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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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air ... Read More
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air conditioning or extremely hot. This ship has no WOW factor at all. It would be better “dry docked” and opened as an old people’s home. The entertainment in the theatre from the ship’s cast was extremely poor. One show was entitled “music from the Blues Brothers” but when they started singing “under the boardwalk” that was our queue to leave. The cast weren’t so much as singing the songs more like screaming the songs. The guest entertainment was fine, no problems with them and very entertaining. The guest speakers were also first rate although the ship’s technicians let them all down badly on more than one occasion. Either the microphone or the visual aids weren’t working. We felt annoyed and embarrassed on behalf of the speakers. The hygiene in the restaurant in respect of hand sanitising was hit and miss. New Year’s Eve was a “Free for all” to get into the dining room and we had to ask for the sanitising gel. On average the food was good but the majority of waiters just weren’t interested. On NY Eve one of us ordered medallions of beef and that is all that was on the plate, no vegetables or potatoes, just beef! The food at breakfast was cold most of the time. Cabin steward provided excellent service. All one side of the ship, Port side, was smoking which made it very uncomfortable walking around the ship and sitting in certain areas, I.e. certain parts of the Belvedere restaurant. We are in our 60s and would not consider sailing on the Arcadia ever again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Myself and my Husband have just returned from our cruise aboard the Azura. we returned on Sunday 17/12/2017. We had a fantastic time. we did not take any excursions that are supplied through P and O this is why I can not comment. ... Read More
Myself and my Husband have just returned from our cruise aboard the Azura. we returned on Sunday 17/12/2017. We had a fantastic time. we did not take any excursions that are supplied through P and O this is why I can not comment. when we docked we went a shore every time, the taxi drives can be a pain however once you have run the gauntlet and got through them it was great to explore each island we visited, we went to Antigua, St Kitts ( my favourite) Gaudoloupe, Grenada, (bit dodgy, make sure you have your wits about you exploring here) Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent and Barbados, Pay a visit to the Boat Yard it was a good chill out and a snorkle included in the price. . The food is absolutely superb, we ate on freedom dinning which suits us as we ate when it suited us. all staff on board appeared relaxed and very friendly nothing was too much trouble. the entairtainment was good some really good acts Mark Walker was so funny we saw him on 2 occasions. we mainly positioned ourselves around the terrace above the adults pool, a little comment would be that the loungers where a bit cramped however our cruise was not full so there was not that many people up there. I would recommend a voyage on Azura we had a great time and met some lovely people. Thank you P and O Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise for the second time because the date suited us. We actually sailed from and to St Lucia but this isn't an option on the drop down box ! I think P&O are trying out this port in a view to either moving from or ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the second time because the date suited us. We actually sailed from and to St Lucia but this isn't an option on the drop down box ! I think P&O are trying out this port in a view to either moving from or as well as using Barbados. The transfer is l..o..n..g from the airport to Castries, but a comfy coach made it bearable. The advantage was we were the only arrivals that day so embarkation was swift and smooth, unlike in Barbados where there can be multiple flights of passengers queuing for ages for buses, and to embark. The cruise in the Caribbean on Britannia a was excellent. We love the ports, and the ship. Nice inside cabin , spacious, good stewardess, cleaned us up well, friendly. Food in Horizon, Limelight, Meridian and Beach house restaurants excellent, didn't try any others. Ship clean and sparkly, BUT I do have a gripe, a HUGE one. The Ladies public toilets block with alarming regularity, and the problem seems to be unfixable long term. Toilet paper is always running out so my theory is ladies use the hand towels as a substitute which in turn blocks the loos. I reported them every day, especially the one outside the Horizon on the smokers side. After an hour or two of being fixed they were blocked up again. This is a real bind, and means ladies use the disabled loos, not strictly for general use by the able bodied. The entertainment on board was OK, a four piece group of male singers along the lines of the Four Tops were fantastic, along with Mari Wilson in the Limelight, and Adele looky soundy likey. Movies 50 per cent fab, the rest crap or for kids (?). Liked the new way of dealing with, and displaying photos taken by ships snapper, all on a touch screen. One thing left to say is to these people who complain it's like Butlins at sea are all morons. Cruising on a ship this size throws up all sorts of people from all walks of life, and if they don't like it, choose a holiday in Siberia or Outer Mongolia, or pay through their considerably ignorant snooty noses for a private yacht, because cruising is now available to everyone, just like central heating and posh cars. Suck it up and try loosening those stays. Other gripe is the cost of WIFI, £25 a day of which at least 12 of those hours are spent asleep, or £100 for the cruise. I preferred the old 50p a minute. This is a cynical moneymaking scam by P&O and it's about time it was reviewed. Cabin review below.... Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
It was our first Xmas and New Year away from home and we weren't disappointed. Britannia is a lovely ship, very elegant, modern but bright and spacious with it. It got busier on the second week (for New Year) but still didn't ... Read More
It was our first Xmas and New Year away from home and we weren't disappointed. Britannia is a lovely ship, very elegant, modern but bright and spacious with it. It got busier on the second week (for New Year) but still didn't feel overcrowded. Cabin (C633) was an acceptable size and the best size shower we've had on a cruise, balcony was more than adequate to sit out on. We had Freedom dining for the first time and have to say it worked really well and we enjoyed the flexibility and never had to wait for a table once. Food was good, but not outstanding. Choices were varied and I enjoyed the fish dishes the most. Few complaints but the main one was the description of the dish, for example the dish contained "Mediterranean Olives" (I got half a black olive), the lady next to me didn't get any ! Another was a Deli Meat platter with Capers etc, (it was singular !) . So it seemed to us that cutbacks were pretty much in vogue, but as I say that was only a minor gripe. Ate at one speciality Restaurant, Sindhu and the food quality was noticeably better and we enjoyed a very nice meal in there £20pp surcharge. On Sea days they also do an Indian version of Tapas called Nashta, which was £4.95pp for 3 small dishesfrom a menu of about 10 items, which was also really good. Entertainment was varied and enjoyable, the NYE deck party was excellent and the band (Pulse) were really good and didn't fall into the usual party band rubbish songs category. They played a host of current stuff, dance tracks and even Highway to Hell ! Only one blot on their copybook for me was they resorted to YMCA (but you have to go to the loo sometime in the evening !). Drinks on board were reasonably priced, but my one gripe was that they didn't do small mixers of Coke, so as I drank Jack Daniels and Coke it made it more expensive at £3.65 for the JD and £2.75 for a bottle of Coke, although it did last for 2 or 3 measures, whereas my wife had Lemonade as a mixer and this was only 50p. Brodies Bar stocked a very good range of Bottled real ales which I was really looking forward too, unfortunately they were served at a sub zero temperature which rendered them tasteless, so I resorted to Draught Peroni which was the only beer I found served at the right temperature. All in all I thought Britannia was a fabulous ship and wouldn't hesitate to cruise on her again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Having previously sailed the Baltic in Arcadia, we decided on this fly cruise to New Orleans, Florida and the Caribbean over Christmas. We flew from Birmingham Int Airport which was overflowing, took us over an hour in the queue to get ... Read More
Having previously sailed the Baltic in Arcadia, we decided on this fly cruise to New Orleans, Florida and the Caribbean over Christmas. We flew from Birmingham Int Airport which was overflowing, took us over an hour in the queue to get to the check in desk. When we finally took off, we were at least half an hour late. The flight was extremely long, eleven hours in total due to weather conditions, but mercifully quite smooth with little turbulence. We arrived at New Orleans airport, and the immigration procedure was mercifully quick, on the coach to Azura, and another fairly quick embarkation process. We decided to go to the Restaurant for a bite to eat as airplane food isn't exactly enormous and we were fairly hungry. After a tasty meal we returned to our cabin to unpack. The time was now gone ten thirty and no sign of the cases. We waited, and waited. Finally I rang reception and after twenty minutes I finally got through. I explained our dilemma regarding the cases and was asked for a description and cabin number. They would, I was told, ring me back with any news. As anxiety rose between us regarding the lack of luggage, and the prospect of spending Christmas in our travelling clothes, my Wife sat on the bed close to tears. Not a good start. We waited and waited with no forthcoming phone call until about 1am when my wife heard a noise outside the door. We opened the door to find our cases just left there, no knock or phone call. Whoever left them there must have bolted as there was no sign of anyone outside! More than a little miffed and very tired from the extremely long day we literally fell into bed after unpacking, (we had a trip booked the next morning and had to be up early). Our cabin was pleasant enough but markedly smaller than ours on Arcadia. The balcony was smaller also. We had two recliners but only one footstool. The bathroom (shower) was clean, but there was a smell of urine from the w/c which was present all of our trip. Christmas Day arrived, and so did a sore throat for my Wife. Boxing Day delivered mine also. These quickly developed into really horrible chesty coughs and colds. I also developed an infection in both eyes. We then began to notice a dawn chorus of coughing all along the starboard side of the ship. I met our neighbours on the balcony's who were in exactly the same state as we were in. We were healthy before we set out, but felt dreadful two days in. Talking to a member of staff we learned that quite a few of them had been taken off duty ill. We have been home now two days, and are still not fully well. We caught similar bugs whilst on Arcadia, one of the downfalls of cruising I suppose. We soldiered on, determined not to let this setback spoil our holiday which we had paid a lot of money for. The trips were mainly very good but we felt overpriced, one in Puerto Rico was really poor for what we paid. We elected for Freedom Dining which worked well for us. The first dining session we shared a table with six older folk who when realised that we weren't interested in talking about Golf or Cricket all evening, pointedly ignored us. Not wishing to repeat this we were lucky enough to be allocated a table for two for the remainder of the journey. We found the meals both in the restaurant (Meridian) and the buffet to be excellent generally, with attentive and pleasant staff throughout. The entertainment from the Headliners was very good we thought, and Gareth ( a semi finalist on Britain's got talent) was excellent. Also good was Mick Miller, a comic from the old school who had us in fits of laughter which really hurt after all that coughing! We can't comment on the Christmas and New Years Eve parties as we were too unwell to join in sadly. Overall we felt that the Azura had more than a tinge of Butlins about it, not helped by the silly noisy games and the ludicrously over the top leaving port party involving Brittania which was berthed alongside in Granada. The din was deafening even with the cabin doors shut! We are very young at heart retirees who enjoy rock music and we're certainly not stuffy, but this was more suited to the Ibiza club scene! So here we are now back home having paid not much under £9,000 inc trips. Sure, we've been to some wonderful places but never again. This has finished us with cruising. Two cruises and gotten ill on both has drawn a line under a less than pleasant experience. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our second P&O cruise, the first being a four day mini-cruise which failed to meet nearly all of our expectations. So it was with some trepidation that we booked a two week Caribbean cruise (Dec 2016). Flights were with ... Read More
This was our second P&O cruise, the first being a four day mini-cruise which failed to meet nearly all of our expectations. So it was with some trepidation that we booked a two week Caribbean cruise (Dec 2016). Flights were with Thompsons and I have to say the Dreamliner trip out from Birmingham was excellent. What was even better was that our cases, taken at Birmingham Airport, were to be delivered to our cabin on the Azura in Barbados. Didn't even need to pass through customs - just off the plane and onto the (rather dilapidated) coach. Azura has had an update fairly recently and it was in pretty good shape - no complaints there. We had been upgraded so our balcony was bigger than expected and being midships we were to have a comfortable passage. One surprise was having two chairs on the balcony but only one footstool - despite there being plenty of room for two. We were told that only the more expensive cabins had two footstools which we found to be needless penny-pinching. Food in the buffets and restaurants was good - if not exceptional. Service in the restaurants was variable - some teams were excellent others were slow and lacking in warmth. The bars were OK although on the first night we failed to get any service at all when we went to the Glass House bar and so didn't go back there. The Blue Bar was OK but being served nibbles in a very grubby glass did not endear us to the place. By far the best bar was the Planet. Fantastic service and terrific ambience - we especially enjoyed the HD screens showing clips from around the World. Staff around the ship were generally pretty good although some did seem to be disengaged from the passengers. On one occasion I had to stop and step aside from one crew member who was so busy talking to a female colleague that he walked into me stepping heavily on my foot and barely acknowledged the incident. The steward though was first class. The entertainment was mixed. Some of the guest entertainers were very good whilst the in-house 'Headliners' were, in our view, very poor and we avoided their shows. Costs on board were pretty good especially compared to some of the other cruise lines that we have used. Very disappointed with the shore excursions although we much enjoyed the 'snorkel with turtles' trip. Otherwise the trips were expensive and generally of poor value although arrangements for joining the trips were well organised. Two big complaints here however. On two of the trips we were carried on local open sided buses which were really just seats and a body mounted onto a flat-bed truck. On one of them seat belts had been bolted to very flimsy seats welded to the floor. In an accident all the seats would collapse, furthermore, there were sharp exposed metal fixings which would cause serious injury in even a minor shunt. The second of these buses had no seat belts at all. Secondly, on one of the trips we were asked to sign a form given to us by the tour company. It asked passengers to join the trip on the understanding that it was at their own risk and that the company could not be sued even in the event of injury caused by their negligence. I refused to sign this and was told by the P&O representative on shore that this was common practice in the Caribbean because of the' litigious Americans'. She went on to add that we were all covered anyway by P&O. When I later looked at P&O T&C it is made clear that 'P&O Cruises will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and P&O Cruises shall not be responsible for the negligent act/omissions of the excursion provider.' We pulled out of the trip and were refunded by P&O - but we are left very concerned about the whole issue of P&O's attention to the safety and well being of its passengers. We were also very disappointed that at two of our destinations we were unable to get ashore - supposedly because of high winds. Worse still these were especially important destinations for us. Now I am not entirely sure that bad weather was the only reason, especially at Grand Cayman where there were four or five ships taking people ashore. We were told that we had been allocated space to 'hold on engines only' whereas the others could anchor and that this made a difference to tender safety. I fear that we were not told the full truth of the matter. Although the missed stops allowed us more time in New Orleans at the end of the cruise we still felt cheated. Organisation at the Catalina Island was very efficient. Prompt tendering, great barbeque and bar service made for a very enjoyable day. The journey home was well organised. Cases taken from our cabins and arrived with us at Birmingham. P&O seem to arrange these things really well. I have to say though that the return flight (not on a Dreamliner) was fairly poor. Cabin service to economy passengers was quite negligent and the food was probably the worst I have ever experienced. That says a lot. On the whole though we had an enjoyable holiday and we would travel P&O again - if not as our first choice cruise line. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise for its sensible basic price, destination and prospect of good weather during the English winter. It was our second cruise and we were looking forward to making constructive comparisons with our first a year ago, with ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its sensible basic price, destination and prospect of good weather during the English winter. It was our second cruise and we were looking forward to making constructive comparisons with our first a year ago, with Princess. In essence, we were disappointed the last one had to end. But not so with this one. The matter mostly at stake is that P&O are trying to meet a massive range of tastes on this cruise ship. In parts, they succeed but we feel there were just too many compromises and the lowest common denominator seemed to be the one which often won out. The good bits for us: Brilliant efficiency and organisation, especially the excellent "one stop" shop for embarkation and disembarkation Nice cabin, well appointed and good space. Bathroom was excellent and spacious shower with hot water always available Friendly, courteous and knowledgeable staff The range of bars, lounges, the traditional pub, quiet areas and ambience worked well and drinks/beverages sensibly priced Very well organised arrangements for my wife's dietary needs that had to be planned ahead. The MaitreD quickly established a good rapport and took care of things very well The not good bits for us Ghastly Lido Deck. Loud and monotonous music often blaring out during the day, interrupted by some inane entertainment hosted by the inhouse entertainment team and a Scottish boy DJ who sounded like some dreadful reincarnation of the Bay City Rollers This Lido area was surrounded by bars which served pizza, burgers and chips all day with drinks - so the impression given was that this area was occupied largely by those you could have seen around the typical pool bar in Benidorm or Torremolenos 30 years ago. There was a quieter pool area on another deck but the sun loungers were so tightly rammed together, it became its own entertainment to get in and out of one The 24 hour buffet was invariably crowded - not surprising for a ship of this size. The food was consistently good but visiting was not a pleasant experience Dining was very nice - we chose anytime and were never kept waiting to sit albeit we liked to share a table. Food was reasonable but rarely outstanding A big range of activities through the day and evening were sometimes good but often average. Plenty of emphasis on items of interest which then turned into a sales pitch - not subtle and rather ittitating The guest entertainers were very good and performed in exceptional venues - we loved the Live Lounge The inhouse band PULSE were consistently outstanding and we went to a number of their shows. Plaudits to them - a talented and hardworking group of singers and players. Not so the Theatre cast. They may well have talent but little was on display. A series of mediocre performances whilst the audience were being told by the Manager how wonderful they were. Great technology is no substitute for unremarkable production values. Ports of call were varied. Some outstanding like San Juan, St Maarten. St Lucia was good but depended on a local boat tour which took us around part of the island. Unclear why we stopped at St Thomas and St Vincent especially given the failure of P&O to give sufficient notification during booking that US visas would be required. This was a major foulup by an organisation who really ought to have made this a priority during correspondence. Overall, we were left feeling a bit short changed. The cruise was priced above the standard at which it operated and despite the magnificence of the ship and sheer efficiency of operation, we came away with the opinion that we shan't be using P&O again and perhaps fork out a few more bucks to suit ourselves better. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We are experienced cruisers in our 60's, first time on a P&O ship. Being able to choose a direct flight to the Caribbean avoiding the USA was very appealing with no worries about our luggage was heaven. We choose to book with a ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers in our 60's, first time on a P&O ship. Being able to choose a direct flight to the Caribbean avoiding the USA was very appealing with no worries about our luggage was heaven. We choose to book with a Cruise Specialist rather than direct with P&O gaining a significant discount also upgrading our flights to Premium Economy. The Thomson flights to/fro Gatwick were perfect, better than Virgin or BA with excellent quality food, superb comfort for such a long haul, arriving in Barbados feeling fresh going direct from the plane to the ship within the hour. Our check-in was very quick and smooth spending little time in the processing shed - all in all a great start to the holiday. Now for the cruise itself :- * If you need to contact P&O use their FREE phone line - 0800-052-3840 it saves a fortune. * Avoid 'A' Deck cabins like the plague as you will be subjected to constant noise from the Lido Deck above. We observed one couple complaining to Guest Relations and receiving £200 obc for their inconvenience. * Check your flight seat release time via P&O Frequently Asked Questions and book your seats early to avoid any hassle - cost £20pp/each way for a standard seat. * Disappointing that P&O fail to inform their passengers of the arrival / departure port times. Check out www.cruisecal.com - they were identical to the onboard published times. * The 4 Formal nights were the first 3 sea-days and the last was leaving St.Maarten. The Limelight Club, Beach House and Horizon Buffet Restaurants are casual on these formal nights - 4 formal nights on a 14 night cruise is OTT. * Be ultra-cautious when using the self service buffet areas. Personal hygiene standards varies considerably - wash your hands frequently, cross your fingers and hope. * The Horizon Buffet restaurant was always busy with the standard of the food generally good but with a very limited choice. * Evening meals in the Main Dining rooms were very poor but for a modest extra charge both the Sindhu and Beach House restaurants were extremely good with excellent food quality and improved service. Whilst the Epicurean Restaurant offered fine service with a very limited choice, overall was disappointing - a definite minus rating for us! * Our standard Balcony cabin was ideal for a 14 night stay. The bathroom although small had an excellent shower cubicle with a quality performance. The balcony itself is too small, a real minus in hot climes. * The ship's layout can be confusing - ensure you carry your pocket map. The Lifts / Stairways are not a problem just a little patience needed at peak times. * Drink prices were the best we have experienced aboard a cruise ship. Great choice of Wines and Beers without the normal gratuity surcharge of other cruises. * If you are a sun-lover the outside decks on sea days is a good reason to avoid Britannia. The sun lounges are so close together it is claustrophobic with many people reserving sun loungers from the crack of dawn. Many of these Hoggers are so selfish they reserve a sun and shade bed. P&O needs to get a grip of the situation - it's a disgrace. * The Pool side entertainment was Bultin's style, loud, overbearing and tasteless in the extreme whilst the evening entertainment was first class. The evening venues are extremely popular, shame about the lack of space as it downgrades the overall experience. * We booked the Executive Lounge at Barbados airport before we left home. It was probably our best decision as the general lounge area was hot, crowded and manic. Overall we had a great cruise, P&O is definitely good value for money especially when you consider the inclusive flight to Barbados. Will we return to P&O ? - unsure but most definitely NOT Britannia since it is developing a 'Hi-Di-Hi' culture which is not to our taste, although this cruise was a valuable experience. Read Less
50 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I am writing this review as a counter balance to some of the negative comments I have read from other members. For circa £3.5k we were flown by Thomson Dreamliner to Barbados and embarked Britannia with no customs formalities and no ... Read More
I am writing this review as a counter balance to some of the negative comments I have read from other members. For circa £3.5k we were flown by Thomson Dreamliner to Barbados and embarked Britannia with no customs formalities and no hassle. The ship itself is beautiful, the staff very friendly, the cabins clean and adequate and the food of a generally high standard. We visited some great places, enjoyed excellent excursions and generally had a great old time on what was only our third cruise, but by far the best. So here is my point, what on earth do people expect, we heard constant moaning from a certain section of 'professional' cruisers who seemed intent on highlighting every little 'inadequacy' and comparing Britannia to every other cruise ship, (which presumably cost a lot more money to be on), whilst ignoring all the excellent things that were going on. If you have a holiday booked on board this excellent ship, do not be put off by some of the negative comments on here, you will have a whale of a time! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Two weeks in the Caribbean 3-17th December 2016 Prior to going on our cruise I briefly looked on the Cruise Critic site and was surprised to see that Britannia only had a 53% approval rating from previous guests however I quickly ... Read More
Two weeks in the Caribbean 3-17th December 2016 Prior to going on our cruise I briefly looked on the Cruise Critic site and was surprised to see that Britannia only had a 53% approval rating from previous guests however I quickly disregarded this as I have read terrible ship reviews on this site in the past and yet went on to have a wonderful cruise on the same ship being disparaged. I thought I would write a short review of my experiences on Britannia including both the negative and the positive. Any negative ones should not be seen as a "moan" but are based upon on forty years of travel, furthermore I am acutely aware that to some, any criticism of this ship is harder to take than the loss of a loved one. 1) Embarkation & Disembarkation: Seamless process at both ends of the cruise. I also found the immigration process for the US Virgin Isles and Immigration for Barbados very well organised. 2) Accommodation: Balcony cabin on F Deck. Adequate size for the two of us with enough storage, it was well appointed with a very comfortable bed. The bathroom whilst a little on the small side was fine and the glass shower screen was a nice addition. A large flat screen TV hangs on the wall at the end of the bed it contained enough TV/films for a two week cruise and unlike Royal Caribbean you are not charged for the privilege. 3) Steward: Our cabin steward was called Dillan. He always had a smile, worked very hard and kept our cabin spotless. Note for first time cruisers, if you are going ashore ask your steward if they need anything, just that you have asked will make their day. 4) Food: We were on freedom dining in Meridian. As with cruises on a ship this size this is mass catering but on the whole I found the food to be of a reasonable to good standard with the exception of a couple of meals that were quite frankly inedible. That said, the wait staff were quick to notice and offers of replacements were made. The Horizon Restaurant was bigger than any self serve buffet I have seen before including the Windjammer on Independence. There was usually something to choose from and we never had a problem finding a seat. The construction of the ship means that you have to negotiate some annoying pillars whilst choosing your food. Sindhu I found to be style over substance. The food was bland and the service was terrible. It could have been an off night but I received no satisfactory answers to my complaints. An evening spent in the Limelight in the company of Dean Andrews was excellent. Good food, intimate atmosphere with great service. We normally chose to be served our breakfast in the Oriental, absolutely no complaints there. 5) Entertainment: I have to be honest and say that we didn't see a great deal of the acts. Headliners theatre is too small for a ship of this size and to be guaranteed a seat I refuse to be seated half an hour before a show for a 40 minute performance. Likewise the Live Lounge which was probably worse because there was a bar in there. A seat could be bagged early and you could have a drink whilst waiting for show. Nigh on impossible to get to see the popular acts as guests would watch the first show and remain in their seats for the second and frankly I couldn’t blame them. Special mention though has to go to the ship band Pulse, who we both felt were excellent, if we ever got chance to see them we tried to do so. I am not a fan but if a quiz "floats your boat" you are in for a treat. The casino was a little on the small side with a couple of the most unfriendly croupiers I have met anywhere. I found sail away parties absolutely cringeworthy but my wife loved them. 6) Bars: I enjoyed the bars on Britannia especially the Crows Nest. I have mentioned elsewhere that I think the wait staff on this ship are probably the best I have experienced on a cruise ship thus far (Raymond was particularly good in Brodies). Prices were reasonable too and reflected hotel prices in Manchester. 7) Customer services and staff: I only had to visit guest relations on three occasions but found the staff to be charming and helpful. I do not understand why your on board account cannot be viewed on your TV therefore removing the queues in guest relations made up by some of those wanting a daily print out of their on board spending. The staff throughout Britannia, with the exception of very few were probably the friendliest and most helpful I have met on a cruise. 8) Fellow guests: Friendly, talkative and well mannered. Most of the people we talked to on this cruise were experienced cruisers a lot of them loyal to the P&O brand. I found almost without exception that those who had cruised on other ships within the fleet wished they were back on them instead of Britannia. Being new to the brand I couldn’t comment on their observations, which by the way I don't describe as a "moan" it is their observation based on personal experience. We met some lovely and interesting people on this cruise most of which were at meal times. Tip to new cruisers, if on freedom dining don't be afraid to share a table, it's the best way to meet people. Plus if there is a guest you don't like its unlikely you'll be put together again:) 9) The ship: As I expected it is large but beautiful nonetheless. Arrival upon her was very understated if a little disappointing. It felt as if I was being loaded along with the luggage but a short walk up the stairs led you onto deck 5 and then the central atrium. The décor reminded me of some boutique hotels I have stayed in, very modern with lots of blues and creams. Around this three tier focal point of the ship you can find several eateries and bars plus the usual shops and duty free. Because of the ships design there is no central staircase affording access to all decks, a topic of conversation with a lot of guests. It wasn't unusual to hear of long waits for lifts. As we were situated towards the rear it was a simple task of walking down two decks to 7 and then along to the atrium which is okay for able bodied persons. It was also strange that lifts only went so far, meaning that on some occasions you had to manoeuvre down and along back up and return to get to where you wanted to be. Trust me if you've been on her you'll understand what it is that I'm trying to explain. I also missed a proper wrap around promenade deck that I have experienced on other ships. 10) Conclusion and verdict: This was our first time on Britannia and our first experience with P&O and I can sit here reflecting on a successful holiday that I had very little to complain about and trust me if I had any complaints worth mentioning you'd have read about them above. We visited some wonderful places, made new friends and had new experiences which is what travel should be about. Those boarding Britannia as their first experience of cruising should love it. Would I book again? Possibly but it wouldn't top my list of choices apart from an itinerary I particularly wanted to do or if there was an offer I couldn't refuse. There are too many ships and cruise lines to experience at the expense of being loyal to one product. (Finally the ratings on this site are annoying as there is nothing between average and very good) Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
It was the first cruise I had been on in around 10 years, having always traveled previously with Royal Caribbean. My partner and I were recommended to try P&O by a friend, who suggested they catered far better for the British market. ... Read More
It was the first cruise I had been on in around 10 years, having always traveled previously with Royal Caribbean. My partner and I were recommended to try P&O by a friend, who suggested they catered far better for the British market. It was 100% sound advice. There were minimal sea days, loads of interesting excursions to choose from, and the on board entertainment was brilliant. The ship is known as the friendly ship - and from the moment you step on board, you can see why. Superb, attentive staff - nothing was too much trouble, and any requests were dealt with efficiently and always with a smile. We paid for premium flights, which were definitely worth the extra money - more leg room, great food, and priority transfers to the ship, which meant we were on board with virtually no queue. Our cabin was a balcony on the Port side, which meant we could enjoy the view at the various destinations, and it also provided us with a nice area from which to have pre-dinner drinks. Once on board, we realised that the late dining option which we had booked didn't really suit us, but they agreed to let us change to the early sitting as soon as we asked. Many people prefer freedom dining, but we really enjoyed having the same table each evening, and building up a rapport with our table waiters. The on-board Headliners theatre company were amazing! We saw every show that they did (5 in total) - and for them to put on such varied performances to such a high level was amazing. A new show was also launched whilst we were on board, which featured Avatar and more modern classics. It was brilliant! The guest artists were brilliant too - we enjoyed the UB40 tribute act, a Tina Turner tribute, The Beatles and stand up comedian Lloyd Davies... Impressionist Mark Walker packed out the on-board theatre for all his performances, and was hilarious! I was worried when reading some of the reviews on here prior to sailing that I would be disappointed - that was certainly not the case. It was an amazing holiday from start to finish, and I would recommend the itinerary and ship to anyone else without hesitation. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We picked this cruise because we liked the itinerary. This was our fourth cruise and it did not come up to the standard of the other cruises. The dress code is almost non-existent. I went into the indoor restaurant (Horizon) and ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we liked the itinerary. This was our fourth cruise and it did not come up to the standard of the other cruises. The dress code is almost non-existent. I went into the indoor restaurant (Horizon) and although casual dress is accepted in there - no dress code is applied at all and a man of vast tattooed proportions and sweaty armpits wearing a vest plonked himself next to me. Minimum dress code should be applied in the self-service restaurant. Bare bodies and vest-tops are not acceptable when eating inside. The dress standard in the other restaurants is lax. The Britannia should be re-named The Benidorm - if you want to attract riff-raff you're going the right way about it. Entertainment was very Butlin's Holiday Camp - a lot of shouting "Are you enjoying yourselves" and inviting the audience to shriek back. Tasteless and totally lacking in class. Quite a nice cabin and balcony - excellent attendant - very helpful at all times. Shower floor cracked. Our cabin was quite nice and our cabin attendant was excellent. Most of the staff, however, seemed to have a low morale and service was slow in the restaurant. Food was OK (ish) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have sailed with P&O many times (10+) before, and we choose this particular cruise because 1. the cruise was over some ones birthday, 2. it visited a few new (to us) islands and a few old ones we have not visited for some time, and ... Read More
We have sailed with P&O many times (10+) before, and we choose this particular cruise because 1. the cruise was over some ones birthday, 2. it visited a few new (to us) islands and a few old ones we have not visited for some time, and 3. to see what Britannia was all about. And we wanted to see frigate birds, flying fish, turtles and dolphins again, and hoped to see a whale again (alas none seen). Although the weather was a best mixed, this didn’t spoil the experience when the sun shone it was hot, strong and good, when it showered we found shelter (sometimes) as usual it was warm rain. Except for one day at Dominica where there was occasional heavy rain and prolonged periods of light rain and a cracking electrical storm as we left port. Most of the islands are so green because of the rainfall, so hey “No Problem”! All in all the islands we had visited before had hardly changed from our last visit except that there were a few new buildings, the taxi drivers are cheekier than before and many prices (beer etc.), had risen slightly. The new islands where delight to explore as each has its own little way of doing things. The flights to and from Barbados where good, we flew in a “Tui” ‘dreamliner’ (or Boeing 787) overall quite comfortable, with plenty of room, air not taken from near the engines and the cabin kept at a slightly higher pressure than normal. The chaos at the booking sheds at Barbados where as usual, but the queues kept moving. First impressions of Britannia where it’s new and its seems big, but when you consider that it only carries some 500 or so extra passengers than say Ventura or Azura – then where has all that space gone? Going aboard her for the first time is exciting like any new experience, and the atrium seemed glitzy and glamorous. But after a few days I began to get the impression that the interior designer(s) had an off day – or their brief was poor. We have all read the about the lifts and the stairwells and I will not comment on this but it was soon my impression is that while the restaurants, shops and show areas are well designed and laid out the rest of the ship was simply placed or adjusted to fit and without consideration to managing pedestrian flow or passenger comfort. There were a few oddities such as whoever designed the buffet area left two deck support pillars 6 inches in front of the buffet area, worse still the crew still placed buffet food awkwardly behind said pillars- amazing!!! We both liked the show areas (althought they appeared to under utilized) and the expanse of the sun decks including ‘Serenity’ area. We missed the use of a complete promonade circuit at deck 7 and think it was a mistake to leave this out form the design. We were impressed with the hand washing facility at the entrances to the buffet area (deck 16) however its use was only really enforced for the first two days, and usual stereotypical culprits still just bypassed this basic hygienic control as though D&V happens only to other people. In conclusion Britannia is not my favourite ship in the P&O fleet, we would cruise on her again but not out of choice, i.e. only if the itinerary and agenda coincide with our requirements. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Reference to the cruise B634 I have just completed on the Britannia from and to Barbados. I was staying in a balcony cabin on D deck with my wife and have quite a few concerns with the ship. The shower in our cabin had extremely poor ... Read More
Reference to the cruise B634 I have just completed on the Britannia from and to Barbados. I was staying in a balcony cabin on D deck with my wife and have quite a few concerns with the ship. The shower in our cabin had extremely poor pressure, this was reported on day 1 in Barbados. We were travelling with friends who also had cabins on D deck, both of their cabins had and acceptable pressure in the showers. I reported this to reception and they told me that they would get someone to look at it, About 2 day passed and the shower was no better, again I reported it to reception and again they said that they would get the plumber to look at it, later that day our cabin steward told us that the plumber had been to look at the shower and that he could not find a fault with it. I went back to reception and then asked to speak to the hotel manager as I was not happy with the shower, The receptionist told me that we had to go through the correct channels and would get someone to look at it. Later that day I am presuming that the deck supervisor came to see me and explained that the plumber had checked the shower and it was acceptable pressure. I was still not happy with this and decided to email the captain of the ship. Following this email the next day I was contacted by I presume the hotel manager who came to our cabin and explained to me that he personally had been to our cabin and checked the shower himself and thought that the shower pressure was unacceptable and had instructed staff to “in his words” to equalise the pressures in the systems. When I checked the shower I was surprised to see that we had a normal pressure which pleased me but more so my wife. Unfortunately by this time we were on day 10 of our cruise, the hotel manager did apologise and asked what can be done to compensate us for the inconvenience I did say that it should have been fixed on day 1 but agreed to accept a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately this was not our only problem we experienced with this ship. The lifts We did feel like 3 days of our cruise were spent waiting for lifts and we were not alone with this. I find it incredible that a ship with a passenger capacity of over 4,000 only had 14 lifts to serve the entire ship. When using the Midships lifts was more problematic because the stairs only went from deck 7 to deck 4, the lifts were also slow. What we found ourselves doing was walking the entire length of the ship and using the Aft lifts just to save time or at least have the facility to use the stairs. Very poor The restaurants We were anytime dining and started the cruise using the Meridian restaurant. The service in the Meridian was very slow and twice we walked out before we had been offered the sweet course or coffees. We then switched to the Peninsular restaurant which appeared to be slightly better, I do understand that on a cruise dining is not something that you want to rush and you should sit and relax and chat with your fellow passengers, but I don’t think that you should ever get the feeling that you are just being ignored. I felt that the staff were not particularly friendly in either of the restaurants. On the subject of staff what I did notice and have not seen on any other cruise ship that I have been on is the staff are Predominately one nationality and mostly men. Not sure if this could be the problem as to why the crew on this ship are not so friendly, we may be wrong but that’s how we felt. Sunbeds / Deck Areas Again this is probably due to the sheer size and passenger capacity of the ship. Getting a sunbed in or around the pool areas is almost impossible, If you manage to get one they are so close together no room to get on the bed and certainly no room to place bags or drinks etc. The Serenity pool area was even more crowded and to get a sunbed there it was up at crack of dawn unless you have £80 a day each to go into the Retreat. We were told that there was another pool deck 17 AFT and went to investigate and only found a sheep dip about the size of a hot tub. On the subject of hot tubs, only 2 on this size of ship? There should be 3 times that again very poor. The food in the pool area was something else, not food something else. I tried most of it and found the burgers were cold and dry having been cooked, wrapped and left there, the same for the chips and the sausage in rolls. There was another section called grab and go again loads of semi cold food. Very difficult to get anything freshly cooked. But it seemed popular, just not what I would expect on a cruise ship. The pool area was also extremely noisy especially when the entertainment team were around or a sail away party, in fact some time the noise was extremely deafening in a work place environment you would be obliged to wear ear protection because you could not talk to your fellow passenger. I do not class myself as one of the older members of the passengers but I thought the music was just too loud. My wife and I also like to play table tennis but alas not on this cruise, the sun beds were nearly right up to the 2 table tennis table on deck 17 with people continuously walking right by looking for sun beds. Surely a better place for these would be in the underutilised gym? We did managed to find the other table tennis table on deck 17 Aft in the Reef area but alas is was reserved for teenagers and probably not used the entire cruise, more waste of space Entertainment Although we found the quality of the entertainment once you managed to get a seat quite good we did feel (again because the size and passenger capacity of the ship) that the venues i.e the live lounge and the headliners theatre was a mad rush to try to get a seat and also found both these venues far too small for the size of ship. We have been on smaller ship with bigger entertainment facilities. I am thinking that the space used for the cover charge restaurants, lounges and bars being the main reason to the crowds in the cattle class theatres, also between shows the walkway between both ends of the ship on deck 7 was extremely crowded with everyone try to get from one show to the next not all succeeding to get in. Brodies and Casino Whilst we did like the range of reasonable priced drinks available in Brodies and some of the quizzes and music were enjoyable too. The area again could have been larger for the amount of passengers wanting to use it. Disappointingly the size of the casino has got to be the smallest casino afloat, a very poor range of machines and very few gaming tables. As its predominately British passengers is there evidence that the British do not like to gamble? This may explain why this area is so small Only one very poor condition pool table for such a large ship??? Coffee Bar area We enjoyed this are and used it quite a lot, the coffee is good also the service, it would have been nice to know earlier in the cruise that cakes were available with the drinks but I am not worried about that as this was the first cruise we have been on where we have not put on any weight, (probably all that walking between lifts and stairs) Horizon Restaurant We affectionately named this the “free for all” because this is what it felt like when entering it. The first time we used it half of it was closed off for teenagers only, what is all that about, don’t teenagers eat the same as the rest of us or is it all pop and crisps? Some nights we did eat in here, the choice of food was OK but that’s it, just ok. The quality of food was defiantly lower than in the main restaurants. The choice of sweets was in our opinion very poor and not very often we felt the need to go back and try something else as well. The layout was not partially well thought out with your tray you would go to the hot food area and then come across a pillar right in the middle section and have to manoeuvre around it whilst jostling with your fellow passenger. What are you meant to do in these areas? Get your table first and hope that your stuff is still there when you return with you meal or get your meal first and hope for the best that you will find somewhere sit, I don’t know. Anyway we only used this area a few times and preferred to eat in the main restaurants for both breakfast and dinner, even with the poor service Destinations Very pleased with all the destination, we found we liked most of the islands and thought it was a good mix of different islands, different culture and different places to see and visit Usually we do like the sea days as it gives you time to relax unlike and do a bit of sunbathing. When you have a shore visit it’s usually up early to see the islands. Unfortunately due to the overcrowding on the ship the port days appeared better. Excursions We did not book any ship excursions, this is mainly due to the fact over the years we have found that you can do the same excursion with a little research, using the local people at the end of the pier at a third of the price, and this is what we done. I think that there is a bit of a fear factor placed on all cruise passengers that the ship excursions are safer and if you don’t get back the ship will leave without you and I’m sure that is correct, it’s just a confidence thing you learn as you cruise more often. We had some great trips out Overall We had a good holiday with great friends and visited some great places only let down by our accommodation i.e. the cruise ship itself. Having been on 5 previous cruises with 5 different cruise company’s unfortunately P & O is in the bottom two. The problems that we initially experienced with the shower did put a bit of a downer at the start of the cruise and could have been avoided. I have since written to P&O regarding my concerns regarding the ship and have just received a reply. In the reply none of the points that I had mentioned have been answered but I have received an offer of a discount on a future cruise with P&O, However I did receive some advice as follows:- "We do feel that each of our ships are marketed in such a way that our customers are able to choose the ship which most suitably meets with their requirements and I feel that Britannia was not the ship for you" We spoke to a lot of fellow guests whilst aboard the Britannia, mostly those that had cruised before with other cruise lines were quite critical of the Britannia and those who have not cruised before were quite satisfied, this tells me that things are not Okay aboard Britannia. I hope this review helps some people to make up their mind when choosing their cruise holiday. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Reasonably (though still a bit dear) priced 14 night cruise to the eastern Caribbean in a balcony cabin, boarding at Castries, St Lucia on the Britannia, visiting 9 islands in total, mainly in the Lesser Antilles group. First timers ... Read More
Reasonably (though still a bit dear) priced 14 night cruise to the eastern Caribbean in a balcony cabin, boarding at Castries, St Lucia on the Britannia, visiting 9 islands in total, mainly in the Lesser Antilles group. First timers with P & O, though had cruised several times with Celebrity X and once on Royal Caribbean. Good flight out on a chartered Thomas Cook Airbus A330 (I think), disappointed to find that although flight time was about 1.25 hours less than scheduled, had to sit on plane for about that time or longer without full ECS, because buses weren't available to take us to the ship until the scheduled time. Why we weren't allowed to disembark and wait in the airport I guess was down to the rather small size of the airport and its limited lounge facilities, though this was rather uncomfortable given the temperature and following the long flight. Travel to port was in rather cramped mini bus type vehicles, the small bottle of water we were each given was very welcome if a bit minimal for the 1.5hr journey. Had to wait quite a time on arrival at the port to register and get on to the ship, and by that time nerves were a bit frayed. On first sight cabin and its balcony and bathroom seemed very small compared to other ships, though subsequently felt they were adequate after a day or two. Bit surprised to find that the cabin fridge did not contain any drinks for purchase. The ship itself seemed very smart with a nice, perhaps slightly understated opulence without being at all spectacular. Dining and general eating experiences were fairly good, our evening dining was in the ship's Meridian restaurant, we like to dine with others so after the first evening (when we couldn't be asked to change after travelling and ate in the self service Horizon restaurant on deck 16) we joined a table for 8, food and service in the Meridian was of an acceptable standard generally, though some times main portions seemed a little small and were not always particularly hot. Though these points were willingly remedied by the staff. We took breakfast in the Horizon self service a number of times, which was a bit of a bun fight at times, and mirrored the British wish for a big "fry-up" to start the day, also using on some mornings the quieter ambience of the waiter served breakfast in the Peninsular or Meridian. I was a bit critical of the lunchtime or later in the afternoon meal availability of food in the self service, particularly after returning to the ship at around 3pm after a trip ashore when choice seemed rather limited because the range of food available say at about 1pm had largely been consumed and not fully replaced, several times I was unable to find things like fresh lettuce or tomatoes etc. to knock-up a nice salad. We did not use the speciality or premium restaurants. Alcoholic drink prices were generally excellent, much, much cheaper than other ships I have sailed on, in fact very competitive with pub prices in the UK particularly with draught beers and lagers and a vast array of spirits and bottled beers. I also was happy with shore excursion prices which were good value and offered a great variety of opportunities to experience local attractions, with the added safeguard of not missing the ship an extra benefit. These seemed significantly less expensive than previous experiences. On board entertainment was very good with a variety of types, from well produced muscal shows in the theatre of "West End" quality, as well as solo shows with two performances to fit in with dining times. Also disco, pop, or intimate cocktail bar type music in the smaller venues. In fact something available to suit all tastes every evening including ballroom dancing. In addition there were many different themed quizzes and cash prize bingo to have a go at as well as movies and interesting talks to attend. The "sail away" shows on the pool deck were definitely not to be missed. Disembarkation, which of course,is always a low point went ok, though was not too impressed with having to remain in one place without easy access to drinks or food for over an hour while waiting for the coaches to arrive, as it felt a bit like we were being treated like school children who could not be trusted to be at a specific place at an exact time. You may note I said "coaches" as unlike the vehicles used at the start of the trip, this time the transfer was in the comparative luxury of 40-50 seat, very new, coaches. I was unhappy with having to pay £20 each to reserve specific seats on the aircraft home as we were told that was necessary to ensure my travelling partner ( who is a slightly nervous flyer) and I would have seats together. Like many other travellers, I guess, we really have no particular preference for where we sit on the plane, as long as we have adjacent seats to each other. As the seats were allocated whilst still on the ship, there seems to me to be no reason why this wish could not be met free of charge. This practice of charging seems to be coming a standard way of effectively increasing the cost of flying without openly appearing to do so. On balance, I enjoyed the cruise and would certainly cruise with P & O again, strong points for me were the itinerary, drinks and excursion prices and entertainment. Small reservations re food and cabin, balcony and bathroom sizes would not deter me though price would be a determining factor with these in mind. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Flight / arrival at the island / check in We'd booked what turned out to be the first trip where Britannia home ported at St Lucia. I say home ported; obviously, Britannia still made the two day stop in Barbados a week later but ... Read More
Flight / arrival at the island / check in We'd booked what turned out to be the first trip where Britannia home ported at St Lucia. I say home ported; obviously, Britannia still made the two day stop in Barbados a week later but ours was the first P&O charter flight out to the island to start a 2-week cruise. Thomas Cook was the carrier and it was just fine. We splashed out on Premium (which was very good but not quite as enjoyable as Thomson’s premium on the 787) which also helped when it came to disembarking at the airport through the one and only exit, namely the front stairs. It was a bit chaotic to be honest, it being left to the aircraft captain to apologise on P&O’s behalf for the fact that our early arrival meant there were no buses to collect us. After about 45 mins we all traipsed past the solitary immigration officer (at the top of the aircraft steps bizarrely) and got on what can be best described as a glorified minibus for the 1 hour trip on St Lucia’s steep and windy roads over to Castries. It was a bit hairy, to be honest and there were moments that I thought we’d have to get out and push, but eventually we got to the city and soon Britannia came in to view in her berth and what a welcome sight it was.. can never get over how massive the ship is up close. We parked up right next to the ship at Pointe Seraphine and the check in process was as smooth as you like; partly on the quayside but most of the processing was done on board, in the Atrium. After a bit of comedy “back a bit”, “forward a bit” with the security photo we were on the way to our cabin! This being our first cruise there was a genuine sense of excitement as we headed up the stairs and into F112. Main Dining We had expressed a preference at the time of booking for Freedom Dining on the Saver and were pleased to get it. Over the 9 or so occasions that we ate in the MDR we only once had to take a pager and wait in a bar, and that was on the Captains' Gala Evening; otherwise, given that we were happy to share a table, we got to sit down straight away. Despite some of the complaints I’ve read elsewhere about the MDR menu, we can safely say we didn’t have a bad experience at all. Whilst there are numerous courses, the portion sizes were reasonable, so you didn’t feel that you were gorging yourself just to get through the dinner… We enjoyed the menu variety and thought the quality was just fine. Service was unobtrusive and efficient, just how you want it really. On a couple of occasions when we had shore excursions leaving early-ish in the morning, we decided to have breakfast in the Buffet, which was a bit manic for us, so subsequently we just got up a bit earlier and headed down to the Peninsular Restaurant allowing a bit more time for a full-service meal. BTW I would say that overall the formal nights were pretty well observed as far as dressing up was concerned, 80+ percent of the gents were in black tie / DJ’s. It made for a pretty special feel although towards the end, the fourth formal night I couldn’t wait to get out of the trousers given that I had, er, filled out a bit. Select Dining This is where Britannia’s food and drink really comes into its own; we tried pretty much all the Select restaurants: Epicurean, Glass House (tapas), Sindhu, the Beach House (very popular with the crew, which is always a good sign) and the Limelight (see Entertainment below). Our favourite was the Beach House, a chilled feel and the food was awesome. Second favourite was the tapas – type meal we had at the Glass House (which you don’t have to book for). Overall, we thought the select dining was good value for money (assuming that you can get over the fact that you’re paying on top for the privilege, but we were happy with that). Bars and Entertainment Our favourite bar was the Crow’s Nest; as a fan of gin I tried my best to get through the selection Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our ( with my wife) first cruise on P and O and only our second overall. We had a balcony cabin towards the rear of the ship . It was fairly good; I have been in smaller hotel rooms in London and Paris! The bed was great and i can ... Read More
This was our ( with my wife) first cruise on P and O and only our second overall. We had a balcony cabin towards the rear of the ship . It was fairly good; I have been in smaller hotel rooms in London and Paris! The bed was great and i can honestly say I had 14 great sleeps. Overall the ship was good and has been well commented on . In particular we loved the Glass House, where the range of wines was excellent and interesting. The prices were on par , or even slightly cheaper than some city centre bars. The Planet Bar was also good at night with good service , a gin menu and a good singing duo. The Blue Bar had a very quirky piano bar singer who was great for me but not to everyone's tastes. Well done to Frankie for imposing your style on american songbook classics. My overall impression is that this was a good cruise but that it is aimed very much at the pensioner market of Little England. everything was good in itself but very safe. We visited the Sindhu restaurant, and though it was beautiful presented and flavoured, it lacked a bit of oomph in the dishes. Similarly a fish curry was served one day in the Peninsular restaurant. The waiter was astonished, but got them, when we asked for some chopped chillies. It was explained to us that most passengers want everything mild and safe. The black tie evenings, if this is not your thing, has severe restrictions on where you can eat or drink. Most of the centre of the ship is taken over by evening wearers and if you do not want to participate you are ousted to the buffet on deck 15. Ironically, we saw people queuing in the buffet with tux and ball gown! This cruise will appeal to many over 70s but if P and O wants to attract new customers they may have to move a bit with the times. Also the excursions are ridiculously overpriced and better value is available online Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Birmingham to Bridgetown Barabados Thomson Dreamliner- 2 meals included Excellent food and tea. Next time we saw our suitcases was in our cabin that evening. Straight from the aircraft to the P&O shed checkin in Barbados- very ... Read More
Birmingham to Bridgetown Barabados Thomson Dreamliner- 2 meals included Excellent food and tea. Next time we saw our suitcases was in our cabin that evening. Straight from the aircraft to the P&O shed checkin in Barbados- very effcient. Room C218 with balcony (Bigger than Britania), deck 10.Very spacious, really comfortable bed. UK electric plug sockets and one thats always TV shows your running bill for drinks,shops,trips. BBC world News,Sky news,Sky Sport news Hair dryer,Shower includes shower gel, hair shampoo and conditioner - topped when ran out. Kettle,Free tea,coffee,biscuits,chocolate.Fridge with chargeable mini bar. You can take alcohol onboard to drink in your own room. Blue pool/beach towels changed every day. Great steward Noel and always smiling hosue keeping Imelda. Deck 15,16 and 17 plenty of sun beds, we like the Sea big screen deck to watch footy and films as oposed to the aqua music and smoking deck. Drinks waiter service to your sun bed.Tip ask for Pepsi only £2.50 for a pint 2 ice cubes as you then get more drink, as Coke is in the 300ml bottle and £3.15 2 Buffet restaurants go to Verona at the back of the boat easy to get table for breakfast, lunch,afternoon tea cakes,evening meal,snacks till 1AM, Free tea,coffee,water all the time. smoothoie and fruit juice at breakfast. Grab and go burger,pizza,ice cream excellent choice and quality youll never be hungry. Chargeable Beach house restaurant bookable small charge fillet steak £1.50. Sindu indian,Epicuren fine dining. Freedom dining no set time but allow 90 minutes as great table conversations when trying to fit in around evening entertinment. Bars - Brodies with casino, quizs, sports tv, next to playhouse theatre. Planet bar with big screens showing around the world videos. The glass house - try the Canadaian ice curvee sparkling wine in a chilled glass white or rose. Gym is free with good classes like abs - small fee for yoga. Evening entaintainment - excellent acts,The best Ventriloquist Gareth Olivier,Comdeians Roy Walker,Jay McGee, Impresionist John Clegg, Music tribute acts of Gary Barlow, Phil Collins,Frank Sintra,Michael Bubble. Bands Azura Orchestra,Jet Set,Accent Duo Kelly & Stuart. Solo Singers Rebekka, Rietta Austin,Jimmy James. If you need higher view front seat you need to be there 50 minutes but theres drinks waiter service to your seat for West End P&O Theatre shows and front row for Manhatten show bar. Play house dancers worked their socks off, including ballet and aerial rope. Shops had some good deals,tax free 200 cigarettes £25, 400 £40. Ballroom dance lessons, fashion shows, flower arranging in the Atrium. Wifi social media £7.75 for 24 hours, and email web browsing £12.50 Ports Antigua - Get pounced on by 50 orange polo shirts taxi drivers St Maarten - you walk to the beach/main shops 15 minutes Burger Madess frozen cocktail buckets $10 Tortola - Nice port shops Amber Cover - free wifi in port shops but not around pool unless buying a drink St Kitts - Our favourite Go to Carambola Friars bay - $4 each way taxi, no hassle, just chill lovelly bar,restaurant,clear sea, $10 sun bed, cushion, free wifi works on the beach. Friendly young OJ will bring your drinks and give you a song. Martinque - French some vendors csnt speak English ! ST Lucia - busy traffic - Tourist cattle market dont go to Rodney bay beach. Grenada - very friendly shop staff, good souvenir selection in port shops. Smaller Morne Rouge Beach - nice to chill not Anse Beach cattle market.Britania along side Azura for Sail Off. Barbados - Nice port shops, Boatyard beach popular $10 taxi there, $20 admission includes sunbed,wifi,drink boat trip to see turtles and return taxi to boat Airport good selection of duty free shops, but not much shopping time due to road traffic. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We believed all the marketing hype about the Britannia, but boarding on deck 4, felt like getting on via the cargo hold. After finding our way to the atrium, we felt so deflated, Is this it ? so bland, characterless and certainly no ... Read More
We believed all the marketing hype about the Britannia, but boarding on deck 4, felt like getting on via the cargo hold. After finding our way to the atrium, we felt so deflated, Is this it ? so bland, characterless and certainly no atmosphere compared to other ships. I appreciate the decor is modern, but its so dull and boring, this theme continues throughout the ship. Its quite obvious that the ship is run on KPI spreadsheet results and profits, Guests come well down the pecking order, you will soon get used to the term " for a small cover charge" We chose freedom dining and was disappointed at the quality and lack of consistency of the food, I didn't expect, frozen chips, peas and a small pot of baked beans with a breaded chicken portion ! on other nights though it was was fantastic. The Limelight menu is not worth the £22 extra and although they say you have a table for the night to drink and dance, in reality you leave as soon as possible after the act finishes and there are no toilets, the closest are a fair walk. Worryingly, the public areas don't appear too clean, the windows can hardly be seen through but most of all is the lack of hygiene regarding hand washing etc on entering the restaurants, the buffet being the worst of all, it is a main thoroughfare from the aft rooms and guests in swim wear etc wander through, only once did I see someone encouraging guests to use hand sanitiser. Not a ship issue directly, but if you do get off in St Lucia, bypass Castries or stay close to the Ship, the locals don't take kindly to the British and don't mind letting you know. It's Very intimidating, which is such a sham for a beautiful Island. I understand that other cruise lines have stopped going there for that very reason, Don't take the boat trip to the airport at St Martins, you wont get anywhere near teh beach, local taxis are easily obtained for half the price and a longer time. The poor staff are under so much pressure to hit their targets, otherwise they dont get their share of the gratuities. Also glance down at the girls shoes, one size fits all ! they must be so uncomfortable, but keep smiling. In conclusion, we wont return to Britannia and unfortunately this has also stopped us from cruising on any of P & O `s other ships, such a shame. Read Less
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