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161 Southampton P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

I read all the reviews before deciding on a holiday so only fair that I should leave my own objective review. This trip was our first time on Britannia and we had a fantastic trip. The food choices were really good, we ate normally in the ... Read More
I read all the reviews before deciding on a holiday so only fair that I should leave my own objective review. This trip was our first time on Britannia and we had a fantastic trip. The food choices were really good, we ate normally in the Oriental restaurant and were very well looked after with the waiters always offering more if we wanted it or to change things if they though we weren't keen. We also ate in Sindhu and Epicurean both well worth the extra cost. The grab and go sandwiches were perfect for daytime. We stayed in cabin F728 right on the back of the ship and absolutely loved it, it seemed more peaceful than the cabins on the side and we saw loads of dolphins and even a couple of whales - the downside however is that you can feel the engine vibrating more at the back and if the wind is in the right (or wrong) direction you do get soot on your balcony as mentioned on other reviews. Other comments on the cabin are that they could do with a good clean, there was mould in the bathroom in the shower and round the sink and the balcony was permanently dirty. I am not blaming the cabin cleaners I think because the ship goes straight back out it never gets a deep clean. I would only give the cabin 3 star at most In addition although maintenance seemed to be on-going the ship had a lot of rust on it and some machines in the gym weren't working a particular bug bear of my husbands. The entertainment was varied and loads of choice so something for everyone. One comment to note is if you are on second sitting there is never seats available in the live lounge. There were a number of celebrities on board but the price of £25 each to see them seemed a lot to me, this was included in the supper club but surely dinner was included anyway in the price we paid for the holiday. The guy from the Hollies was free and really well worth watching. We did our own thing in the ports as we don't need the hand holding the organised trips provided and had a great time in all the ports - Don't let Anfusa put you off by saying you'll miss the boat because trains are unreliable. We were disappointed we only had a half day in Gibraltar as it doesn't give you time for anything more than a whirlwind trip. We didn't have any problems with service anywhere on the ship everyone worked really hard Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and chose the Britannia because of mainly good reviews and being mainly British.. It certainly lived up to our expectations food was fantastic we chose the dine around and it does take a bit of getting used to.. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and chose the Britannia because of mainly good reviews and being mainly British.. It certainly lived up to our expectations food was fantastic we chose the dine around and it does take a bit of getting used to.. in the second week we actually preferred to go to the horizon buffet especially for breakfast you could just take your time and relax.. It definitely took us a while to find our way around the ship without getting lost .. We didn't really try out too much of the late night entertainment but did go to the limelight club twice and saw Gareth gates and claire sweeney she was brilliant! Not sure about the food though.Pizzas & burgers on decks great & quality, loads of sunbedssunbeds.. Staff were really excellent and very polite couldn't do enough! Every port was well organized with disembarkment.. We had a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I've cruised twice before - Ventura (P&O) and Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). I chose this cruise because we were limited in terms of the dates we could take annual leave from work. Overall I enjoyed the ... Read More
I've cruised twice before - Ventura (P&O) and Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). I chose this cruise because we were limited in terms of the dates we could take annual leave from work. Overall I enjoyed the cruise however there weren't many people my age or younger. I would estimate the average age of passengers to be 65/70+. I preferred the Royal Caribbean as the age range was more varied and this was reflected in the activities and entertainment. Ballroom dancing seemed to feature a lot - holds little/no interest for younger passengers Far too many black tie nights. At one point we had 2 black tie nights in a 3 day period. When dining I would prefer to dress more comfortably and casually. I have to dress up for work everyday so like to be more relaxed when on holiday. One black tie night per week is more than sufficient. I thought the food on Britannia was not as good as Royal Caribbean and on P&O Ventura. Staff were excellent. Cabin was excellent, clean with everything we needed. Ship Sun Decks - even though Britannia is a bigger ship with more passengers there seemed to better provision of sun loungers than compared with smaller P&O ship Ventura and Royal Caribbean. Atrium - a very large space with no atmosphere or buzz, occupied mostly by people drinking coffee, reading or eating cake to background of piano playing. I didn't use this area at all. It felt like an upmarket old people's home. Drinks - Reasonable prices, better value than Royal Caribbean. Drink packages - unless you are drinking well over healthy recommendations on a daily basis (verging on alcoholism) the drinks package is not worth having. We bought our drinks separately. Some passengers with drinks packages were unhappy as the bars weren't open very late - possibly due to the age range of the majority of the passengers. There were very few people about after 12am - most had retired for the evening. Some said the packages limited them to 15 drinks/day. Spa - Didn't use this - very overpriced. I had a tension headache and enquired about booking for a 30 minute treatment. The shortest and cheapest treatment (with a discount) was reflexology session for 50 minutes at £89. I didn't book in, not because I couldn't afford it but because it was not good value for money as this would cost less than half the price back home. I appreciate that things will be dearer on the ship but would have felt ripped off if I'd booked in for a treatment. They didn't seem very busy - possibly because the treatments are overpriced. If they reduced the price I feel people would be more inclined to book treatments. The prices for nail treatments seemed more reasonable. Entertainment Not enough provision for younger passengers below pensionable age, I was often bored during 'at sea' days. I was 50 at the time of sailing so i'm no spring chicken however I'm not ready to spend my nights ballroom dancing or sitting drinking coffee and eating cake in the atrium. There were seminars but most wouldn't appeal to my age and younger - swollen ankles, foot problems, health ailments etc. Marco Pierre White cooking demo and Q&A was excellent Tony Green featured as a speaker on several days. His stories about various war battles were brilliant and his knowledge was extensive. This became a highlight of our 'at sea' days. Brodies - pub feel. Went to Bingo and quizzes here which were good. Sail Away - We left the first sail away due to the volume of the speakers, it was so loud it actually hurt my ears and I'm someone who regularly goes to concerts and festivals watching live music so It's not that I'm noise sensitive. For this reason we didn't attempt any further Sail Aways. Headliners Theatre - most performances were singing and dancing and this became a bit 'samey' so we only went to a couple.The dancers were excellent and I assume many also have acting skills so why not perform a condensed West End type musical with acting and offer a bit more variety. Terry Cotta comedian was brilliant, made a nice change from all the singing/dancing performances. Another comedian or variety act would have been appreciated. Good space but chairs are very narrow and the drink holders only have one side so I don't use them as it's easy to spill your drink. This meant I had to hold my drink or place it under my seat throughout a performance. Film - There is a small theatre showing films which is good, we went there a couple of times. It was empty a lot of the time and the space could have been better used/occupied with additional films being put on. Cookery club - We were lucky enough to to do a Masterclass with Marco Pierre White. Cost of £100pp. This was excellent and made our trip. Marco was brilliant, we saw him around the ship a lot and he was always charming and friendly towards passengers. Dining First meal in restaurant wasn't very good - bland, not hot enough. Subsequent meals were an improvement however the food on Ventura was better and Royal Caribbean were much better. Most meals weren't hot enough. Horizon - buffet, very good, lots of choice and open later at night for snacks, hot chocolate etc. Was much easier to get a table when compared with Ventura and Royal Caribbean. There were grab and go fridges for snacks and a pizzeria, burger bar which were really good. Epicurean - a fine dining experience. We went twice for a £25pp supplement - excellent on both occasions. Limelight Lounge - excellent (evening meal with entertainment). We paid £25pp and saw Chesney Hawkes and Eric and Ern (Morecambe & Wise act) - both were excellent and good value for money Sindhu - we went there once for a £25pp supplement. Excellent food and atmosphere. Excursions Rome - Tiber Cruise and Walk. Booked this as we did a full walking tour of Rome last year to the main places of interest and thought this would be a bit easier on the feet. The cruise element of this tour is negligible, we were only on the boat twice for less than 20 minutes on both occasions and there's not a great deal to see from the boat. The tour was predominantly walking. There were several flights of stairs up and down from pavement level to the river which proved difficult for some people. Tour guide was excellent Gibraltar - WW2 tunnels This was interesting and the guide also took us via the monkeys on the Rock which was a bonus as it wasn't included in the excursion. Tour guide was excellent Florence on your own. Would recommend Barcelona Short walk away from the shuttle bus drop off there are hop on/off tourist buses. We bought a ticket and hopped on and off at several locations. Would recommend. Caution - the tourist bus drop off point for Gaudi Guell Park involves a significant uphill walk to get to the park Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
To spend time with my son and enjoy activities on board and ashore. The quizes were fun but one of the quiz masters made them more about him and entered into the realm of vulgarity on a family ship at 12.30.pm. Not a good idea! ... Read More
To spend time with my son and enjoy activities on board and ashore. The quizes were fun but one of the quiz masters made them more about him and entered into the realm of vulgarity on a family ship at 12.30.pm. Not a good idea! The food was exellent at all times and service was fairly good. I would like to single out Milton for High praise, he was an excellent and couertous waiter and took a real interest in us. The drinks system took a lot of getting used to by us passengers and the staff. I am guessing that the ultimate drinks package is a new venture and staff were very slow at times to return the all important cruise card to us, I am sure these teething problems will be sorted out in time. All in all a very enjoyable experience bit not without glitches and some improvements could be made. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he ... Read More
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he joined only in the last port - Gibraltar. Our inside cabin on Deck 12 was adequate, comfortable and clean. Entertainment overall excellent - especially the Headliner`s Once Upon a Time show. The dancers were talented but the singers not so. The Entertainment manager Neil was absolute fantastic - we enjoyed the pool parties, sail aways, the flamenco program on Lido Deck in Barcelona day. The Cookery Club was something new and unique, I and my 8 year old daughter participated the chocolate cooking and we really loved it. However the children club Reef program was well below the P&O standard we use to on Ventura and Azura: sometimes boring, unimaginative and some of the reef rangers did not show interest towards the kids. We enjoyed the Lido Deck, the pools were clean, always found sun lounger or chairs. The only complaint I can raise is, that some of the bar staff was rude and selective of what drink they want to serve. The preferred to serve only alcohol, even mornings, and several times when I asked for freshly pressed orange juice - which was available in one of the pool side bars - the bar waiter said it is not available. So I just woke up from the sun chair, went to the bar, pointed to the pile of fresh orange and the juicer machine - and the bar tender made the juice for me. This happened to me few times and one matured bar steward even wanted me to change my order from fresh orange juice to Pepsi Cola - I guess it is easier to serve and the price is same. I really would love to see more healthy drinks to be available on a school holiday cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was ... Read More
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was improved. It was of good quality and varied even in the Buffett. The Buffett area is also a much better design than on other P & O ships which are too ‘tight’ and get very crowded. The entertainment was very good and there were some good deck parties. Our ‘restricted’ balcony G408 was not really restricted and neither was G410, G412, G414, G416 these rooms fall between a large gap between the lifeboats yet they are lower priced due to a very slight restriction. We could see straight out and sideways With nothing directly in our view. If you want a bargain balcony then these are the ones to go for. Our room was nice and a decent size. We didn’t have the drinks package because it is just to expensive but the drinks purchased separately are of a very reasonable price. Now for the negatives. As I say we booked a midship balcony room on deck 8 but the balcony is the smallest we have ever seen. You cannot sit straight looking out to sea they are that small. The ship in parts is very poorly designed. The stairs in midships only go up to deck 7? So unless you walk to either end of the ship you cannot walk up or down from midships from deck 8 and upwards. It’s just bonkers. The lifts are also small. On deck 17 at the aft is what I can only describe as a large bath, it is supposed to be a plunge pool but it’s just too small with vast amount of wasted deck either side. We never used it because it was always full. This pool should fill the width of the deck. The ‘sunset bar’ at the aft is lovely but they play background music that is so quiet it may as well not be on. The reason given for this was because guests in the suites below complain?? We and others asked for the music to be raised to a very reasonable level, not loud, until at least 11.30 but it was refused. It takes away a lot of the ambience of the bar. Towards the front of the ship is the ‘Serenity pool’ for adults only but the bar stops serving at 6pm?? So there is not an adult only bar on outside decks after 6pm. On deck 16 in the centre of the ship is the Lido pools, a great family area but above this on deck 17 looking down on the Lido the ship is crying out for a bar just like on Ventura or Azura. A couple of entertainment planning issues we had and that other guests complained about were that the ‘Crystal bar/room’ was just not used to anywhere near it’s capacity. It was almost predominantly used for old style dancing and apart from a few times was always only a quarter full. This is fine if like Ventura and Azura there are two live music bars to chose from but there isn’t so most people only have the choose of the ‘Live lounge’. In respects of the ‘Live lounge’ there was no thought given to the fact that most passengers see the last but one night as a party night and with that in mind many of us turned up to party and dance the night away only for the party to be flattened by a poor comedian who came on at 23.45hrs when lots of guests were dancing. The problem then was that there is no where else to go to dance or party. The service we received was also very patchy and on the whole was below standard. We had done nine cruise before this one with four being P & O ships so we know what to expect but I’m afraid the smiles, interaction, attention to detail has gone from many of the waiters, waitresses on deck and within the restaurants with the exception of the ‘Glasshouse’ for some reason. Without doubt they work hard and we are very chatty, polite people who love having a laugh and it must be hard doing their work day in day out but that’s what we pay our money for. It may seem like it just us morning but there were lots of other passengers who noticed this. One last moan and something to be aware of and it will probably be the same on most ships is that if you go on a cruise in school holidays be ready to expect uncontrolled children approx 8 to 16 running around throughout the ship at all times especially in the corridors. We watched many parents just let their kids do this without a word being said. A constant ‘thump, thump, thump’ was heard. We have had our own children and now have grandchildren but we would never let ours be totally out of control like a lot of what we saw were even in the ‘Glasshouse’ whilst we ate some were running around our table whilst their parents drank oblivious to everything. We wouldn’t go on this ship again although in spite of everything we had a great cruise because the food was good, we met lots of great new friends and the weather was great. Something to ponder though is that someone probably got paid thousands of pounds to design this ship yet there seems to have been some glaring mistakes. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ... Read More
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ship is that you can avoid the areas which aren't to your liking and if you feel that way inclined the "types" you might want to avoid are away from the areas you probably enjoy. Yes, the ship decor is rather dark and my first reaction was to pine for the bling of Ventura but sultry Britannia grows on you. The public areas are cleverly designed with many nooks and crannies so you can be in the heart of the action or tuck yourself away as you choose. The Glass House is, as ever, excellent. The Crow's nest bar is back at the front of the ship and wonderful for pre dinner drinks. Recommend sitting away from the piano as it can be very loud. The atrium is very spacious with plenty of seating to people watch with a post dinner drink/coffee. Drinks service was excellent everywhere. If we were waiting we only had to indicate to someone and they were there. Crystal room was surprisingly pleasant late evening with lots of people taking to the floor. Didn't frequent Brodies or the casino but it was popular and pretty packed each time we walked through. Breakfast, lunch and evening restaurant food service couldn't be faulted and the attention for special dietary needs was outstandingly accommodating. A couple of meals were overcooked but there was absolutely no issue with getting plates changed. Of course it would be better if they didn't need to be returned but with thousands of guests give the staff a sporting chance by asking for better, they are happy to oblige and would much rather you went away happy. Desserts weren't too special but OK. Didn't frequent the buffet much but when we did there was plenty of room, staff were very helpful, friendly and food good. Spend a moment to talk to the buffet chefs, they don't get much guest interaction and will appreciate it... Joseph, my daughter thought you were fantastic! Theatre plush and the Cinema is a nice addition. I missed the theatre waiter service but my husband hates it so goes to show can't please everyone. Gym well equipped and spacious. First 3 machines I approached were out of action but there were still plenty even when the gym was busy. Came to the conclusion that for the amount of hours spent in it, the Retreat is expensive when securing a fortnight complete package. Would we do it again? yes because the service in the Britannia Retreat was amazing and engaging, Sebastian and Jovan both a real credit to P&O. I've previously moaned about unhelpful reception staff on other ships but not so on Britannia, spoke to Carl a few times and he was very helpful and extremely likeable. Daily service charge has now been removed and here's the interesting bit, we left far more in tips to far more staff than ever before. I've once previously asked for service charges to be withdrawn because of poor service so it was great to reward such a change. I was told that the teenage Reef space wasn't as good as Ventura and Azura but the Reef Rangers were as cool as ever. The great part of cruising with youngsters is that because there are relatively few cruises in school holidays the kids look forward to reuniting with friends from previous cruises, you don't get that with most holidays. Security always checked that minors were accompanied when leaving ship, which showed they were on their game. We've done the port stops bar Cadiz before so no surprises there. Cadiz, Cartagena and Barcelona were our favourites. Although a really positive experience, there were 2 areas which fell short. The first was that the entertainment was by far the poorest we've had on a P&O cruise. Tucker's "comedy" material hadn't changed since last time we saw him! Thankfully, there were a couple of notable exceptions with the superb Lloyd Wade and We3. We paid extra to see La Voix in the Limelight club and were treated to a magnificent night and great food (menu is surprisingly small so we may have been just lucky to have what we wanted on the menu), brilliant vocals and comedy, La Voix, we'll be back to see you again. The 2nd area was the Captains Gala, which we look forward to for the pomp and ceremony. I've never known a Captain to be late for his own party and not have the decency to apologise, we walked out to go for dinner as he arrived and started his speech, really bad form and example Sir. Finally, of course there's the much talked about lack of stairs mid ship. This didn't bother us at all as we consciously try to burn off a few of those naughty calories by walking and climbing stairs, plus our group don't have mobility issues or a pushchair. Heard lots complaining though. Oh yes, embarkation, nearly forgot that. We've always found Southampton port staff to be brilliant and cheerful (even when they are trialling new arrangements for the huge Iona), disappointing that for the first time ever we were checked in by Mrs Sour Face Grumpy but soon forgot about her!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at ... Read More
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at the time but was certainly welcome as less expensive than Celebrity, plus our first non-fly cruise, which not only saves more money but is a lot easier and gives flexibility for luggage - great for when you have to pack suits for formal nights and a fair bit of clothing knowing we could have any kind of weather. This review is not written purely as a comparative exercise, but given our only previous points of reference have been on Celebrity it was a natural thing to do, so I will draw out the main differences we noted and which we preferred. Some things are really the 'little extras' that add to a more luxury experience, that come with Celebrity, but we also acknowledge they come with a price tag. So drawing attention to them is not necessarily a criticism, simply an observation of what you may not get with P&O but which you pay for to get on Celebrity. Once booked we did have some apprehension as it seemed most people who'd sailed both lines came down clearly in favour of Celebrity, and a couple of forums online seemed to attract some horribly snobby people. We don't mind dressing up for a formal night but do object to people who seem to think that cruising is only about dressing up and when conversations turned to the newly introduced drinks packages 'attracting the wrong sort of people' we wondered what we were letting ourselves in for! Luckily I found some other groups with more normal people and while we appreciated there would be more formality than Celebrity have, we were prepared to embrace it. In advance I had looked into what we'd do on each of our port days and one thing I did notice was how much more affordable the ship's own excursions were compared to Celebrity. We prefer to do our own thing, or go with a small private group, but for various reasons found that harder to sort this time on 2 days so opted (initally reluctantly) to book with P&O and were pleasantly surprised at the cost. The only other reservation I had which we could do nothing about, was the amount of children on board, as this was our first cruise in school holidays. Having got 4 kid between us, all now grown up, we do enjoy being able to avoid other 'little darlings' on our holidays but due to a number of factors had booked this knowing it would be holiday time, but hoping that the fjords would be less of a family attraction than a Med cruise. On the day we embarked we had stayed a couple of hours from Southampton and had opted for inclusive car parking with CPS. Their directions, along with sat nav, were nice and clear and we found our way to the correct gate easily. We'd been given an arrival time of 3pm and had heard mixed stories about whether we'd be able to get on early or would have to wait. As it worked out, we arrived at the dock gate around 1.30pm. CPS staff directed us efficiently and advised we would have to wait in a queue for a little while, We saw some people who knew the score taking cases out onto trollies but we just waited for only 10-15 mins before being asked to drive forward. Another CPS person then told us we should unload our cases and take a trolley as there were very few porters now. There was no feeling of being rushed, she was polite and helpful and it was a nice calm experience. We handed over the key and headed off to a loading area just across the road where our trollies went onto a conveyor belt and we went to the departure area. We were able to pack my husband's suits into a proper suit carrier and put that through as checked luggage which made things much easier, especially as we had in our hand luggage one small wheeled case containing bottles of drink :) Yes, we were allowed to take a litre each of wine or spirits, plus whatever soft drinks we wanted, for drinking in our cabin, so we took advantage to save us a bit of spending money. More helpful staff inside checked our tickets and then gave us a card with a letter on it, telling us to go wait in the lounge until called, saying we would have enough time to get a drink if we wanted; this was around 2pm. There was plenty of seating and a small but well stocked cafe. We were duly called into the line for check in around 2.45 and this moved along nicely so no standing waiting too much, and so we met our 3pm time in the end! We made our way onto the ship and the first thing we noticed was that we were greeted with a smile but no glass of bubbly! We were directed to some lifts where we noticed there were also stairs - these aren't always open on 'normal' days and the lifts did have quite a wait on them but we weren't lugging the drinks up the stairs! Once out the lift we made our way to the cabin and were delighted to find our cases were already there waiting for us. Full cabin review is provided below We'd taken a look at the Horizon daily leaflet telling us what was going on and when. There was quite a lot on but we're not really into doing a lot other than maybe a quiz. Similarly, we were not majorly fussed on the theatre shows unless something had seemed exceptional. We were pretty sure in advance we'd be fairly low key on this week, so this review doesn't cover entertainment to any extent. We didn't go to the Headliners theatre which is where the main shows are, generally twice nightly, and also used for other events during the day. Although we chose not to go to any shows on board, I did like the fact they had late sessions so one could comfortably eat at say 8pm and then go to the late show after. On Celebrity we often found ourselves having to get ready early to get to the first show and then eat, as we rarely enjoy eating dinner earlier. We did make it into the studio, another small theatre style venue, but that was only for muster! We decided to take a wander around the ship before things got busy and get an idea of what was where, and give an idea of where we'd want to be spending our time over the next week. The first thing we had found out was the lift and stair locations. There are fore, mid and aft lifts, but staircases only fully available for and aft. In mid the stairs only go to deck 7. This caught us out a few times as we often lost track of where we were and decided to walk stairs only to find there weren't any! There are also some areas where it's not possible to walk through so you need to be at the right level. More than one occasion we went down to deck 6, arrived at the Oriental restaurant and could go nowhere else without going back up to deck 7 and across. My Fitbit did well during the week! The ship is big and very long and this is most obvious when finding your way round. The little map we were given on embarkation was invaluable along with the wall plaque diagrams by the lifts. Took us a little while find those as they are not very obvious as signage goes. The lifts were definitely one of the less impressive things. In any lift area there seemed to be a couple that we never saw in action. Lifts were slow to arrive, and sometimes seemed to skip floors out altogether. On one occasion in a lift it announced deck 11 but was still at previous deck 10, the lift floor indicator was flashing between 10 and 11 and then we stopped at 12. We got out saying we'd get the stairs back down a floor only to realise we were mid ship and no stairs. The lift/stair thing never ceased to be something of an irritant! The overall feel of the ship was one of size but well used. I've described the different areas in more detail below, but our overall impression was of space and simplicity. Decor was uncluttered and unfussy with an immediate contrast with the vast range of art on Celebrity ships, which is found pretty much everywhere, in any corridor, any wall space and on all stairwells. I generally preferred this more simply style on Britannia, although in some areas a little more colour wouldn’t have gone amiss. Where we did appreciate space was in the atrium where it was given over to seating for the bars/cafes downstairs. It was also used as a space for showcasing the restaurants and activities, and worked well for that purpose; it manages this as the guest services area is kept away from the central space. What I did feel the ship lacked was a central focal point for activities in evenings as there is a different focus in different areas at different times. If you like Celebrity with the cafe on 5, Martini Bar on 4 and then music from 3 with people generally all involved from each deck, you will miss this on Britannia. That's not to say we didn't find a nice 'home' in the evenings but it is a very different feel, more low key. When we had done our last cruise on Celebrity Reflection we had felt a bit disappointed in a number of areas where we felt that the basic provision in terms of bar space was same as on the smaller ships in the class, pretty much same layout, but catering for an extra deck of passengers. To us it felt busy and harder to get service, and we were concerned about how things would feel on the even busier Britannia but the increased ship size of this P&O flagship meant it did not feel overly crowded. Another vote in favour of P&O so far, things were looking up a lot more than we'd expected Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We where a little apprehensive regarding the cruise due to some of the reviews posted previously,but we all really enjoyed the cruise from getting on to getting off. We arrived at check in at 2:00 pm expecting to wait till our 3:30 slot ... Read More
We where a little apprehensive regarding the cruise due to some of the reviews posted previously,but we all really enjoyed the cruise from getting on to getting off. We arrived at check in at 2:00 pm expecting to wait till our 3:30 slot but we where able to walk straight to desk credit card given straight through security took about ten minutes when we got to cabin suitcases waiting. Impressions of ship very good only been on Thompson's before. Very large found signage very good took a few days to work stairs out due to being deck 15 . Food found evening meals very good only waited once for fifteen minutes for four of us and sat with some really pleasent fellow passengers. As said earlier good variety of selection. Always went into meridian on a evening around 7:30. Breakfast can not really go wrong with the buffet pick your own always got seat and table even sea days. Lunch selection fine for me only had salads but would off like s little more fruit Cabin was deck 15 A219 very nice plenty of room for clothes and liked the shower more room them previous cruises and enjoyed balcony opened door outside so could talk and drink with our friends. Really enjoyed entertainment saw a few shows in headliners theatre enjoyed all of them never had a problem getting seat. Live lounge good shows but too small . This was my only moan on ship people are sitting in seats on side and other people stand in the gaps by stairs no one can get past or see the stage.They have two Tele screens either side of stage should film the act and show on screens people could watch them .Pulse the band where good they enjoyed themselves whilst singing.One other moan still see people wearing football tops if they are banned tell them. Fyords where fantastic had really good weather apart from Bergen really loved the views. In the end decided not to have drinks package good decision but it was s close call. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had sailed last year on Britannia as a couple. We loved the ship, service and food so chose this half term cruise to take our granddaughter who is 10 years old with us, so this was her first cruise and she was super excited. For ... Read More
We had sailed last year on Britannia as a couple. We loved the ship, service and food so chose this half term cruise to take our granddaughter who is 10 years old with us, so this was her first cruise and she was super excited. For those of us that were on the cruise I think the start was pretty horrendous for the majority of people. Firstly P&O sent a text message asking for a 5 hour delay to check in as Britannia had experienced problems, not great start but stuff happens. But for us this resulted in a check in time of 8.30pm, 1st disappointment for the three of us. An email followed with £20 compensation per person. We arrived at the port at 7.45pm to complete chaos. Queues and Queues of cars. We sat patiently for an hour before being told to join another queue which led to another queue and another queue. People were becoming very stressed and tempers were fraying. I said to my husband it was pointless all three of us sitting in the car as we were all tired and hungry. So we deserted him at about 9pm. He finally got on the Britannia just gone 10pm. I’m not sure whether the chaos was caused by P&O or CPS parking but it really was awful. Muster was called at 10.30pm. We were exhausted. Babies were crying, people were moaning. Luckily our granddaughter seemed to take it in her stride. Cabin (C733) was good but a bit tight as she had a sofa bed so when this was out there was very little room. Balcony was great size compared to say the Aurora or Ventura. Steward Ritish was always smiley even in the face of a ten year old’s Mess every morning. Cabin was cleaned to a high standard on a daily basis. So we tipped at the end of the week. We purchased the soft drinks package for our granddaughter at £7.99 per day. She loved ordering her own drinks and signing for them. P&O’s alcohol drinks package at £40 per person per day I thought was totally ridiculous unless you were someone who did no trips and sat at the bar all day everyday. We knew we would not consume £80 worth of alcohol each day so didn’t buy this. They really need to review this. We had first sitting in the Oriental Restuarant. On average the food was very good, but a bit hit and miss, tender steak one evening, grisly steak another evening. The Waiters work extremely hard and it is appreciated. Our waiter let his stress show quite a lot which made us feel uncomfortable and rushed. We went to the Beach House one evening and enjoyed watching our granddaughter cook her own steak on the lava rock, she is still talking about it!! An evening meal in the buffet was not that good and disappointing whereas their lunch time food we thought was far superior. Although our granddaughter loved eating chips at 11 at night, real treat! We found the pool food to be really good, especially the pizzas. We were very lucky with the weather so it was a bit of a shame one of the main pools was out of action for two days. On a ship full to capacity with families this did have an impact on the swimming fun. However, we splashed about with our granddaughter and sunbathed. Staff work so hard and we found the ship to be very clean. Bar staff were excellent. Everyone was always so helpful and caring. I think the shops on the ship are okay, nothing great. We found the P&O trips to be good, husband did the 9 hour landing beaches trip and said it was excellent. We did an afternoon trip to three villages and shopping but as it was Sunday most of the shops were closed. Our last trip on Guernsey we thought was brilliant. Vintage coach, little chapel and cream tea, all three of us loved it. P&O’s management of the tender was organised chaos resulting in them giving financial credit towards a future cruise. We just enjoyed the whole experience. We found the entertainment average, have experienced far better on previous cruises although our granddaughter did enjoy the juggler. The Bay Of Biscay was calm, the sun shone, and all in all it was a good cruise experience. Our granddaughter loved everything about it and wanted to stay on board for another week!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
As we are limited to school holidays we reluctantly booked this cruise on Britannia thinking it would be too big and busy for our taste. However, we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the ship. Having been on over 20 ... Read More
As we are limited to school holidays we reluctantly booked this cruise on Britannia thinking it would be too big and busy for our taste. However, we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the ship. Having been on over 20 cruises previously, we found the food and service in the buffet and main restaurant to be absolutely fine. When people complain about the food on a cruise we can only be envious of how they must be eating at home! We never had any problems getting a table in the buffet at breakfast or lunchtime. There were issues getting a table in the Freedom Dining restaurants in the evening but this is not a problem exclusive to Britannia. We do wonder how with ships getting larger, Freedom Dining can work. We had a very enjoyable evening in Sindhu and thoroughly enjoyed the food. We found the public areas and outside deck space to be perfectly adequate for the number of passengers. However, we missed having the shade of a promenade deck and unless you wanted to pay for the covered area of The Retreat the only option is to remain in full sun. The lack of ship’s staircase midships is a major design flaw; which at least has not been repeated on Iona. We do not bother too much about the entertainment but were disappointed with the limited choice of films in the cinema. The weather was better than expected (we have done a similar itinerary in July and only saw the sun once). The embarkation delay was unfortunate and not a pleasant experience for passengers or staff alike. This was our first experience of such a problem and we commented that it could put you off if you were a first time cruiser. However, once we were in Ocean Terminal the process went smoothly and we were on the ship within an hour. Self-disembarkation was well organised and straightforward. Overall, an enjoyable and relaxing holiday leaving us relaxed and refreshed. We would go on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our second trip aboard the Britannia and chose the ship rather than the destinations because we loved or first cruise on her. She is a fantastic ship with all the modern facilities you would expect from a floating hotel. My ... Read More
This was our second trip aboard the Britannia and chose the ship rather than the destinations because we loved or first cruise on her. She is a fantastic ship with all the modern facilities you would expect from a floating hotel. My wife and I love the entertainment on board and enjoyed some very professional acts that kept us laughing and dancing for most of the trip. We also love good food and were not disappointed by the variety available on board. We had a terrific Indian meal in the Sindu an amazing wine and food experience in the Glass House. Although these restaurants make a cover charge for the meals the cost is minimal and no where near the prices you would pay ashore. We did a couple of excursions but would not recommend them as they are quite expensive and can be done a lot cheaper by local tour operators if you have the confidence. There are always down sides to every holiday in this was no exception. The room we chose was not ideal and I hold my hands up as it was me that chose it. It was on "A" deck and that was a big mistake as it is directly below the Horizon restaurant. Although there was little noise from the restaurant its self, the noise from the kitchens was incredible. It continued on some evenings until well after midnight. Just as well we are night birds. The most unfortunate thing was the fact that the service area access door for the Horizon was opposite our cabin (A612). The floor outside was constantly wet and the smell was sometimes unbearable. On our last morning aboard the area actually flooded and we woke up to wet carpets in our room. Not good P&O - you need to look into that. All in all the trip was enjoyable and we have booked another cruise on Britannia already. Ive chosen "C" deck this time so hopefully less noise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted to visit Seville (via Cadiz) Barcelona, Pisa & Florence ( via Livorno ) and Rome. This cruise B912 , gave us all those options and we were able to celebrate My Wife’s 70 on board. Priority boarding with check in on ... Read More
We wanted to visit Seville (via Cadiz) Barcelona, Pisa & Florence ( via Livorno ) and Rome. This cruise B912 , gave us all those options and we were able to celebrate My Wife’s 70 on board. Priority boarding with check in on line was very smooth in Southampton, on board at a champagne lunch within 20 minutes. In our balcony cabin with suitcases delivered by 14.45pm. We chose Freedom Dining, the food was alright but nothing special so we ate in the Sindhu twice, Glasshouse twice, the Beach House and Epicurean . The food in these venues well worth the surcharges. The entertainment was usual stuff of tribute bands and old ( very ) singers but the star was Gareth Oliver, ventriloquist, he was outstanding. The Headliners shows Gravity and Astonished were excellent. Two generous cocktail parties and a Baltic/Ligurian lunch were splendid affairs. Unfortunately the dress code is becoming more dress down than up and black tie nights seem less popular with some wandering around like they just came from the beach. The crew were very friendly despite this being the first cruise without gratuities added to accounts or expected by stewards and waiters. It’s tricky what to do as some people still tipped fr service and others chose to tip nothing. Bar prices still reasonable ( London pub prices ) to some but some from up North thought they were a bit steep. The excursions were excellent with brilliant guides. The weather was very good until we left Gib for home and we encountered 50 knot winds and 4m swells so a bit lumpy. Finally, Captain Dunlop was very friendly, out and about and very approachable. He was leaving the ship as he is standing by at the construction of the new Iona which he will Master when delivered, good luck to him. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose the Fjords again as we cruised there last year in late July. This time, we wanted to see the snow on the mountains and we were not disappointed. Our check in was very quick due to using the online check in service a few days ... Read More
We chose the Fjords again as we cruised there last year in late July. This time, we wanted to see the snow on the mountains and we were not disappointed. Our check in was very quick due to using the online check in service a few days before we left. Once on board, we located our cabin on deck nine. We opted for an inside cabin this time. It was clean and cozy, the mattress and pillows were very comfortable and we slept really well. The only down side was the air conditioning. Every morning, we both woke up with very dry throats, not down to alcohol I can assure you. Also, my wife's asthma was really bad in the mornings. Our cabin steward was always smiling, very polite and helpful. We opted for freedom dining and ate mostly in the buffet on deck 16. It was good to see the staff were much more proactive in ensuring that passengers made use of the hand sanitising facilities before entering the dining venues. This was sadly lacking last summer and there was an outbreak of norovirus towards the end of the cruise. Overall, the food was good and the menus were varied. We also ate in the peninsular restaurant as well, again, no complaints. We chose this time around to make our own arrangements with excursions as the P and O excursions are ridiculously expensive. The best thing about the ports we visited, you did not have to go far to see stunning scenery or find gift shops though eating or drinking out in Norway is extremely expensive. After last year, we didn't bother with the entertainment as it was not to our taste. I think that the amount of money P and O are pulling in, they could get far better guest acts on board instead of has beens. The service we received on board was very good, I must pay tribute to the bar staff on the sun deck who had to endure very cold conditions whilst wearing nothing else apart from their thin uniforms. They still kept smiling whilst they served us. However, the photography department was like something off Fawlty towers. We ordered some photos from the gala night which they managed to lose twice, this after waiting for an hour in the queue. We did complain to reception and finally got our photos delivered to our cabin. I must add, we did get some four for the price of two as compensation. We discovered that others had encountered problems also. Disembarkation went smoothly, no problems at all. Even our coach got away on time. Would we go with P and O again?. Yes, having cruised a few times with them now, we are getting wise to all these little extras that are supposibly good value, and this includes the on board shops who claim that goods cannot be purchased ashore cheaper, when in reality, they can. But overall, yes, a pleasant relaxing time, very satisfactory Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Short jaunt around the Bay of Biscay. Bipolar weather and last stop aborted so no guernsey sadly. I love Britannia. She’s a big ship and handles the rough and tumble of the Bay no problem. I met some lovely people on board who made ... Read More
Short jaunt around the Bay of Biscay. Bipolar weather and last stop aborted so no guernsey sadly. I love Britannia. She’s a big ship and handles the rough and tumble of the Bay no problem. I met some lovely people on board who made my holiday very special indeed. Grateful to Pete and Clarke for this. I also met some horrors too. If people can be nasty bigots in a public venue, I’m the antidote. These creatures were summarily dealt with and I moved on. P&O should DNA check some of its passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. Very efficient and the staff were amazing. I simply couldn’t fault them. I love P&O for this. The ship is due for a refit this year and, although she’s a lovely vessel, she needs a bit of a makeover as my cabin bathroom stunk of urine! Not good when I’ve complained about the very same thing on Ventura before. I get that a few thousand people all using the bathroom is a monumental thing on a ship, but P&O must sort this out. Soon. In summary, I enjoyed my journey and Britannia is lovely, apart from her toilet habits!! Safe journeys y’all 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
I chose this cruise for my birthday and wanted to try cruising alone. I was fortunate enough to be upgraded from a regular inside cabin to a "larger" inside cabin shortly before embarkation date so that was a nice surprise. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my birthday and wanted to try cruising alone. I was fortunate enough to be upgraded from a regular inside cabin to a "larger" inside cabin shortly before embarkation date so that was a nice surprise. The ship is nicely decorated and, for a larger ship, doesn't feel TOO big. Unlike the mega ships Britannia still has a personal feel and after a few days onboard it genuinely felt like home. I found the overall layout of the ship a bit confusing, not helped by the fact that there are no central stairs meaning the only option is to wait a long time for a lift or to walk to the front or back of the ship for the stairs. There is no promenade deck on Britannia which is a shame but there was plenty of outdoor space to take walks. My cabin, A427, was nice enough and kept clean by my very friendly cabin steward. A bit of TLC here and there is required though as there were a few little dings, dents and marks on the walls and furniture in my cabin which I found surprising considering the ship is barely three years old. The dining options were plentiful and, being a solo traveller with little interest in making conversation with strangers, I mainly ate in the buffet. The food there was great in my view and there were different themes every night which made for a nice variety over the course of the cruise. The service was very attentive and I loved how special care was taken with those who have mobility issues, the servers were only too happy to help. The entertainment was hit and miss. Some shows were good, especially the "special guest" shows. However the regular shows performed by the ship's theatre cast ranged from mediocre to terrible, the exception being "Astonishing" which was very entertaining, if a little short. The service throughout the ship was attentive, friendly and fast. The bar staff were great and I found the drinks prices reasonable. The shop attendants were a little too pushy and I found the reception team a little rude, probably due to being overworked, but these are just nitpicks. Overall very nice service. We visited Stavanger, Flam, Olden and Bergen. The only two, in my opinion, that were worth visiting were Flam and Olden as they were surrounded with beautiful scenery and were very sparsely populated. Stavanger was just a regular city and frankly boring. Bergen was nice, they had a market on that day and it was interesting seeing how astonishingly expensive everything is in Norway! However there really wasn't much else there. I'd recommend taking as many excursions as you can afford as these will take you out of the less interesting locations and into the more beautiful and scenic areas of Norway. Overall I enjoyed the cruise and found the overall experience of travelling alone wonderful. I would (and will) be cruising with P&O again as I liked the friendliness and British familiarity on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 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

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