This was our seventh cruise having previously been on 4 Royal Caribbean ships, P & O Aurora and Azamara Journey for a special occasion. The ports of call on this Ventura cruise appealed to us and despite some negative reviews we thought we would try a larger P & O ship.
As summarised above, we thought Ventura was in pretty good condition, our cabin on B deck had an un-overlooked balcony with loungers (we looked on to cabins below so lower deck balconies were not private) and was nicely furnished, bed comfortable and a very nice cabin steward Manoj who attended to everything for us. We ate in the Saffron restaurant on Freedom Dining and it worked well, the food was good. We also tried the White Room but did not think it was worth the extra £50.00. The Glass House wine bar was great, the wine was really good and the food and prices excellent.
The problem for us on Ventura was the number of people on board and the lack of space both in places like the Waterside buffet (a real scrum to find a seat and food) and the outside decks especially on sea days. The loungers are packed together like sardines and there is just not enough room. We quite like to sit outside on a chair in the sun with a book in a quietish area but there was no availability of chairs or quiet. We probably should have booked the Retreat area but objected to the cost and on a 7 day cruise we just gave it a miss.
Consequently we had a continental breakfast delivered to our room each day which was OK but not spectacular, and used our balcony on sea days when it was in the sun.
Previous cruises have also been made up of varying nationalities and we prefer that mix of people on holiday. At times there is a Butlins on Sea feel about Ventura, a comment which has been made before.
So its back to Royal Caribbean or possibly P&O Aurora for us - we really enjoyed the latter, more space, smaller boat.
I think Ventura appeals to some Brits because it is so British, there was even Lancashire Hot Pot on the menu one lunchtime and a safe food menu generally with bread and butter pudding, roast dinners etc. The beer and wine is also very cheap which again is probably geared to us Brits who like a drink. Its horses for courses and you can't please everyone but regrettably we won't be back on Ventura or Azura again.