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Having covered the atrium area and the restaurants, now it’s the turn of cabins. We visited a number of these, of various types. Unfortunately we may have missed one or two types but the ones we saw are representative, I think. They were a single cabin; a balcony cabin; an accessible cabin; and a couple of suites. The single cabin was on the Lido deck but all the others that we looked into were on B deck – this turned out to be significant as I’ll describe later.


Single cabin

This looks impossibly crowded in the picture, but that’s because there are several times more people in it than there are supposed to be! It is certainly small, but in a situation where there is just one person in there, and you don’t have to manoeuvre around another person, it’s large enough. My recollection is that there was hanging space on the wall opposite the bed, and the access to the balcony was beyond the foot of the bed. The Single Inside cabin across the corridor was similar, except that there was mirror on the end wall instead of a balcony door. I’ve shown the bathroom from this cabin here, but I think that this was in fact a standard (non-bath) bathroom and other cabin types have the same bathroom.


Inside Cabins

We visited a Larger Inside cabin on B deck. On the deck plans these don’t appear to be any larger than a normal inside cabin, but unfortunately we didn’t get into a standard Inside cabin to compare it to and I haven’t been able to find anything online about the difference between the two cabin types.  However the sign in it definitely described it as ‘Larger Inside’ and indeed that’s how the deck plans defined the cabins in that location. I was struck by how roomy it felt and I thought you could have a quite comfortable cruise in this cabin, as long as you didn’t mind being inside.


Balcony Cabins

Balcony cabins are the most common cabin type on the ship, making up about 1300 of the approximately 1800 cabins in total.There are actually three different types and sizes of balcony cabin on Britannia: Balcony with shower and without sofa (category H); Balcony with shower and sofa (category G); and Superior Deluxe Balcony with bath/shower (category D). The sizes are: 174 sq. ft. for the Balcony without sofa; 185 sq. ft. for Balcony with sofa; and 243 sq. ft. for the Superior Deluxe Balcony. The smallest of these (category H) is by far the most common – there are about 900 of them – and they’re available on all seven accommodation decks. Next commonest is the middle sized cabin (category G) with just over 300, and again available on all accommodation decks. Finally there are just 92 of the Superior Deluxe Balcony cabins, and they’re on A, B, and C decks only.

Above are pictures of the first and third types – I didn’t see one of the middle types (Balcony with sofa). The Superior Deluxe balcony cabin was clearly a lot roomier than the category H cabin. However, even that seems to be the same size as a balcony cabin on Ventura and Azura, and the middle one would be a bit bigger. All of these balcony cabins feature the same walk-in clothes hanging area that Ventura and Azura have, and we’ve always found that a good solution. There’s plenty of floor-length hanging space, plus drawer or shelf space as well. So as cabins, any of these balcony cabins would be good, and if you choose a roomier balcony cabin type then you’ll be more comfortable.

I’ve also had a look at the prices for these different balcony cabins. Category H cabins are obviously the cheapest of the balcony cabins, while category G cabins seem to cost about £50 more per person for seven nights. Category D cabins cost about £250 more (than category H) per person for the same seven nights. But that’s looking at what’s available now for the rest of 2015; a better comparison of the price differentials will be apparent when the 2016 schedules are available.


‘Accessible’ Cabin

We had a quick look round an accessible cabin, i.e. a cabin that has been fitted out for passengers with significantly restricted mobility. In this case the cabin seems to be the same size as a suite, albeit without the divider between the sleeping and seating areas, and with a significantly altered bathroom layout. There was also a built-in slope between the cabin and the balcony itself.



We visited a couple of suites, one along the starboard side of B deck, and then the suite in the starboard aft corner of the same deck. Lovely, both of them! – this is the way to cruise, I thought. The bathrooms in both gave a definite touch of luxury and I could enjoy all that living space. Recommended, if you can afford it…. But when all’s said and done, even an inside cabin gives you access to the same facilities on the ship and goes to the same ports on a cruise as a suite. So on P&O having a suite only gives you more space. (On some other lines suite passengers get other advantages – priority booking for speciality restaurants, priority tendering, etc. Not so on P&O; or at least, not yet.)



Now it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room – the size of the balconies. Just to remind you, here’s a picture of a Britannia balcony:

A Balcony

A Balcony

That’s not big – specifically, note how the chair can’t be angled to look directly outwards; and that’s before anyone actually sits in it. I think that the only way you’ll be able to sit on the balcony is ‘sideways on’, and I also think that when there are two people on the balcony it will feel crowded. For me this is near to being a show-stopper, at least for longer cruises to the Mediterranean; we tend to use the balcony for our dose of sun rather than go to the Lido or Sun decks. However, for shorter cruises or cruises to regions where sun isn’t necessarily expected – for example, the fjords – then it’s less of an issue. But we have become used to bigger balconies than this; indeed, given that most of our our balcony cabin experience has been with C deck balconies on Ventura and Azura, this would be very different.

However, I ought also to report that Royal Princess and Regal Princess, Britannia’s near-sister ships, have been in service with Princess for a while (almost two years in the case of Royal Princess) and they haven’t been rejected by the Princess Cruises customer base. Yes, there have been some grumblings, but by and large Princess passengers have been concentrating on the many good things that those ships offer and have been accepting the balcony size as a reasonable trade-off. I expect that Britannia customers will reach the same conclusion.

There is one other balcony issue I ought to mention. Let me remind you of the balcony we found at the aft end of the corner suite on B deck. We were all very impressed with it:

Well, on examining the deck plans I spotted that the aft balconies for the suites on other decks were nowhere as generously-sized. That on A deck isn’t bad and the one shown (on B deck) is wonderful. But those on C, D, E and G decks appear to be the same size as the side balconies, while the one on F deck might be better than the side balconies but not as good as the one pictured. So if you’re booking an aft suite, make sure you know about the aft balcony size for the suite you’re booking.



So that’s the picture as regards cabins. Britannia takes another step forward in the march towards ‘all-balcony’ provision – there are no Ocean-view cabins on her at all, just suites, balcony cabins of various sizes and grades, and finally inside cabins. Perhaps 30% of cabins are insides, all the rest have balconies. Within that figure P&O have been able to ring the changes, with a range of four different balcony cabin types (including suites) at a range of prices. There’s probably something for everyone. The big issue is simply that the balconies themselves are small. If I was pushed I would think that either a Category G (Balcony with shower and sofa) or Category D (Superior Deluxe Balcony) would be my choice. Perhaps the former, in fact; and then we’d put the money we’d saved towards some time in The Retreat. More of that in the next post.


Update June 2016: we have now cruised on Britannia. Here’s a link to a page showing some pictures of the cabin we had, a ‘Balcony cabin with shower and sofa’. Also on that page is a comparison of the Britannia balcony with a C deck balcony on Ventura.

50 Responses to “A visit to Britannia – Cabins”

  1. Malcolm Oliver says:

    Reblogged this on Malcolm Oliver's Cruiseblog and commented:
    Tom’s excellent review of Britannia continues:

  2. Mrs A Langridge says:

    Hi Tom,

    Have to correct you on some misconceptions re Suites.

    You do get quite a few ‘extras’ actually.

    You get on first. You are classed as equal to Ligurian members and get on before anyone else. You get the embarkation refreshments, ie. Champagne and hot food, once you are on board. This is where your Butler picks you up from.

    You do get priority booking for speciality restaurants. This is available from the ’embarkation refreshments’ venue, however, you can ask your Butler to do it for you.

    You do get priority tender passes that enable you to get off on a tender when you wish.

    You get priority disembarkation passes that allow you to get off when you want after they have opened up the general disembarkation procedure.

    You get champagne, chocolates, water and flowers on embarkation in your cabin.

    We also got a small, square, and very tasty Christmas cake delivered at Christmas.

    ….. and suites obviously include a Butler who will do virtually anything you want – within reason of course! There is nothing like lying on your balcony in the sun and having champagne poured for you!

    On the subject of balconies, I can’t help agreeing with you even though I have only seen pictures of them. We will go and see what the ship is like, but they are a turn off.

    Mrs L

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment.

      I was thinking more of the Cunard experience where there are restaurants and a lounge specifically restricted to passengers in the best suites. There’s also an MSC ship (or ships) with an area in the ship that’s for suite passengers only. Even on Celebrity there are special little lounges for passengers in the top categories of cabins. Nothing like that on P&O.

      Going back over your list, I’m not sure how the Priority Booking for speciality restaurants works. On both Azura and Ventura we’ve whizzed round immediately after embarking and made our restaurant bookings, and there’s never been any hint that the bookings might be tentative until priority bookings have been made; nor have we ever been told that we could’t make bookings until after a certain time. Just the opposite, in fact – when we’ve said “two bookings in each of Sindhu and The White Room (or Seventeen), please” there’s been a rush to accommodate us. The last time we did this was on Azura and it would have been before 2pm on embarkation day.

      • Mrs A Langridge says:

        Hi Tom,

        (Yes, it is Alexandra, but I don’t tend to use it online.)

        You are quite right about the restaurant priority booking system. We’ve also just rushed round the restaurants when we haven’t had a Suite, and have had no problem booking them either. The only thing I do know is that we have, on occasions, got in to a restaurant when it was said to be full by using our Butler to book it. I know it may sound wrong, but I think they do have priority over others when done this way.

        The only thing I wonder about is, now that you can book restaurants online before you even get on board, will there be anything left for people who don’t have access to a computer. My Mother-in-Law does not have one and has to rely on us to book stuff for her. Also, what if you book a cruise late – will there be any room left, or will they be full? I suppose we will have to see how it goes, but I’m not confident.

  3. Louise Loxham says:

    Are balconies on accessible cabins slightly
    Larger to accommodate wheelchairs? Looking at
    The pictures, my husbands wheelchair won’t fit!

    • Tom Burke says:

      I don’t think so, Louise – the structure of the ship means that all balconies along each side have to be same size. So this may be a problem for passengers with wheel chairs. (Someone else pointed this out earlier today.)

  4. Is there a way to find out which way the beds face in the HE Grade Balcony Cabins? I know from trips on Ocenana, Azura & Ventura the alternate directions. We have a preference to traveling Forwards and we want a cabin in the 201 – 231 range on C,D or E deck.

  5. martin says:

    i wounder if you know if cabin c702 deck 12 is big enough for 2 adults and a 12 year old child martin

  6. martin says:

    on brittannia

    • Tom Burke says:


      Well, I don’t know anything about the cabins on Britannia, except for what I’ve read or saw on my visit. As far as I can see, C702 has an additional bed in the form of a single sofa bed (according to the brochure). I’m a bit surprised about that – also according to the brochure, it’s a category HD cabin, which is described as a “Balcony with shower (without sofa)”.

      Truthfully, that’s got me puzzled…. Let me do some research.

      Ah – I’ve found a different set of deck plans, and they suggest that that cabin actually has two upper Pullman berths; so either my deck plans are wrong or my eyesight is shot! But if it’s got upper Pullman berths then it will be large enough, at a push. The basic cabin has an area of 174 sq ft, which is about the same size, maybe even bigger, than the balcony cabins on Azura and Ventura, and people have been using them in 3- and 4-berth configurations ever since they went into service. So yes, I would think; but you will all be in very close proximity to each other.

  7. martin says:

    thanks for reply tom thats very helpfull i wonder if you could tell me if you think cruise is ok for kids not sure if we are doing right thing taking are grandaughter on cruise

    • Tom Burke says:

      One area where P&O usually win plaudits is their kid’s clubs. Those on their more recent ships – Ventura, Azura and now Britannia – are regarded as excellent, and the staff looking after them as well. Your granddaughter would be free to spend as much time as she liked with others of her own age range, or as little. The actual number of children on board would depend on the time of year, of course – during the school holidays there are lots of school-age children, while during term time it tends to be babies, toddlers and infants, of course. Do a Google search for ‘children club Ventura’ (or Azura or Britannia, of course) – you’ll get a flavour of what’s on offer.

      I have a feeling that youngsters, especially the pre-teens, enjoy the mix of time with their families and time with other children on a cruise, so you might not see too much of her during sea days. I’ve never cruised with children from my own family, but I know that I enjoyed seeing kids on Ventura and Azura. They were obviously having a good time, from the little ones playing ‘dress-up’ games (e.g. pirates – I remember them seeing a bunch of 5, 6 and 7 year-olds take the cruise director prisoner on Ventura) to scavenge hunts for older ones – again, I remember seeing small groups of them trying to work out the next clue, totally engrossed. Indeed, when we cruised on Arcadia to the Canary Islands we felt there was something missing – Arcadia is adults-only, of course.

      What’s the itinerary and duration?

  8. Simon Regan says:

    We’ve booked a suite on brittania and been given wheelchair access one b627 we are not disabled or in need of this cabin but booked a guarantee . Is there much difference with this as to a normal suite thanks

    • Tom Burke says:

      Simon – Thanks for the query and apologies for the delay.

      I’ll be honest, I don’t really know. I did make that comment from my visit and that’s as far as I know. It certainly looked Suite-sized. I imagine the bathroom would be equipped for less-mobile people, however.

    • debbie says:

      that’s crazy when there are disabled people who cant get a cabin because they are fully booked. may I ask when you are going please

  9. debbie says:

    from what ive read Brittania isn’t great!

  10. ann says:

    Anyone got any info for F deck accessable cabin 724 please

  11. Shirley Nichol says:

    Has the cabin got kettle

  12. Sharon says:

    Hi I’ve just booked b105 cabin on britania for a carribean cruise in March 2016.
    Do you know if this cabin is at the back or front of the ship


    • Tom Burke says:

      Looks like it’s close to the front, Sharon. My copy of the latest deck plan also says that it’s a GE grade ‘Balcony with shower and sofa’ cabin.

      • Sharon says:

        Hi tom thanks for that it’s March 2017 a105 would it still be the front of the ship britania



        • Tom Burke says:

          Ah, A105…. Yes, that looks like a Superior Deluxe Balcony, and appears to be at the front. Facing forward, in fact.

  13. Ray says:

    A 107 balcony is huge ,room for two sun beds plus two deck chairs

  14. Ray says:

    A107 balcony is huge, with two sun beds and two deck chairs and small table

  15. jacqui says:

    Hi Tom, We have just booked c deck, rooms 719-721. I believe its at back of ship and have balcony can you tell us anything about the room please?

    • Tom Burke says:

      Well, to be honest I don’t really know. Other than those few hours last year, I haven’t been on Britannia. (Yet; but in 6 weeks’ time we’re off the Fjords on her.)

      Looking at my deck plans I see that C719 & C721 are two ‘Balcony with Shower (without sofa)’ cabins. That class of cabin has an area of 174 sq ft, with another 36 sq ft for the balcony. That’s about all I know, I’m afraid – there is a picture of one of them above.

  16. Dai Bryson says:

    Tom, couple of points, re:- non disabled cruisers being given an adapted cabin. I think the poster was going on a fly cruise to the Caribbean. These are not as popular with disabled people as cruises from Southampton. Flying is quite a chore with a scooter or electric wheelchair. Also the Caribbean islands are not good for disabled access. Very few buses which can take a wheelchair, for example.

    With regard to the suite’s you did not mention being able to use the Epicurean for breakfast each morning. This is a big benefit.

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment, Dai. That’s a good point about the Epicurean for breakfast, for Suite passengers. And I take your point about the problems that mobility-impaired passengers have with fly-cruises. Have you done one?

  17. Carla says:

    Hi Tom,
    Are the balconies on A deck in a deluxe room any bigger than in your photo above??

    • Tom Burke says:


      All the port and starboard balconies on Britannia are the same size, regardless of the category of cabin. From basic balconies to suites, they’re the same.

  18. graham pride says:

    hi – anyone know why cabins on A deck are cheaper than cabins on B,C,D etc?

    • Tom Burke says:

      Good question. Anyone?

      • kate says:

        We have been on A deck equivalent on Azura and the noise from the LIdo and pool was a nightmare. If the have not cracked it with Britannia, I would imagine that A deck is very noisy very early when cleaning is done, and again in the evening

        • Tom Burke says:

          Thanks for the comment, Kate.

          Do you mean the deck immediately underneath the Lido deck? – that would be Riviera deck on Azura (and Ventura).

  19. Barbara Harper says:

    We r going on Brittania next May to the Ffords and have been given cabin B222, but the balcony does look small. Will we be able to sit out there and watch the scenery go by. Will the weather be watt enough

    • Tom Burke says:


      Thanks for the question. I don’t know if you’ve spotted it, but we did a cruise to the fjords this May/June, on Britannia. You can read my blog entries about it – go to the ‘Click Here for links to Reviews’ at the top of the Home Page, the select ‘Britannia to the Fjords, 2016’.

      For a specific answer to your balcony question, have a look at this page (from that cruise) and especially the two pictures at the bottom – one from ventura and the other from Britannia.

  20. Stephen says:

    Has anybody stayed in g deck room g230 is the lifeboats in the way thanks

  21. Fi Fi says:

    Hi , we are travelling on the Britannia in August 2017 for 14 nights to the Med. We have been given a room of D622 but I was told it was a twin with shower one upper Pullman and sofa bed , please can someone tell me what the layout is like I was told the upper Pullman is in front of the balcony which will still us access at night in in the morning is this right . And does any one know if the beds are facing the way we are trading hate to travel backwards it makes me feel sick .

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment, Fi Fi.

      I’m away from home at the moment so I can’t answer your question about the cabin in detail. However I can say something about the ‘direction of travel’ question. I think the cabins alternate – in some the beds face forward while in others they face aft. However, in practice it doesn’t matter. Once you’ve got the blinds down you’re really not aware of the direction the ship is going, and therefore which direction you’re facing. You’re far more likely to be aware of the slight rolling motion. So I don’t think you need to worry about that.

      • Tom Burke says:

        Val has asked me to add that she’s generally needed to look out of the cabin at the sea in order to work out which way the ship is going. It really is that hard to tell.

        • Fi Fi says:

          Hi Tom, thank you for your answer on the bed situation put my mind at ease, just need to try and see if anyone knows about the cabin we been put in D622 lets hope,the Pullman bed isn’t in front of the balcony .

  22. Hi, Tom. We’re sailing next week in cabin G104 at the front with metal frontage. Any Comments?

    • Tom Burke says:

      I’m away at the moment so can’t answer. Home tomorrow – as long as they can get our plane started.

  23. Patricia Wingrove says:

    Going on brittania 4sept what are cabins like on f deck balconies


    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the question, Patricia, and apologies for the delay in replying.

      As far as the actual balcony cabins themselves are concerned, they’ll be normal balcony cabins of two different kinds – one (slightly larger) with a small sofa, and the other with just an armchair. It’s just another deck of balcony cabins. There don’t appear to be any ‘obstructed view’ cabins on that deck. F deck is a long way down from the Lido deck so there should’t in practice be any overhang. You’re not far above the lifeboats (on deck 7, two decks below) and they do stick out a bit, so when you look down you’ll get a view of them. But apart from that, I would expect these to be good cabins. And being comparatively low-down, ship movement, especially roll, will be minimised. Not that Britannia rolls much anyway, she’s so big.

      Enjoy your cruise.

  24. Francis McCahill says:

    Dear Tom, A comment on Britannia balconies. We did the repositioning cruise in G104 a bot worried about the steel frontage. No problem. At least twice as big as other balconies. If we go back we’ll be looking for one of those cabins. Furthest back look biggest.

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