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166 Southampton to Europe - All P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise having enjoyed a similar cruise in 2015.Same ship, same time of the year but very different. 6 of us travelled together to celebrate a significant birthday and, as a group, we could enjoy each other's company and ... Read More
We chose this cruise having enjoyed a similar cruise in 2015.Same ship, same time of the year but very different. 6 of us travelled together to celebrate a significant birthday and, as a group, we could enjoy each other's company and the facilities of the ship which made this a better experience than it would have been had we been on our own. The weather was pretty rough all the way to the Canaries and back tho' we did have enough good weather to enjoy each of the destinations.Many passengers (which included a lot of first timers) were sick on the sea days which made the public areas quieter than they might have been as everyone was 'trapped' inside the ship for most of the time spent at sea. The ship was very noisy with excessive background noise all the time and musicians who behaved as entertainers rather than cocktail artistes.We raised this with the hotel management who acknowledged our comments but had no success in changing things. Fortunately the Glass House bar was reasonably quiet. We were surprised that many of the passengers were elderly and/or infirm. In the past we only noticed this on longer P&O cruises. We suspect that the very competitive pricing and the short duration of the cruise may have influenced this. But we made some lovely contacts and there was always a buzz about the ship. Check in was very fast and efficient but the first day gave us some surprises. Firstly the room stewards went off duty for the evening after we sailed. We didn't mind this at all as the room was already made up and the stewards have a very heavy day in Southampton. However we were missing some items in the bathroom and despite our calling Reception, nothing happened until the morning. In the (Freedom Dining) restaurants the waiters now have tablets to take all orders, including drinks. The 'wine waiters' were therefore reduced to running around trying to find out who had ordered what. On shore, these arrangements are pretty standard but it doesn't work well in a big, busy ship's restaurant. We were told that Ventura was trialling these arrangements for Iona. In Club dining the original arrangements applied. Presumably this is because wine waiters are very busy at the beginning of each sitting in Club (while the load is spread in Freedom) and the same applies to the load in the Club galley. However the staff throughout the ship were very competent, efficient and cheerful and Captain Willard was engaging and 'led from the front'. We fully exploited the speciality restaurants - Glass House, Beach House, Sindu and Epicurean. The latter was exquisite and well worth the high cover charge. The tours provided at each port were quite adequate and we enjoyed several. The lecturer who talked on Air Accident Investigation was very good, as was the classical pianist (altho' the amplification did distort the piano's sound sadly). The weather truncated Headliner's shows unfortunately - they were very good. The craft instructor 'missed the ship' which upset the artist in our group. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Give Ventura another try as this was only cruise from Southampton for Oct school holidays. This time not impressed with Ventura. Check in was quite slow Once on board we went to buffet, very poor selection available. Went to ... Read More
Give Ventura another try as this was only cruise from Southampton for Oct school holidays. This time not impressed with Ventura. Check in was quite slow Once on board we went to buffet, very poor selection available. Went to cabin which appeared to be ok visited buffet a few times, first occasion there was no cutlery available, once i can let go, twice and someone needs to say something, but this happened either no cutlery or no plates or no cups for tea and coffee 10 times which is inexcusable and shows standards are slipping. The Buffet itself is very poor, very little choice, poor layout, people going through exits and going wrong way causing problems. no-one to police this when entering buffet, first items you come across are the rolls and butter cut up into little blocks - put these little blocks onto your plate and in 30 seconds you have a big pool of melted butter on you plate. (will not put butter on tray as it could be dirty) Entertainment quite poor- we had 2 comedians. One was called Tucker, who came on with a song then spent the next 10 minutes talking to the late arrivals (in a 45 minute shoe this is not good) the second was Jack Ryan telling old jokes and basically dying on his feet. The Flyrights and Serious sounds were brilliant. Thank god for the Theatre showing some films. Quite a few quizzes and the Bingo - The Bingo is a major rip off, very high ticket prices £15 for a 6 strip book of 5 games £12 for a 3 strip book of 5 games Many people were paying the 6 strip approx 60-70 but the prizes only totalled £250 for all games (serious profit taking) Hardly saw anyone in the shops. On this cruise we has a man overboard and a few hours later we has to return to port for a medical evacuation. We missed a port of call to Cherborg due to high winds instead staying in the sea near devon seriously swaying all over the place for about 15 hours. Disembarking was a joke but not a bad a trying to get out of CPS car park (took over an hour) Clearly staff numbers have been cut which caused some of the problems will not be going on Ventura Again as not a lot to do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We love cruising and love P&O but standards seem to be slipping a bit. Embarkation/disembarkation: Emabarkation was very smoothe. Cases taken at Southampton and was on the ship within the hour. The same goes for disembarkation, ... Read More
We love cruising and love P&O but standards seem to be slipping a bit. Embarkation/disembarkation: Emabarkation was very smoothe. Cases taken at Southampton and was on the ship within the hour. The same goes for disembarkation, very smoothe. We chose to take our own cases off and was off the ship by 09:00. Food/Drink The drinks package was good value for money but had such a stupid policy (not allowed to order a soft drink at the same time as an alcoholic?). There was a large group of us (6) and ordering a round of drinks was a mission! It took about half an hour to order a round which was very annoying, especially at dinner! Each drink had to be ordered individually on an individual card, we know the drinks package is relitively new and staff are trying their hardest to get to grips with it but I feel P&O should take a leaf out of other cruise line’s books (RCL/MSC) as their systems are a lot more smoothe. The food in the main restaurants was very good, excellent choice and excellent quality. Sindhu was fantastic, service great and food spectacular. One note though we do miss the fish course in the main restaurant. Cabin: Cabin was very nice. The beds are amazing and our cabin steward worked very hard. The bathroom is small but that is expected. The only negative thing is P&O have removed the onboard account from the stateroom tv’s? This made it quite difficult having to keep getting print outs of the account at reception. Ship: We love Azura so had high hopes for Ventura. The entertainment onboard was great but the ship felt generally shabby. A lot of the rooms need a good face lift, the furntitre was battered in some places and it just felt a little dated. We noticed that the promenade deck was dirty in some areas as well throughout the whole duration of the cruise. Overall we had a nice cruise. The ports were great (especially Amsterdam) and the food was lovely. The ship however leaves something to be desired for. It needs a good refit to bring it back up to standards! We are sailing on Iona next year so hopefully the drinks package would have sorted itself out by then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having just completed our first P&O cruise (aboard the Ventura )I thought I’d post my comparison with the Celebrity Solstice class ships, as most of the cruises we have done were aboard Celebrity, the last one being on the Silhouette ... Read More
Having just completed our first P&O cruise (aboard the Ventura )I thought I’d post my comparison with the Celebrity Solstice class ships, as most of the cruises we have done were aboard Celebrity, the last one being on the Silhouette this time last year. The ships are roughly the same size in tonnage , but Ventura carries more passengers, and I believe has a higher ratio of crew to passenger. So on that score the Silhouette seems to come out on top. I would also say the Silhouette has a plusher interior, but that said the Ventura is still a nice interior just not as glitzy. On the Ventura we had a superior deluxe balcony cabin, because it had a bath. On the Silhouette we had a standard cabin; albeit in the past we have had an Aqua Class cabin. Again the Silhouette cabin has a bit plusher feel, but doesn’t compare in size and storage to the Ventura. Without doubt the Ventura cabin wins hands down. Can’t comment on standard cabins on Ventura, other than to say a few passengers remarked on how tight the shower was. Obviously food and drink are a big factor in any cruise. We’ve never had any complaints on a Celebrity boat about food. Quality, choice, service have always been consistently good. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Ventura. In the main food was ok, but never exceptional, and in a few cases quite bad. Both ships have specialty restaurants, for which you pay a premium; although quite a bit more on Celebrity. We tried them all on Ventura and found their top restaurant – The Epicurean to be passable but not memorable, but did enjoy Sindhu, the Indian themed restaurant, and the Beach House. There was, generally, a noticeable difference in the waiter service, with Ventura being very mixed, and at times not overly efficient, whilst Celebrity consistently good. If you are a foodie then, based on our experience, Ventura is not for you. Conversely, when it came to entertainment we think Ventura was much better. The ship had an excellent entertainment team and programme. The shows in the main theatre were of a good standard, and the final show on the last night – “Astonishing” – was probably the most enjoyable production we have had on any cruise. All round the entertainment team was more engaged with passengers; even at disembarkation they were high profile and involved with folk waiting to leave the ship. Passengers on Ventura were 99% Brits; whereas Celebrity has a more mixed nationality passenger base., but mainly American. So many features on Ventura were targeted to British taste, including prices in sterling and 3 pin plugs. Certainly the Brits made more of an effort about dressing up on formal nights; in contrast Celebrity and others appear to be moving to a more smart casual style throughout the cruise. In summary Celebrity is a bit more upmarket, but of course quite a bit more expensive. If I had a choice between a like for like cruise, at same price, I think I’d opt Celebrity, but the lure of the Ventura cabin, with its decent size, and bath, might be hard to resist. Best on Celebrity – the food Best on Ventura – cabin; closely followed by excellent entrainment team. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a last minute cruise booking because we had to cancel our earlier booking on Azura due to having to care for my mum. We have been cruising now for 4 years, my wife loves it. This is the third cruise with P 0 Cruises and second ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise booking because we had to cancel our earlier booking on Azura due to having to care for my mum. We have been cruising now for 4 years, my wife loves it. This is the third cruise with P 0 Cruises and second on Ventura. I have to say despite this bad review the staff and crew were always courteous and polite - could not fault that. Our issue started when we arrived at the docks - P O decided without forewarning any of its customers that no porters were available and you had to find trolleys and move the cases a couple of hundred yards and queue to drop off your cases. There were two places we finally got in the queue near the front, when we told them our cabin they told us we were in the wrong queue and ended up at the back of the midships queue no board or information stating which queue to be in. Our view, several customers who were older age struggled to load and push the trolleys, this was not the only time and many people were affected. Not a good experience when you have just driven for 4 hours to have to lug two trolleys as my wife couldn’t manage it. We get up to terminal and are given a card with a letter to wait (not like Royal Caribbean we got straight on board and far more efficient) we waited for over 2 hours, finally got on board. My wife wanted to go to Barcelona, the sail date was 6 October later than usual but that was my wife’s interest to see the famous church Sagrada Familia as we missed it last time. To be honest we did not look too much at the rest of the itinerary until we were on board but noticed that PO cruises had cut out a stop - instead of 7 ports we only had 6 - this was later confirmed on their 2020 bookings where cost cutting reducing a port seemed to be prevalent across even 19 day sailings. On our last cruise with Royal Caribbean we got a drinks package, we are not big drinkers but enjoy the occasional spirit or wine so we enquired about the drinks package we were shocked at the exorbitant prices £39.95 per day and my wife would have to have one too as we could not share it. So just under £80 per day for 14 days - you do the maths and is you do not use it up each day you loose the balance. So going offshore for the day could cost you £79.90 if you do not have a drink on board. Absolutely ridiculous and a ludicrous package. Next in the cabin we see cards about the footprint for the environment - yet PO decided to cancel the cabin tv log of your onboard spend and had to request a print out instead to see a statement - so much for being environmentally concerned. Over the course of the 14 days we became bored with the old fashioned, staid entertainment and activities and all the health and well-being talks ended up with a sell on expensive so called remedies. We got caught with this on our first cruise not again. The headliners singers were awful screechy female lead and the male lead was just as bad. The only decent act was comedian John Evans. There was nothing innovative nothing new - same old boring stuff. It is disappointing that no real effort had been made to change anything. How many people buy paintings on board none from any of the passengers we spoke to - why not put that enormous space to better use. Disembarkation - the biggest gripe by many, we wanted to get off early due to our long drive home, so we asked for 8-8.30, we were given 8-30.8.45 am. We arrived early around 7.30 as we had to vacate the cabin before 8 am. If we wanted to go earlier we had to carry all our cases down ourselves and we were booked with CPS which was some considerable distance from our car. We sat down on the Starboard side with many other early passengers. At around 8 am the so called manger responsible for our disembarkation arrived and started herding passengers to the port side, unbeknown to all the early birds, disembarkation was to be in sections port side first so all those who arrived after 8:30 am got off first. Not only that young and older passengers with prawns and wheelchairs had were given no consideration at all. It is not rocket science to organise the disembarkation more efficiently and give some credit to this passengers who ensured they were there on times during people with prams and disabled go off first. Get you act together PO. We planned to book the Greek islands next year with PO as that was the one we cancelled but PO are not running it next year in September and the one one in October only has 7 stops in the 19 day cruise. Overall there were many other niggles PO had cut over 500 crew on the cruise, and many times we had to wait for stragglers arriving back late after a day in port, there is no excuse for this yet PO do nothing to penalise these people. Overall we enjoyed the break but this cruise was lacklustre from all sides and we were very disappointed in this old fashioned boring cruise. We have decided to try other cruise lines who have been recommended as we were not the only ones who felt the same as us and we are pretty laid back but this time we had had enough. If you want to chill out and not drink, not participate in any of the activities then this is the cruise for you otherwise go elsewhere - we will not go again with PO until they improve. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
first time done a cruise and was not disappointed. When arrived at cruise terminal checked in was fast and once on the boat shown straight to cabin. Met so many nice people and everybody was friendly and spoke to each other which was ... Read More
first time done a cruise and was not disappointed. When arrived at cruise terminal checked in was fast and once on the boat shown straight to cabin. Met so many nice people and everybody was friendly and spoke to each other which was nice The food was excellent and different restaurants to eat at and bars to drink at and there was different entertainment every night. Lots of things to do gym centre and several swimming pools. The excursions were very good lots of choice. Staff very friendly and helpful and staff kept boat clean and tidy all the time. Reception staff and restaurant staff all excellent. The scenery of the Norwegian fjords are stunning so lovely to see when getting up everyday in a different port. Getting on and off the boat at every port the staff very friendly and helpful as you have to use your smart card to get on and off the boat and put bags through security and when leaving the cruise ship at the end of the cruise that went really smoothly no problems. Would go on a cruise again as had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise for convenience of date to fit in with our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations, As such we booked the Strathaird Suite C751 Boarding and welcome buffet absolutely first class plus. Our suitcase was waiting at ... Read More
Chose this cruise for convenience of date to fit in with our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations, As such we booked the Strathaird Suite C751 Boarding and welcome buffet absolutely first class plus. Our suitcase was waiting at the cabin door as expected. We entered the suite, first impression , dull drab and old looking furnishings looking very tired!! Gosh what have we done? Nearly £5K spent already just to get this far!! In due course the Butler arrived to explain what he could do for us but really was a passed master at explaining what he did not do.Frankly no need for this individual at all not even for the delivery of the stale canapes each evening The wash hand basin in the unheated bathroom was cracked, the sofa bed in the lounge area was so flat and uncomfortable the bottom on one side was falling away. Servicing by the cabin stewardess left a lot to be desired One excellent Perk of the suite is the invitation to breakfast every day in the White Room at the Epicurian fabulous service. Our special dinner there was exceptional. All in all a very disappointing cruise, the ship only actually sailed in and through the fjords at night and was either in port or at sea during the day Definitely NOT value for the money on this occasion Our dining experience in the Bay Tree restaurant was the food dull and uninspiring with 50% of the menu repeated every night Entertainment was quite good with Comedy from Tucker on two great nights and Magic from the Astonishing show Overall onboard was just ok but we have already cancelled our Christmas cruise on Ventura and booked on another P&O ship We found the public rooms a little too cool and the Costa area needing a good clean, eg The back of the chairs had coffee spillages on them and needed wiping and cleaning Service was just ok but we have seen better Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the Ventura as this was the only cruise that suited our availability - we were not disappointed. We arrived at Southampton after a 6 hour journey to be greeted by the parking service. Speedy and efficient, my car was taken and ... Read More
We chose the Ventura as this was the only cruise that suited our availability - we were not disappointed. We arrived at Southampton after a 6 hour journey to be greeted by the parking service. Speedy and efficient, my car was taken and parked whilst we went into departures. No queueing, went straight into check in and on to the ship. This was my first time on Ventura and I was stunned. Glamorous and opulent, it was a beautiful sight. It was clean, bright and well kept, the decor sumptuous. Straight to our cabin, our cases were already there! I went in and our cabin did not disappoint. We'd selected E deck as my 80 yr old mother required to be near the entertainment decks and I expected a somewhat dreary cabin. I was wrong. It was lovely, the view unobstructed and the cabin spacious. It was bright, with and well maintained, no peeling corners but a spruce and well thought out design. The bathroom was super with a lovely shower. It wasn't big but certainly very useable. The cruise was excellent, there was much to do and the food was excellent. We ate on the Lido and there was so much choice. The waterfront restaurant was designed in a way that food was Centred on islands - you don't queue up like a canteen! The service was super and our cabin steward, Rajesh, could not have been more attentive. So many bars and restaurants, a lovely library, a super Arcade games room (which we enjoyed). Deck 15 pools are well designed, one with a retractable roof and it's not windy up there! All in all, a super cruise - I loved it. One thing, though. There's no cards room for adult games. I missed that. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for a relaxing end of summer break. Having been on the Ventura before, we knew the ship relatively well. Embarkation was smooth and the staff in Southampton were great. We had an inside cabin on deck 12, which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a relaxing end of summer break. Having been on the Ventura before, we knew the ship relatively well. Embarkation was smooth and the staff in Southampton were great. We had an inside cabin on deck 12, which was well presented and our cabin steward was friendly and conscientious. We couldn't fault her or the standard of cleanliness. We found the dining experience to be, overall, very good. We ate in Sindhu on the first night, which was delicious and the staff were brilliant. We also had afternoon tea in the Epicurean on the second sea day. However, I feel the 3.30pm timing is a little late and we could have done with it being an hour or so earlier (we didn't eat lunch due to the reservation and we were hungry by the time 3.30pm came!!!) We opted for set time dining at 8.30pm. Having been on several cruises before, we know that, if you wish to change tables, the earlier you speak to a member of staff in the dining room the better. However, it took over 24 hours and five different members of staff until somebody actually listened to us and moved our table. We were given a table of 6 but wanted to sit on a table for 2. After being told many, many times that the staff in the Bay Tree Restaurant were 'working on it', we finally got a smaller table. It was confusing as to why it took so long, especially as half the smaller tables were empty all week... The staff in the Bay Tree were very nice but they were running around due to being incredibly busy. I found the food to be incredibly rich and had a hard time finding lighter choices whilst in the main dining room. Breakfast and lunch in the buffet were much more agreeable due to the variety of choices. I found the buffet to be quite calm whenever I went - we always managed to find a table. The entertainment was good, and I particularly enjoyed the addition of Sam and Mark and the Legend at Sea Steve Staunton. The Headliners group were decent and put on a couple of good shows. The ports were calm and relaxing, and we did have the weather on our side. Particular highlights were Santander and Guernsey - both beautiful destinations. I attended the port talks and found them to be useful. The organisation of the tender in Guernsey was seamless. When we disembarked, we opted to walk off the ship rather than wait for an allocated time and this was incredibly easy - we were in the car by 8am. Overall, a great trip and I'm pleased I chose P&O! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation was easy. Ship spotlessly clean and we could see the hard working staff cleaning and polishing every day and disinfecting all common areas. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Ferdinand ... Read More
Embarkation was easy. Ship spotlessly clean and we could see the hard working staff cleaning and polishing every day and disinfecting all common areas. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Ferdinand our cabin steward was top notch, cabin was always spotless. The quality of food on Ventura is of a very high standard for such a large ship. Restaurants very nice. The menus in the three main dining rooms change daily. Buffet servery is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Only did one excursion, but chaotic trying to get off, should be called by excursion instead of loads of people queuing. The entertainment was average, not timed correctly, had to leave evening meal early to get to the first show. The comedian was a bit to near the knuckle for an 8.30pm show as there was youngsters there. Singing and dancing is not our cup of tea but there’s plenty of it if you like that sort of thing. Not much on during the day. The quizzes are poor, if you won you got stickers, whats happened to getting a little prize? People that had been on the ship pervious week said questions were the same. Drinks package extortionate, the dearest on ship I have been on, and done twelve cruises with different companies. On the positive, drinks were very reasonably priced. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
OK, I admit, we didn't have very high expectations of the cruise but it turned out to be an amazing holiday. That's mainly because the Norwegian fjords are breathtaking. Some pictures attached to show you that a huge ship ... Read More
OK, I admit, we didn't have very high expectations of the cruise but it turned out to be an amazing holiday. That's mainly because the Norwegian fjords are breathtaking. Some pictures attached to show you that a huge ship like Ventura is dwarfed by the amazing scenery. In wow order : Olden - mindblowingly pretty, we just wandered around the town for a few hours rather than doing an excursion Flam - famed for its railway which was a great experience Bergen - beautiful Stavanger - our first port of call, hard to tell because it was pouring with rain and everywhere was closed because it was Sunday. We had never sailed from Southampton (and it was blowing a gale when we boarded) but the ship was stable and comfortable despite the weather. The CPS car parking and getting on board was a breeze. The captain, Neil Turnbull, made it so memorable with his dry Northern humour with phrases like 'my job is to try to go to the correct ports on the correct days' and 'I shall have you ashore with the speed of a thousand gazelles'. We feared the P&O regulars may be a little, how can I put it, mature - but there was a nice mix of ages on the ships as it was peak school holiday season (August 2019). Food - very good quality. Entertainment and shows - better than we have experienced on other cruises. Totally Tina was great, Sam and Mark from kids TV were on doing a show, singer Jaymi Hensley, the current Joseph in the West End, did a couple of nights and lots more. Fitness equipment and spa was the best we have experienced on a cruise ship. Oh sure, there were a couple of staff who hadn't got the memo that we were on holiday but it didn't spoil anything. Overall, we really enjoyed P&O Ventura but we absolutely loved the Norwegian Fjords! Alistair Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Some background detail first of all. P&O has been our cruise company of choice but I have been trying other cruise lines to review for my travel blog. This cruise was a long awaited return, after just over a year away from ... Read More
Some background detail first of all. P&O has been our cruise company of choice but I have been trying other cruise lines to review for my travel blog. This cruise was a long awaited return, after just over a year away from P&O Embarkation was relatively smooth apart from the appallingly managaged car parking which resulted in a half hour wait to drop off the car. Although strictly speaking not P&O's fault is is their recommended parking provider and provided as part of the select deal. We were traveling with other family members, two adults and two children, who had a family suite. Once parked check-in and security clearance was quick and even though we headed straight to our cabin once on board our bags beat us to the cabin - a promising start. We met our cabin steward, Cathy, who was friendly and personable - a good start to the onboard experience …… little did we know at the time this would almost be the zenith of the cruise. The safety drill was an improvement as you are no longer required to take your life jacket with you, although the demonstration was somewhat undermined by loud, fellow passengers noisily talking over the demonstration and / or finding the whole thing a joke. We had selected “Freedom Dining” as we didn’t want to be tied to a fixed dining time, this also means you are on a different table each night and this led to a mixed experience. We took advantage of Freedom Dining on four of the nights, twice with just the adults and twice with the children as well. Service was decidedly mixed, on two of the nights the service was really good, as one would expect, on the other two totally indifferent with the waiting staff simply going through the motions. It may be coincidence but the two better experiences were when we dined with the children. On another night we dined in the Sindhu restaurant and the service, as well as the food was exemplary with one of the best waiters we’ve ever encountered. In terms of the staff generally we were shocked by the contrasts. A large number offered the standard of service you would expect from P&O, however a very significant minority had an almost, couldn’t care less attitude. The ship just felt generally unhappy. A couple of examples, at one of the food outlets, the woman serving looked as though she had sucked a lemon and acted as if she was doing you a favour by serving you. Indeed a fair percentage of staff seemed to have lost the ability to smile or to be affable. Yes, there has always been the odd staff member on any cruise but here it was much more noticeable and prevalent. On another occasion we wanted an ice cream milkshake and were having trouble finding any on board. I went to reception to ask if any were available on board to be given the response “I don’t know, ask at one of the bars.” The jolliest person on board seemed to be the Captain, who also seemed to think he was a stand up comedian …… he was certainly a refreshing change from some of the aloof Captain’s we’ve come across but I have to admit, after a week, some of of his jokes were becoming a bit boring. I wasn’t overly impressed when he suggested two latecomers were cheered and applauded on board after being late back in Bergen – they may well have had a good reason for being late and the “welcome” could have been humiliating. The sail away from Olden was brilliant - although this is down to the town rather than P&O Turning to food, the food in the main dining rooms was of the usual high standard, although I don’t think I’m alone in being under the impression portion sizes are shrinking. Food in the buffet was more variable ranging from good to inedible – I made the mistake of going for toad in the hole one night – the single sausage was OK but the batter was stodgy and undercooked. The buffet was also too small for the numbers on board, especially at breakfast on the sea days. On the final evening a "Family Disco" was advertised .... the children were looking forward to this but it was a con and a shambles. It wasn't a disco and there were no staff running it ..... basically it was a dance floor with a pre-recorded sound track, most of which was unsuitable for children. The only staff were bar staff trying to sell alcohol to the parents. When one of the parents complined to one of the bar staff, he shrugged his shoulders and walked away. Obviously we speak to fellow passengers on board and it was interesting to note that everyone we spoke to who had sailed with P&O before all thought the standards on this cruise had dropped dramatically. More tellingly, the family members we travelled with are both ex-P&O bridge officers and this is the first time they have been on a P&O ship in ten years and they were appalled by the drop in standards. I wonder if it is down to the removal of the service charge and subsequent reduction in pay for staff …. Is this causing a reduction in morale? We also found from a cabin steward, not ours in case P&O read this and decide to victimise our steward, they are now being asked to look after more cabins than they used to. Whilst on board I had planned to book a future cruise with P&O to take advantage of the discounts and other benefits – after this experience I did not bother. In the past I’ve been happy to pay more for the superior level of service with P&O. I am now of the view I can experience the same level of service with another Carnival company, Costa, for around two-thirds the price of P&O. It will be a long time, if ever, before I sail with P&O again and that’s something I thought I would never say. It seems P&O are aiming to dumb down to the lowest common denominator rather than providing a class service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this due price and itinerary as we got a deal. We were very reticent about booking on P&O again after a previous trip on Britannia which was awful and we did not like the ship at all, other than the cabin. So, we were not ... Read More
We chose this due price and itinerary as we got a deal. We were very reticent about booking on P&O again after a previous trip on Britannia which was awful and we did not like the ship at all, other than the cabin. So, we were not really expecting much of this trip but it was an itinerary we had not done, at a good price which we booked very late. Well, on this occasion P&O delivered on all counts. We were both amazed and delighted. Ventura is a beautiful ship, loved the interior, the entertainment venues, the casual dining was great and the actual entertainment was absolutely outstanding. Best we have ever seen on a cruise ship and credits must go to the extraordinarily hard working entertainment team of singers and dancers who delivered 4 different amazing shows and performances throughout the week, the other days with alternative entertainment which was equally good. Huge credit to the directors and choreographers who staged it all. Our cabin was a balcony cabin at the stern, C753. It was actually at the rear corner and we had the most amazing views as we sailed down the Fjords and when docked in port. Flam was stunning, as was Olden, Stavanger's old district was just lovely with its old white wooden houses, and our last stop Bergen had the most amazing old area with wooden buildings and walkways. We were so impressed with P&O this time that we decided to book another trip on board for next year. We would definitely sail on Ventura again. Lovely staff, good food (and we ate casual the whole trip) and a clean well kept ship with great staff, especially the Captain who was hilarious. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As first family crew chose p and o. Buffet food was average and bland especially at dinner time.Very difficult to find a table at buy times. Staff in buffet restaurant not particularly friendly. Believe other worked. Restaurants included ... Read More
As first family crew chose p and o. Buffet food was average and bland especially at dinner time.Very difficult to find a table at buy times. Staff in buffet restaurant not particularly friendly. Believe other worked. Restaurants included in price Cinnamon and Saffron. Had lovely food and very good service. We paid for food one night in the glasshouse (tapas) that was amazing. Beach house food which you had to pay extra for was average. My food had a hair in it yuk. Put me off. Our steward was excellent very friendly. Most of the other staff were not very smiley and seemed disinterested. Reception staff not very friendly or smiley either. Swimming pools were good but sometimes full of screaming kids. Entertainment was good. We3 - vocal group were amazing. Adele impersonator very good. Metropolis bar was very classy with good views and a guy playing piano. I used the gym. It’s very good with up to date equipment and nice views into the sea. Overall good. But customer service standards could be better. Maybe staff not getting tips anymore is having an affect. We are thinking of trying another cruise company next time to get a better standard of customer service and friendlessness. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our second cruise with P and O, the first being last year on Britannia, which was disappointing. We have cruised with different companies previously so do have some idea of expectations! We returned from a cruise to Norway on ... Read More
This was our second cruise with P and O, the first being last year on Britannia, which was disappointing. We have cruised with different companies previously so do have some idea of expectations! We returned from a cruise to Norway on Ventura yesterday we were disappointed to find that there was a lack of activities during the cruise. The tables in some of the bars and on the tables on deck 15 were not cleaned after use. There didn't seem to be enough staff to serve guests in any of the bars and we were not the only ones who failed to be served in the exchange or on deck 15. Some staff we found to be rude. This was not what we expected. We ate in the restaurant and in the Glass house. The Glass house was excellent, it is a shame that the same can not be said for the main restaurant, we were either rushed through courses and left with the menu for desserts for a cknsiderable period, on some occasions we were asked if we wanted cheese and coffee and others not and felt that although we were asked, we shouldnt have said yes we wanted both, there didnt seem any consistency within the restaurants Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
What an amazing experience overall with very little to fault! Embarkation was swift, we used CP Parking and had priority boarding through our suite booking. It took us less than 20 minutes from arrival at the dock in our car to ... Read More
What an amazing experience overall with very little to fault! Embarkation was swift, we used CP Parking and had priority boarding through our suite booking. It took us less than 20 minutes from arrival at the dock in our car to stepping on board the ship - couldn't have been any easier! Once on board we did find that there was no assistance/help for those new to cruising to know where we should go or what to do! I felt this was the one element of the cruise that was a little bit of a let down. Safe to say we walked aimlessly around for a while before working out where to go. All meals and food were fantastic. We had a mix of breakfasts at the Epicurian, the waterside buffet, the bay tree restaurant and on our balcony. All were wonderful. Lunches were taken at the waterside buffet or the poolside grill / pizzeria. Good choice and plenty available. We had select dining at the 6.30pm slot in the bay tree restaurant where we had the same table for 4 by the window each night. Our waiters Wilson and Suresh were exceptional and brilliant with the children showing them new drawings and tricks each night and serving up the odd extra chocolate treats! Ports visited: Stavenger - we did our own thing here and just took a long walk around the different areas of the town, plenty to see and keep the children busy Olden - amazing sail down the fjord - simply stunning. In Olden we did the beautiful Stryn exursion which was a lovely coach drive through the mountains stopping off at various points for photographs etc. It also included a stop at the national park centre for traditional pancakes, tea and a chance for the children to play at the small beach by the lake. definately our stand out day. Alesund - we did our own thing in the morning climbing the 416 steps to the viewpoint high above the town. Stunning views but be aware it costs once you get up there to enter the viewpoint area with the cafe/toilets etc. In the afternoon we did the exursion to the Atlantic Sea Park - much nicer than the sea life centres in the Uk, but we did find that the 3 hours allocated was a little long - we were done in 2 hours and had to wait for the coach to return. Bergen - biggest port of call and very busy with numerous cruise ships all in dock at the same time. Again we did our own thing and took in the sights of the old shopping quarter the park and lake and the fish/traditional food market. Both children attended the Reef childrens' clubs in the evening - surfers and scubas and had an amazing time, meeting lots of new friends onboard. this enabled us to have time in the evening to relax and take in some of the entertainment on offer. The Beatles experience were fantastic as was the Astonishing magic show. Spice Girls tribute and comedian also good fun! We felt the cleanliness of the ship and attentiveness of staff was excellent throughout. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Firstly embarkation was a breeze. Turned up early and no hanging about. A porter came over collected our cases and off we went. But if you take a suit bag you have to carry this on yourself. Straight onto the ship, the bars where open the ... Read More
Firstly embarkation was a breeze. Turned up early and no hanging about. A porter came over collected our cases and off we went. But if you take a suit bag you have to carry this on yourself. Straight onto the ship, the bars where open the holiday was well under way, and didn't have to wait ages for the cases to arrive at our cabin. The cabin had plenty of hanging space, coat hangers and comfy a lot of mirrors! I ordered my wife flowers before we got onto the ship and they where there and they have now come home with us and still perfect. Our cabin assistant was called Ana and she is amazing, you could ask her anything and she knows. She works really hard So if your cabin assistant is as good give them some extra they deserve it. Dining. We went for freedom dining, which meant we could go to the Saffron any time between 18.30 and 21.30. If you want a table for 2 be prepared to wait. Otherwise you sit with 6 other people and not the same people.If you are a big eater you will lose weight and it takes 2 hours to eat a 3 course meal. You can however have what you like, so if you opt for the pan fried chicken you can add a steak which I found out on the Friday.I found some waiters little snatchey towards the men, and not too intent on watching butter levels, it was like if its gone its gone. Waterside. Utter chaos little selection and poorly set out. Breakfast was Luke warm and limp. Pastries dry and hard. Lunch very similar BUT go to the beach house the buffet there amazing!!!!Still disorganised but worth it.We had lunch in the Saffron one day which took over an hour and if you order a plate from the menu i.e the cold meat plate that is all you get so don't forget to order your sides. We didn't eat in the specials. when an Indian couple tell you that the Indian restaurant was poor you guess they should know. Drinks Pub prices pints £4,30 wine £5.00 ish Costa coffee £2.60 when you order a drink be prepared to wait it takes a while to get it, usually about 15 minutes although we did wait longer than that when it's busy. We opted for the soft drink pack and consider we saved but everyone is different.If you go for the soft drinks package and order a alcoholic one be prepared for the comment "this is for soft drinks" and you have to explain you know we have to pay for a alcoholic drink. Ice cream Ridiculous price £3.45 for 2 golf ball sized scopes. Burgers and hotdogs from the poolside great Big and juicy cooked fresh and not dripping in grease. condiments though in a large pump vat. Entertainment. We saw 2 good comedians and the Astonish Show which was good. I am not a lover of cruise ship singers so can't judge as it would be unfair. Didn't have much to do with the day time events either. We paid for the use of the Retreat. Adults only a waiter lunch bought up to you afternoon tea of sorts. But be careful as the price isn't fixed and a couple the next day paid £75.00 less and got more thrown in. Overall our expectations of the Ventura was good here are some rough points We had a photo shoot at the same time as another couple, then a private viewing of our photos If we wanted them the price was £1500.00 I can not make this figure look anymore ridiculous the other couple £450 for the same package! Figure that out? Other passengers I am not a snob, How ever I am able to conduct myself in an acceptable manner You will need at times a high tolerance level to endure them from both sides of the coin, and I must point out that the Ventura is a wheelchair friendly ship which although liberating can at times turn into a destruction Darby. Thus paid for the retreat, The attendant in the downstairs perfumery is possibly the most unhelpful person on the ship. All the staff apart from the fore mentioned did work hard and long hours, and sometimes you had to double take as they had changed from working pool side to the restaurants. You could talk to the officers and they interact with ease and it's not a chore, and the Captain is witty. Excursions!!!!! Our experience and others We paid for 2 excursions On 1 we had the misfortune of having someone sit behind us who had been before and wasn't interested. I paid to hear the guide. I have come home not knowing anything about what I saw, but know her family intimately and so does the rest of the coach. Before we set off I noticed that our trip finished at 18.30 but so was the boarding time. I questioned this and was told that there was plenty of time. when we got back to the ship we where thrown on our bags launch onto the X-ray and spoken to like idiots regardless of mobility. If you want to complain the shore excursion desk closes at 18.30!Our second was really nice the coach drivers are highly skilled. Watch the pricing I know you pay to guarantee getting back on board but to be charged to take a child under 6 on the train in Flaam is a bit rich when children under 6 actually travel for free. Other points P and O do black tie nights. Get involved and enjoy then spend the evening people watching many giggles were had.If you don't you can only eat in the Waterfront as widely stated, don't bore others the next day moaning that it was your only option. The scenery is stunning get up early though as you sail through around 4am Sunsets are out of this world. Is it value for money? only you will know. We paid for extras because we wanted to. Their guidelines are their guidelines. the choice stops with you. Norway is expensive. A coffee and a waffle for 2 £13.00(130.00kr)a bottle of coke from £3.00(30kr) Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Embarkation was smooth, we waited about 30 mins to be called.The ship was easy to navigate and very clean. Always found somewhere to sit during the day and in the evening. We had a delux balcony cabin and were very impressed with the size ... Read More
Embarkation was smooth, we waited about 30 mins to be called.The ship was easy to navigate and very clean. Always found somewhere to sit during the day and in the evening. We had a delux balcony cabin and were very impressed with the size and storage. It was kept spink and span by our attendant. The food was comparable with other cruises. We especially liked the grab and go option at lunch. I found the puddings in the main dining room a bit bland at dinner. Strange as the puds in the buffet were lovely. I really enjoyed the activities and joined in the line dancing, choir, deck games and quizzes. I thought the bands around the ship were good and almost all the shows in the theatre. I especially enjoyed the Scottish show in Greenock. We did excursions in The Faroe Islands and every port in Iceland, they were pricey, but it is an expensive island. they were well organised. In fact the tender operation were the smoothest we have experienced. All in all a really good cruise and would book with P & O again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a family cruise around the Fjiords with frequent cruisers. The boarding was very efficient and our cabin (Superior Deluxe Balcony) could not be faulted when we first arrived. However, the food across the board was below ... Read More
This was a family cruise around the Fjiords with frequent cruisers. The boarding was very efficient and our cabin (Superior Deluxe Balcony) could not be faulted when we first arrived. However, the food across the board was below average. It was below average in general, not just in comparison to the normal standard of cruise food. The buffet was small, cramped and disorganised with limited selection. We ate breakfast in the buffet and restaurant. The selection in the restaurant was very disappointing as each day there was a special which could not be ordered on any other day. i.e. Eggs Benedict could only be ordered on a Monday etc. We ate in the Cinnamon Restaurant every evening and were able to have the same table seating all of us every night. The poor staff are run off their feet from clear staff cuts and do not have enough time for the usual niceties let alone to take orders and serve the food. The food in the restaurant was bland and disappointing on almost every occasion. The desserts were diabolical. The pastry was always uncooked, the panna cotta contained far too much gelatine and had less flavour than a piece of paper. Our cabin was very noisy. Being near an engine room there was a constant rattling. We did complain and were offered to move to an indoor cabin! When we refused to downgrade we were offered ear plugs. However, we were impressed with the size of the cabin and canapes on the Captain's night were a nice touch. Our cabin stewardess was lovely and really looked after us. The entertainment was average and if anything on the tacky side. They could do with more seating in the bar/lounge areas. On the positive, drinks were very reasonably priced in comparison to other cruises we have been on as were the spa treatments. We will not be cruising with P & O again.Yeah Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We went on the Ventura specifically for the Strictly Come Dancing themed cruise from Southampton around the Mediterranean on 2nd June. We thoroughly enjoyed all the Strictly shows and meeting the Strictly dancers including Oti Mabuse, ... Read More
We went on the Ventura specifically for the Strictly Come Dancing themed cruise from Southampton around the Mediterranean on 2nd June. We thoroughly enjoyed all the Strictly shows and meeting the Strictly dancers including Oti Mabuse, Graziano, Alijaz and Janette and head judge Shirley Ballas. The entertainment was very good indeed and if you didn't want to immerse yourself in the Strictly theme there was always something going on in other areas. Our cabin was good for an inside cabin and it felt larger because of the clever positioning of mirrors however I would definitely choose an outside cabin if going again because that way you can sit outside. Our cabin steward Lourdes was so lovely nothing was too much trouble for her even getting me some extra hangers. We mainly ate in the buffet restaurant and there was a good selection of different food every evening but we did get a bit fed up of the same four types of English cheese on offer every night! The main restaurant was nice but we found the waiters abit brusque so we didn't go there very often. There was a varied itinerary of some nice places to visit including Gibraltar Cartagena Barcelona Marseille Monaco Corsica and Cadiz. We took two excursions one in Marseille which unfortunately wasn't very good it was a beach excursion with a quick stop in Marseille. It was a very hot day and the guide kept us on the coach for fifteen minutes in the heat while telling us about the history of Marseille instead of giving us that extra time in Marseille as we only had twenty minutes left. When we got to the beach we had one and a half hours but it was absolutely crowded and wouldn't be suitable for anybody with a walking disabilities to venture on as it was very hard to get in and out of the sea as the shingle dropped down. When I mentioned this to the excursion sales person on the ship he told me that I shouldn't be going on any beach with a walking disability! I was very offended and really think he should have been taught a tactful way of suggesting his paying customer might have been better to perhaps not go on the beach. I only wanted them to note that they should advise of this as no way in the shore excursion guide does it say it isn't suitable for people who have disabilities. The content of this particular excursion was not good and several people complained on return. However the tour of Monaco and Montecarlo was excellent and we were taken to the major attractions with a brilliant French lady who made the tour fun and interesting. Now for the terrifying part! We had been taken ashore on tender boats in the morning so after waiting 45 minutes in the boiling hot sun with no shade and nowhere to sit we eventually got on our tender boat to return to the ship and we we left the port the tender started to roll all over the place as the wind picked up and the sea was going right over the front of the tender, it gradually got worse and worse and one poor man became very seasick he was told to sit down as it was so dangerous on the boat and was passed a lot of bags. By this time people were panicking and one lady nearly passed out while another was being seasick. I was really frightened because the boat was rocking so much I could see even the tender pilot looked worried. We were stuck on the tender for an hour rocking and rolling and when they tried to bring it along side the ship it kept smashing into the platform where you get off. It took three strong men to help each person off by literally hauling them o to the ship incase they fell into the sea. Ours was once of the last tenders to actually make it to the ship after that the Captain halted the rest and left over a thousand guests on the shore in Monaco! Luckily later that evening we were able to put down ancho in Villefranche which had a calmer bay and all the rest of the guests got on tenders after being coached there and finally onto the ship late into the evening. People were exhausted and some had missed their medicine which was on the ship. This has completely put us off of ever going on a tender boat again. I don't often get freighted but that was very scary indeed! The overall view of the ship is that it offered a good variety of bars cafes theatre and restaurants and had good areas on deck to sit out on. The swimming pools were nice and big with one covered if it was cooler like when we left Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
A 7 day trip to Norway fiords. Very enjoyable apart from the weather which unfortunately we can’t order. This ship is big but well organised with plenty to do, good shows with choice and excellent dining in restaurants. Self service not ... Read More
A 7 day trip to Norway fiords. Very enjoyable apart from the weather which unfortunately we can’t order. This ship is big but well organised with plenty to do, good shows with choice and excellent dining in restaurants. Self service not so good, very repetitive. We were well looked after in our cabin by our friendly smiley Steward. The ship was full as it was half term but we enjoyed being with a large mix of ages and families. A change from the usual oldies like us. It was a pity a lot of the scenic cruising up the fiords took place in the early morning about 4am onwards. Afraid that’s too early for us. Also there were only 4 stops, the last one being Bergen where there is plenty to do but we had to be back on board for 2pm which spoilt it. The whole experience has been soured since we arrived home as I found I had left my keys on board in the bedside drawer. I phoned as soon as I got home about 12.30pm thinking as the ship didn’t sail again until that evening the keys could be brought ashore and posted to me. I was so wrong! All you get is an e mail telling you that if you haven’t heard within 21 days they haven’t been found. How unhelpful is that? This wasn’t just a bag of make up, this was a very expensive remote controlled car key and house keys. P.O. just treat everything the same no matter what items you have left aboard. In other words they make no effort to locate lost property. I haven’t heard anything. I put in a formal complaint. After two and half weeks somebody finally phoned to address it. The usual platitudes about their procedures and how much lost property they have to deal with. All about them not about their poor customers.We had to pay £160 to replace the car keys. I know, should be more careful etc. Agreed. However you have to be out of your cabin by 8am and it is such a rush to get out get breakfast before all eating places close that you end up in too much of a rush. We have been given money off our next booking with P.O. but that doesn’t really make up for all the stress and time taken up trying to get P.O. to take this seriously and the trauma of obtaining new remote keys, not something that happens quickly, they have to be ordered and then programmed. All because nobody was willing to make a simple phone call to the ship while it was still in port at Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We'd only been on one cruise before, and that was with Royal Caribbean on their Vision Of The Seas ship, which is about 80% of the size of this one, I think. This was a cheap cruise, so we decided to (despite the not fantastic ... Read More
We'd only been on one cruise before, and that was with Royal Caribbean on their Vision Of The Seas ship, which is about 80% of the size of this one, I think. This was a cheap cruise, so we decided to (despite the not fantastic reviews) plump for it and see how it went. We didn't have elevated expectations and unfortunately we were right to have had that attitude! I was absolutely blown away by the difference in service levels. Ventura is full of staff who simply do their job. Too many of them have forgotten that they are only there because the customers need them to be - and that people go on holiday to have fun and enjoy a little bit of luxury. Don't get me wrong, none were rude, but none had any real spark, minus a guy in Metropolis. --Bay Tree restaurant-- To begin, our dinner in the Bay Tree restaurant on the first night, blimey. Steak and chips, fish and chips, ham egg and - yep - chips were three of about 7 main options. The others weren't interesting either; I'm not just excluding them to make the review look poor! One was pie I think. The menus every night were just not exciting. After a day of being at sea, or on a black tie evening, it's nice to be wowed by a fantastic menu - not just be "fed". The staff in this restaurant were amongst the least interested in great customer experience I think I've ever experienced! Their main aim, it seemed, was to get their job done in the easiest way possible - so for example serving my wife and I alongside the three tables of two around us, at the same time. So we all got our orders taken at the same time, all got our food at the same time and waited for each other to finish before we could order the next course. We had to flag someone down to order a drink other than the (really chlorinated) water we were already given. When I ordered a glass of red, I was sent the "wine waiter" - a lady turned up who didn't offer any knowledge on wine, just wanted me to tell her what I'd like. She couldn't take payment either, that was the first guy's job. Cheese and biscuits? Bizarre! We were first given a side plate each and a knife. Then our waiter turned up with a large slate of cheeses, but not to leave it with us - he wanted my wife and I to select each cheese, bit by bit, and how much of each we wanted. Then, after this process was complete, he returned to get us to do the same with the biscuits! I had to explain to him that the idea of cheese and biscuits is that the choice is made as you're eating it! Also, having to beg for five minutes before eating is frustrating and unnecessary. As for breakfast in this restaurant, it's even worse! Lots of staff serving (/cleaning) empty tables instead of the guests sat down already, means you have to forever catch someones eye. The toast was never anything but stone cold and solid (even when we asked for it to be warm). There's no going off the menu in terms of options. I wanted (on the Monday morning) some smoked salmon with my scrambled eggs - the chap told me that wasn't on until Sunday. So once in the week we were allowed smoked salmon (and by the way when Sunday came, it was mixed in and therefore cooked, with the scrambled eggs). I'm not a greedy person but am used to being able to have a certain level of creative licence with breakfast! I don't know why they can't just offer a buffet system - they appear to be withholding any ability for the guest to just have a good breakfast, and with it, being really slack on service. --The ship-- We found the layout really annoying. The absolute main reason for this is that there's no one route around the whole ship - meaning after dinner when you fancy a walk, you can't do this without either worming through the interior spaces of one of the decks (7 I think), cutting through bars and restaurants, or going out on deck and walking through sports areas and using stairs to complete a circuit. It doesn't sound like a big problem until it's a sea day and all you want to do is get a few steps done! A weird feeling of cabin fever when you can't just go for a walk. The atrium isn't very big, meaning there's no real reason for it being there - on Vision (RC) last year, the atrium was constantly used for nice evening celebrations and displays. There isn't therefore one large, spectacular area on the ship for people to all be in, on for example a black tie evening reception. We found it strange that there wasn't a common area for people to begin their evening. --Things to do-- There was loads to do, as long as you're either with a child, or you're a child. We were travelling as a couple and basically there's only one place with any level of atmosphere that's laid back and slightly classier, which is Metropolis Bar. Every other space for "lounging" either has no music on (and is therefore just an area for people to sit looking at each other, waiting for their next meal) or is full of kids. They were all very quiet, abandoned spaces during the day. And because there's no one large open area in the ship for people to gravitate towards, everywhere felt deserted. Exchange bar was nice enough, but treads too much on the Butlins method of holidaying - people drinking Fosters and playing bingo or watching the football. We avoid places like this at home so didn't use it on the boat. We consequently found sea days pretty boring without our own things to do - books etc. We never found this on RC's Vision. Their public spaces were all vibrant and well laid out; nice enough to spend time in just watching the world go by. --The great things-- We loved Metropolis. Only complaint really would be that it kept being booked out for private events, meaning that the one decent bar was pretty much out of action for these times. It's also (as mentioned above) the only classy, atmospheric bar on the ship, so got really busy in the evenings, so much so people were jostling for tables. (Tamarind was nice in the evenings too, but no view as it's low down in the ship and the curtains were shut!). Sindhu, absolutely incredible. A fantastic way to spend an evening, away from the crowds. Food was top notch and the service was great too. The show - Paradise City - was great. Not the longest show, but absolutely perfectly put together! --The cabin-- We had an interior cabin, to test the theory for our summer cruise which we hadn't booked at the time of sailing. It was absolutely fine - a little strange not knowing what was happening in the world outside but that's normal for an interior cabin. I liked the layout, of the dressing area by the bathroom, with the bedroom as its own separate area. Nicely equipped too, with a kettle and fridge. Could have done with more hangars and a bigger telly. Also somewhere to sit would have been nice! Not sure if it's normal for interior cabins to be so small. --The destinations-- If I'm honest, I'm a bit simple with culture. Not really a museum-goer, so a wander around the town is good enough for me. The destinations were nice - but one of them was on a bank holiday day, so nothing was happening (and the city wasn't particularly pretty anyway) - this could have been scheduled a little better I think. The excursions were really fairly priced - and I heard good things about them. --Summary-- I think basically, 7 days is the maximum time I could spend on this ship. It's a little too poorly designed and there's not enough to do, without making your own entertainment. Also, it was value for money given what we'd paid. Had I paid lots of money for a summer holiday on this boat, I would be very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Not impressed with the food. Had breakfast in the main restaurant. Bacon was very fatty. toast was cold, and hard. Also not very much choice of daily dinner choices in the main restaurant. Four items were always on the menu. Had eggs ... Read More
Not impressed with the food. Had breakfast in the main restaurant. Bacon was very fatty. toast was cold, and hard. Also not very much choice of daily dinner choices in the main restaurant. Four items were always on the menu. Had eggs benedict one morning in the buffet restaurant, the muffin was very hard and dry. Had to pay extra in The Beach House for our evening meal to get food that you usually get on a cruise ship. Attitude of some of the staff where not what you normally get a on a cruise. Bit rude, and not very helpful. Not very much going on at the day at sea. Was looking forward to hear one of the guest speakers. Which we have experienced on previous P & O cruises. That did not happen. The entertainment was very good. We were very disappointed. Will not be cruising with P & O again Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Family getaway over the Easter hols. Boarding was OK and smooth. Cabin was ok (inside twin with 2 bunks) but too small for four people. Service for food and drink was painfully slow, no fault of the staff, just not enough of them ... Read More
Family getaway over the Easter hols. Boarding was OK and smooth. Cabin was ok (inside twin with 2 bunks) but too small for four people. Service for food and drink was painfully slow, no fault of the staff, just not enough of them for the amount of passengers, of which there were far too many; one couldn't move in any of the swimming pools! We ate in the buffett restaurant, Saffron and cinnamon restaurants and the poolside grill. All food was OK but nothing really stood out, not even on the formal nights; A cheese board consists of 2 tiny bits of cheese and a couple of jacobs crackers! The ship is generally clean and tidy and in a good state of repair. P&O are the Ryannair of the ocean...EVERYTHING is extra! P&O need to stop being so greedy and bring the luxury back to cruising or they wont be around for much longer. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I would of given 4 stars as an overall rating as everything else except the cabin was very good . Embarkation was speedy as was disembarkation. The food was great in the dining room and the buffet . The waiters were all polite and helpful. ... Read More
I would of given 4 stars as an overall rating as everything else except the cabin was very good . Embarkation was speedy as was disembarkation. The food was great in the dining room and the buffet . The waiters were all polite and helpful. The excursion from Zeebrugge was excellent. I learnt more about Belgium from our guide than I ever knew before ! We went to a small village, a castle come Manor House and finished at a chocolate factory. We were disappointed that the ship couldn’t stop at Peter Port yet again. I feel it’s time to find another port in northern France that would make it easier to disembark passengers safely. I’ve suggested on previous questionnaires that a dedicated cinema would be great with films on at times you can watch them!! Nobody has paid attention yet ! All in all apart from the cabin we had a great time and have booked a 2 week cruise to the Baltic’s next year. Excellent value. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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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