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56 Southampton to Canary Islands P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

Having cruised before on smaller ships, we thought we would try one of the 'biggies' and as we wanted a Christmas and New Year cruise to somewhere warm, we chose P & O's Ventura cruise to The Canaries and Madeira. The ... Read More
Having cruised before on smaller ships, we thought we would try one of the 'biggies' and as we wanted a Christmas and New Year cruise to somewhere warm, we chose P & O's Ventura cruise to The Canaries and Madeira. The weather couldn't have been kinder with just a bit or rain in Madeira (didn't spoil the wonderful New Year fireworks display though). Both ways across the Bay of Biscay were really smooth which was a real bonus. As for the cruise itself, the service and food was very good; most of the entertainment was excellent; our cabin was fine and our cabin steward was first class. My only disappointment was that apart from a watercolour painting course (which would have cost an extra £21) there were no craft courses - which we've had on previous P & O cruises. Embarkation and disembarkation in Southampton went really smoothly. The various excursions we went on were all great. So all in all we were very pleased with our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was a last minute booking which had to take place during school holidays,my daughter works in a school, There were many families with children of all ages but we saw no bad behaviour at any time and some of them were charming. The ... Read More
This was a last minute booking which had to take place during school holidays,my daughter works in a school, There were many families with children of all ages but we saw no bad behaviour at any time and some of them were charming. The ship was clean and very well looked after and our cabin (outside double) was spotless and attended to twice a day. So what was the problem? Food, breakfast very good lunch very good, evening meal served in Bay-Tree very poor, usually cold undercooked veg, fish, my favourite had it three times each time 2/10 so did not choose it again, fillet steak unable to cut it others on our table had the same problems, a waste of good food. However the waiters were 1st class, we also enjoyed some good which was reasonably priced. My main gripe is the entertainment - line dance classes which could be heared on the main decks all over the ship each day Films we watched The Darkest Hour - one of our favourite films - although we had seen it twice before - Shows what shows !! A ventriloquist who had an obsession with “farting” I have been on many cruises in the past and this one is the worst. The main reason we booked a cruise was for the evening entertainment a big failure on my part. However we had very good company at dinner and have some good memories. Shirley and Pam. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Chose this cruise as we had only been to lanzarote of the Canary Islands before and non of the other ports except Lisbon ( and then only on a business trip) the fact we had been on Ventura before (back in 2010 for our first cruise) and ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we had only been to lanzarote of the Canary Islands before and non of the other ports except Lisbon ( and then only on a business trip) the fact we had been on Ventura before (back in 2010 for our first cruise) and that it had just been spruced up was also an attraction as we would know the ship and hopefully be chilled from the start. This was also the first time our son (16) had had his own cabin, though for the last 6 years we have had Suites on various ships as they worked well for the three of us so we were prepared for some drop in perks etc offsetting the benefit of the fully seperate space. As it turned out the perks loss was no big deal as they are pretty thin on the ground with P&O anyways we did not mi. Boarding was quick and easy, we arrived about 30 mins before our allotted time but were on the ship before it having hardly sat down before our letter card was called. So other than a couple of hours on board, we did not miss the priority boarding. Breakfast in epicurean was missed as it would have been great to welcome the day on the external terrace but the MDR breakfast was ok ( Note that Bay Tree seems to be less crowded and a slightly better atmosphere for breakfast than Saffron - not sure why) Entertainment was a bit hit and miss but that is situation normal for us. We saw a couple of very good headliners shows, an excellent Adele tribute, an interesting cocktail pianist with the most individual timing and the worst duo we have ever seen on a ship. The latter were however so bad it was amusing. The chap was not a bad guitarist but his patter was like the worst of a local radio DJ and his partner was the most disinterested detached performer I have ever witnessed. She always looked like she was on the point of yawning. The music was so weak and laid back and the repertoire was seriously odd. When one night in Metropolis they suddenly broke into AC DC’s ‘highway to hell’ I honestly thought I had fallen asleep and was dreaming it. The mix of bars and performance spaces is good though it was a mistake to reduce the size of the Exchange (pub) to add cabins since our last trip as this space is clearly more popular and hence crowded by the mostly British clientele than the Glass House on the deck above which was often empty despite the excellent wines and food on offer. The pool areas were always crowded and this was exacerbated by the windy conditions which often caused the upper sun decks to be closed. We retreated to a combination of our balconies ( which the steward opened up to connect) and the Retreat which my wife had booked along with some spa treatments. The mix of ports was good though 12 days is an odd period and it would have been nice to throw in another Spanish or Portuguese or even a channel island port to pad it out to 14. Crew and service were almost all excellent with the exception of one rather grumpy sommelier. The drink prices especially the wine are very reasonable compared to other cruise lines and although it was disappointing to see that all of the room service menu was now chargeable generally the on board additional cost items including the speciality restaurants were reasonable. We tried Sindhu and Epicurean and whilst they do not quite have the atmosphere of those on Britannia ( possibly due to the fact that the decor has been adapted from the original fit outs rather than refitted) the food was excellent and the service very good. Generally we found the MDR food pretty good at dinner given the banquet nature of the cooking and the freedom dining and our willingness to share tables led to some great and often hilarious conversation over dinner. Thanks to all that we shared with! We never had to have a pager throughout the cruise which is a major advantage of being willing to share a table. ( at lunch the food was less successful and they would be better concentrating on salads and light bites similar to those in the Glass House rather than a traditional three course meal which boardered on school dinner standards at times). It’s always difficult to go back to any hotel or ship where you have had a great time in the past and as Ventura was the first ship we ever sailed on, and which triggered a year after year cruising habit since, then it was never likely to come up to the heady standards of our first cruise. Overall though we had a great time and would return to Ventura again for the right itinerary without much thought. It’s a very easy ship to enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
A wonderful first time cruise for my family on the cruise ship Ventura sailing from Southampton to the Canary Islands. We all had a wonderful time, food was very good most of the time, waiter service & cabin crew service was excellent. ... Read More
A wonderful first time cruise for my family on the cruise ship Ventura sailing from Southampton to the Canary Islands. We all had a wonderful time, food was very good most of the time, waiter service & cabin crew service was excellent. The ship had been recently refurbished & we could not fault it. The theatre was a nice size & excellent lighting & sound. Our cabin steward Freddie was fantastic, my special needs nine year old son also called Freddie found a new best mate onboard in him. All the restaurant staff were excellent, they made sure our specials needs child was catered for as he could not eat most of the items on the menu. There were a couple of very minor issues onboard, but nothing at all to spoil the wonderful time we had, weather could have been hotter, but P & O can't do anything about that. Reception staff could have been a bit more approachable & helpful. The balcony cabin we stayed in was really nice, well worth paying the extra, would have been even better if we could have had ITV & BBC channels on the tv, the WIFI we paid so much for was very very poor, not worth the money at all. We purchased the top photo package where you are given all photo's taken on a usb stick, and 12 photo's in an album, we took full advantage and ended up with about 90 photo's, the black tie night one's were really good, we can look back at these in years to come. Our favourite P & O excursion was a trip to Loro Parque in Tenerife, we also had a great day out on Maderia which we organised ourselves by a private tour taxi. Overall we loved it and my wife & myself would book another cruise without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This 12 night cruise is our longest to date. We normally head to Lanzarote for a week in December for a land based holiday but decided to take a cruise to see some of the other islands this time and also to enjoy the 6 sea days. ... Read More
This 12 night cruise is our longest to date. We normally head to Lanzarote for a week in December for a land based holiday but decided to take a cruise to see some of the other islands this time and also to enjoy the 6 sea days. Embarkation at Southampton Excellent service and within 45 minutes we were in our cabin and the luggage was already there. Cabin B749 is an aft balcony cabin on the end of the row so it has the wrap around balcony which is approx 10' square with ample room for chairs and tables. I loved having the wake to listen to. There is more noise when arriving and departing with the thrusters going, but this was not really of detriment to us. If you have one of the other aft cabins on B deck, other the far end opposite to us, you pretty much can only look straight out to sea without sticking your head right out over the rail. Our steward was Grace who is a lovely girl and looked after us well. Food We prefer to eat in the MDR for most of our meals and we found it to be to the previously good standards we've had on board. We also ate in Sindu, Epicurean, Glass House and Beach House and equally enjoyed those an the more attentive service and excellent choices. Service in MDR overall was also very good. Entertainment We really enjoyed all of the Headliners Shows and appreciate the dedication and hard work thy put in to the shows. Destination Dance was particularly good. We enjoyed Jenny Wiliams, crossover vocalist (classical / musical / pop) and also Paul Hughes (Buble / Sinatra / Darren). Roy Walker, comedian, was on board and gave two good entertainig and humorous shows. Tom Binns (hospital radio show) also gave two good shows, although the humour may offend some, but there was a warning in Horizon to be fair. We laughed along though. Ports of Call / Excursions Favourite was Madeira - I did my own thing and hubby went on the 4x4 tour which he thought was great. We then met up at the cable car and ascended to enjoy the great views. Definitely one place to head back to for a longer stay Tenerife - we did the flavours and history tour which was OK, but a bit disappointed as it was only about 9km from the port to the town of La Laguna and whilst we had a guide, you could get there yourself by taxi quite easily. We ended up at the opera house and some appetisers and drink which were very good and the hosts very welcoming. We did not get to go inside the venue, but had access to the external balcony Gran Canaria - we stayed in the port town of and ventured over for a walk along the beach which was very good - flat, promenade, plenty of bars etc. Buildings are all along it and not the most attractive though being 60s style. La Palma - lovely island and really interesting to visit the national park and head up to the caldera which was incredible - this was on the heart of la palma excursion Lisbon - been before so enjoyed a casual stroll around the narrow streets and enjoyed coffee an custard tart Ship Facilities / Activitis The ship is showing signs of wear and tear in places with worn carpet edges in places and chairs looking a bit grubby, so the refit in March will give it a needed lift, but overall the appearance is still very good, clean and attractive. I participated in the Ventura Vocalists having 6 sea day rehearsals and a performance to conclude with in the atrium which was well supported by the other passengers. This was great fun to be part of and was run by Jayson and Eiophe from the Headliners. The music director on board played piano, although to me he seemed very disengaged from the group and seemed to be just going through the motions both at rehearsals and performance, never once giving us a word of encouragement. Spa We had treatments as part of the 180 package we'd previously purchased and these were very good. Lily, assistant spa manager runs a very efficient spa and was very good with clients and showing us around the facilities. Captain Simon Terry was a very pleasant man and kept us updated regularly as to weather and anything of note as we went from port to port. There is plenty to do for most people on board if you choose to do them. Some people do complain but I think it is a case of what you make of it and we certainly enjoyed and appreciated what was on offer. It was lovely to have the chance to relax on board, although the weather on the sea days could have been better. There were children around, but they were all lovely and it was great to see them dressed up on the formal nights. Lots of people with mobility issues using wheelchairs and scooters and I have to say how much I admire their courage and determination to get on with things as at times access in the ports must be difficult. Also to the carer who assisted them - a great thing you are doing. We actually stayed on board for the next cruise N730 which was a 3 nighter to Bruges - a different experience entirely for which I shall write separate review! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our second P&O cruise having previously sailed on Oceana. We have also sailed with Thomson and Celebrity. Embarkation was well organized: we had been allocated a time of 3pm but arrived two hours earlier as the traffic was ... Read More
This was our second P&O cruise having previously sailed on Oceana. We have also sailed with Thomson and Celebrity. Embarkation was well organized: we had been allocated a time of 3pm but arrived two hours earlier as the traffic was light. We were given a card and we settled down expecting a long wait. However, 30 minutes later we had boarded and were in our cabin. First impressions were mixed. The cabin is a reasonable size (we had C314, a balcony cabin on the port side, floor 10) but the so-called bathroom was a disappointment. It has a total area that is about the size of a phone box and this includes the shower, which had a rather dirty plastic shower curtain. Interestingly, this was replaced on the day we were disembarking! The room needs refurbishing; the carpet looked dirty and the whole room just looked run down. There is plenty of hanging space for clothes but apart from the bedside tables, no drawers. The balcony was a good size though, roughly 2.5 by 3.0 meters I would guess. We were freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant and I have to say that the food was as good as any I have had on a cruise. It perhaps lacked the finesse of Celebrity and endless green beans got a little repetitive but overall the food was very good. The buffet was awful as they usually are in my experience, just a fight every day to find a table at breakfast, which was the only meal we ate in there. We didn’t try any of the specialty restaurants, as the food was more than satisfactory in Cinnamon. This was in spite of constantly being given the hard sell everyday by the staff. The entertainment was excellent. The Headliners theatre group was superb, as were the Ventura entertainment team. However, it was a bit like a holiday camp up on the pool decks were you are bombarded by constant noise. Talking of the pools, we didn’t venture in, as they were full of children, including the so-called adult only pool. Also, children were constantly occupying the Jacuzzis, in spite of notices prominently displayed saying that under 16s were no allowed. This was the only time children were, for us, a problem. Apparently there were 740 children on board but they all seemed well behaved and there were no problems as far as I know. As for the rest of the ship, well, it is in need of a full refurbishment. The public areas are decidedly tacky and mostly very dark. It could be a lovely ship and probably was many years ago but it looks and feels very dated now. The itinerary was what we had signed up for so no real complaints. This was Madeira, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Vigo and back to Southampton. My only grouch was that it took 3 long days to get to Madeira, an extra port could have been included to break this up. We heard a lot of people complaining about this. Many, many people removed or reduced their gratuities. We spoke to a lot of people over the 12 days and apart from one couple, everyone else had asked for gratuities to be removed. My only comment would be that within 2 hours of embarkation, I had been charged the full £144 in advance for service I had yet to receive. Service throughout the ship was on the whole efficient and cheerful although we did encounter some surly attitudes from some staff members but they were the minority. Finally, disembarkation was very well organized and we were able to leave the ship without a long wait or encountering any hassle. So all in all, an enjoyable cruise with some reservations regarding the décor and general state of the ship. I will cruise with P&O again, but not necessarily on Ventura. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
we chose this cruise because we thought it would make a great change to sail to the Canary Islands instead of the med, our usual destination. We chose to sail with P & O having sailed on Britannia last year and absolutely loving her. ... Read More
we chose this cruise because we thought it would make a great change to sail to the Canary Islands instead of the med, our usual destination. We chose to sail with P & O having sailed on Britannia last year and absolutely loving her. Last year we holidayed with our daughter and grandson but this year we travelled as a couple. Because I have quite severe walking/disability issues we need to be near middle of ship for ease of getting about. Embarkation was quite smooth. Just as well because we had travelled down to Southampton, by coach from Co Durham which was an uncomfortable and tiring experience this year. Once at Southampton I had assisted boarding which is a lifesaver and I take my hat off to the people who provide this amazing service. Once we arrived in our cabin we immediately looked at each other with real disappointment, We had a superior deluxe cabin, but compared to same cabin on Britannia it looked so very shabby. Yes the balcony is bigger than the same one on Britannia but Ventura cabin looks in need of a refit and a good scrub. Bathroom is a good size but looks as though everything needs replacing. Really everything in our cabin needed to be spruced up, replaced or repaired. Sadly, this was the same right throughout ship. The worst aspect of the cruise, however, was the food we had freedom dining and ate mainly in the formal dining room, whilst, we only twice had to wait for a table with the famous 'buzzer', once seated we quickly found the food to be a huge disappointment. Quality of the food was very poor apart from breakfast which was very good. However, all of the staff on Ventura were all amazing, helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. We enjoyed the entertainment though, and thought prices of drinks were very reasonable. In conclusion the ship desperately needs a refit but can be very proud of staff. Would like to mention Edwin in Glasshouse who is a gem, smile to light up any room, and who served us with the best meal we had on Ventura which sadly we had to pay extra for because of it being a speciality restaurant Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We choose this cruise because it was a golden wedding anniversey and husbands 70 birthday.And last year was an annos horribilus for our family with to of the family being hit by the big C.Although ok now , it took its toll. Any way we ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was a golden wedding anniversey and husbands 70 birthday.And last year was an annos horribilus for our family with to of the family being hit by the big C.Although ok now , it took its toll. Any way we arrived at Southampton with excitement and just glad to have reached this goal.We were very soon on board, and although the Ventura is definatly showing signs of wear, still had some places where she sparkled.Cabin A 627 deck 12. Was similar to the ship, ok but showing signs of wear, balcony with 2 chairs one foot rest and one small table.Plenty of clothes storage space and enough room for changing in.A very small shower, but adequete.The room attendant Sandesh, arrived to welcome us and show us round etc. Seemed very genuine and caring.We are not given to dressing up for meals, but do put on clean shirt trousers etc.So we opted really to use the buffet for our meals, plus we could dine when we wanted, which works for us.The food was adequete, if a bit sameish.There was no squash throughout the day, just tea or coffee. The entertainment was very good , a special word here for the onboard show team of young people who put on about 8 different shows, they put their heart and souls into each show.AMAZING****. Didnt rate the comedian very much, not my humour. Of course there were lots of other things going on round the ship, so we would float in and out where we wanted. Liked the small library and computor area, dear though, nice young lady managing area.the usuall mix of passengers and I heard 45 childen, didnt see much of them, shame like to see them enjoying themselves. Ports were good we have often been to Madiera, like it there a lot, plus we didnt realise but it was carnival time while we were there, as with another 3 visits.so that was a bonus. Ihad call to visit the ships doctor while onboard, with some sort of allergy on my face, which was sore swollen, needed cortizone cream, anyway I was impressed with the professional treatment from the senior nurse and doctor. Looking forward to next cruise, I probably sound like an old grump, but really it was good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have just come back from a cruise on the Ventura. We were on it in April 2016 and everything was ok. They seem to have cut costs on the food. Used to get 4 - 5 king prawns with a prawn cocktail now lots of little ones with no taste. ... Read More
We have just come back from a cruise on the Ventura. We were on it in April 2016 and everything was ok. They seem to have cut costs on the food. Used to get 4 - 5 king prawns with a prawn cocktail now lots of little ones with no taste. Steaks have shrunk to half the size and depth also lacking taste. Breakfasts are good except for the toast. Tea time in the waterside buffet was not worth going to tasteless sandwiches. Curled up toasties. Hard Teacakes. The cabin was good (De luxe balcony). They have also increased the cost of using the internet. Its now £12 for 24hours for browsing and we used to get 120 mins for £35. I had already booked to go on the Azura in april 2017 and i hope its not the same as ventura or we shall be going to another cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was only our second cruise, the first being on the Azura in May. We enjoyed that one so much we immediately booked this one. We began to have second thoughts on reading the negative reviews about the Ventura, we needn't have ... Read More
This was only our second cruise, the first being on the Azura in May. We enjoyed that one so much we immediately booked this one. We began to have second thoughts on reading the negative reviews about the Ventura, we needn't have worried. We were accompanied on the trip with our daughter, son in law and our seven year old grandson who were all first timers. The embarkation went smoothly and we boarded ship one hour earlier than expected. The ship itself was in very good order and the crew were efficient, helpful and polite. Our cabin was on D deck and was roomy with a decently sized balcony. The only slight negative was that the carpet had seen better days but that didn't affect our enjoyment of the cruise. Early on in the cruise one or two of the lifts weren't working but the problem was soon rectified. We were allocated freedom dining and when the restaurant was busy we were given a pager and the longest wait was about 15 minutes, just time for a quick pre- dinner drink. The food was of exceptional quality especially in the Epicurean and Sindhu and I would strongly recommend these two restaurants. The service was faultless and friendly. We avoided the buffet because most of the time it looked to be very busy with some of the passengers pushing and shoving their way to the food counters and piling their plates up in a way they would probably never do at home. We took in a couple of shows one of which featured a very good magician. I took part in the daily table tennis competitions with a really good bunch of people and even won a prize awarded at the end of the cruise. Our grandson really enjoyed the children's club and was in tears at the disembarkation. The ports of call were all excellent and would especially recommend the segways in Vigo. There was one memorable event in Lisbon and that was the sight of the azura and ventura side by side. We experienced some choppy seas for about 48 hours during which my wife felt somewhat under the weather but it hasn't put her off at all. Our daughter and son in law are already pestering us to book the next one!. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
After a poor 2015 cruise on Aurora, we decided to give P&O another chance. Glad we did as the this was a very enjoyable cruise. Food, service and entertainment where excellent with a wide range of restaurants and bars to suit all ... Read More
After a poor 2015 cruise on Aurora, we decided to give P&O another chance. Glad we did as the this was a very enjoyable cruise. Food, service and entertainment where excellent with a wide range of restaurants and bars to suit all tastes and purses. Beach House was especially good and well worth the small surcharge, however we did miss the outside dining area which was tagged onto Beach House on Aurora, Sindhu was a disappointment with the food rather bland for a " Indian " restaurant. Classical pianist ( sorry i forgot her name and the singer Jenny, where both excellent ) After several disappointing cruises backed up by previous reviews it does appear that P&O have improved for which they must be praised. Only downside, not P&O fault was on disembarking at Southampton we sat on the coach at 8:45 which did not leave until 10:30 as we where waiting for passengers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
chose this cruise as it was a British ship 11 nights on the Ventura first time with p&o. We had a fabulous time really enjoyed it nice inside cabin cabin steward was fantastic. Food was very good nice venues plenty to do. The captain ... Read More
chose this cruise as it was a British ship 11 nights on the Ventura first time with p&o. We had a fabulous time really enjoyed it nice inside cabin cabin steward was fantastic. Food was very good nice venues plenty to do. The captain was very nice and entertainment was good. Excellent sail away parties and very good entertainment. Drinks prices were OK and lots of nice shopping. Time ashore was very good. Only one we did not like was Vigo but that was our choice did not go onnany of the excursion so can not comment on them but all ports were eassy accessible. Embarkation and de embarkation was very well organization. Very bimpressed traveled by coach from Washington. Lots of elderly people on board but children's facilities were very good. We did not use the spar at all. Went to see some of the films shown on the afternoon Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My husband and I have recently returned from a cruise to the Canary Isles and are bitterly disappointed. We chose a deluxe balcony cabin but the bed was extremely hard which caused me back problems and the pillows were rock hard which ... Read More
My husband and I have recently returned from a cruise to the Canary Isles and are bitterly disappointed. We chose a deluxe balcony cabin but the bed was extremely hard which caused me back problems and the pillows were rock hard which gave my husband a painful neck. The food in the restaurant was very poor with some many people aboard the meals were plated up and by the time they reached the diners the food was luke warm The first evening my husband ordered a skate wing which when it arrived was the size of the palm of my hand, grey in colour and smelt terrible. I feel sorry for the waiters who have to take the backlash for the poor standard of food being served. Out of 12 dinners my husband, myself and two friends only enjoyed four meals. Again, breakfasts in the dining rooms are a waste of time but must admit they are much better in the buffet as was the lunch food. The first black tie evening was the captains night but on a table near to ours two men went back to their room and changed into tee-shirt and tracksuit bottoms. The internet was very expensive and if you wanted to be able to send emails it would costs £12.95 per 24 hours. When the ship docked in most cases it was necessary to get a coach shuttle into the town and there was a charge of £4.00 per person each way. In La Palma there was only one coach, which was free, but only seemed to run every half hour. When the elderly passengers wanted to get back to the ship they were waiting in the hot sunshine for half an hour. We having waited for 25 minutes decided to walk and we stil got back before the coach. When you ordered a drink in the evening it took ages to arrive because the staff waited to fill a tray for other passengers before they brought the drinks to you. The entertainment was good and the service was extremely good from the cabin steward and waiters in the dining room. We and my friends have travelled with P & O on several occasions but none of us will be travelling with them again as it is no better than a holiday camp at sea and making as much money as they can without consideration to the passengers who used to enjoy the elegance, good food and relaxation of a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Firstly arriving at Southampton to embark our time was 3pm arrived at 2pm sat there until 4.30pm. Once onboard had to go straight to Safety Procedure at Muster Station. We have been on 6 cruises and this was the most disorganised one have ... Read More
Firstly arriving at Southampton to embark our time was 3pm arrived at 2pm sat there until 4.30pm. Once onboard had to go straight to Safety Procedure at Muster Station. We have been on 6 cruises and this was the most disorganised one have ever seen. Not on deck but inside, no checks of people attending, most people didn't bother attending. Due to weather conditions dread to think what would have happened in real emergency. We were unfortunate to hit Storm Katie next day which was very frightening Tannoy system so muffled could' not understand most of announcements. Waterside Buffet was like Motorway Cafe apart from Freshly made omelette, bacon hard, eggs like plastic. Would have used restaurant for breakfast but this closed at 9am which is fine if weather good but no good when no rush to go for breakfast in pouring rain and cold. Unless you want to pay extra. Entertainment mostly 2nd rate, also not enough seats to accommodate everyone in bars etc for shows. No contingency plan during day for inclement weather. Smoking areas Deck 7 (mostly closed due to weather) and 15 starboard side (only ship we have been on where smoking not permitted on balconies) Deck 15 very rarely cleaned . We chose P & O thinking it may be a bit upmarket from some cruises but very disappointed it was Butlins on Sea. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Revisited Ventura as I liked the itinerary but unfortunately the weather was poor in the Canaries which is unusual. The food in the restaurants was good. A bit boring in the buffet restaurant. On the plus side the service of the staff ... Read More
Revisited Ventura as I liked the itinerary but unfortunately the weather was poor in the Canaries which is unusual. The food in the restaurants was good. A bit boring in the buffet restaurant. On the plus side the service of the staff is excellent and entertainment was good. I have sailed with P&O for fourteen years and the standard has definitely dropped. In the Exchange bar it is a bit like Butlins at sea. The standard of dress there with a lot of passengers are football shirts and shorts in the evenings which never used to be. With regards to daytime activities there always seemed to be a sales pitch to the senimars such as talks on Beauty I.e skincare, hairstyles etc. This is for them making more money. I will probably sail with P&O again but it will be on one of their smaller ships, there is more character to them. Ventura don't provide enough seating for the amount of passengers that it carries. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I'm currently encounter home from our first P&O Cruise. We have cruised before with Celebrity and Thompsons. On arrival at the terminal we had to wait until our card was called, we only had a short wait and embarkation was ... Read More
I'm currently encounter home from our first P&O Cruise. We have cruised before with Celebrity and Thompsons. On arrival at the terminal we had to wait until our card was called, we only had a short wait and embarkation was pretty good. We boarded the ship there was nobody there to greet us and we had to find our way to our cabin, where our cases were sitting outside the door. Our inside cabin was on the 10th floor at the back of the boat. The cabin was spotless clean but not much room for manoeuvre. We had a double bed but the two upper singles folded into the wall meant we had to virtually crawl into and out of bed. There was loads of hanging and cupboard space but the toilet was small. We had bigger toilers in overnight ferries to France. There was a fridge that was handy, and tea/coffee making facilities which were replenished daily. Due to the location of the cabin, ever time the boat was docking, the noise was unbearable. There was heavy vibration throughout the room during the Is time. Due to having an atrium the ship was hard to get used to at first as you can only access areas at the front of the ship by going to certain floors. The ship was spotless clean throughout. We were assigned the Cinnamon restaurant but only ate there once as we prefer the buffet dining. The food was brilliant. There was something for everyone and it was always piping hot. The staff at the buffet and the restaurant were always friendly and chatty. The worked hard keeping the busy area clean. We had a meal in the Sindu Indian restaurant once, you pay £15 per head extra for this but I enjoyed it. We never tried the other restaurants. There is a pizzeria and burger bar at the pool. The food here was great however. There was no drinks machines around and you then needed to go back into the buffet restaurant for a tea/coffee. There is no drinks package like we have enjoyed on other cruises. Bar prices were not too bad. A vodka and mixer was £4.75 as was a glass of prosecco. A pint of peroni was about £3.75. We would still prefer the drink package to save continually checking our account for onboard spend. You are allowed to take your own drink onboard and also what you buy offshore but not what you buy on the ships duty free shop which is a little pointless. The entertainment was not the greatest. However a huge shout out to the Headliners who were fantastic. It we never seen enough of them, we also enjoyed the tribute acts to John Denver and Annie Lennox was amazing. The other acts were pianists, a violinist and a few comedians. There were also an ex policeman and jeweller speakers if that's your cup of tea. The quizzes in the Exchange we're good,with something for everyone. Andrea was a great hostess. The karaoke hostess, Lauren however was allowing the same singers singing the same songs and not allowing new singers up which was disappointing. We spent some time in the casino which was good fun. Croupiers Gypsy, Jemima were always happy to see us and gave friendly advice to us beginners to ensure we players with The proper table etiquette. The waiters around the exchange and Havana were brilliant. A special mention to Joel, Neil and Who were always laughing and happy to see us. There are shops onboard selling bags, jewellery, and a range of duty free items, plenty of choice however, I wouldn't buy anything for the first few days as there are normally special offers throughout the cruise on items. We bought a painting I the gallery after being assured there would be no further discounts on these only to find 10% sale the next day. A visit to tbd gallery to discuss this and the lady was happy to give us the discount retrospectively. The ports we stopped at were Lisbon, Lanzerote, Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, Gran CanariA, Madeira, Las Palmas, La Coruna. Madeira was our favourite. This was also the cheapest for the duty fee cigs and spirits, even cheaper than the ship. We never done any excursions as it was easy enough to get around independently however don't rely on too much help with this from the staff. Overall we had a great time, met loads of nice people too. The only thing was the weather which can't be helped I suppose. Out of our three cruises Celebrity still way way ahead for everything but P&O now 2nd with Thompsons third. Hope this helps you prepare for your trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
1. Embarkation. Excellent. Arrived at 13.10 for 13.00 boarding (yes we were late) but were in our cabin at 13.30. 2. Cabin. Clean, well appointed and our cabin stewardess (Lourdes) was really helpful and attentive. 3. Dining ... Read More
1. Embarkation. Excellent. Arrived at 13.10 for 13.00 boarding (yes we were late) but were in our cabin at 13.30. 2. Cabin. Clean, well appointed and our cabin stewardess (Lourdes) was really helpful and attentive. 3. Dining Second sitting in Bay Tree restaurant. Table for 8 snd our fellow passengers were all lovely people, great conversation and all from very different backgrounds and geographical (UK) areas. Table waiters were very attentive but some times a little slow but the wine waitress was, in my opinion, not quite up to the job. Mixed up who's wine was who's on more than one occasion. Food was excellent and could not be faulted. 4. Entertainment P&O should really vet their guest speakers before putting them up in front of an audience of potentially several hundred people. The policeman who had been awarded the GC clearly had some amazing and fascinating stories to tell but his delivery was so monotone it was monotonous and sending people (including me) to sleep. The Headliners and Bernie Flint were fantastic and the first Karioke night was the best I have ever seen (thank you Derek and Annie). During sea days I thought the the activities (bingo and quizzes) were sparse and more could be done. Sail aways were not up to the standard we have enjoyed on previous P&O cruises. 5. Shore excursions:- Severely overpriced and are not value for money. Maybe they should spend and overnight stop in Madeira and cut out one of the Canaries 6. Weather. Not good except for Madeira (but I can't blame P&O for that). Bay of Biscay did it's usual on the way home. 7. Dis-embarkation. Absolutely excellent. 8. Overall. Too many (overpriced) photographs, no semi formal evenings and on formal evenings how was some one dressed in a track suit allowed to be served cocktails at the Captains reception? Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have just returned from the above Canary Islands cruise. As with our previous trips on Ventura the standards in most cases were very high. Embarkation did not go smoothly as it started 15 minutes late and it appeared that the whole 3000 ... Read More
We have just returned from the above Canary Islands cruise. As with our previous trips on Ventura the standards in most cases were very high. Embarkation did not go smoothly as it started 15 minutes late and it appeared that the whole 3000 passengers were in the hall. There was minimum crowd control as people were milling around often in the queue areas when letters were called. At one time there were about 3 separate queues trying to merge into the main one. I must take issue with some previous reviews complaining about food in the restaurants and attitude of staff. We were freedom dining and the food was of a very high standard. Those passengers who felt quality was poor but found the buffet choice on deck 15 to be much better I feel were looking for quantity ie heap your plate and help yourself to several desserts. Restaurant was fine dining whereas the buffet was a typical eat as much as you like. All members of staff that we encountered could not have been more pleasant and helpful. Our waiters in Cinnamon, Alister and Jeoffrey were excellent, experienced, attentive and were quick to respond to requests. I agree that some areas need a bit of TLC but in no way affected our enjoyment of the cruise. Best Headliners group we have come across over 10 plus P&O cruises. Brand new group who joined ship same day as us. Brilliant Major complaint the weather ( no doubt some people will blame P&O for that) Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
How lucky are these cruise companies to keep such loyal, hardworking crew ?! On this ship (as on Fred Olsen Boudicca my other review) almost to a "man" they worked hard for long hours regardless of start/finish time whilst ,no ... Read More
How lucky are these cruise companies to keep such loyal, hardworking crew ?! On this ship (as on Fred Olsen Boudicca my other review) almost to a "man" they worked hard for long hours regardless of start/finish time whilst ,no doubt as instructed, remaining energetic, cheerful and courteous. Without this elite standard of relentless service the cruise we've come home from would have sunk without trace. Political-correctness-gone-mad prevents me from penning comments about ethnic origins and contracts up for review versus permanent posts awarded to whatever ethnic group. I loath the gratuity loading system and, this time, opted out.I feel that, somehow, this is an underhand method of massaging the company's wage bill. Instead I generously tipped the many who afforded us special service, spending far more than would have been added to my on board spend. On the reverse side, these diligent crew who were drinks waiters seemed driven beyond the desire to provide a service. Could they be target/commission/threshold motivated ? They frequently chimed into conversations and company with an absence of the commonplace courtesy of their colleagues. However, no great problem. The standard of food was excellent. The menu was varied and imaginative. These people can cook and present fish dishes, by the way ! The restaurants, along with all the other venues, excepting the arena theater to a degree, just aren't commodious enough to COMFORTABLY accommodate all who wish to avail themselves of them. A great percentage of two seater accommodation in the restaurants were no more than multi seater tables split by inches. A squashy backrest served as one seat into the bargain. The seating arrangement in the Tamarind, Havana and red room was so ill designed it made attending the venues not uncomfortable exactly, but not as carefree as one would hope on holiday, let alone a cruise. It wouldn't take an interior designer of note to fathom out furnishing plans in what, otherwise, would do in the perfectly spacious rooms- simply someone with a bit of common sense. Mr. P&O has never tried to get a seat and remain comfortable in these venues, I'll bet. "Top line entertainment" heralds the blurb. It wasn't rubbish. Much of it one could easily turn up at the local or social club and get something akin. Some of it was astounding. There were musicians among the resident group and band who were punching well below their weight. It was a privilege to hear them. They were pushed into the distance by mediocre front artists. No one was urged to dance thanks to the flat atmosphere created by the rooms, stage presence and the entertainment management altogether. One group specialised in music that I love but were unbearable thanks to a terrible imbalance of the individual component musicians. However, entertainment was ever present throughout the day. I, personally, enjoy a lounge type of environment with, perhaps, a pianist or lounge entertainer. The metropolis seemed to be just the thing I was looking forward to. We tried it a couple of times and, whilst the furnishings weren't too badly arranged, the duo were so irritating, twice was sufficient. There's absolutely nothing to say about our balcony cabin nor the steward. If I spent all day in the cabin and on the balcony with the odd cabin serviced breakfast, down for mealtimes in my monkey suite and catch a couple of worthwhile shows-well-I've got my money's worth. I want my wife to be comfortable and treated like a lady. Thanks to my tipping regime, that's precisely what I got. My wife enjoys a swim on a cruise but, the pool areas were so uninviting she gave it a miss. One pool area caters for the smokers (if you enjoy passive smoking take a trip along deck 15) who were ever present and the other for the packed cafe's overflow. Going onto the deck above was somewhat more enjoyable and that is what we did. Take a tip from me. Go on the coach. We went by Cruise Connect. This is like a "get out of jail free card" when embarking and disembarking. I still can't believe the ease of arriving and leaving. Again, political-correctness-gone-mad prevents me from airing my true views. Suffice is to say, a percentage of our fellow passengers didn't seem to fully appreciate nor avail themselves of the high, professional class of service which could be achieved. Value for money ? Undeniably so. Compare this cruise to what would be available on land, considering the sum of all components, there's nothing to touch it. We've returned, however, not having not enjoyed our holiday. To say that would be silly. "Cruising", however, conjures up an impression of sophistication, panache,style, class and the zenith of luxury. I guess the cruise companies are actively working to dispel this profile in order to encourage all comers. I doubt we'll cruise again. Certainly not with P&O. Shame. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I know my Review Title may be a bit harsh but at times thats how it felt. It is also easy to criticise and believe me, if the cruise had lived up to our expectations, we would have provided a more positive review. As experienced cruisers, ... Read More
I know my Review Title may be a bit harsh but at times thats how it felt. It is also easy to criticise and believe me, if the cruise had lived up to our expectations, we would have provided a more positive review. As experienced cruisers, this was our first P&O Cruise and living in Scotland and with always a doubt about getting away by plane in January with our weather, Southampton seemed a less anxious alternative by car. Unfortunately, it also means that it is the preferred departure port for those of a certain age and perhaps infirmity whom prefer or cannot fly! Now, this is all well and good as everyone has a choice that suits their age and well-being. What I am very disappointed about is that, from discussions with bar staff in particular, P&O knew the age demographic of this cruise but their website portrays a very different vision with young glamorous cruisers with no suggestions as to whom this cruise would best suit! I am also aware of the heavily discounts being applied near to the sail date which would also have contributed to the overall age bracket of the guests. It would seem going by the dire entertainment provided and ludicrous scheduling that P&O were well aware of the age demographic and accommodated accordingly... When you are dressed to the nines on formal nights and you leave the second sitting dining looking forward to the beginning of a 'great night out' and you walk past the main venue of the Tamarind Club and they are having a quiz! I might as well have brought my knitting as many of them did!!! I could go on re; un-engaging, unkowledgable Dining Waiters, lack-lustre food (except for Sindu speciality dining), bar culture entertainers (except for Megan and Joe in Metropolis, thank goodness for them), a ship that creaked and groaned (even beyond our first two hurricane force days at sea) but what really summed it up for me... the emphasis on 'Britishness'. Now I apologise in advance to those whom feel British but may not understand what that may mean to many people across the UK. As a Scot, you may argue that thats what you might expect from me... fair enough but a ship that purports to 'fly the flag' as it does as its livery on the bows and hands out Union Jacks for 'the great British Sailaway' and plays 'Jerusalem' is risking alienating a large number of people from around our culturally diverse islands! I may be sightly wrong but our Californian Cruising Friends were one of a few International guests and they travelled many thousands of miles to join this ship and left with a very poor image of what 'Britishness' really means. American based cruise lines do not push their heritage and are much more welcoming to international clients! Thankfully, the Canaries were great and we could escape but I'll never sail P&O again no matter how mch Rob Brydon promotes them! Celebrity X have figured it out how a ship should work for guests and to create areas such as the Atrium and bars that work together and pull people together to chat and make for a memorable cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
my husband and I took our first ever cruise on board P/O VENTURA on the 2 January 2016. we stayed overnight on the 1 jan at wetherby service hotel, and cruise connect picked us up the following morning at 7.30. we had a good run down to ... Read More
my husband and I took our first ever cruise on board P/O VENTURA on the 2 January 2016. we stayed overnight on the 1 jan at wetherby service hotel, and cruise connect picked us up the following morning at 7.30. we had a good run down to Southampton, arriving about 2pm. we embarked onto the ship. (I WAS IN AWE OF THE SIZE OF THE SHIP) had our pic taken, then onto reception to collect our card etc. we then caught the lift to our cabin. not disappointed, we had a balcony, the room was spotless. our cabin attendant introduced himself. a charming young man, by the name of REVLON. I did some of our unpacking, then proceded to the MUSTER STATION for the drill of safety. I wont go on too long with my review, only to say that we really enjoyed every aspect of the cruise. down to our room, the cleanliness of the ship, we ate in waterside for breakfast and Bay Tree for select dining, and no complaints over the food, everything was good. I know we can not compare with any other ship, but our first experienceon this ship, we ENJOYED it very much, and are looking forward to booking our next one for next year, as it will be our 70th and golden wedding. some people moan over the least little thing, but I would like to say, there is something to do for everyone on this ship. I even got my pic taken with TOM O CONNER!!!!!! we will probably book with P/O for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I have cruised a number of times and this is the first time i have felt so compelled to complain and raise a number of issues which spoiled our holiday and made me question whether indeed P&O are truly a family friendly cruise company. ... Read More
I have cruised a number of times and this is the first time i have felt so compelled to complain and raise a number of issues which spoiled our holiday and made me question whether indeed P&O are truly a family friendly cruise company. This has made me reluctant to cruise again with P&O. I was travelling with my wife and one year old child, on the Ventura for two weeks on 2nd January 2016 and specifically chose this cruise ship as it was promoted as child and family friendly. We were looking forward to joining in the events with our child throughout the ship, watching our child enjoy himself in the mini discos and take part in other child activities as well as meeting up with other parents and children. Within a few days however, we began to feel that the only place we were welcome and able to use freely was the nursery. We felt constantly confined to the nursery each day as the itinerary elsewhere only seemed to cater for the elderly guests and at no time was there an event on the ship, which involved young families to join in and enjoy with their children. In the daytime, there would be programs for looking 10 years younger, bridge and other card games as well as a pub quizzes or talks on diamonds or destinations. Even the films were aimed at adults only. In the evening was adult entertainment which included tribute acts and piano recitals. Again nothing to involve the children especially in the early evening. We quickly noticed that at no time, were any of the dance floors given times for the children to enjoy and there were no specific child related events or get togethers for the parents and the children. We were shocked to later learn that there were at least 50 children on board as we had never seen more than 5 or 6 at any one time. The 6 days at sea were torture and we couldn't wait to get home. It felt awful to be stuck in the nursery. We had paid just as much as the other guests on the ship however, we were unable to make the most of it. At least in a hotel, an entertainment team is provided to help keep the families busy with activities. I raised my concerns with other parents in the nursery who agreed with me and it concerned me how we all felt anxious about upsetting the rather elderly clientele on the ship who seemed eager to show their discontent at the noise our children would make. This felt even more of an issue in the evening when we wished to take the children for meals or walk them in their prams to get them to sleep. We always felt we were impeding and being an annoyance. On occasion, parents were accused of being cruel by keeping their child awake after 7pm. There is a night nursery provided however, a number of children including our own could not use this effectively as they were easily disturbed by the loud noise of older children using the adjacent playrooms. As there were no events we could attend with our child, there was no alternative but to either walk around aimlessly or return to our cabin. Unfortunately the ship didn't stream or live feed any of the shows to the cabin televisions and so we were unable to see any of them. There was a paddling pool set aside for children at the rear of the ship however, this was constantly out of action. When it was available, it was filled with water too cold to enjoy. On one day, seven children including myself and their parents wanted to utilise the midship swimming pool. The signs displayed quite clearly stated that children could use it and so we happily enjoyed it until an elderly guest complained. A security officer was brought to the pool and all of us were ordered to get out. This was disgusting and extremely embarrassing and just went to enforce the negative attitude that the ship had towards its younger holiday makers. When using the lifts, we would occasionally see people get out to allow a wheelchair user to use them however, this was never the case for a parent with a pushchair laden with bags and other children's stuff. Instead, the lifts were full of able bodied elderly people who would push in front of us to get into a lift going up when they actually wanted to go down!! Quite often we would hear the comment, "what goes up must come down. Ha, ha." Perhaps the ship could display signs to give priority on lifts to pushchairs as well as wheelchairs. A children's dinner time was allocated at 5pm in the Waterside buffet area. This was constantly used by adults and on most occasions , the food was not suitable for a 1 year old. Chicken legs or curry just doesn't do it. Mashed potato, beans and cheese would have been a much better option. We often saw adults complaining that the food shouldn't just be for children and then complained to staff that there wasn't enough variety or quantity for themselves. I feel that these situations and the atmosphere on board were caused by the cruise itself being set up to cater specifically for elderly people rather than for all generations hence giving the older guests the impression that this was an adult only cruise and was something children should not have come on. Like the saying, " children should be seen but should not be heard". On one occasion, a parent was questioned by an elderly female why she was on the ship with her child and was asked rather sharply, " surely this type of holiday isn't for you". The parent in question had been on 13 cruises including 3 with her child. This was her first however with P&O and she indicated this may be her last. I raised my concerns at reception and later spoke with the youth manager, who was initially very receptive and immediately set up a mini disco within the nursery which was run at 4pm on sea days. She stated she would have a meeting with her staff and look at arranging "other things" for families to do around the ship on the other days. This never happened. I requested the use of a dance floor on the ship prior to an adult show in the evenings however, it was explained to me that unfortunately there wasn't a DJ on board to arrange it. This was not true as "DJ OSCAR" was on board looking after the adults. We were informed that during school holiday trips, there are more events for children on board utilising other parts of the ship due to there being more children present however, due to the small number of children during our particular trip, no events or venues were timetabled or made available to us. This was unfair and we feel this badly affected the quality of our holiday and should have been included. I wish to point out though that generally, the staff were very friendly and loved the children, often playing with them and helping us to keep them amused whilst at the restaurant tables. Its just a shame that we didn't feel we could sit anywhere with our child except for the restaurant or nursery. The knock on effect to not having any activities put aside for children was that there was nothing to tire them out. The children then didn't sleep very well at night and i, along with other parents of children under 2 would often be up in the night pushing our children in their prams to calm them. Not an easy task at 4.30 am. We certainly didn't get to enjoy the facilities in the evening as advertised in your brochure. A timetable should have been created to always ensure that there were daytime and early evening activities elsewhere on the ship, other than just in the nurseries to ensure that families were made to feel more welcome. This would have also encouraged more interaction between the different age groups and also emphasised the fact that these are family holidays on a family cruise ship and so not making the more elderly adults feel that they were on a saga adults only cruise! I have used Thomson and Princess cruise lines before and i can honestly say that this is the first time that have felt put off from cruising again. It was extremely hard work looking after our child because of this and i feel so disappointed that we weren't able to enjoy the holiday with our son as we had wished. Just because a ship has a nursery doesn't make it a family friendly ship. It needs to do more to integrate and involve the families within the rest of the ship. After all, these families are the future customers. What surprised me even more was the fact the ship had a young captain who was travelling with his wife and 1 year old son. Despite this fact, it was obvious that the ship only cared for the older clientele and we constantly felt out of place. I had paid nearly £3000 for this holiday. Quite a lot more than some other guests and yet we were unable to use the facilities, being only able to use the nursery, our cabin and the odd restaurant. We never got to see a show, relax in a bar, take part in any activities or even watch a film. The only possible way to enjoy anything on board would have been to drink alone away from the rest of our family. We had to resort to this on occasion and it wasn't something we enjoyed doing or should have needed to do. Holidays are something families should enjoy together. This just wasnt possible on board the Ventura. This certainly wasn't the holiday that was described or which i was hoping to enjoy. It turned out to be an extremely stressful 2 weeks and at the end of a port day, we were dreading returning to the ship. Families of young children should be able to enjoy all of the facilities together if they so wish no matter what the time of year, how many children are on board or whether it is a school holiday or not. Come on P&O. Its the 21st century and families want to do things together. Its just not possible on Ventura. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Did Christmas Cruise, very fast at checkin, in fact the fastest one we've ever had. We spent the first two & half days sailing through a force eight gale, to which the captain informed us, because of the weather it could be ... Read More
Did Christmas Cruise, very fast at checkin, in fact the fastest one we've ever had. We spent the first two & half days sailing through a force eight gale, to which the captain informed us, because of the weather it could be classed at a force 10. Not too bad for us, but we knew the restaurants would be slightly empty as most people stayed in there cabins. We found that P.O had still made more cut backs on menu's etc, but they'd also kept the price down. Our cabin L244 inside, we'd never had an inside cabin before, just wanted to try one, it was quite a good size, our housekeeper was very helpful, when required. My only complaint was on the last day of sailing, the shower curtain was changed, & I explained to the housekeeper it wasn't a problem for me, but if someone not as fit as me, used the shower & didn't put the bath towels around the floor area, someone might fall. If this had been changed before we disembarked I wouldn't be mentioning it, but it wasn't, so if you get on board check your shower curtain reaches the floor area, don't give P.O the opertunety to charge you for medical assistance, when you could avoid this. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
It took around 45 minutes to get through embarkation, and we had a superior deluxe balcony cabin ( D709 ), which was great for two of us - fridge, two tv screens, full size bath and seating area. Our toilet did try to overflow with clean ... Read More
It took around 45 minutes to get through embarkation, and we had a superior deluxe balcony cabin ( D709 ), which was great for two of us - fridge, two tv screens, full size bath and seating area. Our toilet did try to overflow with clean water a few times, but you could usually hear it filling up, and if you pressed the flush button again, it usually stopped. If anything, the pillows were the only dire thing, being comparable to bags of sand in comfort. Our steward (Noel) was nice and did a very good job, remembering to fill our ice bucket more times than he forgot. The Bay of Biscuits was predictably a bit rough going out from Southampton, but we took sea-sickness tablets which seemed to work, although some other passengers were affected badly and spent a lot of time in their cabins. On the return journey, it was much smoother. One thing P and O excel at, is schemes to part you from your money. Photographers lurk on every port terminal, at evening meal times, and at the regular "formal" nights, with pics starting at £11-80p if you can't be bothered to take your digital camera. They try to sell you beauty treatments, "pictures" from an art gallery, gold-plated chain (by the inch), excursions, and bingo tickets fly alongside the casino/slots. As it was a Christmas Cruise, we got their version of a "Christmas Market", where tubloads of low-end watches/jewellery and failed clothing were wheeled out. Entertainment was fine, particularly the Headliners, but their "pay a supplement" restaurants were mostly empty, and the battleground buffet restaurants would benefit from either more seating, or by extending to use the underused "supplement" restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.9

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