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233 P&O Cruises Britannia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it was perfect for a much needed break. We had previously sailed with many other cruise liners and felt that we always referred back to Ventura and Azura. Service had always been commendable however, Britannia ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was perfect for a much needed break. We had previously sailed with many other cruise liners and felt that we always referred back to Ventura and Azura. Service had always been commendable however, Britannia did not seem to uphold this. Waiters were hard to get hold of for refilling your water glass and after having waited 20 mins with empty coffee cups, we ended up walking out. We then decided to go to a bar to get a drink there, this did not happen either and after 30 minutes we retired to our room! We were just glad that we were not on a drinks package! We felt we could not approach the bar as there was only 1 member of staff behind there and she was always busy. There just seemed to be far less staff than we’ve been used to on cruises and we’ve never had this issue in 20 yrs of cruising. On our last morning, we decided to try the restaurant for breakfast, to which we were ushered quickly with a menu that was described to us as the most convenient! I refused this as I wanted continental but my husband was looking forward to a full English to prepare him for the long drive home. He received a plate with a child’s portion on it! 1 sausage, 2 rashers of bacon, 1 fried egg and a few beans! We looked at the other guests plates and they did not resemble the same small portion. This didn’t seem like your usual service and we wondered if it was due to the gratuities not being charged? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was ... Read More
We chose the cruise due to celebrating my mother's 80th Birthday, she had not cruised before so we wanted a short cruise just in case! We have been on many P&O cruises before but not Britannia. The one problem with the ship was the lifts!! They are a lot smaller than the other ships and therefore if a wheel chair is in the lift this does not leave much room. My mother needed to use the lift due to mobility and each time we needed to use it we had to wait a long time as they were always full and two lifts were out of service for most of the time. Also when disembarking the usual routine of an allotted time and venue was detailed in a letter, however most of the ship decided to ignore this, the result being a very long queue to get off the ship. I discussed this with one of the ship attendants and he stated that a lot of the people had not been on a cruise before and did not know the procedure!! He said he couldn't do anything about it.! I feel all it would have took was a person standing at the end of the queue checking paperwork to ensure they were queuing at the right time, if not they could have asked them to sit down and wait. If this is not done then all disembarkment is going to be a difficult experience. Due to these two things I will not be going on Britannia again even if the itinerary is of my liking. Avoid this ship if you are less mobile and need to use the lifts!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing ... Read More
5th Cruise on Britannia standards declined rapidly in certain areas Entertainment guest entertainers 1in 3 good one talked more than he sang Oriental Breakfast standard up to expectations Oriental Dinner choice appalling stewing steak passed off as ribeye stroganoff stewing streak tasteless Calves liver dished up twice In 7 nights Staff apologetic dismissive blamed HQ Tv down not satellite not repaired Embarkation and disembarkation A shambles bags all over the place Not what I expected from P&O 2 children and 3 adults Overall disappointing considering the cost The no tip policy has had a detrimental effect on crew Cruised Oceana In Jan the difference was astronomical in Quality The most disturbing thing is trying to pass off low quality dining to experienced loyal P&O Members The formal dinner menus were an insult Something wants doing about it and the dinner the better Will they I doubt it very much I just couldn’t believe it of P&O Lido Lunch better than oriental dinner Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at ... Read More
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at Southampton. The ship looked fantastic and we were impressed by the cabin that was clean and well maintained. The buffet restaurant was a real disappointment. I read a number of reviews that compared it to a cross-channel ferry and its no exaggeration. The feel of the place is one of a factory canteen with bland food choices based around roast dinners, chips and tasteless soups. The Oriental Restaurant was better but the menu was unadventurous and very same-ish, with several dishes on offer the same each evening. Breakfast at this restaurant was very good though. The staff working in the dining areas were excellent though and very attentive. The kids club and staff were also very good for our 10 year old but the older club was poor. Biggest disappointment was the amount of off-duty British staff milling around the boat, especially in the dining areas and bars. A number of times I noticed guests having to queue for food in the pool area waiting for a number of off-duty staff to get food. In the evening, a large number would take residence in a section of ‘Brodies’ bar meaning guests had nowhere to sit. I noticed this on at least 2 of the 7 nights. Personally, I see this as highly unprofessional and gave me a poor impression of P&O. Overall I would recommend the boat and the itinerary was very good but P&O need to get a grip of the management of staff. If you went to a restaurant to be told to wait for your table or for food as the staff were being served first, you wouldn’t accept it so why should it be acceptable on Britannia? To me, staff remain in staff quarters. We enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely do it again but I question if it would be with P&O. As one guest explained it to me, ‘it’s a 2-3 star all inclusive in 5 star surroundings’. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Guernsey which we had never visited before, We also wanted to experience one of P&O best suites on their flag ship. Gurensey was wonderful and I highly recommended for a visit. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Guernsey which we had never visited before, We also wanted to experience one of P&O best suites on their flag ship. Gurensey was wonderful and I highly recommended for a visit. Unfortunately the standard of the suite was extremely disappointing, The inside of the shower cabinet was disgusting with mold and discolored yellow grout between the tiles, the sun loungers were also filthy and could not be used. along with stains on the furniture. This was not the standard we would have expected from a top class suite? Further more, on the second formal evening we decided not to get dressed in black tie as we personally feel one formal night per week is enough but we understand other passengers are happy to dress formally twice. However after dinner there was football being shown in three separate venues throughout the ship limiting our choice of venues as we are not football fans. We decided as the glass house was full we would go to the Crows Nest for a post dinner drink. We were asked to leave the crows nest as I was not wearing a Jacket and Tie ( I was wearing shirt & trousers ) . I have never been so insulted on board any cruise ship. As a suite passenger there is very limited perks on board a P&O vessel compared to other cruise lines but to be asked to leave a venue due to our attire especially when venues were extremely limited due to three venues showing football is disgusting and insulting. If P&O want to dedicate so many venues to football then they should relax the dress code in the other venues. Overall the public areas were clean but there was a lack of service throughout the ship and often you waited far to long to be served due to the lack of attentive staff. We will not be back on board the Britannia. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise and sadly it didn’t start well with 6 hours delay on Embarking. This was described by P&O as a “slight” delay who offered a £20 onboard credit by way of a very limited compensation. Our room was not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and sadly it didn’t start well with 6 hours delay on Embarking. This was described by P&O as a “slight” delay who offered a £20 onboard credit by way of a very limited compensation. Our room was not entirely clean with items left behind from the previous occupants and dirty marks on the pillowcase. Our steward did swap out the pillowcase when I asked him to do so and advised that he had just come on duty that day. The good points - the balcony was worth the additional cost. The tea and coffee was replaced twice a day so we never ran out. Restaurant staff are polite and work really hard. There is a great shower in the bathroom. La Coruna and Santander were stunning. The library was a good edition and the attendant was really helpful. There was a great view from the crows nest and it was a quiet space in the madness. The food in the table service restaurants was mostly very good. The bed was really comfortable. Drinks prices were reasonable and the Restaurant staff offered good wine recommendations. We had no problems sharing a table at meals and as a result we met some great people. The experienced cruise goers were quick to tell us we had been unlucky on our first cruise and “it’s not normally this bad”. The disembarkation process, for us, was pretty smooth with no real delays (there was that efficient library steward again) so that at least ended the holiday better than it began. The middle ground - The entertainment was of variable quality. Films on show in the cinema were older but good. The ship is basically a massive floating hotel with the majority laid out as hotel rooms and the balance with public space feels a little off. The decor is ok but doesn’t set the world alight. There is reasonable fare available in the shops and prices are reasonable. The dress codes were not strictly enforced which is either good or bad depending upon you opinion. A shorts playsuit over a swimming costume did seem to be pushing it a little as acceptable wear for the evening restaurants though and we saw that a good few times. The gym equipment looked pretty good although it was hot and very busy. The bad - The announcements from the captain were patronising and more akin to a bad holiday camp than a ship - who knew “P&O voice” was a thing! After the really long delays on getting underway we had a muster station drill at 10:30pm, There were exhausted children and parents and the captain droned on and on about the trip and the area not taking the hint that people had really had enough by that point. The cleaning was sketchy our room was seriously dusty by the end of the week and we considered tippexing PLEASE onto the make up our room sign. The room next door had breakfast in their room each day and the tray was often still outside the door at lunchtime and once in the late afternoon after we returned from visiting a port. It was half term which was a rookie error on our part consequently there was no chance of using any of the pools or pool area which were all “reserved” by some pretty territorial families all day. This included the adult pool where adults only was clearly not enforced. The Horizon canteen was an experiment in survival of the fittest with variable quality of food. The staff again worked really hard and in pretty difficult circumstances at times. The tenders to Guernsey were disorganised with delays of up to 3 hours. A staff member with a mic kept telling everyone that they were doing really well and it was the same on every cruise ship. Clearly proven not to be the case by the Princess Cruise ship also in port which was managing their tenders much more efficiently. There were long queues on the way back too and again Princess were handling it much more efficiently. The menus in the main restaurants were a little repetitive so if your cruise is more than a week choice could become limited. There were also some long delays in getting a table at times and the pagers were malfunctioning. The WiFi was another frustration we opted not to use the overpriced ship WiFi and stick with our mobile provider and in-port only. Listening to people who had paid for the service it sounds like this was a good call as they had little good to say about it. As newbies I thought onboard signage and commas were very poor. There are plenty of newsletters which tell you lots about paid for options but offer little useful information on getting around the ship, where and when to eat etc. I genuinely recommend getting an offline App in play to enable people to navigate the ship and it can do so much more to improve people’s experience. The lack of stairs midships was frustrating with 3-4 lifts coming through at peak times before any come in with space which again caused some people aboard to get territorial. I wish I had researched this more thoroughly before boarding. We received a missive in our room on the last day offering a £75 discount on a future cruise (in the next two years) per person because of the issues this time. There is no email or postal address on the letter as I guess they don’t want to encourage the complaints. I can not deny I was very disappointed in this holiday. My parents go on cruise holidays 2-3 times each year, they recommended P&O and said we would love going on cruises. I guess we may try another cruise holiday at a later date with a different provider but based on this experience P&O badly failed to live up to expectations time and time again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Norwegian fjords on Britannia in May, great weather overall. Ports and excursions great. Embarkation was smooth although delayed 2 hours. disembarkation was chaotic due to arriving late due to issues with Britannia and then coinciding ... Read More
Norwegian fjords on Britannia in May, great weather overall. Ports and excursions great. Embarkation was smooth although delayed 2 hours. disembarkation was chaotic due to arriving late due to issues with Britannia and then coinciding with a Take That concert in Southampton. The area around the port was absolutely chaotic. We were due originally to be leaving ship at 09:45am and got off eventually at about 6.00pm! Port staff in car park didn't have a clue. We have cruised with other operators and this the first time with P and O, We were really excited to be going on Britannia but have been left a little underwhelmed to be honest. The ship just didn't seem to have the Wow factor for us compared to others, maybe just our taste though. The cabin was great, and our porter was superb, really friendly and helpful. The dining was ok, we did freedom dining, and the available restaurants were ok, but choice of food was to us a little limited and sameish. The Horizon buffet was very canteenish, but the food was plentiful, but the buffet was very very busy most of the time. Restaurant staff very hard working and friendly. Didn't take up the option of paying an extra £35 for a three course meal listening to Gareth Gates sing. Quite good daily information regarding next days entertainment of which there was plenty to do. Although a lot of people onboard there was always somewhere to sit so that was great. Drinks onboard are very reasonable. Nearly purchased the wine deal, glad I didn't. We did see quite a lot of dehumidifiers working on carpets, so must have some plumbing issues? We were woken up two nights, once at about 02.00am with the tannoy calling for emergency crew to attend a suspected fire. Not what you want to hear. We were told about half an hour later by the captain that it wasn't a fire and all was under control. Still left us nervous. The following night the ship lost all power at about 04.00am, woken up by the tannoy going bing bong. No lights in cabin, and engine power lost, captain again apologised later saying all was well. But not for me I'm afraid. One night the toilets wouldn't flush. It was sorted out quite quickly to be honest. Too many things for me though, ship needs a bit of tlc I think. Maybe these things happen?? All that said I still enjoyed the cruise, fjords lovely, crew friendly (apart from some frosty reception staff), just no overall Wow factor. If it's meant to be contemporary, it looks dull to me. Would I go on Britannia again, no. P and O? Not sure. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Positives... arriving at Southampton it was easy to embark as we had already checked in online no waiting straight on board. Our cabin steward introduced herself (Rona) when we were able to get into our cabin, she was excellent very ... Read More
Positives... arriving at Southampton it was easy to embark as we had already checked in online no waiting straight on board. Our cabin steward introduced herself (Rona) when we were able to get into our cabin, she was excellent very friendly & helpful. The cabin was clean and fairly spacious with plenty of room for our clothes. We had booked freedom dining and found it easy to get a table each night, the food was of a reasonable standard the staff were quite efficient and friendly. Negatives.... The cabin needs to have better lighting, individual bedside lights its difficult to read if other person sleeping. The bedding although clean looked as if it needed replacing. The bathroom needs a magnifying mirror suitable for putting on make-up & shaving. There was a lack of amenities in bathroom no cotton wool or cotton buds. No bath robes were provided. The buffet in the Horizon was very hit and miss, lunchtimes food seemed the same every day. We found the entertainment very basic only one or two decent acts we gave up going in the end. However we did enjoy the after dinner speaker ( David Gower) in the limelight club although there was an extra payment of £28 p.p. Service in some bar areas was very slow. Could have done with more interesting daytime activities there only seemed to be bingo or quizzes.We enjoyed the Art talks, Needs more demonstrations and class activities. and interesting speakers. There should not have been charges for wine & gin tasting events . The ports we visited were fine we did not take any organised trips as prefer to explore on our own.We thought an extra events port could have been put into the itinerary maybe on Corsica or Sardinia . There were an awful lot of sea days! The cows nest seemed to be full of older people almost like a rest home! The pool area was always crowded on the hot sunny days again bar service around the pool was quite slow, also charging for ice cream we did not think appropriate. Did not use spa or gym Disembarking at Southampton was a complete mess with long queues and people having to wait until noon before they could leave, we carried our own cases and managed to get off at 9.45. Over all the ship looked tired and in need of refurbishment. We have cruised on other lines but P &O does not come up to expectations Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We booked a family cruise, 4 adults and an 18 month old, we had two superior balcony cabins of which we could not fault. Our cabin man Romel was amazing, as was the lady that did my son’s cabin. The car drop off and embarkation was easy ... Read More
We booked a family cruise, 4 adults and an 18 month old, we had two superior balcony cabins of which we could not fault. Our cabin man Romel was amazing, as was the lady that did my son’s cabin. The car drop off and embarkation was easy and very quick, the cases were outside our cabins when we reached them. Sadly getting around the ship was incredibly difficult with a buggy as the lifts were constantly full due to there being no stairs in the middle of the ship, why? How much easier would life on board be for everyone if it had been possible to move easily around it. Lifts would have been freed up by able bodied people walking places. Bad design definitely. The Horizon buffet was hit and miss, not the best food I have encountered on a ship, breakfast was the best, afternoon tea was served from 3 to 5, followed by children’s tea at 5, this caused lots of confusion, surely they could have a section for children at all meals, common sense really. We had freedom dining, avoid the Peninsula restaurant, they do not like people going in there, the staff are rude and very unhelpful. However the Meridian restaurant was lovely, the staff were great, cheerful and very helpful. Avoid the Beach House, set in a corner of Horizon, next to the empty buffet stands, food mediocre, Meridian miles better and no extra charge, service charge, discreetly hidden, 7.50 per person. Staff on the rexception of the ship were equally unhelpful, as was the IT lady, wi if a disaster and very expensive. Choosing not to do excursions we did our own thing, coming back on staff were helpful and attentive, letting parents with babies and small children get priority, I also witnessed them be very kind to the ‘older’ people letting them effectively jump the queue. All in all there were some very good points but also some very poor bits. Bingo and quizzes in a very small bar next to the casino, a big noise issue, the timing of lots of things for 530, not a lot of good to parents with children who were eating tea at 5. Also it meant you had to make a choice of what you missed. Not sure about the Headliners, I am tone deaf, genuinely thought they were too! Gervaise Flynn talk was amazing, loved it. To sum up I would not go on the Brittania again, it lacked atmosphere, interest and at times appeared like an old people’s home, just look in the crows nest on a sea day!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Myself, partner and parents in law went on this trip as it suited all of us with the timing and leaving the UK. I've cruised a lot almost entirely Cunard with a couple of CMV, this was our first P&O for all of us. We would go ... Read More
Myself, partner and parents in law went on this trip as it suited all of us with the timing and leaving the UK. I've cruised a lot almost entirely Cunard with a couple of CMV, this was our first P&O for all of us. We would go back on P&O if the right deal came up but wouldn't seek it out. Couldn't really work out where it was trying to fit in. Food / Dining We both had inside cabins, had booked on the saver and were allocated late dining although on different tables. The head waiter quickly put us together with no fuss at all. Waiters were very attentive in the dining room and also the lunch dining rooms. Food improved throughout the cruise I would say but we had a couple of disappointing meals. Tough steak (quickly replaced in fairness) and a fish that was very bland. The buffet was nicknamed the canteen by us. Hit and miss, some of the food was lovely, some was fodder. Uninspiring but not likely to starve! For us eating is an important part of a holiday and we like to savour not just eat for the sake of it so that was a little disappointing. We stopped using the canteen and opted for Costa and muffin breakfast and MDR for lunch and dinner. My partner and I went to the Epicurean one night and it was superb, we said if we went again we would budget to spend more nights in there. Cabins Cabins were great, functional, clean and spacious. Better than both Cunard and CMV I'd say. Cabin staff very helpful. Bars / Drinks We all went for the ultimate package. It worked for us and we enjoyed a variety of cocktails, drinks, whiskies etc. We went over 15 drinks and often didn't wait 15 minutes so I don't think they were sticking to that particularly. Service was quick (very quick most of the time) which was impressive. One oddity was that you couldn't have large wines or double spirits so you had to do a dance of ordering a single with mixer and waiting a minute or two then ordering a single on its own. Long winded really seeing as the total was under £7 anyhow. Entertainment All bars were great, the shows were great in the Headliners comedian superb and band etc great in live lounge. Live lounge was very very busy so we didn't go in there much which was a shame as it seemed really good. Public Areas / General A busy / full ship. We always managed to get a seat but it sometimes involved circling until one came free. Some of the people on board were pretty aggressive about the process! Not the ships fault and the staff worked very hard clearing and moving things round to do the best they could and serving drinks in random places to alleviate the main bar areas. Lifts were busy but never a problem for us, something which others had said were poor. Not something we really noticed. Itinerary We enjoyed Cherbourg, La Coruna was a bit disappointing not much to say and Bilbao was great, Guernsey didn't happen. A perfectly nice itinerary but not one I'd do again. When Guernsey was cancelled nothing changed on board so everywhere was really busy but we were happy to relax in a quiet corner. Summary Nice ship, staff tried hard at all times, clean, food mostly good some poor meals but to be fair they do 1600 meals a day apparently so I guess that will happen! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I boarded Britannia for its France, Spain and Guernsey highlights. Embarkation was smooth for all guests, luggage attendants extremely helpful. And check in staff to security personal where to the highest standards. On boarding ... Read More
I boarded Britannia for its France, Spain and Guernsey highlights. Embarkation was smooth for all guests, luggage attendants extremely helpful. And check in staff to security personal where to the highest standards. On boarding Britannia I was greeted by friendly onboard social hostesses, who dealt with enquires in a very pleasant manner. The overall appearance is a finely and articulate ship with the grandiose it expels. The room steward kiran was trained to be more of a butler than a steward, one in which I would of expected to see on a Cunard liner. Absolutely excellent service from this young man. However it was not long Until you could hear the grumbles of passengers. From freezer packs not being delivered at appropriate times for medicine to be administered for a guest who had informed p and o re medical conditions. I can confirm the ship dealt with this on day of departure. Hopefully to the guest satisfaction. Then there was an issue with the drinks package!! 96 year old female told to pay the fee even though didn’t drink so her son could get his drinks package. I can confirm this was dealt with and he did receive his drinks package and the elderly lady was not charged and training was given. There was another incident on board on the first formal night when the photographer asked two gentleman, as they set to pose for photographs if they were father and son. One of the gentleman replied “no he is my partner” the photographer then replied who is the man and who is the woman” to many passengers in the queues horror and well as the two upset gentlemen. I can confirm there complaint was dealt with. The received compensation of 100 pounds on board credit alongside a meal in one of the fine dining rooms and the photographer was moved to a different area of the ship. However, they are still seeking more than this as they feel money or restaurants don’t compensate it is more to the fact of training and his attitude towards their sexuality. Now to bilboa this was pretty horrific as to disembarkation and boarding for disabled passengers coming off deck 6 rather than deck 5. It was far to long for passengers to try and walk and if a dla assessment officer was watching he/she would have been shocked as people who struggle to walk was actually beyond any Disablement entitlement. If a photographer took a photo. However because of this many were left physically exhausted and one passenger falling, injuring her ankle. Other passengers complained regarding the heating in rooms either being to cold then to hot in the evening. Then came the niggles and the freedom dining. Personally was pretty horrified at the times you had to wait your buzzer not going off, which I did complain about. Then the finest champagne not being open correctly and spilling out over the table. Which was reported. Now to your personal order of drinks bill being given and asked to sign before you had your dessert. I can confirm that this was reported and everything was taken extremely serious and action was taken.many passengers were disappointed not docking in Guernsey. This was down to storm Hannah and I back the decision as passengers and staff safety should always come first and the captain did although to the frustration of some. Disembarkation was delayed due to highs winds in the morning again adding to further frustration. This was out of both P and o Cruises control and ground staff. Unfortunately an act of god is beyond anyone’s control. Safety always has to be paramount. I understand people’s views and expectations are all different whether dining, dressing to entertainment. So yes this cruise didn’t meet a lot of expectations however, look carefully at itinerary of your cruise, and dress codes etc , every ship is different but at the same time it’s like a box of chocolates full of different varieties with a glossy coating. One thing I will say I think I am Amongst the majority that found the captains announcements came across a little condescending “ladies and gentleman boys and girls “ and tatty bye. Not how I expect a captain to address his public. I can confirm that every complaint is taking extremely seriously, and that Britannia staff will do their upmost to sort the situation out. Don’t wait to get home and complain it’s important to address it whilst on board. I would like like to add the bar team in the live lounge were of the highest standard and worked together extremely well. They served immaculately and presented themselves well a proud team supporting Avalon and his Assistant manager, and P and O Cruises. So yes the company needs to keep on top of training to impress the quality of service and fix things as soon as they arise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise to fit in with our grandchildren’s Easter break. Having returned to P&O after a few years break cruising with other lines we cruised on Aurora for 10 days last December. We really enjoyed that cruise so we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to fit in with our grandchildren’s Easter break. Having returned to P&O after a few years break cruising with other lines we cruised on Aurora for 10 days last December. We really enjoyed that cruise so we were looking forward to a weeks cruise on Britannia with the family. We checked in on line and boarded with no wait which was excellent, however most people hadn’t used on line check in so there were only a few of us. First impressions of the ship were good, the interior design Is more contemporary than most ships and not so glitzy but it is understated and quite nice. We had a larger balcony cabin mid ship in good condition and at last a shower with a glass door, no a soggy curtain. As usual we had an excellent cabin steward. Being mid ship we found there were no stairs open for passengers to use. The lifts were not adequate they were constantly full and didn’t stop when the button was pressed. Unfortunately the unlimited food on cruise ships seems to be attracting disproportionate numbers of extremely large passengers and lifts designed for 16 people are often full with about six, and less if on scooters or in wheelchairs. This meant walking to the end of a very long ship, up the stairs and back to the middle, no mean feat at my age with a dodgy knee, but often the only way back to our cabin. My husband and I didn’t use the buffet at all as the food looked awful, which my family who did try it confirmed, saying it was the worst cruise ship buffet they had used in many years of cruising. Cheap carb heavy dishes and very poor quality. I noticed P&O had reduced the cruise price to sell off unsold cabins so I suspect they cut back on the food budget to compensate. We chose anytime dining, advertised as eat when you want with whom you want, and this works well for us on Princess ships when we cruise with Family, but unfortunately the Peninsular restaurant was was very badly managed. The first night was my Grandsons birthday and I had ordered a cake to the restaurant. We went down at 7.15 and were given a pager we sat down at nearly 9pm! The second night we tried 7 pm and were told dismissively it would be over an hours wait but could be much longer. After 45 mins I went to see the maitre d and he miraculously found us a table for 6. The food quality and choice was ok but ruined as it was served almost cold. We decided then that we would pay extra to avoid the stress as The Peninsula couldn’t manage freedom dining and the staff were borderline rude, obviously the decision to take off the tips has had a demotivating effect. We ate in Sindu which wasn’t as good as the same ones on Aurora or Azura, and the Beach house which was quite good, the teenage grandchildren particularly liked the fillet steak cooked on lava rock. My daughter and I also tried the limelight club where we paid £28 each for tough steak which we sent back and other tiny portions of poorly cooked food. We did have breakfast most mornings in the Oriental restaurant and the service and food here was excellent it was like being on a different ship. The entertainment we did see was of a generally good standard, but the venues are too small for the numbers on board and you had to get the the theatre at least 45 mins before a performance to guarantee seats together. There were no seats in the live lounge after early evening, and one evening they had an adult comedian on at about 11pm. Despite warnings it was unsuitable for children, several young children were allowed to remain by both parents and staff. The ports we did go to were typical of where you can travel in just a week in France and northern Spain. We had been to them before, but we missed Gurnsey because of a threatened storm which didn't seem to materialise, so the Captain wouldn’t use the tenders. This although disappointing we understood, but we felt as we were only 20 miles from France we could have gone to an alternative port which we have done before on other ships. Instead the captain decided to return to the U.K. on the Friday instead of the Saturday which meant all the shops and casino were shut on Friday evening as we were back in port in the U.K. The final straw was the chaos at disembarkation. The ship had been in port all night and we were due to be off at 8.45 and told to wait in the theatre. We waited and waited, getting hotter and hotter, apparently they only opened one walkway off the ship as it was too windy for the covered walkway. This has happened to us with Princess in Southampton but they opened additional exits to the dock side with no problems. A passenger told us the Captain had already got off as her son had spoken to him and left the ship in complete chaos. My daughter and family who were due off at 10.15 were off before us as they came down in the lift to go to their departure area they were told they could leave the ship, whilst the passengers supposed to be off at 8.45 were still kettled in the theatre. They eventually opened another exit when most passengers were already off. The Ship needs a new captain and new management in the food and beverage teams. We found the Captain very patronising with his boys and girls and beddy bye- byes announcements combined with a laissez faire attitude, which seems to have rubbed off on his staff. A bit more professionalism wouldn’t go amiss. We have another cruise booked on Aurora which we hope will match the December one last year, but we will return to Princess or celebrity where the food quality and service are not much better . I have just read that the Captain on this ship is going to Captain the new Iona. If he can’t manage this size of ship goodness knows how Iona will fare. I for one won’t be going on her. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
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
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
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 decided to get some winter sunshine. The islands were interesting some of which we had visited before. We always went on independent shore excursions and shared taxis with passengers from other ships and had interesting conversations ... Read More
We decided to get some winter sunshine. The islands were interesting some of which we had visited before. We always went on independent shore excursions and shared taxis with passengers from other ships and had interesting conversations with several Americans and a lovely young German couple. We never use the ship's excursions as they are expensive and not good value. We found Britannia too big and impersonal. Although we attended the Captain's welcome party, we were on deck 7, there were no officers present and we wouldn't have recognized the captain or been able to identify any of his officers. Only one lady officer spoke as she passed you.None of the others gave you the time of day. The balcony on the cabin was bijou even though we were in a superior deluxe cabin. We didn't feel that they were worth paying the extra money for. On a positive note the food was excellent and the ship seemed very clean.8 Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have put this review on here rather than send to P.O. as P.O. would take no notice, and it would be filed away as it’s not what they want to hear, but more people will see it on this site. We picked the Jan 2019 cruise to the ... Read More
I have put this review on here rather than send to P.O. as P.O. would take no notice, and it would be filed away as it’s not what they want to hear, but more people will see it on this site. We picked the Jan 2019 cruise to the Caribbean as our first time on the Britannia. Flights were good, getting transferred was good. To finish off the good points, the sun shone and the food was good. First problem we had was having a shave, the electric sockets on ship don’t take UK razors or tooth brushes. Nothing in the brochure or any literature on the ship. We were told by reception to buy an adapter from the shop (sold out, of course) or they would charge it up for you. Not good news if you have a travelling razor that needs to be plugged in all the time. Then we encountered the lifts which, long with the set up of the ship leaves a lot to be desired. Basically there are too many floors of just cabins, and insufficient lifts for the amount of people on board. So if you need a lift, you stand there for ages, and by then the floor is full of others wanting to get aboard the lifts. It became the normal to get into any lift that turned up no matter what direction it was going. We also found there are no quiet corners to hid in, no matter where you go on Britannia you have mind numbing music playing all over the ship. When we asked if it could be turned down, no one knew how to do it. Too many places to charge you extra to use or go to. We went as a group of 6 who love Dancing, and as this is the Flag ship of the company we were expecting an enjoyable time. What a shock we got. We had a dance band that played the music they wanted to play, not music to dance to. One evening they had a night of playing Jazz all night. That emptied the ball room. On their night off we got local band playing again their type of music, that again emptied the ball room. ( I could write war and peace on that subject only) When the instructors came on they were only interested on the group of novice dances they had nurtured on the cruise. So the floor was literally full on novices, no problem with that but anyone who could dance could not get on the floor to dance. They should have played 2 of each, but they didn’t. The male instructor danced with the same passenger nearly every dance for the 2 weeks we were there. Their knowledge of sequence dances seemed minimal, as some requests were met with “we don’t know that one” then they would not play a sequence dance as only 3 or 4 couples knew it. The next minute they would play a Viennese waltz, and only 2 couples would get up for, so double standards there. To us they were more interested in selling private lessons and their dancing week ends away than doing what they should. So to me we had a disappointing time on this ship and I would not recommend to anyone. God help anyone who has booked a cruise on the next overgrown monster being built at the moment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Travelled as a party of 6 joining the Britannia in Barbados for a 2 week cruise of the Caribbean islands. Firstly the flights on a P and O chartered TUI Dreamliner - upgraded to premium cabin but not told that you don’t get access to ... Read More
Travelled as a party of 6 joining the Britannia in Barbados for a 2 week cruise of the Caribbean islands. Firstly the flights on a P and O chartered TUI Dreamliner - upgraded to premium cabin but not told that you don’t get access to lounge at home airport as is a chartered flight. This is something that is standard for an upgrade if we had booked our own flight. Can only assume P and O increasing their margins and we did complain about this to no avail. Flight good, minibus literally from plane to embark the ship. Embarkation process efficient but not personable or welcoming I felt. On board bit of a delay in getting luggage we’d arrived in the afternoon and only got luggage after dinner. The ship is big and takes a bit of time to navigate not helped by the lift and stair configuration which is very odd and frustrating. We booked a balcony cabin on deck 9 which was kept very clean by our steward Michael who was efficient and unobtrusive, very good. However the cabin, compared to other balcony cabins we have stayed in, was small. The bathroom was tiny - no proper room to dry yourself off - my husband is 6ft and found it very uncomfortable. Balcony small just room for 2 chairs and a small table. Felt Pand O had crammed in as many cabins as possible at the expense of basic comfort. Pluses and minuses as follows: Food excellent throughout no complaints Public areas impressive, clean and tidy Entertainment ok - enjoyed La Voix in the Limelight Club well worth the supplement Service very good throughout, staff friendly and polite and helpful On the downside; Plenty sun beds but literally no space between them - you will get to know your neighbour, that’s if you can actually manage to manoeuvre onto a sunbed! Bar prices higher than UK pub prices as P and O claim, fellow travellers were surprised and said prices had increased Trips expensive - you can get same experience at half the price on shore if you use the local guides Theatre again crammed in, worse one I have been in on a ship no drinks service in theatre and no proper holder for your drink - all you can see is back of head of person in front Officers conspicuous by absence, no real interaction daily with passengers didn’t seem bothered, only exception in dining areas Didn’t enjoy the Indian restaurant not good value for money Smoking allowed at big section of rear outside bar spoiled it for non smokers Need to cheer up the pianist in Crows Nest Disembarked at Barbados fairly smoothly with luggage straight to flight which was good. On balance wouldn’t cruise on Britannia again, just too big and cramped for us particularly on sea days. Friends tell us other P and O ships are better/friendlier so we may give them another go but not on this ship unless a very good deal to be had. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Wanted to see the Caribbean so booked a 14 night cruise starting in Barbados. The ship is extremely large, but initially seemed to have everything we could want for a 2 week trip, and we thought it would be the best way to see 10 ... Read More
Wanted to see the Caribbean so booked a 14 night cruise starting in Barbados. The ship is extremely large, but initially seemed to have everything we could want for a 2 week trip, and we thought it would be the best way to see 10 islands. Biggest complaint was that there was no outside space where one could have a drink in the day or evenings if you wanted to be quiet and away from loud music (which seemed to play most of the day and night on the outside decks) and it seemed, very loud people. There were interior bars without music, but who wants to be inside in 30 degrees. Also, if you ate late (after 7.30) you had little chance of getting a seat anywhere on this fully booked cruise. The ship really is huge, we soon found that from our cabin at the bow, it was a 10 minute walk to the restaurants at the stern. As we walked this at least twice a day this became somewhat of a problem, but at least we kept fit. I hesitate to mention the slow slow lifts, often gave up waiting and slowly climbed up or down several flights of stairs. Food was good in the restaurants, though the service was a bit hit and miss. We once waited 45 minutes to be served. Also, breakfast service in the main restaurant finishes at 9am - we found this too early. The theatre was excellent, and the shows could not be faulted. We felt there was not enough time in most of the ports. We had 4 days at sea, and apart from our own balcony it really felt overcrowded and very noisy in the public areas, especially round the pools. This seems to be a party ship, where participation in making as much noise as possible is positively encouraged. Not for us, we like peace and quiet, so perhaps we just chose the wrong Company, and certainly the wrong ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Christmas in the Caribbean, how could you not have a good time? Well, pretty easily when there are so many little niggles. Britannia is the biggest ship in the fleet and has both good and bad points. The good include plenty of deck ... Read More
Christmas in the Caribbean, how could you not have a good time? Well, pretty easily when there are so many little niggles. Britannia is the biggest ship in the fleet and has both good and bad points. The good include plenty of deck space and sunbeds. Sure you will be packed like a sardine if you want to stay around the pool, but there are several quieter places if you look. There was also lots of space inside in public areas and a bar or entertainment to suit most tastes. The atrium area was understated for a ship this size but still offered comfortable seating and easy access to bars and shopping on the different levels. The bad points include a central set of lifts with no stairwell. When so much activity revolves around this central area, it makes no sense that passengers have to wait for a lift when they may only need to go up or down one level. Similarly, why was a theatre designed where all access is through the centre? Time and again, passengers arriving late or leaving early often walked right in front of the stage during the performance. A third design flaw became apparent as I watched someone in a wheelchair trying to negotiate the chicanes on the upper deck. If these were designed to lessen the effects of the breeze then they probably worked but it certainly proved challenging to one passenger trying to get from a to b. Good and bad extended to the cabin as well. Our inside cabin was quite spacious with plenty of hanging space and shelves for everything, but why was there no individual reading light above the bed? Why are there no nightlights for negotiating your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night without having to put the light on. One more thing about the cabins - noise suppression was excellent between cabins (we had two teenage boys next door and didn't hear a thing) and yet, from the corridor, you could hear footsteps approaching from the other end of the ship. Food plays such a big part of any cruise and this is one area in which I felt this cruise didn't quite make it. It's not that any of it was inedible, it's just that very little was memorable and some was even quite bland. Breakfasts were a bit of a disappointment. How many "full English's" can one person eat? Well, obviously for so many passengers, it is every morning. The buffet had so many sections serving nothing but bacon, sausages and eggs, that the sort of variety you expect in a top hotel was non existent. Some porridge and cereal, a bit of fruit (melon and pineapple) and some pastries made up the bulk of what else was on offer. Dinner generally started well and tailed off to desserts that were less than satisfying - I've never seen a creme brulee that tasted like strawberry mousse before! Apparently it was the chef's own take on a classic! So, what about the crew? The cabin steward was excellent as always. The waiting staff in the restaurants were, on the whole pretty good, even if they made the odd mistake when the pressure was on. These same people worked tirelessly in the buffet during the day often clearing the unnecessary mess left by the passengers. The area in which they didn't do their job was the more senior staff whose responsibility it is to enforce dress codes. And this brings me to the main disappointment - The British holidaymaker. P & O are complicit in this as they seem to be deliberately targeting the same person that normally would go to an all-inclusive in Magaluf. (Hence, The Great British Sailaway - The Brits seem to love it, but not half as much as the locals breathing a sigh of relief.) So many on board decided that they had paid a lot of money for Christmas in the sun and they were just going to do what they wanted. You name it and this cruise had it: The towel on the sunbed at dawn (nothing is ever done about it). The breakfast buffet was often a free for all with many of the passengers opting to use fingers instead of the cutlery provided. A lot obviously decided to make themselves feel at home by sitting at tables with their feet up or, annoyingly at dinner, having their noses pressed hard against their mobile devices. At dinner, the term smart casual was loosely interpreted, with many turning up in shorts, open toed sandals and t-shirts. Is it so difficult to wear a pair of trousers, a shirt and put on a pair of shoes? During the days at sea, the entertainment was straight from Hi-de-Hi and it was LOUD. I suppose it's ok if you've finished flicking through your celebrity magazine and are missing reality TV. It was mostly background noise to most as they lay on their sunbeds by the pool. The whole scene reminded me of a barbeque griddle full of sausages - slowly turning to ensure a crispy texture all over. All in all, an increasingly low rent, British experience probably best seen through the bottom of an empty glass. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise - our 19th overall and 8th with P&O to celebrate Christmas and my birthday. What a disappointment compared to previous cruises. The food was awful - no better than cheap pub food and the same repetitive menus ... Read More
We chose this cruise - our 19th overall and 8th with P&O to celebrate Christmas and my birthday. What a disappointment compared to previous cruises. The food was awful - no better than cheap pub food and the same repetitive menus every day. In particular the buffet was extremely poor quality with pushing and shoving from the other very rude passengers a common occurrence. The standard of behaviour of the majority of passengers was appalling. If I had wanted to celebrate Christmas with rowdy, rude and drunk people I would have booked to go to Benidorm. From rearranging all of the sunbeds and reserving in droves, smoking in areas not designated and hogging sofas, loungers and chairs in an attempt to create their own private deck space the etiquette of what were mostly first time cruisers was disgusting. When we raised this with the officer in charge, he attempted to make an announcement which was completed ignored and not subsequently enforced. In fact P&O seemed fearful of these people and were overheard several times to be bragging about how jumping into the pool in full evening dress (which happened one evening) was something that made a good party! Entertainment was poor with an example of the films shown in the cinema being It's a Wonderful Life and ET. I book P&O over Royal Caribbean as I believe the dress code and etiquette to be a level above. Britannia has unfortunately lowered its standards (since we went on last Summer) and as such has joined Ventura in ships to avoid for drunken rude and lairy behaviour. P&O you need to remember who your baseline customers are and act accordingly before you lose your business. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Did ncl Did royal caribbean Now done PO The seamless transit from london to Barbados and boarding the ship and returning to london was good. The only critic I have with that process is with the thomas cook return leg flight. Poor ... Read More
Did ncl Did royal caribbean Now done PO The seamless transit from london to Barbados and boarding the ship and returning to london was good. The only critic I have with that process is with the thomas cook return leg flight. Poor is the best way to describe it. Staff , entertainment, in flight meal , all poor. Captain of the ship on my cruise was brilliant and comical with his announcement. Staffing was mediocre and not very friendly some had difficulty giving reply to my queries. Food was mediocre in the buffet and the restaurant. Navigating around the ship was challenging as not all sides lead somewhere and some stair not accessible. Waiting for coffee cups at the drink station. Waiting for glass at the drink station. Side of pool drinking water containers , all 3 empty on a baking day. Buffet always been directed to go to a different part as they were closing the section I was going to. Was great visiting those 8 islands . Would I go on this ship again ? Yes IF THE PRICE WAS RIGHT. Low Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon to the Caribbean. Not wanting to be straight in the sun we did an Atlantic crossing of 10 days at sea. The ship is very nice but the activities where boring and repetitive. The food is lovely and ... Read More
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon to the Caribbean. Not wanting to be straight in the sun we did an Atlantic crossing of 10 days at sea. The ship is very nice but the activities where boring and repetitive. The food is lovely and the house keeping staff couldn't do enough for you. However the entertainment team looked like they had been struck with a sickness bug and had no energy. The only decent sail a way party was Madeira and British themed evening. The other nights where bland and dull. We had to stop at a different island due to a sick passanger however we arrived at Martinique which was euro not American dollars. We only found out by word of mouth as an announcement wasn't made for a further two hours from being able to get off. Unfortunately the island wasn't expecting a cruise ship so the place was shut down with nothing to do. So we'd changed our money back into euros then with nothing to actually send it on once off the boat. First cruise for us and definitely our last. Not for us. The ship was described as a floating morgue and they weren't wrong. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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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