|The Arcadia - Owner P & O Cruises|
We have made two trips on the Arcadia, one was a return trip from Southampton to the Black Sea in 2012 and the other a return trip to the Canary Islands in 2014. On the first trip in 2012 we had cabin D137 and while we liked the ship and the facilities we found this cabin for the non ambulant disabled, disappointing. It was the most awkward cabin we have encountered in the P&O fleet with only just enough room for a 26 inch wide wheelchair to pass between the end of the bed and the cabin wall. The bed was also higher than experienced on other ships and Wendy needed help to get on it. The ensuite was also not easy to use and Wendy also needed help using these facilities as well. The toilet was too low and the wash basin was too high, the latter particularly made washing hair difficult. Unusually for a British ship, most of the power sockets in the cabin were of American 3 pin design. We had not expected this and had not brought an adapter with us. We found the single 13 amp three pin outlet insufficient for our needs.
Whilst on board, Wendy took the opportunity to visit another disabled passengers cabin which did look more suited to her requirements, the toilet transfer being the better side for her. We made a note of this cabin, D51, and booked this for our 2014 return trip from Southampton to the Canary Islands. On this our second trip we noticed some changes so we think the ship had been in for a refit since 2012. Of main interest was the toilet was now of the right height at about 18 inches and the bed appeared to be lower and no assistance was required to use these. We noted electrically drawn curtains and these could be operated from the bedside. The cabin safe had also been placed in a position from which it could be accessed from a wheelchair and when Wendy accidently pressed the bedside alarm call, it was promptly answered.
Pictures of both cabins used and the ship facilities can be viewed in the Arcadia's photo gallery.
The Arcadia is an adults only ship and, while still being classed as a medium sized ship, it is at 83,600 tons slightly larger than the Aurora. It has less automatic opening doors than the Aurora and not so many wheelchair accessible public toilets. However, it is easy enough to get about and there is always someone willing to help open the non automatic doors.
The Arcadia joined the P&O fleet in 2005 although it was originally specified to meet the requirements of the Holland America line. This explains why we found the cabin and it's features, especially for the disabled, so different to other ships in the P&O fleet. The Arcadia has 29 wheelchair accessible cabins of varying grades but only 18 are suitable for a full time wheelchair user. The other 11 are only suitable for those who are semi ambulant. As with other ships these cabins are very much in demand and they are very often fully booked as much as 12 months in advance so if one of these is required it is advisable to book very early.
The food and service were good and all dietary needs can be met if they are given notice of requirements before sailing.
Cruises taken on the Arcadia: