I spent six and a half weeks on the Arcadia during my half world cruise – Southampton to Brisbane (disembarking in Sydney due to Cyclone Oma).
The days just go by. During the day, there is a schedule of activities going on around the ship in various bars, rooms and the theater. From Port lectures to guest speakers, there is so much to do!
I decided to go for a walk around the ship and photograph the spaces where the activities take place, along with what goes on where. I am still learning where everything is on the ship, so bear with me!
At the very top of the ship (Deck 11) towards the back (aft) there is a sports court where lots of activities take part like tennis, walking football and basketball. There is also a space to practice your swing for golf.
In the middle of the ship on deck 11 is the Sindhu and the East Bar. When I went there to take my photo there was a cribbage get together happening.
In the East Bar, there was people just relaxing having a drink.
I then proceeded to deck 10 which is the Sun Deck. Staying mid ship, there is the retreat is used for some classes.
In the retreat on the day of the photograph was dance lessons. It is quite a popular class.
If you then head towards the back of the ship, there is an area where deck quoits and shuffleboard are played.
If you head back towards the front of the ship, you pass the retractable roof for the Neptune Bar and pool area.
Heading back inside, you then come to the crows nest (which is right at the front (fwd) of the ship) and the viceroy room (a meeting room) which is usually used for get-togethers or classes. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the crows nest.
Heading down (at the front of the ship) to deck 9 is the Lido deck. The first place you come across is the Oasis spa and gym. In the spa, you can have lots of treatments (which you have to pay for). There is also the thermal and hydro pool which is an area that you pay extra for access to on a day or whole cruise basis. I’ve not been yet, so no photos of that, but I did manage to get some photos of the spa receptions, hair dressers and the gym (which is free).
There is a little know secret (probably more well known that I think!) that if you walk down the side of the gym, there is a door that leads to a small deck area that is right at the front of the ship and has no restriction on the views. Its a great place to go and take some photos of the sunset or when you are sailing in or out of a port. There is also a seat. I thought this would be a brilliant place to see the Panama Canal transit, but unfortunately P&O decided to make it an exclusive area and charge £75pp when transiting the canal.
After coming out of the spa, you head through a door that takes you to the Neptune pool and bar area. On hot sunny days the roof is open – it is a popular area and has always been busy when I have gone there. As well as the pool and bar, they also server lunch there (Neptune Grill).
After exiting the Neptune pool and bar (and heading towards the back of the ship, you come into the Belvedere restaurant. This is where you come for lunch when you embark and during the cruise you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks here. I’ve only eaten the odd lunch here (mainly salad) as there is very little to cater for my dietary needs.
Heading out of the back of The Belvedere, is the Aquarius pool and bar. This is where the sail away parties are held and late night stargazing. They also hold a party from 9.30pm til midnight where you can dance away under the stars. This area was also used for events such as ‘build a boat on a ship’ which is an activity where you use items only found on the ship to make you own boat which then has to be tested to see if it floats and can survive a big wave (the guy jumping into the pool!). They also held the crossing of the equator ceremony.
Decks 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4 are cabins and mid forward of deck 4,5 and 6 are laundrettes and there is also one on deck 4 forward (this is an additional one).
Staying at the front of the ship and heading down to deck 3, this is where you will find the top tier of the palladium theatre.
Then start heading towards the back, you come to the screening room which is where they show films. Space is limited so you have to get tickets from either the library or reception. They hold three or four screenings a day.
Continuing towards the back, there is some more meeting rooms where they hold classes. Bridge class was happening when I took my photos.
Next is the ‘essentials’ shop. Unless you class sweets and chocolates as essentials, there is not a very good stock of essentials.
There is then a little cafe where you can buy costa coffee and get free cake. I’m not sure if the free cake is restricted to certain times of the day or if it is just around 4pm for afternoon tea. On further investigation, it turned out that the drinks were complimentary to have with your costa coffee!! I still managed to get one though even though I didn’t buy a coffee or hot chocolate!!
The library is next door to the cafe. You can come here to access the internet (chargeable) on their computers, borrow a book, do a jigsaw or find a game, dvd or just sit quietly and read.
On leaving the library (continuing to the back of the ship), there is a shopping area with clothing, jewellery, bags, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen (to name a few). All the staff are lovely there. Always up for a chat!
After leaving the shops, you are then on the third floor of the atrium and head into the piano bar. Mostly a quiet place to come during the day where you can have a drink, read or play a board game.
On walking through the piano bar on the starboard side, you pass a small area where you can put in flower requests, then a gin tasting bar.
After the Gin tasting area, you enter the Photo Gallery. This is where all the photos taken by the ships photographers can be viewed and purchased.
The last place at the back on this ship is the top floor of the Meridian Restaurant. This is where the ‘freedom’ diners eat.
As this is the promenade deck, it would be wrong not to show you photos. I always found that there was a shady side to the ship (which was always the quieter side).
And, of course, a Sunny side (well, for the majority of our cruise!!).
Going down to Deck 2, (starting forward and heading towards the back). So, you have the second level of the theater. Coming out of the theater, leads you to the casino. They have tables where you can play roulette, blackjack and three card prime. They also sell the bingo tickets here.
Opposite the casino is the Rising Sun Pub. In here, they often held quizzes, football and rugby on the TV, karaoke, themed evening and lots more. It was a nice place to have a drink and watch the world go by!!
As you headed to the back of the ship after the casino and pub, you come to the Gallery. Here you can purchase prints and pictures that can be delivered to your home.
On leaving the Whitewall Gallery, you come into the Intermezzo Bar/Cafe which is also located in the middle floor of the Atrium. It is another area to just sit, play board games or read or meet up for a coffee. Opposite is the Ocean Grill restaurant which is a specialty restaurant. I had afternoon tea in there one afternoon with my friends Allan and John and they even managed to cater for my dietary needs.
Onwards then to The Spinnaker Bar. Another place to sit, relax or have a drink. Some of the quizzes are also held here. On this cruise in particular is the 9.45pm brain teaser quiz. There was also a pre dinner quiz at 5.45pm that was held here.
After the Spinnaker bar is the lower floor of the Meridian Restaurant. This is where the Club (or 6.30pm and 8.30pm) diners eat.
Deck 5 (mid ship) is where the main reception area is along with Future Cruise Sales and the excursions desk.
I really loved my time on Arcadia. The food was brilliant and I was well taken care of (Gluten/Lacose free vegetarian). I will post all of the photos I have from Arcadia on my Facebook page.