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Arcadia Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
447 Reviews

Disappointing cruise with very limited gluten-free food

Arcadia Cruise Review by ccreview

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea

We chose this ship purely for the Geiranger Fjord destination. The fjords were beautiful. I asked at Reception what time we would be docking in Geiranger, because we wanted to wake up early and see the ship sail in. I was given a time, but the ship actually docked much much earlier, so we missed the sail in, despite getting up early, which was very disappointing. Geiranger was a beautiful, as was Flam. Our first port was Bergen. We arrived there on a Sunday, when everything was closed. At the tours presentation we were told all the things to see, but they knew full well that most places would be closed. The final port was Haugasund, which was an industrial port, not a pretty fjord destination. It did not fit with the itinerary and many passengers were disappointed with this port, especially as Stavanger was just a short way down the coast.

I need a gluten-free diet, which P&O knew in advance. None of the buffet food was labelled with food allergens and I was told on the first day by the staff in there, not to eat in the buffet at all. All my meals in the main restaurant had to be pre-ordered the night before, so my choices were very limited. None of the gluten-free cakes were fresh; they were all brought in pre-packaged and stale. This really put a damper on my holiday. I have never had this problem with other cruise companies.

The entertainment was good, although there was too much strobe lighting in some of the shows in the theatre.

The ship has recently had a refit, but there was still quite a lot of maintenance work being done.

The cabins were clean and spacious and the bed very comfortable.

The two formal nights were very good, with most men wearing dinner suits and ladies in long or cocktail dresses. These nights were better than formal nights on some of the other cruise lines.

On the morning of the last port day, it started to feel like our cruise was over and we were surplus to requirements. The waiters and chefs paraded through the buffet, so everyone could thank them for the food - yet we still had two more days to go. That evening, again there was a parade in the main dining room with the entertainment compere thanking them for their food. That evening in the theatre, as we were waiting for the show to start, a video was playing showing us what shows we had enjoyed throughout the cruise, yet we had two more shows to see.

On the last day, just before introducing the guest speaker at 11am, the entertainment compere asked if everyone was packed. To cap it all, most of our suitcases had to be outside the cabins before we went for dinner on the last night, not at 11pm, as on other cruise lines. At 6pm, when many people wanted to go for dinner, most of the lifts were out of order so that the luggage could be moved. To cap it all, after the final show, about 11.15pm, the compere told us that our cruise wasn't over as some of the bars were still open!

Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth, although a welcome drink would have been a nice touch.

P&O certainly does not have the edge when it comes to customer satisfaction, which is very disappointing. I won't be booking another cruise with them in a hurry!

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Cabin Review

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


This would be a beautiful port on a dry and sunny day, but not on a wet Sunday when most things are closed.


Absolutely beautiful port with stunning views and waterfalls withing walking distance of the ship.


The Flam Railway was beautiful, but there is not much else to do there.

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