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Thursday, 26 September 2013

P&O Arcadia weekender September 2013

My review of our short little cruise on Arcadia

Ports
We called at Zeebrugge ( for Bruges ) and an overnight ( until 1am ) to Amsterdam
Both ports we have been to many times before, so at Zeebrugge, we just took the shuttle bus to Blankenberge, a little sea side resort for a walk. 
Last time we went here was in December a few years ago, and was a tad quiet, but this time the place was really alive with people in the main high street and along the sea front, even for a Sunday
So we spent a pleasant couple of hours ashore walking, but it was soon time to walk back to the shuttle bus and return to Arcadia.

From there the next stop was Amsterdam, and as I have already said, we have been here quite a few times before ( if you look down the blog you will see we came with Fred a couple of months ago ) 
Even with all these visits, we had never visited Ann Frank's house, so this time we decided to put that right.
It is much better to take a organised tour from the ship, unless you don't mind a long wait, as the queues here go round the block.
Now I know in our day to day lives, we can sometimes think that the whole world is against us, and we have such a terrible time. Well, visit here, and then think again.

So made it back to the ship by 4pm, just enough time for a drink or two, and a quick bite in the buffet, before we where off again for a night time canel boat ride.
But no coach trip this time, we walked out of the passenger terminal walked 100 yards ( sorry it has to be old money, it's my age) and on to the canel boat.
We have often taken boat tours around cities as it gives you a different perspective, and this night tour was a first for us ( have done many in daylight ). I have to say it was a charming tour, and Amsterdam does look great at night. The cheese and wine on the canel boat were not too bad as well.

It was quite a barmy night, which allowed to go to one of our favourite places on Arcadia, the aft deck
This was not something we thought we would be doing on this cruise

Conclusions 
I know a lot of people do not like these shorter cruises, but as Sue and myself both still work, these help pad out the year, and we enjoy them.
The staff on board were excellent as always, we even saw a few faces from April when we went to the Caribbean on Arcadia.
As it was only a short cruise, we did not bother with the MDR, so ate in the buffet of an evening, with one night in the Ocean Grill, which of course as this was a shorter cruise the price was raised to £17.95. I felt the standard of the food in the OG was a little below prt, and the salt marsh lamb ( one of my favourite meals) was overlooked IMHO, but they would not cook it rare.

So all in all, a good break away, but as always too short.
Arcadia will soon ( end of November ) be off for her refit and new cabins to be added, it only seems a little while ago she had this done before.

Not sure when we will get to see the changes, as next year sees us on Oriana and Adonia plus a Fred cruise, then in 2015 we have another Fred cruise booked.

So, until the next time, happy cruising