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Arcadia Review

2019 Best for Embarkation
2019 Best for Shore Excursions
2018 Best for Embarkation
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4.0 / 5.0
447 reviews
Call 866-501-2343 to book
Call 866-501-2339 to book
Call 866-501-2339 to book

Adult-only vessel that's great for couples, singles and groups of friends
There's no ballroom and limited space for dance enthusiasts
Bottom Line
Mid-sized traditional vessel aimed at the British market, benefitting from a 2017 £34m refurb




Passenger to Crew


Shore Excursions
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Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor

Arcadia Overview

Editor's Note: Arcadia received an update in November 2017, boasting a spruced-up Aquarius Pool and Bar and new carpet and furniture throughout. Suites received new sofa beds, lamps, throws, headboards, curtains and balcony doors.

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Arcadia is one of the line's three adult-only vessels and became one of the first P&O ships to offer weddings because its Bermudian registry allows captains to marry couples at sea.

Arcadia offers a raft of attractive facilities including excellent entertainment and top-notch speciality dining to appeal to P&O's mature and predominantly British passengers who rate style, ambience and a relaxed atmosphere over gimmicks and adrenaline-fuelled activities.

Arcadia has an interesting background: Unlike P&O's purpose-built vessels, Arcadia was originally ordered in 2000 by Holland America Line, destined to become the fifth Vista-class ship. Then it was allocated to Cunard as the next Queen Victoria, before being launched in 2005 under the P&O Cruises brand. (Ship aficionados can spot tell-tale signs of its previously intended guise, such as an adapted Cunard-style funnel). The atrium is also smaller, and not quite the heart of the ship as it is on its sister vessels.

Based in Southampton and sailing on a variety of itineraries from short taster cruises to round-the-world voyages, the bright (but tasteful) refit brings Arcadia in line with the fleet's newer vessels.

Top Arcadia Itineraries

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Fellow Passengers

The majority of passengers are British, and typically a mature, over-60s crowd, many of whom are fiercely loyal to P&O and have sailed with the line for years -- often decades. This demographic changes dramatically on mini-cruises, which attract lively groups of families and friends celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions.

Arcadia Dress Code

By day the atmosphere is easygoing, and most passengers opt for casual shirts, shorts, trousers and beachwear. From 6 p.m. the dress code is formal or "evening casual" in bars and restaurants. There are usually four formal nights on two-week cruises (usually on sea days) and for cruises over seven nights there is a black and white themed ball. P&O cruisers love to dress up and even on three-night itineraries you can expect one formal night.

P&O defines evening casual as separates or dresses for ladies and open-neck polo shirts and casual trousers (not shorts) for men. Smart dark denim is also fine but not trainers, football shirts or tracksuits and passengers typically err towards the smarter side of casual.

Black tie nights are glamorous affairs, with passengers keen to go with the flow rather than buck the trend. If you want to break out a full-length ball gown on formal evenings you won't look out of place. For men, dinner jackets or tuxedos are the norm, but a dark lounge or business suit and tie can be worn as an alternative.

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Arcadia Ratings

Public Rooms4.03.9
Fitness Recreation4.03.6
Value For Money4.03.4

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Arcadia cruises to

How much does it cost to go on Arcadia?

Cruises on Arcadia start from null per person.

Is Arcadia a good ship to cruise on?

Arcadia won 9 awards over the years, including Best for Embarkation and Best for Shore Excursions in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best for Embarkation
  • 2019 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2018 Best for Embarkation
  • 2017 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for First Timers
  • 2015 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2014 Best for Cabins
  • 2014 Best for Embarkation
  • 2014 Best for Fitness
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Arcadia Member Reviews

Clipper Chick
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Arcadia is my favourite ship. I have sailed on Cunard QM2 but on that 7 days was too many.... Read More
Stephen Penrose
Sail Date: Oct 2019
It was a great time to cruise with P & O on the Arcadia - 4 weeks away at the beginning of November when it was wet and cold in the UK.... Read More
rich 112
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Arcadia handles very well A great ship, we loved Arcadia.... Read More
Sail Date: Dec 2019
After over half a dozen wonderful cruises on Arcadia, we booked this special new years cruise without hesitation and again we were not disappointed!... Read More

P&O Cruises Fleet

323 reviews

In November 2016, Oriana underwent a refurbishment which included a complete makeover of cabins, restaurants, bars, entertainment areas and public spaces.

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Aurora is one of the oldest ships in the P&O Cruises fleet (launched in 2000), and had a 26 million pound refurbishment at the end of 2014 which included the line's new livery.

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The 2,016-passenger Oceana might not be the largest or fanciest in P&O's fleet, but its contemporary vibe is attractive to both new and veteran cruisers.

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Arcadia is unique in the sense that it's a strictly adults-only cruise ship, catering to mature British couples and friend groups.

4.0 / 5.0
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Ventura is the joint second-largest ship in the P&O Cruises' fleet, with the largest kids club.

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With 3,100 passengers and P&O's traditional line-up of full dress codes, afternoon tea, deck games and ballroom dancing, Azura is one of P&O's largest and most popular ships.

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Britannia was named by HM The Queen on March 10, 2015, in a glittering ceremony in Southampton. The Queen last named a P&O Cruises' ship almost 20 years ago -- the 1,800-passenger Oriana -- then the largest ship in the fleet, which ushered in a new era of modern UK cruising.


P&O Cruises newest ship, Iona, launches in May 2020 and will be the biggest ship built for the U.K. market, weighing 180,000 tons and carrying 5,200 passengers.

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