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Ventura Cruise Review by clive margerrison: Finally the Caribbean my daily diary


clive margerrison
2 Reviews
0 Post

Member Rating

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

Finally the Caribbean my daily diary

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

Friday 13 Doncaster to Barbados To Doncaster air port for 7 am flight delayed until 11am boarded ok but slowly In flight was good upgrade to premium was worth the extra, it plenty free drinks 4 meals and attentive service Landed in Barbados it was 27C straight off the plane into a minibus, 1st away and to the ship 40 minute drive to bridge town, the luggage is bonded and sent directly to the ship and your cabin Settled in and went for dinner in the cinnamon dining room which is dedicated to freedom dining we had a very nice meal in this very large smart restaurant

Saturday 14 Barbados Excursion around the island interesting a lot of run down shacks with galvanised sheet roofs but interesting the high light was to be a visit to a beach with a dedicated lounger and umbrellas it did not happen We were left to are own devices and final dragged a couple of chairs under a tree where we were next to a building site and accompanied by the sound of a cement mixer for 2 hours Back to More the ship and a complaint just managed lunch in the waterside which closed at 3 pm. On the ship you can always get something to eat as there is always one of the other grills or dinners open, for example, the beach house serves a full English breakfast from 0800 to 1200 and then remains open until 930 pm with a buffet and later as an American dinner The waterside has a breakfast from 0630 to1030 lunch from 12 to 3 then afternoon tea At 6 to 930pm there is always a speciality buffet ie Indian Chinese Italian etc There are also the 3 main restaurants aft that must seat between 300 to 500 each and the 3 speciality pay extra 'cover charge' restaurants

Sunday 15 At Sea So a chance to wandered around the ship finding our way checked the pools and bars (there are eleven of them ) shops and had lunch in the waterside Tonight was the captain's cocktail party and formal dinning nothing special really went freedom dinning in the cinnamon In the evening we went to see a Neil diamond lookalike but he did not impress us Monday 16 Antigua Berthed across from silver seas shadow her top deck was level with our balcony and we are on deck 9 Ventura has a total of 18 decks, 15 to the pool deck and a further 3 aft housing fitness centre lounge bars and a restaurant The morning was spent lazing, we took advantage that most of the other passengers and particularly the kids were on trips and the pools were empty, so we swam and took it easy had an early lunch, The buffet salads and hot choices are very good That afternoon we took a trip to Nelsons dockyard with stops off both at 'Shirlyies heights' which was an old colonial officers quarters and then at the remains of an old English defensive fort for the views

Nelsons dockyard has been refurbished showed what it looked like in Nelsons time, with all the old buildings that were stores held equipment and housed the men while their ships were being overhauled Although they now served as holiday apartments restaurants and bars

Return to the ship 1700 we sail for Grand Turk Sat on the balcony and watched as we 'rotated 'in the harbour and left Antigua, tonight we dined in the beach house American style diner and had an excellent steak This evening Took it easy and visited some of the entertainment finishing up listening to a Billy Connelly tribute that wasn't too bad, I laughed at his jokes any way, had an early night Tuesday 17 at Sea Breakfast in our cabin as usual, chased up the inter connection once again, then had a wander around went for lunch, looked at the shops, visited the library, really quite stressful this cruising lark Tonight is once again formal dinning Wednesday 18 Grand Turk an island 6 miles long x 2miles

Walked ashore checked out the cruise terminal duty free shops had a walk through the local shops nearby but there is not much to do here its mainly the beach and scuba diving so we bought some duty free and came back for lunch and a swim in the pool We sat on deck had an double choc ice cream and watched the sail away'sing-along' as we departed its like this each time we leave a port they have a great dance rave up on the pool decks either disco or a steel band and every one joins in its great not to be missed Thursday 19 Catalina Island I have finally sorted out my internet connection now I am able to send from our cabin using my laptop via the cabin router through Ventura's 'seamobilecafe' It has been a steady 28 C all week and we are just leaving Catalina Island part of Dominica we have been taken ashore by tender landed on this idyllic beach were we have been swimming in the sea, and lounged under the palm trees, the best day yet The ships galley and bars transferred loads of food and drink ashore by tender, where they set up their own bar and ran a BBQ, all staffed by the guys that normally served you in the bars and restaurants on board. Quite a logistical feat serving 3200 people on a beach in 4 hours it was quite surreal to see the waiters who normally brought you drinks at the poolside or in the lounges bringing them to you along the beach so it was eat drink and enjoy yourself

After a tiring day we could not be bothered going for dinner so we order a meal in our cabin from room service and chilled out, it only took 20 minutes before there was a knock on the door and the meal was ok, you just cannot fault the service and politeness of the staff which is excellent

Friday 20 at sea Half way through the cruise!!

Usual breakfast in our room got waken up with it fact, did some washing in one of the laundrettes, (each deck has one) , went for lunch looked in the shops sent some emails read dozed, had a quiet day

Formal night, black and white theme

Saturday 21 St Kitts Called off its too windy to go along side so another day at sea heading for St Lucia before the wind stops us entering there Sunday 22 St Lucia (along with Sea Princess and Pacific Princess ) Morning Arrived in Cruise terminal and we tried to do it alone, failed miserable ended up on the same beach as the tours and paid the Taxi twice as much and then it cost us £15 for the sun beds which were useless not amused still the island looked nice and its very touristy with lots of very exclusive hotel complexes for example there are 3 all inclusive "Sandals" here 6 o clock We have just left St Lucia it was really hot 30 °C nice to return to the ship and the air condition, had a burger and pizza by the pool instead of the usual lunch buffet We are off to St Maarten tomorrow, this week we are in the Windward Islands last week we were in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean We are off for dinner but cannot decide on whether it's the sea food buffet, the formal dining restaurant or Spanish tapas, of course we could go oriental but there is a cover charge of £10, still that's choices for you on Ventura!

Monday 23 St Maarten (along with Wind spirit (a modern sailing ship with aluminium masts ) Serenade of the seas (royal Caribbean) and Maasdam...a Holland America ship Shock, horror we had to miss breakfast in our cabin and join the rest of the rabble at the restaurant because we were booked on a 0845 trip to the beach It was a good call though, after a long trudge along the jetty we set off for a long winding and very steep drive in an open sided bus, going from the Dutch side to the French side of the island( St Maarten is split in two and is owned by both countries)we were taken to orient beach There we were shown into our own sectioned off area of the beach laid out with comfortable sun loungers with big umbrellas right by the Atlantic surf crashing on the beach

There we swam in the very warm blue sea and battled the waves, and had fun, it was great, the breeze blew, and there were all sorts of water sports to watch. There were little bars and restaurants along the back of the beach, you could hire any type of water sport equipment from snorkel to jet skies, we had a great time, Oh I forgot about the 2 glasses of complimentary rum punch Then it was back to the cruise terminal check out the shops and had a late lunch at 3 pm on board We sail at 6 pm as usual and As usual as we leave a port they have sail away'sing-along' a dance rave up on the pool decks either a group a disco or a steel band Ate in the Rambles tapas restaurant very nice not allot on your plate but adequate and different

Tuesday 24 Tortola in the BVI Lazy day in the morning In the Afternoon we have Booked a trip to pussers landing, we got into this 'bus' which was in reality an open sided converted pick up with bench seats and no seat belts This in its self wouldn't have been so bad except that we then started a very hairy journey up some very steep twisting roads which the lake district would have been proud of,Hard Knot pass has nothing on these roads, there are no road marking and they drive with one hand on the horn After a while we had a stop off for ½ hour at the beach on Cane Bay, which would be a good trip on its own, it was a nice spot with a bar and restaurant and we bought some gifts, then it was on to 'Pussers Landing' where we stayed for an hour but this realy wasn't enough time you need 2 hours at least The trip back was not the mountainous route taken earlier but a slightly calmer one along the main high way In the main town, there is plenty to do here doing your own thing, there is a decent size town and a lively market

It was English night in the waterside restaurant with the biggest joint of beef I have ever seen in any carvery it must have taken 2 too lift

Wednesday 25 Dominica in the Dominican Republic Just went ashore looked in a few stalls but didn't stay long, you need to take the formal trips here if you want to see any thing interesting, there isn't much in the town it would have been better to spend 2 days in Tortola We are ate in the EAST restaurant it was worth the cover charge the meal was spot on

Thursday 26 St Vincent Stayed on board childed out Friday 27 Barbados

Returned home , our overall impression was the ship is brilliant the skipper Captain Allister Clarke puts his stamp on it and its reflected in the happy way the whole ships company respond to the passengers, I would sail with her again Less


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Read Cruise Critic's Ventura Review >>

Cabin review: Ventura Jr Mini Suite with Balc and Bath/Shower D DecK d405

the cabin was very nice as good as a mini suit but the balcony is too exposed and over looked both to the balconies above you and the sun as there is no shade i would go for a suit next time

Port and Shore Excursions


That afternoon we took a trip to Nelsons dockyard with stops off both at ‘Shirlyies heights’ which was an old colonial officers quarters and then at the remains of an old English defensive fort for the views

Nelsons dockyard has been refurbished showed what it looked like in Nelsons time, with all the old buildings that were stores held equipment and housed the men while their ships were being overhauled Although they now served as holiday apartments restaurants and bars

Read 806 Antigua Reviews

Excursion around the island interesting a lot of run down shacks with galvanised sheet roofs but interesting the high light was to be a visit to a beach with a dedicated lounger and umbrellas it did not happen We were left to are own devices and final dragged a couple of chairs under a tree where we were next to a building site and accompanied by the sound of a cement mixer for 2 hours

Read 706 Barbados Reviews

It has been a steady 28 C all week and we are just leaving Catalina Island part of Dominica we have been taken ashore by tender landed on this idyllic beach were we have been swimming in the sea, and lounged under the palm trees, the best day yet The ships galley and bars transferred loads of food and drink ashore by tender, where they set up their own bar and ran a BBQ, all staffed by the guys that normally served you in the bars and restaurants on board. Quite a logistical feat serving 3200 people on a beach in 4 hours it was quite surreal to see the waiters who normally brought you drinks at the poolside or in the lounges bringing them to you along the beach so it was eat drink and enjoy yourself


Walked ashore checked out the cruise terminal duty free shops had a walk through the local shops nearby but there is not much to do here its mainly the beach and scuba diving so we bought some duty free and came back for lunch and a swim in the pool


restaurant because we were booked on a 0845 trip to the beach It was a good call though, after a long trudge along the jetty we set off for a long winding and very steep drive in an open sided bus, going from the Dutch side to the French side of the island( St Maarten is split in two and is owned by both countries)we were taken to orient beach There we were shown into our own sectioned off area of the beach laid out with comfortable sun loungers with big umbrellas right by the Atlantic surf crashing on the beach

There we swam in the very warm blue sea and battled the waves, and had fun, it was great, the breeze blew, and there were all sorts of water sports to watch. There were little bars and restaurants along the back of the beach, you could hire any type of water sport equipment from snorkel to jet skies, we had a great time, Oh I forgot about the 2 glasses of complimentary rum punch


In the Afternoon we have Booked a trip to pussers landing, we got into this ‘bus’ which was in reality an open sided converted pick up with bench seats and no seat belts This in its self wouldn’t have been so bad except that we then started a very hairy journey up some very steep twisting roads which the lake district would have been proud of,Hard Knot pass has nothing on these roads, there are no road marking and they drive with one hand on the horn After a while we had a stop off for ½ hour at the beach on Cane Bay, which would be a good trip on its own, it was a nice spot with a bar and restaurant and we bought some gifts, then it was on to ‘Pussers Landing’ where we stayed for an hour but this realy wasn’t enough time you need 2 hours at least The trip back was not the mountainous route taken earlier but a slightly calmer one along the main high way In the main town, there is plenty to do here doing your own thing, there is a decent size town and a lively market

Read 502 Tortola Reviews

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