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  1. Like
    Seadogdave reacted to Oldworldtraveller in Why are cruise ship swimming pools so small?   
    It's all about stability of the ship. If you had large swimming pools with many thousands of gallons of water in them and the ship was in a rough sea imagine the weight that would be surging with the ship and could compromise its stability. I am told this is the reason that the really big ships have lots of swimming pools rather than a few very large ones. Its got nothing to do with water 'slopping' over onto the decks but safety. 
  2. Like
    Seadogdave got a reaction from Oldworldtraveller in Passengers offloaded   
    The one time I remember people being ejected from a ship was P&O not sure which ship but it unusual as one of the acts on board made a pass at one of the guests. Trouble was the husband didn't take kindly too it and a fight ensued all were thrown off. I have noticed in recent years as prices have become cheaper a more undesirable type of passenger seem to becoming more prevalent. 
  3. Like
    Seadogdave got a reaction from Eliza in What would you like to see on the new P&O ship?   
    The entertainment is what needs to be seriously revamped it is all old style and outdated and not good enough. We have been cruising 15 years now and it's still basically the same.
    here are some ideas.
     Why not have a troupe of actors and actresses performing plays.
    murder mystery events.
    a revamp of the daily games shuffleboard and quoits could still be kept but what about some imagination in new games also.
    a variety show where you get 3 or 4 different acts of about 15 minutes each.
    maybe a fun pool where there are organised games.
    also for those that love peace and quiet a peaceful area free of charge.
    if you have any other ideas get them noted maybe someone does read this forum from the conglomerates.
  4. Like
    Seadogdave reacted to sinbad10 in What would you like to see on the new P&O ship?   
    Sorry but you are only reading stories to support your own beliefs and to suit your argument. We have been on Britannia (correct way of spelling) twice the first her maiden cruise and she is a beautiful ship with a great choice of onboard facilities and speciality restaurants and there are plenty of good reports of people who have actually cruised on her across many forums and Facebook pages.
  5. Like
    Seadogdave reacted to Alan V in What would you like to see on the new P&O ship?   
    What would I like to see onboard the new ship,......... how about all passengers that don't want to conform to a dress code! Let them have this ship all to themselves and leave the rest of the fleet for the thousands of us that still want to enjoy a formal experience!
    Right, let's go and get my hard hat!
  6. Like
    Seadogdave reacted to sinbad10 in What would you like to see on the new P&O ship?   
    By the looks of some of the clientele now cruising with P&O a tattoo parlour would be a great addition to the new ship and as well as burgers/pizza at the grill adding doner kebabs.
  7. Like
    Seadogdave reacted to Captain Kidd II in What would you like to see on the new P&O ship?   
    With my background name, I can only suggest a plank! It would be great for all those who do not want to tip staff. Lol
  8. Like
  9. Like
    Seadogdave reacted to cozzyleicester in Ignore the moaning reviews - we loved every minute of Britannia in the Caribbean   
    Apologies in advance for the length of the review but I really wanted to give anyone a real sense of what our (first) experience of cruising was like, and counter the weight of negative reviews of this ship that caused me so much angst beforehand. Plus it was edited over on that "other cruise review site" so I was really keen to get it published in full.
    Flight / arrival at the island / check in
    We'd booked what turned out to be the first trip where Britannia home ported at St Lucia. I say home ported; obviously, Britannia still made the two day stop in Barbados a week later but ours was the first P&O charter flight out to the island to start a 2-week cruise. Thomas Cook was the carrier and it was just fine. We splashed out on Premium (which was very good but not quite as enjoyable as Thomson’s premium on the 787) which also helped when it came to disembarking at the airport through the one and only exit, namely the front stairs! It was a bit chaotic to be honest, it being left to the aircraft captain to apologise on P&O’s behalf for the fact that our early arrival meant there were no buses to collect us! After about 45 mins we all traipsed past the solitary immigration officer (at the top of the aircraft steps bizarrely) and got on what can be best described as a glorified minibus for the 1 hour trip on St Lucia’s steep and windy roads over to Castries. It was a bit hairy, to be honest and there were moments that I thought we’d have to get out and push, but eventually we got to the city and soon Britannia came in to view in her berth and what a welcome sight it was.. can never get over how massive the ship is up close.
    We parked up right next to the ship at Pointe Seraphine and the check in process was as smooth as you like; partly on the quayside but most of the processing was done on board, in the Atrium.  After a bit of comedy “back a bit”, “forward a bit” with the security photo we were on the way to our cabin!
    This being our first cruise there was a genuine sense of excitement as we headed up the stairs and into F112. We booked a Saver fare and were delighted with the cabin we were allocated. Overall after the 2 weeks we thought the cabin levels of comfort and facilities were great with no complaints at all. LOADS of wardrobe space and hangers, and plenty of room on the shelving too. The cabin safe was easy to use with a one-time code entered each occasion you close it. Bathroom /shower were plenty big enough and I second the comments others have made about the shower door being a nice touch versus a clingy curtain. Especially handy in our device-heavy lives was the extra socket under the TV, with a little shelf to put your phone / iPad / camera whilst they were charging. Loved the kettle and tea / coffee facilities, it’s just great to be able to make a cuppa and sit outside as we berthed at each island. The fact that P&O are more relaxed about you bringing booze on board is a bonus too, we bought some beers in the duty-free shop at Barbados and weren’t questioned when we brought them on board, and the fridge was plenty big enough to store 6 – 8 bottles plus a bottle of wine. We watched a bit of telly but there seemed to be loads of choices if you wanted to watch more. The real-time map was handy for those like me that wanted to know exactly where you are at any point.
    I’d read lots of comments about how narrow the balconies are on Britannia, and it’s true you need have the chair at an angle but was it such a big issue? No, not at all. We happily spent time out there.
    Our Cabin Steward, Mahendra really looked after us, always had smile in the morning and can’t fault the cleanliness of the cabin. This being a cruise to celebrate my wife’s 50th, we booked the champagne continental breakfast on her actual birthday which was lovely although there was loads of food to eat (probably too much, for two people if I’m honest).
    Main Dining
    We had expressed a preference at the time of booking for Freedom Dining on the Saver and were pleased to get it.  Over the 9 or so occasions that we ate in the MDR we only once had to take a pager and wait in a bar, and that was on the Gala Evening; otherwise, given that we were happy to share a table, we got to sit down straight away.  Despite some of the complaints I’ve read elsewhere about the MDR menu, we can safely say we didn’t have a bad experience at all. Whilst there are numerous courses, the portion sizes were reasonable so you didn’t feel that you were gorging yourself just to get through the dinner… We enjoyed the variety and thought the quality was just fine.
    On a couple of occasions when we had shore excursions leaving early-ish in the morning, we decided to have breakfast in the Buffet, which was a bit manic for us, so subsequently we just got up a bit earlier and headed down to the Peninsular Restaurant allowing a bit more time for a full-service meal.
    BTW I would say that overall the formal nights were pretty well observed as far as dressing up was concerned, 80+ of the gents were in black tie / DJ’s. It made for a pretty special feel although towards the end, the fourth formal night I couldn’t wait to get out of the trousers given that I had, er, filled out a bit.
    Select Dining
    This is where Britannia’s food and drink really comes into its own; we tried pretty much all the Select restaurants (I think): Epicurean, Glass House (tapas), Sindhu, the Beach House (very popular with the crew, which is always a good sign) and the Limelight (see Entertainment below). Our favourite was the Beach House, a chilled feel and the food was awesome. Second was the tapas – type meal we had at the Glass House (which you don’t have to book for). Overall, we thought the select dining was good value for money (assuming that you can get over the fact that you’re paying on top for the privilege, but we were happy with that).
    Bars and Entertainment
    Our favourite bar was the Crow’s Nest; as a fan of gin I tried my best to get through the selection 😊. I would say that anyone on a Mediterranean cruise on Britannia in summer would see a big benefit of being able to experience the Crow’s Nest on a late evening and see the sunset; the time of year and latitude of the Caribbean meant it was already dark by the time we had our pre-dinner drinks up there!  We also enjoyed Brodie’s pub, especially the quizzes (one of which we managed to win). Once small gripe I have is that being geared towards us Brits, all the beer selection on P&O is the same as what you get at home, when normally I like to try local beers when on holiday. Having said that the prices were very reasonable.
    Entertainment-wise, we never visited the theatre so can’t comment on that. We did enjoy the Live Lounge though, getting down there for the 80s night and the Bruno Mars tribute who was fun. Get there early though if you want a good seat. The in-house band, Pulse are excellent. They did have a comedian on one night but he was a bit lame to be honest. Also, the DJ was lacking somewhat in the personality stakes; there’s probably a hundred or so DJs in pubs around the country who could have done a better job!
    On our last night we had pre-booked the Limelight Club, hosted by Jakki Graham who was excellent. The food was very good, too, a perfect way to round off our holiday.
    The Retreat
    We had decided before starting the cruise that we wanted to go to the Retreat, and were aware of the cost (£400 for a couple for the whole cruise) but I have to say it was money well spent. Lots of comfortable loungers and attentive at-seat service. It was handy as well that a light Continental breakfast is served there, so you can just get there at 9am when it opens, find your spot and have a relaxed breakfast. It’s great to chill out in the hot tub with a drink.  Remember it’s right next door to the Serenity pool, so if you fancy a proper swim, you can just nip out there anytime.
    Life on Deck
    We didn’t spend a huge amount of time on deck other than in the Retreat, but enjoyed the music quizzes on the Lido deck on sea days, even though the entertainment guy didn’t have a clue what was 70s 80s or 90s!  I did get up onto the Lido deck to see a couple of the sailways which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea I know, but a bit of harmless fun all the same.
    Being mid-November there very few school age kids on board and it is a long way to go if you’ve got a young family in tow, so it did have a more adult-oriented feel to the cruise.
    Island Choice / excursions
    This being our first cruise, we decided to book a few excursions in advance, mostly through P&O but one was through a third party (via Bolsover).  I’ve covered these within the relevant port review:
    Dominica – no excursion but a fab ramshackle bar just in from the jetty with the biggest rum punches, be warned you might need your sea legs to get back to the ship…
    Antigua – we did the catamaran beach trip (aka P&O excursion: Caribbean Sailaway) which was wonderful, great way to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Our favourite island.
    St Maarten – took a third-party excursion, to a beach club on the French side (weird to be spending Euro 3,000 miles from home), then to Maho Beach for the planes – fun but way, way too busy given that there were 6 other ships in port, including Anthem of the Seas.
    Barbados – we had two days here as it is the normal changeover port, Bridgetown is very tatty but we did find (another) great bar which helped us avoid a rare rain shower. We took the only P&O excursion that we found to be poor value for money, the Beach Break – turned out we could have got a cab there for a fraction of the price.
    Curacao – great shopping in Willemstad, particularly if you after designer outlet-type shops. Not the prettiest island however with a giant oil refinery just behind the town from which you could smell acrid fumes from our balcony. Mind you the fuel must be cheap because Britannia filled up there (think of the Clubcard points!).
    Aruba – we did the Jeep Safari (P&O excursion) which was an absolute hoot, a great way to see the island, and the hosts / drivers were great value.
    Grenada – we did the infamous Rhum Runner…. P&O even sent us a letter to our cabin warning us how strong the rum is. Well it didn’t disappoint, what with “Sean” keeping us all topped up. The non stop steel band conga all the way back to port was hilarious, needless to say we missed the sailway that day!
    St Vincent – not much to see here, we stayed aboard seeing as it was our last day.
    In summary
    We had an absolutely fabulous holiday, and will be sailing with P&O again (in 2019). We would not hesitate to sail on Britannia again, although next time we’re trying Azura because of the different island calls, and we always like mixing things up a bit.
    Finally, as someone who did get a bit concerned about negative reviews of Britannia before we sailed, I’ll try and help anyone in a similar position and debunk a few myths about her:
    Are the lack of stairs mid ship such a big issue? Not for us, just walk forward or aft and use the stairs there.
    Are the Atrium and other areas of the ship drab and underwhelming? Is there a lack of “wow” factor? No not at all, unless you’re expecting the Sistine Chapel.
    Is it a massive problem that there isn’t a promenade deck? No of course it isn’t. Once you find your way round the ship you don’t even think about it.
    Is Britannia like “Benidorm on a ship”? Well I’ve never been there but all I will say is we never saw any lairy behaviour and people with tattoos are allowed to spend £2k+ a head on their holidays as well, you know.
    You’ll read lots of complaints from people reviewing Britannia that hark back to a bygone age of cruising and a) object to paying extra for anything and expect everything to be like Downton Abbey, but my advice is ignore them.
    With all the online resources at hand nowadays you can’t fail to book a cruise with your eyes fully open and should know that cruising must compete for the tourist’s pound more than ever. We went aboard with an open mind and absolutely loved every minute of it.
  10. Like
    Seadogdave reacted to Shetlander in Open Deck Space   
    Of course the irony is that if nobody tried to reserve a sun lounger (even if it was just for a short while) then there would always be plenty of sun loungers; and so there would be no need to try to reserve them.
  11. Like
    Seadogdave got a reaction from B&M in Passengers offloaded   
    The one time I remember people being ejected from a ship was P&O not sure which ship but it unusual as one of the acts on board made a pass at one of the guests. Trouble was the husband didn't take kindly too it and a fight ensued all were thrown off. I have noticed in recent years as prices have become cheaper a more undesirable type of passenger seem to becoming more prevalent. 
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