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This was a 2 night taster cruise to Bruges. I chose this as we had seen Britannia in St Maarten in February while it was moored next to us and wanted to see what it was like to stay onboard. This is a large cruise ship with 3100 passengers. This is not our first cruise and we have been on a variety of small and large ships. For a newbie on their first cruise it could be a little daunting and It takes 2 or 3 days to discover what is onboard and to work out the best way of getting to the various areas and restaurants but you soon get the hang of it. We had cabin A309 on deck 15 which us a balcony cabin. Very spacious and more than enough for the time you spend in it. Do not go for suites unless you intend to spend time relaxing in your cabin. We were surprised at the amount of wardrobe space in the cabin which seems to be more than the average. The shower area was also a nice size. The bed was very comfortable. The balcony was a little small with only room for two chairs. The most annoying thing about our cabin was the big metal overhang from the deck above which made it a bit darker in the cabin and also made it difficult to take photos without seeing this at the top of each one. The restaurants are nice and the food is good, wish I could say the same about the service! I am not sure whether they scale the crew down fir taster cruises which would be a little silly as these are meant to encourage people to book longer cruises, but there was definitely not enough staff to serve the meals. There was no eye contact from the waiters, no smiles until I asked for a name, the personal service that you get on other cruise was nowhere to be seen. We were on the first dinner sitting and this was all a bit rushed. Take the second sitting if you can. There seemed to be one wine waitress who poured my first Red wine glass and I didn't see her the rest of the time so poured my own wine when I needed it. I have never had to do this before as the wine writers are usually all over you. We also ordered some soft drinks to our table. We saw the drinks waiter looking around the whole restaurant for our table and he had to ask done one else where we were. I had ordered an orange and lemonade and he put the lemonade on the table and the bottle of orange. There was no attempt to open the bottle if por any if the orange. Again, this would be unknown on any other cruise ship I have been on. The drinks service in the bars was also quite poor with a lot if people complaining about having to wait for drinks. We were told that the two night tasters were 'booze cruises' and yes to a certain extent it is with hen and stag do's however this didn't affect us and everybody on the ship appeared to be happy and behaved themselves and everybody dressed appropriately for the gala evening. The entertainment onboard was very good. The drinks are reasonably priced with cocktails at £5.95 and a pint of Peroni at £3.95. I would go on another of these cruises but it's just a shame that P&O couldn't get the service right for what should be a showpiece cruise. But fir the service this review would have got 5 stars. Royal Caribbean do it better.

Taster cruise on Britannia

Britannia Cruise Review by Bobapp

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Europe
This was a 2 night taster cruise to Bruges. I chose this as we had seen Britannia in St Maarten in February while it was moored next to us and wanted to see what it was like to stay onboard.

This is a large cruise ship with 3100 passengers. This is not our first cruise and we have been on a variety of small and large ships. For a newbie on their first cruise it could be a little daunting and It takes 2 or 3 days to discover what is onboard and to work out the best way of getting to the various areas and restaurants but you soon get the hang of it. We had cabin A309 on deck 15 which us a balcony cabin. Very spacious and more than enough for the time you spend in it. Do not go for suites unless you intend to spend time relaxing in your cabin. We were surprised at the amount of wardrobe space in the cabin which seems to be more than the average. The shower area was also a nice size. The bed was very comfortable. The balcony was a little small with only room for two chairs. The most annoying thing about our cabin was the big metal overhang from the deck above which made it a bit darker in the cabin and also made it difficult to take photos without seeing this at the top of each one.

The restaurants are nice and the food is good, wish I could say the same about the service!

I am not sure whether they scale the crew down fir taster cruises which would be a little silly as these are meant to encourage people to book longer cruises, but there was definitely not enough staff to serve the meals. There was no eye contact from the waiters, no smiles until I asked for a name, the personal service that you get on other cruise was nowhere to be seen. We were on the first dinner sitting and this was all a bit rushed. Take the second sitting if you can. There seemed to be one wine waitress who poured my first Red wine glass and I didn't see her the rest of the time so poured my own wine when I needed it. I have never had to do this before as the wine writers are usually all over you.

We also ordered some soft drinks to our table. We saw the drinks waiter looking around the whole restaurant for our table and he had to ask done one else where we were. I had ordered an orange and lemonade and he put the lemonade on the table and the bottle of orange. There was no attempt to open the bottle if por any if the orange. Again, this would be unknown on any other cruise ship I have been on. The drinks service in the bars was also quite poor with a lot if people complaining about having to wait for drinks.

We were told that the two night tasters were 'booze cruises' and yes to a certain extent it is with hen and stag do's however this didn't affect us and everybody on the ship appeared to be happy and behaved themselves and everybody dressed appropriately for the gala evening. The entertainment onboard was very good. The drinks are reasonably priced with cocktails at £5.95 and a pint of Peroni at £3.95.

I would go on another of these cruises but it's just a shame that P&O couldn't get the service right for what should be a showpiece cruise. But fir the service this review would have got 5 stars. Royal Caribbean do it better.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    We took the Bruges at your own pace which was 4.5 hours long. This is ok if you've been to Bruges before. If you want to do more than shop you will need the longer excursion. It would also have been better if our coach had left on time instead of wasting 20 minutes waiting for people to turn up. Passengers are told what time the excursion leaves and if they are more than 5 minutes late the coach should go otherwise it affects everybody not just the selfish ones who can't be bothered to be on time.
    View All 28 City Tour Reviews
  • Southampton
    Good port for the start and finish. Go to West Quay if you have time before getting into your ship
    View All 977 Southampton Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Southampton Cruise Port Review