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Sail Date: December 2018
Chosen as a taster cruise and I won't be doing it again in a hurry. I've stayed in far more luxurious all-inclusive resorts with better food and service. We couldn't dock due to the weather, which can't be helped but as this is not an ... Read More
Chosen as a taster cruise and I won't be doing it again in a hurry. I've stayed in far more luxurious all-inclusive resorts with better food and service. We couldn't dock due to the weather, which can't be helped but as this is not an unusual situation I question whether P&O could have made this more clear when booking. So instead of the Christmas market we were stuck on board but there were no additional activities for people now confined to ship. I feel P&O could have at least offered a complimentary drink or some free activities. I'm sure they made lots of profit from guests stuck on ship and charging £15 for bingo is daylight robbery. 4g data doesn't work on ship so you either pay your network through the nose or purchased a wifi package from P&O. I did the latter and the connection was poor at best. Another money making scheme by P&O. Then a service charge was added automatically to my invoice for drinks etc! In my opinion tipping should reflect individual service and including it automatically is simply a way of hiding the actual cost of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take it ... Read More
First about me - I've been on many cruises on various lines, including Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC and Disney. I decided to take this cruise about 5 days before departure, it was a 2 night cruise to Bruges and I decided to take it because it was cheaper than the train tickets from London to Bruges and it would include 'hotel' and food, so it seemed like a good deal. Turns out it wasn't the best idea. Due to high seas and strong winds we could not dock at Zeebruges so it turned into a cruise to nowhere, which would have been fine if the whole point wasn't to see the Bruges Christmas Market. We were also not offered anything in compensation, which I know they don't have to do, you take your chances, however, every other cruise line I've been on has at minimum reimbursed for port charges and most have given passengers a small OBC. While the inability to dock couldn't be helped, the way they handled it could have been much better. I've been on many cruises where we have missed a stop and the entertainment team has always gone out of the way to add items to the itinerary to account for the added number of people that would be on board (since it's assumed most passengers will disembark at the port. This was not the case with the Arcadia. For example their were 2 showings of Mama Mia Here we go Again, in a VERY small venue and it was completely packed. There was nothing else going on this that venue the remaining time, so they could have easily added one or two additional showings. I think the worse part was lunch, they only have one side of the buffet open even though, again everyone was on board. There were very few places to sit and people were waiting a long time for items to be replenished. Outside of the issue with missing the port, the food (which is very subjective) was very British, full english available both mornings, although the scrambled eggs were not cooked well, they were very runny with a sign above them stating you shouldn't eat egg products that were not fully cooked. The first day lunch buffet featured prime rib but all of it was completely well done, which is a total waste of good food. I found most items on the buffet to be cold, the way the buffet is set up it does not keep the items warm at all. I was assigned late dining in the main dining room and had dinner there the first night, not a lot on the menu that appealed, the shrimp cocktail was a bed of lettuce with what we call in the states salad shrimp (or bait LOL). They were very tiny and smothered in sauce. The main was a steak and chips, I ordered it rare and it was medium which apparently is the best they could do. The chips were great, but could have used some ketchup. Dessert (pudding) was advertised as a triple chocolate molten cake, which was not a cake. It was more of a dense gelatinous mousse, inedible, the accompanying ice cream was good. I decided the next night that nothing on the menu in the main dining room interested me, a lot of fish and liver. So, I went to the Asian themed buffet. Again the food could have been much better if it wasn't cold. The sweet and sour chicken used the same chicken goujons from the Neptune grill but overcooked (very stringy). The little egg rolls were the best thing on the buffet, I must have caught them at the right time because they were actually hot. Entertainment - I felt like this ship is stuck in the late 90s, it reminded me very much of the first cruise I went on where the entertainment was only 'live music' in the different bars. I believe there was one 80s music trivia. While it's an older ship and there aren't all the bells and whistles you'll find on a newer ship (zip line, water slides, rock walls, ice skating etc), I would expect something more. They could have done the comedy game shows like the quest or match your mate. They have one very small theater for movies, seats about 30 but the movies they showed were old ones already out on DVD. There was also NOTHING to do during the early diner seating, other than hang out in a bar. I even tried the casino but while it was open they had no dealers for any of the games and just some VERY OLD slot machines. Cabin - as I booked so late I had a gty inside which I did not find out which cabin until I got to the port. I was in E165 which is aft. The cabin was fine, it was my first inside cabin and I did miss the window especially since I spent a lot of time there due to the lack of entertainment I spent a good deal of time reading and napping LOL. I did sit by the pool on afternoon to be able to see the ocean but it was a bit chilly. The cabin steward was fine, he brought ice every evening as requested. Specialty / Room Service Dining - I was originally going to Ocean View which has a cover charge of 22.95, which I was fine with paying until I looked at the menu and saw that 99.9% of the items had a surcharge, I believe the only item you could get w/o a surcharge was the salmon or chopped steak, since that annoyed me I didn't go, just up the charge and include everything. I also did not order room service, first because I couldn't find the room service menu and then second because there was a charge. I think the ships that are going to charging for room service are ridiculous and I'm boycotting. Breakfast room service is included. Overall service was fine, I did have a hard time getting the bar servers in the dining room to take my order and they were very slow returning your key. I also found it ridiculous that the bars didn't have ice. I know they don't like ice in Europe but usually cocktails are the exception. Overall, I was disappointed in missing our port and the entertainment on the ship was not to my liking, however, if you are with a group and can make your own fun, I think this could be a good ship to take. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Decided on this cruise as it was going to Hamburg, and we thought it was a nice change to go on a winter short cruise visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp. Ports were lovely. We didn't take any shore excursions. Unfortunately, it ... Read More
Decided on this cruise as it was going to Hamburg, and we thought it was a nice change to go on a winter short cruise visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp. Ports were lovely. We didn't take any shore excursions. Unfortunately, it cannot said to be the same for the ship. It looked as if the heart has been taken out of it since it was known as Arcadia with the P&O fleet. The service was dreadful. In the restaurant we waited over an hour for our main course, which did eventually come, but it was cold. The wine waiter was clueless, he didn't know the difference between a bottle of wine and a glass of wine. On the formal evening when the table waiter distributed petit fours, he just tipped them onto the desert plates. One lunch time in the buffet, had to point to staff on duty that the battered fish was under cooked. They just didn't seem to care. These are just a few examples of the bad service, the list goes on. The couple of shows were in our opinion of a very low standard. The Entertainment Manager tried to make jokes which made us cringe, they were years and years old, and not very funny. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarkation was quick and we were able to go on the ship straight away, the atrium was decorated with a large tree. Despite very poor weather on the run down to Madeira for 2 and half days, the captain changed some of the evening ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and we were able to go on the ship straight away, the atrium was decorated with a large tree. Despite very poor weather on the run down to Madeira for 2 and half days, the captain changed some of the evening activities. We enjoyed the cruise and ports of call and had booked 2 excursions unfortunately the deep sea fishing was cancelled due to lack of numbers, but was able to book a different excursion. A new excursion was trekking in Lanzarote which was well guided a small group of 11 took part. Our cabin was clean and serviced to a consistent standard, indeed we rarely saw Jay at all. We had booked freedom and as a group of 3 got the same table every night. The waiters were excellent and nothing was to much trouble if you wanted more you just had to ask. Entertainment was the usual mix of headliners and guest stars as seasoned P&O cruisers did not watch many as seen most before. Dancing in the Atrium is a little small and there was always a lack of seating, the hosts were very good and did a good mix of ballroom and sequence dances. The gym has some new equipment installed and was busy at times but there is enough so you can find free kit to use. During the cruise the rear staircase carpet was being replaced, we had no problem with this as it was phased and only 1 side was done at a time, we were also told that the tv system was being upgraded. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Just back from a cruise to The Canaries, rough seas at the beginning but then the sun came out in Madeira and the Canaries. We did freedom dining and could never fault a meal, always hot and served efficiently, the waiters were ... Read More
Just back from a cruise to The Canaries, rough seas at the beginning but then the sun came out in Madeira and the Canaries. We did freedom dining and could never fault a meal, always hot and served efficiently, the waiters were extremely kind and friendly. We also dined in Sindhu and the Epicurean, again both lovely dining venues. Shows onboard the ship were excellent and well produced. Our cabin steward worked tirelessly as did all of the staff on the ship. I am writing this review as whe we were leaving there was one lady complaining very loudly about the cruise, nobody around her was agreeing with her but she still kept complaining, finally saying she was going to Fred Olsen, I loved the cruise for many reasons and so did many other passengers. We already have another 3 cruises booked and can’t wait for them. We really enjoyed the dancing classes with Graham and Margaret, we also met some lovely people Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We started out on the Viking Jarl. The staff was excellent and if our whole cruise had stayed on the Jarl we would have had our dream vacation in spite of the low water levels. The Captain, Hotel Manager, Program Director, wait staff, ... Read More
We started out on the Viking Jarl. The staff was excellent and if our whole cruise had stayed on the Jarl we would have had our dream vacation in spite of the low water levels. The Captain, Hotel Manager, Program Director, wait staff, bartender, room steward and all other staff we came in contact with was excellent. But the moment we changed onto the Atla the staff was rude, had an attitude, food service was bad bad (Banana pudding was a small, hard muffin with hint of banana, not a creamy, delicious pudding), food was ok but not like the great food we had on the Jarl. All in all the whole experience on the Atla was terrible. We were made to feel like an inconvenience and they could hardly wait until the next day when they could pass us off to the Bragia. When we transferred on Saturday to the Bragia it started out fine. We were greeted well. But the wait staff was clearly lacking. The Aquavit Terrace had the food for breakfast laid out but the entire time we were eating we never saw any wait staff to help us. The final night was the breaking point. We had experienced a bad tour with a guide we could not understand, it was cold and we were tired. When we arrived for dinner we were advised that the regional Hungarian menu was ALL we could order from!! The staff was extremely rude when we requested other choices. Finally the matre de allowed my husband who cant have spicy food to have a plain hamburger and french fries. It was like they couldn't get rid of us fast enough. The next morning we were staying at a hotel in Budapest we had arranged. Although our bags had been out by 7:15 as told, when we got ready to leave at 8:30 they were not upstairs. We had to ask for them to be brought us and a taxi called. We previously had been told by friends what a great cruise line Viking was. This trip was terrible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Lunchtime menu in sit down restaurant poor. If you dont want a curry or a stir fry very little choice. Waiting staff polite and did their best during all meals. Parts of vessel dirty. We had an outside cabin and window was dirty on ... Read More
Lunchtime menu in sit down restaurant poor. If you dont want a curry or a stir fry very little choice. Waiting staff polite and did their best during all meals. Parts of vessel dirty. We had an outside cabin and window was dirty on inside. Cabin carpet hadnt been successfully cleaned after the previous occupant (black fluff and hair on floor). Saw a member of staff attempt to vacuum carpet near the atrium staircase, either plug or machine didnt work, he didnt return to try again. Didnt attend any entertainment, nothing caught our attention. Excursions were over expensive. If you do your homework about the ports most can be visited much cheaper, eg buses in Gibraltar, get a hopper ticket, can use it all day on all routes. Shops expensive on board, useful only if you cant get what you need in port or to use on board credit. Didnt buy a soft drink or alcohol package, rarely drink alcohol and the tea and coffee available all day free of charge is absolutely fine. Embarkation very easy and quick. Disembarkation more chaotic. Suitcases were all over the place in the luggage collection area. Swimming pools were being 'maintained' for three days so unavailable. Probably wont cruise with p and o again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Cruise from Southampton to Lisbon, Canary Islands, Madeira back to Southampton Nov 9th to 21st 2018 Wonderful cruise from beginning to end. 2 days at sea at start weather a bit rough but had plenty of reassurance from captain. The ... Read More
Cruise from Southampton to Lisbon, Canary Islands, Madeira back to Southampton Nov 9th to 21st 2018 Wonderful cruise from beginning to end. 2 days at sea at start weather a bit rough but had plenty of reassurance from captain. The food was excellent with plenty of choice. Service also excellent the staff were wonderful could not do enough for us. Always greeted us with a smile and "have a good day". Plenty to do on board ship something for everyone. Dancing classes were excellent and entertainment very good with a variety of shows, musicals, comedy and singers. Excellent band The Waves played up to date music as well as some from our era, 60s and 70s. Art talks were good too also art displays which were changed daily, classical guitar music very enjoyable too.. Tours ashore offered good variety and were very enjoyable with good guides. Would recommend this cruise to friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Fancied a short cruise, not been to the two places the Ship was calling at. Zeebrugge for Bruge or the Menin Gate. Amsterdam. Chose the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Very very moving to see so many Grave Stones,puts life into ... Read More
Fancied a short cruise, not been to the two places the Ship was calling at. Zeebrugge for Bruge or the Menin Gate. Amsterdam. Chose the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Very very moving to see so many Grave Stones,puts life into perspective. Due to high winds the Ship couldn’t dock at Amsterdam. Captain decided to call at Cherbourg. Not a great place to call at, but at short notice it was ok. The Ship was emaculate, there was always a member of Staff cleaning the toilets and surrounding areas. We chose the 8.45 evening sitting. Choice of Menue was first Class and of good quality. Staff very attentive. Good choice of food for breakfast. Now for the entertainment. Superb, I believe as good as any West End Show. In particular Mr Pinkertons Clock Circus. The Costumes, the special effects, outstanding. Singing world class. In fact the Show was that good the theatre gave the performers a standing ovation. Gary Barlow look alike so good he had the women up dancing Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Our second cruise with Viking was as excellent as our first. It started the day before we left with the wonderful surprise that instead of the standard stateroom we had booked, we'd been moved to a French balcony on the third level. ... Read More
Our second cruise with Viking was as excellent as our first. It started the day before we left with the wonderful surprise that instead of the standard stateroom we had booked, we'd been moved to a French balcony on the third level. The transfer from the Marseilles airport was easy, even though our flight was delayed over an hour, and Viking took us directly to the Delling. As we arrived late, lunch was over, and yet the bartender was able to find us a sandwich and a cool glass of wine to settle in. Our (upgraded) cabin was smaller in square feet than we had a few years ago on the Viking Sun but was designed nicely so there was plenty of room to store our clothes and toiletries and tuck the suitcases under the bed. We never felt cramped during the cruise, even though the only place to sit was on the bed. We really appreciated the ability to open the slider during the cruise and breathe the fresh air of Southern France or peek out at the locks we went through. The crew and staff on the Delling were fantastic. Our cruise director, Michael, was funny at the right times and serious when he needed to be. We had hoped to go the limestone caves outside of Arles and Michael did everything he could to try to arrange it, but as the late November sailing was after the "season", it was impossible. Still, we appreciated the effort. The food was fantastic with excellent chef's choices every day and plenty to choose from besides. My husband described the duck at the Flavors of Provence dinner as the best he'd ever had and I loved the varying selection of cheeses every day at breakfast. Since most of our meals were on board, we really appreciated all the regional specialties that were part of the menus. We had everything from escargot to Chateaubriand and each meal seemed to be better than the last. We chose to purchase the Silver Spirits package and that meant that we were able to enjoy a different bottle of wine each night. There was a nice selection of regional wines, which we mostly stuck to, and also selections from other wine areas. Our waiters were always quick to bring us the wine menu and keep our glasses full. For those without the package there was a generous supply of wine each lunch an dinner and many treats throughout the cruise. One thing I really like about Viking is how they will always welcome you back to the ship after a day of touring with some regional drink. Since it was November, ours were always warm and so toasty! The best entertainment was Les Gitans, a gypsy group that was fantastic. We also enjoyed the lecture on the French resistance. We learned so much! Viking's service is without parallel. They did their best not to disrupt any of the tours despite the French strike which closed down or slowed down many of the roundabouts. They were able to reroute or adjust so that everyone got to do everything they wanted and more! I think the only disappointment on this cruise was that there is actually very little cruising and it mostly happens during dinner. Also be aware that disembarkation is very early, in our case 3:30 a.m. That said, the cruise was fantastic and I can't wait to go with Viking again. Avignon: The gothic cathedral in Avignon is amazing and so well preserved. We also enjoyed walking along the river to the Pont and up to the gardens next to the Palace. We happened to be in town for a wine festival and so enjoyed some wine tasting at Les Halles that wasn't expected. Chateauneuf du Pape Wine Tasting: This was a fun little tour where we learned what makes Chateauneuf du Pape wines so delicious and also had a chance to do a tasting. Arles: We walked in the footsteps of Van Gogh and the ancient Romans. After the tour there was enough time to try Du Bar a l'Huitre where we had a nice fish stew on the terrace and watched the people walk by. Viviers: This ancient village was a lovely surprise, complete with cobblestone alleyways and a cathedral. Our guide, like all the guides, was so knowledgeable and really brought this little town to life. It's so fun to explore a place you've never heard of before and learn so much. Rhone Valley Vineyard Hike: This hike took us up the slopes near the Hermitage wine region of the Rhone where we learned what makes Hermitage special and how the wines nearby are made. It also felt good to stretch our legs on a beautiful day. The wine tasting here was also very delicious but because we had to reroute our walk to catch the bus (the strike interfered) we didn't have time to make purchases. Beaujolais Wine Country: This cruise is a wine lover's delight. More information on viniculture made our day so enjoyable. Lyon: We had two chances to eat off the ship in Lyon, one at Merle in Les Halles (oysters!) and another at a Bouchon. These meals were memorable and worth skipping the also delicious meals on the ship. Read Less

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