P&O Arcadia - Caribbean dream!
It was on a standby basis and often with very little notice to travel, but a great opportunity to experience cruising for a fraction of the brochure price!
2000 was our first trip, flying out to Barbados, cruising around the Caribbean Islands such as St Lucia, St Kitts and Dominica, before sailing back to the UK.
Jetlag is not an issue when you're travelling back this way as the clocks were turned forward an hour each night so you didn't feel it so much as doing five to six hours back from the Caribbean. However this is a long-time at sea, and despite the fact there is a lots to do on board and it’s extremely relaxing, whenever I'm recommending cruises to a first-time cruiser I'd ensure that the sailing doesn't have too many days at sea until they are sure.
P&O introduced us to various ship games such as Deck Quoits and Shuffleboard as we took part most days and it’s a great way to meet fellow passengers.
Dining times were set in two sittings to which we always prefer late, in-case you are spending the full day ashore, but there were also many other flexible options to choose from too. However P&O do have a formal dress code, and expect to have a black-tie evening on three nights in a 14 night cruise.
One evening, we were both feeling a little tired and called room service expecting a sandwich or snack and was blown away when the full dinner menu was served to our cabin on silver platters!
Being on this stand-by basis meant we had an inside cabin. I do sell many cruises to clients happy with this - wanting just the best priced way to travel, but personally we now prefer an ocean view at minimum if not a balcony cabin as the lack of natural sunlight for the duration is quite a funny feeling.
Not being beach goers we loved sailing around the Caribbean and seeing so many different islands in a short space of time - so much so we're long overdue a visit to the Caribbean I'd say!
We've made lots of friends on this sailing, and to this date still send Xmas cards and keep in touch, and have actually taken further cruises with some!