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Everything posted by BestGuessed

  1. Hello again …. firstly to answer Mrk2868 …. No you cannot book a time/table in either of the two MDR’s unless you want to eat at 6pm or 6.15pm. You have to join a virtual queue via the app when you are ready to eat or a little before you are ready. The alternative is to go to the desk and if there are no tables available at that time you will be given a pager. With regard to wifi, we started with the standard package but after two days we upgraded to premium as the wifi is very poor. All I can say is the premium package works “adequately” !! Secondly, as promised, I asked about whether the Freedom Dining system that is operating at present is here to stay and I have been told “No” … (thank goodness for that!!). Apparently they had hoped to have resumed Club Dining by the time the international cruises started but they are still using the Oriental restaurant for staff dining to enable social distancing which has meant they only have Meridian and Peninsular restaurants available for guests at present, hence this system. So from what I learned, Club Dining will eventually be brought back but not just yet. It’s a bit vague, I know, but the good news is that the Freedom Dining system isn’t set to be permanent from what I was told. Something else I will add here is that there are massive queues today to get into The Live Lounge to take advantage of the free wifi the ship is providing for the purpose of completing the PLF. My husband’s advice is that anyone who struggles with IT should perhaps ask someone at home to set up the account before you leave to make it simpler once on board. He set ours up before we left home so that all he had to do was log into the account and finalise the details using this iPad but using our personal email addresses. It was quick and fairly easy process because he had completed everything he could do beforehand, while still at home. The problem is, that if on future cruises Passenger Locator Forms are still required and you haven’t purchased a wifi package and haven’t got a 4G enabled phone, you will have to queue to use the facility the ship is providing unless you are able to find some free wifi when ashore. Forewarned is forearmed so hope this might help.
  2. Yes we are at 75% capacity, so reasonably full, however The Peninsula and Meridian restaurants are the only two main dining rooms in use at the moment. The Oriental isn’t being used so probably the other two dining rooms are catering for what would be considered normal numbers. If I have the opportunity, I will ask at the dining room desk this evening to see if they can provide any insight as to whether this Freedom Dining is forevermore or whether the Club Dining option is likely to return and I will post the reply tomorrow. …. Watch this space !!
  3. We weren’t informed beforehand and had expected to be on the 8.30pm sitting which we had opted for. However once we were onboard we were told that everything would be freedom dining unless you want to eat at 6pm or 6.15pm for which you can pre-book a table.
  4. My husband and I are on day twelve of the first Britannia cruise out of British waters post Covid. I am posting our observations and opinions about how everything is running on onboard at present, the good and the bad, in the hope that it might be useful to others. The staff are excellent as always and they have made us very welcome. Sadly, the Club Dining option is not operating (will it ever come back?) so there is no rapport with “your own” waiting staff at meal times. The dining arrangements are that you have to join a virtual queue via the app or turn up and be given a pager at busy times. The waiting times are very long at popular times. See traffic light notification that is part of the daily Horizon newsletter. Tables are selected randomly for you so you rarely get to sit in the same section two days running. We think this is a shame as the rapport we built up with our waiters was always a big part of our daily dining experience. From comments made, it seems that the waiting staff don’t like this arrangement either. Something else that has changed is that you are now asked to choose your dessert when you initially place your order. This isn’t always very satisfactory as it is difficult to gauge how full you will be feeling and which dessert will appeal once you have consumed the first two courses. However, we found that if we made a request to look at the menu again later, we were able to do so. Whilst on the subject of dining, if you want to book a speciality restaurant or The Limelight Club and the app shows the venue to be full, most definitely go to see the staff in person and most times there are tables available. They do not book all the tables out via the app and you will more than likely be able to book if you ask in person. Passengers are now permitted to get off the ship and explore independently in the ports. Temperatures are taken at the point of leaving the ship using a device pointed at your forehead so it is very quick, giving instant results and creates no queues or backlog. We have been told that the ship is sailing at around 75% capacity but most evenings a “House Full” sign is put outside The Live Lounge during the mid evening performance and a queue forms. The band “Pulse” are excellent and they are very popular. Theatre shows and performances in The Live Lounge normally have three showings/sets and the early and late performances are usually the least well attended so we have opted to organise our evenings around this. There are organised ballroom and sequence dancing sessions in The Crystal Room for an hour most evenings and some afternoon sessions. These are supervised by dance hosts and there are lessons on most sea days. Masks are not required unless dancing with someone other than your own partner. Our advice is to think ahead and plan what you want to do in advance. It isn’t what we usually expect to do when we are on holiday but there has been very little spontaneity on this cruise !! Other notes that might be useful … our cruise is fourteen nights long and there are four formal nights which I believe is the way it used to be. Some passengers on this cruise were rather surprised as they didn’t expect that there would be so many. I will finish by adding a few of our own personal opinions and things that we have found to be talking points … On every ship we have been on in the past there have been two live bands on board. On Britannia there is only one upbeat band who are the fantastic “Pulse,” plus the Britannia orchestra, and these musicians all produce the most phenomenal sounds. There are couple of other quieter entertainers. However there is no music filling the atrium and as a result the ship totally lacks any sort of holiday atmosphere. Dancing to live music anywhere on the ship is banned. Disco dancing is allowed to recorded music between live performances in The Live Lounge but this doesn’t have the same feel good factor to it and it must be soul destroying for the musicians to be playing to a dead dance floor. Dancing is not allowed in The Limelight Club either and tables have been placed on the floor to prevent anyone using it. This could make some sense if other protocols didn’t contradict it. Guests are allowed to get off and explore ports independently and eat with other unknown people at the same table in groups of up to six. Everyone mixes and mingles maskless in the bars yet masks are required when walking around the ship. In the past few days a sign appeared in the lifts to say we should refrain from talking which makes no sense as everyone happily chats maskless to one another in the lounges and dining rooms and there is not very much distance between tables. So, in our opinion, the protocols seem to be rather pointless. We were told that during a bingo session you should not call “Bingo” but clap instead !!!! In the conveniences washbasins are sealed over with film printed DO NOT USE but there are more cubicles in use than washbasins which then causes a queue waiting in a confined area to use the basin. So, to sum up our findings on this cruise; We haven’t been able to make sense of the inconsistencies and we have felt very frustrated at times. Having said that, we sailed with Celebrity onboard Silhouette for eight nights in July and everything on board apart from mask wearing, was cruising as we had hoped it would be and have previously enjoyed. Therefore perhaps our expectations of this cruise were overly high as we were hoping for a similar experience. I think if we had come with less expectation we wouldn’t have been disappointed and I think that might be the key. So our advice would be to expect many changes and come prepared for the fact that things will be different. On a very positive note, the glorious sunshine we have had on this cruise has lifted our spirits tremendously and it has been a lovely break.
  5. Hi Jules, we have just got back from a very good excursion in Cartagena and I have checked this thread … very pleased to learn that you have now found the required reference number. Perhaps I should have said that you would find it on the email you received when you booked the test … 🤔… it’s not on the box !!😆😆 You can relax now anyway !! 👍🏻😄😎
  6. Cruiserjules …. The number we used is the booking reference number at the bottom right hand corner which starts : BOOTS ……. (then seven digits) which was accepted by the government website when submitted. Hope this helps.
  7. Well all I can add that may help is that we ordered our PCR tests from Boots a few days prior to boarding Britannia on 25th September. We paid £68 each and received them in the post within 24hours of ordering and we know they are the legitimate item required by the government. I have placed them beside the bathroom washbasin so that we cannot forget to do them when we arrive home amongst the chaos of unpacking and opening a fortnights post !! In our experience, bearing in mind the efficiency of the quick delivery we received, if you are prepared to wait to see what transpires and then order if necessary you should receive your tests very promptly.
  8. Apologies, I have just looked again and I realise your question plainly asks about Britannia!! 🤦‍♀️🙄
  9. Hello gandalf1, we are on board Britannia at present and I am not sure whether you are asking the question with regard to this ship or Iona but I have just been to The Beach House and photographed the menu for you. On Britannia there is an extra cover charge but I am not certain of the amount per head (£10??) I hope this helps 😁
  10. Hi Teddyd33 …. YES !! Thank you so much … IT WORKS 👍🏻😁😆 My husband has just managed to access my emails for me. Why the IT lady on board who we spoke with twice couldn’t have given us the advice you have just provided, I do not know. All she said was that the wifi here doesn’t support iCloud and that I would have no success in accessing my emails. My husband set up another account which was less than satisfactory but iCloud is working now. Thank you once again.
  11. The title should probably read No iCloud on board Britannia. We are on board Britannia at present and I have been unable to use my usual iCloud address to receive emails despite paying for the premium wifi package. We have been told that the ship’s wifi doesn’t support iCloud. This has been a difficulty for me as I am no tech whizz kid and may not be the same challenge for others but I thought I would give the heads up to future passengers anyway. It is very strange as my iPad and usual iCloud email worked perfectly when we were on the last Oceana cruise back in March 2020 but that is most definitely not the case post Covid !!
  12. Ditto through the Panama Canal … 100degrees and the air con on Island Princess was non existent in our cabin. We will never forget it !!
  13. We did bring our own and changes of pillow slips too !! We have to be comfortable at night and my neck won’t cope with different density pillows. It has to be a firm memory foam one for me. One of the many benefits of sailing from Southampton is that we have a wheelie case in which to put our pillows!!
  14. We are onboard Britannia now and after the first night we asked if we could please have a lighter weight duvet. The answer was that they only have the one standard duvet on board but our room steward brought a sheet and a couple of lightweight blankets and she made up the bed with those for us. Since then we have been much more comfortable each night. Hope this helps.
  15. We are onboard now and P&O Sue is correct. The captain advised us late yesterday afternoon that Italy would not be allowing us to dock there and that we will be docking at two extra ports in Spain instead. The ports we are now expecting to call at are Alicante and Valencia as Sue said.
  16. That’s helpful thank you. I will hope that we will have four formal nights on this cruise from Saturday then !! 👍🏻😁
  17. My husband and I will be sailing on Britannia this Saturday and I too have pondered the question of how many formal nights there will be and what I should pack in the way of extra elegant evening wear. However, one thing I do know for sure is that it isn’t worthwhile trying to contact P&O to ask the question as there is no hope whatsoever of anyone answering the phone or responding to an email …. I will just resort to taking a few different options and hope I get the opportunity to wear the more elegant dresses. I sincerely hope that P&O do not go the route of cutting down the formal nights.
  18. That’s a shame … it probably would have been better attended if it had been a live band. Please keep us posted about any changes that are made with regard to dancing, music and venues. Thornegirl’s post above is interesting to read and in view of her comments that people are now able to share a table and the lifts are not restricted it does seem bonkers that the dancing is an issue. All feed back you are giving is greatly appreciated, thank you.
  19. Thank you to Sandancer, Jean, Majortom, sagaris and tring for the above comments. It’s very nice to hear that some dancing was happening in the Crystal room yesterday evening. Was it recorded music or was there a band playing in there sagaris? Please could I ask anyone who is onboard who is affected by the lack of dancing, whether it is as someone who likes dancing themselves, or as someone who enjoys watching others dancing whilst sipping a drink or two, if they would consider mentioning it to management? If enough people comment to management whilst they are onboard, and mention that it’s noticeable that P&O are not currently in line with the other cruise lines regarding evening dancing, it might just make a difference. If no one comments, it’s unlikely the bigwigs will do anything to change their stance although hopefully, from sagaris’ post today perhaps things might be about to change ….🤔 I am aware that dancing isn’t something that appeals to everyone, and each to their own but as a couple who enjoy dancing to live music, we, and quite a few others will be very disappointed if P&O continue with their present attitude for the foreseeable future. Thank you!! 😄
  20. Thank you for your reply Sandancer …. But the silent disco is still going ahead? 🤷🏼‍♀️
  21. Please could I ask what is happening (if anything) during the evenings as far as dancing to the live music goes? Are there any venues where the guests can dance to the band either ballroom or disco?
  22. Thank you Bell Boy for letting me know about what’s happening presently in The Yacht Club … much appreciated.
  23. Thank you Surreymum that is very helpful 👍🏻😁
  24. Thank you majortom …. Do you know what was happening in The Yacht Club please?
  25. Please could someone who has cruised recently or is on board at present provide details of what the situation is with regard to restrictions on dancing if any …. I have read that there is dancing in the Queens Room but is the number of people allowed on the floor at one time limited and are masks required? Does the orchestra play every evening as they did pre Covid or is it recorded music only? And is there live music in The Yacht Club and are people dancing there too? Thank you in advance for any answers you can give !!
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