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Sail Date: August 2019
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he ... Read More
Cruised on Ventura and Azura before and this year we tried the flagship Britannia. Food was considerable better on Britannia than above mentioned other 2 ships. But we expected good food as it was a Marco Pierre White cruise - he joined only in the last port - Gibraltar. Our inside cabin on Deck 12 was adequate, comfortable and clean. Entertainment overall excellent - especially the Headliner`s Once Upon a Time show. The dancers were talented but the singers not so. The Entertainment manager Neil was absolute fantastic - we enjoyed the pool parties, sail aways, the flamenco program on Lido Deck in Barcelona day. The Cookery Club was something new and unique, I and my 8 year old daughter participated the chocolate cooking and we really loved it. However the children club Reef program was well below the P&O standard we use to on Ventura and Azura: sometimes boring, unimaginative and some of the reef rangers did not show interest towards the kids. We enjoyed the Lido Deck, the pools were clean, always found sun lounger or chairs. The only complaint I can raise is, that some of the bar staff was rude and selective of what drink they want to serve. The preferred to serve only alcohol, even mornings, and several times when I asked for freshly pressed orange juice - which was available in one of the pool side bars - the bar waiter said it is not available. So I just woke up from the sun chair, went to the bar, pointed to the pile of fresh orange and the juicer machine - and the bar tender made the juice for me. This happened to me few times and one matured bar steward even wanted me to change my order from fresh orange juice to Pepsi Cola - I guess it is easier to serve and the price is same. I really would love to see more healthy drinks to be available on a school holiday cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Some background detail first of all. P&O has been our cruise company of choice but I have been trying other cruise lines to review for my travel blog. This cruise was a long awaited return, after just over a year away from ... Read More
Some background detail first of all. P&O has been our cruise company of choice but I have been trying other cruise lines to review for my travel blog. This cruise was a long awaited return, after just over a year away from P&O Embarkation was relatively smooth apart from the appallingly managaged car parking which resulted in a half hour wait to drop off the car. Although strictly speaking not P&O's fault is is their recommended parking provider and provided as part of the select deal. We were traveling with other family members, two adults and two children, who had a family suite. Once parked check-in and security clearance was quick and even though we headed straight to our cabin once on board our bags beat us to the cabin - a promising start. We met our cabin steward, Cathy, who was friendly and personable - a good start to the onboard experience …… little did we know at the time this would almost be the zenith of the cruise. The safety drill was an improvement as you are no longer required to take your life jacket with you, although the demonstration was somewhat undermined by loud, fellow passengers noisily talking over the demonstration and / or finding the whole thing a joke. We had selected “Freedom Dining” as we didn’t want to be tied to a fixed dining time, this also means you are on a different table each night and this led to a mixed experience. We took advantage of Freedom Dining on four of the nights, twice with just the adults and twice with the children as well. Service was decidedly mixed, on two of the nights the service was really good, as one would expect, on the other two totally indifferent with the waiting staff simply going through the motions. It may be coincidence but the two better experiences were when we dined with the children. On another night we dined in the Sindhu restaurant and the service, as well as the food was exemplary with one of the best waiters we’ve ever encountered. In terms of the staff generally we were shocked by the contrasts. A large number offered the standard of service you would expect from P&O, however a very significant minority had an almost, couldn’t care less attitude. The ship just felt generally unhappy. A couple of examples, at one of the food outlets, the woman serving looked as though she had sucked a lemon and acted as if she was doing you a favour by serving you. Indeed a fair percentage of staff seemed to have lost the ability to smile or to be affable. Yes, there has always been the odd staff member on any cruise but here it was much more noticeable and prevalent. On another occasion we wanted an ice cream milkshake and were having trouble finding any on board. I went to reception to ask if any were available on board to be given the response “I don’t know, ask at one of the bars.” The jolliest person on board seemed to be the Captain, who also seemed to think he was a stand up comedian …… he was certainly a refreshing change from some of the aloof Captain’s we’ve come across but I have to admit, after a week, some of of his jokes were becoming a bit boring. I wasn’t overly impressed when he suggested two latecomers were cheered and applauded on board after being late back in Bergen – they may well have had a good reason for being late and the “welcome” could have been humiliating. The sail away from Olden was brilliant - although this is down to the town rather than P&O Turning to food, the food in the main dining rooms was of the usual high standard, although I don’t think I’m alone in being under the impression portion sizes are shrinking. Food in the buffet was more variable ranging from good to inedible – I made the mistake of going for toad in the hole one night – the single sausage was OK but the batter was stodgy and undercooked. The buffet was also too small for the numbers on board, especially at breakfast on the sea days. On the final evening a "Family Disco" was advertised .... the children were looking forward to this but it was a con and a shambles. It wasn't a disco and there were no staff running it ..... basically it was a dance floor with a pre-recorded sound track, most of which was unsuitable for children. The only staff were bar staff trying to sell alcohol to the parents. When one of the parents complined to one of the bar staff, he shrugged his shoulders and walked away. Obviously we speak to fellow passengers on board and it was interesting to note that everyone we spoke to who had sailed with P&O before all thought the standards on this cruise had dropped dramatically. More tellingly, the family members we travelled with are both ex-P&O bridge officers and this is the first time they have been on a P&O ship in ten years and they were appalled by the drop in standards. I wonder if it is down to the removal of the service charge and subsequent reduction in pay for staff …. Is this causing a reduction in morale? We also found from a cabin steward, not ours in case P&O read this and decide to victimise our steward, they are now being asked to look after more cabins than they used to. Whilst on board I had planned to book a future cruise with P&O to take advantage of the discounts and other benefits – after this experience I did not bother. In the past I’ve been happy to pay more for the superior level of service with P&O. I am now of the view I can experience the same level of service with another Carnival company, Costa, for around two-thirds the price of P&O. It will be a long time, if ever, before I sail with P&O again and that’s something I thought I would never say. It seems P&O are aiming to dumb down to the lowest common denominator rather than providing a class service. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Could not fault anything from this cruise - size of ship, all staff and crew, food, excursions (and the guides). It was a very smooth embarkation and disembarkation, staff were very helpful. Cabin was kept very clean thanks to our ... Read More
Could not fault anything from this cruise - size of ship, all staff and crew, food, excursions (and the guides). It was a very smooth embarkation and disembarkation, staff were very helpful. Cabin was kept very clean thanks to our excellent cabin steward Agostinho. Really enjoyed the food (in the dining room and buffet) and the entertainment. The ship was ideal for us as it is mid size. Liked the shaded adult pool at the back of the ship. We found the drinks to be pub prices so no need for a package for us. The fee for the speciality dining we found was reasonable (but chose to eat in the dining room) . Loved the entertainment in the theatres, also the afternoon quizzes. We like to dress for the formal evenings and found that most people did as well. We booked 3 shore excursions and found these to be good value, the guides were very knowledgeable. We were happy with the food served in the Adriatic restaurant and the variety, the staff were very accommodating. In the Plaza buffet, again, the food was of a good quality and staff accommodating. We like the theme night at the buffet, one night was Indian - delicious. Our cabin was kept very clean, the steward vert helpful and friendly. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our time on Oceana. We hope to sail on this ship again. Thank you to all crew and staff for a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our second cruise, having been with Royal Caribbean before on a fly-cruise. We preferred going from Southampton as it was more relaxing and more time to get to know the ship before excursions began. However, the weather was pretty ... Read More
This was our second cruise, having been with Royal Caribbean before on a fly-cruise. We preferred going from Southampton as it was more relaxing and more time to get to know the ship before excursions began. However, the weather was pretty bad when we left in force 10 gale! We travelled with family and most of us felt a bit 'off' for the first 3 days. My teenage granddaughter was quite ill. But after that the sun shone and the seas calmed and we were able to enjoy all the benefits of the ship. Yes, the ship is old and tired but it didn't bother us. We had an inside cabin on C deck so no window but it was fine - we didn't spend much time there. Very small cabin but plenty of hanging space and decent shower and a comfortable bed. It was a quiet area of the ship so our sleep wasn't disturbed. Food in the buffets was a bit repetitive but very good overall. Staff always pleasant and helpful. We used the restaurants in the evenings where things were more relaxed and the food more varied. Waiter service was excellent - all staff very helpful and considerate. Entertainment was very good, especially the Headliners. Very talented young people. Didn't do many activities but did a quiz or two and had a bash at Pilates! Watched a few films on the on-deck screen which were pretty good. Our cabin steward, Vasilio, was a gem. Nothing too much trouble. Well worth a tip! Embarking and disembarking was very well run. We parked in the NCP car park so our car was taken from us, along with our main cases. Disembarking was much the same - very ordered and smooth. No complaints. Excursions were all enjoyable, (as was the weather). Most towns were close to the ports so very easy. Made use of the hop on buses to see the sights. Barcelona was particularly good as the architecture was amazing. We made the mistake of booking a tour to Mercia and then returning to Cartagina. Mercia was (for us) not worth the time and left such a short time to see Cartagina, which was really interesting and full of history. So we shall have to return there some time! The excursion to Pisa and Florence was very good. We found the information we were given on board very helpful for the port visits. They were not just trying to sell the excursions, which was noticeable to us, compared with our last cruise. All in all, a very pleasant experience and we will certainly consider cruising with P & O again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at ... Read More
As it was our first cruise and we always wanted to visit the Fjords, we chose P&O as it gave us everything we required. Embarkation was straightforward and well organised and we were on the ship 30 minutes after arriving at Southampton. The ship looked fantastic and we were impressed by the cabin that was clean and well maintained. The buffet restaurant was a real disappointment. I read a number of reviews that compared it to a cross-channel ferry and its no exaggeration. The feel of the place is one of a factory canteen with bland food choices based around roast dinners, chips and tasteless soups. The Oriental Restaurant was better but the menu was unadventurous and very same-ish, with several dishes on offer the same each evening. Breakfast at this restaurant was very good though. The staff working in the dining areas were excellent though and very attentive. The kids club and staff were also very good for our 10 year old but the older club was poor. Biggest disappointment was the amount of off-duty British staff milling around the boat, especially in the dining areas and bars. A number of times I noticed guests having to queue for food in the pool area waiting for a number of off-duty staff to get food. In the evening, a large number would take residence in a section of ‘Brodies’ bar meaning guests had nowhere to sit. I noticed this on at least 2 of the 7 nights. Personally, I see this as highly unprofessional and gave me a poor impression of P&O. Overall I would recommend the boat and the itinerary was very good but P&O need to get a grip of the management of staff. If you went to a restaurant to be told to wait for your table or for food as the staff were being served first, you wouldn’t accept it so why should it be acceptable on Britannia? To me, staff remain in staff quarters. We enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely do it again but I question if it would be with P&O. As one guest explained it to me, ‘it’s a 2-3 star all inclusive in 5 star surroundings’. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was the second time that we’d cruised on this ship. Standards have certainly dropped. Firstly the good points. Embarkation at Southampton was excellent and totally stress free. The cabin was ready as soon as we walked onboard and ... Read More
This was the second time that we’d cruised on this ship. Standards have certainly dropped. Firstly the good points. Embarkation at Southampton was excellent and totally stress free. The cabin was ready as soon as we walked onboard and our room was very good. The ship has recently been upgraded and is very nice.Our cabin attendant was also very good throughout our holiday. Entertainment was also generally good. The bad points. The food was very poor in the main dining rooms and buffet areas. With the choice in the Waterside very limited. The payable restaurants were much better. The catering staff didn’t have any interest in the passengers and appeared sullen and unhelpful. I wonder if this is anything to do with the discontinuance of gratuities . I think that P&O need to ‘up their game’ to keep up with Celebrity and others. The overall experience has certainly put us off another P&O cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships. We ... Read More
Our fifth time with P +O, most things as expected with a few differences having been used to Ventura and Azura. There was a great feeling of space on this ship with very few queues and a much calmer atmosphere than the family ships. We had an outside balcony cabin which was clean and absolutely fine. I’m unsure why people criticise the ship for being outdated, it was a bit rusty in places but the cabins and public rooms were absolutely in keeping with other ships and certainly better than the average/budget cruise lines. Most staff were great but at times very secretive, the waits for freedom dining and length of service in the restaurant were unacceptable at times, some staff went a long way to make us happy and some didn’t. The itinery was great with the highlights being St Petersburg and Helsinki. Gdynia was a short train ride from Gdansk. Entertainment was very good. The ship employed a number of resident musicians performing all styles from classical to jazz to popular. There were bands, an orchestra, soloists, a dance group and an entertainment team, more than on many cruise lines. There was more choice of entertainment and venues than other larger ships. The food was mainly good but at times bland. The Belvedere buffet was as you would expect from a self service restaurant. Trips and shuttle bus were too expensive. P+O continue to look at ways to get extra money. This doesn’t seem as bad on slightly older ships like Arcadia but it certainly is a trend on newer larger ships which have less space per passenger and seem to find more and more things to charge for, although it might try Arcadia does offer done welcome relief from this. Staff regularly go the extra mile but I can’t help at thinking times this is driven by money. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Rooms are like prison cells. Bathroom is tiny you literally can’t move in it. For a ship of this capacity the swimming pool is the size of a bath. The outdated rules of no shorts gets boring especially when men are allowed to dinner in ... Read More
Rooms are like prison cells. Bathroom is tiny you literally can’t move in it. For a ship of this capacity the swimming pool is the size of a bath. The outdated rules of no shorts gets boring especially when men are allowed to dinner in scruffy Adidas trainers. Not only are you woken up early with the annoying, pointless announcements but the ship is a dictatorship. Never cruised before and because we booked through a 3rd party we weren’t informed of the dinner attire rules, we was reprimanded for not booking direct with p&o but p&o still accepted the booking and happily took our money via 3rd party. Avoid this ship. It’s tired and lacking any character or luxury. You can hear every noise the cabin next door/ above makes also. Drawers constantly being pulled in and out. Entertainment was dated and not much for children in fact the only child’s disco that was organised what set at the same time of the black tie event so nobody showed up. When eating at the buffet you practically had to beg the waiters to take your drinks order otherwise they just avoid you. I went and asked one to order a drink and he told me to go to the bar. Many of the wait staff are arrogant and unhelpful. Would never cruise again and would advise anyone considering it to avoid the Oceana. Ports were efficient and no problems going through just don’t forget crew card. Upon disembarking you have to provide your crew card of which this was taken off of us when we checked out at reception. As stated before we have never cruised and as no information was given to us as they assume every passenger has done many cruises it caused a confusion and delayed us getting off the boat as we no longer had our cards. Then the man started shouting over me aggressively when I was pointing out that reception staff should not have taken my card if I needed it to disembark and leave the cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We choose this cruise as we wanted to see Greece & Croatia as not been before. We loved every port we visited, Mykonos was my favourite and the wife’s was Venice & Dubrovnik. The ships food was amazing. So much to choose ... Read More
We choose this cruise as we wanted to see Greece & Croatia as not been before. We loved every port we visited, Mykonos was my favourite and the wife’s was Venice & Dubrovnik. The ships food was amazing. So much to choose from every night. The waiters looked after us with extra chips and veg & Ice cream every night. The headliners were the best I’ve seen on any cruise, we loved the killer queen & musical shows. Also north by northeast singers were really good. Around the pool was really busy on sun days but as I’d get the pool at 8.45 it was easy to get beds. After 9 it was hard to get one in front of the pool. Service for drinks was great and not long to wait. My favourites bar was winners with football on and the casino was great and wasn’t busy so always a seat. Le club was great for a dance and was in there most nights. Stayed open till 2 but you could get a drink in and stay till 3am. Peroni on draught was good and they had doom bar in big bottles which I like. Our kids 11 & 13 girls loved the kids clubs and soon made friends. The only tours we Done was In Dubrovnik the game of thrones walking tour. That was amazing but hard going as very hot and a lot of steps. But me and my wife enjoyed seeing all the locations and the views. Also in split we went on the KrKa waterfalls tour which we didn’t enjoy that much as it was a long day on the coach and very rushed so didn’t get to enjoy the walk in the park and not much time to have a swim. I love this ship as it’s a smaller one so not hard to get seats for shows and space in bars and casino. Would definitely cruise again on oceana as staff are friendly and like the less busy areas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
As first family crew chose p and o. Buffet food was average and bland especially at dinner time.Very difficult to find a table at buy times. Staff in buffet restaurant not particularly friendly. Believe other worked. Restaurants included ... Read More
As first family crew chose p and o. Buffet food was average and bland especially at dinner time.Very difficult to find a table at buy times. Staff in buffet restaurant not particularly friendly. Believe other worked. Restaurants included in price Cinnamon and Saffron. Had lovely food and very good service. We paid for food one night in the glasshouse (tapas) that was amazing. Beach house food which you had to pay extra for was average. My food had a hair in it yuk. Put me off. Our steward was excellent very friendly. Most of the other staff were not very smiley and seemed disinterested. Reception staff not very friendly or smiley either. Swimming pools were good but sometimes full of screaming kids. Entertainment was good. We3 - vocal group were amazing. Adele impersonator very good. Metropolis bar was very classy with good views and a guy playing piano. I used the gym. It’s very good with up to date equipment and nice views into the sea. Overall good. But customer service standards could be better. Maybe staff not getting tips anymore is having an affect. We are thinking of trying another cruise company next time to get a better standard of customer service and friendlessness. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
What an amazing experience overall with very little to fault! Embarkation was swift, we used CP Parking and had priority boarding through our suite booking. It took us less than 20 minutes from arrival at the dock in our car to ... Read More
What an amazing experience overall with very little to fault! Embarkation was swift, we used CP Parking and had priority boarding through our suite booking. It took us less than 20 minutes from arrival at the dock in our car to stepping on board the ship - couldn't have been any easier! Once on board we did find that there was no assistance/help for those new to cruising to know where we should go or what to do! I felt this was the one element of the cruise that was a little bit of a let down. Safe to say we walked aimlessly around for a while before working out where to go. All meals and food were fantastic. We had a mix of breakfasts at the Epicurian, the waterside buffet, the bay tree restaurant and on our balcony. All were wonderful. Lunches were taken at the waterside buffet or the poolside grill / pizzeria. Good choice and plenty available. We had select dining at the 6.30pm slot in the bay tree restaurant where we had the same table for 4 by the window each night. Our waiters Wilson and Suresh were exceptional and brilliant with the children showing them new drawings and tricks each night and serving up the odd extra chocolate treats! Ports visited: Stavenger - we did our own thing here and just took a long walk around the different areas of the town, plenty to see and keep the children busy Olden - amazing sail down the fjord - simply stunning. In Olden we did the beautiful Stryn exursion which was a lovely coach drive through the mountains stopping off at various points for photographs etc. It also included a stop at the national park centre for traditional pancakes, tea and a chance for the children to play at the small beach by the lake. definately our stand out day. Alesund - we did our own thing in the morning climbing the 416 steps to the viewpoint high above the town. Stunning views but be aware it costs once you get up there to enter the viewpoint area with the cafe/toilets etc. In the afternoon we did the exursion to the Atlantic Sea Park - much nicer than the sea life centres in the Uk, but we did find that the 3 hours allocated was a little long - we were done in 2 hours and had to wait for the coach to return. Bergen - biggest port of call and very busy with numerous cruise ships all in dock at the same time. Again we did our own thing and took in the sights of the old shopping quarter the park and lake and the fish/traditional food market. Both children attended the Reef childrens' clubs in the evening - surfers and scubas and had an amazing time, meeting lots of new friends onboard. this enabled us to have time in the evening to relax and take in some of the entertainment on offer. The Beatles experience were fantastic as was the Astonishing magic show. Spice Girls tribute and comedian also good fun! We felt the cleanliness of the ship and attentiveness of staff was excellent throughout. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ... Read More
There's a lot of cruising snobbery with the judging different "classes" of passengers so here's the deal, P&O are clever enough to cater for a broad market, love it or pay more and go Seabourn!! The joy of a big ship is that you can avoid the areas which aren't to your liking and if you feel that way inclined the "types" you might want to avoid are away from the areas you probably enjoy. Yes, the ship decor is rather dark and my first reaction was to pine for the bling of Ventura but sultry Britannia grows on you. The public areas are cleverly designed with many nooks and crannies so you can be in the heart of the action or tuck yourself away as you choose. The Glass House is, as ever, excellent. The Crow's nest bar is back at the front of the ship and wonderful for pre dinner drinks. Recommend sitting away from the piano as it can be very loud. The atrium is very spacious with plenty of seating to people watch with a post dinner drink/coffee. Drinks service was excellent everywhere. If we were waiting we only had to indicate to someone and they were there. Crystal room was surprisingly pleasant late evening with lots of people taking to the floor. Didn't frequent Brodies or the casino but it was popular and pretty packed each time we walked through. Breakfast, lunch and evening restaurant food service couldn't be faulted and the attention for special dietary needs was outstandingly accommodating. A couple of meals were overcooked but there was absolutely no issue with getting plates changed. Of course it would be better if they didn't need to be returned but with thousands of guests give the staff a sporting chance by asking for better, they are happy to oblige and would much rather you went away happy. Desserts weren't too special but OK. Didn't frequent the buffet much but when we did there was plenty of room, staff were very helpful, friendly and food good. Spend a moment to talk to the buffet chefs, they don't get much guest interaction and will appreciate it... Joseph, my daughter thought you were fantastic! Theatre plush and the Cinema is a nice addition. I missed the theatre waiter service but my husband hates it so goes to show can't please everyone. Gym well equipped and spacious. First 3 machines I approached were out of action but there were still plenty even when the gym was busy. Came to the conclusion that for the amount of hours spent in it, the Retreat is expensive when securing a fortnight complete package. Would we do it again? yes because the service in the Britannia Retreat was amazing and engaging, Sebastian and Jovan both a real credit to P&O. I've previously moaned about unhelpful reception staff on other ships but not so on Britannia, spoke to Carl a few times and he was very helpful and extremely likeable. Daily service charge has now been removed and here's the interesting bit, we left far more in tips to far more staff than ever before. I've once previously asked for service charges to be withdrawn because of poor service so it was great to reward such a change. I was told that the teenage Reef space wasn't as good as Ventura and Azura but the Reef Rangers were as cool as ever. The great part of cruising with youngsters is that because there are relatively few cruises in school holidays the kids look forward to reuniting with friends from previous cruises, you don't get that with most holidays. Security always checked that minors were accompanied when leaving ship, which showed they were on their game. We've done the port stops bar Cadiz before so no surprises there. Cadiz, Cartagena and Barcelona were our favourites. Although a really positive experience, there were 2 areas which fell short. The first was that the entertainment was by far the poorest we've had on a P&O cruise. Tucker's "comedy" material hadn't changed since last time we saw him! Thankfully, there were a couple of notable exceptions with the superb Lloyd Wade and We3. We paid extra to see La Voix in the Limelight club and were treated to a magnificent night and great food (menu is surprisingly small so we may have been just lucky to have what we wanted on the menu), brilliant vocals and comedy, La Voix, we'll be back to see you again. The 2nd area was the Captains Gala, which we look forward to for the pomp and ceremony. I've never known a Captain to be late for his own party and not have the decency to apologise, we walked out to go for dinner as he arrived and started his speech, really bad form and example Sir. Finally, of course there's the much talked about lack of stairs mid ship. This didn't bother us at all as we consciously try to burn off a few of those naughty calories by walking and climbing stairs, plus our group don't have mobility issues or a pushchair. Heard lots complaining though. Oh yes, embarkation, nearly forgot that. We've always found Southampton port staff to be brilliant and cheerful (even when they are trialling new arrangements for the huge Iona), disappointing that for the first time ever we were checked in by Mrs Sour Face Grumpy but soon forgot about her!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was ... Read More
First the good points of our cruise. We feel there has been a big improvement in the quality and variation of the food on Britannia, we cruised with P & O twice last year on Azura & Ventura and without doubt the food this time was improved. It was of good quality and varied even in the Buffett. The Buffett area is also a much better design than on other P & O ships which are too ‘tight’ and get very crowded. The entertainment was very good and there were some good deck parties. Our ‘restricted’ balcony G408 was not really restricted and neither was G410, G412, G414, G416 these rooms fall between a large gap between the lifeboats yet they are lower priced due to a very slight restriction. We could see straight out and sideways With nothing directly in our view. If you want a bargain balcony then these are the ones to go for. Our room was nice and a decent size. We didn’t have the drinks package because it is just to expensive but the drinks purchased separately are of a very reasonable price. Now for the negatives. As I say we booked a midship balcony room on deck 8 but the balcony is the smallest we have ever seen. You cannot sit straight looking out to sea they are that small. The ship in parts is very poorly designed. The stairs in midships only go up to deck 7? So unless you walk to either end of the ship you cannot walk up or down from midships from deck 8 and upwards. It’s just bonkers. The lifts are also small. On deck 17 at the aft is what I can only describe as a large bath, it is supposed to be a plunge pool but it’s just too small with vast amount of wasted deck either side. We never used it because it was always full. This pool should fill the width of the deck. The ‘sunset bar’ at the aft is lovely but they play background music that is so quiet it may as well not be on. The reason given for this was because guests in the suites below complain?? We and others asked for the music to be raised to a very reasonable level, not loud, until at least 11.30 but it was refused. It takes away a lot of the ambience of the bar. Towards the front of the ship is the ‘Serenity pool’ for adults only but the bar stops serving at 6pm?? So there is not an adult only bar on outside decks after 6pm. On deck 16 in the centre of the ship is the Lido pools, a great family area but above this on deck 17 looking down on the Lido the ship is crying out for a bar just like on Ventura or Azura. A couple of entertainment planning issues we had and that other guests complained about were that the ‘Crystal bar/room’ was just not used to anywhere near it’s capacity. It was almost predominantly used for old style dancing and apart from a few times was always only a quarter full. This is fine if like Ventura and Azura there are two live music bars to chose from but there isn’t so most people only have the choose of the ‘Live lounge’. In respects of the ‘Live lounge’ there was no thought given to the fact that most passengers see the last but one night as a party night and with that in mind many of us turned up to party and dance the night away only for the party to be flattened by a poor comedian who came on at 23.45hrs when lots of guests were dancing. The problem then was that there is no where else to go to dance or party. The service we received was also very patchy and on the whole was below standard. We had done nine cruise before this one with four being P & O ships so we know what to expect but I’m afraid the smiles, interaction, attention to detail has gone from many of the waiters, waitresses on deck and within the restaurants with the exception of the ‘Glasshouse’ for some reason. Without doubt they work hard and we are very chatty, polite people who love having a laugh and it must be hard doing their work day in day out but that’s what we pay our money for. It may seem like it just us morning but there were lots of other passengers who noticed this. One last moan and something to be aware of and it will probably be the same on most ships is that if you go on a cruise in school holidays be ready to expect uncontrolled children approx 8 to 16 running around throughout the ship at all times especially in the corridors. We watched many parents just let their kids do this without a word being said. A constant ‘thump, thump, thump’ was heard. We have had our own children and now have grandchildren but we would never let ours be totally out of control like a lot of what we saw were even in the ‘Glasshouse’ whilst we ate some were running around our table whilst their parents drank oblivious to everything. We wouldn’t go on this ship again although in spite of everything we had a great cruise because the food was good, we met lots of great new friends and the weather was great. Something to ponder though is that someone probably got paid thousands of pounds to design this ship yet there seems to have been some glaring mistakes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The Ship was good, staff miserable, didn't smile much especially in the Medina restaurant, Food was awful, very funny combinations, Who serves Salt & Vinegar Ice cream for a sweet if was disgusting, peppercorn sponge. Please ... Read More
The Ship was good, staff miserable, didn't smile much especially in the Medina restaurant, Food was awful, very funny combinations, Who serves Salt & Vinegar Ice cream for a sweet if was disgusting, peppercorn sponge. Please Chef go back to school and learn some basics. Normal food required. No jacket potatoes in Horrizon Buffett only on first day on ship, after that never again..Why because they have them on other ships all the time. I have cruised with P & O before and food on Oriana was a lot better, basic food options, no concoctions put together, it was lovely all the time, but not on this ship. Please improve this, as otherwise you will get more complaints, also need more options for Gluten free customers, as not enough choice also for Diabetics, as there were a lot of these people onboard too. Please P & O sort the food issue out. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a lovely, memorable holiday on Britannia visiting Norway and the fiords. We went with our two daughters, husband of one daughter and four children. Britannia is a really great ship and the cruise exceeded all expectations. Our cabins were spotlessly clean, very well fitted and serviced by a a very nice steward. We liked to sleep with the balcony doors locked open and listen to the sea at night. Watching the sunset from our balcony at 10.30 at night was a joy. We were very lucky with the weather and on both at sea days the sun shone and we spent our day on deck enjoying the warmth and views. I was surprised how easy it was to find a sun lounger available either in the sun or shade. Around the pool it could become busy but go up to the deck overlooking the pool and there was usually plenty of space. We all used one or other of the pools (there is an adult only pool and sunbathing area). The children ( 9, two 12 year olds and a15 year old) preferred to play in the pools or do their own thing rather than go to the kids clubs. They were never ever bored! Norway is stunning. We had some lovely excursions not all booked through P&O and easy to source online. The longest zip wire in Scandinavia, the rib ride, hiking up a mountain to visit a goat farm, Flåm railway and walking up to Brikstal glacier were highlights. All the food we had either in thie buffet or the restaurants was excellent. We had an exceptional meal in the Epicurean restaurant that I feel was well worth the supplement. Yes there were little niggles but nothing I feel I have to highlight. You will mix with people from all walks of life on a cruise, young and old, but our experience was very positive. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it all again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 ... Read More
We are experienced with cruising and this is our second trip with P&O. Not expecting too much but more for the company price per nigyt was not exactly cheap but there were not service charges or tips and everything in UK £'s. 3 night trip with friend for birthday. Bit of a blow to start as ship had a "technical" problem so would not sail on Friday but midday on Saturday to allow for repairs. Disappointed but we would get over it. Then the Captain revised this, for us to leave earlier on Saturday morning so we were cheered up a bit. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Went to get buffet lunch which was typical P&O roast beef that was fine but not exceptional - as was the case with nearly all meals on board but it was what we were expecting. Then a drink in the Lords Tavern bar. Largish bar with seats very close together. Asked for a Pina Colada - Whoops not on the list so no. Asked about the 3 taster beer selections - Whoops this not available either - I sensed a theme here! Ship looked in generally good condition though a very dated. Liked the Tiffany ceiling at the Tiffany bar and the other smaller bars such as Anderson's. Pacific lounge looked good too. Cabin OK but some funny bits see below. There was to be a life boat drill but they kept this secret till about 20mins before it was due. Had to take life jackets with us - really do not know why. As other lines have abandoned this and you just turn up and get the lecture. Weather raining so under shelter on pool deck for drinks with friends. Now dinner. Bit of a surprise it all looked pretty good and lamb shank is one of my favourites so off to good start. Made the mistake of asking for bottle of Pinot Grigio. "sorry we have run out" Eh! first day of cruise and 24hrs in home port? Seems the ship is being run down for sale in about a month. Great entertainment is the evening - Singers and Dancers did a medley of Bill Board Hits which everyone knew and was one of the best. Then off to the Drifters tribute which was likewise very good. Comedian Mike Doyle was excellent well worth seeing. He did some reminiscing about past cruises on Oriana as he had been there from the start. Mentioned some of the staff that were on this cruise to say farewell to the ship. Sailed as promised at around 930am Saturday. Bought our duty free which was particularly good value then a relaxing day. Had lunch which was a bit bland and then almost time to get ready for formal night and some photos. Guernsey was fine and we simply walked around St Peter Port there was a market and car show on the quay side which was interesting as many of the shops were shut as it was a Sunday. Have to say here didn't they know there would be 2 cruise ships in with people eager to spend their cash! Now the really BAD news as we walked in to the Oriental dining room for early sitting I could hear a loud rumble accompanied by a lot of vibration. This increased as we approached our table and was now overpowering so much so you could hardly hear yourself talk let alone think. So bad that if you left your cutlery on the plate it danced across it! Meal was fine lobster and beef wellington but they do not seem to like you asking for seconds - felt a bit like Oliver Twist. So uncomfortable actually that they won and I never asked again. Once we dropped anchor outside St Peter Port and the turned off the engine all was OK but we were now halfway through the meal and the Sunday night there would be no respite as we hammered our way up the English Channel. We discovered the best bar being the Crow's Nest at the front of the Ship. Large bar with live music - similar in many respects to the Commodore clubs on Cunard. P&O have now said there is not need to tip staff. Well this time around there was really no one apart from our cabin steward that would deserve anything. Service was pretty poor all around and very basic. You had to ask for everything whether it be ketchup and mint sauce or trying to catch someones eye because they had forgotten an order - everything seemed too much trouble. I just wonder if they have dropped the tips and not increased their pay? The ship was fine despite its age and some bad design decisions around the cabins. I liked the smaller bars but it was simply too crammed in the Lords Tavener. I am sorry to say I pity those passengers on the remaining cruises if they have to put up with the engine noise and vibration in the Oriental Restaurant. As we had experienced before there were many on board who cruise only with P&O and there were also lots of ex staff who were saying farewell to the ship. They will just not hear anything mildly critical or constructive said about the ship. Which is sad really because every company should be aiming to improve. There many things on this ship and cruise that were great but others not so. If all you surround yourself with is yes men then you will fail. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . ... Read More
Have had some wonderful times on Oriana (we still have fabulous memories of the 5 week cruise we did in 2011&the cruise sailing around Cape Horn in 2004) &wanted to have a final cruise before she sadly is off to a new venture . We were not disappointed, had a great 3 nights, (shame it wasn’t longer )with superb food ,fantastic entertainment &very efficient happy staff. It was great to see so many ex crew on board as passengers what a feat of organising.Well Done Steve . The entertainment was excellent .the boundless energy of the Headliners Theatre Company is a credit to them .&the live musicians did not disappoint . We were blessed with fine weather for our stop in Guernsey,(which is a bonus as the stop there is always weather dependent ) A huge thankyou to the in seen behind the scenes crew who work equally as hard to ensure a great time is had by all . Sad to see Oriana go Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
As a returning P&O customer I was let down. Arriving at our alloted time of 1500 boarding became a rush, even making the muster station became an issue. I was disappointed as all the excitement of relaxed holidays and a we take ... Read More
As a returning P&O customer I was let down. Arriving at our alloted time of 1500 boarding became a rush, even making the muster station became an issue. I was disappointed as all the excitement of relaxed holidays and a we take care of it attitude has gone. The logistics were wrong. On to the Cabin D522 it was excellent, I thought well mentained until my partner pointed out the face towels hadn't been changed, just refolded. Food excellent, quality of drink excellent, kids club excellent, itinerary spot on. On the whole the majority of the staff have forgotten to smile. The entertainment was also at the bearable level but undone by repetition. Don't get me wrong I have had a week's holiday but a week in Fuengirola would have been just as good. I love cruising, love the non flying option but now considering cancelling next year's booking as I will experience the same level of frustration at an Airport. Disembarkation opted for the early depart, low tide at Soton could not disembark untill the tide did her thing Logistics Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I have cruised about seven times from the Caribbean through the Med: 5 with Thomson on various vessels and latterly on Britannia with P&O. The cruise on board OCEANA on 11th July to the Greek islands was the latest and ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised about seven times from the Caribbean through the Med: 5 with Thomson on various vessels and latterly on Britannia with P&O. The cruise on board OCEANA on 11th July to the Greek islands was the latest and the most disappointing. What we liked: The Atrium, reception area and the Costa coffee section was second to none. The shops were brilliant and my wife has no complaint there. The sun deck was good although crowded (not unusual for a day at sea etc). The cabin was spacious and wardrobe space more than adequate. What was wrong: the general points . . . 1. The ship decor was drab throughout 2. The lifts were unpredictable and extremely slow 3. We found the buffet food monotonous. Often we found there were no tea spoons available and we had to ask one of the officers in white to provide some. Once a female crew member who was responsible for providing a tray with cutlery repeatedly provided two forks without a knife or two knives without a fork etc. Twice during the voyage this happened to us. We found the crew to be rather sullen and didnt seem to want to interact with passengers. One actually made an inappropriate comment when the wife and I were making a decision on any pudding/sweet: I just joked with my wife saying they were fattening and this male commented: "Too late Sir". He then asked my wife and I had a twin brother (for what reason I do not know). The next time I saw him he rotated his eyes in different directions independently and he thought it was funny. I was not sure what his objective was. This occurred in the buffet by the way on two separate days. Specifically to us: 1. The bathroom was antiquated and particularly the toilet bowl had a black ring around it when we embarked which remained there throughout the voyage. The television was small and the programmes repetitive. There was only one three-pin socket to the entire cabin and that was used for tea making. The lack of sockets was very inconvenient. 2. I unfortunately cut my ankle slightly on the first day which bled overnight and which stained the lower sheet. That sheet remained on the bed and was not changed throughout the voyage. The cabin steward on a few occasions failed to replenish the coffee/tea making facilities and once failed to provide cups/mugs and we had to ask reception to get him to bring them along. 3. We were freedom dining: We often had to wait up to 45 minutes to get a table and this seemed to be case whenever we attended the Ligurian to dine. The service in the Ligurian was slow and often we had to attract attention that we were waiting another course. Again the waiting staff did not seem that interested in providing a good service. A factor which irritated us in particular was black tie nights. This was the first time I decided not to take a dinner suit or black tie. We were denied access during the two black tie nights in both the Ligurian and the Adriatic restaurants (on a 7 night cruise) and we had to eat in the buffet. This was not what we expected from P&O and has completely shattered our confidence. Frankly we were glad when we arrived at Malta so we could get off the ship. We are not going P&O again: Having written to them expressing our disappointment and pointing out our points we eventually received a wholly dismissive letter which implied either we were exaggerating or just a pair of natural complainers. that in itself was enough to put us off going with them again - this is the first time we have complained on any holiday (land or cruise) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Firstly embarkation was a breeze. Turned up early and no hanging about. A porter came over collected our cases and off we went. But if you take a suit bag you have to carry this on yourself. Straight onto the ship, the bars where open the ... Read More
Firstly embarkation was a breeze. Turned up early and no hanging about. A porter came over collected our cases and off we went. But if you take a suit bag you have to carry this on yourself. Straight onto the ship, the bars where open the holiday was well under way, and didn't have to wait ages for the cases to arrive at our cabin. The cabin had plenty of hanging space, coat hangers and comfy a lot of mirrors! I ordered my wife flowers before we got onto the ship and they where there and they have now come home with us and still perfect. Our cabin assistant was called Ana and she is amazing, you could ask her anything and she knows. She works really hard So if your cabin assistant is as good give them some extra they deserve it. Dining. We went for freedom dining, which meant we could go to the Saffron any time between 18.30 and 21.30. If you want a table for 2 be prepared to wait. Otherwise you sit with 6 other people and not the same people.If you are a big eater you will lose weight and it takes 2 hours to eat a 3 course meal. You can however have what you like, so if you opt for the pan fried chicken you can add a steak which I found out on the Friday.I found some waiters little snatchey towards the men, and not too intent on watching butter levels, it was like if its gone its gone. Waterside. Utter chaos little selection and poorly set out. Breakfast was Luke warm and limp. Pastries dry and hard. Lunch very similar BUT go to the beach house the buffet there amazing!!!!Still disorganised but worth it.We had lunch in the Saffron one day which took over an hour and if you order a plate from the menu i.e the cold meat plate that is all you get so don't forget to order your sides. We didn't eat in the specials. when an Indian couple tell you that the Indian restaurant was poor you guess they should know. Drinks Pub prices pints £4,30 wine £5.00 ish Costa coffee £2.60 when you order a drink be prepared to wait it takes a while to get it, usually about 15 minutes although we did wait longer than that when it's busy. We opted for the soft drink pack and consider we saved but everyone is different.If you go for the soft drinks package and order a alcoholic one be prepared for the comment "this is for soft drinks" and you have to explain you know we have to pay for a alcoholic drink. Ice cream Ridiculous price £3.45 for 2 golf ball sized scopes. Burgers and hotdogs from the poolside great Big and juicy cooked fresh and not dripping in grease. condiments though in a large pump vat. Entertainment. We saw 2 good comedians and the Astonish Show which was good. I am not a lover of cruise ship singers so can't judge as it would be unfair. Didn't have much to do with the day time events either. We paid for the use of the Retreat. Adults only a waiter lunch bought up to you afternoon tea of sorts. But be careful as the price isn't fixed and a couple the next day paid £75.00 less and got more thrown in. Overall our expectations of the Ventura was good here are some rough points We had a photo shoot at the same time as another couple, then a private viewing of our photos If we wanted them the price was £1500.00 I can not make this figure look anymore ridiculous the other couple £450 for the same package! Figure that out? Other passengers I am not a snob, How ever I am able to conduct myself in an acceptable manner You will need at times a high tolerance level to endure them from both sides of the coin, and I must point out that the Ventura is a wheelchair friendly ship which although liberating can at times turn into a destruction Darby. Thus paid for the retreat, The attendant in the downstairs perfumery is possibly the most unhelpful person on the ship. All the staff apart from the fore mentioned did work hard and long hours, and sometimes you had to double take as they had changed from working pool side to the restaurants. You could talk to the officers and they interact with ease and it's not a chore, and the Captain is witty. Excursions!!!!! Our experience and others We paid for 2 excursions On 1 we had the misfortune of having someone sit behind us who had been before and wasn't interested. I paid to hear the guide. I have come home not knowing anything about what I saw, but know her family intimately and so does the rest of the coach. Before we set off I noticed that our trip finished at 18.30 but so was the boarding time. I questioned this and was told that there was plenty of time. when we got back to the ship we where thrown on our bags launch onto the X-ray and spoken to like idiots regardless of mobility. If you want to complain the shore excursion desk closes at 18.30!Our second was really nice the coach drivers are highly skilled. Watch the pricing I know you pay to guarantee getting back on board but to be charged to take a child under 6 on the train in Flaam is a bit rich when children under 6 actually travel for free. Other points P and O do black tie nights. Get involved and enjoy then spend the evening people watching many giggles were had.If you don't you can only eat in the Waterfront as widely stated, don't bore others the next day moaning that it was your only option. The scenery is stunning get up early though as you sail through around 4am Sunsets are out of this world. Is it value for money? only you will know. We paid for extras because we wanted to. Their guidelines are their guidelines. the choice stops with you. Norway is expensive. A coffee and a waffle for 2 £13.00(130.00kr)a bottle of coke from £3.00(30kr) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked Select with Britannia, including coach transfers from Glasgow with Inter Cruises as a family of 4, kids are 13 & 10. Journey down was excellent, coach was comfortable but could have done with wifi. Had email to say we ... Read More
Booked Select with Britannia, including coach transfers from Glasgow with Inter Cruises as a family of 4, kids are 13 & 10. Journey down was excellent, coach was comfortable but could have done with wifi. Had email to say we would be delayed getting on the ship so expected to be delayed but fortunately our coach driver just carried on and arrived at port on time and we got on ship just about 2 hours later than we should have, so were very happy. Britannia is beautiful, she is huge, you really feel small when you pull alongside. Staff were fabulous, right from very first meet & greet getting on the ship to final leaving, really made you feel good and welcome. Captain speeches were brilliant, and he really made a great impression with the kids when they interviewed him for journalism activity. Ship was fantastic, all the public areas were beautiful, particularly liked the Glass House for drinks and food. Meeting Olly Smith there was a brilliant extra. Sindhu food was exceptional although ate far too much as they give you 2 extra courses, and poppodums/dips that you were not expecting in addition to all the food we ordered, all of which was brilliant, well worth the cover charge and highly recommended. My 10 year old spent the vast majority of the cruise in the scubas kids club, and he loved it, could barely get him out and it was so well organised and structured by the reef team, it was amazing. Great staff, great activities, and he made some great friends. Ports were very good, and lived up to all expectations, Skagen, very easy to get around, bus just next to ship to take you up to Grennan, to see the 2 seas meet, tractor ride out there was really fun. Helsinki was a bit more spread out than we had expected but still easy to get around and see all the sights. Did a boat trip from the harbour too and it was great value. Saint Petersburg was absolutely brilliant, tours were very well organised and let us see all the main areas, the freedom day was brilliant giving free time at 3 sites. Tallin was lovely, old town was very nice but the land train ride was a nightmare, so bumpy, killed our backs. The KGB museum at the Viru hotel was a real trip highlight. Stockholm was the only slight disappointment and not only due to the rain. The town centre is very modern in comparison to the other cities, the viking museum was very good though. Copenhagen was a massive hit with the kids. We spent most of the time in Tivoli Gardens, the rides were great, but if you are planning on going on more than 2 or 3 ridss, it's worth getting the unlimited ride pass. Centre was really nice and easy to get around. Entertainment was great on Britannia, hosts were good, quizzes were fun and loved Pulse in the live lounge. Headliners shows were hit and miss but mostly well done. Afternoon port talks and presentations were really informative. Overall, for our first cruise experience it was absolutely fantastic and we will definitely do it again, can't wait Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First time cruisers with teenage son....A brilliant cruise from start to finish ...Easy embarkation,..cabin kept spotless -by cabin steward diogo (a real star!!). Great food in peninsular restaurant .....loads of choice to suit all tastes ... Read More
First time cruisers with teenage son....A brilliant cruise from start to finish ...Easy embarkation,..cabin kept spotless -by cabin steward diogo (a real star!!). Great food in peninsular restaurant .....loads of choice to suit all tastes ...staff very friendly and helpful at all times (Kristine was a gem and took time every night to check everything was ok) Never had to wait for a table and service slick.....super entertainment from headliners and professional shows . Never an issue getting a seat in theatre .....great choice of food in buffet yes can sometimes get busy but staff work hard to clear tables etc and never caused us an issue .boat was full and apart from sailaway never at any time felt busy - ....Ate at beachousr twice would recommend if you fancy a change ( ribs/steaks /fajitas etc). Great ports and excursions ....cannot wait to book our next one !! It really was that good ...... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Having read some reviews of this ship, our first cruise on Britannia was prepared for with some trepidation. Our fears were dispelled from the first moment we stepped on board. The ship had a full complement of passengers on board too. ... Read More
Having read some reviews of this ship, our first cruise on Britannia was prepared for with some trepidation. Our fears were dispelled from the first moment we stepped on board. The ship had a full complement of passengers on board too. Many of the negative comments I have read were ridiculously wide of the mark. ‘Butlins on Sea’, ‘Ship in terrible condition’, ‘rude staff’? Certainly not evident on this superb Norwegian Fjords cruise. The décor of the ship we found to be very calming. Modern, refined and subtle which all helped to generate a nice hum, in for example, the atrium. Here we really liked the bars and seating areas on the different levels. All well-lit and with a pleasing ambiance. We were also struck by the amount of seating around the ship. Yes, on a sea day Java got very busy but you did not have to wander far to find a seat. There was actually more deck space that we were led to believe. Around the pool got very busy but again it was easy to find seats on the deck above, looking down onto the pool area. Unlike on some other ships there was also a wide range of seating types. Not totally dominated by the sun lounger! The terraced area at the stern was great for enjoying a drink and looking out to sea. We did miss the absence of a full promenade deck (thankfully rectified on Iona) but there was still plenty of deck for wandering. Cruise ship food? That is always one to pit one person against another. We were on My Time dining and always requested a table for two in the evening. Quite often there was a 20-30-minute wait (at the busy time of 7.30), but we built that into our evening and when given a pager went to somewhere like The Glasshouse for a glass of wine, then took that into the restaurant when called. That worked very well. We enjoyed the food in both MDR’s. We usually breakfasted in an MDR too and the freshly cooked served breakfast was always very good. As for the Horizon buffet, I have to say I am no great fan of buffet food on large cruise lines and we felt the canteen style food served here was on a par with other big lines. The food filled a gap but if such food was served in a middle range restaurant in Britain, we would be disappointed. As a consequence, we only ate there at lunch time. Without doubt, our best meals were served at The Beach House and The Limelight Club. It is only a small supplement to dine at The Beach House but the service and the food were extremely good. We decided to book The Limelight Club to make the final night on board more of an occasion, as it usually feels rather depressing. It was great fun. Again, a really good meal with Cheryl Baker providing a highly entertaining evening of song and chatter in a great venue. Like on most ships not all the entertainment was to our liking, however the beauty of this cruise was the provision of a real range of entertainment across the evening in a number of venues. The Headliners put on colourful and energetic shows in the main theatre although the shows themselves did feel rather dated. We tended to go to the late performances in this theatre and never had a problem getting good seats. Soul Kinda Wonderful put on a really strong soul and Motown evening. Our favourite evening in The Headliners Theatre was with Neil Lockwood (ELO pt2 and Alan Parsons Project), he was such a talented artist in performing ELO hits amongst many others. The P and O Orchestra were really tight too in supporting the artists. The Entertainment Team were full of enthusiasm and well led in all they did both on deck and ’indoors’. A lot of entertainment we never got around to seeing and no doubt some of that would have been very good. However, we did see the house band, Pulse, in The Live Lounge and thought they were brilliant…. Eight very talented and versatile young musicians. I was not expecting to hear a Pink Floyd set on my P and O cruise, but Pulse pulled that off as they did with all their other sets. What a great band! Our cabin, B318 was excellent and well serviced. In fact, all staff we came across were very pleasant and hard-working. They were led superbly by Captain Dunlop who coped very well with high winds, medical emergencies and at times a mis-firing engine. Finally, we did two P and O trips. From Flam, The Norway in a Nutshell excursion and from Alesund, the Sky-High Views at Strandafjell. They were both brilliant. Although the weather was not so good in Norway probably a highlight was taking a gondola into proper snow and building a small snowman…in July! All in all, a brilliant cruise and one in which every fellow passenger we spoke with, agreed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me ... Read More
We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Britannia to the Norwegian Fjords on 29th June. It was our first cruise and I had actually stopped reading the reviews on this website leading up to the holiday as it was really starting to worry me we had made a mistake booking this holiday. As it turns out it surpassed our hopes and expectations. We had a brilliant week on board the ship and were impressed with every aspect. Taking into consideration what the price equivalent would buy you on land it seems fantastic value for money. I can only surmise that some of the cruising community are a pretty hard crowd to please. Which in a way is no bad thing as it helps to keep the standards high. Highlights: The ship is beautiful. I loved the decor in the public areas with high-quality fixtures and fittings. We had an internal room with pull-down beds which was cosy and compact but absolutely fine for our needs (basically a bed for the night). The kids club – the facilities are great with friendly staff who take security seriously. My boys tend not to do things on their own but loved the kids club which meant their dad and I could have dinner ourselves and a cocktail in the Crows Nest a couple of nights without having to think about keeping the kids entertained. The White Company products in the bathroom. I love a bit of luxury product and this was a lovely treat. Customer Service – excellent. All staff were very helpful and polite. Food – from the kids buffet to the afternoon tea to the restaurants, the food was excellent. I had a couple of dishes in the restaurant that were just ok but the majority were delicious (beer battered cod, sirloin steak and beef wellington being examples) Cookery school with Marco Pierre White – great value for £100. A lovely man who spent time with each passenger along with other chefs who were there to offer advice and clean up after you. 2 dishes with no expense spared on the ingredients (risotto with saffron and a lobster pasta dish). A definite highlight. Boarding and disembarkation – very smooth and well co-ordinated I enjoyed the mix of passengers. It was the start of the Scottish school holidays but not the English which meant there were probably more pre-school kids. The kids tended to be very well behaved and my boys were often asked how they were enjoying their holiday by the older passengers in the lifts. The shows – we thought the resident band in the live lounge were excellent. The dance floor was jumping on the first formal night. We also enjoyed the couple of shows we saw in the theatre. The productions are so polished and professional with fantastic scenery and costumes. Drinks – reasonably priced, high quality and lots of choice. We were late back to Southampton by a few hours due to two passengers having to be taken off the ship at Bergen due to illness and also a problem with the engine. As we had tickets booked for the Harry Potter Studios and as we were going to be back too late we were provided with free ship to shore phone calls and internet access to allow us to change our booking to the next morning. We were also kept well informed of what was happening by Captain Welsley (who sounded like a great character and we always enjoyed his cheery announcements). The ship also produced an adhoc newsletter informing passengers of the extra services being laid on due to our late arrival back into Southampton (including opening the kids club for a couple of hours in the morning, restaurants opening and the guy who normally sings in the Atrium putting on a one hour set at the poolside. The unplanned extended stay really was no hardship for us on a very warm, summers day. People have mentioned about the lack of stairs in the middle of the ship. We had no problems. Fair enough, we might have to wait a couple of minutes occasionally but it really wasn’t a problem. We tended to use the stairs most of the time anyway as a there were only around 8 steps between floors. I can appreciate however if the stairs weren’t an option then this could be frustrating. People tended to be very accommodating in the lifts though and would make room to help people get from a to b. During his first address to the ship the Captain did ask able-bodied passengers to be considerate to those who weren’t able to use the stairs. Even after 7 days were still regularly losing our bearings and we made good use of the ship plans on the walls. It gave us a laugh though and our 5 year old had the best sense of direction out of all of us. Norway: A beautiful country. Flaam being a particular highlight. Stunning scenery and our one organised trip to the Viking Village which was excellent. We were happy to wander ourselves at the other ports although after half an hour the boys were normally itching to get back to the ship and kids club. Bergen was another highlight. A lovely city and we enjoyed the Fenicular (due to poor weather in the morning we didn’t leave the ship until lunchtime but only had to queue around 30 minutes). The weather through the week was generally rainy and around 10/12 degrees. Not one for the sun worshipers. Saying that, it didn’t stop us doing anything we wanted to and the boys got to use the pool on the sea days. To conclude, would I sail with P&O again? Absolutely! Thank you for a fantastic first cruise experience. Just to add, I’m sorry to read all the negative press in the last week. It’s so far removed from our experience. Read Less
SOS
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Day 4 in Malaga due to engineering problem. This appears to have been kown about for some time - is its coincidence the remedial work was undertaken on a longer length cruise? I think not. On a 20 day cruise thats a lot of time. One post ... Read More
Day 4 in Malaga due to engineering problem. This appears to have been kown about for some time - is its coincidence the remedial work was undertaken on a longer length cruise? I think not. On a 20 day cruise thats a lot of time. One post missed so far with warning of changed itinerary to come Communication bad, yesterday found a message on return from day out to advise another day in port. With modern technology this could have been achieved by group email/ SMS. ship noticeably cleaner after infection control measures were taken to avoid potential norovirus outbreak. Food awful. Limited choice and poor culinary skills. It's truly a bad day when you are likely to return from a cruise lighter than you arrives onboard. Cabin and restaurant excellent. I can only conclude this is the reason many people are so loyal to them. In the present cruising climate they need a serious shakeup if they want to continue to make happy cruise memories. Read Less
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