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 £25.00 per head, you can have a guided tour plus a 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.  Any tips, tricks or recommendations out there? I’d love to know what they are!


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  • Reply
    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!

  • Reply
    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!

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