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Britannia re positioning cruise doubts


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HI

Looking to do the Britannia transatlantic to Barbados and beyond from Southampton in October 2020 on a re positioning cruise.

Have done x3 celebrity Caribbean plus Princess and Royal Caribbean cruises. We love to dance, dress up and sunbath as a priority and find the food and set time dining on Celebrity to be a real pleasure and not a great buffet fan

Worried Britannia will be a disappointment compared to the Celebrity Reflection. Be grateful for input on the ship especially those who have done both P&O and Celebrity cruises.

Also would like to know how the non-Buffet dining works compared to set time dining etc and info on the new drinks packages are they worth it?

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53 minutes ago, pj57 said:

HI

Looking to do the Britannia transatlantic to Barbados and beyond from Southampton in October 2020 on a re positioning cruise.

Have done x3 celebrity Caribbean plus Princess and Royal Caribbean cruises. We love to dance, dress up and sunbath as a priority and find the food and set time dining on Celebrity to be a real pleasure and not a great buffet fan

Worried Britannia will be a disappointment compared to the Celebrity Reflection. Be grateful for input on the ship especially those who have done both P&O and Celebrity cruises.

Also would like to know how the non-Buffet dining works compared to set time dining etc and info on the new drinks packages are they worth it?

Britannia has set dining times early and late like most cruise ships and also has freedom dining so you can eat in MDR at a time of your choosing. It also has excellent speciality restaurants i.e. Epicurean, Sindhu and Beach House at extra cost. Britannia also has a dedicated room Crystal Room with a dance floor. Do not understand what you mean by non buffet compared to set dining times apart from Freedom dining which is same food but served in a dedicated MDR at a time of your choice and you just turn up when you want between 6pm-9.30pm. Purchasing of drinks onboard P&O will be far cheaper than Celebrity so unless you are a serious drinker the price of £39-95pp per day for drinks package might not be worthwhile but that is something only you can decide.

 

 

Edited by majortom10
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50 minutes ago, pj57 said:

HI

Looking to do the Britannia transatlantic to Barbados and beyond from Southampton in October 2020 on a re positioning cruise.

Have done x3 celebrity Caribbean plus Princess and Royal Caribbean cruises. We love to dance, dress up and sunbath as a priority and find the food and set time dining on Celebrity to be a real pleasure and not a great buffet fan

Worried Britannia will be a disappointment compared to the Celebrity Reflection. Be grateful for input on the ship especially those who have done both P&O and Celebrity cruises.

Also would like to know how the non-Buffet dining works compared to set time dining etc and info on the new drinks packages are they worth it?

Afraid I haven't been on a Celebrity cruise but can help generally regarding Britannia.

Dressing up: P&O is the right place for this. On a longer cruise there will be several formal nights and the majority of passengers adhere to the dress code, with the men wearing dinner suits or tux and ladies wearing cocktail dresses, gowns or smart trousers and sparkly/floaty tops.

Dancing: of the newer P&O ships Britannia probably has the best dance floor in the dedicated Crystal Room.

Sunbathing: as you're likely to be outside of the school holiday period and provided you're not bothered about being around the main pool area, you shouldn't have a problem finding somewhere to sunbathe.  There is a separate area with cabanas and things, for an extra charge per day/week pass.

Dining: two set dining times in the MDR, plus another dining room dedicated to Freedom dining, which serves the same menu as in the set time dining rooms. With Freedom dining you just turn up and request a table. If you want a table for two or arrive at a peak time, then you will be asked to wait and given a pager so you can go off and have a drink. The wait isn't usually long.

You also have the option of the bookable speciality restaurants for which there is an extra charge. 

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Thanks for all your reply's. But no body seems to be singing the praises of the ship. Be grateful for info either way. Majortom 10 I was confused by things I had read but thanks for clearing up the dining options for me. Legal stylist I was thinking of the 23 ? day cruise with extra ports 😊  

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Recently returned from Britannia 4-18/5 and we had an excellent cruise. Our third cruise on her we did the maiden and one 2yrs ago also and saw no deterioration in standards of food in MDR and service and staff were excellent. There is also the usual pizza and burger grill by the pool, we didnt like the burger bar as burgers made up in advance and plated with chips.and you had no idea how long they had been sitting there. If you asked for a beefburger without everything they automatically added or no chips it seemed to cause confusion so we never went again. There is also grab n go which is convenient if you want to take sandwiches, wraps and salads and deserts which were pre prepared and take them to a quieter spot on deck or perhaps back to your cabin and sit on your balcony if you have one. One thing that I disagree with groovechick is that there is only one set dining MDR for dinner and that is Oriental on deck 6 aft, Meridian and Peninsular on decks 5 & 6 midships were both freedom dining at night. One tip is if you eat breakfast in MDR they usually have one of the midships and the Oriental both open but everybody seems to head for the midships for convenience making it very busy and a longer service where Oriental is a lot quieter and so quicker and better service.

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I have only been on Ventura, so can't comment on Britannia yet. However we are counting down the days until we sail on her, in less than two weeks. Our one cruise on Celebrity Eclipse was to the Baltics and was more of a cultural cruise which was reflected in the entertainment. 

We had freedom dining on the Eclipse, but ended up booking a table each night for the next one and at the same time each night. Though the waiters were nice enough, I think the ones on Ventura were more friendlier. For the food in the mdr on Eclipse, it didn't have as much choice as on Ventura. This didn't bother me as I'm a parky eater in any case.  Though on Ventura apart from the always available, some night I could find other things from the main menu to eat. Celebrity's seemed to only have a few choices for the whole menu and these were repeated every few days. So for the mdr, I think that for us P&O came out better.

However for the buffet (I know you don't want to use that), Celebrity came out way better. Their idea of a minute steak, is what I would call a small steak. They have food from various nationalities and you can pick and choose from what you wanted. The big hot carving ham's for breakfast were a nice touch. The choice of buns to make sandwiches at lunch time, was better, though that could be down to size, with P&O's being more smaller rolls like what you would get with soup.

Celebrity has free ice cream, both in the buffet (served) and from a machine on deck to which you help yourself. P&O only has the free ice cream in the mdr.

 

During the day we found the ship to be quiet after a few days at sea, but this was probably down to the weather. I did though enjoy sitting on deck wrapped up reading a book with very few people on the deck. I don't know where everyone disappeared to. Even the inside pool area was quiet.  People did come out on the night time though. 

 

On the last evening chic night it was the last night of the cruise. As the cases had to be left outside the door by 8pm, weren't able to dress up, as we would then have to try and find somewhere for our clothes to go the next day. P&O don't have their formal nights on the last night which gives you time to pack them up. 

 

We have enjoyed our cruises with both of them, but can't compare like for like as they were to different places (one hot, one, not so). I thought that the price for the Celebrity was more expensive than P&O cruises, but P&O prices seem to be increasing (other people who book at launch will dispute that, but I have found they have gone up in the short time that we have been cruising), with the cruise we will soon be taking on Britannia to the med, costing about the same price as the Baltic one on Celebrity.

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Its rather like Marmite, some people love it others describe it as too bland.

The good:---

The serenity child free pool area on the sun deck is very pleasant.

The buffet has much better laid out serveries than Azura and Ventura.

The MDR's are more spacious and the waiter stations discreetly hidden.

If you like dancing the Crystal room is just for you, if you want a supper club then Limelight is your choice.

The bad (IMO):----

The Atrium reminds me of  a John Lewis store.

The theatre has less seats than Azura, they are very narrow and uncomfortable.

The balconies are tiny.

There is no real promenade deck, only a small sunbathing section, which is also for smokers.

But the rest is very similar to Princess and RCI, but not as high standard as Celebrity.

Hope that helps:-).

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We've been in Celebrity Silhouette 3 times and Britannia twice. Really like both ships. They are different but if you go accepting that they are different then you should be fine.

 

 

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I would say straight out that we prefer Celebrity to P&O but it comes at a price now with exchange rates etc, especially for fly cruises. On board spend seems to be a lot more on Celebrity but I think that Celebrity are just a notch above P&O for most aspects of the cruise, especially service.

So we now cruise P&O (our next 4 cruises are with P&O) as it enables us to cruise twice a year and we are more than happy with the quality that we get. I would also say that Britannia is our favourite ship in the fleet, mainly because it has a lot more options in the evenings for dining and entertainment. We have sailed twice before on Britannia and have enjoyed both, the food and entertainment have both been good. The only negative with P&O seems to come if you get a problem, as their Customer Service is not the best, but that apart I am sure you will enjoy Britannia. Incidentally, we are going on the 22 day Caribbean TA on Britannia his year. 

Edited by bee-ess
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Sailed on Britannia and have booked her again for 2020. Went on Celebrity Reflection in 2017 from Rome around the Greek Islands. Out of the two we prefer Britannia. Would not sail with Celebrity again we were not impressed. Everything else has been covered by other posters.

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Britannia is our favourite P and O ship.We haven t cruised with Celebrity so not sure how it compares except for probably being cheaper.We cruised 20 nights translantic on Britannia a couple of years ago and loved it.I can definitely recommend the 20 or 22 night cruise though wouldn t be so keen on a 13 or 14 night translantic as you don t visit as many ports

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2 hours ago, john watson said:

Transatlantic, you have to get a Balcony Cabin.  Everyone will be on the open decks as there are no people on excursions for a number of consecutive days.

 

Regards John

I agree and Port side of the ship.

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5 hours ago, pj57 said:

thanks groovechick

All my reply's have great info but nobody singing the praises of the Britannia

I deliberately avoided giving an opinion because I didn't want to prejudice you either way. You should go and make up your own mind. Everyone's tastes and expectations are quite different. Siome people love her. For what it's worth, I didn't like Britannia. Nothing to do with size: I thought the decor was bland and positively dingy in the cabins (we had an inside cabin, might be better in a cabin with daylight), that the flow through some of the public areas was poor and the lounges/theatre weren't big enough for the number of pax, that the theatre seating was uncomfortable and she lacked wow factor. My son loved her, my daughter felt similar to me and hubby was somewhere in between. That being said, I didn't dislike her enough to say I would never go on her again, if the price and itinerary were right. 

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4 hours ago, majortom10 said:

Recently returned from Britannia 4-18/5 and we had an excellent cruise. Our third cruise on her we did the maiden and one 2yrs ago also and saw no deterioration in standards of food in MDR and service and staff were excellent. There is also the usual pizza and burger grill by the pool, we didnt like the burger bar as burgers made up in advance and plated with chips.and you had no idea how long they had been sitting there. If you asked for a beefburger without everything they automatically added or no chips it seemed to cause confusion so we never went again. There is also grab n go which is convenient if you want to take sandwiches, wraps and salads and deserts which were pre prepared and take them to a quieter spot on deck or perhaps back to your cabin and sit on your balcony if you have one. One thing that I disagree with groovechick is that there is only one set dining MDR for dinner and that is Oriental on deck 6 aft, Meridian and Peninsular on decks 5 & 6 midships were both freedom dining at night. One tip is if you eat breakfast in MDR they usually have one of the midships and the Oriental both open but everybody seems to head for the midships for convenience making it very busy and a longer service where Oriental is a lot quieter and so quicker and better service.

Actually I said there were two set dining times, not fixed dining MDRs,  but I'm sure you're correct regarding the split. We were club dining on Britannia, so I didn't take much notice of the freedom options. As I said, it was the poor fixed MDR experience on Britannia that made us try freedom for our next cruise.

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7 hours ago, groovechick said:

Afraid I haven't been on a Celebrity cruise but can help generally regarding Britannia.

Dressing up: P&O is the right place for this. On a longer cruise there will be several formal nights and the majority of passengers adhere to the dress code, with the men wearing dinner suits or tux and ladies wearing cocktail dresses, gowns or smart trousers and sparkly/floaty tops.

Dancing: of the newer P&O ships Britannia probably has the best dance floor in the dedicated Crystal Room.

Sunbathing: as you're likely to be outside of the school holiday period and provided you're not bothered about being around the main pool area, you shouldn't have a problem finding somewhere to sunbathe.  There is a separate area with cabanas and things, for an extra charge per day/week pass.

Dining: two set dining times in the MDR, plus another dining room dedicated to Freedom dining, which serves the same menu as in the set time dining rooms. With Freedom dining you just turn up and request a table. If you want a table for two or arrive at a peak time, then you will be asked to wait and given a pager so you can go off and have a drink. The wait isn't usually long.

You also have the option of the bookable speciality restaurants for which there is an extra charge. 

You also said "set time dining rooms" giving me and others the impression that there was more than one which is why I replied that there is only one MDR doing set times on Britannia to stop confusion.

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Thanks for all your comment such good info 😊

Any thoughts on which balcony cabin? Not much choice left but we usually go high, any areas to avoid ie by kitchens ect.

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4 minutes ago, pj57 said:

Interested to know why port side.... Sun wind? thanks

 

Because that what the P.O.S.H people do...

 

Port Outward Starboard Home

 

For the sun.

Les.

Edited by Les_ldh
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22 hours ago, majortom10 said:

Britannia has set dining times early and late like most cruise ships and also has freedom dining so you can eat in MDR at a time of your choosing. It also has excellent speciality restaurants i.e. Epicurean, Sindhu and Beach House at extra cost. Britannia also has a dedicated room Crystal Room with a dance floor. Do not understand what you mean by non buffet compared to set dining times apart from Freedom dining which is same food but served in a dedicated MDR at a time of your choice and you just turn up when you want between 6pm-9.30pm. Purchasing of drinks onboard P&O will be far cheaper than Celebrity so unless you are a serious drinker the price of £39-95pp per day for drinks package might not be worthwhile but that is something only you can decide.

 

 

Thanks 😊

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16 hours ago, ann141 said:

Britannia is our favourite P and O ship.We haven t cruised with Celebrity so not sure how it compares except for probably being cheaper.We cruised 20 nights translantic on Britannia a couple of years ago and loved it.I can definitely recommend the 20 or 22 night cruise though wouldn t be so keen on a 13 or 14 night translantic as you don t visit as many ports

Thanks 😊

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