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31 P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Europe - British Isles & Western from Southampton

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
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining ... Read More
This is my 3rd cruise with P&O and went with friends who were experiencing their 1st. On the whole we all thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. Lovely clean ship, sizable cabins and destinations were better than expected. We had set dining in the Oriental which was okay. We booked a late sitting with a table of 8 but got our own table of 4. Food was average. Yes, they have a lot to feed but I have been with other cruise lines where the food is of an exceptional high standard. We booked the Limelight Club on the 2nd night with Dean Andrews. This was our best night and the night we will all remember, definitely a must for any passengers, whoever is entertaining. Good evening entertainment around the ship with the exception of daily out of tune wannabees in front of an amazing band, Pulse. The musicians are extremely talented, the singers, not so much. We were 'blown away' by the talented Maxine Mazumder who did tribute acts of Adele and Dusty Springfield on two separate nights. Fantastic. Sorry but the Entertainments Team do not cut the mustard particularly on sail-aways with their self-indulgent renditions of We are Sailing, Rule Britannia, Day Dream Believer etc etc.... maybe I missed the memo, but I thought that was what Butlins was for!! Public areas in particular the toilets were immaculate. Bar staff and waiters were a tad dour, bringing down an otherwise good atmosphere who give half hearted wipe of tables now and again. Cabin Staff friendly but no attention to detail; We booked Flowers, champagne and chocolates to add to the occasion but were not provided with champagne glasses/flutes, had to drink out of a tumbler!! Cabins were just given a daily 'once-over' bedding not changed all week nor were dressing tables. This did not spoil our trip, just too many annoyances to make the perfect trip. Come on P&O think about your passengers not your shareholders. Oh, one last thing, forget about your last night, this is where you are 'yesterdays' news and they are now focusing on the next lot. All the smiley 'hellos' are gone, you have already submitted your staff nominations and they have nothing else to gain from you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful ... Read More
This was our second p&o cruise having previously been on the excellent Venturer. Everything about Britannia is 5 star. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were soon in the Crows nest enjoying our first cocktail. This is a wonderful place to watch a sunset . We found the food to be mainly excellent . Choosing to eat freedom dining was a definite plus and gave us flexibility. We also tried the glass house for a couple of lunches again excellent and Sindhu one evening was superb. Our 14yr old daughter had a great time in h20. A highlight for us is the formal evenings, great to see everyone dressed up and a good atmosphere in the fabulous atrium. We didn't find the layout a problem and it was no problem to walk to a staircase. We all agreed what made our holiday was the superb staff in the bar areas and dining. We felt totally spoilt. My one gripe was the sunbeds. People putting towels on sunbeds to reserve them should be removed by staff. We chose to disembark ourselves and this woked well. I would highly recommend Britannia and can't wait to go on again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming ... Read More
Britania 29th July 2018 - We have cruised many times with many different cruise lines. I must say we were more than happy with Britannia, it was a busy time of year, being during school holidays the ship was full! And around the swimming pools very busy, Although I always say you can do as little or as much on board, we found the cabins to be lovely, very modern and great facilities! We were in the Oriental dinning room The food and the staff were excellent, the only thing I could say was it was a bit chilly in there. Our waiters table 75 were excellent and our cabin steward in cabin G421 was also excellent, also the shows were some of the best we have seen. We were travelling with 10 other people friends and family. Age range 11 to 74! In fact we are looking to book the transatlantic crossing to the Carribean this October Thank you P and O Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I found a great deal for a 7 night cruise over my birthday with P&O Britannia but had no sailed with P&O before so was doubtful whether I should book. However after getting feedback from my cousins who had been on another P&O ... Read More
I found a great deal for a 7 night cruise over my birthday with P&O Britannia but had no sailed with P&O before so was doubtful whether I should book. However after getting feedback from my cousins who had been on another P&O ship last year, I went ahead and booked it and so glad I did. We drove to Southampton port and took only 1hr 20mins from North West London which was great. We were informed by P&O beforehand that our boarding time was 3pm which I have never been informed of by any other cruise line. We generally like to get to ship early so can enjoy the lunch and get familiarised with the ship before emergency drill procedure begins. So we took a chance and got to port at 12.30. We had to wait in a short queue for 5 to 10mins and then drove to baggage drop off area whereby a guy was standing to pick up our car. We took the luggage off the car and a porter came and took them straight away and the driver took the keys from us and drove the car off. Wow what an efficient service. We were highly impressed! Went inside terminal and were given a boarding card with a number and were asked to take a seat. We were called within next 15mins and after getting a photo taken and collecting our cabin key cards and proceeded to this very elegant ship. When we got on board, we were asked to proceed straight to our cabins if we wanted, to drop off the hand baggage. Hence we took the central elevators and went to our mid ship balcony cabin on deck 11. As soon as we got to our cabin, rest of the luggage arrived which was the quickest ever cruise luggage delivery service we had ever witnessed. We were very impressed with the cabin. Although, it was slightly on the smaller side with a smaller balcony than we had on other ships, it had everything we needed. The bathroom was small too but had a shower door rather than a curtain which was great. There were many power points around the cabin and a large flat screen TV. Storage space was limited but sufficient for a 7 night cruise. We went to have lunch straight after and enjoyed the choice of vegetarian options on offer. Loved the grab n go area where you could pick up sandwiches, baguettes, wraps etc. Also pizzeria and burger counters by pool side offered lovely veg burgers and different types of pizzas. After lunch we went to explore rest of ship which had great decor through out. From the central atrium area which had the most beautiful central show piece I had ever seen on a ship to the various art deck pieces in every area of the ship, this ship oozed with beauty and elegance all through. Loved all the public rooms like Brodies pub, live lounge, crows nest, theatre etc. Also like all the restaurants including the one we were allocated called meridian restaurant for our anytime dining. The only other restaurant we went to was Sindhu which had a great ambience. We saw other speciality restaurants like Epicurian and glass house which seemed great too but never visited those for a meal. In fact the buffet restaurant was one of the best ones we had ever seen on a ship with plenty of seating area and nicely laid out such that we never encountered any queues for food or hunt round for seats. Service on the ship was generally average except for our room steward who was excellent and so was a gentleman called Abhijeet who looked after our vegetarian order requests every evening. Other than these 2, we were not highly impressed with service in any areas. I guess this is where P&O could improve. We were surprised to see table cloths not being changed in dining rooms after patrons left a table and before new ones arrived. All crumbs on table were thrown on the floor! Never seen this before in anybody the ships we have been on like NCL, Princess or Royal Caribbean. Staff generally didn't engage much like we had seen with other cruise lines. Service in speciality restaurant Sindhu was much better though. However food in all restaurants was excellent and there was not a single meal that we didn't enjoy. Food was the best ever from over 20 cruises we have been on. Choice is slightly limited especially during breakfast, however if the food tastes great and is of good quality, it doesn't really matter. Entertainment was very good too. Plenty of production shows and loved their new show 'Astonishing' which is one of the best we have seen on a cruise ship. Also the guest entertainers like Jai Mcdowell, Sam Bailey and Tom Binns were excellent. We saw Jai perform twice, once in theatre and next in live lounge and were highly impressed. We missed Vernon Lewis though and from what o heard from others, he was great too. So overall entertainment would rate amongst the best we has seen. Plenty of activities were happening around the ship on sea and port days to keep everyone busy. Loved their quizzes in the pub, game shows similar to Pointless and the chase and talk shows in theatres. Also plenty of films were shown in the cinema and also some in theatre which I have rarely seen on a ship. Also plenty of films to choose free of charge in cabin and we did see quite a few good ones. The only department we were not happy on this cruise were the photography team. This was the first cruise we didn't have a single photo taken. They ignored us in the dining rooms, gangways at various ports and within public areas of the ship. Not sure why though and something their manager needs to address his teams regarding not excluding men and people from other ethnic backgrounds. The captain was hilarious and loved his daily updates over the tannoy system. During captains formal night, loved his speech and it was a great atmosphere in the atrium area with free drinks. Drinks generally were not badly priced and we were expecting to end up with a big bar bill. However despite ordering bottles of wines at dinner, having beer and cocktails in their various bars and also sometimes having costa coffees, we only ended up with a bill of £100 each which was not bad at all. Ports of call were all good with great weather at most ports except La Rochelle where it rained few hours in the morning. Guernsey was our favourite though. Went to castle ourselves in the morning and did a Gin tasting excursion with the ship in the afternoon which was excellent. Also did excursions at all other ports. In La Coruna we did a tapas trip which was very good and in afternoon walked into town to see the sights there. In Santander, we did a cave and gaudi building excursion which was very good but were not allowed to take pictures in the caves which was a shame. The city of Santander was 15min shuttle ride away. Couldn't go there as we got back around 3.30 and didn't have much time thereafter. In La Rochelle we did a trip of city and outer islands. Luckily rain stopped when we did the walking tour which was good. On the whole we enjoyed all the excursions we did with P&O. All were reasonably priced too compared to other cruise lines. The only design flow with ship was not having stairs in central area which caused the elevators to be always busy. On the whole we really enjoyed this cruise and would sail with P&O again for sure, may be on a different ship though as we like to sail on different ships unless an exciting itinerary comes along. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
5 adults and 1 child Pros - suite was large with lots of extras - epicurean restaurant fantastic - peninsula restaurant also very good - fast embarkation - great service - staff in kids club and kids club great ... Read More
5 adults and 1 child Pros - suite was large with lots of extras - epicurean restaurant fantastic - peninsula restaurant also very good - fast embarkation - great service - staff in kids club and kids club great Cons - swimming pools too small and too deep. Not at all child friendly. - children’s splash area very poor. - 2 night attracts a lot of hen and stag parties. Didn’t notice them at night but during the day by the pool there was some raucous behaviour. - small details in the cabin. Thin towels and not enough of them. Dressing gowns only appeared on the last night Would sail again on a short cruise. Not sure there is enough on there to keep a 4 year old busy for a week cruise or longer although the kids club were very friendly and I would have felt comfortable leaving her there. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on ... Read More
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on their very first cruise ship, we booked the cabins on a select fare meaning we could choose our cabin, dining preference and also receive an on board spend of £25 per person. We travelled to Bruges which we have been lucky enough to go to a couple of times and on this occasion we stayed on board and enjoyed the sunshine from the adult only pool on the top deck but if you have never been it is well worth a trip into, it’s very picturesque and also has some of the finest chocolate shops of anywhere in the world and they almost always give free samples. Boarding Britannia was docked at the Ocean Terminal, we turned up at the allotted time of 1300 on our ticket and were straight into the check in system without a wait, we queued for less than 3 minutes before we were seen, it was quick and efficient and after a short check in we were heading to security, we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at the terminal, boarding into the stunning atrium and after a quick picture it was up to the buffet. Cabin GE Grade clear view balcony with sofa, G deck forward. First impressions were that the cabin was clean, light and airy. As you walk through the door you see the usual cabin layout, I was particularly impressed with the doing away off closed wardrobes with it instead being open and walk in rather than the standard closing door wardrobes. Moving into the bathroom we had a larger bathroom than the other members of the fleet, excellent bath products from the white company, moving through to a comfy queen size bed and two seater sofa which in our cabin could also be made into a sofa bed. The balcony as other passengers have said is a little on the small side and when opening the gate to the next door cabin it was hard to get in and out of our door. Restaurant We were seated both evenings on a set dining at 2045 in the Oriental restaurant, first impressions of the restaurant was it was smart, spacious and clean. On previous experiences with P&O I have found the food offering to be very middle of the road, nothing to write home about. Britannia has done some great work in restoring my faith in P&O’s food offering. I won’t bore you with the details of menus but the highlights for me were the Hampshire smoked trout starter, the beef wellington and as always they still offer a really great cheese board at the end of every meal. A quick note on the service, which was excellent, the waiter, his assistant and the wine waiter were all very happy, smiley and knowledgeable, making the service look effortless. A quick note on the buffet which also had an excellent range of food and was a much more pleasant space than many ship buffets, it was more spacious than some of the slightly older ships. Bars We particularly enjoyed the crystal room, it was a beautiful room with a large dance floor and offered a slightly more adult disco, the live lounge had a fantastic band playing although it was completely packed. We also visited the crow’s nest which was considerably larger than many ships it was also very beautiful with wonderful views, all bars we went into seemed to to have comfortable chairs with clean menus and an efficient staff. Spa Like most things on board the spa is large in expanse, however I was slightly disappointed as the thermal suite which we added was on the smaller side and neither steam room worked, the thermal pool however was very nice although the noise of the shower and bubbles being produced somewhat made the relaxation beds a little pointless and I found the general appearance lacked compared to other areas with pool towels and glasses everywhere which was a little bit of a shame. Those travelling with us took massages and were incredibly happy with both the deep tissue and the hot stone massage. Entertainment Aside from the excellent music playing in the bars during the evening, there was the theatre which hosts two shows each evening, the theatre itself is not huge for the number of passengers on board so if you don’t want to stand at the back it is worth to get there a little in advance, the show we caught was a Four seasons tribute which I think they do often have on these shorter cruises, they were a professional act and the show came across this way with excellent lighting and acoustics to match. During the day if the weather permits as mentioned above you can take advantage of the pools on the top deck, the adults only area towards to front end with pool and ample seating and bar was far more relaxing than the family area in the mid section where they had loud music playing throughout the day, it was a real positive that they had these two very different areas catering for almost everyone, there is also a small pool at the aft of the ship with a further bar this again was slightly quieter. We were not travelling with children so cannot comment on their facilities. Disembarkation Much like all disembarkation's it was very smooth, we disembarked at our allotted time after breakfast and picked our luggage up from the terminal and we were on our way home. General ship view The one thing that will hit you when you just arrive at the port is that the ship is huge, this view won’t change on boarding, a wonderful atrium with bars, shops and winding stair cases, be sure to get some pictures here on formal night. The one downside to Britannia’s size is that everywhere is a long distance walk but always worth it as the product on board is stylish and offers a five star style environment that I think P&O have lacked slightly on their other ships. Everybody also seemed to dress to the occasion and there were very few passengers who didn’t dress for the formal evening with black tie in abundance. An extra note was that as this was a two night cruise we didn’t have a full chance to experience everything and it would almost certainly have more to offer on a longer cruise. I have to praise P&O as the staff on board we all excellent, and they have certainly upped their game in terms of ship appearance. Overall this was an enjoyable two night break on board their flagship and I would not hesitate to return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Myself and my husband ( with our two children) were sailing for 6 days cruise to Spain ,France and Guernsey. Before this cruise, we regularly go cruising, with different companies. But we never sailed with PO Cruises before. Overal ... Read More
Myself and my husband ( with our two children) were sailing for 6 days cruise to Spain ,France and Guernsey. Before this cruise, we regularly go cruising, with different companies. But we never sailed with PO Cruises before. Overal I will describe a cruise to be like a boarding school experience with terrible food and really bad service. We had many issues with the service on the cruise, such as: There were 2 black tie nights during our 6 nights on board. My husband did not bring a black jacket and boe tie . We, because if this, were not allowed in the restarant and on desks during those nights. We had a terrible problem with our room card is not working and we had to go to reception 5 times to sort it out. It took us nearly 3 days and during this time we were not able to buy drinks. The food was just not eatable. It can be described as very bad quality pub food, the same every day. The were very long wait at every port and everyone had to wait for up to an hour for transportation and to go back onto the ship. The staff either ignored our complains, or constantly told us off. They appear to be only interested in selling extras to us. Our last port of call was cancelled by the captain due to the 25 knots wind . It looked fine and snny to me, butthe captain just told us that there will be no stop in Guernsey. We both felt that PO cruises provided us with the experience which we can not described as a holiday. We were so glad to arrive back to Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This is my first cruise experience and what an amazing experience it was! Here is a link to a video I made whilst on The Britannia : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbFZ8BB8FnI The cabins are beautiful and outstandingly clean, the ... Read More
This is my first cruise experience and what an amazing experience it was! Here is a link to a video I made whilst on The Britannia : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbFZ8BB8FnI The cabins are beautiful and outstandingly clean, the staff are very friendly and attentive however drinks service was sometimes slow but overall the service was excellent. Unfortunately I cannot compare this to other ships as this is my first time cruising, however I travelled with my partner and his family who are Caribbean members and have been on various ships over the years and they absolutely love The Britannia! Me and my partner had booked the coach journey from the ship into Bruges, we had a wonderful time being escorted into Bruges by the lovely staff and enjoyed the day at our own pace meeting back up with the rest of the group several hours later to head back to the ship. Bruges is a beautiful place to visit and I would definitely recommend this trip on the Britannia, I would have stayed longer if I could! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Looking for a holiday during the school holidays we noted 3 P&O cruises leaving the same day and chose the Atlantic Islands cruise because we preferred the itinerary. The best other option was themed a Strictly Come Dancing cruise ... Read More
Looking for a holiday during the school holidays we noted 3 P&O cruises leaving the same day and chose the Atlantic Islands cruise because we preferred the itinerary. The best other option was themed a Strictly Come Dancing cruise which did not appeal very much. Embarkation. Our checkin time was 3:30. We drove to Southampton and got there at 2:45 where we were stacked waiting for porters and someone to drive our car away. As a result of that wait we entered the terminal almost exactly on time. We then had to wait about 45 mins before being called to the check-in desks. From then on it was quite efficient and we got through security, onboard and to our cabin by 4:45. Our luggage had already been delivered and placed in the cabin. Cabin Liked it. Check out the separate cabin review. Public Areas Plenty of bars and other public areas which were never very crowded despite the ship being full. Brodie's and the Crows Nest were our usual haunts. We went to the Atrium a few times but it felt more like a shopping centre than the feature point of a ship. Not very impressive. Prices were reasonable - similar to UK prices. Entertainment There was a lot of evening entertainment, mostly very good. There was generally something going on in both the theatre and the live lounge. The theatre though is too small and even with 3 shows some nights not everybody could get the chance to see some. There were plenty of other activities as well. As a quiz lover I often went to 2 a day but I think there were at least 4. I liked the entertainment staff as well. Dining. Oh dear. It was going so well. If you are looking for a ship with great food then you can stop reading now and start researching another ship. This is not for you. Main restaurant menus are unimaginative, food bland and not particularly well cooked. It was very disappointing. Buffet I thought was a bit better but maybe that's because expectations were lower. At least it was not too difficult to find a table most time that we went in. We went to the Limelight club one night. Food was better in there but of course you have to pay for it. If there is an act playing that you think you might like then it's reasonable value. Sindhu was excellent. Very high quality and quite different from your average high street Indian restaurants. Worth the money. Ports. I enjoyed all the ports and the 4 Atlantic islands we went to were quite different in character. We went on 3 ship's excursions which were quite good and I thought reasonable value. Disembarkation We had a time of 8:45 but went to the meeting point about 20mins early. We were called to disembark about 8:40 and within 30 mins had gone ashore, found our bags, reclaimed our car and were on our way. Overall It was good but it was badly let down by the food. We would go again but P&O certainly did not do enough to convert us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were told this was a taster cruise so we thought before we committed to two weeks away we would try it. We queued for over an hour to get on board. Not a good start. No apaology or welcome drink straight unaided to cabin. Having ... Read More
We were told this was a taster cruise so we thought before we committed to two weeks away we would try it. We queued for over an hour to get on board. Not a good start. No apaology or welcome drink straight unaided to cabin. Having spent close to £600 for a two night cruise we were not prepared to pay extra to dine in a fancy restaurant. The food in the Peninsula restaurant was at best mediocre I can honestly say I have eaten far better food on a cross channel ferry. The waiting staff were surly and uninterested. It was not a pleasant experience. Friday evening entertainment was very enjoyable - we went to the 80's disco in the Live Lounge. This was marred only by a huge amount of very drunk people, one mature lady had to be supported on either side as she was so inebriated. A further lady was punched in the face by a drunken man who was a stranger to her! We arrived at the Peninsula at literally 9am for breakfast but were denied entry as it closed at 9!! Buffet breakfast was available in the Horizon however there were no sears available and we wished we hadn't waited as the food was greasy, undercooked and Luke warm. Saturday trip to Bruges was amazing - we did the walk yourself around Bruges tour - had we known we could have saved £50 by utilising the free shuttle bus to the station, then the train. The organisation when the coach returned to the ship was horrendous so we spent at least an hour sitting on the coach, then queueing on the dock. Saturday dinner in the Meridian restaurant was slightly better - four different cheeses tonight - then we watched a Rock and Roll band who were very good. We were due to leave the ship at half ten on Sunday morning but decided to utilise the one hour slot between 7 and 8 to "free disembark as the cabin had to be vacated by 8 anyway. Breakfast in the Peninsula was table service to hot plate food which was still barely cooked and luke warm. The final straw came when the cabin steward ignored me putting a do not disturb sign on my door and asked if he could make up the room at 7am. I told him no but he still asked if he could go in and make the bed which I refused as it had our partly packed bags on it. This is not the cruise to go on if you are looking to book a longer cruise as we have now been put off cruising, certainly we will never cruise with P and O again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
As a previous cruiser seveal times feel we can compare honestly. If you have booked already dont worry but keep an open mind and read on... The good bits... Emabarkation at Southampton ok, were allocated a late slot so the queues ... Read More
As a previous cruiser seveal times feel we can compare honestly. If you have booked already dont worry but keep an open mind and read on... The good bits... Emabarkation at Southampton ok, were allocated a late slot so the queues had diminished. Had originally late-booked a 'Saver'balcony cabin on A deck but were glad to find were placed on F deck on final schedule by P & O as did hear that there were noise issues from Pool deck above A deck. Golden rule is really 'go for the best you can afford/is available at the time or have an open mind. Cabin as expected, teenage son occupied the pullman bunk( we found that the bunk NOT near the wall was best if all 3 people wanted to see the wall mounted TV - also moving the centre drawers at night stopped chunky hubby banging his elbows!!) Plenty of hanging space for 3 and room under beds for shoes, stuff and cases. Bathroom small but fine and all areas clean and neat. Steward friendly and obliging. Balcony small and only room for 2 loungers so teenage son sat on the little table when necessary. Were pleased to be given 'Freedom' dining and never had to wait for a table at any times as always agreed to share, consequently we met some very interesting people. Food ok considering they were catering for 0000's. Plenty of choices daily. Favourite restaurant was Beach House at rear of Horizon Buffet but only open at night-times. Sort of American/European foods with waiter service in quiet area with good views and modest cover charge. Saw whales diving about in the sea whilst dining more than once. Sunset bar just outside very nice for a drink beforehand with, as expected, views of lovely sunsets. Also tried the Glass House, Market Cafe and Epicurean all ok in differing aspects. Staff and service always very good and hubby well pleased that the petite wine waiter lady in Meridian remembered his name and likes which is a nice touch. Shows were the best i have ever seen on a holiday and the cinema listings and timings were also very good as were the TV offerings, poss might wear a little thin if on a 2 week cruise but there are plenty of other things to do. Quizzes were fun and the 70's era one brilliant and well attended.Casino tutoring session interesting. Pool and bars all fun, though a bit crowded some days ,teenage son liked the fast foods on offer all day and had a midnight dip twice (supervised of course) though there were a few other dippers followed by a decadent trip to the Horizon midnight buffet for him after. Grab n Go bar a real bonus, nice salads and wraps, youghurts etc even if not leaving on a day trip. Drinks were not too pricey compared to other cruises but at times did not seem full strength esp in the pool area bars .hhmmm. Dressing up for the (first) black tie event was fun and there were complimentary drinks in the Atrium whilst Captain addressed from the balcony above. Shops good and not overly pricey considering, what a lovely girl in the Gentlemans outfitters side(CREW, BOSS, JOULES, Bowties etc) who dug deep into the stockroom for something appropriate for my teenager for black tie night. The not so brill bits.. We could not decide all week whether the ship had ambience or not...strange... Elevators were as usual on ship a nightmare (usually caused by able people coming DOWN in them unnecessarily instead of doing stairs- same on all ships however) Horizon Buffet ok for a quick breakfast of 'English 'style but it really did not have the ambience for evening meals. Coffee was filter type in the urns but only semi-skimmed milk on offer ( they did find me some cream however when asked) and it for us did all seem very 'cheap' which is no reflection on the cooking or the catering teams they are obviously on budgets. Childrens drinks and ice cream packages woefull so didnt bother. Tender transportaion to shore was tedious due to over subscription of people but have seen this all before on prev ships (tip - go VERY early) and did spoil things a little . The private relaxing area was really too pricey to comtemplate and did not seem to offer enough, on other ships there were areas similar free of charge. AND NOW THE REALLY NOT BRILLIANT BITS.. My chap caught the NOROVIRUS on day 4 which was very very scary. It is a violent sick bug and highly contagious. It was a miracle that my son and I did not catch it. we were not even a little bit ill amazingly. We thought we had all been very diligent with the hand washing and personal cleanliness instructions and had heard vaguely that some people were already ill with virus Hubby was isolated to the cabin ( he could barely get out of bed anyway) and was attended to by the ships nurse who, after several frightening episodes for me with hubby, came at our agreement ( we did not worry about the costs at this point ) and administered an injection in the middle of the night and continued to telephone us twice daily. Son and I were not isolated but asked to not frequent Horizon buffet areas again which we adhered to.It was embarrassing however having to lie to nice people where hubby was so that they didnt get too close. This was a lonely time for us. Our Steward was not allowed into our cabin again but did ask everyday from a distance down the corridor of our wellbeing and a sanitization squad wearing gloves,masks and bootees came in 3/4 times daily to clean and spray.A grateful thank you to these young men who had a truely dreadful cleaning duty. All in all the cruise was ruined, there had not been enough good parts to carry this report into a better category. It is likely that Hubby will never cruise again though son and I will, but we cannot say if it will be with P&O, the fact that P& O have not contacted us since is surprising to us but maybe if they had 500 sick people as mentioned in a prev review they are working on it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
PRO's Embarkation was very well organised. Ship very clean and modern Plenty of staff around to provide help and assistance if you ask for it Breakfast choices excellent Beds very comfortable Staff not in your face ... Read More
PRO's Embarkation was very well organised. Ship very clean and modern Plenty of staff around to provide help and assistance if you ask for it Breakfast choices excellent Beds very comfortable Staff not in your face trying to big sell ie spa, photos CON's Cabin steward did not introduce himself, then turned up in our cabin on last morning, stripping and changing beds whilst our luggage was still in there, we had gone for breakfast and still had at least 45 mins before the 8am deadline - we may have wanted a quick shower before departure. Drinks packages are very limited and those on offer are quite expensive. Waiters in the Meridian restaurant got food orders wrong more than once each night - although the service was quick, there was no attempt to converse with passengers to exchange pleasantries at all. But we noticed this throughout the ship. The reasons for the CON's could possibly have been because it was such a short cruise. Let's hope things have improved when we go on board for a 2 week cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
A fantastic 2 days and 2 nights. Accommodation - was so comfortable and eveything we required was there- The balconey was great to have and waking up with the curtains open and seeing the view was great. Food - we had open meals ... Read More
A fantastic 2 days and 2 nights. Accommodation - was so comfortable and eveything we required was there- The balconey was great to have and waking up with the curtains open and seeing the view was great. Food - we had open meals which made it easier to decide when to eat and where. We thought the food was tasty, good range of options and served very efficiently. There was absolutely more than enough food and if you were hungry the 24 hour buffet could be sed to top up - not that we had to. Prices for drinks were reasonable and affordable. Entertainment - a 45 minute show twice a night in the evenings was great, leaving parties were fun and engaged the 'crowd' and the late night live band and then disco gave party animals a place to go. I don't like quizzes with a captive audience and there were a dew Pools etc - great choice of pools - facilities such as bars and snack foods were well placed and well thoughtout and if you wanted to get away there were plenty of sunbeds all over the decks that could be found, as well as a quite pool up fo'ard Service - the crew were brilliant, friendly, efficient, helpful and when you consider they have 3500 people to deal with it was all done calmly and efficiently. Embarkation and disembarkation was efficient and smoothly handled Would do it all again and the best compliment is we would have liked it to be longer Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was a taster cruise and as such was fairly inexpensive. You would expect however that this would be a chance to impress potential new customers. Couldn't have been further from the truth for us. We experienced 2 days of ... Read More
This was a taster cruise and as such was fairly inexpensive. You would expect however that this would be a chance to impress potential new customers. Couldn't have been further from the truth for us. We experienced 2 days of queuing, lacklustre service, poor communications, poor to non-existent entertainment and borderline incompetence. At our emergency muster, when we eventually got on board having been treated like cattle during embarkation, they didn't even explain how to put the children's life jackets on which were very different from the adults. Its our first cruise experience and we where flabbergasted at how low rent was. If your on a hen or stag do or just want to sit doing nothing but stuff your face in a canteen all day then it ideal. The ship is a huge, bland, poorly designed block of flats with no heart or soul. We where very glad to get home. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
As an ex Deck Cadet with P&O Cruises, this was my first experience of the present-day company, and I can only say it was a great disappointment! I have sailed with other Cruise Lines, and this was by far the worst experience. We ... Read More
As an ex Deck Cadet with P&O Cruises, this was my first experience of the present-day company, and I can only say it was a great disappointment! I have sailed with other Cruise Lines, and this was by far the worst experience. We were going to book for a Norwegian Cruise on Britannia this July.....not now! Do not book a central cabin! Our cabin was amidships, very close to the central staircase & lifts, however there was NO staircase above deck 7, only lifts, which got really busy.....we had to walk to the forward or aft stairwell/lifts to go up one deck!...ridiculous! The central point of the ship, the Atrium, is a 3 deck balconied area with NO atmosphere. There is no entertainment , no stage, no piano, no background music.....nothing! The majority of staff were excellent, however, some in the dining room were, at best, ignorant. The sports deck was cordoned off for the forthcoming Ant & Dec show, so there was no way to walk/run around the main/promenade deck deck. Disembarkation was an absolute mess!!!!! Apart from all the above....we had a great time, and the food was the best I have experienced!..... thanks P&O! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We eagerly looked forward to the much hyped Britannia! Sadly we were extremely disappointed and would definitely not sail on her again or recommend her. Firstly Embarkation was dreadful, we have cruised 12 times before with 6 other ... Read More
We eagerly looked forward to the much hyped Britannia! Sadly we were extremely disappointed and would definitely not sail on her again or recommend her. Firstly Embarkation was dreadful, we have cruised 12 times before with 6 other cruise lines and generally boarded within 20-30 mins, on arriving at Ocean Terminal it was standing room only and was in chaos. We had a embarkation time of 1530 and eventually got on board at 1655 and had to rush straight to the muster drill, not a very relaxing first impression. Have to agree with the other reviews regarding the Cabin, we had a Balcony cabin on a Deck which was the smallest we have ever seen and as previously stated with ridiculously small bathrooms and the balcony is so small you cant even put the chairs straight they have to be at an angle! Shameful design. As for the service we found it varied from indifferent to downright rude! at one point I was basically ordered to sit down to get a drink, staff were sullen, curt and displayed the worst attention to detail and customer service I have seen on a ship. The Main Dining room was no better, menus thrown at you with no hello, no introduction and the waiter never once said thank you or even made eye contact you really were made to feel like an inconvenience for daring to be there! The bar staff also left a lot to be desired and in blue bar we waited 35 minutes on a drink which is totally unacceptable. In the evenings finding somewhere to sit with a drink was a challenge, there is nowhere near enough venues for the amount of people onboard, I have been on much smaller ships with far more bar and restaurant options. Disembarking was an absolute shambles, I have never known such a free for all, every other cruise lines disembarks with a staggered system, group by group and deck by deck, instead 4000 people could just get off at the same time causing horrendous queues and took i hour and 20 mins to get off. Our cruise line of choice is normally Celebrity and have to say compared to Britannia they are a million times better. You will notice most of the good reviews are from people who have NEVER cruised before and obviously have nothing to compare to! Those of us who have tried several cruise lines can categorically state Britannia is Very Disappointing! If you want a relaxing experience in luxury surroundings go Celebrity as we always will from now on! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My family and I found Britannia to be an absolutely beautiful ship with service to match (and yes I have cruised several times before so I do have something to compare it with)!! We found the service in the Restaurants and Bars to be ... Read More
My family and I found Britannia to be an absolutely beautiful ship with service to match (and yes I have cruised several times before so I do have something to compare it with)!! We found the service in the Restaurants and Bars to be first class, the staff were friendly and obliging and nothing was too much trouble - everything done with a smile! The Horizon Buffet was always very busy for breakfast but a lot of people don't realise that you can also eat outside in the Sunset Bar area which we did on most mornings. We fell in love with The Crows Nest Bar and in particular Adam Allinson who is the Cocktail Pianist, he made for a great evening. Disembarkation was normal whereby you are directed to a venue and then disembarked by the times you have been given. This works perfectly well if people just have a little patience, do as requested and do not block the aisles. Would I cruise on Britannia again? Most definately! My advise to anyone reading these reviews is take most of them with a pinch of salt! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The ship is beautiful but I found it to be very unorganized. . Cabin . Service . Lifts . My total bill . Disembarkation My sister and myself took my elderly mum away for a taster Cruise. We paid extra money to travel on ... Read More
The ship is beautiful but I found it to be very unorganized. . Cabin . Service . Lifts . My total bill . Disembarkation My sister and myself took my elderly mum away for a taster Cruise. We paid extra money to travel on the Brittania . When booking this Mini cruise, we explained there were 3 adults. We were told there were bed settees available . When we arrived in the cabin, there were 2 single beds, the other bed was a bunk placed in the roof of the cabin. It was opened up each night by a Steward. The bed obscured the balcony, we had to bend down not to bang our heads to sit on the sofa, make a cuppa and to sit on balcony . My sister banged the back of her neck on this bed. When we booked no one stated to us regarding the beds. My mum is 81, my sister has back trouble and I have had foot surgery. Reception did not help. I struggled up the ladder, we are not youngsters. We had to ring housekeeping 6:45 am to raise the bed out of the way. Service was good in certain areas, our designated restaurant was closed due to disembarkation, we found certain members of the staff rude in the other restaurant. We waited 10 minutes for a table, with an 81 year old lady who couldn't stand for long,baring in mind one half of the restaurant had empty tables but they were trying to keep to one area, this is not exceptable when you have ques people waiting, we sat down and was given cups and our hot drinks order had been given. we were then asked to move tables due to wheel chair person, baring in mind my mum can only walk with help of a trolley. we were happy to do this. we were moved to another table, we waited for service and i had to ask 15 min later if could we have some warm drinks, He informed me that they were busy and other people to serve, the table we were originally on were served and eating their breakfast. Lifts were dreadful, to many people to accommodate, many time we were squashed into the wall of the lift. This is unacceptable for elderly people who are unsteady on their feet. Disable lifts should be available. I had a telephone call from reception at 6:15 in the morning telling me my card had been declined , I told them it must be a mistake. I was told to phone my bank. I had to phone home to my husband to check internet banking to make sure my money was still in the bank, he gave me the number to phone the bank fraud squad who informed me they stopped my card because of my identification card. We went into the casino to put £5 chips into the bandit, all has changed you now have to place your key card in machine. A member of staff told me to put in my DOB make up a pin, I won £5.00, i decided to use it the next day but when i returned my cabin card would not work. my card was stopped because of the activity in the casino. Be aware if you are going to enjoy the facility's, i recommend you notify the bank before you leave. Disembarkation took a while, to get a lift was a nightmare, once down on the correct departure area the Que was a mile long, all in a line doubling back where you started. I think this ship isn't without their teething problems, I had a relaxing time on the Oceania , Britannia is far to big, It may look amazing but I feel i wasn't relaxed as I should have been. I would never take my mum on there again, maybe god willing a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Very modern ship, as expected. It was my son's first cruise. He was disappointed with the choice of food in the buffet restaurant! Loved the food in the Beach House but had to pay extra! I have sailed with P&O 7 times and have to ... Read More
Very modern ship, as expected. It was my son's first cruise. He was disappointed with the choice of food in the buffet restaurant! Loved the food in the Beach House but had to pay extra! I have sailed with P&O 7 times and have to say I prefer their other ships. Paddling pool between the 2 main pools is dangerous to say the least, with a large piece of concrete in the middle of it! Would be better as an adult only ship! Loved the glass shower door but, when opening it it just about missed the toilet! Because there are more cabins on this ship certain areas were smaller than on other P&O ships. Lovely decor but, not much colour, quite dark in most places. No glass lifts! Lifts were small! I don't think I would sail on her again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Unusually booked this over a year ago as my father was wanting a look at the new Britannia. Party of 8 with three inside cabins. Two cabins were lucky and received upgrade to balcony. Mine had four sharing so no upgrade. This is very much ... Read More
Unusually booked this over a year ago as my father was wanting a look at the new Britannia. Party of 8 with three inside cabins. Two cabins were lucky and received upgrade to balcony. Mine had four sharing so no upgrade. This is very much a ship due to huge size that cabin location could prove very important. No such thing as just popping back to pick up something. Britannia is huge. Embarkation Embarkation was a total disaster. P & O have tried to implement timed boarding which nobody seems to follow. Such a short cruise does mean most people want to arrive early and make the most of the facilities. The terminal was mobbed. Some of out party arrived approx. 30 mins before us and somehow went straight on. We got to the terminal about 1330hrs. Our proper boarding time was 1500hrs. We were given letter Z and at 1500hrs were still only on letter P. Somebody said boarding was late starting due to training. My wife does use a walking stick and we were fortunate to have a seat. The terminal was very hot and after making enquires we were finally allowed to board using the mobility desk just after 1500hrs. Never waited so long to board before. When travelling to Southampton its very difficult to arrive dead on proposed boarding time. Not sure what the answer is but this was chaos. Britannia Britannia is amazing. Beautiful decor and we loved the atrium. Other than the atrium this is not a ship with huge open spaces. Many rooms are accessed with twists and turns and entrances are sometimes not obvious. Everything however is very modern and contemporary. The size was never an option and seating was easily found in all venues. Some places got busy at start and finish of show and dinner but largely she copes with the crowds very well. Issues with very busy lifts and frankly some very rude and ignorant passengers who would not allow disabled passengers to board lift first. As has been previously mentioned some restaurants and deck areas have to be accessed in a certain way via particular staircase or lift. This did not cause any issue as I quickly worked out the best route around. Normally avoid the buffet but we found this are on Britannia was very well designed and fitted out. Plenty of seating. Loved Crows Nest. The theatre and subsequent show 'Sound of the Underground' was a high quality show and the production on the state of the art stage amazing. We ate in Oriental which was lovely. Enjoyed all food onboard and found it to be of good quality. Personally I find it strange that a British ship does not have a covered pool but all pools lovely and spacious with plenty of swimming options. Kid clubs not busy but very well organised. Disembarkation Cases outside at midnight. Went for breakfast at 0700hrs and walked off about 0900hrs. Very smooth and no huge line to get off. Conclusion We loved Britannia and would not hesitate to book a longer trip. Boarding was a shambles and the only low point of the weekend other than two nights is just not long enough. Some will not like her size or lack of proper promenade deck but I felt she does have a 'wow' factor. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
to be fair, it didn't start well, with long queues for the car parking at the dock, but it all moved forward reasonably well, and after getting inside, I went straight through booking in and security. The reason I tried such a large ... Read More
to be fair, it didn't start well, with long queues for the car parking at the dock, but it all moved forward reasonably well, and after getting inside, I went straight through booking in and security. The reason I tried such a large ship, was because they had introduced new purpose built single cabins. Although compact, the design was very well thought out, with good storage, same size shower room as the other cabins, as was the balcony. Very well situated on deck 16 forward, so just a brisk walk to the Horizon for breakfast, near the stairs and lifts for the theatre and also next to the Crows Nest, couldn't be better. I booked for traditional dining in the Oriental, and the food was good, but not extra special. Being rather cynical, could it be that it was a way to encourage you to eat in the other restaurants where you pay!! I didn't try them, but heard very good reports from other people. I had excellent company on my table, and enjoyed the sailaways very much. The day that the Queen overtook Queen Victoria was the best sailaway I had ever had. The show company was excellent. They even managed to get us all off by tender into Guernsey reasonably quickly, where I bought a beautiful new Italian dress in the first shop I went into, and of course no VAT. I would certainly go again, and would recommend for all ages and families. Disembarkation was very smooth Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I think I have the dates about right, i cannot quite remember...it was to France and Northern Spain including Guernsey. They called in at Guernsey on the Sunday and the entire island was basically shut. Ridiculous planning and it was very ... Read More
I think I have the dates about right, i cannot quite remember...it was to France and Northern Spain including Guernsey. They called in at Guernsey on the Sunday and the entire island was basically shut. Ridiculous planning and it was very annoying. This was our 2nd cruise and this time we went with my sister-in-law and her husband. the ship is too big, sorry, I just found it daft. Getting around is not easy either with a curious arrangement for the stairwells in the midships area making it impossible to walk around without doing the stairs. This is fine, but it is a little confusing. Our cabin was well appointed but noisy. We secured a move after we raised issues and ended up in a suite, which was an amazing bit of luck. Things were pretty good after this, as you might expect although we found the Butler thing a little cringey...it's just too servantish and we don't like that. We tried to have a laugh with him but he was ultra professional and straight as an arrow, which was a real credit to the company. Food is very good, very good indeed. The entertainment was generally dreadful but we expected this; cruise entertainment is not our thing and we make our own fun, so it is a moot point. Drinks are reasonable given the captive market and we didn't feel ripped off or pressured. We used the Spa, which was expensive, maybe not worth the money either. I much preferred the smaller ship Aurora from the year before, but is was n experience. We have taken to cruising and plan another this year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
BACKGROUND INFORMATION This was our fourteenth cruise, which have been fairly evenly spread between Celebrity, RCL and P&O, and I hope to be able give a balanced view based on our past experience. EMBARKATION Why do P&O ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION This was our fourteenth cruise, which have been fairly evenly spread between Celebrity, RCL and P&O, and I hope to be able give a balanced view based on our past experience. EMBARKATION Why do P&O - unlike RCL & Celebrity insist on cabins being ready before letting people on the ship? We had to wait a couple of hours in the cruise terminal whilst those who process your embarkation were just sitting behind their desks doing nothing! Perhaps they had to wait for the signal that cabins were ready before being allowed to start? Very frustrating! PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS The ship went to Guernsey (tender), La Coruna, Bilbao and La Rochelle. As usual, when choosing which shore excursions to do, we noticed that the excursions were much more varied and reasonably priced than those generally offered by either RCL or Celebrity. We like to do some research beforehand (especially on Cruise Critic forums!) and then explore independently, but we also like taking part in activity excursions. So at Guernsey we took the RIB boat and at La Coruna a bike tour; both of which we really enjoyed. SHIP INFORMATION Yes, it would be better if the ship had a central stairwell that went higher than Deck 7, but we found this to be a minor inconvenience rather than an issue. During our seven days onboard, we never experienced any large queues for the central lifts. Often, it was easier to reach our destination from either the front or back of the ship and these had stairs to higher decks, not just the lifts. ENTERTAINMENT The Brodie's pub area is large and serves an impressive list of good bottled beers. For example, I was pleased and surprised to find one of my favourites, Wells Banana Bread Beer, on the list! P&O also have some reasonable beers on draught such as John Smiths and Boddingtons. All in all, it's a refreshing change to the very limited and overpriced selection on both RCL and Celebrity. We enjoyed the quizzes there too. Let's just hope that P&O don't do what they did on Ventura and drastically reduce the size of this pub by installing extra single cabins. Pulse, the resident band in the Live Lounge were excellent. I've no idea how they remember the words to all those songs! Being British helped them to develop an good rapport with the audience too; unlike some of the technically excellent but sterile bands from the Far East that we've seen on other cruise lines. In the Headliners Theatre, the in-house singers and dancers put on some very good shows and the special effects in "Once Upon a Time" were spectacular and would rival anything from the West End. The theatre has an amazing series of large electronic screens that can change to give different animated backgrounds. However, the guest performers were a bit of a mixed bag: for example, although the ventriloquist was funny, the Micheal Buble tribute act was cringeworthy and he even forgot some of the words to "New York, New York". My reaction to there not being any alcoholic drinks package available on P&O is to exclaim "thank goodness for that!" Embarkation at Southampton during the school Summer Holidays can attract a certain type of person or family. These are the people who give Britain a bad reputation abroad and for whom drinking copious volumes of alcohol until they are struggling, both physically and mentally, forms the most enjoyable part of their holiday. Luckily, judging from our experience on Britannia and looking at recent reviews for Anthem of the Seas, it seems that such types have avoided P&O, being attracted to the Anthem by RCL's drinks packages. I must say that the latter are unbeatable value if you start drinking early in the morning and finish late at night! DINING We were in the early sitting in the Oriental restaurant and found both the decor and ambiance pleasant and the service efficient. The meals were well prepared and never cold or warm when they should have been hot. However, I am more of a lover of plain food than the others in our party and so, unlike them, tend to find the food on RCL more to my liking. On formal nights it was good to see that practically everybody followed the dress code, unlike on our recent cruise on the Allure of the Seas, where wearing a collar and tie was the exception rather than the rule. SUMMARY Overall, we had an extremely enjoyable cruise. I am struggling to understand why the Britannia is receiving so many negative reviews. Perhaps it's simply a question of "Horses for Courses?" I suppose the people who had a bad experience are more likely to be motivated to write a review than those who did not and Britannia may not be to the liking of the P&O regulars who are more used to the smaller ships and can be rather finickity (especially about stairs and lifts). My motivation for writing this review (my first ever) is to address the balance and to tell people booked to go on Britannia to read the positive reviews and to take most of the negative ones with a pinch of sea-salt! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We have been on a lot of cruises,but this was our first time with P & O. I will try to give an accurate report of how we found the cruise,as although we had read other reviews of the ship before we took the holiday, I have tried not to ... Read More
We have been on a lot of cruises,but this was our first time with P & O. I will try to give an accurate report of how we found the cruise,as although we had read other reviews of the ship before we took the holiday, I have tried not to let the good and bad points influence what I have written. We booked the cruise at the Daily Telegraph Cruise show back in January, for two reasons: (1) Our recently widowed friend was coming with us,because her and her husband usually cruised with us, so she wanted to come (2) I thought we might get a better deal booking at the show and booking early Wrong. Our friend couldn't get single occupancy and the price was the same as anywhere else.We were also a bit miffed,because 6 weeks before the cruise ,you could book it for just over half of what we paid. We booked an inside cabin each. Paid the extra fare that P&O offer, to get you first choice on an upgrade,possible choice of dining (we wanted Freedom) and free shuttles in ports . We did get an upgrade to a higher deck, but the same cabin, anyway. Dining options weren't confirmed until we were on board and shuttles were free everywhere anyway. When on board my wife and I had two cards in our cabin,one saying Freedom dining and the other saying Second (8.30) dining. Our friend (remember booked at the same time so we could have close cabins and same dining option) and she just had 2nd dining. We went to where you have to go to book your freedom dining, and told by a surly officer that she had been allocated 2nd sitting and we had as well. I showed him our freedom dining pass and he said there must have been a mistake and we had been allocated 2nd dining, so that is what we had to settle for. Anyway ,on to embarkation Quite smooth (20 minute wait in car til P & O took it away),checked in and into our cabin within half an hour. Had a look around ship,attended the sail-away and obviously the life boat drill, bit of lunch and unpacked. This is when we found the lifts, and all the criticism of them and lack of stairs mid-ship is completely justified. I won't go on about them,just read reviews that others have put on. The weather for the cruise was poor,but if you are cruising Britain, then that's what you're likely to get. This is where I found P & O to be lacking. Entertainment when you can't go ashore and at sea days when you can't get on deck, is very very poor. Just a quiz in the morning and in the afternoon, and a juggling workshop for 20 minutes and a couple of rounds of interactive bowling. Other cruises we've been on,have arranged a lot more for passengers when there's been inclement weather Food is A1. Best we've had since the early days of cruising. Starters,soup,mains,dessert,cheese and biscuits and coffee We went to the self service Lido for breakfast and lunch and that was good as well, and unlike a lot of previous cruises we found a table for 3 very easy and hardly any queuing. Over 70 types of English bottled beer in Brodies (where they held very good picture quizzes) at £3.75 for a 500ml bottle. Slight criticism, they are kept very chilled so they need to be left a little while to warm up Entertainment. The Headliner shows were very good. They had a interactive screen in the theatre that was excellent. We didn't find any problems getting seats for the three of us together, but it is best to get in half an hour before the start. A problem here is,that if you are on 2nd sitting dinner ,you can't see the show at the theatre and the live act in the Live Lounge as they both are on at the same time. There's an 8.30 show and a 10.30 show at both. When the Headliner Cast did their 3 shows (make sure you take in The Underground show,superb) they do at least do a performance at 7 ,but the guest acts don't,so if there's one on in the theatre and one on in the live lounge,you can only see one. On the next to last night we went to what was supposed to be, a super pub quiz at Brodies. This was hosted by the two most inadequate, lack of talent and moradic quiz masters it's ever been mine and most other peoples misfortune to see. Nick and Tom were their names and they were truly awful and embarrassing, acting like two loutish teenagers. They were trying to be funny but only succeeded in making themselves laugh. The quiz should have been 30 questions but because of their tomfoolery, they had to stop after 20 questions, because it had gone on for over an hour. Mind you,lots of passengers had walked out by then. Excursions This was round Britain, and although we hadn't been to any of the ports we did them on our own, and saved a fortune by not using the P& O extortionate trips. We went to one port talk, which was probably the worst we've ever been too. The speaker was directly reading off a prepared list, and was only interested in ships tours and wouldn't answer questions or give any info on doing it yourself. Disembarkation Easy peasy Al in all, an average sort of cruise,but in my opinion not up to the standard of Royal Caribbean or Princess which we are going on in August , Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
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 3.5
Rates 5.0 N/A

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