Here are my 50 free things on P&O Cruises Britannia! A cruise doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend lots of money onboard to enjoy yourself. P&O Cruises has many activities and facilities for passengers that are totally free to enjoy on Britannia.
To help, I’ve organised these 50 free things to do into categories so that you can make the most of your next cruise on this British cruise ship.
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Free Wellness Activities on Britannia
There are several free wellness activities on Britannia to help you relax, unwind and feel good on your cruise. If you don’t want to spend money on spa treatments, then there is an abundance of complimentary options available.
1. Take a stroll on the walking track
Walk off some calories and take in the endless sea views on the walking track located on Deck 18 (Sports Deck). Seven laps is equal to one mile.
2. Relax in a Jacuzzi
There are hot tubs situated in the pool areas on Britannia to help you relax and unwind on your cruise.
3. Soak up the Serenity
The Serenity Pool and Bar is a free adult-only area towards the front of the ship. This is a quiet area that I gravitated towards on my cruise. It’s just a little nicer and more peaceful away from the main lido area.
4. Visit the gym
The gym is a decent size on Britannia with multiple cardio machines and a weights area but can have it’s busy times. If you don’t fancy using the equipment, it’s still worth a walk through to cool off from the outdoor heat (the air conditioning is wonderful in here!).
5. Stretch and Relax
Classes such as Stretch and Relax are complimentary to guests onboard. You can find details about this and other free classes in the onboard gym on Deck 17.
6. Swim in one of Britannia’s three pools
You can choose to swim in any of the pools onboard Britannia, why not try a different one each day? There is a fourth pool at the aft of the ship designed for cooling off and taking in the views of the wake.
7. Attend free health and wellbeing talks
Now might just be the best time to discover how to ‘increase your metabolism’ or learn about ‘fluid retention and swollen ankles’. These daily talks from the Spa Team give you the chance for a few freebies like a free footprint analysis!
8. Free Ladies Pamper Party
Look out for this in your Horizon newsletter and book in advance. The free pamper party includes an hour of skincare, with a free Elmis cleansing, toning, eye treatment and neck/bust treatment.
9. Free Beauty Masterclass
A masterclass in the latest beauty trends is usually available at some point during a cruise on Britannia. You should also look out for free mini-makeovers and the Hair Show (where someone will win a free cut and style).
10. Play in the Sports Arena
On Deck 18 you will find the Sports Arena, a space to play basketball or football with the family and let off some steam. This area closes at 6pm as it is located directly above the nursery.
Free Games and Competitions on Britannia
Throughout the day onboard Britannia, you will find ample opportunities to get involved in fun games, activities and competitions. It’s a great way to meet fellow passengers and try something new. There is no entry fee for any of these activities.
11. Build a Ship on a Ship Competition
I really enjoyed watching this competition on the Lido Deck. Guests and crew are invited to build a model ship. The models are then tested one by one in the pool to see if they float or sink!
12. Free Archery Sessions
You can participate in adult or family archery sessions. Family sessions are suitable if you have a child aged between 5 and 17 years old. You can have a try of archery together in the Arena Sports Court.
13. Table Tennis Competitions
Get your ping pong game on during fun competitions held throughout the cruise on Britannia. The tables are outdoors so is best suited for sunny days with little wind!
14. Adult Football
Hosted by the entertainment team, these free football sessions are for anyone 18 years and older to have a kick about with fellow cruisers.
15. Shuffleboard Competition
Whilst you’re on a cruise, why not have a go at shuffleboard? This nautical deck game is free to enter, just ensure you are wearing shoes.
16. Interactive Bowling
Located in Brodie’s Pub on Britannia, this is a chance to try virtual bowling in a simulated video game.
17. Free Deck Quoits Lesson and Competition
If you’ve never tried deck quoits before, this is a perfect opportunity to try something new. You never know, you could be a natural?
18. Meet others for Bridge and Whist Drives
This is not a hosted activity but the Marlow Suite is made available at certain times throughout the cruise for you to play with fellow passengers. Equipment is available so all you need to do is check the times in the daily Horizon paper.
19. The 8 O’Clock Challenge
Every night at 8pm, you can head to Brodie’s for a fun challenge. Brodie’s is the main venue for many quizzes and challenges on Britannia so is a good place to go if you enjoy trivia.
20. Have a Free Flutter
Brodie’s Casino on Deck 6 offers free gaming lessons to learn how to use the casino tables. This means you can learn the ropes and have a try without losing any money!
21. Family Prize Bingo
On Britannia, there is family prize bingo for groups cruising with children 17 years and younger. It typically takes place early evening in, you guessed it, Brodie’s.
22. Spin it to Win it!
If you fancy taking part in a gameshow, or simply being a spectator, Britannia holds ‘Spin it to Win it’ in the Crystal Room. There are prizes!
23. Get your Prize Passport
During your cruise you will have the opportunity to participate in a range of hosted events. Every time you win one of the games, quizzes or sporting events, you will receive a golden sticker. Simply collect as many stickers as possible during your cruise. Towards the end of the cruise, look out for the Prize Passport Prize Giving to claim your prizes. The more stickers you collect, the better prizes you can take home. Prizes start with keyrings and work all the way up to binoculars and oven gloves!
Free Drinks on Britannia
P&O Cruises is not an all-inclusive cruise line. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased individually or with a drinks package. In all honesty, the drinks prices are very fair. You can view drinks prices in my post about the Glass House. But, there are a few occasions when you can snag a free glass of bubbly or sample some drinks without needing your cruise card.
24. Drinks Tasting
Tasting events are held within the shops onboard P&O Britannia. These are opportunities to try different products e.g. rum tasting, in the hope that you will buy some.
25. Shopping Events
Similar to the drinks tasting, there are special shopping events onboard where they hand out free champagne or cocktails. You can pop along for a browse and quaff some champers.
26. Bar Flaring
Cocktail demonstrations are great to watch as the talented bar staff show off their flamboyant juggling skills. It also means that a few cocktails are inevitably handed out to those watching. You aren’t guaranteed one but smile sweetly and you may be in luck.
27. Free Drink with the Captain
On Gala Night, don’t miss out on the Captain’s Gala Reception. It’s an opportunity to see the Captain and ship’s officers whilst enjoying a free glass of sparkling wine. On our cruise, there were two Gala Receptions (6pm and 8pm) to accommodate the different dining times.
Free Cultural & Special Interest Activities on Britannia
If you like to keep yourself occupied and enjoy learning new things, you will find a range of free enrichment activities onboard Britannia. Culture vultures and those looking to learn something new will be please to find daily free activities on Britannia.
28. Free art talks
I’m not a big fan of cruise ship art galleries but I was pleasently surprised to see some art pieces in the Whitehall Gallery I’d actually like in my home! There are opportunities during the cruise to learn more about the artwork and artists at special onboard exhibitions.
29. Join the choir
Passengers can join the Britannia Guest Choir to learn songs, culminating in an end of cruise performance in the Atrium. This is an excellent way to meet new people.
30. Put on your dancing shoes
One things that stood out for me on P&O’s Britannia was the sheer amount of dance classes and opportunities to take part in dance throughout the day. There are classes in Ballroom and Latin as well as evenings in the Crystal Room for dancing with a live band. If you’ve never tried ballroom dancing before, there are onboard dance instructors on hand to guide you through the basics.
31. Soul and Motown Night
On one night of the cruise, the Live Lounge on Deck 7 plays host to an evening of Soul and Motown hits. Keep your eye of the Horizon newsletter so you don’t miss the opportunity to dance ‘All Night Long’ (Lionel Richie) as you may not have ‘Heard it Through the Grapevine’ (Marvin Gaye)!
32. Afternoon Tea for Solo Passengers
If you’re travelling solo, you can enjoy afternoon tea together. It’s a nice ice breaking event that typically occurs throughout the cruise. There are also coffee and chat sessions for solo guests in the mornings.
33. Armed Forces Get Together
All current and retired members of regular, national service or reserve armed forces are invited to meet to chat over tea and biscuits.
34. Ice Carving
On the Lido Deck, you can watch a master ice carver create an intricate ice sculpture right before your eyes. It usually draws quite a crowd on a sea day. Part of the fun is trying to guess what it is as it slowly takes shape.
35. Free Enrichment Talks
Guest speakers share their expertise and knowledge on a variety of subjects. There’s usually a theme to the talks. For example, on my cruise the theme was British music. It’s difficult to find out ahead of time what enrichment talks will be on your cruise. Port and destination information talks are available on demand on your stateroom TV.
36. Free Ship Tour of Britannia
Passengers can get an orientation tour of the ship and its facilities. I’d recommend this to new cruisers. There is also a Britannia Uncovered event held in the Atrium. This event is best described as something that resembles a careers fair. Stalls representing the different cruise ship departments are set up. It can be very crowded as guests flock to try out different skills such as bed making!
Free Entertainment on Britannia
On Britannia, you can find entertainment suitable for all ages and tastes. All onboard entertainment is free (except the Limelight Club) so there’s no need to worry about limiting your options. Here are some ideas of entertainment you’ll find on the cruise ship.
37. Headliners Theatre
The theatre onboard Britannia seats over 800 people and hosts shows every evening. You can catch one of the two performances per night, which is just one of the free things to do on Britannia in the evenings. I watched the magic show ‘Astonishing’ in the Headliners Theatre on Britannia. It involved a lot of people appearing from boxes (by the end I would have been ‘astonished’ to see a box without a person pop out). The highlight of this show is definitely the audience participation trick, which was very clever! Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of magic shows.
‘Mr Tickerton’s Clockwork Circus’ is a production show based on ‘The Greatest Showman’ that is performed in Headliners Theatre.
38. Guest Performers
During a cruise on Britannia, you will have the chance to watch guest acts for free! You can expect tribute acts and some people you’d recognise from Britain’s Got Talent. We enjoyed a comedian we recognised from the TV talent show one evening in Headliners Theatre.
39. Enjoy Music in the Atrium
If you enjoy some musical accompaniment to a drink, the Atrium is a great option. The entertainment varies throughout the cruise but I enjoyed sitting on Deck 7 of the Atrium listening to the musicians and singers.
40. Celebrate with a Sailaway Party
P&O Cruises is well-known for its Great British Sailaway Parties, held on the Lido Deck with music and dancing. The Entertainment Team gets the party going with fun dance routines and singalongs. This is cruise staple for devoted P&O cruisers and may not be everyone’s taste but here’s a video to give you an idea of what to expect.
41. Free Cinema Screenings
On other cruise ships I’ve experienced, there is a big screen in the pool area for daytime entertainment and film screenings in the evenings. On Britannia, you will find daily films in The Studio venue. This gives you a real cinema experience whatever the weather. You can enjoy recent films releases (last 12 months) at no extra cost.
Other Free Things on Britannia
There are a few free things on Britannia that I’d like to add here. These are nice little extras that you can enjoy on your cruise without needing to charge them to you cruise card.
42. Free Tea and Coffee
As a British cruise line, P&O ensures that every passenger can enjoy a nice cup of tea in their stateroom. There is a kettle with tea, coffee, sugar, milk and biscuits that are replenished on a daily basis by your room steward. At the beginning of our cruise, we also had a small bottle of water per person.
You can also take advantage of free tea and coffee after your evening meal in the Main Dining Room. Finally, don’t forget Afternoon Tea (mentioned earlier) with a classic selection of finger sandwiches, cakes, pastries, scones with jam and cream, all served with your choice of speciality tea or coffee.
43. Fitsteps Classes
Is it dancing? Is it fitness? Answer: it’s a combination of both. Two former Strictly professionals created the concept of combining Ballroom dancing and aerobics without the need for a dance partner. I’m a former Fitsteps instructor and I was delighted to see it being taught onboard. I believe it fits well with P&O. Day time classes are held in the Crystal Room.
44. Free Room Service
Free breakfast room service gives you the option of breakfast in bed or breakfast on you balcony. Either way it’s a relaxing way to start your day on Britannia.
45. Free Books
Free books (AKA a library) are available to borrow on your cruise. This means that you don’t need to pack books in your suitcase which can take up valuable shoe room.
46. Free Children’s Club on Britannia
The Reef is the free kids club on Britannia for children aged two to 17 years old, organised into four sections:
- Splashers (2 – 4 years)
- Surfers (5 – 8 years)
- Scubas (9 – 12 years)
- H2O (13 – 17 years)
Parents will also be happy to know that there is a free night nursery service available for young ones of four years and younger (the kids clubs typically open until 11pm).
47. Try new Products for Free
Britannia has a Dixons shop onboard, selling electrical goods. During a cruise, there is the opportunity to try certain products. On my cruise, you could try out the new Dyson hairdryer in your stateroom.
48. Packed Lunches for Port Days
One feature that I really liked on Britannia was the Grab and Go station on Deck 16 poolside. This was a set of fridges with individually wrapped sandwiches, salads, yogurts and fruit that you can help yourself to (be aware that this may change following the Covid-19 pandemic).
This is a great option for fussy eaters, those worried about eating food in port or anyone with allergies. It is also your free lunch in port!
49. Free Access to the Launderette
P&O Cruises offers guests the ability to wash, dry and iron their clothes whilst on Britannia. This seems trivial and possibly something you wouldn’t want to be doing on your holiday but can come in handy. If your clothes are creased, you can simply pop to the launderette to iron individual items. On some other cruise lines, e.g. Royal Caribbean, laundry must be collected by the room steward and is a paid service.
Just remember to pack some washing powder if you plan to do some washing whilst on your cruise.
50. Live Premier League Football
Football fans don’t have to miss matches on their cruise because P&O Cruises screens live Premier League football in Brodie’s. Matches are dependent on satellite signal.
One Thing That Should be Free!
I was surprised on a few occasions during my P&O Britannia cruise but this one left me scratching my head. Where is the complimentary soft ice cream? Please don’t think I’m being entitled or greedy.
On other cruise lines, I’ve always enjoyed an ice cream by the pool. A soft serve kiosk or station is usually situated on the Lido Deck but I could not find this on Britannia. Instead, ice creams are ‘a little extra’ and available from Sundaes Ice Cream. I hope free ice cream will be introduced in the future.
In reality, the cruise fare includes the cost of many things on Britannia. My intention in this blog post was to highlight the many things that you don’t have to pay extra to enjoy. You can do so many things onboard before needing to put your hand in your pocket.
Britannia cruises from Southampton can reduce travel expenses and Caribbean cruises include flights within the cruise package.
Overall, I found that prices of drinks and shore excursions were reasonable. Unusually, we opted to take shore excursions organised by P&O Cruises for this reason.
Cruising can sometimes be perceived as an expensive holiday but I don’t agree. Your cruise fare includes so much such as your food, accommodation, entertainment, activities and most venues. You can keep within your budget and spend on the things that you love. If you want to eat at the specialty dining restaurants, you can. If you fancy a bit of pampering in the spa, you can. The choice is yours.