Recently I set sail on my second ever cruise (my first was a trip to the Caribbean on the Ventura around six years ago) and this time hopped on board for a journey
to Norway. I’ve been bordering on desperate to visit Scandinavia for as long as I can remember, and as I’m already familiar with just how convenient cruises are to visit lots of places all at once, I was beyond excited for weeks in advance. The Britannia is the newest ship in the fleet and as it only took to the waters for the first time just over a year ago, it still has the feeling of being ultra fresh and modern. The ship carries around 4,000 passengers which is a pretty insane thought to think when you’re all tucked up in your cabin. Although there’s an abundance of places to discover on the ship, it rarely ever felt overly busy or too overwhelming. Apart from the fun of getting lost on the first day or two, you soon get to know each of the 17(!) decks and where everything is.
For places to eat, there’s a main buffet area on the top floor where you can grab whatever you fancy for breakfast, lunch or dinner along with freedom dining options (restaurants with menus) and another three fancier versions that come with a cover charge, Sindhu, the Live Lounge and Epicurean. There’s also a huge amount of smaller cafes and places to grab a bite to eat around the ship, my personal favourites of which were the Pizzeria (obvs) and Market Cafe for cakes and treats.
If you’re at all familiar with cruise ships then you will know just how much of a luxury it is to be in a decent sized room, with both a living space area and bedroom. Not only is having enough space a rarity but also to be in a cabin that had such a high standard of simplistic yet tasteful decor was an absolute joy. Every inch of space in the cabin was put to good use and one of my favourite touches were the curtains that you could draw between the bedroom and living area at night. There’s a TV in each room, a bath, a sofa that can be turned into a bed, a mini fridge and a dressing table area, all of which go far and beyond what you expect to see in a cabin. As it was a Superior Deluxe version, guests are treated to a free bottle of Champagne and box of chocolates on arrival too, winner!
Should you be heading on the Britannia any time soon, booking in for a cookery class is an absolute must. For me this was one of the highlights of the whole trip and I found the fact you get a two hour lesson along with getting to eat the meals you’ve cooked up an absolute bargain at £45 per person. You can also be part of a class with a celebrity chef as the host if you choose certain dates when booking your cruise. The class I attended was a lesson on Thai dishes, and for someone who considers themselves to be a keen cook, I ended up learning far more than I initially anticipated.
A few other things to keep you occupied whilst on board are the gym (which has full length windows looking out onto the sea), the spa, live shows, outdoor pools and jacuzzis, the casino and of course all of the duty free shops. Though if you fancy a night in then there’s round the clock free room service and a huge amount of films to watch in your room.
P&O Cruises offer a 7 night Norway Fjords cruise on the Britannia from £649 per person for an inside cabin. The price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from and returning to Southampton, ports of call include Stavanger, Olden, Andalsnes and Bergen. To book, visit www.pocruises.com.