Its 10 years since we were last on Arcadia, in meantime she had a full refurbishment, the cabins and public rooms were impressive and if anyone had a problem then the Housekeeping Manager would provide a solution. She is an older ship and externally there are areas showing age but considering she is at sea virtually daily and has been around the globe many times it can be expected. Daily maintenance is carried out as would be expected and if anyone was woken by the chipping drills on the lifeboat davits then perhaps they prefer lie-ins after 10.00 a or cant be bothered if their lifeboat wasn't serviced.
Change of itinerary, we were notified by email 5 days before departure explaining the reason why a prolonged stop in Malaga was necessary. Some fellow cruisers said they did not know until they boarded. Can't explain this but I would suggest that as we are registered in the P&O Cruise Personaliser, where our email is recorded, this could be the reason for those who do not use this system.
Yes we missed out a port of call and stayed in Malaga while she was being repaired, the captain kept us informed of the progress of the work. Unfortunately the 22-strong team of divers, flown in from the USA and elsewhere were unable to correct the problem with the port-side pod within the expected time and after arriving on Thursday (at top speed), we departed just after midnight on Sunday/Monday morning. Malaga is a lovely place and a leisurely walk or free for all passengers shuttle bus into the main area was provided..
We missed two sea days and one port. After departure one passenger decided to be seriously ill (not norovirus) but as Arcadia does not have a heli-pad, the Captain sailed at full speed for Venice for the passenger hope all was well) to be transferred to waiting ambulance on the quayside.
Safety is a high priority and itinerary change is usually, sometimes weather also for other reasons but some people have to moan and disrespect P&O, fortunately the majority of fellow passengers we spoke to were happy with their cruise.
Part-way through their was an outbreak of the dreaded Norovirous. We were not affected, The crew immediately put special measures in place specifically not being allowed to touch any item, plates, cutlery etc, having everything served to you. Not such a bad thing you know!
Some passengers believing that they would never suffer from the virus did not wish to gel their hands before going into the restaurant. Probably the same passengers, and you know who you are, who do not bother to wash hands after using the toilets, who rush about and don't care ignoring warning notices and whose disgraceful disrespect of hygiene spread the infection. We noticed several mature passengers not washing hands after using the toilets and not wanting to gel before entering the food areas.
After precautions were lifted, sadly a few passengers in the buffet decide to double-fill their plates, charge into the queues to get their fill totally regardless of common courtesy and respect for their fellow passengers and the hard-working crew.
We found the food of a good standard and no complaints and I am a fussy eater. All the staff were polite and helpful. The entertainment was of a high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment especially the murder mystery and Johnny Youle the guitarist.
The Rising Sun pub has great atmosphere and the Palladium theater is one of the best that we have sat in on a cruise ship.
Our cabin on C deck was spacious and our steward was very professional and friendly.
The excursions were varied, we did Malaga (both booked and ourselves, yes we had time!) we did hop-on-off bus in Cagliari, walking tour in Split (great courier).
Would we go on Arcadia again, YES
Mid-forward position, spacious, most comfortable and huge bed, clean modern furniture, plenty wardrobe space. room for at least 4 cases beneath bed. Excellent cabin-steward, helpful and attentive.
Nice balcony, balcony rails could do with some varnishing, no vibration
Clean carpets, safe inside wardrobe, ample wardrobes and drawers, flat-screen TV. Hairdryer and even binoculars!