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8 P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Europe - British Isles & Western from Southampton

For a Flag Ship & so new, certain areas looking tired already. Our mistake was not appreciating a "weekend" cruise would be full of badly behaved stag/hen parties! Also, Freedom Dining, as included was very average & the ... Read More
For a Flag Ship & so new, certain areas looking tired already. Our mistake was not appreciating a "weekend" cruise would be full of badly behaved stag/hen parties! Also, Freedom Dining, as included was very average & the buffet very underwhelming. The specialised restaurants were much better but of course at a price - not only a supplement but food supplements too. As a small group who wanted to sit together for dinner - not unreasonable - the only option to be able to book a table at a sensible time, was to dine at one of the specialised restaurants! Catch 22 situation. The "Formal" dining night requested was rather extreme for the ship/the clientele. Having been on a couple of other cruise ships, nothing about this experience will get us rushing back to this ship or PO I'm afraid. Recommend you read the reviews very carefully before committing. Overpriced for what it is, sadly. Lesson learnt. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on ... Read More
Living just 40 minutes from Southampton docks means we can take advantage of short two and three night cruises regularly, in fact this cruise was booked much further in advance as we were going as a group of six taking two passengers on their very first cruise ship, we booked the cabins on a select fare meaning we could choose our cabin, dining preference and also receive an on board spend of £25 per person. We travelled to Bruges which we have been lucky enough to go to a couple of times and on this occasion we stayed on board and enjoyed the sunshine from the adult only pool on the top deck but if you have never been it is well worth a trip into, it’s very picturesque and also has some of the finest chocolate shops of anywhere in the world and they almost always give free samples. Boarding Britannia was docked at the Ocean Terminal, we turned up at the allotted time of 1300 on our ticket and were straight into the check in system without a wait, we queued for less than 3 minutes before we were seen, it was quick and efficient and after a short check in we were heading to security, we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at the terminal, boarding into the stunning atrium and after a quick picture it was up to the buffet. Cabin GE Grade clear view balcony with sofa, G deck forward. First impressions were that the cabin was clean, light and airy. As you walk through the door you see the usual cabin layout, I was particularly impressed with the doing away off closed wardrobes with it instead being open and walk in rather than the standard closing door wardrobes. Moving into the bathroom we had a larger bathroom than the other members of the fleet, excellent bath products from the white company, moving through to a comfy queen size bed and two seater sofa which in our cabin could also be made into a sofa bed. The balcony as other passengers have said is a little on the small side and when opening the gate to the next door cabin it was hard to get in and out of our door. Restaurant We were seated both evenings on a set dining at 2045 in the Oriental restaurant, first impressions of the restaurant was it was smart, spacious and clean. On previous experiences with P&O I have found the food offering to be very middle of the road, nothing to write home about. Britannia has done some great work in restoring my faith in P&O’s food offering. I won’t bore you with the details of menus but the highlights for me were the Hampshire smoked trout starter, the beef wellington and as always they still offer a really great cheese board at the end of every meal. A quick note on the service, which was excellent, the waiter, his assistant and the wine waiter were all very happy, smiley and knowledgeable, making the service look effortless. A quick note on the buffet which also had an excellent range of food and was a much more pleasant space than many ship buffets, it was more spacious than some of the slightly older ships. Bars We particularly enjoyed the crystal room, it was a beautiful room with a large dance floor and offered a slightly more adult disco, the live lounge had a fantastic band playing although it was completely packed. We also visited the crow’s nest which was considerably larger than many ships it was also very beautiful with wonderful views, all bars we went into seemed to to have comfortable chairs with clean menus and an efficient staff. Spa Like most things on board the spa is large in expanse, however I was slightly disappointed as the thermal suite which we added was on the smaller side and neither steam room worked, the thermal pool however was very nice although the noise of the shower and bubbles being produced somewhat made the relaxation beds a little pointless and I found the general appearance lacked compared to other areas with pool towels and glasses everywhere which was a little bit of a shame. Those travelling with us took massages and were incredibly happy with both the deep tissue and the hot stone massage. Entertainment Aside from the excellent music playing in the bars during the evening, there was the theatre which hosts two shows each evening, the theatre itself is not huge for the number of passengers on board so if you don’t want to stand at the back it is worth to get there a little in advance, the show we caught was a Four seasons tribute which I think they do often have on these shorter cruises, they were a professional act and the show came across this way with excellent lighting and acoustics to match. During the day if the weather permits as mentioned above you can take advantage of the pools on the top deck, the adults only area towards to front end with pool and ample seating and bar was far more relaxing than the family area in the mid section where they had loud music playing throughout the day, it was a real positive that they had these two very different areas catering for almost everyone, there is also a small pool at the aft of the ship with a further bar this again was slightly quieter. We were not travelling with children so cannot comment on their facilities. Disembarkation Much like all disembarkation's it was very smooth, we disembarked at our allotted time after breakfast and picked our luggage up from the terminal and we were on our way home. General ship view The one thing that will hit you when you just arrive at the port is that the ship is huge, this view won’t change on boarding, a wonderful atrium with bars, shops and winding stair cases, be sure to get some pictures here on formal night. The one downside to Britannia’s size is that everywhere is a long distance walk but always worth it as the product on board is stylish and offers a five star style environment that I think P&O have lacked slightly on their other ships. Everybody also seemed to dress to the occasion and there were very few passengers who didn’t dress for the formal evening with black tie in abundance. An extra note was that as this was a two night cruise we didn’t have a full chance to experience everything and it would almost certainly have more to offer on a longer cruise. I have to praise P&O as the staff on board we all excellent, and they have certainly upped their game in terms of ship appearance. Overall this was an enjoyable two night break on board their flagship and I would not hesitate to return. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as a first time taster.Just 6 nights.Firstly the food was excellent we had an amazing choice either buffet or served in main dining room.Anything we had was fresh and well cooked could not fault at all.Room service ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a first time taster.Just 6 nights.Firstly the food was excellent we had an amazing choice either buffet or served in main dining room.Anything we had was fresh and well cooked could not fault at all.Room service again was 5 star our cabin steward kept our room in a clean fresh environment.The cabin itself was of good size and nice decor.We had a leaflet placed in our cabin every day to let us know what was happening on board.The entertainment in the evening was of an amazing standard and kept us well entertained every evening.The staff were always helpful and pleasant.The ship had lots of places to have a quiet and peaceful time if you wanted.The only downside on Britannia were the lifts and stairs.Depending on where you were the stairs were at one end of the ship which meant you had to wait sometimes for a lift to arrive.Also another tip is to take any unused hangers of the clothes rail as they rattle about when the ship moves about.Would we cruise again on Britannia yes most definitely really enjoyed our short cruise.Also If it is rough at all you do not get into Guernsey.We talked to a lot of other people who had cruised before and had not got into Guernsey on other occasions either so I would avoid Guernsey on your itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose the mini cruise to Bruge. Embarkation was very quick . We checked in at 12.45 and by 13.20 we were enjoying lunch. We had a cabin with balcony on G deck. Lovely cabin with sofa lovely compact shower and loo room. Balcony with ... Read More
We chose the mini cruise to Bruge. Embarkation was very quick . We checked in at 12.45 and by 13.20 we were enjoying lunch. We had a cabin with balcony on G deck. Lovely cabin with sofa lovely compact shower and loo room. Balcony with chairs and small table. Why people complain about size is beyond me . The same moaning about lifts , how many do you want .? There was never a problem even with so many people on board . did freedom dining The food was excellent . Someone moaning about curry every meal? Think they should get out more. Same with shops . The goods were limited but very good if you want more go to a shopping centre. The atrium area is lovely . Great place to sit relax people watch have to say it wasn't the warmest area as was the crystal room so an extra layer helped. Plenty of entertainment . Have to say the duet in Brodie's were awful . The excursion to Bruges was excellent Roger was brilliant , very knowledgable and very funny . Black tie meal in meridian was excellent . All the staff were lovely polite and helpful. Overall can't wait to go on Britannia again . Some of the negativity is laughable some people need to get a life if all they can moan about is brown doors dull corridors poor shops etc etc . People need to read what there getting for there money instead of moaning after the event . Rule Britannia Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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
This was a taster weekend to Bruges Brussels however the port was changed to Le Harve in France due to the terrorist attacks. We understood this but there is nothing to do in Le Harve and it was a terrible choice of port. Embarkation ... Read More
This was a taster weekend to Bruges Brussels however the port was changed to Le Harve in France due to the terrorist attacks. We understood this but there is nothing to do in Le Harve and it was a terrible choice of port. Embarkation - nightmare absolute nightmare we travelled as a family and were told we could board together, not so the check in staff were utterly rude to us really upsetting my elderly mum. Insisting she either board or wait another 3 hours until we were allowed to board. I found it all to be madness we booked this trip in August 2015 and to be told we could board at3.30 was disgraceful especially as we paid to upgrade our room to a cabin suite. Once boarding our luggage didn't arrive until 6:30pm so we couldn't make use of the swimming pool we were sent the wrong luggage labels and the cases went to another room! No apology here either, as first time cruisers we didn't check the luggage tags they sent us to our boarding card why would we! Once aboard service was slow waiting 45mins for drinks, half of the facilities were closed and only one jacuzzi open to the whole ship!! Unless of course you paid £25 each extra for the retreat! Erm who is prepared to pay this when we have paid £650 already for a weekend taster !! Disembarkation was like a cattle market no staff visibility people pushing in all over the place! It was awful and never been treated so bad from a tourist company. Expected more from P&O ship is beautiful but that is nothing with shoddy rude service and lack of ownership !! I would warn all people who are considering parting with their cash to think booking with another company Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
As an ex Deck Cadet with P&O Cruises, this was my first experience of the present-day company, and I can only say it was a great disappointment! I have sailed with other Cruise Lines, and this was by far the worst experience. We ... Read More
As an ex Deck Cadet with P&O Cruises, this was my first experience of the present-day company, and I can only say it was a great disappointment! I have sailed with other Cruise Lines, and this was by far the worst experience. We were going to book for a Norwegian Cruise on Britannia this July.....not now! Do not book a central cabin! Our cabin was amidships, very close to the central staircase & lifts, however there was NO staircase above deck 7, only lifts, which got really busy.....we had to walk to the forward or aft stairwell/lifts to go up one deck!...ridiculous! The central point of the ship, the Atrium, is a 3 deck balconied area with NO atmosphere. There is no entertainment , no stage, no piano, no background music.....nothing! The majority of staff were excellent, however, some in the dining room were, at best, ignorant. The sports deck was cordoned off for the forthcoming Ant & Dec show, so there was no way to walk/run around the main/promenade deck deck. Disembarkation was an absolute mess!!!!! Apart from all the above....we had a great time, and the food was the best I have experienced!..... thanks P&O! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Well, having just read some of these reviews, I wonder if we were on the same ship. We enjoyed our time on BRITANNIA. It is a modern ship, muted colours etc. and we had read that this would be the case, so expected it to be no ... Read More
Well, having just read some of these reviews, I wonder if we were on the same ship. We enjoyed our time on BRITANNIA. It is a modern ship, muted colours etc. and we had read that this would be the case, so expected it to be no different. The Art on the ship was different but again modern. Our cabin was spacious, there was only two of us and we had plenty of room, our shower room was far larger than others we have had with other lines. Our cabin was spotless as was our balcony. Thank you Sanford. Having been on several other lines and experienced the chaos in the equivalent to the Horizon Restaurant, we were very pleasantly surprised on Day 1, this area was calm and there were plenty of tables to be had. The layout of it gave you the feeling of calmness and efficiency. The tables were cleared as soon as our cutlery was placed on the plates. Plenty of food and very good service. We found the service we received everywhere on the ship to be excellent. I wonder if the professional moaners have ever heard of " behaviour begets behaviour" which speaks for itself and oh boy! were there moaners on this ship? I suppose that's their life and that's all that makes them happy. We had Freedom Dining in the evening and this worked for us brilliantly. We also booked to see Jackie Graham in the Limelight Club, it was a superb evening, both food and show was excellent and well worth the extra money. The entertainment in the Headliners Theatre was very good, Richard and Adam, Craig Owen and Worbey and Farrell were all excellent. We did however find the food to be good but ( sorry ) not excellent in the Meridian Restaurant. It was plain and not exciting. The ports were very good and the excursions we participated in we thoroughly enjoyed. We took the scenic train in Flam and couldn't believe the amount of snow in the mountains, it being end of April. The Glacier trip in Olden was also very good, with spectacular views. Disembarkation looked horrendous when we joined the queue for taking our bags ourselves, but we were due to leave the ship at 7am, which we did and we were in the coach park waiting to be collected at 7.15am. All in All we would like to Congratulate P & O on the new ship BRITANNIA. Thank you for our wonderful holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 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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