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Solent Richard

Britannia Maiden Cruise Review

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My wife and I have just returned from the Maiden Cruise on P&O’s latest cruise ship Britannia...

 

16955738435_5fc13e8891_z.jpg

 

We were very impressed with everything especially the new innovations and the entertainment programme.

 

A number of days prior to embarkation we had received a letter from Captain Paul Brown informing us that, for the Maiden Cruise, our cabins would be ready for occupation immediately on embarkation: with the added bonus we didn’t have to carry hand luggage to our nominated Caribbean Tier embarkation lounge for a few glasses of champagne and small eats.

 

We had booked what P&O describe as a 'Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin' which we had chosen on the first day bookings opened. We were well satisfied with everything in that cabin especially the abundance of UK 3-pin sockets.

 

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Britannia has four pools, one of which, The Serenity Pool...

 

16955735265_131f7cc194_z.jpg

 

...is in its own quiet area. What a great innovation if you are allergic to children.

 

Another great innovation is the Limelight Club where, for a £22.00 (less 10% if you are a Caribbean level loyalty club member) can dine on an excellent three course meal and watch a cabaret show by named artists that do not appear anywhere else on the ship. We visited the Limelight Club on two occasions, once to watch madeline bell and the other occasion to see Kiki Dee. Here she is...

 

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A full review with over 50 photographs can be found on my own personal cruise blog....

 

http://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2015/03/30/britannia-the-maiden-cruise/

Edited by Solent Richard

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Excellent review Richard thank you, the more I see of Britannia the more I want to go on her.

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What an excellent review and your blog is wonderful, very detailed and interesting. Thank you very much for producing it.

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Excellent review on your blog, many thanks.

Not going on her till next January (9 months to go) but you've given me plenty to look forward to.

 

Rick.

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Thank you Richard

 

What a review. Well done.

 

Only 116 days to go before I get aboard Britannia.

 

Peter

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Great review.

 

We were also on the ship and she is beautiful inside but we found her a little too big for our taste so even though we had no moans while on board we are unlikely to revisit her.

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Thanks for this review. You must have spent the whole of the cruise writing it. My biggest worry is that I will not have time to try everything. I have a couple of questions if you don't mind :

 

Limelight -

if you book before you travel do you know who will be performing.

I assume that they have tables for two, is that correct

 

Self service -

It looks from your photos as though they might have gone for the "island" appoach like celebrity, rather than the traditional self-service. Is this right.

 

The "secret" deck looked a bit difficult to get to are you sure you were supposed to be there?

 

We are on Britannia in July

 

Thanks

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Thanks for this review. You must have spent the whole of the cruise writing it. My biggest worry is that I will not have time to try everything. I have a couple of questions if you don't mind :

 

Limelight -

if you book before you travel do you know who will be performing.

I assume that they have tables for two, is that correct

 

Self service -

It looks from your photos as though they might have gone for the "island" appoach like celebrity, rather than the traditional self-service. Is this right.

 

The "secret" deck looked a bit difficult to get to are you sure you were supposed to be there?

 

We are on Britannia in July

 

Thanks

 

Good afternoon David.

 

The answer to your first question is Yes, you do know who is performing on each evening in the Limelight Club. Use the Voyage Personaliser and it's all pretty straight forward. and you will get a table that you booked though I know you can change to a larger one providing one is available.

 

Next is also yes. There are basically two sets of serving counters one forward and one aft (I only pictures the forward one) The central counters are islands.

 

Finally Deck 19 is perfectly legit. There is actually a similar deck on Arcadia.

 

Hope that helps and Bon Voyage...

 

PS. There is a launderette on each deck...

 

16955736415_c93c723da4_z.jpg

Edited by Solent Richard

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Thanks for the info Richard.

 

I have shown the picture of the launderette to my wife. I won't reveal her comments but it is unlikley that she will use it !!!

Edited by David Owl
Typo

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Thanks for the comprehensive report. I was also on the maiden cruise and agree with your assessment of the ship. I just hope they maintain her to the current high standards they have set.

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Great review - thank you for taking the time to do it. We're on board at the end of May :D

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Great review.

Can you view your Bill and order breakfast on your TV like on the Ventura and Azura?

 

The package they are using for the provision of TV services does not currently include this option. It may become available in time but this is not definite. The 'old procedure' of ordering breakfast by pro forma still applies and reception happily print out details of accounts on request. Indeed, on the maiden cruise, we were all automatically provided with a copy of our account after the first week.

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Thanks very much, just wondered how it worked because when we were on the Oceana we had to request copy of bills and the queue in reception could be quite long but as long as it doesn't cause a problem then that's fine.

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Thank you for your review! We also have a Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin booked for the end of June and we can't wait! :)

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Many thanks for the super review.So looking forward to our cruise on Britannia 11 April.First timers with P and O.

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Hi Richard, and congrats on a very good review. My wife and I were also on the maiden voyage, and I totally agree with most of your views and comments.

The ship is fantastic, and the outside space enormous with loads of seating.

 

But I think the theatre is too small, and the seating is wrong. There is a cup holder which cannot hold a cup( and is the reason they currently do not serve drinks in the theatre) and the rows of seats cannot be accessed from either end, so you must get everyone up the get in/out. Also, due to the curved front of the stage, the stage lighting blinds the first five rows.

 

The entertainment is great, but there is not enough. This is a big ship with lots of people, and they need constant entertainment, particularly when the weather is not too good (as on this cruise).

 

Someone else commented on not being able to get your bill up on the in cabin system. This system is indeed under used, with scant information and weather info that was dated the day on departure and not updated. However, great selection of in films and tv progs on demand.

 

Lastly, great onboard WiFi, but at vast cost. This really must be addressed (by all cruise lines) as all passengers have a least one connected device. Its about time this was free (as it is in my local coffee shop).

 

I am going back on Brittania in August with my Grandkids, so will be very interested in the improvements. Cheers

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Just one more question.

How was it getting on and off the shop when in Port for trips?

 

We were on the maiden cruise and never had a problem getting on or off, but that may have been because we were never ready to leave the ship the moment that the announcement was made that we could go ashore. We did speak to a few people who were complaining that there had been queues to get off at Gibraltar. The only tender port was Monte Carlo and we were impressed by the efficiency of the tendering, we had to go to the Headliners Theatre to collect a tender ticket and wait to be called, it only took about 15 minutes before we were called even though we were amongst the early leavers, we have waited longer to leave both Azura and Ventura.

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Great review.

 

We were also on the ship and she is beautiful inside but we found her a little too big for our taste so even though we had no moans while on board we are unlikely to revisit her.

 

 

That is a very fair comment Josy. I can well understand where you are coming from.

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We were on the maiden cruise and never had a problem getting on or off, but that may have been because we were never ready to leave the ship the moment that the announcement was made that we could go ashore. We did speak to a few people who were complaining that there had been queues to get off at Gibraltar. The only tender port was Monte Carlo and we were impressed by the efficiency of the tendering, we had to go to the Headliners Theatre to collect a tender ticket and wait to be called, it only took about 15 minutes before we were called even though we were amongst the early leavers, we have waited longer to leave both Azura and Ventura.

 

The tender operation at Monte Carlo was indeed exceptional. I was on the first tender having been third in the queue for a ticket. All well organised and controlled.

 

It paid dividends because we managed to reach the Palace before the crowds and the only human in my photograph of the Palace was the ceremonial guard.

 

As for Gibraltar, there was a minor delay of around 10 minutes while the crew retrieved a safety net that is placed below the gangway - our safety being assured.

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Hi Richard, and congrats on a very good review. My wife and I were also on the maiden voyage, and I totally agree with most of your views and comments.

The ship is fantastic, and the outside space enormous with loads of seating.

 

But I think the theatre is too small, and the seating is wrong. There is a cup holder which cannot hold a cup( and is the reason they currently do not serve drinks in the theatre) and the rows of seats cannot be accessed from either end, so you must get everyone up the get in/out. Also, due to the curved front of the stage, the stage lighting blinds the first five rows.

 

The entertainment is great, but there is not enough. This is a big ship with lots of people, and they need constant entertainment, particularly when the weather is not too good (as on this cruise).

 

Someone else commented on not being able to get your bill up on the in cabin system. This system is indeed under used, with scant information and weather info that was dated the day on departure and not updated. However, great selection of in films and tv progs on demand.

 

Lastly, great onboard WiFi, but at vast cost. This really must be addressed (by all cruise lines) as all passengers have a least one connected device. Its about time this was free (as it is in my local coffee shop).

 

I am going back on Brittania in August with my Grandkids, so will be very interested in the improvements. Cheers

 

Good morning Micklen.

 

Thank you for your kind comment.

 

I hear what you say on your points raised. However, on the Headliners Theatre aisles not being accessed on the outer sides we cannot have it all ways. Some moaners have complained about the number of seats. Imagine if they took out in the region of 160 seats to accommodate aisles on the outer theatre. P&O appear to be in a no-win situation.

 

Regarding Internet charges, well I purchased a full package within the first 24 hours and received a 60 minute bonus. That cost £62.00 which was well below the OBC we received and, if calculated in the overall bill, less 10% for Caribbean members.

 

The wifi was really good in cabins.

 

I cannot comment on the lighting, we always found a seat in rows 5 - 7.

 

On the overall evening entertainment programme there were times when we struggled to fit everything in. Having said that, we are avid ballroom dancers and always had a fall back position if other venues were full or had started.

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A big thank you for everyone's kind comments. Kinda makes it all worthwhile.

 

I guess most pictures of the Atrium's Starburst are similar to this...

 

16911015176_6677d37745_z.jpg

 

so just out of curiosity I took another view...

 

16929791616_d72f6d3b0a_z.jpg

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A big thank you for everyone's kind comments. Kinda makes it all worthwhile.

 

I guess most pictures of the Atrium's Starburst are similar to this...

 

16911015176_6677d37745_z.jpg

 

so just out of curiosity I took another view...

 

16929791616_d72f6d3b0a_z.jpg

 

Wow - thanks so much. Just wouldn't want to test that view out in a

force 10 ;-)

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Great review. We are on board Britannia now and docked in Gran Canaria. Agree with pretty much all the points. Really enjoying the cruise so far and don't have any major complaints at all really.

One thing, you put a red arrow to the ladders up to the 'secret deck'? I think they are service ladders and not for public use.

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Thank you for the very helpful review and photos Richard. We set sail on 11th and your review has fuelled our anticipation and excitement. Can I ask what the hairdryer was like with regards to size, power and whether or not you had to keep the power button depressed all the time?

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I see that in your review you say "All in all this was an excellent cruise and it would be very difficult to find any valid criticism outside of the ‘minor’ hiccups to be expected on a maiden cruise. "

 

I have seen many other reviews with a common complaint about the lifts and lack of a central staircase.

 

How did you avoid this being a problem for you?

Edited by heathcharnock

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