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P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October 2015

Re: P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby pisces55 » 19 Oct 2015 18:56

Great review and fab photos Marie really enjoyed reading it. We are on Britannia November 2016, so maybe by that time they will have a few of the negatives ironed out. We have been reading a lot of reviews about Britannia, yours is very good compared to some we have read.
Marie can I ask a question, what was it that you didn't like about Limelight Club, I know when I looked at the Menus they didn't look very appetising, its just that we thought it was something different.

Thanks again Marie
Diane

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P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby Wansbrough » 20 Oct 2015 10:32

I have now read the full and finished post and would just like to say thank you and well done for such a thorough review. I hope it will prove to be a useful resource for anyone considering a cruise on this ship. :thumbup:

Well done you. :clap:
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Re: P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby grannyM » 20 Oct 2015 10:46

pisces55 wrote:Great review and fab photos Marie really enjoyed reading it. We are on Britannia November 2016, so maybe by that time they will have a few of the negatives ironed out. We have been reading a lot of reviews about Britannia, yours is very good compared to some we have read.
Marie can I ask a question, what was it that you didn't like about Limelight Club, I know when I looked at the Menus they didn't look very appetising, its just that we thought it was something different.

Thanks again Marie


Thank you for reading my review and your nice comments Diane. :)

The Limelight Club - We are a bit weird about very formal regulated things like this so it's only our opinion Diane but for us it didn't work. T

The cover charge is around £25. You can book online before the cruise or do as we did and wait until you are onboard.

The place is quite darkly decorated compared to the rest of the ship. The lighting is fake limelights and we thought the whole atmosphere rather dull and subdued. I don't have any photos and was going to try and explain how the tables were set up but found this by Googling which gives a better idea. This photo is taken from the small stage looking towards the bar and the entrance with tables in front of the stage in the middle of the room with tables and banquettes either side of the middle.

Image.

You will perhaps see from the photo, for most tables someone has their back to the stage and they have turn their chairs when the act comes on.

You have to book beforehand for whoever you want to see. Most of the artists on our cruise did 2/3 nights each. You can book whichever size of table you prefer but a table is not reserved for you. It's a first come first serve for the best tables. The doors are only opened at 7pm and so we went down around 6.50 as advised. There must have been people waiting since 6pm by the look of the queue when we arrived. Waiters were lined up at the entrance to take you to a table after your booking had been checked and confirmed by the maitre d'. By the time a waiter showed us in the place was almost full. He took us to an area left of middle (that is to the right of the photo) and ask us where we would like to sit. I was quickly just taking the first table for two we stopped at but the nice young man did point out that there was a pillar which would obstruct the view of the stage. By this time you are conscious of more people coming behind you and so we just sat at the next table we came to. We quickly realised after we sat down that it was not the best table we could have picked but that was our own fault. T's chair had his back to the stage and the pillar was still obvious. He could see behind me two larger banquettes which were only set for two so we thought we could ask to be moved. Too late being polite as they were both filled before we could ask. It was all my fault because I panicked and it could have been avoided. Just to add to the desire to kick myself was that we were in one of those situations were the table for two to the right of us was very close beside us and had a woman on it with a very high pitched voice who never shut up throughout the whole meal. Every time a plate was laid down at our places she told her husband what we were having and compared it to her own.

Anyway, that is all incidental. The set up with the meal and cabaret is that you are served the starter and main course then the act comes on to do a 15min introduction. Those unfortunate enough to have their backs to the stage are told to turn their chairs around! When this is finished, chairs are turned again, the desert and coffee are then served. After everyone has finished, you have to turn your chair again and the artists comes back on for the main part of the act. The menu only had two choices for every course neither of which were very inspiring. The food was mediocre at best and the desert was dreadful. We thought the service was pretty swift but quite a bit after we had finished our main course we could see that there were still main courses being served at other tables across the room. We later found out from a couple we met that who had been there on a different night that they had to wait ages for the main course in a similar situation.

The best bit about the whole evening obviously was Kiki Dee & Carmelo and as fortune would have it the young couple to the left of us left after the meal before the second set and offered us their larger table with a better view so we could both see the stage without T having to turn his chair yet again. In all it lasted about 3 hours and by that time we were glad to get out of there.

My advice to anyone who wants to go to see a show is, obviously if you can, take your time when you get into the room and, depending on the size of your party, try for a banquette on either far wall. If it's a table for two you've booked don't just assume the choice is limited to the little tables. If you see a larger table only set for two grab it. If you can't do that look for the small ones that don't have another right next to you. There are several either side of the stage that are in a single row down the room and so both people then have a good view of the stage without chair turning back and forth all night.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by grannyM on 20 Oct 2015 10:58, edited 6 times in total.
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P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby grannyM » 20 Oct 2015 10:48

Wansbrough wrote:I have now read the full and finished post and would just like to say thank you and well done for such a thorough review. I hope it will prove to be a useful resource for anyone considering a cruise on this ship. :thumbup:

Well done you. :clap:


Why thank you kind sir for your appreciated comments. :oops:
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P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby johnwales » 20 Oct 2015 12:36

I think this review has been well thought out, and is probably very accurate. The most worrying part is the overloading of the lift facilities, which could be very inconvenient for elderly or infirm passengers. The ship is obviously too large and the reference to it being a block of flats is really real. It is disappointing that there are issues with the officers and crew. Although it cannot be expected that they say good morning or afternoon to all 3,000 odd passengers, it would be nice to think that they made an effort to be more friendly.
I dread to think how a ship the size of Britannia would cope with a major incident, particularly in inclement weather. Evacuation from such a mammoth liner would be a formidable task, and no amount of pre sailing drills would make this task easier. My recommendation is travel on smaller more intimate vessels.
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P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby grannyM » 20 Oct 2015 13:03

johnwales wrote:I think this review has been well thought out, and is probably very accurate. The most worrying part is the overloading of the lift facilities, which could be very inconvenient for elderly or infirm passengers. The ship is obviously too large and the reference to it being a block of flats is really real. It is disappointing that there are issues with the officers and crew. Although it cannot be expected that they say good morning or afternoon to all 3,000 odd passengers, it would be nice to think that they made an effort to be more friendly.
I dread to think how a ship the size of Britannia would cope with a major incident, particularly in inclement weather. Evacuation from such a mammoth liner would be a formidable task, and no amount of pre sailing drills would make this task easier. My recommendation is travel on smaller more intimate vessels.


I thank you for your recommendation johnwales. However, it is not something that is of interest to me. We are more than happy with our choice of the size of cruise ships we sail on. My 'block of flats' comment was tongue in cheek because of the number of times the term is used in a derisory fashion from those who prefer the 'smaller more intimate vessels'. I am sure that was not lost on the members who know me. The 'block of flat' type ship is what we have always enjoyed sailing on and so in this respect Britannia was no different from past experiences for us.

This review is, as most on here are, an honest opinion based on the writer's experience. So for that reason I would question your use of 'probably accurate'. It is indeed an accurate account of our experience on Britannia. Good and not so good. It could be, and probably will be, completely different from someone else's experience.

You really are the cheery one, aren't you? Do we not all dread to think of how a ship, of any size, would cope with a major incident, particularly in inclement weather. Do you honestly think that it would not be a formidable task for any ship and that no amount of pre sailing drills would make easier. Please God none of us ever have to experience it and really, are you seriously suggesting that we all sail on little ships because we think they would be easier to evacuate?
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P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby Dave » 20 Oct 2015 16:45

johnwales wrote:I think this review has been well thought out, and is probably very accurate. The most worrying part is the overloading of the lift facilities, which could be very inconvenient for elderly or infirm passengers. The ship is obviously too large and the reference to it being a block of flats is really real. It is disappointing that there are issues with the officers and crew. Although it cannot be expected that they say good morning or afternoon to all 3,000 odd passengers, it would be nice to think that they made an effort to be more friendly.
I dread to think how a ship the size of Britannia would cope with a major incident, particularly in inclement weather. Evacuation from such a mammoth liner would be a formidable task, and no amount of pre sailing drills would make this task easier. My recommendation is travel on smaller more intimate vessels.

Ships of this size might not appeal to everyone, but I can't agree that Britannia's too large. It's a purely personal view, which of course you're entitled to have, and my personal view is that the size of the ship has little bearing on safety. Or perhaps I should say that I've seen no evidence that small ships are safer than large ships!

Before my first experience of a big ship - Ventura, I'd done a couple of hundred nights on Fred Olsen's small ships and I certainly had preconceived ideas about how much less friendly and intimate a big ship would be. As it turned out, I was right - but only about Ventura! Ventura did seem impersonal and we thought that many of the staff were quite unfriendly, so we returned to small ship cruising again. But eventually we tried big ships again and found that the staff on Costa and Celebrity were as pleasant and friendly as we could have hoped for. So we've become picky about cruise lines, but not the size of ships!
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P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby Dave » 20 Oct 2015 16:48

Hi Marie. Thanks for your account of the Limelight Club a few posts back. It was very interesting but it wouldn't appeal to us for all the reasons you gave.
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Re: P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby pisces55 » 20 Oct 2015 17:08

grannyM wrote:
pisces55 wrote:Great review and fab photos Marie really enjoyed reading it. We are on Britannia November 2016, so maybe by that time they will have a few of the negatives ironed out. We have been reading a lot of reviews about Britannia, yours is very good compared to some we have read.
Marie can I ask a question, what was it that you didn't like about Limelight Club, I know when I looked at the Menus they didn't look very appetising, its just that we thought it was something different.

Thanks again Marie


Thank you for reading my review and your nice comments Diane. :)

The Limelight Club - We are a bit weird about very formal regulated things like this so it's only our opinion Diane but for us it didn't work. T

The cover charge is around £25. You can book online before the cruise or do as we did and wait until you are onboard.

The place is quite darkly decorated compared to the rest of the ship. The lighting is fake limelights and we thought the whole atmosphere rather dull and subdued. I don't have any photos and was going to try and explain how the tables were set up but found this by Googling which gives a better idea. This photo is taken from the small stage looking towards the bar and the entrance with tables in front of the stage in the middle of the room with tables and banquettes either side of the middle.

Image.

You will perhaps see from the photo, for most tables someone has their back to the stage and they have turn their chairs when the act comes on.

You have to book beforehand for whoever you want to see. Most of the artists on our cruise did 2/3 nights each. You can book whichever size of table you prefer but a table is not reserved for you. It's a first come first serve for the best tables. The doors are only opened at 7pm and so we went down around 6.50 as advised. There must have been people waiting since 6pm by the look of the queue when we arrived. Waiters were lined up at the entrance to take you to a table after your booking had been checked and confirmed by the maitre d'. By the time a waiter showed us in the place was almost full. He took us to an area left of middle (that is to the right of the photo) and ask us where we would like to sit. I was quickly just taking the first table for two we stopped at but the nice young man did point out that there was a pillar which would obstruct the view of the stage. By this time you are conscious of more people coming behind you and so we just sat at the next table we came to. We quickly realised after we sat down that it was not the best table we could have picked but that was our own fault. T's chair had his back to the stage and the pillar was still obvious. He could see behind me two larger banquettes which were only set for two so we thought we could ask to be moved. Too late being polite as they were both filled before we could ask. It was all my fault because I panicked and it could have been avoided. Just to add to the desire to kick myself was that we were in one of those situations were the table for two to the right of us was very close beside us and had a woman on it with a very high pitched voice who never shut up throughout the whole meal. Every time a plate was laid down at our places she told her husband what we were having and compared it to her own.

Anyway, that is all incidental. The set up with the meal and cabaret is that you are served the starter and main course then the act comes on to do a 15min introduction. Those unfortunate enough to have their backs to the stage are told to turn their chairs around! When this is finished, chairs are turned again, the desert and coffee are then served. After everyone has finished, you have to turn your chair again and the artists comes back on for the main part of the act. The menu only had two choices for every course neither of which were very inspiring. The food was mediocre at best and the desert was dreadful. We thought the service was pretty swift but quite a bit after we had finished our main course we could see that there were still main courses being served at other tables across the room. We later found out from a couple we met that who had been there on a different night that they had to wait ages for the main course in a similar situation.

The best bit about the whole evening obviously was Kiki Dee & Carmelo and as fortune would have it the young couple to the left of us left after the meal before the second set and offered us their larger table with a better view so we could both see the stage without T having to turn his chair yet again. In all it lasted about 3 hours and by that time we were glad to get out of there.

My advice to anyone who wants to go to see a show is, obviously if you can, take your time when you get into the room and, depending on the size of your party, try for a banquette on either far wall. If it's a table for two you've booked don't just assume the choice is limited to the little tables. If you see a larger table only set for two grab it. If you can't do that look for the small ones that don't have another right next to you. There are several either side of the stage that are in a single row down the room and so both people then have a good view of the stage without chair turning back and forth all night.

Hope this helps.


Marie thank you so much for answering my question. Well I find it strange that you can book a table, but it wont be reserved for you, seems a bit daft. Don't no how we would get on because there is six of us and all that having to turn chairs back and forward. You would think they could have sorted this issue a bit better.
Think we will wait till we are on the ship before booking as I said before the sample menus didn't look that good. We still have a year to go and who knows what acts are going to be on.
Thanks again Marie for taking the time to answer my question much appreciated
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P&O Britannia - Azores, Canary Islands, Portugal & Spain - 25th September-9th October

Postby grannyM » 20 Oct 2015 17:25

pisces55 wrote:Marie thank you so much for answering my question. Well I find it strange that you can book a table, but it wont be reserved for you, seems a bit daft. Don't no how we would get on because there is six of us and all that having to turn chairs back and forward. You would think they could have sorted this issue a bit better.
Think we will wait till we are on the ship before booking as I said before the sample menus didn't look that good. We still have a year to go and who knows what acts are going to be on.
Thanks again Marie for taking the time to answer my question much appreciated


You are very welcome Diane. I think for 6 you would definitely be seated in a banquette but not sure if the couch would hold 6 comfortably for the meal part and it could involve any extra chairs being turned round. I would recommend that you wait until you are on the ship and it is possible, as we later found, to get a look at the seating in the room at a quiet time during the day. We now feel that's what we should have done but as always hindsight is a wonderful thing. :(
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