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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