I wonder how many of you have had your honeymoon on a cruise? I did, and it was perfect. My lovely clients Andy & Vanessa have recently returned back from a Caribbean cruise on the Britannia. They have kindly written a review of the trip which I thought would be nice for you to read.
“My last cruise review was for last June/July when my girlfriend and I went on the Rocky Mountaineer and an Alaskan cruise. During that time, we became engaged at beautiful Lake Louise. Having got married in January this year, this is a review of our Honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean on P&O’s Britannia. It is not a day to day account of everything we did, but is meant to be informative for those who have not been before, with some tips for ideas.
Before we started the trip, I did some research to see what each island had to offer. A good source of information is a website called What’s In Port. It gives all sorts of info as to where you dock, the facilities, transportation and distances to attractions etc. Very useful. Based on this, we decided mostly to do our own thing rather than pay for the ship’s excursions and spend some time looking around with some time on the beaches. Paying for an excursion each day is really going to add up, whether it’s done on the ship, or before you go. What we did most days was to get off the ship to have a look at the town and also to see what tours the local taxi drivers had to offer.
We did however go on one excursion but only because it was not possible to book it independently. There is a 2 hour railway trip along the coast in St Kitts. A pleasant journey in an open air carriage with a plentiful supply of drinks. Not cheap at £64 each but it was literally take it or leave it deal. The only other excursion we did was on the day of leaving, Farewell to Barbados. The idea of this was rather than sit around on the ship until 2.00 pm, in our case, waiting to be taken to the airport, we would have something to do. It cost about £50 and in hindsight, I do not think it was worth it. All it entailed was a drive to a Garrison Fort area and then to Sunbury House; a plantation house to look around, followed by a light lunch. 5 minutes from there and we were at the airport 4 hours before our flight time. Definitely not worth the money. If you stay on the ship until your allotted pick up time, you have access to everything as normal other than your cabin. You can, of course, pay something like £80 to keep a cabin – not necessarily your own – if you want to, but I believe there are only so many of those.
As always, the second of a two week cruise seems to fly by, and so we arrived back at Barbados. We had visited Bonaire, Aruba, Tobago, St Vincent, St Lucia, Grenada, St Kitts, Antigua and Martinique. Due to last year’s hurricanes, P&O changed the schedule as St Maarten and Dominica were devastated, and replaced them with Tobago and Martinique. I hope they can recover quickly but without tourism money, it could take some time. There were 3 sea days onboard, leaving plenty of opportunity to sight-see. I would say that whilst the islands are a bit similar, they are also different in some ways too, so there was always something to look forward to for each one. If I had to pick a favourite, I still like Aruba. White sand, turquoise sea, colourful buildings, the sea crashing into the rocks where the natural bridge used to be. I guess I have a soft spot for Aruba.
As for the ship, I had been on Britannia 3 times before so I knew what it was like. Vanessa had not and whilst she liked it well enough, I think she shares my opinion that as regards the décor colour, it is quite dowdy. Browns and dark greens may be somewhat elegant, which is what I think P&O were going for, but I prefer a bit more colour. It has all the necessary areas, but like many other reviewers have said, the theatre is too small for the number of passengers. Also, it has been pointed out by many that the lack of a mid-ship staircase does mean lifts can be full; walking to the front or back lifts does give the option of using the stairs.
Vanessa and I had a lovely two weeks, with plenty of new memories. Having not been to the Caribbean for a while, it was nice to enjoy it again, and Vanessa was impressed by it all. It followed on soon after our wonderful wedding day, and we are very happy with how everything went. We ate mostly in the main dining room, and the food was pretty much how it usually is. There is plenty of choice but it does take around an hour and a half to finish, sometimes a bit longer.
I hope there is some useful advice here, and if it inspires anybody to give it a try, I’m pleased to have been of assistance. It sure beats the UK in January ! The temperatures were mostly 84 to 86 fahrenheit, or 29/30 centigrade. There was an occasional shower but they did not last very long. The evenings were still warm and temps did not drop more than a few degrees. I didn’t need the jumper I packed ! We met some nice people on the ship, and I enjoy saying hello and a little chat with passengers we have either dined with, or seen at various activities. Cruising – what’s not to like ?”
If your inspired on taking your first Caribbean cruise, you know where I am!
Thank you Andy & Vanessa
Till next time x