Arcadia Cruise Review by rdillon2
- Sail Date: December 2018
- Destination: Europe
- Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom with Shower
I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take it because it was cheaper than the train tickets from London to Bruges and it would include 'hotel' and food, so it seemed like a good deal. Turns out it wasn't the best idea. Due to high seas and strong winds we could not dock at Zeebruges so it turned into a cruise to nowhere, which would have been fine if the whole point wasn't to see the Bruges Christmas Market. We were also not offered anything in compensation, which I know they don't have to do, you take your chances, however, every other cruise line I've been on has at minimum reimbursed for port charges and most have given passengers a small OBC.
While the inability to dock couldn't be helped, the way they handled it could have been much better. I've been on many cruises where we have missed a stop and the entertainment team has always gone out of the way to add items to the itinerary to account for the added number of people that would be on board (since it's assumed most passengers will disembark at the port. This was not the case with the Arcadia. For example their were 2 showings of Mama Mia Here we go Again, in a VERY small venue and it was completely packed. There was nothing else going on this that venue the remaining time, so they could have easily added one or two additional showings. I think the worse part was lunch, they only have one side of the buffet open even though, again everyone was on board. There were very few places to sit and people were waiting a long time for items to be replenished.
Outside of the issue with missing the port, the food (which is very subjective) was very British, full english available both mornings, although the scrambled eggs were not cooked well, they were very runny with a sign above them stating you shouldn't eat egg products that were not fully cooked. The first day lunch buffet featured prime rib but all of it was completely well done, which is a total waste of good food. I found most items on the buffet to be cold, the way the buffet is set up it does not keep the items warm at all. I was assigned late dining in the main dining room and had dinner there the first night, not a lot on the menu that appealed, the shrimp cocktail was a bed of lettuce with what we call in the states salad shrimp (or bait LOL). They were very tiny and smothered in sauce. The main was a steak and chips, I ordered it rare and it was medium which apparently is the best they could do. The chips were great, but could have used some ketchup. Dessert (pudding) was advertised as a triple chocolate molten cake, which was not a cake. It was more of a dense gelatinous mousse, inedible, the accompanying ice cream was good. I decided the next night that nothing on the menu in the main dining room interested me, a lot of fish and liver. So, I went to the Asian themed buffet. Again the food could have been much better if it wasn't cold. The sweet and sour chicken used the same chicken goujons from the Neptune grill but overcooked (very stringy). The little egg rolls were the best thing on the buffet, I must have caught them at the right time because they were actually hot.
Entertainment - I felt like this ship is stuck in the late 90s, it reminded me very much of the first cruise I went on where the entertainment was only 'live music' in the different bars. I believe there was one 80s music trivia. While it's an older ship and there aren't all the bells and whistles you'll find on a newer ship (zip line, water slides, rock walls, ice skating etc), I would expect something more. They could have done the comedy game shows like the quest or match your mate. They have one very small theater for movies, seats about 30 but the movies they showed were old ones already out on DVD. There was also NOTHING to do during the early diner seating, other than hang out in a bar. I even tried the casino but while it was open they had no dealers for any of the games and just some VERY OLD slot machines.
Cabin - as I booked so late I had a gty inside which I did not find out which cabin until I got to the port. I was in E165 which is aft. The cabin was fine, it was my first inside cabin and I did miss the window especially since I spent a lot of time there due to the lack of entertainment I spent a good deal of time reading and napping LOL. I did sit by the pool on afternoon to be able to see the ocean but it was a bit chilly. The cabin steward was fine, he brought ice every evening as requested.
Specialty / Room Service Dining - I was originally going to Ocean View which has a cover charge of 22.95, which I was fine with paying until I looked at the menu and saw that 99.9% of the items had a surcharge, I believe the only item you could get w/o a surcharge was the salmon or chopped steak, since that annoyed me I didn't go, just up the charge and include everything. I also did not order room service, first because I couldn't find the room service menu and then second because there was a charge. I think the ships that are going to charging for room service are ridiculous and I'm boycotting. Breakfast room service is included.
Overall service was fine, I did have a hard time getting the bar servers in the dining room to take my order and they were very slow returning your key. I also found it ridiculous that the bars didn't have ice. I know they don't like ice in Europe but usually cocktails are the exception.
Overall, I was disappointed in missing our port and the entertainment on the ship was not to my liking, however, if you are with a group and can make your own fun, I think this could be a good ship to take.
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