As I posted earlier, the complete deck plans for Britannia are now available. Here’s a link. I’ve been comparing them with the plans of Royal Princess, and below is a summary of the differences and similarities. I’ve been saying ever since this class was announced that Britannia would be very similar to the Princess ships, and that’s true, but perhaps P&O have been able to squeeze some greater differences than I was expecting.
First, the significant differences:-
- there’s an aft pool on the Sun deck – Royal Princess doesn’t have any such pool;
- there will be a Crow’s Nest, on the Lido Deck. There’s a short run of cabins immediately forward of the open deck area on the starboard side; on the port side will be the ‘Fine Dining’ restaurant plus a couple of function rooms – one of which will be called the Marlow Suite. Then forward of those areas will be the Crows’s Nest. In comparison, on the Princess ships the whole area forward of the open deck is given over to cabins;
- there’s no Sky Walk. The deck does bulge out a bit, but nowhere near as much as on the Princess ships. This also means that the slightly wider and curved balconies of the cabins immediately below the spots on the Princess ships where the Sky Walk joins the superstructure aren’t replicated on Britannia either.
- The layout of the spiral staircases in the Atrium is different. The Princess ships seem to have two narrow staircases (from deck 5 to deck7) at the midships end of the Atrium, and another, wider staircase at the forward end; Britannia seems to have just one staircase, nearer the forward end.
- As expected, there are detailed differences in the use of spaces, especially in the lower decks: the bars etc, on decks 5, 6 & 7 are different, e.g. on deck 7 on Britannia the main bar will be The Glasshouse whereas on Royla Princess it’s Crooners. So they’re both bars, but differently-styled, -themed and -decorated. On deck 5, Royal Princess has Sabbatini’s (a steak bar, I believe) whereas the same space on Britannia will be something called ‘The Limelight Club’;
- There seems to be much more space for shopping on Britannia – the whole of the Atrium space on deck 6 is assigned to shops. On Royal Princess part of that space is the Photo Gallery, but there’s also Bellini’s and Alfredo’s which are eateries or bars of some sort.
- As usual with P&O ships, there’s only a small casino; a pub (Brodies) takes up at least as much space, probably more. On Royal Princess the casino occupies about three-quarters of the total space in that location;
- There’s no mention of a movie screen on the deck plans, but that could just be an oversight.
Now for what’s the same:
- The basic layout is the same: three public decks low-down, then 7 decks of cabins with the open decks above them;
- The main restaurants are in the same locations and look to be the same size and shape;
- The buffet on the Lido deck is not only in the same place, it currently has the same name – ‘Horizon’;
- There’s no walk-round promenade on any of these ships;
- The theatre, the spa and the Retreat are the same;
- There are no mid-ships staircases above deck 7. (This has been a major issue for passengers on Royal Princess, apparently.)
- And of course the broad mass of cabins will be the same shape and size. That said, Britannia has 40 full-size suites on the port and starboard sides of B deck (deck 14?), while Royal Princess has just 14. (I’m not counting the aft-facing suites in this.)
So now we know. Britannia is clearly closely related to Royal Princess and Regal Princess, but probably differs enough to be regarded as a half- rather than a full-sister.