Sun and rain in the Fjords
Carole Freemantle | September 15, 2019 | P&O Cruises | Arcadia
This was a 7 night cruise from Southampton to the Fjords. We had been on Arcadia previously in 2008 but I think she had undergone a refit since then. The ship is not my favourite, mostly because I feel it hasn’t got a centre – the atrium cannot really be called an atrium – it’s certainly very understated. However, this is not to say that we didn’t have a wonderful week.
We were in a Minisuite towards the front of the ship. I have previously been in an aft suite so it was interesting to compare. The minisuite is spacious with a bath and separate shower and two sinks! We had the usual extras – priority boarding, a hot buffet luncheon with champagne – delicious lunch – flowers, chocolates, fruit, champagne on ice, binoculars, atlas, magazines etc. We also had canap??s brought to our cabin around 6pm each evening.
We were on 2nd sitting on a table of 8 and had two very efficient waiters and what was far better than our previous cruise on Azura, a very efficient wine waiter. The food was the usual P&O fare and it was hot and the portions were good. If anyone wanted more vegetables or potatoes they only had to ask. The waiters were keen to see that everyone was happy. We had some very good steaks – I asked for rare and it was rare. We had great table companions and had some fun each evening.
We went to some of the shows by the Headliners which were good plus a duo Pianoentertainment who were amazing. There was a comedian but we didn’t see him. From what others told us he was not well received. There was a very interesting talk by a retired Scotland Yard detective.
There were 2 formal evenings, two Smart (jacket required) and 3 Smart casual evenings. The dress code was mostly kept to, especially on the formal evenings. On the casual evenings a few people, mainly men looked very casual. I know smart dark denim is fine according to the dress code but that doesn’t include shabby pale blue denim with a hole in one knee! The women tended to dress up whether it was a Smart or Casual evening and of course on the Formal evenings there were some lovely dresses to be seen.
I had been to some of the ports before – Bergen lived up to its reputation of being wet! It was our final port of call and it was raining hard in the morning so we decided not to go ashore. We had a wonderful tour in Olden with a remarkable young man as a guide. He spoke about four different languages and was probably the best guide I have ever had. He was exceptionally proud of his country, gave us a lot of information, and was exceptionally kind to an older couple on the tour who had walking difficulties. We had a tour in Starvanger which took us to a small collection of hold houses and a cave which had been converted into a restaurant where we had Norwegian waffles, sour cream and jam – very tasty. Outside was a little bridge and models of the Three Bill Goats Gruff walking over it – plus the troll in the background! The other port was Andalsnes – where we went on a coach and then train ride which took us through mountain areas – very interesting with good commentary.
The journey up and down the North Sea was better than my previous experience and we did not need to take any Stugeron. I went with a friend this time who had never cruised before and she had heard my husband and I talk about our various cruises and was keen to see what it is all about. She loved it – all of it!
We had a really good week. The new way of disembarking worked well – passengers are given a specific place to go to and the announcements to go ashore are only broadcast in each individual area so there isn’t the rush that I’ve experienced before. As I said Arcadia isn’t my favourite ship but if she was going somewhere I wanted to go then I would go on her again.
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