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4 Southampton to Spain P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

Overall this was a pleasure with, if I want to be picky, a few grouches. Ship can get a bit overcrowded and shovey if you turn up at peak times for meals in buffet restaurants. Also, to be sniffy, some passengers would seem ... Read More
Overall this was a pleasure with, if I want to be picky, a few grouches. Ship can get a bit overcrowded and shovey if you turn up at peak times for meals in buffet restaurants. Also, to be sniffy, some passengers would seem close chums of portly Onslow and family in that Mrs Bucket comedy series. Or the Royle family on their hols. Brits abroad who let us down. Swilling drinks, shouty, bit whiffy, tattoed, smokers, regular belchers and trumpers, string vests and they care not a jot for other passengers. P&O try hard to maintain good standards but just a few passengers foil them! Not P&O's fault. Food, entertainment, crew and facilities are all good or excellent. Showers are a bit small with no doors, just curtains. Ship looks a bit tired and rusty in places but overall decor etc was good. Very good song and dance team. Theatre is a bit too small so get there about an hour earlier to ensure seats. Best to avoid school holidays. Sometimes have to go up and down stairs or lifts too much to reach restaurants if you're infirm. Conclusion.....Well worth sampling Ventura but some passengers said they also agreed with us that RCI was a bit better. The debate goes on......All depends who you chat to. Edith Evans would not enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our fourth cruise on this lovely ship. We did not think standards had fallen despite recent reviews we had seen. The only disappointment was the weather and the entertainment - see below. Good quality and variety of food in the ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on this lovely ship. We did not think standards had fallen despite recent reviews we had seen. The only disappointment was the weather and the entertainment - see below. Good quality and variety of food in the buffet and main restaurants. We had Freedom dining in the Cinnamon and never had a problem getting a table when we wanted (we were happy to share though). We also paid the supplement for the Beach House one evening but did not think there should have been additional surcharges for a lot of choices on the menu. It would have been better to have a higher charge initially and have everything included. Two of the Headliners shows we had seen on previous cruises several years ago. Surely these should be updated on a yearly basis. Also the other entertainment was tired. P&O need to look to the American cruise lines for ideas on updating the entertainment. Pleasant and efficient service in the buffet and main restaurants and Metropolis bar. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Just back from 7 days aboard Ventura. The start wasn't too promising. Ventura docked 3 hours late from it's previous trip due to bad weather we were told. We were sent messages asking us to delay our port arrival ! On arrival we ... Read More
Just back from 7 days aboard Ventura. The start wasn't too promising. Ventura docked 3 hours late from it's previous trip due to bad weather we were told. We were sent messages asking us to delay our port arrival ! On arrival we queued for at least an hour before we were allowed to off load our luggage. In the terminal lounge there was at least 3000 people but the 'booking in was controlled'. We were reasonably lucky once we'd received our ship cards we went through reasonably quickly, however moments after we got through the terminal PC's all crashed which delayed things even more. However, once on board all seemed to go well. The weather on the first couple of days was terrible, it caused us to miss stopping at Guernsey but we can't hold anyone accountable for that. The ship was very clean and tidy and kept that way all throughout our cruise. The food on board in the main restaurant was to a very high standard, as was the service. The cabin (we had an inside cabin) was always serviced exceptionally well (Molivoy was the steward). The bars where serviced well by the waiters HOWEVER.... a big criticism of mine is that there are very few draught beers in each bar, and each bar has a different set. So if you wanted to watch a particular show you had to drink whatever that bar had to offer, which I believe in this day and age is unacceptable. The entertainment I felt was acceptable but not outstanding, which was a little disappointing. This is my 3rd P&O cruise and the previous ones all seemed to have a little better in terms of popularity (On Aurora we were entertained by Tom O'Connor). Another disappointing aspect to Ventura is the deck layouts. The size of the vessel dictates the need for lifts BUT they all seemed to have different amounts of deck coverage i.e. the rear lifts went to deck 18 but not 19, the centre lifts only went to deck 15, the front lifts didn't go all the wall down etc. It was sometimes difficult to plan your day/night out as you have to remember to change lifts if you were changing decks..... in some cases but not all. I thought the staff were very attentive and the service was very good in all areas. The ports of call were reduced as said earlier, but we stopped at Lisbon, Oporto, La Corunda. The first two were 'ok', but La Corunda was very disappointing, a lot of the shops were closed due to the economy being in such a state. In future I would consider staying on the ship if we called there. The disembarkation was also a little disappointing as it took over two hours for us to get off, I'm sure it could of been done quicker. Overall I would recommend a cruise on this ship. In future I would recommend choosing a cruise that stopped at some better ports, but I accept we're all different and our needs vary. I do think P&O are a very good cruise line and they serve the UK really well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
After toying with other ships leaving Southampton which didn't have enough indoor space for cool climates, our last two cruises have been on sensible P&O ships with indoor pools with space for dining around them (our mistake last ... Read More
After toying with other ships leaving Southampton which didn't have enough indoor space for cool climates, our last two cruises have been on sensible P&O ships with indoor pools with space for dining around them (our mistake last year was to choose the massive Indy OTS for a short trip to Norway....this ship depends on Caribbean weather to make use of the splendid outdoor pools area, but it was virtually empty outside for the 8 days, and utterly crowded inside). Ventura is an old favourite of ours, and we came upon an absolute last minute booking, giving us a week to prepare...and an upgrade from inside to an obstructed outside. This cabin, E410, is one of the most obstructed on the ship, having the machinery for the life raft covering most of the window- but there was a view, and above all, there was daylight! The cabin was lovely- we've only found this beautiful welcome of a tea tray, a flower and a silver dish of sweets on P&O, and, yes, it does add to the experience! Sometimes we sail in a more luxurious cabin on other lines, and enjoy perks provided, but really we know we pay for them; the tea tray/sweeties is for all levels of cabins, along with the chocolate at the turn down service! For once, there were no new ports for us on this cruise; in fact, we did an almost similar cruise in November on Aurora, mainly hoping for a little warm weather. In Lisbon we took the tour to Estoril, having known many who holidayed there, and looking out for the railway station to take us there another time; bad weather meant missing Cadiz, which is a favourite with everyone, but we made up for that with a full day in Gibraltar, a most fascinating port....we used the local buses, which took us to the cable car for 75 pence, senior fare. Malaga is glorious, and Cartagena is another favourite; Casablanca less so, but at least you can take the shuttle bus to the big square and wander around - I found "Sorry, no money!" n helpful, and hoped that "Pas d'argent!" was the right French....it seemed to work, and I wasn't hassled. We love Madeira, and this time took a tour because we've not been into the island itself, only along the coast and into Funchal, before. A delightful trip. The ship feeling was, as ever, relaxed and friendly; super staff; excellent speakers; the Headliners tremendously well-rehearsed and polished. A lovely, happy, laid-back and interesting fortnight; next time on her will be the full 28 days to the Caribbean and back, in January. Read Less
Sail Date May 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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