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3 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Mediterranean from Southampton

i arranged this cruise for my wife and it was a birthday surprise for her. This was our first cruise but i knew what i wanted with regards to service had talked to seasoned cruisers on what was to be expected. We made our own way to ... Read More
i arranged this cruise for my wife and it was a birthday surprise for her. This was our first cruise but i knew what i wanted with regards to service had talked to seasoned cruisers on what was to be expected. We made our own way to Southampton but when we got there, it was all well organised and efficient. From the moment my wife and i boarded, we were treated with respect, nothing was too much trouble. the suite i had booked was spacious and the steward was attentive but inconspicuous. The food was out of this world, as was the service at the first set dinner times.The balcony was a great add on as we could sit out there ion the evening and soak up the ambiance. The shows laid on were of the highest standards, I've paid to see shows that were not as good as these ones. The port excursions were not on interest to us as we went via taxi's at a better rate, we thought, than the excursions laid on. Dis-embarkation at all the ports we visited, were well thought out and very efficient. The acts ranged from a comedian to a 60's band who were extraordinary. There were things to do on board all the time, you would never be bored, filling your time was easy. Although there was very few children on board when we traveled, There were a lot of activities available for the little one's should you have needed them. One issue was at dinner, everyone was trying to use the lifts and get into the restaurants at the set time, causing bottle necks. The foyer for our dining room, "The Bay tree" was tiny so trying to get out of the lifts and away from the doors, was interesting at times. The various entertainment areas were very pleasant, waiters would wonder about, keeping out of the way, but was always there to supply your orders quickly and without fuss. The duty free shopping would have to be carefully done as you can pay more than you would on shore. They do offer a price match service that we took advantage of with two spirits we bought on board. We were not able to get a letter form the duty free shop on Gibraltar, but took a photo of the spirits concerned, the price label and the outside of the shop and showed it to the on board shop. they gave us an immediate credit for the difference. Very impressed with that. on a downside, the ship's gift shop staff could be distracted with joking with each other whilst processing your purchase, There should have been more attentiveness to the Passenger rather than chuckles with their fellow assistance, it was only in this store though and all other sales assistants, were professional and attentive We could not leave the ship when arriving at Monti Carlo because of weather conditions as it was too rough, a correct decision given the state of the sea, the captain gave his reasons which let us all know where we stood. Everything else was brilliant. This voyage of enlightenment was marred only by the tragic incident involving a man who went overboard on our return to Southampton, our thoughts go out to the man's family. The captain was totally professional in his handling of this sad event. Both He and his officers did everything they could to locate this poor man, but to no avail.All passengers were kept fully up - dated as to how things were progressing and he and his officers were calm and responsive to the situation even as this was a dreadful, but thankfully, rare occurrence. in conclusion, i can honestly say that this was a wonderful experience and one we will both be doing again given every opportunity. I think you would be very unfair to mark this in any other way than almost perfection. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I don't normally leave reviews, but feel that I need to on this occasion for the benefit of first time cruisers like ourselves. After booking our cruise from Southampton to Gurnsey, Portugal and Spain I went online to read reviews ... Read More
I don't normally leave reviews, but feel that I need to on this occasion for the benefit of first time cruisers like ourselves. After booking our cruise from Southampton to Gurnsey, Portugal and Spain I went online to read reviews and comments...I wish I hadn't as I felt quite disappointed and nervous due to the negative comments and complaints. I guess some people are hard to please and can find fault with anything....my nervousness was immediately put to rest from the moment we boarded Ventura. The embarkation ran smoothly and P&O were very organised and professional with every attention to detail covered. Once onboard....wow..wow..wow!!! Our balcony cabin was compact but offered everything we needed for a good nights sleep...there was too much going on to stay in there for long periods of time. Although we cruised in the school holidays, the children aboard were kept busy in the clubs and the swimming pool areas were never too much of a problem. The days at sea were obviously busier but never over crowded which I thought they may have been. All swimming pools and swimming pool areas were immaculate and despite other reviews, there were plenty of sun loungers to be found just not always in the busier and more popular spots. All the staff could not do enough for you, courteous, polite and always checking that you had everything. Our cabin steward was incredible...Manoj....thank you. We chose freedom dining and eat at the buffet style restaurants all week. The variety and choice of food was outstanding (24 hours every day). I think at times I did notice small queues for the waiter service restaurants, but you were provided with an electronic pager and beeped once your table was ready. We used room service once which was perfect and came with some lovely little touches. The port stops were nice, but unfortunately for us the weather was not. We only had one sunny day in Lisbon. Due to the poor weather conditions we were unable to stop at Gurnsey and our crossing over the Bay of Briscay was very choppy. I must admit I didn't like that too much. I cannot comment on the shows or films as we chose to retire early most evenings. I enjoyed the Spa resort, the prices were competitive to salons in the UK. The shops were adequate and offered a nice variety of goods. We were able to view our online account 24/7 on our TV in our room, this was settled very easily on the last night by the card which had been registered on the embarkation day. I could go on, and on .....I'm just so glad that we had this amazing experience which will stay with us forever....thank you P&O and Ventura. 2 travelling adults and 1 teenage son (17 yrs) Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
First time for us, and the last with P and O I think. Not what I expected for the price, I'm not hard to please but this was quite downmarket. I got the impression from others who had cruised before that they felt the same, perhaps P ... Read More
First time for us, and the last with P and O I think. Not what I expected for the price, I'm not hard to please but this was quite downmarket. I got the impression from others who had cruised before that they felt the same, perhaps P and O are trying to appeal to a wider market but they are certainly not appealing to the higher end market. Glad I chose freedom dining as there were certainly people on the ship I had nothing in common with and I would not have wanted to sit with them for 2 weeks. The ports were great but the excursions over priced, having travelled in Italy on numerous occasions we made our own way to Rome, 9 euros each on an air conditioned train, on time and clean, as oppose to the £54 each for the coach trip in. The 'entertainment' was amateurish apart from the comedian, a lot of it was not entertainment through the days but simply ways to get you to buy treatments from the spa, which were also much more expensive than at home. Even the water in your room has to be paid for, I've stayed in some less expensive hotels and that's not the case with them. I ve also stayed in some expensive hotels and this is not a patch on them I'm afraid, but it does still rate as expensive ! We made the best of it, the Epicurian restaurant was superb but addition cost, and the alcohol was fairly priced, we always have a good time but on this occasion that was down to us and not the cruise. The ship is tried and not very clean, that said the cabin steward did a lovely job, returning to a clean and tidy, cool cabin after the excursions was very nice, he was polite and helpful, in fact we removed our tips, which they take automatically, as the service else where was hit and miss, and we tipped the cabin steward only. I'm told some of the staff work on commission only, and whilst I feel sorry for those guys, the automatic tipping simply helps to cover the wage bill for P and O. Pay the staff properly i say, and leave the tipping to the discretion of passengers who feel they have had good service. Read Less
Sail Date July 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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