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Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the Fjords again as we cruised there last year in late July. This time, we wanted to see the snow on the mountains and we were not disappointed. Our check in was very quick due to using the online check in service a few days ... Read More
We chose the Fjords again as we cruised there last year in late July. This time, we wanted to see the snow on the mountains and we were not disappointed. Our check in was very quick due to using the online check in service a few days before we left. Once on board, we located our cabin on deck nine. We opted for an inside cabin this time. It was clean and cozy, the mattress and pillows were very comfortable and we slept really well. The only down side was the air conditioning. Every morning, we both woke up with very dry throats, not down to alcohol I can assure you. Also, my wife's asthma was really bad in the mornings. Our cabin steward was always smiling, very polite and helpful. We opted for freedom dining and ate mostly in the buffet on deck 16. It was good to see the staff were much more proactive in ensuring that passengers made use of the hand sanitising facilities before entering the dining venues. This was sadly lacking last summer and there was an outbreak of norovirus towards the end of the cruise. Overall, the food was good and the menus were varied. We also ate in the peninsular restaurant as well, again, no complaints. We chose this time around to make our own arrangements with excursions as the P and O excursions are ridiculously expensive. The best thing about the ports we visited, you did not have to go far to see stunning scenery or find gift shops though eating or drinking out in Norway is extremely expensive. After last year, we didn't bother with the entertainment as it was not to our taste. I think that the amount of money P and O are pulling in, they could get far better guest acts on board instead of has beens. The service we received on board was very good, I must pay tribute to the bar staff on the sun deck who had to endure very cold conditions whilst wearing nothing else apart from their thin uniforms. They still kept smiling whilst they served us. However, the photography department was like something off Fawlty towers. We ordered some photos from the gala night which they managed to lose twice, this after waiting for an hour in the queue. We did complain to reception and finally got our photos delivered to our cabin. I must add, we did get some four for the price of two as compensation. We discovered that others had encountered problems also. Disembarkation went smoothly, no problems at all. Even our coach got away on time. Would we go with P and O again?. Yes, having cruised a few times with them now, we are getting wise to all these little extras that are supposibly good value, and this includes the on board shops who claim that goods cannot be purchased ashore cheaper, when in reality, they can. But overall, yes, a pleasant relaxing time, very satisfactory Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Short jaunt around the Bay of Biscay. Bipolar weather and last stop aborted so no guernsey sadly. I love Britannia. She’s a big ship and handles the rough and tumble of the Bay no problem. I met some lovely people on board who made ... Read More
Short jaunt around the Bay of Biscay. Bipolar weather and last stop aborted so no guernsey sadly. I love Britannia. She’s a big ship and handles the rough and tumble of the Bay no problem. I met some lovely people on board who made my holiday very special indeed. Grateful to Pete and Clarke for this. I also met some horrors too. If people can be nasty bigots in a public venue, I’m the antidote. These creatures were summarily dealt with and I moved on. P&O should DNA check some of its passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. Very efficient and the staff were amazing. I simply couldn’t fault them. I love P&O for this. The ship is due for a refit this year and, although she’s a lovely vessel, she needs a bit of a makeover as my cabin bathroom stunk of urine! Not good when I’ve complained about the very same thing on Ventura before. I get that a few thousand people all using the bathroom is a monumental thing on a ship, but P&O must sort this out. Soon. In summary, I enjoyed my journey and Britannia is lovely, apart from her toilet habits!! Safe journeys y’all Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Embarkation The car drop off takes 40 mins waiting in the car, this is a poor parking system, we were told it is a holding pattern so not to block gate entrance, but no other dock in Southampton does it this way and the fast drop off at ... Read More
Embarkation The car drop off takes 40 mins waiting in the car, this is a poor parking system, we were told it is a holding pattern so not to block gate entrance, but no other dock in Southampton does it this way and the fast drop off at other terminals works fine. Maybe we arrived at the worst time @14:10, but the tickets told us to arrive for 14:30 and no more than half an hour before. Embarkation was busy but flowing and fast track good for people with limited walking. There were rather a large number of guests waiting in the assistance area and the process seemed slow, so even though my wife and I use sticks and usually use this service we continued through the lounge. As soon as we were on the ship, we were able to go to our cabin and divest ourselves of the hand luggage and suit carrier. This we were not able to do on some other cruise lines and lugging cases etc. around was very difficult. The large cases arrived promptly about two hours after we boarded, which was excellent. Dining The restaurant's have plenty of room between the tables. The initial waiter service was poor for how tables laid out during the first breakfast and dinner. We had to wait for more water/coffee and when asked another waiter he said someone would serve us but only from our team (which he didn't tell us and didn't pass message on), plus waited for menus themselves in some instances. The table layout is bad for both general waiting and wine waiter, as our table for dinner (93) is behind wall/piller for main waiters and at far end of area of wine waiter, so difficult to see or get hold of either of them. We had no wine menu on one night and again difficult to get hold of the waitress, when she finally arrived and we asked about the menu, she stated not enough menus to go round so only given to regular customers, as we ordered wine on two occasions and drank it over two days we were obviously not regular enough. This was outright rudeness! Oriental Restaurant set up not like typical cruise ship and dark decor, seems to try and mimic a restaurant rather than ship. Other restaurant are more open, but food provision in these restaurant is more chaotic, we have been told by others. Food for breakfast can be warm at best, again service depends on visibility. The porridge can be nice and hot, but also luke warm, it does vary a lot and getting there early ironically meant the porridge was colder. Toast is nice and crispy, not damp as with other lines who keep it covered to keep warm, but too soggy. Coffee in the Oriental very nice, also hot, but refills can be slow to come. If you ask for well done bacon for breakfast it comes crispy which is good. The general food quality in the Oriental Restaurant is good. We didn't try the buffet breakfast. It is good that the doors to the restaurant close to late guests in the Oriental Restaurant 15 mins after sitting commences. The separate vegetarian menu is good, however if you have food from this it takes longer to prepare than from standard menu, so you will have to wait, which is not a problem, guests just need to know. The vegetables can be sparse e.g. Quarter of a potato,10 thick cut chips with steak. For the vegetarian meals sometimes it would be good to include separate vegetables. Also need to understand that vegetarians don't want everything to be soft. The sweet corn risotto was not great, the rice was undercooked. Steaks come as asked for and are generally good. The salmon was overdone and dry. The pheasant was dry and the shredded pheasant had a bone in it (about an inch and a half long) that I nearly swallowed. The low sugar desserts seem to lack taste e.g. Coffee and hazelnut cake was just a slab of cake with no coffee taste or hazelnut at all. The thyme and lemon stuffing that came with the roast chicken, wasn't anything like stuffing at all, much closer to thyme and lemon breadcrumbs. The scrambled eggs were excellent, as were the soft boiled eggs. My wife ordered macaroni cheese with focaccia bread, it didn't come with the bread and that was not the first time the accompaniment didn't appear. Drinks on-board were excellent value and greatly appreciated after other cruise lines. Does make daily drinks package seem very expensive at £40 per person per day. The wine packages are a good idea. The buffet restaurant is generally good, with wide walkways and good seating, unlike other cruise lines where they "pack people in". There seems to be enough choice, but very limited fruit available during lunch, which is what we'd like to eat. Having had a good breakfast and dinner. My wife wanted to go to the Good Friday service at 08:30, so we arrived at the Oriental Restaurant before 08:00, as from previous breakfasts it took 20 to 25 minutes to finish. This breakfast room considerably longer with scrambled eggs on toast for my wife arriving after 25 minutes which she had to bolt down to get to the service and didn't get her Danish pastry at all. Yet from where we were seated other guests in a different area, had their main breakfast delivered nearly 10 minutes before we did. Cabin The TV is missing on board spend, which you have to go to reception and ask to be printed out, which is a waste of paper. The tv channels are very limited, however the destination videos are very interesting and worthwhile. The tv lost all channels on at least one occasion that I can confirm (around 17:00 onwards on Sunday the 14th of April) and I think on another occasion earlier in the cruise. Also lost signal temporarily a number of times. The room steward is very friendly and remembers names (Ratheesh), he looks after us very well. Other staff outside generally do not say good morning (some do)? Though restaurant staff are pretty good. This improved the longer the cruise went on and by the end most said good morning, when on my walks around deck. The bed is very comfortable and cabin E520 is quiet and nicely furnished. It does need small lights by each bedside for getting up in night/reading. Guests leave bathroom light on and door ajar with coat hanger so some light available, this wastes electricity. The balcony is small at around 1 metre in depth, this seems smaller than other ships we have been on and with the chairs and tables minimal room to squeeze by, especially if you have limited mobility. The shower is excellent and spacious, the bathroom is well laid out but not large, I can see where some guests would think the layout is not ideal, especially larger people. The non slip floor in the bathroom is excellent. General Ship The decor is a bit tired in places, floor 7 buttons missing in most lifts, some carpets, rails and stairs worn. The ship is generally clean and the staff look like they work hard to keep it clean. The lifts are a nightmare, they are too full for disabled people, miss floors when waiting and take an age, had to take stairs as gave up after 5 mins plus, others waited for over 15 mins. People end up getting in any lift going in the wrong direction. No stairs with middle lifts a massive mistake. When trying to get off for an excursion again had to give up with lifts after waiting 10 minutes for lifts in the middle of the ship and standing there with two sets of people with wheelchairs, as there are no stairs, a glaring mistake when designing this ship. Also as lifts don't go to all floors it gets confusing to go to deck 5 from the rear from deck 6, you have to go up 1 along to mid ships and then down and when it is busy and you are in a wheelchair this takes ages. Lots of complaints about lifts and queues. Plus the rear lifts are the only ones you can use to get to the Oriental Restaurant, you can't walk there from other lifts, so they get ridiculously busy at dining times, especially in the evenings. There are two independent lifts each side in the middle, so people press all three buttons (1 for the main bank of 4, and 1 for each of the side ones) then get in whichever they can, leaving the other two still stopping at that floor. All middle lifts need to be synchronised. As there are middle stairs (behind the doors) which can be used from floor 7 down, but not up, why not? On the lifts in the middle there are notices about letting less mobile people use them, these are totally ignored. As this cruise has a number of sea days, at the beginning and end, a few children have taken to pressing all the lift buttons as they are unsupervised. I understand this is difficult for P&O, but the parents do need to have responsibility. It was nice that bridge crew made an announcement over the tanoy when whales were spotted. On Palm Sunday, an important Christian event, there is nothing mentioned or even a room set aside, as there is for the Jewish community. It is good there are Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, though 23:30 is a bit late for the washing of the feet on Thursday and the liturgy on Friday (this is due to the crew being able to participate). I suppose this was the earliest P&O had rooms available? The Stations of the Cross on Food Friday was held in The Ivory Suite - a nice room, but only enough chairs for half of the people there, the rest had to stand. The lack of a promenade deck is disappointing as we like to stroll around the outside. There is an area outside to sit in which confused us as we thought it was the promenade. Doors really heavy and difficult to move. The facilities to keep hands clean (dispensers) are largely absent. My wife asked the restaurant manager and was told not necessary after a couple of days and also not that effective, soap and water much better, which is available (in the toilets by Oriental Restaurant so no one used them), in our view dispensers much better and more used, if they were there. The wash basins by buffet restaurant were used but only by a very few people. It is good that there are close buttons on lifts. Ports & Excursions The different ports were excellent, with lots of variety. La Palma was our favourite due to not being too commercialised, but all offered interesting aspects and not what you would expect of these islands. Docking was handled quickly and efficiently, though there were the inevitable queues at peak times. Excursions were good value (compared to other cruise lines) and pretty well run. Though on the one we undertook it was rushed to get the walks in and therefore faster than my wife or I can manage without discomfort (this was the one from the ship we did in La Palma - UNESCO wildlife and Rum). They did say they would take it easy, but certainly didn't for the last half, so we were the last to get to the rum tasting and worn out when we arrived. The tour of the facility was also rushed as we were quickly ushered between a couple of rooms with hasty explanations, to get to the tasting and buying something. At Lisbon, we had to wait nearly 10 minutes to get onto the ship, having gone through security and on the moving gangway, in very cold conditions. This was due to the positioning of the gangway being moved upwards for the tidal flow, which is fair enough. However, over half this time was waiting for someone from the ship (other than the security personnel) to confirm it was safe, despite the Portuguese operator of the gangway confirming to the ships staff that it was. When the P&O officer arrived he tried to blame the delay on the gangway shutting itself down, which the operator refuted and plainly stated it was down to having to wait for him to arrive. We were cold and just wanted to get onto the ship. Whilst we understand the need to be safe, this was clearly "jobsworth!" and nothing to do with safety. The dozen or so passengers were not at all pleased. Theatre & Shows The theatre was over packed for the Strictly interviews, it would have been much better to run 2 events. Also, there is a rush to get into events. Even for the "Astonishing" magic show (which wasn't even mediocre and was certainly not a magic show, just another dance show!) it was a ridiculous rush to get seats and for people who can't walk quickly very frustrating as all the best seats were taken. Theatre layout is curious as not only is it not big enough for the size of the ship (for 2 performances) the staggered seating near the front, means three rows are at the same level therefore if you're shorter, like my wife, and sit on row 2 or 3 of a level you struggle to see. So we had to try to get seats in the first row, which, due to the rush, was not always possible. Much more sensible to properly stagger the seating. If you dine early, like we have to (as I am diabetic), a third show at 19:00 is during dining time, so the show you go for will be 20:30 which is always the full one. The idea of having seats reserved next to aisles for disabled is great, but I recommend that the red signs on the deck 6 ones are made much larger and thus more obvious, as a number of people "didn't see them". It would be good to give out the "No saving of seats message" prior to a few minutes before the performance, as most shows were pretty full long before that and on a number of occasions people had been reserving seats for quite a while. Mind you on the flip side, neither my wife or I are particularly mobile so when doors open we can get caught in the rush to get good seats, so I try and go ahead, leaving my wife to catch up, which usually takes a minute or two. Michael Kushner is an excellent speaker and his talks are really interesting, the shame is due to a number of them being in the Live Lounge (that only seats about 250 people) we were unable to listen to a couple as all the seats were taken well over 10 minutes prior to starting. The Headliners theatre was a much better venue. There are a number of quizzes which are good fun, however the late afternoon one in Brodies bar starts at 17:30 and finished in about 20 minutes. Given that it takes another 10 minutes to get back to our room, we have 30 minutes to get ready for dinner and on formal night that is not long enough. The singer's in lounges are good with a variety of songs and moods. We were told by others the dance floor was much too small and it did seem so for the number of people trying to dance when we went passed, but it was a Strictly cruise and so this might have been an exception. Disembarkation The cases need to be outside at 20:30, which is much earlier than other cruise lines. The worse part of getting off the ship was that there is no place to store your luggage prior to disembarkation and you have to vacate your cabin by 08:00. So with both of us having mobility issues and needing sticks, we then had to contend with hand luggage and a suit carrier to take around with us, which made life very difficult. Some other cruise lines have luggage holding areas. Cabins have to be cleared by 08:00. Not surprisingly the buffet restaurant gets very full. Disembarkation requires you to go to a specific destination, ours was the headliners theatre. So you enter through deck 7 and have to make your way down the front (deck 6) as that is where they will start from. Walking downstairs is bad enough for us, but with 2 sets of carry on luggage and a suit carrier, plus 2 sticks it is almost impossible and leaves my wife and I knackered and very unhappy and hurt my wife’s shoulder quite badly. As we have some paperwork to hand, I left the theatre and met a P&O rep outside. I tell her about the difficulties of the process and how tired we both are and she says there is a disabled departure point (limelight club) that we should have gone to, or asked a rep before getting to the theatre. I said we weren't aware of the disabled departure (as it is not stated anywhere we found) and that by the time we knew how much hassle this would be we were already in the theatre. Also, there was a rep on deck 7 that saw us struggling down the stairs to get to the theatre (as APU the lifts were so jammed full of was impossible to get in the first 5 going down and people had been waiting over 10 minutes) who said nothing to us. So we were now stuck in the theatre waiting. My wife and I registered as requiring assistance, so P&O knew we'd need help for both on and off the ship. So instead of the rep saying we should have asked, P&O knew and exactly which cabin we were in therefore the should have told us what to do as disabled passengers (especially as we had not done this before on P&O). Also, there is an opportunity to self depart, which is a good idea, but we certainly couldn't cope with our main luggage. We asked reception about self departure and were told we would have to get all of our luggage off, and we stated there was no way we could do this having limited mobility, at no time did the receptionist mention assisted departure. An announcement was made about leaving the lifts for wheelchairs or others of limited ability which was more of less ignored. We understand that there is a process needed for so many people but some people ignored it and stood by the doors to get off first. There is realistically very little the crew can do to stop this. Our disembarkation time was scheduled for 08:45 to 09:15. The staff handling the process were OK, but made a number of completely inaccurate statements: 1. Once the process started it would go quickly: This started off in promising manner with the first 4 rows leaving at 08:40, then the next 2 at 08:45. We then had over a 20 minute wait for the next 3 rows (which we were in) and when finally called forward, more than the 3 rows requested tried to leave. We were in the 7th row and finally got out of the theatre around 09:15. One of your reps tried to stop us going out saying the queue was too big (which was ignored by the fed up guests), which it wasn't when we got there. 2. Adam knew exactly how we felt (and told us so repeatedly): No, he didn’t as he’d never struggled with his luggage (the way we had to) and then sat and waited patiently for nearly an hour, listening to statements that were clearly inaccurate. 3. This was the fastest way off and no one else would be getting off before us: When we finally got out of the theatre and headed for the gangway, lots of people (about half) in the queue for the gangway, had not come from the theatre at all. So, the best way to disembark was just to walk off! (especially as you didn’t need your departure sheet!) 4. You need your disembarkation sheet to get off at your allowed time: No, you didn't, just your cruise card as we never had to show the sheet to anyone. 5. This has never happened before: Well given the ridiculous nature of the debacle, if this was the best method P&O had of getting people off, then yes it would. Quite a few guests were vocal about the whole process and the fact queue jumping was going on. As there was still over 50% of the theatre to go after us and it was now well past 09:15, I believe this was going to get even more heated. Other cruise lines with similar size do not seem to have the same system and disembarkation is considerably easier. It would have been much quicker for use to just walk to the gangway on deck 5 and join the queue. Actually, getting off the ship was pretty straightforward, however finding your luggage was another matter. We had been told the luggage was sorted in deck order, in clearly demarked zones. We were on deck E and eventually found our luggage among suitcases from deck F. In fact, there seemed to be no demarcation between E & F at all, so wasted a lot of time searching what was supposed to be the E piles! At least getting the car from CPS was easy, so we drove off! The whole process was a farce and needs serious overhauling to stop it being so painful and exhausting. Overall Having been on multiple other ships and itineraries overall my wife and would mark this as 7.5 out of 10, as there were some very good points, and some very bad ones. On a scale against the other companies we would rate P&O above MSC and Royal Caribbean, on a par with Marella and below, Celebrity, Cunard and Oceania. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Wanted to see the Bulb Fields and Keukenhof, which we did under our own steam. Pity P&O did not put on their own excursions to Keukenhof, a world class venue. Embarkation was excellent, seems to get slicker each time. Some new ... Read More
Wanted to see the Bulb Fields and Keukenhof, which we did under our own steam. Pity P&O did not put on their own excursions to Keukenhof, a world class venue. Embarkation was excellent, seems to get slicker each time. Some new dishes on MDR menus but basically still the same over last few years, still lots of choice but some more new dishes needed on the menu cycles. Contrary to all the negative reviews on stairs/lifts we have never had a problem (other than people who will not step out the lift to let people out). Britannia buffet works well with the serving stations placed between the two sides of the restaurant, much better than the single file lines of other earlier P&O ships. But why oh why do people get a table first and then go off singly to get their food while one "guards the table? New shows like Gravity are not our cup of tea, much prefer "song and dance" A lovely cruise, Rotterdam a very good maiden port call. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise as the Brittania is at present the flagship of P&O. We booked a balcony, again a first for us. We have to say we were delighted with the cabin and I spent as much time as possible sitting on the balcony. There was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the Brittania is at present the flagship of P&O. We booked a balcony, again a first for us. We have to say we were delighted with the cabin and I spent as much time as possible sitting on the balcony. There was everything we would need in the cabin so no complaints there. The food was excellent in all the restaurants, however, the menus are very similar to the Ventura and Azura. The Sindhu......... brilliant. The food and the experience are superb and we would highly recommend a visit. The crew were helpful but we found the crew on the Ventura seemed more cheerful, saying that we do not have any complaints which we are pleased with as we wanted this cruise on the Brittania to be a pleasant experience. A bit disappointed that we didn't get to call in to Guernsey but fully understandable given the conditions, the other ports were pleasant although we would have preferred longer on our trip to Ypres. The only complaint about the tours are the expectations of a gratuity. They are expensive enough without the tour guide and driver waiting with their hands out......as pleasant people as they were. We would definitely go on Brittania again, but to different ports. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the end of 2018/2019 Winter Caribbean Season repositioning cruise, as Britannia returned to Southampton on the 29th March leaving Barbados on the 16th evening. The price (at least for us) included a Thomas Cook charter flight ... Read More
This was the end of 2018/2019 Winter Caribbean Season repositioning cruise, as Britannia returned to Southampton on the 29th March leaving Barbados on the 16th evening. The price (at least for us) included a Thomas Cook charter flight from Gatwick to Barbados, transfer to ship and at the end of the voyage in Southampton, a free coach taking us back to Gatwick to collect the car. This also applied to those who had flown from Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Bournemouth. The transfers worked very well. We paid the extra £149 pp to turn left at the top of the stairs when getting on the aeroplane and this was worthwhile but why they then charge for you to book your preferred seats defeats me. We had an obstructed LARGE balcony cabin on Deck G. The large cabins have a sofa to sit on rather than a single chair and are about 14sq. ft. bigger. Barbados/Bridgetown. We opted for the 14-day cruise option, that is arriving in Bridgetown on Friday 15th March, the day BEFORE Britannia sailed for St. Lucia. This meant we had time to sample the delights of Bridgetown on the Saturday. Some opted for excursions, but there is enough to do and see in Bridgetown independently. The town is approx. a 20-minute walk from the cruise terminal. Cave Shepherd has two stores in Bridgetown, the larger having excellent free WIFI in its café on the First Floor. St. Lucia. We did our own thing walking from the ship into the town, finding a café with free WIFI and doing some shopping. Many from the ship either walked to the nearest beach, or took a taxi. Ship excursions were (anecdotally) more expensive than making a bargain with one of the numerous taxi drivers just outside the terminal gates. St. Kitts. We had a ship’s excursion (Best of St. Kitts) including the Wingfield Estate and Romney Manor plus the Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At each place the inevitable market stalls were in abundance, but all worthwhile and easy enough. Could have probably done with more time at each stop. Antigua. We had another ship’s excursion to, broadly speaking, Shirley Heights and English Harbour with its Nelson’s Dockyard, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was an excellent tour, but again with limited time at Nelson’s Dockyard and its inevitable market stalls. If we went again, we would only go here and spend half a day - there are numerous bars and restaurants and quite a lot to see, or just pass the time. Ponta Delgada. Again, did our own thing walking to the botanical gardens and the covered newish shopping centre set above the lower town, about a 35-minute walk from the quay. Britannia? Much has been written before about the weird central lift and stairs arrangements where you cannot go from top to bottom by the stairs alone. We understand this is being rectified in her late-2019 refit. Food in the main restaurants (Freedom Dining for us) was only Harvester or Holiday Inn standard to be honest. On the two Marco Pierre White themed nights, they just about managed to do a decent Beef Wellington, but the second so called half-lobster offering was dismal. It seemed they had scooped the meat out of the shells, mixed it into a sort of saucy potato mash and re-inserted - very poor. If you wanted something rather more exceptional for dinner, then you had to pay and that seemed to be the general conclusion. Sindhu, The Glass House and The Beach House were all used by us and are extremely good value and super food in all of them. We did not try The Epicurean, which seemed very expensive in comparison to the other alternatives. Buffet was decent enough. At least you could get a made to measure omelette rather than the cardboard variety dished-up in the seated dining rooms and what they did to the ‘Kedgeree’ was absolutely disgusting. My wife rarely complains, but it looked like someone had vomited over the plate when served in the seated dining room. Entertainment was generally so-so, but the FlyRights guest act was very good. The speakers included a decent enough ex-SAS guy who regaled us with stories of daring, training etc; someone else who seemed obsessed with discussing murders, murderers and hangings such as Ruth Ellis, Crippen, Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe etc., and a guy who talked mainly about what made a good pop star. In other words, apart from the SAS guy, not exactly scintillating. Cabin was kept spotless and our steward was well worth the personal tip on disembarkation day. On the sunny hot days – yes, sun loungers were reserved when they shouldn’t be and P&O did nothing about it (probably too few crew members now?). Formal Nights – most made the effort to match the dress code but some did not, perhaps trying to make a statement about their independence? Service in the bars – excellent in the Crow’s Nest, but could be slow elsewhere unless you were sitting in a prominent place. In summary, it was what we expected. Definitely in terms of catering not up to Cunard standard and the bar and restaurant service not so good or as quick either generally, but it was value for money, we did not starve or become ill and the ship went where we wanted to go and we made it ‘work’ for us. We are booked on Ventura (again) later this year for the Canaries having booked that cruise last year. It is now much dearer we note. Booking another cruise onboard? Be careful as P&O like others, adjust prices according to demand so if you are booking something major, you can find its price later drops significantly if they are having trouble filling a ship, but it could also go up. We have in the past cancelled and rebooked, writing-off the 2 x £50 booking fee because the same cruise and an adjacent cabin was later offered at £100’s less or with an additional huge amount of on board spend. If you want 5* dining included in your standard fare, then you won’t get it on P&O, but if you want a holiday on a ship with mostly British guests, then it is fine and generally what I would call of a ‘Holiday Inn Plus Standard’. Good enough for us! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and dates. We have never cruised with P and O before and are unlikely to do so again. We upgraded our flights with TUI which was money well spent. We were through check-in and security at Gatwick in no time at all and the flight was very good. Transfer to the ship was also good. Our cabin was ok,the balcony and bathroom were smaller than we have experienced on other ships. The muster drill was a complete shambles. This cruise has people embarking at different times and in two different ports, therefore when we were called for our drill there were people trying to enjoy a drink in the bar area that we had been assigned to. This was exacerbated when we tried to get back to our cabin. Everyone was trying to get to the lifts at the same time, and there are no stairs by the middle set of lifts. The design of this ship is frustrating, having to go up a couple of floors and then down again to get to another part of the same deck is beyond belief. Dining was a mixed experience: the Horizon self service or the 'push and shove' as we called it was poor, food selection was poor, very few staff available for drink orders, therefore we rarely ate in there. Peninsular was ok for lunch, Meridian was ok for dinner, Oriental was our choice for breakfast, service however was slow. Epicurean was not worth the money, chewy steak! Sindhu was excellent. Limelight club was very good and the Glass House was excellent. The entertainment in the Headliners theatre was not to our taste. Shore excursions were very good, enjoyed the bike ride in St. Maarten, and the Caribbean cuisine in St. Kitts.Overall an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because P and O offered flights from our local airport. This was a huge bonus and meant we did not have to set out the day before, book a pre cruise hotel or arrange car parking. We also liked the itinerary with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because P and O offered flights from our local airport. This was a huge bonus and meant we did not have to set out the day before, book a pre cruise hotel or arrange car parking. We also liked the itinerary with lots of ports and places to see. This was our first time on Britannia and we were a bit dubious after reading some poor reviews. I can say if you have booked a cruise on this ship don’t worry, it is in great condition and.the food and service are good. You will have a great time. We loved the decor and thought it was sophisticated and tasteful. For this cruise we booked a larger inside cabin. This is the first time we had stayed in an inside cabin and were surprised at the level of comfort it offered.the cabin was very quiet and so dark at night a good sleep was assured. To be fair it’s not as nice as a balcony cabin but if you don’t have many sea days and want to be out and about it’s a great choice and offers big savings. We did not use the speciality restaurants as we found the food in the main restaurant very good. We were on first sitting fixed dining in the Oriental restaurant and this suited us perfectly. We were not so keen on the Horizon buffet, where the food seemed the same every day..not a patch on other cruise lines. Food mediocre and the flow of traffic in the serving area is chaotic. On the plus side you can always get a seat. As others have said the entertainment on Britannia is pretty good and we visited the theatre most nights. The biggest negative about Britannia is the lack of deck space on sea days. You really have to get up early to grab a good spot..and even then you are squashed in like sardines in a can. Staff do not move towels etc from ‘saved’ beds and many are left vacant for hours on end. Very unfair. I was also disappointed with the Lido pools, which seem to be a homage to the Benidorm / Butlin’s brigade. This area could be so much nicer. Come on P and O think of your core customers and what they want...more quiet peaceful spaces. By the way trying to get into the retreat on a sea day was impossible. We enjoyed all the ports and booked trips through Viatour, which were a lot cheaper than P and O and were as good, if not better. We do find St Marten is over populated with cruise ships, which makes everywhere over crowded and busy. On the day we were there we calculated there must have been around 20,000 cruise ship passengers in port. Hence we were quickly back on board. Overall, I prefer Holland America and Cunard ships. However, we had a great holiday made better by the local flights and seamless transfer when you arrive in Barbados. It’s off the plane, onto a bus and then straight to the ship. As we were on a late flight home we booked a day cabin for an extra £45. This was worth every penny and meant we arrived at the airport fresh and ready for our flight home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
• Overall very enjoyable holiday – flights good, transfers seamless • Overall good quality accommodation o Small balconies but sufficient with 2 chairs and a table o Area around the wardrobe could be wider as hung clothes ... Read More
• Overall very enjoyable holiday – flights good, transfers seamless • Overall good quality accommodation o Small balconies but sufficient with 2 chairs and a table o Area around the wardrobe could be wider as hung clothes catch on bathroom door as it opened, not a lot can be done on this ship but needs considering for future builds o Food in waiter service restaurants was excellent as were the waiting staff o Selection of food in the main buffet could be more international and not so UK centric (Lancashire Hotpot as an example!!!) - that said the quality of the good available was very good o Very bizarre array of individual drinks packages available, over complicated and over-priced; the wine package however was good. We understand P&O are introducing a more exclusive drinks package in Aril but looking at the pricing structure WAAAAAAY too expensive …… you maybe need to learn from your competitors !! o A pity there was not an ice cream section available as part of the standard inclusive price!! o Entertainment was average o Medical staff (which were unfortunately needed on this cruise) were very attentive and efficient o On-board spending allowance needs to be looked at to offer a more consistent offering as we experienced fellow passengers who had received 4x the allowance we got for the same/lower grade cabin and where they booked a lot closer to departure date than we did, we felt we were penalised for booking early!! o Some other cruise ships offered fresh towels as passengers returned to the ship after a day ashore, a nice touch to get rid of potentially sandy towels straight away! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Having used Princess, Celebrity and Costa to cruise the Caribbean in the past via Miami and US Immigration, it is refreshing to cruise with P&O for the following reasons: Say goodbye to your luggage at Manchester Airport and ... Read More
Having used Princess, Celebrity and Costa to cruise the Caribbean in the past via Miami and US Immigration, it is refreshing to cruise with P&O for the following reasons: Say goodbye to your luggage at Manchester Airport and don't see it again until it is delivered to your cabin. Charter flight to Barbados on TUI 787 Dreamliner. Exit the plane, board a bus at the bottom of the aircraft steps and be taken directly to the ship, no terminal to go through with customs etc. Fast check in at the dockside, then onto the ship. From plane to balcony in 50 minutes! As good as Princess and Celebrity are, we would probably have just arrived at US Immigration in 50 mins, then claimed our bags, be taken to a Hotel for the night, then bused to the ship the next day. It's a dream with P&O via Barbados! The ships currency is £ stirling and drinks are at fair prices a G&T around £4.50 and a bottle of wine £17 to £24 for a decent wine. One niggle, on Brittania, P&O's flagship, you have to go to reception to see your account statement, no on cabin TV display or printer in the Aitrium like Princess, a sister company have. We liked the minimalist design of Britannia, but felt the Aitrum should have live music every night, not just on some nights. The Crowsnest is a fabulous bar with great views. People did dress for formal night and even on smart casual evenings, most people made an effort, no shorts or baseball caps wandering around! The entertainment was good, as it usually is on cruise ships, with the ships cast putting on great shows. The Limelight Club is good, Gareth gates and Chesney Hawkes appeared when we were on board Jan '19. There is a cover charge and the atmosphere is that of a cabaret supper club. We also had dinner in the Epicurian restaurant, which was excellent and attracts a cover charge. The Sinduh restaurant was also very popular with those who enjoy spicy food. We also enjoyed sunbathing on the forward quiet deck, with its own pool. High density of sunbeds on all decks due to the Brits liking the sun in January. The staff did enforce the away for 20 mins and you loose your bed policy, great! The itinerary was fine, most Caribbean Islands are much the same, good beaches, sometimes taty ports. Usually there are taxi minibuses available off the ship, which are well organised and safe. They gather groups together and off you go. As a price guide, US$20 will get you a return trip to say Jolly Beach in Antigua, then you pay $10 for a sun bed and $10 for a umbrella. All together we had a very relaxing holiday and will return to Brittania for Christmas 2019. Read Less
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 N/A

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