When 2,094-passenger Arcadia launched in 2005, P&O Cruises embarked on a new era: its first adults-only ship. Targeting the younger end of the baby-boomer market, the very British ship offers traditions like black tie formal nights and assigned seating at dinner, along with a set of sophisticated options, including a restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef, an art collection with more than 3,000 works, and a lavish spa that's central to the experience.
What We Love
Palladium: This three-deck-high theater, seating more than 750, is brim-full of technical wizardry, where the 14 cast members of the Arcadia Theater Company perform the visual extravaganza Cirque d’Arcadia.
Rising Sun Pub: This is one of the largest "locals" bars at sea with a fireplace, armchairs, jukebox, and plasma screen for Karaoke or sports games.
Best Known For
Oasis Spa: There are nine treatment rooms, including a double suite, where pampering therapies include revitalizing body wraps and hot stone treatments. The Thermal Suite, offering dry, wet, and aromatic treatments, has heated loungers facing the ocean.
Sindhu: Head to this restaurant for superb Indian-influenced cuisine with a British twist, created by Michelin-starred Chef Atul Kochhar.
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Who It's Best For
Detox Seekers: The hydrotherapy pool offers a range of water therapies, including a submerged bed with water massage jets to soothe muscles and increase circulation. The Oasis Spa also offers a dry floatation suite as well as an oxy-jet facial — a needle-free alternative to Botox.
Anglophiles: The atmosphere on this ship is distinctly British — picture afternoon tea, a traditional pub, and currency in the pound.
Travelers Without Kids: Feel free to swim in pools without splashing and attend theater performances without screaming — there are no children allowed on board.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Penny-pinching: Carnival’s pricing acumen means a £1 charge is levied for morning tea delivered to cabins; likewise, there’s a £2 supplement for continental breakfast in bed.
Gary Buchanan is a UK-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written multiple books about cruising.