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107 P&O Cruises Arcadia Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate New Year in style and also to see Amsterdam and Bruges having never been there before or travelled on P&O before. Embarkation was fantastic with boarding passes being printed out at home before we travelled which cut out the waiting time to board the ship. All went without a hitch and we were straight on board in no time. Our cabin was very good, clean and tidy and our steward was just excellent with great attention to detail - nothing was too much trouble. Food was also very good and the service could not be faulted, especially as my husband has a nut allergy. Every care was taken when preparing his food. The entertainment on-board in the theatre was first class and the magic show was just amazing. The ship was very nice however there were a few places where a bit of TLC would not have gone amiss. It was a disappointment when we were invited to attend the Captain's party only for him to not show - understandably we were informed he was busy on the bridge but when we were told the Deputy Captain would attend it would have been nice of him/her to make himself known!!!! After about 15 minutes the majority of people dwindled away! Next came New Year's Eve and the party we had been looking forward to. Unfortunately there was no "big party", only the bars doing their own thing. The staff worked hard but it was not what we expected. Then for the sail away party - or not. Admittedly it was very cold and the staff tried to get the few people involved who had shown up but where were the flags, etc. After a song from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England (which were not the usual songs played at a sail away party) the staff disappeared. There was not the atmosphere there that there usually is. Would we travel with P&O again? In short Yes but not for New Year -sorry P&O! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Firstly the price paid is a huge factor in the context of any review - your expectations are naturally higher paying £1000 per night than our bargain £79.00 each for a balcony cabin. At this value my expectations were certainly exceeded. ... Read More
Firstly the price paid is a huge factor in the context of any review - your expectations are naturally higher paying £1000 per night than our bargain £79.00 each for a balcony cabin. At this value my expectations were certainly exceeded. We have sailed on 20 cruises, mostly Cunard, and this was our first trip on an adult only ship. I hadn’t expected much difference but it was SO much calmer without noisy children rushing around. The weather was dreadful on the departure day from Southampton and rather than put us all through hell the captain delayed leaving until 3.00 am the next morning when things were forecast to be calmer - at no doubt a considerable cost to P&O in port fees. Impressive touch. Tip - if you are a delicate sailor when seas get rough there is considerably less movement in the cabins midship compared to where we were at the front. And you don’t hear the loud bangs of the waves hitting the bow. Food was excellent and even better in the speciality dining venues - worth waiting for the special offers to sample. In fact no meal disappointed but the Lido was a bit of a scrum at breakfast and lunch. Much more relaxing in the dining rooms. We opted for Freedom Dining but the queues and waits were so long unless you ate right at the beginning or towards the end of the session, when the food took a while to arrive. Next time we will go for fixed dining and have our table waiting for us. The ships interior wasn’t up to Cunards high boutique standards but then the price was considerably lower. And it felt comfortable all round. Cabin fine, You do have to climb into a uselessly small bath to have a shower which could be a mobility issue but beds were comfy. Not many tv channels. Our cabin steward Maria was just lovely - prepared everything with such care. The was a smell of sewage at times in the central atrium area but perhaps they will sort this next April in the refurbishment. No tips or service charge on the drinks which along with the excellent shore excursions were much cheaper than Cunard. Excellent entertainment in a stunning theatre. Lovely spa too and one acupuncture session instantly cured my frozen shoulder after two years. Would we go back? For the right destinations at the right price definitely! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had ... Read More
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK. No flying, Southampton to Southampton via Madeira, the Caribbean and the Azores. Once the ship had sailed through the fog (the first couple of days) the weather was really good. Interesting ports of call and extremely easy to get ashore when in port. The ship is very comfortable but quite tired. Everything works as it should be but there are signs around windows etc to suggest that perhaps a re-fit ought to be imminent. The cabin was very comfortable but quite clearly had been constructed later when the P & O decided to make the Arcadia child free. The food was excellent although my other half thought that there could have been some more plain dishes on the menu. However we didn't have a meal that was not to our tastes. Both the cabin staff and the dining staff were very good, pleasant and ready to converse with the passengers. We enjoyed the excursions we booked and the arrangements to meet for them was really excellent, on the pier or just off and so no nonsense about meeting in the theatre on the ship. All in all it was an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Here is some info that I wish I would have known before I went, hopefully it will make your trip/cruise a bit easier. The car and ticket check in with security were very easy and relaxed. Just join the queue of cars, pull out your bags ... Read More
Here is some info that I wish I would have known before I went, hopefully it will make your trip/cruise a bit easier. The car and ticket check in with security were very easy and relaxed. Just join the queue of cars, pull out your bags onto the pavement , sign your keys over to the waiting staff and walk to the terminal, your bags appear by magic at your cabin shortly after. Our cabin on b deck is as small as a two star hotel but there is a big space under the bed for cases. The notice left on our dresser for freedom dining said we had to be at a specific restaurant at a certain sitting, which we later found was at 8.30 but apparently we did not have to go to that restaurant and could eat somewhere else if we liked at extra cost if using another restaurant or the buffet at no additional cost. There was ample wardrobe space for two of us for two weeks in a chilly Baltic arena. Not much time to unpack before the Southampton sail away party which was a loud way of introducing the entertainment crew who seem a nice bunch. Lots of elderly people in this cruise and we found out why later as it is a very relaxing way of travelling to new places with all your immediate needs catered for. Fridge magnets are a good idea to stick the daily itinerary to walls that are nicely finished plastic coated steel. Freedom dining was requested by us but apparently six months wasn’t enough time to secure this however when on a cruise with 5 other people it was a good way of catching up. The constant music in the outdoor Aquarius bar was a bit loud at times but other quiet areas were available .Just inside however the smoking area was too close to the door allowing the smell of tobacco into the buffet area. There are three areas to smoke on the Arcadia, all under cover but no indoor smoking at all so take a windproof warm jacket with a hood if going north. The buffet area is open most of the time so proving very difficult to keep the weight down but there is well stocked gym and three laps around the deck is one mile. The paid for internet is very very slow even when on the ships own pcs. If you use a cloud based photo storage system it would be quicker to wait until you are at home to sync your photos but wether or not the location tags upload correctly I will have to see. The staff are always milling around cleaning, clearing and maintaining but in general are pleasant with some being very pleased to see you at any time and others having a grumpy demeanour most of the time so just like all of us then. The ship “Arcadia “ has obviously done a lot of miles and looks a little tired in places, the most obvious of which is the back with rust lines running over the name so really time to paint that bit soon. Our balcony on Bermuda deck had a doorway between each of our neighbours that could be opened if required but it does rattle in the wind so new bushes are required. Apparently there is sometimes a “back of the house” tour around the ships workings for around £75 but it was not available on our trip which I was very disappointed about as an engineer myself, but it was quite cost prohibitive anyway. Our cabin had a 37 inch flat screen Tv with usb and hdmi ports which proved useful to plug my hard drive in to with my films on as the reception on the onboard channels was terrible and sends your eyes funny after a while. The TV also had screen mirroring but as it was a Samsung I did not have the app. Our cabin had a thermostat on the wall but whatever I put it nothing seemed to change and there was a constant draft around your head when sitting up in bed so we were glad to have a small settee in the room. The wine and champagne lessons where brilliant and by far the best on board entertainment. I could go on but that would just be boring. :) Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We really enjoyed our 14 night cruise to the Baltic. We have cruised with Cunard, Celebrity and P&O in the past and Arcadia exceeded our expectations. Admittedly, the atrium doesn’t have the wow factor of other ships but it more than ... Read More
We really enjoyed our 14 night cruise to the Baltic. We have cruised with Cunard, Celebrity and P&O in the past and Arcadia exceeded our expectations. Admittedly, the atrium doesn’t have the wow factor of other ships but it more than compensated in terms of friendliness and entertainment. We found the food in the dining room consistently good both at lunch and dinner. The buffet could be very busy especially on sea days but we enjoyed the freshly cooked burgers at the grill near the pool. Afternoon tea in the dining room was a real treat and eating at the Sindhu (especially when there was an offer on) was a delight. There was plenty of choice of entertainment and everyone should find something to suit their taste. I really enjoyed the orchestra and the Headliners put on some excellent shows. The cinema ( free but you must book seats at the library desk) gave me an opportunity to catch up on some recent blockbusters. This was a good way to spend an afternoon either on sea days or if you had some spare time after a visit to a port. Generally the staff were very good - we came across a few morose waiters but a smile and thank-you from you, as the customer, goes a long way. Our cabin steward was very efficient. We were a little apprehensive before we joined the cruise with some very poor reviews and lots of talk about the ship being ‘tired’. Yes, some areas which saw heavy traffic were a little worn but generally we were happy with the look of the ship.Overall, we had a great cruise so if you’ve booked with Arcadia, please don’t be put off by the critics. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Travelled to Southampton with Intercruises. A very comfortable coach, and pleasant driver. Speedy check in and then straight to the Meridian restaurant where we had drinks and snacks. We had cabin B40 and we were very pleased with the ... Read More
Travelled to Southampton with Intercruises. A very comfortable coach, and pleasant driver. Speedy check in and then straight to the Meridian restaurant where we had drinks and snacks. We had cabin B40 and we were very pleased with the space. Balcony was a decent size and there was the usual facilities - kettle fridge etc. We had been a little concerned re some very negative reviews, but honestly found the ship in good repair and evidence of maintenance being carried out most days. We always have room service for breakfast on the first day to avoid the scrum in the buffet. This was delivered on time and correct orders then and on the other occasions we used it. We enjoyed a couple of the shows, some weren’t for us, but that never bothers us at all. We enjoyed the Arcadia orchestra playing in the Crows Nest on a few occasions.We enjoyed an evening at the cinema which was well attended and is designated seats by ticket only, saving any problems of people bringing in chairs and parking themselves in front of you. Freedom dining was a little frustrating as we had quite long waits on a few occasions. We then tended to go down for dinner earlier, and didn’t seem to have to wait as long. We found the food to be ok. Vegetarian menu is available each evening, so that’s a change from previously where you had to order the night before. There were good choices and we were quite happy with the food in the main. Dined in Sindhu - absolutely delicious, and Ocean grill, again very nice food and excellent service in both restaurants. The first two ports of call in Denmark, Skagen and Fredericia were wonderful. Blessed with great weather, we loved the atmosphere in both of these places. Pricey though! Having been to St Petersburg before and used Alla tours, who were amazing, we wanted one day tours this time and used P&O. Faberge eggs on day one - very interesting. Day 2 we did a trip where we were dropped at 3 different locations and left to our own devices ( complete with a note which said , in Russian, I am lost, please ring this number! That was a great day. We rented the map and audio pen and found that useful. Gdynia was a delight. A lovely marina and a really interesting museum which was in an old sailing ship in the harbour. Cheapest and most delicious ice cream of the trip! Oslo was super - saw the amazing sculptures, and we loved Helsinki . Weather wasn’t marvellous for the last two ports, but it was Norway so we kind of expected it. We also had a norovirus outbreak during the last few days. Still witnessed people using the toilets and walking straight out. So, all in all, a good time was had. We love trying different cruises lines and have tried eight, but do pick cruises for the itinerary so we are booked again on Arcadia in 2021 on an itinerary that suits us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships. We ... Read More
Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships. We had an outside balcony cabin which was clean and absolutely fine. I’m unsure why people criticise the ship for being outdated, it was a bit rusty in places but the cabins and public rooms were absolutely in keeping with other ships and certainly better than the average/budget cruise lines. Most staff were great but at times very secretive, the waits for freedom dining and length of service in the restaurant were unacceptable at times, some staff went a long way to make us happy and some didn’t. The itinery was great with the highlights being St Petersburg and Helsinki. Gdynia was a short train ride from Gdansk. Entertainment was very good. The ship employed a number of resident musicians performing all styles from classical to jazz to popular. There were bands, an orchestra, soloists, a dance group and an entertainment team, more than on many cruise lines. There was more choice of entertainment and venues than other larger ships. The food was mainly good but at times bland. The Belvedere buffet was as you would expect from a self service restaurant. Trips and shuttle bus were too expensive. P+O continue to look at ways to get extra money. This doesn’t seem as bad on slightly older ships like Arcadia but it certainly is a trend on newer larger ships which have less space per passenger and seem to find more and more things to charge for, although it might try Arcadia does offer done welcome relief from this. Staff regularly go the extra mile but I can’t help at thinking times this is driven by money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our first cruise. Have to agree with previous review by 'mendumrw' with regard embarkation. It wasn't so much the delay (hey these things happen) but we were disappointed in the way P&O handled the delayed ... Read More
Our first cruise. Have to agree with previous review by 'mendumrw' with regard embarkation. It wasn't so much the delay (hey these things happen) but we were disappointed in the way P&O handled the delayed passengers. A hot day, nowhere to obtain refreshments at the terminal; lots of queuing/shuffling. By the time we boarded ship nowhere to get food (when staff were asked they directed us to the closed buffet, which did not actually open until 6pm). Choatic to get a drink at sailaway party as so many of us late embarkers arrived en masse after a crowded muster drill. What would it have cost P&O to explain reasons and apologise for the delay, provide a few jugs of iced water at muster drill, kept the buffet open, or offered a complimentary drink? Any way moan over, what did we think of the ship..... As said it was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to, but we thought the ship was lovely. Apart from embarkation day there always seemed to be plenty of space to sit and watch the waves, take in the sun, get a drink etc. There are a lot of deck areas to choose from. Our balcony cabin was spacious, very clean and everything in working order. Didn't see anything that was 'tired'. There was some outside maintenance works / painting going on occasionally, but we have friends who cruise regularly and say they find this is the norm. We felt the food was good, and especially liked the themed nights in the buffet. We ate in the Sindhu one evening - it was OK but nothing remarkable (a taster menu, which was a bit 'bland' for us). A quiet night in the Sindhu (as it was black tie night) so it was a pity that they chose to squash the few diners into one small area, so all conversations were shared (perhaps one should request a quiet table, especially as there were many empty). We found the service on the ship very good - the waiters, barmen, cabin crew etc all worked so hard, and all friendly and polite to us. We found it easy to entertain ourselves at the ports (even Cherbourg) and only went on one excursion. We have been on many holiday excursions and they are always too rushed, not enough time to explore and too much time spent on a coffee and cake stop (or whatever) and this was no exception, but it was well organised with a good guide. Would we go on a cruise again - yes we would. Apart from the poor start, the remainder of the time we felt comfortable, well fed, well looked after and entertained. We would go on Arcadia again - yes definitely. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and ... Read More
Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and externally there are areas showing age but considering she is at sea virtually daily and has been around the globe many times it can be expected. Daily maintenance is carried out as would be expected and if anyone was woken by the chipping drills on the lifeboat davits then perhaps they prefer lie-ins after 10.00 a or cant be bothered if their lifeboat wasn't serviced. Change of itinerary, we were notified by email 5 days before departure explaining the reason why a prolonged stop in Malaga was necessary. Some fellow cruisers said they did not know until they boarded. Can't explain this but I would suggest that as we are registered in the P&O Cruise Personaliser, where our email is recorded, this could be the reason for those who do not use this system. Yes we missed out a port of call and stayed in Malaga while she was being repaired, the captain kept us informed of the progress of the work. Unfortunately the 22-strong team of divers, flown in from the USA and elsewhere were unable to correct the problem with the port-side pod within the expected time and after arriving on Thursday (at top speed), we departed just after midnight on Sunday/Monday morning. Malaga is a lovely place and a leisurely walk or free for all passengers shuttle bus into the main area was provided.. We missed two sea days and one port. After departure one passenger decided to be seriously ill (not norovirus) but as Arcadia does not have a heli-pad, the Captain sailed at full speed for Venice for the passenger hope all was well) to be transferred to waiting ambulance on the quayside. Safety is a high priority and itinerary change is usually, sometimes weather also for other reasons but some people have to moan and disrespect P&O, fortunately the majority of fellow passengers we spoke to were happy with their cruise. Part-way through their was an outbreak of the dreaded Norovirous. We were not affected, The crew immediately put special measures in place specifically not being allowed to touch any item, plates, cutlery etc, having everything served to you. Not such a bad thing you know! Some passengers believing that they would never suffer from the virus did not wish to gel their hands before going into the restaurant. Probably the same passengers, and you know who you are, who do not bother to wash hands after using the toilets, who rush about and don't care ignoring warning notices and whose disgraceful disrespect of hygiene spread the infection. We noticed several mature passengers not washing hands after using the toilets and not wanting to gel before entering the food areas. After precautions were lifted, sadly a few passengers in the buffet decide to double-fill their plates, charge into the queues to get their fill totally regardless of common courtesy and respect for their fellow passengers and the hard-working crew. We found the food of a good standard and no complaints and I am a fussy eater. All the staff were polite and helpful. The entertainment was of a high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment especially the murder mystery and Johnny Youle the guitarist. The Rising Sun pub has great atmosphere and the Palladium theater is one of the best that we have sat in on a cruise ship. Our cabin on C deck was spacious and our steward was very professional and friendly. The excursions were varied, we did Malaga (both booked and ourselves, yes we had time!) we did hop-on-off bus in Cagliari, walking tour in Split (great courier). Would we go on Arcadia again, YES Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. ... Read More
Firstly I feel the need to thank but also congratulate Captain Ashley Cook and his entire crew onboard the Arcadia for their outstanding service on what was a VERY ‘testing’ cruise to Venice that left Southampton on the 24th June. Along with the vital and technically brilliant repair to one of her Azipod propeller seals calling for an extended stay in Malaga, there was an outbreak of Norovirus onboard (thanks clearly to passengers embarking with it and still not washing their hands throughout the cruise) along with issues with mounting a tender back onboard as well as an unfortunate Medivac situation which meant for a very early arrival in Venice… But contrary to most other passengers on-board, we would like to say we felt each situation was handled professionally and as smoothly as humanly possible. We strongly feel the crew should be commended not only for their efforts, but also for their extreme patience, with what must easily have been the most negative and hostile group of passengers (and dare I say most 'senior') we have ever experienced in my history of nearly 20 cruises, who to put simply got on the ship with a big chip on their shoulder just because one port needed to be cancelled due to the repair. They then proceeded to be devoid of any understanding that not everything will always go to plan on ship and just moaned and whinged for the rest of the holiday REALLY bringing down the atmosphere all over the ship and exhausting the crew... Anyway! Overall we had a great time! Excellent staff pretty much without exception - but I am sure part of this is if you treat them with respect you get the same in return. Our Cabin Steward 'Harish' couldn't have been more polite, efficient and friendly. Food in the main restaurant and buffet was good on the most part - although the main menus do seem to have been 'dumbed' down a little in the last year or so. Treated ourselves to the Ocean Grill and Sindhu on a couple of occasions and was impressed. Entertainment from the Headliners in the fantastic and comfortable Palladium Theatre was FIRST CLASS! Mr Tinkerton's Circus worthy of special mention - probably the best show I have ever seen on any ship! Congratulations to P&O for clearly investing heavily in this side of things. However, after seven wonderful cruises on her over the last 8 years with a further two booked including the full World Cruise in 2021, we have become very accustomed to Arcadia herself never disappointing us. Arguably the best-looking ship in the fleet with a lovely blend of features and facilities, we were admittedly shocked and saddened by her general exterior condition as well as some lack of maintenance, care and attention to some of her public spaces as well as private cabins and their balconies. We were assured this was being addressed and we look forward to seeing this on our next couple of cruises which we are very much looking forward to. But in just one last thought, perhaps in P&O's approach of marketing their cruises as a 'holiday' where it’s all about the destination instead of the journey, people’s respect for the ships is not would it should be as, if it wasn’t for the atmosphere these passengers created, it would probably have been one of top 5 cruises we have ever done. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi ... Read More
We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi to/from the port. Excellent package. Embarkation was very efficient and we boarded very quickly, with the luggage arriving in reasonable time. We booked early May and one of the cabins offered was at the stern, but it had a big balcony and we thought [rightly as it turned out] that we'd have brilliant views of the Fjords. The cabin was spacious with plenty of clothes storage, seating space with a settee and a good sized bathroom. Our steward, Umesh, was efficient, friendly and brought ice for our drinks each evening, so deserved his good tip! The only thing I missed was a towelling robe and slippers, as I would have expected those in a de-luxe cabin. The ship was just big enough for us, although I was grateful for the small map which I clutched for days. The cabin was smart and very clean, but the balcony area was quite rusty in areas and both that and the balcony rail needed painting. Although the balcony was huge, there was an overhang so we didn't get as much sunshine as the deck below. But then they had us gazing down on them as they sunbathed..... Dining standards were very varied and although we tried Freedom Dining on the first night, after a projected hour's wait till 9pm, we reverted to our 2nd sitting booking and were with a great group on our table for six in the window. Two very good waiters looked after us very well during the whole voyage. The food varied from day to day and a few times we had to send food back to the kitchen, including the infamous steaks. My worst choice was lamb, which turned out to be three slices of fat smothered in gravy and should never have left the kitchen The replacement slices were beautiful and it does pay to complain as the head waiter came over personally to apologise. We did eat twice in the Sindhu restaurant and really enjoyed the food in there, although some of it didn't strike us as particularly Indian or Eastern. The staff went to particular trouble for me as I'm allergic to chilli and I never suffered once! Surroundings were lovely and it was pleasant to enjoy a drink in the quiet East bar before strolling next door to eat. We always breakfasted in the Belvedere as there was a good choice of cereals and fresh fruit and we did indulge in the occasional bacon butty. Lunch was usually there too as we prefer salads and there was a wide selection to choose from. If we did have a hot meal, we were generally disappointed as the food was rarely hot and not brilliant. Their curry night was excellent though! Drinks were reasonably priced, especially the wines at the evening meal and there was a comprehensive choice of world wines. We enjoyed most of the entertainment, especially the Headliners with their superb, enthusiastic, high standard, special musical evenings. Definitely West End quality. The comedian was extremely funny and had an appreciative audience. Enjoyed the historian too as her lectures on the Vikings were very interesting with amusing observations which added to the content. Joined in the daily quizzes, though not all the answers were accurate as for just one example, butterflies do NOT eat through their feet! We only took one shore excursion as we love to stroll off the ship in our own time and explore locally. All the small ports seemed to have similar souvenirs and high prices, but Trondheim and Bergen were well worth exploring on one's own.The trip we chose was the Grieg visit, which was well hyped as a special event with a piano recital. Lovely trip round Bergen to begin with, followed by the tour of Grieg's house and museum with the recital as the icing on the cake in a beautiful concert hall. The pianist was talented and we'd just begun to enjoy this treat when it was over after less than half an hour. So disappointing and we did feel rather short changed. Overall we enjoyed our first P&O trip and as we always try and see the good in everything, any little gripes like the costly Wifi and lack of signals to catch up with the home news, [no Brexit for 12 days....bliss!] were easily put to one side. But the great joy was the Fjords themselves in the sunshine from our private little paradise with panoramic views and the sensation of being all alone in this wilderness with the snow topped mountains and towering waterfalls. Loved the experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Embarkation at mayflower terminal in Southampton was excellent and trouble free. By the time we had a quick lunch on-board, our luggage was to be found outside our cabin on Egypt deck. The cabin was exactly as we have become accustomed to ... Read More
Embarkation at mayflower terminal in Southampton was excellent and trouble free. By the time we had a quick lunch on-board, our luggage was to be found outside our cabin on Egypt deck. The cabin was exactly as we have become accustomed to on P and O ships – small, clean, and adequate for what we need. We knew in advance that the window was totally obscured by a life-boat and so it didn’t bother us. The cabin was kept spotless by Lorie who worked her socks off during the cruise bless her. The only gripe about the cabin was that although it was nice to have a bath in there, the water was never hot enough. We enquired about this and were told that the water temperature was regulated to avoid anyone being accidentally scalded. I would think that since I’m over 50 years old, I could be trusted with hot water by now! The entertainment on board was mixed to be honest. The Headliners probably were the best that we had ever seen, being really professional to say the least. Not surprising really since they’d come to the end of their contract and hence their performances were polished due to so much practice. The other entertainment was not particularly to our taste so I’d best not criticise unnecessarily as that wouldn’t be fair. We liked the cinema with its massive armchairs, but be warned, booking in advance is required. We witnessed people being asked to move when ticketholders arrived and found interlopers in their seats! Food. We opted for freedom dining for evening meal in the Meridian which worked out very well. I think it reasonable to say that of all the P and O cruises we’ve been on, the menu and quality of the food on Arcadia was probably the best we have experienced. There appeared to be a lot more choice and the presentation and temperature of the meals was praiseworthy. The Belvedere buffet (or, ‘the canteen’ as we liked to call it) offered food that we could describe as perfectly functional and adequate. Not fancy but OK. The reason we were less enamoured by the Belvedere was simply because the sheer number of people using it made it a scrum to get ones food. Also, having to search for a table was frankly a pain. This was not helped by horrible couples occupying a table for four or six who made it clear that other people were not welcome to join them, despite there being a shortage of seating. Hence, some people were seen to wonder around the buffet looking quite glum just hoping that a table would become free for them to occupy. Because of this we decided to skew our dining times so that we ate when we hoped the least amount of other guests would also be eating (for example, breakfast at 11 am, lunch at 3 pm). Crew. All excellent, polite, friendly. No issues to report at all in the bars, dining room or shops etc. The ships officers were best described as a little aloof and not too willing to engage with passengers. This was evident at the Captains reception when there were plenty of officers present, but they just looked like the event was a chore and didn’t engage with passengers – or if they did, it was perfunctory only. We saw this again at the private cocktail party we attended (for those guests of Mediterranean tier) where the officers gathered in little groups to chat among themselves and the fact that they were really supposed to be mingling and interacting with guests like ourselves who had been on P and O ships several times appeared to pass them by. Ports of call. Fabulous, especially St Petersburg - but Skagen, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Warnemunde were very good too. We walked literally miles around these cities using Google maps to guide us with no issues to report in terms of harassment by locals or anything else. Even St Petersburg in Russia was awesome with none of the potential problems such as pickpockets that one sometimes hears about. Overall, P and O did a good job and we were happy with the cruise on Arcadia. Can’t say any fairer than that! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as its an adults only ship, which is in some ways rather nice but even though I'm of a certain age its nice to mix with some younger people. Having said that most people on the cruise were very friendly. Getting ... Read More
We chose this cruise as its an adults only ship, which is in some ways rather nice but even though I'm of a certain age its nice to mix with some younger people. Having said that most people on the cruise were very friendly. Getting on the ship at Southampton was trouble free and very efficient. The ships is really nice, just the right size, the public areas and bars have been updated, are nicely decorated and comfortable, nice little areas to sit and chat or play cards, read etc. it all flowed very well into the central atrium . The restaurant is quite nice but there are far too many large tables, we were travelling with our friends so preferred a table for 4, we did share a table with other guests a few times but after a long day touring sometimes we preferred just us 4, this was a problem some nights and one of the staff who showed you to tables was very rude indeed so much so that we reported him to the manager for bad customer service. However, most of the staff were very pleasant, especially Jeff Beck, yep that's correct that's what he was called and very customer focused, he was brilliant, he told us he will be on the new Iona, so we will see him again next year as we are booked on it. The food varied from very nice to ok, served hot and if you wanted more it wasn't a problem. We tried Sindu as we had previously on the Azura and it was really good then, this time I'm sorry to say it wasn't nearly as good and not worth the extra money. The cabins (we had balcony) were pleasant, comfortable and spotless, we were cared for by Heidi, he was lovely. The beds are comfortable, plenty of storage space and the cases fitted nicely under the bed. Bathrooms were of a decent'ish size and had White Company toiletries. Entertainment:- FANTASTIC the Headliners shows were amazing, like west end shows every time, unfortunately that was the last trip that particular group were performing together, such a shame they were unbelievably professional truly amazing. Also a group called The Waves were extremely good, very versatile in all music and got everyone boogying, the singer was brilliant as was all the group. Guest appearances were also very entertaining, we had a comic singer Berni Flint was exceptional and pianist/singer (cant remember his name) was very good too, got a standing ovation!! We even had Valerie Singleton guesting, talking about her life, she was very interesting and funny. Also a Geologist giving talks about the earth, dinosaurs etc, very good. I would recommend this ship, its just the right size, very pleasant to be on and easy to get around. Looking forward to going on the new Iona, although its rather large, we tend to keep to the smaller ships but it'll be worth going on a brand new ship. All in all my summery of this trip to the Baltics was very enjoyable, we saw some great places and in general had a very good cruise. I like P&O on the whole but customer service ( only in some parts) need a bit of refreshing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our 2nd cruise on P&O after sailing on Britannia last year which we had immensely enjoyed. The reason we chose this cruise was because the dates suited us well, the itinerary was interesting with new ports of call like La ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on P&O after sailing on Britannia last year which we had immensely enjoyed. The reason we chose this cruise was because the dates suited us well, the itinerary was interesting with new ports of call like La Verdon and Cherbourg in France which we hadn't been to before and the price was great with free parking at Southampton and £45pp on board credit. Moreover P&O removed gratuities from May this year. We drove to Southampton from NW London which took only about 1hr 20mins. We drove straight to mayflower terminal, took the luggage off the car which was swiftly taken away by the porters, handed the keys of the car to an attendant who took the car and parked it in a secure car park. We made our way inside the terminal and were given a boarding card and asked to wait. Although our boarding time was 3pm on boarding paperwork, we were inside the terminal by 12pm. After a short wait, we were asked to go and check in and once that was complete, we boarded the ship by 12.45pm and were asked to go for lunch to the buffet. Whilst waiting for the lift, an announcement was made that cabins were ready. So we headed straight to the cabin to drop off our hand luggage. Our cabin was on deck 8 in forward part of the ship. Lovely cabin with a large balcony, good size of cabin with huge flat screen tv, lots of storage space and a bathroom with a bath rather than a shower cubicle. This was unusual as we hadn't had a balcony cabin with a bath since our cruise on Zuiderdam ( Holland & America line) back in 2003. The cabin was always kept clean by our room attendant, Ariel, who we saw daily. Couldn't fault with the cleanliness of the cabin. Luggage had arrived before we got to our cabins which was really very quick. We then proceeded for lunch to the buffet restaurant on deck 9. Lunch was simple with not many vegetarian choices however was adequate. We then explored rest of the ship which was very elegant with 2 lovely pools ( one of which had a retractable roof), lots of deck space, plenty of indoor and outdoor bars, 2 speciality restaurants (Atul Kochhar's Indian restaurant Sindhu and Marco Pierres seafood restaurant), lovely 2 tier theatre, English style pub, casino, show room for music events, screening room for films, library, spa, gym and of course the main dining rooms. Everything looked great with new carpets and decor. Seemed the ship had a makeover recently. However what the ship lacked was a grand atrium like what Britannia had. The reception was on deck one which had a seating area and shore excursion and loyalty desks nearby but no coffee bar or anything. Hence most of the indoor activities occurred on decks 2 and 3. Despite the inside of the ship being very elegant, the outside of the ship didn't seem to be very well maintained. Lots of rust marks everywhere. The ship needed to be painted through out on the outside. We rarely find this a problem on other ships as there are always crew members painting away but on this ship we never saw anyone maintaining the outside areas of the ship. However indoors was very well looked after which mattered more to us as passengers. The mandatory safety drill occurred around 5.30pm and due to location of our cabin, we had to go to theatre for our drill. It took about 20mins or so and once that was complete we put the life jackets back in our cabins and headed for the sail away party on the open bar located on the aft of the ship. Since drinks are not included in the price of your cruise fare, you had to purchase all the soft and alcoholic drinks ( except coffee and tea unless you wanted costa coffee). The drink prices were reasonable with a pint of beer costing between£4 and £4.80. Small glass of wine was around £4 and large around £6. Bottles of wine started from around £17. You could choose to have all your drinks included at a cost of £40pp per day. As this was pricy, I guess not many would have chosen that. The good thing about P&O unlike many other cruise lines is that you could bring in 1L of wine or spirit per person when you board. Hence we took advantage of that and brought 1L of gin and wine. You could only drink these in the cabins though. However despite paying for beers, wines and some cocktails, we ended up with a surprisingly small bar bill. We had chosen anytime dining so were allocated dining room on deck 3. Unfortunately there was always a wait to get seated in the dining room if you didn't want to share a table. Hence were given a buzzer and the waits were generally from 15 to 45mins on some evenings. This was the biggest disappointment for us as in most other cruise lines which offer freedom dining, this is not the case. I think P&O need to look at having more tables for 2s and 4s. However once we got our table, the service was great and the vegetarian food options were very good with a seperate vegetarian food menu on offer. Hence you didn't have to order meals in advance for following evening which was great. Loved there starters and mains and I don't think we had a single meal which we didn't like. Desserts were good too but less choice compared to some other cruise lines. However their cheese plate was excellent with different types of cheese on offer daily. Very pleased with that. Show times in main theatre were at 8.45pm and 10.30pm daily. Due to the long waiting times to get a dinner table, we rarely could make to the 8.45pm show in time and found 10.30pm show very late. However managed to see most of the production shows which were all very good. Loved their circus (featuring music from Greatest showman) and Queen (featuring music by rock group Queen) shows. We were disappointed by the guest entertainers especially a guy called Grumblewood who somehow featured in 3 shows. Not sure why P&O can't get some good show performers. The 2 girl band Harmony had good voices but Motown music is not something we really like. Again they performed in 2 shows. Surely P&O could have got some other guest performers rather than repeating shows from same artists. There were quizzes, karaoke, bingo, music performances, etc. happening in other bars and lounges of the ship every evening. So plenty to do in the ship and no chance of getting bored. Casino was not very big and only had 2 working poker machines. Films were shown daily in screening room but as it was a smaller venue, needed to get tickets in advance from library or reception. Never got a chance to go there as there was plenty of other things to do. Buffet breakfasts and lunches were disappointing especially if you are a vegetarian. Not much choice compared to buffet meals in other ships we have been on. This is where P&O needs to significantly improve. Also on sea days, it was difficult to find seating in the buffet. Seems seating is a big issue on this ship, whether it's buffet or in main dining rooms. Didn't find that being a big issue on Britannia last year. The speciality restaurant Sindhu was excellent and definitely worth £20pp. Highly recommend anyone who likes Indian food to go there for a meal. Service was good and unlike main dining room, your table was reserved and you were seated as soon as you got there. We didn't get a chance to go to Marco Pierres restaurant but menu looked good and even had a few items for vegetarians. Booking for that restaurant was £17.50pp with certain items like lobsters having a supplement. There were 2 formal black tie nights where we had to wear suits for dinner. This was compulsory in Main dining rooms, speciality restaurants and most bars and lounges. I think P&O should make this optional like most cruise lines are doing these days. Not many want to bring suits whilst on vacation. Generally we enjoy captains night but this time the timing was odd at 8pm. Hence we missed most of it and got there at the tail end as we were late in finishing dinner thanks to long wait in getting a table despite getting to dining room early. Moreover as this ship doesn't have an atrium as such, the captains speech was in the retractable pool area which doesn't give the feel of a proper captains gala event of everyone being gathered around the atrium as we had done in Britannia last year. All the ports of call were excellent and we were lucky to have no rain on any of the days. In fact in Guernsey and Santander, we had completely clear sunny days. In La Verdon and Cherbourg, it was partly cloudy but sunny and warm especially in Bordeaux where temperatures hit 26c. Both the sea days were dry too. The first sea day was very sunny and warm whilst second was bit cooler and partly cloudy. We had shore excursions booked with P&O at every port. In Guernsey (the only tender port), we did an excursion to Isle of Sark. This was the best excursion we did. Took a 45min scenic ferry ride from Guernsey to Sark. Lovely car free island. First we did a walking coastal route tour for 2 hours and then had free time. So much to see and do on this pretty island. Would love to go back there again one day. In Santander we did a trip to Bilbao and visited Guggenheim museum. Another lovely excursion however we felt we needed another couple of hours in Bilbao which is a lovely city. So will need to go back there again some day. In La Verdon, we did a trip to Bordeaux. Passed through the vineyards and chateaus on our way there. Had few hours to explore this beautiful city on our own before going to a wine museum which was excellent. In our last port of call, Cherbourg, we did an excursion to Mont St Michel which was an amazing experience. The only downside was that it was nearly 2.25 hours drive from Cherbourg each way through scenic countryside. However once we got there, we were mesmerised with the beauty and setting of this historic religious place. Spent 4 hours there (half with guide and rest free time) and time went fairly quickly before our drive back to ship. Highly recommend everyone to visit this place once in their lifetime. The week went very quickly and enjoyed every moment of it. Plenty of activities to do on sea days and hence no time to get bored. Also the great weather helped to take advantage of the outdoors. The only issue we had was there was no hot water in cabins on our side of ship due to boiler breakdown for nearly 1.5 days. I had to report it several times before it got fixed. However they offered us to have hot showers in spa if we wanted to. Other than that, we encounters no problems. The service was very good in most areas of the ship and generally most staff greeted and smiled away. However staff in buffet areas were not very friendly and lacked knowledge of food on offer eg. on one sea day they had burgers in pool area but no chips or French fries. I asked around 3 members of staff about location of chips and was sent on a goose chase around the whole buffet area but never managed to find any. Disembarkation was the best we had seen on any ship. We were asked to leave main baggage outside cabin on previous night which is a norm on most ships. On day of departure we were asked to vacate cabins by 8am after breakfast and wait in lounges. No sooner we got there, we were told we could leave ship if we wanted to (despite normal disembarkation time not scheduled till after 9am). We disembarked straight away and after collecting our luggage, proceeded to collect our car and were on the road soon after 8.30am and home before 10am. I highly recommend this cruise for anyone wanting a stress free cruise without any hassle of flights and wanting to visit interesting ports in Spain, France and Channel Islands. We are already planning one for next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We flew to London via Hong Kong, had New Years with a family member before spending two nights in Southampton. We had booked a balcony cabin on C deck near the aft, it was very comfortable although was showing some signs of wear, the ... Read More
We flew to London via Hong Kong, had New Years with a family member before spending two nights in Southampton. We had booked a balcony cabin on C deck near the aft, it was very comfortable although was showing some signs of wear, the bathrooms definitely need updating. However we had a great Cabin Steward who went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed our cruise. The cabin was kept spotless and as I say it was very comfortable. The location does tend to allow for more movement during rougher seas, but it did not bother us. Overall the service we received on board was excellent throughout form food and drink servers to other personnel at reception etc. We dined in both specialty restaurants and enjoyed most meals, although on occasion service was a little stressed, yes there were times food did disappoint but once again overall it was a pleasant experience for the duration of 45 days. We found Captain Cook a delight, always friendly and ready for a chat, he had a great deal to deal with on this cruise with deaths, illness and storms, but he handled it all extremely well. Most fellow passengers were friendly and yes there were the habitual complainers, thank goodness we tend to keep to ourselves and the lovely group of fellow passengers we shared drinks and dinner with sometimes. The ship is older and the outside looks quite beaten up, salty seas take their toll for sure, but interior wise she is kept immaculately clean. On occasion we did see the odd bucket to collect a drip, but hardly anything to worry about. Dining in the Buffet was very good and a good variety for all meals served, the dining room was also very good and service did vary from time to time. Is the food very English, one could say yes, but there were plenty of options, besides it was great to try different things. Drinks can be pricey along with laundry, we gave up on the self service laundry, very cramped and always busy...We did not have prepaid gratuities on the ship, so we tipped our individuals accordingly and they were happy with that. We don't mind tipping for good service and it goes in the right pockets... Disembarkation in Sydney was a bit shambolic as we were supposed to disembark in Brisbane, but a cyclone ended that. we opted to drive ourselves back to Queensland as flights offered by Carnival were not appealing and no excess baggage allowance! They put us up overnight in Sydney, sadly we had a disgraceful hotel allocated, old, tired and dirty, cockroaches in the room! Would we chose to cruise on Arcadia again, yes but we did find 45 days a little long, I am sure some shorter sectors may appeal in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the ... Read More
Back from the Arcadia 28 day festive cruise to the Caribbean and I …………… loved it. After a few rocky sea days, we arrived in the Caribbean with temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. My top three highlights were the Headliner productions. I have seen many excellent performances on many cruise ships over the years, but they were OUTSTANDING in every one of their shows. The decorations on the ship were first class, the ship really had a great Christmas feel. Thirdly the food and service in both the Meridian dining room and Belvedere could not be faulted….well done to all the staff involved. I will not forget Christmas Day from the Bucks fizz at breakfast to excellent Christmas day dinner to The Runaround Kids in the theatre at night. The ports were stunning each island offering something different from golden sands and deep blue sea to rum tasting in Barbados and shopping in Nassau with Christmas decorations in all the shops and bargains to be had. The ship docked almost on the beach in Grand Turk, which was a great place to feel the sand between your toes The only two negatives for me were the unfortunate “Arcadia cough” which so many passengers seemed to suffer with, and the rudeness, on our second day, by a member of the team when we popped into the games room. I thought I would be bored on a 28 day cruise but far from it, from the excellent films that were shown either in the globe or screening room to the live music being played around the ship it was an experience to treasure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
was our 50th wedding anniversary, decided on this one to celebrate, we had a lovely time made some lovely friends in table sharing, crew were great and friendly, our cabin crew and table waiters were really great people who could ... Read More
was our 50th wedding anniversary, decided on this one to celebrate, we had a lovely time made some lovely friends in table sharing, crew were great and friendly, our cabin crew and table waiters were really great people who could never do enough for us. we enjoyed the evening entertainments, especially the "headliners" who were very professional. but indeed all the entertainment were first class in our view, the weather in the Canaries was really nice, 25 c and blue skies, we had nice days out during our own thing, and then went back onto the sundeck, lovely relaxing days, sad to miss out on the Azores, but the captain explained it was due to bad weather and he was taking into account the welfare of all on board, which -everyone we spoke to agreed, it was just one of those things, we went instead to Cadiz and the Vigo in Spain. still enjoyable. we thought the dining experience was nice, the Meridian dining at night, with a nice and a relaxed buffet style at any time if you wanted it toward top deck, all in all great experience. embarkation and disembarkation was so easy, so much easier than flying. thanks guys Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Winter no-fly cruises to the Caribbean are very good value and its not surprising that we meet up with the same people nearly every time we sail - particularly the friendly shuffle boarders. This one included Bermuda, the Bahamas and Grand ... Read More
Winter no-fly cruises to the Caribbean are very good value and its not surprising that we meet up with the same people nearly every time we sail - particularly the friendly shuffle boarders. This one included Bermuda, the Bahamas and Grand Turk which made it even more popular than usual. All good ports, particularly for impressing American passengers off the ships we met who were astounded to learn that we were out for 28 nights! Mind you, judging by the fun and games aboard all the ships we met, they pack as much as we do in 28 nights into a 4 night cruise from Miami! Our taxi got us to Arcadia in good time for an early embarkation. In fact having got our luggage into the system at 1145 we had no time for coffee in the lounge and were directed straight onto Arcadia - far too early for lunch! However we learnt from our table companions later that the air bridge failed mid-afternoon and they were delayed and had to embark via the crew gangway. Captain Martin Allen was apparently first time in command and proved a steady and informative captain throughout. The ship was a year out of refit and was in good order. We didn't really like the new seating in the Intermezzo bar as most of the comfy seating had been replaced by chairs but no doubt this practice helps accommodate the ever-increasing passenger numbers that cruise companies shoe-horn onto their vessels. Our cabin was clean and comfortable and our steward Christopher was a real gem. Always friendly, willing to meet our every request - and always had our cabin cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast. We noticed a couple of changes in the catering. At lunchtime in the Meridian restaurant the delicious curries no longer made a daily appearance sadly, particularly as P&O say they are so proud of the curry tradition on aboard their ships. More strange was the appearance of sharing plates. These don't really work if you are seated on one of the many tables for 6/8 as you may well be a fair distance from your partner! 'Company policy'. But the ever obliging crew always made a sharing plate available for one. The other issue we had was that P&O now require their Entertainment Managers to move the time of activities on a daily basis - 'to be fair to everyone'. But no-one has ever been able to do everything they want aboard and changing the times around merely frustrated everyone wanting to get into a pattern of speakers, deck games, choir and quizzes. However full marks to EM Alex Percival (also on his first cruise 'in command') - when I commented on the 'How are Doing?' survey early in the cruise, he called me up and we met for a talk about it. The changes were 'Company policy' again. But these are minor gripes about the constant change that is inevitable in any business and the positives far outweighed the negatives. The Headliners were just finishing their time aboard and were one of the best we've seen. Their new show 'Mr Tinkerton's Clockwork Circus' was a triumph. P&O are really moving their show offering up a gear. And good to see the team helping out with activities round the ship on a daily basis. The weather may have been poor in the North Atlantic but the benefit of Carnival's central control system really helped. Yes, by having to take a northerly track across the Pond to avoid the weather we didn't get much sun but it was very much the lesser of two evils. The weather in the Caribbean was a bit damp at times (it was the tail end of the hurricane season after all) but the Captain invariably got his daily forecast right so it helped in planning the day. He did get it wrong once, in St Maarten when we met him walking ashore just before a tropical shower hit the ship - lucky he wasn't in uniform! Luckily we avoided a storm on the way home and had to substitute La Coruna for Praia Da Vitoria in the Azores - a much better option in our opinion. The popularity of this type of longer cruise inevitably attracts an older crowd. We were told that the average age was 71 (hopefully not including the crew!) and it was a sad fact that we had an unusually large number of medical issues requiring the Captain to divert and alter the schedule to meet these urgent issues. Some good decisions, which incidentally showed that Arcadia can still lift her coat tails and exceed 24 knots when required - to the detriment of the Chief Engineer's credit card no doubt! On a personal basis we enjoyed the Scenic Sailaway from St Lucia. Thankfully these are not widely advertised aboard nowadays as they are so popular - and excellent value at the price. A group of about 40 enjoyed excellent canapés and unlimited drinks in East Bar as we sailed out on a lovely evening. We made friends in our quiz team with a couple whose daughter was getting married aboard and we were delighted to be involved. A lovely family. One grouse we've had in the past was that the higher levels of the Peninsular Club have their lunches very early in the cruise. We were invited three days out! However it was no problem changing to join those later in the cruise and the ship is also always happy to accommodate requests for particular table hosts which makes the event even more memorable. By then we had got to know most of the wine waiters through the excellent wine tastings and getting a little extra to drink at all the events was a bonus! So a leisurely and entertaining cruise when ticked all the boxes for us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise as we had been on this ship last year so we were familiar with the layout. We had been recommended to do the cruise around the Baltics by several people who were on last years cruise, The embarkation for the ship was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on this ship last year so we were familiar with the layout. We had been recommended to do the cruise around the Baltics by several people who were on last years cruise, The embarkation for the ship was fantastic, within half an hour of us arriving at the port we were on the ship. The only thing that held us up was trying to find a porter with a trolley to take the luggage away. We found our cabin easily but had to wait for our suitcases as they were all being scanned. Better safe than sorry! The cabin had a balcony and was well kept, clean and tidy. Our cabin steward was great as she was always ready with a smile and a greeting. We had a timed dining slot and were served by the same waiters throughout the cruise, they were brilliant. We built up a rapport with them as they came from India and the tests were being played. The food was very good and nothing was too much trouble for our waiters. Every meal we were asked if everything was ok, which we liked. We did try the restaurant for breakfast at the start of the cruise but ended up using the buffet instead as I wanted to choose what I wanted rather than get things off the set menu. The entertainment on the ship was fantastic. All the shows that we saw were West End standard. The entertainment team on the cruise were also very good. Plenty of different activities to take part in if you wanted to. We opted out of the service charge as the tips we gave were to the people who looked after us. As I was travelling with 2 less able walkers I booked the shore excursions online before we went. Oslo was expensive but beautiful, Gotland was full of history, Tallinn was wonderful and easily accessible on foot, Helsinki was amazing as we did the harbour cruise, St Petersburg was breath taking, the buildings were so grand that we couldn't understand how they survived the revolution, Warnemunde was the only place that it rained but it didn't detract us from walking around. Again it was easily accessible on foot. there were plenty of shops and cafes. Copenhagen was our last stop but the trip we took coincided with the visit of Mr Macron to the Queen. We managed to see the palaces but then got stuck in the traffic around the city as streets were closed and there were police everywhere. We did get to see the little mermaid. After that coach trip we were glad to be back on board. The tour guide was very apologetic but she did change the itinerary so that we could see the palaces before the police locked it down. We do like the Arcadia as it is an adults only ship and if we take another cruise it will probably be on that ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Always wanted to go to the Baltics, but this cruise stood out as not many go to all the Capital cities plus St Petersburg, but this one did and the ports of call certainly didn't disappoint. St Petersburg was the stand out ... Read More
Always wanted to go to the Baltics, but this cruise stood out as not many go to all the Capital cities plus St Petersburg, but this one did and the ports of call certainly didn't disappoint. St Petersburg was the stand out highlight , but Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo and Tallin were also excellent stops. Embarkation/Disembarkation was extremely smooth and easy. We went on Arcadia in her inaugaral year back in 2005 and she was a lovely ship, although I have to say now some 13 years on she is looking a little tired in some areas, mainly cabin and balconies. Public areas are ok, but nothing exciting. The entertainment in the Theatre was pretty mediocre, but some of the acts in the Lounge bars were very good. We were on Freedom dining and the food on th whole was very good without being outstanding. We ate at each of the select dining options, Sindhu was very good and The Ocean Grill provided the best starter I had on the entire cruise, but not sure that that the cover charge is worth it. Overall very enjoyable cruise, but that was down to the Ports more than the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
having sailed on this ship before and having lots of problems on it was, wondering if it would be the same. Having said that P&O were very helpful to us and we had already booked this cruise before sailing on the last. So we had a ... Read More
having sailed on this ship before and having lots of problems on it was, wondering if it would be the same. Having said that P&O were very helpful to us and we had already booked this cruise before sailing on the last. So we had a wonderful cruise the weather of course made it even more enjoyable. The scenery was outstanding. CABIN We had changed our cabin because of the trouble on the last cruise and booked the larger inside, it was brilliant lots of room more like a suite, plenty of storage space, nice large flat screen tv the usual channels and films. Great cabin boy Brian who looked after us exceptionally well even though he had many more cabins to look after. MDR restaurant was great sat on a different table of 6 each night, really good company and conversations. Food good too yum yum BUFFET belvedere was good always exceptionally busy but always managed to find a seat. We only ate in the buffet for breakfast, lunch and sometimes afternoon tea, food ok lots of choice. ENTERTAINMENT the theatre shows were excellent, the headliners team work very hard to put on a good show for us. Mike Doyle the comedian was great just couldn't stop laughing he was on twice. Indigo May was good, they were a duo wonderful singing. Jo & Liv were excellent, they were Irish singers Jo was quite hilarious too. The only thing i would say about the Arcadia is it lacks the alternative entertainment which you get on the other same size ships (mid size) all in all we had a lovely cruise. I will say the atrium is awful Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had a balcony cabin and sailing from Southampton for a belated 40th wedding anniversary. An extensive wine list and reasonably priced, A bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru 2012 was £24-95 around the price in Majestic or Waitrose ... Read More
We had a balcony cabin and sailing from Southampton for a belated 40th wedding anniversary. An extensive wine list and reasonably priced, A bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru 2012 was £24-95 around the price in Majestic or Waitrose ashore. Excellent food but whatever time we came the Freedom Dining was busy and we had pagers several times and delays. P&O should drop Haugesund - Not worth the stop (Bergen better). We had fabulous hot and sunny weather with 29C in Olden. Flam is a very lovely little place and the mountain train trip up to Myrdal is bucket list good. The stop by the falls with the mystical music and dancing spirits is good fun too. Good entertainment. One gripe - why no proper filter decaffeinated coffee - even after dinner instant decaf coffee served. Come on P%&O - not classy! Overall very enjoyable. Shame that P&O prices for future cruises seem steep. We plan on a Baltic cruise in June 2019 and Celebrity are higher rated; bigger cabins and better deal Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We picked this cruise because it left from Southampton (no flying) and visited countries we had not seen before at the right time of year. The drive to Southampton was smooth and we arrived at 12.15, with a couple of hours to spare, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it left from Southampton (no flying) and visited countries we had not seen before at the right time of year. The drive to Southampton was smooth and we arrived at 12.15, with a couple of hours to spare, the port parking were very organised and efficient. We expected to sit in the departure lounge but were processed straight away and on the ship in the buffet by 12.30, cabins were ready by 12.45. Our cabin was a standard inside, C deck forward, adequate but clean and tidy, very quiet at night and a fantastic cabin steward. Arcadia is an adult only ship, with few people on board under retirement age and a lot with poor mobility. We had fixed dining at 18.30, the menus were varied and always well cooked, we used the buffet on black tie nights because we didn't dress up for them (the majority of people dressed up for black tie, some of them going a bit over the top), the buffet food was hit and miss, limited in selection occasionally. Breakfast was a bit "smash and grab" in the buffet so we went to the MDR if we were up early enough. The poolside grill served lovely fish and chips in the afternoons too. The ship was clean and smart, there were always crew to be seen cleaning handrails and surfaces down or painting parts of the ship. There were a couple of buckets about catching water drips, certainly around the retractable roof of the pool. The swimming pools were small but we enjoyed using them in the hot weather, the jacuzzi 's were rather weak but heated. On one day we bought tickets for the hydropool and steam rooms, this was fantastic, hot and powerful, and we were the only ones using them. There were several musicians to choose from to listen to during the day, some better than others, we ended up watching a guitarist/singer most evenings because we found the main headliners show much too loud to enjoy, they need to sort their sound system out. We did not attend any of the daytime entertainment, it was aimed more at the elderly guests than ourselves, other than quizzes there was bingo, ballroom dance lessons, knit and natter, painting, and talks on the Queens household. The crew are all friendly and welcoming, smiling and will try to assist with anything you ask. The excursions booked varied, Easy Marseilles and Port trip wasn't easy and only spent 20 minutes in the port, but the Lisbon amphibious duck tour was fabulous with an excellent tour guide. We also enjoyed the catamaran trip and swim in Palma, not quite what we expected but a good day none the less, I do think there should have been someone checking the safety of swimmers, it seemed a bit slap dash with no counting of passengers at any time but the day was relaxed, I swam with fish, the bbq was ok and the sun shone. Gibraltar we used a taxi tour from the dock, this was great too, we saw the apes, St Michaels cave and the siege tunnels and went to lookout points. Classical Rome and Pompeii tours from the ship were both organised and well run, crowds of people at both sites but we saw what we went for. Cartagena we wandered around ourselves, the museum and Roman amphitheater were marvelous. We self disembarked with ease and were driving out of the port by 07.20, all very organised. All in all a good cruise, it is definitely the way to travel, I would go again but would probably not go with P&O, I would research the cruise line next time and go on a ship which is more relaxed about dress codes and has a younger age group. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because there were a number of ports we have not visited before. i can say that we were not disappointed, The main highlights were sailing in and out of Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Service was excellent in all ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there were a number of ports we have not visited before. i can say that we were not disappointed, The main highlights were sailing in and out of Venice, Split and Dubrovnik. Service was excellent in all departments and we found the ship in good condition and looks well after her refit. this was our first adult only cruise and it had its share of grumpy old people A couple of observations 1. I have never had to be in the theatre 45 mins before the performances to get a seat The entertainment team had there work cutout filling spare seats to pack everyone in. 2. Alot of queuing to get into freedom dining. I think it is getting more and more popular than fixed. 3. The position of the Costa near the cinema seems a waste of time. The entertainment team worked hard especially as the average age was 'elderly'. Overall a good cruise but personally prefer a bigger ship with more space and entertainment venues. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
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 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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