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155 Southampton P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

After reading some of the adverse remarks on Cruise Critic, we were a little apprehensive of what we may find on this ship, but I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. When weighing the pros and cons up with Celebrity and Royal ... Read More
After reading some of the adverse remarks on Cruise Critic, we were a little apprehensive of what we may find on this ship, but I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. When weighing the pros and cons up with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, P & O came out very well. Not perhaps as luxurious as Celebrity but just as good, if not better, than RCI. We found the Staff to be very pleasant and helpful, especially our Cabin Steward, Monoj, who always remembered our slices of lemon and ice for our G & T's!! If you treat people well, you will usually find the same treatment. We chose Club dining and again the food was better than expected, not as good as it used to be but nowhere near as poor as we had been led to believe on earlier reviews, and we are 'foodies' and quite picky! We ate in Sindhu on 2 occasions and thoroughly enjoyed the food - it has certainly spoilt us for our local Indian! The Glass House is a favourite of ours and never disappoints! We did not eat in Epicurean this time, as we feel £40 per head is a little over the top - the standard of food should be this good throughout the ship. We ate breakfast in the Bay Tree and often went up to the Beach House for a late lunch around 2 -2.30 when it was quiet and much more pleasant than the usual bun fight! We didn't see anyone dressed 'scruffily' at dinner as had been mentioned before - in fact people were much more smartly dressed than on Celebrity or RCI, especially on formal nights - it wasn't unusual to see lovely long dresses and white tuxedos. The entertainment was very good, especially The Opera Boys and Sam Kane and the Headliners were first class. A lot has been said about the loud music blaring out on deck, but this can easily be toned down, sitting on your own balcony or in the many quiet parts of the ship. The Metropolis was the best place for a drink before or after dinner, good atmosphere and music. A great shame that people don't actually get up and dance! There are lots of things we could criticise, but what is the point, it wont make any difference in the long run! Sometimes you have to just make the best of things! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My sister and I had already booked an inside cabin for the 6 nighter that followed this mini-cruise but decided to add this one to make a longer holiday. Managed to get a balcony at good price but would need to change cabins for the ... Read More
My sister and I had already booked an inside cabin for the 6 nighter that followed this mini-cruise but decided to add this one to make a longer holiday. Managed to get a balcony at good price but would need to change cabins for the second cruise. Embarkation was very quick and very well organised. We had booked our train tickets in July but didn't get our embarkation time of 3 pm until late August. Having arrived at Southampton station at 11.45 we decided to drop our luggage at the ship and see how busy it was in the cruise terminal and go back into town if necessary. However we were given a coloured card and had to wait just 20 minutes before we called and we were on board just after 12.30. Very impressed! This was my first P & O cruise and the first time in a balcony but my sister has been on the Ventura several times; always in a balcony. We wandered around the ship for a while so I could get my bearings...never did manage that! I always seemed to end up heading the wrong way or on the wrong deck! Everything was very clean. There were a few signs of wear and tear but given the number of passengers she must have carried since her maiden voyage that is not surprising. Most importantly - all the ladies toilets were working and were always clean. Occasionally one of the lifts would be u/s but the engineers seemed to get them sorted quite quickly. Cabins were available from about 2.30. Our cabin A640 was very good. Clean and spacious. No noise issues. The Air-con worked well. The bed was very comfortable. The fridge didn't seem to get very cold and the shower didn't work properly and the TV was on a go-slow. These were just minor niggles which had we been staying longer than 2 nights we would have reported. Although the weather was not the best it was nice to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. Muster was about 4 pm and then we were sailing out of a damp Southampton. According to a notice at the reception the ship was full. It did seem busy but not over crowded. There were a lot of hen parties dressed as sailors and several stag parties dressed as women....the ones in the tutus were particularly attractive! The atmosphere was very friendly and lively. The bars were buzzing and the entertainment was very good. The drinks were pub prices and there was a great choice of cocktails for between £5 and £6. We had freedom dining and were given a pager so we could have a drink while waiting for a table. The food in the MDR was all right. Not really special but not bad either. We had breakfast in the MDR on the Sunday morning. Very small portions and the hardest toast I have ever had. The food in the buffet was better than other cruise lines that I have been on. Sometimes not quite as hot as I might like but it all tasted fine. We also used room service one evening which was quite quick. We had booked an excursion to Bruges. Our guide was very informative. Everyone was given a little receiver and earpiece so she could communicate with the whole group not just the few who were standing near to her. I wish all excursion providers used the whisper system. We had an interesting walking tour followed by a little trip on the canal and free time to go shopping. I know Bruges is easy to DIY but as it was our first visit we like the security of organised tours. I think we left several passengers behind in Zeebrugge. Several names were called a few times and we were late departing but I didn't see anyone making a mad dash for the ship. Normally we enjoy the formal night experience but as we had two to look forward to on the second cruise and we were feeling tired we decided to stay in the cabin and order room service. This is where having the balcony cabin was a real bonus. Being able to enjoy the fresh air and look out for other ships etc made a very pleasant change. We had conflicting information regarding our change of cabin procedure. Twice we were told at reception we could stay until 10 am then someone would assist with the move. However our cabin steward informed us we would need to be out by 8 am so he could clean the cabin for the next guests but our new cabin would be available by 10.30. We left everything hanging up and repacked the things that were in drawers etc and went for breakfast. We changed our cruise cards at reception and at 10.30 we went to our new cabin. All our things were there so we just put our valuables in the safe. Very smooth. We disembarked via the crew's exit and walked past a very long queue of people waiting for taxis. According to the taxi marshal this is the norm for the short cruises as there is no staggered disembarkation as most people are carrying their own bags. We spent about an hour ashore and took advantage of P & O's alcohol policy and bought a couple of bottles of wine for drinking in the cabin. I enjoyed this mini cruise. It was good value for money and would certainly cruise on the Ventura again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The ship was very stable, all public areas, of which there are quite a few, were clean at all times. Some of the public toilets were not kept clean at all times and some even with soap missing. Breakfast and dining in the free dining ... Read More
The ship was very stable, all public areas, of which there are quite a few, were clean at all times. Some of the public toilets were not kept clean at all times and some even with soap missing. Breakfast and dining in the free dining restaurant like the "Breakwaters" lacked varieties with the waiters hovering around to clean the table as if asking you to get up as soon as you finish eating. Dining in the "Baytree Restaurant" was excellent, both food and service. Entertainment very very good both in the theater and on decks. Disembarkation and embarkation for shore excursions and also at the beginning and end of the cruise were smooth and well organised. The shore excursions themselves were very interesting with very professional guides always prepared to reply to any queries raised. Some of the staff at reception lacked the service with a smile and very rigid. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was a family cruise. Fifteen of us. Accommodated us all very well in the dining room with two tables next to each other. Also accommodated one vegetarian every night with a special menu. (Cruisers need to make known at time of ... Read More
This was a family cruise. Fifteen of us. Accommodated us all very well in the dining room with two tables next to each other. Also accommodated one vegetarian every night with a special menu. (Cruisers need to make known at time of booking if anyone is a vegetarian). All balcony cabins were good except one. There was a persistent knocking sound. After reporting to reception was moved to another cabin. Went during school holidays but did not really notice any children on board - we did not spend time by the children's pool. All the ports were walking distance - Vigo Oporto Lisbon Guernsey - no need to book excursions we felt. Entertainment was very good. Food was good although puddings a little disappointing. Also the buffet a little disappointing - not much chocolate in the way of cakes! We cruise every year but had five new cruisers in our party. The younger adults in our group said it was nice but were not hooked on cruising. One felt a little sick but soon overcame this. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We went on Ventura for our yearly cruise with 4 children under 11. We arrived at Southampton around 10 am. . It was a smooth embarkation with at least a 2 hr wait. Which wasn't the best for our 2 yr old daughter, but there was space ... Read More
We went on Ventura for our yearly cruise with 4 children under 11. We arrived at Southampton around 10 am. . It was a smooth embarkation with at least a 2 hr wait. Which wasn't the best for our 2 yr old daughter, but there was space for her to play. We went through security nicely and easily . When we boarded the ship we went up to the waterside(buffet)which was good for children but not a lot of choice for the adults. We had an announcement from the captain our stateroom was ready so as quick as we could we rushed up to see, we had a balcony NOT OVERLOOKED by other decks above on E our cabins numbers were E1921 we highly recommend this cabin for people who want to be near the water. Also you have a view of the whole ship, on deck 8. when the ships engines were turned on we felt the ship shudder. we went on deck and the sail-away party( best ever on a ship in a long time) there was karaoke, conga, dancing, famous bands and lots more! the next morning we woke up at sea, the ship rocked quite a bit. if you like prom decks ventura is the place. it has a full rap around prom deck you can even walk around the bow! food was good apart ( my son had a allergic reaction to prawns, bless him!) waiters excellent really kind and lovely. kids club was great lovely youth staff with all the kids in minds. entertainment good apart from ( 1st seating are due to watch their performance from 6-7 pm and that show is empty because they go and have a drink, then when its 2nd seating performance the 1st sitting think its alright to go and then sit in 2nd sitting seats and 2nd sitting have nowhere to sit .) THE BAD THINGS the ships layout is rubbish, you struggle to go from one end of the ship to the other. 0 points for people with disabilities p&o there are not enough lifts ( we struggled a lot with trying to find a lift). now the ships main POOLS are split in to two and are cramped and small as on other ship example- the MSC Opera has one long pool deck. in the buffet ( as on most ships these days ) does not have enough seats even though they have 2 buffets on 1 deck. the ships these days are just to big and in my opinion bigger may not always be better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Chose this cruise to celebrate wifes birthday, daughters birthday and our golden wedding. Generally very good but a number of noisy kids whose parents just were not interested in their activities. Carpets on cabin quite dirty, bed ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate wifes birthday, daughters birthday and our golden wedding. Generally very good but a number of noisy kids whose parents just were not interested in their activities. Carpets on cabin quite dirty, bed had broken spring, shower head very old and ineffective. Ship needs a bit of an upgrade. Cabin steward (Racquel) was first class and workerd very hard. Food quite good but they have cut down on choices. Entertainment quite good, Headliners as usual very good though we have seen some of the routines several times before. All in all a pleasant cruise to Greek islands and was very hot. Value for money? Yes, but the daily charge we cancelled and the £98 per person was cancelled. The photographers were not professional and did not have a clue about composing the shots, Also the prices for photos is just getting stupidly expensive. £17.99 for a 8 by 10 is just too much. Holiday cruise families turned this into Butlins afloat in some instances. We will niot do this again in july!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Just returned from our 3rd cruise with P&O. We did 14 nts on the med calling in 6 ports with 1 overnight stay in Barcelona (8th/22nd July). We had a wonderful enjoyable cruise with no problems at all..There are lots of moaners, as ... Read More
Just returned from our 3rd cruise with P&O. We did 14 nts on the med calling in 6 ports with 1 overnight stay in Barcelona (8th/22nd July). We had a wonderful enjoyable cruise with no problems at all..There are lots of moaners, as usual, goodness knows what they want or expect. We have done 10 cruises and loved everyone. Before leaving for our cruise I read all the reviews with lots of people complaining of bad service, poor food, dirty areas and rude miserable staff. Well we never found any of these complains to be true. The service we encountered was always spot on. All public areas were kept exceptionally clean, although on deck 7 smoking area, i'm afraid they always seemed to leave it in a mess even though there were bins for them, who do they think is going to clean their dirty mess up, you wouldn't do that at home (or would they). Also some of the complaints were about the type of people P&O were getting on the cruises, yes there were some, but the biggest majority were well mannered lovely people. The staff were always well mannered and helpful. CABIN; inside deck 12. plenty of wardrobe space etc., Lovely steward Kundan who kept it immaculate. One of the best stewards we have had. ENTERTAINMENT.We loved the Serous Sounds a Caribbean group who were on the Ventura in Sept, pleased they were still on. They certainly get you dancing. The resident Electrix group ok but the new girl singer no good. Some good comedians on in the bars. The Headliners put on some good shows in the Arena theatre. Our favourite were the Brit Tones a 4 man group they were excellent. The Tropical night on deck15 had a good atmosphere with the Serious Sounds playing. Everyoned dressed in Caribbean shirts etc., DINING we were freedom dining and sat with lots of different people each night all had good conversations, good food choice on menu in the Cinnamon. EPICUREAN We had fab meal there on the day we were leaving Rome. We sat on its balcony (aft) with the sun going down, good service.£3o supp pp GLASSHOUSE They did a special dinner there for about 12 couples (book early) it was a foodie meal where they compliment each course with the correct wine. We sat with a nice couple and got on really well, excellent £28 supp pp. WATERSIDE BUFFET We used the buffet for breakfast & lunch plenty to choose from.Gets abit chaotic at times but we got on with it. PORTS Gibraltar been before so only walked into town. BARCELONA shuttle bus into town where you can pick the red tour bus up which we did cost of 28 euros each. We still walked 8.8 miles. CANNES Beautiful port, went in by tender lovely walk along front, walked as far as the famous Carlton Hotel. ROME Did the excursion, Rome on your own, walked rather a lot but saw what we wanted as we have been before, I would like to add that we found Rome had got very dirty, lots of gravity, wasn't like that the last time we visited about 15 yrs ago. Very sad in such a beautiful ancient city, still enjoyed it though.CARTENAGA Lovely looking little port, had walk up the lovely shops area. SEVILLA excursion Sevilla on your own. Nice city, did the horse & carriage ride lasts about an hour 45 euros. but glad we did it because we did see alot more than we would have done walking. All in all had a smashing time, and cant wait for our next P&O cruise which is already booked.Dont take any notice of the negative reviews you read. This is a very large ship catering for 3000 passengers so they are not going to please everyone.Its only what you make of the holiday yourselves so enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
After 25 or so cruises mainly on RCI , NCL and Celebrity. This was our first P & O cruise. We chose the cruise because we were taking our 8 year old grandson on holiday and the dates fitted with other family commitments. I ... Read More
After 25 or so cruises mainly on RCI , NCL and Celebrity. This was our first P & O cruise. We chose the cruise because we were taking our 8 year old grandson on holiday and the dates fitted with other family commitments. I initially wasn't best pleased to find that we would be allocated a check in time and was unable to arrived at a time to suit our commitments and on departures day. However we were allocated 1300 and arrived at 1210 and were processed almost immediately, so that gripe was soon over and forgotten. I'm not sure I would have been so forgiving if we had been allocated 1500 and found ourselves with 3 hours to kill after having to check out of the Premier Inn Southampton at 1200. Ventura is a very nice ship, well kept and cared for, with some very pleasant public areas to suit all tastes ,we particularly like a quiet drink in the evening and are not big on entertainment so were very happy to find some nice quiet bars with background music. Our cabin was an outside cabin on deck 5 and I have to praise P & O and on its unique design with a large walk in wardrobe area cleverly separated from the main sleeping area . It was kept spotless by our cabin attendant, who each night lowered the overhead bunk to accommodate our Grandson. The food was, in the main very good and plentiful. Every evenings we ate early in the main dining room which allowed us to have a drink after dinner, whilst our grandson was entertained at the Children's Club. Our waiters in the MDR were excellent, probably some of the best we have experienced , they catered for our grandson from the children's menu, always finding him an extra treat at the end of each meal . The Children's Club and its staff just surpassed all expectations there were events and activities for all ages and our grandson just loved it. There are just a couple of adverse comments I have to make, firstly, apart from our waiters in the MDR and our cabin attendant who dealt with us personally, other staff just didn't seem happy, bar waiters just waited and if you passed housekeeping staff in corridors there was no smile or good morning, afternoon or whatever , however they all did their job and we were certainly not looking for friends for life but a little more interaction would do wonders from a customer service point of view , possibly we've just been used to better interaction on other cruise lines. Secondly there seemed to be times, especially during the daytime where there was little of no staff, especially in outdoor public areas, again not a huge problem as I'm not adverse to going to the bar to buy a drink but even then there was quite a wait to get served. Maybe these two points are relative to each other and P & O need to rethink their staffing strategies. One thing I don't normally relish are Formal Evenings, after 25 cruises they just seem to have lost their magic, which is one reason we particularly like NCL. However I bit the bullet took my black suit and actually enjoyed the Formal Evenings and it was good to see that P & O did their best to enforce the dress code where applicable, two formal nights on a 7 Night cruise was however quite enough for me. We didn't use any of the speciality restaurants, we very rarely bother with them unless they are so desperate for custom and offer discounts to get you through the door. We don't buy photographs as we have a perfectly good camera of our own , the nice thing about P & O was that staff weren't constantly in you face trying to sell speciality restaurants and a polite, "no" to the photographers and they went away. Prices on board were , we felt acceptable and certainly comparable to most four star European hotel or resort on land and 18% was not automatically added for a tip. We are not at all adverse to paying gratuities and prefer them to added our final cruise bill thereby prepaying before departure. However this facility is not available on P & O so a very reasonable £37.50 pp gratuity was added to our on board account and we certainly didn't feel the need to remove it and the good thing on P & O is that this was only payable by adult passenger One event that impressed us was the Sail Away parties held on departure from every port, these were amazing the entertainment staff worked hard to ensure their success and it certainly worked, well done P & O on that score. Overall a very nice cruise and we will certainly consider using P & O again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Chose this cruise because of a 'big' birthday, wish we'd waited another 2/3 weeks because the weather wasn't too good in the ports, the sea was calm though even across the bay of Biscay. I've cruised around 10 ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of a 'big' birthday, wish we'd waited another 2/3 weeks because the weather wasn't too good in the ports, the sea was calm though even across the bay of Biscay. I've cruised around 10 times, not on a ship this big before - I couldn't understand why people said it was too big? Possibly because of the amount of passengers...but you do know this when you book. Overall we enjoyed it, I won't compare with other ships - I have rated on 'value for money' - which this is definitely in my view is a definite 4 star. Some people paid the equivalent of £70 a day for inside cabins! Shows in the theatre were good, we also enjoyed comedians, the resident band Dynamite Groove in the Havana bar. We had cabin with balcony which was good when the weather allowed us to use it. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening meals, lunch was a little bit repetitive but there was a large choice so there was always something different to choose. The cruise news always included some 'hard sell' seminars I.e. Come along to see how you can lose weight, or deal with arthritis, back pain etc. - too much in my opinion.... The exchange bar was a large area that included casino, slot machines, large screen tv, bingo playing, resembled a pub taproom - I didn't use it because it has no interest to me. When the weather allowed there was a 'sail away party' - not my thing at all, very crowded, very loud music, passengers walking around with pieces of pizza in their hands, cheese dripping everywhere. Lots of smokers huddled in the designated areas... These negatives wouldn't prevent me using the ship again though - I just don't use the areas that I dislike... I have to agree with a previous review though - the dress code of some of the passengers leaves a lot to be desired, football shirts and canvas pumps in the evening is not acceptable - particularly on black tie evening...obviously not allowed to use the main dining areas in such attire but it did 'lower the tone' .... Overall, staff very nice and pleasant, cabin/bed comfortable, public rooms attractive, evening meal (flexible dining) very good, getting on and off the ship at Southampton was well organised. I didn't use any shore excursions, we like to do our own thing and this was very easy in all the ports - Lisbon, Cadiz, Valencia, Ibiza, Cartagena, Gibraltor. These were quite expensive for those people unable to walk into town, I would suggest getting a taxi from the port area, there are plenty available. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had cruised on Ventura last September and were a bit anxious about such a big ship as we had found Britannia not to our taste. However we loved her and so were happy to book again for this May.Arrived in Southampton at 1pm for our timed ... Read More
We had cruised on Ventura last September and were a bit anxious about such a big ship as we had found Britannia not to our taste. However we loved her and so were happy to book again for this May.Arrived in Southampton at 1pm for our timed slot of 1.30pm and were amazed that in less than 1 hour we were on board eating a delicious lunch in the Cafeteria. We had requested Freedom Dining as usual and were very happy to be given that option. It worked well and we shared tables with many nice people and found the change added to the enjoyment of meeting new people on a daily basis.The menu has been refined slightly from previous cruises but we were nearly always spoiled for choice. My Crab starter one evening was the best I have ever had anywhere. The weather was not as good as previous cruises with rain for the first 4 days but gradually improved.For the first time there were a number of small children on board and because it was so unpleasant outside the indoor areas became a bit crowded at times and the noise level at the indoor pool was a bit high. Not good if you wanted to relax with a good book..but we managed.!! For the first time ever on a criuse we were attracted to an offer for the Sindhu @ East Restaurant and so made a booking.What a good decision. The whole experience was superb from the attention of the staff to the delicious food we ate. So impressed that we booked again when the menu change happened during the second week. Would not hesitate to eat there again when we cruise next time God willing. There were three new ports of call for us..Valencia,Ibiza and Cartagena. All three worth a visit but Valencia was stunning. Hope to go again some day. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our 6th crise with P & O and can't wait to do the next one when time and funds allow. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Chose this cruise for itinerary and sailing from Southampton. No complaints with embarkation, we arrived early as did most people because of the weather but the wait was not too bad and went very smoothly. Once on board attended the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary and sailing from Southampton. No complaints with embarkation, we arrived early as did most people because of the weather but the wait was not too bad and went very smoothly. Once on board attended the emergency muster which compared to other cruise ships was pretty poor, no headcount to make sure everyone attended. Ship - It is a large ship and I,m sure we didn't see everything, not the easiest to navigate round but it is a nice ship. There are smoking areas on deck 7,15 and up one set of stairs from deck 15 and at rear on ship at the poolside bar. If deck 7 is closed off its because of bad weather and avoids injuries with heavy doors, it's for passenger safety so don't complain just go to the other areas. There are plenty shops, bars, seating areas. We see other comments about not enough seating areas, this is because people sitting about in the same places every day, just explore the ship and find somewhere else, there is a huge seating area with glass all round on deck 16 and is nearly always empty. We understand that on a previous sailing there had been a Nora virus outbreak. One thing that the ship needs to get to grips with is the hand cleaning, there are not enough sanitiser stands on the ship as compared to others but also not enough people using them. Dining - We had freedom dining and are both vegetarian, on past ships we have struggled but not here, the choice was great as there is a choice on the main menu and a separate vegetarian menu, the food was always hot in the dining room, we also had breakfast in the dining room every morning. We met so many nice people which made the cruise great. The Waterside buffet area is nice but the lay out is not good, anyone with half a brain can see that it should be a one way system, this would save on time,frayed tempers, accidents and spills. The food Was plentiful but we only went for a snack and not main meals. Cabin - room was a good size with great storage space for clothes, only down side was the shower had a curtain which is changed once a week, on second week the curtain was too short so the water went out onto floor. Our cabin was deck 12 A627 with small balcony Entertainment - Not the best , in the evening there were only a handful out of the 2 weeks that we enjoyed, we went to the 10.30pm shows and always got a seat. The daytime entertainment was an insult, same old same old every day with the timetable filled with talks about health & beauty, table tennis, cricket, port talk, and knit & natter!!!!!! The lectures could be seen on the Tv in your cabin, for a whole 2 weeks every day was a lecture about different drugs!!!! The channels on the Tv are limited but was not a problem for us. Come on P&O is this the best you can do. Ports & Excursions - most of the time we went ashore ourselves but the organised trips are a huge and I mean huge rip off so, if you can do the trips yourself I suggest you do because if you go with the organised trip you don't get much time to do anything. We had to go ashore using the ships tender at one port, the ship asks you to make sure you are fit enough to get on and off the tender, I must say a lot of people with sticks and walking aides were not true to themselves and should not have been on the tender. Service - the staff in the dining rooms were very friendly and polite and nothing was too much trouble, staff in the buffet areas were the same. The entertainment staff... Where were they!!! The officers were always polite but the one set of staff I thought were unfriendly and un-inviting were the security, not once was there a welcome from them as people embarked or dis-embarked. The staff in the shops were friendly whether you wanted to spend money or not. On every ship you meet people who just love to boast & compare about past ships they have been on but mostly complain. You can't please all of the people all of the time, all I can say is that there is good and bad on every ship and like any religion or political group if you could take a little bit of every ship/cruise line and put it together you would be happy... Perhaps. The Ventura is a nice enough ship, the itinerary was good, the cruse on a whole was good value for money. The weather was good for April apart from getting caught in the tail end of storm Frank for 3 days on the way out, that is beyond P&O,s control. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The cruise was very enjoyable on the whole but we did not like the ship as much as we liked Arcadia. As we had booked an early saver deal we were very pleased and surprised to get a high deck midships cabin.We also got our first choice ... Read More
The cruise was very enjoyable on the whole but we did not like the ship as much as we liked Arcadia. As we had booked an early saver deal we were very pleased and surprised to get a high deck midships cabin.We also got our first choice dining arrangements and in retrospect given the saving involved would be unlikely to book the select price again. We dined in Saffron most lunchtimes and the Bay Tree in the evening and found the service and food excellent in both.Apart from breakfast we did tend to avoid the buffet as it felt crowded and hectic,but the food was fine. We didn't use the pool areas as the weather on many days was too inclement for the outside pool areas and the main pool with the sun dome always feels like a public swimming baths as it is uncomfortably warm,noisy and smells of chlorine.But this is why for us it is always worth paying for a balcony cabin. We enjoyed all the ports of call apart from Barcelona,which for us was too large ,busy and crowded.But anyone who loves the buzz of big vibrant cities will love it. Cartagena.La Spezia and La Coruna were our favorites.La Spezia was a big surprise as P&O imply it's not worth visiting and try to sell you expensive and lengthy (10 Hours) trips to Pisa and Florence.It was a lovely place with fantastic views from the castle. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Looked into cruising a little, but always felt daunted by it. Took the plunge based on the rights dates and great last minute price. To give an idea of what type of travellers we are, We are a married couple, both 37, who enjoy good food ... Read More
Looked into cruising a little, but always felt daunted by it. Took the plunge based on the rights dates and great last minute price. To give an idea of what type of travellers we are, We are a married couple, both 37, who enjoy good food and wine, sightseeing and relaxing on holiday. We travel anywhere from traditional Spanish resorts, to Bali and Malaysia and skiing. Here's a list of what we thought. Travelling from and to Southampton was brilliant. There was a wait of around an hour to get on the ship, but so easy once checked in. We used the recommended car parking company and it was so simple, like meet and great. We chose self disembarkation. This is not really explained well, but basically means you leave before 8.45 in the morning. I.e. Before the hoards of people enter the massive luggage claim area to try and locate their luggage. Breakfast is best in the main restaurants, but only served to 9 on port days and 9.30 on sea days. The buffet is ok for breakfast, but of lower quality. I'd avoid the buffet at any other time, it's ok but there are so many better places. Not a lot was explained to you. Being a new cruising puts you in the minority. Thus, ask, read the horizon guide each night and explore the ship fully in your first day or so. We found food in the main restaurant bland other than on gala nights. They are catering for a mass market after all. It was very good, but needed seasoning, herbs, spices etc. The additional paid for restaurants are wonderful, and good value. Yes, you can eat for no extra cost, but for a feeling of going out for a meal, they are great. Service is quality and there is not the noise and bustle of a mass catering environment. The glass house is fabulous, a must try. They do wine flights, 3 x 125ml wines for around £10 or £11. Lots of different ones to try. The tapas plates are brilliant. Sihdu was also very good, with scallops and lobster on the menu. The beach house is a great American BBQ style, and excellent value. You get more generous portions in the paid for restaurants. Note, the glass house do a tasting menu with wine paring for £30 a head. This is something not advertised until the day before in the horizon magazine. However, all regular cruisers know about it, as they rush to reception to book as soon as they get on board. I don't blame them, but unfair of P and O not to advertise in advance so us new people can also get a chance to try. Other restaurants and events are easily booked on board, and some you can't book anyway. We never had a problem. Good tip, the glass house serves food till 10.30 ish, an hour after all other restauarants. There is so much entertainment, you have to pick what you want to do. Most is duplicated in the evening, at 8.30 and 10.30, which for us seemed too early to have finished dinner then go, and too late to always go after dinner. However, most things last 45 mins to an hour. Have a run around on the first night or two and work out what you like. We like live bands and music more than the shows, so planned accordingly. The live bands were very very good. There were two comedians on our cruise. One was brilliant, the other ( who has been doing the cruises since i was born) was awful, clearly the material is getting a little tired. Cabin (balcony) was bigger than I expected. However, it had a sense of the hospital room about it. Wiped down walls, plastic moulded work tops, bad pictures on the wall. The bed was comfy. The to was awful. News channel and that was it. Loads of films to watch but the to was so bad, the picture and sound was not good. There is free room service, which is good quality and fairly speedy to arrive. Shower is powerful. There is a full size bottle of white company shower gel attached to the wall, plus 100ml size of white company shampoo, conditioner and lotion. I'm sure you can ask for more if needed. The ship itself was impressive due to size. Some public areas were canteen like or reminded me of bars in Benidorm hotels. Other areas more elegant, such as the glass house, art gallery and metropolis bar. Something for everyone so you just find what you like. Getting on and off the ship was easy. We experienced a queue only when you had to use the shuttle bus, but it was only 20 minutes or so. Going from Southampton means you can take on drinks etc with you and keep in your fridge, just top up at each port. Drinks on board we brilliant. Extremely good wine list and all low prices, cheaper than in the uk. About £17 gets you a great bottle and most were in that region, rather than one or two then loads at higher prices. Cocktails about £5.50 to £6.50. The vast majority of men are in black bow tie for gala night. I dont think I saw a standard suit. However, there are areas you can dress casual ( the buffet). At other times though, this is not a posh ship. You get the odd one or two people who do dress up every night, but most people are casual or wearing what you'd expect for a normal meal out somewhere. Pools are all heated, which is fab. The two in the middle were usually busy and noisy. The adult only was closed the whole time we were on board, which is disappointing. There is a big mix of people. Apologies if I offend any regular visitors here, but I want to be honest. There are a lot of very old people, who would not look too out of place in a care home ( a cruise is cheaper), there are a lot of people who are less able (both medically and die to size), which could be due to being no fly. There were a few families and kids were all well behaved. Couples like us were in the minority, with most resembling our parents (daily mail in one hand, free glass of prossecco in the other). Spa treatments were good, but overpriced compared to uk, and come with a heavy sales pitch to buy products and Botox. Excursions were overpriced compared to what you get in port, but come with the safety net of not missing the ship. If the shuttle is paid for, generally means you don't need to use it unless you fall into one of the categories I've described above. I thought bingo and the race night were pricey ( no, not our usual sort of thing, but we'd thought we'd try it, especially with a last minute extra sea day due to rough weather). Every member of staff is brilliant. Genuinely helpful and happy. Not pushing for tips. Always there to offer you a drink or help, but not pushy. A real asset to P and O. Everything is cash free. You can even gamble and charge to your room ( dangerous). You cannot add tips on to any bill, so would need cash. That said, we saw zero people tipping. We decided to in the paid for restaurants though. The gym is large, but the equipment is not great quality. Runners were about usable. Cross trainers very light weight. It was also very hot! Overall, we loved visiting several cities we wouldn't have gone to otherwise in one holiday. It's wonderful to arrive in the port, go on a ( self organised) walking tour, stop for lunch, then hop back on the boat. Being on the ship was relaxing in itself, as you can't go anyway so just sit back and relax. The good and drink was excellent, which we like. The entertainment was great. People watching may not have been exactly what I was expecting, but it's good to know cruising is not always a stuck up affair. We will do a cruise again, and would use p and o and other similar lines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My and my husband loved this cruise, we sailed to Vigo, Lisbon, Oporto and Cherbourg. The only down point I had of this cruise was the size of the ship but that it personal choice nothing else, the food was amazing, couldn't fault the ... Read More
My and my husband loved this cruise, we sailed to Vigo, Lisbon, Oporto and Cherbourg. The only down point I had of this cruise was the size of the ship but that it personal choice nothing else, the food was amazing, couldn't fault the service of any of the crew. Embarkation was nice and smooth so was disembarkation, we had an inside cabin which was spacious, the restaurants never got busy always had somewhere to sit and eat, the entertainment was very good, we never actually got to Cherbourg as there was a storm and the Captain didn't want to risk taking the ship into port so unfortunately on the last day we spent it on the English Channel. Overall I would book with P&O again but maybe on one of their smaller ships, I did miss the personal touch, like not having the same waiter of the same bar person, Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Only our second cruise (previously on RCI Brilliance of the Seas) but we were happier with P&O and Ventura in most aspects. Entertainment was superb with highly competent resident bands and excellent theatre shows, on some sea days ... Read More
Only our second cruise (previously on RCI Brilliance of the Seas) but we were happier with P&O and Ventura in most aspects. Entertainment was superb with highly competent resident bands and excellent theatre shows, on some sea days there were up to 3 different shows in addition to usual residents. We enjoyed the quizzes, the visiting expert was talking on sea mammals so regrettably did not catch our interest, I joined the sea days choir which was enthusiastically run, great ents team stirring things up at all times especially sailaways. One specific criticism is that the live music is relentlessly aimed at the over 60s and I do not think I heard a single song released since 1985!! Come on P&O we love the likes of Adele even if we are not the rap generation. Cabins good, like the long wardrobe rail and dressing area, nothing missed out. Perhaps Brilliance ots felt more luxurious. (Outside cabin - part restricted view Deck E looking over lifeboat) Food in main restaurant excellent at all times. We were very impressed by Marco Pierre White designed seven course menu on last black tie night. (Four black tie nights in 14 day cruise with dress code "Strictly enforced" according to notices). Lunch in buffet got a bit boring but we had a possible virus outbreak and self service was abandoned and staff brought in to serve which did restrict some options (Burger and Pizza bars closed for a couple of days). Bar service was good- always available but never overbearing or hinting for tips. Ports were mostly new to us and access in to town was easy from all of them so we did not take any excursions. Excellent selection other than Casablanca which everyone had warned us not to get excited about. Ship was fully booked but rarely felt crowded, plenty of seating available in most areas with reasonable (if not home sofa) comfort. Everywhere was clean and well looked after with design and furnishings up to four star standard. P&O are trying to organise embarkation and disembarkation but still involved long queues and waiting well after scheduled times. Would be happy to go back on Ventura anytime. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Just returned from a 14 night cruise on Ventura to include Casablanca and Madeira. Overall good cruise, great weather, great destinations. However the cruise could still have been better. We had an outside balcony cabin that was fine other ... Read More
Just returned from a 14 night cruise on Ventura to include Casablanca and Madeira. Overall good cruise, great weather, great destinations. However the cruise could still have been better. We had an outside balcony cabin that was fine other than a wall that squeaked badly whenever the ship rolled. Shower head needed replacing (more like a tap than a shower) and the soap dispenser in the shower cubicle was broken (they always seem to be broken), otherwise no complaints. Our steward, Stevely, was good keeping the cabin clean and tidy. Hygene: Outbreak of Norovirus well handled by cew, but could it have been prevented in the first place? I witnessed many examples of passengers handing food directly with their hands from the serving dishes in the buffet and entering the buffet without using gel. P&O need to be more vigilant and demanding when it comes to hygene. Dining: Mixed experience. Sindhu, excellent, great value for money. Buffet good although a little crowded at peak times and hygene issues. Epicurean, food good (but not brilliant), enviroment good, service first class. Worth £28 a head extra, maybe! Main restuarants (Cinammon and Saphire), a bit crowded, pretty noisy and waiters always rushing around. Food good on some evenings but poor on others. Overall not the best dining experience. Glass House at lunchtimes was very good, well worth the extra. Entertainment: Best Headliners company we have ever seen, well done. Other entrenainers were good including Tom O'Conner. Daytime entertainment, usual blend of talks and quizzes, not my cup-of-tea. Films shown in the Havana show room a waste of time, not enough room and passengers jostling to get best positions. Drinks etc: Good service in all bars although waiters seemed more 'pushy' that on previous cruises (notably In Tamarind). Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I'm currently encounter home from our first P&O Cruise. We have cruised before with Celebrity and Thompsons. On arrival at the terminal we had to wait until our card was called, we only had a short wait and embarkation was ... Read More
I'm currently encounter home from our first P&O Cruise. We have cruised before with Celebrity and Thompsons. On arrival at the terminal we had to wait until our card was called, we only had a short wait and embarkation was pretty good. We boarded the ship there was nobody there to greet us and we had to find our way to our cabin, where our cases were sitting outside the door. Our inside cabin was on the 10th floor at the back of the boat. The cabin was spotless clean but not much room for manoeuvre. We had a double bed but the two upper singles folded into the wall meant we had to virtually crawl into and out of bed. There was loads of hanging and cupboard space but the toilet was small. We had bigger toilers in overnight ferries to France. There was a fridge that was handy, and tea/coffee making facilities which were replenished daily. Due to the location of the cabin, ever time the boat was docking, the noise was unbearable. There was heavy vibration throughout the room during the Is time. Due to having an atrium the ship was hard to get used to at first as you can only access areas at the front of the ship by going to certain floors. The ship was spotless clean throughout. We were assigned the Cinnamon restaurant but only ate there once as we prefer the buffet dining. The food was brilliant. There was something for everyone and it was always piping hot. The staff at the buffet and the restaurant were always friendly and chatty. The worked hard keeping the busy area clean. We had a meal in the Sindu Indian restaurant once, you pay £15 per head extra for this but I enjoyed it. We never tried the other restaurants. There is a pizzeria and burger bar at the pool. The food here was great however. There was no drinks machines around and you then needed to go back into the buffet restaurant for a tea/coffee. There is no drinks package like we have enjoyed on other cruises. Bar prices were not too bad. A vodka and mixer was £4.75 as was a glass of prosecco. A pint of peroni was about £3.75. We would still prefer the drink package to save continually checking our account for onboard spend. You are allowed to take your own drink onboard and also what you buy offshore but not what you buy on the ships duty free shop which is a little pointless. The entertainment was not the greatest. However a huge shout out to the Headliners who were fantastic. It we never seen enough of them, we also enjoyed the tribute acts to John Denver and Annie Lennox was amazing. The other acts were pianists, a violinist and a few comedians. There were also an ex policeman and jeweller speakers if that's your cup of tea. The quizzes in the Exchange we're good,with something for everyone. Andrea was a great hostess. The karaoke hostess, Lauren however was allowing the same singers singing the same songs and not allowing new singers up which was disappointing. We spent some time in the casino which was good fun. Croupiers Gypsy, Jemima were always happy to see us and gave friendly advice to us beginners to ensure we players with The proper table etiquette. The waiters around the exchange and Havana were brilliant. A special mention to Joel, Neil and Who were always laughing and happy to see us. There are shops onboard selling bags, jewellery, and a range of duty free items, plenty of choice however, I wouldn't buy anything for the first few days as there are normally special offers throughout the cruise on items. We bought a painting I the gallery after being assured there would be no further discounts on these only to find 10% sale the next day. A visit to tbd gallery to discuss this and the lady was happy to give us the discount retrospectively. The ports we stopped at were Lisbon, Lanzerote, Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, Gran CanariA, Madeira, Las Palmas, La Coruna. Madeira was our favourite. This was also the cheapest for the duty fee cigs and spirits, even cheaper than the ship. We never done any excursions as it was easy enough to get around independently however don't rely on too much help with this from the staff. Overall we had a great time, met loads of nice people too. The only thing was the weather which can't be helped I suppose. Out of our three cruises Celebrity still way way ahead for everything but P&O now 2nd with Thompsons third. Hope this helps you prepare for your trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have just returned from the above Canary Islands cruise. As with our previous trips on Ventura the standards in most cases were very high. Embarkation did not go smoothly as it started 15 minutes late and it appeared that the whole 3000 ... Read More
We have just returned from the above Canary Islands cruise. As with our previous trips on Ventura the standards in most cases were very high. Embarkation did not go smoothly as it started 15 minutes late and it appeared that the whole 3000 passengers were in the hall. There was minimum crowd control as people were milling around often in the queue areas when letters were called. At one time there were about 3 separate queues trying to merge into the main one. I must take issue with some previous reviews complaining about food in the restaurants and attitude of staff. We were freedom dining and the food was of a very high standard. Those passengers who felt quality was poor but found the buffet choice on deck 15 to be much better I feel were looking for quantity ie heap your plate and help yourself to several desserts. Restaurant was fine dining whereas the buffet was a typical eat as much as you like. All members of staff that we encountered could not have been more pleasant and helpful. Our waiters in Cinnamon, Alister and Jeoffrey were excellent, experienced, attentive and were quick to respond to requests. I agree that some areas need a bit of TLC but in no way affected our enjoyment of the cruise. Best Headliners group we have come across over 10 plus P&O cruises. Brand new group who joined ship same day as us. Brilliant Major complaint the weather ( no doubt some people will blame P&O for that) Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
in jan the weather in uk is rubbish so why not do a caribean cruise from southampton to break up the winter . .the drive from scotland is 450 m so we stop near oxford for an overnight break and then on to southampton the folowing day.the ... Read More
in jan the weather in uk is rubbish so why not do a caribean cruise from southampton to break up the winter . .the drive from scotland is 450 m so we stop near oxford for an overnight break and then on to southampton the folowing day.the port parking in southampton is so expensive we use park at my house .com or similar and use taxi to get to p&o terminal .in the past we allways payed the tips up front but due to lack of intrest from some off the staff on board we now cancell tips and reward the staff that we think deserve the tips .at this point i would have to say p&o represent good value for money and you do get what you pay for . the majority of the staff are very good and unlike most off the cruise ships we are permited to bring a bottle off spirits on board for consumpsion in the cabin.p&o are very uk orientated and are used to uk market the bars are pub prices the wine a litle expensive in the restaraunt .we book our own shore excursions with an independent company.day time entertaiment at sea is very good.embarcation and disembarcation is a hit or miss. our first cruise with p&o was on the canberra p&o decided to cancel all our previous points attained with them and also with the princess line .princess which was sister ship company to p&o have given all the all the points for p&o cruises that we have done so sailing with princess we have lots more benifits and loyalty with princess than we have with p&o which is a little sad but there you go .its good you can wash your clothes in the laundry and get all the gossip much more goes on on a cruise ship than you think good bye Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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 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 are seasoned cruisers, but this was my first with P&O, but not for my wife. It was a short seven day cruise that went as far as Lisbon. The weather was mixed with some wet days and some better days. I won't comment on the ports ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers, but this was my first with P&O, but not for my wife. It was a short seven day cruise that went as far as Lisbon. The weather was mixed with some wet days and some better days. I won't comment on the ports but focus on the cruise. The good things. We were given a time to embark. This worked better then I thought. We arrived at 3pm, and were on board well before 3.30pm. The food. Outstanding. Up there with the very best we have had on cruises. The variety of food in the buffet was vey good. We used it most days for breakfast and lunch. The quality was also excellent. We went freedom dining and the choice, quality and service in our restaurant was outstanding. The ship itself was in good shape given it is seven years old. It was very clean both in the public areas and our cabin. Our cabin steward was also excellent. The entertainment was good. We enjoyed the production shows, four in a week. The dancers were excellent, although the singers did not quite have the range we have seen elsewhere, good at rock, not so good for musicals. Our loo was blocked but sorted within thirty minutes. The Not so Good The interactive TV was not. We asked for it to be resolved but it was not. Could take fifteen minutes just to check the inboard account. We gave up checking messages. The bar staff were not always efficient at serving. Once we waited more then twenty minutes. Went to the counter, but was told to wit for a waiter to serve us. Some of the swimming pools were out of action for much of the cruise. Given it was half term, the others were full of children, so never really got a swim. More avoiding kids in the pool. We like quizzes but felt they were held in the wing place. Many were in a small bar area, which was full fifteen minutes before start time. The ones we were able to attend were good. We also saw two recent films. However all in all we had a good time and would be happy to go with P&O again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We travelled on the Ventura during October half term, so there were quite a few kids, which was a nice selection of ages. Embarkation was just about ok, we had cruised earlier on this year with Princess and their embarkation process was ... Read More
We travelled on the Ventura during October half term, so there were quite a few kids, which was a nice selection of ages. Embarkation was just about ok, we had cruised earlier on this year with Princess and their embarkation process was far better. We had no problems with our cabin which was a balcony on deck 12, we had a pull down bunk bed for our daughter which worked out ok but a week is plenty with this set up. I would like to comment on our cabin neighbours who were just awful, loud and had obviously never encountered a sliding door before as this seemed to be a fascination for them, opening it and slamming it every few minutes along with anything else that opened and closed, they were an older couple who had obviously no social manners what so ever. We had freedom dining and were allocated Cinnamon , the food in fact was very good but the service was sooo slow, I would agree with other reviews that the staff although pleasant were not friendly, never experienced this before on any cruise, much the same in the buffet. We never had any problem in getting a table in the buffet and the one evening we did eat our main meal there we were pleasantly surprised it was set up lovely and it was quite quiet so we had no problem getting a table. The poolside burger and pizza places also served nice food. Personally I thought the drinks were expensive at nearly £6.00 for a glass of wine it soon mounts up, although the bottles of wine were reasonably priced. P and O didn't offer any drinks packages, our daughter has always had a soft drinks package where she can go to any bar and get a coke or juice and on our last cruise a Princess one, we purchased the ultimate drinks package which was great and well worth the money but nothing like this available on P and O. I've gave 4 stars because it was a pleasant cruise and considering all the bad reviews it wasn't that bad, the entertainment was good, a couple of good singers and the ship's band Dynamite Groove were very good, we went to the arena theatre one night the see Headliners, not so good, there didn't seem to be any air conditioning on and it was so hot in there, then the sound went astray but it was handled well by the entertainments guy, the show was a bit poor. We went to see a film also in the Arena theatre which was packed, the picture quality was good considering it's not a cinema . We took a shuttle bus to Lisbon , I mis -read the price I thought it was £4 per adult this turned out to be £4 per adult single journey, so for the three of us £24.00, expensive I thought, so when the same was charged at Cherbourg we decided not to take the shuttle bus bus stayed around the port area which we really enjoyed, we paid to go aboard a submarine (which my husband loved), there was lots of Titanic tributes as Cherbourg had been one of it's ports and and aquarium, this was well worth the 48 euro we paid. The Ventura is a nice ship, very modern and bright but absolutely no WOW factor, quite boring in fact. We have questioned whether we would cruise P and O again, we like NCL and really enjoyed Princess , I can't quite put my finger on it but there was something missing from P and O so unless we got a really good deal I don't think we would. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my first cruise, but my wife had cruised before when she was a young girl. At first site the ship is really impressive. The food was excellent and the quality of service in the restaurants was friendly and professional. The ... Read More
This was my first cruise, but my wife had cruised before when she was a young girl. At first site the ship is really impressive. The food was excellent and the quality of service in the restaurants was friendly and professional. The balcony cabin was very comfortable and extremely well maintained by the cabin steward, Edwin. Our towels were changed twice a day and there was very ample storage space. Our first day was rather spoilt by the staff in the spa area, who were rude when we wanted to view the special relaxation area and then when we were shown round the spa facilities, we were bombarded with a hard sell of the very expensive offerings. You have to pay to attend fitness classes. On the subject of paying, I would expect WiFi to be provided free in these circumstances, but in practice the package offered was extremely poor value. The quality of entertainment was generally very good. The headliners were very professional and some of the other acts were very entertaining. The ballroom dance instructors were excellent, but the area allocated for ballroom dancing is much too small. Surely this is one of the traditions of cruising? On this theme the facilities on the ship seem to be have deigned by an accountant and not an entertainment specialist. There are not enough seats in the theatre and other entertainments areas. (Or there are too many passengers!) There was a constant scrabble for seats. On deck near the Lagoon bar, the entertainment seemed to be designed for young people at Butlins, which did not represent the cross section of people on the cruise. Totally unsuitable music throughout, with very little classical, jazz or even Charleston period. They should pay more attention to their passengers and less to the personal preferences of the entertainment team. Unfortunately the cruise ended on a low note as a passenger was lost overboard and extra time was spent searching for him but to no avail. We will cruise again but not on this ship. They should reintroduce a more formal dress code and try to make things more upmarket. We may try one of the smaller P and O ships or else a different line with a greater focus on traditional values. Read Less
Sail Date September 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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