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26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
As a family of 4 adults we would have ideally chosen to cruise over Christmas and the new year, but prices rocket so went for the lead up period, having never holidayed in winter before. Flew from Manchester with TUI, and probably best ... Read More
As a family of 4 adults we would have ideally chosen to cruise over Christmas and the new year, but prices rocket so went for the lead up period, having never holidayed in winter before. Flew from Manchester with TUI, and probably best long haul flight we have done, surprised at complimentary alcohol, and didn't bother to pre booking seats but still sat together with a free seat upgrade at check in anyway. The airport at Barbados is decent, but you will by pass it on arrival as it's straight onto coaches and through to check in at the port side, with bags delivered an hour or so later. We went on Britannia in May, so we're familiar with the layout, but for some reason if you can't see the sea and your direction of travel, you still end up in entirely the wrong place. As has been said before, the main criticism is that the stairs in the middle of the ship take you only as far up as deck 7 where the lifts are busiest (a bit annoying for us with cabins in the middle of the ship on level 8). We were on freedom dinning, meaning table service at the peninsular restaurant for breakfast and lunch, and the peninsular or meridian restaurant for dinner. The meridian is a bit more modern in its decor, but the service and food is the same in both. You tend to get seated in similar locations and if you make the effort with the staff and fill out feedback forms, it goes a long way with them, and there is nothing they won't do to help you. We much prefer the restaurants to the Horizon self service, unless you need to be somewhere quickly, and the food was consistently good without being repetitive (lunch in the restaurants is a lighter menu). We had £1,000 room credits between us, and ate at Sindhu, Epicurian, Glass House (x2) and Beach House, with Glass House our favourite. The others are good, but the Epicurian just tries too hard to be different. The credits made the cruise virtually all inclusive, as we aren't big drinkers, but a bottle of proseco is £20 and a beer around £4. We aren't big on needing to be entertained during the daytime, as most days you are off ship anyway, but on the sea days we did find the activities to be a bit repetitive. The guest speaker was on how to be 'happy' and the films were often old school eg ET and Goldfinger. The headline theatre entertainment we had seen much of the ship crew shows in May, and they can be a bit amateurish, but did enjoy the visiting entertainers especially the psychic comedian. I would guess that the average age on the ship was around 60, with 600 kids scheduled to land as we left. Never any issues with finding sun beds, and our weather for the fortnight was excellent at around 29 degrees, and very few rain showers until the last couple of days We didn't book any tours from the ship, as for 4 of us it was just too pricey, however with some research before hand you can sort it all out yourself for half the price. What I would say though is that everyone's opinion of the islands is heavily influenced by what they do when they get there, eg in Dominica we had a great time, but if we had just stayed in the port town we would have been back on ship after half an hour. BARBADOS Arrived Friday evening so had all day Saturday before 6pm sailing, and as usual awake at 5am after long haul flight. Had booked a taxi on line with David Gittens at Nakendra taxis, and for $40US each he took us on a 4 hours tour of the south of the island, he was recommended by a neighbour and gave us a proper tour guide experience, rather than a taxi driver one. We saw the nicest beaches of the whole trip namely Bottom Bay, Crane Beach and Foul Bay, and early morning these were deserted and picture postcard perfect. Ended up at Bathsheba and across to Bridgetown so top of the island will have to wait until next time, and had planned to walk down Carlisle Bay next to the port in the afternoon and around town, but a heavy downpour forced us to delay that until our final day. CURACAO If Disney had designed a carribean port, then this would probably be it. The old Rif fort at the entrance has been combined with shops and restaurants, and the Renaissance Hotel chain with high end shops. Pass through this to the swinging bridge and into the old town and it's brightly coloured buildings. DIdn't venture away from the town, so can't comment on the island itself, but nice experience and good for photos. ARUBA The island like Curacao seems much more geared for American visitors e.g. Renaissance hotel above a shopping mall with Prada, Gucci shops, unlike the other islands where the towns are geared towards the locals. DIdn't make much of the town itself, and wouldn't bother with the free tram through town that works on a very very very slow loop ! Got a $15US taxi for 4 of us up to Eagle beach which is less commercialised, and has the tree on the beach that any tourism photo of Aruba features. It's a short walk then on the Palm beach which is much more commercial with big hotels RUI and Hilton on the beach front, and good beach bars on the piers (Bugaloe or Momba). Local bus back to the port for $6US for 4. Had planned to take one of the brightly coloured school buses outside the port gates for $20US tour each, but places it visited seemed a bit mundane, with best bit the beach we went to anyway. Must say however that late in the afternoon a couple of red busses pulled up next to the ship returning guests (must have been a ship trip) blaring out YMCA and everyone playing maracas which looked to have been fun. SAINT VINCENT From all I had read, this was to be intimidating because of poverty. It was poor, but didn't find it at all threatening, in fact it was the only place we visited where they employed people in purple tops throughout the town to give information and act as guides. Didn't do a trip and just got a taxi $20US for 4 up to the Botanical gardens at the top of town. It is actually walkable as we walked back, if you just go to the end of town, it is $2US entry each, and you can pay for a guide on top, nothing to write home about, but it's probably the best show in town. Had a drink at the Cobblestone Inn on the Main Street in the centre of town which has a small roof garden. We has wanted to get the ferry from right next to where the ship docks across the Bequia island for the day, but we docked at 8am and just missed the first ferries. If you take the later ferries then it all gets a bit tight on return sailings to not miss the ship. GRENADA As I said, you can only speak from your own experiences, but this was the island that we did find intimidating in a way that just didn't happen anywhere else. Our impression was that most islands were just happy to have you there, but this one has 40% unemployment, and therefore everyone is trying to make money from you in whatever way they can in more of a pressured way. We took a taxi on spec for a tour for 2 hours at $70US for 4, and getting anything out of the driver was hard work, money changed hands between the person we thought was taking us on a tour inside the building, to the one we were handed over to outside. We stopped I requested at an isolated spice shack to be shown the local produce and felt obliged to buy produce. The locals at all the islands talk to each other in an English or French slang that most tourists can't understand which is fine, but here it felt like it was done to ignore you. We visited Annandale Falls, Grand Etang Park (volcano lake) and Fort Frederick, all an additional $2US entry each and optional guides cost. These sights were OK, but to be honest I wouldn't bother again. Walked though the tunnel in town and around the Caranege harbour, and in the afternoon took the water taxi next to the ship $10US return each to Grand Anse beach. NIce beach with cruise visitors at one end, and visiting American college kids at the other end, stopping at Umbrellas bar set back from the beach half way down, and it was like New Year's Eve ! SAINT LUCIA Drove through the town so can't comment on Castries, but had pre booked at trip with Cosol Tours in advance, $75US each. There were 60 people who had done the same, but we were in buses of 12, not in convoy, but we did meet at place for drinks and food. Our driver was Baptiste and was excellent as a guide. We had as much drink as you wanted, and great local food fro breakfast and lunch. We stopped for photos a long the way, and visited a banana plantation, the Pitons, speedboat to Sugar beach between the Pitons for snorkelling, the drive in volcano for a sulphur mud bath, and waterfalls to wash it off. Without doubt this was our best trip and would highly recommend, as Baptiste made the trip educational, fun and entertaining. SAINT MAARTEN Chose not to do any tours, but walked into town with what seemed like the rest of the ship and the other 2 in port. A bit like Aruba it seemed to be a bit more American, but without the big shops. nice long beach in town to walk along the promenade, and sit and have a bucket of local beers. Most of the beach is taken over by sun beds. We're going to vista Maho beach to watch the planes land, but didn't manage in the end. ANTIGUA Probably our favourite island along with St Lucia. Walked to West Bus station, and took the 17 local bus $6US for 4 down to Nelsons Dockyard at English Harbour $8US entry each but includes Shirley Heights entry. Really well preserved area with museum and fabulous yachts. Taxi up to Shirley Heights for the view down onto the harbour $24US return as need to wait for you, or you can walk down to galleon bay and get a water taxi back to the dockyard. Bus back to St Johns and took the 22 bus to Turner Beach and Darkwood beach. Both small but unspoilt, and bus back from roadside. Worth catching some of the local small buses for the experience at some of the islands, as very economical DOMINICA Based on reviews on there being very little in the port, which did seem to be the case, we booked a tour with Levi Barron on Bumpiing Tours in advance $55US each. Just 10 of us on the tour which included drinks but not food, and Levi was excellent. As soon as we drove away from town, it was clear that the island had been decimated by the hurricanes the previous year, as lots of debris around and rebuilding work going on Went to Champagne Reef to start which was just a pebble beach and didn't look promising, but we had gone to snorkel and Levi led us for an hour showing us different fish and corals, rather than just leaving us to swim around. LIke some sort of Disney film, the bubbles do come up in streams from the seabed for you to swim through all around you. We also went on to Titou Gorge which was used in one of the Pirates of the Carribean films, and swam through the gorge to the waterfall and climbed around the waterfall, and from there onto Trafalgar falls and various view points. This was probably our most unsettled weather of the trip, but didn't seem to matter as we were in the middle of a rainforest doing mainly water based activities Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Excellent Caribbean cruise.Great variety of destinations.The food was cooked to a high standard especially in peninsular resteraunt.Could not fault the waiter service anywhere. Cabin Steward outstanding. Although 3,500+ passengers ... Read More
Excellent Caribbean cruise.Great variety of destinations.The food was cooked to a high standard especially in peninsular resteraunt.Could not fault the waiter service anywhere. Cabin Steward outstanding. Although 3,500+ passengers the ship coped well except for lifts at disembarkation times. Entertainment staff average.Pulse band brilliant, Shouldn't put films in the studio because the seats are not layered enough to give a view of the screen when someone is sat in front of you. Lots of sunbeds,very clean and good décor. beautiful Atrium. Crystal lounge could have been used for more events than just ballroom dancing.But all the lounges had different but beautiful décor.Loved Brodies and the live lounge and you could get away from it all in the crows nest.Drinks service waiters were brilliant but obviously they are trained to try and sell as many drinks as possible. Drinks prices reasonable.All in all only minor problems and lots of variety giving something for all tastes but you will never please everyone, Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarkation was long and exhausting. After a long flight to Barbados we were stood in rows on tarmac in very hot conditions for 30 minutes whilst waiting for buses to arrive. Then when we arrived at the ship stood in long queue whilst we ... Read More
Embarkation was long and exhausting. After a long flight to Barbados we were stood in rows on tarmac in very hot conditions for 30 minutes whilst waiting for buses to arrive. Then when we arrived at the ship stood in long queue whilst we were all processed! The ship is clean to an extent. Smoking areas had cigarette butts and empty cigarettes packets lying around the floors but that says more about the passengers than the staff who just don’t seem to stop working and deserve a medal. Housekeeping work so hard and were the nicest part of this cruise, really lovely people. Bar staff were in my opinion rude and customer service was poor. Very little public space for the amount of people on board and we came to dread sea days. Trying to find any peace on this ship is impossible. The entertainment team thing makes it feel like Butlins. Constant hard sell every where you go you just generally get the feeling that p&o are finding new and creative ways to get your money as if this cruise wasn’t already expensive enough. Only drink included in the ‘all inclusive’ is water. Oh and the WiFi is very expensive and frustratingly rather useless. Excursions are expensive and surprise surprise involve queuing and more crowds of people. Locals tend to offer cheaper alternatives. I got shouted at twice by members of staff for not 1. Standing in line properly 2. Taking a piece of orange without using tongs. If I ever have the word madam shouted at me again I’ll scream. The constant tannoy announcements became intrusive after a while often with requests or orders about what we can or can’t do that day. Trying to have a quiet afternoon kip in the cabin and to escape the huge amount of people on this ship is hopeless as the announcements are VERY loud. If you like a bit of piece and quiet, like your independence, like to take each day as it comes and do your own thing including not having to follow dress codes/rules and regulations don’t come cruising. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Enjoyable cruise but the Britannia fell short of expectations, not a patch on the Ventura. Too much of the ship is given to cabins so too many people and not enough space in the public areas. Buffet presentation, variety and ... Read More
Enjoyable cruise but the Britannia fell short of expectations, not a patch on the Ventura. Too much of the ship is given to cabins so too many people and not enough space in the public areas. Buffet presentation, variety and seating very disappointing. The select restaurants were very good though. The trips were good and well organised, we did Snorkelling/catamaran twice, eco trek on Grenada, River tubing on Dominica. We also did the afternoon tea I. The Epicurean restaurant but it was far too rich for us, eight cakes each and unlimited Tea Pigs brand tea. Gin tasting was fun, my wife doesn’t drink gin but was persuaded that she would like it afterwards, we’ll she still doesn’t and I had to drink all of hers too! That’s eight gins and I think six cocktails, plus another Plymouth gin that was going spare, a challenging day followed :) The onboard band Pulse were very good, we didn’t get to see many others though. Selling of onboard services became obtrusive at times although it was easy to get a drink when needed. I would not cruise on the food Britannia again due to the issues first mentioned. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Did ncl Did royal caribbean Now done PO The seamless transit from london to Barbados and boarding the ship and returning to london was good. The only critic I have with that process is with the thomas cook return leg flight. Poor ... Read More
Did ncl Did royal caribbean Now done PO The seamless transit from london to Barbados and boarding the ship and returning to london was good. The only critic I have with that process is with the thomas cook return leg flight. Poor is the best way to describe it. Staff , entertainment, in flight meal , all poor. Captain of the ship on my cruise was brilliant and comical with his announcement. Staffing was mediocre and not very friendly some had difficulty giving reply to my queries. Food was mediocre in the buffet and the restaurant. Navigating around the ship was challenging as not all sides lead somewhere and some stair not accessible. Waiting for coffee cups at the drink station. Waiting for glass at the drink station. Side of pool drinking water containers , all 3 empty on a baking day. Buffet always been directed to go to a different part as they were closing the section I was going to. Was great visiting those 8 islands . Would I go on this ship again ? Yes IF THE PRICE WAS RIGHT. Low Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon to the Caribbean. Not wanting to be straight in the sun we did an Atlantic crossing of 10 days at sea. The ship is very nice but the activities where boring and repetitive. The food is lovely and ... Read More
We booked the cruise for our honeymoon to the Caribbean. Not wanting to be straight in the sun we did an Atlantic crossing of 10 days at sea. The ship is very nice but the activities where boring and repetitive. The food is lovely and the house keeping staff couldn't do enough for you. However the entertainment team looked like they had been struck with a sickness bug and had no energy. The only decent sail a way party was Madeira and British themed evening. The other nights where bland and dull. We had to stop at a different island due to a sick passanger however we arrived at Martinique which was euro not American dollars. We only found out by word of mouth as an announcement wasn't made for a further two hours from being able to get off. Unfortunately the island wasn't expecting a cruise ship so the place was shut down with nothing to do. So we'd changed our money back into euros then with nothing to actually send it on once off the boat. First cruise for us and definitely our last. Not for us. The ship was described as a floating morgue and they weren't wrong. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
My 1st cruise and my other halfs 2nd TA re-positioning cruise. The Britannia is a great ship,and we enjoyed our holiday the chance to wind down from work for several days before in the Caribbean was great. I found the ship to be very ... Read More
My 1st cruise and my other halfs 2nd TA re-positioning cruise. The Britannia is a great ship,and we enjoyed our holiday the chance to wind down from work for several days before in the Caribbean was great. I found the ship to be very clean and tidy, however I will say the colour pallate is a little on the neutral side and not to every ones taste. The inside of the ship, and central area is pleasant to spend time in, however we tended once the weather warmed up after Maderia to spend most of our time in the Sunset bar on the aft of the ship which was a pleasant spot. We booked for the 8.30 fixed dining, thinking this would free up more time in ports and we would be able to see the early shows/ entertainment. We were very disappointed that a lot of evenings there was no early 7pm shows only 8:30pm, (whilst we were dining) or 10:45pm. (Quite a while to wait after dinner). P&O to sort this out as it's quite unfair on those with the later dining choice. We did also try and see a late show at the live lounge, and found that there were no seats , as a lot of people had gathered there for the later disco. Our cabin steward looked after us well, our standard balcony cabin, was smart and the shower and storage walk in wardrobe larger than I expected, The balcony is a little narrow compared to some other ships we were moored next too. The food was generally good in the restaurant, but things were not always exactly as described. The food in the buffet got quite repetitive on a fortnight cruise. I think there needs to be a little more variety,very traditional very british fare. I was a little disappointed in the activities on offer, I enjoy my art and there were no art or craft sessions on board. Though lots of pub quizs. Personally I thought the sail away parties were a little bit brash especially the one in Antigua with Azura moored alongside us. We stayed for the 15 day cruise, having decided on the extra day in Barbados, and we felt like P&O basically ignored us with very little information on the last 2 days. People were sat around the ship with their carry on on day 14 it kind of felt like our holiday had already ended:( We did the land and sea tour in St Lucia which was excellent, gave a really good feel for the island, and we enjoyed the swim off the catamaran. In Antigua, we did a half day beach activity to Dickenson Bay, which was enjoyable despite the occasional rain Barbados on our 2nd day we did the farewell to Barbados tour which was nice to see with a few short stops and a bit of lunch. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I have been with P&O many times. I have always been full of praise and delight, about all off our Cruises’s However, I am now questioning if I will EVER use P&O again. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they ... Read More
I have been with P&O many times. I have always been full of praise and delight, about all off our Cruises’s However, I am now questioning if I will EVER use P&O again. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they are interested in is money. The Britannia is a “Cash - Cow”. No interest in the care of passengers needs. I was on P&O’s Britannia for 16days to the Western Caribbean on the 26/10/18. Starting off from Southampton flying back from Barbados to Gatwick. I have never seen such disgusting behaviour from both passengers and overpowering bullying staff. The food was disgusting, I was with freedom dining in the Meridian. The staff were non existent, just like the food, we had to wait forever to be served. ( not the fault of the staff in the restaurant, perhaps bullying officer crew members) It was no different than the buffet dining, except in the buffet you had more choice of HOT food. We tried a few of the paid Restaurants £30 extra per person was it worth it... NO The only one that was good was the “beach hut” £7.50. In Epicurean Resturant a long hair was found inside a roll. A lot of people ( me and my friends included) were complaining about the type of clientele the passengers were I could only say Feral, loud, brash, drunk and disgusting. 10 people detained and escorted off the ship. P&O is now owned by Carnival, it shows that all they are interested in is money. Not the service or care of passengers needs. Too long at sea. If we had wanted to go on a Butlin’s holiday we would have booked with them. The design of the ship is awful! The entertainment was extremely poor throughout the two weeks. The reception is a very small enclosed space and to have pungently strong lilies is CRASS to someone who has allergic reactions, having to use an epi - pen. I could go on, however I will not. I thank you P&O Britannia for RUINING my holiday and making my holiday a MISERY for two weeks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Took a 15 day transatlantic cruise and overall it was good with some issues P&O should address. Positives Good embarkation process and boarded ship early Room available early Drinks prices reasonable Food in speciality ... Read More
Took a 15 day transatlantic cruise and overall it was good with some issues P&O should address. Positives Good embarkation process and boarded ship early Room available early Drinks prices reasonable Food in speciality restaurants very good Staff very friendly Ship clean in most parts Captain very good at keeping passengers informed Good Entertainment choices inc Limelight Club Things that could be better Food choices in main dining room (too many similar dishes) Buffet choices limited General wear and tear showing on ship Balcony windows need a good clean and Balcony was a bit grubby in places Ship designed badly, no flow, staircase is functional rather than a feature of ship, No staircase to certain floors in mid ship, have to use lifts which are crowded Pizza at pool area very good but Burgers are disgusting (think of bad burger van quality here) Overall a good cruise, having been on Celebrity Eclipse last year I would say that was better overall in certain areas, especially in food and all inclusive food and drinks options. P&O better in Entertainment and staff friendlier Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted a longer cruise of three weeks. We have enjoyed a number of trans Atlantic cruises so this suited us well. The cruise out was generally calm and the weather fantastic, excellent for the time of year. The ship itself was in ... Read More
Wanted a longer cruise of three weeks. We have enjoyed a number of trans Atlantic cruises so this suited us well. The cruise out was generally calm and the weather fantastic, excellent for the time of year. The ship itself was in generally good condition,albeit showing signs of wear in places. Carpets were almost threadbare in places. The main point of criticism of the ship itself is that there is a distinct lack of sunbathing space. Sun beds are lined up along the available decks with no room between. The rows themselves are also very close to those in front and behind. My wife who has had both knees replaced could not get on these beds except for those on the end of a row, and once or twice we could not get off the deck without asking people to move their bed as all isles were blocked. Staff as is usually the case were excellent, they do seem busier than ever, but this might be me. They still seem to make time to smile while making sure you have what you need. Finally our ongoing gripe with P&O is their dress code, simply it’s not enforced. Increasingly people are going to diner in shorts, and tea shirts are very popular also. Both theoretically against policy. Formal nights are similar. People do not wear jackets and or ties but still dine in the main restaurants. I accept P&O are loath to upset these customers but it does, by its inactivity, seem happy to upset those of us who like the dress codes. Please P&O either enforce or end the dress codes but stop sitting on the fence!! 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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