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8 Southampton to Transatlantic P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

My Auntie Joan and Uncle Gordon always swore that there was not other cruise line to be considered except P&O so when my husband booked a holiday on the Ventura for our first wedding anniversary I was really excited. Although I had ... Read More
My Auntie Joan and Uncle Gordon always swore that there was not other cruise line to be considered except P&O so when my husband booked a holiday on the Ventura for our first wedding anniversary I was really excited. Although I had cruised before I had not been on P&O one. We were delighted at the free coach to take us down to Southampton which saved time,money and driving and the check in was relatively trouble free. Finding out cabin was easy and our luggage was already there for us and the cabin was great but would have been improved by adding a comfy chair. Service throughout the ship was generally good and the good was excellant and we found no need to visit the specialist restaurants which always seemed empty anyway so obviously others agreed with us! P&O has kept their reputation of formal evenings. I well remember my aunt;s first cruise and the excitement of buying the dinner suit and dresses and this was well enforced this time, even to the extent that we were asked to leave, non too politely, from one bar as my husband had removed his jacket (I had spilt red wine down it) even though I was still obviously in evening dress and the bar manager was rude and beligerant. However this standard of etiquette was not carried through with passenger behaviour with children running riot around the ship, racing to get drinks and screaming around the corridors. One one occasion were were enjoying one of the vocalists when a group of people began screaming to each other across the bar with no respect for the performers or other passengers yet no one asked these people to behave. There were precious little room to sit outside where others were not smoking or not on a sunbed and the smell of cigarette smoke was so bad it permeated the ship in many areas. Areas and activities were not well advertised. We did not know about the free saunas; the glass house was advertised as an exclusive area with a cover charge of £30 but in fact only a portion of it was reserved for diners with a cover charge of just over £6.00 and the bar area was extremely nice - pity we only found it on day 12!!! One fellow passenger had been on the ship on three occasions and did not know about it! I would have loved to look around the "inside" of the ship but at a charge of £75 per person to pay for a person's time who is already there was extortion personified. As for fellow passengers I did rather feel that we had been transported to Butlins on the Sea rather than Butlins by the sea and on occasions the family interactions could be liken to Jeremy Kyle's Green Room. Organisation for getting on and off the ship and disembarkation were excellent and they seemed to have learned a great deal about people movement from Disney so no complaints here. However, I am afraid to say Aunty Joan, the past aura the P&O is sadly in the past and I don't think we will travel with them again. On the last note - compliments to the Chef as the food was exceptionally good and Sharon who looked after us was a delight. As for interior design - get a new one - the buffet rooms were lovely, other were a very dark sea of red and brown and depressing! Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Traveled down to Southampton with the complimentary coach provided from Manchester airport which was stress free. On arrival at Southampton unfortunately the check in at the terminal had technical issue's and held up the check in ... Read More
Traveled down to Southampton with the complimentary coach provided from Manchester airport which was stress free. On arrival at Southampton unfortunately the check in at the terminal had technical issue's and held up the check in procedure for over 1 hour. On boarding the ship we were allowed straight into our room which was a Balcony cabin on Deck A the cabin was good and a good size comfy bed. Now I have been told how good P&O Cruising is I have only done Royal Caribbean and Princess so my expectation was high. Well I was very disappointed first with the internal layout of the ship the Atrium was small and not has impressive of that of Royal Caribbean ships of the same size. The dining experience was not very good at all,dining rooms were drab the staff not very friendly the food was ok. The East restaurant and White room (which was an extra cost) on the other hand were excellent. The bars on the ship were ok but lacked that atmosphere. I thought the shows/entertainment on the ship were very good. I was surprised of the lack of anti-bacterial gel on and off the ship when boarding. Its my first transatlantic crossing which I would not do again, to many sea days. The ship in all I was disappointed with, the ships crew did not go that extra mile a part from Crosby our cabin steward, the ports visited were fine. Will I cruise with P&O again probably but not until the the new ship Brittania is launched. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We have done the Transatlantic cruise on board Ventura and Azura for the past few years each time the services you get has been getting poorer and poorer The meals in the main restraunt are becoming ordinary and the level of attention you ... Read More
We have done the Transatlantic cruise on board Ventura and Azura for the past few years each time the services you get has been getting poorer and poorer The meals in the main restraunt are becoming ordinary and the level of attention you get off the staff is left I think this is because they are reducing staff numbers the waiters are looking after more tables. Tips are now added daily to your onboard account so there is no need for the staff to do that little bit extra. The meals are now pre plated rather than the veg being brought and served so you can choose which veg you would like. The entertainment teams are not able to run all the games they once did, When I aked they said because of health and safety they coudnt play the pool games staff v passangers. I am disapointed that Ventura is being based in the med as it is the only ship with a covered pool that at least you can use when the ship leaves southampton in colder weather. Love the ship itself and find it brighter than its sister ship Ventura.and the two smaller ships Oceana which is also a lovelly ship and Oriana that is now a adult only ship and in need of a complete refurbishment. I have only been taking holidays on cruise ships for 5 years but have done two a year. Disapointed for the other members of the family and friends that came with us for the first time as we had over 10 cabins in total.T Theater shows are great Entertainment staff did there best worked realy hard and extremly helpfull went out of there way to make the holiday enjoyable. Just not enough of them felt sorry for them As they ran from event to event. I wnt be booking another with PO this year and will now look at other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We left from Southampton had 3 days at sea then arrived in Madeira.This was followed by another 5 days at sea to then arrive in the BVI Tortola .Each day then in another island, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada and finally ending in Barbados.We ... Read More
We left from Southampton had 3 days at sea then arrived in Madeira.This was followed by another 5 days at sea to then arrive in the BVI Tortola .Each day then in another island, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada and finally ending in Barbados.We had at cabin B 755 overlooking the stern which was fabulous watching the wake of the ship and star gazing at night. The ship was very busy , 3000+ clients, so sometimes there were not enough seats to watch the show in the Arena theatre so some people had to finish 2nd sitting dinner early in order to get a seat. The sunbeds were incerdibly close together in som eplaces but there were probably enough, not all in the shade though. The Captains cocktail party was a farce as it was held in the Atrium so ther were 1500 peole attending .I did not speak to anyone as it was so squished , you could hardly hold your drink, so I didn't think that was very well planned. The trips we went on in Tortola and Antigua and Grenada were all very goo and value for money and in St Lucia, we found a tour on this website who were excellent. Weather was hot ,showers at times but soon disappeared.Fodd was very good and waiters were excellent and we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Sailed from Southampton to The Caribbean on a 19 day cruise, and have I to say was very impressed with this ship, there was something is always going on! With twelve places to eat, including three main restaurants, as well as a wine bar, a ... Read More
Sailed from Southampton to The Caribbean on a 19 day cruise, and have I to say was very impressed with this ship, there was something is always going on! With twelve places to eat, including three main restaurants, as well as a wine bar, a fine dining restaurant by Marco Pierre White, and a dedicated family restaurant where you can dine whenever you choose, day or night. You'll also find twelve places to drink, fantastic children's clubs, a lavish two-deck theatre and a tranquil spa, not to mention many quieter places to simply relax. It makes the 5 day sail across the Atlantic to the Caribbean very enjoyable, the ship was very clean and the crew was very friendly, the food was some of the best we have had on all of our cruises, cabin was very nice, a nice size, and balcony was also a good size, the cabin girl was really friendly, keeping our ice bucket filled constantly, turning down our bed every night and leaving cute towel animals on our bed, chocolates on the pillows every night, and nothing was too much for her, The shows were very good, compared to what I have seen on other ships. and the pool parties were great, was onboard over Halloween, so enjoyed the halloween pool party, drinks and cocktails were a good price, on par with what you would pay in the pubs back home, and the staff were very relaxed about taking your own drink on board, the Caribbean was lovely as always, been a few times now, particularly liked Barbados, and their lovely rum cake, I would definitely go on this ship again Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We sailed out of Southampton on a 16 night transatlantic voyage across to the Caribbean. This was our fifth cruise overall and our first with P&O. Embarkation went without problem and we were on the ship quickly. We found our ... Read More
We sailed out of Southampton on a 16 night transatlantic voyage across to the Caribbean. This was our fifth cruise overall and our first with P&O. Embarkation went without problem and we were on the ship quickly. We found our stateroom and it was decorated to generally good order but was showing signs of wear and tear here and there. There was also a slight sewage smell in the bathroom that was not particularly nice but it was only slight. This is a large ship and as such a lot of passengers were onboard. I'd say it was probably full. Our biggest issue was with the buffet area on the ship. It was very poorly stocked and the size of it is a joke for a ship of this size. The buffet area was regularly severely overcrowded with long lines to get food. Whoever designed this part of the ship really should get the boot. The food selection was also very poor. Most irritating was that when there was a 'theme' night (e.g. curry night) then there was virtually no other choice to be had. Other ships we have been on have had a massive selection all the time. The main restaurant was 'ok'. Food portions were very small and we would get through our evening dining experience in about twenty minutes! Service throughout the ship was also just bad. It is nearly a 100% Indian crew and they all just seemed fed up, overworked and just uninterested in anything. It was the first time ever we contacted the front desk and had the gratuities removed completely - we just could not justify it. We ate at some of the other restaurants on the ship and again we just found the food to be of poor quality and in small portions. We had an ongoing temperature problem in our room as well. Hot one minute and freezing the next. We had around six engineer visits during our time onboard. Public areas on the ship regularly were very busy with lots of people and it just wasn't enjoyable. Overall our experience was more like being on a giant ferry rather than a luxury cruise liner. And luxury it very much is not. Compared to the likes of a hotel rating this ship was probably a two star at best. As one previous reviewer wrote, "Butlins on a boat" isn't too far of the mark. We are unlikely to choose P&O again and will likely stick to the more premium carriers. If you book this ship then as long as you go with low expectations then everything will be great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
2nd time on the Ventura 1st time was on the Med, this time transatlantic to the Caribbean. Over all it was an enjoyable cruise just a couple of grumbles. But first the good points. Our cabin was an outside and was very comfortable, ... Read More
2nd time on the Ventura 1st time was on the Med, this time transatlantic to the Caribbean. Over all it was an enjoyable cruise just a couple of grumbles. But first the good points. Our cabin was an outside and was very comfortable, and the cabin layout was great, we particularly liked the open plan wardrobe, it gives you lots of space for cases etc, The in cabin entertainment was wonderful, with a great choice of free tv and free movies. The food was wonderful, the entertainment was amazing in quantity and quality, the cruise director Leon de Ste Croix was excellent. As were the guest speakers among which was Duncan Mckenzie who did a few wonderful talks and a very entertaining Q&A session in the theatre. We had about 5 comedians on the cruise 3 singers 2 groups and a classical pianist, so as I said amazing entertainment. Bar prices were excellent, UK pub prices in fact Also the ship its self is beautiful and well maintained. The minus points were, some of the passengers :-( P&O had drastically reduced the cruise prices just before the sailing date, so much that some of the passengers were from the lower end of the passenger scale and would have been better suited to "Butlins or Pontins". That may sound snobbish but i'm far from a snob (from a Liverpool council estate originally) but I have done 20+ cruises and I do know how to behave with people and how to consider other people. Anyway on with this review, most of the time it was not possible to get a sunbed with people reserving them from early morning 6 - 6.30am in some cases. One last thing was some of the staff in the waterside in particular the lads who were clearing tables, they were not as friendly or efficient as they usually are and were very very slow to replace cups and glasses in the drinks areas, quite often none of the drinks areas had any cups or glasses and you had to ask for them and then eventually got them. All that said it was still a good cruise and we did enjoy it. One last thing I must commend P&O for their transfer organisation it was brilliant both getting to the ship by coach from Manchester and getting to the airport in Barbados, one great thing was putting your bags outside the cabin on last night and not seeing them till Manchester airport, OTHER CRUISE LINES TAKE NOTE !! :-) Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was our first 'proper' cruise with P&O, we have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean (to the Caribbean and Alaska) and have done weekenders on the Oceana and NCL. Ventura is a beautiful ship. The staff are immaculate ... Read More
This was our first 'proper' cruise with P&O, we have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean (to the Caribbean and Alaska) and have done weekenders on the Oceana and NCL. Ventura is a beautiful ship. The staff are immaculate and very helpful and courteous. I felt she lacked the initial wow factor when we boarded, however she is modern, elegantly furnished and there are some lovely areas that have been very well designed. the Atrium was smaller than I expected having seen photo's but was a lovely place to wander and people watch! Ventura seems to do a good job at catering for most people most of the time. There is the Exchange 'pub' for quizzes, karaoke , bands etc for those who want a lively entertained holiday but also bars like Metropolis which is calm and sophisticated with a pianist at certain times. One of the weakest areas of the ship is the outside space (or lack of it). There are just too many passengers for the space available. There are just hundreds and hundreds of sun beds filling every single corner of available space, and as soon as the sun came out they were all full - or reserved!! There were no clear walkways so it was virtually impossible to get from one end to the other. You could usually find a sun bed, it was just a case of picking your way through the crowds. We headed right to the front and sat in the semi shade of the old sports court which was very pleasant. Another weak point in my opinion was the casino. It was just small and drab. There were a couple of gaming tables and a very small area with lots of fruit machines and stools all crammed in which was also a walkway through. It is also adjacent to the pub and when something was going on in there the noise completely dominated the casino. Not good. We spent very little time and consequently very little money in there because of this. Our room was lovely, clean and tidy, well fitted out and kept spotless morning and evening - thank you Pascoal. I was surprised on the rest of the ship about the lack of enforcement of the use of hand gels. There were a couple (some not working) in the self serve area and that was it. You were not required to do it entering the dining rooms, re-boarding the ship etc, no wonder we all had colds and coughs by the second week. The food was superb all over the ship. The self service was excellent, always something different to try, we tended to go outside peak times to avoid the queues. The Saffron main dining room was also excellent, Bonny and Peter looked after us very well. Lunch and afternoon tea were also very good, possibly a little rushed but very nice. East - the Asian fusion restaurant was absolutely outstanding. The whole thing was superb from start to finish. We went twice in the evening and once for a curry lunch. Well worth every penny of the small supplement. The White Room - the food was very nice, the service was good but it all just seemed to lack something. We ordered 'Medallions of beef with rocket' which in fact translated to steak with lettuce on top. It was a nice evening but I didn't really think it warranted the much larger supplement. I felt that the entertainment was a little regimented, it was always the same band in the same bar at the same time every night. They never rotated. the Entertainment Team for me were not very entertaining or visible. If you like doing quizzes with your morning pint you were fine! There was only two hosted sail away parties the whole two weeks - we were all up on deck - where were they??? Overall we had a good cruise on a nice ship. It was all a bit 'British' for my taste. I quite like the mixture of Americans and Europeans you get on other lines, it makes it feel more like a holiday. I would cruise with P&O again and possibly on Ventura but only to the Baltic's or Fjords where sun beds would not be an issue. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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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