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Sail Date: July 2018
We decided to go on the Britannia to celebrate a 30th Birthday. We didn’t know what to expect because we heard that the entertainment on board was more focused on older people, we have been with Disney many times besides the fact of ... Read More
We decided to go on the Britannia to celebrate a 30th Birthday. We didn’t know what to expect because we heard that the entertainment on board was more focused on older people, we have been with Disney many times besides the fact of me being an entertainer and performer for disneyworld and Disney Cruise Line for 8 years. Also, we have cruised with Royal Caribbean and we knew we wouldn’t find a climbing wall, a flow rider or ice skating on this ship but the reality is that we really wanted to cruise on the beautiful and famous Britannia, so we gave it a try. To start with, the ship is one of the most elegant ones I’ve ever seen, the deco and furniture are just fantastic so I couldn’t stop loving it since I got on board. Obviously when you have been on other cruise ships it’s hard not to compare one with the other ones, so I decided to compare it with a different ship that also leaves from Southampton, in this case I compared my experience with the Navigator of the Seas by Royal Caribbean. This is very difficult because both ships are very different in many ways but I liked more some things about the Britannia and I liked more other things about the Navigator. Let’s start with the dining experience. -The differences I saw between the Britannia and The Navigator are more positive for the Navigator. Even when the food is really good on the Britannia and with menus made by celebrity chefs, I will stay with the great hospitality from the servers on the Navigator, which to me makes my dining experience more pleasant. The Buffet in the upstairs restaurant on the Britannia was very limited and with a very poor variety, curry based everyday. In the other hand the buffet on the Navigator was fantastic and with a great variety of dishes everyday. Something I have to give to the Britannia is the late night Buffet open until 2am, that was great I have to say. The Navigator doesn’t have any of this which is a shame to be honest. Drinks and Bars -Even when the bars and venues are so much better on the Britannia in many ways, the lack of a drinking package makes me prefer the Navigator once again. The prices of alcohol on the Britannia are pretty decent but I still prefer the drinking package which makes your cruise experience even better. The internet -Wow the internet, I haven’t seen such a terrible internet since 1999. The internet on the Britannia is expensive and incredibly bad. Royal Caribbean uses a company that offers the latest, fastest internet at sea (VOOM) and even when its very expensive, it’s worth every penny. I couldn’t work at sea because the terrible internet would even open my email account. The shops -This time I am going to give it to the Britannia because the shops are actually really good, not expensive at all and the merchandise staff are friendly and not pushy. The Gymnasium -Fantastic equipment, location and venue. The entertainment in your room. -For the very first time in my cruising life I actually wanted to be in my room and watch TV without using my own shows or movies I have in my iPad because normally TV in your cabin on other cruise lines is boring and repetitive. The room entertainment on the Britannia is fantastic in every single way. Great job! The Entertainment on Board. -Well, this part is my favourite and absolutely one of the main reasons I want to come back to the Britannia again. As I mentioned from the beginning, my expectations about the entertainment were very low, because I knew the ship didn’t have as many attractions as the Navigator or The Independence of The Seas but I will tell you that the program and the entertainers on board make you forget about all that. To start with, the shows on board are original and fantastic, with the latest technology and production in the theatre and one of the best talented casts I’ve ever seen. All the shows are 5 stars but definitely my favourite ones are “ASTONISHING” and “The Sounds of The Underground”. Astonishing, is a fantastic show not just because of the magic tricks which are not something you haven’t seen many times before, but it is fantastic because the same cast actually takes part of all this, making a fantastic show out of a combination of magic, great voices and dancers. BRAVO! And all my respect for the creator of this fantastic and original idea. The sounds of the underground, I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but in this show the cast shows their talent in such a fantastic way. Adam the piano player was fantastic, always friendly and his singing show with the guests was definitely a highlight of the cruise. -The Entertainment team is in charge of keeping the guest having fun during the day with activities, quizzes, dancing classes etc. Good job guys! Special mention to Fiona who besides being an excellent host an entertainer she was always smiling and keeping everyone up and going the whole time. I wanted to take her with me but my lady wasn’t really very agreed with this. The entertainment on the Britannia was just fantastic! In summary, I will definitely go back to the Britannia because after getting off two days ago, I still miss it and remember with a nostalgic feeling and a happy face. Thank you to all the crew who made my first visit a really good one. Except for the internet company, you suck! Oscar Coria Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I've been to the Fjords of Norway twice but never get bored of its stunning natural beauty. This cruise didn't disappoint. Arcadia is a lovely ship. Understated decor with a small atrium yes, but has a real wow factor from the outside, ... Read More
I've been to the Fjords of Norway twice but never get bored of its stunning natural beauty. This cruise didn't disappoint. Arcadia is a lovely ship. Understated decor with a small atrium yes, but has a real wow factor from the outside, handles the seas extremely well being a Vista Class vessel and has a lovely blend of restaurants and amenities on board She's classy and elegant without feeling ostentatious or old fashioned. Tastefully refreshed after a dry-dock, she is looking and feeling great but could still do with a focal point in the Atrium to really set it off.... Having sailed numerous times on Cunard's Queen Victoria, P&O's Britannia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura, this is my 7th time on Arcadia making her my favourite by a mile. It was true to say this particular cruise attracted an older crowd, but most ages were present (I am 37!) and they all seemed a happy and bright bunch, happy with the ship and its undoubtedly happy and attentive crew. Some lovely touches both in terms of service and little extras which were appreciated and enjoyed. Only couple of things that were sad to see were a few buckets catching some leaks from the ceiling of Deck 2, and silly unnecessary stuck on signs warning about glass doors where ever we went - due to some half wit walking into one once and threatening to sue P&O no doubt. Ignore any moaners and myths about 'Arcadia' Cough etc - all just complete rubbish. I will never tire of this ship, and look forward to many more cruise on her in the future including a full World Cruise in a couple of years time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have previously sailed twice on Princess ships and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the holidays. We chose this P&O cruise as the dates were ideal and it was a short break away from work to visit some new places. As cruise ... Read More
I have previously sailed twice on Princess ships and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the holidays. We chose this P&O cruise as the dates were ideal and it was a short break away from work to visit some new places. As cruise holiday expectations are a completely personal thing, I will instead run down some of the good bits we loved about the cruise and some bits we thought could be improved on. Good stuff: Embarkation was smooth and pretty quick! Didn't have to wait in a long queue with the number system they used. The cabin (D514) a deluxe balcony room, was fantastic. Well cared for, tidy and spacious. The balcony was large and the bed very comfy. The bathroom seemed much larger than on Princess, with a bath. The cabin steward Edwin was good, and seemed to work incredibly hard each day. Dinner was fantastic every day in the Bay Tree restaurant (more on this topic to come). The waiters were pretty good and friendly. A wide range of options each day and everything cooked perfectly. Excursions: we did a couple of P&O shore excursions which were well organised, and enjoyable. Catered for young and old with a good range of options for different interests. We particularly enjoyed the Tapas Trail in La Coruna which was brilliant. Speciality restaurants: Sindhu was a lovely choice for a meal at dinner time, with a friendly waitress and plenty of food for your money. Tasty and interesting without being too "out there". Epicurean was good for people with an adventurous streak... Drinks were reasonably priced and there was a good range of choices for both alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. Tasty cocktails and we liked the "wine flights" in the Glass House as a way to try different wines relatively cheaply. Not so good, but could be improved: Food at breakfast and lunch in the main dining rooms (Bay Tree or Saffron) was poor - it was certainly not at the same standard as the dinner meals. Breakfast seemed to be identical to that served in the buffet, and lunch was a little bit like school dinners. The afternoon tea could have been nicer if we weren't all squashed into a tiny section of the dining room. The amount of things which were not included in the fare was very different to the other cruises I have been on - ice cream at the poolside is not included in the fare, nor are cakes/biscuits at the costa cafe. Room service is also chargeable on P&O. This ship felt very crowded from the outset. On the website it says the capacity is 3078 guests, however we found out at the end of the cruise that we had sailed with nearly 3400 guests on board - a lot more people squeezed in! Entertainment was a bit hit and miss on this cruise - we weren't that excited by the theatre shows but the comedy act Mark Walker was really good. There were not many onboard activities which were not aimed at families and children, with only a few quiz type things on offer for adults. The music around the pool, although varied, was incredibly loud - could hear the ship for miles when at port! The coffee shop was a bit of a nightmare as they were not really set up to handle both sit down customers and those looking to grab a takeaway coffee - the waiters and staff got confused easily about who was waiting to order etc so queues of people formed pretty quickly. They need to decide whether they only want sit down customers, or only want takeaway ones in that small space. Decor on the ship was nice, however it didn't seem to have a common theme running through. Some areas looked really plain and others were lovely. The Glass House was the nicest spot we thought, with the Metropolis bar also a nice place to relax. On the whole this was an enjoyable cruise, with a heavy emphasis on families and children (even though it was outside of school holiday time). Would sail with P&O again on either an adults only ship, or for a longer cruise to get more of a quieter time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Its was chosen for our leadership training where the top leaders of the champion team were there and most especially we had 9 families that were included . Truly amazing time with lots of activities for the kids and adult alike and ... Read More
Its was chosen for our leadership training where the top leaders of the champion team were there and most especially we had 9 families that were included . Truly amazing time with lots of activities for the kids and adult alike and wonderful staff that are friendly mostly the filipino crews and staff on board for always being so helpful and always have that smile. The very accomodating kitchen staff sincr we have birthday for one of the kids , for the guest relation staff on the 4th floor and talented musicians as well as tye dance instructor on the vortex, even the kids had fun , to the staff on the ocean adventure where we know that pur kids are safe and having fun while learning. For the stewards where they always clean our room and have fresh towel. Thank u for the wonderful time for my family and the whole team. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second Amawaterways cruise. The entire staff from reservation, crew, tour guides were amazing. We had first class treatment from start to finish. Professional, efficient and even some humor from everyone we ... Read More
This was our second Amawaterways cruise. The entire staff from reservation, crew, tour guides were amazing. We had first class treatment from start to finish. Professional, efficient and even some humor from everyone we encountered. We had some weather problems and natural bumps, but they handled everything smoothly. If they were not transparent of what was going on we never would have been the wiser. Highly recommend Amawaterways for river cruising. Can’t wait to book our next cruise. Esperanza in office assisted us when our flight was canceled, efficiently and pleasantly. Nick our cruise director effectively knocked down all the road blocks with a smile, humor, and efficiency. Contain our server was absolutely amazing! Rooms and ship were immaculate. Our every need was met. One guest even requested to pet a dog and at one of the ports Nick found one for her to pet! The entertainment was exceptional as well as the detailed tours. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was only our second P&O cruise although we have cruised regulary with other cruise companies. We were travelling with a group of people including Americans, Australians and British. Embarkation was efficient and fast. Our ... Read More
This was only our second P&O cruise although we have cruised regulary with other cruise companies. We were travelling with a group of people including Americans, Australians and British. Embarkation was efficient and fast. Our balcony cabin on deck B was.comfortable and clean. Luggage arrived quickly. I know that P&O marketing is to emphasise the British connections but we really don’t like this and some of our travelling companions found it to be very excluding. I don’t want to go on holiday to be subjected to “Great British sailaways” or “Great British parties”. We had flexible dining but there is a very low number of tables for 2 people which meant we often had to share. We thought the food choice and quality was good. We generally ate breakfast in the buffet. The structure of the buffet is really bizarre and seems to have been designed to cause chaos. We thought the entertainment team were very good and we enjoyed the quizzes. They do need to include less U.K. specific questions though. We didn’t really attend many shows but people started queuing for them at least 45 minutes before the shows started and the theatre always seemed to be packed out. The itinerary was excellent which was the main reason for choosing this trip. Iceland was amazing. We arranged independent excursions. A few other observation. - I have never on a cruise experienced such a disinterested staff group ( with a few exceptions). There was little or no interaction from staff right across the ship and many people seemed quite unhappy or just disinterested. We are used to crew welcoming us back on returning to the ship but not on Azura. Many of the staff don’t even make eye contact. Officers don’t seem massively visible. - sanitation/ hygiene. We are used to crew “ensuring” that passengers sanitise their hands on entering the ship or entering a dining room. This didn’t happen on Azura and I saw many instances of people not sanitising their hands. -tendering. I didn’t feel that staff helping people on and off tenders were particularly helpful and were again uncommunicative. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My family booked onto this cruise as a birthday gift for my brother turning 21. We have been on a few cruises before and this is the first time I've ever experienced any issues. First issue was that we requested cabins with baths. ... Read More
My family booked onto this cruise as a birthday gift for my brother turning 21. We have been on a few cruises before and this is the first time I've ever experienced any issues. First issue was that we requested cabins with baths. Travel agent said not a problem but upon embarkation we found out that only one cabin had one. Tried to complain to P&O about this but they explained they were fully booked. We're not demanding passengers, We just expect to have the same kind of service you would have in a high street restaurant at the very minimum. However any time we ordered a drink, food or such outside of the restaurants, we would have a very rude reaction from the staff. We bought a pepsi card, every time we tried to use it, we would have the staff member look at us and walk off without saying so much as a "sure thing!" or "Not a problem!". The cruise we were on had a number of young stag do's on board so we assume that the staff were overworked and stressed out by how intimidating they were being but it's still no excuse to treat other passengers that way. We had pre-ordered a birthday cake for my brothers 21st to be delivered to the table at sindhu, they didn't know what happened to the cake after we enquired. The next day we were told they "found it" and delivered it to the table. I know they tried to do right but having a cake a day late isn't what we paid for. Amongst this, The buffet area was mislabeling food, I had an allergic reaction as they listed fish as chicken. I brought it to the attention of the manager at the time who just took all the labels off the food and walked off. Complained the next morning and was told it was going to be looked into. To give credit where credit is due, The team at Sindhu were fantastic and so was the food! Our waiter at dinner as well as our wine waiter were also top class. It's just a shame that outside of dinnertime, we were treated incredibly badly. The locations were great, the weather was also great so it's hard to say the entire holiday is ruined, I just remember on previous cruises we would be so happy to get back on board the ship because we'd be treated well and have good food and drink no matter what we experienced on shore. I think this cruise was ruined by the stag do's to be honest. I don't mind people having fun but when they are intimidating staff and passengers, getting extremely drunk and rowdy, someone should cut off their alcohol supply. I'm also shocked that a few of them were smoking weed on the top deck by the pool and no staff tried to stop them. I think they were scared and the exhaustion was taken out on other passengers for this rowdy groups behaviour. This whole experience has left me never wanting to use P&O/Carnival Group again and I'd advise anybody looking to take a cruise on the aurora to take a second think. I met other Cruise Critic users on board who had similar experiences and I expect there to be a few more from the same journey to share the same reviews. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose Scenic after attending one of their local presentations and after extensive research. We were not disappointed. Their attention to detail and providing us with the best experience we have ever had, was exceptional. The crew ... Read More
We chose Scenic after attending one of their local presentations and after extensive research. We were not disappointed. Their attention to detail and providing us with the best experience we have ever had, was exceptional. The crew working as a team did an amazing job in providing us quality comfort. After understanding the efforts of the captain, cruise director and crew to assure the cruise and lock timings, we have a great appreciation for their achievements in making sure our experiences occurred seamlessly. The excursions choices and tour guides were very good and enriched us with a flavour and appreciation of the towns and countries we travelled through. The food was nothing short of exceptional, in quality, quantity and presentation as was the service. Our room attendant and butler were very friendly and accommodating, a service many overlook...but not us. A job well done and appreciated. A big hand to our cruise director Eric, who kept the happy travellers engaged and looking forward to each day. He did an exceptional job, again seamlessly to us, in orchestrating the our cruise and making sure our voyage experience was so pleasureable and memorable. Overall this was a fantastic experience that was made so by a great crew and organization right from the admin staff who arranged our trip to the ship crew and staff and the excursion tour staff as well. We would highly recommend Scenic to our friends and look forward to another Scenic experience in the future. (***We have one concern we would like to share with you. During our cruise, there was a group, that behaved less than satisfactory. They were loud at times and seem to monopolize the small swimming pool, much to the disappointment of others who wanted to use the pool. This was fuelled by large quantities of alcohol. They also captured more that adequate service from staff at the expense of other travelers. We are concerned that this group, based on the type of experience they would relay to friends, would encourage others who feel unending supply of alcohol and attention, is the reason to take a Scenic cruise. We are sure that you would agree with us, that this is not the path that Scenic would like to take as it would greatly jeopardize the quality experience Scenic portrays. We hope that Scenic examines this occurrence and puts into place well ahead of time, actions to correct this behaviour before it becomes a negative irritation to others and tarnishes the experience.) Beyond this...the experience was nothing short of exceptional! Thank you, Scenic. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had sailed on Britannia previously. The second cruise she ever made. That was our first time with P&O and we disliked it so much (as my review at the time will explain) that we said we would never cruise with them again. This cruise ... Read More
We had sailed on Britannia previously. The second cruise she ever made. That was our first time with P&O and we disliked it so much (as my review at the time will explain) that we said we would never cruise with them again. This cruise was a present to us though. So the choice was made for us and we gave the ship and line another chance. Again, nothing has changed and we won’t be returning to P&O and the problems with Britannia are still the same as before. The food was the main issue. As we had a large suite, we had access to the epicurean for breakfast. This was an excellent restaurant and the service and food was perfect. Friendly servers who were great with our little girl. The same can’t be said for the Oriental dining room. The food was constantly dry and cold and could take up to 45 minutes between courses which made meal times drag out. With a one, nearly two year old with us late at night, this was a big problem. The choice of food was poor and we all often struggled to find anything to eat. The buffet was no better. Food tasted as if it had been left under heat lamps for hours and the choice was small and poor and repetitive. It feels as if they are purposefully making the food bad to force you to spend money in the other restaurants. They do seem to like to up sell and try to drain every penny from you at every turn, with ads almost every day for £25 sail away parties and drinks. I know every line does this. We are not strangers to it. But it seems more obvious and blatant with P&O. The grab and go is a great idea and handy for excursions, but again, the food is the same every single day and there is little choice. We were not the only people to complain about the food. Many other passengers mentioned how poor they thought it was and that they’d never had another line with such a poor main dining room experience. The waiters seem overworked. Too many tables each to actually be attentive or get anything to you quickly. Or even top water up. Something which should be simple. The reef kid’s club is better for older children than young. Lots of forms to fill in and lots of rules. We hadn’t come across anything like it on other lines. For you her children there isn’t much in the horizon program. Only the actual play room. A few times we went to the right venue at the right time for an activity, waited and nobody ever turned up. Kids arts and crafts for example, in the live lounge. A bit disorganised and disappointing. One big complaint that hasn’t improved from the last time on Britannia was how little there is to do during the day. The lack of activities on the horizon is pitiful. Largely leaving people to themselves, probably hoping they spend more money rather than sit, bored. The suite and balcony and all the extras were amazing. Great sized room and our stateroom attendant and butler were both very good. No faults there. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Having heard much, but never actually experienced cruising in the past, my wife and I decided to try a new way of vacationing. I had expected to be satisfied at the end of the Cruise, of course. However, looking back on the experience ... Read More
Having heard much, but never actually experienced cruising in the past, my wife and I decided to try a new way of vacationing. I had expected to be satisfied at the end of the Cruise, of course. However, looking back on the experience after a couple of days, I can assure you that it was much better than I had expected. My wife shares this sentiment. I first learned about the ship and its facilities from the information provided by the agent with whom we booked the Cruise. I got more information provided by Royal Caribbean International on the Internet. Should you do something similar, feel sure that you can rely on the positive things you read. I must commend the ships' staff, and say lots of good things about the Ship, the Cabin, Dining , Entertainment Activities, the Service and the Ports and Excursions. Since these would be very positive words, I guess you can imagine what I can write. We travelled with members of our extended familiy, yet had the opportunity to meet and interact with lots of people (both staff members and passengers) from many different nationalities. The friendly and relaxed athmosphere encourages this interaction. This is also an outcome of the work done by the staff (those we came in contact with, and the large numbers who work behind the scenes). I strongly recommend this Cruise and hope you have a positive experience, too. Read Less

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