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

Chose this cruise as had a 3 week window and this was available at the right price.it was. Strictly come dancing, BBC sponsored Cruise which added a lot and would recommend to anybody. Ship has some issues such as no stairs in the ... Read More
Chose this cruise as had a 3 week window and this was available at the right price.it was. Strictly come dancing, BBC sponsored Cruise which added a lot and would recommend to anybody. Ship has some issues such as no stairs in the centre so long waits for a lift to go one or two floors. Public toilets are only one forward and one aft on each floor. Theatre design odd for a large cruise ship in that it is small and no side access to seats..more your local Odeon second screen than Royal Opera House. People complained the same shows have been on for a couple of years. We had freedom dinning which we like but felt we didn't get the service expected. For a large ship it was very smooth often docking without any of the expected juddering etc. Info on port talks were just what P And O had on offer other lines have given independent travelers useful information. Food was OK, started well then dipped in quality as if using the left overs! However you can ask for whatever you want within reason. The only time we were really aware of the number of people was when queuing for port transfers, not always organised in the best way. The live lounge is great for dancing with a wonderful band Pulce however when they put well know acts on it is too small and seat wars ensued. Adam a pianist who also ran the ships choir was wonderful do join if you go. We had read the reviews and were worried about our cruise but the Stictly thing lifted it and overall it was well managed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise as we wanted a short break and to visit Brugge .Please do not book suite cabin G733 or the cabin next door which is G731. The vibrations that we encountered in G733 from the engines were horrendous .They are so bad ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted a short break and to visit Brugge .Please do not book suite cabin G733 or the cabin next door which is G731. The vibrations that we encountered in G733 from the engines were horrendous .They are so bad that you won't be able to sleep for much of the night.You will also get loads of soot on the balcony . The problem with cabin G731 is not the same vibrations from the engines BUT you will hear all the noise from the Live Lounge which is situated under this cabin. We did think that we may be able to hear distant music but not to the extent that again you cannot sleep.It sounds as if the music is coming from the other side of the wall!! This not only happens all evening and into the early hours of the morning but also every time they have rehearsals. The vibrations from the music can also be felt and you will notice if you put something on the table that you can physically see it moving even when you are docked. The staff are aware but P&O still sell these cabins. The service onboard was ok,nothing great but the food was well presented. We went to the shows which were of a good standard. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This is my first cruise experience and what an amazing experience it was! Here is a link to a video I made whilst on The Britannia : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbFZ8BB8FnI The cabins are beautiful and outstandingly clean, the ... Read More
This is my first cruise experience and what an amazing experience it was! Here is a link to a video I made whilst on The Britannia : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbFZ8BB8FnI The cabins are beautiful and outstandingly clean, the staff are very friendly and attentive however drinks service was sometimes slow but overall the service was excellent. Unfortunately I cannot compare this to other ships as this is my first time cruising, however I travelled with my partner and his family who are Caribbean members and have been on various ships over the years and they absolutely love The Britannia! Me and my partner had booked the coach journey from the ship into Bruges, we had a wonderful time being escorted into Bruges by the lovely staff and enjoyed the day at our own pace meeting back up with the rest of the group several hours later to head back to the ship. Bruges is a beautiful place to visit and I would definitely recommend this trip on the Britannia, I would have stayed longer if I could! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
What I like to do on a cruise: I don't drink, gamble or am interested in speciality dining. I don't like to lay in the sun but like a dip in the pool and to spend an hour or two reading in the shade. I Iike to see as much of the ... Read More
What I like to do on a cruise: I don't drink, gamble or am interested in speciality dining. I don't like to lay in the sun but like a dip in the pool and to spend an hour or two reading in the shade. I Iike to see as much of the entertainment as possible and take part in activities. I found Britannia to be a bit too large to enable me to do this comfortably. For instance, I went to a show in the Headliners theatre on deck 6 and straight onto the buffet on deck 16. 900 people all coming out of the theatre and trying to get in the lifts. I walked along to the next lifts midships but they had also filled up and there are no midships stairs. Tried to get along the ship but was unable due to the restaurants blocking my way, so just had to wait for the lifts. But if there were stairs, I don't think many people would be willing, let alone able, to manage to walk up 9 floors. However, the plus sides…. Britannia handles rough seas with ease. I didn’t feel seasick at all in 12 days and everything is clean and in good condition. The Horizon buffet is very large and busy but has handwashing stations at each entrance which is an improvement on most other ships. The entertainment was far more suited to my tastes than other ships I've been on. The most excellent 8 piece band, Pulse played in the live lounge most evenings. All kinds of music from the 70s to present day. Definitely the best band I've seen in my 7 years of cruising. Talented pianist Adam Allinson played during the evenings in the atrium and also the Crows Nest and I joined the choir he hosted on the first sea day. This was great fun and a great way of meeting new people. Adam was an excellent choirmaster. Very friendly and approachable. This culminated in a performance in the Headliners Theatre on the last sea day. We had a good audience and there wasn't a dry eye in the house when we sang climb every mountain. The cabin was C625 on deck 12. Ordinary balcony cabin near the aft. Plenty of room with a desk and 2 chairs. A walk in wardrobe next to the bathroom, a large TV which had all sorts on it available to watch, not just the usual news and navigation chart but a huge number of films and dramas. Plus 4 choices of radio. Cabin steward Savio kept the cabin spotlessly clean and made sure everything was topped up. We were on club dining in the Oriental restaurant on the early sitting. Table for 8 like minded people, which was so lucky. We did get a few hard stares from other tables as we were a bit noisy but we had a great laugh. The food was excellent. I saw no reason to eat elsewhere but did go to the buffet a couple of evenings. I even used the launderette which was just opposite the cabin but was a bit of a mystery as there were no instructions so had to pick the brains of the more seasoned users. The Britannia Show Cast were absolutely excellent performers who did several shows in the Headliners Theatre during the 12 day cruise. The last one was Sound of the Underground which was absolutely spectacular. There were a number of guest performers and one I saw was Roy Locke, a very talented tenor. Another lady played in the Live Lounge as a Dolly Parton tribute which was also very entertaining. This cruise we were lucky enough to have Captain Paul Brown and entertainment director Neil Oliver who did some fantastic sail aways. This cruise began with 3 sea days which I wouldn't elect to do again as the weather wasn't good and I hardly put my nose outside for the last 2 due to the high winds and low temperature. The top deck was closed and I stayed inside eating too much and doing too little. We did go to the cinema each day and caught up with some films we had missed at the cinema at home. The first sea day we had to divert to Brest to let off a sick passenger and also offloaded a couple for fighting. Later in the cruise another couple were evicted for having sex in the jacuzzi, allegedly. The ports we visited were Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Funchal, Lisbon and Vigo. Embarkation was smooth: Supposed to be 3.30 but we arrived at 2.30 and didn’t have to wait long. Disembarkation was fine too, we were given 9.45 to leave and waited in Brodies but we were called to leave a few minutes earlier. Age of passengers: I’d say the vast majority of them were 65+. Lots of wheelchairs and walkers and very few children as it was in term time. Oh yes, plenty of moaners, but I won’t elaborate on them…. In summary, I really enjoyed the cruise and would sail on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Looking for a holiday during the school holidays we noted 3 P&O cruises leaving the same day and chose the Atlantic Islands cruise because we preferred the itinerary. The best other option was themed a Strictly Come Dancing cruise ... Read More
Looking for a holiday during the school holidays we noted 3 P&O cruises leaving the same day and chose the Atlantic Islands cruise because we preferred the itinerary. The best other option was themed a Strictly Come Dancing cruise which did not appeal very much. Embarkation. Our checkin time was 3:30. We drove to Southampton and got there at 2:45 where we were stacked waiting for porters and someone to drive our car away. As a result of that wait we entered the terminal almost exactly on time. We then had to wait about 45 mins before being called to the check-in desks. From then on it was quite efficient and we got through security, onboard and to our cabin by 4:45. Our luggage had already been delivered and placed in the cabin. Cabin Liked it. Check out the separate cabin review. Public Areas Plenty of bars and other public areas which were never very crowded despite the ship being full. Brodie's and the Crows Nest were our usual haunts. We went to the Atrium a few times but it felt more like a shopping centre than the feature point of a ship. Not very impressive. Prices were reasonable - similar to UK prices. Entertainment There was a lot of evening entertainment, mostly very good. There was generally something going on in both the theatre and the live lounge. The theatre though is too small and even with 3 shows some nights not everybody could get the chance to see some. There were plenty of other activities as well. As a quiz lover I often went to 2 a day but I think there were at least 4. I liked the entertainment staff as well. Dining. Oh dear. It was going so well. If you are looking for a ship with great food then you can stop reading now and start researching another ship. This is not for you. Main restaurant menus are unimaginative, food bland and not particularly well cooked. It was very disappointing. Buffet I thought was a bit better but maybe that's because expectations were lower. At least it was not too difficult to find a table most time that we went in. We went to the Limelight club one night. Food was better in there but of course you have to pay for it. If there is an act playing that you think you might like then it's reasonable value. Sindhu was excellent. Very high quality and quite different from your average high street Indian restaurants. Worth the money. Ports. I enjoyed all the ports and the 4 Atlantic islands we went to were quite different in character. We went on 3 ship's excursions which were quite good and I thought reasonable value. Disembarkation We had a time of 8:45 but went to the meeting point about 20mins early. We were called to disembark about 8:40 and within 30 mins had gone ashore, found our bags, reclaimed our car and were on our way. Overall It was good but it was badly let down by the food. We would go again but P&O certainly did not do enough to convert us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had read the mixed reviews about P&O and decided to try Britannia out because of the good prices sailing from Southampton and because it was a new larger ship. It was probably the most straight forward journey into a ship we had ... Read More
We had read the mixed reviews about P&O and decided to try Britannia out because of the good prices sailing from Southampton and because it was a new larger ship. It was probably the most straight forward journey into a ship we had ever encountered. We were on in less than 20 minutes and the cabin was ready for us. We loved the balcony cabin (Reviewed below) and didnt find the balcony too small at all and enjoyed having breakfast on it in the mornings. Food was good and we didn't have one bad meal. We had room service every day for breakfast and this worked out well especially when we had an early start on a port day. The buffet choice is more restricted than with RC, NCL & MSC but it was still fine. The tea bags would run out and coffee machines seemed to work sporadically but often a waiter came around with jugs if this was the case. I loved the fact there was Zumba onboard so I didn't miss my regular exercise. There were classes each sea day and were very high standard. All abilities could join in as Keeley took it to three different levels. This is a trial so please P&O keep it going! The classes were full each day so the need is there! The ports were all very good, we hadn't been to most of them before, and I liked the fact they didn't charge for transfers as we had paid the higher rate when booking. Actually, we think the whole cruise was better value for money as drinks were reasonable too- the same as UK pub prices- with no added tips. We appreciated being able to have wine in our cabin without paying a service or corkage. Other cruise Ines charge to bring your own wine aboard so this was pleasing. We loved the Limelight club where we saw Jackie Graham and Chesney Hawkes on another evening. Both were very good and friendly after the gig at the meet and greet. It's a great concept with having a meal followed by music afterwards. I wish more ships did this. It was worth paying a bit more to see well known artists, in a more comfortable, intimate setting. All staff were friendly but in the spa perhaps too much so! We did a couples massage which my husband enjoyed (he had a delightful Thai woman who had just joined P&O). I was not so fortunate and had an average massage followed by a very hard sales pitch for 10 long minutes. This wiped out the relaxation benefit and was not appreciated or necessary. This member of staff will hopefully, with age, learn to be more customer cantered and talk less about herself. I also didn't need the hug she gave me at the end- most unexpected and inappropriate. We didn't use the spa again after this. The relaxation room was nice though. We would return to this ship in the future, although we probably enjoy NCL more. The staff on the ship are all pleasant but seem a bit unhappy. We missed having other nationalities onboard (we enjoy learning about other cultures) as it was almost 100% Brits. We hated the whole idea of the flag waving party but easily escaped to a more restful bar at the Crow's Nest. To sum up a fun, good value cruise on a larger, newish ship! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We wanted to try a different cruise line and sail from Southampton. This cruise was supposed to be a stress free one week break for my upcoming birthday. The ship is far too big to be comfortable for our age group. We knew this when we ... Read More
We wanted to try a different cruise line and sail from Southampton. This cruise was supposed to be a stress free one week break for my upcoming birthday. The ship is far too big to be comfortable for our age group. We knew this when we booked, but thought as it was only a week, and no flying, we should be o.k. Thought we would treat ourselves to a suite with a Butler. Although this was a guarantee, we were not told that it was AFT and a very long way from anywhere. We were supposed to eat in the Epicurean Restaurant as a perk when you have a suite, we did this only 3 times as it was so far and difficult to get to. All entertainment venues were so far away. Yes we were outside the lift, but once you were on the deck you needed, then it was easily a 10 minute walk. We are both disabled, my husband has a mobility scooter, and I was walking with a stick. As for returning to Britannia, no thanks. No Way. Dining. We went to the Epicurean where we had a delightful meal. As for the other places to eat, The Beach House was very good. All else was average. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose the mini cruise to Bruge. Embarkation was very quick . We checked in at 12.45 and by 13.20 we were enjoying lunch. We had a cabin with balcony on G deck. Lovely cabin with sofa lovely compact shower and loo room. Balcony with ... Read More
We chose the mini cruise to Bruge. Embarkation was very quick . We checked in at 12.45 and by 13.20 we were enjoying lunch. We had a cabin with balcony on G deck. Lovely cabin with sofa lovely compact shower and loo room. Balcony with chairs and small table. Why people complain about size is beyond me . The same moaning about lifts , how many do you want .? There was never a problem even with so many people on board . did freedom dining The food was excellent . Someone moaning about curry every meal? Think they should get out more. Same with shops . The goods were limited but very good if you want more go to a shopping centre. The atrium area is lovely . Great place to sit relax people watch have to say it wasn't the warmest area as was the crystal room so an extra layer helped. Plenty of entertainment . Have to say the duet in Brodie's were awful . The excursion to Bruges was excellent Roger was brilliant , very knowledgable and very funny . Black tie meal in meridian was excellent . All the staff were lovely polite and helpful. Overall can't wait to go on Britannia again . Some of the negativity is laughable some people need to get a life if all they can moan about is brown doors dull corridors poor shops etc etc . People need to read what there getting for there money instead of moaning after the event . Rule Britannia Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
So to set the scene we are not new to cruising and had previously been put off P&O, with an image of P&O being very stuffy and formal. A Taster cruise seemed the perfect opportunity to find out whether our perceptions were valid ... Read More
So to set the scene we are not new to cruising and had previously been put off P&O, with an image of P&O being very stuffy and formal. A Taster cruise seemed the perfect opportunity to find out whether our perceptions were valid or not. Taster Cruise Just a warning here, we had expected this to be full of like-minded individuals wanting to sample P&O and Belgium/Bruges. What we failed to consider was that the short break cruises are a magnet for Hen and Stag parties. Generally not a problem, but it did mean that certain areas of the ship became loud and unruly later in the evenings, as long as you steer clear of Brodie's and the Live Lounge you can escape most of it. 2-nights is definitely enough to get a feel for the ship. At Zeebrugge we did a DIY excursion to Bruges, taking advantage of a complimentary coach service into the town of Blankenberge where we caught an onward train to Bruges, there are some excellent guides posted in the Port of Call forum which we found very useful. Experiences Embarkation has to have been the worse experience we have ever had. As soon as we arrived at the terminal our hearts sank as people were queuing outside the building. After about 15-20 mins queuing and getting to the top of an escalator, we were given coloured cards with a letter on.....we were Green M, we were then told to sit down and wait for our card to be called...........we sit down to find they are on red O, and they are calling cards out roughly every 10-15 mins.........so if you're feeling up to it you can do some simple maths to figure just how long a wait we were expecting........the next blinder is it gets to red Z and starts back on red A.......at that point we needed some alcohol.......when we finally did get called, it was the normal queue again to check in, security to board etc. "Dead-Ends" and lifts were a constant frustration and cause of discussion amongst passengers. Long wait times for full lifts to arrive, and if you took the stairs you'd find they didn't go to all decks, very bizarre and frustrating. On departure day people were literally lobbing cases down the stairs to avoid missing their train or pick-up times. No statement available on departure. Staff just didn't seem happy, and we witnessed a few high profile complaints/arguments between cruisers and staff. Port of Call Embarkation, they only had one security scanner per entry point, most cruise ships of this size have 2? Again another long queue....... The ship is very "brown", I guess it's the brand, not to our taste really. There were some nice features, but we missed the WOW we have experienced elsewhere. Food on the whole was good, and a highlight was the Limelight Lounge, with Jaki Graham performing who was outstanding. It was just a shame that they weren't able to accommodate a fussy eater on our table, by offering something outside of the set menu. We did tweet our disappointment around embarkation and a few other things, and had very clinical and unhelpful responses from P&O. It is a shame, as if it hadn't been for the service issues we would have looked to have a booked a longer cruise next time. On to our next cruise Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Friends wanted to go on a taster, so we went with them! Two nights is a bit too short for us. Was surprised at the number of Hen Parties and also a couple of Stag parties which we didn't expect. No promonade deck to speak of (just ... Read More
Friends wanted to go on a taster, so we went with them! Two nights is a bit too short for us. Was surprised at the number of Hen Parties and also a couple of Stag parties which we didn't expect. No promonade deck to speak of (just a smoking area basically) which was a disappointment. Entertainment was poor - although I'm not sure its fair to judge on just a single show. Seemed to be little actual live music - no sail-away band just a 'disco'. More money saving I guess! Food was good. We went on the P&O organised Ypres excursion which was very good and reasonably good value - for a ship excursion. Crew all very friendly and efficient although the ratio of crew to passengers didn't;t seem very high (sorry I don't know what it is officially). All in all it was a good cruise but very expensive for what it was so overall only an average mark! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We were told this was a taster cruise so we thought before we committed to two weeks away we would try it. We queued for over an hour to get on board. Not a good start. No apaology or welcome drink straight unaided to cabin. Having ... Read More
We were told this was a taster cruise so we thought before we committed to two weeks away we would try it. We queued for over an hour to get on board. Not a good start. No apaology or welcome drink straight unaided to cabin. Having spent close to £600 for a two night cruise we were not prepared to pay extra to dine in a fancy restaurant. The food in the Peninsula restaurant was at best mediocre I can honestly say I have eaten far better food on a cross channel ferry. The waiting staff were surly and uninterested. It was not a pleasant experience. Friday evening entertainment was very enjoyable - we went to the 80's disco in the Live Lounge. This was marred only by a huge amount of very drunk people, one mature lady had to be supported on either side as she was so inebriated. A further lady was punched in the face by a drunken man who was a stranger to her! We arrived at the Peninsula at literally 9am for breakfast but were denied entry as it closed at 9!! Buffet breakfast was available in the Horizon however there were no sears available and we wished we hadn't waited as the food was greasy, undercooked and Luke warm. Saturday trip to Bruges was amazing - we did the walk yourself around Bruges tour - had we known we could have saved £50 by utilising the free shuttle bus to the station, then the train. The organisation when the coach returned to the ship was horrendous so we spent at least an hour sitting on the coach, then queueing on the dock. Saturday dinner in the Meridian restaurant was slightly better - four different cheeses tonight - then we watched a Rock and Roll band who were very good. We were due to leave the ship at half ten on Sunday morning but decided to utilise the one hour slot between 7 and 8 to "free disembark as the cabin had to be vacated by 8 anyway. Breakfast in the Peninsula was table service to hot plate food which was still barely cooked and luke warm. The final straw came when the cabin steward ignored me putting a do not disturb sign on my door and asked if he could make up the room at 7am. I told him no but he still asked if he could go in and make the bed which I refused as it had our partly packed bags on it. This is not the cruise to go on if you are looking to book a longer cruise as we have now been put off cruising, certainly we will never cruise with P and O again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
we decided to go on the britannia after enjoying our cruise of the azura which is the smaller ship. The crew were nice and the facilities good. We were excited to cruise on this ship and was told how good it was when being driven to the ... Read More
we decided to go on the britannia after enjoying our cruise of the azura which is the smaller ship. The crew were nice and the facilities good. We were excited to cruise on this ship and was told how good it was when being driven to the port. embarkation was easy and swift and room was ready quickly for when we entered. cabin was a balcony, the rooms were classically decorated and fairly large with an average sized balcony. That is the good part to the ship...now the bad the clientele is certainly of a butlins type although having sailed with celebrity maybe my expectations are too high and it was a short cruise which tends to attract partiers. the decor throughout the ship is quite frankly dark and bland...the atrium looked like a shopping mall not dramatic at all, all dark wood with no light and grand staircase. everything was just boring to say the least. everything seemed out of place and difficult to get too. classic example....the gym, it is placed on the side as part of th walkthrough which is really unpleasant when your trying to work out and countless people are walking through every minute. restaurant seemed claustrophobic and squashed with average food. Nothing impressed me with the ship and i could go on but I can safely say I would not go on it again but instead go back to celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We booked this cruise as a last minute getaway with the intention of not getting off and spending the day in the spa and eating. P&O wouldn't normally be my first choice of cruise line and after the cruise, I would actually have ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a last minute getaway with the intention of not getting off and spending the day in the spa and eating. P&O wouldn't normally be my first choice of cruise line and after the cruise, I would actually have to say never again. The ship itself appears to be nice but upon closer inspection, a lot of the materials used felt cheap, as a result the ship, which is only 18 months old is very tatty in certain areas. Our balcony cabin felt small and cramped with low ceilings and an almost impossibly small bathroom. There were stains and marks all over the sheets when we first arrived so I had to ask the cabin steward to change them. The real let downs for me were the food and the service. The food was quite frankly disgusting, the buffet options were limited and the quality nowhere near the standard of P&O's competitors. The food in the dining room was somewhat better but was all either cold or overcooked or tasteless. Not one member of staff even smiled at us throughout our two days on board. The spa is nice, although awkwardly positioned near guest services. I felt that throughout the day they oversubscribed it to the point where it was no longer relaxing. I wonder if it was because it was a two day cruise and possibly wouldn't happen on a longer sailing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Had a lovely cruise on Brittania. Had been a little worried after reading reviews but can't see what people get to complain about. Cabin was lovely - balcony was, as reported, small but we easily got 4 people on for pre dinner drinks. ... Read More
Had a lovely cruise on Brittania. Had been a little worried after reading reviews but can't see what people get to complain about. Cabin was lovely - balcony was, as reported, small but we easily got 4 people on for pre dinner drinks. P&O one of the few companies that allow you to bring on your own drinks. Quite handy to pick up the local wines in the various ports. Cabin steward was very attentive but unobtrusive which was great. Didn't go to any of the select restaurants as we found the food in the main dining room very good. Buffet for breakfast and lunch was also nice. We enjoyed the entertainment too - a good variety to suit everyone. We always got seats at the shows apart from one night in the Live Lounge when we arrived around 20 minutes after the show had started. Service was excellent and efficient although when dining at tables for 6-8 it could occasionally be a little slow but as we were on holiday and relaxing this was not really a big issue. Never had to wait long to be served drinks at any of the venues either by day or night. At one of the ports (La Rochelle) the queue for the free shuttle into town was a bit excessive. The tender process, although efficient, was annoying as we had to wait a while as we weren't on one of the organised trips. However our friends said it was much quicker than a previous tender they had used. Generally a great cruise and we never felt as if we were on a cruise with over 3500 others ( apart from aforementioned queue at La Rocehlle). Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
As a previous cruiser seveal times feel we can compare honestly. If you have booked already dont worry but keep an open mind and read on... The good bits... Emabarkation at Southampton ok, were allocated a late slot so the queues ... Read More
As a previous cruiser seveal times feel we can compare honestly. If you have booked already dont worry but keep an open mind and read on... The good bits... Emabarkation at Southampton ok, were allocated a late slot so the queues had diminished. Had originally late-booked a 'Saver'balcony cabin on A deck but were glad to find were placed on F deck on final schedule by P & O as did hear that there were noise issues from Pool deck above A deck. Golden rule is really 'go for the best you can afford/is available at the time or have an open mind. Cabin as expected, teenage son occupied the pullman bunk( we found that the bunk NOT near the wall was best if all 3 people wanted to see the wall mounted TV - also moving the centre drawers at night stopped chunky hubby banging his elbows!!) Plenty of hanging space for 3 and room under beds for shoes, stuff and cases. Bathroom small but fine and all areas clean and neat. Steward friendly and obliging. Balcony small and only room for 2 loungers so teenage son sat on the little table when necessary. Were pleased to be given 'Freedom' dining and never had to wait for a table at any times as always agreed to share, consequently we met some very interesting people. Food ok considering they were catering for 0000's. Plenty of choices daily. Favourite restaurant was Beach House at rear of Horizon Buffet but only open at night-times. Sort of American/European foods with waiter service in quiet area with good views and modest cover charge. Saw whales diving about in the sea whilst dining more than once. Sunset bar just outside very nice for a drink beforehand with, as expected, views of lovely sunsets. Also tried the Glass House, Market Cafe and Epicurean all ok in differing aspects. Staff and service always very good and hubby well pleased that the petite wine waiter lady in Meridian remembered his name and likes which is a nice touch. Shows were the best i have ever seen on a holiday and the cinema listings and timings were also very good as were the TV offerings, poss might wear a little thin if on a 2 week cruise but there are plenty of other things to do. Quizzes were fun and the 70's era one brilliant and well attended.Casino tutoring session interesting. Pool and bars all fun, though a bit crowded some days ,teenage son liked the fast foods on offer all day and had a midnight dip twice (supervised of course) though there were a few other dippers followed by a decadent trip to the Horizon midnight buffet for him after. Grab n Go bar a real bonus, nice salads and wraps, youghurts etc even if not leaving on a day trip. Drinks were not too pricey compared to other cruises but at times did not seem full strength esp in the pool area bars .hhmmm. Dressing up for the (first) black tie event was fun and there were complimentary drinks in the Atrium whilst Captain addressed from the balcony above. Shops good and not overly pricey considering, what a lovely girl in the Gentlemans outfitters side(CREW, BOSS, JOULES, Bowties etc) who dug deep into the stockroom for something appropriate for my teenager for black tie night. The not so brill bits.. We could not decide all week whether the ship had ambience or not...strange... Elevators were as usual on ship a nightmare (usually caused by able people coming DOWN in them unnecessarily instead of doing stairs- same on all ships however) Horizon Buffet ok for a quick breakfast of 'English 'style but it really did not have the ambience for evening meals. Coffee was filter type in the urns but only semi-skimmed milk on offer ( they did find me some cream however when asked) and it for us did all seem very 'cheap' which is no reflection on the cooking or the catering teams they are obviously on budgets. Childrens drinks and ice cream packages woefull so didnt bother. Tender transportaion to shore was tedious due to over subscription of people but have seen this all before on prev ships (tip - go VERY early) and did spoil things a little . The private relaxing area was really too pricey to comtemplate and did not seem to offer enough, on other ships there were areas similar free of charge. AND NOW THE REALLY NOT BRILLIANT BITS.. My chap caught the NOROVIRUS on day 4 which was very very scary. It is a violent sick bug and highly contagious. It was a miracle that my son and I did not catch it. we were not even a little bit ill amazingly. We thought we had all been very diligent with the hand washing and personal cleanliness instructions and had heard vaguely that some people were already ill with virus Hubby was isolated to the cabin ( he could barely get out of bed anyway) and was attended to by the ships nurse who, after several frightening episodes for me with hubby, came at our agreement ( we did not worry about the costs at this point ) and administered an injection in the middle of the night and continued to telephone us twice daily. Son and I were not isolated but asked to not frequent Horizon buffet areas again which we adhered to.It was embarrassing however having to lie to nice people where hubby was so that they didnt get too close. This was a lonely time for us. Our Steward was not allowed into our cabin again but did ask everyday from a distance down the corridor of our wellbeing and a sanitization squad wearing gloves,masks and bootees came in 3/4 times daily to clean and spray.A grateful thank you to these young men who had a truely dreadful cleaning duty. All in all the cruise was ruined, there had not been enough good parts to carry this report into a better category. It is likely that Hubby will never cruise again though son and I will, but we cannot say if it will be with P&O, the fact that P& O have not contacted us since is surprising to us but maybe if they had 500 sick people as mentioned in a prev review they are working on it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
With the interesting port calls, the brochure promising wonderful food and superb entertainment it sounded fantastic so we treated ourselves to a suite.However the food is basic in the Horizon, vegetarian options are useless everywhere, ... Read More
With the interesting port calls, the brochure promising wonderful food and superb entertainment it sounded fantastic so we treated ourselves to a suite.However the food is basic in the Horizon, vegetarian options are useless everywhere, and the Oriental dining room is average pub food. The entertainment was mainly the on board team in singing and dancing shows, a comedian no-one had heard of and some acrobatics on suspended fabric, all boring. The serious outbreak of gastroenteritis should have been avoided. The handrails and lift buttons were not clean, and the only cleaning we saw was in the Crows Nest bar when a waitress was half heartedly wiping over tables and chairbacks following the gastic outbreak. There were no free standing hand sanitizers everywhere as you see on other ships and the entrance to the Horizon had only 3 washbasins that people obviously weren't going to queue to use. Our cabin was spotless but the smell of the lavatory was nauseating. We will NEVER spend money on a P & O cruise again, so many other companies do it better and in cleaner surroundings. We carried our luggage as we couldn't wait to get off. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
PRO's Embarkation was very well organised. Ship very clean and modern Plenty of staff around to provide help and assistance if you ask for it Breakfast choices excellent Beds very comfortable Staff not in your face ... Read More
PRO's Embarkation was very well organised. Ship very clean and modern Plenty of staff around to provide help and assistance if you ask for it Breakfast choices excellent Beds very comfortable Staff not in your face trying to big sell ie spa, photos CON's Cabin steward did not introduce himself, then turned up in our cabin on last morning, stripping and changing beds whilst our luggage was still in there, we had gone for breakfast and still had at least 45 mins before the 8am deadline - we may have wanted a quick shower before departure. Drinks packages are very limited and those on offer are quite expensive. Waiters in the Meridian restaurant got food orders wrong more than once each night - although the service was quick, there was no attempt to converse with passengers to exchange pleasantries at all. But we noticed this throughout the ship. The reasons for the CON's could possibly have been because it was such a short cruise. Let's hope things have improved when we go on board for a 2 week cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
cruise holidays I was very very disappointed...everything went wrong.... - staff on reception very unprofessional, miserable, unfriendly and unhelpful staff ( dont know why they are there?!) - cruise with no tv licence????? ... Read More
cruise holidays I was very very disappointed...everything went wrong.... - staff on reception very unprofessional, miserable, unfriendly and unhelpful staff ( dont know why they are there?!) - cruise with no tv licence????? -every tv series had only 2 episodes???? - Pay for internet??? every holidays we went to.. the internet is free of charge...but not on britannia....?! -pay for coffees, teas and ice cream??? free of charge on royal Caribbean cruise - day time entertainment very poor...5 quizzes join the day whats that all about ??? pool entertainment "pool quiz" wohooo very exciting...dont forget to mention pianist who sent people to bed !!!! -buffet food horrible....on Italian day we had lasagna, pasta and garlic bread nothing else...and they called it " Italian day" -our sitting time was 8.30pm we missed nearly every show as the show time join the night was at 7.30pm or 9.30pm and you have to be in theater least 40 mins before the show will start otherwise you wont have a seat !!!!! -we went to see kiki dee cost us £22 waist of money as everyone in a room was asleep..... she was very boring and the night didn't have soul.... - had to pay for a shuffle bus....free of charge on royal Caribbean -every port we went was terrible...apart from Lisbon -morocco was one of our ports never ever again!!!! we were followed by 3 people every where we went and felt so uncomfortable.... the night before we came to marocco we received a letter saying that it was dangerous and we need to stay in a groups?! why would you got there when you know its dangerous?! - another port was grand cannaria but they had a bank holiday and every shop was closed....waste of another day that was.... - shops on a board are bad... not enough choices....and quiet expensive!!! -cant see your bill on a tv you have to go to reception and ask for it every other day just encase they will charged you extra for something you never had or never used!!! -spa so expensive - our cabin was very small and didn't have enough space for 2 people....especially bathroom area where me and my partner proper struggled as only one person could fit in a bathroom and me being pregnant lady i found it very hard and didnt have enough space to move -lifts were a problem for some people never knew where they or the lifts were going -the only one good thing was night show but than every show was only for 45 mins Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
First time on Britannia and was really looking forward to this ship. Embarkation was not good although we arrived at the port in plenty of time for my allocated book in time I had to join a queue in the car park . Was late due to this ... Read More
First time on Britannia and was really looking forward to this ship. Embarkation was not good although we arrived at the port in plenty of time for my allocated book in time I had to join a queue in the car park . Was late due to this although at the reception desk boarding on the ship was quick and efficient. On board the access to all parts of the ship was terrible . Small lifts if there was a wheelchair in the lift there was only room for about 6 people . No staircases for quick access so there were more queues and waiting for the lifts. Not sure what would happen in an emergency . There is no promenade deck so that walking around the ship was an ordeal . Smokers complained that there were only 2 smoking areas on board . i had freedom dining for the first time on p&o which seemed quite a good idea at first . The service was terrible and had to wait an hour for the main course on the first night which did not improve much for the rest of the cruise. The service was not as good as on other p&o ships. The first port of call was La Rochelle which involved a queue the length of the ship for the shuttles More queuing and waiting . The entertainment on board was quite good with plenty of variety . The ship and cabins were always clean and the crew were polite I am sorry to say that as the flagship of p&o this did not overall tick all of the boxes and left me disappointed so it could be back to Ventura for me Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
A fantastic 2 days and 2 nights. Accommodation - was so comfortable and eveything we required was there- The balconey was great to have and waking up with the curtains open and seeing the view was great. Food - we had open meals ... Read More
A fantastic 2 days and 2 nights. Accommodation - was so comfortable and eveything we required was there- The balconey was great to have and waking up with the curtains open and seeing the view was great. Food - we had open meals which made it easier to decide when to eat and where. We thought the food was tasty, good range of options and served very efficiently. There was absolutely more than enough food and if you were hungry the 24 hour buffet could be sed to top up - not that we had to. Prices for drinks were reasonable and affordable. Entertainment - a 45 minute show twice a night in the evenings was great, leaving parties were fun and engaged the 'crowd' and the late night live band and then disco gave party animals a place to go. I don't like quizzes with a captive audience and there were a dew Pools etc - great choice of pools - facilities such as bars and snack foods were well placed and well thoughtout and if you wanted to get away there were plenty of sunbeds all over the decks that could be found, as well as a quite pool up fo'ard Service - the crew were brilliant, friendly, efficient, helpful and when you consider they have 3500 people to deal with it was all done calmly and efficiently. Embarkation and disembarkation was efficient and smoothly handled Would do it all again and the best compliment is we would have liked it to be longer Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise as my husband had never been on a cruise before and we wanted to see if he liked it. We expected a 2 night cruise to be a 'party cruise' with hen dos and stag parties, and this was fine. The ship is enormous ... Read More
We chose this cruise as my husband had never been on a cruise before and we wanted to see if he liked it. We expected a 2 night cruise to be a 'party cruise' with hen dos and stag parties, and this was fine. The ship is enormous and so we hardly noticed them. Embarkation: We arrived at the specified time to mayhem. It was not clear for a while that we needed an embarkation card, which would put us in a 'first come first served' order. I discovered a desk hidden behind a screen who handed these to me. I explained that we had been told to be there by 3, with a check-in close time of 4. I was told 'we can't get you lot onto the ship all at once, so be patient'. At the desk, the lady who checked us in looked miserable. I tried to be cheery and said, 'it shouldn't be too long now'. Her response? We should be able to get rid of this lot within an hour hopefully'. She was referring to passengers still to board! Service: The ship inside is certainly impressive and enormous. It is absolutely spotless in all areas. This said, the whole cruise lacked 'wow'. Having been on a cruise before, I was at least expecting a 'Welcome to Britannia' comment, but no. The public areas are well-designed and there are plenty of places to sit. You can always find a place to sit overlooking the atrium, which is lovely. We ate in The Peninsular restaurant both nights and here the service was great. The waiters had personality and were friendly and smiley. Elsewhere on the ship, the service was attentive and responsive, but without smiles or personality. They did their job, but with no real enthusiasm or passion. When I found out from one of them that they work between 12-14 hours a day with a day off only every two weeks, I can see why perhaps their enthusiasm isn't great. Dining experience: On the first morning we didn't get to breakfast until 9. In The Horizon bar, it was a self-service buffet system. The queues were very long and didn't move quickly. When we eventually reached the hot food this was because there was never everything available and so people were always waiting for something. e.g. there were sausages, but no eggs. When the eggs arrived there were then no beans etc. Surely, knowing that 9am is going to be a busy time, they would ensure that there is a constant supply of hot food? This made finding a seat difficult as many people were just saving seats for when their food eventually arrived. The quality was good, and hot. In the Peninsula restaurant, the food was good although not particularly exciting. There were more elegant restaurants in which we could have dined, although these incurred additional charges, some up to £30 per head. Lunch in The Horizon was varied, hot and the same problems for food were not present. Excursion to Guernsey: We were asked by the Captain on the first evening to 'take our time' in going to Guernsey. He said that there would be a big rush for the tender boats, so having a leisurely start would help us and prevent long queues. The ship was not able to dock in port and so tender boats were used to get there. We decided to try to get onto Guernsey for about noon so headed to the theatre as instructed at 1115am. We were issued a ticket and asked to take a seat in the theatre. Along with 900 others. The Captain announced that as 'you have all decided to have a lie in, it has caused a problem and a backlog'. The cheek! To blame passengers for going later (as requested the night before) and to make assumptions about why that was, seems rude at the very least. We sat in the theatre for over an hour, during which time no entertainment was provided (unless you count a compere trying to get us to claps in beats of 2 and then 5). After this time we decided that we were wasting our paid for cruising time, so decided to leave the theatre and stay on the ship. It was 140pm when the Captain finally announced that the queue had gone. As the final tender to come back to the ship was to be 530pm, it wasn't great. Entertainment: The entertainment comprised a 45 minute show entitled 'Sound of The Underground' which although short was great. We saw a live band 'Pulse' who were also good. A Beatles tribute band and a vocal harmonies group 'The Overtones' were performing on the second night but we didn't see them. I heard that they were both really good. Party Cruise: As a 2 night cruise, there were many groups of hens, stags, and general drinking groups. There was definitely a party atmosphere on the cruise, and 'sail-away' on the top deck was a party. There were plenty of other places to go if you didn't want to join in. The cabin was very modern and spotless. It had a king sized bed with plenty of pillows. The balcony was small but adequate with two lounger chairs and a small table. Those groups had adjoining cabins were able to remove the partition between cabin balconies, making one bigger one. This is a great idea. The towels were not massive but big enough. The wall-mounted TV was huge although only Sky news and BBC World News channels on offer. There was a desk and office chair also. Some cabins had a sofa, although ours didn't. The shower was great, and there was a glass shower door, so no shower curtains sticking to you! Our cabin steward Martin came and introduced himself and looked after us well during our stay. He cleaned the cabin both days and replenished tea and coffee. We had proper sized mugs for tea etc which was nice. There was air conditioning, which worked well and was easy to control. The bed was comfortable and the quality of the duvet and pillows was high. A great cabin with plenty of wardrobe space, plenty of hanging space and two big mirrors. Overall, a pleasant enough cruise, but not one that 'wowed' me. Queues for the lifts were ever-present, but not too bad. That said, having pressed for example the 'down' button, the call light would go out for no particular reason, even if no lift had arrived. This was annoying. In conclusion, no 'wow', no feeling special, poor organisation for some things. Great tax-free shopping, and a good variety. My previous taster cruise was with Royal Caribbean, and although the ship was older, I felt that my custom was appreciated. On that cruise, the waiter remembered you from the night before, he knew what you hand drank, and had a conversation and laugh with you. This sounds nothing, but does make the difference. For this reason, I would choose RC over P & O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This ship may as well be a block of tenement flats and sail side ways. It is far too big for all the activities it tries to boast. If the weather is bad then you have around 3000 people trying to do things inside. Not enough things to do ... Read More
This ship may as well be a block of tenement flats and sail side ways. It is far too big for all the activities it tries to boast. If the weather is bad then you have around 3000 people trying to do things inside. Not enough things to do if the weather is bad, not enough eating areas open.. Good weather is fine as the upper decks are great for sunbathing. Considering it is barely a year old the 50odd % rating this ship gets is terrible.. I for one would never cruise on Brittania again. I was on the Crown Princess a few weeks back, smaller ship, much nicer, more to do. Of all the things that really racked me off was constant cameras poked in your face so they could flog you a very expensive on board photo. A total rip off!!!! If you complain on the ship try and find someone that understands English rather than some non speaking English member of staff one grinning at you and apologising, towing the company line.. Buck up P&O, don't you know people actually read these reviews. Maybe you and your higher managers should too! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
As an ex Deck Cadet with P&O Cruises, this was my first experience of the present-day company, and I can only say it was a great disappointment! I have sailed with other Cruise Lines, and this was by far the worst experience. We ... Read More
As an ex Deck Cadet with P&O Cruises, this was my first experience of the present-day company, and I can only say it was a great disappointment! I have sailed with other Cruise Lines, and this was by far the worst experience. We were going to book for a Norwegian Cruise on Britannia this July.....not now! Do not book a central cabin! Our cabin was amidships, very close to the central staircase & lifts, however there was NO staircase above deck 7, only lifts, which got really busy.....we had to walk to the forward or aft stairwell/lifts to go up one deck!...ridiculous! The central point of the ship, the Atrium, is a 3 deck balconied area with NO atmosphere. There is no entertainment , no stage, no piano, no background music.....nothing! The majority of staff were excellent, however, some in the dining room were, at best, ignorant. The sports deck was cordoned off for the forthcoming Ant & Dec show, so there was no way to walk/run around the main/promenade deck deck. Disembarkation was an absolute mess!!!!! Apart from all the above....we had a great time, and the food was the best I have experienced!..... thanks P&O! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was a taster weekend to Bruges Brussels however the port was changed to Le Harve in France due to the terrorist attacks. We understood this but there is nothing to do in Le Harve and it was a terrible choice of port. Embarkation ... Read More
This was a taster weekend to Bruges Brussels however the port was changed to Le Harve in France due to the terrorist attacks. We understood this but there is nothing to do in Le Harve and it was a terrible choice of port. Embarkation - nightmare absolute nightmare we travelled as a family and were told we could board together, not so the check in staff were utterly rude to us really upsetting my elderly mum. Insisting she either board or wait another 3 hours until we were allowed to board. I found it all to be madness we booked this trip in August 2015 and to be told we could board at3.30 was disgraceful especially as we paid to upgrade our room to a cabin suite. Once boarding our luggage didn't arrive until 6:30pm so we couldn't make use of the swimming pool we were sent the wrong luggage labels and the cases went to another room! No apology here either, as first time cruisers we didn't check the luggage tags they sent us to our boarding card why would we! Once aboard service was slow waiting 45mins for drinks, half of the facilities were closed and only one jacuzzi open to the whole ship!! Unless of course you paid £25 each extra for the retreat! Erm who is prepared to pay this when we have paid £650 already for a weekend taster !! Disembarkation was like a cattle market no staff visibility people pushing in all over the place! It was awful and never been treated so bad from a tourist company. Expected more from P&O ship is beautiful but that is nothing with shoddy rude service and lack of ownership !! I would warn all people who are considering parting with their cash to think booking with another company Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our first cruise and we were very disappointed with the service , really terrible, the ship and the food brillant but the service was terrible and it really let P&O 's reputation down. This morning the service at the Penisular the ... Read More
Our first cruise and we were very disappointed with the service , really terrible, the ship and the food brillant but the service was terrible and it really let P&O 's reputation down. This morning the service at the Penisular the waiters were so unhelpful and they were so ignorant , really really bad! I have got nine years travel experience and I have thought highly of P&O thinking it usually it's a five star but it was more like a three star . My mum and dad have been on cruises before and they said this was the worst! My Mother in law also came with us and she travelled with Thomson's and she said Thomson's was much better. Waiting this morning to come home we were treated like cattle , queueing . Why do we aka us British people put up with it and why should we ? Also there was hen and stag do's on there which kind of lowered the tone of the cruise also . I would never go on a P&O cruise again and I would never travel with a British cruise company again . American's deliver the best customer service and they won't put up with bad service like queueing and having to ask for a refill of tea and coffee etc , that should be part of the amazing service of a 5 star company !!! The waiter actually tutted when we asked for a refill and he leant across my Mum to give us a glass of orange juice , we also asked for a jug of water this morning and was told this was not possible only glasses. I have never complained about bad service but i really do feel P&O do need to listen to their customers and work on this feedback . We did wonder if P&O have just shipped in temp staff so that the normal Staff would have time off as the 14 night Ant and Dec Saturday night takeaway trip Today . It was just awful!!! A lot of people like us tried this cruise as a taster cruise to see if they liked it , I can't see the conversion rate being high after today's / this weekends terrible service . Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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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