Hi there everybody,
Longtime no post/contact but life has been very demanding here over the pond in recent months what with my husband's brain tumour and son's mental health diagnosis this year. I now know that whatever life throws at you, you DO COPE when you would never have thought you could - what a learning curve 2006 has certainly been.
Anyway on a much happier note, we have just come back from the most amazing cruise experience ever and want to share and recommend that if any of you want to try a different cruise line, then go for P&0.
We have just been on a 2 week cruise on their latest ship, the ARCADIA and WOW she is absolutely wonderful. It hit all the right spots for us and we cannot fault a single thing.
For a little background, P & 0 are predominantly brtiish ships albeit under the Carnival Corp. Umbrella but said in the nicest way possible, far removed from Carnival cruiseline, beleive me having now experienced them both.
Very small fleet of ships with Arcadia, Artemis, Aurora, Oriana and Oceana. Arcadia and Artemis are adult only ships.
We cruised around Spain, Portugal and all around the north atlantic islands (the Canaries and Maderia etc) and it was truly astounding. We splashed out and booked a huge aft balcony cabin which was outstanding - the4 cabin itself was equipped so well with private bedroom, lounge etc, plasma screen TV etc. etc.
The ships' Captain and officers are all british and the crew are 90% Indian/Asian and are oh so helpful and polite and so happy in their work. they were a delight to have about the ship, always smiling, laughing and having time to chat.
Food, service, ambience - beyond compare to any of the other cruiselines we have been with (not that great but have done 5 ships beforfe this one with Costa, Carnival and RCL).
No tipping expected - left purely up to the guest and the staff are already taken care of by the cruiseline which explains why they are so happy and content and do not presume over the guests - such a difference to when we were last on the Victory and the tipping was automatic which I think takes the caring attitude away from the crew as there tip is automatically guaranteed. Suffice to say, we tipped our cabin/wait staff very well because we were so impressed and felt so much gthat we wanted to, not because we were expected to - makes a big difference.
Anyway, for those of you who want to cruise the Arcadia or any of her sister ships without having to fly all the way over here, she is now enroute to Barbados to do the winter Caribbean season and will be cruising out of Barbados until mid March next year.
Take my recommendation and take a look. If you want a truly luxurious break and want to feel pampered, you will love it. We hope to be back on her next year to do the Med cruise once Brian has had his next MRI scan next month. If all goes well, we may even fly over to Barbados and cruise her within the next few months - it was truly that wonderful, we can put up with the red-eye stint to get over there.
The main thing, the cruise has done us the world of good and that is the most important but this being cruisemates, I had to share our thoughts with you (and those of our fellow friends that we made on the ship). they have already booked up for cruises on Arcadia next year as they were so impressed and not leaving anything to chance.
Have a break from your American ships and try a British run cruiselines for once - you won't regret it, I can guarantee.
Sorry, Carnival, RCL etc we are past cruisers now - been too spoiled and all for the same price as coming over the pond (when you take in flight costs etc).
Hope all who know me are well and I will post again soon.
In the meantime, all take care over there.