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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our second cruise after the Arcadia last year. This was definitely a step up in quality of food and overall wow factor of the ship. Yes there is a bit of getting used to which lifts to use to get down to your required deck but ... Read More
This was our second cruise after the Arcadia last year. This was definitely a step up in quality of food and overall wow factor of the ship. Yes there is a bit of getting used to which lifts to use to get down to your required deck but that's offset by enjoying the beautiful interior decor and ambience. We cruised to the Madeira and the Canaries. I must admit to being quite surprised as to the ship's rolling in not very heavy seas. These modern floating hotels are more for the generalcalmer waters of the med and Caribbean I would assume. We had an issue with our cabin that was dealt with in a timely manner by our deck manager and we were accommodated elsewhere. Food overall was excellent. We tended to breakfast and have lunch in the Horizon buffet bar with evening meals Freedom dining. The Horizon provided a great breakfast selection with the usual cooked breakfast items with the addition of eggs benedict, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, kippers, fish kedgeree etc on a rolling basis. Plenty of fresh fruit, smoothies and yoghurt options as well as cereal. Lunch again had a good variety but I stuck to the excellent curries. Delicious. Freedom dining is a great option as it does take away the regimented having to dine at a specific time. Sometimes if you've had a late afternoon tea, or a burger and chips on deck you want to dine a little later at night....Freedom dining not a problem. You do miss out on getting to know your fellow passengers better though. On our first cruise we had a really good table and it was great to catch up at the end of the day over dinner, have a laugh and comfortable chat with people you had got to know. We often went to the show and bar for a quiz afterward with our friends which was great. I suppose the thought of not meeting up with such a good table crowd again erred us against going set dining time this time but you definitely miss that element doing it this way. Entertainment was pretty good. We didn't watch all the shows in the main theatre but Brittania gives you the option to catch up with many acts in the more nightclub type Live Lounge, a more intimate venue. Sam Bailey headlined one night but even as a supportive Leicester lad myself for her I think she's got a bit shouty and overworking the power ballads. Stevie from the Drifters however was excellent, and when we saw him in the Live Lounge he had the audience in his hand, great gig. Speciality restaurants are good and reasonably priced we think. Indian connoisseur s will love Sindhu. The Glass House served great food and we look forward to trying the Epicurean and the Beach House next time! Drinks are reasonably priced and it's nice to get dressed for dinner and have a pre dinner cocktail in one of the bars. I strongly recommend the Hurricane, in fact I'm still making it at home a few weeks after the cruise! Bacardi, dark rum, amaretto (25ml) each, drizzle of grenadine, pineapple juice, plenty of ice, in a shaker, pour and enjoy :) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Had a great holiday on the lovely BrittaniaI! This was my first cruise – France and Spain 7days from Southampton. The ship was impressed, large and magnificent with lots of activities to do, such as dance classes, gym, sauna, swimming ... Read More
Had a great holiday on the lovely BrittaniaI! This was my first cruise – France and Spain 7days from Southampton. The ship was impressed, large and magnificent with lots of activities to do, such as dance classes, gym, sauna, swimming pools, bars, etc. Food was good and plenty with lots of places to eat and drink - buffet, grill bar and black tie restaurants. There were also plenty of places to sit quiet and relax if you wanted to. Service was brilliant and staff were friendly and helpful. Our cabin was comfortable and the cabin steward hard working and efficient. In part entertainment was ok, but could be better. We met many nice people and had a great time chatting and having fun. P&O had computer problems on the last day of our cruise, so we weren’t able to get our final bill, this was posted to us a week after returning home. Overall, my first cruise was amazing, with really good food and excellent service from staff, but on the not so good side, I didn’t enjoy most entertainments and the P&O computer problem was a big let-down. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
It started badly... 20 min wait on plane for buses to port. Buses from airport were a shambles and way overcrowded. Then a 20 min stand in line in 29C heat to embark. Not a good start. However, things did improve. Staff throughout the ... Read More
It started badly... 20 min wait on plane for buses to port. Buses from airport were a shambles and way overcrowded. Then a 20 min stand in line in 29C heat to embark. Not a good start. However, things did improve. Staff throughout the cruise were generally pretty good but some were surly and unhelpful especially in the pub. Room was good (balcony with sofa on Deck A) but the balconies on Britannia are very small. For such a new ship I would have expected to see my account on the TV but that is not available. Room maid was pretty good but made up our room on departure morning before we had left making it much more difficult for us to check that we had everything. Food in main dining room pretty good and Freedom Dining worked well for us. Buffet had great choice but quality varied greatly. All sunbed areas very crowded and with no space between beds made it seem very crowded indeed. Specialty dining was good (Sindhu and Limelight Club) but expensive given we had aleady paid for food in the cruise price. Glasshouse excellent. Good choices of wine at reasonable prices. In fact all drinks on board were reasonably priced at not much more than pub prices. We used the Retreat and it was pretty good alleviating the sunbed squash for a while but the food in the Retreat is not great and is often dried and tired. We were charged for a spa treatment we didn't have and it took several visits to get it resolved. Wife had a spa treatment and the masseuse clearly wasn't qualified and forgot to do one side! We were not at all happy with the staff in the spa. We had the middle internet package and it worked without fault throughout the ship and was pretty fast but no streaming on that package. Streaming was double the price! Disembarkation was at about 10.30am so it was a pity we had to vacate the room at 8am but the disembarkation was painless. We did feel that the holiday was one continuous hard sell from P&O and that aspect we didn't like but the food, service and the ship were all pretty good generally and we enjoyed the cruise overall. We would book P&O and Britannia again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
.........my last employer who amazingly had toilet roll even thinner than on Britannia! Ok enough of that,having just retired & facing a significant birthday this fitted the bill,years of USA fly drives had left us pretty sick of ... Read More
.........my last employer who amazingly had toilet roll even thinner than on Britannia! Ok enough of that,having just retired & facing a significant birthday this fitted the bill,years of USA fly drives had left us pretty sick of flying,we felt we could just put up with the one flight without another to look forward to at the end of the holiday,just to make it extra special I had booked the Premium flights & a suite on board,all of which was unknown to my Wife but helped to build excitement nearer the time as she slowly found out finer details of the trip! Priority check in at Manchester & the so called Fast Track through security were disapointingly slow IMO,the security area seemed remarkably small & disorganised,but we survived & headed to Spinning Jenny for some breakfast which we thoroughly enjoyed(we both had a regular breakfast which came on huge plates & looked lost but actually were very good!) before heading for our gate. Again boarding was a bit chaotic,they asked for people who needed assistance & Premium cabin fliers to come forward but everyone seemed to join in but we were soon seated in the two front seats on the right hand side which proved to be a very comfotable place to be,cabin crew were superb,entertainment on board was very good IMO & seemingly in no time we were landing in Barbados. As we came off the plane were directed toward a line of what I can only describe as a line of buses which had seen better days,crammed into rather small seats we set off,it sounded like there were crates of empty milk bottles on board but consoled myself with the thought that is was probably nothing more serious than loose chassis bolts(!),anyway after hanging on for what seemed like ages we finally saw Britannia,a very welcome sight,dressed & looking handsome,we both agree that she is a handsome looking ship,so much so that we even bought the model on our first cruise on her,a very unusual thing for us. Upon enetering the shed we let it known that we were booked in a suite & were shown to an empty priority check in desk,passports checked & card registered & we were on board in minutes & free to refamiliarise ourselves with the ship. I wish I could bottle & keep the look on my Wife's face when she saw the cabin for the first time,A727,an Aft corner suite,the room itself was huge,bathroom bigger than ours at home,the balcony was the biggest surprise though,two sunbeds,a two seat sofa & six other chairs,three tables helped to fill up some more space but it was to prove a wonderful asset in days to come. Pretty tired after a long day we just crawled up one flight of stairs for something to eat in the buffet before retiring for tthe night in out evr so comfy cabin,although we soon found out that even though the cabin was pretty big in the bedroom area it was tight enough to require us to take it in turn to move at times! When it comes to shore excursions we are quite happy just to have a relaxing stroll around the area around the area where the ship is berthed which obviously gives mixed results. In Barbados we went looking for Diet Coke to go with our duty free but drew a blank,to be fair this was where Barbados fell down compared to the other ports of call as there wasn't much in the immediate area & we soon joined the other Britannia passengers at the bar by the cruise terminal! St Lucia,St Kitts & Antigua wre quite different,the areas around the cruise terminal were obviously built for purpose,our first stop of St Lucia shocked us when we first saw it as to me it looked liked something from a Disney Park! Everybody we met & talked to on our Caribean wanderings were lovely,although I would say that the people in St Lucia were happy to talk & talk but it seemed in St Kitts & Antigua once they figured out that you were not going to spend any more that was end of chat! Ponta Delgada was quite a surprise,a dockers strike meant that tenders were used to go ashore,a bit of a pain but it worked well,a big surprise for us when,as suite residents, we were given a priority boarding pass & so were able just to go down to deck 4 & get on the next available tender which saw us ashore just after 0900hrs,a really nice place,much better than expected. As for dining,we were eligible for breakfast in the Epicurean,we did this on our first morning,very nice,very civilised,super service & food but we do like buffets,especially breakfast buffets,we like to be able to see what is there & take our pick,compared to our last time on board though the days specials didn't seem quite so good,I mean making black pudding the days special isn't so special IMO,love it but it should always be there for me. For lunch we usually just had a snack from the buffet,we did try the 'grab & go' once but the quality of the sandwiches did not seem so good. For dinner we did head to the Beach house for 3 nights which we thoroughly enjoyed,great food & service,then the menu changed & there was not too many things on the new menu that suited us AND we were not sure that the extra charge of £7.50pp was really worth it. On Freedom dining we were allocated the Peninsular restaurant,we did head there for a few nights on our second week with rather mixed observations,our first few nights we felt that service,quality & portions had all become rather worse,our last few nights there seemed to indicate otherwise! On my Birthday night we had booked the Epicurean,what a treat,the food was superb,the service was amazing,the girls serving us seemed so happy & confident that they were very happy to touch,talk & laugh with us,something which wasn't the case everywhere we felt. On quite a few nights we ended the night in the Crows Nest,what a wonderful room,sadly getting a seat can be difficult as it is a superbly relaxing place,another lovely room IMO is Brodies,as with our first cruise on Britannia we too often found quizzes in progress where you had to be quiet,but unlike last time where there was also a pretty awful duo on stage,we did often find it to be a nice quiet place to enjoy a drink with a great variety of drinks available. Not a fan of shows & we certainly wouldn't have paid money to watch most of what was on but we gave it a go,the two dance shows we saw,Gravity & Sound of The Underground were very colourful,amazingly quick costume changes,a very impressive IMO Irish Dancing routine in the second show(only down point being the guy second from the left who looked like he was praying for it to end as he looked wrecked!),comedian Rudi West was IMO funny(loved his finishing line of 'I will have to finish as you haven't eaten for 45 minutes'!),Peter Piper was ammusing without telling too many jokes,Matthew Pomeroy,billed as conjuror & mind reader bored me sadly,juggler Peter Matthews was funny,in the Live lounge we saw Pulse just the once in their 'Legends' show,really good musicians but couldn't say too many good things about the quartet on vocals,an awful vibration through the area we were seated in made that an even more uncomfy experience BUT for us the prize for best entertainment must go to Vibz,the Carribean band,they performed every afternoon by the Lido pools,they had a limited set list but always made everybody so happy,we saw them getting ready to go on one night at 2315hrs on a breezy night,about a dozen people were there to see them,must have been soul destroying! One final,& unexpected treat came for us near the end of the trip when we saw,met & had our picture taken with chef James Martin,seemed a really nice guy. My Wife was unsure of how she would take the 5 days at sea,it turned out to be a wonderful chance to relax,first day at sea it was pretty wild up on deck,my Wife wanted a swim so we headed to Serenity where she managed to have the swim but it wasn't fun with things going flying left right & centre,more sheltered by the Lido pool but the sun beds are so tightly crammed together we ended up just having a short time at a table by the Riviera bar while we listened to Vibz while enjoying a few drinks. Most of all we enjoyed returning to the peace & quiet of our cabin,while sailing our balcony was sheltered by the ships superstructure & was a superb place to sunbathe,I don't think we could travel on Britannia again in any other accomodation! OK the not so good bits,having said that we like the looks of Britannia she can be an infuriating place to get around,especially being at the stern the aft lifts are useless for anything below deck 7,there are so many 'dead ends' to make finding your way around difficult,along with the lack of central stairs,annoying too that if you are trying to get to the aft lifts on deck 16 you have to go through the buffet & on deck 17 you have to go through the gym. Having mentioned earlier about waiting on staff being happy/comfy something which we found a little uncomfy at times was the attention people in White outfits were giving to these people at times,in the Beach House at times anything from 1 to 3 of them would stand watching while food was served to diners,by the Lido deck one day one was pressuring one waiter to clear tables faster,the lad looked terrified & ended up dropping half of the stuff he was trying to collect & ended up making an even bigger mess! Generally though the waiting on staff were superb,I had cause to visit reception a few times,at all times my problems were dealt with quickly & efficiently. A final observation on Britannia,our previous cruise on her was when she was only a few months old,seeing her now was quite a shock as she looks pretty tatty in parts,on our balcony the sun beds looked very scruffy & one table was so rusty you certainly wouldn't give it room at home!A surprise then that looking at her schedule for the year ahead looks rather full with no obvious time for a refurb. A big thanks to our cabin steward Sandeep who looked after us so well,& to our butler Rohit,we didn't use him too much but was always charming & totally efficient with what he did. Along with them we made many friends among the crew who we will miss,more so than our fellow passengers,meeting people on Britannia is a strange thing as due to her size you will see many people only once & are still meeting people that you haven't met before on the final days,one exception for us being Michelle & Ian from Newcastle who we got on really well with but didn't see near the end of the cruise to exchange details sadly. Having said that we enjoy buffets I have never been to a buffet before where people act like they did on this cruise,my Wife is adamant that it just because people are rude,I like to be more positive & say they are usually just not taking enough care in an area where there are so many people carrying hot food,I saw many pushing in on lines so many times liking getting the last piece of toast was life & death & at other times people getting so close to you so that nobody can push in! The ending to the cruise wasn't so grand,sad to be leaving our lovely cabin we just wanted to be home asap,given a disembarkation time of 0945hrs,we actually reached the baggage hall rather earlier but were then pretty much abandoned out in the coach park in the pouring rain,people were just left to find a coach,no organisation,we left just after 1000hrs but didn't arrive at Manchester Airport until 1630hrs,a long day! We enjoyed the cruise but probably won't be doing another anytime soon,unless a remarkable bargain appears,too many people together in too small a space for too long for our liking,I also have trouble with anybody saying that cruises are great value for money,I would still consider them to be on the expensive side although it is difficult to make a true comparison as they are so different,also dressing up is not something I enjoy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose to mark our 20th wedding anniversary by doing our 1st ever cruise. right from boarding the plane to getting on the ship everything ran so stress free and efficiently. The on board entertainment was good apart from a comedian ... Read More
We chose to mark our 20th wedding anniversary by doing our 1st ever cruise. right from boarding the plane to getting on the ship everything ran so stress free and efficiently. The on board entertainment was good apart from a comedian we saw who took 99% of his material straight off Facebook as all the jokes he told we had seen on there prior to boarding the ship. There where plenty of space on board for sunbathing however you are either in the full sun or in the shade, there is no parasols on board which could be helpful for couples like ourselves where as I don't mind the full sun but my partner does like to be in and out of the sun at times. BE AWARE if sunbathing at the rear of the ship as the funnels kick out a lot of soot and Oil...yes OIL one day we where caught in an OIL shower which ruined several items of clothing. BE PREPAIRED FOR LONG WAITS FOR DRINKS, you cant just go up to the bar and order a drink as it is all waiter service and can sometimes have to wait 10mins for the waiter to return with the drinks or to take your orders. BOOK TRIPS EARLY if you wish to book a trip try to do it early as they soon fill up and some ports don't have a lot in the port to see or do. Overall I would recommend this cruise to anyone the Ship was kept to quite a high standard especially the cabins, the staff are very helpful and they whole cruise was a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Love the P&O Caribbean cruises as you fly into the Caribbean rather than having to travel from USA so you get to visit extra islands. First time on Britannia, first impressions were fantastic and the cruise lived up to those first ... Read More
Love the P&O Caribbean cruises as you fly into the Caribbean rather than having to travel from USA so you get to visit extra islands. First time on Britannia, first impressions were fantastic and the cruise lived up to those first impressions. The embarkation was a breeze and we were first on the ship, there were lots of flight issues due to snow back home so we were some of the lucky ones to arrive on time, maybe if more flights had been in at the same time it would have taken longer. Main dining was very good, lovey food and occasionally service not always up to normal expectations. Are at Sindhu, Beach House and Glass House. All very good but the glass house was our favourite and would definitely eat there on next visit, thoroughly worth the few extra pounds per plate. Entertainment was good, House band and group were brilliant and saw lots of their performances. Main theatre was very impressive, the sets and performers were great but the story line on the main show was a bit weak. Would definitely travel to Caribbean on Britannia again but not in the aft balcony cabins. See cabin review. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
14 days Cruise. Flight out from Gatwick was ok ..couple of movies and food sorted. On landing has to get in a cramped mini bus that had seen better days. Took a few days to sort out the lifts and what stairs, but that part of the ... Read More
14 days Cruise. Flight out from Gatwick was ok ..couple of movies and food sorted. On landing has to get in a cramped mini bus that had seen better days. Took a few days to sort out the lifts and what stairs, but that part of the adventure.. freedom Dining is a Must, we turned up most nights at 6 to 6.30 in the Meridian . Good service and Good choice of food choice of sitting with 2 or as part of a big table. Never had problem with Sunbeds if you up before 10 .. plenty of room unless you need to by the main lido deck we found the End of the ship for great service and Sun... The excursions were expensive , some were worth it but other Not... most of the Guides were very aknowledgable. We did our own thing on a couple of times and found the cost at least half.. Drink prices were ok except the cocktails have Mocktails 3rd of the price .. The shops were high end but the Pandora was cheaper than Uk The main show was ok a bit dizzy but the ships show crew was disjointed ie the show called Underground.. On song about the Undergroung then the rest was going around the UK, Should have been called Rule Britannia Enjouyed the live lounge with the pulse band different set most night Guest slots were Good, The Limelight club has Barry from Eastenders, Very good and the 4 course meal was worth the £25. Also available was Darren Day, Gareth Gates etc. Overall a good cruise, Beautiful Carribean. Booked again for 2 week but this with the Azure...counting the days Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose the cruise essentially for the island itinerary but were not disappointed to be sailing on Britannia again having enjoyed a Mediterranean cruise on her in 2016. We flew with Thomas Cook on one of their new Condor planes; ... Read More
We chose the cruise essentially for the island itinerary but were not disappointed to be sailing on Britannia again having enjoyed a Mediterranean cruise on her in 2016. We flew with Thomas Cook on one of their new Condor planes; quietest aircraft we have ever flown on. Both outbound and inbound flights landed ahead of time which we appreciated. Transfer to the ship was smooth and swift with about a half hour dockside wait under cover to go through security etc. Our luggage arrived a couple of hours after us but we were free to enjoy the ship. We had a port side cabin on E deck (10) which was kept spotless by our Cabin steward Ganesh. We found him to be friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. The cabin was spacious, well equipped with free safe, powerful hairdryer, toiletries and fresh bath and beach towels. The Queen size bed was about 7 feet wide and comfortable. The air conditioning works well and was easy to adjust. I would have liked a little more water pressure but it was acceptable. Our balcony, although not huge, was big enough for us to enjoy together. We enjoyed sitting out at night as well as in daylight. The ships lights on deck spoil the view of the stars but this is not so problematic from the balcony. On our last voyage we used an inside cabin which was quite a bit smaller. The balcony is worth the extra charge. We enjoyed the food as ever and the portions were generous. The waiters were always happy to bring extra food if anyone requested this and some did. Drinks service was sometimes slow in the restaurants. We used the buffet once and Meridian most other nights. Initially we had been assigned to first sitting 6:30pm at the Oriental restaurant on a table for 6 but on the advice of our Cabin Steward we requested a change with the Restaurant Manager and he agreed this. We ate at Sindhu three times. The food is gorgeous and the additional courses of poppadoms, sorbet, petit fours and other tasters leads to a very filling meal. Do try it but book ahead as it gets busy. Well worth the £20 fixed charge per person. There are a number of bars around the ship. We liked the Crows nest at the front of the ship but it does get busy and never seems to have enough waiting staff so service is the slowest on the ship. It doesn't help that the waiting staff take numerous orders before passing to the barista and then wait for all orders to be prepared before serving any. I do like a cocktail on holiday but was disappointed with the limited choice. On other ships it is usual to ask for anything and for it to be m made to order......catch up please P&O. We enjoyed the black tie nights and had no problem with others opting out although some passengers would prefer this to be made compulsory, however that would work! We don't make the most of the entertainment on ship ourselves, we like to relax and catch up on sleeping but the couple of shows we saw were enjoyable enough. The sail off from St Kitts was great fun, extremely camp and I would defy anyone not to sing and wave those flags. Well done entertainment team. The pools are a decent size and kept clean. I had a pool to myself more than once and for reasonably long periods of time. There are plenty of sun beds but they are close together and people, tut tut, do insist on saving them with towels never to return. My advice is just move them off. We enjoyed all the Islands we visited with the exception of St Vincent where I felt quite threatened. Sailing into harbour this looks arguably the most beautiful of all the destination islands. Stay on board and remember it that way. Antigua was again our favourite in all the Caribbean, calm and warm turquoise seas with soft white sands, hard to go wrong choosing a beach. We were introduced to Jolly beach by a some fellow passengers and have already recommended it to others. Gorgeous place. We tried two organised trips with P&O and found them to be competitively priced. Having said this Pigeon point beach in Tobago was beautiful when we arrived, one of the first buses, but within half an hour it was crowded beyond belief which spoilt the experience. To get breathing space try the beach just before the entrance barrier and stick with a towel on the sand. Our second trip was to Nevis Island. This was a pleasant 45 min boat trip to the Island where we then split into groups of 10 for our island tour. Our guide was shocking; this is a pharmacy, this is a bank, this is our fire station. Nothing at all about the volcano which is the island or the flora and forna. When asked what kind of monkeys we had seen we were told some were nice monkeys and some weren't! We were also taken to a hot spring that looked like a storm drain, emphasis on the drain, a derelict government building and a hotel where we could watch guests taking breakfast before arriving for lunch at 11am elsewhere and then beach time until it was time to return to the ship. Trips; go solo, you will have a better time. Wherever you land the locals are reliable, they won't leave you stranded. Cruise ships are their livelihood they need to get repeat trade. I would definitely sail with P&O again but as our Cabin price came down by £1600 in total for the two of us between booking and sailing, I cannot advise early booking. You will however have a fabulous time. Enjoy. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
The cruise cabins with balconies were excellent. On board on days at sea was pretty chaotic if you like sun bathing, plenty of beds but very cramped in the main pool areas. Drinks waiter service was excellent and the bars, drinks were ... Read More
The cruise cabins with balconies were excellent. On board on days at sea was pretty chaotic if you like sun bathing, plenty of beds but very cramped in the main pool areas. Drinks waiter service was excellent and the bars, drinks were surprisingly reasonable, better than some pub prices at home. Cabin services were excellent, but some of the help desk staff were a bit unhelpful. Food in the "Canteen", breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, choices were excellent but the restaurant food was a bit hit and miss in quality, quantity , and presentation. We ate in the Oriental restaurant every night on a second sitting, not advisable if you want to catch a show or watch any entertainment, as we seldom got out before 22-00. The Piero Marco White night was very poor, the menu may have been inspired by him, but I don't think any of the courses we had would have passed service in his restaurant or on Master Chef, for that matter, and if that is the standard of food he serves in his restaurant for the money, then I won't be risking it. The off board trips were expensive, we paid £70 each for a 5 hour beach trip, in Tobago, we could got a taxi for 4 people, from the ship for less 20USD each way, not per person. On Aruba you could get a taxi all day for 4 people for 85USD, take you where ever you want. On return we had a 90 minute transfer to St Lucia airport. the airport was chaotic hundreds of people queuing for planes, no P&O, or TUI personnel at the airport to assist, and a PA system that would have made Peter Kaye a full length sketch. Hardly audible or understandable. Half the plane coming home had coughing passengers from the Cruise, we were diagnosed as picking up a bacterial infection, by our GP on our return. We had wheelchair assistance on the way home for one of our family. P&O were brilliant, TUI were not. We landed at Gatwick about 4-30 on Sunday morning, no wheelchair waiting for us, when one did come were were left in a holding area for a buggy which never arrived. We had to push my mother in law through a deserted airport for about a quarter of a mile to get to passport control and baggage collection. My first and last cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Booked last minute to replace a cancelled earlier holiday so good value for money for flights 14 nights full board and entertainment. First thing to say is this will not be every ones couple of tea. Its very British we found it a bit ... Read More
Booked last minute to replace a cancelled earlier holiday so good value for money for flights 14 nights full board and entertainment. First thing to say is this will not be every ones couple of tea. Its very British we found it a bit understated compared to other Italian and american cruises at first. The ship is quite plain compared to others, always clean and in good repair though. The entertainment rooms are quite small for size of ship, couldnt always get a seat. Acts vary in quality from excellent vibes to some poor tributes. Some room are extremely cold to the point we avoided them staff seemed to know about but nothing seemed to be done. LIDO area very very crowded and cramped, you could find sun beds else where. Swimming pools also very busy most of the time during sea days. Swim before breakfast and you are fine. Food was of generally good quality and plentiful with traditional three/four courses. Local, curry or British. The staff provided an excellent gluten free service, you order the night before then give your cabin number in any main restaurant and your GF meal arrives. occasionally a GF course didn't match up to high standard but generally very good. Service through out the ship was excellent, friendly helpful staff. Check in was excellent luggage checked in Birmingham appeared in cabin just after we arrived. We arrived in Barbados straight from plane to coach to ship for about 5 minutes registration. Couple of sour points hairdresser was very pushy over products and gym instructor needs to understand 'introduction' doesn't mean a strenuous workout. Cabin was smallish with very small balcony but it was clean, comfortable and well equipped and their was room to sit and relax on balcony with a cup of tea. Tea making in cabin big plus for us. First time in Caribbean, weather warm as expected sun is very hot, I know that is what you expect but we where surprised quite how fierce sun was in February , Islands very similar to each other. Sailed, snorkeled, saw hummingbirds, swam a lot. If this your thing good destination. We prefer a little more culture and sight seeing. Excursion expensive but good lot of people used local guide with generally good results. Diverted from Birmingham to Gatwick on return flight due to snow, TUI got 80 taxis and ferried every one to Birmingham at five in the morning, took some time to get them all so some delay and confusion but as good as they could do in circumstances. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Having been on 3 previous Med cruises we decided that the Caribbean was the Perfect place to get away in February. The weather was mixed but overall a lovely sunny break away from the snow. We chose the cruise because there were only 3 ... Read More
Having been on 3 previous Med cruises we decided that the Caribbean was the Perfect place to get away in February. The weather was mixed but overall a lovely sunny break away from the snow. We chose the cruise because there were only 3 sea days out of the 14 day cruise and the itinerary appealed to us as we love exploring ashore and “dipping our toes” to get a flavour of the area. The Caribbean is a different experience to the Med cruises with the focus more on beach and flora rather than history. Enjoyed the onboard entertainment in the evening but have never been a fan of the daytime activities and talks. The gym was well fitted with good equipment but I felt that some of the charged classes could have been provided for free rather than a small charge being applied Limelight... great show with Madeline Bell and we were informed that the other shows were equally good. Returned to Sindhu which was wonderful again and the level of service was excellent. The cabins on Britannia were well fitted but a little smaller than the other ships, not much room at the end of the bed although the bed was large and very comfortable with great pillows The balcony was equipped with a small table and two chairs and was enough for us.The shower was always hot and powerful but a little tight to get into.There were ample toiletries provided Our cabin was kept in wonderful order by our cabin steward. We thought that the level of service in the restaurants had gone down with some really slow mixed service but this was not always the case and some of the staff were excellent. The menus have not changed and we found this disappointing. The Captains Night “Marco” menu has been identical on all 4 cruises. There was a “Tropical Night” but the Caribbean menu was a few nights later....surely they should have matched these two The service levels in the bars we went to was excellent and we nominated Rosebelle from the Crows Nest for a service award. We did not purchase any P and O shore excursions on this trip as taxis and tours were easily available locally in the harbours. Sun beds.....well what can I say...people getting up early to put towels down then not using them until the afternoon, taking 3 beds for 2 people so they have more room ,and the best...beds on both sides of the pool area...sunny and shaded. Something needs to be done! The main problem was access to some of the decks which was a complaint made by many of the passengers but we were informed that this is to be rectified when the ship goes in for refit. Passengers were always friendly and approachable and we met some wonderful people. We had a lovely holiday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife has always wanted to visit Aruba and we used the cruise to see the islands and it has been sometime since we last cruised , our honest impression of Brittania were good yet a confusing layout. The waiters and general staff ... Read More
My wife has always wanted to visit Aruba and we used the cruise to see the islands and it has been sometime since we last cruised , our honest impression of Brittania were good yet a confusing layout. The waiters and general staff seemed very sullen and disinterested that they formed part of our holiday. Also disappointed in disembarkation, cases outside your cabin by 11pm and cabin vacated by 8am following morning and wait on board for return to airport some passengers told me that some other cruise lines attitude to disembarkation were even worse. Also with fine dining & special select show at extra charge also shopping sales every evening it seems to be a money fest by P&O. One of the shop announcers of the ships radio said “ for every £1000 you spend you will receive £100 to spend in the shops” . Will take sometime to consider who/if to cruise again. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I am afraid it is a very long review so you may need to get yourself a cup of tea or coffee before you start reading it. I hope you find it useful. Background info I am Nearly 70 and my husband is 74. We have been on 4 cruises with ... Read More
I am afraid it is a very long review so you may need to get yourself a cup of tea or coffee before you start reading it. I hope you find it useful. Background info I am Nearly 70 and my husband is 74. We have been on 4 cruises with Princess, which we really loved and prior to this cruise we had been on 1 with P&O on the Azura. Our experience on the Azura put us off ever sailing with P&O again. Rude staff, the food ranged from cold to lukewarm and the entertainment was very poor. Quizzes and game shows in a small Brodie's within the casino did not work. People drinking, shouting out the answers, who were not taking part, spoilt it for the other people that were. The highlight of one day was a 'poofy feet seminar'. The sailaways however were the best ever. The itinerary would have to be really good for us to use P&O again. After a great deal of thought we booked to go on the Britannia. After reading the reviews we wondered what we had done. I usually take reviews with a pinch of salt as everyone likes different things and also see things differently as well, but you can pick up some good tips. Complaints ranged from, no deck 7. (Which we love sitting on), loungers, lifts, surly staff, crowded buffet, drab decoration, small cabins, small balconies, no soul, etc etc. I will try and be as fair as I can with this review and say as we found it. The review is mainly about the ship as that is what all the negative reviews/complaints are about and we will come to those later. We flew from Gatwick to Barbados on the TUI Dreamliner premium economy, just perfect. Embarkation We must have been very lucky as it must have taken us all of 5 -10 minutes to get through security and onto the ship. The cabin was ready and the cases arrived a short while later. Antigua, Barbados, Aruba, Curacao, we just walked into town. In Aruba we also took a ride on the free trolley bus (street car). Information about it and the route it takes is on the internet. Just go out of the port entrance and turn left. Walk a few yards and the trolley stop is by the circular building. I have to say it wasn't very interesting. They have 2 street cars, a single decker and a double decker and you can get on and off at any stop as many times as you like. We sat on the top of the double decker, but all we could see was mainly tree tops. I expected a lot of people to be waiting for the street car but there was just us then 2 more couples came. Already on the street car was maybe 3-4 downstairs and 3 people upstairs. We got off during the return trip and made our way to the marina. To the left of the marina, away from the ship is a mall, not much in it but there is a Starbucks for coffee lovers. The other side of the mall was a market but we never got to that. Aruba was lovely to walk around. The other islands we used the ships tours and found them very good. People complain about the ships prices for tours but apparently they do a price match, which we hadn't heard of. The tours which stood out for us were.... St Kitts .....we did the railway. Very interesting and enjoyable. St Lucia .....we went to Stoneyhill house and steel pan experience- the house grounds were beautiful, you also met the owner. I could quite happily have stayed there. The steel pans were great. The did try to teach us to play a tune....it won't be getting into the top 10 anytime soon. Martinique- we did the 7hr tour, sorry I can't remember the title of it. Lovely modern coach, very comfortable. We went round the island and also had a creole lunch. I was a bit dubious about the lunch but it was Ok and the ice cream was to die for. Wish I could have brought some home. Now to go through the list of complaints and hopefully put some minds at rest. No deck 7 There are 4 areas of deck 7 that you can use. 2 mid ships, off the atrium. One is for smokers, one non smokers, both with tables and chairs. The other 2 areas are near the back of the ship, again smokers one side with tables, chairs and loungers. The non smokers side I believe just has loungers. Loungers There are lots and lots of loungers around the ship but I agree they are close together with no space between them. You do not need to lay by the pool to get a tan, leave these loungers for people who want to swim as well. Many laid around the pool didn't even wet their feet. There is also an amount of conservatory type settees and chairs on deck 16 and 17 as well, mostly under cover. Definitely an added bonus for us. Lifts We found no problems with the lifts at all, no different to other ships. They were busy on embarkation days and lifeboat drill but that is to be expected. Occasionally 2 lifts would go past full but we were going nowhere in a rush! One lady did barge into our lift moaning about the lifts being ridiculous. She only went up one floor and got out again. If we can walk up 4 flights of stairs with me with a dodgy hip then surely she could have walked up 1 flight if she was in such a rush. Others in the lift had blank faces like ours as they hadn't had any problems either. I knew I would be writing this review and asked many people about the lifts and none had found them different to other cruise ships. To be fair I think the people with cabins mid ships would be the ones having to walk further to get a lift. But some of those people said it was fine. Surley staff Staff were always very polite. The staff didn't always smile and some looked ill at ease if not sure if to smile or not. We found if you smiled at them and with a thank you , after a couple of days they would smile back and even ask I'd you had had a nice day. Cabin steward was brilliant as usual. Buffet We always eat in the buffet. I don't drink, hate the taste of the stuff and a lot of the food in the restaurants have alcohol in them. Also looking at the menus the only thing I would probably have eaten was the prawn cocktail. We had no problem with the buffet. Only queued once and that was to get a tray. We would then walk into the buffet to see what there was and then choose our meal. We saw others get their tray and stay in the queue even though they may not have wanted what was on the first serving station! The food was hot with plenty of choice to a certain extent. The salad section was very good as was lunch and breakfast. Evening meal was themed, usually Asian, French, Indian food ....why, when we are on a Caribbean cruise? I love a curry but had never heard of most of the dishes. They always had the salad bar on, a roast of the day( which was always very tender) and pies or similar. Not much choice of puddings, usually 4 cheesecake/ trifle type and 2 hot puddings. We never had a problem with finding a table, plenty of room but for some people if they can't get a seat right next to the buffet then it is busy and start moaning. It can get busy inside where the food stations are but not very often, why are people in so much of a rush? Fruit juice is only available at breakfast but that doesn't finish until 12 noon when Lunch starts. The buffet has afternoon tea and snacks from 3pm -5pm, children's tea from 5pm-6pm. The evening meal doesn't start until 6.15pm We didn't use any of the speciality restaurants. Grab and go Good idea but only used it once. We had triple sandwich but you just got half of it ( 3 slices of bread cut in half). I thought it was a sandwiches made with 2 slices of bread. I didn't mind that but the bread was dry, the middle slice had no butter on it and the beef was that tough I couldn't get my teeth into it. My husband had the ham sandwich and that was the same. The puddings however were delicious. Decoration We found the decoration to be to our liking. It could have been brightened up a little I suppose, but if they had made it glitzy like some say it should be, then others would then say it was brash. So I think that it is a lose lose situation for P&O, all down to personal taste. On board Statement I have seen many complaints about people getting big bills at the end of their cruises. Not knowing how much they have spent until they get their final bill at the end of the cruise.......just because their account doesn't show on the cabin TV as on some ships. Go to reception deck 5 and you can have a print out whenever you want one. We went every 2-3 days, no problem and never had to queue either. Tipping If you don't want to do automatic tipping just go to reception and fill a form in and cancel it. It DOES NOT affect how your steward treats you. I know tipping is a very explosive subject. To us, you tip people who have gone above and beyond their duty, whether it is being helpful, sorting out problems or just making you feel special. We have always cancelled our tips within a couple of days of being on board. Then we tip people ourselves? We do feel for the staff behind the scenes but it is up to cruise lines to pay them a decent wage not for us to supplement them. Whether the stewards are told you have cancelled your tips or not, I don't know but our stewards have always been brilliant and we have always had a good rapport with them. Small cabins and balconies We had a balcony cabin on D deck and it was no different in size to the ones on Azura or the Princess ships. The balcony was small in depth but you could actually get 2 chairs next to each other at each end of the balcony if required. You can't put your chair facing straight out to sea it would have to be at an angle, which is what we did and didn't find it a problem. Brodie's Brodie's is now separate from the casino and is a lot bigger than the one on Azura. The seating is better and it was also a lot quieter than the Azura. A few rumblings were heard in that there were lots of tv's around but all that was on was football. Entertainment I find this a problem on all ships. You look at the daily entertainment programme and it is full. Yet there is very little to do. Take out the yoga, early morning stretch class, dance classes, keep fit, bridge, talks on acupuncture, blood pressure, poofy feet,. Then there are the guest speakers on some 'off the wall' talks about their adventures etc. Some people may enjoy these things but we don't. So not much left on the programme for us. Lots of bars but I don't drink and my husband may have just 1. Pulse- resident singing group, very good Vibes- Caribbean group, excellent, loved them....but others didn't Headliners- very professional, really enjoyed them. It would be nice if they were on more nights. Out of the 14 nights I think they did 4 different shows, but I may be wrong. Tucker- comedian...had the house down, very funny. Dancing- in the Crystal room with resident dance teachers, sorry, for us and many other people, they were on too often Sailaways- great, the ship came alive. I think it was the only time we saw people having Fun. But it doesn't appeal to everyone. Quizzes- lots of quizzes, which we usually enjoy, but didn't on this cruise. Entertainment team- what can I say. I can't remember there names and if I saw them I wouldn't recognise most of them. For us they didn't entertain, apart from sailaways and we didn't get them in every port either. They did the quizzes...on the few that we saw they read the questions and read the answers and that was it. No interaction, no energy, no fun. Then they had DJ by the pool. They just stood on deck and played music, again no interaction. They could have just piped the music like they usually do. Coffee We love Costa latte coffee and bought coffee cards before we left for the cruise but you can buy them on ship just the same. Cards are £22 for 10 coffees. Costa are on sale at Java, market place and on deck 16. Although the coffee should taste the same in all areas, it didn't. Java and deck 16, perfect. The coffee in the Market place was strong and didn't taste like Costa , so didn't go to that one again. We find the coffee in the cabin and buffet ( on all ships) to be undrinkable, and my husband will drink anything. It was very strong and even tipping half of it away and adding more water didn't help. The coffee in the buffet is out of a machine so it delivers a full cup every time. I always take coffee with me in a refill pack as very little weight in it. I also take a small plastic round container which will fit in your pocket and use it to put the coffee granules in it. We can then make a coffee in the buffet for meals or during the day, just to our liking, perfect. Dress code 4 formal nights on this cruise. I personally think 2 would have been enough or even none at all. You dress up, but there is nothing going on around the ship to make it special, to warrant getting dressed up....maybe I am getting too old. It is no different to any other night. Most people dressed up the first night as the Captain came out, only time we saw him. Two men sat in shorts in the Atrium. After the first formal night the number of people who dressed up seemed to dwindle. I also think some people are confused with smart casual as well. Some people wore jeans and t shirts, then you had ladies in cocktail frocks and others in clothes I would go down town shopping in, all being worn on the same night. Which made an odd mix of dress. As long as you are comfortable is fine by me but I do draw the line at shorts on an evening. Atrium This for us is were the Britannia falls down big time. Plenty of seats but shops expensive, they are supposed to be duty free. I bought perfume at Gatwick £63 and the exact same perfume on Britannia was £74. They sell Ariel pods for your washing at £1 each ( we take our own). I could go on. For us and many people the Atrium is the heart of the ship but it is dead. It is crying out for some sort of entertainment. It could even be someone playing the piano. There is a set of drums and keyboard in there but it was used once by Vibes. They were stuck on a corner and we could hardly hear them. People say the ship has no soul and I could never understand what they meant, but I do now. Disembarkation We didn't do a debark tour as we had done them on previous cruises. It was nice to be able to stay on the ship until it was time for our flight. We all had to go through emigration on the ship. Queues were very long,...from the live lounge, past photo area, past the atrium and half way down the crystal room but it only took 30mins to get through. We were then free to do what we wanted. We had to be out of our cabins by 8am. Our flight home was at 6.20pm. All on our flight had to meet in the Meridian restaurant at 2.25pm. We left our hand luggage in the theatre, completely secure and was given a ticket for collecting the luggage later. You could still use all the facilities, swimming pool, buffet etc and you can also go off ship for a walk round and get back on. You can also hire a day cabin, I think it was from 9am, an inside cabin was £50 and I believe a balcony was £65 and a deluxe balcony or suite ( not sure which) was £85. We met at the allotted time in the Meridian restaurant. There were 288 people on our flight and instead of letting us all go at once, trying to fight our way through the door way at the same time, they let us go a section of the restaurant at a time. No pushing, shoving, well organised I thought. However, the lady behind me, grumbling said ' this is so disorganised'. Still can't work out why, unless it was because she wasn't in the first group to get off. We deliberated a lot about this holiday and how we felt about it. We enjoyed it but something was missing. After a lot of thought we realised what it was, it was FUN. This is a British ship full of British people and on the whole we are for the most ( us included) a very reserved race. The comedian summed us up by saying that we will smile, wave and shout to the people on the ship in the next berth who are leaving but we will not talk to the people in the lift on our own ship, how very true. Some prices Launderette - free to use Magnum ice cream- £2.15 Whipped ice cream - £1.75 Water- 2 free small bottles on arrival 1 small bottle from cabin fridge £1.95 1.5lt - £2 a bottle (6 bottles for £10) from cabin steward Mixers - in cabin....150ml....10 for £10 We did enjoyed the cruise and we enjoyed the ports. Are we pleased we ignored other reviews, yes we are. It is what you make it, go with an open mind. I know some people will disagree with this review but I can only write as we found it, every person sees things differently and has different likes and dislikes. You can't please everyone. Compared with our love of Princess, the food was better on Britannia and the shows were more professional. We had more fun and smiled more on Princess and Princess have more things happening in the Atrium. If you could take the best from both cruise lines you would have the perfect cruise, but sadly life isn't like that. Sorry for the long review, you are probably all bored and asleep by now but I have tried to cover all bases and give an unbiased view. We are off on another cruise in July with Princess to celebrated our golden wedding anniversary. It will be interesting to see how Princess now compares to the Britannia. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our first cruise with P&O after a few cruises with Princess. We chose it because it flew in and out of Barbados rather than having to go to the US and spend a few days sailing before reaching the Caribbean. Our initial view ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O after a few cruises with Princess. We chose it because it flew in and out of Barbados rather than having to go to the US and spend a few days sailing before reaching the Caribbean. Our initial view of the ship was a little disappointing it lacked the wow factor of many ships which are much more sparkly and special. However we all agreed that over time the understated elegance grew on us and I expect younger guests would appreciate the very modern, clean lines. Overall we were very happy with our cabin and general service of staff. we were blown away by the entertainment particularly the shows performed by the ships theatre team, they were as good if not better than any West End Show. One excursion we went on was fine, but we feel quite overpriced. Negatives - food in the main dining room, we opted for fixed dining, was disappointing. Inconsistent in quality and had the feeling of mass production. Often when dishes arrived they bore little resemblance to the description on the menu and the Marco Pierre White Gala Menu Lobster was awful. everyone was complaining. I am up for trying new things all the time, but Salt and Vinegar ice cream to accompany another complex chocolate creation ??? It actually tasted of nothing and a really decent vanilla ice cream would have been much more preferable. Lots of very 'clever' combinations but would imagine the resources to carry these off was not available. I would suggest they stuck to doing simpler things but really well. With most guests being over 50 I am sure they would appreciate better quality and less imagination. Also very disappointed in the Spa, this is usually a big treat to myself. There were no facials under £100 which is ridiculous, I live on the outskirts of London and even the best Salons around here do not charge that for facials. Timings for treatments were also very inaccurate, my pedicure which should have lasted 60 minutes was over in 45 and I was amazed that a further 10% tip was added without my consent to the bill. As I am already paying on board gratuities I found this underhand. I also booked a mixed massage and facial treatment which was supposed to last 75 minutes. Over 25 minutes was spent beforehand and afterwards on a 'consultation' and hard sell of products and whilst the massage was good she did not touch my face, where was the advertised facial? When I tried to query this neither the therapist or rather surly receptionist could understand me (there were no staff available with English as their first language) as I was actually feeling rather unwell I didn't pursue it, but it has put me off using Spas in future. I felt I had been well and truly ripped off As a widow who saves hard for my cruises, this really upset me and what should have been a relaxing papering experience left me feeling angry and disappointed. overall a good cruise and would happily recommend the Britannia except for the issues above. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We had a lovely 2 weeks cruising thank you P and O! This was our first trip with them, our only previous history was with Ocean Village and Thomson's, perhaps we are just easy to please but all have their plus and minus's. So ... Read More
We had a lovely 2 weeks cruising thank you P and O! This was our first trip with them, our only previous history was with Ocean Village and Thomson's, perhaps we are just easy to please but all have their plus and minus's. So here goes with our review.... Yes, Britannia is big and no it doesn't have a central staircase except for the Atrium but get over it, you knew this before you booked it! Embarkation at St Lucia was so easy, except for the airport only letting off 20 passengers at a time (make sure you book seats on the plane towards the front to save time). Cases arrived within 1.5 hours and we met our wonderful cabin steward Francisco but all crew are so helpful. Cabin well thought out, slight smell of urine in the bathroom but this was sorted out swiftly. We ate in the buffet (Horizon) and did the freedom dining which we enjoyed. Compared to previous cruises , food was a notch up. A lot more variety for breakfast with different dishes turning up as well as the regular. Great fruit selection and never had a problem getting a table, ok you might not have one right by the buffet but all very clean and tidy at all times. A complaint about the coffee served after dinner in the formal dining rooms, please make a jug of decaf coffee! Not difficult! When you ask for a decaf and you get a sachet with some hot water.....really , P and O you could do better! Also Sindu was a highlight, just don't eat after 1pm as so much food! We thought that the lighting in the Atrium could be more subtle, especially in the evenings. No wow factor, felt like a bit like a shopping mall, especially when the sale rails from the shops are left out on display. Not much atmosphere in there either. But as for the entertainment, again a notch up on previous cruises, very professional, that goes for the in-house guys and gals and the bands. The at sea days you could always find a sunbed, ok it might not be in your exact location unless you wish to arise at 7am to do the 'not allowed' reservation! It did feel a bit like Butlins around the main pool at times (the Serenity pool was a lot quieter), especially on some of the sail aways. The Thomson cruise looking on thought P and O were up market until then! But they were fun if it is your thing and you could always find a quiet spot outside or inside if it wasn't for you, We did some excursions which were good and bad. Wouldn't bother with any of the beach trips again as on 2 of them we had to fight for a sunbed and the beaches were very busy. Next time we will grab a cab. When returning back to the ship at times we could have done with two gangplanks open to stop people waiting in the sun/queuing to get back on , but the water station outside was a great idea. Over all, we were very pleased with our cruise, except of course, the moaners but then some people like to moan as part of their holiday don't they?! For us it is all about the itinerary first and foremost and we have concerns about the 2 new big P and O ships coming into service in a few years time. This will limit them to the larger ports and for us, especially in the Med, is where Thomson's (Marella or Tui - whatever they are called now!) with their 2 newer ex RCL ships will win for us. They seem to have more exciting and varied ports of call for us. We don't enjoy the days at sea so their fly/cruise itinerary's in the Med puts P and O to shame. Think they only 1 fly/cruise leaving from Malta But we would go with P and O again if it fits the bill. We enjoyed Britannia, all those lovely islands and the lovely locals, especially after 3 days when we had found our way around - she is a big girl! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Recently cruised the Caribbean on board Britannia and thoroughly enjoyed it. We read many of the reviews prior to sailing and were very, very apprehensive as they were either bad or unpromising. Non of it! it turned out to be a great ... Read More
Recently cruised the Caribbean on board Britannia and thoroughly enjoyed it. We read many of the reviews prior to sailing and were very, very apprehensive as they were either bad or unpromising. Non of it! it turned out to be a great cruise with beautiful weather throughout which is unusual for the Caribbean at this time of the year. The ports of call vary considerably depending on the cruise, some you love and others less so but most become familiar over a number of years and worth seeing once again. Aruba and Bonaire are always good, as is Antigua. Although Britannia is a larger ship you very quickly get to grips with what's where and the walking from A-B keeps the weight down. The prior complaints about the decor, the problems with stairs (lack of) food, etc.were unfounded. The dining rooms were excellent and generally the service throughout the ship was excellent. The atmosphere on board was happy and friendly which can't be bad. Although, not all things were perfect. The well documented sun bed scrum is a problem. Yes, there is a rush to book early (try and stop it) and the beds on the upper decks are crammed together with no space between - but there are lots of them and there's never a problem getting one. In my opinion the entertainment is at best average. The theatre company are very good but decent guest artists are much more popular. Where have all the comedians gone? The on board future cruise booking facility is good although they need more staff to avoid the endless queues. P&O were a bit underhand this time by not informing us before booking ahead that the drinks policy was due to change days after we had booked for next year. The change may be crucial to many passengers so please make yourself aware of it before booking! Tipping will always be a very controversial issue and cruise companies should confront it. Passengers do not like having money taken from their account automatically (yes, it can be cancelled). This policy creates a lot of embarrassment towards the end of the cruise when many waiting staff are still expecting to be tipped directly and are openly disappointed when they are not. It has to be one or the other I'm afraid. There is a very good, well used gym but not enough ladies classes. "Flatter stomach" seminars etc. are fine but structured, group aerobic exercise would be welcomed. The wrap around walking area on deck 17 is excellent and well used. All in all a big well done to Britannia, P&O and its guests! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Decided to give cruising another go after a disappointing experience a few years ago and were pleased we did. We have wanted to visit the Caribbean for some time and this seemed a great way to get a flavour of what is on offer. It is worth ... Read More
Decided to give cruising another go after a disappointing experience a few years ago and were pleased we did. We have wanted to visit the Caribbean for some time and this seemed a great way to get a flavour of what is on offer. It is worth mentioning that we were advised that P&O was very much British with understated decor and a traditional feel to the cruise. This is what we got. At time of booking (which was at short notice) advised that flights to/return from our local airport not available so booked further afield. However with help of travel agent managed to secure flights out and via flight coordinator on board ship secured flights back. Since seats were available P&O need to look at this - hassle unnecessary. However saying goodbye to our luggage at the airport and it arriving at our cabin (and in reverse going home) as well as how well customs checks etc organised was brilliant. Our biggest bugbear with the ship was the lack of stairs at midships especially as our cabin was mid-ships! Otherwise found layout fine, part of the fun getting confused and discovering another way round! Also think the charge for WIFI which was slow was a bit rich taking into account cost of cruise. Had a balcony cabin (B415) which was well laid out and Estelvino our cabin steward was amazing looking after us and our cabin really well throughout the trip. Robes and slippers were provided for that touch of luxury. Balconies are small but fine for sitting and having a drink whilst taking in the view. We opted for freedom dining and never had to wait for a table, we met some lovely dining companions and would encourage others to go for sharing a table. We did notice that at times people who wanted to dine as a 2 did have to wait. The majority of the staff were very good and attentive. Though some mornings I was kept waiting a very long time for skimmed milk. Horizon - self service restaurant - ate here a few times for breakfast and lunch and was of a similar standard to the main restaurants. Epicurian - is a dining experience and we did enjoy, food was good, service was lovely and 'theatre' was entertaining. Worth going to but only once in our opinion. Sindu - was by far our favorite, amazing food and service was exemplary. Beach House was very disappointing, it turned out to be part of the self service restaurant sectioned off and food was okay. Not worth the service charge. Limelight Club - the biggest disappointment and really not worth the service charge.. The menu was a couple of choices from the normal menu, hot starter served icy cold, main course luke warm and meat overcooked, no choice of dessert (and a lacklustre apology with no offer to remedy). We would rather have paid an entrance fee to see the show 'Eric and Ernie' who were great and ate in the normal dining room. Headliner theatre - we enjoyed the shows and Maxine who did 2 great nights as Dusty Springfield and Adele. Very British seaside, however we met many people who said the shows were the same as last cruise so come on P&O up your game. For first timers good fun. Bars and service were good. Entertainment team were great, the 'sailaways' were good fun and the staff worked hard. Groups were good we especially enjoyed Vibz and Adam on the piano. We mixed up doing P&O shore excursions with doing our own thing and found each island enjoyable (though felt a bit intimidated on St Vincent - however we do not live their lives and I am not judging the people, maybe more work needed to help us understand and also no how to deal. Would have been nice to have longer at some islands so could do a sunset or two on a beach and maybe experienced more of island life. Excursions were well organised and the local providers were fab making sure we had a good time. The Caribbean is a beautiful part of the world, full of lovely people and everyone should go at least once. We will go back and would go with P&O again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Flew from Gatwick on the Dreamliner to Barbados, we were under the impression that long haul on the Dreamliner was all inclusive!!!!!! Well I asked and was told if we were on a Tui holiday then it would of been, but P & O rented the ... Read More
Flew from Gatwick on the Dreamliner to Barbados, we were under the impression that long haul on the Dreamliner was all inclusive!!!!!! Well I asked and was told if we were on a Tui holiday then it would of been, but P & O rented the plane so it was up to them, so all you got was a meal. Arrived in Barbados and takes straight to Britannia, I was amazed to say the least, Britannia is huge. Food in The Horizon is nice and if you can't find something to eat, then your one fussy person. Meridian was ok nothing to write home about, Peninsular was rubbish, I've never had a three course meal in 45 mins in my life, so only went once. Would of liked to eat in The Limelight but not at a cover charge of £25, The Beach House had a little cover charge and we went once, best place on the ship, Sindhu was nice but again a big cover charge, I think when your paying £4000 for a holiday, there should be no cover charge, drinks were abit expensive, high street prices, well that depends on which high street you live on. Our cabin was ok A128, Jonah our cleaner was lovely and kept it lovely, our air con was abit noisy though. Islands were lovely apart from Martinique abit of a let down. As for p & os dress code, well seriously there isn't one, and if there is they need to make it clear, because nobody seemed to pick anybody up on it at all, very lapse. The staff were pretty miserable I think they think well we have your tips so we don't need to try. Would I go on another p & o, unfortunately not. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our second cruise on Britannia and I am pleased to say that after more than two years in service she seems to be wearing well. We booked premium seats for the flight which I know costs extra but we think its worth it. Our ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Britannia and I am pleased to say that after more than two years in service she seems to be wearing well. We booked premium seats for the flight which I know costs extra but we think its worth it. Our friends flew from a different airport but I know their journey was also hassle free. Both flights left and arrived on time. Transfers; straight from the plane to the bus to the ship. straightforward although we had to put up with the habitual moaner, why do they bother leaving home! Check in simple and boarding quick with no fuss. Cabin was ready although the luggage did seem to take a long time arriving. On the first day we now don't plan, unless we are lucky, to eat in the main restaurants we go to the buffet. It is so much easier and saves rushing around. So, throughout the cruise: meals were great, entertainment good, weather good, cleanliness good and most passengers good. Ports were as expected although we did have a changed itinerary, which we knew about beforehand because of the hurricane damage to some ports. It wasn't all perfect; There were some things which did let the side down a little. A couple of the tours we went on did not accurately match the description in the pre cruise info. We did feel as though on one we missed out on quite a bit. However the rest were ok. The theatre on Britannia simply isn't big enough for a ship of this size. If you don't get there early then you don't get in. That said if you know about it then you can work around it. Whingers; Why, after spending a significant amount of money on a holiday like this do people persistently moan about everything...I heard "its too warm" "its too humid" which is mad considering where we were. Also if the restaurant has no 2 seat tables available because they are all taken why throw a hissy fit and stomp off swearing loading...you just make your self look an idiot! Crowding and queues; Look; there are over 3500 guests on this ship along with over 1000 staff. We will occasionally get in the way of each other. Expect queues when its obvious, for example going in to the restaurants, boarding or leaving the ship, going to the theatre, all of which to me sounds like a normal holiday or night out anywhere not just on a ship! If you go with the flow, chill out, do what they ask of you then there is no reason why you shouldn't have a great time. And, if there is something that needs sorting out, then ask them and most of the time its done. Remember your there to enjoy yourself. Back to our friends. We were dubious about whether a cruise would suit them. They have been used to very different holidays. We shouldn't have worried, they loved it. So much so we have already booked two further cruises with them, the Fjords and back to the Caribbean. P&O for me strike a good balance of cost and service. There are other cruise companies out there that are better, but they are more expensive. I also love the way the trip out/back is managed by P&O, its so much easier than many other cruise lines which involve changes of scheduled airline flights and overnights in hotels. With P&O is on to the plane, direct to Barbados, off the plane on to a bus, of the bus, check in onto the boat....simples! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Lovely cruise, did our own tours with the locals, P&O tours far too expensive in my opinion. Lovely food, good entertainment in headliners. Couple of acts not so good, but we all like different things. Piped music far to loud on deck ... Read More
Lovely cruise, did our own tours with the locals, P&O tours far too expensive in my opinion. Lovely food, good entertainment in headliners. Couple of acts not so good, but we all like different things. Piped music far to loud on deck and in live lounge, no chance of having a conversation with fellow guests. I think a charge of £25 to watch Gareth Gates and Madeliene Bell in the Limelight Club ridiculous, when they could have had them in the Headliners theatre for all to see. I don't think you should have to pay to go to a venue onboard when you have payed a lot of money for your cruise. Lovely cabin and cabin boy so kind and helpful.all the ships staff were polite kind and go out of there way to help you. It was first time on Britannia but would do it again. First class service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our second time on Britannia in the Caribbean. We have also done 3 cruises on Ventura. I think it is fair to say that we prefer Ventura. The embarkation was fine as always, however one of our suitcases did not show up at the ... Read More
This was our second time on Britannia in the Caribbean. We have also done 3 cruises on Ventura. I think it is fair to say that we prefer Ventura. The embarkation was fine as always, however one of our suitcases did not show up at the cabin and we had to go to reception after dinner to ask about it. The cabin label had come off and the case was in the room opposite reception, so no problem really just an inconvenience. The cabin E741 was fine although we did have noise problems, see the cabin review. The food in the dining room, was good without having the wow factor. We dined in the Oriental DR 2nd sitting. The service from the DR waiters was excellent. Dined in the Limelight Club which was very nice with good entertainment (Eric & Ernie). Also dined once in the Epicurean which did have the wow factor, however I should think so given the cover charge. Did not eat in Sindhu. Most nights we went to the Crystal room where we enjoyed the dancing. The dance instructors Ian and Penny were very good and provided a good mix of ballroom, latin and sequence. The live bands were good also. Only went to the theatre once and enjoyed the show, without being blown away, Some of the shows that were on we recognised (from the title and description) from our last cruise in 2016, so we didn't go. The ship suffers in my opinion from not having a promenade on deck 7, and lack of stairs at midships. There was a lot of people in the bars and public rooms who did not observe the dress code on formal evenings, which I feel is a shame and does nothing for the P&O reputation. I understand that this is just our opinion and I respect that that some people don't want to wear formal attire. Perhaps they should choose a cruise line that doesn't have a formal dress code. Disembarkation was smooth and the flight was on time. Overall a very enjoyable cruise but I doubt if we will go on Britannia again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise as a large new ship to introduce my sister to cruising, she’s a true convert now. Large balcony cabin with sofa, however, major whinge that the balcony is so narrow compared to other ships but didn’t detract really. ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a large new ship to introduce my sister to cruising, she’s a true convert now. Large balcony cabin with sofa, however, major whinge that the balcony is so narrow compared to other ships but didn’t detract really. Live lounge mainly tribute acts very good each night, not many shows in the theatre here though. On board band, Pulse, excellent with a very wide range of songs, rock, pop, divas, ABBA, excellent. Food good choice and nicely cooked, freedom dining room - Meridian - never full so not hectic. Sunloungers at Aft decks could do with a good clean/jetwash as under funnels and bit grubby. Shore excursions over subscribed early on, that’s if they weren’t cancelled. Disappointing. Local tours didn’t cater for catermaran trips. Shore excursion team onboard quite jaded and could have given much more information and be more enthusiastic. Sail away parties good - think 4 in total, particularly the Best of British. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Overall, a pleasant 14 day Caribbean cruise on Britannia. We had an aft suite on C Deck Britannia is a great ship which suits its status as the biggest ship in the fleet. The Britannia sailaway party may seem a bit naff but is ... Read More
Overall, a pleasant 14 day Caribbean cruise on Britannia. We had an aft suite on C Deck Britannia is a great ship which suits its status as the biggest ship in the fleet. The Britannia sailaway party may seem a bit naff but is really good fun and gets you in the spirit! Plus sides. Horror tales of soot issues for aft suites felt more than a touch exaggerated. Friends on B deck had issues with their larger and slightly overlooked balcony but was only a minor irritation for us and friends with a similar aft suite on E deck. Certainly wouldn't let this stop me from re-booking. The wrap round balcony means shade/sun varies nicely by time of day. Compared to a similar suite on the Azura, our suite was more separated and gives more privacy for parents travelling with kids. The itinerary was v good - all stops were port side so no missed stops due to tenders not being operated in poor sea conditions (unlike the Azura last year). Food in al restaurants and the buffet was very good. Love Sindhu and the cover charge is more than worth it. A big mention to John and his team in the Cookery Club, we had a meal there where they cooked Tapas for us. At £45 cover charge, it may seem expensive but that included Sangria and 3 wines - so well worth it! Entertainment was more than good enough - recommend early Headliners performance and the Ed Sheeran tribute act in particular. Stops were great, mentions in particular for St. Kitts, Aruba, Curucao, Tobago and Grenada. Also, the Stingray experience and submarine in Barbados were great excursions and well worth the money. Kids club was great! Central staircase / elevators were a bit painful, but once you get used to using the elevators/stairs at the front or back you realise it makes very little difference. Nonetheless, shouldn't have been beyond the with of the shipbuilder/designer to have thought about this if only to keep down the level of complaints about a very nice ship. Negatives - service standards just not quite the same as the Azura, we were always left feeling that it was just easier to love problems ourselves. Too many times we were met with basic requests around the ship with a blank and somewhat confused expression from staff. Would also say that a course in basic manners and a bit of common sense wouldn't go amiss for many of the staff. The stops were all good with the exception of St. Vincent. A simple message here is that the port area just didn't seem safe - a common message from many passengers. Frankly, stay on the Britannia at St. Vincent. I still don't like having to ask P&O not to charge my in room credit with a service charge before I've even spent a penny of the credit. This just doesn't sit well with me, so I remove it. Frankly, P&O should either be upfront and very clear about this or just not charge it - we all know the crew don't get it and is just an additional charge on unwary customers. The price you pay covers these costs. Final negative, exchange your currency onshore - use casino ATM's for $'s but don't be afraid of using local bank ATM's for Eastern Caribbean $'s either, everyone accepts them on the islands where they're issued despite quoting US$ prices. Only exception was Martinique where they use Euro's or $'s. P&O onboard currency rates are a rip-off, much like the airports. Like I said, the easiest and cheapest way to get US$'s on the trip is to use your ATM card in a casino, the fee is minimal compared to the ship or airport. Overall, we enjoyed the Britannia very much but have a slight preference for the Azura. We'll be trying out Norwegian and Royal Caribbean cruise lines next, mainly for a change and a bit of variation. Would still very much recommend the Britannia, though. Would have given a 5 star rating but for the drop in service standards since last year. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Our first time on the Britannia for a week in the Caribbean. We were really disappointed to find out that all of the signature restaurants required a cover charge ranging from £25/person to £35/person!! In my opinion this is a rip-off ... Read More
Our first time on the Britannia for a week in the Caribbean. We were really disappointed to find out that all of the signature restaurants required a cover charge ranging from £25/person to £35/person!! In my opinion this is a rip-off given that we had already paid a lot for the cruise to eat in our designated Meridian restaurant - The food was excellent. Also given that this was only our second cruise, we were amazed to see that on 'non-formal' evenings, people were arriving for dinner in beach shorts, round neck T-shirts & flip flops, (both women as well as men) when the dress code was casual smart (smart jeans). Why have a dress code if it's not being enforced?? Is it too much to ask passengers to wear trousers & a short sleeve shirt? A general dumbing down of standards that will not do P&O any favours in the long run. The entertainment was very good if somewhat repetitive, the only way to get more variety was to pay extra £35 plus/person for a dinner show. The regular act (Pulse) were very good, but do you really want to see them 3 nights running doing set shows of 'Movie songs' then General pop, then Abba? On the plus side, every member of staff, from the cabin crew, to waiters/bar staff & entertainers were exceptional. They couldn't do enough for you (a special mention here to Rajesh our cabin steward) & always attentive with a smile. Although we enjoyed the cruise, there are many other companies out there who will provide the certain (not unreasonable) standards we are looking for & not 'rip-off' a captive audience to visit other dining experiences such as extra £50/couple for the Sindhu Indian restaurant. Additional £50 for a curry??? Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had been on Ventura and Azura, this ship we were desperate to cruise on! Flew from Glasgow all straighforward no problems. Embarkation was quick and we located our cabin no problem. Cabin we felt was a bit tight and the balcony was ... Read More
We had been on Ventura and Azura, this ship we were desperate to cruise on! Flew from Glasgow all straighforward no problems. Embarkation was quick and we located our cabin no problem. Cabin we felt was a bit tight and the balcony was small, no room for the chairs on the balcony. Two full size cabin mirrors could have done with a good clean. Shower cubicle door showing signs of wear and tear already. Oriental restaurant first sitting, food was fine...green beans every night! Tried the Beach House but not to our taste, everything seemed to be deep fat fried. Sindhu was fantastic, well worth paying for. Drinks were very expensive in the bar areas, especially spirits. A Rum and coke was 8.25 pence. So easy to run up a high on board account. Too many black tie nights (which we do not participate in), 4 in total which meant we could only eat in the Horizon Buffet on those nights. We strongly object to paying for an expensive cruise and being forced to eat in the buffet on those nights. The select restaurants you also had to wear black tie or you will be refused entry. We took a couple of ship tours, De Palm Island....not worth the money. Surrounded by an industrial area, the water park was closed (P&O had already informed us) and it was constant noise of diggers and cement mixers. OK if you want snorkelling or scuba diving otherwise nothing else there. All inclusive day out, drinks watered down and crap food. A beach break in Antigua Runaway Bay. Had to drag two beach beds along the beach and then pay $10 for a shade. Would have been as well on the ship for the day at the pool. My husband said the gents toilets were disgusting. We booked the Mystery Tour in Barbados. 4 hours of torture on a bus, dropped off at some bar for a free rum punch in the middle of nowhere. Not worth the money. We booked a couple of independent tours, one in Tobago, with Tobago Island Tours. Wayne Kennedy, Buckoo Reef and the Nylon Pool with a BBQ on no mans land. A great trip, he is on trip advisor. Arrived back in Barbados on the Thursday 11am due to immigration it was 2.30 before we could leave the ship. The last 2 and a half days in Barbados was a bit of a waste of time, too many people embarking and disembarking which is quite disturbing. Read Less
Britannia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.1
Service 5.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.4
Rates 5.0 N/A

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