So, here I am, aboard P&O Cruises Britannia on her Maiden Voyage and all I have to say so far is WHAT A SHIP SHE IS!
Let me start at the beginning and bring you up to where I am right now……………..
I arrived at the Ocean Terminal at roughly 1pm, breezed through priority check-in (I am Caribbean tier), through security and was then onboard all within around 25 minutes – it truly felt like I had never left.
I spent most of yesterday exploring the ship and unpacking. Although I had been onboard on Monday evening it hadn’t quite allowed enough time to see everything and I am still yet to discover every nook and cranny, but I will get there!
First of all I found my cabin, a standard inside on B Deck – B211 to be exact – and it is incredibly spacious. The décor is superb, best in the fleet by a mile. The bathroom is tasteful and features GLASS shower doors, NOT a white shower curtain in sight! Join me as we say thank you P&O Cruises, we love the glass doors! The shower also features a proper shelving section, where you can put more than one bottle at a time – another design tick – and the TV is three times the size of the ones on the other P&O ships, well, the ones I have seen anyway. Overall by far the nicest inside cabin I have ever had the pleasure of staying in. The balcony cabins are very nice too as are the mini-suites.
I also went on a Spa tour and WOW, what a space! The Spa is not my regular haunt, in fact I rarely haunt any, but the Spa on Britannia is out of this world – I also learned that there is more than one type of Sauna, so it was an education too. If you enjoy a little bit of pampering and relaxation then trust me, you are in for a real treat! Get your appointments booked ladies, and gentleman, if this is your ideal way of spending the day! Every treatment under the sun is available for body, face and hair.
After our Muster Drill at 5pm – with the new-fangled life jackets – it was time to find a spot on deck and enjoy the festivities as Britannia let go her lines and finally set sail on this, her Maiden Voyage. There were hundreds of people shore-side waving us off and a few other water craft followed alongside as we made our way out the Solent to the sound of fireworks – it was quite the spectacle and even though it was bitterly cold I think every passenger onboard braved it in one way or another. The atmosphere was incredible and once the deck party got going it was truly a sight to see! It looks great in the pictures, but I have video too – I will upload once back on terra firma.
Drinks in The Glass House followed, along with a peek at what others had ordered to eat. The food looked very nice indeed, I spotted the Tempura Prawns right away. I am sure I will sample the taste-bud delights in there before the cruise is over.
After a quick drink and chit chat I decided to retire for the night, I had a long journey from Newcastle to the port and was feeling rather tired – I have racked up some miles this week, that’s for sure!
This morning brought The Cookery Club and although not usually something I would do, I am glad I did as I thoroughly enjoyed it – finger cut and all! Yes, I can say that I was the only one in attendance that required a magic blue plaster!
There were roughly 14 of us taking part in the class and 4 chefs were there to assist. We were given some information on what we would be doing along with some quick safety tips and then told how it would all actually work. I have to say it was very good and very well organised. The theme was Best of British and on the menu for us to make were Cornish steak pasties and Welsh rarebit muffins with apple chutney – we also got to sample miniature Scotch eggs that were made by the chefs. They were delicious and several of us went back for more! They were made with quail’s eggs, so they were smaller than the average Scotch egg.
All the prep is done in advance so that passengers can get straight down to the actual creating and then cooking of the food. For anyone with dietary requirements they will alter the ingredients to suit, you just have to inform them at the time of booking. The class lasted approx. two and a half hours and half way through we grabbed a drink and a seat whilst the chefs prepared our stations for round two of cooking. The end of the class brought the best bit. The tasting! Although, you could wrap your food and take it away with you if you’d prefer. I would definitely recommend it! Like I say, it’s not something that I would usually do, but it was new and I did enjoy it. My attempts were not too bad either – considering I have never made pastry before!
I have spent some of the afternoon exploring a little more, I found the Grab and Go station which is pretty impressive! A nice selection of sandwiches, salads and sweets are available – you simply decide what you would like, pick it up and off you go – hence ‘Grab and Go’. I also checked out the shops. Ladies, brace yourselves! Actually, maybe I should have direct that one to the gentlemen!
Tonight I will be dining in the Epicurian Restaurant, Britannia’s fine dining experience. I am told there are more courses than your average dinner so I have settled with a sandwich for lunch – best not fill up too much! I may go and investigate the menu in a few minutes and see what is on offer.
I will check back in with you all again very soon, but so far, SO VERY, VERY GOOD!!!