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

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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
Friends asked us to try this sampler as we were new to cruising. Since booking we went to the Caribbean with P and O on Ventura which was a good experience so we had a fair idea what to expect. Firstly, we were all impressed with ... Read More
Friends asked us to try this sampler as we were new to cruising. Since booking we went to the Caribbean with P and O on Ventura which was a good experience so we had a fair idea what to expect. Firstly, we were all impressed with Britannia as it is a new ship so all the cabins are clean and fresh. As this was such a short trip it was disappointing that we were unable to board until 3pm on Saturday and had to vacate our cabin at 8am on the Monday and leave the ship by 10am, It felt more like a one day trip. We ate mostly in the Oriental restaurant for breakfast and dinner and the food was generally good, but not the standard we had experienced earlier in the year. The service was always hurried and a few waiters bordered being rude saying they were too busy and we would have to wait. Both evenings we were not offered cheese after our meal. Plates were cleared before all our table had finished. Meals were muddled and we did not always get what we ordered. In the bars we experienced the same poor service. I began to wonder if the wet English weather affected the attitude as it was totally different when we were in the Caribbean in February. I would not recommend a short break with P and O. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Very modern ship, as expected. It was my son's first cruise. He was disappointed with the choice of food in the buffet restaurant! Loved the food in the Beach House but had to pay extra! I have sailed with P&O 7 times and have to ... Read More
Very modern ship, as expected. It was my son's first cruise. He was disappointed with the choice of food in the buffet restaurant! Loved the food in the Beach House but had to pay extra! I have sailed with P&O 7 times and have to say I prefer their other ships. Paddling pool between the 2 main pools is dangerous to say the least, with a large piece of concrete in the middle of it! Would be better as an adult only ship! Loved the glass shower door but, when opening it it just about missed the toilet! Because there are more cabins on this ship certain areas were smaller than on other P&O ships. Lovely decor but, not much colour, quite dark in most places. No glass lifts! Lifts were small! I don't think I would sail on her again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The ship is beautiful but I found it to be very unorganized. . Cabin . Service . Lifts . My total bill . Disembarkation My sister and myself took my elderly mum away for a taster Cruise. We paid extra money to travel on ... Read More
The ship is beautiful but I found it to be very unorganized. . Cabin . Service . Lifts . My total bill . Disembarkation My sister and myself took my elderly mum away for a taster Cruise. We paid extra money to travel on the Brittania . When booking this Mini cruise, we explained there were 3 adults. We were told there were bed settees available . When we arrived in the cabin, there were 2 single beds, the other bed was a bunk placed in the roof of the cabin. It was opened up each night by a Steward. The bed obscured the balcony, we had to bend down not to bang our heads to sit on the sofa, make a cuppa and to sit on balcony . My sister banged the back of her neck on this bed. When we booked no one stated to us regarding the beds. My mum is 81, my sister has back trouble and I have had foot surgery. Reception did not help. I struggled up the ladder, we are not youngsters. We had to ring housekeeping 6:45 am to raise the bed out of the way. Service was good in certain areas, our designated restaurant was closed due to disembarkation, we found certain members of the staff rude in the other restaurant. We waited 10 minutes for a table, with an 81 year old lady who couldn't stand for long,baring in mind one half of the restaurant had empty tables but they were trying to keep to one area, this is not exceptable when you have ques people waiting, we sat down and was given cups and our hot drinks order had been given. we were then asked to move tables due to wheel chair person, baring in mind my mum can only walk with help of a trolley. we were happy to do this. we were moved to another table, we waited for service and i had to ask 15 min later if could we have some warm drinks, He informed me that they were busy and other people to serve, the table we were originally on were served and eating their breakfast. Lifts were dreadful, to many people to accommodate, many time we were squashed into the wall of the lift. This is unacceptable for elderly people who are unsteady on their feet. Disable lifts should be available. I had a telephone call from reception at 6:15 in the morning telling me my card had been declined , I told them it must be a mistake. I was told to phone my bank. I had to phone home to my husband to check internet banking to make sure my money was still in the bank, he gave me the number to phone the bank fraud squad who informed me they stopped my card because of my identification card. We went into the casino to put £5 chips into the bandit, all has changed you now have to place your key card in machine. A member of staff told me to put in my DOB make up a pin, I won £5.00, i decided to use it the next day but when i returned my cabin card would not work. my card was stopped because of the activity in the casino. Be aware if you are going to enjoy the facility's, i recommend you notify the bank before you leave. Disembarkation took a while, to get a lift was a nightmare, once down on the correct departure area the Que was a mile long, all in a line doubling back where you started. I think this ship isn't without their teething problems, I had a relaxing time on the Oceania , Britannia is far to big, It may look amazing but I feel i wasn't relaxed as I should have been. I would never take my mum on there again, maybe god willing a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Negatives:- The huge hype surrounding the introduction of Brittania to the P&O fleet created an impression of a ship and experience so wonderful that it would be "wow" from beginning to end,sadly there is no "wow" ... Read More
Negatives:- The huge hype surrounding the introduction of Brittania to the P&O fleet created an impression of a ship and experience so wonderful that it would be "wow" from beginning to end,sadly there is no "wow" at all. For such a huge ship there is a feeling of very little space inside,the Atrium feels like sitting in a comfy seat in a shopping centre, no music, no dance floor, no ambience at all. The Crows Nest though a nice place to sit and enjoy a drink and a view over the bow feels smaller,a piano plays sometimes,no bands,no dance floor. Finding a seat in any of the bars or the theatre or any of the entertainment venues is pot luck,the ship does not swallow up passengers well,it feels crowded all the time on sea days and in the evenings. The lifts are a total nightmare,supposedly designed to take 18 and they struggle to take 12 thats' if a wheelchair is not in the lift in which case forget it and wait for ever for another one which will pass your floor totally ignoring you despite your having called it,and if you are midships forget taking the stairs to the decks you require because there are none, a piece of ridiculous design that P&O should be ashamed of. The space in the ship has been dedicated to revenue generators,Oasis Spa,the shops,select dining venues etc. and cramming as many cabins in as possible at the expense of the passenger experience.The pools are small,deeper than is needed and there is no covered pool which on a ship of this size is another design error.in bad weather the whole lido deck would be unusable and the below decks entertainment areas would not cope. Positives:-Food quality is good,entertainment is good,cabins are good though smaller than other P&O ships and the bathroom though well appointed is tiny with no room to even dry yourself comfortably and I am not a big person,someone of a "larger" build would struggle!You cannot keep tabs on your account on the TV as you can on most other ships,another cost cutter! Service is mostly good,the cabin steward was excellent.Select dining, Epicurean which though good is not as good as 17 was on Azura, Glasshouse has great staff but the dining area is a mess of different style furniture with a poor ambience unlike Azura which again is great. Why the design team for P&O did not take the positives form the rest of the fleet and incorporate them into Brittania in a proper way instead of paying lip service to them is beyond me. Brittania, probably at the behest of Carnivals' bottom line, is a revenue generating machine at the expense of the passengers she carries. A great opportunity messed up by the money boys,we will not be using Brittania again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I think I have the dates about right, i cannot quite remember...it was to France and Northern Spain including Guernsey. They called in at Guernsey on the Sunday and the entire island was basically shut. Ridiculous planning and it was very ... Read More
I think I have the dates about right, i cannot quite remember...it was to France and Northern Spain including Guernsey. They called in at Guernsey on the Sunday and the entire island was basically shut. Ridiculous planning and it was very annoying. This was our 2nd cruise and this time we went with my sister-in-law and her husband. the ship is too big, sorry, I just found it daft. Getting around is not easy either with a curious arrangement for the stairwells in the midships area making it impossible to walk around without doing the stairs. This is fine, but it is a little confusing. Our cabin was well appointed but noisy. We secured a move after we raised issues and ended up in a suite, which was an amazing bit of luck. Things were pretty good after this, as you might expect although we found the Butler thing a little cringey...it's just too servantish and we don't like that. We tried to have a laugh with him but he was ultra professional and straight as an arrow, which was a real credit to the company. Food is very good, very good indeed. The entertainment was generally dreadful but we expected this; cruise entertainment is not our thing and we make our own fun, so it is a moot point. Drinks are reasonable given the captive market and we didn't feel ripped off or pressured. We used the Spa, which was expensive, maybe not worth the money either. I much preferred the smaller ship Aurora from the year before, but is was n experience. We have taken to cruising and plan another this year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We have been on a lot of cruises,but this was our first time with P & O. I will try to give an accurate report of how we found the cruise,as although we had read other reviews of the ship before we took the holiday, I have tried not to ... Read More
We have been on a lot of cruises,but this was our first time with P & O. I will try to give an accurate report of how we found the cruise,as although we had read other reviews of the ship before we took the holiday, I have tried not to let the good and bad points influence what I have written. We booked the cruise at the Daily Telegraph Cruise show back in January, for two reasons: (1) Our recently widowed friend was coming with us,because her and her husband usually cruised with us, so she wanted to come (2) I thought we might get a better deal booking at the show and booking early Wrong. Our friend couldn't get single occupancy and the price was the same as anywhere else.We were also a bit miffed,because 6 weeks before the cruise ,you could book it for just over half of what we paid. We booked an inside cabin each. Paid the extra fare that P&O offer, to get you first choice on an upgrade,possible choice of dining (we wanted Freedom) and free shuttles in ports . We did get an upgrade to a higher deck, but the same cabin, anyway. Dining options weren't confirmed until we were on board and shuttles were free everywhere anyway. When on board my wife and I had two cards in our cabin,one saying Freedom dining and the other saying Second (8.30) dining. Our friend (remember booked at the same time so we could have close cabins and same dining option) and she just had 2nd dining. We went to where you have to go to book your freedom dining, and told by a surly officer that she had been allocated 2nd sitting and we had as well. I showed him our freedom dining pass and he said there must have been a mistake and we had been allocated 2nd dining, so that is what we had to settle for. Anyway ,on to embarkation Quite smooth (20 minute wait in car til P & O took it away),checked in and into our cabin within half an hour. Had a look around ship,attended the sail-away and obviously the life boat drill, bit of lunch and unpacked. This is when we found the lifts, and all the criticism of them and lack of stairs mid-ship is completely justified. I won't go on about them,just read reviews that others have put on. The weather for the cruise was poor,but if you are cruising Britain, then that's what you're likely to get. This is where I found P & O to be lacking. Entertainment when you can't go ashore and at sea days when you can't get on deck, is very very poor. Just a quiz in the morning and in the afternoon, and a juggling workshop for 20 minutes and a couple of rounds of interactive bowling. Other cruises we've been on,have arranged a lot more for passengers when there's been inclement weather Food is A1. Best we've had since the early days of cruising. Starters,soup,mains,dessert,cheese and biscuits and coffee We went to the self service Lido for breakfast and lunch and that was good as well, and unlike a lot of previous cruises we found a table for 3 very easy and hardly any queuing. Over 70 types of English bottled beer in Brodies (where they held very good picture quizzes) at £3.75 for a 500ml bottle. Slight criticism, they are kept very chilled so they need to be left a little while to warm up Entertainment. The Headliner shows were very good. They had a interactive screen in the theatre that was excellent. We didn't find any problems getting seats for the three of us together, but it is best to get in half an hour before the start. A problem here is,that if you are on 2nd sitting dinner ,you can't see the show at the theatre and the live act in the Live Lounge as they both are on at the same time. There's an 8.30 show and a 10.30 show at both. When the Headliner Cast did their 3 shows (make sure you take in The Underground show,superb) they do at least do a performance at 7 ,but the guest acts don't,so if there's one on in the theatre and one on in the live lounge,you can only see one. On the next to last night we went to what was supposed to be, a super pub quiz at Brodies. This was hosted by the two most inadequate, lack of talent and moradic quiz masters it's ever been mine and most other peoples misfortune to see. Nick and Tom were their names and they were truly awful and embarrassing, acting like two loutish teenagers. They were trying to be funny but only succeeded in making themselves laugh. The quiz should have been 30 questions but because of their tomfoolery, they had to stop after 20 questions, because it had gone on for over an hour. Mind you,lots of passengers had walked out by then. Excursions This was round Britain, and although we hadn't been to any of the ports we did them on our own, and saved a fortune by not using the P& O extortionate trips. We went to one port talk, which was probably the worst we've ever been too. The speaker was directly reading off a prepared list, and was only interested in ships tours and wouldn't answer questions or give any info on doing it yourself. Disembarkation Easy peasy Al in all, an average sort of cruise,but in my opinion not up to the standard of Royal Caribbean or Princess which we are going on in August , Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
After reading all of the negative reviews regarding the ship - we went with an open mind to find out for ourselves! Ship was impressive from the outside and cabin was lovely - as were the cabin steward staff. That's the positives! ... Read More
After reading all of the negative reviews regarding the ship - we went with an open mind to find out for ourselves! Ship was impressive from the outside and cabin was lovely - as were the cabin steward staff. That's the positives! If you want to stay in a floating hotel - this ship is for you! As a cruiser if you want the WOW! factor - this ship doesn't give it. The interior was designed by Hotel designers - and this showed throughout the ship. The so-called Atrium was very lack lustre, which was a coffee shop by day and a glorified waiting room in the evening. We are not lift users but could understand the frustrations of those that have raised this point in their reviews. Navigating your way around the ship was very frustrating - often coming up against dead ends or no access routes. Weird and uncomfortable layout of the public toilets with joint access for males and females - and no sound proofing! Hand wash facilities within the toilets and public restaurant areas was poor. A fair number of staff are obviously unhappy in their work as this showed in their attitudes and body language. This was particularly evident among the Pool Assistant staff who were more than a little rude and disrespectful! We used the word 'segregation' a lot throughout the ship because this is how we felt! Areas only accessible if you paid extra - a lot of additional cover charges for fine dining and Serenity Pool area. Only two Jacuzzi's on top deck and both only seated five comfortably! Catering for a passenger total of over 4000 - how this would fair in hotter climates is questionable! We have experienced Britannia - and will not be sailing on her again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5
Rates 5.0 N/A

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