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When people ask me why I enjoy cruising so much, I tell them that I'm made to feel like a queen. This was our first P&O cruise. Britain already has a queen, so I guess there was no reason to make me feel like one. That being said, although my husband and I experienced some culture shock (no streaky bacon or bagels to be found at breakfast), overall, we had a delightful vacation. Oops...I mean holiday. We have cruised on Carnival, RCI, Celebrity, Holland, NCL and Princess in the past. We have travelled out of U.S. Cruise ports in Florida, California and New Orleans. This was our first European vacation. P&O had their act together at the Southampton cruise terminal. Just wish they had been more forthcoming about collecting our passports. We were told they would be returned onboard. That was not the case. We did not get them back until after our final port. However, Johan @ the Reception Desk was kind enough to make us copies to keep on hand. We have never had the excellent quality of Reception Desk service that we had on this ship. Yes the room is small and so is the veranda. But the positives include a nice feather duvet, a firm mattress and feather pillows upon request. Also, fabulous suction vent in the bathroom wall. Although it does create white noise, there was never any odor problem and the mirror did not steam up when showering! I quickly learned I was not the Queen when I requested a bath robe and was rebuffed. Our cabin steward asked his supervisor, but our category was not entitled to a robe. Harrumph. We anticipated being unable to participate in trivia games, due to our lack of U.K. knowledge, unless we glommed onto kind fellow passengers. Kind passengers were in abundance. We made some lovely friends. The only excursions we booked were "on your own" tours to Rome and Florence. Like embarkation, this was well organized and worth the cost. Speaking of cost, the U.S. Dollar and the British Pound Sterling exchange is not favorable. The exchange rate vs. Euro is much more favorable. Spouse bought a handsome leather jacket in Florence at a great price. We did not shop onboard. My spouse called the Casino a Casinette. So much smaller than other ships we have frequented and disappointing for him. It was fun reading the menus and trying to figure out what some of the foods were. Fellow passengers helped with translation of: Cullen Skink, Bubble and Squeak and Bakewell Tart, to name a few. However, by and large, for this American palate, the food was not seasoned enough. And, I was unable to get a cup of brewed decaf coffee anywhere onboard. Not even the Java Cafe!! Also, what we would consider easy substitutions, such as having chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla in a sundae (in Glass House), required the waiter asking his supervisor if it was OK. Finally found a bagel on the Meridian lunchtime menu one day! It did not come toasted. Requested it be toasted. The waiter came back to tell us the chef agreed to do so. Sigh...so much work. The Queen was not pleased. We had closely reviewed the floor plan before choosing our cabin and chose one close to the aft elevators. We don't have any disabilities, so we often used the stairs. However, you know elevators are an issue when people get on at 8 to secure a spot, ride up to 16 and stay on to get back down to 5. Having never toured Europe, we loved the ports. I had purchased, online, timed tickets in advance for many sights including The Vatican, the Ufizzi and Sagrada Familia. That worked out well. We sampled Gelato and breads everywhere we went. The pleasant surprise was our unplanned stop in Corsica. We shopped in the open air market for ham, nuts and more. Then found a boulangerie for bread. We brought it all back to the ship and had a delightful lunch on the veranda. Hmmm...maybe I was the Queen after all.

Britannia from an American's Perspective

Britannia Cruise Review by debbadebba

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
When people ask me why I enjoy cruising so much, I tell them that I'm made to feel like a queen. This was our first P&O cruise. Britain already has a queen, so I guess there was no reason to make me feel like one.

That being said, although my husband and I experienced some culture shock (no streaky bacon or bagels to be found at breakfast), overall, we had a delightful vacation. Oops...I mean holiday.

We have cruised on Carnival, RCI, Celebrity, Holland, NCL and Princess in the past. We have travelled out of U.S. Cruise ports in Florida, California and New Orleans. This was our first European vacation. P&O had their act together at the Southampton cruise terminal. Just wish they had been more forthcoming about collecting our passports. We were told they would be returned onboard. That was not the case. We did not get them back until after our final port. However, Johan @ the Reception Desk was kind enough to make us copies to keep on hand. We have never had the excellent quality of Reception Desk service that we had on this ship.

Yes the room is small and so is the veranda. But the positives include a nice feather duvet, a firm mattress and feather pillows upon request. Also, fabulous suction vent in the bathroom wall. Although it does create white noise, there was never any odor problem and the mirror did not steam up when showering! I quickly learned I was not the Queen when I requested a bath robe and was rebuffed. Our cabin steward asked his supervisor, but our category was not entitled to a robe. Harrumph.

We anticipated being unable to participate in trivia games, due to our lack of U.K. knowledge, unless we glommed onto kind fellow passengers. Kind passengers were in abundance. We made some lovely friends.

The only excursions we booked were "on your own" tours to Rome and Florence. Like embarkation, this was well organized and worth the cost. Speaking of cost, the U.S. Dollar and the British Pound Sterling exchange is not favorable. The exchange rate vs. Euro is much more favorable. Spouse bought a handsome leather jacket in Florence at a great price. We did not shop onboard.

My spouse called the Casino a Casinette. So much smaller than other ships we have frequented and disappointing for him.

It was fun reading the menus and trying to figure out what some of the foods were. Fellow passengers helped with translation of: Cullen Skink, Bubble and Squeak and Bakewell Tart, to name a few. However, by and large, for this American palate, the food was not seasoned enough. And, I was unable to get a cup of brewed decaf coffee anywhere onboard. Not even the Java Cafe!! Also, what we would consider easy substitutions, such as having chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla in a sundae (in Glass House), required the waiter asking his supervisor if it was OK. Finally found a bagel on the Meridian lunchtime menu one day! It did not come toasted. Requested it be toasted. The waiter came back to tell us the chef agreed to do so. Sigh...so much work. The Queen was not pleased.

We had closely reviewed the floor plan before choosing our cabin and chose one close to the aft elevators. We don't have any disabilities, so we often used the stairs. However, you know elevators are an issue when people get on at 8 to secure a spot, ride up to 16 and stay on to get back down to 5.

Having never toured Europe, we loved the ports. I had purchased, online, timed tickets in advance for many sights including The Vatican, the Ufizzi and Sagrada Familia. That worked out well. We sampled Gelato and breads everywhere we went. The pleasant surprise was our unplanned stop in Corsica. We shopped in the open air market for ham, nuts and more. Then found a boulangerie for bread. We brought it all back to the ship and had a delightful lunch on the veranda. Hmmm...maybe I was the Queen after all.
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