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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We headed to Southampton on a bright autumn afternoon - looking forward to our 16th cruise on our largest ship to date. We entered the port of Southampton via dock gate 8 - dock gate 8 is near the holiday inn - it can be tricky to find ... Read More
We headed to Southampton on a bright autumn afternoon - looking forward to our 16th cruise on our largest ship to date. We entered the port of Southampton via dock gate 8 - dock gate 8 is near the holiday inn - it can be tricky to find as the sgins are not clear. AB Parking were on duty at the city cruise terminal - as it was a short cruise it was self parking - we got a great space close to the terminal. In my opinion the staff were not as jolly as the CPS (cruise and passenger services) staff who service the carnival ships (p and o etc ) There were no porters around to take luggage - as it was just 3 nights we carried our bags on with us. At City Cruise Terminal security is done first then check in - so there is a fair bit of queing in the first instance but once the security is out of the way check in and embarkation were swift with the whole process taking less than 45 mins. We had a balcony cabin on deck 7 and we had ordered the anniversary room decorations which were in place for our arrival - I think RCI are the only cruise line to offer room decoration packages for special occasions and they were great - we got pillow cases, beach towel, photo frames and more to take home. We had pre ordered the soft drink package and the souvenirs cups were waiting in the cabin for us. The cabin was lovely and the bed comfortable - this was one of the nicest cabins we have had in our cruising "career" even the hair dryer was acceptable and the shower had proper shower doors rather just a curtain. We met our friends in the Windjammer buffet and enjoyed lunch - be careful of the burgers that have sat around .... I was sick on the first night after eating them and had to miss dinner ... Something I have never ever had to do. There was a strange and unusual mix of fellow cruisers as two separate companies were holding their annual conferences aboard, on embarkation day the vessel seemed very over crowded - and the crowd very over excited. INDIE as she is known by regular cruisers is really more suited to warmer climates the indoor venues are too small for the vast number of bodies on board. For Northern Europe I would recommend ships with sliding roofs over the swimming pools. Dinner reservations made on the online system for our two parties for my time dining had not made onto the ships system - they accomadated our party with a table for 5 second sitting in the king Lear restaurant deck 5. Food was acceptable but nothing special - not a patch on Fred Olsen for example - however they are cooking for a vast and wild number of people. Lobster etc is at a surcharge. Staff were very friendly, attentive and helpful possibly more so than any other line we have been on, possibly because of the very wide range of nationalities (our waitress was Chinese) Johnny Rockets was a lot of fun at a surcharge of £6.95 Sorrentos pizza was FAB. The ice show and GREECE were both amazing, the best we have seen on board ships with on pitch singing at all times !! We had an elderly lady of 88 with us using a "whizzy" small compact mobility scooter - it was accomadated everywhere. At The port of zeebrugge my friend and I used the Cruise Express into Brugges which was accessed by taking the port shuttle (free) at the bottom of the gang plank to the port gate - this is provided by the port not the line - we pre booked our tickets using Viator website. Be wary of using the other bus service to Brugges which waits at the bottom of the gang plank as it is unreliable and there were many worried people clutching raffle tickets waiting for it in Brugges. My husband went on a private battlefield tour with Andre from The Dugout BnB in Ypres - he collected my husband and gave him a private tour for 150.00 euro - the ships battlefield tours are usually very interesting too. At the port of Le Harve - we took the RCI transfer to Honfleur - a beautiful little Norman town well worth the visit - don't stay in Le Harve it is an industrial port town flattened in World War Two, but the Norman countryside including pont du normandie are well worth seeing. Disembarkation was swift and painless - we choose self disembarkation before 7am - I recommend this if you are able to carry your own luggage. In summary - an enjoyable "cruise fix" at half term and a useful insight into how large resort ships compare to our usual choices of adults only medium - small size ships. Probably not a great reflection of RCI cruises - the short cruises never give a true picture and the conferences on board may have affected the demographic. Nappy changing in the spinnaker bar during the evening quiz (which we won) was revolting and there were rowdy noisy balcony antics in the early hours of the morning - but this might be down to the conferences and relatively low price - regardless of this it was great value for money and our whole party enjoyed themselves. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our first ever cruise. We chose the 4 nights trip from Southampton to Zeebrugge and then the trip to St Peter Port (Guernsey) returning to Southampton. We upgraded to deck 11 and had a lovely balcony in a luxurious state room. Our ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We chose the 4 nights trip from Southampton to Zeebrugge and then the trip to St Peter Port (Guernsey) returning to Southampton. We upgraded to deck 11 and had a lovely balcony in a luxurious state room. Our room number was 11074 and we were travelling with family who had rooms 11070 & 11064. We found the service and the facilities perfect. The crew were exceptional and made us feel so much at home and relaxed. Evening meals in the Britannia Restaurant was magical and it was a lovely touch that the waiters all stand in a line at the doorway in to greet you when you arrive each evening. Food in every Restaurant was absolutely brilliant and we all ate like kings for our whole voyage. The evening shows were superb as was the Planetarium show. If I had to say a negative about the cruise it was the very expensive alcohol on board. We really spent far to much money on this and really should have brought more with us to reduce the costing. The fact of the matter is that you pay extortionate prices for all drinks and then to slap you really hard in the face they then add on a Compulsory Automatic Service Charge. On our first night we selected two bottles of wine one Red & One White. The two bottles came to $112:50 and then they added on the Service Charge $16:88 which gave us a total of $129:38. This was far to much and kind of set the theme with costing which made us feel uneasy with Cunard and this policy. Even if you went to the bar yourself and bought two pints of draught San Miguel this would set you back $14:95 which included the service charge of $1:95. Not sure how they get away with this extra costing. One tip we took from friends was to visit the Pursers office when we first got on board and we requested they remove the Automatic Gratuity they put on each day. If we had not done this then the 6 of us would have had to have found between us approx. £300 sterling. Anyway forgetting the moan about the extra chargers we did have a great time and enjoyed a wonderful opulent experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
It was their newest ship. Arrived 3 days before to explore Barcelona, great idea! The terminal was very well organized. Ship's lobby has very nice artistic colorful center light that changes themes daily. The ship still has some ... Read More
It was their newest ship. Arrived 3 days before to explore Barcelona, great idea! The terminal was very well organized. Ship's lobby has very nice artistic colorful center light that changes themes daily. The ship still has some things missing in their standard labeling of exits , staircases. The cabins are basically the same as their other ships, balcony is same, their TV is upgraded, information to passengers has improved so you can be informed at all times. The entertainment has to improve. Activities like Bingo there was not enough room for participants to sit...more than half of the people were sitting on floor. Their night entertainment area chairs were uncomfortable to sit. Their outdoor activities is good and diversified. The sky ride is good but the line to get on takes too long. Bowling you need to pay! Dining rooms need to be able to organize better when there are groups. Food variety is not the best. If you cruise regularly it is almost identical on all. They do have a new section Havana Club which has a slight variety. If you eat late dinner sitting you cannot see the entertainment, after dinner,, so you see the early show and arrive late to dinner! There is something that they are outstanding in all their ships, it is the service received from all their employees be the cabin members, restaurant, buffet, guest services, shore excursions, etc. The ports were good and very easy to get into the city, shore excursions have great variety for all different types of activities. The casino still has to improve their ventilation system. You come out of there your clothes and hair retain the smoke odor when you remove them. It should have some sort of fragrance to disguise the smoke odor. The shops in the ship have not improved, need variety. Their new way to see your pictures is very innovative, great for tech smart people but for non savy individuals is a challenge. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
This was a last minute trip for my wife's 70th birthday. We loved the ship, food, service, and met many delightful people. Bordeaux is a lovely region of France, and we learned a lot about wine making and tasting. The atmosphere ... Read More
This was a last minute trip for my wife's 70th birthday. We loved the ship, food, service, and met many delightful people. Bordeaux is a lovely region of France, and we learned a lot about wine making and tasting. The atmosphere throughout the whole trip was relaxed, We enjoyed meeting new friends which is easy because the cruise only has a maximum of 200 passengers. They met us at the airport and took care of all the details in transition to the ship. The same excellent service was there for our departure. Get off the fence and go!! Viking cruises are totally great. Can't wait for the next one!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We had a week aboard the Britannia along with my elderly parents who had never cruised before. We had been a little concerned having read previous reviews, but went with an open mind. The ship itself is spacious, spotlessly clean and ... Read More
We had a week aboard the Britannia along with my elderly parents who had never cruised before. We had been a little concerned having read previous reviews, but went with an open mind. The ship itself is spacious, spotlessly clean and very well laid out. We were all able to find our way around it quickly. The concerns around the lack of stairs mid-ship were well founded, but I would say that even with my Mother who is a wheelchair user, coped well. Although it would have been even better if some impatient able-bodied people had not been so keen to push their way in front of her to access the lifts. We used first-sitting in the Oriental at night which suited us well. Food was lovely and the waiters professional and friendly. It was a pleasure to eat each evening. We also used the Horizon buffet during the daytime, again the food here was hot and varied. One evening we ate in the Limelight club where we saw Eric and Ern. It was a great evening all round. All entertainment was first-class and I would especially recommend the show ‘Gravity’. We had balcony cabins which were roomy with plenty of storage space. Our cabin steward Edward was so helpful and opened up our balcony divider between the cabins so we were able to sit outside with my parents and we spent quite a time out there. We had a wonderful week and we can’t wait to get aboard the Britannia again! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This cruise was planned for Brugges/Belgium. It was changed at the last minute, but I won't comment on that because the change was understandable and couldn't really be helped. This was our 6th cruise (and the first one on ... Read More
This cruise was planned for Brugges/Belgium. It was changed at the last minute, but I won't comment on that because the change was understandable and couldn't really be helped. This was our 6th cruise (and the first one on Britannia), I had high hopes for Britannia, but unfortunately it was a bit average The good points were the bathrooms were great (other than the lack of handwash or soap in cabins), food in the main dining room and pay extra venues was good, it was very clean and staff were very polite. One of us did a cookery class and the cookery school was very good!! In terms of negatives, this is a new ship, I expected to be wowed and it was very underwhelming. The central areas were very bland and lacked the glamour of other ships I had travelled on, the bedrooms were a bit like a travel inn, safe but bland! The layout was confusing, staircases that went nowhere and lifts were too busy. We booked a balcony cabin for 2 adults and 1 child, thank goodness it was only for 2 nights! When the bed was down we had to crawl under it to get to the kettle or balcony, not workable for a longer cruise, 2 days was more than enough! We have travelled with P&O and Celebrity before, we were really hoping that Britannia would give Celebrity a run for its money, sadly it didn't! Such a shame for a new ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This Chateaux and Wine Country cruise on the Viking Forseti during the week of Christmas was one of the best gifts we've ever received. We traveled with our family group of 8. A "Viking" met us at the Bordeaux airport, ... Read More
This Chateaux and Wine Country cruise on the Viking Forseti during the week of Christmas was one of the best gifts we've ever received. We traveled with our family group of 8. A "Viking" met us at the Bordeaux airport, helped us fill out lost luggage forms, and then whisked us off to the modern, sleek Viking Forseti in one of the fleet of clean & swift buses that are part of the Viking fleet. Our cabin had a French Balcony. The cabin had plenty of room for everything we brought with a large closet. We LOVED the heated tile floors in the surprising large bathroom. ,Although the cabin was smaller than what we were used to on ocean cruises it was more than adequate for our week's stay. The public spaces on the Forseti are lovely. The Aquavit Terrace is a perfect place to have casual meals. Speaking of casual, we loved the casual, cozy feel of this river cruise. No formal clothes required. (and speaking of clothes, our lost luggage was retrieved by the Viking staff and brought to our cabin before dinner that evening!) The first night we went on a Night Walking Tour of Bordeaux. The buildings in Bordeaux are beautifully lit and make it magical. The Opera House, Grand Hotel are perfect for lovely photos...they are a prelude to the spectacular Place de la Bourse (old stock exchange). This stunning square has the world's largest water mirror which reflects the beautiful trio of lit buildings. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. She spoke perfect English, making it very easy to understand all of the interesting facts and stories about the area. We enjoyed the walking tours. Seeing the markets, the housing gave us a small taste of each town we visited. Since the Forseti was able to dock close to the town centers we were immediately immersed in the French towns! The Christmas markets with their street food, crafts, and wares were particularly lovely. One highlight of many was optional tour and lunch at Chateaux Siaurac. This stunning 19th century classic style mansion is set among a lovely vineyard and park. We learned about the 'terroir' which makes each wine unique. This cruise is centered around the 'terroir' and wine. We learned more about wine, vineyards, wine tasting and making in 7 days than we had in our lifetime. Given the chance to travel this way was truly an eye opening experience. We'd cruised on over 12 large cruise ships prior to this and found the river cruise to be very different, in a good way. No crowds, no loud music blaring in all of the public places...just a relaxed atmosphere. WE loved this experience and have already booked our next adventure with Viking. They are a first class operation. The staff goes out of its way to meet every need. The food was superb and fresh. We liked that they included any wine or beer at meal time, too. I believe a river cruise is one of the best and most economical ways to see Europe! Viking has won our loyalty with their excellent service, friendliness, and hospitality. Each of our tour guides was exceptional. Viking does an great job providing these excellent ambassadors to guide us. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
A family friend chartered the Jeanine for a week long cruise from Dijon to Beasancon in France. I had never cruised on a barge before so really didn't know what to expect. This was a great trip. The barge itself, was very nicely ... Read More
A family friend chartered the Jeanine for a week long cruise from Dijon to Beasancon in France. I had never cruised on a barge before so really didn't know what to expect. This was a great trip. The barge itself, was very nicely furnished with lots of color. It was very bright. We were greeted with champagne when we boarded. The crew was a mixture of French and Hungarian and they could not have been more accommodating. While English was not their first language, we had no trouble at all communicating with them. The cabins were on the small size, but very well equipped. The bathrooms were very well set up. Everything was very clean and was kept that way for the entire week. The weather was a bit cool, so we were unable to use the outdoor seating very often, but a few brave souls did use the hot tub every evening! The lounge was the gathering spot and everyone could sit there at the same time. The food was really above our expectations. It was certainly better than we experienced on the larger ocean cruise ships. The deserts were too tempting to pass up. The chef does Elvis imitations and he came out one night and sang for us! My fried arranged the trips and this area of France was very scenic and historic. Our trip to Baume les Messieurs was long, but very interesting. We are already taking about another cruise for 2017. I hope it comes off. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
So first of all arrived today from a 1 week cruise on MSC fantasia, I didn't enjoyed it at ALL!! the food always the same, always the same pizza, the pizza marinara is supposed to have fish on it and it only have herbs and I ... Read More
So first of all arrived today from a 1 week cruise on MSC fantasia, I didn't enjoyed it at ALL!! the food always the same, always the same pizza, the pizza marinara is supposed to have fish on it and it only have herbs and I don't call that a marinara, the plates some of them are broken, the prices of the drinks are very very HIGH! like bottle of pringles 4 euro 80 cents, oh come on!!! they have money from your cards with out telling you for UNICEF we ordered in November 2014 and we wanted a room with a window or a balcony, they told us its fully booked already, our friends booked in June and they had a room with a balcony and a window!. I went to put my daughter in the playroom and they told me only one person can come and play with her, so my big daughter couldn't go in to play with her.The staff some are okay and some are not...but most of them are unfriendly i'm not saying all of them there where few example when I wanted to order a coke I told her and the waiter kept on walking she pretended shes not listening to me, the rooms are very small...from all of the week the cruise arrived all of the ports most of the time where 12:00/1:00/2:00 p.m today he arrived at 6:00 a.m in Malta !! sorry but for me its useless day...anyway thanks but the first and the last on this cruise sorry for the bad english but I'm french and I tried anways.. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We were travelling for a surprise birthday party for our relative which was held on board the cruiser. The ship was exceptional, furnishings and decoration throughout the ship was first class with every detail thought out, not only design ... Read More
We were travelling for a surprise birthday party for our relative which was held on board the cruiser. The ship was exceptional, furnishings and decoration throughout the ship was first class with every detail thought out, not only design but comfort also. Everything was well signposted and ships information and activities were communicated to us the day before in order for us to plan ahead. Our cabin service was outstanding and our cabin steward attended to anything extra which we required (one of our party has mobility problems) big thank you to Nigel Davenport. There was a lot on offer for excursions for those who wanted them. Port experiences were good with staff on hand to direct us to buses and taxis as we wanted to make visits to other places previously seen. Dining was a good experience and we tried several restaurants although I preferred the Windjammer which offered a very wide selection of International food and specialist foods (gluten and sugar free). Lots of entertainment on offer to suit most tastes and I enjoyed everything I saw. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organised and there were no hold ups. Checking in for embarkation the staff came to our group to accommodate our wheelchair member. All staff were courteous, helpful and made us feel special. The only suggestion I would make is perhaps to offer coffee sachets in addition to tea in the cabins. A thoroughly enjoyable experience for us - congratulations to all staff and Royal Caribbean for a memorable experience. Read Less

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