Thursday, 8 October 2015

Cruise J514 Arcadia 20th September 7th October 2015

I have sailed with P&O many times and reviewed my dining experiences on Adonia in May this year.   Arcadia is a much bigger ship and on-boarding I received an informative letter from Senior Restaurant Manager Edrich Correia, explaining in detail about dietary requirements, which is a new procedure and most welcome especially so for new cruisers.


I had been in touch with shore-side diet reservations and Karen had kindly arranged for almond milk to be on board, as I can no longer tolerate soya milk and this was available for me on the first sea-day after embarkation.

Sometimes first night dinner can be difficult, as I would normally pre-order the night before and of course you are ordering off a menu with no specific vegan options.   I was impressed by our waiters Dinesh and Shriram, who took it upon themselves to speak with diet chef Sandeep, as to a suitable main course, as Head Waiter Loyola, who would normally organise my menus, was looking after other passengers.   From that night onwards, I cannot fault the service by the four of them, nothing was too much trouble, any requests I made were accommodated, which as a vegan with a number of allergies, is a challenge in itself.

I met Sandeep, who was catering for 150 covers over two sittings, with only an assistant to help him, so you can imagine how busy his section of the galley is.   I had no complaints, his food was delicious, well presented and perfect portion control and his curries, spiced up for my tastes were fantastic.   I had so many different dishes, it would be impossible to post them all here, but here is a selection.

Warm tomato confit and avocado bruschetta

Smokey chickpea goulash

 Mushroom and pimento salad with balsamic syrup

Spicy potato and spinach curry 

Wild mushroom filo parcel with Colcannon

Courgettes stuffed with ratatouille

Wild mushroom timbale with asparagus

Chickpea and vegetable tagine with harissa couscous

Warm vegetable salad

Spicy cannellini bean stew

I had a different soup every night, including celery, sweet potato, vegetable with chickpea croutons, roasted red pepper, vegetable consomme, tomato and many more.   I am not a huge dessert fan, in fact by the time I had eaten starter, soup and main course, all I could manage was whatever the sorbet of the day was, which were all delicious.   Loyola, Dinesh and Shriram were concerned I was not eating enough and I had to decline their offers of other dessert options.

Our wine steward Amy, a very professional young lady, was a vegetarian and asked me how I managed as regards vegan friendly wines.   I explained I had done some research prior to our cruise, to find out which wines by the glass were vegan and the choice was vast.

I always say after each cruise, that the restaurant team cannot be bettered, but Loyola, Dinesh, Shriram, Sandeep and Ammy have set the bar high, they were exceptional, professional but so friendly.   I was quite sad to say goodbye and hope they realise, if they happen to read this review at some point, that I really appreciated all they did and hope to meet them again sometime.

 Waiters Dinesh and Shriram

Wine Steward Amy

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