1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Britannia Review
  5. Britannia Cruise Reviews

679 Southampton P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise(2 adults 2 children) Slightly nervous before as never sailed before but I nee-dent have worries at all! Britannia is such a beautiful magnificent ship! We visited all around the Canary Islands. All staff ... Read More
This was our first cruise(2 adults 2 children) Slightly nervous before as never sailed before but I nee-dent have worries at all! Britannia is such a beautiful magnificent ship! We visited all around the Canary Islands. All staff were on hand when getting on/off the ship. Security was super good. We felt safe the whole time. Weather was magnificent as well. We had an amazing time! Staff were amazing along with all the entertainment that was provided. Our cruise was dedicated to strictly come dancing and so did actually meet many of the stars. We had so much to do. People onboard were so lovely to talk to. Food was delicious. So much to choose from. Our room was perfect along with the amazing balcony view. Britannia is such a fabulous ship an I would recommend her to anyone. We will definitely be booking with her again. Thank you P&O x Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation The car drop off takes 40 mins waiting in the car, this is a poor parking system, we were told it is a holding pattern so not to block gate entrance, but no other dock in Southampton does it this way and the fast drop off at ... Read More
Embarkation The car drop off takes 40 mins waiting in the car, this is a poor parking system, we were told it is a holding pattern so not to block gate entrance, but no other dock in Southampton does it this way and the fast drop off at other terminals works fine. Maybe we arrived at the worst time @14:10, but the tickets told us to arrive for 14:30 and no more than half an hour before. Embarkation was busy but flowing and fast track good for people with limited walking. There were rather a large number of guests waiting in the assistance area and the process seemed slow, so even though my wife and I use sticks and usually use this service we continued through the lounge. As soon as we were on the ship, we were able to go to our cabin and divest ourselves of the hand luggage and suit carrier. This we were not able to do on some other cruise lines and lugging cases etc. around was very difficult. The large cases arrived promptly about two hours after we boarded, which was excellent. Dining The restaurant's have plenty of room between the tables. The initial waiter service was poor for how tables laid out during the first breakfast and dinner. We had to wait for more water/coffee and when asked another waiter he said someone would serve us but only from our team (which he didn't tell us and didn't pass message on), plus waited for menus themselves in some instances. The table layout is bad for both general waiting and wine waiter, as our table for dinner (93) is behind wall/piller for main waiters and at far end of area of wine waiter, so difficult to see or get hold of either of them. We had no wine menu on one night and again difficult to get hold of the waitress, when she finally arrived and we asked about the menu, she stated not enough menus to go round so only given to regular customers, as we ordered wine on two occasions and drank it over two days we were obviously not regular enough. This was outright rudeness! Oriental Restaurant set up not like typical cruise ship and dark decor, seems to try and mimic a restaurant rather than ship. Other restaurant are more open, but food provision in these restaurant is more chaotic, we have been told by others. Food for breakfast can be warm at best, again service depends on visibility. The porridge can be nice and hot, but also luke warm, it does vary a lot and getting there early ironically meant the porridge was colder. Toast is nice and crispy, not damp as with other lines who keep it covered to keep warm, but too soggy. Coffee in the Oriental very nice, also hot, but refills can be slow to come. If you ask for well done bacon for breakfast it comes crispy which is good. The general food quality in the Oriental Restaurant is good. We didn't try the buffet breakfast. It is good that the doors to the restaurant close to late guests in the Oriental Restaurant 15 mins after sitting commences. The separate vegetarian menu is good, however if you have food from this it takes longer to prepare than from standard menu, so you will have to wait, which is not a problem, guests just need to know. The vegetables can be sparse e.g. Quarter of a potato,10 thick cut chips with steak. For the vegetarian meals sometimes it would be good to include separate vegetables. Also need to understand that vegetarians don't want everything to be soft. The sweet corn risotto was not great, the rice was undercooked. Steaks come as asked for and are generally good. The salmon was overdone and dry. The pheasant was dry and the shredded pheasant had a bone in it (about an inch and a half long) that I nearly swallowed. The low sugar desserts seem to lack taste e.g. Coffee and hazelnut cake was just a slab of cake with no coffee taste or hazelnut at all. The thyme and lemon stuffing that came with the roast chicken, wasn't anything like stuffing at all, much closer to thyme and lemon breadcrumbs. The scrambled eggs were excellent, as were the soft boiled eggs. My wife ordered macaroni cheese with focaccia bread, it didn't come with the bread and that was not the first time the accompaniment didn't appear. Drinks on-board were excellent value and greatly appreciated after other cruise lines. Does make daily drinks package seem very expensive at £40 per person per day. The wine packages are a good idea. The buffet restaurant is generally good, with wide walkways and good seating, unlike other cruise lines where they "pack people in". There seems to be enough choice, but very limited fruit available during lunch, which is what we'd like to eat. Having had a good breakfast and dinner. My wife wanted to go to the Good Friday service at 08:30, so we arrived at the Oriental Restaurant before 08:00, as from previous breakfasts it took 20 to 25 minutes to finish. This breakfast room considerably longer with scrambled eggs on toast for my wife arriving after 25 minutes which she had to bolt down to get to the service and didn't get her Danish pastry at all. Yet from where we were seated other guests in a different area, had their main breakfast delivered nearly 10 minutes before we did. Cabin The TV is missing on board spend, which you have to go to reception and ask to be printed out, which is a waste of paper. The tv channels are very limited, however the destination videos are very interesting and worthwhile. The tv lost all channels on at least one occasion that I can confirm (around 17:00 onwards on Sunday the 14th of April) and I think on another occasion earlier in the cruise. Also lost signal temporarily a number of times. The room steward is very friendly and remembers names (Ratheesh), he looks after us very well. Other staff outside generally do not say good morning (some do)? Though restaurant staff are pretty good. This improved the longer the cruise went on and by the end most said good morning, when on my walks around deck. The bed is very comfortable and cabin E520 is quiet and nicely furnished. It does need small lights by each bedside for getting up in night/reading. Guests leave bathroom light on and door ajar with coat hanger so some light available, this wastes electricity. The balcony is small at around 1 metre in depth, this seems smaller than other ships we have been on and with the chairs and tables minimal room to squeeze by, especially if you have limited mobility. The shower is excellent and spacious, the bathroom is well laid out but not large, I can see where some guests would think the layout is not ideal, especially larger people. The non slip floor in the bathroom is excellent. General Ship The decor is a bit tired in places, floor 7 buttons missing in most lifts, some carpets, rails and stairs worn. The ship is generally clean and the staff look like they work hard to keep it clean. The lifts are a nightmare, they are too full for disabled people, miss floors when waiting and take an age, had to take stairs as gave up after 5 mins plus, others waited for over 15 mins. People end up getting in any lift going in the wrong direction. No stairs with middle lifts a massive mistake. When trying to get off for an excursion again had to give up with lifts after waiting 10 minutes for lifts in the middle of the ship and standing there with two sets of people with wheelchairs, as there are no stairs, a glaring mistake when designing this ship. Also as lifts don't go to all floors it gets confusing to go to deck 5 from the rear from deck 6, you have to go up 1 along to mid ships and then down and when it is busy and you are in a wheelchair this takes ages. Lots of complaints about lifts and queues. Plus the rear lifts are the only ones you can use to get to the Oriental Restaurant, you can't walk there from other lifts, so they get ridiculously busy at dining times, especially in the evenings. There are two independent lifts each side in the middle, so people press all three buttons (1 for the main bank of 4, and 1 for each of the side ones) then get in whichever they can, leaving the other two still stopping at that floor. All middle lifts need to be synchronised. As there are middle stairs (behind the doors) which can be used from floor 7 down, but not up, why not? On the lifts in the middle there are notices about letting less mobile people use them, these are totally ignored. As this cruise has a number of sea days, at the beginning and end, a few children have taken to pressing all the lift buttons as they are unsupervised. I understand this is difficult for P&O, but the parents do need to have responsibility. It was nice that bridge crew made an announcement over the tanoy when whales were spotted. On Palm Sunday, an important Christian event, there is nothing mentioned or even a room set aside, as there is for the Jewish community. It is good there are Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, though 23:30 is a bit late for the washing of the feet on Thursday and the liturgy on Friday (this is due to the crew being able to participate). I suppose this was the earliest P&O had rooms available? The Stations of the Cross on Food Friday was held in The Ivory Suite - a nice room, but only enough chairs for half of the people there, the rest had to stand. The lack of a promenade deck is disappointing as we like to stroll around the outside. There is an area outside to sit in which confused us as we thought it was the promenade. Doors really heavy and difficult to move. The facilities to keep hands clean (dispensers) are largely absent. My wife asked the restaurant manager and was told not necessary after a couple of days and also not that effective, soap and water much better, which is available (in the toilets by Oriental Restaurant so no one used them), in our view dispensers much better and more used, if they were there. The wash basins by buffet restaurant were used but only by a very few people. It is good that there are close buttons on lifts. Ports & Excursions The different ports were excellent, with lots of variety. La Palma was our favourite due to not being too commercialised, but all offered interesting aspects and not what you would expect of these islands. Docking was handled quickly and efficiently, though there were the inevitable queues at peak times. Excursions were good value (compared to other cruise lines) and pretty well run. Though on the one we undertook it was rushed to get the walks in and therefore faster than my wife or I can manage without discomfort (this was the one from the ship we did in La Palma - UNESCO wildlife and Rum). They did say they would take it easy, but certainly didn't for the last half, so we were the last to get to the rum tasting and worn out when we arrived. The tour of the facility was also rushed as we were quickly ushered between a couple of rooms with hasty explanations, to get to the tasting and buying something. At Lisbon, we had to wait nearly 10 minutes to get onto the ship, having gone through security and on the moving gangway, in very cold conditions. This was due to the positioning of the gangway being moved upwards for the tidal flow, which is fair enough. However, over half this time was waiting for someone from the ship (other than the security personnel) to confirm it was safe, despite the Portuguese operator of the gangway confirming to the ships staff that it was. When the P&O officer arrived he tried to blame the delay on the gangway shutting itself down, which the operator refuted and plainly stated it was down to having to wait for him to arrive. We were cold and just wanted to get onto the ship. Whilst we understand the need to be safe, this was clearly "jobsworth!" and nothing to do with safety. The dozen or so passengers were not at all pleased. Theatre & Shows The theatre was over packed for the Strictly interviews, it would have been much better to run 2 events. Also, there is a rush to get into events. Even for the "Astonishing" magic show (which wasn't even mediocre and was certainly not a magic show, just another dance show!) it was a ridiculous rush to get seats and for people who can't walk quickly very frustrating as all the best seats were taken. Theatre layout is curious as not only is it not big enough for the size of the ship (for 2 performances) the staggered seating near the front, means three rows are at the same level therefore if you're shorter, like my wife, and sit on row 2 or 3 of a level you struggle to see. So we had to try to get seats in the first row, which, due to the rush, was not always possible. Much more sensible to properly stagger the seating. If you dine early, like we have to (as I am diabetic), a third show at 19:00 is during dining time, so the show you go for will be 20:30 which is always the full one. The idea of having seats reserved next to aisles for disabled is great, but I recommend that the red signs on the deck 6 ones are made much larger and thus more obvious, as a number of people "didn't see them". It would be good to give out the "No saving of seats message" prior to a few minutes before the performance, as most shows were pretty full long before that and on a number of occasions people had been reserving seats for quite a while. Mind you on the flip side, neither my wife or I are particularly mobile so when doors open we can get caught in the rush to get good seats, so I try and go ahead, leaving my wife to catch up, which usually takes a minute or two. Michael Kushner is an excellent speaker and his talks are really interesting, the shame is due to a number of them being in the Live Lounge (that only seats about 250 people) we were unable to listen to a couple as all the seats were taken well over 10 minutes prior to starting. The Headliners theatre was a much better venue. There are a number of quizzes which are good fun, however the late afternoon one in Brodies bar starts at 17:30 and finished in about 20 minutes. Given that it takes another 10 minutes to get back to our room, we have 30 minutes to get ready for dinner and on formal night that is not long enough. The singer's in lounges are good with a variety of songs and moods. We were told by others the dance floor was much too small and it did seem so for the number of people trying to dance when we went passed, but it was a Strictly cruise and so this might have been an exception. Disembarkation The cases need to be outside at 20:30, which is much earlier than other cruise lines. The worse part of getting off the ship was that there is no place to store your luggage prior to disembarkation and you have to vacate your cabin by 08:00. So with both of us having mobility issues and needing sticks, we then had to contend with hand luggage and a suit carrier to take around with us, which made life very difficult. Some other cruise lines have luggage holding areas. Cabins have to be cleared by 08:00. Not surprisingly the buffet restaurant gets very full. Disembarkation requires you to go to a specific destination, ours was the headliners theatre. So you enter through deck 7 and have to make your way down the front (deck 6) as that is where they will start from. Walking downstairs is bad enough for us, but with 2 sets of carry on luggage and a suit carrier, plus 2 sticks it is almost impossible and leaves my wife and I knackered and very unhappy and hurt my wife’s shoulder quite badly. As we have some paperwork to hand, I left the theatre and met a P&O rep outside. I tell her about the difficulties of the process and how tired we both are and she says there is a disabled departure point (limelight club) that we should have gone to, or asked a rep before getting to the theatre. I said we weren't aware of the disabled departure (as it is not stated anywhere we found) and that by the time we knew how much hassle this would be we were already in the theatre. Also, there was a rep on deck 7 that saw us struggling down the stairs to get to the theatre (as APU the lifts were so jammed full of was impossible to get in the first 5 going down and people had been waiting over 10 minutes) who said nothing to us. So we were now stuck in the theatre waiting. My wife and I registered as requiring assistance, so P&O knew we'd need help for both on and off the ship. So instead of the rep saying we should have asked, P&O knew and exactly which cabin we were in therefore the should have told us what to do as disabled passengers (especially as we had not done this before on P&O). Also, there is an opportunity to self depart, which is a good idea, but we certainly couldn't cope with our main luggage. We asked reception about self departure and were told we would have to get all of our luggage off, and we stated there was no way we could do this having limited mobility, at no time did the receptionist mention assisted departure. An announcement was made about leaving the lifts for wheelchairs or others of limited ability which was more of less ignored. We understand that there is a process needed for so many people but some people ignored it and stood by the doors to get off first. There is realistically very little the crew can do to stop this. Our disembarkation time was scheduled for 08:45 to 09:15. The staff handling the process were OK, but made a number of completely inaccurate statements: 1. Once the process started it would go quickly: This started off in promising manner with the first 4 rows leaving at 08:40, then the next 2 at 08:45. We then had over a 20 minute wait for the next 3 rows (which we were in) and when finally called forward, more than the 3 rows requested tried to leave. We were in the 7th row and finally got out of the theatre around 09:15. One of your reps tried to stop us going out saying the queue was too big (which was ignored by the fed up guests), which it wasn't when we got there. 2. Adam knew exactly how we felt (and told us so repeatedly): No, he didn’t as he’d never struggled with his luggage (the way we had to) and then sat and waited patiently for nearly an hour, listening to statements that were clearly inaccurate. 3. This was the fastest way off and no one else would be getting off before us: When we finally got out of the theatre and headed for the gangway, lots of people (about half) in the queue for the gangway, had not come from the theatre at all. So, the best way to disembark was just to walk off! (especially as you didn’t need your departure sheet!) 4. You need your disembarkation sheet to get off at your allowed time: No, you didn't, just your cruise card as we never had to show the sheet to anyone. 5. This has never happened before: Well given the ridiculous nature of the debacle, if this was the best method P&O had of getting people off, then yes it would. Quite a few guests were vocal about the whole process and the fact queue jumping was going on. As there was still over 50% of the theatre to go after us and it was now well past 09:15, I believe this was going to get even more heated. Other cruise lines with similar size do not seem to have the same system and disembarkation is considerably easier. It would have been much quicker for use to just walk to the gangway on deck 5 and join the queue. Actually, getting off the ship was pretty straightforward, however finding your luggage was another matter. We had been told the luggage was sorted in deck order, in clearly demarked zones. We were on deck E and eventually found our luggage among suitcases from deck F. In fact, there seemed to be no demarcation between E & F at all, so wasted a lot of time searching what was supposed to be the E piles! At least getting the car from CPS was easy, so we drove off! The whole process was a farce and needs serious overhauling to stop it being so painful and exhausting. Overall Having been on multiple other ships and itineraries overall my wife and would mark this as 7.5 out of 10, as there were some very good points, and some very bad ones. On a scale against the other companies we would rate P&O above MSC and Royal Caribbean, on a par with Marella and below, Celebrity, Cunard and Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the only short 2-night getaway we could find in April, and it was the first time cruising with P&O. We were a party of 11 people and we all had an amazing time, It was so amazing I’m going back on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the only short 2-night getaway we could find in April, and it was the first time cruising with P&O. We were a party of 11 people and we all had an amazing time, It was so amazing I’m going back on the ship next year with a group of friends for a while week this time. Firstly embarkation was an absolute BREEZE. We got there, dropped off our luggage, waited in a very fast moving line with loads and loads of assistants both at the desks checking us in and also guiding us to different parts of the queue where there was less people. Everyone was incredibly polite and happy, and was completely seamless, exceptional in fact. The whole thing from walking inside the terminal to getting on the ship took about 30-40 minutes, including the waiting security, everything. Quite simply, exceptional. The ship itself was incredible, super modern, fantastic architecture with so many amazing beautiful bars to sit in. The service and the food in the restaurant was amazing. On the formal night we’d never heard of anything on the menu, so I just plumped for a random meal for each of the starter, main course and dessert (as I’m absolutely not a fussy eater) and it turned out to be exquisite. Everyone else I was with had different things and they loved it too, so big thumbs up on the food front. Service as well was quick, efficient, polite and all the waiters were very chatty and pleasant. Next the layout of the ship, which overall was fantastic. Before I went I was looking at the deck plans and I had very heavy reservations that the ship would feel awfully crowded, as after all there are seven decks of just pure cabins and just six decks of entertainment, restaurants, bars etc. But when on the ship you didn’t get this impression AT ALL. In fact, quite the opposite. To me the ship was spacious, there was always space to sit where you wanted, always space to sit outside, so this ship was incredibly good at handling this amount of people. This even goes for the Horizon Cafe, I’ve been on ships in the past where the main buffet restaurant was impossible to sit anywhere because it just wasn’t big enough for the amount of people, NOT the case on Britannia at all. The Horizon Cafe is absolutely huge so there was always space to sit at all times of the day, even at 8am in the morning at breakfast, so fantastic decision making the buffet as big as it is. Now to my one and only bugbear ..... the lifts and stairs. There is NO STAIRCASE in the middle of the ship above deck 7, which is a monumental mistake, just lifts. Between the 11 of us we occupied 4 cabins, three on D deck 11 and one on E deck 10, all midship. So just going down one deck from E to D we had to use the lift. Now I know the argument could be ‘walk to the forward lift bank where there are stairs’, but having to walk all the way forward, just to do one flight of stairs and walk all the way back to midship again is a bit impractical, especially on a ship as huge as this. Especially when you consider two people in our group were older and couldn’t walk very far, so going more than one floor on the stairs for them was out of the question (great when you’re on D deck so you have to go at least three decks to get to anything). This brings me onto the next thing, the lifts are impossible to use at the busiest time, not helped at all by having no staircase in the middle. On embarkation, disembarkation and getting to and from the muster drill, it was infuriating. Getting back from the muster drill, the two in my group who had to use them had to wait HALF AN HOUR to get in one, absolutely ridiculous. But luckily they’re just short times of the cruise where you just have to put up with it, that small part of inconvenience is definitely not enough to affect your cruise. When we were in port (so the ship was quieter) the lifts were dead and even just on the typical evening when everyone was onboard and roaming the ship as normal, the lifts weren’t a problem. It’s just those three busy times where it’s a bit of a headache. Next the entertainment, which was a great laugh. We went and saw the show in the theatre, which was a magic show. A bit cheesy for my liking, but we all had a brilliant time and it was really funny and entertaining, and that’s all you can ask for really. I’ve read comments about the size of the theatre, but we didn’t have a problem finding anywhere to sit. It’s like any theatre really, get there early and you’ll get a good seat. Although I didn’t use it during my short time on the cruise, I went to the gym and had a good look around it. It was a really good size with lots of equipment to use, really bright and airy too. I saw the gym at 6pm in the evening and it didn’t look particularly crowded either. Just the small bugbear about the lack of midship staircase and occasional lift overcrowding is absolutely not enough to spoil your cruise experience though, it’s such a small thing, because like I said it’s not a problem at all other times. I’m going back on the Britannia next April for a week-long Western Europe cruise, and this I’ll going with a group of friends who have never been on a cruise before. I picked this one purely because of the amazing experience I had the first time, as it was important to me that my friends have an amazing first time cruise, and I’m sure they will on this ship. I can’t recommend this cruise ship enough, absolutely loved it. Completely British, absolutely brilliant. Seemless embarkation, amazing service, amazing food, amazing design and architecture, and also brilliant standards of hygiene. At the horizon restaurant there was an assistant outside making sure we washed out hands at the outside sink, and they were always outside the restaurant making sure we sanitized as we went in. Everything about it was fantastic and am so excited to go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A number of poor things in relation to the Britannia, some easy to change, others just poor initial design: 1. A real faux pas to not have stairs up the centre of the ship, makes orientation around the ship problematic, means people ... Read More
A number of poor things in relation to the Britannia, some easy to change, others just poor initial design: 1. A real faux pas to not have stairs up the centre of the ship, makes orientation around the ship problematic, means people gravitate to the lifts unnecessarily, really poor design flaw. 2. Incredible that hand hygiene was not a significant issue, no staff on entrance to any of the dining areas and buffets ensuring hand hygiene from passengers. 3. Very lacklustre staff attitudes, told that automatic tipping on P&O is disappearing, wonder if it is affecting how staff work. 4. Size of the gym to the size of the ship is laughable, one shower and one toilet in the changing area - 4,000+ passengers! 2 sit up bikes too. Very poor considering that we should be pushing a healthier lifestyle. Think they are too busy promoting the pay for spa instead. 5. Steam room in the gym was scolding hot, came out burnt after 10 minutes. 6. Complaints pretty much ignored, fits with lacklustre staff, number of occasions I received half service. 7. Cabins are small, trying to get too many on board I had a good break as a holiday, but will avoid Britannia in future. Think this ship is really poorly managed at present. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Wanted to see the Bulb Fields and Keukenhof, which we did under our own steam. Pity P&O did not put on their own excursions to Keukenhof, a world class venue. Embarkation was excellent, seems to get slicker each time. Some new ... Read More
Wanted to see the Bulb Fields and Keukenhof, which we did under our own steam. Pity P&O did not put on their own excursions to Keukenhof, a world class venue. Embarkation was excellent, seems to get slicker each time. Some new dishes on MDR menus but basically still the same over last few years, still lots of choice but some more new dishes needed on the menu cycles. Contrary to all the negative reviews on stairs/lifts we have never had a problem (other than people who will not step out the lift to let people out). Britannia buffet works well with the serving stations placed between the two sides of the restaurant, much better than the single file lines of other earlier P&O ships. But why oh why do people get a table first and then go off singly to get their food while one "guards the table? New shows like Gravity are not our cup of tea, much prefer "song and dance" A lovely cruise, Rotterdam a very good maiden port call. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having read many reviews before I got a bit concerned about the cruise, of course every review written is based on the experience of the writer and of opinion varies, here are some brief points based on my experience- Food- variety ... Read More
Having read many reviews before I got a bit concerned about the cruise, of course every review written is based on the experience of the writer and of opinion varies, here are some brief points based on my experience- Food- variety good, quality and heat could be improved Entertainment- mixed, think some elements could be pushed further with no extra cost by thinking beyond what people are expecting and would have added the wow factor. Entertainment hosts work hard but some looked like they had given up but others were exceptional Public spaces- decor and quality far exceeded my expectations. Many big spaces, my advice is to look beyond the crows nest and atrium area on busy sea days if you want to relax. Sindhu bar area, live lounge and Marlow suite could be quieter alternatives (when not being used for other activities) Outside deck-under utilised by many, hot tubs good but could do with additional ones. Gym- will be writing to P&O regarding service by fitness team, they have totally given up. Equipment ok, some broken. No bar weights but dumbbells and limited machines. Could put together a workout using the equipment available but expected more from the facilities here Service- mixed. Majority of bar staff bugged you constantly to order drinks and then would take 10-15 mins to get the drink made. Bit pushy and if you would ask for tap water they would say mineral water to get you into buying it instead of having free water. Best to order drinks directly from the bar and be very clear what you want. Cabin service exceptional. Waiter service at main restaurant (Oriental) exceptional. Shopping- mega sales were full of tat and not worth your money. Shops very expensive unless you want cheap cigarettes. Perfumes not good value and choice. Gift shop could do with better products Overall- I enjoyed my time on board Britannia. There was an overlying sense of lack of motivation amongst some staff. I think some areas of service, entertainment and activity lacked the wow factor. These elements were delivered at a good 3* standard not more. Some elements were better but overall this is my view Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise as the Brittania is at present the flagship of P&O. We booked a balcony, again a first for us. We have to say we were delighted with the cabin and I spent as much time as possible sitting on the balcony. There was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the Brittania is at present the flagship of P&O. We booked a balcony, again a first for us. We have to say we were delighted with the cabin and I spent as much time as possible sitting on the balcony. There was everything we would need in the cabin so no complaints there. The food was excellent in all the restaurants, however, the menus are very similar to the Ventura and Azura. The Sindhu......... brilliant. The food and the experience are superb and we would highly recommend a visit. The crew were helpful but we found the crew on the Ventura seemed more cheerful, saying that we do not have any complaints which we are pleased with as we wanted this cruise on the Brittania to be a pleasant experience. A bit disappointed that we didn't get to call in to Guernsey but fully understandable given the conditions, the other ports were pleasant although we would have preferred longer on our trip to Ypres. The only complaint about the tours are the expectations of a gratuity. They are expensive enough without the tour guide and driver waiting with their hands out......as pleasant people as they were. We would definitely go on Brittania again, but to different ports. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the plug in the basin was closed,and I wondered why. It didn't take me long to find the answer. I was on deck fourteen, but when I went to decks six and seven, THE SMELL OF RAW SEWAGE WAS OVERPOWERING !!!. Lots of people were complaining throughout the whole cruise. I spoke to reception desk about this,only to be told that they were aware of this problem, and they were working on it. Previous reviews that I have read have indicated that the problem has been on board the ship for some time. The Captain was never to be seen around the ship,except for photo shoots, nor was the chief Engineer,as I would have approached one of them to ask about the problem, which continued for the entire duration of the cruise.( I later found that the basin was kept plugged to prevent the smell entering my cabin). I dined in the restaurant on only three occasions,as the food was only lukewarm, and on one dinner the ribeye steak was so tough that three members at my table had to send it back. After that I dined at the buffet,where the food was Lukewarm too. The entertainment was mediocre,same old gags from old comedians. On one occasion the show was cancelled because of rough seas. To conclude, six sea days are too much,when the entertainment is poor. However if you like dancing,or quizzes,or overpriced bingo,or old movies then this ones for you. I won't be back on Azura! I have a Cruise booked on Brittania for next year,but I won't be going,unless P&o redress me for the disappointment that I endured on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon to the Caribbean. Not wanting to be straight in the sun we did an Atlantic crossing of 10 days at sea. The ship is very nice but the activities where boring and repetitive. The food is lovely and ... Read More
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon to the Caribbean. Not wanting to be straight in the sun we did an Atlantic crossing of 10 days at sea. The ship is very nice but the activities where boring and repetitive. The food is lovely and the house keeping staff couldn't do enough for you. However the entertainment team looked like they had been struck with a sickness bug and had no energy. The only decent sail a way party was Madeira and British themed evening. The other nights where bland and dull. We had to stop at a different island due to a sick passanger however we arrived at Martinique which was euro not American dollars. We only found out by word of mouth as an announcement wasn't made for a further two hours from being able to get off. Unfortunately the island wasn't expecting a cruise ship so the place was shut down with nothing to do. So we'd changed our money back into euros then with nothing to actually send it on once off the boat. First cruise for us and definitely our last. Not for us. The ship was described as a floating morgue and they weren't wrong. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My 1st cruise and my other halfs 2nd TA re-positioning cruise. The Britannia is a great ship,and we enjoyed our holiday the chance to wind down from work for several days before in the Caribbean was great. I found the ship to be very ... Read More
My 1st cruise and my other halfs 2nd TA re-positioning cruise. The Britannia is a great ship,and we enjoyed our holiday the chance to wind down from work for several days before in the Caribbean was great. I found the ship to be very clean and tidy, however I will say the colour pallate is a little on the neutral side and not to every ones taste. The inside of the ship, and central area is pleasant to spend time in, however we tended once the weather warmed up after Maderia to spend most of our time in the Sunset bar on the aft of the ship which was a pleasant spot. We booked for the 8.30 fixed dining, thinking this would free up more time in ports and we would be able to see the early shows/ entertainment. We were very disappointed that a lot of evenings there was no early 7pm shows only 8:30pm, (whilst we were dining) or 10:45pm. (Quite a while to wait after dinner). P&O to sort this out as it's quite unfair on those with the later dining choice. We did also try and see a late show at the live lounge, and found that there were no seats , as a lot of people had gathered there for the later disco. Our cabin steward looked after us well, our standard balcony cabin, was smart and the shower and storage walk in wardrobe larger than I expected, The balcony is a little narrow compared to some other ships we were moored next too. The food was generally good in the restaurant, but things were not always exactly as described. The food in the buffet got quite repetitive on a fortnight cruise. I think there needs to be a little more variety,very traditional very british fare. I was a little disappointed in the activities on offer, I enjoy my art and there were no art or craft sessions on board. Though lots of pub quizs. Personally I thought the sail away parties were a little bit brash especially the one in Antigua with Azura moored alongside us. We stayed for the 15 day cruise, having decided on the extra day in Barbados, and we felt like P&O basically ignored us with very little information on the last 2 days. People were sat around the ship with their carry on on day 14 it kind of felt like our holiday had already ended:( We did the land and sea tour in St Lucia which was excellent, gave a really good feel for the island, and we enjoyed the swim off the catamaran. In Antigua, we did a half day beach activity to Dickenson Bay, which was enjoyable despite the occasional rain Barbados on our 2nd day we did the farewell to Barbados tour which was nice to see with a few short stops and a bit of lunch. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have been with P&O many times. I have always been full of praise and delight, about all off our Cruises’s However, I am now questioning if I will EVER use P&O again. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they ... Read More
I have been with P&O many times. I have always been full of praise and delight, about all off our Cruises’s However, I am now questioning if I will EVER use P&O again. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they are interested in is money. The Britannia is a “Cash - Cow”. No interest in the care of passengers needs. I was on P&O’s Britannia for 16days to the Western Caribbean on the 26/10/18. Starting off from Southampton flying back from Barbados to Gatwick. I have never seen such disgusting behaviour from both passengers and overpowering bullying staff. The food was disgusting, I was with freedom dining in the Meridian. The staff were non existent, just like the food, we had to wait forever to be served. ( not the fault of the staff in the restaurant, perhaps bullying officer crew members) It was no different than the buffet dining, except in the buffet you had more choice of HOT food. We tried a few of the paid Restaurants £30 extra per person was it worth it... NO The only one that was good was the “beach hut” £7.50. In Epicurean Resturant a long hair was found inside a roll. A lot of people ( me and my friends included) were complaining about the type of clientele the passengers were I could only say Feral, loud, brash, drunk and disgusting. 10 people detained and escorted off the ship. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they are interested in is money. Not the service or care of passengers needs. Too long at sea. If we had wanted to go on a Butlin’s holiday we would have booked with them. The design of the ship is awful! The entertainment was extremely poor throughout the two weeks. The reception is a very small enclosed space and to have pungently strong lilies is CRASS to someone who has allergic reactions, having to use an epi - pen. I could go on, however I will not. I thank you P&O Britannia for RUINING my holiday and making my holiday a MISERY for two weeks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Took a 15 day transatlantic cruise and overall it was good with some issues P&O should address. Positives Good embarkation process and boarded ship early Room available early Drinks prices reasonable Food in speciality ... Read More
Took a 15 day transatlantic cruise and overall it was good with some issues P&O should address. Positives Good embarkation process and boarded ship early Room available early Drinks prices reasonable Food in speciality restaurants very good Staff very friendly Ship clean in most parts Captain very good at keeping passengers informed Good Entertainment choices inc Limelight Club Things that could be better Food choices in main dining room (too many similar dishes) Buffet choices limited General wear and tear showing on ship Balcony windows need a good clean and Balcony was a bit grubby in places Ship designed badly, no flow, staircase is functional rather than a feature of ship, No staircase to certain floors in mid ship, have to use lifts which are crowded Pizza at pool area very good but Burgers are disgusting (think of bad burger van quality here) Overall a good cruise, having been on Celebrity Eclipse last year I would say that was better overall in certain areas, especially in food and all inclusive food and drinks options. P&O better in Entertainment and staff friendlier Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Wanted a longer cruise of three weeks. We have enjoyed a number of trans Atlantic cruises so this suited us well. The cruise out was generally calm and the weather fantastic, excellent for the time of year. The ship itself was in ... Read More
Wanted a longer cruise of three weeks. We have enjoyed a number of trans Atlantic cruises so this suited us well. The cruise out was generally calm and the weather fantastic, excellent for the time of year. The ship itself was in generally good condition,albeit showing signs of wear in places. Carpets were almost threadbare in places. The main point of criticism of the ship itself is that there is a distinct lack of sunbathing space. Sun beds are lined up along the available decks with no room between. The rows themselves are also very close to those in front and behind. My wife who has had both knees replaced could not get on these beds except for those on the end of a row, and once or twice we could not get off the deck without asking people to move their bed as all isles were blocked. Staff as is usually the case were excellent, they do seem busier than ever, but this might be me. They still seem to make time to smile while making sure you have what you need. Finally our ongoing gripe with P&O is their dress code, simply it’s not enforced. Increasingly people are going to diner in shorts, and tea shirts are very popular also. Both theoretically against policy. Formal nights are similar. People do not wear jackets and or ties but still dine in the main restaurants. I accept P&O are loath to upset these customers but it does, by its inactivity, seem happy to upset those of us who like the dress codes. Please P&O either enforce or end the dress codes but stop sitting on the fence!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Only cruise to the destinations at the right time. A lot of people who just like to drink eat and drunk a lot of the time. Dramas constantly going on with lots of people gossiping. Stealing from the shops and they are not that great ... Read More
Only cruise to the destinations at the right time. A lot of people who just like to drink eat and drunk a lot of the time. Dramas constantly going on with lots of people gossiping. Stealing from the shops and they are not that great either. Been on lots of other cruises with other company's and I must say this has to be the worst. Not A lot of choice of entertainment and what there is much the same pub quiz bingo etc. Every single thing you have to pay for even water now that I feel is bad. Dining seating times are not always suitable and they would not change ours to an earlier time for even a birthday night so we never ate in them. We only ate in what was called the push and shove / canteen or known as the buffet resturant. Think wisely on who you travel with. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have always wanted to go to the Caribbean, My husband booked a Suite which was gorgeous and all the trappings you would expect including the butler!! We had an adventure a couple of days in with the Captain waking us to advise what was ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to the Caribbean, My husband booked a Suite which was gorgeous and all the trappings you would expect including the butler!! We had an adventure a couple of days in with the Captain waking us to advise what was going to happen as there was a medical emergency and we had to turn into the storm, I was thrilled , not for the poorly person but the excitement of being on a bouncy castle in the sea!! Husband on the other had was dealing with his sea sickness bands and other medication. anyway after that it was wonderful locations, celebrations, our silver anniversary was celebrated with flowers and Maderia. Then the best part 6 days at se, I celebrated my 60th with a hot stone massage something not to miss... It was a wonderful day with the bottle of champagne being cracked open. The islands were lovely, we had another emergency so never got to see St Vincent, I just hope that both people were ok. We left the ship in Barbadous our son had flown over with BA to meet us...a wonderful end to the holiday, which up until then had been great. then it was time to fly back!!!!!! Our son returned to his BA flight (he works for them) and we were cattle classes on to a horrendous Thomas Cook flight. We had paid over 8k for the suite with NO option to book any other airline. Words cannot be written of how awful the flight was..... but I will never fly again with Thomas Cook, crew were rude, and when I pointed, when we landed in LGW that there was 8 people waiting for assist and the manifest would have said so,the cabin manager Kevin who we had not seen all flight realised that maybe customer service was an attribute his staff did not have!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Having been on the boat exactly a year prior when it was like a busman's holiday for the rescue services and the hygiene and couldn't give a monkeys attitude of the overwhelming majority of the staff was an utter disgrace, we put ... Read More
Having been on the boat exactly a year prior when it was like a busman's holiday for the rescue services and the hygiene and couldn't give a monkeys attitude of the overwhelming majority of the staff was an utter disgrace, we put it down to leaving on Fri 13th and them on their last cruise before leave. The ship itself is beautiful, not worthy of the clowns running it! So to this year, the above was more or less all addressed, night and day on that score truth be told, so could they ruin it?......Oh yes they can! The cost cutting was plain to see, embarrassingly so at times with the food and the entertainment, the accountants had been at work but overly so, very few of them look at the bigger picture. The choices of food this year was so small, i am a fussy eater but last year i always had 3 or 4 options which is more than i'd expect, this year i lived of ham rolls made up by myself. My other half who has no problems normally also struggled to find something edible. They claim British themed cruise line, since when did Britain live of cheap cuts of pork everyday. God alone knows what part of little England some of these dishes are from, never heard of the majority and upon seeing them quite glad of that fact. Day 14, we get beef, don't get excited it was brisket. As for the shows, last year full of top quality entertainment, this year 2 acts at the very end only thing worth watching. A comedian that was about as funny as a fire in an orphanage, the headliners theatre company (ship crew) were so bad people were cringing for them. What are you doing P&O, a ship Britain could be proud of if it wasn't owned by US company carnival, you sort out the major issues of 2017 when everyone got a Free cold only to let cost cutting spoil 2018. such a shame for a beautiful ship but to be living of ham rolls on a 5* cruise is poor beyond belief. We also got hoodwinked into taking a superior deluxe cabin on A deck, we had balcony on g deck previous which was totally fine, don't listen to their sales crap unless you want to hear high heels 24 hours a day on your ceiling. Go back to basics P & O, hygiene and good food choice, throw in a few good shows (nobody will like them all) and it will make such a difference. Good numbers by accountants does not equal repeat custom so false economy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
October 2018 and this was our 12th cruise with P&O. This time we boarded Britannia on Friday 12th October 2018 on a two week cruise to the Mediterranean. We stayed overnight at our preferred hotel, New Place Hotel , Shirrell Heath, ... Read More
October 2018 and this was our 12th cruise with P&O. This time we boarded Britannia on Friday 12th October 2018 on a two week cruise to the Mediterranean. We stayed overnight at our preferred hotel, New Place Hotel , Shirrell Heath, Southampton where we got a taxi to the port. We always arrive early prior to our designated boarding time as we usually get on earlier. This was our 3rd trip on Britannia as we had already been to the Canary Islands this year. This time the boarding process was very good and we were on by 2:00 pm. Our bags were waiting for us outside our cabin. The ship is lovely and is well laid out, although more use could be made of the Atrium area which is only seating and no activities took place there except the Passenger Choir on the last sea day. We had a Balcony Cabin on F Deck which was a good size with a nice bathroom with a shower cubicle and there was plenty of hanging space for 2 weeks’ worth of clothes. We were on Freedom Dining in the Meridian Restaurant. We never had to wait for a table and the food was very good but the menu was not as varied over the two weeks as we have experienced before. We used the Horizon Buffet Restaurant for lunch and occasionally for dinner. There was plenty of choice and we were always able to get a table without any problem. My wife is a Type 1 diabetic and although the main restaurant was very good in accommodating her dietary requirements, we found the Java Café no longer offered diabetic cakes and the choice for diabetics in the Horizon was extremely limited. We always go one evening to the Sindhu Restaurant which serves fabulous Chinese food, pick the right night and you get a free bottle of house wine, all for £20 a head The specialty restaurants were heavily promoted during the cruise to get passengers to part with their cash. The Epicurean Restaurant is now £18pp for afternoon tea and £28pp for dinner. The Limelight Club was £25pp which included a visiting celebrity singer. The entertainment was varied with good shows from the Headliners Theatre Company and visiting artists including Laura Magan (singer), Steven Bayliss (singer), Duo Esencias, Paul Eastwood (comedian), Kieran Powell (ventriloquist), Dean Standsby (singer), Nick Page (an appalling comedian), Duo Balskatt, Richard & Adam (Brilliant Singing Duo).All very enjoyable, except the so called comedian. You had to get to the Headliners Theatre at least half an hour before a show to get a seat. We only had one guest speaker on this cruise which is becoming the norm, more P&O cost cutting? The speaker was Ricky Bastin, who did a number of talks on Aircraft Accidents and the outcome of investigations. All were very interesting. The shops are open on sea days and in the evening when in port. They have stalls in the atrium virtually every day doing so called sales selling ornaments, bags, watches, perfumes etc. You can easily get carried away if you are not selective and careful. The shops are very expensive, beware. Our first port of call was Alicante, Spain on Tuesday 16th. where we did an excursion taking a panoramic Coach trip with a visit to the Valor Chocolate Factory and visiting the coastal resort of Alta. Next was Barcelona where we have been a number of times so we just walked around the city. We then stopped at Toulon, France where took an excursion to Sanary Sur Mer which is a quant fishing village/resort seeing some lovely countryside on the way. Then it was La Spezia, Italy where just wondered around the town as the excursions where mainly to Pisa and Florence which we have visited before. At Civitavecchia which is the gateway to Rome, where we have been many times so we decided to do an excursion to Marta, a lakeside town which was extremely quiet and visited a winery, Antica Cantina Leonardi, for wine tasting and nibbles. Absolutely brilliant and bought bottles of wine to take home. Last port of call was Gibraltar which we have visited many times so we walked into town and did some Christmas shopping. The weather was kind to us with sunny days and temperatures of 21/24C, except Gibraltar where the weather was overcast with showers but still 20C. The service from our cabin steward was good and all the staff were mainly helpful. The only fly in the ointment was the jigsaw puzzle which we were doing in the Marlow Suite. On 3 occasions this was put away until we got reception to put up signs asking people to leave it in place for the duration of the cruise. The other problem was someone kept taking pieces, 13 in all, which were returned, anonymously, on the last day. Also on the last day I left my Kindle in the toilet and when I went back 5 minutes later to retrieve it, it was gone, never to be seen again. A note about the décor in the ship. It is mainly good as the ship is only 3 years old, but things are not getting fixed. Two of the diving wall figures in the Horizon Restaurant are broken (they were last cruise) and the carpet had trodden in food stains which were not bring cleaned. Also a couple of the buttons in the lifts has lost their numbers which have not been replaced since our last cruise. Come on P&O it’s not rocket science keeping on top of minor repairs. So, we had a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise and would recommend the ship to those thinking of taking their first cruise as although it carries over 3500 passengers it does not feel like a large ship and never feels crowded. We very much like the ship and we had no problems with the lifts which only got very busy at the end of a show and also with quite a number of mobility scooters on this cruise. The lack of a staircase with the central lifts did not seem to pose a problem Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I'm writing this review as my others in sections. Sailing from Southampton UK. Embarkation/Disembarkation. As with all of my other P&O cruises, P&O have got this to a fine art. I had to be out of my digs at 1200 and I ... Read More
I'm writing this review as my others in sections. Sailing from Southampton UK. Embarkation/Disembarkation. As with all of my other P&O cruises, P&O have got this to a fine art. I had to be out of my digs at 1200 and I arrived at Southampton Docks around 1300. My car was taken to a long-term car park (provided free by P&O) and I went into the main check-in hall. This hall is huge with literally hundreds of people waiting. There were dozens of P&O check-in people on one side and we all had a coloured card with letter for our times. My check-in time was 1530 so I had a while to wait. I eventually checked in at 1500 and was onboard by 1530. I will say that there wasn't any refreshments available in the hall so if you're a bit hungry/thirsty, you'd have to wait till you're onboard or bring something with you. In a first, when I did get to my cabin, my bags were already there. On my last years cruise (also on Britannia) I had one bag there but the other I didn't get till around 2200-and this was after a "heated" discussion at reception. Disembarkation was very easy. I'm a "walk off". Thats someone who can carry their own bags with them. Walk-offs have to be off the ship between 0700 & 0800 (you have to be out of your cabin by 0800 anyway). I picked up my car and I was on my way home by 0830. Demographics. Exclusively British. I didn't hear any other accents onboard apart from the crew. As we travelled outside of the school holidays, there wasn't many families-and the ones that were had pre-school kids under five years old. The average age of the passengers I estimate to be middle age or a little higher-exactly what I expected. I was on another P&O ship in the Easter holidays in 2017 with around 400 kids. This was a nightmare with screaming kids running amok all over the place-but this time we had peace and quiet. The ship and it's crew. The vast majority of the ships crew are either Fillipino or Indian with the officers either British or European. All of the crew are extremely helpful and nothing is too much trouble. The ship itself is another story. Britannia is now three years old and is beginning to show her age. Carpets are looking worn and there are paint chips all over the place. The outside paintwork is starting to show rust patches and the general feel of the ship says that it's had a hard life. I've been told that Britannia is going for a full refit in October 2019-and I have to say that it's about time. I will add that the crew kept the ship spotless for the entire cruise with all of the public areas and toilets clinically clean. My stewardess-Gladys-kept my cabin perfect all the time (and she got a generous tip from me). Food and drink. I was on select dining (in the Peninsular restaurant) and had my evening meal at 1830. I was on a table of 9-all solo travellers. The food on offer was excellent and I can't fault it at all. Our waiters were very attentive-although I will say that sometimes they wanted to rush things along a bit-but they did have another sitting at 2030. The daily menus were a little underwhelming on occasion with fish and chicken being the dominant ingredient. We did have (Michelin starred chef) Marco Pierre White onboard for this trip and his menu one night was fantastic. Mr. White's Beef Wellington was superb. The Horizon Buffet on Lido deck was also very good. Breakfasts were usually "Full English" but there were other options including cereals, smoked fish, fruit, muffins/Danish (for breakfast?), yogurts...The list is almost endless. Lunch and dinner were equally as good with wide selection each day. There were themed menus too-curry night, British Pub Lunch, Italian. Again, the list is too long. As to alcohol...Thats another story. As with every other P&O review I've written, I still say that P&O are overcharging the passengers for alcohol. P&O claim that they charge pub prices. Not from my point of view they don't. Pints were around £3.95 to £4.50 with premium bottles (330ml) around the same price. In my regular pub, I pay £3.25 or a pint and if I go to my local Wetherspoons (to non-British readers, Wetherspoons is a major UK pub chain) I pay around £2.50 for a pint. So, no P&O are not charging pub prices. It's about time cruise companies lowered their alcohol prices and I'm certain that their passengers would appreciate it. Our route. We visited (in this order) La Coruna (Spain), Madeira, The Canary Islands-Las Palmas/Tenerife/Gran Canaria and Lisbon (Portugal). The weather was quite good all the time with temperatures in the mid-to-high 20'sC-sometimes in the low 30'sC. I did several trips in most of the ports (all official P&O excursions). Sightseeing in La Coruna, Volcanoes in Las Palmas and Tenerife and a coffee plantation on Gran Canaria. In Madeira and Lisbon I did my own thing just having a walk around. NOTE. If you do your own thing in ports of call and you miss the sailaway, the ship will not wait for your return. It will then be your own responsibility to get to the next port at your own expense. If, on the other hand, you take an official P&O excursion and you're delayed, the ship will wait for your return. Entertainment. There was the usual in-house troupe "Headliners" doing shows in the main theatre. There was also several guest singers/tribute acts and in the Limelight Club we had Claire Sweeney (UK actress/singer), Cheryl Baker-formerly of Bucks Fizz and a couple of others. I did hear reports of the "Headliners" not being too good but as I didn't attend any shows, I can't comment. Brodies had the usual pub quizzes, kareoke, live football matches (thats soccer to non-British readers). We also had Professor Peter Roberts-a retired archeologist who gave a series of lectures on volcanoes in The Canary Islands and others. The Professors lectures were very interesting but sadly not well attended. P&O need to get more people like Professor Roberts. Observations. All of the passengers were very friendly but...In the buffet one day (a late breakfast) I bumped into one of my fellow diners-an elderly lady who had a fall the day before. She had a very nasty black eye, stiches in her lip and severe bruising ot her left arm. I was enquiring as to her health when an elderly guy with a tray of food shouted "EXCUSE ME!". Just before this, someone had dropped a tray of food and drink and one of the crew was clearing it up. I couldn't move backwards or sideways to accomodate this bloke and he again shouted "EXCUSE ME!". Then he just barged his way through almost pushing people out of his way. I reacted to this bloke by shouting "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT!". This he ignored. I again repeated "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT!" but again this was ignored. By this time I had around 200 to 300 people watching. I will admit to not being a "people person" but this was just plain ignorant. Also on our dinner table there was an elderly lady with a southern (London or south coast) accent. She claimed to be travelling with "a friend" but we never met this friend and the lady said her friend preferred to dine at her own time. Why would two people travelling together not be dining together? Anyway, this lady thought that she was better than the rest of us and talked down to us all the time. She was also quite rude when she did talk to us but I had to bite my lip as I was in polite company. She didn't attend on a couple of nights and we all breathed a sigh of relief. I hope that I don't meet her again as I don't think I could hold back with comments about her atttitude. Overall, this was a good cruise but as I have been to some of the ports we visited on previous cruises, it did get slightly boring. Going on cruises does give you the chance to visit several countries on one holiday and you get to meet new people-but as the ships go to the same places all the time, it's getting difficult to find something new. I'm going to the Caribbean (again) in 2019 but I'l be looking further afield for 2020. I'm already looking at India or the Far East. As a solo traveller, it's not cheap do do cruises. I really want to visit Australia/New Zealand but as I'm a solo traveller, the costs are still far too high for my budget. The daily charge (£7 per person per day over 12 years old) was still in force on this cruise. This could be removed by filling in a form at reception. BUT as of May 2019, P&O are abolishing this charge-and about time too. This daily charge is VERY unpolpular and everyone I spoke to had removed the charge. It's about time all of the cruise companies stopped doing this. These trips are expensive enough without cruise companies taking more money out of your pocket. Conclusions. The ship-a bit tatty and in need of a refit. The crew-excellent. Food & drink-again excellent but I maintain that the beer prices are far too high. Our intinerary-ok but as I wrote above, I've been to some of the countries already. Marks out of 10? I'll give this eight out of ten. I've knocked off a couple of points for too high beer prices and the ship looking a bit tatty. I would recommend Britannia to first-timers and seasoned cruisers-but wait for the refit in October 2019. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We wanted to visit Madeira and Lisbon so we chose this canary island cruise and booked one year in advance.The sailing was smooth and the cabins were of a reasonable size.The ship was in good condition and clean.The problem was that there ... Read More
We wanted to visit Madeira and Lisbon so we chose this canary island cruise and booked one year in advance.The sailing was smooth and the cabins were of a reasonable size.The ship was in good condition and clean.The problem was that there were too many people and this made it very difficult to get into a lift.We were on level 11 so needed the lift.This meant waiting a long time to find space in the lifts. We had anytime dining so that was a good decision but the Horizon Buffet restaurant was always packed and people would have to walk around with trays in hand to find a seat which more often than not available.So some people had to walk outside to eat on the tables near the pool. The food in the restaurants were the same menu with a little difference every day.The entertainment was SO SO. Too much emphasis was placed on selling rather than their guests.One day they barricaded the area where the sales were going to take place and were turning away passengers who had to find an alternate route to proceed towards the place they were heading for.Everyday there was a sales leaflet in your cabin.I found this a bit overpowering. The best thing about this cruise were the ports of call and the Indian staff. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
After a first and very successful cruise on Ventura in 2017, my husband and i were immensely looking forward to our 2nd cruise on Britannia in October 2018. We read the reviews; just as we had for Ventura; but dismissed them as there ... Read More
After a first and very successful cruise on Ventura in 2017, my husband and i were immensely looking forward to our 2nd cruise on Britannia in October 2018. We read the reviews; just as we had for Ventura; but dismissed them as there had been bad reviews of Ventura too, but we'd not had a single issue (apart from a minor dislike of the buffet restaurant which we found cramped). Unfortunately; in hindsight the bad reviews of Britannia are accurate. It was a disappointing cruise from the start. I will say that our cabin was perfectly fine, and the steward service excellent, our steward was a delight and the highlight of our cruise. However service elsewhere on ship was somewhat surly from time to time and lacked the friendliness and attention to detail we experienced on Ventura. Embarkation was flawless and we were on the ship quickly; our luggage arriving quickly afterwards. We unpacked and found the cabin to be perfect; although we were disappointed that we couldnt folllow our spending on the TV like we could on Ventura. the Horizon Buffet restaurant is a massive improvement on the buffet restaurants on Ventura, far more wide, open spaces, easier to navigate with a tray. The restaurant is very popular and you are better to go earlier or later; avoid it at busy times if you want to find a seat. I felt the food on offer was better quality than on Ventura. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the MDR; we were booked on the 2030 seating and frequently across the 12 nights of the cruise the food quality was poor and once I even sent food back - food from Marco Pierre Whites menu, nonetheless! - because it was stone cold! Entertainment. The entertainment was abysmal. We saw PULSE so many times that we even started noticing when they rejigged their shows; meaning they'd perform some numbers on their 80's show, and then they'd appear later in the cruise slotted in on another show called something else. There seemed to be much more variety on Ventura and we had been able to see quite a few different acts. The Limelight Club. We were really looking forward to this - but our choice of act was either Claire Sweeney or Cheryl Baker. And we're not in our 70's, so that was rather disappointing. We had to give it a miss. The Crystal Room - what an utter, utter waste of a venue. Absolutely beautiful, elegant space, wasted night after night after night with a dreary singer, followed by " and 1,2 3, 4...!!" instructor led Ballroom dancing for old people. Utter, utter waste of a beautiful venue and a space that could have been put far better to use. Decor - believe the reviews. Posh ferry springs to mind. Ventura is not in the same league as Princess or MSc ships; but Britannia as the flag-ship was expected to have a sense of refinement and class. It doesnt. It is dark,dreary and... to our cost we found out, not as well maintained from a cleanlinless point of view. Everywhere we went on Ventura, there were staff cleaning. I lost count of the number of times i saw the handrails on the staircases being polished and cleaned with hand sanitiser. Not once did i see this on Britannia....as a result I caught a virus. By the end of the cruise, and after I had been too ill to get off the ship for 5 of the destinations, the whole ship had it and it was dubbed "Britannia Cough" amongst the passengers. On return home I saw my doctor who prescribed yet more antibiotics and steroids; and I was ill for a further two weeks. We are booked on Azura for September 2019 which we booked prior to booking Britannia; and we have high hopes that it will be similar to the lovely time we had on Britannia. Unfortunately the Britannia cruise has done its worst; and we are booking with Princess for 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Visited the ship on Southampton in May 2017 and booked on board. This was our first ever cruise and the first holiday without our children. The ship is great, but getting around is complicated as there is no staircase midships. Loved the ... Read More
Visited the ship on Southampton in May 2017 and booked on board. This was our first ever cruise and the first holiday without our children. The ship is great, but getting around is complicated as there is no staircase midships. Loved the food although the menu is repetitive. Paid extra to eat in Sindu and the Glass House and the food there was exceptional. We booked booked 10 days in the retreat area - this was brill! Although expensive. Day trips are well organised and no queuing. Entertaining is good with a very varied menu of quizzes, shows and movies and much more. Grab and Go is excellent for lunchtime snacks and the buffet restaurant is excellent. Friendly staff at all times with little pressure to buy additional al services. Cabin C 336 was excellent and bed was great. Roome service was good and all times. I believe this ship I’d ideal for med cruises, but not for carribean cruises as there is no outdoor theatre or cinema. Would we go again - Yes! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We always said that we would not travel on the larger ships, but as the itinerary and ports of call fitted in with our needs we decided to take the plunge. The ship is in quite good condition and kept quite clean. However the food and ... Read More
We always said that we would not travel on the larger ships, but as the itinerary and ports of call fitted in with our needs we decided to take the plunge. The ship is in quite good condition and kept quite clean. However the food and entertainment were not as we had hoped. From the start, whilst having lunch we were approached asking if we wanted to dine in any of the select dining restaurants, and this happened on several occasions throughout the cruise, with some staff, being quite persistent. We ate in Sindhu on one occasion and were disappointed as the food quality wasn't the same as the other Sindhu restaurants on P&O ships. The food was quite bland and a bit tough. Some of us had the lobster for the main course which was a bit ropey. In fact we had the lobster the following night in the freedom dining restaurant which was much nicer. It made us wonder why we paid the extra money for Sindhu. We were also asked on leaving if we wanted to book for week B, but declined. For the first four nights or so of the cruise, the food in the freedom dining restaurant was very good. From then on there was a noticeable decline in quality, quantity and presentation. One evening I had the "taste of Portugal" option which was Piri Piri Chicken. When it arrived the presentation resembled that of a school dinner and it didn't taste much better. Some of the fish portion sizes were very small and the sauces quite watery. On the desert side the chocolate brownie sundae arrived minus the chocolate brownie. When we pointed this out to the waiter, he just smiled and walked away. Another sundae had very little ice cream, so much so that my daughter asked if she could have another, much to the amusement of waiters. At lunchtime we mainly ate in the Peninsular restaurant which was a bit hit and miss. Some days the food was really good, but there were days when the food was quite inedible. My daughter and I decided to have the Ploughmans platter, which is shared by two people. There was some "pork pie" which was awful and spicy and didn't resemble a pork pie that I know of. One piece of bread so small, we had to ask for another bread roll, and a very poor selection of cheese and tiny bits of pickled vegetables with two pots of relish. Some of the other deserts were also questionable and inedible, but we did have a few good lunches there. It was very hit and miss. We tried to avoid the buffet at all costs, but sometimes we had no choice. Needless to say, the food quality there wasn't very good, being kept under the heat lamps, with a lot of pushing and shoving from other passengers, as is the norm in these places. The grab & go section was quite good, but a bit repetitive and bread quite stale on the sandwiches. We also ate at the Epicurian restaurant and this was brilliant and highly recommended. Although most of the waiters in the freedom dining restaurants were very good, there is a big step up in the Epicurian. The quality and quantity of the food, was extremely good and would not have any hesitation in recommending this. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss. As with the food, the first four days were good and varied, but then fell into decline. The films were repeated in the second week and if you were not into quizzes or archery, there was not much else to do, unless you wanted to spend extra money. The "free" galley tour seems to have disappeared, as has the chocaholics event. If you want to have a tour of the ship it will set you back £75 per person and the cookery school £45 per per person. The cabin we had was on G deck and was kept clean and tidy by the cabin steward. The only two drawbacks were its position and the soot problem. It was an aft cabin and we had been notified by our booking agents that it was directly above the Live Lounge and they had to notify us of this. We were informed that the music usually ended around midnight, which was fine by us. Unfortunately, they started rehearsals at 5pm and it was so loud in the bathroom that some of the fittings were vibrating. This did not bother us too much at the beginning but by the end of the holiday, it got a bit much. All we could hear was the base drum. If we could hear a tune, it wouldn't have been so bad! The other issue with this cabin was the soot problem on the balcony. Some days it was really bad. On one sailaway whilst sitting on the balcony soot was falling onto my clothes and into my daughter's drink. We had to put pool towels on the chairs before sitting on them. Some days the soot was all over the floor, table, chairs and handrails. Some particles were quite large and you could smell whatever fuel was being used whilst sitting outside. Sometimes you didn't really want to use the balcony because of this. The ports of call were good, some we have visited before and so did most of these on our own. Overall it wasn't a bad cruise, apart from the items listed above and we would travel with P&O again, just not in an aft balcony cabin on Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining ... Read More
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining in the Oriental which was okay. We booked a late sitting with a table of 8 but got our own table of 4. Food was average. Yes, they have a lot to feed but I have been with other cruise lines where the food is of an exceptional high standard. We booked the Limelight Club on the 2nd night with Dean Andrews. This was our best night and the night we will all remember, definitely a must for any passengers, whoever is entertaining. Good evening entertainment around the ship with the exception of daily out of tune wannabees in front of an amazing band, Pulse. The musicians are extremely talented, the singers, not so much. We were 'blown away' by the talented Maxine Mazumder who did tribute acts of Adele and Dusty Springfield on two separate nights. Fantastic. Sorry but the Entertainments Team do not cut the mustard particularly on sail-aways with their self-indulgent renditions of We are Sailing, Rule Britannia, Day Dream Believer etc etc.... maybe I missed the memo, but I thought that was what Butlins was for!! Public areas in particular the toilets were immaculate. Bar staff and waiters were a tad dour, bringing down an otherwise good atmosphere who give half hearted wipe of tables now and again. Cabin Staff friendly but no attention to detail; We booked Flowers, champagne and chocolates to add to the occasion but were not provided with champagne glasses/flutes, had to drink out of a tumbler!! Cabins were just given a daily 'once-over' bedding not changed all week nor were dressing tables. This did not spoil our trip, just too many annoyances to make the perfect trip. Come on P&O think about your passengers not your shareholders. Oh, one last thing, forget about your last night, this is where you are 'yesterdays' news and they are now focusing on the next lot. All the smiley 'hellos' are gone, you have already submitted your staff nominations and they have nothing else to gain from you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were 3 women travelling so we booked a suite g733 the brittania Just going to Spain and Gurnsey the suite was fabulous the priority boarding went without a hitch straight on greeted with tea and biscuits then taken for champagne and ... Read More
We were 3 women travelling so we booked a suite g733 the brittania Just going to Spain and Gurnsey the suite was fabulous the priority boarding went without a hitch straight on greeted with tea and biscuits then taken for champagne and a hot and cold buffet Our suite was ready by 2 and was fantastic our butler got us an extra bed as we had a huge aft balcony with sunbeds sofa and table and chairs Our butler came daily with ice nibbles fresh milk and fruit He was very amenable but not invasive We had the mini fridge emptied do we could use it A full corridor of wardrobes was very useful Staff all pleasant we used the speciality restraunts which were Michelan star and as suite passengers are breakfast in epicurean at no extra cost Priority on tender to start Peter port unfortunately not for return We also used retreat well worth the money if you like peace and comfortort On the neg side very large ship lots of people my last cruise I'm thinking just because I'm not a cruiser but could not fault service Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked this cruise as a little treat at the end of the summer and also to satisfy ourselves that we have booked the correct cruise next year when we are taking the Britannia for a 2 week Caribbean cruise from Barbados. Embarkation: ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a little treat at the end of the summer and also to satisfy ourselves that we have booked the correct cruise next year when we are taking the Britannia for a 2 week Caribbean cruise from Barbados. Embarkation: Embarkation was great: we used CPS who are clearly masters at the “meet and greet” service and you would be crazy to look for any other way to park your car. You simply park at the terminal which is all under cover and they check the car over and issue you a ticket. This ticket is for when you collect the car at the end of the cruise. We waited approx. 30mins from when we sat down in the terminal until we were on the ship. They run a colour and number system that works like a dream and it is fun watching your fellow cruisers for a while. The Ship. Overall the ship is good. However our last 2 cruises were on NCL Escape and Getaway from Miami and we enjoyed the Haven. We fully understood that the experience would be different and were somewhat prepared for this. However some of the things we noticed were nothing to do with the previous upgraded experience. For instance the paintwork on the hull really needs some attention. It was badly scuffed in places and had rust coloured stains in other places. We also noticed that despite the announcement in the Horizon newsletter that the balcony glass was to be washed on one of the day’s…..they seemed to have skipped this as our glass was salt stained throughout the cruise and this was also true of the glass in the Retreat. We cannot level the same comments for any other area once on the ship as all were in good condition including the pool areas. We particularly liked the pool in Serenity which was a decent size and although a little chilly at first (great fun watching some guests getting in) was actually at a good temperature especially as we enjoyed wonderful weather for this September trip to Northern Spain. We spent a great deal of time in The Retreat and found this area most comfortable and another interesting place to guest watch. The pubic areas inside the ship were well maintained and scrupulously clean. We did notice a vibration at times that resonated through the ship but at other times was completely absent. Other reviewers have made comment about the lift system and whilst we did have to wait a short while on a few occasions it was never so long to concern and certainly no longer than any other ship we have sailed on. We had booked the smallest balcony cabin (C425) and were very pleased with this cabin for the week. Whilst other reviews have mentioned that the balcony is not large enough we found this to be more than adequate and the room was welcoming and the bed most comfortable. The only negative comment is that you cannot bring up your on board account on the TV which means that unless you wish to visit customer services you don’t know the running total of what you have spent! Robert our room attendant was virtually invisible and worth a tip. There were plenty of UK sockets in the cabin and the bathroom was functional if a little small….but who needs to take many steps in a bathroom? Prices of drinks in the bars were reasonable with cocktails approx. £7.00 and a large very premium G&T approx. £10.00 which is a bargain compared to UK city centre prices. Our greatest observation was that whilst enjoying time in the bars there was a resounding lack of music. If you are enjoying an early evening drink at the Glass House or any other place in the Atrium it has the atmosphere of a library (actually the library on the ship was wonderful). There was no live music and not even any piped music. In the Crows Nest the pianist only had 30mins early evening and was absent for the next 1.5hrs. I know a lot of people will be eating at this time……but what about the rest of us? Food That brings me onto the food. This was the biggest disappointment and one where P&O need to think again. The buffet was awful. The usual scrum at breakfast really wasn’t worth the fight. Low grade food that was overcooked was reminiscent of a Holiday Inn Express breakfast. The breakfast in the dining room was marginally better as this was less over-cooked. We did not eat in the Buffet at Lunchtime as one tour of the counters left us less than enthusiastic and there were better alternatives to be found. However whilst it is our opinion, there appeared to be thousands of guests that would share a different view given the way they were tucking onto heaped platefuls. We are hoping that the quality of produce will improve in the Caribbean with the fresh local supplies. The alternatives ranged from plated salads and rolls in the Retreat to the Burgers and Hotdogs (with the best fries on the ship) at the Poolside Grill. The Grab and Go was also another great feature and this meant that we did not need to venture down the restaurants for lunch. Before boarding we had already booked 2 specialty restaurant nights at Sindhu and Epicurean. Our experience was interesting as we vowed to eat at the MDR on the first night but when we presented ourselves (on freedom dining) we found there as a long wait….so ventured into Sindhu. Great great meal and we were really impressed with the fresh food and good spicing. We had forgotten that we were booked into Sindhu the next night…..but as the first night was so good we were very happy to be eating this fine food again…….except it wasn’t!......it seemed as if they had changed the chef overnight and even the Bombay Potatoes…..such a success the night before were a pale impersonator of the their former self. We thought this may have been just a difficult night and again visited later in the week (wanted to try menu “B”)……oh dear……I had to send my chicken on the bone back as it was very dry. The service was excellent but the replacement Chicken Korma was lacking in flavor and I couldn’t taste any coconut or almonds. To their credit they did send another piece of chicken on the bone which was well cooked; if only they had done this the first time around. Epicurean was fine although a little stingy with the fries….. one portion was only 4 standard size chips…..although the other portion was 25% bigger with 5 actual chips! We enjoyed our favorite food on the ship in The Glass House. For a reasonable up-charge they served food that was prepared with great ingredients and well cooked. We also tried the Beach House. This is an area of the Buffet that is sectioned from the main Buffet at night but really needed that input of music and perhaps a few softer lights would help. The atmosphere was awkward however the food was quite good for a reasonable up-charge. No sign of stinginess as all the portions were large. The food in the MDR was OK and there is no real reason not to eat at one of the MDR’s especially if your are on a budget or are not a fan of slightly finer dining, which I appreciate not everyone is. We are very likely to visit the MDR’s more on the longer cruise next year. Entertainment The Theatre Company were very talented and hard working. The theatre is quite small and they put on 3 shows on the popular nights. Astonishing is as good magic show you will see anywhere short of Vegas. We saw the Adele tribute who was very good in the Live Lounge. However as other reviewers have mentioned it is very hard to find a seat later in the evening. Excursion. We took a bike ride through the Valley of the Bear which took just over an hour coach drive from the ship in Gijon. Thank goodness that we had booked this as the ship docked in a remote part of the docks and the prevailing view was of a massive concrete wall that was worthy of the Berlin Wall only taller! This was a P&O excursion that we booked before the start of the cruise. Overall not a bad trip as the scenery was lovely and the bikes were well maintained. However there were a couple of issues that you had to roll with. A day or so before the trip the ship had contacted us to ask our heights to ensure the correct frame sizes were available. When we arrived at the start point all the bikes were lined up….. well I say all the bikes but they were 4 short. We had to wait around 25 minutes for the 4 bikes to arrive….not the end of the world….but shouldn’t have happened nonetheless. I guess Health and Safety gets hold of all aspects of life and this was no different. Although all the guests were adults, we had to be shephered across the roads (4 times) to ensure that we didn’t get run down. How we have ever got to this point in our lives without major incident must be a miracle! I now feel most vulnerable without that assistance in real life! The description of the trip stated that we would receive refreshments so to hear on the coach tannoy that we were to receive a “picnic” at the end of the ride as most welcomed. Alas the “picnic” amounted to a pile of puff pastry envelopes with the smallest amount of cheese and ham: not one person chose to eat 2….quite possibly it was medically impossible. There was also a sweet thing that was lets say….. unusual. Nothing to drink (unless you purchased from the bar) and perhaps P&O need to think this through a bit further and at least supply a small bottle of water at the start of the ride? Disembarkation We opted to self dis-embark which means taking all your luggage with you when you leave the Ship. If you can do this there are a couple of advantages: firstly you don’t have to pack until the morning and can decide what to wear once you have seen the weather. Secondly you don’t have to wait until your nominated disembarkation time as we could leave between 07.00 and 08.00hrs. It was very simple to collect the car with the CPS staff being across the road from the exit from the terminal and within 5 minutes of leaving the terminal we were in the car. Overall So was this value for money. We have to say that yes it was. It was our choice to upgrade most of our evening meals and the drinks prices were reasonable with a good selection at most bars especially the Crows Nest The Retreat and the Serenity Pool areas were great places to spend time, as was the cabin. We felt that the budget for this particular cruise was cut. The ship was not fully booked and perhaps the lack of live music and bar snacks (only to be found at the bars on the last night) and also the windows not being washed were but 3 of the consequences of this. For us this cruise was exactly the correct cruise as we can now tailor our expectations in readiness for our Caribbean adventure next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click