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124 Southampton to Norwegian Fjords P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing ... Read More
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing steak passed off as ribeye stroganoff stewing streak tasteless Calves liver dished up twice In 7 nights Staff apologetic dismissive blamed HQ Tv down not satellite not repaired Embarkation and disembarkation A shambles bags all over the place Not what I expected from P&O 2 children and 3 adults Overall disappointing considering the cost The no tip policy has had a detrimental effect on crew Cruised Oceana In Jan the difference was astronomical in Quality The most disturbing thing is trying to pass off low quality dining to experienced loyal P&O Members The formal dinner menus were an insult Something wants doing about it and the dinner the better Will they I doubt it very much I just couldn’t believe it of P&O Lido Lunch better than oriental dinner Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Being newcomers to cruising, my wife and I chose P&O because of their reputation. We also chose their Flagship Britannia so as to ensure our experience was the best it could possibly be. Everything went seamlessly. Embarkation of 3000+ ... Read More
Being newcomers to cruising, my wife and I chose P&O because of their reputation. We also chose their Flagship Britannia so as to ensure our experience was the best it could possibly be. Everything went seamlessly. Embarkation of 3000+ passengers was time-managed perfectly. Our cabin with a balcony was all we could have hoped for, and our steward, Suresh, was attentive to the point of us thinking he was waiting on our beck and call. As for the food: Every taste is catered for and I wish I had taken the opportunity to see behind the scenes of the ship's galley as preparing 16,000 meals a day - yes! 16,000 - must take faultless timing. It is impossible to avail oneself of all the excursions, but the guided walk was very informative and our guide was incredibly entertaining. On-board activities are plentiful...far more than my wife and I needed...and we are already considering our next cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I had the opportunity to go away without the children and found this cruise with 8 days notice. I had always wanted to go to the Fjords so finding this cruise was perfect. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. ... Read More
My husband and I had the opportunity to go away without the children and found this cruise with 8 days notice. I had always wanted to go to the Fjords so finding this cruise was perfect. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. I was a little worried about going on this ship having spoken to someone a few days before and they said they weren’t that impressed. Having been with Princess cruises 3 months earlier, we wondered if we had made the right decision. We needn’t have worried at all! The food was incredible.we had freedom dining so we just queued up and had a buzzy thing which went off when our table was ready. We sat on table for 2 the first night but we had then been told that the larger tables clear quicker so you don’t have to wait as long. From then on we sat on larger tables each night and met some really lovely people. Entertainment was also excellent on board. Disembarkation took a while. We were told to go to the theatre and they cleared the front rows first which is fine but when people just come in after you and take the empty seats at the front which has already been cleared, it’s highly annoying when you’ve been sat there for 30 mins waiting. The only real complaint we had was the guy on the excursion desk. Tours were fully booked as we had booked the holiday late and most of the time depending on the tour, are happy to do our own thing. We asked if there was an independent company ashore doing the boat trip in Stavanger. We were told no, you have to go on the p&o organised tours as there was nothing available in port. We had no option anyway so we just walked round the port and 50yards from the ship there was a company selling boat tours. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the cruise exceeded all expectations. Our cabins were spotlessly clean, very well fitted and serviced by a a very nice steward. We liked to sleep with the balcony doors locked open and listen to the sea at night. Watching the sunset from our balcony at 10.30 at night was a joy. We were very lucky with the weather and on both at sea days the sun shone and we spent our day on deck enjoying the warmth and views. I was surprised how easy it was to find a sun lounger available either in the sun or shade. Around the pool it could become busy but go up to the deck overlooking the pool and there was usually plenty of space. We all used one or other of the pools (there is an adult only pool and sunbathing area). The children ( 9, two 12 year olds and a15 year old) preferred to play in the pools or do their own thing rather than go to the kids clubs. They were never ever bored! Norway is stunning. We had some lovely excursions not all booked through P&O and easy to source online. The longest zip wire in Scandinavia, the rib ride, hiking up a mountain to visit a goat farm, Flåm railway and walking up to Brikstal glacier were highlights. All the food we had either in thie buffet or the restaurants was excellent. We had an exceptional meal in the Epicurean restaurant that I feel was well worth the supplement. Yes there were little niggles but nothing I feel I have to highlight. You will mix with people from all walks of life on a cruise, young and old, but our experience was very positive. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it all again Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me ... Read More
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me we had made a mistake booking this holiday. As it turns out it surpassed our hopes and expectations. We had a brilliant week on board the ship and were impressed with every aspect. Taking into consideration what the price equivalent would buy you on land it seems fantastic value for money. I can only surmise that some of the cruising community are a pretty hard crowd to please. Which in a way is no bad thing as it helps to keep the standards high. Highlights: The ship is beautiful. I loved the decor in the public areas with high-quality fixtures and fittings. We had an internal room with pull-down beds which was cosy and compact but absolutely fine for our needs (basically a bed for the night). The kids club – the facilities are great with friendly staff who take security seriously. My boys tend not to do things on their own but loved the kids club which meant their dad and I could have dinner ourselves and a cocktail in the Crows Nest a couple of nights without having to think about keeping the kids entertained. The White Company products in the bathroom. I love a bit of luxury product and this was a lovely treat. Customer Service – excellent. All staff were very helpful and polite. Food – from the kids buffet to the afternoon tea to the restaurants, the food was excellent. I had a couple of dishes in the restaurant that were just ok but the majority were delicious (beer battered cod, sirloin steak and beef wellington being examples) Cookery school with Marco Pierre White – great value for £100. A lovely man who spent time with each passenger along with other chefs who were there to offer advice and clean up after you. 2 dishes with no expense spared on the ingredients (risotto with saffron and a lobster pasta dish). A definite highlight. Boarding and disembarkation – very smooth and well co-ordinated I enjoyed the mix of passengers. It was the start of the Scottish school holidays but not the English which meant there were probably more pre-school kids. The kids tended to be very well behaved and my boys were often asked how they were enjoying their holiday by the older passengers in the lifts. The shows – we thought the resident band in the live lounge were excellent. The dance floor was jumping on the first formal night. We also enjoyed the couple of shows we saw in the theatre. The productions are so polished and professional with fantastic scenery and costumes. Drinks – reasonably priced, high quality and lots of choice. We were late back to Southampton by a few hours due to two passengers having to be taken off the ship at Bergen due to illness and also a problem with the engine. As we had tickets booked for the Harry Potter Studios and as we were going to be back too late we were provided with free ship to shore phone calls and internet access to allow us to change our booking to the next morning. We were also kept well informed of what was happening by Captain Welsley (who sounded like a great character and we always enjoyed his cheery announcements). The ship also produced an adhoc newsletter informing passengers of the extra services being laid on due to our late arrival back into Southampton (including opening the kids club for a couple of hours in the morning, restaurants opening and the guy who normally sings in the Atrium putting on a one hour set at the poolside. The unplanned extended stay really was no hardship for us on a very warm, summers day. People have mentioned about the lack of stairs in the middle of the ship. We had no problems. Fair enough, we might have to wait a couple of minutes occasionally but it really wasn’t a problem. We tended to use the stairs most of the time anyway as a there were only around 8 steps between floors. I can appreciate however if the stairs weren’t an option then this could be frustrating. People tended to be very accommodating in the lifts though and would make room to help people get from a to b. During his first address to the ship the Captain did ask able-bodied passengers to be considerate to those who weren’t able to use the stairs. Even after 7 days were still regularly losing our bearings and we made good use of the ship plans on the walls. It gave us a laugh though and our 5 year old had the best sense of direction out of all of us. Norway: A beautiful country. Flaam being a particular highlight. Stunning scenery and our one organised trip to the Viking Village which was excellent. We were happy to wander ourselves at the other ports although after half an hour the boys were normally itching to get back to the ship and kids club. Bergen was another highlight. A lovely city and we enjoyed the Fenicular (due to poor weather in the morning we didn’t leave the ship until lunchtime but only had to queue around 30 minutes). The weather through the week was generally rainy and around 10/12 degrees. Not one for the sun worshipers. Saying that, it didn’t stop us doing anything we wanted to and the boys got to use the pool on the sea days. To conclude, would I sail with P&O again? Absolutely! Thank you for a fantastic first cruise experience. Just to add, I’m sorry to read all the negative press in the last week. It’s so far removed from our experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 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 never been to Norway or the Fjords so this Britannia cruise was an obvious choice. We hadn't heard too many positive comments about the Britannia on previous cruises so we were a bit apprehensive Despite the ships many ... Read More
We had never been to Norway or the Fjords so this Britannia cruise was an obvious choice. We hadn't heard too many positive comments about the Britannia on previous cruises so we were a bit apprehensive Despite the ships many shortfalls we loved the cruise and would recommend it to everyone especially anyone considering a first cruise.The Britannia is big and spacious and the Norwegian Fjords and scenery are stunning. Well the ship wasn't full of old people as we thought it might be. Most were middle aged. There were families with babies, teenagers, young couples, middle aged couples and the elderly of course. It was very British in the sense that most guests dressed in shorts, t-shirts, lumberjack shirts the occasional set of braces. At the pool area you ha he usual adornment of pot-bellies, tattoos and the largest pod of beached whales south of the arctic circle..... If you haven't been on a cruise and thought the dress code might be a bit formal well take it from me...it isn't. The Britannia is quite a large ship. It may be described as P&O's flagship but sadly it has too many shortcomings to be overawed by it. However its perfectly functional. There are some very pleasant areas to explore.There is no "Wow" factor however. The Atrium is pleasant but not stunning. The Theatres,cinema etc are on the smallish side and quite claustrophobic compared to other ships. The corridors with their grey and brown colour scheme could pass for any corridor in a certain Lodge hotel group I can think of. In fact the colour schemes everywhere on the ship seem to have been deliberately "dulled down". The lifts are dreadful and the waiting times plus stopping at every floor will drive you crazy. Clearly P&O were more concerned about cramming as many guests in as opposed to providing a more spacious guest environment. Despite the above there was plenty to like about the ship. Food wise I loved the meals at fine-dining in the evenings. The food in the buffet was ok but personally I cant stand buffet food. It appealed to many including my Wife but I think all buffet food can best be described as ".... on a plate". There were only 2 formal nights so it was an opportunity for everyone to dress up particularly the Ladies. On informal nights at fine-dining most of the Ladies still dressed up with the odd one turning up in a vest or sloppy sweater .. eewww. Men tended to dress in short sleeved shirts or whatever they were wearing at the pool. It was quite amusing to observe quite elegant ladies in their finery walking with partners in t-shirts and track suit bottoms. Nothing like people watching on a cruise ship. My son and girlfriend had a meal in the Epicurian restaurant. It was very reasonably priced and they highly recommend it. The Sindhu was full most evenings so I am guessing its good too. Our room was a nice size a I had opted for a slightly larger inside cabin. It was really worth the extra few pounds. I would never consider a balcony cabin but for the Fjords ts could be a very good choice with all that stunning scenery. The staff on the whole were polite and hard working and we tipped them as always irrespective of P&O removing their gratuities. Just remember these staff earn peanuts. Entertainment was quite good. I liked most of the evening shows but particularly Lloyd Wade who has a great voice. One of his shows we attended was spoiled by some uncouth and drunken northerners talking throughout his performance. Sadly you get that everywhere. The headliners would not usually be my cup of tea (having grown up in the hippy 60/70s) but you have to admire them. Some great voices and amazing dancers. Dont know where they get all that energy. Kirsty did a great job on her talks on Norway so do go to these lectures if you get a chance as they are very informative. Please make sure you use the crows-nest for those relaxing moments . Its a gem. Norway is absolutely stunning. I much preferred it to our med and canary cruises. Beware however it is mega pricey. 2 x 400ml beers £21 , bar of chocolate £3 and a packet of biscuits £7 (£1 in £ shop in UK). So eat well for breakfast on the ship before you venture out. The local tour buses were £25-£30. Probably there were cheaper alternatives but we just legged it into town for an expensive coffee and cake. So overall we really enjoyed he cruise.We were at a table for 9 in the evenings and all were really nice people. We have already booked our next Fjords cruise on the Iona. We took our son and girlfriend on this cruise (their first) and they loved it and are already planning their next cruise. Despite the shortcomings Britannia is a nice ship and we will be booking her again. Next cruise is in 12 weeks time on the Ventura. Cant wait.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise for the beautiful scenery of the Norwegian Fjords. Due to strong winds we were unable to embark straight away as it was dangerous to use the air bridge but we were kept informed and I actually boarded 15 minutes ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the beautiful scenery of the Norwegian Fjords. Due to strong winds we were unable to embark straight away as it was dangerous to use the air bridge but we were kept informed and I actually boarded 15 minutes before my allotted time. First time using a mobility scooter but very helpful staff helped me to board by a conventional gangplank. No trouble disembarking, off within 15 minutes. Luggage found and out of the terminal within 30 minutes. I did not do any organised trips as it was my first cruise on my own, since losing my husband and having to us a mobility scooter. Self serve Horizon restaurant has plenty of staff wearing "Happy to Help aprons" and they were indeed helpful (although wanted to give me more food than I wanted) carried it to the table for me. All areas are accessible to disabled travellers and if you want to eat in the other restaurants they will park and bring it back afterwards. The Eric Lanlard afternoon tea in the Epicurean is to die for. The glad house has amazing wines (Selected by Ollie Smith). Try a wine flight if you want to sample. These is plenty of seating even on a sea day it wasn't hard to find a place. Overall a beautiful ship with absolutely wonderful crew. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We always said that we would not travel on the larger ships, but as the itinerary and ports of call fitted in with our needs we decided to take the plunge. The ship is in quite good condition and kept quite clean. However the food and ... Read More
We always said that we would not travel on the larger ships, but as the itinerary and ports of call fitted in with our needs we decided to take the plunge. The ship is in quite good condition and kept quite clean. However the food and entertainment were not as we had hoped. From the start, whilst having lunch we were approached asking if we wanted to dine in any of the select dining restaurants, and this happened on several occasions throughout the cruise, with some staff, being quite persistent. We ate in Sindhu on one occasion and were disappointed as the food quality wasn't the same as the other Sindhu restaurants on P&O ships. The food was quite bland and a bit tough. Some of us had the lobster for the main course which was a bit ropey. In fact we had the lobster the following night in the freedom dining restaurant which was much nicer. It made us wonder why we paid the extra money for Sindhu. We were also asked on leaving if we wanted to book for week B, but declined. For the first four nights or so of the cruise, the food in the freedom dining restaurant was very good. From then on there was a noticeable decline in quality, quantity and presentation. One evening I had the "taste of Portugal" option which was Piri Piri Chicken. When it arrived the presentation resembled that of a school dinner and it didn't taste much better. Some of the fish portion sizes were very small and the sauces quite watery. On the desert side the chocolate brownie sundae arrived minus the chocolate brownie. When we pointed this out to the waiter, he just smiled and walked away. Another sundae had very little ice cream, so much so that my daughter asked if she could have another, much to the amusement of waiters. At lunchtime we mainly ate in the Peninsular restaurant which was a bit hit and miss. Some days the food was really good, but there were days when the food was quite inedible. My daughter and I decided to have the Ploughmans platter, which is shared by two people. There was some "pork pie" which was awful and spicy and didn't resemble a pork pie that I know of. One piece of bread so small, we had to ask for another bread roll, and a very poor selection of cheese and tiny bits of pickled vegetables with two pots of relish. Some of the other deserts were also questionable and inedible, but we did have a few good lunches there. It was very hit and miss. We tried to avoid the buffet at all costs, but sometimes we had no choice. Needless to say, the food quality there wasn't very good, being kept under the heat lamps, with a lot of pushing and shoving from other passengers, as is the norm in these places. The grab & go section was quite good, but a bit repetitive and bread quite stale on the sandwiches. We also ate at the Epicurian restaurant and this was brilliant and highly recommended. Although most of the waiters in the freedom dining restaurants were very good, there is a big step up in the Epicurian. The quality and quantity of the food, was extremely good and would not have any hesitation in recommending this. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss. As with the food, the first four days were good and varied, but then fell into decline. The films were repeated in the second week and if you were not into quizzes or archery, there was not much else to do, unless you wanted to spend extra money. The "free" galley tour seems to have disappeared, as has the chocaholics event. If you want to have a tour of the ship it will set you back £75 per person and the cookery school £45 per per person. The cabin we had was on G deck and was kept clean and tidy by the cabin steward. The only two drawbacks were its position and the soot problem. It was an aft cabin and we had been notified by our booking agents that it was directly above the Live Lounge and they had to notify us of this. We were informed that the music usually ended around midnight, which was fine by us. Unfortunately, they started rehearsals at 5pm and it was so loud in the bathroom that some of the fittings were vibrating. This did not bother us too much at the beginning but by the end of the holiday, it got a bit much. All we could hear was the base drum. If we could hear a tune, it wouldn't have been so bad! The other issue with this cabin was the soot problem on the balcony. Some days it was really bad. On one sailaway whilst sitting on the balcony soot was falling onto my clothes and into my daughter's drink. We had to put pool towels on the chairs before sitting on them. Some days the soot was all over the floor, table, chairs and handrails. Some particles were quite large and you could smell whatever fuel was being used whilst sitting outside. Sometimes you didn't really want to use the balcony because of this. The ports of call were good, some we have visited before and so did most of these on our own. Overall it wasn't a bad cruise, apart from the items listed above and we would travel with P&O again, just not in an aft balcony cabin on Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First ever cruise. Chose the Norwegian Fjords. Smooth arrival, well directed by the port security and marshals to the car queue, which we only waited in for 10 minutes or so. Parking staff very efficient and knew our names as soon as ... Read More
First ever cruise. Chose the Norwegian Fjords. Smooth arrival, well directed by the port security and marshals to the car queue, which we only waited in for 10 minutes or so. Parking staff very efficient and knew our names as soon as car was directed to the drop off. Bags taken and gone, car driven away, then into the terminal and aboard within 15 minutes. No hassle. No stress. Very little queuing. Our boarding time was 1300 so on nice and early. Once aboard you have your photo taken in the Atrium. At this stage being newbies you are still Rabbits in the headlights so it is all a bit over your head and you're looking round so much! They then direct you up to the Buffet. We found our Cabin 35 minutes later and suitcases were outside. Very good. I will now try to debunk some of the moaners. I've been reading lots of reviews here, and, while some passengers may well have had unfortunate mishaps, bad luck with staff, and so on much of it seems to be moans for the sake of it! They obviously have Silver Service and being treated like Gods in mind..... Ship: Smart. Clean. Muted Browns and Greys. I've read comments by people complaining about the lack of fresh colours! Deary me. If those are the colours then those are the colours. Did not bother us! It takes time of course to find your way around but they give you a little pocket guide which is easy to use and understand, so we had no problem familiarising ourselves. Lots of artwork everywhere. Not our taste at all. We are both artists and I like more traditional scenes but again, like the colour schemes who cares? It's a ship not a gallery, we are not there to be bothered by the art. I agree with other comments that there is too little lift capacity for the number of guests. The answer, if you're able, just use the stairs! Simple. We planned to as much as possible as we were wondering what we would weigh at the end of the voyage, so planned to walk off excesses! So no real issues with the lifts from us. I also agree with other reviews that there are no stairs mid ships up to the higher decks, and this indeed impacts those with cabins mid ships. An odd omission to be sure. Again this did not affect us as we had a cabin on Deck G well forward where there are stairs. Cabin commented on in other section. Dining: We used Freedom dining in the Meridian first two nights. Posh food, certainly in our book. Service as quick as to be expected considering the numbers of people. I don't know what the moans of others are about maybe they expect to be hand fed the finest Caviar? Portions fine, and I'm a gannet too so no worries there. At that point my wife sadly had tummy upset, though I stress she was feeling not right before we boarded. So for the rest of the trip we used the buffet, sometimes just myself when my wife was not up to eating. We both liked the Buffet. Eat as much as you like, with a wide selection. Again I have read the moans and just don't recognise the comments from people who were on the same trip!? Breakfast fantastic, dinners not as good but still perfectly happy with what was on offer and the sheer range of choice. I've read one review that moaned there was no egg station frying eggs order? Silver Service Brigade again? Oh well. We took ours from the tray and they were fine. Staff very on the ball, making sure hands washed on entry or using the hand sanitizer machines. The staff are so aware hygiene wise they make sure you used a fresh plate and tray every new trip from your table. They remove your plates promptly and helped my wife a few times to find certain items politely and professionally. It can get busy in there so either go up one at a time, or, do as we did most mornings and go outside to the Lido area and sit at the empty tables there! No different that the ones in the buffet proper, so moaners complaining there are too many people and no where to sit should get off bums and walk a bit further to where there are plenty! We didn't use the premium restaurants this cruise so cannot comment on those but we will next time. Entertainment: They publish a little magazine called Horizon with the activities each day, times and venues. Something for everyone. We saw two shows in the Headliners Theatre. Astonishing, and an acrobatic/ dance act from two amazing performers, forget their names, but awesome. Astonishing is good but all a bit too hyped in my opinion. Neil Oliver who leads the entertainment team. What a character. Very good indeed. We loved the Great British Sail away as we departed Bergan. All mass round the top decks around the pool, get the flags out, sing, dance, and be patriotic! I personally love that sort of stuff, there is far too little of it in our PC obsessed country. I make no apology for admitting I was almost in tears on more than one occasion with Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, and Jerusalem being sung by the masses. Unpatriotic moaners can go back to their cabins if they don't like it. This is a British ship with British styles and tastes. Service: Very attentive, especially in the bars we tried. Crows Nest the best as you can see out the front of the ship. I have again read complaints about the drinks packages available, we didn't go for any of that, just order what you want when you want. They give you spending money anyway, which accounted for most of our spend. Excursions: Enjoyed them all, but very expensive for what you get though. We did two, Norway in a Nutshell at Flam and Briksdal Glacier at Olden. The Flam railway is really not all that, considering the cost. The coach trip before hand was better getting into the countryside and seeing the views from some hair raising little lanes high up the mountains. The views of the Fjords from the ship are better. The best bit of the Flam Railway is the stop to see a waterfall where two lunatics in Red dresses frolic and dance up on the rocks by the waterfall like Odin's Valkries! They must be cold! Do they wait up there for every train??! The glacier is amazing, and Lake Olden which you pass on the coach something else. Beautiful. We did not do excursions in Stavanger or Bergan as you're in the town, we just walked everywhere seeing what we could. Now for my only moans. Why, why P&O, with the billions you must be making, is there no free Wi Fi? The packages were very expensive so we did not bother. It seems every café, pub and public shopping mall in the land has free Wi fi but not a huge cruise liner? Come on.... The first sea day evening is Captain's Gala night. You all stand round the Atrium in your finest then the Captain makes a speech, introduces his senior officers, then vanishes!! He does not go round mingling and meeting the passengers, at least not where we were. So this is all a bit over hyped in my view. One for the in crowd wanting to be seen. We loved it. You are paying for the novelty of a mobile hotel taking you to your destination, while you relax! Takes the stress out of travel for us. We are now hooked and have already booked our next cruise, on Britannia, deliberately, next year. It will be interesting to arrive next time already knowing where you are going on board and feeling right at home. Rule Britannia!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first cruise travelled with parents in a Balcony Cabin for a wedding anniversary, as I have not cruised before can only go on as I found. we were on D deck Embarkation/ Disembarkation: We went with Inter cruises coach ... Read More
This was our first cruise travelled with parents in a Balcony Cabin for a wedding anniversary, as I have not cruised before can only go on as I found. we were on D deck Embarkation/ Disembarkation: We went with Inter cruises coach benefit, first class service, from moment bags on coach all sorted on arrival for you outside cabin, arrival was pretty straightforward and as a coach benefit went in faster, also leaving was so quick from cabin to coach in about 15 minutes. The Cabin - modern immaculatly clean, we found balcony big enough and would reccomend on a fjords crusie to make most of scenary cabin steward very friendly and helpful as we required sofabed it was made easier just had to pop card out when going for dinner bed made up and in morning popped away for you. We also found cabin location very ideal as you were half way between deck 7 which was main atrium and deck 16 which was pool deck area. Be mindfull of booking A deck cabins on aft side especially under sunset bar as there are chairs there which are constalty moved which could affect cabins below. The Ship - Very luxurious feel to it very LA hotel style the Atrium is really lovely place to sit in the evening overlooking the 3 levels, despite it's size we never felt overcrowed. although no promenade deck the mini promenade deck on deck 18 was more than adequte. the ship also has very Brittish feel to it so at times it can feel a home from home which we liked. Crows nest a great bar with vista at front of ship also a quieter area away from hustle and the piano player in the evening very good. Main dining - Freedom Meridan we found this option easy and on few times they did not have a table we had a pager to come back which was never more than 20 minutes. As it was our first cruise did not feel the need to book speciality dining apart from one in Beach House this is converted part of buffet we chose this option when sailing out of fjords enabled us to still enjoy scenary i would advise booking though as was a wait for food. cover charge this was about £8.00 each. Horizon Buffet - breakfast really good and was constantly kept clean granted at times it can get busy so would recomend getting a table then taking in turns to go up. it might be walk but uif you approach from the far aft side just outside sunset bar which found this end much less busy. Sunset bar - a great sometimes forgotton bar at the back of ship if you go up stairs to deck 17 and 18 a great quieter spot to enjoy views. lifts at times yes can be busy but mostly never had to wait escessive amount of time as other have said no stairs in middle seems an odd omission. some people have said ships seem confusing best advice is navigate ship on deck 7 (Starboard) especially going one end to the other much quicker than going across lido deck. live lounge busy venue mostly focused on live music Entertainment was varied to suit different taste we found live singing good much more relaxed in atrium and harmony 3 also good in live lounge bit more lively. only slight negative is some activies were repeated each day but such as games etc but this does provide a great oppourntunity to meet regularly with others. Astonishing was also good. british sailaway in port very good As others have said book shore excurisons yourself where you can we paid almost double for Flam railway if you looking forward to waterfall stop on the way this is only few minutes, as it is in effect same journey back heard good feedback bike riding back down. Bergen Funnicular was only £10.00 return approx but would advise going early as can get busy but they do move pretty quick. Stavanger - port right in town recommend a walk round world heritage site of old town but be advised can be steep to approach in places Flam see above Older port right in town stunning scenary Bergen more of walk into town but can get shuttle bus although we did no do many especially if active some great shore excursions just book yourself where you can. point to note if bergen last port on 7 night you are back on board by 2:30pm Summary Britannia is a great ship with great service if doing our cruise would reccomend a balcony however there are some areas of ships where scenary can still be enjoyed. only negative is evening buffet not the best but overall food excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First time with P O cruised with other lines to various destinations and can honestly say that this was the best!Embarkation reasonably quick considering that there was over 3000 guests to get on board.Cabin was on Fdeck forward with ... Read More
First time with P O cruised with other lines to various destinations and can honestly say that this was the best!Embarkation reasonably quick considering that there was over 3000 guests to get on board.Cabin was on Fdeck forward with balcony Camille was our cabin steward who did an excellent job keeping it clean and tidy also very friendly.We were on freedom dining allocated to the meridian restaurant this worked very well for us.We ate in the horizon buffet for breakfast on 4 mornings the other mornings we had room service which was very good this meant we could take our time and get ready at our leisure for our planned trips out.We only did one P O excursion all the others we did our own thing which was so much cheaper.Booked Flam railway online before we sailed this meant we had a carriage almost to ourselves with another couple instead of being crammed into one with the masses off the ship.Briksdal glacier booked independently well worth seeing Stavenger and Bergen easy to get around from the ship.To sum up in our opinion Brittania is a lovely ship with good food brilliant entertainment comfy cabins and excellent staff and crew what more is there to say!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was a surprise cruise for our Wedding Anniversary and wanted to celebrate in style on a 5 star Cruise ship and always wanted to enjoy the beautiful scenic views of the Norwegian Fjords. I chose The Britannia which is described as a 5 ... Read More
This was a surprise cruise for our Wedding Anniversary and wanted to celebrate in style on a 5 star Cruise ship and always wanted to enjoy the beautiful scenic views of the Norwegian Fjords. I chose The Britannia which is described as a 5 star Hotel as I wanted to enjoy the luxuries that you would expected of a 5 star Ship... including the food. We were informed that there had been a previous outbreak of Norovirus on board and were asked to declare any recent sickness/stomach problems as we checked in...not a great start !!! As we boarded were horrified to see crew members wearing purple plastic gloves cleaning the bannisters of the Atrium. We were very disappointed in the quality and quantity of the Freedom Dining Restaurants, The Main Buffet Restaurants and the outside grill snack food. All meat including the sirloin steak were of very poor quality and bland in flavour and lacking in presentation and vegetables were very sparse. I dared to ask for wholegrain mustard but was informed there was jalapeno (English) and french mustard by waiting staff who spoke only in very broken English. I asked for the mussel starter one night, there were plenty of shells and sauce was tasty but struggled to find the minute mussels (approx 2 cm). Very disappointing as spoke to a Retired Scottish Mussel Farmer who said it was very embarrassing!!! Prawns were very small more like shrimps. The chicken main course looked like a works canteen meal with two small pieces of meat on the plate very poorly presented with very few vegetables. Cheese and biscuits were very hit and miss not allowed to have certain cheeses on different night...were we on rations!!! I asked for Brie one night and was informed I could only have "monster cheese" !!! again the waitress in the Pensinular Restaurant spoke little English and could not explain the origin of the cheese. The main Buffet was also very disappointing, only small areas were open at a time, with poor quality food. Cottage pie with low quality mince, frozen/tinned carrots and were cold, Curry night again lacking in quality or quantity only 2 main curries, chicken was chewy and braised beef !!! rice very watery, very few chutneys/pickles and no Nan breads/chapatis etc... Every time we visited the Buffet we were asked if we wanted to book an extra experience for £25 each for a galley tour/sail away party as we could have unlimited canapes and a cocktail??? We were constantly encouraged to book at the Al-a-cart Restaurants for an extra £25 per person each time. The outside grill and pizzeria were equally poor, tasteless meat patties posed as beef burgers, chewy cold chicken in breadcrumbs sat next to uncovered salad and chips in small bowls, slices of very thin anemic looking pizza looked very unappetising. I could write reams regarding the food experiences in the main Restaurants on the Britannia but won't bore the reader too much. I feel I had to make the above comments as I compare this very disappointing experience to the great food experience aboard The Arcadia we made over 3 years ago, where the quality and quantity of the food surpassed our expectations. We will not cruise on The Britannia again or entertain the new Ship Iona this was also the opinion of many we spoke to on this trip!!! Sorry to say P and O have compromised their high standards and will lose loyal customers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I just cannot believe some of these negative comments as the one it was full of over 70's, yes there was a fair share of the older generation, but this cruise was a good cross section of people. This was my 1st cruise as a passenger, ... Read More
I just cannot believe some of these negative comments as the one it was full of over 70's, yes there was a fair share of the older generation, but this cruise was a good cross section of people. This was my 1st cruise as a passenger, as for 7 years in the 1990's I was a staff member on many different ships. So this should be a very critical review as I am aware of customer service. I cannot fault anything apart from the shop sale day and it was a mad scram, but that too was fun and never realised there were that many passengers on here as the ship is so well equipped with lounges, bars and restaurants and all very clean. The cabin was brilliant our stewardess was Barbara and nothing was too much trouble. The entertainment was great although we never saw many shows and finally the dining experience was amazing, we had freedom dining, which I can highly recommended, the choices were excellent, but if you wanted something that wasn't on the menu, they would always try and oblige. And finally the on board photographers were polite, very professional and not pushy on you purchasing there photos, but helped it was all done by computer and you can view and order at your convenience. Sorry this is such a long review, but I cannot say enough about this beautiful ship and all of it's staff. Also it helped because the weather was superb and that is just luck of the draw. So although the shore excursions were quite pricey we were very selective what we went on and they were well knowledgeable and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Our second cruise on this lovely ship, a vessel that’s low on bling and high on understated style. Balcony room E322, serviced impeccably by steward Valens, was clean and in very good condition. Love having a proper-sized shower with ... Read More
Our second cruise on this lovely ship, a vessel that’s low on bling and high on understated style. Balcony room E322, serviced impeccably by steward Valens, was clean and in very good condition. Love having a proper-sized shower with glass door instead of a curtain. Big TV with tremendous movie selection, plenty of tea & coffee, fridge if you need it. Superbly comfortable bed. Balcony a little on the small side but fine for 2. All public areas on the ship are spotless and very tastefully decorated - if you want glass lifts and chrome fittings this is not the ship for you. Dinner in the main restaurant (freedom dining) was consistently excellent, other eating experiences as follows: Horizon Buffet: a serious bun fight at times (some punters went at it like they’d never seen food before) but quality good and always plentiful. Poolside: lovely cheeseburger and fries. Sindhu: the star of the ship in my opinion, incredible quality and taste, an absolute bargain at £20 per head. Glass House: great for lunch, the small plates are imaginative, well-cooked and great value at £6.95 for 3. Limelight Club: another lovely meal, entertainment by Claire Sweeney was good fun. Well worth 25 quid for something different. Drinks on P&O are very reasonably priced and all the wines we tried were decent - you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good bottle. We found the service in all areas, at all times, to be very friendly and efficient. The staff work tirelessly and show great patience when occasionally faced with a minority of passengers who appear to have been born without manners. Didn’t get too involved in the entertainment, but J’Adele was fantastic - almost a carbon copy. Ports of call Stavanger: lovely town, good for a wander with lots to see. Flam: Small, but a beautiful location. Olden: a bit bigger, with a nice little church, but not much else. Bergen: great for a wander again, picturesque harbour. Overall I would urge anyone to give Britannia a try, she’s a great ship and a wonderful all-round experience. There are negative reviews out there, but some people are just impossible to please and would whinge if you offered them £10 notes for a fiver. Go with a relaxed attitude and an open mind and I reckon you’ll love it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Being a first time cruiser myself and my friends had no idea what to expect. The Brittania exceeded all of our expectations!.. We had the most amazing experience from the minute we turned up at Southampton. Embarkation was really well ... Read More
Being a first time cruiser myself and my friends had no idea what to expect. The Brittania exceeded all of our expectations!.. We had the most amazing experience from the minute we turned up at Southampton. Embarkation was really well organised and stress free, and from the minute we stepped onboard we felt relaxed and at ease.There were many good points about this cruise but the one thing we all agreed on that made the holiday was the staff. We met so many friendly and helpful staff members who went out of their way to make our experience special, and to chat with us about the ship! The choice of food and dining experiences were fantastic, and we never felt bored with what we were eating. We chose freedom dining which worked so well for us as it gave us the flexbibility to enjoy our day without feeling rushed for dinner. We also booked 2 evenings in the Limelight Club watchin Claire Sweeney and Christina Bianco and these were both fantastic shows. Entertainment on board was so varied and seemed to have something to please everyone. Neil Oliver and his entertainment staff work so hard, but a big shout out has to go to Jo B who got up to sing karaoke with one of our party, she really didnt have to but went out of her way and made his evening. Brittania is a beautiful ship and we loved its decor. We went for an inside cabin and a concern was that we would feel claustraphobic but this wasnt the case. Cabins were clean, comfortable and the beds so comfy with pillows to die for!! All in all we would have to be really picky to find anything wrong with our holiday, as a matter of fact we enjoyed it so much we booked while onboard for our next cruise, only 18 months to go and cannot wait! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Selected this cruise because we wanted to visit the Norwegian fjords, and this suited out schedule. In reviewing this cruise, I am comparing with a previous experience - Celebrity Solstice one week from Barcelona to Tunisia, Italy and ... Read More
Selected this cruise because we wanted to visit the Norwegian fjords, and this suited out schedule. In reviewing this cruise, I am comparing with a previous experience - Celebrity Solstice one week from Barcelona to Tunisia, Italy and France. Initially embarkation works quite well. We taxied from Southampton airport to terminal where our bags were whisked away from the taxi and delivered to our cabin. Registration and boarding was somewhat slow, and no complimentary drinks or snacks were served. See cabin review for cabin details. There was a choice of dining when booking. Club dining - where you are allocated a restaurant (2), table and a time for eating dinner. Freedom dining - where you are allocated a restaurant (2), but can dine when you like, and at whatever table size you prefer. Menu seemed to e the same which ever option selected. In addition to the 4 dining rooms allocated to Club and Freedom, there were three specialty restaurants each of which have a cover charge which ranged from about £20 to about £30 per person for a 3/4 course dinner, and a fourth - The Glasshouse - which offered a la carte dining. Additionally there is a large buffet restaurant operating all day - including dinner - and is excellent for breakfast. Breakfast and lunch are available from most restaurants as well as smaller snack and pizza type poolside. Food was good in the freedom - and presumably cabin - restaurants. Service was excellent, even though these restaurants are very large. In freedom, you may have to wait for your choice of table when you turn up. But they give you a pager and you can head off and have a drink while you are waiting. Ask for a window table! Food in the specialty restaurants was better, but not of a standard that would overly impress. We did not try the Epicurean - which is supposed to be the best. On day of embarkation there was a guided tour of the ship. This is worth going on, as it can be a little difficult to get detailed information about all the facilities on board. The cabin TV is equipped with a good range of channels and movies, including Britannia's own channels offering information on the cruise and destinations. However, the destination information is very skimpy, and lacks detail of the individual excursions. Additionally, information about on board facilities is lacking. We were very luck with weather. Sunny and warm for the whole week. So deck facilities - pools, loungers, etc. - were very busy. There are two pools. One for everyone and one - Serenity - for adults only. For additional cost, you can access the Retreat area. Right at the bow, and quiet and relaxing with two hot tubs. However, quite expensive. They will try and sell you a week pass for about £100 per person. However, we took a day pass option for the first cruising day for £25. Given the subsequent schedule, we didn't use the area again, so that was a good option for us. WiFi is available on board, but is confusing and expensive. Be careful of the "pay as you go" option. There seemed to be no way to monitor usage, and we ran up a large bill - even though only using our phones for occasional email and messaging. They offer other packages, but these are also very expensive. Bars on board are well staffed, and have good selection of drinks. However, no alcoholic drinks are included, and they are expensive. Wine typically at about £6/£8 a glass. Drink packages are poorly arranged, limited in their scope and expensive. Only option was to pre-buy a number of bottles of wine. This compares badly with the creative packages offered on Celebrity cruises, where a package could include wines by the glass, beer and basic cocktails. Entertainment on board was good, but not impressive. We saw two of the shows, and went to the Lamplight specialty restaurant for dinner and a show. Service throughout the ship was good and at times excellent. West coast Norway is stunning! Particularly as we saw it in lovely weather. In Stavanger, we opted for a four hour walking tour which was not great - probably better options. However, Flam, Allusund and Bergen were wonderful locations. Highlights - the Flam railway trip, the Sugar Lump in Allusand, and the funicular railway in Bergen. If going to Norway again, we would probably fly to Bergen, and take small cruises from there. Overall we enjoyed our trip, but would not use P&O again. It is, after all, a British cruise line, and appeals to mostly British people. Britannia has a large number of internal cabins which are offered at quite low prices. So expect a significant number of tattoos and beer! We preferred the more international flavor of Celebrity cruises. Finally, we would recommend the Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ship Guide. A great book which reviews virtually every cruise line and ship in the world. Their summary of Britannia was very accurate. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our fifth cruise and first with P&O. Previous cruises have been with NCL and RCL. Overall we enjoyed our cruise very much and there's a lot to love about P&O. However, compared to other cruise lines there was some ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise and first with P&O. Previous cruises have been with NCL and RCL. Overall we enjoyed our cruise very much and there's a lot to love about P&O. However, compared to other cruise lines there was some definite shortcomings and room for improvement. Firstly things we loved about the Britannia. The balcony room F112 was the nicest balcony room we've had. Furnishings were classy and modern and in very good condition. The room attendant did his job well. As the ship is very large, it never felt busy (excluding Muster of course). There seemed to be plenty of entertainment on board and plentiful lounges. We liked the option to attend cinema screenings twice nightly in the Studio. Without doubt the real highlight for us was the paid restaurants on board. Simply the best food we've ever eaten on board a ship. We at twice at the Epicurean and twice at the Glasshouse. We also tried the Beach house (which is just a section of the buffet sectioned off). Superb quality food and exceptional service. This experience really made our cruise satisfying and enjoyable. P&O certainly give other cruise lines a run for their money when it comes to restaurant food. I would highly recommend trying these restaurants. Another positive was the Library on the Britannia. The best we've seen so far and fully stocked with books. Again, puts other cruise ships to shame. The biggest negative was the buffet in terms of range and quality, as well as the lack of drinks available for free with lunch and dinner. Let me just say that Breakfast was very good, hot and plentiful. The rest however was awful. Food left out under heat lamps was dried out and Cooks were not turning over food or replenishing often enough. Compared to the buffets we've tried on other ships, this was well below par. To make matters worse, your only choice of drinks was tea, coffee, water. No fruit juices, flavoured waters, flavoured milks ect. Again this is not something that you will find on the American cruise lines. And don't even get me started about having to pay for ice cream! When you pay a cruise fare all of these things should be offered and included. You shouldn't have to pay extra to eat quality food. My advice is stick to the main dining rooms were quality is so much better than the buffet. Our last disappointment was with our last port stop, Bergen. An amazing place with so much to see and do, but a ridiculously short stop from 7am to 2.30pm. Just so because the ship has to be back in Southampton. I would like to see P&O swap ports around to allow more time in Bergen, which is the biggest port on this itinerary. This being said, it was a lovely cruise and P&O have much to be proud of. As we've only previously cruised with American cruise lines we just felt they fell short in the buffet. Yet in contrast the restaurants on board were incredible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
It has taken a little while to post this review – but still pretty fresh in my mind. We have been on half a dozen cruises over the last few years – mainly Marella (ex Thomson) but also Royal Caribbean. This was our first cruise with ... Read More
It has taken a little while to post this review – but still pretty fresh in my mind. We have been on half a dozen cruises over the last few years – mainly Marella (ex Thomson) but also Royal Caribbean. This was our first cruise with P&O and also our first from Southampton (others were med fly cruises). CHECK IN Leaving from Southampton was just wonderful – just about perfect start and end to our holiday. The check in process was totally painless, we opted for P&O’s complimentary parking and it couldn’t have been easier. We arrived an hour and half before our check in time, were held in our cars with others for around 20 mins but then called forward to drop off point right by terminal, our car taken and guided up to check in lounge, check in took perhaps 15 mins and then straight on to ship where we found our luggage waiting for us outside our cabin. CABIN Our cabin was exactly as we expected – we had originally paid for a cabin towards the rear of the ship but had been upgrade to one midships. This is a better position with one exception – there are no stairs midships, only elevators. The cabin was very smart with a small balcony with two chairs (just room to recline them somewhat) and also two chairs inside allowing us to sit inside and enjoy the view depending on weather. Plenty of space to store clothing and pleased that there is no charge for the safe. One bonus, as newby’s to P&O, is the rule allowing you to each bring a litre of alcohol on board for consumption in your cabin. We brought some gin and also loads of tonics, our steward then provided a daily ice bucket, allowing us to have a G&T each evening which was lovely. The ship is new, very shiny and perfectly maintained. A big difference compared to RC is the lack of ‘gimicky’ facilities – so no ice rink, crazy golf, climbing wall, flume rider etc. This suited us (travelling without children, ours are grown up) but something to bear in mind. The weather was mixed but we were very glad we opted for a balcony. There is such lovely scenery in a fiord cruise so a balcony really comes into its own. There aren’t masses of communal areas where you can sit and enjoy the views. FOOD We were delighted with the dining experience. We opted for freedom dining meaning that we could turn up at any time – sometimes we had a short wait if we wanted a table for 2 but never more than 15 mins and they give you a pager. On Britannia there are three ‘main’ restaurants each serving the same food but this does mean more intimate dining than on the RC ship where there was just one main restaurant. Perhaps we were lucky but perhaps half the nights we had tables for 2 by windows which was lovely given the light evenings. The food we found excellent – at least as good as RC and better than Marella. You can see sample menus on P&O website. We did find the self service buffet a bit of a scrum – very busy at peak times for breakfast and lunch and so where time allowed we opted to use the main restaurant for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. Really enjoyed the calmer atmosphere and also appreciated the ‘lighter’ choices for lunch. One night we tried Sindhu indian restaurant for £20 pp supplement (tip, if you book online before you travel you can secure the time you need. I did hear that there are sometimes last minute discounts if you are prepared to take a chance). We enjoyed the food but perhaps next time will try the Epicuran instead. That said, the main restaurant is so good there is really no need to upgrade. Drink prices are very reasonable. We like our drinks and our bill came to an average of £40 per day for the two of us. Beers are just of £4, cocktails £7, large glasses of decent wine £7. And no service charge or tax to add (unlike RC). There are two formal nights on a 7 day cruise, the second one “Black and White” themed but normal formal dress fine for both. FACILITIES We thought the pool areas were very good – there is one lively pool area with two quite large pools including kids pool and just above a quieter adults only pool. Pools were heated and pleasant to use. Plenty of loungers (although weather wasn’t that hot on our cruise). Excellent waiter service for drinks. There is an excellent gym which was not busy. Lots of daytime activities exp on sea days. We enjoyed dance classes and esp enjoyed singing in a choir with the wonderful pianist Adam. We learnt sections of Les Mis which we performed on the last day. Great fun. The musicians generally on the ship are first class (and I am speaking as a musician). I really enjoyed both the main shows and also the tribute acts (other end of the ship) and dance band (midships) each night. The ship’s library was amazing – very large and extremely well stocked with a great variety of titles. ITINERARY A seven day cruise from Southampton is a compromise – and with two sea days (a day to get to Norway and a day to sail back) this was the case for this cruise. Two weeks or at least 10 days would be better but we only had a week available this time. We called at Stavanger, Olden, Andalsnes and Bergen. Stavanger. Cruise into port lovely, worth getting up for. We walked around the two, very easy to get to from our berth. Really enjoyed it. Visited Oil Museum (which I liked, my wife less so) and the cathedral plus the old town. Olden. Here you cruise some 65 miles inland through a narrow fiord (in a 150,000 ton ship). Just spectacular – was great having our balcony on the way in and in the afternoon sailing out. We came ashore and then booked locally for a mini bus up to the famous glacier. Lovely – although vigorous – 45 min walk to the glacier through the most beautiful valley with snow covered peaks around. This was the highlight of our holiday! By booking with the local firm we paid around £35 each instead of £55 with the ship’s excursion BUT we met another couple who have simply jumped on the local bus and paid £10 each or similar! Andalasnes. Again at the end of a beautiful fiord, wonderful scnenery. The town itself doesn’t have much to recommend - the main tourist options are the scenic train journey or hiking in the wonderful countryside around. We hadn’t booked the train – the official excursion was £80 each (!) and as they block book the train it isn’t straightforward to just buy tickets (although the train station is right in the port 50m from the ship). Also the weather was very overcast and rainy so the wonderful scenery from the train would have been hidden. So we just had a quiet day. Bergen. Wonderful cruise in to the port again, worth getting up for. The weather was cloudy and drizzly again but we got off the ship as early as we could and walked into town and straight to the funicular railway. This is worth doing BUT important to get there early. We had no wait but queues later stretched down the street. We bought our tickets in advance online but even with tickets you need to queue if it is busy. There are wonderful views from the station above and a nice walk through forest to a lake but it started to rain so we headed back down. The town itself is interesting with a very old area (World Heritage Site) just to one side of the harbor. The ship couldn’t berth in its usual spot which meant a longer walk as were in the adjacent harbor. We didn’t book any of the P&O excursions. We just though they were too expensive I’m afraid. They seemed to be busy though so perhaps it is just us! LEAVING THE SHIP AT SOUTHAMPTON Always sad to end a cruise but the disembarkation process was a joy! We elected to keep our luggage with us (so no need to put out the night before), had breakfast at 7am off the ship at 7.30am, straight through the terminal (past hundreds of cases waiting for other guests) and a 100m walk to the car park. In our car at 7.45 and home (Wiltshire) just after 9am. What a difference from our previous fly cruises! SUMMARY Can’t wait for our next cruise. Will definitely use P&O again and where itinerary allows will favour cruises from Southampton. P&O standard and ‘traditional’ approach really worked for us – loved the food, drink prices and entertainment in particular. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Traveling as part of a quite a large party [17]. First problems encountered with Cruise Personaliser having incorrect information - after a number of emails, problem was resolved, or so we thought. Some of the party had pre-booked ... Read More
Traveling as part of a quite a large party [17]. First problems encountered with Cruise Personaliser having incorrect information - after a number of emails, problem was resolved, or so we thought. Some of the party had pre-booked excursions. When we arrived in our Cabins and checked the tickets for the excursions, the wrong tickets had been issued to the wrong people. After many hours of queuing at Reception, we got the issue resolved, only to find they had then further charged the on-board accounts with the same excursions again. All in all a complete mess!! Cabin was comfortable, and we did have a shower screen this time, instead of the awful curtain we had on Aurora last year!! I did receive an upgrade from an Inside to a Balcony for an additional £200!! Would definitely recommend a Balcony for the Fjords. Mainly ate in the Restaurant [Freedom Dining], which was average, Service OK but got really annoyed with the upselling of bottled water, the severe lack of offer from the Waiters for the Cheese Course, and after dinner mints and coffee had to be requested all the time. Presentation and Quality of Food was OK. Buffet Restaurant was OK for breakfast. Reasonable choice of cooked/cold options. Tried the 'food to go' sandwiches for lunch one day which were inedible. Had a Burger and a Hot Dog from the Grill, which weren't bad. Entertainment was reasonable. Annie Lennox act was quite good, and the resident band did an 80's evening which was OK. Only caught last half of comedy night in the Theatre - Peter Piper was his name I think. Not terribly funny imho........ Being such a huge great ship, it generally didn't feel crowded too often. Managed to find some quiet areas on deck and in the Crows Nest. Personally, I think the ship is just too big, but only my opinion. This is my 3rd Cruise with P&O, and just in the couple of years since I first cruised with them, I think their standards have dropped. Sadly, I think they are trying to appeal to the mass market, and that made this cruise feel very much like a 'package holiday'. Will very much look to try a different Cruise Line for my next Cruise Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We arrived in Southampton just after midday for our 7-day cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was very smooth and easy, which is important to us as our daughter is in a wheelchair. The cruise terminal (Ocean Terminal) was ... Read More
We arrived in Southampton just after midday for our 7-day cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was very smooth and easy, which is important to us as our daughter is in a wheelchair. The cruise terminal (Ocean Terminal) was extremely crowded, but we had no problems.. Once onboard, our main concern regarding Britannia, having read numerous reviews, was soon confirmed - the lifts on this ship are totally inadequate for its size. This is made worse by the fact that there are no midship stairs (except between decks 5 and 7), meaning everyone has to use the lifts to access their cabins unless they are located aft or forward, or they are willing to take a long walk - not good planning at all! Having a wheelchair, finding a lift that wasn't full proved extemely challenging at times. Having been on approximately 30 cruises on almost as many different ships with various cruise lines, I can honestly say that the lift situation on Britannia was the worst we have experienced. For a ship with 4,000+ passengers, the lifts are just too small and there are not enough of them. Other than the lifts, our experiences were mostly positive. The ship itself is very clean and the public areas are very spacious. Our cabin was comfortable (IE Grade Balcony - Obstructed View). We were lucky as the obstruction (lifeboats & tender boats) was small compared to some of the other similar cabins on deck 8, as ours was in the gap between two tender boats. The cabin was kept very clean by our cabin steward and our request for a shower seat for our daughter was actioned immediately (we had been unable to book an accessible cabin). The food was generally excellent, both in the main restaurants and the Horizon Buffet. We were on the first dinner sitting in the Oriental Restaurant which was aft. Again, the only problem here was the accessibility, as the restaurant (on Deck 6) is only accessible by lift from the deck above due to the galley being between other areas of the ship on this deck and the restaurant. We generally found that the only way to access the lifts when going to dinner was to go up and then down again, as the lifts going down were always full. we avoided the Horizon Buffet on sea days as it was very crowded, but on other days it was fine, with a good selection of food. Having cruised on Azura and Oceana, which had assigned priority lifts for wheelchairs, we were surprised that this was not the case on Britannia, being a newer ship (only one or two small easily-missed signs near lifts suggesting that priority be given to wheelchair users). At least two or three of the lifts were also out of service throughout the cruise, which made matters worse. The food and service in the restaurant were very good, although we found the crew and staff to be generally less friendly and the service less personal than we had experienced on the Oceana, which could be to do with the size of the ship. The shows in the theatre were all excellent, with a very high-quality cast and a good variety of guest artists. Accessibility was also good with a number of aisle seats being reserved for companions of wheelchair users with parking spaces for wheelchairs next to them. The ports were all excellent and we were extemely lucky with the weather (smooth, almost calm seas throughout and warm, sunny weather in each port). The views in the Fjords were spectacular. We particuarly enjoyed the captain's daily informative and amusing briefings. Our disembarkation was also very smooth and problem-free. To summarise, Britannia is generally a nice ship but the layout in some areas, particularly the lifts and stairs, are badly planned. Unless modifications are made to these areas, we would not recommend this as the best ship to choose if you are travelling with someone who has mobility problems. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The attraction of this cruise was the Norwegian Fjords.Embarkation at Southampton was as always well organised.Ghe ship is large and the new decor a bit drab ,brown and cream colour scheme although smart was boring.The ship is always super ... Read More
The attraction of this cruise was the Norwegian Fjords.Embarkation at Southampton was as always well organised.Ghe ship is large and the new decor a bit drab ,brown and cream colour scheme although smart was boring.The ship is always super clean everywhere and the whole staff work tirelessly to keep it that way. It was half term so there were many children on board and as the weather was exceptionally hot and sunny the two main pool areas were taken over by them and they certainly enjoyed the pools.This meant using them was out for us as where the jacuzzis always full of kids. Fortunately there is a adults only pool area Serenity area to the rear and this was much quieter evening entertainment was of high quality and the on board Headliner company were outstanding.There was plenty of room at all the venues so plenty to choose from. The cabin was a little smaller than some liners but very well kept and we used the balcony a lot as the scenery as we cruised the fjords was fabulous with snow on the hills still and the villages and cruise stops in the larger ports right in the heart of the ports were easily accessed.P.&O certainly organise passenger exit and return to the ship so well. Now to the food. Although you will never be hungry on this ship the food we found to be a bit disappointing.At the breakfast buffet we found for inference the bacon to be very salty and the sausages tough,eggs were left out so went cold.at dinner in the evening fish and meat was often over cooked and vegetables either cold or not cooked at all.Soups and desserts were ok.Freedom dining was freely available and a much better option. Disembarkation at Southampton was smooth and trouble free.We would use this ship again without hesitation if the itinerary suited our needs as we know not everything will be one hundred percent perfect but P&O get it as near as possible. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
After reading the mixed reviews, we were pleasantly surprised. We thought we were joining a lifeless ship with surly staff, poor food, rubbish entertainment with hard, grey towels, a steward that enters your room unannounced and single ply ... Read More
After reading the mixed reviews, we were pleasantly surprised. We thought we were joining a lifeless ship with surly staff, poor food, rubbish entertainment with hard, grey towels, a steward that enters your room unannounced and single ply toilet paper!!! The only one of them statements that we found to be true was the toilet paper. It was hardly the sandpaper other reviewers had made it sound, just double it up... Every member of the crew we encountered were helpful, friendly and offered fantastic service. They work so hard and should be appreciated. Our cabin steward explained all we needed to know on arrival, we barely saw him after that. He would clean the room etc when we were out. Just use the ‘I’m resting’ sign supplied and they won’t walk in... The ship had been described as having no wow factor? I thought it was elegant and classy in every area, but I suppose this is personal opinion. The selection of food was amazing. We tended to use the buffet during the day and had club dining in the Oriental at 8.30. This worked perfectly for us as we ate so much during the day, often squeezing in an afternoon tea, that eating any earlier would not have been an option.... The buffet had at least 4/5 selections of hot food, usually a British dish like a roast, a curry, something Chinese and a chilli, along with masses of cold meats, seafood, salad, soup and loads of puddings. There was also Pizza, burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and chips on the lido deck. The Oriental had a great menu every night and every dish we had was fantastic, without exception. The shows are repeated, so we got to see everything we wanted and always got a seat in all venues. Eric Lanlards afternoon tea was nice, but we preferred the more down to earth offering in the Oriental. There was a selection of sandwiches, hot sausage rolls, tea cakes, crumpets and 6 different desserts, all included in your holiday. The drinks are reasonably priced, a pint of Fosters for £4.10, Peroni £4.75 and cocktails around £6. They are served to your table quickly and politely. There seemed to be something for everyone. Brodie’s is a bit of a fun pub with quizzes and bingo etc, but if you want somewhere quieter like we did, Crows Nest and the Crystal Rooms were nice alternatives. We spent a lot of time people watching in the Glass House. The entertainment we saw was great, both in the Live Lounge and Headliners. We also saw Sinbad from Brookside in the Limelight, he put on a great show in lovely surroundings. It was worth paying the extra for a night away from the hordes. Now for the negatives.... The lifts are a pain that cannot cope at busy times and the layout can be a bit confusing.... That’s it... Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise to the Fijords was spectacular. The coach journey down to Southampton was easy and we arrived mid afternoon. Embarkation went so smoothly. We were onboard approx 40 mins after arrival.The ship although very large was ... Read More
This cruise to the Fijords was spectacular. The coach journey down to Southampton was easy and we arrived mid afternoon. Embarkation went so smoothly. We were onboard approx 40 mins after arrival.The ship although very large was logistically easy to move around wit location indicators on every deck. The various public areas were quite different to suit all tastes and staff in all areas polite and professional. The prices on board for drinks were similar to city prices and very fair considering the surroundings and service received. The entertainment covered all tastes and the activities during the day we're also varied. Our room B205 was wonderful as was our room steward and he ensured everything was clean and tidy twice daily. The trips we booked, glacier walk and Funicular railway were worth the money we paid and our informative guides made the trips really interesting. The experience was very organised and professionally managed from leaving the ship to returning. Disembarking was a dream and took only 30 mins from leaving the ship to getting on the coach. Our journey home was great and went without a hitch. I would certainly recommend the whole experience to anyone. It was so much easier than the airport and we travelled through beautiful scenery whilst relaxing and enjoying all The Britannia had to offer. Marvellous. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.5
Rates 5.0 N/A

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