Having read quite a few negative reviews and comments about Britannia in her first few months of operation, we set off on our journey to Southampton with open minds, determined to try her for ourselves and to have a great cruise. We were ... Read More
Having read quite a few negative reviews and comments about Britannia in her first few months of operation, we set off on our journey to Southampton with open minds, determined to try her for ourselves and to have a great cruise. We were not disappointed! There is a lot that P&O have got right with Britannia.
First, let's get the little "niggles" out of the way. In our stateroom, grade HF Balcony, there was only one set of bedside drawers - so - put your underwear somewhere else! There was no bedside light, only lighting that stretched right across the back of the bed - so - take a tiny torch so you don't wake your sleeping partner up by having to put the lights on. You can easily get lost on your first few days - it's a big ship for heavens sake - you more than likely will get lost. However:-
The staterooms are well decorated with comfortable beds, a large, wall mounted, flat screen TV and, in our stateroom, two full length mirrors. The shower is larger than most with glass surround rather than a shower curtain and it has two very useful shelves inside, as well as a ledge which is useful to put a foot on to be able to wash your feet! Most of the public rooms are beautifully decorated with well chosen furniture and furnishings. We particularly liked the Crow's Nest, the Crystal Room and the Atrium. We never failed to get a seat in the Horizon buffet or the Costa coffee shop. We enjoyed all our food on Britannia and the service was excellent.
Entertainment on board was, for us, fair rather than good, but we enjoyed all the quizzes and the LED screen in the theatre was a great enhancement to the shows. Dancing in the Crystal Room was ballroom, no sequence, which was a disappointment as it's a lovely room and great not to be having to dance in the Atrium, as on some P&O ships.
Embarkation and disembarkation were quite reasonable. There was a slight hold up getting on the ship because of an air-bridge fault and there was confusion getting off because reception were giving different advice to that of the disembarkation crew.
Our main "gripe" on this cruise was nothing to do with Britannia - it was, in fact, the behaviour of some of our fellow passengers. It is quite evident that some people just regard themselves as "special". We joke about some of our European cousins putting towels on sun loungers to reserve them but, believe me, some Britannia passengers beat them easily! There are plenty of loungers for everyone if people will not reserve them and leave them empty for hours at a time. Sadly, despite notices in the daily Horizon, this happened all the time. There are some very comfortable 3 seater settees on deck and you would see one person laying down on them whilst others were walking around looking for somewhere to sit. Almost all of our evening meals were disturbed by a young couple on a nearby table who insisted on bringing their tired and crabby toddler down to diner. In fact on more than one occasion the father literally dragged the youngster along the carpet to the table. The toddler, most nights, screamed his way through the meal. On disembarkation there was drama when one woman flatly refused to obey an officer's request to return to the deck above, even when a lift was called for her - pure soap opera stuff!
The Atlantic crossing was a good one and overall we were very happy with Britannia and would happily sail on her again. Just bear in mind that she is a big ship and carries a lot of passengers and this is where, if we have one, our hesitation to travel on her again would be. Read Less