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679 Southampton P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

cruise holidays I was very very disappointed...everything went wrong.... - staff on reception very unprofessional, miserable, unfriendly and unhelpful staff ( dont know why they are there?!) - cruise with no tv licence????? ... Read More
cruise holidays I was very very disappointed...everything went wrong.... - staff on reception very unprofessional, miserable, unfriendly and unhelpful staff ( dont know why they are there?!) - cruise with no tv licence????? -every tv series had only 2 episodes???? - Pay for internet??? every holidays we went to.. the internet is free of charge...but not on britannia....?! -pay for coffees, teas and ice cream??? free of charge on royal Caribbean cruise - day time entertainment very poor...5 quizzes join the day whats that all about ??? pool entertainment "pool quiz" wohooo very exciting...dont forget to mention pianist who sent people to bed !!!! -buffet food horrible....on Italian day we had lasagna, pasta and garlic bread nothing else...and they called it " Italian day" -our sitting time was 8.30pm we missed nearly every show as the show time join the night was at 7.30pm or 9.30pm and you have to be in theater least 40 mins before the show will start otherwise you wont have a seat !!!!! -we went to see kiki dee cost us £22 waist of money as everyone in a room was asleep..... she was very boring and the night didn't have soul.... - had to pay for a shuffle bus....free of charge on royal Caribbean -every port we went was terrible...apart from Lisbon -morocco was one of our ports never ever again!!!! we were followed by 3 people every where we went and felt so uncomfortable.... the night before we came to marocco we received a letter saying that it was dangerous and we need to stay in a groups?! why would you got there when you know its dangerous?! - another port was grand cannaria but they had a bank holiday and every shop was closed....waste of another day that was.... - shops on a board are bad... not enough choices....and quiet expensive!!! -cant see your bill on a tv you have to go to reception and ask for it every other day just encase they will charged you extra for something you never had or never used!!! -spa so expensive - our cabin was very small and didn't have enough space for 2 people....especially bathroom area where me and my partner proper struggled as only one person could fit in a bathroom and me being pregnant lady i found it very hard and didnt have enough space to move -lifts were a problem for some people never knew where they or the lifts were going -the only one good thing was night show but than every show was only for 45 mins Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Enjoyed cruising on Arcadia last year so thought flagship Brittania would be great How wrong I was this was awful Entertainment was poor with little or no variety even the entertainment manager had no talent and could neither sing or ... Read More
Enjoyed cruising on Arcadia last year so thought flagship Brittania would be great How wrong I was this was awful Entertainment was poor with little or no variety even the entertainment manager had no talent and could neither sing or tell any gags Hand hygiene is almost non existent so people walk on board from places like Agadir with optional hand gel its the same in the restaurants it's a health outbreak eating to happen Any busy times and lifts are all full so you may wait ten minutes to get a lift Food is OK however you are asked to upgrade and pay extra and have proper entertainment this is usuall around thirty five pounds each which is a joke The staff on board are great and can't do enough for you but we were charged £75 each to give them a tip Sorry but won't be coming back Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Excellent food good choices, everything was clean, in fact our rooms were cleaned twice a day. The service of all the staff was excellent. However, I was a bit concerned that `many` of the activities was `money raising` related. It ... Read More
Excellent food good choices, everything was clean, in fact our rooms were cleaned twice a day. The service of all the staff was excellent. However, I was a bit concerned that `many` of the activities was `money raising` related. It may have been nice to have things for passengers to do, especially for the disabled, like crafty/ creative /hands on stuff etc We weren't keen on things like line dancing and bingo having or our photos taken, going to the casino or seeing the offers in the shops.. My biggest concern was that we had an `inbody` heath diagnostic check costing us £67, I thought that this would include advices about future care and diet etc, something important for our future lifestyle and health. . They started to worry us and tell us that we needed to clear the toxins from our bodies ... and the only thing that would clear it is the their stuff which is £120 per month. They said nothing else exists that would do the job !!!. No we didnt buy the stuff, and we left with a print out of our body diagnostics and were given no other future care advices or plans. I cant really argue about anything else, it was a smooth journey, and its interesting that you can view information about the journey on the tv, for example navigational location and a webcam of the views from the front of the ship. I would go again on a cruise but would take a book to read or find a cruise with more activities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Whilst we enjoyed our cruise down to Madeira and the Canary Islands, stopping in Lisbon and Vigo on the way, it was marred by what was obviously too many people being crammed on board. On boarding, we found our balcony cabin was the ... Read More
Whilst we enjoyed our cruise down to Madeira and the Canary Islands, stopping in Lisbon and Vigo on the way, it was marred by what was obviously too many people being crammed on board. On boarding, we found our balcony cabin was the smallest that we have ever been in. It was well equipped and beautifully serviced by our steward but the balcony was so small that you could only sit facing each other. The bathroom was mainly a one piece molded plastic unit that those with caravans would have found familiar. Whilst swinging a cat would be impossible in the cabin, swinging a mouse was also out in the shower room. There was plentiful space for clothes with over 6 foot of hanging rail plus additional shelving space. We had been assigned “ Freedom” dining, which worked well and we never had to wait to be seated, having been happy to join tables of 6 or 8. The service was slow however and it generally took an hour and a half to complete a 3 course meal with coffee. This was not a problem unless you needed to get to the show. The Horizon buffet was huge in size but struggled to cope with all of the passengers and we often resorted to taking our food outside in order find a place to sit. The food was mediocre and the place had the general feel of a holiday camp. Whilst there was an abundance of places to eat on Britannia, most of which required extra payment, the same could not be said for the entertainment. The Theatre could seat less than a quarter of the passengers and people were sometimes queueing at the end of one show to get to the next. The best example was the “Strictly” show where 4 shows with ticketed seating were necessary. The Britannia cast shows were all brilliant but we felt sorry for them as they introduced an extra show at 7.00 pm to help cope with demand. The Theatre did not have an orchestra pit and so the shows were all to pre-recorded backing which took the shine off as you had to take it on trust that the cast were not miming. The “Live Lounge” was similarly unable to cope with the volume of passengers and we joined lots of other people standing around waiting for others to leave so that we could sit down. It was also disappointing that half of the time in the “Live” lounge was a disco. Those in the dance area were similarly unhappy as the dance floor was too small for keen dancers to step out and limited the numbers of those who wanted to dance. Relaxing on deck was similarly problematic. The comfortable loungers were placed up against each other and so the only way on was to crawl on hands and knees as you tried to avoid looking into the eyes of your neighbour. We suspected that all areas had been completely filled with chairs to cope with the numbers of passengers but there were still insufficient which resulted in the terrible “reserved by towel” syndrome where passengers had brought clips with them to ensure that they kept their places. Having settled down, you would be greeted with loud dance music from around the pool area that was (thoughfully?) piped to speakers all round deck 16 and 17. Having speakers next to the “quiet” area” meant that the music was not quite as loud but still best described as horrendous boom cha music most of the time. The crew practiced their “man overboard” drill which was perhaps required to recover those who could not stand the music any longer. There is one really nice relaxing area called The Retreat” that we previewed on our arrival with comfortable loungers and that were not crammed in next to each other. The downside is the cost of £399 each - yes each. A significant design flaw with the ship is the lack of stairs midships above floor 7. Midships is where the entrances to all dining is located on floors 5, 6 and 16 so you can only get to them by the lifts. There were usually large queues for lifts and we once waited for 10 minutes to be able to get down to a restaurant. There is no easy way around this as entrance to the restaurants is only from midships and there is no way round or through. I would also suspect that cruises from the UK are popular with those with mobility problems. The use of electric mobility scooters in the lifts halved their already limited capacity. Last but not least, the was a severe lack of public toilets. When you need to “go” and don’t want to rush back to your cabin, it would be great if there were more. Several times, I found one on the deck plan, only to discover that it was a single disabled toilet that was occupied. Would we go again? Not on Britannia. The cruise ports were fine but not the ship. If anyone from P&O reads this may I suggest: 1: That the central (crew only) stairs are decorated and made available to passengers. 2: That 2 of the speciality restaurants are converted to entertainment with one being a disco. In doing so, a second live act should be introduced into the “Live” lounge. 3. Turn off the awful Boom cha music round the pool, or at least find a way if cutting off the speakers near to the “quiet” areas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
First time sailing with P&O, but it certainly won't be the last. Embarkation went smoothly and our balcony cabin on B deck was well looked after by Alberto, whose courteous and friendly manner made us feel so welcome. Having ... Read More
First time sailing with P&O, but it certainly won't be the last. Embarkation went smoothly and our balcony cabin on B deck was well looked after by Alberto, whose courteous and friendly manner made us feel so welcome. Having lots of food intolerances, I was very concerned that my diet was going to cause problems during the cruise and that I would suffer tummy troubles during my stay. I had nothing to worry about. I chose freedom dining and the Head Waiter ensured my dietary needs were met, even when I popped up to The Horizon Restaurant, the Chef, and the serving assistants, also made sure my needs were met. The food was excellent. Providing you let the relevant Staff know your dietary requirements as soon as you board the ship, no problems will occur. All members of staff on board were so friendly and helpful. The entertainment on board was excellent too. The shows were fantastic. As my partner and I love dancing, we enjoyed dancing every night in The Crystal Room. Shore excursions (we went on two) were so well organised, and also very enjoyable. On sailing days there is lots to do, or you can just chill in some of the many quiet areas. Sail always were so much fun! Disembarkation went so smoothly, it was so well organised. In fact the whole experience of our first P&O cruise was well beyond expectation. Thank you so much for such a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We have been on several P&O cruises before but first time in Brittania. We had seen some bad reviews so we're concerned about Brittania but glad to say these were unfounded. The ship has modern bright decor and is fairly easy ... Read More
We have been on several P&O cruises before but first time in Brittania. We had seen some bad reviews so we're concerned about Brittania but glad to say these were unfounded. The ship has modern bright decor and is fairly easy to navigate around. The cabins are typical size bright and functional with glass shower screen rather than body hugging curtains. The balconies are small but we found adequate. In April on Ventura we complained about the shambolic embarkation and disembarkation, something must have been going on then that they were not telling us about as coincidentally there was a big Norovirus outbreak on our cruise. BUT credit were credit is due this time the embarkation and disembarkation were both quick and efficient. P&O have definitely upped their game in certain areas as all the attitude of the staff has improved they were all help full and friendly, the food portions in the restaurants are bigger and the quality was excellent. The ship wasn't full so don't know what it would be like if it was but, but we had no trouble getting a seat in any area including horizon self service area and Costa Coffee areas. Because the theatre only holds about 900 they put the show team showsnno three times a night 7, 8-30 and 10-30. The shows were fantastic the best we've ever seen with superb special effects. No traditional covered promenade deck and no stairs by mid ship lifts but otherwise fantastic ship, Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I read some really whingeing reviews on here before our trip so went with some trepidation but to be fair having a moan seems to part of some peoples lifestyle especially us Brits! We booked valet parking with Cruise Parking which went ... Read More
I read some really whingeing reviews on here before our trip so went with some trepidation but to be fair having a moan seems to part of some peoples lifestyle especially us Brits! We booked valet parking with Cruise Parking which went smoothly except I needed to run back to the car having forgotten the passports and tickets,not good for someone in A&E with a heart problem the day before. Check in was well organised and passengers were given a coloured,lettered boarding card and called forward in alpha/colour order there was a delay of ten minutes whilst the port authority did a safety check on the boarding ramp. We boarded and were directed straight to our cabin E 235 which was made up and ready for us with some comp water bottles in the fridge.Our cabin steward Joel introduced himself at once and asked if there was anything we needed.There was no queue for the lift which I thought were quite roomy certainly comparable to other ships such as the Eclipse.The cabin was a balcony cabin with a single arm chair and dressing chair as opposed to a deluxe that has a sofa,it was roomy enough and we elected for the bed to be configured as singles having found in the past this gives more useable space to stand in while dressing. The bathroom was well equipped and supplied with good quality products for personal care.The shower has a glass door so there is no daft bit of plastic clinging to your backside.I should point out that I am 250 pound and found it roomy enough.As is usual with P&O the bathroom and cabin are separated by a walk in hanging wardrobe which we found slightly narrower than that on the Azura but not problematically so. The in room entertainment was quite comprehensive in scope with movies and tv shows mostly free or more accurately included with the odd movie charged at £2.99. All the food we ate on board we found to be of good quality and no disappointing meals,I should say we were on Freedom dining and only once had to wait as we wanted a table for two every time (I do not like to share while folk gaff about deciding whether they like peas or not) this is no hardship they gave us a pager we went for a stroll and 10 minutes later were paged. The public areas of the ship such as the Atrium the lounges bars coffee shops etc are all spacious bright and airy. We found the staff to be perfectly polite and efficient and being human beings some are more friendly than others but we never experienced rudeness or surliness.Indeed we have cruised 5 times and never had a problem which makes me think perhaps it is how you treat people that defines the service that you receive. The only guest artist we went to see Roy Locke an opera singer from Les Mis was fantastic and the resident troupe were absolutely fantastic in all the shows we saw.I was very impressed with cruise director who kept things entertains without going overboard if you will forgive the pun. I have seen criticism of the theatre seats but personally found them comfortable but as with all things another couple of inches would be nice and give room for drinks,giving more sales to the operator. We visited La Rochelle,Bilboa and Coruna and at a couple of these ports disembarkation took quite a while as the ports are currently upgrading their infrastructure to handle these new high volume vessels but hey chill who is in a hurry? The longest wait was at La Rochelle where it took 50 minutes from getting to the ships exit door to being sat on the bus into to town. P&O provided complimentary shuttles at all ports but as usual did not advise passengers until the day before,no doubt to encourage excursion sales.I must say as an ex tour driver I think all cruise excursions are very pricey and where possible I arrange my own. This sadly brings me to disembarkation,where we had to exit our cabin by 08:00 we then went to the Oriental restaurant had a cooked breakfast before disembarking at 08:45. Now I am a fussy grimy man in his mid sixties I used to drive buses and coaches but have spent the last twenty year advising further education establishments about computer software so I can both bore for England and cause an argument in an empty room but I have had a fabulous week on the Brittania and would return in a heart beat our previous cruises were on the Azura and the Celebrity Eclipse so I feel I can make a fair comparison. I thought the cruise very good and certainly good value for money Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was my third cruise, each time we went with different cruise lines as we wanted to try a few rather than just stick with the one cruise line. We also wanted to have something to compare against. The Britannia is supposed to be ... Read More
This was my third cruise, each time we went with different cruise lines as we wanted to try a few rather than just stick with the one cruise line. We also wanted to have something to compare against. The Britannia is supposed to be P&O's newest and most extravagant ship to date....sadly it did not measure up to the hype. I know it is just my own opinion, but I found the ship fell short in the wow factor. The biggest disappointment for me was the atrium area. On the other ships we have been on, this area has been the main hub of the ship with bars, music, reception lifts and beautiful staircases at the heart of it....this is not the case on the Britannia, the lack of lifts and staircase is well documented, I will just say that the two coffee bars, drinks bar and boring seating area (on deck five) was a wasted area that lacked soul and atmosphere. The food was great and on a par with all the other cruise companies we have been with but we did not book any of the restaurants that we had to pay extra for as we felt that this was just too foodie fussy and fancy. Breakfast time was very much the same every day. If you like full English you will be in your element. Perhaps a more international breakfast selection would go further, if the other non UK based cruise lines can do full English while catering for other nationalities, then surely P&O can as well. The cabin was great, it had everything we needed and we had the added bonus of a great cabin attendant who looked after us brilliantly for the entire time we were on the ship. The balcony however was clearly an over sight when it came to designing the ship, there is not much width or room once two chairs and a small table have been put there. The ships main deck area is very good, but once again could be better. For a new ship, they could have looked at installing video screens for extra entertainment such as movies under the stars. The staff on the ship were very polite and professional, I cannot find any reason to moan about anything. The entertainment team was great and the shows were first class. if i had any issue is that it is simply we did not see enough of them....each set was just 45 mins before taking a break then big gaps in between with just piped music or nothing at all. This meant that just as a good atmosphere was starting to take shape it would stop, only to start again after 45 mins or so. The live lounge seemed to be the exception here, but the venue was often full with some cruisers sitting on the floor at the entrance just so they could listen to great sounds coming from the stage. Getting on and off the boat from embarkation to debarkation was excellent and very organised. On the whole, I had a great time on my week long cruise, we met and chatted with some lovely folks and was able to relax. Would I go back to the Britannia? not really, unless it was a majorly cheap deal Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had a week aboard the Britannia along with my elderly parents who had never cruised before. We had been a little concerned having read previous reviews, but went with an open mind. The ship itself is spacious, spotlessly clean and ... Read More
We had a week aboard the Britannia along with my elderly parents who had never cruised before. We had been a little concerned having read previous reviews, but went with an open mind. The ship itself is spacious, spotlessly clean and very well laid out. We were all able to find our way around it quickly. The concerns around the lack of stairs mid-ship were well founded, but I would say that even with my Mother who is a wheelchair user, coped well. Although it would have been even better if some impatient able-bodied people had not been so keen to push their way in front of her to access the lifts. We used first-sitting in the Oriental at night which suited us well. Food was lovely and the waiters professional and friendly. It was a pleasure to eat each evening. We also used the Horizon buffet during the daytime, again the food here was hot and varied. One evening we ate in the Limelight club where we saw Eric and Ern. It was a great evening all round. All entertainment was first-class and I would especially recommend the show ‘Gravity’. We had balcony cabins which were roomy with plenty of storage space. Our cabin steward Edward was so helpful and opened up our balcony divider between the cabins so we were able to sit outside with my parents and we spent quite a time out there. We had a wonderful week and we can’t wait to get aboard the Britannia again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
First time on Britannia and was really looking forward to this ship. Embarkation was not good although we arrived at the port in plenty of time for my allocated book in time I had to join a queue in the car park . Was late due to this ... Read More
First time on Britannia and was really looking forward to this ship. Embarkation was not good although we arrived at the port in plenty of time for my allocated book in time I had to join a queue in the car park . Was late due to this although at the reception desk boarding on the ship was quick and efficient. On board the access to all parts of the ship was terrible . Small lifts if there was a wheelchair in the lift there was only room for about 6 people . No staircases for quick access so there were more queues and waiting for the lifts. Not sure what would happen in an emergency . There is no promenade deck so that walking around the ship was an ordeal . Smokers complained that there were only 2 smoking areas on board . i had freedom dining for the first time on p&o which seemed quite a good idea at first . The service was terrible and had to wait an hour for the main course on the first night which did not improve much for the rest of the cruise. The service was not as good as on other p&o ships. The first port of call was La Rochelle which involved a queue the length of the ship for the shuttles More queuing and waiting . The entertainment on board was quite good with plenty of variety . The ship and cabins were always clean and the crew were polite I am sorry to say that as the flagship of p&o this did not overall tick all of the boxes and left me disappointed so it could be back to Ventura for me Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Booked a disabled/assisted cabin. Very good size. Big Balcony Cons: Balcony chairs to low to sit in - you can get a wheelchair on the balcony though. Or sit by the open patio doors. No power sockets on the side of the room ... Read More
Booked a disabled/assisted cabin. Very good size. Big Balcony Cons: Balcony chairs to low to sit in - you can get a wheelchair on the balcony though. Or sit by the open patio doors. No power sockets on the side of the room where the beds are - we needed to plug in a feeding pump but had an extension lead with us (in hand luggage) and some gaffer tape to tape it down. Lights switches are on headboards difficult to reach if your upper limb mobility not good - wished we had brought a bedside light (plugged in via extension lead) Passenger assistance - the lifts on Britannia get VERY busy. For departure we were told to go to deck 5 (from deck 14) this took about 40 mins waiting for lifts. We were told by passenger assistance they could come and give us assistance from our cabin but you have to book this in advance WHEN ON THE SHIP. Reception not answering phones on departure day. You have to be out of your cabin by 8am - suitcases packed by midnight and out of the room. Special meals? we told them in advance but this just didn't happen very poor. No one seemed to understand what we needed (thick puree) next time I will bring a hand held blender! Small fridge in room so get stuff from Horizon Cafe and store it in there. room service breakfast no hot food. No room service breakfast on departure day If you can take the stairs not in the lifts - they take forever. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
A fantastic 2 days and 2 nights. Accommodation - was so comfortable and eveything we required was there- The balconey was great to have and waking up with the curtains open and seeing the view was great. Food - we had open meals ... Read More
A fantastic 2 days and 2 nights. Accommodation - was so comfortable and eveything we required was there- The balconey was great to have and waking up with the curtains open and seeing the view was great. Food - we had open meals which made it easier to decide when to eat and where. We thought the food was tasty, good range of options and served very efficiently. There was absolutely more than enough food and if you were hungry the 24 hour buffet could be sed to top up - not that we had to. Prices for drinks were reasonable and affordable. Entertainment - a 45 minute show twice a night in the evenings was great, leaving parties were fun and engaged the 'crowd' and the late night live band and then disco gave party animals a place to go. I don't like quizzes with a captive audience and there were a dew Pools etc - great choice of pools - facilities such as bars and snack foods were well placed and well thoughtout and if you wanted to get away there were plenty of sunbeds all over the decks that could be found, as well as a quite pool up fo'ard Service - the crew were brilliant, friendly, efficient, helpful and when you consider they have 3500 people to deal with it was all done calmly and efficiently. Embarkation and disembarkation was efficient and smoothly handled Would do it all again and the best compliment is we would have liked it to be longer Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise as my husband had never been on a cruise before and we wanted to see if he liked it. We expected a 2 night cruise to be a 'party cruise' with hen dos and stag parties, and this was fine. The ship is enormous ... Read More
We chose this cruise as my husband had never been on a cruise before and we wanted to see if he liked it. We expected a 2 night cruise to be a 'party cruise' with hen dos and stag parties, and this was fine. The ship is enormous and so we hardly noticed them. Embarkation: We arrived at the specified time to mayhem. It was not clear for a while that we needed an embarkation card, which would put us in a 'first come first served' order. I discovered a desk hidden behind a screen who handed these to me. I explained that we had been told to be there by 3, with a check-in close time of 4. I was told 'we can't get you lot onto the ship all at once, so be patient'. At the desk, the lady who checked us in looked miserable. I tried to be cheery and said, 'it shouldn't be too long now'. Her response? We should be able to get rid of this lot within an hour hopefully'. She was referring to passengers still to board! Service: The ship inside is certainly impressive and enormous. It is absolutely spotless in all areas. This said, the whole cruise lacked 'wow'. Having been on a cruise before, I was at least expecting a 'Welcome to Britannia' comment, but no. The public areas are well-designed and there are plenty of places to sit. You can always find a place to sit overlooking the atrium, which is lovely. We ate in The Peninsular restaurant both nights and here the service was great. The waiters had personality and were friendly and smiley. Elsewhere on the ship, the service was attentive and responsive, but without smiles or personality. They did their job, but with no real enthusiasm or passion. When I found out from one of them that they work between 12-14 hours a day with a day off only every two weeks, I can see why perhaps their enthusiasm isn't great. Dining experience: On the first morning we didn't get to breakfast until 9. In The Horizon bar, it was a self-service buffet system. The queues were very long and didn't move quickly. When we eventually reached the hot food this was because there was never everything available and so people were always waiting for something. e.g. there were sausages, but no eggs. When the eggs arrived there were then no beans etc. Surely, knowing that 9am is going to be a busy time, they would ensure that there is a constant supply of hot food? This made finding a seat difficult as many people were just saving seats for when their food eventually arrived. The quality was good, and hot. In the Peninsula restaurant, the food was good although not particularly exciting. There were more elegant restaurants in which we could have dined, although these incurred additional charges, some up to £30 per head. Lunch in The Horizon was varied, hot and the same problems for food were not present. Excursion to Guernsey: We were asked by the Captain on the first evening to 'take our time' in going to Guernsey. He said that there would be a big rush for the tender boats, so having a leisurely start would help us and prevent long queues. The ship was not able to dock in port and so tender boats were used to get there. We decided to try to get onto Guernsey for about noon so headed to the theatre as instructed at 1115am. We were issued a ticket and asked to take a seat in the theatre. Along with 900 others. The Captain announced that as 'you have all decided to have a lie in, it has caused a problem and a backlog'. The cheek! To blame passengers for going later (as requested the night before) and to make assumptions about why that was, seems rude at the very least. We sat in the theatre for over an hour, during which time no entertainment was provided (unless you count a compere trying to get us to claps in beats of 2 and then 5). After this time we decided that we were wasting our paid for cruising time, so decided to leave the theatre and stay on the ship. It was 140pm when the Captain finally announced that the queue had gone. As the final tender to come back to the ship was to be 530pm, it wasn't great. Entertainment: The entertainment comprised a 45 minute show entitled 'Sound of The Underground' which although short was great. We saw a live band 'Pulse' who were also good. A Beatles tribute band and a vocal harmonies group 'The Overtones' were performing on the second night but we didn't see them. I heard that they were both really good. Party Cruise: As a 2 night cruise, there were many groups of hens, stags, and general drinking groups. There was definitely a party atmosphere on the cruise, and 'sail-away' on the top deck was a party. There were plenty of other places to go if you didn't want to join in. The cabin was very modern and spotless. It had a king sized bed with plenty of pillows. The balcony was small but adequate with two lounger chairs and a small table. Those groups had adjoining cabins were able to remove the partition between cabin balconies, making one bigger one. This is a great idea. The towels were not massive but big enough. The wall-mounted TV was huge although only Sky news and BBC World News channels on offer. There was a desk and office chair also. Some cabins had a sofa, although ours didn't. The shower was great, and there was a glass shower door, so no shower curtains sticking to you! Our cabin steward Martin came and introduced himself and looked after us well during our stay. He cleaned the cabin both days and replenished tea and coffee. We had proper sized mugs for tea etc which was nice. There was air conditioning, which worked well and was easy to control. The bed was comfortable and the quality of the duvet and pillows was high. A great cabin with plenty of wardrobe space, plenty of hanging space and two big mirrors. Overall, a pleasant enough cruise, but not one that 'wowed' me. Queues for the lifts were ever-present, but not too bad. That said, having pressed for example the 'down' button, the call light would go out for no particular reason, even if no lift had arrived. This was annoying. In conclusion, no 'wow', no feeling special, poor organisation for some things. Great tax-free shopping, and a good variety. My previous taster cruise was with Royal Caribbean, and although the ship was older, I felt that my custom was appreciated. On that cruise, the waiter remembered you from the night before, he knew what you hand drank, and had a conversation and laugh with you. This sounds nothing, but does make the difference. For this reason, I would choose RC over P & O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Went with family. Third time with P and O and each one worst than last. With the Britannia being a relatively new ship, I was expecting great things, and was very disappointed. The ships design is totally wrong. There are nowhere near ... Read More
Went with family. Third time with P and O and each one worst than last. With the Britannia being a relatively new ship, I was expecting great things, and was very disappointed. The ships design is totally wrong. There are nowhere near enough lifts, and it takes forever to get one. When you eventually get one you are packed in like sardines. People are so rude that even though they see you have been waiting long before them, as soon as a lift comes, they push you out of the way. This happened even to wheelchair users, we once had to wait 30 minutes for a lift we could get a wheelchair in. Why aren't there more lifts and at least two for disabled only. Another fault is lack of midship stairs, which means more people queuing for the lifts, and dangerous if there was a fire. It is a stupid idea not being able to get to the restaurants on deck 6 without going up to deck seven, then walking all the way through the ship, and down stairs to the restaurant. At mealtimes it is a fight to get into the restaurants, a lift, or stairs. The restaurant food was better than I expected, but cheap cuts of meat, bland with very little taste or choice. Too many cut backs for good flavoursome food, or variety. ,Where was the smoked salmon for breakfast in the buffet restaurant? Good food in Epicunian restaurant, but for a heavy surcharge, it was only on comparison to other cruiselines standard meals. Quite nice pools, but no towels at pools ever and no changing rooms or saunas by pools. There were no dressing gowns in the cabins, but you can buy them!!! Another example of penny pinching cutbacks. Forget comfort for the guests who have paid to come on board, and charge them for sometime other cruise lines provide as standard. Most cruise lines have blankets outside in case it is cold. Not on Britannia going to Norway. When asked for blankets at reception, we were told that you could only have a blanket for use in the cabin, you could not take them outside or to the pool. Room service fairly quick, but food was inedible. The queue for transfer tickets for Bergen was ridiculous, a long, long queue all round the deck for a raffle ticket. This was for you to know when you could join another quue to get a transfer bus from the ship approx 500yards. Why couldn't the tickets jut have been placed in the cabins at the start of the cruise, with a time slot. It would have saved almost an hour queuing. The balconies are the smallest I have ever seen, cabins not really big enough to swing a cat in. But lots of coat hangers. No account on cabinTV, so if you wanted to check what you had purchased, you had to ask reception for a balance. On most other cruise lines you can see your account on your cabin TV. In my opinion a very down market cruise company, only interested in taking money from you. In the bars it annoyed me that a couple of people in our party might have finished their drinks, another still drinking, but the waiters just come and take away the empty glasses, not bothering to ask if anyone wanted another drink, it felt a bit like, come on hurry up and finish your drink and get out of here if you are not going to spend your money. My overall view is, too big a ship. The size of the ship means itlacks personality, comfort and care of passengers. Smaller ships offer a better service, value and better accommodation.P and O Cruises on Britannia......more like P and O ferry. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is my fourth cruise, the first with P&O. I will start with the positives; smooth embarkation, stunning scenery. The rest - well where to start. The food on board was borderline inedible. We chose second sitting in the Oriental ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise, the first with P&O. I will start with the positives; smooth embarkation, stunning scenery. The rest - well where to start. The food on board was borderline inedible. We chose second sitting in the Oriental Restaurant. Food was served Luke warm, no effort on presentation by surly waiters. On night 4, my partner ordered Lamb. The meat that was served was basically all gristle, totally inedible. Chips were cold and vegetables overlooked. Pasta in to at sauce was basically pasta swimming in tomato soup. We asked to speak to the restaurant manager who refused to come to the table. My partner had to go to find him! We lodged a formal complaint and there was a dramatic improvement th following night with food being served hot. The buffet was like a school canteen. Curry served every day. Salad consisted of a bowls of lettuce, cucumber, tomato and grated carrot, the serving areas were dirty. Fresh juice is only served at breakfast - at all,other times it has to be paid for. Very limited variety with food stations offering the same basic choices. Desserts gone hard from sitting under lights. Dreadful!!! I asked the head chef what options were available for vegetarians - his answer "vegetable curry". Quality of entertainers very limited with the exception of Manuel Martinez, a very talented comedian/magician. Decent coffee only available to buy using a pre-paid Costa card. Having cruises with NCL, RCL, Princess and Celebrity I can say without doubt that I will never travel with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We usually cruise with Royal Caribbean however, last year we had our first experience with P &O when we went to the Ffords on the Azura. Although we did think that the standard of service and food were not as good as we had expected ... Read More
We usually cruise with Royal Caribbean however, last year we had our first experience with P &O when we went to the Ffords on the Azura. Although we did think that the standard of service and food were not as good as we had expected but we did quite like the fact that the entertainment was reasonable and very much geared to the British cruiser. However, the Azura experienced some technical problems and we were delayed on board for an extra day. This was not really a problem for us as I am retired but my husband lost on days work. We were however compensated with on board spends and !0% of our next cruise. Therefore we took the opportunity of redoing the Fjords again his year taking in the places we had missed and so looking forward to the blwonderful flag ship "Britannia" We were very excited and expected so much more from the big new ship, oh we were so wrong! First of all the embarkation was fine quite quick and the staff were friendly. When we arrived in the Atrium, or the Blue bar as they call it we thought it was very elegant although contemporary in style and clearly didn't have the Wow factor that we have experienced on other ships. There were only a few shops which sold the usual over priced jewellery and hand bags and not clothes shops at all. The staircases were covered in dull blue carpet. No lovely glass, marble or chrome. By the time we arrived in our cabin we decided that the ship was quite underwhelming in décor.. The cabin was as expected clean and compact although we felt that he balcony was a bit small, with just enough room for two chairs and one very small little table. The balcony door was very heavy and stiff and difficult to open and shut. We were allocated the Oriental Restaurant for our 8.45 dining, The décor is black and red and dull and dark ' The service was equally uninspiring, We had to request hand wash on arrival, in fact the lack of this was evident all over the ship. They didn't even have any when you had to re-embark the ship after a day ashore. On top of which half the crew where suffering with colds and could frequently be seen sneezing, coughing and wiping the noses with the back of there hands, yuk!! As a result both of us returned with stinking colds. Also the speciality restaurants are very expensive and rather pretentious but the service is better. Well now if I were to continue to tell you all about the rubbish service we received then you would still be reading this review next month. Therefore suffice to say that in the end we went to the customer services and withdrew our gratuities which is not something that we would normally even consider but their "no can do attitude" was just too much to bear. Some of the staff even complained about the pressure they were under. Oh! and on a footnote, apparently they no long serve cherries on your drinks for health and safety reasons? With regards to the Fjords, they are very beautiful and Flam is stunning. The price of drinks are very expensive indeed but if you want to go on thee Flam railway it is much cheaper to buy your ticket at the station, but you need to get there early. Also other half bought me love pair of gloves in Flam for £!5 only to get back on board to find out they were made in China lol............ All things considered we would not choose PO again unless the intinery was something we particularly wanted . We have chosen Princess for our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Was looking forward to this cruise on Britannia as it is the P&O flag ship of the fleet. However, we found that the level of service much to be desired from the start when we got on the ship. One of our party is in a wheelchair and ... Read More
Was looking forward to this cruise on Britannia as it is the P&O flag ship of the fleet. However, we found that the level of service much to be desired from the start when we got on the ship. One of our party is in a wheelchair and Instead of escorted to our cabin, we were told that ours was on deck 12 and off we went on our own to find it, on a ship that we hadn't been on before. Although we had opted for freedom dining, we chose to use the Horizon buffet restaurant as it is easier for us with the wheelchair. We found that the level of service and attitude from the staff was very poor. When arriving at the Horizon Buffet, a member of crew was barking at passengers, "wash hands" and pointing to the sinks, no politeness was given by him and his approach was very rude to the passengers. Often, they had run out of cutlery and you glad to go and find some yourself. Frequently, we had to clear the tables as no staff appeared to be doing this. On another occasion, when the coffee station had run out of mugs again, the waiter said to the lady passenger to go and find some from a table. The quality of the food was poor and often cold and bland. The choice was very limited and often the description did not match the food, for example; streak on kidney pudding does not have layers of filo pastry on but is made from suet pastry as a pudding, devilled kidneys should have some heat in them, hence the name and not just be kidneys in gravy. The management of the food was strange. On other buffets that we have used, as food is taken from the front of the serving tray, it is pushed forward and replenished front the back. Not on the Britannia however, it is replaced at the front, for example, the bacon at the first third was fresh, but the bacon and the remaining two thirds was dry and shrivelled under the heat lamps Some of the disabled toilets had push button automatic doors, but some didn't and had two doors that you had to open and with a wheelchair, this was rather difficult. On the Royal Caribbean ship, Brilliance of the Seas, they were all push button automatic doors which makes access and egress much easier. Similarly with the accessible cabin, the door was a manual door that does not stay open by itself, increasing the difficulty of using it. On the Brilliance of the Seas, all the accessible cabins had push button automatic doors. The entertainment in the Live Lounge was very good and the overall appearance of the ship appeared OK, however, the overall cruise experience was let down by the things that you will remember. Just a bit more care and attention to detail by some of the crew is all that is needed to improve the situation and more fore thought into what a disabled passenger is looking for. The spa facilities were very good and the treatment was able to be done with the person in the wheelchair. The beautician was very caring throughout the process. We have done nine cruises so far, with NCL, Thompson, Royal Caribbean and now P&O. We must say, though that this has been the one that we have enjoyed the least as it was let down by silly things that are easier to get correct, but should be incorrect in the first place. Quality has to be designed in from the outset. The embarkation and disembarkation we OK, even if the latter was a little bit slow Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
As a young(ish) couple of 26 & 33; we are trying cruising as an alternative to having to fly to destinations abroad (due to me being sadly scared of flying). We chose to go on the Britanna for a 7 nights Fjord trip, from Southampton, ... Read More
As a young(ish) couple of 26 & 33; we are trying cruising as an alternative to having to fly to destinations abroad (due to me being sadly scared of flying). We chose to go on the Britanna for a 7 nights Fjord trip, from Southampton, as we went on a cruise a years ago with Celebrity from Southampton and loved the fact that we can park up the car and get on the ship straight away! Embarkation was efficient; we were held for parking for only about 20 minutes, after which point we were on the ship within 30 minutes (my mum is a P&O fan and said that we experienced what sounded like a very efficient and quick embarkation for P&O). The first thing we saw when we got on the ship was the lovely atrium area with its impressive centre feature. I know this has not been the most popular use of the centre of the ship, but as a seating area to have a drink, it seemed nice (however as the cruise went on, the cigarette smoke from on deck did ruin the ambiance somewhat, if you are sensitive to the smell of smoke). The cabin was nice and modern, not as small as we were expecting, having been on Celebrity Equinox & Eclipse and having read some negative reviews of Britannia's cabins. The bathroom was plesant and the shower size as of a good standard (not having a shower curtain was definately nice!). The only issue I had was that the shower smelt of damp, sitting water quite badly. I even resorted to clearing out the plug hole and wiping with a hygiene wipe, but alas I think it was in the plumbing and not something that I or the cabin attendant could probably have resolved. The water pressure was not brilliant either, but adequate for a wash! The hanging space and cupboard for clothes, with safe in; was very roomy and it was a well designed area so you could put your suitcases nicely tucked away. The bed is very generous and comfortable, the coffee making facilities a plus. The balcony was again, bigger than we were expecting based on some reviews, the furniture was perhaps a tad clunky for the space. I did notice that the handrails on the balconies were very weathered looking for a 1 year old ship (compared to Celebrity ships). We booked a last minute deal with Thomas Cook, and we were very lucky to have cabin upgrades to be located low down, centre back of the ship. It was a nice steady, quiet location (especially for me who is a bit sensitive to wave movement!). We found out that we were having 8.30pm dining, which was too late for our preference I went down to the restaurant the first night and was put on the waiting list for freedom dining or earlier dining (sadly we never heard back about this). We ended up having the buffet or Sindhu most nights, but as we had a last minute deal - we knew we were never going to get priority seating etc. So it didn't bother us. Surprisingly the quality of the buffet was actually very decent and better quality, in our opinion, compared to Celebrity's. The choice was nowhere near as good as Celebrity, but again we always had enough choice to be satisfied. My partner is of Bengali origin, and there was always a back up curry option, that was always tasty! There were lots of English options like Shepherd's Pie or Roasts, we would have liked a few pasta/pizza dishes, but again that was just our preference. The first Formal night we decided to try Sindhu; we thoroughly enjoyed the food here. The surcharge is definitely worth it. We felt like we were in a Michelin starred restaurant! Beautifully cooked seafood, little extras like sorbet to clear the palette for dessert/appetisers to try before starters. Definately go hungry! The service was perfect too. We enjoyed it so much we went a second time for the 2nd formal night! The entertainment was good, but not quite as excellent as Celebrity. The Britannia cast shows were good, with a Britain through the decades theme and a musicals night. An issue I have read before is about the location for the comedian being too small and this was definately the case, we weren't able to see the comedian on either night. The shops onboard were a nice selection, having a Pandora jewellery store was very dangerous for the bank balance (especially as there was not VAT, so there's a 20% discount!) the washing tablets to use in the very handy washing machines were only 60p for 2, which was a nice surprise. In regards to the outside space... The lack of whirlpools & pools was evident, however for the Fjords, this was not a problem. The outdoor Serenity pool area was nice, often I had the pool to myself. Both the showers there were broken, which again was a bit surprising for the age of the ship. We had beautiful weather in the Fjords, we were in t-shirts most of the time, and only a tiny bit of rain in Stavanger. The Flam railway was beautiful. The waterfall was still frozen over, but still lovely and atmospheric. I know some people complain about this, but that is unfair and doesn't detract from the beauty here. We were sunbathing in the afternoon in the Fjords in April! We couldn't have asked for nicer weather! We only had to pay for the Flaam railway excursion, all other ports we could walk from the port and wonder round, discovering the Oil Museum in Stavanger (very modern and interesting!), going on the phonicular railway to the beautiful lake and views at Bergen was nice. Climbing the many steps in Alesund was lovely for the views. It's a lovely itinerary where you don't have to pay much extra for excursions if you don't want. It was lovely exploring the Fjord towns, they are lovely and clean and very much more multicultural than we were expecting. It is of course expensive (we paid £15 for a McDonalds meal for 2), but there's so much food to eat onboard, that this is not an issue. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise on Britannia. Perhaps the lovely weather gave us a rose tinted view of the ship itself. The lifts were a bit of an issue if you had mobility problems, and the layout took a little while to calculate, but it is a big ship and that wasn't an issue for us. Being totally honest, we did find the negativity of some of the cruise goers off putting. There were complaints about silly little things, that weren't warranted. However, we are quite insular and so didn't let it be a problem for us. It did seem that some cruise goers didn't treat some of the buffet staff, for example, very nicely. Sometimes the waiters did seem quite serious and not relaxed, which is all very different to onboard Celebrity ships. I felt sorry for them, as it might have been from too many complaining holiday goers! Disembarkation was delayed a little, but we didn't mind waiting around for a while (obviously some were sitting there complaining). These are things that are out of P&Os control and so we felt were unfair to comment negatively on. We would go with P&O again, but perhaps with Ventura or Arcadia, which I believe have covered pools and are slightly smaller ships. We got such a good deal with this cruise, that Britannia was still a lovely accommodation for a beautiful, scenic cruise. We are thinking of trying Royal Caribbean next, to hopefully get that balance of more onboard activities and perhaps a less negative crowd, along with the more plesant American style friendliness/relaxedness of staff. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our first cruise. A wonderful experience from the moment we embarked to the moment we drove out of Southampton a week later. Didn’t have to think and plan anything, so that equals relaxation for me. Embarkation in particular was a doddle ... Read More
Our first cruise. A wonderful experience from the moment we embarked to the moment we drove out of Southampton a week later. Didn’t have to think and plan anything, so that equals relaxation for me. Embarkation in particular was a doddle and really quick. We chose freedom dining which suited us perfectly. We could be sociable on a shared table or sit quietly together as the mood took us. We didn’t have to wait for a table at any time. Food excellent with lots of choice at all times in the Meridian restaurant. Food also good in the Horizon buffet but this got a bit busy at peak times. Entertainment was varied and high quality. We always found a seat at whichever venue we chose. The LED stage screen in the theatre is amazing and provides an immersive experience in conjunction with the side repeat displays. Super performances from the company who played three different shows during our week on board. House band Pulse excellent. Highly recommend the Limelight Club for an evening meal and show. We saw Eric and Little Ern who were very funny and uncannily like their namesakes. We were blessed with clear dry days on all our days in port and bright sunshine on most. Flaam, Bergen and Alesund were all stunning and very different. Stavanger harbour area was lovely, but the trip to Egersund we pre-booked from there disappointed. A long way and only a half hour look around the Town. The promised chocolate factory is a shop with a kitchen area behind the counter. Cabin small but perfectly formed and the bed very comfortable. No complaints at all. Our cabin attendant was discrete and courteous as were all staff we spoke to on board. Beer (most important) premium brands and only slightly more expensive than back at home. Britannia presents internally an unpretentious elegance in a kind of contemporary deco style. Beautiful finishes complement all public areas. Other ships may offer more bling, but I can’t think of anything to criticise about the internal décor of Britannia. The only negative observation we would make would be to repeat other reviewer’s comments regarding a minority of ‘experienced cruisers’. They really got on your pip after a while, perpetually moaning, requesting special meal preparations for the day ahead and negatively comparing their many previous voyages. Staff had to be so patient. From our experience of this cruise, P&O provide an excellent balance of cost and value. If you want truffled foie-gras with Waldorf’s at every sitting and someone to physically carry you round the ship, cruises 10 times the cost are available. Newbie Britannia cruisers can skip over the gangplank in confidence. They are in for a great experience on a truly excellent modern ship. If we can get a good deal, Britannia round the Med next May is our first choice next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We had a bad cruise previously on Oceana but decided to give P & O another go as we had previously had a lovely time on their cruises and we were glad we did. Britannia is a lovely ship and we enjoyed our holiday on her very much. We ... Read More
We had a bad cruise previously on Oceana but decided to give P & O another go as we had previously had a lovely time on their cruises and we were glad we did. Britannia is a lovely ship and we enjoyed our holiday on her very much. We decided to try a different destination and the number of nights away suited us perfectly. We like to travel from Southampton as we are not keen on flying, embarkation went smoothly and we opted for the early self disembarkation which we would not ideally recommend to everyone due to length of time it took and we struggled a bit with all our suitcases. We had a balcony cabin which was very specious. We enjoyed the entertainment and found the service to be good in the Restaurants and Bars. We watched a couple of films and went to a couple of talks but spent a lot of time in the hot tubs when not on shore. We did not take any of the ships shore excursions as we are always happy to do our own thing walking around and enjoying the scenery. We started the cruise on 2nd setting for dinner but then opted for freedom dining and were pleased we did as we met some very nice people and the food was very good, we are vegetarians and found plenty of choice. The Crows nest is an excellent bar with lovely views especially at night time. We found all crew to be polite and our cabin stewart was very good and we would consider going on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First time on P&O, big lovers of Celebrity, and have sailed on Royal Carribean and Princess but decided to try P&O and Britannia for my Wife's 60th Birthday. Travelled by Coach to Southampton, embarkation was efficient ... Read More
First time on P&O, big lovers of Celebrity, and have sailed on Royal Carribean and Princess but decided to try P&O and Britannia for my Wife's 60th Birthday. Travelled by Coach to Southampton, embarkation was efficient although we were fast-tracked through as we were travelling on a Coach booked through P&O. Looked like some people had been there a while though. Cabin A406 -A Deck (Deck 15) Superior deluxe cabin with Balcony and Bath. Paid a bit more for this as it was a celebration. Huge cabin, 2 large TV's, lots of storage, Tea facilities, Bath, Shower, just a great cabin. Only downside is that the top two decks are shaded by the overhang from Deck 16, so it keeps the sun off, and a little noisy from above. Ideal decks would be probably 11-12. Live TV in the cabins, Sky news and Sky sports 1 and a Sport 24 Channel with live football. Lifts/Stairs Normally the biggest gripe on Cruise ships is the food, entertainment etc., not on Britannia,it's the movement from one floor to the next. There are no stairs at the aft end so you need a lift to go from floor 16 Restaurant to floor 15 cabin. There is just a complete lack of stairs and lifts on this Ship, the designer should be sacked, everyone moans all week about lifts and stairs, ridiculous !! Sunbeds Previous reports talked about a lack of sunbeds, we didnt find that at all, there are an awful lot of beds, limited number around the Pool, but just go higher and there are lots, go round the funnel where there are lots of secluded beds, and at one end a quiet area for adults. Admittedly around the Pool fills up quick but you didnt need to rush. Food We ate in the Peninsular on Freedom dining, anytime dining, the majority of the food was really good, few disappointing meals but overall excellent. We always had a table for two, sometimes you had to wait but generally easy to walk straight in. Service was good although the Waiters on celebrity seemed more chatty and friendly. Horizon Buffet was very good as well, lacked a bit of choice sometimes, can get busy at peak times but there are always tables (go behind the cutlery areas at each side, people cant see the empty tables there). This is a very British Ship so they do cater for the Brits. There are several speciality Restaurants with an additional cover charge:- Sindhu- Indian restaurant, £15 extra pp, nice surroundings, very different Indian food and presentation, personally not my favourite but my wife loved it. Beach House-attached to the Horizon but shut off in an evening, no need to book £5 pp extra and some additional charges £2-3 for Steak etc. The most food we had in one sitting, larger portions and basic things like kebabs, Steak and Ribs, but great quality and lots of it. Limelight- £22 pp extra gets you a very select posh meal with Entertainment, have your meal then entertained by an individual artist, our was the singer Jackie Graham, lovely evening, very nice food and delightfully presented. Obviously food is available everywhere, on Deck, etc.etc. Overall extremely good. Casino Very small for the size of ship but adequate, you can play with 50p chips so it does encourage non Gamblers to have a go. Photo's Disappointing, nowhere near what we have seen on other ships, a lack of backdrops and back views, particular on the many Formal Nights. Dress Code On this sailing of 13 nights there was 4 Formal Nights, probably one too many. We like dressing up but it got a bit boring by the fourth. This was probably the best dressed Ship we have been on, although the clientele was predominantly over 50, but everyone dressed smart for Dinner and the majority had Dinner suits etc. on formal nights. Entertainment On any Cruise there will be good Artistes and bad, this Cruise had its fair share of both. Very average was Chapman Bros., Sam Wade. and Peter Grant but really enjoyed Bernie Flint and Sam Bailey. Jon Clegg and Jeff Stevenson in the Live Lounge were very good, but we were really impressed with "Pulse" and the lead singer, Verity. who performed regularly in the Live Lounge, they should have been on main stage. The resident Singers and Dancers shows were very good, although a little dis-jointed at times, tried to make new songs fit a lot of performances, but the effects were amazing at times. Didn't think much of Neil, the Entertainment Director, he never said much in an evening,until we saw him at the sail away party from Lisbon where he showed why he got to where he is, his entertainment team were very professional and funny. The Sail Away party from Lisbon was jaw dropping, under the Lisbon bridge, waving the Union Jack flags, singing and dancing to the Entertainment team, a sail away to remember forever ! Ports GIBRALTAR. Did the Rock Revealed 001A, 2 hrs in a mini-bus, whistle stop tour of the island and in particular the Caves and Monkeys. Good enough taster of the island and dropped back off in town for some shopping. Little mini buses shuttled everyone back to the ship from town, these weren't really big enough for the volume of people. BARCELONA. Got Shuttle into town, usual £4,quite a walk into town, good 20 minutes otherwise, got a Red Bus and did a tour, about 50 Euros but should have done the Green Line not the orange one, 2 hrs each circle so could only manage one, maybe a booked trip would have been better, lots to see though. PALMA. Soller by Coach and Train. Went to soller by Coach, nice journey, the town was lovely, helped by the fact it was Market day otherwise not too much to see, then boarded a little train back to just outside Palma. Re-boarded the Coach and could either go back to ship or town. Town was a good 25 min walk from the Ship. Lovely town, lots to see and do. IBIZA, Took shuttle Bus into town for £4 pp, little too far to walk, 10 min bus journey, it was Sunday so lots closed but lovely old town and nice to wander round. CADIZ.Wet day in Cadiz, we took a trip SEVILLE ON YOUR OWN.1.5 hrs on the coach, there for 10am,got back on the coach at 3pm. Seville is a great city, lots to see, lots of shops, would have been nice if it was sunny. LISBON: Can walk in, less than 15 mins but shuttle took you to centre,£4 pp. We did COACH and TRAM, drives round the city in the Coach then in the tram, good experience although seemed a little repetitive, tram seemed to go in same places as coach, although you were served Port and Pastel de neuta on the tram. Could see the major attractions by foot or from ship sailing out. PROBLEM One thing that almost spoilt our Cruise though was an issue with the Credit Card. I got a letter through saying my Debit Card had been declined by my Bank, so i rang my Bank at great expense and they said they had not declined and they would noted that i am away .I went to reception and complained and they asked if i was related to a crew member, obviously i wasnt. They sniggered and said it was a fault and it was fine now. At Dinner embarrassingly the card dint work again, fortunately the Waiter did a paper receipt so we could have a drink. Went back to reception, now very upset, and she said ring your Bank, i have done that and there is no problme, then they said it was a system fault and they were working on it, it would be fixed in 30 minutes. 45 minutes later we ordered some drinks in the Live Lounge and it still didnt work, fortunately we found the same waiter and it again bypassed the card swipe. The following day we complained again and they said it was my Card, i said it was the system last night, they said it must be your card, furious by now, and getting nowhere, i decided to use a different card which seemed, this time a Credit Card instead of a Debit, but throughout all this they were unhelpful, ignorant and non-apologetic, shocking service, if it wasnt for the one waiter with some common sense we would have gone all evening unable to purchase anything. So in summary we enjoyed our first P&O experience, wouldnt recommend Britannia though because of the stairs/lift issues, apparently they are going to do something about it, but would try a smaller ship which people raved about. This Cruise was good but the two sea days at the beginning and at the end got a little boring as the weather was poor on all these days, could have stayed in Lisbon for two days and motored home instead of crawling. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife and I so enjoyed our 13 night Med cruise on the beautiful Britannia. I do hope that my review will help all the people who have committed their hard earned cash to sail on this ship and read a lot of frankly ridiculous reviews! ... Read More
My wife and I so enjoyed our 13 night Med cruise on the beautiful Britannia. I do hope that my review will help all the people who have committed their hard earned cash to sail on this ship and read a lot of frankly ridiculous reviews! This was our 29th cruise in 23 years taken with Royal Caribbean, P&O, Celebrity and Oceania. Over the last few years every ship that we have sailed on has been dogged by bad reviews most recently Celebrity Summit and P&O Oriana. We enjoy all our cruises researching carefully before making a booking – we do not compare the ship that we are sailing on with other ships - we just enjoy each ship for what it has to offer. Britannia’s design is contemporary, sophisticated and elegant and quite different to any of the other ships that we have cruised on and in short it was a very nice change. The much reported issue with the lack of a central staircase is valid but it didn’t worry us too much with a cabin at the back of the ship. Our cabin was on A deck and very pleasant. We particularly liked the “walk-in” wardrobe with lots of hanging space. The shower room is quite small but the glass enclosed shower itself is quite spacious. Much has been written about the small balconies but there are 2 chairs and a table with room to sit - so no problem at all to us. As ever our stateroom attendant Nevys looked after us extremely well. We had Freedom dining and the food in the Peninsular Dining room was very good and in line with the food that we have had on previous P&O cruises. When raising criticisms of the food people need to remember that this is mass catering and not to be compared with a meal in a small restaurant. That said the food is of a good standard. We always had a table for 2 without any problem and only once had a pager when they were waiting for tables. The highlight of the food for us was the optional dining venues: Epicurian – we had a superb meal on my wife’s birthday when we had the Chateaubriand – fabulous. You get all the table side preparation which really adds a sense of occasion. The Glass House – we thought this was great and not having sailed on Ventura or Azura we have not experienced this little gem before. The Beach House again a super meal for just £5! The Limelight Club – this is the supper club venue and Dean Andrews was the artist - very good and the meal was nice – again a very different experience. We also liked the market café at the bottom of the Atrium and had one of their sharing platters for lunch one day. The production shows in the theatre (there are 3 of them) are very spectacular and the special effects are amazing. We also enjoyed shows by the production singers, Berni Flint and the Chapman Brothers. There are lots of places to go on Britannia from the lovely bars (we liked the Crows Nest with its fabulous pianist and the Blue Bar and Sunset bar) to the outdoor spaces where you can always find a quiet corner. The promenade deck is up on deck 18 and although I have read adverse comments about this it’s actually great to walk off those extra pounds and quite a long walk round. The great thing about P&O is value for money and as regular cruisers with American lines we always appreciate the lower cost of drinks and no gratuity added. Staff gratuities are very reasonable £5 per day – shame on anyone who takes them off. The crew on P&O are not as friendly as their counterparts on the American cruise lines but we did notice some improvement on Britannia. We paid select price and port shuttles were included but if you had to pay they were just £4 and much cheaper than on American cruise lines – that said I have read complaints about the £4 being too much!! Given the number of poor reviews that we read prior to our cruise we expected to meet lots of people who did not like the ship. On the contrary we only met one such couple but met several people who were on their second and even third cruise on Britannia! Britannia is a wonderful ship with all the ingredients for a fantastic cruise. It’s a very big ship but that brings space and choices and there were times when we walked around the ship wondering just where all the other 3498 were. Have a great cruise – we did! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Firstly, don't let the many negative comments you read on here or elsewhere, deter you from considering a cruise on the Britannia! Especially if, like us, you are 1st timers to cruising. The reviews we read prior to going were so ... Read More
Firstly, don't let the many negative comments you read on here or elsewhere, deter you from considering a cruise on the Britannia! Especially if, like us, you are 1st timers to cruising. The reviews we read prior to going were so off-putting at times, we almost cancelled; thank goodness we didn't! We chatted to many seasoned travellers on board who had sailed both with P & O and on the Britannia before and the general consenus was this: 1 Central stairwell definitely required. 2 Wifi charges extortionate and unnecessary 3 Pools, late night entertainment and queuing need policing. 4 Indoor pool or cover for outside pool required for cooler/rainy days 5 Some on board charges and seminar sales pitches need reviewing 6 Shuttle transfer charges from ship to port unnecessary and greedy HOWEVER! the plus reviews far outweigh the above: 1 99% of the staff were all polite and friendly, work hard! 2 Cabins clean, modern and comfortable 3 All food (except the porridge ;-) ), was totally superb! - From the buffet style dining in the Horizon restaurant to the fine dining restaurants - service and meals were delicious and we were always spoilt for choice. Even the 'grab and go' counters in the lido deck areas were great. 4 Drinks were chargeable but compareable with the High Street and extensive selection 5 Talks/seminars given by various celebrities were interesting (Gay Search was particulary good). 6 Several choice of bars/relaxation areas to choose from 7 Daily informative pamphlet outside cabin door giving extensive programme of events throughout day and information re excursions, restaurants, celebrities booked 8 Various shops available to look around 9 Toilet facilities and hand hygiene very thorough and clean 10 Library, casino, gymnasium, Oasis spa area available (spa sadly very expensive) I could describe more positives I am sure, the above is not exhaustive by any means. Would we cruise again? - Definitely. Our first cruise was wonderful and an eye-opener, where else can you get such hospitality per night compared to a hotel? However, we will research any future ship and cruiseline to suit our own personal requirments. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
we saw Britannia sailing the other way last year in the Med, it looked stunning so we promised ourselves to try it. We booked direct with P&O and pleased we did< Georgina was excellent, no hard sell, just a very knowledgeable and ... Read More
we saw Britannia sailing the other way last year in the Med, it looked stunning so we promised ourselves to try it. We booked direct with P&O and pleased we did< Georgina was excellent, no hard sell, just a very knowledgeable and approachable person. By booking direct we found we had a very acceptable on board spend allowance plus valet parking. The valet parking was smooth & efficient, the check in was a breeze, even better when I asked when our cabin would be ready I was amazed to find that it already was! One of the striking things about this ship is its décor, it's a cross between contemporary and art deco, no bold "n" brash purples and reds, instead mellow fawns, beiges, browns and greens that make for a calming, tranquil mood and that theme follows throughout the ship. The other most noticeable is the amount of thought that's gone into the public areas, in particular the decks and pool areas, instead of an open sprawl that seems to be the trend of many ships there are carefully sited glass screens and planters, gazebo's and different levels that gives passengers the feeling of privacy and seclusion, it's very good, also, no plastic loungers or chairs on this ship, instead it's a mix of Rattan or bespoke steal seats, The Serenity pool area is a good example of this clever design and it really is quite stunning. The main restaurant is the Peninsular which serves a comprehensive menu of very acceptable, nicely prepared and cooked food, there are several other dining options too, all excellent although some have a modest cover charge, there is a good pub serving many real ales and showing live premier league games pretty much non stop, they hold quizzes, bingo and various competitions too. There is a good sized (and well attended) ballroom, casino, the headliners theatre, the lime light cabaret, the live lounge and the crows nest both feature live music. This ship and its staff are a credit to P&O and anyone who says different should be taken very lightly indeed, in fact it was so good we've booked it twice more this year ! . Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Having sailed predominantly on Princess for years, this was our 4th P&O Cruise and 3rd on Britannia. We were in Aft Balcony room A723. We will be sailing on Azura in 8 days time. Firstly lets talk about the 'thorny' issue ... Read More
Having sailed predominantly on Princess for years, this was our 4th P&O Cruise and 3rd on Britannia. We were in Aft Balcony room A723. We will be sailing on Azura in 8 days time. Firstly lets talk about the 'thorny' issue -EMBARKATION. Yes we pulled the less desirable 3.30pm embarkation slot and like many before us found the process painful, slow and what feels quite unfair. By the time they started to call out the RED letters there were well over a 1,000 passengers cheering and booing in equal measure. This cannot be good for any cruise line and P&O really do need to start taking notice. It is not pleasant to arrive on the ship with less than an hour to go before muster. As we all know the great British Public will queue and normally fairly patiently, but when it starts to feel as though the system is unfair then unhappiness sets in and that is what is currently happening at the Ocean Terminal. Our cabin was fine with a good sized balcony and some cover from above which includes passengers and the sunshine. We cannot sit in the sun for health reasons so chose this cabin carefully. We sailed last October in the cabin next door A725 which is also a nice cabin with a slightly less wide balcony but the depth is still great. Last October the noise of deck chairs being moved at 6am each morning was very disturbing and this was fed back. It does appear to have improved a little although there was plenty noise on some nights from 3 am onwards - ? passengers or crew, I don't know. We didn't allow it to spoil the holiday though. We knew beforehand what to expect. We prefer to eat in the buffet so I cannot comment on Main Dining Room. We enjoyed the food in the most part. Not quite as much choice as on Princess but still plenty. You sure don't need to go hungry. I particularly like the lunchtime offerings of baked potatoes and also the stir fry meals. The weather was fairly good whilst out in the Med, cold outward and rough crossing the Bay of Biscay but very calm on the return journey. The ports of call were good and we managed to meet up with our daughter and son-in-law in Seville who are singers on another cruise line and were docked in Seville on the same day so that was a real highlight for us. The entertainment was plentiful and of a pretty good standard. We do like the abundance of entertainment venues on Britannia. We found some real golden nuggets of waiters in Brodies and the atrium but much less so in the buffet. We always go out of our way to say good morning, how are you, please, thank you etc but a lot of the staff wouldn't even respond with a hello. They actually verged on the rude and ignorant. There were plenty wait staff but the majority seemed reluctant to clear tables, offer tea and coffee or smile. Overall there was a very lackadaisical attitude to service which we found very noticeable. However, there were several passengers with disabilities and the staff were always polite and helpful to them. As a nurse I was touched by their caring approach with those individuals. Perhaps overall the crew were just a bit jaded or weary. We reflected on the ship. We have given her a good try (3 times in a year) but she doesn't offer us what we particuarly like from cruising. In fact Princess are going exactly the same way with bigger -cruising for the masses - ships. We have also sailed on the Regal Princess. The bigger ships feel more like Butlins at sea rather than how special a cruise used to feel. We miss the promenade deck greatly and just being able to see the sea close up or sit beside it. We just found it difficult to do that as the ship didn't lend itself to it. It was good for us to reflect on what we do like about cruising and what we miss with the bigger ships and that will help us choose going forward. I do hope that cruising doesn't loose its magic as more and more bigger ships come along. We are anticipatory of the Azura as she is identical to our preferred 'grand class' ships of Princess. Fortunately next week we are booked into a full suite so embarkation should be much less painful, at least for us. Disembarking was a breeze, walked off at 6.45am without any problems at all. Overall we enjoyed ourselves but won't be returning to the Britannia again for the reasons stated. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.4
Rates 5.0 N/A

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