1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Britannia
I thought I'd do a detailed review of our recent Britannia cruise, especially as there were so many mixed (and rather short) reviews about this ship, which were starting to make us wonder if we had made the right choice. Overall, iit was an amazing experience and we were really glad we chose it. My new wife and I chose this cruise as our honeymoon. It was our first ever cruise and we chose it as the itinerary covered a lot of places we had always wanted to see. We were a little sceptecal after hearing the average cruising age was 45-60 (we are 28 and 30), but there was a good mix of age groups on the ship and we met quite a few couples also on their honeymoons. We flew from Manchester Airport to Barbados on the Thomson Dreamliner, which is a very nice plane. We upgraded to premium class and it was nice to get the honeymoon started with an unlimited bar! Food was very good too. Our usual type of holiday is a city break so we're used to arriving at destinations and having to find our own way from the airport etc. Being collected via minibus straight from the plane on arrival was amazing though! Took us around 45 mins to get to the ship as we hit a bit of traffic, and we were on board and in our room within an hour overall. Our cases took around another hour or so to arrive. We both found the Britannia to be a beautiful ship. The design is classy and reminiscent of upmarket modern hotels. However, previous complaints about the stairs and lifts are justified. We didn't mind too much having to walk to the back or front of the ship to get about using stairs, but for the elderly or disabled who require the lifts, its a very poor system. The mid ship lifts are often full and we just walked to the front of the ship most port days as we found lifts would not even stop at our floor!! Overall, we found the food to be excellent on the ship. We opted for freedom dining and ate in the Meridian restaurant. The standard of food and the presentation was very good. The breakfast in restaurants was also very good. We used the buffet for breakfast some days too, which was ok. Afternoon tea in the buffet was nice, and we ate there a few nights in the evening, but on those occasions we would just describe the food as average. We didn't try many of the select dining restaurants (mainly as we found the meridian to be so good), but did opt for The Beach House, which was very nice, especially sitting outside watching the sunset. We also had the afternoon tea in the Epicurean, which was good value for money. The choice of bars is also very varied with the Crows Nest probably being the nicest, especially if you are a fan of Gin. They do a very good selection. We spent a lot of time in Brodie's, which we loved. We are big real ale fans and they had an impressive selection for a very good price. £3.80 for a bottle is very good value for money. Also this is where most of the quizzes are held, and being big quizzers naturally we loved it there. The quizzes were very good, but some of the entertainment hosts could be a little irritating. Also after doing a few we found they re used some questions, so you can get very good with practice! We like a little gamble as well and the casino was next door. After a few beers though, I'm not sure this was good or bad! We saw 2 shows in the headliners theatre and we thought they were pretty poor, especially "Gravity". Billed as a sci-fi musical, it was a 45 min series of songs, which started with the theme of flying or the sky, but somehow ended with a selection of Bruno Mars songs?! We also saw the cuban comedian/magician who was reasonably entertaining. The formal nights were nice too, but we only did 2 of the 4 as 4 felt a bit much. Also wearing a suit with sunburn was not appealing haha. We also did the Tapas dinner at chefs table, which was very tasty and again good value for what we paid. There are plenty of activities on sea days, but we just chilled on our balcony. Saving sun beds with towels was a problem, but midway through the cruise staff were deployed to remove towels and belongings after a subbed was left unattended for 30 mins. Your bits go in a bag and left behind the bar and they leave a tag on the sun bed to tell you where your stuff is. Didn't effect us, but fair play by P&O. Now, the things we didn't like about the cruise and really there were only a few. The service was generally fantastic, but we found the Spa staff to be quite rude. My wife also had treatments misbooked, the staff seemed to be unaware of offers they were advertising in the horizon paper and were quite rude when asked about them and she felt every treatment was followed by a hard sell of products. This brings me on to our next gripe. We felt at nearly every turn P&O are just trying to squeeze more money out of you. We were interrupted during meals with people trying to push talks, tables at select dining, and other costly activities. Maybe it was just bad luck, but we found we were always bothered by staff after more of our money! They are minor gripes though really. Overall it was an amazing cruise and we would recommend the ship and the itinerary. We'll be cruising with P&O again, maybe on a different ship though, as we like variety.

Fantastic Honeymoon With a Few Minor Flaws

Britannia Cruise Review by mattshawman

26 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2017
  • Destination: Caribbean
I thought I'd do a detailed review of our recent Britannia cruise, especially as there were so many mixed (and rather short) reviews about this ship, which were starting to make us wonder if we had made the right choice. Overall, iit was an amazing experience and we were really glad we chose it.

My new wife and I chose this cruise as our honeymoon. It was our first ever cruise and we chose it as the itinerary covered a lot of places we had always wanted to see. We were a little sceptecal after hearing the average cruising age was 45-60 (we are 28 and 30), but there was a good mix of age groups on the ship and we met quite a few couples also on their honeymoons.

We flew from Manchester Airport to Barbados on the Thomson Dreamliner, which is a very nice plane. We upgraded to premium class and it was nice to get the honeymoon started with an unlimited bar! Food was very good too.

Our usual type of holiday is a city break so we're used to arriving at destinations and having to find our own way from the airport etc. Being collected via minibus straight from the plane on arrival was amazing though! Took us around 45 mins to get to the ship as we hit a bit of traffic, and we were on board and in our room within an hour overall. Our cases took around another hour or so to arrive.

We both found the Britannia to be a beautiful ship. The design is classy and reminiscent of upmarket modern hotels. However, previous complaints about the stairs and lifts are justified. We didn't mind too much having to walk to the back or front of the ship to get about using stairs, but for the elderly or disabled who require the lifts, its a very poor system. The mid ship lifts are often full and we just walked to the front of the ship most port days as we found lifts would not even stop at our floor!!

Overall, we found the food to be excellent on the ship. We opted for freedom dining and ate in the Meridian restaurant. The standard of food and the presentation was very good. The breakfast in restaurants was also very good. We used the buffet for breakfast some days too, which was ok. Afternoon tea in the buffet was nice, and we ate there a few nights in the evening, but on those occasions we would just describe the food as average. We didn't try many of the select dining restaurants (mainly as we found the meridian to be so good), but did opt for The Beach House, which was very nice, especially sitting outside watching the sunset. We also had the afternoon tea in the Epicurean, which was good value for money.

The choice of bars is also very varied with the Crows Nest probably being the nicest, especially if you are a fan of Gin. They do a very good selection. We spent a lot of time in Brodie's, which we loved. We are big real ale fans and they had an impressive selection for a very good price. £3.80 for a bottle is very good value for money. Also this is where most of the quizzes are held, and being big quizzers naturally we loved it there. The quizzes were very good, but some of the entertainment hosts could be a little irritating. Also after doing a few we found they re used some questions, so you can get very good with practice! We like a little gamble as well and the casino was next door. After a few beers though, I'm not sure this was good or bad! We saw 2 shows in the headliners theatre and we thought they were pretty poor, especially "Gravity". Billed as a sci-fi musical, it was a 45 min series of songs, which started with the theme of flying or the sky, but somehow ended with a selection of Bruno Mars songs?! We also saw the cuban comedian/magician who was reasonably entertaining. The formal nights were nice too, but we only did 2 of the 4 as 4 felt a bit much. Also wearing a suit with sunburn was not appealing haha. We also did the Tapas dinner at chefs table, which was very tasty and again good value for what we paid.

There are plenty of activities on sea days, but we just chilled on our balcony. Saving sun beds with towels was a problem, but midway through the cruise staff were deployed to remove towels and belongings after a subbed was left unattended for 30 mins. Your bits go in a bag and left behind the bar and they leave a tag on the sun bed to tell you where your stuff is. Didn't effect us, but fair play by P&O.

Now, the things we didn't like about the cruise and really there were only a few. The service was generally fantastic, but we found the Spa staff to be quite rude. My wife also had treatments misbooked, the staff seemed to be unaware of offers they were advertising in the horizon paper and were quite rude when asked about them and she felt every treatment was followed by a hard sell of products. This brings me on to our next gripe. We felt at nearly every turn P&O are just trying to squeeze more money out of you. We were interrupted during meals with people trying to push talks, tables at select dining, and other costly activities. Maybe it was just bad luck, but we found we were always bothered by staff after more of our money!

They are minor gripes though really. Overall it was an amazing cruise and we would recommend the ship and the itinerary. We'll be cruising with P&O again, maybe on a different ship though, as we like variety.
mattshawman’s Full Rating Summary
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

Cabin Review

Cabin G618
Very nice cabin. Not the biggest, but enough for what we needed. Kept very clean by Maria our cabin steward. The bed was very comfy and we slept very well. We upgraded to obstructed balcony from an indoor cabin a few weeks prior to honeymoon and really glad we did. There was barely any obstruction really and being able to sit out on the balcony on a sea day was very nice.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Helicopter to Montserrat Volcano
    Expensive, but out of this world. Great flying in Helicopter, great flying so close to volcano and just amazing to see what nature is capable of doing.

    Antigua is a very nice island. The port has lots of shops and bars, but is littered with taxi drivers. Probably the worst island for being pestered by people offering to drive you to places. Taxis are expensive here too so try to group up with others if you want to see the beaches. One driver wanted to charge us $60 for a return journey to Valley Church beach. Another did it for $30 return though. Probably the nicest beach we visited out of all the islands. The water is beautiful on this island. Definitely, visit a beach whilst you are here.
    View All 1 Helicopter to Montserrat Volcano Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Aruba is a lovely island. It gets a lot of money through tourism due to a big appeal from americans. Some parts due feel like Las Vegas as there are enormous hotel/casino complexes. As with Curacao, there is a big shopping village in town. We opted for a local island tour as soon as we got off the ship and it was excellent. $20 each and we saw a few sights around the island and then they dropped us off at Eagle Beach for 2 hours and collected us after. Eagle Beach is very nice, but if you want sun beds prices vary massively. We got 2 for $10, others told us they got 2 for $30 or even $40!!
    View All 216 Island Tour Reviews
  • Beach
    Good shopping centre at port for water, beers and other duty free goods. Also free Wi-fi. We walked into Bridgetown from port and it took us around 30 minutes at a reasonable pace. Its all flat so its an easy walk. We rented 2 sunbeds on Browne's Beach from Pirates Cove for $15, which also had Wi-Fi if you need it. Cheap rum cocktails there too! Nice quiet beach, but the ship was half empty due to people going home.
    View All 137 Beach Reviews
  • Curacao
    Curacao is a nice island, with a spanish feel to it. A big shopping village near port (we like shopping), but sadly it was a public holiday so 60% of shops we closed. We pottered around the town in the morning, which is close to the port and then tried to book on to a tour through local operator. No-one would take us though as they are not interested if they dont have a full bus. All the full busses left early doors. My advice, if you dont like shopping book a beach trip or tour.
    View All 1,239 Curacao Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Curacao Cruise Port Review
  • Ti Tou Gorge
    Dominica is another gorgeous island. So lush and the tour was excellent. I would recommend visiting ti tou gorge, but only if you're a good swimmer so you can go inside. Otherwise it's not that great. The botanical gardens is nice too. Book a tour on this island so you can see it all. It's not known for its beaches so if you don't do a tour there is not much to do. There also isn't much of a port at Roseau. Just a long wooden pier that takes you into town. The town is quaint and very friendly, with shops dotted around if you need supplies. We would definitely recommend Ruins Rock bar, which is just a minute or so walk straight in front of the pier as you get off the ship. Ask if you can't find it. Great Reggae band playing and the rum punch is lethal. Also, they have a shop next door, which sells some great flavoured rums.
    View All 25 Ti Tou Gorge Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Our first tour with P&O. We did the rum and chocolate tour with a stop at Grand Etang lake. We saw a lot of the island by car and it is beautiful. Poorer than you expect though as its still recovering from a bad hurricane. Great tour and good value for money. We took a wander around the town at about 4pm-ish and felt a bit out of place. Not unsafe, but we didn't linger long. Another good shopping centre by port if you need bits like water and beers.
    View All 52 Island Tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Our favourite island. So beautiful. We booked a very long private tour with Cosol Tours prior to going. You pay after the trip, but book before (we booked on their website) so no need to worry about being ripped off. We saw waterfalls, banana plantations, beaches, thermal spa's, a speedboat trip past the Pitons, sampled Caribbean food, visited the drive in volcano and had the mini bus had a massive cooler full of beers and rum punch. The drivers were handing these out at every stop so they were not stingy. It was expensive ($75 each), but that includes your entry to everything you do. Great value. Some nice bars around the port to chill and drink after too along with duty-free shops.
    View All 249 Island Tour Reviews
  • St. Maarten
    St Maarten is a very nice Island, but very American. It was very busy as there were 7 other cruise liners in port that day, one being Harmony of the seas. There were probably 20000+ people who got off ships that day so as you can imagine everywhere was packed. We decided against going to the beach because of this and just walked around the port and did some shopping and drinking. We booked an evening cruise around the island and watched the sunset, which was lovely. Would be a nice island to explore if not so busy!
    View All 4,714 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Maarten Cruise Port Review
  • St. Vincent
    We heard alot of bad things about St Vincent, such as it being dirty and there being nothing to do. Sadly, there is not a great deal to do, but it is not as bad as people say. We heard mixed reviews about beaches, but people said the botanical gardens were nice. There is also a fort to visit, but we did not see any. We wandered through the town and it is a poor island that tourism has not found (yet). We stopped on a friday and there was a massive market on so it was interesting having a wander around that. We tried not stray too far from other cruisers as it had a similar feel to Grenada. We found a nice bar and chilled for abit, but took advantage of an empty ship and headed back early for some top deck sunbathing. Again there are shops and bars around the port if you need supplies and Wi-fi.
    View All 111 St. Vincent Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Vincent Cruise Port Review