Having just returned from a 2 week cruise round the med on Ventura have to say that unless I can get an absolute bargain we will not be sailing with P&O again. Went on Azura 2 years ago and was really wowed with the ship and had a great time. Complete opposite this time, the ship had had a make over but this was not very obvious until one of the other passengers explained to us about the addition of the single cabins and the retreat.
We booked a getaway deal for a balcony cabin and were allocated a cabin on deck 12, the cabin was tired and really needed a makeover, the steward was spot on and the cabin was kept very clean.
The cruise was for my 50th birthday and my husband ordered a dozen red roses to be delivered to the cabin on the day and they were absolutely beautiful.
We ate in the Cinnamon restaurant and the food was of a good quality, always hot and plentiful, only had to wait for a table on one night. Tried the Beach Hut restaurant twice and that was excellent. Tried the buffet one night and that was not good, it was Thai night and to be honest I understood that they were themed buffets but assumed that there would have been something light to eat. But nothing appealed so settled on crackers and cheese but guess what they had no crackers so asked a waiter if he could get some more and he came back with a plate with 4 crackers on it !!!! there was an officer stood beside me when I was handed the plate and he could not believe it and asked the waiter to fill up the container but he refused.
The entertainment was not up to the same standard as Royal Caribbean, if you could get a seat in the theatre or one of the bars where the entertainment was. Watched the first Headliners show and it was OK the second one was not much better and walked out of the third after five minutes so did not bother with any of the others. Peter Grant was superb, the Neil Diamond and Phil Collins acts were both very enjoyable. The cruise director was very noticeable by his absence we did not see him at any of the shows that we attended we heard his announcement in a morning and that was it. Very poor show by Hughie !!!!!
We did notice on this cruise that cost cutting on the ports was very noticeable as the length of time in port seemed to have been reduced. When we tendered to Cannes we were lucky and got off the ship in a timely manner I believe that other passengers were asked not to come down and queue for tender tickets as 500 people were already there. 3 hours to get off for a couple that we met. We did have a trip booked to Monaco but this was cancelled by the ship and we were not informed and when I queried this at the excursion desk was told that I had been sent a letter the night previously to inform me of the cancellation which I had not. On querying this I was basically told not their problem the letter had been sent to house keeping to be delivered so it was out of their hands. Made a complaint to the tour manager who did not want to talk and basically told us to take it up with P&O on shore.
We did enjoy ourselves but the holiday was marred by the number of rude and inconsiderate passengers, please note that this was commented on time and time again by other passengers and not just my observation. Unfortunately it was the older passengers who seemed to think that age means that they do not have to queue for lifts, say thank you when people move out of their way or hold back for them. We did meet some lovely people but have decided that maybe P&O is just not for us for at least another 20 years.