The Britannia Ship
We were lucky enough to go on our cruise along the Caribbean Islands during the festive season. We flew London to Barbados on the 22nd December 2018 and flew back home on the 5th January 2019. We celebrated Christmas and New Year on our own abroad for the first time ever, I think we may have another tradition beginning! It was expensive and decided to treat ourselves to a bigger holiday this year rather than a few different ones. It was worth every penny. The Britannia ship is the largest in the fleet at the moment. It can hold 3,647 passengers at a time and is absolutely massive. The atrium had a huge Christmas tree and a chandelier. It looks nice and spacious and was a great area to relax and have a coffee or just people watch.
We stayed in the cheapest band of room which was an inside cabin, meaning there is no window. This works perfectly for us as we are never in the room and would rather the extra cash to spend on the islands. The only time we are in the room is when we napped in the middle of the day, inside was perfect for this as it was pitch black. The room was exactly what we needed. We had a double bed with bed side cabinets to store clothes. There was a desk area with vanity mirror, fridge, cupboard space and a flat screen TV. The desk area is really long and great for placing those things you need everyday. Around the corner there was wardrobe space which held all of our clothes and a safe. We also had a bathroom with a shower which had plenty of room. The bathroom comes with shampoo, conditioner and soap.
The staff as always on a cruise ship were amazing and go above and beyond to meet any of your needs. Your cabin steward will make the bed twice a day, change the towels daily and turn down your bed in the evening. They would always leave the Navigator (paper on activities for the next day) and any appointments we had for the next day. The restaurant staff were also really good and made sure we had a brilliant meal every time. However we did feel that the service aboard The Azura was better as the stewards remembered us and made our time a lot more personalised.
The Meridian Restaurant was the one we visited every evening. We choose freedom dining where you get to choose your table size and eat at a time we liked. The Meridian was lovely and had lots of tables of 2 which was great. We didn’t have to wait for a table at all, unlike the Azura. Depending how we felt we would have anything from 2-5 courses for our evening meal. The food was always stunning and I don’t think we had anything we didn’t like.
The Horizons restaurant was the buffet that was open at various times of the day. They show the evening menu on the boards outside. The breakfast was to die for, I literally dream about it. They had pastries, porridge, pancakes, an omlette station, full breakfast and a toppings bar for your granola or porridge. They also had so much fresh fruit. The lunch was also really good with different salad selections everyday. For lunch they would also have things like fish and chips, curry, pies, chips and stir fry. It was all tasty and very fresh.
The Lido Grill is a little area by the main swimming pool where you have a choice of pizza, chicken nuggets, burgers, hot dogs and chips. Again we only went here once or twice but the food seemed alright and was warm. The Market Cafe was also great for light bites and their ice cream and toppings bar were amazing. You do have to pay extra for the Market Cafe but the ice cream was super tasty.
We also ate in some of the speciality restaurants, you have to pay a small surcharge. The first one we tried was the Epicurean Afternoon Tea, this is always an experience and one we had aboard the Azura as well. To get us in the spirit of afternoon tea the waiter gets you to shut your eyes as they spray a fragrance over you that you can almost taste. We of course opted for the champagne afternoon tea with tea pigs. It was mouthwatering, there were so many different flavours. We had sandwiches, cakes, scones and a cake pop! We left with the biggest sugar rush, totally worth it and a must do while aboard P&O cruises. We also ate in the Epicurean for tea one night and the service was incredible. The food was top notch and we loved the feeling you get in this restaurant. It is small and romantic and there were many tables of two. We were so full at the end we could hardly move.
We also ate at Shindu which serves Indian Cuisine. We also went here on the Azura and loved it. Unfortunately the food was not as good as the Azura. Don’t get me wrong the food was still lovely but the choices were so different. On the Azura I feel it was more fusion. Saying this it didn’t help that we had been on the rum and beers all day. The food was nice and filling and the flavours were good. We just preferred it on the Azura.
One of the most important questions of a cruise is where are you going to have that pre-dinner cocktail. The Britannia did not disappoint and we loved The Crows Nest. This place is at the front of the ship with huge windows to drink with the view. It was great spending time here as we sailed away from the port. It had a lovely atmosphere and different types of seating. There was a pianist playing in the middle. The drinks were great, the menu was massive. There were gin flights we tried and lots of different cocktails. It was the perfect place to unwind after a day on shore. On the Azura we loved the Glass House, which was also on The Britannia, however we didn’t like the location of it on the Britannia. As it was in the lobby it was always really busy and not relaxing at all.
The Headliners Theatre is probably the main place to look at for your evening entertainment. Here is where you will find the dance shows, musicians, magicians and comedians. The best nights were the one when the headliners performed through singing and dancing. In particular the Christmas and UK hits were the best shows with tunes everyone can dance and sing to. It is worth going here for the variety and it starts or ends your evening depending on your evening meal seating time.
The studio was where they play some of the movies along with the headliners theatre. We watched The Greatest Showman and Bohemian Rhapsody while aboard. We did miss the sea screen which they do have on the Azura. In the studio they also did seminars and where you can meet people who work on the ship… not for us!
On the Britannia it was all about the deck parties which we took part in. We had a Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and Great British Sail Away Parties. All were amazing and the atmosphere was bouncing. The New Years Eve party in particular was really good and the band played songs to suit all ages. The countdown was epic and the whole experience was topped of by the sound of the horn. The Great British Sail Away is also a good deck party where they celebrate Britain with some epic songs and the entertainment team make it hilarious as always.
Overall we had an amazing time travelling around the Caribbean and had the most magical Christmas. The P&O company were spot on as always. However we did much prefer the Azura. The layout is less complicated and we loved spending our nights on deck watching the sea screen.