There’s always excitement when waiting for the maiden voyage of a brand new luxury cruise liner, but for us Brits, there’s just something so special about the introduction of Britannia to the current P&O fleet. Designed to specifically meet the needs of the British cruise passenger, Britannia is one of the most highly anticipated ships of all time, and we’re quite literally on the edge of our seats waiting until 26 March 2014 when she goes on sale, BUT you can pre-register with us right now – read more here.
The problem with new ships is that there aren’t any past passenger reviews to read. Passenger reviews are invaluable resources as they tell you things you can’t find in general marketing materials from the cruise line, and they help you decide whether a particular ship is right for you. That’s where we come in! We’ve collated our insider knowledge to show you the best facilities and entertainment facilities on board Britannia for adults, families, and solo travellers. Not only do we get a behind the scenes preview of Britannia from P&O Cruises but we have also had the pleasure of seeing the ship’s construction development first hand, with multiple trips to the Monfalcone Shipyard in Trieste, Italy.
Adult Travellers & Couples
Britannia is set to boast the greatest choice and flexibility in terms of dining of all P&O ships, and adult travellers and couples will love the range of speciality dining options on board. These establishments create a more intimate, romantic atmosphere than the main dining rooms, and offer outstanding cuisine. Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu, already popular on board Azura, will be serving up a combination of international cuisine with an undeniable contemporary Indian twist, while Olly Smith’s Glass House will focus on pairing small, tapas-style dishes with the perfect wines.
The beauty of Britannia is that it has been designed with luxury in mind, and staterooms provide features and amenities you won’t find anywhere else, such as in-room pamper packs, unique TV and film on demand systems, artwork showcasing the best of British talents, and even glass shower screens, preventing your bathroom from flooding (an example of the cruise line listening to the feedback from their passengers). Balcony rooms are also available for those who appreciate having their own private verandas to soak up the sun, along with the extravagant Britannia Suite which is perfect for couples celebrating a special occasion. With your own private butler and separate living and sleeping areas, this suite is stunning.
Fitness and spa facilities are hugely popular with couples at sea. The state-of-the-art gymnasium is a great way to work up a sweat, while the luxurious spa facilities are perfect for a romantic couple’s treatment. There are four swimming pools to choose from, along with a number of bars, including the Blue Bar, for sampling some mouthwatering cocktails. We also cannot forget the magnificent spa facilities that Britannia will boast upon her arrival to the P&O Cruises fleet. Going against the norm for the cruise line, Britannia’s Oasis Spa will be located just off the Atrium rather than at the top of the ship, which is the case on all other members of the fleet. The Oasis Spa on board will be the most extravagant and beautiful to date, offering exceptional facilities, treatments and a stunning venue to simply relax, rejuvenate and enjoy some time to yourselves.
The theatre is always one of the most popular entertainment venues on board cruise ships, and this looks to be no different on board Britannia. The one difference is that the theatre will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before aboard a P&O cruise. With an LED backdrop, the range of performances that P&O can offer has been blown wide open. Shows will be more intense, more breathtaking, and the scenery will be more realistic than ever before.
Families with Young Children & Teens
For families with fussy eaters, Britannia, like all other P&O vessels, will feature a gigantic buffet area offering all manner of cuisine. Ranging from classic kids’ favourites, home comforts, international cuisine and much much more, even the fussiest of eaters will find something they love here. For a special treat, children will also love heading down to the Atrium, where patissier Eric Lanlard will be based. Crispy, flaky, cream-filled pastries and French-inspired offerings make for the perfect sweet treat at the Market Café.
It has been a criticism in the past that cruise lines do not provide enough space for families and that there are not enough dedicated family staterooms on board. Whilst many operators are putting this right, Britannia is tackling the issue head on and offers ‘large’ inside staterooms which fit within the budget but still offer more space for relaxing without families being on top of each other. Deluxe balcony rooms are also available which provide the same peaceful and private outdoor space as regular balcony rooms, but with a larger square foot interior to make family travel easier and more enjoyable.
Britannia is a family-friendly ship, and children of all ages are catered for on board. During the day, babies and toddlers can attend story time sessions, or enjoy a splash around in the kid-centric splash pool. Teenagers have plenty of choice of activities, ranging from social venues designed specifically for the under-18s, to video game rooms, to swimming pools. There’s even an entire section of the ship that’s strictly for teens only – no adults allowed!
Children don’t always appreciate being dragged along to the theatre while on a cruise, but on Britannia that doesn’t mean that mum and dad have to miss out. While teens can head to their own social venues when parents wish to watch a show, there’s also the chance of catching an impromptu performance around the ship at any time of day. P&O Cruises are aiming to reinvent cruise ship entertainment by removing the limitations. Entertainment isn’t restricted to the after dinner crowd anymore; it’s all around you from morning through to evening. Random, spontaneous shows will take place throughout the ship at numerous times during the day, you’ll never see them coming but when they do, you’ll love it.
With the cruise industry really changing to better accommodate solo travellers, Britannia is set to become one of the most welcoming in terms of dining. The three main dining rooms are perfectly set up to allow for new friendships with like-minded travellers to be formed. The Oriental restaurant, offering set dining times, allows you to really get to know your table companions over the course of your voyage, while the freedom dining aspects of the Peninsular and Meridian Restaurants allow for new friendships to be made every single day. Alternatively, if you fancy a quiet dinner and perhaps a more intimate atmosphere, the speciality restaurants are excellent- the choice is yours!
Britannia is, without a doubt, going to be one of the best ships for single passengers. Britannia will boast not only inside single cabins, but also single cabins with ocean view windows and single cabins with balconies! There will be 27 single cabins on board Britannia, which is more than any other P&O vessel, and these rooms will make it most cost effective for solo travellers to see the world, removing the need for single passenger supplements. The features and amenities of these rooms are on par with all other indoor and balcony rooms on Britannia, the only difference being a single bed, and a slightly smaller square footage.
Activities for solo travellers are truly varied. For those wishing to meet new people, the on board bars are great places for socialising, and there’s always events going on in these venues to take part in. The Crow’s Nest – a traditional P&O favourite – is a great venue for meeting new friends in a relaxed, welcoming environment, while the Limelight club is a little livelier. Alternatively, those who prefer to keep themselves to themselves can book a place on any one of a number of courses and classes offered at sea, including IT courses and cookery classes designed by one of the five ‘Food Heroes’ – James Martin. Here you’ll learn with some of the best in the business!
While some solo travellers enjoy the going to the theatre of an evening, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some prefer the intimacy of smaller venues that allows them to socialise more. On board Britannia, the Live Lounge – home to live music, comedy, and tribute acts – and the Crystal Room which encourages you to don your dancing shoes are the perfect evening alternatives to those wishing to bypass the theatre.
Britannia Is On Sale March From 26 March 2014!
If you’ve seen something that interests you (and, let’s face it, who hasn’t? There’s something for everyone on this ship!), then mark 26 March 2014 down in your calendar. Britannia sailings for 2015 will go on sale on this date, and cabins are expected to sell out fast, especially considering past experiences of Azura and Ventura going on sale. Britannia received more pre-registrations in one day than Azura took in the whole of her first week, if that doesn’t make you think, nothing will. To make sure you don’t miss out, pre-register now and be one of the first to book your place on this magnificent vessel.
To read more about Britannia and her outstanding features – click here.