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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise with P&O, after mainly cruising with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity in the past. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, seemed good value for money and the ease of getting there. To be balanced, ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O, after mainly cruising with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity in the past. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call, seemed good value for money and the ease of getting there. To be balanced, I'll start off with all the positives... The flight, embarkation, having our bags arrive outside our cabin after putting them on the plane, was the best ever, so 10/10 (despite our bus in Barbados breaking down from the airport to the ship) The general condition of the ship and cabin was all very good, the food generally good, entertainment good and the port itinerary excellent. So why the overall average score I hear you say...here are the cons The ship, despite being relatively new, is badly designed, bland and unexciting compared to other cruise lines. Everywhere seemed very beige and square, no curves or a promenade with a wow factor like Royal Caribbean. The lack of a staircase midship was very frustrating! On deck, there wasn't a dedicated space for playing table tennis or shuffle board without being on top of a sun lounger! There was no climbing wall, mini golf or anything else for the passenger who didn't want to fry in the sun all day. But the main gripe about this cruise was how miserable the staff were, especially in the dining rooms. (One exception was the incredibly smiley guy allocating the tables) Don't get me wrong, they did their job ok and if I were doing their job for months on end, I would probably be the same! But for some reason they weren't as friendly and approachable as on other cruise lines and our holiday vibe was spoilt. Royal Caribbean seem to have a much more diverse staff from different countries and I think this is where P&O are going wrong, employing waiting staff from the same country. I also think that it's nice to go on a cruise with passengers of different nationalities as well, not just on a ship full of Brits! In summary, the cruise was ok and if you have never cruised before and are of a certain age, it will be great for you. However, if you want a more happy, fun and diverse experience and interesting ships, a cruise with another company may be better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Disembarkation and Embarkation went very well.. We prebooked 2 Catamaran trips weeks before the cruise ,both got cancelled on the first day of cruise and all other Catanaran trips fully booked which was not pleasing and the excursion ... Read More
Disembarkation and Embarkation went very well.. We prebooked 2 Catamaran trips weeks before the cruise ,both got cancelled on the first day of cruise and all other Catanaran trips fully booked which was not pleasing and the excursion people were not to helpful. The ship´s Entertainment very average except for the band Vibz who played in different venues and were brilliant,also saw Kiki dee and Jon clegg who were both very good.. As regards food the Horizon buffet bar was very adequate , did like Sindu the Indian Restaurant and the Meridian & the Penisular were also very good. Because of the hurricane Tortola was cancelled but went to Martinique instead which was a complete waste of time as nothing to do there except drink in the local Bars. Excursions wise Stingray city is a 100% must as brilliant day out. There was a Snooker Table near Brodies Bar which had a massive hole is the baize ,which looks as though its been like it for months which is a shame, Sadly Britannia is trying to be 5star when its definitely not,its a ship of 2 halves where guests over a certain age like the formal nights and dressing up whereas guests under a certain age (myself including) prefer smart casual and not dressing like a Turkey in 30 degrees of Caribbean heat just not logical when ladies can dress smart and show there legs and Shoulders off . If you are over 65 then Britannia is for you , if you are under 65 then pick Norwegian cruise line as so much more to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Overall, a pleasant 14 day Caribbean cruise on Britannia. We had an aft suite on C Deck Britannia is a great ship which suits its status as the biggest ship in the fleet. The Britannia sailaway party may seem a bit naff but is ... Read More
Overall, a pleasant 14 day Caribbean cruise on Britannia. We had an aft suite on C Deck Britannia is a great ship which suits its status as the biggest ship in the fleet. The Britannia sailaway party may seem a bit naff but is really good fun and gets you in the spirit! Plus sides. Horror tales of soot issues for aft suites felt more than a touch exaggerated. Friends on B deck had issues with their larger and slightly overlooked balcony but was only a minor irritation for us and friends with a similar aft suite on E deck. Certainly wouldn't let this stop me from re-booking. The wrap round balcony means shade/sun varies nicely by time of day. Compared to a similar suite on the Azura, our suite was more separated and gives more privacy for parents travelling with kids. The itinerary was v good - all stops were port side so no missed stops due to tenders not being operated in poor sea conditions (unlike the Azura last year). Food in al restaurants and the buffet was very good. Love Sindhu and the cover charge is more than worth it. A big mention to John and his team in the Cookery Club, we had a meal there where they cooked Tapas for us. At £45 cover charge, it may seem expensive but that included Sangria and 3 wines - so well worth it! Entertainment was more than good enough - recommend early Headliners performance and the Ed Sheeran tribute act in particular. Stops were great, mentions in particular for St. Kitts, Aruba, Curucao, Tobago and Grenada. Also, the Stingray experience and submarine in Barbados were great excursions and well worth the money. Kids club was great! Central staircase / elevators were a bit painful, but once you get used to using the elevators/stairs at the front or back you realise it makes very little difference. Nonetheless, shouldn't have been beyond the with of the shipbuilder/designer to have thought about this if only to keep down the level of complaints about a very nice ship. Negatives - service standards just not quite the same as the Azura, we were always left feeling that it was just easier to love problems ourselves. Too many times we were met with basic requests around the ship with a blank and somewhat confused expression from staff. Would also say that a course in basic manners and a bit of common sense wouldn't go amiss for many of the staff. The stops were all good with the exception of St. Vincent. A simple message here is that the port area just didn't seem safe - a common message from many passengers. Frankly, stay on the Britannia at St. Vincent. I still don't like having to ask P&O not to charge my in room credit with a service charge before I've even spent a penny of the credit. This just doesn't sit well with me, so I remove it. Frankly, P&O should either be upfront and very clear about this or just not charge it - we all know the crew don't get it and is just an additional charge on unwary customers. The price you pay covers these costs. Final negative, exchange your currency onshore - use casino ATM's for $'s but don't be afraid of using local bank ATM's for Eastern Caribbean $'s either, everyone accepts them on the islands where they're issued despite quoting US$ prices. Only exception was Martinique where they use Euro's or $'s. P&O onboard currency rates are a rip-off, much like the airports. Like I said, the easiest and cheapest way to get US$'s on the trip is to use your ATM card in a casino, the fee is minimal compared to the ship or airport. Overall, we enjoyed the Britannia very much but have a slight preference for the Azura. We'll be trying out Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines next, mainly for a change and a bit of variation. Would still very much recommend the Britannia, though. Would have given a 5 star rating but for the drop in service standards since last year. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise as a large new ship to introduce my sister to cruising, she’s a true convert now. Large balcony cabin with sofa, however, major whinge that the balcony is so narrow compared to other ships but didn’t detract ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a large new ship to introduce my sister to cruising, she’s a true convert now. Large balcony cabin with sofa, however, major whinge that the balcony is so narrow compared to other ships but didn’t detract really. Live lounge mainly tribute acts very good each night, not many shows in the theatre here though. On board band, Pulse, excellent with a very wide range of songs, rock, pop, divas, ABBA, excellent. Food good choice and nicely cooked, freedom dining room - Meridian - never full so not hectic. Sunloungers at Aft decks could do with a good clean/jetwash as under funnels and bit grubby. Shore excursions over subscribed early on, that’s if they weren’t cancelled. Disappointing. Local tours didn’t cater for catermaran trips. Shore excursion team onboard quite jaded and could have given much more information and be more enthusiastic. Sail away parties good - think 4 in total, particularly the Best of British. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our second time on Britannia in the Caribbean. We have also done 3 cruises on Ventura. I think it is fair to say that we prefer Ventura. The embarkation was fine as always, however one of our suitcases did not show up at the ... Read More
This was our second time on Britannia in the Caribbean. We have also done 3 cruises on Ventura. I think it is fair to say that we prefer Ventura. The embarkation was fine as always, however one of our suitcases did not show up at the cabin and we had to go to reception after dinner to ask about it. The cabin label had come off and the case was in the room opposite reception, so no problem really just an inconvenience. The cabin E741 was fine although we did have noise problems, see the cabin review. The food in the dining room, was good without having the wow factor. We dined in the Oriental DR 2nd sitting. The service from the DR waiters was excellent. Dined in the Limelight Club which was very nice with good entertainment (Eric & Ernie). Also dined once in the Epicurean which did have the wow factor, however I should think so given the cover charge. Did not eat in Sindhu. Most nights we went to the Crystal room where we enjoyed the dancing. The dance instructors Ian and Penny were very good and provided a good mix of ballroom, latin and sequence. The live bands were good also. Only went to the theatre once and enjoyed the show, without being blown away, Some of the shows that were on we recognised (from the title and description) from our last cruise in 2016, so we didn't go. The ship suffers in my opinion from not having a promenade on deck 7, and lack of stairs at midships. There was a lot of people in the bars and public rooms who did not observe the dress code on formal evenings, which I feel is a shame and does nothing for the P&O reputation. I understand that this is just our opinion and I respect that that some people don't want to wear formal attire. Perhaps they should choose a cruise line that doesn't have a formal dress code. Disembarkation was smooth and the flight was on time. Overall a very enjoyable cruise but I doubt if we will go on Britannia again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Apologies for the long review but I wanted to cover as much as I can. We booked our 2 week Caribbean Cruise with my parents as they are celebrating their 60th Birthdays this year and this was to be their 'once in a lifetime' type ... Read More
Apologies for the long review but I wanted to cover as much as I can. We booked our 2 week Caribbean Cruise with my parents as they are celebrating their 60th Birthdays this year and this was to be their 'once in a lifetime' type holiday. On the whole it did not disappoint. We flew Gatwick to Barbados with TUI on their Dreamliner and from check in to arrival in Barbados the service was excellent. (This goes for the return flight too). Although we were delayed by 80 mins on the outbound flight we managed to make up the time and only arrived 20 mins late. On arrival we were whisked away from the bottom of the aircraft steps straight to the port within about 30 mins. Embarkation was speedy, efficient and we were on the ship within an hour of landing. My only quibble would be that we were only greeted on board by a photographer and a handful of staff (no welcome drink, music/band etc). We were not expecting a huge song and dance or fuss but a more upbeat welcome would have been nice. The ship is lovely and it was nice to see a modern and simple décor. I do appreciate that some people still like to see lots of polished wood, brass, crystal, bling etc but there are other ships available if that's what you are after. All public areas seemed clean, in good order and well maintained. Its nice to see that P&O are trying to move with the times and modernise in order to appeal to a wider audience. Having said that my only real complaint would be the behaviour and attitude of some of our fellow guests!!! For example, there are more than enough sunbeds on board however every single sunbed around the pools and hot tubs were 'reserved' with towels way before 8am most days (earlier on sea days)!!! When did we turn into these type of people? I, like many others, were quite happy in the general peace and quiet on decks 17 or 18 away from the pools where there is more space between the beds and the music is less intrusive. Also the breeze was very welcoming. Our balcony cabin (A226) was spacious, bright and clean. The bed was very comfy and we found plenty of storage space. The bathroom was clean and spacious although the water pressure wasn't always great but then that can be expected when up to 3500 people could be using the shower at the same time!! The White Company products were a lovely touch. The balcony was of an adequate size and had a small table and 2 chairs. Perfect setting for a morning coffee or pre dinner drink. Not sure what people expect from a cruise ship balcony? Do you really need sunbeds, sauna and room for a pony?? Our cabin steward (Udaiya) was attentive, polite and kept the cabin spotlessly clean. Although I was surprised to be told we could only have one pool towel each per day!! I disposed of a sandy, wet towel after a morning beach trip and asked for a fresh one for the pool area and was told that there were none left!! Food:- We used the Horizon Buffet for breakfast and most lunches and it could get quite busy and hectic. We found the food to be of a good standard and a nice selection. I think it could've become a little repetitive at times but we also choose to use the Lido Pizzeria, Lido Grill and the Grab & Go option for added variety. Evenings we were on Freedom dining and were allocated the Penisular dining room. We generally arrived for dinner between 7pm-8pm and didn't have to wait for a table once. Although we did note that tables for 2 came at a premium as you seemed to have to little wait or could join a bigger table. The service we found to be generally quick, efficient and polite but not overly friendly (although I feel this is due to the workload rather than the individuals). Food quality was a little hit and miss on occasion but generally of a good standard. More down to personal taste rather than quality though. Always well presented and hot. We booked into the select dinning on 2 occasions and thoroughly enjoyed the Sindhu and even more so the Epicurean. Worth the cover charge. We also booked the Lime Light Lounge on 2 occasions for an Eric & Ernie tribute comedy act and also the Kiki Dee show. Again worth every penny and a great concept. The food was great (although limited choice) and the service was excellent. We pre booked all our excursions for ease and to saves us from messing around and wasting time each day deciding what we could do. Again we were not disappointed. All our guides were friendly and information and really showed off some of the highlights of each islands. In particular we loved 'A Taste Of St Vincent' food tour and the 'St Kitts Scenic Railway' tour. We also all used the Oasis Spa at some point for various treatments and found them great and worth the money although there is a fair bit of hard sell for Elemis Products after each treatment. You just have to politely say no thank you!! We found bar/drinks service to be attentive and the prices were very reasonable. Cocktail of the day was often £5 each and quite strong (not watered down at all). In summary, we all had a great time. Don't listen to all of the negative reviews. We are all individuals and have individuals tastes and standards. Give it a try and make your own mid up!! Would we go on the Britannia again? YES!!! BUT probably won't because we want to try some of the other ships!! P&O and otherwise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This staff on this ship should be sacked and replaced with people who actually want to work, the waiting staff are lazy, rude and ignorant. and as for a smile, god no. Room service was actually even worse, they cannot understand basic ... Read More
This staff on this ship should be sacked and replaced with people who actually want to work, the waiting staff are lazy, rude and ignorant. and as for a smile, god no. Room service was actually even worse, they cannot understand basic English on a ship that is supposed to be geared up especially for Brits. Try to get a drink around the pool, no chance normally people are falling over them selves to serve you, not on P & O it's get it yourself. And when you eventually get someone to get you a drink, they basically throw it at you along with your cruise card, will not take empty glasses from you, as it's not their job, so they just roll around the floor. The COOKS because you could not call them chiefs produced the sort of food I would serve at a child's tea party , and unless you want curry and chips every day for lunch forget it, instead of parading them through the restaurant, time would be better spend teaching them to cook. What a disappointment. book any other cruise line for P & O Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first cruise, and having been quite excited but also nervous about what to expect we certainly were not disappointed. We were surprised by the ease and speed once of the aircraft of actually getting onto the ship, all in all ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and having been quite excited but also nervous about what to expect we certainly were not disappointed. We were surprised by the ease and speed once of the aircraft of actually getting onto the ship, all in all very speedy and exciting albeit a bit mesmerising for the first time, be prepared if it is your first time it's a bit of a whirlwind! I was very impressed by the size of the cabin especially the walk in wardrobe - made it so easy to get ready in the evenings. Our steward Fransico was amazing and helpful but not all in the way, he cleaned our room and did everything as if by magic! The bars and restaurants were very good and the service in all excellent. I found the fish was overcooked but I presume they do this to avoid any possible illness maybe, i'm not sure? we did have a gastro flu type bug outbreak but it was handled incredibly well and didn't really impact on us at all. Entertainment was varied and New Year's eve was amazing we actually celebrated at 8pm (UK New Year) and again at midnight Caribbean time, the singers were fantastic, food delicious, staff efficient and the crowd on board was brilliant. Shore excursions got cancelled a few times which was a disappointment and slightly annoying as most the time when we asked why no one had an answer. But to finish off, if you have never cruised and are unsure, if you don't go you don't know and I found that most travellers on board had been on many cruises, it seems to be a bit of an addiction if you are not careful lol !!! Well done P&O we had a great time and booked again for next year !!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted the to escape the gloomy Scottish weather over Christmas and New Year and relax in some Caribbean sunshine. The cruise didn't start well with a near 4 hour flight delay from Gatwick with P&O's chosen charter airline - Thomas ... Read More
We wanted the to escape the gloomy Scottish weather over Christmas and New Year and relax in some Caribbean sunshine. The cruise didn't start well with a near 4 hour flight delay from Gatwick with P&O's chosen charter airline - Thomas Cook (MT3720). This resulted in us arriving very late on board, too exhausted to consider eating anything and being directed more or less immediately to a special safety drill for all the late passengers. Heading back to the cabin we saw that it was quite dirty. We mentioned this to our cabin steward who seemed to shrug his shoulders and said he would 'give it a good touch' the next day. However, the following day, in full daylight, the very poor state of the cabin was revealed and it became clear that none of the surfaces had been cleaned for weeks, with evidence of hairs on bathroom shelves and a very 'unhygienic' looking stain on the toilet. We reported the matter to the front desk and received a visit from a Deck Manager who agreed the room was dirty and he arranged a 'deep clean'. He suggested, however, that the state of the room was due to previous passengers leaving the balcony door open - I'm not sure how/why that would justify the room not being cleaned appropriately. The cruise progressed OK with quite good weather in most of the ports of call. Entertainment on the ship was quite good with the highlight show that of male vocal group 'Troubadour' and somewhat surprisingly the performances of the resident group 'Pulse', whom we found to exceed the performances of the stage singers/dancers. We are frequent cruisers so we were disappointed at some of the guest performers, e.g. Mark Walker, who we have seen many times over several years and he hasn't varied his set. The P&O 'Christmas Present' was quite a let down. On it's maiden Caribbean Christmas Cruise on the Britannia we each received boxes of very nice Marc de Champagne truffles, which we took home and savoured after the cruise. This time, however, we each received identical Britannia Snow Globe ornaments, which weren't very personal or worth the weight in our luggage home so they went straight in the bin. I expect many other passengers did the same. Due to hurricanes in the Caribbean the itinerary of this cruise had been rearranged and abbreviated with two of our favourite ports of call - Dominica and St Maarten - being removed with a day instead at Tobago and an additional day in Barbados at the end of the cruise. If we had been given the option to cancel/rearrange this cruise due to the changed itinerary we would have done but that was never an option. The two and a half days in Barbados at the end of the cruise were particularly tedious with our balcony cabin facing the port and the incessant noise of operating cranes and other heavy machinery. We have been to Barbados many times and have done various trips there so weren't inclined to do any more trips, plus the weather was a bit 'inclement' over those days. We probably would have preferred to go straight home the day after arriving in port in Barbados rather than 'lingering' there. There were lots of passengers coughing and spluttering during the cruise so invariably I also picked up a virus that remained with me for the 2nd week of the cruise and remains with me as I write this review. My wife succumbed to the virus on her return home and has had to take two weeks (and counting) off work. I expect poor hygiene on the ship was probably to blame for our illness as many people avoided washing their hands when entering the buffet restaurant and this was not particularly well enforced by P&O personnel. I would point out though that there are only three hand washing stations at each entrance to the buffet restaurant with often significant queues (20-30 people) waiting to wash their hands. It's probably little wonder that some passengers had no patience and simply by-passed this process. In the ratings that follow I might have recorded some categories as 'Good' but that option isn't available as the jump is from 'average' to 'very good'. We are unlikely to travel on the Britannia again but will be travelling on the Arcadia later this year and the recently refurbished Oceana next year. Read Less
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