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Review: Arcadia

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

First time on Arcadia

  • By SilverTraveller trishab

    3 reviews

  • Jun 2013
  • Partner
  • Family holiday
  • Inside

111 people found this review helpful

This was our first time on the Arcadia although we have sailed on Azura and Ventura before, and we were looking forward to a slightly smaller ship which was adults only. Check in and embarkation were, as usual, as efficient as we have come to expect with P&O Cruises and in no time at all we were on board, in our cabin and unpacked. Sailaways for some reason did not have the same 'must go to' effect that there was on the 2 larger ships, but we watched as we left Southampton in glorious sunshine from the Promenade Deck. (So different from our last departure for the 175th Grand Event cruise in pouring rain and wind!) The ship was lovely and all staff very attentive and helpful. Our cabin, although compact, was kept spotlessly clean by Maclish. One minor moan – if I was sitting by the dressing table and my other half wanted to get to the bathroom/wardrobe, I had to move to let him by! Bad design here maybe. I was a bit disappointed with the Atrium and shopping areas after having seen those on Ventura/Azura, and I thought the reception and shore excursions desks were tucked away out of sight on Deck 1, but again minor points. My main moan was that 2 of the 4 shows by the Headliners we had already seen, not once, but twice before. The 2 new shows however were both excellent – not to be missed. Also the TV Arcadia interview with Capt Hutley was interesting and amusing. Restaurants and food were excellent and our waiters Sagar and Cliffon could not be faulted. After 2 sea days we arrived in Lisbon and took the shuttle bus into the centre and then the open top bus round the town. If you are planning on doing this there are several different routes. As this was our 2nd trip we knew we wanted to go out to Belem. Very interesting tour, but when we got to Belem the heavens opened and we were obliged to dash downstairs for cover! Would have preferred a full day in Gibraltar which I am sure could have been made possible if a bit more speed had been used overnight, still it was interesting coming through the Straights and dolphin spotting and seeing the Rock loom up out of the mist. Another sea day followed by Barcelona (not our favourite place so stayed on board) then Valencia (did the panoramic tour excursion booked on board – ideal way to see everything). Next came Almeria – first time a cruise ship had been in there we were told, and a nice place but clearly not geared up to tourism. I felt we could have been in any city. Interestingly I noticed as we sailed away that the lovely fountains on the sea front had been switched off but they were impressive for our stay in port! Our final port of call was Cadiz and again we booked the shore excursion to Seville. For me I think this has to the highlight of the cruise and worth every penny. A bit of walking, but not too much, and so much to see in such a beautiful city. My main criticism of the cruise was the number of sea days. 12 night cruise with five and a half days at sea. Surely P&O, if you put your foot on the accelerator we could at least have had a full day in Gibraltar and maybe even stopped at another port. (On the 175th cruise we stopped at Lisbon for a day, then Oporto for a day and then 1 sea day back to Southampton so I guess it can be done – maybe with a bit of re-arranging of the itinerary.)

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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