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587 Southampton P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

I chose this because it was one of a few that covered Christmas and the new year. The decorations were far below that of two greats ago. There was no Christmas atmosphere. Christmas jumper competition judged on the day of ... Read More
I chose this because it was one of a few that covered Christmas and the new year. The decorations were far below that of two greats ago. There was no Christmas atmosphere. Christmas jumper competition judged on the day of departure, before most passengers had received their luggage. Bar staff pandered to long time cruisers and other passengers had to wait for service. Passengers sat at the bar making it difficult to get service. Bar stools should be removed. Entertainers were always too loud. Food in the buffet was always cold, although a good choice. The cabin steward was, as always, excellent. There were a lot of mobility scooters to avoid. One lift was permanently out of order, while a second one was also sometimes out of order. Some Children were left to run around the ship instead of being supervised by parents, going up and down in lifts, while other passengers had to wait for them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Absolutely excellent cruise. Went with my parents and grandma. I'm 16 and love cruising. A great way to get away from the mayhem of a modern Christmas and enjoy a traditional Christmas with grandparents and friends. The itinary was ... Read More
Absolutely excellent cruise. Went with my parents and grandma. I'm 16 and love cruising. A great way to get away from the mayhem of a modern Christmas and enjoy a traditional Christmas with grandparents and friends. The itinary was great despite the first and last days being bitterly cold in the Bay of Biscay. We called at a number of ports: Lisbon (Xmas Eve-warning hop on hop off bus red route great (blue less so)but stops at three on Xmas Eve) , Lanzarote (we did the fire Mountains tour well worth it sutable for all ages as not much walking needed highly recommend esspecially if you have young children or are a person that wants to do something different but can't walk far), Gran Canaria ( hop on bus good but nice just to walk around the streets- old town quite away from ship so shuttle required. Going up the cathedral town is a must...alift is in side), La Palma( mountain hike tour well worth it if your like a good hike. It is down hill but the views at spectacular and there's a cafe at the bottom by a light house which serves excellent canarian potatoes), Tenerife ( went to Siam Park great day out good for all ages something for everyone from little slides to a wave machine to big slides), Madera ( despite the rain it was an excellent day rounded off with the fire works for New year's Eve which were spectacular they definitely didn't dissapoint. We had a berth in Madera so got the best views). Despite what people say P&O still have very high standards all the staff cherry and nothing to much bother . Food excellent a d great variety but some dishes do lack a little flavor. The buffet is small,too small compared to the open plan one on Aurora and Britannia but despite this food variety was good and the afternoon tea and late night snacks good especially the roulard. Hot chocolate is on offer but needs to be asked for. Had breakfast in both venues equally good and on Christmas day they served buxfizz in the main dinner room so well worth going there on the big day. Food variety was a little samey for breakfast but generally good and always served with a smile. Didn't have lunch in the dinning room so can't comment but lunch in the buffet was always different and nice especially the deserts and meat. Our cabin was C518 with a bunk. Excellent service from our steward Sanjo nothing too much trouble and always said hello when he saw us. One little niggle is was a bit small for two adults and a 16 year old son so a superior Dulux is worth it but the bunk was very confy. Balcony very large bigger than cabins above at same price so C deck cabins are well worth it. And extra special treat was meeting our cabin steward from a cruise 18 months ago who remembered us istantly remembering our names and talked with us for a good 40 mins. That's personal service! Our captain was the delightful Andrew Willard whos morning announcement was fab. Over the cruise he worked through the sounds of the twelve days of Christmas and always had a thought for the day. He was obsest with his gesse whos recording kept squaking at the wrong time. Also in Madera and at the peninsula club cocktail party he sarcastically talked about Queen Victoria's Madera disaster which was very amusing as we're all his announcements. Great captain and easy to talk to as he wondered around the ship. Ventura her self was well kept apart from a few areas her decks are nice and you can even walk round the bow on the prom when the wind isn't too high. Some parts of the deck were closed at times but after asking and officer it was for H&S as the wind was too strong to open doors safly and spray was coming on the deck. The other side was open however. Embarking was quick wasn't on priority but were onboard with in 30 mins of arrring at the terminal the quickest emarkation we have ever had. Disembarking was a little slow but were off with in out timed slow. Overall the cruise was great and I and my family would do it again. If you are looking for a cruise for the festive period this is a great trip with warm weather. A cruise not to be mist! And don't believe what people say about p&o they are top class we have sailed on a few other lines and p&o are top of the charts as they are truly British. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarkation as always was good,as priority passengers we arrived early and sat in departures and had our complimentary coffee and biscuits,on ship by midday and straight through to champagne lunch,really is a fantastic start to the ... Read More
Embarkation as always was good,as priority passengers we arrived early and sat in departures and had our complimentary coffee and biscuits,on ship by midday and straight through to champagne lunch,really is a fantastic start to the cruise. We were in suite at back of ship,we always choose this as it's lovely sitting out in the huge balcony. The cabin is nice but 5*? no,not really,quite dirty looking,though that is nothing to do with our lovely cabin stewardess Rose,just years of build up dirt I suppose. I have to mention our butler Dinesh,we have sailed many times with P&O and he was by far the best butler we've ever had,he really couldn't do enough for us.An absolute credit to the company. Can't comment on entertainment as we've never really liked it and don't go to the shows etc. Service,yet again,second to none,I really really can't understand some reviews when they say the waiters are rude and surly,we have NEVER come across this at all,we always have the best laughs with them.The drinks waitress in the dining room came to serve us and when she took our name,she looked at us and said "Weren't you on this cruise last year" could not believe she remembered us.They are amazing,each and every one of them. Unfortunately though,we will not be sailing with P&O in the near future,after numerous cruises with them over the years,their standards are slipping,the food for me (vegetarian) was absolutely awful and it pains me to say it,as it used to be delicious in years gone by,last year I noticed it had gone down a notch but this year,was almost inedible,so my husband and I dined at the speciality restaurants most of the time,which you have to pay extra for but was worth it I have to agree with the other reviewer re the captain,he was fantastic,he should be a stand up comedian,he had the whole ship in hysterics,with his antics,Andrew Willard if I remember rightly,captain of Oceana usually All in all,we did enjoy ourselves but that is because we disappear into our suite half the time and enjoy our balcony and of course the destinations,especially Madeira We have decided to give Cunard a go,I go on a cruise to enjoy the specialness (is that a word)of it but alas these days it's all trainers and jogging bottoms,and people moaning that they have to get dressed up,for gods sake,it's only 4 times in the whole 14 day cruise. Also the rudeness of some people,also mentioned by other reviewers,PLEASE,why do you choose cruising,go for a booze up at Blackpool,where you don't need to dress up. P&O has lost it's way unfortunately,it needs to decide who it's catering for,is it the cheap holiday brigade,who eat more food than their body actually needs or is it the cruisers who enjoy the occasion.Anyway,not for us anymore.Such a shame Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Joined the Ventura on the 21st December 2018 in Southampton and I must say the embarkation process could not have been any quicker, from arrival to emabarkation 15 minutes. Our cabins became available at 2-00pm and our luggage had ... Read More
Joined the Ventura on the 21st December 2018 in Southampton and I must say the embarkation process could not have been any quicker, from arrival to emabarkation 15 minutes. Our cabins became available at 2-00pm and our luggage had already been delivered. So far so good. Overal condition of the cabin was good BUT on entering the bathroom it stank strongly of urine. Immediatly bought it to the attention of the cabin steward who also immediatly steam cleaned the complete cubicle and all was well again. A general tour around the ship indicated it was still looking good after the recent refit with the exception that 6 lifts were PERMANENTLY out of order for the complete cruise. I would expect it on the first day when they are delivering luggage but not for the whole cruise. At times this meant that there were long delays in getting lifts. The Freedom dining experience was good on the first evening but after this the quality of food seemed less appealing and the table stewards we had were not very talkable and we never saw a smile from them. The deck 15 buffet was of it's usual standard but I did not expect to see Thai green curry and paella on a "Best of British" theme night. The Captain appeared to carry out the role of both the master of the vessel as well as the Entertainments manager when ever he made announcements. He also counted down the 12 days of Christmas with all types of animal sounds. Quite amusing and as the cruise progressed the laughter got louder from the guests. The most popular area of the ship appeared to be the Exchange bar and Tamarrin bar. The shows were of an average standard wuth the exception of 2 young classical singers who were "Stars" and received a standing ovation at each show. Christmas Day came & went with no extra items laid on and as Father Christmas had visited the ship on Christmas Eve it appeared weird. The usual ports of call were ok although the weather was not the best it has been at this time of year. New Years Eve was spent in Funchal, Madeira and the Firework display was "FANTASTIC" We had the best berth available to view it and even the Queen Victoria had to anchor out. HOWEVER, immediatly the display was over everybody returned in to the inner areas of the ship only to find things closed. The atrium area was like the Maria Celeste. The only people there were crew members picking up the balloons that were dropped at 1145pm. The Tammarin bar was empty and the coffee bar area was closed. It was a big dissapointment for those of us who wanted to be inside the vessel and continue the evening. I must say that the Beach House restaurant was worth the extra charge but we were not overjoyed by the Epicurean. We were informed that the Flambee would be cooked in the galley and then they used a cigarette lighter with alcohol to light it at the table. Not like the last time when it was prepared at the tables. Overal Assessment: The cruise was nice but not memorable for the right things. The standards appear to have dropped slightly in my opinion and the friendlyness of the crew does not appear to have the zing it used to have. (Maybe its the long hours they are required to work?). I will travel with P&O again and have done many times but only if I am unable to obtain the same with its sister companies where in my opinion the standard is higher and morale is better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
P & O's Ventura is a lovely ship with many good amenities, lovely caring staff and good food. We could fault nothing about the ship. However, we were amazed at the type of passenger that it seemed to attract. Perhaps we chose the ... Read More
P & O's Ventura is a lovely ship with many good amenities, lovely caring staff and good food. We could fault nothing about the ship. However, we were amazed at the type of passenger that it seemed to attract. Perhaps we chose the wrong cruise, going to the Canaries in the midst of Winter or getting away from it all over the Christmas period. There were a large number of people on board who would have been better suited to a few weeks in Benidorm or Blackpool rather than a luxury cruise. They had no manners, had foul language and many were covered in tattoos. They pushed and shoved in the eating areas and had no consideration for other people. I can only surmise that P & O must have had difficulty in selling this particular sailing and discounted many cabins to appeal to this low-life. I also think that this company should consider limiting how many wheelchairs and mobility scooters are allowed on their ships. I can appreciate that disabled people are entitled to a holiday but too many on one crowded vessel just causes problems. Many a time I came across arguments in lifts and I, personally, resorted to using the stairs. The users just barged through regardless of others and on one occasion a whole tray of food went up in the air and the contents spilt all down the wall. We paid for one of the best cabins on this ship, which was a blessing, as we could have some peace and quiet when required and had marvellous service from all the cabin staff. In future we will not be travelling from Southampton as this seems to attract the "Bargain Brits". Our next cruise will be a fly-cruise with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
For years we've met fellow travellers extolling the virtues of P & O and we decided to give them a go with Britannia. Not for us we thought... Well, Ventura was an absolute delight. Some of those supposedly high end cruise ... Read More
For years we've met fellow travellers extolling the virtues of P & O and we decided to give them a go with Britannia. Not for us we thought... Well, Ventura was an absolute delight. Some of those supposedly high end cruise companies (I'm looking at you Aszamara) could learn an awful lot from Andy Willard and his crew on how to give good service. Captain Andy Willard is an out and out gem, a veritable nautical Terry Wogan; with all the excellence that implies. Pryesh our steward was marvellous - again the premium cruise lines could learn a LOT from his example. Friendly, hard working but not intrusive - perfect! The food was excellent, the cruise itself marvellous. For the first time ever I even enjoyed some of the onboard entertainment (we usually don't go). Better still there was little of the 'gracious living' claptrap that some of the other cruise lines indulge in. Excellent all round and a very pleasant surprise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
We had our first experience of a cruise 5 years ago with MSC, and I wasn't totally sold on cruises at all. Hence 5 years before taking this one. We liked the idea of sailing out of Southampton without any airport faffing, so went ... Read More
We had our first experience of a cruise 5 years ago with MSC, and I wasn't totally sold on cruises at all. Hence 5 years before taking this one. We liked the idea of sailing out of Southampton without any airport faffing, so went on the 9-21 December trip to Iberian Peninsula. Cabin:- Our inside cabin (B536) was an upgrade to mid ship & was great. Larger than I was expecting, and perfectly adequate for a 12 night cruise. Our Steward was a delight (thank you Nithesh). The only downside of an inside cabin is obviously no window, no natural light - so it's easy to sleep in (without setting an alarm), and a couple of times we'd dress, get up on deck and realise we needed another layer of clothing - but, in our opinion Inside cabins are well worth the money you save on an Outside or Balcony. Public areas:- I can't speak highly enough of Ventura as a ship, her crew, all the staff and the areas. A good range of bars and lounges to suit most tastes. The theatre shows were very good. The Headliners were brilliant, as were the visiting 'cabaret' acts, only one comedian was a bit underpar in my opinion (TR), but you don't have to go, and there are plenty of other things to do and entertainment to see. We were very fortunate to have a table for 2 at dinner in the Baytree (perferable to us, rather than being on a table for 8). We thought the meals were fantastic, with a good choice, and 4-5 star quality. Our waiting staff were lovely (thank you Willam, Rohit and Revino). We used the Buffet a couple of times. The food was good, but it was mostly a bunfight at busy times - so to be avoided at peak times. Gym was huge with a wonderful outlook. We went on excursions at each of the Ports with Valencia being favourite. Unfortunately the Cadiz tour, was death by facts and figures, and turned what looked like an interesting old town with a lot of history into a bit of a snooze fest. My only suggestion to P&O would be to have more accessible drinking water on the ship e.g. a couple of drinking taps on board, so guests can fill their water bottles without bothering staff, or increasing plastic bottle waste. The bathroom water is apparently drinkable but was too chlorinated for me, and the only way to fill up drinking bottles is to ask a member of staff to do it for you - & even then (at Costa) they aren't allowed to just fill it up from the tap, but need to put water in a glass & then you fill up your bottle. We met some lovely people on board, and also a few of the enevitable serial moaners (we had been warned by friends who cruise alot). It amazes me that some people, on holiday, seem to spend a large portion of their time moaning about it, then go on to tell you this is their 100th cruise and that they are already booked onto the next one. So not that bad then eh?. ;-) Overall a fantastic trip, and we are looking at booking our next one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarkation was quick and we were able to go on the ship straight away, the atrium was decorated with a large tree. Despite very poor weather on the run down to Madeira for 2 and half days, the captain changed some of the evening ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and we were able to go on the ship straight away, the atrium was decorated with a large tree. Despite very poor weather on the run down to Madeira for 2 and half days, the captain changed some of the evening activities. We enjoyed the cruise and ports of call and had booked 2 excursions unfortunately the deep sea fishing was cancelled due to lack of numbers, but was able to book a different excursion. A new excursion was trekking in Lanzarote which was well guided a small group of 11 took part. Our cabin was clean and serviced to a consistent standard, indeed we rarely saw Jay at all. We had booked freedom and as a group of 3 got the same table every night. The waiters were excellent and nothing was to much trouble if you wanted more you just had to ask. Entertainment was the usual mix of headliners and guest stars as seasoned P&O cruisers did not watch many as seen most before. Dancing in the Atrium is a little small and there was always a lack of seating, the hosts were very good and did a good mix of ballroom and sequence dances. The gym has some new equipment installed and was busy at times but there is enough so you can find free kit to use. During the cruise the rear staircase carpet was being replaced, we had no problem with this as it was phased and only 1 side was done at a time, we were also told that the tv system was being upgraded. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Just back from a cruise to The Canaries, rough seas at the beginning but then the sun came out in Madeira and the Canaries. We did freedom dining and could never fault a meal, always hot and served efficiently, the waiters were ... Read More
Just back from a cruise to The Canaries, rough seas at the beginning but then the sun came out in Madeira and the Canaries. We did freedom dining and could never fault a meal, always hot and served efficiently, the waiters were extremely kind and friendly. We also dined in Sindhu and the Epicurean, again both lovely dining venues. Shows onboard the ship were excellent and well produced. Our cabin steward worked tirelessly as did all of the staff on the ship. I am writing this review as whe we were leaving there was one lady complaining very loudly about the cruise, nobody around her was agreeing with her but she still kept complaining, finally saying she was going to Fred Olsen, I loved the cruise for many reasons and so did many other passengers. We already have another 3 cruises booked and can’t wait for them. We really enjoyed the dancing classes with Graham and Margaret, we also met some lovely people Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
we don't fly so cruise from a UK port overall we had a great cruise , only 2 snags, 1 they seved gluten to my wife, also went to Indian and she was ill, but apart from those 2 incidents we had a geat cruise, ship was full and it ... Read More
we don't fly so cruise from a UK port overall we had a great cruise , only 2 snags, 1 they seved gluten to my wife, also went to Indian and she was ill, but apart from those 2 incidents we had a geat cruise, ship was full and it was difficult to get into some venues unless you turned up an hour early also films where put on mostly at 1pm when we where having a sit down lunch drink prices where good and they didn't add a service charge ,would have liked draught beer in restuarant . Best ship yet for choice of gluten free food, waiters need to be trained better on allergies , my wife ordered a meat plate at lunch it came with a slice of pork pie on, she sent it back and all they did was cut the crust off and brought it back, one speck of gluten can make her ill she is very sensitive and a coeliac the head waiter appologised and we know mistakes can happen but this was just wrong cabin staff could not have been better nothinng 2 much trouble will use P & O again Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
So nice to have a classic cruise instead of the hard sell, glitzy, quantity over quality that other companies seem to be providing now. Embarkation was seemless and from leaving our hotel to sitting in the buffet on board took just 45 ... Read More
So nice to have a classic cruise instead of the hard sell, glitzy, quantity over quality that other companies seem to be providing now. Embarkation was seemless and from leaving our hotel to sitting in the buffet on board took just 45 minutes . Ventura is comfortable, clean with great food and lovely staff. We enjoyed the ships excursions we took in Gibraltar and Valencia although the guide in Valencia had poor English. We thought they were reasonably priced. The buffet was probably our only disappointment on the Ventura. It is far too small and cramped with little choice but there are always other options. The food in the main dining room was excellent. Always hot and delicious and served with a smile. The extra charge meal in Epicurean was on another level. Well worth the small extra cost. The cabins were clean and comfortable. The beds were great and we slept well. Not too keen on the old fashioned shower curtain in the bathroom but the toiletries provided were good quality . Overall we had an excellent cruise on a lovely ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our second P & O Cruise of 2018 and also our second on Ventura, the last being in June 2017. We selected an 11 night cruise down the West coast of Europe and just into the Mediterranean. As normal we chose to drive to ... Read More
This was our second P & O Cruise of 2018 and also our second on Ventura, the last being in June 2017. We selected an 11 night cruise down the West coast of Europe and just into the Mediterranean. As normal we chose to drive to Southampton from home in Lancashire and set off very early being as it was a Monday sailing expecting heavy traffic. Traffic and conditions were favourable so we had a great trip and having left at 3:45 we arrived in Southampton at 8:30 and this was the only place we met heavy traffic. A walk around the Southampton shopping centre occupied us until we ventured to the terminal at noon and we were soon on board and venturing to the buffet for a welcome lunch after our early start. Cabins were announced as being ready so we made our way to deck 11 and B714 on the port side towards the rear. The cabin was average in size but very comfortable with a small but efficient bathroom. We met Jessica, our cabin stewardess who was excellent in the way she took care of everything brilliantly yes was hardly noticed at all. Once unpacked we decided to check out the ship and look for the recent changes from its partial refit. There was nothing major but all very clean, several new carpets and looking smart and refreshed and almost a copy of the Azura that we had sailed on in June. We had our favoured dining option of freedom dining so generally went for evening G & T’s followed by dinner between 7:45 and 8:30 in the Saffron Restaurant. The food was markedly better than our last trip on Ventura and all of a good standard with reasonable choice. We really prefer to be on a table for two and achieved this every night, we had a few short waits but nothing major. We ate all bar two dinners in Saffron, the other two we opted for the buffet, more for a change than anything else. We breakfasted in Saffron most days and this was always good and very hot. Lunches were taken in a mixture of buffet and Saffron and were all nice. The buffet could be a bit of a scramble sometimes with the ship being full but they kept up well from the kitchens but I must say the set out and lay out of Celebrity ship buffets is better than P & O ships. This time we did not visit and of the ‘pay for’ restaurants as we enjoyed the main dining room so much. We enjoyed all ports, Lisbon where we have visited before was again an excellent choice, the second port was Valencia, a new port for us that was OK, Cartagena was our Sunday port and a really nice city that I would be very happy to return to. The port is just walking distance from town so a very nice change from many port stops. Gibraltar was the next port and the only rainy day of the trip so we did our duty free shopping and decided against a trip up the rock. The final stop was Cadiz but we had pre-booked a ships trip to Seville and we really enjoyed this as one of the nicest cities we have been to in Spain and a host of photos full of memories. We had a sea day for the final day en-route back to Southampton and a gentle sea as we crossed the Bay of Biscay. We availed ourselves of most bars over the cruise but as we are not big drinkers so it was more for a change of scenery than anything else. We enjoyed all the production shows that the Headliners cast put on and were of a great standard. In fact I would go as far as to say this Headliners cast were probably the best we have seen on a P & O ship to date. Bernie Flint still had the audience laughing. In other lounges the entertainment was good but the Cruise Director was a little bland and for me could have been more outgoing without but without the Butlin's style. That said his team worked hard and deserve praise. Normally we book about two months out from a cruise but this time we booked on board to come back to Ventura for a Canaries cruise in November 2019 with the offer of decent on board credit. We did our usual of carrying our own luggage off so we did not have the hassle of sitting around waiting so were off quickly and back home in Chorley for 1pm after a good trouble free drive home. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had a good cruise to Jersey with Aurora in June 2018, so booked again for Brugges with Ventura in November. The orginsation is good, luggage taken even before the entry hall and it arrives at your cabin door before you do. We had a ... Read More
We had a good cruise to Jersey with Aurora in June 2018, so booked again for Brugges with Ventura in November. The orginsation is good, luggage taken even before the entry hall and it arrives at your cabin door before you do. We had a balcony cabin which was really great. As we were on a two night cruise we didn't see much of the sea, none-the-less good to have. The ship was great in terms of communal spaces and decor, a real feeling of deluxe. The most disappointing part was the food, not the same standard as the Aurora, two meals of dried up fish, tasteless chicken stuffed with quail. The waiter couldn't tell me the names of cheeses offered. Brugges is 20 mins away from the dock gates by coach. This isn't for anyone with any sort of mobility problem as you are left at a bus stop about 1 mile walking from the centre. I didn't see anywhere this was explained in advance. Later came back on board early afternoon and went to the Glasshouse buffet on Deck 16. The salads for starters were all good, The main meals were not very appealingly presented. We eventually chose fish & chips, but the fish was dry and inededible, Something needs to be done about the help yourself chip tongs which produce about 3 chips a time with a long queue of people waiting behind you. We would have liked to go to the cinema as with Aurora, but told no cinema on board. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Booked this cruise as a way of seeing Bruges, fat chance! This was a weekend two night cruise with one port of call Zeebrugge from which we could visit Bruges. On the morning we were due to dock in Zeebrugge announcement was made saying ... Read More
Booked this cruise as a way of seeing Bruges, fat chance! This was a weekend two night cruise with one port of call Zeebrugge from which we could visit Bruges. On the morning we were due to dock in Zeebrugge announcement was made saying it was too windy to dock and we would spend the day at sea! The sea was not rough and there was no movement on the ship. The announcement was very low key in fact 2 hours later at 9.05am there were still a lot of people having breakfast who were still unaware we were not going to dock! I feel we were treated very badly, with very little communication about the situation. The entertainment on board was very average. There were long waits to get a table in the restaurants in the evening but I'm sure P&O are very happy with the extra revenue they made by having everyone onboard all day! We have cruised with P&O several times but certainly won't be booking with them any time soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The embarkation process was very efficient and worked well. Our cabin was clean & comfortable, the food excellent, entertainment poor, communication by newsletter or PA not very helpful. There was no information about the Saturday ... Read More
The embarkation process was very efficient and worked well. Our cabin was clean & comfortable, the food excellent, entertainment poor, communication by newsletter or PA not very helpful. There was no information about the Saturday activities, only for the Sunday. We had wanted to to visit Brugge again but no such luck. At the last minute at 7am Sunday morning it was announced that ' too windy to dock at Zeeburgge ' the whole point of the trip! There was no rocking and rolling to be felt so we were very surprised! We just meandered along the English Channel by the White Cliffs of Dover all day and returned to Southampton. P&O must have made a packet!! If each passenger spent £50 on drinks or in the shops on board they would have made £150,000! When I cancelled the taxi I booked the taxi driver said it definitely not too windy. Wouldn't travel with P&O again after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We normally sail for around two weeks, and we were worried that 7 days would be too short to enjoy our holiday, however the Ventura did us well. Embarkation was extremely quick with little to no waiting, we were on the ship within 20 ... Read More
We normally sail for around two weeks, and we were worried that 7 days would be too short to enjoy our holiday, however the Ventura did us well. Embarkation was extremely quick with little to no waiting, we were on the ship within 20 minutes or so. The ship is lovely, felt warm and cosy without seeming old or dated, plenty of areas to relax and it never felt crowded in the public areas. The outside pool areas were nice, the pool at the back is very quite and relaxing, and the inside pool (although it got loud during the day) provided shelter when cold and was a nice area. Dining was overall good, but there is room for improvement. The MDR was always up to a great standard, heavy on seafood but pleanty of other choices and some options that always remained the same. Service was good and attentive, and we always left feeling well fed. We ate there 2 times for dinner. We ate there twice also for breakfast, menu was a good size offering plenty and is a good alternative to the buffet (more on that later). We didn’t eat in there for lunch. We ate in the Epicurian twice for dinner, Sindu once and the Beach House once. All were amazing and well worth the extra charge. Sindu was our favourite, meals were unique and creative but tasty and familiar enough to not seem crazy or over the top. Service was incredible and it is a shame we only ate in there once. The Epicurian was also very good, providing a nice fine dining experience. If your looking for a slow, relaxed meal that doesn’t leave you feeling over-indulged then this is the place for you. Food was very creative and tasty which left everyone satisfied with their meal. However as said, service is slow (they cook everything to order) and took around 2 hours, so leave plenty of time. The Beach House was our least favourite (but still very good) and were satisfied eating only once. Portions were huge and very indulgent, so not the right spot if you’re looking for a light meal. Entertainment was repetitive, but what we did see was good and enjoyable. Comedians, shows and live music were the main entertainment. Service was generally good, waiters were happy and friendly (even in the buffet) very attentive (you don’t have to wait long for a drink) and the entertainment crew were funny and enjoyable. Our cabin steward was good, didn’t see much of him but did a very good job and was friendly. We traveled with our teenage child, the activities were good and he made friends, the staff were very lovely and really enjoyed working there. Overall a good cruise, and would possible cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive ... Read More
The embarkation process was smooth, arrived and checked in within 30 mins. Our cabin was indoor, c366 and was as expected. Not a huge amount of hanging space/storage but for a short cruise was adequate. It was a port intensive cruise. We visited Gijon, it was meant to be la coruna but due to poor conditions the port was changed. A nice coastal resort worth walking to park and headland opposite old town. Bilbao we didn’t do an excursion we got the shuttle to town. Did an independent walking tour, took the funicular up for views. Took the metro to areeta, walked back via there to ship 3.5 km - nicer than central Bilbao. La Rochelle was lovely. €9 to enter all 3 towers. Loads of eating choices. No need for excursion if forecast is good. Cherbourg we went to mount st Michael. Our guide was rather eccentric and got only an hours free time after excusing ourselves of his company. Journey was 5 hours. Organised ship excursion and the most disappointing Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise for a 3 night break. Never cruised with p and o before and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We chose a balcony cabin which was kept immaculate by jay our steward with plenty of hanging and storage ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a 3 night break. Never cruised with p and o before and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We chose a balcony cabin which was kept immaculate by jay our steward with plenty of hanging and storage space . The restaurants offered a varied selection of food which was always hot or cold depending on your choice. Hand cleanser was compulsory on entering especially in self service. Entertainment was of high quality. Bar prices where the same as hotel prices with a large selection of drinks. Embarkation and disembarktion were incredilbly easy . We visited the historic town of Bruges with its cobbled streets and canals. Plenty of bars and chocolate shops to occupy your time with a horse drawn carriage ride to take you to exquisite small areas is really a must. A fantastic time and ready to book another 3 night break..or longer........! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It had been a long held dream to sail to Santorini ................ Unfortunately we did not get to see Santorini or Mykonos on this cruise (the whole reason why we booked the cruise) and of course no one can argue with the forces of ... Read More
It had been a long held dream to sail to Santorini ................ Unfortunately we did not get to see Santorini or Mykonos on this cruise (the whole reason why we booked the cruise) and of course no one can argue with the forces of nature that were blowing through the Greek Islands at that time - but there was no comparable alternative offered. Just an extra day at sea (in the safe knowledge people would spend even more money in the shops/bars etc) Followed by a visit to Sardinian port, on a Sunday, which to all intents and purposes was closed. The half day visit to Gibraltar could have been extended I’m sure but that wasn’t to be. From the moment we came out of hiding in Piraeus, it seemed to be ‘full steam home’. The Captain could have been more communicative throughout this time, although P&O will say that’s NOT what passengers want! We paid five thousand pounds for a very disappointing cruise and for the money P&O must have saved by cancelling three ports and having an extra day at sea, the insult of ‘ a free drink 'with the Captain' in compensation is truly shameful. Entertainment was poor with the exception of a Gary Barlow tribute act. During the day there were all sorts of lectures and seminars which didn’t have universal appeal. Bizarrely, on one occasion, you could have your tongue examined for free in the Spa, along with the usual overpriced ‘treatments’. Unfortunately, P&O appear to have an archaic pseudo class system in place. We paid for our balcony at a higher price than they sell to their preferred 'loyalty' guest and yet because we chose to eat every night in either the Waterfront or Beach House, something as simple as blue cheese was not available unless we were prepared to eat in the Cinnamon which is cramped, noisy and to be honest when we visited The Cinnamon (just the once) the food was tasteless and lukewarm. By comparison, the food at the Waterfront was lovely, always hot and enough choice. The chefs were friendly and approachable and the waiting staff at both venues are absolutely 1st Class - fabulous. If P&O do not have a critical look at themselves and NOT move forward with the times, we feel they could be left with the same reputation as SAGA once had as the 'cruise line for the elderly cruise snobs' because that's exactly the kind of cruise we feel we have just experienced. We are absolutely sure that the time we took to answer their survey following the cruise will have been for nothing. Although P&O seem to have a monopoly on sailings from Southampton, we would think seriously about booking with P&O again. They need to bring their cruises into the 21st century - look at Royal Caribbean and yes even NCL & Marella on which we have had much better experiences. They won't of course, because they probably prefer their elitist, pretentious customer base, of which we are not. We are both professionals and wear uniforms daily and, along with many other passengers, we chose not to dress up in the P & O uniform of black tie on the formal evenings. Subsequently we were ostracized to the Waterfront, which suited us just fine. Everyone we ate with in the Waterfront and Beach House were dressed beautifully for dinner. Not once did we see anyone looking 'under-dressed' or 'scruffy' but the attitude of some of the old regulars towards 'dress code' is incredibly supercilious and snobbish. One ‘gentleman’ ordered a fillet steak on a lava rock – (which you cook yourself) he sent back to the kitchen as he didn’t like the way it was cooked !!! I don’t know how the wonderful staff put up with people like that. We overheard terrible comments being made about guests who chose not to wear black tie - I wonder if those same snobs would be particular if a paramedic and nurse who were not in formal dress might need to attend to them in an emergency ? Shame on P&O for encouraging this archaic attitude. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
P+O have certainly dropped their standards no doubt in search of greater profits that come at the expense of their passengers. We have been on several P+O cruises before and was always reasonably satisfied but this one was bad from ... Read More
P+O have certainly dropped their standards no doubt in search of greater profits that come at the expense of their passengers. We have been on several P+O cruises before and was always reasonably satisfied but this one was bad from start to finish. We missed three ports out of the seven scheduled stops and had only half a day instead of a full day in Zante, I appreciate that the weather was bad but my complaint is that P+O didn't tell us untill onboard and at the very last minute, plus inspite of the very substanial and additional savings they must have made, offered only a glass of wine as compensation stating repeatedly that we had signed their terms and conditions and health and safety as excuses. When I say their standards have dropped I really do mean it, this was very expensive cruise by P+O standards and we were expecting a little bit more than usual but almost emediately we could see the changes and shortfalls. 1 Large flying/crawling insects all over the ship 2 Dirty and greasey tide marks around the pools 3 Slashed seating and stained dining chairs 4 No cushions on the outside wicker chairs or glass tops on wicker tables 5 Theadbare carpets in various areas 6 No proper wine waiter / waiter service at meal times was well below previous standards 7 Dirty smelly cigarette/ash bins in smoking areas 8 Room service now charged for Plus many more We have comlained to P+O has did many more of the passengers but apart from a standard acknowledgement we havent had any other reply. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The embarkation was reasonably quick after being kept waiting in our car for 15min by a lack of baggage porters. Once on board lifts were a problem due to one on each floor aft end out of order causing unacceptable wait times. The ... Read More
The embarkation was reasonably quick after being kept waiting in our car for 15min by a lack of baggage porters. Once on board lifts were a problem due to one on each floor aft end out of order causing unacceptable wait times. The cabin c631 was clean and tidy although a little drab colour wise, our steward was friendly and helpful. The Baytree restaurant the food was imo predictable nothing to really get you excited , the waiters were very busy indeed often having to run ! around the restaurant . The waterside deck 16 the food at times could only be classed as canteen quality! Drinks onboard were reasonably priced The pool area was very pleasant was always possible to find a sun bed For three nights at £900 for 2 would we book anther Ventura cruise No This was our 3 Ventura cruise after a a gap of 8 yrs standards have dropped . Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Good itinerary inc. Rome/Naples/Sardinia, and whilst we are not anti-kids this was the first one outside the school holidays. Usually take a suite but prices were crazy, typically double what we normally pay, and P&O were still ... Read More
Good itinerary inc. Rome/Naples/Sardinia, and whilst we are not anti-kids this was the first one outside the school holidays. Usually take a suite but prices were crazy, typically double what we normally pay, and P&O were still offering a suite at top price on the morning we sailed. Opted for E730 Superior Deluxe and it was great with the big end/corner balcony, and none of the horror stories about noise from the nightclub below or engine vibrations - there must be some very picky light sleepers who find this cabin a problem. Lots of familiar friendly faces in the crew who remembered us from previous cruises and were genuinely pleased to see us and chat and update us on the families, lovely. Food was generally good in MDR and Buffet at lunch, and lots of veg. choice, not all green beans as some so often point out. Galley tour and Brunch was good. Buffet not as frenetic as it can be and far less table reserving whilst one goes to the Buffet and one stays holding table - which takes too much time if tables are busy. MDR menu cycles are a bit repetitive, same cycle for a number of years, but with ten main course choices at dinner not an issue. Epicurean continues to be a delight, and on day one excellent value at £17 per person. Did three shows all good, "Phantom" singer, comedy pianist, and Astonish which was amazing, OK you can work out some of the illusions but not all, and I'm still trying to work out the 4 card trick you all take part in! WW2 talks are same/similar as in all previous cruises over the years, and are getting a bit long in the tooth, you will be c90 now to have been in service in WW2. Some new topics perhaps, still military, what about Falklands, and current armed forces? Dancing is not my love although the Leader of the Opposition loves it and I can get round the dance floor. Goran and Roanna who we have been with before are excellent, and with Roanna even I thought I could Cha Cha. Met some nice fellow dancers and "watchers". Wheelchair/scooters not as many as can be sometimes, and none were demanding special service/queue/lift jumping. Second time on Ventura this year and 6/7 times overall. Been on other P&O ships and all good but we like Ventura and Azura best - big enough to have everything but not too big, mind you we will give Iona a try. Booked two cruises on Board - best value. Took one P&O excursion to Amalfi coast and Pompeii excellent, two through Cruise Excursions Barcelona Gaudi and Rome under our own steam - dropped off at the Colosseum and picked up at St Peters, easy and Rome done leisurely. Captain was quite visible around the ship and approachable. Rescued three migrants halfway between Africa/Spain, an increasing issue I suspect, well done to passengers and Bridge spotting them. Embarkation and disembarkation seemed to be further tweaked and improved, very little waiting around or big queues. An excellent cruise as ever. Martin Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Always use Penguin Parking, their service is outstanding. From our luggage being taken at the quay, we were on the ship in 10 minutes, and enjoying coffee and cake in the Waterside buffet. This was our fourth Ventura cruise and our 7th ... Read More
Always use Penguin Parking, their service is outstanding. From our luggage being taken at the quay, we were on the ship in 10 minutes, and enjoying coffee and cake in the Waterside buffet. This was our fourth Ventura cruise and our 7th P&O ( Oceana & Britannia previously. Chose an inside cabin forward, on deck 12 (A) very quiet, new carpets and throughout the ship too on it's re-fit last spring. The bathroom had had a makeover too, new shower curtain-as Ventura is 10 years old don't expect the glass screen , ship design has come a long way since then, so it you want it up to date choose a newer ship. Cabin steward Malou worked tirelessly, pure delight, always had great service on P&O. Freedom dining is always our choice ( the Iona will be that throughout ) hope all the other ships can be changed too. Food in the Saffron was excellent, always a choice, the Glass house is also good - a small cover charge- amazing fish and chips there. Waterside buffet, again good, tended to go there for lunch, just a salad as so easy to over eat on a cruise !!!. Preferred breakfast in the Saffron. As the cruise was outside the school holidays, it was virtually adults only. Entertainment was good , The Headliners shows are well put together, their new show is '' Astonishing ''' and it really was, I will not give anything away, but DO DO the card trick exactly as directed. X factor winner Sam Bailey was excellent. Just had a slight question mark on the ' Hi Tones ' a 60's tribute band- it may have been a hic-up with the sound, but the lead was maybe slightly off key. There were more than enough sunbeds, just one or two passengers did the ' towel syndrome ' !!! Captain Marcin Banach was informative, the best one we have had so far, he dealt with the two problems professionally and courteously, picking up three young guys on a stranded jet ski !!! and a medical emergency. Ports :- Barcelona - Did the Nou Camp tour- a brilliant guide - amazing tour even if you are not into football. Naples - Did the Capri tour - Capri on your own - and did the boat trip round the island, it was busy as a saints day - that Sunday... Civitavecchia - Did Lake Marta... and the winery, superb views all the way but the wine was not to our taste - too acidic. Monte Carlo- As were were delayed due to the emergency, out tour had to be cancelled so be just wondered up to the Cathedral in Monte Carlo... harbour full of the most expensive yachts you could ever see. Cagliari- Dis our own thing exploring the town, do climb up to the to near the Cathedral for the views . Gibraltar - really just main street for real duty free shopping !!!!, the rock was in cloud so we have the cable car a miss.( not particularly attractive the town ) Disembarkation was quick and efficient, and Penguin Parking there in minutes. A cruise from Southampton beats any waiting in an airport!!!!, we booked Iona whilst on board- and can transfer the booking to ones own travel agent - also two further cruises booked, Britannia & Azura. Yes I feel P& O get things right, and the bar prices are not overboard. Dining experience excellent, yes you will get the moaners, but they should book a different cruise line !!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I had read some reviews after booking and was a bit concerned that we had made a mistake but we cannot fault the service we had or the quality of the food. We used the coach service and were on board very quickly. We had an outside cabin ... Read More
I had read some reviews after booking and was a bit concerned that we had made a mistake but we cannot fault the service we had or the quality of the food. We used the coach service and were on board very quickly. We had an outside cabin which was very clean on level 8. The soundproofing was better than I expected as I didn't hear other people and I am a light sleeper. We opted for second sitting and ate in The Bay Tree where the service was excellent. We also ate at the same restaurant for breakfast. All the food we ate was lovely and my husband is a picky eater but they made everything that he requested. The entertainment was not really to my taste, but I don't have mainstream music taste. There were plenty of bars to choose from so somewhere for everyone. The pool area wasn't somewhere I spent much time, too many noisy kids but it was school holidays so at other times it would be quieter. We had mixed weather, not what we expected for the time of year but you cannot do anything about that. My husband doesn't like flying so we gave it ago, but we won't rush to book another. I think we prefer the Eurostar with longer on land. Too much sea time for us. If you like cruising I have nothing negative to say. I thought the ship was kept spotless and the carpets looked clean everywhere. All the staff worked very hard. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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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