Not sure if this is the right place for this, if not Admins please move or delete.
We are recently back from our first ever cruise. So I thought some may be interested in a brief review.
We booked P&O cruise J711 on Arcadia 7 nights to the Norway Fjords.
It was absolutely brilliant, we had a great time and will certainly be cruising again sometime !!
After we had booked I found this Cruise Critic forum site whilst doing some research, and was a bit concerned with some of the comments left about, embarkation times and delays, the tatty ness of the cabins, age demographic, level of service and choice in the buffet (Belvedere Restaurant),attitude of waiters in the Main Dining Room (Meridian Restaurant), disembarkation waiting times. Oh and moaners, more of that later.
We found all the negative comments above, on our particular trip totally unfounded.
We booked a deluxe balcony cabin on C Deck mid forward.
We were allocated an embarkation time of 14.30. We arrived at 14.15, stopped as directed by CPS at Ocean Terminal, took our cases out gave them to a porter and off they went, had a receipt off the CPS attendant and they drove the car off. We walked straight upstairs to the check-in desk attendant, gave over our passports filled in the Health Questionnaire , about 3 questions I think, sorted the credit card and were given our cruise card. We must have been in our cabin by 14.45 with 2 of our 3 cases already there. Totally amazed, very efficient.
Our 3rd case arrived 10 mins later at the same time our Cabin Steward he explained a few things and that if we required anything to let him know, throughout the cruise he was brilliant. We were very pleased with the cabin, no sign of tatty ness at all, the carpets and curtains were fine and the 32” Samsung TV great, although nothing in HD but then we did nt watch it much, only for the news and the ships location map on the information channel.
At the Southampton sail away party it was quite obvious the age demographic was quite wide, there were quite a few youngsters on-board and lots younger than ourselves, early 60s, and some a lot older .
With regard to the buffet in the Belvedere we certainly had no complaints, we used it for breakfast for all but 1 day and for a couple of lunches and we found the service and choice very good. We certainly did nt see any people stashing rolls etc away for their packed lunches as previously reported.
Now, The C Restaurant was brilliant, one of the highlights of the cruise, well , probably second to the scenery !! We opted for Freedom Dining and usually turned up about 20.00 every evening after changing and a drink on the balcony,we were blessed with great weather !
A couple of times we were given a pager and had to wait in The Piano Bar sipping cocktails or a beer for 15 – 20 mins , such a shame, its a hard life as Rob Brydon says
A nice touch on our first formal night, was The Captains Welcome, in the Neptune Bar on a very sunny Lido Deck, where we were all welcomed aboard with a glass of whatever you wanted , he gave a little speech and introduced some of his senior staff, a nice start to the evening. I think the dress code was generally adhered to, I was in my Dinner Suit and no one else seamed out off place with quite a few dark business suits.
The service in the Meridian Restaurant generally, was perfect not too intrusive but someone always there to top you up as necessary.
The menus were great with plenty of choice, with always a steak or chicken available if you did nt fancy anything else, like Arctic Char or Barramundi and lots of other exotic stuff, I was spoilt for choice as I like to try different things.
Another nice touch was on the last night we were given a copy of all the evenings’ menus we had. So we can now see what we are missing !
Afternoon Tea in The Meridian was also a treat, yes they still do them, in addition to the Eric Lanyard paid for special, which we didnt try. Proper little sandwiches with crusts cut off, teacakes, crumpets,scones with plenty of jam and cream, plate of fancy cakes and plenty of tea or coffee if you preferred.
My wife overheard the only moaning we encountered on the whole cruise, a lady on a table behind her complained to the waiter that her scones were too flat! WHAT some people !
On disembarkation day we opted for a 09.45 – 10.00 slot as we were not in a rush and fancied a leisurely breakfast, we were all finished by 09.15 so wandered to The Palladium as allocated, took a seat expecting quite a wait, but were called about 09.30 and were driving off to the M271 by 10.00,having had a really great cruise experience.
I hope this review will allay any fears anyone has about booking their first cruise or any cruise on The Arcadia.
Any questions please ask