Soot on Aft Balconies - Britannia


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#1
UK
552 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Can anyone advise who have cruised on Britannia this year if the Soot Problem which affected the aft Balconies been resolved ?
#2
UK
69 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
I have not sailed in an aft cabin on Britannia but have sailed in aft cabins on other ships and yes soot can be a problem. I don't think that you can ever guarantee no soot. All that said Britannia is a lovely ship and I would go for it. Ask your steward to leave you a supply of cloths in order that you can sort the problem quickly. Our next cruise is an aft cabin on the former P&O Adonia soon to sail as Azamara Pursuit! Enjoy
#3
Whitley Bay, North East England
7,247 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by jody75
Can anyone advise who have cruised on Britannia this year if the Soot Problem which affected the aft Balconies been resolved ?


Don’t think so. We have avoided the stern cabins for our next Britannia cruise.


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#4
England
43 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
The problem is still there, worse than it was when we travelled in 2015 although that could have been caused by the prevailing weather conditions. There is now a cleaning regime in order to try and control the issue (which doesn’t really make much of a difference)

The fabrics on furniture are very dirty/almost unusable and there is corrosion from fall out on the metal furniture.

As regards to doing a diy clean up, the staff wear a face mask and gloves. Google what they are cleaning up and you will understand why. Really not a good idea to get the fuel residue onto your skin or breathe it in if you can help it.
#6
England
1,568 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by alanbab
I have not sailed in an aft cabin on Britannia but have sailed in aft cabins on other ships and yes soot can be a problem. I don't think that you can ever guarantee no soot. All that said Britannia is a lovely ship and I would go for it. Ask your steward to leave you a supply of cloths in order that you can sort the problem quickly. Our next cruise is an aft cabin on the former P&O Adonia soon to sail as Azamara Pursuit! Enjoy
A few cloths would not sort the problem! That’s very misleading advice and, as you say, you haven’t sailed in an aft cabin on Britannia. We have and never again. Shame as we love the ship and love being at the aft, but the two are not a marriage made in heaven on Britannia.
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P&O Cruises Experience – 162 nights over 15 cruises (Arcadia, Aurora x 4, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 85 nights over 5 cruises (2018 - Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2, 2020 - Iona, Aurora)

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 + Adjacent 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 Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
R802 Aurora 9/3/18. Northern Lights. 12 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
J807 Arcadia 1/7/18. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
#7
England
1,568 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by jody75
Thanks for the feedback, I’ll pass on Britannia.
Don’t be put off Britannia. She is a lovely ship and has the best facilities in the fleet by a mile. The cabins are also modern and with great facilities. Again, best in the fleet. BUT I would advise anybody do NOT book an aft cabin on her. We did a 2 week Med Cruise in an aft corner suite (F deck) and never again. Search the forum and you will find several threads on this. Also check out my review.

The soot is a major problem. It doesn’t deposit daily - it depends on atmospherics and wind direction (some days one side gets it, another day the other side). Cabin stewards hose the balcony down daily but it doesn’t remove it all. It marks your clothes and body and you end up walking it in to your cabin. It’s nigh on impossible to remove. On occasion, you can also smell the smoke and it’s very acrid. They have fitted ‘scrubbers’ to the exhaust but it has made no difference.

We also experienced severe vibration (with multiple associated rattles), noise from the Live Lounge (even though we were two decks above it) and, worst of all, the plumbing room for several cabins bathrooms was inside our suite, so we heard the vacuum flushing noise from several cabins toilets at all hours of the day and night.

We have had two cruises in forward suites on Britannia and loved them both. The balconies are very shallow though (as are all balconies on Britannia), but we had none of the problems that we experienced at the other end of the ship.

We have also had an aft suite on Ventura, which was lovely and we have one booked on Arcadia (which, I believe, is also OK).
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P&O Cruises to Come - 85 nights over 5 cruises (2018 - Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2, 2020 - Iona, Aurora)

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 + Adjacent 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 Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
R802 Aurora 9/3/18. Northern Lights. 12 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
J807 Arcadia 1/7/18. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
#8
Scotland
1,316 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by Selbourne
A few cloths would not sort the problem! That’s very misleading advice and, as you say, you haven’t sailed in an aft cabin on Britannia. We have and never again. Shame as we love the ship and love being at the aft, but the two are not a marriage made in heaven on Britannia.
I would endorse this point of view completely. Lovely ship but never again in an aft cabin.
#9
BH13 - England
3,080 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by alanbab
IAsk your steward to leave you a supply of cloths in order that you can sort the problem quickly.
Wow, it's now compulsory for a guest to clean up the mess of the ship's making?
Have Stewards and Cleaners been dramatically reduced because of cutbacks?
Or, is the current going hourly rate for a guest to clean the ship so high that is makes it very attractive for some?
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#10
Midlands
2,805 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
We sailed on Britannia maiden voyage and never had any great problems in our aft balcony cabin if my memory serves me correct we were in C732. The cabin steward cleaned the balcony and furniture every morning as part of his routine and during the day if we wanted to sit on balcony we had a quick wipe of the chairs and table which we always do wherever we are on a ship in a balcony cabin. It certainly wasnt enough of a problem and the position and views outweighed the minor problem we had which I think you would get on any ship in aft cabins.
#11
England
1,568 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by majortom10
We sailed on Britannia maiden voyage and never had any great problems in our aft balcony cabin if my memory serves me correct we were in C732. The cabin steward cleaned the balcony and furniture every morning as part of his routine and during the day if we wanted to sit on balcony we had a quick wipe of the chairs and table which we always do wherever we are on a ship in a balcony cabin. It certainly wasnt enough of a problem and the position and views outweighed the minor problem we had which I think you would get on any ship in aft cabins.
You were obviously lucky that the weather conditions and wind direction favoured your balcony on that occasion. As I said, we didn’t have the soot daily, but when we did there was lots and the steward couldn’t remove all of it, try as he might. You also cannot wipe it off the mesh furniture. The issue is far from common on all ships. It is, however, a known issue on Britannia. If the soot wasn’t enough to contend with we had several other issues in that location also. We did receive substantial compensation but would have much preferred to have had a hassle free holiday.
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P&O Cruises Experience – 162 nights over 15 cruises (Arcadia, Aurora x 4, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 85 nights over 5 cruises (2018 - Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2, 2020 - Iona, Aurora)

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 + Adjacent 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 Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
R802 Aurora 9/3/18. Northern Lights. 12 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
J807 Arcadia 1/7/18. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Aft Corner Wrap Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
#12
Edinburgh
3,686 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
We love aft cabins uit would NEVer again have one on Britannia. The first day it happened I used the beach towwl to wipe it up but noticed the furniture was badly stained so spoke to the steward. He turned up most days with a mask, hose and wellies. Horrible. Couldn't use the balcony at all and took it up with P&O
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#13
UK
552 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by Selbourne
Don’t be put off Britannia..........
I think we will give P&O a wide berth from what I'll read in recent days.
#14
Stoke on Trent, England
5,554 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by jody75
I think we will give P&O a wide berth from what I'll read in recent days.
What have you heard? Was it that bad??

Re the aft cabin. We have had the same aft cabin twice F729. Loved the cabin but sadly on the last cruise the soot was quite bad so we do not think we would book again unless it was going to be cold.
Love the ship and am sure that there are lovely cabins elsewhere :-)
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Sailed on:


Celebrity Constellation : 20.08.18 : Adriatic and Greek Island Cruise
P&O Oceana 05.04.18 : Eastern Med fly cruise
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
#16
Stoke on Trent, England
5,554 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by netchells
And I was really looking forward to my aft suite on Britannia at the end of October.
Which one is it? We met the people who had the aft suite to our left and they had a wonderful time.
If I had to force myself (cough) to have an aft cabin again I would still be more than happy. Our last cruise was one of the best ever.
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Sailed on:


Celebrity Constellation : 20.08.18 : Adriatic and Greek Island Cruise
P&O Oceana 05.04.18 : Eastern Med fly cruise
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
#17
Hyde United Kingdom
529 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by Presto2
Which one is it? We met the people who had the aft suite to our left and they had a wonderful time.
If I had to force myself (cough) to have an aft cabin again I would still be more than happy. Our last cruise was one of the best ever.
We have booked a corner aft on the starboard side. To be honest we have done our research and taken into account all the conflicting reviews and have decided to go for it....albeit with earplugs for the noise from the Live Lounge and the vibrations haha. We got it at a great price with a fair amount of OBC so fingers crossed
#18
Stoke on Trent, England
5,554 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by netchells
We have booked a corner aft on the starboard side. To be honest we have done our research and taken into account all the conflicting reviews and have decided to go for it....albeit with earplugs for the noise from the Live Lounge and the vibrations haha. We got it at a great price with a fair amount of OBC so fingers crossed
Well. you seem to have done your homework so I am sure that you will have an amazing time. We met the couple who were in the aft suite below our cabin F729 so deck 6 and they had an amazing time. Apparently they did not hear the Live Lounge. If you know the issues you may face then you will have a great time. Like we said, our last cruise on Britannia last May was a wonderful last minute break. Just loved it .... despite the soot ;-)

We have also done an aft cabin on Celebrity Silhouette and there was loads of soot there too so it isn't just P&O

Have a great time
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Sailed on:


Celebrity Constellation : 20.08.18 : Adriatic and Greek Island Cruise
P&O Oceana 05.04.18 : Eastern Med fly cruise
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
#19
Hyde United Kingdom
529 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by Presto2
Well. you seem to have done your homework so I am sure that you will have an amazing time. We met the couple who were in the aft suite below our cabin F729 so deck 6 and they had an amazing time. Apparently they did not hear the Live Lounge. If you know the issues you may face then you will have a great time. Like we said, our last cruise on Britannia last May was a wonderful last minute break. Just loved it .... despite the soot ;-)

We have also done an aft cabin on Celebrity Silhouette and there was loads of soot there too so it isn't just P&O

Have a great time
Thank you. I think that's the one we've booked. We can't wait and it's our first time in a suite
#20
Stoke on Trent, England
5,554 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by netchells
Thank you. I think that's the one we've booked. We can't wait and it's our first time in a suite
We remember watching them have their meal on the balcony - provided and served by their butler - and the lovely sun loungers they had. The balcony is huge !

If there is soot they wash it off - just take flip flops for first thing in the morning for the odd bits on the floor.
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Sailed on:


Celebrity Constellation : 20.08.18 : Adriatic and Greek Island Cruise
P&O Oceana 05.04.18 : Eastern Med fly cruise
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