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I said in a  previous post that the reviews from Britannia’s maiden cruise were in the main very positive. This is still the case; however, there have been a number of reviews that have highlighted a specific problem, that of the absence of stairs in the midships area above deck 7. The only passenger staircases that rise above deck 7 are the ones forward and aft. There are three sets of lifts – forwards, aft and midships, and I recall that I used the midships lifts during my visit – but no midships stairs.

There is a staircase in the forward end of the Atrium, running from deck 5 to deck 7, but it stops there. There’s also a 3-deck staircase (decks 5 to 7, again) just aft of the midships lift well, but again it only covers the three decks of the atrium. Some passengers have commented that there’s a crew staircase (and probably a crew/luggage lift shaft) in the same area but no passengers stairs, and it’s the absence of the midships stairs that is causing an issue. The problem is, of course, that if you’ve got a cabin in the midships area on a higher deck and you want to get to the atrium, you’ve got to walk to either of the forward or aft staircases, use them to get to the deck you want to get to, and then walk back to the midships area. You can use the midships lifts, but passengers are also saying that these seem to be very busy/congested, and waiting times can be long.

A few reports from passengers are saying that they have heard that this problem will be addressed, but I can’t see it. Mainly this is because in fact the Princess near-sister ships (Royal Princess and Regal Princess) have the same problem, and it hasn’t been rectified on them. I was aware of this issue, and the fact that the same complaints had been raised by passengers on the Princess ships, but on my trip to Britannia it so happened that the absence of these stairs wasn’t apparent to me on the day possibly because the limited numbers of people on board meant that the midships lifts were efficient. As a result the issue slipped my mind when I came to write my report.

So there it is – the absence of these midships stairs seems to have become the biggest issue raised by passengers on Britannia so far.

4 Responses to “Britannia reviews – missing staircase is an issue”

  1. Malcolm Oliver says:

    Some bigger ships than Britannia have just two stair towers/central lifts and some much smaller ships have three. ‘Oasis’ the worlds biggest ship only has two stair towers, for example.

    Leaving out the central stair tower can certainly increase your mileage, However your walk will often be past income generating bars, restaurants, shops and the Casino. Omitting the middle staircase also saves space for more cabins and public rooms etc.

    As for “it will be addressed”, of course it will not. They cannot alter the fundamental design/structure of the ship easily.

    With respect: those with mobility problems need to look at smaller vessels like Oriana, Aurora, Fred Olsen, Thomson and the CMV’s fleets, not at big ships like Britannia.

    Malcolm

  2. Hi Tom. Quite frankly I’d say it is a non-issue. Having spent 14 days on board for the maiden cruise… http://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2015/03/30/britannia-the-maiden-cruise/ in a deck 14 cabin – equip-distant the forward and midships lifts – the only issue that I would say needs addressing is educating passengers to understand the ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrows on the various lift floors.

    If I could have claimed a fiver for every time someone got in the lift for the wrong direction I could have paid for my cruise.

    I’ve already had to put someone else’s stupid statement right on the issue of lifts being ‘out’ in an emergency situation. As you correctly say, there is a ‘service’ staircase running parallel with the midship’s lifts. Indeed, the access door was open one day and my wife and I used just that to get to the gangway.

    While on Queen Elizabeth in January it was the ‘service’ stairs that were used for the ’emergency’ drill.

  3. Edwin ecclestone says:

    I have just returned from a cruise on the Britannia there was a lot of guests with walking disability’s plus a lot of mobility scooters and the lifts were a nitemare a lot of guests would have used stairs if they had been fitted in the midship very poor design.

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