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

This was a short mini cruise to Bruges but I didn't realise when booking quite how short it would be! Our embarkation time was 3.30pm Fri yet we were left waiting in the terminal for over 2 hours making us almost the last on board! ... Read More
This was a short mini cruise to Bruges but I didn't realise when booking quite how short it would be! Our embarkation time was 3.30pm Fri yet we were left waiting in the terminal for over 2 hours making us almost the last on board! Only to find other passengers had been onboard enjoying the facilities since midday. Then we found out we had the earliest disembarkation time of 08.15am Sunday! We felt sort changed to say the least! Add to this a 4hr delay in sailing meaning our time in Bruges was severely curtailed without as much as a 'sorry' and the rest of our time was spent either queuing for the bar or to get on and off in port! We had select dining and ate in the Oriental restaurant. On the first night the waiting staff rushed us so much that we were onto mains before the drinks even arrived and coffee was served during dessert. Plus all 8 meals were lukewarm at best and 5 were sent back cold! Drinks at the bar are tiny and overpriced when you do finally get served. Information on the various entertainment is limited if it even arrives at all and none of the staff seem to know anything about the rest of the cruise beyond their own small part. Food did improve though on the gala night and could even be described as 'lovely' and the choice in the buffet is good too albeit some of it is cold and again there is a queue. Overall the boat (what I saw of it when I wasn't queuing!) is nice. The cabins are reasonably sized but with tiny tiny bathrooms and there are some nice touches like white company toiletries (but only single ply loo paper!) all areas seemed clean but public loos were often without paper and if course there's not enough of them so again more queuing! Not a great cruise experience but issues exacerbated given the high cost of such a short sailing. If you do go my top tip is get a cab from the Port into Bruges - easy and far cheaper than the coach, take your own loo paper and of course be prepared to queue for England! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have never been on a cruise before and we thought it was a good idea to try the mini cruise to Brugge. How wrong was I? To start with, we were heavily delayed in Southampton and did not start to sail till very late at night, I do ... Read More
We have never been on a cruise before and we thought it was a good idea to try the mini cruise to Brugge. How wrong was I? To start with, we were heavily delayed in Southampton and did not start to sail till very late at night, I do understand it was a technical fault but this resulted in a very short day trip to Brugge which was something I had planned for myself and 2 kids for a year! However, whilst waiting for Britannia to start sail, the kids thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool and the outside Jacuzzi, they loved the pool area where the party and entertainment was, we all looked so forward to the sail away party but we never got one as the ship was very very delayed! Food - We are not fussy eater, we enjoyed the food. Children clubs My children enjoyed the children clubs very well. Service charges I was not aware that £6 per person was payable per night. Nobody mentioned this to me when my debit card details were taken on board. I am not happy with this and so I have complained to P&O Excursions I would have preferred more time in Brugge, due to sail away from Southampton that was heavily delayed, we got to Brugge later than anticipated, by the time we got off the ship and got on coaches to take us to station for trains going to Brugge, it was well past 12 noon, we only had few hours in Brugge as we had to get back to coach to take us back to the ship. Ship Overall the ship was OK to us, we loved exploring it. In Summary, the kids thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I did not enjoy the experience due to so many things, heavy delay, our on board picture taken had a stranger's face in it, I had to complain which was time consuming. We were better off going to Brugge by train! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was my 7th cruise, having sailed with Thompson, NCL and Cunard before; and this was the worst one yet. Cons -had a terrible encounter with my waiter in the Meridian restaurant on a particular night, as whilst having a ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise, having sailed with Thompson, NCL and Cunard before; and this was the worst one yet. Cons -had a terrible encounter with my waiter in the Meridian restaurant on a particular night, as whilst having a conversation about desserts he preceded to say how the fact I must eat too many puddings is why 'she is so podgy' and 'fat and round like a pudding', with after my mum making a comment replying that he 'didn't care what I thought of him because I was leaving in 2 days and he would never see me again' - we formally complained - poor range of food at the buffet, very repetitive - poor room service menu, and on 2 occasions our orders did not even turn up! - the main (and only) deck on levels 16 and 17 often felt slightly unclean, and dangerously slippy - at dinner in the restaurant, drinks orders took ages to arrive - on one occasion, our cabin steward said 'is it ok if I make up your room later, as I clock off now?' - obviously bad customer service - first night, because we had to wait so long to get a table for the 8 of us, we had a later dinner, presumably meaning that's why the service was slow and food arrived luke warm - very disappointing - P&O had failed to mention that one of the formal nights was a black and white evening, only finding out the day before - there is only one main deck on level 16, which personally I thought meant limited outdoor space, making it feel more claustrophobic -disliked the fact that if you wanted hot drinks it always meant having to have a costa version - hence not good quality or good tasting drinks in my opinion - photographs were very overpriced, £120 for unlimited photos to be put on a memory stick,,,not even printed!! -there was a complete lack of toilets around the ship, often only having 2 or 3 working toilets in each bathroom in the ladies -heard from 2 members of my party in a balcony room, that they could have done with more 'black out' curtains -disappointed to not be able to have gotten off at the port in Guernsey because of weather conditions; one waiter told us that this happens 50% of the time at Guernsey - but weather conditions can understandably not be helped - was quite rocky for a couple of days - just a warning that Bay of Biscay where the ship was mostly sailing is known to be rockier so just a warning for anyone thinking of cruising in this area Pros - enjoyed the entertainment - staff on deck, in crows nest and in the live lounge were very friendly - piano playing in the crows nest in the evening was stunning and enjoyable (forgotten his name but he was a replacement for adam Ellison on that particular night) -rooms were cleaned to satisfaction, however the tap handle did fall off on last day so maybe slightly dated with need for repairs -the décor of the ship was very lovely Overall, we were not made to feel special or spoilt on this cruise, as a paying customer, however this was a cheap cruise so probably getting what you paid for; but still doesn't mean you should get any less of an enjoyable cruise experience. I wouldn't recommend P&O, and won't be travelling with them again. But possibly a good cruise, for first time cruisers with no previous experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We were told this was a taster cruise so we thought before we committed to two weeks away we would try it. We queued for over an hour to get on board. Not a good start. No apaology or welcome drink straight unaided to cabin. Having ... Read More
We were told this was a taster cruise so we thought before we committed to two weeks away we would try it. We queued for over an hour to get on board. Not a good start. No apaology or welcome drink straight unaided to cabin. Having spent close to £600 for a two night cruise we were not prepared to pay extra to dine in a fancy restaurant. The food in the Peninsula restaurant was at best mediocre I can honestly say I have eaten far better food on a cross channel ferry. The waiting staff were surly and uninterested. It was not a pleasant experience. Friday evening entertainment was very enjoyable - we went to the 80's disco in the Live Lounge. This was marred only by a huge amount of very drunk people, one mature lady had to be supported on either side as she was so inebriated. A further lady was punched in the face by a drunken man who was a stranger to her! We arrived at the Peninsula at literally 9am for breakfast but were denied entry as it closed at 9!! Buffet breakfast was available in the Horizon however there were no sears available and we wished we hadn't waited as the food was greasy, undercooked and Luke warm. Saturday trip to Bruges was amazing - we did the walk yourself around Bruges tour - had we known we could have saved £50 by utilising the free shuttle bus to the station, then the train. The organisation when the coach returned to the ship was horrendous so we spent at least an hour sitting on the coach, then queueing on the dock. Saturday dinner in the Meridian restaurant was slightly better - four different cheeses tonight - then we watched a Rock and Roll band who were very good. We were due to leave the ship at half ten on Sunday morning but decided to utilise the one hour slot between 7 and 8 to "free disembark as the cabin had to be vacated by 8 anyway. Breakfast in the Peninsula was table service to hot plate food which was still barely cooked and luke warm. The final straw came when the cabin steward ignored me putting a do not disturb sign on my door and asked if he could make up the room at 7am. I told him no but he still asked if he could go in and make the bed which I refused as it had our partly packed bags on it. This is not the cruise to go on if you are looking to book a longer cruise as we have now been put off cruising, certainly we will never cruise with P and O again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
we decided to go on the britannia after enjoying our cruise of the azura which is the smaller ship. The crew were nice and the facilities good. We were excited to cruise on this ship and was told how good it was when being driven to the ... Read More
we decided to go on the britannia after enjoying our cruise of the azura which is the smaller ship. The crew were nice and the facilities good. We were excited to cruise on this ship and was told how good it was when being driven to the port. embarkation was easy and swift and room was ready quickly for when we entered. cabin was a balcony, the rooms were classically decorated and fairly large with an average sized balcony. That is the good part to the ship...now the bad the clientele is certainly of a butlins type although having sailed with celebrity maybe my expectations are too high and it was a short cruise which tends to attract partiers. the decor throughout the ship is quite frankly dark and bland...the atrium looked like a shopping mall not dramatic at all, all dark wood with no light and grand staircase. everything was just boring to say the least. everything seemed out of place and difficult to get too. classic example....the gym, it is placed on the side as part of th walkthrough which is really unpleasant when your trying to work out and countless people are walking through every minute. restaurant seemed claustrophobic and squashed with average food. Nothing impressed me with the ship and i could go on but I can safely say I would not go on it again but instead go back to celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We booked this cruise as a last minute getaway with the intention of not getting off and spending the day in the spa and eating. P&O wouldn't normally be my first choice of cruise line and after the cruise, I would actually have ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a last minute getaway with the intention of not getting off and spending the day in the spa and eating. P&O wouldn't normally be my first choice of cruise line and after the cruise, I would actually have to say never again. The ship itself appears to be nice but upon closer inspection, a lot of the materials used felt cheap, as a result the ship, which is only 18 months old is very tatty in certain areas. Our balcony cabin felt small and cramped with low ceilings and an almost impossibly small bathroom. There were stains and marks all over the sheets when we first arrived so I had to ask the cabin steward to change them. The real let downs for me were the food and the service. The food was quite frankly disgusting, the buffet options were limited and the quality nowhere near the standard of P&O's competitors. The food in the dining room was somewhat better but was all either cold or overcooked or tasteless. Not one member of staff even smiled at us throughout our two days on board. The spa is nice, although awkwardly positioned near guest services. I felt that throughout the day they oversubscribed it to the point where it was no longer relaxing. I wonder if it was because it was a two day cruise and possibly wouldn't happen on a longer sailing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
With the interesting port calls, the brochure promising wonderful food and superb entertainment it sounded fantastic so we treated ourselves to a suite.However the food is basic in the Horizon, vegetarian options are useless everywhere, ... Read More
With the interesting port calls, the brochure promising wonderful food and superb entertainment it sounded fantastic so we treated ourselves to a suite.However the food is basic in the Horizon, vegetarian options are useless everywhere, and the Oriental dining room is average pub food. The entertainment was mainly the on board team in singing and dancing shows, a comedian no-one had heard of and some acrobatics on suspended fabric, all boring. The serious outbreak of gastroenteritis should have been avoided. The handrails and lift buttons were not clean, and the only cleaning we saw was in the Crows Nest bar when a waitress was half heartedly wiping over tables and chairbacks following the gastic outbreak. There were no free standing hand sanitizers everywhere as you see on other ships and the entrance to the Horizon had only 3 washbasins that people obviously weren't going to queue to use. Our cabin was spotless but the smell of the lavatory was nauseating. We will NEVER spend money on a P & O cruise again, so many other companies do it better and in cleaner surroundings. We carried our luggage as we couldn't wait to get off. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
As an ex Deck Cadet with P&O Cruises, this was my first experience of the present-day company, and I can only say it was a great disappointment! I have sailed with other Cruise Lines, and this was by far the worst experience. We ... Read More
As an ex Deck Cadet with P&O Cruises, this was my first experience of the present-day company, and I can only say it was a great disappointment! I have sailed with other Cruise Lines, and this was by far the worst experience. We were going to book for a Norwegian Cruise on Britannia this July.....not now! Do not book a central cabin! Our cabin was amidships, very close to the central staircase & lifts, however there was NO staircase above deck 7, only lifts, which got really busy.....we had to walk to the forward or aft stairwell/lifts to go up one deck!...ridiculous! The central point of the ship, the Atrium, is a 3 deck balconied area with NO atmosphere. There is no entertainment , no stage, no piano, no background music.....nothing! The majority of staff were excellent, however, some in the dining room were, at best, ignorant. The sports deck was cordoned off for the forthcoming Ant & Dec show, so there was no way to walk/run around the main/promenade deck deck. Disembarkation was an absolute mess!!!!! Apart from all the above....we had a great time, and the food was the best I have experienced!..... thanks P&O! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our first cruise and we were very disappointed with the service , really terrible, the ship and the food brillant but the service was terrible and it really let P&O 's reputation down. This morning the service at the Penisular the ... Read More
Our first cruise and we were very disappointed with the service , really terrible, the ship and the food brillant but the service was terrible and it really let P&O 's reputation down. This morning the service at the Penisular the waiters were so unhelpful and they were so ignorant , really really bad! I have got nine years travel experience and I have thought highly of P&O thinking it usually it's a five star but it was more like a three star . My mum and dad have been on cruises before and they said this was the worst! My Mother in law also came with us and she travelled with Thomson's and she said Thomson's was much better. Waiting this morning to come home we were treated like cattle , queueing . Why do we aka us British people put up with it and why should we ? Also there was hen and stag do's on there which kind of lowered the tone of the cruise also . I would never go on a P&O cruise again and I would never travel with a British cruise company again . American's deliver the best customer service and they won't put up with bad service like queueing and having to ask for a refill of tea and coffee etc , that should be part of the amazing service of a 5 star company !!! The waiter actually tutted when we asked for a refill and he leant across my Mum to give us a glass of orange juice , we also asked for a jug of water this morning and was told this was not possible only glasses. I have never complained about bad service but i really do feel P&O do need to listen to their customers and work on this feedback . We did wonder if P&O have just shipped in temp staff so that the normal Staff would have time off as the 14 night Ant and Dec Saturday night takeaway trip Today . It was just awful!!! A lot of people like us tried this cruise as a taster cruise to see if they liked it , I can't see the conversion rate being high after today's / this weekends terrible service . Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We eagerly looked forward to the much hyped Britannia! Sadly we were extremely disappointed and would definitely not sail on her again or recommend her. Firstly Embarkation was dreadful, we have cruised 12 times before with 6 other ... Read More
We eagerly looked forward to the much hyped Britannia! Sadly we were extremely disappointed and would definitely not sail on her again or recommend her. Firstly Embarkation was dreadful, we have cruised 12 times before with 6 other cruise lines and generally boarded within 20-30 mins, on arriving at Ocean Terminal it was standing room only and was in chaos. We had a embarkation time of 1530 and eventually got on board at 1655 and had to rush straight to the muster drill, not a very relaxing first impression. Have to agree with the other reviews regarding the Cabin, we had a Balcony cabin on a Deck which was the smallest we have ever seen and as previously stated with ridiculously small bathrooms and the balcony is so small you cant even put the chairs straight they have to be at an angle! Shameful design. As for the service we found it varied from indifferent to downright rude! at one point I was basically ordered to sit down to get a drink, staff were sullen, curt and displayed the worst attention to detail and customer service I have seen on a ship. The Main Dining room was no better, menus thrown at you with no hello, no introduction and the waiter never once said thank you or even made eye contact you really were made to feel like an inconvenience for daring to be there! The bar staff also left a lot to be desired and in blue bar we waited 35 minutes on a drink which is totally unacceptable. In the evenings finding somewhere to sit with a drink was a challenge, there is nowhere near enough venues for the amount of people onboard, I have been on much smaller ships with far more bar and restaurant options. Disembarking was an absolute shambles, I have never known such a free for all, every other cruise lines disembarks with a staggered system, group by group and deck by deck, instead 4000 people could just get off at the same time causing horrendous queues and took i hour and 20 mins to get off. Our cruise line of choice is normally Celebrity and have to say compared to Britannia they are a million times better. You will notice most of the good reviews are from people who have NEVER cruised before and obviously have nothing to compare to! Those of us who have tried several cruise lines can categorically state Britannia is Very Disappointing! If you want a relaxing experience in luxury surroundings go Celebrity as we always will from now on! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Although not experienced cruisers, this is our 2nd, we did expect a whole lot more from the Britannia. Certainly not a 5 star experience and did not meet our expectation, let alone exceed it. Considering time on board was limited, I ... Read More
Although not experienced cruisers, this is our 2nd, we did expect a whole lot more from the Britannia. Certainly not a 5 star experience and did not meet our expectation, let alone exceed it. Considering time on board was limited, I would have expected the embarkation process to be sleek and efficient, not so! Long queues, slow staff and more queues. Expected a wow factor for such a new and large ship, but bigger is definitely not better. No central staircase and confusing to have to go up to come down. Quite small atrium, some nice bars, Crows Nest and Glass House and Blue Bar. Service in The Oriental very slow, staff answered back, with "we are very busy" when asked for extra bread rolls or butter, coffee etc. we weren't offered cheese and biscuits at the end of the meal. The wine took forever to arrive, and we had to ask for many things twice or more. Afternoon tea was a complete shambles, whoever heard of serving cakes before the sandwiches! Again staff completely unprepared for the number of people. Had to queue for breakfast, queue for dinner, queue to disembark. Entertainment was good but not enough space, if you had an 8.30 dinner seating, you can forget getting a seat for the entertainment, particularly in The Live Lounge. St Peter Port was lovely and we were lucky with the weather but if it had been raining, it would have been a little disappointing a most shops were closed. Sail away entertainment was a bit corny, I thought I was at Butlins for a while! Having to leave your cabin by 8am and depart the ship by 10am was unreasonable. Breakfast only served until 8.30am, the morning after the formal night, most people would have a little lay in and of course this meant the breakfast areas were rammed by 8.15, The Oriental even turning us away and being re-directed to The Peninsular, where again we queued. Got the impression that some staff couldn't care less as they had been on board for 7 months and couldn't wait to get back home. Overall disappointed that the service, staff and experience was not a pleasure. This cruise was also advertised as 2 days but was in reality one day and a couple of hours. I won't be rushing to book P&O again and hope that the next cruise we go on with Celebrity next year will be much better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I don't know if it's because we were only on a two night cruise but we actually felt ripped off by this cruise. We paid just under £1000 for two nights, then paid extra for an evening in the limelight club, which by the way was ... Read More
I don't know if it's because we were only on a two night cruise but we actually felt ripped off by this cruise. We paid just under £1000 for two nights, then paid extra for an evening in the limelight club, which by the way was fab, but the choice of food in the horizon bar was pretty poor compared to other ships we've been on. Our second night was a formal night which we had no idea about and therefore as we'd only taken smart casual clothes were unable to eat in the main dining room. So we had to eat in the horizon bar which had an Indian themed buffet or you could have roast lamb....or cheese and biscuits!! Wow big choice! Such a shame because we loved the ship, we didn't even bother with breakfast on our last day, we just got straight off the ship. Overall we were very disappointed with the standard and choice of food! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We went on a two night taster to Guernsey. This was our first time on P&O and we were very disappointed. On complaining we were told we were not alone in our thoughts and we were offered immediately compensation of £200. There are ... Read More
We went on a two night taster to Guernsey. This was our first time on P&O and we were very disappointed. On complaining we were told we were not alone in our thoughts and we were offered immediately compensation of £200. There are some design faults with Britannia that will take them some time to alter. Showers. We had tepid water in ours. I guess this was because of the short journey and everyone showering at the same time. so I would be interested to know if this is better on a longer cruise. Lifts. there is no way of getting about unless you use the lifts. the stairs are only in use in emergency and drills. After the drill they shut the stairs. There were all the passengers waiting for a lift, ten deep! we decided to chill and get a drink. wait for the queues to go down and then go back to the cabin but this was not aloud. we were not able to get a drink as the crew had been instructed not to serve anyone with a life jacket. Disgruntled we dutifully queued as instructed. Service we have found on cruises has been very good but it seems that the staff were not happy with this cruise and showed it most of the time. Food was good on two occasions. we had a poor experience first night and a good one the next. We were charged £5 per person per day service charge. I suggest that until P&O get all this sorted you should avoid Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were on Britannia for the celebration of the Queen's longest reign - very unspectacular - the captain danced with the entertainment team and we all waved plastic flags. Every day we were traumatised by the D.J. who must have ... Read More
We were on Britannia for the celebration of the Queen's longest reign - very unspectacular - the captain danced with the entertainment team and we all waved plastic flags. Every day we were traumatised by the D.J. who must have been hired directly from some grotty rave hanger as he blasted the music out so loudly that people were having to shout to communicate, with most just not talking at all, and quite a few were sitting with their fingers in their ears. If you were unfortunate enough to sit by the bar, the music was so loud that the speakers were vibrating and droning. The food choice for lunch was minimal and it was generally like a cafeteria. I have to say that in comparison to Royal Caribbean cruises P & O fall spectacularly short. The best thing about Britannia is the staff they were brilliant, most especially Raj in the Oriental restaurant who endeavoured to make our breakfast and evening dining exceptional. Cabins were too small and balcony was tiny - very crammed. Entertainment was fine. Passengers had to walk through the gym to access rear of ship - not nice for those using facilities. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We booked Britannia a few months ago and only fairly recently did we check out the reviews on cruise critic and we were mortified to find a 49% rating! Reading both negative and positive reviews we kept an open mind having been on P&O ... Read More
We booked Britannia a few months ago and only fairly recently did we check out the reviews on cruise critic and we were mortified to find a 49% rating! Reading both negative and positive reviews we kept an open mind having been on P&O cruises previously with mixed results. We now mostly sail with Royal and Celebrity and decided to give Britannia a go considering this was P&O's flagship vessel. Unfortunately despite keeping a positive open mind we were VERY disappointed. Im afraid the negative reviews about Britannia are indeed correct much to our dismay. In short we found the following: Negatives: 1. The biggest problem for us was a lack of quality entertainment / daytime activities. I feel sorry for the singers in the theatre as they tried their best but the format and lack of adult orientation just made the shows feel very childish and very "Butlins" like. Once upon a time felt like pantomime where people walked out! Aside from the quality of the shows the seating is very limited and is poorly laid out and depending on where you were sitting your view to the stage is blocked by the person sitting in front of you. This was due to the poor design of the seating which did not have sufficient pitch in certain rows of seating. Clearly O'Reilly the builder from Faulty Towers must have been employed at the ship yard that month. 2. The onboard actives during the day for the majority of passengers were simply non existent and no good talks which we have previously enjoyed on P&O cruises. Basically the days program consisted of dealing with water retention, swollen ankles, sorting out your wrinkles, bingo, dancing, getting started with your iPad! I feel as if I have aged 30 years by the end of the cruise! Whilst there was the daily film onboard this was in reality the only positive during the day and often this clashed with an excursion or evening dinner. Considering that passengers were confined to the inside of the ship on Friday due to poor weather there was no attempt to make the most of the situation to entertain those onboard. I have never seen such a bad attempt like this before. I couldn't help but notice that younger passengers were simply left bored to tears. Kids were hanging around the staircases in sheer torture watching time tick by. 3. Serenity (the adult area on the ship) was o.k. but badly needs improving. For a ship which is aimed at the British climate operating in unpredictable weather conditions (as we found out on a bad sea day on Friday!) I was shocked and confused to see there was no roof or shelter and as a result this space was completely exposed to the elements including wind, rain and high levels of UV radiation! Why on earth did the ship's designers think that this was such a good practical idea? It is ironic that in the ships paper a session was advertised highlighting the dangers of sun burn and UV exposure! Doh! well if that is the case sort out a roof or enclosure as is the case found on Royal Carribean and Celebrity cruise ships which have resolved this problem by an excellent FREE solarium which is climate controlled regardless of weather conditions and outside temperature. A second big gripe of Serenity is that there are no hot tubs! yes there is a pool but where are the hot tubs? BTW there are only two hot tubs that we could see on the entire ship! and those are found by the main pool which were completely occupied by kids! These were also exposed to the weather and high UV levels - not good if you are fair skinned like us. 4. We paid to try out the Hydrotherapy suite in the Oasis Spa on Deck 5. This was a really nice place and we did enjoy our afternoon inside although its location on Deck 5 at the bottom of the ship was a little baffling and access was very very expensive at £25 per person per day OR £150 for the cruise. We fancied returning for another visit but sadly the cost for us was way too expensive. There was no other solarium on board for free access! 5. The Retreat is a chargeable location. Again like the Hydrotherapy suite we found this to be way too expensive per day and we simply refused to pay the money. Such locations on Royal and Celebrity like the Solarium are free especially as found on the brand new Royal ship Anthem of the Seas and the Solstice class cruise ships on Celebrity. 6. Having to pay for certain acts in the LimeLight Club! We refused to pay again! Why do we have to pay for good quality entertainment whilst on Royal/Celebrity you get top quality west end shows with the actual cast for FREE. No charge!! Haven't we spent enough already? 7. No unlimited drinks packages! Why on Earth hasn't P&O sorted this out? As is the case again with Royal and Celebrity which offer several types of unlimited drinks packages both soft and alcohol. More sighs at P&O! 8. No community notice board and an opportunity for people of different backgrounds to get together. i.e. friends of Dorothy / friends of Bill. W etc. Again this is popular on Royal and Celebrity and is a nice way for people to get together and socialise. I enquired about this at the reception desk and they confirmed P&O don't operate such community meetings. More sighs at P&O! 9. General attitude and customer satisfaction from P&O is opposite to what you would expect and there is little regard to making you happy or accommodating your needs. e.g. one morning we fancied trying out the main restaurant for breakfast and we showed up ten minutes prior to them closing at 9am!! Why does the main restaurant close soo early for breakfast at 9am??. On other cruise ships such as Royal and Celebrity the restaurant staff would have easily accommodated us. Not on P&O! Go away was the attitude! Other people who had special dietary requirements were also turned away with little sympathy! 10. Britannia is a ship which in design terms and overall looks and appearance is an odd cocktail of oddities. Public spaces look mostly good and is by far the best looking vessel in P&O's fleet however the hallways and areas outside the lifts on passenger decks can only be described as bland. The lift doors open and you often stare out to the same table and lamps and resembles an NCP car park! The carpet pattern is exactly the same no matter what deck you are on. The corridors look stark and no attempt has been made to personalise each deck with artwork or prints. The Meridian restaurant in fairness had a nice modern look to it and was visually quite pleasing. Other areas of the ship are your typical P&O gaudy compilation of false looking metal, plastic looking brass and the wood is actually a stick on fablon type sticky material rather than being actual wood! Contrast this with Celebrity and the brand new Royal C. - Anthem of the Seas where actual high quality REAL metal, wood and glass is used to decorate their interiors along with some beautiful artwork, prints and a high level of thought and consideration. 11. This ship also fails to live up to what you would expect from a modern 2015 cruise liner. No USB charging sockets in the cabin? Only 4 live TV channels and these were news?? Although a good selection of films were available on demand there was no way for you to check your account balance from the TV! What?? Yes you had to go down to reception to find this information out! Hang on isn't this supposed to be a 2015 cruise ship? P&O is also stuck in the past when it comes to onboard Internet access which is very very expensive pricing plans. Compare this to the new Royal C. Anthem of the Seas where for $10 per day you get access to unlimited high speed Internet access on your mobile devices which is even capable of delivery high speed video calling with Skype! Yes it works perfectly when we tried it back in April. 12. The list goes on! Positives!! 1. Cabin steward was friendly and provided an excellent service all week. Thanks Jose! 2. The ships laundrette!! All my washing was done on the last day whilst at sea because there was nothing else to do! At least I got home and was able to hang up my clothes out of my suitcase!! 3. The food was also very good and we enjoyed the Horizon restaurant and the Meridian Restaurant.The grab and go idea for snacks and nibbles by the pool was actually the only good thing P&O has thought of! It was good to see that P&O had increased the buffet restaurant and this had a nice modern feel to it. 4. We are due to return on the fantastic Royal C. Anthem of the Seas cruise at the end of August! So its not all doom and gloom! Closing remarks: If you are intending to try out Britannia then bear in mind that this will probably appeal to quite a few devoted "older" P&O passengers - although even P&O passengers were moaning about the ship and they also felt let down. If on the other hand you are still youngish or have a young family with kids or teenagers then DONT GO with P&O and definitely consider Royal Caribbean. Don't be intimated by the fact that this is American. Personally I would choose Royal over P&O any day! Royal has excellent ratings and fantastic customer feedback. There are alternatives to P&O! Unfortunately Britannia was the last ever cruise with P&O. As the saying goes "If you put lipstick on a pig, then it is still a pig!" Sadly you can't put enough lipstick on this ship to make up for its shortcomings. Clearly P&O had an excellent opportunity to make this a great ship and they have failed miserably and if they can't get it right with their flagship now then sadly they never will! From now on we are sticking with Royal Carribean and Celebrity. Big thumbs down for Britannia! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Let us begin. Embarkation was Ok - not long to wait and luggage was in cabin when we got onboard. First impressions: Where does the Atrium entertainment happen? Certainly not in the Atrium - what a waste of ... Read More
Let us begin. Embarkation was Ok - not long to wait and luggage was in cabin when we got onboard. First impressions: Where does the Atrium entertainment happen? Certainly not in the Atrium - what a waste of space. Really just a huge coffee shop/bar. Safety Drill - no checks made on whether passengers were there or not. Sure it would have been quite easy to miss the drill. I have been on many cruise lines and all have either a check list held by the crew or keycard scanned. Lifts/Stairs - what stairs? Bring them back. Obviously the person who designed this has never had to use the lifts. Cabin - comfortable bed, titchy balcony, and the bathroom? Shower seemed like a decent size until you were in it and don't even think about drying yourself with the shower door closed espcially if like me you are over 5ft 9" tall. In-room TV - this is a brand new ship that offers WiFi and all manner of digital effects in the theatre so it cannot be hard to allow passengers to review their account in-room. Room service - very limited choice. Main dining rooms - Freedom dining all well and good if you don't mind sharing but if you fancy a cosy meal a deux then be prepared to wait and wait and wait. Horizon Buffet - I do hope that if Britannia ever goes to the Caribbean and has more US cruisers they will think about including lemonade and Ice tea on tap. Layout a bit confusing. A few signs showing where different foodstuffs are located would help. Speciality Restaurants - Limelight Club - don't waste your money. food and service dreadful. Sindhu - so, so but you will probably get better from your local Indian takeaway. Daytime Entertainment - AWFUL! - usual quizzes were , well, usual. Do cruise lines only have one bumper book of quiz questions that they all share and much as i like shuffleboard and deck quoits i really don't want to play every single day. Sailaway parties - much as the entertainments team tried people are not going to dance akong to 'hot, hot hot' when it is tipping it down! Evening entertainment - TURN IT DOWN. Standard of shows was average. The singers/dancers team do work hard and deserve all the praise they get but please adjust the volume so we can listen to the singers without our ears bleeding. Shore Excursions - overpriced but this is cruise industry norm P & O no better or worse than other cruise lines. Spa - see comments for shore excursions Debarkation - a nightmare.- Who thought to arrange luggage by deck but then hang signs up that bore no relation to where the bags actually were. Even the staff were confused. We have been cruising for over 40 years and have been on several P & O ships before which we thoroughly enjoyed, but sorry Britannia - we won't be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I had booked a suite for my mum and I to celebrate her birthday, we were really looking forward to seeing this new flag ship for P & O. I have taken a few other P & O cruises and have not been impressed with the service, food and ... Read More
I had booked a suite for my mum and I to celebrate her birthday, we were really looking forward to seeing this new flag ship for P & O. I have taken a few other P & O cruises and have not been impressed with the service, food and standard of suite. The suite on this, very large ship was very small, the bathroom is quite good but the lovely brown and cream marble surfaces have been ruined by not having soap dishes, both the bathroom and seperate toilet have the same issue. The balcony has no depth whatsoever and was very dirty, looks like it has not been cleaned since it was launched. Other than the bottle of champagne in the suiteand eating breakfast in the Epicurian restaurant ( Food was good, service average), there are other benefits, no soft drinks included. Other shipping lines are far more generous at this level and as thay only have 64 suites, I would think they could over soft drinks. The food in the Horizons self service was typically bad and sloppy and plastic glasses with your drinks! The pool area was deafening, It was like a disco, blaring music fro speakers every few feet. This area is forward and our suite was aft but we could hear this including the cruise directors words at the sail away party in our room - we were also 2 decks down. i dread to think how bad A deck forward must be. Food in Penninsular restaurant was just awful, Ceasar salad cold, watery and dry chicken. Chicken with madeira sauce, too dry to eat. arrived far too quickly before drinks and no sparking water available. Food in restaurants you have to pay for is good in general, service in those is hit and miss. Overall the ship looks quite nice, a little tacky in places, a little Ikea ish, it feels a lot smaller than it is on the inside, There are far too many cabins for the size of the ship, compared to Cunard for instance. The really big problem is the lack of lifts, queueing is the norm and the luck of the drawer if the lift opens next to you as someone else will jump in firts, if there is room, they say they hold 18 but no way is that adults. Never again for me, I am glad I only booed a taster as 2 nights was plenty on there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Embarkation and disembarkation flowed easily and we were pleased with the cleanliness of our cabin. Unfortunately we were not impressed with the size of the cabin which was so small. The balcony was adequate for both of us to sit outside. ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation flowed easily and we were pleased with the cleanliness of our cabin. Unfortunately we were not impressed with the size of the cabin which was so small. The balcony was adequate for both of us to sit outside. Most of the public areas looked grubby and the ladies toilets were dreadful. To get away from the crowds at sail away, which resembled 18 - 30/Butlins/Hi De Hi holidays, we went to the Crow's Nest Bar which was lovely, but in need of cleaning too (brass and glass all covered in fingerprints and just generally uncared for). We were pleased with the menu and food on the first night, but most of the menu was repeated on the second night (leftovers?).Our one and only port of call was Guernsey which was lovely but as it was a Sunday most of the shops were closed. Entertainment was good in the theatre and live lounge. In the middle of the second night I was very ill with a stomach upset which must have caused by the ship's food as I did not eat or drink elsewhere. We did not enjoy this short trip and would definitely not travel on this ship 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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