1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Britannia Review
  5. Britannia Cruise Reviews
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
First time on P&O, big lovers of Celebrity, and have sailed on Royal Carribean and Princess but decided to try P&O and Britannia for my Wife's 60th Birthday. Travelled by Coach to Southampton, embarkation was efficient ... Read More
First time on P&O, big lovers of Celebrity, and have sailed on Royal Carribean and Princess but decided to try P&O and Britannia for my Wife's 60th Birthday. Travelled by Coach to Southampton, embarkation was efficient although we were fast-tracked through as we were travelling on a Coach booked through P&O. Looked like some people had been there a while though. Cabin A406 -A Deck (Deck 15) Superior deluxe cabin with Balcony and Bath. Paid a bit more for this as it was a celebration. Huge cabin, 2 large TV's, lots of storage, Tea facilities, Bath, Shower, just a great cabin. Only downside is that the top two decks are shaded by the overhang from Deck 16, so it keeps the sun off, and a little noisy from above. Ideal decks would be probably 11-12. Live TV in the cabins, Sky news and Sky sports 1 and a Sport 24 Channel with live football. Lifts/Stairs Normally the biggest gripe on Cruise ships is the food, entertainment etc., not on Britannia,it's the movement from one floor to the next. There are no stairs at the aft end so you need a lift to go from floor 16 Restaurant to floor 15 cabin. There is just a complete lack of stairs and lifts on this Ship, the designer should be sacked, everyone moans all week about lifts and stairs, ridiculous !! Sunbeds Previous reports talked about a lack of sunbeds, we didnt find that at all, there are an awful lot of beds, limited number around the Pool, but just go higher and there are lots, go round the funnel where there are lots of secluded beds, and at one end a quiet area for adults. Admittedly around the Pool fills up quick but you didnt need to rush. Food We ate in the Peninsular on Freedom dining, anytime dining, the majority of the food was really good, few disappointing meals but overall excellent. We always had a table for two, sometimes you had to wait but generally easy to walk straight in. Service was good although the Waiters on celebrity seemed more chatty and friendly. Horizon Buffet was very good as well, lacked a bit of choice sometimes, can get busy at peak times but there are always tables (go behind the cutlery areas at each side, people cant see the empty tables there). This is a very British Ship so they do cater for the Brits. There are several speciality Restaurants with an additional cover charge:- Sindhu- Indian restaurant, £15 extra pp, nice surroundings, very different Indian food and presentation, personally not my favourite but my wife loved it. Beach House-attached to the Horizon but shut off in an evening, no need to book £5 pp extra and some additional charges £2-3 for Steak etc. The most food we had in one sitting, larger portions and basic things like kebabs, Steak and Ribs, but great quality and lots of it. Limelight- £22 pp extra gets you a very select posh meal with Entertainment, have your meal then entertained by an individual artist, our was the singer Jackie Graham, lovely evening, very nice food and delightfully presented. Obviously food is available everywhere, on Deck, etc.etc. Overall extremely good. Casino Very small for the size of ship but adequate, you can play with 50p chips so it does encourage non Gamblers to have a go. Photo's Disappointing, nowhere near what we have seen on other ships, a lack of backdrops and back views, particular on the many Formal Nights. Dress Code On this sailing of 13 nights there was 4 Formal Nights, probably one too many. We like dressing up but it got a bit boring by the fourth. This was probably the best dressed Ship we have been on, although the clientele was predominantly over 50, but everyone dressed smart for Dinner and the majority had Dinner suits etc. on formal nights. Entertainment On any Cruise there will be good Artistes and bad, this Cruise had its fair share of both. Very average was Chapman Bros., Sam Wade. and Peter Grant but really enjoyed Bernie Flint and Sam Bailey. Jon Clegg and Jeff Stevenson in the Live Lounge were very good, but we were really impressed with "Pulse" and the lead singer, Verity. who performed regularly in the Live Lounge, they should have been on main stage. The resident Singers and Dancers shows were very good, although a little dis-jointed at times, tried to make new songs fit a lot of performances, but the effects were amazing at times. Didn't think much of Neil, the Entertainment Director, he never said much in an evening,until we saw him at the sail away party from Lisbon where he showed why he got to where he is, his entertainment team were very professional and funny. The Sail Away party from Lisbon was jaw dropping, under the Lisbon bridge, waving the Union Jack flags, singing and dancing to the Entertainment team, a sail away to remember forever ! Ports GIBRALTAR. Did the Rock Revealed 001A, 2 hrs in a mini-bus, whistle stop tour of the island and in particular the Caves and Monkeys. Good enough taster of the island and dropped back off in town for some shopping. Little mini buses shuttled everyone back to the ship from town, these weren't really big enough for the volume of people. BARCELONA. Got Shuttle into town, usual £4,quite a walk into town, good 20 minutes otherwise, got a Red Bus and did a tour, about 50 Euros but should have done the Green Line not the orange one, 2 hrs each circle so could only manage one, maybe a booked trip would have been better, lots to see though. PALMA. Soller by Coach and Train. Went to soller by Coach, nice journey, the town was lovely, helped by the fact it was Market day otherwise not too much to see, then boarded a little train back to just outside Palma. Re-boarded the Coach and could either go back to ship or town. Town was a good 25 min walk from the Ship. Lovely town, lots to see and do. IBIZA, Took shuttle Bus into town for £4 pp, little too far to walk, 10 min bus journey, it was Sunday so lots closed but lovely old town and nice to wander round. CADIZ.Wet day in Cadiz, we took a trip SEVILLE ON YOUR OWN.1.5 hrs on the coach, there for 10am,got back on the coach at 3pm. Seville is a great city, lots to see, lots of shops, would have been nice if it was sunny. LISBON: Can walk in, less than 15 mins but shuttle took you to centre,£4 pp. We did COACH and TRAM, drives round the city in the Coach then in the tram, good experience although seemed a little repetitive, tram seemed to go in same places as coach, although you were served Port and Pastel de neuta on the tram. Could see the major attractions by foot or from ship sailing out. PROBLEM One thing that almost spoilt our Cruise though was an issue with the Credit Card. I got a letter through saying my Debit Card had been declined by my Bank, so i rang my Bank at great expense and they said they had not declined and they would noted that i am away .I went to reception and complained and they asked if i was related to a crew member, obviously i wasnt. They sniggered and said it was a fault and it was fine now. At Dinner embarrassingly the card dint work again, fortunately the Waiter did a paper receipt so we could have a drink. Went back to reception, now very upset, and she said ring your Bank, i have done that and there is no problme, then they said it was a system fault and they were working on it, it would be fixed in 30 minutes. 45 minutes later we ordered some drinks in the Live Lounge and it still didnt work, fortunately we found the same waiter and it again bypassed the card swipe. The following day we complained again and they said it was my Card, i said it was the system last night, they said it must be your card, furious by now, and getting nowhere, i decided to use a different card which seemed, this time a Credit Card instead of a Debit, but throughout all this they were unhelpful, ignorant and non-apologetic, shocking service, if it wasnt for the one waiter with some common sense we would have gone all evening unable to purchase anything. So in summary we enjoyed our first P&O experience, wouldnt recommend Britannia though because of the stairs/lift issues, apparently they are going to do something about it, but would try a smaller ship which people raved about. This Cruise was good but the two sea days at the beginning and at the end got a little boring as the weather was poor on all these days, could have stayed in Lisbon for two days and motored home instead of crawling. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Firstly, don't let the many negative comments you read on here or elsewhere, deter you from considering a cruise on the Britannia! Especially if, like us, you are 1st timers to cruising. The reviews we read prior to going were so ... Read More
Firstly, don't let the many negative comments you read on here or elsewhere, deter you from considering a cruise on the Britannia! Especially if, like us, you are 1st timers to cruising. The reviews we read prior to going were so off-putting at times, we almost cancelled; thank goodness we didn't! We chatted to many seasoned travellers on board who had sailed both with P & O and on the Britannia before and the general consenus was this: 1 Central stairwell definitely required. 2 Wifi charges extortionate and unnecessary 3 Pools, late night entertainment and queuing need policing. 4 Indoor pool or cover for outside pool required for cooler/rainy days 5 Some on board charges and seminar sales pitches need reviewing 6 Shuttle transfer charges from ship to port unnecessary and greedy HOWEVER! the plus reviews far outweigh the above: 1 99% of the staff were all polite and friendly, work hard! 2 Cabins clean, modern and comfortable 3 All food (except the porridge ;-) ), was totally superb! - From the buffet style dining in the Horizon restaurant to the fine dining restaurants - service and meals were delicious and we were always spoilt for choice. Even the 'grab and go' counters in the lido deck areas were great. 4 Drinks were chargeable but compareable with the High Street and extensive selection 5 Talks/seminars given by various celebrities were interesting (Gay Search was particulary good). 6 Several choice of bars/relaxation areas to choose from 7 Daily informative pamphlet outside cabin door giving extensive programme of events throughout day and information re excursions, restaurants, celebrities booked 8 Various shops available to look around 9 Toilet facilities and hand hygiene very thorough and clean 10 Library, casino, gymnasium, Oasis spa area available (spa sadly very expensive) I could describe more positives I am sure, the above is not exhaustive by any means. Would we cruise again? - Definitely. Our first cruise was wonderful and an eye-opener, where else can you get such hospitality per night compared to a hotel? However, we will research any future ship and cruiseline to suit our own personal requirments. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Having sailed predominantly on Princess for years, this was our 4th P&O Cruise and 3rd on Britannia. We were in Aft Balcony room A723. We will be sailing on Azura in 8 days time. Firstly lets talk about the 'thorny' issue ... Read More
Having sailed predominantly on Princess for years, this was our 4th P&O Cruise and 3rd on Britannia. We were in Aft Balcony room A723. We will be sailing on Azura in 8 days time. Firstly lets talk about the 'thorny' issue -EMBARKATION. Yes we pulled the less desirable 3.30pm embarkation slot and like many before us found the process painful, slow and what feels quite unfair. By the time they started to call out the RED letters there were well over a 1,000 passengers cheering and booing in equal measure. This cannot be good for any cruise line and P&O really do need to start taking notice. It is not pleasant to arrive on the ship with less than an hour to go before muster. As we all know the great British Public will queue and normally fairly patiently, but when it starts to feel as though the system is unfair then unhappiness sets in and that is what is currently happening at the Ocean Terminal. Our cabin was fine with a good sized balcony and some cover from above which includes passengers and the sunshine. We cannot sit in the sun for health reasons so chose this cabin carefully. We sailed last October in the cabin next door A725 which is also a nice cabin with a slightly less wide balcony but the depth is still great. Last October the noise of deck chairs being moved at 6am each morning was very disturbing and this was fed back. It does appear to have improved a little although there was plenty noise on some nights from 3 am onwards - ? passengers or crew, I don't know. We didn't allow it to spoil the holiday though. We knew beforehand what to expect. We prefer to eat in the buffet so I cannot comment on Main Dining Room. We enjoyed the food in the most part. Not quite as much choice as on Princess but still plenty. You sure don't need to go hungry. I particularly like the lunchtime offerings of baked potatoes and also the stir fry meals. The weather was fairly good whilst out in the Med, cold outward and rough crossing the Bay of Biscay but very calm on the return journey. The ports of call were good and we managed to meet up with our daughter and son-in-law in Seville who are singers on another cruise line and were docked in Seville on the same day so that was a real highlight for us. The entertainment was plentiful and of a pretty good standard. We do like the abundance of entertainment venues on Britannia. We found some real golden nuggets of waiters in Brodies and the atrium but much less so in the buffet. We always go out of our way to say good morning, how are you, please, thank you etc but a lot of the staff wouldn't even respond with a hello. They actually verged on the rude and ignorant. There were plenty wait staff but the majority seemed reluctant to clear tables, offer tea and coffee or smile. Overall there was a very lackadaisical attitude to service which we found very noticeable. However, there were several passengers with disabilities and the staff were always polite and helpful to them. As a nurse I was touched by their caring approach with those individuals. Perhaps overall the crew were just a bit jaded or weary. We reflected on the ship. We have given her a good try (3 times in a year) but she doesn't offer us what we particuarly like from cruising. In fact Princess are going exactly the same way with bigger -cruising for the masses - ships. We have also sailed on the Regal Princess. The bigger ships feel more like Butlins at sea rather than how special a cruise used to feel. We miss the promenade deck greatly and just being able to see the sea close up or sit beside it. We just found it difficult to do that as the ship didn't lend itself to it. It was good for us to reflect on what we do like about cruising and what we miss with the bigger ships and that will help us choose going forward. I do hope that cruising doesn't loose its magic as more and more bigger ships come along. We are anticipatory of the Azura as she is identical to our preferred 'grand class' ships of Princess. Fortunately next week we are booked into a full suite so embarkation should be much less painful, at least for us. Disembarking was a breeze, walked off at 6.45am without any problems at all. Overall we enjoyed ourselves but won't be returning to the Britannia again for the reasons stated. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This is my first Cruise review, although I have done many on TripAdvisor. This review if of our recent cruise holiday from Barbados to Southampton, finishing on Friday 25th March 2016. P&O Britannia is a massive ship, with over ... Read More
This is my first Cruise review, although I have done many on TripAdvisor. This review if of our recent cruise holiday from Barbados to Southampton, finishing on Friday 25th March 2016. P&O Britannia is a massive ship, with over 3000 passengers and over 1300 crew. In many ways P&O Britannia is brilliant. In other ways, it is not good. The ship is beautiful inside, clean and well furnished. The public areas are wide and navigation is easy enough, except that the mid-ship has no stairs which go the full height of the ship, these stop on Desk 7. You need to use the FORWARD and AFT stairs went the full height of the ship. Once you have worked out how to get places it was okay. We used the following locations: BRODIES - this is a pub, where the day-to-day quizzes take place. The waiters are excellent and the range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available is very good. Brodies is an excellent location. The casino is at the rear of Brodies. We did not use the casino, there was glass division so you did not see the flashing lights from the machines. The resident musicians - Matt & Sarah were in Brodies every day, they are a class act and are brilliant. PRICES - The drinks prices were what you would expect to pay, a little high when compared to supermarkets, but similar to hotel prices. £4.25 for a pint of beer is not too much to ask. LIVE LOUNGE - This is the main live area, you can see the stage area well enough from every chair, and there is a small dance floor. This area is used for the late night disco, and some of the game shows take place in there. The resident band - PULSE - play in there, they are good, an eight-piece band with 4 singers. Two singers were good, and the other two just weren't that good. RECEPTION - The reception team are good, the queues were not that long, but on occasions there was only two reception staff on duty and this is when the queues were large. The reception team were very good and were able to answer my questions. MEDICAL - Did not use. CASINO - Did not use. CABIN - A good size room, a king sized bed, couch and desk. The balcony is slightly small, but two chairs and a table was on the balcony. The shower-room had the largest shower I have had on a cruise ship, the toilet and sink were cleaned every day. Our room steward was available and he cleaned the room very well. On the day of our wedding anniversary, he made a pair of swans out of the bath-sheets RESTAURANTS - The restaurants are special, our dinner plan was First Sitting at The Oriental, this was a standard high-quality restaurant. Ashley, our waiter was attentive and always willing to advise. One thing, there was no SUGAR-FREE options anywhere, either in the sweets at dinner or at lunch. On Royal Carribean, there is always a SUGAR-FREE option on the menu. If you wanted a SUGAR-FREE option, you needed to request it the night before which is not good, as you might want to choose something else. HORIZON RESTAURANT - Breakfast and lunches were at Horizons, on Desk 16. This is a self-service canteen type environment. A buffet. The food was excellent, on occasionally it was not fully hot enough - especially the potatoes. Another criticism is that on occasions, both sides were not open and you had to walk to the open section. There were always enough seats, but you sometimes needed to look for a free table. With all cruise holidays, you need to wash your hands before you enter the restaurant, and you need to wash your hands at Horizons. Fair enough, but the taps and sinks rarely worked. It was an automatic system which poured a little liquid soap when the water started, and you could easily miss it. The paper towels were difficult to remove, and the bins were often full and the used paper towels would spill onto the floor. DINNER in CABIN ROOm SERVICE - Did not use. BREAKFAST IN CABIn ROOm SERVICE - Ordering breakfast in bed was easy, there was no hot food option, even the toast was cold on arrival. Only hot drinks were available. The selection was good, but it did not offer the full range as what was in The Horizon at breakfast. Breakfast always arrived within the time specified in the request. PUBLIC TOILETS - There are many toilets, as you would expect. Some were MALE and FEMALE, where others were mixed - separate sections through a common door. This caused queues, the sinks were pathetic, and again the used paper towels bins were overflowing onto the floor at times. ELEVATORS / STAIRWAYS - The programing of the elevators was poor. When an elevator was selected, I expected to wait for a few seconds before an elevator would stop and I would be able to enter it. On regular occasions elevators passed my floor. When travelling in the direction I wanted to travel causing me to wait. I was willing to do this, but it was frustrating when this happened every day on all three elevator locations. There was a full stairway only at the front and rear of the ship, the mid-ship stairways stopped on DECK 7. ON Our arrival on board, we were shown an elevator which was marked as RESERVED. As there was no crew member in the elevator I pressed my floor number - 11. The crew member said I should not have pressed this, as the elevator would travel to my floor by-passing the other floors. If these elevators were marked as RESERVED, then the floor selector should not have been active, but it was. SWIMMING POOLS / SUNBEDS - There are only 3 swimming pool on the whole ship, two main ones and one in the quiet area. There is a plunge pool on Desk 17 AFT. There are two jacuzzis which is very poor for a ship of this size. There are hundreds of sunbeds, but most of them are away from the pools. There are notices not to reserve sunbeds, but people kept reserving them. Unlike Royal Carribean, there is no staff at the pools who could remove towels from sunbeds which were not being used. ENTERTAINMENT TEAM - The entertainment team did not walk around. When I did see any of the team they occasionally said "Hello", but they regularly just walked past QUIZZES - We do a lot of quizzes on all the cruises. We enjoy the quizzes and enjoy being tested. The prizes of these quizzes is generally a bottle of wine, the wine was AWFULL, like drinking vinegar. DISEMBARKMENT - The departure from P&O Britannia was a joke, we registered for the SELF-HELP and we were advised to go to Midship, Desk 6 to leave. But, this is where The Meridian restaurant is located and the mid ship elevators stopped just outside this restaurant. The disembarkation queue stretched from this restaurant, through Brodies and past the shops. Passengers were waiting and the restaurant waiter asked if they could do a U-turn to move away from The Meridian restaurant entrance. There was no crew member at the elevators on Desk 6 advising where passengers should go. The queue was not too bad, 30 minutes. When we were offboard the passage through the terminal building in Southampton was as good as it could be. Looking back, I would say I really enjoyed this cruise. Would I go back on P&O Britannia, NO I would not as there were too may nagging issues. Read Less
100 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I decided to write this to hep advise all you new cruisers out there what to expect, now I have returned I am somewhat angry at the one sided and downright inaccurate reviews from some of the more seasoned cruisers who repeatedly compare ... Read More
I decided to write this to hep advise all you new cruisers out there what to expect, now I have returned I am somewhat angry at the one sided and downright inaccurate reviews from some of the more seasoned cruisers who repeatedly compare this ship to other ships and even companies. This trip was very special as it was mine and my husbands Honeymoon, I'm going to start straight off and say overall we absolutely LOVED this ship and we have officially caught the cruising bug and can't wait to book our next one with P and O whom we found are the best value for money. So firstly the overall look of this ship is fantastic the size is breathtaking, the decor we actually liked, many other people have said they found it too plain and/or dark, I can see P&O were aiming for a modern and contemporary look, the darker side of the decor gives the ship a real luxurious touch, we had a Balcony room which was clean, light and had a very comfortble bed, the bathroom was a little small but the shower screen and free toiletries were a nice touch, we personally found the balcony absolutely fine size wise and spent numerous occaions sitting on there enjoying the view. We decided to make the most of this trip and pretty much ate everywhere except for the Beach Hut. Our definite favourite restaurant was the Epicurean we tried their evening food and their afternoon tea and loved both, it is the definition of fine dining (in our opinion), their evening food is of michelin standard they had an amazing smoked pate which was bought under a glass dome filled with smoke and a creme brulee which they caramelize in front of you with a blow torch, the afternoon tea started by having a spray in front of your face which had a slightly sweet aroma and apparently activated your tastebuds followed by a sumptous selection including savoury salmon macaroons, eton mess in a small kilner jar were you add strawberry sauce from a provided pipette and stunning scones with an amazing selection of teas to try, I loved the nutty chocolate blend, my husband preferred the peppermint, it has candles, white linen table cloths classical music playing and dedicated silver service staff who really pull out all the stops to make this the place to try if you only do one extra restaurant. We had freedom dining and dined at the Penninsular, again this place had fantastic food, excellent hard working waiters and a wonderful upmarket atmosphere, we also tried Sindhu which had the best indian food we ever tasted again this is a select dining option so will cost extra but again is definitely worth the cost. Our 2 favourite bars were Brodies which is pretty much designed to be a local pub with a selection of bottled beers from various regions in the uk as well as cocktails and liquers it put on numerous quiz's, games, live music and karoake throughout the day and evening to make it the epicentre of bars ideally suited to a more british style of socialising. Our other favourite places were the Glass House which is predominately a wine bar with an amazing selection of wines, we were also fortunate enough to get the opportunity to do their wine tasting which was very informative and fun and also try their wine and meal tasting course which again was an absolute treat and we fully recommend you try it. Our other favourite place was the Crows Nest bar which is at the front of the ship and a fantastic place to sit when the ship is leaving a port and watching the ever changing views. My main disappointment was actually with the Oasis Spa which for me I'm very disappointed to admit was nothing short of a rip off, the services in themselves were fine but their attempts to extract more money out of me left a bitter taste, firstly I gave myself an extra treat by booking a pedicure whilst on board, I originally asked for a standard pedicure which stated on the price list was £30, the receptionist said I could upgrade to a fire and ice pedicure which included a hot stone leg massage and cooling leg gel treatment for another £5, I agreed to this, after I had the treatment I was then told it was now £47 plus a 10% service charge, I was not happy about this as I was clearly told it would be £35 and no mention was given of the service charge, they also tried to sell me a tube of this cooling gel for £35 (over priced deep freeze gel). They also mixed up the booking for a couple's massage that we had booked and pre paid for before our trip, again they charged us another service charge on top and tried to sell us a £35 bottle of massage oil, the hydrotherapy suite consisting of different types of sauna, steam, shows and heated beds was lovely and wonderfully relaxing but again awfully pricey at £25 to use for 1 day. I've been in 5 star hotels where this part is free to use or well over half the price of what they charged. Overall all the staff on board are hard working, friendly and dedicated to their work, the entertainment we found fairly mixed, some of it we tried and enjoyed other aspects we didn't even fancy doing at all and avoided completely however this is no doubt a subjective issue and I saw many people getting into the swing of anything they could so its a case of each to their own and if it isn't for you either you get yourself a sunbed, I would say on this subject don't bother trying to get near the pool it fills up very quickly unless you get their pretty early my advice is to look further away on upper decks where their is still adequate space available but still don't leave it too late, reserving has been an issue but the staff are becoming aware of this and have started removing belongings on sunbeds that have been reserved if they are left too long and tying a note to the sunbed so the person can come pick it up when they return. The other thing I would recommend is what we did which is to simply grab your favourite or current book and get yourself down to the atrium area where you will find lots of seats, sofa's and chairs, you can have a drink if you want, plenty of tea, coffee and alcoholic options they also have amazing sweet treats in the Market Cafe which I highly recomend you try or you can pass on this and simply enjoy the ambience, the views and simply relax. To finish overall this is a brilliant ship and I hopefully will return there at some point in the future. My last piece of advice is if you are new is that whilst this is a wonderful ship it isn't without its faults but overlook or avoid the bad and focus on what is so great about this place and you won't go wrong our biggest annoyance on this trip was the sheer volume of complainers notably from the seasoned cruisers who clearly think its their right to use the staff as verbal punch bags and in a number of cases get as much credit and/or free stuff that they can based on said complaints. I saw one woman loudly tell her rather bemused husband that she had complained about the Horizon Buffet restaurant (again used regularly, plenty of choice throughout the day, no complaints) not having instant hot chocolate available to have with her evening meal, he pointed out to her that this seemed a strange choice of drink to have a meal with and she informed him she had complained as a matter of principle rather than it being a specific issue, another woman I overheard bragging that she had complained about the temperature of the headliners theatre being too cold (and had clearly never thought of using a cardigan/jacket or jumper to solve this issue) in an attempt to get some spending credit. This is something that really annoys me as I go on Holiday to enjoy myself not complain and find things wrong. Enjoy all the wonderful things this ship has to offer and you will have an amazing time, we did and we can't wait to go on a cruise again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
First of all I'd like to stress that we all had a great time on the cruise.The staff were brilliant,very attentive and couldn't do enough.Every where was spotless,it couldn't be cleaner.I thought the rooms were good.We had ... Read More
First of all I'd like to stress that we all had a great time on the cruise.The staff were brilliant,very attentive and couldn't do enough.Every where was spotless,it couldn't be cleaner.I thought the rooms were good.We had an inside room and it was an adequate size for my wife and I plus our 6 month old baby.Two of the other rooms had balconies next to each other so the adjoining balcony door was opened to make it one big balcony.We all enjoyed spending time on there.The other good points were that food was always available,although very salty and quite sandy.The sail away parties were good fun. Now the cons. The lifts were very slow-one was out of use the entire 2 week cruise.You can't get the lift the entire way from deck 4 to the top floor.You have to get off and walk to another lift which is annoying On deck 16 you get off the lift and to get to the main pool you have to walk through horizon restaurant,which when it's busy can be very difficult.You're in danger of getting banged in to by other passengers with trays of food.It can be chaos in there.There seems to be too many people on the ship for its size.Either that or everything is too close together.It is so easy to get lost as everything looks the same.We saw so many people looking puzzled. On sea days it is difficult to find a sun bed,every where is jam packed and despite there being a rule against saving sunbeds,a lot of people still do and nothing happens.Also don't get a sunbed near the golf target area as you'll never be able to relax. Unless you like hearing a loud whacking noise every so often.One of the worst ideas you could think of having that where it is.Same goes for the table tennis and shuffleboard.Why not have those things in a secluded game area along with the pool table which is in Brodie's bar.Which by the way looks about 10 years old (the pool table I mean) it's in desperate need of a new cloth.There was no chalk which is a disgrace for such a new ship. Whilst in line to get a tray for some food in horizon it was impossible to avoid the smell of cigarettes coming from the sunset bar.It was wafting straight in.I don't understand the reasoning in putting the smoking area there. Some mornings the captain or deputy captain etc would make an announcement over the tannoy about docking or something else.I wouldn't mind an announcement but not at 7.40.Come on I'm on holiday and want to get up when I'm ready. We also noticed that there seemed to be less staff on the last few days.Plates were left at tables longer and it took a lot longer to get tea/coffee etc Be prepared to be surrounded by taxi drivers and tour drivers as you get off the ship at the various islands.We felt very harassed.Even when we said no it took them ages to disappear.The tours can be quite expensive from p and o.The two tours of St kitts and St Lucia were very average ( not through p and o) and were over priced.These places are massive tourist traps,I know that's to be expected when a massive cruise ships comes to town but I didn't anticipate it being that bad.I would have been happy to stay on the ship as it was much quieter and more relaxed. If there is a good show on or a good quiz or something make sure you get there early as the places get packed very quickly.Make sure you pack a jumper as the theatre was like a fridge.Another bad point was the fact that one of the rooms wasn't ready when we got there so had to wait about 30 mins for that.Strange seeing as we had to be out of our room by 8 am on our last day.Why did it take so long.When you pay out thousands of pounds for a room you expect it to be ready.We had to wait a few hours for our buggy and with a very tired 6 month old baby that was very hard.We should have been given the buggy straight away. I would recommend you give it a try as most of the cons are minor gripes and on the whole we had a fabulous cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We brought the cruise forward, for family reasons, as it was planned for my retirement (end March) wife's 60th (early May) to be taken around end April. Very apprehensive, having read many reviews. Firstly the ship was beautiful, big ... Read More
We brought the cruise forward, for family reasons, as it was planned for my retirement (end March) wife's 60th (early May) to be taken around end April. Very apprehensive, having read many reviews. Firstly the ship was beautiful, big and well finished throughout all decks and bars/restaurants etc.Service was very good, never once did we experience any delays to attentiveness. Many aspects truly wonderful, Food, Entertainment facilities, its sheer size . Our inside cabin adequate, all the staff were helpful, you could talk with them share their lifestyle from home to here. We spent every port day out and about seeing what we could in the time we had. So many mentioned the stairs in mid ships, yes bad mistake for those who need midships stairs. Atrium, well more like a shopping centre, no central sparkle, except for the Chandelier!. Needs to have more of a focal point to entertain people, rather that it being a sit off area. Slightly holiday campish theme, sing alongs etc not our taste, towels/deck chairs, same old same old. We enjoyed eating well, Sindhu, superb. Nice wines, a good local beer, with real ale options in Brodies. Meridian suited us fine, food was excellent. All in all a relaxed, enjoyable experience. However, would not go again. Lacked a party atmosphere in the evenings, an explosion for all to let their hair down. Perhaps it wasn't meant to be on this ship, too relaxed a voyage, and too many 'long time cruisers' moaning that things weren't up to their standard or went to bed at 11. Really enjoyed the ports of calls, made the most of every day. Fabulous beaches, interesting people along the way. Sharing taxis, talking about each others lives and homes. Beautiful islands, worth a holiday there on there own. Day trips/excursions onshore, did all bar one without P&O, found their pricing very expensive compared to what we paid onshore with the Taxi/Mini bus lads. Don't be afraid to do your own thing, its exciting. We are a young/old couple who ain't giving up our youthfulness just yet. Next time RCI or Carnival. thanks for the experience P&O, you tried very hard but it was dull in so many areas. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I booked a cruise as a birthday treat for myself and my partner and this was our first trip with P&O, usually opting for Celebrity and Oceania on one occasion also. We booked for flexible dining in the Peninsular Restaurant which ... Read More
I booked a cruise as a birthday treat for myself and my partner and this was our first trip with P&O, usually opting for Celebrity and Oceania on one occasion also. We booked for flexible dining in the Peninsular Restaurant which was very good and also sampled the delights of the Glass House and Sindhu Restaurants. No complaints whatsoever here and the staff were all very helpful and polite. The bars were great; The Glass House prior to dinner and the Crow's Nest later , made more enjoyable as a fellow passenger and his very attractive wife frequented the same watering holes (you know who you are blondie). Shore excursions were normally undertaken independently and usually involved heading to the beach (which was great). Organised trips 1) Stingray City Antigua 2) Whale watching in a rib and 3) swimming with turtles in Barbados were all superb and not to be missed. We didn't really sample the ship's entertainment, preferring a few drinks before and after dinner and , a discreet gorp at blondie every now and then as mentioned previously. If I was to be critical I would note the following 1) as a smoker there were limited areas to smoke, the smoking area at the rear of the ship was horrible 2) complete lack of outside bars for an early evening beer to watch the sun go down and 3) poolside on sea days wasn't great ; close proximity of adjacent sunbeds and very noisy. But if that's all you've got to grumble about in 80 degree sunshine whilst it's snowing at home ..... A very pleasant holiday indeed ! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
First things first, flight from Manchester on the Dreamliner, very comfortable, good leg room and cases taken care of until we got to our cabins. Arrived at barbados with no fuss, ferried away on a bus to the port and enbarked straight ... Read More
First things first, flight from Manchester on the Dreamliner, very comfortable, good leg room and cases taken care of until we got to our cabins. Arrived at barbados with no fuss, ferried away on a bus to the port and enbarked straight away. Cases arrived very soon after. Muster was quick and clear and off we went to enjoy our holiday. The room was ok, unfortunately we had 2 bunks above us and we hit our heads to start with so we moved the beds around. The bathroom was good and shower although not powerful was ok. Hanging room for clothes very good and room for cases under the bed or in the wardrobe area. The room was cleaned daily as we went to breaksfast. The Horizon was a good place to eat with plenty of choice but our fav place to eat was the Peninsular restaurant. Bit disappointed to find the extra cost of High tea in the Epicuran was £28 each (yikes)! Entertainment was ok but we really enjoyed Jimmy James and went twice. No serving of drinks in the theatre could be a mistake, it would have been nice. The ports were good except for the isle of margarita, bit disappointing. Sunbed were a bit tight together but we managed to get one most days, did not enjoy the loud music round the pool, it was too much and the speakers were massive! We did enjoy the cruise but felt there were a few tweeks needed Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Embarkation is slow as you have a chicane like at all airports even small ones. But hey there are a lot of passengers to process. We got someone elses cases to start with but ours came eventually. We always go prepared in case they ... Read More
Embarkation is slow as you have a chicane like at all airports even small ones. But hey there are a lot of passengers to process. We got someone elses cases to start with but ours came eventually. We always go prepared in case they don't come for a day. Britannia is a great modern ship with new technology for shows and booking tours. We don't go on tours just head for the beach. If you want the train trip on St.Kitts book before you go as it's always full. The shows are singing dancing type which frankly aren't my scene dare I say a bit Butlins. I miss the shows of ten years and more ago which were more professional. But always packed so get in there very early some of the seats at the far back are pointless. There was a 7.00pm show which we scraped in for after our meal and perhaps 7.15pm would be better if they want a full house although it wasn't far off full. But not big enough for 3,000 passengers. We dined 'freedom' in the Peninsula and always got in there for 6.00pm and the waiters and food are wonderful. At that time you can pick a table. The buffet is OK too for breakfast and sea day lunches. We don't drink so I can't comment on the bars but they were cheap enough from what I overheard. I greatly missed the Prom deck like on the Azzura which you could walk out onto from public rooms and only twice went up to the top decks for a stroll which can't really be done as they are blocked by rooms and a kiddy play deck. They obviously make more money from this kind of thing. I don't want to walk up two steep sets of steps to get to a sunbathing deck which hasn't got music blaring out. So we stayed on our small balcony on sea days. But I did say this is a 'modern' ship. The gym looked well stocked and used but someone said they only used it three times because it wasn't air conditioned and too hot! The library is again on the higher deck floor and so something I used regularly on other ships I only used twice. Just as well I had my Kindle. But the books were all new hardbacks. Cruising has changed and so has the poor Caribbean because of it. Lots of 'bilge' can be seen on sea days and very little sand to be seen on land days. I don't know what these islands and their sea will be like in 20 years time. We probably would prefer smaller ships now and leave the bigger ships to families. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Britannia is a great-looking ship that really flies the flag! Because it's so large you should expect some walking to move around and should allow some time. The ship is kitted out sylishly with sophisticated decor and everything is ... Read More
Britannia is a great-looking ship that really flies the flag! Because it's so large you should expect some walking to move around and should allow some time. The ship is kitted out sylishly with sophisticated decor and everything is beautifully maintained. The atrium, I suspect, was designed simply to promote the ship in its publicity material as it didn't add anything at all to our on-board experience. Some of the space might have been better utilised by adding it to the Costa Coffee lounge area which was always crowded. DINING The buffet dining area is larger than average. We have sailed on ships where there isn't room to sit down at peak times but we always got a table on Britannia even on "at sea" days when there's always extra pressure on places. The lunchtime buffet food was good but unadventurous (we didn't go there in the evenings when there are themes). We opted for anytime dining for couples and were very happy with the system which allows you to request a table and then go & relax somewhere until you are paged. Excellent! Menus again unadventurous but this is mass catering. On two evenings we treated ourselves to dining in the Limelight Club which we highly recommend, although the entertainment on one of the evenings was poor (Victoria Wood tribute) and for a birthday celebration we dined in the Epicurean Restaurant which is a memorable event. 10/10 Again, P&O are masters at generating publicity. Their brochures and website promote heavily the involvement of celebrity chefs but there's no sign of it day-to-day on board. Another stunt! BARS & ENTERTAINMENT There are lots of bars to choose from; some quiet and tranquil and others buzzing like a British pub. The theatre is nice and large and we always found seats without having to go well ahead of time. (Again, some ships have theatres that are far too small.) We didn't care for the loud, brash entertainment although appreciated the excellent technical presentation and did go several times. If you wear a hearing aid, turn it off - you won't need it! ACTIVITIES We were disappointed with the "at sea" days activities which compare unfavourably with other cruise lines having only minimal content in relation to shore excursions/information about destinations, etc. and we were suspicious that the port lectures might be issuing biased details since they were given by the person selling excursions who is hardly likely to tell you how to travel ashore independently!! CABIN Our cabin compared equally with all others in which we have travelled so no complaints. Lovely comfortable bed. We had one of very few forward-facing balconies and loved it because we were lucky with the weather. It was BIG but didn't have a transparent panel so the view was restricted. ORGANISATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS The embarkation and disembarkation arrangements were excellent. Very well-planned and thoroughly communicated to everyone. Lovely and efficient. The sunbed arrangements were a disappointment. There were frequent requests that passengers should not 'bag' sunbeds for the day but this wasn't monitored for fear of offending the offenders. In my view if the crew HAD offended the 10% of sunbed baggers by removing their towels the remaining 90% would have cheered loudly and booked another cruise! SERVICE The service throughout the ship at all levels was excellent. The cruise industry is very competitive so this aspect has to be perfect. FACILITIES We used the photography service as we had been given a voucher. We considered it overpriced, however, and cannot recommend it. We didn't use the spa which has a high profile on board and is obviously a money-spinner for P&O The internet charges compare favourably with other cruise ships. It is expensive to use satellite technology. We tried to use the internet in public places whilst ashore but found very few opportunities for free access around the Caribbean. IN A NUTSHELL We enjoyed a great cruise with a great itinerary and would sail on Britannia again if we liked the destinations. The few niggles wouldn't deter us. My overall memory of P&O compared with other cruise lines will be its relentless attempts to extract more and more money with 'extras' for this and 'extras' for that. These are easy to avoid but it seems at odds that a sophisticated ship should be relentlessly trying to squeeze every last pound out of me at every opportunity. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Just come back from a Caribbean cruise on Britannia. I, like many others am confused about the many negative reviews about this ship. This is a beautiful ship and I for one like the understated colours and the fact it is more like a ... Read More
Just come back from a Caribbean cruise on Britannia. I, like many others am confused about the many negative reviews about this ship. This is a beautiful ship and I for one like the understated colours and the fact it is more like a hotel than a ship. The stateroom was fine and the balcony big enough for two chairs and a table. Shame about the neighbours! Unfortunately, we had the misfortune of being next to a very loud gentleman who was on holiday with another couple and hence the balcony was opened up! This meant that sometimes up until 1.00 am we had to ensure noise from this area. Cruise lines needs to consider other passengers when allowing balconies to be opened up as it disturbs the peace of nearby neighbours. This northern gentleman didn't seem to realise the partition between our balconies was not sound proof! We really didn't want to hear all he had to say (very loudly). Also, a word to the two middle aged women on our other side, who decided to sunbathe topless (not a pretty sight). We could not help but see you in the reflection from the balcony glass! I just tried to avoid contact with the glass and read my book! We dined in Limelight twice, Cheryl Baker and Dean Andrews were superb! We also ate in Glasshouse and Beachhouse, both again, we enjoyed very much. We also ate in Meridian (freedom dining). The service in this restaurant was hit and miss but only on one occasion would I say our waiters were rude! We usually find on other ships that we are able to eat at the same table most nights, even if this involved a short wait, however, they were not very accommodating on this ship and so we were unable to build up a relationship with our waiters, which we usually enjoy. Word of advice, if you like wine with your meal, order it in the bar in the atrium (the staff here are excellent) and take it in with you. Saves you waiting to be served by a bar steward in the dining room. One of the so called wine waiters we had in the dining-room didn't know his red from his white and was quite surly as opposed to the main man at the Blue bar who not only helped me select my wine but gave me a taste as well. Quality service. Our cabin attendant Elvis, was excellent and looked after us very well. Avoided the lido deck as like Benidorm at sea! Not our cup of tea at all. Sunbeds all crammed together, can't see why anyone would want to sit here never mind reserve them with towels etc! We enjoyed a drink in the Crows Nest before dinner but could not understand why the pianist didn't play before 8.00 pm! Food on this ship was excellent, only had one bad meal. Forgot to say, we had an amazing flight on Thomson Dreamliner from Birmingham. We upgraded to premium economy and had one of the best flight experiences we have ever had! The journey from the ship to the airport was not so good. I think they transported us in school buses, the seats were so small! Not a pleasant journey in heavy traffic and no air conditioning. Barbados airport had blocked toilets and surly staff, again not impressed. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise. We did some amazing shore excursions, especially the rafting on the Martha Brae. That's it, off now off to do all our holiday washing and ironing. Happy cruising! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We have cruised several times with P&O, but wanted to experience Britannia while she was quite new. Yes, it is big ( but everyone on it would have known this ) and yes I believe some of the balconies are somewhat smaller than may be ... Read More
We have cruised several times with P&O, but wanted to experience Britannia while she was quite new. Yes, it is big ( but everyone on it would have known this ) and yes I believe some of the balconies are somewhat smaller than may be preferred, but overall, the cruise was great value, the ship was lovely and the crew, without exception, were helpful and professional. We had an aft suite on B deck(14) and our balcony was huge, with2 loungers, 2 chairs , 2 stools and a table. There was plenty of room to move all of these as required, and place the loungers at right angles to the cabin - facing the sea. We used the balcony a lot, but friends did advise that all the sun beds round the Lido and serenity pools were covered in towels/ books etc by 6.45 am! However, there were beds available elsewhere later in the day if you looked for them. The reserving of sun beds should be addressed by P&O in my opinion. We heard that there was a serious altercation at some stage after someone removed towels that had remained on beds for a considerable time - I believe a number of individuals were removed from the ship. Food was great. We were on second sitting in the Oriental and the staff in there were attentive, friendly , helpful and fun. Food was of a high standard in general, and the waiting staff would replace a dish if you didn't like it. We rarely used the buffet, but were able to find space and what we wanted easily. We were however disappointed with the entertainment, which we felt was not as varied or of as high a standard as we have seen before on P&O. Too many singers we'd never heard of and an absolutely dreadful magician/ illusionist - we saw individuals being approached before the show started, taken backstage and then- surprise surprise, being ' chosen ' as impartial to take part in the show. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
First time with P&O and in the caribbean and not disappointed. Inside cabin well laid out and Service excellent. Food fine with a lot of choice at breakfast and afternoon tea. Preferred main restaurants in evening as self serve very ... Read More
First time with P&O and in the caribbean and not disappointed. Inside cabin well laid out and Service excellent. Food fine with a lot of choice at breakfast and afternoon tea. Preferred main restaurants in evening as self serve very busy. Entertainment very good, liked the casino although it was smaller than expected for a large ship. Tried all the restaurants and the glass house was my favourite. Went to a wine tasting event ; 5 courses wine with each with Sommelier talking you through each course/wine. Fantastic event just 20 people and only twice during the cruise. They have hit on a good idea and should do it more often. Also it wasn't advertised and should be. Generally Organised our own trips but did do two with P&O; a catamaran day in Barbados which was fabulous and swam with turtles! Would recommend it. Also did a snorkelling trip in Tortola and also good. Swam with a nurse shark! We would not ordinarily go on such a large ship but we are glad we did it. May still out of personal choice go for middle size ships; miss the promenade deck! But don't listen to the critics of Brittannia, she is a wonderful ship with lovely staff. The only constructive criticism I would state is embarkation was very slow in Barbados and needs a review of process. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
Travel Journey from Manchester was comfortable -Thomas Cook. Adequate service. Transfer to ship from Barbados airport was easy and efficient as always. Buses were waiting on Tarmac for the 40-50 minute journey. On arrival at ship ... Read More
Travel Journey from Manchester was comfortable -Thomas Cook. Adequate service. Transfer to ship from Barbados airport was easy and efficient as always. Buses were waiting on Tarmac for the 40-50 minute journey. On arrival at ship bus was held for approx 30 minutes before we were allowed to alight but this was probably preferable to standing in the heat. There were long queues in the large shed but these were dealt with efficiently so waiting time was not excessive. The Ship Liked the modern feel of the ship and the understated decor. We had heard of problems with lifts and stairs etc but did not find this too much of a problem. However we are both mobile and could use the stairs. Anyone with mobility problems might find this a different story. The Service Could not fault the service in any department. Our waiters in the Oriental were the epitome of efficiency and the Reception team probably one of the most helpful we have encountered in our numerous cruises with various companies. The Food Found the food to be very enjoyable on the whole. One comment would be that the buffet food could have been hotter Excursions Having been to all of the islands several times we opted to forego ships excursions and 'do our own thing' Entertainment The entertainment team was led by the very hard working and personable Neil Oliver. We enjoyed the production shows and were impressed by the technical facilities in the Headliners Theatre. Cabaret artists in the theatre were of mixed quality. We were unable to see any of the acts in the Live Lounge due as we were never able to find a seat Enjoyed most aspects of cruise but as dancing is an important element of our cruising experience this voyage fell well short of expectations. The band while probably excellent musicians,(apart from the singer) had seemingly been instructed to use 'modern' music for ballroom and latin dancing but obviously had no concept of dance music and tempi. This was borne out by the fact that very few people danced of an evening and those, including us, who did try were frustrated by the poor quality of the music. Also the couple who hosted the evenings did little or nothing to interact with the passengers but preferred to dance with each other leaving passengers intimidated and reluctant to get onto the floor. We voiced our concerns to the excellent Entertainment Manager who gave us a sympathetic hearing. Hopefully this problem will be rectified soon as we would like to return . However we would be reluctant to recommend Britannia to anyone who regards dancing as an important part of their cruise,on this showing Disembarking This was easy, and well organised . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first cruise on P & O and ,after reading some of the negative reviews on this site, I was very apprehensive about what to expect. My fears were totally unfounded and we had a great cruise, the staff were all friendly and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on P & O and ,after reading some of the negative reviews on this site, I was very apprehensive about what to expect. My fears were totally unfounded and we had a great cruise, the staff were all friendly and helpful, the cabins perfectly comfortable. We ate in the Meridian restaurant and our party of 6 rarely had to wait to be seated. The food was good but the menu was not adventurous. We never failed to find seats in the bars and only on one night did we fail to get a seat in the theatre. The production shows were of a really high standard. The only poor show was an illusionist who should be prosecuted for fraud, he was appalling and along with dozens of other passengers we left early. With reference to the sunbeds, we always found beds but were disappointed at the number of reserved and unoccupied beds. Perhaps P & O should have the deck attendants sort the matter out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our fifth P and O cruise, our third to the Caribbean. Having read many poor reviews of Britannia, we boarded in Barbados (after an excellent Dreamliner flight from UK) with some apprehension. Initial impression of the public ... Read More
This was our fifth P and O cruise, our third to the Caribbean. Having read many poor reviews of Britannia, we boarded in Barbados (after an excellent Dreamliner flight from UK) with some apprehension. Initial impression of the public areas was good. Tasteful colours and impressive artwork surround you. I find criticism of the decor difficult to understand. If people wish glitz, there are plenty other ships that offer this. We dined in the Oriental Restaurant, where we were looked after extremely well and found all food well presented and more than adequate in size. Our wine waiter was excellent, very attentive and possible the best we have encountered. Dinner in The Limelight Club (excellent cabaret from Eric and Ern lookalikes) enjoyable. We also tried Epicurean, mixed thoughts - perhaps trying too hard. My dessert of 'constituents of trifle' was ruined by a large slab of deep fried custard. I do come from Scotland (home of the deep fried Mars Bar)' but this I did not expect! We also used the Peninsular for lunch, enjoying the sense of calm that we did not find in the Horizon, which we used only twice, for an early breakfast and a late lunch. This is not a criticism of the Horizon, purely our preference. Entertainment was very good. We enjoyed a number of shows in the Headliners Theatre. We never found any problem finding a seat. There were plenty available if you arrived early. We were amazed at the ignorance of some people who regularly walked out before the end, even though we had been respectfully asked not to. Embarkation and disembarkation deserve a particular mention. P and O do a sterling job with this. The only comment I would make is a little later checkout from cabin as 8am is early if you do not disembark till late afternoon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
After a great flight on Thomson Dreamliner we arrived into the chaos that was embarkation at Barbados. We were luckier than some as my Mum is in a wheelchair so we got fast-tracked but I felt sorry for the crowds awaiting processing. ... Read More
After a great flight on Thomson Dreamliner we arrived into the chaos that was embarkation at Barbados. We were luckier than some as my Mum is in a wheelchair so we got fast-tracked but I felt sorry for the crowds awaiting processing. Britannia is a 'nice' ship but a few things do need looking at. The entertainment was awful. What happened to the big names that used to put in shows in the evening? Apart from one comedian it was truly dreadful in Headliners. The P&O crew tried their best but we really didn't want to see the staff singing and dancing and had hoped to see some proper headline acts. The ex BGT ventriloquist was dire. Having recently gone on an NCL cruise the difference was really highlighted as the entertainment was excellent on NCL including a Cirque du Soleil show. A better system too of booking tickets in advance so that there is no scramble for seats at the shows. For some reason though, you cannot get a drink in Headliners. There is no bar and no waiter service which is odd. I have never before known a P&O member of staff say 'no' previously but my Mum's request for a different starter before dinner in the Oriental was met with a firm 'no' one night. This upset her and she says she will never cruise with P&O again, certainly not on Britannia. On many occasions our wine arrived after our starter and one night my fiancé made a point of asking if we could have the wine with our meal for a change! The other big problem was pools and sunbeds. If you put notices up saying 'don't reserve sunbeds' please adhere to your own rule. It's simple to monitor. Employ a member of staff to accompany people to the sunbed of their choice with a fresh towel. When they leave the bed, the staff member takes away the towel. If they want to come back, they take another bed. Yes it is a lot of towels but would save so much aggro. And don't get me started on the loud music round the pool. Totally too much so we sat away from the pools when we could get a bed. And they were absolutely packed in like sardines round the Serenity pool so that wasn't an option. Things we liked were the Limelight Club, Sindhu and the range of tours on offer. The shops are far too exclusive and so we didn't shop onboard. We did use the spa and my fiancé had the foot analysis and has been out of pain ever since. Well worth the money. Also there were plenty of bars but they didn't feel too intimate. We drunk mainly outside Sindhu or in the Crows Nest where the pianist (who also doubled as a lifeguard!) was excellent. One final comment was regarding Mum's wheelchair. Whenever we disembarked we could not take the wheelchair on the tours but we had to take her as far as possible in the chair as she cannot walk too far. However on leaving the ship the P&O staff were very unwilling to let us leave it at the disembarkation point and it very much depended on who was on duty as to whether we had to have a fight to leave it there! Sometimes we just took it with us and left it in the local tourist office who were far more accommodating. Very un P&O-like. Having said all of this, my fiancé and I have booked to go back next year though Mum will not be returning with us so it will be interesting to see if anything has changed although we will not have the wheelchair to contend with next time. So not looking forward to the queue on embarking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We cruised from Barbados on 2 January having arrived n the ship the day before. We thought the ship was fabulous and the decor very tasteful. We had a balcony cabin midship on D deck and found it very comfortable. We liked the open ... Read More
We cruised from Barbados on 2 January having arrived n the ship the day before. We thought the ship was fabulous and the decor very tasteful. We had a balcony cabin midship on D deck and found it very comfortable. We liked the open wardrobe and the glass door to the shower. Our cabin steward was friendly and efficient. We were on Freedom dining and were allocated the Peninsular restaurant. We thought the food was very good and the staff friendly and helpful. We sometimes ate lunch in the Peninsular and only once had breakfast there. We always enjoyed being in this restaurant. The Horizon buffet restaurant is very well laid out and the food always looked fresh and appetising. On a few occasions it was really crowded but at other times was fine. Again the staff were lovely. We usually had breakfast and lunch in this restaurant and enjoyed the food. We ate at Sindhu twice and Epicurean once. We loved Sindhu, everything about it was good, the ambience, the staff, the service and the food was sublime. We thought Epicurean was a very nice looking restaurant and while some staff were very efficient, we did feel that we got forgotten a few times. We didn't really think the food was anything special an decided not to return. We also went to the Limelight club but did not enjoy this at all. We didn't enjoy the act or the food and were glad to get out at the end. We loved the Glass House for a drink and their food menu looked very good but we never found an opportunity to try it. We also liked the Crows nest but found the piano player good for a couple of visits but would have liked something a bit more upbeat sometimes. There was always some difficulty finding a sun bed on sea days. It was crazy round the pool even the Serenity pool got really crowded. We sometimes managed to find a bed at the back of the ship at the very top but it could be a bit sooty. We thought it was a fabulous ship and soon found our way around. We used the stairs as much as we could as we found the way that people continued to pile in the lifts even when they were full a bit off putting. In fact the only complaint we have about the holiday is that a small percentage of passengers were very rude and inconsiderate but we have no complaints at all about the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Just arrived home from two great weeks on the Britannia. The balcony cabin was excellent, our steward Ebinson - fantastic. We loved ALL of the food. Spa services were great - Millie so obliging and helpful. No real problems. However: ... Read More
Just arrived home from two great weeks on the Britannia. The balcony cabin was excellent, our steward Ebinson - fantastic. We loved ALL of the food. Spa services were great - Millie so obliging and helpful. No real problems. However: the Sunbed fiasco was unbelievable. Signs are displayed on tv screens with 'rules' - not sure anybody reads them. At 0700 one morning, there were NO sun beds for our day at sea. 90% of these were vacant with towels and bags on them. So frustrating. This was the norm. Additionally, the noise level outside was mega - so much that my husband and I could not hear each other, three feet apart. We had to go inside. The day pass for the Hydropool area in the Spa at £25 each was reasonable value. However, only Earl Grey Tea and water available with Luke warm water in flasks. Also the Bath Robes would only fit a size 8 at the most. Britannia really need to get to grips with these issues and quickly. All age ranges use the outside facilities - not simply loud music lovers. Even the music played on the PA system was really loud. Such a shame as this colored our whole view of the cruise. The inside of the ship is immaculate and staff are so welcoming. Such a shame about the issues I have outlined. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Our 2nd Caribbean cruise. Lots of good things about this cruise but there are some things that could be improved. Our cabin was small but comfortable with a good balcony and shower. Fridge and tea making tray, lots of hanging space ... Read More
Our 2nd Caribbean cruise. Lots of good things about this cruise but there are some things that could be improved. Our cabin was small but comfortable with a good balcony and shower. Fridge and tea making tray, lots of hanging space and storage and lots of 3 pin sockets. The TV was excellent with lots of free films and a ships webcam . A dirty toilet brush is not acceptable. Our cabin steward was excellent . The safety brief was very good . The Headliners theatre had lots of very good shows but some of the music was painfully loud at times. We swam every morning between 7 and 8 am when the pool was empty. Very few towels were on beds during that time. We avoided the pool area during the rest of the day because it was overcrowded and noisy . Lots of sunbeds around the ship in quieter areas. Meals in the Peninsular restaurant and Horizon buffet varied between good and poor. This is certainly not " the Foodie Heaven " that the adverts imply !! The Grab and Go by the pool was good for sandwiches and snacks and tea time in the Horizon was nice. The launderette was useful and free. The library was well stocked . The ships postal service was cheap and efficient and all our postcards arrived in days. The long days in port were good and we used local tours which were good and much cheaper than those by the ship. Some people went into the Horizon in swim wear and bare feet and far too many people ignored the hand washing / hand gel signs . This really needs to be enforced by a member of staff . On disembarkation day we were told to vacate our cabins by 8am BUT we could pay £70 for a similar cabin to use 10-4 !The immigration checks on board during the morning went smoothly.The buses taking passengers to the airport were delayed during the afternoon and we left the ship at 5pm instead of 4.15 . The traffic was dreadful and we all arrived late causing a late departure. The Britannia is an impressive sight from the outside but the décor inside is bland and in our opinion there is no wow factor. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our first ever cruise with P&O having enjoyed Princess once and Celebrity many times. We tried it because old friends whom we had met on Princess and are firm Princess/P&O cruisers - agreed that we would get together on ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise with P&O having enjoyed Princess once and Celebrity many times. We tried it because old friends whom we had met on Princess and are firm Princess/P&O cruisers - agreed that we would get together on Britannia to give this new ship a try over Xmas - New Year. After a month we can now reflect on the experience. As we live across the Irish Sea we had to fly to Manchester the night before and stayed in the Radisson as it was linked to the terminal. It was a good choice. We flew out on the Friday on Thomas Cook's refurbished 330. (See separate review on Airlinequality.com) and went for Premium Economy which was fine apart from P&O's money gouging seat choice charges. Flight was on time and bussing at Barbados was smooth. Our friends' flight from Gatwick was on time too and we hooked up mid afternoon on board. Overall we were impressed with the flight/baggage arrangements. The cabin (or as Celebrity calls it - the stateroom!) was smallish but adequate and the clothes hanging arrangements were good. Shower etc were more than adequate even for a big guy! The bed was very comfortable and the lighting arrangement while not ideal did not irritate us. The size of balcony was not a problem for 2 of us. Our cabin steward was an efficient and pleasant lady - our only cabin problem was a non flushing loo that was promptly fixed. We are not sun people so had no issues trying to get loungers. What we did appreciate was the adults only area and pool which I used most evenings around 4-5pm to swim lengths - I really miss this on Celebrity's Solstice class ships. We had no real problems finding our way around the ship although the 'much talked of' lack of central staircase is a little bemusing at first. There were rarely delays getting the lifts except after shows or similar and then a few minutes max. We thought the atrium was elegant and restrained - although inevitably we heard other passengers complain of lack of a 'wow' factor. Not sure why that is wanted or necessary. There was good use of space. We failed to get fixed dining and this was an annoyance having booked nearly 18 months in advance. The waiting times for the Peninsular varied enormously and on the first formal night there were delays of over an hour leading to some heated rows at the restaurant desk. We found that the Meridian on Deck 5 was better organised and had far shorter waiting times. On Xmas and NYE night there were fixed timings allocated - clearly a recognition that freedom dining needs a rethink on its management. The food was pretty good in our opinion although some of the waiters seemed rather undermotivated - others were delightful. Most lunchtimes we used the buffet and were rather underwhelmed. However we did master the wine machine! We tried out both Sindhu and the Epicurean and were delighted with both. Indeed we tried to rebook Sindhu but could not get in again. Thankfully had made both bookings online in advance. Every night we inhabited the Crow's Nest and found it an excellent spot with great service and well motivated staff. The library was first rate as a library and as the internet location. We bought a package in advance for the extra minutes and the speed was ok both in the cabin on I-Pad as well as in the library on their PCs. They kindly allowed me to print off our favourite daily crossword each day! Entertainment was a bit of a mixed bag and we enjoyed the one off Xmas show in particular. Unfortunately for us there were too many 'tribute acts' which are not our thing but many enjoyed. The Xmas Day Church Service was nicely done and very inclusive. Guest lecturer Dicky Arbiter had four sessions and was excellent even though poorly attended. He had been on the inaugural Britannia cruise I think and had filled the theatre but a different mix on board on that cruise. We only booked one P&O shore excursion on Grand Cayman because of the tendering there. It really was not good enough to tell those booked for 12 noon to look after themselves especially as the tendering had backed up so badly. Elsewhere we did our own thing or stayed on the ship. The big sailaway was a bit of an eye opener but by and large was good fun. Flying home day was quite pleasant in being able to stay aboard until midday and then head for the airport. The flight back was as seamless as coming out - although Manchester Airport at 4.30 am is not a lot of fun! Thankfully FlyBE allowed us to change to the first flight home at no charge. So - in summary - we enjoyed the cruise immensely and overall enjoyed the ship and the crew. Apart from the dining delays earlier on we had no complaints. Yes it is a big vessel - but MSC has just announced building two new ships carrying 6,300 passengers each! The charter arrangements worked well and the baggage transfer was a bonus. P&O is very focused on the UK market and serves it well - maybe this makes the experience a little claustrophobic. However our friends ensured that it was a memorable cruise for us all and we need to do it again - if we agree on the cruise line! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
We had read a lot of reviews about the ship and were looking forward to experiencing it ourselves. We are seasoned P&O cruisers and usually spend Christmas and New Year on either Ventura or Azura but this time neither of them were ... Read More
We had read a lot of reviews about the ship and were looking forward to experiencing it ourselves. We are seasoned P&O cruisers and usually spend Christmas and New Year on either Ventura or Azura but this time neither of them were doing the Caribbean to take in both holidays. If there is one thing P&O do well it is the flights and transfers from Barbados airport to the ship. However, on arrival at the cruise check in shed it was chaos. We thought as we were in a Suite, we had a separate check in but no one directed us and there was no sign to say this so we queued up with everyone else. Once aboard we soon found our Suite on deck B. We had not had a Suite before and were immediately impressed by the extra room you get compared with a regular balcony cabin (although our neighbours said that the suites on Ventura are bigger). The bathroom and separate toilet were great - whirlpool bath, large separate shower, quality toiletries, lovely huge towels, lots of mirrors and shelves and a separate wash basin in the toilet room, although there were no soap dishes so the soap slid around the counter top unless you anchored it on a flannel. The balcony was long and narrow - I thought narrower than on the other ships but OH thought it was about the same. Suffice it to say that you could not place one of the chairs square on to the door and rail - it had to be at an angle. Anyway taking all in all we were happy. There were 4 wardrobes with doors, lots of hangers including padded ones and plenty of drawer space but the main wardrobe was just not tall enough to take my long dresses. There was an iron and ironing board, coffee maker, fridge, 2 TVs, sofa, 2 easy chairs, 2 desk chairs, 2 desks, lots of glasses and a good sized easy to use safe that you didn't have to grovel on the floor to use. We had fresh fruit, chocolates and a bottle of champagne (and a lovely Christmas cake which was delivered in time for the big day). There were also binoculars (but they were broken) and a good hairdryer. The bed was comfy although we did not like the pillows. There were insufficient UK 3-pin plug sockets (plenty of US style ones) so remember to take a multi way socket device. The cabin was kept nice and clean by our Steward but we were not much impressed by the butler who kept forgetting our ice and delivered canapés much too late - sometimes just as were leaving the cabin for dinner. We soon found our way to the very top deck at the back of the ship (get the lift to deck 17 and then walk up) where there were plenty of sunbeds and it was a nice quiet area overlooking the terrace pool at the back of the ship. Having got used to the tranquility on this deck, one day I took a walk on deck 16 from the back to the front of the ship. All was well until I reached the pool and OMG it was bedlam!! Not for us!! People have said that it is very difficult to find your way around the ship but frankly if you have been on either Ventura or Azura, you will not have any problem navigating Britannia as bars, restaurants etc things are basically in the same sequence. Anyway we did not get lost. We were freedom dining and were assigned to the Peninsula restaurant. I was very pleased to see that P&O had taken on board my complaint after last year when people were queuing for up to 4 hours to book their Christmas and New Year's Eve dining times. This time they sent us an email before we left home and we chose our times from that. We thought the food overall had improved and the Horizon buffet in terms of layout, access and food is a massive improvement to the buffets on Ventura and Azura - plenty of room to move around, sit and get to the food, although they could do with specific areas to put your used trays instead of having to put them on an empty table. We even ate in there twice for our evening dinners which would be unheard of on the other ships. We ate twice in the Beach House which was laid out really nice in the evenings, once in Sindhu, once in the Glasshouse and once in the Epicurean, all of which were excellent. We could have had our breakfasts in the Epicurean but frankly it is an awful long way to walk from an aft suite to the front of the ship and we could not be bothered with this. We went once to the Limelight club. We had booked our meal for 7.15 but in fact, this means nothing as you all queue up outside for 7pm and are then shown to your table. Everyone eats at the same time and you get your starters and mains and then the act comes on for about 20 minutes. Then you have to wait for your desserts. By this time it was around 9.30 and too late for us to eat. The act was very poor - this is probably as much down to the luck of the draw as to who is appearing on the day of your visit as people said that the Morecambe and Wise tribute act was very good. We also visited the Live Lounge on Christmas night when there was a group on. They were OK but the seating in this place is dire. There are swivel chairs which if they are not in the position you want are almost impossible to lift and move, also the depth of the seat is very narrow (and we are not big people!!). In fact we found the seating in lots of the bars to be similarly poor. The best by far is the Crow's Nest where they have comfy armchairs if you are lucky enough to get one. But this was a long walk for us from the back to the front of the ship. The Sindhu bar is a big improvement to that on the Ventura and we liked the staff there. We also visited the Blue Bar on deck 5 but as this is in the Atrium, it has a cold atmosphere. One thing which did not impress us was that you cannot get the same wines in all the bars. Each bar has its own. OH had difficulty getting a red wine to suit. I liked the Stone Burn Sauvignon Blanc that you could get on the other ships but we were told that they do not have it on Britannia (although I later found that they have it in one of the wine packages). We thought the Atrium is too big and lacked any wow factor, it is more like a shopping mall or a barn. Being aft, we had no problem with the accessibility or availability of lifts. I do not know what others were complaining about. There was talk that they are putting in extra stairs in midships. Whether this is true will remain to be seen but in the meantime, if you are booking a cruise on this ship, opt for either forward or aft and you won't have the problem of the lack of stairs midships. We had been to most of the islands several times before except for Grand Cayman and we had booked our own stingray tour there which was almost half the price that P&O wanted. Otherwise we just got off the ship to stretch our legs and sample the local beers!! This was not the case however at Dominica where we were alongside at a container berth and you could not walk through the quay to the road. Finally just 2 points to make: First , or all the hype about this ship being the "future", it is still very much in the past when it comes to the timing of some entertainment in the evenings. Putting the Theatre shows aside, the entertainment in the bars ie background pleasing piano music is geared to second sitting for dinner. This is brilliantly demonstrated in the Crow's Nest where from 8 - 8.30 pm each evening they have "pre dinner requests" with the resident pianist. At 8.30 he disappears for a break to which he is clearly entitled but for those who had already had their dinner - either on first sitting or freedom dining, there was silence. So pre dinner requests are clearly only for second sitting in the club dining room. Given that the majority of people are now freedom dining/first sitting, we felt that this old fashioned way of providing background entertainment needs bringing into the present day. Second, on 2 occasions when we went for dinner in the Peninsula restaurant at around 7.15 to 7.30, there was no availability and they were handing out bleepers with the comment that waiting time could be an hour. On the first occasion we turned round and went to the Beach House but on the second occasion we waited it out along with lots of other people. The last time we ate in this restaurant we were there in good time and got a table with no problem. The strange thing was that when we were leaving about an hour later, I noticed that there were lots of tables of varying sizes free and laid up for dinner but the Maitre D was turning people away with bleepers. We had never known this on any of the other ships and we always select freedom dining. All in all we had a lovely cruise and are already looking forward to 4 weeks on Azura for Christmas and New Year 2016. Would we sail on Britannia again? We would not rule it out but prefer the other ships, the somewhat smaller Ventura and Azura for example. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and I have just returned from a lovely two weeks aboard the P&O Britannia covering the Christmas and New Year period. Overall we had an absolutely wonderful cruise and could hardly have hoped for anything better. There were a ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from a lovely two weeks aboard the P&O Britannia covering the Christmas and New Year period. Overall we had an absolutely wonderful cruise and could hardly have hoped for anything better. There were a few, small disappointments but then this is to be expected when spending a fortnight on a floating small town with 3,500 residents! I’ve never reviewed a cruise before and this is quite a daunting task as so much is crammed into a short period. So, I’ll divided my review into relevant sections such as ‘entertainment’ and try and give an objective appraisal of both good and weaker aspects for each. First of all, many, many thanks to Savio, our cabin Steward. What a truly lovely guy. He always smiles, is always there to help and is incredibly efficient. Flights: We flew from Manchester on the Thomas Cook return flight and were very impressed. I had assumed, incorrectly, that as this was a charter it would be a budget package with knees rammed into my chin, poor food and little entertainment. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. The plane was spacious (we were in basic economy), the food was about as good as it gets on a plane, the entertainment system was enough to keep us occupied and the staff were very welcoming and efficient. No complaints at all! Embarkation/disembarkation: Having P&O handle your bags both to and from the airport is a luxury and makes for a much more enjoyable transfer at each end. However, the tags given for the outward leg are too fragile and one of ours and those of several other guests tore off during the transition. This resulted in bags being delivered to the cabins very late indeed on arrival which is the last thing you need after a long journey. On leaving the cruise it is a little annoying that the bags have to be outside the cabin the evening before the day of departure. We weren’t flying until 4:35pm the following day. However, there are thousands of passengers and so I guess this makes the process easier for P&O. A bigger issue is that you are asked to vacate your cabin at 8:00am on your day of departure. In any standard of hotel this would be unacceptable and I’m not sure why P&O aren’t capable of allowing more time. We in fact just ignored this and left our cabin at nearer 9:00am when we were ready. Port excursions: Jamaica – Best of Ocho Rios … what a fabulous and fun experience. The onshore guide was superb and ensured we all had a great, and very wet, time at Dunn’s River Falls. Recommended. Tortola – Beautiful BVI ... again a fabulous trip. We had 90 minutes on the boat which was lovely. This could have been shortened to allow more than the 30 minutes at Sopers Hole but it was still a lovely trip (after queuing for the toilets and a quick look around we really had no time for refreshments at Sopers Hole at all which was a shame as it is a delightful place). Antigua – Nelson’s Dockyard … lovely drive and a fascinating place to visit. Plenty to fill the time and a very relaxing and informative trip. Dominica – Middleham Falls Hike … well, my wife and I are fortunate to be fit and experienced hikers so we had a wonderful time. However, this is a serious, strenuous hike and is not fully explained in the P&O brochure. There were several guests who really struggled and although they had brought the ‘sensible’ footwear advised by P&O, this hike really should be only be undertaken in proper hiking boots. The hike is three hours long, climbing some quite steep gradients and on very slippery rocks with steep falls to the side in places. The Middleham Falls are spectacular but we couldn’t quite believe that P&O had suggested that you could take a dip in the clear pools …. you’d have to be insane as the waterfall is powerful and would easily overcome all but the strongest swimmers. Although we thoroughly enjoyed this trip, this was only due to our level of fitness and experience. Our guide was useless and positively dangerous. He often went well ahead and had no idea at all how his group were faring (he even had a whistle that he blew so those at the back could hear him given that they rarely could see him). He made the classic error of waiting until all had caught up and then just as the slowest/weakest had arrived he started off again so that they didn’t get any rest times at all. He also mistimed the hike spending far too long talking on the way up which resulted in a very rushed and dangerous descent. Highly irresponsible. The P&O representative on the hike was one of their photographers who had never attempted this trip before. He commented that this was “the hardest hike I’ve ever done”. As a result, he was of no use to help the guests. Again, we did enjoy the exercise but shame on P&O for allowing such an effectively unsupervised and dangerous experience to take place ... I can only believe that has not been observed and the brochure description has been dreamed up by someone who hasn’t attempted the hike. Antigua – Best sights of Antigua. This was an enjoyable trip and pretty much did what it said on the tin! Recommended. Entertainment: Clearly enjoyment of entertainment depends on the likes and dislikes of each individual. So for this section of my review I’ll try and reflect the opinions of not just myself and my wife but also those of many other guests we spoke to during the trip. The ship’s cast, ‘Headliners’, must be given 100% for effort and enthusiasm. They really worked hard to put on good shows and keep their audiences entertained. However, although individually they are generally very good dancers, as a team they were often uncoordinated. I’m guessing this is due to poor direction and perhaps lack of rehearsal time (they do put on an incredible array of shows which must be difficult to develop and rehearse). Regarding their singing … the tall blonde girl that I think I heard was called Lisa was the cast’s best performer with a great, powerful voice. The rest were at best average and at times just very ‘shouty’. Overall, as a group, they came across as fairly amateur. But hey, they entertained the crowd and put on lots of highly energetic and complex shows …. this isn’t meant to be the West End after all. The talents of the various guest entertainers varied enormously. The best by far was Gareth Oliver and his wife Alice who performed a superb, comedy ventriloquist act. Most of us were crying with laughter throughout and they received an extended, standing ovation from the whole crowd. Absolutely brilliant. There was also a violinist who was truly amazing with the violin but insisted on telling her life story through both words and a slide show which was a shame. I guess she believes that she has to somehow convince the crowd that she is better than the sometimes maligned cruise ship entertainer. However, she didn’t need to do this ... her violin playing speaks for her. She’s superb! Also for some reason she thought that flicking her hair continually through her performance somehow added to it. No, it was just annoying and distracting. The comment I heard that most summed up her performance was “That was simultaneously the most amazing and the most dreadful performance I’ve ever experienced”. Drop the life story and the hair flicking and you’ll double your fee and become the great star that you deserve to be. There was also an impersonator who was excellent and a tenor that was very impressive. By far the worst act was the Robbie Williams evening. Unfortunately, the guy neither looked or sounded like Robbie! He clearly was aware of this and so decided to focus on impersonating the cocky side of Robbie Williams. However, he did this throughout every song and never managed to perform any song seriously or in full. Just dreadful. The entertainments team that provide the games, singing, dancing etc. throughout the rest of the ship should be applauded. They are excellent and just never seem to tire or stop smiling …. superb. I also went to a juggling class which was fun and I did indeed improve at juggling. The only improvement here would be to make an effort to learn and use some of the guests’ names during the session. I know some will be thinking how can this be expected with twenty or so people attending the session? As a public speaker, lecturer and corporate trainer specialising in communication skills I can promise you that with the right help it is quite easy to learn many names within a short period of time. And it would make such a difference to the guests’ experience. So a mixed bag but then wouldn’t that happen if you went to the theatre every night for two weeks in a small town at home? Overall we thought the entertainment was generally worth seeing, sometimes painful but often fun and, as intended, entertaining. Dining: Again, as in any small, albeit floating, town there were some bars and restaurants that we liked and some that we preferred to avoid. We tended to freedom dine in the Peninsular most of the time as the atmosphere was nice and the choice and quality of food excellent. The only improvement would be to provide pots of tea on each table as the waiters are very busy and its often hard to get a refill. The Peninsular was so good we didn’t feel a need to use the upgrade restaurants. We didn’t like the Horizon restaurant as it’s a buffet and as with many buffets, felt a little like a school canteen. Also, the food was often luke warm. But many guests found it handy as it was near the Lido pool and so an easy option for sunbathers. There are many bars, restaurants and lounges throughout the ship and really everybody should be able to find places that they love. We liked the Crow’s Nest piano bar for a quiet evening drink, Brodies for the bingo (!) and the Market Place to just chill, read, play cards and watch the world go by (although the tea in the Market Café is dreadful …. a pot of warm water and a teabag in a sachet). We did book afternoon tea in the Epicurean. This restaurant is fabulous. The décor is stunning, the atmosphere is that of a five-star hotel and the service excellent. Unfortunately, the afternoon tea wasn’t to our taste as the traditional English afternoon tea had been ‘modified’ – such things as a chocolate tube filled with candy floss and a slice of duck on a piece of bread. But we did see other guests eat all of these things and then leave the scones, so again, it depends on your taste really. But surely a must would be a pot of tea! We had to keep asking the waitresses to refill our cups … surely afternoon tea would naturally come with a pot of tea? The decks: There are loads of outside decks and spaces to chill, sunbathe, swim in pools etc. All are excellent, clean and continually serviced by waiters for drinks. The Lido pool tends to be pretty busy all day when at sea as this is where the true sun worshippers and families hang out. It can also be quite noisy with music pumping out. However, if you prefer somewhere a little more serene then try the Serenity Pool or any of the decks around the ship. P&O do ask people not to reserve sunbeds but true to form, the Brits are the best in the world at getting their towels down early (contrary to the myth that the Germans are the culprits). We did come across some selfish idiots that even reserve sunbeds on both sides of the ship so that they can move as the sun moves! I’m pretty assertive and confident and so am always happy to just toss their towels aside and claim the beds if the towels have sat there unused for over thirty minutes but many guests were seen wandering around endlessly looking for unused beds. P&O should really police this on behalf of their guests. So all in all a fabulous experience with something for everyone to love and enjoy. Although I’ve mentioned some criticisms this is sure to be the case when so much is on offer. I truly believe that every guest should be able to have a great two weeks if they can just accept that there are bound to be aspects of the cruise that don’t appeal to them …. they’ll appeal to someone else! So why have I only scored this review as four stars rather than five. Well this is not because of any of the above small criticisms. As I’ve already mentioned, such a complex operation is never going to be perfect for everyone on board. The reason for the star being dropped is the rather annoying, continual attempt by P&O throughout the cruise to drag more money from their guests: 1. The Wi-Fi is a ridiculous cost. Now, I actually wasn’t too concerned about this as I was very happy to turn my phone off and lock it in the safe for the duration of the holiday. Let’s face it we didn’t use to have to be constantly emailing, texting, calling and Facebooking while on holiday so why do it now? However, I stay in many hotels on business throughout the year and would not expect to pay anything at all for Wi-Fi whether in a three, four or five-star hotel. 2. We went to two talks and then gave this up as both turned out to be just ways to get more money from us. The first was a talk given by Lindsay regarding the next two ports to be visited. There were some rudimentary snippets regarding the islands but the majority of the talk was geared to P&O tours that could be booked. Lindsey is an excellent speaker and I really don’t think the content is her fault. I’m guessing that P&O ‘encourage’ her to sell the tours. The second talk was held at the gym (which is very impressive) by a guy called Stefan. Again, a very nice guy but the talk was headlined as covering the management of the PH in our bodies and how to reduce such things as acid reflux. The talk started well enough but then turned into a sales pitch for a course of algae pills!! We were informed that there are 110 different types of algae which have a high alkalinity and therefore can be used to clean the liver and reduce acidity. We were also informed that it wasn’t good enough to just go home and eat lots of seaweed but the combination of algae would be advised by the guys for our personal needs. For fun we talked to Stefan’s sidekick, Le Roux, after the talk. What a surprise, he decided we each needed to buy a three-month supply of his pills at a whopping £172 per person. Interestingly we spoke to another lady who also took Le Roux’s ‘personalised’ advice and she was told exactly the same thing. It’s a remarkable coincidence that all three of us need the exact same combination of 110 algae and that combination just happens to be the exact make-up of the pills that they’re peddling. First of all - and if you don’t trust me just do some research with respected, qualified, experienced, medical experts – the notion that you can ‘clean’ your liver by taking algae pills is just sheer nonsense! If you do indeed need help, quit the smoking, reduce the alcohol, eat ‘clean, fresh, healthy’ foods and get off your backside and do some exercise. Secondly, shame on P&O for allowing such garbage advice to take place on their ship along with the peddling of useless pills. I can only assume that P&O are taking a cut. 3. We heard from several, experienced cruisers that the automatic tipping of £5 per person per day, rather than actually being a tip is a subsidy of the employees’ wages. In other words, the waiters etc. are guaranteed a specific wage. The ‘tips’ do go to them but then P&O just make up the shortfall to achieve their guaranteed wage. The higher the tips, the less P&O has to contribute. Now, we felt that the level of tips was actually very reasonable but not if it’s used a subsidy. So, along with other guests, we took the automated tips off our account and gave each member of staff that had specifically looked after us their tips in cash. Clearly I only have the word of other guests regarding this policy and would love to see P&O respond to this review and emphatically and clearly explain their policy. I do hope what I heard was incorrect as using ‘tips’ to subsidise wages is inexcusable. So, hence the score of four rather than five stars. The cruise is superb ... fabulous food, excellent service, great variety of entertainment, excellent facilities. But stop trying to grab more money P&O! And who/what are the ‘FFs’ I refer to in my headline that I suggest you avoid? Frequent Floaters! The captain (who is a great sport) mentioned in one of his short talks that two-thirds of the guests had cruised with P&O previously ... and don’t they let you know it! Unfortunately, the FFs not only love to bore you with the intricate details of every cruise they’ve ever done but they also continually moan about the cruise they’re on. The record that we came across was a couple who were on their 17th, yes their 17th, cruise. And they’d already booked for next year. We also met a couple who were cruising in the Caribbean for the 10th year in a row. Now, there’s no problem here at all. Although we would get bored to death with doing the same type of holiday each year let alone to the same locations, each to their own. If this is what people want to do, then that is of course fine. But stop going on and on and on about it and stop moaning about everything on the current cruise being worse than previous cruises. Here are a sample of the comments we heard (and please insert the name of any cruise ship you wish as after a while you realise these FFs have been on them all, the Aurora, the Oceania, the Titanic): • “On the Black Pig they changed the carpets in the lifts each day. Each day the carpet had the name of the day woven into it. It’s these little touches that the Britannia just don’t have”! Who cares? Stop looking at your feet! • “On the Titanic there were more lifts and so you didn’t have to wait so long”. Believe me, the longest you wait on the Britannia is about 90 seconds. What’s the hurry, you’re on a cruise? • “On the Mary Celeste they decanted the wine. We only drink wine if it’s been decanted”. I think this is a couple that don’t really understand the purpose of decanting and when wine needs to be decanted! • “On the Jolly Roger they served the vegetables separately”. We really just didn’t understand why this was a good thing... any ideas? Etc. etc. You get the idea. Many FFs even moaned that the gift of a Monopoly Set from P&O on Christmas day was inappropriate and not good enough. I think they need to look around the world and realise that they’re on a luxury cruise while thousands of refugees and children are starving! The FFs seem to have forgotten what a cruise is about and they’re now just playing cruising ‘Top Trumps’ chasing the perfect ship ...” This is our second cruise on the Britannia this year…”, “We were on the maiden voyage…”, “We helped design the Britannia…”, “We helped build the Britannia…” (okay, I made the last two up). I never did find the right couple but I had planned to encourage some FFs to tell me all about their dozens of cruises and gripes with the Britannia and then make up the name of a cruise ship that we’d been on ... “Well when we were on the Proteus every cabin had its own lift”. But I decided they probably wouldn’t appreciate the sarcasm or indeed the classical reference. Please note, the volume and attitude of the FFs is not a reflection on P&O or the cruise at all. I just wanted to help readers avoid them. They’re easy to spot. They’re often wearing, sometimes matching, P&O apparel and they’re opening gambit is usually “Have you cruised before?”. Obviously, if you’re reading this and you are one of the FFs I’m referring to, just ignore this advice. Let’s face it, you won’t agree and you’re probably already moaning about the fact I mentioned it. I’ll bet that didn’t happen after you completed your ‘insert number’ cruise on the ‘insert ship’s name’. Sorry for this being such a long review and congratulations for reading this far. I did say that reviewing a two-week cruise was pretty daunting. So, if you want a varied, luxury, fun, relaxing holiday and to enjoy the warm weather and some lovely islands then book the Britannia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
Review on the P&O ship Britannia, on our voyage from Barbados 5th December 2015. We have had previously sailed on Royal Caribbean Jewel of the seas, Vision of the seas, Adventure of the seas and Independence of the seas. Also ... Read More
Review on the P&O ship Britannia, on our voyage from Barbados 5th December 2015. We have had previously sailed on Royal Caribbean Jewel of the seas, Vision of the seas, Adventure of the seas and Independence of the seas. Also Princess cruises Grand Princess. So we are comparing the Britannia with these ships. Has the ship got the 'Wow Factor'? Well the answer to this is No.! It is a strange ship that let's itself down in many ways. From first walking on to the ship you are not wowed because of its very depressing colour schemes. Far too many charcoal grey walls and browns. The colour scheme seems to run throughout the ship even into the lifts. The atrium also is disappointing lacking in hight and light. The main theatre was also a bit of a let down. The seats not being as lush and plush as we have experienced on the other ships. Drink holders on the seat arm being not fit for purpose. No drinks served in the theatre, you have to bring them in. Again, no Wow factor when you walk in and again the colour scheme depressing. We ate in the Peninsular dining room. Again colours are drab but the service and the food were superb. 5 star for this. The ' live lounge ' again colours not uplifting and maybe a tad on the small size as lots of people wanted to watch the live shows in the evening an was often very full. What lets the ship down is the flow of the ship as in terms of getting around the ship. Just getting around the lido deck is difficult. You are met with a number of glass panels to obstruct you. Very annoying. Trying to get from one end of the ship to another can be challenging. On the days when we were at sea getting around was more difficult as people were blocking the stairs exit with sun beds. I think this is a safety hazard and I left comments to point this out to P & O. I think it is fair to say that most used lifts on the ship are midship lifts. At busy times you have a long wait as you can't get on one. But the strangest thing is you have no alternative as there are NO stairs as an alternative from deck 16 Down to deck 7. So you can't walk down one or two flights of stairs to help ease congestion. There were many people commenting on this. A very poor design. The music volume on the lido deck was excessive at times to say the least. I did a decibel reading from my iPhone and it peaked at 95 db and this was a time when it was not at its loudest. The sail away party was much much louder. I worked in industry and we had to wear ear plugs above 80db and at 92db it was impossible to talk and make conversation. Maybe an age thing but most of the guests were over 50 in age. The cabins below the lido deck were disturbed by the volume levels. We had an inside cabin and it seemed smaller the any inside cabin we have had before. I haven't checked the square footage though to compare. We went into the Lime Light club for a meal and see the "Eric and Ernie" show and a meal. Very nice. Maybe a choice on the menu would have been good rather than set menu. Smoking was allowed on the ship in a few areas. It was not nice on the Lido deck as the smoke seemed to linger under the canopy. This was then sucked into the entrance port side to the Horizon restaurant and even though to the mid ships lift area. This smoking area could do with being moved to another area where is was more open as it is affecting the other passengers!! So just to say we had a lovely cruise, and hope some of the points I have mentioned can be addressed, but it's too late for others without refurbishment which will not happen for many years. 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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise