Arcadia Cruise Ship, P&O Cruises
"What a shame it all started so well we were checked in very fast and welcomed aboard by crew ,cabin with lots of space ,dust , and a filthy toilet rim .Staff glum and sad looking took forever to order and receive a drink .several groups of crazy people including hen night parties and birthday parties were very noisy and drunk(must have brought their own drink)they were around the pool at the back of the ship which was then a no go area for us ,litter and glasses all over the floor,hot tub broken . The first night we were going to meet our friends in the bar next to the dining room but it had a private function on so we were left waiting outside as not time to find our way back to other bars, second sitting delayed so long we missed half the show, no apology ,it was our fault as people did not want earlier tables , food ok but no healthy options although waiter did fetch me some melon as starter one night and some salad the next , too much fish on the menu for me .The SHOW WAS GREAT BOTH NIGHTS!!!!!what a shame we had a very poor selection of school dinner like breakfast more queuing my husband did not like this and just had a bread roll and cold ham .Guernsey beautiful day there.could not fault tender crew very help full and professional .Last morning could not get breakfast as they wanted you of as quick as possible need to get up at crack of dawn to eat on this ship .Never again will we use this ship unless major improvements are made."
- Holiday details: Aug 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: not book this ship
Did you find this review helpful? Yes
"What a shame it all started so well we were checked in very fast and welcomed aboard by crew ,cabin with lots of space ,dust , and a filthy toilet rim .Staff glum and sad looking took forever to order and receive a drink .several groups of crazy people including hen night parties and birthday parties were very noisy and drunk(must have brought their own drink)they were around the pool at the back of the ship which was then a no go area for us ,litter and glass all over the floor,hot tub broken . The first night we were going to meet our friends in the bar next to the dining room but it had a private function on so we were left waiting outside as not time to find our way back to other bars, second sitting delayed so long we missed half the show no apology ,it was our fault as people did not want earlier tables , food ok but no healthy options although waiter did fetch me some melon as starter one night and some salad the next , too much fish on the menu for me .The SHOW WAS GREAT BOTH NIGHTS!!!!!what a shame we had a very poor selection of school dinner like breakfast more queuing my husband did not like this and just had a bread roll and cold ham .Guernsey beautiful day there.could not fault tender crew very help full and professional .Last morning could not get breakfast as they wanted you of as quick as possible need to get up at crack of dawn to eat on this ship .Never again will we use this ship unless major improvements are made."
Did you find this review helpful? Yes
"My husband and I were on Norwegian Fjords cruise J414 from Southampton for 7 nights from Sunday 17th August.
Having read the reviews on here I was apprehensive as the P&O website reviews doesn't paint the same picture.
My husband and I are in our 40's, but there were many people younger than us on the adults only cruise. So much so that during FREEDOM dining one night on our table of 8 we were guessing the average age. I thought it was 55 but most others thought older. Having seen a lady from our table the night before the following day she informed us she'd been to Reception and the answer was 60. There were many teachers on our ship probably due to the time of year may have helped bring the age range down. Whilst there were quite a few with physical disabilities I didn't find anyone was rude. Our 2nd night when it was Storm Force winds (9 knots) I learned the following day many people had to seek medical attention for sea sickness and whilst it did feel quite scary we didn't need medical attention ourselves and I don't think the ship was in any danger. (It's just your mind playing tricks when you are in an inside cabin in the pitch black not being able to sleep (Didn't dare get out the bed to switch a light/ TV on)
We actually had much better weather than was forecast. Hardly any rain. The rain we had was generally during the Sail away parties which could well have been nature's way of sabotage as it is quite Hi-de-Hi, but easy to avoid.
We did notice that the entertainment (quizzes and such) seemed to start a few minutes early, but if you didn't get there at least 20mins early you were probably not going to get a seat.
We chose FREEDOM dining and opted to sit with others. This meant you were sat with like minded other diners each night who had also opted for a shared table. Once you start doing this you start to recognize and chat to other passengers throughout the week.
We found the food to be pretty good and whilst the waiting staff were not very smiley we assumed that's because its different staff each night so they aren't sucking up to you for an additional tip on top of the daily charge. Incidentally the daily charge per person was charged at 7 days - but really it should have been 6 because you embark around 2.30pm but disembark at 9am. I'm sure I could have got a days charges removed but that would have been petty so I didn't. The FREEDOM dining is in the upper deck of the Meridian restaurant. In the lower deck was set dinner times of 6.15pm or 8.15pm which my aunt and uncle had opted for. That could be tricky if you end up on a table with persons you aren't compatible with because you are with them every evening.
The buffet was really good too, though along with the creamy cocktails and COCKTAILS was probably the cause of my 5lb weight gain in 7 nights. There were times when it was closed during change over of styles. The most obvious was 5-6.30pm. Though you could still get food in the Neptune bar (by the indoor pool)during these times.
The pools were covered over quite a lot, and whilst we initially thought this was due to weather conditions, it became apparent when we were in a low motion area that it was probably due to pool temperature.
I initially food this website by accident when I was trying to find out if the ship had a gym and Jacuzzi/ saunas which were included in original charge. There are 2 pools, but I wouldn't call them swimming pools, whilst they were deep they weren't very big. One is outdoors with 2 little 2/3 person Jacuzzi with them and the other was indoors which looked like the roof would come off if the weather was hot enough. There is a gym too with the running (or walking in my case) machines all looking out at the front of the ship. It made it feel like you were powering the ship (I don't think that's what was actually happening)
We did go on 2 official excursions and whilst they are overpriced we probably wouldn't have risked trying to do the same excursion off our own steam because you couldn't have walked to the places we went.
The best bar during daylight hours was definitely the Crows Nest on Deck 10. The worst was probably the Rising Sun because most of the chairs are REALLY uncomfortable.
The system of taking loads of photographs and printing thousands of them seems like an old fashioned and wasteful system. I'm sure if they could come up with a method of viewing them and only printing the ones which were wanted they could sell a lot more at a much better price. It did feel the high prices were because they had to make up the costs of printing so many which were not purchased. Having said that I did buy one photo which I swore I wouldn't do.
Our inside cabin room was very comfortable. The bed was bigger and more comfortable than at home (pity I couldn't smuggle it home). There was a fridge which we used to keep water in and the chocolates that were placed on a pillow at night (the staff attend to your room twice a day)if we were too full to eat them. The room has kettle, tea and coffee but we didn't make use of it much as we just went to the buffet restaurant if we wanted a hot drink. You can take a small amount of alcohol in to drink in your home. The only 2 drinks we had in our room were coffee with our Amaretto that we took aboard.
I think the drink prices were reasonable. Certainly some of the cocktails were on a par with a pub (outside of London)and the pints were hotel prices (still not in London)
We never found any mistakes on our room charges which you don't get to check until your last hour before you disembark, but you can ask at Reception if you need to know prior to this.
There was only one plug socket and you aren't to leave anything plugged in whilst you are asleep or not in your room. I would therefore recommend taking your own multi extension lead (got the tip whilst on the cruise from another passenger whilst they joined our table at breakfast in the buffet)
There are details of your location and venues at various places on the ship. That didn't stop me facing the wrong way losing my bearings for 7 days (well 6.5 days to be more accurate)."
- Holiday details: Aug 2014, Booked Independently
- Advice: take multi extension lead for your room
2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"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.
3 readers 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!"
6 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
5 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"
10 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.
31 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 "
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