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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked P & O for the itinerary, visiting so many islands including Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, Aruba all via Barbados. Firstly so glad we booked a Premium flight from Newcastle, great service and good food and drinks. ... Read More
We picked P & O for the itinerary, visiting so many islands including Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, Aruba all via Barbados. Firstly so glad we booked a Premium flight from Newcastle, great service and good food and drinks. Embarkation in Barbados was swift. We were met on the tarmac by mini buses and we were on the ship in 50 minutes! Our cases were delivered at about 9pm. So about 4 hours later but we had a meal and wandered around the ship so it was not a problem. Brittania was a beautiful ship, took us a day or two to get used to the ares but a bit of effort and patience ( with lifts especially) was all that was needed. Our balcony cabin E610 was lovely. Balcony was big enough to sit out and watch other ships sail away and to sun bathe. Fabulous bed so very comfortable and big! Great to have tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin and a fridge with cold drinks payable locally. Our steward took good care of us. We had Freedom dining and always got a nice table for two around 6.50pm in either restaurants. The food was absolutely gorgeous, I really don’t know who would rate it down! Choice was always good and service very quick. The evening entertainment was enough for us, resident band Pulse were ok, shows were of a fair standard, musicals and a well known illusionist act. But best by far was La Voix in the Limelight club. Hilarious. Around the ship on sea days was busy as was to be expected but we always got beds round the pool, although the music was very repetitive and sometimes loud. But cooling off in the pools was fab. The entertainment crew put on an aqua robics class which looked exhausting but fun. We had booked to swim with stingray in Antigua and it was spectacular! A must for nature lovers. Speedboat our to a landing bay and then a good hour snorkelling with them. Very cool! We were able to hold them too. Best beach was Barbados and St Maarten. Both by taxi and both worth the trip. In St Lucia we did the Rainforest trip which was great and it did rain! Didn’t spoil the wonderful views or spotting the hummingbird! Aruba was the nicest port we thought and had a lovely morning walking round the town. We celebrated Brittania’s 4th birthday with a great party on Lido Deck it was great fun, all of us singing and waving our Union Jacks!! The Captain made a nice speech and cut a big cake. It was very easy to leave the ship at every port, some town centres were further than others but walkable. Taxis galore and very reliable. We had a lady drive us to a beach in a Mercedes 4 x 4, very elegant!! Disembarkation was easier for us as we booked a day room, we were leaving at 2.55pm and had the room till 3pm so we were able to shower and change comfortably. But overall a bit of hanging around, to be expected, when 5 flights leaving. Barbados airport easy and a fab flight home to a freezing morning in Newcastle! we would highly recommend this cruise, go and chill out, have fun and eat plenty! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Balcony cabin A510, deck 15. Barbados- St Lucia- St Kitts- Antigua-Ponta Delgada-Southampton. We chose this cruise as we have always wanted to sail across the Atlantic. This is our second P & O cruise, previously on Azura. Flew ... Read More
Balcony cabin A510, deck 15. Barbados- St Lucia- St Kitts- Antigua-Ponta Delgada-Southampton. We chose this cruise as we have always wanted to sail across the Atlantic. This is our second P & O cruise, previously on Azura. Flew on the included flight from Gatwick to Barbados with TUI on 15th March. flight was good with all drinks, including the bar service, as complimentary. Transfered from the airport directly to the ship (the first night was spent on the ship in port at Bridgetown before sailing the following evening; this gave us a day to look around Bridgetown). Check-in was fairly swift. Upon boarding the ship there was the usual photographer but other than that, no welcome drinks or anyone to direct everyone to the lifts for the cabins, in contrast to our previous experiences. None of the warm welcomes we have received with a number of other cruise lines. First impressions was of a ship that was rather plain and dull in appearance; the atrium could be any hotel or shopping centre and the long aisles on the passenger decks were totally devoid of any art work or decoration making it look very clinical. Our cabin was clean and adequate, everything in good working order an the bed was comfortable. I like the open wardrobe area on P & O that is made separate from the main cabin area; a good idea! I couldn't help but feel it seemed like a Premier Inn room (not that there is anything wrong with that!) Our cabin steward was excellent throughout the cruise; she was very welcoming, friendly and gave an excellent service throughout; always knowing when we were out of the cabin to do her work. She also gave us lots of advice about the ship. The cabin stewards probably work harder than anyone else on the ship and deserve recognition. The sailaway party on the upper deck was well organised but had a completely British feel and the music played was very predictable! Not sure what foreign guests made of it all, although, I guess 99% of the guests were British anyway! We had chose Freedom Dining at the time of booking. We stuck this for the first 3 nights but were very disappointed with the service in both the Meridian and Peninsular dining rooms at night. Eventhough they were not busy, the staff seems totally disinterested in us. Very poor and not our experience on any of our previous cruises or other cruise lines. We asked to be transferred to Club Dining at the 1830 sitting to which they agreed and we were put on a table of 4 other people. In the Oriental Restaurant ther service was very good and efficient; the food in the evening - I though was just ok (better some days than others) but all the menus had a very British feel! One night we booked the Epicurean Restaurant which was £28 per person. The food and service in there was excellent, almost hard to believe it was on the same ship! This felt like the cruises of yesteryear and was the highlight of the dining experiences. We also tried the Horizon buffet on one evening and the food was generally very good. The Horizon buffet restaurant is a bit noisy and chaotic. To me, the layout and appearance of the Horizon Restaurant, with the tables all neatly arranged in rows, almost gave the feel of being on a large ferry rather than a cruise ship; just lacking the style and sophistication of other ships. One thing I noticed is that they never seemed to wash the outside windows of the public areas when in port eventhough there is an automated system to do this. It was done after arriving back in Southampton obviously since everywhere had become salted-up after the trans-Atlantic crossing. The Headliners theatre company and the Albion Band performed to a very high standard in all of their performances; they are all very competent professional vocalists, dancers and musicians. Enjoyed all of the performances despite the fact that most were of a very British theme! The other music gigs were all very good and some exceptional. I went to the series of talks on the sea days about the British SAS. It became a bit drawn out, a couple of talks would have been sufficient with the speaker's incessant pacing to-and-fro across the stage. Good thing the audience was essentially British as for an International audience this topic could have been bordering on the unacceptable level! The crossing over the Atlantic saw calm seas for most of the time. There was one day, after the Azores where there was moderate seas (as described by the captain) that lasted for about 24 hours; I thought that Britannia sailed the rougher waters very smoothly without much disruption (but it should be noted that I enjoy this anyway, lol!) There was a medical emergency a few hours after departing Ponta Delagada and the captain took the decison to return to port, keeping everyone well informed of the situation (a very unfortunate and worst case scenario for the person that took ill; thank God that this did not occur mid-Atlantic). Taking everything into account - I enjoyed the cruise, particularly the Atlantic crossing. My favourite port of call was Ponta Delgada in the island of Sao Miguel, Azores. Lovely place and we were blessed with unbroken sunshine and a calm day. For me, Britannia lacks the buzz, style, sophistication and wow factor of other ships or other cruise lines. I know that P & O can easily fill their cruises with the British public but the experience is just .....too British. Surely travel is about new cultures and experiences? I don't know what foreign guests would make of this? Maybe cuises are just becoming like any other package holiday as that is what Britannia feels like to me, not really a flagship of the company. I will continue to use P & O as they offer some great itineraries, year-round from Southampton. Indeed, we have already booked several more trips over the next year and a half. Britannia - luxury flagship? No! Good value holiday cruise ship? Yes! Hoping that Iona will signal the start of P & O becoming an International cruise line rather than the British cruise line at present. The guests in our adjacent cabin mentioned to us that it felt like a holiday camp such as Butlins. I have never been to Butlins but I will take their word for it! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the end of 2018/2019 Winter Caribbean Season repositioning cruise, as Britannia returned to Southampton on the 29th March leaving Barbados on the 16th evening. The price (at least for us) included a Thomas Cook charter flight ... Read More
This was the end of 2018/2019 Winter Caribbean Season repositioning cruise, as Britannia returned to Southampton on the 29th March leaving Barbados on the 16th evening. The price (at least for us) included a Thomas Cook charter flight from Gatwick to Barbados, transfer to ship and at the end of the voyage in Southampton, a free coach taking us back to Gatwick to collect the car. This also applied to those who had flown from Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Bournemouth. The transfers worked very well. We paid the extra £149 pp to turn left at the top of the stairs when getting on the aeroplane and this was worthwhile but why they then charge for you to book your preferred seats defeats me. We had an obstructed LARGE balcony cabin on Deck G. The large cabins have a sofa to sit on rather than a single chair and are about 14sq. ft. bigger. Barbados/Bridgetown. We opted for the 14-day cruise option, that is arriving in Bridgetown on Friday 15th March, the day BEFORE Britannia sailed for St. Lucia. This meant we had time to sample the delights of Bridgetown on the Saturday. Some opted for excursions, but there is enough to do and see in Bridgetown independently. The town is approx. a 20-minute walk from the cruise terminal. Cave Shepherd has two stores in Bridgetown, the larger having excellent free WIFI in its café on the First Floor. St. Lucia. We did our own thing walking from the ship into the town, finding a café with free WIFI and doing some shopping. Many from the ship either walked to the nearest beach, or took a taxi. Ship excursions were (anecdotally) more expensive than making a bargain with one of the numerous taxi drivers just outside the terminal gates. St. Kitts. We had a ship’s excursion (Best of St. Kitts) including the Wingfield Estate and Romney Manor plus the Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At each place the inevitable market stalls were in abundance, but all worthwhile and easy enough. Could have probably done with more time at each stop. Antigua. We had another ship’s excursion to, broadly speaking, Shirley Heights and English Harbour with its Nelson’s Dockyard, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was an excellent tour, but again with limited time at Nelson’s Dockyard and its inevitable market stalls. If we went again, we would only go here and spend half a day - there are numerous bars and restaurants and quite a lot to see, or just pass the time. Ponta Delgada. Again, did our own thing walking to the botanical gardens and the covered newish shopping centre set above the lower town, about a 35-minute walk from the quay. Britannia? Much has been written before about the weird central lift and stairs arrangements where you cannot go from top to bottom by the stairs alone. We understand this is being rectified in her late-2019 refit. Food in the main restaurants (Freedom Dining for us) was only Harvester or Holiday Inn standard to be honest. On the two Marco Pierre White themed nights, they just about managed to do a decent Beef Wellington, but the second so called half-lobster offering was dismal. It seemed they had scooped the meat out of the shells, mixed it into a sort of saucy potato mash and re-inserted - very poor. If you wanted something rather more exceptional for dinner, then you had to pay and that seemed to be the general conclusion. Sindhu, The Glass House and The Beach House were all used by us and are extremely good value and super food in all of them. We did not try The Epicurean, which seemed very expensive in comparison to the other alternatives. Buffet was decent enough. At least you could get a made to measure omelette rather than the cardboard variety dished-up in the seated dining rooms and what they did to the ‘Kedgeree’ was absolutely disgusting. My wife rarely complains, but it looked like someone had vomited over the plate when served in the seated dining room. Entertainment was generally so-so, but the FlyRights guest act was very good. The speakers included a decent enough ex-SAS guy who regaled us with stories of daring, training etc; someone else who seemed obsessed with discussing murders, murderers and hangings such as Ruth Ellis, Crippen, Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe etc., and a guy who talked mainly about what made a good pop star. In other words, apart from the SAS guy, not exactly scintillating. Cabin was kept spotless and our steward was well worth the personal tip on disembarkation day. On the sunny hot days – yes, sun loungers were reserved when they shouldn’t be and P&O did nothing about it (probably too few crew members now?). Formal Nights – most made the effort to match the dress code but some did not, perhaps trying to make a statement about their independence? Service in the bars – excellent in the Crow’s Nest, but could be slow elsewhere unless you were sitting in a prominent place. In summary, it was what we expected. Definitely in terms of catering not up to Cunard standard and the bar and restaurant service not so good or as quick either generally, but it was value for money, we did not starve or become ill and the ship went where we wanted to go and we made it ‘work’ for us. We are booked on Ventura (again) later this year for the Canaries having booked that cruise last year. It is now much dearer we note. Booking another cruise onboard? Be careful as P&O like others, adjust prices according to demand so if you are booking something major, you can find its price later drops significantly if they are having trouble filling a ship, but it could also go up. We have in the past cancelled and rebooked, writing-off the 2 x £50 booking fee because the same cruise and an adjacent cabin was later offered at £100’s less or with an additional huge amount of on board spend. If you want 5* dining included in your standard fare, then you won’t get it on P&O, but if you want a holiday on a ship with mostly British guests, then it is fine and generally what I would call of a ‘Holiday Inn Plus Standard’. Good enough for us! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in no time at all and the flight was very good. Transfer to the ship was also good. Our cabin was ok,the balcony and bathroom were smaller than we have experienced on other ships. The muster drill was a complete shambles. This cruise has people embarking at different times and in two different ports, therefore when we were called for our drill there were people trying to enjoy a drink in the bar area that we had been assigned to. This was exacerbated when we tried to get back to our cabin. Everyone was trying to get to the lifts at the same time, and there are no stairs by the middle set of lifts. The design of this ship is frustrating, having to go up a couple of floors and then down again to get to another part of the same deck is beyond belief. Dining was a mixed experience: the Horizon self service or the 'push and shove' as we called it was poor, food selection was poor, very few staff available for drink orders, therefore we rarely ate in there. Peninsular was ok for lunch, Meridian was ok for dinner, Oriental was our choice for breakfast, service however was slow. Epicurean was not worth the money, chewy steak! Sindhu was excellent. Limelight club was very good and the Glass House was excellent. The entertainment in the Headliners theatre was not to our taste. Shore excursions were very good, enjoyed the bike ride in St. Maarten, and the Caribbean cuisine in St. Kitts.Overall an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Travel TUI were very strict at check in with both Hand and Hold Baggage £18 per kg excess. Flew TUI, from Birmingham to Barbados which was excellent. Free dinks on route we were offered 3 Alcoholic Rounds of drinks and 2 Hot/Cold ... Read More
Travel TUI were very strict at check in with both Hand and Hold Baggage £18 per kg excess. Flew TUI, from Birmingham to Barbados which was excellent. Free dinks on route we were offered 3 Alcoholic Rounds of drinks and 2 Hot/Cold Drinks with our meals. The main meal was good and the afternoon tea was a small roll and a scone, staffs were very helpful throughout the flight. There was enough on screen games and films to keep us both happy, 5/5. Transfer to the ship was delayed but quick and easy boarding when we got there. Bags handed in at BHX delivered to our door before we returned from Diner at 2100. Room First impression of the room was poor, we paid for what we thought was a good cabin but this turned out to be a cramped area with totally inadequate storage, one rail, 4 small shelves and three small drawers. The bathroom was functional but again lacking any space. The balcony is very cramped. We did get used to the room but not to the extent of suggesting it is worth the cost. Facilities and Dining This is a huge ship with lots of venues, bars, casino, Spa and Gym, 4 main dining rooms, and 4 specialty restaurants. We had freedom dining and ate mostly in the Peninsular 4/5 Waiter Service, which was very good all white table cloths and a good menu selection for all three meals a day, tried the Beach Hut 5/5 (£22), Live Lounge 5/5 (£50) and Glass House 5/5 (£32) extra charges all per couple. The Horizon Buffet was poor compared to Celebrity very British with heavy Indian and Asian Bias, great if you like curry. The Salad Bar rarely varied. Breakfast was very much full English with the usual Fruits and Yogurts, very much a good canteen service 3/5. Entertainment was excellent with three great resident bands moving round the venues, Headliners Theatre Group put on some outstanding shows, with five great singers and a brilliant dance troupe, we also had Revolvers, DNA and The Britones flown out to entertain us, all great but the Revolvers are an exceptional group who should go far 5/5. Excursions Best advice is do not book ships excursions which are much more expensive than local tours and taxis. Barbados We walked to the Harbour by the bridge in the Centre of town and had a few drinks in the Waterfront, 3 beers $6 Rum Punch $6, good wifi, and a very friendly service. Taxi back to the ship was $5. Expensive compared to other ports we visited. Curacao It was a Public Holiday so everywhere was closed. We walked from the Port into town over the floating bridge and had a few drinks by the Harbour. The few shops that were open were expensive but it was one of the cleanest and most welcoming ports we visited. Good free WIFI in the Cafe next to the floating bridge. Aruba The ship docked in the central area and there are good local tours, $25 for the open window bus ride lasting 2 hours with a beach stop if you wanted at no extra cost. Nice Bars and Cafes round the harbour. We walked to the Wilhelmina Park at the end of town to see the iguanas. Again a friendly place to visit. Good free open WIFI in the hotel/shopping mall in the centre of the harbour. St Vincent We did a Ships tour £43 each, but the weather was against us and we saw little of the island, the visit to the Fort and Botanical Gardens was very interesting but seeing two birds in cages should not be described as an Aviary Visit. The city is very rough and a bit of a shock to those less travelled, several guests we spoke to, started off into town but returned to the ship when they got to Front Street. This was a low point in our cruise but on reflection it was worth the visit, following the trip we complained to the on board excursion staff and had a very poor response, the guy didn’t even bother to ask my name or room number, as a result of which I cancelled the other trips we had booked with P&O. St Georges, Grenada Did the Hop on Hop of Trolley Ride $20 each which has 4 stops/pick up points 45 minute trip up to the fort and round the seafront. Lots of folks took the water taxi to Grand Anse Beach $20. We bought our duty free here as it was half the price of other ports $38 for 10X50g packs of Tobacco but shop around as the main duty free was much more expensive. Barter when you buy your spices you will get some good offers we went to the open market and had 15 nutmeg $2, Bag of Cinnamon $2 and Bag of Cinnamon Sticks $2 ($5 for all 3) Spice Necklaces $3 (4 for $10). Castries, St Lucia One of the Gems of the trip we did a full day tour with Cosol Tours, Cassius was our guide and I think the owners of the company which had about 10 nice air conditioned minibuses. $80 is a lot of money but the trip is virtually the same tour as the By Land and Sea Tour offered by P&O at £76. First stop is the Banana Plantation for short talk and a taste of Banana Ketchup, Banana BBQ Sauce and Spiced Rum. Our 2nd stop was a view point and our first drink of the day (Water, Beer, Soft Drinks or Rum Punch offered at all stops). We then move on to the breakfast stop where a wide variety of local buffet food was on offer, more of a taster event with 30 + items on offer (Curry Goat, Lamb Stew, Bread Balls, Meat Balls, Cakes, Coconut Ice, Spicy Toffee, Fudge, Candies) I suggest you get in quick and have a little taste of everything because it was sufficient rather than plentiful with some lovely treats to experience. Drinks were freely available. Our next stop was at Anse for A photo at the fishing village, then on to Soufriere where we boarded a speed boat to Golden Beach which is right between the Pitons, here I hired a snorkel kit with flippers $10 and swam in the reserve which has a wide variety of fish (Best $10 I spent on the whole trip). We had an hour on the beach before the return boat trip; a drink was waiting back at the bus. We then set of to visit the Mud Pools to bathe or the optional Volcano Tour, swimwear is a must, and you are invited to keep on your wet gear for the short drive to the waterfalls, for a second chance to rinse the mud of. The final stop on the tour is a stop for hot local bread and cheese with more drinks. The trip is expensive but everything bar the snorkel gear was included in the price and it has got to be the best way to see and enjoy sights of St Lucia. I can only add my thanks to our outstanding guide Cassius, and add another totally unreserved recommendation to the many which Cosol Tours have on Tripadvisor, Cruise Critic etc. St Maarten The port is across the bay from the beach and town centre, we decide to go local and caught the water taxi $7 all day return. There were lots of tours on offer and the round the island is worth a tour. I turned tourist catcher by asking fellow passenger to join a tour as prices reduced depending on the number of people, between the Downtown Taxi Driver (Sorry no name) and I we managed to get 10 people and had a 3-4 hour tour for $20 each ($60-80 for 2hrs for 2). We had an extensive tour and the devastation caused by the 2017 hurricane is everywhere, the amazing work being done to bring the island back to an upmarket paradise is astonishing. We visited the Nude End of Orient Beach, A Public Housing Development, and French Capital Margot for a lunch stop and Maho Beach for a short stop to see a few planes land. The driver provided a running tour on all aspects of Island life. Before departing on the tour we prebooked sun loungers and a brolley on the beach $25 which included 5 drinks, we left our towels on the beds in the front of the beach. (Others paid $20 for the same deal). Great visit. St Kitts First place as we got of the boat wanted $34 for a tour and beach stop, we picked up the same tour at the pier exit for $20, Del was our guide and he is a colourful character, the tour stopped at the last working Sugar Factory, Bloody River and The Plantation Museum. Del’s commentary was as colourful as his character and he kept us amused and gave us a few drinks on the route, we stopped at the ridge between the Caribbean and Atlantic for some pictures and refreshment. At the Beach a trolley and chairs cost $30 but the facilities were excellent. Beers were $3 and Burger and Chips $22, so a bit expensive. We had 2 ½ hours on the beach before being picked up at 1530. Antigua Our final tour was a shared tour prearranged with Gordon’s Tours on the internet with two ladies. The cost was $30 each and Jerome met us as arranged at the pier. We had a running commentary on all aspects of the history flora and fauna. The tour passed the Cricket Grounds, Abandon Sugar Factory and many villages. We visited the historic barracks and lookout post, for $8 we visited Dows Museum and saw a presentation tracing the history of the island, Shirley Heights, followed by The Blockhouse and Nelsons Dockyard foe a Rum Punch $5. The tour lasted well over 4 hours and Jerome gave us an excellent insight into life on the island. Well worth booking on the internet prior to your visit. On our return trip cases were collected the night before departure and we didn’t see them again until we picked them up in Birmingham, there were no hand baggage weight check on the return flight. Barbados Airport was comfortable and the duty frees booze was good $25 for two litres of popular brand spirits, $14 for Mount Gay room. The flight back was uneventful with an evening meal and a breakfast muffin, neither of which we enjoyed. Only 1 alcoholic drink was offered and wine with the meal. On summary we had a great holiday, were disappointed with the standard of food, and size of cabin onboard Britannia, given the £5200 price paid. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. We are experienced cruisers having cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity frequently over the last 20 years so feel qualified to make a fair comparison. Britannia, unfortunately, is ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. We are experienced cruisers having cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity frequently over the last 20 years so feel qualified to make a fair comparison. Britannia, unfortunately, is nowhere near being in the same league. It is overcrowded and understaffed. There was a definite ‘end of season’ feel to this cruise. The crew seemed tired and unmotivated. Service in the restaurants was poor, slow and unapologetic. Food was unadventurous. Public areas were less than clean, open decks were sticky underfoot and there were noisy blowers drying damp-smelling carpets every day, even in the buffet restaurant during lunch. Entertainment was dire, downmarket and very holiday camp in style. P&O’s customer satisfaction survey seemed to focus on questions around whether customers were bothered about dressing up/ did we really expect to be called ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, we’re we looking for a more informal pub style experience? Perhaps P&O are looking to cater for customers who are looking for a floating Butlins/ Benidorm style holiday. If so, they are on the right track. We, however, will be returning to those cruise lines who know how to provide good quality, excellent service and proper cruising. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
the chosen cruise was for ports of call. The weather did not fail to please. Found entertainment lame. found food mediocre. Also, the baby prawns should have been peeled as they were on the buffet with poo still in them Tomatoes not ... Read More
the chosen cruise was for ports of call. The weather did not fail to please. Found entertainment lame. found food mediocre. Also, the baby prawns should have been peeled as they were on the buffet with poo still in them Tomatoes not available after the first week. Did not like the look of the beans.Also cauliflower cheese mushy. You should steam cauliflower not boil it. laundrette not available in the night. Only in use when everyone wanted to use it. Crowded. Mayonnaise and vinegar in sachets should bein containers as very mucky to tear open. Onshore was fine found friends and guides. Out on deck late looking at the star's, the staff treated you like a weirdo, walking past and saying hello in a worried voice. asked to have a ball to throw through the net in netball court not allowed. Yet staff where allowed. Asked for a large size tee shirt for deck walk, only small size avail, as they could not be bothered to go and fetch larger tee shirt from the stock room. Gym nice. On leaving the ship. disembarkation, we were taken to the airport and herded like cattle past customs. Had to wait 3 hours at the airport for plain stuck in departures no chance for a smoke or a cheap drink. Onshore great onboard not so good if you are single you tend to get patronized I am an independent lady. I love to dance and sing along. In my own way. Only here they like puppets dance and everyone to do the same dance. Sorry did not like and also pool light turned off as I was playing on my own late. Could not sleep in the dismal cabin so I was out and about, up late. Lots more to depress me but onshore made up for the dirty old ship. Also, the customers were the best. Nice friendly lot. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I have been on 12 previous cruises with most of the other cruise lines. This was my first P & O cruise. First the positives. Good flight. I loved the fact you check in and don't see your suitcases until they arrive at your ... Read More
I have been on 12 previous cruises with most of the other cruise lines. This was my first P & O cruise. First the positives. Good flight. I loved the fact you check in and don't see your suitcases until they arrive at your cabin. Likewise on the return trip. Cases taken the evening before and next time we saw them was at Gatwick. I also like the process of getting off the plane, onto a coach and not going through the hectic Barbados immigration process. The embarkation process was quick and efficient and on the ship in no time at all, despite there being queues on arrival. Furthermore the disembarkation process was painless. I also liked that we could stay on board until our afternoon pick up. So could enjoy the day at the pool. I have been on the RCL Ovation so the size of Britannia wasn't as awesome as it was to my family. (It was the biggest ship they have been on). The deco in the cabin was average although fully equipped and spotlessly clean. Our steward quickly introduced herself and said if we require anything not to hesitate to ask. The beds were comfy and we had a good night sleep. Although, my only grip was, there were only back lights and no individual bedside lamp. In order to read I had to have all the lights on at night. This I found awkward particularly as my other half doesn't read at night. I was surprised there was no USB ports especially as it's only 4 years old!! Our food was great and ate mainly in the Horizon buffet or the Peninsular. Our service in the Peninsular was outstanding and nothing was too much trouble for our waiter Nasir. Especially as the other half is a fussy eater. We had Freedom dining and there was 10 of us at every meal. We only had to wait 15 mins on one occasion. Our Waiter was fantastic. The gym was well equipped which members of our party who are regular gym goers said it was great. We liked the pools, however, this is where things become a bit fraught. My first negative, in our party we had four thirty year olds and 4 children, ages 4,5,8 and 14. The elderly regular cruisers didn't like the younger children. My grandchildren played all day in the pools and if they dared splashed they were told off by the elderly women. Now, I could understand if they were laying on the sunbeds but they were sat at the edge of the pool. The first few times we ignored them but on one occasion I had to remind them that the pool is for everyone and if they didn't want to be around children they should go to the adults pool. This didn't go down well. Another elderly gentleman told my son off for splashing his little daughter in the pool. Apparently his wife didn't want to get her hair wet!!! What do you expect sat at the edge of the pool with your feet dangling in there!! There seems to be a quota of elderly elitist that wanted a very traditional cruise and obviously were regulars with P & O and consequently felt they owned it. This also showed on sea days. The poolside entertainment was at best poor. Old fashioned back ground music, not that that's a problem but they should be catering for all ages. There was very little entertainment except the quizzes, which was dull and mundane. I also felt the quizzes were something to pacify us. The sail away parties were good fun. They would start at 5pm and finish on the dot at 6pm. Despite the party being in full flow it stopped dead an hour later. I understand the entertainment team has other jobs but it all felt it was going through the motions. One of the sea days I even went to see a film as I was that bored on deck. On other ships the evening entertainment have had spectacular various shows every night. Apart from Astonish show the rest of the time was the same group singing songs from different decades. If you wanted a good show you really had to book the Limelight club and pay £25-£35 per person for the privilege. So for me it would be £70 extra just to see Gareth Gates! So for our party we felt that the entertainment team was VERY poor for the size of the ship. The next grip is the midship lack of stairs. How was this thought out? Lucky for us we were on deck 14 so it was only 2 decks to the lido. If we had stairs we would have walked to this deck but unfortunately the forward and aft stairs were too far away. I understand this is being rectified in the October refit. I feel P & O are missing a younger audience. Their adverts are targeting an older customer. Unlike RCL, Carnival etc who are targeting families. My family have said their next cruise will be on a fun ship and not a geriatric ship. So that's 6 adults and 4 children they have lost. We had a lovely cruise, fantastic ports, good food but in comparison to other cruise lines poor entertainment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Although we took a 1 week cruise on P&O Britannia last year to Northern Spain in order to tailor our expectations….even with this knowledge the ship did not live up to our expectations. With the exception of St Vincent the ... Read More
Although we took a 1 week cruise on P&O Britannia last year to Northern Spain in order to tailor our expectations….even with this knowledge the ship did not live up to our expectations. With the exception of St Vincent the itinerary was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed the islands that we visited. The ports were really easy to navigate whether we took local taxi’s privately or were on a P&O excursion. As with every holiday at whatever price it is normal to question if you had value for money. Did the holiday provider deliver on what was advertised and does it stack up compared with similar holidays. It is clear that the holiday operator is not responsible for the climatic conditions or anything that is outside their control. The tricky part is writing a review that is balanced: For instance I would not mention that the bed-sheets were clean (they were) but if they were dirty (they were not) it would be amiss of me not to mention this. Therefore the comments in this long review may appear only negative. Flights Lets start at the very beginning of the holiday and the Thomas Cook flight. We decided to upgrade to Premium for the journey as I am tall and really struggle with the economy class seat pitch for longer flights. The cost of this was a not inconsiderable £300.00 each……and then they wanted a further £60.00 each to pre-book particular seats! I was away on business when the midnight timeslot came around to pre-book the seats and when I then looked many had been blocked off. No problem I thought as there are others….however despite frequently looking they never released the ones that appeared to be free and then all of a sudden they had mostly been booked…….how so I will never understand! I do not remember seeing an email reminder stating when seats became available…..but perhaps it was sent but I missed it under a pile of other P&O emails selling a variety of cruise related products. The upshot of this is that we couldn’t actually pre-book seats and arrived at the airport to find we had been pre-allocated Row 1 window and aisle seats. These are the ones directly behind the bulkhead and have very little legroom. Despite paying the same price as the seats from Row’s 2 to 7 we had a far inferior product. We did not receive what had been advertised and even suffered shorter legroom than the economy bulkhead seats (we were able to see these when we disembarked the aircraft and walked in front of these seats). In fact the middle bulkhead Premium seats had between 3-4 inches more space than our seats as they were set back a little further from the bulkhead. Food and service on the flight were good and we landed in Barbados only 30 minutes later than the advertised time…..for long haul this is not too bad. The great news is that you leave the aircraft stairs and only walk a few meters to the bus that takes you directly to the port where you check in and straight onto the ship thus avoiding the airport ….. and your luggage is taken directly to your cabin. Embarkation was easy with quick service at the check in and we were on the ship in less than 10 minutes from arriving at the port. We were able to secure 2 Retreat passes at £450.00 for the 14 days. We like the Retreat as there is some shade and the sunbeds are bigger and far more comfortable than those around the pool areas. The only real issue we had was that the Retreat opens at 09.00 and a line forms about 20 minutes before. On sea days this line is rather long as each person wants to secure sunbeds in the area they particularly like. On one occasion once the door was opened and we were filing in, one of the passengers worked his way around the sunbeds to gain a few places and push in like a weasel……of course being English we didn’t say anything but unfortunately you will find people like this scattered over the ship; pushing into the lifts or pushing you out of the way at the buffet. Food. This was our biggest gripe. The quality of the food included was a little less than average. Lets take average as the quality of food in a Harvester. The food in the buffet was cooked using the cheapest ingredients and mostly lacked flavour and was mostly over-cooked. Food in the MDR was average and if you are in anyway a “Foodie” you may not like to eat here often. We only ate twice (one lunch and one dinner) in the MDR as the food was ok but for my mind not the standard of a reasonable restaurant and we also had difficulty getting a table. I know it is hard to cater for many hundreds of passengers at the same time and mass catering is never easy especially when there are a number of options and they are trying to offer something different every day. Freedom dining proved to be on both this and our cruise in September 2018 anything but. It appears that Freedom dining should be renamed “Top up dining” Our experience is that if the MDR’s are full then of course you cannot get a table. They will give you a bleeper that will vibrate and flash when a table is ready. The evening that we did eat in the MDR this was approx. 40 minutes. On another occasion we tried to go approx. 30 minutes before the 2nd sitting and again was advised that the wait would be approx. 40 minutes….so we scurried off to the Glasshouse as it would have been approx. 1 hour before the food would have arrived at the table. Our advice would be to book one of the set dining times as we saw the same thing happen to a number of other guests. We heard reports that the waiters did not have enough jam at breakfast or equipment and had to wait until other diners had finished before being able to issue jam or marmalade. Apparently the new Head Chef is looking to make a mark with Carnival and the only one the bean counters understand is that of reducing costs, which would account for the quality of the food. By taking this approach the line has steered passengers into paid restaurants, which in turn increases revenue and reduces costs by eliminating meals that were included in the ticket price. We ate in Sindhu once that had food with flavour (hooray) …..although it appeared that we got lucky as other passengers reported that flavour was absent on other days; which was in line with our September cruise observations. In the Limelight Club the food was fine and Gareth Gates was finer with a lovely voice that was worth the entrance fee. All other times we ate in the Glasshouse that had great service and freshly cooked (and not over-cooked) food. We were not the only people to frequently eat here as we saw the same faces many times….. perhaps they also didn’t rate the included food. The Retreat also served food at breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea but whilst this sounds wonderful the choices were limited and ran with the usual theme of poor quality and little flavour. On occasions the offering was different to what was advertised on the on table menus. The cakes were not sweet and the cream was tasteless. I would often pass rather than eat something for the exercise of jaw chomping whilst receiving no excitement for my taste buds. We scrummed down for breakfast and lunch on occasions in the Buffet and found this to be the most disappointing venue. Again the cheapest ingredients with breakfast bacon very salty and cooked in a steam oven (that is why it has no browning and the fat has not rendered). The eggs station was over-whelmed with guests and even if you asked for an omelette to be soft the chef did not understand and still gave you one over-cooked. Breakfast pancakes were cold. Watered down juice at breakfast and nothing other than water at lunch (we didn’t venture into the Buffet in the evening). There was no ice-cream in the buffet or on the decks and if you wanted ice-cream branded products were available at an extra charge. Another thing that was watered down was the salad dressings. Very thin and rarely was there a blue cheese dressing. Room service breakfast was on time (30 minute window which is understandable) and warm but using the same poor quality ingredients. Cabin. Lets talk about something more positive. We had a Superior Balcony Cabin that delivered everything the brochure advertised. Bottle of Champagne; box of chocolates; binoculars and un-expectedly a good range of magazines. Plenty of movies to choose from and you can pause and go back to the same movie a day or so later. Comfortable bed and an invisible cabin attendant (this is a good thing) who whilst being stealthy did a great job and the cabin was scrupulously clean throughout the voyage. Just a couple of little issues: the outside balcony windows were not cleaned for the entire fortnight: we had a power cut (all power on the ship) one night for approx. 15 minutes the cabin emergency lighting came on (yep it works) and the announcement chime was sounded but no announcement. Another night there was an emergency called through the tannoy and an assement team was sent to one floor but this was apparently a false alarm. On another night we had no water in the bathroom….but this was at 03.00 so no real issue and another night our (and a lot of the other cabins) A/C was not working……but after reporting the next night it was fine and to their credit they handled this very well with feedback etc. Ship General Appearance; For a ship that is only 4 years old the condition of the ship was poor. The hull had various rust spots and we were surprised to never see anyone painting as other cruise lines do! Further to this you can see where they have previously painted as the paint is not the same colour white and therefore looks patched. Not once in the 2 weeks did we see any of the windows being cleaned and some of the windows of the Buffet were so dirty you couldn’t make out the view. If you look in the corners on the decks you will see that these areas are not cleaned properly and the Serenity Swimming Pool has some of the little tiles missing (not many but they were still missing) the LED strip lighting around the Serenity Pool under the seating around the pool was dropping down and an attempt to hold this up with white tape was failing as the tape was hanging down. Functionality: The Gym was a disappointment. I cycle and wanted to keep up some fitness whilst away. Only 2 fixed bikes for over 3,500 guests meant that it was difficult to get on one. The only time that I did the screen did not work effectively and therefore the session was not what I needed. This issue was exacerbated by a poor administration situation. I read in the daily that there was a Spin Class the next day at 08.30 and to book in at the Gym. I arrived at 07.55 to find at the end of the Gym a table with 8 or 9 clipboards. One was titled “Tour de France” and I put my name on the list and was approx. 3rd down. Got seated on a spin bike…..2 late arrivals and only one bike spare so the instructor read out the list. My name was not on it. It transpires that the clipboard that I had signed to was for a couple of days later. However I did not spot this as the date was in small print (opposed the title) and the clipboard for that days spin class was not on the table! If it had been I would have seen that it was full and had a wait list. Of course I wouldn’t have placed myself in that position and been embarrassed by being sent away. Much has been written on the lift system and deservedly so. Clearly there is an issue with the programing of the lifts……but despite much customer frustration this has not been resolved. Brace yourselves for this as it start as a pint of amusement but it will soon beyond a joke. Entertainment: The quality of entertainment was very mixed. The theatre must have gone over their budget as they reply on the theatre company for many shows but have not yet found a male lead vocalist who can hold an audience. The staging is good with some excellent sets. DNA and the Russian Acrobats were good and held our attention however The Brit Tones really need to watch a video of their performance……or really listen as they didn’t harmonize together……and the higher range Artist sounded like the moment Norman Wisdom collided with Donald Duck…but at least it gave us a laugh…for a few days. The Theatre is a pretty dull place to wait in your seat for the show to start. Other Cruise lines have waiters serving drinks (missed that one Carnival Accountants) and always entertain with video quizzes or videos relating to the act that you have sat down to see…. although this did happen on one occasion. Looking at the demographic of the ships guests it is most likely that most of them avidly watch “Strictly Come Dancing”. Britannia has built the lovely “Crystal Room” to enable people to floor dance. Unfortunately very few people used or sat in the room; which in turn must be so demoralizing for the live band that played there each evening. Why oh why didn’t the dance professionals have a slot each evening to present a show of each of the dance genres. Music around the internal public areas of the ship is rationed. The Crows Nest is a beautiful cocktail bar with the best views on-board. Paul the Pianist must have been on a work to rule. If he did arrive before 18.00hrs he waited until his time to tickle the ivories and did not start before 18.00…….and certainly would not play for more than 30 minutes. On at least one occasion he was late. Once he had left it took a while for piped music to be played. The Atrium for most of the early evening is pin drop quiet with no music at all. Lets have a little bit of atmosphere…..we are not talking Prodigy or Led Zep and even Supermarkets have canned music between BOGOF announcements. P&O Staff The crew on the P&O Britannia work hard and clearly engaged with their positions. I have already mentioned the cabin steward and the waiting staff in the Glasshouse who were worthy of an extra tip. In every other area the crew were good efficient and friendly……especially if you give them recognition and engage with them. I would like to say the same about the Officers but sadly cannot. We never saw the Captain around the ship…..perhaps our paths did not cross. The white shirts we did see never engaged with any guests……although I have to be honest that one night a white shirt did speak to me in the Glasshouse (no not the old joke of “get out of the way”) but asked if I was enjoying my meal. However I could see this was not his forte as he did not want to continue to speak when I did start to engage and moved away whilst talking …….more of a McDonalds “have a good day” moment. Disembarkation Leaving the ship was well organized. A few days before we were due to leave we received an envelope with a variety of paperwork including the baggage labels and customs forms. There was a very well written guide to filling out the customs forms and a prescribed time to take them to the Live Lounge for these and your passports to be checked and stamped by Barbados officials. Leaving the ship is the same as any other time and the bus was waiting to take us to the Airport Shore Excursions Curacao: we took a taxi to Mamboo Beach. This beach is man made but is a short taxi ride from the port and they arrange to also pick you up. Whist this is man made the beach is clean and the water warm and safe as there is a breakwater that protects the beach. The Vibe is good and the sun-beds are reasonable to rent. Aruba; another taxi to Palm Beach. Although this is a commercial beach with large hotels adorned along the beach….its a beautiful beach with good swimming and facilities…..and lots to watch. Not all the sun-beds are for rent but if you see Sandra at the pier by the Hilton you will get shade and 2 sunbeds for $35.00 St Vincent: We attempted to book the “Escape to Bequia” P&O trip but it was fully booked many weeks before the cruise. Decided to have a walk around Kingstown. Not the pretty destination you may think but rather downbeat and smelly. Grenada: We took the Water Bus close to where you leave the ship to Grand Anse Beach. £7.00 each way and worthwhile. Great beach…. Sunbeds and shade (or in out case rain shelter) was worth $20.00 St Lucia: P&O Excursion: Catamaran to The Pitons. A quick run into Marigot Bay was lovely before reaching the Pitons for pictures and then onto a lovely beach. Fabulous crew who worked hard to get us in the mood for dancing and we rocked the boat (lubricated by the correct amount of Rum Punch: Great value at £48.00 per head St Maarten: we booked the P&O Excursion Zipline Sky Explorere and Surf Adventure. Great fun and the Flying Dutchman is brilliant and certainly the only thing that will hold you back is that “top of the diving board” feeling. Worth the £99.00 from P&O as the park is more expensive independently. St Kitts: Another P&O Excursion: Cockleshell Beach Break. We were picked up at 11.15 and driven to Cockleshell Beach with a stop to see the view of where a strip of land sits between the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. Our ticket price included a fruit punch (small plastic cup upon arrival) and a beach chair. However a Celebrity ship was also in port and they had arrived sometime before us and taken almost all the sun-beds (there were no chairs on the beach). I had to go in search of sunbeds that had not been taken and drag them to the only shaded area behind all the other sets of sun-beds and parasols. We went snorkeling to discover the underwater was dirty and littered with cans, bottles and paper. Worst still was that there is a raised underwater area that the sea grass grows on. Fun to stand on but beware as there were spiky sea urchins that would really do some damage if you accidently stepped on one. There was no warning in the bus or at the beach. On the upside the food at the Spice Mill was good. Cost of £30.00 pp was not value…..take a taxi privately and perhaps to another beach. Antigua: P&O Excursion: Caribbean Sailaway. Catamaran to 2 beaches. Have to say a little disappointing. Crew were not so interactive and dumped us at Turners Beach for 1.5 hours (some drinks were available onshore free of charge) whilst they prepared lunch. Not something we have seen before as this type of trip the catamaran usually stays on the beach so that you can leave your bags etc. Lunch was ok but no fruit or deserts offered. Onto Deep Bay Beach where the catamaran did stay with us on the beach. £70.00 pp was not good value. Summary In summary we have very mixed feelings due to a number of factors that really should be improved. Our assessment is that P&O are confused which market they should be targeting. They have caught themselves between the new generation traveller who is aspirational and is moving up to cruising from a land based perhaps all inclusive holiday and the old guard that have sailed on P&O for decades. P&O don’t want to miss either markets and have also narrowed their target market to the UK (how many French would like to travel on a ship with a whopping great Union Jack on the side). The accountants have penny pinched to a point that it manifests in the quality and service. Did we enjoy ourselves? Despite the above criticisms we did. The itinerary was good and the Caribbean Islands are wonderful. We ate well in the evenings and enjoyed the sea days. However it is unlikely we will travel P&O again as we believe from experience there are cruise lines that deliver a package that is more suited to us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose Britannia for Caribbean cruise, as it was visiting islands we hadn’t see before. Flights on the Dreamliner were excellent. But the ship oh dear! P&O just haven’t got this one right. There are too many people crowded into ... Read More
We chose Britannia for Caribbean cruise, as it was visiting islands we hadn’t see before. Flights on the Dreamliner were excellent. But the ship oh dear! P&O just haven’t got this one right. There are too many people crowded into public spaces. The staff all seem to work extremely hard but there aren’t enough of them for the number of passengers. This was apparent on Freedom dining which was not good, long queues and even though we could see empty tables ready, people were turned away with a pager. Probably because either not enough waiters or cooks to cope with the numbers of tables Several times we gave up and ate at the speciality restaurants which were extra cost. The evening entertainment was poor in comparison to Azura. Specialist acts that used to be included in the main venues are now chargeable in the ‘limelight Club’. You have a beautiful Crystal room but hardly anyone in it. The cabin was adequate and kept clean by our lovely steward, but bed linen is now only changed once on a 14 day cruise. The air con is awful. We were both ill with chest infections that continued after returning home . Certain areas of the ship appeared unhygienic. We never saw any wiping down of the stair rails or encouragement to use antibacterial spray when entering dining rooms. We missed the promenade deck that is available on other ships. There was no outside space to sit other than if you went up to the lido deck. We did enjoy the gallery talk about LSLowry. It would have been lovely to have taken part in the tour of the Bridge & engine room but at £75 each it seemed expensive. The cabin account is not visible on your tv any more and I would suspect that many passengers got quite a shock on check out as There were many ‘chargeable extras’ that would soon mount up. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because P and O offered flights from our local airport. This was a huge bonus and meant we did not have to set out the day before, book a pre cruise hotel or arrange car parking. We also liked the itinerary with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because P and O offered flights from our local airport. This was a huge bonus and meant we did not have to set out the day before, book a pre cruise hotel or arrange car parking. We also liked the itinerary with lots of ports and places to see. This was our first time on Britannia and we were a bit dubious after reading some poor reviews. I can say if you have booked a cruise on this ship don’t worry, it is in great condition and.the food and service are good. You will have a great time. We loved the decor and thought it was sophisticated and tasteful. For this cruise we booked a larger inside cabin. This is the first time we had stayed in an inside cabin and were surprised at the level of comfort it offered.the cabin was very quiet and so dark at night a good sleep was assured. To be fair it’s not as nice as a balcony cabin but if you don’t have many sea days and want to be out and about it’s a great choice and offers big savings. We did not use the speciality restaurants as we found the food in the main restaurant very good. We were on first sitting fixed dining in the Oriental restaurant and this suited us perfectly. We were not so keen on the Horizon buffet, where the food seemed the same every day..not a patch on other cruise lines. Food mediocre and the flow of traffic in the serving area is chaotic. On the plus side you can always get a seat. As others have said the entertainment on Britannia is pretty good and we visited the theatre most nights. The biggest negative about Britannia is the lack of deck space on sea days. You really have to get up early to grab a good spot..and even then you are squashed in like sardines in a can. Staff do not move towels etc from ‘saved’ beds and many are left vacant for hours on end. Very unfair. I was also disappointed with the Lido pools, which seem to be a homage to the Benidorm / Butlin’s brigade. This area could be so much nicer. Come on P and O think of your core customers and what they want...more quiet peaceful spaces. By the way trying to get into the retreat on a sea day was impossible. We enjoyed all the ports and booked trips through Viatour, which were a lot cheaper than P and O and were as good, if not better. We do find St Marten is over populated with cruise ships, which makes everywhere over crowded and busy. On the day we were there we calculated there must have been around 20,000 cruise ship passengers in port. Hence we were quickly back on board. Overall, I prefer Holland America and Cunard ships. However, we had a great holiday made better by the local flights and seamless transfer when you arrive in Barbados. It’s off the plane, onto a bus and then straight to the ship. As we were on a late flight home we booked a day cabin for an extra £45. This was worth every penny and meant we arrived at the airport fresh and ready for our flight home. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was a new ship and the flight left from my local airport. The only deck you could walk on was the top deck and you would have to fight your way around sunbeds and passengers. The only way to sit outside on a deck was via Costa ... Read More
This was a new ship and the flight left from my local airport. The only deck you could walk on was the top deck and you would have to fight your way around sunbeds and passengers. The only way to sit outside on a deck was via Costa coffee shop. You would have to buy a coffee and sit among the smokers. Any other doors to outside were securely fastened for the whole of the journey. The air conditioning was freezing in the theatre and bars. You dont expect to wear cardigans in the Caribbean. Once in the Lido buffet you were bombarded by waiters asking you to book the other restaurants at £30 a person per meal. We tried Freedom Dining but it was not a good experience so once we were sent to the Oriental Restaurant as the the others were full the waiter kept our table for 6 for the same time every evening. Freedom dining didnt work for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
• Overall very enjoyable holiday – flights good, transfers seamless • Overall good quality accommodation o Small balconies but sufficient with 2 chairs and a table o Area around the wardrobe could be wider as hung clothes ... Read More
• Overall very enjoyable holiday – flights good, transfers seamless • Overall good quality accommodation o Small balconies but sufficient with 2 chairs and a table o Area around the wardrobe could be wider as hung clothes catch on bathroom door as it opened, not a lot can be done on this ship but needs considering for future builds o Food in waiter service restaurants was excellent as were the waiting staff o Selection of food in the main buffet could be more international and not so UK centric (Lancashire Hotpot as an example!!!) - that said the quality of the good available was very good o Very bizarre array of individual drinks packages available, over complicated and over-priced; the wine package however was good. We understand P&O are introducing a more exclusive drinks package in Aril but looking at the pricing structure WAAAAAAY too expensive …… you maybe need to learn from your competitors !! o A pity there was not an ice cream section available as part of the standard inclusive price!! o Entertainment was average o Medical staff (which were unfortunately needed on this cruise) were very attentive and efficient o On-board spending allowance needs to be looked at to offer a more consistent offering as we experienced fellow passengers who had received 4x the allowance we got for the same/lower grade cabin and where they booked a lot closer to departure date than we did, we felt we were penalised for booking early!! o Some other cruise ships offered fresh towels as passengers returned to the ship after a day ashore, a nice touch to get rid of potentially sandy towels straight away! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
My partner and booked this cruise as we felt like we needed a winter getaway. We also had a fantastic time on a January cruise in 2017 and wanted to explore more of the world using this excellent mode of transport. We are both in our mid ... Read More
My partner and booked this cruise as we felt like we needed a winter getaway. We also had a fantastic time on a January cruise in 2017 and wanted to explore more of the world using this excellent mode of transport. We are both in our mid 20’s and really enjoy hiking, exploring and just generally being active. The aim was to come back feeling relaxed but also like we gained new knowledge and experience. This would be our third cruise and first time with P&O. Embarkation and disembarkation I cannot fault, it is seamless from start to finish. We were on a charter flight and on arrival at Barbados we were whisked straight off the plane to the ship. We had no queue to check in and get our cruise cards created. On departure day everything is digitally signposted to make sure you know where you need to be and at what time. Our cases were taken the night before and immigration came onto the ship to handle our paperwork the day before we left. We were given our flight tickets around 4 days before departure along with our luggage labels and explanation of the process. The dedicated lane at the airport for cruise passengers was also super speedy, definitely the best we have encountered. Exercise & Leisure: There is a well equipped gym and running track on the upper deck, we used these everyday and found there was enough equipment for everyone without having to wait around (obviously there are peak times e.g. around 9am). There are free sessions such as the ‘morning stretch’ that you can sign up to along with classes such as spinning which come at a small fee. There is also a basketball court and golf area (no mini golf though which would be an excellent addition). Beside the gym is also the cookery school kitchen which looks fantastic, we did not get to experience this but there was always a variety of different classes advertised for a fee. The spa we did not use, on our first day at sea we went to have a look around at the thermal suite which appeared quite small plus it felt like a really hard selling approach to get us to purchase day passes. We did not receive our requested call back for availability and so we did not visit. There is also the ‘retreat’ open air spa terrace available for booking in conjunction with the thermal suite. Entertainment & Activities: Everyday you will find a full program of things you can get involved in within the cruise personaliser which is dropped off outside your cabin each night along with port information. We played bingo in Brodie’s bar purchasing a pack for £15 which included 5 games and a bonus 3 tickets for one game. We also really enjoyed the aqua fit classes which took place in the lido pool which was free. Throughout the day there are quizzes, talks from aviation experts, reflexology sessions, you can book your next cruise or just sunbathe out on deck. You will also find usually 2 different films showing throughout the day in the studio, there’s a great selection for all. We only attended one show in the theatre which was called ‘astonishing’, I won’t spoil it for those that haven’t seen it but we found it entertaining given its interactive nature. Shopping: Within the main atrium midship you will find a selection of stores selling jewellery, clothing and alcohol. They did a number of flash sales on products but we still found everything very pricey, however they do come in handy when you have an emergency such as not packing your tie (will set you back £12). Just opposite reception you will find another store selling biscuits, suncream, merchandise, playing cards (£3) and amongst other things the washing tabs you need for the washing machines (£1 each). Food and drink: I cannot tell you how many bars there are on this ship, they are everywhere! You can also get costa coffee at select places also. The market cafe on deck 5 also sells wonderful looking cakes and bakes designed by Eric Lanlard and also crepes and ice cream. We were allocated to second sitting dining (8:30pm) in the Oriental restaurant on a table for 2. I don’t eat food containing dairy and informed our travel agent when booking and I was looked after fantastically. I ordered my food the day before getting a sneak peak of the menu and everything was cooked for me with the same choice as everyone else minus the dairy. Our waiters were phenomenal and they really added to our meal times. We had 4 formal nights and the dress code is strict so don’t forget your tie or suit jacket! The horizon buffet is also always well stocked; if you need help with a dietary requirement you can ask the staff in the yellow ‘how can I help’ aprons. You have everything available at breakfast including cooked breakfast, fruit, pastries, pancakes, cereal, yoghurt, juice. Lunch is always something different but you can always have salad, fish and cold meats, soup along with a wide selection of hot dishes. Afternoon tea is served in here from 3pm and also in the oriental restaurant from 4-4:45pm. There are always numerous cakes, sandwiches, pies, scones, crumpets and unlimited tea. Outside either side of the lido pool you will find a grab and go section for quick sandwiches, fruit, salad etc at lunch and also pizza, burgers, hot dogs and chips served until around 6pm. There is also Jude’s ice cream and costa coffee here too. We also chose to pay extra to dine in Eric Lanlards restaurant ‘The Epicurean’ for afternoon tea. It was fantastic with a wonderful selection of food and experimental desserts along with a large choice of tea (including chocolate tea). The decor is also very light and airy, this is a must for any foodies and it was extremely reasonable price wise. You can also dine at other restaurants such as Sindhu and the Limelight Club (evenings entertainment by a known performer) for a fee. Ports & Excursions: We had a fantastic itinerary and loved each of the ports we visited. Our favourites were Grenada, Dominica & St Lucia. We booked the eco trek for Grenada which led us through a plantation, learning about all of the spices, plants and fruits the island holds. We then ended up at a waterfall in which you can take a refreshing dip. Our tour guide was fantastic however if you struggle walking up pretty steep hills on a continuous incline then this may not be for you as the way back is pretty much all uphill. We also had a to cross a river barefoot but this was all part of the fun! In Dominica we booked the hot springs trip. We swam through a gorge which was also one of the film areas for Pirates of the Caribbean, then onto the Bongo Baths which were wonderful. Naturally heated pools of water at different temperatures in a tranquil setting. You do have to take a dip in the cold before leaving to get your pores closed up (leaving open leaves you vulnerable). St Lucia we planned ourselves and already researched that we wanted to go pigeon island. I’m the port are there are always numerous people asking if you need a taxi, we paid $40 return for two with a pick up later in the afternoon. We had a fantastic time climbing up hills, taking in the scenery and relaxing on the beach; you must also visit Jambe de Bois for food and cocktails, it is fantastic! I would say don’t be afraid to do some pre trip research as shore excursions can be expensive. In Antigua we booked kayaking and snorkelling. Our guides/instructors were really superb and we had an awesome day, pretty arm intensive at the start but all worth it! We saw lots of beautiful sea creatures and enjoyed a few cups of rum punch in the sunshine. I would personally substitute Çuracao with Trinidad & Tobago as this port was the least active for us. We explored the local area and the Kura Hulanda museum but beyond this we would have needed to go further out to find some more activities. Cabin: We had an inside cabin which we found to be excellent value, we spent so much time out of our room we didn’t feel the need to book a balcony. The queen bed was great and very comfy plus we had numerous storage spaces and an adequate size bathroom. Our housekeeper cleaned at least twice a day, we could not fault how clean the cabin was. Overall we had a fantastic trip, we really did not want to come home! We want to travel with P&O again and cant wait for our next cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Three adults travelling . We wanted to visit the Caribbean and this cruise was visiting St Lucia when England were playing the West Indies which we had a particular interest in. Never been on the Brittania before and there was noting to ... Read More
Three adults travelling . We wanted to visit the Caribbean and this cruise was visiting St Lucia when England were playing the West Indies which we had a particular interest in. Never been on the Brittania before and there was noting to complain about it was brilliant . We had wonderful food, smart comfy clean cabin and the staff were very friendly nothing too much trouble. Nelson and Paul looked after us in the Oriental reastaurant . The buffet was also good in the Horizon apart from the minority of rude people pushing in , it was as if they hadn’t eaten before! I don’t think there is much P&O can do about them though. We have sailed before with P&O and would definitely recommend them they make everything so easy for you from the day you book to when you get back home . It is a really relaxing holiday . We had wonderful a day at the cricket in St Lucia . We didn’t book through P&O however local taxi there and back was reliable, thank you Bernard from Real St Lucia Tours we definitely recommend you and buying tickets for cricket was easy . We had a lovely holiday and will be saving to go on a cruise with P&O again . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We traveled on Britannia from 2nd to 16th February 2019 starting from Barbados.In the main it was a positive experience, it’s a lovely ship, with amazing staff and lots of fabulous food (you definitely won’t go hungry) We preferred to ... Read More
We traveled on Britannia from 2nd to 16th February 2019 starting from Barbados.In the main it was a positive experience, it’s a lovely ship, with amazing staff and lots of fabulous food (you definitely won’t go hungry) We preferred to eat in the Oriental or Peninsula restaurant for breakfast/lunch and share a table which gave us the chance to meet lots of new people who were all very pleasant (despite differing Brexit views which was inevitably one of the conversational topics) There were a few passengers on board however who were rude/ignorant but I suppose you will get that wherever you go.They are catering for a lot of people with varying expectations, so of course there were things we didn’t like (The sail aways were a bit naff, although we heard that the Great British sail away where there were a lot of rousing, patriotic songs was very good) but there are so many activities you can find something to do or somewhere quiet or noisy depending on your mood. The entertainment was good, although as someone else has commented there were a LOT of quizzes. We did one everyday in Brodie’s bar before dinner, which was enough for us. The shows in the Headliners Theatre were very good. The Headliner troupe are very talented and enthusiastic, and the other acts we saw were very good too, it’s excellent entertainment. The only thing we felt let down by was the Astonishing show, which I think was built up to be a huge magic show and was really more singing and dancing, with some very average illusions. It was okay, but didn’t live up to the hype. We were impressed by the organisation when things went wrong. Our inbound flight was delayed by 3 hours and our transfer from plane to ship was very smooth and straightforward. Also we were unable to dock at Antigua as planned, and they very quickly organised more entertainment for the enforced Sea day and we made an unscheduled stop at Martinique the following day instead. This was our first long cruise and there were a couple of things I wished I known /thought about in advance. On the final night you have to put out your hold luggage between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. My hand luggage was just a smallish handbag. If I was doing it again, I would have a larger bag for hand luggage to accommodate wash kit, and change of clothes etc. Also on the final morning you need to vacate your cabin by 8 a.m. As we weren’t due to congregate to leave for the airport until 3.40 p.m. I wish we’d organised an excursion that morning as it was quite boring and very little going on on the boat and because of the aforementioned hand luggage debacle we were overdressed for sitting by the pool. The launderette was very useful too, although business was brisk on the day we chose (First sea day, second week) full of ladies ironing their husbands’ shirts (No sign of the husbands, did Germaine Greer burn her bra in vain?) I probably would have taken fewer clothes, as it wasn’t too much of a chore doing a bit of washing. I understand that P&O are introducing a drinks package soon, which would put me off travelling with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
My family chose this Cruise specifically because P&O advised it was going to Antigua my mothers original birth place and to see the rest of my family, and celebrate my Sisters Wedding Anniversary as she got married on the Azura and hen ... Read More
My family chose this Cruise specifically because P&O advised it was going to Antigua my mothers original birth place and to see the rest of my family, and celebrate my Sisters Wedding Anniversary as she got married on the Azura and hen night on Jolly Beach Antigua. So a special and important Trip as it was also my Anniversay and my Brother in laws Birthday. My Sister has also been diagnosed with a serious illness so a reaaly important cruise for her and the family and close friends, so the party of nine booked this cruise paid alot of money and counted down the days to the cruise The cruise started off well the ship looked impressive on first glance, but on closer inspection for a so called new ship it needed a make over and good tidy. Balcony suite we had was small and pokey, bits of rust in the bathroom and a strange smell of cats wee. Lido deck entrance was damp and had blowers on trying to dry it out for most of the trip. So 3 days before the end of the cruise and the lovely island Antigua we should have docked in, we were told due to a technical issue we could not dock we were 4 miles away so we were going back out to sea and arrive in a day at Martinique instead. Imagine the outrage by not only my family but most of the people on board, we were fobbed off, told it was too chopey to tender us out when it was not. Then told we were the only ones who had complained. They wish P&O Managerial staff were all contradicting them selves with different reason for not docking in Antigua when customers challanged them, the queue to the customer service desk was unreal, all we know was it was a technical issue. When we met with the P&O Customer Service Manager to explain the importance of us going to Antigua, and my sisters diagnosis, we were told to look at the terms and conditions my sister left the room crying, the rest of the party were offered a drinks voucher for a house red or white wine to use in 2 days,we gave them back told P&O they need it more than us. He also said there will be no chance of any financial recompense what so ever, very good customer service P&O! Allegedly this is not the first time that they have missed out Antigua, according to people on the ship who sailed in January the same thing happened. Why you have the same technical issue twice in two months, and how strange at exactly the same island each time. While on the cruise P&O did a sponsored walk for teenage Cancer it was £10 to enter and £10 for a T shirt, I donated £20 did the walk with my sisters and brother in law and we all got the Tshirt. They raised over £1200 in total no mention of P&O topping it up, just thought it was pretty ironic that they were raising money for teenage cancer, but a real life Cancer Patient in front of them with a genuine reason to see family in Antigua they could not care less about. shame on you P&O Shame on you. P&O have made it quite clear that the customer does not matter, they are quite arrogant about it, they are a big company and what we complain about or do is of no concern to them. The cabin staff and servers and bar staff do an excellent job, and work so hard to ensure your stay is a good one, without them P&O would be no where. The Entertainment and Resturants were good along with the servic, our cabin steward was lovely and looked after us well The Ports we went to were great apart from not going to Antigua and ending up ing Martinique which was not so good. we went on one ship excursion only because you could only book it through the ship, otherwise we would not pay their riduculous prices. We had beenon the Rhum Runner excursion before and it was great a fantastic day and beautiful beach in Grenada. Would i use P&O No Would i recommend P&O No Is P&O value for money No The Britannia in my opinion was over sold and under delivered for a so called new ship to the fleet. So if you are thinking of a Cruise be very careful who you use. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We decided to get some winter sunshine. The islands were interesting some of which we had visited before. We always went on independent shore excursions and shared taxis with passengers from other ships and had interesting conversations ... Read More
We decided to get some winter sunshine. The islands were interesting some of which we had visited before. We always went on independent shore excursions and shared taxis with passengers from other ships and had interesting conversations with several Americans and a lovely young German couple. We never use the ship's excursions as they are expensive and not good value. We found Britannia too big and impersonal. Although we attended the Captain's welcome party, we were on deck 7, there were no officers present and we wouldn't have recognized the captain or been able to identify any of his officers. Only one lady officer spoke as she passed you.None of the others gave you the time of day. The balcony on the cabin was bijou even though we were in a superior deluxe cabin. We didn't feel that they were worth paying the extra money for. On a positive note the food was excellent and the ship seemed very clean.8 Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Barbados, Bonaire, Aruba, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maartin, St Vincent back to Barbados, had to call into Martinique instead of Antigua. Disappointed we had to miss this resort. Had Friday ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Barbados, Bonaire, Aruba, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maartin, St Vincent back to Barbados, had to call into Martinique instead of Antigua. Disappointed we had to miss this resort. Had Friday and Saturday in Barbados prior to sailing, loved Barbados and the people, went to Oistins on the Friday evening, walked around the port area on the Saturday morning then Garrison Savanagh on the afternoon for the races. Had a great time. Embarkation and disembarkation top class, best ever, very quick, well organised and efficient. SHIP - excellent, no complaints, had a balcony cabin C117, great views, early morning coffee, early evening drinks, great view of ports arriving and departing, a must for Caribbean. Food great, we were on freedom dining, six of us and never waited for a table, service a bit slow in both Meridian and Peninsular. Some people may enjoy sitting for 2 hours for courses, bit much for us. Ate breakfast in the Horison, excellent. Afternoon tea starts at three, also great. ENTERTAINMENT - Most of it was good, Pulse, Steel, Tina Turner, Comedian Mark Walker excellent, there was also a married acrobatic couple just for one or two nights, excellent show. Saw Eric and Ernie and Gareth Gates in the Limelight. Bit disappointed in both, don’t know what I expected, Gareth lacked personality but great singer. Eric and Ernie, although spitting image of the originals, I thought they would bring something more up to date, but can remember their routines word from word on the shows. As I say not sure about these two, food the same on both nights that was a bit disappointing and we did complain, turns out we could have ordered off the Meridian menu, not advised at the time we ordered our food. We paid 25.00 for each show so expected the menu to have changed. We also sat from 7.15 to 10.30pm, food in between, but sick of sitting by end of night. Service through the ship was excellent, everyone made it special, no complaints what so ever, the ship is spotless, the staff always smiling, greeting am/pm whenever passing. Senior crew also very pleasant when passing. PORTS - excellent, Barbados, Bonaire, Aruba, St Lucia, St Vincent, Grenada, St Maartin had to miss Antigua due to engine problems so called in to Martinique. Least favourite, but think this is because I wanted to visit Antigua. Plenty to do in each port, too much so will have to go back- what a shame! Golf buggies in Bonaire a must great start to holiday. Kayaking in Aruba, island tours in rest. Barbados we went to the races in Garrision Savanagh, fab day had some good wins. Not too keen on Oistins in Barbados, not our thing it was a bit rough and ready for our liking. Locals loved it, heavy drinking all around you, crowded place and dirty. We travelled in a group of 6 all couples in late 50s, early 60s. I would go to the Caribbean again in a flash, cruise it again, heck yes, loved all the countries, the people, would like a different itinerary though as I love to visit new places. Hope this helps. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Being able to fly direct from Belfast to Barbados to board Britannia was perfect and for my first cruise I wanted to be on a ship that I knew first hand from acquaintances was clean, friendly, helpful and whose website was very clear and ... Read More
Being able to fly direct from Belfast to Barbados to board Britannia was perfect and for my first cruise I wanted to be on a ship that I knew first hand from acquaintances was clean, friendly, helpful and whose website was very clear and informative for first time cruisers. I also felt it better for my first cruise to be on a British ship. I wasn't disappointed. The embarkation and disembarkation, travel to the ship and the complete stay was perfect. Everything ran smoothly and having an unexpected upgrade was the icing on the cake. The cruise visited 9 islands with only 4 sea days which was the perfect mix for me. Entertainment was very good and shows of a good quality. I would perhaps have liked a little variety across the two weeks though as the vast majority was the same on offer every day but it was good. Food variety was excellent and of a high quality. The only slight criticism was that the selection in the buffet while also excellent and good quality was a couple of times lukewarm or dried up but this was a very seldom observation and only affected maybe a couple of items from the vast array on offer. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I have put this review on here rather than send to P.O. as P.O. would take no notice, and it would be filed away as it’s not what they want to hear, but more people will see it on this site. We picked the Jan 2019 cruise to the ... Read More
I have put this review on here rather than send to P.O. as P.O. would take no notice, and it would be filed away as it’s not what they want to hear, but more people will see it on this site. We picked the Jan 2019 cruise to the Caribbean as our first time on the Britannia. Flights were good, getting transferred was good. To finish off the good points, the sun shone and the food was good. First problem we had was having a shave, the electric sockets on ship don’t take UK razors or tooth brushes. Nothing in the brochure or any literature on the ship. We were told by reception to buy an adapter from the shop (sold out, of course) or they would charge it up for you. Not good news if you have a travelling razor that needs to be plugged in all the time. Then we encountered the lifts which, long with the set up of the ship leaves a lot to be desired. Basically there are too many floors of just cabins, and insufficient lifts for the amount of people on board. So if you need a lift, you stand there for ages, and by then the floor is full of others wanting to get aboard the lifts. It became the normal to get into any lift that turned up no matter what direction it was going. We also found there are no quiet corners to hid in, no matter where you go on Britannia you have mind numbing music playing all over the ship. When we asked if it could be turned down, no one knew how to do it. Too many places to charge you extra to use or go to. We went as a group of 6 who love Dancing, and as this is the Flag ship of the company we were expecting an enjoyable time. What a shock we got. We had a dance band that played the music they wanted to play, not music to dance to. One evening they had a night of playing Jazz all night. That emptied the ball room. On their night off we got local band playing again their type of music, that again emptied the ball room. ( I could write war and peace on that subject only) When the instructors came on they were only interested on the group of novice dances they had nurtured on the cruise. So the floor was literally full on novices, no problem with that but anyone who could dance could not get on the floor to dance. They should have played 2 of each, but they didn’t. The male instructor danced with the same passenger nearly every dance for the 2 weeks we were there. Their knowledge of sequence dances seemed minimal, as some requests were met with “we don’t know that one” then they would not play a sequence dance as only 3 or 4 couples knew it. The next minute they would play a Viennese waltz, and only 2 couples would get up for, so double standards there. To us they were more interested in selling private lessons and their dancing week ends away than doing what they should. So to me we had a disappointing time on this ship and I would not recommend to anyone. God help anyone who has booked a cruise on the next overgrown monster being built at the moment. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Having used Princess, Celebrity and Costa to cruise the Caribbean in the past via Miami and US Immigration, it is refreshing to cruise with P&O for the following reasons: Say goodbye to your luggage at Manchester Airport and ... Read More
Having used Princess, Celebrity and Costa to cruise the Caribbean in the past via Miami and US Immigration, it is refreshing to cruise with P&O for the following reasons: Say goodbye to your luggage at Manchester Airport and don't see it again until it is delivered to your cabin. Charter flight to Barbados on TUI 787 Dreamliner. Exit the plane, board a bus at the bottom of the aircraft steps and be taken directly to the ship, no terminal to go through with customs etc. Fast check in at the dockside, then onto the ship. From plane to balcony in 50 minutes! As good as Princess and Celebrity are, we would probably have just arrived at US Immigration in 50 mins, then claimed our bags, be taken to a Hotel for the night, then bused to the ship the next day. It's a dream with P&O via Barbados! The ships currency is £ stirling and drinks are at fair prices a G&T around £4.50 and a bottle of wine £17 to £24 for a decent wine. One niggle, on Brittania, P&O's flagship, you have to go to reception to see your account statement, no on cabin TV display or printer in the Aitrium like Princess, a sister company have. We liked the minimalist design of Britannia, but felt the Aitrum should have live music every night, not just on some nights. The Crowsnest is a fabulous bar with great views. People did dress for formal night and even on smart casual evenings, most people made an effort, no shorts or baseball caps wandering around! The entertainment was good, as it usually is on cruise ships, with the ships cast putting on great shows. The Limelight Club is good, Gareth gates and Chesney Hawkes appeared when we were on board Jan '19. There is a cover charge and the atmosphere is that of a cabaret supper club. We also had dinner in the Epicurian restaurant, which was excellent and attracts a cover charge. The Sinduh restaurant was also very popular with those who enjoy spicy food. We also enjoyed sunbathing on the forward quiet deck, with its own pool. High density of sunbeds on all decks due to the Brits liking the sun in January. The staff did enforce the away for 20 mins and you loose your bed policy, great! The itinerary was fine, most Caribbean Islands are much the same, good beaches, sometimes taty ports. Usually there are taxi minibuses available off the ship, which are well organised and safe. They gather groups together and off you go. As a price guide, US$20 will get you a return trip to say Jolly Beach in Antigua, then you pay $10 for a sun bed and $10 for a umbrella. All together we had a very relaxing holiday and will return to Brittania for Christmas 2019. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
It's just fantastic to get away from the cold winter months of the UK .... to the warmth of the Caribbean sunshine.....and now on our 10th cruise with P & O we enjoyed it just as much as our first one....The flight on 'The ... Read More
It's just fantastic to get away from the cold winter months of the UK .... to the warmth of the Caribbean sunshine.....and now on our 10th cruise with P & O we enjoyed it just as much as our first one....The flight on 'The Dreamliner' had complementary drinks as it was a few years ago, which we appreciated....The itinerary was well organised and the captain of the ship Paul Brown was informative and very approachable.... Neil Oliver the head of entertainment was his usual charismatic self....The waiters Savio and UJ entertained us with a excellent sense of humour as well as served us with delicious food fit for a king! The food in the Buffet area and for breakfast in our opinion had risen to a higher standard and the display was mouth watering .....Already going to book for next year....Thank you to all crew on board Britannia...'A Tonic to Our Very Soul'........xxxx Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose this cruise ( 7 nights ) as it fitted with a special birthday and the itinery was new ports of call from a previous Caribbean cruise we had been on . Flights with Tui on the Dreamliner were on time - no need to book Premium - ... Read More
Chose this cruise ( 7 nights ) as it fitted with a special birthday and the itinery was new ports of call from a previous Caribbean cruise we had been on . Flights with Tui on the Dreamliner were on time - no need to book Premium - great leg room in economy, Good In flight catering and complimentary wine with meal. From plane steps in Barbados, straight onto the mini bus and at the terminal in 35mins, no waiting at the quay - on board in less than 5 minutes. Luggage was delivered into our cabin by our super cabin guy Aurelino. We chose an inside cabin, as on Britannia the balconies are rather small, I would be rather up on deck in the open air. Cabin was clean no wear- note this ship is now 4 years old. The décor throughout Britannia tends to be in my opinion ' very boardroom and dark ' just hope they remedy this on the new Iona. We always go FREEDOM Dining, and never a problem for a table for two which my friend prefers. Main Dining - choice of Peninsular or Meridian... The Décor in the Meridian is much softer , so we chose as our preferred option, the Glass House one night for an excellent steak and triple cooked chips. Horizon Buffet often for lunch, and some breakfasts, always a huge huge choice. I have always found P&O excellent for choice and indeed quality in the dining restaurants, just cannot believe the adverse comments- ( perhaps the moaners should try RSS - with the £££ to match !!! ) Enjoyed each port of call - will comment on each one individually. Entertainment - Good choice - always appreciate the hard work the ' Headliners ' put in , went to Gravity & Once upon a time shows......these were of the high standard we have always seen. On the second week I think they will have included ' Astonishing ' which we saw on Ventura … this takes a show to a high level. New style sunbeds and always plenty to go round...……. My preference area was the rear of the ship with the small plunge pool. Note as many reviewers comment on, first thing in a morning the area around the two central pools have the ' TOWEL SYNDROME', as there is music there, I prefer the quiet areas anyway. Cruising with P&O can build up the loyalty points and we are climbing the ladder slowly, yes it does make a difference on your on board spend!! Drinks are reasonable we tended to just have a large glass of wine each evening with the meal. Liked the Crows Nest for pre dinner drinks and the Sunset Bar too. After dinner drinks again in the Crows Nest. The formal nights were fine and adhered to in the main Dining rooms and Bars.. well done P&O. Have already booked for June this year and for Iona in 2020.As yet not tried any other cruise line, RCL looks very geared to children/ teens as they need to be entertained 24/7, which is not my style. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We sailed on P&O Britannia on 4th - 18th January visiting the Caribbean. It was our first cruise and we booked it months in advance as a surprise for my mum’s 60th birthday. Before booking I read lots of reviews on Britannia and I ... Read More
We sailed on P&O Britannia on 4th - 18th January visiting the Caribbean. It was our first cruise and we booked it months in advance as a surprise for my mum’s 60th birthday. Before booking I read lots of reviews on Britannia and I felt that some of the more negative reviews would likely be unjustified or people just being fussy. So I went on the cruise with a completely open mind and write this review to give a completely honest account of our experience as first time cruisers with P&O on their current flagship Britannia. FLIGHT Unfortunately our holiday didn’t get off to the best start, I rang to purchase some extra weight allowance for our luggage via the cruise personaliser as unfortunately some of my formal wear was particularly heavy. I paid £80 for an additional allowance of 10kg each way, so taking my weight allowance from 23kg to 33kg. I questioned the person on the phone to ensure one bag could weigh upto 33kg having previously worked for an airline that allowed baggage to only go upto a max. 32kg per bag. I asked if I would I need to split it into two bags but I was advised one bag was fine to be upto 33kg as that was TUI policy and since I had paid for the additional weight it didn’t matter if it was in one bag or split across more. So I packed my case accordingly, on arrival at the airport I went to check my bag in & was advised it was too heavy - their policy is 25kg max. per bag despite paying for the additional weight it couldn’t be in one case and would need to be split into an extra bag. I ended up having to take 10kg of out of my suitcase and check in my hand luggage bag. I sorted it, but it was a massive inconvenience and embarrassment when all could have been avoided had I of been advised correctly beforehand when I had asked. Nevertheless, it happened and we sorted it. The flight with TUI on Dreamliner was okay, having previously travelled on Dreamliner to Mexico and loved it, we found that this time there wasn’t two options of food and that there was a lot less choice of films etc, unsure if this is because it was a chartered flight opposed to scheduled. The crew going out were lovely the crew coming back were absolutely miserable, they announced they had run out of tonic water and red wine before we’d even set off due to a busy outgoing flight. I didn’t think this was good enough when (I assume like us) everyone on our flight had paid a supplement to fly from Manchester. This must happen every single time. Just poor to say we paid an extra £200 pp supplement plus £60 charges to book seats to fly from Manchester. There was three flights from Manchester and back so there is clearly a demand for flights from Manchester. Paying for the privilege but with a reduced service on the way back is not good enough when you’re paying a supplement in my view. EMBARKATION Our transfer to the ship straight from the airfield by coaches was well organised and the embarkation process went smoothly with our luggage arriving within 4 hours direct to our cabins. FIRST IMPRESSIONS The ship itself is very elegant, the decor is neutral and quite understated. The atrium is nice but I wouldn’t say it has the wow factor, lined with bars and duty free shops, it’s a bit of an odd space where evening drinks and duty free sales rails meet. I think for size of the ship and number of people on board, it’s quite a small space and never really came to life as we expected it would on formal nights, instead it was more of a people watching space. CABINS We travelled as a group of six (age range 30-64) and all had balcony cabins with a sofa (F130, F131, F132) the cabins are a good size with a reasonable sized balcony. The design and decor is nice and the beds were very comfortable. We felt very at home in our room for two weeks. The cabin included Tea & Coffee making facilities, a mini refrigerator with a chargeable mini bar, walk in wardrobe space, bathroom with shower & White company toiletries and a writing / vanity desk. Overall we liked the cabins and had no complaints. Our steward was very helpful and attentive. I learned whilst on the ship that the steward and waiting staff work split shifts with no full days off each week which made me feel really uncomfortable to be honest. They work exceptionally hard and you could often see the same staff on the breakfast shift as the late evening shift. The stewards seemed to work from dusk till dawn yet always had a smile on their faces to greet you - it was very apparent that there was a staff hierarchy system on board Britannia. ISSUES As mentioned it was my mum’s 60th birthday on our second day, I had tried to organise some ‘Little luxuries’ from the P&O cruise personaliser a few weeks prior to sailing, over the phone. However was advised it was much easier to book once on board. So on our first day we went to reception and as a surprise we booked a birthday cake, champagne breakfast, chocolate dipped strawberries and some flowers, all to be delivered on her birthday at certain times throughout the following day to her cabin as a surprise. In short, none of these happened as they should, with the exception of the flowers. The Champagne breakfast never arrived - it was supposed to be delivered at 7.30am, I rang to find out where it was to be told I hadn’t booked anything, had I not of had print outs of everything I’d organised and the person’s name of who I’d dealt with on reception the previous day, they would have continued to tell me I hadn’t made any bookings. It took three phone calls to reception to finally be advised they hadn’t organised it at their end and they would sort it. By this time the surprise was ruined as we had to tell my mum about it to stop her from going for breakfast. Eventually the breakfast arrived over an hour later. The breakfast was lovely but the surprise ruined. Because of this mess up, I ensured I double checked the arrangements for the other little surprises I’d booked and all was confirmed as organised. Unfortunately that evening the chocolate strawberries were meant to be delivered at 5pm for us all to enjoy pre- Captain’s welcome party in our cabins to have a toast to my mum’s birthday, 5pm came and they did not arrive, after two phone calls to reception they arrived 50 mins later just as we were walking out of the door to the welcome party alongside the birthday cake which should have been for the restaurant. At this point I was really annoyed that not one thing I had organised and paid for had been taken care of properly. In the end we came back to our room after our meal to find them and the cake just left melting on a tray on our bed. I called reception to for them to be taken away, reception staff seemed absolutely useless, no ownership of anything, just completely disorganised and rude. At no point did anyone from reception apologise for any of the mix ups on their part. Feeling frustrated. I spoke to the customer service manager Jan Fernandez to log a complaint, as it put a damper on not only what should have been a special day for my mum but also caused a lot of unnecessary inconvenience all due to the fact the reception staff were completely incompetent and they are some of the higher ranking staff on the ship! Jan dealt with our complaint efficiently and offered an apology but this was only our second day so it wasn’t the best start to our holiday. It just felt like no matter what you booked or organised, it was 50/50 chance whether it would actually happen as no one seemed to care or take ownership of anything. There were so many people complaining at reception about various things I get the feeling the customer service manager is a very busy man! One mess up I could have overlooked but not absolutely everything I had organised. The whole day was just a series of errors on their part from the beginning to end and I felt like I just shouldn’t have bothered trying to organise anything special because the day was remembered for all the wrong reasons. LAUNDRY Another issue we encountered twice during our stay was the laundry service was completely disorganised, my husband organised the day before each of the formal nights to have his shirts ironed for an additional charge, both times, it took over 24 hours for this to happen and each time he was told the shirts would be delivered by 4pm on the formal evening, however they never arrived at the time advised and it took 2/3 phone calls for them to be chased up for them to then arrive over an hour late cutting into our formal evening. One of the evenings, he had to re-wear a shirt as the laundry service could not locate his shirt or give an answer as to when it would arrive. Just very disorganised and not what you would expect, if I’d have known how much of a hassle it was I’d have just ironed the shirts myself in the ironing room but for a couple of £ it seemed value for money to get them done professionally. The ship seemed to offer services that it could not fulfil or meet the demand for. FOOD We could not find fault with the food on board. We booked freedom dining so were able to dine whenever we liked and in two weeks we never had a bad meal, there was always plenty of choice. Meridian Restaurant - we dined here most of nights during our cruise and were seated in the same area so we got to know the waiting staff who were fantastic and could not have done more to make our meal times pleasant - special mention to Olav and Lawrence who looked after us. The menus were varied and all six of us enjoyed everything we tried. The portion sizes are perfect. Being a British cruise line, there was always an option to cater for the traditional British taste plus plenty of other choices. The staff work exceptionally hard in this restaurant and I can only imagine how many people are needed behind the scenes to make it run as smoothly as it does. Horizon Buffet - The buffet restaurant was a great easy no fuss option for breakfast, lunch or dinner and also provided late night snacks. The food served was generally similar each day with some different themed dishes added to mix it up, so if you found something you liked you could rely that it would be there most days. We liked the fact that the Horizon buffet was more relaxed with self service so you could be in control of what you wanted to eat, how much and when. Only complaint about the buffet was the rudeness of other guests, there seemed to be a lack of common sense amongst other guests with people barging past with trays and no real system to the buffet so at busy times it was frustrating and dangerous, twice I saw guests drop their food and smash things due to the chaos. Another note, the automatic doors into the buffet kept shutting on people, the sensor only worked if you walked under it head on, we got trapped in the doors a couple of times and they shut completely on us, I witnessed a woman carrying a baby get caught in them and an elderly woman who needed medical attention after they closed on her walking through them and she fell backwards onto the tiled floor. Britannia really need to sort this out before someone gets seriously hurt! Grab & Go - There was always a selection of sandwiches etc available if you preferred to take your lunch back to your cabin or ashore. Lido Deck Grill - Freshly baked pizzas, hot dogs, burgers and chips. Typical fast food that was always readily available. We found the standard of cleanliness and hygiene on board to be excellent. We saw most people observed the washing hands/using sanitiser prior to entering the restaurants or when embarking the ship after being in port. There was people on board refilling their personal water bottles using the restaurant water machines, the staff soon put a stop to it to ensure no spread of germs. SPECIALITY Glasshouse - The Glasshouse is a wine bar which also offers small plates, tapas and main meals for an additional charge. We ate here one evening and the food was absolutely fantastic, we had a selection of tapas dishes to share including Tempura prawns, Kebabs and scallops followed by Steak & chips. It was all absolutely delicious and well worth the additional charge (which was still very reasonable - 3 tapas for £6.85/ Sirloin steak and chips £8.50) LimeLight Club - We booked a meal and a show (Kevin Kennedy) the food again was lovely and the entertainment better than we expected. I would say well worth paying a cover charge to spend an evening enjoying some fine dining and special entertainment. The Limelight club is also one of the best decorated bar areas of the ship so we enjoyed being somewhere a bit different. Sindhu - We booked a meal at Sindhu after reading good reviews about it and we weren’t dissappointed. All the food was delicious - the soft shell crab was exceptional and the service fantastic. Definitely worth the cover charge but book early to avoid disappointment as we would have liked to have dined here a couple of times during our cruise but it was always fully booked. Epicurean - We booked afternoon tea here, the restaurant had lovely decor and felt very elegant. The afternoon tea was nice, there was only three table occupied when we had it and it was a sea day so unsure why it was so quiet but nevertheless enjoyed it and service was good. BARS Crow’s Nest - Our favourite bar on the ship, situated at the very front of the ship just below the bridge, we loved starting our evenings here especially on formal nights where you could sip a cocktail whilst watching the sun setting and listening to the on board pianist who was fantastic. The crow’s nest is also one of the bars on the ship which is well designed and feels opulent with plush high back chairs and ambient lighting. The cocktails here were also in a different league than those served in the other bars on board. Brodie’s - We usually love a pub quiz in a good English pub but we surprisingly found Brodie’s to be our least favourite bar on board. The entertainment always seemed very cheesy or not to our taste (bingo/horse racing games) and the drinks were poor in comparison to other bars on board, there was also always a bit of a dull atmosphere, it kind of felt like a waiting area instead of a pub. Live Lounge - Another area of the ship we looked forward to before we came but then disliked, tucked away I’m guessing because of sound proofing as it was the only place offering entertainment after a certain time. On formal nights when everyone wanted somewhere to try make the most of the night it was always really busy with standing room only, there never seemed enough tables and chairs. We watched the ships entertainment band Pulse play here for an 80s night and also came down a few times for the late night disco. I have to say we didn’t really enjoy any of the entertainment here as all were disappointing, we love to have a good drink and a bit of a dance but there was never a real party atmosphere. The drinks we ordered in here were absolutely terrible (Porn Star Martinis & Rum Cocktails) both were barely drinkable. So the difference in drink quality across the bars on board varies a lot. Atrium - The bars and coffee shop in the Atrium were okay, we didn’t drink often in the bottom of the Atrium as it felt like a reception area. The coffee shop sold Costa Coffee and there was some nice seats looking out over the deck. The duty free shopping on board was okay, I didn’t think some of the prices seemed that different from buying the items in the UK particularly the make up and perfume on board. The jewellery seemed more competitive. Crystal Room - Purely for ballroom dancing. We called in and had a drink at the Crystal Room on occasion to watch the dancers which was nice. This is really a place specifically if you like dancing or if you can ballroom dance to show off your talents. They sometimes had a band on that played jazz music after the dancing finished so it was somewhere we sometimes called in for a night cap. Probably a place to people watch unless you are into your ballroom dancing. Doesn’t really cater for everyone which is a shame as it’s a lovely space which I felt they could have done more with than just the same ball room dancing every night. Would have been nice if they made more of this area on formal nights. POOL AREAS Having never been on a cruise before I wasn’t sure what to expect with the pool area. I did find the main pool on the lido deck (deck 16) to be quite small for the number of people on board, it always felt crowded and not somewhere you could kick back and relax. The adult pool on deck 17 was preferable but again the pool area isn’t big and as everyone is situated around it, so prepare to have everyone watch you getting in & out of the pool. I felt in all the pool areas it was quite crammed in and there was little privacy. There was lots of people complaining on sea days that people were reserving sunbeds by placing towels on them and there seemed to be announcements every few hours about it. We didn’t have any issue finding sunbeds but we were happy to just spend an hour or so on deck then do something else. I think if you want to spend all day sunbathing, you need to set up camp on sea days early. ENTERTAINMENT We were really disappointed with the entertainment on board. I had read mixed reviews before we came and hoped on the positive side that people were just difficult to please but honestly the majority of entertainment we experienced was really poor and in no way represented what we thought P&O would be like. Formal Nights - Other than dressing up, there was no ‘special’ entertainment on formal evenings. This was a big disappointment for us, every single formal night on board we dressed up in our cocktail dresses and tuxedos and headed to the atrium where the same entertainment was on as every other night…then once our evening meal was done, it was either head to the Live Lounge (where everyone seemed to go because they obviously like us, wasn’t sure what else to do) or go sit in the theatre for a 45 min show… I could not believe the number of people sat around the atrium in all their beautiful outfits looking bored out of their brains by 10pm. Each formal night I got glammed up and looked forward to having a few drinks and have a bit of a dance but it always seemed we were back in our cabin before midnight as we were fed up of traipsing around the ship looking for something with a bit of atmosphere, it was either that or force ourselves to try enjoy the same entertainment as we had seen the previous number of nights. Just really really poor effort on P&O’s part. Headliners Theatre - We watched a one night only show here by Victor Michael who was fantastic, he sang lots of musical hits was well as Italian and rat pack classics and he got everyone up dancing, joining in and enjoying themselves. It was a fantastic night but as mentioned he was a one night only show and we by chance had finished our evening meal and decided to call in to see if the show was any good. We were glad we did as we really enjoyed it and it was much needed after the other poor entertainment on board. A few nights later there was a show called ‘Astonishing’ a magic style show that people highly recommended that was originally developed by Stephen Mulhern and Jonathan Wilkes. Honestly, it was a massive let down, it was full of strobe lighting, neon costumes and some terrible singing and a few magic tricks that we’ve seen a good few times before. Despite being told all the way through that we were going to be ‘astonished’ - we were not. Some people seemed to think this show was amazing, so I guess it just depends on your personal taste but for us, it was terrible. Did not live up to the hype. Pulse Band - The Ship’s band were just OK, full of energy and belting out the popular songs but not really anything amazing. We didn’t dislike them but we also didn’t plan our day around making sure we got to see them. So I suppose make of that what you will. Steele Band - Absolutely fantastic, one of the only regular onboard entertainment that we thought was very good and we always enjoyed. Very talented and always got people up on their feet enjoying themselves. Only criticism is we wanted to see them more they were that good! They tended to be on the lido deck during sail aways or occasionally in the atrium but always during mealtimes. Runaround Kids - There was a band who joined our cruise for a couple of nights and we watched their rock n’ roll show. They were fantastic, really enjoyed their show. But again these were limited night entertainment not regular entertainment. Sail aways- We tried to go to every sail away party. The Great British Sail away was by far the best and felt very patriotic the other sail aways were just a bit tacky and felt very butlins. We always got involved and tried to make the most of the atmosphere. A lot more could be done to make the sail aways more special. SPA This is an area that needs vast improvement based on our experience. We felt really disappointed by our experience with the Spa onboard - the staff, services and handling of our complaint was appalling. Before coming on the cruise, we pre-booked and paid for treatments via the cruise personaliser as a treat for our birthdays. On the second day the three of us arrived at the spa looking forward to our treatments (ELEMIS quartz facials, deep tissue massage and hot stone massages in total we had spent over £400 on these treatments between the three of us) The staff at the spa reception were less than welcoming and unfriendly when we got to the spa, we felt we were in some way inconveniencing them by being there. We were shown to a waiting room. No offer of a drink, or showing of facilities, not a good first impression. The spa is also located in one of the busiest areas of the ship - reception which I found really odd, it wasn’t a tranquil relaxing space but instead was a walk through area with people passing through constantly. The massage I had was nowhere near the quality I have received previously at other spas, which I found disappointing as my expectations were high for a cruise ship Spa. My treatment was 50 mins, the lady doing my massage spent the first 15 mins talking to me about stress then went into a hard product sell for the last 15 mins of my treatment and then when I said I wasn’t interested in purchasing any of the recommended products she was visibly frustrated…then asked for a gratuity. I found it all less than relaxing and a bit embarrassing for us both to be honest. The other treatments the party had were okay but again they didn’t like the hard product sell afterwards. I asked where the sauna/hydrotherapy pool was and was advised it was an additional £30pp to use these facilities for the two hours we had between treatments or we would have to leave to spa and come back for our second treatment later - I’ve never experienced a spa that doesn’t have an area for guests to relax in and facilities to utilise between treatments. It wasn’t clear when I made the online booking that the use of any of the spa facilities was an additional charge which granted could have been my error but given that we had all paid full price for all of our treatments we weren’t prepared to then pay a further £90 for us all to use them especially when the spa was offering the treatments we had pre-booked and paid for in full - now at a discounted rate. In short, we were penalised for pre-booking and paying in full price for our treatments when people could book the same treatments for much less when on board. We found this unacceptable. I also booked for a ‘red carpet’ treatment package as I was given an on board gift voucher for the spa by a relative, there was a mix up at fault of the spa and I didn’t receive the treatments in the package, so I made a complaint whilst on board covering all of these issues. The spa manager was somewhat helpful but didn’t really take any ownership of the complaint. After numerous discussions over a number of days with different members of spa staff eventually I was offered to rebook the treatment however it was by then the last days of my holiday, so instead I eventually got a full refund. Finally the issue did get resolved but it wasn’t easy to sort out with the spa manager and eventually Renee from reception managed to sort it all out. It was just a really frustrating experience and the Spa staff really couldn’t have cared less. On our 14 day cruise we tried to book a day pass to THE RETREAT numerous times and each time the spa staff laughed and said it’s fully booked - so clearly if you wish to use the retreat you need to book it immediately when you board (pre-booking isn’t available), as from the reaction from the spa staff, it seemed like there’s hardly ever availability. I imagine due to the poor design of the pool areas on board, THE RETREAT is an attractive option for most wanting a relaxing day, so it is likely always fully booked. Another example of an area not fit for purpose and that isn’t designed to support even a decent % of the people on board the ship. Lastly, the spa staff seem to behave in a way that suggests they are higher up the hierarchy in terms of the ship’s staffing. This is something a number of other guests also commented on. Regardless of the complaints we have about the spa and the repeated mistakes regarding the treatments, the service we received in the spa was by far the poorest across the whole ship. I largely believe this is because P&O Britannia clearly have a staff hierarchy system and the spa staff are ranked higher than the waiting staff so seemingly have the belief that they do not need to make as much effort. The spa staff came across as arrogant & unfriendly and at times rude with a very commission based attitude. We did not find this of any of the other staff on the ship. I was also told by a member of the spa’s staff that they have two days off every week, can go ashore, have deck privileges on days off and can enjoy formal nights etc. So it is no wonder they believe themselves to be a cut above others if they are treated with better privileges in comparison to other staff. Really disappointed with the Spa on Britannia and from speaking to other guests I know we weren’t the only ones. The spa offered daily treatment packages at discount prices and there was continuous leaflets being posted to our cabin on the various deals the spa was offering each day, so it was clear they were not booked up or they were struggling to fill appointments. It’s a shame the quality of the treatments and service was so poor as I would have likely booked to use the spa numerous times during my cruise had I of had a positive experience. P&O really need to look at the quality and experience of the staff in their Spa, would not recommend anyone else doing what we did and wasting a good deal of money on their services. LIFTS We read in lots of reviews before we went, that the lifts were a big issue. We didn’t experience this to the extent people have mentioned in other reviews. We found that there were busy times particularly when disembarking/embarking from port as you’d expect but other than that, we didn’t have any issues. We did find that some guests were not giving priority to those with limited mobility which was unacceptable. WIFI One of our biggest complaints of P&O - the wifi charges are extortionate. It worked out cheaper for us to use our data when in port than it was to pay for any on board wifi charges. P&O really need to address this as so many guests were complaining about it. If guests cannot upload holiday photos to social media P&O are losing out on some invaluable free marketing, if you search Instagram for other cruise lines you can locate hundreds of photos, if you search for P&O it’s quite limited as people are more likely to upload as they go rather than once they’re home. Also whilst we were away our niece was in intensive care and we weren’t able to keep in touch with family regularly unless we were in port, fortunately we only had four sea days so we managed. But in 2019 there should be a better more affordable wifi option on board. You spend the first hour of being in port looking for wifi to try keep in touch with family etc. DRESS CODE When you book a cruise, in my opinion you are aware and accepting that there is an onboard dress code that you will adhere to. It’s clearly stated when you book and on board there is reminders in the Horizon daily paper you get to your cabin and around the ship’s TV screens of what that evening’s dress code is. Formal nights- most people we saw had made effort however there was some people purposefully ignoring and choosing not to adhere to it. The night we visited Sindhu there was two couples not in formal wear (one had jeans on) who were turned away by the restaurant team for not wearing formal attire. However they were so rude back to the staff and kicked off shouting and threatening that eventually the staff gave in and accommodated them much to the frustration of other guests who were abiding by the rules. I have read on other reviews that the dress code is not strictly enforced however my experience of this is that it is the guests who choose not to partake that make it awkward and difficult for not only the staff on board but also the other guests. I’m almost certain some guests choose to ignore the dress code and test the boundaries just to make an exhibition of themselves, I would personally be embarrassed to be turned away from a restaurant for not being dressed appropriately but some of these guests seem to do it for the argument, seriously if you don’t intend on making an effort to abide by the dress code, don’t book a cruise. Football shirts and sometimes on an evening we saw people in smart shorts, which it stated were not allowed, but we did not see anyone enforce this. SUMMARY I would say as a taster holiday for the Caribbean islands that this is an option to see a little of a lot of places, but we found our days quite rushed by the time you have disembarked and explored enough to get your bearings you have to be back on the ship, it's a shame they don't dock later in each port. We were especially disappointed that the Captain announced just before our last port of Antigua (somewhere we were really looking forward to on the itinerary) that we would need to be back on board an hour earlier than usual cutting a day there very short. Overall, for a first time cruise, we booked P&O as we were led to believe that P&O were more prestigious than other cruise lines and we felt we would be experiencing a once a lifetime holiday for a special occasion. Having travelled all over the world everything from back packing to 5* luxury hotels, our expectations for a cruise were high, but were not met. The reality was, it did not live up to our expectations in many ways and we have come away with mixed feelings. There was some positives - the itinerary, the food and the quality of service from some of the staff but the negatives for us, much outweighed all of this to the point we are unsure if we would ever try another cruise and would more than likely choose a different cruise line if we do. Far from the relaxing, luxury experience we had imagined. P&O definitely need to up their game if they are to sustain a future customer base. Read Less
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.1
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.4
Rates 5.0 N/A

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