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Ship: Britannia. Cruise Number: B809 Date of Cruise: 8th April 2018. Southampton Ocean Cruise Terminal: After arriving by transfer coach at the designated time we were directed to the cruise terminal. Although we had priority boarding status no P&O staff were available to inform us of which desk was allocated for priority boarding passengers. Finally after checking in and requesting access to the priority lounge which was ignored by the check-in staff, we were told to proceed through security and embark on the ship. Basically it felt as if we were herded like cattle without any concern by any of the P&O terminal staff for our wellbeing. Embarkation: On boarding the ship we were greeted by a barrage of sales people wanting us to book & sign up for selected restaurant venues, spas & photography sessions. At no time did we see a smiling P&O representative to either direct us to the ship`s reception area or to help us in locating our suite. After finally locating and arriving in our suite on the 11th deck which I may add was with no help from P&O staff. Believing the stress and harassment of the previous encounters at check-in and embarkation were over was short lived. We were not informed that our correctly tagged (as directed by P&O) luggage had gone astray. After many phone calls from the cabin staff & several stressful hours later I personally found our luggage in several different cabins. This was not a very good omen to the start of an expensive & hopefully relaxing cruise. Safety muster prior to departure. I can only speak for our designated suite but the muster point was the Headliners Theatre. This was fully packed with approx. 800 people attempting to put on life preservers. During the brief session on the muster drill no mention of which lifeboat station was designated in an emergency. This is a very serious safety issue that P&O should immediately address. Overview of Britannia. There is no promenade deck as such to walk around. There are open deck spaces on deck 7 (usually closed in the slightest of weather conditions) at the stern on deck 17 and of course the promenade deck on 18 which there is a staircase to negotiate as the lift only go to deck 17. Deck information & signs are on a brown background with beige lettering which can be difficult to read for people with impaired vision. People were still finding it difficult to find their way round even after 2 weeks. A tour of the bridge & engine control room was offered although this was expensive at £75 per person. There are a very large number of security cameras around the ship even overlooking the private balconies. In one instant a friend was reported and told by the deck manager that it was not acceptable to sunbathe topless on her balcony. Surely cabin balconies on a cruise ship are one`s private place where one can relax without the interference of security cameras. In general we felt as if our personal privacy had been invaded upon, even by the cabin staff who reported any suspected misdemeanours to the deck manager. I must also state that our cabin steward had a tendency to enter our suite without knocking, which we found unacceptable. The hospitality staff (waiters, waitresses, cabin stewards) were always polite but hardly ever smiled for one unknown reason or other. People who had cabins at the stern with balconies were always complaining about oily soot particles being deposited from the funnels. The general layout of the ship leaves a lot to be desired. Restaurants: For freedom diners there were four main restaurants without additional cover charges. Meridian, Peninsular & Oriental with waiter service and the self-service Horizon. We were informed by our butler that the Meridian, Peninsular & Oriental restaurants the menus were varied but were on a rotational basis for these three venues. Overall all the food quality was good. We dined in the Glasshouse restaurant one evening with an additional cover charge and the desert of a chocolate whirl (hard thick chocolate shell with a digestive biscuit base and false cream inside) was nearly inedible, even the waiter had difficulty in opening the shell with a sharp knife. On-board Entertainment. I can only comment on the venues attended. The Limelight Club: Additional cover charge £25 with a limited menu to select from. The Live Lounge: No cover charge and waiter service for drinks at all times. Shows were mediocre. Shore Excursions. Coach tours were arranged for La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria & Lanzarote. The main observation were no P&O tour representatives on any of these coach tours. Any assistance, advice, wellbeing for P&O passengers was left entirely in the hands of the coach tour operators.

First & Last Cruise with P&O

Britannia Cruise Review by Jcdirect1

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Trip Details
Ship: Britannia.

Cruise Number: B809

Date of Cruise: 8th April 2018.

Southampton Ocean Cruise Terminal:

After arriving by transfer coach at the designated time we were directed to the cruise terminal. Although we had priority boarding status no P&O staff were available to inform us of which desk was allocated for priority boarding passengers. Finally after checking in and requesting access to the priority lounge which was ignored by the check-in staff, we were told to proceed through security and embark on the ship. Basically it felt as if we were herded like cattle without any concern by any of the P&O terminal staff for our wellbeing.

Embarkation:

On boarding the ship we were greeted by a barrage of sales people wanting us to book & sign up for selected restaurant venues, spas & photography sessions. At no time did we see a smiling P&O representative to either direct us to the ship`s reception area or to help us in locating our suite. After finally locating and arriving in our suite on the 11th deck which I may add was with no help from P&O staff. Believing the stress and harassment of the previous encounters at check-in and embarkation were over was short lived. We were not informed that our correctly tagged (as directed by P&O) luggage had gone astray. After many phone calls from the cabin staff & several stressful hours later I personally found our luggage in several different cabins. This was not a very good omen to the start of an expensive & hopefully relaxing cruise.

Safety muster prior to departure.

I can only speak for our designated suite but the muster point was the Headliners Theatre. This was fully packed with approx. 800 people attempting to put on life preservers. During the brief session on the muster drill no mention of which lifeboat station was designated in an emergency. This is a very serious safety issue that P&O should immediately address.

Overview of Britannia.

There is no promenade deck as such to walk around. There are open deck spaces on deck 7 (usually closed in the slightest of weather conditions) at the stern on deck 17 and of course the promenade deck on 18 which there is a staircase to negotiate as the lift only go to deck 17. Deck information & signs are on a brown background with beige lettering which can be difficult to read for people with impaired vision. People were still finding it difficult to find their way round even after 2 weeks. A tour of the bridge & engine control room was offered although this was expensive at £75 per person. There are a very large number of security cameras around the ship even overlooking the private balconies. In one instant a friend was reported and told by the deck manager that it was not acceptable to sunbathe topless on her balcony. Surely cabin balconies on a cruise ship are one`s private place where one can relax without the interference of security cameras. In general we felt as if our personal privacy had been invaded upon, even by the cabin staff who reported any suspected misdemeanours to the deck manager. I must also state that our cabin steward had a tendency to enter our suite without knocking, which we found unacceptable. The hospitality staff (waiters, waitresses, cabin stewards) were always polite but hardly ever smiled for one unknown reason or other. People who had cabins at the stern with balconies were always complaining about oily soot particles being deposited from the funnels. The general layout of the ship leaves a lot to be desired.

Restaurants:

For freedom diners there were four main restaurants without additional cover charges. Meridian, Peninsular & Oriental with waiter service and the self-service Horizon. We were informed by our butler that the Meridian, Peninsular & Oriental restaurants the menus were varied but were on a rotational basis for these three venues. Overall all the food quality was good. We dined in the Glasshouse restaurant one evening with an additional cover charge and the desert of a chocolate whirl (hard thick chocolate shell with a digestive biscuit base and false cream inside) was nearly inedible, even the waiter had difficulty in opening the shell with a sharp knife.

On-board Entertainment.

I can only comment on the venues attended. The Limelight Club: Additional cover charge £25 with a limited menu to select from. The Live Lounge: No cover charge and waiter service for drinks at all times. Shows were mediocre.

Shore Excursions.

Coach tours were arranged for La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria & Lanzarote. The main observation were no P&O tour representatives on any of these coach tours. Any assistance, advice, wellbeing for P&O passengers was left entirely in the hands of the coach tour operators.
Jcdirect1’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin D101
Our suite was situated at the front of the ship starboard side deck 11. The suite was adequate for the purpose intended, smallish lounge, whirlpool bath with separate shower & large bedroom but the width of the beds were narrow in our personal opinion. We would have expected higher calibre single beds for the suite status which would have been more suitable other than the ones provided.