We chose this cruise week long cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were given a time of 3pm for embarkation and were on the ship shortly after that time, it was all very efficient. First impressions of the ship from entering the atrium was that it was very classy and elegant and put us in mind of the lobby of a five star hotel. This impression continued throughout the public areas. You can only pass through the interior of the ship on deck 7, which will take you end to end. You pass by the photography area, Sindu restaurant and, at the other end, The Live Lounge, where they host live bands and music in the evening. This whole area is elegant and sophisticated, but dark. All the curtains to the windows overlooking the sea are covered in elegant drapes; crystal lighting over the Sindu bar books elegant and refined. But here is where it is unusual, you have to look quite hard to see the sea from deck 7. The curtains close it off. In fact, apart from the Horizons buffet on deck 11, we found it quite hard to see the ocean from the interior - its almost like the ship is trying hard to be a posh hotel and is somewhat embarrassed by all that ocean outside. It should be the opposite because everyone cruises to see the ocean. If you want to go outside to see it from decks 5 to 7 (the interior of the ship) you can but only if you access the smoking areas either side of the ship. There is no promenade deck mid ship and it is not possible to walk the whole way round the ship from the promenade deck. If you walk from atrium on deck 5 or 6 you will dead end, only deck 7 takes you through the ship.
There was much to like about this ship. People say there is no wow factor and I think that is a matter of personal taste. Its a beautiful ship and because the atrium area is relatively small, there is much more public space on decks 5 through to 7 for entertainment venues which means that you can get a seat in the evening This ship has numerous entertainment venues, you are spoiled for choice. We found this use of space to be much better than our experience on RC's Independence and Navigator of the Seas where the Royal Promenade takes out much of the public space. The other trump card for Britannia was the fantastic entertainment throughout our cruise. The theatre hosted Sam Bailey, who was amazing; as well as a number of other guest acts and fantastic shows put on by the entertainment team. A new show called Astonishing was excellent with really modern music and awesome LED backdrop. There was also fantastic entertainment in the Live Lounge where the band Pulse played up to date music as well as tributes to the likes of Dire Straits and the 80s. This band were top notch and it was a pleasure to listen to them each evening. If ballroom dancing is your thing, the crystal room catered for that. There was something for everyone and each evening was exciting with something to look forward to. We found this to be much better than our previous cruise on Navigator of the Seas, where the entertainment was so boring (a Beatles tribute being the highlight) we were back in our cabins by 10pm.
The food in the main dining room was good. The service was reasonable. The menu was a little repetitive and if you were doing a 2 week cruise, you may want to try the speciality restaurants for variety. On a week cruise, we felt there was no need to bother. The Horizon buffet offered a reasonable choice of food throughout the day but got very busy and getting a table was hard work. Room service for breakfast solved that problem. We liked the 'grab and go' sandwich selection on the promenade deck. Very useful for a quick snack. On the whole, we would say the food was good but not outstanding.
Our interior cabin was nicely furnished, modern, and had the most comfortable bed we have ever slept it. The best interior cabin we have ever slept in on a ship.
The only criticism we have of Britannia was their apathy when it came to shore excursions booked through them. Your shore excursion ticket was left in the cabin but you were given little information on where to go on excursion day and were left waiting to get off the ship with all the other passengers, hoping you could get off in time for the bus and actually find it on the dock. On Royal Caribbean's Navigator, you were taken to the theatre, given a number and taken off the ship separately and accompanied to your tour bus. This was proper organisation and Britannia needs to improve on this as they are selling the tickets and are therefore responsible to ensure the tour operates properly.
We would not hesitate to book this ship again. Looking at the 2 week med tours next year, we are dismayed to find that P&O have cut their ports from 7 to 6 over a 14 day period, which means 8 sea days - too many. May therefore stick to 1 week cruises with them.
Beautiful beds, spacious modern cabin. Excellent.