1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Britannia
Prepare to be disappointed and underwhelmed! This is our fifth cruise with P&O. We will never sail on Britannia again and certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone. On our first night we experienced an inconsistent very loud banging from an area around the bathroom area within our cabin. Having had no sleep, at 03:30am we called down to reception and a member of staff came to inspect and confirmed that there was a problem and that he would get maintenance to investigate first thing in the morning. It was not resolved and we were offered another cabin. There was only one cabin available due to a ‘no show’ on the departure date. This was a balcony cabin obscured by one of the ships tenders so we had no view other than the tender. Other cabins had been affected by the banging and as we were the first to complain we were given first refusal. This was a lower grade cabin than we had paid for and told to take it or leave it (literally). Compensation would be discussed after we accepted. The amount offered did not represent the difference between our cabin and the downgraded one nor did it take account of the fact that we lost an entire day of our holiday packing up, then unpacking and sleeping for the rest of the day. To add insult to injury we were forced to sign a settlement mandate under which we are not permitted to take further action or disclose the amount or any other details. We had no choice as it would be unthinkable to have 14 nights of no sleep. There is one thing that P&O could have done that would have made some difference and that was to offer an apology for the noise, the inconvenience and impact on the enjoyment of our holiday. The new cabin Gxxx had an annoying creaking at the balcony door when the sea got a bit choppy. Ear plugs were needed! As there were no other cabins available, there was little we could have done about this, apart from sleeping with the door open!!!. This was far more than the usual creaks and groans you will get on any ship. One improvement to the bathroom is a glass shower screen instead of a shower curtain. The cabin included a large flat screen TV. Whilst no one goes on holiday to watch TV it was irritating the number of times it dropped out and kept buffering particularly after they did some kind of upgrade on the Thursday before we came home which made matters even worse. Having booked the second sitting in the Oriental Restaurant for the whole trip, we soon found that staffing levels had been cut compared to previously enjoyed trips on P & O cruise ships. The wine waiter was never around when you needed him as he was serving too many other tables. The main waiting staff again had too many other tables to serve but did their best to accommodate us all (table of 6). We have enjoyed ‘silver service’ on other P &O cruise ships in the past but this is not available on Britannia. As their 'flag ship' cruise liner, this would have made the trip more enjoyable. The portions were very tiny and the vegetables were over cooked and over salted. Sauces were insipid and runny. A waldorf salad consisted of a bowl of very wet lettuce, 1/2 a walnut, 1/2cm of celery, tiny square of apple and 1/2 a grape (which isn't an ingredient in waldorf salad). One night the dessert included clotted cream in fact it was synthetic spray cream. The petit fours were pathetic. They didn't look appetising and where the cheapest things they could have made e.g. shortbread, chocolate brownie (except it was an insipid chocolate sponge) etc. This is in no way a criticism of the staff who worked so hard but have been put under unnecessary pressure. It was obvious to us that cost cuttings had been introduced at the expense of the customers. Even the buffet restaurant now has wine and beer self service where you swipe your card and decant your own drink. Apart from the meals in your allocated dining room, the Lido bar and Horizon grill you will have to pay for everything else. Do not be fooled by the "modest cover charge". For example, the Epicurean was £56 for the two of us excluding drinks. The menu lacked choice and frankly for the money we have had far better meals out. The service was good but spoiled by the fact that as soon as we sat down told we had to vacate the table within 2.5 hours. The restaurant was maybe half full which strongly suggests it's not working. Similarly, the Limelight club was another disappointment at a cost of £44 excluding drinks for the pair of us. It didn't start well when my wife's glass of Lanson champagne was flat. There was a choice of two starters, two mains and no choice on dessert. The food wasn't great and the lack of choice disappointing. The entertainment lasted for 45 minutes (for 20 minutes the singer was going round the room posing for photos). It is then supposed to turn into a late night venue for dancing - it didn't. All other eateries are chargeable e.g. Sindhu, Beach House, Glass House and Market Cafe. We visited the Glass House which was very nice. The majority of the ship is dark brown and beige. It gives a claustrophobic feel in many areas of the ship. Already the ship is looking tired. The "prom deck" is ideally situated (not) on deck 18 where you are certain to be blown off your feet. 7 laps required to get your mile walk. We went up on deck one day but after a couple of hours found our clothes covered in soot. This was reported to reception who said they were aware of a problem with the funnels. Given that deck areas were regularly closed off it would have made sense to close this area off. To be fair they laundered the clothes twice. However, not all of the smudges have come out so these have been consigned to the bin. The casino which on previous ships has been glamorous, bright and airy with a nice bar and seating area, was gloomy and cramped and like a down at heel, end of a grotty pier venue. There was no bar or seating and it was located next to the very noisy Brodies pub bar. The entertainment venues were not adequate for the size of ship. For example, the Live Lounge which did have some good acts was always packed by the time we finished dinner so unable to get a seat. The same scenario for the Crows Nest bar. The shows in the Headliners Theatre were reduced in comparison to other P & O cruises. There were less shows per night and fewer shows throughout the cruise. Also, although the shows were well executed and visually fantastic with lasers and computer graphics, there were no story to them. An example was a show called 'Sounds of the Underground' which had the London Underground sign as the advertising logo. It started off with the cast inside a tube carriage arriving at Oxford Circus and then it had no bearing on either underground themed songs or underground stations from then on. They had cast dressed in Scottish kilts for one or two numbers,then Irish national dress for Irish dancing. No idea what relevance this has to the underground??? The sail away parties as experienced on previous cruises didn't take place. Weather had nothing to do with this and we were told it was due to staff being required elsewhere! Another conformation of reduced staffing, therefore making more profits!! If we sail with P&O again it will be on a different ship. If standards have slipped on these too then we will look elsewhere. We have always had fabulous holidays aboard P&O so we really hope that customer feedback is taken seriously and that they return to offering fantastic customer experiences.

BRITANNIA 3rd SEPTEMBER 2016/17th SEPTEMBER 2016 MIDSHIP BALCONY CABIN

Britannia Cruise Review by JagmanXK8

30 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Prepare to be disappointed and underwhelmed! This is our fifth cruise with P&O. We will never sail on Britannia again and certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

On our first night we experienced an inconsistent very loud banging from an area around the bathroom area within our cabin. Having had no sleep, at 03:30am we called down to reception and a member of staff came to inspect and confirmed that there was a problem and that he would get maintenance to investigate first thing in the morning.

It was not resolved and we were offered another cabin. There was only one cabin available due to a ‘no show’ on the departure date. This was a balcony cabin obscured by one of the ships tenders so we had no view other than the tender. Other cabins had been affected by the banging and as we were the first to complain we were given first refusal. This was a lower grade cabin than we had paid for and told to take it or leave it (literally). Compensation would be discussed after we accepted. The amount offered did not represent the difference between our cabin and the downgraded one nor did it take account of the fact that we lost an entire day of our holiday packing up, then unpacking and sleeping for the rest of the day. To add insult to injury we were forced to sign a settlement mandate under which we are not permitted to take further action or disclose the amount or any other details. We had no choice as it would be unthinkable to have 14 nights of no sleep. There is one thing that P&O could have done that would have made some difference and that was to offer an apology for the noise, the inconvenience and impact on the enjoyment of our holiday.

The new cabin Gxxx had an annoying creaking at the balcony door when the sea got a bit choppy. Ear plugs were needed! As there were no other cabins available, there was little we could have done about this, apart from sleeping with the door open!!!. This was far more than the usual creaks and groans you will get on any ship. One improvement to the bathroom is a glass shower screen instead of a shower curtain. The cabin included a large flat screen TV. Whilst no one goes on holiday to watch TV it was irritating the number of times it dropped out and kept buffering particularly after they did some kind of upgrade on the Thursday before we came home which made matters even worse.

Having booked the second sitting in the Oriental Restaurant for the whole trip, we soon found that staffing levels had been cut compared to previously enjoyed trips on P & O cruise ships. The wine waiter was never around when you needed him as he was serving too many other tables. The main waiting staff again had too many other tables to serve but did their best to accommodate us all (table of 6). We have enjoyed ‘silver service’ on other P &O cruise ships in the past but this is not available on Britannia. As their 'flag ship' cruise liner, this would have made the trip more enjoyable. The portions were very tiny and the vegetables were over cooked and over salted. Sauces were insipid and runny. A waldorf salad consisted of a bowl of very wet lettuce, 1/2 a walnut, 1/2cm of celery, tiny square of apple and 1/2 a grape (which isn't an ingredient in waldorf salad). One night the dessert included clotted cream in fact it was synthetic spray cream. The petit fours were pathetic. They didn't look appetising and where the cheapest things they could have made e.g. shortbread, chocolate brownie (except it was an insipid chocolate sponge) etc. This is in no way a criticism of the staff who worked so hard but have been put under unnecessary pressure. It was obvious to us that cost cuttings had been introduced at the expense of the customers. Even the buffet restaurant now has wine and beer self service where you swipe your card and decant your own drink.

Apart from the meals in your allocated dining room, the Lido bar and Horizon grill you will have to pay for everything else. Do not be fooled by the "modest cover charge". For example, the Epicurean was £56 for the two of us excluding drinks. The menu lacked choice and frankly for the money we have had far better meals out. The service was good but spoiled by the fact that as soon as we sat down told we had to vacate the table within 2.5 hours. The restaurant was maybe half full which strongly suggests it's not working. Similarly, the Limelight club was another disappointment at a cost of £44 excluding drinks for the pair of us. It didn't start well when my wife's glass of Lanson champagne was flat. There was a choice of two starters, two mains and no choice on dessert. The food wasn't great and the lack of choice disappointing. The entertainment lasted for 45 minutes (for 20 minutes the singer was going round the room posing for photos). It is then supposed to turn into a late night venue for dancing - it didn't. All other eateries are chargeable e.g. Sindhu, Beach House, Glass House and Market Cafe. We visited the Glass House which was very nice.

The majority of the ship is dark brown and beige. It gives a claustrophobic feel in many areas of the ship. Already the ship is looking tired. The "prom deck" is ideally situated (not) on deck 18 where you are certain to be blown off your feet. 7 laps required to get your mile walk.

We went up on deck one day but after a couple of hours found our clothes covered in soot. This was reported to reception who said they were aware of a problem with the funnels. Given that deck areas were regularly closed off it would have made sense to close this area off. To be fair they laundered the clothes twice. However, not all of the smudges have come out so these have been consigned to the bin.

The casino which on previous ships has been glamorous, bright and airy with a nice bar and seating area, was gloomy and cramped and like a down at heel, end of a grotty pier venue. There was no bar or seating and it was located next to the very noisy Brodies pub bar.

The entertainment venues were not adequate for the size of ship. For example, the Live Lounge which did have some good acts was always packed by the time we finished dinner so unable to get a seat. The same scenario for the Crows Nest bar.

The shows in the Headliners Theatre were reduced in comparison to other P & O cruises. There were less shows per night and fewer shows throughout the cruise. Also, although the shows were well executed and visually fantastic with lasers and computer graphics, there were no story to them. An example was a show called 'Sounds of the Underground' which had the London Underground sign as the advertising logo. It started off with the cast inside a tube carriage arriving at Oxford Circus and then it had no bearing on either underground themed songs or underground stations from then on. They had cast dressed in Scottish kilts for one or two numbers,then Irish national dress for Irish dancing. No idea what relevance this has to the underground???

The sail away parties as experienced on previous cruises didn't take place. Weather had nothing to do with this and we were told it was due to staff being required elsewhere! Another conformation of reduced staffing, therefore making more profits!!

If we sail with P&O again it will be on a different ship. If standards have slipped on these too then we will look elsewhere. We have always had fabulous holidays aboard P&O so we really hope that customer feedback is taken seriously and that they return to offering fantastic customer experiences.
JagmanXK8’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get P&O Britannia price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews