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Sunday, 31 May 2015

P&O Britannia B508 Cruise Review

7 nights from Southampton calling at

St Peter Port
La Coruna
Bilbao
La Rochelle 

Please remember that this review is my thoughts on the cruise, they are neither right or wrong, just my views.
Also, any observations made, are not moans, but just observations


The Ship

Britiannia had been a long time in the making, and was much publicised and eagerly awaited by many.
Your first thoughts as you board this grand lady and enter the Atrium is WOW.
All the photos and videos you may have seen, cannot prepare you for the view.
We all know she is the biggest of P&O's fleet, but she is a "step change" from Azura and Ventura.

There is a real contempary feel throughout the ship, with a "square" theme being picked by carpets, light fittings etc. throughout the ship.

Some observations now, I do like the overall colour scheme, I'm just not sure how it will cope with the heavy footfall. 
Now Britianna has only been in service a few months, but the light grey carpet in the corridor to the Epicurean and Crows Nest is showing the sign of dirty footprints. 
Another example is the white armchairs in the bar area of Sindhu that are looking the worst for lots of backsides sitting on them.
At the other end of the colour spectrum the tables in the Glass House which are a dark wood finish ( but they are not made of wood ) have lots of scratches on the tops of the tables.  

As there has been so much written about them already, I will just mention the lifts.

Having spent many many years in IT, I would like to meet the person who wrote the algorithm, as the sequencing is very strange indeed, but not the end of the world.
The lack of lifts in the centre of the ship, never did seem to be a problem to us, and never really thought about them.

The glass house is situated in the atrium on deck 7, I'm not convinced on the location, it's  good for people watching during the day but not so for eating, although the space at the rear of the bar is better. 
As I said in my blog, we once ate in a side room, which I did not like at all. I can't talk about Ventura, as we have not been onboard since the glass house took over, but on Azura, it has a real "buzz" about it, and sadly I did not find the same here. 
Sindhu however is enormous, but works very well and the side booths give it a great feel.
One of the major improvements IMHO is the horizon restaurant, the buffet on deck 16. Another enormous space that works really well  and serves good food. Never was there the normal " bun fight" to get either food or a seat, even at breakfast on disembarkation day. 

We did not use the limelight club, so cannot make any comment.

Our cabin was an inside on deck 15 forward, which was a good size, and as I'm sure you are aware, the dreaded shower curtain has been replaced by a proper cubicle with a door. Well done P&O

I don't think we had any seas to "try"  Britiannia, but we had no movement. Above us was the crows nest and for an insomniac like me, at 0400 the dragging of chairs across the floor ( well that's what it sounded like) was not welcome.

On deck, there were always plenty of sun beds, and no need for the sun bed police. We had booked this cruise last year whilst on Oriana for the Northern Lights cruise. At the time, we did not know that it was half term week. So you can imagine we had teenagers down to little tots on board.

A warning here, if you do not like loud up today's music ( unusually up to date for P&O) and very noisy children, especially when playing table tennis, then the upper decks may not be for you. They were not being unruly, just doing what children do.

The Weather

Was OK'ish but was warmer last month when we were in that region

Entertainment

We did not see a lot as I currently have a few medical issues, which cause early nights. But Jeff Stevenson and Rob Lewis that we did see were excellent.
Sue was disappointed that we never made it to any quizzes, but there is always next time.

Food

We had freedom dining, but only made it to the restaurant  for the priority lunch on embarkation day. We ate twice in Sindhu, and twice in the glass house, plus we tried the Epicurean, all of which were excellent. We also used the buffet a couple of times for the theme nights. so no complaints in any department there.

The Crew

I know I have read some reports recently of surly crew, and if they were on Britannia, then we never found them.

Conclusion

Did we enjoy our cruise ? Yes.
Would we sail on her again ? Yes, but not in school holidays again, but for us that is no different to Azura.

I will post links to my photos later, but on our return, we have a bit of a family issue so have to go away again for a few days.

This will also be my last cruise blog ( bar the photos) for about a year. I said above about the medical issues I have. Well my consultant has said I need some treatment now, hence the lack of cruises.

I will still be blogging, but this time it will be about my medical journey ( it will not be gory ).
So if you want to join me, please just "bookmark" my blog and drop in from time to time.

Thank you all for you comments, on the blogs, and as Arnie said 

I'll be back

Ray