Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Ventura Cruise Review by catjohn0909: Fantastic first time - we're now hooked!


catjohn0909
1 Review
Member Since 2010
0 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.5
Dining 5.5
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 5.0
Entertainment 3.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates 5.0
Service 5.5
Shore Excursions 4.0
Value for Money 4.0

Fantastic first time - we're now hooked!

Sail Date: February 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Barbados

I booked this cruise after being made redundant and wanting to do something nice with the money.

When I printed the e-ticket 48 hours before we left, I found we had been upgraded to cabin D307, from L311.

We arrived at Manchester airport early to find that the check in had also opened early. We were through check in within 15 minutes and checked into the airport lounge. On arrival at Barbados we were straight off the plane and onto a bus which took us straight to the ship's embarkation sheds (like a large hangar). Although the queues were long, this took about 20 minutes and we were on board.

We found we had been upgraded to a mini suite with a king size bed, a bath and shower, a pamper pack and waiting for us was a bottle of champagne on ice, chocolates and a flower arrangement.

The only slight downside was that we had to wait 3.5 hours for our luggage to be delivered to the cabin, something we had not anticipated. But, wearing bathrobes and More sipping champagne while we waited was not hard!

At St Lucia, Marco Pierre White joined the cruise, much to hubby's surprise as he thought that although there was fine dining, Marco would never actually be on the ship.

We were booked on Freedom Dining and so ate when we felt like it. The pager system used by the Cinnamon restaurant if they were full was a bonus as we could go for a drink or relax in our room until a table was ready.

We also liked the Waterside buffet, although finding a seat was not always easy.

The bar and restaurant staff were fabulous, attentive and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for our room steward and he was so quick at sorting out our room that we joked he must hide under the bed and clean up as soon as we went out!

The ship is beautifully decorated throughout and although we got lost a few times, there were plenty of signs to redirect us. Hubby especially liked the well equipped gym.

Ventura is so large that although they were nearly at capacity, we could always find a quiet spot to sunbathe and read if we wanted to.

Some of the shows we found a little disappointing. One comedian was quite unfunny and some of the productions were slightly amateur (especially the background displays) but then again, we were not in the West end of London.

The entertainment staff were brilliant, especially Greer and Jenny who smiled all day and really engaged the passengers without being pushy.

I was really sad to leave Ventura and the Caribbean and would love to go back but we have decided to try out other P&O ships and different destinations first to see if they are as good as our first cruise.

We weren't sure if cruising was for us but now that we have tried it, I can honestly say that it's the way forward if you want better than 5 star pampering with top notch food and brilliant destinations. Less


Read more Ventura cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Ventura Review >>

Cabin review: Ventura Jr Mini Suite with Balc and Bath/Shower D DecK D307

D307 was wonderful with a king size bed, shower and bath, pamper pack with lotions and potions, two large flat screen TVs, fridge, large sofa in the sitting room and an adequately sized balcony. Some other cabins on C deck had larger balconies where you could lie flat on a lounger but these did not have a sitting room. The furniture was new and clean and surdy. We also had a pair of binoculars supplied which was a nice touch and we used these to spot all sorts of things, such as getting close ups of the flying fish and dolphins which swam next to the ship sometimes.

Port and Shore Excursions


Beautiful scenery but we were all ebached out by this point and did not stray far from the ship. Lots of harassment from locals to go on tours and excursions and some kept following us, which made us feel a little uneasy.

Read 801 Antigua Reviews

We took an independent and slightly disappointing minibus tour of the island. The beaches were beautful and we got off the bus at Eagle Beach, planning to sunbathe, only to find that it was privately owned and although we could put our towels down, we could not independently hire shelter or sunloungers. We caught a regular bus back to port and having done so, I would recommend that anyone wanting to visit the island simply jumps on a bus (the station is opposite the dock) as they are plentiful, regular and cheap.

Read 682 Aruba Reviews

This beautful Dutch influenced port was full of brightly painted houses. The town was an easy walk from the ship with lots of well priced shops. We loved the floating bridge across the river too.

Read 502 Curacao Reviews

We jumped into a water taxi and went to Grand Anse beach which was beautiful. Lots of competition from local traders as to where you sat, what you drank etc but no hassle.

Read 356 Grenada Reviews

We were a little disappointed because there was not actually much to see within walking distance although we went into the town and to a small market. Lots of taxi drivers offering excursions but we just decided we wanted a walk.


We booked an excursion to Brewers Bay but were told on the day that the sea swells made for unsafe swimming so we were offered Cane Garden Bay at no extra charge. This beach was gorgeous with good pricing, an excellent beach and large but safe waves.

Read 501 Tortola Reviews

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.