Hopelessy overcrowded: Ventura Cruise Review by Ron
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
The ship is stuffed with passengers such that the theatre cannot seat them all. You have to rush your dinner in order to hope to get a seat for the show. Then if you were successful you then have to search for a bar where you can sit and drink afterwards - it is not a relaxing evening.
Days at sea are just as bad as there are not enough sunbeds for everyone. This despite rows & rows of sunbeds being jammed close up together like battery hens.
The plus points of the cruise are excellent cabins & beds which are well serviced by the steward. The shows are first class & are the best quality we have seen on any cruise ship. The singers & dancers are top notch.
Food is very good in the main restaurant - plenty of choice though very British. Waiters are excellent and the wine is very good without being overpriced. Breakfast in the main restaurant is very good.
Also good is the fact you check in your More bags at the airport & don't see them again until they arrive in your cabin. Likewise on the return, they are collected from outside you cabin on the final night & you next see them at Gatwick.
The inclusive flight with Thomas Cook airlines is OK but the plane is past its best & lights, videos, trays, etc may not work very well, if at all. Service & food on the plane is very good - it is worth opting to upgrade for more comfortable seating. However the airline does not appear to own a clock. Every flight out to Barbados was late by between 2 & 4 hours. It was similar on the return & previous cruisers said it always happens.
The down side is a chaotic ship design which means you have to continually walk up & down stairs - nowhere can you walk around the ship on one level.
A few of the bar staff are very good but too many seem bored & uninterested. Beware of drinks being watered down with loads of ice & beer being served in glasses too small to hold the full bottles contents. Some bars can be a bit soulless due to the bored staff.
Obtaining cruise information from P&O prior to departure proved to be very difficult. They seem to provide stock answers which do not address you specific point raised. This happened on 4 separate occasions.
Breakfast in the buffet restaurants is not very good. Limited choice that goes cold before you get to eat. If you only want a cold buffet lunch you will not have much choice & you may find great difficulty in getting a cold plate to put the food on. Again the buffet restaurants get extremely overcrowded.
It could have been so good with a bit more effort on P&Os part but "adequate" seems to be their goal. Less