If you sail with Cunard, the vast majority of the cabins are Britannia class. Outside cabins with balconies average about 260 square feet, about the same size as some Grill level accommodations used to be aboard the famous QE2. Today, ships are assembled like Lego blocks. These cabins are substantially the same size. You pay extra for location. We have always travelled in Britannia class. Over time, we have discovered several cool features.
- Ice Bucket in Refrigerator. When you arrive, there’s a bottle of sparkling wine in a champagne bucket to greet you. Midway during a voyage, we’ve wanted ice for drinks or cooling wine. When we called to request ice, our steward showed us the in room refrigerator has an insulated ice bucket inside. The steward refreshes your ice daily.
- Room Service Menu. The desk drawer includes a binder with general information like hours and phone numbers of onboard restaurants. There’s also a tab for the room service menu. If you feel like staying in, you can order a three course meal and have it delivered to your cabin. As I recall, the vast majority of selections, if not everything, has no cost.
- Hydraulic Cocktail Table. Where will you have your dinner for two? Outside and balcony cabins include a two seat sofa and chair. There’s an over cocktail table. If you reach underneath, there’s a lever that raises it to dining table height. Position the chair opposite for a quiet, romantic meal.
- Under Bed Storage. For years, we tried to figure out how to store our soft sided luggage in the closets, without knocking out lots of usable space. Eventually, we discovered the space below the bed, hidden by the bed skirting, is high enough to slide luggage underneath. Once you unpack, you aren’t going to need (or want to see) your suitcases for the next seven days.
- Connecting Balcony Door. You are traveling with friends. You have adjacent cabins. When you step onto your balcony, you will see the partition wall has a locked door set into it. Ask your steward if the door between your two balconies can be secured in the open position. It saves the time and effort required to leave through the cabin door and knock on their door when you want to get together. Also, for entertaining these friends, your balcony space just doubled.
Here are a couple of other worthwhile features in Britannia cabins:
- The binder in the desk includes letterhead and envelopes. Writing notes is the standard way we get in touch with new friends to invite them to a cabin party or meet up for drinks before dinner. The rooms do have phones, but who spends much time in their cabin? The phones have message lights, but they are easy to overlook.
- At night, you will find a breakfast menu lying on the bed. Most ships probably offer this feature. We go to the Britannia dining room, but we also like to wake up to fresh croissants and coffee. We utilize the in cabin breakfast service as out wake up call. There’s a knock on the door, one of us puts on a robe and a steward bring in a tray, complete with starched linen napkins.
Britannia class is the affordable, entry level way to travel on Cunard. One on board, everyone is treated like royalty, regardless of the category stateroom you booked.
Story by Bryce Sanders