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

679 Southampton P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise this cruise because we liked the itinerary its was my 60th Birthday I have always wanted yo visit St Petersburg .The negative part of P&O Britannia was the bar staff I found some very homophobic bar staff which ... Read More
We chose this cruise this cruise because we liked the itinerary its was my 60th Birthday I have always wanted yo visit St Petersburg .The negative part of P&O Britannia was the bar staff I found some very homophobic bar staff which made very rude gestures to my partner in the bar that as karaoke .I was not told by my partner until we returned to the UK. He never told me because I would have been put off the ship. The cabin we was in was E251 the cabin steward really looked after us it was very clean to be fair the whole ship was very clean . The lifts was a nightmare at peak times . The buffet restaurant the food was ok nothing special . The late night buffet was the food left over from the evening buffet .We really enjoyed the limelight club Claire Sweeney was great what a voice . We went to the Indian restaurant on board ship the food was excellent you try it . Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise due to its itinerary and duration -Baltic states, unfortunately so did at least several thousand other folks on at least 4 other cruise ships in the same ports everyday (8 ships in St Petersburg) so be prepared this ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to its itinerary and duration -Baltic states, unfortunately so did at least several thousand other folks on at least 4 other cruise ships in the same ports everyday (8 ships in St Petersburg) so be prepared this itinerary is VERY popular. Britannia herself looks spectacular in port, there’s no dioubting that, but she’s a little too big for my usual choice of ship but the lack of midships stairs (!) did mean I walked miles everyday and didn’t actually put on weight! Another reason that could have been was the very poor buffet. The food choice was hugely limited at breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, you could have played tennis with the scones. This was the worst buffet of any ship I have been on. The evening food in the oriental restaurant did have a wide choice of mains but if you are veggie I think you’d find a very limited choice, the vegetables and potatoes on every dish were very boring and samey. Having said that the service was top notch not sure whether the food mediocracy was designed to push you to the ‘cover charge’ options. Entertainment - in the Headliners was excellent as was in the live lounge. Day time entertainment was average but if you love sailaway parties then you won’t be disappointed. Casino is small and Brodie’s is a good spot - Chiona the waitress- super! The cabin was snug for 3, with that very annoying feature of the pull out bed right by the balcony doors so you can’t use the balcony after 7 ish unless you are an acrobat! Like the free hanging rail for clothes, so much better than wardrobes, which means the shower is so much bigger than on other ships. Cabin attendant was very good. There are only 3 pools on the boat, with a plunge pool on deck 16, not a lot for 3,600 people and only 2 jacuzzis unless you add in the one in the pay per visit Retreat. The pools were freezing! The in room tv was good with some great movies and they did show good movies most days in the lounges. Getting ashore was fine with only one hold up getting back on board. £75 for a behind the scenes tour is a tad steep but £25 for the sailaway in Stockholm was good value. The spa was lovely with two of the best massages I’ve ever had but the acupuncture was disappointing and expensive as were the Jou supplements. The gym was free and well kitted out, if you venture there. On the whole Britannia is a relatively new modern ship, with modern fixtures and fittings. If you want old style glamour then choose Cunard or an older P&O ship, but if you like sleek modern then Britannia is for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had to unfortunately cancel our original cruise because of health problems so this Cruise was very much last minute for us as we like to book well ahead to get the cabin we want. We enjoyed the Baltic the last time we were there 8 ... Read More
We had to unfortunately cancel our original cruise because of health problems so this Cruise was very much last minute for us as we like to book well ahead to get the cabin we want. We enjoyed the Baltic the last time we were there 8 years ago and thought it would be good to visit again. Having read several reviews earlier we were a little apprehensive but were pleasantly surprised. Britannia is a beautiful ship with modern tasteful décor - there is far more space on this ship and it isn't difficult to find a quiet spot if needed and we found the majority of staff very pleasant. and helpful, The lifts midship were a nightmare - a very bad design error not to have stairs also for those who were able to use them - we did miss the glass lifts on the Azura and Ventura. The Crows Nest was our favourite, but it could be difficult to get a seat after a late dinner. The Glass House and The Limelight Club were also well worth the extra. We decided to try Freedom dining but never managed to get a really good table for two and no matter what time we went down for dinner, we were always handed a pager and had to wait 20-40 minutes for a table with rarely good service - it was extremely slow. We found that if you went up to the Buffet after 10.15 in the morning and around 3 in the afternoon for lunch it was much quieter - sometimes the restaurant timings are far too early for breakfast and lunch. One tthing that is worth mentioning is the caring Medical, Security and Reception Staff - I had a nasty fall whilst in Tallin and ended up in hospital - on my eventual return to the ship the Doctor and Nurse were fantastic and the Security and Reception Staff checked on me every day. I would definitely cruise on Britannia again,but prefer Azura and Ventura. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My 18 year old daughter and I wanted a holiday of a lifetime (we had a budget) and wanted to try a cruise. We wanted to go to countries we hadn't been and would likely go on a two week holiday too. The Baltic and all the stops was ... Read More
My 18 year old daughter and I wanted a holiday of a lifetime (we had a budget) and wanted to try a cruise. We wanted to go to countries we hadn't been and would likely go on a two week holiday too. The Baltic and all the stops was the cruise we chose. We loved all the countries we stopped at but for us both the highlight was St Petersburg. We had not preconceptions and no idea what to except. Someone had recommended we booked with Elena from Redsun Tours and not with the ships tours. I emailed Elena some months beforehand and was delighted with my choice. Elena kept in touch and a few month people were found. We all told Elena what we wished to do. Primarily we did not want a rushing around St Petersburg tour. We wanted to take our time. Elena put together an itinerary for our group and we were all happy. We used Cruise Critic to get to get to know each other, for those of us on Cruise Critic. There were 12 of us in a mini bus and we had a magical time. Elena had taken the time to email us all periodically before our cruise and had gotten to us know us all as best as she could before we met. She arranged an evening excursion if any of us wanted to which included the ballet, a folk evening or dinner at her own house experiencing typical Russian food with her own family. Four of us chose to do that and it was the main highlight of my personal holiday. I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed St Petersburg and all it had to offer and Red Sun Tours and Elena made it so special for us along with the people we met and spent the two days with. I would not hesitate to return and look around. I especially liked the Church On the Spilled Blood and the story it told. The outside is incredible but the inside is even better in my view. It was the 2018 world cup when we were there and it happened to be Russia playing a game on our first day of our tour. The atmosphere was electric and the Russian people were so friendly. I would love to do this same cruise and wouldn't hesitate to book with Redsun-Tours and Elena once more. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Having cruised Iceland and the Med we wanted to see the Baltic states and St Petersburg in particular. We were slightly put off by many critical reviews of Britannia but remembered critical reviews of previous ships which we enjoyed. The ... Read More
Having cruised Iceland and the Med we wanted to see the Baltic states and St Petersburg in particular. We were slightly put off by many critical reviews of Britannia but remembered critical reviews of previous ships which we enjoyed. The balcony cabin was compact but well designed and well looked after by our steward. The food ranged from good to excellent and the waiters were friendly and efficient. The entertainment was generally good but my wife was not impressed that three of the largest venues were devoted to live World Cup games. All staff were really pleasant, courteous, and helpful. The absence of stairs , midships, caused congestion in the midship lifts at peak times (restaurant dinner times and port excursion times) but the resultant delays were not excessive. Overall - a splendid experience. Room for improvement would include (1) better internet access (expensive and much slower than other ships we have been on) (2) Access to spending account details on the smart TV in the cabin and (3) a beer package. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It has taken a little while to post this review – but still pretty fresh in my mind. We have been on half a dozen cruises over the last few years – mainly Marella (ex Thomson) but also Royal Caribbean. This was our first cruise with ... Read More
It has taken a little while to post this review – but still pretty fresh in my mind. We have been on half a dozen cruises over the last few years – mainly Marella (ex Thomson) but also Royal Caribbean. This was our first cruise with P&O and also our first from Southampton (others were med fly cruises). CHECK IN Leaving from Southampton was just wonderful – just about perfect start and end to our holiday. The check in process was totally painless, we opted for P&O’s complimentary parking and it couldn’t have been easier. We arrived an hour and half before our check in time, were held in our cars with others for around 20 mins but then called forward to drop off point right by terminal, our car taken and guided up to check in lounge, check in took perhaps 15 mins and then straight on to ship where we found our luggage waiting for us outside our cabin. CABIN Our cabin was exactly as we expected – we had originally paid for a cabin towards the rear of the ship but had been upgrade to one midships. This is a better position with one exception – there are no stairs midships, only elevators. The cabin was very smart with a small balcony with two chairs (just room to recline them somewhat) and also two chairs inside allowing us to sit inside and enjoy the view depending on weather. Plenty of space to store clothing and pleased that there is no charge for the safe. One bonus, as newby’s to P&O, is the rule allowing you to each bring a litre of alcohol on board for consumption in your cabin. We brought some gin and also loads of tonics, our steward then provided a daily ice bucket, allowing us to have a G&T each evening which was lovely. The ship is new, very shiny and perfectly maintained. A big difference compared to RC is the lack of ‘gimicky’ facilities – so no ice rink, crazy golf, climbing wall, flume rider etc. This suited us (travelling without children, ours are grown up) but something to bear in mind. The weather was mixed but we were very glad we opted for a balcony. There is such lovely scenery in a fiord cruise so a balcony really comes into its own. There aren’t masses of communal areas where you can sit and enjoy the views. FOOD We were delighted with the dining experience. We opted for freedom dining meaning that we could turn up at any time – sometimes we had a short wait if we wanted a table for 2 but never more than 15 mins and they give you a pager. On Britannia there are three ‘main’ restaurants each serving the same food but this does mean more intimate dining than on the RC ship where there was just one main restaurant. Perhaps we were lucky but perhaps half the nights we had tables for 2 by windows which was lovely given the light evenings. The food we found excellent – at least as good as RC and better than Marella. You can see sample menus on P&O website. We did find the self service buffet a bit of a scrum – very busy at peak times for breakfast and lunch and so where time allowed we opted to use the main restaurant for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. Really enjoyed the calmer atmosphere and also appreciated the ‘lighter’ choices for lunch. One night we tried Sindhu indian restaurant for £20 pp supplement (tip, if you book online before you travel you can secure the time you need. I did hear that there are sometimes last minute discounts if you are prepared to take a chance). We enjoyed the food but perhaps next time will try the Epicuran instead. That said, the main restaurant is so good there is really no need to upgrade. Drink prices are very reasonable. We like our drinks and our bill came to an average of £40 per day for the two of us. Beers are just of £4, cocktails £7, large glasses of decent wine £7. And no service charge or tax to add (unlike RC). There are two formal nights on a 7 day cruise, the second one “Black and White” themed but normal formal dress fine for both. FACILITIES We thought the pool areas were very good – there is one lively pool area with two quite large pools including kids pool and just above a quieter adults only pool. Pools were heated and pleasant to use. Plenty of loungers (although weather wasn’t that hot on our cruise). Excellent waiter service for drinks. There is an excellent gym which was not busy. Lots of daytime activities exp on sea days. We enjoyed dance classes and esp enjoyed singing in a choir with the wonderful pianist Adam. We learnt sections of Les Mis which we performed on the last day. Great fun. The musicians generally on the ship are first class (and I am speaking as a musician). I really enjoyed both the main shows and also the tribute acts (other end of the ship) and dance band (midships) each night. The ship’s library was amazing – very large and extremely well stocked with a great variety of titles. ITINERARY A seven day cruise from Southampton is a compromise – and with two sea days (a day to get to Norway and a day to sail back) this was the case for this cruise. Two weeks or at least 10 days would be better but we only had a week available this time. We called at Stavanger, Olden, Andalsnes and Bergen. Stavanger. Cruise into port lovely, worth getting up for. We walked around the two, very easy to get to from our berth. Really enjoyed it. Visited Oil Museum (which I liked, my wife less so) and the cathedral plus the old town. Olden. Here you cruise some 65 miles inland through a narrow fiord (in a 150,000 ton ship). Just spectacular – was great having our balcony on the way in and in the afternoon sailing out. We came ashore and then booked locally for a mini bus up to the famous glacier. Lovely – although vigorous – 45 min walk to the glacier through the most beautiful valley with snow covered peaks around. This was the highlight of our holiday! By booking with the local firm we paid around £35 each instead of £55 with the ship’s excursion BUT we met another couple who have simply jumped on the local bus and paid £10 each or similar! Andalasnes. Again at the end of a beautiful fiord, wonderful scnenery. The town itself doesn’t have much to recommend - the main tourist options are the scenic train journey or hiking in the wonderful countryside around. We hadn’t booked the train – the official excursion was £80 each (!) and as they block book the train it isn’t straightforward to just buy tickets (although the train station is right in the port 50m from the ship). Also the weather was very overcast and rainy so the wonderful scenery from the train would have been hidden. So we just had a quiet day. Bergen. Wonderful cruise in to the port again, worth getting up for. The weather was cloudy and drizzly again but we got off the ship as early as we could and walked into town and straight to the funicular railway. This is worth doing BUT important to get there early. We had no wait but queues later stretched down the street. We bought our tickets in advance online but even with tickets you need to queue if it is busy. There are wonderful views from the station above and a nice walk through forest to a lake but it started to rain so we headed back down. The town itself is interesting with a very old area (World Heritage Site) just to one side of the harbor. The ship couldn’t berth in its usual spot which meant a longer walk as were in the adjacent harbor. We didn’t book any of the P&O excursions. We just though they were too expensive I’m afraid. They seemed to be busy though so perhaps it is just us! LEAVING THE SHIP AT SOUTHAMPTON Always sad to end a cruise but the disembarkation process was a joy! We elected to keep our luggage with us (so no need to put out the night before), had breakfast at 7am off the ship at 7.30am, straight through the terminal (past hundreds of cases waiting for other guests) and a 100m walk to the car park. In our car at 7.45 and home (Wiltshire) just after 9am. What a difference from our previous fly cruises! SUMMARY Can’t wait for our next cruise. Will definitely use P&O again and where itinerary allows will favour cruises from Southampton. P&O standard and ‘traditional’ approach really worked for us – loved the food, drink prices and entertainment in particular. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Our first time on a cruise and we loved every minute of it. Arrived at the port, car unloaded by porter,car taken to the car park,booked in at the cruise terminal,no problems. The ship is very big but getting around was not a problem ... Read More
Our first time on a cruise and we loved every minute of it. Arrived at the port, car unloaded by porter,car taken to the car park,booked in at the cruise terminal,no problems. The ship is very big but getting around was not a problem for us, but the lifts on the ship were a bit of a let down whilst you were waiting for one it just went past your floor. Found our cabin, large inside midship,(as this was our trial run did not want to waste money on a balcony cabin if we did not enjoy the trip)cabin was very nice plenty of space, cabin maid very good. We booked freedom dining so we could do as we pleased and try various locations around the ship. The food in the restaurants both formal and buffet was very good.The service in the restaurant could not be faulted it was quick and the staff very effecient. The cruise was themed on the Strickly Come Dancing show, which we do not watch, but the shows put on by the variouse artist were in the main very good and entertaining. The only critism i have about the entertainment was that some of the shows shown in the live lounge should have been held in the theatre. We did a number of shore excursions, some were very good, but a couple i did not feel gave value for money,i think a bit more research would have been helpfull.. We really enjoyed this cruise and after 3 days at sea booked a cruise for next year Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Traveling as part of a quite a large party [17]. First problems encountered with Cruise Personaliser having incorrect information - after a number of emails, problem was resolved, or so we thought. Some of the party had pre-booked ... Read More
Traveling as part of a quite a large party [17]. First problems encountered with Cruise Personaliser having incorrect information - after a number of emails, problem was resolved, or so we thought. Some of the party had pre-booked excursions. When we arrived in our Cabins and checked the tickets for the excursions, the wrong tickets had been issued to the wrong people. After many hours of queuing at Reception, we got the issue resolved, only to find they had then further charged the on-board accounts with the same excursions again. All in all a complete mess!! Cabin was comfortable, and we did have a shower screen this time, instead of the awful curtain we had on Aurora last year!! I did receive an upgrade from an Inside to a Balcony for an additional £200!! Would definitely recommend a Balcony for the Fjords. Mainly ate in the Restaurant [Freedom Dining], which was average, Service OK but got really annoyed with the upselling of bottled water, the severe lack of offer from the Waiters for the Cheese Course, and after dinner mints and coffee had to be requested all the time. Presentation and Quality of Food was OK. Buffet Restaurant was OK for breakfast. Reasonable choice of cooked/cold options. Tried the 'food to go' sandwiches for lunch one day which were inedible. Had a Burger and a Hot Dog from the Grill, which weren't bad. Entertainment was reasonable. Annie Lennox act was quite good, and the resident band did an 80's evening which was OK. Only caught last half of comedy night in the Theatre - Peter Piper was his name I think. Not terribly funny imho........ Being such a huge great ship, it generally didn't feel crowded too often. Managed to find some quiet areas on deck and in the Crows Nest. Personally, I think the ship is just too big, but only my opinion. This is my 3rd Cruise with P&O, and just in the couple of years since I first cruised with them, I think their standards have dropped. Sadly, I think they are trying to appeal to the mass market, and that made this cruise feel very much like a 'package holiday'. Will very much look to try a different Cruise Line for my next Cruise Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We arrived in Southampton just after midday for our 7-day cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was very smooth and easy, which is important to us as our daughter is in a wheelchair. The cruise terminal (Ocean Terminal) was ... Read More
We arrived in Southampton just after midday for our 7-day cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was very smooth and easy, which is important to us as our daughter is in a wheelchair. The cruise terminal (Ocean Terminal) was extremely crowded, but we had no problems.. Once onboard, our main concern regarding Britannia, having read numerous reviews, was soon confirmed - the lifts on this ship are totally inadequate for its size. This is made worse by the fact that there are no midship stairs (except between decks 5 and 7), meaning everyone has to use the lifts to access their cabins unless they are located aft or forward, or they are willing to take a long walk - not good planning at all! Having a wheelchair, finding a lift that wasn't full proved extemely challenging at times. Having been on approximately 30 cruises on almost as many different ships with various cruise lines, I can honestly say that the lift situation on Britannia was the worst we have experienced. For a ship with 4,000+ passengers, the lifts are just too small and there are not enough of them. Other than the lifts, our experiences were mostly positive. The ship itself is very clean and the public areas are very spacious. Our cabin was comfortable (IE Grade Balcony - Obstructed View). We were lucky as the obstruction (lifeboats & tender boats) was small compared to some of the other similar cabins on deck 8, as ours was in the gap between two tender boats. The cabin was kept very clean by our cabin steward and our request for a shower seat for our daughter was actioned immediately (we had been unable to book an accessible cabin). The food was generally excellent, both in the main restaurants and the Horizon Buffet. We were on the first dinner sitting in the Oriental Restaurant which was aft. Again, the only problem here was the accessibility, as the restaurant (on Deck 6) is only accessible by lift from the deck above due to the galley being between other areas of the ship on this deck and the restaurant. We generally found that the only way to access the lifts when going to dinner was to go up and then down again, as the lifts going down were always full. we avoided the Horizon Buffet on sea days as it was very crowded, but on other days it was fine, with a good selection of food. Having cruised on Azura and Oceana, which had assigned priority lifts for wheelchairs, we were surprised that this was not the case on Britannia, being a newer ship (only one or two small easily-missed signs near lifts suggesting that priority be given to wheelchair users). At least two or three of the lifts were also out of service throughout the cruise, which made matters worse. The food and service in the restaurant were very good, although we found the crew and staff to be generally less friendly and the service less personal than we had experienced on the Oceana, which could be to do with the size of the ship. The shows in the theatre were all excellent, with a very high-quality cast and a good variety of guest artists. Accessibility was also good with a number of aisle seats being reserved for companions of wheelchair users with parking spaces for wheelchairs next to them. The ports were all excellent and we were extemely lucky with the weather (smooth, almost calm seas throughout and warm, sunny weather in each port). The views in the Fjords were spectacular. We particuarly enjoyed the captain's daily informative and amusing briefings. Our disembarkation was also very smooth and problem-free. To summarise, Britannia is generally a nice ship but the layout in some areas, particularly the lifts and stairs, are badly planned. Unless modifications are made to these areas, we would not recommend this as the best ship to choose if you are travelling with someone who has mobility problems. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First time on a cruise, to Fjords. Scenery amazing. Weather amazing. This made a huge difference. Ports good, and the in room maps were ok but there were good ones available as you stepped in the boat. Aside from breakfast room service, ... Read More
First time on a cruise, to Fjords. Scenery amazing. Weather amazing. This made a huge difference. Ports good, and the in room maps were ok but there were good ones available as you stepped in the boat. Aside from breakfast room service, no indication of other room service available. Cabin was a good size but we did pay extra a one with a sofa. Towels were thin and threadbare. Cheap bedding. Shower very good. On deck F (9th floor) so used stairs a lot to keep fit which was good as lifts were shockingly awful. A few times several lifts would stop but be full. Stairs sometimes didn’t take you where you wanted as they would stop at a deck. Pools not heated well enough so didn’t use. Too cold which was very annoying. Sun beds were laid out in long rows next to each other which was a pain.entertainment cheesey - saw the new show Astonishing which was very poor, though did like the music. Cinema was good but it was fairly empty luckily as the incline isn’t sufficient so had to move when people sat in front of us. Nice to walk around the top deck. Food was okay. Buffet offered a reasonable selection, some good, some horrible but a couple of very good items. Same cheeses every day which was repetitive. MDR no better quality and service was ok. Steak not good quality and the macaroni cheese was disgusting. Beach house was okay but expensive for what it was, though did try it a few times. People did try and get you to wash hands. Drinks service everywhere was ridiculously slow. Did own excursions as the cruise liners were extortionate.overall service was nothing special, whether at reception (could they not smile occasionally?) or elsewhere in restaurants. Everywhere looked pretty clean. Disembarkation very slow and disorganised. Would rate it as a 3.5 star if it were a hotel. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The attraction of this cruise was the Norwegian Fjords.Embarkation at Southampton was as always well organised.Ghe ship is large and the new decor a bit drab ,brown and cream colour scheme although smart was boring.The ship is always super ... Read More
The attraction of this cruise was the Norwegian Fjords.Embarkation at Southampton was as always well organised.Ghe ship is large and the new decor a bit drab ,brown and cream colour scheme although smart was boring.The ship is always super clean everywhere and the whole staff work tirelessly to keep it that way. It was half term so there were many children on board and as the weather was exceptionally hot and sunny the two main pool areas were taken over by them and they certainly enjoyed the pools.This meant using them was out for us as where the jacuzzis always full of kids. Fortunately there is a adults only pool area Serenity area to the rear and this was much quieter evening entertainment was of high quality and the on board Headliner company were outstanding.There was plenty of room at all the venues so plenty to choose from. The cabin was a little smaller than some liners but very well kept and we used the balcony a lot as the scenery as we cruised the fjords was fabulous with snow on the hills still and the villages and cruise stops in the larger ports right in the heart of the ports were easily accessed.P.&O certainly organise passenger exit and return to the ship so well. Now to the food. Although you will never be hungry on this ship the food we found to be a bit disappointing.At the breakfast buffet we found for inference the bacon to be very salty and the sausages tough,eggs were left out so went cold.at dinner in the evening fish and meat was often over cooked and vegetables either cold or not cooked at all.Soups and desserts were ok.Freedom dining was freely available and a much better option. Disembarkation at Southampton was smooth and trouble free.We would use this ship again without hesitation if the itinerary suited our needs as we know not everything will be one hundred percent perfect but P&O get it as near as possible. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I thought I would share my experiences with you, in case you find it helpful. I have cruised 12 times before, Disney, NCL and Royal Caribbean, and I will make some comparisons along the way, and as always it is just my honest opinion. ... Read More
I thought I would share my experiences with you, in case you find it helpful. I have cruised 12 times before, Disney, NCL and Royal Caribbean, and I will make some comparisons along the way, and as always it is just my honest opinion. First of all, Britannia itself:- The decor and overall standard of upkeep was really good, and there is plenty of space. The issue for me is the design/layout of the ship, probably the worst I have ever been on (a sentiment shared by many fellow travellers, many die hard P&O cruisers), you can only walk the length of the ship on three floors (except accommodation floors), Deck 7, but you have to walk through the Crystal Room, Deck 16, but you have to walk through the Horizon Buffet or Deck 17, but you have to walk through the gym. No Promenade Deck, I knew about this in advance but found it amusing when my Father-in-Law mentioned this to a member of staff, who said no sir it is on Deck 18. That is not really a Promenade Deck and getting my Mother-in-Law who is in a wheel chair, is a bit challenging. The Cabin:- Our Cabin (E701) was pretty good and was fairly quiet apart from the normal doors being left to slam. Clean and spacious, probably lacked a couple more drawers. Our steward was great, cleared the mini bar, kept refilling the ice. No complaints and on a par with other ships/lines. The Food:- We (family of 13 across two tables) were on 1st Sitting in The Oriental Restaurant and had great servers who were friendly, attentive and helpful. The standard of the main dining room food was good (not as good as Disney, but probably better than RCI and NCL). I thought the portion sizes were on the small size, but I wonder if that is because they expect everyone to have afternoon tea. There were few odd options on the menu and I think that they could really benefit by having a few tweaks. The Buffet Restaurant was huge, however extremely disappointing when it came to variety. They basically have 4 stations all doing the same food, which is not an issue at breakfast but at lunchtime was a bit of an issue for me. Don't get me wrong I like curry, but was served 6 out of 7 times at lunchtime, they did Spanish on the other day, there was always a pie or roast, Mexican a couple of times and the same with stir-fry plus a limited pasta choice. Salads were ok, but the cold meats were repetitive. There was no local specialities on offer and overall seemed to lack imagination and I would say that it was the worst cruise buffet restaurant I have experienced. Also the service in the restaurant was poor to almost sometimes rude. Bars:- The bars were nice enough and comfortable, many felt a bit like corridors (same as on other ships/lines). One thing I noticed with the exception of two servers, the service was quite poor, no speed, not attentive and no real interaction. Not willing to mix a drink properly (just using premix out of a carton). Is this because there are no tips? Bar service on the other cruise lines I have used is much better. The Gym:- Never seemed to be manned and kids were freely using equipment, some equipment broken and as I said earlier it was a corridor and it seemed to be an after thought compared to other cruise lines. The Serenity Pool:- Is this just a quiet zone or an adult only area, as there were a fair few kids in there, and P&O seem to jam so many beds close together it was not really living up to it's name. Disney of all people have this bit nailed. Lido Deck Pools:- Strangely deep considering this where the kids are mainly swimming, no life guard (as with the Serenity Pool) means nobody is stopping anyone diving and jumping in (yes this was happening in the Serenity Pool too). As previously mentioned bar service was not great. Hot Tubs:- I counted 4 hot tubs 2 above the Lido Deck pools and 2 in the Retreat, that is not enough hot tubs for a ship of that size, and they were small. The Retreat:- We paid for one day and whilst it is nice, it is over priced in my opinion and the service in there was not great. You may think that I am going to say I didn't enjoy my cruise, but I did, it was great, the itinerary was great and I had a great time, I just think I expected more from P&O. Many of my fellow passengers kept saying that don't judge P&O by Britannia, I hope they are right as I am going on Azura in November. I am not saying that I will never sail on Britannia again as the positives (the fact you are on a cruise) still out weigh the negatives but I would have to be persuaded. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this ship as we were travelling with friends who have never cruised before, so they wanted a small cruise from Southampton, this was my 14th cruise along with my partner, so we have experience on numerous ships, from Azamara ... Read More
We chose this ship as we were travelling with friends who have never cruised before, so they wanted a small cruise from Southampton, this was my 14th cruise along with my partner, so we have experience on numerous ships, from Azamara small ship to the massive NCL epic and many more in between. Getting on board was very easy, and we were having our first drink by 1pm, cases were delivered very quickly by 1.30pm, so checked into our cabin G529, deck 8, our friends were next cabin, we had a balcony, cabins very clean, as other reviews mention bathrooms small, but to be honest they were spotless and that’s all that matters to us, we have also had smaller bathrooms before, good toiletries supplied by The White Company, really couldn’t complain about cabin at all. Our first lunch onboard we opted for the buffet not a great fan of these, but wanted our friends to experience it, and let them make their own mind up, very nice selection, very clean and nice staff, only downside are the British people NOT washing their hands, what is it with the older generation, I think they should have a better system in place instead of all lining up at sinks, this does take a while, so much easier with washy washy staff standing there or the self service soap dispensers. Main dining room we used for breakfast and main evening meals, all very good great selection to choose from, hot plates, nice staff. We tried the beach house, and the steak on the lava stone was so tender and tasty, we all enjoyed our meals that night, also had a fabulous dolphin show from our window fantastic. Entertainment was so so, Im never impressed with the cruise dancers and singers, so only saw them once, Sam Bailey was on, she was brilliant and a lovely lady to speak to after the show, another good show in the Live Lounge was a guy called Vernon Lewis. a soul singer music from 60’s and 70’s all Motown had everyone up dancing, then a DJ after, good selection of drinks in every bar, and not expensive, we wanted to book the Limelight club but the guests they had on board really didn’t do it for us. Never booked excursions as we always get off and wander around, the weather was lovely so always had the afternoons around the Lido Deck pools, only problem we saw were parents taking babies and toddlers into the pool with their nappies on yuk!!!! This needs to be addressed Sail away parties were great, a brilliant team, got everyone up and dancing. Always had quizzes going on around pool and in Brodie’s, bar which was like a weatherspoons, full every night, great atmosphere, I’ve never laughed so much playing Bingo with the great Jo B, what a character she was, eyes down teeth in she would shout out, great work Jo. Casino was ok little on the small side, to many people around roulette tables and not always playing just watching, never have experienced this before on other ships. We paid for a gin tasting lesson as my partner loves gin, I’m a vodka drinker, but the bar manager of the whole ship called Avalon invited me as his guest to try and convert me, and after 4 different cocktails and different gins, he has converted me, great guy and very informative about making the most of mixers as in fruit not just using tonic water, really enjoyed that. Can’t think of much else to add, this being our first p&o cruise, all I can say is, yes read the reviews make up your own mind, and give this ship a try, I wouldn’t hesitate going onboard again, but I will never go from Southampton I prefer to fly and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My husband and i decided we would like to go on a cruise but was unsure where to go.We spoke to our friends who have been on many cruises and said they would come with us.We booked to go on the Brittania on 20/05/18 for 7 days.I did read ... Read More
My husband and i decided we would like to go on a cruise but was unsure where to go.We spoke to our friends who have been on many cruises and said they would come with us.We booked to go on the Brittania on 20/05/18 for 7 days.I did read the reviews before we went and was concerned as a lot of them said it was a dull and boring ship with very rude staff!!. Well the reason i am writing this review is because from start to finish i enjoyed every minute.The ship is amazing,staff very friendly,food always hot and entertainment very good.There was not one thing that i could complain about and would definitely recommend this ship.There are always memebers of staff around to help you and the ship itself is amazing and very clean.I enjoyed the sail away parties even in the rain!!!.I now have the cruising bug and have just booked my next one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had been on the Azura in September 2017.. Superb trip to Norway,lovely ship. We thought we would try The Britannia,BIG mistake! Totally impersonal, the balcony cabin was not particularly clean..coffee stains food on carpet from when we ... Read More
We had been on the Azura in September 2017.. Superb trip to Norway,lovely ship. We thought we would try The Britannia,BIG mistake! Totally impersonal, the balcony cabin was not particularly clean..coffee stains food on carpet from when we arrived to leaving. The room smells were of toilet/ damp carpet. Being on level 12 at rear of ship there must have been a problem. I reported this but was told 'sorry about this but we are full' The lifts are a nightmare and as my husband is disabled,people with mobility problems had to wait until a lift was free.Having to use the lift for 5 floors and then cross the ship to wait for another lift to the restaurants is not the best design. The buffet Horizon was dreadful.....called the bum shuffle deck....food poor,cold,yuk. Fast food en mass for those gorging on platefuls of food. On a positive note The Restaurant staff were excellent. Ship docked in commercial ports,unable to get off,a coach was available to Santander and La Rochelle....20 mins journey....this wasn't in the information.my husband cannot walk and therefore has a scooter......coach no use. This ship is big and I guess there were many unsold rooms that were sold as last minute cheap deals and it showed. We have now cancelled our next cruise with P&O. I have complained to P&O but 3 weeks later NO reply. We have been big travellers,visiting 60 countries and this is the first time I have ever had to complain. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise week long cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were given a time of 3pm for embarkation and were on the ship shortly after that time, it was all very efficient. First impressions of the ship from ... Read More
We chose this cruise week long cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were given a time of 3pm for embarkation and were on the ship shortly after that time, it was all very efficient. First impressions of the ship from entering the atrium was that it was very classy and elegant and put us in mind of the lobby of a five star hotel. This impression continued throughout the public areas. You can only pass through the interior of the ship on deck 7, which will take you end to end. You pass by the photography area, Sindu restaurant and, at the other end, The Live Lounge, where they host live bands and music in the evening. This whole area is elegant and sophisticated, but dark. All the curtains to the windows overlooking the sea are covered in elegant drapes; crystal lighting over the Sindu bar books elegant and refined. But here is where it is unusual, you have to look quite hard to see the sea from deck 7. The curtains close it off. In fact, apart from the Horizons buffet on deck 11, we found it quite hard to see the ocean from the interior - its almost like the ship is trying hard to be a posh hotel and is somewhat embarrassed by all that ocean outside. It should be the opposite because everyone cruises to see the ocean. If you want to go outside to see it from decks 5 to 7 (the interior of the ship) you can but only if you access the smoking areas either side of the ship. There is no promenade deck mid ship and it is not possible to walk the whole way round the ship from the promenade deck. If you walk from atrium on deck 5 or 6 you will dead end, only deck 7 takes you through the ship. There was much to like about this ship. People say there is no wow factor and I think that is a matter of personal taste. Its a beautiful ship and because the atrium area is relatively small, there is much more public space on decks 5 through to 7 for entertainment venues which means that you can get a seat in the evening This ship has numerous entertainment venues, you are spoiled for choice. We found this use of space to be much better than our experience on RC's Independence and Navigator of the Seas where the Royal Promenade takes out much of the public space. The other trump card for Britannia was the fantastic entertainment throughout our cruise. The theatre hosted Sam Bailey, who was amazing; as well as a number of other guest acts and fantastic shows put on by the entertainment team. A new show called Astonishing was excellent with really modern music and awesome LED backdrop. There was also fantastic entertainment in the Live Lounge where the band Pulse played up to date music as well as tributes to the likes of Dire Straits and the 80s. This band were top notch and it was a pleasure to listen to them each evening. If ballroom dancing is your thing, the crystal room catered for that. There was something for everyone and each evening was exciting with something to look forward to. We found this to be much better than our previous cruise on Navigator of the Seas, where the entertainment was so boring (a Beatles tribute being the highlight) we were back in our cabins by 10pm. The food in the main dining room was good. The service was reasonable. The menu was a little repetitive and if you were doing a 2 week cruise, you may want to try the speciality restaurants for variety. On a week cruise, we felt there was no need to bother. The Horizon buffet offered a reasonable choice of food throughout the day but got very busy and getting a table was hard work. Room service for breakfast solved that problem. We liked the 'grab and go' sandwich selection on the promenade deck. Very useful for a quick snack. On the whole, we would say the food was good but not outstanding. Our interior cabin was nicely furnished, modern, and had the most comfortable bed we have ever slept it. The best interior cabin we have ever slept in on a ship. The only criticism we have of Britannia was their apathy when it came to shore excursions booked through them. Your shore excursion ticket was left in the cabin but you were given little information on where to go on excursion day and were left waiting to get off the ship with all the other passengers, hoping you could get off in time for the bus and actually find it on the dock. On Royal Caribbean's Navigator, you were taken to the theatre, given a number and taken off the ship separately and accompanied to your tour bus. This was proper organisation and Britannia needs to improve on this as they are selling the tickets and are therefore responsible to ensure the tour operates properly. We would not hesitate to book this ship again. Looking at the 2 week med tours next year, we are dismayed to find that P&O have cut their ports from 7 to 6 over a 14 day period, which means 8 sea days - too many. May therefore stick to 1 week cruises with them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I found a great deal for a 7 night cruise over my birthday with P&O Britannia but had no sailed with P&O before so was doubtful whether I should book. However after getting feedback from my cousins who had been on another P&O ... Read More
I found a great deal for a 7 night cruise over my birthday with P&O Britannia but had no sailed with P&O before so was doubtful whether I should book. However after getting feedback from my cousins who had been on another P&O ship last year, I went ahead and booked it and so glad I did. We drove to Southampton port and took only 1hr 20mins from North West London which was great. We were informed by P&O beforehand that our boarding time was 3pm which I have never been informed of by any other cruise line. We generally like to get to ship early so can enjoy the lunch and get familiarised with the ship before emergency drill procedure begins. So we took a chance and got to port at 12.30. We had to wait in a short queue for 5 to 10mins and then drove to baggage drop off area whereby a guy was standing to pick up our car. We took the luggage off the car and a porter came and took them straight away and the driver took the keys from us and drove the car off. Wow what an efficient service. We were highly impressed! Went inside terminal and were given a boarding card with a number and were asked to take a seat. We were called within next 15mins and after getting a photo taken and collecting our cabin key cards and proceeded to this very elegant ship. When we got on board, we were asked to proceed straight to our cabins if we wanted, to drop off the hand baggage. Hence we took the central elevators and went to our mid ship balcony cabin on deck 11. As soon as we got to our cabin, rest of the luggage arrived which was the quickest ever cruise luggage delivery service we had ever witnessed. We were very impressed with the cabin. Although, it was slightly on the smaller side with a smaller balcony than we had on other ships, it had everything we needed. The bathroom was small too but had a shower door rather than a curtain which was great. There were many power points around the cabin and a large flat screen TV. Storage space was limited but sufficient for a 7 night cruise. We went to have lunch straight after and enjoyed the choice of vegetarian options on offer. Loved the grab n go area where you could pick up sandwiches, baguettes, wraps etc. Also pizzeria and burger counters by pool side offered lovely veg burgers and different types of pizzas. After lunch we went to explore rest of ship which had great decor through out. From the central atrium area which had the most beautiful central show piece I had ever seen on a ship to the various art deck pieces in every area of the ship, this ship oozed with beauty and elegance all through. Loved all the public rooms like Brodies pub, live lounge, crows nest, theatre etc. Also like all the restaurants including the one we were allocated called meridian restaurant for our anytime dining. The only other restaurant we went to was Sindhu which had a great ambience. We saw other speciality restaurants like Epicurian and glass house which seemed great too but never visited those for a meal. In fact the buffet restaurant was one of the best ones we had ever seen on a ship with plenty of seating area and nicely laid out such that we never encountered any queues for food or hunt round for seats. Service on the ship was generally average except for our room steward who was excellent and so was a gentleman called Abhijeet who looked after our vegetarian order requests every evening. Other than these 2, we were not highly impressed with service in any areas. I guess this is where P&O could improve. We were surprised to see table cloths not being changed in dining rooms after patrons left a table and before new ones arrived. All crumbs on table were thrown on the floor! Never seen this before in anybody the ships we have been on like NCL, Princess or Royal Caribbean. Staff generally didn't engage much like we had seen with other cruise lines. Service in speciality restaurant Sindhu was much better though. However food in all restaurants was excellent and there was not a single meal that we didn't enjoy. Food was the best ever from over 20 cruises we have been on. Choice is slightly limited especially during breakfast, however if the food tastes great and is of good quality, it doesn't really matter. Entertainment was very good too. Plenty of production shows and loved their new show 'Astonishing' which is one of the best we have seen on a cruise ship. Also the guest entertainers like Jai Mcdowell, Sam Bailey and Tom Binns were excellent. We saw Jai perform twice, once in theatre and next in live lounge and were highly impressed. We missed Vernon Lewis though and from what o heard from others, he was great too. So overall entertainment would rate amongst the best we has seen. Plenty of activities were happening around the ship on sea and port days to keep everyone busy. Loved their quizzes in the pub, game shows similar to Pointless and the chase and talk shows in theatres. Also plenty of films were shown in the cinema and also some in theatre which I have rarely seen on a ship. Also plenty of films to choose free of charge in cabin and we did see quite a few good ones. The only department we were not happy on this cruise were the photography team. This was the first cruise we didn't have a single photo taken. They ignored us in the dining rooms, gangways at various ports and within public areas of the ship. Not sure why though and something their manager needs to address his teams regarding not excluding men and people from other ethnic backgrounds. The captain was hilarious and loved his daily updates over the tannoy system. During captains formal night, loved his speech and it was a great atmosphere in the atrium area with free drinks. Drinks generally were not badly priced and we were expecting to end up with a big bar bill. However despite ordering bottles of wines at dinner, having beer and cocktails in their various bars and also sometimes having costa coffees, we only ended up with a bill of £100 each which was not bad at all. Ports of call were all good with great weather at most ports except La Rochelle where it rained few hours in the morning. Guernsey was our favourite though. Went to castle ourselves in the morning and did a Gin tasting excursion with the ship in the afternoon which was excellent. Also did excursions at all other ports. In La Coruna we did a tapas trip which was very good and in afternoon walked into town to see the sights there. In Santander, we did a cave and gaudi building excursion which was very good but were not allowed to take pictures in the caves which was a shame. The city of Santander was 15min shuttle ride away. Couldn't go there as we got back around 3.30 and didn't have much time thereafter. In La Rochelle we did a trip of city and outer islands. Luckily rain stopped when we did the walking tour which was good. On the whole we enjoyed all the excursions we did with P&O. All were reasonably priced too compared to other cruise lines. The only design flow with ship was not having stairs in central area which caused the elevators to be always busy. On the whole we really enjoyed this cruise and would sail with P&O again for sure, may be on a different ship though as we like to sail on different ships unless an exciting itinerary comes along. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have cruised twice before with P and O and decided to give Britannia a try mainly due to rave reviews. Delighted to be upgraded and looked forward to our balcony cabin at the aft of the ship. However as soon as our steward introduce ... Read More
We have cruised twice before with P and O and decided to give Britannia a try mainly due to rave reviews. Delighted to be upgraded and looked forward to our balcony cabin at the aft of the ship. However as soon as our steward introduce himself he then told us about the 'soot deposit' issue at the back of the ship. Apparently soot from the funnels land on the balconies, mainly during the night and this was a problem for both my husband and myself as we both have lung conditions (COPD and emphysema) He suggested we do not use the balcony first thing in the morning until he had been in to clean the area. Not ideal as using the balcony first thing with a cup of tea is what we like to do. We went to reception who were very understanding but could not quite grasp why we were not happy to have a balcony and not be comfortable using it. Reception spoke to the housekeeping manager who basically said the same: don't use it until it had been cleaned. Not happy we insisted we met with her and eventually she agreed it would not be advisable to use it. She was unsure if we could be moved as the ship was full and asked for 24 hours to see what could be done. 2 hours later we were moved to a new cabin at the opposite end of the ship away from the downdraught of the funnels. . Very happy with the result until we realised we were directly over the area where the anchor was lowered and the ropes were stored. Very noisy from 6 am every morning. My advise is if you have any sort if breathing problem do NOT book the aft cabins as nice as they look Food was very disappointing. We prefer to use the buffet but the choice was the worse we have ever experienced on any cruise line. Breakfast was appalling. Typical English breakfast was over cooked bacon which had been kept warm for so long it was like leather. Eggs under cooked and no egg station as on many lines where you have exactly what you wanted cooked fresh for you. Lunch and dinner were also very short of choice unless you liked noodles, curry and cold meats every single night. To top it off all food was barely warm. Hygiene very poor. The first 2 days a member of staff made sure everybody entering the buffet washed their hands before eating but from day 3 nobody was there and many, many people were just walking in. Public areas not cleaned regularly and ash trays in all smoking areas overflowing with uncollected glasses and bottles. Lifts were not working and nobody seemed to be working on them. One was out of order for the whole 7 days. Entertainment was badly advertised with no signs outside venues saying who was appearing. I cannot comment on the shows as we did not see any. We would not use P and O again as they are now telling guests how to dress by banning certain types of t-shirts and no shorts in certain areas, although my husband did wear his shorts to the buffet and was not stopped. When on holiday we do NOT expect to be told what to wear. We totally know how to conduct ourselves and understand how to dress for the main dining room but do not like being dictated to. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
After reading the mixed reviews, we were pleasantly surprised. We thought we were joining a lifeless ship with surly staff, poor food, rubbish entertainment with hard, grey towels, a steward that enters your room unannounced and single ply ... Read More
After reading the mixed reviews, we were pleasantly surprised. We thought we were joining a lifeless ship with surly staff, poor food, rubbish entertainment with hard, grey towels, a steward that enters your room unannounced and single ply toilet paper!!! The only one of them statements that we found to be true was the toilet paper. It was hardly the sandpaper other reviewers had made it sound, just double it up... Every member of the crew we encountered were helpful, friendly and offered fantastic service. They work so hard and should be appreciated. Our cabin steward explained all we needed to know on arrival, we barely saw him after that. He would clean the room etc when we were out. Just use the ‘I’m resting’ sign supplied and they won’t walk in... The ship had been described as having no wow factor? I thought it was elegant and classy in every area, but I suppose this is personal opinion. The selection of food was amazing. We tended to use the buffet during the day and had club dining in the Oriental at 8.30. This worked perfectly for us as we ate so much during the day, often squeezing in an afternoon tea, that eating any earlier would not have been an option.... The buffet had at least 4/5 selections of hot food, usually a British dish like a roast, a curry, something Chinese and a chilli, along with masses of cold meats, seafood, salad, soup and loads of puddings. There was also Pizza, burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and chips on the lido deck. The Oriental had a great menu every night and every dish we had was fantastic, without exception. The shows are repeated, so we got to see everything we wanted and always got a seat in all venues. Eric Lanlards afternoon tea was nice, but we preferred the more down to earth offering in the Oriental. There was a selection of sandwiches, hot sausage rolls, tea cakes, crumpets and 6 different desserts, all included in your holiday. The drinks are reasonably priced, a pint of Fosters for £4.10, Peroni £4.75 and cocktails around £6. They are served to your table quickly and politely. There seemed to be something for everyone. Brodie’s is a bit of a fun pub with quizzes and bingo etc, but if you want somewhere quieter like we did, Crows Nest and the Crystal Rooms were nice alternatives. We spent a lot of time people watching in the Glass House. The entertainment we saw was great, both in the Live Lounge and Headliners. We also saw Sinbad from Brookside in the Limelight, he put on a great show in lovely surroundings. It was worth paying the extra for a night away from the hordes. Now for the negatives.... The lifts are a pain that cannot cope at busy times and the layout can be a bit confusing.... That’s it... Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I had the opportunity to travel on the Britannia on May 13th on a lovely trip to Norway. I wanted to provide some comparisons of this ship and P & O in general vs. other lines that cater more to American travelers. I am an ... Read More
I had the opportunity to travel on the Britannia on May 13th on a lovely trip to Norway. I wanted to provide some comparisons of this ship and P & O in general vs. other lines that cater more to American travelers. I am an American and no offense is meant in some of my generalizations to either American or British folk. Ship The décor is beautiful yet understated. It feels more like a 5 star hotel than a ship. There is great use of color, blues, greys, golds and different venues decorated elegantly. The ship is the same “make and model” as the Royal Princess (and Regal). This includes some of the design flaws such as no mid-ship stairs, odd floor 7 bathroom availability, no Promenade deck. Some of these were corrected on the Regal Princess but persist on these 2 ships. The ship caters to folks from the UK, so there are some differences in how the ship is laid out and space is utilized. Atrium – Unlike the Royal there is only 1 atrium spiral staircase and the atrium is rectangular. Most shops are located on deck 6, making the shopping isolated. I liked this. The atrium is much more spacious. With that said, if you love entertainment and dancing in the Atrium, that is not what it is used for. There are several bars and coffee shops on deck 7 and 5, however, these are for lounging and relaxing. There is music that is played in the atrium, but it’s usually an accent and not the main attraction. If you are a dancer, there is a specific dance venue, where lessons and music are held. Crow’s Nest – The forward staterooms normally found on deck 16 (Lido) have been removed. They were replaced with a dining venue, several private rooms, and the Crows nest. The Crows nest is a beautiful bar with forward views of the upcoming destinations. A wonderful place for sail away, pre-dinner drinks or watching the scenic views. This is a wonderful change from it’s sister Princess ships which offer no forward- facing views. Pub and Casino – There is a very small Casino. Perhaps the 3rd of the size on American style ships. The remaining space is used for a Pub type atmosphere, Brody’s. If you go on a cruise with your primary objective being to gamble, this may not be the line to take. The pub is very nice and brings in a great fun crowd for sporting events, quizzes, bingo like games and of course on our cruise, the Royal Wedding!! Aft Bar – Beautiful. A wonderful place to relax in port or watch the ship’s wake. Decorated well despite being outdoors. Lots of comfortable seating. Another interesting way that the décor changed the feel of the ship and made it more like a hotel patio bar. Cabins – No differences here in shape/size, decorated quite differently. My opinion is it was a better utilization of space. There was one North American Plug, but the rest were UK style. One thing to note is that there were several plugs instead of only one. They do have a kettle for tea or coffee in the room. The shower has a glass door. I found that much nicer, but if you are a very large person this may not be as accommodating as a shower curtain. Pools – just as many pools but only a couple of hot tubs. This results in a more open deck, particularly in the Sanctuary, Adults area. Food & Drinks The food was absolutely fabulous. However, there were more pay for, ala carte options than you may find on a ship catering to Americans. There were several coffee shops that offered alternative coffee drinks from the buffet. Dining rooms had amazing food, I never had a bland meal, meals were always hot, the service impeccable. I don’t typically eat sweets, but I must say I did every night. So much more tasty than the other lines. As an American I was asking for things such as ice water, more ice in my drinks than most…all available. Buffet’s are buffets. They are not my favorite. Expect an English breakfast. Since folks are not as keen on ice, there was no ice machine in the buffet, however the cabin steward, waiters etc. all took care of this for me. There is an Indian style venue called Sindhu. It is my understanding this is on most P & O ships. British folk love their Indian, and it was quite good. There was usually some sort of curry available on the daily dining room menu and buffet as well. I love interesting food, and all of this was a great change. However, it was intended to be spicy and was. American’s should keep that in mind when booking a reservation. Don’t go if you don’t like spicy food and don’t complain that it is. In the “Glass House”, situated where “Crooners” would be on the Princess ship, they had a small venue that served food, or bites to eat. The food here was very good and also included some interesting dishes/small plates such as pate, sliders, cheese boards. Prices are not significant £3 - £7 ish. Now the topic of drinks. If you are a cruiser who goes on a cruise to imbibe on mixed drinks and expecting an American “pour” you will be disappointed. The shots are 1 ounce, a North American pour is 2 ounces. Expect a significant difference in cost of mixed drinks since you will order a double. Also, the pours are measured more so than on other lines. This includes wine/beer etc. However, if you are a beer drinker, there are several beers on tap in nearly every bar allowing for pints or half-pints at a reasonable cost. The wine is also reasonable, and many varieties by the glass and bottles. My one complaint about this ship, and frankly all ships in the Carnival Line I’ve been on, is that the wine is inconsistent between venues. The varietals in the Glass house were different from the Crows nest and different from the Aft Bar etc. This is not a P&O complaint, but a Carnival Line consistent challenge for me. Entertainment Just like any cruise there were shows, magicians, comedians, etc. However, none of the entertainment is positioned to be in your face unless you are in the venue. For example, there are several entertainers that play in the Atrium, but they are a compliment to the ambiance, not the main attraction. Very classy piano players, solo and duet acoustic guitar music at the Crow’s nest. The pub was typically crowded nightly with quizzes or Karaoke. Very interactive and American’s will probably feel a little “dumb” as the Brits know their history, music etc. and sure take those quizzes seriously. Sail Away heading back to Southampton was so fun. Union flags passed amongst the deck, a variety of British/UK songs and anthems. Lots of flag waving fun. I wouldn’t doubt at least 1/3 of the passengers participated. Service and Staff The captain/officers of the ship were interactive. Giving many points of information that you don’t receive on other ships, including some problems that we had on board. Ringing the bell at noon, “honking” the horn on queue at sailaway were always quite coordinated. The service staff is very professional. There is less casual interaction with the guests on the ship than you might see on a more American line. There were very few Americans/Canadians on this ship. The staff is trained to accommodate British tastes and service requirements. Staff was not used to MY accent and ways of requesting things. I had to adapt to them and not believe the world revolves around me. I would like to note that, this is why I travel. I loved that I experienced things differently, had to slow down my conversations, inquire more about different utilization of words or words I’d never heard. Importantly, I will say the staff did their best to accommodate my American taste for Bloody Mary’s, double drinks etc. Several ran to the galley to get things like tobasco and were always willing to consult me on my requirements. The one complaint that I had on this ship was Passport handling. I have drafted a separate letter to P&O and Carnival in general about that item. As an American on a British ship (this ship is registered in Southampton), my passport was collected and needed to be retrieved prior to the end of the cruise. It was not the collection that concerned me, but the caretaking of the passport by the staff. Costs Additional fees for coffee, dining venues, etc. are not new to the American traveler, but remind yourself how much you might spend on a Starbucks coffee daily. I didn’t find any of these to be unreasonable and didn’t have any complaints about the coffee, food I was paying extra for. There were just as many no cost items as any other cruise ship, however, this one had more options. Rules American’s should take note of a couple things that I did not mention above. Folks dress up at night, most nights. It is not required, but this wasn’t the venue to wear ratty jeans on smart casual night. On formal nights men wear tuxes, kilts etc. and women wear gowns. Queuing is an art for Brits. No one cuts the line and when someone is in greater need such as wheelchair bound folks, they are keen to allow that person priority access to elevators. I wouldn’t doubt that folks might scold anyone who didn’t adhere to this. It was made clear by the captain himself, that parents were in charge of their children. There weren’t many children, but parents had a handle on them. When a baby cried, parents took them out of the dining room or venue, children are expected to dress appropriately for dinner etc. Thank you P & O! I highly recommend this note of advice to parents on all ships in the Carnival line. There was no yelling, shouting across the Atrium or even overt drunkenness. Misc. & Overall This was my favorite cruise of all time. I have been cruising since 1976, have logged 100 days on Princess, 50 days on Carnival, done some Royal Caribbean cruises as well as Viking. The destinations (Norwegian ports), the ship, the service, the food was all exceptional. I found very little to complain about and enjoyed it thoroughly. I spoke to other passengers and they discussed how they like American style ships and the atmosphere. This speaks to how truly folks like to “get away” from the every day. I found this particular journey to be nothing less than spectacular and understood I was a token American on a British ship. Thank you for reading! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It was our anniversary and we saw this 2 night cruise so thought we’d book it. We’ve cruised many times before; mostly RCI, NCL, Princess and Holland America. We were excited to give P&O as we haven’t cruised with them before. ... Read More
It was our anniversary and we saw this 2 night cruise so thought we’d book it. We’ve cruised many times before; mostly RCI, NCL, Princess and Holland America. We were excited to give P&O as we haven’t cruised with them before. Overall it was OK. Not sure what we were expecting, but something seemed lacking. It didn’t have any wow factor or oomph The worst part was check in. What a ridiculous way of doing it, we’ve never done it that way before. You’re given a time to get to the terminal and if you’re early you still have to wait. 2 1/2hrs in our case. Just give people a card as they arrive like they usually do. Cabin was lovely and Clean and the bed very comfortable. We had freedom dining and the usual wait was 30-40 mins. We weren’t overly impressed with the food, it was barely warm one night and the sticky toffee pudding was chewy where it had been left under lights to keep warm and the toffee sauce was thin and bitter. They really seemed in a rush to get you in and out. Usually you get a bit of time between courses but it was take that plate and here’s your next course. Not a relaxing experience. The buffet was fine, everything you wanted, again only warm though. The shows in the theatre were good. Again, a first for us, was that there was no drinks service in the theatre. We took our own in once we knew. The major thing we found, which we’ve never experienced before, were the staff weren’t very happy or friendly. They didn’t seem to engage with people. We tried chatting to a lot of the waiters but they didn’t want to know. They work hard and weren’t rude, but there wasn’t any personality or friendliness coming through like you normally get and I would say it was 85% of the staff we came across. None of this was awful, but we felt worth mentioning. We’ve tried P&O but don’t think it’s for us. Something was definitely missing which was friendliness and atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
5 adults and 1 child Pros - suite was large with lots of extras - epicurean restaurant fantastic - peninsula restaurant also very good - fast embarkation - great service - staff in kids club and kids club great ... Read More
5 adults and 1 child Pros - suite was large with lots of extras - epicurean restaurant fantastic - peninsula restaurant also very good - fast embarkation - great service - staff in kids club and kids club great Cons - swimming pools too small and too deep. Not at all child friendly. - children’s splash area very poor. - 2 night attracts a lot of hen and stag parties. Didn’t notice them at night but during the day by the pool there was some raucous behaviour. - small details in the cabin. Thin towels and not enough of them. Dressing gowns only appeared on the last night Would sail again on a short cruise. Not sure there is enough on there to keep a 4 year old busy for a week cruise or longer although the kids club were very friendly and I would have felt comfortable leaving her there. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on ... Read More
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on their very first cruise ship, we booked the cabins on a select fare meaning we could choose our cabin, dining preference and also receive an on board spend of £25 per person. We travelled to Bruges which we have been lucky enough to go to a couple of times and on this occasion we stayed on board and enjoyed the sunshine from the adult only pool on the top deck but if you have never been it is well worth a trip into, it’s very picturesque and also has some of the finest chocolate shops of anywhere in the world and they almost always give free samples. Boarding Britannia was docked at the Ocean Terminal, we turned up at the allotted time of 1300 on our ticket and were straight into the check in system without a wait, we queued for less than 3 minutes before we were seen, it was quick and efficient and after a short check in we were heading to security, we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at the terminal, boarding into the stunning atrium and after a quick picture it was up to the buffet. Cabin GE Grade clear view balcony with sofa, G deck forward. First impressions were that the cabin was clean, light and airy. As you walk through the door you see the usual cabin layout, I was particularly impressed with the doing away off closed wardrobes with it instead being open and walk in rather than the standard closing door wardrobes. Moving into the bathroom we had a larger bathroom than the other members of the fleet, excellent bath products from the white company, moving through to a comfy queen size bed and two seater sofa which in our cabin could also be made into a sofa bed. The balcony as other passengers have said is a little on the small side and when opening the gate to the next door cabin it was hard to get in and out of our door. Restaurant We were seated both evenings on a set dining at 2045 in the Oriental restaurant, first impressions of the restaurant was it was smart, spacious and clean. On previous experiences with P&O I have found the food offering to be very middle of the road, nothing to write home about. Britannia has done some great work in restoring my faith in P&O’s food offering. I won’t bore you with the details of menus but the highlights for me were the Hampshire smoked trout starter, the beef wellington and as always they still offer a really great cheese board at the end of every meal. A quick note on the service, which was excellent, the waiter, his assistant and the wine waiter were all very happy, smiley and knowledgeable, making the service look effortless. A quick note on the buffet which also had an excellent range of food and was a much more pleasant space than many ship buffets, it was more spacious than some of the slightly older ships. Bars We particularly enjoyed the crystal room, it was a beautiful room with a large dance floor and offered a slightly more adult disco, the live lounge had a fantastic band playing although it was completely packed. We also visited the crow’s nest which was considerably larger than many ships it was also very beautiful with wonderful views, all bars we went into seemed to to have comfortable chairs with clean menus and an efficient staff. Spa Like most things on board the spa is large in expanse, however I was slightly disappointed as the thermal suite which we added was on the smaller side and neither steam room worked, the thermal pool however was very nice although the noise of the shower and bubbles being produced somewhat made the relaxation beds a little pointless and I found the general appearance lacked compared to other areas with pool towels and glasses everywhere which was a little bit of a shame. Those travelling with us took massages and were incredibly happy with both the deep tissue and the hot stone massage. Entertainment Aside from the excellent music playing in the bars during the evening, there was the theatre which hosts two shows each evening, the theatre itself is not huge for the number of passengers on board so if you don’t want to stand at the back it is worth to get there a little in advance, the show we caught was a Four seasons tribute which I think they do often have on these shorter cruises, they were a professional act and the show came across this way with excellent lighting and acoustics to match. During the day if the weather permits as mentioned above you can take advantage of the pools on the top deck, the adults only area towards to front end with pool and ample seating and bar was far more relaxing than the family area in the mid section where they had loud music playing throughout the day, it was a real positive that they had these two very different areas catering for almost everyone, there is also a small pool at the aft of the ship with a further bar this again was slightly quieter. We were not travelling with children so cannot comment on their facilities. Disembarkation Much like all disembarkation's it was very smooth, we disembarked at our allotted time after breakfast and picked our luggage up from the terminal and we were on our way home. General ship view The one thing that will hit you when you just arrive at the port is that the ship is huge, this view won’t change on boarding, a wonderful atrium with bars, shops and winding stair cases, be sure to get some pictures here on formal night. The one downside to Britannia’s size is that everywhere is a long distance walk but always worth it as the product on board is stylish and offers a five star style environment that I think P&O have lacked slightly on their other ships. Everybody also seemed to dress to the occasion and there were very few passengers who didn’t dress for the formal evening with black tie in abundance. An extra note was that as this was a two night cruise we didn’t have a full chance to experience everything and it would almost certainly have more to offer on a longer cruise. I have to praise P&O as the staff on board we all excellent, and they have certainly upped their game in terms of ship appearance. Overall this was an enjoyable two night break on board their flagship and I would not hesitate to return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
For a Flag Ship & so new, certain areas looking tired already. Our mistake was not appreciating a "weekend" cruise would be full of badly behaved stag/hen parties! Also, Freedom Dining, as included was very average & the ... Read More
For a Flag Ship & so new, certain areas looking tired already. Our mistake was not appreciating a "weekend" cruise would be full of badly behaved stag/hen parties! Also, Freedom Dining, as included was very average & the buffet very underwhelming. The specialised restaurants were much better but of course at a price - not only a supplement but food supplements too. As a small group who wanted to sit together for dinner - not unreasonable - the only option to be able to book a table at a sensible time, was to dine at one of the specialised restaurants! Catch 22 situation. The "Formal" dining night requested was rather extreme for the ship/the clientele. Having been on a couple of other cruise ships, nothing about this experience will get us rushing back to this ship or PO I'm afraid. Recommend you read the reviews very carefully before committing. Overpriced for what it is, sadly. Lesson learnt. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The ship was large but the staff were friendly and helpful. The décor didn’t have the “Wow” factor some ships have but was easy on the eye but fairly bland. Our cabin was of a reasonable size and well-equipped with plenty of ... Read More
The ship was large but the staff were friendly and helpful. The décor didn’t have the “Wow” factor some ships have but was easy on the eye but fairly bland. Our cabin was of a reasonable size and well-equipped with plenty of storage space. We ate at the Horizon buffet breakfast and lunch and found it fairly efficient for such a large help yourself restaurant. We dined in the Peninsular Freedom dining restaurant (no sittings) and found the choice and quality was very good. There was a wide range of interesting bottled beers in Brodies (pub bar) and plenty of sun-loungers in external areas (in both sunny spots and shaded areas and there were some quiet areas available). There was only a short promenade walkway for such a large ship. The production shows in the evening were of a high standard as were the guest entertainers and on-board musicians but for our tastes, we would have preferred more production shows. Although we have cruised with P&O before, we are used to the departure and arrival times at ports to be published before the cruise as do most other cruise lines. We know that these may be subject to change due to weather conditions or delays with ship’s excursions returning to the ship but we did not even know what time we were due to leave Southampton. We enjoyed the ship’s choir. We would book with the Britannia and/or any other P&O ship again as we enjoyed our cruise overall but P&O wouldn’t be the only cruise company we would consider. Read Less
Sail Date April 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