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#HolidayFirsts, as voted by you


First-time cruisers Freddy Berry and Karen Pacaud won a dream holiday to the Caribbean last month… with a fun twist. Much of what they experienced on their cruise was voted for by our Facebook and Twitter followers

First-time cruisers Freddy Berry and Karen Pacaud

First-time cruisers Freddy Berry and Karen Pacaud soaking up the Caribbean atmosphere

For Freddy Berry, 57, and Karen Pacaud, 52, 2017 started off better than they could have ever imagined. On 13 January they flew out to Barbados to join Britannia… as the winners of a holiday of a lifetime in the Caribbean.


The couple, who hail from York, were chosen by a panel of expert judges to join a 14-night round trip from Barbados, visiting Curacao, Aruba, Grenada, St Vincent, St Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and St Maarten, on board our flagship. As first-time cruisers, we sent Freddy, a business consultant, and Karen, who runs a small French-themed café in Boroughbridge, out to the Caribbean to experience the vast range of sights, activities, entertainment and dining that are all part of a P&O Cruises holiday.


The twist…

This was a prize with a difference though. In order for the couple to really experience what cruising is all about, we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to help us decide what Freddy and Karen should do during their holiday in order to maximise their cruising experience. As part of our #HolidayFirsts social campaign, our followers voted on what they thought the couple should do while on board and on shore, from their first on-deck activity and the first bite of Caribbean food they should try, to the restaurant they should dine in during their first Black Tie night. In return, Karen and Freddy kept us updated on every step of their journey with videos and photos.

First-time cruisers Freddy Berry and Karen Pacaud enjoying cocktails

Freddy and Karen enjoyed cocktails on board as part of their dream holiday

Thanks to our voters, Freddy and Karen were spoilt for choice as they experienced everything Britannia has to offer. An amazing array of entertainment venues, a top-notch gym and spa, four swimming pools, The Cookery Club, plus 13 bars and 13 places to eat meant that the couple were never in danger of running out of things to do.


They dressed up in their Black Tie finery to enjoy a delicious Gala Dinner menu specially created for P&O Cruises by renowned chef Marco Pierre White, and met Britannia’s captain, David Pembridge. They also delighted in a fine-dining experience in wine expert Olly Smith’s The Glass House, and waved farewell to beautiful Barbados with cocktails in hand. On their first sea day, the couple learned a little Cha Cha before relaxing by the pool. And later in their trip, they enjoyed an afternoon of pampering in The Retreat. We were just a little jealous, to say the least.


But the fun didn’t stop there – Karen and Freddy had the whole Caribbean to explore, too. From swimming with turtles in Barbados to discovering Curacao on foot, sampling delicious local delicacies chosen by our social media followers (fish tacos, red snapper, Blue Lagoon cocktails or tamales? The tacos were the winner), their dream holiday became a reality.


‘This was a chance in a lifetime for us,’ says Karen. ‘It’s been such an amazing experience, especially on board P&O Cruises flagship Britannia.’


‘We loved the choice of where to eat and drink, not to mention the variety of entertainment put on every evening and seeing so many different places along the way,’ adds Freddy. ‘It was two weeks of adventure and excitement. We didn’t want it to end.’


‘This was an incredible introduction to cruising for Freddy and Karen,’ says P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow. ‘Where else could they relax in the spa’s thermal suite, zip-line through the rainforest, rustle up a two-course meal in The Cookery Club, enjoy a world-class stage show and dine from a menu created by the legendary godfather of British cooking, Marco Pierre White, all in the space of one day?’


Watch Freddy and Karen in action on our Facebook page >


Find out more about cruises to the Caribbean >

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