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67 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

We had been recommended to P&O by a friend who had previously been on Britannia and had really enjoyed it, so we thought we'd give it a try ourselves. The itinerary were all places we had never visited before, and looked ... Read More
We had been recommended to P&O by a friend who had previously been on Britannia and had really enjoyed it, so we thought we'd give it a try ourselves. The itinerary were all places we had never visited before, and looked really good. We took the bus down to Southampton, which was really useful and meant we didn't have to drive. Embarkation and disembarkation was excellent with no problems and was efficiently run. The ship's decor is a little different to the normal american decor we're used to, but in some ways it was a nice change. Having no lift in the centre of the atrium didn't bother us, and we simply worked around it. The ship was very clean and in good working order and was kept spotless. The cabin was a good size and I mention about it in more details below. We chose freedom dining as it has always worked for us and we had dinner in the meridian restaurant on deck 6. The service in the restaurant was excellent and we never had to wait for a table. After the first night, we sat in the same place night after night and the two waiters in that section were very friendly and accommodating to our slightly requirements to say the least. It never felt rushed and we enjoyed the experience. The was always a queue though after we exited the restaurant after about 7:30pm, so we always had dinner earlier, which suited us fine. We did have a slight gripe about the horizon buffet food though. There wasn't a massive selection and some of the service was a bit hit and miss. Ice cream we found wasn't free, like it is on other cruise lines, which was a bit disappointing, especially after a day in port. The was a range of activities such as dancing, port talks, iPad classes, etc which was nice. A guest speaker called Gloria Barnett did numerous talks about the sea and the various types of life living there as well as human impacts etc. It was fascinating and very interesting. There was something to do for us all. The Headliners shows were very good, although in our opinion there was too many comedians and not enough variety of other types of acts. Shame really, otherwise we enjoyed them and watched all the shows offered. Ports now. Lisbon We did it ourselves and simply walked into town. Took about 20 minutes walk. Interesting city to walk around the streets and we also took a tram ride to Belem which has some nice sights too. Cadiz (Seville) We took the "Sights to Seville" P&O tour to Seville that was definitely worth it. Even though we didn't have too longer time there we really enjoyed ourselves and saw many of the important attractions Seville has to offer. The tour guide was really knowledgeable and we learned a lot about the region and its history. Marseille We decided to simply stay in Marseille instead of going elsewhere. We got the shuttle bus into town and the got the little tourist train N1 to the Notre Dame Church on the top of the hill, which is worth a visit. Lovely views. Interesting little tour with commentary. After that we simply walked around the waterfront and shopping areas. Nice place to have a walk around. Monaco A great place to visit especially with the motor racing that is held there. We tendered just out of Monaco and had a leisurely walk around and visited all the main sights. We even managed the trek up to the palace, even in hot temperatures. In the evening there were having a firework display an it was Austria's time to give their firework display in the competition. Very nice to watch. La Spezia We took the train to the Cinque Terre ports which was very easy and we enjoyed visiting 4 out of the 5 villages. We tried to visit Corniglia, but there was too many people wanting to get on the very tiny bus at one time, so we gave up and moved to the next village. They were all worth visiting and were all very different. Cagliari A real disappointment to be honest. P&O had shortened our time there from 8 hours to 5 hours due to a operational problem or something. Anyway we were going to visit Nora, but did not have enough to visit it to our hearts content so we stayed in Cagliari itself. The city itself was very quiet on a Monday and there was tons of graffiti and most things were closed. It seemed most of the passengers did the same thing as us and were back on the ship after about 2 hours. Not worth a visit otherwise. Gibraltar A lovely place to visit. We got the shuttle into town. Very useful. There is not many attractions so to speak but we went on the cable car, even me who's scared of heights tried it, simply to visit the rock itself. It was worth it. We went and saw the Barbary macaques. There are cheeky so and so's. One nicked my hat by jumping onto my shoulders and didn't seem to want to give it back until it got food from the taxi drivers. Great view though up there. Had wander around the town and had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
After 20 cruises with various companies including P&O this was our most disappointing we had a balcony cabin (the shelf the two chairs and table provided could not be used together.) on the plus side the cabin though smaller than some ... Read More
After 20 cruises with various companies including P&O this was our most disappointing we had a balcony cabin (the shelf the two chairs and table provided could not be used together.) on the plus side the cabin though smaller than some was spotless and the cabin steward was brilliant. The food in the self service restaurant was hit and miss sometimes cold and dry other days very good, we gave up using the freedom dining restaurant because of the often 40 minute waiting time many of the bar staff were to put it bluntly rude when we asked one member of staff what was the matter was his reply was that many of the crew did not like the ship and were not happy and wished to be off. We will sail with P&O again but not on the good ship Britannia. Britannia rules the waves we think not !!!!. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
As a first time single traveller and first time with P&O I was understandably nervous about this cruise. First impressions were I disliked Britannia, however as the days went by I got to like the intamacy of the ship, so many places to ... Read More
As a first time single traveller and first time with P&O I was understandably nervous about this cruise. First impressions were I disliked Britannia, however as the days went by I got to like the intamacy of the ship, so many places to go and never crowded, even on sea days. Food was dull and repetitive and too British, waould have loved to be served regional food from the counties visited. Sailaway parties were awful and best avoided, Rule Britannia and Gos Save the Queen just made me cringe! Cabin F331 great, well appointed and suited my need nicely. All the staff were amazing, can't praise them enough. Specially restaurants amazing, and the Limelight Club amazing, Madeline Bell and Jackie Graham were awesome. Loved the Live Lounge, The ship Group Pulse were great and made me want to dance! Overall a great holiday, but a warning to single men, keep your status to yourself or you may receive far more attention from the single ladies than you bargained for! As for being too British I was disappointed not to meet people from other countries, the Brits can be a bit insular and extremely negative, far to many unjustified moans were heard! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my 11th. cruise and my third (in a row) on P&O. I always said I wouldn't travel on the really big ships, but Britannia has single cabins and this particular cruise fitted with my holiday time from work-and this trip ... Read More
This was my 11th. cruise and my third (in a row) on P&O. I always said I wouldn't travel on the really big ships, but Britannia has single cabins and this particular cruise fitted with my holiday time from work-and this trip almost halved the cost from my 2015 cruise because of the single person cabin costs. I will split this review into sections as I have done before, starting with.... Demographics. We sailed from Southampton and the passengers were almost exclusively British. There were a large contingent of Scots and, apart from the crew, I only heard three foreign accents. There was a German speaking Swiss couple and an eastern European guy-possibly Polish/Latvian/Estonian, otherwise the ship was full of Brits. There was a wide range of ages with young families up to senior citizens. I'll will come back to this in another section. Embarkation/Disembakation. I drove down to Southampton as I opted for free car parking as opposed to onboard credit. P&O use Cruise & Passenger Services (CPS) for the car parking. CPS are very good and my car was taken to a secure compound on my arrival at Southampton Docks. I was directed into a large hall to be checked in. I was told that I was almost an hour late as I should have been there at 1230 and not 1330. I showed my letter stating my time was 1330 but I was told that another letter was sent out to my address advising me of the earlier time. I never received this second letter. I was "fast tracked" through bookings and I was on the ship in under 15 minutes. Disembarktion was just as quick. I opted for "walk off". That is anyone who could carry their own luggage could leave the ship between 0700 and 0800. I was on the road home by 0800. Other cruise companies should take a leaf out of P&O's methods-everything was very smooth with no problems. Brilliant! Ships crew. The male crew-that is the waiting staff/bar staff/cabin stewards-were almost all Indian with a few female Filipino staff. The officers were of several nationalities but the language spoken was English. All of the crew were extremely friendly and very helpful. They couldn't do enough for the passengers. My cabin steward-Lloyd-was very good and very efficient. The ship itself/Cabins. Britannia is a new ship-it was launched in 2015. The fixtures/fittings were comparable to other cruise ships I have travelled on-not my taste, but not too garish. I had a single cabin (with a considerable saving on my last cruise). This was an inside. The cabin wasn't too small but not too big. After all, you're only sleeping there anyway. The bed was of generous proportions-far bigger than a "normal" single bed. plenty of storage and wardrobe space with a loo, shower and basin with a large mirror. Not bad for a single cabin! Food/drink. I opted for set time dining in the Oriental Restaurant. I was on a table of six-all single travellers. Myself, Pete, Sonia, Annette, Anne and Jeremy. We all got on very well. The food in the restaurant was top notch. The meals every night were exceptional-although I asked for an extra gravy boat every night as I like my meals to be swimming in gravy. Our waiters brought me extra gravy every night. The Horizon Buffet was-again-exceptional. Mornings were the usual "Full English" breakfast-sausages, bacon, eggs cooked various ways, black pudding, baked beans, tomatoes etc...Also there was a large selection of cereals, fruit, muffins (for breakfast?), Danish, cheeses, breads. I could list them all but it would take a while. Lunch and evening meals were all varied and the passengers were almost spoilt for choice. I won't even try to list what was on offer but it was all fantastic. As too the drinks on board. This is one subject I get very annoyed about. P&O claim to be charging "pub prices". Not where I drink they aren't. The draught beers included Carling/Peroni/John Smiths/Old Speckled Hen/Guiness/Stella and others. You also have the choice of premium bottled beers, spirits, Champagne, red/white wines, cocktails etc. The draught beers-served in Imperial (British) pints-were charged at just under £4 a pint. In my regular pub, I'm paying £2.95 for a pint. I spoke to several London travellers and they said the same thing. P&O need to reduce the beer prices to a more reasonable amount. I opted to drink San Miguel (bottled) but again these were charged at £4 a bottle. Far too much. Excursions. I did a vineyard in Mallorca, one in Cartegena and again in Lisbon. I did the Gonzales Byass sherry vineyard in Cadiz. All very enjoyable and booked through P&O before I travelled. I also booked the Freixedent Cava vineyard in Barcelona, but unknown to me, the time of the trip had been changed and I missed the bus. I do take partial responsibility as I didn't check the time on my ticket. I instead went on a highlights of Barcelona trip. This was awful as we did the Sagradia Fimilia Basilica. I did this last year on Ventura. The problem is that the Basilica is THE most famous attraction in Barcelona (next to Barcelona Football Club) which means the were several thousand people in and around the Basilica and all of the pavements are full of people. Not fun at all. The trips were a little pricey but I think just about worth the money. If you decide to "do your own thing" in the ports of call or hire a local guide, be aware that these people are NOT obliged to return you to the ship for sailaway and it would be your own responsibility to get to the next port. The ship will not wait for anyone as the captain has a schedule to keep. Entertainment. There were the usual shows in the Headliners Theatre performed by the "in house" troupe of singers/dancers. I don't do shows but reports of the shows were "fantastic". There was a guest speaker-a Mr Brian J. Ford-who is a fellow at Cardiff University. He lectured on various topics and his talks were very informative and enjoyable. His lectures were not well attended until word got round resulting in his last lecture being almost "standing room only". There were also guest bands and singers. The first guest band was a UB40 tribute. I wantd to see them and I went down to the Live Lounge only to be confronted with a completely full bar and I almost couldn't get in the door. The bar itself was two or three deep and it was standing room only-if you could get in the door. I tried again for the later show but this was even worse. The second band was "Badness" who were a Bad Manners/Madness tribute along with other Ska music. Ska is a favourite of mine but again the Live Lounge was completely full to overflowing and again you nearly couldn't get in the door. I tried to see the second show to no avail. Too many people, not enough room. Observations. These are not criticisms, just things that I don't understand why people do the things they do. As I said above in "Demographics" there were various ages on the ship. What I don't understand is young couples who have just had a baby. The mother isn't working and the father is working all hours to look after baby/pay the mortgage/utility bills etc. and they they're on a cruise that probably cost around £3,000 for a family. I saw mothers pushing buggies and prams with sleeping children under a year old and younger all over the ship at times when they should be in bed. I often saw mothers pushing buggies in the bars at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. There are least two Costa Coffee bars onboard. I heard of people buying Costa Coffee packages as these weren't free. OK I will concede that Costa Coffee is very good, but I can't understand why people pay-say £2.50-for a Costa Coffee when fresh ground coffee (as well as Twynings Tea and others) is available free in the Horizon Buffet. When we were in Gibraltar, I saw lots of people visiting the local Morrisons supermarket cafe for breakfast (to non-Brits reading this, Morrisons is a major UK supermarket chain). Again, why would anyone pay for restaurants ashore when the ship provides breakfast/lunch/dinner for free as it's full board? On a personal note. I'm a huge Formula 1 fan and I wore several F1 shirts on the Smart/Casual nights. I bumped into a guy who claimed that he had worked for a few F1 teams in his time. I had no reason to disbelieve him but on a few occasions when I was wearing an F1 shirt he would come up to me and say things like "rubbish team" or "that driver's crap". I'm not a patient man at the best of times and I don't tolerate fools gladly, but I was in polite company and I kept my mouth shut. If I had said anything to him, I would have offended quite a few people as my grasp of ancient Anglo Saxon is quite extensive. Apart from this bloke, all of my fellow cruisers were very polite and curteous at all times. The ship didn't feel "full". There were 3,600 passengers onboard but the ship felt that it wasn't full and could have accomodated a lot more. There was always room at the bars (apart from what I mentioned in "Entertainment" above). This could be a good thing, but I felt that the atmosphere wasn't there. P&O put a daily charge on your acoount. This charge was £5.50 per person per day. I will not be told when and how much I'm tipping-if at all. I went to reception to get a form to be excluded from this charge. P&O-and the other cruise companies-need to stop doing this as these cruises aren't cheap in the first place. Conclusions. Food-excellent..Drinks-prices need to be looked at-too dear for so-called "pub prices". Entertainment-reports of the shows were all good apart from not being able to see the guest bands. I was told that people were arriving at the Live Lounge two hours before the shows to get a seat. General ambience-ok but as I said above, the ship didn't have a buzz about it. I'll give this trip 8 out of 10. Not perfect-I deducted a couple of points for costly alcohol and the weather not being too good (I know we can't control the weather!). I'm on Britannia again in 2017 a little earlier in the year so the weather will probably be better-lets see what happens then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
how disappointed we were with P&O Britannia!! no wow factor, poor repetitive food, tiny cabins when using the bathroom it felt as though you were using a portaloo and that's no exaggeration we were in a balcony cabin but it felt ... Read More
how disappointed we were with P&O Britannia!! no wow factor, poor repetitive food, tiny cabins when using the bathroom it felt as though you were using a portaloo and that's no exaggeration we were in a balcony cabin but it felt like a small box. the worst thing for us though were the staff, they were untrained and lacking in even a smile. they walked about as though they were bored stiff and there was no happy holiday atmosphere on board. We had 3 cabins and one was an accessible cabin for a full time wheelchair user - this cabin was fine and big enough for its use. There were no electric doors for this cabin though and other features of this ship are terrible for wheelchair users. There is no central stairway so EVERYONE has to use the lifts which means you are left waiting for a lift whilst they constantly go up and down FULL because there is no dedicated lift for wheelchair users. The hoist in the pool area has to be booked 24 hours in advance of wanting to use it!!!!!! this policy is archaic it discriminates against disabled people because no other passenger has to book to use the pool at any time never mind knowing 24 hours in advance when you would want to use it. To add insult to injury the battery pack for the hoist was not charged up when we came to use it and the staff showed no interest in the upset and distress this caused when we could no longer use the pool. SHAME ON YOU P&O!!! we have travelled with celebrity cruises before and they knew how to treat the disabled and also all the staff had a wonderful friendly smile - we regret giving Britannia a try,- we will definitely not go with P&O again or recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Choose this cruise because sick of flying,I went with my friend and we have 27 cruises between us. I was looking forward to going on Brittania but a bit worried about her size, but no need to have worried ,we were on board having a drink ... Read More
Choose this cruise because sick of flying,I went with my friend and we have 27 cruises between us. I was looking forward to going on Brittania but a bit worried about her size, but no need to have worried ,we were on board having a drink within 25mins, everything went so smoothly just can't fault anything! . The food was fab and a great feeling all over the ship I will definitely be on her again , we couldn't go ashore on tenders in Gurnsey because of the sea conditions but that's not P&Os fault also disembarkation went really smooth, we loved it as you can tell.Also saw James Martin who was great so well done Brittania see you again.If I had one little moan and it is a little one it's about the smut from the funnels but on saying that the balcony was washed down twice during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
EMBARKATION In 2010 i went on celebrity eclipse and i think the memory of how good and quick embarkation is probably ruins how i feel about p&o i remember parking the car and within 20 minutes being on the ship yes the cabins ... Read More
EMBARKATION In 2010 i went on celebrity eclipse and i think the memory of how good and quick embarkation is probably ruins how i feel about p&o i remember parking the car and within 20 minutes being on the ship yes the cabins arn't ready but you can go into the main public areas with p&o this time i go there at 12 and was made to wait until 2pm they sent me a boarding time of 3.30pm which seems nuts i have travelled with p&o but they do seem to be getting worse on this rather than better. DINNING Oriental and limelight club food was excellent as well as service but the horizon left a bit to be desired on 2 occasions i ended up going out to lido grill and having burger and chips because i couldn't find anything i liked i'm not mega fussy but can't eat spicy foods and wanted something hot rather than cold which was the only option the burgers were always hard were they had been there for quit a bit of time but the chips were good nice and warm and seemed to be fresh. ENTERTAINMENT Limelight club cheryl baker excellent and she had her husband steve playing guitar. ALSO SAW ERIC AND ERNIE (IAN ASHPITEL AND JONTY STEPHENS) WERE EXCELLENT AS WELL Britannia rocks on lido deck pools this was really good costumes that light up as well as plenty of led lighting which changed colour it didn't start until 9.45 pm which made it stand out more i should imagine they have to wait for darkness for it work properly during the summer. I didn't go to any of the main theatre productions but did got a meat the cast with neil oliver and 6 cast members which was very interesting explaining how they achieve certain effects.... Neil oliver and he's entertainment team were excellent making sure everything is ok as per normal didn't have 2 sail-away party's because the ship didn't leave port until 6pm on 1 occasion and the other was 9.30pm sailing from naples.i saw neil at least once a day walking round the ship the captain i only saw at the captains gala i can't remember he's name but i know it wasn't paul brown who i know is the other captain as i have sailed with him before and he is very visible and like neil oliver always ask's if things are ok and if theres a problem he will try to sort it out and paul brown joins the entertainment staff on at least 1 sailaway. PORTS OF CALL The only time i went on a shore excursion was rome i had done this before on a previous cruise but it was a lot more tiring as it was very hot an humid which it was for most of the cruise we did rome on you're own by coach. CADIZ I WALKED AROUND THE TOWN AND ENJOYED BEING OF THE SHIP AS WAS 1ST PORT OF CALL BARCELONA HAD INTENDED DOING THE CABLE CAR ACROSS THE PORT BUT IT WASN'T WORKING AND ENDED UP DOING A BOAT TRIP ROUND THE HARBOUR WHICH COST 7.50EUROS Monaco i had intended going to the princes classic car collection but got lost and walked the f1 track but due to how hot and humid it was it took me over 2 hours and ended up getting the boat bus across the harbour. Civitavecchia (rome) as above only did the trip were one of the last coaches back. Naples my family went on a trip i didn't friends had warned me about naples which by all accounts not very clean and pick pockets a plenty. CARTEGENA WALKED AROUND PORT DIDN'T DO MUCK QUITE NICE AND CLEAN VIGO WALKED UP THE TOP OF THE MAIN SHOPPING AREA AND BACK LOADS OF COFFEE SHOP/BARS SHIP I have been on 3 other p&o ships britannia is not set out right you can't walk all the way round the ship without going up or down and in one case going up twice to come back down the ship is starting to look tatty and in need of refurbishment there are not enough lifts and staircases the atrium has a lack of stairs only really the spiral staircase the stairs at the back of the lifts are crew only at a certain level at least one lift some where in the ship was out of action each day. On the safety drill we were on deck 15 it took us 20 minutes to get to the headliner theatre due to the sheer volume of people coming down. SHIPS CONDITION For a ship which is only just over a year old i don't know how long she will last as carpets are wearing out and looking tatty there is a loud vibration at the rear of the ship when its doing more than 18 knots which was most of the cruise and i heard at least 3 different couples complaing about lack of sound insulation between inside cabins which they were later told was because of a breakdown of the insulation product all in all i relaxed but will never sail britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Prepare to be disappointed and underwhelmed! This is our fifth cruise with P&O. We will never sail on Britannia again and certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone. On our first night we experienced an inconsistent very loud ... Read More
Prepare to be disappointed and underwhelmed! This is our fifth cruise with P&O. We will never sail on Britannia again and certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone. On our first night we experienced an inconsistent very loud banging from an area around the bathroom area within our cabin. Having had no sleep, at 03:30am we called down to reception and a member of staff came to inspect and confirmed that there was a problem and that he would get maintenance to investigate first thing in the morning. It was not resolved and we were offered another cabin. There was only one cabin available due to a ‘no show’ on the departure date. This was a balcony cabin obscured by one of the ships tenders so we had no view other than the tender. Other cabins had been affected by the banging and as we were the first to complain we were given first refusal. This was a lower grade cabin than we had paid for and told to take it or leave it (literally). Compensation would be discussed after we accepted. The amount offered did not represent the difference between our cabin and the downgraded one nor did it take account of the fact that we lost an entire day of our holiday packing up, then unpacking and sleeping for the rest of the day. To add insult to injury we were forced to sign a settlement mandate under which we are not permitted to take further action or disclose the amount or any other details. We had no choice as it would be unthinkable to have 14 nights of no sleep. There is one thing that P&O could have done that would have made some difference and that was to offer an apology for the noise, the inconvenience and impact on the enjoyment of our holiday. The new cabin Gxxx had an annoying creaking at the balcony door when the sea got a bit choppy. Ear plugs were needed! As there were no other cabins available, there was little we could have done about this, apart from sleeping with the door open!!!. This was far more than the usual creaks and groans you will get on any ship. One improvement to the bathroom is a glass shower screen instead of a shower curtain. The cabin included a large flat screen TV. Whilst no one goes on holiday to watch TV it was irritating the number of times it dropped out and kept buffering particularly after they did some kind of upgrade on the Thursday before we came home which made matters even worse. Having booked the second sitting in the Oriental Restaurant for the whole trip, we soon found that staffing levels had been cut compared to previously enjoyed trips on P & O cruise ships. The wine waiter was never around when you needed him as he was serving too many other tables. The main waiting staff again had too many other tables to serve but did their best to accommodate us all (table of 6). We have enjoyed ‘silver service’ on other P &O cruise ships in the past but this is not available on Britannia. As their 'flag ship' cruise liner, this would have made the trip more enjoyable. The portions were very tiny and the vegetables were over cooked and over salted. Sauces were insipid and runny. A waldorf salad consisted of a bowl of very wet lettuce, 1/2 a walnut, 1/2cm of celery, tiny square of apple and 1/2 a grape (which isn't an ingredient in waldorf salad). One night the dessert included clotted cream in fact it was synthetic spray cream. The petit fours were pathetic. They didn't look appetising and where the cheapest things they could have made e.g. shortbread, chocolate brownie (except it was an insipid chocolate sponge) etc. This is in no way a criticism of the staff who worked so hard but have been put under unnecessary pressure. It was obvious to us that cost cuttings had been introduced at the expense of the customers. Even the buffet restaurant now has wine and beer self service where you swipe your card and decant your own drink. Apart from the meals in your allocated dining room, the Lido bar and Horizon grill you will have to pay for everything else. Do not be fooled by the "modest cover charge". For example, the Epicurean was £56 for the two of us excluding drinks. The menu lacked choice and frankly for the money we have had far better meals out. The service was good but spoiled by the fact that as soon as we sat down told we had to vacate the table within 2.5 hours. The restaurant was maybe half full which strongly suggests it's not working. Similarly, the Limelight club was another disappointment at a cost of £44 excluding drinks for the pair of us. It didn't start well when my wife's glass of Lanson champagne was flat. There was a choice of two starters, two mains and no choice on dessert. The food wasn't great and the lack of choice disappointing. The entertainment lasted for 45 minutes (for 20 minutes the singer was going round the room posing for photos). It is then supposed to turn into a late night venue for dancing - it didn't. All other eateries are chargeable e.g. Sindhu, Beach House, Glass House and Market Cafe. We visited the Glass House which was very nice. The majority of the ship is dark brown and beige. It gives a claustrophobic feel in many areas of the ship. Already the ship is looking tired. The "prom deck" is ideally situated (not) on deck 18 where you are certain to be blown off your feet. 7 laps required to get your mile walk. We went up on deck one day but after a couple of hours found our clothes covered in soot. This was reported to reception who said they were aware of a problem with the funnels. Given that deck areas were regularly closed off it would have made sense to close this area off. To be fair they laundered the clothes twice. However, not all of the smudges have come out so these have been consigned to the bin. The casino which on previous ships has been glamorous, bright and airy with a nice bar and seating area, was gloomy and cramped and like a down at heel, end of a grotty pier venue. There was no bar or seating and it was located next to the very noisy Brodies pub bar. The entertainment venues were not adequate for the size of ship. For example, the Live Lounge which did have some good acts was always packed by the time we finished dinner so unable to get a seat. The same scenario for the Crows Nest bar. The shows in the Headliners Theatre were reduced in comparison to other P & O cruises. There were less shows per night and fewer shows throughout the cruise. Also, although the shows were well executed and visually fantastic with lasers and computer graphics, there were no story to them. An example was a show called 'Sounds of the Underground' which had the London Underground sign as the advertising logo. It started off with the cast inside a tube carriage arriving at Oxford Circus and then it had no bearing on either underground themed songs or underground stations from then on. They had cast dressed in Scottish kilts for one or two numbers,then Irish national dress for Irish dancing. No idea what relevance this has to the underground??? The sail away parties as experienced on previous cruises didn't take place. Weather had nothing to do with this and we were told it was due to staff being required elsewhere! Another conformation of reduced staffing, therefore making more profits!! If we sail with P&O again it will be on a different ship. If standards have slipped on these too then we will look elsewhere. We have always had fabulous holidays aboard P&O so we really hope that customer feedback is taken seriously and that they return to offering fantastic customer experiences. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
It was first cruise in my life, Britannia is an fantastic ship with amazing and wonderful crew, time with you all was lovely , I am very happy and I hope to meet you again, Special thanks to the Horizon Buffet Crew, The crew ... Read More
It was first cruise in my life, Britannia is an fantastic ship with amazing and wonderful crew, time with you all was lovely , I am very happy and I hope to meet you again, Special thanks to the Horizon Buffet Crew, The crew work very hard and are constantly smilling and cheerful, All crew members they was always ready to answer every question and giving full information. I am very happy that I could have a holiday with you all, The ship is amazing, the cabin was comfortable, dining a wide range of dishes and meals, entertainment and activities unbelievable number of ways of spending time and everything from early morning to late at night, every pasanger can choose something for themselves, service was fantastic and competent and very attentive I will say wonderful people, I already started recommendet Britannia cruises, Thanks a lot to you all for a wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Had a fantastic week aboard on my first cruise. I can hardly fault anything on board, with the food service being outstanding, so much entertainment on offer, and lovely bars and spots on the ship to relax. The boarding process was ... Read More
Had a fantastic week aboard on my first cruise. I can hardly fault anything on board, with the food service being outstanding, so much entertainment on offer, and lovely bars and spots on the ship to relax. The boarding process was efficient and speedy, and the luggage was taken straight up to our cabin after stepping out of the taxi at the City Cruise Terminal in Southampton. The well designed three deck atrium with the ‘starburst’ coming down from the ceiling is stunning. The views from parts of the ships are amazing, and every part has been well designed with timeless features, and I could mention so much. The ship has various restaurants, and bars serving a variety of food with the main restaurants (Meridian, Penninsular and Oriental) all serving 3 course dinners to the Horizon buffet on Deck 16 being open into the early hours if still after a snack or cup of tea. There are also specialist restaurants with a cover charge, which sounded amazing but we didn’t get around to; Sindhu for Indian style food, the Epicurean for luxury, the Beach House, and the Glass House wine bar. There is also the Riviera Bar and Lido Grill by the pool, and Java (coffee shop serving Costa) by the atrium, along with a few other places to get a snack. There is so much choice, I can’t imagine anyone leaving the ship hungry. We were on Freedom dining in the Meridian Restaurant for our evening meals where can eat anytime between 6 and 9:30, and never really waited for a table, and shared with different people each night, and i enjoyed the socialising. On one of the smart dressing night (Thursday) the Chef’s parade through each restaurant so we can all applaud their hard work, along with that of the waiting staff. I feel this appreciation is a lovely touch, to what must be a long shift and so many meals to prepare and serve to over 3,600 passengers. There was also a chance to hear the Captain give a short speech and a photo opportunity on Sunday evening, which with Thursday were our days at sea. I could write so many positives about the entertainment on board with shows put on the entertainment team in the 900 seat Headliners Theatre and acts brought in to perform. We were lucky to see Cheryl Baker (Bucks Fizz, and Record Breakers) do an intimate show in the Limelight Club which included a 3 course meal. I also enjoyed Jayne Middleton as a tribute to Annie Lennox in the Headliners Theatre and the Cuban conjuring comedian; Manuel Martinez performing his ‘adult’ show in the Live Lounge. The Crow’s Nest bar on Deck 16 is also beautifully decorated with long glass windows at the front of the ship, and on some nights was a pianist performing. There is also a pub on board; Brodies which offers a range of ales from across the UK, along with fun quizzes. We were lucky enough to win a bottle of red wine in a syndicate quiz in the Marlowe Suite next to the Crow’s Nest, with the final question being “What is a group of Kangaroos”? There was also a couple of talks about the destinations and the future of the Internet, and Spanish lessons among other activities, so even on the sea days you can always find something to do. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The Ship ok, food average at best. Buffet at. Lunchtime very limited. Drinks good value. Shore excursions team lacked knowledge on ports. I wanted to visit the bridge at Gexto but they said it was over the other side of Bilbao however we ... Read More
The Ship ok, food average at best. Buffet at. Lunchtime very limited. Drinks good value. Shore excursions team lacked knowledge on ports. I wanted to visit the bridge at Gexto but they said it was over the other side of Bilbao however we could see it from the ship. However in the end wheelchair users were not allowed off the ship! Wheelchair users subjected to mobility assessment to use tenders. Entertainment variable - very good Annie Lennox tribute. Seats in theatre VERY narrow. Only 2 jacuzzi for 4000 passengers and always full of kids. Serenity pool nice but wheelchair users had to book a specific time in advance to use hoist -- very poor. Passengers generally young, lots of children who were. Not being supervised. Very poor lift etiquette - people actually jumping over the scooter to get in lift before me. People shutting lift doors in my face - so rude. embarkation was a shambles but disembarkation was very good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Not enough lifts. In the space of a week myself, husband and father who is in a wheelchair spent about 4 hours of our holiday waiting for lifts. There were not enough of them and only 2 sets of stairs, one at one end of the ship one at the ... Read More
Not enough lifts. In the space of a week myself, husband and father who is in a wheelchair spent about 4 hours of our holiday waiting for lifts. There were not enough of them and only 2 sets of stairs, one at one end of the ship one at the other. Everyone was using them and no-one ever made room for us to get in when doors opened. Wait for the next lift, SAME AGAIN. Food in the restaurant was the worst we have had on P and O, hardly any vegetables. The casino was small. Expected quite a large one on a ship of this size. We turned up at Southampton half hour before embarkation time and WAITED 2 HOURS. Had to leave the car to push disabled father to the loos TWICE! Complained to P and O on return and were told it was not the fault of P and O. Britannia is a beautiful ship but we will give it a WIDE BERTH in future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The ship itself is looking quite worn for it's age for example lifts are out of order and buttons in the lifts are falling off. The theme throughout the ship seems to be brown which gives many of the rooms a dark and dull feeling. ... Read More
The ship itself is looking quite worn for it's age for example lifts are out of order and buttons in the lifts are falling off. The theme throughout the ship seems to be brown which gives many of the rooms a dark and dull feeling. We had two cabins, one balcony and an inside opposite it. We were happy with the balcony cabin as the room feels quite cosy and pleasant. However, there were yellow stains all over the duvet and had to ask for this to be changed. In the inside cabin the bathroom had hair on the floor and a few toe nails as well! Both of the showers smelt of green mould and as the cruise continued there was a foul smell in the inside cabin bathroom. At the start of our cruise we could smell cigarette smoke on the balcony and to cut a long story short we finally caught the culprit after much stress and the deck officer caught them red handed after we had phoned the reception about the problem about four times. We had nice first lunch on board in the buffet but after that most of the food offered looked like school dinners. However, the curries were an exception to this. At peak times it could be hard to find a table. The hygiene in the buffet was terrible with most people walking in not washing their hands in the sinks provided. After the first day or two there was nobody to police this at the entrances to the buffet and the same goes for people filling up their water bottles at the drinks machine. No wonder there was a Norovirus outbreak a month ago! At the main dining room we had two nice meals out of the 7 evenings. We had poor quality steaks and most of the food was accompanied by canned vegetables and weird looking potatoes. However, we had nice waiters who were jolly and friendly. The entertainment was average at best in the theatre. The production shows were funny for all of the wrong reasons. There was a classical pianist who gave three recitals throughout the cruise and these were very enjoyable but only about 20 people turned up to this which is disgraceful when the ship carries about 4000 passengers! Apart from the odd few most of the staff were very miserable and often rude especially the check-in assistants. The Reception desk could not help you if it was outside of their well rehearsed automated script. St. Peter Port and La Rochelle were by far the best ports of call with La Coruña and Bilbao being a complete waste of time with absolutely nothing to do if you don't book a £200 per person excursion. There was a pneumatic drill noise for the first two days of the cruise which made our balcony unusable. There were builders digging up the concrete on the top deck and to say the noise was horrendous is an understatement. It stopped half way through the cruise thankfully but returned at 7:00am in the morning on disembarkation day! This ship is very overcrowded with only two Jacuzzis for 4000+ passengers. The sail-away was quite frankly embarrassing with Rule Britannia being chanted out- hardly think that is a good idea in today's climate. We will never sail again with P and O as they have shot themselves in the foot with their flagship boat which is one giant money making floating Butlins Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We cruised down the Rhine and decided to add on the 7-day cruise going to several new ports for us. We've cruised 20+ times, but always on ships geared to US passengers. The differences we noticed were not bad, just different. ... Read More
We cruised down the Rhine and decided to add on the 7-day cruise going to several new ports for us. We've cruised 20+ times, but always on ships geared to US passengers. The differences we noticed were not bad, just different. Service was much slower and impersonal-- very little interaction between waiters and passengers. Perhaps the training varied. Waiters did not seem to know much about meals they were serving. Everyone was polite, just distant. Some of the wine stewards didn't seem knowledgeable. Of course, the more modest prices were a plus. As Americans we are accustomed to tip often, so this was a nice change. Selection of wine was quite good and reasonably priced. Food in dining room was ok. Sindhu and Epicurean were outstanding. Buffet was forgettable. We appreciated that accommodations were made for passengers not wanting to take ship's shore excursions. The free shuttles and more detailed info available was great. Our only ship excursion was Vintage Coach excursion in Guernsey and that trip was exceptional. The only entertainment we saw was Beatles tribute group, and they were great. Britannia is a beautiful ship, with subdued tasteful decor. Energy was definitely missing around the atrium--- usually seemed quiet. Our fellow passengers were considerate and pleasant. No elevator issues as previously mentioned. We did miss the center staircase. We were impressed with all the well-behaved children. Our embarkation was disrupted because ship had to be moved due to high winds. All staff members and passengers remained cheerful. Debarkation was easy and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
First time with P&O and on the whole very happy. The entertainment and activities could have been so much better but I do appreciate that you can't please everybody. The cabins and cleanliness of the ship were excellent. The ... Read More
First time with P&O and on the whole very happy. The entertainment and activities could have been so much better but I do appreciate that you can't please everybody. The cabins and cleanliness of the ship were excellent. The food was, in my view, better than a previous cruise company I had been with. The problem I had was understanding why Gibralter was said to be too busy to call into. The bookings of the ports must be made before the brochures go to press so how could this be the case. Friends of mine were on a different P&O cruise in the same period and they went into Gibralter. Instead of Gibralter the ship called into Guernsey. Guernesy was said to be duty free. Not only was it pretty boring but not cheap either. The ship missed out Monte Carlo, the seas were said to be too rough for the tenders. Cartegena time in port was cut short so that the ship could go to Guernsey. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Returned from 14 nights aboard Britannia West Med Embarkation ( 1 hr ) and Disembarkation ( 2hr ) went as well as one can expect and considering 3000 people to sort time on Disembarkation was more due to the fact you asked to leave room ... Read More
Returned from 14 nights aboard Britannia West Med Embarkation ( 1 hr ) and Disembarkation ( 2hr ) went as well as one can expect and considering 3000 people to sort time on Disembarkation was more due to the fact you asked to leave room at 8am and waited till 09.15am at an area on ship till given instructions to leave. Rooms vary on board depending what your requirements are. We opted for a superior room on A deck, port side, mid forward ( deck 15 on map of ship ) The one let down before we left is they cancelled Gibraltar ( said too busy ) and replaced with Guernsey. Later in the trip Monaco was cancelled with no replacement ( said too windy) and then they cut Cartengena stay in half ( to make Guernsey port ). Sailing on Britannia was no problem ship sailed as smooth as one can hope for, and lovely views from decks across the seas. Room was good toilets were like aircraft ones noise like thunder :) plenty of space and balcony easy fits 2 people in outside chairs side on. Television is limited to films & tv shows all programmed and fixed for whole trip. ( some films cost extra to see ? ) Food oh so much available ! Peninsular and Meridian are dinner suit black tie, average time to eat 2 hrs, also if you sit down at a table for 8 and are first, they try to make you wait till the rest of the table is full before starting to serve ( not good ) Horizon probably best bet for quick easy food open near enough all day till 2am either breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon snacks and late evening snacks. Smoking is deck 16 at back and deck 7 starboard side for those that do. Drinks on the whole fair prices, sometimes a little over high street prices. Lifts no real problem sometimes a little frustrating but hey nothing 5 minutes wont fix at worst. Bar Waiting staff all over ship looking to fulfill your needs, and horizon staff eager sometimes a little too eager to clear your food away once finished. Ship was always spotless, and room staff excellent. Entertainment is available depending on your needs should fulfill something for everyone, and also films to watch ( Cinema in the studio) Shore Excursions opted to do on own but can be 1.5 hrs to get anywhere outside of the ports, and Bracchino lake and Chariot ride was terrible 5 mins ended up on a horse and cart for 8 round a farm !!! lake was only ever half done !!! None of the time allowed in any shore excursion was as stated in brochure, lost as much as 2 hrs in one port ? My worst pet hate was towels on chairs around adult swimming area and side seating areas, at 08.30am 84 chairs had towels on them, and some did not go to these for over 3 hrs !! ( that has to be stopped ) The 2 main pools were mostly for kids but adults can use them, but they are very busy. I would say this that as a first time cruise this was an experience and enjoyed more than put here, but you also have to understand you are a captive audience all the while ship is sailing, and any frustrations are part of this type of holiday. Where you are on ship and where you need to go is on plaques on side walls in lift areas, and certain places on ship. This is frustration as it does not tell you that you need to go to deck 7 to get to deck 6 at times depending where you are on ship. and Illuminating signs would be much better. If you in coming back from any port you have a customs check at port or on ship as you enter. Cruise card issued before you enter ship, that is your only way to buy anything on ship no cash. we opted for a cash account but they still want a credit card. Shops on board as one expects the usual type, reception deck 5 okay can be busy. Whatever room you choose the Facilities outside your room are the same for everyone. You never see 3,000 people at any one time you will be surprised at how much room there is to move around. Coffee and tea available @ Horizon 24/7 nearly, they only serve juice once a day that is at breakfast ( would have been nice for evening meal ) They do try and serve different dishes from around the world and an awful lot of curry is available, usually a roast of some sort, salad and also few vegetarian options. small puddings are lovely at every meal. cheese and crackers, rolls butter or marge and other various jams honey pots etc. First day is your worst to get around ship, but you soon pick up where, when, how. They deliver a magazine every day to your room to show whats on next day, so you can plan things. I hope this gives a small inside view of what to expect, and have no experience of any other cruise. All comments are our views only. Have a great time Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have just returned home from a 2 week Western Mediterranean cruise on the P & O Britannia, their ‘flagship’ boat. Upon booking the cruise, we were eager to see a new, modern boat, designed specifically for the British market. ... Read More
We have just returned home from a 2 week Western Mediterranean cruise on the P & O Britannia, their ‘flagship’ boat. Upon booking the cruise, we were eager to see a new, modern boat, designed specifically for the British market. Having been on 2 previous cruises, one being on the P & O Azura and the other on the Celebrity Silhouette, of which the latter was very impressive, we expected this boat to be full of innovative technology and stylish décor seeing as it was only launched less than 18 months ago. However, upon embarkation onto Britannia in Southampton, our mind-set quickly changed, as it felt like we were being loaded onto the boat via the back door, with no up-lifting welcome from the staff or complimentary drinks, which was not the best start to our holiday on board what is regarded as the front runner in the P & O fleet. Our first glimpse of Britannia was the Atrium or in other words the central area of the ship which was like a shopping mall with a Costa Coffee and a range of other shops which, despite constant advertising of sales and additional reductions, the items were not in fact much cheaper than high street stores. This moves us nicely onto the attitude, friendliness and professionalism of the staff which particularly amongst the Officer ranks and certain members of the Entertainment team was virtually non-existent, with many choosing to ignore and simply not acknowledge passengers, creating an air of superiority amongst some members of the crew. Also, some seemed to forget that their duty was to ensure the safety of the passengers, for example when embarking on a tender operation to reach St. Peter Port, Guernsey, many officers had their sunglasses on and were chatting amongst themselves rather than ensuring people got safely on and off the tender boats and further to this, whilst on a tender boat we witnessed one member of the Britannia Show Cast thinking it was amusing to take control of the tender boat from the designated driver whilst it was in motion on the sea – surely this is deeply unacceptable as passenger safety in this moment should be of the highest priority? The same cannot be said for the waiters and bar tenders, as they never failed to welcome you and look after you whilst on-board the ship. However, what must be mentioned is the Entertainment programme which is run on board on a day to day basis, headed up by the Entertainment manager and her team. Whilst we appreciate that this was a Mediterranean cruise and for this reason, many passengers were happy to sunbathe and relax on the upper decks of the ship, this assumption cannot be made for all passengers on board. This resulted in the choice and variety of Entertainment on board being very limited for some people – if you liked quizzes and beauty demonstrations you would be fine, but other than that there is the odd film shown in a cinema which is unbelievably impractical seeing as it is on one level surface meaning you can actually only see the whole screen if you are sat on the front row. Also, you may be lucky to get a Guest speaker when on board- we were treated to two – yippee! One being Dale Templar who we enjoyed listening to and the other Dr Nick Slope who gave very interesting talks on a variety of historical periods and events ranging from the Re-conquest of Spain in the 14th century to the Ok Corral cowboys story in the USA. However, the Entertainment team let themselves down by there being a printing error on the Horizon magazine as Dr Nick had to do a talk on the Ok Corral despite him having a talk on Rome planned seeing as this was our next destination – it was amusing at the incompetence of the planning yet from another perspective deeply disappointing that staff seemed unable to apply common sense to situations – perhaps it may be an idea for the Entertainment manager to take time out of her busy schedule to proof read the Horizon magazine prior to distribution each night to eliminate these basic yet frankly embarrassing mistakes. Next, we feel it is necessary to mention the logistical issues that impede the smooth flow of passengers throughout the ship which is something that many people complained about during the 2 weeks with some, including myself, being unable to easily locate places on the ship even on day 13 due to the poor layout. For example, the mid-ship stairs abruptly end on Deck 7 meaning that you are left with no option but to either wait for a lift that is likely to be crammed full of people or walk to the front or back of the ship if you wish to continue on the stairs to reach the upper decks. This seems to be a major design flaw as surely stairs in the central area of the ship should take people to all decks and coupled with this, there are no clear signs, maps or staff available on hand to help if you are struggling to find somewhere, which is not exactly the excellent customer service you would expect on a P & O ship. Moreover, with 3600 passengers on board, the theatre is far too small holding just over 900 per sitting, resulting in the more popular shows having to be performed 3 times per evening to maximise people’s chances of seeing the shows, although this does not hide the fact that P & O realise themselves that this is a major issue in the ship’s design by creating a theatre that is so small. Like with any cruise, many people go in the hope of freshly sourced food which is served hot and is varied and suitable for all passengers on board. However, we felt there were a number of issues with particularly the Horizon Buffet restaurant including the fact that most of the food is bland, served cold and lacking variety, particularly in terms of vegetarian options. Also what annoyed many passengers was the system whereby the fruit juices were freely available at breakfast time from the self-service machines, yet for the rest of the day these were unavailable. This seems to be a money-making initiative which forces people to buy a drink from the bar tenders as water is only available free of charge, despite the high cost people have paid to go on a cruise whereby you would expect at the very least fruit juice to be made readily available particularly on a ‘school holiday cruise’. This moves us onto the initiative of charging for ice cream during the day despite it being a cruise designed to accommodate children during the holidays. A suggestion P & O could take on board is that instead of using Carte D’Or Ice Cream which is clearly an expensive brand, why not use a cheaper version of ice cream and make it the case that each child receives one free ice cream per day in the summer months whereby they advertise these cruises as being a ‘school holiday cruise’? Having been on the Celebrity Silhouette during the summer months, both ice cream and fruit juices were both available free of charge during the daytime. Finally, we would like to mention a few things about the staterooms. In terms of first impressions, the cabins are spacious and welcoming yet we soon discovered a few issues in terms of practicalities. For instance, we cannot understand how this is supposedly a ship designed for the British market yet there are European shaver socket plugs in the bathrooms, meaning that we had to ask for an adaptor. Surely for a ship that is advertised to appeal to the British market, appropriate steps would have been taken by P & O to ensure that things like shaver socket plugs are suitable for the majority that travel on the Britannia, i.e. people from the UK? Furthermore, in the latter part of our cruise we could not help but notice an unpleasant aroma from the bathroom despite it being cleaned regularly by our cabin steward. Again, it seems there is a problem, this time with the Ship’s sanitation and pipe systems causing this unpleasant smell, of which we were not the only people to complain about this. Overall, whilst on board Britannia, we could not help but think that this ship has major design flaws which resulted in logistical issues for many passengers that were not just noticeable by ourselves and also some of the ship’s personnel did not at times conduct themselves in a way that is to be expected on board the P & O ‘flagship’. I’m a Celebrity get me out of here! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise as a member of my party can only go in school holidays, and having cruised the Baltic on the last one we decided to go for warmth this year. The first disappointment, we were informed before we had even got on the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a member of my party can only go in school holidays, and having cruised the Baltic on the last one we decided to go for warmth this year. The first disappointment, we were informed before we had even got on the ship that Gibraltar was canceled as they could not berth the ship to to it being very busy on our day of arrival !!!!! should the ship's berth not be booked as soon as the cruise go on sale to the public ???? the substitute was Guernsey !!! Embarkation was well organised and done swiftly, our cabin was kept spotlessly clean by our steward Ram who was warm and friendly, we were disappointed at the size of our balcony hardly room for two people to sit out with the chairs reclined. the ships lay out is ridiculous, you can not walk from one end of the ship to the other without going through the dining rooms and using the lifts, anyone with a disability would find this ship extremely frustrating as the lifts are always full because of the lack of stairs from people that can and will use them. (with the exception of the stairs that go to no where). We chose Freedom dining and i have never experienced such non discript food on a cruise before, several same items were on the menu every night, and on a couple of nights food could not be eaten due to under cooking (paella) and quality of meat (lamb). The Horizon buffet tried its best but food was often cold and repeated, very poor choice of fruit available all the same for 14 days !!!! The majority of staff on Britannia need to smile more and try to be a little more friendly towards the guests. Some of the ports were very well organised but to be charged 4 euros each way for a shuttle bus at a port that you can not walk out of is a disgrace. Our final port of Guernsey was farcical to board the tenders was organised chaos and the delays getting off the ship were ridiculous. Never again P&O for you its all about the money, you can take of your passengers whilst on board. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
As a seasoned cruiser, I was bitterly disappointing with P&O's new flagship. From the minute I arrived at Ocean Terminal I was shocked by the lack of any organisation. We had paid for valet parking (a seamless operation carried ... Read More
As a seasoned cruiser, I was bitterly disappointing with P&O's new flagship. From the minute I arrived at Ocean Terminal I was shocked by the lack of any organisation. We had paid for valet parking (a seamless operation carried out by other operators, Cunard etc) but I was placed in a queue that took 85 mins to take my car. When we finally got on board we were very impressed by the balcony cabin in both size and quality. We ate on the first night at the Horizon self service buffet, it was busy and we struggled to find a table although large sections of the restaurant were taped closed. The food was average to say the least. The second day we visited Guernsey, unable to dock in St Peter's Port we had to use tenders. We arrived at the disembarkation gate and was given a raffle ticket and sent to the theatre. We were informed that it was taking 25 mins to disembark. An hour later the threatre was completely full (approx 2500 people) and nobody had got off. Finally took 70 mins to get on a tender and then queued 40 mins to return. The nightmare had only just began...On the third night a rumour spread through the ship that 129 passengers had been taken seriously ill. We personally saw two people vomit that night and areas of the ship were been taped up and cleaned. The next day the captain made an announcement that a major outbreak of Norovirus was spreading throughout the ship and special cleaning had to be carried out. By the end of the week 500 passengers had been confined to their cabins. The ship was "dirty", toilets blocked, decks 17, 18 and 19 covered every morning in a black soot and lack of paper hand towels in the busier public toilets - This is a serious public health disaster that to is waiting to happen Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Cruised with PO many times on the last occasion in the Carribean in December 2015 and vowed never to cruise again. Gave them one last go on Brittania taking my mother in law and daughter. Good points quick embarkation in Southampton and ... Read More
Cruised with PO many times on the last occasion in the Carribean in December 2015 and vowed never to cruise again. Gave them one last go on Brittania taking my mother in law and daughter. Good points quick embarkation in Southampton and disembarkation in Southampton, food menu and quality in main restaurants. That's It. Both cabins not clean and stink of wee, staff not adhering to hand cleaning policy until an outbreak of norovirus and announcement by captain. Entertainment limited and poor more like Butlins. Tender boats in Guernsey 1 hour wait after getting a ticket and 50 minute wait trying to get back. La Rochelle 1 hour wait for bus into town and 1 hour wIt to get back on. Staff are clearly unhappy complaining all the time. Could not sit down in any area without being pounced on by a waiter together you a drink. Ordered a deluxe package (paid in advance)nothing in room on arrival complained 3 times vouchers got sent to wrong cabin. Wife visited Spa and all the staff wanted was a tip, the person who massaged her even copied her signature fraudulently to put a tip on, we complained and got the tip reversed but that was it. Never ever cruising with PO again they are wanting your money whilst not putting the service or cleanliness in. I will not complain just not cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Arrived at the port 1 hour before our allocated slot and waited in a line of cars for about 30 minutes the cases were taken to the ship and we then went into the embarkation area where it took another 30 minutes to be given our boarding ... Read More
Arrived at the port 1 hour before our allocated slot and waited in a line of cars for about 30 minutes the cases were taken to the ship and we then went into the embarkation area where it took another 30 minutes to be given our boarding card. Our cases arrive 15 minutes after we arrived in our cabin,so it was about 1. 1/2 hours to board. Could not fault the cabin which was on deck d with a small balcony which was ok for sitting out to have a drink or catch some sun.the ship was very clean and all the furniture and carpets were in very good condition.the service from the people who cleaned your cabin to serving you drinks or food was as good as any ship we have cruised on and a lot better in most cases. We went for breakfast most mornings where we would have our evening meal which was the peninsular. The breakfasts were very good and the evening meals were varied and some good some not so good.eating 3 meals a day and drinking a few beers in between takes a lot of effort when you only have 1 decent meal a day at home. We watched eric and ernei in the twilight club (£22) with 3 course meal and well worth every penny. Most evenings just found somewhere to sit and relax and have chat with other passengers(lots of young familys with children)who were all well behaved. The one complaint we would have was the disembarkation and embarkation of the ship at the ports of call which were slow and not very well organized. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this ship because our 15 year old grandson is disabled and is wheelchair dependant. We chose a disabled suite and it met with all our expectations. Nine members of our family came on this cruise, including three young ... Read More
We chose this ship because our 15 year old grandson is disabled and is wheelchair dependant. We chose a disabled suite and it met with all our expectations. Nine members of our family came on this cruise, including three young grandchildren, aged from 4 -7 years. Brittania was outstanding and had something to suit all age groups. From kids club to teen club to suit our fifteen year old grandson. We hardly saw him on this cruise as he met up with lots of other teenagers. They made him feel so included. Food was exceptional, from the Horizon restuarant to the Meridian and Penisular restaurants. Staff worked tirelessly to ensure that passengers enjoyed themselves. They were so polite and professional, well done. The decor was classy, not brash like, especially some cruise ships. Our suite was outstanding and had everything to suit the needs of our grandson. We would certainly go on another Brittania cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
After reading various poor reports on Britannia we embarked with some reservations, however we need not have worried. Although embarkation was very busy we were boarded quickly without any problems. All cabins were ready when we ... Read More
After reading various poor reports on Britannia we embarked with some reservations, however we need not have worried. Although embarkation was very busy we were boarded quickly without any problems. All cabins were ready when we boarded at 1.30pm. We always opt for an inside cabin as we spend very little time in there and were pleasantly surprised with the new layout of the cabin, seemed a lot more space and the glass shower door much better than the old style curtains. This ship itself although very large never seemed over crowded and the new style buffet lay out worked much better. Loved the grab and go lunch option as well. We visited the Limelight Club to see Darren Day which was very good value. We did not use any other fine dining venues as we were more than impressed with the menu and service in the Meridian Restaurant. Yes sometimes service was very quick, a little too fast at times, one night we went in later and it was a tad slow, but it was nothing to complain about. The Headliners (called Britannia Show Cast) were superb with all new shows for Britannia only. Other shows were equally as good, The Brit Tones were fabulous but P & O need to update/replace the likes of the Dusty Springfield tribute act which has been on just about every cruise we've done. Likewise the sailaways need either ditching altogether or a huge revamp. Although we don't dance we do sometimes like to sit and watch others in the ballroom but the dance instructors were very young and seemed to struggle interacting with the guests, there was no encouragement or inviting people up to dance with them unlike others we have seen. It was a real shame because the Crystal Room is lovely and the girl who was singing was very good. They just sat at the side of the dance floor and apart from a few 'displays' took no real part in the evenings dancing. All in all we fully and enjoyed the cruise, however we had done all the ports of call before and would like to see P&O introduce some new ports to their itinerary. One little thing. We booked late on a saver deal and did not expect to be 'allowed' to uses shuttle buses without being charged. However we used a couple of them and although others had some form of 'ticket' to say they were entitled to use them FOC everyone was waved on regardless. As this is supposed to be one of the perks of early booking it obviously isn't enforced or even known bothered about by the port staff. Maybe not every ones first choice for their own reasons but we totally enjoyed Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Just back from a fantastic cruise on Britannia to the western med. for 12 nights. We booked this last year and, as we knew all the ports well, had no intention of getting off much. We actually only got off twice - in Lisbon and Cartegena ... Read More
Just back from a fantastic cruise on Britannia to the western med. for 12 nights. We booked this last year and, as we knew all the ports well, had no intention of getting off much. We actually only got off twice - in Lisbon and Cartegena - and were gone only an hour or so at both. However, all of the ports are great and well worth either a guided tour with P&O or a walk on your own. We had fantastic weather - between 29 and 35 degrees centigrade most of the time. Britannia is a wonderful ship - very modern interior and very classy. We were on her in her maiden season last year and she is still as wonderful. Embarkation was excellent (as was disembarkation) and, in fact, we were the first on board and got an amazing welcome. We had a Suite at the rear of the ship on B deck - I have to say probably the best one! No roof to the balcony, which is great for getting masses of sunshine in summer. It's about 3 times as deep as the balconies on the side (we had one on the side last year) and has 2 loungers, a small side table, a table for eating at with 2 chairs and also a 2 seater settee with cushions and a low table for drinks etc. The settee was a wonderful addition which we've never experienced having before and we enjoyed many evenings on it watching the port slip away, or gazing up at the stars (when other people didn't have their balcony lights on that is!). We did book a table in the Club Dining rest., but only went 3 times and in the end cancelled it. We went to every other venue, some twice, and therefore didn't need it. Next time we will book Freedom Dining. It is definitely worth trying the alternative dining venues at least once. We did have a magical evening watching the sunset having dinner in the Beach House, as well as one in the Glass House watching a red sun 'melt' in to the sea. We went to see 'Eric and Ern' in the Limelight Club and thoroughly enjoyed it. They were excellent and well worth the money. We don't go to Shows etc, but did hear the duo (Matt & Sarah) and the cocktail pianist (Duke Alexander - hello if you read this!) and they were both excellent. We used the Retreat again, and noticed a small change. They no longer do hot food at lunchtime. However, the breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea selections are good. The Retreat is a lovely area to be in and is certainly worth the extra money. It would probably be worth booking the Retreat for the whole cruise if you had a side balcony in summer as the balconies may not get as much sun as it's so high in the sky. We only used it once this time as our balcony got so much sun anyway. The staff, as always, were wonderful, and we met a number that we knew which is always nice. We only managed to get through a few of the gins in the Crow's Nest, but did manage to try the new ones they have, which were very nice. Maybe others can do better! Overall a magical time and can't wait to get back on her! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this ship and cruise as we have had excellent holidays with P and O in past few years. Also we chose to sail from Southampton instead of a fly cruise as my husband is unable to fly due to a medical condition. We had previously ... Read More
We chose this ship and cruise as we have had excellent holidays with P and O in past few years. Also we chose to sail from Southampton instead of a fly cruise as my husband is unable to fly due to a medical condition. We had previously experienced a critical review of the ship from onboard sales rep. The ship was excellent. No movement during choppy weather. Well laid out interior. Comfortable cabin. Steward was 1st class. Excellent dining facilities with good choice of venues. Britannia cast were excellent. Service excellent. Up to standard we have received before. Good choice of ports. Enjoyed the Limelight Club. Despite there being 3500 passengers we were always able to get sun beds and seats in Horizon at peak times. Were disappointed with size of balcony and also not much musical entertainment throughout the ship pre dinner i.e. Live background music . Embarkation was OK although arrived early and had to wait nearly 2 hours to get on ship. Disembarkation was smooth and well organised. We walked off before 7am and were home by 11. Really enjoyed the interview of the Captain by entertainment director. It w as really informative. Good choice of activities throughout the day but would have liked to have seen the films run later than 12.15 perhaps at 2ish so as not to clash with lunchtime. Overall a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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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