I am writing this to slightly redress the balance of reviews for Arcadia's 2015 circumnavigation - we sailed from Southampton to Sydney, departing on January 6th and flying back from Sydney on February 22nd. The ship has recently been refurbished and all of the public rooms were very nicely presented. We especially liked the East Bar and Intermezzo was very comfortable.
There were a lot of elderly passengers but, as this was a world cruise with a total duration of over 100 nights, we expected this. However, the vast majority of passengers were able bodied, whatever their age. Some reviews comment on boorish behaviour; personally, I found the behaviour of almost all of the passengers exemplary. There are also some comments about obesity and greed - many people cruise to eat a lot and why not?
I do agree with comments about the cabins; our cabin was always slightly grubby, I am not sure that the bathroom floor was washed while we were resident and there was dust under the bed and in the wardrobe. The bed was changed frequently but the sheets, quilt cover and pillowcases were not good quality, never smelt fresh, and were sometimes marked. I expected better. We did comment in our questionnaire about the poor quality of the pillows and they were replaced - for the final night of our cruise!
The food was very good and occasionally exceptional. There was a wide choice at every meal. The waiters and wine waiter were brilliant and endeavoured to meet every need.
Some passengers did become ill – probably no more than would have fallen ill in the UK in January and February. I saw people coughing without covering their mouths and people who were clearly unwell still attended shows and went on trips etc. However, only a small minority of people were ill. There is a medical centre on the ship but it is not the NHS and anyone visiting the doctor does have to pay similar costs to private medical care at home.
There was always plenty to do, whatever your age, for example: Spanish classes; art classes; cinema; ‘boot camp’; yoga; port talks; barbecues; ice-carving; library; bingo; casino; guest speakers; craft lessons; chocaholics buffet, etc.
We visited some marvellous ports and, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise. Arcadia’s cabins do need an upgrade but the holiday represented good value for money. Don’t be put off by the negativity – do take medicines for minor complaints.