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678 Southampton P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it was perfect for a much needed break. We had previously sailed with many other cruise liners and felt that we always referred back to Ventura and Azura. Service had always been commendable however, Britannia ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was perfect for a much needed break. We had previously sailed with many other cruise liners and felt that we always referred back to Ventura and Azura. Service had always been commendable however, Britannia did not seem to uphold this. Waiters were hard to get hold of for refilling your water glass and after having waited 20 mins with empty coffee cups, we ended up walking out. We then decided to go to a bar to get a drink there, this did not happen either and after 30 minutes we retired to our room! We were just glad that we were not on a drinks package! We felt we could not approach the bar as there was only 1 member of staff behind there and she was always busy. There just seemed to be far less staff than we’ve been used to on cruises and we’ve never had this issue in 20 yrs of cruising. On our last morning, we decided to try the restaurant for breakfast, to which we were ushered quickly with a menu that was described to us as the most convenient! I refused this as I wanted continental but my husband was looking forward to a full English to prepare him for the long drive home. He received a plate with a child’s portion on it! 1 sausage, 2 rashers of bacon, 1 fried egg and a few beans! We looked at the other guests plates and they did not resemble the same small portion. This didn’t seem like your usual service and we wondered if it was due to the gratuities not being charged? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I am well known within my family for not liking flying or sailing at all. Last week was my 50th birthday and as a surprise my family arranged a mini cruise to zeebrugge /brugge for my wife and I. Its not something I would have ever done ... Read More
I am well known within my family for not liking flying or sailing at all. Last week was my 50th birthday and as a surprise my family arranged a mini cruise to zeebrugge /brugge for my wife and I. Its not something I would have ever done due to being a bad traveller but obviously had to go. I have to say I was blown away by the whole experience, The ship, entertainment, staff, food and everything else was stunning. It is an experience rather than a holiday, we were made to feel very spoilt and rather special. Every member of staff were so so lovely and spoke to us like we were friends and not a customer. The atmosphere was amazing. We especially liked the gala / black tie evening as it made it even more special and rather romantic. We only returned a few hours ago but are already looking at booking a longer cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I read all the reviews before deciding on a holiday so only fair that I should leave my own objective review. This trip was our first time on Britannia and we had a fantastic trip. The food choices were really good, we ate normally in the ... Read More
I read all the reviews before deciding on a holiday so only fair that I should leave my own objective review. This trip was our first time on Britannia and we had a fantastic trip. The food choices were really good, we ate normally in the Oriental restaurant and were very well looked after with the waiters always offering more if we wanted it or to change things if they though we weren't keen. We also ate in Sindhu and Epicurean both well worth the extra cost. The grab and go sandwiches were perfect for daytime. We stayed in cabin F728 right on the back of the ship and absolutely loved it, it seemed more peaceful than the cabins on the side and we saw loads of dolphins and even a couple of whales - the downside however is that you can feel the engine vibrating more at the back and if the wind is in the right (or wrong) direction you do get soot on your balcony as mentioned on other reviews. Other comments on the cabin are that they could do with a good clean, there was mould in the bathroom in the shower and round the sink and the balcony was permanently dirty. I am not blaming the cabin cleaners I think because the ship goes straight back out it never gets a deep clean. I would only give the cabin 3 star at most In addition although maintenance seemed to be on-going the ship had a lot of rust on it and some machines in the gym weren't working a particular bug bear of my husbands. The entertainment was varied and loads of choice so something for everyone. One comment to note is if you are on second sitting there is never seats available in the live lounge. There were a number of celebrities on board but the price of £25 each to see them seemed a lot to me, this was included in the supper club but surely dinner was included anyway in the price we paid for the holiday. The guy from the Hollies was free and really well worth watching. We did our own thing in the ports as we don't need the hand holding the organised trips provided and had a great time in all the ports - Don't let Anfusa put you off by saying you'll miss the boat because trains are unreliable. We were disappointed we only had a half day in Gibraltar as it doesn't give you time for anything more than a whirlwind trip. We didn't have any problems with service anywhere on the ship everyone worked really hard Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After a lumpy Bay of Biscay crossing, the rest of the cruise was excellent. The ship was going into dry dock at the end of this cruise for a spruce up. We had sailed on Britannia before so we knew our way round the ship. The lifts ... Read More
After a lumpy Bay of Biscay crossing, the rest of the cruise was excellent. The ship was going into dry dock at the end of this cruise for a spruce up. We had sailed on Britannia before so we knew our way round the ship. The lifts are still a bit of a problem, mainly as at either end of the ship they are smaller and often full at busy times. Considering the wear she has had, I thought she is holding up pretty well. I was especially pleased with the standard of food in the MDR, both in terms of service and quality. We eat in the Beach House for the first time and was pleasantly surprised at the quality and value for money. Cabins and balcony are ok but we knew that the balconies are smaller than on Azura. Cabin steward very good. Other than the 'Rat Pack' the entertainment was very good. P&O please leave Frank, Sammy and Dean on shore next time please. Looking forward to seeing the newly refurbed ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and chose the Britannia because of mainly good reviews and being mainly British.. It certainly lived up to our expectations food was fantastic we chose the dine around and it does take a bit of getting used to.. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and chose the Britannia because of mainly good reviews and being mainly British.. It certainly lived up to our expectations food was fantastic we chose the dine around and it does take a bit of getting used to.. in the second week we actually preferred to go to the horizon buffet especially for breakfast you could just take your time and relax.. It definitely took us a while to find our way around the ship without getting lost .. We didn't really try out too much of the late night entertainment but did go to the limelight club twice and saw Gareth gates and claire sweeney she was brilliant! Not sure about the food though.Pizzas & burgers on decks great & quality, loads of sunbedssunbeds.. Staff were really excellent and very polite couldn't do enough! Every port was well organized with disembarkment.. We had a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was ... Read More
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was the lifts!! They are a lot smaller than the other ships and therefore if a wheel chair is in the lift this does not leave much room. My mother needed to use the lift due to mobility and each time we needed to use it we had to wait a long time as they were always full and two lifts were out of service for most of the time. Also when disembarking the usual routine of an allotted time and venue was detailed in a letter, however most of the ship decided to ignore this, the result being a very long queue to get off the ship. I discussed this with one of the ship attendants and he stated that a lot of the people had not been on a cruise before and did not know the procedure!! He said he couldn't do anything about it.! I feel all it would have took was a person standing at the end of the queue checking paperwork to ensure they were queuing at the right time, if not they could have asked them to sit down and wait. If this is not done then all disembarkment is going to be a difficult experience. Due to these two things I will not be going on Britannia again even if the itinerary is of my liking. Avoid this ship if you are less mobile and need to use the lifts!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I've cruised twice before - Ventura (P&O) and Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). I chose this cruise because we were limited in terms of the dates we could take annual leave from work. Overall I enjoyed the ... Read More
I've cruised twice before - Ventura (P&O) and Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). I chose this cruise because we were limited in terms of the dates we could take annual leave from work. Overall I enjoyed the cruise however there weren't many people my age or younger. I would estimate the average age of passengers to be 65/70+. I preferred the Royal Caribbean as the age range was more varied and this was reflected in the activities and entertainment. Ballroom dancing seemed to feature a lot - holds little/no interest for younger passengers Far too many black tie nights. At one point we had 2 black tie nights in a 3 day period. When dining I would prefer to dress more comfortably and casually. I have to dress up for work everyday so like to be more relaxed when on holiday. One black tie night per week is more than sufficient. I thought the food on Britannia was not as good as Royal Caribbean and on P&O Ventura. Staff were excellent. Cabin was excellent, clean with everything we needed. Ship Sun Decks - even though Britannia is a bigger ship with more passengers there seemed to better provision of sun loungers than compared with smaller P&O ship Ventura and Royal Caribbean. Atrium - a very large space with no atmosphere or buzz, occupied mostly by people drinking coffee, reading or eating cake to background of piano playing. I didn't use this area at all. It felt like an upmarket old people's home. Drinks - Reasonable prices, better value than Royal Caribbean. Drink packages - unless you are drinking well over healthy recommendations on a daily basis (verging on alcoholism) the drinks package is not worth having. We bought our drinks separately. Some passengers with drinks packages were unhappy as the bars weren't open very late - possibly due to the age range of the majority of the passengers. There were very few people about after 12am - most had retired for the evening. Some said the packages limited them to 15 drinks/day. Spa - Didn't use this - very overpriced. I had a tension headache and enquired about booking for a 30 minute treatment. The shortest and cheapest treatment (with a discount) was reflexology session for 50 minutes at £89. I didn't book in, not because I couldn't afford it but because it was not good value for money as this would cost less than half the price back home. I appreciate that things will be dearer on the ship but would have felt ripped off if I'd booked in for a treatment. They didn't seem very busy - possibly because the treatments are overpriced. If they reduced the price I feel people would be more inclined to book treatments. The prices for nail treatments seemed more reasonable. Entertainment Not enough provision for younger passengers below pensionable age, I was often bored during 'at sea' days. I was 50 at the time of sailing so i'm no spring chicken however I'm not ready to spend my nights ballroom dancing or sitting drinking coffee and eating cake in the atrium. There were seminars but most wouldn't appeal to my age and younger - swollen ankles, foot problems, health ailments etc. Marco Pierre White cooking demo and Q&A was excellent Tony Green featured as a speaker on several days. His stories about various war battles were brilliant and his knowledge was extensive. This became a highlight of our 'at sea' days. Brodies - pub feel. Went to Bingo and quizzes here which were good. Sail Away - We left the first sail away due to the volume of the speakers, it was so loud it actually hurt my ears and I'm someone who regularly goes to concerts and festivals watching live music so It's not that I'm noise sensitive. For this reason we didn't attempt any further Sail Aways. Headliners Theatre - most performances were singing and dancing and this became a bit 'samey' so we only went to a couple.The dancers were excellent and I assume many also have acting skills so why not perform a condensed West End type musical with acting and offer a bit more variety. Terry Cotta comedian was brilliant, made a nice change from all the singing/dancing performances. Another comedian or variety act would have been appreciated. Good space but chairs are very narrow and the drink holders only have one side so I don't use them as it's easy to spill your drink. This meant I had to hold my drink or place it under my seat throughout a performance. Film - There is a small theatre showing films which is good, we went there a couple of times. It was empty a lot of the time and the space could have been better used/occupied with additional films being put on. Cookery club - We were lucky enough to to do a Masterclass with Marco Pierre White. Cost of £100pp. This was excellent and made our trip. Marco was brilliant, we saw him around the ship a lot and he was always charming and friendly towards passengers. Dining First meal in restaurant wasn't very good - bland, not hot enough. Subsequent meals were an improvement however the food on Ventura was better and Royal Caribbean were much better. Most meals weren't hot enough. Horizon - buffet, very good, lots of choice and open later at night for snacks, hot chocolate etc. Was much easier to get a table when compared with Ventura and Royal Caribbean. There were grab and go fridges for snacks and a pizzeria, burger bar which were really good. Epicurean - a fine dining experience. We went twice for a £25pp supplement - excellent on both occasions. Limelight Lounge - excellent (evening meal with entertainment). We paid £25pp and saw Chesney Hawkes and Eric and Ern (Morecambe & Wise act) - both were excellent and good value for money Sindhu - we went there once for a £25pp supplement. Excellent food and atmosphere. Excursions Rome - Tiber Cruise and Walk. Booked this as we did a full walking tour of Rome last year to the main places of interest and thought this would be a bit easier on the feet. The cruise element of this tour is negligible, we were only on the boat twice for less than 20 minutes on both occasions and there's not a great deal to see from the boat. The tour was predominantly walking. There were several flights of stairs up and down from pavement level to the river which proved difficult for some people. Tour guide was excellent Gibraltar - WW2 tunnels This was interesting and the guide also took us via the monkeys on the Rock which was a bonus as it wasn't included in the excursion. Tour guide was excellent Florence on your own. Would recommend Barcelona Short walk away from the shuttle bus drop off there are hop on/off tourist buses. We bought a ticket and hopped on and off at several locations. Would recommend. Caution - the tourist bus drop off point for Gaudi Guell Park involves a significant uphill walk to get to the park Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted a cruise in the Mediterranean in September. Cruised several times before but not on Britannia. Huge ship and that means it is very spacious. At no time did it feel crowded. Lots of space on deck. Lots of sunbeds. If you meet ... Read More
Wanted a cruise in the Mediterranean in September. Cruised several times before but not on Britannia. Huge ship and that means it is very spacious. At no time did it feel crowded. Lots of space on deck. Lots of sunbeds. If you meet irritating people don't worry you will never see them again. Restaurants were busy. Lots of space to read. Enjoyed walking on deck. Nice pools. So smooth. Forgot we were at sea. Restaurants were busy but well organised. Top tips: Opt for freedom dining it worked really well for us especially on shore days when you want a rest before dinner. If they can't fit you in they will give you a pager and you can go off and have a drink or walk. Sorry to be negative but overall food in my opinion was poor. We have been on 8 cruises and we definately noticed a difference in food quality. Food was sometimes cold in the Horizon. Not the chef's fault but poor menu choices and poor ingedients. Steak and chips, liver, cottage pie lumpy mashed potato and tinned fruit is not what I expect having worked hard and saved for years for this holiday. Desserts were unexciting. Food reminded me of Butlins in the 80s. On the plus side I didnt feel constantly bloated and didn't put on loads of weight like other cruises. A lot of emphasis was put on paying extra for other restaurants. Well NO I am not paying extra I have paid enough. The mini bar in the cabin was an unnecessary extra too. On the positive side staff were so helpful, friendly and go out of their way to make your meal lovely. Top tips: Order breakfast to be brought to your cabin. IT IS FREE. Have it out on the balcony. A beautiful start to your day. Ours was brought to us by Francis so lovely and friendly. Ship was clean and tidy apart from the windows which need a good wash. Lots of handwashing facilities around the ship and public toilets were immaculately clean. Entertainment was good with a singer from the Hollies, a couple of comedians and an amazing acrobatic act. Top tips: Go to 10.30 show. It's much less busy and you can get a seat . Lots been said about lifts. Yes they are very busy after shows. Getting back on board ship etc.There are going to be 3,500 people wanting to use them so chill out. Wait a few minutes after shows, walk up the stairs a bit more. My husband asked people to sing in the lift and asked for deck 21 which got people grinning. Don't have lift rage you are on holiday. Loved the formal nights. So nice dressing up. Saw many great films on board. Really enjoyed them. Enjoyed seeing Marco Peirre White. Oasis spa was lovely and had the best manicure and gel nail polish I have ever had. Ports of call were amazing. We were very well informed about when we going to arrive. Weather ect. Nice port talks. Loved Rome and Pisa and Cartegina was just delightful. Look for the roman amitheatre. Entrance is via the museum in the shopping centre. Had a fabulous time. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
To spend time with my son and enjoy activities on board and ashore. The quizes were fun but one of the quiz masters made them more about him and entered into the realm of vulgarity on a family ship at 12.30.pm. Not a good idea! ... Read More
To spend time with my son and enjoy activities on board and ashore. The quizes were fun but one of the quiz masters made them more about him and entered into the realm of vulgarity on a family ship at 12.30.pm. Not a good idea! The food was exellent at all times and service was fairly good. I would like to single out Milton for High praise, he was an excellent and couertous waiter and took a real interest in us. The drinks system took a lot of getting used to by us passengers and the staff. I am guessing that the ultimate drinks package is a new venture and staff were very slow at times to return the all important cruise card to us, I am sure these teething problems will be sorted out in time. All in all a very enjoyable experience bit not without glitches and some improvements could be made. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had previously cruised on Oceana and loved it. We chose Britannia as we could only travel in August and we liked the ports of call in the med. We had a balcony cabin on deck 12 midship. The cabin was modern and equipped with all ... Read More
We had previously cruised on Oceana and loved it. We chose Britannia as we could only travel in August and we liked the ports of call in the med. We had a balcony cabin on deck 12 midship. The cabin was modern and equipped with all we needed. Our cabin steward was very polite although he didn’t clean as I thought he should have, eg he never hoovered once in 14 days. Food was excellent in all restaurants. We had a dining experience in the Epicurean which was outstanding. We found all staff polite and welcoming. There was a packed itinerary of activities all day. In my opinion cruising is value for money. The gym wasn’t the best. There was lots of cardio equipment but the free weights area was somewhat lacking. There was one lat machine with only one side working. The main pool on Lido deck was very busy and noisy but the adult on section on the deck above was peaceful. The air conditioning inside the ship was set to quite cold so I’d advise a cardigan or sweater in doors if you are sensitive to the cold. Disembarkation was organised, we were able to find our luggage without any problems Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he ... Read More
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he joined only in the last port - Gibraltar. Our inside cabin on Deck 12 was adequate, comfortable and clean. Entertainment overall excellent - especially the Headliner`s Once Upon a Time show. The dancers were talented but the singers not so. The Entertainment manager Neil was absolute fantastic - we enjoyed the pool parties, sail aways, the flamenco program on Lido Deck in Barcelona day. The Cookery Club was something new and unique, I and my 8 year old daughter participated the chocolate cooking and we really loved it. However the children club Reef program was well below the P&O standard we use to on Ventura and Azura: sometimes boring, unimaginative and some of the reef rangers did not show interest towards the kids. We enjoyed the Lido Deck, the pools were clean, always found sun lounger or chairs. The only complaint I can raise is, that some of the bar staff was rude and selective of what drink they want to serve. The preferred to serve only alcohol, even mornings, and several times when I asked for freshly pressed orange juice - which was available in one of the pool side bars - the bar waiter said it is not available. So I just woke up from the sun chair, went to the bar, pointed to the pile of fresh orange and the juicer machine - and the bar tender made the juice for me. This happened to me few times and one matured bar steward even wanted me to change my order from fresh orange juice to Pepsi Cola - I guess it is easier to serve and the price is same. I really would love to see more healthy drinks to be available on a school holiday cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing ... Read More
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing steak passed off as ribeye stroganoff stewing streak tasteless Calves liver dished up twice In 7 nights Staff apologetic dismissive blamed HQ Tv down not satellite not repaired Embarkation and disembarkation A shambles bags all over the place Not what I expected from P&O 2 children and 3 adults Overall disappointing considering the cost The no tip policy has had a detrimental effect on crew Cruised Oceana In Jan the difference was astronomical in Quality The most disturbing thing is trying to pass off low quality dining to experienced loyal P&O Members The formal dinner menus were an insult Something wants doing about it and the dinner the better Will they I doubt it very much I just couldn’t believe it of P&O Lido Lunch better than oriental dinner Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Being newcomers to cruising, my wife and I chose P&O because of their reputation. We also chose their Flagship Britannia so as to ensure our experience was the best it could possibly be. Everything went seamlessly. Embarkation of 3000+ ... Read More
Being newcomers to cruising, my wife and I chose P&O because of their reputation. We also chose their Flagship Britannia so as to ensure our experience was the best it could possibly be. Everything went seamlessly. Embarkation of 3000+ passengers was time-managed perfectly. Our cabin with a balcony was all we could have hoped for, and our steward, Suresh, was attentive to the point of us thinking he was waiting on our beck and call. As for the food: Every taste is catered for and I wish I had taken the opportunity to see behind the scenes of the ship's galley as preparing 16,000 meals a day - yes! 16,000 - must take faultless timing. It is impossible to avail oneself of all the excursions, but the guided walk was very informative and our guide was incredibly entertaining. On-board activities are plentiful...far more than my wife and I needed...and we are already considering our next cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at ... Read More
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at Southampton. The ship looked fantastic and we were impressed by the cabin that was clean and well maintained. The buffet restaurant was a real disappointment. I read a number of reviews that compared it to a cross-channel ferry and its no exaggeration. The feel of the place is one of a factory canteen with bland food choices based around roast dinners, chips and tasteless soups. The Oriental Restaurant was better but the menu was unadventurous and very same-ish, with several dishes on offer the same each evening. Breakfast at this restaurant was very good though. The staff working in the dining areas were excellent though and very attentive. The kids club and staff were also very good for our 10 year old but the older club was poor. Biggest disappointment was the amount of off-duty British staff milling around the boat, especially in the dining areas and bars. A number of times I noticed guests having to queue for food in the pool area waiting for a number of off-duty staff to get food. In the evening, a large number would take residence in a section of ‘Brodies’ bar meaning guests had nowhere to sit. I noticed this on at least 2 of the 7 nights. Personally, I see this as highly unprofessional and gave me a poor impression of P&O. Overall I would recommend the boat and the itinerary was very good but P&O need to get a grip of the management of staff. If you went to a restaurant to be told to wait for your table or for food as the staff were being served first, you wouldn’t accept it so why should it be acceptable on Britannia? To me, staff remain in staff quarters. We enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely do it again but I question if it would be with P&O. As one guest explained it to me, ‘it’s a 2-3 star all inclusive in 5 star surroundings’. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I had the opportunity to go away without the children and found this cruise with 8 days notice. I had always wanted to go to the Fjords so finding this cruise was perfect. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. ... Read More
My husband and I had the opportunity to go away without the children and found this cruise with 8 days notice. I had always wanted to go to the Fjords so finding this cruise was perfect. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. I was a little worried about going on this ship having spoken to someone a few days before and they said they weren’t that impressed. Having been with Princess cruises 3 months earlier, we wondered if we had made the right decision. We needn’t have worried at all! The food was incredible.we had freedom dining so we just queued up and had a buzzy thing which went off when our table was ready. We sat on table for 2 the first night but we had then been told that the larger tables clear quicker so you don’t have to wait as long. From then on we sat on larger tables each night and met some really lovely people. Entertainment was also excellent on board. Disembarkation took a while. We were told to go to the theatre and they cleared the front rows first which is fine but when people just come in after you and take the empty seats at the front which has already been cleared, it’s highly annoying when you’ve been sat there for 30 mins waiting. The only real complaint we had was the guy on the excursion desk. Tours were fully booked as we had booked the holiday late and most of the time depending on the tour, are happy to do our own thing. We asked if there was an independent company ashore doing the boat trip in Stavanger. We were told no, you have to go on the p&o organised tours as there was nothing available in port. We had no option anyway so we just walked round the port and 50yards from the ship there was a company selling boat tours. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was ... Read More
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was improved. It was of good quality and varied even in the Buffett. The Buffett area is also a much better design than on other P & O ships which are too ‘tight’ and get very crowded. The entertainment was very good and there were some good deck parties. Our ‘restricted’ balcony G408 was not really restricted and neither was G410, G412, G414, G416 these rooms fall between a large gap between the lifeboats yet they are lower priced due to a very slight restriction. We could see straight out and sideways With nothing directly in our view. If you want a bargain balcony then these are the ones to go for. Our room was nice and a decent size. We didn’t have the drinks package because it is just to expensive but the drinks purchased separately are of a very reasonable price. Now for the negatives. As I say we booked a midship balcony room on deck 8 but the balcony is the smallest we have ever seen. You cannot sit straight looking out to sea they are that small. The ship in parts is very poorly designed. The stairs in midships only go up to deck 7? So unless you walk to either end of the ship you cannot walk up or down from midships from deck 8 and upwards. It’s just bonkers. The lifts are also small. On deck 17 at the aft is what I can only describe as a large bath, it is supposed to be a plunge pool but it’s just too small with vast amount of wasted deck either side. We never used it because it was always full. This pool should fill the width of the deck. The ‘sunset bar’ at the aft is lovely but they play background music that is so quiet it may as well not be on. The reason given for this was because guests in the suites below complain?? We and others asked for the music to be raised to a very reasonable level, not loud, until at least 11.30 but it was refused. It takes away a lot of the ambience of the bar. Towards the front of the ship is the ‘Serenity pool’ for adults only but the bar stops serving at 6pm?? So there is not an adult only bar on outside decks after 6pm. On deck 16 in the centre of the ship is the Lido pools, a great family area but above this on deck 17 looking down on the Lido the ship is crying out for a bar just like on Ventura or Azura. A couple of entertainment planning issues we had and that other guests complained about were that the ‘Crystal bar/room’ was just not used to anywhere near it’s capacity. It was almost predominantly used for old style dancing and apart from a few times was always only a quarter full. This is fine if like Ventura and Azura there are two live music bars to chose from but there isn’t so most people only have the choose of the ‘Live lounge’. In respects of the ‘Live lounge’ there was no thought given to the fact that most passengers see the last but one night as a party night and with that in mind many of us turned up to party and dance the night away only for the party to be flattened by a poor comedian who came on at 23.45hrs when lots of guests were dancing. The problem then was that there is no where else to go to dance or party. The service we received was also very patchy and on the whole was below standard. We had done nine cruise before this one with four being P & O ships so we know what to expect but I’m afraid the smiles, interaction, attention to detail has gone from many of the waiters, waitresses on deck and within the restaurants with the exception of the ‘Glasshouse’ for some reason. Without doubt they work hard and we are very chatty, polite people who love having a laugh and it must be hard doing their work day in day out but that’s what we pay our money for. It may seem like it just us morning but there were lots of other passengers who noticed this. One last moan and something to be aware of and it will probably be the same on most ships is that if you go on a cruise in school holidays be ready to expect uncontrolled children approx 8 to 16 running around throughout the ship at all times especially in the corridors. We watched many parents just let their kids do this without a word being said. A constant ‘thump, thump, thump’ was heard. We have had our own children and now have grandchildren but we would never let ours be totally out of control like a lot of what we saw were even in the ‘Glasshouse’ whilst we ate some were running around our table whilst their parents drank oblivious to everything. We wouldn’t go on this ship again although in spite of everything we had a great cruise because the food was good, we met lots of great new friends and the weather was great. Something to ponder though is that someone probably got paid thousands of pounds to design this ship yet there seems to have been some glaring mistakes. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ... Read More
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ship is that you can avoid the areas which aren't to your liking and if you feel that way inclined the "types" you might want to avoid are away from the areas you probably enjoy. Yes, the ship decor is rather dark and my first reaction was to pine for the bling of Ventura but sultry Britannia grows on you. The public areas are cleverly designed with many nooks and crannies so you can be in the heart of the action or tuck yourself away as you choose. The Glass House is, as ever, excellent. The Crow's nest bar is back at the front of the ship and wonderful for pre dinner drinks. Recommend sitting away from the piano as it can be very loud. The atrium is very spacious with plenty of seating to people watch with a post dinner drink/coffee. Drinks service was excellent everywhere. If we were waiting we only had to indicate to someone and they were there. Crystal room was surprisingly pleasant late evening with lots of people taking to the floor. Didn't frequent Brodies or the casino but it was popular and pretty packed each time we walked through. Breakfast, lunch and evening restaurant food service couldn't be faulted and the attention for special dietary needs was outstandingly accommodating. A couple of meals were overcooked but there was absolutely no issue with getting plates changed. Of course it would be better if they didn't need to be returned but with thousands of guests give the staff a sporting chance by asking for better, they are happy to oblige and would much rather you went away happy. Desserts weren't too special but OK. Didn't frequent the buffet much but when we did there was plenty of room, staff were very helpful, friendly and food good. Spend a moment to talk to the buffet chefs, they don't get much guest interaction and will appreciate it... Joseph, my daughter thought you were fantastic! Theatre plush and the Cinema is a nice addition. I missed the theatre waiter service but my husband hates it so goes to show can't please everyone. Gym well equipped and spacious. First 3 machines I approached were out of action but there were still plenty even when the gym was busy. Came to the conclusion that for the amount of hours spent in it, the Retreat is expensive when securing a fortnight complete package. Would we do it again? yes because the service in the Britannia Retreat was amazing and engaging, Sebastian and Jovan both a real credit to P&O. I've previously moaned about unhelpful reception staff on other ships but not so on Britannia, spoke to Carl a few times and he was very helpful and extremely likeable. Daily service charge has now been removed and here's the interesting bit, we left far more in tips to far more staff than ever before. I've once previously asked for service charges to be withdrawn because of poor service so it was great to reward such a change. I was told that the teenage Reef space wasn't as good as Ventura and Azura but the Reef Rangers were as cool as ever. The great part of cruising with youngsters is that because there are relatively few cruises in school holidays the kids look forward to reuniting with friends from previous cruises, you don't get that with most holidays. Security always checked that minors were accompanied when leaving ship, which showed they were on their game. We've done the port stops bar Cadiz before so no surprises there. Cadiz, Cartagena and Barcelona were our favourites. Although a really positive experience, there were 2 areas which fell short. The first was that the entertainment was by far the poorest we've had on a P&O cruise. Tucker's "comedy" material hadn't changed since last time we saw him! Thankfully, there were a couple of notable exceptions with the superb Lloyd Wade and We3. We paid extra to see La Voix in the Limelight club and were treated to a magnificent night and great food (menu is surprisingly small so we may have been just lucky to have what we wanted on the menu), brilliant vocals and comedy, La Voix, we'll be back to see you again. The 2nd area was the Captains Gala, which we look forward to for the pomp and ceremony. I've never known a Captain to be late for his own party and not have the decency to apologise, we walked out to go for dinner as he arrived and started his speech, really bad form and example Sir. Finally, of course there's the much talked about lack of stairs mid ship. This didn't bother us at all as we consciously try to burn off a few of those naughty calories by walking and climbing stairs, plus our group don't have mobility issues or a pushchair. Heard lots complaining though. Oh yes, embarkation, nearly forgot that. We've always found Southampton port staff to be brilliant and cheerful (even when they are trialling new arrangements for the huge Iona), disappointing that for the first time ever we were checked in by Mrs Sour Face Grumpy but soon forgot about her!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've ... Read More
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've decided to stay in Southampton the night before, so was a couple of hours early for my designated embarkation time. I was able to go onboard an hour earlier and the whole process was seamless. Our cabins wasn't ready yet, so I used the opportunity to have a look around the ship and had some lunch. The Britannia is a beautiful ship and the atrium did take my breath away the first time I saw it. I opted for a single balcony cabin on Deck 16 so that I can make the most of the scenary travelling through the fjords. It was worth every penny and early mornings and late evenings was spend on the balcony watching the world go by. My cabin was very spacious for a single and had everything I needed for a very comfortable stay including plenty of wardrobe space and spacious shower cubicle. Patrick, the Cabin Steward was very helpful and friendly. I've mainly opted to eat in the Horizon buffet and there were always plenty of choice and variety. The food is replenished very often, so I never had to worry about getting cold or slightly soggy food. I thought the quality of the food was really good. I used Freedom Dining on two occassions in the Peninsular Restaurant and again the food was of a very high standard. Although the entertainment was quite varied, I only really enjoyed the group "Pulse" and thought their "Tribute Night" was brilliant. We were very lucky to have good weather so on the 2 sea days the pool area were quite busy. I opted to go one deck up that overlooks the pool area and always had plenty of sun loungers to choose from. Despite the amount of passengers that were on the cruise, it never felt claustrophobic...I never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to be served at the bar, I always managed to get a table in the buffet by the window (my preference) and I could always find a little quite corner (on deck or inside in one of the many communal areas) to read a book and just find some peace and quite. I've booked 2 shore excursions with P&O and did 2 on my own. I must admit, the excursions were a bit over priced in my view, but I still had a very enjoyable time. All the crew I've encountered were very helpful, friendly and professional. Disembarkation was well organised and I thought the letter we've received the day before to explain the disembarkation process and arrangements was a really good idea. Seeing the Norwegian fjords has been on my "must see list" for a very long time and doing it on the Britannia was brilliant. I'm looking forward to returning to her next year for a 14 night Mediterranean cruise. Our cruise was the one that unfortunately made the headlines due to the actions of a very small group of passengers. However, all credit to Captain Paul Brown and his crew for dealing with this incident so professionally and discreetly. Other than the tannoy announcement I had no idea what happened and it didn't spoil my last day onboard. I only saw it on the news after I got home on Saturday. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at ... Read More
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at the time but was certainly welcome as less expensive than Celebrity, plus our first non-fly cruise, which not only saves more money but is a lot easier and gives flexibility for luggage - great for when you have to pack suits for formal nights and a fair bit of clothing knowing we could have any kind of weather. This review is not written purely as a comparative exercise, but given our only previous points of reference have been on Celebrity it was a natural thing to do, so I will draw out the main differences we noted and which we preferred. Some things are really the 'little extras' that add to a more luxury experience, that come with Celebrity, but we also acknowledge they come with a price tag. So drawing attention to them is not necessarily a criticism, simply an observation of what you may not get with P&O but which you pay for to get on Celebrity. Once booked we did have some apprehension as it seemed most people who'd sailed both lines came down clearly in favour of Celebrity, and a couple of forums online seemed to attract some horribly snobby people. We don't mind dressing up for a formal night but do object to people who seem to think that cruising is only about dressing up and when conversations turned to the newly introduced drinks packages 'attracting the wrong sort of people' we wondered what we were letting ourselves in for! Luckily I found some other groups with more normal people and while we appreciated there would be more formality than Celebrity have, we were prepared to embrace it. In advance I had looked into what we'd do on each of our port days and one thing I did notice was how much more affordable the ship's own excursions were compared to Celebrity. We prefer to do our own thing, or go with a small private group, but for various reasons found that harder to sort this time on 2 days so opted (initally reluctantly) to book with P&O and were pleasantly surprised at the cost. The only other reservation I had which we could do nothing about, was the amount of children on board, as this was our first cruise in school holidays. Having got 4 kid between us, all now grown up, we do enjoy being able to avoid other 'little darlings' on our holidays but due to a number of factors had booked this knowing it would be holiday time, but hoping that the fjords would be less of a family attraction than a Med cruise. On the day we embarked we had stayed a couple of hours from Southampton and had opted for inclusive car parking with CPS. Their directions, along with sat nav, were nice and clear and we found our way to the correct gate easily. We'd been given an arrival time of 3pm and had heard mixed stories about whether we'd be able to get on early or would have to wait. As it worked out, we arrived at the dock gate around 1.30pm. CPS staff directed us efficiently and advised we would have to wait in a queue for a little while, We saw some people who knew the score taking cases out onto trollies but we just waited for only 10-15 mins before being asked to drive forward. Another CPS person then told us we should unload our cases and take a trolley as there were very few porters now. There was no feeling of being rushed, she was polite and helpful and it was a nice calm experience. We handed over the key and headed off to a loading area just across the road where our trollies went onto a conveyor belt and we went to the departure area. We were able to pack my husband's suits into a proper suit carrier and put that through as checked luggage which made things much easier, especially as we had in our hand luggage one small wheeled case containing bottles of drink :) Yes, we were allowed to take a litre each of wine or spirits, plus whatever soft drinks we wanted, for drinking in our cabin, so we took advantage to save us a bit of spending money. More helpful staff inside checked our tickets and then gave us a card with a letter on it, telling us to go wait in the lounge until called, saying we would have enough time to get a drink if we wanted; this was around 2pm. There was plenty of seating and a small but well stocked cafe. We were duly called into the line for check in around 2.45 and this moved along nicely so no standing waiting too much, and so we met our 3pm time in the end! We made our way onto the ship and the first thing we noticed was that we were greeted with a smile but no glass of bubbly! We were directed to some lifts where we noticed there were also stairs - these aren't always open on 'normal' days and the lifts did have quite a wait on them but we weren't lugging the drinks up the stairs! Once out the lift we made our way to the cabin and were delighted to find our cases were already there waiting for us. Full cabin review is provided below We'd taken a look at the Horizon daily leaflet telling us what was going on and when. There was quite a lot on but we're not really into doing a lot other than maybe a quiz. Similarly, we were not majorly fussed on the theatre shows unless something had seemed exceptional. We were pretty sure in advance we'd be fairly low key on this week, so this review doesn't cover entertainment to any extent. We didn't go to the Headliners theatre which is where the main shows are, generally twice nightly, and also used for other events during the day. Although we chose not to go to any shows on board, I did like the fact they had late sessions so one could comfortably eat at say 8pm and then go to the late show after. On Celebrity we often found ourselves having to get ready early to get to the first show and then eat, as we rarely enjoy eating dinner earlier. We did make it into the studio, another small theatre style venue, but that was only for muster! We decided to take a wander around the ship before things got busy and get an idea of what was where, and give an idea of where we'd want to be spending our time over the next week. The first thing we had found out was the lift and stair locations. There are fore, mid and aft lifts, but staircases only fully available for and aft. In mid the stairs only go to deck 7. This caught us out a few times as we often lost track of where we were and decided to walk stairs only to find there weren't any! There are also some areas where it's not possible to walk through so you need to be at the right level. More than one occasion we went down to deck 6, arrived at the Oriental restaurant and could go nowhere else without going back up to deck 7 and across. My Fitbit did well during the week! The ship is big and very long and this is most obvious when finding your way round. The little map we were given on embarkation was invaluable along with the wall plaque diagrams by the lifts. Took us a little while find those as they are not very obvious as signage goes. The lifts were definitely one of the less impressive things. In any lift area there seemed to be a couple that we never saw in action. Lifts were slow to arrive, and sometimes seemed to skip floors out altogether. On one occasion in a lift it announced deck 11 but was still at previous deck 10, the lift floor indicator was flashing between 10 and 11 and then we stopped at 12. We got out saying we'd get the stairs back down a floor only to realise we were mid ship and no stairs. The lift/stair thing never ceased to be something of an irritant! The overall feel of the ship was one of size but well used. I've described the different areas in more detail below, but our overall impression was of space and simplicity. Decor was uncluttered and unfussy with an immediate contrast with the vast range of art on Celebrity ships, which is found pretty much everywhere, in any corridor, any wall space and on all stairwells. I generally preferred this more simply style on Britannia, although in some areas a little more colour wouldn’t have gone amiss. Where we did appreciate space was in the atrium where it was given over to seating for the bars/cafes downstairs. It was also used as a space for showcasing the restaurants and activities, and worked well for that purpose; it manages this as the guest services area is kept away from the central space. What I did feel the ship lacked was a central focal point for activities in evenings as there is a different focus in different areas at different times. If you like Celebrity with the cafe on 5, Martini Bar on 4 and then music from 3 with people generally all involved from each deck, you will miss this on Britannia. That's not to say we didn't find a nice 'home' in the evenings but it is a very different feel, more low key. When we had done our last cruise on Celebrity Reflection we had felt a bit disappointed in a number of areas where we felt that the basic provision in terms of bar space was same as on the smaller ships in the class, pretty much same layout, but catering for an extra deck of passengers. To us it felt busy and harder to get service, and we were concerned about how things would feel on the even busier Britannia but the increased ship size of this P&O flagship meant it did not feel overly crowded. Another vote in favour of P&O so far, things were looking up a lot more than we'd expected Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the cruise exceeded all expectations. Our cabins were spotlessly clean, very well fitted and serviced by a a very nice steward. We liked to sleep with the balcony doors locked open and listen to the sea at night. Watching the sunset from our balcony at 10.30 at night was a joy. We were very lucky with the weather and on both at sea days the sun shone and we spent our day on deck enjoying the warmth and views. I was surprised how easy it was to find a sun lounger available either in the sun or shade. Around the pool it could become busy but go up to the deck overlooking the pool and there was usually plenty of space. We all used one or other of the pools (there is an adult only pool and sunbathing area). The children ( 9, two 12 year olds and a15 year old) preferred to play in the pools or do their own thing rather than go to the kids clubs. They were never ever bored! Norway is stunning. We had some lovely excursions not all booked through P&O and easy to source online. The longest zip wire in Scandinavia, the rib ride, hiking up a mountain to visit a goat farm, Flåm railway and walking up to Brikstal glacier were highlights. All the food we had either in thie buffet or the restaurants was excellent. We had an exceptional meal in the Epicurean restaurant that I feel was well worth the supplement. Yes there were little niggles but nothing I feel I have to highlight. You will mix with people from all walks of life on a cruise, young and old, but our experience was very positive. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it all again Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Wanted value for money to cooler place in summer. Had read mixed reviews . wanted to find out for ourselves. Speaking to others, you love it or hate it. Marmite ship was someones description. Geared to under 50s = constant background ... Read More
Wanted value for money to cooler place in summer. Had read mixed reviews . wanted to find out for ourselves. Speaking to others, you love it or hate it. Marmite ship was someones description. Geared to under 50s = constant background carcophany of pop music apart from last 2 days when the food also seemed to improve slightly too. Small balconies with swing doors requiring loungers to be in position to hold them open = noise. Pivot doors taking up space in already small shower rooms. Duvets too heavy and pillows with no resilience. Smaller lifts gave rise to queues.especially for disabled and some passengers were not overly polite or aware/bothered! Some plain rude.Spacious ship though = easier getting about. Public areas were freezing. Cold outside 11 to 13 degrees but do not expect inside to be the same! Complained = ignored! Contradiction was that many .passengers seem happy to roam in flip flops ,shorts and vest! Sunbathing even. How? Why? Booked car in St Petersburg.Kind helpful very pleasant in spite of having no knowledge of our needs from P&O. Complained = smiley apology! Cobbles we were aware but for wrong shuttle drop off presenting more huge cobbles.No.Other wheelchair users were so afflicted, Complained =smiley apology. Peninsular restaurant = yellow broccoli. Complained got extra dish of it! Black eyed potatos , Sloppy prawn cocktail, Plum pudding with scone for sponge on top. Carrot cheesecake =dry cake.Inadequate over embellished menu with slow service altering to rushed 1/2 hour before closing time. Limelight Club read Ruth Madoc and Hi Di Hi. Food and service abysmal, Starter was 4 small breadsticks and 8 1/2 inch cubes of something.... to share! This, spaced out over 2 hours because the act was scheduled to play in sections.Paid £70 pounds for this! Not happy. Gareth Gates was superb however.Excellent singer . Wish he had sung 1 or Frank Sinatra as his early years. Lecturer Dave Wright was also superb. Heard every word and entertaining delivery made for good assimilation of facts. = Romanovs, Russian Revolution, St George and Mary Queen of Scots. Amazed with 3,600 passengers and small lifts, self help people at disembarcation were given the same time as the rest for vacating cabins. Chaos! Some people were juggling 4 maxi size suitcases! [2 week cruise!] Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked Select with Britannia, including coach transfers from Glasgow with Inter Cruises as a family of 4, kids are 13 & 10. Journey down was excellent, coach was comfortable but could have done with wifi. Had email to say we ... Read More
Booked Select with Britannia, including coach transfers from Glasgow with Inter Cruises as a family of 4, kids are 13 & 10. Journey down was excellent, coach was comfortable but could have done with wifi. Had email to say we would be delayed getting on the ship so expected to be delayed but fortunately our coach driver just carried on and arrived at port on time and we got on ship just about 2 hours later than we should have, so were very happy. Britannia is beautiful, she is huge, you really feel small when you pull alongside. Staff were fabulous, right from very first meet & greet getting on the ship to final leaving, really made you feel good and welcome. Captain speeches were brilliant, and he really made a great impression with the kids when they interviewed him for journalism activity. Ship was fantastic, all the public areas were beautiful, particularly liked the Glass House for drinks and food. Meeting Olly Smith there was a brilliant extra. Sindhu food was exceptional although ate far too much as they give you 2 extra courses, and poppodums/dips that you were not expecting in addition to all the food we ordered, all of which was brilliant, well worth the cover charge and highly recommended. My 10 year old spent the vast majority of the cruise in the scubas kids club, and he loved it, could barely get him out and it was so well organised and structured by the reef team, it was amazing. Great staff, great activities, and he made some great friends. Ports were very good, and lived up to all expectations, Skagen, very easy to get around, bus just next to ship to take you up to Grennan, to see the 2 seas meet, tractor ride out there was really fun. Helsinki was a bit more spread out than we had expected but still easy to get around and see all the sights. Did a boat trip from the harbour too and it was great value. Saint Petersburg was absolutely brilliant, tours were very well organised and let us see all the main areas, the freedom day was brilliant giving free time at 3 sites. Tallin was lovely, old town was very nice but the land train ride was a nightmare, so bumpy, killed our backs. The KGB museum at the Viru hotel was a real trip highlight. Stockholm was the only slight disappointment and not only due to the rain. The town centre is very modern in comparison to the other cities, the viking museum was very good though. Copenhagen was a massive hit with the kids. We spent most of the time in Tivoli Gardens, the rides were great, but if you are planning on going on more than 2 or 3 ridss, it's worth getting the unlimited ride pass. Centre was really nice and easy to get around. Entertainment was great on Britannia, hosts were good, quizzes were fun and loved Pulse in the live lounge. Headliners shows were hit and miss but mostly well done. Afternoon port talks and presentations were really informative. Overall, for our first cruise experience it was absolutely fantastic and we will definitely do it again, can't wait Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Having read some reviews of this ship, our first cruise on Britannia was prepared for with some trepidation. Our fears were dispelled from the first moment we stepped on board. The ship had a full complement of passengers on board too. ... Read More
Having read some reviews of this ship, our first cruise on Britannia was prepared for with some trepidation. Our fears were dispelled from the first moment we stepped on board. The ship had a full complement of passengers on board too. Many of the negative comments I have read were ridiculously wide of the mark. ‘Butlins on Sea’, ‘Ship in terrible condition’, ‘rude staff’? Certainly not evident on this superb Norwegian Fjords cruise. The décor of the ship we found to be very calming. Modern, refined and subtle which all helped to generate a nice hum, in for example, the atrium. Here we really liked the bars and seating areas on the different levels. All well-lit and with a pleasing ambiance. We were also struck by the amount of seating around the ship. Yes, on a sea day Java got very busy but you did not have to wander far to find a seat. There was actually more deck space that we were led to believe. Around the pool got very busy but again it was easy to find seats on the deck above, looking down onto the pool area. Unlike on some other ships there was also a wide range of seating types. Not totally dominated by the sun lounger! The terraced area at the stern was great for enjoying a drink and looking out to sea. We did miss the absence of a full promenade deck (thankfully rectified on Iona) but there was still plenty of deck for wandering. Cruise ship food? That is always one to pit one person against another. We were on My Time dining and always requested a table for two in the evening. Quite often there was a 20-30-minute wait (at the busy time of 7.30), but we built that into our evening and when given a pager went to somewhere like The Glasshouse for a glass of wine, then took that into the restaurant when called. That worked very well. We enjoyed the food in both MDR’s. We usually breakfasted in an MDR too and the freshly cooked served breakfast was always very good. As for the Horizon buffet, I have to say I am no great fan of buffet food on large cruise lines and we felt the canteen style food served here was on a par with other big lines. The food filled a gap but if such food was served in a middle range restaurant in Britain, we would be disappointed. As a consequence, we only ate there at lunch time. Without doubt, our best meals were served at The Beach House and The Limelight Club. It is only a small supplement to dine at The Beach House but the service and the food were extremely good. We decided to book The Limelight Club to make the final night on board more of an occasion, as it usually feels rather depressing. It was great fun. Again, a really good meal with Cheryl Baker providing a highly entertaining evening of song and chatter in a great venue. Like on most ships not all the entertainment was to our liking, however the beauty of this cruise was the provision of a real range of entertainment across the evening in a number of venues. The Headliners put on colourful and energetic shows in the main theatre although the shows themselves did feel rather dated. We tended to go to the late performances in this theatre and never had a problem getting good seats. Soul Kinda Wonderful put on a really strong soul and Motown evening. Our favourite evening in The Headliners Theatre was with Neil Lockwood (ELO pt2 and Alan Parsons Project), he was such a talented artist in performing ELO hits amongst many others. The P and O Orchestra were really tight too in supporting the artists. The Entertainment Team were full of enthusiasm and well led in all they did both on deck and ’indoors’. A lot of entertainment we never got around to seeing and no doubt some of that would have been very good. However, we did see the house band, Pulse, in The Live Lounge and thought they were brilliant…. Eight very talented and versatile young musicians. I was not expecting to hear a Pink Floyd set on my P and O cruise, but Pulse pulled that off as they did with all their other sets. What a great band! Our cabin, B318 was excellent and well serviced. In fact, all staff we came across were very pleasant and hard-working. They were led superbly by Captain Dunlop who coped very well with high winds, medical emergencies and at times a mis-firing engine. Finally, we did two P and O trips. From Flam, The Norway in a Nutshell excursion and from Alesund, the Sky-High Views at Strandafjell. They were both brilliant. Although the weather was not so good in Norway probably a highlight was taking a gondola into proper snow and building a small snowman…in July! All in all, a brilliant cruise and one in which every fellow passenger we spoke with, agreed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me ... Read More
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me we had made a mistake booking this holiday. As it turns out it surpassed our hopes and expectations. We had a brilliant week on board the ship and were impressed with every aspect. Taking into consideration what the price equivalent would buy you on land it seems fantastic value for money. I can only surmise that some of the cruising community are a pretty hard crowd to please. Which in a way is no bad thing as it helps to keep the standards high. Highlights: The ship is beautiful. I loved the decor in the public areas with high-quality fixtures and fittings. We had an internal room with pull-down beds which was cosy and compact but absolutely fine for our needs (basically a bed for the night). The kids club – the facilities are great with friendly staff who take security seriously. My boys tend not to do things on their own but loved the kids club which meant their dad and I could have dinner ourselves and a cocktail in the Crows Nest a couple of nights without having to think about keeping the kids entertained. The White Company products in the bathroom. I love a bit of luxury product and this was a lovely treat. Customer Service – excellent. All staff were very helpful and polite. Food – from the kids buffet to the afternoon tea to the restaurants, the food was excellent. I had a couple of dishes in the restaurant that were just ok but the majority were delicious (beer battered cod, sirloin steak and beef wellington being examples) Cookery school with Marco Pierre White – great value for £100. A lovely man who spent time with each passenger along with other chefs who were there to offer advice and clean up after you. 2 dishes with no expense spared on the ingredients (risotto with saffron and a lobster pasta dish). A definite highlight. Boarding and disembarkation – very smooth and well co-ordinated I enjoyed the mix of passengers. It was the start of the Scottish school holidays but not the English which meant there were probably more pre-school kids. The kids tended to be very well behaved and my boys were often asked how they were enjoying their holiday by the older passengers in the lifts. The shows – we thought the resident band in the live lounge were excellent. The dance floor was jumping on the first formal night. We also enjoyed the couple of shows we saw in the theatre. The productions are so polished and professional with fantastic scenery and costumes. Drinks – reasonably priced, high quality and lots of choice. We were late back to Southampton by a few hours due to two passengers having to be taken off the ship at Bergen due to illness and also a problem with the engine. As we had tickets booked for the Harry Potter Studios and as we were going to be back too late we were provided with free ship to shore phone calls and internet access to allow us to change our booking to the next morning. We were also kept well informed of what was happening by Captain Welsley (who sounded like a great character and we always enjoyed his cheery announcements). The ship also produced an adhoc newsletter informing passengers of the extra services being laid on due to our late arrival back into Southampton (including opening the kids club for a couple of hours in the morning, restaurants opening and the guy who normally sings in the Atrium putting on a one hour set at the poolside. The unplanned extended stay really was no hardship for us on a very warm, summers day. People have mentioned about the lack of stairs in the middle of the ship. We had no problems. Fair enough, we might have to wait a couple of minutes occasionally but it really wasn’t a problem. We tended to use the stairs most of the time anyway as a there were only around 8 steps between floors. I can appreciate however if the stairs weren’t an option then this could be frustrating. People tended to be very accommodating in the lifts though and would make room to help people get from a to b. During his first address to the ship the Captain did ask able-bodied passengers to be considerate to those who weren’t able to use the stairs. Even after 7 days were still regularly losing our bearings and we made good use of the ship plans on the walls. It gave us a laugh though and our 5 year old had the best sense of direction out of all of us. Norway: A beautiful country. Flaam being a particular highlight. Stunning scenery and our one organised trip to the Viking Village which was excellent. We were happy to wander ourselves at the other ports although after half an hour the boys were normally itching to get back to the ship and kids club. Bergen was another highlight. A lovely city and we enjoyed the Fenicular (due to poor weather in the morning we didn’t leave the ship until lunchtime but only had to queue around 30 minutes). The weather through the week was generally rainy and around 10/12 degrees. Not one for the sun worshipers. Saying that, it didn’t stop us doing anything we wanted to and the boys got to use the pool on the sea days. To conclude, would I sail with P&O again? Absolutely! Thank you for a fantastic first cruise experience. Just to add, I’m sorry to read all the negative press in the last week. It’s so far removed from our experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
First time for me on P & O. Arrived Southampton midday despite advertised motorway issues and car quickly disposed of. Checkin quick and security tight. Wife Barbara had put an oversized pair of scissors in case and it was spotted in x ... Read More
First time for me on P & O. Arrived Southampton midday despite advertised motorway issues and car quickly disposed of. Checkin quick and security tight. Wife Barbara had put an oversized pair of scissors in case and it was spotted in x ray as it went through. So we were called to examine the case. Well done security, we hadn’t realised and they were on the ball. Once on the ship straight to buffet. Very good buffet and better than Royal Caribbean in our view. This carried on throughout the week. Always good choices. Only negatives no American style crispy bacon. Good coffee though. Staff throughout the cruise awesome. P & O should be proud of this crew. Always a smile, a chat, a laugh, a story. Special mention of the top man I call Captain Speaking Coz that’s what he says lol. Jokes, informative, style, professional. When delays occurred you knew why. He had the full info and told you. Real name Wesley Dunlop. His crew learnt from the top man and it shows. Cabin was G445 midships balcony cabin. Nice size, partial obstructed but only a lifeboat one deck down. No real issue. Top tip when on last night and no clothes on hangers take hangers down. They rattle and clunk together otherwise due to no weight of clothes. Put back on last day. Being midships brings me to my two moans. One is huge and has been commented on before. Who was the numpty who signed off a ship with no stairs mid ships?? Definitely never travelled on one as a passenger. Caused so many issues with huge queues for lifts or a long walk for stairs. On last morning mobility issue passengers were stuck on decks unable to get in lifts due to packed out. Safety issue there. It was appalling. Poor poor design. Second moan lack of public toilets in bar areas. Toilets tiny and few of them. So when theatre empties massive queues for toilets Restaurants....... excellent food in all. Best is Epicurean. By far the best on any cruise line we have been in. Staff are top, food is awesome and great atmosphere. Sindhu another top location. We had the full Marco Pierre White experience with a hosted dinner. He is a cooking god. Well worth the money. Just to be able to chat with him over wine was an experience do it! All in all a great cruise and will go P & O again. BRITANNIA would choose a different cabin away from midships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.4
Rates 5.0 N/A

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