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When Britannia was being built, and right up to the launch. I was really excited about the prospect of the cruise that I had booked over 14 months ago to go around the British Isles in July 2015. As I started to read the reports that were coming back from passengers I was starting to get a little concerned – surely it can’t be as bad as that – IT WASN’T. The embarkation was a little slow, taking about 2 hours from arriving in the car park to getting onto the ship. I have never understood how Celebrity mange the process in about half an hour, but it wasn’t a major problem. We were booked in a Superior deluxe cabin and were really impressed with the size of it. There were a couple of areas that could have been better (eg individual bedside lights, more powerful shower) but these were more than offset by the drawer space and the “walk-in” wardrobe. The bed and the chairs were extremely comfortable and I really liked the TV’s with the webcam, maps and the news channels. There were also films and TV programmes but we never seemed to have time to watch them. The balconies have received some criticism. My wife and I could both sit on the balcony with the seats reclined and a table between us. I’m not sure what we would have used any extra space for. We were midships on the 11th deck, and so were probably in one of the best places to experience the reported lift problems. THERE WEREN’T ANY. If we got to the midships lifts and there were more than a dozen people waiting we would just walk to the other lifts. Most of the time we had to go to one end of the ship or the other anyway, so we had no further to walk. If we were going somewhere central it was just about 80 paces one way, get the lift or the stairs, and 80 paces the other. Since my nearest pub at home is half a mile away, and the nearest theatre is 5 miles, I don’t think it is much of an issue. But I should stress that most of the time we got a midships lift within a couple of minutes. I suspect that it was more difficult for any disabled people on the middle decks as the lifts were probably full by the time they arrived, but that is an issue on any ships. The service that we received from the cabin steward was first class. We rarely had to call on him for anything out of the ordinary, but he kept the cabin spotless and well supplied with all the essentials. The food, on the whole was pretty good. We ate in the Peninsular on Freedom Dining for most of the meals, and the longest that we had to wait for a table for two was 10 minutes. It was in the dining room where I was most disappointed, not with the food but with the service. At times it was a bit slow, and the waiters seemed to wish that they were somewhere else. I could sense the wine waiters snarling on a couple of occasions when we just had water with our meals. This was in marked contrast to the Beach House and the Limelight. The Beach House has a more relaxed atmosphere and the food, whilst generally a little simpler than in the main restaurant, was excellent. We decided to try the Limelight early on in the cruise. This was because we wanted to see Dean Andrews, but also so that if we enjoyed the concept, we could go again later. The whole occasion was excellent, the food and service were very good and “Deano” put on a really good show. We saw saw Jaki Graham later on in the Limelight. A good performer but a bit too much chat. The food in the buffet for breakfast, lunch and, on a couple of occasions, dinner, was satisfactory without being exceptional. The layout of the buffet was better than a number of other ships but didn’t quite get the “island” concept as well as on the Eclipse. We decided to book the afternoon tea on the last sea day. We were in two minds about this as it is on the same day as the last formal evening, but we scheduled our evening meal for after the first show, so still managed to have a 5 hours gap between the two meals. It would probably have been better if they started serving the afternoon tea a little earlier than 3.30 though. The food itself was quirky but very good. Who would have though that duck went well with a chocolate macaroon – but it did. The entertainment on the ship was of varying quality. The Headliners were excellent. Although it is not my cup of tea I could appreciate the skill and effort that went into the show, and if that’s the kind of entertainment that you like you would not be disappointed. I wasn’t keen on the Opera Boys, or the comedian (I shudder when they bring out a box of wigs) For me, the best entertainment was the band and the singer who were providing the music for the dancing in the Crystal Room. I don’t really like dancing but we caught them on the way to another venue and after that spent a number of very pleasant evenings listening to them. We did 4 of the ships excursions. They were very well organized with little waiting around to get on the coaches, and the local guides were excellent My overall impression of the ship was very favourable. The décor is very smart, there was plenty of seating, even though for the cruise that we were on the weather had made the pool a virtual no-go area. Weather – 2 days good, 9 days rubbish – but who cares.

If you are booked on Britannia, don't panic.

Britannia Cruise Review by David Owl

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
When Britannia was being built, and right up to the launch. I was really excited about the prospect of the cruise that I had booked over 14 months ago to go around the British Isles in July 2015.

As I started to read the reports that were coming back from passengers I was starting to get a little concerned – surely it can’t be as bad as that – IT WASN’T.

The embarkation was a little slow, taking about 2 hours from arriving in the car park to getting onto the ship. I have never understood how Celebrity mange the process in about half an hour, but it wasn’t a major problem.

We were booked in a Superior deluxe cabin and were really impressed with the size of it. There were a couple of areas that could have been better (eg individual bedside lights, more powerful shower) but these were more than offset by the drawer space and the “walk-in” wardrobe. The bed and the chairs were extremely comfortable and I really liked the TV’s with the webcam, maps and the news channels. There were also films and TV programmes but we never seemed to have time to watch them.

The balconies have received some criticism. My wife and I could both sit on the balcony with the seats reclined and a table between us. I’m not sure what we would have used any extra space for.

We were midships on the 11th deck, and so were probably in one of the best places to experience the reported lift problems. THERE WEREN’T ANY. If we got to the midships lifts and there were more than a dozen people waiting we would just walk to the other lifts. Most of the time we had to go to one end of the ship or the other anyway, so we had no further to walk. If we were going somewhere central it was just about 80 paces one way, get the lift or the stairs, and 80 paces the other. Since my nearest pub at home is half a mile away, and the nearest theatre is 5 miles, I don’t think it is much of an issue. But I should stress that most of the time we got a midships lift within a couple of minutes. I suspect that it was more difficult for any disabled people on the middle decks as the lifts were probably full by the time they arrived, but that is an issue on any ships.

The service that we received from the cabin steward was first class. We rarely had to call on him for anything out of the ordinary, but he kept the cabin spotless and well supplied with all the essentials.

The food, on the whole was pretty good. We ate in the Peninsular on Freedom Dining for most of the meals, and the longest that we had to wait for a table for two was 10 minutes. It was in the dining room where I was most disappointed, not with the food but with the service. At times it was a bit slow, and the waiters seemed to wish that they were somewhere else. I could sense the wine waiters snarling on a couple of occasions when we just had water with our meals.

This was in marked contrast to the Beach House and the Limelight. The Beach House has a more relaxed atmosphere and the food, whilst generally a little simpler than in the main restaurant, was excellent.

We decided to try the Limelight early on in the cruise. This was because we wanted to see Dean Andrews, but also so that if we enjoyed the concept, we could go again later. The whole occasion was excellent, the food and service were very good and “Deano” put on a really good show. We saw saw Jaki Graham later on in the Limelight. A good performer but a bit too much chat.

The food in the buffet for breakfast, lunch and, on a couple of occasions, dinner, was satisfactory without being exceptional. The layout of the buffet was better than a number of other ships but didn’t quite get the “island” concept as well as on the Eclipse.

We decided to book the afternoon tea on the last sea day. We were in two minds about this as it is on the same day as the last formal evening, but we scheduled our evening meal for after the first show, so still managed to have a 5 hours gap between the two meals. It would probably have been better if they started serving the afternoon tea a little earlier than 3.30 though. The food itself was quirky but very good. Who would have though that duck went well with a chocolate macaroon – but it did.

The entertainment on the ship was of varying quality. The Headliners were excellent. Although it is not my cup of tea I could appreciate the skill and effort that went into the show, and if that’s the kind of entertainment that you like you would not be disappointed. I wasn’t keen on the Opera Boys, or the comedian (I shudder when they bring out a box of wigs)

For me, the best entertainment was the band and the singer who were providing the music for the dancing in the Crystal Room. I don’t really like dancing but we caught them on the way to another venue and after that spent a number of very pleasant evenings listening to them.

We did 4 of the ships excursions. They were very well organized with little waiting around to get on the coaches, and the local guides were excellent

My overall impression of the ship was very favourable. The décor is very smart, there was plenty of seating, even though for the cruise that we were on the weather had made the pool a virtual no-go area.

Weather – 2 days good, 9 days rubbish – but who cares.
David Owl’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin A416
We were booked in a Superior deluxe cabin and were really impressed with the size of it. There were a couple of areas that could have been better (eg individual bedside lights, more powerful shower) but these were more than offset by the drawer space and the “walk-in” wardrobe. The bed and the chairs were extremely comfortable and I really liked the TV’s with the webcam, maps and the news channels. There were also films and TV programmes but we never seemed to have time to watch them.

The balconies have received some criticism. My wife and I could both sit on the balcony with the seats reclined and a table between us. I’m not sure what we would have used any extra space for.