We chose this cruise to Norway as it fitted in with our leave dates, and was a destination that we had not been to before. We have been on 3 previous cruises (all with different carriers), so also wanted to see how P&O compared to the others. We liked the P&O website, as it was clear, and also allowed us the opportunity to view -and pre-book- the various shore excursions, as well as some of the spa services (although we found out on board that there was a wider range - and like other carriers, they dont give information about the Formal nights -which causes inconvenience on board ship). Aradia is a medium / large ship - designed for just over 2000 passengers- and its an 'Adults only' ship. It has 1 x (all meal) Buffet restaurant, 1 x Breakfast/Evening meal Restaurant - on 2 levels- one for the 2 set Dining times, and the other 'Freedom' Dining, A couple more serving area for snacks by the pools, and the 2 'Premium; - ie pay extra Restaurants: Marco Pierre Whites' Ocean Grill' and Atul Kochhar's Sindhu restaurant. edit - and a little cafewith cakes/pastries There is a small cinema (tickets from the Library./Internet room) - showing different films every day from the last 12 months of so of general release (similarly for about 3 TV movie channels), an Open pool at the rear, and a further, slightly larger pool/deck area under a covered roof.. The Gym is forward- with the usual range of exercise machines/ weights etc - albeit it only opens between 0800 & 2000 - even if there are no staff in there - which is a bit of a pain if you wanted to have a little exercise before breakfast / a shore excursion. (Why cant they open it at 06:30 / 07:00 ?) We had a decent size (though fairly typical ) balcony cabin on Deck A which included a shower over a small bath,. Good storage space for washbags. 3 Launderettes (I thinki) -on decks, 4,5 and 6) - with free washing machines and driers, albeit only 1 ironing board in the one I used, and its a little 'cosy; - but fair play, its free-having been charged on other ships. Passengers: Predominantly Brits, with a few from North Amercia and its clearly geared to the UK Domestic market in terms of cuisine, entertainment and atmopshere. We found it very relaxed on board - with the staff friendly (although appeared happier on a Princess Cruise we took last year), and we didnt encounter real 'in your face' selling of Jewellry/ Spa services / Photo etc - as on Princess. P&O obviously recognise that Brits will probably chuck most of the flyers without reading. The ship didnt feel overcroweded, and there was good general space - and no real pinch points (where some ships try to cram shops/cafes into the narrower centre of the ship). Entertainment: Ships own singing/dance company -'The Headliners' were really good. We saw 2 shows- both about 45 -50 mins long - one a 70's Boogie Night, and other 'Queen ' tribute. All the performers were good, and they were high energy productions (credit to the sound guys and technicians) and we lost count of the costume changes. In addition,, we also enjoyed 2 of the guest singers. Again, all the acts performed for about 45-50 minutes. We also had 2 individual 'enhancement' speakers - one about Royal Yacht Britannia, and another about the Constellations and Northern Lights. - If you dont see them 'live', they are replayed on a loop on another TV channel. Excursions: We went on 2 and found them good value for money, with very knowledgable and information LOCAL guides. The tours were well organised and went to some very interesting places. Finally, the food. This was the biggest disappointment for us. There was a distinct lack of anything other than white bread (some brown, but where was the granary / rye , fresh crusty etc ?) and there was no fresh salmon option for breakfast - but was on the buffet for lunch and evening meals. We also found the buffet range a little limited. We had freedom dining, and liked the quality of meals on the Formal nights- but on other nights, we - or others on the table sent back completely / left quite a bit of food as it didnt appear well cooked (they seemed to have a problem with chips and mash). Speciality restaurants: We ate in Marco Pierre's on the first night , and Sindhu on 2 of the last 4 - and they were both a quality above the other restaurants- particularly Sindhu. These meals were all beautifully cooked and presented (though like some of the other meals, couldve been a tad warmer), and the staff all attentive. In addition, the menus's didnt seem to reflect where were going- as it wouldve been nice to at least try and experience some of the local cuisine. Overall, we would travel on P&O again, but would probably take a slightly lower cabin grade because we'd want to offset that against paying for the speciality restaurants. We'd also bring our own, healthier bread on board/ look to buy similar on shore. Good entertainment, and the prices are very comparable to other carriers.

Nice relaxed and well organised cruise without the onboard 'hard sell.

Arcadia Cruise Review by viewfromthehill

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise to Norway as it fitted in with our leave dates, and was a destination that we had not been to before. We have been on 3 previous cruises (all with different carriers), so also wanted to see how P&O compared to the others.

We liked the P&O website, as it was clear, and also allowed us the opportunity to view -and pre-book- the various shore excursions, as well as some of the spa services (although we found out on board that there was a wider range - and like other carriers, they dont give information about the Formal nights -which causes inconvenience on board ship).

Aradia is a medium / large ship - designed for just over 2000 passengers- and its an 'Adults only' ship. It has 1 x (all meal) Buffet restaurant, 1 x Breakfast/Evening meal Restaurant - on 2 levels- one for the 2 set Dining times, and the other 'Freedom' Dining, A couple more serving area for snacks by the pools, and the 2 'Premium; - ie pay extra Restaurants: Marco Pierre Whites' Ocean Grill' and Atul Kochhar's Sindhu restaurant. edit - and a little cafewith cakes/pastries

There is a small cinema (tickets from the Library./Internet room) - showing different films every day from the last 12 months of so of general release (similarly for about 3 TV movie channels), an Open pool at the rear, and a further, slightly larger pool/deck area under a covered roof.. The Gym is forward- with the usual range of exercise machines/ weights etc - albeit it only opens between 0800 & 2000 - even if there are no staff in there - which is a bit of a pain if you wanted to have a little exercise before breakfast / a shore excursion. (Why cant they open it at 06:30 / 07:00 ?)

We had a decent size (though fairly typical ) balcony cabin on Deck A which included a shower over a small bath,. Good storage space for washbags.

3 Launderettes (I thinki) -on decks, 4,5 and 6) - with free washing machines and driers, albeit only 1 ironing board in the one I used, and its a little 'cosy; - but fair play, its free-having been charged on other ships.

Passengers: Predominantly Brits, with a few from North Amercia and its clearly geared to the UK Domestic market in terms of cuisine, entertainment and atmopshere. We found it very relaxed on board - with the staff friendly (although appeared happier on a Princess Cruise we took last year), and we didnt encounter real 'in your face' selling of Jewellry/ Spa services / Photo etc - as on Princess. P&O obviously recognise that Brits will probably chuck most of the flyers without reading.

The ship didnt feel overcroweded, and there was good general space - and no real pinch points (where some ships try to cram shops/cafes into the narrower centre of the ship).

Entertainment: Ships own singing/dance company -'The Headliners' were really good. We saw 2 shows- both about 45 -50 mins long - one a 70's Boogie Night, and other 'Queen ' tribute. All the performers were good, and they were high energy productions (credit to the sound guys and technicians) and we lost count of the costume changes.

In addition,, we also enjoyed 2 of the guest singers.

Again, all the acts performed for about 45-50 minutes.

We also had 2 individual 'enhancement' speakers - one about Royal Yacht Britannia, and another about the Constellations and Northern Lights. - If you dont see them 'live', they are replayed on a loop on another TV channel.

Excursions: We went on 2 and found them good value for money, with very knowledgable and information LOCAL guides. The tours were well organised and went to some very interesting places.

Finally, the food. This was the biggest disappointment for us. There was a distinct lack of anything other than white bread (some brown, but where was the granary / rye , fresh crusty etc ?) and there was no fresh salmon option for breakfast - but was on the buffet for lunch and evening meals. We also found the buffet range a little limited.

We had freedom dining, and liked the quality of meals on the Formal nights- but on other nights, we - or others on the table sent back completely / left quite a bit of food as it didnt appear well cooked (they seemed to have a problem with chips and mash).

Speciality restaurants: We ate in Marco Pierre's on the first night , and Sindhu on 2 of the last 4 - and they were both a quality above the other restaurants- particularly Sindhu. These meals were all beautifully cooked and presented (though like some of the other meals, couldve been a tad warmer), and the staff all attentive.

In addition, the menus's didnt seem to reflect where were going- as it wouldve been nice to at least try and experience some of the local cuisine.

Overall, we would travel on P&O again, but would probably take a slightly lower cabin grade because we'd want to offset that against paying for the speciality restaurants. We'd also bring our own, healthier bread on board/ look to buy similar on shore. Good entertainment, and the prices are very comparable to other carriers.
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