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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was ... Read More
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was improved. It was of good quality and varied even in the Buffett. The Buffett area is also a much better design than on other P & O ships which are too ‘tight’ and get very crowded. The entertainment was very good and there were some good deck parties. Our ‘restricted’ balcony G408 was not really restricted and neither was G410, G412, G414, G416 these rooms fall between a large gap between the lifeboats yet they are lower priced due to a very slight restriction. We could see straight out and sideways With nothing directly in our view. If you want a bargain balcony then these are the ones to go for. Our room was nice and a decent size. We didn’t have the drinks package because it is just to expensive but the drinks purchased separately are of a very reasonable price. Now for the negatives. As I say we booked a midship balcony room on deck 8 but the balcony is the smallest we have ever seen. You cannot sit straight looking out to sea they are that small. The ship in parts is very poorly designed. The stairs in midships only go up to deck 7? So unless you walk to either end of the ship you cannot walk up or down from midships from deck 8 and upwards. It’s just bonkers. The lifts are also small. On deck 17 at the aft is what I can only describe as a large bath, it is supposed to be a plunge pool but it’s just too small with vast amount of wasted deck either side. We never used it because it was always full. This pool should fill the width of the deck. The ‘sunset bar’ at the aft is lovely but they play background music that is so quiet it may as well not be on. The reason given for this was because guests in the suites below complain?? We and others asked for the music to be raised to a very reasonable level, not loud, until at least 11.30 but it was refused. It takes away a lot of the ambience of the bar. Towards the front of the ship is the ‘Serenity pool’ for adults only but the bar stops serving at 6pm?? So there is not an adult only bar on outside decks after 6pm. On deck 16 in the centre of the ship is the Lido pools, a great family area but above this on deck 17 looking down on the Lido the ship is crying out for a bar just like on Ventura or Azura. A couple of entertainment planning issues we had and that other guests complained about were that the ‘Crystal bar/room’ was just not used to anywhere near it’s capacity. It was almost predominantly used for old style dancing and apart from a few times was always only a quarter full. This is fine if like Ventura and Azura there are two live music bars to chose from but there isn’t so most people only have the choose of the ‘Live lounge’. In respects of the ‘Live lounge’ there was no thought given to the fact that most passengers see the last but one night as a party night and with that in mind many of us turned up to party and dance the night away only for the party to be flattened by a poor comedian who came on at 23.45hrs when lots of guests were dancing. The problem then was that there is no where else to go to dance or party. The service we received was also very patchy and on the whole was below standard. We had done nine cruise before this one with four being P & O ships so we know what to expect but I’m afraid the smiles, interaction, attention to detail has gone from many of the waiters, waitresses on deck and within the restaurants with the exception of the ‘Glasshouse’ for some reason. Without doubt they work hard and we are very chatty, polite people who love having a laugh and it must be hard doing their work day in day out but that’s what we pay our money for. It may seem like it just us morning but there were lots of other passengers who noticed this. One last moan and something to be aware of and it will probably be the same on most ships is that if you go on a cruise in school holidays be ready to expect uncontrolled children approx 8 to 16 running around throughout the ship at all times especially in the corridors. We watched many parents just let their kids do this without a word being said. A constant ‘thump, thump, thump’ was heard. We have had our own children and now have grandchildren but we would never let ours be totally out of control like a lot of what we saw were even in the ‘Glasshouse’ whilst we ate some were running around our table whilst their parents drank oblivious to everything. We wouldn’t go on this ship again although in spite of everything we had a great cruise because the food was good, we met lots of great new friends and the weather was great. Something to ponder though is that someone probably got paid thousands of pounds to design this ship yet there seems to have been some glaring mistakes. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ... Read More
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ship is that you can avoid the areas which aren't to your liking and if you feel that way inclined the "types" you might want to avoid are away from the areas you probably enjoy. Yes, the ship decor is rather dark and my first reaction was to pine for the bling of Ventura but sultry Britannia grows on you. The public areas are cleverly designed with many nooks and crannies so you can be in the heart of the action or tuck yourself away as you choose. The Glass House is, as ever, excellent. The Crow's nest bar is back at the front of the ship and wonderful for pre dinner drinks. Recommend sitting away from the piano as it can be very loud. The atrium is very spacious with plenty of seating to people watch with a post dinner drink/coffee. Drinks service was excellent everywhere. If we were waiting we only had to indicate to someone and they were there. Crystal room was surprisingly pleasant late evening with lots of people taking to the floor. Didn't frequent Brodies or the casino but it was popular and pretty packed each time we walked through. Breakfast, lunch and evening restaurant food service couldn't be faulted and the attention for special dietary needs was outstandingly accommodating. A couple of meals were overcooked but there was absolutely no issue with getting plates changed. Of course it would be better if they didn't need to be returned but with thousands of guests give the staff a sporting chance by asking for better, they are happy to oblige and would much rather you went away happy. Desserts weren't too special but OK. Didn't frequent the buffet much but when we did there was plenty of room, staff were very helpful, friendly and food good. Spend a moment to talk to the buffet chefs, they don't get much guest interaction and will appreciate it... Joseph, my daughter thought you were fantastic! Theatre plush and the Cinema is a nice addition. I missed the theatre waiter service but my husband hates it so goes to show can't please everyone. Gym well equipped and spacious. First 3 machines I approached were out of action but there were still plenty even when the gym was busy. Came to the conclusion that for the amount of hours spent in it, the Retreat is expensive when securing a fortnight complete package. Would we do it again? yes because the service in the Britannia Retreat was amazing and engaging, Sebastian and Jovan both a real credit to P&O. I've previously moaned about unhelpful reception staff on other ships but not so on Britannia, spoke to Carl a few times and he was very helpful and extremely likeable. Daily service charge has now been removed and here's the interesting bit, we left far more in tips to far more staff than ever before. I've once previously asked for service charges to be withdrawn because of poor service so it was great to reward such a change. I was told that the teenage Reef space wasn't as good as Ventura and Azura but the Reef Rangers were as cool as ever. The great part of cruising with youngsters is that because there are relatively few cruises in school holidays the kids look forward to reuniting with friends from previous cruises, you don't get that with most holidays. Security always checked that minors were accompanied when leaving ship, which showed they were on their game. We've done the port stops bar Cadiz before so no surprises there. Cadiz, Cartagena and Barcelona were our favourites. Although a really positive experience, there were 2 areas which fell short. The first was that the entertainment was by far the poorest we've had on a P&O cruise. Tucker's "comedy" material hadn't changed since last time we saw him! Thankfully, there were a couple of notable exceptions with the superb Lloyd Wade and We3. We paid extra to see La Voix in the Limelight club and were treated to a magnificent night and great food (menu is surprisingly small so we may have been just lucky to have what we wanted on the menu), brilliant vocals and comedy, La Voix, we'll be back to see you again. The 2nd area was the Captains Gala, which we look forward to for the pomp and ceremony. I've never known a Captain to be late for his own party and not have the decency to apologise, we walked out to go for dinner as he arrived and started his speech, really bad form and example Sir. Finally, of course there's the much talked about lack of stairs mid ship. This didn't bother us at all as we consciously try to burn off a few of those naughty calories by walking and climbing stairs, plus our group don't have mobility issues or a pushchair. Heard lots complaining though. Oh yes, embarkation, nearly forgot that. We've always found Southampton port staff to be brilliant and cheerful (even when they are trialling new arrangements for the huge Iona), disappointing that for the first time ever we were checked in by Mrs Sour Face Grumpy but soon forgot about her!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've ... Read More
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've decided to stay in Southampton the night before, so was a couple of hours early for my designated embarkation time. I was able to go onboard an hour earlier and the whole process was seamless. Our cabins wasn't ready yet, so I used the opportunity to have a look around the ship and had some lunch. The Britannia is a beautiful ship and the atrium did take my breath away the first time I saw it. I opted for a single balcony cabin on Deck 16 so that I can make the most of the scenary travelling through the fjords. It was worth every penny and early mornings and late evenings was spend on the balcony watching the world go by. My cabin was very spacious for a single and had everything I needed for a very comfortable stay including plenty of wardrobe space and spacious shower cubicle. Patrick, the Cabin Steward was very helpful and friendly. I've mainly opted to eat in the Horizon buffet and there were always plenty of choice and variety. The food is replenished very often, so I never had to worry about getting cold or slightly soggy food. I thought the quality of the food was really good. I used Freedom Dining on two occassions in the Peninsular Restaurant and again the food was of a very high standard. Although the entertainment was quite varied, I only really enjoyed the group "Pulse" and thought their "Tribute Night" was brilliant. We were very lucky to have good weather so on the 2 sea days the pool area were quite busy. I opted to go one deck up that overlooks the pool area and always had plenty of sun loungers to choose from. Despite the amount of passengers that were on the cruise, it never felt claustrophobic...I never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to be served at the bar, I always managed to get a table in the buffet by the window (my preference) and I could always find a little quite corner (on deck or inside in one of the many communal areas) to read a book and just find some peace and quite. I've booked 2 shore excursions with P&O and did 2 on my own. I must admit, the excursions were a bit over priced in my view, but I still had a very enjoyable time. All the crew I've encountered were very helpful, friendly and professional. Disembarkation was well organised and I thought the letter we've received the day before to explain the disembarkation process and arrangements was a really good idea. Seeing the Norwegian fjords has been on my "must see list" for a very long time and doing it on the Britannia was brilliant. I'm looking forward to returning to her next year for a 14 night Mediterranean cruise. Our cruise was the one that unfortunately made the headlines due to the actions of a very small group of passengers. However, all credit to Captain Paul Brown and his crew for dealing with this incident so professionally and discreetly. Other than the tannoy announcement I had no idea what happened and it didn't spoil my last day onboard. I only saw it on the news after I got home on Saturday. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at ... Read More
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at the time but was certainly welcome as less expensive than Celebrity, plus our first non-fly cruise, which not only saves more money but is a lot easier and gives flexibility for luggage - great for when you have to pack suits for formal nights and a fair bit of clothing knowing we could have any kind of weather. This review is not written purely as a comparative exercise, but given our only previous points of reference have been on Celebrity it was a natural thing to do, so I will draw out the main differences we noted and which we preferred. Some things are really the 'little extras' that add to a more luxury experience, that come with Celebrity, but we also acknowledge they come with a price tag. So drawing attention to them is not necessarily a criticism, simply an observation of what you may not get with P&O but which you pay for to get on Celebrity. Once booked we did have some apprehension as it seemed most people who'd sailed both lines came down clearly in favour of Celebrity, and a couple of forums online seemed to attract some horribly snobby people. We don't mind dressing up for a formal night but do object to people who seem to think that cruising is only about dressing up and when conversations turned to the newly introduced drinks packages 'attracting the wrong sort of people' we wondered what we were letting ourselves in for! Luckily I found some other groups with more normal people and while we appreciated there would be more formality than Celebrity have, we were prepared to embrace it. In advance I had looked into what we'd do on each of our port days and one thing I did notice was how much more affordable the ship's own excursions were compared to Celebrity. We prefer to do our own thing, or go with a small private group, but for various reasons found that harder to sort this time on 2 days so opted (initally reluctantly) to book with P&O and were pleasantly surprised at the cost. The only other reservation I had which we could do nothing about, was the amount of children on board, as this was our first cruise in school holidays. Having got 4 kid between us, all now grown up, we do enjoy being able to avoid other 'little darlings' on our holidays but due to a number of factors had booked this knowing it would be holiday time, but hoping that the fjords would be less of a family attraction than a Med cruise. On the day we embarked we had stayed a couple of hours from Southampton and had opted for inclusive car parking with CPS. Their directions, along with sat nav, were nice and clear and we found our way to the correct gate easily. We'd been given an arrival time of 3pm and had heard mixed stories about whether we'd be able to get on early or would have to wait. As it worked out, we arrived at the dock gate around 1.30pm. CPS staff directed us efficiently and advised we would have to wait in a queue for a little while, We saw some people who knew the score taking cases out onto trollies but we just waited for only 10-15 mins before being asked to drive forward. Another CPS person then told us we should unload our cases and take a trolley as there were very few porters now. There was no feeling of being rushed, she was polite and helpful and it was a nice calm experience. We handed over the key and headed off to a loading area just across the road where our trollies went onto a conveyor belt and we went to the departure area. We were able to pack my husband's suits into a proper suit carrier and put that through as checked luggage which made things much easier, especially as we had in our hand luggage one small wheeled case containing bottles of drink :) Yes, we were allowed to take a litre each of wine or spirits, plus whatever soft drinks we wanted, for drinking in our cabin, so we took advantage to save us a bit of spending money. More helpful staff inside checked our tickets and then gave us a card with a letter on it, telling us to go wait in the lounge until called, saying we would have enough time to get a drink if we wanted; this was around 2pm. There was plenty of seating and a small but well stocked cafe. We were duly called into the line for check in around 2.45 and this moved along nicely so no standing waiting too much, and so we met our 3pm time in the end! We made our way onto the ship and the first thing we noticed was that we were greeted with a smile but no glass of bubbly! We were directed to some lifts where we noticed there were also stairs - these aren't always open on 'normal' days and the lifts did have quite a wait on them but we weren't lugging the drinks up the stairs! Once out the lift we made our way to the cabin and were delighted to find our cases were already there waiting for us. Full cabin review is provided below We'd taken a look at the Horizon daily leaflet telling us what was going on and when. There was quite a lot on but we're not really into doing a lot other than maybe a quiz. Similarly, we were not majorly fussed on the theatre shows unless something had seemed exceptional. We were pretty sure in advance we'd be fairly low key on this week, so this review doesn't cover entertainment to any extent. We didn't go to the Headliners theatre which is where the main shows are, generally twice nightly, and also used for other events during the day. Although we chose not to go to any shows on board, I did like the fact they had late sessions so one could comfortably eat at say 8pm and then go to the late show after. On Celebrity we often found ourselves having to get ready early to get to the first show and then eat, as we rarely enjoy eating dinner earlier. We did make it into the studio, another small theatre style venue, but that was only for muster! We decided to take a wander around the ship before things got busy and get an idea of what was where, and give an idea of where we'd want to be spending our time over the next week. The first thing we had found out was the lift and stair locations. There are fore, mid and aft lifts, but staircases only fully available for and aft. In mid the stairs only go to deck 7. This caught us out a few times as we often lost track of where we were and decided to walk stairs only to find there weren't any! There are also some areas where it's not possible to walk through so you need to be at the right level. More than one occasion we went down to deck 6, arrived at the Oriental restaurant and could go nowhere else without going back up to deck 7 and across. My Fitbit did well during the week! The ship is big and very long and this is most obvious when finding your way round. The little map we were given on embarkation was invaluable along with the wall plaque diagrams by the lifts. Took us a little while find those as they are not very obvious as signage goes. The lifts were definitely one of the less impressive things. In any lift area there seemed to be a couple that we never saw in action. Lifts were slow to arrive, and sometimes seemed to skip floors out altogether. On one occasion in a lift it announced deck 11 but was still at previous deck 10, the lift floor indicator was flashing between 10 and 11 and then we stopped at 12. We got out saying we'd get the stairs back down a floor only to realise we were mid ship and no stairs. The lift/stair thing never ceased to be something of an irritant! The overall feel of the ship was one of size but well used. I've described the different areas in more detail below, but our overall impression was of space and simplicity. Decor was uncluttered and unfussy with an immediate contrast with the vast range of art on Celebrity ships, which is found pretty much everywhere, in any corridor, any wall space and on all stairwells. I generally preferred this more simply style on Britannia, although in some areas a little more colour wouldn’t have gone amiss. Where we did appreciate space was in the atrium where it was given over to seating for the bars/cafes downstairs. It was also used as a space for showcasing the restaurants and activities, and worked well for that purpose; it manages this as the guest services area is kept away from the central space. What I did feel the ship lacked was a central focal point for activities in evenings as there is a different focus in different areas at different times. If you like Celebrity with the cafe on 5, Martini Bar on 4 and then music from 3 with people generally all involved from each deck, you will miss this on Britannia. That's not to say we didn't find a nice 'home' in the evenings but it is a very different feel, more low key. When we had done our last cruise on Celebrity Reflection we had felt a bit disappointed in a number of areas where we felt that the basic provision in terms of bar space was same as on the smaller ships in the class, pretty much same layout, but catering for an extra deck of passengers. To us it felt busy and harder to get service, and we were concerned about how things would feel on the even busier Britannia but the increased ship size of this P&O flagship meant it did not feel overly crowded. Another vote in favour of P&O so far, things were looking up a lot more than we'd expected Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the cruise exceeded all expectations. Our cabins were spotlessly clean, very well fitted and serviced by a a very nice steward. We liked to sleep with the balcony doors locked open and listen to the sea at night. Watching the sunset from our balcony at 10.30 at night was a joy. We were very lucky with the weather and on both at sea days the sun shone and we spent our day on deck enjoying the warmth and views. I was surprised how easy it was to find a sun lounger available either in the sun or shade. Around the pool it could become busy but go up to the deck overlooking the pool and there was usually plenty of space. We all used one or other of the pools (there is an adult only pool and sunbathing area). The children ( 9, two 12 year olds and a15 year old) preferred to play in the pools or do their own thing rather than go to the kids clubs. They were never ever bored! Norway is stunning. We had some lovely excursions not all booked through P&O and easy to source online. The longest zip wire in Scandinavia, the rib ride, hiking up a mountain to visit a goat farm, Flåm railway and walking up to Brikstal glacier were highlights. All the food we had either in thie buffet or the restaurants was excellent. We had an exceptional meal in the Epicurean restaurant that I feel was well worth the supplement. Yes there were little niggles but nothing I feel I have to highlight. You will mix with people from all walks of life on a cruise, young and old, but our experience was very positive. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it all again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Wanted value for money to cooler place in summer. Had read mixed reviews . wanted to find out for ourselves. Speaking to others, you love it or hate it. Marmite ship was someones description. Geared to under 50s = constant background ... Read More
Wanted value for money to cooler place in summer. Had read mixed reviews . wanted to find out for ourselves. Speaking to others, you love it or hate it. Marmite ship was someones description. Geared to under 50s = constant background carcophany of pop music apart from last 2 days when the food also seemed to improve slightly too. Small balconies with swing doors requiring loungers to be in position to hold them open = noise. Pivot doors taking up space in already small shower rooms. Duvets too heavy and pillows with no resilience. Smaller lifts gave rise to queues.especially for disabled and some passengers were not overly polite or aware/bothered! Some plain rude.Spacious ship though = easier getting about. Public areas were freezing. Cold outside 11 to 13 degrees but do not expect inside to be the same! Complained = ignored! Contradiction was that many .passengers seem happy to roam in flip flops ,shorts and vest! Sunbathing even. How? Why? Booked car in St Petersburg.Kind helpful very pleasant in spite of having no knowledge of our needs from P&O. Complained = smiley apology! Cobbles we were aware but for wrong shuttle drop off presenting more huge cobbles.No.Other wheelchair users were so afflicted, Complained =smiley apology. Peninsular restaurant = yellow broccoli. Complained got extra dish of it! Black eyed potatos , Sloppy prawn cocktail, Plum pudding with scone for sponge on top. Carrot cheesecake =dry cake.Inadequate over embellished menu with slow service altering to rushed 1/2 hour before closing time. Limelight Club read Ruth Madoc and Hi Di Hi. Food and service abysmal, Starter was 4 small breadsticks and 8 1/2 inch cubes of something.... to share! This, spaced out over 2 hours because the act was scheduled to play in sections.Paid £70 pounds for this! Not happy. Gareth Gates was superb however.Excellent singer . Wish he had sung 1 or Frank Sinatra as his early years. Lecturer Dave Wright was also superb. Heard every word and entertaining delivery made for good assimilation of facts. = Romanovs, Russian Revolution, St George and Mary Queen of Scots. Amazed with 3,600 passengers and small lifts, self help people at disembarcation were given the same time as the rest for vacating cabins. Chaos! Some people were juggling 4 maxi size suitcases! [2 week cruise!] Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked Select with Britannia, including coach transfers from Glasgow with Inter Cruises as a family of 4, kids are 13 & 10. Journey down was excellent, coach was comfortable but could have done with wifi. Had email to say we ... Read More
Booked Select with Britannia, including coach transfers from Glasgow with Inter Cruises as a family of 4, kids are 13 & 10. Journey down was excellent, coach was comfortable but could have done with wifi. Had email to say we would be delayed getting on the ship so expected to be delayed but fortunately our coach driver just carried on and arrived at port on time and we got on ship just about 2 hours later than we should have, so were very happy. Britannia is beautiful, she is huge, you really feel small when you pull alongside. Staff were fabulous, right from very first meet & greet getting on the ship to final leaving, really made you feel good and welcome. Captain speeches were brilliant, and he really made a great impression with the kids when they interviewed him for journalism activity. Ship was fantastic, all the public areas were beautiful, particularly liked the Glass House for drinks and food. Meeting Olly Smith there was a brilliant extra. Sindhu food was exceptional although ate far too much as they give you 2 extra courses, and poppodums/dips that you were not expecting in addition to all the food we ordered, all of which was brilliant, well worth the cover charge and highly recommended. My 10 year old spent the vast majority of the cruise in the scubas kids club, and he loved it, could barely get him out and it was so well organised and structured by the reef team, it was amazing. Great staff, great activities, and he made some great friends. Ports were very good, and lived up to all expectations, Skagen, very easy to get around, bus just next to ship to take you up to Grennan, to see the 2 seas meet, tractor ride out there was really fun. Helsinki was a bit more spread out than we had expected but still easy to get around and see all the sights. Did a boat trip from the harbour too and it was great value. Saint Petersburg was absolutely brilliant, tours were very well organised and let us see all the main areas, the freedom day was brilliant giving free time at 3 sites. Tallin was lovely, old town was very nice but the land train ride was a nightmare, so bumpy, killed our backs. The KGB museum at the Viru hotel was a real trip highlight. Stockholm was the only slight disappointment and not only due to the rain. The town centre is very modern in comparison to the other cities, the viking museum was very good though. Copenhagen was a massive hit with the kids. We spent most of the time in Tivoli Gardens, the rides were great, but if you are planning on going on more than 2 or 3 ridss, it's worth getting the unlimited ride pass. Centre was really nice and easy to get around. Entertainment was great on Britannia, hosts were good, quizzes were fun and loved Pulse in the live lounge. Headliners shows were hit and miss but mostly well done. Afternoon port talks and presentations were really informative. Overall, for our first cruise experience it was absolutely fantastic and we will definitely do it again, can't wait Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Having read some reviews of this ship, our first cruise on Britannia was prepared for with some trepidation. Our fears were dispelled from the first moment we stepped on board. The ship had a full complement of passengers on board too. ... Read More
Having read some reviews of this ship, our first cruise on Britannia was prepared for with some trepidation. Our fears were dispelled from the first moment we stepped on board. The ship had a full complement of passengers on board too. Many of the negative comments I have read were ridiculously wide of the mark. ‘Butlins on Sea’, ‘Ship in terrible condition’, ‘rude staff’? Certainly not evident on this superb Norwegian Fjords cruise. The décor of the ship we found to be very calming. Modern, refined and subtle which all helped to generate a nice hum, in for example, the atrium. Here we really liked the bars and seating areas on the different levels. All well-lit and with a pleasing ambiance. We were also struck by the amount of seating around the ship. Yes, on a sea day Java got very busy but you did not have to wander far to find a seat. There was actually more deck space that we were led to believe. Around the pool got very busy but again it was easy to find seats on the deck above, looking down onto the pool area. Unlike on some other ships there was also a wide range of seating types. Not totally dominated by the sun lounger! The terraced area at the stern was great for enjoying a drink and looking out to sea. We did miss the absence of a full promenade deck (thankfully rectified on Iona) but there was still plenty of deck for wandering. Cruise ship food? That is always one to pit one person against another. We were on My Time dining and always requested a table for two in the evening. Quite often there was a 20-30-minute wait (at the busy time of 7.30), but we built that into our evening and when given a pager went to somewhere like The Glasshouse for a glass of wine, then took that into the restaurant when called. That worked very well. We enjoyed the food in both MDR’s. We usually breakfasted in an MDR too and the freshly cooked served breakfast was always very good. As for the Horizon buffet, I have to say I am no great fan of buffet food on large cruise lines and we felt the canteen style food served here was on a par with other big lines. The food filled a gap but if such food was served in a middle range restaurant in Britain, we would be disappointed. As a consequence, we only ate there at lunch time. Without doubt, our best meals were served at The Beach House and The Limelight Club. It is only a small supplement to dine at The Beach House but the service and the food were extremely good. We decided to book The Limelight Club to make the final night on board more of an occasion, as it usually feels rather depressing. It was great fun. Again, a really good meal with Cheryl Baker providing a highly entertaining evening of song and chatter in a great venue. Like on most ships not all the entertainment was to our liking, however the beauty of this cruise was the provision of a real range of entertainment across the evening in a number of venues. The Headliners put on colourful and energetic shows in the main theatre although the shows themselves did feel rather dated. We tended to go to the late performances in this theatre and never had a problem getting good seats. Soul Kinda Wonderful put on a really strong soul and Motown evening. Our favourite evening in The Headliners Theatre was with Neil Lockwood (ELO pt2 and Alan Parsons Project), he was such a talented artist in performing ELO hits amongst many others. The P and O Orchestra were really tight too in supporting the artists. The Entertainment Team were full of enthusiasm and well led in all they did both on deck and ’indoors’. A lot of entertainment we never got around to seeing and no doubt some of that would have been very good. However, we did see the house band, Pulse, in The Live Lounge and thought they were brilliant…. Eight very talented and versatile young musicians. I was not expecting to hear a Pink Floyd set on my P and O cruise, but Pulse pulled that off as they did with all their other sets. What a great band! Our cabin, B318 was excellent and well serviced. In fact, all staff we came across were very pleasant and hard-working. They were led superbly by Captain Dunlop who coped very well with high winds, medical emergencies and at times a mis-firing engine. Finally, we did two P and O trips. From Flam, The Norway in a Nutshell excursion and from Alesund, the Sky-High Views at Strandafjell. They were both brilliant. Although the weather was not so good in Norway probably a highlight was taking a gondola into proper snow and building a small snowman…in July! All in all, a brilliant cruise and one in which every fellow passenger we spoke with, agreed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me ... Read More
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me we had made a mistake booking this holiday. As it turns out it surpassed our hopes and expectations. We had a brilliant week on board the ship and were impressed with every aspect. Taking into consideration what the price equivalent would buy you on land it seems fantastic value for money. I can only surmise that some of the cruising community are a pretty hard crowd to please. Which in a way is no bad thing as it helps to keep the standards high. Highlights: The ship is beautiful. I loved the decor in the public areas with high-quality fixtures and fittings. We had an internal room with pull-down beds which was cosy and compact but absolutely fine for our needs (basically a bed for the night). The kids club – the facilities are great with friendly staff who take security seriously. My boys tend not to do things on their own but loved the kids club which meant their dad and I could have dinner ourselves and a cocktail in the Crows Nest a couple of nights without having to think about keeping the kids entertained. The White Company products in the bathroom. I love a bit of luxury product and this was a lovely treat. Customer Service – excellent. All staff were very helpful and polite. Food – from the kids buffet to the afternoon tea to the restaurants, the food was excellent. I had a couple of dishes in the restaurant that were just ok but the majority were delicious (beer battered cod, sirloin steak and beef wellington being examples) Cookery school with Marco Pierre White – great value for £100. A lovely man who spent time with each passenger along with other chefs who were there to offer advice and clean up after you. 2 dishes with no expense spared on the ingredients (risotto with saffron and a lobster pasta dish). A definite highlight. Boarding and disembarkation – very smooth and well co-ordinated I enjoyed the mix of passengers. It was the start of the Scottish school holidays but not the English which meant there were probably more pre-school kids. The kids tended to be very well behaved and my boys were often asked how they were enjoying their holiday by the older passengers in the lifts. The shows – we thought the resident band in the live lounge were excellent. The dance floor was jumping on the first formal night. We also enjoyed the couple of shows we saw in the theatre. The productions are so polished and professional with fantastic scenery and costumes. Drinks – reasonably priced, high quality and lots of choice. We were late back to Southampton by a few hours due to two passengers having to be taken off the ship at Bergen due to illness and also a problem with the engine. As we had tickets booked for the Harry Potter Studios and as we were going to be back too late we were provided with free ship to shore phone calls and internet access to allow us to change our booking to the next morning. We were also kept well informed of what was happening by Captain Welsley (who sounded like a great character and we always enjoyed his cheery announcements). The ship also produced an adhoc newsletter informing passengers of the extra services being laid on due to our late arrival back into Southampton (including opening the kids club for a couple of hours in the morning, restaurants opening and the guy who normally sings in the Atrium putting on a one hour set at the poolside. The unplanned extended stay really was no hardship for us on a very warm, summers day. People have mentioned about the lack of stairs in the middle of the ship. We had no problems. Fair enough, we might have to wait a couple of minutes occasionally but it really wasn’t a problem. We tended to use the stairs most of the time anyway as a there were only around 8 steps between floors. I can appreciate however if the stairs weren’t an option then this could be frustrating. People tended to be very accommodating in the lifts though and would make room to help people get from a to b. During his first address to the ship the Captain did ask able-bodied passengers to be considerate to those who weren’t able to use the stairs. Even after 7 days were still regularly losing our bearings and we made good use of the ship plans on the walls. It gave us a laugh though and our 5 year old had the best sense of direction out of all of us. Norway: A beautiful country. Flaam being a particular highlight. Stunning scenery and our one organised trip to the Viking Village which was excellent. We were happy to wander ourselves at the other ports although after half an hour the boys were normally itching to get back to the ship and kids club. Bergen was another highlight. A lovely city and we enjoyed the Fenicular (due to poor weather in the morning we didn’t leave the ship until lunchtime but only had to queue around 30 minutes). The weather through the week was generally rainy and around 10/12 degrees. Not one for the sun worshipers. Saying that, it didn’t stop us doing anything we wanted to and the boys got to use the pool on the sea days. To conclude, would I sail with P&O again? Absolutely! Thank you for a fantastic first cruise experience. Just to add, I’m sorry to read all the negative press in the last week. It’s so far removed from our experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First time for me on P & O. Arrived Southampton midday despite advertised motorway issues and car quickly disposed of. Checkin quick and security tight. Wife Barbara had put an oversized pair of scissors in case and it was spotted in x ... Read More
First time for me on P & O. Arrived Southampton midday despite advertised motorway issues and car quickly disposed of. Checkin quick and security tight. Wife Barbara had put an oversized pair of scissors in case and it was spotted in x ray as it went through. So we were called to examine the case. Well done security, we hadn’t realised and they were on the ball. Once on the ship straight to buffet. Very good buffet and better than Royal Caribbean in our view. This carried on throughout the week. Always good choices. Only negatives no American style crispy bacon. Good coffee though. Staff throughout the cruise awesome. P & O should be proud of this crew. Always a smile, a chat, a laugh, a story. Special mention of the top man I call Captain Speaking Coz that’s what he says lol. Jokes, informative, style, professional. When delays occurred you knew why. He had the full info and told you. Real name Wesley Dunlop. His crew learnt from the top man and it shows. Cabin was G445 midships balcony cabin. Nice size, partial obstructed but only a lifeboat one deck down. No real issue. Top tip when on last night and no clothes on hangers take hangers down. They rattle and clunk together otherwise due to no weight of clothes. Put back on last day. Being midships brings me to my two moans. One is huge and has been commented on before. Who was the numpty who signed off a ship with no stairs mid ships?? Definitely never travelled on one as a passenger. Caused so many issues with huge queues for lifts or a long walk for stairs. On last morning mobility issue passengers were stuck on decks unable to get in lifts due to packed out. Safety issue there. It was appalling. Poor poor design. Second moan lack of public toilets in bar areas. Toilets tiny and few of them. So when theatre empties massive queues for toilets Restaurants....... excellent food in all. Best is Epicurean. By far the best on any cruise line we have been in. Staff are top, food is awesome and great atmosphere. Sindhu another top location. We had the full Marco Pierre White experience with a hosted dinner. He is a cooking god. Well worth the money. Just to be able to chat with him over wine was an experience do it! All in all a great cruise and will go P & O again. BRITANNIA would choose a different cabin away from midships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Recommended. Sunbeds were reserved round all pools. Three small smoking areas with no sunbeds only chairs one under cover cold windy & dark with sunny tables that were no smoking? Hidden extras. Different prices in bars. ... Read More
Recommended. Sunbeds were reserved round all pools. Three small smoking areas with no sunbeds only chairs one under cover cold windy & dark with sunny tables that were no smoking? Hidden extras. Different prices in bars. Norovirus on ship advised use own toilets meaning having to wait for overcrowded lifts as no stairs run through middle of ship?? Penisular breakfast cold toast brought out 35min wait for breakfast hard poached eggs & cold coffee. Horizon buffet good breakfast but like a cafe tables not cleared and floor not hovered between sittings 1st & last cruise not relaxing ship too big too much walking. Butlins at sea but nor butlins prices. Wouldn't recommend to my friends. Drab tired decor. Different prices at bars for same drinks. Internet £7.75 a day free in all hotels we've stayed in. Complaint just done taking in to travel agent tomorrow. Costa/Java staff rude & deck 7 outside terrace dirty ashtrays full Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Having read reviews, we were a little apprehensive about this cruise (2 weeks around the Med) however it was without any major issues. Most of the comments I found to be untrue on this cruise....there was a great deal of food choice, ... Read More
Having read reviews, we were a little apprehensive about this cruise (2 weeks around the Med) however it was without any major issues. Most of the comments I found to be untrue on this cruise....there was a great deal of food choice, there was plenty of it, the tables were cleared quickly and the food areas were all kept clean. We had upgraded to a superior deluxe balcony cabin and this was great, the balcony was not huge but enough for 2 people in relaxer chairs. There was a bath with an over head shower and plenty of storage throughout the cabin. It was well kept by the attendant. The lifts did get busy but with 2 sets of stairs, it was never an issue for us (but understand frustrations of those with buggies/wheel chairs or limited mobility). I think the design of the ship was poor however this isn’t an easy fix now We upgraded to ‘The Retreat’ which had large padded sun-loungers, padded settees, food options, unlimited towels and waiter service for drinks. This was a quiet area, offered lots of space and guaranteed a bed so was worth the money. The pool was still only a 30 second walk away so no disadvantage there. Didn’t eat in the specialty restaurants as enjoyed the food in the allocated restaurant. Breakfast choices and quality was good, lunchtime was fine. Tried to use room service for breakfast on a morning going on an excursion but despite a request for as early as possible within the 30 minute window, it arrived 15 minutes late and we had to leave it. Purchased the internet package but it was really poor and kept failing...Receptions advise was just to get a partial refund. This needs addressing, either make it free and advise that it’s poor, or have a better service. Theatre performances were mixed but this is very much personal choice, on board theatre group were good. Without fail, staff would say hello to you. Drinks package was very expensive so we just paid per drink and these were uk prices. Definitely an opportunity here for a price reduction. Overall a very good cruise and we would use P&O again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We where a little apprehensive regarding the cruise due to some of the reviews posted previously,but we all really enjoyed the cruise from getting on to getting off. We arrived at check in at 2:00 pm expecting to wait till our 3:30 slot ... Read More
We where a little apprehensive regarding the cruise due to some of the reviews posted previously,but we all really enjoyed the cruise from getting on to getting off. We arrived at check in at 2:00 pm expecting to wait till our 3:30 slot but we where able to walk straight to desk credit card given straight through security took about ten minutes when we got to cabin suitcases waiting. Impressions of ship very good only been on Thompson's before. Very large found signage very good took a few days to work stairs out due to being deck 15 . Food found evening meals very good only waited once for fifteen minutes for four of us and sat with some really pleasent fellow passengers. As said earlier good variety of selection. Always went into meridian on a evening around 7:30. Breakfast can not really go wrong with the buffet pick your own always got seat and table even sea days. Lunch selection fine for me only had salads but would off like s little more fruit Cabin was deck 15 A219 very nice plenty of room for clothes and liked the shower more room them previous cruises and enjoyed balcony opened door outside so could talk and drink with our friends. Really enjoyed entertainment saw a few shows in headliners theatre enjoyed all of them never had a problem getting seat. Live lounge good shows but too small . This was my only moan on ship people are sitting in seats on side and other people stand in the gaps by stairs no one can get past or see the stage.They have two Tele screens either side of stage should film the act and show on screens people could watch them .Pulse the band where good they enjoyed themselves whilst singing.One other moan still see people wearing football tops if they are banned tell them. Fyords where fantastic had really good weather apart from Bergen really loved the views. In the end decided not to have drinks package good decision but it was s close call. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Guernsey which we had never visited before, We also wanted to experience one of P&O best suites on their flag ship. Gurensey was wonderful and I highly recommended for a visit. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Guernsey which we had never visited before, We also wanted to experience one of P&O best suites on their flag ship. Gurensey was wonderful and I highly recommended for a visit. Unfortunately the standard of the suite was extremely disappointing, The inside of the shower cabinet was disgusting with mold and discolored yellow grout between the tiles, the sun loungers were also filthy and could not be used. along with stains on the furniture. This was not the standard we would have expected from a top class suite? Further more, on the second formal evening we decided not to get dressed in black tie as we personally feel one formal night per week is enough but we understand other passengers are happy to dress formally twice. However after dinner there was football being shown in three separate venues throughout the ship limiting our choice of venues as we are not football fans. We decided as the glass house was full we would go to the Crows Nest for a post dinner drink. We were asked to leave the crows nest as I was not wearing a Jacket and Tie ( I was wearing shirt & trousers ) . I have never been so insulted on board any cruise ship. As a suite passenger there is very limited perks on board a P&O vessel compared to other cruise lines but to be asked to leave a venue due to our attire especially when venues were extremely limited due to three venues showing football is disgusting and insulting. If P&O want to dedicate so many venues to football then they should relax the dress code in the other venues. Overall the public areas were clean but there was a lack of service throughout the ship and often you waited far to long to be served due to the lack of attentive staff. We will not be back on board the Britannia. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Travel outside school holidays on a family ship so expected to see some young children but the ship was packed with children of all ages. It only cost £50 to keep them off school. Screaming and running around for the most part ... Read More
Travel outside school holidays on a family ship so expected to see some young children but the ship was packed with children of all ages. It only cost £50 to keep them off school. Screaming and running around for the most part uncontrolled by parents and guardians. Children sitting and running all over the dance floors until midnight. Young children sitting on the bar counters and none of the staff saying a thing. Health and safety risk also not hygenic! No proper lifeboat drill some passengers told not to bother taking their life jackets to the drill! Didn't meet our cabin stewart for 3 days only after we complained to reception. Berth at Rotterdam not where we expected. At the makeshift tent which was cruise terminal there were no facilities apart from a shuttle bus which took at least 20 mins to get to Rotterdam and there was nobody from P&O at the other end to tell us where the main places were. We were given a map but it showed that the ship was docked at a different place so when the shuttle dumped you you did not know were you were!! Getting back to the ship was a nightmare as no one from P&O was around to control the Q's and the shuttles were few and far between. Very dissappointed and were glad to get off. Standards have slipped and no one seemed to be in charge of anything. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had sailed last year on Britannia as a couple. We loved the ship, service and food so chose this half term cruise to take our granddaughter who is 10 years old with us, so this was her first cruise and she was super excited. For ... Read More
We had sailed last year on Britannia as a couple. We loved the ship, service and food so chose this half term cruise to take our granddaughter who is 10 years old with us, so this was her first cruise and she was super excited. For those of us that were on the cruise I think the start was pretty horrendous for the majority of people. Firstly P&O sent a text message asking for a 5 hour delay to check in as Britannia had experienced problems, not great start but stuff happens. But for us this resulted in a check in time of 8.30pm, 1st disappointment for the three of us. An email followed with £20 compensation per person. We arrived at the port at 7.45pm to complete chaos. Queues and Queues of cars. We sat patiently for an hour before being told to join another queue which led to another queue and another queue. People were becoming very stressed and tempers were fraying. I said to my husband it was pointless all three of us sitting in the car as we were all tired and hungry. So we deserted him at about 9pm. He finally got on the Britannia just gone 10pm. I’m not sure whether the chaos was caused by P&O or CPS parking but it really was awful. Muster was called at 10.30pm. We were exhausted. Babies were crying, people were moaning. Luckily our granddaughter seemed to take it in her stride. Cabin (C733) was good but a bit tight as she had a sofa bed so when this was out there was very little room. Balcony was great size compared to say the Aurora or Ventura. Steward Ritish was always smiley even in the face of a ten year old’s Mess every morning. Cabin was cleaned to a high standard on a daily basis. So we tipped at the end of the week. We purchased the soft drinks package for our granddaughter at £7.99 per day. She loved ordering her own drinks and signing for them. P&O’s alcohol drinks package at £40 per person per day I thought was totally ridiculous unless you were someone who did no trips and sat at the bar all day everyday. We knew we would not consume £80 worth of alcohol each day so didn’t buy this. They really need to review this. We had first sitting in the Oriental Restuarant. On average the food was very good, but a bit hit and miss, tender steak one evening, grisly steak another evening. The Waiters work extremely hard and it is appreciated. Our waiter let his stress show quite a lot which made us feel uncomfortable and rushed. We went to the Beach House one evening and enjoyed watching our granddaughter cook her own steak on the lava rock, she is still talking about it!! An evening meal in the buffet was not that good and disappointing whereas their lunch time food we thought was far superior. Although our granddaughter loved eating chips at 11 at night, real treat! We found the pool food to be really good, especially the pizzas. We were very lucky with the weather so it was a bit of a shame one of the main pools was out of action for two days. On a ship full to capacity with families this did have an impact on the swimming fun. However, we splashed about with our granddaughter and sunbathed. Staff work so hard and we found the ship to be very clean. Bar staff were excellent. Everyone was always so helpful and caring. I think the shops on the ship are okay, nothing great. We found the P&O trips to be good, husband did the 9 hour landing beaches trip and said it was excellent. We did an afternoon trip to three villages and shopping but as it was Sunday most of the shops were closed. Our last trip on Guernsey we thought was brilliant. Vintage coach, little chapel and cream tea, all three of us loved it. P&O’s management of the tender was organised chaos resulting in them giving financial credit towards a future cruise. We just enjoyed the whole experience. We found the entertainment average, have experienced far better on previous cruises although our granddaughter did enjoy the juggler. The Bay Of Biscay was calm, the sun shone, and all in all it was a good cruise experience. Our granddaughter loved everything about it and wanted to stay on board for another week!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation was a disaster. P&O sent an email out the evening before but hardly anyone got it. They should have rang each party leader. The boat didn't arrive until 5pm on the day then there was 2-3 hours of guests getting off ... Read More
Embarkation was a disaster. P&O sent an email out the evening before but hardly anyone got it. They should have rang each party leader. The boat didn't arrive until 5pm on the day then there was 2-3 hours of guests getting off until everyone else could get on. PO staff were telling arrivals one thing, whilst the car parking company told everyone something else. They laid nothing on for anyone. No refreshments - just pandemonium as 100's of cars jammed the roads surrounding the port. After an hour in the embarkation area we eventually we got on at 9pm and went straight into the canteen, i mean buffet for some mediocre food before going to our cabin. For losing an entire day's use of the boat we were given a paltry £20 each "credit" so not even real money. The boat itself was a real disappointment. Very dark and disjointed. All the lift areas had no natural light. It was like the dim entrance to a cinema screen. Queing for a lift for 2-5 minutes every time we used them - and they stop at every single floor they pass. There is a 2-storey section in the middle which doesn't really work and it also makes getting from the back of the boat to the front a chore of going up and down levels to pass it. The restaurants did not have a very grand feeling to them. They rely heavily on indian staff whom dont really have much to say. Usually on say royal caribbean, you'd have everyone from Peru to the Philipines - all smiles and fun. The staff here lacked any sort of personal feelings and none made conversation. "Do you want a bread?" and then you'd pick a bun out of a basket. "Order sir?" then you'd roll the dice on the main course which were edible but nothing special at all. For example on say the Independance of the seas, the soup would be like French Onion soup with melted Gruyere cheese and baked mini loaf. Whereas on Britannia it was powdery tomato cup-a-soup complete with croutons. Served in a little cat bowl ! The only food that we thought "mmm this is nice" was the pizza place near the pool. The rest of the places were similar to what you'd eat on a ferry. The pool area was poor. There was too very small jacuzzi and there was always teens in there splashing each other in the face and squealing. Nobody really policed it. There was two pools and one was shut - so the other was utterly rammed with kids aged 5-12 all bombing and diving. Whereas on other boats there is a big screen playing movies or music videos, the Brittania had nothing. There was a bit of a DJ whom played banging music like Baby D 'Be my fantasy' and Robin S again and again, every day. No classy chill out music - it was more like Butlins. When we visited Guernsey it was a complete farce. We went to the buffet for breakfast and qued like cattle to get a clean table, then we went down to like Deck 5 to get the tender - and we were shuffled into the Theatre and given a raffle ticket. The entire theatre was full to the brim at one point - and they'd call off a couple of dozen people every 15 mins on to the tender. We sat in the theatre at 11.35am and it was bang on 1pm when we landed on land !!! We sat for half an hour on the tender itself for no reason at all. As it happens, my friend and his family were on the Sapphire and they were there at the same time. We text each other. They had 3-4 boats taking them to land it start to finish it took 20 mins. Why did we take 1hr and 25 mins ? The only saving grace was the room was nice and quiet. The bunk bed system worked well. The balcony was really small. On Royal Caribbean you can order food or view your bill via the interactive TV menu - but nothing like that on Brittania. Even room service or breakfast was done via a form that was completed and put outside of the door. Breakfast choice was poor - toast, coffee, croissant or this panini thing with tomato and sausage in. It was damp and soggy. Room attendant was utterly useless. When we got there the first night, for a moment we thought our two kids were sleeping on the tiny single-sized sofa bed. We hadn't noticed the bunk that drops out of the ceiling. I called in the attendant and she shrugged and said yes it must be that they both sleep on the sofa bed ! then later on she was in our room with another woman who magically dropped the sofa out of the ceiling for us. Why didn't she know this when we spoke to her? there was no animals made out of towels on an evening. We just had 2 naff chocs left on bed (there was 4 of us in the room!) I spoke to several other guests and nobody was impressed. Several said the other P&O boats were better - but after experiencing the food etc, it just is nowhere near as good as RC's. Not even close. Finally - kid's club.... the negativity continues. It was terrible design. My son is 11 and on Indy he could sign himself in and out - but not on Brittania. He didn't have much to do except Ping Pong. My youngest would go to club after evening dinner and they sat them all in the corner and put on a film. No fun whatsoever. Meanwhile all the staff stand chatting in the office having their own little social. No painting, no music, no fun whatsoever. They were bloody ignorant as well. The time we'd stand there buzzing the door and they would just ignore and ignore it. A parent in front of me had a little row with the woman in the room with 5-8's in it after she knocked and rang the buzzer for about 5 mins and the staff stood chatting to themselves. We were fuming. In closing , the entire trip was very very very average. I will likely never try P&O again. Certainly not the Brittania. I picked this boat as it's the biggest and newest. Dont make the same mistake as us. It's garbage ! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise and sadly it didn’t start well with 6 hours delay on Embarking. This was described by P&O as a “slight” delay who offered a £20 onboard credit by way of a very limited compensation. Our room was not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and sadly it didn’t start well with 6 hours delay on Embarking. This was described by P&O as a “slight” delay who offered a £20 onboard credit by way of a very limited compensation. Our room was not entirely clean with items left behind from the previous occupants and dirty marks on the pillowcase. Our steward did swap out the pillowcase when I asked him to do so and advised that he had just come on duty that day. The good points - the balcony was worth the additional cost. The tea and coffee was replaced twice a day so we never ran out. Restaurant staff are polite and work really hard. There is a great shower in the bathroom. La Coruna and Santander were stunning. The library was a good edition and the attendant was really helpful. There was a great view from the crows nest and it was a quiet space in the madness. The food in the table service restaurants was mostly very good. The bed was really comfortable. Drinks prices were reasonable and the Restaurant staff offered good wine recommendations. We had no problems sharing a table at meals and as a result we met some great people. The experienced cruise goers were quick to tell us we had been unlucky on our first cruise and “it’s not normally this bad”. The disembarkation process, for us, was pretty smooth with no real delays (there was that efficient library steward again) so that at least ended the holiday better than it began. The middle ground - The entertainment was of variable quality. Films on show in the cinema were older but good. The ship is basically a massive floating hotel with the majority laid out as hotel rooms and the balance with public space feels a little off. The decor is ok but doesn’t set the world alight. There is reasonable fare available in the shops and prices are reasonable. The dress codes were not strictly enforced which is either good or bad depending upon you opinion. A shorts playsuit over a swimming costume did seem to be pushing it a little as acceptable wear for the evening restaurants though and we saw that a good few times. The gym equipment looked pretty good although it was hot and very busy. The bad - The announcements from the captain were patronising and more akin to a bad holiday camp than a ship - who knew “P&O voice” was a thing! After the really long delays on getting underway we had a muster station drill at 10:30pm, There were exhausted children and parents and the captain droned on and on about the trip and the area not taking the hint that people had really had enough by that point. The cleaning was sketchy our room was seriously dusty by the end of the week and we considered tippexing PLEASE onto the make up our room sign. The room next door had breakfast in their room each day and the tray was often still outside the door at lunchtime and once in the late afternoon after we returned from visiting a port. It was half term which was a rookie error on our part consequently there was no chance of using any of the pools or pool area which were all “reserved” by some pretty territorial families all day. This included the adult pool where adults only was clearly not enforced. The Horizon canteen was an experiment in survival of the fittest with variable quality of food. The staff again worked really hard and in pretty difficult circumstances at times. The tenders to Guernsey were disorganised with delays of up to 3 hours. A staff member with a mic kept telling everyone that they were doing really well and it was the same on every cruise ship. Clearly proven not to be the case by the Princess Cruise ship also in port which was managing their tenders much more efficiently. There were long queues on the way back too and again Princess were handling it much more efficiently. The menus in the main restaurants were a little repetitive so if your cruise is more than a week choice could become limited. There were also some long delays in getting a table at times and the pagers were malfunctioning. The WiFi was another frustration we opted not to use the overpriced ship WiFi and stick with our mobile provider and in-port only. Listening to people who had paid for the service it sounds like this was a good call as they had little good to say about it. As newbies I thought onboard signage and commas were very poor. There are plenty of newsletters which tell you lots about paid for options but offer little useful information on getting around the ship, where and when to eat etc. I genuinely recommend getting an offline App in play to enable people to navigate the ship and it can do so much more to improve people’s experience. The lack of stairs midships was frustrating with 3-4 lifts coming through at peak times before any come in with space which again caused some people aboard to get territorial. I wish I had researched this more thoroughly before boarding. We received a missive in our room on the last day offering a £75 discount on a future cruise (in the next two years) per person because of the issues this time. There is no email or postal address on the letter as I guess they don’t want to encourage the complaints. I can not deny I was very disappointed in this holiday. My parents go on cruise holidays 2-3 times each year, they recommended P&O and said we would love going on cruises. I guess we may try another cruise holiday at a later date with a different provider but based on this experience P&O badly failed to live up to expectations time and time again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
As we are limited to school holidays we reluctantly booked this cruise on Britannia thinking it would be too big and busy for our taste. However, we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the ship. Having been on over 20 ... Read More
As we are limited to school holidays we reluctantly booked this cruise on Britannia thinking it would be too big and busy for our taste. However, we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the ship. Having been on over 20 cruises previously, we found the food and service in the buffet and main restaurant to be absolutely fine. When people complain about the food on a cruise we can only be envious of how they must be eating at home! We never had any problems getting a table in the buffet at breakfast or lunchtime. There were issues getting a table in the Freedom Dining restaurants in the evening but this is not a problem exclusive to Britannia. We do wonder how with ships getting larger, Freedom Dining can work. We had a very enjoyable evening in Sindhu and thoroughly enjoyed the food. We found the public areas and outside deck space to be perfectly adequate for the number of passengers. However, we missed having the shade of a promenade deck and unless you wanted to pay for the covered area of The Retreat the only option is to remain in full sun. The lack of ship’s staircase midships is a major design flaw; which at least has not been repeated on Iona. We do not bother too much about the entertainment but were disappointed with the limited choice of films in the cinema. The weather was better than expected (we have done a similar itinerary in July and only saw the sun once). The embarkation delay was unfortunate and not a pleasant experience for passengers or staff alike. This was our first experience of such a problem and we commented that it could put you off if you were a first time cruiser. However, once we were in Ocean Terminal the process went smoothly and we were on the ship within an hour. Self-disembarkation was well organised and straightforward. Overall, an enjoyable and relaxing holiday leaving us relaxed and refreshed. We would go on Britannia again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We cruised with P and O for many years up to 2014 when we decided that as their standards had dropped so much we would try other cruise lines. We found these other cruise lines were still up to the standards that P and O had before 2012. ... Read More
We cruised with P and O for many years up to 2014 when we decided that as their standards had dropped so much we would try other cruise lines. We found these other cruise lines were still up to the standards that P and O had before 2012. P and O had been in contact with us over the years trying to convince us to try them again assuring us that the standards were once again on a par with other cruise lines. We decide to use them during the May half term and go on Britannia on the 25th with the Grandchildren. We wish we hadn’t. The ship was late in due to some mechanical problem, (which we now know they had before they left on the previous cruise, so using it with this problem made it worse) and we were delayed many hours, but the worst of it was that having driven over 4 hours down to the port with children in the car we were them held on the port by CPS in a car park for at Mayflower terminal for over 3 hours without any facilities, refreshments or information. People who were not booked with CPS were allowed on the ship but anyone booked with CPS were kept away from the ship until almost 9pm. The organisation was terrible. Having got on the ship it was chaotic and we were unable to get any food until after 10pm, but had to leave it for the muster which was at 10.30. Because of all of the chaos on the ship continuing during the muster our granddaughter was lost in the crowds and no one would take it seriously saying that they would look into it after the muster. We refused to wait and one of us went to the reception to report her as missing, whilst one of us continued to look for her. The Captain went on and on during the muster, far longer than necessary, whilst the reception said they could do nothing. We eventually found her sat outside the room, 30 minutes after the muster, having found it by asking people where the room number on her ships map was. So generally a very poor start to the cruise, still we decided to put this behind us and enjoy the time together. Unfortunately, despite being told that because we had children, we would have a table for 4, but they put us on a table for 7. We tried to change it but were told it was unlikely that we would be able to move. In the end we had to transfer to freedom dining which we don’t like when we have children with us, it is never a problem on other cruise lines they always accommodate us. To turn to the cruise itself, the ship was a bit chaotic throughout the week, culminating in passengers not being able to get off the ship by tender at the last port for over 2 hours. There were several late night or in the middle of the night announcements, none of which made any sense. The Costa café was very poor, the service was virtually non- existence and when you went to the counter to seek a coffee you were treated to insolence. Many people left the café without ordering and we only went twice due to the issues. The food was okay but a bit samey and mediocre at times in the restaurants and the waiters were a bit hit and miss. The buffet was better than the normal with good access to tables. Since the last P and O cruise we were on the singers were better but the Headliners were not as good and the shows were poorer with less sets etc. There was also less shows generally. Daytime activities were also poorer and unlike other cruise lines, there is a lot less to do for older children during the day, although the kids club for 9 years olds was excellent and could not be bettered. We have been on most P and O ships and Britannia is the worst, is far too big to be so disorganised and whilst P and O are still pushing for bigger and bigger ships, they need to get their organisation Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had never been to Norway or the Fjords so this Britannia cruise was an obvious choice. We hadn't heard too many positive comments about the Britannia on previous cruises so we were a bit apprehensive Despite the ships many ... Read More
We had never been to Norway or the Fjords so this Britannia cruise was an obvious choice. We hadn't heard too many positive comments about the Britannia on previous cruises so we were a bit apprehensive Despite the ships many shortfalls we loved the cruise and would recommend it to everyone especially anyone considering a first cruise.The Britannia is big and spacious and the Norwegian Fjords and scenery are stunning. Well the ship wasn't full of old people as we thought it might be. Most were middle aged. There were families with babies, teenagers, young couples, middle aged couples and the elderly of course. It was very British in the sense that most guests dressed in shorts, t-shirts, lumberjack shirts the occasional set of braces. At the pool area you ha he usual adornment of pot-bellies, tattoos and the largest pod of beached whales south of the arctic circle..... If you haven't been on a cruise and thought the dress code might be a bit formal well take it from me...it isn't. The Britannia is quite a large ship. It may be described as P&O's flagship but sadly it has too many shortcomings to be overawed by it. However its perfectly functional. There are some very pleasant areas to explore.There is no "Wow" factor however. The Atrium is pleasant but not stunning. The Theatres,cinema etc are on the smallish side and quite claustrophobic compared to other ships. The corridors with their grey and brown colour scheme could pass for any corridor in a certain Lodge hotel group I can think of. In fact the colour schemes everywhere on the ship seem to have been deliberately "dulled down". The lifts are dreadful and the waiting times plus stopping at every floor will drive you crazy. Clearly P&O were more concerned about cramming as many guests in as opposed to providing a more spacious guest environment. Despite the above there was plenty to like about the ship. Food wise I loved the meals at fine-dining in the evenings. The food in the buffet was ok but personally I cant stand buffet food. It appealed to many including my Wife but I think all buffet food can best be described as ".... on a plate". There were only 2 formal nights so it was an opportunity for everyone to dress up particularly the Ladies. On informal nights at fine-dining most of the Ladies still dressed up with the odd one turning up in a vest or sloppy sweater .. eewww. Men tended to dress in short sleeved shirts or whatever they were wearing at the pool. It was quite amusing to observe quite elegant ladies in their finery walking with partners in t-shirts and track suit bottoms. Nothing like people watching on a cruise ship. My son and girlfriend had a meal in the Epicurian restaurant. It was very reasonably priced and they highly recommend it. The Sindhu was full most evenings so I am guessing its good too. Our room was a nice size a I had opted for a slightly larger inside cabin. It was really worth the extra few pounds. I would never consider a balcony cabin but for the Fjords ts could be a very good choice with all that stunning scenery. The staff on the whole were polite and hard working and we tipped them as always irrespective of P&O removing their gratuities. Just remember these staff earn peanuts. Entertainment was quite good. I liked most of the evening shows but particularly Lloyd Wade who has a great voice. One of his shows we attended was spoiled by some uncouth and drunken northerners talking throughout his performance. Sadly you get that everywhere. The headliners would not usually be my cup of tea (having grown up in the hippy 60/70s) but you have to admire them. Some great voices and amazing dancers. Dont know where they get all that energy. Kirsty did a great job on her talks on Norway so do go to these lectures if you get a chance as they are very informative. Please make sure you use the crows-nest for those relaxing moments . Its a gem. Norway is absolutely stunning. I much preferred it to our med and canary cruises. Beware however it is mega pricey. 2 x 400ml beers £21 , bar of chocolate £3 and a packet of biscuits £7 (£1 in £ shop in UK). So eat well for breakfast on the ship before you venture out. The local tour buses were £25-£30. Probably there were cheaper alternatives but we just legged it into town for an expensive coffee and cake. So overall we really enjoyed he cruise.We were at a table for 9 in the evenings and all were really nice people. We have already booked our next Fjords cruise on the Iona. We took our son and girlfriend on this cruise (their first) and they loved it and are already planning their next cruise. Despite the shortcomings Britannia is a nice ship and we will be booking her again. Next cruise is in 12 weeks time on the Ventura. Cant wait.. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose to go on Britannia as it's the onlt P&O ship we haven't been on. After reading some reviews we were a bit unsure of what to expect, alot of people didn't seem to like Britannia, but we needn't have ... Read More
We chose to go on Britannia as it's the onlt P&O ship we haven't been on. After reading some reviews we were a bit unsure of what to expect, alot of people didn't seem to like Britannia, but we needn't have worried it was amazing, in fact my wife & i both said it is now our favourite ship. The balcony cabin was excellent loads of room & very modern, getting around the ship was extremely easy also in the reviews quite a few people said navigating the ship was a problem for them but i can't understand why, we found it to be very easy. I thought the sheer size of the ship & the amount of passengers would be a problem, for seating at shows or the Costa places but we never had a bad experience at all seating wise. The food in the restaurant was very good, we went into the Epicurean one night & we weren't very impressed with it, the venue & service was first class but the food was not for us just not our sort of thing, what i can recommend is the Limelight Club, this is a well known artist plus a three course meal & you stay in all night. This was the best night of the cruise & well worth the money, the artist was brilliant & the food was to die for really good. We don't normally use the buffet on ships but tried this one on Britannia & was very impressed. All in all Britannia really was a very good ship & we will certainly use her again Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Norwegian fjords on Britannia in May, great weather overall. Ports and excursions great. Embarkation was smooth although delayed 2 hours. disembarkation was chaotic due to arriving late due to issues with Britannia and then coinciding ... Read More
Norwegian fjords on Britannia in May, great weather overall. Ports and excursions great. Embarkation was smooth although delayed 2 hours. disembarkation was chaotic due to arriving late due to issues with Britannia and then coinciding with a Take That concert in Southampton. The area around the port was absolutely chaotic. We were due originally to be leaving ship at 09:45am and got off eventually at about 6.00pm! Port staff in car park didn't have a clue. We have cruised with other operators and this the first time with P and O, We were really excited to be going on Britannia but have been left a little underwhelmed to be honest. The ship just didn't seem to have the Wow factor for us compared to others, maybe just our taste though. The cabin was great, and our porter was superb, really friendly and helpful. The dining was ok, we did freedom dining, and the available restaurants were ok, but choice of food was to us a little limited and sameish. The Horizon buffet was very canteenish, but the food was plentiful, but the buffet was very very busy most of the time. Restaurant staff very hard working and friendly. Didn't take up the option of paying an extra £35 for a three course meal listening to Gareth Gates sing. Quite good daily information regarding next days entertainment of which there was plenty to do. Although a lot of people onboard there was always somewhere to sit so that was great. Drinks onboard are very reasonable. Nearly purchased the wine deal, glad I didn't. We did see quite a lot of dehumidifiers working on carpets, so must have some plumbing issues? We were woken up two nights, once at about 02.00am with the tannoy calling for emergency crew to attend a suspected fire. Not what you want to hear. We were told about half an hour later by the captain that it wasn't a fire and all was under control. Still left us nervous. The following night the ship lost all power at about 04.00am, woken up by the tannoy going bing bong. No lights in cabin, and engine power lost, captain again apologised later saying all was well. But not for me I'm afraid. One night the toilets wouldn't flush. It was sorted out quite quickly to be honest. Too many things for me though, ship needs a bit of tlc I think. Maybe these things happen?? All that said I still enjoyed the cruise, fjords lovely, crew friendly (apart from some frosty reception staff), just no overall Wow factor. If it's meant to be contemporary, it looks dull to me. Would I go on Britannia again, no. P and O? Not sure. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Positives... arriving at Southampton it was easy to embark as we had already checked in online no waiting straight on board. Our cabin steward introduced herself (Rona) when we were able to get into our cabin, she was excellent very ... Read More
Positives... arriving at Southampton it was easy to embark as we had already checked in online no waiting straight on board. Our cabin steward introduced herself (Rona) when we were able to get into our cabin, she was excellent very friendly & helpful. The cabin was clean and fairly spacious with plenty of room for our clothes. We had booked freedom dining and found it easy to get a table each night, the food was of a reasonable standard the staff were quite efficient and friendly. Negatives.... The cabin needs to have better lighting, individual bedside lights its difficult to read if other person sleeping. The bedding although clean looked as if it needed replacing. The bathroom needs a magnifying mirror suitable for putting on make-up & shaving. There was a lack of amenities in bathroom no cotton wool or cotton buds. No bath robes were provided. The buffet in the Horizon was very hit and miss, lunchtimes food seemed the same every day. We found the entertainment very basic only one or two decent acts we gave up going in the end. However we did enjoy the after dinner speaker ( David Gower) in the limelight club although there was an extra payment of £28 p.p. Service in some bar areas was very slow. Could have done with more interesting daytime activities there only seemed to be bingo or quizzes.We enjoyed the Art talks, Needs more demonstrations and class activities. and interesting speakers. There should not have been charges for wine & gin tasting events . The ports we visited were fine we did not take any organised trips as prefer to explore on our own.We thought an extra events port could have been put into the itinerary maybe on Corsica or Sardinia . There were an awful lot of sea days! The cows nest seemed to be full of older people almost like a rest home! The pool area was always crowded on the hot sunny days again bar service around the pool was quite slow, also charging for ice cream we did not think appropriate. Did not use spa or gym Disembarking at Southampton was a complete mess with long queues and people having to wait until noon before they could leave, we carried our own cases and managed to get off at 9.45. Over all the ship looked tired and in need of refurbishment. We have cruised on other lines but P &O does not come up to expectations Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our second trip aboard the Britannia and chose the ship rather than the destinations because we loved or first cruise on her. She is a fantastic ship with all the modern facilities you would expect from a floating hotel. My ... Read More
This was our second trip aboard the Britannia and chose the ship rather than the destinations because we loved or first cruise on her. She is a fantastic ship with all the modern facilities you would expect from a floating hotel. My wife and I love the entertainment on board and enjoyed some very professional acts that kept us laughing and dancing for most of the trip. We also love good food and were not disappointed by the variety available on board. We had a terrific Indian meal in the Sindu an amazing wine and food experience in the Glass House. Although these restaurants make a cover charge for the meals the cost is minimal and no where near the prices you would pay ashore. We did a couple of excursions but would not recommend them as they are quite expensive and can be done a lot cheaper by local tour operators if you have the confidence. There are always down sides to every holiday in this was no exception. The room we chose was not ideal and I hold my hands up as it was me that chose it. It was on "A" deck and that was a big mistake as it is directly below the Horizon restaurant. Although there was little noise from the restaurant its self, the noise from the kitchens was incredible. It continued on some evenings until well after midnight. Just as well we are night birds. The most unfortunate thing was the fact that the service area access door for the Horizon was opposite our cabin (A612). The floor outside was constantly wet and the smell was sometimes unbearable. On our last morning aboard the area actually flooded and we woke up to wet carpets in our room. Not good P&O - you need to look into that. All in all the trip was enjoyable and we have booked another cruise on Britannia already. Ive chosen "C" deck this time so hopefully less noise. Read Less
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.1
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.4
Rates 5.0 N/A

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