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224 P&O Cruises Britannia Family Cruise Reviews

Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he ... Read More
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he joined only in the last port - Gibraltar. Our inside cabin on Deck 12 was adequate, comfortable and clean. Entertainment overall excellent - especially the Headliner`s Once Upon a Time show. The dancers were talented but the singers not so. The Entertainment manager Neil was absolute fantastic - we enjoyed the pool parties, sail aways, the flamenco program on Lido Deck in Barcelona day. The Cookery Club was something new and unique, I and my 8 year old daughter participated the chocolate cooking and we really loved it. However the children club Reef program was well below the P&O standard we use to on Ventura and Azura: sometimes boring, unimaginative and some of the reef rangers did not show interest towards the kids. We enjoyed the Lido Deck, the pools were clean, always found sun lounger or chairs. The only complaint I can raise is, that some of the bar staff was rude and selective of what drink they want to serve. The preferred to serve only alcohol, even mornings, and several times when I asked for freshly pressed orange juice - which was available in one of the pool side bars - the bar waiter said it is not available. So I just woke up from the sun chair, went to the bar, pointed to the pile of fresh orange and the juicer machine - and the bar tender made the juice for me. This happened to me few times and one matured bar steward even wanted me to change my order from fresh orange juice to Pepsi Cola - I guess it is easier to serve and the price is same. I really would love to see more healthy drinks to be available on a school holiday cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at ... Read More
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at Southampton. The ship looked fantastic and we were impressed by the cabin that was clean and well maintained. The buffet restaurant was a real disappointment. I read a number of reviews that compared it to a cross-channel ferry and its no exaggeration. The feel of the place is one of a factory canteen with bland food choices based around roast dinners, chips and tasteless soups. The Oriental Restaurant was better but the menu was unadventurous and very same-ish, with several dishes on offer the same each evening. Breakfast at this restaurant was very good though. The staff working in the dining areas were excellent though and very attentive. The kids club and staff were also very good for our 10 year old but the older club was poor. Biggest disappointment was the amount of off-duty British staff milling around the boat, especially in the dining areas and bars. A number of times I noticed guests having to queue for food in the pool area waiting for a number of off-duty staff to get food. In the evening, a large number would take residence in a section of ‘Brodies’ bar meaning guests had nowhere to sit. I noticed this on at least 2 of the 7 nights. Personally, I see this as highly unprofessional and gave me a poor impression of P&O. Overall I would recommend the boat and the itinerary was very good but P&O need to get a grip of the management of staff. If you went to a restaurant to be told to wait for your table or for food as the staff were being served first, you wouldn’t accept it so why should it be acceptable on Britannia? To me, staff remain in staff quarters. We enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely do it again but I question if it would be with P&O. As one guest explained it to me, ‘it’s a 2-3 star all inclusive in 5 star surroundings’. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I had the opportunity to go away without the children and found this cruise with 8 days notice. I had always wanted to go to the Fjords so finding this cruise was perfect. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. ... Read More
My husband and I had the opportunity to go away without the children and found this cruise with 8 days notice. I had always wanted to go to the Fjords so finding this cruise was perfect. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. I was a little worried about going on this ship having spoken to someone a few days before and they said they weren’t that impressed. Having been with Princess cruises 3 months earlier, we wondered if we had made the right decision. We needn’t have worried at all! The food was incredible.we had freedom dining so we just queued up and had a buzzy thing which went off when our table was ready. We sat on table for 2 the first night but we had then been told that the larger tables clear quicker so you don’t have to wait as long. From then on we sat on larger tables each night and met some really lovely people. Entertainment was also excellent on board. Disembarkation took a while. We were told to go to the theatre and they cleared the front rows first which is fine but when people just come in after you and take the empty seats at the front which has already been cleared, it’s highly annoying when you’ve been sat there for 30 mins waiting. The only real complaint we had was the guy on the excursion desk. Tours were fully booked as we had booked the holiday late and most of the time depending on the tour, are happy to do our own thing. We asked if there was an independent company ashore doing the boat trip in Stavanger. We were told no, you have to go on the p&o organised tours as there was nothing available in port. We had no option anyway so we just walked round the port and 50yards from the ship there was a company selling boat tours. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ... Read More
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ship is that you can avoid the areas which aren't to your liking and if you feel that way inclined the "types" you might want to avoid are away from the areas you probably enjoy. Yes, the ship decor is rather dark and my first reaction was to pine for the bling of Ventura but sultry Britannia grows on you. The public areas are cleverly designed with many nooks and crannies so you can be in the heart of the action or tuck yourself away as you choose. The Glass House is, as ever, excellent. The Crow's nest bar is back at the front of the ship and wonderful for pre dinner drinks. Recommend sitting away from the piano as it can be very loud. The atrium is very spacious with plenty of seating to people watch with a post dinner drink/coffee. Drinks service was excellent everywhere. If we were waiting we only had to indicate to someone and they were there. Crystal room was surprisingly pleasant late evening with lots of people taking to the floor. Didn't frequent Brodies or the casino but it was popular and pretty packed each time we walked through. Breakfast, lunch and evening restaurant food service couldn't be faulted and the attention for special dietary needs was outstandingly accommodating. A couple of meals were overcooked but there was absolutely no issue with getting plates changed. Of course it would be better if they didn't need to be returned but with thousands of guests give the staff a sporting chance by asking for better, they are happy to oblige and would much rather you went away happy. Desserts weren't too special but OK. Didn't frequent the buffet much but when we did there was plenty of room, staff were very helpful, friendly and food good. Spend a moment to talk to the buffet chefs, they don't get much guest interaction and will appreciate it... Joseph, my daughter thought you were fantastic! Theatre plush and the Cinema is a nice addition. I missed the theatre waiter service but my husband hates it so goes to show can't please everyone. Gym well equipped and spacious. First 3 machines I approached were out of action but there were still plenty even when the gym was busy. Came to the conclusion that for the amount of hours spent in it, the Retreat is expensive when securing a fortnight complete package. Would we do it again? yes because the service in the Britannia Retreat was amazing and engaging, Sebastian and Jovan both a real credit to P&O. I've previously moaned about unhelpful reception staff on other ships but not so on Britannia, spoke to Carl a few times and he was very helpful and extremely likeable. Daily service charge has now been removed and here's the interesting bit, we left far more in tips to far more staff than ever before. I've once previously asked for service charges to be withdrawn because of poor service so it was great to reward such a change. I was told that the teenage Reef space wasn't as good as Ventura and Azura but the Reef Rangers were as cool as ever. The great part of cruising with youngsters is that because there are relatively few cruises in school holidays the kids look forward to reuniting with friends from previous cruises, you don't get that with most holidays. Security always checked that minors were accompanied when leaving ship, which showed they were on their game. We've done the port stops bar Cadiz before so no surprises there. Cadiz, Cartagena and Barcelona were our favourites. Although a really positive experience, there were 2 areas which fell short. The first was that the entertainment was by far the poorest we've had on a P&O cruise. Tucker's "comedy" material hadn't changed since last time we saw him! Thankfully, there were a couple of notable exceptions with the superb Lloyd Wade and We3. We paid extra to see La Voix in the Limelight club and were treated to a magnificent night and great food (menu is surprisingly small so we may have been just lucky to have what we wanted on the menu), brilliant vocals and comedy, La Voix, we'll be back to see you again. The 2nd area was the Captains Gala, which we look forward to for the pomp and ceremony. I've never known a Captain to be late for his own party and not have the decency to apologise, we walked out to go for dinner as he arrived and started his speech, really bad form and example Sir. Finally, of course there's the much talked about lack of stairs mid ship. This didn't bother us at all as we consciously try to burn off a few of those naughty calories by walking and climbing stairs, plus our group don't have mobility issues or a pushchair. Heard lots complaining though. Oh yes, embarkation, nearly forgot that. We've always found Southampton port staff to be brilliant and cheerful (even when they are trialling new arrangements for the huge Iona), disappointing that for the first time ever we were checked in by Mrs Sour Face Grumpy but soon forgot about her!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was ... Read More
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was improved. It was of good quality and varied even in the Buffett. The Buffett area is also a much better design than on other P & O ships which are too ‘tight’ and get very crowded. The entertainment was very good and there were some good deck parties. Our ‘restricted’ balcony G408 was not really restricted and neither was G410, G412, G414, G416 these rooms fall between a large gap between the lifeboats yet they are lower priced due to a very slight restriction. We could see straight out and sideways With nothing directly in our view. If you want a bargain balcony then these are the ones to go for. Our room was nice and a decent size. We didn’t have the drinks package because it is just to expensive but the drinks purchased separately are of a very reasonable price. Now for the negatives. As I say we booked a midship balcony room on deck 8 but the balcony is the smallest we have ever seen. You cannot sit straight looking out to sea they are that small. The ship in parts is very poorly designed. The stairs in midships only go up to deck 7? So unless you walk to either end of the ship you cannot walk up or down from midships from deck 8 and upwards. It’s just bonkers. The lifts are also small. On deck 17 at the aft is what I can only describe as a large bath, it is supposed to be a plunge pool but it’s just too small with vast amount of wasted deck either side. We never used it because it was always full. This pool should fill the width of the deck. The ‘sunset bar’ at the aft is lovely but they play background music that is so quiet it may as well not be on. The reason given for this was because guests in the suites below complain?? We and others asked for the music to be raised to a very reasonable level, not loud, until at least 11.30 but it was refused. It takes away a lot of the ambience of the bar. Towards the front of the ship is the ‘Serenity pool’ for adults only but the bar stops serving at 6pm?? So there is not an adult only bar on outside decks after 6pm. On deck 16 in the centre of the ship is the Lido pools, a great family area but above this on deck 17 looking down on the Lido the ship is crying out for a bar just like on Ventura or Azura. A couple of entertainment planning issues we had and that other guests complained about were that the ‘Crystal bar/room’ was just not used to anywhere near it’s capacity. It was almost predominantly used for old style dancing and apart from a few times was always only a quarter full. This is fine if like Ventura and Azura there are two live music bars to chose from but there isn’t so most people only have the choose of the ‘Live lounge’. In respects of the ‘Live lounge’ there was no thought given to the fact that most passengers see the last but one night as a party night and with that in mind many of us turned up to party and dance the night away only for the party to be flattened by a poor comedian who came on at 23.45hrs when lots of guests were dancing. The problem then was that there is no where else to go to dance or party. The service we received was also very patchy and on the whole was below standard. We had done nine cruise before this one with four being P & O ships so we know what to expect but I’m afraid the smiles, interaction, attention to detail has gone from many of the waiters, waitresses on deck and within the restaurants with the exception of the ‘Glasshouse’ for some reason. Without doubt they work hard and we are very chatty, polite people who love having a laugh and it must be hard doing their work day in day out but that’s what we pay our money for. It may seem like it just us morning but there were lots of other passengers who noticed this. One last moan and something to be aware of and it will probably be the same on most ships is that if you go on a cruise in school holidays be ready to expect uncontrolled children approx 8 to 16 running around throughout the ship at all times especially in the corridors. We watched many parents just let their kids do this without a word being said. A constant ‘thump, thump, thump’ was heard. We have had our own children and now have grandchildren but we would never let ours be totally out of control like a lot of what we saw were even in the ‘Glasshouse’ whilst we ate some were running around our table whilst their parents drank oblivious to everything. We wouldn’t go on this ship again although in spite of everything we had a great cruise because the food was good, we met lots of great new friends and the weather was great. Something to ponder though is that someone probably got paid thousands of pounds to design this ship yet there seems to have been some glaring mistakes. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the cruise exceeded all expectations. Our cabins were spotlessly clean, very well fitted and serviced by a a very nice steward. We liked to sleep with the balcony doors locked open and listen to the sea at night. Watching the sunset from our balcony at 10.30 at night was a joy. We were very lucky with the weather and on both at sea days the sun shone and we spent our day on deck enjoying the warmth and views. I was surprised how easy it was to find a sun lounger available either in the sun or shade. Around the pool it could become busy but go up to the deck overlooking the pool and there was usually plenty of space. We all used one or other of the pools (there is an adult only pool and sunbathing area). The children ( 9, two 12 year olds and a15 year old) preferred to play in the pools or do their own thing rather than go to the kids clubs. They were never ever bored! Norway is stunning. We had some lovely excursions not all booked through P&O and easy to source online. The longest zip wire in Scandinavia, the rib ride, hiking up a mountain to visit a goat farm, Flåm railway and walking up to Brikstal glacier were highlights. All the food we had either in thie buffet or the restaurants was excellent. We had an exceptional meal in the Epicurean restaurant that I feel was well worth the supplement. Yes there were little niggles but nothing I feel I have to highlight. You will mix with people from all walks of life on a cruise, young and old, but our experience was very positive. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it all again Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked Select with Britannia, including coach transfers from Glasgow with Inter Cruises as a family of 4, kids are 13 & 10. Journey down was excellent, coach was comfortable but could have done with wifi. Had email to say we ... Read More
Booked Select with Britannia, including coach transfers from Glasgow with Inter Cruises as a family of 4, kids are 13 & 10. Journey down was excellent, coach was comfortable but could have done with wifi. Had email to say we would be delayed getting on the ship so expected to be delayed but fortunately our coach driver just carried on and arrived at port on time and we got on ship just about 2 hours later than we should have, so were very happy. Britannia is beautiful, she is huge, you really feel small when you pull alongside. Staff were fabulous, right from very first meet & greet getting on the ship to final leaving, really made you feel good and welcome. Captain speeches were brilliant, and he really made a great impression with the kids when they interviewed him for journalism activity. Ship was fantastic, all the public areas were beautiful, particularly liked the Glass House for drinks and food. Meeting Olly Smith there was a brilliant extra. Sindhu food was exceptional although ate far too much as they give you 2 extra courses, and poppodums/dips that you were not expecting in addition to all the food we ordered, all of which was brilliant, well worth the cover charge and highly recommended. My 10 year old spent the vast majority of the cruise in the scubas kids club, and he loved it, could barely get him out and it was so well organised and structured by the reef team, it was amazing. Great staff, great activities, and he made some great friends. Ports were very good, and lived up to all expectations, Skagen, very easy to get around, bus just next to ship to take you up to Grennan, to see the 2 seas meet, tractor ride out there was really fun. Helsinki was a bit more spread out than we had expected but still easy to get around and see all the sights. Did a boat trip from the harbour too and it was great value. Saint Petersburg was absolutely brilliant, tours were very well organised and let us see all the main areas, the freedom day was brilliant giving free time at 3 sites. Tallin was lovely, old town was very nice but the land train ride was a nightmare, so bumpy, killed our backs. The KGB museum at the Viru hotel was a real trip highlight. Stockholm was the only slight disappointment and not only due to the rain. The town centre is very modern in comparison to the other cities, the viking museum was very good though. Copenhagen was a massive hit with the kids. We spent most of the time in Tivoli Gardens, the rides were great, but if you are planning on going on more than 2 or 3 ridss, it's worth getting the unlimited ride pass. Centre was really nice and easy to get around. Entertainment was great on Britannia, hosts were good, quizzes were fun and loved Pulse in the live lounge. Headliners shows were hit and miss but mostly well done. Afternoon port talks and presentations were really informative. Overall, for our first cruise experience it was absolutely fantastic and we will definitely do it again, can't wait Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Having read some reviews of this ship, our first cruise on Britannia was prepared for with some trepidation. Our fears were dispelled from the first moment we stepped on board. The ship had a full complement of passengers on board too. ... Read More
Having read some reviews of this ship, our first cruise on Britannia was prepared for with some trepidation. Our fears were dispelled from the first moment we stepped on board. The ship had a full complement of passengers on board too. Many of the negative comments I have read were ridiculously wide of the mark. ‘Butlins on Sea’, ‘Ship in terrible condition’, ‘rude staff’? Certainly not evident on this superb Norwegian Fjords cruise. The décor of the ship we found to be very calming. Modern, refined and subtle which all helped to generate a nice hum, in for example, the atrium. Here we really liked the bars and seating areas on the different levels. All well-lit and with a pleasing ambiance. We were also struck by the amount of seating around the ship. Yes, on a sea day Java got very busy but you did not have to wander far to find a seat. There was actually more deck space that we were led to believe. Around the pool got very busy but again it was easy to find seats on the deck above, looking down onto the pool area. Unlike on some other ships there was also a wide range of seating types. Not totally dominated by the sun lounger! The terraced area at the stern was great for enjoying a drink and looking out to sea. We did miss the absence of a full promenade deck (thankfully rectified on Iona) but there was still plenty of deck for wandering. Cruise ship food? That is always one to pit one person against another. We were on My Time dining and always requested a table for two in the evening. Quite often there was a 20-30-minute wait (at the busy time of 7.30), but we built that into our evening and when given a pager went to somewhere like The Glasshouse for a glass of wine, then took that into the restaurant when called. That worked very well. We enjoyed the food in both MDR’s. We usually breakfasted in an MDR too and the freshly cooked served breakfast was always very good. As for the Horizon buffet, I have to say I am no great fan of buffet food on large cruise lines and we felt the canteen style food served here was on a par with other big lines. The food filled a gap but if such food was served in a middle range restaurant in Britain, we would be disappointed. As a consequence, we only ate there at lunch time. Without doubt, our best meals were served at The Beach House and The Limelight Club. It is only a small supplement to dine at The Beach House but the service and the food were extremely good. We decided to book The Limelight Club to make the final night on board more of an occasion, as it usually feels rather depressing. It was great fun. Again, a really good meal with Cheryl Baker providing a highly entertaining evening of song and chatter in a great venue. Like on most ships not all the entertainment was to our liking, however the beauty of this cruise was the provision of a real range of entertainment across the evening in a number of venues. The Headliners put on colourful and energetic shows in the main theatre although the shows themselves did feel rather dated. We tended to go to the late performances in this theatre and never had a problem getting good seats. Soul Kinda Wonderful put on a really strong soul and Motown evening. Our favourite evening in The Headliners Theatre was with Neil Lockwood (ELO pt2 and Alan Parsons Project), he was such a talented artist in performing ELO hits amongst many others. The P and O Orchestra were really tight too in supporting the artists. The Entertainment Team were full of enthusiasm and well led in all they did both on deck and ’indoors’. A lot of entertainment we never got around to seeing and no doubt some of that would have been very good. However, we did see the house band, Pulse, in The Live Lounge and thought they were brilliant…. Eight very talented and versatile young musicians. I was not expecting to hear a Pink Floyd set on my P and O cruise, but Pulse pulled that off as they did with all their other sets. What a great band! Our cabin, B318 was excellent and well serviced. In fact, all staff we came across were very pleasant and hard-working. They were led superbly by Captain Dunlop who coped very well with high winds, medical emergencies and at times a mis-firing engine. Finally, we did two P and O trips. From Flam, The Norway in a Nutshell excursion and from Alesund, the Sky-High Views at Strandafjell. They were both brilliant. Although the weather was not so good in Norway probably a highlight was taking a gondola into proper snow and building a small snowman…in July! All in all, a brilliant cruise and one in which every fellow passenger we spoke with, agreed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me ... Read More
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me we had made a mistake booking this holiday. As it turns out it surpassed our hopes and expectations. We had a brilliant week on board the ship and were impressed with every aspect. Taking into consideration what the price equivalent would buy you on land it seems fantastic value for money. I can only surmise that some of the cruising community are a pretty hard crowd to please. Which in a way is no bad thing as it helps to keep the standards high. Highlights: The ship is beautiful. I loved the decor in the public areas with high-quality fixtures and fittings. We had an internal room with pull-down beds which was cosy and compact but absolutely fine for our needs (basically a bed for the night). The kids club – the facilities are great with friendly staff who take security seriously. My boys tend not to do things on their own but loved the kids club which meant their dad and I could have dinner ourselves and a cocktail in the Crows Nest a couple of nights without having to think about keeping the kids entertained. The White Company products in the bathroom. I love a bit of luxury product and this was a lovely treat. Customer Service – excellent. All staff were very helpful and polite. Food – from the kids buffet to the afternoon tea to the restaurants, the food was excellent. I had a couple of dishes in the restaurant that were just ok but the majority were delicious (beer battered cod, sirloin steak and beef wellington being examples) Cookery school with Marco Pierre White – great value for £100. A lovely man who spent time with each passenger along with other chefs who were there to offer advice and clean up after you. 2 dishes with no expense spared on the ingredients (risotto with saffron and a lobster pasta dish). A definite highlight. Boarding and disembarkation – very smooth and well co-ordinated I enjoyed the mix of passengers. It was the start of the Scottish school holidays but not the English which meant there were probably more pre-school kids. The kids tended to be very well behaved and my boys were often asked how they were enjoying their holiday by the older passengers in the lifts. The shows – we thought the resident band in the live lounge were excellent. The dance floor was jumping on the first formal night. We also enjoyed the couple of shows we saw in the theatre. The productions are so polished and professional with fantastic scenery and costumes. Drinks – reasonably priced, high quality and lots of choice. We were late back to Southampton by a few hours due to two passengers having to be taken off the ship at Bergen due to illness and also a problem with the engine. As we had tickets booked for the Harry Potter Studios and as we were going to be back too late we were provided with free ship to shore phone calls and internet access to allow us to change our booking to the next morning. We were also kept well informed of what was happening by Captain Welsley (who sounded like a great character and we always enjoyed his cheery announcements). The ship also produced an adhoc newsletter informing passengers of the extra services being laid on due to our late arrival back into Southampton (including opening the kids club for a couple of hours in the morning, restaurants opening and the guy who normally sings in the Atrium putting on a one hour set at the poolside. The unplanned extended stay really was no hardship for us on a very warm, summers day. People have mentioned about the lack of stairs in the middle of the ship. We had no problems. Fair enough, we might have to wait a couple of minutes occasionally but it really wasn’t a problem. We tended to use the stairs most of the time anyway as a there were only around 8 steps between floors. I can appreciate however if the stairs weren’t an option then this could be frustrating. People tended to be very accommodating in the lifts though and would make room to help people get from a to b. During his first address to the ship the Captain did ask able-bodied passengers to be considerate to those who weren’t able to use the stairs. Even after 7 days were still regularly losing our bearings and we made good use of the ship plans on the walls. It gave us a laugh though and our 5 year old had the best sense of direction out of all of us. Norway: A beautiful country. Flaam being a particular highlight. Stunning scenery and our one organised trip to the Viking Village which was excellent. We were happy to wander ourselves at the other ports although after half an hour the boys were normally itching to get back to the ship and kids club. Bergen was another highlight. A lovely city and we enjoyed the Fenicular (due to poor weather in the morning we didn’t leave the ship until lunchtime but only had to queue around 30 minutes). The weather through the week was generally rainy and around 10/12 degrees. Not one for the sun worshipers. Saying that, it didn’t stop us doing anything we wanted to and the boys got to use the pool on the sea days. To conclude, would I sail with P&O again? Absolutely! Thank you for a fantastic first cruise experience. Just to add, I’m sorry to read all the negative press in the last week. It’s so far removed from our experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Recommended. Sunbeds were reserved round all pools. Three small smoking areas with no sunbeds only chairs one under cover cold windy & dark with sunny tables that were no smoking? Hidden extras. Different prices in bars. ... Read More
Recommended. Sunbeds were reserved round all pools. Three small smoking areas with no sunbeds only chairs one under cover cold windy & dark with sunny tables that were no smoking? Hidden extras. Different prices in bars. Norovirus on ship advised use own toilets meaning having to wait for overcrowded lifts as no stairs run through middle of ship?? Penisular breakfast cold toast brought out 35min wait for breakfast hard poached eggs & cold coffee. Horizon buffet good breakfast but like a cafe tables not cleared and floor not hovered between sittings 1st & last cruise not relaxing ship too big too much walking. Butlins at sea but nor butlins prices. Wouldn't recommend to my friends. Drab tired decor. Different prices at bars for same drinks. Internet £7.75 a day free in all hotels we've stayed in. Complaint just done taking in to travel agent tomorrow. Costa/Java staff rude & deck 7 outside terrace dirty ashtrays full Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We cruised with P and O for many years up to 2014 when we decided that as their standards had dropped so much we would try other cruise lines. We found these other cruise lines were still up to the standards that P and O had before 2012. ... Read More
We cruised with P and O for many years up to 2014 when we decided that as their standards had dropped so much we would try other cruise lines. We found these other cruise lines were still up to the standards that P and O had before 2012. P and O had been in contact with us over the years trying to convince us to try them again assuring us that the standards were once again on a par with other cruise lines. We decide to use them during the May half term and go on Britannia on the 25th with the Grandchildren. We wish we hadn’t. The ship was late in due to some mechanical problem, (which we now know they had before they left on the previous cruise, so using it with this problem made it worse) and we were delayed many hours, but the worst of it was that having driven over 4 hours down to the port with children in the car we were them held on the port by CPS in a car park for at Mayflower terminal for over 3 hours without any facilities, refreshments or information. People who were not booked with CPS were allowed on the ship but anyone booked with CPS were kept away from the ship until almost 9pm. The organisation was terrible. Having got on the ship it was chaotic and we were unable to get any food until after 10pm, but had to leave it for the muster which was at 10.30. Because of all of the chaos on the ship continuing during the muster our granddaughter was lost in the crowds and no one would take it seriously saying that they would look into it after the muster. We refused to wait and one of us went to the reception to report her as missing, whilst one of us continued to look for her. The Captain went on and on during the muster, far longer than necessary, whilst the reception said they could do nothing. We eventually found her sat outside the room, 30 minutes after the muster, having found it by asking people where the room number on her ships map was. So generally a very poor start to the cruise, still we decided to put this behind us and enjoy the time together. Unfortunately, despite being told that because we had children, we would have a table for 4, but they put us on a table for 7. We tried to change it but were told it was unlikely that we would be able to move. In the end we had to transfer to freedom dining which we don’t like when we have children with us, it is never a problem on other cruise lines they always accommodate us. To turn to the cruise itself, the ship was a bit chaotic throughout the week, culminating in passengers not being able to get off the ship by tender at the last port for over 2 hours. There were several late night or in the middle of the night announcements, none of which made any sense. The Costa café was very poor, the service was virtually non- existence and when you went to the counter to seek a coffee you were treated to insolence. Many people left the café without ordering and we only went twice due to the issues. The food was okay but a bit samey and mediocre at times in the restaurants and the waiters were a bit hit and miss. The buffet was better than the normal with good access to tables. Since the last P and O cruise we were on the singers were better but the Headliners were not as good and the shows were poorer with less sets etc. There was also less shows generally. Daytime activities were also poorer and unlike other cruise lines, there is a lot less to do for older children during the day, although the kids club for 9 years olds was excellent and could not be bettered. We have been on most P and O ships and Britannia is the worst, is far too big to be so disorganised and whilst P and O are still pushing for bigger and bigger ships, they need to get their organisation Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Embarkation was a disaster. P&O sent an email out the evening before but hardly anyone got it. They should have rang each party leader. The boat didn't arrive until 5pm on the day then there was 2-3 hours of guests getting off ... Read More
Embarkation was a disaster. P&O sent an email out the evening before but hardly anyone got it. They should have rang each party leader. The boat didn't arrive until 5pm on the day then there was 2-3 hours of guests getting off until everyone else could get on. PO staff were telling arrivals one thing, whilst the car parking company told everyone something else. They laid nothing on for anyone. No refreshments - just pandemonium as 100's of cars jammed the roads surrounding the port. After an hour in the embarkation area we eventually we got on at 9pm and went straight into the canteen, i mean buffet for some mediocre food before going to our cabin. For losing an entire day's use of the boat we were given a paltry £20 each "credit" so not even real money. The boat itself was a real disappointment. Very dark and disjointed. All the lift areas had no natural light. It was like the dim entrance to a cinema screen. Queing for a lift for 2-5 minutes every time we used them - and they stop at every single floor they pass. There is a 2-storey section in the middle which doesn't really work and it also makes getting from the back of the boat to the front a chore of going up and down levels to pass it. The restaurants did not have a very grand feeling to them. They rely heavily on indian staff whom dont really have much to say. Usually on say royal caribbean, you'd have everyone from Peru to the Philipines - all smiles and fun. The staff here lacked any sort of personal feelings and none made conversation. "Do you want a bread?" and then you'd pick a bun out of a basket. "Order sir?" then you'd roll the dice on the main course which were edible but nothing special at all. For example on say the Independance of the seas, the soup would be like French Onion soup with melted Gruyere cheese and baked mini loaf. Whereas on Britannia it was powdery tomato cup-a-soup complete with croutons. Served in a little cat bowl ! The only food that we thought "mmm this is nice" was the pizza place near the pool. The rest of the places were similar to what you'd eat on a ferry. The pool area was poor. There was too very small jacuzzi and there was always teens in there splashing each other in the face and squealing. Nobody really policed it. There was two pools and one was shut - so the other was utterly rammed with kids aged 5-12 all bombing and diving. Whereas on other boats there is a big screen playing movies or music videos, the Brittania had nothing. There was a bit of a DJ whom played banging music like Baby D 'Be my fantasy' and Robin S again and again, every day. No classy chill out music - it was more like Butlins. When we visited Guernsey it was a complete farce. We went to the buffet for breakfast and qued like cattle to get a clean table, then we went down to like Deck 5 to get the tender - and we were shuffled into the Theatre and given a raffle ticket. The entire theatre was full to the brim at one point - and they'd call off a couple of dozen people every 15 mins on to the tender. We sat in the theatre at 11.35am and it was bang on 1pm when we landed on land !!! We sat for half an hour on the tender itself for no reason at all. As it happens, my friend and his family were on the Sapphire and they were there at the same time. We text each other. They had 3-4 boats taking them to land it start to finish it took 20 mins. Why did we take 1hr and 25 mins ? The only saving grace was the room was nice and quiet. The bunk bed system worked well. The balcony was really small. On Royal Caribbean you can order food or view your bill via the interactive TV menu - but nothing like that on Brittania. Even room service or breakfast was done via a form that was completed and put outside of the door. Breakfast choice was poor - toast, coffee, croissant or this panini thing with tomato and sausage in. It was damp and soggy. Room attendant was utterly useless. When we got there the first night, for a moment we thought our two kids were sleeping on the tiny single-sized sofa bed. We hadn't noticed the bunk that drops out of the ceiling. I called in the attendant and she shrugged and said yes it must be that they both sleep on the sofa bed ! then later on she was in our room with another woman who magically dropped the sofa out of the ceiling for us. Why didn't she know this when we spoke to her? there was no animals made out of towels on an evening. We just had 2 naff chocs left on bed (there was 4 of us in the room!) I spoke to several other guests and nobody was impressed. Several said the other P&O boats were better - but after experiencing the food etc, it just is nowhere near as good as RC's. Not even close. Finally - kid's club.... the negativity continues. It was terrible design. My son is 11 and on Indy he could sign himself in and out - but not on Brittania. He didn't have much to do except Ping Pong. My youngest would go to club after evening dinner and they sat them all in the corner and put on a film. No fun whatsoever. Meanwhile all the staff stand chatting in the office having their own little social. No painting, no music, no fun whatsoever. They were bloody ignorant as well. The time we'd stand there buzzing the door and they would just ignore and ignore it. A parent in front of me had a little row with the woman in the room with 5-8's in it after she knocked and rang the buzzer for about 5 mins and the staff stood chatting to themselves. We were fuming. In closing , the entire trip was very very very average. I will likely never try P&O again. Certainly not the Brittania. I picked this boat as it's the biggest and newest. Dont make the same mistake as us. It's garbage ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had sailed last year on Britannia as a couple. We loved the ship, service and food so chose this half term cruise to take our granddaughter who is 10 years old with us, so this was her first cruise and she was super excited. For ... Read More
We had sailed last year on Britannia as a couple. We loved the ship, service and food so chose this half term cruise to take our granddaughter who is 10 years old with us, so this was her first cruise and she was super excited. For those of us that were on the cruise I think the start was pretty horrendous for the majority of people. Firstly P&O sent a text message asking for a 5 hour delay to check in as Britannia had experienced problems, not great start but stuff happens. But for us this resulted in a check in time of 8.30pm, 1st disappointment for the three of us. An email followed with £20 compensation per person. We arrived at the port at 7.45pm to complete chaos. Queues and Queues of cars. We sat patiently for an hour before being told to join another queue which led to another queue and another queue. People were becoming very stressed and tempers were fraying. I said to my husband it was pointless all three of us sitting in the car as we were all tired and hungry. So we deserted him at about 9pm. He finally got on the Britannia just gone 10pm. I’m not sure whether the chaos was caused by P&O or CPS parking but it really was awful. Muster was called at 10.30pm. We were exhausted. Babies were crying, people were moaning. Luckily our granddaughter seemed to take it in her stride. Cabin (C733) was good but a bit tight as she had a sofa bed so when this was out there was very little room. Balcony was great size compared to say the Aurora or Ventura. Steward Ritish was always smiley even in the face of a ten year old’s Mess every morning. Cabin was cleaned to a high standard on a daily basis. So we tipped at the end of the week. We purchased the soft drinks package for our granddaughter at £7.99 per day. She loved ordering her own drinks and signing for them. P&O’s alcohol drinks package at £40 per person per day I thought was totally ridiculous unless you were someone who did no trips and sat at the bar all day everyday. We knew we would not consume £80 worth of alcohol each day so didn’t buy this. They really need to review this. We had first sitting in the Oriental Restuarant. On average the food was very good, but a bit hit and miss, tender steak one evening, grisly steak another evening. The Waiters work extremely hard and it is appreciated. Our waiter let his stress show quite a lot which made us feel uncomfortable and rushed. We went to the Beach House one evening and enjoyed watching our granddaughter cook her own steak on the lava rock, she is still talking about it!! An evening meal in the buffet was not that good and disappointing whereas their lunch time food we thought was far superior. Although our granddaughter loved eating chips at 11 at night, real treat! We found the pool food to be really good, especially the pizzas. We were very lucky with the weather so it was a bit of a shame one of the main pools was out of action for two days. On a ship full to capacity with families this did have an impact on the swimming fun. However, we splashed about with our granddaughter and sunbathed. Staff work so hard and we found the ship to be very clean. Bar staff were excellent. Everyone was always so helpful and caring. I think the shops on the ship are okay, nothing great. We found the P&O trips to be good, husband did the 9 hour landing beaches trip and said it was excellent. We did an afternoon trip to three villages and shopping but as it was Sunday most of the shops were closed. Our last trip on Guernsey we thought was brilliant. Vintage coach, little chapel and cream tea, all three of us loved it. P&O’s management of the tender was organised chaos resulting in them giving financial credit towards a future cruise. We just enjoyed the whole experience. We found the entertainment average, have experienced far better on previous cruises although our granddaughter did enjoy the juggler. The Bay Of Biscay was calm, the sun shone, and all in all it was a good cruise experience. Our granddaughter loved everything about it and wanted to stay on board for another week!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had never been to Norway or the Fjords so this Britannia cruise was an obvious choice. We hadn't heard too many positive comments about the Britannia on previous cruises so we were a bit apprehensive Despite the ships many ... Read More
We had never been to Norway or the Fjords so this Britannia cruise was an obvious choice. We hadn't heard too many positive comments about the Britannia on previous cruises so we were a bit apprehensive Despite the ships many shortfalls we loved the cruise and would recommend it to everyone especially anyone considering a first cruise.The Britannia is big and spacious and the Norwegian Fjords and scenery are stunning. Well the ship wasn't full of old people as we thought it might be. Most were middle aged. There were families with babies, teenagers, young couples, middle aged couples and the elderly of course. It was very British in the sense that most guests dressed in shorts, t-shirts, lumberjack shirts the occasional set of braces. At the pool area you ha he usual adornment of pot-bellies, tattoos and the largest pod of beached whales south of the arctic circle..... If you haven't been on a cruise and thought the dress code might be a bit formal well take it from me...it isn't. The Britannia is quite a large ship. It may be described as P&O's flagship but sadly it has too many shortcomings to be overawed by it. However its perfectly functional. There are some very pleasant areas to explore.There is no "Wow" factor however. The Atrium is pleasant but not stunning. The Theatres,cinema etc are on the smallish side and quite claustrophobic compared to other ships. The corridors with their grey and brown colour scheme could pass for any corridor in a certain Lodge hotel group I can think of. In fact the colour schemes everywhere on the ship seem to have been deliberately "dulled down". The lifts are dreadful and the waiting times plus stopping at every floor will drive you crazy. Clearly P&O were more concerned about cramming as many guests in as opposed to providing a more spacious guest environment. Despite the above there was plenty to like about the ship. Food wise I loved the meals at fine-dining in the evenings. The food in the buffet was ok but personally I cant stand buffet food. It appealed to many including my Wife but I think all buffet food can best be described as ".... on a plate". There were only 2 formal nights so it was an opportunity for everyone to dress up particularly the Ladies. On informal nights at fine-dining most of the Ladies still dressed up with the odd one turning up in a vest or sloppy sweater .. eewww. Men tended to dress in short sleeved shirts or whatever they were wearing at the pool. It was quite amusing to observe quite elegant ladies in their finery walking with partners in t-shirts and track suit bottoms. Nothing like people watching on a cruise ship. My son and girlfriend had a meal in the Epicurian restaurant. It was very reasonably priced and they highly recommend it. The Sindhu was full most evenings so I am guessing its good too. Our room was a nice size a I had opted for a slightly larger inside cabin. It was really worth the extra few pounds. I would never consider a balcony cabin but for the Fjords ts could be a very good choice with all that stunning scenery. The staff on the whole were polite and hard working and we tipped them as always irrespective of P&O removing their gratuities. Just remember these staff earn peanuts. Entertainment was quite good. I liked most of the evening shows but particularly Lloyd Wade who has a great voice. One of his shows we attended was spoiled by some uncouth and drunken northerners talking throughout his performance. Sadly you get that everywhere. The headliners would not usually be my cup of tea (having grown up in the hippy 60/70s) but you have to admire them. Some great voices and amazing dancers. Dont know where they get all that energy. Kirsty did a great job on her talks on Norway so do go to these lectures if you get a chance as they are very informative. Please make sure you use the crows-nest for those relaxing moments . Its a gem. Norway is absolutely stunning. I much preferred it to our med and canary cruises. Beware however it is mega pricey. 2 x 400ml beers £21 , bar of chocolate £3 and a packet of biscuits £7 (£1 in £ shop in UK). So eat well for breakfast on the ship before you venture out. The local tour buses were £25-£30. Probably there were cheaper alternatives but we just legged it into town for an expensive coffee and cake. So overall we really enjoyed he cruise.We were at a table for 9 in the evenings and all were really nice people. We have already booked our next Fjords cruise on the Iona. We took our son and girlfriend on this cruise (their first) and they loved it and are already planning their next cruise. Despite the shortcomings Britannia is a nice ship and we will be booking her again. Next cruise is in 12 weeks time on the Ventura. Cant wait.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We booked a family cruise, 4 adults and an 18 month old, we had two superior balcony cabins of which we could not fault. Our cabin man Romel was amazing, as was the lady that did my son’s cabin. The car drop off and embarkation was easy ... Read More
We booked a family cruise, 4 adults and an 18 month old, we had two superior balcony cabins of which we could not fault. Our cabin man Romel was amazing, as was the lady that did my son’s cabin. The car drop off and embarkation was easy and very quick, the cases were outside our cabins when we reached them. Sadly getting around the ship was incredibly difficult with a buggy as the lifts were constantly full due to there being no stairs in the middle of the ship, why? How much easier would life on board be for everyone if it had been possible to move easily around it. Lifts would have been freed up by able bodied people walking places. Bad design definitely. The Horizon buffet was hit and miss, not the best food I have encountered on a ship, breakfast was the best, afternoon tea was served from 3 to 5, followed by children’s tea at 5, this caused lots of confusion, surely they could have a section for children at all meals, common sense really. We had freedom dining, avoid the Peninsula restaurant, they do not like people going in there, the staff are rude and very unhelpful. However the Meridian restaurant was lovely, the staff were great, cheerful and very helpful. Avoid the Beach House, set in a corner of Horizon, next to the empty buffet stands, food mediocre, Meridian miles better and no extra charge, service charge, discreetly hidden, 7.50 per person. Staff on the rexception of the ship were equally unhelpful, as was the IT lady, wi if a disaster and very expensive. Choosing not to do excursions we did our own thing, coming back on staff were helpful and attentive, letting parents with babies and small children get priority, I also witnessed them be very kind to the ‘older’ people letting them effectively jump the queue. All in all there were some very good points but also some very poor bits. Bingo and quizzes in a very small bar next to the casino, a big noise issue, the timing of lots of things for 530, not a lot of good to parents with children who were eating tea at 5. Also it meant you had to make a choice of what you missed. Not sure about the Headliners, I am tone deaf, genuinely thought they were too! Gervaise Flynn talk was amazing, loved it. To sum up I would not go on the Brittania again, it lacked atmosphere, interest and at times appeared like an old people’s home, just look in the crows nest on a sea day!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise to fit in with our grandchildren’s Easter break. Having returned to P&O after a few years break cruising with other lines we cruised on Aurora for 10 days last December. We really enjoyed that cruise so we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to fit in with our grandchildren’s Easter break. Having returned to P&O after a few years break cruising with other lines we cruised on Aurora for 10 days last December. We really enjoyed that cruise so we were looking forward to a weeks cruise on Britannia with the family. We checked in on line and boarded with no wait which was excellent, however most people hadn’t used on line check in so there were only a few of us. First impressions of the ship were good, the interior design Is more contemporary than most ships and not so glitzy but it is understated and quite nice. We had a larger balcony cabin mid ship in good condition and at last a shower with a glass door, no a soggy curtain. As usual we had an excellent cabin steward. Being mid ship we found there were no stairs open for passengers to use. The lifts were not adequate they were constantly full and didn’t stop when the button was pressed. Unfortunately the unlimited food on cruise ships seems to be attracting disproportionate numbers of extremely large passengers and lifts designed for 16 people are often full with about six, and less if on scooters or in wheelchairs. This meant walking to the end of a very long ship, up the stairs and back to the middle, no mean feat at my age with a dodgy knee, but often the only way back to our cabin. My husband and I didn’t use the buffet at all as the food looked awful, which my family who did try it confirmed, saying it was the worst cruise ship buffet they had used in many years of cruising. Cheap carb heavy dishes and very poor quality. I noticed P&O had reduced the cruise price to sell off unsold cabins so I suspect they cut back on the food budget to compensate. We chose anytime dining, advertised as eat when you want with whom you want, and this works well for us on Princess ships when we cruise with Family, but unfortunately the Peninsular restaurant was was very badly managed. The first night was my Grandsons birthday and I had ordered a cake to the restaurant. We went down at 7.15 and were given a pager we sat down at nearly 9pm! The second night we tried 7 pm and were told dismissively it would be over an hours wait but could be much longer. After 45 mins I went to see the maitre d and he miraculously found us a table for 6. The food quality and choice was ok but ruined as it was served almost cold. We decided then that we would pay extra to avoid the stress as The Peninsula couldn’t manage freedom dining and the staff were borderline rude, obviously the decision to take off the tips has had a demotivating effect. We ate in Sindu which wasn’t as good as the same ones on Aurora or Azura, and the Beach house which was quite good, the teenage grandchildren particularly liked the fillet steak cooked on lava rock. My daughter and I also tried the limelight club where we paid £28 each for tough steak which we sent back and other tiny portions of poorly cooked food. We did have breakfast most mornings in the Oriental restaurant and the service and food here was excellent it was like being on a different ship. The entertainment we did see was of a generally good standard, but the venues are too small for the numbers on board and you had to get the the theatre at least 45 mins before a performance to guarantee seats together. There were no seats in the live lounge after early evening, and one evening they had an adult comedian on at about 11pm. Despite warnings it was unsuitable for children, several young children were allowed to remain by both parents and staff. The ports we did go to were typical of where you can travel in just a week in France and northern Spain. We had been to them before, but we missed Gurnsey because of a threatened storm which didn't seem to materialise, so the Captain wouldn’t use the tenders. This although disappointing we understood, but we felt as we were only 20 miles from France we could have gone to an alternative port which we have done before on other ships. Instead the captain decided to return to the U.K. on the Friday instead of the Saturday which meant all the shops and casino were shut on Friday evening as we were back in port in the U.K. The final straw was the chaos at disembarkation. The ship had been in port all night and we were due to be off at 8.45 and told to wait in the theatre. We waited and waited, getting hotter and hotter, apparently they only opened one walkway off the ship as it was too windy for the covered walkway. This has happened to us with Princess in Southampton but they opened additional exits to the dock side with no problems. A passenger told us the Captain had already got off as her son had spoken to him and left the ship in complete chaos. My daughter and family who were due off at 10.15 were off before us as they came down in the lift to go to their departure area they were told they could leave the ship, whilst the passengers supposed to be off at 8.45 were still kettled in the theatre. They eventually opened another exit when most passengers were already off. The Ship needs a new captain and new management in the food and beverage teams. We found the Captain very patronising with his boys and girls and beddy bye- byes announcements combined with a laissez faire attitude, which seems to have rubbed off on his staff. A bit more professionalism wouldn’t go amiss. We have another cruise booked on Aurora which we hope will match the December one last year, but we will return to Princess or celebrity where the food quality and service are not much better . I have just read that the Captain on this ship is going to Captain the new Iona. If he can’t manage this size of ship goodness knows how Iona will fare. I for one won’t be going on her. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We really like this vessel - no bling just calming, muted decor throughout. Balcony room D117 forward, clean and in good condition. Love having a proper-sized shower with fantastic water pressure, large TV with tremendous movie ... Read More
We really like this vessel - no bling just calming, muted decor throughout. Balcony room D117 forward, clean and in good condition. Love having a proper-sized shower with fantastic water pressure, large TV with tremendous movie selection, plenty of tea & coffee, fridge if you need it. Superbly comfortable bed. Balcony a little on the small side but fine for 2. All public areas on the ship are spotless and tastefully decorated - if you want glass lifts and chrome fittings this is not the ship for you. Dinner in the main restaurant (freedom dining) was always excellent, other eating experiences as follows: Horizon Buffet: a serious bun fight at times (some punters go at it like they’d never seen food before) but quality good and always plentiful. Poolside: average burger and fries. Sindhu: high quality and a bargain at £20 per head in the evening but, surprisingly, “Tiffin” lunch nothing special. Glass House: great for lunch, can’t beat the small plates for taste and value at £6.95 for 3. Drinks on P&O are very reasonably priced and all the wines we tried were decent - you can get a really good bottle for under 20 quid. Wide choice of beers and gins etc. throughout the ship. We found the service in all areas, at all times, to be very friendly and efficient. The staff work tirelessly and show great patience when occasionally faced with a minority of passengers who appear to have been born without manners. Didn’t get too involved in the entertainment, but what we saw was a good standard in the theatre and Live Lounge. Ports: Cherbourg - nice town, walk in straight from the ship, unfortunately nearly everything closed being Easter Sunday. La Coruna - also a lovely town, again berthed just a short walk away, poured with rain so only a quick scoot ‘round then bank on board. Bilbao - beautiful city, spotlessly clean. Some great shopping and Guggenheim is a stunning building. St Peter Port - wonderfully quaint but I’m saying that from previous visits. Sea conditions made tender unsafe and a storm was on the way, so it was straight back to spend the last night berthed in Southampton! No complaints about this, the captain made absolutely the right call. Overall I would encourage people to give Britannia a try, she’s a great ship with no pretensions and friendly staff. I’ve seen negative reviews about the type of passenger on board and yes, there are some you wouldn’t want to share a small tent with, but I’ve stayed in some very high class hotels around the world and come across plenty of dodgy characters in those places! I think if you just accept that everyone’s different and keep a relaxed attitude, I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first cruise(2 adults 2 children) Slightly nervous before as never sailed before but I nee-dent have worries at all! Britannia is such a beautiful magnificent ship! We visited all around the Canary Islands. All staff ... Read More
This was our first cruise(2 adults 2 children) Slightly nervous before as never sailed before but I nee-dent have worries at all! Britannia is such a beautiful magnificent ship! We visited all around the Canary Islands. All staff were on hand when getting on/off the ship. Security was super good. We felt safe the whole time. Weather was magnificent as well. We had an amazing time! Staff were amazing along with all the entertainment that was provided. Our cruise was dedicated to strictly come dancing and so did actually meet many of the stars. We had so much to do. People onboard were so lovely to talk to. Food was delicious. So much to choose from. Our room was perfect along with the amazing balcony view. Britannia is such a fabulous ship an I would recommend her to anyone. We will definitely be booking with her again. Thank you P&O x Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the only short 2-night getaway we could find in April, and it was the first time cruising with P&O. We were a party of 11 people and we all had an amazing time, It was so amazing I’m going back on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the only short 2-night getaway we could find in April, and it was the first time cruising with P&O. We were a party of 11 people and we all had an amazing time, It was so amazing I’m going back on the ship next year with a group of friends for a while week this time. Firstly embarkation was an absolute BREEZE. We got there, dropped off our luggage, waited in a very fast moving line with loads and loads of assistants both at the desks checking us in and also guiding us to different parts of the queue where there was less people. Everyone was incredibly polite and happy, and was completely seamless, exceptional in fact. The whole thing from walking inside the terminal to getting on the ship took about 30-40 minutes, including the waiting security, everything. Quite simply, exceptional. The ship itself was incredible, super modern, fantastic architecture with so many amazing beautiful bars to sit in. The service and the food in the restaurant was amazing. On the formal night we’d never heard of anything on the menu, so I just plumped for a random meal for each of the starter, main course and dessert (as I’m absolutely not a fussy eater) and it turned out to be exquisite. Everyone else I was with had different things and they loved it too, so big thumbs up on the food front. Service as well was quick, efficient, polite and all the waiters were very chatty and pleasant. Next the layout of the ship, which overall was fantastic. Before I went I was looking at the deck plans and I had very heavy reservations that the ship would feel awfully crowded, as after all there are seven decks of just pure cabins and just six decks of entertainment, restaurants, bars etc. But when on the ship you didn’t get this impression AT ALL. In fact, quite the opposite. To me the ship was spacious, there was always space to sit where you wanted, always space to sit outside, so this ship was incredibly good at handling this amount of people. This even goes for the Horizon Cafe, I’ve been on ships in the past where the main buffet restaurant was impossible to sit anywhere because it just wasn’t big enough for the amount of people, NOT the case on Britannia at all. The Horizon Cafe is absolutely huge so there was always space to sit at all times of the day, even at 8am in the morning at breakfast, so fantastic decision making the buffet as big as it is. Now to my one and only bugbear ..... the lifts and stairs. There is NO STAIRCASE in the middle of the ship above deck 7, which is a monumental mistake, just lifts. Between the 11 of us we occupied 4 cabins, three on D deck 11 and one on E deck 10, all midship. So just going down one deck from E to D we had to use the lift. Now I know the argument could be ‘walk to the forward lift bank where there are stairs’, but having to walk all the way forward, just to do one flight of stairs and walk all the way back to midship again is a bit impractical, especially on a ship as huge as this. Especially when you consider two people in our group were older and couldn’t walk very far, so going more than one floor on the stairs for them was out of the question (great when you’re on D deck so you have to go at least three decks to get to anything). This brings me onto the next thing, the lifts are impossible to use at the busiest time, not helped at all by having no staircase in the middle. On embarkation, disembarkation and getting to and from the muster drill, it was infuriating. Getting back from the muster drill, the two in my group who had to use them had to wait HALF AN HOUR to get in one, absolutely ridiculous. But luckily they’re just short times of the cruise where you just have to put up with it, that small part of inconvenience is definitely not enough to affect your cruise. When we were in port (so the ship was quieter) the lifts were dead and even just on the typical evening when everyone was onboard and roaming the ship as normal, the lifts weren’t a problem. It’s just those three busy times where it’s a bit of a headache. Next the entertainment, which was a great laugh. We went and saw the show in the theatre, which was a magic show. A bit cheesy for my liking, but we all had a brilliant time and it was really funny and entertaining, and that’s all you can ask for really. I’ve read comments about the size of the theatre, but we didn’t have a problem finding anywhere to sit. It’s like any theatre really, get there early and you’ll get a good seat. Although I didn’t use it during my short time on the cruise, I went to the gym and had a good look around it. It was a really good size with lots of equipment to use, really bright and airy too. I saw the gym at 6pm in the evening and it didn’t look particularly crowded either. Just the small bugbear about the lack of midship staircase and occasional lift overcrowding is absolutely not enough to spoil your cruise experience though, it’s such a small thing, because like I said it’s not a problem at all other times. I’m going back on the Britannia next April for a week-long Western Europe cruise, and this I’ll going with a group of friends who have never been on a cruise before. I picked this one purely because of the amazing experience I had the first time, as it was important to me that my friends have an amazing first time cruise, and I’m sure they will on this ship. I can’t recommend this cruise ship enough, absolutely loved it. Completely British, absolutely brilliant. Seemless embarkation, amazing service, amazing food, amazing design and architecture, and also brilliant standards of hygiene. At the horizon restaurant there was an assistant outside making sure we washed out hands at the outside sink, and they were always outside the restaurant making sure we sanitized as we went in. Everything about it was fantastic and am so excited to go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
Sail Date March 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
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
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
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise - our 19th overall and 8th with P&O to celebrate Christmas and my birthday. What a disappointment compared to previous cruises. The food was awful - no better than cheap pub food and the same repetitive menus ... Read More
We chose this cruise - our 19th overall and 8th with P&O to celebrate Christmas and my birthday. What a disappointment compared to previous cruises. The food was awful - no better than cheap pub food and the same repetitive menus every day. In particular the buffet was extremely poor quality with pushing and shoving from the other very rude passengers a common occurrence. The standard of behaviour of the majority of passengers was appalling. If I had wanted to celebrate Christmas with rowdy, rude and drunk people I would have booked to go to Benidorm. From rearranging all of the sunbeds and reserving in droves, smoking in areas not designated and hogging sofas, loungers and chairs in an attempt to create their own private deck space the etiquette of what were mostly first time cruisers was disgusting. When we raised this with the officer in charge, he attempted to make an announcement which was completed ignored and not subsequently enforced. In fact P&O seemed fearful of these people and were overheard several times to be bragging about how jumping into the pool in full evening dress (which happened one evening) was something that made a good party! Entertainment was poor with an example of the films shown in the cinema being It's a Wonderful Life and ET. I book P&O over Royal Caribbean as I believe the dress code and etiquette to be a level above. Britannia has unfortunately lowered its standards (since we went on last Summer) and as such has joined Ventura in ships to avoid for drunken rude and lairy behaviour. P&O you need to remember who your baseline customers are and act accordingly before you lose your business. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Until this cruise I have only ever sailed with royal Caribbean, on the advise of a friend who is a travel agent I booked this cruise for 6 of us as a special birthday present for my wife. As part of the cruise I also paid for the ... Read More
Until this cruise I have only ever sailed with royal Caribbean, on the advise of a friend who is a travel agent I booked this cruise for 6 of us as a special birthday present for my wife. As part of the cruise I also paid for the ultimate package as a surprise for her. The group consisted of her parents (this was their 3rd cruise), my sister in law and her boyfriend (their first cruise) and my wife and I (this was our 5th cruise). We booked this almost two years ago and booked two balcony rooms and on inside cabin Room (for the sister in law) all on the same floor to help us stay together throughout the cruise. On the morning that we travelled to the airport we put our luggage labels on our cases that was supplied. Once we embarked we went to our rooms to drop off our hand luggage to find out that all three rooms that we had booked had been change, two was on the same floor as we had booked but my sister in laws room was 5 floors down (throughout the cruise this did not help us to arrange meeting up). We went to the reception desk and the response we got was that we had all proberbly been upgraded (I did manage to see my original room but it was exactly the same), the person on the desk didn't appear to be interested in our enquiry. When we got into our room there was a bunch of flowers waiting but nothing else from the package, at this point I didn't wonder about the other items as I thought they would arrive later. We had a look around our cabin and then went onto our balcony, as we went out our new neighbours for our cruise asked my wife's name as they had had a load of items placed in their room (On confirmation they proceeded to list everything and ruined my wife's surprise). They then told us that they had drank the bottle of champagne and eaten the chocolates before seeing an envolope with my wife's name on it. We went down to the reception desk again and got the same person and we told him what had happened and again he didn't seem interested but told us he would get it sorted. About two hours later we went back to the room and most of the items were there. After two days we still had not had anybody contact us to offer an apology and to deliver the missing items. We went back down again to find out that the first person had not put anything down about the issue, we were then told that we would get a call within 24 hours. Again we waited two days before someone called us so we had to go back. After our third visit the reception manager called us and we had to tell him what was wrong and that we were still missing items, he said that he would call back within 24 hours with an explanation. After 3 further days we had all the items and the managed finally called us back but said that it was an over site and he apologised and offered us some on board credit to compensate. Throughout the cruise we heard many people complain about several different issues relating to rooms not being made up,surley staff (We had also experienced this as well as others) etc. We also had a few other problems throughout the rest of the cruise. This will be the one and only I will go on a cruise with P & O as I don't think that some of the staff and management care about the customers once they have our money. I have received much better service on Royal Caribbean and will continue to cruise with them and others. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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 3.2
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.4
Rates 5.0 N/A

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