P & O Are you listening?: Arcadia Cruise Review by Gordon Donaldson

Arcadia 4
Gordon Donaldson

Overall Member Rating

P & O Are you listening?

Sail Date: March 2012
Destination: Africa
Embarkation: Singapore
Having read other passenger reviews who sailed on Arcadia during this world cruise,there does appear to be a common factor, one which P & O will ignore at their peril.Arcadia, along with the likes of Oriana and I believe Adonia are for adults only. Far from being anti children it is just something that my wife and I appreciate when getting away from it all. It is a feature I am sure that attracts passengers back time and again. We sailed on her after her launch in 2005 and it was a wonderful experience. In 2012, nothing really has changed and if we draw a comparison against other cruise lines and ships, then Arcadia is ready for the scrap yard. It is crying out for a face lift, particularly with the cabins.Whilst the beds were comfortable the bathrooms were very tired and with no interactive TV entertainment was very poor if you chose to spend an hour or two indoors.Balcony furniture was way past its sell by date. The Meridien Restaurant needs a serious review, The menus sound good More but in reality the food was bland and quite uninteresting.Staff were as always excellent, but good food is being wasted. On the other hand the Belvedere Self Service was, In our opinion very good. Just how much choice do some people want? And the theme nights. Well, personally we thought these were the highlight of the cruise along with a visit or three to the Orchid and Ocean Grill.The Spa area is overpriced and with stone beds and steam rooms out of operation little was made of a concession. Treatment prices were prohibitive which must have affected numbers.
Coffee shop with Costa Coffee was fine but is far to small.But.......the biggest criticism of all was the lack of evening interaction generated amongst passengers.Sparsely attended bar areas with entertainers playing to themselves and waiters twiddling their thumbs. More like a Mortuary and a big downside for us as a group. Having said that, if you are on the ship for 109 nights then maybe you just don't want to socialise. On that basis we would never again choose a sector cruise.
The itinerary was fine except the cancellation of our visit to the Seychelles.Was it pirates or the hike in insurance costs because of a perceived risk? We will probably never know.
What is important for all of those who regularly cruise with P & O is, do they take any notice of what is written and said? Changes are needed to Arcadia and quickly. I for one will not be booking to go on her again until refurbishment has been undertaken and having sampled others who have upped their game, P & O are in danger of losing some very loyal but valuable customers. Less

Published 05/08/12

Cabin review: DGB33 Deluxe Stateroom with Balcony and Bath/Shower

B33, Balcony Cabin. Ideally placed for lifts. Quiet at night.

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Port and Shore Excursions

City Tour

For the price this was great value and we saw more of Capetown than expected.

Robben Island

Had the benefit of a very good guide who knew Mr Mandela well, Made the trip. Not a place of beauty, but an insight into how inhumanely these people were treated and irrespective of his views and beliefs, what an intelligent man Mandela was and is,

Table Mountain

The icing on the cake. Brillisnt, wonderful, fantastic. Just do everything you can whilst there and then go back. We will without doubt and very soon.

Trips fully booked so ended up at a shopping centre. If you want to see Kuala Lumpur you have to have an organised excursion and even then the time frame available is not great.

Pregnant Maiden Island

The boat rides out to the islands were an adrenalin rush. For the faint hearted, sit at the rear. If you are not good on your feet be careful. Steps are an issue and proved dangerous, something not well explained in the brochure or ship summary. Still a good experience and a very beautiful area.

Wonderful place but can be expensive.Safe and extremely clean. Helpful and friendly people. Raffles overated. Don't bother
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Gordon Donaldson
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money