REVIEW OF ARCADIA XMAS/NEW YEAR 2012
David Meakin | May 24, 2018 | P&O Cruises | Arcadia
My wife and I have just returned from this Arcadia cruise which was our 5th with P&O. All booking arrangements by Bolsover were excellent as usual and we had an enjoyable time with a good itinerary, lovely weather and excellent, warm friendly service throughout. There were the usual moans from some fellow passengers about standards slipping, but we thought the quality and choice of food in the Meridian restaurant was always good and often very good. However, despite all of this, if this had been our first P&O cruise it would probably be our last. The reason for this is that the evening entertainment in the dance venues and the bars was dominated by hosted ballroom and sequence dancing and quizzes!
The Globe was an excellent dance venue and bar area. Unfortunately, during the18 nights there were only 3 nights when it was available for non-ballroom dancing: countdown to Christmas; 70??s night and Tropical night. The rest of the time, including all formal and smart nights, it was used for hosted ballroom and sequence dancing.
We could perhaps understand this if, as the Cruise Director Christine Noble (more of her later) told us, this was what most passengers wanted However, the Globe and its surrounding bar area were usually depressingly empty. By contrast, each of the 3 less formal dance nights was a great success.
The only other dance venue was the Crow??s Nest and indeed on New Year??s Eve we were there with new friends on the dance floor until the group stopped playing in the early hours. Unfortunately, on other nights after dinner at 10-30 we couldn??t dance or listen to music in the Crow??s Nest as this lovely area was used for quizzes every night until 11-30. I still can??t quite believe this; in one of the nicest bars/dance areas the Cruise Director had a quiz every night at 10-30!
We mentioned our concerns to one of the entertainment team and she was very sympathetic and agreed that many passengers wanted to listen and dance to their favourite pop/rock tunes as we did but that whenever they had tried this instead of the ballroom dancing the ballroom dancers had complained vociferously.
A few nights later we spoke to the Cruise Director, Christine Noble. I was shocked at her response. She was dismissive to the point of being rude. She appeared to have no interest in our concerns and her response was that passengers wanted hosted ballroom dancing and quizzes and that if we wanted to dance there was the Disco. Our suggestion of having ??mixed? dancing evenings in the Globe, with the ballroom dancing until perhaps 10/10-30, followed by music and dancing to suit all tastes, was rejected out of hand. What an arrogant and patronizing person we found her to be.
We did briefly try the Disco but as with most people over the age of 45 (we are 65) we do not want to spend the night in a dark, unwelcoming and noisy place listening to records; we want live music in a pleasant environment where we can chat and drink with new friends
Are we are more representative of the active P&O cruise passengers than the apparently vocal minority who want hosted ballroom and sequence dancing? Does P&O need to recognise the need to cater for the large and growing number of ??oldies? now coming on board whose hearts sink at the thought of hosted ballroom and sequence dancing or nothing almost every night?
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