1st time #Britannia
Barry M. Kessler | September 4, 2017 | P&O Cruises | Britannia
Our itinerary was a flight to Barbados arriving 4:30 pm local time. Then to St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St .Marten, finalising with Ponta Delgade and back to Southampton.
Britannia is large to say the least, and we expected it to be akin to a 5* hotel. However we have a list of things that spoilt it for us and we asses it as struggling to be a 3?« *!
We should have looked at the itinerary a little closer as the stops were all within the first 5 or 6 days, in a row and then at sea to Ponta Delgade and Southampton.
For a ship that is supposed to be the ??Star? of the line, it falls well short of it in our opinion
Overall the d??cor is let us say is smart and clean cut. Many designers must have contributed to it, and been advised of a general theme to apply, however the theme has not worked well and leaves a lot wanting.
Overall navigation is confusing due to several reasons. Each cabin deck runs the full length of the ship. There is the same carpet on all floors and into the cabins. A standard console table and two lamps opposite each of the lifts on each floor, is far from helpful to see which deck you are on. Odd cabins are Starboard and Even on the portside, could and do confuse the elder passengers. I would say that when the corridors?? viewed from either end and empty, one can say that you can see the curvature of the earth!
Each lift shaft area is the same, so knowing where you are in relationship to the Prow to Aft has to be kept in mind at all times. The obvious rectification should be a colour scheme around each of the 3 lift shafts, as on other ships and large hotels be it no more than changing the carpet colour. On the console tables between the lamps an ornament or artificial flowers on them on each level, besides looking much better and humanised, would assist in locating your Cabin.
There are seats all around the ship where soft settees on one side are far too low for the tables and if you sit opposite in the chairs, you look up or down to your companions. Many of the occasional tables are modern works of art, yet they wobble and are futile. The many works of art, ( Pictures ) have an information plaque fitted three feet off the ground so are impossible to read unless you bend, kneel or lie down to read them.
With up to 17 food outlets there are only 4 where no surcharge is made and the surcharges are not cheap in the others. We did not explore the resident chief??s area as we did not need to check on the pricing!
A positive health hazard is the decking which is far too hot in the sun for bare feet and like an ice rink when wet. The hand rails are polished wood and as soon as they are the slightest bit wet they are very slippery and give no support whatsoever. My Wife is recovering from a serious broken ankle and has to take steps one at a time with her arms on each. Luckily I was in front of here when we were descending, and she placed her arms on them and instantly slipped forward and would have toppled to the bottom had I not been in front of her.
The ??You will be entertained if you like it or not? brigade, who were around the main pool, were a pain and a positive annoyance. We found the Tranquillity pool at the prow, so we escaped it all. Mind you the laser light show they out on with the deck and dancers lit up with l.e.d. tubes upon them was fantastic.
But let??s be positive we had a very nice holiday. We booked with a couple we have been with before and by coincidence there were five other couples who we knew who had booked at the same time. We did our own thing during the day had had quite a crowd at Nigh and would you believe it there are two other friends boarding as we debark going off to the Med. Do not fancy that as Ant and Deck are taking over for a Saturday Night Take Away show.
We did pay the extra ?50 to see Eric and Ernie in the Lime House suite. The food was excellent and the turn amazing. Martin Walker a comedian is a name to look out for as his act was 1st class
All of the staff were 100% and helpful. The shows were very good too and the band, led by the drummer, (I have forgotten his name), were very flexible in what they did, even for the old time dancing fraternity. There was a Beatles tribute act, they did a long gig and were as believable as the lads themselves. The pianist who played hither and dither had the same hymen sheet, and was boring as hell to all who listened to him rather than those taking him as wall paper.
We would not be likely to book on Britannia again, but would on Arcadia or Azura, which we also have cruised on with P & O.
We flew from Manchester and sailed back to Southampton, where we must commend the overall debarkation, however 6 hours coach trip up the M 6 back to Manchester on a Bank Holiday Friday, sort of took the edge of it all. We would recommend flying out and flying back as a much better proposition, as we normally do when going to the West Indies.
An observation is that the ship had no individual personality, despite the Arboretum, and seemed to give the impression that P & O are aiming to get as many people packed on it as possible. But let me balance that by saying that we have always had an inside cabin, which on the mention other ships has been very claustrophobic, but the one we had on Britannia was excellently decorated to induce space.
On a final note the Captain is a very individual person indeed and has a very pleasing disposition. If they were ever a man short in the entertainment team, he could well be the one to call and fill in, though we did not witness his tap dancing!
Written I trust with no harm intended or taken ?? Barry M. Kessler
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