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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer

Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!

The delightful MV Arcadia whilst on her world cruise is seen arriving in Hong Kong on February 5, 1998

However, below we see the ship that she should have been, the magnificent Sitmar Cruises …

MV SitmarFairMajesty


But below we see the ship she should have been, the magnificent Sitmar Cruises - MV SitmarFairMajesty

Page Six

P&O UK - MV Arcadia (3)

Built as the M/V Sitmar FairMajesty in 1988

Photo Page

All photographs on this page, except where marked otherwise, were taken during my voyage on the MV Arcadia whilst she was on her maiden voyage from Southampton Monday January 5, 1988, sailing via the Suez Canal and a host of ports to Asia and Hong Kong Thursday February 5, then slowly down to Fremantle, Adelaide and arriving in Sydney on Tuesday February 24, 1988! Although, I did not do the entire voyage from Southampton, but what is called "a sector voyage.”

Here is the Author returning to the ship whilst in port

I trust that the photographs below will provide an excellent insight to what was without a doubt a magnificent ship, although today she is a very different ship as she has been completely changed! P&O’s Pacific Pearl is still a well designed ship, but she has lost all the beauty and the glamour of what she used to be and today she has become what we may call a mass transport cruise ship and instead of a luxury ship, she is now just a budget ship, thus one may say, she has gone from the class of “Harrods” in London all the way down to “Coles” in Australia!

Please Note: I will commence from the lower deck, being Peninsular Deck and slowly work upwards. That includes accommodations I have photographed.

MV Arcadia’s Captain Rory Smith


The Author attends a private reception with Captain Rory Smith, some of his officers and seen here the Cruise Director


Here we see Captain Rory Smith on the Bridge port wing whilst we were depart port


The Atrium – Peninsular, E & Promenade Decks


Here is an excellent view of the Atrium looking aft, with the Century Lounge & Bar seen on the

starboard side (left) on the middle level with shops and boutiques opposite and other levels

Then we also see the ever-moving hanging sculpture that originated from the Sitmar FairMajesty!


A view forward and again we see the sculpture, which is made of aluminium and its blades moves as well

as the entire sculpture rotates. Below is a large dance floor for when the band plays in the evening!


Peninsular Deck


On Peninsular Deck at the lower level of the Atrium starboard is the Reception Desk


Still at the Atrium, but on the portside is the delightful Tiffany’s Café and the Tours Office just forward of it


Just forward of Tiffany’s Café was my cabin P146, being a spacious twin bedded room with a walk-in

wardrobe and a spacious bathroom, not a shoebox like on many modern ships today!


Looking towards the desk and the entrance


E Deck


The sublime Century Lounge and Bar is located starboard on E Deck



Above & below: Two more views providing further insights into this astoundingly beautiful venue!



Promenade & D Decks



Above & below: Far forward is the huge multi level Palladium Showroom that offers a vast range of entertainment!



It is still early, but soon all deck chairs will be occupied as the Promenade Deck is always very popular!


As we return indoors; the walls in the hallway are covered in rich timber veneers and it provides

a warm & luxurious feeling! Through the windows we see a spacious Card Room


There is a Casino, and although I do have a photograph but if you have seen one casino,

Well you have really seen them all, thus, I did not bother! 


As we head aft, we arrive at the timbered Sports Bar, called “The Oval”

It had countless items of sports memorabilia everywhere as it was found on every wall!



Above & below: Two further views of “The Oval”




Far aft on Promenade Deck is the beautifully appointed and spacious Restaurant and the Hawaiian

Canoe on the wall originates from the SS Canberra’s First Class Dining Room


Chefs preparing a grand buffet, complete with a detailed carved model of the Arcadia


The Wine and Bread display in front of the famed Canoe


Here is a view of another part of this elegantly appointed Restaurant


Starboard far forward on D Deck was the delightful Canberra Room that had a model of the SS Canberra located

at the front of the venue. Of course, this ship was a gap-stop for the Canberra until the MV Aurora was completed.


Whilst on the portside from the Canberra Room was the beautiful and restful Library with a vast collection of books!


A Deck



Above & below: Here we see a friend’s very comfortable Mini Suite number B142



Lido Deck

We have now reached Lido Deck, being a place of great activity for here there are two large pools a good number of Jacuzzis, the very popular “SplashBar” this it is a swim-up bar and there is also a waterfall in the pool. Far forward there are two popular venues, “Sundays” and “Al Fresco Pizzeria.” Whilst far aft is “The Conservatory” being the Buffet where you can eat in air-conditioned comfort, or head outside forward and dine undercover, or in the sun, or be seated on the aft deck overlooking the stern and the ships wake.

Forward on the Starboard side is Sundays, for cool drinks of all kings, alcoholic, soft drinks or even milk shakes!


On the portside the Al Fresco Pizzeria was extremely popular as it was free and a great lunchtime meal, or even a snack during the day!


Looking forward towards the radar mast, the doors upstairs lead to the forward lobby and lifts as well into the Horizon Lounge


Crystal Pool with the SplashBar and waterfall



Above & below: The far aft Riviera Pool with its four Jacuzzis, the aft doors enter the Buffet




Above and below: Here we see “The Conservatory,” a more relaxed looking Buffet (looking aft)



Sun Deck


Forward on Sun Deck is the Circular Horizon Lounge and it is simply wonderful! It also serves as a showroom

at night and in here I saw one of the best shows ever, being the “Freddie Mercury show,” which was brilliant!


The Horizon Lounge, looking aft towards the Bar – At night, this venue takes on a whole different feel and look!


The jogging track on Sun Deck


The Radar Mast, flying the Australian flag as we had arrived home!


Behind the Scenes


A superb view over the bow towards the superstructure


Arcadia’s Engine Room


Busy Generators



Above & below:

MV Arcadia is seen in Adelaide, but it did provide these two excellent starboard views of the ship!




We arrived in Sydney on February 25, 1998 and I went home to Glebe where I used to live and returned

in the afternoon to take a few photographs and I am glad that I did, for she only came back once more in 1999.

My voyage on the MV Arcadia was a wonderful experience and I would have loved to have remained onboard all the way back to the UK, but sadly I just did not have the time just then! She returned once more to Australia in 1999, but that there after she was withdrawn too soon! However, I sailed on both the Oriana and the Aurora many times, although I prefer the MV Oriana much more to the Aurora for she still has some fell of a real ship, whereas the Aurora has more of the Carnival touch in her and that makes a huge difference!

I trust you enjoyed this special Sitmar feature, even though this page was not specifically based on the actual Sitmar ship, but it does give a good idea of the quality of the original Sitmar FairMajesty and what she would have been like had she become a reality, for today as a budget ship, all her beauty and glory has sadly been lost!

Below we see the Ship she should have been … The …

M/s SitmarFairMajesty



Sitmar Cruises INDEX:


Page One        The Ships History - From Liners to Cruise Ships!


Page Two        Deck Plans - 1972, 1973/74, 1985 & 2000.


Page Three      Brochures, Photographs & Other Items.


Page Three B  Sitmar Cruises Final Brochure for 1989, but these cruises never eventuated.


Page Four       Sitmar Memorabilia and Menus.


Page Five        Other Sitmar Cruises Ships to 1988.


Page Six         MV Arcadia, launched as Sitmar FairMajesty

.                         with a 1998 Author’s Photo Album!



Return to the ssMaritime Main INDEX &

Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story


Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and the author seeks no funding or favours of any shape or form, never have and never will!

Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on only), in order that due credit may be given.

This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!

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