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Britannia

Britannia

Postby jsb » 15 Nov 2015 15:09

As P and O fans we were looking forward to trying their new ship, we have sailed on Ventura, Azura x 2 and Oceana x 2. The reviews of Britannia had been mixed but we went with an open mind.

We had a boarding time of 2.30 but had travelled to Southampton on Eavesway coaches so we had no say in our arrival time. We stepped off the coach at 1.30 and our hearts sank when we saw how busy it was in the terminal, we were given a card and expected to be sat around for ages but we were on board the ship by 2.10. Our cabin was ready and our luggage was already waiting for us, we dumped our hand luggage and went exploring. First impressions were positive, I loved the feel of the ship, it felt like a chic hotel.

We were pleased with our cabin, it was lovely and the big open wardrobe is a big plus. Our cabin steward wasn't the best, just little things, eg I didn't have a whistle on my life jacket and was told to tell our cabin steward, it took 2 days before I got one, only leaving one cup on the tea tray a couple of times, chocolates missing from our pillows on more than one occasion to name a few. Towards the end of the cruise our friends noticed that we never came back at night to towel animals, not everyones cup of tea but always a nice touch.

The Horizon buffet was great, the lay out was a big improvement on P and O's other ships, even at busy times we always managed to find a table, we had no complaints about the food either.
I can't comment on the MDR as we don't bother with them anymore. The Beach House was well worth the £5 cover charge and had a lovely relaxed feel.

On the other P and O cruises there has been a deck barbecue at least once during a 2 week cruise but not on Britannia. Another thing missing was any sort of music played by the ships resident band by the pool.

The Limelight Club had a cover charge, I think it was £22 for a 3 course meal plus a cabaret, it was Kiki Dee the night we went . The meal was dreadful and even though Kiki is a lovely lady we didn't really enjoy the show or the atmosphere.

The outdoor areas never felt overcrowded, there were plenty of loungers or seats to be found even during nice weather.

We saw some great guest acts, The 4 tunes, Jonathan Wilkes, Jimmy James. In my opinion the Britannia Show Cast in the Headliners Theatre weren't as good as we have seen on the other P and O ships, the songs in their shows were far too modern and I'm sure at least half of the audience wouldn't have a clue what they were singing.

The atrium, as lovely as it looked, we thought in the evenings was a wasted area, no music or live band, no one dancing, even though there was a piano we never saw it being used, all there was to listen to was some dreadful piped music that we dubbed music to slit your wrists by.

On our all our previous P and O cruises there were themed nights, Caribbean, 60/70's, were you could dress up and join in if you wanted but on Britannia nothing.

I can't comment on any daytime activities as we didn't join in any. The shops were just the same as any other ship, selling overpriced tat.

Our cabin was near the rear of the ship so we didn't really suffer too much from the lift problem, there are no midship stairs so you needed to use the lift even if you only wanted to go up one or two floors.

The lack of a proper covered prom deck was a real clincher for us, we knew there wasn't one but didn't realise just how much we would miss it, it is our favourite place to sit, relax and watch the world go by.

I can't put my finger on why we didn't like Britannia, there was just something missing, our friend thought there was no holiday atmosphere, that's not to say we wouldn't sail on her again if the right deal came up.

I hope all this makes sense as I'm not very good at putting into words what I want to say.
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Britannia

Postby jsb » 15 Nov 2015 15:23

IMG_0626.JPG


There were two TV programmes being filmed on our cruise, in the first photo [can you name the celebrities] they were filming some sort of cookery show, the camera crew wouldn't give much away but they did a lot of filming around the ship and ashore. The programme will be on in March next year, 10 one hour episodes, on UK TV, I have never heard of the channel so I presume it must be on sky.

The second photo of Ant and Dec, they came aboard for a couple of days filming for Saturday Night Takeaway. We had a great time filming round the pool and hopefully you my be able to spot Mr jsb and myself when it is shown in February.
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Postby Dave » 15 Nov 2015 15:44

Don't worry, it all made perfect sense. ;) And thanks for the very interesting review. :thumbup:

Like you, I think the lack of a promenade deck is a big minus point - it was my main criticism of Eclipse earlier this year. I love relaxing there or walking round it for a couple of miles while enjoying being so near to the sea. We're on Costa Diadema in a few weeks and in some ways I expect she'll be like Britannia - well, she's much the same size anyway! (Diadema also has the longest promenade deck in Costa's fleet, if not the longest on any cruise ship.)
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Britannia

Postby JollyJill » 15 Nov 2015 15:53

Thanks for your opinions & pics Jan. :)

From all the reviews I have read to date, it would appear that Britannia hasn't had very many thumbs up comments.

We are not tempted to try her as we are not great P & O fans. The clincher for us though, like yourselves, would be the lack of a promenade deck.
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Postby grannyM » 15 Nov 2015 17:44

Thank you so much for this review Jan. Obviously I have been wondering what you would say about Britannia.

As first time P&O cruisers I was worried we may have been too critical but I am very pleased to see that you agreed with our opinion on many of the things we were not impressed with. The atrium a waste of space, I have to agree with you. Your assessment of the food in the Limelight I am especially pleased to read as it was exactly what we thought too. The buffet for us was a brilliant area compared to other ships we've been on so I am also glad you agree. We too thought the Beach House the best eating venue on the whole ship.

Like yourself and the rest of your party we did think it was such a pity that there was definitely 'something missing' in the atmosphere because it is a lovely ship. We were at least luckier than you with our cabin steward as he was excellent and we had no complaints. So I'm sorry you did not at least have that to be pleased about. :(
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Postby Mungo » 15 Nov 2015 18:43

This sounds pretty much how I felt when I sailed on Azura her first season. I'd really like to try Britannia as I do like the P&O product. ;)

Lack of a wrap around promenade is becoming more common as is no promenade at all. :( On Eclipse and Equinox the lawn area made up for that. ;)

Many like Britannia but many don't and I can appreciate why.

With the right itinerary, dates and price I'll be onboard! :D
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Postby grannyM » 15 Nov 2015 19:09

Mungo wrote:This sounds pretty much how I felt when I sailed on Azura her first season. I'd really like to try Britannia as I do like the P&O product. ;)

Lack of a wrap around promenade is becoming more common as is no promenade at all. :( On Eclipse and Equinox the lawn area made up for that. ;)

Many like Britannia but many don't and I can appreciate why.

With the right itinerary, dates and price I'll be onboard! :D


Definitely Sue - I am not saying 'never again' either. There is much to like about the ship. :)
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Postby jsb » 16 Nov 2015 13:43

Mungo wrote:This sounds pretty much how I felt when I sailed on Azura her first season. I'd really like to try Britannia as I do like the P&O product. ;)

Lack of a wrap around promenade is becoming more common as is no promenade at all. :( On Eclipse and Equinox the lawn area made up for that. ;)

Many like Britannia but many don't and I can appreciate why.

With the right itinerary, dates and price I'll be onboard! :D

Our first P and O experience was on Azura and we were disappointed but we gave her a second chance and it was much better.
I wouldn't want to put anyone off trying Britannia, as I said if we picked up a bargain we would go on her again.
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Postby jsb » 16 Nov 2015 13:53

grannyM wrote:Thank you so much for this review Jan. Obviously I have been wondering what you would say about Britannia.

As first time P&O cruisers I was worried we may have been too critical but I am very pleased to see that you agreed with our opinion on many of the things we were not impressed with. The atrium a waste of space, I have to agree with you. Your assessment of the food in the Limelight I am especially pleased to read as it was exactly what we thought too. The buffet for us was a brilliant area compared to other ships we've been on so I am also glad you agree. We too thought the Beach House the best eating venue on the whole ship.

Like yourself and the rest of your party we did think it was such a pity that there was definitely 'something missing' in the atmosphere because it is a lovely ship. We were at least luckier than you with our cabin steward as he was excellent and we had no complaints. So I'm sorry you did not at least have that to be pleased about. :(

I don't want the review to sound like one long moan, Britannia does have some good points and we had a really good time. We still gave the cabin steward an excellent rating as I would hate to think there would be repercussions if we marked him down, I suspect they are really up against it time wise.
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