We chose P&O from family recommendations and Ventura as she was going to the Fjords at the right time for us. We also wanted to ensure we had lots of choice aboard ship as we hadn't cruised before and wanted to give ourselves options for dining and entertainment. Embarkation was surprisingly quick, from leaving the car with the CPR rep to walking on board took less than half an hour. We were very lucky with the weather most of the week, but were glad of being allowed lots of luggage as we had to cover all options for Norway plus formalwear. The swift embarkation plus no luggage limit scores highly against flying to a holiday in my book.
We enjoyed all the ports, however found Stavanger less interesting than the others. The drizzle that day may have had something to do with this of course and we did try to fill our time, visiting two museums. We usually did our own thing, heavily researched online beforehand, but did the tour to the Stave Church in Andalsnes, where we More
found the local guide on the bus very personable and knowledgeable. Onboard we found 99% of the staff were friendly and approachable. Service was usually excellent in all areas of the ship.
The main dining room dinners ranged from OK to good (usually the latter); we also tried the silver service cream tea which was nice, plus had a good evening in Whites, where the service was fantastic (thought they could have done more with the decor). I can't comment on the refit as the ship is new to me, but my one gripe would be the public area toilets. Apart from the ridiculousness of having only two cubicles in the ladies loos nearest the enourmous theatre, many of the loo seats were stained/clearly old and really let the standard down. They were clean, no problems there, just didn't look great.
The entertainment was great, a good mix (and of course not everything is for everyone). I enjoyed filling my time on the two seadays, though there were times when we would have appreciated a few more things aimed at the younger end of the market. I enjoyed the tribute acts more than I expected to, in fact we often gravitated to Havana in the evenings and watched the entertainment there. The video wall in Metropolis was broken for most of the week; we saw it doing Hong Kong but weren't overly impressed gven the hype around it. Enjoyed meeting other passengers, usually when it was necessary to share tables (eg at afternoon tea or sometimes when the buffet got full) and had a table for two for dinner.
The first night I felt queasy eating in The Bay Tree as you can feel the vibrations underneath you, however I got used to it. Cabin (balcony) was a good size and the bed very comfy. On C Deck the balcony is twice the usual length and is partly shaded, so it's a good one to choose. All in all, I would go back. Less