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My husband and I have just returned from our two week cruise in the Med on Britannia. This was our first time sailing with Britannia and our first time embarking from Southampton. We found it difficult to find the correct dock as the postcode given in the information pack directed us to another area of the port and we had to ask several times for the correct directions. The embarkation process ran very smoothly for us as we were given priority boarding. The embarkation staff were very efficient and polite. First impression of the ship was it was very Big! Inside, everything seemed very 'dark' and 'brown'. The Atrium had no "Wow!" factor, the only redeeming feature in the atrium was the stalactite chandelier which changed colour occasionally. The atrium looked more like a high class shopping mall - there was no opulence about it and no 'drama' in the single spiral staircase to attract the eye! We had a balcony cabin which was much smaller than we're used to compared to other cruise ships we've travelled on before (we are seasoned cruisers) and as for the en suite, that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "not enough room to swing a cat!" It was tiny! I wondered how on earth some of those very large passengers managed to get into the shower cubicle! The main issue for us with Britannia was the fact that there was no public stairwell between deck 7 & 8. Our cabin was on deck 8 midship and it just seemed strange that we had to access deck 7 by using the lift every time or by walking either forward or aft to access the stairs to go down or up one deck. We noted that a lot of quite elderly folk commented on this stating that they would like to use midship stairs as a form of exercise! There is a midship stairwell between deck 7 & 8 but this for crew access only. The midship stairwell was opened for the muster station exercise but was closed immediately afterwards which caused a reasonable amount of chaos and those of us who were unfamiliar with the layout of the ship did not realise we had to walk to the forward or aft of the ship to access the stairwell so ended up waiting in the public areas for some considerable time for the queue for the midship lifts to clear in order to return to our cabins. PLEASE BRITANNIA - can this issue with the midship stairwell be resolved before a real crisis occurs? It would also be useful to have more seating in the public areas. If you sit at a table you feel obliged to purchase something to validate your reason for being there. In the ship's favour there is a laundry area on every deck which was very useful! We didn't have to pay a fortune to have our smalls washed! As far as the onboard activities go, there was a reasonable variety but I think it would have been useful to have an indoor swimming pool where an activity like aqua aerobics could be offered for those of us who want to exercise but find the gym a challenge. The only indoor pool was the small hydrotherapy pool only available via the Spa. The shore excursions were generally good but quite expensive. We would have appreciated some information re: how to explore the destinations on our own. The "Spanish for beginners" lessons were very good so well done to Anna! The entertainment was generally average with a couple of good acts. The theatre was very small for a ship of that size. In order to get a seat at any of the shows we had to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the performances. We opted for 'freedom dining' which for the most part was fine. The service was a bit slow at times and the option to have Non-Alcholic wine with our meal seemed to baffle the wine waiters! It was very expensive as you could only purchase it by the bottle and not by the glass! There was one occasion when there was nothing on the menu that we liked so we ordered the soup and nothing else! Breakfast in the Buffet was rather repetitive and I had to ask for Vegetarian Sausages to be cooked as this was not on the menu! I'm sure I'm not the only person that doesn't eat Pork! We went to the buffet dining area to the Caribbean themed buffet. This was very interesting as the only authentic Caribbean foods available was the very mildly spiced BBQ Jerk Chicken and the Sweet Potato fries! The Rice & Peas was not in the least bit Caribbean! - Please can the chefs research these menus before offering them to passengers as authentic cuisine. Even the tropical fruit salad was disappointing - it was garnished with Parsley! Why? My husband spoke to the chefs regarding this and he was informed that a corporate menu is used on this ship. Please review this, as a corporate menu really does not work in all cases. When using 'themed' buffets - please try to make it authentic! My husband and I chose to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary by dining in the Sindhu Restaurant, the best eatery on the ship in our opinion, with a reasonable cover charge. It was excellent value for money! We received a warm welcome, great food and the staff were very attentive. They made us feel special on our Anniversary! Well worth the extra supplement.

Generally OK - but needs a lot of tweaking to get it right!

Britannia Cruise Review by Livvy B.

Trip Details
My husband and I have just returned from our two week cruise in the Med on Britannia. This was our first time sailing with Britannia and our first time embarking from Southampton.

We found it difficult to find the correct dock as the postcode given in the information pack directed us to another area of the port and we had to ask several times for the correct directions.

The embarkation process ran very smoothly for us as we were given priority boarding. The embarkation staff were very efficient and polite.

First impression of the ship was it was very Big! Inside, everything seemed very 'dark' and 'brown'. The Atrium had no "Wow!" factor, the only redeeming feature in the atrium was the stalactite chandelier which changed colour occasionally. The atrium looked more like a high class shopping mall - there was no opulence about it and no 'drama' in the single spiral staircase to attract the eye!

We had a balcony cabin which was much smaller than we're used to compared to other cruise ships we've travelled on before (we are seasoned cruisers) and as for the en suite, that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "not enough room to swing a cat!" It was tiny! I wondered how on earth some of those very large passengers managed to get into the shower cubicle!

The main issue for us with Britannia was the fact that there was no public stairwell between deck 7 & 8. Our cabin was on deck 8 midship and it just seemed strange that we had to access deck 7 by using the lift every time or by walking either forward or aft to access the stairs to go down or up one deck. We noted that a lot of quite elderly folk commented on this stating that they would like to use midship stairs as a form of exercise!

There is a midship stairwell between deck 7 & 8 but this for crew access only.

The midship stairwell was opened for the muster station exercise but was closed immediately afterwards which caused a reasonable amount of chaos and those of us who were unfamiliar with the layout of the ship did not realise we had to walk to the forward or aft of the ship to access the stairwell so ended up waiting in the public areas for some considerable time for the queue for the midship lifts to clear in order to return to our cabins.

PLEASE BRITANNIA - can this issue with the midship stairwell be resolved before a real crisis occurs?

It would also be useful to have more seating in the public areas. If you sit at a table you feel obliged to purchase something to validate your reason for being there.

In the ship's favour there is a laundry area on every deck which was very useful! We didn't have to pay a fortune to have our smalls washed!

As far as the onboard activities go, there was a reasonable variety but I think it would have been useful to have an indoor swimming pool where an activity like aqua aerobics could be offered for those of us who want to exercise but find the gym a challenge. The only indoor pool was the small hydrotherapy pool only available via the Spa.

The shore excursions were generally good but quite expensive. We would have appreciated some information re: how to explore the destinations on our own.

The "Spanish for beginners" lessons were very good so well done to Anna!

The entertainment was generally average with a couple of good acts. The theatre was very small for a ship of that size. In order to get a seat at any of the shows we had to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the performances.

We opted for 'freedom dining' which for the most part was fine. The service was a bit slow at times and the option to have Non-Alcholic wine with our meal seemed to baffle the wine waiters! It was very expensive as you could only purchase it by the bottle and not by the glass! There was one occasion when there was nothing on the menu that we liked so we ordered the soup and nothing else!

Breakfast in the Buffet was rather repetitive and I had to ask for Vegetarian Sausages to be cooked as this was not on the menu! I'm sure I'm not the only person that doesn't eat Pork!

We went to the buffet dining area to the Caribbean themed buffet. This was very interesting as the only authentic Caribbean foods available was the very mildly spiced BBQ Jerk Chicken and the Sweet Potato fries! The Rice & Peas was not in the least bit Caribbean! - Please can the chefs research these menus before offering them to passengers as authentic cuisine. Even the tropical fruit salad was disappointing - it was garnished with Parsley! Why?

My husband spoke to the chefs regarding this and he was informed that a corporate menu is used on this ship. Please review this, as a corporate menu really does not work in all cases. When using 'themed' buffets - please try to make it authentic!

My husband and I chose to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary by dining in the Sindhu Restaurant, the best eatery on the ship in our opinion, with a reasonable cover charge. It was excellent value for money! We received a warm welcome, great food and the staff were very attentive. They made us feel special on our Anniversary! Well worth the extra supplement.
Livvy B.’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin G432
Our Balcony Cabin was the smallest we've ever had and the en suite was the tiniest we've ever had on a cruise ship.
It was in good decorative order. Cabin staff maintained it to a good standard.
It would be useful to have a pull out magnifying mirror in the en suite for those with impaired vision.
Our bed configuration was "Queen-size bed" - basically twin beds pushed together. the 'join in the middle' was a little uncomfortable. Maybe a thicker mattress topper could have been placed over this to make it more comfortable.
There were no individual bed-side reading lights so the dimmer lights had to be kept on in order to read in bed at night which was a distraction to my husband at night.