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87 Southampton to Europe - British Isles & Western P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise and chose the Britannia because of mainly good reviews and being mainly British.. It certainly lived up to our expectations food was fantastic we chose the dine around and it does take a bit of getting used to.. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and chose the Britannia because of mainly good reviews and being mainly British.. It certainly lived up to our expectations food was fantastic we chose the dine around and it does take a bit of getting used to.. in the second week we actually preferred to go to the horizon buffet especially for breakfast you could just take your time and relax.. It definitely took us a while to find our way around the ship without getting lost .. We didn't really try out too much of the late night entertainment but did go to the limelight club twice and saw Gareth gates and claire sweeney she was brilliant! Not sure about the food though.Pizzas & burgers on decks great & quality, loads of sunbedssunbeds.. Staff were really excellent and very polite couldn't do enough! Every port was well organized with disembarkment.. We had a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was ... Read More
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was the lifts!! They are a lot smaller than the other ships and therefore if a wheel chair is in the lift this does not leave much room. My mother needed to use the lift due to mobility and each time we needed to use it we had to wait a long time as they were always full and two lifts were out of service for most of the time. Also when disembarking the usual routine of an allotted time and venue was detailed in a letter, however most of the ship decided to ignore this, the result being a very long queue to get off the ship. I discussed this with one of the ship attendants and he stated that a lot of the people had not been on a cruise before and did not know the procedure!! He said he couldn't do anything about it.! I feel all it would have took was a person standing at the end of the queue checking paperwork to ensure they were queuing at the right time, if not they could have asked them to sit down and wait. If this is not done then all disembarkment is going to be a difficult experience. Due to these two things I will not be going on Britannia again even if the itinerary is of my liking. Avoid this ship if you are less mobile and need to use the lifts!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ... Read More
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ship is that you can avoid the areas which aren't to your liking and if you feel that way inclined the "types" you might want to avoid are away from the areas you probably enjoy. Yes, the ship decor is rather dark and my first reaction was to pine for the bling of Ventura but sultry Britannia grows on you. The public areas are cleverly designed with many nooks and crannies so you can be in the heart of the action or tuck yourself away as you choose. The Glass House is, as ever, excellent. The Crow's nest bar is back at the front of the ship and wonderful for pre dinner drinks. Recommend sitting away from the piano as it can be very loud. The atrium is very spacious with plenty of seating to people watch with a post dinner drink/coffee. Drinks service was excellent everywhere. If we were waiting we only had to indicate to someone and they were there. Crystal room was surprisingly pleasant late evening with lots of people taking to the floor. Didn't frequent Brodies or the casino but it was popular and pretty packed each time we walked through. Breakfast, lunch and evening restaurant food service couldn't be faulted and the attention for special dietary needs was outstandingly accommodating. A couple of meals were overcooked but there was absolutely no issue with getting plates changed. Of course it would be better if they didn't need to be returned but with thousands of guests give the staff a sporting chance by asking for better, they are happy to oblige and would much rather you went away happy. Desserts weren't too special but OK. Didn't frequent the buffet much but when we did there was plenty of room, staff were very helpful, friendly and food good. Spend a moment to talk to the buffet chefs, they don't get much guest interaction and will appreciate it... Joseph, my daughter thought you were fantastic! Theatre plush and the Cinema is a nice addition. I missed the theatre waiter service but my husband hates it so goes to show can't please everyone. Gym well equipped and spacious. First 3 machines I approached were out of action but there were still plenty even when the gym was busy. Came to the conclusion that for the amount of hours spent in it, the Retreat is expensive when securing a fortnight complete package. Would we do it again? yes because the service in the Britannia Retreat was amazing and engaging, Sebastian and Jovan both a real credit to P&O. I've previously moaned about unhelpful reception staff on other ships but not so on Britannia, spoke to Carl a few times and he was very helpful and extremely likeable. Daily service charge has now been removed and here's the interesting bit, we left far more in tips to far more staff than ever before. I've once previously asked for service charges to be withdrawn because of poor service so it was great to reward such a change. I was told that the teenage Reef space wasn't as good as Ventura and Azura but the Reef Rangers were as cool as ever. The great part of cruising with youngsters is that because there are relatively few cruises in school holidays the kids look forward to reuniting with friends from previous cruises, you don't get that with most holidays. Security always checked that minors were accompanied when leaving ship, which showed they were on their game. We've done the port stops bar Cadiz before so no surprises there. Cadiz, Cartagena and Barcelona were our favourites. Although a really positive experience, there were 2 areas which fell short. The first was that the entertainment was by far the poorest we've had on a P&O cruise. Tucker's "comedy" material hadn't changed since last time we saw him! Thankfully, there were a couple of notable exceptions with the superb Lloyd Wade and We3. We paid extra to see La Voix in the Limelight club and were treated to a magnificent night and great food (menu is surprisingly small so we may have been just lucky to have what we wanted on the menu), brilliant vocals and comedy, La Voix, we'll be back to see you again. The 2nd area was the Captains Gala, which we look forward to for the pomp and ceremony. I've never known a Captain to be late for his own party and not have the decency to apologise, we walked out to go for dinner as he arrived and started his speech, really bad form and example Sir. Finally, of course there's the much talked about lack of stairs mid ship. This didn't bother us at all as we consciously try to burn off a few of those naughty calories by walking and climbing stairs, plus our group don't have mobility issues or a pushchair. Heard lots complaining though. Oh yes, embarkation, nearly forgot that. We've always found Southampton port staff to be brilliant and cheerful (even when they are trialling new arrangements for the huge Iona), disappointing that for the first time ever we were checked in by Mrs Sour Face Grumpy but soon forgot about her!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Travel outside school holidays on a family ship so expected to see some young children but the ship was packed with children of all ages. It only cost £50 to keep them off school. Screaming and running around for the most part ... Read More
Travel outside school holidays on a family ship so expected to see some young children but the ship was packed with children of all ages. It only cost £50 to keep them off school. Screaming and running around for the most part uncontrolled by parents and guardians. Children sitting and running all over the dance floors until midnight. Young children sitting on the bar counters and none of the staff saying a thing. Health and safety risk also not hygenic! No proper lifeboat drill some passengers told not to bother taking their life jackets to the drill! Didn't meet our cabin stewart for 3 days only after we complained to reception. Berth at Rotterdam not where we expected. At the makeshift tent which was cruise terminal there were no facilities apart from a shuttle bus which took at least 20 mins to get to Rotterdam and there was nobody from P&O at the other end to tell us where the main places were. We were given a map but it showed that the ship was docked at a different place so when the shuttle dumped you you did not know were you were!! Getting back to the ship was a nightmare as no one from P&O was around to control the Q's and the shuttles were few and far between. Very dissappointed and were glad to get off. Standards have slipped and no one seemed to be in charge of anything. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I boarded Britannia for its France, Spain and Guernsey highlights. Embarkation was smooth for all guests, luggage attendants extremely helpful. And check in staff to security personal where to the highest standards. On boarding ... Read More
I boarded Britannia for its France, Spain and Guernsey highlights. Embarkation was smooth for all guests, luggage attendants extremely helpful. And check in staff to security personal where to the highest standards. On boarding Britannia I was greeted by friendly onboard social hostesses, who dealt with enquires in a very pleasant manner. The overall appearance is a finely and articulate ship with the grandiose it expels. The room steward kiran was trained to be more of a butler than a steward, one in which I would of expected to see on a Cunard liner. Absolutely excellent service from this young man. However it was not long Until you could hear the grumbles of passengers. From freezer packs not being delivered at appropriate times for medicine to be administered for a guest who had informed p and o re medical conditions. I can confirm the ship dealt with this on day of departure. Hopefully to the guest satisfaction. Then there was an issue with the drinks package!! 96 year old female told to pay the fee even though didn’t drink so her son could get his drinks package. I can confirm this was dealt with and he did receive his drinks package and the elderly lady was not charged and training was given. There was another incident on board on the first formal night when the photographer asked two gentleman, as they set to pose for photographs if they were father and son. One of the gentleman replied “no he is my partner” the photographer then replied who is the man and who is the woman” to many passengers in the queues horror and well as the two upset gentlemen. I can confirm there complaint was dealt with. The received compensation of 100 pounds on board credit alongside a meal in one of the fine dining rooms and the photographer was moved to a different area of the ship. However, they are still seeking more than this as they feel money or restaurants don’t compensate it is more to the fact of training and his attitude towards their sexuality. Now to bilboa this was pretty horrific as to disembarkation and boarding for disabled passengers coming off deck 6 rather than deck 5. It was far to long for passengers to try and walk and if a dla assessment officer was watching he/she would have been shocked as people who struggle to walk was actually beyond any Disablement entitlement. If a photographer took a photo. However because of this many were left physically exhausted and one passenger falling, injuring her ankle. Other passengers complained regarding the heating in rooms either being to cold then to hot in the evening. Then came the niggles and the freedom dining. Personally was pretty horrified at the times you had to wait your buzzer not going off, which I did complain about. Then the finest champagne not being open correctly and spilling out over the table. Which was reported. Now to your personal order of drinks bill being given and asked to sign before you had your dessert. I can confirm that this was reported and everything was taken extremely serious and action was taken.many passengers were disappointed not docking in Guernsey. This was down to storm Hannah and I back the decision as passengers and staff safety should always come first and the captain did although to the frustration of some. Disembarkation was delayed due to highs winds in the morning again adding to further frustration. This was out of both P and o Cruises control and ground staff. Unfortunately an act of god is beyond anyone’s control. Safety always has to be paramount. I understand people’s views and expectations are all different whether dining, dressing to entertainment. So yes this cruise didn’t meet a lot of expectations however, look carefully at itinerary of your cruise, and dress codes etc , every ship is different but at the same time it’s like a box of chocolates full of different varieties with a glossy coating. One thing I will say I think I am Amongst the majority that found the captains announcements came across a little condescending “ladies and gentleman boys and girls “ and tatty bye. Not how I expect a captain to address his public. I can confirm that every complaint is taking extremely seriously, and that Britannia staff will do their upmost to sort the situation out. Don’t wait to get home and complain it’s important to address it whilst on board. I would like like to add the bar team in the live lounge were of the highest standard and worked together extremely well. They served immaculately and presented themselves well a proud team supporting Avalon and his Assistant manager, and P and O Cruises. So yes the company needs to keep on top of training to impress the quality of service and fix things as soon as they arise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining ... Read More
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining in the Oriental which was okay. We booked a late sitting with a table of 8 but got our own table of 4. Food was average. Yes, they have a lot to feed but I have been with other cruise lines where the food is of an exceptional high standard. We booked the Limelight Club on the 2nd night with Dean Andrews. This was our best night and the night we will all remember, definitely a must for any passengers, whoever is entertaining. Good evening entertainment around the ship with the exception of daily out of tune wannabees in front of an amazing band, Pulse. The musicians are extremely talented, the singers, not so much. We were 'blown away' by the talented Maxine Mazumder who did tribute acts of Adele and Dusty Springfield on two separate nights. Fantastic. Sorry but the Entertainments Team do not cut the mustard particularly on sail-aways with their self-indulgent renditions of We are Sailing, Rule Britannia, Day Dream Believer etc etc.... maybe I missed the memo, but I thought that was what Butlins was for!! Public areas in particular the toilets were immaculate. Bar staff and waiters were a tad dour, bringing down an otherwise good atmosphere who give half hearted wipe of tables now and again. Cabin Staff friendly but no attention to detail; We booked Flowers, champagne and chocolates to add to the occasion but were not provided with champagne glasses/flutes, had to drink out of a tumbler!! Cabins were just given a daily 'once-over' bedding not changed all week nor were dressing tables. This did not spoil our trip, just too many annoyances to make the perfect trip. Come on P&O think about your passengers not your shareholders. Oh, one last thing, forget about your last night, this is where you are 'yesterdays' news and they are now focusing on the next lot. All the smiley 'hellos' are gone, you have already submitted your staff nominations and they have nothing else to gain from you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were 3 women travelling so we booked a suite g733 the brittania Just going to Spain and Gurnsey the suite was fabulous the priority boarding went without a hitch straight on greeted with tea and biscuits then taken for champagne and ... Read More
We were 3 women travelling so we booked a suite g733 the brittania Just going to Spain and Gurnsey the suite was fabulous the priority boarding went without a hitch straight on greeted with tea and biscuits then taken for champagne and a hot and cold buffet Our suite was ready by 2 and was fantastic our butler got us an extra bed as we had a huge aft balcony with sunbeds sofa and table and chairs Our butler came daily with ice nibbles fresh milk and fruit He was very amenable but not invasive We had the mini fridge emptied do we could use it A full corridor of wardrobes was very useful Staff all pleasant we used the speciality restraunts which were Michelan star and as suite passengers are breakfast in epicurean at no extra cost Priority on tender to start Peter port unfortunately not for return We also used retreat well worth the money if you like peace and comfortort On the neg side very large ship lots of people my last cruise I'm thinking just because I'm not a cruiser but could not fault service Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming ... Read More
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming pools very busy, Although I always say you can do as little or as much on board, we found the cabins to be lovely, very modern and great facilities! We were in the Oriental dinning room The food and the staff were excellent, the only thing I could say was it was a bit chilly in there. Our waiters table 75 were excellent and our cabin steward in cabin G421 was also excellent, also the shows were some of the best we have seen. We were travelling with 10 other people friends and family. Age range 11 to 74! In fact we are looking to book the transatlantic crossing to the Carribean this October Thank you P and O Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful ... Read More
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful place to watch a sunset . We found the food to be mainly excellent . Choosing to eat freedom dining was a definite plus and gave us flexibility. We also tried the glass house for a couple of lunches again excellent and Sindhu one evening was superb. Our 14yr old daughter had a great time in h20. A highlight for us is the formal evenings, great to see everyone dressed up and a good atmosphere in the fabulous atrium. We didn't find the layout a problem and it was no problem to walk to a staircase. We all agreed what made our holiday was the superb staff in the bar areas and dining. We felt totally spoilt. My one gripe was the sunbeds. People putting towels on sunbeds to reserve them should be removed by staff. We chose to disembark ourselves and this woked well. I would highly recommend Britannia and can't wait to go on again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I found a great deal for a 7 night cruise over my birthday with P&O Britannia but had no sailed with P&O before so was doubtful whether I should book. However after getting feedback from my cousins who had been on another P&O ... Read More
I found a great deal for a 7 night cruise over my birthday with P&O Britannia but had no sailed with P&O before so was doubtful whether I should book. However after getting feedback from my cousins who had been on another P&O ship last year, I went ahead and booked it and so glad I did. We drove to Southampton port and took only 1hr 20mins from North West London which was great. We were informed by P&O beforehand that our boarding time was 3pm which I have never been informed of by any other cruise line. We generally like to get to ship early so can enjoy the lunch and get familiarised with the ship before emergency drill procedure begins. So we took a chance and got to port at 12.30. We had to wait in a short queue for 5 to 10mins and then drove to baggage drop off area whereby a guy was standing to pick up our car. We took the luggage off the car and a porter came and took them straight away and the driver took the keys from us and drove the car off. Wow what an efficient service. We were highly impressed! Went inside terminal and were given a boarding card with a number and were asked to take a seat. We were called within next 15mins and after getting a photo taken and collecting our cabin key cards and proceeded to this very elegant ship. When we got on board, we were asked to proceed straight to our cabins if we wanted, to drop off the hand baggage. Hence we took the central elevators and went to our mid ship balcony cabin on deck 11. As soon as we got to our cabin, rest of the luggage arrived which was the quickest ever cruise luggage delivery service we had ever witnessed. We were very impressed with the cabin. Although, it was slightly on the smaller side with a smaller balcony than we had on other ships, it had everything we needed. The bathroom was small too but had a shower door rather than a curtain which was great. There were many power points around the cabin and a large flat screen TV. Storage space was limited but sufficient for a 7 night cruise. We went to have lunch straight after and enjoyed the choice of vegetarian options on offer. Loved the grab n go area where you could pick up sandwiches, baguettes, wraps etc. Also pizzeria and burger counters by pool side offered lovely veg burgers and different types of pizzas. After lunch we went to explore rest of ship which had great decor through out. From the central atrium area which had the most beautiful central show piece I had ever seen on a ship to the various art deck pieces in every area of the ship, this ship oozed with beauty and elegance all through. Loved all the public rooms like Brodies pub, live lounge, crows nest, theatre etc. Also like all the restaurants including the one we were allocated called meridian restaurant for our anytime dining. The only other restaurant we went to was Sindhu which had a great ambience. We saw other speciality restaurants like Epicurian and glass house which seemed great too but never visited those for a meal. In fact the buffet restaurant was one of the best ones we had ever seen on a ship with plenty of seating area and nicely laid out such that we never encountered any queues for food or hunt round for seats. Service on the ship was generally average except for our room steward who was excellent and so was a gentleman called Abhijeet who looked after our vegetarian order requests every evening. Other than these 2, we were not highly impressed with service in any areas. I guess this is where P&O could improve. We were surprised to see table cloths not being changed in dining rooms after patrons left a table and before new ones arrived. All crumbs on table were thrown on the floor! Never seen this before in anybody the ships we have been on like NCL, Princess or Royal Caribbean. Staff generally didn't engage much like we had seen with other cruise lines. Service in speciality restaurant Sindhu was much better though. However food in all restaurants was excellent and there was not a single meal that we didn't enjoy. Food was the best ever from over 20 cruises we have been on. Choice is slightly limited especially during breakfast, however if the food tastes great and is of good quality, it doesn't really matter. Entertainment was very good too. Plenty of production shows and loved their new show 'Astonishing' which is one of the best we have seen on a cruise ship. Also the guest entertainers like Jai Mcdowell, Sam Bailey and Tom Binns were excellent. We saw Jai perform twice, once in theatre and next in live lounge and were highly impressed. We missed Vernon Lewis though and from what o heard from others, he was great too. So overall entertainment would rate amongst the best we has seen. Plenty of activities were happening around the ship on sea and port days to keep everyone busy. Loved their quizzes in the pub, game shows similar to Pointless and the chase and talk shows in theatres. Also plenty of films were shown in the cinema and also some in theatre which I have rarely seen on a ship. Also plenty of films to choose free of charge in cabin and we did see quite a few good ones. The only department we were not happy on this cruise were the photography team. This was the first cruise we didn't have a single photo taken. They ignored us in the dining rooms, gangways at various ports and within public areas of the ship. Not sure why though and something their manager needs to address his teams regarding not excluding men and people from other ethnic backgrounds. The captain was hilarious and loved his daily updates over the tannoy system. During captains formal night, loved his speech and it was a great atmosphere in the atrium area with free drinks. Drinks generally were not badly priced and we were expecting to end up with a big bar bill. However despite ordering bottles of wines at dinner, having beer and cocktails in their various bars and also sometimes having costa coffees, we only ended up with a bill of £100 each which was not bad at all. Ports of call were all good with great weather at most ports except La Rochelle where it rained few hours in the morning. Guernsey was our favourite though. Went to castle ourselves in the morning and did a Gin tasting excursion with the ship in the afternoon which was excellent. Also did excursions at all other ports. In La Coruna we did a tapas trip which was very good and in afternoon walked into town to see the sights there. In Santander, we did a cave and gaudi building excursion which was very good but were not allowed to take pictures in the caves which was a shame. The city of Santander was 15min shuttle ride away. Couldn't go there as we got back around 3.30 and didn't have much time thereafter. In La Rochelle we did a trip of city and outer islands. Luckily rain stopped when we did the walking tour which was good. On the whole we enjoyed all the excursions we did with P&O. All were reasonably priced too compared to other cruise lines. The only design flow with ship was not having stairs in central area which caused the elevators to be always busy. On the whole we really enjoyed this cruise and would sail with P&O again for sure, may be on a different ship though as we like to sail on different ships unless an exciting itinerary comes along. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It was our anniversary and we saw this 2 night cruise so thought we’d book it. We’ve cruised many times before; mostly RCI, NCL, Princess and Holland America. We were excited to give P&O as we haven’t cruised with them before. ... Read More
It was our anniversary and we saw this 2 night cruise so thought we’d book it. We’ve cruised many times before; mostly RCI, NCL, Princess and Holland America. We were excited to give P&O as we haven’t cruised with them before. Overall it was OK. Not sure what we were expecting, but something seemed lacking. It didn’t have any wow factor or oomph The worst part was check in. What a ridiculous way of doing it, we’ve never done it that way before. You’re given a time to get to the terminal and if you’re early you still have to wait. 2 1/2hrs in our case. Just give people a card as they arrive like they usually do. Cabin was lovely and Clean and the bed very comfortable. We had freedom dining and the usual wait was 30-40 mins. We weren’t overly impressed with the food, it was barely warm one night and the sticky toffee pudding was chewy where it had been left under lights to keep warm and the toffee sauce was thin and bitter. They really seemed in a rush to get you in and out. Usually you get a bit of time between courses but it was take that plate and here’s your next course. Not a relaxing experience. The buffet was fine, everything you wanted, again only warm though. The shows in the theatre were good. Again, a first for us, was that there was no drinks service in the theatre. We took our own in once we knew. The major thing we found, which we’ve never experienced before, were the staff weren’t very happy or friendly. They didn’t seem to engage with people. We tried chatting to a lot of the waiters but they didn’t want to know. They work hard and weren’t rude, but there wasn’t any personality or friendliness coming through like you normally get and I would say it was 85% of the staff we came across. None of this was awful, but we felt worth mentioning. We’ve tried P&O but don’t think it’s for us. Something was definitely missing which was friendliness and atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
5 adults and 1 child Pros - suite was large with lots of extras - epicurean restaurant fantastic - peninsula restaurant also very good - fast embarkation - great service - staff in kids club and kids club great ... Read More
5 adults and 1 child Pros - suite was large with lots of extras - epicurean restaurant fantastic - peninsula restaurant also very good - fast embarkation - great service - staff in kids club and kids club great Cons - swimming pools too small and too deep. Not at all child friendly. - children’s splash area very poor. - 2 night attracts a lot of hen and stag parties. Didn’t notice them at night but during the day by the pool there was some raucous behaviour. - small details in the cabin. Thin towels and not enough of them. Dressing gowns only appeared on the last night Would sail again on a short cruise. Not sure there is enough on there to keep a 4 year old busy for a week cruise or longer although the kids club were very friendly and I would have felt comfortable leaving her there. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on ... Read More
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on their very first cruise ship, we booked the cabins on a select fare meaning we could choose our cabin, dining preference and also receive an on board spend of £25 per person. We travelled to Bruges which we have been lucky enough to go to a couple of times and on this occasion we stayed on board and enjoyed the sunshine from the adult only pool on the top deck but if you have never been it is well worth a trip into, it’s very picturesque and also has some of the finest chocolate shops of anywhere in the world and they almost always give free samples. Boarding Britannia was docked at the Ocean Terminal, we turned up at the allotted time of 1300 on our ticket and were straight into the check in system without a wait, we queued for less than 3 minutes before we were seen, it was quick and efficient and after a short check in we were heading to security, we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at the terminal, boarding into the stunning atrium and after a quick picture it was up to the buffet. Cabin GE Grade clear view balcony with sofa, G deck forward. First impressions were that the cabin was clean, light and airy. As you walk through the door you see the usual cabin layout, I was particularly impressed with the doing away off closed wardrobes with it instead being open and walk in rather than the standard closing door wardrobes. Moving into the bathroom we had a larger bathroom than the other members of the fleet, excellent bath products from the white company, moving through to a comfy queen size bed and two seater sofa which in our cabin could also be made into a sofa bed. The balcony as other passengers have said is a little on the small side and when opening the gate to the next door cabin it was hard to get in and out of our door. Restaurant We were seated both evenings on a set dining at 2045 in the Oriental restaurant, first impressions of the restaurant was it was smart, spacious and clean. On previous experiences with P&O I have found the food offering to be very middle of the road, nothing to write home about. Britannia has done some great work in restoring my faith in P&O’s food offering. I won’t bore you with the details of menus but the highlights for me were the Hampshire smoked trout starter, the beef wellington and as always they still offer a really great cheese board at the end of every meal. A quick note on the service, which was excellent, the waiter, his assistant and the wine waiter were all very happy, smiley and knowledgeable, making the service look effortless. A quick note on the buffet which also had an excellent range of food and was a much more pleasant space than many ship buffets, it was more spacious than some of the slightly older ships. Bars We particularly enjoyed the crystal room, it was a beautiful room with a large dance floor and offered a slightly more adult disco, the live lounge had a fantastic band playing although it was completely packed. We also visited the crow’s nest which was considerably larger than many ships it was also very beautiful with wonderful views, all bars we went into seemed to to have comfortable chairs with clean menus and an efficient staff. Spa Like most things on board the spa is large in expanse, however I was slightly disappointed as the thermal suite which we added was on the smaller side and neither steam room worked, the thermal pool however was very nice although the noise of the shower and bubbles being produced somewhat made the relaxation beds a little pointless and I found the general appearance lacked compared to other areas with pool towels and glasses everywhere which was a little bit of a shame. Those travelling with us took massages and were incredibly happy with both the deep tissue and the hot stone massage. Entertainment Aside from the excellent music playing in the bars during the evening, there was the theatre which hosts two shows each evening, the theatre itself is not huge for the number of passengers on board so if you don’t want to stand at the back it is worth to get there a little in advance, the show we caught was a Four seasons tribute which I think they do often have on these shorter cruises, they were a professional act and the show came across this way with excellent lighting and acoustics to match. During the day if the weather permits as mentioned above you can take advantage of the pools on the top deck, the adults only area towards to front end with pool and ample seating and bar was far more relaxing than the family area in the mid section where they had loud music playing throughout the day, it was a real positive that they had these two very different areas catering for almost everyone, there is also a small pool at the aft of the ship with a further bar this again was slightly quieter. We were not travelling with children so cannot comment on their facilities. Disembarkation Much like all disembarkation's it was very smooth, we disembarked at our allotted time after breakfast and picked our luggage up from the terminal and we were on our way home. General ship view The one thing that will hit you when you just arrive at the port is that the ship is huge, this view won’t change on boarding, a wonderful atrium with bars, shops and winding stair cases, be sure to get some pictures here on formal night. The one downside to Britannia’s size is that everywhere is a long distance walk but always worth it as the product on board is stylish and offers a five star style environment that I think P&O have lacked slightly on their other ships. Everybody also seemed to dress to the occasion and there were very few passengers who didn’t dress for the formal evening with black tie in abundance. An extra note was that as this was a two night cruise we didn’t have a full chance to experience everything and it would almost certainly have more to offer on a longer cruise. I have to praise P&O as the staff on board we all excellent, and they have certainly upped their game in terms of ship appearance. Overall this was an enjoyable two night break on board their flagship and I would not hesitate to return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
For a Flag Ship & so new, certain areas looking tired already. Our mistake was not appreciating a "weekend" cruise would be full of badly behaved stag/hen parties! Also, Freedom Dining, as included was very average & the ... Read More
For a Flag Ship & so new, certain areas looking tired already. Our mistake was not appreciating a "weekend" cruise would be full of badly behaved stag/hen parties! Also, Freedom Dining, as included was very average & the buffet very underwhelming. The specialised restaurants were much better but of course at a price - not only a supplement but food supplements too. As a small group who wanted to sit together for dinner - not unreasonable - the only option to be able to book a table at a sensible time, was to dine at one of the specialised restaurants! Catch 22 situation. The "Formal" dining night requested was rather extreme for the ship/the clientele. Having been on a couple of other cruise ships, nothing about this experience will get us rushing back to this ship or PO I'm afraid. Recommend you read the reviews very carefully before committing. Overpriced for what it is, sadly. Lesson learnt. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was a short mini cruise to Bruges but I didn't realise when booking quite how short it would be! Our embarkation time was 3.30pm Fri yet we were left waiting in the terminal for over 2 hours making us almost the last on board! ... Read More
This was a short mini cruise to Bruges but I didn't realise when booking quite how short it would be! Our embarkation time was 3.30pm Fri yet we were left waiting in the terminal for over 2 hours making us almost the last on board! Only to find other passengers had been onboard enjoying the facilities since midday. Then we found out we had the earliest disembarkation time of 08.15am Sunday! We felt sort changed to say the least! Add to this a 4hr delay in sailing meaning our time in Bruges was severely curtailed without as much as a 'sorry' and the rest of our time was spent either queuing for the bar or to get on and off in port! We had select dining and ate in the Oriental restaurant. On the first night the waiting staff rushed us so much that we were onto mains before the drinks even arrived and coffee was served during dessert. Plus all 8 meals were lukewarm at best and 5 were sent back cold! Drinks at the bar are tiny and overpriced when you do finally get served. Information on the various entertainment is limited if it even arrives at all and none of the staff seem to know anything about the rest of the cruise beyond their own small part. Food did improve though on the gala night and could even be described as 'lovely' and the choice in the buffet is good too albeit some of it is cold and again there is a queue. Overall the boat (what I saw of it when I wasn't queuing!) is nice. The cabins are reasonably sized but with tiny tiny bathrooms and there are some nice touches like white company toiletries (but only single ply loo paper!) all areas seemed clean but public loos were often without paper and if course there's not enough of them so again more queuing! Not a great cruise experience but issues exacerbated given the high cost of such a short sailing. If you do go my top tip is get a cab from the Port into Bruges - easy and far cheaper than the coach, take your own loo paper and of course be prepared to queue for England! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Mini cruise to Zeebrugge. This cruise was a nightmare from start to finish, as we spent half the cruise queuing. Departure delayed for over 4 hours, muster delayed 45 mins, passengers left standing. We missed our Dinner Friday night as ... Read More
Mini cruise to Zeebrugge. This cruise was a nightmare from start to finish, as we spent half the cruise queuing. Departure delayed for over 4 hours, muster delayed 45 mins, passengers left standing. We missed our Dinner Friday night as pagers did not work. Arrived 3 hours late in Zeebrugge, Missed our Segway experience. We waited over 45 minutes to get off the ship, There were 3 gangways out, only 1 in use. waited over 30 minutes to get back on, again 3 gangways out but only 1 in use.There was no organisation the staff were like headless chickens. Reception staff ignorant & miserable, very unhelpful. Watched an entire show, but could not get a drink. Some of the Captains announcements were inaudible, and his tone sounded more like Butlins at sea. Still no bill provided, money including what should have been on board credit was taken from our banks. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have never been on a cruise before and we thought it was a good idea to try the mini cruise to Brugge. How wrong was I? To start with, we were heavily delayed in Southampton and did not start to sail till very late at night, I do ... Read More
We have never been on a cruise before and we thought it was a good idea to try the mini cruise to Brugge. How wrong was I? To start with, we were heavily delayed in Southampton and did not start to sail till very late at night, I do understand it was a technical fault but this resulted in a very short day trip to Brugge which was something I had planned for myself and 2 kids for a year! However, whilst waiting for Britannia to start sail, the kids thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool and the outside Jacuzzi, they loved the pool area where the party and entertainment was, we all looked so forward to the sail away party but we never got one as the ship was very very delayed! Food - We are not fussy eater, we enjoyed the food. Children clubs My children enjoyed the children clubs very well. Service charges I was not aware that £6 per person was payable per night. Nobody mentioned this to me when my debit card details were taken on board. I am not happy with this and so I have complained to P&O Excursions I would have preferred more time in Brugge, due to sail away from Southampton that was heavily delayed, we got to Brugge later than anticipated, by the time we got off the ship and got on coaches to take us to station for trains going to Brugge, it was well past 12 noon, we only had few hours in Brugge as we had to get back to coach to take us back to the ship. Ship Overall the ship was OK to us, we loved exploring it. In Summary, the kids thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I did not enjoy the experience due to so many things, heavy delay, our on board picture taken had a stranger's face in it, I had to complain which was time consuming. We were better off going to Brugge by train! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The cruise itself was very good we had no issues with the places we visited Madeira Canary Isles Lisbon and Vigo. All ports were accessible so no tenders involved. The disabled room with balcony was excellent even pull down hangers in ... Read More
The cruise itself was very good we had no issues with the places we visited Madeira Canary Isles Lisbon and Vigo. All ports were accessible so no tenders involved. The disabled room with balcony was excellent even pull down hangers in wardrobe. and of course the walk in shower. Food was ok although the horizon restaurant was nearly always busy so with my wife in a wheelchair it was easier to eat outside for breakfast and on sunny days and why not. Not much entertainment on sea days other P&O cruises we were always kept entertained, as 2-3 sea days can be very boring. No activities around the pool no chutes just 2 swimming pools. Obviously very accessible for disabled throughout the ship except deck 18. However not all good for disabled. As stated by others stairs in midships only go to deck 7 bad design therefore unless you walked to either the stern or forward passengers would get the lift. Lifts were small 2 wheelchairs and a couple of passengers that was it. The Oriental restaurant on deck 6 aft can only be accessed by stairs or lifts there is no thoroughfare so disabled had a long time to wait for the lifts. another bad design. The theatre called 'headliner's is too small for the number of passengers on the ship Although some disabled spaces are available there should be designated area for wheelchair users, with the emphasis on wheelchair users . Chairs would be moved out the way for the wheelchair users but of course some people would just sit in the chairs. You would have to get to the theatre 45 minutes at least to guarantee a place for the wheel chair Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Waited over an hour to embark.huge car park queue. Food in the restaurant and buffet is of poor quality and choice. One evening neither of us could eat the starter or the main course. Good food such as smoked salmon would run out in the ... Read More
Waited over an hour to embark.huge car park queue. Food in the restaurant and buffet is of poor quality and choice. One evening neither of us could eat the starter or the main course. Good food such as smoked salmon would run out in the buffet in 30 min and never replaced. The food in the limelight restaurant was the better. They cancelled and refunded our shore excursion 3 days before departure, but we managed to book it again on board. Entertainment was acceptable but not our taste every evening. Hydrotherapy suite was ok, but lots of thing didn't work. Majority of staff are pleasant and helpful . Reception staff were ok but not very knowledgable.we only had till 2.30 pm in. Regents Norway. Small balcony. Not enough plugs. Had to call cabin steward to show me to unplug the kettle to plug in the hair dryer with a funny plug. No shaver/ electric tooth brush charger. Very limited TV channels . Bed is comfortable. Our sheets were never changed on 7 nights. Had a bed time service with 2 little chocolates. Cabin steward was very helpful, friendly and professional ...... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This is our first cruise with P&O and first impressions were great. My partner is unable to walk more than a few yards and uses a mobility scooter. Embarkation was smooth and very easy, we were fast tracked through check in and ... Read More
This is our first cruise with P&O and first impressions were great. My partner is unable to walk more than a few yards and uses a mobility scooter. Embarkation was smooth and very easy, we were fast tracked through check in and security and our luggage was waiting outside our cabin for us. We had a accessible balcony cabin on deck 12 (C deck) and were delighted with it! It was spacious and extremely comfortable, the wetroom was ideal and the balcony, although small was perfectly adequate. We were booked onto Freedom Dining and allocated the Peninsula restaurant and here is where we encountered the first frustration. As we expected we were told we had a short wait for a table and were given a pager. Unfortunately the reception for the pager didn't stretch as far as the closest bar on that level (Brodie's) and so we had to loiter close to the shops. As my partner uses a mobility scooter, to go to the bar in the atrium area we needed to use the lifts ..... often there were queues, so with a short 15-20 min wait it hardly seemed worth it! Once we made it into the restaurant the food was good ... although service was rushed and we thought the menu could have been more imaginative. On night 2 we had booked into the Limelight club to see Eric n Ern .... fabulous! Great food, great service and outstanding entertainment. Eric n Ern were brilliant and there was opportunity to have a photo with them afterwards. Grace, the host for the evening did a fabulous job. Well worth the cover charge. We also ate in the Beach House one evening and, although the menu and food were very good, the evening was spoilt because the air conditioning was uncomfortably cold. We complained several times but as the controls were centralised nothing could be done. Some diners were putting serviettes over their shoulders to try to keep off the cold! We did complain to reception and the cover charge was refunded back to our onboard account. Our first port of call was La Rochelle and we had booked the Il de Re excursion which was excellent. We loved the island so much we would like to return for a longer holiday. Next day was Bilbao and again we booked an excursion, this time to the Old town and Guggenheim..... another memorable day. Excellent. Both excursions were worth the money and the both Tour Guides and drivers outstanding. The drivers uncomplainingly lifted my partners scooter in and out of the coach luggage compartment at every stop and we had front row seats reserved on both coaches. Our final port of call was St Peter Port, unfortunately due to high winds the captain was forced to abandon the port as it was unsafe for the tenders. I watched the pilot boat early that morning and it was certainly 'bobbing around'. Although disappointing I did feel a certain sense of relief at not having to experience a tender to shore! However, due to the unexpected sea day, the ship was chaotic to say the least- the weather deteriorated and rain and wind made it impossible to access outside decks. This resulted in bored, but energetic children (and adults) all trying to find something to do! There was an alternative entertainment programme in place .... but not to our cup,of tea. We retreated to our cabin, my partner watched the Open Golf Championships on the TV and I read my book and had a nap! The final frustration came on disembarkation. We were told to join the special assistance group and meet in the Limelight Club at 8.15am. Realising the lifts would be busy, we left our cabin at 7.45am ... it took us almost 30 minutes to get in a lift! The lifts were full with passengers who had chosen to disembark with luggage, sometimes the lifts were full with large suitcases and only one or two people! It was so frustrating as we did not have an option to use the stairs! I think that lifts ought to be managed by staff at this busy time .... with at least one lift reserved for passengers using wheelchairs and mobility aids. I also think allowing people to take their own luggage off at a time when disabled people have been asked to gather for disembarkation is very poor planning! People,disembarking with their own luggage should not be allowed to do this at 8am when everyone has to vacate their cabins! Total chaos. It is shame that the final memories of what was on the whole a great holiday were soured by disorganised disembarkation. To sum up - highs and lows. However we will try P&O again ... maybe an adults only slightly smaller ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Myself and my husband ( with our two children) were sailing for 6 days cruise to Spain ,France and Guernsey. Before this cruise, we regularly go cruising, with different companies. But we never sailed with PO Cruises before. Overal ... Read More
Myself and my husband ( with our two children) were sailing for 6 days cruise to Spain ,France and Guernsey. Before this cruise, we regularly go cruising, with different companies. But we never sailed with PO Cruises before. Overal I will describe a cruise to be like a boarding school experience with terrible food and really bad service. We had many issues with the service on the cruise, such as: There were 2 black tie nights during our 6 nights on board. My husband did not bring a black jacket and boe tie . We, because if this, were not allowed in the restarant and on desks during those nights. We had a terrible problem with our room card is not working and we had to go to reception 5 times to sort it out. It took us nearly 3 days and during this time we were not able to buy drinks. The food was just not eatable. It can be described as very bad quality pub food, the same every day. The were very long wait at every port and everyone had to wait for up to an hour for transportation and to go back onto the ship. The staff either ignored our complains, or constantly told us off. They appear to be only interested in selling extras to us. Our last port of call was cancelled by the captain due to the 25 knots wind . It looked fine and snny to me, butthe captain just told us that there will be no stop in Guernsey. We both felt that PO cruises provided us with the experience which we can not described as a holiday. We were so glad to arrive back to Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Word of warning to passengers please be careful of what you are being charged from the photo shop when having photos taken on board ! Did not realise until on way home in car that we had been charged twice for the same photo ,people are in ... Read More
Word of warning to passengers please be careful of what you are being charged from the photo shop when having photos taken on board ! Did not realise until on way home in car that we had been charged twice for the same photo ,people are in a rush on morning of embarkation when you get your onboard statement and not always time to check it . Have rung three times on a premium rate number ,promises of replies by email ,it dosnt happen ,I even had a promise of a return phone call straight away as It was a premium rate phone call I've been ringing ,no phone call ! I also like another passenger on the same trip ,I had to go to reception 4 times in 6 days as every card I was given worked a couple of times and then wouldn't let me in my room although I was told it's never happened before !! ,very frustrating when you've been out for the evening and it took over 20 mins for me to get entry to my room ! Don't think Brittania has the wow factor as I heard quite a few people saying ,first and last time for us on that ship. Loved the Theartre shows each evening ,something for everyone . Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was my 7th cruise, having sailed with Thompson, NCL and Cunard before; and this was the worst one yet. Cons -had a terrible encounter with my waiter in the Meridian restaurant on a particular night, as whilst having a ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise, having sailed with Thompson, NCL and Cunard before; and this was the worst one yet. Cons -had a terrible encounter with my waiter in the Meridian restaurant on a particular night, as whilst having a conversation about desserts he preceded to say how the fact I must eat too many puddings is why 'she is so podgy' and 'fat and round like a pudding', with after my mum making a comment replying that he 'didn't care what I thought of him because I was leaving in 2 days and he would never see me again' - we formally complained - poor range of food at the buffet, very repetitive - poor room service menu, and on 2 occasions our orders did not even turn up! - the main (and only) deck on levels 16 and 17 often felt slightly unclean, and dangerously slippy - at dinner in the restaurant, drinks orders took ages to arrive - on one occasion, our cabin steward said 'is it ok if I make up your room later, as I clock off now?' - obviously bad customer service - first night, because we had to wait so long to get a table for the 8 of us, we had a later dinner, presumably meaning that's why the service was slow and food arrived luke warm - very disappointing - P&O had failed to mention that one of the formal nights was a black and white evening, only finding out the day before - there is only one main deck on level 16, which personally I thought meant limited outdoor space, making it feel more claustrophobic -disliked the fact that if you wanted hot drinks it always meant having to have a costa version - hence not good quality or good tasting drinks in my opinion - photographs were very overpriced, £120 for unlimited photos to be put on a memory stick,,,not even printed!! -there was a complete lack of toilets around the ship, often only having 2 or 3 working toilets in each bathroom in the ladies -heard from 2 members of my party in a balcony room, that they could have done with more 'black out' curtains -disappointed to not be able to have gotten off at the port in Guernsey because of weather conditions; one waiter told us that this happens 50% of the time at Guernsey - but weather conditions can understandably not be helped - was quite rocky for a couple of days - just a warning that Bay of Biscay where the ship was mostly sailing is known to be rockier so just a warning for anyone thinking of cruising in this area Pros - enjoyed the entertainment - staff on deck, in crows nest and in the live lounge were very friendly - piano playing in the crows nest in the evening was stunning and enjoyable (forgotten his name but he was a replacement for adam Ellison on that particular night) -rooms were cleaned to satisfaction, however the tap handle did fall off on last day so maybe slightly dated with need for repairs -the décor of the ship was very lovely Overall, we were not made to feel special or spoilt on this cruise, as a paying customer, however this was a cheap cruise so probably getting what you paid for; but still doesn't mean you should get any less of an enjoyable cruise experience. I wouldn't recommend P&O, and won't be travelling with them again. But possibly a good cruise, for first time cruisers with no previous experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Always cruised with P&O, mainly Azura as we like to do the Caribbean. Decided to take 2 of our children on a small cruise so chose this one. The ship was Lovely and Embarkation/Disembarkation was excellent. One daughter loved the ... Read More
Always cruised with P&O, mainly Azura as we like to do the Caribbean. Decided to take 2 of our children on a small cruise so chose this one. The ship was Lovely and Embarkation/Disembarkation was excellent. One daughter loved the Spa and said how friendly the staff were, feeling so relaxed and looked after. Adam the Pianist was first class. Took part in the Les Mis singing session and he made the sessions so enjoyable and also in the Crows nest when he was playing the Piano. He is a gem...Look after him P&O. The only thing I did not like( our cabin was mid ship deck D ) was that there are no stairs in the middle of the ship and so if you are claustrophobic you have to use the lifts (Which of course were always full and crowded and took so long to come as it went to every level) or walk all the way down to the front or back of the ship to change levels. I will go on the ship again but may change where my cabin is so that I am near some stairs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise as a first time taster.Just 6 nights.Firstly the food was excellent we had an amazing choice either buffet or served in main dining room.Anything we had was fresh and well cooked could not fault at all.Room service ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a first time taster.Just 6 nights.Firstly the food was excellent we had an amazing choice either buffet or served in main dining room.Anything we had was fresh and well cooked could not fault at all.Room service again was 5 star our cabin steward kept our room in a clean fresh environment.The cabin itself was of good size and nice decor.We had a leaflet placed in our cabin every day to let us know what was happening on board.The entertainment in the evening was of an amazing standard and kept us well entertained every evening.The staff were always helpful and pleasant.The ship had lots of places to have a quiet and peaceful time if you wanted.The only downside on Britannia were the lifts and stairs.Depending on where you were the stairs were at one end of the ship which meant you had to wait sometimes for a lift to arrive.Also another tip is to take any unused hangers of the clothes rail as they rattle about when the ship moves about.Would we cruise again on Britannia yes most definitely really enjoyed our short cruise.Also If it is rough at all you do not get into Guernsey.We talked to a lot of other people who had cruised before and had not got into Guernsey on other occasions either so I would avoid Guernsey on your itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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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