We have sailed on the Arcadia twice before (2005 and 2007) so I was looking forward to voyaging on this lovely, child-free ship again.
Last January we went on the Ventura and I thought it showed a distinct drop in standards from the P&O cruises we have been used to, but thankfully this was not the case with Arcadia, which is as excellent as ever.
After our 6-hour train ride from the North-East down to Southampton we were off to a bad start with the worst embarkation we have ever experienced in 31 cruises. We had to stand and queue for an hour and a half; no seating was provided (apart from plastic chairs placed there for those less able to stand) and no refreshments were available. Instead of the usual "called to board by deck number" it was simply a free for all; we learned later that some people queued for over 2 hours. Not a good first impression for those cruising with P&O for the first time.