We enjoyed a fabulous cruise around the Baltic on the Arcadia. This was my thrid cruise having not been on one for several years but prior cruises had been on the Oriana. The Arcadia is a lovely ship, it did take me a little while to rememeber where everything was but as most places to go (other than the cabins) are located on decks 2,3 or 9 I got to grips with it relatively quickly. I do though seem to remember that the layout on the Oriana was better but that may have been a figment of my imagination. The first night we were all invited to a sail away reception on one of the upper decks. Like another reviewer on here we were under the impression that it was a free glass of Champagne (I'm sure that's what we heard on the tannoy) but when we got up there we were told that we had to pay for the drinks. I'm not sure if this was a mistake by the person who announced the reception of whether this happens regularly but it's worth listening out for on future cruises. The service on the cruise from all the staff was second to none, our cabin steward was a lovely lady who always gave us a warm welcome whenever we saw her and kept our cabin pristine. The restaurant staff in the Miridien were also excellent and so too was everyone else that we encountered throughout the cruise. Whenever you sit down somewhere, a waiter will always ask if you want any drinks but I must say, I never ever felt hassled. The ports were great and we were ever so lucky with the weather. I think it only rained once whilst we were away and that was on a sea day. Temperatures were pretty much like here in London so early - mid 20s. All the places we visited were beautiful and I kept walking round thinking how clean the towns in Scandinavia are compared to the UK. No litter, relatively little traffic and a clear respect for the place they live in. We only went on an excursion in St Petersburg as you would need a visa otherwise and these were very well organised with fantastic tour guides. At the other ports were we didn't do an excursion but the shuttle buses that were laid on by P&O were very efficient and there was hardly any waiting around so everything went extremely smoothly and quickly. The entertainment by the Headliners Theatre group was excellent. They absolutely worked their butts off each night and presented a very slick enjoyable show each time they were on. They really became a highlight for our evenings and I must say that the standard is far better than it was ten years ago when I last cruised. Other entertainment was a brilliant violinist and a male singer who we enjoyed. Roy Walker I wasn't so keen on but being in my early 30's I don't think I was his target audience, however everyone around me were laughing their heads off so they all seemed to enjoy him. The entertainment gameshows like Blanekty Blank and Mr and Mrs were fun and a good laugh but there was a bit of a lack of daytime activities especially on sea days. I often found myself at a bit of a loose end as there wasn't really much to do. There were quizzes and other similar things on but they were a bit dreary and not particularly exciting. I would have liked to have done some classes (there was Pilates and Yoga but these had an extra fee which I didn't really think you should have to pay considering the price of the cruise) but other than those I didn't see much else. The entertainment is very much aimed at the older cruiser and as this made up probably 95% of the passenegers I completely understand why, however it would have been nice if there had been more variety in the daytime activities and I'm sure a lot of the older people would have surprised them by getting involved regardless. In the evening there would be music played in the Globe which is the Arcadia's kind of nightclub but it never really got past midnight. When I was on a cruise before I remember being in the Oriana's equivalent dancing till about 2am most nights but that didn't happen on here presumably because it was an adult only ship so you didn't get many younger people 20s/30s/40s. A quick word about tipping. Whilst I appreciate that there is this culture of tipping and that they have tried to make it less awkward by charging £5 per person per day onto your onboard account automatically, I would prefer it if the staff were paid better wages so that it wasn't on the owness of the passenger to make up the short fall. It can make your holiday a couple hundred pounds more expensive and the whole practice is a bit murky so I'd prefer to pay more upfront and avoid it altogether. All in all though it was a great cruise and was very well executed by everyone involved. I would definitely cruise again with P&O and I think the Norwegian Fjords look pretty good so that may have to be the next one. All the staff were fantastic, service amazing, beautiful ship and wonderful locations. Highly recommended!

Arcadia, Baltic Cruise; Fantastic

Arcadia Cruise Review by alexpb

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We enjoyed a fabulous cruise around the Baltic on the Arcadia. This was my thrid cruise having not been on one for several years but prior cruises had been on the Oriana.

The Arcadia is a lovely ship, it did take me a little while to rememeber where everything was but as most places to go (other than the cabins) are located on decks 2,3 or 9 I got to grips with it relatively quickly. I do though seem to remember that the layout on the Oriana was better but that may have been a figment of my imagination.

The first night we were all invited to a sail away reception on one of the upper decks. Like another reviewer on here we were under the impression that it was a free glass of Champagne (I'm sure that's what we heard on the tannoy) but when we got up there we were told that we had to pay for the drinks. I'm not sure if this was a mistake by the person who announced the reception of whether this happens regularly but it's worth listening out for on future cruises.

The service on the cruise from all the staff was second to none, our cabin steward was a lovely lady who always gave us a warm welcome whenever we saw her and kept our cabin pristine. The restaurant staff in the Miridien were also excellent and so too was everyone else that we encountered throughout the cruise. Whenever you sit down somewhere, a waiter will always ask if you want any drinks but I must say, I never ever felt hassled.

The ports were great and we were ever so lucky with the weather. I think it only rained once whilst we were away and that was on a sea day. Temperatures were pretty much like here in London so early - mid 20s. All the places we visited were beautiful and I kept walking round thinking how clean the towns in Scandinavia are compared to the UK. No litter, relatively little traffic and a clear respect for the place they live in. We only went on an excursion in St Petersburg as you would need a visa otherwise and these were very well organised with fantastic tour guides.

At the other ports were we didn't do an excursion but the shuttle buses that were laid on by P&O were very efficient and there was hardly any waiting around so everything went extremely smoothly and quickly.

The entertainment by the Headliners Theatre group was excellent. They absolutely worked their butts off each night and presented a very slick enjoyable show each time they were on. They really became a highlight for our evenings and I must say that the standard is far better than it was ten years ago when I last cruised. Other entertainment was a brilliant violinist and a male singer who we enjoyed. Roy Walker I wasn't so keen on but being in my early 30's I don't think I was his target audience, however everyone around me were laughing their heads off so they all seemed to enjoy him.

The entertainment gameshows like Blanekty Blank and Mr and Mrs were fun and a good laugh but there was a bit of a lack of daytime activities especially on sea days. I often found myself at a bit of a loose end as there wasn't really much to do. There were quizzes and other similar things on but they were a bit dreary and not particularly exciting. I would have liked to have done some classes (there was Pilates and Yoga but these had an extra fee which I didn't really think you should have to pay considering the price of the cruise) but other than those I didn't see much else.

The entertainment is very much aimed at the older cruiser and as this made up probably 95% of the passenegers I completely understand why, however it would have been nice if there had been more variety in the daytime activities and I'm sure a lot of the older people would have surprised them by getting involved regardless.

In the evening there would be music played in the Globe which is the Arcadia's kind of nightclub but it never really got past midnight. When I was on a cruise before I remember being in the Oriana's equivalent dancing till about 2am most nights but that didn't happen on here presumably because it was an adult only ship so you didn't get many younger people 20s/30s/40s.

A quick word about tipping. Whilst I appreciate that there is this culture of tipping and that they have tried to make it less awkward by charging £5 per person per day onto your onboard account automatically, I would prefer it if the staff were paid better wages so that it wasn't on the owness of the passenger to make up the short fall. It can make your holiday a couple hundred pounds more expensive and the whole practice is a bit murky so I'd prefer to pay more upfront and avoid it altogether.

All in all though it was a great cruise and was very well executed by everyone involved. I would definitely cruise again with P&O and I think the Norwegian Fjords look pretty good so that may have to be the next one. All the staff were fantastic, service amazing, beautiful ship and wonderful locations. Highly recommended!
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