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13 P&O Cruises Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

From jellybean homes in Newfoundland to soaring skyscrapers in New York and from the colours of a New England autumn to blueberry pie and cream in Kennebunkport Maine, this is a cruise that ticks all the boxes. THE SHIP Service ... Read More
From jellybean homes in Newfoundland to soaring skyscrapers in New York and from the colours of a New England autumn to blueberry pie and cream in Kennebunkport Maine, this is a cruise that ticks all the boxes. THE SHIP Service across Aurora was first class. With no waiting around in airports and a speedy check-in at Southampton, it’s no wonder cruise holidays are so popular. Once I had stowed my cases under the bed, I could relax into the cruise and be waited on hand and foot. Pure luxury! Aurora is one of P&O’s mid-size ships with about 2,000 passengers and more than enough crew to make sure every need is cheerfully met. Crossing the Atlantic was a breeze. A guest speaker in the theatre followed art classes each morning and then it was a time for a Costa coffee in Raffles on Deck 8. Afterwards a stroll along the Promenade deck (where three circuits equates to a mile) before heading to lunch, either in Medina (Deck 6) for waiter service or in Horizon on the Lido deck. Food is a cruise highlight and within three days I was putting on weight. Action this day! I spent an hour in the gym most afternoons before playing cards and then ruined things with afternoon tea. Time flies by and, after a pre-dinner drink in Anderson’s (Deck 7), it was time to head to the main restaurant for dinner. The Executive Chef inspired his team to create many memorable meals. The range of fish was impressive and the barramundi, lobster tails and sea trout had excellent flavour. But then so did the sirloin steaks, calves’ liver and lamb shanks. Before you ask, yes I enjoyed the desserts as well – there were always exquisite gateaux on offer but traditional puddings like bread and butter pudding went down equally well. Next stop, an early quiz perhaps or on to the Curzon theatre for a show. The Headliners presented a range of productions including new ones for me, like ‘Applause!’ but older ones such as ‘Destination Dance’ were performed with so much energy that I was happy to see them again. Comedians, singers, instrumentalists and jugglers took to the stage when the Headliners were resting and in the Playhouse cinema recent releases like The Green Book and Yesterday passed a pleasant couple of hours. My sea view cabin was on Deck 8, handy both for Raffles and for the cinema. It was compact but supremely comfortable and my steward, Filipina, worked hard to keep it spick and span. She even found time to chat about my days ashore before rushing to her next cabin. Others in Aurora’s team were just as impressive. Robin John in Utility Housekeeping is one of the many who work through the night to keep public areas sparkling. These young crew members work hard yet Robin cheerfully gave up his time to respond to my request for a length of string I needed in art class – within minutes he had found some for me. Five star service too in the Spa where Dilpreet gave me not only an excellent haircut (just £10 on some port days) but also useful tips for planning a visit to India. Meanwhile, in the restaurants, I will remember Judith – a member of the management team – for her broad smile and commitment to ensuring that service was as it should be. It was, and waiters like Hanif, Marcelino, Costa and Roswin were key players in delivering those high standards. With so many positives, no surprise that the Loyalty & Future Cruises desk on Deck 5 was busy. If senior loyalty manager Hope Lyttle wasn’t keeping waiting time to a minimum, she could be seen around the ship, hosting loyalty lunches and welcoming us to Peninsular drinks’ parties. THE PORTS St John’s, capital of Newfoundland, our first port after crossing the Atlantic, has a long history. It was here that Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless message in 1901 and in his honour we marked his achievement by hiking up Signal Hill to log on and catch up on messages from home. The city is also famous for its colourful jellybean homes, their clapboard facings painted in pastel shades. Like Bar Harbor later and indeed every other coastal town, the locals provided warm welcomes and insights into different cultures. Hurricane Dorian was heading north as we were preparing to sail south from Canada and Captain Neil Turnbull decided in the interests of our comfort and safety that he would take Aurora back into the Atlantic, away from the storm, and return to the eastern seaboard when Dorian had passed by. Although it meant we missed a port, his decision was appreciated. We were rewarded for our patience when we reached Charlottetown. Immaculately trimmed verges, trees fringed with the reds of early autumn and some beautiful churches including the Basilica of St Dunstan made this a town to be savoured. Famed for its links with Anne of Green Gables, the ship’s excursions were soon fully booked. In Boston we faced US Immigration, often a grim affair. But not here. The face-to-face process took place on board with minimal queuing. And, wait for it, the US officials smiled and were charming. Once through, the American dream became reality. In Newport, Rhode Island, the Cliff Walk provided glimpses of mansions, some open to the public, that date back to pre-war times when Newport was a playground for the rich. Further south, Kennebunkport near Portland, Maine, was just as memorable. This is the summer home of the Bush family dynasty and a very classy place it is too, with boutique shops and quiet side streets lined with cafés and foodstores. There we found the ideal spot to test the Blueberry pie and I can confirm that it is delicious, although perhaps I could have done with a smaller slice. In America, I decided, everything is big. New York City was the half way point of the cruise and we had three days to explore. The berth couldn’t have been better, just a 25 minute walk from 42nd Street. Even closer was Hudson Yards where, if you pre-book free tickets online, you can climb to the top of the city’s latest landmark attraction, the Vessel. Once we became used to the grid system of streets, we were quite blasé about stepping out at night to explore Manhattan and enjoy a beer. We even used the subway to visit the Twin Towers Memorial and yet again, the friendliness of the station staff in helping us to navigate the system was impressive. Quite a few passengers took advantage of Broadway to see a show, benefitting from cheaper seats available at registered ticket agencies. The famous yellow cabs were everywhere and happy at night to return passengers to the terminal. But one piece of advice – agree the fare in advance and do not assume that your driver will know the route. They are not like London cabbies although they do share an ability to talk the hind leg off a donkey. WORTH BOOKING? I loved this cruise. Officers and crew were united in providing us with the very best service and even the weather was kind. No surprise, then, that I have re-booked. Next year it will be Canada and the year after, the United States. If this cruise isn’t already on your bucket list, it deserves to be. ....................... (Self-confessed cruise addict David George worked in BBC radio news before his retirement and now writes European city guides and cruise blogs.) Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the destinations, we have done lots of cruises but never cruised with P&O before but have friends who have so were going on their recommendations. The embarkation was very efficient at the Mayflower cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations, we have done lots of cruises but never cruised with P&O before but have friends who have so were going on their recommendations. The embarkation was very efficient at the Mayflower cruise terminal. When we entered the ship we were just directed in the vague direction of the lifts, unlike other cruise experiences where we have been shown to our cabin by cabin stewards. When we arrived at our cabin it was not very clean, dusty and there were hairs in the bath uggh. The 2nd morning the toilet flush failed, it took 3 phone calls and over 1hour to get a response and then it failed again the next day. The service in the Alexandra restaurant was at times very slow, the menu was repetative and some very strange items ie; salt&vinegar icecream, liquorice jelly (I didnt dare to try). I found this the most confusing ship to find my way around in some cases to get from front to back you had to go up a floor walk through to the next lift and then go back down. I much prefer the other ships/cruise lines I have travelled on, Fred Olsen all thier ships and Cunard Queen Elizabeth I will be cruising with them in the future but definately not P&O. I did however enjoy the ports we stopped at with exception of New York which was the most unwelcoming cruise terminal I have ever visited, its just a wharehouse type shed, no information of help desk. When we were walking back to the ship after an evening trip there were bags of rubbish everywhere and rats running in and out of the bushes. We had some very good excursions in each of the ports, I think one of the best was the Sugar Shack in Quebec it was a fun night out and the last port on our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have just returned from a 24 night round trip cruise from Southampton to the USA and Canada which, although it was our 16th P&O cruise and our 5th on Aurora, was the longest cruise we have ever done. Overall, it was a very enjoyable ... Read More
We have just returned from a 24 night round trip cruise from Southampton to the USA and Canada which, although it was our 16th P&O cruise and our 5th on Aurora, was the longest cruise we have ever done. Overall, it was a very enjoyable cruise, but rather than review each of the 24 days, I have summarised the good points and not so good points, from our perspective. GOOD POINTS Good and varied itinerary, with New York, Quebec and our tour to Kennebunkport being the highlights. Aurora is a lovely traditional cruise ship, which attracts a passenger profile that suits us. Average passenger age on this cruise was 73. Approaching New York from the sea is a ‘must do’ experience that you will never forget. Berthing in the Manhattan Cruise terminal, with all the main sights within easy walking distance, was superb and ‘one up’ on Cunard, whose QM2 was berthed over in Brooklyn. The main dining room food was almost always a very good standard. Service and food in the Glasshouse was excellent and it was always quiet in there, which suits us. Although the Sindhu on Aurora is the only one in the P&O fleet that we don’t like - and our one evening meal there was underwhelming - we did enjoy the Tiffin Lunch there. The staff never smile though and don’t seem to enjoy their work - the complete opposite to the Glasshouse team. Port presenter Sam was first class. Exemplary knowledge and detail, all delivered from memory. Jeffrey Holland’s one man play about Laurel and Hardy was the best performance we have seen on any P&O cruise and a real step up from the holiday camp style entertainment that usually prevails. Quite ironic, given that he is best know for being in Hi-di-Hi. Having ORCA whale and dolphin watches and talks was a very welcome addition to the cruise. We also managed to see Sei Whales, Beluga Whales, Atlantic White Sided Dolphins and porpoises at sea, as well as a Bald Eagle and Chipmunk ashore. ‘String & Tonic’, Gervase Phinn, Jeffery Holland, James Pearce and Andrew Killian were all excellent guest lecturers or artists. NOT SO GOOD POINTS Twelve sea days in mostly force 8 to 10 weather is tiresome, and we wouldn’t do another transatlantic by sea unless there were stops both ways. We have discovered that 24 nights is too long a cruise for us, especially with lots of sea days which become repetitive. Our optimum cruise length is now minimum one and maximum three weeks. At least we now know that we would never want to do a World Cruise! A number of passengers came on the ship with coughs and colds and this spread quite extensively. By the end of the cruise, it was almost impossible not to end up sitting near someone who was either coughing, blowing their nose or both. We would have loved the interactive HD TV’s of Britannia, with on demand movies, to help while away the sea days. The old fashioned TV’s on Aurora are rubbish in comparison. Service standards in the Medina Restaurant had slipped from previous cruises on Aurora. Service was too quick at times, with one course immediately following the next with no break in-between. Although you are allowed to enter the Freedom Dining restaurant as late as 9.30pm, they start dimming the lights briefly just at around 10pm to try to hurry guests up, which was unacceptable. Missing a port is always a great shame and we missed Newport Rhode Island. Sound insulation between cabins is very poor. We were disturbed by the people above us pacing up and down in a very heavy footed manner at all hours, which sounded like thunder from below thanks to the metal ceiling. Captain Pembridge insists on doing all 5 of the return transatlantic clock changes at night, which went down badly with passengers, many of whom were used to them being done at lunchtime. The crew that we asked prefer the time changes at lunchtime as well. There should be a P&O policy on this and it shouldn’t be at the whim of individual Captains. Some guest lecturers were scheduled to give talks over lunchtime, which was poor planning. Terry Brown, former police officer, was very engaging but his talks on the outward journey lacked substance, were rambling, repetitive and never really got to the point. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We loved the itinerary therefore we decided to book this 24 day cruise. The embarkation was quite muddled on arrival to the ship however we were allowed in our cabins quite early. Our mini suite was very spacious but also very tired and ... Read More
We loved the itinerary therefore we decided to book this 24 day cruise. The embarkation was quite muddled on arrival to the ship however we were allowed in our cabins quite early. Our mini suite was very spacious but also very tired and the bathroom had paint peeling from the twin hand basins and the bath ( which we never used). Our steward was Savior who was so professional and also very caring and helpful. We have cruised many times before but this was our first time on Aurora. We didn't like the layout because for example, if there was no table available in the Medina restaurant and you were given a charger, you then had to take a lift up one floor and order a drink in a very full Anderson's bar. By the time our aperitifs were served our chargers inevitably bleeped. Very frustrating! Due to the long journey and inclement weather we relied on the ship's entertainment to keep us amused. We enjoyed the many talks particularly the Orka ladies, Terry Brown and Gervais Phinn. There was lots of classes and activities to suit all. The Medina restaurant was always crowded, however we did enjoy the food more so on this cruise. The Glass House and Beach House were delightful however Sindhu was quite dull with no atmosphere. The staff can be a little rude by interrupting table conversation to describe the dish being presented to us. They should be more polite! But joy of all joys, sailing into New York for the first time was amazing. We docked by 45th Street and from our balcony we were right beside an aviation science museum which was an out of service aircraft carrier. Right in front of us in all it's glory was Concorde. New York was busy, as Trump was in town, so some roads were closed for security which impacted on our 'Highlights of New York' excursion. The other destinations were very enjoyable, particularly Boston, Bar Harbour, Halifax & Quebec. We enjoyed a Lobster bake in Bar Harbour, however it was 11.20am in the morning following our drive around a national park. The Cabot Trail in Halifax was delightful with lovely scenery and a charming town called Badecker to meander round and shop for an hour. We also enjoyed the Sugar Shack in Quebec. It was a lovely drive through fantastic fall scenery which ended up in a clearing on a maple syrup farm. The owner was charming and also spoke good English. We were fed with apple pie and maple syrup and then we moved into another shack for a talk on the history of farming Maple juice. They also had a small shop in this building which was much more reasonable than Quebec. All in all there were lots of enjoyable things about this cruise however the ship is long overdue for a refit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Had never been to US ........ we have come to cruising quite late.......never thought it would be for us but we have loved those we have done (Baltic, Eastern Med and now this to NY and up as far as Quebec) I read another review about ... Read More
Had never been to US ........ we have come to cruising quite late.......never thought it would be for us but we have loved those we have done (Baltic, Eastern Med and now this to NY and up as far as Quebec) I read another review about this trip and would disagree on a number of points. We always travel steerage! Always an inside cabin, because if rough at sea, I do not wish to see this. We only use our cabin to sleep and to shower. We had a larger inside cabin, midships, which was fine.......we enjoy space and all home comforts at home!! We all enjoy the same food, use the same linen and share the same amenities. Another reviewer did not enjoy the days at sea...........we loved them.......there are so many activities from which to choose! A typical day following breakfast, we'd take advantage of an hour in the gym with a trained fitness instructor, then a quick drink in the Horizon restaurant, then enjoy an hour with a guest speaker, civilised lunch in Medina restaurant......then we'd maybe read for an hour up in the crows nest......before another group activity, perhaps a classical recital before high tea in the Medina restaurant (usually only for a drink) then it is time to prepare for dinner and a show........and if up to it, you could then take in a film in the excellent cinema. I don't know how the other reviewer could have found the time boring......we were spoilt for choice.......I could equally have enjoyed line dancing, ballroom, choir and the painting group and other things but couldn't fit it all in. Something which we found particularly enjoyable, in contrast to the other reviewer, were Terry Brown's talks and even more his murder mystery adventure over several days..... which took a lot of planning ......this was very much enjoyed by those who joined in the fun. We choose freedom dining........we enjoyed the company of new people at each meal, the food was excellent (though some of the puddings didn't quite work!!) but if something isn't good, it will be changed without question .......staff were efficient, professional and charming. And I haven'r mentioned the places we visited.........we were disappointed that the Rhode Island trip had to be cancelled due to severe weather conditions, but I'd rather be safe. We booked many excusions.....you pay your money and make your own choice.......one outing was not good, we gave feedback to the appropriate representative on ship and it was put right. We liked this smaller ship and have booked our next cruise on her....we love the ease of the car parking service......the ship will have another refit before we use her again..... hopefully the windows which have blown will have been replaced along with the once high-end soft furnishings in public areas which are now looking very tired. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Embarkation well organised, onboard for late lunch. Deluxe balcony cabin very clean, plenty of space but needs decorating and new bath fitments. Food was consistently good both in meridian restaurant and Buffett. Cabin steward, waiters etc ... Read More
Embarkation well organised, onboard for late lunch. Deluxe balcony cabin very clean, plenty of space but needs decorating and new bath fitments. Food was consistently good both in meridian restaurant and Buffett. Cabin steward, waiters etc and reception all great. Toilets often out of service around ship which was a nuisance. Headliners in the Palladium were fantastic, better than Broadway! Entertainment team real fun. So why the disappointment? Would have all been ok really if it was a 7 day trip but for 24 days the variety in daily activities was limited and evenings were not really organised to occasion with the lamentable DJ one of the problems.One passenger said "its a cruise for the oldies, what did you expect"? Whilst it was adults only we did expect more. Gym was ok but all the talks in there were repeated and limited knowledge- just a marketing ploy. New York stop went fine although immigration took a while. We booked our own trips as ships too expensive. Had to cancel Bar Harbour and then Quebec one as only 1 full day there. Information from the Captain was limited - we were told due to the hurricane weather Newport stop bypassed as it was a tender & would not be safe - ok. Onto Boston. Bar Harbour & Sidney - also tender ports cancelled although we found out later other ships had no problems using them. Propeller problem gave us 2 days in Halifax which is lovely, but due to lack of info we all rushed back at 4 pm to be told we had the extra time. Quebec only 1 full day and then a right mix up for the excursion team again when backtracking to Saguenay instead of Sidney! Too many days at sea a not enough port stops! We did have Champagne that the family had organised for our Anniversary - but delivered 6 days late! We were given onboard spending but bought things we didn't really want in the expensive onboard shops so they got it back. Also advised we would have money off future trip but when we enquired were given very misleading info so won't bother for a while. To us the ship was not really big enough for a long trip and was more geared to seniors more senior than we are. Saying that, there were some great ones onboard! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Hope you are prepared for this! We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. Windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make ... Read More
Hope you are prepared for this! We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. Windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make sure everyone attended (a bit of a shambles in the theatre with some people who didn't show their card and never got asked for it). Then back to complete unpacking and ready for dinner. First sitting on table for six and delightful table companions. One couple had been upgraded to a suite so at that point felt quite jealous.... First night a little windy but nothing untoward however it gradually increased - force 7, force 8, until one evening yes, you guessed it force 10..... (so glad I had taken my seasick tablets!!) However I felt Arcadia coped well, although the bangs, bumps and creaking did cause several comments. I no longer felt jealous of , our now friends , in the suite as it was situated at the stern right over the propellers and very very noisy and bumpy in their cabin. It was five days before we could really venture outside safely. No swimming pool neither - far too dangerous. But it was lovely being rocked to sleep each night. Finally got into New York which was extremely busy and very hot (Donald Trump and United Nations in town!!!!!) Very high security everywhere and lots of roads closed off to traffic so our taxi driver had to drop us off in the middle of the road. Then the fun started again, New Port missed because the hurricane was catching up, made Boston safely in the pouring rain but Bar Harbor missed because again bad weather catching up. Eventually got safely into Halifax where we had a trip to Peggy's Cove which was far too short - about 40 minutes there- then back on board ready to leave. BUT NO - a rope tight around asipod so we were stuck! So instead of sailing away for Saguenay we stayed in Halifax and the next day we wandered into the quayside. By the way, we had to berth much further down than usual so we had to use a shuttle bus just to get out of the secure area where we were. Then we had to miss Saguenay and straight on to Quebec for our two day stay-Wrong Again we didn't arrive until 9 pm the first day so one day there missed. Second day in Quebec was lovely. Bright and sunny. THEN as we prepare for sail away the captain informed us that instead of going on to Sydney we were going to head BACK to Saguenay as that was a much nicer port sailing up the fiord . If anyone does go to Saguenay, the "La Fabuleuse " show is not to be missed. It is absolutely amazing, brilliant, wonderful..... However by this time many people were very unhappy as missing out on tours, disappointed at missing seeing relatives and often general lack of information. Personally, hubby and I felt the captain did the best he could and the excursion staff went all out to rearrange tours and put on additional ones for people where possible. Total of three ports missed and shortened stay in Quebec. Of course this further change to the itinerary meant six days at sea coming home instead of five. However P&O did compensate a bit with the odd bribe here and there..... BUT FOR US the icing on the cake was on the third day into the cruise whilst in the middle of the Atlantic we booked a further cruise -ON ADONIA! Eight days later we joined a large queue of people trying to find a new cruise to book...honestly the loyalty manager didn't even know about the sale of Adonia.. Arcadia is still a good ship although perhaps a little tired in places. Unfortunately several couples had to move cabin because of leaks etc - one couple three times, but she is going in for a full refit in November when all these problems will be solved (hopefully). The food in the MDR was excellent. Plenty of choice and as much as you wanted if you asked. The Headliners on this cruise were the best we have seen on any cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the shows. The entertainment manager was also brilliant and really worked hard as did his team. Other entertainment varied but I always feel it is personal choice - I didn't like the second show by the comedian but hubby did! I loved the local dance team brought on -but hubby didn't. The usual Art and Bridge classes were well attended and there were plenty of interesting talks etc every day. Overall I think it was a good cruise despite lots of problems and as usual all the P&O staff on board were brilliant and couldn't do enough for you. Can not say the same for the shop staff who are often quite rude and pushy. Next cruise in May is on Oriana for the first time but we will certainly go back to Arcadia as soon as possible. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Food and service was the poorest I have ever encountered in over 3 decades of cruising. Arcadia are obviously putting cost first and trying to attract a new breed of cruiser who are not that particular. The food in the MDR was more like ... Read More
Food and service was the poorest I have ever encountered in over 3 decades of cruising. Arcadia are obviously putting cost first and trying to attract a new breed of cruiser who are not that particular. The food in the MDR was more like you could expect in a budget holiday camp, I actually LOST weight on the cruise, The food in the self service was even worse. Our cabin was totally inadequate for a disabled cabin, the wall at the bottom of the bed had been badly damaged by previous occupants as there war insufficient room to get a wheelchair through,, not that it mattered as the bed was at a 45degree angle to the dressing table meaning my wife couldn't use it. The carpet was full of stains and the cabin was dirty. On arrival there was a vase with a single flower in it which died, we decided to see if the cabin boy would throw it away or replace it... I threw it away at the end of the cruise 24 days later. Entertainment was poor to say the least, the cheapest berths in ports were obviously taken up... all in all a poor cruise. Sorry P&O you have lost a customer Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Welcome to P&O - now owned by Carnival Cruise Line.We chose this Cruise for the Itinerary and The Fall.Sadly we ended up seeing only 6 ports of call out of 9. We missed Rhode Island ,Aurora then broke down at Portland Maine and missed ... Read More
Welcome to P&O - now owned by Carnival Cruise Line.We chose this Cruise for the Itinerary and The Fall.Sadly we ended up seeing only 6 ports of call out of 9. We missed Rhode Island ,Aurora then broke down at Portland Maine and missed out on Bar Harbour(we think priority given to The Queen Mary)so had to put up with Michelle Obama stopping one getting on and off the ship in Portland on our second day in Port.Then missed out on St John's New Foundland.Most passengers were angry on board and feel cheated by P&O. Aurora has been a pain since she has been launch and now requires a full refurbishment !? I think she should be scrapped like Canberra !! Don't recommend P&0 to anyone after this Cruise and a nightmare World Cruise on Oriana.The company has gone to the dogs and we now have pigs in the trough in the Orangery.Yes ! Fat passengers who don't know how to behave.Welcome to Butlins on Sea . A waste of money and time and feel Fred Olsen Line have more to offer and smaller ships,to get into various ports like Bar Harbour etc ! Big ships on this Itinerary with tenders no good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Having sailed on Arcadia a couple of times before I don't know why I decided to read any reviews of the ship but having done so I was a little worried of what to expect. Well after 24 nights on board my wife and I where impressed ... Read More
Having sailed on Arcadia a couple of times before I don't know why I decided to read any reviews of the ship but having done so I was a little worried of what to expect. Well after 24 nights on board my wife and I where impressed with most things.The entertainment was 1 st. class the staff and crew very professional and accommodating the food I have to say was only average [but not all bad].The shore excursions seemed well organised and not has expensive as some of the other lines we have sailed with.The price of the wine and drinks was certainly cheaper than the American Cruise lines with no added service charges. The ship is not as sparkling bright and crisp as some of the newer liners but it does have a nice feel and it is due for a refit early next year. We would both sail on her again and had a wonderful holiday. The ports of call where all on the north east of America and Canada and were some of the nicest we have been to in the world.I would recommend the New York up to Newfoundland cruise to anyone. Hope you found this review useful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We have cruised on Arcadia several times but could not help noticing how some standards on the ship have declined on the last cruise. This did not alter the fact that overall we enjoyed the experience. Our first moan was that we had to ... Read More
We have cruised on Arcadia several times but could not help noticing how some standards on the ship have declined on the last cruise. This did not alter the fact that overall we enjoyed the experience. Our first moan was that we had to wait for at least 20 minutes in the car before we could unload the luggage. It appeared that this was due to there not being enough drivers to park the car. Our last cruise was on Celebrity Eclipse in May and the unloading/parking method used then would eliminate this wait. We drove up to the unloading point, our luggage was removed, we parked the car and walked back to the ship, making a note of where we parked the car. This made it a lot easier when we arrived back as we did not have to search for the car. The reception was very good. As we are Portunus Gold Members we more or less booked straight in, straight through security and were directed to the Orchid Restaurant where we had champagne and light bites before going to our cabin -â€" a deluxe balcony cabin which we have had before. The carpet was not clean, although the rest of the cabin was fine. This time there were no slippers or bath robes as had been advertised in the brochure, only a small gerbera in a silver vase which lasted less than a week and a few boiled sweets. Storage space is adequate but would be a tight squeeze for a World Cruise. We made extra space by removing the wooden hangers provided, storing them in a suitcase under the bed, and used our own plastic hangers. The TV was tiny (14 inch) and very difficult to read even from a short distance. A good supply of tea, coffee and biscuits was available. The bathroom was adequate - a fair amount of storage space but the shower is over the bath with a horrible curtain which inevitably sticks to you. My DIY husband remedied this by fixing a rope across. Would it be too much to have a fixed screen, I ask? The balcony was roomy, plenty of space for two loungers and two small tables. We did not meet our cabin steward till the evening of our first full day when we mentioned the carpet. Her reply was that she did not have a vacuum cleaner! Well on top of that and our first lunch in the Belvedere (see below) I made a complaint at reception. All the points I mentioned were attended to : the restaurant manager phoned me as did the accommodation supervisor and there were no more queues at lunch time and our steward got her vacuum cleaner but not without a reprimand for telling us too much! Our dinner was in the lower Meridian restaurant but the standard of service, which was very slow, and the variety of food choice were of a lower standard than on previous cruises. The wine service was the worst we have ever had -â€" the white wine was served warm every time we had it, in spite of us asking the wine waiter to make sure it was cold and the red wine seemed as though it had come out of the oven! Because of the slow service the only time we had a full dinner was on the nights when we decided not to go to the theatre and we could enjoy the coffee and petit fours. We had a most enjoyable dinner in the Orchid Restaurant -â€" excellent service, including the wine, and excellent food but that comes with a cover charge. Other nights we had dinner in the Belvedere (buffet style) which had much improved since our last cruise on Arcadia with places being set at the tables with glasses and cutlery, and water was served by a waiter. The wine service was good and the wine was served at the correct temperature. Tea and coffee were also served at the table. We had lunch once in the Belvedere as the experience on our first day was not enjoyable. I had to queue for 10 minutes to get salad as only one side of the buffet was open. I fancied some chips with my salad but I took one look at the queue where the hot food was served and did not want another 10 minute wait. I went back to our table where my husband was waiting. He got me some chips as the other side of the buffet had opened but they were stone cold and soggy as they were any other time we tried them. When we went to make our tea there were no teaspoons and no milk!! Instead of lunch from then on we had afternoon tea which was a more enjoyable experience with a fair range of choice. I was also disappointed to see that as there was no check on the entrance to the Belvedere to ensure that everyone used the hand sanitising gel. Very few people did in fact use it. Could this have been the reason that so many passengers had colds? The theatre is lovely, better than some West End ones, but to be sure of getting a good seat it looks as though you have to leave dinner early which is a shame as dinner should be a sociable occasion. In Celebrity Eclipse dinner was 15 minutes earlier and the theatre started, I think, at 9pm which we found to be more relaxing. Like a lot of others who have sailed on Arcadia a few times we were getting bored with the resident group "The Headliners", same old performances, good dancing but awful singing. The guest artists were, with one or two exceptions, very good. We thoroughly enjoyed the classical concerts but the piano was at right angles to the audience with the result you could not see the pianist's hands. In fact the pianist was in silhouette most of the time! We spoke to the pianist and she too was unhappy with the position of the piano. When I asked her if she had mentioned it to the Cruise Director she said she had not met her! Surely, the Cruise Director, Tracy Clegg, should have met all the Artists? Her deputy, Magic Martin, did not help matters any, when, one night as he was introducing the pianist said, "Welcome to the Globe Theatre" when in fact we were in the Crow's Nest and to make matters worse he did not call for an encore which is standard practice. I think these two would be better suited to organising Bingo! The Ports were on the whole very good. We organised all our own excursions but I would only recommend doing that if you were accustomed to cruising and had done a fair bit of research beforehand. It rained on our first day in New York (the only port where we had rain) but we still enjoyed our stay there. We walked to Central Park on our second day and had a great time but as we were too exhausted to walk back hailed a yellow taxi with little effort and the fare was only about $7. Bar Harbor was the port we enjoyed most -â€" absolutely picturesque. It is a "must see"! As the fog was very thick in St. John, New Brunswick, we stayed on board and were later told there was not much to see. We had a tremendous start to our stay in St John's (Newfoundland & Labrador) where we had the best welcome party yet - two girls and two men in ancient military uniforms, two mounted police on lovely black horses and to top it all one gi-normous Newfoundland dog and a black Labrador. Not much to see there but enjoyed the walk. The send-off we received was also worthy of mention -â€" soldiers in ancient military dress were high up on Signal Hill where they fired their muskets as we sailed away with the sun still shining. This coincided with our early dinner time which we decided to forego and dined in the Belvedere. The food, Indian buffet, was good but as usual was lukewarm. We paid for 14 days at the thermal spa which we always enjoy and it is the only draw which would make us return to Arcadia unless there is a complete makeover. There are plenty of other ships which are much better managed. After the long walks we had on shore days it was so relaxing to have a soak in the hydro-therapy pool and then lie on the thermal beds looking out to the sea, allowing our tired muscles to recover at leisure. The public rooms and bars were all satisfactory but I do wish that there was more space for those who want simply to read without being bombarded with canned music or other noise. We spent a fair amount of our morning time in the Spinnaker Bar mainly because it now serves Costa coffee with some of the muffins seen in UK. One rather weird event which happened during our stay in New York - we noticed that the muffins were not on show as usual and when we asked the waiter why he replied that the American port authorities considered the selling of the muffins as unhygienic! Why should they have any control over what we eat on board? We and the waiter thought that the selling of food on the New York streets was more in need of criticism! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
SHIP we've been on it before and we like it because its very easy to get around. CABIN excellent position on the ship beside the glass lifts on deck 8,no lift noise at all and in the middle of the ship,everything was in easy ... Read More
SHIP we've been on it before and we like it because its very easy to get around. CABIN excellent position on the ship beside the glass lifts on deck 8,no lift noise at all and in the middle of the ship,everything was in easy reach not far to walk from any of the bars in the evening. STAFF no complaints at all they were all very pleasant,SUSET kept us nice and tidy,MARCO---JAY stopped us from starving and had a laugh with us at the same time,CLAYTONE for keeping our glasses full in the Riseing Sun and remembering our names and drinks after the first night. FOOD plenty to eat and variety in both the Meridian and Belvidere,despite the way some people thought there was going to be a food shortage in the Belvidere at times. ENTERTAINMENT shows were good plenty going on in other bars in the evening,usual quizzes and talks through the day Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Having read quite a few poor reviews of Arcadia, we approached her with some misgivings, but an open mind. We were very pleased and surprised with what we found. She has massive open decks on Lido Deck with a lovely Prom Deck that you can ... Read More
Having read quite a few poor reviews of Arcadia, we approached her with some misgivings, but an open mind. We were very pleased and surprised with what we found. She has massive open decks on Lido Deck with a lovely Prom Deck that you can sit on and not be bothered by people jogging or walking. It's wide enough for that. Our cabin was an inside twin in a Queen Config. It wasn't large, but perfectly adequate. Cases all went under the bed. Checkin was simple, we arrived at 1.pm and were on board having lunch at 2.30. That was from driving in. The entertainment on this cruise was truly excellent including the Headliners, Brian Conley etc. Only one very poor comedian spoilt an excellent run, but that didn't matter. Service and food were both excellent. We dined every night in the Meridian and didn't feel it was necessary to try either Arcadian Rhodes or the Orchid. Neither did any of our table for 8. I would definitely sail on Arcadia again. this cruise was truly a delight and the sail down the St Lawrence Seaway is a must, even if it was deja vue for me as I last did in 1969 when I emigrated. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
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