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5 P&O Cruises Los Angeles Cruise Reviews

We joined Arcadia in Los Angeles, at the start of the second sector of her World Cruise, and disembarked 7½ weeks later in Dubai. It was our first time on this ship, and the longest cruise we have yet experienced. We found Arcadia to be ... Read More
We joined Arcadia in Los Angeles, at the start of the second sector of her World Cruise, and disembarked 7½ weeks later in Dubai. It was our first time on this ship, and the longest cruise we have yet experienced. We found Arcadia to be a very welcoming ship, and she very soon wrapped herself around us and became ‘home’. As with most cruises we have taken, we’ve come home with a bag full of impressions, some good, some not so good. Our comments here are intended to be positive and constructive, and we hope readers will take them this way too. Arcadia had just undergone a refit which seems to have worked well for the public areas, but not so well perhaps for the cabins, which have retained tired-looking bathrooms and limited storage space for such a long cruise. Our cabin was on C deck, overlooking the stern, and contrary to some passengers’ perception of these cabins we experienced very little engine noise, and a very sheltered balcony which we used a lot. Arcadia does however have a rather strange arrangement on the stern, with balconies on D deck being larger, but completely covered by the C deck one above (very little sun), and those on E deck being completely open to the sky and to those looking down on them from above (so very little privacy) Future cruisers beware! With the refit also came the introduction of ‘Freedom Dining’ on the upper level of the Meridian Restaurant, and the abandonment of ‘silver service’. Both changes worked well for us. Restaurant Manager Rajeev was adept at matching us to the size of table we wanted, and we rarely experienced queues. Until the very end of the cruise we also enjoyed meeting different folk each night (and at breakfast and lunch, since we took most meals here). The lack of ‘silver service’ actually meant that our food came quicker, on (very) hot plates, and looking as the chef intended. On the whole, the standard of food was very high, and we made only 3 visits to the two speciality restaurants, the main advantage being to escape the noise in the Meridian at its busiest times. Service in the Restaurants and throughout the ship was superb. Daytime activities could have proved problematic on such a long cruise. We enjoy dancing and in Jeffery Dobinson (ably assisted by Brenda Twigg) we found one of the best teachers we have ever had. He quite literally ‘made’ the cruise for us. The ‘downside’ was that his lessons had to be held in The Retreat, up on Deck 10, a room intended for Yoga and gentler fitness classes, NOT for ballroom dancing ( with its low ceiling and unsuitable floor). The ship added its own movements to the dancing, too! Other venues were also badly matched to the activities planned for them, and far too many events started at around 11am, making choices difficult. Painting classes were held in the Globe, a gloomy space with no natural light (but the obvious choice for dancing!), and quizzes in The Rising Sun, right next to the noisy Casino. Classical artists had to perform in the Crow’s Nest Bar, where new screens put in at the refit meant that they could be seen properly only by a select few sitting right in front of the piano. The acoustics there were poor, with low ceilings and thick carpets. On just three occasions they were moved to the Palladium, a much better space for them. We particularly enjoyed Allan Schiller, the pianist (by far and away the best of the performers) and the clarinet and piano duo of James and Maciej. Another example of mismatching was the siting of the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party in the Neptune Pool area. With the roof closed, this event was unbearably noisy, and the Captain’s speech could not be heard. Surely the Palladium Theatre would have been a better choice? We noticed that areas such as the Spinnaker and Intermezzo Bars were not used for events at all, because they remain ‘open plan’. Maybe that was why they didn’t seem popular as bars, either! We did not take many of the ship’s excursions, but those we did do were generally well-planned and enjoyable. We do wish, though, that the planners wouldn’t assume that we all need toilet stops and ‘shopping time’, which eat into time better spent at more interesting places. On the Mumbai tour, for example, we had 1¼ hours ‘shopping time’, but only 5 minutes at the ‘Gateway to India’! The Port Talks on board were excellent, and Sam was always ready to give her advice to independent travellers, too. Evening entertainment was a bit ‘hit and miss’. The ship’s own Headliners were brilliant (particularly the ‘Killer Queen’ show), but we got far too many ‘crossover’ acts (two violinists, two pianists, even two sets of tenors!). The Palladium is a lovely, comfortable venue, but sight lines are obscured by pillars and high-back sofas, and it was often impossible to find a seat at the first show if you arrived after 8pm. We enjoyed the regular dances in The Globe, though after the first few weeks things did get a bit repetitive! Internet use on board most cruise ships continues to be fraught with difficulties, and the charges that P&O make for it are quite outrageous, given its slow speed. We had reason to query charges twice, because the connection had been lost, and we were clocking up the pounds and pence simply getting back on to email. I guess most of us are not interested in using the service every day, or even every week, but we do like to keep in touch with family and friends on a very long cruise like this one. Passengers could be seen scurrying ashore with laptops at every port of call, to the cruise terminals and beyond, just to get a connection at an acceptable price. We managed 2 dollars an hour in Singapore; on the ship, this would have added £30 to our bill! Free Internet use should be included in the cruise fare, and if this causes problems with bandwidth on board, passengers can be allotted specific times to access it. These few ‘moans’ apart, we had a fabulous cruise which was excellent value for money.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We joined Arcadia in Los Angeles, at the start of the second sector of her World Cruise, and disembarked 7½ weeks later in Dubai. It was our first time on this ship, and the longest cruise we have yet experienced. We found Arcadia to be ... Read More
We joined Arcadia in Los Angeles, at the start of the second sector of her World Cruise, and disembarked 7½ weeks later in Dubai. It was our first time on this ship, and the longest cruise we have yet experienced. We found Arcadia to be a very welcoming ship, and she very soon wrapped herself around us and became ‘home’. As with most cruises we have taken, we’ve come home with a bag full of impressions, some good, some not so good. Our comments here are intended to be positive and constructive, and we hope readers will take them this way too. Arcadia had just undergone a refit which seems to have worked well for the public areas, but not so well perhaps for the cabins, which have retained tired-looking bathrooms and limited storage space for such a long cruise. Our cabin was on C deck, overlooking the stern, and contrary to some passengers’ perception of these cabins we experienced very little engine noise, and a very sheltered balcony which we used a lot. Arcadia does however have a rather strange arrangement on the stern, with balconies on D deck being larger, but completely covered by the C deck one above (very little sun), and those on E deck being completely open to the sky and to those looking down on them from above (so very little privacy) Future cruisers beware! With the refit also came the introduction of ‘Freedom Dining’ on the upper level of the Meridian Restaurant, and the abandonment of ‘silver service’. Both changes worked well for us. Restaurant Manager Rajeev was adept at matching us to the size of table we wanted, and we rarely experienced queues. Until the very end of the cruise we also enjoyed meeting different folk each night (and at breakfast and lunch, since we took most meals here). The lack of ‘silver service’ actually meant that our food came quicker, on (very) hot plates, and looking as the chef intended. On the whole, the standard of food was very high, and we made only 3 visits to the two speciality restaurants, the main advantage being to escape the noise in the Meridian at its busiest times. Service in the Restaurants and throughout the ship was superb. Daytime activities could have proved problematic on such a long cruise. We enjoy dancing and in Jeffery Dobinson (ably assisted by Brenda Twigg) we found one of the best teachers we have ever had. He quite literally ‘made’ the cruise for us. The ‘downside’ was that his lessons had to be held in The Retreat, up on Deck 10, a room intended for Yoga and gentler fitness classes, NOT for ballroom dancing ( with its low ceiling and unsuitable floor). The ship added its own movements to the dancing, too! Other venues were also badly matched to the activities planned for them, and far too many events started at around 11am, making choices difficult. Painting classes were held in the Globe, a gloomy space with no natural light (but the obvious choice for dancing!), and quizzes in The Rising Sun, right next to the noisy Casino. Classical artists had to perform in the Crow’s Nest Bar, where new screens put in at the refit meant that they could be seen properly only by a select few sitting right in front of the piano. The acoustics there were poor, with low ceilings and thick carpets. On just three occasions they were moved to the Palladium, a much better space for them. We particularly enjoyed Allan Schiller, the pianist (by far and away the best of the performers) and the clarinet and piano duo of James and Maciej. Another example of mismatching was the siting of the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party in the Neptune Pool area. With the roof closed, this event was unbearably noisy, and the Captain’s speech could not be heard. Surely the Palladium Theatre would have been a better choice? We noticed that areas such as the Spinnaker and Intermezzo Bars were not used for events at all, because they remain ‘open plan’. Maybe that was why they didn’t seem popular as bars, either! Arcadia is fortunate in having a number of launderettes, but they are quite ridiculously inadequate for the 2000 or so passengers on a World Cruise of more than 90 days, there being only 4 machines available on each of decks C, D and E, and a further small launderette on Deck E which seemed to be kept a secret for those ‘in the know’. They were rumoured to be the source of all gossip, but you had to do all your gossiping standing up ----- no chairs!! As to trips ashore, we did not take many of the ship’s excursions, but those we did do were generally well-planned and enjoyable. We do wish, though, that the planners wouldn’t assume that we all need toilet stops and ‘shopping time’, which eat into time better spent at more interesting places. On the Mumbai tour, for example, we had 1¼ hours ‘shopping time’, but only 5 minutes at the ‘Gateway to India’! The Port Talks on board were excellent, and Sam was always ready to give her advice to independent travellers, too. On the ship itself, a guided ‘behind the scenes’ tour (culminating in a visit to the Bridge to meet the Captain) was advertised, but we were horrified to discover that a charge of £75 would be made for each person! Whatever happened to FREE visits to the Bridge, or indeed the tour of the Galley on ‘Chocoholics’ afternoons? Needless to say, we didn’t go. Evening entertainment was a bit ‘hit and miss’. The ship’s own Headliners were brilliant (particularly the ‘Killer Queen’ show), but we got far too many ‘crossover’ acts (two violinists, two pianists, even two sets of tenors!). The Palladium is a lovely, comfortable venue, but sight lines are obscured by pillars and high-back sofas, and it was often impossible to find a seat at the first show if you arrived after 8pm. We enjoyed the regular dances in The Globe, though after the first few weeks things did get a bit repetitive! Internet use on board most cruise ships continues to be fraught with difficulties, and the charges that P&O make for it are quite outrageous, given its slow speed. We had reason to query charges twice, because the connection had been lost, and we were clocking up the pounds and pence simply getting back on to email. I guess most of us are not interested in using the service every day, or even every week, but we do like to keep in touch with family and friends on a very long cruise like this one. Passengers could be seen scurrying ashore with laptops at every port of call, to the cruise terminals and beyond, just to get a connection at an acceptable price. We managed 2 dollars an hour in Singapore; on the ship, this would have added £30 to our bill! Free Internet use should be included in the cruise fare, and if this causes problems with bandwidth on board, passengers can be allotted specific times to access it. These few ‘moans’ apart, we had a fabulous cruise which was excellent value for money.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Where do I start ! cruised with my Husband and Mum, we are both 40 years and Mum is in her late 60's. This ship is suited to British curry eaters who don't like music from the twentieth century and a night out at the Globe ... Read More
Where do I start ! cruised with my Husband and Mum, we are both 40 years and Mum is in her late 60's. This ship is suited to British curry eaters who don't like music from the twentieth century and a night out at the Globe nightclub involves doing the foxtrot and waltz. This ship is designed for anyone over the age of 85 years and was too boring for even my Mum, The entertainment (there wasn't much of any) was aimed at the elderly, no up to date music was played and when requested for by the DJ we were told the older passengers wouldn't like it. Oh the TV in the cabin was terrible, no variety at all and the same shows/movies played over and over again. Mum and I have been on 3 other cruises with Princess and never experienced the amount of rudeness, smashing and clanging of dishes and cutlery from staff at the Belvedere restaurant ever ! They seemed to be unsupervised and under trained. Food was terrible in all restaurants, doesn't hold a candle to Princess either, its fine if you like Curry/Indian style food, too bad if you don't you're left to eat snacks at midnight and cakes/desserts left overs from the night's dinner, The bread baked on the ship was the worst we've ever had, not one crunchy roll/loaf in site, even used a sweet dinner roll as part of a cream bun for the late night snacks. On a serious note, I've never seen so many people sick with the flu/coughing on a ship before. Passengers were not quaranteened and no monitoring of hygiene before entering any of the restaurants. We saw 4 ambulances and 1 funeral car whilst in Auckland and Taihiti and were told a passenger passed away from Pneumonia. This will be our first and last cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We are quite experienced cruisers having travelled with Cunard, Celebrity, Thompson, Royal Caribbean and now P&O. This cruise was a big one for us being my retirement gift to may partner and I. It was planned in meticulous detail ... Read More
We are quite experienced cruisers having travelled with Cunard, Celebrity, Thompson, Royal Caribbean and now P&O. This cruise was a big one for us being my retirement gift to may partner and I. It was planned in meticulous detail booking extra leg room seats on flights, excursions booked on line and the cruises booked very early. The outward flights booked with P&O were taken on their regional flight offer with KLM. All seamed to go well flight to Amsterdam and on to Los Angeles. We arrived in LA but no sign of luggage. Eventually we were informed that it was ok as the cases had been left in Amsterdam to arrive next day. We sailed in the afternoon on day of arrival! After much remonstrating we left the terminal to be greeted by the wonderful P&O representative who seen us in distress insisted on KLM opening their office. The KLM official then gave us a claim form and agreed to liaise with P&O to have the cases sent on to Tahiti - ten days later! We eventually boarded Arcadia exhausted and very worried - no clothing, medication etc. The Arcadia Information Desk advised us to grab a Taxi into LA and purchase essentials. No taxis but we did get into LA, could not find a suitable shop and returned to Arcadia. We purchased essentials on board. Essential medication was prescribed at cost by the on board Dr. After very much discussion (they advised us at first to ring KLM ourselves the Information desk agreed to contact KLM to make the necessary arrangements to fly our cases to Tahiti. The ship was good, the Information team very supportive but we were left to our own devices. Frequent trips to the busy launderette etc. We managed the ten days on minimal wardrobe. Good side, Information Desk great, Entertainment Team fantastic, Food very good, room clean and well maintained, destinations fantastic - in particular Fiji!. Bad side TV programming very repetitive (seamed to be on some kind of loop), Entertainment guests ok although a very poor juggler on valentines nigh a very poor choice! Would I recommend P&O to others - not the best, P&O claim that they look after you but we had to sort out our own arrangements and were even turned away on "Formal Dinner" Tie but no jacket! Customer Services just responded with a lecture on their Terms and Conditions! KLM no response as yet. Arcadia is a good ship, most staff/officers welcoming and entertainment a bit hit and miss. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This cruise was a great mix of English, Australians an a few Kiwis. It was the friendliest cruise I have ever been on. Not necessarily with the crew though. The shows in the theatre were brilliant and the best I have ever seen oh any ... Read More
This cruise was a great mix of English, Australians an a few Kiwis. It was the friendliest cruise I have ever been on. Not necessarily with the crew though. The shows in the theatre were brilliant and the best I have ever seen oh any cruise, I couldn't believe how lucky we were to have Pam Ayres one night.We also had the Tenor boys and a variety of other very professional shows. We actually went every night. The day time activities were also just the best. I was absolutely impressed with the fuss free and smooth boarding, it took no time at all. How ever, we were not at any stage shown to our cabin, we had to muddle our own way there. We were given a small bottle of water at LA and then another at Sydney, not at all very generous. We had to pay for it after that. The food in the belvedere was just terrible.The night we had Indian that was all there was, tough for people like me who don't eat Indian, same with their Sea food night, no alternative. Generally speaking the food was dull, boring and bland. often to the point of being inedible. The absolute worst for me the mashed potatoes were just slop.Surely they should notice by the amount of plates going back still full. Certainly the worst I have ever experienced. We called it Woollies Cafe. The menu had no imagination what so ever.The waiters were slow and disorganised, the plates and dirty tables piled up, we had to ask for the tables to be wiped down so we could sit there. The food in the Meridian was delicious, well served and presented. Waiter for the most were friendly happy souls. As they had 8 black tie nights in the month, we ate in the Buffet instead, much to our horror. Toilets were repeatedly out of order - or there was no water or electricity. . At other times it was wash basins or hand driers not working - the knock on effect being empty paper towel holders. There were also some very strange, garbage type, or sewer smells in several places on the ship.Not a pleasant experience as you can imagine. Although she is a beautiful ship, she is not a patch on many of the others. The library was so small, you would be lucky to get a seat in there. It is no wonder so many people on the ship were ill with chest infections, including us. First time we have ever been ill on a cruise. We are in agreement with many that we spoke to on the ship, we will not be cruising with P& O again. this is just my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
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