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6 P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Canary Islands

First the good: Dinner in the evening was always excellent, never had a bad meal. The buffet restaurant always had seating where on other cruises we have struggled to get a seat at breakfast and lunch. The Steward for our cabin ... Read More
First the good: Dinner in the evening was always excellent, never had a bad meal. The buffet restaurant always had seating where on other cruises we have struggled to get a seat at breakfast and lunch. The Steward for our cabin (D728) Savio was brilliant, was always on hand and ready to help. The shows laid on by the headliners team were brilliant and the guest acts were always good. ..... That's it! The Bad: Starting at the beginning.. Getting on board was a nightmare, turned up at the correct time and had a 3 hour wait to get on board. Travelling with 2 other couples and asked us to be inked (and promised we were) 2 couples at the very back and the others at the very front. When questioned the couple at the front were told they have been upgraded, when we compared it was obvious they had been downgraded. When we complained at reception we were told it was all down to the onshore people and nothing they could do. Reception staff in general were really not interested and couldn't be bothered to lift a finger. The rooms were disappointingly small but we expected this reading previous complaints. I very much doubt if 2 ladies sharing could get ready for a formal night at the same time. You were very lucky if you could get to see 2 shows a night as you usually have to get to either the Headliners theatre or and especially the Live Lounge a good 45 minutes to an hour early to make sure you get a seat. The theatre reports to hold around 900-950 people but looked a lot less to us, I estimated around 800. Even with 3 shows a night there are still not enough seats to let all passengers see the show. The resident band Pulse supplied the majority of the entertainment in the live lounge and were quite honestly terrible, they seem to think that playing everything full blast is the way to go. We were forced to watch them on several occasions while we waited for the good invited acts, if we walked out in disgust as we wanted we would have lost out seats and, at best, would have had to stand for the good acts. There was an outbreak of Norovirus while we were on board and we accept extreme measures have to be taken but we were treated as complete lepers to the point of being shouted at if we picked up something in the shops; forced to wash our hands at the buffet restaurant (even though the soap dispensers didn't work) even if we are just walking through so get to the sun deck and told not to swap papers in the quizzes as if we were all diseased. The Limelight Club had several guest speakers/entertainers on during the cruise which we would like to have seen including Dean Andrews (actor), Darren Day and a Morcombe & Wise tribute but you have to pay a £22 surcharge on the meal in the club if you want to see them. This is the first time I have ever seen this on any cruise, having to pay to see certain entertainment!! There were a couple of very good entertainment crew, little Scotty and the one that ran the dukebox quiz (forgotten his name) were the best but most were terrible. They rushed through quizzes like they wanted them finished as soon as possible and they really couldn't be bothered. In the bars there seems to be a new idea that each of the bar staff have a quota of drinks to be brought via them every day. That would be the only explanation as to why we get constantly got hassled as soon as our drinks got half drunk. On the last night we timed it and in the space of 24 minutes after my pint was half gone we got asked 8 times whether we would like more drinks, some people has hardly touched theirs. During the football (Euro 2016) England games it almost came to blows as they constantly stood in front of the TVs asking if people wanted more drinks and on the odd occasion they got an acceptance they would stand there taking orders and again giving drinks. Saying that the bar staff were generally nice and seemed to be under a lot of pressure by P&O to sell more drinks. The decks and especially the sun loungers at the back are very dirty from soot from the funnels. Something new to watch out for is that now it is mostly freedom dining. We thought this was going to be a problem for us as we usually like to get to know our own waiters but as it turned out the 6 of us managed to get the same table most nights and when there was something special to see we could get in early and finish sooner to ensure we could get a seat at one of the venues. The bottom line is that this is what happens when bean counters start running a cruise company. They cram as many people as possible into a ship (seems ridiculous to say it was too small but it was for the 3,500 passengers crammed into it) and to do that they have cut back on in many areas and have started charging for everything they can (including Yoga/Pilates in the morning). There is a Sindhu restaurant that looks bigger than the Live Lounge but because it makes money for them they give that the most space. Although I would always recommend P&O for cruises I ask everyone not to go on the Britannia. If we start making this popular this is what all future cruise ships will be like, the Ventura, Oriana, Arcadia and even little Adonia are 10 times better than the Britannia, use them and boycott this P&O cash cow, Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Let me start by saying that everybody is different and to what they want out of a holiday Embarkation was really quick our time to go on board was 1.30th arrived at the port at 1.20 was actually on the beautiful Britannia at 1.33rd not ... Read More
Let me start by saying that everybody is different and to what they want out of a holiday Embarkation was really quick our time to go on board was 1.30th arrived at the port at 1.20 was actually on the beautiful Britannia at 1.33rd not bad eh Cabin was very roomy we had an inside midship (B514) plenty of hanging space and wardrobe was big enough. Bathroom very clean and new looking loved having a glass shower door, air con you old turn it up and down we always had ours on cool bit nosiey at night but soon got used to it Food was out of this world so much choice in the horizon (buffet) we had no problems getting seated and there were 5 of us. We had freedom dining out choice of restaurant was The Meridian had the same table and waiters they were really good nothing was to much trouble. Brodies was a favourite of ours went there most evenings for quizzes or just to sit and listen to the live band, The live lounge very crowded did manage to get seated there to didn't have to wait to long for a drink either, Headiners Theatre you do need to get there bout half hour before the show but all the shows and performers were brilliant the lighting in headliners amazing Pool areas were kept very clean at all times plenty of loungers and waiters to serve you . Entertainment team were brilliant always something somewhere to do,one we were so torn as to where to go we ducked into healing rs, live lounge and bodies to watch bits of all lol, the team works very hard to keep holiday makers very happy. We were wowed at the size of the ship, The Atrium was truly amazing was just nice to sit there and watch the world go by We went to The Limelight Club to see Jaki Graham and we weren't disappointed she was brilliant very friendly lady she done a meet and greet after had a photo taking, if you get chance definitely book to see her Disembarktion very organised off within 20 mins in taxi home in 15 mins as we live in Southampton Overall we had the most amazing time but you do hear people moaning bout everything I wouldn't pay all that money to moan and at what! Well done to P and O and all the staff who made our time on board a dream Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Well, we went on our 2 week cruise on Britannia wondering what we had let ourselves in for. Though we had booked in March 2014 for our 14 night Canary Island Cruise, we had read so many bad reviews that we were wondering if we had made the ... Read More
Well, we went on our 2 week cruise on Britannia wondering what we had let ourselves in for. Though we had booked in March 2014 for our 14 night Canary Island Cruise, we had read so many bad reviews that we were wondering if we had made the right decision. We knew the moment that we boarded that we hadn’t and are now sitting at home, very depressed, wishing we were still onboard! Prior to booking the cruise we had done our homework on the Princess Cruise sites re the Royal Princess, her sister ship, and had chosen an aft cabin F729. It had a large balcony which we guess was about 5ft by 9ft. We loved the cabin and though we had an hour on one sea day when there was some soot, it was quickly cleaned up by the staff and that was it for the whole 14 days. It was a quiet cabin and we did wonder if there was anyone else on the ship. Fair enough, the cabin above us could look down on to our balcony, but that really didn’t concern us and we never saw anyone above us any way. The cabin was a GD cabin and well designed. Ok, the bathroom was on the small side, but there was plenty of space to do what you needed to do in there! The toiletries provided by the White Company are good quality. There are plenty of sockets and the cabin TV is a big plus, with lots of excellent films, programmes etc. Shame that you are not able to check your bill on-going or order through the TV as on other cruise lines. We could go on forever, but have added the positives and areas for development in note form as it may not take as long: The good things about Britannia: *We loved the design of the ship and were more than happy with the colour scheme – very modern and stylish. *Though she is a big ship we never felt too crowded. Though this was one of the first cruises of the main school holidays, and was pretty much full we NEVER once failed to find somewhere pleasant to sit at any time of the day or evening. This included the Buffet area, up on deck and in the many bars at night. We were pleasantly surprised. *The lifts – again, we NEVER had a problem with the lifts. Fair enough, we were lucky as we were close to the aft lifts and used those, but when we used the midsection lifts we never had to wait for too long at all. If we hadn’t read previous reviews we wouldn’t have known that there was a problem. It was also good to see that people were always polite and courteous re the use of the lifts and for those less mobile – everyone waited and used their manners. *The staff were exceptional (well, apart from 2 who stood out like a sore thumb), very polite, friendly and helpful. *We ate in the Meridian Freedom Dining restaurant and it was very good. Thanks go to the Restaurant Manager, Jaison, who granted our request for a specific area of the dining room each evening. We did have to wait quite a while as a result as they are not allowed to reserve tables, but it was good to have the same staff each evening. We also had excellent service from Costa, Hyacinth and Jackson – thank you, we miss you! *There was an excellent range of Select Dining venues. We tried Sindhus and despite one of us not liking Indian Food we both enjoyed the experience. The Beach House was excellent value for money, though the Glass House was disappointing and lacked atmosphere. We went to the Epicurian for Afternoon Tea, but found it too rich – too many cakes - and over facing. It was nice, but we wouldn’t do it again. *The over whelming majority of passengers were a pleasure to meet and the children on board were a credit to their parents and never caused any problems at all. The 2 main pools were used for families, leaving the Serenity Pool for adults only. We preferred to sit up on deck 19 facing the pool. There are lots of small, hidden areas that are worth finding if you want a quiet sunbed, in a good location! *The ship’s photographers were very good without being obtrusive and the quality of their products was good *The formal nights were great events and we only saw one person who had not dressed up for the occasion according to the P&O dress code. Sailing from Southampton does help here as we could take there were no luggage restrictions. *As with all P&O cruises we were able to take on board a box of wine and any more wine we purchased at the various stops along the way. Drinks were about the same price as at a 4 star hotel at home and a bottle of wine was about the same price as you’d pay at any Brewer’s Fayre type pub at home : e.g. £15. No gratuities as on US cruise lines. *The ship’s officers were very personable and visible around the ship. We had the pleasure of doing the Behind the Scenes Tour and were impressed with everyone we met. The Captain had a high profile and was a good ‘people’ person. There was an incident late on the first evening – it turned out not to be an engine room fire in the end – and though it was unnerving at the time it was handled quickly and professionally by the crew. *We don’t tend to go for the entertainment so cannot comment on the quality of the theatre productions etc etc. We did go into the theatre for a look around, however, and found it to be very small, so we could see why people complained. We did enjoy the sailaway from Southampton and loved the Great British Sail away from Madeira – an excellent ‘deck party’. *The excursions we did were generally of a good quality, all booked via P&O. These were: Vigo Celtic Heritage and Wine Tasting. An excellent day Lanzarote: Fire Mountain (it rained!) was ok but we would not go for the one with wine again and wished we had done the Camel Safari with this one. Tenerife: Mt Teide by Cable Car: An excellent trip – shame we didn’t have much time at the top due to long queues Gran Canaria: Walking Trails and Wine – a HIKE (NB not a walk at all) into a crater and out again followed by some great wine tasting. This one isn’t for the faint hearted! Cadiz: We did our own thing and walked around the perimeter of the City and then to the Cathedral. A great stop Madeira: We took ourselves to the Cable Car and to the Tropical Gardens which was excellent Madeira: Jeep Safari : A fabulous excursion and well worth the money. Areas for development noted in our survey for P&O: *We met a couple who had booked an aft cabin on G deck above the Live Lounge. Sadly, this cabin was affected badly by the noise, not only during the evening but when the group was rehearsing during the afternoon. We could sometimes hear the bass beat from our cabin, but it was hardly noticeable, though we could hear the rehearsals from the balcony some afternoons. Why they needed to rehearse with the music so loud was beyond us and it was annoying when you just wanted to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet. *Many passengers complained that there was little in the way of entertainment in the atrium at night. We agree with this – there was a beautiful grand piano in the corner, but for some reason it was never used. It would have been good to have someone tinkling away quietly in the corner to give some atmosphere. I suppose the positive side is that there wasn’t loud music so you could hold a conversation! *We knew that Britannia didn’t have a prom deck, but we did miss not being able to have an evening stroll around the ship after dinner. I suppose there is nothing that can be done about it now, but something for future ship designers to consider. *The Buffet was much better than on Oceana, but we still felt that the Celebrity Solstice class ships still have the edge here. There seemed to be 4 identical areas and we felt that it became a bit ‘samey’ over the 2 weeks. They would benefit from sending someone to Celebrity to see what an outstanding Buffet looks like. * As it was a school holiday cruise the small pool at the back and area was reserved for teenagers. This was frustrating as every time we walked past there was no one there and the older teenagers were in the adults only pool ... *Embarkation was a fiasco! For some reason P&O has changed the way that it boards passengers now so that cabins would be ready when you board. I can see the logic, but they are now restricting boarding times more, expecting everyone to keep to the time on their e-ticket. Without going over the whole debate about the rights and wrongs of this, just to say that the new set up doesn’t work. The embarkation area was full to over flowing with cross passengers and when we were told that “We are only inviting Suite guests to board” it didn’t come across too well. Then the PA system kept breaking up so it sounded like some sort of a comedy act. Not a good start. In the past we have waited about 20 minutes max to board a ship and been happy to wander about waiting for our cabin. On this occasion we sat in a hot, stuffy hall for about 2 hours with thousands of others. P&O need to review this ‘new’ system. Finally, just to end by saying that we had a fabulous holiday and would not hesitate to go back to Britannia again if the itinerary was good. Rule Britannia! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
After several recommendations to sail with P&O we took the plunge and booked our first ever cruise on the beautiful Britannia. As a young married couple we were both worried that we would be very young compared to other passengers ... Read More
After several recommendations to sail with P&O we took the plunge and booked our first ever cruise on the beautiful Britannia. As a young married couple we were both worried that we would be very young compared to other passengers so we were relieved when there were lots of others our age and younger! We loved everything about it... The wonderful food, the lovely balcony cabin, the fantastic entertainment.The strictly come dancing aspect of the cruise was fantastic...where else do you get to see the strictly professionals upclose for free?! Embarkation was pretty quick given the number of passengers. We found our cabin with ease and met our lovely steward. We were very impressed with the grandeur of the ship. Spotless and beautiful! Not tacky at all. Always somewhere to sit and always a drinks waiter nearby :-) We had freedom dining which was a lovely surprise and thoroughly enjoyed the food. The waiters were attentive and very friendly. We had to wait with a buzzer occasionally but that wasn't a problem...we were on holiday and not in a rush after all ;-) Our cabin was lovely and the balcony and shower were a great size...honestly I don't know what people are moaning about!! I'm quite cross after reading people's dislike of the entertainment team!! They were fantastic, well above the standard I was expecting. Myself and my husband are both professional musicians and were really really impressed. Seriously can't find any fault at all. On most counts it was far better than the west end. We went on a Cunard ship shortly afterwards and the entertainment was abysmal.... We had to wait for a lift occasionally but again we weren't in a hurry :-) All in all we loved it! I really don't know what people have to moan about, it was just fantastic! We've just booked a mini break on the Ventura! Well done P&O!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Having read all the negative thoughts from previous passengers we were determined to not listen to them, make our own minds up and enjoy our holiday. Unfortunately it turned out that we agree with the majority of negative remarks. For us, ... Read More
Having read all the negative thoughts from previous passengers we were determined to not listen to them, make our own minds up and enjoy our holiday. Unfortunately it turned out that we agree with the majority of negative remarks. For us, Britannia is not as nice as other P&O ships we have travelled on. We found the decor drab and dull, the ship doesn't have a personality and public areas don't flow. Yes the balconies are very small, lifts are smaller and seem to have a mind of their own when stopping at required floors, floor areas around the pool areas get extremely wet and slippery and not from swimmers. We were lucky and had a lovely cabin and large balcony which was right at the front of the ship, which we hadn't tried before, giving excellent views and sunbathing. The downsides to that though was it was more windy and bouncy! The food in Epicurean looked wonderful on your plate but was tasteless the night we went. Wonderful choice of food in Horizon restaurant, just difficult to get a table at times. MDR food and service very good. Beach House excellent food. Glass House also,but on bad weather sea days it's difficult to get a table to sit and eat at because people sit at the tables playing cards or reading. Entertainment during the day was extremely limited. Britannia Show Cast were excellent in their 4 evening shows. We found the ship banged loudly and shook/ moved a lot in the bad weather we had. Disembarkation was chaotic as we got in very slightly late for some reason which meant there was delays of about an hour to get off, with no-one organising people. Once off the ship it was bedlam because we were all caught up with people arriving early for their cruise embarkation. For us, we feel P&O had this opportunity to outshine all the other new ships out there, putting together all their successes from their previous ships, but they have got it very wrong. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Thank you P&O. My husband was a major cruise fan (where I am quite happy by the hotel pool) but he said being on Britannia had put him off ever cruising again. Major delay getting on board meant that we had only just got to our ... Read More
Thank you P&O. My husband was a major cruise fan (where I am quite happy by the hotel pool) but he said being on Britannia had put him off ever cruising again. Major delay getting on board meant that we had only just got to our cabin when we were called to muster drill. service was very slow in the freedom dining room, so we ended up dining earlier than we would wish just so that we could get out in time for the shows, which by the way you needed to be seated at least 1/2 hour in advance because of the low capacity of the theatre/show lounge compared to the high capacity of passengers. The daytime activities were very boring. Daytimes on the ship seemed to be geared towards encouraging passengers to spend money in the spa, casino, or shops as there wasn't much else to do at sea, even the sauna was an additional cost. The shore excursions were over-priced particularly if you wanted to do anything other than the usual (very boring) sightseeing coach tour. The only saving grace is that the prices on Britannia seem lower than what we have paid on other P&O Ships in the past, presumably because you are herded in like cattle. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
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 3.5
Rates 5.0 N/A

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