1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Canary Islands Cruises
  4. Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

12 Canary Islands Holiday Cruise Reviews

I was so looking forward to my first Christmas Cruise - but 16 nights later I was glad to disembark- disappointed is an understatement - the entertainment was dreadful - and the entertainment team - all five of them - had little experience ... Read More
I was so looking forward to my first Christmas Cruise - but 16 nights later I was glad to disembark- disappointed is an understatement - the entertainment was dreadful - and the entertainment team - all five of them - had little experience - they were geared for entertaining children - not passengers of a mature age - and calling for Santa on Christmas Eve to come out of the funnel went down like a ton of bricks - perhaps Christmas Carols might have been more appropriate- so we waited with baited breath to see what had been planned for Christmas Day apart from a five course dinner - in a word -.nothing - the Horiszon was the same as the previous day with the exception of a film - BFG at 2pm which we went to to pass the afternoon - boredom was setttimg in fast - I was quizzed out but the end of the trip - wasn't into line dancing - didn't want to learn bridge - and wondered occasionally if passengers were asleep or dead - The evening entertainment left a lot to be desired apart from a coup,e of acts - and News Years Eve - was thrown together at the last moment - three or four venues all doing different things - the captain managed to prevent the usual countdown to midnight in the Harlequin- 8 bells eithervside of midnight and that was it - bit of a damp squid - and the dancing re started - The food was excellent as was the service in the dining room and our cabin - but P& O may have a a large fan base but they want to pull their socks up and not take us for granted - change the entertainment and entertainers - don't treat elderly passengers as if we are all on our last legs - Yes I am aware I will have people telling me to stop moanimg etc - but we spent a lot of money for a Christmas Cruise expecting something really special - Apart from the tan - I wish I had stayed at home Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This is our 5th xmas/new year cruise with Thomson and I am afraid to say probably our last! The staff have changed from being happy/chatty to dull and miserable looking. I am not saying they do not work hard, as most do, but a smile now ... Read More
This is our 5th xmas/new year cruise with Thomson and I am afraid to say probably our last! The staff have changed from being happy/chatty to dull and miserable looking. I am not saying they do not work hard, as most do, but a smile now and then would make all the difference. We found the service to be very poor this year, the entertainment program was repeated exactly for both weeks, except the comedian changed. We enjoyed the food and service in the 4 seasons, however found the service in the 7 seas lacking. The self service option was removed after 2 or 3 days and crew did not know what they were doing most of the time and queuing became the norm. We have only every cruised with Thomson (12+) and up until now loved the product, I have two cruises booked already for next year and unless things improve on the next one, they will be our last! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were on the Christmas Cruise to the Canary Islands, we paid the Cunard Fare so we had a very nice cabin with balcony, The food was very good except for Christmas Day we were expecting something a bit special but were disappointed. the ... Read More
We were on the Christmas Cruise to the Canary Islands, we paid the Cunard Fare so we had a very nice cabin with balcony, The food was very good except for Christmas Day we were expecting something a bit special but were disappointed. the entertainment was very poor, in fact, some of it was an insult to our intelligence I have seen better entertainment at children,s parties. Santa visited the ballroom in the afternoon and then nothing , not even a little party for the children, just photographs. The staff were excellent in the dining room and the Lido and the cabin staff. The Entertainment needs shaking up a bit it was very poorly organised especially during the day. We booked a tour before we went on the cruise , it was in la Coruna, what a rip off. it cost us 75 dollars for two, it was an easy walking trip, The tour was for two and a quarter hours and we were stopped for one and a quarter, we went through the empty fish market to a lighthouse which was up a hill we couldn't climb, then on to a café for coffee and cake for 45 mins then 15 mins it took to return to the ship.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration. Our ... Read More
I know some people thought this cruise was fine and have even re-booked for next year but for the life of me I cannot understand why. I don't go on holiday to pick fault but I have nothing good to say about the Celebration. Our problems started way before we even embarked - with the awful customer service we received from the call centres (having booked on line). It took well over half an hour just to make a payment, they then gave us the wrong telephone number to book excurisions and in the end we had to call into one of the Thompson shops where they confirmed that the call centre service was a matter of some concern to customers. However that said we were looking forward to our week's cruise to the Canary Islands and Madiera. The ship is old and no amount of refit is going to change the lack of space and facilities. The food was pretty awful. cold, repeditive and recycled. There was an outbreak of novo virus (we spoke to two ladies who were confined to their cabin for 2 days). The staff for the most part, were friendly although terribly overworked. Service in the bars was slow and on no account would you get value for money if you had paid for the drinks package (we got our included as we had booked early). We had to ask for milk for the complimentary tea/coffee and had to request pool towels which should have been in our cabin and we never got replacement toiletries. Entertainment was abismal ranging from a song and dance group who could neither sing or dance to Butlins style games. We spent one day at sea and the next day was Christmas Day when we docked and everything was closed on shore. It would have been much better if we could have had 2 days in Madiera but I feel everything was cost cutting so it was cheaper to have the ship at sea. They have formal nights (we had 2 although nothing in the booking advised that there was one extra one as it is usually one per week I think) but the great majority of people did not conform to 'black tie' and there were many men very casually dressed so if Thompson aren't going to enforce formal dressing on these occasions I would suggest they drop this as this cruise is pitched , in my opinion, at the low end of the market and I would be hard pressed to give it a 3 star rating. I was going to book the Dream for next Christmas but I am going back to P & O. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Our cruise began on the 21st Dec 13 at Southampton, the process of getting onboard was stress free, and took in total around 15 minutes. We pulled up at the ship dropped off the luggage (and my wife) I then drove the car over to the ... Read More
Our cruise began on the 21st Dec 13 at Southampton, the process of getting onboard was stress free, and took in total around 15 minutes. We pulled up at the ship dropped off the luggage (and my wife) I then drove the car over to the parking area where I gave the keys to CPS parking who took the car away to the parking area. Rejoining my wife who was on her mobility scooter. We were immediately told to go to the disabled desk to check in, to be honest there wasn't much of a que anywhere. We were booked in, photos taken and given our sail account cards and then followed the rest of the people to the security area. Again not much of a que. Once onboard we went direct to our cabin 6001, which was a disabled cabin with a balcony. It was at the very front of deck 6 on the stbd side. The cabin was bigger than we expected although quite an odd shape. Loads of drawer and wardrobe space. We didn't actually fill all the drawers up. One good gesture from Cunard was the half bottle of sparkling wine in the ice bucket. Which we drank almost immediately. The bathroom was of a good size with a pull down shower seat. One problem though was the size of the sink in the bathroom, very small kind of like you would add to a corner in your toilet at home (just big enough to get your hands in). Also there was very little space to put your toiletries with no cupboard space at all. There was a uk plug socket along with a European type socket, in the bathroom was a shaver type socket. Although I found that the uk socket was turned upside down, and there was no space really to plug a uk plug into the European adapter. Lunch was being served in the Lido on deck 9 which was quite nice although by the time we found a spare table the food was cold, and we were asked by the ships staff to move the scooter. We didn't mind that. As the cruise went on we found a table first my wife sat there and I went off to get the food and drink. The standard of food from the Lido was generally good, with quite a good variety on offer, the sweets were good also. Copious amounts of tea and coffee (although not very good coffee) and cold orange juice, lemonade and cranberry were always available. Plus a help yourself vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We knew from other cruises that the coffee was not always very good so took a pack of Kenco with us. Dinner in the Britannia was generally good although saying that the ribeye steak we had one night was so tough we couldn't eat it. My wife always found the food to be over salted. I usually put salt on my food but during our cruise I never put any on at all. The fillet steak was very good. We never went to any alternate dining restaurents so I cannot comment on them. When going to dinner in the Britannia it was either informal or formal dress. Informal was trousers, shirt (tie optional) and a jacket (always) The staff do tell you a jacket is required to dine. The formal nights (we had four on our cruise - including Christmas day and new years eve) were good. The waiters like to please and will get you anything you ask for. Again the coffee quality was not very good and my wife asked for a cappacino (sorry for the spelling) and they got her it (which was free of charge). Day time entertainment was in our view not very good at all. if reading a book and falling asleep in the chair is your thing then its good. On our previous cruises with other cruise lines there were usually someone playing a guitar and singing or a dj playing tunes etc. but nothing like this at all on the Victoria. The same in the evening, except for hemispheres where their four piece band played. Elsewhere in the ship there was a harpist, a four piece violin/cello and in the Queens room was a band playing ballroom type music. In the Golden Lion pub there was usually a chap playing the piano which was a bit more lively. They also had quizzes every night which on the whole were quite good. Bar staff and bar waiters were good, especially Quinton in the Golden Lion. One thing to remember though is that they charge you for soda water, as though it were lemonade. We enquired as to how much a jug of pimms would be with diet lemonade instead of the full fat stuff. The normal price is $18 however they would charge you extra for the diet lemonade. Bit of a rip off really. Next time we will purchase an unlimited soda ticket as it would be cheaper in the long run. Christmas day festivities were a bit of a let down, with nothing special being put on. New years eve was a bit better however the festivities centered around the central staircase (over three decks) and unless you got there very early there was not a seat to be found free. we saw the new year in there and wandered off to the Golden Lion pub to listen and join in with the singsong and pianist. Just by the Golden Lion pub is the casino, which is quite small, around four tables and 20 or so one arm bandits. My wife did win $500 on the card machine so it is not all bad. In the theatre there is very limited disabled seating. On deck 2 there is enough room for 2 wheelchairs or scooters on either side of the theatre. There is also very limited seating for the disabled persons escort. There is however power points very near the disabled areas so if your low on power you can plug in, providing you have the relevant adapter for your charger, we had the US and European with us so covered all options. There is also a couple of disabled spaces in the stalls on deck 1 but its a bit of a job getting the wheelchair or scooter in the right position. We usually got to the theatre half an hour prior to the start of the show only to find the spaces already gone. We left our scooter at the back and walked down to the seats (which my wife could fortunately do) if you cannot then you may not be able to see the show. It seemed to us that at the slightest bad weather the outside decks were closed off, which was a shame really. You can always go out onto your balcony (if you have one), although I had to fight with the door to open it, with the strong wind and the inside pressure. On port days we were always in quite early. Queen Victoria always laid on shuttle buses to the local town which was good of them. One thing though is that there is only usually one disabled bus so you may have to wait some considerable time to get on it. Fortunately for us my wife could walk a little so we put the scooter into the bus hold and got onto the bus. On the whole we enjoyed the cruise (as we always do) but were disappointed with the entertainment. It could have and should have been better. I hope my review helps you in your decision to go with Cunard Queen Victoria. For us though it is a one off with Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have cruised for the passed 5 Christmasses so when P&O Azura was cruising to the Canaries on 15th Dec for 12 nights we thought we would book the cruise. Embarkation at Southampton went very smoothly and preference was made for ... Read More
We have cruised for the passed 5 Christmasses so when P&O Azura was cruising to the Canaries on 15th Dec for 12 nights we thought we would book the cruise. Embarkation at Southampton went very smoothly and preference was made for scooter and wheelchair users. The balcony cabin was a good size, big enough for the scooter but the balcony, although large, was very dark due to the top being covered by the deck above. Very little daylight. The cabin steward, Rony, was excellent and tried his best to find me a stool for the shower to no avail. Being disabled it is hard for me to stand in theses small showers. Having had Neurovirus on board on the previous sailing the use of hand wash was enforced during the first few days but seemed to rely on passengers to do it voluntary with no supervision after that. Resultently it reappeared during the cruise. The food and service was excellent up to Xmas Eve but seemed to fall apart after that. Fortunately we elected to dine in the Sindu restaurant on Xmas Day and had a marvellious meal. The passengers who used the dining rooms were not as fortunate. Poor service and shortages in the various courses. The atmosphere on Xmas Day was like a morgue. Other than a show for the children on board and the officers putting on a bit of a panto in the theatre for an hour there was no further evidence of Xmas spirit. We expected Carol singers to circulate around the ship. No such luck. In the Atrium they were giving a Samba lesson for half an hour after lunch. That was it. The waiting staff, in the dining rooms and cafes and bars took all the time to crack a smile. The entertainment, on the whole, was good. Only one bad comedian spoilt it. Disembarkation was smooth enough. Last time with P&O I'm afraid. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
The start of the holiday was via Eavesway transfer, big mistake; the coach was the type used for school runs, the toilet did not function and it was like a day out from the chest hospital with lots of people coughing very flemmy coughs ... Read More
The start of the holiday was via Eavesway transfer, big mistake; the coach was the type used for school runs, the toilet did not function and it was like a day out from the chest hospital with lots of people coughing very flemmy coughs turning you sick. Just wondered how many declared them at the terminal? Embarkation went very well as we had priority but others had to wait around 3 hours. the cabin was ready when we arrived and our luggage was ready. Using the balcony was a nightmare as we had chain smokers either side, nothing we can do about it but it must be coming to an end soon now that it has been banned on celebrity. Entertainment on the whole was good except on Christmas day when it was just the entertainers singing Christmas songs that had more whiskers on than Father Christmas. Not a lot of atmosphere for Christmas, there were the usual trees and gingerbread houses but it just lacked "Christmas". Food and service started good in the "Orient" restaurant, until Christmas eve when the waiters just gave up. We were left sitting with our dirty dinner plates in front of us one and a half hours after we sat down. The head waiter had the cheek to ask if our meal was OK, when I told him the service was unacceptable; instead of moving the plates he just walked away. So we got up and left and completed our meal in the buffet (more about that later). Later that evening I bumped into the H/W in the corridor, he asked why we had left, when I told him he blamed the kitchen staff. When I told him that everyone around us had been served and gone after being fed by the same kitchen he had no answer. The next day I asked to see the manager, again he tried to blame the kitchen. He told me he would make it "special" for Christmas day but I told him I did not want it to be false and that the H/W should have made the previous night work effectively. We chose not to dine there for the rest of the cruise as it would have been a bad atmosphere with the waiters. I feel the service has gone down hill with the waiting staff since auto tipping, they just don't need to work for it. Back to the buffet, only limited serving areas were open and for a full ship this did cause some overcrowding around the food. The food was very samey if you don't like curry at lunch then hard luck. late night food consisted of pasties made from whatever meat was left over from dinner. Finding a seat never seemed a problem but a lot of inconsiderate people taking up a table of four sitting on the outside or diagonal to deter anyone sharing, if you did ask to share they made some strange grunting noises or said they were waiting for someone but they never seemed to turn up. Cabin lad did his job well and deserved his tips, not much more to be said that's his job. We sat with two ladies in a bar on the first day who told us they had been up all night with the runs, now we know how it gets on board, ships don't make it people bring it on. We left them quite quickly. P & O still owe us money for trips we booked on the new cruise personaliser that went wrong, still waiting for them reimburse us. Had a run in with the "Loyalty Manager" who does not know even the simplest detail about loyalty benefits. Because he couldn't get his way he said he would have us thrown off, bearing in mind we were returning via the Bay of Biscay with the next stop Southampton I am not sure if he intended to set us adrift or walk the plank. Definitely last chance and last time with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Just returned from a New Years cruise from Southampton to the Canaries. The Highlights were Madeira for New Year, where there was a fantastic atmosphere during the day and then the firework display which was absolutely fantastic. If you ... Read More
Just returned from a New Years cruise from Southampton to the Canaries. The Highlights were Madeira for New Year, where there was a fantastic atmosphere during the day and then the firework display which was absolutely fantastic. If you get the chance to go there for New Year - go. Sindhu speciality restaurant was extremely good. Lovely attentive service, spacious and the food was easily of Michelin starred quality. Undoubtedly the best Indian food I have ever eaten! Now the downside- This ship despite being relatively modern is showing signs of wear. The design of the ship also made it act rather unusually in rough weather, with a lot of sideways vibration and some huge occasional bangs where it 'slapped' the water after coming through a wave (but this was a force 11....) In the main dining restaurant the food, whilst having the odd gem, was repetitive and predictable. Fish and chips and roast beef, no matter how described and presented are still exactly what they are. Having said this the food was of a fairly good standard and well presented. The same with buffet lunches - Little variation, especially in the cold section. The entertainment was the worst aspect. Why they have all these short shows, repeated in the same venue, in various bars around the ship is beyond me. You end up watching a 45 minute show then walking to the next bar for the next show. You therefore tend to spend a considerable amount of the evening walking to venues and trying to find a seat(a suggestion would be to move the entertainers around and not the passengers! - They may even sell more drinks that way...) The entertainment tended to be totally outdated (loads of quizzes, bingo and karaoke every day)and geared to 'middle of the road' pensioners. The headlining guest celebrity was Tom O'Conner (need I say more!) The dance lessons were held in the Atrium (so overlooked by everyone) but as this is a relatively small area this soon became congested, with couples repeatedly treading on each other's feet and barging into each other (why not hold the dance classes in one of the bars with a reasonable size dance floor?). Another gripe was that children were allowed in all the bars unsupervised even late at night (we had a couple of kids sitting in the Casino area of Brodie's well after midnight on a black tie night, they literally sitting at the bar, playing around. This bar was immediately adjacent to the Roulette table). The staff tended to be cold and distant and too eager to take orders and clear plates as fast as they possibly could (I suspect that the bar staff were on a targeted bonus scheme given the way they acted). There were notable exceptions to this but these particular people stood out a mile and were few and far between. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Originally booked on the destiny but transferred to the Majesty when the changed ships. Majesty was clean and the cabin, an outside plus on deck 4, was spacious and, considering we had three adults in it, quite a surprise. Mid-ships, ... Read More
Originally booked on the destiny but transferred to the Majesty when the changed ships. Majesty was clean and the cabin, an outside plus on deck 4, was spacious and, considering we had three adults in it, quite a surprise. Mid-ships, quiet and comfortable with a working loo and air-con! The staffing on Thomson has changed quite a lot. Most of the staff we met, with the exception of those in the bar, were Eastern European and not really that cheerful or as accommodating. It does make a difference, and maybe cultural, but you go on holiday to relax. The food was pretty repetitive but to a good standard and the AI drinks not bad at all. We booked early so got it free - my wife can drink for England (probably Europe on a good day) and got through 105 double Malibu's in a week plus wine, Mojitos, and cleaning fluid - she read the bar tariff before the lifebelt instructions to make sure she could get what she wanted. I still reckon that her liver is a life force of its own. The AI list has shrunk from previous years and the only beer on draft is a lager, but its okay. The day before we got on the ship I had my wallet stolen. No problems getting cash from my bank but no replacement cards. I had to deposit £200 at reception, which was okay, but on the last day I wanted to nip ashore with my son to buy some presents - alarm went off when I handed my card to security and I had to go back to reception to settle my bill (they owed me £100) before I could go ashore. One very unhappy little bunny, who did not appreciate the snigger's from others getting off. Could barely understand the receptionist but got the message that they could have stopped me at the exit and held me while they called the purser? That would have been a better way then? It could just be my shifty look I suppose but I felt that this whole incident was poor customer service especially as my account was in credit and another member of my party, sharing a cabin with me, was still aboard. I know some people will say this isn't their fault etc but you had to be there! Must say that the fireworks in Maderia on New Years Eve were the best I have ever seen - worth the cost of the trip alone! Two formal nights - Captains Cocktail Party was attended by people in shorts and football shirts! Dress code does not, obviously, apply. Would I go with Thomson again? Yes, I probably would but they don't improve and after quite a few cruises with them, they are getting worse - price and the AI makes them look attractive. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My husband booked this cruise to celebrate my 65th birthday and we had reservations about cruising with RCI before we booked. We could not fault the ship it was beautiful and our cabin steward one of the best we have encountered. Our ... Read More
My husband booked this cruise to celebrate my 65th birthday and we had reservations about cruising with RCI before we booked. We could not fault the ship it was beautiful and our cabin steward one of the best we have encountered. Our only real complaint was that we had asked for a special menu as I am diabetic and also have raised cholesterol. In spite of asking several times no special menu was forthcoming and I was told by the waiter to choose from the Vitality menu. This rather spoilt the cruise as I wasn't sure what the ingredients were in the dishes. Before we cruised my children tried to arrange a Celebration package for me and early in December rang RCI office in England. The member of staff didn't seem to know much about this and told them to ring again after Xmas. They did and were told it was too late now to arrange anything. Unless you were very keen on quizzing there was very little in the way of daytime entertainment except for some excellent lectures on the Ports of Call. The evening entertainment was a but hit and miss the comedy magician was awful as was one of the comedians and the Productions shows were tedious. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I suppose that for every family of cruisers there must surely be a cruise that does not come up to par. Independence of the Seas, 20th October to the Canaries was ours. Only our eighth but this was one that we hope will not be repeated in ... Read More
I suppose that for every family of cruisers there must surely be a cruise that does not come up to par. Independence of the Seas, 20th October to the Canaries was ours. Only our eighth but this was one that we hope will not be repeated in the future. We had previously had two very happy times on Navigator, so were looking forward to a repeat performance on the bigger ship. I'll begin at the beginning. Arrival in our own car at Southampton was handled in as efficient manner as one can expect considering the volume of passengers. Check in, following that seemingly endless zig zag queuing system was quick and handled by a very friendly young lady. Once up the gangway we were accosted by what was to be eleven days of having a camera shoved in our faces by the over enthusiastic onboard photo staff. The Windjammer was, even at about 1pm, very busy but seating for five was effortlessly obtained, a feat never to be easily repeated thereafter. Cabins or staterooms as they are naively now called, were spotless, our luggage was already on site and our cabin attendant made himself known and said that if we needed anything at all, to let him know. He was true to his word, a very nice guy. We had picked first sitting for dinner, 6pm, hoping to do a bit of dancing and then go to the 10-30 theatre show. This plan was immediately shot to pieces as, some nights the theatre show was 8-45 and 10-30 and some nights 7pm and 8-45. We asked to change to second sitting and this was happily arranged without problem by the Head Waiter. This presented its own problems for us as the 7pm theatre show interfered with the ladies 'getting ready' time. Why there was a need to constantly change show times is unknown. We did most of the performances though, sometimes not being present quite at the start but what a disappointment they were. Only one dancing and singing show and we had enjoyed several on Navigator, mostly to set themes, you know what I mean. This time, with the exception of Bernie Flint, tears of laughter from us, and 'Kev' a very funny guy from Armenia (really?) and what a brilliant piano player he was. The rest of the performers were fourth rate. A Beatles 'tribute' band, a Scottish woman who screeched her way through her stage time, a guitar group who insisted that we all clapped our way through the act, to drown their appalling playing one assumes, and a juggler, fifty minutes of juggling, or so we were told, we left halfway. One night there was 'Mr & Mrs' and another 'The Quest'. Both were audience participation shows where guests were invited to 'make fools of themselves' basically. All for cheapness? We were told by a staff member that the entertainment was tailored to the type of client on each cruise and the Brits were people who liked to sit and booze. Fellow cruisers we spoke to had done the Carribean on Independence and they said the entertainment was remarkably different. Plenty of dancing and stunning stage shows, so perhaps there is some truth in what we were told. Certainly the few yanks on board this cruise were dissatisfied. A noticeable thing was the profusion of wheelchairs and motor buggies. There is some embarrasement in commenting on these as I know those who are wheelchair bound have as much right to a cruise as I. But there was rather a lot. Perhaps it was that they do not normally find themselves among such a large amount of other beings but they did barge their way through crowded areas at time. Toes were repeatedly run over especially in the lifts. In the theatre they were allowed to 'park' behind the back row of the auditorium apparently with disregard to their numbers. Should there have been an emergency, either they or the rest of us would have been in a panic situation. The Ice Show was something else. Only one show, performed several times to accommodate everybody. Spectacular, Stunning, Amazing, Extravagant we absolutely loved it. But no adherence to the rules. There was a specific request that nobody sat in the aisles, for safety reasons I suppose. So they sat in the aisles and no staff member intervened, yet there were empty seats. Who would believe that smoking is allowed in the Labyrinth disco? Of all places when you are gyrating about, breathing heavier than normal, smoking is in order. Except........that normally there is nobody dancing. The DJ plays what he thinks and not what the punters ask for. But the punters go in......and come out just as quickly because of that and the fug. The food on board was up to the standard we expect, as was the waitress service in the Macbeth Dining room. What an unfortunate name for a dining room, but all were Shakespeare themed. Nothing was too much trouble, if there was anything we disliked after trying, it was replaced with something else of our choice. The pre cruise literature informed us that there would be two formal nights on an eleven night cruise. There was in fact three. That caused some concern in the wardrobe department for sure. Same person organised that, who books the entertainment, I shouldn't wonder. Dress codes are not adhered to however. Scruffy turn out on informal nights, and only marginally tidy on formal nights. We spoke to several people who were upset that formal did not mean formal. As for no shorts and swim wear in the dining areas etc....forget it. Lots of youngsters dressing as they wished to. In Windjammers there was the expected excellent range of choices. Finding seating for five was near impossible. Why do couples always sit at tables for six I wonder? Our solution and well recommended to you dear reader, get up a bit early have breakfast and later lunch in the dining rooms. Much more civilised and refined. Waiter service. You get what you get. No piled high plates but you certainly don't starve. The talks/lectures were mainly aimed at selling us stuff. Jewellery, smellies, no 'bargains', all it seemed at shore prices and go to the spa if you dare. Tour selling and bingo mad. This puzzles me! Buy a Bingo ticket and get one free!! Is that a bargain or a gimmick? Strikes me you are working twice as hard for no extra advantage over the next guy. Overall; Fairly enjoyable. Food, good. All the staff, pleasant. Ship, clean. Organisation in general, iffy. Entertainment, not good. Sail with ship again, No! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This was our second cruise to the Canaries on The Ventura. The first was also with P&O on the Azura to the Caribbean. We enjoyed the cruise, but we did prefer the Azura, and while this may have been partly because the destination was ... Read More
This was our second cruise to the Canaries on The Ventura. The first was also with P&O on the Azura to the Caribbean. We enjoyed the cruise, but we did prefer the Azura, and while this may have been partly because the destination was more exciting the first time, there were several other reasons. The ships are broadly similar, but for us the Azura was better. The Ventura had no darts or pool table and the table tennis tables are located under the sliding roof on the top deck, where the floor was slippery and it was very hot and humid there. As a vegetarian, I found the Italian restaurant on the Azura excellent with a variety of vegetarian options. Unfortunately, the alternatives to the main restaurant on The Ventura are extremely poor. We went to the non-buffet one, which did pizza, but were told they could only do Margherita and when it arrived, it compared unfavourably to a cheap supermarket pizza. Alternative options there were not much better. After that experience we stayed in the main restaurant throughout, which was ok, but not much fun if you are vegetarian as you only ever have one option. By the end of the cruise, I was getting pretty fed up with mushrooms! On one occasion, one of the "special" main courses turned out to be vegetarian, but our table staff were unable to tell us this when we asked at the time we ordered. Breakfast, buffet lunch and the poolside pizza were all very good. There was no organised bridge, but there was an organised whist drive. This made no sense as more people wanted to play bridge than whist. We were given some spiel about it being because some ships were trying to be modern and others trying to be traditional that made very little sense. Why not provide both, and why deliberately not provide something there is demand for? Eventually, we persuaded the entertainment officer to allow us to play bridge alongside the whist drive, which we organised ourselves, and eventually they also added it to the daily bulletin. It was a shame they did not advertise it in the first place, as it was no effort on their part to allow us to organise it ourselves. Unfortunately, there was no bridge equipment and initially we were told we couldn't even use the cards because they were needed for the whist drive! Probably it is just luck, but on The Azura we had a very diligent steward, and every time we left our room, when we returned it had been cleaned. This was probably beyond the call of duty, but in contrast on The Ventura, our cabin steward did the minimum possible, and if we had not left the room in the morning when she deemed it was time to clean it, we could return late in the afternoon to find it still had not been cleaned. The staff in the restaurants were all very pleasant, but I would have to say that overall we found the staff on the Azura much better. We wouldn't recommend wandering around Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. There seemed there of much interest. After walking for a couple of hours, we got to the old town, but there really wasn't anything much to see. Not a great destination. Maybe one of the tours would have been more interesting, though they didn't look that appealing. Lisbon and Cadiz were both very nice places to visit, and we also enjoyed Funchal. We just wandered around all of these doing our own thing. A trip around Mount Teide on Tenerife was good, though it was a shame there wasn't time to climb Mount Teide. We were impressed with the efficiency and speed of embarkation and Southampton. We were considerably less impressed with the disembarkation. First, queuing for ages because an escalator to get off the ship had broken. Then the label had come off one of our suitcases, although it had been securely fastened and rather than being placed in an area of unidentified suitcases, it was placed randomly with the suitcases of some other deck we weren't on, so it took over an hour to find. The headliner theatre company we had already seen on the Azura, but still enjoyed. Most of the tribute music groups were not that great. There was a comedian Fogwell Flax we saw twice, who was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click