Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships.
We had an outside balcony cabin which was clean and absolutely fine. I’m unsure why people criticise the ship for being outdated, it was a bit rusty in places but the cabins and public rooms were absolutely in keeping with other ships and certainly better than the average/budget cruise lines.
Most staff were great but at times very secretive, the waits for freedom dining and length of service in the restaurant were unacceptable at times, some staff went a long way to make us happy and some didn’t.
The itinery was great with the highlights being St Petersburg and Helsinki. Gdynia was a short train ride from Gdansk.
Entertainment was very good. The ship employed a number of resident musicians performing all styles from classical to jazz to popular. There were bands, an orchestra, soloists, a dance group and an entertainment team, more than on many cruise lines. There was more choice of entertainment and venues than other larger ships.
The food was mainly good but at times bland. The Belvedere buffet was as you would expect from a self service restaurant.
Trips and shuttle bus were too expensive. P+O continue to look at ways to get extra money. This doesn’t seem as bad on slightly older ships like Arcadia but it certainly is a trend on newer larger ships which have less space per passenger and seem to find more and more things to charge for, although it might try Arcadia does offer done welcome relief from this. Staff regularly go the extra mile but I can’t help at thinking times this is driven by money.
Absolutely fine, spacious, large sitting area and big bathroom with tub