Hope you are prepared for this!
We started well, a very quick check in and cases already in cabin when we arrived. It was windy and cold when we left so no real sail away party. Usual lifeboat drill, with cabin cards being checked to make sure everyone attended (a bit of a shambles in the theatre with some people who didn’t show their card and never got asked for it). Then back to complete unpacking and ready for dinner. First sitting on table for six and met our delightful table companions. One couple had been upgraded to a suite so at that point felt quite jealous….
First night a little windy but nothing untoward however it gradually increased – force 7, force 8, until one evening yes, you guessed it force 10….. (we were both asleep, so glad we had taken seasick tablets!!). However I felt Arcadia coped very well, although the bangs, bumps and creaking did cause several comments.
By now I no longer felt jealous of , our new friends , in the suite as it was situated at the stern right over the propellers and very, very noisy and bumpy in their cabin.
It was five days before we could really venture outside safely. No swimming pool neither – far too dangerous. But it was lovely being rocked to sleep each night.
Finally got into New York which was extremely busy and very hot (Donald Trump and United Nations in town!!!!!) High security everywhere and lots of roads closed off to traffic so our taxi driver had to drop us off in the middle of the road. Had two good days exploring on our own as we had been there before.
Then the fun started again, next stop New Port, missed because the hurricane was catching up and it was a tender port. We made Boston safely in the pouring rain but then Bar Harbor missed, because again bad weather catching up.
Eventually got safely into Halifax where we had a trip to Peggy’s Cove which was far too short – only about 40 minutes there because we had to be back on board ready to leave. BUT NO —- a rope tight around asipod so we were stuck! So instead of sailing away for Saguenay we stayed in Halifax and the next day we wandered into the quayside. Unfortunately we had to berth much further down than usual so we had to use a shuttle bus just to get out of the secure area to go anywhere. We spent a second day in Halifax just wandering around the shops.
The next port was Saguenay but we had to miss that now and straight on to Quebec for our two day stay——Wrong Again …..we didn’t arrive until 9 pm on the first day so one day there missed. The ship’s entertainment company did arrange for a local dance troupe to come on board that evening and entertain us, which I enjoyed. Second day in Quebec was lovely. Bright and sunny and we had a smashing time just wandering around, enjoying coffee and ice-creams and buying jewellery!!
THEN as we prepare for sail away the captain informed us that instead of going on to the next port of Sydney we were going to head BACK to Saguenay as that was a much nicer port sailing up the fjord. Well he was right – it is a lovely port and so welcoming to everyone. If anyone does go to Saguenay, the “La Fabuleuse ” show is not to be missed. It is absolutely amazing, brilliant, wonderful….. we can’t say enough good things about it. The shore excursion team must have worked extremely hard re-arranging all the previously cancelled trips.
However by this time many people were very unhappy as missing out on tours, disappointed at missing seeing relatives and often general lack of information. Personally, hubby and I felt the captain did the best he could and the excursion staff went all out to rearrange tours and put on additional ones for people where possible. In total, three ports were missed and a shortened stay in Quebec.
Of course this further change to the itinerary meant six days at sea coming home instead of five.
However P&O did compensate a bit with the odd bribe here and there…..again we were satisfied with the offers.
BUT FOR US the icing on the cake was on the third day into the cruise whilst in the middle of the Atlantic on our way to America we booked a further cruise – ON ADONIA! Eight days later we joined a large queue of people trying to find a new cruise to book…honestly the loyalty manager didn’t even know about the sale of Adonia.
Arcadia is still a good ship although perhaps a little tired in places. Unfortunately several couples had to move cabin because of leaks etc – one couple three times, but she is going in for a full refit in November when all these problems will be solved (hopefully). Toilets did, and I’m sure always will, get blocked all over the ship but generally they were cleared fairly quickly.
The food in the MDR was excellent. Plenty of choice and as much as you wanted if you asked. The Headliners on this cruise were the best we have seen on any cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the shows. The entertainment manager was also brilliant and really worked hard as did his team. Other entertainment varied but I always feel it is personal choice – I like the first show by the comedian but certainly not the second, hubby liked both! I loved the local dance team brought on -but hubby didn’t.
The usual Art and Bridge classes were well attended and there were plenty of interesting talks etc every day.
Overall I think it was a good cruise despite lots of problems and as usual all the P&O staff on board were brilliant and couldn’t do enough for you. Can not say the same for the shop staff who are often quite rude and pushy.
Next cruise in May is on Oriana for the first time but we will certainly go back to Arcadia as soon as possible.
Thank you for reading this long account but it was a long cruise and lots happened!!