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

This was our first cruise and chose the Britannia because of mainly good reviews and being mainly British.. It certainly lived up to our expectations food was fantastic we chose the dine around and it does take a bit of getting used to.. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and chose the Britannia because of mainly good reviews and being mainly British.. It certainly lived up to our expectations food was fantastic we chose the dine around and it does take a bit of getting used to.. in the second week we actually preferred to go to the horizon buffet especially for breakfast you could just take your time and relax.. It definitely took us a while to find our way around the ship without getting lost .. We didn't really try out too much of the late night entertainment but did go to the limelight club twice and saw Gareth gates and claire sweeney she was brilliant! Not sure about the food though.Pizzas & burgers on decks great & quality, loads of sunbedssunbeds.. Staff were really excellent and very polite couldn't do enough! Every port was well organized with disembarkment.. We had a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was our anniversary and we saw this 2 night cruise so thought we’d book it. We’ve cruised many times before; mostly RCI, NCL, Princess and Holland America. We were excited to give P&O as we haven’t cruised with them before. ... Read More
It was our anniversary and we saw this 2 night cruise so thought we’d book it. We’ve cruised many times before; mostly RCI, NCL, Princess and Holland America. We were excited to give P&O as we haven’t cruised with them before. Overall it was OK. Not sure what we were expecting, but something seemed lacking. It didn’t have any wow factor or oomph The worst part was check in. What a ridiculous way of doing it, we’ve never done it that way before. You’re given a time to get to the terminal and if you’re early you still have to wait. 2 1/2hrs in our case. Just give people a card as they arrive like they usually do. Cabin was lovely and Clean and the bed very comfortable. We had freedom dining and the usual wait was 30-40 mins. We weren’t overly impressed with the food, it was barely warm one night and the sticky toffee pudding was chewy where it had been left under lights to keep warm and the toffee sauce was thin and bitter. They really seemed in a rush to get you in and out. Usually you get a bit of time between courses but it was take that plate and here’s your next course. Not a relaxing experience. The buffet was fine, everything you wanted, again only warm though. The shows in the theatre were good. Again, a first for us, was that there was no drinks service in the theatre. We took our own in once we knew. The major thing we found, which we’ve never experienced before, were the staff weren’t very happy or friendly. They didn’t seem to engage with people. We tried chatting to a lot of the waiters but they didn’t want to know. They work hard and weren’t rude, but there wasn’t any personality or friendliness coming through like you normally get and I would say it was 85% of the staff we came across. None of this was awful, but we felt worth mentioning. We’ve tried P&O but don’t think it’s for us. Something was definitely missing which was friendliness and atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Waited over an hour to embark.huge car park queue. Food in the restaurant and buffet is of poor quality and choice. One evening neither of us could eat the starter or the main course. Good food such as smoked salmon would run out in the ... Read More
Waited over an hour to embark.huge car park queue. Food in the restaurant and buffet is of poor quality and choice. One evening neither of us could eat the starter or the main course. Good food such as smoked salmon would run out in the buffet in 30 min and never replaced. The food in the limelight restaurant was the better. They cancelled and refunded our shore excursion 3 days before departure, but we managed to book it again on board. Entertainment was acceptable but not our taste every evening. Hydrotherapy suite was ok, but lots of thing didn't work. Majority of staff are pleasant and helpful . Reception staff were ok but not very knowledgable.we only had till 2.30 pm in. Regents Norway. Small balcony. Not enough plugs. Had to call cabin steward to show me to unplug the kettle to plug in the hair dryer with a funny plug. No shaver/ electric tooth brush charger. Very limited TV channels . Bed is comfortable. Our sheets were never changed on 7 nights. Had a bed time service with 2 little chocolates. Cabin steward was very helpful, friendly and professional ...... Read Less
Sail Date August 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
We had read the mixed reviews about P&O and decided to try Britannia out because of the good prices sailing from Southampton and because it was a new larger ship. It was probably the most straight forward journey into a ship we had ... Read More
We had read the mixed reviews about P&O and decided to try Britannia out because of the good prices sailing from Southampton and because it was a new larger ship. It was probably the most straight forward journey into a ship we had ever encountered. We were on in less than 20 minutes and the cabin was ready for us. We loved the balcony cabin (Reviewed below) and didnt find the balcony too small at all and enjoyed having breakfast on it in the mornings. Food was good and we didn't have one bad meal. We had room service every day for breakfast and this worked out well especially when we had an early start on a port day. The buffet choice is more restricted than with RC, NCL & MSC but it was still fine. The tea bags would run out and coffee machines seemed to work sporadically but often a waiter came around with jugs if this was the case. I loved the fact there was Zumba onboard so I didn't miss my regular exercise. There were classes each sea day and were very high standard. All abilities could join in as Keeley took it to three different levels. This is a trial so please P&O keep it going! The classes were full each day so the need is there! The ports were all very good, we hadn't been to most of them before, and I liked the fact they didn't charge for transfers as we had paid the higher rate when booking. Actually, we think the whole cruise was better value for money as drinks were reasonable too- the same as UK pub prices- with no added tips. We appreciated being able to have wine in our cabin without paying a service or corkage. Other cruise Ines charge to bring your own wine aboard so this was pleasing. We loved the Limelight club where we saw Jackie Graham and Chesney Hawkes on another evening. Both were very good and friendly after the gig at the meet and greet. It's a great concept with having a meal followed by music afterwards. I wish more ships did this. It was worth paying a bit more to see well known artists, in a more comfortable, intimate setting. All staff were friendly but in the spa perhaps too much so! We did a couples massage which my husband enjoyed (he had a delightful Thai woman who had just joined P&O). I was not so fortunate and had an average massage followed by a very hard sales pitch for 10 long minutes. This wiped out the relaxation benefit and was not appreciated or necessary. This member of staff will hopefully, with age, learn to be more customer cantered and talk less about herself. I also didn't need the hug she gave me at the end- most unexpected and inappropriate. We didn't use the spa again after this. The relaxation room was nice though. We would return to this ship in the future, although we probably enjoy NCL more. The staff on the ship are all pleasant but seem a bit unhappy. We missed having other nationalities onboard (we enjoy learning about other cultures) as it was almost 100% Brits. We hated the whole idea of the flag waving party but easily escaped to a more restful bar at the Crow's Nest. To sum up a fun, good value cruise on a larger, newish ship! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We booked this cruise as a last minute getaway with the intention of not getting off and spending the day in the spa and eating. P&O wouldn't normally be my first choice of cruise line and after the cruise, I would actually have ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a last minute getaway with the intention of not getting off and spending the day in the spa and eating. P&O wouldn't normally be my first choice of cruise line and after the cruise, I would actually have to say never again. The ship itself appears to be nice but upon closer inspection, a lot of the materials used felt cheap, as a result the ship, which is only 18 months old is very tatty in certain areas. Our balcony cabin felt small and cramped with low ceilings and an almost impossibly small bathroom. There were stains and marks all over the sheets when we first arrived so I had to ask the cabin steward to change them. The real let downs for me were the food and the service. The food was quite frankly disgusting, the buffet options were limited and the quality nowhere near the standard of P&O's competitors. The food in the dining room was somewhat better but was all either cold or overcooked or tasteless. Not one member of staff even smiled at us throughout our two days on board. The spa is nice, although awkwardly positioned near guest services. I felt that throughout the day they oversubscribed it to the point where it was no longer relaxing. I wonder if it was because it was a two day cruise and possibly wouldn't happen on a longer sailing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise as my husband had never been on a cruise before and we wanted to see if he liked it. We expected a 2 night cruise to be a 'party cruise' with hen dos and stag parties, and this was fine. The ship is enormous ... Read More
We chose this cruise as my husband had never been on a cruise before and we wanted to see if he liked it. We expected a 2 night cruise to be a 'party cruise' with hen dos and stag parties, and this was fine. The ship is enormous and so we hardly noticed them. Embarkation: We arrived at the specified time to mayhem. It was not clear for a while that we needed an embarkation card, which would put us in a 'first come first served' order. I discovered a desk hidden behind a screen who handed these to me. I explained that we had been told to be there by 3, with a check-in close time of 4. I was told 'we can't get you lot onto the ship all at once, so be patient'. At the desk, the lady who checked us in looked miserable. I tried to be cheery and said, 'it shouldn't be too long now'. Her response? We should be able to get rid of this lot within an hour hopefully'. She was referring to passengers still to board! Service: The ship inside is certainly impressive and enormous. It is absolutely spotless in all areas. This said, the whole cruise lacked 'wow'. Having been on a cruise before, I was at least expecting a 'Welcome to Britannia' comment, but no. The public areas are well-designed and there are plenty of places to sit. You can always find a place to sit overlooking the atrium, which is lovely. We ate in The Peninsular restaurant both nights and here the service was great. The waiters had personality and were friendly and smiley. Elsewhere on the ship, the service was attentive and responsive, but without smiles or personality. They did their job, but with no real enthusiasm or passion. When I found out from one of them that they work between 12-14 hours a day with a day off only every two weeks, I can see why perhaps their enthusiasm isn't great. Dining experience: On the first morning we didn't get to breakfast until 9. In The Horizon bar, it was a self-service buffet system. The queues were very long and didn't move quickly. When we eventually reached the hot food this was because there was never everything available and so people were always waiting for something. e.g. there were sausages, but no eggs. When the eggs arrived there were then no beans etc. Surely, knowing that 9am is going to be a busy time, they would ensure that there is a constant supply of hot food? This made finding a seat difficult as many people were just saving seats for when their food eventually arrived. The quality was good, and hot. In the Peninsula restaurant, the food was good although not particularly exciting. There were more elegant restaurants in which we could have dined, although these incurred additional charges, some up to £30 per head. Lunch in The Horizon was varied, hot and the same problems for food were not present. Excursion to Guernsey: We were asked by the Captain on the first evening to 'take our time' in going to Guernsey. He said that there would be a big rush for the tender boats, so having a leisurely start would help us and prevent long queues. The ship was not able to dock in port and so tender boats were used to get there. We decided to try to get onto Guernsey for about noon so headed to the theatre as instructed at 1115am. We were issued a ticket and asked to take a seat in the theatre. Along with 900 others. The Captain announced that as 'you have all decided to have a lie in, it has caused a problem and a backlog'. The cheek! To blame passengers for going later (as requested the night before) and to make assumptions about why that was, seems rude at the very least. We sat in the theatre for over an hour, during which time no entertainment was provided (unless you count a compere trying to get us to claps in beats of 2 and then 5). After this time we decided that we were wasting our paid for cruising time, so decided to leave the theatre and stay on the ship. It was 140pm when the Captain finally announced that the queue had gone. As the final tender to come back to the ship was to be 530pm, it wasn't great. Entertainment: The entertainment comprised a 45 minute show entitled 'Sound of The Underground' which although short was great. We saw a live band 'Pulse' who were also good. A Beatles tribute band and a vocal harmonies group 'The Overtones' were performing on the second night but we didn't see them. I heard that they were both really good. Party Cruise: As a 2 night cruise, there were many groups of hens, stags, and general drinking groups. There was definitely a party atmosphere on the cruise, and 'sail-away' on the top deck was a party. There were plenty of other places to go if you didn't want to join in. The cabin was very modern and spotless. It had a king sized bed with plenty of pillows. The balcony was small but adequate with two lounger chairs and a small table. Those groups had adjoining cabins were able to remove the partition between cabin balconies, making one bigger one. This is a great idea. The towels were not massive but big enough. The wall-mounted TV was huge although only Sky news and BBC World News channels on offer. There was a desk and office chair also. Some cabins had a sofa, although ours didn't. The shower was great, and there was a glass shower door, so no shower curtains sticking to you! Our cabin steward Martin came and introduced himself and looked after us well during our stay. He cleaned the cabin both days and replenished tea and coffee. We had proper sized mugs for tea etc which was nice. There was air conditioning, which worked well and was easy to control. The bed was comfortable and the quality of the duvet and pillows was high. A great cabin with plenty of wardrobe space, plenty of hanging space and two big mirrors. Overall, a pleasant enough cruise, but not one that 'wowed' me. Queues for the lifts were ever-present, but not too bad. That said, having pressed for example the 'down' button, the call light would go out for no particular reason, even if no lift had arrived. This was annoying. In conclusion, no 'wow', no feeling special, poor organisation for some things. Great tax-free shopping, and a good variety. My previous taster cruise was with Royal Caribbean, and although the ship was older, I felt that my custom was appreciated. On that cruise, the waiter remembered you from the night before, he knew what you hand drank, and had a conversation and laugh with you. This sounds nothing, but does make the difference. For this reason, I would choose RC over P & O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our first cruise and we were very disappointed with the service , really terrible, the ship and the food brillant but the service was terrible and it really let P&O 's reputation down. This morning the service at the Penisular the ... Read More
Our first cruise and we were very disappointed with the service , really terrible, the ship and the food brillant but the service was terrible and it really let P&O 's reputation down. This morning the service at the Penisular the waiters were so unhelpful and they were so ignorant , really really bad! I have got nine years travel experience and I have thought highly of P&O thinking it usually it's a five star but it was more like a three star . My mum and dad have been on cruises before and they said this was the worst! My Mother in law also came with us and she travelled with Thomson's and she said Thomson's was much better. Waiting this morning to come home we were treated like cattle , queueing . Why do we aka us British people put up with it and why should we ? Also there was hen and stag do's on there which kind of lowered the tone of the cruise also . I would never go on a P&O cruise again and I would never travel with a British cruise company again . American's deliver the best customer service and they won't put up with bad service like queueing and having to ask for a refill of tea and coffee etc , that should be part of the amazing service of a 5 star company !!! The waiter actually tutted when we asked for a refill and he leant across my Mum to give us a glass of orange juice , we also asked for a jug of water this morning and was told this was not possible only glasses. I have never complained about bad service but i really do feel P&O do need to listen to their customers and work on this feedback . We did wonder if P&O have just shipped in temp staff so that the normal Staff would have time off as the 14 night Ant and Dec Saturday night takeaway trip Today . It was just awful!!! A lot of people like us tried this cruise as a taster cruise to see if they liked it , I can't see the conversion rate being high after today's / this weekends terrible service . Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I don't know if it's because we were only on a two night cruise but we actually felt ripped off by this cruise. We paid just under £1000 for two nights, then paid extra for an evening in the limelight club, which by the way was ... Read More
I don't know if it's because we were only on a two night cruise but we actually felt ripped off by this cruise. We paid just under £1000 for two nights, then paid extra for an evening in the limelight club, which by the way was fab, but the choice of food in the horizon bar was pretty poor compared to other ships we've been on. Our second night was a formal night which we had no idea about and therefore as we'd only taken smart casual clothes were unable to eat in the main dining room. So we had to eat in the horizon bar which had an Indian themed buffet or you could have roast lamb....or cheese and biscuits!! Wow big choice! Such a shame because we loved the ship, we didn't even bother with breakfast on our last day, we just got straight off the ship. Overall we were very disappointed with the standard and choice of food! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have just stepped off Britannia this morning following a short trip to Guernsey . WOW WOW WOW !!! This ship does not dissapoint Most beautiful ship with opulent deco I booked this last year (on the same day we ... Read More
We have just stepped off Britannia this morning following a short trip to Guernsey . WOW WOW WOW !!! This ship does not dissapoint Most beautiful ship with opulent deco I booked this last year (on the same day we disembarked from Azura) since then we have been aboard Aurora and Explorer of the sea. We arrived early as we are very close to Southampton. Sometimes it pays off and we can get onboard early but this wasn't the case so we had a nice coffee in the terminal and relaxed. Staff were good - kept everyone informed . We boarded at our alloted time to find we could go straight to our cabin. Cabin was plush ,big and comfy. Balcony - small as always !!! I booked a superior deluxe balcony cabin - well worth paying more for. Nice touches included champagne, umbrella , bathrobes and slippers. Bathroom was slightly bigger than we have had before. really nice cabin. B326 We choose a cabin on deck 14 - I found this possibly a little too high up but my husband liked it. Just before the sail away party we were treated to The Red Arrows air display above us !! (Southampton Boatshow was on hence the Red Arrows ) this was amazing !! LIFTS - a bit of waiting but if that was the case we would walk to quieter lifts or use the stairs (why spoil your holiday by moaning?! Ship was at full capacity so not surprised we had a wait for lifts!!) We ate in the Oriental. Food fantastic. Staff were good and efficient.we opted for first sitting and we were never rushed. We ate (lightly !!) In the Horizon - buffet . food was varied, well cooked and nice. on the last day I had an omelette for breakfast - it was cooked to perfection in front of me. Seating - only once did we have to really search for a seat. We drank in the Crows Nest. Great drinks great staff beautiful settings. pianist was very good. We met him at breakfast one morning and he said he had previously played in Claridgies, Savoy Hotel and on Cunard.very talented young man! We drank in the Glass House. Polite staff , good drinks. Really nice bar. We used the casino - smaller than other ships but enough for us. The Crystal Room - beautiful . Only reason we didn't drink there was we ran out of time!!! Costa Coffee area was relaxing and coffee good. Staff polite. Theatre - watched one show ( sounds of the underground ) very good visually and vocally. Live lounge - watched Badness ( Madness tribute band) whole place joined in singing . Brilliant ! Main pool -beautiful area, lots of polite staff. Serenity pool ( closed for maintenance ) very relaxing area . lots of seats/sunbeds and wicked cocktails!!! We tried glimpsing in The Retreat but couldn't see in (we didn't go on the ships tour on embarkation when we could have seen it ) if we go onboard again we will definitely be booking into here for a day. We were shown round the spa and treatment rooms on deck 5 - beautiful . We will be booking in there as well next time ! Looked into the Limelight club - worth booking if you are considering. we didn't have enough time on such a short cruise and would have loved to have dinner in there. A must next time ! Epicurean restaurant - we don't normally book into other dinning areas but this looked so beautiful this again is a must next time. Seriously beautiful ship that we will be booking up to travel on next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Negatives:- The huge hype surrounding the introduction of Brittania to the P&O fleet created an impression of a ship and experience so wonderful that it would be "wow" from beginning to end,sadly there is no "wow" ... Read More
Negatives:- The huge hype surrounding the introduction of Brittania to the P&O fleet created an impression of a ship and experience so wonderful that it would be "wow" from beginning to end,sadly there is no "wow" at all. For such a huge ship there is a feeling of very little space inside,the Atrium feels like sitting in a comfy seat in a shopping centre, no music, no dance floor, no ambience at all. The Crows Nest though a nice place to sit and enjoy a drink and a view over the bow feels smaller,a piano plays sometimes,no bands,no dance floor. Finding a seat in any of the bars or the theatre or any of the entertainment venues is pot luck,the ship does not swallow up passengers well,it feels crowded all the time on sea days and in the evenings. The lifts are a total nightmare,supposedly designed to take 18 and they struggle to take 12 thats' if a wheelchair is not in the lift in which case forget it and wait for ever for another one which will pass your floor totally ignoring you despite your having called it,and if you are midships forget taking the stairs to the decks you require because there are none, a piece of ridiculous design that P&O should be ashamed of. The space in the ship has been dedicated to revenue generators,Oasis Spa,the shops,select dining venues etc. and cramming as many cabins in as possible at the expense of the passenger experience.The pools are small,deeper than is needed and there is no covered pool which on a ship of this size is another design error.in bad weather the whole lido deck would be unusable and the below decks entertainment areas would not cope. Positives:-Food quality is good,entertainment is good,cabins are good though smaller than other P&O ships and the bathroom though well appointed is tiny with no room to even dry yourself comfortably and I am not a big person,someone of a "larger" build would struggle!You cannot keep tabs on your account on the TV as you can on most other ships,another cost cutter! Service is mostly good,the cabin steward was excellent.Select dining, Epicurean which though good is not as good as 17 was on Azura, Glasshouse has great staff but the dining area is a mess of different style furniture with a poor ambience unlike Azura which again is great. Why the design team for P&O did not take the positives form the rest of the fleet and incorporate them into Brittania in a proper way instead of paying lip service to them is beyond me. Brittania, probably at the behest of Carnivals' bottom line, is a revenue generating machine at the expense of the passengers she carries. A great opportunity messed up by the money boys,we will not be using Brittania again. Read Less
Sail Date September 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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