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Arcadia Fire On Board, Plus The Norovirus! by Humphrey, Bridgwater

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Arcadia Fire On Board, Plus The Norovirus!

Overall Rating: 3

Cruise Line:
P&O Cruises
Cruise Ship:

Reviewed By: on
Just arrived back from a 12 night cruise on the Arcadia. Embarcation was great and we were in our cabins and settled in by 4pm. Our room was lovely and spacious, as was the balcony. It was kept clean for the whole duration, but there was no animals made from towels which we have had on past cruises. Ate in the meridian in the evenings, and the food was good, as was the service. The Belvedere was ok, but by the time you had got your meal back to the table it was cold most of the time. In the day time we ate at the pool takeaway called the Neptune. The food there was cooked fresh and was consistant. The chef was english and worked very hard to please everyone. We recommend the fish and chips, and the burgers! There was an excellent choice of salads always available. Bar prices were the same as pubs at home, but the wine in the restaurant was very expensive, and seemed to be cheaper by the glass. The pool bar was very hot due to the roof being closed even when it was warm outside! Sunbeds were plentiful, and everyone on the cruise was friendly and polite. We found no stampedes at meal times! The lifts came quite quickly, and although the ship was mainly filled with pensioners it always had a nice atmosphere, so I really dont know why on previous reviews this seemed to be an issue? The main gripe we had was the entertainment. It really was boring! There was 5 of us in our group, and we struggled to find things to do. The main entertainment seemed to be in the Rising Sun bar. This was very smokey, and my husband is a smoker, but even he wouldn't sit in there. Most nights we sat in the Crows nest and did the quiz, but after 12 nights even this got repetitive. There was a fire on board one night which was contained, but never the less it caused us concern. Then there was an outbreak of the Norovirus. The Belvedere restaurant was then non self serving. Staff served you and it was difficult to make staff understand exactly what you wanted due to the language barrier. I then became a victim of the virus. I received excellent medical care free of charge, and was confined to my cabin for 24 hours. The cabin was cleaned 3 times a day, and nurses rang me twice a day to ask of my condition. The Captain made daily announcements, and updated passengers about the virus. The staff were actively cleaning around the ship, which was reassuring, but somewhat too late! Disembarkation was excellent, and we were off of the ship at 8.30am. The weather was not too good and it was very rough on board at times, but this was not PO's fault. We found no problems with the propulsion unit and only had to leave one port of call an hour early. It did vibrate at times, but did not interfere with the cruise. Our main moan was the entertainment. We were very bored at times. Would we cruise with PO again? Maybe in the future, but it wouldn't be on the Arcadia. Tea dances are not our scene. Very relaxing if you just want to chill out and relax with a book, plus no children was a definate bonus, even though we love children. We think this cruise suits 60 to 90 year olds. We are in our late 40s, but when we get older, this would definatley be our first choice. Princess for us seems to be better in everyway, so we have booked our next one on the Grand Princess in May for my 50th!! Watch this space.

Times cruised before: 6-10
Sailed: November, 2008
Age: 46-55
Cabin: Balcony

Quality of Food
Good overall. Ate in the Meridian most of the time. The best fast food was in the Neptune pool area

OK if you like musicals. Diane cousins did the same act on the Princess in May.

Shore Excursions
None taken

All very good

Children's Facilities

Onboard Activities
Very boring!

Very good size room and balcony. One of the best we have had.

Overall Rating
Review useful?
Opinion: Agree
billups -
, rotherham - Commented about this Review
Christine, Rotherham I was on the ship at the same time as you and agree with you when you say the entertainment was poor. I very much enjoyed Diane Cousins though and also the opera singer, but found the show abysmal, I only watched one, a 60's tribute. It was like a junior school play. The norovirus outbreak did make things a little awkward. does anyone know how many people went down with it. Some people were ridiculous like the old dear who cleaned all the buttons in the lift with her tissue and then popped it in her pocket! If she was carrying the virus she must have passed it on to hundreds and if not she put herself at great risk of contracting it. The fire episode was a little unnerving to say the least but it was managed marvellously well, did make me feel a little jumpy though. My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary and were presented with flowers, chocolates and a card and invited to a champagne reception which was really lovely. I very much enjoyed the holiday but there were times when we struggled to find something to do which was a bit of a shame. I would holiday on the Arcadia again, the staff were superb.
06 Dec 08 22:14 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Humphrey -
, Bridgwater - Commented about a Comment by billups (06 Dec 08 22:14)
Hi, Thankyou for your comments, all of course I agree with. Diane Cousins was good the first time we saw her, but her DVD is exactly the same as the shows on Princess ships. £ 10.00 wasted and very poor quality!!! It appears to be when she was younger too. so it's about time she changed her act. We never really got the bottom of how many people suffered the Norovirus, but like you said there were the odd few taking it to the extreme, but on radio 2 the other day, DR Hillary said to Steve Wright that the virus is now immune to hand gels!! Thats very reassurring. Apparentley the only thing is hand washing and rinsing thoroughly, then the gel. Cruise ships need to look into this further, as this virus knocks you for six, and affected me for over a week. So glad you enjoyed your anniversary and happy cruising to you both. Thanks again.
07 Dec 08 13:17 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Opinion: Agree
Pemberton -
, Honiton - Commented about this Review
Having read your comment on my review about yours not being received so well I felt compelled to offer you some support! Besides, someone has decided to take task with my own review and give me some grief - even wants me to provide "evidence" of people not washing their hands (can you believe some peopel!) Anyway, I think this is a very fair reflection and I have to agree with you about the entertainment, it was OK to start but then boredom certainly set in. I do not agree with the reader who thinks you are moaning either about the age group on Arcadia, you are merely pointing out that P&O could have catered for ALL it's passengers rather than focusing on the elderly, it certainly had the facilities, it just seemed to lack the "will" I am very sorry you suffered from the virus, this must have impacted on your holiday and I hope you are over it fully and it didn't spoil your trip too much. I look forward to hearing about your cruise next year, good luck and best wishes.
01 Dec 08 21:18 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Opinion: Agree
Macro -
, Reading - Commented about this Review
Princess is far superior to P&O, especially the food. However for entertainment - Ocean Village should please you, especially at your age ! Modern, lively, available all evening in 3 venues simultainiously. The Quiz is at 5pm ! Relegated to the right time and although fun is NOT the highlight of the night. PS. costs half the price too though there is no 24hr room service, formal dining or set meal times. It is all 'Freestyle'.
15 Nov 08 06:59 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Humphrey -
, Bridgwater - Commented about a Comment by Macro (15 Nov 08 06:59)
We have already done an island cruise! This was good and although we are not ones for disco's and lively entertainment all the time it would have been nice to have some variety on board some of the time. I dont consider PO to be cheap. In fact Princess is far more reasonable considering the top shows you get and the consistant good hot food and choice. Then the food was not so much an issue for me having the virus, but I did have my 84 year old mother with us and my brother and wife who are in their 60s. They too were bored of repetitiveness of the day to day activities. Everyone to their own, thats why there are ships like Ocean and Island. Cruising is not just for the elderly now, but Im afraid in our opinion Arcadia is! I would also like to comment that the majority of passengers were bored, just because you hit a certain age is doesn't mean that you have to act old? This is our 5th cruise now so we are not new to cruising. We love the formal nights and always dress up. We wouldn't go on Ocean because of the "FREESTYLE" approach, as with Island. Its all down to personal choice isn't it?
15 Nov 08 10:50 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Burrows -
, Southampton - Commented about a Comment by Humphrey (15 Nov 08 10:50)
Once again we have someone moaning about old people on the Arcadia , and being bored. In other ships reviews I read passengers complaining about fights over sunbeds, teashirts and shorts being worn in restaurants on formal nights, children monopolising adults only swimming pools, and teenage yobs throwing deck furniture overboard all night! It's horses for courses I suppose? You pay your money and take your choice, but I know which I would choose! Happy cruising.
16 Nov 08 17:46 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Humphrey -
, Bridgwater - Commented about a Comment by Burrows (16 Nov 08 17:46)
It never ceases to amaze me why we have cruise reviews, and the chance to tell others of our opinion, especially when people dont read facts before answering? Read my review, it clearly tells you that I had my 83 year old mother and my brother and sister in law who are in their 60s! Says it all really doesn't it? Ive yet to go on a cruise where teenagers throw furniture, shorts being worn on formal nights and have never seen a fight over a sunbed? What cruises have you been on then?. Oh and just for the record I have worked with elderly and dememtia patients for over 15 years, so I am used to elders and enjoy their company. It isn't the older people I had the problem with, it was the entertainment, again it was in my review!!
17 Nov 08 07:23 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Burrows -
, Southampton - Commented about a Comment by Humphrey (17 Nov 08 07:23)
Sorry that I misworded my comment concerning your view of the Arcadia. I was not questioning your personal opinion of older people, rather I was refering to your comment on the fact that tea dances were not your scene, and that the ship "suits" 60-90 year olds! I am under 50 myself, and am looking forward to travelling on the Arcadia in the near future. Tea dances are not my "scene" either, but then neither are screaming children filling all the pools and theatre! I have cruised on Adult only ships before and was surprised at the number of 18-25 year olds that were on board. I regularly watch the Arcadia sail, and there always seems to be plenty of young people up on deck. Surely a ship should be chosen for its size, age, facilities, cabins, destinations and price, with the average age of passengers onboard being just one consideration? It does seems that every time that the Arcadia is mentioned, a HUGE point is made about the age of the passengers onboard, and we are TOLD that it would suit people of a certain age group! The more that this is said, the less and less younger people will be inclined to try the ship, and the more this situation will endure! Of course the entertainment is tailored to the type of passengers on a particular ship, that is only fair, but until younger people are ENCOURAGED to try the ship rather than contunually being told that you virtually HAVE to be over 60 to cruise on her, this situation will not change. As for never having been on a cruise where ignorant and anti-social behaviour has taken place, then you are very lucky! I personally have not witnessed the specific events mentioned above, but these, along with many others, are all detailed in cruise reviews contained on this site! Perhaps if you regularly read them, as I do, you would have been able to put my comments in the perspective that they were meant, and not taken them as you did? Happy cruising.
17 Nov 08 11:47 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Humphrey -
, Bridgwater - Commented about a Comment by Burrows (17 Nov 08 11:47)
I would be intersted to read your view on the Arcadia when you have been on it. When you are at sea for 3 days and the weather is not very good then the Arcadia entertainment team should have looked at entertaining the passengers appropriatley. The entertainment manager who's name escapes me was a star in Eastenders, and one of the highlights of one afternoons entertainment was to go and meet her and learn about the secrets of EASTENDERS!!! If thats your cup of tea, then the very best of luck. No, I DONT read cruise reviews that often because I WORK 12 hours a day, so I dont have the time. The Arcadia was chosen because it is an ADULT ONLY ship, due to my mother and brother coming. THEY FOUND IT BORING TOO!, and cruise reviews are meant to be truthful facts and experiences, if everyone fabricated the facts then there wouldn't be any need to have these reviews? There are more positive facts of OUR experience than negatives, it's just that the negatives are NOT what you wanted to read. "Happy Cruising" .
18 Nov 08 07:18 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
mills -
, London - Commented about a Comment by Humphrey (18 Nov 08 07:18)
I (aged 48) was on this cruise with my 80 year old mother and we both found the entertainment substandard especially the theatre troup, and the theatre shows certainly lacked professionalism from the singing to the stage production techniques eg lighting, sound projection etc. The live entertainment was certainly for the older passengers ( 80% of the total passenger number) and there was little for the 30 - 40 age group. Even the piano bar / duo entertaiment and jazz was very melo, and uninspiring. One wonders whether P and O actually put a substandard entertaiment theatre group on Arcadia because they know it's full of the elderly and maybe are less likely to complain. They certainly need more variety before they can market it to a younger age group.
27 Nov 08 21:40 - Reply - Was this comment useful?

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