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95 P&O Cruises Britannia Senior Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise because of the ports and the time of year. First three days were excellent then the Norovirus outbreak god out of hand and pools were emptied, buffet was closed, all venues on the ship were single entry with staff ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the ports and the time of year. First three days were excellent then the Norovirus outbreak god out of hand and pools were emptied, buffet was closed, all venues on the ship were single entry with staff enforcing the use of hand sanitisers. Loungers were put away mid afternoon to scrub the decks. Handrails and lift buttons could not be touched. Menus, condiments, etc were removed from the restaurants. Crew were wiping down everything daily with virox. Crew were ignoring the sanitisers. This lasted for the following 11 days. Atmosphere on board was ruined. Compensation from P&O: nothing. Would not sail on this ship again. Entertainment was really good, particularly main theatre. Ports were really interesting and not leaving Barcelona until late night was a bonus. Dress code, however, was not enforced and hygiene standards were poor. Crew attitude was very variable, cabin steward was the exception. 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
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the plug in the basin was closed,and I wondered why. It didn't take me long to find the answer. I was on deck fourteen, but when I went to decks six and seven, THE SMELL OF RAW SEWAGE WAS OVERPOWERING !!!. Lots of people were complaining throughout the whole cruise. I spoke to reception desk about this,only to be told that they were aware of this problem, and they were working on it. Previous reviews that I have read have indicated that the problem has been on board the ship for some time. The Captain was never to be seen around the ship,except for photo shoots, nor was the chief Engineer,as I would have approached one of them to ask about the problem, which continued for the entire duration of the cruise.( I later found that the basin was kept plugged to prevent the smell entering my cabin). I dined in the restaurant on only three occasions,as the food was only lukewarm, and on one dinner the ribeye steak was so tough that three members at my table had to send it back. After that I dined at the buffet,where the food was Lukewarm too. The entertainment was mediocre,same old gags from old comedians. On one occasion the show was cancelled because of rough seas. To conclude, six sea days are too much,when the entertainment is poor. However if you like dancing,or quizzes,or overpriced bingo,or old movies then this ones for you. I won't be back on Azura! I have a Cruise booked on Brittania for next year,but I won't be going,unless P&o redress me for the disappointment that I endured on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in no time at all and the flight was very good. Transfer to the ship was also good. Our cabin was ok,the balcony and bathroom were smaller than we have experienced on other ships. The muster drill was a complete shambles. This cruise has people embarking at different times and in two different ports, therefore when we were called for our drill there were people trying to enjoy a drink in the bar area that we had been assigned to. This was exacerbated when we tried to get back to our cabin. Everyone was trying to get to the lifts at the same time, and there are no stairs by the middle set of lifts. The design of this ship is frustrating, having to go up a couple of floors and then down again to get to another part of the same deck is beyond belief. Dining was a mixed experience: the Horizon self service or the 'push and shove' as we called it was poor, food selection was poor, very few staff available for drink orders, therefore we rarely ate in there. Peninsular was ok for lunch, Meridian was ok for dinner, Oriental was our choice for breakfast, service however was slow. Epicurean was not worth the money, chewy steak! Sindhu was excellent. Limelight club was very good and the Glass House was excellent. The entertainment in the Headliners theatre was not to our taste. Shore excursions were very good, enjoyed the bike ride in St. Maarten, and the Caribbean cuisine in St. Kitts.Overall an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Travel TUI were very strict at check in with both Hand and Hold Baggage £18 per kg excess. Flew TUI, from Birmingham to Barbados which was excellent. Free dinks on route we were offered 3 Alcoholic Rounds of drinks and 2 Hot/Cold ... Read More
Travel TUI were very strict at check in with both Hand and Hold Baggage £18 per kg excess. Flew TUI, from Birmingham to Barbados which was excellent. Free dinks on route we were offered 3 Alcoholic Rounds of drinks and 2 Hot/Cold Drinks with our meals. The main meal was good and the afternoon tea was a small roll and a scone, staffs were very helpful throughout the flight. There was enough on screen games and films to keep us both happy, 5/5. Transfer to the ship was delayed but quick and easy boarding when we got there. Bags handed in at BHX delivered to our door before we returned from Diner at 2100. Room First impression of the room was poor, we paid for what we thought was a good cabin but this turned out to be a cramped area with totally inadequate storage, one rail, 4 small shelves and three small drawers. The bathroom was functional but again lacking any space. The balcony is very cramped. We did get used to the room but not to the extent of suggesting it is worth the cost. Facilities and Dining This is a huge ship with lots of venues, bars, casino, Spa and Gym, 4 main dining rooms, and 4 specialty restaurants. We had freedom dining and ate mostly in the Peninsular 4/5 Waiter Service, which was very good all white table cloths and a good menu selection for all three meals a day, tried the Beach Hut 5/5 (£22), Live Lounge 5/5 (£50) and Glass House 5/5 (£32) extra charges all per couple. The Horizon Buffet was poor compared to Celebrity very British with heavy Indian and Asian Bias, great if you like curry. The Salad Bar rarely varied. Breakfast was very much full English with the usual Fruits and Yogurts, very much a good canteen service 3/5. Entertainment was excellent with three great resident bands moving round the venues, Headliners Theatre Group put on some outstanding shows, with five great singers and a brilliant dance troupe, we also had Revolvers, DNA and The Britones flown out to entertain us, all great but the Revolvers are an exceptional group who should go far 5/5. Excursions Best advice is do not book ships excursions which are much more expensive than local tours and taxis. Barbados We walked to the Harbour by the bridge in the Centre of town and had a few drinks in the Waterfront, 3 beers $6 Rum Punch $6, good wifi, and a very friendly service. Taxi back to the ship was $5. Expensive compared to other ports we visited. Curacao It was a Public Holiday so everywhere was closed. We walked from the Port into town over the floating bridge and had a few drinks by the Harbour. The few shops that were open were expensive but it was one of the cleanest and most welcoming ports we visited. Good free WIFI in the Cafe next to the floating bridge. Aruba The ship docked in the central area and there are good local tours, $25 for the open window bus ride lasting 2 hours with a beach stop if you wanted at no extra cost. Nice Bars and Cafes round the harbour. We walked to the Wilhelmina Park at the end of town to see the iguanas. Again a friendly place to visit. Good free open WIFI in the hotel/shopping mall in the centre of the harbour. St Vincent We did a Ships tour £43 each, but the weather was against us and we saw little of the island, the visit to the Fort and Botanical Gardens was very interesting but seeing two birds in cages should not be described as an Aviary Visit. The city is very rough and a bit of a shock to those less travelled, several guests we spoke to, started off into town but returned to the ship when they got to Front Street. This was a low point in our cruise but on reflection it was worth the visit, following the trip we complained to the on board excursion staff and had a very poor response, the guy didn’t even bother to ask my name or room number, as a result of which I cancelled the other trips we had booked with P&O. St Georges, Grenada Did the Hop on Hop of Trolley Ride $20 each which has 4 stops/pick up points 45 minute trip up to the fort and round the seafront. Lots of folks took the water taxi to Grand Anse Beach $20. We bought our duty free here as it was half the price of other ports $38 for 10X50g packs of Tobacco but shop around as the main duty free was much more expensive. Barter when you buy your spices you will get some good offers we went to the open market and had 15 nutmeg $2, Bag of Cinnamon $2 and Bag of Cinnamon Sticks $2 ($5 for all 3) Spice Necklaces $3 (4 for $10). Castries, St Lucia One of the Gems of the trip we did a full day tour with Cosol Tours, Cassius was our guide and I think the owners of the company which had about 10 nice air conditioned minibuses. $80 is a lot of money but the trip is virtually the same tour as the By Land and Sea Tour offered by P&O at £76. First stop is the Banana Plantation for short talk and a taste of Banana Ketchup, Banana BBQ Sauce and Spiced Rum. Our 2nd stop was a view point and our first drink of the day (Water, Beer, Soft Drinks or Rum Punch offered at all stops). We then move on to the breakfast stop where a wide variety of local buffet food was on offer, more of a taster event with 30 + items on offer (Curry Goat, Lamb Stew, Bread Balls, Meat Balls, Cakes, Coconut Ice, Spicy Toffee, Fudge, Candies) I suggest you get in quick and have a little taste of everything because it was sufficient rather than plentiful with some lovely treats to experience. Drinks were freely available. Our next stop was at Anse for A photo at the fishing village, then on to Soufriere where we boarded a speed boat to Golden Beach which is right between the Pitons, here I hired a snorkel kit with flippers $10 and swam in the reserve which has a wide variety of fish (Best $10 I spent on the whole trip). We had an hour on the beach before the return boat trip; a drink was waiting back at the bus. We then set of to visit the Mud Pools to bathe or the optional Volcano Tour, swimwear is a must, and you are invited to keep on your wet gear for the short drive to the waterfalls, for a second chance to rinse the mud of. The final stop on the tour is a stop for hot local bread and cheese with more drinks. The trip is expensive but everything bar the snorkel gear was included in the price and it has got to be the best way to see and enjoy sights of St Lucia. I can only add my thanks to our outstanding guide Cassius, and add another totally unreserved recommendation to the many which Cosol Tours have on Tripadvisor, Cruise Critic etc. St Maarten The port is across the bay from the beach and town centre, we decide to go local and caught the water taxi $7 all day return. There were lots of tours on offer and the round the island is worth a tour. I turned tourist catcher by asking fellow passenger to join a tour as prices reduced depending on the number of people, between the Downtown Taxi Driver (Sorry no name) and I we managed to get 10 people and had a 3-4 hour tour for $20 each ($60-80 for 2hrs for 2). We had an extensive tour and the devastation caused by the 2017 hurricane is everywhere, the amazing work being done to bring the island back to an upmarket paradise is astonishing. We visited the Nude End of Orient Beach, A Public Housing Development, and French Capital Margot for a lunch stop and Maho Beach for a short stop to see a few planes land. The driver provided a running tour on all aspects of Island life. Before departing on the tour we prebooked sun loungers and a brolley on the beach $25 which included 5 drinks, we left our towels on the beds in the front of the beach. (Others paid $20 for the same deal). Great visit. St Kitts First place as we got of the boat wanted $34 for a tour and beach stop, we picked up the same tour at the pier exit for $20, Del was our guide and he is a colourful character, the tour stopped at the last working Sugar Factory, Bloody River and The Plantation Museum. Del’s commentary was as colourful as his character and he kept us amused and gave us a few drinks on the route, we stopped at the ridge between the Caribbean and Atlantic for some pictures and refreshment. At the Beach a trolley and chairs cost $30 but the facilities were excellent. Beers were $3 and Burger and Chips $22, so a bit expensive. We had 2 ½ hours on the beach before being picked up at 1530. Antigua Our final tour was a shared tour prearranged with Gordon’s Tours on the internet with two ladies. The cost was $30 each and Jerome met us as arranged at the pier. We had a running commentary on all aspects of the history flora and fauna. The tour passed the Cricket Grounds, Abandon Sugar Factory and many villages. We visited the historic barracks and lookout post, for $8 we visited Dows Museum and saw a presentation tracing the history of the island, Shirley Heights, followed by The Blockhouse and Nelsons Dockyard foe a Rum Punch $5. The tour lasted well over 4 hours and Jerome gave us an excellent insight into life on the island. Well worth booking on the internet prior to your visit. On our return trip cases were collected the night before departure and we didn’t see them again until we picked them up in Birmingham, there were no hand baggage weight check on the return flight. Barbados Airport was comfortable and the duty frees booze was good $25 for two litres of popular brand spirits, $14 for Mount Gay room. The flight back was uneventful with an evening meal and a breakfast muffin, neither of which we enjoyed. Only 1 alcoholic drink was offered and wine with the meal. On summary we had a great holiday, were disappointed with the standard of food, and size of cabin onboard Britannia, given the £5200 price paid. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a new ship and the flight left from my local airport. The only deck you could walk on was the top deck and you would have to fight your way around sunbeds and passengers. The only way to sit outside on a deck was via Costa ... Read More
This was a new ship and the flight left from my local airport. The only deck you could walk on was the top deck and you would have to fight your way around sunbeds and passengers. The only way to sit outside on a deck was via Costa coffee shop. You would have to buy a coffee and sit among the smokers. Any other doors to outside were securely fastened for the whole of the journey. The air conditioning was freezing in the theatre and bars. You dont expect to wear cardigans in the Caribbean. Once in the Lido buffet you were bombarded by waiters asking you to book the other restaurants at £30 a person per meal. We tried Freedom Dining but it was not a good experience so once we were sent to the Oriental Restaurant as the the others were full the waiter kept our table for 6 for the same time every evening. Freedom dining didnt work for us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have put this review on here rather than send to P.O. as P.O. would take no notice, and it would be filed away as it’s not what they want to hear, but more people will see it on this site. We picked the Jan 2019 cruise to the ... Read More
I have put this review on here rather than send to P.O. as P.O. would take no notice, and it would be filed away as it’s not what they want to hear, but more people will see it on this site. We picked the Jan 2019 cruise to the Caribbean as our first time on the Britannia. Flights were good, getting transferred was good. To finish off the good points, the sun shone and the food was good. First problem we had was having a shave, the electric sockets on ship don’t take UK razors or tooth brushes. Nothing in the brochure or any literature on the ship. We were told by reception to buy an adapter from the shop (sold out, of course) or they would charge it up for you. Not good news if you have a travelling razor that needs to be plugged in all the time. Then we encountered the lifts which, long with the set up of the ship leaves a lot to be desired. Basically there are too many floors of just cabins, and insufficient lifts for the amount of people on board. So if you need a lift, you stand there for ages, and by then the floor is full of others wanting to get aboard the lifts. It became the normal to get into any lift that turned up no matter what direction it was going. We also found there are no quiet corners to hid in, no matter where you go on Britannia you have mind numbing music playing all over the ship. When we asked if it could be turned down, no one knew how to do it. Too many places to charge you extra to use or go to. We went as a group of 6 who love Dancing, and as this is the Flag ship of the company we were expecting an enjoyable time. What a shock we got. We had a dance band that played the music they wanted to play, not music to dance to. One evening they had a night of playing Jazz all night. That emptied the ball room. On their night off we got local band playing again their type of music, that again emptied the ball room. ( I could write war and peace on that subject only) When the instructors came on they were only interested on the group of novice dances they had nurtured on the cruise. So the floor was literally full on novices, no problem with that but anyone who could dance could not get on the floor to dance. They should have played 2 of each, but they didn’t. The male instructor danced with the same passenger nearly every dance for the 2 weeks we were there. Their knowledge of sequence dances seemed minimal, as some requests were met with “we don’t know that one” then they would not play a sequence dance as only 3 or 4 couples knew it. The next minute they would play a Viennese waltz, and only 2 couples would get up for, so double standards there. To us they were more interested in selling private lessons and their dancing week ends away than doing what they should. So to me we had a disappointing time on this ship and I would not recommend to anyone. God help anyone who has booked a cruise on the next overgrown monster being built at the moment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Having used Princess, Celebrity and Costa to cruise the Caribbean in the past via Miami and US Immigration, it is refreshing to cruise with P&O for the following reasons: Say goodbye to your luggage at Manchester Airport and ... Read More
Having used Princess, Celebrity and Costa to cruise the Caribbean in the past via Miami and US Immigration, it is refreshing to cruise with P&O for the following reasons: Say goodbye to your luggage at Manchester Airport and don't see it again until it is delivered to your cabin. Charter flight to Barbados on TUI 787 Dreamliner. Exit the plane, board a bus at the bottom of the aircraft steps and be taken directly to the ship, no terminal to go through with customs etc. Fast check in at the dockside, then onto the ship. From plane to balcony in 50 minutes! As good as Princess and Celebrity are, we would probably have just arrived at US Immigration in 50 mins, then claimed our bags, be taken to a Hotel for the night, then bused to the ship the next day. It's a dream with P&O via Barbados! The ships currency is £ stirling and drinks are at fair prices a G&T around £4.50 and a bottle of wine £17 to £24 for a decent wine. One niggle, on Brittania, P&O's flagship, you have to go to reception to see your account statement, no on cabin TV display or printer in the Aitrium like Princess, a sister company have. We liked the minimalist design of Britannia, but felt the Aitrum should have live music every night, not just on some nights. The Crowsnest is a fabulous bar with great views. People did dress for formal night and even on smart casual evenings, most people made an effort, no shorts or baseball caps wandering around! The entertainment was good, as it usually is on cruise ships, with the ships cast putting on great shows. The Limelight Club is good, Gareth gates and Chesney Hawkes appeared when we were on board Jan '19. There is a cover charge and the atmosphere is that of a cabaret supper club. We also had dinner in the Epicurian restaurant, which was excellent and attracts a cover charge. The Sinduh restaurant was also very popular with those who enjoy spicy food. We also enjoyed sunbathing on the forward quiet deck, with its own pool. High density of sunbeds on all decks due to the Brits liking the sun in January. The staff did enforce the away for 20 mins and you loose your bed policy, great! The itinerary was fine, most Caribbean Islands are much the same, good beaches, sometimes taty ports. Usually there are taxi minibuses available off the ship, which are well organised and safe. They gather groups together and off you go. As a price guide, US$20 will get you a return trip to say Jolly Beach in Antigua, then you pay $10 for a sun bed and $10 for a umbrella. All together we had a very relaxing holiday and will return to Brittania for Christmas 2019. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Overall cruising is best value holiday but was slightly spoiled by poor evening entertainment not up to usual standard and when I complained to entertainment manager was rude every thing else was usual excellentdrink prices are excellent ... Read More
Overall cruising is best value holiday but was slightly spoiled by poor evening entertainment not up to usual standard and when I complained to entertainment manager was rude every thing else was usual excellentdrink prices are excellent compared to royal Caribbean travelling from Manchester to Barbados then to ship is is a great experience compared to other holiday experiences and return was good because you do not have to worry about your luggage as it’s taken care of for you cabin was excellent and cabin steward was as usual very hard working and kept the cabin clean and tidy the staff in the oriental restaurant were brilliant always smiling and nothing was to much for them and the food was excellent and was always hot the pool area was always clean and never too busy The resident band pulse are brilliant and would be better used than some of the poor comedians and groups brought onto the ship the blue jays were outstanding the magic show was excellent the others were mediocre Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I had never "done a cruise" and were tempted by a last minute deal. The flight out of Gatwick with TUI was really well done and the 'plane was superb. Too much up selling of duty free stuff but, hey ho, ... Read More
My wife and I had never "done a cruise" and were tempted by a last minute deal. The flight out of Gatwick with TUI was really well done and the 'plane was superb. Too much up selling of duty free stuff but, hey ho, that's life. The embarkation process was seamless with some very courteous mini coach drivers. Really fast check in onto the ship. Our luggage hadn't arrived when we went to our cabin but that is to be expected so we spent a fascinating few hours exploring the ship. We had an hour sunbathing and returned to the cabin where our luggage said hello to us. We chose an inside cabin as we didn't want to be in the cabin too much. The cabin was superb with plenty of space and was really, really clean. (Tip: to free up more space pop your shoes under the bed) Freddy our steward was perfection itself and he always greeted us with a smile. Getting set up for WI FI was a bit of a ceremony but we didn't let that annoy us. We cancelled the automatic tip system and tipped our favourite staff nicely and in person. The Horizon restaurant was absolutely superb with great selections and lovely views. We had top quality service from the beginning with Ronald being a stellar waiter/busboy. I was pretty much addicted to the Indian vegetable curry which was made on board and to be honest far better than most Indian restaurants I've been to in the UK and I've been to a few hundred. Everything was slick and immaculate clean. We did try the Peninsular but things were a bit slow so we didn't go back and stayed loyal to the Horizon. The shows in the Theatre were superb. High, high quality. Horizon 3, Peter Howarth and the Bluejays were all absolutely splendid and having been in the entertainment world for decades I am quite picky. The pantomime by the entertainment crew was really not too good so we left. Lots stayed and enjoyed it though. We liked the reggae/calypso band on the main deck. Around the pool was very busy and noisy so we found a few quiet spots around the ship to bask in the sun. Gorgeous. There was always good product and service around the pool areas and wait staff wandering around ready to take an order We loved staying on board the ship when most people went on a tour as we were so very relaxed and happy basking in the sun. We had a wonderful time for the whole cruise and can't really fault it. Yes things aren't always to everyone's liking but that is life. We thought it was all pretty much perfect and we are very fussy. I note people complaining about the elevators and that's fair enough but when a lot of people use the elevator for one or two floors it's easy to see why it all gets clogged. We did the stairs as much as possible. We were on board when the Gatwick drone problem was going on and I have to say P & O and TUI managed everything so well it was very impressive. Superb emergency management. Thank you P and O Cruises and TUI - We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Did ncl Did royal caribbean Now done PO The seamless transit from london to Barbados and boarding the ship and returning to london was good. The only critic I have with that process is with the thomas cook return leg flight. Poor ... Read More
Did ncl Did royal caribbean Now done PO The seamless transit from london to Barbados and boarding the ship and returning to london was good. The only critic I have with that process is with the thomas cook return leg flight. Poor is the best way to describe it. Staff , entertainment, in flight meal , all poor. Captain of the ship on my cruise was brilliant and comical with his announcement. Staffing was mediocre and not very friendly some had difficulty giving reply to my queries. Food was mediocre in the buffet and the restaurant. Navigating around the ship was challenging as not all sides lead somewhere and some stair not accessible. Waiting for coffee cups at the drink station. Waiting for glass at the drink station. Side of pool drinking water containers , all 3 empty on a baking day. Buffet always been directed to go to a different part as they were closing the section I was going to. Was great visiting those 8 islands . Would I go on this ship again ? Yes IF THE PRICE WAS RIGHT. Low Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
October 2018 and this was our 12th cruise with P&O. This time we boarded Britannia on Friday 12th October 2018 on a two week cruise to the Mediterranean. We stayed overnight at our preferred hotel, New Place Hotel , Shirrell Heath, ... Read More
October 2018 and this was our 12th cruise with P&O. This time we boarded Britannia on Friday 12th October 2018 on a two week cruise to the Mediterranean. We stayed overnight at our preferred hotel, New Place Hotel , Shirrell Heath, Southampton where we got a taxi to the port. We always arrive early prior to our designated boarding time as we usually get on earlier. This was our 3rd trip on Britannia as we had already been to the Canary Islands this year. This time the boarding process was very good and we were on by 2:00 pm. Our bags were waiting for us outside our cabin. The ship is lovely and is well laid out, although more use could be made of the Atrium area which is only seating and no activities took place there except the Passenger Choir on the last sea day. We had a Balcony Cabin on F Deck which was a good size with a nice bathroom with a shower cubicle and there was plenty of hanging space for 2 weeks’ worth of clothes. We were on Freedom Dining in the Meridian Restaurant. We never had to wait for a table and the food was very good but the menu was not as varied over the two weeks as we have experienced before. We used the Horizon Buffet Restaurant for lunch and occasionally for dinner. There was plenty of choice and we were always able to get a table without any problem. My wife is a Type 1 diabetic and although the main restaurant was very good in accommodating her dietary requirements, we found the Java Café no longer offered diabetic cakes and the choice for diabetics in the Horizon was extremely limited. We always go one evening to the Sindhu Restaurant which serves fabulous Chinese food, pick the right night and you get a free bottle of house wine, all for £20 a head The specialty restaurants were heavily promoted during the cruise to get passengers to part with their cash. The Epicurean Restaurant is now £18pp for afternoon tea and £28pp for dinner. The Limelight Club was £25pp which included a visiting celebrity singer. The entertainment was varied with good shows from the Headliners Theatre Company and visiting artists including Laura Magan (singer), Steven Bayliss (singer), Duo Esencias, Paul Eastwood (comedian), Kieran Powell (ventriloquist), Dean Standsby (singer), Nick Page (an appalling comedian), Duo Balskatt, Richard & Adam (Brilliant Singing Duo).All very enjoyable, except the so called comedian. You had to get to the Headliners Theatre at least half an hour before a show to get a seat. We only had one guest speaker on this cruise which is becoming the norm, more P&O cost cutting? The speaker was Ricky Bastin, who did a number of talks on Aircraft Accidents and the outcome of investigations. All were very interesting. The shops are open on sea days and in the evening when in port. They have stalls in the atrium virtually every day doing so called sales selling ornaments, bags, watches, perfumes etc. You can easily get carried away if you are not selective and careful. The shops are very expensive, beware. Our first port of call was Alicante, Spain on Tuesday 16th. where we did an excursion taking a panoramic Coach trip with a visit to the Valor Chocolate Factory and visiting the coastal resort of Alta. Next was Barcelona where we have been a number of times so we just walked around the city. We then stopped at Toulon, France where took an excursion to Sanary Sur Mer which is a quant fishing village/resort seeing some lovely countryside on the way. Then it was La Spezia, Italy where just wondered around the town as the excursions where mainly to Pisa and Florence which we have visited before. At Civitavecchia which is the gateway to Rome, where we have been many times so we decided to do an excursion to Marta, a lakeside town which was extremely quiet and visited a winery, Antica Cantina Leonardi, for wine tasting and nibbles. Absolutely brilliant and bought bottles of wine to take home. Last port of call was Gibraltar which we have visited many times so we walked into town and did some Christmas shopping. The weather was kind to us with sunny days and temperatures of 21/24C, except Gibraltar where the weather was overcast with showers but still 20C. The service from our cabin steward was good and all the staff were mainly helpful. The only fly in the ointment was the jigsaw puzzle which we were doing in the Marlow Suite. On 3 occasions this was put away until we got reception to put up signs asking people to leave it in place for the duration of the cruise. The other problem was someone kept taking pieces, 13 in all, which were returned, anonymously, on the last day. Also on the last day I left my Kindle in the toilet and when I went back 5 minutes later to retrieve it, it was gone, never to be seen again. A note about the décor in the ship. It is mainly good as the ship is only 3 years old, but things are not getting fixed. Two of the diving wall figures in the Horizon Restaurant are broken (they were last cruise) and the carpet had trodden in food stains which were not bring cleaned. Also a couple of the buttons in the lifts has lost their numbers which have not been replaced since our last cruise. Come on P&O it’s not rocket science keeping on top of minor repairs. So, we had a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise and would recommend the ship to those thinking of taking their first cruise as although it carries over 3500 passengers it does not feel like a large ship and never feels crowded. We very much like the ship and we had no problems with the lifts which only got very busy at the end of a show and also with quite a number of mobility scooters on this cruise. The lack of a staircase with the central lifts did not seem to pose a problem Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
First time with P O cruised with other lines to various destinations and can honestly say that this was the best!Embarkation reasonably quick considering that there was over 3000 guests to get on board.Cabin was on Fdeck forward with ... Read More
First time with P O cruised with other lines to various destinations and can honestly say that this was the best!Embarkation reasonably quick considering that there was over 3000 guests to get on board.Cabin was on Fdeck forward with balcony Camille was our cabin steward who did an excellent job keeping it clean and tidy also very friendly.We were on freedom dining allocated to the meridian restaurant this worked very well for us.We ate in the horizon buffet for breakfast on 4 mornings the other mornings we had room service which was very good this meant we could take our time and get ready at our leisure for our planned trips out.We only did one P O excursion all the others we did our own thing which was so much cheaper.Booked Flam railway online before we sailed this meant we had a carriage almost to ourselves with another couple instead of being crammed into one with the masses off the ship.Briksdal glacier booked independently well worth seeing Stavenger and Bergen easy to get around from the ship.To sum up in our opinion Brittania is a lovely ship with good food brilliant entertainment comfy cabins and excellent staff and crew what more is there to say!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Selected this cruise because we wanted to visit the Norwegian fjords, and this suited out schedule. In reviewing this cruise, I am comparing with a previous experience - Celebrity Solstice one week from Barcelona to Tunisia, Italy and ... Read More
Selected this cruise because we wanted to visit the Norwegian fjords, and this suited out schedule. In reviewing this cruise, I am comparing with a previous experience - Celebrity Solstice one week from Barcelona to Tunisia, Italy and France. Initially embarkation works quite well. We taxied from Southampton airport to terminal where our bags were whisked away from the taxi and delivered to our cabin. Registration and boarding was somewhat slow, and no complimentary drinks or snacks were served. See cabin review for cabin details. There was a choice of dining when booking. Club dining - where you are allocated a restaurant (2), table and a time for eating dinner. Freedom dining - where you are allocated a restaurant (2), but can dine when you like, and at whatever table size you prefer. Menu seemed to e the same which ever option selected. In addition to the 4 dining rooms allocated to Club and Freedom, there were three specialty restaurants each of which have a cover charge which ranged from about £20 to about £30 per person for a 3/4 course dinner, and a fourth - The Glasshouse - which offered a la carte dining. Additionally there is a large buffet restaurant operating all day - including dinner - and is excellent for breakfast. Breakfast and lunch are available from most restaurants as well as smaller snack and pizza type poolside. Food was good in the freedom - and presumably cabin - restaurants. Service was excellent, even though these restaurants are very large. In freedom, you may have to wait for your choice of table when you turn up. But they give you a pager and you can head off and have a drink while you are waiting. Ask for a window table! Food in the specialty restaurants was better, but not of a standard that would overly impress. We did not try the Epicurean - which is supposed to be the best. On day of embarkation there was a guided tour of the ship. This is worth going on, as it can be a little difficult to get detailed information about all the facilities on board. The cabin TV is equipped with a good range of channels and movies, including Britannia's own channels offering information on the cruise and destinations. However, the destination information is very skimpy, and lacks detail of the individual excursions. Additionally, information about on board facilities is lacking. We were very luck with weather. Sunny and warm for the whole week. So deck facilities - pools, loungers, etc. - were very busy. There are two pools. One for everyone and one - Serenity - for adults only. For additional cost, you can access the Retreat area. Right at the bow, and quiet and relaxing with two hot tubs. However, quite expensive. They will try and sell you a week pass for about £100 per person. However, we took a day pass option for the first cruising day for £25. Given the subsequent schedule, we didn't use the area again, so that was a good option for us. WiFi is available on board, but is confusing and expensive. Be careful of the "pay as you go" option. There seemed to be no way to monitor usage, and we ran up a large bill - even though only using our phones for occasional email and messaging. They offer other packages, but these are also very expensive. Bars on board are well staffed, and have good selection of drinks. However, no alcoholic drinks are included, and they are expensive. Wine typically at about £6/£8 a glass. Drink packages are poorly arranged, limited in their scope and expensive. Only option was to pre-buy a number of bottles of wine. This compares badly with the creative packages offered on Celebrity cruises, where a package could include wines by the glass, beer and basic cocktails. Entertainment on board was good, but not impressive. We saw two of the shows, and went to the Lamplight specialty restaurant for dinner and a show. Service throughout the ship was good and at times excellent. West coast Norway is stunning! Particularly as we saw it in lovely weather. In Stavanger, we opted for a four hour walking tour which was not great - probably better options. However, Flam, Allusund and Bergen were wonderful locations. Highlights - the Flam railway trip, the Sugar Lump in Allusand, and the funicular railway in Bergen. If going to Norway again, we would probably fly to Bergen, and take small cruises from there. Overall we enjoyed our trip, but would not use P&O again. It is, after all, a British cruise line, and appeals to mostly British people. Britannia has a large number of internal cabins which are offered at quite low prices. So expect a significant number of tattoos and beer! We preferred the more international flavor of Celebrity cruises. Finally, we would recommend the Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ship Guide. A great book which reviews virtually every cruise line and ship in the world. Their summary of Britannia was very accurate. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise as the cabins are stylish, it is British in personality, and passengers are allowed to take their own alcohol onboard (1L each, although I did take a bit more onboard with no problems). My balcony cabin with sofa was ... Read More
I chose this cruise as the cabins are stylish, it is British in personality, and passengers are allowed to take their own alcohol onboard (1L each, although I did take a bit more onboard with no problems). My balcony cabin with sofa was not only nice to look at, but so well designed that it felt much larger. The bed was extremely comfortable, the TV had a lot of films to watch, the White Company products were excellent quality, and the towels were large and fluffy. The cabin was seen to by the steward twice a day, even though his cleaning and tidying skills were not always on par. There is a free laundry and iron as well, which is a helpful touch. The buffet for breakfast is fine in quality and has more than enough variety. The buffet for lunch and dinner is, however, awful. The food is worse than at a service station and how they "get away" with serving such slop is a mystery. I had freedom dining given for free (as I think everyone does, so don't pay extra for it) so ate when I liked in the restaurants the rest of the time. The food was sometimes very tasty, other times just okay. Imagine going to a restaurant in the 1970s and you'll have the right idea...prawn cocktail and well-done roast beef, anyone?!? The drinks onboard are the same as in a decent pub. The entertainment is not awful, but it's not very good either. I saw "Astonishing" and "The Sound of the Underground", which while billed a magic show/musical, are really a selection of dance routines and songs. The best thing about the shows is how attractive some of the dancers are (!) which says a lot about their dancing and singing talent. I saw Zoë Tyler as well, who was excellent on account of being a real performer and not just a hotty who can hold a note and twist a bit. The "Sail Away" things were as embarrassing as they were tacky, although it was interesting to experience what Butlins must be like. Also embarrassing/ irritating was when they paraded the chefs and waiters around to the bellows of Tina Turner while we were eating. The gala evenings were a non-event. I was stressed that my dinner jacket was too big for me and that I had to wear a dark suit, but I need not have worried as there were as many people in full black tie, as the were in just a suit. The reality is that it is not nearly as special as P&O make out: you dress up, you have a free drink (or three) listen to the captin's speech, the (also very good looking) photographers try to get you to have your photo taken, and then you go for dinner as normal. That's it! Nothing magical happens. The service was odd. The woman were all very friendly but a lot of the men had a chip in their shoulder and were very cold with me. One waiter, strangly, started off being very chummy and chatty, and then when I started eating my food (thus, signaling our chat was over) he became very rude by banging things on the table and ignoring my requests...it was like that for the rest of the cruise! I got on and off the boat very quickly and had no problems with the lifts. I did not take any P&O shore tours as they are a rip-off. Will I cruise agian? Yes! Will I cruise on Britannia again? Yes! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Having cruised Iceland and the Med we wanted to see the Baltic states and St Petersburg in particular. We were slightly put off by many critical reviews of Britannia but remembered critical reviews of previous ships which we enjoyed. The ... Read More
Having cruised Iceland and the Med we wanted to see the Baltic states and St Petersburg in particular. We were slightly put off by many critical reviews of Britannia but remembered critical reviews of previous ships which we enjoyed. The balcony cabin was compact but well designed and well looked after by our steward. The food ranged from good to excellent and the waiters were friendly and efficient. The entertainment was generally good but my wife was not impressed that three of the largest venues were devoted to live World Cup games. All staff were really pleasant, courteous, and helpful. The absence of stairs , midships, caused congestion in the midship lifts at peak times (restaurant dinner times and port excursion times) but the resultant delays were not excessive. Overall - a splendid experience. Room for improvement would include (1) better internet access (expensive and much slower than other ships we have been on) (2) Access to spending account details on the smart TV in the cabin and (3) a beer package. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The attraction of this cruise was the Norwegian Fjords.Embarkation at Southampton was as always well organised.Ghe ship is large and the new decor a bit drab ,brown and cream colour scheme although smart was boring.The ship is always super ... Read More
The attraction of this cruise was the Norwegian Fjords.Embarkation at Southampton was as always well organised.Ghe ship is large and the new decor a bit drab ,brown and cream colour scheme although smart was boring.The ship is always super clean everywhere and the whole staff work tirelessly to keep it that way. It was half term so there were many children on board and as the weather was exceptionally hot and sunny the two main pool areas were taken over by them and they certainly enjoyed the pools.This meant using them was out for us as where the jacuzzis always full of kids. Fortunately there is a adults only pool area Serenity area to the rear and this was much quieter evening entertainment was of high quality and the on board Headliner company were outstanding.There was plenty of room at all the venues so plenty to choose from. The cabin was a little smaller than some liners but very well kept and we used the balcony a lot as the scenery as we cruised the fjords was fabulous with snow on the hills still and the villages and cruise stops in the larger ports right in the heart of the ports were easily accessed.P.&O certainly organise passenger exit and return to the ship so well. Now to the food. Although you will never be hungry on this ship the food we found to be a bit disappointing.At the breakfast buffet we found for inference the bacon to be very salty and the sausages tough,eggs were left out so went cold.at dinner in the evening fish and meat was often over cooked and vegetables either cold or not cooked at all.Soups and desserts were ok.Freedom dining was freely available and a much better option. Disembarkation at Southampton was smooth and trouble free.We would use this ship again without hesitation if the itinerary suited our needs as we know not everything will be one hundred percent perfect but P&O get it as near as possible. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have cruised twice before with P and O and decided to give Britannia a try mainly due to rave reviews. Delighted to be upgraded and looked forward to our balcony cabin at the aft of the ship. However as soon as our steward introduce ... Read More
We have cruised twice before with P and O and decided to give Britannia a try mainly due to rave reviews. Delighted to be upgraded and looked forward to our balcony cabin at the aft of the ship. However as soon as our steward introduce himself he then told us about the 'soot deposit' issue at the back of the ship. Apparently soot from the funnels land on the balconies, mainly during the night and this was a problem for both my husband and myself as we both have lung conditions (COPD and emphysema) He suggested we do not use the balcony first thing in the morning until he had been in to clean the area. Not ideal as using the balcony first thing with a cup of tea is what we like to do. We went to reception who were very understanding but could not quite grasp why we were not happy to have a balcony and not be comfortable using it. Reception spoke to the housekeeping manager who basically said the same: don't use it until it had been cleaned. Not happy we insisted we met with her and eventually she agreed it would not be advisable to use it. She was unsure if we could be moved as the ship was full and asked for 24 hours to see what could be done. 2 hours later we were moved to a new cabin at the opposite end of the ship away from the downdraught of the funnels. . Very happy with the result until we realised we were directly over the area where the anchor was lowered and the ropes were stored. Very noisy from 6 am every morning. My advise is if you have any sort if breathing problem do NOT book the aft cabins as nice as they look Food was very disappointing. We prefer to use the buffet but the choice was the worse we have ever experienced on any cruise line. Breakfast was appalling. Typical English breakfast was over cooked bacon which had been kept warm for so long it was like leather. Eggs under cooked and no egg station as on many lines where you have exactly what you wanted cooked fresh for you. Lunch and dinner were also very short of choice unless you liked noodles, curry and cold meats every single night. To top it off all food was barely warm. Hygiene very poor. The first 2 days a member of staff made sure everybody entering the buffet washed their hands before eating but from day 3 nobody was there and many, many people were just walking in. Public areas not cleaned regularly and ash trays in all smoking areas overflowing with uncollected glasses and bottles. Lifts were not working and nobody seemed to be working on them. One was out of order for the whole 7 days. Entertainment was badly advertised with no signs outside venues saying who was appearing. I cannot comment on the shows as we did not see any. We would not use P and O again as they are now telling guests how to dress by banning certain types of t-shirts and no shorts in certain areas, although my husband did wear his shorts to the buffet and was not stopped. When on holiday we do NOT expect to be told what to wear. We totally know how to conduct ourselves and understand how to dress for the main dining room but do not like being dictated to. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had been on the Azura in September 2017.. Superb trip to Norway,lovely ship. We thought we would try The Britannia,BIG mistake! Totally impersonal, the balcony cabin was not particularly clean..coffee stains food on carpet from when we ... Read More
We had been on the Azura in September 2017.. Superb trip to Norway,lovely ship. We thought we would try The Britannia,BIG mistake! Totally impersonal, the balcony cabin was not particularly clean..coffee stains food on carpet from when we arrived to leaving. The room smells were of toilet/ damp carpet. Being on level 12 at rear of ship there must have been a problem. I reported this but was told 'sorry about this but we are full' The lifts are a nightmare and as my husband is disabled,people with mobility problems had to wait until a lift was free.Having to use the lift for 5 floors and then cross the ship to wait for another lift to the restaurants is not the best design. The buffet Horizon was dreadful.....called the bum shuffle deck....food poor,cold,yuk. Fast food en mass for those gorging on platefuls of food. On a positive note The Restaurant staff were excellent. Ship docked in commercial ports,unable to get off,a coach was available to Santander and La Rochelle....20 mins journey....this wasn't in the information.my husband cannot walk and therefore has a scooter......coach no use. This ship is big and I guess there were many unsold rooms that were sold as last minute cheap deals and it showed. We have now cancelled our next cruise with P&O. I have complained to P&O but 3 weeks later NO reply. We have been big travellers,visiting 60 countries and this is the first time I have ever had to complain. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
just returned from our 12 nt cruise around the med. I always read the reviews and often wonder what a lot of moaners us Brits have become. embarkation: once through security we found our cases already by our cabin. Good start Cabin: ... Read More
just returned from our 12 nt cruise around the med. I always read the reviews and often wonder what a lot of moaners us Brits have become. embarkation: once through security we found our cases already by our cabin. Good start Cabin: Inside (as always) not a bad size. Plenty of storage space. One small picky thing, no hooks anywhere just to hang lets say your bag or coat when you enter cabin (they have them on their other ships). comfy bed, changed regular and looked after by our cabin steward Cristo. Flat screen large tv., films etc but couldn't access your bill as on Azura. Bathroom usual size but brilliant shower with glass doors, better than any other in the fleet. Restaurants: we were freedom dining, had table for 2 a couple of times but enjoyed the tables for 6 and 8. met some nice people and had good conversations. Enjoyable. Beach House: surcharge of £7 50 pp. nice food but very american and big portions (very filling). Limelight club: We had a lovely table for 2 by the dance floor. Shaun Williamson (eastenders) Good all rounder and a very good singer. Good meal and a very enjoyable night. Horizon Buffet: very large, we always found a table even though its gets very crowded, baffles me why people walk around with a tray full of food trying to find a table and causing trouble bumping into everyone.find a table first. Plenty of choice of all foods, breakfast, lunch and afternoon teas (which we used). The amount of food people pile on their plates at each venue is astounding. Peninsular: this is the freedom dining venue, served well by all waiters and wine waiter too. Enjoyed the company each night with lots of nice food. no probs. Lifts: now we never had a problem with them, we were on deck 11 for/mid so walked to mid for Peninsular and aft for horizon. This is where people caused arguments and lots of moaners. remember there are 4000 passengers on this ship and the lifts will be up and down all the time. People seem to think as soon as they press the button the lift should be there!!!! Pools. always found a bed to sun bathe, we liked the aft very quiet to read your book. Theatre: not as nice inside as other ships in the fleet, but enjoyed all the headliner shows, Sam Bailey, Peter Howard (the hollies) tucker (comedian) Stephen Mullhern, produced a new show for P&O named 'astonishing' with tech lighting and an illusionist. very unusual but enjoyable. Live lounge. resident band Pulse good singers, good nights in there Brodies: sports bar, live football and quizzes. Crows nest: quiet bar with pianist all in all we had a lovely cruise, which we always do what ever problems there are. We have been on all of P&O fleet, and really like the mid size ships, but will still use Britannia again in the future, We have quite a few booked on their other ships. Each ship as its own character. Disembarkation: I have just read the latest reviews people saying it was dreadful organisation people sitting on the floor waiting to be called. we have seen this alot on the other ships, i am afraid to say its not the organisation its the people themselves. we were in brodies and never uncountered a problem although there were some moaning. It must be a nightmare to organise 4000 passengers, all wanting to get off when they they want to get off not when they are given a time!!!! go on your cruise and enjoy it take no notice of the moaners about P&O standards dropping, this is the what it is, prices have never been so low for cruising enabling all walks of life to enjoy a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My partner and I (72 and late 60s) went by coach with Intercruises to Southampton on 29th April, 2018, to board P&O Britannia for 12 days cruising to Portugal, Spain and Ibiza. We were quickly transferred from the coach to the ... Read More
My partner and I (72 and late 60s) went by coach with Intercruises to Southampton on 29th April, 2018, to board P&O Britannia for 12 days cruising to Portugal, Spain and Ibiza. We were quickly transferred from the coach to the embarcation lounge, but my partner discovered she had left some important hand luggage on the coach which was by then on its way back to the M3. I explained our plight to the baggage handling supervisor who phoned our coach driver, and he returned to the ship and handed the bag to a much relieved Jill. Fantastic service from Intercruises personnel! Once on board we quickly found our cabin on Deck 9, where the cabin steward introduced himself. Ours was a balcony cabin, and although it was not large, what space there was had been used carefully to provide reasonable storage space. However, the shower room has just enough room between the washbasin and toilet to open the shower door. Our luggage soon arrived and we had time to shower and change before dinner in the Peninsular restaurant. We were on Freedom dining (no fixed sitting),and could eat in either the Peninsular or Meridian restaurants. Both the Meridian and Peninsular restaurants serve the same extensive menu. Service is first class, and the reception teams are super efficient at getting you to a table with minimal delays, even on formal nights when they can be very busy. I thought the food had suffered since our first cruise on Britannia in November, 2015, with increased use of pre-prepared (probably bought in frozen) dishes, especially desserts, which are not even good (and the sherry trifle and baked Alaska were quite unpleasant). On our previous cruise we had found that the hot dishes were served hot, but several of our main courses on this cruise were no more than lukewarm. There is far too much use made of salt and sugar, which is really unhealthy - no wonder P&O have not adopted the practice now common in some restaurants of stating calorie, fat and sugar content of all menu items. Even the smoothies - which are usually promoted as a healthy way of getting your 5-a -day - were so sweet that I could not drink them, and as well as being far too salty the vegetables were sometimes also overcooked. Most main courses are often covered in sauces. Sauces should be served separately to allow diners the option of not having them. I had roast lamb one night and this was one slice of reasonably lean meat and three slices of fat. On another night I had darn of hake which was full of tiny bones that were impossible to remove and I had to ask for it to be replaced, which meant my partner had finished her main course before my replacement choice had arrived. The kitchen staff seemed incapable of getting ice cream from the freezer to the table before it melted - on one occasion I was served a dish which had more the appearance of soup than ice cream. I also felt the waiters were under pressure to get diners out of the dining room as quickly as possible, and there was no time between courses or for interaction with the waiters. We had our first two breakfasts in the Meridian restaurant, which was a leisurely and pleasant way to start the day. Unfortunately on both occasions my perfectly cooked poached eggs were cold and the toast was rock hard. Subsequently, we had breakfast and light snacks during the day in the Horizon, and dinner in either Peninsular or Meridian restaurants. Waiters in the Horizon generally were very good, but sometimes a little over eager to clear tables before passengers have actually finished, but that is better than leaving tables covered in dirty dishes. We never had any difficulty finding a table which is credit to the staff when the restaurant is very busy throughout the day. The food assistants were very helpful, and quick to replenish dishes so there was never an occasion when we had to wait for food. Our only criticisms of the Horizon would be that afternoon tea is just an extension of the lunch service with too many hot dishes and that salad is not always served with the afternoon snacks. When salad is available it is frequently served as a mixture covered in oily dressings rather than as individual unadulterated items. The food choice in the Horizon is extensive, but the labelling of dishes should be improved, including a translation/explanation of unfamiliar foreign dishes, and highlighting of dishes which contained nuts. It is difficult to get the ambient temperature right for everyone but we thought the air conditioning in public areas was too cold, especially around the lifts and stairwells. Fortunately I remembered this from our previous cruise on Britannia and remembered to take a casual jacket to wear in the dining room. Cruise ships have to prevent the spread of illness in such a confined space where several thousand passengers are in fairly close contact, and there are hand washing facilities at the entrance to the Horizon, as well as hand sanitiser stations. There was a member of the catering team stationed at the wash basin to remind customers to wash their hands, but they did not stop passengers who walked in without doing so. On our final day we witnessed a cleaning crew in protective clothing entering a cabin on deck 15, which led us to think there might have been a sickness problem, so all the measures to prevent sickness on board may not have worked. We had only one interaction with the Reception staff, and Holly dealt with our problem sympathetically and professionally. One of the things we had previously liked about Britannia was that the Atrium was a music-free zone, but unfortunately this is no longer the case, and it now plays recorded music and has a resident duo in the evenings. The duo are actually very good but I would still prefer quiet when enjoying a cocktail before dinner. The furniture in the atrium and other public areas has stood up well to the intervening years since our cruise in 2015, but there are signs of wear on banisters, and carpets. The carpet in our cabin was badly stained in places. We also were not greatly impressed by the cleaning of our cabin before we boarded - I found a used tissue under the bed on arrival, and the glass screen on the balcony was quite dirty. Obviously maintenance has also been cut back - the hinge on the shower screen was broken. The beds are fairly comfortable, but, because we were woken by the alarm call to our neighbours' cabin every shore day, we rarely got a full night’s sleep. The docking process causes the ship to vibrate so if our neighbours' alarm call had not prevented further sleep this completed the job. I used the gym a couple of times and it is an excellent facility, and very well equipped. However, it is let down by the changing room, where very few of the lockers actually lock, and there is only one shower which was cold. I could not find a member of staff to ask about the equipment which was more high tech than I am used to, or replace the empty sanitiser dispensers. There are three formal nights on this 12- night cruise, and these were very well observed. The first formal night also combines the Captain’s welcoming address in the atrium. Captain Dunlop is an amusing speaker and gives the impression of loving his job and his ship, although his daily broadcasts were a bit "Hi De Hi". Most passengers observed the ship's dress code but there are always exceptions such as the man who wandered about the ship in a sleeveless vest and shorts, usually carrying a glass of beer, even in the shops. The only show we went to was a performance by Sam Bailey, but it was standing room only, and since our discomfort outweighed our enjoyment of her performance, we left after two songs. We enjoyed the dance demonstrations by the resident dance teachers, Andy and Victoria (sorry I do not know their surname), which were in the Crystal Room, but the resident singer is far too loud for a small venue, and we could not tolerate being in there when she was on. We also enjoyed the syndicate quizzes in the Marlowe suite hosted by members of the entertainment team. Jo, Shannen and Martin were pleasant and amusing hosts, but Lewis seemed to regard it as a chore, and gave the impression he would rather have been doing something else. The ports of call were Lisbon, Cadiz, Barcelona, Ibiza, Cartagena, and Gibraltar. We had visited Lisbon on a previous cruise, so knew that it was a beautiful city, and this time we took a full city tour on a local open top bus which is as good a way as any for seeing it but of course you miss out on walking the streets and savouring the local atmosphere. Unfortunately it was quite a cold day for May, and also showery. The return to the ship was shambolic, which was blamed on the port authorities, but there can be no excuse for keeping elderly, and in some cases infirm, passengers standing in a bitterly cold wind for almost half an hour whilst they sorted out the embarkation process. In contrast the weather in Cadiz was warm and sunny, perfect for strolling around this picturesque city with its attractive open spaces and parks. In Barcelona we again took a local open top bus tour, and again the weather was showery and cold. Fortunately it cleared up long enough for us to walk back from the main square along Las Rambla and back to the ship. Obviously more time is needed to see the many well-known sights of this very large city, but the tour took us to some of the best known places such as the Sagrada Familia, and Nou Camp Stadium, and gave us a good flavour of the place. In Ibiza the weather was again a pleasant temperature for strolling around, and we walked up to the castle for a good view of the town, with the ship in the background. It was a Sunday so many shops were shut, but my overall impression is that there is not a lot there. Cartagena is a very attractive walled town, and for anyone interested in archaeology there is probably quite a lot to see. I was not prepared to pay to see old ruins, but we took a look at the amphitheatre which is visible through railings. From what we could see of it, it is heavily restored. Cartagena is a good shopping place, and easy to walk around, and we had very nice coffees at El Mirador Del Mediterraneo, on Paseo de Alfonso XII. There is not much to say about Gibraltar. We have been before, and we were due back on board at 2.00pm so did not have time for more than a quick walk to the duty free shops. You have to leave any purchases with the crew for collection before disembarkation. Our last two days were sea days before returning to Southampton, and there was a heavy swell most of the way, causing the ship to roll, and we both felt a bit queasy, but Britannia is well capable of withstanding much worse. Disembarkation was not very well organised. We were told to be ready for disembarkation at 8.15am but when we arrived at the assembly area we were told that we would be sent off according to who had arrived first, so the time we had been given was totally irrelevant. Although we had got there about 25 minutes before our allotted time, we did not get off until 8.30am, and when we got to the baggage collection area my suitcase was not in the designated place and I had to go hunting for it. In doing so I found that many suitcases had been taken to the wrong place, which is astonishing when you consider how many times the crew will have carried out the process of disembarkation. The cruise represented reasonable value, and on the whole we did enjoy it, but the unfavourable comparison with our previous Britannia cruise will probably put us off going on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We last went to the Canary Islands in 2008 so we thought a return visit was long overdue. This was our 2nd trip on Britannia as we had already been to the Caribbean on a fly cruise in November 2017 and was our 11th cruise with P&O. ... Read More
We last went to the Canary Islands in 2008 so we thought a return visit was long overdue. This was our 2nd trip on Britannia as we had already been to the Caribbean on a fly cruise in November 2017 and was our 11th cruise with P&O. This time we boarded Britannia on Sunday 8th April 2018 on a two week cruise to the Canary Islands. We stayed overnight at our preferred hotel, New Place Hotel , Shirrell Heath, Southampton where we got a taxi to the port. We always arrive early prior to our designated boarding time as we usually manage to get on earlier. This time the boarding process was a bit of a shambles as the coloured ticket/number system of asking passengers to go to the boarding desks kept being interrupted by the arrival of the coaches whose passengers took priority over those already in the terminal. So some people, including us, missed our ticket being called. When I complained I was told not to raise my voice, which I had not done, and was told just to get in line. We did as we were told! Also boarding was halted for 10 minutes as there was an unspecified problem with the security checks. The ship is lovely and is well laid out, although more use could be made of the Atrium area which is only seating and no activities took place there except the Passenger Choir on the last sea day. We had an inside cabin on D Deck which was more than adequate with a nice bathroom with a shower cubicle and there was plenty of hanging space for 2 weeks worth of clothes. We were on the first sitting of club dining in the Oriental Restaurant. The food was very good but the menu was not as varied over the two weeks as we have experienced before. We used the Horizon Buffet Restaurant for lunch and occasionally for dinner. There was plenty of choice and we were always able to get a table without any problem. My wife is a Type 1 diabetic and although the main restaurant was very good in accommodating her dietary requirements, we found the Java Café no longer offered diabetic cakes and the choice for diabetics in the Horizon was extremely limited. We always go one evening to the Sindhu Restaurant which serves fabulous Chinese food, pick the right night and you get a free bottle of house wine, all for £20 a head. The specialty restaurants were heavily promoted during the cruise to get passengers to part with their cash. The Epicurean Restaurant is now £18pp for afternoon tea and £28pp for dinner. The entertainment was varied with good shows from the Britannia Singers and visiting artists including The 4 Tunes, Steve V King (from the Drifters), John Clegg (impressionist), Gareth Oliver (ventriloquist), Claire Maiden, Nick Page (an appalling comedian), Paul Rack (The music of Eric Clapton), Tiptonic and Jane Middleton as Annie Lennox. All very enjoyable, except the so called comedian. You had to get to the Headliners Theatre at least half an hour before a show to get a seat. We only had one guest speaker on this cruise which is unusual as we have had several speakers on past cruises, more P&O cost cutting? The speaker was Sue Baic whose bag was dietry and nutrition to a healthy living. We did not attend any of the talks, too busy eating our way through the restaurants! The shops are open on sea days and in the evening when in port. They have stalls in the atrium virtually every day doing so called sales selling ornaments, bags, watches, perfumes etc. You can easily get carried away if you are not selective and careful. Our first port of call was Funchal, Madeira on Thursday 12th where we did the excursion taking the Cable Car up the mountain and coming down in the Wicker Toboggan Sled Ride, great fun. As we spent two days in Funchal we spent the second day site seeing in Funchal on foot. Next port of call was La Palma where we did an excursion to the Volcano and a Local Winery, all very enjoyable although we were not overwhelmed by the Canary Wine. Next was Tenerife. It was a Sunday and we did not do an excursion as we had been to Tenerife before so just wandered around the Santa Cruz and had a coffee as most of the shops were closed. Next was Gran Canaria which we had been to before so we did the excursion to the only Coffee Plantation in Europe. Fascinating to see coffee grown in a sheltered valley on the island. Next was Lanzarote where we did the Hidden Lanzarote excursion which took us to the old capital Tequise, then to an Aloe Vera farm, the seaside town of Niemes and finally a Cactus Garden. It made for a great day. Last we stopped at Lisbon on the way back. We have been here several times before so took the shuttle bus into the centre of town and did a bit of shopping, had a coffee and watched the world walk by. The weather was kind to us with sunny days and a temperature on 20C in Madeira and 21/22C in the Canary Islands. Lisbon was also sunny and 20C. The service from our cabin steward was excellent and all the staff were very helpful. The only fly in the ointment was they still only had one jigsaw available which was the same one that we had done whilst in the Caribbean. We asked that they get some more before the next cruise! So, we had a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise and would recommend the ship to those thinking of taking their first cruise as although it carries over 3500 passengers it does not feel like a large ship and never feels crowded. We very much like the ship and No! we had no problems with the lifts which only got very busy at the end of a show. The lack of a staircase with the central lifts did not seem to pose a problem. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose the cruise due to the ship and destinations. Embarkation and disembarkin went well. Allthough gangway failed on disembark. So we were lead to another. We had cabin D440. Balcony and central. Xavier our steward was brilliant. ... Read More
Chose the cruise due to the ship and destinations. Embarkation and disembarkin went well. Allthough gangway failed on disembark. So we were lead to another. We had cabin D440. Balcony and central. Xavier our steward was brilliant. Nothing too much trouble. We had the select price with freedom dining. Exellent. We ate in the Meriden most evenings. Waiters are exellent We had Philip and Amol. Great guys. A credit to the company. Food was excellent. Plenty of good Fish dishes. Wines reasonably priced. We didn't see any shows. Not really our thing. We did go to a couple of talks and the Crow's nest bar, which was good. Ports were good. I'd been to Bilbao Gijon and Cherbourg before. It was nice seeing them from the sea. I found it particularly heartwarming that there were many disabled people of all ages on board. All obviously enjoying every minute. Booked another cruise whilst on board. That says it all !! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My Wife and I picked this ship because had never sailed with P&O before. We were a bit worried that we would get lost on the ship, as it was very big, and had a lot of lounges to find on the lower decks. At embarcation, we were all ... Read More
My Wife and I picked this ship because had never sailed with P&O before. We were a bit worried that we would get lost on the ship, as it was very big, and had a lot of lounges to find on the lower decks. At embarcation, we were all handed a map of every deck on the ship, and we found it easy to get around. .We selected anytime dinning, and we were able to just walk up to the restaurant we wanted to eat between 6PM and 9PM , and get a table. All drinks on the ship were reasonable, and , the entertainment in the theatre and lounges was very good. The buffet restaurant where you could get a meal every day if you did not want to use the dinning rooms, was open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The cabin we had was on deck C and had a nice balcony, to use for enjoying the sun, or maybe use for a snack during the day. . The bill was in UK pounds so it was easy to check how much you had spent. We sailed for 8 days over the Atlantic, and the ship was as steady as a rock, thanks to its very good stabliser.. We will be sailing again with the Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Booked last minute to replace a cancelled earlier holiday so good value for money for flights 14 nights full board and entertainment. First thing to say is this will not be every ones couple of tea. Its very British we found it a bit ... Read More
Booked last minute to replace a cancelled earlier holiday so good value for money for flights 14 nights full board and entertainment. First thing to say is this will not be every ones couple of tea. Its very British we found it a bit understated compared to other Italian and american cruises at first. The ship is quite plain compared to others, always clean and in good repair though. The entertainment rooms are quite small for size of ship, couldnt always get a seat. Acts vary in quality from excellent vibes to some poor tributes. Some room are extremely cold to the point we avoided them staff seemed to know about but nothing seemed to be done. LIDO area very very crowded and cramped, you could find sun beds else where. Swimming pools also very busy most of the time during sea days. Swim before breakfast and you are fine. Food was of generally good quality and plentiful with traditional three/four courses. Local, curry or British. The staff provided an excellent gluten free service, you order the night before then give your cabin number in any main restaurant and your GF meal arrives. occasionally a GF course didn't match up to high standard but generally very good. Service through out the ship was excellent, friendly helpful staff. Check in was excellent luggage checked in Birmingham appeared in cabin just after we arrived. We arrived in Barbados straight from plane to coach to ship for about 5 minutes registration. Couple of sour points hairdresser was very pushy over products and gym instructor needs to understand 'introduction' doesn't mean a strenuous workout. Cabin was smallish with very small balcony but it was clean, comfortable and well equipped and their was room to sit and relax on balcony with a cup of tea. Tea making in cabin big plus for us. First time in Caribbean, weather warm as expected sun is very hot, I know that is what you expect but we where surprised quite how fierce sun was in February , Islands very similar to each other. Sailed, snorkeled, saw hummingbirds, swam a lot. If this your thing good destination. We prefer a little more culture and sight seeing. Excursion expensive but good lot of people used local guide with generally good results. Diverted from Birmingham to Gatwick on return flight due to snow, TUI got 80 taxis and ferried every one to Birmingham at five in the morning, took some time to get them all so some delay and confusion but as good as they could do in circumstances. Read Less
Sail Date February 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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