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We’re home. Britannia berthed at about 6:30 or a bit earlier, and self-disembarkers were making their way ashore by 7 o’clock. We took our bags down at about 7:20 and by 7:30 we were in our car so this was possibly our easiest self-disembarkation ever. It probably helped that we hadn’t tried to join the queue before the due time – when we got down to deck 5 there was no queue at all, and we just walked off the ship. Not that it was easy, you understand….

The journey home took just over four hours, including a couple of short stops, so we were home before lunchtime. As I write it’s mid-afternoon and we’ve already done two tubs of washing and hung them out on the line, in glorious sunshine. Just two more tubs to go…. plus all the ironing, of course.

I wrote in yesterday’s post that I’d give  “our opinion of Britannia. This latter topic may be causing some dispute between us….“. Well, since then there has been much discourse: diplomatic Notes have been exchanged, negotiations opened and terminated, and draft resolutions tabled, debated, rejected and debated again; but tentative agreement has been reached.

There was a great deal on Britannia that we loved. Both of us were delighted with the Atrium. It is truly the heart of the ship and gives a focus to it that other ships in the fleet don’t have. We liked that way that the Atrium didn’t get too crowded, even on a bad-weather sea day when everyone was therefore inside the ship.We enjoyed the various facilities around the Atrium, especially Java and the Glasshouse. (That said, while we both expressed our approval of it initially, we met some people who preferred the Glasshouse on Azura – they like that it was different from the areas to either side, whereas on Britannia you could think of it as just another on of the atrium facilities with fairly amorphous edges.) We also like the way that the various official locations – Reception, etc – were away from the Atrium. Finally, the finishes – the look and feel of lounges, bars, restaurants, etc – were all first-class. We liked the style and decor that’s been used.

We had a good afternoon on the open decks on the last sea day. We started off on deck 19, the top of the ship, and after that moved to the Serenity pool area, and we thought that was really good. There seemed to be good space for everyone, as well – this was a fine afternoon on a sea day, so we assume that most passengers would have been outside. The space might not be right next to a pool, but there was space. However, on the topic of the open decks, we were greatly put off the Sunset Bar by our soot experience – we sat on a seat in that area and when we rose, our clothes were dirty with soot, which is taking some effort to remove. Other people on board had similar experiences. This is a great pity because the Sunset Bar has a great location, and we’ve always enjoyed the Terrace Bar (the equivalent bar) on Ventura / Azura.

We greatly enjoyed our evening in the Limelight Club; we both think that’s a great venue. We also really enjoyed the Crow’s Nest. We think it’s a better cocktail bar than the Planet Bar/Metropolos on Azura/Ventura – Val especially has never liked the video walls in those other bars.

Finally, I can’t comment on the theatre, the Live Lounge, or Brodie’s as we didn’t use them.

Of course there’s a downside. Val’s view is that the balcony is “barely adequate”, and I’m finding myself more and more in agreement with her. I took a photo yesterday of Val on a chair on the balcony, and you can see how little space there is – she couldn’t stretch out and the chair had to be angled. There’s an old photo of Val on a lounger on a C deck balcony on Ventura that’s an interesting comparison – I’ll post both of them as soon as I can. Then there’s the absence of a promenade deck. We tried to use the deck 18 Promenade, and I did some laps yesterday morning, and it was ok. Indeed, there are some good points to it – it’s wide so you won’t find your path obstructed by loungers, always a problem on Ventura and Azura. However, we ran into a problem when we tried to go up there for a late evening post-dinner stroll a couple of times and we found that it was being washed down with hoses and even soapy water, and as a result we found ourselves walking along very wet decks. Val was wearing a pair of open, strappy sandals on one occasion, and her feet got quite wet. So there’s nowhere to go for a late walk in the open air.

Val came up with another little issue. There are more tables of varying size in the Horizon restaurant (the buffet) than on other ships and we never had any problem finding one to ourselves. The downside of that, of course, is that we never met anyone over buffet meals – in the past we’ve met some interesting people and had good conversations with people we’ve shared a table with.

Would we return to Britannia? – well, this is what what the discussions have been about. Eventually, we agreed that if the itinerary was really good – or, I suppose, if the price was very, very right – then we would. But we no longer wish we had booked a cruise on Britannia for next year, whereas at the beginning of the week perhaps we were wondering. Next year’s cruise will be on Azura to Norway, Iceland and the Faroes. We booked it for the itinerary, and Britannia simply isn’t doing a cruise like it.  We’re happy that the cruise on Azura is the right choice for next year.

One Response to “Britannia 2016 – Conclusion”

  1. Detailed, usable information. Thank you for sharing.

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