P&O Cruise Line
For those of you who have never heard of P&O, it is a British cruise line. The name P&O comes from the line’s origins as the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company which began as a shipping company. It is the world’s oldest cruise line having started running passenger ships in the 1840’s. It has a sister company, P&O Australia. P&O bought Princess in the 1970’s and merged with Carnival in 2003. Carnival Cruise Line is one of many besides P&O and Princess owned by Carnival Corporation. Each cruise line operates independently.
P&O Arcadia Cruise Ship Cabins
Arcadia has the usual array of cabins from money-saving interior to luxurious suites. It also has something I’ve never seen on any of the lines I’ve sailed previously. Each cabin has a teapot and a little wooden box full of tea, coffee, biscuits (cookies) and little sealed packets of milk because that is what the British use instead of cream. Each room also had a little dish of hard candies on boarding day, but they did not refill that daily as they did the tea service. The bathtub had a body wash dispenser and we found containers of shampoo, conditioner, moisturizing lotion and soap on the bathroom counter.
With just two people our balcony room seemed quite spacious with a small couch and table between the bed and sliding door. The mini-bar (which is nice as a refrigerator even if you never buy whatever is in it) held 2 complimentary bottles of water. Additional bottles of water would have a charge. The max capacity for our room was just 2 passengers. It had a painting hanging on the wall above the couch. Some cabins have a couch that folds out into a bed. A couple we met on board said their room, which had the fold-down couch, had cupboards over the bed instead of a painting. That extra storage space would come in handy when a third person stayed in the room. With a third person it could seem a bit crowded at night when the couch folds out into the third bed, but in the daytime it folds back up into a couch and you get your floorspace back.
Interior cabins can run a bit on the small side, but they make an economical way to take a cruise and the ship has plenty of public spaces both inside and out where people can go so hanging around in the cabin is not necessary if people don’t want to. This ship has more outside cabins than inside. Some people like inside cabins because they can have darkness for a nap at any time of the day.
All of the cabins have some amenities for passenger use like bathrobes, hairdryers, and a pair of binoculars. There are not a lot of ocean view cabins on the Arcadia, but it does have some. Those behind the lifeboats have an obstructed view, but a lower price than those with a full view. They are an excellent compromise between saving money and having space since these cabins run larger than inside cabins and have some natural light. Ocean view cabins on the lower deck have a full view window and a cost saving over balcony cabins.
Balcony cabins are fairly standard on the Arcadia, being the type of cabin most plentiful in supply. If you study the deck plans while booking you can find some cabins that are bigger than most other cabins in the same category, or that have bigger balconies. If you can find one of those available when you do your booking you get a bit more space for your money. There are a variety of categories within the balcony cabins, as with any cabin type. Often the difference is just in the location on the ship. Higher decks and cabins near the center of each deck often cost more so you can have just as nice a room and save money by going with the lower category. The most money saving of all is to pick a category guarantee when offered, where you just are guaranteed a balcony cabin, but not a specific one. You get your cabin number shortly before sailing and often will have a room a category or two above the minimum you paid for.
Arcadia has suites too, both large suites and mini suites. Even the mini suite had a bigger tea box than the ordinary rooms, though only the bigger suite had a selection of flavored teas. That’s not a problem though because anyone can go up to the Lido deck and make their own selections of tea flavors to bring down and add to those in their room.
The larger suites are each named after a place and come with butler service. They had coffee makers, but just instant coffee in the tea box selection. They could probably get better coffee from their butler, who will also do their packing and unpacking if they wish him to. The bigger suites had a pressing machine for wrinkle free clothes. Suite guests are given a tour of their room upon arrival which includes instructions on how to use all the extras in the room.
Arcadia has some wheelchair accessible cabins. These have larger doors than the regular cabins, space for wheelchairs to maneuver, and accessible showers. Suites also have larger than normal doors.
Arcadia has launderettes on 3 decks. It’s free to use the washers and dryers as well as the iron. For those who prefer not to join the queue waiting for a machine, the crew can do passenger’s laundry for a fee. They do not have laundry soap vending machines in the launderettes, but anyone who did not bring their own detergent can buy some at the ship’s shops.
Finding your way around the ship is aided by each of the three stairways having a different carpet color and a different sort of artwork hanging on the wall between each level. There’s also deck plans and ship diagrams at each elevator bay so you can see at a glance what floor you need to go to and where things are on the deck you are on. The deck numbers on those signs are too small for anyone without eagle eyes to see from the stairs, but you can tell at a glance if you are on the right deck for your cabin if you remember what the picture in the elevator bay for that deck looks like.
For a complete list of blogs about cruise ship cabins visit My Cruise Stories Ships and Cabins page.