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This cruise was booked as a birthday present for my partner, she had been on a Caribbean cruise two years ago with her mother and sister and had loved it, for me it was a new experience and I didn't know what to expect. On her previous cruise on Britannia, Karen had been disappointed that all the good shore excursions had been booked up in advance, so we selected 8 organised shore excursions well in advance. Because of the damage caused by the recent hurricane two of our original island destinations had to be changed. With heavy snow in our area a few days before departure, we were quite concerned about the conditions for our long drive to Gatwick Airport, we had booked into a hotel for the night before our scheduled departure. After the horrendous drive down to Gatwick (minus 4 degrees), we thought that the worst of our problems were behind us, how wrong we were! Our flight was delayed for over 9 hours due to a crack in the windscreen which Tui Airlines were unable to fix, probably due to the cold weather, understandable - what was inexcusable was the total lack of information coming from Tui, we sat from 11.20 (our scheduled departure time) with only 'Flight Delayed' on the notice boards, nothing on the tannoy, no one from Tui at the airport, no information available from the information desk. Eventually at about 1700 hours we were told that a replacement aircraft was on it's way - NOT GOOD ENOUGH for a top airline!. We arrived at the Britannia at 02:15 the following morning, exhausted, depressed and feeling that our once in a lifetime holiday had got off to the worst possible start. The embarkation procedure gave us the first insight into how well organised, professional and friendly the entire staff of Britannia are, they had us on board and to our cabins in a matter of minutes - superb! We had a superior deluxe balcony cabin equipped with two large flat screen TV's, a sofa and chair, very comfortable bed, bath, shower and tea and coffee making facilities. Very comfortable, very clean and in perfect condition. Later that morning after a superb breakfast we went into Bridgetown, Barbados and rather than further adding to our tiredness we opted for a relaxing few hours at the 'Boatyard' beach, stunning beach, lovely Caribbean sea, nice food and drink - highly recommended. On returning to Britannia we started to explore the massive ship, it is a truly awesome sight to see just how huge this ship is, every aspect is just so impressive, I have heard experienced cruisers complain that the ship does not have a central staircase, in my opinion it would not benefit from one, a central staircase would take up a lot of space and who would want to walk up or down flights of stairs to the 17 decks! After two weeks on board the only slight criticism that I could find was the lack of a promenade deck, you could not do a full lap of any of the decks, i know that many cruise passengers enjoy a good stroll along the promenade deck, definitely the one negative aspect of the fabulous ship. We opted for 'freedom' dining, thinking that we could choose where and when we ate, I wanted to try all the restaurants to try the different menu's. 'Freedom' dining means that you can eat at different times, it does not mean that you can turn up at the 'Peninsular' or 'Oriental' restaurants on spec and expect a table, booking is advisory in these and the Meridian restaurant. We did book tables at the 'Epicurean', Sindhu and Limelight restaurants at an extra cost of £25 per head, the only one worth the extra is the 'Sindhu', tremendous Indian Fusion food, great atmosphere, lovely attentive staff and perfectly cooked and presented food - excellent in every respect. The main dining area is the 'Horizon' restaurant on deck 16, this is a self service restaurant with waiter service for drinks, referred to my many as the 'canteen', there was a tremendous selection of hot and cold foods, all in my experience very well cooked, tasty and there was plenty of it! The drinks service was quite slow, on many occasions I had finished my meal before the drink arrived! The ship offers a wide variety of entertainment both during the day and in the evenings, the shows are well presented, very professional and well worth seeing, like everything on board Britannia the whole experience has been well planned, well executed in a totally professional but friendly manner. The shops on board carry a large range of quality items at reasonable prices, the staff are all knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the products on offer. Unlike many hotels, the prices on board are extremely competitive, even when compared to the duty free shops on the islands. If you are in the market for some quality jewelry or high end watches then it is well worth seeking out Jason, Britannia's resident Gemologist and Horologist, he has contacts throughout the islands and will help you to achieve huge savings on UK prices, his knowledge of the Swiss watch industry is encyclopedic and his advice and help were much appreciated. The pools on the Lido deck (deck 16) were very popular, as were the poolside deck chairs, entertainment was provided throughout the day as were snacks and both hot and cold drinks. When our fortnight was over and it was time to wave goodbye to Britannia our disembarkation was as smooth and flawless as every other planned event on board had been and this time there were no delays to our flight. Our shore excursions varied in length and content, all were well organised by the ships shore excursions crew, we got to see many historic sites and had a good overview of many of the islands. In summary we did have 'a once in a lifetime holiday' thanks to P&O and the crew of Britannia, we may never be able to afford to cruise the Caribbean again, but would love to experience the Mediterranean. It was a very expensive holiday and may not offer value for money compared to a five star all inclusive resort holiday, but there is something fantastically exotic about cruising on such a comfortable ship, Britannia is so smooth that you hardly know it is moving!

Exceeded all our expectations!

Britannia Cruise Review by NickH1750

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
This cruise was booked as a birthday present for my partner, she had been on a Caribbean cruise two years ago with her mother and sister and had loved it, for me it was a new experience and I didn't know what to expect.

On her previous cruise on Britannia, Karen had been disappointed that all the good shore excursions had been booked up in advance, so we selected 8 organised shore excursions well in advance. Because of the damage caused by the recent hurricane two of our original island destinations had to be changed.

With heavy snow in our area a few days before departure, we were quite concerned about the conditions for our long drive to Gatwick Airport, we had booked into a hotel for the night before our scheduled departure. After the horrendous drive down to Gatwick (minus 4 degrees), we thought that the worst of our problems were behind us, how wrong we were! Our flight was delayed for over 9 hours due to a crack in the windscreen which Tui Airlines were unable to fix, probably due to the cold weather, understandable - what was inexcusable was the total lack of information coming from Tui, we sat from 11.20 (our scheduled departure time) with only 'Flight Delayed' on the notice boards, nothing on the tannoy, no one from Tui at the airport, no information available from the information desk. Eventually at about 1700 hours we were told that a replacement aircraft was on it's way - NOT GOOD ENOUGH for a top airline!.

We arrived at the Britannia at 02:15 the following morning, exhausted, depressed and feeling that our once in a lifetime holiday had got off to the worst possible start. The embarkation procedure gave us the first insight into how well organised, professional and friendly the entire staff of Britannia are, they had us on board and to our cabins in a matter of minutes - superb!

We had a superior deluxe balcony cabin equipped with two large flat screen TV's, a sofa and chair, very comfortable bed, bath, shower and tea and coffee making facilities. Very comfortable, very clean and in perfect condition.

Later that morning after a superb breakfast we went into Bridgetown, Barbados and rather than further adding to our tiredness we opted for a relaxing few hours at the 'Boatyard' beach, stunning beach, lovely Caribbean sea, nice food and drink - highly recommended.

On returning to Britannia we started to explore the massive ship, it is a truly awesome sight to see just how huge this ship is, every aspect is just so impressive, I have heard experienced cruisers complain that the ship does not have a central staircase, in my opinion it would not benefit from one, a central staircase would take up a lot of space and who would want to walk up or down flights of stairs to the 17 decks!

After two weeks on board the only slight criticism that I could find was the lack of a promenade deck, you could not do a full lap of any of the decks, i know that many cruise passengers enjoy a good stroll along the promenade deck, definitely the one negative aspect of the fabulous ship.

We opted for 'freedom' dining, thinking that we could choose where and when we ate, I wanted to try all the restaurants to try the different menu's. 'Freedom' dining means that you can eat at different times, it does not mean that you can turn up at the 'Peninsular' or 'Oriental' restaurants on spec and expect a table, booking is advisory in these and the Meridian restaurant. We did book tables at the 'Epicurean', Sindhu and Limelight restaurants at an extra cost of £25 per head, the only one worth the extra is the 'Sindhu', tremendous Indian Fusion food, great atmosphere, lovely attentive staff and perfectly cooked and presented food - excellent in every respect.

The main dining area is the 'Horizon' restaurant on deck 16, this is a self service restaurant with waiter service for drinks, referred to my many as the 'canteen', there was a tremendous selection of hot and cold foods, all in my experience very well cooked, tasty and there was plenty of it! The drinks service was quite slow, on many occasions I had finished my meal before the drink arrived!

The ship offers a wide variety of entertainment both during the day and in the evenings, the shows are well presented, very professional and well worth seeing, like everything on board Britannia the whole experience has been well planned, well executed in a totally professional but friendly manner.

The shops on board carry a large range of quality items at reasonable prices, the staff are all knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the products on offer. Unlike many hotels, the prices on board are extremely competitive, even when compared to the duty free shops on the islands.

If you are in the market for some quality jewelry or high end watches then it is well worth seeking out Jason, Britannia's resident Gemologist and Horologist, he has contacts throughout the islands and will help you to achieve huge savings on UK prices, his knowledge of the Swiss watch industry is encyclopedic and his advice and help were much appreciated.

The pools on the Lido deck (deck 16) were very popular, as were the poolside deck chairs, entertainment was provided throughout the day as were snacks and both hot and cold drinks.

When our fortnight was over and it was time to wave goodbye to Britannia our disembarkation was as smooth and flawless as every other planned event on board had been and this time there were no delays to our flight.

Our shore excursions varied in length and content, all were well organised by the ships shore excursions crew, we got to see many historic sites and had a good overview of many of the islands.

In summary we did have 'a once in a lifetime holiday' thanks to P&O and the crew of Britannia, we may never be able to afford to cruise the Caribbean again, but would love to experience the Mediterranean. It was a very expensive holiday and may not offer value for money compared to a five star all inclusive resort holiday, but there is something fantastically exotic about cruising on such a comfortable ship, Britannia is so smooth that you hardly know it is moving!
NickH1750’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin B415
Very comfortable, all the amenities you could want - except no hairdryer!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews