Grant Stothard | June 20, 2019 | P&O Cruises | Arcadia
We have just returned from a Baltic cruise on Arcadia. To say that we were disappointed with the condition of the ship would be an understatement. Having had cruise holidays over 20 years, and sailed with various cruise lines, Arcadia was by far the scruffiest ship we have sailed on. Arcadia is certainly showing her age, she is covered in rust, peeling paint, her windows are dirty, especially in the dining rooms, handrails need varnishing and she is in urgent need of a large refit asap.On past cruises it was the norm to see crew members touching up paint and varnished areas.Not on this ship. Our balcony was covered in what appeared to be crusty SOOT deposits.We did clean the furniture so that we could sit, but the floor would require a pressure washer. Our cabin steward threw two buckets of water on the balcony floor, two days before the end of the cruise, it didn’t remove the soot.
In our cabin, on the walls where pictures had been removed, there were dirty stains showing the outline of the removed pictures. The cabin furniture is ready to be replaced, it is showing signs of wear and tear. One good feature, was that the beds were very comfortable.Our cabin steward appeared to be overworked, taking longer to complete his work. It was not unusual to see litter on the corridor floors.
It was obvious where a recent refit had been done, new carpets and newly decorated walls. Unfortunately, this only showed up the dirty areas.
Entertainment on the ship was very hit and miss. In the theatre, the only highlights were the Headliner company who were by far the best we have seen in 20 years, and comedian Bernie Flint.
There was a singer / pianist who appeared to be auditioning for a toothpaste advert, a mind reader who did his best in a half empty theatre. The rest were at best average. It appears that P&O are spending less and less on ‘guest’ entertainers, the standard has certainly dropped over the last few years.
Last year on Aurora in the self service restaurant, there were several members of the crew wearing ‘can I help’ aprons. This was to help the many disabled passengers access and carry food. On Arcadia we saw one. My wife did on one occasion ask for help for me, but after that she had to make two trips, one for me and one for herself.
On most ships, disabled passengers are taken off and on the ship via a dedicated gangway to prevent holdups for others, and to make it more comfortable for the disabled . I didn’t see any sign of this on Arcadia.
The standard of dress has certainly dropped, with less and less passengers wearing formal dress.The increasing popularity of freedom dining may have something to do with this. On formal nights wearing jeans and t shirts were a no no in dining rooms, this appears not to be the case now.
May I make a suggestion, that someone from P&O make a SECRET VISIT to Arcadia to see for themselves the state of the ship. Or even better take a cruise to get a more in depth view of what we passengers have to put up with.
The Baltic ports were lovely with some outstanding buildings and the weather wasn’t too bad either.The cleanliness, lack of graffiti and litter makes the UK look like a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. There were no ‘rough sleepers’ and people were polite and helpful. One suggestion, if you want to use the ‘hop on off’ buses, buy your tickets on shore, it will save you a pocketful of money than buying them on the ship.
For anyone doing this cruise in the future, one tour that I can recommend is the ‘Minster and Little Molly’ in Warnemunde, Germany. The minster is a ginormous building, built in red brick and it took 68 years to complete. Inside there are the tombs of rulers of the regions and beautiful decorations. ‘Little Molly’, is a narrow gauge steam train which runs a regular passenger service in the region.We got on at a lovely seaside resort where we had coffee and cake in a new hotel. Again, we marvelled at how clean every where was. My wife bought a gift from a shop where we had a friendly chat with the lady owner.
We have one future cruise booked with P&O, if we hadn’t, then it may be that we would have looked elsewhere. For the money that taking a cruise costs, passengers shouldn’t have to put up with the dirty state of accommodation we experienced on Arcadia.
I think that covers everything, except to say how much we enjoyed the journey, it is just that the transport didn’t meet expectations.
Be prepared to manage your expectations.
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