Caribbean cruise - Britannia - almost perfect

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Lovely cruise around the Caribbean on board Britannia. We flew from Manchester on board a TUI Dreamliner chartered flight direct to Barbados. Although check in and security took longer than we had anticipated, the staff were very helpful and eased the two hour process. Our bags arrived on board approximately 6 hours after we had embarked Britannia but considering the size of the ship and number of passengers to be accommodated we were not surprised. We did hear that some passengers had to wait considerably longer for their luggage to arrive but we had no complaints. Our cabin was spotless, although it would have helped if we had known the name of the lady who cleaned our cabin she was always smiling and very welcoming. The food and service in the main restaurant we found to be a little ordinary and not what we had expected. We have cruised with Princess and Cunard in the past where the food was impeccable but portions for us seemed to be a little on the small side and courses were served very quickly after one another. We dined quite a bit in the specialist restaurants, having pre-booked before embarkation. The food was fantastic, beautifully and creatively presented and the service was fabulous, their sense of pride certainly was apparent. The waiting staff were courteous as you would expect and we really felt for them at times, as some of our fellow passengers were less than pleasant shall we say. To be fair, it took us a little while to get used to the ship as the promenade deck is on deck 17. To get from one end of the ship to the other you have to go down to deck 7 walk along and then back up again weird. Id say the theatre is a little small for the number of passengers on board and its advisable to take your seat early otherwise you run the risk of being turned away and having to wait for the next performance. Shows were not great compared with other cruises sadly and not a great deal to do on sea days unless you wanted to bake in the sun or play bingo. All things considered however, we did enjoy our cruise; the captain was very people focussed as were most of the crew.

Review Details

Overall Rating:
Cruise Line:
P&O Cruises
Cruise Ship:

Review Profile

Times cruised before:
January 2019

Cruise Elements:

Quality of Food:
The food in the main restaurant, the Oriental was ok but nothing to get too excited about. Food in the Epicurean and Sindhu restaurants was excellent and service was great too. On the 14 day cruise we dined in the specialist restaurants on 9 occasions, hence the excellent rating.
Not great overall. The P & O dance troupe didn't seem to gel and the main singers, particularly the female pair seemed to be in competition with each other. The acts that came on board to entertain ranged from ok to excellent - The Run Around Kids were great - pity they only came on board towards the end of the cruise. Not a great deal to do on sea days - only seemed to have one guest speaker who spoke on quite a number of occasions. Not great if you are not into his subject.
Shore Excursions:
We specifically chose half day tours so that we could have some free time on shore too. On the whole the tours were good, excellent guides and even places we had been before, were presented differently. The butterfly farm on Aruba was excellent, with a very good driver/guide. On one tour we were taken to an ice cream parlour not on the itinerary, perhaps to aid the profits of the owner as he was repairing his premises due to hurricane damage, but it delayed us getting back to the ship by 45 minutes. If we had booked an afternoon tour, we would certainly have missed the bus.
The lady who kept our cabin spotless was excellent. Sadly, we never got to know her name. On previous cruises there has always been a welcome note introducing the cabin steward but not on Britannia. Not having great eyesight, the names on the staff badges were difficult to see. I get that crew members cant go round with huge badges pinned to their chest but larger print might help.
Childrens Activities:
N/A. We specifically booked the Caribbean cruise on Britannia to check out the children's facilities as we will be cruising with our 8 year old grandson on the same ship in August. From what we could see, children were kept entertained.
Onboard Activities:
Not a lot to do on sea days unfortunately. Yes, there's the poolside DJ with a quiz or bingo but not much else.
We had a balcony cabin and it could not be faulted. Plenty of space to move around, and plenty of room for our clothes too.
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