Two Nights on Britannia - April 2015
John Moore – 15-04-2015 – P&O Cruises – Britannia
The Britannia is 141,000 tons and can carry a maximum of 3,647 passengers with 1,350 crew members. Yes, this is a very large ship and I feared it would be too big with a lot of queuing, particularly at the restaurants at peak dining times. How wrong could I have been?
There appeared to be a lot of people at the terminal waiting to board the ship, and I prepared myself for a long wait. However, the staff were super-efficient and within forty-five minutes of walking into the terminal we were boarding Britannia. Check-in and security scanning staff were admirable in their speed of service. We made our way to the Horizon Buffet where lunch was being served and a bun fight was anticipated. However, I walked around the buffet in a leisurely fashion and had a choice of many empty tables on which to eat. There were a lot of people partaking of lunch, but the restaurant seemed to cope with room to spare.
Again I was staggered at how efficient all the staff appeared to be. While on the subject of dining, I would also mention that I was placed on Freedom Dining in the Meridian Restaurant, and again found that we did not have to wait more than a few seconds at the entrance before we were shown to a table. The food was excellent and again the waiters were very quick and efficient. I cannot remember hearing one complaint from anybody.
I was also surprised to find how easy it was to navigate my way around such a large ship. The main restaurants, shops, theatre, casino, bars and clubs were all situated on Decks 5, 6 and 7. Therefore, you were never more than two decks away from your next stop. I thought the ship had been designed very well in this respect. However, if I had one criticism regarding the layout of the ship, it is the fact that the supposedly silent Library Room adjoins the very large and noisy Crow's Nest bar, which grows louder as the alcohol is consumed.
We were lucky enough to have been allocated an HB balcony grade cabin. However, we were a little disappointed in that it appeared to be on the small side. This does not bother me, as I am a great advocate of the fact that we do not spend a lot of time in the cabin. The en-suite facility was also quite small and, because the shower had a glass door as opposed to a flexible curtain, I found myself exiting the bathroom and drying in the general cabin area.
There is always plenty to do on board in the way of games, sports and dancing. The children have been given a large area on the Sun deck, where there are many amusements for toddlers to teens.
All in all the Britannia is a fantastic ship, and I am now waiting eagerly for my next cruise on her in May.