Britannia Christmas Cruise.


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#1
1,284 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
I have been accused several times of being a P&O diehard and in fairness I have defended them many times. After returning from the Christmas cruise on the Britannia I think I have finally seen the light.
This cruise was best described as "same old same old".
Whilst I don't think that he food standards have dropped over my time I do think that they are no more than average.
The evening entertainment is the same as they have been serving up for a few years. They are good shows but we've seen them several times. The Live Lounge acts are the usual poor quality who would struggle to survive in a working mans club. The only saving grace was Joe McEldery who sang with recorded music. The Crystal Band were so poor it was laughable. Pulse and Vibz were really good.
The daytime entertainment remains the same old fare of quizzes and the cringeworthy Sailaways.
However, the biggest concern for me was the hygiene standards. I really can't say that our cabin was clean enough and as I said in another post the cabin steward did the minimum he could get away with. The use of hand washing and sanitiser was more or less ignored throughout the cruise at all the restaurants and in the Buffet I never ever saw a waiter do more than give a quick wipe to a table after clearing it. Never was a sanitiser used. To me this situation left an awful lot of people with various illnesses from coughs and colds to viral infections. My wife and I were both extremely ill and spent 4 or 5 days in our cabin and we're still recovering now. We have been on Britannia 3 times and this is the second time we have been very ill.
There are a few other points that have been mentioned in other posts that I would comment on. One is the very poor condition of towels especially the beach ones. I disagreed with this but I stand corrected, they are shocking. The sunbed battle goes on and there is little effort made by P&O to stop it.
The saving grace for the Britannia are the crew. They are excellent and very friendly with the exception of some of the security staff at the gangways who are extremely abrupt. Why do they need to be so offensive?
#2
Leeds
171 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Such a shame, I hope you still got some enjoyment from your cruise. As a fellow "diehard" I have to say that having had 2 cruises on Britannia it is definitely our least favourite ship and we experienced some of the things mentioned in your post (though thankfully none of us got ill).
On both cruises we were frankly disgusted at how many passengers dodge the handwash facilities at the Horizon restaurant. Similarly we did not like the way that some passengers behave when it comes to the lifts ("every man for himself" in some people's eyes).
On our first cruise in 2015 there were plenty of towels out reserving sunbeds around the pool and we even saw a scuffle between 2 passengers in the same area. In 2017 it was much the same (but thankfully no scuffle) and whenever we went in the pool area we saw the same families sat in the same places day after day.
As you say most of the crew were fantastic as always on both cruises. Our 2015 cabin steward was lovely, nothing was any trouble, he made a fuss of our son and would arrange his soft toys around the cabin in different poses every night.
Our 2017 cabin steward was very reserved (nothing wrong with that of course) but not particularly helpful. Similar to you he wouldn't empty the fridge (maybe they are not allowed?) and advised us to remove the bottles and leave them out under the dresser. We did this and they were left there for the whole cruise.
In particular one thing that has stuck in my mind was when our son needed his bedding changed (he's only young and accidents happen after all). When we asked the steward his response was a big sigh and drooping shoulders, followed by a curt "right". I know it is a bit of extra work but his response was so negative. Based on our past experience of brilliant stewards we anticipated a "no problem" or "don't worry". We were so shocked by this that next time it happened we washed and dried the bedsheet ourselves.
We went on Britannia the 2nd time because it was at the right time and at a price we could afford. Of course we made the most of it and enjoyed both cruises but I would hesitate to book on that ship again. I'm sure some of the things you mention are prevalent on all the ships but I would like to think (hope) that some of it is down to the ship itself.
All the best
Damian
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#3
15 Posts
Joined Dec 2017
Oh dear. I sailed on Britannia two years ago, and found our Steward excellent (was in the single cabin near the crows nest, but went with family).

I am going again in 3 weeks, choosing Britannia for a second time because I enjoyed it so much last time. I really hope these reports don't realize themselves on my holiday.
#4
Leeds
171 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by gohugo
Oh dear. I sailed on Britannia two years ago, and found our Steward excellent (was in the single cabin near the crows nest, but went with family).

I am going again in 3 weeks, choosing Britannia for a second time because I enjoyed it so much last time. I really hope these reports don't realize themselves on my holiday.
Don't worry, I'm sure you'll have a great time. Not sailing in the school holidays will help!
Happy cruising.
Damian
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To come:
Azura A821 Mediterranean
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Already enjoyed:
Carnival once, NCL once, P&O x 20

#5
1,284 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by DamianG

On both cruises we were frankly disgusted at how many passengers dodge the handwash facilities at the Horizon restaurant. Similarly we did not like the way that some passengers behave when it comes to the lifts ("every man for himself" in some people's eyes).
On our first cruise in 2015 there were plenty of towels out reserving sunbeds around the pool and we even saw a scuffle between 2 passengers in the same area. In 2017 it was much the same (but thankfully no scuffle) and whenever we went in the pool area we saw the same families sat in the same places day after day.

We went on Britannia the 2nd time because it was at the right time and at a price we could afford. Of course we made the most of it and enjoyed both cruises but I would hesitate to book on that ship again. I'm sure some of the things you mention are prevalent on all the ships but I would like to think (hope) that some of it is down to the ship itself.
All the best
Damian
I was going to avoid commenting about passengers in case I sound like a complete moaner. The fact is some are disgusting, ignorant, unhygienic, selfish and disrespectful. Their behaviour beggars belief at times and the lifts are a prime example of this. Pressing the close buttons as soon as the lift doors open, standing at the front and stopping people getting in, etc etc.
I was in the lift one day along with another half dozen people when a guy got in and pressed to go up one floor. The "lady" next to him said that it was ridiculous using the lift for one floor and he would be better of walking to loose some weight. She then poked him in the stomach. When the guy got out I asked her who she thought she was and pointed out that for all she knew that he might have had a heart condition. A load of abuse followed. The more I travel the more I agree with Port Royal's assessment of people.
#6
UK
641 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We have just returned from Christmas on board Celebrity Constellation, having sailed Britannia over Christmas 2 years ago. There are positives and negatives with both lines, but bearing in mind that Constellation is a much older ship, the public spaces (especially the toilets) were immaculate compared to Britannia. The food was also much better on Celebrity and the pool towels are in abundance - not one per person as on P&O. We would probably only consider P&O again for the Caribbean, due to the ease of travel and transfers to Barbados.
#7
Solihull
2,263 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
It is our cruise on Britannia that has made me determined never to sail with them again, except perhaps for the odd mini cruise, but not until I have got over how awful the last one was.


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#8
UK
673 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
We loved the Britannia Christmas cruise. We've had a break from P&O for a few years and they're still not our favourite, but for value and ease of travel they were excellent, Sorry to hear OP was poorly. This was the second cruise I have done at Christmas and both times they've been full of people with coughs and colds. I think this is norm at this time of year, and for all the wiping and hand washing in the world, if people are coughing its airborne and hard to avoid, I went down with a nasty cold on an Oceana cruise at Christmas a few years ago and I suspect this partly clouded my view of that ship as it was a miserable holiday. I never been back in her since,

P&O offer plenty of variety, Britannia won't be for everyone, but we found her the best offering from them to date. I do agree about hygiene though and can't see why they weren't enforcing it. Others that joined the following cruise are reporting they are being more active on this now, with staff outside the buffer.
#9
Lancashire... UK
1,073 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by Florry
It is our cruise on Britannia that has made me determined never to sail with them again, except perhaps for the odd mini cruise, but not until I have got over how awful the last one was.


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Hi....we had a similar cruise a number of years ago on Ventura. When I commented on here ...boy....was I slated for daring to offer negative comments....in fact one comment was quite cutting in that they said they wouldn't want to be on the same cruise ship as me with my negative comments and outlook. I am actually quite the opposite in outlook but I am a realist and say as I find.

That was about 4 years ago but decided to give P&O another try and went on the Azura last September and that was such a good experience that it has restored my faith in P&O so hopefully...in time... Florry you will "recover" from your experience and enjoy a longer cruise with P&O
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#10
Solihull
2,263 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by janny444
Hi....we had a similar cruise a number of years ago on Ventura. When I commented on here ...boy....was I slated for daring to offer negative comments....in fact one comment was quite cutting in that they said they wouldn't want to be on the same cruise ship as me with my negative comments and outlook. I am actually quite the opposite in outlook but I am a realist and say as I find.



That was about 4 years ago but decided to give P&O another try and went on the Azura last September and that was such a good experience that it has restored my faith in P&O so hopefully...in time... Florry you will "recover" from your experience and enjoy a longer cruise with P&O

We loved Azura too, it’s odd how the ships seem to change in the ranking of customer experience.


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