1st Timers review just back from Fjords on Arcadia

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1 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Hi All
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
Stoke on Trent, England
4,931 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Thanks for such a brilliant review. I always think that your first cruise is special . Your review celebrated why cruises are so special without moaning or looking at it through the eyes of those who have been there and done that and forgotten how fab some things really are. Would love to sail with you both any time.

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Sailed on:
P&O Ventura 15.08.17 : Spain & the Greek Islands
P&O Britannia 28.05.17 : Iberian Cruise
P&O Oceana 10.08.16 : Western Med fly cruise
P&O Britannia 25.07.15 : Iberia and Canaries
P&O Oceana 08.04.15 : Western Med
P&O Oceana 19.04.14 : Iberian Cruise
RCI Independence of the Seas 29.10.13 : Mini cruise
Celebrity Silhouette 12:08:13 : Greek Islands / Italy
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:12 : Adriatic / Venice
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:11 : Eastern Med/Holy Land
P&O Oceana August 2010 : Western Med
Ocean Village 02:08:09 : Eastern Med / Crete
Louis Cruises August 2001 : Egypt
161 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Glad to hear you enjoyed your first cruise and thanks for taking the time to write about your experiences. It's always nice to hear when people go with an open mind and enjoy themselves.

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Wiltshire, UK
26 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Thanks for the review Gevans, and great to hear you so enjoyed your first cruise. The only bad news, if there is any, is that cruising is very addictive so be prepared to have many more similarly brilliant experiences ��

We also loved Arcadia and the Fjords - totally agree with your comments.
236 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Glad you enjoyed your first cruise! It really is a lovely way to see the world. We have been on Arcadia a few times and think she is great In fact we are on her in September so nice to know everything is good on board.

Welcome to one of the biggest clubs in the world.......may well bump into you some time on a cruise.
898 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Thanks for a well balanced review. We are off to the Caribbean in November, and your comments are very reassuring.
3 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Thank you for your honest review. Some could be put off by comments made on petty things. Great to hear you enjoy your first cruise and the way to see the world. We are looking to take the Caribbean cruise early next year.
High Wycombe
135 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
What a lovely review. I've got two cruises booked with P&O and agree with you about the miners and was beginning to wonder if we had chosen the right company. On Ventura on October and Arcadia next year to the Fjords.
Thank you for your overview and putting my mind at rest.

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Whitley Bay, North East England
6,439 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
That sounds like the ship we have been on.

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Aurora AU112 Arcadia AR223
Aurora R418 Aurora R419
Adonia F507 Adonia F508
Aurora R525 Arcadia J625
Oceana E721 Oriana X718
Arcadia J813 Oriana X820
Ventura N902 Aurora R913
Arcadia J004 Oceana E021
Ventura N110 Azura A121
Aurora R119 Ventura N210
Arcadia J217 Oriana X302
Oriana X312 Aurora R315
Oceana E402 Azura A409
Azura A410 Oceana E425
Oceana E426 Arcadia J510
Britannia B522 Britannia B523
Ventura N603 Azura A616
Arcadia J615 Arcadia J616
Oceana E625 Crown Princess May 17
Britannia B719 Britannia B720

To Come

Azura 17
Azura 17
Ventura 18
Oriana 18
Oriana 18
Ventura 19
Ventura 19
Britannia 19
Ventura 9
Ventura 19

Gan Canny

379 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Thanks for a great review. I think some of the negatives from people is that they are always comparing one holiday to another and one cruise ship to another and people moan because things change, especially the boarding process which people have moaned at, but the staggered embarkation works well, in my opinion.

We have yet to find the perfect holiday, but cruising comes pretty close.
2,134 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
I love Arcadia - I think the last refurb was fab, she is a ship which has everything, and almost feels like a second home! if the buffet was as you say I am very happy!

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hampshire england
1,412 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Thank you for taking the time to post your review. How refreshing to read sof someone's good experience. We took our first cruise back in 2003 as a one off special to celebrate our Silver Wedding anniversary. We now have our 25th coming up and will be celebrating our Ruby Wedding anniversary on Aurora next year! Some of the reviews I read are just full of moans, not so much on this site but certainly on others. People sound as if they have had a bad time from beginning to end. Well in all the cruises we've done we've never had a bad or even poor cruise.
1,370 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Thanks for posting your review - I haven't been on Arcadia yet but all sounds good.
Be braced - cruising is an expensive habit to get into!
74 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
Nice review, I like your style! A little bit of PMA really does go a long way, and anyway life really is too short to worry about the depth of a scone .
146 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
We did an equivalent cruise on Arcadia in 2014 and absolutely loved it too. So much to enjoy about the ship and the itinerary
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11 Adventures - my blog of our two most recent Cunard cruises.