Back in 2017, we wrote a post called ’10 reasons Cruise with P&O’ which was published on Cruising Isn’t Just For Old People in the hope it would help persuade Emma (and others of course) to try a P&O Cruise.
We were delighted to find out Emma along with her mother were booked on the P&O Britannia Norwegian Fjords cruise from Southampton in June this year. This cruise was the exact same one we took 2 years ago on our Honeymoon (Read our review here).
Now Emma is back on dry land, we thought we would catch up with her to find out what she thought of her first P&Oer!
Emma Le Teace
Emma, who in all honesty needs very little introduction is the driving force behind www.cruisingisntjustforoldpeople.co.uk as well as the Facebook group with the same name. At 24 she became “Favourite Cruise Blogger” at the 2018 Wave Awards and is currently shortlisted for both the Cruise International and Wave awards again. Emma is doing a cracking job of breaking the stereotype and showing cruising is for everyone.
Emma’s P&O Britannia Experience.
We’d been trying to convince you for a while that P&O were definitely worth a try, especially a cruise from Southampton. So, what were you expecting?
I have to be honest I was a little bit worried about P&O being well… a little boring! Gasp! That sounds strange to me now because it wasn’t boring at all but I wasn’t aware of everything that went on onboard P&O ships. I was very very pleasantly surprised. I was also expecting a ‘traditional’ cruising experience with formal nights and table sharing, both of which I got.
I think Gavin had prepared me well for my first P&O cruise. He’s always been my go to man and I often run to him with P&O questions. Even when I was onboard I was asking Gavin things, he’s never let me down! (Thanks Emma – Gav )
Those following your recent Princess Cruises cruise will know about your cookie addiction… but what did you think about the Food on Britannia?
The food was SO good! I would rate it in line with Princess who I believe have the best food at sea. I was only onboard for a week so struggled to try all of the restaurants. I loved the Beach House and Sindhu. Epicurean was well, an interesting experience! It was almost more like a science experiment than a meal but nevertheless I’m glad that I tried it.
The main dining room was also great, cannot fault anything at all. The buffet was HUGE, it did get pretty busy at peak times but that just goes to show how popular it was. I loved the fact that the buffet was open late into the evening and they had really good dairy free options (sadly I can’t eat dairy).
You didn’t do too bad for a 7-day cruise, we’re impressed. Our favourite has to be Sindhu, what is yours?
I liked the beach house! I am not one for fancy food or long extravagant dinners that take 3+ hours. The beach house was very much an in, eat and out affair which I like. I ate WAY too much there though and felt awfully sick afterwards when the sea got rough. Can’t blame them for that though!
Yeah, the Beach House is great if you want to get in and get out – something more relaxed about it.
The cruise you were on had a special guest onboard, the chef Marco Pierre White. P&O do quite a few of these ‘Food Hero’ cruises with different chefs and even offer cooking lessons with them. We saw some pictures on the ‘Cruising Isn’t Just for Old People’ Facebook page of you in a cooking lesson – how did that go?
It was actually SO much fun. I don’t have any interest in cooking or learning to cook so the idea of doing a cookery class isn’t normally something that crosses my mind… Even if you don’t like cooking (or celebrity chefs) I would recommend it. It was helped by the fact that the other people in the class were really nice and we all had a good time in each other’s company.
Marco Pierre White taught me how to cook a seafood risotto. When I got home I went straight back to cooking rice in the microwave but please don’t tell Marco!
Went back to cooking rice in the microwave? Oh, you disappoint us so much! Naughty!
P&O Britannia has some great entertainment venues, but we hear you got a sneak preview of a new show – the premiere of Astonishing. What did you think of it?
It was really good! Before the premiere they fed us lots and lots of champagne. They even gave us a mini bottle to enjoy with the show… I actually went back later in the cruise to watch it again to see if the show would still be astonishing when not under the influence. It was!
It was slightly easier to imagine how they did some of the magic tricks the second time but there are definitely still bits that I can’t explain. The show also had a nice mix of magic, dancing and singing too which was good. I have a very short attention span so this helps!
Free Champagne is always good!
We also have a short attention span, so often find shows hit or miss, this sounds like something we would love to see! What did you think about the other shows and day time activities?
There wasn’t as much going on onboard as you would find on an NCL or Royal Caribbean cruise but I still struggled SO much to fit in all of the activities. I loved the amount of live music going on around the ship. You could pretty much always go for a walk and bump into something somewhere.
Glad to hear you were kept entertained then. So, what about the biggest party on the ship – the Great British Sail away… Some love it (us) and some hate it, where do you fit in?
I LOVED it! It was so so so much fun. It rained for most of our cruise but the rain stopped briefly for the sail away party so we all ran out and quickly waved our flags. I love a bit of ‘cheese’ and it certainly was cheesy!
Cheesy, that’s definitely the way to describe it – the best kind. Always fab to see everyone waving their flags and singing.
Now let’s talk about your cabin. Like us you are happy with an inside normally but on this cruise we’re glad to see you had a balcony.
I think the Norwegian Fjords are a destination that really deserves a balcony. I know that’s a bit strange coming from me as I’m normally promoting inside cabins… The thing about the fjords that makes it special is that the sail ins/sail aways take HOURS and you really don’t want to miss a minute. It was really quite cold on our cruise so we grabbed our duvets and sat on the balcony with a cup of tea. It was fantastic!
Glad to see we are in agreement, the Fjords definitely warrant a balcony!
We know this may be difficult, but give us your 3 favourite things about P&O Britannia:
- My favourite thing would be the other passengers. I’ve never cruised with such a friendly, polite bunch of humans. It was honestly quite funny to be in the buffet and see so many people saying ‘after you…’ ‘no after you!….’.
- My second favourite thing would be the food. It was amazing and available ALL the time. I cannot fault a thing about it.
- The sail away party has got to be on the list. Sorry to repeat myself but it was definitely one of my favourite things.
Great list! They are the things that make P&O so good to cruise with!
Do you think there could be something that would improve your cruise experience with P&O?
P&O don’t have an app and onboard Britannia there is no way to check your account without going to reception. This was quite annoying… I hear that they are working on this though!
Agreed, it’s really strange the TV’s don’t have that functionality. Let’s hope P&O get tech right on Iona!
The important question…
Now, for your final question, this is the big one, having done your cruise would you say P&O isn’t just for old people?
Absolutely! I was amazed by the quality of the food and service onboard. The entertainment was really good, I loved my cabin and they have SO many little things that made me smile. P&O don’t have crazy things onboard their ships like belly flop competitions or go karts but if you want a relaxing week or two I would 110% recommend P&O.
That’s great to hear!
It’s been wonderful catching up with you Emma, and it seems you had a fabulous cruise on P&O Britannia. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us and we look forward to following your next adventure.
Want to know a bit more about what Emma got up to? She has put together a list of 8 free things to do on P&O Britannia, check them out on her Blog: https://cruisingisntjustforoldpeople.co.uk/2018/06/27/po-britannia-activities/
All images have been supplied by Emma.