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8 Southampton to Norwegian Fjords P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

We wanted to go on this particular cruise as we have heard nothing but great reviews about the Fjords and we have sailed on the Ventura before. We drove down to Southampton from North Wales and this was probably the best trip down we ... Read More
We wanted to go on this particular cruise as we have heard nothing but great reviews about the Fjords and we have sailed on the Ventura before. We drove down to Southampton from North Wales and this was probably the best trip down we have had. There weren't any hold ups and after reading on CC that parking and portering had changed, we were pleasantly surprised that it was exactly how it was on our earlier cruise in March. We left the car with CPS outside the terminal and the porters took our luggage, all we had to do was to make our way to the terminal where we waited for no more than 30 minutes before we boarded the ship. Our cabin was ready virtually straight away. The one criticism about the cabin was my wife had to ask the cabin steward to change the duvet cover as it was dirty. The cabin was as expected, we had a sea view cabin and it was absolutely fine. The food on the ship was first class, albeit very similar to the previous cruise. I suppose the old adage ` if its not broken, don't fix it` comes to mind. The staff work tirelessly and nothing was too much trouble for them. I could list several names but they all deserve recognition. The food in the self service restaurant was equally as good as any of the main dining rooms and as such proved to be very popular and the knock on effect of this is that it is a free for all trying to get a table, saying that, we did manage to find a table....eventually. We went to see the Headliners twice, they were excellent. The work that they had to do to get the show as good as they did must have been phenomenal, very smooth and polished performances on both nights. We went to see the comedian Tucker. We have never heard of him before and we both thought he was hilarious. In -fact we were in stitches throughout his routine. The service from the crew was excellent. We had to call reception at 5am as the toilet wouldn't flush, they sent a plumber to fix the problem within 10 minutes. |We both feel that it would be preferable if P&O put the account back on to the TV in the cabins. Its a bit of a pain to have to keep asking for a print out at reception, it may also help to reduce their carbon footprint( every bit helps ). We didn't go on any excursions, I did fancy having a go on the RIB boats but chickened out in the end, we decided to walk into the ports and explore them ourselves. We chose to disembark the ship by ourselves due to the distance we have to travel, this was very easy to do and we were in our car by 7.30am. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise for a first time cruise. Brochure made it look very nice. We would not recommend this cruise Too many people, not enough space or things to do - just cramped. Everywhere busy, queues and everything expensive. Queues ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a first time cruise. Brochure made it look very nice. We would not recommend this cruise Too many people, not enough space or things to do - just cramped. Everywhere busy, queues and everything expensive. Queues to get on and off ship (one day 90 minutes waiting in the rain to get back on ship). Cabins small and basic. Nothing grand. Nothing like photos in brochure. Tired. Food below average only bonus lots of it - keep piling your plate up If you like the previous sittings left overs served up again you are okay. No idea of waiting your turn more like a push in and free for all. No where to sit and eat though.... Entertainment dire. A la carte restaurant a joke. Requested a small table as only 3 of us. Allocated a table of 10. Spent 2 hours waiting for food that was to be honest just crap. All pomp and put on - people dressing up and pretending. Complain to front desk - you are ignored and fobbed off Customer services on return - a hamper was sent and basically that’s it Facilities for disabled - poor Would not recommend unless you like paying a lot of money for lousy food and accommodation and being ripped off for excursions in ports and being ignored by the ships staff who are all well trained in fobbing you off. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Wanted to cruise and wanted to see Norway, what a super experience for my first Cruise. Ventura is a well appointed, spotlessly clean. Staff lovely, nothing too much trouble. Food in Bay Tree Restaurant exceptional, waiters lovely, ... Read More
Wanted to cruise and wanted to see Norway, what a super experience for my first Cruise. Ventura is a well appointed, spotlessly clean. Staff lovely, nothing too much trouble. Food in Bay Tree Restaurant exceptional, waiters lovely, service excellent. Plenty of choice, can honestly say enjoyed everything I ate. Buffet good for breakfast and lunch, great choices, tea and coffee always available. Entertainment was really good, shows very professional, comedian very funny. Cabin very comfortable, staff lovely, thank you.Bed made up and towels changed, nothing at all to complain about. Had wonderful company on table 23, hard to say goodbye. All in all recommend it to anyone, I was a solo traveller, felt special, would go again in a flash, have to start saving up. Norway Fjiords were stunning,just as expected, scenery out of this world. Saw glaciers, snow capped mountains, museums, you will have njoy it very much, believe me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We are veterans of twenty cruises and this was our first time with P&O, we chose a seven night trip to the Norwegian Fjords leaving from Southampton. Parking was superb, boarding efficient our bags were outside our cabin by the ... Read More
We are veterans of twenty cruises and this was our first time with P&O, we chose a seven night trip to the Norwegian Fjords leaving from Southampton. Parking was superb, boarding efficient our bags were outside our cabin by the time we got there, room attendant excellent and beyond reproach. The ship itself was just dull, no wow factors at all everything Brown and beige. The shops were likewise dull with low end products nothing exciting on show. Food in the main dining room just not good same menu every day with a couple of changes not well presented and everything was just bland. The waiters were indifferent to rude, never introduced themselves just took orders and slapped the food in front of you. The buffet option was so small and cramped to be a joke the food simply dreadful. The late night snack options a joke. Entertainment was a mixed bag, one funny comedian one that should have been sent home. A couple of good tribute bands and an excellent rock headliner show. Day time offerings poor. Drink prices very attractive compared with RCL and Celebrity around £5 to £6 for a cocktail. Staff generally just not helpful or up to the standard we have learned to expect. We heard to of them chatting about passengers and laughing at them, to my mind totally unacceptable. Our first and last trip with P&O Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Fjords Fantastic, Wheelchair friendly ship and ports. Staff very helpful getting on off ship with wheelchair. Many regular P&O Cruisers reported this being the worst ship they had ever been on. Cruise ship disappointing. This was ... Read More
Fjords Fantastic, Wheelchair friendly ship and ports. Staff very helpful getting on off ship with wheelchair. Many regular P&O Cruisers reported this being the worst ship they had ever been on. Cruise ship disappointing. This was our first cruise, however my parents have done several cruises. Cabins were lovely and our Stewart was brilliant. Dinning Buffet meal good for breakfast, just avoid the Eggs Benedict it was cold & no crispy bacon, omelets lovely, cooked to order. Afternoon tea in buffet good. Formal Restaurant service very slow 2 - 2hrs 45 mins, our quickest service was 1hr 45mins because we didn’t stay for desert, however meals were lovely. Entertainment poor 3 good guest acts, the rest was dire, singers out of tune (and I am tonne deaf). Couple of in house bands were good. Entertainment timings didn’t work in well with Restaurant eating. Shore excursions very expensive far better to research things to do and organise yourself - P&O charging over £48 for an activity that is a 10 min walk from ship and costs £10 to go onto. In saying that the Helecopter over the glazier worth every penny. Bar service good but if you drink a lot it can get expensive. Some reception staff could be a bit abrupt at time My Mum got a 5min lecture on how to look after her room key correctly when it stopped working. Seating around indoor swimming pool, floors often running with water and was very rarely mopped. I would do the Fjords again in a heart beat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Despite some reservations in view of some reviews the dates worked for us and the Fjords was somewhere we had not previously visited. After speaking to a Travel Agent we went for an early saver fare, guaranteed cabin style but cabin and ... Read More
Despite some reservations in view of some reviews the dates worked for us and the Fjords was somewhere we had not previously visited. After speaking to a Travel Agent we went for an early saver fare, guaranteed cabin style but cabin and dining arrangements advised later / on board. Used CPS for parking - very smooth service would recommend. Embarkation very smooth although we were around one hour early against allocated check in this was not a problem. Within 20 mins we were in our cabin. We booked a deluxe balcony cabin and it was great a bit of a wow factor when you enter and the fizz and chocs made for a great start to our holiday. We were near the back of the ship and I don’t know where I would chose to be, you get a cabin selection option with the select fare but I guess I would always just take what was available in the cabin grade desired. Although I am an inexperienced cruiser. Freedom dining is what it says in the evening you turn up at what time you wish there may be a table available or you will have a wait until one becomes free ( they provide you with a buzzer). The food was fine but for us the service was a little rushed and they pack the tables in - one evening we had a table for 2 but the table next to us was very close. I also think they squeeze 10 onto a 8 seat table.So, we used the specialty dining venues on 5 of the 7 nights which were excellent and represented excellent value. Breakfast and lunch were good we tried both waiter and self service breakfast probably preferred the latter - the waiters are stretched and the wait for coffee can go on a bit but if asked the waiters are very responsive. Self service choice very good. Good selection of bars and we liked the fact they were in different areas of the ship and each one had its own feel. Again waiters can be stretched but if asked / reminded respond positively. Prices we thought were fair and there is no pressure for tips (although a service charge is added per day we were happy with this ) and much better than the more American Royal Carribean approach. Entertainment is personal taste, for us it was a bit hit and miss the venues however are good. Overall and I only have one Royal Carribean cruise to compare to I felt the entertainment could be better. Management of stops was fine and overall the service and facilities were good - we would certainly return to the more British P & O approach before Royal Carribean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Firstly this was a relaxing and enjoyable holiday, we enjoyed the itinerary (which was our reason for booking this particular cruise) and the ship was fine however we weren't blown away by P&O. The ship is big but not bold, ... Read More
Firstly this was a relaxing and enjoyable holiday, we enjoyed the itinerary (which was our reason for booking this particular cruise) and the ship was fine however we weren't blown away by P&O. The ship is big but not bold, it's a little beige and lacks character; which is a shame. We mainly ate at the Bay Tree restaurant for dinner and in general the food was good, occasionally hit and miss but good all the same, the portions were a bit mean which meant I ended up going through every course e.g starter, soup, main, dessert and cheese & biscuits!! The waiting staff were fantastic, I can't think of any UK venue where the staff are so attentive, professional and friendly. The Waterside buffet on deck 15 was okay, a bit samey every day, A royal pain to get a table at breakfast if you turned up at the wrong time and people are generally slow to move and like to occupy their space. One big disappointing feature was the attrium, absolutely featureless and not what I expected, all the bars followed suit and were very 'safe', God only knows why they felt the need to have a British pub-themed bar ... awful! All areas were immaculately clean and again the staff work tirelessly to keep the standards high. We've cruised twice before with other cruise companies so I feel well placed to draw comparisons.. Due to P&O's reputation in the industry and the size of the Ventura we expected to be blown away.. Unfortunately we weren't. The daytime entertainment was bland and I think the ships designers need to inject a bit of character into the next refurb. Get some proper themed and defined areas on the boat so guests feel as though they are having unique experiences in each area of the decks... Be a bit braver P&O, if you want to compete in this ever more popular and accessible market then follow NCL's lead. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My wife and I decided to book at the last minute for a Fjords Cruise on Ventura. We had done a similar thing last year around the baltic on Azura and had a great time so what good go wrong? The check in process was ok even after the ... Read More
My wife and I decided to book at the last minute for a Fjords Cruise on Ventura. We had done a similar thing last year around the baltic on Azura and had a great time so what good go wrong? The check in process was ok even after the hour wait to unload luggage and get the car parked. The cabin we had been allocated was right at the front on deck 11 but was in good condition and clean. The cabin steward was very helpful, friendly and always had a smile. we had no problem for the first couple of days although it was very clear that the waiting staff had a couldn't care less attitude. Particularly in the buffet area where tables were left uncleared for lengthy periods, not good when space is limited. bar staff seemed to be under some sort of pressure to make you buy drinks, being asked if I want a drink 10 times in the space of a few minutes stretches my bounds of continuing to be polite,so it was get up and move on. We did not use the main dining room as we had had problems with food quality on other P&O cruises so decided to eat in the Waterside buffet in the evenings. The food choices were ok but high risk foods like meats were not hot.particularly concerning as they were only luke warm no more than 10 minutes after service started. When I raised the matter with the staff I was told it was because I had put it on a cold plate, this was not the case. Positives from the cruise. The Medical team who looked after my wife when she was exceedingly ill with either food poisoning or Norovirus and had to be taken to the medical centre followed by cabin confinement were excellent as were they poor devils who had to sanitise the cabin and bathroom. The shows we managed to see were really good too so no problem there and as already stated the cabin steward shone out, We will have to give great consideration as to whether we sail with P & O again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.9

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