Britannia Caribbean cruise January 2015
Ken Pirie | November 12, 2015 | P&O Cruises | Britannia
Having experienced an excellent Meditterean cruise on P&O’s Oceana in July 2015 we decided to book a Caribbean cruise with them for January 2016 on their flagship Bitannia. Unfortunately we have just returned and are now of the opinion that we would like to do another cruise but we will be considering using other cruise operators based on our experiences this time around with P&O. Britannia is a stunning ship, but there are so many improvements that need to be made, in particular around the standards of customer service in the bars and restaurants.
We appreciate Britannia is a big ship, but embarkation at Bridgetown was like a cattle market with passengers queuing for over an hour in cargo sheds before being allowed onboard. We booked really early and were advised we would get a cabin upgrade. We did get one, but this was to a balcony cabin on deck 15 with a shaded balcony and noise from the deck above Lido Deck that started from 5.00am. The cabin itself was of a reasonable standard but the hinge was broken off the wardrobe door and the balcony doors would open and close as the ship moved/rolled as the latch mechanism did not work. The cabin walls and partitions creaked loudly all night as well when we were at sea and this would keep you awake.
Getting a lounger on sea days was a joke and despite notices posted everywhere saying you can’t reserve loungers people were even putting towels on the sofas and chairs at the pool bar areas.
The restaurant service was not even remotely close to the high standards we experienced on Oceana. We chose Freedom dining and were allocated the Peninsular restaurant. From the moment you approached the desk at the restaurant it was evident the staff had no interest and on several occasions you were completely ignored as they spoke amongst themselves. On several occasions our table was pointed out to us instead of someone actually walking you to the table. The staff serving gave the impression they didn’t want to be there and they would often congregate at the service stations and noisily laugh and joke amongst themselves. They would also quite often make a big show about setting breakfast tables around you as you were still eating dinner. On one evening the napkins we were given had been used before and were covered in food. We took the napkins and handed them in at Reception but no one from customer service was interested or even spoke to us.
When the ship arrived back in Barbados a day before we were due to disembark it was as if we didn’t exist anymore and the focus was now on the next set of passengers who were going to be coming on board. As far as we were concerned we were still on our cruise and we planned to sit on our balcony and enjoy the views across Bridgetown with a glass of wine, however this was cut short as we had to go inside after we were soaked as they cleaned the balconies above with a hose in preparation for new passengers.
We would definitely like to cruise again, but our experience on Britannia has really made us think that it won’t be with P&O next time. Many people we met on the cruise, a lot of them seasoned P&O veterans, felt the same.
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