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949 P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise(2 adults 2 children) Slightly nervous before as never sailed before but I nee-dent have worries at all! Britannia is such a beautiful magnificent ship! We visited all around the Canary Islands. All staff ... Read More
This was our first cruise(2 adults 2 children) Slightly nervous before as never sailed before but I nee-dent have worries at all! Britannia is such a beautiful magnificent ship! We visited all around the Canary Islands. All staff were on hand when getting on/off the ship. Security was super good. We felt safe the whole time. Weather was magnificent as well. We had an amazing time! Staff were amazing along with all the entertainment that was provided. Our cruise was dedicated to strictly come dancing and so did actually meet many of the stars. We had so much to do. People onboard were so lovely to talk to. Food was delicious. So much to choose from. Our room was perfect along with the amazing balcony view. Britannia is such a fabulous ship an I would recommend her to anyone. We will definitely be booking with her again. Thank you P&O x Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation The car drop off takes 40 mins waiting in the car, this is a poor parking system, we were told it is a holding pattern so not to block gate entrance, but no other dock in Southampton does it this way and the fast drop off at ... Read More
Embarkation The car drop off takes 40 mins waiting in the car, this is a poor parking system, we were told it is a holding pattern so not to block gate entrance, but no other dock in Southampton does it this way and the fast drop off at other terminals works fine. Maybe we arrived at the worst time @14:10, but the tickets told us to arrive for 14:30 and no more than half an hour before. Embarkation was busy but flowing and fast track good for people with limited walking. There were rather a large number of guests waiting in the assistance area and the process seemed slow, so even though my wife and I use sticks and usually use this service we continued through the lounge. As soon as we were on the ship, we were able to go to our cabin and divest ourselves of the hand luggage and suit carrier. This we were not able to do on some other cruise lines and lugging cases etc. around was very difficult. The large cases arrived promptly about two hours after we boarded, which was excellent. Dining The restaurant's have plenty of room between the tables. The initial waiter service was poor for how tables laid out during the first breakfast and dinner. We had to wait for more water/coffee and when asked another waiter he said someone would serve us but only from our team (which he didn't tell us and didn't pass message on), plus waited for menus themselves in some instances. The table layout is bad for both general waiting and wine waiter, as our table for dinner (93) is behind wall/piller for main waiters and at far end of area of wine waiter, so difficult to see or get hold of either of them. We had no wine menu on one night and again difficult to get hold of the waitress, when she finally arrived and we asked about the menu, she stated not enough menus to go round so only given to regular customers, as we ordered wine on two occasions and drank it over two days we were obviously not regular enough. This was outright rudeness! Oriental Restaurant set up not like typical cruise ship and dark decor, seems to try and mimic a restaurant rather than ship. Other restaurant are more open, but food provision in these restaurant is more chaotic, we have been told by others. Food for breakfast can be warm at best, again service depends on visibility. The porridge can be nice and hot, but also luke warm, it does vary a lot and getting there early ironically meant the porridge was colder. Toast is nice and crispy, not damp as with other lines who keep it covered to keep warm, but too soggy. Coffee in the Oriental very nice, also hot, but refills can be slow to come. If you ask for well done bacon for breakfast it comes crispy which is good. The general food quality in the Oriental Restaurant is good. We didn't try the buffet breakfast. It is good that the doors to the restaurant close to late guests in the Oriental Restaurant 15 mins after sitting commences. The separate vegetarian menu is good, however if you have food from this it takes longer to prepare than from standard menu, so you will have to wait, which is not a problem, guests just need to know. The vegetables can be sparse e.g. Quarter of a potato,10 thick cut chips with steak. For the vegetarian meals sometimes it would be good to include separate vegetables. Also need to understand that vegetarians don't want everything to be soft. The sweet corn risotto was not great, the rice was undercooked. Steaks come as asked for and are generally good. The salmon was overdone and dry. The pheasant was dry and the shredded pheasant had a bone in it (about an inch and a half long) that I nearly swallowed. The low sugar desserts seem to lack taste e.g. Coffee and hazelnut cake was just a slab of cake with no coffee taste or hazelnut at all. The thyme and lemon stuffing that came with the roast chicken, wasn't anything like stuffing at all, much closer to thyme and lemon breadcrumbs. The scrambled eggs were excellent, as were the soft boiled eggs. My wife ordered macaroni cheese with focaccia bread, it didn't come with the bread and that was not the first time the accompaniment didn't appear. Drinks on-board were excellent value and greatly appreciated after other cruise lines. Does make daily drinks package seem very expensive at £40 per person per day. The wine packages are a good idea. The buffet restaurant is generally good, with wide walkways and good seating, unlike other cruise lines where they "pack people in". There seems to be enough choice, but very limited fruit available during lunch, which is what we'd like to eat. Having had a good breakfast and dinner. My wife wanted to go to the Good Friday service at 08:30, so we arrived at the Oriental Restaurant before 08:00, as from previous breakfasts it took 20 to 25 minutes to finish. This breakfast room considerably longer with scrambled eggs on toast for my wife arriving after 25 minutes which she had to bolt down to get to the service and didn't get her Danish pastry at all. Yet from where we were seated other guests in a different area, had their main breakfast delivered nearly 10 minutes before we did. Cabin The TV is missing on board spend, which you have to go to reception and ask to be printed out, which is a waste of paper. The tv channels are very limited, however the destination videos are very interesting and worthwhile. The tv lost all channels on at least one occasion that I can confirm (around 17:00 onwards on Sunday the 14th of April) and I think on another occasion earlier in the cruise. Also lost signal temporarily a number of times. The room steward is very friendly and remembers names (Ratheesh), he looks after us very well. Other staff outside generally do not say good morning (some do)? Though restaurant staff are pretty good. This improved the longer the cruise went on and by the end most said good morning, when on my walks around deck. The bed is very comfortable and cabin E520 is quiet and nicely furnished. It does need small lights by each bedside for getting up in night/reading. Guests leave bathroom light on and door ajar with coat hanger so some light available, this wastes electricity. The balcony is small at around 1 metre in depth, this seems smaller than other ships we have been on and with the chairs and tables minimal room to squeeze by, especially if you have limited mobility. The shower is excellent and spacious, the bathroom is well laid out but not large, I can see where some guests would think the layout is not ideal, especially larger people. The non slip floor in the bathroom is excellent. General Ship The decor is a bit tired in places, floor 7 buttons missing in most lifts, some carpets, rails and stairs worn. The ship is generally clean and the staff look like they work hard to keep it clean. The lifts are a nightmare, they are too full for disabled people, miss floors when waiting and take an age, had to take stairs as gave up after 5 mins plus, others waited for over 15 mins. People end up getting in any lift going in the wrong direction. No stairs with middle lifts a massive mistake. When trying to get off for an excursion again had to give up with lifts after waiting 10 minutes for lifts in the middle of the ship and standing there with two sets of people with wheelchairs, as there are no stairs, a glaring mistake when designing this ship. Also as lifts don't go to all floors it gets confusing to go to deck 5 from the rear from deck 6, you have to go up 1 along to mid ships and then down and when it is busy and you are in a wheelchair this takes ages. Lots of complaints about lifts and queues. Plus the rear lifts are the only ones you can use to get to the Oriental Restaurant, you can't walk there from other lifts, so they get ridiculously busy at dining times, especially in the evenings. There are two independent lifts each side in the middle, so people press all three buttons (1 for the main bank of 4, and 1 for each of the side ones) then get in whichever they can, leaving the other two still stopping at that floor. All middle lifts need to be synchronised. As there are middle stairs (behind the doors) which can be used from floor 7 down, but not up, why not? On the lifts in the middle there are notices about letting less mobile people use them, these are totally ignored. As this cruise has a number of sea days, at the beginning and end, a few children have taken to pressing all the lift buttons as they are unsupervised. I understand this is difficult for P&O, but the parents do need to have responsibility. It was nice that bridge crew made an announcement over the tanoy when whales were spotted. On Palm Sunday, an important Christian event, there is nothing mentioned or even a room set aside, as there is for the Jewish community. It is good there are Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, though 23:30 is a bit late for the washing of the feet on Thursday and the liturgy on Friday (this is due to the crew being able to participate). I suppose this was the earliest P&O had rooms available? The Stations of the Cross on Food Friday was held in The Ivory Suite - a nice room, but only enough chairs for half of the people there, the rest had to stand. The lack of a promenade deck is disappointing as we like to stroll around the outside. There is an area outside to sit in which confused us as we thought it was the promenade. Doors really heavy and difficult to move. The facilities to keep hands clean (dispensers) are largely absent. My wife asked the restaurant manager and was told not necessary after a couple of days and also not that effective, soap and water much better, which is available (in the toilets by Oriental Restaurant so no one used them), in our view dispensers much better and more used, if they were there. The wash basins by buffet restaurant were used but only by a very few people. It is good that there are close buttons on lifts. Ports & Excursions The different ports were excellent, with lots of variety. La Palma was our favourite due to not being too commercialised, but all offered interesting aspects and not what you would expect of these islands. Docking was handled quickly and efficiently, though there were the inevitable queues at peak times. Excursions were good value (compared to other cruise lines) and pretty well run. Though on the one we undertook it was rushed to get the walks in and therefore faster than my wife or I can manage without discomfort (this was the one from the ship we did in La Palma - UNESCO wildlife and Rum). They did say they would take it easy, but certainly didn't for the last half, so we were the last to get to the rum tasting and worn out when we arrived. The tour of the facility was also rushed as we were quickly ushered between a couple of rooms with hasty explanations, to get to the tasting and buying something. At Lisbon, we had to wait nearly 10 minutes to get onto the ship, having gone through security and on the moving gangway, in very cold conditions. This was due to the positioning of the gangway being moved upwards for the tidal flow, which is fair enough. However, over half this time was waiting for someone from the ship (other than the security personnel) to confirm it was safe, despite the Portuguese operator of the gangway confirming to the ships staff that it was. When the P&O officer arrived he tried to blame the delay on the gangway shutting itself down, which the operator refuted and plainly stated it was down to having to wait for him to arrive. We were cold and just wanted to get onto the ship. Whilst we understand the need to be safe, this was clearly "jobsworth!" and nothing to do with safety. The dozen or so passengers were not at all pleased. Theatre & Shows The theatre was over packed for the Strictly interviews, it would have been much better to run 2 events. Also, there is a rush to get into events. Even for the "Astonishing" magic show (which wasn't even mediocre and was certainly not a magic show, just another dance show!) it was a ridiculous rush to get seats and for people who can't walk quickly very frustrating as all the best seats were taken. Theatre layout is curious as not only is it not big enough for the size of the ship (for 2 performances) the staggered seating near the front, means three rows are at the same level therefore if you're shorter, like my wife, and sit on row 2 or 3 of a level you struggle to see. So we had to try to get seats in the first row, which, due to the rush, was not always possible. Much more sensible to properly stagger the seating. If you dine early, like we have to (as I am diabetic), a third show at 19:00 is during dining time, so the show you go for will be 20:30 which is always the full one. The idea of having seats reserved next to aisles for disabled is great, but I recommend that the red signs on the deck 6 ones are made much larger and thus more obvious, as a number of people "didn't see them". It would be good to give out the "No saving of seats message" prior to a few minutes before the performance, as most shows were pretty full long before that and on a number of occasions people had been reserving seats for quite a while. Mind you on the flip side, neither my wife or I are particularly mobile so when doors open we can get caught in the rush to get good seats, so I try and go ahead, leaving my wife to catch up, which usually takes a minute or two. Michael Kushner is an excellent speaker and his talks are really interesting, the shame is due to a number of them being in the Live Lounge (that only seats about 250 people) we were unable to listen to a couple as all the seats were taken well over 10 minutes prior to starting. The Headliners theatre was a much better venue. There are a number of quizzes which are good fun, however the late afternoon one in Brodies bar starts at 17:30 and finished in about 20 minutes. Given that it takes another 10 minutes to get back to our room, we have 30 minutes to get ready for dinner and on formal night that is not long enough. The singer's in lounges are good with a variety of songs and moods. We were told by others the dance floor was much too small and it did seem so for the number of people trying to dance when we went passed, but it was a Strictly cruise and so this might have been an exception. Disembarkation The cases need to be outside at 20:30, which is much earlier than other cruise lines. The worse part of getting off the ship was that there is no place to store your luggage prior to disembarkation and you have to vacate your cabin by 08:00. So with both of us having mobility issues and needing sticks, we then had to contend with hand luggage and a suit carrier to take around with us, which made life very difficult. Some other cruise lines have luggage holding areas. Cabins have to be cleared by 08:00. Not surprisingly the buffet restaurant gets very full. Disembarkation requires you to go to a specific destination, ours was the headliners theatre. So you enter through deck 7 and have to make your way down the front (deck 6) as that is where they will start from. Walking downstairs is bad enough for us, but with 2 sets of carry on luggage and a suit carrier, plus 2 sticks it is almost impossible and leaves my wife and I knackered and very unhappy and hurt my wife’s shoulder quite badly. As we have some paperwork to hand, I left the theatre and met a P&O rep outside. I tell her about the difficulties of the process and how tired we both are and she says there is a disabled departure point (limelight club) that we should have gone to, or asked a rep before getting to the theatre. I said we weren't aware of the disabled departure (as it is not stated anywhere we found) and that by the time we knew how much hassle this would be we were already in the theatre. Also, there was a rep on deck 7 that saw us struggling down the stairs to get to the theatre (as APU the lifts were so jammed full of was impossible to get in the first 5 going down and people had been waiting over 10 minutes) who said nothing to us. So we were now stuck in the theatre waiting. My wife and I registered as requiring assistance, so P&O knew we'd need help for both on and off the ship. So instead of the rep saying we should have asked, P&O knew and exactly which cabin we were in therefore the should have told us what to do as disabled passengers (especially as we had not done this before on P&O). Also, there is an opportunity to self depart, which is a good idea, but we certainly couldn't cope with our main luggage. We asked reception about self departure and were told we would have to get all of our luggage off, and we stated there was no way we could do this having limited mobility, at no time did the receptionist mention assisted departure. An announcement was made about leaving the lifts for wheelchairs or others of limited ability which was more of less ignored. We understand that there is a process needed for so many people but some people ignored it and stood by the doors to get off first. There is realistically very little the crew can do to stop this. Our disembarkation time was scheduled for 08:45 to 09:15. The staff handling the process were OK, but made a number of completely inaccurate statements: 1. Once the process started it would go quickly: This started off in promising manner with the first 4 rows leaving at 08:40, then the next 2 at 08:45. We then had over a 20 minute wait for the next 3 rows (which we were in) and when finally called forward, more than the 3 rows requested tried to leave. We were in the 7th row and finally got out of the theatre around 09:15. One of your reps tried to stop us going out saying the queue was too big (which was ignored by the fed up guests), which it wasn't when we got there. 2. Adam knew exactly how we felt (and told us so repeatedly): No, he didn’t as he’d never struggled with his luggage (the way we had to) and then sat and waited patiently for nearly an hour, listening to statements that were clearly inaccurate. 3. This was the fastest way off and no one else would be getting off before us: When we finally got out of the theatre and headed for the gangway, lots of people (about half) in the queue for the gangway, had not come from the theatre at all. So, the best way to disembark was just to walk off! (especially as you didn’t need your departure sheet!) 4. You need your disembarkation sheet to get off at your allowed time: No, you didn't, just your cruise card as we never had to show the sheet to anyone. 5. This has never happened before: Well given the ridiculous nature of the debacle, if this was the best method P&O had of getting people off, then yes it would. Quite a few guests were vocal about the whole process and the fact queue jumping was going on. As there was still over 50% of the theatre to go after us and it was now well past 09:15, I believe this was going to get even more heated. Other cruise lines with similar size do not seem to have the same system and disembarkation is considerably easier. It would have been much quicker for use to just walk to the gangway on deck 5 and join the queue. Actually, getting off the ship was pretty straightforward, however finding your luggage was another matter. We had been told the luggage was sorted in deck order, in clearly demarked zones. We were on deck E and eventually found our luggage among suitcases from deck F. In fact, there seemed to be no demarcation between E & F at all, so wasted a lot of time searching what was supposed to be the E piles! At least getting the car from CPS was easy, so we drove off! The whole process was a farce and needs serious overhauling to stop it being so painful and exhausting. Overall Having been on multiple other ships and itineraries overall my wife and would mark this as 7.5 out of 10, as there were some very good points, and some very bad ones. On a scale against the other companies we would rate P&O above MSC and Royal Caribbean, on a par with Marella and below, Celebrity, Cunard and Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was the only short 2-night getaway we could find in April, and it was the first time cruising with P&O. We were a party of 11 people and we all had an amazing time, It was so amazing I’m going back on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the only short 2-night getaway we could find in April, and it was the first time cruising with P&O. We were a party of 11 people and we all had an amazing time, It was so amazing I’m going back on the ship next year with a group of friends for a while week this time. Firstly embarkation was an absolute BREEZE. We got there, dropped off our luggage, waited in a very fast moving line with loads and loads of assistants both at the desks checking us in and also guiding us to different parts of the queue where there was less people. Everyone was incredibly polite and happy, and was completely seamless, exceptional in fact. The whole thing from walking inside the terminal to getting on the ship took about 30-40 minutes, including the waiting security, everything. Quite simply, exceptional. The ship itself was incredible, super modern, fantastic architecture with so many amazing beautiful bars to sit in. The service and the food in the restaurant was amazing. On the formal night we’d never heard of anything on the menu, so I just plumped for a random meal for each of the starter, main course and dessert (as I’m absolutely not a fussy eater) and it turned out to be exquisite. Everyone else I was with had different things and they loved it too, so big thumbs up on the food front. Service as well was quick, efficient, polite and all the waiters were very chatty and pleasant. Next the layout of the ship, which overall was fantastic. Before I went I was looking at the deck plans and I had very heavy reservations that the ship would feel awfully crowded, as after all there are seven decks of just pure cabins and just six decks of entertainment, restaurants, bars etc. But when on the ship you didn’t get this impression AT ALL. In fact, quite the opposite. To me the ship was spacious, there was always space to sit where you wanted, always space to sit outside, so this ship was incredibly good at handling this amount of people. This even goes for the Horizon Cafe, I’ve been on ships in the past where the main buffet restaurant was impossible to sit anywhere because it just wasn’t big enough for the amount of people, NOT the case on Britannia at all. The Horizon Cafe is absolutely huge so there was always space to sit at all times of the day, even at 8am in the morning at breakfast, so fantastic decision making the buffet as big as it is. Now to my one and only bugbear ..... the lifts and stairs. There is NO STAIRCASE in the middle of the ship above deck 7, which is a monumental mistake, just lifts. Between the 11 of us we occupied 4 cabins, three on D deck 11 and one on E deck 10, all midship. So just going down one deck from E to D we had to use the lift. Now I know the argument could be ‘walk to the forward lift bank where there are stairs’, but having to walk all the way forward, just to do one flight of stairs and walk all the way back to midship again is a bit impractical, especially on a ship as huge as this. Especially when you consider two people in our group were older and couldn’t walk very far, so going more than one floor on the stairs for them was out of the question (great when you’re on D deck so you have to go at least three decks to get to anything). This brings me onto the next thing, the lifts are impossible to use at the busiest time, not helped at all by having no staircase in the middle. On embarkation, disembarkation and getting to and from the muster drill, it was infuriating. Getting back from the muster drill, the two in my group who had to use them had to wait HALF AN HOUR to get in one, absolutely ridiculous. But luckily they’re just short times of the cruise where you just have to put up with it, that small part of inconvenience is definitely not enough to affect your cruise. When we were in port (so the ship was quieter) the lifts were dead and even just on the typical evening when everyone was onboard and roaming the ship as normal, the lifts weren’t a problem. It’s just those three busy times where it’s a bit of a headache. Next the entertainment, which was a great laugh. We went and saw the show in the theatre, which was a magic show. A bit cheesy for my liking, but we all had a brilliant time and it was really funny and entertaining, and that’s all you can ask for really. I’ve read comments about the size of the theatre, but we didn’t have a problem finding anywhere to sit. It’s like any theatre really, get there early and you’ll get a good seat. Although I didn’t use it during my short time on the cruise, I went to the gym and had a good look around it. It was a really good size with lots of equipment to use, really bright and airy too. I saw the gym at 6pm in the evening and it didn’t look particularly crowded either. Just the small bugbear about the lack of midship staircase and occasional lift overcrowding is absolutely not enough to spoil your cruise experience though, it’s such a small thing, because like I said it’s not a problem at all other times. I’m going back on the Britannia next April for a week-long Western Europe cruise, and this I’ll going with a group of friends who have never been on a cruise before. I picked this one purely because of the amazing experience I had the first time, as it was important to me that my friends have an amazing first time cruise, and I’m sure they will on this ship. I can’t recommend this cruise ship enough, absolutely loved it. Completely British, absolutely brilliant. Seemless embarkation, amazing service, amazing food, amazing design and architecture, and also brilliant standards of hygiene. At the horizon restaurant there was an assistant outside making sure we washed out hands at the outside sink, and they were always outside the restaurant making sure we sanitized as we went in. Everything about it was fantastic and am so excited to go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A number of poor things in relation to the Britannia, some easy to change, others just poor initial design: 1. A real faux pas to not have stairs up the centre of the ship, makes orientation around the ship problematic, means people ... Read More
A number of poor things in relation to the Britannia, some easy to change, others just poor initial design: 1. A real faux pas to not have stairs up the centre of the ship, makes orientation around the ship problematic, means people gravitate to the lifts unnecessarily, really poor design flaw. 2. Incredible that hand hygiene was not a significant issue, no staff on entrance to any of the dining areas and buffets ensuring hand hygiene from passengers. 3. Very lacklustre staff attitudes, told that automatic tipping on P&O is disappearing, wonder if it is affecting how staff work. 4. Size of the gym to the size of the ship is laughable, one shower and one toilet in the changing area - 4,000+ passengers! 2 sit up bikes too. Very poor considering that we should be pushing a healthier lifestyle. Think they are too busy promoting the pay for spa instead. 5. Steam room in the gym was scolding hot, came out burnt after 10 minutes. 6. Complaints pretty much ignored, fits with lacklustre staff, number of occasions I received half service. 7. Cabins are small, trying to get too many on board I had a good break as a holiday, but will avoid Britannia in future. Think this ship is really poorly managed at present. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Wanted to see the Bulb Fields and Keukenhof, which we did under our own steam. Pity P&O did not put on their own excursions to Keukenhof, a world class venue. Embarkation was excellent, seems to get slicker each time. Some new ... Read More
Wanted to see the Bulb Fields and Keukenhof, which we did under our own steam. Pity P&O did not put on their own excursions to Keukenhof, a world class venue. Embarkation was excellent, seems to get slicker each time. Some new dishes on MDR menus but basically still the same over last few years, still lots of choice but some more new dishes needed on the menu cycles. Contrary to all the negative reviews on stairs/lifts we have never had a problem (other than people who will not step out the lift to let people out). Britannia buffet works well with the serving stations placed between the two sides of the restaurant, much better than the single file lines of other earlier P&O ships. But why oh why do people get a table first and then go off singly to get their food while one "guards the table? New shows like Gravity are not our cup of tea, much prefer "song and dance" A lovely cruise, Rotterdam a very good maiden port call. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having read many reviews before I got a bit concerned about the cruise, of course every review written is based on the experience of the writer and of opinion varies, here are some brief points based on my experience- Food- variety ... Read More
Having read many reviews before I got a bit concerned about the cruise, of course every review written is based on the experience of the writer and of opinion varies, here are some brief points based on my experience- Food- variety good, quality and heat could be improved Entertainment- mixed, think some elements could be pushed further with no extra cost by thinking beyond what people are expecting and would have added the wow factor. Entertainment hosts work hard but some looked like they had given up but others were exceptional Public spaces- decor and quality far exceeded my expectations. Many big spaces, my advice is to look beyond the crows nest and atrium area on busy sea days if you want to relax. Sindhu bar area, live lounge and Marlow suite could be quieter alternatives (when not being used for other activities) Outside deck-under utilised by many, hot tubs good but could do with additional ones. Gym- will be writing to P&O regarding service by fitness team, they have totally given up. Equipment ok, some broken. No bar weights but dumbbells and limited machines. Could put together a workout using the equipment available but expected more from the facilities here Service- mixed. Majority of bar staff bugged you constantly to order drinks and then would take 10-15 mins to get the drink made. Bit pushy and if you would ask for tap water they would say mineral water to get you into buying it instead of having free water. Best to order drinks directly from the bar and be very clear what you want. Cabin service exceptional. Waiter service at main restaurant (Oriental) exceptional. Shopping- mega sales were full of tat and not worth your money. Shops very expensive unless you want cheap cigarettes. Perfumes not good value and choice. Gift shop could do with better products Overall- I enjoyed my time on board Britannia. There was an overlying sense of lack of motivation amongst some staff. I think some areas of service, entertainment and activity lacked the wow factor. These elements were delivered at a good 3* standard not more. Some elements were better but overall this is my view Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise as the Brittania is at present the flagship of P&O. We booked a balcony, again a first for us. We have to say we were delighted with the cabin and I spent as much time as possible sitting on the balcony. There was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the Brittania is at present the flagship of P&O. We booked a balcony, again a first for us. We have to say we were delighted with the cabin and I spent as much time as possible sitting on the balcony. There was everything we would need in the cabin so no complaints there. The food was excellent in all the restaurants, however, the menus are very similar to the Ventura and Azura. The Sindhu......... brilliant. The food and the experience are superb and we would highly recommend a visit. The crew were helpful but we found the crew on the Ventura seemed more cheerful, saying that we do not have any complaints which we are pleased with as we wanted this cruise on the Brittania to be a pleasant experience. A bit disappointed that we didn't get to call in to Guernsey but fully understandable given the conditions, the other ports were pleasant although we would have preferred longer on our trip to Ypres. The only complaint about the tours are the expectations of a gratuity. They are expensive enough without the tour guide and driver waiting with their hands out......as pleasant people as they were. We would definitely go on Brittania again, but to different ports. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to get a little bit of sun, rather than sit at home watching the rain. This being my third time on Azura, I thought I knew what to expect. Embarkation went smoothly, and I was in my cabin swiftly. I noticed that the plug in the basin was closed,and I wondered why. It didn't take me long to find the answer. I was on deck fourteen, but when I went to decks six and seven, THE SMELL OF RAW SEWAGE WAS OVERPOWERING !!!. Lots of people were complaining throughout the whole cruise. I spoke to reception desk about this,only to be told that they were aware of this problem, and they were working on it. Previous reviews that I have read have indicated that the problem has been on board the ship for some time. The Captain was never to be seen around the ship,except for photo shoots, nor was the chief Engineer,as I would have approached one of them to ask about the problem, which continued for the entire duration of the cruise.( I later found that the basin was kept plugged to prevent the smell entering my cabin). I dined in the restaurant on only three occasions,as the food was only lukewarm, and on one dinner the ribeye steak was so tough that three members at my table had to send it back. After that I dined at the buffet,where the food was Lukewarm too. The entertainment was mediocre,same old gags from old comedians. On one occasion the show was cancelled because of rough seas. To conclude, six sea days are too much,when the entertainment is poor. However if you like dancing,or quizzes,or overpriced bingo,or old movies then this ones for you. I won't be back on Azura! I have a Cruise booked on Brittania for next year,but I won't be going,unless P&o redress me for the disappointment that I endured on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We picked P & O for the itinerary, visiting so many islands including Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, Aruba all via Barbados. Firstly so glad we booked a Premium flight from Newcastle, great service and good food and drinks. ... Read More
We picked P & O for the itinerary, visiting so many islands including Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, Aruba all via Barbados. Firstly so glad we booked a Premium flight from Newcastle, great service and good food and drinks. Embarkation in Barbados was swift. We were met on the tarmac by mini buses and we were on the ship in 50 minutes! Our cases were delivered at about 9pm. So about 4 hours later but we had a meal and wandered around the ship so it was not a problem. Brittania was a beautiful ship, took us a day or two to get used to the ares but a bit of effort and patience ( with lifts especially) was all that was needed. Our balcony cabin E610 was lovely. Balcony was big enough to sit out and watch other ships sail away and to sun bathe. Fabulous bed so very comfortable and big! Great to have tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin and a fridge with cold drinks payable locally. Our steward took good care of us. We had Freedom dining and always got a nice table for two around 6.50pm in either restaurants. The food was absolutely gorgeous, I really don’t know who would rate it down! Choice was always good and service very quick. The evening entertainment was enough for us, resident band Pulse were ok, shows were of a fair standard, musicals and a well known illusionist act. But best by far was La Voix in the Limelight club. Hilarious. Around the ship on sea days was busy as was to be expected but we always got beds round the pool, although the music was very repetitive and sometimes loud. But cooling off in the pools was fab. The entertainment crew put on an aqua robics class which looked exhausting but fun. We had booked to swim with stingray in Antigua and it was spectacular! A must for nature lovers. Speedboat our to a landing bay and then a good hour snorkelling with them. Very cool! We were able to hold them too. Best beach was Barbados and St Maarten. Both by taxi and both worth the trip. In St Lucia we did the Rainforest trip which was great and it did rain! Didn’t spoil the wonderful views or spotting the hummingbird! Aruba was the nicest port we thought and had a lovely morning walking round the town. We celebrated Brittania’s 4th birthday with a great party on Lido Deck it was great fun, all of us singing and waving our Union Jacks!! The Captain made a nice speech and cut a big cake. It was very easy to leave the ship at every port, some town centres were further than others but walkable. Taxis galore and very reliable. We had a lady drive us to a beach in a Mercedes 4 x 4, very elegant!! Disembarkation was easier for us as we booked a day room, we were leaving at 2.55pm and had the room till 3pm so we were able to shower and change comfortably. But overall a bit of hanging around, to be expected, when 5 flights leaving. Barbados airport easy and a fab flight home to a freezing morning in Newcastle! we would highly recommend this cruise, go and chill out, have fun and eat plenty! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Balcony cabin A510, deck 15. Barbados- St Lucia- St Kitts- Antigua-Ponta Delgada-Southampton. We chose this cruise as we have always wanted to sail across the Atlantic. This is our second P & O cruise, previously on Azura. Flew ... Read More
Balcony cabin A510, deck 15. Barbados- St Lucia- St Kitts- Antigua-Ponta Delgada-Southampton. We chose this cruise as we have always wanted to sail across the Atlantic. This is our second P & O cruise, previously on Azura. Flew on the included flight from Gatwick to Barbados with TUI on 15th March. flight was good with all drinks, including the bar service, as complimentary. Transfered from the airport directly to the ship (the first night was spent on the ship in port at Bridgetown before sailing the following evening; this gave us a day to look around Bridgetown). Check-in was fairly swift. Upon boarding the ship there was the usual photographer but other than that, no welcome drinks or anyone to direct everyone to the lifts for the cabins, in contrast to our previous experiences. None of the warm welcomes we have received with a number of other cruise lines. First impressions was of a ship that was rather plain and dull in appearance; the atrium could be any hotel or shopping centre and the long aisles on the passenger decks were totally devoid of any art work or decoration making it look very clinical. Our cabin was clean and adequate, everything in good working order an the bed was comfortable. I like the open wardrobe area on P & O that is made separate from the main cabin area; a good idea! I couldn't help but feel it seemed like a Premier Inn room (not that there is anything wrong with that!) Our cabin steward was excellent throughout the cruise; she was very welcoming, friendly and gave an excellent service throughout; always knowing when we were out of the cabin to do her work. She also gave us lots of advice about the ship. The cabin stewards probably work harder than anyone else on the ship and deserve recognition. The sailaway party on the upper deck was well organised but had a completely British feel and the music played was very predictable! Not sure what foreign guests made of it all, although, I guess 99% of the guests were British anyway! We had chose Freedom Dining at the time of booking. We stuck this for the first 3 nights but were very disappointed with the service in both the Meridian and Peninsular dining rooms at night. Eventhough they were not busy, the staff seems totally disinterested in us. Very poor and not our experience on any of our previous cruises or other cruise lines. We asked to be transferred to Club Dining at the 1830 sitting to which they agreed and we were put on a table of 4 other people. In the Oriental Restaurant ther service was very good and efficient; the food in the evening - I though was just ok (better some days than others) but all the menus had a very British feel! One night we booked the Epicurean Restaurant which was £28 per person. The food and service in there was excellent, almost hard to believe it was on the same ship! This felt like the cruises of yesteryear and was the highlight of the dining experiences. We also tried the Horizon buffet on one evening and the food was generally very good. The Horizon buffet restaurant is a bit noisy and chaotic. To me, the layout and appearance of the Horizon Restaurant, with the tables all neatly arranged in rows, almost gave the feel of being on a large ferry rather than a cruise ship; just lacking the style and sophistication of other ships. One thing I noticed is that they never seemed to wash the outside windows of the public areas when in port eventhough there is an automated system to do this. It was done after arriving back in Southampton obviously since everywhere had become salted-up after the trans-Atlantic crossing. The Headliners theatre company and the Albion Band performed to a very high standard in all of their performances; they are all very competent professional vocalists, dancers and musicians. Enjoyed all of the performances despite the fact that most were of a very British theme! The other music gigs were all very good and some exceptional. I went to the series of talks on the sea days about the British SAS. It became a bit drawn out, a couple of talks would have been sufficient with the speaker's incessant pacing to-and-fro across the stage. Good thing the audience was essentially British as for an International audience this topic could have been bordering on the unacceptable level! The crossing over the Atlantic saw calm seas for most of the time. There was one day, after the Azores where there was moderate seas (as described by the captain) that lasted for about 24 hours; I thought that Britannia sailed the rougher waters very smoothly without much disruption (but it should be noted that I enjoy this anyway, lol!) There was a medical emergency a few hours after departing Ponta Delagada and the captain took the decison to return to port, keeping everyone well informed of the situation (a very unfortunate and worst case scenario for the person that took ill; thank God that this did not occur mid-Atlantic). Taking everything into account - I enjoyed the cruise, particularly the Atlantic crossing. My favourite port of call was Ponta Delgada in the island of Sao Miguel, Azores. Lovely place and we were blessed with unbroken sunshine and a calm day. For me, Britannia lacks the buzz, style, sophistication and wow factor of other ships or other cruise lines. I know that P & O can easily fill their cruises with the British public but the experience is just .....too British. Surely travel is about new cultures and experiences? I don't know what foreign guests would make of this? Maybe cuises are just becoming like any other package holiday as that is what Britannia feels like to me, not really a flagship of the company. I will continue to use P & O as they offer some great itineraries, year-round from Southampton. Indeed, we have already booked several more trips over the next year and a half. Britannia - luxury flagship? No! Good value holiday cruise ship? Yes! Hoping that Iona will signal the start of P & O becoming an International cruise line rather than the British cruise line at present. The guests in our adjacent cabin mentioned to us that it felt like a holiday camp such as Butlins. I have never been to Butlins but I will take their word for it! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was the end of 2018/2019 Winter Caribbean Season repositioning cruise, as Britannia returned to Southampton on the 29th March leaving Barbados on the 16th evening. The price (at least for us) included a Thomas Cook charter flight ... Read More
This was the end of 2018/2019 Winter Caribbean Season repositioning cruise, as Britannia returned to Southampton on the 29th March leaving Barbados on the 16th evening. The price (at least for us) included a Thomas Cook charter flight from Gatwick to Barbados, transfer to ship and at the end of the voyage in Southampton, a free coach taking us back to Gatwick to collect the car. This also applied to those who had flown from Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Bournemouth. The transfers worked very well. We paid the extra £149 pp to turn left at the top of the stairs when getting on the aeroplane and this was worthwhile but why they then charge for you to book your preferred seats defeats me. We had an obstructed LARGE balcony cabin on Deck G. The large cabins have a sofa to sit on rather than a single chair and are about 14sq. ft. bigger. Barbados/Bridgetown. We opted for the 14-day cruise option, that is arriving in Bridgetown on Friday 15th March, the day BEFORE Britannia sailed for St. Lucia. This meant we had time to sample the delights of Bridgetown on the Saturday. Some opted for excursions, but there is enough to do and see in Bridgetown independently. The town is approx. a 20-minute walk from the cruise terminal. Cave Shepherd has two stores in Bridgetown, the larger having excellent free WIFI in its café on the First Floor. St. Lucia. We did our own thing walking from the ship into the town, finding a café with free WIFI and doing some shopping. Many from the ship either walked to the nearest beach, or took a taxi. Ship excursions were (anecdotally) more expensive than making a bargain with one of the numerous taxi drivers just outside the terminal gates. St. Kitts. We had a ship’s excursion (Best of St. Kitts) including the Wingfield Estate and Romney Manor plus the Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At each place the inevitable market stalls were in abundance, but all worthwhile and easy enough. Could have probably done with more time at each stop. Antigua. We had another ship’s excursion to, broadly speaking, Shirley Heights and English Harbour with its Nelson’s Dockyard, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was an excellent tour, but again with limited time at Nelson’s Dockyard and its inevitable market stalls. If we went again, we would only go here and spend half a day - there are numerous bars and restaurants and quite a lot to see, or just pass the time. Ponta Delgada. Again, did our own thing walking to the botanical gardens and the covered newish shopping centre set above the lower town, about a 35-minute walk from the quay. Britannia? Much has been written before about the weird central lift and stairs arrangements where you cannot go from top to bottom by the stairs alone. We understand this is being rectified in her late-2019 refit. Food in the main restaurants (Freedom Dining for us) was only Harvester or Holiday Inn standard to be honest. On the two Marco Pierre White themed nights, they just about managed to do a decent Beef Wellington, but the second so called half-lobster offering was dismal. It seemed they had scooped the meat out of the shells, mixed it into a sort of saucy potato mash and re-inserted - very poor. If you wanted something rather more exceptional for dinner, then you had to pay and that seemed to be the general conclusion. Sindhu, The Glass House and The Beach House were all used by us and are extremely good value and super food in all of them. We did not try The Epicurean, which seemed very expensive in comparison to the other alternatives. Buffet was decent enough. At least you could get a made to measure omelette rather than the cardboard variety dished-up in the seated dining rooms and what they did to the ‘Kedgeree’ was absolutely disgusting. My wife rarely complains, but it looked like someone had vomited over the plate when served in the seated dining room. Entertainment was generally so-so, but the FlyRights guest act was very good. The speakers included a decent enough ex-SAS guy who regaled us with stories of daring, training etc; someone else who seemed obsessed with discussing murders, murderers and hangings such as Ruth Ellis, Crippen, Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe etc., and a guy who talked mainly about what made a good pop star. In other words, apart from the SAS guy, not exactly scintillating. Cabin was kept spotless and our steward was well worth the personal tip on disembarkation day. On the sunny hot days – yes, sun loungers were reserved when they shouldn’t be and P&O did nothing about it (probably too few crew members now?). Formal Nights – most made the effort to match the dress code but some did not, perhaps trying to make a statement about their independence? Service in the bars – excellent in the Crow’s Nest, but could be slow elsewhere unless you were sitting in a prominent place. In summary, it was what we expected. Definitely in terms of catering not up to Cunard standard and the bar and restaurant service not so good or as quick either generally, but it was value for money, we did not starve or become ill and the ship went where we wanted to go and we made it ‘work’ for us. We are booked on Ventura (again) later this year for the Canaries having booked that cruise last year. It is now much dearer we note. Booking another cruise onboard? Be careful as P&O like others, adjust prices according to demand so if you are booking something major, you can find its price later drops significantly if they are having trouble filling a ship, but it could also go up. We have in the past cancelled and rebooked, writing-off the 2 x £50 booking fee because the same cruise and an adjacent cabin was later offered at £100’s less or with an additional huge amount of on board spend. If you want 5* dining included in your standard fare, then you won’t get it on P&O, but if you want a holiday on a ship with mostly British guests, then it is fine and generally what I would call of a ‘Holiday Inn Plus Standard’. Good enough for us! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in no time at all and the flight was very good. Transfer to the ship was also good. Our cabin was ok,the balcony and bathroom were smaller than we have experienced on other ships. The muster drill was a complete shambles. This cruise has people embarking at different times and in two different ports, therefore when we were called for our drill there were people trying to enjoy a drink in the bar area that we had been assigned to. This was exacerbated when we tried to get back to our cabin. Everyone was trying to get to the lifts at the same time, and there are no stairs by the middle set of lifts. The design of this ship is frustrating, having to go up a couple of floors and then down again to get to another part of the same deck is beyond belief. Dining was a mixed experience: the Horizon self service or the 'push and shove' as we called it was poor, food selection was poor, very few staff available for drink orders, therefore we rarely ate in there. Peninsular was ok for lunch, Meridian was ok for dinner, Oriental was our choice for breakfast, service however was slow. Epicurean was not worth the money, chewy steak! Sindhu was excellent. Limelight club was very good and the Glass House was excellent. The entertainment in the Headliners theatre was not to our taste. Shore excursions were very good, enjoyed the bike ride in St. Maarten, and the Caribbean cuisine in St. Kitts.Overall an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Travel TUI were very strict at check in with both Hand and Hold Baggage £18 per kg excess. Flew TUI, from Birmingham to Barbados which was excellent. Free dinks on route we were offered 3 Alcoholic Rounds of drinks and 2 Hot/Cold ... Read More
Travel TUI were very strict at check in with both Hand and Hold Baggage £18 per kg excess. Flew TUI, from Birmingham to Barbados which was excellent. Free dinks on route we were offered 3 Alcoholic Rounds of drinks and 2 Hot/Cold Drinks with our meals. The main meal was good and the afternoon tea was a small roll and a scone, staffs were very helpful throughout the flight. There was enough on screen games and films to keep us both happy, 5/5. Transfer to the ship was delayed but quick and easy boarding when we got there. Bags handed in at BHX delivered to our door before we returned from Diner at 2100. Room First impression of the room was poor, we paid for what we thought was a good cabin but this turned out to be a cramped area with totally inadequate storage, one rail, 4 small shelves and three small drawers. The bathroom was functional but again lacking any space. The balcony is very cramped. We did get used to the room but not to the extent of suggesting it is worth the cost. Facilities and Dining This is a huge ship with lots of venues, bars, casino, Spa and Gym, 4 main dining rooms, and 4 specialty restaurants. We had freedom dining and ate mostly in the Peninsular 4/5 Waiter Service, which was very good all white table cloths and a good menu selection for all three meals a day, tried the Beach Hut 5/5 (£22), Live Lounge 5/5 (£50) and Glass House 5/5 (£32) extra charges all per couple. The Horizon Buffet was poor compared to Celebrity very British with heavy Indian and Asian Bias, great if you like curry. The Salad Bar rarely varied. Breakfast was very much full English with the usual Fruits and Yogurts, very much a good canteen service 3/5. Entertainment was excellent with three great resident bands moving round the venues, Headliners Theatre Group put on some outstanding shows, with five great singers and a brilliant dance troupe, we also had Revolvers, DNA and The Britones flown out to entertain us, all great but the Revolvers are an exceptional group who should go far 5/5. Excursions Best advice is do not book ships excursions which are much more expensive than local tours and taxis. Barbados We walked to the Harbour by the bridge in the Centre of town and had a few drinks in the Waterfront, 3 beers $6 Rum Punch $6, good wifi, and a very friendly service. Taxi back to the ship was $5. Expensive compared to other ports we visited. Curacao It was a Public Holiday so everywhere was closed. We walked from the Port into town over the floating bridge and had a few drinks by the Harbour. The few shops that were open were expensive but it was one of the cleanest and most welcoming ports we visited. Good free WIFI in the Cafe next to the floating bridge. Aruba The ship docked in the central area and there are good local tours, $25 for the open window bus ride lasting 2 hours with a beach stop if you wanted at no extra cost. Nice Bars and Cafes round the harbour. We walked to the Wilhelmina Park at the end of town to see the iguanas. Again a friendly place to visit. Good free open WIFI in the hotel/shopping mall in the centre of the harbour. St Vincent We did a Ships tour £43 each, but the weather was against us and we saw little of the island, the visit to the Fort and Botanical Gardens was very interesting but seeing two birds in cages should not be described as an Aviary Visit. The city is very rough and a bit of a shock to those less travelled, several guests we spoke to, started off into town but returned to the ship when they got to Front Street. This was a low point in our cruise but on reflection it was worth the visit, following the trip we complained to the on board excursion staff and had a very poor response, the guy didn’t even bother to ask my name or room number, as a result of which I cancelled the other trips we had booked with P&O. St Georges, Grenada Did the Hop on Hop of Trolley Ride $20 each which has 4 stops/pick up points 45 minute trip up to the fort and round the seafront. Lots of folks took the water taxi to Grand Anse Beach $20. We bought our duty free here as it was half the price of other ports $38 for 10X50g packs of Tobacco but shop around as the main duty free was much more expensive. Barter when you buy your spices you will get some good offers we went to the open market and had 15 nutmeg $2, Bag of Cinnamon $2 and Bag of Cinnamon Sticks $2 ($5 for all 3) Spice Necklaces $3 (4 for $10). Castries, St Lucia One of the Gems of the trip we did a full day tour with Cosol Tours, Cassius was our guide and I think the owners of the company which had about 10 nice air conditioned minibuses. $80 is a lot of money but the trip is virtually the same tour as the By Land and Sea Tour offered by P&O at £76. First stop is the Banana Plantation for short talk and a taste of Banana Ketchup, Banana BBQ Sauce and Spiced Rum. Our 2nd stop was a view point and our first drink of the day (Water, Beer, Soft Drinks or Rum Punch offered at all stops). We then move on to the breakfast stop where a wide variety of local buffet food was on offer, more of a taster event with 30 + items on offer (Curry Goat, Lamb Stew, Bread Balls, Meat Balls, Cakes, Coconut Ice, Spicy Toffee, Fudge, Candies) I suggest you get in quick and have a little taste of everything because it was sufficient rather than plentiful with some lovely treats to experience. Drinks were freely available. Our next stop was at Anse for A photo at the fishing village, then on to Soufriere where we boarded a speed boat to Golden Beach which is right between the Pitons, here I hired a snorkel kit with flippers $10 and swam in the reserve which has a wide variety of fish (Best $10 I spent on the whole trip). We had an hour on the beach before the return boat trip; a drink was waiting back at the bus. We then set of to visit the Mud Pools to bathe or the optional Volcano Tour, swimwear is a must, and you are invited to keep on your wet gear for the short drive to the waterfalls, for a second chance to rinse the mud of. The final stop on the tour is a stop for hot local bread and cheese with more drinks. The trip is expensive but everything bar the snorkel gear was included in the price and it has got to be the best way to see and enjoy sights of St Lucia. I can only add my thanks to our outstanding guide Cassius, and add another totally unreserved recommendation to the many which Cosol Tours have on Tripadvisor, Cruise Critic etc. St Maarten The port is across the bay from the beach and town centre, we decide to go local and caught the water taxi $7 all day return. There were lots of tours on offer and the round the island is worth a tour. I turned tourist catcher by asking fellow passenger to join a tour as prices reduced depending on the number of people, between the Downtown Taxi Driver (Sorry no name) and I we managed to get 10 people and had a 3-4 hour tour for $20 each ($60-80 for 2hrs for 2). We had an extensive tour and the devastation caused by the 2017 hurricane is everywhere, the amazing work being done to bring the island back to an upmarket paradise is astonishing. We visited the Nude End of Orient Beach, A Public Housing Development, and French Capital Margot for a lunch stop and Maho Beach for a short stop to see a few planes land. The driver provided a running tour on all aspects of Island life. Before departing on the tour we prebooked sun loungers and a brolley on the beach $25 which included 5 drinks, we left our towels on the beds in the front of the beach. (Others paid $20 for the same deal). Great visit. St Kitts First place as we got of the boat wanted $34 for a tour and beach stop, we picked up the same tour at the pier exit for $20, Del was our guide and he is a colourful character, the tour stopped at the last working Sugar Factory, Bloody River and The Plantation Museum. Del’s commentary was as colourful as his character and he kept us amused and gave us a few drinks on the route, we stopped at the ridge between the Caribbean and Atlantic for some pictures and refreshment. At the Beach a trolley and chairs cost $30 but the facilities were excellent. Beers were $3 and Burger and Chips $22, so a bit expensive. We had 2 ½ hours on the beach before being picked up at 1530. Antigua Our final tour was a shared tour prearranged with Gordon’s Tours on the internet with two ladies. The cost was $30 each and Jerome met us as arranged at the pier. We had a running commentary on all aspects of the history flora and fauna. The tour passed the Cricket Grounds, Abandon Sugar Factory and many villages. We visited the historic barracks and lookout post, for $8 we visited Dows Museum and saw a presentation tracing the history of the island, Shirley Heights, followed by The Blockhouse and Nelsons Dockyard foe a Rum Punch $5. The tour lasted well over 4 hours and Jerome gave us an excellent insight into life on the island. Well worth booking on the internet prior to your visit. On our return trip cases were collected the night before departure and we didn’t see them again until we picked them up in Birmingham, there were no hand baggage weight check on the return flight. Barbados Airport was comfortable and the duty frees booze was good $25 for two litres of popular brand spirits, $14 for Mount Gay room. The flight back was uneventful with an evening meal and a breakfast muffin, neither of which we enjoyed. Only 1 alcoholic drink was offered and wine with the meal. On summary we had a great holiday, were disappointed with the standard of food, and size of cabin onboard Britannia, given the £5200 price paid. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. We are experienced cruisers having cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity frequently over the last 20 years so feel qualified to make a fair comparison. Britannia, unfortunately, is ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. We are experienced cruisers having cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity frequently over the last 20 years so feel qualified to make a fair comparison. Britannia, unfortunately, is nowhere near being in the same league. It is overcrowded and understaffed. There was a definite ‘end of season’ feel to this cruise. The crew seemed tired and unmotivated. Service in the restaurants was poor, slow and unapologetic. Food was unadventurous. Public areas were less than clean, open decks were sticky underfoot and there were noisy blowers drying damp-smelling carpets every day, even in the buffet restaurant during lunch. Entertainment was dire, downmarket and very holiday camp in style. P&O’s customer satisfaction survey seemed to focus on questions around whether customers were bothered about dressing up/ did we really expect to be called ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, we’re we looking for a more informal pub style experience? Perhaps P&O are looking to cater for customers who are looking for a floating Butlins/ Benidorm style holiday. If so, they are on the right track. We, however, will be returning to those cruise lines who know how to provide good quality, excellent service and proper cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
the chosen cruise was for ports of call. The weather did not fail to please. Found entertainment lame. found food mediocre. Also, the baby prawns should have been peeled as they were on the buffet with poo still in them Tomatoes not ... Read More
the chosen cruise was for ports of call. The weather did not fail to please. Found entertainment lame. found food mediocre. Also, the baby prawns should have been peeled as they were on the buffet with poo still in them Tomatoes not available after the first week. Did not like the look of the beans.Also cauliflower cheese mushy. You should steam cauliflower not boil it. laundrette not available in the night. Only in use when everyone wanted to use it. Crowded. Mayonnaise and vinegar in sachets should bein containers as very mucky to tear open. Onshore was fine found friends and guides. Out on deck late looking at the star's, the staff treated you like a weirdo, walking past and saying hello in a worried voice. asked to have a ball to throw through the net in netball court not allowed. Yet staff where allowed. Asked for a large size tee shirt for deck walk, only small size avail, as they could not be bothered to go and fetch larger tee shirt from the stock room. Gym nice. On leaving the ship. disembarkation, we were taken to the airport and herded like cattle past customs. Had to wait 3 hours at the airport for plain stuck in departures no chance for a smoke or a cheap drink. Onshore great onboard not so good if you are single you tend to get patronized I am an independent lady. I love to dance and sing along. In my own way. Only here they like puppets dance and everyone to do the same dance. Sorry did not like and also pool light turned off as I was playing on my own late. Could not sleep in the dismal cabin so I was out and about, up late. Lots more to depress me but onshore made up for the dirty old ship. Also, the customers were the best. Nice friendly lot. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have been on 12 previous cruises with most of the other cruise lines. This was my first P & O cruise. First the positives. Good flight. I loved the fact you check in and don't see your suitcases until they arrive at your ... Read More
I have been on 12 previous cruises with most of the other cruise lines. This was my first P & O cruise. First the positives. Good flight. I loved the fact you check in and don't see your suitcases until they arrive at your cabin. Likewise on the return trip. Cases taken the evening before and next time we saw them was at Gatwick. I also like the process of getting off the plane, onto a coach and not going through the hectic Barbados immigration process. The embarkation process was quick and efficient and on the ship in no time at all, despite there being queues on arrival. Furthermore the disembarkation process was painless. I also liked that we could stay on board until our afternoon pick up. So could enjoy the day at the pool. I have been on the RCL Ovation so the size of Britannia wasn't as awesome as it was to my family. (It was the biggest ship they have been on). The deco in the cabin was average although fully equipped and spotlessly clean. Our steward quickly introduced herself and said if we require anything not to hesitate to ask. The beds were comfy and we had a good night sleep. Although, my only grip was, there were only back lights and no individual bedside lamp. In order to read I had to have all the lights on at night. This I found awkward particularly as my other half doesn't read at night. I was surprised there was no USB ports especially as it's only 4 years old!! Our food was great and ate mainly in the Horizon buffet or the Peninsular. Our service in the Peninsular was outstanding and nothing was too much trouble for our waiter Nasir. Especially as the other half is a fussy eater. We had Freedom dining and there was 10 of us at every meal. We only had to wait 15 mins on one occasion. Our Waiter was fantastic. The gym was well equipped which members of our party who are regular gym goers said it was great. We liked the pools, however, this is where things become a bit fraught. My first negative, in our party we had four thirty year olds and 4 children, ages 4,5,8 and 14. The elderly regular cruisers didn't like the younger children. My grandchildren played all day in the pools and if they dared splashed they were told off by the elderly women. Now, I could understand if they were laying on the sunbeds but they were sat at the edge of the pool. The first few times we ignored them but on one occasion I had to remind them that the pool is for everyone and if they didn't want to be around children they should go to the adults pool. This didn't go down well. Another elderly gentleman told my son off for splashing his little daughter in the pool. Apparently his wife didn't want to get her hair wet!!! What do you expect sat at the edge of the pool with your feet dangling in there!! There seems to be a quota of elderly elitist that wanted a very traditional cruise and obviously were regulars with P & O and consequently felt they owned it. This also showed on sea days. The poolside entertainment was at best poor. Old fashioned back ground music, not that that's a problem but they should be catering for all ages. There was very little entertainment except the quizzes, which was dull and mundane. I also felt the quizzes were something to pacify us. The sail away parties were good fun. They would start at 5pm and finish on the dot at 6pm. Despite the party being in full flow it stopped dead an hour later. I understand the entertainment team has other jobs but it all felt it was going through the motions. One of the sea days I even went to see a film as I was that bored on deck. On other ships the evening entertainment have had spectacular various shows every night. Apart from Astonish show the rest of the time was the same group singing songs from different decades. If you wanted a good show you really had to book the Limelight club and pay £25-£35 per person for the privilege. So for me it would be £70 extra just to see Gareth Gates! So for our party we felt that the entertainment team was VERY poor for the size of the ship. The next grip is the midship lack of stairs. How was this thought out? Lucky for us we were on deck 14 so it was only 2 decks to the lido. If we had stairs we would have walked to this deck but unfortunately the forward and aft stairs were too far away. I understand this is being rectified in the October refit. I feel P & O are missing a younger audience. Their adverts are targeting an older customer. Unlike RCL, Carnival etc who are targeting families. My family have said their next cruise will be on a fun ship and not a geriatric ship. So that's 6 adults and 4 children they have lost. We had a lovely cruise, fantastic ports, good food but in comparison to other cruise lines poor entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Although we took a 1 week cruise on P&O Britannia last year to Northern Spain in order to tailor our expectations….even with this knowledge the ship did not live up to our expectations. With the exception of St Vincent the ... Read More
Although we took a 1 week cruise on P&O Britannia last year to Northern Spain in order to tailor our expectations….even with this knowledge the ship did not live up to our expectations. With the exception of St Vincent the itinerary was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed the islands that we visited. The ports were really easy to navigate whether we took local taxi’s privately or were on a P&O excursion. As with every holiday at whatever price it is normal to question if you had value for money. Did the holiday provider deliver on what was advertised and does it stack up compared with similar holidays. It is clear that the holiday operator is not responsible for the climatic conditions or anything that is outside their control. The tricky part is writing a review that is balanced: For instance I would not mention that the bed-sheets were clean (they were) but if they were dirty (they were not) it would be amiss of me not to mention this. Therefore the comments in this long review may appear only negative. Flights Lets start at the very beginning of the holiday and the Thomas Cook flight. We decided to upgrade to Premium for the journey as I am tall and really struggle with the economy class seat pitch for longer flights. The cost of this was a not inconsiderable £300.00 each……and then they wanted a further £60.00 each to pre-book particular seats! I was away on business when the midnight timeslot came around to pre-book the seats and when I then looked many had been blocked off. No problem I thought as there are others….however despite frequently looking they never released the ones that appeared to be free and then all of a sudden they had mostly been booked…….how so I will never understand! I do not remember seeing an email reminder stating when seats became available…..but perhaps it was sent but I missed it under a pile of other P&O emails selling a variety of cruise related products. The upshot of this is that we couldn’t actually pre-book seats and arrived at the airport to find we had been pre-allocated Row 1 window and aisle seats. These are the ones directly behind the bulkhead and have very little legroom. Despite paying the same price as the seats from Row’s 2 to 7 we had a far inferior product. We did not receive what had been advertised and even suffered shorter legroom than the economy bulkhead seats (we were able to see these when we disembarked the aircraft and walked in front of these seats). In fact the middle bulkhead Premium seats had between 3-4 inches more space than our seats as they were set back a little further from the bulkhead. Food and service on the flight were good and we landed in Barbados only 30 minutes later than the advertised time…..for long haul this is not too bad. The great news is that you leave the aircraft stairs and only walk a few meters to the bus that takes you directly to the port where you check in and straight onto the ship thus avoiding the airport ….. and your luggage is taken directly to your cabin. Embarkation was easy with quick service at the check in and we were on the ship in less than 10 minutes from arriving at the port. We were able to secure 2 Retreat passes at £450.00 for the 14 days. We like the Retreat as there is some shade and the sunbeds are bigger and far more comfortable than those around the pool areas. The only real issue we had was that the Retreat opens at 09.00 and a line forms about 20 minutes before. On sea days this line is rather long as each person wants to secure sunbeds in the area they particularly like. On one occasion once the door was opened and we were filing in, one of the passengers worked his way around the sunbeds to gain a few places and push in like a weasel……of course being English we didn’t say anything but unfortunately you will find people like this scattered over the ship; pushing into the lifts or pushing you out of the way at the buffet. Food. This was our biggest gripe. The quality of the food included was a little less than average. Lets take average as the quality of food in a Harvester. The food in the buffet was cooked using the cheapest ingredients and mostly lacked flavour and was mostly over-cooked. Food in the MDR was average and if you are in anyway a “Foodie” you may not like to eat here often. We only ate twice (one lunch and one dinner) in the MDR as the food was ok but for my mind not the standard of a reasonable restaurant and we also had difficulty getting a table. I know it is hard to cater for many hundreds of passengers at the same time and mass catering is never easy especially when there are a number of options and they are trying to offer something different every day. Freedom dining proved to be on both this and our cruise in September 2018 anything but. It appears that Freedom dining should be renamed “Top up dining” Our experience is that if the MDR’s are full then of course you cannot get a table. They will give you a bleeper that will vibrate and flash when a table is ready. The evening that we did eat in the MDR this was approx. 40 minutes. On another occasion we tried to go approx. 30 minutes before the 2nd sitting and again was advised that the wait would be approx. 40 minutes….so we scurried off to the Glasshouse as it would have been approx. 1 hour before the food would have arrived at the table. Our advice would be to book one of the set dining times as we saw the same thing happen to a number of other guests. We heard reports that the waiters did not have enough jam at breakfast or equipment and had to wait until other diners had finished before being able to issue jam or marmalade. Apparently the new Head Chef is looking to make a mark with Carnival and the only one the bean counters understand is that of reducing costs, which would account for the quality of the food. By taking this approach the line has steered passengers into paid restaurants, which in turn increases revenue and reduces costs by eliminating meals that were included in the ticket price. We ate in Sindhu once that had food with flavour (hooray) …..although it appeared that we got lucky as other passengers reported that flavour was absent on other days; which was in line with our September cruise observations. In the Limelight Club the food was fine and Gareth Gates was finer with a lovely voice that was worth the entrance fee. All other times we ate in the Glasshouse that had great service and freshly cooked (and not over-cooked) food. We were not the only people to frequently eat here as we saw the same faces many times….. perhaps they also didn’t rate the included food. The Retreat also served food at breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea but whilst this sounds wonderful the choices were limited and ran with the usual theme of poor quality and little flavour. On occasions the offering was different to what was advertised on the on table menus. The cakes were not sweet and the cream was tasteless. I would often pass rather than eat something for the exercise of jaw chomping whilst receiving no excitement for my taste buds. We scrummed down for breakfast and lunch on occasions in the Buffet and found this to be the most disappointing venue. Again the cheapest ingredients with breakfast bacon very salty and cooked in a steam oven (that is why it has no browning and the fat has not rendered). The eggs station was over-whelmed with guests and even if you asked for an omelette to be soft the chef did not understand and still gave you one over-cooked. Breakfast pancakes were cold. Watered down juice at breakfast and nothing other than water at lunch (we didn’t venture into the Buffet in the evening). There was no ice-cream in the buffet or on the decks and if you wanted ice-cream branded products were available at an extra charge. Another thing that was watered down was the salad dressings. Very thin and rarely was there a blue cheese dressing. Room service breakfast was on time (30 minute window which is understandable) and warm but using the same poor quality ingredients. Cabin. Lets talk about something more positive. We had a Superior Balcony Cabin that delivered everything the brochure advertised. Bottle of Champagne; box of chocolates; binoculars and un-expectedly a good range of magazines. Plenty of movies to choose from and you can pause and go back to the same movie a day or so later. Comfortable bed and an invisible cabin attendant (this is a good thing) who whilst being stealthy did a great job and the cabin was scrupulously clean throughout the voyage. Just a couple of little issues: the outside balcony windows were not cleaned for the entire fortnight: we had a power cut (all power on the ship) one night for approx. 15 minutes the cabin emergency lighting came on (yep it works) and the announcement chime was sounded but no announcement. Another night there was an emergency called through the tannoy and an assement team was sent to one floor but this was apparently a false alarm. On another night we had no water in the bathroom….but this was at 03.00 so no real issue and another night our (and a lot of the other cabins) A/C was not working……but after reporting the next night it was fine and to their credit they handled this very well with feedback etc. Ship General Appearance; For a ship that is only 4 years old the condition of the ship was poor. The hull had various rust spots and we were surprised to never see anyone painting as other cruise lines do! Further to this you can see where they have previously painted as the paint is not the same colour white and therefore looks patched. Not once in the 2 weeks did we see any of the windows being cleaned and some of the windows of the Buffet were so dirty you couldn’t make out the view. If you look in the corners on the decks you will see that these areas are not cleaned properly and the Serenity Swimming Pool has some of the little tiles missing (not many but they were still missing) the LED strip lighting around the Serenity Pool under the seating around the pool was dropping down and an attempt to hold this up with white tape was failing as the tape was hanging down. Functionality: The Gym was a disappointment. I cycle and wanted to keep up some fitness whilst away. Only 2 fixed bikes for over 3,500 guests meant that it was difficult to get on one. The only time that I did the screen did not work effectively and therefore the session was not what I needed. This issue was exacerbated by a poor administration situation. I read in the daily that there was a Spin Class the next day at 08.30 and to book in at the Gym. I arrived at 07.55 to find at the end of the Gym a table with 8 or 9 clipboards. One was titled “Tour de France” and I put my name on the list and was approx. 3rd down. Got seated on a spin bike…..2 late arrivals and only one bike spare so the instructor read out the list. My name was not on it. It transpires that the clipboard that I had signed to was for a couple of days later. However I did not spot this as the date was in small print (opposed the title) and the clipboard for that days spin class was not on the table! If it had been I would have seen that it was full and had a wait list. Of course I wouldn’t have placed myself in that position and been embarrassed by being sent away. Much has been written on the lift system and deservedly so. Clearly there is an issue with the programing of the lifts……but despite much customer frustration this has not been resolved. Brace yourselves for this as it start as a pint of amusement but it will soon beyond a joke. Entertainment: The quality of entertainment was very mixed. The theatre must have gone over their budget as they reply on the theatre company for many shows but have not yet found a male lead vocalist who can hold an audience. The staging is good with some excellent sets. DNA and the Russian Acrobats were good and held our attention however The Brit Tones really need to watch a video of their performance……or really listen as they didn’t harmonize together……and the higher range Artist sounded like the moment Norman Wisdom collided with Donald Duck…but at least it gave us a laugh…for a few days. The Theatre is a pretty dull place to wait in your seat for the show to start. Other Cruise lines have waiters serving drinks (missed that one Carnival Accountants) and always entertain with video quizzes or videos relating to the act that you have sat down to see…. although this did happen on one occasion. Looking at the demographic of the ships guests it is most likely that most of them avidly watch “Strictly Come Dancing”. Britannia has built the lovely “Crystal Room” to enable people to floor dance. Unfortunately very few people used or sat in the room; which in turn must be so demoralizing for the live band that played there each evening. Why oh why didn’t the dance professionals have a slot each evening to present a show of each of the dance genres. Music around the internal public areas of the ship is rationed. The Crows Nest is a beautiful cocktail bar with the best views on-board. Paul the Pianist must have been on a work to rule. If he did arrive before 18.00hrs he waited until his time to tickle the ivories and did not start before 18.00…….and certainly would not play for more than 30 minutes. On at least one occasion he was late. Once he had left it took a while for piped music to be played. The Atrium for most of the early evening is pin drop quiet with no music at all. Lets have a little bit of atmosphere…..we are not talking Prodigy or Led Zep and even Supermarkets have canned music between BOGOF announcements. P&O Staff The crew on the P&O Britannia work hard and clearly engaged with their positions. I have already mentioned the cabin steward and the waiting staff in the Glasshouse who were worthy of an extra tip. In every other area the crew were good efficient and friendly……especially if you give them recognition and engage with them. I would like to say the same about the Officers but sadly cannot. We never saw the Captain around the ship…..perhaps our paths did not cross. The white shirts we did see never engaged with any guests……although I have to be honest that one night a white shirt did speak to me in the Glasshouse (no not the old joke of “get out of the way”) but asked if I was enjoying my meal. However I could see this was not his forte as he did not want to continue to speak when I did start to engage and moved away whilst talking …….more of a McDonalds “have a good day” moment. Disembarkation Leaving the ship was well organized. A few days before we were due to leave we received an envelope with a variety of paperwork including the baggage labels and customs forms. There was a very well written guide to filling out the customs forms and a prescribed time to take them to the Live Lounge for these and your passports to be checked and stamped by Barbados officials. Leaving the ship is the same as any other time and the bus was waiting to take us to the Airport Shore Excursions Curacao: we took a taxi to Mamboo Beach. This beach is man made but is a short taxi ride from the port and they arrange to also pick you up. Whist this is man made the beach is clean and the water warm and safe as there is a breakwater that protects the beach. The Vibe is good and the sun-beds are reasonable to rent. Aruba; another taxi to Palm Beach. Although this is a commercial beach with large hotels adorned along the beach….its a beautiful beach with good swimming and facilities…..and lots to watch. Not all the sun-beds are for rent but if you see Sandra at the pier by the Hilton you will get shade and 2 sunbeds for $35.00 St Vincent: We attempted to book the “Escape to Bequia” P&O trip but it was fully booked many weeks before the cruise. Decided to have a walk around Kingstown. Not the pretty destination you may think but rather downbeat and smelly. Grenada: We took the Water Bus close to where you leave the ship to Grand Anse Beach. £7.00 each way and worthwhile. Great beach…. Sunbeds and shade (or in out case rain shelter) was worth $20.00 St Lucia: P&O Excursion: Catamaran to The Pitons. A quick run into Marigot Bay was lovely before reaching the Pitons for pictures and then onto a lovely beach. Fabulous crew who worked hard to get us in the mood for dancing and we rocked the boat (lubricated by the correct amount of Rum Punch: Great value at £48.00 per head St Maarten: we booked the P&O Excursion Zipline Sky Explorere and Surf Adventure. Great fun and the Flying Dutchman is brilliant and certainly the only thing that will hold you back is that “top of the diving board” feeling. Worth the £99.00 from P&O as the park is more expensive independently. St Kitts: Another P&O Excursion: Cockleshell Beach Break. We were picked up at 11.15 and driven to Cockleshell Beach with a stop to see the view of where a strip of land sits between the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. Our ticket price included a fruit punch (small plastic cup upon arrival) and a beach chair. However a Celebrity ship was also in port and they had arrived sometime before us and taken almost all the sun-beds (there were no chairs on the beach). I had to go in search of sunbeds that had not been taken and drag them to the only shaded area behind all the other sets of sun-beds and parasols. We went snorkeling to discover the underwater was dirty and littered with cans, bottles and paper. Worst still was that there is a raised underwater area that the sea grass grows on. Fun to stand on but beware as there were spiky sea urchins that would really do some damage if you accidently stepped on one. There was no warning in the bus or at the beach. On the upside the food at the Spice Mill was good. Cost of £30.00 pp was not value…..take a taxi privately and perhaps to another beach. Antigua: P&O Excursion: Caribbean Sailaway. Catamaran to 2 beaches. Have to say a little disappointing. Crew were not so interactive and dumped us at Turners Beach for 1.5 hours (some drinks were available onshore free of charge) whilst they prepared lunch. Not something we have seen before as this type of trip the catamaran usually stays on the beach so that you can leave your bags etc. Lunch was ok but no fruit or deserts offered. Onto Deep Bay Beach where the catamaran did stay with us on the beach. £70.00 pp was not good value. Summary In summary we have very mixed feelings due to a number of factors that really should be improved. Our assessment is that P&O are confused which market they should be targeting. They have caught themselves between the new generation traveller who is aspirational and is moving up to cruising from a land based perhaps all inclusive holiday and the old guard that have sailed on P&O for decades. P&O don’t want to miss either markets and have also narrowed their target market to the UK (how many French would like to travel on a ship with a whopping great Union Jack on the side). The accountants have penny pinched to a point that it manifests in the quality and service. Did we enjoy ourselves? Despite the above criticisms we did. The itinerary was good and the Caribbean Islands are wonderful. We ate well in the evenings and enjoyed the sea days. However it is unlikely we will travel P&O again as we believe from experience there are cruise lines that deliver a package that is more suited to us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose Britannia for Caribbean cruise, as it was visiting islands we hadn’t see before. Flights on the Dreamliner were excellent. But the ship oh dear! P&O just haven’t got this one right. There are too many people crowded into ... Read More
We chose Britannia for Caribbean cruise, as it was visiting islands we hadn’t see before. Flights on the Dreamliner were excellent. But the ship oh dear! P&O just haven’t got this one right. There are too many people crowded into public spaces. The staff all seem to work extremely hard but there aren’t enough of them for the number of passengers. This was apparent on Freedom dining which was not good, long queues and even though we could see empty tables ready, people were turned away with a pager. Probably because either not enough waiters or cooks to cope with the numbers of tables Several times we gave up and ate at the speciality restaurants which were extra cost. The evening entertainment was poor in comparison to Azura. Specialist acts that used to be included in the main venues are now chargeable in the ‘limelight Club’. You have a beautiful Crystal room but hardly anyone in it. The cabin was adequate and kept clean by our lovely steward, but bed linen is now only changed once on a 14 day cruise. The air con is awful. We were both ill with chest infections that continued after returning home . Certain areas of the ship appeared unhygienic. We never saw any wiping down of the stair rails or encouragement to use antibacterial spray when entering dining rooms. We missed the promenade deck that is available on other ships. There was no outside space to sit other than if you went up to the lido deck. We did enjoy the gallery talk about LSLowry. It would have been lovely to have taken part in the tour of the Bridge & engine room but at £75 each it seemed expensive. The cabin account is not visible on your tv any more and I would suspect that many passengers got quite a shock on check out as There were many ‘chargeable extras’ that would soon mount up. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because P and O offered flights from our local airport. This was a huge bonus and meant we did not have to set out the day before, book a pre cruise hotel or arrange car parking. We also liked the itinerary with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because P and O offered flights from our local airport. This was a huge bonus and meant we did not have to set out the day before, book a pre cruise hotel or arrange car parking. We also liked the itinerary with lots of ports and places to see. This was our first time on Britannia and we were a bit dubious after reading some poor reviews. I can say if you have booked a cruise on this ship don’t worry, it is in great condition and.the food and service are good. You will have a great time. We loved the decor and thought it was sophisticated and tasteful. For this cruise we booked a larger inside cabin. This is the first time we had stayed in an inside cabin and were surprised at the level of comfort it offered.the cabin was very quiet and so dark at night a good sleep was assured. To be fair it’s not as nice as a balcony cabin but if you don’t have many sea days and want to be out and about it’s a great choice and offers big savings. We did not use the speciality restaurants as we found the food in the main restaurant very good. We were on first sitting fixed dining in the Oriental restaurant and this suited us perfectly. We were not so keen on the Horizon buffet, where the food seemed the same every day..not a patch on other cruise lines. Food mediocre and the flow of traffic in the serving area is chaotic. On the plus side you can always get a seat. As others have said the entertainment on Britannia is pretty good and we visited the theatre most nights. The biggest negative about Britannia is the lack of deck space on sea days. You really have to get up early to grab a good spot..and even then you are squashed in like sardines in a can. Staff do not move towels etc from ‘saved’ beds and many are left vacant for hours on end. Very unfair. I was also disappointed with the Lido pools, which seem to be a homage to the Benidorm / Butlin’s brigade. This area could be so much nicer. Come on P and O think of your core customers and what they want...more quiet peaceful spaces. By the way trying to get into the retreat on a sea day was impossible. We enjoyed all the ports and booked trips through Viatour, which were a lot cheaper than P and O and were as good, if not better. We do find St Marten is over populated with cruise ships, which makes everywhere over crowded and busy. On the day we were there we calculated there must have been around 20,000 cruise ship passengers in port. Hence we were quickly back on board. Overall, I prefer Holland America and Cunard ships. However, we had a great holiday made better by the local flights and seamless transfer when you arrive in Barbados. It’s off the plane, onto a bus and then straight to the ship. As we were on a late flight home we booked a day cabin for an extra £45. This was worth every penny and meant we arrived at the airport fresh and ready for our flight home. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was a new ship and the flight left from my local airport. The only deck you could walk on was the top deck and you would have to fight your way around sunbeds and passengers. The only way to sit outside on a deck was via Costa ... Read More
This was a new ship and the flight left from my local airport. The only deck you could walk on was the top deck and you would have to fight your way around sunbeds and passengers. The only way to sit outside on a deck was via Costa coffee shop. You would have to buy a coffee and sit among the smokers. Any other doors to outside were securely fastened for the whole of the journey. The air conditioning was freezing in the theatre and bars. You dont expect to wear cardigans in the Caribbean. Once in the Lido buffet you were bombarded by waiters asking you to book the other restaurants at £30 a person per meal. We tried Freedom Dining but it was not a good experience so once we were sent to the Oriental Restaurant as the the others were full the waiter kept our table for 6 for the same time every evening. Freedom dining didnt work for us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
• Overall very enjoyable holiday – flights good, transfers seamless • Overall good quality accommodation o Small balconies but sufficient with 2 chairs and a table o Area around the wardrobe could be wider as hung clothes ... Read More
• Overall very enjoyable holiday – flights good, transfers seamless • Overall good quality accommodation o Small balconies but sufficient with 2 chairs and a table o Area around the wardrobe could be wider as hung clothes catch on bathroom door as it opened, not a lot can be done on this ship but needs considering for future builds o Food in waiter service restaurants was excellent as were the waiting staff o Selection of food in the main buffet could be more international and not so UK centric (Lancashire Hotpot as an example!!!) - that said the quality of the good available was very good o Very bizarre array of individual drinks packages available, over complicated and over-priced; the wine package however was good. We understand P&O are introducing a more exclusive drinks package in Aril but looking at the pricing structure WAAAAAAY too expensive …… you maybe need to learn from your competitors !! o A pity there was not an ice cream section available as part of the standard inclusive price!! o Entertainment was average o Medical staff (which were unfortunately needed on this cruise) were very attentive and efficient o On-board spending allowance needs to be looked at to offer a more consistent offering as we experienced fellow passengers who had received 4x the allowance we got for the same/lower grade cabin and where they booked a lot closer to departure date than we did, we felt we were penalised for booking early!! o Some other cruise ships offered fresh towels as passengers returned to the ship after a day ashore, a nice touch to get rid of potentially sandy towels straight away! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My partner and booked this cruise as we felt like we needed a winter getaway. We also had a fantastic time on a January cruise in 2017 and wanted to explore more of the world using this excellent mode of transport. We are both in our mid ... Read More
My partner and booked this cruise as we felt like we needed a winter getaway. We also had a fantastic time on a January cruise in 2017 and wanted to explore more of the world using this excellent mode of transport. We are both in our mid 20’s and really enjoy hiking, exploring and just generally being active. The aim was to come back feeling relaxed but also like we gained new knowledge and experience. This would be our third cruise and first time with P&O. Embarkation and disembarkation I cannot fault, it is seamless from start to finish. We were on a charter flight and on arrival at Barbados we were whisked straight off the plane to the ship. We had no queue to check in and get our cruise cards created. On departure day everything is digitally signposted to make sure you know where you need to be and at what time. Our cases were taken the night before and immigration came onto the ship to handle our paperwork the day before we left. We were given our flight tickets around 4 days before departure along with our luggage labels and explanation of the process. The dedicated lane at the airport for cruise passengers was also super speedy, definitely the best we have encountered. Exercise & Leisure: There is a well equipped gym and running track on the upper deck, we used these everyday and found there was enough equipment for everyone without having to wait around (obviously there are peak times e.g. around 9am). There are free sessions such as the ‘morning stretch’ that you can sign up to along with classes such as spinning which come at a small fee. There is also a basketball court and golf area (no mini golf though which would be an excellent addition). Beside the gym is also the cookery school kitchen which looks fantastic, we did not get to experience this but there was always a variety of different classes advertised for a fee. The spa we did not use, on our first day at sea we went to have a look around at the thermal suite which appeared quite small plus it felt like a really hard selling approach to get us to purchase day passes. We did not receive our requested call back for availability and so we did not visit. There is also the ‘retreat’ open air spa terrace available for booking in conjunction with the thermal suite. Entertainment & Activities: Everyday you will find a full program of things you can get involved in within the cruise personaliser which is dropped off outside your cabin each night along with port information. We played bingo in Brodie’s bar purchasing a pack for £15 which included 5 games and a bonus 3 tickets for one game. We also really enjoyed the aqua fit classes which took place in the lido pool which was free. Throughout the day there are quizzes, talks from aviation experts, reflexology sessions, you can book your next cruise or just sunbathe out on deck. You will also find usually 2 different films showing throughout the day in the studio, there’s a great selection for all. We only attended one show in the theatre which was called ‘astonishing’, I won’t spoil it for those that haven’t seen it but we found it entertaining given its interactive nature. Shopping: Within the main atrium midship you will find a selection of stores selling jewellery, clothing and alcohol. They did a number of flash sales on products but we still found everything very pricey, however they do come in handy when you have an emergency such as not packing your tie (will set you back £12). Just opposite reception you will find another store selling biscuits, suncream, merchandise, playing cards (£3) and amongst other things the washing tabs you need for the washing machines (£1 each). Food and drink: I cannot tell you how many bars there are on this ship, they are everywhere! You can also get costa coffee at select places also. The market cafe on deck 5 also sells wonderful looking cakes and bakes designed by Eric Lanlard and also crepes and ice cream. We were allocated to second sitting dining (8:30pm) in the Oriental restaurant on a table for 2. I don’t eat food containing dairy and informed our travel agent when booking and I was looked after fantastically. I ordered my food the day before getting a sneak peak of the menu and everything was cooked for me with the same choice as everyone else minus the dairy. Our waiters were phenomenal and they really added to our meal times. We had 4 formal nights and the dress code is strict so don’t forget your tie or suit jacket! The horizon buffet is also always well stocked; if you need help with a dietary requirement you can ask the staff in the yellow ‘how can I help’ aprons. You have everything available at breakfast including cooked breakfast, fruit, pastries, pancakes, cereal, yoghurt, juice. Lunch is always something different but you can always have salad, fish and cold meats, soup along with a wide selection of hot dishes. Afternoon tea is served in here from 3pm and also in the oriental restaurant from 4-4:45pm. There are always numerous cakes, sandwiches, pies, scones, crumpets and unlimited tea. Outside either side of the lido pool you will find a grab and go section for quick sandwiches, fruit, salad etc at lunch and also pizza, burgers, hot dogs and chips served until around 6pm. There is also Jude’s ice cream and costa coffee here too. We also chose to pay extra to dine in Eric Lanlards restaurant ‘The Epicurean’ for afternoon tea. It was fantastic with a wonderful selection of food and experimental desserts along with a large choice of tea (including chocolate tea). The decor is also very light and airy, this is a must for any foodies and it was extremely reasonable price wise. You can also dine at other restaurants such as Sindhu and the Limelight Club (evenings entertainment by a known performer) for a fee. Ports & Excursions: We had a fantastic itinerary and loved each of the ports we visited. Our favourites were Grenada, Dominica & St Lucia. We booked the eco trek for Grenada which led us through a plantation, learning about all of the spices, plants and fruits the island holds. We then ended up at a waterfall in which you can take a refreshing dip. Our tour guide was fantastic however if you struggle walking up pretty steep hills on a continuous incline then this may not be for you as the way back is pretty much all uphill. We also had a to cross a river barefoot but this was all part of the fun! In Dominica we booked the hot springs trip. We swam through a gorge which was also one of the film areas for Pirates of the Caribbean, then onto the Bongo Baths which were wonderful. Naturally heated pools of water at different temperatures in a tranquil setting. You do have to take a dip in the cold before leaving to get your pores closed up (leaving open leaves you vulnerable). St Lucia we planned ourselves and already researched that we wanted to go pigeon island. I’m the port are there are always numerous people asking if you need a taxi, we paid $40 return for two with a pick up later in the afternoon. We had a fantastic time climbing up hills, taking in the scenery and relaxing on the beach; you must also visit Jambe de Bois for food and cocktails, it is fantastic! I would say don’t be afraid to do some pre trip research as shore excursions can be expensive. In Antigua we booked kayaking and snorkelling. Our guides/instructors were really superb and we had an awesome day, pretty arm intensive at the start but all worth it! We saw lots of beautiful sea creatures and enjoyed a few cups of rum punch in the sunshine. I would personally substitute Çuracao with Trinidad & Tobago as this port was the least active for us. We explored the local area and the Kura Hulanda museum but beyond this we would have needed to go further out to find some more activities. Cabin: We had an inside cabin which we found to be excellent value, we spent so much time out of our room we didn’t feel the need to book a balcony. The queen bed was great and very comfy plus we had numerous storage spaces and an adequate size bathroom. Our housekeeper cleaned at least twice a day, we could not fault how clean the cabin was. Overall we had a fantastic trip, we really did not want to come home! We want to travel with P&O again and cant wait for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Three adults travelling . We wanted to visit the Caribbean and this cruise was visiting St Lucia when England were playing the West Indies which we had a particular interest in. Never been on the Brittania before and there was noting to ... Read More
Three adults travelling . We wanted to visit the Caribbean and this cruise was visiting St Lucia when England were playing the West Indies which we had a particular interest in. Never been on the Brittania before and there was noting to complain about it was brilliant . We had wonderful food, smart comfy clean cabin and the staff were very friendly nothing too much trouble. Nelson and Paul looked after us in the Oriental reastaurant . The buffet was also good in the Horizon apart from the minority of rude people pushing in , it was as if they hadn’t eaten before! I don’t think there is much P&O can do about them though. We have sailed before with P&O and would definitely recommend them they make everything so easy for you from the day you book to when you get back home . It is a really relaxing holiday . We had wonderful a day at the cricket in St Lucia . We didn’t book through P&O however local taxi there and back was reliable, thank you Bernard from Real St Lucia Tours we definitely recommend you and buying tickets for cricket was easy . We had a lovely holiday and will be saving to go on a cruise with P&O again . Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We traveled on Britannia from 2nd to 16th February 2019 starting from Barbados.In the main it was a positive experience, it’s a lovely ship, with amazing staff and lots of fabulous food (you definitely won’t go hungry) We preferred to ... Read More
We traveled on Britannia from 2nd to 16th February 2019 starting from Barbados.In the main it was a positive experience, it’s a lovely ship, with amazing staff and lots of fabulous food (you definitely won’t go hungry) We preferred to eat in the Oriental or Peninsula restaurant for breakfast/lunch and share a table which gave us the chance to meet lots of new people who were all very pleasant (despite differing Brexit views which was inevitably one of the conversational topics) There were a few passengers on board however who were rude/ignorant but I suppose you will get that wherever you go.They are catering for a lot of people with varying expectations, so of course there were things we didn’t like (The sail aways were a bit naff, although we heard that the Great British sail away where there were a lot of rousing, patriotic songs was very good) but there are so many activities you can find something to do or somewhere quiet or noisy depending on your mood. The entertainment was good, although as someone else has commented there were a LOT of quizzes. We did one everyday in Brodie’s bar before dinner, which was enough for us. The shows in the Headliners Theatre were very good. The Headliner troupe are very talented and enthusiastic, and the other acts we saw were very good too, it’s excellent entertainment. The only thing we felt let down by was the Astonishing show, which I think was built up to be a huge magic show and was really more singing and dancing, with some very average illusions. It was okay, but didn’t live up to the hype. We were impressed by the organisation when things went wrong. Our inbound flight was delayed by 3 hours and our transfer from plane to ship was very smooth and straightforward. Also we were unable to dock at Antigua as planned, and they very quickly organised more entertainment for the enforced Sea day and we made an unscheduled stop at Martinique the following day instead. This was our first long cruise and there were a couple of things I wished I known /thought about in advance. On the final night you have to put out your hold luggage between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. My hand luggage was just a smallish handbag. If I was doing it again, I would have a larger bag for hand luggage to accommodate wash kit, and change of clothes etc. Also on the final morning you need to vacate your cabin by 8 a.m. As we weren’t due to congregate to leave for the airport until 3.40 p.m. I wish we’d organised an excursion that morning as it was quite boring and very little going on on the boat and because of the aforementioned hand luggage debacle we were overdressed for sitting by the pool. The launderette was very useful too, although business was brisk on the day we chose (First sea day, second week) full of ladies ironing their husbands’ shirts (No sign of the husbands, did Germaine Greer burn her bra in vain?) I probably would have taken fewer clothes, as it wasn’t too much of a chore doing a bit of washing. I understand that P&O are introducing a drinks package soon, which would put me off travelling with them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My family chose this Cruise specifically because P&O advised it was going to Antigua my mothers original birth place and to see the rest of my family, and celebrate my Sisters Wedding Anniversary as she got married on the Azura and hen ... Read More
My family chose this Cruise specifically because P&O advised it was going to Antigua my mothers original birth place and to see the rest of my family, and celebrate my Sisters Wedding Anniversary as she got married on the Azura and hen night on Jolly Beach Antigua. So a special and important Trip as it was also my Anniversay and my Brother in laws Birthday. My Sister has also been diagnosed with a serious illness so a reaaly important cruise for her and the family and close friends, so the party of nine booked this cruise paid alot of money and counted down the days to the cruise The cruise started off well the ship looked impressive on first glance, but on closer inspection for a so called new ship it needed a make over and good tidy. Balcony suite we had was small and pokey, bits of rust in the bathroom and a strange smell of cats wee. Lido deck entrance was damp and had blowers on trying to dry it out for most of the trip. So 3 days before the end of the cruise and the lovely island Antigua we should have docked in, we were told due to a technical issue we could not dock we were 4 miles away so we were going back out to sea and arrive in a day at Martinique instead. Imagine the outrage by not only my family but most of the people on board, we were fobbed off, told it was too chopey to tender us out when it was not. Then told we were the only ones who had complained. They wish P&O Managerial staff were all contradicting them selves with different reason for not docking in Antigua when customers challanged them, the queue to the customer service desk was unreal, all we know was it was a technical issue. When we met with the P&O Customer Service Manager to explain the importance of us going to Antigua, and my sisters diagnosis, we were told to look at the terms and conditions my sister left the room crying, the rest of the party were offered a drinks voucher for a house red or white wine to use in 2 days,we gave them back told P&O they need it more than us. He also said there will be no chance of any financial recompense what so ever, very good customer service P&O! Allegedly this is not the first time that they have missed out Antigua, according to people on the ship who sailed in January the same thing happened. Why you have the same technical issue twice in two months, and how strange at exactly the same island each time. While on the cruise P&O did a sponsored walk for teenage Cancer it was £10 to enter and £10 for a T shirt, I donated £20 did the walk with my sisters and brother in law and we all got the Tshirt. They raised over £1200 in total no mention of P&O topping it up, just thought it was pretty ironic that they were raising money for teenage cancer, but a real life Cancer Patient in front of them with a genuine reason to see family in Antigua they could not care less about. shame on you P&O Shame on you. P&O have made it quite clear that the customer does not matter, they are quite arrogant about it, they are a big company and what we complain about or do is of no concern to them. The cabin staff and servers and bar staff do an excellent job, and work so hard to ensure your stay is a good one, without them P&O would be no where. The Entertainment and Resturants were good along with the servic, our cabin steward was lovely and looked after us well The Ports we went to were great apart from not going to Antigua and ending up ing Martinique which was not so good. we went on one ship excursion only because you could only book it through the ship, otherwise we would not pay their riduculous prices. We had beenon the Rhum Runner excursion before and it was great a fantastic day and beautiful beach in Grenada. Would i use P&O No Would i recommend P&O No Is P&O value for money No The Britannia in my opinion was over sold and under delivered for a so called new ship to the fleet. So if you are thinking of a Cruise be very careful who you use. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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 3.4
Rates 5.0 N/A

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