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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Having sailed on our first cruise on Britannia last year in the Caribbean, thought we’d try a mini cruise as a weekend break and an opportunity to see what the experience of departing on a cruise from Southampton is like. So, our ... Read More
Having sailed on our first cruise on Britannia last year in the Caribbean, thought we’d try a mini cruise as a weekend break and an opportunity to see what the experience of departing on a cruise from Southampton is like. So, our choice of vessel was basically made for us but I was looking forward to trying another ship in the P&O fleet… The boarding process was a breeze, I think it took us 40 minutes from self-parking the car at the Mayflower terminal to getting in our cabin. We even got fast tracked to check in, which was a nice touch. Not sure why though as we’re not on any loyalty tier yet having only been on the one P&O cruise previously. Luggage arrived only about 15 mins after we got to the cabin, which allowed us to unpack and get right up to the Aquarius bar to find a spot and have a few drinks in the lovely (but unexpected!) Southampton sunshine. It was very busy in that bar but never difficult to flag down one of the waiting staff and the wait for drinks was not long at all. Given the duration of the cruise there were lots of hen / 50th / 40th birthday parties and a fair number of stag parties on board; as a result the age group was broad, not dissimilar to our cruise in the Carribbean, with fewer elderly passengers and more of our age, 40s & 50s. Now it’s fair to say that there was a party atmosphere in the Aquarius bar / sun deck and it wasn’t peaceful and quiet – I’m sure it would have been a bit loud for some but we loved the party vibe. It never got out of hand, though. Now I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, but we also enjoyed the Great British Sailaway on the Saturday up there (although having a few beers definitely helps!) We were Freedom dining and apart from not reading on the card that you should go to the desk on Deck 3, and as a result queuing on Deck 2 for no reason, we didn’t have to wait at all on the first night when we shared. On the second night, we asked for a table for two and only waited about 20 mins with a pager whilst having a drink. Food was great, the same standard as we remembered from Britannia, including the cooked breakfast in the MDR. I’ve read that Arcadia is looking tired in the public areas; well, we didn’t see any evidence of that, even though our previous experience was a ship only 18 months old. The only bars other than the one on the sun deck that we tried were the Intermezzo and the Crow’s Nest which we always enjoy. We didn’t get the chance to see any entertainment on this occasion given the brevity of the cruise, plus the main act on Friday, Killer Queen, we’d seen before only last year. Our cabin steward was good and all the other staff we interacted with were just fine. We loved the port call at St Peter Port, despite the fact that a tender was needed; there’s no doubt that a port visit where the ship is alongside is by far the best option, but the crew handled the tendering process efficiently and we waited no longer than 15 mins for our number to be called. We waited on the quayside for about 20-30 mins to get the tender back, which was fine and there was water on hand in case it got too warm for anyone. We didn’t pay for any excursions and did our own thing. St Peter Port is a lovely small town, narrow streets with shops both well-known UK brands and more boutique style. We found a great craft beer bar the Golden Lion, and then wandered over to Castle Cornet where the views were excellent over the town and the bay towards where the ship was docked. To have done it justice though we should have devoted more than the hour we had available, given it costs £10.50 each to get in. Disembarkation was even easier than embarkation, as soon as we had breakfast we went straight out (they were early calling from the Meridian), and we were in the car by 9:15am. Overall this was a really fun trip and a great way to spend a weekend away, and sample what Arcadia has to offer. I wouldn’t choose to sail on here for a longer cruise if I’m honest but that’s just down to the fewer select dining choices versus Britannia. The promenade deck is plus, but unlike some other diehard cruisers I’m not about to use this as a primary selection criteria! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The cruise itinerary very good and Norwegian fjords and sceneries stunning. Cleanliness very average or even poor on open pool deck area and windows dirty throughout the cruise. Shows good, guest stars and Arcadia band very good and ... Read More
The cruise itinerary very good and Norwegian fjords and sceneries stunning. Cleanliness very average or even poor on open pool deck area and windows dirty throughout the cruise. Shows good, guest stars and Arcadia band very good and professional. Other bands very average and no nice, big enough dancing places. Two small bottles of water complimentary-a joke! Breakfast and Lunch buffet with little imagination nor a lot of taste. Had to ask at several occasions to re stock spoons, sweetener or food stuff - What are all the 'Station Managers' for.No nibbles in bars for pre dinner drinks. High charge for freshly squeezed orange juice??? Ship definitely needs a revamp. Hotel manager and entertainment manager had an easy task as the buffets and daily programs hardly changed during entire cruise. There were loads of smokers on the rather cool cruise and not one inside spot for smokers! After all that we still enjoyed the cruise because of the itinerary but sad to say next cruise will be with a different cruise line. One pays good money for a cruise like this and could expect a bit more service and finesse in culinary. Also tidying, cleaning up. The one day the outside pool deck area was covered in soot and not cleaned up all day and they covered the pools which were still covered the next day poor show . Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had always wanted to visit the Fjords and after a taste of Norway's scenery last year on our Baltic cruise we went ahead and booked this cruise. We chose Arcadia as we had never been on this ship and were thinking about doing a leg of ... Read More
We had always wanted to visit the Fjords and after a taste of Norway's scenery last year on our Baltic cruise we went ahead and booked this cruise. We chose Arcadia as we had never been on this ship and were thinking about doing a leg of the World cruise on her in the future. It all started so well, we had an embarkation time of 1.30 pm and arrived a little early as traffic was good and we were in fact on the ship by 1.20 pm. Went to the buffet for lunch and the announcement that cabins were ready came while we were eating our meal. We were quite happy with our cabin and our luggage did not take long to arrive. Our cabin steward came and introduced himself and he was delightful. There were lots of coat hangers so we unpacked and had a quick look round the ship and went to Muster. We then enjoyed Prosecco on the balcony sailing out of Southampton on a sunny afternoon. We chose Freedom dining and normally like to eat around 7.30 pm. This was a problem as there are obviously not enough tables at peak times. On other ships we have had to have a pager but never before have we had to queue for 20 minutes to get one! After standing in line for about 20 minutes then going to the desk we were given a buzzer and told the waiting time for a table, this varied throughout the cruise from 25 minutes to 45 minutes. People were sitting around in any available space to be close by when their buzzer went off. They were even sitting in the windows in the photography section. One evening it was a bit choppy and people were really getting wobbly in their heels and feeling hungry having to stand for so long. This did not make a relaxing experience and is no way to treat passengers. On one evening a crew member was actually going along the queue suggesting that we might want to go to the buffet or one of the specialty restaurants. I think this is unacceptable considering what we paid for this cruise, you would not be treated like this in a hotel. We chose to eat in Sindhu twice and Ocean Grill twice, we also ate in the buffet on a couple of evenings as we just could not face the queing for the Meridian. Both Sindhu and Ocean Grill are fantastic restaurants and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and at least you could hear yourself speak unlike the MDR. It is saying something when the buffet restaurant in the evenings is quieter and more relaxing than the MDR. We thought the ship generally was OK although not as good as the other ships that we have been on Oceana, Britannia or Azura. I have to say though that the theatre on Arcadia is fantastic. We enjoyed the Fjords and the scenery was stunning but some of the ports were less interesting than others. We did three excursions and thought that they were very expensive for what they were. We went to Briskdal glacier which was great but very expensive for a very short coach drive. We were then were left to walk up to the glacier under our own steam and then there was coffee and cake in a cafe when we got back down. Our second trip was on the Flam railway which was quite scenic but a lot of money for what it was. Our third trip was the one that we enjoyed the most and thought that it was much better value for money. We went over to the garden on an island. We got on the boat right next to our ship and it was a fast boat and we were on the island within 20 minutes. We were welcomed to the island by the owners and they showed us round and then we could wander round on our own before having coffee in their restaurant. We thought that it was a stunning place and well worth the trip. I think most of the passengers on this particular cruise were older pensioners and I found some of them rather rude especially in the buffet. They were lifting the blinds and taking food before the buffet opened for lunch. I often stood back if someone was struggling to get food to give them time but that was fatal as other people would barge in and you would be pushed out of the queue. There was a lot of coughing on board and my husband picked up a flu like illness which he still hasn't shaken off. We had two helicopter evacuations of critically ill people and also one passenger taken to hospital by ambulance. I have to say that every single member of staff we encountered was absolutely brilliant. Our cabin steward was exceptional. This was not a great cruise for us and we won't be cruising again for a long while and if we do it probably won't be with P & O and certainly not Arcadia. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My wife and I took a 12 day cruise on Arcadia from Southampton to the Norwegian fjords in July 2017. It was our second P&O cruise. We have cruised with lots of other lines, most recently with Seabourn, Azamara and Fred Olsen. The ... Read More
My wife and I took a 12 day cruise on Arcadia from Southampton to the Norwegian fjords in July 2017. It was our second P&O cruise. We have cruised with lots of other lines, most recently with Seabourn, Azamara and Fred Olsen. The itinerary, our main reason for choosing this cruise, was great. Overall we enjoyed the trip but we are unlikely to choose P&O again. The check-in process was very quick and straightforward and our bags were delivered to our cabin before we arrived. Our cabin was fine although the balcony glass was very dirty. Our stewardess cleaned the doors but the outside of the balcony wasn’t washed until towards the end of the cruise. The staff were great – friendly and helpful and mostly with good English. We found the food in the main and buffet restaurants to be rather boring and too British for our tastes. The quality was just OK. The speciality restaurants were excellent. We particularly liked Ocean Grill and ate there four times. We had chosen Freedom dining. This didn’t seem to work very well. On arriving to dine at the time of our choosing we were given a pager and had to wait about 30 minutes on two occasions. This despite being happy to share a large table. Couples who wanted a table for two were having to wait longer. The wine list is very good and the prices reasonable. The entertainment was pretty good, alternating between the permanent team of singers and dancers putting on production shows, and some variety acts. The early shows were sometimes standing room only whereas the late shows (10:45 or 10:30) were about half full. We only did one shore excursion, which was well organised but not very good value. Mostly we made our own arrangements. The other passengers were overwhelmingly British and elderly. We are in our mid-60s and felt young. A lot of the passengers clearly like the Britishness of the whole experience. We prefer a more international mix of people when we travel abroad. There were four medical emergencies (that we know of) on this cruise. Two involved helicopter evacuations that required lots of passengers in cabins at the rear of the ship to vacate their cabins. The first time was at 2am. Clearly medical emergencies can’t be helped but it seemed strange that it was necessary to make public announcements waking everyone up to call the ‘medical response team’. If we could have pagers when waiting for a table in the restaurant surely the on-board medics could have pagers? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I booked this cruise at the last minute, so had no choice of cabin. However, the price was very good and I didn’t have to pay a single supplement. Given the low price, my views are different to those I would have had if I had paid ... Read More
I booked this cruise at the last minute, so had no choice of cabin. However, the price was very good and I didn’t have to pay a single supplement. Given the low price, my views are different to those I would have had if I had paid the full price. It was also my 8th time on Arcadia. The itinerary was very good with the first port of call being Skagen in Denmark which is a quiet Danish holiday resort. Plenty of excursions on offer but I spent the time walking around the time. There was a free shuttle to the town centre and the drop off point was also near to the local harbour where there were plenty of restaurants which seemed to attract many locals. Beer and aon open fish sandwich worked out at £25, not cheap, but it was very tasty. Next port of call was Kiel, Germany. This was during the Kiel week festival, so the town was very busy with stalls and fairground alongside the river. Although berthed in the centre, it was a long walk from the ship to the terminal building – around 800m and a further 1Km to the town centre – a bit different from the advertised 400m. No shuttle service was offered. Not too much to see in the town, so I spent much of the day on the riverside sampling local food and drink. Around £3 for a beer and the same price for a bratwurst, The entertainment seemed to be gathering pace as we left the port, but it was still an interesting day. Stockholm next. Here I used the hop on hop off water bus which departed from the stop at the rear of the ship. Cost around £15 and does a loop around many of the sights that takes 50 minutes or so. A relaxing way to see the sights and given that the shuttle cost £5 each way unless you had booked the select fare, it was a good choice. Stockholm is very easy and also safe to tour on your own. Although the ship offered many excursions, some of them didn’t give enough time to explore properly. Now on to Helsinki. This was on 23rd June and many places were closed for the mid-summer holiday. Looks like the Fins enjoy their national holidays and leave town, so apart from the local market, many places were closed. Shuttle to the town was £4 each way and well worth it. The city is easy to make your own way around, but if you are there on a national holiday, booking an excursion may be a good option. Now 2 days in St Petersburg. This was my 7th visit, so was looking to do something a bit different and not too tiring. There are options to do 2 day intensive excursions with P&O or through various local companies. All ship excursions and those booked locally before you travel include a Russian visa, so they tend to be the best way of seeing St Petersburg. I did an afternoon excursion to the Faberge museum which was run in several mini buses, so small group sizes. This gave a very leisurely visit and it was very easy to see all the exhibitions. The guide was very good. The following day I did a boat trip on the Neva and visited the Yusopov palace – where Rasputin was likked. Again, a smallish group and very easy to see everything. Now a day in Tallinn. Here I did the Taste of Tallinn excursion and we were just a group of 6, so it was just like a private tour. The tour gave a comprehensive guide of the old town and stopped at 4 places to sample local delicacies. Not sure about the cost of a shuttle here as I did the excursion. Final port of call was Copenhagen. Here we had one of the prime berths and it was an easy 30 minute or so walk into town. This passed many interesting sights and varying the way back passed the little mermaid. I was very happy with the service provided by all the staff on board and was well looked after by my cabin stewardess Wenzie. Food in the dining room was to my liking but I did have many meals in Sindhu at £16 or £18 for the Asian tasting meal and also a few in the Ocean Grill. Both of these dining options does show just how good food can be and for me well worth the extra charge. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss but this comes with doing too many cruises on the same cruise line – you get used to the shows. There were some interesting talks and those given by Kirov Arts about St Petersburg, Faberge eggs, and other merchandise they sold were interesting as they talked about the history of the various items. Throughout the cruise there was some maintenance work being carried out. This included a much needed sanding of the decks which did cause problems for a few people. Overall, the ship to me was in a reasonable condition and nowhere near as tired as some people have stated but this is a very personal view. Now the big issue I had with the cruise. This was the cabin I had been allocated – E2 at the front of E deck. This is the first time I have had a forward balcony cabin on Arcadia (I prefer the stern cabins), but have had them before on Queen Victoria/Elizabeth. QE and QV cabins were fine, but I would not have one again on Arcadia due to noise and vibration that was not noticeable on the two Queens. This is one of the metal fronted balcony cabins at the front of E deck. It also only has a shower rather than a shower over the bath. I prefer the shower only as it does make the bathroom that little bit bigger. I did find some issues with noise in this cabin. First, for about an hour either side of docking the cabin was noisy and once the bow thrusters were powered up to complete docking there was a lot of vibration. Secondly, the balcony door did not fit properly causing a whistling sound. This was excessive and I had to be moved to another cabin for the night. The door was fixed the following day but by the time the ship returned to Southampton it was starting to whistle again. Third, the cabin is next to an air-conditioning unit which seems to be noisy when in port - after leaving port the noise drops. Fourth, crew access the front of the ship on D and E deck early in the morning and many days there was a clanking/metallic sound every morning around 6am. Also, there were cigarette butts on the balcony which I can only assume has come from the crew areas. In closing, despite the problem with the cabin, it has not put me off cruising on Arcadia, but I would be reluctant to book a saver fare in case I was allocated a forward cabin on E deck. If I was able to select a grade that avoided this area, then I would consider a saver fare, but for me it will more than likely be a select fare and to tick the no upgrade box. I’m back on Arcadia in October 18 and I have one of my favourite cabins on the stern. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Having sailed on arcadia before on a leg of her world cruise we had no hesitation booking this Baltic trip. We wanted to see some new destinations and as we had not been to any of these ports before it fitted the bill perfectly, also on ... Read More
Having sailed on arcadia before on a leg of her world cruise we had no hesitation booking this Baltic trip. We wanted to see some new destinations and as we had not been to any of these ports before it fitted the bill perfectly, also on all our previous cruises we had never sailed out of Southampton so the whole deal was totally new to us. Arcadia was just as we remembered ,a nice friendly ship with plenty of amenities and really friendly staff who could not have been more helpful, the difference this time was the age of passengers ,we felt young at early sixties and as such a lot of the activities were geared to that age group and evening shows were changed to earlier time slots, all well and good but you then had to eat early to catch the second show or go to the early show and rush to get in the dining room, we can only assume this was not popular as it reverted back to normal times after a few nights .Food was of a generally good standard but there were some strange choices in the belvedere at lunchtimes, the food in the Meridian was of a good quality and was served by very efficient and friendly waiters. Our cabin was small but adequate as we only use it to sleep and shower/change in and was kept spotless by our steward Hansel, full credit to him Some passengers were complaining that the ship was on a downward spiral but that never came across to us, like all ships it needs constant attention and the whole of the rear decking was replaced in our fortnight but you just work around it, also some painting was been done on some of the corridors prior to a mini refit at the back end of the year. If there was anything which was a problem it had to be overcrowding on sea days(and most meal times) in the belvedere self service, it did get quite chaotic at times!! Also on a cruise to these destinations at this time of year the sky dome should have been kept closed as by the time it did get shut the cooler weather had got in and left people with no option but find a warmer area to relax, which is why the belvedere was always full !!!! Would we sail on Arcadia again? Yes as its a lovely ship and just the right size but maybe to a different destination with a younger age base, next up Aurora for us as booked for next year and looking forward to more new destinations!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We spotted this passing by a travel agent. We were attracted to the ports of call and we're not disappointed. Straight off the coach and onto the ship in 10 minutes , no waiting at all. Disembarkation was equally as smooth although we ... Read More
We spotted this passing by a travel agent. We were attracted to the ports of call and we're not disappointed. Straight off the coach and onto the ship in 10 minutes , no waiting at all. Disembarkation was equally as smooth although we had to wait for nearly an hour for some other passengers. We had a restricted view cabin which was fine as we weren't in the cabin that long.The cabin did need a bit of sprucing up but that did not detract from the overall holiday. We tried all the dining options and were not too keen on the Belvedere. We were on freedom dining and had no problem getting into the MDR each evening as we didn't mind sharing. I loved both Sinhdu and Ocean Grill and I went to the lunchtime grill by the pool a couple of times. I didn't get the chance to try the afternoon tea , just didn't have time. We only had 2 sea days in the Baltic , 5 altogether ,so the best part of the cruise for me was getting off ! The service was excellent throughout, especially from the cabin steward who was always cheerful and from room service at breakfast. We used the Belvedere for one breakfast , one lunch and one dinner and although there was a large choice , there was quantity over quality. Perhaps a more streamlined menu? We went to quizzes, a good range of talks and some entertainment but only twide in the Palladium , a lovely theatre. The shore excursions in St Petersburg were good . We only did one other , into Sweden from Copenhagen. That was very poor in that we only had 20 mins in Lund and 50 mins in Malmo which we spent most of having lunch. I would certainly go on a Baltic cruise again and would go on the Arcadia if the itiniary was one we wanted. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Balcony Cabin - 150 D Cabin OK - but a bit tired, rail needed painting, balcony glass needed a clean, apart from that just OK Food Breakfast - 8/10 Lunch - 4/10 Buffet - 8/10 Evening meal - 7/10 Entertainment ... Read More
Balcony Cabin - 150 D Cabin OK - but a bit tired, rail needed painting, balcony glass needed a clean, apart from that just OK Food Breakfast - 8/10 Lunch - 4/10 Buffet - 8/10 Evening meal - 7/10 Entertainment Daytime - at sea quite good, not at sea - not much going on Evening - Very good, although second show, quite late, (10:45) Drinks Quite expensive - Lager - £4.25, Wine around £6.00 a glass, no real drinks package to speak of, (4 bottles £76, no beer package), can't get a coffee in a bar !! Tips £168 for two weeks, (That's just extracting the urine - fill a form in at reception to cancel), then tip as you see fit. Ship A bit tired but acceptable - although the lower decks seemed to suffer a lot of water leaks, wet floors and BUCKETS !!) Main gripe - they were sanding the decks, (noise, dust, smell, access blocked), complaint got plenty of apologies - but no compensation !! All in all, it was OK - but would recomend potential cruisers to wait till after the refit, (I think Nov 2017). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Very disappointed with general standards of this ship. There seems to be a general lowering of standards and quality of everything from food and beverages to entertainment. There was a great deal of disturbing maintenance being ... Read More
Very disappointed with general standards of this ship. There seems to be a general lowering of standards and quality of everything from food and beverages to entertainment. There was a great deal of disturbing maintenance being undertaken causing dust and unpleasant aromas of glue,varnish and sewage! The dreadful smell of bad drains was present on several days particularly on Deck 2. It really is time this ship sorted out its problems with the drains and the various leaks - the coloured buckets scattered around are not a good look! We felt throughout the voyage that the passengers were simply an inconvenience rather than being the Number 1 priority!! I think that the company could and should have been more honest with us re maintenance work and given us the option to cancel or change to a different cruise. ALSO :- Why weren't we informed beforehand that room service after breakfast would be charged for? AND:- Cruise ships use the word luxury a great deal in there advertising but changing from Twinings tea to PG Tips is not my idea of luxury!! Cruising holidays are not cheap but all the things which, in the past, have made them special seem to be being gradually removed. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had never been to the Baltic and it was on Arcadia which last year our 14 nighter on her was very good with no complaints at all. The itinerary was excellent as was embarkation and debark. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had never been to the Baltic and it was on Arcadia which last year our 14 nighter on her was very good with no complaints at all. The itinerary was excellent as was embarkation and debark. Cabin steward, though rushed off his feet, did a wonderful job but even he admitted that 18 cabins (12 when he first started with P&O) meant he didn't have enough time to do the job absolutely properly. That's the good aspect of our cruise. Things have now changed considerably with just about every aspect of the operation of Arcadia having suffered cutbacks. Fewer staff, reduced choice and quality of food and beverages, very poor entertainment particularly in the main theatre and without being informed payment is now required for room service food after the breakfast period. As well as the cutbacks there were leaks and bad drain smells in many areas of the ship. The promenade deck was completely blocked every day for sanding so walking exercise was not easy. Rooms were entered (without seeking permission) by workmen needing an electricity supply whilst sanding and varnishing balcony handrails. But the real master stroke to make everybody complain was for the entire cruise, half the sundeck was out of bounds, whilst workmen with noisy machinery replaced the decking. Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

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