First cruise - everything I hoped for

Arcadia Cruise Review to Iberian Peninsula

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 16

Overall rating:

4.9 out of 5


Sail date: December 08, 2019

Ship: Arcadia

Cabin number: Deluxe Balcony

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

I loved my first cruise - I definitely caught the bug and I am already planning my next. I loved every single minute of it and wouldn't change a thing.


5 out of 5
The time I was given was 1.30pm, but I was far too excited and impatient so I arrived at about 12.50. ~Bags were taken , car key handed over and I was directed to the Departure area. For some reason I was given a pink ticket which meant I had priority (no idea why, just lucky I guess.) After a few moments to register my debit card, receive some information. my photo taken and my cruise card I was directed on to the ship. So Excited!! I was on board!. Decided to find my cabin and dump my coat and carry-on bag... I was in my cabin by 1.30 !!! Awesome stress free and easy.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Main Dining Room was spacious, never had to wait (freedom dining). Staff charming and polite. Food was delicious, Glad to see that the portions were not too huge so you were not over stuffed and could enjoy all the courses... Didn't always make it to the cheese though. Nice company at the tables, everyone very friendly. I ate in the Main Dining room almost every night.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
I had all the onboard activities I wanted, though I didn't take part in many of them. There was no shortage of things of interest.


5 out of 5
I really enjoyed the Musicians in the bars and small venues, a very good Trio, an excellent guitarist, and a good background pianist. Not so keen on the stage shows although they were excellent in themselves, just not my kind of thing. I went to Astonishing, but I have to say it didn't Astonish me. The standard 'girl in a box, curtain around, jiggle jiggle the curtain, girl vanishes from box' kind of stuff. The neon light section was fun though.

Children's Programs

Adults only cruise

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
My Room Steward Arwin was delightful, polite, efficient, smiling. All the waiting staff were excellent, always smiling, always charming. When the ship was rocking so much I couldn't carry my tray to a table in the buffet, instantly a crew member was there to take it and help me to a seat. All the staff were fantastic. Special mention to Ralph in the Aquarius bar who brought me hot chocolate every night - a reall sweetheart.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Easy to find your way around the ship - plenty of lifts and stairs, plans on every corner to guide you. The ship was clean and being constantly cleaned. Some maintenance going on, but how else will they keep things nice when the ship is constantly working? What maintenance there was didn't inconvenience me or disturb me at all. I really enjoyed the appearance of the ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
I was in D073. Plenty of space for me traveling solo, but I think it would have been fine for two also. Loads of hanging and storage space. Bathroom was fine, small bath with shower over, shower curtain of course clings to your legs, would have preferred a shower screen but not really a problem. Cabin was kept spotless by Arwin. Love having a balcony even though the weather was too cold to sit out and I never did, but I loved being able to go stand out there and watch the sea and the arrival and departure from ports.

Ship tip

Do it - she is a lovely ship. Ignore the reports that she is 'tired'. She is beautiful.

Ports of call

Southampton (London), England Did not visit port

Embarkation port.

Lisbon, Portugal

4 out of 5
I wanted to visit a particular museum, so I took a subway train there and back which was easy. The pavements are bumpy, so my legs were tired at the end of the day. A long walk back to the ship through the security buildings, save some energy for this last part of your day.

Cadiz (Spain) Did not visit port

I was very tired after Lisbon and there was nothing I really wanted to see i Cadiz - perhaps next time.

Malaga, Spain

5 out of 5
There was a shuttle bus to the town from the ship - quite a long walk. I loved Malaga, lovely warm day, a nice walk along the promenade - really pretty town - lots of chances to buy souvenirs, - I would go again.

Cartagena, Spain Did not visit port

Nothing I wanted to see in Cartagena. Perhaps next time.

Gibraltar (U.K.)

5 out of 5
A little bus costing 4 Euros return took us into the town. Worth doing. I loved Gibraltar. You can spend English Currency there - good place to shop. Lovely mix of Spanish and British - a lot of jewellery shops if that is your thing. Nice people that didn't seem to mind the influx of cruisers.


5 out of 5
Apart from being sad to leave my first cruise it was fine - easy and uncomplicated, no waiting about, found my luggage easily, and well directed to get my car. No problems at all. They wouldnt let me stow away in a cupboard to stay on board for Norway (sad face).

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