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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Very big ship, nearly four thousand people on board. Food and entertainment good except for rude comedy acts. Two main problems, first the lifts, at peak times totally incapable of coping with numbers. Have to wait ages and give up so ... Read More
Very big ship, nearly four thousand people on board. Food and entertainment good except for rude comedy acts. Two main problems, first the lifts, at peak times totally incapable of coping with numbers. Have to wait ages and give up so have to walk up to twenty flights of steps, not good after a meal. Forward are four lifts. One has been out of action for the whole cruise, no notice on lift, no mention in Horizon daily news. Totally unacceptable. Second issue size of balcony, depth from door to screen is three feet seven inches. Not a problem in the Baltic, but in sunny places forget it, way too small. There are now more restaurants that charge a supplement than those included in the cost. I feel we are just a step away from “room only” cruises where you pay for all food. Overall a good cruise but cannot help but feel Britannia was designed by accountants. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had sailed on Britannia previously. The second cruise she ever made. That was our first time with P&O and we disliked it so much (as my review at the time will explain) that we said we would never cruise with them again. This cruise ... Read More
We had sailed on Britannia previously. The second cruise she ever made. That was our first time with P&O and we disliked it so much (as my review at the time will explain) that we said we would never cruise with them again. This cruise was a present to us though. So the choice was made for us and we gave the ship and line another chance. Again, nothing has changed and we won’t be returning to P&O and the problems with Britannia are still the same as before. The food was the main issue. As we had a large suite, we had access to the epicurean for breakfast. This was an excellent restaurant and the service and food was perfect. Friendly servers who were great with our little girl. The same can’t be said for the Oriental dining room. The food was constantly dry and cold and could take up to 45 minutes between courses which made meal times drag out. With a one, nearly two year old with us late at night, this was a big problem. The choice of food was poor and we all often struggled to find anything to eat. The buffet was no better. Food tasted as if it had been left under heat lamps for hours and the choice was small and poor and repetitive. It feels as if they are purposefully making the food bad to force you to spend money in the other restaurants. They do seem to like to up sell and try to drain every penny from you at every turn, with ads almost every day for £25 sail away parties and drinks. I know every line does this. We are not strangers to it. But it seems more obvious and blatant with P&O. The grab and go is a great idea and handy for excursions, but again, the food is the same every single day and there is little choice. We were not the only people to complain about the food. Many other passengers mentioned how poor they thought it was and that they’d never had another line with such a poor main dining room experience. The waiters seem overworked. Too many tables each to actually be attentive or get anything to you quickly. Or even top water up. Something which should be simple. The reef kid’s club is better for older children than young. Lots of forms to fill in and lots of rules. We hadn’t come across anything like it on other lines. For you her children there isn’t much in the horizon program. Only the actual play room. A few times we went to the right venue at the right time for an activity, waited and nobody ever turned up. Kids arts and crafts for example, in the live lounge. A bit disorganised and disappointing. One big complaint that hasn’t improved from the last time on Britannia was how little there is to do during the day. The lack of activities on the horizon is pitiful. Largely leaving people to themselves, probably hoping they spend more money rather than sit, bored. The suite and balcony and all the extras were amazing. Great sized room and our stateroom attendant and butler were both very good. No faults there. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We had to unfortunately cancel our original cruise because of health problems so this Cruise was very much last minute for us as we like to book well ahead to get the cabin we want. We enjoyed the Baltic the last time we were there 8 ... Read More
We had to unfortunately cancel our original cruise because of health problems so this Cruise was very much last minute for us as we like to book well ahead to get the cabin we want. We enjoyed the Baltic the last time we were there 8 years ago and thought it would be good to visit again. Having read several reviews earlier we were a little apprehensive but were pleasantly surprised. Britannia is a beautiful ship with modern tasteful décor - there is far more space on this ship and it isn't difficult to find a quiet spot if needed and we found the majority of staff very pleasant. and helpful, The lifts midship were a nightmare - a very bad design error not to have stairs also for those who were able to use them - we did miss the glass lifts on the Azura and Ventura. The Crows Nest was our favourite, but it could be difficult to get a seat after a late dinner. The Glass House and The Limelight Club were also well worth the extra. We decided to try Freedom dining but never managed to get a really good table for two and no matter what time we went down for dinner, we were always handed a pager and had to wait 20-40 minutes for a table with rarely good service - it was extremely slow. We found that if you went up to the Buffet after 10.15 in the morning and around 3 in the afternoon for lunch it was much quieter - sometimes the restaurant timings are far too early for breakfast and lunch. One tthing that is worth mentioning is the caring Medical, Security and Reception Staff - I had a nasty fall whilst in Tallin and ended up in hospital - on my eventual return to the ship the Doctor and Nurse were fantastic and the Security and Reception Staff checked on me every day. I would definitely cruise on Britannia again,but prefer Azura and Ventura. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Having cruised Iceland and the Med we wanted to see the Baltic states and St Petersburg in particular. We were slightly put off by many critical reviews of Britannia but remembered critical reviews of previous ships which we enjoyed. The ... Read More
Having cruised Iceland and the Med we wanted to see the Baltic states and St Petersburg in particular. We were slightly put off by many critical reviews of Britannia but remembered critical reviews of previous ships which we enjoyed. The balcony cabin was compact but well designed and well looked after by our steward. The food ranged from good to excellent and the waiters were friendly and efficient. The entertainment was generally good but my wife was not impressed that three of the largest venues were devoted to live World Cup games. All staff were really pleasant, courteous, and helpful. The absence of stairs , midships, caused congestion in the midship lifts at peak times (restaurant dinner times and port excursion times) but the resultant delays were not excessive. Overall - a splendid experience. Room for improvement would include (1) better internet access (expensive and much slower than other ships we have been on) (2) Access to spending account details on the smart TV in the cabin and (3) a beer package. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Our first time on a cruise and we loved every minute of it. Arrived at the port, car unloaded by porter,car taken to the car park,booked in at the cruise terminal,no problems. The ship is very big but getting around was not a problem ... Read More
Our first time on a cruise and we loved every minute of it. Arrived at the port, car unloaded by porter,car taken to the car park,booked in at the cruise terminal,no problems. The ship is very big but getting around was not a problem for us, but the lifts on the ship were a bit of a let down whilst you were waiting for one it just went past your floor. Found our cabin, large inside midship,(as this was our trial run did not want to waste money on a balcony cabin if we did not enjoy the trip)cabin was very nice plenty of space, cabin maid very good. We booked freedom dining so we could do as we pleased and try various locations around the ship. The food in the restaurants both formal and buffet was very good.The service in the restaurant could not be faulted it was quick and the staff very effecient. The cruise was themed on the Strickly Come Dancing show, which we do not watch, but the shows put on by the variouse artist were in the main very good and entertaining. The only critism i have about the entertainment was that some of the shows shown in the live lounge should have been held in the theatre. We did a number of shore excursions, some were very good, but a couple i did not feel gave value for money,i think a bit more research would have been helpfull.. We really enjoyed this cruise and after 3 days at sea booked a cruise for next year Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Traveling as part of a quite a large party [17]. First problems encountered with Cruise Personaliser having incorrect information - after a number of emails, problem was resolved, or so we thought. Some of the party had pre-booked ... Read More
Traveling as part of a quite a large party [17]. First problems encountered with Cruise Personaliser having incorrect information - after a number of emails, problem was resolved, or so we thought. Some of the party had pre-booked excursions. When we arrived in our Cabins and checked the tickets for the excursions, the wrong tickets had been issued to the wrong people. After many hours of queuing at Reception, we got the issue resolved, only to find they had then further charged the on-board accounts with the same excursions again. All in all a complete mess!! Cabin was comfortable, and we did have a shower screen this time, instead of the awful curtain we had on Aurora last year!! I did receive an upgrade from an Inside to a Balcony for an additional £200!! Would definitely recommend a Balcony for the Fjords. Mainly ate in the Restaurant [Freedom Dining], which was average, Service OK but got really annoyed with the upselling of bottled water, the severe lack of offer from the Waiters for the Cheese Course, and after dinner mints and coffee had to be requested all the time. Presentation and Quality of Food was OK. Buffet Restaurant was OK for breakfast. Reasonable choice of cooked/cold options. Tried the 'food to go' sandwiches for lunch one day which were inedible. Had a Burger and a Hot Dog from the Grill, which weren't bad. Entertainment was reasonable. Annie Lennox act was quite good, and the resident band did an 80's evening which was OK. Only caught last half of comedy night in the Theatre - Peter Piper was his name I think. Not terribly funny imho........ Being such a huge great ship, it generally didn't feel crowded too often. Managed to find some quiet areas on deck and in the Crows Nest. Personally, I think the ship is just too big, but only my opinion. This is my 3rd Cruise with P&O, and just in the couple of years since I first cruised with them, I think their standards have dropped. Sadly, I think they are trying to appeal to the mass market, and that made this cruise feel very much like a 'package holiday'. Will very much look to try a different Cruise Line for my next Cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We arrived in Southampton just after midday for our 7-day cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was very smooth and easy, which is important to us as our daughter is in a wheelchair. The cruise terminal (Ocean Terminal) was ... Read More
We arrived in Southampton just after midday for our 7-day cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was very smooth and easy, which is important to us as our daughter is in a wheelchair. The cruise terminal (Ocean Terminal) was extremely crowded, but we had no problems.. Once onboard, our main concern regarding Britannia, having read numerous reviews, was soon confirmed - the lifts on this ship are totally inadequate for its size. This is made worse by the fact that there are no midship stairs (except between decks 5 and 7), meaning everyone has to use the lifts to access their cabins unless they are located aft or forward, or they are willing to take a long walk - not good planning at all! Having a wheelchair, finding a lift that wasn't full proved extemely challenging at times. Having been on approximately 30 cruises on almost as many different ships with various cruise lines, I can honestly say that the lift situation on Britannia was the worst we have experienced. For a ship with 4,000+ passengers, the lifts are just too small and there are not enough of them. Other than the lifts, our experiences were mostly positive. The ship itself is very clean and the public areas are very spacious. Our cabin was comfortable (IE Grade Balcony - Obstructed View). We were lucky as the obstruction (lifeboats & tender boats) was small compared to some of the other similar cabins on deck 8, as ours was in the gap between two tender boats. The cabin was kept very clean by our cabin steward and our request for a shower seat for our daughter was actioned immediately (we had been unable to book an accessible cabin). The food was generally excellent, both in the main restaurants and the Horizon Buffet. We were on the first dinner sitting in the Oriental Restaurant which was aft. Again, the only problem here was the accessibility, as the restaurant (on Deck 6) is only accessible by lift from the deck above due to the galley being between other areas of the ship on this deck and the restaurant. We generally found that the only way to access the lifts when going to dinner was to go up and then down again, as the lifts going down were always full. we avoided the Horizon Buffet on sea days as it was very crowded, but on other days it was fine, with a good selection of food. Having cruised on Azura and Oceana, which had assigned priority lifts for wheelchairs, we were surprised that this was not the case on Britannia, being a newer ship (only one or two small easily-missed signs near lifts suggesting that priority be given to wheelchair users). At least two or three of the lifts were also out of service throughout the cruise, which made matters worse. The food and service in the restaurant were very good, although we found the crew and staff to be generally less friendly and the service less personal than we had experienced on the Oceana, which could be to do with the size of the ship. The shows in the theatre were all excellent, with a very high-quality cast and a good variety of guest artists. Accessibility was also good with a number of aisle seats being reserved for companions of wheelchair users with parking spaces for wheelchairs next to them. The ports were all excellent and we were extemely lucky with the weather (smooth, almost calm seas throughout and warm, sunny weather in each port). The views in the Fjords were spectacular. We particuarly enjoyed the captain's daily informative and amusing briefings. Our disembarkation was also very smooth and problem-free. To summarise, Britannia is generally a nice ship but the layout in some areas, particularly the lifts and stairs, are badly planned. Unless modifications are made to these areas, we would not recommend this as the best ship to choose if you are travelling with someone who has mobility problems. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
First time on a cruise, to Fjords. Scenery amazing. Weather amazing. This made a huge difference. Ports good, and the in room maps were ok but there were good ones available as you stepped in the boat. Aside from breakfast room service, ... Read More
First time on a cruise, to Fjords. Scenery amazing. Weather amazing. This made a huge difference. Ports good, and the in room maps were ok but there were good ones available as you stepped in the boat. Aside from breakfast room service, no indication of other room service available. Cabin was a good size but we did pay extra a one with a sofa. Towels were thin and threadbare. Cheap bedding. Shower very good. On deck F (9th floor) so used stairs a lot to keep fit which was good as lifts were shockingly awful. A few times several lifts would stop but be full. Stairs sometimes didn’t take you where you wanted as they would stop at a deck. Pools not heated well enough so didn’t use. Too cold which was very annoying. Sun beds were laid out in long rows next to each other which was a pain.entertainment cheesey - saw the new show Astonishing which was very poor, though did like the music. Cinema was good but it was fairly empty luckily as the incline isn’t sufficient so had to move when people sat in front of us. Nice to walk around the top deck. Food was okay. Buffet offered a reasonable selection, some good, some horrible but a couple of very good items. Same cheeses every day which was repetitive. MDR no better quality and service was ok. Steak not good quality and the macaroni cheese was disgusting. Beach house was okay but expensive for what it was, though did try it a few times. People did try and get you to wash hands. Drinks service everywhere was ridiculously slow. Did own excursions as the cruise liners were extortionate.overall service was nothing special, whether at reception (could they not smile occasionally?) or elsewhere in restaurants. Everywhere looked pretty clean. Disembarkation very slow and disorganised. Would rate it as a 3.5 star if it were a hotel. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
The attraction of this cruise was the Norwegian Fjords.Embarkation at Southampton was as always well organised.Ghe ship is large and the new decor a bit drab ,brown and cream colour scheme although smart was boring.The ship is always super ... Read More
The attraction of this cruise was the Norwegian Fjords.Embarkation at Southampton was as always well organised.Ghe ship is large and the new decor a bit drab ,brown and cream colour scheme although smart was boring.The ship is always super clean everywhere and the whole staff work tirelessly to keep it that way. It was half term so there were many children on board and as the weather was exceptionally hot and sunny the two main pool areas were taken over by them and they certainly enjoyed the pools.This meant using them was out for us as where the jacuzzis always full of kids. Fortunately there is a adults only pool area Serenity area to the rear and this was much quieter evening entertainment was of high quality and the on board Headliner company were outstanding.There was plenty of room at all the venues so plenty to choose from. The cabin was a little smaller than some liners but very well kept and we used the balcony a lot as the scenery as we cruised the fjords was fabulous with snow on the hills still and the villages and cruise stops in the larger ports right in the heart of the ports were easily accessed.P.&O certainly organise passenger exit and return to the ship so well. Now to the food. Although you will never be hungry on this ship the food we found to be a bit disappointing.At the breakfast buffet we found for inference the bacon to be very salty and the sausages tough,eggs were left out so went cold.at dinner in the evening fish and meat was often over cooked and vegetables either cold or not cooked at all.Soups and desserts were ok.Freedom dining was freely available and a much better option. Disembarkation at Southampton was smooth and trouble free.We would use this ship again without hesitation if the itinerary suited our needs as we know not everything will be one hundred percent perfect but P&O get it as near as possible. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I thought I would share my experiences with you, in case you find it helpful. I have cruised 12 times before, Disney, NCL and Royal Caribbean, and I will make some comparisons along the way, and as always it is just my honest opinion. ... Read More
I thought I would share my experiences with you, in case you find it helpful. I have cruised 12 times before, Disney, NCL and Royal Caribbean, and I will make some comparisons along the way, and as always it is just my honest opinion. First of all, Britannia itself:- The decor and overall standard of upkeep was really good, and there is plenty of space. The issue for me is the design/layout of the ship, probably the worst I have ever been on (a sentiment shared by many fellow travellers, many die hard P&O cruisers), you can only walk the length of the ship on three floors (except accommodation floors), Deck 7, but you have to walk through the Crystal Room, Deck 16, but you have to walk through the Horizon Buffet or Deck 17, but you have to walk through the gym. No Promenade Deck, I knew about this in advance but found it amusing when my Father-in-Law mentioned this to a member of staff, who said no sir it is on Deck 18. That is not really a Promenade Deck and getting my Mother-in-Law who is in a wheel chair, is a bit challenging. The Cabin:- Our Cabin (E701) was pretty good and was fairly quiet apart from the normal doors being left to slam. Clean and spacious, probably lacked a couple more drawers. Our steward was great, cleared the mini bar, kept refilling the ice. No complaints and on a par with other ships/lines. The Food:- We (family of 13 across two tables) were on 1st Sitting in The Oriental Restaurant and had great servers who were friendly, attentive and helpful. The standard of the main dining room food was good (not as good as Disney, but probably better than RCI and NCL). I thought the portion sizes were on the small size, but I wonder if that is because they expect everyone to have afternoon tea. There were few odd options on the menu and I think that they could really benefit by having a few tweaks. The Buffet Restaurant was huge, however extremely disappointing when it came to variety. They basically have 4 stations all doing the same food, which is not an issue at breakfast but at lunchtime was a bit of an issue for me. Don't get me wrong I like curry, but was served 6 out of 7 times at lunchtime, they did Spanish on the other day, there was always a pie or roast, Mexican a couple of times and the same with stir-fry plus a limited pasta choice. Salads were ok, but the cold meats were repetitive. There was no local specialities on offer and overall seemed to lack imagination and I would say that it was the worst cruise buffet restaurant I have experienced. Also the service in the restaurant was poor to almost sometimes rude. Bars:- The bars were nice enough and comfortable, many felt a bit like corridors (same as on other ships/lines). One thing I noticed with the exception of two servers, the service was quite poor, no speed, not attentive and no real interaction. Not willing to mix a drink properly (just using premix out of a carton). Is this because there are no tips? Bar service on the other cruise lines I have used is much better. The Gym:- Never seemed to be manned and kids were freely using equipment, some equipment broken and as I said earlier it was a corridor and it seemed to be an after thought compared to other cruise lines. The Serenity Pool:- Is this just a quiet zone or an adult only area, as there were a fair few kids in there, and P&O seem to jam so many beds close together it was not really living up to it's name. Disney of all people have this bit nailed. Lido Deck Pools:- Strangely deep considering this where the kids are mainly swimming, no life guard (as with the Serenity Pool) means nobody is stopping anyone diving and jumping in (yes this was happening in the Serenity Pool too). As previously mentioned bar service was not great. Hot Tubs:- I counted 4 hot tubs 2 above the Lido Deck pools and 2 in the Retreat, that is not enough hot tubs for a ship of that size, and they were small. The Retreat:- We paid for one day and whilst it is nice, it is over priced in my opinion and the service in there was not great. You may think that I am going to say I didn't enjoy my cruise, but I did, it was great, the itinerary was great and I had a great time, I just think I expected more from P&O. Many of my fellow passengers kept saying that don't judge P&O by Britannia, I hope they are right as I am going on Azura in November. I am not saying that I will never sail on Britannia again as the positives (the fact you are on a cruise) still out weigh the negatives but I would have to be persuaded. Read Less
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 3.1
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.4
Rates 5.0 N/A

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