Gee, I can hardly believe the previous posters are talking about the same ship that 4 friends and I sailed on in early 1987! That first cruising experience nearly soured us all on ever cruising again. We sailed from Montego Bay with ports in Aruba, San Blas Islands, Cartagena and Panama City. Three of us had a suite (I think it was the *top* accomodation on the ship) and the other two had an outside cabin. We all thought the ship was drab and dirty, the common areas crowded, and there were a number of rude crew members. I particularly remember a rather bizarre incident involving the purser. The morning before disembarkation, I cashed a travelers check at the purser's office for tips the next day. Realizing that I didn't have enough smaller bills, I went back that afternoon to get some $5's; I handed the purser a $20 bill, and he looked at it and said the bill was counterfeit! I replied that if it was, he had given it to me that A.M., and therein ensued a nasty exchange between the two of us that eventually ended in his giving me the change I had requested. The only positive thing I remember about that first cruise was having fun in the casino - there were two casino workers (slot mechanics?) from The Netherlands who we enjoyed talking to every night, especially about other ships they'd worked on, etc. They let us know not to judge every ship by that one, which was a good thing, as I'm happy to say we took their advice and tried cruising again the next year and have continued virtually every year thereafter. No comparison to, for instance, Princess, Radisson, Cunard, RCL, Renaissance, Silverseas.
In my opinion, cruising is almost always a case of "you get what you pay for", and admittedly, the Brittanis was el cheapo - if she's indeed on the bottom of the sea, I see that as a fitting final resting place for her!