We usually cruise with Thomson but being a little fed up with hanging around in airports we decided to take a cruise from Southampton. We arranged parking in the port car-park, first mistake as we were in a queue for sometime waiting our turn to unload our suitcases. The departure lounge was absolutely full standing room only and as i had failed to book as a disabled passenger (second mistake) it seemed we were in for a very uncomfortable time. Luckily i was identified as a person needing assistance and was whisked through onto the ship.
The cabin C308 deck 10 was not the largest we have had but was entirely suitable for our needs plenty of hanging space more than adequate drawers. The safe was free to use (charge on Thomson) and the balcony was wider than the balconies on any of the other decks with a shaded area or a full sun area. I didn't think we would have much use for the balcony as we were going to Iceland and Norway. How wrong I was the weather was mainly hot and the balcony was well used. The shower was OK pretty much standard for a ship. What we did like was the in cabin tea and coffee making facilities that are not present on Thomson's ships, also we could have breakfast in our cabin at no extra cost. The one drawback was our cabin was opposite a service doorway which could be noisy early in the morning. Luckily we had booked freedom dining and i would not have been happy with having a set dining time i had to keep to as this could seriously affect our ability to watch the evening entertainment.
We barely used the buffets because they were very busy and seating was limited.
Sometimes we had to wait for a table in the restaurant used for Freedom Dining but the quality of the food compensated for a little inconvenience. Not being ones to dress up a lot we were thinking that maybe there would be to much formality, how wrong we were some people made an effort to dress smart casual but others looked like they'd had nothing but Shorts and Tee Shirts in their wardrobe.
The entertainment was not always to our liking and some of the comedians were not very funny in fact were diabolical but generally we enjoyed most of what was on offer and there was always something else to do if a particular show was not your cup of tea. There was a good variety of afternoon films on show in the theatre on the sea days.
The excursions were as overpriced as usual and not having found them always good value for money in the past we are now very selective on the ones we take preferring to make our own way around the at our own pace, using the shuttle buses or taxis where needed.
All in all we enjoyed the cruise immensely and will definitely cruise again on the Ventura