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Paul Handel

Age: 43

Occupation:Railway Employee

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: P & O Cruises

Ship: Arcadia

Sailing Date: October 1st, 2006

Itinerary: Baltic

Well, just where do I begin? When I joined the ship in Southampton and found my cabin, it had 2 twin beds and not the double I requested. The card showing my meal seating plan showed a table for 4 when a table for two had been reserved. After queuing for 50 minutes to speak to the restaurant manager a table for two was sorted out I think under duress! The next problem I was to encounter was that when I awoke on the first morning at sea.... my balcony flooded! I was told by the cabin steward that it had rained overnight, but I knew this to be untrue, more on this later.

On eating in the Meridian restaurant at your main meal time one glass of water and no ice per person.  Why can't we have a nice cold jug of water be provided so that I can have a refill when I want and not have to wait for the waiter to be told I would like another drink? Now on to the subject of breakfast. If you fancy a lie in on your hard earned holiday then don't expect to use the Meridian restaurant as on sea days it closes at 0930 and can you believe 0900 on port days!! but then again you can always use the self service restaurant, The Belvedere open until 1030 on all days for breakfast, but, be prepared for one hell of a bun fight. Trying to get a table is a nightmare and when you do find one, be prepared for some complete stranger to join your table just as you start breakfast. Also my own record for trying to get a table was I started looking at 0910 and managed to get one at 1020.

Now onto what can only be described as joke entertainment in the very plush palladium. We have two shows a night one, at 8:45pm and one at 10:45pm both are the same shows - this allows everybody to see it if they want to, mind you having gone to the shows, you need to be in your seat 30 minutes before it starts or you will only find a seat behind one of the posts that restrict your view! Oh and don't get too comfortable in your seat as the show is over in 45 minutes. There is other entertainment around the ship at night but unless you like ballroom dancing or quizzes then the only other place is the casino.

On the Lido Deck they do have things going on at night like the ho-down nightline dancing. Yes it is popular but there are only 7 tables outside, so if you like leaning against the handrails or sitting on stacked up sun beds then this is the place to be seen drinking beer, which has been served to you from a can. Yes a can! I tell no lie.  Arcadia only has one main bar where the beer is draught and that's at the other end of the ship on deck 3, every where else it from cans. 

By the way, I went around the Caribbean 3 years ago on the Oceana and that was a wonderful holiday. Why P and O have let things slip to these standards is beyond me? P.S. I paid in excess of three thousand pounds for 12 days bad days. Never again will I go with P and O cruises again!!

 



 

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