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cozzyleicester

Seeking a measured review of Britannia

12 posts in this topic

We’re off on our first cruise together on Britannia starting 12th November (15 nights St Lucia & Eastern Caribbean, Early Saver, Cabin grade HE), and what is my first cruise in 25 years since a jaunt on the Carnival Holiday (I think?) from Miami to Puerto Rico, etc.

 

I’m finding it very difficult to get a measured opinion of this vessel on that (whisper) other cruise forum, you know, the one associated with Trip Advisor… What’s clear is that almost every review on there for her is a  ) pretty poor and b  ) from a contributor who has made “1 Review”.

 

Now I regard myself as a pretty savvy user of TA for hotels, restaurants etc. and try to give an honest review of my own wherever I go. On the flipside I never take a bad review in isolation, and always look at the average across the board and how many reviews have been posted in total – in other words 800 good reviews or better out of a 1000 is a more accurate reflection than 8 out of 10. Many a time have I been amazed what some people must have been thinking when they wrote bad reviews of hotels / resorts that I subsequently visited and found to be great.

 

So back to the ship in question – I’ve so far maintained a positive outlook and put the raft of poor reviews of Britannia down to the fact that she might attract a lot of first time cruisers, many of whom with sky–high and unrealistic expectations take to venting on Cruise Critic.

 

However, given the dearth of opposite views I’m coming to the conclusion that the bad might really outweigh the good and this long-awaited trip to celebrate my wife’s’ 50th could become a disappointment.

 

So to the seasoned cruisers out there, I’m looking for some reasoned and honest advice about what to expect of P&O’s flagship; is it just a case that the majority have a great time and choose to remain silent about it?

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Welcome to the forum. Isidius, a member, has just written an excellent rewiew of their 7 day cruise to Western Europe which is readily available as it is a current discussion.

In the end the holiday will be what you make of it and I am sure you will find it a wonderful trip especially as you have little to compare it against in terms if recent cruising. Make the most of the experience and do not let others cloud your expectations.

Contrary to many comments, Brittannia is a popular ship and is part of a very popular cruiseline. If you read this forum you will find that many complain but few actually change the cruiseline of their choice.

Enjoy.

Oldworldtraveller likes this

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We’re off on our first cruise together on Britannia starting 12th November (15 nights St Lucia & Eastern Caribbean, Early Saver, Cabin grade HE), and what is my first cruise in 25 years since a jaunt on the Carnival Holiday (I think?) from Miami to Puerto Rico, etc.

 

I’m finding it very difficult to get a measured opinion of this vessel on that (whisper) other cruise forum, you know, the one associated with Trip Advisor… What’s clear is that almost every review on there for her is a  ) pretty poor and b  ) from a contributor who has made “1 Review”.

 

Now I regard myself as a pretty savvy user of TA for hotels, restaurants etc. and try to give an honest review of my own wherever I go. On the flipside I never take a bad review in isolation, and always look at the average across the board and how many reviews have been posted in total – in other words 800 good reviews or better out of a 1000 is a more accurate reflection than 8 out of 10. Many a time have I been amazed what some people must have been thinking when they wrote bad reviews of hotels / resorts that I subsequently visited and found to be great.

 

So back to the ship in question – I’ve so far maintained a positive outlook and put the raft of poor reviews of Britannia down to the fact that she might attract a lot of first time cruisers, many of whom with sky–high and unrealistic expectations take to venting on Cruise Critic.

 

However, given the dearth of opposite views I’m coming to the conclusion that the bad might really outweigh the good and this long-awaited trip to celebrate my wife’s’ 50th could become a disappointment.

 

So to the seasoned cruisers out there, I’m looking for some reasoned and honest advice about what to expect of P&O’s flagship; is it just a case that the majority have a great time and choose to remain silent about it?

Reading between the lines most of the complaints centre around the lifts and lack of a central staircase, other than that most have actually found the ship, food and entertainment to be very nice.

Another gripe appears to be the amount of additional extras, such as the specialty restaurants, limelight room, cookery courses and the like, I must admit I don't like this concept but it seems to be the way most lines are going, fortunately by doing this they are keeping the headline prices down.

Go with an open mind and enjoy, after 25yrs you might actually prefer the newer concept of cruising.

HLM.

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Here's the link to the forum review from Insidius if you fancy taking a read http://www.bolsovercruiseclub.com/forum/topic/4373-britannia-7-night-western-europe-cruise/. Brittannia is a very popular ship and she certainly has a love/hate relationship with many cruisers. One of the main issues many cruisers seem to have with Britannia is the fact that she lacks a central staircase as HLM has already stated. If you do decide to book the cruise, I'm sure you'll make the most of your time on board

Captain Kidd II likes this

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I haven't been on Britannia, so maybe not qualified to comment, but I find it really hard to understand why the lack of a central staircase can really be the reason for an overall negative review. Sure, it may be somewhat inconvenient, but does waiting for the lift or walking further to use the available staircases really cause such a negative experience? Perhaps I should read those reviews myself, but I gave up reading reviews on other sites for the exact reason that soooo many people complain about trivial things...

 

I'm sure that if you're prepared to have a great time and keep the positive outlook, you WILL have a great time. I'm more than a little jealous!

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Hi cozzyleicester I was on Britannia for two weeks over Christmas/NewYear in the Caribbean and here are my views of her.

 

Britannia looks huge from the outside but I found with the clever use of partitions on the inside she has the feel of a smaller ship this I found very noticeable in the dining rooms where it has a nice restaurant feel rather than a feeling a vast open space. Her décor is very much like a hotel with muted tones and colour and she does look very stylish and her atrium does have the wow factor first time you see it but you soon do not notice it at all.

 

Staff were very friendly and helpful however I felt there were not enough of them in the dining room which meant they were forced to rush around a fair bit and it was easy for them to get things wrong (as in orders) the wine waiters are there but do not expect to get your orders as fast as you once did.

 

Sindhu and the Epicurean are both wonderful as was the Glass House I didn't try the Limelight or the afternoon tea so cannot comment on those.

 

The cabins are good and the shower with there glass doors are a real plus much more roomier than the shower curtain ones however that comes at a cost with the size of the balconies as they are much smaller than say Ventura or Azura more on the line of Oceana still large enough to sit on but not stretch out on.

 

The shops are pretty much the same as on the rest of the fleet as are the table top sales and as always it is difficult if not impossible to get a sun lounger near the pool on sea days but saying that there are plenty of them on the higher decks.

 

I did find that a lot of the ships space is taken up with "Pay for things" such as the cookery club, Glass house, not one but two coffee bars (Eric Lanards and Costa) Limelight, The Spa, The retreat, Sindhu & Epicurean and as such it felt like you could spend the whole day paying out. I personally also really missed have the prom deck as the prom on the top did not have that prom feeling for me.

 

All in all I would go back on Britannia with the right cruise but she did not become my favourite ship, she has lots of lovely things and few not so great but she is no different there to any other ship. A cruise is what you make it and I am sure you will have a great time.  

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I believe a lot of the negative reviews are from loyal P&O customers who have sailed with them for many many years. Britannia is different to the older ships, much larger and is attracting a younger crowd but still a lovely ship and I would definitely sail on her again.

cozzyleicester likes this

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My husband and I was on Britannia in Feb in the Caribbean and we had a lovely time.

In my humble opinion there is no such thing as a bad ship/boat but only bad passengers. I am sure you get them on most cruise lines. They are either boring you to death with how many cruises they have been on or how much they have paid. Or they are just plain ignorant by pushing in or reserving sun loungers for hours on end without using them. My main grouse is people not washing their hands!!!

We have only cruised with 4 different lines ( some more than once ) but we felt P&O were no better or worse than the others.

Can't say I took any notice of the lack of central staircase/lifts or whatever. It's always fun exploring a new ship and you will always find your favourite spot for relaxing or favourite bar for having a drink.

I don't let other people's negative comments put me off. Like yourself I have been to places that have had awful reviews and I haven't been able to understand what they were moaning about.

Go and enjoy it

cozzyleicester likes this

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Britannia is a great ship and the vast majority of passengers have a fantastic holiday. We have experienced the Med and the Fjords on her and both cruises were great fun.

 

We would suggest trying some of the additional dining options, beach house and Sindhu are great but entirely different experiences. Glass House steaks superb and if you really want a more costly treat try the Epicurean. If there is a particular act on at the Limelight Club that you fancy it is a great night out. As you have gathered Britannia offers lots of choice. This upsets some as they see it purely as an attempt to make money. An alternative view is that if you are looking to buy a jumper and the choice is Lambs wool only you may be happier to see a range of cashmere or cotton as well. More choice but the decision on what to buy is yours and more importantly it doesn't affect anyone else. 

 

Despite what you may read in other reviews none of the "niggles" (e.g. lack of middle stairs) should in any way detract from a great cruise. All ships have plus and minus points. My perfect ship could be others nightmare!

 

Have a great cruise

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Hi,  we have mainly cruised with P&O, our favourite ship is the Aurora but we have sailed on Azura, Oriana, Oceana and earlier this year we decided to try the Britannia mainly because it was the strictly come dancing cruise, we always go with an open mind and to enjoy the holiday. On every ship we have come across people who only seem to go on holiday to moan about something.

 

Our holiday this year on Britannia was brilliant, there was almost too much to do, the strictly shows were excellent,the Live Lounge entertainment is loud but excellent, the technology and shows in the main theatre were excellent, there was dancing every night and master class lessons with the Strictly stars on several occasions.We paid extra for wine tasting with Ollie Smith who was brilliantly entertaining,

James Martin did an "Audience with" in the main theatre and we also paid extra to see " Morecombe and Wise" in the Limelight club which was brilliant, the three course meal was top class.The Crows Nest is also excellent and very popular. 

 

To us the Britannia is an excellent ship, she is different to all of the other P&O ships but none the worse for it, we fail to see what the problem is with the central staircase, it didnt bother us, if the itinerary suits us we wont hesitate to sail on her again. Fair enough we did miss the lack of a promenade deck and the balconies are a bit small but when put into the context of the whole holiday experience they are very small issues.

 

Dont pay any notice to the whingers and moaners, go with an open mind, make the most of all she has to offer and we are sure you will have an excellent holiday. Have a great time.

 

"Bon Voyage"   

cozzyleicester likes this

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Hi,

We sailed on Britania January 16, our first thoughts were "isn't she huge" and yes when you stand one end of a cabin corridor there seems no end to it, Cabin placement - its tricky to know where to choose =- pros and cons for different things - near to lift for dining or theatre or selected bar, it makes no odds - there will be a lot of walking wherever you are!!!.

After several trips on the Ventura - our favourite- there were a few little bits we were not so keen on - people mentioning the central stairs if they mean in the Atrium and whether its relevant - we were not overawed by Britania's, on Gala nights the ONE staircase ascending/descending the Atrium is almost taken over by the wretched photographers - half way up and they are waving at you to move out of their shots -I was mean and made them wait for me!!!.

The food was as excellent as always - as mentioned by someone else they need more wine waiters service was indeed slow with this if you didn't catch their eye straight away- I like my wine with the course not half way through!

The cabins were on the whole very good only small gripe was that the lighting over bed was only designed to be on or off so if one wanted to read and the other didn't - hard luck to one of you.

Comparing the layout to the Ventura in our opinion Ventura wins, You can walk round the whole of Ventura outside - Britannia because of the Gym placement you need to go in, go up or down then out again, but once you get your bearings its not so bad.

At the end of our cruise we said we prob. would not opt for Britannia again - but guess what? we have just booked the carribbean for January on Britannia and are looking forward to it. --- It is impossible to keep everyone completly happy!!!

 

Go with an open mind, it will be exciting, You will enjoy it and your first cruise is always so special.

cozzyleicester likes this

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We were sceptical about sailing on her earlier this year so chose a one week cruise to the Fjords.  We were unfortunate to be allocated a rear view cabin directly over the live lounge which was very noisy until very late (gone 1.30 in the morning).  We did complain and they tried to deaden the bass and when this did not work they moved us to another cabin.  This was our first cruise with P&O and so not sure how things would work out but we were very pleased with the way the staff handled our problem.  She is a large ship but as others have said when on board she does not seem so large.  We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and are due to sail on her again on a longer voyage.  The complaints about the lack of central stairs are the same as those on both Royal and Regal Princess which we have sailed on so knew what to expect and did not have a problem with it.  We liked the grab and go bar which was great for getting breakfast or a snack at lunchtime if we were in a hurry to get somewhere else.

cozzyleicester likes this

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