We have just arrived home last week from caribbean cruise on ventura,and after reading many good and bad reviews on this ship,and having sailed with P&O 4 times before,once on ventura 3 years ago,I have to conclude that things are not the same,standards seem to be slipping, the food and entertainment are not on the same level as many other cruise companies,and the type of passengers seems to have changed.
You could say "you get what u pay for",we only booked two weeks before and got a lovely balcony cabin for a reduced priced,but I would not have been happy if I had paid full price,as I know a lot of passengers had,but a lot of people we spoke to had got a cheap holiday in the caribbean sunshine and were quite happy! So to sum, up if you can get a reduced price, cabin, from your local airport its dam good value for money.
Regional flights,easy check in,no hassle with luggage,good quick transfers to ship
Flight with First Choice a bit slap dash,food terrible,paid £2.50 for 1 cup of tea in 8 hours(free bar gone now).
Good size cabin,but needed a good clean.Cabin attendant helpful and attentive.
Have always liked tea and coffee and biscuits in cabin and free laundry facillities.
WATERSIDE/BUFFETS REST. Just ok,never very.hot. ok if u like salads or curries (well there are a lot of indian chefs,but all the currys were good currys,if you love curry)
Good English breakfast,but toast always rock hard ,Plenty of other choices too.
Serveries just not wide enough,people go the wrong way when they forget some thing, so it ended up like a bun fight.
Then you carnt find a seat as people dont move and sit drinking cups of tea
BAY TREE REST. Freedom dinning very good,Food and Menus good and varied, for all meals, although meals plated now. Service Good, waiters very pleasant. Most passengers respected dress codes.
OTHER SELECT DINNING. I believe was very good but did not use ourselves.Seems an excellent option and very popular for special occasions.
ENTERTAINMENT. We found very poor comparing to all previous cruises(about 20 to date).3 comedians in the first week which were just ok.We had seen all the HEADLINERS shows before,3 years ago.Other lookie like,Elton John,Neil Dimond and Cliff Richard,nothing special The Havana Venue is not big enough and not fit for purpose,a lot of people standing,and u couldnt see the small stage although there are small TV screens you can watch the show on.
Plenty of other entertainment/music/bands in different venues,depending on taste.t
We went to bed early most nights,
Television channels minimal in cabin,and have to pay now for any decent film.
Entertainment on deck minimal,No organised games around the pool which can be fun when at sea.
Entertainment Team on deck at sailaways akin to Butlins singing the same songs every time,month after month,Although THE GREAT BRITISH SAILAWAY is unique and never to be missed,a memory which is never forgotten on a PO cruise.
Organised Trips. Good selection,well organised but expensive. You can venture out on your own or with others cheaper in local taxis and buses.
SUNBEDS like sardines on sea days ,which was only 3 single days,but there are no germans,so you can find a bed eventually.Better not sit around the pool if carnt stand loud mouthed Brits eating pizzas all day,or dont like TOWIE or Embarassing Bodies.
CREW always friendly,polite and helpfull
You can take your own alcohol aboard,which most ships dont allow,We saw loads of older ladies with little bottles of spirits in their handbags. I expect they will put a stop to that soon.
Drinks reasonable prices,nice cocktails,waiters not pushy with the hard. sell as on american ships.
So to sum up, as I could go on for ever,we had a good holiday,met some nice people and ate some lovely food,BUT alot of the competing cruise ships are on another level now,in the decor ,venues,entertainment,food and service and standards.
Unfortunately we will be looking else -where for our next cruise,PO you may have just lost another few loyal British cruisers