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

First time Fjords

Arcadia Cruise Review by Strachanna

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jun 2019
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Balcony and Bath/Shower

We hadn't sailed with P&O before and the dates fitted in with our plans as we live way up N in Aberdeenshire. We drove down the day before & stayed O/N at a Holiday Inn Express which offered 15 days free parking plus taxi to/from the port. Excellent package.

Embarkation was very efficient and we boarded very quickly, with the luggage arriving in reasonable time. We booked early May and one of the cabins offered was at the stern, but it had a big balcony and we thought [rightly as it turned out] that we'd have brilliant views of the Fjords. The cabin was spacious with plenty of clothes storage, seating space with a settee and a good sized bathroom. Our steward, Umesh, was efficient, friendly and brought ice for our drinks each evening, so deserved his good tip! The only thing I missed was a towelling robe and slippers, as I would have expected those in a de-luxe cabin.

The ship was just big enough for us, although I was grateful for the small map which I clutched for days. The cabin was smart and very clean, but the balcony area was quite rusty in areas and both that and the balcony rail needed painting. Although the balcony was huge, there was an overhang so we didn't get as much sunshine as the deck below.

But then they had us gazing down on them as they sunbathed.....

Dining standards were very varied and although we tried Freedom Dining on the first night, after a projected hour's wait till 9pm, we reverted to our 2nd sitting booking and were with a great group on our table for six in the window. Two very good waiters looked after us very well during the whole voyage. The food varied from day to day and a few times we had to send food back to the kitchen, including the infamous steaks. My worst choice was lamb, which turned out to be three slices of fat smothered in gravy and should never have left the kitchen The replacement slices were beautiful and it does pay to complain as the head waiter came over personally to apologise.

We did eat twice in the Sindhu restaurant and really enjoyed the food in there, although some of it didn't strike us as particularly Indian or Eastern. The staff went to particular trouble for me as I'm allergic to chilli and I never suffered once! Surroundings were lovely and it was pleasant to enjoy a drink in the quiet East bar before strolling next door to eat.

We always breakfasted in the Belvedere as there was a good choice of cereals and fresh fruit and we did indulge in the occasional bacon butty. Lunch was usually there too as we prefer salads and there was a wide selection to choose from. If we did have a hot meal, we were generally disappointed as the food was rarely hot and not brilliant. Their curry night was excellent though!

Drinks were reasonably priced, especially the wines at the evening meal and there was a comprehensive choice of world wines.

We enjoyed most of the entertainment, especially the Headliners with their superb, enthusiastic, high standard, special musical evenings. Definitely West End quality. The comedian was extremely funny and had an appreciative audience.

Enjoyed the historian too as her lectures on the Vikings were very interesting with amusing observations which added to the content. Joined in the daily quizzes, though not all the answers were accurate as for just one example, butterflies do NOT eat through their feet!

We only took one shore excursion as we love to stroll off the ship in our own time and explore locally. All the small ports seemed to have similar souvenirs and high prices, but Trondheim and Bergen were well worth exploring on one's own.The trip we chose was the Grieg visit, which was well hyped as a special event with a piano recital. Lovely trip round Bergen to begin with, followed by the tour of Grieg's house and museum with the recital as the icing on the cake in a beautiful concert hall. The pianist was talented and we'd just begun to enjoy this treat when it was over after less than half an hour. So disappointing and we did feel rather short changed.

Overall we enjoyed our first P&O trip and as we always try and see the good in everything, any little gripes like the costly Wifi and lack of signals to catch up with the home news, [no Brexit for 12 days....bliss!] were easily put to one side.

But the great joy was the Fjords themselves in the sunshine from our private little paradise with panoramic views and the sensation of being all alone in this wilderness with the snow topped mountains and towering waterfalls. Loved the experience.

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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Cabin DE D 183

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Troldhaugen Concert

Started with a bus tour through Bergen and the guide was very good. The Grieg museum was small, but very much a personal one with photos and documents of his life. We only saw two rooms of his attractive house, but it was interesting and had lovely views of his inspirational lake. But the recital was so very short in such a stunning concert hall and we'd hardly settled in our seats before it was over within half an hour and we had to leave after only a few piano pieces. Most disappointing as that was meant to be the pinnacle of the excursion.

View All 28 Troldhaugen Concert Reviews

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