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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Our First Cruise: For our 40th wedding anniversary we thought we take a cruise as many friends/family said 'We'd Love It'....... Well it was just about tolerable. We embarked at St.Lucia, the one island of the six I was most looking ... Read More
Our First Cruise: For our 40th wedding anniversary we thought we take a cruise as many friends/family said 'We'd Love It'....... Well it was just about tolerable. We embarked at St.Lucia, the one island of the six I was most looking forward to. Well, it was off the plane, into a mini-bus, register on baord then set sail. St. Lucia for 3 hours. This first island should not be included on the itinerary. Much misleading but lack of research on my part. We splashed out for a balcony cabin (G107) allocated. This cabin balcony was part of steel construction of the ship and when sitting on the balcony you were below eye level, could not see a thing..... In fairness we were after a request moved to F deck midship with this balcony being much better. The cabin we found was adequate but you do have to think about clothes and case storage. The guy who looked after us, Sagar, was very good and very accommodating to any request. Dining: We chose 'Freedom Dining' which allowed us to dine anytime between 6.30 and 9.00 in two restaurants and in truth the food you could not complain about, it was overall very good. Drinks prices were as expected, reasonable. As said in other posts, having to pay a further £25 per person to dine in the prime restaurants is a step too far in having to budget for additional or so called better dining. Sun Decks: It was the day at sea that sealed it for me that I will highly likely never cruise again. 3,000+ people on board and all decks were totally jammed and very uncomfortable. The only way you could get off a sunbed was to sit up and slide down to the bottom of the bed. And if you stretched your arms whilst lying down you were likely to give the person next to you a black eye. Maximimising space, maximising profit. Entertainment - Simply average, save for the one night we did dine in the Limelight Club and saw Jackie Graham. very talented 80's prominent singer. The Headliners Theatre is a very good theatre but the artists were nothing special in truth. The Crows Nest - A lovely bar to finish off the night in relaxation. The Live Lounge - No real comment, popular music but you will do well to find a seat after 9.30pm. Facilities - Why in this day an age there is no free WiFi especially when docked is beyond me and to charge approx $10 a day for this privilege is a disgrace. Maximimising space, maximising profit. Islands - Because you're limited to less than 10 hours the expense increases if you book through the ship at P&O extortionate prices and after two or 3 they all look the same. I appreciate that the majority of people on board enjoy cruising. I'm just glad I didn't book a two week cruise as it would have been 'man overboard' after a week. I wish I had the £3k+ it cost me to spend elsewhere. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise and we didn't really know what to expect, but from the very first day the whole experience was something out of this world, from the fine dining and all of the wonderful restaurants to the live entertainment every ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we didn't really know what to expect, but from the very first day the whole experience was something out of this world, from the fine dining and all of the wonderful restaurants to the live entertainment every single night, our cabin boy was incredible and kept our cabin spotless and it was lovely coming into the cabin to see the beds made so neatly and fresh towels, he even used to tidy the wires to my mobile phone and laptop, I loved having my chair pulled out for me every single meal time and the napkin placed on my knee, the whole cruise just made me feel very special and spoilt. The Caribbean islands we visited were amazing, the heat was lovely and I enjoyed lots of days of warm sandy white beaches, this holiday really was incredible and exceeded all of my expectations. All of the staff were friendly and said hello to you with a warm smile, and the reception desk were always there to help with any problem, there really isn't one thing I could say negatively about sailing on the Azura, only that I didn't want to leave as it was just totally fabulous. After three days on board ship we booked again to do the exact same trip next year and we can't wait to do it all again. We did 4 excursions and the rest of the time we went to the beach or to the local town on the island we were on. St Kitts we went on the railway and it was fabulous with lots of singing and the scenery was fabulous. Barbados we went on the submarine in the morning and its something we will do again as it was just incredible watching all the fish. Amber Cove we went on a Tradition & Flavours Excursion which was really good St Lucia we did a private tour with Cosal Tours,it was a seven hour tour and was totally fabulous including a mud bath and waterfall and lots of island food. It was enjoyable in between excursions having lots of time on different beaches and wandering the local towns. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Apologies for the long review but I wanted to cover as much as I can. We booked our 2 week Caribbean Cruise with my parents as they are celebrating their 60th Birthdays this year and this was to be their 'once in a lifetime' type ... Read More
Apologies for the long review but I wanted to cover as much as I can. We booked our 2 week Caribbean Cruise with my parents as they are celebrating their 60th Birthdays this year and this was to be their 'once in a lifetime' type holiday. On the whole it did not disappoint. We flew Gatwick to Barbados with TUI on their Dreamliner and from check in to arrival in Barbados the service was excellent. (This goes for the return flight too). Although we were delayed by 80 mins on the outbound flight we managed to make up the time and only arrived 20 mins late. On arrival we were whisked away from the bottom of the aircraft steps straight to the port within about 30 mins. Embarkation was speedy, efficient and we were on the ship within an hour of landing. My only quibble would be that we were only greeted on board by a photographer and a handful of staff (no welcome drink, music/band etc). We were not expecting a huge song and dance or fuss but a more upbeat welcome would have been nice. The ship is lovely and it was nice to see a modern and simple décor. I do appreciate that some people still like to see lots of polished wood, brass, crystal, bling etc but there are other ships available if that's what you are after. All public areas seemed clean, in good order and well maintained. Its nice to see that P&O are trying to move with the times and modernise in order to appeal to a wider audience. Having said that my only real complaint would be the behaviour and attitude of some of our fellow guests!!! For example, there are more than enough sunbeds on board however every single sunbed around the pools and hot tubs were 'reserved' with towels way before 8am most days (earlier on sea days)!!! When did we turn into these type of people? I, like many others, were quite happy in the general peace and quiet on decks 17 or 18 away from the pools where there is more space between the beds and the music is less intrusive. Also the breeze was very welcoming. Our balcony cabin (A226) was spacious, bright and clean. The bed was very comfy and we found plenty of storage space. The bathroom was clean and spacious although the water pressure wasn't always great but then that can be expected when up to 3500 people could be using the shower at the same time!! The White Company products were a lovely touch. The balcony was of an adequate size and had a small table and 2 chairs. Perfect setting for a morning coffee or pre dinner drink. Not sure what people expect from a cruise ship balcony? Do you really need sunbeds, sauna and room for a pony?? Our cabin steward (Udaiya) was attentive, polite and kept the cabin spotlessly clean. Although I was surprised to be told we could only have one pool towel each per day!! I disposed of a sandy, wet towel after a morning beach trip and asked for a fresh one for the pool area and was told that there were none left!! Food:- We used the Horizon Buffet for breakfast and most lunches and it could get quite busy and hectic. We found the food to be of a good standard and a nice selection. I think it could've become a little repetitive at times but we also choose to use the Lido Pizzeria, Lido Grill and the Grab & Go option for added variety. Evenings we were on Freedom dining and were allocated the Penisular dining room. We generally arrived for dinner between 7pm-8pm and didn't have to wait for a table once. Although we did note that tables for 2 came at a premium as you seemed to have to little wait or could join a bigger table. The service we found to be generally quick, efficient and polite but not overly friendly (although I feel this is due to the workload rather than the individuals). Food quality was a little hit and miss on occasion but generally of a good standard. More down to personal taste rather than quality though. Always well presented and hot. We booked into the select dinning on 2 occasions and thoroughly enjoyed the Sindhu and even more so the Epicurean. Worth the cover charge. We also booked the Lime Light Lounge on 2 occasions for an Eric & Ernie tribute comedy act and also the Kiki Dee show. Again worth every penny and a great concept. The food was great (although limited choice) and the service was excellent. We pre booked all our excursions for ease and to saves us from messing around and wasting time each day deciding what we could do. Again we were not disappointed. All our guides were friendly and information and really showed off some of the highlights of each islands. In particular we loved 'A Taste Of St Vincent' food tour and the 'St Kitts Scenic Railway' tour. We also all used the Oasis Spa at some point for various treatments and found them great and worth the money although there is a fair bit of hard sell for Elemis Products after each treatment. You just have to politely say no thank you!! We found bar/drinks service to be attentive and the prices were very reasonable. Cocktail of the day was often £5 each and quite strong (not watered down at all). In summary, we all had a great time. Don't listen to all of the negative reviews. We are all individuals and have individuals tastes and standards. Give it a try and make your own mid up!! Would we go on the Britannia again? YES!!! BUT probably won't because we want to try some of the other ships!! P&O and otherwise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our second time on Britannia in the Caribbean. We have also done 3 cruises on Ventura. I think it is fair to say that we prefer Ventura. The embarkation was fine as always, however one of our suitcases did not show up at the ... Read More
This was our second time on Britannia in the Caribbean. We have also done 3 cruises on Ventura. I think it is fair to say that we prefer Ventura. The embarkation was fine as always, however one of our suitcases did not show up at the cabin and we had to go to reception after dinner to ask about it. The cabin label had come off and the case was in the room opposite reception, so no problem really just an inconvenience. The cabin E741 was fine although we did have noise problems, see the cabin review. The food in the dining room, was good without having the wow factor. We dined in the Oriental DR 2nd sitting. The service from the DR waiters was excellent. Dined in the Limelight Club which was very nice with good entertainment (Eric & Ernie). Also dined once in the Epicurean which did have the wow factor, however I should think so given the cover charge. Did not eat in Sindhu. Most nights we went to the Crystal room where we enjoyed the dancing. The dance instructors Ian and Penny were very good and provided a good mix of ballroom, latin and sequence. The live bands were good also. Only went to the theatre once and enjoyed the show, without being blown away, Some of the shows that were on we recognised (from the title and description) from our last cruise in 2016, so we didn't go. The ship suffers in my opinion from not having a promenade on deck 7, and lack of stairs at midships. There was a lot of people in the bars and public rooms who did not observe the dress code on formal evenings, which I feel is a shame and does nothing for the P&O reputation. I understand that this is just our opinion and I respect that that some people don't want to wear formal attire. Perhaps they should choose a cruise line that doesn't have a formal dress code. Disembarkation was smooth and the flight was on time. Overall a very enjoyable cruise but I doubt if we will go on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise as a large new ship to introduce my sister to cruising, she’s a true convert now. Large balcony cabin with sofa, however, major whinge that the balcony is so narrow compared to other ships but didn’t detract ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a large new ship to introduce my sister to cruising, she’s a true convert now. Large balcony cabin with sofa, however, major whinge that the balcony is so narrow compared to other ships but didn’t detract really. Live lounge mainly tribute acts very good each night, not many shows in the theatre here though. On board band, Pulse, excellent with a very wide range of songs, rock, pop, divas, ABBA, excellent. Food good choice and nicely cooked, freedom dining room - Meridian - never full so not hectic. Sunloungers at Aft decks could do with a good clean/jetwash as under funnels and bit grubby. Shore excursions over subscribed early on, that’s if they weren’t cancelled. Disappointing. Local tours didn’t cater for catermaran trips. Shore excursion team onboard quite jaded and could have given much more information and be more enthusiastic. Sail away parties good - think 4 in total, particularly the Best of British. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise with P&O, after mainly cruising with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity in the past. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, seemed good value for money and the ease of getting there. To be balanced, ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O, after mainly cruising with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity in the past. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, seemed good value for money and the ease of getting there. To be balanced, I'll start off with all the positives... The flight, embarkation, having our bags arrive outside our cabin after putting them on the plane, was the best ever, so 10/10 (despite our bus in Barbados breaking down from the airport to the ship) The general condition of the ship and cabin was all very good, the food generally good, entertainment good and the port itinerary excellent. So why the overall average score I hear you say...here are the cons The ship, despite being relatively new, is badly designed, bland and unexciting compared to other cruise lines. Everywhere seemed very beige and square, no curves or a promenade with a wow factor like Royal Caribbean. The lack of a staircase midship was very frustrating! On deck, there wasn't a dedicated space for playing table tennis or shuffle board without being on top of a sun lounger! There was no climbing wall, mini golf or anything else for the passenger who didn't want to fry in the sun all day. But the main gripe about this cruise was how miserable the staff were, especially in the dining rooms. (One exception was the incredibly smiley guy allocating the tables) Don't get me wrong, they did their job ok and if I were doing their job for months on end, I would probably be the same! But for some reason they weren't as friendly and approachable as on other cruise lines and our holiday vibe was spoilt. Royal Caribbean seem to have a much more diverse staff from different countries and I think this is where P&O are going wrong, employing waiting staff from the same country. I also think that it's nice to go on a cruise with passengers of different nationalities as well, not just on a ship full of Brits! In summary, the cruise was ok and if you have never cruised before and are of a certain age, it will be great for you. However, if you want a more happy, fun and diverse experience and interesting ships, a cruise with another company may be better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Staff & Service; Got the holiday feeling, the staff will get it out of you; Moody, ignorant and unhelpful on the reception desk, Sun decks and self service restaurants. The only exception for us was the Oriental Restaurant evening ... Read More
Staff & Service; Got the holiday feeling, the staff will get it out of you; Moody, ignorant and unhelpful on the reception desk, Sun decks and self service restaurants. The only exception for us was the Oriental Restaurant evening dining with an excellent, happy service staff. Also the room cleaner was happy and welcoming and did an excellent job keeping our room nice. Ship & Cabin; 3 years old and lacks functionality, lifts are a problem, sun beds jammed in and inside rooms are very small but just about manageable. Dinning & Bars: Food is excellent always something nice to eat; Bars are expensive with no all inclusive options. Ports and excursions. All the ports were well managed, clean and tidy. We had only 3 sea days out 14 so lots to see and do. P&O Excursions are very expensive compared to finding your own way through local taxis and tour operators which are many. You can save £ hundreds by doing your own exploring. Entertainment and Activities; £25 each per night for evening Diner and entertainment in the club..... RIP OFF!!!!!!!!!!!! Otherwise other entertainment will include 10-20 pub quizzes per day to keep the bar till ringing. Activities are basic Flights; P&O Charter Thomas Cook on the cheap; No free drinks service, food is OK. Flight back was 2 hours late on the way back after a late plane change. Problems getting the seats we had booked and paid for as 2 P&O staff would not move out of the extra leg room seats that we had paid for, delayed the plane for another 30 mins while they were going to be removed by security. They had 120 P&O staff returning into the UK on the flight, most were well behaved however, these 2 had been drinking heavily and in my opinion were not fit to fly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Disembarkation and Embarkation went very well.. We prebooked 2 Catamaran trips weeks before the cruise ,both got cancelled on the first day of cruise and all other Catanaran trips fully booked which was not pleasing and the excursion ... Read More
Disembarkation and Embarkation went very well.. We prebooked 2 Catamaran trips weeks before the cruise ,both got cancelled on the first day of cruise and all other Catanaran trips fully booked which was not pleasing and the excursion people were not to helpful. The ship´s Entertainment very average except for the band Vibz who played in different venues and were brilliant,also saw Kiki dee and Jon clegg who were both very good.. As regards food the Horizon buffet bar was very adequate , did like Sindu the Indian Restaurant and the Meridian & the Penisular were also very good. Because of the hurricane Tortola was cancelled but went to Martinique instead which was a complete waste of time as nothing to do there except drink in the local Bars. Excursions wise Stingray city is a 100% must as brilliant day out. There was a Snooker Table near Brodies Bar which had a massive hole is the baize ,which looks as though its been like it for months which is a shame, Sadly Britannia is trying to be 5star when its definitely not,its a ship of 2 halves where guests over a certain age like the formal nights and dressing up whereas guests under a certain age (myself including) prefer smart casual and not dressing like a Turkey in 30 degrees of Caribbean heat just not logical when ladies can dress smart and show there legs and Shoulders off . If you are over 65 then Britannia is for you , if you are under 65 then pick Norwegian cruise line as so much more to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Overall, a pleasant 14 day Caribbean cruise on Britannia. We had an aft suite on C Deck Britannia is a great ship which suits its status as the biggest ship in the fleet. The Britannia sailaway party may seem a bit naff but is ... Read More
Overall, a pleasant 14 day Caribbean cruise on Britannia. We had an aft suite on C Deck Britannia is a great ship which suits its status as the biggest ship in the fleet. The Britannia sailaway party may seem a bit naff but is really good fun and gets you in the spirit! Plus sides. Horror tales of soot issues for aft suites felt more than a touch exaggerated. Friends on B deck had issues with their larger and slightly overlooked balcony but was only a minor irritation for us and friends with a similar aft suite on E deck. Certainly wouldn't let this stop me from re-booking. The wrap round balcony means shade/sun varies nicely by time of day. Compared to a similar suite on the Azura, our suite was more separated and gives more privacy for parents travelling with kids. The itinerary was v good - all stops were port side so no missed stops due to tenders not being operated in poor sea conditions (unlike the Azura last year). Food in al restaurants and the buffet was very good. Love Sindhu and the cover charge is more than worth it. A big mention to John and his team in the Cookery Club, we had a meal there where they cooked Tapas for us. At £45 cover charge, it may seem expensive but that included Sangria and 3 wines - so well worth it! Entertainment was more than good enough - recommend early Headliners performance and the Ed Sheeran tribute act in particular. Stops were great, mentions in particular for St. Kitts, Aruba, Curucao, Tobago and Grenada. Also, the Stingray experience and submarine in Barbados were great excursions and well worth the money. Kids club was great! Central staircase / elevators were a bit painful, but once you get used to using the elevators/stairs at the front or back you realise it makes very little difference. Nonetheless, shouldn't have been beyond the with of the shipbuilder/designer to have thought about this if only to keep down the level of complaints about a very nice ship. Negatives - service standards just not quite the same as the Azura, we were always left feeling that it was just easier to love problems ourselves. Too many times we were met with basic requests around the ship with a blank and somewhat confused expression from staff. Would also say that a course in basic manners and a bit of common sense wouldn't go amiss for many of the staff. The stops were all good with the exception of St. Vincent. A simple message here is that the port area just didn't seem safe - a common message from many passengers. Frankly, stay on the Britannia at St. Vincent. I still don't like having to ask P&O not to charge my in room credit with a service charge before I've even spent a penny of the credit. This just doesn't sit well with me, so I remove it. Frankly, P&O should either be upfront and very clear about this or just not charge it - we all know the crew don't get it and is just an additional charge on unwary customers. The price you pay covers these costs. Final negative, exchange your currency onshore - use casino ATM's for $'s but don't be afraid of using local bank ATM's for Eastern Caribbean $'s either, everyone accepts them on the islands where they're issued despite quoting US$ prices. Only exception was Martinique where they use Euro's or $'s. P&O onboard currency rates are a rip-off, much like the airports. Like I said, the easiest and cheapest way to get US$'s on the trip is to use your ATM card in a casino, the fee is minimal compared to the ship or airport. Overall, we enjoyed the Britannia very much but have a slight preference for the Azura. We'll be trying out Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines next, mainly for a change and a bit of variation. Would still very much recommend the Britannia, though. Would have given a 5 star rating but for the drop in service standards since last year. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We love the Caribbean in Jan/ Feb to escape the UK winter. Ventura was late arriving in Southampton due to bad weather, thank goodness we weren’t on that cruise! P&O gave us all £15pp extra onboard spend to cover lunch on ... Read More
We love the Caribbean in Jan/ Feb to escape the UK winter. Ventura was late arriving in Southampton due to bad weather, thank goodness we weren’t on that cruise! P&O gave us all £15pp extra onboard spend to cover lunch on the way as we were advised to arrive later in the day to allow disembarkation. There was free tea and coffee at the terminal and we didn’t wait too long to be transferred to the ship. The sea was choppy for the first 2days at sea but soon improved ( or maybe we just found our sea legs quickly). Madeira was nice and sunny. Went to the gym on sea days to offset the extra food and actually rather enjoyed it! There was always something going on on board but same list most days. The talks are usually interesting. Did lots of sunbathing and actually used our sun beds for hours. We saw loads of beds though which were reserved for hours with no one on them. P &O need to take the bull by the horns and sort out this problem which causes so much anger. The entertainment was mostly good and especially ‘The Runaround Kids’ who got a standing ovation both nights. Metropolis was a nice place in the evenings and much quieter than other venues where the microphones were a bit too loud. Havana is the most ridiculous design and needs a complete overhaul. The half walls are too high, there are posts where they obstruct too much of the view and what on earth the two high tables are for at the front I can’t imagine. We didn’t come on holiday to have to watch acts on the tv screen! The staff were great as usual and cabin stewards very friendly. We had a few problems this cruise with excessive noise in cabin late at night (don’t book around inside cabin R717 ) and after being moved we had a water leak. We were unlucky because this was our 18th cruise with P&O and our first problematic one. The islands were great as normal and the people who moaned about the port of Guadeloupe should have done their research and travelled outside the port area. We had a lovely trip there to the beach and the nicest swimming conditions ever. All in all another successful cruise. Read Less
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