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We chose this cruise to go on for November 2016 for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, we wanted something special to celebrate and as we had never cruised before we chose this. My wife was diagnosed with the big C las August so we postponed the cruise until thos year. So the cruise was a double event for our anniversary and a closure of a year of chemotherapy and radio therapy. We had booked premium seats flying out to Barbados, first time ever and throughly recommended and as the cruise was a year late I had paid for the upgrade from a balconey cabin to a suite. This practically doubled the price we had originally paid but in hindsight it was worth the money. The flight to Barbados as said was excellent and as we had a suite we had priority boarding which saved about 30 minutes standing in the check in sheds in 28 degress of heat. We still had to wait 25 minutes to go through security to board the boat fighting with passengers who were on day trips or just off the boat for the day. I know that there were a number of passengers arriving but it could have been a lot better organised. The suite was very large with 2 x 3 foot beds put together to make a large kingsize bed the sitting area has a settee, coffe table, 2 chairs and a desk and chair. Alongside the was a double wardrobe, a single wardrobe and an area to store cases. The bathroom has a walk in shower suitable for wheel chair users and the shower and bathroom very large. No problems there, indeed the only problem we had with the room was that first the bathroom sink was making awful smells and a plumber had to clear u bend leaving a dirty stinking towel under sink all night. On 2 other occasions we had to have the other drains loomed at due awful smells coming from them. Our cases were late arriving at our room and we had a booking at the Limelight Club and had to go in our travel clothes. The decor in the room was a brown colour colour and while pleasant made the room very dark. The same was in the corridors and ran through to the Atrium which we were a bit disappointed with. Britannia is huge and with over 3500 passengers can be busy, waiting for lifts wastes large tracts of the day and was a nightmare at the best of the time. It did not help that at least 2 of the lifts were out of service being used by the staff. The Butler and Steward who looked after the suite were fantastic and could not do enough for us, they were one of the great positives of the cruise. Because we had a suite we had dining in the Epicurean restaurant for breakfast and the Peninsular resturant for lunch and dinner. Both had waiter service and apart from there being slow service at busy times in the main led to a pleasant dining experience. The staff were great and nothing was too much trouble and happy to join in with the banter. The food in the main was quite good though we had a few items that were not cooked right or were missing an ingredient like beef and onion soup with no beef in it. We used the Horizons buffet restaurant on a couple occasions after coming back from trips and found the food of a poorer quality and a bit of a lottery finding a table. Ice had to be bought and the only place to get one was on the lido deck, none was served in Horizons. Horizons was a total scrum on the last day where we had to be out of our cabins by 8am and the majority of passengers were trying to use the restaurant at the same time. The smoking area is at the aft end of Horizons restaurant on the port side and the smell of cigarette smoke pervades the restaurant up to midships and diwn the stairwell through decks 16 to deck 10. The entertainment was pretty hit and miss, the shows and acts in the Headliners Theatre were in the main good. The resident show cast were enthusiastic though at times the singing left a lot to be desired. The resident band Pulse were brilliant, very versatile putting on evenings from Motown to Rock. The only trouble was after people watched a show in Headliners, seating 980 people, the majority went to the Live lounge to watch pulse which only manage about 250 people, so pretty crowded no where to sit and a wait to get a drink. The Englush pub Brodies was very popular and had regular events like quizzes, racing, karoake with the customers hijacking the events, we had 2 absolutely brilluant evenings where we had never laughed or sang so much in a long time. Just goes to show it the people who make a holiday. We booked into the Limelight club 4 times, at £22 per head per night, during the cruise, all the acts were brilliant except for Jackie Graham was a waste of money. The foid served was hit and miss on the second night we sent the starter of scollops back only cooked one side and was convienently forgotten about by our waiter for the rest of the eveing and had to get another waiter to serve our main and pud. On the last occasion we had to send the venision back because it had been severely overcooked and shoukd never have been put on the plate. The service from the staff was on the whole excellent, the only place we could fault was the Atrium Bar on deck 5 where you had a long wait to get served. We were told by a Manager that this was because they had problems on deck 16 and all the staff had gone up there. They must have had problems everyday because service was bad every day. The alcholic drinks were based on British pub measures at £4.25 a tot and small mixers £1.25. Cocktails, or should I say mocktails, were advertised daily fot £6.75 but werevagain based on an English measure. As a regular visitor to Cuba and a fan of Mojitos how you you advertise it as such with only a 6th of a gill if rum in it. All you could taste was sida and ice, when I vomplained the staff were very shirty and that they were instructed to only put that much of alchol in and if you wanted more you had to pay fir a double or treble shot, oh yeah. It was noticeable that the alcholic drinks on deck 16 were weaker than the other bars. We stop at Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, St Vincents, St Lucia, St Kitts, Grenada and Antigua. We should have called at Dominica and Tortola but due to the Hurricane Bonaire replaced these islands. This meant we had another day in Barbados, so arriving at the boat on the the Friday we had the folliwing Saturday and the Thursday and Friday of the week after in Barbados. The last Thursday was a total waste of time the Britannia did not dock until lat morning we then had to wait for immigration to board to immigration paperwork then as we had to change berths we could not leave or enter boat between 4pm and 7.30pm. Why could this have not been done overnight so as not to lose a total day. I was not the only saying that it would have been better to have flown home today as it was a total nothing day. The excursions were over priced but the best being the party bus in Aruba which was a fun day but needed to last longer. The tour of St Vincents and Grenada with time on the beach which were both informative and relaxing were the best. One to avoid do not take the Train in Castries, St Lucia which is a total rip off you coild walk it yourself in 20 minutes and 5 dollars an hour for a sunbed speaks for itself. Aruba, Bonaire, St Kitts and Antigua were particularly expensive with food and drink costing up to double on these islands. Bonaire and Antigua seemed to have 2 different price lists for cruise ship passengers, guess where I am not going to again. The Spa and other facilities on the ship were quite exoensive with spa entry @ £30 a day or £300 for fortnight. Massages start at £79 upto to over £170 about 2 1/2 times what you would normally expect to pay. The speciality restaurants all have a 'nominal' charge which can be anything from £10 a head upwards dependent on where you dine. I would recomend Sindhu where the Indian Cuisine is truly amazing, by far the best Indian meal I have ever had. As stated we had to be out of our cabin by 8am on the last day, I booked a day cabin at an extra cost of £50. This was an interior cabin which was miniscule there is no way that we could have stayed in one of these for the fortnight, the bed area was about 8ft by 8ft with the smallest bathroom area that I have ever seen, even my wife could not use the shower without having the door open. To be honest I have seen bigger airplane toilets than this bathroom. As our flight was at 6.20pm, we and around 2000 others passengers spent the day around the pool and Atrium with loungers and seating at a premium. We were told to wait for our plabne in one of the dining rooms not used during the day, with over 300 crammed in one area with no air con in 29 degrees was not a pleasant experience. After 40 odd minutes of this we were all getting rather fractious and some tempers were getting frayed. To sum up there were goid points and bad points the staff on the whole were excellent, food on the whole good, service patchy at times, extra charges to squeeze last penny out of you everywhere, organisation by P & O was on the whole pretty poor, suite was good but inner cabin was awful, Britannia huge but disappointing in decor and splendour, excursions left you felt ripped off, fellow passengers, who were generally middle aged and above, great fun. As a regular user of 5 star hotels where services and facilities structured to ensure that you return again I felt that I was only on board Britannia toused as a cash cow.I know that this was our first cruise and that there are many different Cruise lines out there

First time cruising; is it always like this?

Britannia Cruise Review by Mojitoman57

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2017
  • Destination: Caribbean
We chose this cruise to go on for November 2016 for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, we wanted something special to celebrate and as we had never cruised before we chose this. My wife was diagnosed with the big C las August so we postponed the cruise until thos year. So the cruise was a double event for our anniversary and a closure of a year of chemotherapy and radio therapy.

We had booked premium seats flying out to Barbados, first time ever and throughly recommended and as the cruise was a year late I had paid for the upgrade from a balconey cabin to a suite. This practically doubled the price we had originally paid but in hindsight it was worth the money.

The flight to Barbados as said was excellent and as we had a suite we had priority boarding which saved about 30 minutes standing in the check in sheds in 28 degress of heat. We still had to wait 25 minutes to go through security to board the boat fighting with passengers who were on day trips or just off the boat for the day. I know that there were a number of passengers arriving but it could have been a lot better organised.

The suite was very large with 2 x 3 foot beds put together to make a large kingsize bed the sitting area has a settee, coffe table, 2 chairs and a desk and chair. Alongside the was a double wardrobe, a single wardrobe and an area to store cases. The bathroom has a walk in shower suitable for wheel chair users and the shower and bathroom very large. No problems there, indeed the only problem we had with the room was that first the bathroom sink was making awful smells and a plumber had to clear u bend leaving a dirty stinking towel under sink all night. On 2 other occasions we had to have the other drains loomed at due awful smells coming from them. Our cases were late arriving at our room and we had a booking at the Limelight Club and had to go in our travel clothes. The decor in the room was a brown colour colour and while pleasant made the room very dark. The same was in the corridors and ran through to the Atrium which we were a bit disappointed with. Britannia is huge and with over 3500 passengers can be busy, waiting for lifts wastes large tracts of the day and was a nightmare at the best of the time. It did not help that at least 2 of the lifts were out of service being used by the staff.

The Butler and Steward who looked after the suite were fantastic and could not do enough for us, they were one of the great positives of the cruise.

Because we had a suite we had dining in the Epicurean restaurant for breakfast and the Peninsular resturant for lunch and dinner. Both had waiter service and apart from there being slow service at busy times in the main led to a pleasant dining experience. The staff were great and nothing was too much trouble and happy to join in with the banter. The food in the main was quite good though we had a few items that were not cooked right or were missing an ingredient like beef and onion soup with no beef in it. We used the Horizons buffet restaurant on a couple occasions after coming back from trips and found the food of a poorer quality and a bit of a lottery finding a table. Ice had to be bought and the only place to get one was on the lido deck, none was served in Horizons. Horizons was a total scrum on the last day where we had to be out of our cabins by 8am and the majority of passengers were trying to use the restaurant at the same time. The smoking area is at the aft end of Horizons restaurant on the port side and the smell of cigarette smoke pervades the restaurant up to midships and diwn the stairwell through decks 16 to deck 10.

The entertainment was pretty hit and miss, the shows and acts in the Headliners Theatre were in the main good. The resident show cast were enthusiastic though at times the singing left a lot to be desired. The resident band Pulse were brilliant, very versatile putting on evenings from Motown to Rock. The only trouble was after people watched a show in Headliners, seating 980 people, the majority went to the Live lounge to watch pulse which only manage about 250 people, so pretty crowded no where to sit and a wait to get a drink. The Englush pub Brodies was very popular and had regular events like quizzes, racing, karoake with the customers hijacking the events, we had 2 absolutely brilluant evenings where we had never laughed or sang so much in a long time. Just goes to show it the people who make a holiday.

We booked into the Limelight club 4 times, at £22 per head per night, during the cruise, all the acts were brilliant except for Jackie Graham was a waste of money. The foid served was hit and miss on the second night we sent the starter of scollops back only cooked one side and was convienently forgotten about by our waiter for the rest of the eveing and had to get another waiter to serve our main and pud. On the last occasion we had to send the venision back because it had been severely overcooked and shoukd never have been put on the plate.

The service from the staff was on the whole excellent, the only place we could fault was the Atrium Bar on deck 5 where you had a long wait to get served. We were told by a Manager that this was because they had problems on deck 16 and all the staff had gone up there. They must have had problems everyday because service was bad every day.

The alcholic drinks were based on British pub measures at £4.25 a tot and small mixers £1.25. Cocktails, or should I say mocktails, were advertised daily fot £6.75 but werevagain based on an English measure. As a regular visitor to Cuba and a fan of Mojitos how you you advertise it as such with only a 6th of a gill if rum in it. All you could taste was sida and ice, when I vomplained the staff were very shirty and that they were instructed to only put that much of alchol in and if you wanted more you had to pay fir a double or treble shot, oh yeah.

It was noticeable that the alcholic drinks on deck 16 were weaker than the other bars.

We stop at Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, St Vincents, St Lucia, St Kitts, Grenada and Antigua. We should have called at Dominica and Tortola but due to the Hurricane Bonaire replaced these islands. This meant we had another day in Barbados, so arriving at the boat on the the Friday we had the folliwing Saturday and the Thursday and Friday of the week after in Barbados. The last Thursday was a total waste of time the Britannia did not dock until lat morning we then had to wait for immigration to board to immigration paperwork then as we had to change berths we could not leave or enter boat between 4pm and 7.30pm. Why could this have not been done overnight so as not to lose a total day. I was not the only saying that it would have been better to have flown home today as it was a total nothing day.

The excursions were over priced but the best being the party bus in Aruba which was a fun day but needed to last longer. The tour of St Vincents and Grenada with time on the beach which were both informative and relaxing were the best. One to avoid do not take the Train in Castries, St Lucia which is a total rip off you coild walk it yourself in 20 minutes and 5 dollars an hour for a sunbed speaks for itself. Aruba, Bonaire, St Kitts and Antigua were particularly expensive with food and drink costing up to double on these islands. Bonaire and Antigua seemed to have 2 different price lists for cruise ship passengers, guess where I am not going to again.

The Spa and other facilities on the ship were quite exoensive with spa entry @ £30 a day or £300 for fortnight. Massages start at £79 upto to over £170 about 2 1/2 times what you would normally expect to pay. The speciality restaurants all have a 'nominal' charge which can be anything from £10 a head upwards dependent on where you dine. I would recomend Sindhu where the Indian Cuisine is truly amazing, by far the best Indian meal I have ever had.

As stated we had to be out of our cabin by 8am on the last day, I booked a day cabin at an extra cost of £50. This was an interior cabin which was miniscule there is no way that we could have stayed in one of these for the fortnight, the bed area was about 8ft by 8ft with the smallest bathroom area that I have ever seen, even my wife could not use the shower without having the door open. To be honest I have seen bigger airplane toilets than this bathroom.

As our flight was at 6.20pm, we and around 2000 others passengers spent the day around the pool and Atrium with loungers and seating at a premium. We were told to wait for our plabne in one of the dining rooms not used during the day, with over 300 crammed in one area with no air con in 29 degrees was not a pleasant experience. After 40 odd minutes of this we were all getting rather fractious and some tempers were getting frayed.

To sum up there were goid points and bad points the staff on the whole were excellent, food on the whole good, service patchy at times, extra charges to squeeze last penny out of you everywhere, organisation by P & O was on the whole pretty poor, suite was good but inner cabin was awful, Britannia huge but disappointing in decor and splendour, excursions left you felt ripped off, fellow passengers, who were generally middle aged and above, great fun.

As a regular user of 5 star hotels where services and facilities structured to ensure that you return again I felt that I was only on board Britannia toused as a cash cow.I know that this was our first cruise and that there are many different Cruise lines out there
Mojitoman57’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin B626
Suitable for disabled and wheel chair uses, walk in shower and ramps out onto balcony. Very large with double patio doors and balcony. Decir a bit dark and room can be very dark without sun in room. Room comes with a Butler who serves canapies around 5pm daily and will book and organise events or restaurants that wish to partake in.Room service provide and breakfast in room available. Steward looks after cleanliness and room is clean twice daily with bedding turned down at night. Atlas, binoculars, TV, Audio System telephones provided. Bed settee, writing desk with drawers, 2 wardrobes, beds can be seperate of put together with heaving quilts on, towels changed daily with pool towels provided free of charge, bathroom around size or interior cabin exclding bathroom, toiletries provided. Basket of fruit provided twice weekly. Mini bar in fridge all items charged, tea coffee making facilities and Gusto coffee machine in suites only. Room is stock with selection of glasses and 2 mugs fot tea coffee. Bathrobes and slippers provided for use, safe in wardrobe, life jacket and extra blankets stored in wardrobes.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews