Out and About

A Day Onboard The Cruise Ship Britannia

The Cruise Ship Atrium
noun: cruise; plural noun: cruises
a voyage on a ship or boat taken for pleasure or as a holiday and usually calling in at several places.
“a cruise down the Nile”

Up until fairly recently the term ‘cruise’ simply meant an amazing holiday aboard a giant floating hotel that was completely and utterly out of any price range we could spend for a holiday. Friends of mine have been on numerous cruises and have raved about them.

The sights, the food, the entertainment, everything you could possibly need, in one place.

I won’t lie, it is something that I have been dying to try. I am not the greatest lover of planes, though will never pass up the opportnity to fly somewhere on holiday. But there is something great about going down to Southampton, popping onto a ship and that is it. No spending hours and hours at an airport and getting up at stupid o’clock.

Oh no.

In the cruising world, it is a leisurely check in service. Times for your embarkation are printed onto your tickets, so no silly waiting around. Luggage is taken off you and delivered to you cabin.

What more could you ask for?

Recently, my Dad made enquiries about the P&O cruise ship tours that become available when ships come into port. For a very reasonable price of Β£25.00 per head, you can have a guided tour plus aΒ three course meal onboard a ship while it is in ‘turn around’ mode. An amazing opportunity for those like me who have only ever seen a ship in glossy magazines.

The Cruise Ship Atrium

The first area we came across: the beautifully presented atrium. This is the moment where you completely forget that you’ve just stepped onto a boat. Flanked either side by a selection of shops with a comfortable seating area to relax in.

So on the 30th April, I, Sam and my Mum and Dad pootled off down to Southampton for an eye opening day on the P&O Britannia- a ship which my Dad has been longing to visit for quite some time.

I went with no expectations and came back filled with excitement.


One of the many bars to while away the time in. This one was positioned right at the front of the ship so you could look out to sea. A bit like being in the driving seat.


The Theatre

West End on Sea!

Our tour guide was indeed a man of the seas. He had spent years working on ships of all shapes and sizes and he knew his stuff. What I liked most about him was his honesty. He made no apologies for the advice he gave, and proceeded to give us both the pros and cons of the Britannia.


There are plenty of dining options available. You could go on a one week cruise and never dine in the same place twice, such was the variety on offer.

There was lots to think about and take onboard (get it?!)


More than one pool onboard gave greater flexibility of recreational time. Plenty of seating areas around this part of the ship for maximum time in the sun. There are of course bars on poolside ready to quench thirsts and appetites.

As the day progressed, new holiday makers were beginning to board the ship ready for sailing in the late afternoon.



Lots of choice available for the type of cabin to stay in. Inside and outside cabins give greater flexibility on prices. Rooms with balconies give that extra bit of room. Plenty of room for luggage and decent enough bathrooms.

Of course it was tempting to be a stow away, but security was tight (and rightly so) plus we had been electronically scanned in.

The White Company

On our journey back home after a day at sea (ish) I reflected on the following:

How on earth do those ships not sink with all the weight they’re carrying?
Is it actually possible to never see some of the passngers whilst you are onboard for a holiday?
Where does all the waste go?
Where do all the crew stay?
How long does it take to walk around the ship?
How many tons of food can be stored?
Where is all the food and drink stored?
Are there really enough lifeboats for every single person to fit in in an emergency?

Yes admittedly some of my thoughts may have started to wander along to things unpleasant but, healthy and safety doesn’t disappear at sea.

I was very glad to have done the tour.

The Spa

I was surprised at how big the Spa area was. Lots on offer in terms of treatments. The Britannia also had a hydrotherapy pool, heated beds plus a well equipped gym for those who are after a more vigorous workout!

In fact it had put my mind at ease.

cruise ship buffet

The reason for this is that I am going on a cruise this year!

Yes, a real one.

looking out to sea

In August my Mum turns 60 and we wanted to surprise her with an amazing birthday present. What better way than to organise a huge family holiday doing something that none of us have ever done before. Cruising!

the quiet zone

The Quiet Zone – a retreat for the adults only including seating areas, jacuzzis and an option for some al fresco treatments. Expect to see lots of teachers in this area during the Summer holidays, escaping the children on board!

So now having had a taste of what’s to come we are all incredibly excited!

Mum now knows of her surprise (cue lots of planning and organising of spa treatments etc!) and is thoroughly looking forward to it.


August will be here before we know it.

I wonder if any of you have spent time at sea. Β Any tips, tricks or recommendations out there? I’d love to know what they are!


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  • Jena C. Henry
    May 31, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Your photos were wonderful! I have been on 2 cruises- always a choice for me whether to choose based on the ship or the itinerary. I hope you have a lovely cruise with your family!

  • Donna
    June 1, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Thank you very much! This cruise was largely based on it being a week in the school summer holidays. A week also because none of us have been before. Looking forward to it more each day!

  • Ritu
    June 4, 2017 at 9:53 am

    This looks amazing! I’d love to do a cruise!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      I cant wait for August! πŸ™‚

  • Em Linthorpe
    June 4, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Oh my, the ship looks incredible. That’s a really reasonable price for a day visit too. How lucky that you’ll be doing it for real soon too…I hope you have a brilliant time x

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      It really was incredible. Never seen anything like it, and it is on water!!!! Price was fantastic and I really recommend it. Cruise is getting closer now. Less than one month away!!! πŸ™‚

  • Mel
    June 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    That’s so cool about getting to do a tour when it’s in port. Can’t wait to read about when you go on the cruise with your mum!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      The tour was such a great idea, especially if you were undecided about whether to do one or not. I look forward to doing a cruise blog!

  • AnHistorian
    June 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    This is a very cool idea! My family loves cruises- I am terrified of water and things that live in it but everyone else jumps on it. It is amazing, these boats are truly their own little towns! Whereabouts are you going in August?

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      You’re right about it being like a town. Even with their own shops! My eyes were well and truly opened! Our cruise is to Spain, Portugal and Guernsey. πŸ™‚

  • Angela Miconi
    June 5, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Those pictures were AMAZING! Man I want to go on cruise so bad but you are right, they are soooo expensive. Plus I don’t want to stay in a teenie weenie lil’ cabin even if I won’t be there much at all. Have fun on your cruise with your mom!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks very much πŸ˜‰

  • Suzanne
    June 25, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I have only experienced a cruise ship from the workers side of it, as I worked as a stewardess for the Sitma Line many years ago in the late 70’s. Might have to look at doing one in 10 years or so πŸ™‚ Love the photos!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      I bet it was interesting from a workers side of things too! I do wonder how everyone, staff and holiday makers all fit onboard!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm
  • Hayley
    June 25, 2017 at 7:48 am

    This looks amazing. Yes I’d also like to know how that ship doesn’t sink!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      πŸ™‚ as long as we stay afloat that’s the main thing!

  • Shelley
    June 25, 2017 at 8:05 am

    We’ve been on two P&O cruises and I never fail to be amazed at the luxury of the ships. I like to imagine what it must have been like boarding the Titanic in all its splendour.

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Ah wow! Any tips then? Holiday is getting closer and closer! πŸ™‚

  • gabe
    June 25, 2017 at 8:39 am

    These are beautiful photos! I haven’t had the chance to enjoy a cruise yet, but I have to admit, the pristine display of food, and comfort and leisure sure is tempting. Thanks for sharing!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I have heard all positive things about cruises so I am really looking forward to it

  • Emmalene
    June 25, 2017 at 8:41 am

    That looks so beautiful! I’ve never really fancied a cruise but seeing the inside of the Britannia might just change my mind. You and your family will have an amazing time!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Well, you never know πŸ™‚ thank you!

  • Fancy
    June 25, 2017 at 8:58 am

    This looks outstanding.

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      thank you πŸ™‚

  • AnHistorian
    June 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    My parents love cruises- they mostly stick with Pacific cruises on the West coast of Canada. It does amaze me with how unbelievably large they are! My dad is a math guy and can explain it well, but essentially you have to displace more water to take more weight. Me, well, I’m afraid of water and math, so I’m a landlubber for the rest of my life! I’m excited to hear more about your upcoming cruise πŸ™‚

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      I imagine those cruises would also be incredible. I don’t like maths either and I married a mathematician! I look forward to sharing more in August πŸ™‚

  • Linda Hobden
    June 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I did a Caribbean cruise a few years back now before I had children & I loved it. I was worried about feeling seasick but I felt queasy at first but once the cruise got underway I was absolutely fine. I enjoyed the tours available at each port . The cabin walls are thinner than you think- I was in the bathroom in my cabin and I sneezed; my neighbour in the cabin next door replied “bless you”! So, beware! 😜 I have been on a few mini cruises across the North Sea to both Sweden and The Netherlands. The swedish trip was in February in an ice breaker – yes, the sea was rough but the cruise was absolutely fine. I paid extra for an upper outside cabin. I stayed in an inner cabin for the Netherlands. I recommend staying in the best cabin you can afford – the inner cabins are fine & just as luxurious but I do suffer from mild claustrophobia so I prefer to be in an outside edge cabin with portholes so I can see outside. It’s a mind thing. I always fancied a posh balconied cabin so you can have breakfast on your own balcony! 😊 Have a great voyage!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      hahahahaha!!!! A great piece of advice…. thank you for the warning!!! I get sea sick too but so far that’s only on smaller boats. Hopefully all will be well. We’ve got a cabin with outside balcony. I couldn’t cope with an inside one, also claustrophobic. Thank you very much πŸ™‚

  • Gary Jefferies
    June 25, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Just wow, #awesome and flipping heck! What a wonderful set of photos and that looks totally like living in a different world. So envious πŸ™‚

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you very much πŸ™‚ it really is a different world!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    June 25, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Wow, how stunning! A cruise is one thing thought that I’m too timid to ever do!

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Ah, well, you never know… πŸ™‚

  • Josy A
    July 7, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Goodness those rooms are massive! It all looks like a fantastic place to stay.
    I hope you have an amaaaazig time on your cruise! You’ll be blogging about it right?

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you very much πŸ™‚ yes I am def going to be blogging about it. Tons to see and do and talk about!

  • Tania
    July 7, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I’m so glad I came across this post on Twitter. My husband and I have booked to go to the Norwegian Fjords in August and I *think* we’re going on Britannia! Neither of us have been on a cruise before. We wanted to go on holiday this year and when we saw that there were suitable options for us from Southampton we knew we had to book. We both wanted to avoid flying because I’m a wheelchair user. We’ve heard horror stories of wheelchairs being badly handled and broken when flying, as well as people being left for hours without their chairs while they’re located the other end. I’m so excited! I hope you have a great time on the cruise for your Mum’s 60th. Who knows, maybe we’re taking the same holiday! Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

    • Donna
      July 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Wow that sounds amazing! I would also love to do the Norwegian Fjords. Hope you have tons of fun, this is my first cruise too and I am looking forward to it loads. Will be a nice change from hanging around an airport for hours. I hate waiting for planes. At least the holiday starts as soon as you step on board πŸ™‚

  • April Munday
    July 15, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    I’ve often wondered what these new cruise ships look like inside. They’re certainly not very attractive from the outside. The Britannia is smaller than many that dock here, though, and has a certain charm. I hope you have a great time on your cruise.

  • Jennifer
    October 22, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    I went on my cruise this past May and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t know why I kept putting off the idea for so long.

    • Donna
      October 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! I’d like to do another one, but next time I don’t want to be pregnant at the same time! πŸ™‚

  • Cook & Enjoy
    October 22, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Looking absolutely amazing – Done an Alaska cruise about 15 years ago – still reminiscing and talking about this once in a lifetime experience. Just enjoy it and have fun

  • Donna
    October 23, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I bet Alaska was amazing. Definitely once in a life time trip – so many places to see!