10/9/17 cruise to New York and Quebec

P&O Cruises | Arcadia Reviews

By Chris Wright on 12 October 2017
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Never have I been on such a large ship before and never with so many passengers grumbling about the state of the ship, the lack of leadership from the captain who was conspicuous by his absence, the changes to the itinery and the weather. P&O are not responsible for the weather, but this ship is due for a refit shortly and not before time.

Problems started before we left Southampton during the safety briefing. The captain started, stuttered, paused, stuttered, paused again continued and stopped. No explanation was given and we were left standing for a long time wondering what was happening. Eventually the excursions manager came on and restarted the drill from the beginning.

We berthed in New York at 9.30am and each cabin was given a group number for disembarcation but the order of the groups was not explained. It was obvious that priority seemed to be given to those on booked excursions regardless of the time of the excursion and passengers were herded into a large, hot and humid shed with no seats. It was gone 2.30pm before we were invited to join the queue.

Before leaving NY the captain decided not to go to Newport, RI due to a weather forecast and we sailed straight to Boston where we arrived 10.30pm and invited to go ashore. Bearing in mind that the average age of the passengers was approx 75 and that our berth was not within walking distance of the city centre the invitation to go ashore was primarily for the benefit of the crew. The captain then decides to spend another night tied up in Boston before leaving very early am direct to Halifax and missing Bar Harbour.

We berthed at Halifax in the docks amongst the containers requiring a tour or shuttle bus to take us out of the port. After a long and disorganised queue for the shuttle, an old London Routemaster, we were taken just outside the dock gates and a long walk from the city centre. According to the ships log there was a technical difficulty with the starboard azipod and late pm we were informed that we would spend another day in Halifax. We were told this was length of rope but why had investigations taken so long to commence. The shuttle busses for the second day were scheduled to take us further into the city. However the drivers changed this and dropped us off at the same place as before.

In an attempt to reduce the passenger discontentment the captain issued a letter giving each passenger a 20% discount on a future cruise and £200 additional on board credit. Why would I want to sail with P&O again as they have just sold Adonia?

We sailed straight to Quebec berthing at 9.30pm and disembarkation was chaotic due to the embarkation of the large entertainment troup who seemed to have priority. After less than 24hrs in Quebec we were informed that we would sail to Saguenay and enjoy the scenic beauty of the fjord. In the dark?? Excursions had been rearranged, but not the one we had booked. We were offered kayaking, hiking and a folk show none of which were suitable.

We left Saguenay direct for Southampton trying to spend the on board credit. Why could we not have had the second day in Quebec instead? Everyone I spoke to would have prefered this.

By Chris Wright on 12 October 2017

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