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4,148 P&O Cruises Cruise Reviews

First cruise on P&O. Firstly..Good points.. Lovely looking Ship,excellent cabin,very good food,good entertainment,and an exceptional buffet restaurant Horizon. Bad points..Freedom Dining a disaster,only 3 times was a table ... Read More
First cruise on P&O. Firstly..Good points.. Lovely looking Ship,excellent cabin,very good food,good entertainment,and an exceptional buffet restaurant Horizon. Bad points..Freedom Dining a disaster,only 3 times was a table available straight away,had to take a pager and wait up to 70 mins,Meridian not a very nice dining experience at all.Oriental class 1,Peninsula class2,Meridian class3..a definite difference in Décor and service.. As for the alternative restaurants..Beach House excellent.Sindu great sevice but tasteless food ( Atol Kutcher) needs to sort it out.Epicurean we cancelled after hearing comments of other passengers. I thought the service was generally average,I think gratuaties up front does not work,we cacelled ours (£140) and tipped the waiters who made an effort and our cabin girl who deserved it. For a 9 month old Ship I thought the sun loungers and rear deck area were dirty,and the Sunset Bar had soot deposit problems.Passengers in the rear cabins got compensation for this problem. I did not like the location of smoking area's especially next to the Port entrance to the Horizon,smoke lingered all day. P&o built this ship cheaply just to fill it up..It should have been more exclusive,not a patch on Celibrity or Royal Caribbean.. I will not book this Ship again.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Having tracked reviews for months we were on the verge of cancelling this cruise but the experience was not quite as bad as we had been bracing ourselves for. First the positives: Choice of drinks and bar prices on P&O are ... Read More
Having tracked reviews for months we were on the verge of cancelling this cruise but the experience was not quite as bad as we had been bracing ourselves for. First the positives: Choice of drinks and bar prices on P&O are refreshingly reasonable although it is quite irritating to regularly chose craft beers from the extensive menu in Brodie's to be advised, almost inevitably, that my choices are unavailable. Restaurant wines are both high quality and good value. The resident entertainers are excellent. Pulse, the High energy dance band are utterly brilliant and I am amazed by their work rate. the Headliners Theatre group presented three brilliant productions but I was less than impressed with the spectacular Once Upon A Time, which was, in effect, a pantomime. Visiting guest entertained were less impressive ranging from the truly dreadful Rats In The Kitchen UB 40 tribute band to the popular but predictable Mark Walker delivering the same material that he has used for the past fifteen years on just about every cruise ship on the seven seas. The ship decor is modern, light and bright. The layout is nowhere near as confusing or complicating as some would have you believe though modern cruising does now seem to attract clientele that would have difficulty finding their way around a bus stop. In cabin entertainment was exceptional. An array of news channels, movies and TV shows will no doubt keep those less inclined to enjoy the bars and shows we'll end truly entertained. But the the less pleasing.... Choice and standard of food was adequate but little more. The Horizon Buffet was especially disappointing in its limited and repetitive range. This, coupled with the regular parade of the zombies randomly stopping or changing direction, render this a restaurant to be a venue of last resort. Meridian Restaurant was better. Well laid out, light and comfortable and when P&O have finally finished training their staff, the service levels might rise to satisfactory. They seem to struggle with the concept that wine is an accompaniment to food rather than being served as the plates are being removed. Speciality restaurants were fine but overhyped and overpriced. Cabins are the smallest we have encountered on any of our eighteen cruises and the balconies are little more than window boxes. Day time activities are badly organised with entertainment hosts struggling to martial the quoits, shuffleboard and ping pong contests. Teaching them the rules might help, as would lessons in customer care. The attitude of one host in particular, Millie, would be better suited to a prism wing than a cruise ship. She should be removed forthwith to prevent her terrorising any further guests. The entertainment Venues are too small, badly laid out and inadequately supervised. I was almost engaged in a physical confrontation in the Live Lounge as I needed to remove a number of inconsiderate guests standing directly in front of seated areas. Overall service levels were generally amateurish and I was surprised and disappointed by the lack of officers in evidence. My final gripe is with the P&O pricing policy. I understand that they need to sail with full occupancy but the practice of selling cabins at half price, does tend to attract clientele who do not enhance the reputation of the ship or the enjoyment other guests. Given P&O obsession with selling Spa experiences etc. I am quite surprised that Britannia has not broken new ground in opening the first onboard Tattoo and Piercing parlour. I am sure it would do a roaring trade on sea days. Value, regrettably, has its drawbacks and it is interesting that most of the more positive reviews tend to come from first time cruisers. Would I sail on Britannia again? Possibly but only one a late, half price deal and take my chances with the other bargain hunters. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Just back from an amazing cruise on Britannia.We were so looking forward to our first ever carribean cruise but after reading some of the reviews we were thinking we had blundered but we had a fantastic time crew were ways smiling and our ... Read More
Just back from an amazing cruise on Britannia.We were so looking forward to our first ever carribean cruise but after reading some of the reviews we were thinking we had blundered but we had a fantastic time crew were ways smiling and our cabin steward was great food was excellent entertainment very good pulse were fantastic sail away parties were amazing ports of call were very good and everyone onshore was so friendly more so after we had a few rum punches cabin was fine c309 nice having a drink out there of an evening before dinner. The only criticism we have is the smoking area on deck 7 by the pool as it was in an enclosed area next to where food was being cooked at the burger bar also to get to the horizon buffet you had to walk through a fog of smoke as a non smoker I am sure there are health and safety issues with this you can't smoke in bus shelter so I think p.o. should move all smoking areas to open decks Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
On Britannia 5th December B527. Travelled via Thomson Dreamliner plane, roomy, including plenty of headroom, comfortable and quiet. Would have liked the seats to have not been reclining, as it only benefits the recliner, as the person ... Read More
On Britannia 5th December B527. Travelled via Thomson Dreamliner plane, roomy, including plenty of headroom, comfortable and quiet. Would have liked the seats to have not been reclining, as it only benefits the recliner, as the person behind is either forced to recline their seats or accept less space. Obviously not P&O’s fault. Otherwise fabulous aircraft, decent enough meals and friendly efficient staff. Loved Britannia and our first time with P&O, very English compared with the Princess cruise we travelled on previously. Three pin sockets saves the need for adaptors. Accommodation great, deck A floor 15, cabin 234, lovely high viewpoint and quiet. Large Queen Ann bed, good washroom, tea & coffee making facility with biscuits and chocs. supplied. Good quality safe, plenty of open wardrobe space, including fixed hangers. Nice size balcony. All very clean and serviceable. Good sized TV with BBC World, Sky News, films on demand, and live football when games are playing, excellent. Crew seemed very efficient and informative, occasional tours around the ship and bridge on sea days. Only four sea days in total, spread equally over the fortnight. These sea days gives one chance to take advantage of the activities and free lessons available. Also these are termed Black Tie nights with formal dress code, which most people we saw, honoured. It retains a certain standard. Could not fault the variety or quality of food available, no-one would ever starve. We opted for freedom dining, which unfortunately meant we did not have the same waiters, but we met several interesting fellow cruisers. Food superb in Peninsular and Meridian restaurants, only had to wait on two occasions, then contacted via paging system, very efficient. Hogging of loungers around the pool is a perennial problem, passengers reserve them by placing their towels and then disappearing for hours. This practice is not officially allowed on this ship, as stated in their daily magazine, but is not enforced. I don’t blame P&O, but some people are so inconsiderate and selfish, and should abide by the rules. Can’t really see what people could moan about, plenty of room for everyone on board and prices reflect the price expected in any top hotel in Britain. Excursions are pricey if you use the cruise travel, but it offers an element of security, with regard to travel using tried and tested reps. and local travel firms, and it also ensures the ship will not leave without you. Entertainment is as good as any Warner’s type establishment, including tribute acts, variety and novelty acts and some famous names in the Limelight room, additional cost to be paid. Shops available selling famous brand name goods, price reflected accordingly. One fact that I have not seen mentioned is the proximity of other cruise ships when docked in port. We had four out of ten shore days when a cruise ship was moored next to us, being approx. only fifteen metres apart. On two of these occasions the music or engine noise was so loud we could not sit on our balcony, and we had to close the door to alleviate the noise. On the other two occasions the ships were quiet, but they restricted our view of the island, so much for paying extra for a balcony with a sea view or of the islands. Plus on all four occasions there was the question of privacy, the adjacent cruisers could look directly into our cabin, necessitating closing the curtains whilst changing. I don’t know how this could be overcome, especially in the future when more liners come on stream. It may be that piers are lengthened to allow offset berthing. Or it may necessitate the building of other piers, or more off shore mooring, but that means tendering in passengers. Not a simple solution, but it wouldn’t stop us partaking in this type of vacation. All in all, tremendous value for money, seeing nine islands and a different scene every day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We recently returned from a fantastic cruise and experience on the Britannia Ship. Please ignore the very small vocal minority of professional moaners on board (why don't they just stay at home?). It is the first time that we have ... Read More
We recently returned from a fantastic cruise and experience on the Britannia Ship. Please ignore the very small vocal minority of professional moaners on board (why don't they just stay at home?). It is the first time that we have taken a holiday abroad during the British winter and enjoyed every minute both on board and on shore. We had a standard balcony cabin on G Deck and was very impressed with both the size of the cabin and the facilities. We were pleased that we chose a balcony cabin as it was lovely sitting there on a morning drinking our early cuppa looking out over a new Caribbean island. On an evening before we ate we also had a nice chilled glass of wine sat on the balcony in the warm Caribbean air. We were on Freedom dining and this suited us as we don't like being tied to a particular dining time when on holiday. Initially we shared a table with other guests and they were fine, but due to the small chance of ending up with a professional moaner on our table we later opted for a table for two. The food in the Meridian restaurant was excellent, both in quality and choice. In fact we ate there on all nights except the first night in the Horizon buffet and one night in Sindhu restaurant (again both were excellent). Breakfast was always a leisurely affair in the Horizon buffet restaurant. Excellent choice to suit all tastes and diets - Fresh fruit, porridge, cereals, continental, cakes, full English, 6 types of eggs (unfortunately this wasn't enough for one moaning lady sat next to us who complained that her fried egg wasn't up to standard lol. On shore we opted to take local taxis as many excursions left at 08.30 am and this would have meant setting the alarm, which again is a no no on holiday. Every trip was great from the lovely beaches to the rain forests and waterfalls. Possibly Tortola was just about our favourite island, although the last day at the Boatyard beach and bar in Barbados was great fun. The Disembarkation process ran very smoothly and professionally, thank you to all the staff that enabled the return home to be as painless as possible. To summarise if I could get a great value deal on the Britannia for similar to what we paid this year then I would snatch P and O's hand off. 2 weeks in the warm Caribbean v 2 weeks of cold, damp pre Christmas madness in the UK - no contest!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Just back from an unbelievable cruise sailing around the warm Caribbean on the Britannia. The Caribbean was the perfect place to leave behind the wet and windy UK. The Britannia, with our balcony cabin, was the perfect ship to enjoy the ... Read More
Just back from an unbelievable cruise sailing around the warm Caribbean on the Britannia. The Caribbean was the perfect place to leave behind the wet and windy UK. The Britannia, with our balcony cabin, was the perfect ship to enjoy the experience. We were so pleased that we had booked a standard balcony cabin on G Deck with its excellent facilities instead of an inside cabin. The balcony with its 2 comfortable chairs and table was the perfect place to enjoy our morning cuppa as we sailed into a different Caribbean island on 9 mornings. What can be better than waking up on a December morning, pulling back the curtains, opening the balcony doors and stepping into the early morning warm Caribbean sunshine. I read from one of the professional moaners that the balcony was too small - too small for what? Too small for a party yes, but ample for 2 people to enjoy a drink, read a book, have a chat or just marvel at the scenery. Everything else in the cabin was perfect, large bed, powerful shower, large screen TV, fridge, towels and all well looked after be the cabin boy. Once out of the cabin there are an excellent choice of restaurants, bars and activities to choose from. In an evening we were on Freedom Dining as we don't like being tied to a meal time. We ate in the Meridian restaurant on 12 of our evenings and on each occasion the choice and quality of food and drinks was exceptional. We shared a table with other guests initially which was fine but later on in the holiday opted for a table for 2 after being worried that we may end up with a couple of the professional moaners who were on board. The moaners were very much in the minority but we didn't want to risk a perfect dining experience ruined by pathetic complaining. We ate once in Sindhu, the Indian restaurant on board, which was excellent and on the first evening in the Horizon buffet, which again had an excellent choice of food and drinks. Breakfasts were always in the Horizon for us as we liked to relax and enjoy the fresh fruit followed by a selection of the warm food on offer. After our evening meal we usually had a few drinks in one of the many varied bars and also watched a great Robbie Williams tribute act in Headliners. On the days in port we would make use of the local taxis to take us to a beach, rain forest, waterfall etc. We would usually share with other passengers from the ship and this worked out very reasonable. Many of the organised shore excursions left at 08.30am which is too early for us on holiday. All of the islands were amazing, possibly Tortola was our favourite but we also enjoyed our last day at the Boatyard beach and bar in Barbados (walking distance from the port). On the 4 days sailing we relaxed on deck making the most of the lovely warm weather that we had. As it was usually around 11.00am when we arrived on deck most sun loungers were usually taken but we found that if we just sat in a chair then sooner or later beds would be free. On these 4 sailing days the formal evenings took place and 99% of the passengers got involved and dressed up which was good. The Disembarkation process was well managed and meant that the journey from ship to plane run smoothly. Anything that I would change? 1. I would take a change of clothes in my hand luggage for the first evening on the ship as our suitcases did not arrive in the cabin until after we had eaten. 2. I would request that the moaners stay in the UK next winter and moan about something there instead - they'll find plenty :-). Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Review on the P&O ship Britannia, on our voyage from Barbados 5th December 2015. We have had previously sailed on Royal Caribbean Jewel of the seas, Vision of the seas, Adventure of the seas and Independence of the seas. Also ... Read More
Review on the P&O ship Britannia, on our voyage from Barbados 5th December 2015. We have had previously sailed on Royal Caribbean Jewel of the seas, Vision of the seas, Adventure of the seas and Independence of the seas. Also Princess cruises Grand Princess. So we are comparing the Britannia with these ships. Has the ship got the 'Wow Factor'? Well the answer to this is No.! It is a strange ship that let's itself down in many ways. From first walking on to the ship you are not wowed because of its very depressing colour schemes. Far too many charcoal grey walls and browns. The colour scheme seems to run throughout the ship even into the lifts. The atrium also is disappointing lacking in hight and light. The main theatre was also a bit of a let down. The seats not being as lush and plush as we have experienced on the other ships. Drink holders on the seat arm being not fit for purpose. No drinks served in the theatre, you have to bring them in. Again, no Wow factor when you walk in and again the colour scheme depressing. We ate in the Peninsular dining room. Again colours are drab but the service and the food were superb. 5 star for this. The ' live lounge ' again colours not uplifting and maybe a tad on the small size as lots of people wanted to watch the live shows in the evening an was often very full. What lets the ship down is the flow of the ship as in terms of getting around the ship. Just getting around the lido deck is difficult. You are met with a number of glass panels to obstruct you. Very annoying. Trying to get from one end of the ship to another can be challenging. On the days when we were at sea getting around was more difficult as people were blocking the stairs exit with sun beds. I think this is a safety hazard and I left comments to point this out to P & O. I think it is fair to say that most used lifts on the ship are midship lifts. At busy times you have a long wait as you can't get on one. But the strangest thing is you have no alternative as there are NO stairs as an alternative from deck 16 Down to deck 7. So you can't walk down one or two flights of stairs to help ease congestion. There were many people commenting on this. A very poor design. The music volume on the lido deck was excessive at times to say the least. I did a decibel reading from my iPhone and it peaked at 95 db and this was a time when it was not at its loudest. The sail away party was much much louder. I worked in industry and we had to wear ear plugs above 80db and at 92db it was impossible to talk and make conversation. Maybe an age thing but most of the guests were over 50 in age. The cabins below the lido deck were disturbed by the volume levels. We had an inside cabin and it seemed smaller the any inside cabin we have had before. I haven't checked the square footage though to compare. We went into the Lime Light club for a meal and see the "Eric and Ernie" show and a meal. Very nice. Maybe a choice on the menu would have been good rather than set menu. Smoking was allowed on the ship in a few areas. It was not nice on the Lido deck as the smoke seemed to linger under the canopy. This was then sucked into the entrance port side to the Horizon restaurant and even though to the mid ships lift area. This smoking area could do with being moved to another area where is was more open as it is affecting the other passengers!! So just to say we had a lovely cruise, and hope some of the points I have mentioned can be addressed, but it's too late for others without refurbishment which will not happen for many years. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Food, service was fine, a lovely ship, problem is too many passengers for entertainment venues, headliners theatre too small for number of people on board also live lounge even smaller, you had to be at venues thirty minutes before a show ... Read More
Food, service was fine, a lovely ship, problem is too many passengers for entertainment venues, headliners theatre too small for number of people on board also live lounge even smaller, you had to be at venues thirty minutes before a show started. Entertainment was poor, only three good shows by Britannia show cast, rest just vocalists any entertainment lasted only forty minutes. Sea days you had to be up very early to get a sunbed, not enough to go round. Atrium was nice, just staircase let it down, looks more like a fire exit. Lifts were a problem too small you could only fit 12 people in, they are supposed to hold 18, no stairs in midship. I would not choose Britannia again amenities too small for number passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Review of Britannia B527 P&O Caribbean Cruise boarding 5 December 2015. This was our 29th cruise, and the 4th with P&O, so plenty previous experience for comparison; we were very excited to be on P&O's huge flagship! ... Read More
Review of Britannia B527 P&O Caribbean Cruise boarding 5 December 2015. This was our 29th cruise, and the 4th with P&O, so plenty previous experience for comparison; we were very excited to be on P&O's huge flagship! Downside: Food in the Meridian restaurant was unbelievably sparse. Lobster portion the size of a grape, under a mound of savoury bread sauce - on a formal night! (another reviewer reported a similar portion). Sea bass no bigger than the flap on a small envelope, and not much thicker. Five chips (wedges) was the maximum, often less. After 3 meals in the Meridian we gave up and ate in the Horizon buffet each evening. Buffet salads were a disgrace. Poor selection of partly withered leaves. No olives, no vine tomatoes, in fact any tomatoes were rare. Tiny unappetising pre-prepared salad bowls. Dressing selection poor. Main meal choice was mostly reasonable, well presented and tasty. No ice-cream. Desserts were unimaginative and rarely tempted. Cheese choice limited and unvarying. No smoked salmon at breakfast! Overall, I am sure the chefs did their best within their allocated budgets, and credit to them. However the overall ambience was of school dinners. Although our cabin was on E deck, the noise from the theatre 3 decks below was overpowering at the 1030pm performance. Definitely some sound isolation issues there. The Lido area sound volume was dangerously high, and heavily distorted, especially on the balcony deck above, with speakers every 15 feet or so. Unable to linger there to enjoy any performances! After dinner, we usually enjoy a stroll on the promenade deck. Not possible here, as most of the outside areas were roped off for spraying down, even by early evening. A very pleasant Brodie's Bar marred by too many annoying quizzes. Good points: Comfortable Dreamliner flights from Glasgow, speedy transfer going straight from plane to bus to ship, quick check-in, cabins available immediately although luggage took another 5 hours. On departure, staying aboard till afternoon was a bonus. Great itinerary of 9 Caribbean ports, ample time in each. Did not feel unsafe in any of the ports. On board duo very entertaining, with a wide repertoire. Amazing range of beers in Brodies Bar. Lunchtime meals in the Peninsular restaurant were pleasant and adequate, surprisingly. Great idea to have tribute bands/groups – UB40, Beatles, 4 Seasons, maybe less so Cliff Richards. Delighted to be allocated Freedom Dining – 8.30 pm is too late to eat for us. Good pool design afforded a decent swim early in the morning, and the quieter area away from the Lido pools was more pleasant. The Beach House pay restaurant £5pp was worth a visit or two. Amazing choice of beers in Brodie's bar. Cabins were generally good, especially the spacious showers. Staff were generally pleasant and helpful, although perhaps not as happy as on previous cruises we have been on. Decor was surprising bland, and the atrium area was reminiscent of a UK shopping mall. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise overall, but for P&O's flagship, the food was a huge disappointment. Despite their claimed input from famous chefs, and their pride in their black tie evenings, P&O seem to be aiming deliberately downmarket. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
So we recently came back from our 2 week cruise going to ports such as Grand Turk, Dominica, Tortola, St Maarten, Barbados, Antigua etc... We were a bit dubious given all the bad reviews on Brittania, admittedly we have only done two ... Read More
So we recently came back from our 2 week cruise going to ports such as Grand Turk, Dominica, Tortola, St Maarten, Barbados, Antigua etc... We were a bit dubious given all the bad reviews on Brittania, admittedly we have only done two other cruises, Celebrity and also P&O Ventura last year to compare. First impressions of ship were good as you would expect although my partner preferred the feel of Ventura. We were upgraded from an obstructed balcony to a front ship deck 8 balcony..... Downfall being we were now right above the theatre!!!! So from 4pm to 10pm was banging, but we're young and had a late evening sitting so weren't to bothered...... So if you go deck 8 make sure your past rooms 320 or so. Room was fine but rather small and balcony also small for size. Large TV was good.... We found the staff and service very good and could not fault them whatsoever. Drinks as usual are reasonable, we found the food fine but not fantastically brilliant... I think Celebrity is a lot better. We dined in Horizon our main gripe like most was that they literally tried to put all three courses down you within 30mins! Your constantly rushed to order and as soon as you finish the starter the main is brought out..... So we never had a cheeseboard as we were still digesting the main let alone dessert! The buffet was in two sections for breakfast and lunch/dinner. We never had dinner here but the food was always good, quite varied but not a huge array as Celebrity (again). Also noted the ship is very hygienic so no worries there. We dined at Eric Lanyards for afternoon, fully recommend, very good and well worth £15. Also ate at Sindhu.... Not so great, had a inch long sharp bone in my fiancée's chicken tikka pie!!! Sea days...... Towels everywhere by 7am, not so good. Embankment and disembarkment were fine no issues. Shows were OK... Also various tribute acts at the Live Lounge. Limelight we never tried but I'm sure it is worth the cover charge for some variation. The bar/pub is alright... 300 ales to choose from if you like it, the Crows Nest had a selection of over 30 gins, would have been nice to have whiskey bar! And the Market Cafe was great... Superb ice creams and patisseries. FREE ADVICE; strongly recommend NOT to book P&0 trips... Every port has local guides offering same trips for like 20-40$ when on ship they are £50-£80... OK some special trips stick with the ship but for local jeeps, tours, catamarans etc go local.... I always prefer this but my partner is a worrier... And don't get roped into jewellery scams on board or off shore.... "Jason" as you will see on TV in room basically gets a cut from all the so called legit stores offshore.... Watches yes but rings your get ripped off... Even in the ships shop they are flogging Zultanite at five times it's value!!! Anyway we enjoyed the cruise and for us it's about destinations, which on the whole were fantastic ... Ship is roomy, pristine and contemporary with great service. I'm sure all initial teething problems are fixed and who cares if the lifts aren't always free!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first long cruise having taken mini cruises before. The ship is impressive but staff appeared miserable and demotivated. We loved dressing up, the for in The Peninsular freedom dining was fantastic. We did pay to eat at ... Read More
This was our first long cruise having taken mini cruises before. The ship is impressive but staff appeared miserable and demotivated. We loved dressing up, the for in The Peninsular freedom dining was fantastic. We did pay to eat at both Sindhu and Limelight, "Morcambe & Wise" were superb both but food was disappointing. We had booked before arriving on board but no tables were reserved, we did complain and Kenneth offered us a return visit to Sindhu and at that time food was excellent. Our cabin was huge and located mid ship on C deck accessible only by lift. Standards slipped with guests not adhering to the dress code. Guests also reserved sun beds for hours at a time leaving many guests disappointed. We would have use The Retreat had we known about it at the start of the cruise only 5 spaces allocated on the day. Overall a fantastic cruise,madam in the Crows Nest kept us entertained as did Lauren the female part of the singin duo. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Myself and most others on the holiday became increasingly annoyed by the moaners who were determined to make their negative comments known at every opportunity. Most of us were having a great time and could not understand what the ... Read More
Myself and most others on the holiday became increasingly annoyed by the moaners who were determined to make their negative comments known at every opportunity. Most of us were having a great time and could not understand what the others were moaning about, it seemed like they were living in a parallel universe or that they lived a life of luxury back home. All the staff we had contact with were sociable,had smiles on their faces and always greeted you pleasantly. I could get used to being called Madam!!! The food every where was of a good standard (we tried all the restaurants) The Sindu was our favourite. A common gripe was the surcharge for some places but you always pay more back home to eat in the best places so why not here. I would agree with everyone about the crazy sun bed situation but cannot also understand how anyone could spend more than 30 minutes in the hot sun out there, some people were really over doing it judging by the colour of their skin. I would also agree about how unpleasant it is as a non smoker to find oneself by mistake on the port side on the Lido deck where the smokers gather. Even rushing through is not an experience you want to repeat too often. Favourite place was The Crows Nest during the day, a true oasis of calm where readers could go to pass a couple of pleasant hours with magnificent views all around. Cabin and balcony were as expected. Took Six organised excursions and each one was worth the money for the security and peace of mind they provided. The islands are simply wonderful and the tour guides or drivers are such a wealth of knowledge and show genuine love for their particular island. Beware some of the roads are truely scary. Most memorable experience ,seeing the shoals of flying fishes. All the audience seemed to enjoy the Morcambe and Wise tribute act in The Limelight. We met and enjoyed the company of some delightful ,like minded fellow travelers who far outnumbered those others who seemed determined to find fault with things ( these seemed to be frequent cruisers, mainly with other cruise lines ) Would I go on Britannia again? Of course I would. Go, and decide for yourself. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We did enjoy the cruise but a few parts were disappointing! Are departure was smooth apart from we didn't book parking in advance. We were told just to turn up,it was included in our package and someone would take our car when we ... Read More
We did enjoy the cruise but a few parts were disappointing! Are departure was smooth apart from we didn't book parking in advance. We were told just to turn up,it was included in our package and someone would take our car when we arrived. But apparently we had to book it before, we then saw a very small print at bottom of email,you must book it your self !! So we had to pay £135 to sort this but p&o on board did add this to our on board spend. Our room was great queen size bed and a fold out sofa bed for the teenage boys but was a bit worn and springs made lots of noise when my son moved in the night. balcony was large. Lots of choices of films on TV. The room was cleaned twice a day with tea & coffee refills,chocs and biscuits! Ship is very large,takes awhile to find your way. Pool at back is very nice place to Sit and get some sun ! The staff are all lovely We had freedom dining .... Food was like pub grub nothing special, and uninteresting old school 80s food. we did eat at sindhu twice,well worth the extra money £15ph. Drinks well priced some great wines at good prices,soft drinks can soon add up for the kids over 13 days so be careful. Free cold water and coffee,teas are available at buffet,so make use ! You can bring on your own drinks but must be drunk in you room there doesn't seem the be a limit! But would Carry on in hand luggage to avoid breakages ! The weather was warm in its 60s, we had 3 sunny days the rest was over cast but that's just pot luck ! The boys enjoyed the pools on board & my oldest loved the gym never was busy lots of great machines. The sea days were a bit boring shows ok, if any good they were packed !!! So get there a hour before or you will be standing ... Tom Jones & Phil Collins are great ! And there was a great band which played a lot in the tamarin bar got everybody dancing. Queuing didn't find a problem everybody has to wait. The restaurants give u a pager,if they can't sit you straight away. Buffet seats hard to find but you can always walk in the next loung or eat by pool. Pizzeria is free and are thin and delicious. Food off shore avoid the restaurants near by with laminated picture menus.... walk up side streets,we found great tapas bars in Tenerife and Lisbon and well priced ! Lanzarote was the worst place we visited nothing really to look....I recommend you do a excursion !!!! We Wished did :) High lights Lisbon,grand canaria,Madeira Tenerife. grand canaria we didn't sail until 8pm so when back off shore later, we found a lovely out side bar covered in amazing lighting at bottom of shopping centre just near boat port !! cheap drinks,no wines though, Only Spirits served in big wine glasses lots of ice big measures...drinks 11.50 euros; great night cap ! The travel back was so slow and could have stopped off in brittany. But I suppose p&o make more money if your spending on board. The people on board are mainly older but in school term times sure this changes. My son really liked the kids club staff are great ! We did come out of the tips only because we were charged for the children too £240 a bit expensive we thought. So we tipped our cabin man and some waiting staff. We would have preferred to tip every night after our meals at table. Maybe p&o should pay more wages then we wouldn't be expected to pay in to tip. Would we go again maybe but would try Mediterranean/Caribbean Caribbean cruises liner next time for us looks more fun and modern:) Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The flight from Manchester was well organised and we were soon in the departure lounge, it may be my imagination but every time I visit the airport the amount of seating get less. The terminal was very busy as Saturday appears to be a ... Read More
The flight from Manchester was well organised and we were soon in the departure lounge, it may be my imagination but every time I visit the airport the amount of seating get less. The terminal was very busy as Saturday appears to be a popular day for travelling. The flight of eight hours plus passed reasonable well with some reasonable food on the way, there was very little free entertainment on the television, you were required to pay an extra four pounds for a better selection although you got free head phones. On arrival at Barbados the embarkation was slick and relatively painless. We had a balcony cabin in the middle on the Riviera deck unfortunately it was under the pool area and meant that every morning we heard the staff setting out the sun beds, apart from that it was a good cabin and we didn’t hear the ‘Sail away’ parties. The facilities in the cabin were good with tea/coffee available fresh ice everyday even tid bits like biscuits and chocolates, you also got a couple of bottles of water free. One word of warning if you’re taking a charger for you phone etc with a USB port get one with the USB port anywhere but the bottom as the sockets are right close to the dressing table top and there’s no room underneath. Cedric our cabin attendant kept the room spotless and no request was to much trouble. Except for Formal nights we ate mostly in the Peninsula dining room with it’s Freedom dining and except for one night we found the service fast and friendly. The menus had some weird and wonderful items some of which we’d never heard of. In the buffet there were a good selection although there were themed nights where there were no alternatives. One thing I noticed was the atmosphere in the buffet and dining rooms was subdued, very few of the waiting staff seemed to be happy although still very efficient. On deck the grill has changed so that most of the choices were already cooked and ready for pick-up, they also had a large refrigerator where you could pick up a sandwich, salad or a cold sweet, this turned out to be very popular as people could take them back to their loungers to eat. Having traveled on several cruises P&O and others we were disappointed with the entertainment staff, most ships have a t least one quiz in the morning this was missing the first was a sheet of questions handed out on the pool deck. I found for what ever reason, the entertainment staff were lacking in the usual friendly banter with the passengers. The theater shows were very good with some really excellent performers. On the pool deck they showed some good films on the deck screen, so you could sun bath and watch a film at the same time. Having been here before we didn’t take any tours being happy to go ashore and wander around the local town getting away from the tourist shops and roaming the back streets where we saw the normal lives of the locals. There weather on the cruise was fantastic 30° C most of the day with the odd shower early morning. Relaxing on the balcony we were lucky to see Dolphins and Flying fish with the normal Frigate birds and an occasional Pelican for company. The flight home was a bit fraught Barbados departure lounge was full to overflowing wit people milling around looking for a seat, the flight itself was delayed, why I don’t know as it arrived on time, the crest of it was uneventual. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first P&O cruise and we are totally hooked, everything from the staff to the trips were excellent. I understand from other passengers that they had bad experiences on their excursions but we must have chosen well as we ... Read More
This was our first P&O cruise and we are totally hooked, everything from the staff to the trips were excellent. I understand from other passengers that they had bad experiences on their excursions but we must have chosen well as we had absolutely no complaints. The best the final one which was the Champagne Sunset Cruise which ended the holiday perfectly. The food in the Oriental Restaurant was excellent and so was the service. We also tried a few of the other restaurants which were also good the only negative place in my eyes was the Beach Club mainly as the food wasn't cooked as well as i liked but that was more personal choice. There was plenty of sun beds for everyone, even though people tried to reserve them. We opted to stay near the outdoor big screen as this seemed to be a quieter area. The entertainment was plentiful we went to the Play house a few times to see acts like the Cuban comedian and Zoe Tyler who were both excellent. Most of the times we tended to do the quiz and activities in Brodies bar as we met up with other couples. The outdoor Cinema was also fab even though the rocking of the ship sent you to sleep as soon as the film started. We would definately cruise on the Azura again totally enjoyed the whole Cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
All details are factual and the subject of a formal written complaint to P&O My wife booked the cruise in Oct 2014 to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary which was to occur in early 2015 We arrived 27/11 /15 and Azura A529 ... Read More
All details are factual and the subject of a formal written complaint to P&O My wife booked the cruise in Oct 2014 to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary which was to occur in early 2015 We arrived 27/11 /15 and Azura A529 departed Bridgetown on the 28th November 2015. The run up to the cruise was plagued with issues as a result of poor recommendation by our agents but after a last minute cabin change we headed off in the hope all would go well. Our balcony cabin had twin beds. On the first evening after a short time in bed I was unable to sleep as I felt as though I was being bitten... Not sure what was going on I swapped beds with my partner...and pretty soon she was bitten too. Bed bugs ! ?? We stripped the bedding and found it filthy the duvet was covered in what looked like body fluid stains , pillows were stained too. We were so shocked we took photo's as evidence. We complained to our cabin steward and reception.In due course the housekeeping manager agreed to change the bedding. No change of room was offered despite the fact the room probably needed a deep clean/fumigating. Not wishing to be labelled complainers , we felt that at least if the bedding was clean , then we should be OK.....but if we had been staying in a hotel , we would have walked and refused to pay the bill. Things could only get better ? Our cabin , B101 stank of stale cigarette smoke each time we put the aircon on. B101 is next to the crew section and on investigation post cruise I have seen comments going back to shortly after Azura first sailed about the smell of smoke in that cabin. The smell entered via the bathroom door lock cavity To cheer ourselves up we booked a P&O official trip to Stingray City , Grand Cayman. The info in the P&O excursion manual said that the sandbank was about 4feet deep and life jackets would be provided. My wife is/was a good swimmer...I am not so good , but with a snorkel I'm fine. On the day of the trip we attended the Playhouse theatre muster and were given labels for the trip. Unfortunately the excursion rep was totally disinterested in what he was doing and gave us the wrong labels. On realising this later we asked for them to be changed .... which was done without apology. This might seem trivial but has a bearing later on We used tenders to get ashore. A storm broke as we arrived at the terminal with some of the heaviest rain seen for some time. Tender ops were suspended , but we went ahead with the excursion....we were soaked to the skin but as we were eventually going into the water it didn't matter too much ! Bussed to our speed boat , we were shown aboard by two crew , for twenty eight people....no P&O rep....no life jackets...not even sure if there were any on board. The trip out to the reef/sandbank was through a heavy swell created by the storm. On arrival at the location we were greeted by the sight of dozens of boats and scores of people milling around in the water. Craft were fighting for position and anchors were being thrown into the water within feet of swimmers. It was mayhem. Visitors were gathered into large groups in the water by their two crew ,some 20-30metres from the boat. Becoming tired by the swell my wife decided to go back to the boat... two others had already boarded. As she did so she was swept under water a number of times and became frightened. I was on the other side of the group and unable to get to her. Eventually she managed to get to the metal steps on the stern of the boat. These were slippery , she lost her footing and fell damaging her knee. There was no-one aboard to help her other than those passengers who had already boarded. When I eventually got back to the boat I found her knee was grazed , bruised and bleeding. I asked a crew member if they had a first aid box...he looked in a small box and commented...tell her to get back in the water , the salt will do it good! Such was the trauma of the incident , my wife never went into the sea again for the rest of the cruise despite the fact that swimming in the Caribbean was to have been the highlight of the holiday. If we had booked this as a private trip we might have expected this cavalier approach , but for an organised P&O excursion , this was abysmal and put lives at risk. The next day , checking our on board account we found that the charge for the excursion had been debited to my account rather than my wife's. We told the excursion rep who said she would put it right. After 24 hours my account was credited....however the charge to my wife's account was for a trip we had not been on.. 006A Stingray Sailaway , which was £98 rather than £76 for the Express tour 017B! Another trip to see the excursion rep....he said he would correct it. 24 hours later , no correction. We complained to reception who phoned the excursion manager for us.The latter insisted we had been on the dearer trip. We did not want reception to be caught in the middle of an argument, we thanked them and went off to the excursion desk. The young lady eventually agreed that we had been on 017B and agreed to correct the charge. The young man we asked to sort it out 24 hours before was sitting next to her and said , he had forgotten... no hint of an apology. This was the same rather rude young man who had originally given us the wrong excursion tag. The third black tie evening approached and I used the laundrette to wash my white dress shirt. On pressing the steam button on the iron I was appalled to find that someone had put coffee in the iron...my white shirt was now splattered with brown stains. I warned other users and tried to disconnect the iron from the wall , but it was locked in , so housekeeping were told , and I was left to rewash the shirt and try to remove the stains. On a second occasion my wife washed a number of items , which came out of the washing machine badly marked and stained. On taking them to reception she was told they would be laundered FOC. It took three days and two reminders to get them back....on the night before we left the Azura! On the last morning we were told to leave our cabin at 0800...some travellers had to wait until late afternoon before disembarking. Public toilets were available but those departing seemed to wander around aimlessly trying to kill the time. Surely a few cabins could have been made available for shower/changing facilities. We sat on the promenade deck at one point and a steward walked past shouting "rubbish !" at me...he was in fact referring to the magazine I had beside me. His attitude was intimidating and clearly shocked others near by. Of course we were leaving...so I suppose we were not of any further interest to him. This was our first ever cruise....and our last. Were we expecting too much ? We would certainly not travel with P&O again or indeed recommend them. Whilst the staff in the Oriental were brilliant and so too our cabin steward , the rest of the experience was akin to a cheap B&B or a stay at a tacky floating holiday camp. We tried to make the best of the trip , but , no thanks to P&O. A truly bad and very expensive experience , not to be repeated. The only high points were the daily "thought of the day" from Captain Camby..... perhaps Captain you should consider this one..."Just because nobody complains it doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect." Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We are in our 50's and have been cruising for about 5 years. I chose my username " Gettinold " as a joke but it now seems ironic after taking this cruise. The ship is advertised as " adults only ". I took this to ... Read More
We are in our 50's and have been cruising for about 5 years. I chose my username " Gettinold " as a joke but it now seems ironic after taking this cruise. The ship is advertised as " adults only ". I took this to mean no kids. However I now realise that what P&O actually meant was that the ship is aimed at attracting the Saga generation - i.e OAP's. As a result, both of us 50 year olds felt pretty much out of place. Apart from the incident in my title, the ship was to be honest, quite dull. Entertainment during the day was limited to two quizzes ( both co-inciding with meal times ? ) plus some craft classes and knitting babies bonnets for charity. The headline acts booked for the theatre all did two stints each. If you like opera singers,classical pianists, flautists and violinists, then this is the ship for you. The P&O singers and dancers were OK but doing 10+ shows over the length of the cruise , they tended to get a bit samey. The cruise director John Bartrams job consisted of coming on stage in the theatre each night, asking if we were all happy, introduce the act and that was it. We never seen anything of him during the day and he did not interact with any of the passengers. In fact the captain was more visible than he was. Oh and if you are reading this John, next time you get one of your staff to read the trivia questions, please make sure they have a reasonable command of the English language. Food on board was OK but not great. However with so many Indian chefs on board, the amount of curries on offer was a bit overwhelming . Main dining room food was frequently cold by the time it reached our table. Waiters appeared to be overwhelmed. They just served up the meals, never asked if everything was OK, never refilled our drinking water glasses unless we asked them to. One lady ( I use the term loosely ) on our cruise was consistently drunk. She was giving grief to fellow passengers in the departure lounge even before we got on the ship. Once on board , she proceeded to be very aggressive & argumentative to other passengers yet for some strange reason was apparently allowed to continue this behaviour. Some people complained after seeing her swimming naked in the pool. My wife and I saw her trying to steal a bottle of spirits from behind one of the bars. Eventually after punching some poor fellow passenger, P&O eventually decided to so something. I believe she was put off the ship Antigua. However as I said earlier, she shouldn't have been allowed on board in the first place. One night my wife and I went to the Belverdere restaurant for a coffee before bed. While we were there, about 12 extremely drunk passengers started what could only be described as a brawl. Fists and insults were flying. My wife was terrified. As these people were blocking our exit, my wife and I were trapped and had to wait until things calmed down before we could leave. We saw no sign of any security whatsoever at the scene. As it was almost midnight and my wife was visible shaken, we went straight to bed but we reported the incident first thing in the morning. The P&O staff were already aware but just seemed to want to play it down, referring to the incident as a " disagreement ". The officer we spoke to explained that the people involved had been warned that if there was a repeat , they would be removed from the ship. I considered this to be a hollow threat as we had just started back across the Atlantic. With 8 more days of these individuals remaining on board with free access to all public areas, many of the other passengers, particularly the elderly, were visibly scared. I think in this regard, P&O failed in their duty to ensure the safety and well being of those passengers who know how to behave. We are due to go on the Ventura in the New Year. As it is being touted as a family ship I hope there will be a bit more in the way of organised activities and entertainment. I also hope that if there are any incidents involving unruly passengers, that P&O will deal with it a bit better . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
P&O Arcadia 25/11/2015 to 19/12/2015 Madera – Antigua – St Kitts – Grenada – Dominica – Barbados – Azores – Vigo The cruise was uneventful and very relaxing as you spend 16 days at sea and even in a force 10 on the way ... Read More
P&O Arcadia 25/11/2015 to 19/12/2015 Madera – Antigua – St Kitts – Grenada – Dominica – Barbados – Azores – Vigo The cruise was uneventful and very relaxing as you spend 16 days at sea and even in a force 10 on the way home which is why we could not get into the Azores and went to Vigo instead the ship was as steady as a rock. The condition of the ship was a different matter as for 11 days decks 2,3,4,5, mid ship stank of sewage and drains which was very strong at times, there was also a problem with the slatted aluminium roof strips on the viewing deck 11 port side as several had been ripped off by wind and others were rattling loose and had stress fractures which should they have come loose could have taken your head off and after reporting it to the reception, security and 2 bridge officers over 5 days I was amazed nothing was done even thought it was at most a 15 minute job to secure the strips. The person who said the stern cabins were brilliant on the Arcadia did not have the Benidorm lot we had on the ship ( A165 ) cabin is the last on the starboard side before the corner suite and right under the rear sun deck and the Benidorm contingent decided at 6am to come and throw their sun loungers in position before the rush and even after trying to be nice and ask them to be quite the abuse from their welsh spokes women was so bad the crew taped off the deck every night and did not open it until after 8am so we could sleep which was appreciated. The problems with the food was the variety as we had theme nights and the Asian night was curry the Indian night was curry the Thai night was curry which gets a bit much for anyone but all food was cooked well just one comment for the Neptune grill please get some proper beef and onion burgers and use the sausages we had for breakfast not the German boiled bratwurst and small finger rolls with proper fried onions not stewed tasteless sea weed, we as adults do not need American style giant hotdogs do them like we do on the barbi at home. Freedom dinning is great the meals are well cooked and if you want two steaks it’s no problem and the cheese and bickies are great. All praise to the Captain who can put this ship against a lolly stick of a jetty better than I could do with a rowing boat and his skill and attitude was a great inspiration to the wellbeing feeling of us and the crew. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We chose P&O due to previous experience with the cruise line and reputation. Also this was my partners 1st time cruising, so I wanted to book with the knowledge that he would love it (so I can go again in the future). TRAVELLING: ... Read More
We chose P&O due to previous experience with the cruise line and reputation. Also this was my partners 1st time cruising, so I wanted to book with the knowledge that he would love it (so I can go again in the future). TRAVELLING: We flew from the UK to Barbados, we had an 11 month on baby with us, and I have to say that from the moment we boarded the plane we were impressed with how well we were looked after. P&O chartered a Thomas Cook airlines flight, and the staff were great, also EVERYONE had their own seat, including our 11month old. This was a real bonus for us, for the 9 hour flight the extra space really did help us out! Once we landed in Barbados we just got off without hand luggage, our check in luggage was all sorted for us and travelled separately to the cruise and arrived in our cabin! That really is great service, especially when you have a buggy and all the trappings of an 11month old. We boarded a traditional Caribbean bus and travelled to the cruise port on this. I would say the transfer was around 30-45 mins. At the cruise terminal you then go through the checking in process, this was very smooth, no long queues, and the staff were lovely. We were then directed to board the ship!! We were each given a flower garland to wear and made our way to the top deck for a drink. SHIP: The ship is beautiful, very impressive to look at inside and out. Azura is one of the larger P&O ships, this is what we wanted when booking, I prefer the larger ships. She is also classed as a family friendly ship and I would 100% agree with this. Even though the Azura can hold 3,100 passengers and 1,250 crew it never felt busy to us in the public areas. The atrium is a lovely area to wander around in the evening or sit down and relax with a drink listening to the live music that is very often playing. The pool decks are where we spent most of our time when on board. The main pool area was rather busy, and very lively. We spent our days at the terrace pool area as there was also the kids pool there. This area was a lot more chilled out compared to the main pool areas as there was always games etc being played and lively music, which just wasn’t for us, we wanted to chill out and relax. Plus the pools were quite deep, so I was not able to stand up which meant I couldn’t take the baby in, whereas at the kids pool (which is very small) he could stand himself. Throughout the entire 2 weeks the ship was spotlessly clean, we did not notice anything out of place, or any mess once, really impressive with the amount of people on board. CABIN: We had an inside cabin, it was clean and had everything we needed, however they are on the smaller side (biggest in my experience is Holland America Line). We also had a travel cot in our room (provided by P&O) so that took up a lot more space. Our cabin steward was amazing, he was so friendly, and seemed to pick up our routine very quickly and the place was always spotless whenever we returned. If travelling on P&O again I would likely go for a balcony cabin just for the extra space. DINING: We used the buffet on Sky deck for breakfast each morning. We were usually up pretty early with the baby, so could get a seat easily and didn’t have to queue too long. If you were to go around 8:30-9am then it was a lot busier and the queues were quite long. The choice is good, I wouldn't say that the choice changed much throughout the whole trip, but the variety on offer meant that you could find something new each day if you liked. The staff in the buffet restaurant were always very happy to see us, on top of cleaning plates etc, overall good experience. If it wasn't a port day then we would have lunch here too. The food was always lovely, lots of choice, changed daily, and always piping hot. Lunch time could get busy during sea days and it could take you a while to find a free seat, but this was not something that annoyed us. For the evenings we had freedom dining in the main restaurant. The atmosphere was lovely, we asked for a table for 2 each time we went (you could share with others if you wanted), most evenings when we arrived there was not a table free, so they give you a pager and you can go off for a drink somewhere and they will call you once a table is available. I have to say that sadly we were not overly impressed with the food in the main dining room. It was all presented beautifully, and there was quite a good choice, but we just didn’t feel that anything was actually that tasty which was odd? We did try it here a few evenings but we preferred the restaurants that you had to pay a little extra to go to, the food was amazing in them! The Glass House was our absolute favourite!! We went here twice during our holiday. They serve tapas which was sooooo tasty and the wine on offer is the best. Not cheap but I would 100% recommend going here while on board. We also went Sindau the Indian restaurant one evening, and I have to say this was also amazing food, great service and a lovely atmosphere, also recommend trying here. We tried the Beach House restaurant as well, which is like burgers, fajitas etc. That was lovely too, a lot more relaxed and not fancy food but tasty. ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES: I have to say we didn’t really get too involved with any of this. We went to 1 show which we did enjoy. You need to get to the SHOW early though if you want a seat, they are always full with people standing at the back as well. There was a lot going on during the day around the main pool, which again we didn’t get involved with, was a little to butlins like for us if I am honest. We did use the gym most days, really well equipped gym, plenty of equipment, There are classes that are run, some free some at an additional cost. I didn’t try these. SERVICE: Well what can I say, it was second to none! AMAZING service throughout the whole 2 weeks from every member of staff we encountered. You really do feel special. PORTS & EXCURSIONS: The ports were great, we managed to get a lot in the 2 weeks. We didn’t do any of the organised shore excursions, mainly because we had the baby with us. A lot of them are not suitable for children or children under a certain age. On a lot of the islands we just got a taxi to do a little tour ourselves when we got off, and often went to a nice beach. The excursions through the ship are not cheap either! CHILDREN: As I have mentioned we travelled with an 11 month old and it was the best holiday we could have taken him on. They couldn’t do enough for us. We had a travel cost, steriliser and baby bath in our room from P&O at no extra cost. The staff were amazing with him (most of them missing their own children). The pool area at the back of the ship was perfect for him and they had a few toys there for the kiddies to play with. As he was under 2 he couldn’t go into kids club during the day, but they did have a large play room we could take him to with lots of toys and games and soft play, this was great. We would go in here on sea days during the hottest times of the day and he really loved it. I have to mention the NIGHT NURSERY!! AMAZING. It opens around 6pm and it open until 2am! You can take your little one along and get them settled, you are then given a pager and if they wake up and cannot be settled then you have to go and collect them. However it is really nice for you to be able to go out for some nice food in the evenings. We did keep him with us a few evenings, but he didn’t really enjoy sleeping in his pram in the dining room, the night nursery was a better option for him and us. The kids staff were AWESOME, I cannot rate this service enough, at no extra cost either! CANNOT WAIT TO GO AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I was worried about this cruise as the ship had such bad reviews, I need not have worried I honestly do not know how people can moan about this ship. I had a single cabin on Lido deck, size wise it was fine plenty of hanging space lovely ... Read More
I was worried about this cruise as the ship had such bad reviews, I need not have worried I honestly do not know how people can moan about this ship. I had a single cabin on Lido deck, size wise it was fine plenty of hanging space lovely big shower and yes the shower room isn't big but how much room do you need in there, my cabin steward was great. The food was excellent in all the restaurants I tried and the service was exceptional and I really liked the modern décor. I heard people complain the ship was too big well it was well publicised that it was the largest British cruise ship so why did they book it. Not once in two weeks did I have to wait more than a couple of minutes for a lift. Nothing is perfect and I do admit the ship is big so it is a long walk and several stairs from end to end but the good thing is all that walking keeps the weight down after all the delicious food. First complaint is our flight home was at 6.25 pm but we had to vacate our cabin at 8am this is too early and it cost £50 for a cabin for a few hours, second some of the seating in the bars and the atrium are uncomfortable. Third a single cabin is way over priced I paid £600 more than my friends who had a double cabin ( both inside cabins )I did enquire with customer services what I was getting extra for the £600 but never received a reply. Don't be put off by the bad reviews go and decide for yourself. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Spent two weeks on Britannia in the Caribbean and I've got to say we thoroughly enjoyed the ship, we had a superior deluxe balcony cabin on B deck which was superb, yes the balcony is on the small side but how much room do you need, ... Read More
Spent two weeks on Britannia in the Caribbean and I've got to say we thoroughly enjoyed the ship, we had a superior deluxe balcony cabin on B deck which was superb, yes the balcony is on the small side but how much room do you need, we found it perfectly adequate, the only negative would be at times you could hear some noise from the upper deck and at times you could feel the movement of the ship but this didn't affect us really it's just an observation. The cabin steward was excellent as were all staff that we encountered, embarkation was good even though there was a problem with our cruise cards, this was dealt with quickly and without too much drama, we had to wait a few hours for our cases but this was not a problem for us as we were on board and making good use of the facilities, it's only a drama if you choose to make it one. We used some of the speciality restaurants, The Epicurean once and this was not a good experience, the food was first class but the service was appalling hence only the one visit. The Limelight club twice, we saw Jackie Graham, not a great night, the show didn't flow and we got a bit bored, food again was excellent although a limited choice, service was ok but we were slightly disappointed with the show, we also went to see Darren Day, we weren't expecting too much but thought seeing has we had booked we'd give it another chance and we thoroughly enjoyed it, to our surprise Darren Day was excellent, he has a great singing voice and he's impressions were spot on and he was also very funny, he received a standing ovation and well deserved it was. Sindhu twice, for us this was the best venue, food was excellent, we had both menus, service was exceptional, the waiting staff were very knowledgable and engaging, excellent. Glass House once, food was good and we enjoyed what we had and the staff were great. We had freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant and everything we ate in all venues was excellent, we ate in Meridian restaurant on the last night and this is the other freedom dining restaurant, it was a lot smaller than the Peninsular so I wonder if you may have to wait to be seated here if you require a table for two, we waited once for about 15 minutes for a table for four in the Peninsular. There is something for everyone on board regarding bars, you've got the lively venues and also the quieter venues where you can just chill, the draft beer onboard is Carling, Stella Artois, Peroni, Guinness, John Smiths and Old Speckled Hen. The Theatre was great, didn't see any evidence of having to turn up 30 minutes before to get a seat but it does get busy. The Live Lounge was good and yes if you get there later in the evening you will not get a seat but if it's a late drink you want, once the main act has finished the place empties out nicely so there's still plenty of people having fun and plenty of seats to go round making for a nice atmosphere. The Crows Nest at the bow of the ship is a nice bar to relax with a piano player and an extensive gin menu. The Sunset Bar at the aft of the ship is also a nice bar to have a chill. Brodies is the pub onboard, this is where most people gather and there always seems to be something going on here, whether it's a quiz or a race night or live music, this is also where you can get different bottled beers from all over Britain. We went to most places on the ship at some point except for the Beach House and the Crystal Rooms but both looked ok. I know there are a few people who were not entirely happy with the Britannia and it is down to personal taste, but here are a couple of things we personally encountered other passengers moaning about, the first thing we were told within 10 minutes of boarding was that the ship was too big, the ship is big but I wouldn't say it's too big and also it shouldn't be a surprise, that's if you've read or seen anything about Britannia before you booked. Then we had the lifts were too small, everyday someone would say, "how can you fit 18 people in here it's ridiculous", and by far the best one we heard was in the Horizon Buffett restaurant, wait for it, the trays that you place your plates on were too big. I mean come on, anyone can find fault with anything but it seems some passengers just loved a moan, everyone is entitled to their opinion and everyone is different, thank god, my gripes would be that there was not enough daytime entertainment onboard and if you don't pay for the Retreat for the whole cruise you'll find it extremely difficult to gain access because they provide five passes each day which equates to five people and you have to be at the reception at 07.30 of the morning you require them and I was told that if I would like a pass I should probably arrive around 06.00 because people queue and the demand was high. Like I said we really enjoyed Britannia and I can honestly say that in my opinion P&O have got most things spot on with this ship, there are some problems but nothing that is going to ruin your experience, I would say that if there is one thing that P&O should change it would be to stop the moaners and groaners from sailing and potentially ruining other people's experiences, yes everyone's got their own opinions but some people just couldn't wait to share their negativity, I personally can't wait to sail on her again, but please make your own mind up and don't let the whingers influence your opinion or your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was the first cruise for my partner and I, (if you discount Brittany Ferries to Northern Spain!) The Thomson flight from Gatwick was excellent and we were amazed that the transfer coach met us at the aircraft steps for the journey ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my partner and I, (if you discount Brittany Ferries to Northern Spain!) The Thomson flight from Gatwick was excellent and we were amazed that the transfer coach met us at the aircraft steps for the journey to the ship. The embarkation procedure took about 25 mins then up to our cabin B 404. This was a superior balcony cabin, not a bad size but a bit smaller in reality than the brochure indicated. Our cabin steward Rasheed did a good job keeping things clean and tidy. We had opted for club dining in the Oriental Restaurant and were very pleased with the quality and choice of food. Our two waiters, Alex and Daryl were fantastic guys and nothing was too much trouble. We only used the Horizon Buffet for a light lunch as it reminded us of Butlins !!. We tried the Sindhu and Epicurean so called select dining experience, wish we had not bothered, although both were beautiful and the service attentive we were both very disappointed. Maybe it was the menu available those evenings, but I found the Sindhu food bland, uninspiring and overcooked. In the Epicurean I chose Wild Boar as a main course , a dish I have enjoyed many times in Spain and Portugal. The Epicurean example was quite frankly Rubbish :- Tough and Totally Overcooked. I wondered if the poor beast had walked all the way from Hampshire!. I was also not the only punter who complained about the dish that night. We enjoyed the entertainment in the Headliners Theatre most nights, The 4 Tunes act being the most memorable. Some previous reviews complained the theatre was too small for the ship's headcount, but we arrived 20 minutes early most nights and always got a good seat. Obviously the Pool areas are never going to be big enough to accommodate 3000 plus passengers on "at sea " days but were OK when we skipped a couple of shore excursion mornings. The main complaint was people reserving sunbeds at 7.00 with towels etc and not turning up till much later, but that happens with selfish Brits on beach holidays too !!! The organised trips we took, Aruba, St Kitts and Grenada were fine if a little pricey, the other times we went ashore we did our own thing. The disembarkation went quite smoothly at the allotted time, pleasantly surprised when all the cases left outside the cabin Friday night arrived at Gatwick ! In summary, would do another Cruise, YES most definitely and have already put a deposit down for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My partner and I (both in our late 60s) flew from Manchester to Barbados with Thomas Cook on 21st November, 2015, to board P&O Britannia for a fortnight cruising around the Caribbean islands. The flight was delayed by about an hour, ... Read More
My partner and I (both in our late 60s) flew from Manchester to Barbados with Thomas Cook on 21st November, 2015, to board P&O Britannia for a fortnight cruising around the Caribbean islands. The flight was delayed by about an hour, but when we got to Barbados we were quickly transferred on to a local bus for the 45-minute journey to the port. The local buses are not up to European standards, and are cramped with no luggage space so we had to sit with our flight bags on our laps, but it was a fairly short journey, so not too much of a problem. We then queued for a short time in a large hangar-type structure to go through security checks before being allowed on to the ship. It was relatively painless, and once on board we quickly found our cabin (E623) on Deck 10, where the cabin steward Sada introduced himself, and made us feel welcome. Ours was a balcony cabin, and although it was not large, what space there was had been used carefully to provide adequate storage. However, we are both slim, and I do not know how some of the larger passengers we saw would cope with the shower room, which had just enough room between the washbasin and toilet to open the shower door. Unfortunately our luggage did not arrive before we wanted to eat, and we had to go to dinner in the clothes we had travelled in. We had our first meal in the Horizon buffet restaurant, which was pleasant and a considerable improvement on the buffet restaurants on Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Constellation, which are the only other ships we have cruised on. Subsequently, we only had breakfast and light snacks during the day in the Horizon. Waiters were sometimes a little slow to clear tables, but generally were very good. The food assistants were very helpful, and quick to replenish dishes so there was never an occasion when we had to wait for food. A special mention must be made to Mickey who went out of his way to find us some salad when it was not on the menu (we realised afterwards that salad is not served with the afternoon snacks but is always available for lunch or evening meals). The food choice in the Horizon is extensive, and my only complaints were that the scrambled eggs at breakfast contained too much salt, and the salad pots served at afternoon snacks all had either onions or spicy seasoning in them, neither of which I eat. We did find the location of food a bit puzzling at times, and labelling of dishes should be improved, including a translation/explanation of unfamiliar foreign dishes. Hygiene is a constant headache for cruise ships and there are hand washing facilities at the entrance to the Horizon, as well as hand sanitiser stations, and on our last day there was a member of the catering team stationed at the wash basin to remind customers to wash their hands, which led us to think there might have been a problem, as this was the only time we saw that. However, some of the assistants would not hand over trays until they had witnessed you sanitise your hands, which I thought an excellent idea. We had opted for freedom dining, and had evening meals in either the Meridian or Peninsular restaurants. Both serve the same extensive menu, and they are both excellent with nothing to choose between them, although we tended to favour the Meridian. Service is first class, and the reception teams are super efficient at getting you to a table with minimal delays, even on formal nights when they can be very busy. The food is superb, and the hot dishes are served hot, not lukewarm as we have sometimes experienced even in good quality hotels in European countries. We were looking forward to seeing the ship because it had been launched with considerable fanfare earlier this year, and were mostly favourably impressed. The décor is a bit drab in places, and art works are unremarkable (bordering on cheap and cheerful), but the lounge areas are very pleasant, and comfortable places to relax. Several passengers commented on the atrium being underwhelming, and it is true that the staircase (which is obviously a focal point) could have been made much more attractive by a different use of colour (it is brown), but the furniture is very attractive and is also very comfortable. I particularly liked the fact that there is no music or other entertainment here, but other passengers felt this was a detriment. One of our complaints about the Celebrity Eclipse was that there always seemed to be a band of some sort playing in the atrium, and because it is an open space which goes upwards through the ship, the sound carries and it is almost impossible to escape the noise. I would settle on a compromise of soft piano music to satisfy those who need some form of music, but hope P&O stick with the present arrangement. We did notice that some of the wall coverings are already scuffed and marked, and several of the lift buttons on the landings have come off and have not been replaced, making the ship look older than it is. In the Horizon restaurant, some of the seating is cloth and some is vinyl, and the cloth seating is quite badly marked in places. It will not be long before the ship needs a refit. Probably the most important fact is that the beds are very comfortable, but this has to be tempered by saying that we rarely got a full night’s sleep. On port days the docking process causes the ship to vibrate and this shook us awake at about 6.30am, and at about 8.00am the tannoy announcements about disembarkation make sure there is no chance of a lie-in. There are four formal nights on this two-week cruise, and these were very well observed. The first formal night also combines the Captain’s welcoming address in the atrium. Captain Pembridge is a great communicator, unlike some ship’s captains who can appear stand offish, and his enthusiasm for his ship comes across. His welcome set the tone for the cruise It was wonderful to see everyone gathered together in their formal clothes, and the dress standard on formal nights was generally maintained, although the casual dress code is largely flouted, with shorts often being worn by men instead of the slacks/jeans specified. I felt that the wearing of swimsuits by both sexes in the buffet restaurant, and in lounge areas or within the corridors and lifts was inappropriate, and an effort should be made to enforce a reasonable dress code inside the ship, including the wearing of some form of footwear - we saw people in all areas of the ship in bare feet. Our evenings were generally spent in the Crystal Room, where we enjoyed listening to James Murrum’s excellent band playing dance music, before going to the quiz in the Marlowe suite, so cannot comment on the entertainment in the theatre. The Britannia dance teachers – Michael Johnson and Sallyrose Beardall – perform a showdance which is spectacular, but Michael needs to take lessons in compering, as there are only so many times he can tell his audience that they came third in the Showdance championships in Blackpool this year, and how gorgeous his partner is! I attended a couple of their dance classes, and they were very good fun, but he needs to be aware that some of his banter might offend minority groups. On one occasion we went to the Limelight Club to see the comedian, Jeff Stevenson, who we had enjoyed on a previous cruise, but this venue is totally inappropriate, as it is not suited to large numbers, and a rail which runs round the inner section obstructs the view, and seems to serve no purpose. There is a similar rail in the Crystal Room which is also obstructive and detracts from enjoyment of the band and the dancing. We also tried Brodie’s bar once for a quiz, but found it dark and gloomy so did not go again. The cruise itinerary sounded interesting and I was looking forward to idyllic palm fringed beaches of white sand, lapped by a turquoise sea. Sadly, the reality is nothing like a Bounty advertisement. We did pass some beaches which lived up to the dream, but the ones we were taken to were tacky, overcrowded, and fringed by bars and fast food outlets. Perhaps our mistake was in relying on local taxi drivers for island tours, rather than using the Britannia tours, though I think the experience would probably have been similar, but very much more expensive. We were never on a beach for more than an hour or so because the beach was usually just one part of a tour itinerary, so did not bother with sunbeds. However, on St Maarten we used local buses instead of taxis because we wanted to go to Marigot and Maho Beach (to see the planes landing and taking off almost on the beach) and it is easy to go by bus. Marigot is a quiet and elegant place with a very French feel, very different from Philippsburg, but at Maho beach, the one and only time we hired a sunbed, we were charged $10 each for the use of a sunbed, although we were only there for an hour. Unless you want to buy jewellery, perfume or alcohol, the ports we visited had very little to recommend them. Without exception they are congested with traffic, because the roads are simply not designed to cope with the volume of traffic created by tourism, and the air pollution is very bad. The interior roads vary in quality, the worst being on Grenada, which were badly potholed, and very narrow and hilly, leading to a very uncomfortable, and fairly scary experience, in parts like being on a rollercoaster ride with switchback hills and hairpin bends. Isla Magarita should simply be removed from the itinerary. It is the only port where we were tendered off the ship which I assumed was because the port is not deep enough to cope with a ship of Britannia’s size. Since returning and reading about Isla Margarita on Wikipedia, I now think it may have something to do with fear of piracy, which apparently is common there. P&O issued serious warnings about safety on the island, and their tour buses apparently had armed guards on board, not without reason because there have been several tourists held hostage and/or killed there in recent years. Passengers who went on tours said they enjoyed the nature reserve, but the docking area is nothing more than a strip of stalls selling souvenirs, and a beach lined by dead trees. Disembarkation was very well organised, and the flight home actually landed early because of strong tail winds. The only minor grumble I have about the flight is that all the Gordon’s gin had been sold before the sales trolley reached me! In conclusion I would go on Britannia again, but not on this cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Me & my boyfriend have just returned from an amazing holiday on the Britannia cruising the carribean, This was our first holiday together and we are both early 20s. We had read a lot of reviews before hand and didn't know what to ... Read More
Me & my boyfriend have just returned from an amazing holiday on the Britannia cruising the carribean, This was our first holiday together and we are both early 20s. We had read a lot of reviews before hand and didn't know what to expect! I honestly do not know what most people are moaning about as we cannot moan about one thing, apart from on sea days it's hard to get a sun lounger as most people reserve a lounger & don't even sit on it which we found frustrating. Most waiters are friendly but some are hard work, we did the freedom dining which was great we could eat in our own time. Do not let some of these reviews put you off, a lot of P&O passengers are spoils with other cruise ships. We flew on the Thomson Dreamliner which was great but do not expect free drinks as it was P&Os request that we had to pay for them which was a disappointment straight away for us. The ship is beautiful and we had an inside cabin which was perfectly comfortable enough for the both of us right at the front so we did'nt experience the lack of stairs mid ship which my parents experienced as they where in the middle and I must admit it is ridiculous as you need a lift to go up/down 1 deck but there are rumours they are fitting some in the future. The entertainment team were great fun they did a few sail aways which we enjoyed and the shows in the Headliners theatre where fantastic, The Live lounge disco goes on until about 2am, it's ok but don't expect a nightclub! Pulse the house band where superb and put on some great shows. There are no daytime activities on sea days which I think the cruise needs as they can get boring. The retreat was not advertised at all but we heard it was £45 for the day and only 5 people per day, we would have liked to go in but wasn't even sure how to book it. Most nights we were to tired to make it past 12! We went to the beach house & Sindhu which we would both highly recommend, for a small supplement the food was outstanding! The food in all restaurants was great and you cannot eat the standard of food the ship offers on a normal beach holiday along with the service, the restaurant waiters can't do enough for you. We had a fantastic time and would recommend the Britannia to any young couple/family it is not just for old people! The ship was 80% old 20% young people. To say the ship is the biggest cruise ship we did not find it big at all as all food & bars are all just off the atrium and everything is easy to find, we had an easy embarkation & disembarkation with no ques or hold ups! ...I have been on 5 cruises before, my parents whom we traveled with have been on 27 and it was my boyfriends first and he was blown away. Some people are moaning about nothing there isn't enough praise for the ship and the staff, the trips we did were also great especially the rum punch & we met lots of lovely people... We Highly recommended the Britannia what a holiday! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We have been on a few cruises over the years with Costa, Thompson, and more recently Royal Caribbean (4) and Celebrity. We booked a Caribbean cruise with P & O on Britannia because a few friends told us how good the service was on P ... Read More
We have been on a few cruises over the years with Costa, Thompson, and more recently Royal Caribbean (4) and Celebrity. We booked a Caribbean cruise with P & O on Britannia because a few friends told us how good the service was on P & O and also with it being a new modern ship. There were some good points and some bad points on our cruise and I hope that what follows is a balanced report on what we enjoyed and also endured. I had read a few reviews prior to going about the problem areas and they were the lengthy waits for the lifts, the size of the main Headliners Theatre, the size of the Live Lounge when special events were on etc. And to be fair most of those points are correct. There is also the lack of a real atrium at the heart of the ship. Then there are the at sea days where sun loungers and space in general is at a premium. That said these problems are in the main caused by the ignorant passengers who are out there from 7:00am reserving sun loungers that they don’t require for a few hours and then who leave their towels on the beds even though they are away for a couple of hours grazing in the restaurants. Come on P & O get a couple of staff to remove towels and bags that have been left for more than an hour. As for flights we travelled from Manchester to Barbados on a Dreamliner and paid for the upgrade to Premium class. Having been on the Thompson web site this mentioned rapid transit through security process and access to the lounge. Check in was excellent and trouble free and we were handed our rapid transit passes. These would have been fantastic had it not been for the fact that this was also lane that families with children were also diverted into. Fear not we got through eventually and headed to the lounge. When we arrived we were told that as P & O travellers on that flight we were not eligible to go into the lounge. So for the flight we paid a premium of £100 to fly from the outback known as Manchester, we then had to pay £300 for the upgrade and to add insult to injury another £40 so that we could select seats together. That is per person so all told to fly from Manchester together cost us an additional £880. I am sorry P & O and Thompson that is a complete rip off. Having said that we like that fact that once you drop your bags off at Manchester the next time you see them is onboard the ship and similarly when you head back home they eventually arrive on the carousel at Manchester. We landed at 5:50am, waited for an hour before being able to get off the aircraft with the bags eventually coming through at 7:40am. Well done Manchester Airport and to think were asked to pay £100 per person to use your airport!!! The ship itself is magnificent. Having read about the money invested in artwork around Britannia I thought prior to going that it was probably a waste of money. On reflection it is excellent and as you move around the ship you see things that are eye catching, unusual and very good indeed. If I can be critical then the layout of the ship does make movement from one area to another a bit of a challenge – such as from the Crows Nest to the Live Lounge ! We were on Freedom Dining and this worked very well for us and we often opted to share with four or six others. We met some really nice people and shared some good times and some excellent food and drink. We found the service in the Peninsular restaurant to be very good. Check in was well managed and during peak times they had a very good system in place whilst you waited. As for breakfast we used the Horizon restaurant and they had a pretty good system in place given the number of people that they had to feed each day. The food for breakfast and lunch was varied and of a very good standard. Our main concern was that passengers were allowed to enter the restaurant without washing their hands or sanitising them. This was a first for us as on other cruises this attention to hygiene was always at the fore. Sadly there are some ignorant passengers who don’t understand that other people may want to eat and take books in there and camp out for hours on end. This is despite the fact that are several some lovely areas elsewhere around the ship where you could relax. Similarly numerous passengers were allowed to walk out of the restaurant with trays full of food to eat elsewhere around the ship. Not sure why this is allowed as there are food outlets around the pools if you need a snack. So some of the blame for this must lie with P & O for not laying down the rules and regulations but also to the ignorant passengers who deem themselves above reasonable hygiene requests for themselves and others. And for those eating pizza and swilling it down with lager and wine in the Jacuzzi then I’m sorry but that’s not what most people would class as acceptable on a cruise ship. Moving on to entertainment then the quality of the various acts in the Headliner Theatre was very good and those in the Live Lounge. Similarly the pianist in the Crows Nest was superb. The day time entertainment wasn’t brilliant around the pool. The itinerary around the Caribbean was very good although the ship did rock quite a lot (comparatively) in the night whilst at seas as we were in the main only travelling at about 12 mph ! Overall I’d rate our cruise as a 7/10. If the flight upgrades weren’t a rip off then an 8/10 oh and if it wasn’t for the ignorant passengers who don’t treat the ship with the respect that it deserves then it would be a 9/10. For a 10/10 then P & O would need to do some major remodelling work and/or put up more sign posts. Would we sail on Britannia again then without a doubt that would be a yes just as soon as P & O address the above issues and in particular the entrance and exit from the restaurants. If you are booked to go on Britannia then enjoy it for what it is. PS The lift issue is mainly down to lazy passengers not wanting to use one flights of stairs and/or those idiots who press the up and down buttons at the same time thinking it will speed the process up. DOH !!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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