Med Cruise from Hell (24 June – 13 July 2019)
Mary Ann Stockden | October 21, 2019 | P&O Cruises | Arcadia
The general condition of the ship is very tired, carpets are stained and she is needs to fairly comprehensive refit!. A previous occupant of our cabin had a flattened cigarette packet stuffed between the wall of the cabin and the ceiling to prevent the creaking noise when the ship was moving!
This cruise should have been on the MV ‘Repairs & Fix it’. We found out when checking in (P&O insisted that we had been notified of the change the previous week, we hadn’t and we were not the only ones) that one stop had been cancelled (Medina) due to technical repairs that needed to be completed in Malaga so an extra day was needed in Malaga. . Turned out that there was fishing wire around the azimuth posa from 3 weeks before we left Southampton. It took 3,5 days in Malaga to fix it. The result of the extended stay was the itinerary ran 1 day behind for the remainder of the cruise. We were thanked for having a ‘British Bulldog Spirit (we were on holiday not under siege in the war). The officers were spared considerable anger as by then we had been told we had an outbreak of novo virus on board, which instigated many preventative measures one of which means that the officers are not allowed to have contact with the passengers.
Meanwhile every morning starting at 9.00 both at sea and in port work was being carried on around the life boat stations. It involved jack hammers being used on the super structure and the promenade deck was partially blocked off. Noise is not close to describing the din and the dirt, rust and debris flying around where the work was being carried. The daily paper suggested that if the work was being carried out near your cabin, you should go and sit in other public areas of the ship!
We had to use tenders in Dubrovnik because they were no able to give us a berth (remember we were a day late). The trip form ship to shore and back was inordinately long and involved waiting at the side of the ship for at least 10 minutes (in 35 degree heat) before we were allowed to disembark the tender. It appeared that the officer in charge would have preferred us to move to another pontoon which was full at the time. It was not a requirement that we should disembark at the other pontoon apparently it just made it easier for the crew. Our departure from Dubrovnik was delayed by 3 hours as one of the lifeboats seemed reluctant to come back on board!
In addition half a day out from Venice we had to motor at full speed as we had a passenger on board who needed a hospital (not the fault of anyone I know but just another thing that happened.
We did stop in Cagliari in Sicily, out first visit. I am really not sure why the ships stop there as there is nothing to do in the city at all other than visit museums. Guess wait even they were closed because it was a Monday.
Finally we had booked Freedom dining as we prefer to eat just the 2 of us at a time that suits us. We went to the restaurant at different times between 6.30 & 8.30 each evening and never had less than a 30 minute wait for a table. Just not acceptable. There was a bar nearby where you could wait and it became known as zapper alley as there was always people waiting there for a table.
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