Arcadia
Ranked #56 of 133 cruise ships

This contemporary new adults only ship provides a British cruise experience in modern surroundings. The spacious public rooms and sea facing glass walled elevators are impressive. Passengers on the Arcadia tend to be older outside of summer holidays and mainly British. When all cabins have double occupancy, the ship provides a space ratio of 43.2 tons per passenger and a crew to passenger ratio of one for every 2.3 passengers. At full capacity the space ratio is 35.6 tons per passenger and the crew ratio is one to 2.7 passengers.
4/5
Arcadia Arcadia is rated 4 out of 5 from 36 Reviews
75% of users recommend this cruise ship
Review Overview (36 reviews)

Cleanliness 5 stars
Entertainment  stars
Food 4 stars
Staff 4 stars

Arcadia Reviews

5/5
5

Carl Smith cruised on August 2011
2200 passangers is a lot of peaople but bouading went well. We unloaded the car and that was taken away for parking. We waited for about 20 minutes in a queue before being processed and then walked onto the boat.
We had an inside cabin and when we got there 1 case was already waiting for us. The other I had to pick up from security as their X ray had spotted my Swiss Army knife in it!

We had an inside cabin which had planty of apce for us. Enough wardrobes and cupboards for everything and the empty cases slid under the bed.

The cabin maid worked very ...
hard. After the first few days we had a short questionaire to fill in. My wife mentioned that she had been looking forward to having towel animals but none seemed to be appearing. 2 days later and there was a rabbit waiting for her followed next day by swans etc!

The food was excellent. There was a wide choice at breakfast. We normally grabbed a snack at lunchtimes in the Belvedere or Heptunes. It was \'cafeteria\' food but of good quality and with a huge choice. Evening meals we took in the Meridian. Four courses each night with a big selection. The waiting staff could not have been more attentive or responsive. The food was so good we saw no need to pay extra to eat at the premium restaurants.

The entrtainments in the evenings were very good. The Headliners music and dance team worked extremely hard and put on 8 different shows during the fortnight. One or two of these were as good as anything you would get in he West End and most of the rest were also very good. They had a female singer, Eleanor Shirley, who was billed as coming from the West end. Pleasant enough but I thought her voice was a bit weak and her repertoire limited. The cellist was the star of the cruise, his shows received a standing ovation. The comedian was a disappointment. Lee Wilson. His first show was funny with a lot of quick fire gags but he also insisted on singing! Now he has a good voice but we get music every night and using 20 minutes of a 40 minute act on singing is too much. His second show was pretty dire. Again too many songs (trying to flog his CD) and too few jokes and those he told were so ancient. Half of his gags I have heard Ken Dodd tell!

The ports were interesting if expensive. We didn\'t take any of the P&O trips instead wanderering around on our own except in St Petersburg where we used a local company for a 2 day tour.

All in all a very good trip.

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5
"BALTICS"
T.COLE cruised on January 2011
1 reader found this review helpful

Wow what a cruise restaurant staff were on our table and sitting exceptional could not fault them. The ports of call were great. Loved the ship though adult only good mix of ages. Plenty to do.
To keep you entertained even walking around the prom deck was good exercise. Use the glass lifts for a view over the sea. Booking in was easy went very smoothly did not have to queue for too long. Used CPS for cruise parking very efficient service.


Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
5 stars

3/5
3

John Saunders cruised on June 2010
Embarkation - fairly smooth but very long queues.

Cabin - mini suite - very pleasant indeed - only negative is bed was rather a cheap hard mattress.

Food -
The main restaurant was utterly DIRE - staff extremely pleasant but I should have known that feeding up to 1200 odd people in one go seldom works! The quality of the food itself was therefore of a rather poor standard - at best could be described as very second rate .

The Orchid restaurant was pretty good - once again - Super staff and food MUCH better but there is a £20.00 per couple supplement here.

Arcadian Rhodes restaurant - as per Orchid but £30.00 ...
supplement .

Belvedere Cafe / Self serve . AVOID AT ALL COSTS! Somewhat like a 3rd rate Motorway service station . I only tried to eat there once as an \"all night service\" - there is NO all night service - just a few VERY tired leftover sandwiches ! Furthermore there was nobody on duty - a cook had to be called up from the depths of the ship to serve you!

Neptune Burger Bar. Fine - similar to a Wimpy joint but fresh cooked and quite adequate if you like \"fast food\"

Breakfasts in our cabin . Absolutely splendid and always brought fresh by our wonderful Butler , Anil. Great choice of pretty good fresh food. This was THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY!!

STAFF

All the staff were really super without exception and special thanks to the Passenger services manager, Ian who made the voyage bearable by supplying a Personal Butler - this really did make the difference - without this I would have CERTAINLY left the ship early!

Bars

All bars were fine - drink prices fine and once again all staff were super - in fact a lot more interesting than the passengers! The only negative factor here was that the bars shut ridiculously early - in fact one night I had to get a bar reopened at just 1.30am!
ZERO nightlife on this ship - after 1.00am you might as well be in a mortuary!

Entertainment

Not really great! The Tate art talks were slanted towards people with little or no knowledge of the arts at all . The music / shows were insufferable! The in cabin TV was just a loop of about 8 films going round and round - only really about 3 channels available all the other channels were just advertising Ships beauty parlours etc!

The Ports & excursions .

The liason between the head office & the ship is appalling - I had asked to book a car hire for Zeebrugge but alas noone had told the ship! After several phone calls I did at least manage to get my fishing trip in!

In Summary

I wanted to visit Norway & Iceland and this cruise delivered that package. However when on board please be aware that the included food package is pretty poor , the entertainment is probably ok if you are a stayed old codger , there is absolutely ZERO life in the early hours - however all the staff were super . This was my first cruise and , sadly probably my last with P&O unless I can be assured of better standards .

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Tour Operator: P&O
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
1 stars
Food
2 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

mr pyne cruised on June 2010
as a past cruise passenger we have sailed with p&o 5 times now & 2 times with royal carribean .
we went to norway in 2008 on the oceana a ship we like & evarything is excelent on that ship and is very lively day & night with lots of things to do .
we booked the 15 night cruise to norway / iceland as we liked the itinary but have never been on a child free ship before like the arcadia and never will again most of the passangers was late 70s plus & it was geard up for them
as we are and a fair few passangers was between 40 ...
& 60 there wasnt much to do entertainment wise infact it was abismal .
not 1 deck party not 1 band on deck & on day 2 the music outside was bing crosby singing white christmas n it was june for gods sake .
at nite they turned the lights down low outside on dec 9 (the only place to smoke near a bar that closed at 11 0 clock not very good p&o the entertainment team was non existant unless u wanted to do ballroom dancing or listen \" classical music sorry anchent music .
went through the disco at 11pm 2 people in it thats all listening to old music .
midnight feasts forget it buffet closed at 9.30 & the only food after that was 10 muffins but when they were gone thats it other than cheese n biscuits unless u cud find the chef at the hot serving counter that had a choice of 5 things but u cud never find the chef to cook them. evarything else on the ship was fine very clean & u could find your way around very easaly but unless you are old grey bald & over 80 go on another p&o ship as we will never ever set foot on that thing again hope this helps & you read this before you booked to go on it a coupe of things i missed out sorry to go on we got kicked out of the casino at 12.20 as we & other passengers was told it was closing that was outragous & the 2 sail aways we had only lasted 30 mins max not like other p&o ships we have been on i dont know if it was the ressesion or just cut back by p&o but this cruise was very dissapointing unless u was very old went to bed at 10.30 & didnt want to eat or dance or gamble the night away stay clear & go on anoyher p&o ship.

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Tour Operator: p&o
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
1 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Sarah cruised on May 2009
30 April- 16 May 2009 Eastern Med
Boarding Arcadia was really smooth. Someone arrived to take our luggage and park the car. A bit of queuing to embark but not too bad. Luggage was outside of cabin within half an hour tops. Cabin was fantastic. This was my second cruise on Arcadia - last time I had an inside cabin (no window) which was ok but strange in the mornings as it was dark - also it was noisy with a tannoy just outside the and opposite the cabin stewards cupboard and being at the front of the ship was a bit more bouncy and ...
miles from anywhere! This time I had an outside cabin with an \'obstructed view\' which means with a lifeboat in the view. But I had daylight and blue sky and if I stood on my bed had a superb view. Cabin was midships - which is the best area to be in as you are in easy reach of everything. E deck was above the Promenade deck - which is a lovely deck and favoured by people walking - it is the most pleasant deck in my opinion - a mixture of people walking, sitting on chairs - not crowded at all. I had a cabin to myself - and unfortunately had to pay a single supplement - so take that into account if you are a single traveller. My friends had a cabin with balcony on A deck - unfortunately smoke from next doors balcony used to drift into theirs. This is the deck under the Belvedere - but they did not find it over noisy. It was handy to be able to pop up to the Belvedere in the mornings.

The cleanliness of the ship was faultless - I believe our hospitals could learn a lot from P&O!!

Mainly all the staff were very friendly and helpful. My cabin steward was unobtrusive and did a good job. The waiters in the Meridian were fantastic. Generally I get the feeling that all the staff are worked very hard.

The food was good - although not as good as my last cruise to Norway. However the ship was very full and the waiters did a tremendous job in the Meridian. Some nights the food was better than others - and sometimes it seemed like canteen food - but the waiter service was fantastic. The Belevedere was a bit like a bun fight - but the advantage being that you can plan your own time to eat. In the Meridian there were 2 evening meal sittings - either 6.30 (too early) or 8.30 (a bit late) - but rather this than 6.30. The Meridian is very busy, not relaxing and has the sound of engines. Arcadian Rhodes was a very relaxing dining experience. We dined there on 3 evenings - 2 out of the 3 the food was excellent, but on one occasion the food was terrible - I think there had been a chef change. We ate once in the Orchid - lovely views - but the food was disappointing on the evening we chose - although we were told by fellow diners that it was usually fantastic.

The thing about the Meridian that we didn\'t like was the fact that the idea is that you sit with other people. However there were 3 of us and we didn\'t want to sit with other people - so after lengthy discussions we secured a table for 3 each night - but it was in a bad position - next to the waiters workstations. We were advised by the head waiter to look around at different tables and identify tables we liked - then if we cruised again we could indicate our preferences - worth bearing in mind! At lunchtimes we always managed to get a table for 3 - we just had to specify that we wanted to sit on our own - the waiters were very accommodating.

Room service was ok - although breakfasts tended to be delivered earlier than requested and not always what requested. Ordering anything late at night took a long time to come - but the range of things you could order was very good.

The entertainment on board was fair - but I did get fed up with it after the first couple of nights.

I found the swimming pools off putting as they have people draped all around them. The Sun Deck became a place for people to cook their bodies!!

Pleasant bars on the decks with attentive staff. Did not like the atmosphere of the Rising Sun - too much smoke!

The Reception Staff very efficient and friendly. The shore excursion staff very good. However I feel that too much emphasis is put on shore excursions - I only went on 1 and felt herded. I feel that they are expensive and vastly overrated. Much more enjoyable to do your own thing at your own pace.

One thing I was a bit uncomfortable with was the tipping. It took me a long time to save for the cruise and I did not have a lot of surplus left. It was difficult to know who to tip - as all the service I received was first class - inevitably I could not tip all those I wished to. I feel that P&O should pay their staff more - as they all work so tremendously hard and on the whole are really nice people doing a really hard job.

I was definitely one of the younger ones on the cruise - but that was not a problem at all. You can join in as much as you want or do your own thing entirely.

I am saving for my next cruse with Arcadia!


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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

christine tyler cruised on September 2008
My husband and I went on this cruise for our silver wedding anniversary, it was our first cruise and we didn\'t know what to expect.

The Cruise was an \'anniversary cruise\' so everyone on board who had an anniversary was invited to a lovely cocktail party, which was fabulous! We loved everything about the holiday and could not understand why some people were moaning about what seemed to b nothing to us!!!!!!. In fact we were told (by a seasoned cruiser) that if we complained to customer services we would get money off our next cruise!! that is terrible! The food 99.9% of the time was great the company on our ...
table was great, I can not fault it all and cannot wait to do it all again.

The staff could not of been more helpful, if you asked it was done!
The entertainment was mainly good, the shows were very good, only one entertainer was disappointing so that is good for 3 weeks away!

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Tour Operator: P & O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

patricia mary halligan cruised on September 2008
we were quite impressed the look of the Arcadia it was very clean and welcoming. we were very disappointed in the age group 70+ lots of white tops found it hard to motivate people for pool games etc,found some staff only wanted people who had cruised several times to join in activities such as Mr &mrs and celebrity dancing but overall it didn\'t spoil our enjoyment food was ok the grill cooking fresh food was excellent but staff were very over worked and by all accounts their pay is scandalous i take my hat off to all the men and women who work tremendiously hard.the only entertainment we were disappointed ...
in was the tranny who was the worst act i\'ve ever seen people walked out in droves,but over all the entertainment was good.ports of call were very good on the whole the experience was excellent we were travelling with a disabled lad who\'s birthday it was on the cruise we took some lovely pictures the meridian saff made a fuss of him it was a great night for him thanks to them unfortunately as we embarked the ship some low life pinched our camera and took our memories of the cruise if you are reading this can we have the card back so we can have the pictures you must need the camera more than me it still hasn\'t put us off cruising i hope the camera brings you bad luck because you deserve it yours gap

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Tour Operator: thomas cook

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Andy cruised on June 2008
This cruise was for our 30th anniversary. We had planned for a long time do a cruise to the Norwegian fjords and to renew our vows on board on our anniversary. We hadn\'t specifically planned to travel on Arcadia or indeed with P&O; it was the dates and times that matched. Being cruise novices we also only booked about 6 months in advance. We booked a deluxe balcony cabin and made the arrangements through a cruise agent.
The bookings for the vows renewal was made well in advance direct with P&O but we were told that date and time was dependent upon the ship being at sea.
About 1 week before departure ...
the agent called us to offer an upgrade to mini-suite - which I accepted!
I can honestly say that this cruise lived up to our very high expectations - from the champagne awaiting us in our suite when we boarded; the helpfulness and attentivness of our steward, the waiters and any crew we encountered; the food; the wonderful and magnificent sights and scenery; the vows renewal ceremony; right through to our disemarkation.
The onboard facilities are excellent, particularly the Oasis spa. The Meridian restaurant was always a joy to eat in, never a poor meal. We were placed on a table for 4 but John, the Restaurant Manager, found us a table for 2. The only night we didn\'t eat there we went to Arcadian Rhodes - our only disappointment. They can\'t cook a steak to save their lives; twice what should have been a rare steak came out well done! I blame Gary Rhodes, not P&O!!
The only down point of the whole trip was on the last day my wife slipped in the Oasis spa, by the pool edge, banging her elbow. We did personally encounter 3 other people who had slipped and fallen in the same area, so there was clearly a problem. The medical attention on board was superb. (The damages claim is nearly resolved!)
Would I travel P&O again - YES
Would I travel on Arcadia again - YES

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

peter wood cruised on April 2008
more like a health farm , sorry p and o we are back to cunard , the food in the meridian is the poorest we have ever had , you should be ashamed

Tour Operator: ist4 cruising
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
1 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Iain cruised on February 2008
Overview of cruise Feb 22nd Ė March 7th on Arcadia. For daily ďblogĒ please do a search under my name to get all entries for last 3 weeks.

CRUISE ITINERARY : Flew to Barbados, and visited Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, Limon (Costa Rica), Panama Canal, Fuerta Amador, Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala), Huatulco (Mexico) and Acapulco. There were also 5 sea days and technically the Panama was also a sea day. This was a superb itinerary and I can highly recommend it to anyone. The ports all varied greatly and there was something for everyone. The transit of the Panama Canal was fantastic. It took al day, but it was well worth getting ...
up at 6am for !!

WEATHER : Superb. Glorious weather every day. The lowest temperature was 79f and many days it was in the high 80ís.

TOURS : I did tours in Grenada (Rum Runner) ; Limon (Banana Train) , Peurto Quetzal (La Antigua Guatemala on your own). All were good. I and my friends did our own things in the other places and often did things that tours were doing, but did them much more cheaply. It helped that I have a friend living on Bonaire who sorted that day out for us.

ARCADIA SERVICE : On the whole very good indeed from everyone. The Meridian Restaurant waiters worked very hard indeed due to the large size of the restaurant, they have to bring the food a long way. Breakfast room service does need to be looked at as it is very rarely delivered correctly. Every day they missed something off the list of requests. It wasnít just us. Everyone in our group who used this service reported a similar problem. They seem to think each cabin contains just one person and very rarely provide for 2 or more. The reception and tours staff appear not to be able to deal with complainants very well. I had no cause to complain but sometimes stood behind people who were and the staff tend to be very defensive and offer unsatisfactory explanations that tend to be fob offs. Customer service in this respect needs to be looked at. This ship appears to be somewhat worse than the other ships I have been on in that respect. The crew and staff are very friendly and pleasant, and bar service is good.

ENTERTAINMENTS STAFF / ENTERTAINMENT : worked very hard indeed. The men were very personable, although the girls tended to be a bit stand offish and really rather snooty. The Entertainments Officer was Gary Gladding and he did a good job. He did a commentary during the Panama passage which was superb. The singers and dancers were clearly chosen for one show (Cirque Arcadia) using their aerial and acrobatic abilities. The rest of the shows suffered as a result being rather bland and having no impact. The boys were very good dancers and looked good, the girls were less capable and were statuesque as opposed to dynamic. The 2 principal singers did little dancing and sang adequately, but none of the company were notable for vocal prowess. One of our party is a professional musical director in her own right and she thought the vocals of the team were abysmal at every show. The cabaret acts were Alan Stewart (very very good) ; Bobby Crush (who was himself as usual !!) ; a female singer more suited to a pub or cabaret club, and a classical pianist duo who I am told were very very good. Jon and Dan Snow were on board for lectures. I am told they were good. The Arcadia Orchestra were superb, and the other 4 bands on board were all good.

ARCADIA SHIP : The exterior looks magnificent and the ship is very handsome indeed. It is a large ship. The lack of a large atrium means there is no real focal point, and this makes the ships layout difficult to get to grips with. Using the scenic elevators as a focal point really helps. There are some impressive spaces such as Palladium Theatre and the Crows Nest and the Orchid Restaurant and Bar, but too many of the public rooms are rather bland and lacking in any real atmosphere, including Arcadian Rhodes. The Meridian restaurant is especially bland and lit too lightly and lacks ambience and atmosphere. There is an impressive amount of deck space and there was never a long search for a deck lounger (as there is on the other P&O ships). The sun deck above Orchid is often overlooked by many and there is always plenty of space up there. There is no dedicated cinema. Films were sometimes shown in Palladium Theatre, but usually were shown in the Ocean Room (a sort of lecture room with uncomfortable stacking seats) and as a result were poorly attended. Cafť Vivo is a fun little place which we visited almost every day. There are too many plain corridors and the photo shop seems to get bigger with every new ship. The lower floor of the 2 tear dining room has a bad vibration at the centre rear due to being right over the propulsion of the ship. The Belvedere Buffet is a real problem. The food is OK there, but the layout is confusing at first with its different sections causing different queues. There was no effective signage instructing folk in which direction to queue and this led to problems and conflict. There were many complaints about this place.

ARCADIA FOOD : Sadly, not as good as on the other P&O ships I have been on. The food in Arcadian Rhodes is superb, as it is in Orchid Restaurant, but in the main restaurant there is a real problem with the food being luke warm when it comes to the table. We were sat right in a far corner of the restaurant. We spoke to people sat near the kitchen doors who said their food was always piping hot. Our party of 29 were sat across 4 tables and at various times during the cruise, group members had to return meals that were almost cold. Not good I am afraid. The restaurant is just too big to be effective and as a result the waiters are having to work overtime to keep up with things. Some meals there were superb (especially the formal nights), many were as to be expected, but some were no better than one could get in any local bistro back home and thatís not what we have come to expect of P&O ships. There is one place on the ship which must rank as the very worst food I have ever had afloat. The Neptuneís Buffet Bistro by the pool. I ate here once and it was completely vile.

ARCADIA ATMOSPHERE : This was the first time I and my party had cruised on an over 18ís ship , and it will probably be the last, unless we chose such a ship for the itinerary. OK, we didnít have the kids and teenagers (but they are usually well looked after and controlled on the family ships such as Oceana, Oriana and Aurora), but what we didnít have as a result was their parents, who are typically aged in their 30ís, 40ís and 50ís. (We are in our 40ís). There were very few of this age group on board and as a result the atmosphere on board was quite dull at times. By half past midnight the ship was dead apart from a few pockets of life and certainly by 1am there was nothing happening at all. There were a few younger couples who stood out because they were so few in number. The majority of the passengers were aged 60+ and while they seemed to be enjoying themselves, it can never be as lively as when you have all age groups on board.

THE BUG : sadly the last 3 days of the cruise had the dreaded bug on board. It appeared to be a mild form and was apparently brought back on board a Puerto Quetzal. 4 of my party got it, but it was being sick once and having a bit out the other end, and feeling unwell for a day. Didnt sound like norovirus. There were quite a few cases and the ship handled this well with the usual restrictions in place. Everything handed to you in buffet and restaurant, toilet doors remaining open etc etc. One anomaly in the restaurant. They handed the pre-packed sugar and salt to you with tongs, and then brought the toast in an open rack for all the table to handle !!!

We enjoyed this cruise very much, but found a lot more to criticise than usual. It didnít spoil anything however, and the experience was still far better than any land based holiday could be. I havenít been put off P&O yet, but there are many people wondering if standard are being cut too much in an effort to keep prices down. P&O might loose support to Princess Cruises if they are not careful.

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Tour Operator: P&O
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

k.m.fizpatrick cruised on November 2007
cruise was fantastic.only concerns is why a company like p&o uses a poor airline like thomas cook.the seats were very poor no leg room.this aircraft was a 330 airbus . worst aircraft ever been on for leg room would not fly with thomas cook airlines again would change holiday first.

Tour Operator: p&o

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

Rob cruised on August 2007
It\'s nice to read a review from someone who worked for P&O Coby!!!! I know how much the staff are paid,and the good job they do. I take it you were paid more? It is a shame people are made to work 15-18 hour day/nights on cruise ships to pay for the top dogs wages( not the PAYING PASANGERS ). We enjoyed our holiday but if you have to make excuses for staff after a year working with them???? what else can be said.
Enjoyed our cruise and would cruise again with P&O but some staff still offish. Smoking areas need to be sorted as we are non smokers, and it would be nice to find a total non smoke area in side the ship in an entertainment area.

Tour Operator: Thomson

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
2 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

S and K cruised on August 2007
Well, to begin we thought the start of our holiday from Southampton to be very good with the car ect.... it did take an awful long time for our baggage to get to our cabin, nearly 3 hours. Anyway we where going to the Med. I am disabled and had been given a cabin which we later found out was not what we wanted as it was under the Belvadeare, we had a lot of noise late at night 12.30/1\'oclock with the crew putting things away, and then at 5ish in the morning bringing the chairs ect out for the day, so consequently we had about 4 to 5 hours ...
sleep every night, it became so bad that I was looking forward to getting home.
I cant and wont fault anything else about Arcadia, she is a lovely ship and everyone was very pleasant. Food was Brilliant, it was so clean and tidy, and our cabin staff where wonderful, we were on our 25th Anniversary, so I was hoping for a wonderful time. and it would of been if we had got some sleep.
In saying this, I would go again, but I am just warning others to stay away from being under the Belvadeare, i would certainly. P & O have been wonderful about it all, I do not fault them, but I do not think much of Thomas Cooks customer relations, they dont give a monkeys. After all you have paid and thats all they want. Well thanks P&O hopefully I will get a chance to go on another cruise one day. K

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Tour Operator: Thomas Cook

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
2 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Lynette Voce cruised on June 2007
This is the first time that we have ever cruised. We usually take a much more active holiday but wanted to do something special for our 30th Wedding Aniversary.

It was nice not to have to brave the airport etc and we joined the ship feeling very refreshed. It was all so easy - the luggage dissapeared, to join us later in our cabin, and it was all very slick, quick and easy.

First impressions - the ship was lovely - the staff so freindly, and the cabin was really nice. We did go for the balcony and it was worth the extra.

First the good bits:-

The food was ...
first class - we only ate in the restaurant and not the buffet as we enjoyed the service. The chef\'s did a first class job with my Vegan meals and I had a menu every night to choose from. We felt it was all very healthy and did not feel that we had overeaten at all.

The staff were first class - we did not have one negative experience throughout the entire trip. Everyone was helpful, very cheerful. I am sure that our Steward really made our holiday - he was a mind reader and we wanted for nothing.
Our waiters were great and did everything they could to make sure we had good meals and good service.
All the other staff made it a pleasure to be on the ship and nothing was too much trouble.

The Onboard Entertainment was good - we enjoyed the evenings seeing the shows, going to the casino, wandering around on deck or sitting on our balcony.

The shore excursions were not really for us - I don\'t know if they could be organised diffently but as it is not our sort of thing it would not be fair to comment too much. There seemed to be a lot of queing and rushing around. We did our own thing and enjoyed that.

The Ship was very clean in all areas.

We seemed to get on well with all the other people we sat with at breakfast and lunch - it was a real mix of personalities and we enjoyed meeting them all.

A couple of concerns. The first will determine if we go again or not. The smoking was a real issue for us - there seemed to be people smoking everywhere except the restaurants. We avoided a lot of bars etc due to the smoke. People were smoking in the cabins next to us - cigarette buts and ash on our balcony in the mornings blown from next door. (not their fault just a windy night - but this should be thought out)
The drinking areas all had smoking sections
People were smoking on the decks.
This is one reason why we may not cruise again until the regualations change. The new smoking laws do not apply to Merchant Shipping but this is under reveiw.
P&O really need to address this for the staffs sake as well as everyone else.

Second issue - we are regular users of the gym and really felt that the 8:00 opening was too late - would not bother some but with trips - dining etc before 8am was the only time to go. A small issue but needs looking at. ( We were told it was because the Captains Cabin was underneath the gym).

Overall we were delighted with the cruise. There is plenty of choice for everyone. You can be as formal or informal as you like - dress up and dine in the restaurants or chill out and go for the buffet.

There was always somewhere to go to get away from the crowds.

Well done P&O sort out your smoking issues and we will be cruising again.


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Tour Operator: Ilkeston Co Op

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Colby cruised on May 2007
Ok, this is a bit sneaky but I am in fact a former employee of P&O and did a total of two terms at sea with Arcadia. (about a year out of my total career at sea)
The reason that I am writing this is to help those people who choose cruising as their holiday get the best out of their holiday. There are some very simple rules that you might find useful to remember...
First of all - You are on holiday! So it might be a good idea to act accordinly. I have years of experience working at sea and in different departments and one thing that the ships ...
company sees time and time again, are passengers who are crying out for something to moan about. Especially the cruise which covered Christmas and New Year\'s 2006-07. All of us working onboard do not have the luxury with being with all of our love ones at Christmas. (And trust me, most of us are working onboard not because we want to but because many of us really have no other option.) The majority of the passengers on that cruise were intolerably glum. All of the ships crew were looking forward very much to spending Christmas with our passengers and we were all ready and willing to provide an experience that no guest would forget. But no one, it seemed, was willing to play ball. \"This ship is nothing like the Oriana or Aurora\". Oh please, for the love of god, change the record. If I had a penny for everytime I heard that, I could buy out P&O. READ THE MATERIAL that is sent to you when you book your cruise or even better, BEFORE you book your cruise. There are hundreds of websites like this set up specifically for people who wish to travel on a ship and want to find out as much as possible before handing over your hard earned money. Remember this is a cruise ship, not a hospital. We are a basically a floating hotel that has only cost you (in most cases) a couple of grand to get on. If you want 6 star service and facilities then you will have to be prepared to blow £30k and go on holiday with Crystal Cruises.
I can assure you that every crew member does at least the hourly equivalent of two full time jobs, 7 days a week, and usually for below the minimum wage. The Spa team always seems to get slated and yet they work at the very least, 12 hours a day and for £100 a week. The show company know at least 6 hour long shows, do 12 shows a week and rehearse everyday. Some of those guys come from the West End and/or Broadway. Indian and Asian staff, who work extremely hard without ever moaning are on about £200 a month. These are things to consider.. The waiter who had just served you your dinner and who to you looks \'bored\' has probably not been to sleep in 48 hours.
The Arcadia is a darkly beautiful ship. True, there is no \'glitz\' or sparkilng atriums but she is actually marketed that way. If you want constantly revolving disco balls and bars that are open till sunrise then I would suggest a Cranival ship. P&O is aimed at the more subtle end of the market. The Oriana and Aurora are timeless, beautiful ships, the Oceana came from Princess so that is why her interiors are glamorous. The Arcadia is very eastern in design and just because you may be someone who doesn\'t know about art (I know I don\'t) it wouldn\'t hurt to admire instead of hate the hundreds of pieces of original art which can be found everywhere.
To summarise, the best piece of single advice I can give you is to do your homework before you spend a few grand on a cruise. You may choose not to believe it but the team on the Arcadia is a rock solid group of dedicated individuals who will exceed any expectations that you have if you LET THEM. Why someone would go around and look for things to gripe about I will never know.
There is also class distinction on all the ships. One handy hint: People with money (and I mean LOTS of money) will never, ever discuss it or throw it around. They will be well-mannered, always be kind to the staff, will not moan over trifle matters and always tip when someone has given them a service that is not necessarily in their contract. These guests will not sneak upstairs to the food court on the last night of their cruise to avoid tipping the waiter that has fallen over themselves to make you as the guest feel at home. These people will always have excellent realtionships with the staff and can usually be found sat at the bars laughing and joking and having a great time with staff and fellow passengers alike. It is interesting to note that these people are almost exactly the same in character to people who barely have enough money to afford their cruise as both types of character are down to earth and friendly. The people who stomp around a ship and act very snootily are the ones who have no class. I saw a comment from someone on here that because they were from the midlands then they would have \'no chance\' with those guests who were class-orientated. Sadly, this is true but it was that type of passenger which usually has the most fun on their holidays. Let your hair down and remember that while you think that coming across as wealthy and therefore superior is wonderful, you will actually end up wishing you hadn\'t tried. As a crew member working the year round on ships I will meet thousands upon thousands of people and will always, always know if you are trying to be something you\'re not. Save yourself the embarrassment and don\'t even try. We are experts in reading people and will have you pegged as soon as we lay eyes on you :)
Oh and if you can, try and not fly to your destination to join the ship. It is a nightmare..
I am sure that I will not be allowed to post this comment on this noticeboard, but I am wondering if, by the good will of fellow man, it will find it\'s way on there.
Just go the ship and get as much out of it as you can. After all, you have paid to be there, so have a blast.. XXX

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

David Lawes cruised on January 2007
This was our first cruise and the dreadful flight with thompson fly almost ruined our holiday at the start. Flying from bournemouth was to be easy as we live only a few miles from the airport. I have had heart problems and wanted a good seat , but we could not book our seats although we had booked the cruise back in Jan 2006. We were told to be at the airport very early to get a leg room seat. We then learned that the flight was not direct and would have to refuel in ottawa. Our journey including waiting at the airport to the ship took us 26 ...
hours 16 sat on the aircraft. P & O must make big changes here as the aircraft and seat configuration is not acceptable for this lenth of trip. 767 arcraft are for European flights only.
Luckely the arcadia came up to expectatios and we had a fantastic cruise ,we havwe booked again for late January next year,Come on P & O please up your game on charter flights or you will have no clients traveling to the americas.

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Tour Operator: bath travel

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Jon & Kim cruised on January 2007
This review is our thoughts on the Arcadiaís New Year Panama Canal cruise which we took from December 28th 2006 till 12th January 2007.

We flew from Bournemouth airport to Acapulco with a refueling stop on route, the carrier was Thomson and there were delays, mix ups with meal arrangements and crew change issues which meant that we were six hours late arriving in Acapulco. You canít blame the cruise ship for this but boy did some people drone on, some were still whining about the poor flight two days before the end of the holiday

Transport to the ship was good and the registration process was well organized, having cruised ...
before we had each packed a pair of shorts, T shirt and flip flops in our hand luggage so we were relaxed and in holiday mood long before the cases were delivered to our cabin some four hours later.

We had cabin E122 which was an outside cabin with an obstructed view, we were very pleased with it, it was bigger than the cabins we had had on other ships and the standard of furnishings was good, The bed was bigger than our king size at home and it was comfortable, it also had a sitting area with a small settee and table in addition to the dressing table, bedside tables and the three wardrobes!!

Tea, coffee, milk, biscuits are all provided and replaced at least twice per day. The Hair dryer, kettle, flat screen TV and air conditioning were all fine.

The bathroom was well stocked with products by Moulton Brown and Elemis and included various eye gels and face creams, they were re stocked regularly, and in addition we were provided with complimentary bathrobes and slippers.

Our cabin steward, ĎJohnnyí, was first rate and worked very hard getting everything right, if you wanted anything like ice or extra milk you only had to ask once and it was done for the whole of your trip.

Overall, the ship was clean and generally well presented but the layout is awkward, the lack of any central atrium means it is easy to get confused and even at the end of our second week we were still making mistakes when trying to get to her various bars and restaurants.

I would have liked to have been able to see the front of the ship close up but all access is blocked and the best view forward is from the crows nest bar but obviously you are behind glass.

When you book with P&O you know that itís not going to be the same crowd that travels on Ocean Village Ö. Itís an old fashioned traditional ship that caters for the old fashioned traditional British cruise market and it maintains set standards including fixed dining and a strict evening dress code. I donít think you would actually get ten lashes if you turned up without a jacket for a formal dinner but I wasnít brave enough to find out.



There were four formal nights on this cruise including a black and white theme, I would guess that 95% of men wore full formal dress with the others in suit and tie, on these nights even those using the Belvedere were dressed. I changed after dinner but was in the minority with most staying in Dinner Suit until the early hours.

If you donít like being told what to wear for dinner (formal / smart casual) then this is not the ship for you.

The food was superb in the main restaurant ...it was a bit caeteria style in the Belvedere but it was still very good standard

This ship is the most class conscious I have been on with a small proportion of the guests we met clearly believing that they were above dining or talking to anyone without the right look or accent (weíre from the midlands so had no chance). However, luckily, our evening dining companions were fantastic and we really enjoyed their company. Breakfast and lunch was always a gamble but most fellow passengers were very nice.

The ports of call were mixed and included a good selection of wealthy and third world stops. The basic route was Acapulco Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica and several Caribbean islands ending at Barbados. No reviews from me on the ports because everyone has their own experiences when they leave the ship however we liked them all and found interesting things to see in all of them, mind you, I donít think I would buy a holiday home in Nicaragua just yet.

The entertainment was reasonable with several Ďguestí acts in the main theatre airing some very old material and ancient vocal impressions Ö. Frank Spencer impressions in 2007 Ö please !!! the Arcadia entertainers were a mixed bunch and the shows had the potential to be good but strange and obscure song choices in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical evening coupled with a bollywood nights fiasco (sing along if you know this one Ölol) meant that my interest was lost at an early stage.

The musicians and other bands on board were all terrific and if you prefer something different you could always find somewhere on board that caters for your thing from ballroom to disco, jazz to steel band its going on somewhere on this ship.

If I was going to be really picky I thought the service on P&Oís princess line was better than on the Arcadia, service at afternoon tea was slow with too few waiters in the dining room you were always waiting for something. It was the same story at breakfast with the tea and coffee, one cup and they were off and you waited a long time for a refill.

I think this is because we were all British and most were from an older generation who couldnít wait to tell fellow passengers in the restaurant that this was the worst ship/cruise/food/flight/port/cabin/crew etc they had ever experienced but when asked by an employee of the company if everything was fine they couldnít wait to tell them that everything was absolutely lovely, we Brits seem to accept and even enjoy the waiting, queuing and poor service but in my experience on an American ship the customer is king and the service seems so much more efficient.

Our departure from the ship was well organized and the flight back was uneventful but the charter planes that are used on these long haul flights are so crammed full that there is no pleasure in the journey.

Overall this was a really good cruise and the Panama Canal was amazing with the arcadia having just 18 inches on each side in the locks Ö varied ports to some unusual places it was a great privilege to travel cocooned on this ship in air-conditioned luxury visiting some of the poorer South American areas it made me appreciate how lucky we are and I thought it was worth every penny.

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

Rob&Gaynor cruised on December 2006
This was our first Caribbean and long haul holiday ever and we chose P&O because of the itenerary we wanted. I had read many reviews on the flights P&O use nad none were fabricated. We arrived at Manchester 4hrs early for the filight and managed to get legroom seats, which saved a lot of discomfot but it still was a very crampted and i think its atrocious that people are put through this for a holiday. Luckly the flights we had outbound to Barbados and return from Acapulco were direct and none stop.

On arrival at Barbados everything went very smoothly and 45mins later we were in our ...
cabin. The cabin was quite roomy and the balcony was a good choice. The ship was very nice,quiet and clean, we were on B.

The ship did seem a little class relevent(one should not say so should one) and lacked some sole and chearfullness in certain aspects.

We had booked for Christmas but Christmas day never realy happened and the Christmas in the Rising Sun pub nearly didn\'t happen. Lack of intrest was the excuise but the place was full. After an allmost mutiny it went ahead 45mins late but the atmosphere was dead and sunk. We all had a christmas present off P&O but this was ill thought of. Two shoe box size P&O plated champagne flutes(2 each) very handy for return packing!

The entertainment was average with Tom O Connor and Jane Mcdonald topping the bill. The rest of the shows were westendish i think as I fell asleep through some of them. The bars throughout the ship had somthing different going on throughout the evenings and weren\'t to bad and the price of a pint not to bad.

There are cut backs going on throughtout the ship ie. One lot of toiletries for the whole trip,Scruffy public places including toilets with no paper. We also noticed in the Meridian Resaurant very nice food buy not to friendly waiters. All staff over worked and under paid and it showed. We dined in the main Restaurant every night and noticed how hot and uncomfortable it became part way through meals. On asking the head waiter way it was so hot (27+ outside) he told us that it was a cut back, and that the air con was switched off after half an hour into meal sittings to save money, it made some people feel ill.
Luckily we had a good table of 6 who were out to enjoy the cruise and hve a laugh Hello to Val Eric also Claire & Ian who we sat with.

The Cruise itenerary was the mane reason for taking this cruise and it did not let us down. The Islands were very good and the Panama Canal transit was excellent,with the oter places we stoped very good also. Try not to book trip through P&O as we found taxis an mini buses in most ports doing the same trips at a third of the price. Val & Eric cancelled some of there trips and came with us when the realised the prices they were paying. Most people we spoke who had been on P&O trips said the trips were poor value for money.

Would we sail with P&O again. No not on a fly cruise with charter flights,and many people were saying the same on our flight home.
To find out more mail tatto in the Discussion Forums

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Tour Operator: Thomson

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
3 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Robert G Williams cruised on December 2006
We flew from Manchester, check in was very busy, the plane was full and very uncomfortable (no leg room)one + there was a free bar. Our cases were taken direct to the ship,check in was quick and the cabin was located on A deck,very clean area and tidy, no balcony.The food was very good and service during dinner was much better than at breakfast time,the food in the self service was good as well,our waiters Kevin and Innocent were very good, we chose 1st seating we then went directly to the Palladium for the shows, Tom O\'Conner and Jane Mc\'Donald were very good on both occasions as well as the ...
Arcadia own group.We had booked two shore excursions, Greneda (very good duty free) and Acapulco divers, we also went ashore to see the canal and Portobello, dockside at the canal very rough so take extra care, the same can was said about Guatemala. Curaco and Costa Rica were possibly the best shore visit.Margarita and Guatemala were the worst. If I had a chance I would sail again on the Arcadia. The flight home was the same as the flight out (terrible)We were lucky we had a good crowd you also get a chance on your flight to make friends.

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Tour Operator: Thomas Cook

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Tim cruised on September 2006

We took the Mediterranean Medley cruise Sept 1st - 17th.
We used the Eavesway transfer which was very good there and back.
Check in at Southampton was excellent,speedy and no waiting.
The cabin on the Arcadia was rather sombre in decor,also the awkward wardrobe space and after a few days it does get annoying trying to find clothes in a restricted space.We had bad luck with the two females in the cabin next door,very loud and mouthy with no respect or concern to other fare paying passengers.These two women could also be heard through the cabin wall which ruined our time in the cabin.Every port of call was impossible to capture on video ...
due to the volume of their coarse voices.The couple next door were diferent again,we didnt hear them once.
We could have saved ourselves a lot of money and had an inside cabin,so just bad luck out of nearly 2,000 passengers to have these two undesirables next door.
The fridge in the cabin never got cold despite informing the cabin steward,i like to use the fridge so this wasnt up to standard.
The Meridian restaurant was fine,but we did notice service wasnt as attentive and the portions are smaller.The waiter couldnt wait to get away once he had served you and often we had to call him back to ask for better portions.
We noticed at breakfast that under the tables from the previous nights dining were bits of old food and this also is not acceptable as the floor should be clean and several times we came down to breakfast to stained table cloths,a very definate negative when you have paid a lot of money for a holiday.
Arcadia itself looks impressive but its a very awkwardly laid out ship which can leave you feeling disorientated and we still got lost even after several days,the layout could be better.The decor does not have the WOW factor,some weird sculptures and art work and it doesnt have the glitz or glamour that some cruise liners have.
The Belvedere is an example,you get confused where you are and the layout isnt right or user friendly.
At times it just felt like we were making a channel ferry crossing in there,it certainly has room for improvement.Many times i took a meal there and found the food cold and again this isnt acceptable.
On the whole the waiters were great and they all work hard and are polite.
Cruising of course and being among such a high number of other passengers needs great tolerance and patience as you certainly will come across a whole range of personalities and characters.From what we witnessed on this cruise there were some downright bores and its not my idea of amusement to listen to how many times they went on the Canberra,or how many other ships they have sailed on in the P & O fleet YAWN !
I have sailed many times but would never dream of boring somebody with tales of past cruises etc,whos bothered ?
Times spent dining are a large part of the cruise and we noticed the small talk and nonsense that was being spoken,thank god we had a table for two to avoid this.
Great if you are lucky to sit with interesting people but the bores seemed to be evident on this cruise.
We called the dining times TWADDLE TIME...just nonsensical twaddle and of course the fake HA HA HA\'S were added at the end of each converstaion,quite amusing to witness,you have to get the timing right with the HA HA HA\'s and HO HO HO\'S.So very fake.
The sun decks aboard get crowded but if you search you should find a space away from any obvious annoyances and tales of past cruises etc.
We used the sky deck and again we witnessed port days being nice and quiet until later on in the day when people got back from trips etc.Several times we were disturbed by some inconsiderate person slamming a sunbed down then clattering it about,such bad manners when you want to relax.I wouldnt dream of behaving like this,you can still move a sun bed without it being so obvious and upsetting fellow passengers.
Whilst you are aboard you are in P& O land,a land where they will subtly do their best to part you from your money.Flyers left in your cabin to purchase items,thats fine if you have a never ending supply of money but if not you need to be strong to not give in.
The spa treatments are far too pricey,and even the daily activities and things to do have a fee added to them which isnt fair when you have paid for the cruise and to be entertained if you want it.
The photographers get to be a nuisance and the photos are not value for money.
The Palladium theatre where the shows are held is a very nice hi tech theatre and the shows staged were very professional and seem to be greatly improved.
However we were on 1st sitting and to get a decent seat in the theatre you had to be in there fairly quickly after dining to get a seat as it filled up quite quickly.Sitting behind one of the many pillars in there isnt my ideal choice of seat,so you had a 40 minute wait each night for the show to start which was a waste.
Again we witnessed very slummy behaviour from a few people in there.The seating upstairs has low level backs which are in front of you as you sit down,one woman sat with her high heeled shoes on the back of the seat all through the show ! the seats are new and with this sort of behaviour it should be respected more.
You could end up having rows with a lot of people but you need a lot of tolerance and patience.
If i had sat in front of her then i would have to had said something.
Cruising is not what it was and now holidays are being offered to the bucket shops there is a slight decline in standards and this can clearly be witnessed.
Arcadia is a noisy creaky ship,especially in the dining room where it vibrates a lot.As soon as you hit the bad weather this will be evident.She seems to vibrate a lot more than anything and pitches badly.
So we enjoyed the ports of call especially Naples and Rome.
After this cruise i wont be in a hurry to book again,time for a rethink.

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Tour Operator: P& O
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars
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