Having sailed on a number of cruises with Celebrity and Azamara, I was getting rather fed up with their prices and their service charges. So a chance to sample another cruise line and I decided on a Panama canal transit with P&O Arcadia to Los Angeles on the first stage of their world circumvention.
I was a little concerned with some of the negative cruise reviews that I had read but was prepared to accept some downgrade on standards for the fairly large difference in price.
That said the first part started badly but that was not all down to P&O. We travelled down to Southampton by car and reached to within one mile of the cruise terminal to be met by total grid lock. Five cruise ships were departing that day and Southampton had road works but a big fat thumbs down to Southampton Council and the Police who did nothing to address or try to rectify this problem It took a further two hours to reach the terminal only to find a queue stretching and snaking out of the small terminal building (with no nearby toilets!). An hour plus later we boarded. No one to meet greet and guide and an immediate contrast in the lack of wow factor seen on Celebrity as we found our own way to our upgraded balcony cabin.
The cabin was a good size with a nice large flat screen television but cleaning standards were not as good as they should have been however a complaint rectified this with the exception of the balcony which with many others was totally neglected from cleaning throughout the cruise.