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Sorry but your question is as subjective as the answers your looking for. Arcadia is child free, Oriana is not. You need to give info on your expectations to get a suitable response, kids/no kids/bothered/ not bothered/etc. Regards Wilba.
Having been on both I would prefer Oriana, which has the terraced stern for sun or shady sunbeds and probably more deck space per passenger. The internal layout and decor is much better than Arcadia. Cabins are possibly a bit smaller though. Food and service will be the same good P&O standard on both ships.
Arcadia I believe has been in for a refit, not sure what has been done to improve facilities etc.
Arcadia Refit :
38 new cabins will be added to the aft of the ship -- most will be outside, with a few inside cabins.
A new bar will also be added at the aft area.
The Cyber Study area will be taken out and replaced with a boutique cinema with a raised floor and reclining chairs.
A number of public areas and bars will be given a refurbishment -- Spinnakers and the art gallery area are just two mentioned.
The hull of the ship will also be given a lick of paint -- of the environmentally-friendly kind. A silicone finish will be used which according to P&O, can reduce fuel consumption by up to 8 percent.
My husband and myself cruised the Caribbean on the Oriana in April / May this year (2008) and it was the best cruise we had done, it was so good that we are thinking of doing it again.
For me it would depend on availability of balcony cabins. Oriana, whilst being an excellent and refined cruise experience, does not have many balcony cabins and, consequently, they are more expensive. Arcadia is a friendly vessel - in my opinion - a bit more easy going without losing the general fleet ambiance. The children on Oriana when we sailed were very well looked after both by crew and parents and we were not really aware of their presence. The back decks are attractive as sun bathing destinationa but most passengers are of the same opinion and space cannot be guaranteed. We found Oriana passengers to be totally devoted to their chosen ship and it would be difficult to prise some of them onto any other boat. Arcadia passengers were more flexible. However, i have no doubt you will have a wonderful time whichever you choose.
Have cruised on both but would chose Oriana. I found Arcadia a bit soulless but,that said, if Arcadia has undergone a refit, Oriana could be looking shabby. Standards are good in both and the descision is a marginal one. If Arcadi fitted in with where and when I wanted to go, I wouldn't hesitate to sail with them again.
The Oriana without a doubt......although the Arcadia is technically the most advanced ship , it has no Atrium which we found dissapointing a ship without a soul! the main hub and heart of the ship was not there!!! just a personal thing ,but many passengers had the same view, it was very shabby last april but i believe has been refurbished,
The Oriana "sheer Elegance" our favourite.
Too close to call - personally if both ships satisfy your itinerary and destination I would chose Oriana.