Britannia Review

5.0 / 5.0
1,071 reviews

Good, but we know it could be better

Review for Norwegian Fjords Cruise on Britannia
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Presto2
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: May 2023

This was our first cruise since the pandemic having previously sailed with P&O 8 times and Celebrity cruises 5 times. Our last cruise was August 2019 on the Celebrity EDGE and this was our 3rd cruise on Britannia having sailed on her when she was new in 2015 and again in 2017. We have always had an aft cabin on Britannia in the past and this time we opted for. We had read many comments about ‘things not being as good as pre pandemic’ so went with an open mind to see what we thought. The ship had had a make over since our last cruise, so we were interested to see what had changed. We did have to remind ourselves not to keep comparing Britannia to The EDGE pre pandemic as EDGE had been a new ship when we last sailed and the cost had been considerably more! This cruise was in the school holidays, so the ship was full.

Embarkation:

We opted for the coach transfers, and this worked seamlessly, and we were on the ship by 2.30pm. Ellison coaches are excellent and the coach and both drivers faultless. If we had travelled down ourselves our boarding time was 12.45pm. A change since Covid is that P&O seem to be clamping down on anyone trying to board earlier than their slot. Our friend had booked assistance to board and this service was excellent and she came away very impressed with the help that she received.

Cabin Review

Our first impression of the cabin, sadly, was that it seemed unloved and needed some t.l.c and a good re vamp. In terms of our cabin space Britannia seems to be showing her age and we came away feeling that P&O need to invest in some refurbishment. The settee was frayed and the furniture on the balcony had both seats ripped and coming away from the frame. It is difficult to pin-point exactly what we mean when we say we felt that the cabin needed a ‘deep clean’ but it just felt ‘un loved’ and in need of a freshen up. We couldn’t remember / ever feel it looking this way at all in the past on any P&O ship. Not a great first impression, but once we had unpacked it felt more ‘homely’ and we made the most of it. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t terrible, but standards not as good / special as we had remembered.

One plus point was the cabin storage space – there is loads and we made good use of it! The small fridge was useful and it was good to be able to order 6 cans of still water to use in our cabin. Tea and coffee making facilities were great. No turn down service, so not be beater, we took our own chocolates and did it ourselves!

Another advantage of this cabin was its location. We had a fabulous view of the wake of the ship and as there is hardly any cabins around it is a very quiet. Our friend had an accessible cabin and it was excellent for her needs. We would recommend this choice for anyone with mobility needs. We never heard anything at all from our neighbours and just a distant beat from the Limelight Club on two evenings. It wasn’t a problem at all though.

We knew that we would have issues with soot on the balcony having had a similar cabin before. To be honest it wasn’t that bad at all, but what was disappointing was the fact that in the week no one mopped / cleaned the balcony floor once - despite it being obvious that it was marked and in need of a good jet wash / mop and bucket. I am guessing that the already stretched cabin stewards are expected to do this, but I don’t feel that they have the time. As it was not a ‘hot cruise’ we didn’t use the balcony as much as we would normally, otherwise we would have had to ask for someone to clean it for us.

Port Reviews

Flam

Flam: The sun came out and it was a beautiful day. What an amazing port this is! The small town is stunningly beautiful, with a range of gift shops and walks. We went on the Flam railway and would recommend to anyone. It also stops at the Kjosfossen Waterfall. The sailaway down the fjord that evening was breath taking and no words can describe it. If you every have the chance to go there – GO!

Haugesund

Haugesund: Not a pretty port at all really, so we were glad that we had booked an excursion which included a short boat ride, meal and drive through some beautiful parts of Norway. There was some low cloud again, but the scenery was stunning and, though cold the small 45 minutes boat trip was fabulous. The boat took us right infront of the Langfossen Waterfall – an awesome sight. We also had a meal at a small restaurant that was a great choice and the local food excellent.

I would book an excursion here - certainly would not go for the port

Stavanger

Stavanger. We did an excursion called Baker’s Paradise and Waffles which was 4 hours and a great choice. Lovely scenery and great to see the local area. We had been to Stavanger before, so it is a nice port to walk around and the cathedral worth a visit as well as the side streets with the pretty wooden houses.

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