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We went on this cruise as a 40th birthday treat for my wife with our two children aged 10 and 7. We had never cruised before and were a little worried after reading some very mixed reviews. However, we had a wonderful cruise and we are already thinking of our next cruise. Some of our highlights: Dining: We ate mainly in the Peninsular restaurant where the food was excellent. My wife is ceoliac and the Head Waiter (Francis) was excellent, always remembering her and making sure that all her choices were gluten free. Afternoon tea in the Epicurean was wonderful and well worth the cover charge as was dinner in Sinhu. Bars:The Crows Nest was our favourite location on the ship, with a lovely ambiance, fantastic views and a great gin menu. We really enjoyed the two formal evenings and these made the cruise special. Activities: We booked a Cookery Club course and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well worth the charge and chef Nino was brilliant. Our kids enjoyed the kids clubs on the few evenings that they went. Itinerary: Norway is a beautiful country and we were very lucky that we had stunning weather for the duration of our cruise. We did our own thing in Stavanger and Bergen, but went on P&O excursions on the Rauma railway and Briksdal Glacier. These were excellent trips and although expensive were a highlight of our holiday. Cabin: We had an inside 4 berth (bunk-beds). We didn't want to blow all our budget on something that we weren't sure we'd love, so booked this cheaper option. After booking, we did have second thoughts and wondered if this was a poor decision. However, we found the cabin to be perfectly appointed with ample storage. The bunks were comfy, air conditioning worked well and the cabin was very clean. Because there was so much to do and it was a packed itinerary we spent very little time in the cabin. Perhaps on a longer cruise with more sea days we might spend more for a balcony, but for the price we paid we thought this cabin represented good value for money. No holiday is perfect and as mentioned above, we had a wonderful cruise. However, a couple of minor niggles: The Horizon buffet was very disappointing and we only ate here once when we missed breakfast in the Peninsular. Far too busy and we wondered why anyone would choose to eat there as it was rather chaotic and not at all relaxing. The Sunset Bar has a smoking area and the smell tended to waft across the rest of it. As it was at the back of the ship there was also quite a bit of soot. Not sure if this is a problem on all cruise ships, but these two things combined to make it feel rather grubby. The Sail-Away parties around the pool were far too loud and not to our taste at all - they bordered on jingoistic. It was a shame that the Serenity pool was adults only as we would have liked to have a quiet family pool to enjoy the weather and views. It's a shame that P&O don't trust families to keep their kids under control. Now a few comments to counter some of the common points in the whinging reviews: "Embarkation is chaotic". Not on our trip - embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient compared to the hell at some airports. We arrived two hours before our allotted time, but were in our cabin within an hour of arrival at the terminal. (I panicked when one of our cases wasn't outside of our cabin, but it soon turned up.) "The layout of the ship is terrible". Yes, it is a bit confusing at times, but not enough to spoil your holiday. Use the stairs and/or look at the plan!! Or wait a few minutes at most for a lift!! "The service is poor". Not with us it wasn't. All staff were friendly, courteous and helpful. Perhaps the people who write negative reviews about this are just rude people themselves? "The decor is bland and the atrium does not have a wow factor". This depends on personal taste, but I thought it was very stylish and the atrium was a lovely place to enjoy a coffee or pre-dinner drink. Brodies pub was not to my taste 9my local at home is nicer), but as mentioned above there were plenty of other lovely bars. Overall we had a lovely holiday and would recommend cruising, P&O, Norway and Britannia.

Wonderful first time cruise to Norway

Britannia Cruise Review by HertsBean

25 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We went on this cruise as a 40th birthday treat for my wife with our two children aged 10 and 7. We had never cruised before and were a little worried after reading some very mixed reviews. However, we had a wonderful cruise and we are already thinking of our next cruise.

Some of our highlights:

Dining: We ate mainly in the Peninsular restaurant where the food was excellent. My wife is ceoliac and the Head Waiter (Francis) was excellent, always remembering her and making sure that all her choices were gluten free. Afternoon tea in the Epicurean was wonderful and well worth the cover charge as was dinner in Sinhu.

Bars:The Crows Nest was our favourite location on the ship, with a lovely ambiance, fantastic views and a great gin menu. We really enjoyed the two formal evenings and these made the cruise special.

Activities: We booked a Cookery Club course and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well worth the charge and chef Nino was brilliant. Our kids enjoyed the kids clubs on the few evenings that they went.

Itinerary: Norway is a beautiful country and we were very lucky that we had stunning weather for the duration of our cruise. We did our own thing in Stavanger and Bergen, but went on P&O excursions on the Rauma railway and Briksdal Glacier. These were excellent trips and although expensive were a highlight of our holiday.

Cabin: We had an inside 4 berth (bunk-beds). We didn't want to blow all our budget on something that we weren't sure we'd love, so booked this cheaper option. After booking, we did have second thoughts and wondered if this was a poor decision. However, we found the cabin to be perfectly appointed with ample storage. The bunks were comfy, air conditioning worked well and the cabin was very clean. Because there was so much to do and it was a packed itinerary we spent very little time in the cabin. Perhaps on a longer cruise with more sea days we might spend more for a balcony, but for the price we paid we thought this cabin represented good value for money.

No holiday is perfect and as mentioned above, we had a wonderful cruise. However, a couple of minor niggles:

The Horizon buffet was very disappointing and we only ate here once when we missed breakfast in the Peninsular. Far too busy and we wondered why anyone would choose to eat there as it was rather chaotic and not at all relaxing.

The Sunset Bar has a smoking area and the smell tended to waft across the rest of it. As it was at the back of the ship there was also quite a bit of soot. Not sure if this is a problem on all cruise ships, but these two things combined to make it feel rather grubby.

The Sail-Away parties around the pool were far too loud and not to our taste at all - they bordered on jingoistic. It was a shame that the Serenity pool was adults only as we would have liked to have a quiet family pool to enjoy the weather and views. It's a shame that P&O don't trust families to keep their kids under control.

Now a few comments to counter some of the common points in the whinging reviews:

"Embarkation is chaotic". Not on our trip - embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient compared to the hell at some airports. We arrived two hours before our allotted time, but were in our cabin within an hour of arrival at the terminal. (I panicked when one of our cases wasn't outside of our cabin, but it soon turned up.)

"The layout of the ship is terrible". Yes, it is a bit confusing at times, but not enough to spoil your holiday. Use the stairs and/or look at the plan!! Or wait a few minutes at most for a lift!!

"The service is poor". Not with us it wasn't. All staff were friendly, courteous and helpful. Perhaps the people who write negative reviews about this are just rude people themselves?

"The decor is bland and the atrium does not have a wow factor". This depends on personal taste, but I thought it was very stylish and the atrium was a lovely place to enjoy a coffee or pre-dinner drink. Brodies pub was not to my taste 9my local at home is nicer), but as mentioned above there were plenty of other lovely bars.

Overall we had a lovely holiday and would recommend cruising, P&O, Norway and Britannia.
HertsBean’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
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