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108 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as there were three ports of call new to ourselves. Lido Deck Too large a comfortable seating area earmarked for smokers, particularly when public areas (on land) are discouraging the habit. Dining ... Read More
We chose this cruise as there were three ports of call new to ourselves. Lido Deck Too large a comfortable seating area earmarked for smokers, particularly when public areas (on land) are discouraging the habit. Dining Surprisingly, choice of all three courses at dinner required when ordering. One does not always know whether one might even wish for a third course after the first and second courses but, if so required, the third course should then be allowed to be chosen accordingly. Lido Buffet 'Frozen' pats of butter taking 10 minutes + to soften and thus able to be spread by which time one's toast was even colder! Though 'Freedom Diners' we ate dinner in the Lido Buffet on several evenings as the menu was just as good as the Meridian Restaurant, without the waiter service of course. Sun Deck subjected to falls of soot particularates causing sun bathers to scatter and the Lido Pool to be temporarily closed for cleaning. Admittedly these are fairly inconsequential points, none of which spoilt our cruise but, nevertheless, may be worthy of note for the powers that be. We appreciate that everyone can't be pleased and conscious that there's a great deal to organise and be responsible for and for that we were grateful and contributed to a generally enjoyable cruise. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now ... Read More
Have travelled with P & O several times and although there have been issues, we have returned as they do represent good value for money, up until now that is. 16 day Baltic Cruise on Arcadia, first time on this ship and tips now included. BIG MISTAKE!! Ship was tired, maintenance work forever going on around the deck, why do we pay for a holiday to have this, should be in dock to get it done. Staff were deplorable, couldn’t care less, never saw our maid for the first 2 days after which she would shout along the corridor to her colleague at 7.30 in the morning. Had to speak to her about this several times. Freedom dining was a farce, only dined there 4 times in 16 days as the wait was at least 30-40 minutes after which the table service was even worse. First night it took 3 hours to complete our meal. Food was acceptable but totally boring. Resorted to the Belvedere “café” for the remainder of the days where the waiting staff couldn’t even be bothered to supply us with water of an evening. The food here was shocking, totally mixed up, fried cod in batter next to curry dishes so had to go elsewhere if you wanted chips. Too salty and the same old thing night after night. Couldn’t get ice cream, imagine that. Our cabin wasn’t clean either, spilled stuff on ledges was still there after the whole holiday and it wasn’t our spillage either. Toilets around the ship were mostly blocked and out of order and nothing being done about it. Norovirus broke out the last week. Thankfully never caught it due to being careful. Entertainment was boring, no guest acts, no-one we had ever heard of, they usually have someone of renown but not this time, never attended one show. The cruise itinerary was good though and we enjoyed all the ports although Fredericia was our least favourite. We only booked trips in St. Petersburg for obvious reasons (no visa needed) and they were fine although the evening river cruise was like an old ex serviceman’s outing, all old tables on an old boat, one glass of sweet plonk and the nibbles were inedible to me. The shuttle bus to town from the ship in places that were too far to walk was £4 per person each way, a total rip off and P & O homed in on this knowing there was little choice for us. I could write a book on this cruise. All in all it was like a cheap package holiday to Spain. They stress when booking that no logo clothes or words to that effect are to be worn but there were plenty about the ship and no-one ever attempted to do anything about it. Will look forward to trying a better cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our first time with P +O, having previously sailed with Holland America, Oceana, Regent. We costtravelled with 2 friends who had been on 3 previous cruises with P+O. Our expectations were not high but our friends made the trip most ... Read More
Our first time with P +O, having previously sailed with Holland America, Oceana, Regent. We costtravelled with 2 friends who had been on 3 previous cruises with P+O. Our expectations were not high but our friends made the trip most enjoyable. We had an outside balcony cabin which was clean but very outdated. The whole ship was tired and needs a complete refit to bring it up to date. Having said that the majority of staff were very friendly and were interactive. We had loads of banter. The itinery was on the whole very good, the highlights being Fredericia, St Petersburg and Helsinki. Godynia was a waste of time and would have preferred an extra day in Helsinki. The entertainment overall wasn't bad, the resident musicians and acts were okay. We went to the main theatre on 4 occasions and enjoyed what we saw. The food in the main dining room, and buffet was perfectly edible but boring and unremarkable. There was a distinct lack of of seasoning and we thought that the ship had bought a job lot of Green Beans and Spinach. The Belvedere buffet resembled a canteen The real bad points: Trips were expensive, there was a charge of £4 pp each way on the shuttle bus from the port into the centre. This meant it would cost a total of £16 per cabin, a complete rip off. Bottled water had to be paid for and one always felt that P+O were always looking at ways to get extra money. You never felt that they ever wanted to go the extra mile and exceed ones expectations Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a special holiday for us – my mum was 80 last year and always wanted to visit St Petersburg, but she won’t fly – so a Baltic cruise we thought would be ideal. This was our second cruise we had wanted to book the cruise to ... Read More
This was a special holiday for us – my mum was 80 last year and always wanted to visit St Petersburg, but she won’t fly – so a Baltic cruise we thought would be ideal. This was our second cruise we had wanted to book the cruise to the Baltics last year but had left it late to book, as there was 3 of us and we couldn’t get a deal for a cabin for 3. Last year we went on a short cruise (6 days) with Royal Caribbean – before booking a more expensive 16 day cruise with P&O this year. I must say the best part of the P&O cruise was the staff and service – we had a really great cabin steward who just made our cruise better with the warm service and the waiters and waitresses as the bars and restaurants worked hard and were great. On the whole though we rate the cruise a 3 out of 5. Three days in to the journey and some of the lifts weren’t working, some of the public toilets weren’t working (which was blamed on travellers putting things down the toilet systems) and 3 days before the end of the cruise we had a Norovirus breakout. You may think these things happen, but then I’ve since read that during Arcadia’s previous cruise in July 2019 (and June) – all these three things occurred during those journey's – broken lifts, blocked toilets and the norovirus breakouts? The ship needs serious overhauling – these things are basic. I think P&0 have their loyal core travellers - but to us as new to cruising I’m afraid we wouldn’t pick P&O again – the main thing for us was the food – it just wasn’t as good quality as food with Royal Caribbean last year. We had two meals at the Meridian restaurant which were inedible – pork fillet (so tough you couldn’t get your fork into it) and Hake was a lump of small grey fish, full of bones – looked and tasted disgusting. We ate at the Ocean Grill, twice – first time was exceptional and second time was just ok (again the fish was awful with the fish not being white, having the skin still on and bones) we also ate at Sindhu which we enjoyed. We felt the entertainment fell way short of what the Royal Caribbean had offered last year – just couldn’t get the hype with the singing/dancing group – who seemed to be involved every other night – just stage school singing and dancing. We booked 3 excursion trips with P&O – the first was exceptional – vintage tram tour of Helskini, we had a great tour guide who just made the day - everything was spot on. We also booked a 2 day tour of St Petersburg – very expensive – but there was a lot to see and do and we didn’t want to miss anything. I would question the need to visit the food market on the first day – I saw this as a waste of our time. The food we had to eat on both days wasn’t good – we understood that we were visiting a local restaurant on the first day – but then to get Greek salad (what’s Russian about that) beef stroganoff (with some sort of meat that had been cooking it seemed for days and no sauce) and then a piece of cake with ice cream that was frozen and couldn’t eat – the only part we enjoyed was the bread, water and wine. Plus the service – there was no welcome, hello or smile to be had by anyone serving us. Again the tour guide was exceptional. The third trip was the Leisurely Oslo tour – which was £40 for a 2 hour trip – 1.5 hours in the coach seeing the sights of Oslo – which was ok – we had picked this at mum being 81 had two full days in St Petersburg so though a coach tour would have been ideal and more leisurely – but the destination to the ski jump just didn’t work when out of season and you didn’t get to see the ski jump in use so to speak – they would have been better stopping at the park. Really overpriced and a bit of a rip-off. Another thing was the location of the cabin, as not being regular cruisers we were given a cabin in the front of the ship and we felt the ship moving quite a bit and indeed got motion sickness when the weather was rough travelling to and from Oslo. I had phoned as we had booked so far in advance and prices had fallen by £600 when I made a call to see if we could upgrade to another part of the ship – but was told there wasn’t any point there was not difference in the cabins – but why then do you have the different price ranges for the same cabin class. Felt we had been fobbed off with this – not good customer service. Embarkation and Disembarkation – went smoothly – from arriving at the terminal to checking in – we were in our rooms in half-an hour. Our cabin steward (Michael) was superb – friendly, efficient and good humoured. . Perhaps because we had meals that we didn’t enjoy and a couple that were inedible we felt that paying the extra £700 between the three of us for the Select Price/Option for freedom dining we just didn’t see the value on this occasion as we only “walked in” on 2 of our nights on all the other nights when we ate at the Meridian restaurants we had to wait between 20-40 minutes – no big deal as you could go to the piano bar for a pre dinner drink – but maybe this should be limited to numbers for it to work.Seemed to us that most people had opted for the freedom dining – the 8.30 sitting in the bottom restaurant was more than half empty With regard to the destination the highlights for us apart from seeing St Petersburg, was Helsinki (would definitely go back) and indeed enjoyed all the destinations apart from Gdynia (there was nothing there you would need to fork out for an excursion to Gdansk) would have preferred perhaps an extra day in Helsinki or could stopping in Estonia be an option. P&O beats Royal Caribbean in terms of drinks prices – much cheaper paying for your drinks in pounds – RC much more expensive with cocktails being around $11-$14 dollars – where here we paid just under £7 for a cocktail and wine here much more value for money. It’s not a cheap trip with on board spend, and excursions we spent over £9K for the three of us – so we wanted it to be better. We enjoyed ourselves and I don’t normally complain but we so wanted to love this cruise so we could pick P&O again – but it fell short for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as it was going to places we wanted to visit, we had not been on Arcadia before and my birthday occurred during the cruise period. First impressions were very much on the lines of this HAS been a lovely ship but is ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was going to places we wanted to visit, we had not been on Arcadia before and my birthday occurred during the cruise period. First impressions were very much on the lines of this HAS been a lovely ship but is now very tired. We had no wish to spend three and half days in Malaga and as the stay lengthened were concerned other ports may have to be cancelled. One can only presume the additional work was brought about by the company extensively running the azipod in a damaged condition. Why divers had to be flown from USA goodness only knows. As usual information from P&O was scant For most of the cruise large sections of the Promenade deck were closed to passengers while.painting was carried out. The overpowering small of paint was not pleasant albeit it did help mask the stench of sewage which pervaded the starboard side of that deck. At least three lifts were out of action for the whole cruise. Food in the Belvedere was tasteless as was custard in all restaurants. In Dubrovnik someone had the bright idea to put a trainee "driver" in charge of a tender. The vessel was packed, little air and at the port he had no idea what he was doing as a result we bobbed around and watches another tender overtake us and dock. The shops supply of yellow buckets were put to good use catching dripping water presumably from the air-conditioning. There was more but this is long enough. We certainly won't be going back on Arcadia Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had been wanting to try another cruise line and this P&O visit to the Mediterranean fitted in with with this. Arriving at the Cruise terminal at the appointed time meant a swift processing and rapid boarding even if the cabins ... Read More
We had been wanting to try another cruise line and this P&O visit to the Mediterranean fitted in with with this. Arriving at the Cruise terminal at the appointed time meant a swift processing and rapid boarding even if the cabins were not ready. When we were able to access ours we found clean, the bed looked good and the bathroom was fine. The cases arrived shortly after so we were into unpacking when the call for life boat drill came. Our muster station was the Palladium theatre along with countless other. Unfortunately the place we chose had steep steps, The drill was straightforward and included putting on a life jacket. As we had opted for Freedom Dining and we had been advised to get to the upper deck of the Meridian early so we had a chance of a table for 2, we queued up half an hour early. Using this tactic we always had the same table for two and were we well looked after by James & Michael. We tried lunch once in the Meridian but this did not offer the soup and salad we like. The Belvedere was huge, daunting and difficult to find what we wanted. Thereafter we had a snack in the cabin and a coffee in the Vivo cafe. The menus are lengthy in the Meridian. It rapidly became clear that all meat varied from tough to very tough so we almost always had fish.On one occasion the fish was impenetrable and was replaced with properly cooked one which was as palatable as my wife’s. For some nights there were fancy menus designed by Marco Pierre White or a Chef’s special. We had a glass of wine one night and my red was not fit to be drunk. We used the Cafe Vivo which was good value and served Costa coffee at the right temperature. On this cruise most of the time people were out side enjoying the sun. We did notice that the two seats in the Art Gallery were invariable taken, the being the only sitting places that were free of waiters bring to sell drinks. Due to a “technical problem” so the email from P&O we would be spending an extra day in Malaga. The technical problem turned out to be fishing gear fouling a propeller and also turned out to require much more time and we actually sailed at 1205 am on the fifth day. Malaga was the one port on the itinerary that we did not want to go to. P&O (Carnival) stated that there would be no compensation for this or missing the call at Messina beyond a token gesture about Spanish taxes on drinks. A letter to this effect was delivered to our cabin with the implication that we should claim on our insurance for missing Messina. Claiming on the insurance means that the premium will rise to cover this and I do not pay for expensive policies so that Carnival can avoid facing the cost of compensating us for our loss of enjoyment. A knock on of the prolonged stay was that we had to fit in 3 formal nights in 5 days so these nights were nothing special. There was an out break of norovirus which was a brought under control speedily. However the hand sanitisation was not enforced at every restaurant and not easily seen in the bars and cafe. Indeed at one the officer (maitre d’) made no effort whatsoever to help those of us who wanted to us the sanitiser before entering a restaurant he was in charge of. The rest of the cruise was blessed with calm seas so maximum speed could be maintained and the time in the remaining ports was as planned. However it was hot with Cagliari being over 35 degrees. Disembarkation was relatively painless. We are giving P&O another chance as we were able to relax and do as we pleased. Ports: Malaga. Shuttle bus to centre or a longish walk. Interesting for a day Venice. Ordered ticket never arrived. Split: Used the free shuttle bus which was a good move as the walk looked as though it dodged ferry terminals and a bus station. Diocletian's Palace was well worth seeing and is free. Dubrovnik. Anchor port but the tenders were both frequent and easy to use and much better than a shuttle bus as we were landed on the edge of the old town. Well worth exploring but pick up a map. Cagliari. Far too hot so we did not explore it. We did find an air conditioned cafe at the top of a department store. Gibraltar. Afternoon call. Walked into town as the queues for the shuttle seemed lengthy and it only gets you so far. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as sailing around the fjords had been on our bucket list for some time. We booked late, all that was left was cabins with restricted views. We had a cabin on E deck, with a magnificent view of a lifeboat which of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as sailing around the fjords had been on our bucket list for some time. We booked late, all that was left was cabins with restricted views. We had a cabin on E deck, with a magnificent view of a lifeboat which of course we were expecting. The cabin was kept scrupulously clean throughout the cruise by our cabin boy, Sandum. We gave him a generous tip when we returned to Southampton, especially as tips are now at the passengers’ discretion. We were happy with the cabin on the whole but we would have liked some warning when crew members were going to be working outside our window on the lifeboats! We were allocated First Sitting in the Meridian Dining Room. Our first meal there was not a success as my husband had to return his steak which was impossible to cut through, a replacement was immediately served which was much better than the original. We later learnt that several people at that sitting were unhappy with their steaks, apparently a new supplier was at fault. I ordered sticky toffee pudding for dessert, this is the first time I have had this pudding without any sticky toffee! It was very dry and the custard was tasteless and runny. The next evening we returned for our second meal at First Sitting. This time the staff got our wine order wrong, we had ordered Sauvignon Blanc but for some reason the wine waitress turned up with Zinfandel! She returned a second time to say we had ordered Zinfandel, we again said she had got the order wrong. She then returned a 3rd time, this time with a Head Waiter who asked us again if we had ordered Zinfandel. Again we said, ‘No’ ! The next day whilst having lunch in the Belvedere Buffet a Restaurant Manager (Clive) was doing his rounds asking people if they were happy with the food. We told him of our experiences and he immediately offered us Freedom Dining on the upper floor of the Meridian Restaurant. Our dining experience upstairs was far better than First Sitting, food was hotter, service much more professional and caring and we managed to get a window table each evening. We later met up with a fellow passenger who was on our table at First Sitting, he told us he had sent back 5 meals because they were almost cold. We were surprised to see a cruise ship displaying so much rust, especially on the outside where surely first impressions are important! Also on the decks we were surrounded by rails and doors badly in need of another coat of varnish, more rust, lots of drips affecting the deck. On all our previous cruises we have remarked on how hard the crew work on maintaining all areas of the ship. We did not see this on Arcadia, during the whole length of the cruise we just saw 2 crew members repainting. On Princess and Celebrity there are crew on deck continually varnishing and painting throughout the cruise. Also the interior of the ship looks tired, carpets look dirty, handrails on stairs lack the gleam that we are used to, again, we have seen cleaners polishing stair handrails all the time on other cruise lines. The highlight of the holiday was cruising through the fjords. Spectacularly beautiful with stunning waterfalls and awesome glaciers. We spent most of our time on the top deck for this part of the cruise because of our restricted view in the cabin. We only did one ship’s excursion, to the wonderful Briksdal Glacier. This was one tour we didn’t mind paying for, the glacier is thousands of years old. The walk up to it is steep in parts but quite manageable. Like on all cruises, the price of excursions is expensive. Several of the ports had ‘hop on - hop off’ buses and shuttles, I can recommend these, so much cheaper than a ship’s tour. Interesting ports of call, especially Bergen with its historic buildings and fish market. Entertainment on board was good. Special mention must go to the on-board orchestra who were exceptionally talented. We enjoyed the violinist and the magician particularly. The ship’s company of singers/dancers worked hard to keep us entertained. We enjoyed the Queen tribute in particular. We like quizzes and managed to do at least 2 a day. We also attended the very informative lectures on the Vikings by Sandy. So generally we enjoyed the cruise which we chose for the itinerary. P and O was not our first choice of cruise company but it was the only one which had this itinerary for the preferred duration. We noted several fellow passengers were die- hard, loyal P and O customers and would not have sailed with any other cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Opportunity to transit Panama Canal.Embarkation excellent. Cabin reasonable. Staff very friendly and helpful. Special mention to Sam for port excursion talks- excellent and Albano our cabin steward who was excellent. Misty Blue trio very ... Read More
Opportunity to transit Panama Canal.Embarkation excellent. Cabin reasonable. Staff very friendly and helpful. Special mention to Sam for port excursion talks- excellent and Albano our cabin steward who was excellent. Misty Blue trio very good and sail away parties enjoyable. Downside lack of dress code enforcement- on formal nights people seen in shorts, t shirts which spoils it for those making an effort. Quizzes every night in almost every bar- bad if you don’t like quizzes -crows nest should be a quiz free zone!! Too many smoking areas around the ship spoiling the walk around the promenade deck!!! Smoking rules not enforced especially round the pool in the Aquarius bar. Booked the Ocean Grill and Sindhu on a few occasions as we didn’t like queuing for food -menu limited and fish in Ocean Grill very dry- staff good though. Had to ask for more toiletries when ours ran out which is bad. Ship had so many leaks so buckets wer strewn around the deck -not very nice. Seemed to be too many passengers for the size of the ship- had to wait ages for lifts- ok for us but people with disabilities suffered. Sometimes couldn’t get into the theatre as people had been reserving seats early on.Lack of performances from Headliners. Guest speakers on the whole were very entertaining. Captain’s cocktail party was farcical -too many people in the Neptune bar to be enjoyable. I don’think we will travel with P and O again as we have travelled with Cunard before and although more expensive it is a little less like a holiday camp. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first "C'mas & New Year" cruise and only our 2nd with P & O. Intriguingly, the first was on Arcadia back in 2006. Subsequent experiences on Cunard and Regent may have tainted our view of this cruise ... Read More
This was our first "C'mas & New Year" cruise and only our 2nd with P & O. Intriguingly, the first was on Arcadia back in 2006. Subsequent experiences on Cunard and Regent may have tainted our view of this cruise tbh. For the most part it was, pretty much, what we expected. We opted for freedom dining and we had an aft suite on the port side. We met some interesting & friendly people and enjoyed the "shared table" experience quite often, particularly at lunch time. P & O do a few things very well - embarkation was surprisingly painless and swift, we had a lovely buffet on arrival. Sadly that was the only "lovely buffet" we had all trip. Entertainment is, generally, first class. The ship entertainers varied from mediocre to outstanding. We particularly liked the lounge pianist Steve Kingsbury who entertained us regally whether it be afternoon or evening. His range & versatility, the ability to switch from classical to musicals and "pop" was terrific. Lovely guy too, enjoyed chatting with him around the ship, he helped to make our cruise special. Equally, Small Talk duo were very good and the Headliners group were excellent, except for a couple of very "shouty" lead female singers whose performances were often marred by them simply screeching instead of singing. Guest entertainers varied too but some, like the Base Tones, Runaround Kids (on C'mas day) and, remarkably, Bernie Flint were fantastic in our view. Elektra and Ida were also very good - it just seems so long since we saw them performing! Others ere ok, sometimes just not our taste The fine dining options were superb, we chose to eat 6 times in Ocean Grill and 5 in Sinhu - they were that good. Food and service in both is excellent. The additional "extra supplement" charges for some items in OG is really irritating though. We ate breakfast in Sindhu too as we were in a suite. This is an example of P & O getting it right. Comfortable surroundings, assigned table, great service and good food options. Nadia and the rest of the team there are all very good. The main dining room was very good for lunch and the food in the evening was usually hot and well presented. Not always the most inspiring menu choices, perhaps, but everything was fine The real disappointment on the food side was the buffet - which was fairly awful for both lunch and dinner. We only bothered occasionally but I have never seen such a poor selection of salad items, desperately sad looking cold meat and fish offerings and the hot food was generally themed but always seemed to lack any imagination. Most of the time the cold selection did not vary from day to day - but it was a miracle if the same dressings appeared. Never been a fan of scampering around to find a table anyway but the lack of seating in the buffet, particularly, at busy lunch times is quite marked on this ship. I enjoyed the spa, used it most days, and had several massages - Sophie and Shanda are excellent therapists. The Spa Manager, from Zimbabwe, was lovely and extremely courteous and professional - not sure how you spell her name, Kundzi or similar, I think - sorry I didn't take note of it because she was great. Unfortunately,the crossing was lively so we didn't get to use the pools much. Which brings us to some of the problems: The Captain decided to re-route to avoid bad weather but his some pretty huge swells and bad weather anyway. The first few nights were atrocious and sleep was almost impossible at the aft of the ship due to the excessive vibration and incredible noises that emanated from the back of the vessel. We also had a few technical issues with the suite, these ranged from a loud banging all day and night - which I discovered was due to a badly fitted dividing panel between us and next door's balcony. We were told the shower would be re-grouted but waited over a week, including days when we were off the ship on trips, for that to happen, when it did it was when we returned to the suite at c 5.00 pm & wanted to prepare for dinner, so the lack of communication was an issue there. A similar issue in respect of a broken lounger chair handle also occurred. The change of route also cost us our first day in port at Bermuda, which was major disappointment for many of us - who chose the trip, in part, due the stop over in Bermuda! When the ship came loose from its moorings and floated around Hamilton harbour at 3.00 am we, seriously, started to question the overall control and management of the vessel. The Captain's attempts at humour and glib comments about the mishaps didn't do much to endear him to us either. I would not wish to be on a ship if he was at the helm again - I've never had to think about that before. Along with several others that I spoke to who shared the same opinion,, we found him to be far too aloof and, basically, cavalier about the whole thing. The good news was that we enjoyed the ports, although Nassau was a bit of disappointment. The "best of " excursion left quite a bit to be desired there. However, Antigua, St Lucia Grand Turk and Barbados more than made up for that, as did a wet nd windy stop in the Azores. Terceira was very interesting and we loved visiting the city of Angra as well as Praia de Vittoria, a quaint and colonial port. We were baffled by the shore excursion process - no staff to control it just a free for all getting of the ship, which was frenetic and caused long queues in several ports. Local guides did all the controlling & shore excursion staff simply pointed people, vaguely, in the right direction to find them. That was just plain weird tbh and could be handled far more efficiently and effectively. Fortunately, in our case, the local guides were first class and managed to rescue the situation well on each occasion. My other gripe is the fact that public lounge areas are not the most practical for a ship this size. The Piano Bar is actually just a corridor with seats in it! Many of which are not suitably positioned to hear/see the entertainment on offer. Likewise, the Crows Nest seating arrangement is awful - half the seats face sideways or directly opposite the stage area. Intermezzo is a strange and not particularly comfortable lounge that rarely gets used and looks a bit of an after thought. Overall, there were some highlights, some disappointments and some serious flaws - it will be some time before we consider cruising with P & O again tbh. I would have to say that we did enjoy spending the festive period on board but wouldn't rush back to repeat it. I think the advantage of not flying was outweighed by the lack of variety of day time entertainment on the ship and, on this trip, the risk of a bad crossing at that time of year but we prefer smaller ships anyway. Bit of a lengthy review but it was an eventful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take ... Read More
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take it because it was cheaper than the train tickets from London to Bruges and it would include 'hotel' and food, so it seemed like a good deal. Turns out it wasn't the best idea. Due to high seas and strong winds we could not dock at Zeebruges so it turned into a cruise to nowhere, which would have been fine if the whole point wasn't to see the Bruges Christmas Market. We were also not offered anything in compensation, which I know they don't have to do, you take your chances, however, every other cruise line I've been on has at minimum reimbursed for port charges and most have given passengers a small OBC. While the inability to dock couldn't be helped, the way they handled it could have been much better. I've been on many cruises where we have missed a stop and the entertainment team has always gone out of the way to add items to the itinerary to account for the added number of people that would be on board (since it's assumed most passengers will disembark at the port. This was not the case with the Arcadia. For example their were 2 showings of Mama Mia Here we go Again, in a VERY small venue and it was completely packed. There was nothing else going on this that venue the remaining time, so they could have easily added one or two additional showings. I think the worse part was lunch, they only have one side of the buffet open even though, again everyone was on board. There were very few places to sit and people were waiting a long time for items to be replenished. Outside of the issue with missing the port, the food (which is very subjective) was very British, full english available both mornings, although the scrambled eggs were not cooked well, they were very runny with a sign above them stating you shouldn't eat egg products that were not fully cooked. The first day lunch buffet featured prime rib but all of it was completely well done, which is a total waste of good food. I found most items on the buffet to be cold, the way the buffet is set up it does not keep the items warm at all. I was assigned late dining in the main dining room and had dinner there the first night, not a lot on the menu that appealed, the shrimp cocktail was a bed of lettuce with what we call in the states salad shrimp (or bait LOL). They were very tiny and smothered in sauce. The main was a steak and chips, I ordered it rare and it was medium which apparently is the best they could do. The chips were great, but could have used some ketchup. Dessert (pudding) was advertised as a triple chocolate molten cake, which was not a cake. It was more of a dense gelatinous mousse, inedible, the accompanying ice cream was good. I decided the next night that nothing on the menu in the main dining room interested me, a lot of fish and liver. So, I went to the Asian themed buffet. Again the food could have been much better if it wasn't cold. The sweet and sour chicken used the same chicken goujons from the Neptune grill but overcooked (very stringy). The little egg rolls were the best thing on the buffet, I must have caught them at the right time because they were actually hot. Entertainment - I felt like this ship is stuck in the late 90s, it reminded me very much of the first cruise I went on where the entertainment was only 'live music' in the different bars. I believe there was one 80s music trivia. While it's an older ship and there aren't all the bells and whistles you'll find on a newer ship (zip line, water slides, rock walls, ice skating etc), I would expect something more. They could have done the comedy game shows like the quest or match your mate. They have one very small theater for movies, seats about 30 but the movies they showed were old ones already out on DVD. There was also NOTHING to do during the early diner seating, other than hang out in a bar. I even tried the casino but while it was open they had no dealers for any of the games and just some VERY OLD slot machines. Cabin - as I booked so late I had a gty inside which I did not find out which cabin until I got to the port. I was in E165 which is aft. The cabin was fine, it was my first inside cabin and I did miss the window especially since I spent a lot of time there due to the lack of entertainment I spent a good deal of time reading and napping LOL. I did sit by the pool on afternoon to be able to see the ocean but it was a bit chilly. The cabin steward was fine, he brought ice every evening as requested. Specialty / Room Service Dining - I was originally going to Ocean View which has a cover charge of 22.95, which I was fine with paying until I looked at the menu and saw that 99.9% of the items had a surcharge, I believe the only item you could get w/o a surcharge was the salmon or chopped steak, since that annoyed me I didn't go, just up the charge and include everything. I also did not order room service, first because I couldn't find the room service menu and then second because there was a charge. I think the ships that are going to charging for room service are ridiculous and I'm boycotting. Breakfast room service is included. Overall service was fine, I did have a hard time getting the bar servers in the dining room to take my order and they were very slow returning your key. I also found it ridiculous that the bars didn't have ice. I know they don't like ice in Europe but usually cocktails are the exception. Overall, I was disappointed in missing our port and the entertainment on the ship was not to my liking, however, if you are with a group and can make your own fun, I think this could be a good ship to take. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and l wished to go back to Praidi Vitoria in the Azores as the last time we visited the lsland it was raining so hard we did not get the chance to appreciate it. We booked on Arcadia as she was visiting Prai di Vitoria and Ponta ... Read More
My wife and l wished to go back to Praidi Vitoria in the Azores as the last time we visited the lsland it was raining so hard we did not get the chance to appreciate it. We booked on Arcadia as she was visiting Prai di Vitoria and Ponta Delgada,sailing on 21st November 2018 which we realised was a slight gamble with the weather at that time of year. The boarding of the ship went very smoothly and it was from the City terminal,Southampton which we had never sailed from before. Our cabin was a P B grade inside and we have used this type of cabin before so no great surprises as it works for us . The one surprise we did have was that in the midships section on B deck it was the only inside cabin and opposite us was the top of the range suites. The position of the cabin meant easy walking distance to both the Crows Nest and the Belvedere buffet restaurant. As it turned out it was not a good choice as the cabin was really noisy not just motion of the ship which we expect but on one side was a locker where they stored bottles and cans etc and next to it was a door to possibly an air con room? Which rattled all the while and on the other side a stewards pantry which also seemed to have extra noise . l mentioned this to reception and they sent someone up who seemed to think it was just ship motion and of course he came in the day time not the middle of the night. They did offer to move us down to G Deck which is not where we like to be so we declined and spent the cruise with ear plugs in and very little sleep at night. So personally we would not recommend that cabin and thought it was graded too high for its position but it was our choice to stay so we cannot complain. Regarding the cruise it all went well to Lisbon then the Canary Islands but after we had visited Madeira with a welcome overnight we had the news that we would not be visiting the Azores due to really bad weather coming across the Atlantic and would now be going to Cadiz and Vigo in Spain as an alternative. Although very disappointed we think it was a wise decision by the Captain and we did seem to keep ahead of any really rough weather and whenever it was rough at all the Arcadia seemed to handle it very well with the stabilisers out. Our call to Vigo was made that bit more enjoyable as the ship stayed till 10pm so we could go ashore and see the Xmas lights , then as we left we were advised the Bad weather was catching us up so the ship put on extra speed and we arrived in Southampton on Thursday evening instead of Friday morning. We have only given a low rating as it was not quite the cruise we booked for other than the bad choice of cabin everything was more or less good. We did freedom dining and found the food good and the revamped crows nest was nice either in the day or at night. The entertainment was very poor except for the Headliners theatre company who we thought very good considering some of them where on their first tour. The Captain was very informative keeping us up to date on weather and destination and the library was well stocked with books so we could relax and enjoy the cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because it was 28 days, to the Caribbean and back from Southampton. It was our first P&O cruise after several Azamara and one Viking Ocean cruises. This was an adults only cruise and the average age was apparently ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was 28 days, to the Caribbean and back from Southampton. It was our first P&O cruise after several Azamara and one Viking Ocean cruises. This was an adults only cruise and the average age was apparently 72, but looked older to me. Most of the passengers were experienced P&O guests, 95% were Brits. Firstly the service was excellent from the mainly Indian crew. Very professional, friendly and efficient. We were fortunate to have a suite and our butler Sam was the best butler we have had. The suite was fine, not particularly large but large enough, and the bed was very comfortable. There was a separate shower with the dreaded shower curtain, not a good touch for a suite. The specialty restaurants, Simbu and Ocean Grill were both excellent, well worth the supplement. The main restaurant was OK but a bit "mass catering". The food was generally acceptable and occasionally good. The service was generally good, but the waiting staff were very busy resulting in the occasional long wait. The Belvedere buffet was very poor, busy and the food was displayed haphazardly. It was served on a tray with plastic glasses, a bit like an old works canteen. Having a suite we could use Sindu for breakfast and did every day. it was one of the highlights of a sea day. We missed the Azores due to high winds and went to La Corola in Galicia which was lovely. The sea days got a bit monotonous but overall we enjoyed ourselves and would go again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was my and my husband’s honeymoon – having never done a cruise before we did not know what to expect and so this is an honest review from first time cruisers ! Embarkation This was swift and well organised. Having arrived ... Read More
This was my and my husband’s honeymoon – having never done a cruise before we did not know what to expect and so this is an honest review from first time cruisers ! Embarkation This was swift and well organised. Having arrived at the Cruise Terminal around midday with an embarkation time of 2.30, we were lucky to be sat in Arcadia’s Belvedere Restaurant at 1.45 having lunch with our room ready soon after. Disembarkation This was dealt with very well. We were at our allocated place at 9.45am and in our car by 10.10am Dining There are two main places to dine – Meridian and Belvedere (the latter being the buffet). We dined at The Meridian on 3 occasions and found the food to be average. We had salmon on two occasions and each time it was severely overcooked (crusty almost). It was also disappointing that some of the specified ingredients were not actually included within the meals – ie crab salad consisted of just carrot and onion (no crab !), and a sponge with a hazelnut crumble and a praline wafer had no wafer and just a whole hazelnut placed on top of the sponge ?? We knew that by choosing Freedom Dining we may well be given a pager if there was no available table so that we could “enjoy a drink in the piano bar”. Each time we ate in the Meridian we got there as it opened and were immediately given a pager and had to wait nearly an hour each time. On two occasions of waiting such a length for a table for two we were made to sit on a table for four (didn’t mind this but surprised after waiting especially). Also when you are shown to your seat you walk past many empty tables which just makes one wonder whether being given a pager is to make you spend money at the bar ? The food in the Belvedere Restaurant is also only average – again fish being put out for guests to eat already well overcooked (boquerones completely inedible like cardboard and already burnt salmon). Also there are two rows of food shielded by a plastic screen. Whilst it is appreciated that the screen is to ensure germs are kept away from food, it is also impossible to reach the food at the back and the chefs did not attempt to assist ! The carvery consisted of a small joint of meat with re-cooked frozen roast potatoes and cauliflower cheese with bland, watery carrots and swede – no other vegetables apart from brussel sprouts one day. Also the Belvedere, for some of the evening, was half shut off to paying passengers so that the crew could eat. This was ridiculous as passengers were having to chase free tables and some even had to eat by the Neptune Pool when the half of the shut off Belvedere only contained about 6 crew members ??? Also the air con is on full blast in The Belvedere making it freezing to sit and eat Entertainment The theatre has shows at 8.45 and 10.30 and we understand that these are new timings. However we could not see a show until the fourth night as unless you “claimed your seat” at about 7.30 you did not stand a chance of seeing the show at 8.45. We were told by other passengers that the previous timings for shows worked very well for passengers. There is music at other venues – ie Crow’s Nest, the Rising Sun and the Globe – but these are only for about 30 minutes at a go and were usually on all at the same time and so there are times within the evening that there is no music/entertainment at all. As to the Globe, this is way too small and The Retreat is a waste of space according to other passengers being used only by the dance instructors. The casino was never used, on our trip, by passengers and we felt extremely sorry for the numerous members of staff just standing around for hours on end each night. Black Tie Events We enjoy dressing up – who doesn’t – but we were offended one night in the Crow’s Nest. Unlike others going into the Meridian Restaurant we had dressed up. However due to being overwarm and nowhere to place his suit jacket, my husband left it in our cabin after our meal. We went to the Crow’s Nest for a drink only to be asked to leave because of no jacket ! Despite my husband obviously wearing suit trousers and a tie it was still not good enough. We explained that it was too hot for a jacket and were told that as long as he had it by his side it would be acceptable !! Really -what was the difference in having it by the side or not wearing it !!! RIDICULOUS The Black Tie Gala Dance in The Globe was also poor. We attended the second one only to find it was really a night for the dance instructors to tell everyone what dance they could do and not for general enjoyment of those who did not wish to do The Waltz or whatever Accommodation The ship had a major refurb last year. Well our Deluxe Balcony Cabin was ok – nothing special, dated and in need of modernisation. The balcony was rusty and the panels between balconies were extremely noisy – wooden wedges are used to stop the rattling but these don’t last long before falling out ! Our cabin keys did not work on three occasions and we were told not to place them next to our mobile phones – we had not done this ! In fact the last time they did not work we visited Reception who for some reason already had the new ones ready for us – how did they know that our keys were not working ?? Alcohol Since booking our cruise 16 months ago P&O’s alcohol policy has changed in that you can only bring on 1 litre each of spirits each. They claim that this is in line with other cruise lines and also to ensure that no passengers become unruly – however they are more than happy to sell alcohol to you ! As to cocktails – don’t bother buying them. They may seem a reasonable price but they are not as if you watch them being made no actual measures of spirit are put in – just a swig and so you are paying through the nose just for juice. Cruise Loyalty Staff We attended the Cruise Loyalty and Future Cruise office once (the queues were ridiculous) but did not like the attitude of the lady who we spoke to. She could not get rid of us quick enough and there was not even anyone else waiting. We decided to use the Library to look at the cruises we spoke to her about and found them to be cheaper on P&O’s own website ! Staff The Entertainment staff were ok – never pushing you to do anything but there was a severe lack of things to do but maybe that is because of the general age of the Arcadia’s clientele ? Our Cabin Steward worked very hard – very long hours and always a smile. As to the restaurant and waiting staff – they simply are a credit to P&O. They are so polite and friendly and professional and remembered your drink and your name. Ports of Call It was a shame that on some port days most of the shops were shut ! Summary We have used this first cruise as a learning curve and having booked our second for 2020 will ensure we don’t make the same mistakes ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because it fitted in with our diary and golden wedding celebration. All previous cruises we have had an outside cabin but this time we decided to try an inside and we were not disappointed. The size is quite ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fitted in with our diary and golden wedding celebration. All previous cruises we have had an outside cabin but this time we decided to try an inside and we were not disappointed. The size is quite comparable to the ordinary outside staterooms and as we spend very little time in the cabin (awake) we didn't miss the windows/balcony either. The cabin steward, Christian, was very helpful, friendly and super efficient. The food in the main (Meridian) restaurant I regret to say was not up to the standard of previous cruises with P&O and especially Fred Olsen and Cunard. The choice of food on the menu was generally very good but the quality of the food was debatable and was often cold. With the exception of the lamb shank we concluded that it was best to stick to fish oriented food for starters and mains. The waiters were always very helpful and apologetic. We dined for one night in the much trumpeted Marco Pierre White restaurant at £30 extra for two plus an extra £7 for lobster. The starter my wife ordered consisted of some sort of stringy balls in a sauce and was tasteless. It went back but was replaced with a crab salad which she could only describe as 'mushy' also tasteless. It too went back. Mine was o.k. Then came the lobster which because it was so small we doubted it was lobster and was probably crayfish or rock lobster as it is fashionably called but cooked in a cheese sauce.No claws or claw meat were served and we were told they had been removed for something else, (pardon) Some was eaten but the rest went back. The dining experience is of course one of if not the most important features of a cruise but I am afraid this did not live up to expectations. For example one of our fellow table guests when served his steak meal jokingly shouted "this horse is a hundred years old". The bars on board were all well appointed and reasonably priced and perfectly drinkable wines of several choices were available for around £16 to £25 a bottle. We settled mostly on a sauvignon (The Holy Snail) at £17.95 per bottle. The waiters in general were very attentive and helpful although one or two were often too engaged in conversations with the passengers and needed to be reminded why they were there. This was a tiny minority, for the most part the others were exceptional. The off ship experiences were quite interesting New York was crazy and delightful together and Canada and the Canadian people were superb. To gain the greatest experience of many of the places visited it was best to use the facilities of the organised tours but several people declined to go because of the high expense involved. One couldn't help considering a 52 seater bus, full, and a driver and guide for a couple of hours or so pulls in over £4000. One of the most pleasant experiences was in Charlottetown where only two or three hundred metres from the ship in the pretty port we had a lobster lunch each to die for. Now that was a proper lobster with all the claws and tools to deal with it. It took about two hours to complete and was absolutely delicious. I haven't commented on the shows available in the evening because with an 8.30pm dining and a nightcap in the bar afterwards and at the same time a listen to some first-class live music we were ready for what was always a very comfortable nights sleep. We were on deck 10 towards the front of the ship. I did however go to several of the very interesting talks on sail days. So there we are; we did enjoy our trip a lot and we were fortunate to have wonderful dinner guests to end the day with. I would comment that things on board seem to have changed since our last P&O cruise with a definite and obvious orientation around making money. The exorbitant cost of wi-fi, a massive open area put over to fruit machines (damn things), where everyone to access some of the bars and restaurants must pass through, very high costs of sauna, massage, hairdressing etc. With grateful thanks to the Captain and his crew for a safe and gloriously uneventful passage. So would we travel again with P&O to be honest I cannot answer that question at the moment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We tended to have 2 mini P&O cruises a year, 3-4 day breaks, sometimes to the same location.Over these last few years, these have been on the Arcadia.Whilst we have never had reason to complain about the ship or cabin, there is cause ... Read More
We tended to have 2 mini P&O cruises a year, 3-4 day breaks, sometimes to the same location.Over these last few years, these have been on the Arcadia.Whilst we have never had reason to complain about the ship or cabin, there is cause for concern in other areas.The cabin steward is always helpful,and the cabin maintained well. Where I feel the standards have dropped, is with the quality of the food & service. The food at all meal times, appear to be prepared on a tight budget, with a limited amout of choice over the period of cruise.The speciality eating venues, are regularly pushed, at very high premiums.I honestly feel the service was better, when you tipped the waiters at the end of the cruise.There is no insentive for them to provide exceptional service, as tips are already included. The entertainment is average, and passes the time away, drinks & wine prices increase year by year. the excusions barely provide value for money. We have cruised with P&O for over 8 years, we have to change. We had booked a 3 day break for June next year, but are prepared to lose the deposit & cancel. ; In the checkin area's before we boarded, we spoke to several first time cruisers, & we sang the praises of P&O. During the cruise these same people were saying never again, we inclined to agree . Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have always wanted to sail on Arcadia so for our 35th wedding anniversary that is what we decided to do. We chose this particular cruise because it was a discovery cruise with new destinations we had not visited before and we were not ... Read More
We have always wanted to sail on Arcadia so for our 35th wedding anniversary that is what we decided to do. We chose this particular cruise because it was a discovery cruise with new destinations we had not visited before and we were not disappointed. Embarkation went well, straight through and onboard in under 10 minutes ( probably because we were the last coach to arrive having been held up waiting for 2 passengers). Our aft facing cabin was very comfortable and was kept nice and clean by our cabin steward Ajay. Our only complaint about the cabin was the grubby glass on the balcony, it was in need of a good scrubbing not just a wipe over. We found the service in the MDR to be very slow and miserable, when asked for a table for two on our second visiit (and last) we were taken to a table for four, when this was queried the waiter turned and walked away leaving us standing there like lemons. When he returned he took us to another table for four but said we could have it for two?? Yes we were confused as well! The buffet was not much better. Food was ok depending on what you had but not always hot. Thank goodness for The Ocean Grill! Yes you had to pay a service charge but the food and the service was amazing. The entertainment was good, the Headliners were the best we have seen and the comedian Fogwell Flax was brilliant! Disembarkation is another story, it was an absolute shambles. They crammed too many people into the Meridian dining room, no numbers given out and we were held there for 1 1/2 hours - not good!! Would I sail with P&O again - yes Would I sail on Arcadia again - no, she is not the best ship on the fleet by far Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Embarkation quick and easy good size cabin and balcony, pretty good service in the bars and restaurants and the food not so bad although its now more like good pub grub rather than fine dining. The main evening entertainment was much ... Read More
Embarkation quick and easy good size cabin and balcony, pretty good service in the bars and restaurants and the food not so bad although its now more like good pub grub rather than fine dining. The main evening entertainment was much better than of late with a couple of new shows by the resident team and some excellent guest entertainers. We arrived everywhere on time, enjoyed excellent weather and had no problems getting on and off the ship except in Oporto where there were long queues to get back on followed by further queues to hand over the booze bought on shore. This was the first stop and it got much better after that. BBQ's & Pancake days served around the main pool were a big hit on sea days. All this was good however why oh why do they keep spending money on carpets and furnishings when the plumbing is so dire. Hit and miss if a toilet will flush when you want it to and on two days we had no hot water. Reporting problems to reception gets the standard response "we will send a plumber" but none ever turns up, these are major problems affecting whole blocks of cabins (as we found out later) and if they were just honest and told us that we would have been less annoyed . Choosing a sea day to refurbish our balcony with half a dozen men traipsing back & forth, rubbing down and painting was not ideal and as this happened the day after the cabin steward had done a thorough clean of the balcony. There were notices threatening to remove belongings from unattended sunbeds but this never happened with many being "reserved" for hours without being used. Not much enforcement of the evening dress code. We have been loyal to P & O for more than 12 years but I think its time to change cruise lines. P&O really are losing the plot, many of the regular cruisers we have spoken to on this cruise agree that standards fall every time you step onboard. They now seem focussed on selling the spa, the specialist restaurants and over priced trips to the bridge or sail sways with officers. If half of that effort went into fixing the leaks and providing basic sanitation it would be a much better cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our third cruise with P&O and to say we were disappointed with the ship would be an understament. The locations we visited were spectacular, the crew and staff could not do enough for you, but the ship and P&O seem to ... Read More
This was our third cruise with P&O and to say we were disappointed with the ship would be an understament. The locations we visited were spectacular, the crew and staff could not do enough for you, but the ship and P&O seem to be failing in many areas. The following is just a few examples of the issues we had on the cruise, some may seem trivial but all together they had an effect. The first thing we had issues over was the toilet in our cabin, every day we had issues with it not flushing and had to keep on reporting it. The toilets on the Belvedere deck at the back of the ship were blocked a few times to overflowing. The air conditioning unit in our cabin although on maximum was very inafective, I fact could not be felt at all most days. The food I’m my view was well below the standard expected of a company like P&O, it was the same thing every day with the exception of the odd speciality meal, never very hot either. The cream for desserts was like eating gravel in thick milk, not nice at all. The cakes were lovely to look at but the taste was somewhat disappointing to say the least. On a more positive not there was always plenty of tea coffee and milk. The resturant for freedom dinners was when full very hot, considering the outside temperature was 30+, no air conditioning was noticeable at all making eating very uncomfortable. The prices on the ship for goods are way way inflated. A notice on the counter in the shop says that they are competitive in price and duty free. I went to purchase a pencil case for my grand son, a simple cheep plastic pencil case you can buy from other outlets for around £1, however on the ship this was just short of £10. Russian dolls starting at £400 then £600 and just short of £1000 the same ones in st Petersburg 30, 70 and 100 Euro. Other goods on the ship like gold and silver plated chain at £1.50 an inch, sales staff trying to get you to purchase jewellery constantly being pushy with items that again seemed to be over priced. The price of drinks we noted had increased since our last cruise, but the glasses seem to be smaller. Transfer busses from port to city locations were once free now you have to pay for them. Don’t even bother thinking about purchasing currency on the ship. We purchased some currency for when we were in Helsinki, as we did not use it all we sold it back after about three hours and lost nearly £10 in exchange rates. Ships lifts out of action for the duration of the cruise, a spa pool empty and out of order for the whole duration of the cruise. One of the two pools empty for three days on what were very hot days, yet had been full on departure. Overall look of the ship felt tired, damage to ships fittings not being replaced, one particular light had a smashed globe on it , trivial it may seem but it was the first thing you spotted on the sun deck. Sun chairs covered in soot and oil from the ships funnel, whilst the white part of the seats were cleaned down as much a possible the blue parts were not so your cloths ended up being stained. All it would have taken was to put a cover over the chairs at night when stacked. Wooden chairs that hold the life vested on deck 3 were varnished during the day so they could not be used, along with the railing tops on deck three. All in all not happy at all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our 15th cruise with P&O and our first on Arcadia, which means that we have now been on all ships in the P&O fleet at least once, so can make direct comparisons between them all. We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the Fjords ... Read More
Our 15th cruise with P&O and our first on Arcadia, which means that we have now been on all ships in the P&O fleet at least once, so can make direct comparisons between them all. We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the Fjords to Flaam and Olden, as our previous attempt (on Britannia) failed as P&O cancelled both ports a few months before (this has happened at least 6 times that I know of with Britannia). The itinerary certainly didn't disappoint. Both places were lovely and the cruises down the very long fjords were spectacular, especially as we had an aft corner wrap suite, which enabled us to enjoy some evening meals on the huge balcony whilst soaking in the views. Stavanger was pleasant (but we have been twice before) and Haugesund was interesting but like a ghost town - even though we were there Friday lunchtime! Although we very much liked our suite and we particularly enjoyed the Ocean Grill (Marco Pierre White restaurant), we found the main dining room (Meridian) to be the first poor one that we have experienced with P&O. The food was fine, but the layout is very poor. Tables for four were too small and a large proportion were alongside the main thoroughfare around the restaurant, so were not relaxing at all. We are used to having to take a pager for evening meals at peak times (Freedom dining) but have never had to stand around waiting for a table to become available at lunchtime before - yet we had to do this several times. I was told by a staff member that the waiters don't like this particular restaurant either and, frankly, you could tell. We are great fans of the main dining rooms elsewhere in the fleet (especially Aurora, which is superb) but not this one. P&O had just introduced new lunchtime menus on this ship, which are downright confusing. Rather than just list starters, main courses and desserts, you now have all sorts of random headings and now don't know whether what you have ordered is a starter or main course size - or whether it's hot or cold! This was catching a lot of people out, not just us. Given how poor the main dining room was, we really missed not having a Glasshouse (which we enjoy for a late lunch after a morning ashore, or when the main dining room menu doesn't appeal) or a Beach House (for when you are after something more casual). We avoid the buffet like the plague, but our adult daughters used it and said that the food areas were too small and had limited choice. We very much enjoyed the ability for suite passengers to have breakfast in Sindhu and the staff there were fantastic. It also saved us 7 further visits to the poor main dining room. We had one evening meal there and, again, the table was too small for four (tables for two were the same size). Even though curry is my absolute favourite food, I do not like Sindhu's take on it (same on all the other ships) but the three ladies all loved it (as they always do), so do not be deterred. The Headliners troupe on this cruise were all very good (that's not always the case) but none of the other entertainment appealed and, as has become the norm, daytime entertainment was dire. Embarkation was a little delayed due to a problem with the air bridge at the QE2 terminal. This still hadn't been fixed by our return, so we disembarked at City Cruise Terminal so, as well as now having travelled on all P&O ships, we have now used all Southampton cruise terminals! So, overall, it was the itinerary and the fact that we were very relieved to have booked a suite that made the cruise acceptable, but we wouldn't rush to return to Arcadia as it is now our least favourite P&O ship. By contrast, Aurora is our favourite, although the absence of an Epicurean restaurant (the one on Britannia is our favourite restauarant at sea) means that no ship is perfect. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Wanted to try different cruise line, but sadly disappointed. The food in main dining room was very good and the breakfast in Sindhu (for suite guests). The lady in the library was unhelpful and quite rude when I asked for help registering ... Read More
Wanted to try different cruise line, but sadly disappointed. The food in main dining room was very good and the breakfast in Sindhu (for suite guests). The lady in the library was unhelpful and quite rude when I asked for help registering the internet. There was no dry cleaning service which was annoying as it was advertised, all other cruise lines I have used give dry cleaning facility, and Holland America give it free to suite guests. Very frustrating when your clothes are not washable. The canapés delivered to our room were awful, as was the food in the buffet, very sloppy. The entertainment was geared round the forties and fifties and even older as was the music. Arcadia May be an adult only ship but they should cater for a more diverse age range that pleases everyone. I have cruised 13 times now and I won’t be using p and o again. The could learn so much from Holland America and NCL which in my view are way in front in every department. Read Less
Sail Date June 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 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
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 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
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.6
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 4.0 3.7

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