Arcadia Cruise Ship, P&O Cruises
"Just come back from a 2 night mini cruise to Guernsey, we are seasoned cruisers and have travelled with P&O many times but also with several other cruise companies. We have always rated P&O very highly until this time.
No welcome on board from anyone and being directed to LIDO deck for lunch.
Ship was drab, without any WOW factor, Atrium normally the heart of the ship was small and dismal with a few dusty old plants under the staircase. Our cabin was very dusty in places and our room steward was an older man who never once smiled, unlike some of the more cheery stewards we have encountered. Our bathroom was very 'tired'.
Freedom dining was shambolic, because of Sail away parties and the formal evening no one wanted to eat at 6pm so a bottle neck was created from 8pm where everyone queuing was given a pager and told that there would be at least a 45 minute wait and we were told that it was our fault for not coming along between 6 and 7 to eat. We gave up trying to eat in the Meridian restaurant on the first evening and went to the self service area instead, for the 'British' themed menu.
Self service food area decorated nicely but food was like school dinners, especially the desserts.
Entertainment was excellent but overall this was the worst P&O trip ever (and we have done many), I was glad it was only for 2 nights and I said to my partner that I felt like we were traveling with an 'Alien' cruise company. Overheard many other passengers complaining about various things and felt sad when for many this was their first P&O cruise and overheard them saying that they wouldn't use P&O again because we know they can do better, but this ship really let the company down and I am not quite sure if it was the ship or general staff attitude."
- Holiday details: Aug 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: Book set dining, not Freedom at least you will know that you can eat at a set time.
1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Have just returned from Arcadia to the Baltic departing Southampton 25.7.14.booked a suite which was very good and Butler was excellent. Food OK but certainly not fantastic as it used to be a few years ago!! Junior staff very helpful but Senior staff complacent and at times patronizing,trips okay but somewhat overpriced- don't bother with trips at Stockholm/Helsinki/Warnemunde/Copenhagen or Skagen you can easily so it yourself if mobile! worst part of all and it would appear this has appeared in another review! The cruise TripAdvisor who is anything but.An Irish woman who has no customer service skills whatsoever and in inquiring for advice on booking a 17 night cruise to Venice dismissed me with a "look in the brochure I cant help you if you don't know which cruise you want, come back when you do and i will give you a wee price" I wouldn't buy a dishcloth off her and we are now looking to do this same trip with someone else!!!! As a Director of a service company shame on you P&O you really should train your staff better!"
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"May i say straight off that i do not normally write reviews but felt the need to on this occasion. This was my 3rd cruise with P&O, so have something to judge it against. In all aspects of the holiday Arcadia come bottom.
The ship is child free, which is exactly what i wanted, but didn't realize it would be a nursing home, the average age must have been 75, and the number of disabled people made me feel as though i was in a Hospital.
As such all the entertainment was geared to that age range, every bar had a quiz at some point, bingo, and the shows were a joke.
Food from the Buffet was very limited, often cold,the only saving grace was The Grill, Excellent food and service although there is a cover charge.
We were going to book another cruise via the on-board booking team, what a rude unpleasant woman in there, we were told to look in the book and find the cruise we wanted, as she dose not keep the details in her head, when i said that was a bit sarcastic she told me i can be more sarcastic than that, at that point we left.
Had many problems with the card system, my bill was charged to another couple on our table, i was given the wrong card back one night and didn't notice till i tried to get into my room.
My partner purchased duty free, only to not have it delivered at the correct time, had to make a fuss before it got resolved after returning to the shop 4 times, told we couldn't purchase any tobacco because duty free was closed, then two minutes later a passenger came to the counter and was served, there is a general lack of communication with the staff and it shows.
I came down with the flu/cough on the 5th day and dint realize this seems to be quite frequent with other travelers as well, maybe the air con in the rooms.
We paid extra to use the hydro pool, but often found the steam room were not working, hot bed not on.
I love P&O Cruise Ships, and have booked the Caribbean on the Azura for
Christmas, all i can say is that if you book Arcadia for a first cruise, please don't let it put you off cruising. This ship is far from the standard i have received on the Ociana and Azura, but you have to try i guess to make up your own mind."
- Holiday details: Jul 2014
- Advice: book a different ship first, then you will see how bad this one is
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We cruised the fjords last month,they are amazing.Arcadia is a lovely ship but that is where the compliments end.The crew,whilst being accomodating,were not up to the standard of previous P&O ships,but the biggest let-down was the food,well below normal cruise levels,so much so that people on the next able organised a petition!Strangely,there was an improvement for the last two days.Shame really, as food is a major part of any holiday."
- Holiday details: May 2014, booked with Go cruise
- Advice: Eat in the buffet
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"I have been reading the notes on the reviews for the purpose if this or other cruise ships are using recycled air from some type of turbines. Because if it is then possibly you have gotten sick from turbines that push air to the cabins. Similarly Jet engines require synthetic oils for lubrication. These oils contain ingredients such as tricycle phosphate (TCP), an organ ophosphate, that could possibly be toxic to humans in large quantities. Engine bearing seals are installed for the purpose of ensuring that critical engine bearings are continuously lubricated, and also to prevent engine oil from leaking into the compressed air stream. If a bearing seal fails and begins to leak, depending on the location of the seal, some amount of engine oil may be released into the compressed air stream. Oil leaks may be detected by odour or, in more serious cases, by smoke in the cabin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerotoxic_syndrome
I have written www.fumeevents.com and collaborated with www.aerotoxic.org
The smells can be like vomit, wet dog, smelly gym socks, burnt oil.
I have found that it’s still impossible to find out from search engines how is breathing air sent to the cabins.
note: I have not traveled on this ship but to get this review posted I had to put info on the website shown here"
5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"We have just returned on a cruise from Sydney to Southampton on Arcadia. We enjoyed almost everything about the cruise and appreciate the hard working crew from all areas of the ship.
However in the end our experience was similar to other people in respect to coughs and colds. We didn't really notice until Dubai where the problem seemed to be much more evident. We tried hard to avoid sitting close to 'infected' people but it is not easy to know who is going to sit around you. It would not have been so bad if some individuals had used good personal hygiene to at least try to contain the spread of germs. We did not realize this was an on going problem on Arcadia and there didn't seem to be any advice or leaflets to help educate people how to try to keep there germs to themselves. In the end an extremely unkind ignorant woman came and sat right beside my husband in the theater for a 'port talk' even though there was plenty of room to spread out; she then proceeded to cough without using much protection, we did move away quickly but this did not stop my husband contracting the bug which I now have of course. We may not have escaped anyway but I would feel a lot more safe if some effort had been made to contain the infection.
Do something about this matter Arcadia / P&O, we go on holiday to feel refreshed and happy, not ill and downbeat!"
- Holiday details: Feb 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: Take some form of nasal spray like First Defence and use whenever in closed environments
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Just got off the ship last week ( April 13 2014 ) Both me and my husband were ill for 19 day's, had to see ships doctor, this spoils our holiday plus we found that we BRITS paid nearly 50% above other passengers for the same grade cabin on B deck. Will not book with P&O again, we have cruised for 19 years, this is the first time we have been so ill all the time on the cruise that cost us a lot of money, P&O did not want to know, they did not even upgrade our cabin, we paid more than a passenger that was in a (mini-suit)on the same deck as us ( B ) Never Never again.
Brian and Diane from Bedfordshire U/K"
9 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"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
12 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"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.
30 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!!!!!"
19 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.
19 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 !"
15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
Rating by feature
" The ship has many excellent points, take time and find what suits you best. The Orchid bar is great for a pre dinner drink "
Do you own Arcadia Cruise Ship?
- Promote your business with Holiday Watchdog content
- To respond to a review, use the Management Response Form