Arcadia Cruise Ship, P&O Cruises
Arcadia Cruise Ship reviews
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.
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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!!!!!
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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.
8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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 !
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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!!
8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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.
15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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.
12 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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
15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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
20 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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 @ email@example.com.
35 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
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 wasnt the only time I saw people being bad mannered with there coughing and sneezing. I have ashma 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 didnt pay anything near what we did, and thats 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 absolutly furious over this. We dont 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.
17 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Just back from a great cruise to the Black Sea. Cabin A122 £3000 each inc. balcony. 20 days. Table of eight, great company during the cruise as was the twenty five or so who played whist on sea days. Main restaurant, opinion of our table was excellent. Remember each sitting is 1000+. Menu choice good, food and presentation good. For those reviewers who moan about this restaurant they must live to an amazing standard when at home. Condition of ship in all public areas we thougt excellent.
Shows good to excellent. However, on some nights there was insufficient seating for the numbers wishing to find a place. As a table we allowed twenty five minutes after the meal to be sure of a nice position. Entertainment team worked hard and succeeded. Two amazing sail aways!
Belvedere restaurant. This could become busy and not helped by the large amount of people reserving tables as soon as they entered. Food good, but nothing special. Seafood selection lunchtimes lacking in selection and cakes at afternoon tea compared to previous cruises poor. Several cruisers gave up on the Belvedere and used the main dining room.
Cabin we thought small compared with two previous P & O cruises. Limited room for two people to pass each other. Cabin steward and dining room waiters excellent. Dress code on ship at all time was excellent, even when on deck in casual clothes.
We chose not to join the P & O game of allowing automatic charges for tips being added to our account. This was not well received at reception.
The two rear sundecks were comfortably filled on this cruise with seats to spare. This may have been far more crowded if the average had been less then 70 as was the case. The ships fans on these decks are noisy, I do mean noisy. To presumably cover the fan noise music was left on. So not the place for a quiet sunbathe. 50% of the rear deck tables adjacent to the Belvedere restaurant were given over to smokers. So limited places to eat without the smell of smoke.
The most comfortable loungers were on the excellent promanade deck. However, there were so few of them and usually reserved prior to breakfast so they were not available.
General view on ship was 'what are they going to cut back on next'? The Entertainment Director appeared to be extremely uncomfortable when he offered a new scheme of a trip around various parts of the ship that would normally be off limits at a staggering £75.00 per person.
We found as most cruisers do, what suited us best and enjoyed our holday apart from the one major thing the bragging of last minute discount cruisers. You just could not get away from them, even when on shore at Vigo having a quiet coffee. Be warned P & O will do anything to fill the ship with no worry about the Full fair paying, numerous cruise loyal customer. If you book early as we have done three times you will be subsidising the late bookers by a large amount. Or to put it another way, P & O are happy to discriminate in favour of the last minute bookers by hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds. Do beware of booking early unless you have very specific requirements. Look upnthe last minute deals on line.
Would we cruise with P & O again? Yes but as only as a last minute booker. We have done our duty to P & O helping to supsidise the late bookers. We will now be joining the increasing numbers doing the same. It is not that the basic price is poor value, it is an excellent deal. But why should we be the mugs paying for others.
- Holiday details: Sep 2012, Booked Independently
29 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Traveller RatingsWrite a review
" 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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