Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Recommended Posts

Just looking at prices for next year to the Caribbean and there’s quite a bit of a difference on certain cabins.

 

a deluxe balcony is around £1,000 more over two weeks. You get £400 OBC so that leaves £600 extra in return for knowing your cabin number and dining time. A normal balcony cabin is around £350 more. What do most people book?

 

We we are thinking of having two cabins and both P&O and a TA said we could end up with different dining times. We would want anytime dining so generally can we swap to that once onboard if we aren’t allocated it? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you book early saver the cabins may not be close to each other. You may be able to change dining arrangements but not always ... if you are particular about cabin location then book select ... but we always book whichever is cheapest and have not yet been unhappy with cabin allocation.. if you need cabins together and would be unhappy eating at different times then booking select is probably better for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With saver fares there are no guarantees re location of the cabin or dining time as has been said.

 

You can however link the two cabin bookings and in that way the restaurant manager will be aware that it is one party. You get a three digit code for each cabin which is then added to the other by calling customer services. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest possible negative of booking Early Saver or Saver fares is that not being able to pick you cabin and is in the hands of P&O and you could end up in cabins that nobody else has booked because it is in a poor position front/aft which could cause sea sickness problems or even worse a cabin which is a very noisy part of the ship above/below theatre/show lounges or buffet restaurant/lido and be disturbed from noise early in morning when breakfast is served or dragging of sunbeds setting up lido deck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone, some valid points. It seems a lot extra money for not a lot as it’s only room number and meal but based on what you’ve said I can understand it.

 

We want anytime so I’d hope they would be flexible with that as they were last time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, DevonianCruiser said:

Thanks everyone, some valid points. It seems a lot extra money for not a lot as it’s only room number and meal but based on what you’ve said I can understand it.

 

We want anytime so I’d hope they would be flexible with that as they were last time.

I'm sure you'll be sort out the meal times OK (that's unlikely to be a problem, most of the time) but it's very risky allowing P&O to allocate the cabins - they can vary dramatically, and it's always the problem ones that are left unsold.

 

Also the question of shuttle charges, of course, but that's a minor issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that while it is always a possibility that you get one of the (odd) really bad cabins in my experience it has never happened to us, perhaps we are just lucky. We never go for the very basic saver grade and tend to pick a higher grade balcony cabin within the grade which reduces the risks.

 

What I would also say is that what you would dislike is very personal. If you are an early bird then a cabin under the pool area may not bother you as you are up anyway. If you are a night owl same re the disco or theatre.

 

It also depends on the ship eg everyone know knows that the aft cabins on Brittania suffer from soot so a guarantee on Brittania is a risk if you like to sit out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, DevonianCruiser said:

Thanks all.

 

One final question. Having never been on this ship, where’s a good place to get a cabin? I’ll avoid the aft.

Which ship are you on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would normally recommend that you book middle middle for the best stability and easy access to public areas however Brittania has no middle stairwell and relying on lifts has been reported by some as a bit of a pain. Personally I did not mind the walk to another stairwell / lift.

 

They are apparently adding in a new stairwell but it depends on when you plan to cruise if it will be in place.

 

The rule of thumb on most ships is that middle and middle is best for those who suffer seas sickness and forward cabins worst as they suffer from the most movement (though movement on newer ships is not bad in most circumstances).

 

Also avoid cabins with anything below them eg the theatre, go for something with cabins above, beside and below them. Avoid opposite the laundry, right next to the lifts and anywhere near a blank white space as you don’t know what that might be. Also avoid above or near a smoking area if you are a non smoker and this would annoy you. On Brittania that is at the aft end.

 

Personally  I like a cabin right at the back as I enjoy watching the wake and having a better range of view and chance on sunshine (but not on Brittania re the soot). 

 

It always depends on the ship so study the deck plans carefully. They all have little quirks so check the deck plans carefully and look out for the little symbols which tell you about anything different about the cabin you think you want or the ones near it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As well as the risk of a poor cabin location (and there are many factors that can cause that), getting a dining allocation that doesn't suit you and that you cannot change is far more likely than some are suggesting. The last time that we were on Britannia there were signs outside the main dining room on the first day stating that Freedom Dining was full and no changes to dining arrangements were possible. Freedom dining tends to be the first to 'sell out' these days, so if you book a saver on Britannia you should do so in the expectation that you will probably get Club (fixed) dining and will most likely have to share a table with others for the duration of the cruise. This won't be an issue on Iona and subsequent new builds as they will be 100% Freedom Dining.  For us, the compromises and risks associated with a Saver fare rule them out as an option and, once you take into account the OBC / free parking / free shuttle buses etc that you lose with a Saver, the 'real' price difference is often quite small.

 

If the saving is significant and you aren't worried about being under or above a source of noise, then you can avoid some of the dining problems by using the Select Dining (extra cost) restaurants, which are all excellent on Britannia.

 

Avoid the rearmost 20% of the ship if you want to avoid the soot problem that blights Britannia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the excellent answers. Very helpful. We’re going to book select and choose our cabins away from the soot and hopefully in a good location. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Selbourne said:

Avoid the rearmost 20% of the ship if you want to avoid the soot problem that blights Britannia.

Certainly the case with Britannia. No problem at all with the aft cabins and suites on Azura or Ventura, and they're great places to be. Amazing they got so many things wrong with Britannia. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, docco said:

Certainly the case with Britannia. No problem at all with the aft cabins and suites on Azura or Ventura, and they're great places to be. Amazing they got so many things wrong with Britannia. 

 

Agreed. We have had aft suites on Arcadia and Ventura and had no issues at all. Both were fabulous. But I'd only have another aft suite (or aft balcony cabin of any type) on Britannia if it was free of charge!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, DevonianCruiser said:

Thanks all for the excellent answers. Very helpful. We’re going to book select and choose our cabins away from the soot and hopefully in a good location. 

 

Very sensible. Avoid any public areas above, below or adjacent to your cabin. You will also get 'confirmed' status for Freedom Dining, which means that you can dine every night with your travel companions and no others (should that be your preference). Britannia is a lovely ship, but you need to work around the known problems, all of which have been covered in this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had an aft balcony cabin for the maiden cruise on Britannia and had very little problem with soot. Steward cleaned balcony and furniture every morning as part of his cleaning and if we wanted to sit on balcony after that it was just a matter of a quick wipe down.

 

They didnt get so many things wrong on Britannia as previously stated by docco as "soot problem" is a design fault that has also affected Regal/Royal Princess so P&O were well aware in advance also the same with no middle stairs which did not affect us one bit. She is P&Os best ship by far IMO and has plenty of choices of bars/restaurants and facilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

We had an aft balcony cabin for the maiden cruise on Britannia and had very little problem with soot. Steward cleaned balcony and furniture every morning as part of his cleaning and if we wanted to sit on balcony after that it was just a matter of a quick wipe down.

 

They didnt get so many things wrong on Britannia as previously stated by docco as "soot problem" is a design fault that has also affected Regal/Royal Princess so P&O were well aware in advance also the same with no middle stairs which did not affect us one bit. She is P&Os best ship by far IMO and has plenty of choices of bars/restaurants and facilities.

 

When you have paid thousands for the privilege of a suite, I don't expect to have a balcony that gets covered in soot. Our balcony was massive (corner wrap suite) and it took the steward an age to wash it down every day and, try as he might, he couldn't shift it all. You were lucky it was just a quick wipe down, as it was a major job every day (and sometimes twice a day) for our poor steward. When you get it on your skin or clothes it smears and is a nightmare to remove. We also smelt very strong fumes on some occasions. Atmospheric conditions affect it a lot. Wind direction can cause one side of the ship to have soot and the other to be clear. Wet or humid weather causes the smut to fall quicker. It certainly wasn't a problem every day, but I don't want that problem at all.

 

I agree that Britannia is a lovely ship and the restaurants are the best in the fleet, as are the cabins, but to imply that the soot is a minor issue would be irresponsible to those considering how to spend their hard earned money, so I feel obliged to stress that it was a major issue for us and has been for many others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am afraid here is another vote to avoid the stern suites/cabins. We had the corner suite on B deck on a fjords cruise and most of the time it was unusable. It may be different with different climatic conditions or with a stronger wind. It was such a pity as it was a fabulous balcony.

 

The rest of he ship is wonderful. We are on her again in July. But not in a stern cabin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Selbourne said:

 

When you have paid thousands for the privilege of a suite, I don't expect to have a balcony that gets covered in soot. Our balcony was massive (corner wrap suite) and it took the steward an age to wash it down every day and, try as he might, he couldn't shift it all. You were lucky it was just a quick wipe down, as it was a major job every day (and sometimes twice a day) for our poor steward. When you get it on your skin or clothes it smears and is a nightmare to remove. We also smelt very strong fumes on some occasions. Atmospheric conditions affect it a lot. Wind direction can cause one side of the ship to have soot and the other to be clear. Wet or humid weather causes the smut to fall quicker. It certainly wasn't a problem every day, but I don't want that problem at all.

 

I agree that Britannia is a lovely ship and the restaurants are the best in the fleet, as are the cabins, but to imply that the soot is a minor issue would be irresponsible to those considering how to spend their hard earned money, so I feel obliged to stress that it was a major issue for us and has been for many others.

 

I never implied that it was a "minor issue" and I certainly wasnt irresponsible as you say I only said what happened to us when we were on Britannia and as far as we were concerned it was not a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, majortom10 said:

We had an aft balcony cabin for the maiden cruise on Britannia and had very little problem with soot. Steward cleaned balcony and furniture every morning as part of his cleaning and if we wanted to sit on balcony after that it was just a matter of a quick wipe down.

 

They didnt get so many things wrong on Britannia as previously stated by docco as "soot problem" is a design fault that has also affected Regal/Royal Princess so P&O were well aware in advance also the same with no middle stairs which did not affect us one bit. She is P&Os best ship by far IMO and has plenty of choices of bars/restaurants and facilities.

I'd say the soot issues and the 'missing' staircase are substantial enough to amount to pretty major design flaws - hugely bad feedback from those affected, and it's certainly put us off booking Britannia.  It's got to be pretty bad if they have to actually add another staircase!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, docco said:

I'd say the soot issues and the 'missing' staircase are substantial enough to amount to pretty major design flaws - hugely bad feedback from those affected, and it's certainly put us off booking Britannia.  It's got to be pretty bad if they have to actually add another staircase!

 

Just now, docco said:

I'd say the soot issues and the 'missing' staircase are substantial enough to amount to pretty major design flaws - hugely bad feedback from those affected, and it's certainly put us off booking Britannia.  It's got to be pretty bad if they have to actually add another staircase!

They dont have to add another staircase as there is already one there but for crew use only.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

 

They dont have to add another staircase as there is already one there but for crew use only.

 

As you wish.  Would you prefer that I said 'provide another staircase for public use'?  Amounts to the same thing, so far as passengers are concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

 

I never implied that it was a "minor issue" and I certainly wasnt irresponsible as you say I only said what happened to us when we were on Britannia and as far as we were concerned it was not a problem.

 

You said that you had “very little problem with soot” and that you could resolve the issue with “a quick wipe down”. To anyone who has not experienced the problems that I and others have experienced, that would certainly suggest it was a minor issue. Your comments were said in contradiction to several of us warning someone considering cabin location on Britannia that the aft should be avoided due to soot. You were very lucky that it wasn’t a problem for you as it has been a major problem for many others, including myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway guys, thank you for all the comments.

 

we've booked this afternoon, a suite for my parents and a delux balcony for us. Paid extra and did the select so we could choose cabins in the middle on good decks.  Very pleased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...