The P&O Arcadia was once the largest custom-built ship in the UK, and its international style is a little off-brand compared with ships like the Oriana; however, it benefits from the excellent organisation and cleanliness that has come to define P&O ships over the years.
Another unusual thing about the Arcadia is it’s an adults-only ship (one of the first in the P&O cruises fleet) and for passengers seeking a romantic cruise wedding, the captain can marry couples while the ship’s at sea.
The Arcadia’s popularity for weddings is not accidental as its elegant accommodation and beautiful fixtures are perfect for wedding chapels, glowing receptions, photographs and whatever else a bride and groom desires for their special day.
In addition, in 2013 celebrity chef Marco Pierre White returns to head up the Ocean Grill restaurant, which serves fine dining that rivals cuisine you might order in the finest restaurants on shore.
The Arcadia is due for refurbishment in December 2013 and new features for next season include 10 single cabins, which will take over the Electra (a nightclub on board), a brand new nightclub with a soundproofed glass wall and Ocean Grill will have receive a brand new look.
Helen, Cruise Manager at CruiseDeals, spoke with me about her experience cruising on Arcadia: “The Arcadia stands out for me for many reasons, one, it was my first real experience of a full cruise and whilst it doesn’t have the size of the Freedom Class ships with Royal Caribbean International, and two, it may not have the facilities of Ventura, the staff will bend over backwards to make your stay memorable from tweaking the menu to a warm hello as you stroll back to your cabin.
“I have many wonderful memories of lying in the spa enjoying the hot stone beds with a book in my hand whilst being able to gaze out to sea. My favourite restaurant was the Orchid which is an Asian Fusion restaurant, everything just tasted wonderful but then I love Asian food!”
“The last thing I must mention is the dress code, as it’s an adult-only ship, but it was wonderful on a formal evening to come out onto the deck in full-on glamour… I’m talking ball gowns and more bling then Madonna in her Material Girl video! Arcadia is like going back to a bygone era of cruising.”
But considering the multi-million-pound refit planned for later this year, perhaps the ‘Arcadia experience’ is about to change. What do you think? Better out with the old, in with the new? Tell us in the comments!
Image credits: irishseashipping.com, cruise.co.uk, telegraph.co.uk
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