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CruiseDJ P&O Arcadia 21st Jun 2005 to 8th July 2005

CruiseDJ

Deckhand
CruiseDJ Arcadia trip 21st Jun 2005 to 8th July 2005

As I still had a copy of my report I thought I would publish it again.


We here it is at long last my first effort at writing a cruise report so please bear with me. Previous attempts of this report entered the “Recycle Binâ€

For Photographs go to http://djohns3.photosite.com/arcadia


Travel:
As we only live in Kent (approx 110 miles from Southampton) we drive to the Terminal, this takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on which way I go. I don’t particularly like motorway travelling as I find it very boring so I tend to use “A†roads where possible. So after dropping the dog off at “Auntie Carole’s “ the kennels we use, it was onto the M25 at Junction 2 and off to the “A3†and then the “A31†which is a much more picturesque route. After one stop for a coffee break we arrived at the Terminal at 1300, all went very smoothly no hold ups driving down.

Car Parking:
I had booked car parking with CPS, they were at the terminal awaiting and after taking out our cases I signed the car over to them and their attendant drove off to park the car. (Very efficient)

Booking in and Embarkation:
As we were quite early, there was not much of a queue and certainly plenty of desks checking tickets and handing out the embarkation tickets/Cruise cards etc..
We boarded at 1400 so only had time for a quick couple of Beers, One of the crew took us to our cabin and we were all set ready to explore, which was for us the new Ship.(Very quick and efficient indeed)

Ship Comments:
Cabin: We had chosen a cabin on C deck (C23) which was an outside stateroom with balcony, it seemed a good size and was roughly comparable with the cabins on Aurora and Oriana in size and facilities. Draw and Wardrobe sizes were very reasonable, and a 15 inch flat screen TV. Which showed all the normal ship and news programs.

Facilities: (Top to bottom)

Sky deck – this housed the sports court and two Golf nets. Orchid Bar and Restaurant. The restaurant was extra dining and server Oriental and Asian food which was very good. A charge of £6.50 per head was made to eat here.

Sun deck – this housed the Retreat and Diversions at mid ships, the both of these seemed to be used for various classes such as Aerobics etc.. Forward there was a room which could be had for private parties this was beside the Crows Nest, Personally I did not find the Crows Nest very attractive but served its purpose. There was a band called Cherokee which was a girl singer and a musician which performed there most nights in half hour sessions, 1030pm the syndicate quiz was held here also. The small section on the port side was the smoking side (approximately one quarter of the Crows Nest).

Lido deck - this held most of the deck facilities, forward part was the health part Gym, Spar and other health facilities, the Neptune pool and bar mid ships (which was under the retractable roof/dome. After end was the Belvedere (Self service dining. This was quite well laid out with separate sections for Asian, Italian Food, two Salad/Cold meal areas, two sweet areas and two main meal(Bistro) areas, this seemed to cut down the queuing, but getting a seat was sometimes difficult at lunch times. Also we found on occasions that there was not really a lot of choice, but then how much can you eat ???. One thing we found which was very good a dinning operative was standing at each door and directing you to the sanitizing machine on the wall. The second was that during the Lunch time and some other times the stewards were behind the counter and using the tongs to supply you with what you required, you did not have to pick up tongs yourself. (Should help reduce the Novo problems.)

Prom deck and F deck – Forward, this housed the Palladium on Prom deck, F deck and G deck. Equipped with all up-to-date technology I found the seats a bit uncomfortable a bit too upright for me. It was quite spacious though and it had waiter service for drinks. The rest of Prom deck was mainly Shops/Library/Cyber centre/Photographers a coffee shop and Piano bar.

F deck – was mainly bars The Rising Sun pub, The Globe(dancing and bar also doubled as Cinema), Electra (Disco), Monte Carlo Casino(very big lots of machines and tables). Intermezzo Bar. Spinnaker Bar. Arcadian Rhodes restaurant, (very good food and service, but personally I think that £15 per head a bit hefty considering you have already paid for food at normal dining).

The Meridian restaurant was double tier and went from the Prom deck through to F deck. Our personal experience was very good both service wise and quality of food, we found our two waiters “Antonio & Gilroy†were very attentive and polite.

Staff
All together we found that the quality of service by waiters and general staff was very, very good. Noor our cabin steward was very helpful, polite and also kept our cabin spotless.

Entertainment
Overall we found the standard of entertainment much improved for P&O compared to the last 4 or 5 cruises we have taken. Comedy – Duggie Brown and Don Reid
Vocalists - Mark Rattray and Rebecca Storm, Piano – Bobby Crush, Classical Recitalist – Kim Redford and Late Night comedy (Adult) – Colin Cole & Sean Mio.

The Arcadian Theatre Company performed 5 different shows which were very good indeed, the general bands (Kool Blue, Sunflowers, Roger Carr Orchestra, Cherokee) also provided very good dance music and were good just to listen to and on the classical side a string quartet called Armadillo and a vocalist called Mark Russell if you like classical.



Ports
Cadiz – We chose a tour here to the Andalusia School of horses where we saw the beautiful white horses being trained, it was a bit disappointing because they were only riding around and there was no commentary as to what was happening, they were doing various side stepping and things but commentary would have been nice. 5 out of 10 for that part of the trip. We were then taken to the Sandeman Distillery for a brief demo of how they made various types of Port before being taken to do some tasting. (Great 10 out of 10 for that part). We were then taken back to the ship quite happily. Did not unfortunately get time to go ashore but as we came through on the coach although run down the architecture seemed very interesting.

Cagliari – As we have been here before Sandy and I made our own tracks ashore, it being Sunday the only shop open was a large department store “la Rinascente†which was good as I saved the plastic at least for that day. 5 out of 10

Dubrovnik – Been here before, but this is one of my favourite ports. Sandy and I just had a look around the old town and had a bite to eat, then proceeded to our favourite bar which sits outside the city walls on the rock’s (See my Photos) 9 out of 10

Venice – Well what can one say about this port except fantastic, Sandy and I went to both Murano and Burano where Sandy bought various masks (She collects them and has quite an extensive collection now. ) On the way back we stopped off in Venice and had a meal (Spaghetti Bolognese and some wine) then popped into “Harrys Bar†and had a Bellini (a drink made of white peaches, raspberry puree and chilled prosecco ,white wine). (info “Harry’s Bar†was made famous and Frequented by a host of famous foreigners from Hemingway onwards). We then got a Vapporetto back to the ship 10 out of 10

Korcula – We did a morning tour here just to enable us to see the Island which was very beautiful indeed, very green and typical Croatian buildings. Just before returning we stopped at wine makers for a taste of their local wine and food this was excellent quality. 8 out of 10

Naxos (Sicily) - Here we did a tour which took us three quarters of the way up mount Etna to where the Lava flow stopped from the last eruption and had a walk on top of the Lava. Then off to Murgo wine estate for more sampling of various wines and food. Excellent trip 10 out of 10.

Palma – Again as we have been here before Sandy likes to use this trip as a shopping trip and smash the plastic in the Corte de Inglaise and C&A etc.. I managed to get her to stop for a while and grab lunch and a beer. But for someone who as not been to Palma before it is quite interesting and P&O have some very good tours on offer. 8 out of 10 for this one.

Three days at sea and home
Now we had 3 days sea time and just time to relax before disembarkation. Unfortunately we had to make two unexpected stops to drop off a couple of very ill passengers, Which was most unusual as usually a medivac is carried out by helicopter. However the first was back to Cadiz where the captain just pushed us alongside and the patient was taken off to the awaiting ambulance, the second was a quick stop at Lisbon where a boat came to meet us near the harbour and took the patient off and to hospital.

Dis-Embarkation - This all went very smoothly indeed and in fact was running 10 minutes early. The Cases were laid out in Deck order and were easy to find. we collected these and went through customs with no problem, I picked up the car from CPS and after cleaning the Cement dust off the windows off we drove, reverse way as we came down. No hold ups or other hiccups, picked up the dog and settled down in doors with a nice cup of Coffee.

General
All in all considering we are not over fond of the larger cruise ships I must say that we thoroughly enjoyed the accommodation and the cruise as a whole. Some things we thought were a bit cheap considering the cost of the ship, such as very basic plastic Loo Brushes and containers and if you look carefully you can see cracks in floor tiles and carpets coming away from the edges etc.. But these are very small problems which I am sure will be put right If you went down to the Meridian restaurant for Breakfast this seemed to be very slow and it seemed as if the waiters were not quite with it in the morning. The evening dinner was fine and we had no problem here.
Sandy and I even attended a dance class and attempted to learn the Salsa, but with me having two left feet we found it difficult and decided to get a dance video from the local library when we got home. Weather was very good, right from the first day out of Southampton, we were sunbathing through the Bay of Biscay which was very, very calm indeed and the temperatures ranged from 20 Deg C in the Bay of Biscay through to 34 Deg C in Sicily and very calm throughout except on the way back home coming up the side of Portugal where it was force 7 and the Bay of Biscay was force 5, both nothing really and the Arcadia handled very well

Marks - for the ship 8 out of 10
for the cruise 9 out of 10.

We would definitely cruise on the Arcadia again.
 

Norman

Deckhand
Dave

Thanks for submitting your report, again, as I declined from showing views and explanations of the Arcadia interier, due to you already outling it in your excellent report.

Norman
 

NJVIC

Deckhand
Dave & Sandy -

- Great report - enjoyed it the first time - even better the second time. Thanks for posting it again.

Vic.
 

robyn

Gondoliere
Dave & Sandy - great report and photos (terrific shirt you are wearing ;) )

Thanks for posting again, very enjoyable. I love reading about some of my favourite ports - Cadiz, Dubrovnik & Venice of course :joy: :joy:
 
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