1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Arcadia Review
  5. Arcadia Cruise Reviews

436 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews

We picked this cruise because it left from Southampton (no flying) and visited countries we had not seen before at the right time of year. The drive to Southampton was smooth and we arrived at 12.15, with a couple of hours to spare, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it left from Southampton (no flying) and visited countries we had not seen before at the right time of year. The drive to Southampton was smooth and we arrived at 12.15, with a couple of hours to spare, the port parking were very organised and efficient. We expected to sit in the departure lounge but were processed straight away and on the ship in the buffet by 12.30, cabins were ready by 12.45. Our cabin was a standard inside, C deck forward, adequate but clean and tidy, very quiet at night and a fantastic cabin steward. Arcadia is an adult only ship, with few people on board under retirement age and a lot with poor mobility. We had fixed dining at 18.30, the menus were varied and always well cooked, we used the buffet on black tie nights because we didn't dress up for them (the majority of people dressed up for black tie, some of them going a bit over the top), the buffet food was hit and miss, limited in selection occasionally. Breakfast was a bit "smash and grab" in the buffet so we went to the MDR if we were up early enough. The poolside grill served lovely fish and chips in the afternoons too. The ship was clean and smart, there were always crew to be seen cleaning handrails and surfaces down or painting parts of the ship. There were a couple of buckets about catching water drips, certainly around the retractable roof of the pool. The swimming pools were small but we enjoyed using them in the hot weather, the jacuzzi 's were rather weak but heated. On one day we bought tickets for the hydropool and steam rooms, this was fantastic, hot and powerful, and we were the only ones using them. There were several musicians to choose from to listen to during the day, some better than others, we ended up watching a guitarist/singer most evenings because we found the main headliners show much too loud to enjoy, they need to sort their sound system out. We did not attend any of the daytime entertainment, it was aimed more at the elderly guests than ourselves, other than quizzes there was bingo, ballroom dance lessons, knit and natter, painting, and talks on the Queens household. The crew are all friendly and welcoming, smiling and will try to assist with anything you ask. The excursions booked varied, Easy Marseilles and Port trip wasn't easy and only spent 20 minutes in the port, but the Lisbon amphibious duck tour was fabulous with an excellent tour guide. We also enjoyed the catamaran trip and swim in Palma, not quite what we expected but a good day none the less, I do think there should have been someone checking the safety of swimmers, it seemed a bit slap dash with no counting of passengers at any time but the day was relaxed, I swam with fish, the bbq was ok and the sun shone. Gibraltar we used a taxi tour from the dock, this was great too, we saw the apes, St Michaels cave and the siege tunnels and went to lookout points. Classical Rome and Pompeii tours from the ship were both organised and well run, crowds of people at both sites but we saw what we went for. Cartagena we wandered around ourselves, the museum and Roman amphitheater were marvelous. We self disembarked with ease and were driving out of the port by 07.20, all very organised. All in all a good cruise, it is definitely the way to travel, I would go again but would probably not go with P&O, I would research the cruise line next time and go on a ship which is more relaxed about dress codes and has a younger age group. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because there were a number of ports we have not visited before. i can say that we were not disappointed, The main highlights were sailing in and out of Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Service was excellent in all ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there were a number of ports we have not visited before. i can say that we were not disappointed, The main highlights were sailing in and out of Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Service was excellent in all departments and we found the ship in good condition and looks well after her refit. this was our first adult only cruise and it had its share of grumpy old people A couple of observations 1. I have never had to be in the theatre 45 mins before the performances to get a seat The entertainment team had there work cutout filling spare seats to pack everyone in. 2. Alot of queuing to get into freedom dining. I think it is getting more and more popular than fixed. 3. The position of the Costa near the cinema seems a waste of time. The entertainment team worked hard especially as the average age was 'elderly'. Overall a good cruise but personally prefer a bigger ship with more space and entertainment venues. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I was on this ship in 2018 and also had been on it in 2008. Over the ten years a number of items are in need of attention. In my balcony cabin, one of the high storage bins handle came off in my hand when I opened it. A small mat placed ... Read More
I was on this ship in 2018 and also had been on it in 2008. Over the ten years a number of items are in need of attention. In my balcony cabin, one of the high storage bins handle came off in my hand when I opened it. A small mat placed adjacent to the balcony door was curled up to the extent that it posed a significant tripping hazard. On my balcony, there was significant corrosion on the gunwale, the handrail was in need of sanding and varnishing and the lock on the balcony door was significantly corroded. Ten years ago P&O said that their tipping policy was to provide envelopes to allow customers to tip anyone they wished. That changed to the American style automatic tipping added to you bill - now at £7 per person per day! I told my cabin steward on day one that I would be tipping him personally and removed the automatic tipping at reception. I was very annoyed to receive a letter near the end of the cruise, which noted that I had removed the automatic tipping and inviting me to reinstate it. What really annoyed me was that this letter was not in an envelope and was hand delivered by the steward - a serious breach of customer confidentiality in my view. The staff were all great and helpful and that made up for some of the negatives. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We were a party of four (aged 59, 60 & 70). We've tried to list the many highlights (of which they were lots) and to give a balanced review some things we think could be different (not many I can assure you). So here's ... Read More
We were a party of four (aged 59, 60 & 70). We've tried to list the many highlights (of which they were lots) and to give a balanced review some things we think could be different (not many I can assure you). So here's a go...... Embarkation - so quick meaning our holiday started immediately Staff - second to none especially the Waiters in the Meridian Restaurant (Saviour & Prakash). Ship - loved everything Entertainment - great team and the Headlines were superb Food - loved it - mainly ate in the Meridian but tried the Buffet and enjoyed that too Sindhu - loved it we went several times. Ports - all great.......cant say our favourite as enjoyed them all. Sail away parties - great fun Some things to improve or change.... Make the Taormina excursion longer - think this could be done easily Coach to Dubrovnik - we had a cab at a fraction of the price and right outside the Ship pick up and drop off Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as my mum isn’t very mobile and we didn’t plan to do excursions. Our mini suite was very large and well presented. Our cabin was kept pristine by Javier. The food in all areas was really good and the wine ... Read More
We chose this cruise as my mum isn’t very mobile and we didn’t plan to do excursions. Our mini suite was very large and well presented. Our cabin was kept pristine by Javier. The food in all areas was really good and the wine was . We had a number of extras. I had a hair pamper day which was really good value for money. We also had a spa day and as it was a day we were in port we had it all to ourselves, which was rather nice. There was various entertainments every day and you would find it hard to say there wasn’t something for everyone, from bingo and quizzes to plays and musicals. My mum isn’t very good in her pins and the staff in all areas couldn’t have been more attentive and helpful. I wouldn’t hesitate to book with P&O again. Thank you to all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our first time cruise, we chose the Norwegian Fjords as it was short cruise in case we did'nt like it.We loved it .The embarkation was smooth although our check in time was three we were able to board the boat early at two o ... Read More
This was our first time cruise, we chose the Norwegian Fjords as it was short cruise in case we did'nt like it.We loved it .The embarkation was smooth although our check in time was three we were able to board the boat early at two o clock no bother.Our cabin was spotless great start, our cabin steward introduce herself made us feel very welcome.We chose freedom dinning although the food was excellent we thought the waiters could of had better customer service a smile would of been nice.We use the Belevere restaurant after this found the staff much more polite.We also tried the fine dinning it was fabulous the staff there were really nice,food was out of this world.We also opt for room service in the morning for breakfast and the waiter who serve us every morning was cheerful always asking about our day really friendly.we thought the entertainment was good although you had to get there early to get a seat especially the early one.The ports we visited was great except the last one Haugesung it was very disappointing maybe we should of booked an excursion for this one,never mind.Although when we arrived at this port a jazz band was playing and when we left a brass band which was brilliant.The Fjords themselves was breathtaking.We will definitely go on another cruise trying to decide which one now. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this ship purely for the Geiranger Fjord destination. The fjords were beautiful. I asked at Reception what time we would be docking in Geiranger, because we wanted to wake up early and see the ship sail in. I was given a time, ... Read More
We chose this ship purely for the Geiranger Fjord destination. The fjords were beautiful. I asked at Reception what time we would be docking in Geiranger, because we wanted to wake up early and see the ship sail in. I was given a time, but the ship actually docked much much earlier, so we missed the sail in, despite getting up early, which was very disappointing. Geiranger was a beautiful, as was Flam. Our first port was Bergen. We arrived there on a Sunday, when everything was closed. At the tours presentation we were told all the things to see, but they knew full well that most places would be closed. The final port was Haugasund, which was an industrial port, not a pretty fjord destination. It did not fit with the itinerary and many passengers were disappointed with this port, especially as Stavanger was just a short way down the coast. I need a gluten-free diet, which P&O knew in advance. None of the buffet food was labelled with food allergens and I was told on the first day by the staff in there, not to eat in the buffet at all. All my meals in the main restaurant had to be pre-ordered the night before, so my choices were very limited. None of the gluten-free cakes were fresh; they were all brought in pre-packaged and stale. This really put a damper on my holiday. I have never had this problem with other cruise companies. The entertainment was good, although there was too much strobe lighting in some of the shows in the theatre. The ship has recently had a refit, but there was still quite a lot of maintenance work being done. The cabins were clean and spacious and the bed very comfortable. The two formal nights were very good, with most men wearing dinner suits and ladies in long or cocktail dresses. These nights were better than formal nights on some of the other cruise lines. On the morning of the last port day, it started to feel like our cruise was over and we were surplus to requirements. The waiters and chefs paraded through the buffet, so everyone could thank them for the food - yet we still had two more days to go. That evening, again there was a parade in the main dining room with the entertainment compere thanking them for their food. That evening in the theatre, as we were waiting for the show to start, a video was playing showing us what shows we had enjoyed throughout the cruise, yet we had two more shows to see. On the last day, just before introducing the guest speaker at 11am, the entertainment compere asked if everyone was packed. To cap it all, most of our suitcases had to be outside the cabins before we went for dinner on the last night, not at 11pm, as on other cruise lines. At 6pm, when many people wanted to go for dinner, most of the lifts were out of order so that the luggage could be moved. To cap it all, after the final show, about 11.15pm, the compere told us that our cruise wasn't over as some of the bars were still open! Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth, although a welcome drink would have been a nice touch. P&O certainly does not have the edge when it comes to customer satisfaction, which is very disappointing. I won't be booking another cruise with them in a hurry! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have sailed with several companies and overall decided as we were going to be on board for 52 nights on P&O because it is less formal than some, although the food choice is more limited than others. We had a fabulous time and ... Read More
We have sailed with several companies and overall decided as we were going to be on board for 52 nights on P&O because it is less formal than some, although the food choice is more limited than others. We had a fabulous time and generally everyone on board was extremely helpful and polite. The entertainment was excellent with very interesting lectures and port reviews. We found that the excursions offered something for everyone. Just a few words of warning! If you are embarking in Brisbane, be warned that their are 2 ports and if you get it wrong, it will cost you over £100 in taxi fares! No one seems to know this and several of the P&O staff told us that everybody goes to the wrong port!!!! Well, having paid £100 to get to the right port, we did not see the funny side. Having got over this, the staff were so helpful and friendly, but our rating will be low. Our cabin balcony, D117, left a lot to be desired. Not only was it not clean on our arrival and nor did it get cleaned for our trip, but on several days, it smelt so badly that we could not open the door. We complained several times but were given different stories, such as, it depended which way the wind was blowing/the life boats smelt etc. Finally, we investigated ourselves, found a vent on Deck 3 from an 'engine' room, asked a passing engineer and found that this was the problem. We then reported this back and were given £100 off our bill! We do not get the feeling that this will be investigated anytime soon. And finally and this actually upset us the most! Having had a fabulous relationship with our cabin steward, on the last night of our trip, he took it upon himself to remove our remaining personal items from the cupboards so he could clean the cabin for the next passengers who would be joining the following day. Now on several levels this cannot be right. 1. We paid for that night. 2. That doesn't seem very hygienic as we are still using the cabin and 3. We do not appreciate our toiletries etc. being placed in our bags. We have complained, twice about this, but have heard nothing back, hence our comments here. Not good enough. P&O, we can forgive certain things and we do think you are brilliant overall, but PLEASE LISTEN when we report a problem. Sometimes, it's not what goes wrong that causes anxiety, it's the way it's dealt with. Hence rating underneath. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I was only on the Arcadia for a 3 day trip Syd to Bris. Solo traveller paid $1000 for 3 nights in deluxe balcony cabin. Cabin was nice, although I really had to twist the Steward's arm to get a white robe. Food in ... Read More
I was only on the Arcadia for a 3 day trip Syd to Bris. Solo traveller paid $1000 for 3 nights in deluxe balcony cabin. Cabin was nice, although I really had to twist the Steward's arm to get a white robe. Food in Belverede (Buffet) was like Boarding School - small display and not very appertising Food in Main Dining Room was either great or average. Staff everywhere onboard I found very pleasant. There are some nice Public spaces on board being 'Adults only' it made the Swimming Pools and Buffet areas a lot more civilized. Shops were a non event. Embarkation was the fastest ever Disembarkation was a bit slow, due to different messages from P&O Staff and Border Security. The Fishermans Grain Wharf at Brisbane is around a 25min cab ride to the Airport and cost $63 - we did not pull in at Hamilton which is about 10mins from the airport. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018

This is an honest, tell it how it is review. Being wholly objective, it may also carry a little excess baggage as I, a 63 year old, grappling with the transition from being a 2-4 week holidaymaker to a world traveller! Passengers ... Read More

This is an honest, tell it how it is review. Being wholly objective, it may also carry a little excess baggage as I, a 63 year old, grappling with the transition from being a 2-4 week holidaymaker to a world traveller! Passengers who joined the ship for a three week leg, might view the ship’s offerings and routines as fresh and new. Such customers might reasonably be considered as holidaymakers; quite a different animal from the diehards who come on board for the long-haul. The 500 or so who signed up for longish voyages are travellers and, they travel for many legitimate and differing reasons: boredom at home, company, to be looked after, to escape the British winter, non-flyers, repositioning, once in a lifetime adventure, etc. Many of these are ‘see you next year’ repeat world cruisers. Like I say, I am struggling with the transition! Positives: Arcadia is a quiet, comfortable ship...like an old armchair (though a little tatty in places). Overall, the dining experience was good (Belvedere excluded). Entertainment; this particular Headliners Company were exceptional. Some wonderful ports of call Alotau, San Francisco, Napier, Nha Trang, Singapore. No fighting for deck chairs on Arcadia...acres of space. Service was uniformly excellent throughout. Dance hosts Brenda & Jeffrey converted many non-dancers. Superb. Quiet ship, everyone in bed early…little to do after the theatre show. Negatives: No meaningful second entertainment / cabaret venue. Due to the above, the ship was quiet from 9.30pm (i.e. post theatre). Areas of the ship smelled foul throughout the 12 week cruise. (Mid-ships next to the shops). Excessive use of smoke effect (mist) in the theatre. Universally slated by visiting entertainers and the viewing public. The ship needs an overhaul not just an engine refit. Extremely dated. Too many quizzes, day and night. Cheap and cheerful? No, just cheap! If we want a quiz we go to our local. Not what we hoped for on a world tour. Dining 3/5 The Meridian Restaurant delivered a good (not great) selection of food served warm (rarely if ever hot). The levels of service were influenced by variables such as the waiting team, distance of your table from the galley, dramas in the kitchen etc. Comparable with banquet catering served at say, a family wedding rather than a fine dining experience. None the less, the Meridian (main dining room) would score 4/5. The Belvedere buffet was another story. The choice, quality and presentation of food was mediocre to poor. Even by P&O's moderate standards this 'restaurant' left a lot to be desired. With the possible exception of Curry Night, this place should be avoided if possible. Score 2/5. Hence the overall dining score of 3/5. Sindhu, P&O's Asian fine dining restaurant seemed to attract mixed views; rather like Marmite! We don't like Marmite so 2/5. The Ocean Grill (by day the ship's officers mess, by night Marco Pierre White's fine dining experience) was incredibly popular, with generally good to excellent reviews. Whether this popularity was due to the need to utilise the copious on-board spending money to be found on a World Cruise or, truly reflected the quality of food and service on offer might be debated. In our opinion, it is not as good as say The Epicurean Restaurant on Azura/Ventura where the extra charge is double that for The Ocean Grill. None the less, in terms of food quality, service and value for money it rates 4/5. Dining room dress code Interesting! At the start of the cruise, Southampton to say San Francisco, there were typically three formal nights each week... too many. As the passenger mix changed around the Pacific rim (many more Australians joined the ship), formal nights were reduced to one per week. The Aussies were welcome for any number of reasons and ruffled a few feathers with their ideas on formal wear! What's wrong with a dash of colour and a hairy leg? Room Service This was generally good to excellent. Of course it was somewhat limited in choice when compared to the restaurant however it was cooked to order, often hot and for the most part, delivered on time. Please note, some items were chargeable. In our experience, this is probably the only way to get warmish toast on board. 4/5. Cafe Vivo, tucked away in the dark, no doubt as an afterthought of the ship's architect; was illuminated by excellent staff who brought sunshine to it's customers. Much too small and poorly positioned. 4/5. Entertainment 2/5 P&O offers a largely British cruising experience. None the less, on this a World cruise, the passenger profile was truly mixed and included Brits, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Americans, amongst many others. Given the above passenger profile, the entertainment was not surprisingly geared towards British Commonwealth tastes. It is not so long since P&O Cruise Directors proudly introduced their entertainment team of sixteen staff. On this cruise (a world cruise) the now Entertainment Manager introduced his team of six. A sign of the times? Headliners Theatre personnel were excellent on this cruise. From memory, they presented nine different shows all of which we had seen on previous cruises; these were repeating for the third time during our 82 days on board Arcadia. Some might call this repetitive. Guest entertainers (the usual suspects) were largely flown out to join the ship and varied in standard. For example, an “alternative comedian" who normally performs in a late night show lounge / night club venues on Arcadia’s sister ships found himself starring at Arcadia's theatre. A poor fit, but little choice really since there is no alternative showroom / cabaret venue (see Cinema notes below). Local entertainers / cultural performers were also engaged as the ship moved from continent to continent The Globe, a 200 seater utility room is used for dancing (users complain that the floor is much too small with tensions often mounting between sequence and ballroom dancers as they vie for space), classical recitals, occasional musical 'jams' featuring the ships orchestra and other in-house musicians. Bars/Lounges. There is music of some description in each of the bars and lounges as the in-house musicians play their own brand of musical chairs and rotate venues each evening. No criticism of the musicians; however extensive their repertoire, some performances became tedious and repetitive over our twelve weeks on board. The Retreat, another small, utilitarian facility is primarily used for ballroom, sequence or line dancing, either for lessons during the day, or, as an alternative to The Globe during the evening. The Retreat is much smaller than The Globe, therefore far from ideal. Guest speakers were shipped out (from the UK) on a regular basis and once again varied in attractiveness dependent on your taste. Most notably, Eric (Knocker) Knowles, Wayne Sleep and Lord Michael Howard offered lectures on their chosen subjects and life in general. Listed like this it sounds varied and interesting however in reality, the overall quality of the speakers lacked sparkle. As an aside, does Mr Knowles reside permanently on cruise ships? We have seen him perform on four previous cruises in the past couple of years. The Ocean Room is a multi-purpose facility busy delivering art, crafts and card lessons by day but, idle at night. Could be better utilised as a revenue earning second venue after dark. Service 5/5 The service throughout the ship was uniformly excellent, particularly the reception. Often receiving the brunt of complaints from frustrated passengers we witnessed the reception staff defuse potentially difficult circumstances. Dragana and Sandra were outstanding. 5/5. Cabin 3/5 The deluxe balcony cabin on D deck was both comfortable and serviceable, if a little tired in places. Previous cruiser's mishaps on the room carpets and soft furnishings were permanent and there for all to see. The decor and layout is now dated with the ludicrously positioned bed lamps the butt of many visiting comedians. Constant warnings about the frailties of the toilet system seemed to be heeded by the guests. Our cabin's w.c. backed up only once during the nearly three month cruise. The balcony and balcony furniture (2 x deck chairs, 1 x leg stool, 1 x service table) were also a little tired. The cabin stewards worked extremely hard to keep the room in good order and they are to be commended. The air-conditioning, whilst in theory adjustable, was fierce. Anecdotally, several passengers we met claimed to seek medical advice for sore throat/chest infections citing the air-con. Shore Excursions 4/5 Normally we steer clear of these due to overpricing and generally being poor value for money. Somewhat different on the World Cruise it seems, with P&O upping their game considerably...on most occasions. Interesting itineraries, informative tour guides, great lunches when included, bottled water available on many tours etc. Even allowing for the exotic nature of the ports of call; in our opinion and to our surprise, most tours genuinely rated 4/5. Cinema 1/5 What a waste of space with only thirty seats some of which remained unserviceable and unavailable throughout the cruise. Previewing at the cinema tonight - shown in the cabin tomorrow night. The cinema, Cafe Vivo, Ocean room should be converted as one to a much bigger day time craft/arts/card room but convertible to a second venue/showroom at night. Cafe Vivo could be easily moved further aft where coffee is already served. Having written, read, posted and re-read this review, I cannot help feeling that I have allowed it to exude a little too much negativity. Look, you call it as you see and experience it. Several of our shipmates thoroughly (five stars) enjoyed every aspect of the ship; they loved the knitting, colouring-in, sing-a-longs, craft, Spanish language, ballroom / sequence dancing and card classes. Given the length of this cruise there was inevitable repetition in food and entertainment; completely understandable and, perhaps on reflection, fully anticipatable. The ship is geared up for senior citizens, the proverbial old folks home at sea. Not quite ready for that just yet.
 Ports of Call Southampton 3/5 Embarkation day. No time to explore this trip. From previous visits it could be said that Southampton is a utilitarian city, functional rather than spectacular. Yes, the city walls and architecture are interesting, the shopping centres are enticing but overall, would I travel to Southampton if I was not cruising..hmm? Funchal, Madeira 5/5 Despite numerous visits to Funchal, the island capital never ceases to enchant. A ten to fifteen minute walk over mainly flat surfaces will bring you into the centre. Visit the fruit and flower market, take the cable car up to Monte and come back down on the famous wicker baskets. Taste the world renowned Madeira wine, enjoy the year round floral displays...the list goes on. Bridgetown, Barbados 5/5 So you want a beach, take your pick...too many to choose from. You want history, visit the forts, English style churches, Bridgetown cricket ground (ten minutes walk from the ship), visit Trafalgar Square. Rum factories, fruit plantations, beautiful scenery. Barbados has the lot. The cruise terminal is situated approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes walk from the centre of Bridgetown, mostly on flat though slightly uneven surfaces. Normally it is hot so a taxi might be a good bet. Willemstad, Curacao, Dutch Antilles 4/5 There are two main docking areas. If you are lucky you can enjoy a dramatic sail in/sail away as the ship encounters the narrowest and prettiest of harbour entrances; allowing you to converse with onlookers shoreside with the greatest of ease. Otherwise, you park-up at a more utilitarian pier just outside Willemstad's walled centre. The city is small but perfectly formed with the entry over the floating bridge an obvious highlight. Beaches within fifteen minutes of the pier side. Willemstad, Curacao is colourful, vibrant and very Dutch. The town is predominately flat and accessible. Huatalco, Mexico 3/5 A beach day. If you enjoy walking around the marina, limited shops and stalls then great, Otherwise, for me, the town has little to offer. San Diego, California 4/5 They say it never rains in Southern California, well it can and it did…big time. This did not detract from an excellent promenade and a welcoming (relatively flat) city centre only five minutes from the port. Maritime museums, Aircraft carrier, Red October submarine, Dixie steamboats, you name it, only five minutes walk from the ship. Long Beach (Los Angeles), California 3/5 All that glitters might not be gold. We went to Hollywood from the port, nearly 1.5 hours by coach to get there, over 2 hours back...in fact you will need to take either a tour or taxi to visit anywhere of note perhaps with the exception of Long Beach. The traffic around downtown L.A. is horrendous, the ship departed leaving behind six late passengers who were caught up in traffic. Be warned! Oh yes, Hollywood? Think Blackpool or Southend but without the sticky rock. Tacky in the extreme! San Francisco, California 5/5 If they had offered ten stars then thats what I would have given. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge into the bay with Sausalito to the left, Alcatraz dead ahead, San Francisco with its cable cars to the right. Yes, heavenly. The ship ties-up next to a tram stop from which you can turn left and travel inexpensively into the city (six minutes) or, turn right and visit the various Pier 39 attractions and find the terminus for the cable car (ten minutes). Take a tour, cross the bridge, visit Sausalito, go to Alcatraz, ride the cable car...fill your boots! If it is not stating the blindingly obvious, San Francisco is extremely hilly. Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 4/5 Honolulu... Pearl Harbor and beaches, right? Yes, of course, and much more besides. We took a tour to Pearl, interesting and historic, good to see...would we do it again…hmm? Over commercialised but not tacky. Beaches, well we were there early February 19c, not quite bikini weather for me but pleasant enough to see the attraction. Honolulu is a great city, easy to find your way around and just about walkable from the ship berth, 25 mins. Bora Bora, French Polynesia 3/5 What do you do when it rains (pours) in paradise? We knocked on the front door of a home in Bora Bora asking the resident for shelter. We were welcomed into the large covered porch area and offered a drink. Fifteen minutes later, we were babysitting as our host took off on her bike en route to the shop to buy provisions for her thirty or so other guests who had seen us enjoying local hospitality and decided to gatecrash! The lady was well rewarded from all concerned. Swimming, snorkelling, water sports, beaches are all great once the thunderstorms have passed. Beautiful, scenic and ideal for beach based activities...weather permitting. Extremely limited otherwise with the small town having very little to offer. Warning, there is no pier in Bora Bora; the ships lifeboats tender you ashore. This can lead to long queues with limited shelter, not ideal if either wet or extremely hot. Vaitape the main town is limited in appeal, indeed it could be described as basic or minimal and anything that is for sale is not cheap. The public transport is rudimentary (trucks with benches) and the service could not be described as regular. None of the above should put you off visiting this unique and welcoming island group. Papeete, Tahiti 3/5 Despite benefiting from millions of Euros from the EU, Papeete and the Tahitian Islands still seemed a little underwhelming. The ship docks in the centre of the city and it is easily accessible. Pleasant enough to visit for a beer or coffee but unremarkable otherwise. The people were warm and welcoming and that will be the abiding memory. PS avoid the tour to the ocean bore-hole, expensive and slated by all on the coach. Auckland, New Zealand 5/5 Terrific little city, even in the rain. Ship docks right in the centre, Easy to walk around although there are some slight hills to deal with. Go up the tower, terrific views day or night. Tremendous ambiance emanating from wonderful people. You must take the inexpensive twenty minute ferry across to Devonport; a hidden gem with its village feel, beautiful little shops and cafes. Lovely beaches. Napier, New Zealand 5/5 We took a tour down to Kidnappers point, saw some sheep shearing and enjoyed wonderful scenery. Following afternoon tea we called back at Napier for an hour before re-boarding the Lollipop. Napier had a huge earthquake some years ago. The locals had the bright idea to rebuild the city in ArtDeco style...Wow! What a beautiful little city, terrific promenade, fantastic sights to be seen everywhere you go. Everything, and I mean everything was in ArtDeco style. Truly a wonder to behold. Wellington, New Zealand 5/5 We took a morning tour along "the wild coast". Lovely views, followed by some sheep dog trials and a stupendous morning coffee with cakes, sandwiches, pastries et al. Back to the capital city which is extremely attractive and small enough to be quite manageable by foot. Deciding not to take the cable car journey up into the hills above the city, we went to the harbour area instead. We were well rewarded. About five minutes from the "Beehive" New Zealand's stunning parliament building, the harbour area has been developed sympathetically and is easy on the eye. All manner of water sports were visible in the bay as we took a beer in one of the many cafes and bars on offer. Idealic. Sydney, Australia 5/5 Whats not to like? As with San Francisco, Auckland, Hong Kong etc we were there for two days. Yes, we visited the bridge, the opera house, blue mountains, Featherdale Park (kangaroos and much more) , Manly beach etc. Too much to do, so little time. Brisbane, Australia 4/5 The ship berths 35 minutes by coach from the centre of Brisbane. We met friends on the south bank of the river which traverses Brisbane. This area is an attraction itself with a sizeable city beach, restaurants, theatres, attractions of all descriptions. Brisbane is an gorgeous city, beautifully manicured and cared for by the residents. Yorkey's Knob (Cairns), Australia 4/5 Once again, no harbour at Yorkey;s Knob so ships lifeboats tender you ashore. Situated approx thirty minutes outside Cairns, you will need to take a taxi or tour coach into town. Nothing much to see at the Knob just a small restaurant and bar. We took a tour on a period train to Kuranda, terrific views on the two hour journey. Highly recommended as an alternative to the Great Barrier reef. In the afternoon we visited Cairns. A pleasant, if sticky, one horse town with lovely outside pools and promenades. Kind of how I imagined it would be. Alotau, Papua New Guinea 4/5 Like almost everyone else on the ship, we went on the Alotau Cultural Festival tour. The locals dress up and put on a colourful, musical and cultural extravaganza with a sail on a war canoe being the highlight of the trip. Beyond this tour the options are extremely limited. The very small town has little to offer and the folks are extremely poor by western standards. Kochi, Japan 4/5 A ten minute courtesy coach journey brings you directly into town…the main bus station. From here you can walk into the small city (five minutes). Kochi Castle is beautiful, absolutely authentic and a terrific photo opportunity. Particularly attractive during cherry blossom time (March). The main shopping centre is extensive with a mix of up to date modernity laced with other enclaves of delicious traditional stalls displaying exquisite artisan wares. With the exception of the Castle which could be challenging with its great many steps, the city is otherwise quite flat and easily accessible. Good beaches within fifteen minutes of the city centre. Note, Japan is cold during February/ early March. Final word, the folks that we encountered must be amongst the most civil and respectful anywhere on our travels. Osaka, Japan 4/5 The second largest city in Japan is just that...huge. There is a good metro and this offers the opportunity to travel throughout the city unescorted. On balance, better to take a tour to Kyoto perhaps on the "bullet train". The ship berths next to a huge indoor shopping centre complete with an enormous ferris wheel which delivers a fantastic light show every evening; all of which is an attraction in itself. Nagasaki, Japan 5/5 The ship berths near the centre of town, perhaps a fifteen minute walk over flat ground. Great terminal with lots of locals on hand to offer advice…how, what, why, where and when; terrific volunteers. We took the obligatory tour to the Epicentre Bomb Museum and Peace Park and found it to be harrowing and up-lifting in equal measure. Next time we would do this ourselves. Very easy by public transport…trams. Can recommend the Dejima Museum, ten minutes walk from the port. Fantastic opportunity for the ladies to wear authentic traditional kimonos and wander through the streets of this living museum. Great photo opportunities. Busan, South Korea 4/5 From memory, the second largest city in South Korea. The ship was berthed some fifteen minutes by courtesy coach from the city centre. Brash and modern streets with all the familiar shopping brands and much more on offer. However you are never far away from market stalls selling everything you could ever imagine and then some. The fish market in particular is colourful, vibrant, exciting and, whilst it does of course smell a little, it is definitely worth a visit. Shanghai, China 3/5 We were glad that we took the three stop tour (the old town district with its fabulous architecture, the Bund promenade area with its views of the city and the Shanghai tower), partly because of the heavy rain which prevailed throughout our visit. If the weather had been better the tour would have been much more rewarding. None the less, it was enjoyable. Hong Kong, China 3/5 Not a happy place to visit at the moment. The locals are restless and unhappy with Britain for abandoning them and not offering sufficient support against China which it is said is suppressing their freedoms. Enough politics. As always, there is plenty to see and do. Try visiting Aberdeen Harbour and take a trip in a Sampan around Jumbo, the largest floating Chinese restaurant in the world. Visit Happy Valley Racetrack, take an evening ferry across Hong Kong Harbour enjoying the laser light show, nip across to Macau…the list goes on Nha Trang, Vietnam 4/5 What a pleasant surprise! This is a resort on the up! The ship's courtesy coach drove us past the most beautiful, manicured beaches before depositing us adjacent to a local hotel which offered toilet facilities and acted as a central point from which to explore this interesting town. Street vendors offered ‘knock-off’ versions of clothing, watches, sunglasses etc at stupidly low prices. I suppose you get what you pay for. Lots of lovely four and five star hotels situated along a tree lined promenade with excellent shaded areas for sitting down and admiring the views across the beaches. You will certainly hear more of Nha Trang as it develops further as holiday destination. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam 5/5 We took a tour around the city. The journey from the ship into the city took approximately one hour passing through paddy fields with both ox and buffalo also to be seen. Temples, temples and yet more temples en route. The city itself is full of history and bursting to tell its story. Long before the Americans arrived to lock horns with the V.C., Saigon was going about its business in the most spectacular way. We went to cultural museums, passed the war-time American embassy, wandered around the Saigon post-office (wow - get your camera ready), enjoyed a fantastic lunch with musical accompaniment, visited Chinese temples, took in a water puppet show and much more….what a day! Laem Chebang for Bangkok, Thailand 3/5 Two hours to get there, three hours to come back. Heavy traffic enroute only gets worse once you get nearer to this enormous, sprawling city. It is not practical to travel into Bangkok unless you take a ship’s tour. The cruise company will offer numerous options…all expensive. There is absolutely nothing to see within five miles of the port. P&O offered a free 30 minute transfer into Pattaya; a serious option if you do not fancy a very long day much of it spent on a coach. Pattaya, Thailand 4/5 The thirty minute courtesy coach journey took us through largely port related industrial areas before finally depositing us at the five star Bayview hotel situated thirty seconds from the beach front at Pattaya. The hotel offered clean restrooms and any other services required during our day at the beach. The beach is beautiful, set in a lovely blue bay with water warm enough to take a bath in. A very long and pleasant promenade affords easy access along the interesting waterfront with its water sports, cafes and many other attractions. Running parallel to the beach is a busy road, the other side of which are terrific stylish hotels, indoor shopping centres (welcome given the heat and humidity), Market stalls and more. The resort is said to have a red light district with its world famous lady-boys et al. Singapore 5/5 Not everyones cup of tea it seems, but we love Singapore. It has beaches, theme parks, musical concerts all accessible by monorail on Sentosa Island. Clarke and Robertson Quays offer vibrant nightlife, excellent food and entertainment by the riverside (mosquito central at night!). Merlion Park waterfront is alive with entertainment during the day but really comes into its own at night. Perhaps you prefer something a little more up-market? Try afternoon tea at the world famous Raffles Hotel (book in advance) then visit Orchid World. Advice, if you are lucky enough to be on a world cruise, do not consider buying any souvenirs, presents, clothing etc until you reach Singapore’s China Town. It has it all. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We recently completed Arcadia’s Western Circumnavigation – 99 nights, 100 days, a Super Blue Blood Moon and around 40,000 statute miles. A totally splendid voyage, many thanks to the crew and all the friends that we made. We hope the ... Read More
We recently completed Arcadia’s Western Circumnavigation – 99 nights, 100 days, a Super Blue Blood Moon and around 40,000 statute miles. A totally splendid voyage, many thanks to the crew and all the friends that we made. We hope the following will be of help to other travellers; In no particular order; • Our inside cabin had limited storage especially in the bathroom – on a long voyage consider taking hanging shelves, you can also stash loads of stuff under the bed. • The cabin walls are metal, you can stick up notes, pictures or a world map with fridge magnets. • Food – generally excellent with lots and lots of choice, we settled into a routine and sometimes just enjoyed a freshly made, plain sandwich. Formal dinners were excellent, you simply do not go hungry on a P&O cruise. • Service – exemplary. It beggars belief that some people can be horribly rude to the nicest staff – there were several occasions when we were embarrassed by our fellow passengers. • Entertainment - Pre-book the cinema, it’s very small but cosy – you can find out what’s on from reception or the library. Other entertainment - great in the bars, shows OK, guest speakers excellent. The entertainment team works hard for your pleasure and there is always something on offer. Don’t forget, the choice is yours, there is a lot of it and you (and P&O) don’t always get it right. • Photography - avoid waste by not having your picture taken by the official photographers – they have a quota to meet and just want you to pose for them – we politely declined on the grounds that they then print them all, then throw most of them away – a shockingly wasteful practice. • Wifi - don’t bother on board, it’s expensive with limited functionality. Much better to go ashore and ask the locals where the best location is. We paid for wifi once in 100 days - $5 in American Samoa – but then, they had just had a tornado that week. • Laundry – very small and always busy. Inadequate for demand on a long voyage. Not a place to make friends, better to buy new clothes. • Wildlife – plenty of it but you do have to be patient and then quick (to photograph) when sailing. You are mostly travelling at around 20mph+ and things pass very quickly. • Other Passengers - Most we met were lovely, however with around 2000 on board the chances are you will meet some unpleasant idiots – we certainly did! Nonetheless Arcadia is a big ship and you don’t have to socialise with anyone that you don’t care to. The major naughtiness is rudeness to staff – P&O are pretty good at dealing with this – some people didn’t complete the voyage! • Excursions – we assumed that most people went on a world tour to see things but were surprised how many didn’t leave the ship. Some tours are totally necessary – we would not have ascended the Burj Khalifa, the Petronas Towers or ridden the Maglev in Shanghai without P&O’s excursion service. Other places are a little easier – see the TOP TIP below. TOP TIPS: • Do your research before you go – decide what you want to see and do beforehand and then plan it. Also use the on-board port talks and excursion desk services to fully plan your trips. • Local transport is variable and every port is different. • Booking excursions before sailing is generally cheaper especially if you get loyalty discount. BUT: if you can, be spontaneous and enjoy the local colour, food and company. We did and those are some of our best memories of a fantastic world trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
First experience of cruising for more than 17 nights. This cruise was. 44 nights with 4 night stay in Sydney. The cruise was great. A few days of rough weather over bay of biscay (as expected). Sea sickness tablets worked a treat, ... Read More
First experience of cruising for more than 17 nights. This cruise was. 44 nights with 4 night stay in Sydney. The cruise was great. A few days of rough weather over bay of biscay (as expected). Sea sickness tablets worked a treat, There were two ports we had to abort because of bad weather: bay of islands and Tonga. This is something you have to expect when cruising which us beyond the control of the captain. Headliner shows always excellent and always generates a full house. Some of the other not always great. Lots of activities during the day to keep you busy during sea days. Spa very expensive. Gym facilities great and free. Food a little disappointing but plenty of it - you won't go hungry! We went on most excursions but a lot of the time you can do your own thing a lot cheaper. Highlights were: Alcatraze, Panama Canal, Pearl Harbour. We enjoyed all the ports on this cruise. Absolutely fab. Best ports San Francisco, Auckland and Sydney. Left luggage - a case on ship which we will collect in April when Arcadia returns to Southampton. We were concerned about the long haul flight for our return journey which turned out great. We flew with Singapore Airlines from Sydney to Singapore and then Singapore to Heathrow. Time just flew. Great current movies on flight, constant drinks and food/meals coming round. Would definitely fly again with them the same journey. 10 out of 10 flight. I think this length of cruise was enough for us but alot of other cruisers were staying on for the full 99 nights. If you are considering this cruise next year I would say go for it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose the Arcadia as I wanted a Christmas/New Year cruise. The only open air deck where you could eat and get a drink was the Aquarius Pool deck which was on Deck 9. This was mostly crowded with constant loud unrelenting piped music. ... Read More
I chose the Arcadia as I wanted a Christmas/New Year cruise. The only open air deck where you could eat and get a drink was the Aquarius Pool deck which was on Deck 9. This was mostly crowded with constant loud unrelenting piped music. Who want's that on what is supposed to be a relaxing holiday. Requests to have it turned down were met with "This is what the passengers want". Has anyone ever been asked? I had a balcony cabin in the Aft on deck 4 and could hear the constant beat of the music from my balcony. On Christmas Eve, loud 'head banging' music was playing at 7.45 am. Not a Christmas Carol in sight! The designated smoking area on this deck took the whole of the port side making it very unpleasant for non-smokers. Smoke could even be smelt in the entrance to the Belvedere restaurant every time the door was opened. Both the Jacuzzi / hot tubs were on the port side, therefore,in a designated smoking area. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air ... Read More
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air conditioning or extremely hot. This ship has no WOW factor at all. It would be better “dry docked” and opened as an old people’s home. The entertainment in the theatre from the ship’s cast was extremely poor. One show was entitled “music from the Blues Brothers” but when they started singing “under the boardwalk” that was our queue to leave. The cast weren’t so much as singing the songs more like screaming the songs. The guest entertainment was fine, no problems with them and very entertaining. The guest speakers were also first rate although the ship’s technicians let them all down badly on more than one occasion. Either the microphone or the visual aids weren’t working. We felt annoyed and embarrassed on behalf of the speakers. The hygiene in the restaurant in respect of hand sanitising was hit and miss. New Year’s Eve was a “Free for all” to get into the dining room and we had to ask for the sanitising gel. On average the food was good but the majority of waiters just weren’t interested. On NY Eve one of us ordered medallions of beef and that is all that was on the plate, no vegetables or potatoes, just beef! The food at breakfast was cold most of the time. Cabin steward provided excellent service. All one side of the ship, Port side, was smoking which made it very uncomfortable walking around the ship and sitting in certain areas, I.e. certain parts of the Belvedere restaurant. We are in our 60s and would not consider sailing on the Arcadia ever again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
ARCADIA J721 We have just returned from the Xmas and New Year cruise on Arcadia. On embarking we found a note saying that one of our excursions had been cancelled. We went to the excursions desk to see what else was available. The ... Read More
ARCADIA J721 We have just returned from the Xmas and New Year cruise on Arcadia. On embarking we found a note saying that one of our excursions had been cancelled. We went to the excursions desk to see what else was available. The man on the desk seemed to have upset the lady in front of us and when we spoke to him he was brusque to the point of being rude. We reported his attitude to Sandra on reception and next day we had a phone conversation with the excursions manager who apologised and said that was totally out of character. I thanked her for her response but said we would not take any other trips. Things were unfortunately to go downhill from this point. My wife had three outfits with her that she had worn for the weddings of our children and was keen to have photos taken on the formal nights. The lady who took the initial one, which was quite good, said the set of photos would be no problem and we paid £70 on our cruise card for a package of 10 pics. The second photo was a disaster ,washed out and not at all what we were expecting including one with her eyes closed at the dinner table. That one was not retaken. Looking at it the next day with the photographers they said they could tweak it to make the saturation better and clone out the crease in my lapel but we were not happy. We felt we were making a fuss. We went to reception to check if the payment had gone through and see if we could withdraw it. Sandra , one of the reception managers called the photographic manager and we went to the photo section. With Sandra doing most of the talking they talked us into giving them another chance with the photo manager saying they could do better. On Xmas night, in the chaos of the officers carol service blocking all three floors of the atrium, effectively cutting the ship in two, we met the photography manager and asked about the next portrait. She said go down to the lowest floor by the atrium and the photographer there would take it. We went down and joined the queue but twenty minutes later, as we were nearing the front he caused uproar by announcing, with his back to the queue, that he had to go to another venue and we would have to come back at nine o'clock. My wife who has brain damage due to two open craniotomies remonstrated with him to no avail and went off to look for the photography manager who we met on the stairs. She blanked us completely and we went straight to reception. My wife was complaining to them when we saw the photographer taking photos of the couples who were in front and behind us in the queue. They were the ones who were complaining the most. This was too much for her and I'm afraid she was rude to the reception staff demanding to see a manager. On being told that none were available she got even louder and they finally said someone would come. My wife was in tears by the time an officer , in his mess uniform, appeared. He immediately said "I am the hotel manager, I am not going to deal with this tonight you have been rude to my staff, it's their Christmas too, they are away from their families. I will deal with this tomorrow" My wife said she didn't think we were welcome on Arcadia and perhaps we should get off as soon as possible. The officer then said he could arrange for us to be disembarked in Antigua, turned and presumably went back to his Xmas dinner/party. We never did see or hear from him again. There was no xmas spirit for us that Christmas so we went back to the cabin where my wife spent a sleepless night worrying about how we were going to re-pack and find our way home from Antigua. All this trauma knocked my wife psychologically and she would not make eye contact with any officers after this and this triggered back her eating disorder, Dysphagia. She needed to visit the excellent medical centre for a swollen ankle so they have a complete copy of her previous medical history. I never did get the chance to tell the officer that I have worked many more Xmas days than he ever has. Three days later Sandra from reception phoned to ask if we were OK. I said no and she said did I want a meeting with the hotel manager or the photographic manager. I said no, I was on holiday and did not want to spend it traipsing round the ship to pointless meetings forcing my wife to relive the incidents. I told Sandra all I needed from her was the refund of my photography fee and I wanted nothing more to do with them. Unfortunately we had to pass through the photography department on a regular basis and at every formal night they were all over the passengers. On our last formal night our dinner was interrupted twice in 5 minutes by over eager snappers and my wife had to stop trying to eat to stop the onset of Dysphagia and the embarrassment that would have caused on our dinner table. While I have your attention. 1. Why no shuttle buses? Particularly in St Vincent and Barbados 2. Why did the whirlpool never work? Although you could pay £20 pppd for the one in the spa. 3. Why did no one check that the hand sanitiser was being used in the buffet? 4. On disembarkation we returned from breakfast at 0730hrs to find our cabin door wide open, the bedding stripped and no towels when washing our hands and our hand luggage containing iPads , cameras etc on full view. This seemed to be normal practice but very worrying as passengers were already leaving the ship carrying their own cases. 5. As requested we went to reception to book a time for disembarkation and later received a card with a completely different time, I give up. 6. The new sunbeds in the Neptune pool are unbelievably uncomfortable, did no one try them before purchase? 7. The standard of guest entertainers in the Palladium was was pretty poor, particularly while in the Caribbean. 8. The Xmas and New Years dinners were poor in choice and quality and the waiting staff seemed really stressed. As 9. The formal night "Marco menu" dinners were not well received on our table and on one memorable night 5 out of the 6 had the ever present steak and chips whilst the final member had salad. This must tell you something. 10. On the formal nights, most of which seemed pointless, there was nothing to do after the theatre except sit in the corridor bars as the only other venue,the Globe, was occupied by the strict tempo ballroom dancing, shufflers not welcome! This was evidenced by one unfortunate who was tapped on the shoulder during the "gay Gordon's " and told he was out of sequence. 11. The three x 5ft wide galley style laundrettes containing only 3 washing machines and three tumble driers are a joke. Quite dangerous as the doors at each end can strike whoever is standing within the area. This is also occupied by the ironing board and one of the only three irons on board(3 ?) at least one of which would not come up to temperature. 12. There is no drinks package except that approved by your wine "expert". Like the ballroom dancing, no deviation is allowed. We feel that all of the above is symptomatic of the decline in standards of service on P&O. It is no longer a restful holiday as you are pursued round the ship on a daily basis by people wanting you to spend money on photos, speciality restaurants,spas etc. Nothing is offered unless P&O are making money from it. It is highly unlikely that we will ever cruise with P&O again as it is quite clear we are no longer welcome on your ships,but your comments would still be welcome. We will go back to Fred Olsen where we can get far better, less pretentious food, drink packages and will be made to feel more welcome. Their ships may be older and less luxurious than yours but at least you feel they are pleased to have you on board and you are not just a piece of data to be processed through the system as on the Arcadia. Our Peninsular rating seems to have been frozen, presumably because we complained. UNLESS YOU HAVE A VISIBLE DISABILTY AVOID CARNIVAL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Being disabled we needed an adapted cabin. Our original Carribbean cruise on the Aurora was cancelled and the only cruise we could get with our specific needs was on the Arcadia. We booked it because we've never been away at ... Read More
Being disabled we needed an adapted cabin. Our original Carribbean cruise on the Aurora was cancelled and the only cruise we could get with our specific needs was on the Arcadia. We booked it because we've never been away at Christmas and thought it'd be a nice idea. It left on the 16th December and returned on 9th January 2018. What a huge mistake we made! From the start it went down hill when we arrived at the port. Only two porters taking luggage and both tied up unloading a coach. By the time we received help we were cold and already fed up. Check in was it's usual chaos, took about an hour and a half. Next the cabin, what a let down. Supposedly a disabled cabin but not enough room to swing a cat. If you had anything bigger than a narrow wheelchair it wouldn't fit. Travellers beware! The food in the main dining venues was boring and somewhat lacking in taste and most of the service staff throughout the ship were either lapse or stressed. Sat for over 2 hours at the Neptune bar and not one waiter approached, we had to hunt for one when in need of a drink. Christmas cheer was not forthcoming and the decorations mediocre. Casino short on croupiers, New Year's Eve, a black tie event and nobody to open the Roulette tables. The whole trip was one big opportunity for P&O to fleece the passengers of as much money as possible. Getting off didn't go much better, again no porters. We'd booked a wheelchair taxi and the driver was parked at the very end of the bay and asked could she get a little closer. The reply came in the form of 'well they've managed for three weeks on board ship...' How's that just to round off the whole sorry saga? Have now cancelled the further two cruises we have for this year and won't use P&O again. Standards have plummeted since our original cruises in 2007. Surely we can't be the only one's who've had a bad experience on this cruise. According to P&O they only received good comments, we very much doubt that. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise as it was the right time of year, never been to Caribbean before & will be very reluctant to travel with P&O again, unfortunately the luxury was lacking. Desperately short staffed making the few staff there was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the right time of year, never been to Caribbean before & will be very reluctant to travel with P&O again, unfortunately the luxury was lacking. Desperately short staffed making the few staff there was very unhappy & appearing to be tired. Took 4 days & 5 visits to reception to get cruise card working correctly. Meals were very poor, not hot & tasteless. Service in restaurant very slow & again not hot. Daytime entertainment consisted mainly of quizzes, bingo & bridge. No music in any of the bars during day, only at the swimming pool on odd sea days. No decent djs. Drink prices not bad but refused to pay top price for cans of beer, these are purchased cheaper than draught & don’t taste the same. Jeep tour on Antigua fantastic, Champagne & sunset cruise on Barbados very good but no champagne only sparkling wine no tour representative & left at cruise terminal on return with no shuttle bus. Old tours shown on tv, some not even avaible anymore. Disembarkation was very disorganised, we’re told we would be the next to leave in about 10 mins, then was told a different area was disembarking so would be another 15/20 mins. Any complaints was met by excuses with no one taking responsibility. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
First trip with P&O after 20+ cruises with other providers. The ship had just been refurbished and it showed. Really good job. I will say upfront that they got everything right with this cruise, from boarding to disembarkation. See ... Read More
First trip with P&O after 20+ cruises with other providers. The ship had just been refurbished and it showed. Really good job. I will say upfront that they got everything right with this cruise, from boarding to disembarkation. See my ratings below. The only complaints would be small personal niggles, which cannot really be put down to P&O. So everything was not perfect, but everyone has different tastes/standards. For instance, our table waiter at dinner was slow, but he was polite and still did a good job. In the scheme of things an extra 10/15 minutes at the table is not the end of the world. Standards of entertainment were excellent, even though not all artists were our cup of tea. They were all very professional, which cannot be said of some other cruise lines. Choice of entertainment throughout the day was huge and, again, if you wanted to complain, you would have to say that their was too much and you couldn't fit it all in. This was a 24 day cruise with a lot of sea days. Suits some but not others, but it is your choice when you book, so how do people justify complaining about this (some did!!). Similarly, products throughout the ship, including trips & internet, were quite expensive, but aren't they always? If you can get this cruise at the right price it is tremendous value. My one stand out comment would be the excellent choice and standard of food throughout the ship. Coupled with the Arcadia being an Adults Only ship, this celebration of my wife's 65th Birthday could not have gone better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival ... Read More
Went on this Caribbean cruise from Southampton to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. Never been to the Caribbean previously, but have cruised twice before with other operators. Embarkation was easy, booked arrival time was 15.00, we arrived about 20 minutes early but went straight through and we were having a cup of tea in our cabin by 15.15. Cabin was good and as expected. Steward, Thomas looked after us very well. Very windy crossing overnight to Coruna but the only thing that woke us at 04.00 was the banging of an unsecured balcony connecting door between ours and next doors.A phone call to reception got an immediate response and back to sleep we went. Although on Freedom dining we mainly dined in the Belvedere and found that satisfactory, although the flow of people around the various serveries could have been better managed by having a stock of trays and cutlery etc at the entrance as well as at the serveries. We went to the Meridian restaurant about 4 times (3 for black tie nights) and found the service and food quality to a good standard. We enjoyed the cruise, although the humidity in the Caribbean was much higher than usual- even the locals were complaining, so activity was curtailed to a extent. Most of the cruisers were above 50 years old, and were a happy group, although of course, there were the usual small number of those whose expectations seemed to be rather unrealistic. The Captain had a great sense of humour which helped particularly on days when the weather was not so good, and he did his best to keep out of the way of the worst. Ports of call, with the exception of Coruna where the weather was wet and there was not much of interest, were good and varied and gave us a insight into the Caribbean life both for the poor and the rich. Disembarkation went well although with a time slot of 9.15 to 9.30 there was some hanging about in the lounge having had to leave the cabin by 8.00. Whilst it's unlikely we would do this length of trip again- 16 sea days was great to relax but got a bit boring after leaving Ponta Delgada, we were certainly happy with the ship and if we were to cruise again would be looking for one of her other trips. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Getting on and off the ship first class, ship it's self was clean and tidy accept the rip in the seat in the Palladium. Cabin was clean but not dusted before or during our stay.I left my name on the stand of the TV in the dust. I ... Read More
Getting on and off the ship first class, ship it's self was clean and tidy accept the rip in the seat in the Palladium. Cabin was clean but not dusted before or during our stay.I left my name on the stand of the TV in the dust. I personalty own my own cleaning business, So wasn't happy. Entertainment great and the activities. Wasn't told there would be a formal night before we left so was very upset when there was one on board. The service in the restaurant was terrible, first we never had glasses or flowers on our table for the first 2 nights, 2 of the ladies had a bottle of white wine between them and had to ask for the bottle every time they wanted a drink, Three of us on our table of 6 didn't drink alcohol, but not once was we offered anything to drink. The food was bland tasteless and served with no grace everything was to much trouble, but the last night they fell over each other to serve us we even had soft drinks offered us. Would have helped if there was transport from the port to the centre of Amsterdam. Its was a good walk and being in our 50's, 70's and 80's we were tied to do much else. This was to be a warm up to my 60th birthday to see if I liked it to go on a longer one. Still trying to make up my mind !!|!!!!, All my friends are long term cruisers . One lady with us had only been home a week from a Caribbean cruise , she was served a bowl of soup the bowl was red hot but sadly she had to send it back as the soup was cold. Oh and to finish on a funny note.... our 82yr old member and 53yr member of the group was waiting for the lift on our last day, when it arrived there was a couple having sex on the floor of the lift. We did laugh but !!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Just got back from Arcadia’s first cruise after her refit. Everything was as you would expect apart from a few little niggles Cabin clean and tidy Celeste was a great cabin steward, unobtrusive but efficient. Food was standard ... Read More
Just got back from Arcadia’s first cruise after her refit. Everything was as you would expect apart from a few little niggles Cabin clean and tidy Celeste was a great cabin steward, unobtrusive but efficient. Food was standard P&O fare good but not over fussy, waiters all friendly and helpful Only niggle on the food was their decision to mash up the Stilton on the second night so the crust was served without any cheese. Didn’t make sense to me. Drinks were reasonable. Wine list very extensive. Those we tried were excellent. Heard some people being refused certain spirit brands on the menu not in stock. I was refused tanqery gin as it was out of stock. I guess this will be resolved by next cruise. All new carpets looked great the refit has improved the ship. Still some water coming through the ceilings in some P.O. lick areas and a couple of lifts not working. But to be honest we’ve seen that on lots of other ships. All in all great cruise pity we couldn’t afford more time off work for a longer cruise. We will no doubt cruise on her again Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
As a customer on a present cruise I am not interested/concerned with a future refit as everything should be in tip top condition now before the planned refit. The ship was due to set sail for Germany at noon on 31st October. Well I have ... Read More
As a customer on a present cruise I am not interested/concerned with a future refit as everything should be in tip top condition now before the planned refit. The ship was due to set sail for Germany at noon on 31st October. Well I have never been on a ship that had so many toilet facility failures during a cruise. Lifts, sinks, toilets and laundry machines out of action, all going to be put right though with the refit? The food, staff were amazing as were the entertainment provided The cabin on deck 7 was great. B32 Port side with bath overhead shower and balcony. The ship seems to creak quite a lot, so much so that my wife had to wear ear plugs at night to get to sleep. We were transported to Southampton by feeder coach, which was brilliant, we were on the ship and at our cabin within twenty minutes after leaving the coach, the cabin was great , however the bathroom was starting to look a bit tired, but served its purpose. We had decided to book freedom dining which was a great decision, the entertainment and activities were so very good throughout the entire cruise. The staff throughout the entire ship were simply amazing. We visited some great Caribbean islands and met some great people both on and off the islands. Overall the cruise was very enjoyable, would I travel on the ship again? well yes I suppose we would, especially after this much needed refit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Hope you are prepared for this! We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. Windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make ... Read More
Hope you are prepared for this! We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. Windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make sure everyone attended (a bit of a shambles in the theatre with some people who didn't show their card and never got asked for it). Then back to complete unpacking and ready for dinner. First sitting on table for six and delightful table companions. One couple had been upgraded to a suite so at that point felt quite jealous.... First night a little windy but nothing untoward however it gradually increased - force 7, force 8, until one evening yes, you guessed it force 10..... (so glad I had taken my seasick tablets!!) However I felt Arcadia coped well, although the bangs, bumps and creaking did cause several comments. I no longer felt jealous of , our now friends , in the suite as it was situated at the stern right over the propellers and very very noisy and bumpy in their cabin. It was five days before we could really venture outside safely. No swimming pool neither - far too dangerous. But it was lovely being rocked to sleep each night. Finally got into New York which was extremely busy and very hot (Donald Trump and United Nations in town!!!!!) Very high security everywhere and lots of roads closed off to traffic so our taxi driver had to drop us off in the middle of the road. Then the fun started again, New Port missed because the hurricane was catching up, made Boston safely in the pouring rain but Bar Harbor missed because again bad weather catching up. Eventually got safely into Halifax where we had a trip to Peggy's Cove which was far too short - about 40 minutes there- then back on board ready to leave. BUT NO - a rope tight around asipod so we were stuck! So instead of sailing away for Saguenay we stayed in Halifax and the next day we wandered into the quayside. By the way, we had to berth much further down than usual so we had to use a shuttle bus just to get out of the secure area where we were. Then we had to miss Saguenay and straight on to Quebec for our two day stay-Wrong Again we didn't arrive until 9 pm the first day so one day there missed. Second day in Quebec was lovely. Bright and sunny. THEN as we prepare for sail away the captain informed us that instead of going on to Sydney we were going to head BACK to Saguenay as that was a much nicer port sailing up the fiord . If anyone does go to Saguenay, the "La Fabuleuse " show is not to be missed. It is absolutely amazing, brilliant, wonderful..... However by this time many people were very unhappy as missing out on tours, disappointed at missing seeing relatives and often general lack of information. Personally, hubby and I felt the captain did the best he could and the excursion staff went all out to rearrange tours and put on additional ones for people where possible. Total of three ports missed and shortened stay in Quebec. Of course this further change to the itinerary meant six days at sea coming home instead of five. However P&O did compensate a bit with the odd bribe here and there..... BUT FOR US the icing on the cake was on the third day into the cruise whilst in the middle of the Atlantic we booked a further cruise -ON ADONIA! Eight days later we joined a large queue of people trying to find a new cruise to book...honestly the loyalty manager didn't even know about the sale of Adonia.. Arcadia is still a good ship although perhaps a little tired in places. Unfortunately several couples had to move cabin because of leaks etc - one couple three times, but she is going in for a full refit in November when all these problems will be solved (hopefully). The food in the MDR was excellent. Plenty of choice and as much as you wanted if you asked. The Headliners on this cruise were the best we have seen on any cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the shows. The entertainment manager was also brilliant and really worked hard as did his team. Other entertainment varied but I always feel it is personal choice - I didn't like the second show by the comedian but hubby did! I loved the local dance team brought on -but hubby didn't. The usual Art and Bridge classes were well attended and there were plenty of interesting talks etc every day. Overall I think it was a good cruise despite lots of problems and as usual all the P&O staff on board were brilliant and couldn't do enough for you. Can not say the same for the shop staff who are often quite rude and pushy. Next cruise in May is on Oriana for the first time but we will certainly go back to Arcadia as soon as possible. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Embarkation well organised, onboard for late lunch. Deluxe balcony cabin very clean, plenty of space but needs decorating and new bath fitments. Food was consistently good both in meridian restaurant and Buffett. Cabin steward, waiters etc ... Read More
Embarkation well organised, onboard for late lunch. Deluxe balcony cabin very clean, plenty of space but needs decorating and new bath fitments. Food was consistently good both in meridian restaurant and Buffett. Cabin steward, waiters etc and reception all great. Toilets often out of service around ship which was a nuisance. Headliners in the Palladium were fantastic, better than Broadway! Entertainment team real fun. So why the disappointment? Would have all been ok really if it was a 7 day trip but for 24 days the variety in daily activities was limited and evenings were not really organised to occasion with the lamentable DJ one of the problems.One passenger said "its a cruise for the oldies, what did you expect"? Whilst it was adults only we did expect more. Gym was ok but all the talks in there were repeated and limited knowledge- just a marketing ploy. New York stop went fine although immigration took a while. We booked our own trips as ships too expensive. Had to cancel Bar Harbour and then Quebec one as only 1 full day there. Information from the Captain was limited - we were told due to the hurricane weather Newport stop bypassed as it was a tender & would not be safe - ok. Onto Boston. Bar Harbour & Sidney - also tender ports cancelled although we found out later other ships had no problems using them. Propeller problem gave us 2 days in Halifax which is lovely, but due to lack of info we all rushed back at 4 pm to be told we had the extra time. Quebec only 1 full day and then a right mix up for the excursion team again when backtracking to Saguenay instead of Sidney! Too many days at sea a not enough port stops! We did have Champagne that the family had organised for our Anniversary - but delivered 6 days late! We were given onboard spending but bought things we didn't really want in the expensive onboard shops so they got it back. Also advised we would have money off future trip but when we enquired were given very misleading info so won't bother for a while. To us the ship was not really big enough for a long trip and was more geared to seniors more senior than we are. Saying that, there were some great ones onboard! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first cruise and a bit of a special occasion for ourselves but where do I start! Toilets constantly not working and this was due to the system unable to cope not blockages as staff tried to infer. This was not just our ... Read More
This was our first cruise and a bit of a special occasion for ourselves but where do I start! Toilets constantly not working and this was due to the system unable to cope not blockages as staff tried to infer. This was not just our cabin but everywhere on the ship. Leaks springing up everywhere, through walls, ceilings and blow dryers constantly in use throughout the ship. We excepted this was a long cruise for our first one and the weather on the crossing was force 7-9 for 3 of the days, this was not a problem you expect this on the Atlantic. The ship was tired and much in need of a refit or replacement we excepted this and looked forward to the ports of call and shore trips we had booked. We finally arrived at New York and told ourselves, here we go this is what we signed up for. New York was ok but spoiled by immigration who took from 10:00 till 16:00 to process passengers off the ship, we managed to finally get into the city at just gone 14:00. This was not P&O's fault, just the Americans being there normal anal selves.! We left NY and from that point it just went down hill even more. Rhode Island Bar Harbour Saguenay ( Later to be reinstated and Sydney cancelled ) All the above ports cancelled and then to cap it off, 1 day in Quebec and not 2!! Weather was to blame we were informed and the Captain was not prepared to launch the tenders. ( 4 other Cruise liners, when we spoke to passengers ashore, managed to call at all of these ports with no problem ) Service in the restaurants was very good, we eat in The Ocean Grill 3 times and this was excellent and highly recommended by ourselves. Entertainment was first class. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click