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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Travelled as a party of 6 joining the Britannia in Barbados for a 2 week cruise of the Caribbean islands. Firstly the flights on a P and O chartered TUI Dreamliner - upgraded to premium cabin but not told that you don’t get access to ... Read More
Travelled as a party of 6 joining the Britannia in Barbados for a 2 week cruise of the Caribbean islands. Firstly the flights on a P and O chartered TUI Dreamliner - upgraded to premium cabin but not told that you don’t get access to lounge at home airport as is a chartered flight. This is something that is standard for an upgrade if we had booked our own flight. Can only assume P and O increasing their margins and we did complain about this to no avail. Flight good, minibus literally from plane to embark the ship. Embarkation process efficient but not personable or welcoming I felt. On board bit of a delay in getting luggage we’d arrived in the afternoon and only got luggage after dinner. The ship is big and takes a bit of time to navigate not helped by the lift and stair configuration which is very odd and frustrating. We booked a balcony cabin on deck 9 which was kept very clean by our steward Michael who was efficient and unobtrusive, very good. However the cabin, compared to other balcony cabins we have stayed in, was small. The bathroom was tiny - no proper room to dry yourself off - my husband is 6ft and found it very uncomfortable. Balcony small just room for 2 chairs and a small table. Felt Pand O had crammed in as many cabins as possible at the expense of basic comfort. Pluses and minuses as follows: Food excellent throughout no complaints Public areas impressive, clean and tidy Entertainment ok - enjoyed La Voix in the Limelight Club well worth the supplement Service very good throughout, staff friendly and polite and helpful On the downside; Plenty sun beds but literally no space between them - you will get to know your neighbour, that’s if you can actually manage to manoeuvre onto a sunbed! Bar prices higher than UK pub prices as P and O claim, fellow travellers were surprised and said prices had increased Trips expensive - you can get same experience at half the price on shore if you use the local guides Theatre again crammed in, worse one I have been in on a ship no drinks service in theatre and no proper holder for your drink - all you can see is back of head of person in front Officers conspicuous by absence, no real interaction daily with passengers didn’t seem bothered, only exception in dining areas Didn’t enjoy the Indian restaurant not good value for money Smoking allowed at big section of rear outside bar spoiled it for non smokers Need to cheer up the pianist in Crows Nest Disembarked at Barbados fairly smoothly with luggage straight to flight which was good. On balance wouldn’t cruise on Britannia again, just too big and cramped for us particularly on sea days. Friends tell us other P and O ships are better/friendlier so we may give them another go but not on this ship unless a very good deal to be had. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Wanted to see the Caribbean so booked a 14 night cruise starting in Barbados. The ship is extremely large, but initially seemed to have everything we could want for a 2 week trip, and we thought it would be the best way to see 10 ... Read More
Wanted to see the Caribbean so booked a 14 night cruise starting in Barbados. The ship is extremely large, but initially seemed to have everything we could want for a 2 week trip, and we thought it would be the best way to see 10 islands. Biggest complaint was that there was no outside space where one could have a drink in the day or evenings if you wanted to be quiet and away from loud music (which seemed to play most of the day and night on the outside decks) and it seemed, very loud people. There were interior bars without music, but who wants to be inside in 30 degrees. Also, if you ate late (after 7.30) you had little chance of getting a seat anywhere on this fully booked cruise. The ship really is huge, we soon found that from our cabin at the bow, it was a 10 minute walk to the restaurants at the stern. As we walked this at least twice a day this became somewhat of a problem, but at least we kept fit. I hesitate to mention the slow slow lifts, often gave up waiting and slowly climbed up or down several flights of stairs. Food was good in the restaurants, though the service was a bit hit and miss. We once waited 45 minutes to be served. Also, breakfast service in the main restaurant finishes at 9am - we found this too early. The theatre was excellent, and the shows could not be faulted. We felt there was not enough time in most of the ports. We had 4 days at sea, and apart from our own balcony it really felt overcrowded and very noisy in the public areas, especially round the pools. This seems to be a party ship, where participation in making as much noise as possible is positively encouraged. Not for us, we like peace and quiet, so perhaps we just chose the wrong Company, and certainly the wrong ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Christmas in the Caribbean, how could you not have a good time? Well, pretty easily when there are so many little niggles. Britannia is the biggest ship in the fleet and has both good and bad points. The good include plenty of deck ... Read More
Christmas in the Caribbean, how could you not have a good time? Well, pretty easily when there are so many little niggles. Britannia is the biggest ship in the fleet and has both good and bad points. The good include plenty of deck space and sunbeds. Sure you will be packed like a sardine if you want to stay around the pool, but there are several quieter places if you look. There was also lots of space inside in public areas and a bar or entertainment to suit most tastes. The atrium area was understated for a ship this size but still offered comfortable seating and easy access to bars and shopping on the different levels. The bad points include a central set of lifts with no stairwell. When so much activity revolves around this central area, it makes no sense that passengers have to wait for a lift when they may only need to go up or down one level. Similarly, why was a theatre designed where all access is through the centre? Time and again, passengers arriving late or leaving early often walked right in front of the stage during the performance. A third design flaw became apparent as I watched someone in a wheelchair trying to negotiate the chicanes on the upper deck. If these were designed to lessen the effects of the breeze then they probably worked but it certainly proved challenging to one passenger trying to get from a to b. Good and bad extended to the cabin as well. Our inside cabin was quite spacious with plenty of hanging space and shelves for everything, but why was there no individual reading light above the bed? Why are there no nightlights for negotiating your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night without having to put the light on. One more thing about the cabins - noise suppression was excellent between cabins (we had two teenage boys next door and didn't hear a thing) and yet, from the corridor, you could hear footsteps approaching from the other end of the ship. Food plays such a big part of any cruise and this is one area in which I felt this cruise didn't quite make it. It's not that any of it was inedible, it's just that very little was memorable and some was even quite bland. Breakfasts were a bit of a disappointment. How many "full English's" can one person eat? Well, obviously for so many passengers, it is every morning. The buffet had so many sections serving nothing but bacon, sausages and eggs, that the sort of variety you expect in a top hotel was non existent. Some porridge and cereal, a bit of fruit (melon and pineapple) and some pastries made up the bulk of what else was on offer. Dinner generally started well and tailed off to desserts that were less than satisfying - I've never seen a creme brulee that tasted like strawberry mousse before! Apparently it was the chef's own take on a classic! So, what about the crew? The cabin steward was excellent as always. The waiting staff in the restaurants were, on the whole pretty good, even if they made the odd mistake when the pressure was on. These same people worked tirelessly in the buffet during the day often clearing the unnecessary mess left by the passengers. The area in which they didn't do their job was the more senior staff whose responsibility it is to enforce dress codes. And this brings me to the main disappointment - The British holidaymaker. P & O are complicit in this as they seem to be deliberately targeting the same person that normally would go to an all-inclusive in Magaluf. (Hence, The Great British Sailaway - The Brits seem to love it, but not half as much as the locals breathing a sigh of relief.) So many on board decided that they had paid a lot of money for Christmas in the sun and they were just going to do what they wanted. You name it and this cruise had it: The towel on the sunbed at dawn (nothing is ever done about it). The breakfast buffet was often a free for all with many of the passengers opting to use fingers instead of the cutlery provided. A lot obviously decided to make themselves feel at home by sitting at tables with their feet up or, annoyingly at dinner, having their noses pressed hard against their mobile devices. At dinner, the term smart casual was loosely interpreted, with many turning up in shorts, open toed sandals and t-shirts. Is it so difficult to wear a pair of trousers, a shirt and put on a pair of shoes? During the days at sea, the entertainment was straight from Hi-de-Hi and it was LOUD. I suppose it's ok if you've finished flicking through your celebrity magazine and are missing reality TV. It was mostly background noise to most as they lay on their sunbeds by the pool. The whole scene reminded me of a barbeque griddle full of sausages - slowly turning to ensure a crispy texture all over. All in all, an increasingly low rent, British experience probably best seen through the bottom of an empty glass. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Our first cruise with P&O. Embarkation/disembarkation fast and efficient. Loved the ship, nicely done out, staff lovely. We had an adapted cabin, C301, which was really nice. Quite spacious. No problems with the food in the horizon ... Read More
Our first cruise with P&O. Embarkation/disembarkation fast and efficient. Loved the ship, nicely done out, staff lovely. We had an adapted cabin, C301, which was really nice. Quite spacious. No problems with the food in the horizon buffet. Meridian and Peninsular restaurants were ok, nothing special, just ok. Epicurean restaurant was fine, good service. Maybe not worth the £28 each. Plenty of sun loungers, never had a problem getting them but didn't like how close together they are. You cant walk between them so have to sit on the end and shuffle yourself backwards. Didn't like sea days, overcrowded and boring and incredibly windy. Brodies bar was good. A couple of quizzes every night. Drinks expensive. Fosters is £4.15 a pint, similar to UK pub prices but bitter at £4.50 a pint is way overpriced. I would think we spent in the region of £100 a day for the two of us for soft drinks, bitter and lager. (no wine, spirits or cocktails) New years eve, just about everyone was up on the lido deck where the band were playing. It was so crowded it was uncomfortable. Almost impossible to get a drink after 10.30 as you couldn't get near the bar and the waiters seemed to have disappeared. Lifts were a bit of an issue, when one eventually turned up, it was usually full up and going the opposite way to where you wanted to go. In the end, when a lift turned up we just got in, whichever way it was going otherwise you'd wait ages. The best ports of call for us were St Kitts, St Lucia, Grenada and Barbados. We didn't do any trips with P&O because they were far too expensive. We got a taxi to the beach instead where 2 loungers and an umbrella was $20. Couldn't go to Antigua because of weather so ended up in Martinique. We didn't particularly like Curacao, Bonaire and Dominica. Would we cruise again? Yes, probably for a week, 2 weeks was too long for us. A weeks cruise and a weeks stay would suit us better but P&O don't do that so it would have to be with another company. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise - our 19th overall and 8th with P&O to celebrate Christmas and my birthday. What a disappointment compared to previous cruises. The food was awful - no better than cheap pub food and the same repetitive menus ... Read More
We chose this cruise - our 19th overall and 8th with P&O to celebrate Christmas and my birthday. What a disappointment compared to previous cruises. The food was awful - no better than cheap pub food and the same repetitive menus every day. In particular the buffet was extremely poor quality with pushing and shoving from the other very rude passengers a common occurrence. The standard of behaviour of the majority of passengers was appalling. If I had wanted to celebrate Christmas with rowdy, rude and drunk people I would have booked to go to Benidorm. From rearranging all of the sunbeds and reserving in droves, smoking in areas not designated and hogging sofas, loungers and chairs in an attempt to create their own private deck space the etiquette of what were mostly first time cruisers was disgusting. When we raised this with the officer in charge, he attempted to make an announcement which was completed ignored and not subsequently enforced. In fact P&O seemed fearful of these people and were overheard several times to be bragging about how jumping into the pool in full evening dress (which happened one evening) was something that made a good party! Entertainment was poor with an example of the films shown in the cinema being It's a Wonderful Life and ET. I book P&O over Royal Caribbean as I believe the dress code and etiquette to be a level above. Britannia has unfortunately lowered its standards (since we went on last Summer) and as such has joined Ventura in ships to avoid for drunken rude and lairy behaviour. P&O you need to remember who your baseline customers are and act accordingly before you lose your business. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Overall we had a lovely cruise on Britannia. We flew from Gatwick during the drone crisis. We got there on time (we were very lucky!) but others were less fortunate! P&O handled the whole crisis amazingly well. Some passengers could ... Read More
Overall we had a lovely cruise on Britannia. We flew from Gatwick during the drone crisis. We got there on time (we were very lucky!) but others were less fortunate! P&O handled the whole crisis amazingly well. Some passengers could not fly home and were given other cabins or transferred to local Hotels, some were late joining the ship, some were diverted to other flights. It must have been chaotic behind the scenes, but it was seemingly all coped with with minimum fuss. Well done P&O! The ship is lovely, our food was first class, entertainment was good, our cabin was fine and staff all very friendly. On the negative side, there are too many passengers, fine if you want to holiday with 3500 others! The Lido deck was our vision of hell, with sun beds packed in (and mostly reserved too) and loud pop music pumping out all day. There are quieter decks for relaxing but not one sun shade and very little other shade so prepare to sizzle! We were second sitting dinner, our choice, but if you choose this forget about getting a seat in any of the show lounges for late shows or dancing! P&O seem to be copying Ryanair as they were constantly after us to spend more on ‘extras’. Drinks packages, ice cream packages, afternoon tea packages, sunset gathering with the Captain packages – the list goes on. And all at £25 a head. The drinks are eye wateringly expensive too. So, keep the headline price low and make money from the ‘extras’. In consequence, the passenger profile is changing. No more comment on this! Cruising is spoiling the Caribbean, with more and more Duty Free shops and Diamonds International outlets. At Phillipsburgh, St. Maarten there were seven other cruise ships docked, a total of some 24000 passengers hitting the port at once. Looked like Wembley Way on cup final day! This was cruise 34 for me. I love cruising but will not rush back to Britannia. Iona will be bigger still. Hell! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary mainly . I have been on over 20 cruises but never one as bad as this , the flight out with Thomas cook was fine but on arriving Barbados we were made to stand in lines on the tarmac like school ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary mainly . I have been on over 20 cruises but never one as bad as this , the flight out with Thomas cook was fine but on arriving Barbados we were made to stand in lines on the tarmac like school children waiting to get in the old battered coaches , we had booked private transfers but were not allowed to go to the terminal and had no choice but to get on the coach . On arriving at the ship more ques to get your credit card scanned and I was screamed at by ground staff for asking where I could smoke. The entertainment staff doing everything they could to make stupid jokes and cheer everyone up . We booked a balcony cabin which was tiny the only space was to one side of the bed about a 5 feet by 3 feet to get dressed in and the bathroom was just ridiculous a small 3 feet square impossible to dry yourself inside the bathroom once you get out the shower . Our luggage took 5 hours to arrive in our cabin and we had to ask for more hangers as only about 20 in the wardrobe for 2 people for 2 weeks . The food onboard was appalling school dinners in the Horizon with people carrying trays all pushing shoving trying to get food , the wine machines didn’t work and glasses and tables dirty even though you are made to sanitise your hands at every opportunity. The staff in the restaurants were rude and clearly something had upset all Of them , the food was poor to say the least, on the second formal night the choice was roast of the day , fish n chips, cottage pie I mean seriously we got all dressed up for that . The sunset bar staff were very rude , dirty tables all the time and over flowing ash trays . We had freedom dining but we’re made to go to first sitting on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve which was 5.45pm just crazy . We booked and paid extra to see Asward with dinner instead on Christmas Day we were told we had to be there for 7pm we had two choices on the menu the same poor quality food and waited for 2 1/2 hours for Asward to come on stage , I complained to the f&b manager who was totally uninterested , when Asward came on the three guys sang to backing music for half an hour and then left just beyond a joke and felt very ripped off . Everything on this ship is just about making more and more money out if you , you don’t even get a bottle of water in your cabin each day , we paid 6k for this cruise . Formal nights were non eventful , some people dressed up , others walking around in shirts and t shirts , the entertainment was dreadful . We called reception several times on our cruise with problems and not once did they answer the phone , we even left it ringing for 45 minutes and still no answer, the que at reception was massive everyday and only three staff behind the desk, we spoke to Shona regarding our dining arrangements and was told we had freedom dining and there was no first or second sitting onboard , only to get a card through our door 3 days later to say we could only have first sitting Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve we were constantly given wrong information from the reception staff. Three nights we had to call security to stop the noise below our cabin at the smoking area on deck 7 (we were on 9 ) kids were partying and shouting at 3 am , it was more like Butlins at sea !!! Each port of call had so many ships visiting with thousands of people at each island making it really unenjoyable , we were constantly harassed as soon as you go out the port, people waving boards in your face and shouting at you to go on tours it was really awful , one port san Maarten had 7 cruise ships in on one day , 15000 passengers or more in one tiny port and all so expensive. There is no space around the pool onboard crammed in like sardines not even a space between loungers and no umbrellas so it was either bake in the sun or nothing , we didn’t even bother it was just so horrible . WiFi is £12.50 a day and doesn’t work so we had two weeks of no internet . I was really shocked how bad everything was and will never cruise with p&o again !! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Until this cruise I have only ever sailed with royal Caribbean, on the advise of a friend who is a travel agent I booked this cruise for 6 of us as a special birthday present for my wife. As part of the cruise I also paid for the ... Read More
Until this cruise I have only ever sailed with royal Caribbean, on the advise of a friend who is a travel agent I booked this cruise for 6 of us as a special birthday present for my wife. As part of the cruise I also paid for the ultimate package as a surprise for her. The group consisted of her parents (this was their 3rd cruise), my sister in law and her boyfriend (their first cruise) and my wife and I (this was our 5th cruise). We booked this almost two years ago and booked two balcony rooms and on inside cabin Room (for the sister in law) all on the same floor to help us stay together throughout the cruise. On the morning that we travelled to the airport we put our luggage labels on our cases that was supplied. Once we embarked we went to our rooms to drop off our hand luggage to find out that all three rooms that we had booked had been change, two was on the same floor as we had booked but my sister in laws room was 5 floors down (throughout the cruise this did not help us to arrange meeting up). We went to the reception desk and the response we got was that we had all proberbly been upgraded (I did manage to see my original room but it was exactly the same), the person on the desk didn't appear to be interested in our enquiry. When we got into our room there was a bunch of flowers waiting but nothing else from the package, at this point I didn't wonder about the other items as I thought they would arrive later. We had a look around our cabin and then went onto our balcony, as we went out our new neighbours for our cruise asked my wife's name as they had had a load of items placed in their room (On confirmation they proceeded to list everything and ruined my wife's surprise). They then told us that they had drank the bottle of champagne and eaten the chocolates before seeing an envolope with my wife's name on it. We went down to the reception desk again and got the same person and we told him what had happened and again he didn't seem interested but told us he would get it sorted. About two hours later we went back to the room and most of the items were there. After two days we still had not had anybody contact us to offer an apology and to deliver the missing items. We went back down again to find out that the first person had not put anything down about the issue, we were then told that we would get a call within 24 hours. Again we waited two days before someone called us so we had to go back. After our third visit the reception manager called us and we had to tell him what was wrong and that we were still missing items, he said that he would call back within 24 hours with an explanation. After 3 further days we had all the items and the managed finally called us back but said that it was an over site and he apologised and offered us some on board credit to compensate. Throughout the cruise we heard many people complain about several different issues relating to rooms not being made up,surley staff (We had also experienced this as well as others) etc. We also had a few other problems throughout the rest of the cruise. This will be the one and only I will go on a cruise with P & O as I don't think that some of the staff and management care about the customers once they have our money. I have received much better service on Royal Caribbean and will continue to cruise with them and others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I had never "done a cruise" and were tempted by a last minute deal. The flight out of Gatwick with TUI was really well done and the 'plane was superb. Too much up selling of duty free stuff but, hey ho, ... Read More
My wife and I had never "done a cruise" and were tempted by a last minute deal. The flight out of Gatwick with TUI was really well done and the 'plane was superb. Too much up selling of duty free stuff but, hey ho, that's life. The embarkation process was seamless with some very courteous mini coach drivers. Really fast check in onto the ship. Our luggage hadn't arrived when we went to our cabin but that is to be expected so we spent a fascinating few hours exploring the ship. We had an hour sunbathing and returned to the cabin where our luggage said hello to us. We chose an inside cabin as we didn't want to be in the cabin too much. The cabin was superb with plenty of space and was really, really clean. (Tip: to free up more space pop your shoes under the bed) Freddy our steward was perfection itself and he always greeted us with a smile. Getting set up for WI FI was a bit of a ceremony but we didn't let that annoy us. We cancelled the automatic tip system and tipped our favourite staff nicely and in person. The Horizon restaurant was absolutely superb with great selections and lovely views. We had top quality service from the beginning with Ronald being a stellar waiter/busboy. I was pretty much addicted to the Indian vegetable curry which was made on board and to be honest far better than most Indian restaurants I've been to in the UK and I've been to a few hundred. Everything was slick and immaculate clean. We did try the Peninsular but things were a bit slow so we didn't go back and stayed loyal to the Horizon. The shows in the Theatre were superb. High, high quality. Horizon 3, Peter Howarth and the Bluejays were all absolutely splendid and having been in the entertainment world for decades I am quite picky. The pantomime by the entertainment crew was really not too good so we left. Lots stayed and enjoyed it though. We liked the reggae/calypso band on the main deck. Around the pool was very busy and noisy so we found a few quiet spots around the ship to bask in the sun. Gorgeous. There was always good product and service around the pool areas and wait staff wandering around ready to take an order We loved staying on board the ship when most people went on a tour as we were so very relaxed and happy basking in the sun. We had a wonderful time for the whole cruise and can't really fault it. Yes things aren't always to everyone's liking but that is life. We thought it was all pretty much perfect and we are very fussy. I note people complaining about the elevators and that's fair enough but when a lot of people use the elevator for one or two floors it's easy to see why it all gets clogged. We did the stairs as much as possible. We were on board when the Gatwick drone problem was going on and I have to say P & O and TUI managed everything so well it was very impressive. Superb emergency management. Thank you P and O Cruises and TUI - We will be back! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Overall cruising is best value holiday but was slightly spoiled by poor evening entertainment not up to usual standard and when I complained to entertainment manager was rude every thing else was usual excellentdrink prices are excellent ... Read More
Overall cruising is best value holiday but was slightly spoiled by poor evening entertainment not up to usual standard and when I complained to entertainment manager was rude every thing else was usual excellentdrink prices are excellent compared to royal Caribbean travelling from Manchester to Barbados then to ship is is a great experience compared to other holiday experiences and return was good because you do not have to worry about your luggage as it’s taken care of for you cabin was excellent and cabin steward was as usual very hard working and kept the cabin clean and tidy the staff in the oriental restaurant were brilliant always smiling and nothing was to much for them and the food was excellent and was always hot the pool area was always clean and never too busy The resident band pulse are brilliant and would be better used than some of the poor comedians and groups brought onto the ship the blue jays were outstanding the magic show was excellent the others were mediocre Read Less
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 N/A

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