Saturday, 31 December 2022

Back home after a Christmas break

Two days ago, Sue and I returned from a Christmas cruise aboard P&O's MV Arcadia. We were supposed to visit Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and Zeebrugge (Belgium), but as my forthcoming blog post about our cruise will tell, things did not quite turn out as planned!

Arcadia was not originally intended to be part of P&O's fleet. When she was ordered from the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri in 2000, it was intended that she would sail under the Holland America Line flag as their fifth Vista-class vessel. In 2003 she was then reallocated to Cunard Line to become the MV Queen Victoria, but shortly before she was launched on 24th June 2004, she was transferred to P&O Cruises as the Arcadia. As a result of these changes, the ship does not have a similar funnel to that on P&O's purpose-built MV Aurora and has a similar foremast to that on Cunard's RMS Queen Mary 2.

From the news reports that I have read, it was just as well that we did not opt to sail on P&O's latest ship, the MV Arvia, which entered service just before she undertook a Christmas cruise. We have been on a cruise on her sistership, MV Iona, but is sounds as if the Christmas cruise aboard Arvia was a bit of a disaster! Complaints included:

  • Horrendous queues at mealtimes (One passenger is reported to have said that queues to get into one of the restaurants on Christmas Day for dinner stretched for three-quarters of the ship's length along two decks and another said that the meal they ate was still being served at 11.00pm!)
  • Problems with Christmas dinner reservations (Some passengers' dinner reservations were cancelled without notice by the booking system and others found themselves allocated to tables that were double-booked)
  • A lack of internet access (As the 'My Holiday' app used aboard P&O ships for passengers to book meals, places at shows and other entertainment, spa treatments, room service etc., as well as keep track of their onboard spending requires internet access, having unreliable internet connectivity caused major problems for passengers)

I understand that P&O have apologised profusely for the problems that occurred and assured passengers that solutions have now been put in place, but there seem to be a lot of very angry passengers out there who want some form of compensation for their ruined Christmas holidays ... and that – as yet – does not seem to be forthcoming. It makes some of the problems that we had on our cruise seem rather insignificant!


  1. Blimey, that sounds horrendous. I do hope the passengers get the compensation they deserve!

    1. Steve J.,

      I gather that the Arvia passengers are being given free drinks, but no offers of compensation … as yet!

      All the best,



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