and we'd just begun to enjoy this treat when it was over after less than half an hour. So disappointing and we did feel rather short changed. Overall we enjoyed our first P&O trip and as we always try and see the good in everything, any little gripes like the costly Wifi and lack of signals to catch up with the home news, [no Brexit for 12 days....bliss!] were easily put to one side. But the great joy was the Fjords themselves in the sunshine from our private little paradise with panoramic views and the sensation of being all alone in this wilderness with the snow topped mountains and towering waterfalls. Loved the experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as sailing around the fjords had been on our bucket list for some time. We booked late, all that was left was cabins with restricted views. We had a cabin on E deck, with a magnificent view of a lifeboat which of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as sailing around the fjords had been on our bucket list for some time. We booked late, all that was left was cabins with restricted views. We had a cabin on E deck, with a magnificent view of a lifeboat which of course we were expecting. The cabin was kept scrupulously clean throughout the cruise by our cabin boy, Sandum. We gave him a generous tip when we returned to Southampton, especially as tips are now at the passengers’ discretion. We were happy with the cabin on the whole but we would have liked some warning when crew members were going to be working outside our window on the lifeboats! We were allocated First Sitting in the Meridian Dining Room. Our first meal there was not a success as my husband had to return his steak which was impossible to cut through, a replacement was immediately served which was much better than the original. We later learnt that several people at that sitting were unhappy with their steaks, apparently a new supplier was at fault. I ordered sticky toffee pudding for dessert, this is the first time I have had this pudding without any sticky toffee! It was very dry and the custard was tasteless and runny. The next evening we returned for our second meal at First Sitting. This time the staff got our wine order wrong, we had ordered Sauvignon Blanc but for some reason the wine waitress turned up with Zinfandel! She returned a second time to say we had ordered Zinfandel, we again said she had got the order wrong. She then returned a 3rd time, this time with a Head Waiter who asked us again if we had ordered Zinfandel. Again we said, ‘No’ ! The next day whilst having lunch in the Belvedere Buffet a Restaurant Manager (Clive) was doing his rounds asking people if they were happy with the food. We told him of our experiences and he immediately offered us Freedom Dining on the upper floor of the Meridian Restaurant. Our dining experience upstairs was far better than First Sitting, food was hotter, service much more professional and caring and we managed to get a window table each evening. We later met up with a fellow passenger who was on our table at First Sitting, he told us he had sent back 5 meals because they were almost cold. We were surprised to see a cruise ship displaying so much rust, especially on the outside where surely first impressions are important! Also on the decks we were surrounded by rails and doors badly in need of another coat of varnish, more rust, lots of drips affecting the deck. On all our previous cruises we have remarked on how hard the crew work on maintaining all areas of the ship. We did not see this on Arcadia, during the whole length of the cruise we just saw 2 crew members repainting. On Princess and Celebrity there are crew on deck continually varnishing and painting throughout the cruise. Also the interior of the ship looks tired, carpets look dirty, handrails on stairs lack the gleam that we are used to, again, we have seen cleaners polishing stair handrails all the time on other cruise lines. The highlight of the holiday was cruising through the fjords. Spectacularly beautiful with stunning waterfalls and awesome glaciers. We spent most of our time on the top deck for this part of the cruise because of our restricted view in the cabin. We only did one ship’s excursion, to the wonderful Briksdal Glacier. This was one tour we didn’t mind paying for, the glacier is thousands of years old. The walk up to it is steep in parts but quite manageable. Like on all cruises, the price of excursions is expensive. Several of the ports had ‘hop on - hop off’ buses and shuttles, I can recommend these, so much cheaper than a ship’s tour. Interesting ports of call, especially Bergen with its historic buildings and fish market. Entertainment on board was good. Special mention must go to the on-board orchestra who were exceptionally talented. We enjoyed the violinist and the magician particularly. The ship’s company of singers/dancers worked hard to keep us entertained. We enjoyed the Queen tribute in particular. We like quizzes and managed to do at least 2 a day. We also attended the very informative lectures on the Vikings by Sandy. So generally we enjoyed the cruise which we chose for the itinerary. P and O was not our first choice of cruise company but it was the only one which had this itinerary for the preferred duration. We noted several fellow passengers were die- hard, loyal P and O customers and would not have sailed with any other cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Embarkation at mayflower terminal in Southampton was excellent and trouble free. By the time we had a quick lunch on-board, our luggage was to be found outside our cabin on Egypt deck. The cabin was exactly as we have become accustomed to ... Read More
Embarkation at mayflower terminal in Southampton was excellent and trouble free. By the time we had a quick lunch on-board, our luggage was to be found outside our cabin on Egypt deck. The cabin was exactly as we have become accustomed to on P and O ships – small, clean, and adequate for what we need. We knew in advance that the window was totally obscured by a life-boat and so it didn’t bother us. The cabin was kept spotless by Lorie who worked her socks off during the cruise bless her. The only gripe about the cabin was that although it was nice to have a bath in there, the water was never hot enough. We enquired about this and were told that the water temperature was regulated to avoid anyone being accidentally scalded. I would think that since I’m over 50 years old, I could be trusted with hot water by now! The entertainment on board was mixed to be honest. The Headliners probably were the best that we had ever seen, being really professional to say the least. Not surprising really since they’d come to the end of their contract and hence their performances were polished due to so much practice. The other entertainment was not particularly to our taste so I’d best not criticise unnecessarily as that wouldn’t be fair. We liked the cinema with its massive armchairs, but be warned, booking in advance is required. We witnessed people being asked to move when ticketholders arrived and found interlopers in their seats! Food. We opted for freedom dining for evening meal in the Meridian which worked out very well. I think it reasonable to say that of all the P and O cruises we’ve been on, the menu and quality of the food on Arcadia was probably the best we have experienced. There appeared to be a lot more choice and the presentation and temperature of the meals was praiseworthy. The Belvedere buffet (or, ‘the canteen’ as we liked to call it) offered food that we could describe as perfectly functional and adequate. Not fancy but OK. The reason we were less enamoured by the Belvedere was simply because the sheer number of people using it made it a scrum to get ones food. Also, having to search for a table was frankly a pain. This was not helped by horrible couples occupying a table for four or six who made it clear that other people were not welcome to join them, despite there being a shortage of seating. Hence, some people were seen to wonder around the buffet looking quite glum just hoping that a table would become free for them to occupy. Because of this we decided to skew our dining times so that we ate when we hoped the least amount of other guests would also be eating (for example, breakfast at 11 am, lunch at 3 pm). Crew. All excellent, polite, friendly. No issues to report at all in the bars, dining room or shops etc. The ships officers were best described as a little aloof and not too willing to engage with passengers. This was evident at the Captains reception when there were plenty of officers present, but they just looked like the event was a chore and didn’t engage with passengers – or if they did, it was perfunctory only. We saw this again at the private cocktail party we attended (for those guests of Mediterranean tier) where the officers gathered in little groups to chat among themselves and the fact that they were really supposed to be mingling and interacting with guests like ourselves who had been on P and O ships several times appeared to pass them by. Ports of call. Fabulous, especially St Petersburg - but Skagen, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Warnemunde were very good too. We walked literally miles around these cities using Google maps to guide us with no issues to report in terms of harassment by locals or anything else. Even St Petersburg in Russia was awesome with none of the potential problems such as pickpockets that one sometimes hears about. Overall, P and O did a good job and we were happy with the cruise on Arcadia. Can’t say any fairer than that! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as its an adults only ship, which is in some ways rather nice but even though I'm of a certain age its nice to mix with some younger people. Having said that most people on the cruise were very friendly. Getting ... Read More
We chose this cruise as its an adults only ship, which is in some ways rather nice but even though I'm of a certain age its nice to mix with some younger people. Having said that most people on the cruise were very friendly. Getting on the ship at Southampton was trouble free and very efficient. The ships is really nice, just the right size, the public areas and bars have been updated, are nicely decorated and comfortable, nice little areas to sit and chat or play cards, read etc. it all flowed very well into the central atrium . The restaurant is quite nice but there are far too many large tables, we were travelling with our friends so preferred a table for 4, we did share a table with other guests a few times but after a long day touring sometimes we preferred just us 4, this was a problem some nights and one of the staff who showed you to tables was very rude indeed so much so that we reported him to the manager for bad customer service. However, most of the staff were very pleasant, especially Jeff Beck, yep that's correct that's what he was called and very customer focused, he was brilliant, he told us he will be on the new Iona, so we will see him again next year as we are booked on it. The food varied from very nice to ok, served hot and if you wanted more it wasn't a problem. We tried Sindu as we had previously on the Azura and it was really good then, this time I'm sorry to say it wasn't nearly as good and not worth the extra money. The cabins (we had balcony) were pleasant, comfortable and spotless, we were cared for by Heidi, he was lovely. The beds are comfortable, plenty of storage space and the cases fitted nicely under the bed. Bathrooms were of a decent'ish size and had White Company toiletries. Entertainment:- FANTASTIC the Headliners shows were amazing, like west end shows every time, unfortunately that was the last trip that particular group were performing together, such a shame they were unbelievably professional truly amazing. Also a group called The Waves were extremely good, very versatile in all music and got everyone boogying, the singer was brilliant as was all the group. Guest appearances were also very entertaining, we had a comic singer Berni Flint was exceptional and pianist/singer (cant remember his name) was very good too, got a standing ovation!! We even had Valerie Singleton guesting, talking about her life, she was very interesting and funny. Also a Geologist giving talks about the earth, dinosaurs etc, very good. I would recommend this ship, its just the right size, very pleasant to be on and easy to get around. Looking forward to going on the new Iona, although its rather large, we tend to keep to the smaller ships but it'll be worth going on a brand new ship. All in all my summery of this trip to the Baltics was very enjoyable, we saw some great places and in general had a very good cruise. I like P&O on the whole but customer service ( only in some parts) need a bit of refreshing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We loved our cruise of the Baltic on board the Arcadia. Having been disappointed by many aspects of life on Britannia we were a little apprehensive about another P&O ship. We didn’t need to worry Arcadia met up to all our ... Read More
We loved our cruise of the Baltic on board the Arcadia. Having been disappointed by many aspects of life on Britannia we were a little apprehensive about another P&O ship. We didn’t need to worry Arcadia met up to all our expectations. We were surprised to find out that the ship had actually been built for the Holland America Line which we love and several aspects of the ships Design were clearly echoing what we have grown to expect on Holland America. The food was very good but not outstanding. The entertainment was excellent with the Headliners the best troop we have seen on any ship. The ship was spacious with plenty of places to find a quiet spot to relax. All in all we would definitely travel on the ship again and loved the relaxed friendly atmosphere on board. The Baltic itinerary was excellent with lots of interesting ports of call . Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on ... Read More
Arcadia is an Adult only ship which suits me. Took my mum and a friend and we shared an inside cabin which was larger than many inside ones. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, very little queuing. This was our 1st time on Arcadia and I was very pleasantly surprised. She is a lovely mid sized ship and easy to navigate round. I was worried initially after reading some of the reviews but I can honestly say that this was the nicest ship I have sailed on with P&O. We had no problems which affected us. If I wanted to be really picky, then some of the lifts were out of use and some of the ladies toilets were also out of order, but there were plenty others around the ship to use. The food was plentiful and tastefully served in the Meridian restaurant, our waiters were very good and attentive. Arcadia has a wonderful 3 tier theatre with comfortable seating and the Headliners entertainment team were the best I have seen on any P&O ship yet. We have another cruise booked on this ship in December and can't wait. Oh and also went through the Bay of Biscay which I always dread and for the 1st time EVER, never felt any movement and didn't have to wear my sea bands. One very happy passenger! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our 2nd cruise on P&O after sailing on Britannia last year which we had immensely enjoyed. The reason we chose this cruise was because the dates suited us well, the itinerary was interesting with new ports of call like La ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on P&O after sailing on Britannia last year which we had immensely enjoyed. The reason we chose this cruise was because the dates suited us well, the itinerary was interesting with new ports of call like La Verdon and Cherbourg in France which we hadn't been to before and the price was great with free parking at Southampton and £45pp on board credit. Moreover P&O removed gratuities from May this year. We drove to Southampton from NW London which took only about 1hr 20mins. We drove straight to mayflower terminal, took the luggage off the car which was swiftly taken away by the porters, handed the keys of the car to an attendant who took the car and parked it in a secure car park. We made our way inside the terminal and were given a boarding card and asked to wait. Although our boarding time was 3pm on boarding paperwork, we were inside the terminal by 12pm. After a short wait, we were asked to go and check in and once that was complete, we boarded the ship by 12.45pm and were asked to go for lunch to the buffet. Whilst waiting for the lift, an announcement was made that cabins were ready. So we headed straight to the cabin to drop off our hand luggage. Our cabin was on deck 8 in forward part of the ship. Lovely cabin with a large balcony, good size of cabin with huge flat screen tv, lots of storage space and a bathroom with a bath rather than a shower cubicle. This was unusual as we hadn't had a balcony cabin with a bath since our cruise on Zuiderdam ( Holland & America line) back in 2003. The cabin was always kept clean by our room attendant, Ariel, who we saw daily. Couldn't fault with the cleanliness of the cabin. Luggage had arrived before we got to our cabins which was really very quick. We then proceeded for lunch to the buffet restaurant on deck 9. Lunch was simple with not many vegetarian choices however was adequate. We then explored rest of the ship which was very elegant with 2 lovely pools ( one of which had a retractable roof), lots of deck space, plenty of indoor and outdoor bars, 2 speciality restaurants (Atul Kochhar's Indian restaurant Sindhu and Marco Pierres seafood restaurant), lovely 2 tier theatre, English style pub, casino, show room for music events, screening room for films, library, spa, gym and of course the main dining rooms. Everything looked great with new carpets and decor. Seemed the ship had a makeover recently. However what the ship lacked was a grand atrium like what Britannia had. The reception was on deck one which had a seating area and shore excursion and loyalty desks nearby but no coffee bar or anything. Hence most of the indoor activities occurred on decks 2 and 3. Despite the inside of the ship being very elegant, the outside of the ship didn't seem to be very well maintained. Lots of rust marks everywhere. The ship needed to be painted through out on the outside. We rarely find this a problem on other ships as there are always crew members painting away but on this ship we never saw anyone maintaining the outside areas of the ship. However indoors was very well looked after which mattered more to us as passengers. The mandatory safety drill occurred around 5.30pm and due to location of our cabin, we had to go to theatre for our drill. It took about 20mins or so and once that was complete we put the life jackets back in our cabins and headed for the sail away party on the open bar located on the aft of the ship. Since drinks are not included in the price of your cruise fare, you had to purchase all the soft and alcoholic drinks ( except coffee and tea unless you wanted costa coffee). The drink prices were reasonable with a pint of beer costing between£4 and £4.80. Small glass of wine was around £4 and large around £6. Bottles of wine started from around £17. You could choose to have all your drinks included at a cost of £40pp per day. As this was pricy, I guess not many would have chosen that. The good thing about P&O unlike many other cruise lines is that you could bring in 1L of wine or spirit per person when you board. Hence we took advantage of that and brought 1L of gin and wine. You could only drink these in the cabins though. However despite paying for beers, wines and some cocktails, we ended up with a surprisingly small bar bill. We had chosen anytime dining so were allocated dining room on deck 3. Unfortunately there was always a wait to get seated in the dining room if you didn't want to share a table. Hence were given a buzzer and the waits were generally from 15 to 45mins on some evenings. This was the biggest disappointment for us as in most other cruise lines which offer freedom dining, this is not the case. I think P&O need to look at having more tables for 2s and 4s. However once we got our table, the service was great and the vegetarian food options were very good with a seperate vegetarian food menu on offer. Hence you didn't have to order meals in advance for following evening which was great. Loved there starters and mains and I don't think we had a single meal which we didn't like. Desserts were good too but less choice compared to some other cruise lines. However their cheese plate was excellent with different types of cheese on offer daily. Very pleased with that. Show times in main theatre were at 8.45pm and 10.30pm daily. Due to the long waiting times to get a dinner table, we rarely could make to the 8.45pm show in time and found 10.30pm show very late. However managed to see most of the production shows which were all very good. Loved their circus (featuring music from Greatest showman) and Queen (featuring music by rock group Queen) shows. We were disappointed by the guest entertainers especially a guy called Grumblewood who somehow featured in 3 shows. Not sure why P&O can't get some good show performers. The 2 girl band Harmony had good voices but Motown music is not something we really like. Again they performed in 2 shows. Surely P&O could have got some other guest performers rather than repeating shows from same artists. There were quizzes, karaoke, bingo, music performances, etc. happening in other bars and lounges of the ship every evening. So plenty to do in the ship and no chance of getting bored. Casino was not very big and only had 2 working poker machines. Films were shown daily in screening room but as it was a smaller venue, needed to get tickets in advance from library or reception. Never got a chance to go there as there was plenty of other things to do. Buffet breakfasts and lunches were disappointing especially if you are a vegetarian. Not much choice compared to buffet meals in other ships we have been on. This is where P&O needs to significantly improve. Also on sea days, it was difficult to find seating in the buffet. Seems seating is a big issue on this ship, whether it's buffet or in main dining rooms. Didn't find that being a big issue on Britannia last year. The speciality restaurant Sindhu was excellent and definitely worth £20pp. Highly recommend anyone who likes Indian food to go there for a meal. Service was good and unlike main dining room, your table was reserved and you were seated as soon as you got there. We didn't get a chance to go to Marco Pierres restaurant but menu looked good and even had a few items for vegetarians. Booking for that restaurant was £17.50pp with certain items like lobsters having a supplement. There were 2 formal black tie nights where we had to wear suits for dinner. This was compulsory in Main dining rooms, speciality restaurants and most bars and lounges. I think P&O should make this optional like most cruise lines are doing these days. Not many want to bring suits whilst on vacation. Generally we enjoy captains night but this time the timing was odd at 8pm. Hence we missed most of it and got there at the tail end as we were late in finishing dinner thanks to long wait in getting a table despite getting to dining room early. Moreover as this ship doesn't have an atrium as such, the captains speech was in the retractable pool area which doesn't give the feel of a proper captains gala event of everyone being gathered around the atrium as we had done in Britannia last year. All the ports of call were excellent and we were lucky to have no rain on any of the days. In fact in Guernsey and Santander, we had completely clear sunny days. In La Verdon and Cherbourg, it was partly cloudy but sunny and warm especially in Bordeaux where temperatures hit 26c. Both the sea days were dry too. The first sea day was very sunny and warm whilst second was bit cooler and partly cloudy. We had shore excursions booked with P&O at every port. In Guernsey (the only tender port), we did an excursion to Isle of Sark. This was the best excursion we did. Took a 45min scenic ferry ride from Guernsey to Sark. Lovely car free island. First we did a walking coastal route tour for 2 hours and then had free time. So much to see and do on this pretty island. Would love to go back there again one day. In Santander we did a trip to Bilbao and visited Guggenheim museum. Another lovely excursion however we felt we needed another couple of hours in Bilbao which is a lovely city. So will need to go back there again some day. In La Verdon, we did a trip to Bordeaux. Passed through the vineyards and chateaus on our way there. Had few hours to explore this beautiful city on our own before going to a wine museum which was excellent. In our last port of call, Cherbourg, we did an excursion to Mont St Michel which was an amazing experience. The only downside was that it was nearly 2.25 hours drive from Cherbourg each way through scenic countryside. However once we got there, we were mesmerised with the beauty and setting of this historic religious place. Spent 4 hours there (half with guide and rest free time) and time went fairly quickly before our drive back to ship. Highly recommend everyone to visit this place once in their lifetime. The week went very quickly and enjoyed every moment of it. Plenty of activities to do on sea days and hence no time to get bored. Also the great weather helped to take advantage of the outdoors. The only issue we had was there was no hot water in cabins on our side of ship due to boiler breakdown for nearly 1.5 days. I had to report it several times before it got fixed. However they offered us to have hot showers in spa if we wanted to. Other than that, we encounters no problems. The service was very good in most areas of the ship and generally most staff greeted and smiled away. However staff in buffet areas were not very friendly and lacked knowledge of food on offer eg. on one sea day they had burgers in pool area but no chips or French fries. I asked around 3 members of staff about location of chips and was sent on a goose chase around the whole buffet area but never managed to find any. Disembarkation was the best we had seen on any ship. We were asked to leave main baggage outside cabin on previous night which is a norm on most ships. On day of departure we were asked to vacate cabins by 8am after breakfast and wait in lounges. No sooner we got there, we were told we could leave ship if we wanted to (despite normal disembarkation time not scheduled till after 9am). We disembarked straight away and after collecting our luggage, proceeded to collect our car and were on the road soon after 8.30am and home before 10am. I highly recommend this cruise for anyone wanting a stress free cruise without any hassle of flights and wanting to visit interesting ports in Spain, France and Channel Islands. We are already planning one for next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
we chose this cruise as it was the only one going where we wanted to go, this said we should have heeded as our first trip on this ship was bad enough but, it has had a 'refit' boar ding was slow, on arriving in cabin the ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it was the only one going where we wanted to go, this said we should have heeded as our first trip on this ship was bad enough but, it has had a 'refit' boar ding was slow, on arriving in cabin the curtains, bed runner and cushions looked dirty , the bathroom had black gunk in areas around the bath, storage average. So off we go sail away party consisted of about 6 dancers around the pool singing and dancing to YMCA whoopie, going around the ship discovered the retractable roof has been out of action since December, maintainace being done was like having a lounger by a steel works. tried freedom dining such a shambles on the first night, went straight to fixed dining where service was very good, friendly after 2 days husband was ill not sure if food poisoning or the bug ended confinement for 8 days, only supposed to order from recommended recovery menu, ordered omelette which arrived with a cooked salad, complained appoligies given but no feed back hit bad weather force 8 as a consequence the bathroom was covered in black stuff which had come up through the drainage hole, where the retractable roof was open that end of the ship was a wind tunnel, freezing cold, food on the floor near pool were 2 stewards right by it chatting officer walks by says nothing, bars average, but slow entertainment rubbish my local has better, guest speakers one Sue Halderness (only fools and horses) brilliant other a criminoligst couldn't string two words together. no hot water for a day, toilet not working had to hand pump it for over a week, had coffee poured over my breakfast faulty pot, went to make appointment to get nails done had to wake up the receptionist from her sleep propped up on the computer screen, I now give up with this there is plenty more, so please if you are considering this cruise line avoid at all costs, in our case £6000 + Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise for my husband to experience the Panama Canal . Don’t expect to much of anything on this ship very poor in so many areas and ways P&O have really dropped their standards. Dated cabins with dirty stained sweaty ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my husband to experience the Panama Canal . Don’t expect to much of anything on this ship very poor in so many areas and ways P&O have really dropped their standards. Dated cabins with dirty stained sweaty pillows threaded quilt covers dirty shower curtain that wasn’t changed for the duration of our 24 day cruise, unhelpful rude reception staff ( females mainly) dirty ripped chair covers on the furniture ( horizon pool ) are only a few of our many disappointments and concerns for others planning to sail on this ship. The restaurant and waiting staff were very polite helpful and friendly however freedom dining doesn’t exist as even although we booked this dining we were revived a pager for each meal. This cruise was an expensive mistake however a lesson learned. I’m really not someone who normally writes reviews however If this saves even one other person parting with £6000 plus of their hard earned money then my time and review will be worth it. Think twice before booking this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Decided to do the world as a ‘Well Why Not’ and wasn’t disappointed generally. Arcadia is a very stable ship in adverse weather conditions. Cabins were very comfortable, although a tad tired/well worn. Meals in Meridian Restaurant ... Read More
Decided to do the world as a ‘Well Why Not’ and wasn’t disappointed generally. Arcadia is a very stable ship in adverse weather conditions. Cabins were very comfortable, although a tad tired/well worn. Meals in Meridian Restaurant were excellent, think there was only one dish I disliked and that was me, not the restaurant’s choice. The Sindhu is totally delicious. Entertainment was very mixed. Mark Labett (The Chase) was particularly good as were the many talks by naturalist Nigel Marven. So many to chose from. The Headliners in my opinion weren’t up to much as the female lead singers always shouted rather than sang. The Runaround Kids were excellent just a pity they have a silly name. Too many jugglers and mind reader type acts, once is enough! Entertainment Manager Emma was very personable, the same could not be said of her counterpart when Emma was on leave. The excursions team were superb especially Sam and the ladies, the 2nd man wasn’t in the same way, not overly helpful or friendly. Sam’s port talks were quite outstanding. Most staff on board were courteous, very friendly and helpful particularly Manuel in Meridian and Elinore in Piano bar. My only complaint really was the coffee. That in the buffet was quite disgusting and undrinkable which meant I spent an absolute fortune on Costa cards/coffee. Dependant on the barista really whether a good or poor cup was dispensed. The quality was not consistent. Great room for improvement and a poor show that you can’t get a decent drink without having to pay for it - beverages I mean AND the fact you have to pay for water which is deplorable. Need water to live! As I have already said, the trip all in all was amazing but a bit of tweaking required. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We flew to Southampton a day early so that we could have a stress free embarkation the following day, this gave us the opportunity to have a look round the city. Embarkation was extremely smooth and we boarded Arcadia early. When we ... Read More
We flew to Southampton a day early so that we could have a stress free embarkation the following day, this gave us the opportunity to have a look round the city. Embarkation was extremely smooth and we boarded Arcadia early. When we first saw our cabin we were concerned where all of our clothes and possessions were going to go but in fact there was plenty of storage space and we were able to put everything away neatly and were quite happy with our "new home" for 2 months. This was our first cruise so being on a ship was totally new to us and we were very impressed. Our preferred dining option became the Meridian restaurant where we had club dining, which was on a fixed table in the second sitting. We initially thought this was a bit late (8.30pm) but in fact it worked out very well for us. Our waiter for the duration of the cruise was fantastic as were all the other staff, they work so hard and have some difficult passengers to deal with. There were plenty of activities to participate in if you wished. We enjoyed some talks and presentations, in particular, the Port and Shore excursion presentations by the very knowledgeable Sam and the nature/bird presentations by Nigel Marven. The Captain had various problems to deal with, including passengers ill-health and avoiding a cyclone in the South Pacific meaning we had to miss 2 ports. This was handled really well despite the Force 10 storm and safety obviously had to come first. Would we go on Arcadia again? Yes, it was a fantastic experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Opportunity to transit Panama Canal.Embarkation excellent. Cabin reasonable. Staff very friendly and helpful. Special mention to Sam for port excursion talks- excellent and Albano our cabin steward who was excellent. Misty Blue trio very ... Read More
Opportunity to transit Panama Canal.Embarkation excellent. Cabin reasonable. Staff very friendly and helpful. Special mention to Sam for port excursion talks- excellent and Albano our cabin steward who was excellent. Misty Blue trio very good and sail away parties enjoyable. Downside lack of dress code enforcement- on formal nights people seen in shorts, t shirts which spoils it for those making an effort. Quizzes every night in almost every bar- bad if you don’t like quizzes -crows nest should be a quiz free zone!! Too many smoking areas around the ship spoiling the walk around the promenade deck!!! Smoking rules not enforced especially round the pool in the Aquarius bar. Booked the Ocean Grill and Sindhu on a few occasions as we didn’t like queuing for food -menu limited and fish in Ocean Grill very dry- staff good though. Had to ask for more toiletries when ours ran out which is bad. Ship had so many leaks so buckets wer strewn around the deck -not very nice. Seemed to be too many passengers for the size of the ship- had to wait ages for lifts- ok for us but people with disabilities suffered. Sometimes couldn’t get into the theatre as people had been reserving seats early on.Lack of performances from Headliners. Guest speakers on the whole were very entertaining. Captain’s cocktail party was farcical -too many people in the Neptune bar to be enjoyable. I don’think we will travel with P and O again as we have travelled with Cunard before and although more expensive it is a little less like a holiday camp. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We flew to London via Hong Kong, had New Years with a family member before spending two nights in Southampton. We had booked a balcony cabin on C deck near the aft, it was very comfortable although was showing some signs of wear, the ... Read More
We flew to London via Hong Kong, had New Years with a family member before spending two nights in Southampton. We had booked a balcony cabin on C deck near the aft, it was very comfortable although was showing some signs of wear, the bathrooms definitely need updating. However we had a great Cabin Steward who went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was kept spotless and as I say it was very comfortable. The location does tend to allow for more movement during rougher seas, but it did not bother us. Overall the service we received on board was excellent throughout form food and drink servers to other personnel at reception etc. We dined in both specialty restaurants and enjoyed most meals, although on occasion service was a little stressed, yes there were times food did disappoint but once again overall it was a pleasant experience for the duration of 45 days. We found Captain Cook a delight, always friendly and ready for a chat, he had a great deal to deal with on this cruise with deaths, illness and storms, but he handled it all extremely well. Most fellow passengers were friendly and yes there were the habitual complainers, thank goodness we tend to keep to ourselves and the lovely group of fellow passengers we shared drinks and dinner with sometimes. The ship is older and the outside looks quite beaten up, salty seas take their toll for sure, but interior wise she is kept immaculately clean. On occasion we did see the odd bucket to collect a drip, but hardly anything to worry about. Dining in the Buffet was very good and a good variety for all meals served, the dining room was also very good and service did vary from time to time. Is the food very English, one could say yes, but there were plenty of options, besides it was great to try different things. Drinks can be pricey along with laundry, we gave up on the self service laundry, very cramped and always busy...We did not have prepaid gratuities on the ship, so we tipped our individuals accordingly and they were happy with that. We don't mind tipping for good service and it goes in the right pockets... Disembarkation in Sydney was a bit shambolic as we were supposed to disembark in Brisbane, but a cyclone ended that. we opted to drive ourselves back to Queensland as flights offered by Carnival were not appealing and no excess baggage allowance! They put us up overnight in Sydney, sadly we had a disgraceful hotel allocated, old, tired and dirty, cockroaches in the room! Would we chose to cruise on Arcadia again, yes but we did find 45 days a little long, I am sure some shorter sectors may appeal in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the ... Read More
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the Headliner productions. I have seen many excellent performances on many cruise ships over the years, but they were OUTSTANDING in every one of their shows. The decorations on the ship were first class, the ship really had a great Christmas feel. Thirdly the food and service in both the Meridian dining room and Belvedere could not be faulted….well done to all the staff involved. I will not forget Christmas Day from the Bucks fizz at breakfast to excellent Christmas day dinner to The Runaround Kids in the theatre at night. The ports were stunning each island offering something different from golden sands and deep blue sea to rum tasting in Barbados and shopping in Nassau with Christmas decorations in all the shops and bargains to be had. The ship docked almost on the beach in Grand Turk, which was a great place to feel the sand between your toes The only two negatives for me were the unfortunate “Arcadia cough” which so many passengers seemed to suffer with, and the rudeness, on our second day, by a member of the team when we popped into the games room. I thought I would be bored on a 28 day cruise but far from it, from the excellent films that were shown either in the globe or screening room to the live music being played around the ship it was an experience to treasure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The last time we went on Arcadia was before her refit so was pleasantly surprised when we saw her again and saw how sympathetically P&O had done the refurbishment. The ship always flowed naturally and even with the insertion of new ... Read More
The last time we went on Arcadia was before her refit so was pleasantly surprised when we saw her again and saw how sympathetically P&O had done the refurbishment. The ship always flowed naturally and even with the insertion of new rooms and a longer Rising Sun Pub which was always packaged. We had a deluxe balcony cabin which had also been refurbished and was nice. The only fault we have is the air conditioning which you can only switch higher or lower and not turn off completely. We had second seating for dining and a table for two which we prefer and had lovely waiters who couldn't do enough for you and there was always something on the menu you could have. The Headliners shows were the best on this ship to any that we have seen before. And this troop was superb. The other entertainment brought on where really hit & miss and only the Basetones and Bruce Parker were to my liking. There's was always something going on throughout the day and if you wanted something to do, there was always something there. Our ports of call were good and a couple we had not been to before. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first "C'mas & New Year" cruise and only our 2nd with P & O. Intriguingly, the first was on Arcadia back in 2006. Subsequent experiences on Cunard and Regent may have tainted our view of this cruise ... Read More
This was our first "C'mas & New Year" cruise and only our 2nd with P & O. Intriguingly, the first was on Arcadia back in 2006. Subsequent experiences on Cunard and Regent may have tainted our view of this cruise tbh. For the most part it was, pretty much, what we expected. We opted for freedom dining and we had an aft suite on the port side. We met some interesting & friendly people and enjoyed the "shared table" experience quite often, particularly at lunch time. P & O do a few things very well - embarkation was surprisingly painless and swift, we had a lovely buffet on arrival. Sadly that was the only "lovely buffet" we had all trip. Entertainment is, generally, first class. The ship entertainers varied from mediocre to outstanding. We particularly liked the lounge pianist Steve Kingsbury who entertained us regally whether it be afternoon or evening. His range & versatility, the ability to switch from classical to musicals and "pop" was terrific. Lovely guy too, enjoyed chatting with him around the ship, he helped to make our cruise special. Equally, Small Talk duo were very good and the Headliners group were excellent, except for a couple of very "shouty" lead female singers whose performances were often marred by them simply screeching instead of singing. Guest entertainers varied too but some, like the Base Tones, Runaround Kids (on C'mas day) and, remarkably, Bernie Flint were fantastic in our view. Elektra and Ida were also very good - it just seems so long since we saw them performing! Others ere ok, sometimes just not our taste The fine dining options were superb, we chose to eat 6 times in Ocean Grill and 5 in Sinhu - they were that good. Food and service in both is excellent. The additional "extra supplement" charges for some items in OG is really irritating though. We ate breakfast in Sindhu too as we were in a suite. This is an example of P & O getting it right. Comfortable surroundings, assigned table, great service and good food options. Nadia and the rest of the team there are all very good. The main dining room was very good for lunch and the food in the evening was usually hot and well presented. Not always the most inspiring menu choices, perhaps, but everything was fine The real disappointment on the food side was the buffet - which was fairly awful for both lunch and dinner. We only bothered occasionally but I have never seen such a poor selection of salad items, desperately sad looking cold meat and fish offerings and the hot food was generally themed but always seemed to lack any imagination. Most of the time the cold selection did not vary from day to day - but it was a miracle if the same dressings appeared. Never been a fan of scampering around to find a table anyway but the lack of seating in the buffet, particularly, at busy lunch times is quite marked on this ship. I enjoyed the spa, used it most days, and had several massages - Sophie and Shanda are excellent therapists. The Spa Manager, from Zimbabwe, was lovely and extremely courteous and professional - not sure how you spell her name, Kundzi or similar, I think - sorry I didn't take note of it because she was great. Unfortunately,the crossing was lively so we didn't get to use the pools much. Which brings us to some of the problems: The Captain decided to re-route to avoid bad weather but his some pretty huge swells and bad weather anyway. The first few nights were atrocious and sleep was almost impossible at the aft of the ship due to the excessive vibration and incredible noises that emanated from the back of the vessel. We also had a few technical issues with the suite, these ranged from a loud banging all day and night - which I discovered was due to a badly fitted dividing panel between us and next door's balcony. We were told the shower would be re-grouted but waited over a week, including days when we were off the ship on trips, for that to happen, when it did it was when we returned to the suite at c 5.00 pm & wanted to prepare for dinner, so the lack of communication was an issue there. A similar issue in respect of a broken lounger chair handle also occurred. The change of route also cost us our first day in port at Bermuda, which was major disappointment for many of us - who chose the trip, in part, due the stop over in Bermuda! When the ship came loose from its moorings and floated around Hamilton harbour at 3.00 am we, seriously, started to question the overall control and management of the vessel. The Captain's attempts at humour and glib comments about the mishaps didn't do much to endear him to us either. I would not wish to be on a ship if he was at the helm again - I've never had to think about that before. Along with several others that I spoke to who shared the same opinion,, we found him to be far too aloof and, basically, cavalier about the whole thing. The good news was that we enjoyed the ports, although Nassau was a bit of disappointment. The "best of " excursion left quite a bit to be desired there. However, Antigua, St Lucia Grand Turk and Barbados more than made up for that, as did a wet nd windy stop in the Azores. Terceira was very interesting and we loved visiting the city of Angra as well as Praia de Vittoria, a quaint and colonial port. We were baffled by the shore excursion process - no staff to control it just a free for all getting of the ship, which was frenetic and caused long queues in several ports. Local guides did all the controlling & shore excursion staff simply pointed people, vaguely, in the right direction to find them. That was just plain weird tbh and could be handled far more efficiently and effectively. Fortunately, in our case, the local guides were first class and managed to rescue the situation well on each occasion. My other gripe is the fact that public lounge areas are not the most practical for a ship this size. The Piano Bar is actually just a corridor with seats in it! Many of which are not suitably positioned to hear/see the entertainment on offer. Likewise, the Crows Nest seating arrangement is awful - half the seats face sideways or directly opposite the stage area. Intermezzo is a strange and not particularly comfortable lounge that rarely gets used and looks a bit of an after thought. Overall, there were some highlights, some disappointments and some serious flaws - it will be some time before we consider cruising with P & O again tbh. I would have to say that we did enjoy spending the festive period on board but wouldn't rush back to repeat it. I think the advantage of not flying was outweighed by the lack of variety of day time entertainment on the ship and, on this trip, the risk of a bad crossing at that time of year but we prefer smaller ships anyway. Bit of a lengthy review but it was an eventful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We flew out of Perth on Boxing Day, West Australia, for this cruise, we thought it would be the best cruise experience with exotic ports of calls and were so eager to experience these. Have cruised for many many years, but this was the ... Read More
We flew out of Perth on Boxing Day, West Australia, for this cruise, we thought it would be the best cruise experience with exotic ports of calls and were so eager to experience these. Have cruised for many many years, but this was the worst experience on the high seas we have had. OK so the steering gear didn't want to work but at least we were in Southampton! Glad it wasn't in the middle of the Pacific or Atlantic. Having a problem with certain foods I wrote to P & O months in advance naming items I could not have. We dined in the main dining room so my diet could be accommodated I was given food that I threw up! I felt very vunerable as I wondered what other meals I was going to get a reaction to. Phoned Reception to let them know and was then contacted by a nurse in the Medical Centre by phone. I was told to keep in my Cabin and not go out on the paid Tour of Madeira we had just arrived at! Why we asked? Having told them it was a reaction to food I should not have been given. The reply came back You may have the Norovirus! Great, I asked if I get a reaction to food again and let the Reception know [so the bathroom can be cleaned] I will be treated as some dirty passenger that doesn't wash their hands after going to the loo will I? Yes, came the reply back, you may have the Norovirus! Well what a difference in shipping lines my husband and I thought. Here I was been given food I should not have and I get treated like this. The year before on the Maasdam [Holland America] same thing happened but the doctor at least checked me over and was happy for me to mix with the passengers as she said you haven't the virus. Their medical centre gave me medication to help my digestive system. Not P & O Arcadia, I was not even seen by a member of the medical team! Then we get to Aruba and my husband was not well, he lost his voice and had a temperature. Turns out a passenger had been let on board the ship with a nasty virus, my guess was at least 50% of the passengers caught this virus. The virus made heavy mucous in the Trachea, so the patient coughs very hard to try to get the mucas up. Husband was put on anti biotics, a week later I had the same infection and same treatment. The virus affected my throat and my well being for the rest of the cruise till we got to Sydney. Why do they let sick people on board and allow them to mix in public areas while infectious? They should be kept in confinement like I was when I didn't have the Norovirus. I have had three lots of antibiotics and my voice is still affected. Enjoyed the Quiz Night in the Crows Nest though, but it was a bit late at 10.30pm! The beds were very comfortable but the bed linen always smelt of sweat even when they were changed with new bedding! The air conditioning was not consistant in temperature, we ended up having a new control. But I rather suspect the air conditioning was not affective due to the people next to us leaving their doors open as they smoked on their balcony and the wind blew their smoke into our balcony. I agree with another comment here that the Hotel Manager of the Ship doesn't manage smokers! One evening at dinner one of the guys mentioned he had approached a smoker on the Promenade deck smoking, so the smoker throws his cigarette over board which as a regular cruiser we know that could cause a fire! We were all aghast. The rear lifts on our deck B were always smelling of smoke, the carpets in those lifts were always dirty, in fact we had never seen such dirty carpet in the lifts as we had the Arcadia. We saw cleaners in the evenings when we went down to dinner cleaning the buttons of the Lift, but that is the only time, unlike Holland America where cleaners are always busy cleaning everything. Hawaiian Tour was pleasant and we were lucky to have a 24 seater bus! More personal. However, the driver finished 10 minutes earlier than planned and was told to make the time up instead of returning to the ship. When we did return to the ship we and approx 300 others had to stand in line for scanning by the US authorities. Most of us were senior Citizens, and some were disabled. No thought had been addressed to accommodate the waiting in line for 40 odd minutes to be scanned. When we get on board the main Dining Room was closed, so my disabled husband had to go to find food up on deck 9 without me. With crutches it was not easy. I was told to remain in my cabin and my 'special meal' would be brought to me, so we could not eat together! Sadly we had to complain to the Cabin Steward who was very accommodating and pleasant, nothing was too much trouble for him, that our shower recess grouting when we boarded had black mould. He explained he was not allowed to use bleach and would have to get someone in to clean the dirty grout. Later we were asked by the Deck Manager if he could get the tiles regrouted! Not wanting to experience the smell of chemicals with the glue we declined. Ten days out of Sydney we finally were able to clean out teeth in cold water, up till then we had to use hot water, we had complained earlier, but was told that the plumber did not have the relevant pipes to make the cold water come to the tap in the vanity basins. We do not think this was $44,000 + worth of cruise although it was 7 weeks, the mini suite was fine, the Head Waiter Manuel was fantastic, he would go that extra mile where others would not! Would we go on P & O Europe again? NEVER if that is the best they can come up with! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Don't believe anyone who tells you that it is a big ship so it won't be affected by the weather. We set off in a force nine gale. Spent the night being sea sick in the cabin, only to be told that we couldn't berth in ... Read More
Don't believe anyone who tells you that it is a big ship so it won't be affected by the weather. We set off in a force nine gale. Spent the night being sea sick in the cabin, only to be told that we couldn't berth in Zebrugge next morning due to the weather and were heading back out to sea. All day the wind howled, for 12 hours the boat rocked and rolled, went round and round in circles and we were unable to leave the cabin or the toilet due to sea sickness. Missed out on all the meals as so unwell. There followed another awful night sailing back to Southampton in gale force winds. I have never felt so sea sick in my life. This was my first cruise which I was so looking forward to, but NEVER again ! Total waste of money and no compensation for not berthing at destination. So please think before you go. On the plus side Embarkation and Disembarkation was quick and efficient. Cabin was clean, warm and comfortable. Ship was in good condition. Can't comment on entertainment and activities as was unable to do anything. Can't comment on dining experience. Service from staff was good Can't comment on shore excursions as ship didn't berth in destination. Did not travel with children Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chosen as a taster cruise and I won't be doing it again in a hurry. I've stayed in far more luxurious all-inclusive resorts with better food and service. We couldn't dock due to the weather, which can't be helped but as ... Read More
Chosen as a taster cruise and I won't be doing it again in a hurry. I've stayed in far more luxurious all-inclusive resorts with better food and service. We couldn't dock due to the weather, which can't be helped but as this is not an unusual situation I question whether P&O could have made this more clear when booking. So instead of the Christmas market we were stuck on board but there were no additional activities for people now confined to ship. I feel P&O could have at least offered a complimentary drink or some free activities. I'm sure they made lots of profit from guests stuck on ship and charging £15 for bingo is daylight robbery. 4g data doesn't work on ship so you either pay your network through the nose or purchased a wifi package from P&O. I did the latter and the connection was poor at best. Another money making scheme by P&O. Then a service charge was added automatically to my invoice for drinks etc! In my opinion tipping should reflect individual service and including it automatically is simply a way of hiding the actual cost of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take ... Read More
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take it because it was cheaper than the train tickets from London to Bruges and it would include 'hotel' and food, so it seemed like a good deal. Turns out it wasn't the best idea. Due to high seas and strong winds we could not dock at Zeebruges so it turned into a cruise to nowhere, which would have been fine if the whole point wasn't to see the Bruges Christmas Market. We were also not offered anything in compensation, which I know they don't have to do, you take your chances, however, every other cruise line I've been on has at minimum reimbursed for port charges and most have given passengers a small OBC. While the inability to dock couldn't be helped, the way they handled it could have been much better. I've been on many cruises where we have missed a stop and the entertainment team has always gone out of the way to add items to the itinerary to account for the added number of people that would be on board (since it's assumed most passengers will disembark at the port. This was not the case with the Arcadia. For example their were 2 showings of Mama Mia Here we go Again, in a VERY small venue and it was completely packed. There was nothing else going on this that venue the remaining time, so they could have easily added one or two additional showings. I think the worse part was lunch, they only have one side of the buffet open even though, again everyone was on board. There were very few places to sit and people were waiting a long time for items to be replenished. Outside of the issue with missing the port, the food (which is very subjective) was very British, full english available both mornings, although the scrambled eggs were not cooked well, they were very runny with a sign above them stating you shouldn't eat egg products that were not fully cooked. The first day lunch buffet featured prime rib but all of it was completely well done, which is a total waste of good food. I found most items on the buffet to be cold, the way the buffet is set up it does not keep the items warm at all. I was assigned late dining in the main dining room and had dinner there the first night, not a lot on the menu that appealed, the shrimp cocktail was a bed of lettuce with what we call in the states salad shrimp (or bait LOL). They were very tiny and smothered in sauce. The main was a steak and chips, I ordered it rare and it was medium which apparently is the best they could do. The chips were great, but could have used some ketchup. Dessert (pudding) was advertised as a triple chocolate molten cake, which was not a cake. It was more of a dense gelatinous mousse, inedible, the accompanying ice cream was good. I decided the next night that nothing on the menu in the main dining room interested me, a lot of fish and liver. So, I went to the Asian themed buffet. Again the food could have been much better if it wasn't cold. The sweet and sour chicken used the same chicken goujons from the Neptune grill but overcooked (very stringy). The little egg rolls were the best thing on the buffet, I must have caught them at the right time because they were actually hot. Entertainment - I felt like this ship is stuck in the late 90s, it reminded me very much of the first cruise I went on where the entertainment was only 'live music' in the different bars. I believe there was one 80s music trivia. While it's an older ship and there aren't all the bells and whistles you'll find on a newer ship (zip line, water slides, rock walls, ice skating etc), I would expect something more. They could have done the comedy game shows like the quest or match your mate. They have one very small theater for movies, seats about 30 but the movies they showed were old ones already out on DVD. There was also NOTHING to do during the early diner seating, other than hang out in a bar. I even tried the casino but while it was open they had no dealers for any of the games and just some VERY OLD slot machines. Cabin - as I booked so late I had a gty inside which I did not find out which cabin until I got to the port. I was in E165 which is aft. The cabin was fine, it was my first inside cabin and I did miss the window especially since I spent a lot of time there due to the lack of entertainment I spent a good deal of time reading and napping LOL. I did sit by the pool on afternoon to be able to see the ocean but it was a bit chilly. The cabin steward was fine, he brought ice every evening as requested. Specialty / Room Service Dining - I was originally going to Ocean View which has a cover charge of 22.95, which I was fine with paying until I looked at the menu and saw that 99.9% of the items had a surcharge, I believe the only item you could get w/o a surcharge was the salmon or chopped steak, since that annoyed me I didn't go, just up the charge and include everything. I also did not order room service, first because I couldn't find the room service menu and then second because there was a charge. I think the ships that are going to charging for room service are ridiculous and I'm boycotting. Breakfast room service is included. Overall service was fine, I did have a hard time getting the bar servers in the dining room to take my order and they were very slow returning your key. I also found it ridiculous that the bars didn't have ice. I know they don't like ice in Europe but usually cocktails are the exception. Overall, I was disappointed in missing our port and the entertainment on the ship was not to my liking, however, if you are with a group and can make your own fun, I think this could be a good ship to take. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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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