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

4/5
4

Pat cruised on September 2006
After reading some very negative reports on Arcadia before we went away, it felt as if we had made a mistake and had very strong reservations, obviously this is upsetting when you look forward to a holiday and have paid for it.

Holiday reviews websites can be good in the way they let you know before hand what pitiful there might be, but also on the negative side can put people off, what for us was a magnificent holiday.

The reviews below states how boring some people were talking about the past cruise experiences, however I also find it boring to go on holiday taking notes on every minor problem ...
there is. Why these people bother to go on holiday, ill never know? If they invested more time in enjoying themselves rather than complaining, the ship would have had a better atmosphere.

What people forget is, Arcadia is aimed at cosmopolitan people looking for a different cruise experience. In my opinion Arcadia is spotless trendy and a wonderful ship. She does have a few problems here and there (boring moaning people, who donít smile) but that is not P&0 s fault. Work with the problems people, you only go away once a year (some people 4/5) but even so you are on holiday and not a hotel inspector.

Positive points
1. Your on holiday

2. Sparkling (itís a cruise ship not a hospital) some people walking around with gloves looking for dirt

3. Great food (one bad portion of potatoes and a doggy burger out of 50 meals we had) If you want to Gordon Ramsey food for breakfast/lunch/dinner then pay the price £65 for dinner, Ive been and some of the dinners on Arcadia are not that far off. Do that Maths £65 x 16 =£1040

4. London Spa facilities (some miserable people begrudged paying, all I will say to that is the Arcadia is not that much more expensive to Oriana/Aurora and you donít get the option on there. If people bothered to spare £10, letís be honest if youíre on a cruise youíre not hard up, then they would appreciate how wonderful they were. A London Spa of similar quality would cost £75 a day. Hey itís all adding up isnít it? Not to mention all the taxi fairs you are saving on.

5. Fantastic Theatre shows (yet another £50 in London)

Negatives

1. People going away to be miserable and not smiling, still if I moan about that makes me just as bad. So just smile at them and had are own fun. A holiday is what you make of it.



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Tour Operator: Cruisesavers

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Barry Cox cruised on August 2006
We have just come back from cruise j619 Breathtaking fjords. Below is an account of the cruise according to how we felt and experienced. This will be an honest account but please do remember that this is only OUR opinion. Other opinions do and will differ. Our intention is not to upset or offend anybody, so please just read it for what it is meant to be.
Impressions of 2 cruise junkies.
On Sunday the 6 Aug a friend drove us to Cambridge to pick up the Eavesway coach service to Southampton. The coach itself was punctual and clean. Driver friendly and there was a comfort stop, to enable all passengers ...
to get something to eat etc. The driver placed luggage in his boot and we didnít see it again until we were in our cabin on board the Arcadia. All in all a very impressive service. Would we use it again? Probably not. Nothing to do with eavesway but because the pick up point in Cambridge was for us very awkward to get to, especially with the amount of luggage we had.
Embarkation was a speedily well thought out process. We got off the coach, walked through to the embarkation hall with our hand luggage. were guided to a check in desk, where we showed our tickets and passports. We signed a health declaration because of the stomach virus that was reported on board some of the other cruise lines. Went through security, and hey presto we were on board. We arrived at 2pm and in our cabin by 2. 20pm. no queuing and we were very impressed.
We had treated ourselves to a cabin with a balcony this time. We unpacked our cases. 2 double wardrobes and a single. Plenty of hangers and room for all our clothes. Very nicely furnished and tastefully decorated. The balcony was nice to have with 2 chairs that reclined and a small table. Whilst I unpacked Donald went to book Arcadian Rhodes and the orchid, but more about them later.Savio our cabin attendant introduced himself and told us about the muster stations for the fire drill. He kept the cabin spotlessly clean and was most helpful. If thereís anything you require just ask and he obliged. Iím sure this applied to all stewards as we didnít hear 1 complaint on the stewarding. Our muster station was in the meridian restaurant. We donned our lifejackets when told. All in all the whole fire drill took approx 20 minutes. back to the cabin to put away life jackets and then time to explore our new home for 13 nightsóThe Arcadia.
WeĎll go through the public rooms deck by deck and present our opinions. Deck G: Reception, quite tasteful and well staffed although there was queuing at certain times. Shore excursion desk also had queues at times. Atrium: Not as Glitzy or as big as other ships. I actually quite liked it. I thought the shimmering curtain hanging down the 3 levels with its constant changing of color to be very restful. Deck F: meridian restaurant lower: a large space with a raised platform in the middle where more tables were situated. Decked in crisp white linen and silver cutlery, with panoramic views from all sides. At the very back of the restaurant it vibrated quite badly at times. We think this was due to the thrusting of the ships propeller.
The Spinnaker bar: decorated with pieces of art. The ships bell and a model ship. We didnít use this although it had plenty of seating and was pleasant enough to walk through.
Intermezzo: a smallish but comfortably furnished bar which specialized
In champagne and caviar and served pre dinner drinks, especially suited
For dining in Arcadian Rhodes.
Arcadian Rhodes: advisable to book as soon as possible if you wish to dine here as it does get booked fairly quickly. It carries a cover charge of £15. At first glance of the menu there isnít an awful lot of choice. It all sounds quite plain. However as it says it is British but with a twist. I opted for steak and kidney pie and Don had the chicken. mine came and it was a piece of steak served on a root vegetable accompanied by a pastry case filled with leek and mushroom and on top a fondant potato served with a jug of kidney flavoured gravy separate dishes of veg accompanied the meal. Don had black forest cake to finish.this was like a choc sponge served with cherries soaked in kirsch and a jug of choc sauce.
I opted for the chefs special. jaffa cake. This was a light sponge with the
Yummiest orange filling Iíve ever tasted with a choc topping and a dish
Of fresh orange segments in orange liqueur- highly recommended.
It was worth the money just to say that youĎd eaten there. Yes it was
Good but we wouldnít eat there again. We found the food in the Meridian
To be on the whole just as good.

Art Gallery: This was used mainly as a walk through with a few chairs.The Art on show was varied,fairly modern.

The Globe: This was one of the main entertainment venues.We found it comfortable but
A little on the small side.One word of warning, the individual chairs Ė try them and see
For yourselves (grin). Or rather hear for yourselves.

Electra: This was the late nightclub,fairly modern quite a nice dance floor to disco on
It did`nt seem to be used that much.

The Rising Sun: We found this to be quite spacious. It was used for dancing,quizzes etc.
Sometimes though it did smell of tobacco.

The Monte Carlo: This was the casino.We didnít use it but it seemed to be fairly popular.
It offered cheap gaming sessions on sea days.Some of the slot machines you could get 10 goes for a token..

The Palladium. The onboard theatre.This spans 3 levels and is fairly impressive.more about the entertainment later.In all venues where there are performing artists,waiters stop serving drinks 10 minutes before the show starts.

Promenade deck: meridian restaurant upper: This is where we were allocated a table.If you were at the back,there was still some vibration but not as much as down below.

The photo gallery.As its name suggests,this is where you can view and purchase the photographs that the on board photographers seem to snap at every opportunity. Believe me theres plenty of opportunity.Prices range from£5.95 to £15.95. This could get quite congested with people searching for their photo.

The Piano Bar: a nice area with smoking and non smoking sections.A resident pianist plays and holds quizzes here at certain times throughout the day.

Piccadilly: The shopping area. It sells everything from greeting cards to clothes and gifts including a separate perfume area. It also has daily promotions.
The Library. A well stocked area where you can do a jigsaw,loan a book or two.and hire a board game.You can also leave your name in the hope that you meet a companion to play a game of bridge,trivial pursuit etc. the librarian will let you take 2 books at a time for a period of 7 days.You then have to renew
Impressions of 2 cruise junkies.
We finished our impressions of the Arcadia in the library on promenade deck
we now move onto cafe vivo: This is the onboard coffee shop where you
can purchase latte cappuchino etc.This was a very nice area with really friendly
staff.2 coffees cost £3.50 but you also could choose from a selection of pastries
which was included in this price. We liked it here

Cyber cafe: A room dedicated to computers which we did`nt use.It always
seemed to have someone in there and you could buy time plans.

Horizons: a series of rooms dedicated for the new horizons programme.
When we were on board you could attend a series of events and lectures
for Gardening,Meditation and computer related subjects.They were
reasonably priced.

The prom deck had a wrap around promenade which was very pleasant to stroll around.

The next 5 decks were all cabins.

The lido deck:Aquarius pool and bar:A very nice area to relax,have a swim,go in
the jacuzzi or have a drink on a fine day. They held the sail away parties here.

The Belvedere:This is the self service restaurant,its quite a pleasant area but somewhat
confusing as serverys are in sections.Sometimes it felt like a game of hunt the thimble
only instead of a thimble it would be spoon,milk,butter etc.The food itself was palatable
enough and lots of people used it.

Neptune pool bar and grill: this is the area with a retractable skydome,when its fine they
open the roof.Its a very nice area with sunbeds, tables and chairs.the sunbeds here arent padded
so can be a little uncomfortable to lie on after a time.The Grill is a place that serves
sandwhich of the day,Burgers,hotdogs and general snack food it also has a salad
Bar.A nice place to go if you just want something light.The pool and jacuzzis here
were a comfortable temperature,nice for a swim and not too busy,it also had table tennis
tables.

Oasis spa:The onboard health suite.Here you could book a health treatment,facial,
manicure,massage etc.We found the prices to be on the expensive side,but not
ever having anything like this we have nothing to compare it to.It did seem to
be used quite a lot.You can also book sessions in the hydro suite,this is 2
rooms one of which contains a large heated spa pool and relaxing chairs.
The other has 3 steam rooms,marble heated beds and showers with
delightful mist experience.It costs £10 for the first session and if you book
another 2 or more as you leave the reception area,you can have them for £5
It was total relaxation and well worth it.

The gym: This room contained excercise equipment of all sorts with very nice sea
views in the front.They also did group excersises here. A little secret for you,there is a small but extremely comfortable relaxation room off the gym which hardly ever seemed to be in use.The loungers
here are pure bliss-try it.

The sun deck:The Retreat and Diversions.Again used for various new horizon classes or so it seemed.
The crows nest.This is a very nice area to come for a drink it has panormic views all around.it`s
also used for the classical recitals.

The Viceroy room: a small pleasant room with panoramic views,used as a quiet area.

The sky deck: sports area with nets for tennis,cricket golf etc.
The orchid restaurant and bar:Another alternative eatery costing £10.Reservation
we found to be essential as it proved very popular.This served asian influenced cuisine
Don preffered this to Arcadian Rhodes,I enjoyed it too.

That completes our impressions of the rooms on Arcadia.We now present our views on
Entertainment, Ports,Excursions etc.Please do remember these are our views others again
will differ.

Entertainment: The Arcadian Theatre company: What can we say? This company
presented 6 shows including the best of the west end.music of Andrew Lloyd Webber
Cirque de arcadia, The Knights of Rock n Roll, Bollywood nights,Flashback.Extremely proffesional, well staged
and for a small company they have to be seen to be believed.They did P and O and
the passengers proud.All credit to them.

visiting artists:Colin `fingers` Henry:A comedy pianist.He was on twice.He was ok
but we felt he would be more suited to the more senior passenger of which there were a lot.

Al brown: A comedian.We didnt see him but he got varying reports from `b***** awful
to Ok.

The Twins:A pair of young Magicians.We found them to be quite good.but again other passengers
had varying reports.

Louis Hoover: A singer currently appearing in The Rat Pack.He did a tribute to Frank Sinatra
I found him to be ok,A little on the nasaly side.Maybe he had a cold?.

Late night cabaret:Martin Beaumont and Sol Bernstein.We didnt go to see these
as it said it contained Swear words and adult content.We personaly dont like this form
of entertainment.We didnt hear any comments on this show.

Sam Piha and Louise Garner: They were the classical Duo.He played the guitar and She the flute.
They did a series of recitals.We went to 2 of them and found them to be very good.

ports of call: Stavanger: We liked it,very picturesque with an old town which had lots of white wooden houses
although it had some steep hills to climb

Bergen:It rained here but got out better in the Afternoon.We had a stroll around and looked at Bryggen
a Hanseatic cluster of old wooden warehouses and buildings on the unesco world heritage list.We enjoyed it here too.

Geiranger.A small village with not much to see. It did have pleasant walks to view a small waterfall. We enjoyed the excursion we took from here.more about that below.

Andalnsnes:We took an all day excursion from here so didnt look round here.

Honningsvaag: The village for the North cape,not very picturesque.We found it to be quite Drab.Passengers who stayed on board and looked round said not much to do or see.

Tromso:This town had the arctic cathedral, a modern building other than that not very impessive.

Trondheim:a small town but very pretty.nice to wander round and soak up the atmosphere.


Excursions: Lysefjord and the Pulpit Rock,from Stavanger.3.5 hours.A boat trip to view the fjord and rock
with a stop at a picturesque point for coffee and waffles. most of the time spent on the vessel with nice scenery including waterfalls and cliffs,with the occasional seal.very nice. more dramatic to view on deck than sitting in cabin area.

Mount Dalsnibba.from Geiranger.3.5 hours.Travelling by coach to the top of the mountain for spectacular views.We were lucky as the mist had just lifted when we reached the top.

The Golden Route.from Andalsnes,A full day tour with lunch.This was our favourite excursion travelling by coach to view spectacular scenery from various locations culminating in a spetacular national park high in the mountains.

The North Cape:from Honningsvaag.3.5 hours.Nice scenery as you drive up and down from the cape.
At the cape itself there`s just a visitor centre containing a cinematic show with horrendous queues,a
cafe restaurant with equally horrendous prices.a very strange area dedicated to the king of siam.and a chapel dedicated to st johan which was quite nice.

The Alps of The North.From Tromso.full day inc lunch. What can we say other than Dont do it.This was another full day excursion to supposedly see spectacular scenery.The guide we had(bless her) tried her best although at times it was like listening to her life story as we revisited scenes from her childhood and youth.there were 3 photo oppurtunities at the most strangest of stops one was obscured by power lines,the other from somebodys garage.and the other in what appeared to be a working quarry.We didnt hear one good thing from any other passenger who did this trip.A complete waste of money.


General observations: Norway is Beautiful,Her people are charming and friendly but be warned it IS expensive.
Both Don and I were amazed at some of the passengers who when on board the Arcadia walked with the aid of a stick, but when on excursions with buffet lunch, seemed to forget about the stick and barged their way to the food table, and attacked it like there was no tomorrow.It almost seemed like rationing had just ended.
Another thing we noticed was whilst strolling around the deck,we happened to glance in at the windows of the restaurant at the end of second sitting.Passengers who had obviously finished their meal were sat at the table chatting.The waiters who all work incredibly hard were obviously waiting for these people to go.Both Don and I understand that many friendships are forged over dinner,but come on,spare a thought for these people.The Arcadia does have other quiet areas to chat in.
There you have it,our view on what for us was a great holiday. Would we sail on her again? We are,we were so inpressed we have booked onboard to sail across the Atlantic on The Spirit Of the Carribean on the 20th october and we cant wait.





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Tour Operator: p&0 direct

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Graham Couch cruised on July 2006
Best of the Canaries July 2nd 2006 P&Oís Arcadia, Cruise number J615
Graham & Angela Couch age 44 from Burnley Lancs.

This review covers our experiences aboard the P&O ship Arcadia ports of call were:-
Vigo, Lisbon, Praia De Rocha, Tenerife, La Palma, Madeira, on a 12 day cruise

We joined our ship at Southampton on a Sunday morning after staying overnight in the nearby Ibis Hotel, (poor breakfast, go to McDonalds across the road) we watched England lose to Portugal in the world cup that afternoon.

This is the first time we have sailed from Southampton we usually join cruises in Palma, so we flew down from Liverpool by Flybe costing £100 ...
for two of us return which isnít bad, a taxi from the airport to the docks was £20, there is a checker taxi desk just next to the exit in the airport they will book you a car and agree a price before you go, I recommend this company. Also Flybe will allow 50Kg of luggage which is the highest in the industry; if it is a two week cruise you will need this!!

The staff at P&O were very helpful and organised when we arrived, and immediately took our cases through a chute for boarding, we then queued for about ten minutes as there were 1900 people to process as the cruise was sold out and we were early, so we stayed in a waiting area which was like a airport lounge for about 30 minutes until they called our ticket number, there were drinks available and it was very comfortable, security checks are very strict at this point as well.

After boarding we were taken to our cabin by a steward, the Arcadia is a big ship. 84,000 tons, so we were apprehensive about getting about, but there was no need, it is easy to navigate, just a lot of walking. Our cabin was spotless, and because the Arcadia is only 1 year old it was as new, the Steward Mathias kept it absolutely pristine throughout the cruise, we were on E deck, with a window but restricted view, beware it is a very restricted view as well, there was a lifeboat right up to the window and we couldnít see anything, except light, but this didnít really bother us.
I will go through the good and bad points of the ship later.

First day, sailing out of Southampton was brilliant, we sailed down Southampton water on a beautiful afternoon into the Solent and then to the Channel heading for our first port of call, Vigo in Portugal. We actually followed Artemis out of the dock; it was on its way to the med.
Vigo is a large city with parks on the top of the hill in the centre, it is very hilly so be prepared, most shops donít open till late so take you time getting there as it is very sleepy until ten ish. The walk up to the gardens is recommended but it is hell of a climb, the views however are spectacular, but apart from a shop thatís about it really. I recommend also that you book an excursion here as there is little to do in town except shop. P&O also provided a shuttle here from the port to town as they do on all ports of call.

Lisbon the capital of Portugal is a very large city with lots of squares, shops and monuments, so be careful of the usual hazards that you have in all cities, beggars, bag snatchers etc, although we experience no pickpockets or bag snatchers beggars are plentiful, there are some delightful places to see here and there a little trams that do tours around the city but are very busy and pricey, book an excursion here for the trams this is the best way to see Lisbon.

Praia De Rocha is a typical Portuguese beach resort with tacky shops, bars and English restaurants, beer is cheap though but not the sort of place we like, it is a tender here as well so we had a boat ride there and back, lot of effort, and little reward, beaches are lovely though but thatís about it, if this isnít what you want then stay on the ship or get an excursion.

Tenerife We docked in Santa Cruz, north of the island, the views were spectacular, there are a lot of mountains and wooded hills here and little Lego houses dotted around in between the forests, very beautiful. I believe the excursions here are good as there are some very good views and a trip to a volcano, which is active!! Apart from that a very charming, bustling city with chique shops, restaurants and tree lined streets. I must mention this is where I nearly choked on some chicken in a street cafť, I threw up on my dinner to get the blockage out and happily I am still here, very frightening though.

La Palma again docked in a town called Santa Cruz? This was on a Sunday and most shops were shut for the day, very sleepy, very quiet nothing to see, so either get an excursion or stay on the ship!

Madeira, (Funchal) this was our favourite, Madeira is absolutely beautiful and lush with trees and flowers, there are some very nice restaurants on the front and very good shops. We went on an excursion here which included a sled ride down a very steep hill guided by two men with tyres on their feet, this was an experience you should not miss, Madeira is famous for the sled rides, and have been doing it for 100 years, half way down a man will take your photo and will present it to you in a folder two minutes later?? How they do it I donít know, but for 10 euros it is a nice momento. I thoroughly recommend Madeira and would consider staying here for a while it is so pretty here and very pleasant to stay in.

That is the end of the itinery for this cruise, a bit disappointing as we have stopped at some beautiful, interesting places on other cruises, so we think P&O should drop some of these destinations and re-think the itinery, but that is just our opinion.

The Arcadia the ship is a little over a year old so is very clean and new, it is described as contemporary in the brochure and it is, lots of chrome, steel, wood mirrors, modern art etc, reminds me of a very stylish modern city apartment in design, we cannot fault the cleanliness and order onboard it is absolutely pristine.
The staff though, very helpful but a bit miserable, we have been on other cruises and been bowled over by the friendliness and bubbliness of the crew, I think because it is still young the ship needs to find itself first then maybe it will be better in the future. However, the food was excellent, though a bit rushed in the Meridian in the evenings, the service though was good and the waiters did have some fun with us but nowhere near as mush as we like, we were on the Island Escape last year and had a wonderful, fun time every night, the staff on the Arcadia seem to be scared of letting their hair down a bit and propagating some fun, donít know why! Try the Arcadian Rhodes restaurant, there is a surcharge of £15 each for this but the food and service are outstanding, well worth it.

I could go through all the amenities on board but you can look at this in the brochure or the website they are very accurate in their descriptions, we had very little to complain about on board, the prices of drinks are reasonable, (although a mini can of coke as a mixer is 75p) Stella is £1.50 a pint, and the gift shop is quite cheap as well, good presents available.

Entertainment onboard entertainment was fairly good, there is something for everyone, from digital photography to classes on fears and phobias, try the wine tasting too this is very good if you like wine.

The cabaret entertainment at night was so-so, there are two showings at 8.45 and 10.45 which fits in with your dining and the cast are very professional and are all excellent singers and dancers but, and this is a big but, the themes were poor, they were a bit boring and not very well produced, which is only my opinion of course but on all the other ships I have been on they were much, much better, especially the Island escape which was breathtaking.

There was a comedian onboard called Micky Zany who is very good, but also on one night there were two alternative comedians on, one looking like swampy, who was appalling, where they dug then up from god knows, and the language was colourful as well and totally unnecessary, even though they warn you. P&O wake up, this act was not appropriate on this cruise!!

All in all this was a good cruise, and I would go with P&O again because of the high standards of the ship, although sailing from Southampton is not my preference, and the itinery being poor we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would not hesitate in recommending P&O and the Arcadia. The ship is superb and the staff very helpful if not a tad miserable, but there are some exceptions.

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

Hopkinson cruised on July 2006
We got off to a bad start as the ship started to roll as soon as we moved away from the dock in Southampton, we were told by a fellow passenger that this was due to a revolutionary new design which gave the ship an almost flat bottom, if this is so it it didn\'t work

The cleanliness was ok but not as good as Royal Caribbean. The whole ship was so bland it was totally devoid of any character, a bland design with bland furniture, the whole effect was brown mustard and fawn.

The casual food cafe was so confusing and the staff seemed to take great delight in seeing ...
you trying to find what you wanted without trying to help and they were very surly.

The main dining room was very claustrophobic and you were not even given the chance to greet your fellow guests before you had a napkin thrust on your in the knee and a menu put in your hands and the waiter stood waiting for your order. The wine service was appalling and just because we didn\'t have wine one night there were no wine glasses in our places for the rest of the two weeks, if we had wine we had to wait for glasses which always came some time after the wine, and the attitude of the wine waitress was take it or leave it. The cheese and biscuits was a joke with two choices of cheese being offered.
The food was served so fast that you could barely drink your wine with your meal. It was a meal I began to dread and we ended up eating casually on occasions instead of being able to treat our evening meal as a pleasant end to the day. We didn\'t want to stay hours just an hour and a half would have been nice, the record was 55 minutes.
The entertainment could have been better but to be quite honest we were not a lot interested all we could think about was how soon we could get off the ship, what a waste of good money it was. I felt particularly sorry for my partner of 20 years who was looking forward to the cruise after having a heart bypass and this was supposed to be a surprise for him from me. I couldn\'t apologise enough.
We love cruising but I would never cruise again if we had to go on the Arcadia.
I must add that we have never had cause to complain about any cruise or land based holiday before and I have been travelling abroad for many years. We didn\'t expect any special treatment, we didn\'t want any special food just a pleasant holiday and at the price we paid I don\'t think that should have been too much to ask.


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Tour Operator: P & O
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Sara & Mark cruised on May 2006
We travelled on the Arcadia on the 12th May on the Canaries collection cruise. This was our second cruise - previously travelled on the Island Escape around the Med which we enjoyed immensely.
We drove down to Southampton and used the CPS car park which we had pre-booked. Our luggage was taken from the car upon our arrival and the next time we saw it was when we first entered our cabin. The car was parked for us by CPS staff. Very easy and efficient.
Embarkation was smooth and quick, as was debarkation.
Our cabin was an outside with a balcony (which we were lucky enough to have been upgraded to without ...
extra charge) was clean and fairly spacious. Wardrobes could have been a bit deeper as hangers and clothes hung at an angle (my husband visited the laundry fairly often to iron his shirts and linen jacket) but this was not a huge problem. Our cabin steward kept the room spotless and tea & coffee making facilities were available and always replenished with supplies. Having a fridge in the room was also a bonus.
The rest of the ship was spotlessly clean. Quite a big ship and it does take a time to find your way around. Okay the Atrium isn\'t spectacular but we hadn\'t planned on spending all our time in it, so it didn\'t bother us. Plenty of lifts available - some glass elevators on the outside of the ship too. The staff were mainly of Indian origin and all seemed very friendly and courteous.
The Belvedere buffet restaurant had a good selection of dishes available throughout the day, but trying to put a meal together upon your tray seemed a little higgeldy piggedly as you often had to go to another counter for something else you needed.
The Meridian restaurant food was excellent and service by the staff superb. Did not feel the need to try the Rhodes or Orchid restaurants but fellow passengers who had, all reported excellent meals.
The entertainment in the theatre was very good (although we had two shows cancelled due to bad weather). There did seem a lack of entertainment after the shows at night time, most seemed quite lifeless and dull and this showed in the lack of attendance by passengers. The Rising Sun seemed to be the only place where lively entertainment occured (Kareoke, Name that tune ect.) and this was packed out with people - so there is obviously a need for this type of amusement. I know most of the passengers are elderly but that does not mean they are boring - incidently we are in our late 40\'s.
On this cruise we had 4 formal, 4 informal and 5 smart casual nights. It was really nice dressing up for the formal nights - had photos taken by ships photographer several times, but there is no obligation to buy, althought the price is reasonable compared to that of a studio. Drinks at the bar were reasonably priced.
The pool areas are fine but why do people have to reserve their sunloungers with a towel and then disappear! The gym,which we visited several times to work off some calories before the next meal, was perfectly adequate.
The ports visited were not all terribly impressive (we made our own way at each port) but that is not P&Os fault. Free shuttle buses available at all ports.
In all we had a great holiday aboard the Arcadia, met a lot of very nice people, and would not hesitate to travel on her again.

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Tour Operator: Cruisedeals

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Sue Eton cruised on April 2006
Travelled with the two mums on a weekend taster to Bruges. I had cruised before some years back (Airtours) but this was the first time my husband had been on a ship. We had an outside stateroom with balcony.

Cleanliness: the cabin still had the remains of the previous passengers; pair of trainers with sweaty socks; used and unused cigarettes and a sombreo!

Food: The Meridian restarant dinner was good; waiters overly friendly on last night- tip night!! Hot breakfasts were relatively cold. Visited the Belvedere at midnight - yuck; sandwiches, sausages and spring rolls - expected a lot better (Airtours won by a long short here). Neptune ...
Grill - 0 out of 10 for the burger; the rest of the food didn\'t look any better.

Onboard entertainment: Very good; if you are planning to see Le Cirque sit to the right of the stage; stage props block a lot from the left. Roy Walker - brilliant if his jokes were a little old. A little miffed that there are additional charges to attend talks etc. Not like this on other ships.

Overall: Ship not as glamourous as I had hoped; hubby compared the bathroom to a caravan. Bed comfortable. Nice art for sale - very pricy though.

We are travelling again on the Arcadia in December for the New Year, however, am not looking forward to the long flight via Halifax for a refuel (would not have booked if I had known flight was not direct). Limited amount of extra leg room seats does not help (all sold out immediately).

Advice to P&O: Improvement on the food and flights please, and drop the charges for the talks.

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Tour Operator: Thomas Cook

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

CHRISTINA MAYER cruised on April 2006
Ship was brilliant
Food brilliant
Staff very helpful. Always there for every need
On Board entertainment excellent. Such good entertainment that if the seas was choppy you forgot about it.
Most definately.

Tour Operator: p & o

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

ian cruised on March 2006
this is about my 20th cruise on numerous ships over 10 yrs

most of what is said above is true
there was so much hype by p and o it was a real disappointment

big mistake atrium 2 tier only dark and dismal is nothing cant enjoy captains night weithout a good atrium no champagne water fall entertainment staff extremely hardworking especially neil and ally neil organises good sailaway parties trouble is the brits wont particpate except us and several others good pub night unfortunately rising sun pub much too small and lacks dance area as on other ships
globe theatre mega too small only catered mainly for sequence dancers where ...
was the dancing for those of us baby boomers who just like to jig around
we were 4 days at sea and there was little put on unless you paid for it altho good linedancing and latin american dance classes often on at same time tho
food voted by most as was ship in general by others as basic tapioca pudding weak watered down orange small amount of meat sat on pots all the time boring boiled pots
not enough exotic special menus we didnt have a chefs parade either

theatre too samll bad vision for some cirque arcadia props stopped a lot of people seeing part of the show still not as sophisticated as american ships

we were bored in the eve after the show nothing muc;h to do unless you like quizzes disco cramped not enough dance bands pianist dozy

it was the panama cruise and extremly hot no umbrellas or shade had to spend much time inside the ship just enough deck space it seem s for others

cabins impossible to read in bed lights over bed behind pillow too low

not enough cupboards mirrors in bathroom we paid for a larger iside with sette but badly organised most extra space between bathroom and wardrobe leaving just transit area also not enough drawers

very stable ship however travels well we were on top deck and felt nothing

too many things have to be paid for now they just seem to want yr cash no complimentary ices on deck extra for cappucionno pay for talks room service very limited breakfast menu and spa area too many nogo zones leaves little space eg computer area talks area tai chi area this boat needs a real revamp who on earth designed it

we feel we had a 3 star experience

a lot of the food lacks imagaination sounds good on menu but does not arrive a s such bland and lots of dullcombinations seems like hospital food tapioca pudding tasteless stews no fresh pasta or carvery
limited choice good fresh pineapple however and nice cakes at tea time sandwiches rather peculiar fillings tho
lack of24 hr dining one eve only crakers and cheese and a few cakes expected hot pizzas kentucky chicken chinese and indian bits but these seemed only on party nights how were we meant to know reall penny pinchin
next time back to rcl or celebrity or princess

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Tour Operator: p and o
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

sam hamblett cruised on March 2006
how do i discribe the arcadia,the arcadia in my opinion is contempory and very modern looking decor.very smooth lines through out the ship, soft lighting which i liked, modern furniture.the small sofas in the piano lounge must have been designed by someone who had a bum the size of an elephant,try and lean back impossible.

my wife lynda found the atrium a massive dissapointment,the \"X\" factor was not there when boarding the ship in comparison to the oceana,me? not bothered.

we were on deck 7 cabin b10 which were very comfortable,the bathroom had plenty of space bearing in mind my wife & i are small people 5.7 ish.
the shower ...
was superb,plenty of room for your clothes,flat tv screen with some very good films showing.good air conditioning in the cabin.

out on the decks my favourite bar was the crows nest SUPERB you had a better view than the captain,thats where i did my dolphin watch with a pint of beer,very hard work.

the rising sun was lively always something going on there,this was next to the casino.hey i won £16 where did it go yes you are right back in the slot m/c. chasing the big one.

the theatre is very nice had some very good artist on,plus the arcadia group company who were very good.my only problem with the theatre was i kept falling a sleep big dig from the wife.(the sea air)

what about the restaurant, we were on the lower level on the second sitting,food spot on,waiters very friendly the meal was a lovely occasion.
but! the waiters do not entertain you after your meal like they do on the oceana,that needs to change.

overall the i found the ship grows on you throughout your holiday,i liked it. i didnt find it stuffy we met some lovely people and would sail on her again.

THE ITINERARY.

landed around 7-15am acapulco taken straight to the ship allowed to the cabins but had to wait for the cases,not a problem.
cases arrived around 3-0pm in the cabin.(fri)

ACAPULCO.(sat)
exciting,poor and vibrant is what we found,we walked up to the cliff divers,six in our party.i wish i could remember the name of the street that led directly to the divers,roughly over the main rd second left straight up.that walk i would have paid to do you witnessed every thing people living,working outside, selling their produce in houses no bigger than a match box maybe a bit bigger.
cliff divers ok once you have seen them you\'ve seen them know what i mean.
walked back down into the town square it was buzzing there was a local election on everyone doing the conga we sat down for a few beers and took it all in,great.

NICARAGUA\"san juan del sur\"(tues)
people so freindly not much to see had a walk on the main st. finished up at a beach bar where they sold 1litre bottles of lager and you could sit in rocking chair,we were made. drinks were inexpensive.

COSTA RICA (wed)
again a very laid back day did our own thing a walk round meeting the local people which we all enjoyed.some very nice wood ornaments,which are very cheap along with \"t\" shirts.
again finished up on a beach bar,chilling taking it all in.

BILBAO(thurs)
stayed over night in port.stayed on ship.

PANAMA CANAL.(thurs)
takes all day the wives got up at 6-0am,we got up a bit later due to the fact we did not come out of the disco till 3-45am,60\'s & 70\'s music does not let you go to bed.
the canal was very intresting.worth the wait.

CURACAO(sun)
now we are in the carribean of dutch curacao,out of the port and onto a free ferry where all the shops are.bought some nice golf polo shirts,had to barter so dont forget. a nice walk round.

MAYREAU(tues)
mayreau is a private island,200 live there. p&o set up a bar on the island where you can use your onboard card on the beach how good is that.
there we were on the free sun beds on the beach,blue clear water waiters walking up to you asking you for a drink,heaven. ever tried swimming with a drink in your hand,the waiter encouraged me.

TOBAGO(wed)
again very nice people,had a walk in the botanicle gardens,enjoyed that. then we walked up to the fort up this very steep hill,but the walk was more than worht it,the views were out of this world with the ship anchored in the bay,exotic birds flying around we just sat down and tried to take it all in,wonderful.
as we walked back we stopped at a (wait for it) bar,but surprise ,surprise at the back of the bar was a liitle factory where they made the steel drums sorry pans and carl who made them spent some time with us explaining how he made them of course over a beer,we were paying.

ST. LUCIA(thurs)
in st. lucia we took a minibus taxi 6 of us $15 each on a 2 hour tour,went to the rum factory $2 each taste 12 different rums, wrong move that.every time you stop somewhere you will be approached by \"t\" shirt sellers or guides.
again enjoyed meeting and talking to the locals,hold your hand out and shake hands it\'s the way they do things in the caribean.

as you can see we did our own thing when we landed and always had a social drink while talking to the locals,would go back again on the arcadia enjoyed every minute.

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Tour Operator: p&o

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

5/5
5

Marie and Alan cruised on March 2006
The flight out to Acapulco from East Midlands was a bad start to our cruise. At the refueling stop at Halifax in Canada we had to remain on the plane, it was scheduled for an hours stop and eventually took one hour and three quarters, due to the fact that the small airport could not cope with four P&O chartered aircraft all landing at approximate the same time.
After leaving Halifax and with three hours more flying time to Acapulco the Captain informed us that because the tiolets were not serviced at Halifax he had no choice but to declare the tiolets closed and the attendants would not be ...
serving any more liquid refreshments, as you can imagine we were not happy bunnies sitting with legs crossed and grim faces for three hours(especially the menfolk).
On arrival at Barbados to make matters even worse we had to wait another hour to disembark due to the aforesaid aircraft all landing at approx the same time and abt 1500 people trying to cram into a tiny airport.
We will not go on a long haul flight again with P&O unless it uses aircraft capable of flying for 10 or 11 hours non stop.
The lay out of Arcadia was a disappointment for the same reasons that disappointed most of other contributers to holiday truths, the biggest one being the dismal Atrium, The cyber centre was very expensive, I also found it greedy of the company to charge for a lot of the talks that were given on board, the last time we cruised with P&O on Oceana (two years ago) most of them were free .
The transit of the Panama canal was great, we were kept informed every inch of the way and it lived up to our expectations

The jewel in the Arcadia\'s crown was Neil Oliver (the cruise director)he was a pleasure to talk to, so pleasant and always happy.


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Tour Operator: Bolsover Cruise

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Lynda Hamblett cruised on March 2006
Flew from Leeds/Bradford to Acapulco overnight flight Worst part, stopover in Halifax Nova Scotia for refuelling, had to stay on plane for an hour and a half! On arrival at Acapluco (very small airport) had to queue for some time to get out. We were taken straight to ship, received our cabin keys so could leave hand baggage and freshen up, luggage arrived mid afternoon. Was expecting wow factor as we boarded, but was disappointed. Having cruised previously on the Oceana which has a superb atrium, and after reading the hype about Arcadia, felt hugely let down. Much of the decor on board is rather dull, I had expected ...
much more from a brand new ship. Impossible to sit back on sofas in piano bar, as they are very badly designed. In the restaurant the food was very good, and beautifully served by friendly, extremely hard working waiters. We took breakfast and lunch in The Belvedere which also had excellent quality and choice.The cabins were quite spacious, with very comfortable beds, and plenty of storage. The bathroom was a good size and always kept extremely clean. The deck areas were good with plenty of sunloungers. Our favourite bar was the Crowsnest which had superb views. The captains night was held on deck, due to lack of space in any of the indoor areas I feel, and lost out on atmosphere as a reult. Previously on the Oceana it was in the Atrium area, and felt like a really special occasion. There was no waiters/chefs parade in the resaurant either a popular feature on other previous cruises. The itinerary was excellent, Tropical Delights 9-25th March.

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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

A HOBBS cruised on February 2006
We were first time cruisers on the Arcadia and on arrival found the bathroom dirty and had to call the steward to have it cleaned, his reasponse was that it was a change over day, so he was very busy!

Our toilet would not flush in the mornings and it took five days of complaining to rectify.(very stressful)

The ship had a funny movement which we understood was caused by it being flat bottomed,and people who were not normally ill felt poorly in only force 6 winds.

We would not go on this ship again.

We must add that the entertainment was 1st class and the fellow passengers we met were fantasic, this compensated for the other problems.

If you sail on this ship, my advise is to get second sitting in the dining room or you will miss the sail away parties as you will be getting ready FOR DINNER.



Tour Operator: P&O
Review Rating

Cleanliness
3 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

John Waller cruised on January 2006
Arcadia Review, Cruise J601 Simply Caribbean.

Having just finished our first P&O cruise on Arcadia, after previously cruising on Coral & Island Princess, I offer the following comments and comparisons as our own personal views.

Our first impression of the ship wasnít too good, the shops had just taken delivery of new stock and the whole Piccadilly area was in chaos with boxes being emptied and shelves restacked. The Palladium had still to be cleaned and was looking very shop soiled and stained with dusty surfaces everywhere, and the whole of the starboard area of deck 3, which was being brightly lit by sunlight, looked shabby with dust in the air, ...
and although some of the previous passengers were still onboard waiting for their flights to be called, this area was quite empty. It did look better later but the general cleanliness of the ship was worse than we experienced with Princess.

As regards the ship design, I can now understand all those negative comments I had read about Arcadia, she is definitely far less glitzy than the Princess ships, and Oceana according to fellow passengers; and her lack of a proper Atrium is a big disappointment. The walkways through the main public decks seem far narrower and the area through the photo gallery gets very congested, probably because they have the photoís displayed down both sides. In addition she only has one theatre, the Palladium which tends to limit the variety of shows, and even then itís size is only just comparable with the smaller of the two Princess show lounges, and on exiting the Palladium on deck 3 you have to walk through either the casino or the Rising Sun pub. In fact the layout of both public decks was less than ideal, the shopping area creates another bottleneck, and I thought it pointless to have Intermezzo and the Spinnaker bar next to each other, especially as neither was ever full.

On the plus side the cabins are bigger and the majority have a bath with shower over, which the ladies will probably prefer, but even here the wardrobe space is much less with limited fixed hangers, but your steward will provide extra wire hangers, the safes are tiny and shelf space is barely adequate, but our balcony on E deck was much bigger than we have had on Princess. One other strange quirk is that the bedroom reading lights are just above the pillows and if you want to sit up in bed and read then they are covered, not the best design feature I have ever seen. Contrary to other comments there are plenty of electric sockets above the dressing table, 5 in all, one UK, one European and 3 US, and a razor socket in the bathroom, so if you take a couple of travel plugs and a 2/3 way UK adaptor he can charge his razor and camera battery whilst she uses the hairdryer and curling tongs, and you will still have plenty left over. But here again with only one UK socket and all UK passengers why does P&O use the UK socket for the kettle rather than one of the US ones?

As you would expect the food is first class and the restaurant dining service is friendly and attentive, however I did yearn for the ever present waiter topping up my water and breakfast coffee that comes as standard on American ships, but I did enjoy the genteel way in which my HP sauce was served. The poor design is quite noticeable here; there is only one smallish galley and only one entrance on the port side which has to service the entire restaurant. As a result some waiters have a long way to walk to their serving stations, and most tables are on a route from the galley. After a shaky start we did feel that the Belvedere, self service restaurant, was better than Princess. The seating is more comfortable and it is more spacious, and the choice of food was excellent, however its layout did take time to sink in, but by the end of the cruise you should know where everything is! Of the two alternative restaurants we preferred Arcadian Rhodes; the food in the Orchid was rather too bland for our tastes. In the Restaurant we were on 2nd sitting at 8:30 pm which we found rather late whilst most people on 1st sitting, 6:30 pm seemed to think it too early, on Princess we enjoyed the flexibility of anytime dining, maybe P&O could think about switching sittings half way through a cruise to give a better variety.

We thought the Arcadia theatre troupe was excellent, we went to all the shows and only Bollywood Nights flopped, the rest were very enjoyable. We also enjoyed the variety acts with Martin Daniels probably our favourite, but all of them seemed to go down well
with the British passengers whereas the American acts on Princess are not usually appreciated by British passengers. There were plenty of day time activities, dance classes, table tennis, whist, bingo etc. etc., we didnít participate much in these activities although my wife went to a couple of the make up and hair care presentations. Quite a number of the courses did have a charge which, according to many regular P&O cruisers, is ďanother example of the CarnivilsationĒ.

Unfortunately we did feel that the deck attendants were not as vigilant as on Princess; used glasses and food plates were often left all day and very little attempt was made to keep the sunbathing decks tidy, until they were cleared away after sunset. We also felt that tightly packing the sun beds did not help in keeping the areas tidy since the first thing everyone did was to pull out one or two beds to make themselves a private space. Princess use small tables between every two or three sun beds and this provides enough privacy and avoids spare sun beds littering the rest of the deck.

The cyb@centre is OK but pricey, and you cannot use Wanadoo webmail, so for Wanadoo users ensure you have a list of e-mail addresses with you and prepare to use Mail2web or similar, which is just as convenient but each logon is only specific to ONE e-mail account.

What would be our overall rating for Arcadia, probably 7 or a weak 8, compared with a high 9 for Princess. Would we book an Arcadia cruise again, of course we would if the itinerary or price were right, after all despite any criticisms this is 5 star cruising and a wonderful way to spend a one or two week holiday being pampered and cosseted without a care in the world.

One final point regarding the flights, I now have to agree with all the complainers that the seating is just too cramped, P&O should look at this and charter airlines that offer more space, even if the extra cost has to go on the price. However the direct flights from your local airport with the luggage going straight to your cabin and you going directly off the plane onto a coach cannot be bettered, this is a really big benefit compared with having to fly via Heathrow.



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Tour Operator: P&O

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
3 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

John Baird cruised on December 2005
Having been on other P&O ships we were really looking forward to our holiday on the New Arcadia, but what a letdown ! The ship has absolutely no atmosphere, the central atrium which should be the hub of the ship is a dark dingy place with a curtain round it, and there is no flow throughout the public areas of the ship.

The Nightclub looks like it was an afterthought hidden away in a corridor, and it was a big mistake putting the English style pub right next to the Casino.

Having said all of that, the staff were once again superb, and the food excellent, especially Arcadian Rhodes { Gary Rhodes place } and the Orchid THAI restaurant was superb.

The only people we spoke to on the cruise who said they would go back onto the Arcadia were first time cruisers who couln\'t compare it with any other ships.



Tour Operator: P&O
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Sue mynott cruised on December 2005
We sailed on this ship twice now, we did a maiden cruise last may then we were on the ship again for christmas.

The ship is lovely the staff are lovely too,but the food and dining room was not so good. we had to wait for one meal 1hr till the main meal was served, when we asked about our meal we were told the kichens can not cope,then the kitchens were too far away.

We were on the ship in May and we had no problems with the meals always on time. The Entertainment was outsatnding, but again at christmas it was not good at all,there was only one ...
star guest on for only one evening in two weeks.

The best night we had was the deck party, it was a shame there was not a lot going on around the ship seeing as it was christmas time and it was our first time away from our family.

We asked the head staff a number of times why was there so may problems in the dining room, we were told they had changed the staff over when we come aboard.

We are booked to go back on the ship this year for two more cruies, we are hoping they have solved the problems in the dining room.




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Tour Operator: p.o.

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
2 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

K Shells cruised on December 2005
This was our fourth P&O cruise, and we chose the Acapulco to Barbados route for our holiday. I can only agree with the comments regarding the cramped conditions on the plane - it was absolutely diabolical and no-one should have to put up with this type of flight.
The ship itself was absolutely fantastic, well done to P&O, it is a lovely ship. HOWEVER we found the particular cruise we were on (New Year) particularly stifling with regards to having fun. My husband had the temerity to jump in the empty pool - only once mind - and a group of people behind made really snide comments - we ...
are in our 50s and lead a responsible life, but it seems we were not allowed to let our hair down on this occasion.
Also the sail away parties seemed not as good as previous Oceana etc., I am a petite 5\' and couldn\'t get anywhere near the rails to join in, I was elbowed out of the way on a couple of occasions by the flag-waving majority (any freebies were snapped up by the dozen by people \"for the grand-children\" - what about leaving some for the other cruisers??) and once the ship had left the dock, everything was packed away in 5 minutes flat - an awful live band (I really missed the Silver Stars steel band, and a few lingering couples but most ran back to their cabins with their \"booty\" - their suitcases must have been heaving!!
Luckily we met a great couple who made the cruise for us, otherwise it would have been a bit of a let down.

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Tour Operator: Cruise Connections

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
2 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars
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