Lost its polish
Peter picthall | November 30, 2014 | P&O Cruises | Arcadia
Cabin steward was excellent as were the waiters and wine steward. Food average and in several cases uneatable. On many instances peas were served which could not be eaten they were so hard and the description of some of the dishes left a lot to the imagine and were served without much resemblance to the description on the menu. Cabin fine but not large as they trimmed the cabin sizes to give more balcony space which is larger than on many ships. I believe this ship was originally designed for the American market where holidays seem to be much shorter and therefore require less storage space for clothes and shoes etc.
Our main concern is that Arcadia seems to have a serious problem of people catching a “cough” when on the ship which is very difficult to get rid of and can bring you down very easily as happened to my wife twice between Singapore and Southampton. In fact one of the comedians even referred to “the Arcadia cough” in one of his jokes!!! The ships officers and the doctor seemed to be in denial that there was a problem (this was here-say and relates to people describing their experiences but I did not perceive any action or comment on the ship to the obvious problem, but on one instance I did corner a senior deck officer and tried to talk about it but she denied that there was a problem). Listening to a talk in the theatre was an incredible experience hearing the amount of coughing going on. On our dining table we had at least three of the four people who had joined in Sydney having experienced this illness and they still had the cough when we joined in Singapore several weeks later and still had it when they left the ship as did my wife.
The shore excursions were not value for money in our opinion and several times confusion reigned when disembarking for the trips. Totally disorganised on several occasions.
Between Singapore and Southampton we had to do a passport check which again was very disorganised and on one occasion we had to queue up for 1 hour for our face to passports to be verified. I have never before experienced such checks on board and wonder if they are a sign of the future.
One extremely annoying situation was the flooding of the Laundry room near our cabin when it seemed that more than one washer was being emptied. Despite many requests to have it seen to the problem still existed when we disembarked. The laundry room in itself is tiny so one can imagine the difficulties experienced by passengers trying to keep laundry in check not to mention the safety hazard if the iron is being used and you are standing in water as I explained to ships crew on several occasions.
On the positive side one can purchase duty free liquor and mixes for consumption in the cabin on P/O cruise ships which helps somewhat and the theatre is splendid. Room service for early morning breakfasts if needed for an early excursion worked well and was always prompt. Our meal in the Marco Pierre White’s restaurant was excellent.
Overall I give the cruise holiday 5/10 for enjoyment and we will not be travelling on the Arcadia again.
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