Britannia Review (WIP!)

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#1
Solihull
2,131 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
This cruise was still on sale the day before we set sail, the price was reduced and there is a wide demographic of people all having a lovely time, we have only noticed a few of the 400+ children who are onboard.

We embarked Britannia 30th Sept bound for Spain, Portugal and Canaries, upon arrival at 11.45am embarkation was already under way and seemed to run smoothly.

Our first three days were at sea and they passed relatively quickly, we mainly watched films, drank coffee, read, used the thermal suite and wondered around the ship. The first day the ship seemed excessively crowded but as people discovered their preferred venues onboard and dispersed to them, the crowded feeling disappeared.

We have now been onboard for almost a week. We have had one meal in the MDR which was extremely basic but edible, i would describe it as an average bulk catering experience. We have found the quality of the buffet on Britannia to be excellent but a little crowded. Hand washing is almost non existent and people don't even seem to be directed to use gel. I like the concept of the grab-and-go but some of the shelves seem to get wet with condensation and this seeps through the packaging into the bread. The food in the Epicurean, Sindhu, Glasshouse and Limelight has all been wonderful and well worth the supplement.

There have been threads about Butlers, I have in the past expressed the sentiment that they are sometimes intrusive and don't add much value. It seems this cruise we have found a perfect Butler in Roni who is helpful when we need him to be, without being over-bearing. In general all of the crew seem happy and efficient, lots of genuine smiles and care.

Soot in the aft balconIes - I am now halfway through my scientific study and can confirm that the early indications are that soot lands on balconIes in cold climates but there is little soot in warm climates. As others have suggested, it would seem logical that this is due to the rate at which the soot gets cooled and lands as it leaves the funnel.

With regard to aft cabins - I haven't noticed any strange smells and compared to Arcadia the vibration and noise is practically non-existent, we are on E deck.

In Madeira we went on the caves tour, which was a good opportunity to see both sides of the island. La Palma was a lovely lazy port with shops, coffee and pastries. We are in Tenerife today which was a little crowded for our taste but we enjoyed the market. Our tour tonight Stargazing has been cancelled as the astronomer has unfortunately been involved in a car accident, so we hope it isn't serious and he recovers.

So far we have seen two acts in the Limelight; Madeline Bell who was quite entertaining and Eric and Ernie who were probably true to style, but I didn't find particularly amusing. We will also be seeing Judy and Liza (who I am really looking forward to) and also Dean Andrews. We have seen Dean before and the act we booked on the personaliser was Jacky Graham - clearly there is a mistake somewhere, I don't think P&O have actually realised yet but as Dean is good we will still go.

I will post again at the end of the cruise, and try to answer any Britannia questions that crop up.

Wish you were all here






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#2
Lancashire... UK
835 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Looking forward to reading the rest of your review especially how you feel it compares to the Azura on which we have just had a wonderful cruise and I seem to remember you saying that you enjoyed your cruise on Azura.
Apologies if I am mixing you up with someone else
#3
Stoke on Trent, England
4,929 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Glad you are having a great time !!

Love Britannia and our aft cabin there

Enjoy :-)

Have a drink and think of us !
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Sailed on:
P&O Ventura 15.08.17 : Spain & the Greek Islands
P&O Britannia 28.05.17 : Iberian Cruise
P&O Oceana 10.08.16 : Western Med fly cruise
P&O Britannia 25.07.15 : Iberia and Canaries
P&O Oceana 08.04.15 : Western Med
P&O Oceana 19.04.14 : Iberian Cruise
RCI Independence of the Seas 29.10.13 : Mini cruise
Celebrity Silhouette 12:08:13 : Greek Islands / Italy
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:12 : Adriatic / Venice
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:11 : Eastern Med/Holy Land
P&O Oceana August 2010 : Western Med
Ocean Village 02:08:09 : Eastern Med / Crete
Louis Cruises August 2001 : Egypt
#4
24 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Thank you for the review, we are due to sail 3 weeks today and are looking forward to the rest of your review.
Can I ask if you have seen any laundry special offers as I would like to get some clothes washed before we get home?

Enjoy the rest of your cruise x
#5
Solihull
2,131 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Azura - I think Britannia is good but her size makes her that bit less intimate than Azura. I think given a choice I would go for Azura, but they are both lovely!

Presto - I will raise a glass to you tonight!

Laundry - no special offers yet, in fact I have spent time in the laundry today, I thought I may as well as I was only reading. I have saved shirts for the offer day!


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#6
Solihull
2,131 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Just found out we have another trip cancelled as we were the only passengers who booked 'Wonderlust Evora' I think it is because people don't realise the price is for two ☹️


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#7
Stoke on Trent, England
4,929 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by Florry
Azura - I think Britannia is good but her size makes her that bit less intimate than Azura. I think given a choice I would go for Azura, but they are both lovely!

Presto - I will raise a glass to you tonight!

Laundry - no special offers yet, in fact I have spent time in the laundry today, I thought I may as well as I was only reading. I have saved shirts for the offer day!


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Just raised a glass to you too -- cheers to Florry on Britannia (chink) ;-)
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Sailed on:
P&O Ventura 15.08.17 : Spain & the Greek Islands
P&O Britannia 28.05.17 : Iberian Cruise
P&O Oceana 10.08.16 : Western Med fly cruise
P&O Britannia 25.07.15 : Iberia and Canaries
P&O Oceana 08.04.15 : Western Med
P&O Oceana 19.04.14 : Iberian Cruise
RCI Independence of the Seas 29.10.13 : Mini cruise
Celebrity Silhouette 12:08:13 : Greek Islands / Italy
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:12 : Adriatic / Venice
Celebrity Silhouette 10:08:11 : Eastern Med/Holy Land
P&O Oceana August 2010 : Western Med
Ocean Village 02:08:09 : Eastern Med / Crete
Louis Cruises August 2001 : Egypt
#8
England
788 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by Mrs applehead
Can I ask if you have seen any laundry special offers as I would like to get some clothes washed before we get home?
We have seen no laundry offers on any of our last 3 or 4 Cruises. I wonder if they still do them?
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P&O Cruises Experience – 134 nights over 11 cruises (Aurora, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 83 nights over 7 cruises (2017 - Aurora x 2, 2018 - Aurora, Arcadia, Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2)

674(A) Oriana 14/5/96. Southampton to Istanbul (Fly back). 8 nights. Outside Cabin.
E620 Oceana 11/8/06. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
E720 Oceana 12/8/07. Canaries. 13 nights. Outside Cabin.
X912 Oriana 24/7/09. Baltic. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
A118 Azura 5/8/11. Eastern Mediterranean. 16 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
N321 Ventura 18/8/13. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
B517 Britannia 15/8/15. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Forward Suite + Balcony Cabin.
B622 Britannia 23/7/16. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
N703 Ventura 15/2/17. Amsterdam & Bruges. 4 nights. Penthouse Suite.
R705 Aurora 13/5/17. Baltic. 16 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
B721 Britannia 22/7/17. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Aft Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
#9
South Yorkshire
300 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
I think you had a lucky escape getting Dean Andrews instead of Jacki Graham. Her singing is ok but she is very “gushy” between the songs. We’ve also seen Dean Andrews a couple of times and really enjoyed his shows.
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David

2000 Alaska - Princess - Ocean Princess
2003 Baltic - Celebrity - Constellation
2006 Norway & Spitzbergen - Princess - Sea Princess
2008 Mediterranean - P & O - Oceana (formerly Ocean Princess)
2010 Norway & Iceland - P & O - Arcadia
2011 Canaries - P & O - Ventura
2012 Norway & Iceland - Celebrity - Eclipse
2013 Baltic - Celebrity - Eclipse
2014 Norway - Celebrity - Eclipse
2015 British Isles - P & O - Britannia
2016 Iceland and Ireland - Celebrity - Eclipse
2016 Canaries - P & O - Britannia
#11
UK
1,370 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Great to read your review Florry, We really enjoyed our first cruise on her a few
months ago.
Shame about the wanderlust tour, I think people do think the price is for one


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#12
24 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Another question if you get the chance please.
Do they have sorbet on the outside deck ice cream bar? My little one has a dairy allergy and would love to have something if she sees everyone enjoying an ice cream.
#13
Solihull
2,131 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by Mrs applehead
Another question if you get the chance please.

Do they have sorbet on the outside deck ice cream bar? My little one has a dairy allergy and would love to have something if she sees everyone enjoying an ice cream.

I have just been on a reconnaissance mission to the ice cream they do coconut sorbet, I wouldn't mind betting that once they get to know you they might go the extra mile if they can and get you some other sorts too. My husband and I both have special diets and they are good at assisting.


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#14
182 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by mercury7289
Just off Azura , laundry offers were circulated

How was your cruise Mercury7289?


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#15
Whitley Bay, North East England
6,429 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by Selbourne
We have seen no laundry offers on any of our last 3 or 4 Cruises. I wonder if they still do them?


We have just been on Azura and can confirm that there were offers on the laundry on both cruises the 17 night one, two offers and the 5 night one one offer.


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Aurora AU112 Arcadia AR223
Aurora R418 Aurora R419
Adonia F507 Adonia F508
Aurora R525 Arcadia J625
Oceana E721 Oriana X718
Arcadia J813 Oriana X820
Ventura N902 Aurora R913
Arcadia J004 Oceana E021
Ventura N110 Azura A121
Aurora R119 Ventura N210
Arcadia J217 Oriana X302
Oriana X312 Aurora R315
Oceana E402 Azura A409
Azura A410 Oceana E425
Oceana E426 Arcadia J510
Britannia B522 Britannia B523
Ventura N603 Azura A616
Arcadia J615 Arcadia J616
Oceana E625 Crown Princess May 17
Britannia B719 Britannia B720

To Come

Azura 17
Azura 17
Ventura 18
Oriana 18
Oriana 18
Ventura 19
Ventura 19
Britannia 19
Ventura 9
Ventura 19




Gan Canny

Dai
#16
24 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Originally posted by Florry
I have just been on a reconnaissance mission to the ice cream they do coconut sorbet, I wouldn't mind betting that once they get to know you they might go the extra mile if they can and get you some other sorts too. My husband and I both have special diets and they are good at assisting.


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You are wonderful! Thank you so much for checking out the sorbet situation x
#17
Solihull
2,131 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by Mrs applehead
You are wonderful! Thank you so much for checking out the sorbet situation x

There is also a special diet section on the buffet and if you can't find what you are looking for just ask - in my experience the Britannia buffet leads the way in helpfulness for special diets x


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#18
Buckinghamshire, UK
366 Posts
Joined May 2011
My in-laws are on this cruise so it’s good to get a bit of an insight into their trip!

Sorry your stargazing was cancelled. We did a land holiday in Tenerife last year and did a private stargazing tour and it was brilliant. Do you know the name of your guide that had the accident? I’m hoping it wasn’t the same man (Henry) who did ours!


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#19
Solihull
2,131 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by Shelley61
My in-laws are on this cruise so it’s good to get a bit of an insight into their trip!

Sorry your stargazing was cancelled. We did a land holiday in Tenerife last year and did a private stargazing tour and it was brilliant. Do you know the name of your guide that had the accident? I’m hoping it wasn’t the same man (Henry) who did ours!


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Hi Shelley apparently there is only one qualified guide who does this trip so it may be the same man ☹️


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#20
Solihull
2,131 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Our cruise ended on Friday and all that is left are memories and a mountain of washing
After Tenerife we were in Gran Canaria, where we did a submarine trip and then walked around the town. This was fun and good if you have kids, there were lots of fake ruins on the sea bed in the bay to give divers and passengers something to see along with the fish.
Lanzarote was a bit of a wash out on a Sunday, and is a fairly bland port, not great, I'd rather of not stopped and had longer in other ports.
Lisbon - this was a bit of a disaster for us. Our Evora trip was cancelled and we took the decision to do a HOHO. If you ever do this in Lisbon my advise would be to avoid Grayline (Red with Lisbon sightseeing on the side) the other lines (yellow bus and red bus with Portugal Sightseeing on the side) had far more busses in operation. We got off our bus and had to wait 40 minutes for the next one to show up, then there were no seats. We stayed on the bus until they told us we had to get off as they were changing direction and we ended up having to walk back to the ship. We did enjoy what we did but just wasted time and parted with €40 for the privilege.
In Vigo our small group tour to Santiago de Compostela was also cancelled, we did get on a coach trip but the 1.25 hours free time clashed with the Mass so we never go to go in the Cathedral.
Lisbon and Vigo are ports with lots of opportunity but in both cases we arrived at 8/9am and departed at 4pm so not really time to do everything you would like.
The last sea day was my husband's 50th Birthday and the restaurants and crew made it feel special.
We never returned to the MDR but did have some fantastic dining experiences in the Epicurean, Sindh and the Glass House.
The most amazing part of the cruise was the Judy and Liza show in the Limelight - wow, it was fabulous and possibly the best show I have ever seen on a ship. We also saw Dean Andrews again, he was far more polished than the first time we saw him and I think he had cut out a lot of the personal chat, which I had previously found very endearing, he was very good.
So a few general things now:
Water - for some reason the tap water tasted vile on Britannia, I've never been on a cruise where I couldn't fill the kettle from the tap and had to buy bottled in large quantities. This was not noticeable in venues like Costa but was noticeable in places like Limelight and our cabin. We stuck to bottled at dinner.
Thermal Suite/Spa - for some reason they only have about 4 locker keys that work, so if you wanted to read an iPad in the spa you had to queue at reception to get it locked up before you could take a shower (and just leave your other belongings unlocked and hope nobody ran off with them), given the cost I think this is unacceptable, as is using male attendants in female changing areas. Having said that the thermal suite is lovely, from what I can tell they don't sell many cruise-long tickets and the cheapest way if you have lots of port days is to pay £30 for a day pass (although they tell you there are no guarantees of a space blah, blah, blah). There were several people unhappy at the degree of up selling after treatments, to the extent they booked fewer spa sessions because of the stressful after sales pressure. I didn't personally experience this as I don't have treatments, I'd rather live with baggy eyes and wrinkles
The suite was great, there was more soot when the weather cooled. Everything was clean, well maintained and as you would expect. There were only silk (aka plastic) flowers, I have no idea what happened to 'flowers on arrival' as advertised in the brochure. When the ship picked up speed the vibration was noticeable at times but not something that was a bother. I was surprised about the amount of movement at times (when there was swell) as I thought there would be less given her size.
There have been threads about the TVs, we like watching TV on holiday and we save up things like Game of Thrones and take them on a memory stick, I know some may see this as a waste but it suits us as we don't get much chance to do that at home. On Arcadia this wasn't a problem but on Britannia there are no controls on the TV and the remote is so basic you can't select the memory stick option. I suspect the original intention was to lock down as much as possible to sell more films, but most of them are free now anyway. We decided it would be worth the gamble of buying a universal TV remote in Madeira. I checked that it would be ok with security, purchased one and bingo! We were able to watch TV from the memory stick the rest of the holiday.
Whilst we were disappointed by the cancellation of trips, all in all we had a good cruise, had great food, a great cabin and enjoyed our break. In particular we enjoyed the variety of venues on Britannia.
I hope that any of you who have cruises coming up have a lovely time.


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