Arcadia Cruise Ship

, P&O Cruises
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Traveller reviews

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Unhappy Christmas and New Year. by Carole W
1 / 10

We went on Arcadia Christmas/new Year 2013 because we did not want to go away with lots of children. We chose an adult ship. What a mistake children are better behaved than the older generation who with their scooters wheelchair and other walking aids seem to think they have the right of the ship. The ship had just come out of refit but was not finished. It took 5days for our balcony to be cleaned so we could use it. The food in the restaurant and buffet where not up to the usual standard. The entertainment was dire. A cruise director who treated us all like children had no conversation at all and lacked personality. The entertainment team where rubbish rude and disrespectful answered back when they thought they where correct no sail always as such just a load of rubbish DJ that did not know the difference from a male choice choir to Dane Shirley Bassey. Headliners needed to be able to sing and dance they could do neither. The shows where excellent with people who visited the ship. NEVER DO A CHRISTMAS CRUISE WITH THIS LOT Unless you like second rate holiday camp entertainment from the 1980s.

  • Holiday details: Dec 2013, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Get rid of the whole of the entertainment team including the female cruise director who is well passed her sell by date

5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Arcadia cough by Arcadiacough
8 / 10

I didn't believe in sick ship syndrome until I cruised on the Arcadia; P&O 24 night cruise to the Black Sea Sept/Oct 2013. I'm thinking differently now!

Before I start I must state that the cruise, as a whole, was very good, the ship and staff were excellent (with one or two exceptions, but with 800 crew not all will be perfect). The ship is adult only - nothing against children but what joy!

The cabin was very good with a fair sized balcony and the food was very good, if at times a tad repetitive. The one exception was the Ocean Grill where, while my wife's food was good, mine was indifferent to say the least. As this is a 'fine dining' location it should be perfect all of the time.

The entertainment, which catered for all tastes, was exceptional, especially Arcadia's own group, 'The Headliners', who presented several stunning shows throughout the cruise. Their worst performance was good and their best, 'Killer Queen' quite superb.

We only did two tours both of which were entertaining and a pleasure, if somewhat over-priced.

The on-board activities were many and varied so no time to get bored. I joined the art class led by an artist from Old ham area - Jack Grey - an excellent teacher and nice bloke to boot.

Now to the sickness - firstly Nora virus struck (or maybe was present from the previous cruise?) but was dealt with quickly and efficiently. I didn't come across too many who even knew someone who had caught it, let alone caught it themselves. One thing surprised me was keeping the swimming pools etc open while the bug was still about, surely it can be passed on this way?

The big problem, and here I found very FEW people who didn't either have the problem or were traveling with a sufferer, was the cough and cold which flew through the passengers. Now I'm told that the air conditioning system on the Arcadia doesn't recycle the air so there is little chance the cold was spread through the system, however I have a theory. Never before have I found an air conditioning system so severe as Arcadia's, the outlets were directly above the beds and there was no way to turn it off! So here is the theory - not based on empirical evidence, but purely on observation and (I hope) logic. Air conditioning dries the atmosphere and we, the Brits, aren't used to air conditioning. The constant pumping, at a fairly high volume, of dry, cold air, directly over a sleeping passenger causes a sore throat. That sore throat is then ripe to be attacked by any airborne virus/bug that's doing the rounds. My solution, and here I acknowledge you cannot turn off the total system, is either to place an on/off control in each cabin or move the vents (I know extremely expensive) and place them just inside the entrance to the cabin. Either way I won't be visiting Arcadia again until something is done about the problem.

  • Holiday details: Sep 2013, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Join in the one or more of the many group lessons/activities.

23 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Arcadia - cough,cough,cough by Raymond Berry
6 / 10

My wife and I set sail on Arcadia on Jan 5th this year from Southampton to South America.We enjoyed the first two weeks until my wife developed a cough.We have done 30+ cruises over 6 years so we know the type of minor ailments to expect i.e dry throats in the cabin and minor tummy upsets etc, but this cough was something else.

My wife was very self conscious of coughing in the theatre at night and stopped going because of this.She felt the same at our dining table and also went off her food resulting in not dining in the restaurant.I have never known my wife to be glad to get off a ship at the end of a cruise but she could not wait on this one.The saga did not end there as she felt ill on the flights back home and even required wheel chair assistance at Heathrow .I had also began to cough and suffer from heavy catarrh a few

days before leaving Arcadia.

We returned home early Feb.and both continued to suffer with our catarrh and coughs until April.I read with interest other peoples'reviews as we had called Arcadia 'The Bug Ship'- were we right!!!!!

11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

First Cruise and it was Great- be careful with the tours!! by pslack86
9 / 10

Well at 50 i thought i was too young to be on a Cruise. Infact we were probably the youngest there ! This was so hassle free with the arrival to disembarking it was so easy and quick. You can drive in , they take your luggage out and you walk on board - same as leaving where your luggage is near your car !!

Staff on board are multicultural and absolutely great, a lot of Indian stewards who are always friendly and polite. Shame a few of English young people could take a leaf out of their book !!

Older generation has its advantage and of course some disadvantages. Advantage is it is always very quiet so no rowdyness and drunks !! disandvantages can be that you have to be patient with them on the ship and especially on the tours as it can be slow paced !! And they can be very impatient , especially in the food hall !!

Rooms with the balcony were excellent and large beds for a change. Food was excellent . We did not bother with the restaurant as wanted to dress how we liked and wanted to eat when we liked. The themed nights in the buffet were excellent. We did book the orchid for my wifes birthday and it was worth the £10 a head.

Be careful with the excusions as most of the time you can go into town on the free shuttle bus. One trip we booked at Travelmunde to Yubeck was literally a bus service which ended up costing us £35 each !!! Stokholm was not worth getting off but the tours we did were good.

You do not get Free wifi or complmentary water in your fridge and the tip fees are excessive in my opinion.

Overall thou an excellent time cruising the Baltic.

  • Holiday details: Jun 2013, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Just be carefull with the tours as some are not necessary.

16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Cruise J305 Western Mediterranean by Big John by John1939
6 / 10

Southampton check-in very fast. 20 minutes after handing over bags to porter we were having lunch on board.

Decent size balcony cabin with walk-in shower as requested. Service from cabin steward 1st class. Problems with toilet flushing. This seems to be common on this ship and others.

Food in Meridian restaurant (2nd sitting) very good, but not 'extra special'. Waiters friendly and polite, but service much too hurried. Hardly time to read the menu before a waiter was hovering over you with pen at the ready. Wine waiter service was very good.

All day self service 'food hall' food was fairly basic and repetitive, but acceptable. 24hr room service.

Entertainment seemed to be mostly of the all singing and dancing variety with the odd male (very good) and female (poor) vocalist. No stand-up comic.

Could have done without the pestering photographers who seemed to be everywhere and the holiday camp style 'all join in' activities, although these activities was easy to avoid.

Pools and bars where fine, and price of drinks reasonable.

I would guess that most passengers were 60+ years of age, as am I !

11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

1st time cruisers on a 1st class ship by GinGin22
9 / 10

The Arcadia is a great ship. Our cabin G40, deck 1, was in a central location and was spotless. The cabin was quiet and the bed was really comfortable. Ample wardrobe space. My only gripe on the room would be that the one and only UK 3 pin power supply for the hair dryer is placed where the lighting is very poor. All the staff we encountered were cheerful and friendly. The food is superb wherever you dine on board. The theatre shows were great and we always found a seat. Our cruise was to the Norwegian fjords so I don't know if this reflected the average age but I would say there were not many passengers under 65.That said, all the people we met and chatted to were lovely.

My one complaint is the price we paid. Being a first timer, I relied on the information provided to me by P&O and that was the price guarantee. I was led to believe this meant the price would not go down without passing the cost difference onto me - WRONG.The price guarantee only applies up to 12 weeks before sailing. Thereafter, they publish "getaway" fares. Our cruise went down by 50% which was a massive difference. If you can wait, don't book early!!

16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

1 / 10

May 2013, disembarked Southampton 14th April with cough which I got first week of our 38 day cruise, still have it despite antibiotics, steroids, multiple cough medication and lozenges, x-rays and now CT scan to find out what the heck I have.

Asked purser to arrange maintenance to change filter in cabin as husband reasoned some kind of spore in the air conditioning was causing it - couldn't be done as it would be too difficult - how?? we regularly clean our filters at home and they are truly dirty.

Checked out their amenity shop - half the shelves are taken up with cough medication! Yet the people on this ship refuse to acknowledge there is a problem.

Ever heard of Sick Ship Syndrome (similar to offices that are unhealthy)

the Arcadia has it in spades. If anyone has helpful advice would welcome it.

21 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Cruise coughs - Not just the Arcadia by castaway97
5 / 10

This terrible cough is not restricted to the Arcadia as in the past four years I have contracted it on every cruise and I have vowed never to go on another. I am suffering from it at the moment after taking MSC Opera from Capetown to Genoa. At first I put it down to being in an inside cabin thus getting no fresh air in the cabin but I soon learned that passengers with balcony cabins had it too. I think the germs must be in the cabins as maybe the previous occupant has also been coughing and sneezing and it wouldn't be possible to get the germs out by just the token cleaning they do. The TV remote control for instance is never cleaned. The bed covers are not changed frequently. The captains don't seem to get it so perhaps its because they are the only occupant of their cabin for months on end and they are somewhat isolated from the rest of us. Also thousands of people cooped up for many days in a small space doesn't help. I loved cruising but I have just been on my last one as it results in weeks of coughing and feeling awful when I get home. Maybe cruise ships are just getting too big.

17 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Arcadia Christmas 2012 by Maz Wales
4 / 10

We have been on Arcadia a few times but what a disappointment this year. The dining staff need to be trained correctly When you eat you do not expect your plate to be taken away before you finish your meal and ladies are always served first I believe. The cabins have gone down in decoration, the balcony furniture is all rusty and some of the bedding is stained

The food was of bad quality this year. It must be the provisions not the staff. Why is this happening? P & O have a lot more completion of cruise ships leaving Southampton so they must buck their ideas up or they will lose their customers. Because my husband is disabled we have already booked for next Christmas to get the correct cabin but we are thinking of cancelling as it is a lot of money to not enjoy the cruise.

  • Holiday details: Dec 2012, booked with Go cruise
  • Advice: Not sure

19 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

arcadia dont bother .......... by sentkovsky
1 / 10

we did a 20 night cruise on arcadia sailing from south hamptonon the 5th of nov 2012 to egypt and greece and spain wat a big bore this ship... first of all we felt like we were on age concern ship ...entertainment bore card s oilpainting bridge dominios foxtrot dance come on ... you should say this is a elderly cruise we paid full price 5000 and more than half the ship paid half ripped off big time .. the evening entertainment all for the elderly bore .. the tea and coffee free in the main restarent so you can never get a table as they sit there all day selfish .. we ate in our room . the cinema seats 30 again you cant get a seat joke ..the tv is reapeats all day long or there shopping channel selling junk . the laundry to small . didt stop at 2 ports we wanted to see 6 days at sea with no stops joke the staff hasssel u by ringing your room so rude ..P AND O JOKE SHIP .. WE WOULD NEVER SAIL AGAIN ON P AND O ... aviod this u will be ripped of bored stiff and probably ill like we were the deck chairs on the balcony broke and rusted the ship smelt of wee wheelchairs got stuck on the ramp and every port we had a ambulance waiting worst holiday ever cried on way back ........ so ill x

  • Holiday details: Nov 2012
  • Advice: none

23 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Cruise at your own risk! I too have the Arcadia Cough! by toniawall
2 / 10

I was shocked and appalled when I saw these reviews! Why in the world did I not come across these before I booked our cruise in August? We took a 14-day Baltic cruise and guess what? I started to get the “Arcadia cough” about two days before we disembarked in Southampton on the 30th of August. I’ve been through hell and back. It’s been about 43 days of being ill and still going. My husband missed multiple days of work to become my care-giver. I ended up with Pneumonia and Sinusitis. The Pneumonia did go away after the second course of antibiotics, but unfortunately my Doctor is still battling the Sinusitis and I am suffering along the way – I’ve completely lost hearing on my right-side, hopefully a temporary thing. I’ve never been this sick and for so long in my entire life. I’ve missed countless days of work and all for what was supposed to be a beautiful, memorable 10-year anniversary cruise. It was certainly memorable – I shall never forget it. We were completely hooked on the whole idea of cruising until my illness.

I am considering a campaign to draw awareness to the dangers that lurk on P&O Arcadia. I don’t want anyone to go what I’ve been going through and it is high time P&O take this seriously. If anyone cares to join me, please let me know @

39 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Cough Cough cough by wontgoagain
4 / 10

Well it does sound the same as all the other reviews but after getting on the ship from Singapore, to hear so many people coughing and being rather selfish with doing so in the Belvadere, sneezing over the food, then picking up sandwiches and putting them back again, no wonder we came down with the dreaded Arcadia cough. That wasn't the only time I saw people being bad mannered with there coughing and sneezing. I have asthma and ended up in the docs medical room, with such a bad attack that they where going to take me off the ship. This was only 10 days or so into our holiday, anyway I cant thank the doctor enough, he did so much for me and I was lucky in being able to stay on board but had to see him every day for another 3/4 days, and thank god I had insurance as it cost us well over £1000 for me to get slightly better. But its as though no one is bothered by what is happening. And that goes for just about everything. The food is appalling, compared to our last trip on Arcadia 5 years ago. We even found out that our Aussie friends didn't pay anything near what we did, and that's being in the same grade of cabin and they where on a longer trip than us, we got of at Cape Town they stayed on till Southampton and paid half of what we did. Was absolutely furious over this. We don't think we will be going with P&O again unless we hear that something is being done to rectify a lot of issue's that have been said in some of these reviews. P&O you really need to sort yourselves out, otherwise I can see you will be loosing a lot of customers. But then I suppose you wont really care as you are looking at further afield for them.

22 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

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    " The ship has many excellent points, take time and find what suits you best. The Orchid bar is great for a pre dinner drink "

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