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587 Southampton P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

P&O Ventura January 2016 Caribbean Cruise. This is our third P&O Cruise in the past three years. We have sailed on the Oriana and Oceana so know roughly what to expect. We normally cruise on Cunard and still prefer them to ... Read More
P&O Ventura January 2016 Caribbean Cruise. This is our third P&O Cruise in the past three years. We have sailed on the Oriana and Oceana so know roughly what to expect. We normally cruise on Cunard and still prefer them to P&O. As this was for 18 nights we decided a Superior cabin would be more appropriate as we anticipated spending a lot of time in the cabin. Our embarkation time was 1.30 pm, and received a letter from P&O asking us to keep to this time to avoid any queues. Our taxi arrived at 1.20 pm and the queue for boarding was outside the terminal for 100 yds or so and growing. Took us 20 mins or so just to get inside the terminal. Once inside it can only be described as a joke. Just how many years have P&O been operating , cant they get this right. Once on board we arrived at our cabin. Have to say first impression was good. Nice decor quite roomy and a full size (if you are small) bath. Luggage arrived quickly and we soon unpacked went to explore the ship. After the safety drill at our muster station we went back to the cabin for a drink before we got ready for dinner. I suppose this is the point we started to notice how tired the cabin was. The carpet was heavily stained by the doors and looked grubby. The toilet seat was stained a dark yellow around the rim (disgusting). The bath looked stained on the bottom, but on closer inspection at had some sort of varnish that was peeling off giving the impression of a stain. Several marks on the walls and furniture. The cabin had definitely seen better days. OK off to sample the freedom dinning. Table for two requested so was given a pager and had to wait 30 mins or so. The table for two was a long padded bench with 8 ish small tables with the bench seat on on side and a chair on the other. Tables about 12 inches or so apart. Food was bland and not a good dining experience. I think we only dined in the main restaurant a handful of times. We mostly dined in the Beach house and other venues where there was a cover charge, much more enjoyable. Did notice these venues got busier towards the end of the cruise. Room service menu very limited. Have noticed on other P&O cruises but most apparent on this one, crowds of people will rush from venue to venue. They seem to queue ages before the shows start and then before the shows have finished start leaving to go to the next one. We found this very off putting on what seemed like a very crowded ship. Ports of call all OK, if you manage it you can miss the queues, although we still got caught up in a couple. Seemed to have an ongoing problem with the toilet not flushing. Thought it was just our cabin but found the people in the next cabin had the same problem. Did seem to have a lot of ongoing maintenance on board. Painting, varnishing , OK but they did seem to shut off decks whilst this was been done, making already crowded ship more crowded. Will we sail P&O again. Unlikely. Will stick to Cunard , although not happy when you book the cruise and then they reduce the prices. Not good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was a thoroughly enjoyable cruise from start to finish. The embarkation and disembarkation were efficient and well managed. The ship was clean and well maintained. The cabin was fine and well serviced by the cabin stewardess whom ... Read More
This was a thoroughly enjoyable cruise from start to finish. The embarkation and disembarkation were efficient and well managed. The ship was clean and well maintained. The cabin was fine and well serviced by the cabin stewardess whom nothing was too much trouble. The food was good and service excellent. Ewe went for the freedom dining which is now our normal choice where available as we like the flexibility this offers. The buffet was fine but we preferred the restaurant as the former could be a bit crowded and a "bit of a free for all". The choice of food was excellent and quality good. The entertainment was good with a reasonable variety of choice. The theatre viewing was excellent although sometimes a little on the warm side. The gym was excellent with good quality equipment. The Captain was excellent keeping us well informed without being intrusive. He altered coarse and speed several times to optimise stability. The weather as expected in the Caribbean was excellent. The shore excursions we took were Ok if a bit expensive. Overall an excellent experience and would travel on ship and P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
After reading previous reviews of the Ventura we had the impression that we would be having a month long dose of Hell and being fed nothing more than pig swill by a load of ignorant and lazy scruffy slobs. All done onboard an rusting old ... Read More
After reading previous reviews of the Ventura we had the impression that we would be having a month long dose of Hell and being fed nothing more than pig swill by a load of ignorant and lazy scruffy slobs. All done onboard an rusting old tramp steamer. Nothing could be further from the truth. We had a fantastic time onboard, the food was great and we never had a bad meal in 28 days. It was all well presented and well served by very friendly and capable waiters. Yes there was a small wait sometimes, but there are over other 3000 people onboard too. The new embarkation process went extremely well and we were called well ahead of our appointed time. Once on we could go straight to the cabin and the luggage was all there. We have never been able to get onboard, unpack and have lunch in plenty of time before muster. Our cabin was mid ships deck 9. It was clean and tidy, spacious and with loads of wardrobe and cupboard space. The bathroom was excellent with a full sized bath as well as the over the bath shower. Our Cabin Steward keep us all clean and tidy and gave us everything we asked for. When the seas were choppy , the cabin was a bit creaky but that is how ships are. Maybe people should realise that a little more. The overall state of the ship itself was very good , although there were signs of wear and tear. But again with over 3000 passengers every week it is unreasonable to expect total perfection. In places she is a little tired but nothing that would cause problems. Entertainment wise, we were given a very broad spectrum of genres to suit all tastes. Of course there were people on board that selfishly expected their own favourites ALL of the time. But we chose what we wanted to see and left out the ones we didn't. Simple really. The entertainment staff were very good and the Entertainments Manager Paul was brilliant. He was informative but not intrusive. His own Cabaret set was very good and of high quality. Our route was very good . However if you don't like sea days then this is probably not the cruise for you. The islands we visited gave a broad insight into the different cultures of the Caribbean. There were plenty of ship excursions to suit all. Maybe a little pricey but we were very very happy with the ones we did and have no complaints. We found the ships company extremely friendly and hardworking. Nothing like some of the reviews we had previously read. The high quality of service undoubtably contributed to our enjoyment of the cruise. Disembarkation is always a busy time and this was no exception. However we were off the ship within 15 minutes of our due time, found our bags easily and were on our way with no problems at all. This was our 17 cruise, not all with P&O, and it was probably one of our best. We have no problems or complaints whatsoever. Although no doubt the freeloaders will be out in force moaning and groaning about very small, or even non existent problems, trying to get something for nothing as they do. If P&O can maintain the quality and high standard that we experienced then we will have no hesitation whatsoever in making future bookings with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Excellent holiday with plenty of hot sunny days. Embarkation and disembarkation was excellently organised and finding our luggage on disembarking was easy. Our cabins were ready when we embarked and luggage was delivered while we had ... Read More
Excellent holiday with plenty of hot sunny days. Embarkation and disembarkation was excellently organised and finding our luggage on disembarking was easy. Our cabins were ready when we embarked and luggage was delivered while we had lunch. Cabin was clean with a good balcony. Cabin stewardess was excellent and provided everything required on demand. We used freedom dining as has been our normal when available. we were happy with this . Service in the dining room was excellent and the water were very attentive . Food choice and quality were excellent. The buffet restaurant was OK but with the number on board could be a bit of a "free for all" and best avoided at busy times like 9.00am and 12.00. the ship has an excellent gym with a good choice of state of the art equipment. Entertainment was good with a decent variety. The only thing was the theatre sometimes was a bit warm. there was a reasonable choice of things to do on sea days. The Captain and officers were good at keeping us informed without being intrusive. The captain made several deviations in coarse and speed to minimise ship movement and the ships movement was minimal for the duration of the cruise. The shore excursions we took were Ok if a bit pricy. Overall a good experience and would travel with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
There is a review a little further down (Ferry with a hint of Benidorm) that pretty much summaries our experience, although we were in a balcony cabin rather than a suite. Otherwise, I could have written that. We have always been ... Read More
There is a review a little further down (Ferry with a hint of Benidorm) that pretty much summaries our experience, although we were in a balcony cabin rather than a suite. Otherwise, I could have written that. We have always been doubtful of the larger ships, so have not been on Ventura, Azura or Britannia, but when a cheap 2-day taster came up we thought we would risk it. And the experience has certainly put me off the larger ships, but also makes me reluctant to use the smaller ships again in case the changes are a new policy everywhere rather than just being for those ships. P+O really have moved downmarket with this trip from the many we have taken in the past and if there is one area I would single out it is service. In bars, it took forever to be served, including 15 minutes from ordering a glass of wine to it arriving when there were only around 50 people in the bar. Silver service in the restaurant has disappeared: you get what you are given and that's that. Even simple details like the entertainment staff to greet you as you enter and leave the theatre has gone. And the introduction of self service wines really does not bode well. Surely being served is part of the experience? I also found the ship very noisy, both in ambience (piped music much of the time) and in the passengers, but it was difficult to be certain whether these groups were much noisier than I have experienced before or something about the build of the ship made them seem so. Whatever, listening to one of the musicians was really difficult against the background noise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
There is a review a little further down (Ferry with a hint of Benidorm) that pretty much summaries our experience, although we were in a balcony cabin rather than a suite. Otherwise, I could have written that. We have always been ... Read More
There is a review a little further down (Ferry with a hint of Benidorm) that pretty much summaries our experience, although we were in a balcony cabin rather than a suite. Otherwise, I could have written that. We have always been doubtful of the larger ships, so have not been on Ventura, Azura or Britannia, but when a cheap 2-day taster came up we thought we would risk it. And the experience has certainly put me off the larger ships, but also makes me reluctant to use the smaller ships again in case the changes are a new policy everywhere rather than just being for those ships. P+O really have moved downmarket with this trip from the many we have taken in the past and if there is one area I would single out it is service. In bars, it took forever to be served, including 15 minutes from ordering a glass of wine to it arriving when there were only around 50 people in the bar. Silver service in the restaurant has disappeared: you get what you are given and that's that. Even simple details like the entertainment staff to greet you as you enter and leave the theatre has gone. And the introduction of self service wines really does not bode well. Surely being served is part of the experience? I also found the ship very noisy, both in ambience (piped music much of the time) and in the passengers, but it was difficult to be certain whether these groups were much noisier than I have experienced before or something about the build of the ship made them seem so. Whatever, listening to one of the musicians was really difficult against the background noise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I booked this as a treat after a busy X mas for myself and my husband , I was sceptical about the whole thing , a lot of reading about cruising there seems a element of snobbery, well I loved it yes a mini cruise was for us anyway a bit ... Read More
I booked this as a treat after a busy X mas for myself and my husband , I was sceptical about the whole thing , a lot of reading about cruising there seems a element of snobbery, well I loved it yes a mini cruise was for us anyway a bit booze cruise not what I'd do on a week (my days of partying every night unfortunatly have gone,but after a hectic X mas at work just what the doctor ordered ) good food and decent priced drinks, all kinds of people from fun groups of stag parties to hen dos , and everything else in between , everyone I spoke to were lovely , something for everyone I think. Formal nights were fab we dressed up both nights , my husband is def more jeans and t shirt but even he loved it, so yay more dress shopping for me, entertainment was fab though I didn't see everything , food was good from buffet to more formal resturant, my husband loved the food to and from a ex army chef that's good. We ate one night in the glass house was very nice, next night we missed the saffron rest so ate in the buffet , no complaints at all , It was so smooth on our trip to Brugge I didn't realise we were moving though perhaps that was a mix of fizz and cocktails, return trip slightly noticed it, I shall defiantly cruise again , I did see some negative comments I in all honesty think you basically just can't keep the amount of passengers on board happy. Staff were really good attentive , our room attendant was great , I'd recommend this type of holiday to all, from ease of parking , having our bags taken in to getting on board all easy and organised well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was the second time we have cruised with P&O . We did a previous cruise on the Oriana six years ago . Embarkation was quick and trouble free and we were pleased with our cabin which was kept immaculately by our very efficient ... Read More
This was the second time we have cruised with P&O . We did a previous cruise on the Oriana six years ago . Embarkation was quick and trouble free and we were pleased with our cabin which was kept immaculately by our very efficient stewardess . We had freedom dining and enjoyed the flexibility of this and the excellent food . The restaurant staff were courteous and efficient . There was virtually no waiting time . There were some negative aspects however . We were never able to see any evening entertainment (for the 8.30 show) because it was impossible to obtain a seat . Passengers were waiting in the theater up to 45 minutes before the show started and we never managed to get there in time . The 10.30 show was too late for us . This was disappointing . Obviously there is not enough seating available . The library facilities were particularly poor . Not enough space , not enough books not enough seating , far inferior to the Oriana library . Day time entertainment while at sea was dire and could have been so much better . The lifeboat speaker was very good but had exhausted all his material by the second talk and from then on was scraping the barrel . The best entertainment was provided by other passengers eg. Speaker`s Corner . We were often disturbed by excessive noise- loud music etc . This was because of the location of our cabin on Lido deck . Read Less
Sail Date January 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
We spent New Year 2015/2016 on P&O VENTURA on a 4 day cruise going to Zeebrugge and Amsterdam. And the bad outcome was my fault 100%. Of course the question is “why did I choose P&O ?”. Two main reasons: 1) Never been on it and ... Read More
We spent New Year 2015/2016 on P&O VENTURA on a 4 day cruise going to Zeebrugge and Amsterdam. And the bad outcome was my fault 100%. Of course the question is “why did I choose P&O ?”. Two main reasons: 1) Never been on it and I just wanted to try and 2) Previous year I was on Queen Victoria on the same type of cruise and itinerary and I was thinking that being under the same corporate umbrella the experience will be more or less the same. On top of that my favourite cabin was not available on QV so I choose Ventura to spend the longest night of the year. BIG MISTAKE ! Why ? Ventura, which launched in 2008, aimed apparently to transform what many people consider P&O's somewhat stuffy ambience to one more in tune with the times. The result was a floating pub resembling more a ferry than a cruise liner. As I read, in April 2013, the ship had a multi-million pound makeover including new soft furnishings in the cabins and new carpets throughout but the result is a ferry pretending to be posh and taking you back in ’70 cheap all-inclusive sea side resorts. Embarkation/Disembarkation Even if a fast track embarkation and a dedicated check-in desk are promised for suites on our arrival in Southampton a “charming lady” sent us in a line shouting that P&O don’t do dedicated check-in….”maybe only for the Cpt”. On disembarkation we were queuing on stairs, in a very well organised chaotic way ignoring any safety rules but having an “intellectual touch” as the queue was passing twice the Art Gallery. Quite happy when we reach the shore ! Accommodation Ventura has 1,555 cabins, of which 434 are inside, 1,103 are outside and 881 have a balcony. Aiming for the best experience we choose the most expensive cabin on board (£2000/person/4 days) – ORIENTAL SUITE. There are two of this kind on Ventura, side by side on Deck 12 right at the aft of the ship, 742 square feet (with a 216 square foot balcony). And the Penthouse was the first shock on board. The living area and the bedroom were very generous from the living space point of view, with a lot of storage space and big balcony and bathroom. The deco was what made us scream; a lot of unused space, with furniture that reminds me of a ‘70s all-inclusive cheap resort in Spain with some random paintings who seems to come directly from a B&Q sales. When spending a quite afternoon in the living room I had the feeling that the deco was the result of a “choose the ugliest and the cheapest stuff you can find” competition. According to P&O website a Penthouse includes some “special touches: Butler service, daily canapes, and a Senseo coffee machine with complimentary pods included”. The reality was a little bit different: the coffee machine was replaced with a kettle and the coffee pods with some instant coffee sachets, the daily canapes were randomly selected from the yesterday buffet’s leftovers. The Butler was like a drop of fresh water in the seat: very kind, polite and excellent manners. “Fortunately” his first class service was “well balanced” by the rudest steward I ever meet who has as a main duty to moan every day, sometimes twice a day about almost everything. Even the tip (50 Euros for 4 days) wasn’t good enough for him and he told us off after we had a little cocktail party with some friends in our room. Looking again at P&O website I can see that is mentioned for Penthouse “a flat screen TV, MP3 compatible music player, an iron and ironing board and trouser press plus White Company amenities”. And again … 25% correct! The TV hand an excellent free movies selection but the system didn’t work most of the time and the “play&pause” option was a non-sense. The music system was indeed Bose (wow, wow, wow!!!!!) but didn’t work (still pretty as a piece of furniture) and the iron was probably recuperated from Titanic after staying on the bottom of the Ocean for couple of decades. Initially I was very happy with the amenities as the 4 bottles (shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion) of White Company were a bonus for the cabin. The surprise was that after 2 days when we requested an replacement we were told by the “nice” steward that we are not entitled to get new ones – “only one set per cabin per cruise”. I was checking the P&O website again and didn’t find any information about 2 mandatory showers/cabin/cruise … maybe I missed the page! Dinning P&O’s marketing blurb claims there are 10 restaurants. There aren’t. There are five genuine restaurants (Bay Tree, Cinnamon, Saffron, The White Room, and East); the rest are more casual eateries. Having a penthouse we were entitled to have our dinner in Cinnamon (Deck 5, midships) on a freestyle basis. No difference in the menu between this restaurant and the main one - Bay Tree and to be honest I don’t believe that Marco Pierre White, the creator of the menu, apparently, will be happy with the “corner pub” style of food or “whatever, I aint bovvered” rushed service style. I think for those who will be brave enough to try P&O in the future and eat in the main restaurants the safest option is a salad and a “eat quick and run” dinner style. I manage to take a photo of the “delicious” petit fours at the end but unfortunately I missed the “alien” lamb served that night. For a company that sells its cruises on The Fine Dining experience. Silver Service has gone, but they won't tell you. Wine waiters have an impossible work load, not leaving their previous duty until they are already required for Dinner Service and then too many tables. It's obvious then that most tables are not even going to get their wine order taken until after they have started eating and most will not get ... their wine until they have started main course. This is far from Fine Dining and nothing like the claims made in the brochure about attention to detail to the whole food and beverage experience. In the Cinnamon the portions were a bit mean - one floret of cauliflower and broccoli as vegetables on one occasion (no opportunity to reach '5-a-day!). We had dinner twice here and we decided to try our luck in the speciality restaurants. And there was a different story. Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to be awarded the coveted Michelin star, brought his highly sought-after talent and years of experience to Sindhu, a fine dining restaurant where you can experience modern Indian cuisine with a British twist. Fabulous service, elegant deco and amazing food mad worth it the fee that you pay for dinner there. Dinner menus are changed twice a cruise and are drawn from dishes in Kochhar's Benares Restaurant in London. For starters expect shammi kebab (spiced lamb cakes), jai tarang (pan-fried hand-dived scallops) and gosht ke dhuandhar soole (marinated smoked beef skewers). For mains we had Atul's signature plate of lamb rogan josh, chicken murgh and cod jai pari which was sublime .And Sindhu was actually the best dinner we had on board. For New Year Dinner we opted for The Epicurean, positioned right at the back of the ship high up on Deck 17. The former White Room now is an elegant space, with plush carpets and dark furnishings; the menu for kind of imaginative, creative cuisine - molecular gastronomy type - which has style as well as content. The menu presents as traditional but the dishes are re-interpreted for today's modern palates. The New Year dinner, which has a double price than a normal one, included different types of wine with each course and lots of other fun touches: Bloody Mary lollipops to start with a dash of Worcestershire sauce in the centre; salt and pepper oyster and jumbo prawn tempura that comes with an artist's 'paint tube' of sweet pimento sauce; a sorbet designed as a tube of lipstick or a 'poached egg' with a 'yolk' of mango and a 'white' of coconut milk. Again a great decision to spend the night there. One of the few drops of style and class on Ventura. Entertainment I always believe that cruise entertainment attempt to be generally of high quality but this is clearly where P&O cut costs. Very little entertainment during the day and the quality and choice in the evening was not much better. P&O doesn't go in for the huge West End-style productions the big US ships have popularised. Instead, expect British comedy; revue-type shows where the emphasis is on the singing talents of the performer rather than what's going on behind her; and magicians, ventriloquists and tribute acts. On two evenings the entertainment was a film, yes that's correct, a film. On another day a young artist called Karl Lewis was an Olly Murs (!!!) tribute who later in the week returned as himself. He bore no comparison to either. The band called “The Flyrights” were more interested in “chatting up the chicks and having some booze” than performing on stage. Havana, the main nightclub and entertainment venue, where movies are sometimes shown, is an activities room by day and a sultry Cuban-inspired club by night, but sight lines are extremely poor from many seats. Lucky the band “Serious Souls” performed time to time there making the venue more attractive. A video wall in the Cosmopolitan club lounge screens real-time footage of the world’s seven most famous city skylines – Sydney, Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and London but in the evening reminds me a pub in Crawley Friday night. P&O claims the 785-seat Arena Theatre, at the front of the ship and spanning two decks, is the largest show lounge aboard a UK-based cruise ship but in fact the show lounge aboard Queen Mary 2 is larger, with 1,094 seats, as is the Show lounge aboard Independence of the Seas. But that was the place were we have a surprise. “Destination Dance” was the only real entertainment during our 4 days on Ventura. Excellent choreography and performance, amazing lighting and costume, fantastic choice of music and vocals made this show even better than the same production seen couple days later on Queen Victoria. But in general to set a comparison the entertainment was at a level that would expect from a local town talent show. Ventura Fellow Passengers That’s a very delicate point because, based only on what I experienced on board Ventura between 29th december to 2nd of January, I think P&O build its business model around the crowd on board. Food, entertainment, service style (a lot of “All right mate ?!” and “Cheers mate !” in the staff vocabulary) are created for fans of “let’s get pissed in the pub” kind of fun. A typical short cruise will have one formal night and the rest will be 'evening casual', which is defined as open necked shirt and 'tailored trousers' or smart jeans for men; dress or casual separates for women. Forget the rules don’t expect something like that on board. Ventura during this New Year Celebration Cruise was an invasion of bad hair extensions, massive fake eyelashes, cocktail dresses two size smaller when the dress code was formal and of course jackets, ties and bow ties removed and abandoned on chairs, sofas or necks after 5 minutes of wearing. Class or style can hardly find a place on corridors or decks full of ladies collapsed on the floor and crying for lost love around 1.00AM, having in one hand a glass with Echo Falls and in the other the shoes. Was like they were filming a new episode of Benidorm on board! By the way Ventura is the first cruise ship where I saw in the buffet an “Enomatic wine dispenser system” … and that’s says all! Of course reading P&O Facebook page and other sites I realised that P&O and Ventura in particular have a big army of fans. From this point a view P&O scored big time as they created a product for a certain type of market. However if you look for style, class, service standards, elegance and enchanted experience for sure you have to look somewhere else. Is nobody to blame….P&O do the right thing for the right market. Was me who booked the cruise! But at the end of the day our journey was part of a learning curve. Fortunately for us after 4 days on board P&O Ventura we board Cunard Queen Victoria for a 7 days cruise. And, like in the L’Oréal advert, that will smooth the wrinkles of Ventura’s experience! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We arrived at the Mayflower terminal at the allocated time, but there was a very long queue to leave car.Eventually after 1 hour of waiting we left our car to be parked by CPS. Checked in and boarded immediately and went straight to our ... Read More
We arrived at the Mayflower terminal at the allocated time, but there was a very long queue to leave car.Eventually after 1 hour of waiting we left our car to be parked by CPS. Checked in and boarded immediately and went straight to our cabin B756 Aft with very large balcony. Overall my impressions are that Ventura is looking a bit tired even though she had a refit in April 2013. Bed was comfortable but pillows too thin, bathroom ok again a bit tired looking and stained including the shower curtain. Towels must have been there sinc she was first in service because they were always thin and rough and need replacing. Balcony glass on the inside was very dirty ? sand/rain from the Canaries but hadnt been cleaned. All these things I kept my eye out for the steward but only saw him once ! We were allocated Freedom dining for the first time in 6 cruises but it was ok met lots of people to talk over dinner with,service and food was ok but not amazing and had to wait for wine/water/rolls /order to be taken at times. Beach house was very good for a supplement but failed to get into Glass House or Sindhu as hadnt booked and it was full with 1.5 hr waits at lunchtime on the enforced sea days. Trip to Brugges was "Brugges at your own pace" a P&O excursion, but having dropped us off the coach we had to walk into the town through a park, well I cant walk very fast and use a stick as I have a bad back and 2 bad knees, and the guide just frogmarched us off and I couldnt keep up , particularly on the way back at the end, i was the last person to get to the coach and they were all waiting for me! Very embarrassing!! Also there was another lady with a walking stick like me, and she just disappeared so dont know where she went! Probably gave up and got taxi back!! Unfortunately due to the wind we were unable to dock in Amsterdam for New Years, very disappointing especially as the Q Victoria was already docked there. Couldnt be helped I know but we were not offerred anything as a recompence,eg, free wifi or a glass of champagne to celebrate! We spent the next two days at sea coasting down the English Channel at 5 knots, where P&O will have made a lot more money out of us due to 2 sea days and we docked at midnight in Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As avid cruisers, this was our first cruise in the winter for New Year and it ended up a choice between Cunards Queen Victoria and POs Ventura, both offering similar itineraries from Southampton to Amsterdam for New Year and as we've ... Read More
As avid cruisers, this was our first cruise in the winter for New Year and it ended up a choice between Cunards Queen Victoria and POs Ventura, both offering similar itineraries from Southampton to Amsterdam for New Year and as we've sailed with PO before, we decided to trust the brand we know, big mistake. "Discover the best of Bruges and celebrate the New Year in Amsterdam" is what the brochure said......... What it failed to add is that you're highly unlikely to get there in the winter unless the weather is perfect and the seas are calm, why..... the Ventura only has a 5 metre tolerance to maneuver up the narrow canals to Amsterdam and does not have the same type of thrusters as the Queen Victoria (who made it), least that's what we were told by the captain as the we approached Amsterdam in the early hours of New Years eve, then turned around! This was a cruise with an advertised itinerary of Southampton, Bruges, Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Southampton, which turned out to be Bruges with 3 days at sea! As a consequence we spent 2 days over the New Year drifting in the North Sea on an over crowded ship with very little entertainment or things to do. To cap it all off, the final evening after dinner we thought we'd try our luck in the casino only to find signs on all the tables and machines saying it was closed, presumably because we'd came home early to Southampton and we were no longer in international waters! Knowing what we know now, we would never have booked the Ventura for this cruise and why PO would plan this ship and itinerary is a mystery. Apparently this same New Year cruise was on the smaller Oceana last year, maybe they got greedy and took a risk on the bigger ship, who knows. Overall, apart from Bruges which is a beautiful city any time of the year, this cruise was a disaster and we would certainly not recommend it to fellow passengers. PO had no 'plan B' despite the obvious indications that we would not make Amsterdam, they offered a lukewarm apology at best from the captain and no compensation whatsoever, not even a free drink, despite what I would consider a major change on the itinerary advertised. We will certainly not be returning to any PO cruise ships in the future. Embarkation / Disembarkation An excellent start to the holiday, early arrival, small queues and on board within 45 minutes so no complaints there. Just as swift a departure, called at 9.15am and in the car by 10.00am. Accommodation We had a balcony cabin on R deck (14), the cabins are a decent size and well laid out with plenty of storage although they are starting to look rather tired and dated. This deck is just under the main pool deck and food hall and we had read reviews about noise from sunbeds, but we thought as it was winter this would be ok, we were wrong, the noise from dragging chairs and tables was constant from around 7am until late in the evening. Dining My previous experiences with PO dining has always been very positive however this was by far the worst dining we'd experienced on any cruise ship in the main dining room. We were on freedom dining and allocated to the Saffron restaurant, overall the experience was slow with poor service, bland food and really small portions, like Gammon, egg, few peas 4 chips! Although this was freedom dining, New Years was changed to a set dining time and this should have been the highlight of the cruise. Wrong again, the whole evening spoilt by the fact that we sat at 8.45pm, asked 4 times for a waiter to serve us drinks which we eventually received when we were being served our dessert around an hour later. I seen some people walking out of the restaurant to go and collect drinks themselves from the red bar nearby, not what I would call a fine dining experience! Entertainment The usual combination of live bands and tribute acts, overall standard was average. Other than a few movies there was very little on offer during the day, however this is probably because we not supposed to be on the ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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
We went on the Ventura this December at a cost of £4875.00 in a superior cabin on the 9th Deck. The weather was very rough the fast few days and the cabin creaked all through the cruise. We only had 3 nights sleep out of 12 because of the ... Read More
We went on the Ventura this December at a cost of £4875.00 in a superior cabin on the 9th Deck. The weather was very rough the fast few days and the cabin creaked all through the cruise. We only had 3 nights sleep out of 12 because of the noise from the cabin. We complained on the second day and was told it was how the ship was built and not made for bad weather!!. On the 3rd night we were so tired we complained again about the creaking In the cabin. And the cabin supervisor came to see us and again told us the ship expands with the bad weather and that's how the ship was made. I was very frightened and so was other passengers that we spoke to. My husband also was very sick after eating a burger on board as the person serving the burgers used the same rubber glove to serve burgers and chicken and bus and fries. We did not use the dining rooms but send the Self service restaurant where the food was not very good. I will never use P&O again . Have used Royal Carribean Ships and they are so much better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We sailed with P&O on a Christmas cruise on the Arcadia out of Southampton in 2013. It was heavy weather but we are used to bad weather and the whole cruise was a relaxing, enjoyable experience. We'd booked late for unavoidable ... Read More
We sailed with P&O on a Christmas cruise on the Arcadia out of Southampton in 2013. It was heavy weather but we are used to bad weather and the whole cruise was a relaxing, enjoyable experience. We'd booked late for unavoidable reasons but it was inconsequential. My husband was 80 on Christmas Day 2015 and we booked on Ventura to celebrate. True we had to book late again because a family member was terminally ill and subsequently died. We booked a superior balcony cabin which was not allocated and no explanation was given, P&O couldn't even answer our email. We telephoned customer services to ensure freedom dining and were given that assurance. 1 The weather was not quite as bad as we have experienced previously but the effect on our cabin was appalling. We had fitful sleep for 7 days because of the constant vibration of ill fitting walls and ceiling. There was also a noise which can only be described as like wet washing hitting a wall. We complained continuously. Wedges applied to the ill fitting coving made no difference. 2 On 19th we received a letter informing us that we were allocated a dining time of 20.45 on Christmas Day. No effort had been made to tell us that freedom dining would be suspended. We do not query their right to do this but they should have warned us prior to booking when they were given an opportunity. The restaurant manager told us he had been innundated with complaints about the later sitting and he could do nothing about it and we could eat in the buffet if we didn't like it. He was irritated an dismissive. I have a medical condition and cannot eat late. Christmas Day evening was like a school canteen. Their were long queues and the food was luke warm and really inedible. The restaurant manager acknowledged that the situation was unacceptable but asked what he could do about it? We had already passed a closed dining room where the ship's officers were dining in style. 3 A lot of passengers are not using hand sanitisers before entering restaurants. On the Arcadia a crew member was allocated to each dispenser and courteously but firmly directed diners to use it. This ship is not well managed. The cabin staff and the waiters etc are lovely, kind and considerate. The management is inept and P&O is too focused on marketing to concentrate on providing essential information to passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We had been allocated 15.30 embarkation time, however we decided to leave our hotel around 2pm and after being given a coloured letter card we were on board by 2.30 and our luggage was already at our cabin. Our steward Nicholau introduced ... Read More
We had been allocated 15.30 embarkation time, however we decided to leave our hotel around 2pm and after being given a coloured letter card we were on board by 2.30 and our luggage was already at our cabin. Our steward Nicholau introduced himself and explained procedures as we were freedom dining that let him know when he could service our cabin. He looked after us really well and on finding out that I didn't like ginger he never left them again, nothing was too much for him, or cabin was C603. We found the service in the main restaurant to be very good much better than we received on Arcadia but found the choice of meals to be rather limited and P&O had removed the always on option. We ate once in Beachouse which we fond to be good value but last time we ate in the equivalent on Azura there was no charge except for a couple of dishes which still carry extra charges. The weather was a little lively for first couple of days and the ship rocked and rolled a lot on the Friday night so had little sleep. We have had a lot worse conditions but nowhere near the movement we received on Ventura. The entertainment was a bit hit and miss with some being really good and others poor. The Ents team did their best but they were short staffed for the entire cruise. One of the best nights was Christmas Day quiz in the pub it was hilarious. We did Mountain of Fire in Lanzarote which was brilliant. Disembarkation went very smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Embarkation was good, inside cabin was ok but next time will get a window. Queen bed was Comfortable should have brought my own pillows. Shower curtain was too short and I slipped on my back the first night, should have put towels down. ... Read More
Embarkation was good, inside cabin was ok but next time will get a window. Queen bed was Comfortable should have brought my own pillows. Shower curtain was too short and I slipped on my back the first night, should have put towels down. Cabin Stewart was very good and we found all the staff very helpful. We had freedom dining and we loved the choice of the food waiters were excellent. We hated having to pay for wfi. Entertainment was ok. Got fed up with woman running sequence dances just for the benefit of about 12couples in the Antrim. House band was good. Will choose a smaller ship next cruise with all inclusive drinks.our bar bill was high and we had no on board spend. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We decided to have a change for Christmas so booked a 12 night holiday on the Ventura one of the P&O line, we have sailed on this ship previously so we were expecting great things from P&O because all the cruises we have been on ... Read More
We decided to have a change for Christmas so booked a 12 night holiday on the Ventura one of the P&O line, we have sailed on this ship previously so we were expecting great things from P&O because all the cruises we have been on with them have been excellent. We were not disappointed, even Santa joined us at the delight of all concerned. As expected the staff, food, entertainment etc all were of top quality and the holiday was perfect except for the problems below. Embarkation was different from the last time we sailed, we arrived early and had to wait some 2 hours plus before we were called to the front desk for our photo's and clearance before boarding. Disembarkation was a pain in the neck we must have walked around half the ship with people taking short cuts and jumping the queue. If P&O keep this procedure they need to block off all other access points to make sure that that used is the one they are using. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We did enjoy the cruise but a few parts were disappointing! Are departure was smooth apart from we didn't book parking in advance. We were told just to turn up,it was included in our package and someone would take our car when we ... Read More
We did enjoy the cruise but a few parts were disappointing! Are departure was smooth apart from we didn't book parking in advance. We were told just to turn up,it was included in our package and someone would take our car when we arrived. But apparently we had to book it before, we then saw a very small print at bottom of email,you must book it your self !! So we had to pay £135 to sort this but p&o on board did add this to our on board spend. Our room was great queen size bed and a fold out sofa bed for the teenage boys but was a bit worn and springs made lots of noise when my son moved in the night. balcony was large. Lots of choices of films on TV. The room was cleaned twice a day with tea & coffee refills,chocs and biscuits! Ship is very large,takes awhile to find your way. Pool at back is very nice place to Sit and get some sun ! The staff are all lovely We had freedom dining .... Food was like pub grub nothing special, and uninteresting old school 80s food. we did eat at sindhu twice,well worth the extra money £15ph. Drinks well priced some great wines at good prices,soft drinks can soon add up for the kids over 13 days so be careful. Free cold water and coffee,teas are available at buffet,so make use ! You can bring on your own drinks but must be drunk in you room there doesn't seem the be a limit! But would Carry on in hand luggage to avoid breakages ! The weather was warm in its 60s, we had 3 sunny days the rest was over cast but that's just pot luck ! The boys enjoyed the pools on board & my oldest loved the gym never was busy lots of great machines. The sea days were a bit boring shows ok, if any good they were packed !!! So get there a hour before or you will be standing ... Tom Jones & Phil Collins are great ! And there was a great band which played a lot in the tamarin bar got everybody dancing. Queuing didn't find a problem everybody has to wait. The restaurants give u a pager,if they can't sit you straight away. Buffet seats hard to find but you can always walk in the next loung or eat by pool. Pizzeria is free and are thin and delicious. Food off shore avoid the restaurants near by with laminated picture menus.... walk up side streets,we found great tapas bars in Tenerife and Lisbon and well priced ! Lanzarote was the worst place we visited nothing really to look....I recommend you do a excursion !!!! We Wished did :) High lights Lisbon,grand canaria,Madeira Tenerife. grand canaria we didn't sail until 8pm so when back off shore later, we found a lovely out side bar covered in amazing lighting at bottom of shopping centre just near boat port !! cheap drinks,no wines though, Only Spirits served in big wine glasses lots of ice big measures...drinks 11.50 euros; great night cap ! The travel back was so slow and could have stopped off in brittany. But I suppose p&o make more money if your spending on board. The people on board are mainly older but in school term times sure this changes. My son really liked the kids club staff are great ! We did come out of the tips only because we were charged for the children too £240 a bit expensive we thought. So we tipped our cabin man and some waiting staff. We would have preferred to tip every night after our meals at table. Maybe p&o should pay more wages then we wouldn't be expected to pay in to tip. Would we go again maybe but would try Mediterranean/Caribbean Caribbean cruises liner next time for us looks more fun and modern:) Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
GOOD First and foremost Headliners Theatre Company. Thoroughly professional, energetic and imaginatively choreographed. In particular lead vocalist Jayson Keeler was outstanding. Best we've seen on a cruise. We also enjoyed E. ... Read More
GOOD First and foremost Headliners Theatre Company. Thoroughly professional, energetic and imaginatively choreographed. In particular lead vocalist Jayson Keeler was outstanding. Best we've seen on a cruise. We also enjoyed E. Sarah Carter, a talented and vibrant fiddler. Embarkation and disembarkation straight forward and organised. Art consultant Lindsay gave interesting and informative lectures. Fitness room well equipped and spacious. Guest lecturer, Kathy produced well researched, interesting talks. Cabin Steward Ports of call. Quiet breakfasts at Tazzine (Coffee card advised) Tea and biscuits in cabin NOT SO GOOD Ship needs a makeover. Stained carpets, inadequate cleaning and a lack of maintenance in some public areas. Food variable. Bread not fresh and on one occasion too stale eat. Soup cold but not Gazpacho! Breakfast in Saffron dreadful, cold poached eggs sent back and no pot of tea so waited ages for refill. Service in Baytree at Dinner good ( maybe a little too fast) and one Gala meal was first class but most meals okish with excellent sweets. Not possible to 'lap the deck' as front section mostly closed due to bad weather? Had to walk back and forth and past lots of smokers so I did a bit of passive inhalation on my walks. Stern of Promenade Deck often awash and deck often crowded so v. dangerous to run. Shows so popular that it was wise to arrive a least 30 mins before start to get a decent seat. TV and interactive stuff slower than a one legged cheeter. Read Less
Sail Date November 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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