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

Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming ... Read More
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming pools very busy, Although I always say you can do as little or as much on board, we found the cabins to be lovely, very modern and great facilities! We were in the Oriental dinning room The food and the staff were excellent, the only thing I could say was it was a bit chilly in there. Our waiters table 75 were excellent and our cabin steward in cabin G421 was also excellent, also the shows were some of the best we have seen. We were travelling with 10 other people friends and family. Age range 11 to 74! In fact we are looking to book the transatlantic crossing to the Carribean this October Thank you P and O Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful ... Read More
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful place to watch a sunset . We found the food to be mainly excellent . Choosing to eat freedom dining was a definite plus and gave us flexibility. We also tried the glass house for a couple of lunches again excellent and Sindhu one evening was superb. Our 14yr old daughter had a great time in h20. A highlight for us is the formal evenings, great to see everyone dressed up and a good atmosphere in the fabulous atrium. We didn't find the layout a problem and it was no problem to walk to a staircase. We all agreed what made our holiday was the superb staff in the bar areas and dining. We felt totally spoilt. My one gripe was the sunbeds. People putting towels on sunbeds to reserve them should be removed by staff. We chose to disembark ourselves and this woked well. I would highly recommend Britannia and can't wait to go on again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on ... Read More
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on their very first cruise ship, we booked the cabins on a select fare meaning we could choose our cabin, dining preference and also receive an on board spend of £25 per person. We travelled to Bruges which we have been lucky enough to go to a couple of times and on this occasion we stayed on board and enjoyed the sunshine from the adult only pool on the top deck but if you have never been it is well worth a trip into, it’s very picturesque and also has some of the finest chocolate shops of anywhere in the world and they almost always give free samples. Boarding Britannia was docked at the Ocean Terminal, we turned up at the allotted time of 1300 on our ticket and were straight into the check in system without a wait, we queued for less than 3 minutes before we were seen, it was quick and efficient and after a short check in we were heading to security, we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at the terminal, boarding into the stunning atrium and after a quick picture it was up to the buffet. Cabin GE Grade clear view balcony with sofa, G deck forward. First impressions were that the cabin was clean, light and airy. As you walk through the door you see the usual cabin layout, I was particularly impressed with the doing away off closed wardrobes with it instead being open and walk in rather than the standard closing door wardrobes. Moving into the bathroom we had a larger bathroom than the other members of the fleet, excellent bath products from the white company, moving through to a comfy queen size bed and two seater sofa which in our cabin could also be made into a sofa bed. The balcony as other passengers have said is a little on the small side and when opening the gate to the next door cabin it was hard to get in and out of our door. Restaurant We were seated both evenings on a set dining at 2045 in the Oriental restaurant, first impressions of the restaurant was it was smart, spacious and clean. On previous experiences with P&O I have found the food offering to be very middle of the road, nothing to write home about. Britannia has done some great work in restoring my faith in P&O’s food offering. I won’t bore you with the details of menus but the highlights for me were the Hampshire smoked trout starter, the beef wellington and as always they still offer a really great cheese board at the end of every meal. A quick note on the service, which was excellent, the waiter, his assistant and the wine waiter were all very happy, smiley and knowledgeable, making the service look effortless. A quick note on the buffet which also had an excellent range of food and was a much more pleasant space than many ship buffets, it was more spacious than some of the slightly older ships. Bars We particularly enjoyed the crystal room, it was a beautiful room with a large dance floor and offered a slightly more adult disco, the live lounge had a fantastic band playing although it was completely packed. We also visited the crow’s nest which was considerably larger than many ships it was also very beautiful with wonderful views, all bars we went into seemed to to have comfortable chairs with clean menus and an efficient staff. Spa Like most things on board the spa is large in expanse, however I was slightly disappointed as the thermal suite which we added was on the smaller side and neither steam room worked, the thermal pool however was very nice although the noise of the shower and bubbles being produced somewhat made the relaxation beds a little pointless and I found the general appearance lacked compared to other areas with pool towels and glasses everywhere which was a little bit of a shame. Those travelling with us took massages and were incredibly happy with both the deep tissue and the hot stone massage. Entertainment Aside from the excellent music playing in the bars during the evening, there was the theatre which hosts two shows each evening, the theatre itself is not huge for the number of passengers on board so if you don’t want to stand at the back it is worth to get there a little in advance, the show we caught was a Four seasons tribute which I think they do often have on these shorter cruises, they were a professional act and the show came across this way with excellent lighting and acoustics to match. During the day if the weather permits as mentioned above you can take advantage of the pools on the top deck, the adults only area towards to front end with pool and ample seating and bar was far more relaxing than the family area in the mid section where they had loud music playing throughout the day, it was a real positive that they had these two very different areas catering for almost everyone, there is also a small pool at the aft of the ship with a further bar this again was slightly quieter. We were not travelling with children so cannot comment on their facilities. Disembarkation Much like all disembarkation's it was very smooth, we disembarked at our allotted time after breakfast and picked our luggage up from the terminal and we were on our way home. General ship view The one thing that will hit you when you just arrive at the port is that the ship is huge, this view won’t change on boarding, a wonderful atrium with bars, shops and winding stair cases, be sure to get some pictures here on formal night. The one downside to Britannia’s size is that everywhere is a long distance walk but always worth it as the product on board is stylish and offers a five star style environment that I think P&O have lacked slightly on their other ships. Everybody also seemed to dress to the occasion and there were very few passengers who didn’t dress for the formal evening with black tie in abundance. An extra note was that as this was a two night cruise we didn’t have a full chance to experience everything and it would almost certainly have more to offer on a longer cruise. I have to praise P&O as the staff on board we all excellent, and they have certainly upped their game in terms of ship appearance. Overall this was an enjoyable two night break on board their flagship and I would not hesitate to return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as a first time taster.Just 6 nights.Firstly the food was excellent we had an amazing choice either buffet or served in main dining room.Anything we had was fresh and well cooked could not fault at all.Room service ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a first time taster.Just 6 nights.Firstly the food was excellent we had an amazing choice either buffet or served in main dining room.Anything we had was fresh and well cooked could not fault at all.Room service again was 5 star our cabin steward kept our room in a clean fresh environment.The cabin itself was of good size and nice decor.We had a leaflet placed in our cabin every day to let us know what was happening on board.The entertainment in the evening was of an amazing standard and kept us well entertained every evening.The staff were always helpful and pleasant.The ship had lots of places to have a quiet and peaceful time if you wanted.The only downside on Britannia were the lifts and stairs.Depending on where you were the stairs were at one end of the ship which meant you had to wait sometimes for a lift to arrive.Also another tip is to take any unused hangers of the clothes rail as they rattle about when the ship moves about.Would we cruise again on Britannia yes most definitely really enjoyed our short cruise.Also If it is rough at all you do not get into Guernsey.We talked to a lot of other people who had cruised before and had not got into Guernsey on other occasions either so I would avoid Guernsey on your itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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
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 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
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
My family and I found Britannia to be an absolutely beautiful ship with service to match (and yes I have cruised several times before so I do have something to compare it with)!! We found the service in the Restaurants and Bars to be ... Read More
My family and I found Britannia to be an absolutely beautiful ship with service to match (and yes I have cruised several times before so I do have something to compare it with)!! We found the service in the Restaurants and Bars to be first class, the staff were friendly and obliging and nothing was too much trouble - everything done with a smile! The Horizon Buffet was always very busy for breakfast but a lot of people don't realise that you can also eat outside in the Sunset Bar area which we did on most mornings. We fell in love with The Crows Nest Bar and in particular Adam Allinson who is the Cocktail Pianist, he made for a great evening. Disembarkation was normal whereby you are directed to a venue and then disembarked by the times you have been given. This works perfectly well if people just have a little patience, do as requested and do not block the aisles. Would I cruise on Britannia again? Most definately! My advise to anyone reading these reviews is take most of them with a pinch of salt! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Our cases were whisked off by the porters as soon as we arrived, not to be seen again until we got to our cabin which was a good start. Embarkation was delyed due to technical issues but once underway proceeded smoothly. The ship is ... Read More
Our cases were whisked off by the porters as soon as we arrived, not to be seen again until we got to our cabin which was a good start. Embarkation was delyed due to technical issues but once underway proceeded smoothly. The ship is beautiful; with elegant and classy decor. Our cabin was perfectly adequate, though the bathroom small - however it was functional and again spotless. Indeed, the whole ship was spotless and we never encountered any cleanliness issues with public toilets or elsewhere. The food was superb and the service faultless - each course was delivered promptly and cooked to perfection. I thought the menu choice was great and you could ask for extra portions if required. We were Freedom Dining and this worked well for us, it meant we could plan our evening entertainment to take in all the shows we wanted to. Horizon buffet had a great choice of food and although crowded at peak times, we never failed to find a seat. Most of the waiting staff was friendly, others not so much, but all were polite. Our cabin steward was lovely, he brought me an ice bucket each day as I had an ankle injury that would swell up by the end of the day, which helped a lot. Room service was prompt and we used this on several occasions; mostly when we had breakfast brought to our cabin on the days we were going on excursions as it saved time. Alcoholic prices were very reasonable and the cocktails highly recommended - especially the raspberry crème brulee, yum (hic)!!! Entertainment in the Headliners Theatre we thought was generally of a very high standard, although some shows were better than others. The Live Lounge was excellent, the Madness tribute band being a particular highlight. The resident band Pulse were fantastic and never failed to impress. We never had a problem getting a seat for shows, as we just turned up half hour early which would seem a common sense thing to do. We found plenty to occupy us during the day although the pool area did get very busy, especially as not all the pools were open due to maintenenance which was not so good. I would also liked there to have been a covered pool - this would be a significant plus point. Those dreaded lifts; yes, we did have to wait a few minutes at busy times (other times hardly at all), but we didn't really find this to be a problem, maybe a little patience is required? We also bumped into a few 'celebrities' in the lifts, so maybe my recollections are a little more positive! The Limelight Club was thoroughly entertaining, the food excellent and Dean Andrews was delightful. The Oasis Spa I thought was too expensive and they could have drummed up more business with cheaper prices in my opinion. We met some lovely friendly people, however there were also a good few 'serial whingers' who would find fault in any little thing. I would say do your research, if you don't like big ships for example, then how about you don't book a cruise on a huge ship?? People were grumbling about the time it took to disembark, but we actually were off the ship ahead of the estimated time we'd been given. Again, a little patience wouldn't have gone amiss. Like others, we had read some negative reviews and had considered booking a different cruise line. I am very glad we didn't. If you go with an open mind and just plan to enjoy yourself with eating, drinking and making merry, then you will have a great time. If you're determined to moan about any little thing - you won't. I have cruised before, so I do have some comparison to make, and I would certainly cruise on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have just stepped off Britannia this morning following a short trip to Guernsey . WOW WOW WOW !!! This ship does not dissapoint Most beautiful ship with opulent deco I booked this last year (on the same day we ... Read More
We have just stepped off Britannia this morning following a short trip to Guernsey . WOW WOW WOW !!! This ship does not dissapoint Most beautiful ship with opulent deco I booked this last year (on the same day we disembarked from Azura) since then we have been aboard Aurora and Explorer of the sea. We arrived early as we are very close to Southampton. Sometimes it pays off and we can get onboard early but this wasn't the case so we had a nice coffee in the terminal and relaxed. Staff were good - kept everyone informed . We boarded at our alloted time to find we could go straight to our cabin. Cabin was plush ,big and comfy. Balcony - small as always !!! I booked a superior deluxe balcony cabin - well worth paying more for. Nice touches included champagne, umbrella , bathrobes and slippers. Bathroom was slightly bigger than we have had before. really nice cabin. B326 We choose a cabin on deck 14 - I found this possibly a little too high up but my husband liked it. Just before the sail away party we were treated to The Red Arrows air display above us !! (Southampton Boatshow was on hence the Red Arrows ) this was amazing !! LIFTS - a bit of waiting but if that was the case we would walk to quieter lifts or use the stairs (why spoil your holiday by moaning?! Ship was at full capacity so not surprised we had a wait for lifts!!) We ate in the Oriental. Food fantastic. Staff were good and efficient.we opted for first sitting and we were never rushed. We ate (lightly !!) In the Horizon - buffet . food was varied, well cooked and nice. on the last day I had an omelette for breakfast - it was cooked to perfection in front of me. Seating - only once did we have to really search for a seat. We drank in the Crows Nest. Great drinks great staff beautiful settings. pianist was very good. We met him at breakfast one morning and he said he had previously played in Claridgies, Savoy Hotel and on Cunard.very talented young man! We drank in the Glass House. Polite staff , good drinks. Really nice bar. We used the casino - smaller than other ships but enough for us. The Crystal Room - beautiful . Only reason we didn't drink there was we ran out of time!!! Costa Coffee area was relaxing and coffee good. Staff polite. Theatre - watched one show ( sounds of the underground ) very good visually and vocally. Live lounge - watched Badness ( Madness tribute band) whole place joined in singing . Brilliant ! Main pool -beautiful area, lots of polite staff. Serenity pool ( closed for maintenance ) very relaxing area . lots of seats/sunbeds and wicked cocktails!!! We tried glimpsing in The Retreat but couldn't see in (we didn't go on the ships tour on embarkation when we could have seen it ) if we go onboard again we will definitely be booking into here for a day. We were shown round the spa and treatment rooms on deck 5 - beautiful . We will be booking in there as well next time ! Looked into the Limelight club - worth booking if you are considering. we didn't have enough time on such a short cruise and would have loved to have dinner in there. A must next time ! Epicurean restaurant - we don't normally book into other dinning areas but this looked so beautiful this again is a must next time. Seriously beautiful ship that we will be booking up to travel on next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Atlantic coast 7 night cruise. I had read about Britannia and was keen to sail on her, reserving my holiday in advance of the brochure launch. I was not disappointed. The ship felt luxurious and yet returning from excursions felt like ... Read More
Atlantic coast 7 night cruise. I had read about Britannia and was keen to sail on her, reserving my holiday in advance of the brochure launch. I was not disappointed. The ship felt luxurious and yet returning from excursions felt like coming home. My cabin was comfortable and I felt of a good size. The balcony was a wonderful place to sit and enjoy a drink and relax and whilst other reviewers have commented on the balconies on Britannia being small, it seated two comfortably and was not too different to those on other ships I have sailed on. I found the staff to be polite and helpful and the entertainment was of an excellent standard - the entertainment staff went out of their way to ensure that a good time was has by all and passengers were able to join in as much or as little as they wished. The food was excellent and plentiful. Even the weather was kind The ports and excursions were good - went alone in La Rochelle, taking the free shuttle into the very pretty little town, but went on escorted excursions in Bilbao and La Caruna, with excellent guides. I especially enjoyed the rib ride adventure in Saint Peter's Port. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organised and efficient. Would definitely sail on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My wife and I have just returned from a cruise to La Rochelle, Bilbao, La Coruna and Guernsey aboard Britannia. We thought that after some six months of service, any " teething troubles" would have been resolved. We thought right ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from a cruise to La Rochelle, Bilbao, La Coruna and Guernsey aboard Britannia. We thought that after some six months of service, any " teething troubles" would have been resolved. We thought right ! Most aspects of our cruise were excellent. Lifts which have been a source of problems in the past did not affect us at all. The service, food and entertainment were as excellent as ever on P & O. Even the weather smiled on us throughout the trip. Well done to all concerned. One tip I would suggest is that in order to maximise ease of movement around the ship, try to get a cabin, with or without a balcony on Level 9 (F Deck) Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise with P&O and, as with many others, we were concerned about the negative reviews of this ship. Well we needn't have worried - everything was fine. We did wonder whether the harsh critics were actually on ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O and, as with many others, we were concerned about the negative reviews of this ship. Well we needn't have worried - everything was fine. We did wonder whether the harsh critics were actually on the same boat - there really was nothing to complain about. A few points - We didn't use the lifts, preferring the stairs, but we never saw queues waiting for a lift at any time. Yes, the bathroom is smaller than on Celebrity, but is quite adequate. Yes, the balcony is smaller than on Celebrity - fine for sitting out but perhaps it would be cramped if you wanted to recline the chairs. All the staff we encountered were cheerful and obliging, especially in the Meridian restaurant where the service was excellent. We loved the food there. Our cabin was cleaned and serviced to a high standard every day. Entertainment was better than Celebrity. Self disembarkation was easy and quick. Embarkation was the only fly in the ointment - arriving at 2.30 for a 3 pm slot, the car parking system was finding it difficult to keep pace and cars were stacking up everywhere. The terminal, too, was crowded and with few seats, but we didn't have to wait too long before being called forward. Not a relaxed start! In conclusion, we'd definitely cruise on Britannia again - loved it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
BACKGROUND INFORMATION This was our fourteenth cruise, which have been fairly evenly spread between Celebrity, RCL and P&O, and I hope to be able give a balanced view based on our past experience. EMBARKATION Why do P&O ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION This was our fourteenth cruise, which have been fairly evenly spread between Celebrity, RCL and P&O, and I hope to be able give a balanced view based on our past experience. EMBARKATION Why do P&O - unlike RCL & Celebrity insist on cabins being ready before letting people on the ship? We had to wait a couple of hours in the cruise terminal whilst those who process your embarkation were just sitting behind their desks doing nothing! Perhaps they had to wait for the signal that cabins were ready before being allowed to start? Very frustrating! PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS The ship went to Guernsey (tender), La Coruna, Bilbao and La Rochelle. As usual, when choosing which shore excursions to do, we noticed that the excursions were much more varied and reasonably priced than those generally offered by either RCL or Celebrity. We like to do some research beforehand (especially on Cruise Critic forums!) and then explore independently, but we also like taking part in activity excursions. So at Guernsey we took the RIB boat and at La Coruna a bike tour; both of which we really enjoyed. SHIP INFORMATION Yes, it would be better if the ship had a central stairwell that went higher than Deck 7, but we found this to be a minor inconvenience rather than an issue. During our seven days onboard, we never experienced any large queues for the central lifts. Often, it was easier to reach our destination from either the front or back of the ship and these had stairs to higher decks, not just the lifts. ENTERTAINMENT The Brodie's pub area is large and serves an impressive list of good bottled beers. For example, I was pleased and surprised to find one of my favourites, Wells Banana Bread Beer, on the list! P&O also have some reasonable beers on draught such as John Smiths and Boddingtons. All in all, it's a refreshing change to the very limited and overpriced selection on both RCL and Celebrity. We enjoyed the quizzes there too. Let's just hope that P&O don't do what they did on Ventura and drastically reduce the size of this pub by installing extra single cabins. Pulse, the resident band in the Live Lounge were excellent. I've no idea how they remember the words to all those songs! Being British helped them to develop an good rapport with the audience too; unlike some of the technically excellent but sterile bands from the Far East that we've seen on other cruise lines. In the Headliners Theatre, the in-house singers and dancers put on some very good shows and the special effects in "Once Upon a Time" were spectacular and would rival anything from the West End. The theatre has an amazing series of large electronic screens that can change to give different animated backgrounds. However, the guest performers were a bit of a mixed bag: for example, although the ventriloquist was funny, the Micheal Buble tribute act was cringeworthy and he even forgot some of the words to "New York, New York". My reaction to there not being any alcoholic drinks package available on P&O is to exclaim "thank goodness for that!" Embarkation at Southampton during the school Summer Holidays can attract a certain type of person or family. These are the people who give Britain a bad reputation abroad and for whom drinking copious volumes of alcohol until they are struggling, both physically and mentally, forms the most enjoyable part of their holiday. Luckily, judging from our experience on Britannia and looking at recent reviews for Anthem of the Seas, it seems that such types have avoided P&O, being attracted to the Anthem by RCL's drinks packages. I must say that the latter are unbeatable value if you start drinking early in the morning and finish late at night! DINING We were in the early sitting in the Oriental restaurant and found both the decor and ambiance pleasant and the service efficient. The meals were well prepared and never cold or warm when they should have been hot. However, I am more of a lover of plain food than the others in our party and so, unlike them, tend to find the food on RCL more to my liking. On formal nights it was good to see that practically everybody followed the dress code, unlike on our recent cruise on the Allure of the Seas, where wearing a collar and tie was the exception rather than the rule. SUMMARY Overall, we had an extremely enjoyable cruise. I am struggling to understand why the Britannia is receiving so many negative reviews. Perhaps it's simply a question of "Horses for Courses?" I suppose the people who had a bad experience are more likely to be motivated to write a review than those who did not and Britannia may not be to the liking of the P&O regulars who are more used to the smaller ships and can be rather finickity (especially about stairs and lifts). My motivation for writing this review (my first ever) is to address the balance and to tell people booked to go on Britannia to read the positive reviews and to take most of the negative ones with a pinch of sea-salt! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
As regular cruisers we wanted to take an early opportunity to try this new ship and we were not disappointed. I had been disturbed to read a few of the reviews of early cruises on Britannia on this forum and whilst some of the harsher ... Read More
As regular cruisers we wanted to take an early opportunity to try this new ship and we were not disappointed. I had been disturbed to read a few of the reviews of early cruises on Britannia on this forum and whilst some of the harsher critics are entitled to make their contribution I do think they must be very hard to please. I would support the view that there is, at times, a difficulty with the lifts but a little tolerance resolved most issues. Embarkation was quick and efficient. The itinerary was well planned with great welcomes especially in Liverpool where we also received a firework display on departure. The trips were a nice mixture to please all and were well organised. My wife enjoyed the Cookery Club with the added treat of cooking with James Martin and Mary Berry who gave copious amounts of time to the passengers. P & O dining has always been our favourite and this was no exception; freedom dining is superbly run and the Horizon grill is good. The Beech House is fabulous and Sindu was enjoyable. We found Epicurean overrated and expensive although the service was excellent. Lunch in the Glass is also a nice alternative venue. The balcony cabin was well appointed and the TV provided comprehensive coverage. Overall the ship has been superbly crafted, yes it is large but we never felt that we were overcrowded. The entertainment was good especially the regular dancers and singers and the effects are stunning; we particularly enjoyed Jimmy James. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Having read the negative reviews before our holiday we were a bit apprehensive before travelling however our experience of this cruise and sailing on Britannia was very positive. We sailed as a party of four adults sharing two obstructed ... Read More
Having read the negative reviews before our holiday we were a bit apprehensive before travelling however our experience of this cruise and sailing on Britannia was very positive. We sailed as a party of four adults sharing two obstructed view cabins G521 & G519. If you happen to have these cabins or any situated in this area don't worry about the view as the obstruction of the lifeboats did not cause a problem and we could still enjoy sailing into the different ports and the fantastic firework display in Liverpool. Our cabin steward was lovely. His name was Anjelo and he was efficient and we did not feel rushed in the morning to leave our room unlike how we felt on a different cruise company we went with. Embarkation was smooth and I would definitely recommend sticking to the time given for arriving at Ocean Terminal as they do call you to board at your stated time. We didn't board until about 3.30 so didn't have much time to get accustomed to the ship. If you haven't sailed with P&O before a suggestion when you go to the safety drill on Britannia is to wear trousers or shorts (not a skirt or dress) as it is a bit awkward trying to put on a life jacket on and doing up the strap between your legs when wearing a skirt :) The ship can be a little bit confusing to navigate and yes the central staircase does only go up to deck 7. I would recommend that anyone needing to use lifts use the forward or aft lifts and not the mid-ship lifts as these seem to be much slower especially on deck 16 when you come out of the buffet. If we left the buffet and came upon the mid ship lifts we would just walk back through the buffet to get to the stairs or the other lifts that did seem to operate a bit faster. The lifts can get very busy when everyone is getting back on the ship after visiting ports or in the evening such as the Captain's Gala. Other than that during the day we found no problem with people accessing lifts. The food on board was excellent. The buffet was clean and the staff were always friendly and would say hello. We thought it was a good idea that you could physically wash your hands before entering which everybody seemed to do and we liked that they provided trays. A small negative would be that not all the items in the buffet were labelled but there was a menu on a screen telling you what items were being served in the buffet when you entered. As for drinks you could order cocktails or beer or wine (they also had self service wine and beer). The only free drinks in the buffet at lunch and dinner were water and tea and coffee and at breakfast you could also get juices from the dispenser. If you want a free hot chocolate visit the late night buffet after 10pm. We used the grab and go and the outside grill that served burgers, chicken, hotdogs and pizza. The grab and go had a choice of baguettes such as ham and mustard, beef and horseradish, cheese and pickle and also salads such as chicken tikka, tuna, feta cheese, to name but a few. The choice was the same for the whole 12 nights and lunch in the grab and go was available from 12 noon to 4pm which did mean that you couldn't grab anything that morning for an exclusion unless you had an afternoon excursion or were happy with a bacon sandwich which they did offer. There were bread rolls and ham slices in the buffet in the morning if you wanted to make up your own rolls. I would recommend Sindhu which is the Atul Kutcher Indian restaurant on board. There is a surcharge of £15 but the food is fabulous. You also get some additional plates and if you are lucky they may also give you a free bottle of wine which we got on our second visit (as did other tables). The market cafe is also worth a visit. You do of course have to pay for the cakes but they are a nice tasty treat and I would recommend the raspberry macaroon or sharing a piece of red velvet or carrot cake (the cakes are quite big so we found we could share them). You can however get a free cake with a drink you have to pay for in Java (Costa) however the cakes are only on offer until about 5pm. The theatre is small and if you want the aisle seat which most did then you will have to arrive about 30 mins before the show starts. The headliners shows are very good particularly Once upon a time and Sound of the Underground. There is more chance of getting a seat if you arrive later at the 7pm show or 10.30pm as the 8.30pm show is very popular. If you do arrive later you should still be able to get a seat but it is likely to be in the middle of the row or if you enter at deck 6 entrance the far left where there was still a few seats left even 5 minutes before it started. If you are going to see a guest artist then they normally only have two performances. On our cruise guest acts included Sam Bailey (X Factor), Steve Hewlitt ( ventriloquist from Britain's got Talent), Opera Boys to name a few. We also saw an interview during the day given by Mary Berry and James Martin. We did see some films in the studio cinema. Again if you want to be in the front row you will need to get there about 25-30 minutes before the film starts. If you get there later and sit further back be prepared for a bit of seat hopping to find a better view of the screen. Even when we sat further back we could still see the screen however the view does depend on whether you can get a seat with no one in front. My suggestion would be to go to either the 6pm showing or 10.30pm showing as again the 8.15pm showing is a bit busier. For anyone interested in choice of films available we saw Second Best Marigold Hotel, The Theory of Everything, Into the Woods, Cinderella (the most recent version) and Kingsmen: The Secret Service. If you are sailing with children I would just suggest that you check the rating of the film on the horizon paper as even a film with strong language would be shown at 6pm. Although the weather was not great (which we expected visiting the British Isles) the ports of call were lovely and the excursions were enjoyable. If you want to do a ship organised excursion I would recommend booking before you sail as a lot were already sold out. Also when on board if you do decide to cancel a trip make sure you do it at least 48 hours before the date of the excursion otherwise you will lose all your money. If you cancel 48 hours before you may just lose 10% unless the trip is oversubscribed and then you may get all your money back as they can resell the ticket. It could get a bit boring on sea days. There was a few dance classes ( no zumba) and some fun evening quizzes but I would recommend bringing a good book to read. There are also some good choices of films in the cabin, if you want to chill, which are mostly free. The TV in the cabin is good however you still are unable to access your bill. If you need to keep a track of how much you spend just pop to reception. Another thing that you may wish to do on board is visit the spa. I treated myself to a hot stone massage. Would I do it again - no as I found it very expensive and they do of course push extra products. My recommendation if you wanted to use the spa would be on sea days (as you would make more use of it) is to visit the spa early that day and see if they have a day pass to the Hydrotherapy suite. A day pass costs about £25 and a lady I spoke to said she was able to come and go all day, was able to access a very peaceful area with saunas and pool and heated loungers. Sorry for the long review but I would say that we enjoyed Britannia. The ship is not perfect but what is, and we felt that the staff, the entertainment (particularly sail aways and headliners company) led by a lively Neil Oliver, the food and the excursions exceeded our expectations. Would we sail with P&O again -Yes we definitely would and we would sail on Britannia again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
having read some reviews was a little concerned as we have a 2 week cruise booked for September but need not have worried. Firstly checking in was quick and efficient on board half hour after arrival! Went straight to our cabin, ... Read More
having read some reviews was a little concerned as we have a 2 week cruise booked for September but need not have worried. Firstly checking in was quick and efficient on board half hour after arrival! Went straight to our cabin, reviews has said tiny and poky but we were delighted. Ok so not as big as some we've had but big enough despite fact I'm a large lady ! Clean fresh and lovely decor. Went to Horizon restaurant for lunch no queues plenty of free tables and food was fantastic. The only negative was the first dinner was black tie and didn't know but ate happily in Horizon again. Next day had a lovely full english in the Meridian restaurant and again no queuing fast service and staff pleasant and polite. We tried to go ashore but choppy sea causing problems and long waits so decided to stay on board and explore and some sunbathing. A small point i had read theatre seats were very small and not suitable for large people well I'm a very large lady and i fitted in ok! Dinner was lovely again and all the restaurants are airy and spacious . Therefore we r really looking forward to September. Make your own opinion but we were not disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Well, having just read some of these reviews, I wonder if we were on the same ship. We enjoyed our time on BRITANNIA. It is a modern ship, muted colours etc. and we had read that this would be the case, so expected it to be no ... Read More
Well, having just read some of these reviews, I wonder if we were on the same ship. We enjoyed our time on BRITANNIA. It is a modern ship, muted colours etc. and we had read that this would be the case, so expected it to be no different. The Art on the ship was different but again modern. Our cabin was spacious, there was only two of us and we had plenty of room, our shower room was far larger than others we have had with other lines. Our cabin was spotless as was our balcony. Thank you Sanford. Having been on several other lines and experienced the chaos in the equivalent to the Horizon Restaurant, we were very pleasantly surprised on Day 1, this area was calm and there were plenty of tables to be had. The layout of it gave you the feeling of calmness and efficiency. The tables were cleared as soon as our cutlery was placed on the plates. Plenty of food and very good service. We found the service we received everywhere on the ship to be excellent. I wonder if the professional moaners have ever heard of " behaviour begets behaviour" which speaks for itself and oh boy! were there moaners on this ship? I suppose that's their life and that's all that makes them happy. We had Freedom Dining in the evening and this worked for us brilliantly. We also booked to see Jackie Graham in the Limelight Club, it was a superb evening, both food and show was excellent and well worth the extra money. The entertainment in the Headliners Theatre was very good, Richard and Adam, Craig Owen and Worbey and Farrell were all excellent. We did however find the food to be good but ( sorry ) not excellent in the Meridian Restaurant. It was plain and not exciting. The ports were very good and the excursions we participated in we thoroughly enjoyed. We took the scenic train in Flam and couldn't believe the amount of snow in the mountains, it being end of April. The Glacier trip in Olden was also very good, with spectacular views. Disembarkation looked horrendous when we joined the queue for taking our bags ourselves, but we were due to leave the ship at 7am, which we did and we were in the coach park waiting to be collected at 7.15am. All in All we would like to Congratulate P & O on the new ship BRITANNIA. Thank you for our wonderful holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 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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