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8 P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Mediterranean

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
This was our second cruise with Brittania, we chose it again because of the cleanliness of the ship, also the menues in the restaurant were good, staff very friendly, and the food was all ways lovey and hot,, This time we found the ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Brittania, we chose it again because of the cleanliness of the ship, also the menues in the restaurant were good, staff very friendly, and the food was all ways lovey and hot,, This time we found the menus didn’t have so much choice, too much fish for us, food still lovey and hot I must say, The Buffet at lunch time didn’t have a lot of choice also again much the same everyday! The entertainment hasn’t changed a lot so Some of the acts we had seen before, But it was nice to see Sam Bailey and Zoe Tyler and Jimmy James,The Dance troupe we’re very good.. We used the Live Longe a few times but didn’t think the Group was as good as the last time,But they had a good singer tribute to Whitney who was very good.. All in all good cruise just hope Brittania now calls at some different ports in the future, Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We also travelled to the Baltic Capitals on Britannia in June 2015 (14 days) and although some of the many niggles have been sorted, we were still not impressed second time around. This was our 4th cruise this year and we are seasoned ... Read More
We also travelled to the Baltic Capitals on Britannia in June 2015 (14 days) and although some of the many niggles have been sorted, we were still not impressed second time around. This was our 4th cruise this year and we are seasoned cruisers. Our cabin was in the mid ship area and we suffered badly due to the lack of a staircase above level 7, therefore the lifts are very busy and often full at prime times. When the weather is poor and passengers want to use the lounges and indoor seating areas, it can be difficult to find a seat. The cafeteria is also a very difficult area to find a vacant seat at busy times. Balconies and bathrooms in cabins are small, but are still comfortable. Our stewardess Rona was excellent and room service very prompt. Embarkation took about 2 hours (we arrived 10 minutes before the appointed time at 1pm ). This was, however, better than the 4 hours it took in June! Our cases arrived outside the cabin shortly after us. Disembarkation was much better, as was the case in June. The atrium area would benefit from some occasional entertainment (piano, string quartet say) and watch out for poor service, long wait for table clearance and lack of seating in the Java Coffee Bar. Don't wave a prepaid coffee card at the waiter to draw his attention, they prefer to respond to your charge card, with its additional tip possibilities! A good directional tip around the atrium is to go to the staircase end to go forward end of the ship. Trying to find your way around Britannia is not easy, due to its size, even after 2 cruises on board. The 2 ordinary dining rooms work well enough, without the need for much waiting if on freedom dining. The waiters are efficient and polite, if lacking in much charm. We dined twice in the Limelight club where the service was subject to delays and the food was served very cool on the first night. The menu selection is restricted in choice (only 2 starters, 3 main choices and a single take it or leave it pudding) Our second time menu was better, but still not great, considering we missed the gala diner in the main restaurant!! You expect much better when paying a supplement. We also used the Sindhu restaurant, which was excellent and well worth the supplement we paid. The various entertainment bars and theatres, are all very small for the number of passengers on Britannia and you must arrive very early if you want a seat. The Studio was over crowded for an audience with an Italian Chef personality, with guests sitting on the stairways and standing around the verges. However the Crowsnest is very comfortable and good for late night piano and drinks. We took 2 shore excursions. A full 10 hours tour for the Excellence of Rome, as we had never visited this city before. It was about £100 each and included a very poor restaurant lunch. However, the overall tour was good and included a long walk around the Colosseum, Forum Area, Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel, St Peters and the Vatican Square. The two guides provided were very good. The 2nd tour was into the Corsican mountains for about 3 hours in the morning. Although it was picturesque, it was not unusual or captivating. P and O are not good at communicating with their passengers wishing to visit ports of call without the need for a tour. No maps are pre provided on board, off loading points are not given for shuttles or lengths or directions for walkers to go alone. The 6 main attractions should always be described in ports, with their location. Not everyone can get to port of call talks, or sit through a presentation on P and O tours! Watch out for queues on returning to the ship, if near to lunch times or prime time tour returns. You can wait for some time in the rain or heat. The standard of entertainment is on a par with most other cruise lines, nothing outstanding and nothing bad. From our view point this cruise ship and voyage fits snugly into the "average" rating and we are unlikely to return to Britannia or P + O in the future, having experienced them twice within the past few months. P + O appear to being going for mass market cruise customers and falling short of their previous 5 star ratings, for which their brand was noted. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The potential to be a brilliant ship. However, it did have a split deck (deck 6) and lacked a good size promenade deck to stroll around. One pool was out of order for the duration of the cruise and a whirlpool tub was out of order for a ... Read More
The potential to be a brilliant ship. However, it did have a split deck (deck 6) and lacked a good size promenade deck to stroll around. One pool was out of order for the duration of the cruise and a whirlpool tub was out of order for a few days. Embarkation was chaotic because the connecting bridge to the ship wasn't sitting properly although check in staff were very polite and efficient. The food was very good to excellent. I am a Coeliac so have special dietary needs. The head waiter in the Peninsular restaurant was brilliant in sorting out a suitable (and scrumptious) menu for me. Well done. The entertainment was great. We seen Madeleine Bell (singer), Jimmy James (singer), Josh Daniels (Comedian - if you like laughing) and Pulse (8 piece band - 4 musicians and 4 singers, 2 male and 2 female). All were very good and enjoyable. One area of concern I had was that the entertainment venues are 'small ship' so not able to cope with the amount of passengers wishing to use the facilities. Groups gathered in the doorways and at the top of the aisles also occasionally at the top and bottom of the stairs in the atrium. Staff need to politely disperse these gaggles for the sake of health and safety enabling safe transit of the areas. There were three formal evenings and on the third one the ships bulletin said that there would be a 'Complimentary Photo' that night. This IS NOT the case. When I asked at the photographic desk about it, I was told quite haughtily by a female staff member that 'Complimentary' means that they take the photo for FREE but CHARGE for the photo. Eh! I felt the whole photo experience is a scam backed by staff ready to talk down to customers. IF we go on a cruise again we WILL NOT be using the photo shop for anything. This spoilt the cruise for us. Not sure if we will ever use P&O again. This was our first ever cruise. Our cabin steward Jose made the cruise with his politeness, efficiency and helpfulness. Thanks Jose. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have just returned a week ago from cruising the Mediterranean on Britannia and we have to say we had a wonderful relaxing time. Unfortunately things didn't go too well to start with. Our embarkation was not good due to P&O ... Read More
We have just returned a week ago from cruising the Mediterranean on Britannia and we have to say we had a wonderful relaxing time. Unfortunately things didn't go too well to start with. Our embarkation was not good due to P&O using Britannia for a trial on that particular day. This trial was to allow P&O to ensure that all cabins would be immediately available for passengers once they boarded. (We were advised about this a few days before we travelled). We gather the passengers arriving earlier had managed to get through very quickly, however the time designated to ourselves found us in the embarkation lounge with hundreds of others and the whole process took us two hours to embark and we did not get to our cabin until well after 4 pm. Allowing for unpacking, and the emergency drill, we just made the first sitting for dinner that night. However from there on everything improved rapidly. Our waiters greeted us warmly and we began to feel ourselves relaxing as the evening wore on. The staff and crew were excellent. Our table waiters, wine waiter and our cabin steward could not be faulted. They were friendly, helpful and very considerate. One evening my husband had an upset stomach and decided to give dinner a miss. As I was leaving the dining room after eating, our head waiter appeared with a selection of fresh fruit for me to take to the cabin for my husband. Such a kind gesture. The next night he was greeted like a long lost friend by our waiters, shaking hands with him and enquiring after his health. Our cabin steward kept our cabin spotless and looked after both of us in a very quiet and courteous way. We enjoyed the entertainment in the theatre, the acts and shows were very good. Overall the ship was a beauty, we were very lucky with the weather, and combined with good ports of call, it made for a great cruise. Sail away party from Gibraltar was great. The library was small, but we didn't have any problem finding books to suit our holiday needs. The only evening that did upset us was a few days into the cruise where the entertainments team were having a live music night on the Lido Deck. Unfortunately our cabin was on Deck A and was right underneath. When the music started it was terrible. Apart from the loud beat the noise was reverberating down into our room. Everything was vibrating and the noise was unacceptable. According to the ship's daily newspaper this musical night was due to end at 11.30 pm so we stuck it out. However the powers to be up on Lido Deck ended the evening at midnight. How families with little children managed heaven only knows. Many nights later we read that there was to be a further live music light show above us and we were dreading it. However to our surprise we hardly heard a thing, just a distant beat which was fine. Maybe someone had complained that noisy night. Well done P&O for addressing the problem. Given a choice we would probably choose a smaller ship for our next cruise as that suits our needs better, however if we had no other choice but Britannia then we would gladly sail her again. Thank you P&O for a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We did have a delay in checking in with the new system they were trying but it was not a problem for us and we were still on board in plenty of time to have some lunch and look around to get some bearings. This was only our 3rd cruise and ... Read More
We did have a delay in checking in with the new system they were trying but it was not a problem for us and we were still on board in plenty of time to have some lunch and look around to get some bearings. This was only our 3rd cruise and we absolutely loved it. As others have said there were a few teething problems, e.g. technical issues ensuring everyone was on board before departure but that is only to be expected with someone new. We thought our cabin was great with plenty of storage and hanging space. The shower was great and our cabin was kept spotlessly clean by our steward. All the staff made you feel at ease wherever you went. We always found somewhere to sit in the Merdian and loved the way the seating was laid out in comparison to the other two cruises we have been on, We always found somewhere to sit no matter where we went and agree that it never felt overcrowded bearing in mind the amount of people on the ship. Our only negative was the quality of the photos taken by the photographers and only found 1 female photgrapher that really took great care in the detail and we even managed to get one photo without people in the background which was the last formal night. The evening entertainment in the theatre was very impressive and loved Steve Hewlett, the Ventriloquist, the Patriot Girls and the Fly Rights who got a standing ovation. Daniel who was the Slot Machine Manager was a sheer delight and had chats with him every night and really made our stay special. We had a wonderful meal in the Sindu restaurant for my birthday and was a wonderful experience and the food and service was devine. We would not hesitate in going on the Britannia again and we had a wonderful Captain Brown, the weather was faultless and for me the highlight was seeing so many dolphins and 4 whales on the Thursday coming home after we left Gibralter. It was like a party on the side of our ship with so many people getting excited (especially me) at the wonderful spectacle which we were privileged to witness and I have the photos and cam corder film to prove it. Enjoy the Britannia she is great. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
After waiting a year and looking forward to "Britannia" it just was not what we expected, Our cabin had 2 extra bunks in, thankfully we had no children with us as how they think 4 people could exist in a cabin that size beggars ... Read More
After waiting a year and looking forward to "Britannia" it just was not what we expected, Our cabin had 2 extra bunks in, thankfully we had no children with us as how they think 4 people could exist in a cabin that size beggars belief. There was no promenade deck like on the other ships, you either had to go to the Crows nest up forward, or go to the so called promenade deck on deck 17. The activities were'nt great. Port and shore excursions left a lot to be desired - Cartagena a no walking tour we were told - my friend and I - both disabled had to wait for an hour and a half while our wives did the tour, we did get money back but that is not the point. A sailaway was cancelled, when we enquired why we were told inclement weather there is a bar downstairs - friendly staff leave a lot to be desired. Dining was quire good, but the food was not as good as on other cruises, although the waiting staff were excellent. We went to the "Glass House" for lunch, but walked out after waiting for nearly 2 hours to be served, The Beach House was very good though. The Headliners theatre is not big enough for a ship of that size. Embarkation everywhere was a nightmare, only 1 gangway at a lot of places. Lifts and toilets were out of order. The final straw was disembarkation at Southampton, we were at our designated waiting place an hour before, but there was no information broadcast at all, so we did the same as everyone else,and just went for it- a total shambles. Finally a line from the song "Sloop John B" comes to mind - "This is the worst trip I've ever been on" Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
First impression of this ship was the size of the ship as I had never sailed on a ship this size before, the biggest having been the Celebrity Galaxy some years ago and the P&O ship Oceana. The cabin a twin inside on F deck was quite ... Read More
First impression of this ship was the size of the ship as I had never sailed on a ship this size before, the biggest having been the Celebrity Galaxy some years ago and the P&O ship Oceana. The cabin a twin inside on F deck was quite spacious and was impressed the the facilities in the cabin such as the adequate hanging space for clothing and a great shower in the bathroom. Beds were comfortable with a nice thick mattress on each bed. Our cabin stewardess was brilliant with nothing too much trouble for her. The cabin was handy for lifts and stairs as it was situated forward end. It was also quite near to the restaurants/shops etc on deck 7. We had freedom dining which we thought was great as it was more flexible than fixed dining times. Facilities on board were excellent with plenty of places to eat and also the bars. Entertainment throughout the cruise was excellent. All in all the cruise was excellent with plenty of activities. Would definitely recommend this ship and would sail in her again. 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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