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Britannia – Our experience on-board.

Britannia – 10th March 2015
It was with much excitement (and the envy of my friends) that I made my way down to Southampton on the 10th March for my night aboard the Britannia. I really felt like I was taking part in a little bit of British history, especially as we were boarding straight after the Queen herself had got off the vessel.

Queen

I don’t mind admitting I felt a little emotional and tearful when I had my first glimpse of her docked at Southampton!! The sheer size of her is overwhelming (in a good way) and I couldn’t believe after all the press and TV coverage we had been following that I was actually going to be onboard.
We waited with anticipation in the departure lounge to be called through to board in what I thought was a very organised fashion – basically once you enter the departure lounge you take a card with a letter on (A-Z) and then you are called up in alphabetical order (simple!!) While you wait there are comfy chairs and even a bar where you can get snacks and a G&T or glass of wine if you prefer plus you can while away the time watching some entertainers and listening to some music. Once your letter is called it is a quick and simple check in process, through security and onto the ship where we headed to our cabin. As we only had 1 night onboard we left our luggage in our cabin and hurried to the theatre for a presentation from P&O showing us how they had come up with the concept of Britannia and what they were looking to achieve by setting her on the high seas. We also got to see the run through of the current ad campaign featuring Rob Brydon and then the lovely James Martin and Eric Lanlard came to the stage to explain the addition of the Cookery Club to Britannia, this means they will be offering Masterchef classes aboard cruises along with other famous faces such as Mary Berry and Marco Pierre White – an experience guaranteed to separate P&O from the competition.
James Martin

Then there was a short performance from the Headliners entertainment team which was I have to say worthy of a West End show – I would not be disappointed to spend an evening watching them on stage.
After this it was a quick change into our finery and a glance around our cabin (twin beds, sofa, minibar, flat screen TV, walk in wardrobe space, shower with glass door) then time for canapes and champagne in the atrium. Having rushed on I hadn’t had the full effect of the atrium on entrance and I have to stay it was stunning – simple but stunning, with Swarovski effect crystals hanging down. Then it was on to dinner in the Peninsular Restaurant where we enjoyed a 4 course meal with wines and coffee. The service was attentive but not over whelming. After this a few drinks in the Atrium then we retired to our cabin.

After a very early breakfast (full English with waiter service) we used the few hours before disembarkation to explore the ship and other cabins. I was particularly taken with the Inside cabins as I thought they were very spacious and I could have happily stayed a week or two in one of those. The single balcony cabins also impressed and I liked the way the beds looked out onto the balcony which I thought would be lovely in the mornings. The colour scheme around the ship was cream, brown and blue and very contemporary in style.

Highlights of the tour for me were the Crows Nest Bar which was very spacious and elegant and the Spa Area and Thermal Suite which was probably one of the best I have seen. I could quite happily while away the day there (£25) while at sea and the feeling of tranquillity just washed over me as soon as we went in. The outside pool area was lovely with comfortable sunbeds and also coffee tables and chairs which was a nice touch.

Pool Pool2

There is not much left for me to say from our whirlwind (but fantastic) night on-board the Britannia apart from that in my opinion at 141000 tons and carrying 3647 passengers it would definitely appeal more to families and the younger cruise market who will love the little extras that this concept has to offer.

 

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