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5 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Canary Islands from Southampton

my husband and I took our first ever cruise on board P/O VENTURA on the 2 January 2016. we stayed overnight on the 1 jan at wetherby service hotel, and cruise connect picked us up the following morning at 7.30. we had a good run down to ... Read More
my husband and I took our first ever cruise on board P/O VENTURA on the 2 January 2016. we stayed overnight on the 1 jan at wetherby service hotel, and cruise connect picked us up the following morning at 7.30. we had a good run down to Southampton, arriving about 2pm. we embarked onto the ship. (I WAS IN AWE OF THE SIZE OF THE SHIP) had our pic taken, then onto reception to collect our card etc. we then caught the lift to our cabin. not disappointed, we had a balcony, the room was spotless. our cabin attendant introduced himself. a charming young man, by the name of REVLON. I did some of our unpacking, then proceded to the MUSTER STATION for the drill of safety. I wont go on too long with my review, only to say that we really enjoyed every aspect of the cruise. down to our room, the cleanliness of the ship, we ate in waterside for breakfast and Bay Tree for select dining, and no complaints over the food, everything was good. I know we can not compare with any other ship, but our first experienceon this ship, we ENJOYED it very much, and are looking forward to booking our next one for next year, as it will be our 70th and golden wedding. some people moan over the least little thing, but I would like to say, there is something to do for everyone on this ship. I even got my pic taken with TOM O CONNER!!!!!! we will probably book with P/O for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We did enjoy the cruise but a few parts were disappointing! Are departure was smooth apart from we didn't book parking in advance. We were told just to turn up,it was included in our package and someone would take our car when we ... Read More
We did enjoy the cruise but a few parts were disappointing! Are departure was smooth apart from we didn't book parking in advance. We were told just to turn up,it was included in our package and someone would take our car when we arrived. But apparently we had to book it before, we then saw a very small print at bottom of email,you must book it your self !! So we had to pay £135 to sort this but p&o on board did add this to our on board spend. Our room was great queen size bed and a fold out sofa bed for the teenage boys but was a bit worn and springs made lots of noise when my son moved in the night. balcony was large. Lots of choices of films on TV. The room was cleaned twice a day with tea & coffee refills,chocs and biscuits! Ship is very large,takes awhile to find your way. Pool at back is very nice place to Sit and get some sun ! The staff are all lovely We had freedom dining .... Food was like pub grub nothing special, and uninteresting old school 80s food. we did eat at sindhu twice,well worth the extra money £15ph. Drinks well priced some great wines at good prices,soft drinks can soon add up for the kids over 13 days so be careful. Free cold water and coffee,teas are available at buffet,so make use ! You can bring on your own drinks but must be drunk in you room there doesn't seem the be a limit! But would Carry on in hand luggage to avoid breakages ! The weather was warm in its 60s, we had 3 sunny days the rest was over cast but that's just pot luck ! The boys enjoyed the pools on board & my oldest loved the gym never was busy lots of great machines. The sea days were a bit boring shows ok, if any good they were packed !!! So get there a hour before or you will be standing ... Tom Jones & Phil Collins are great ! And there was a great band which played a lot in the tamarin bar got everybody dancing. Queuing didn't find a problem everybody has to wait. The restaurants give u a pager,if they can't sit you straight away. Buffet seats hard to find but you can always walk in the next loung or eat by pool. Pizzeria is free and are thin and delicious. Food off shore avoid the restaurants near by with laminated picture menus.... walk up side streets,we found great tapas bars in Tenerife and Lisbon and well priced ! Lanzarote was the worst place we visited nothing really to look....I recommend you do a excursion !!!! We Wished did :) High lights Lisbon,grand canaria,Madeira Tenerife. grand canaria we didn't sail until 8pm so when back off shore later, we found a lovely out side bar covered in amazing lighting at bottom of shopping centre just near boat port !! cheap drinks,no wines though, Only Spirits served in big wine glasses lots of ice big measures...drinks 11.50 euros; great night cap ! The travel back was so slow and could have stopped off in brittany. But I suppose p&o make more money if your spending on board. The people on board are mainly older but in school term times sure this changes. My son really liked the kids club staff are great ! We did come out of the tips only because we were charged for the children too £240 a bit expensive we thought. So we tipped our cabin man and some waiting staff. We would have preferred to tip every night after our meals at table. Maybe p&o should pay more wages then we wouldn't be expected to pay in to tip. Would we go again maybe but would try Mediterranean/Caribbean Caribbean cruises liner next time for us looks more fun and modern:) Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
At times service in the main bar was particularly bad, waiting 45 minutes just to get a drink, refusing to let you get one from the bar. Areas of the ship discusting filthy, especially the toilets, very stained toilet seats. Public seating ... Read More
At times service in the main bar was particularly bad, waiting 45 minutes just to get a drink, refusing to let you get one from the bar. Areas of the ship discusting filthy, especially the toilets, very stained toilet seats. Public seating areas, fithy, even in the buffet resturant. Entertainment not brilliant although some was good but very repetitive and catered for the o.a.p's! Not all holiday makers were over the age of 65 and wanting to sit around knitting all day or doing the tango to a 1940's tune! Nor did we want to jive everry evening. Formal evenings were a joke, put on your best gear to have dinner, sit on dirty seats and maybe have a picture taken, costing around £20 to buy it, no special evening event, well i suppose you could do a ballroom dance in the foyer. Drinks at the bars although not too expensive, slightly more than in my local but there again my local pays the english taxes whereas the ship does not. Everything was about making money on the ship, go to an event, expect them to try and get you to pay for expensive treatments! The best thing about the cruise ship was the food, you could not go hungry, plenty of choice and great food. If the weather is not great, expect to be bored as there is little to do! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Apprehensive after reading all the negative reviews of Ventura but very pleasantly surprised. Arrived at cruise terminal two hours before appointed time of 2.30 but sent straight to check-in and then onto ship, so we were in the ... Read More
Apprehensive after reading all the negative reviews of Ventura but very pleasantly surprised. Arrived at cruise terminal two hours before appointed time of 2.30 but sent straight to check-in and then onto ship, so we were in the Waterside buffet by 1pm. Announcements were made that cabins wouldn't be ready until 2pm but this was no problem as we sat in the restaurant and enjoyed our first meal on board. When we were able to take over our cabin we found it to be well equipped with everything we needed. The Bay of Biscay was rough so not the most enjoyable start to the cruise, then we had heavy rain in Vigo, the first port of call but, of course, nobody can do anything about the weather. Pleased to say that we arrived in Lisbon in sunshine and from then on the weather was lovely and the sea calm for the rest of the cruise. We dined first sitting in the Bay Tree and enjoyed the food, always attractively served by friendly, efficient waiters. In fact, all of the crew that we encountered were polite and helpful at all times. Most of the entertainment was first class, particularly Adrian Walsh, Tony Wallace, Viva Voce, Elias Hendricks; The Headliners were also good but would be better if the volume was turned down slightly as they seemed to be louder than the other acts. The Arena theatre is spacious and comfortable. The sail-aways seem to be a bit like "Butlins-on-Sea" as some reviews have mentioned but, on such a huge ship, there is always somewhere quieter to retreat to and we enjoyed the sail-aways from our balcony. I have rated the cruise as "excellent" but would give 9.5 out of 10; the only negatives were that the Oasis pool was supposed to be an "endless" pool but the jets didn't work at all and the dance floor in the Atrium is too small - more than 6 couples dancing and it becomes crowded - a separate area for ballroom dancing would work better. At the end of the cruise disembarkation went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
12 nights on the Ventura was a struggle for my husband, 14yr old, 9yr old, 71 yr old mum and myself, unless you like a 'Butlins/Haven holiday camp type holiday at an extortionate price point'! (A fellow passengers words). Not ... Read More
12 nights on the Ventura was a struggle for my husband, 14yr old, 9yr old, 71 yr old mum and myself, unless you like a 'Butlins/Haven holiday camp type holiday at an extortionate price point'! (A fellow passengers words). Not classy and upmarket as they profess to be. Chavvy, raucous and packed like a cattle market, and I'm no snob. The ship was so over packed, that unless you stayed in your cabin, you had no peace, (even in there you could hear kids running up and down). Everywhere was congested, with 3,400 passengers the facilities were packed day and night during sea days. We walked around for over half an hour looking for somewhere to sit for breakfast in the buffet area, walking around looking for sun loungers was another daily challenge. My 2 star rating is for the Headliners performance group (I'm a sucker for musical theatre) and the service we recieved from our cabin steward and freedom dining waiter. Everyone/thing else is not worthy of a peanut. Be Warned they automatically add gratuity charges of £60 per person over 12yrs and unless you fill in a form to remove this they will keep it and expect you to tip! The captain also announced a "free" shuttle bus service on port days but my mum & daughter were still charged. The entertainment team is irritating and false at best and very amature at what they do. The girl doing quiz round the pool was unbearable! Every opportunity is used to sell something, be it a guest speaker, a performer selling CDs, table sales, or a spa promotion, making more money on top of already inflated prices. The excursions are completely overpriced, in their literature they say they offer the cheapest packages - not true! We copied their advertised excursions off our own back on a couple of islands for half the price using a private cab, do not be fooled by p&o. Kids clubs for 9yr old seemed safe enough with a sign in/out policy but my daughter felt it was chaos in there after 3 separate days visits so didn't want to go back. The teenagers 13yrs plus, are free to go and come as they please, although my 14yr old made friends from there she preferred to meet with them outside of that room as it seemed like a pick up joint for the older teenagers, especially at night. We couldn't get near the pools for congestion, the hot tubs full of kids too, the adult only area is at a price and their pool ice cold. I'm struggling to give you positives. Cabin was kept very clean & tidy Freedom dining, you can please yourself time wise & sit with others or alone if you choose Waiters very professional & friendly, as is cabin stewards, (can't say the same for reception staff thou) The White company complimentary products in your cabin are lovely, but you won't get a replacement unless you ask for it Really can't think of anything else good to say, other than Don't waste your money! Top tips...... If you are partial to perfumes or drink in duty free, cheaper to buy outside in ports you visit than on board. We found a difference of £10-£20 less off ship and stock on board not great either. Spoke to some staff who said they were being paid less than minimum wage for very long hours hence several were counting down the days till they left ship. P&O all in all do not seem like a very good company to cruise with or work for. Suffice to say we will not cruise with p&o again even my mum who has cruised before said this was by far the worse. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
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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