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Sail Date: December 2018
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take it ... Read More
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take it because it was cheaper than the train tickets from London to Bruges and it would include 'hotel' and food, so it seemed like a good deal. Turns out it wasn't the best idea. Due to high seas and strong winds we could not dock at Zeebruges so it turned into a cruise to nowhere, which would have been fine if the whole point wasn't to see the Bruges Christmas Market. We were also not offered anything in compensation, which I know they don't have to do, you take your chances, however, every other cruise line I've been on has at minimum reimbursed for port charges and most have given passengers a small OBC. While the inability to dock couldn't be helped, the way they handled it could have been much better. I've been on many cruises where we have missed a stop and the entertainment team has always gone out of the way to add items to the itinerary to account for the added number of people that would be on board (since it's assumed most passengers will disembark at the port. This was not the case with the Arcadia. For example their were 2 showings of Mama Mia Here we go Again, in a VERY small venue and it was completely packed. There was nothing else going on this that venue the remaining time, so they could have easily added one or two additional showings. I think the worse part was lunch, they only have one side of the buffet open even though, again everyone was on board. There were very few places to sit and people were waiting a long time for items to be replenished. Outside of the issue with missing the port, the food (which is very subjective) was very British, full english available both mornings, although the scrambled eggs were not cooked well, they were very runny with a sign above them stating you shouldn't eat egg products that were not fully cooked. The first day lunch buffet featured prime rib but all of it was completely well done, which is a total waste of good food. I found most items on the buffet to be cold, the way the buffet is set up it does not keep the items warm at all. I was assigned late dining in the main dining room and had dinner there the first night, not a lot on the menu that appealed, the shrimp cocktail was a bed of lettuce with what we call in the states salad shrimp (or bait LOL). They were very tiny and smothered in sauce. The main was a steak and chips, I ordered it rare and it was medium which apparently is the best they could do. The chips were great, but could have used some ketchup. Dessert (pudding) was advertised as a triple chocolate molten cake, which was not a cake. It was more of a dense gelatinous mousse, inedible, the accompanying ice cream was good. I decided the next night that nothing on the menu in the main dining room interested me, a lot of fish and liver. So, I went to the Asian themed buffet. Again the food could have been much better if it wasn't cold. The sweet and sour chicken used the same chicken goujons from the Neptune grill but overcooked (very stringy). The little egg rolls were the best thing on the buffet, I must have caught them at the right time because they were actually hot. Entertainment - I felt like this ship is stuck in the late 90s, it reminded me very much of the first cruise I went on where the entertainment was only 'live music' in the different bars. I believe there was one 80s music trivia. While it's an older ship and there aren't all the bells and whistles you'll find on a newer ship (zip line, water slides, rock walls, ice skating etc), I would expect something more. They could have done the comedy game shows like the quest or match your mate. They have one very small theater for movies, seats about 30 but the movies they showed were old ones already out on DVD. There was also NOTHING to do during the early diner seating, other than hang out in a bar. I even tried the casino but while it was open they had no dealers for any of the games and just some VERY OLD slot machines. Cabin - as I booked so late I had a gty inside which I did not find out which cabin until I got to the port. I was in E165 which is aft. The cabin was fine, it was my first inside cabin and I did miss the window especially since I spent a lot of time there due to the lack of entertainment I spent a good deal of time reading and napping LOL. I did sit by the pool on afternoon to be able to see the ocean but it was a bit chilly. The cabin steward was fine, he brought ice every evening as requested. Specialty / Room Service Dining - I was originally going to Ocean View which has a cover charge of 22.95, which I was fine with paying until I looked at the menu and saw that 99.9% of the items had a surcharge, I believe the only item you could get w/o a surcharge was the salmon or chopped steak, since that annoyed me I didn't go, just up the charge and include everything. I also did not order room service, first because I couldn't find the room service menu and then second because there was a charge. I think the ships that are going to charging for room service are ridiculous and I'm boycotting. Breakfast room service is included. Overall service was fine, I did have a hard time getting the bar servers in the dining room to take my order and they were very slow returning your key. I also found it ridiculous that the bars didn't have ice. I know they don't like ice in Europe but usually cocktails are the exception. Overall, I was disappointed in missing our port and the entertainment on the ship was not to my liking, however, if you are with a group and can make your own fun, I think this could be a good ship to take. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and l wished to go back to Praidi Vitoria in the Azores as the last time we visited the lsland it was raining so hard we did not get the chance to appreciate it. We booked on Arcadia as she was visiting Prai di Vitoria and Ponta ... Read More
My wife and l wished to go back to Praidi Vitoria in the Azores as the last time we visited the lsland it was raining so hard we did not get the chance to appreciate it. We booked on Arcadia as she was visiting Prai di Vitoria and Ponta Delgada,sailing on 21st November 2018 which we realised was a slight gamble with the weather at that time of year. The boarding of the ship went very smoothly and it was from the City terminal,Southampton which we had never sailed from before. Our cabin was a P B grade inside and we have used this type of cabin before so no great surprises as it works for us . The one surprise we did have was that in the midships section on B deck it was the only inside cabin and opposite us was the top of the range suites. The position of the cabin meant easy walking distance to both the Crows Nest and the Belvedere buffet restaurant. As it turned out it was not a good choice as the cabin was really noisy not just motion of the ship which we expect but on one side was a locker where they stored bottles and cans etc and next to it was a door to possibly an air con room? Which rattled all the while and on the other side a stewards pantry which also seemed to have extra noise . l mentioned this to reception and they sent someone up who seemed to think it was just ship motion and of course he came in the day time not the middle of the night. They did offer to move us down to G Deck which is not where we like to be so we declined and spent the cruise with ear plugs in and very little sleep at night. So personally we would not recommend that cabin and thought it was graded too high for its position but it was our choice to stay so we cannot complain. Regarding the cruise it all went well to Lisbon then the Canary Islands but after we had visited Madeira with a welcome overnight we had the news that we would not be visiting the Azores due to really bad weather coming across the Atlantic and would now be going to Cadiz and Vigo in Spain as an alternative. Although very disappointed we think it was a wise decision by the Captain and we did seem to keep ahead of any really rough weather and whenever it was rough at all the Arcadia seemed to handle it very well with the stabilisers out. Our call to Vigo was made that bit more enjoyable as the ship stayed till 10pm so we could go ashore and see the Xmas lights , then as we left we were advised the Bad weather was catching us up so the ship put on extra speed and we arrived in Southampton on Thursday evening instead of Friday morning. We have only given a low rating as it was not quite the cruise we booked for other than the bad choice of cabin everything was more or less good. We did freedom dining and found the food good and the revamped crows nest was nice either in the day or at night. The entertainment was very poor except for the Headliners theatre company who we thought very good considering some of them where on their first tour. The Captain was very informative keeping us up to date on weather and destination and the library was well stocked with books so we could relax and enjoy the cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Fancied a short cruise, not been to the two places the Ship was calling at. Zeebrugge for Bruge or the Menin Gate. Amsterdam. Chose the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Very very moving to see so many Grave Stones,puts life into ... Read More
Fancied a short cruise, not been to the two places the Ship was calling at. Zeebrugge for Bruge or the Menin Gate. Amsterdam. Chose the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Very very moving to see so many Grave Stones,puts life into perspective. Due to high winds the Ship couldn’t dock at Amsterdam. Captain decided to call at Cherbourg. Not a great place to call at, but at short notice it was ok. The Ship was emaculate, there was always a member of Staff cleaning the toilets and surrounding areas. We chose the 8.45 evening sitting. Choice of Menue was first Class and of good quality. Staff very attentive. Good choice of food for breakfast. Now for the entertainment. Superb, I believe as good as any West End Show. In particular Mr Pinkertons Clock Circus. The Costumes, the special effects, outstanding. Singing world class. In fact the Show was that good the theatre gave the performers a standing ovation. Gary Barlow look alike so good he had the women up dancing Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship is tired, and badly needs updated. The engine noise and vibration made conversation and sleep almost impossible. The entertainment,with the exception of the two duos and the performance of Jimmy James was poor. The films offered ... Read More
The ship is tired, and badly needs updated. The engine noise and vibration made conversation and sleep almost impossible. The entertainment,with the exception of the two duos and the performance of Jimmy James was poor. The films offered were old and dated, with no new releases. At times the staff appeared stretched, although always polite and very hard working. Probably the only plus factor. The smoking areas on open deck were appalling, the smell invading not only the open deck but eating areas and stairwells in the ship. The route to Bermuda, our first port, from Southampton seemed strange given the fact that this was an autumn cruise. This resulted in 6 days sailing in cold/cool, damp and cloudy conditions. The food was uninspiring, as an example, the fresh fruit appeared to be limited to melon, pineapples, apples and bananas. Strawberries were offered but most of the time they were frozen. The degree of hard sell in the Oasis spa, led me to cancel several appointments, as I was unwilling to endure this at the end of each appointment. This was supposed to be a special holiday for my husband and I, celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary, and my husbands retirement. We were bitterly disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Winter no-fly cruises to the Caribbean are very good value and its not surprising that we meet up with the same people nearly every time we sail - particularly the friendly shuffle boarders. This one included Bermuda, the Bahamas and Grand ... Read More
Winter no-fly cruises to the Caribbean are very good value and its not surprising that we meet up with the same people nearly every time we sail - particularly the friendly shuffle boarders. This one included Bermuda, the Bahamas and Grand Turk which made it even more popular than usual. All good ports, particularly for impressing American passengers off the ships we met who were astounded to learn that we were out for 28 nights! Mind you, judging by the fun and games aboard all the ships we met, they pack as much as we do in 28 nights into a 4 night cruise from Miami! Our taxi got us to Arcadia in good time for an early embarkation. In fact having got our luggage into the system at 1145 we had no time for coffee in the lounge and were directed straight onto Arcadia - far too early for lunch! However we learnt from our table companions later that the air bridge failed mid-afternoon and they were delayed and had to embark via the crew gangway. Captain Martin Allen was apparently first time in command and proved a steady and informative captain throughout. The ship was a year out of refit and was in good order. We didn't really like the new seating in the Intermezzo bar as most of the comfy seating had been replaced by chairs but no doubt this practice helps accommodate the ever-increasing passenger numbers that cruise companies shoe-horn onto their vessels. Our cabin was clean and comfortable and our steward Christopher was a real gem. Always friendly, willing to meet our every request - and always had our cabin cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast. We noticed a couple of changes in the catering. At lunchtime in the Meridian restaurant the delicious curries no longer made a daily appearance sadly, particularly as P&O say they are so proud of the curry tradition on aboard their ships. More strange was the appearance of sharing plates. These don't really work if you are seated on one of the many tables for 6/8 as you may well be a fair distance from your partner! 'Company policy'. But the ever obliging crew always made a sharing plate available for one. The other issue we had was that P&O now require their Entertainment Managers to move the time of activities on a daily basis - 'to be fair to everyone'. But no-one has ever been able to do everything they want aboard and changing the times around merely frustrated everyone wanting to get into a pattern of speakers, deck games, choir and quizzes. However full marks to EM Alex Percival (also on his first cruise 'in command') - when I commented on the 'How are Doing?' survey early in the cruise, he called me up and we met for a talk about it. The changes were 'Company policy' again. But these are minor gripes about the constant change that is inevitable in any business and the positives far outweighed the negatives. The Headliners were just finishing their time aboard and were one of the best we've seen. Their new show 'Mr Tinkerton's Clockwork Circus' was a triumph. P&O are really moving their show offering up a gear. And good to see the team helping out with activities round the ship on a daily basis. The weather may have been poor in the North Atlantic but the benefit of Carnival's central control system really helped. Yes, by having to take a northerly track across the Pond to avoid the weather we didn't get much sun but it was very much the lesser of two evils. The weather in the Caribbean was a bit damp at times (it was the tail end of the hurricane season after all) but the Captain invariably got his daily forecast right so it helped in planning the day. He did get it wrong once, in St Maarten when we met him walking ashore just before a tropical shower hit the ship - lucky he wasn't in uniform! Luckily we avoided a storm on the way home and had to substitute La Coruna for Praia Da Vitoria in the Azores - a much better option in our opinion. The popularity of this type of longer cruise inevitably attracts an older crowd. We were told that the average age was 71 (hopefully not including the crew!) and it was a sad fact that we had an unusually large number of medical issues requiring the Captain to divert and alter the schedule to meet these urgent issues. Some good decisions, which incidentally showed that Arcadia can still lift her coat tails and exceed 24 knots when required - to the detriment of the Chief Engineer's credit card no doubt! On a personal basis we enjoyed the Scenic Sailaway from St Lucia. Thankfully these are not widely advertised aboard nowadays as they are so popular - and excellent value at the price. A group of about 40 enjoyed excellent canapés and unlimited drinks in East Bar as we sailed out on a lovely evening. We made friends in our quiz team with a couple whose daughter was getting married aboard and we were delighted to be involved. A lovely family. One grouse we've had in the past was that the higher levels of the Peninsular Club have their lunches very early in the cruise. We were invited three days out! However it was no problem changing to join those later in the cruise and the ship is also always happy to accommodate requests for particular table hosts which makes the event even more memorable. By then we had got to know most of the wine waiters through the excellent wine tastings and getting a little extra to drink at all the events was a bonus! So a leisurely and entertaining cruise when ticked all the boxes for us. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because it was 28 days, to the Caribbean and back from Southampton. It was our first P&O cruise after several Azamara and one Viking Ocean cruises. This was an adults only cruise and the average age was apparently ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was 28 days, to the Caribbean and back from Southampton. It was our first P&O cruise after several Azamara and one Viking Ocean cruises. This was an adults only cruise and the average age was apparently 72, but looked older to me. Most of the passengers were experienced P&O guests, 95% were Brits. Firstly the service was excellent from the mainly Indian crew. Very professional, friendly and efficient. We were fortunate to have a suite and our butler Sam was the best butler we have had. The suite was fine, not particularly large but large enough, and the bed was very comfortable. There was a separate shower with the dreaded shower curtain, not a good touch for a suite. The specialty restaurants, Simbu and Ocean Grill were both excellent, well worth the supplement. The main restaurant was OK but a bit "mass catering". The food was generally acceptable and occasionally good. The service was generally good, but the waiting staff were very busy resulting in the occasional long wait. The Belvedere buffet was very poor, busy and the food was displayed haphazardly. It was served on a tray with plastic glasses, a bit like an old works canteen. Having a suite we could use Sindu for breakfast and did every day. it was one of the highlights of a sea day. We missed the Azores due to high winds and went to La Corola in Galicia which was lovely. The sea days got a bit monotonous but overall we enjoyed ourselves and would go again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was my and my husband’s honeymoon – having never done a cruise before we did not know what to expect and so this is an honest review from first time cruisers ! Embarkation This was swift and well organised. Having ... Read More
This was my and my husband’s honeymoon – having never done a cruise before we did not know what to expect and so this is an honest review from first time cruisers ! Embarkation This was swift and well organised. Having arrived at the Cruise Terminal around midday with an embarkation time of 2.30, we were lucky to be sat in Arcadia’s Belvedere Restaurant at 1.45 having lunch with our room ready soon after. Disembarkation This was dealt with very well. We were at our allocated place at 9.45am and in our car by 10.10am Dining There are two main places to dine – Meridian and Belvedere (the latter being the buffet). We dined at The Meridian on 3 occasions and found the food to be average. We had salmon on two occasions and each time it was severely overcooked (crusty almost). It was also disappointing that some of the specified ingredients were not actually included within the meals – ie crab salad consisted of just carrot and onion (no crab !), and a sponge with a hazelnut crumble and a praline wafer had no wafer and just a whole hazelnut placed on top of the sponge ?? We knew that by choosing Freedom Dining we may well be given a pager if there was no available table so that we could “enjoy a drink in the piano bar”. Each time we ate in the Meridian we got there as it opened and were immediately given a pager and had to wait nearly an hour each time. On two occasions of waiting such a length for a table for two we were made to sit on a table for four (didn’t mind this but surprised after waiting especially). Also when you are shown to your seat you walk past many empty tables which just makes one wonder whether being given a pager is to make you spend money at the bar ? The food in the Belvedere Restaurant is also only average – again fish being put out for guests to eat already well overcooked (boquerones completely inedible like cardboard and already burnt salmon). Also there are two rows of food shielded by a plastic screen. Whilst it is appreciated that the screen is to ensure germs are kept away from food, it is also impossible to reach the food at the back and the chefs did not attempt to assist ! The carvery consisted of a small joint of meat with re-cooked frozen roast potatoes and cauliflower cheese with bland, watery carrots and swede – no other vegetables apart from brussel sprouts one day. Also the Belvedere, for some of the evening, was half shut off to paying passengers so that the crew could eat. This was ridiculous as passengers were having to chase free tables and some even had to eat by the Neptune Pool when the half of the shut off Belvedere only contained about 6 crew members ??? Also the air con is on full blast in The Belvedere making it freezing to sit and eat Entertainment The theatre has shows at 8.45 and 10.30 and we understand that these are new timings. However we could not see a show until the fourth night as unless you “claimed your seat” at about 7.30 you did not stand a chance of seeing the show at 8.45. We were told by other passengers that the previous timings for shows worked very well for passengers. There is music at other venues – ie Crow’s Nest, the Rising Sun and the Globe – but these are only for about 30 minutes at a go and were usually on all at the same time and so there are times within the evening that there is no music/entertainment at all. As to the Globe, this is way too small and The Retreat is a waste of space according to other passengers being used only by the dance instructors. The casino was never used, on our trip, by passengers and we felt extremely sorry for the numerous members of staff just standing around for hours on end each night. Black Tie Events We enjoy dressing up – who doesn’t – but we were offended one night in the Crow’s Nest. Unlike others going into the Meridian Restaurant we had dressed up. However due to being overwarm and nowhere to place his suit jacket, my husband left it in our cabin after our meal. We went to the Crow’s Nest for a drink only to be asked to leave because of no jacket ! Despite my husband obviously wearing suit trousers and a tie it was still not good enough. We explained that it was too hot for a jacket and were told that as long as he had it by his side it would be acceptable !! Really -what was the difference in having it by the side or not wearing it !!! RIDICULOUS The Black Tie Gala Dance in The Globe was also poor. We attended the second one only to find it was really a night for the dance instructors to tell everyone what dance they could do and not for general enjoyment of those who did not wish to do The Waltz or whatever Accommodation The ship had a major refurb last year. Well our Deluxe Balcony Cabin was ok – nothing special, dated and in need of modernisation. The balcony was rusty and the panels between balconies were extremely noisy – wooden wedges are used to stop the rattling but these don’t last long before falling out ! Our cabin keys did not work on three occasions and we were told not to place them next to our mobile phones – we had not done this ! In fact the last time they did not work we visited Reception who for some reason already had the new ones ready for us – how did they know that our keys were not working ?? Alcohol Since booking our cruise 16 months ago P&O’s alcohol policy has changed in that you can only bring on 1 litre each of spirits each. They claim that this is in line with other cruise lines and also to ensure that no passengers become unruly – however they are more than happy to sell alcohol to you ! As to cocktails – don’t bother buying them. They may seem a reasonable price but they are not as if you watch them being made no actual measures of spirit are put in – just a swig and so you are paying through the nose just for juice. Cruise Loyalty Staff We attended the Cruise Loyalty and Future Cruise office once (the queues were ridiculous) but did not like the attitude of the lady who we spoke to. She could not get rid of us quick enough and there was not even anyone else waiting. We decided to use the Library to look at the cruises we spoke to her about and found them to be cheaper on P&O’s own website ! Staff The Entertainment staff were ok – never pushing you to do anything but there was a severe lack of things to do but maybe that is because of the general age of the Arcadia’s clientele ? Our Cabin Steward worked very hard – very long hours and always a smile. As to the restaurant and waiting staff – they simply are a credit to P&O. They are so polite and friendly and professional and remembered your drink and your name. Ports of Call It was a shame that on some port days most of the shops were shut ! Summary We have used this first cruise as a learning curve and having booked our second for 2020 will ensure we don’t make the same mistakes ! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The last time I sailed on Arcadia was five years ago. I’d blown some of my savings on a once-in-a-lifetime world cruise and loved every minute. The ports were fabulous and the service on board could not be faulted, but the ship ... Read More
The last time I sailed on Arcadia was five years ago. I’d blown some of my savings on a once-in-a-lifetime world cruise and loved every minute. The ports were fabulous and the service on board could not be faulted, but the ship didn’t win me over. Yes, I found the public areas spacious but Arcadia didn’t dazzle: the décor was bland, the styling unmemorable. Fast forward to 2018 and my opinion has changed. Last week I disembarked after 17 days in the Med and Arcadia has been transformed. Arcadia now sparkles. The carpets in creams, dark blues and reds are dramatic and chairs and sofas of modern design are comfortable. Pale blues and creams contrasts with rich maroon and together create an elegant and luxurious atmosphere akin to a 5-star hotel: adult-only Arcadia is no longer ordinary. PORTS Mid-October in the Mediterranean can sometimes be chilly and I made sure I packed a fleece. Needless to say, that decision guaranteed warm, sunny weather and most afternoons I swam in the Aquarius pool in temperatures around 23c. The open decks have plenty of sun loungers and there was never a problem finding one. Captain Martin Allen kept everyone well informed about our navigational progress and in most ports we were alongside before breakfast, leaving lots of time to explore ashore. The mixture of ports suited me perfectly and included cosmopolitan Barcelona, bustling Naples and oh-so-French Toulon. Cadiz is a favourite of mine and the walk from the ship into the warren of narrow streets takes only ten minutes. The cathedral is magnificent and well worth a visit, even though there is an entrance charge. Walk to the rear and you will be on the promenade, gazing out to a sparkling sea. The island of Elba was new to me. We were tendered into Portoferraio, a small walled town with side streets full of links to Napoleon Bonaparte who was banished there in 1814, before escaping a year later. On the front, bars and cafes line the harbour and by midday they were doing brisk business. Top tip: catch an early tender and see the town as the locals see it. Another favourite and a surprise to many, including me, was the fortified town of Ceuta situated across the Strait from Gibraltar. I didn’t have high expectations of this Spanish enclave but it’s a gem. Drivers patiently gave way to pedestrians and in the park, street cleaners smiled as they swept up autumn leaves. Not only that, a litre of gin cost me less than it did in Gibraltar earlier this year! Of the other ports, Messina in Sicily doesn’t excite me. Yes, the Clock Tower and the Cathedral are magnificent (located about a quarter of a mile from the berth) but that’s about it. Perhaps this is one place where an excursion is the best bet? Another top tip: avoid having a coffee in the cathedral square. You’ll be ripped off, paying treble the price in cafés along nearby streets. But overall this cruise offered an interesting itinerary and the late summer weather made every day a treat. ACCOMMODATION My balcony cabin was on D deck and – like most things on Arcadia – was spacious, with a full size sofa rather than one squashed into a corner as on many other ships. New mattresses are being introduced and I can confirm that they are extremely comfortable. In Paulito I had an excellent steward. He was was quiet and courteous, and responded immediately to requests, eg when water in the basin began to drain away only slowly, he had an engineer fix the problem before I returned on board. Do not expect a lot of drawer space, however. Wardrobes, yes – but not drawers. FOOD We were on First Sitting for Club Dining and Trevor Glass, the executive chef, inspired and delivered some excellent dinners. My favourite starter was the fried goat’s cheese crottin whilst of the main courses, the thyme grilled pork chop stood out – it was so tender that the meat simply pulled away from the bone. Importantly, hot food was always served on hot plates. House wines at £4.15 a glass matched my needs and that price is less than on many other ships. Desserts are my downfall – the lemon posset was wonderfully tangy and the chocolate ganache was properly sweet and creamy, made even better because James, our waiter, insisted we have vanilla ice cream with it. ACTIVITIES Activities on sea days included deck sports like quoits as well as numerous quizzes. There were guest speakers, bridge classes and – my favourite – daily art classes led by Sue Smith. Sue is not only a professional artist but also a patient teacher, which she needed to be in my case. Ebullient Entertainment Manager Alex Percival kept everyone up to date with each day’s programme and he made sure we didn’t miss classical recitals or guest artists like singer Ben Makisi in the theatre. And if all these choices were simply too much, a visit to senior loyalty manager Brooke and her team of Lewis and Chloe to check out a new low-deposit cruise provided a tempting alternative, and so did the prospect of one of those comfy chairs with a book from the well-stocked library. The Palladium theatre is as good as anything on dry land. There’s lots of knee room and most seats have clear view lines. If you cruise with P&O regularly you’ll probably know the shows quite well. But in the hands of a hugely talented company, they can still come alive and the Headliners on this cruise delivered fantastic performances. Best by far was the new musical, Mr Tickerton’s Clockwork Circus. The leading tenor was exceptional but it was the dancing that stole the show, with everything from trapeze artists to acrobats – even an elephant! And the finale - taken from the film The Greatest Showman - brought the audience to its feet. MY VIEW There are downsides to Arcadia as there are with any ship. The cinema is small - seats need to be booked in advance – and prices in the shops are often no cheaper than on the high street, but it’s the totality that matters. From the Captain and the Hotel General Manager to the young and cheerful hotel assistants dusting surfaces pre-dawn, the service and general ambience delivered a fine cruise experience. In January I board Oriana, one of my favourite P&O ships. I used to think that Arcadia could not compare but I’m no longer quite so certain. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because it fitted in with our diary and golden wedding celebration. All previous cruises we have had an outside cabin but this time we decided to try an inside and we were not disappointed. The size is quite ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fitted in with our diary and golden wedding celebration. All previous cruises we have had an outside cabin but this time we decided to try an inside and we were not disappointed. The size is quite comparable to the ordinary outside staterooms and as we spend very little time in the cabin (awake) we didn't miss the windows/balcony either. The cabin steward, Christian, was very helpful, friendly and super efficient. The food in the main (Meridian) restaurant I regret to say was not up to the standard of previous cruises with P&O and especially Fred Olsen and Cunard. The choice of food on the menu was generally very good but the quality of the food was debatable and was often cold. With the exception of the lamb shank we concluded that it was best to stick to fish oriented food for starters and mains. The waiters were always very helpful and apologetic. We dined for one night in the much trumpeted Marco Pierre White restaurant at £30 extra for two plus an extra £7 for lobster. The starter my wife ordered consisted of some sort of stringy balls in a sauce and was tasteless. It went back but was replaced with a crab salad which she could only describe as 'mushy' also tasteless. It too went back. Mine was o.k. Then came the lobster which because it was so small we doubted it was lobster and was probably crayfish or rock lobster as it is fashionably called but cooked in a cheese sauce.No claws or claw meat were served and we were told they had been removed for something else, (pardon) Some was eaten but the rest went back. The dining experience is of course one of if not the most important features of a cruise but I am afraid this did not live up to expectations. For example one of our fellow table guests when served his steak meal jokingly shouted "this horse is a hundred years old". The bars on board were all well appointed and reasonably priced and perfectly drinkable wines of several choices were available for around £16 to £25 a bottle. We settled mostly on a sauvignon (The Holy Snail) at £17.95 per bottle. The waiters in general were very attentive and helpful although one or two were often too engaged in conversations with the passengers and needed to be reminded why they were there. This was a tiny minority, for the most part the others were exceptional. The off ship experiences were quite interesting New York was crazy and delightful together and Canada and the Canadian people were superb. To gain the greatest experience of many of the places visited it was best to use the facilities of the organised tours but several people declined to go because of the high expense involved. One couldn't help considering a 52 seater bus, full, and a driver and guide for a couple of hours or so pulls in over £4000. One of the most pleasant experiences was in Charlottetown where only two or three hundred metres from the ship in the pretty port we had a lobster lunch each to die for. Now that was a proper lobster with all the claws and tools to deal with it. It took about two hours to complete and was absolutely delicious. I haven't commented on the shows available in the evening because with an 8.30pm dining and a nightcap in the bar afterwards and at the same time a listen to some first-class live music we were ready for what was always a very comfortable nights sleep. We were on deck 10 towards the front of the ship. I did however go to several of the very interesting talks on sail days. So there we are; we did enjoy our trip a lot and we were fortunate to have wonderful dinner guests to end the day with. I would comment that things on board seem to have changed since our last P&O cruise with a definite and obvious orientation around making money. The exorbitant cost of wi-fi, a massive open area put over to fruit machines (damn things), where everyone to access some of the bars and restaurants must pass through, very high costs of sauna, massage, hairdressing etc. With grateful thanks to the Captain and his crew for a safe and gloriously uneventful passage. So would we travel again with P&O to be honest I cannot answer that question at the moment. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We tended to have 2 mini P&O cruises a year, 3-4 day breaks, sometimes to the same location.Over these last few years, these have been on the Arcadia.Whilst we have never had reason to complain about the ship or cabin, there is cause ... Read More
We tended to have 2 mini P&O cruises a year, 3-4 day breaks, sometimes to the same location.Over these last few years, these have been on the Arcadia.Whilst we have never had reason to complain about the ship or cabin, there is cause for concern in other areas.The cabin steward is always helpful,and the cabin maintained well. Where I feel the standards have dropped, is with the quality of the food & service. The food at all meal times, appear to be prepared on a tight budget, with a limited amout of choice over the period of cruise.The speciality eating venues, are regularly pushed, at very high premiums.I honestly feel the service was better, when you tipped the waiters at the end of the cruise.There is no insentive for them to provide exceptional service, as tips are already included. The entertainment is average, and passes the time away, drinks & wine prices increase year by year. the excusions barely provide value for money. We have cruised with P&O for over 8 years, we have to change. We had booked a 3 day break for June next year, but are prepared to lose the deposit & cancel. ; In the checkin area's before we boarded, we spoke to several first time cruisers, & we sang the praises of P&O. During the cruise these same people were saying never again, we inclined to agree . Read Less
Arcadia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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