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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We’ve sailed with p & o on several occasions now, and I choose P & O because I loved the attentiveness of staff, the cabin cleanliness and the quality of the entertainment. Unfortunately, for us, it didn’t match to our ... Read More
We’ve sailed with p & o on several occasions now, and I choose P & O because I loved the attentiveness of staff, the cabin cleanliness and the quality of the entertainment. Unfortunately, for us, it didn’t match to our expectations. Our room was spotless, as was the whole ship. The attentiveness of staff was very lacking. We could go int9 a bar and not be served for over half an hour. If we went to the bar to request a drink, we were told to sit down and someone would come and take our order. Mostly, they didn’t. The entertainment was disappointing too. On previous P & O Cruises we have always found the theatre shows to be outstanding and so much entertainment on in the Horizon magazine that we have been virtually running from one venue to another time catch the great acts. Sadly, not on this cruise. I’m not sure if it was the fault of the entertainment crew or not but why would you put Whitney House n soundalike in one theatre and Diva’s in the other on the same night?! Again one night with a magician in one place and a mind reader in another?! It didn’t make sense to us. The resident band Pulse, thought they were better than they obviously were. One thing for everyone to bear in mind when booking a cruise to the Norweigan Fjords is that there cannot be any sail away parties on top deck as it’s against Norwegian policies to have music on deck at any of the Norwegian ports. This is something that’s not made aware to you when you book the cruise. Also, you cannot use plastic Britannia flags at a ‘sail on’ anymore and neither do they give them out (because of the harmful effects on the enviroment). We had a sail on party in the Atrium instead but it’s no where near the same. I’m not trying to sway anyone’s mind here, this is just a view of hw we found our cruise. I was shocked how different this cruise was to m last one with Pn& O but I’m not sure entirely what.m Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I have lucky to have cruised quite a bit over the last 15 years, on a number of different ships and different cruise lines. With PO I have experienced Azura, Britannia and Oceana but I am sad to say that over the years I have seen a ... Read More
I have lucky to have cruised quite a bit over the last 15 years, on a number of different ships and different cruise lines. With PO I have experienced Azura, Britannia and Oceana but I am sad to say that over the years I have seen a steady decline in the cruising experience offered by PO. I was able to experiance the Azura in its ingrual year and a quite a few times since. Although it clearly is ready for a re-fit, this is not the main reason review. I have tried to be as fair as possibe and give merit when derserved and not so good service where experianced. Embarkation; As expected at Southampton, CPS was bit bit slow nd it took around an hour queing in a car line to wait to be able to check in luggge. Luggage porters were in short supply so be prepared to load your cases into the loading bays yourself. We did not see any Ship staff in the Embarkation area on this cruise, but not a big issue. Check in and security ok, did not take for ever this time! As we have been in this ship a number of times, did not stop for photos but they seemed to be more organised this time and there was not pressured sale rotuine - There were a lot of first time cruisers this time and a definate lack of ship staff greet them and help with finding cabins etc. First time we have experianced this on any cruise ship, maybe this is due to cutbacks. Cabin; Looking a bit tired but OK. We had a balcony on C deck, which was nice only issue was the balcony furiture was very old and mismatched and we only had one footstall! We noticed that other cabins had much nicer and newer furniture, maybe ours was the last cabin on their list. Cabin Steward, excellant,greeted ius on arrival, knew our names and delivered ice as requiested without fail. Kept our cabin really clean, tempted to say that they were the best we have experianced on any ship for a long time. Luggage arrived promptly, and we were able to unpack before depature. Dinning: Big improvement on this ship, did not have one bad meal. Service staff efficent, and friently - well done PO! Entertaimnent and activities: In general the entertament was not good. Starting with Headliners only 2 shows in 7 days and both were not great. After being on another cruise where the show were really good and entaining, the cast members interated with the passangers, the number of productions they did were professional and far in excess of PO limp offering. To put in context these show were the worst I have seen in 15 years of cruising. PO have a band called pulse on most of there ships, on the Britannia they were great, young and fun and played great music and good singers, On other cruises on Azura they were also good, but this time the singer lacked personalilty and voice. The other acts were also not great, to many commedians. Other activities: Not a lot of offer other than Spa talks, occasional quiz and sales pitches, what happened to lectures, hosted art and crafts etc etc, very poor on this ship have experienced much better. One good point though, great new sunbeds!c Service:There seem to be a large cutback in staff in the lounges and very oftern we had to order our drinks from the bar then wait 30 minutes for them to arrive at our table. On a few occassions we have to retrive our cruise card and cancel drinks due to time restraints. 30 minutes is too long to wait, 10 minutes acceptable. Port and Shore Exursions: We did not use PO exursions and arranged our own, Norway is beautiful and a lot to do. But be aware it is expensive. The big question is would I go again; I would serioulsy have to think about Cruising with PO again. We tend to pick cruises for their ports of call. I have been with PO on quite a few occassions but this could be our last cruise with them. As a first cruise experience its ok, but I feel there is much better available. Although their drinks/bar prices and cheaper than their counterparts, their cruises are not always better value, the rest of the cruise service/experience they offer is not as good and I feel you get much more for you hard earned money on other cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second cruise with P and O, the first being last year on Britannia, which was disappointing. We have cruised with different companies previously so do have some idea of expectations! We returned from a cruise to Norway on ... Read More
This was our second cruise with P and O, the first being last year on Britannia, which was disappointing. We have cruised with different companies previously so do have some idea of expectations! We returned from a cruise to Norway on Ventura yesterday we were disappointed to find that there was a lack of activities during the cruise. The tables in some of the bars and on the tables on deck 15 were not cleaned after use. There didn't seem to be enough staff to serve guests in any of the bars and we were not the only ones who failed to be served in the exchange or on deck 15. Some staff we found to be rude. This was not what we expected. We ate in the restaurant and in the Glass house. The Glass house was excellent, it is a shame that the same can not be said for the main restaurant, we were either rushed through courses and left with the menu for desserts for a cknsiderable period, on some occasions we were asked if we wanted cheese and coffee and others not and felt that although we were asked, we shouldnt have said yes we wanted both, there didnt seem any consistency within the restaurants Read Less
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 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
Sail Date: July 2019
We booked on this cruise long before the news of Oriana's sale broke, because Svalbard was on the destination list. The cruise itself was blessed with good weather for nearly all of the port days and even some sea days, and the ... Read More
We booked on this cruise long before the news of Oriana's sale broke, because Svalbard was on the destination list. The cruise itself was blessed with good weather for nearly all of the port days and even some sea days, and the sea was calm throughout. We had some foggy days which kept the ship's siren busy, but otherwise the cruise went very well. The Oriana offers large amounts of deck space and it was very sad to disembark her at Southampton for the final time on the 9th August. We did have one medical emergency during the cruise requiring a helicopter evacuation, which was handled very professionally by the captain Sarah Breton, but it did not disrupt our itinerary. The cruise to the glaciers in Svalbard was made in calm and clear weather, which gave us stunning views and a lifetime's worth of fantastic memories. At some ports we partook of the ship's excursions, whilst at others we did our own thing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've ... Read More
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've decided to stay in Southampton the night before, so was a couple of hours early for my designated embarkation time. I was able to go onboard an hour earlier and the whole process was seamless. Our cabins wasn't ready yet, so I used the opportunity to have a look around the ship and had some lunch. The Britannia is a beautiful ship and the atrium did take my breath away the first time I saw it. I opted for a single balcony cabin on Deck 16 so that I can make the most of the scenary travelling through the fjords. It was worth every penny and early mornings and late evenings was spend on the balcony watching the world go by. My cabin was very spacious for a single and had everything I needed for a very comfortable stay including plenty of wardrobe space and spacious shower cubicle. Patrick, the Cabin Steward was very helpful and friendly. I've mainly opted to eat in the Horizon buffet and there were always plenty of choice and variety. The food is replenished very often, so I never had to worry about getting cold or slightly soggy food. I thought the quality of the food was really good. I used Freedom Dining on two occassions in the Peninsular Restaurant and again the food was of a very high standard. Although the entertainment was quite varied, I only really enjoyed the group "Pulse" and thought their "Tribute Night" was brilliant. We were very lucky to have good weather so on the 2 sea days the pool area were quite busy. I opted to go one deck up that overlooks the pool area and always had plenty of sun loungers to choose from. Despite the amount of passengers that were on the cruise, it never felt claustrophobic...I never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to be served at the bar, I always managed to get a table in the buffet by the window (my preference) and I could always find a little quite corner (on deck or inside in one of the many communal areas) to read a book and just find some peace and quite. I've booked 2 shore excursions with P&O and did 2 on my own. I must admit, the excursions were a bit over priced in my view, but I still had a very enjoyable time. All the crew I've encountered were very helpful, friendly and professional. Disembarkation was well organised and I thought the letter we've received the day before to explain the disembarkation process and arrangements was a really good idea. Seeing the Norwegian fjords has been on my "must see list" for a very long time and doing it on the Britannia was brilliant. I'm looking forward to returning to her next year for a 14 night Mediterranean cruise. Our cruise was the one that unfortunately made the headlines due to the actions of a very small group of passengers. However, all credit to Captain Paul Brown and his crew for dealing with this incident so professionally and discreetly. Other than the tannoy announcement I had no idea what happened and it didn't spoil my last day onboard. I only saw it on the news after I got home on Saturday. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at ... Read More
We have done 4 previous cruises, all with Celebrity (Equinox, Silhouette twice and Reflection) but when looking for a fjords cruise it was this one on Britannia that appealed based purely on itinerary. The price was not a major factor at the time but was certainly welcome as less expensive than Celebrity, plus our first non-fly cruise, which not only saves more money but is a lot easier and gives flexibility for luggage - great for when you have to pack suits for formal nights and a fair bit of clothing knowing we could have any kind of weather. This review is not written purely as a comparative exercise, but given our only previous points of reference have been on Celebrity it was a natural thing to do, so I will draw out the main differences we noted and which we preferred. Some things are really the 'little extras' that add to a more luxury experience, that come with Celebrity, but we also acknowledge they come with a price tag. So drawing attention to them is not necessarily a criticism, simply an observation of what you may not get with P&O but which you pay for to get on Celebrity. Once booked we did have some apprehension as it seemed most people who'd sailed both lines came down clearly in favour of Celebrity, and a couple of forums online seemed to attract some horribly snobby people. We don't mind dressing up for a formal night but do object to people who seem to think that cruising is only about dressing up and when conversations turned to the newly introduced drinks packages 'attracting the wrong sort of people' we wondered what we were letting ourselves in for! Luckily I found some other groups with more normal people and while we appreciated there would be more formality than Celebrity have, we were prepared to embrace it. In advance I had looked into what we'd do on each of our port days and one thing I did notice was how much more affordable the ship's own excursions were compared to Celebrity. We prefer to do our own thing, or go with a small private group, but for various reasons found that harder to sort this time on 2 days so opted (initally reluctantly) to book with P&O and were pleasantly surprised at the cost. The only other reservation I had which we could do nothing about, was the amount of children on board, as this was our first cruise in school holidays. Having got 4 kid between us, all now grown up, we do enjoy being able to avoid other 'little darlings' on our holidays but due to a number of factors had booked this knowing it would be holiday time, but hoping that the fjords would be less of a family attraction than a Med cruise. On the day we embarked we had stayed a couple of hours from Southampton and had opted for inclusive car parking with CPS. Their directions, along with sat nav, were nice and clear and we found our way to the correct gate easily. We'd been given an arrival time of 3pm and had heard mixed stories about whether we'd be able to get on early or would have to wait. As it worked out, we arrived at the dock gate around 1.30pm. CPS staff directed us efficiently and advised we would have to wait in a queue for a little while, We saw some people who knew the score taking cases out onto trollies but we just waited for only 10-15 mins before being asked to drive forward. Another CPS person then told us we should unload our cases and take a trolley as there were very few porters now. There was no feeling of being rushed, she was polite and helpful and it was a nice calm experience. We handed over the key and headed off to a loading area just across the road where our trollies went onto a conveyor belt and we went to the departure area. We were able to pack my husband's suits into a proper suit carrier and put that through as checked luggage which made things much easier, especially as we had in our hand luggage one small wheeled case containing bottles of drink :) Yes, we were allowed to take a litre each of wine or spirits, plus whatever soft drinks we wanted, for drinking in our cabin, so we took advantage to save us a bit of spending money. More helpful staff inside checked our tickets and then gave us a card with a letter on it, telling us to go wait in the lounge until called, saying we would have enough time to get a drink if we wanted; this was around 2pm. There was plenty of seating and a small but well stocked cafe. We were duly called into the line for check in around 2.45 and this moved along nicely so no standing waiting too much, and so we met our 3pm time in the end! We made our way onto the ship and the first thing we noticed was that we were greeted with a smile but no glass of bubbly! We were directed to some lifts where we noticed there were also stairs - these aren't always open on 'normal' days and the lifts did have quite a wait on them but we weren't lugging the drinks up the stairs! Once out the lift we made our way to the cabin and were delighted to find our cases were already there waiting for us. Full cabin review is provided below We'd taken a look at the Horizon daily leaflet telling us what was going on and when. There was quite a lot on but we're not really into doing a lot other than maybe a quiz. Similarly, we were not majorly fussed on the theatre shows unless something had seemed exceptional. We were pretty sure in advance we'd be fairly low key on this week, so this review doesn't cover entertainment to any extent. We didn't go to the Headliners theatre which is where the main shows are, generally twice nightly, and also used for other events during the day. Although we chose not to go to any shows on board, I did like the fact they had late sessions so one could comfortably eat at say 8pm and then go to the late show after. On Celebrity we often found ourselves having to get ready early to get to the first show and then eat, as we rarely enjoy eating dinner earlier. We did make it into the studio, another small theatre style venue, but that was only for muster! We decided to take a wander around the ship before things got busy and get an idea of what was where, and give an idea of where we'd want to be spending our time over the next week. The first thing we had found out was the lift and stair locations. There are fore, mid and aft lifts, but staircases only fully available for and aft. In mid the stairs only go to deck 7. This caught us out a few times as we often lost track of where we were and decided to walk stairs only to find there weren't any! There are also some areas where it's not possible to walk through so you need to be at the right level. More than one occasion we went down to deck 6, arrived at the Oriental restaurant and could go nowhere else without going back up to deck 7 and across. My Fitbit did well during the week! The ship is big and very long and this is most obvious when finding your way round. The little map we were given on embarkation was invaluable along with the wall plaque diagrams by the lifts. Took us a little while find those as they are not very obvious as signage goes. The lifts were definitely one of the less impressive things. In any lift area there seemed to be a couple that we never saw in action. Lifts were slow to arrive, and sometimes seemed to skip floors out altogether. On one occasion in a lift it announced deck 11 but was still at previous deck 10, the lift floor indicator was flashing between 10 and 11 and then we stopped at 12. We got out saying we'd get the stairs back down a floor only to realise we were mid ship and no stairs. The lift/stair thing never ceased to be something of an irritant! The overall feel of the ship was one of size but well used. I've described the different areas in more detail below, but our overall impression was of space and simplicity. Decor was uncluttered and unfussy with an immediate contrast with the vast range of art on Celebrity ships, which is found pretty much everywhere, in any corridor, any wall space and on all stairwells. I generally preferred this more simply style on Britannia, although in some areas a little more colour wouldn’t have gone amiss. Where we did appreciate space was in the atrium where it was given over to seating for the bars/cafes downstairs. It was also used as a space for showcasing the restaurants and activities, and worked well for that purpose; it manages this as the guest services area is kept away from the central space. What I did feel the ship lacked was a central focal point for activities in evenings as there is a different focus in different areas at different times. If you like Celebrity with the cafe on 5, Martini Bar on 4 and then music from 3 with people generally all involved from each deck, you will miss this on Britannia. That's not to say we didn't find a nice 'home' in the evenings but it is a very different feel, more low key. When we had done our last cruise on Celebrity Reflection we had felt a bit disappointed in a number of areas where we felt that the basic provision in terms of bar space was same as on the smaller ships in the class, pretty much same layout, but catering for an extra deck of passengers. To us it felt busy and harder to get service, and we were concerned about how things would feel on the even busier Britannia but the increased ship size of this P&O flagship meant it did not feel overly crowded. Another vote in favour of P&O so far, things were looking up a lot more than we'd expected Read Less
5 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have sailed on a dozen occasions with P&O including three previous cruises on Ventura. We previously enjoyed our cruises on Ventura several years ago and wanted to cruise on the ship again. We have been regular cruisers several ... Read More
We have sailed on a dozen occasions with P&O including three previous cruises on Ventura. We previously enjoyed our cruises on Ventura several years ago and wanted to cruise on the ship again. We have been regular cruisers several times each year for 15 years and aware of the standards of service to be expected and normally provided. We noticed a significant fall in standards in the dining room compared with our earlier Ventura cruises. Table clothes were often dirty and stained and not changed between diners. Butter dishes were left between consecutive diners with visible signs of part use and contamination. Cutlery was left on the tables between consecutive diners. On two occasions we asked for some items of cutlery to be replaced as these appeared to have already been used. On another occasion, the waiter openly removed a fork from my starter plate and replaced it on the table to be used for the next course. On day three, we arrived at “Amsterdam” - the port had been changed since our booking was made to somewhere an hours coach journey from Amsterdam. We were informed that Amsterdam had introduced a new passenger charge for the original port which P&O had decided not to pay. The result was an extra two hours of inconvenient coach travel for passengers to get to and from the destination. Far worse, was that when we finally reached the places we wished to visit, entrance tickets for the whole day had been sold out. We returned to the shuttle bus stop early afternoon to find a queue 203 passengers (I had time to count them) and no sign of coaches. When coaches finally began to arrive (after approaching an hour queuing) it was clear that no planning had gone in to managing loading passengers. The hour wait meant the queue now had 400 passengers in a queue. Many passengers had arrived during the wait who had disability challenges. Six empty coaches arrived together and staff concentrated on first loading those with disabilities on all six coaches before loading passengers from the queue on to any of the coaches. This was completely illogical given that once wheelchair users had boarded the first coach other passengers could have boarded and the coach made its way and so on. We waited an hour and 44 minutes in the queue before leaving on the coach. Having to stand (unnecessarily) for such a period led to my knee being injured and I’m certain caused harm to others. We had been looking forward to the cruise itinerary of “two days overnight” stay in Amsterdam” but the next day my wife had to obtain a wheelchair for me as I could not walk and, like many others would not have wished to repeat the shuttle debacle of the previous day. I complained about the shuttle arrangements at the excursions desk. I was told that this was a new arrangement and it was being trialled by them to see if it worked! No apology was offered by P&O staff to the many customers unknowingly submitted to this disastrous experiment. After three days of using a wheelchair ( I’ve never previously had mobility difficulties), my wife explained to the excursions desk that we could not do the excursion we had booked. The staff member informed us there would not be a refund unless I obtained a certificate from the ships doctor (at an equivalent cost of the tour we had booked)! We paid an additional charge to use the Oasis quiet area and steam rooms to relax. Steam rooms were out of order (being painted). Infusers in the relaxation area were not topped up and working and... the disabled toilet facilities had visible faeces present for two days! The Oasis quiet area did not have its no mobile phones rule enforced by staff who stood by whilst an element shouted at their phones using Skype. The theatre entertainment and other performers also held little to write home about and were considerably poorer quality than the high standards we’ve seen before on P&O. Our many previous cruises with P&O spread over five of their ships have been enjoyable but this one was simply awful. Customer service, cleanliness and standards are extremely low on Ventura and I would not recommend this ship which fails miserably to live up to the standards which are expected of P&O . We have booked a suite on Iona in 2020 with roughly the same itinerary which hopefully, will restore our faith in P&O. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted an adult only cruise in the peak summer period. This was our first P and O cruise for a few years and boy have they joined the race for the bottom. Prepare to pay for anything and everything that makes the cruise a little ... Read More
We wanted an adult only cruise in the peak summer period. This was our first P and O cruise for a few years and boy have they joined the race for the bottom. Prepare to pay for anything and everything that makes the cruise a little special. When did they start charging for room sevice?? Drinks prices on the rise to encourage the packages? Postives- Large cabin with decent size shower. White company products. Ports of call very pleasant. Shore excursions enjoyable. Tea and coffee in room. Costa coffee available. Pricing in GBP and not $ or EURO. Buffet food not too bad. Meeting shore excursion on the pier much better than sitting in a theatre. However We arrived at Southampton and the embarkation was delayed and chaotic due to a faulty gangway. No cruise staff to be seen, no water available and no chairs in the part of the building we were stuck in. The dock staff told us the equipment breaks down all the time as if this was meant to make us feel any better. Arcadia is really looking tired. Rusty and unkempt. It really needs radical work or selling on. Our balcony cabin was tatty with broken binoculars and filthy furniture. It just feels like they have given up on it. The carpets were curling up and should have been replaced. Our steward looked weary and now the tips are included did little to go the extra mile. The clientele was very old, very white and it had the ambience of the local Royal British Legion. Service was pretty dire we had the laughable 'freedom dining' which means share a table or always wait 45 minutes. Not once did a waiter introduce themselves. They just plonked the food down and rushed off to the next table. If you got a wine waiter once you were doing well. No point in having a drinks package as you would struggle to get a refill. The captain was miserable and avoided all contact with the customers. I guess that attitude works it way down the crew ladder. The smell of sewage/drains was ever present around deck three. How can they leave that situation unchecked? The casino slots were museum worthy. How tricky is it to replace the slot machines once every decade? This will be our final cruise with P & O. Princess and Celebrity give a better service even If they also have some older ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
we chose this cruise as it was short and e073 cabin was available read on bigest problem with cabin,the embarkation was a shambles the trips were poorly organised went to cherbourg on Bastille day evertwhwere was closed next stop santander ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it was short and e073 cabin was available read on bigest problem with cabin,the embarkation was a shambles the trips were poorly organised went to cherbourg on Bastille day evertwhwere was closed next stop santander no courtesy bus into town very long walk bearing in mind this cruise is mainly for older folks with walking difficulties do P&O care no they dont,we all know how the British love to queue well P&O love people to do that the whole standard of thic cruise company sadly has dropped,they seem to be theonly ship that use a lorry and crain to get the disembarkation gangways fixed seems every thing is being done on the cheap,the only nice thing i can say about this cruise ai that the food was good apart from the piles of green beans, most of the staff were good but not all as we have found before,didnt like the constant smell of paint round the ship painting every day with a radiator roller and one inch brush probably why it takes so long Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
we chose this cruise as first time cruisers and to see Etna, also to celebrate my big birthday. What a disappointment. First we were informed by P & O that we would not be stopping at Messina ( Etna ) due to remedial work that ... Read More
we chose this cruise as first time cruisers and to see Etna, also to celebrate my big birthday. What a disappointment. First we were informed by P & O that we would not be stopping at Messina ( Etna ) due to remedial work that needed doing in Malaga, Now a print out given to us on our last day a board stated that 22 divers plus equipment was coming over from USA to do the work, now that was not organised in 24 hours!! The work took longer than stated & we eventually sailed at 12:07 am four days later. During this time any information from the bridge was sparse, nothing from the Cap'tain' for 2 days. Norovirus then broke out.....just what you need on your holiday, again very little Health Education or advice from the Bridge, on one occasion the Captain could not even say the word 'symptom' Swimming pool had to be drained after what looked like faeces floating in the water. Rust on ship, and very little care taken to spruce her up. Davets on lifeboats would not retract one life boat at Dubrovnik, so more delays, also due to the long stay in Malaga we could not moor up at quay in Dubrovnik and had to use the tenders but only if you passed the step test which meant another location missed by many. Cabin adequate and bed comfy, Dining staff & waiters excellent and polite but officers rude and snobby. This cost £6.500 pounds, was it well spent? I dont think so. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Love Norway good memories of deceased partner. The food left a lot to be desired often only warm, uninspired boring. Had one meai in beach club excellent as was the service, 2 meals in self service very nice. Was put on a singles table ... Read More
Love Norway good memories of deceased partner. The food left a lot to be desired often only warm, uninspired boring. Had one meai in beach club excellent as was the service, 2 meals in self service very nice. Was put on a singles table disaster I was a man paired with 5 women ranging between 65ish to mid nineties could not gat a dcent conversation disaster. I am a very outgoing person and have made good friends on other cruises not on this one.Most staff friendly an d helpful. Excursions way over price [I booked direct[ Worse of alll I got Noro again thanks P&O again I got a bad cold sore throat and head ace Despite using my own sanitizer plush ships own The port days were enjoyable so it wasnt an entire disaster. The young lady who helped me disembark was a treasure. The valet parking was efficient and easy but all in all disapointing Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because it included all the most beautiful fjords and port stops that I had seen recommended on various websites. Stops included Eidfjord, Flåm, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Andalsnes and Olden. Twelve nights obviously ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included all the most beautiful fjords and port stops that I had seen recommended on various websites. Stops included Eidfjord, Flåm, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Andalsnes and Olden. Twelve nights obviously gives you a broader experience than just seven. Not for you if you want to go further north in Norway or combine fjords with other countries. I had very high expectations for the scenery, and it definitely did not disappoint — just incredible! The best shore excursion was from Olden, taking a boat ride on a lake called Lovatnet (get seats on open-air upper level to take photos). We handled our time ashore differently depending on the port — sometimes just on our own, sometimes with an excursion offered by P&O, and sometimes with an excursion we booked ourselves. It was our first time on P&O and we liked it a lot. No complaints at all. Nice to have no children on this cruise. Food was excellent, everything was very well-run, inside cabin worked very nicely for us, and we enjoyed several of the entertainers. Almost all the cruise passengers were British, and since we are Americans this added a very interesting and pleasant aspect to our experience. Read Less
2 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Wanted value for money to cooler place in summer. Had read mixed reviews . wanted to find out for ourselves. Speaking to others, you love it or hate it. Marmite ship was someones description. Geared to under 50s = constant background ... Read More
Wanted value for money to cooler place in summer. Had read mixed reviews . wanted to find out for ourselves. Speaking to others, you love it or hate it. Marmite ship was someones description. Geared to under 50s = constant background carcophany of pop music apart from last 2 days when the food also seemed to improve slightly too. Small balconies with swing doors requiring loungers to be in position to hold them open = noise. Pivot doors taking up space in already small shower rooms. Duvets too heavy and pillows with no resilience. Smaller lifts gave rise to queues.especially for disabled and some passengers were not overly polite or aware/bothered! Some plain rude.Spacious ship though = easier getting about. Public areas were freezing. Cold outside 11 to 13 degrees but do not expect inside to be the same! Complained = ignored! Contradiction was that many .passengers seem happy to roam in flip flops ,shorts and vest! Sunbathing even. How? Why? Booked car in St Petersburg.Kind helpful very pleasant in spite of having no knowledge of our needs from P&O. Complained = smiley apology! Cobbles we were aware but for wrong shuttle drop off presenting more huge cobbles.No.Other wheelchair users were so afflicted, Complained =smiley apology. Peninsular restaurant = yellow broccoli. Complained got extra dish of it! Black eyed potatos , Sloppy prawn cocktail, Plum pudding with scone for sponge on top. Carrot cheesecake =dry cake.Inadequate over embellished menu with slow service altering to rushed 1/2 hour before closing time. Limelight Club read Ruth Madoc and Hi Di Hi. Food and service abysmal, Starter was 4 small breadsticks and 8 1/2 inch cubes of something.... to share! This, spaced out over 2 hours because the act was scheduled to play in sections.Paid £70 pounds for this! Not happy. Gareth Gates was superb however.Excellent singer . Wish he had sung 1 or Frank Sinatra as his early years. Lecturer Dave Wright was also superb. Heard every word and entertaining delivery made for good assimilation of facts. = Romanovs, Russian Revolution, St George and Mary Queen of Scots. Amazed with 3,600 passengers and small lifts, self help people at disembarcation were given the same time as the rest for vacating cabins. Chaos! Some people were juggling 4 maxi size suitcases! [2 week cruise!] 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Although being promised that standards on Oriana would maintain or exceed our cruises last year, this was not the case. One port was amended before we commenced the cruise and another was cancelled due to our berth at Dublin being ... Read More
Although being promised that standards on Oriana would maintain or exceed our cruises last year, this was not the case. One port was amended before we commenced the cruise and another was cancelled due to our berth at Dublin being unavaiable! Due to engine issues we still managed to be back in Southampton approximately 10 hours ahead of schedule...... still trying to understand this. Our Cabin was well looked after by Dina. Food stanards and variety were not as on previous cruises-but restaurant staff continued to provide exceptional service, replacing a meal where the meat could not be cut no matter how i tried. Entertainment was at best mediocre with the only exceptions being the Shamrock Tenors, Gaels Afloat and Anita Mays. The service from the future cruise desk was poor and had to be reminded that we were waiting for a quotation for a future Carribean cruise.Embarkation and Disembarkation were excellent. Read Less
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