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3 P&O Cruises Africa Cruise Reviews

We have just enjoyed a 12 night cruise onboard the Arcadia departing from Southampton , talking in Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Tangiers, Cadiz and Lisbon with a couple of sea days. We boarded with little fuss and realatively little ... Read More
We have just enjoyed a 12 night cruise onboard the Arcadia departing from Southampton , talking in Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Tangiers, Cadiz and Lisbon with a couple of sea days. We boarded with little fuss and realatively little waiting at Southampton, our slot was three but as we arrived early we actually managed to get on about one thirty, it would have been better to have arrived at our allotted slot as then we'd have gone straight on, note to self for future reference. The ship is slightly smaller and older ( although recently refitteed) than we are used to, not as flashy as many of the newer and bigger liners , but it has an intimacy that size doesn't allow. As this was an adults only ship cruising in November we expected an older age demographic on board ( we're in our late fifties ) so weren't surprised that the majority of the passengers were retirement age and we met many a sprightly eighty year old but also noticed younger couples ( we wondered if they may have found it a bit overwhelming to be surrounded by so many older people). We booked late and cheap so we didn't get our preferred 6.30 dinner slot, or the free time dining and had to be content with 8.30 ( very late for us ) but we survived and had excellent dinner companions which made up for it. The food and service onboard were excellent, I was absolutely sure we'd have put on weight but found that we had not, as everything was very healthy and as you can have pretty much whatever you want you naturally pace yourself. The stateroom ( cabin ) was very nice, clean, with perfectly adequate facilities, we had the cheapest inside cabin, slightly smaller than we've had on our usual Princess cruise ships, but not significantly so, did panic slightly about where to put the empty cases but they slip under the bed so no problem. Nice flat screen tv with sky news, BBC news, several free film and tv channels and programs produced for the cruise itinary and information about the ships status. The onboard entertainment program seemed OK but we tend to rest and read when not in port, we attended a dance show in the comfortable theatre and enjoyed that. We also took part in some late night quizzes which were fun. The Spa was very good except that when I booked a special deal the receptionist I saw did not understand the offer and sold me the wrong treatments ( that did not qualify) but after a little upset the matter was resolved to my satisfaction. The massages I had were very very good and the Spa is excellent . I did find the retail area limited, and the staff who manned it badly trained, I actually asked the retail manager if a necklace I was interested in buying was "Opal" or " Imitation Opal" to be told it was " Cubic Zirconia" , I was quite surprised that he decided to " blag " me instead of simply stating that he didn't know the answer to my question, having spent many years in the jewellery trade I do know it wasn't a cubic zirconia and I told him so, he made an aside to a colleague that he'd had me throw off the ship, very unprofessional. Apart from him and the mix up in the Spa the other staff were all lovely and received tips from us above the usual ones added to your account . Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Good food , excellent service, comfortable cabin . So why let yourselves down on relatively small items that spoil the cruise. Why ask for table preference and give the opposite to that requested I've been on P&O cruises many ... Read More
Good food , excellent service, comfortable cabin . So why let yourselves down on relatively small items that spoil the cruise. Why ask for table preference and give the opposite to that requested I've been on P&O cruises many times and it always happens. You ask for a table for either two or six and are given one of either four or eight and have to fight to get near what you want. Wi Fi is stupidly expensive and doesn't take into account how long it takes to send an EM . An insult to the cruiser . Go to the cyber room and hear the complaints! No assistance except embarkation and disembarkation to cover the yardage from gangway to coaches and taxis so you have to remain on board.no help from tour office except to purchase an electric chair! Poor exchange rates and expensive shops and drinks. Seems to me the company is being run by an accountant with no sales knowledge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Having read other passenger reviews who sailed on Arcadia during this world cruise,there does appear to be a common factor, one which P & O will ignore at their peril.Arcadia, along with the likes of Oriana and I believe Adonia are for ... Read More
Having read other passenger reviews who sailed on Arcadia during this world cruise,there does appear to be a common factor, one which P & O will ignore at their peril.Arcadia, along with the likes of Oriana and I believe Adonia are for adults only. Far from being anti children it is just something that my wife and I appreciate when getting away from it all. It is a feature I am sure that attracts passengers back time and again. We sailed on her after her launch in 2005 and it was a wonderful experience. In 2012, nothing really has changed and if we draw a comparison against other cruise lines and ships, then Arcadia is ready for the scrap yard. It is crying out for a face lift, particularly with the cabins.Whilst the beds were comfortable the bathrooms were very tired and with no interactive TV entertainment was very poor if you chose to spend an hour or two indoors.Balcony furniture was way past its sell by date. The Meridien Restaurant needs a serious review, The menus sound good but in reality the food was bland and quite uninteresting.Staff were as always excellent, but good food is being wasted. On the other hand the Belvedere Self Service was, In our opinion very good. Just how much choice do some people want? And the theme nights. Well, personally we thought these were the highlight of the cruise along with a visit or three to the Orchid and Ocean Grill.The Spa area is overpriced and with stone beds and steam rooms out of operation little was made of a concession. Treatment prices were prohibitive which must have affected numbers. Coffee shop with Costa Coffee was fine but is far to small.But.......the biggest criticism of all was the lack of evening interaction generated amongst passengers.Sparsely attended bar areas with entertainers playing to themselves and waiters twiddling their thumbs. More like a Mortuary and a big downside for us as a group. Having said that, if you are on the ship for 109 nights then maybe you just don't want to socialise. On that basis we would never again choose a sector cruise. The itinerary was fine except the cancellation of our visit to the Seychelles.Was it pirates or the hike in insurance costs because of a perceived risk? We will probably never know. What is important for all of those who regularly cruise with P & O is, do they take any notice of what is written and said? Changes are needed to Arcadia and quickly. I for one will not be booking to go on her again until refurbishment has been undertaken and having sampled others who have upped their game, P & O are in danger of losing some very loyal but valuable customers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
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