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876 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to get away from the worst of the British Weather, although for the first 10 days it seemed we had taken it with us. Whilst the weather improved the cruise of Ventura got worse. Ship Overall Dirty on the Outside ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get away from the worst of the British Weather, although for the first 10 days it seemed we had taken it with us. Whilst the weather improved the cruise of Ventura got worse. Ship Overall Dirty on the Outside and just as bad on the insde especially Waterside Buffet which for a restaurant was particularly grubby with stains on seating, sofa style backrests and the backs of many chairs. Entertainment The ship was rammed to the rafters and in order to access any entertainment people were entering venues an hour before show start times. Within 30 minutes of showtimes it was standing room only at every venue apart from Metropolis - the Crow's nest equivalent and that was because it was uncomfortably cold during daytime. The Tamarind Show Lounge electrical broke down 12 days before the end of the cruise so no entertainment could be provided, leaving just two - Havanna - often referred to as "Meercats" because it was so poorly designed the barriers were too high to see over without stretching your neck.. Films had to be shown in this lounge until half way through the cruise because the Theatre Company commandeered the Arena Theatre for rehearsals, yet they has been rehearsing in Southampton for two months prior to the cruise. In 5 weeks they put on three average shows. Most passengers thought they had got off in Hamilton the first stop - They were often seen however sunbathing and watching other shows.even though their were not enough seats for fare paying passengers. This was also true of the ship's crew who on many occasion were seated in the Arena Theatre whilst passengers were forced to stand. The entertainment ranged from superb - Revolver and 4Tunes come to mind as well as Lloyd Howlett. The Aretha Franklin Tribute lady should not have even been on ship as she presented her first show "as sick" and by the end of her act so were we. As for the French juggler - it was a surprise he did not get a mass walkout. Food Food in the MDR was generally good and hot, although the service was for the most part appallingly slow, often taking over 2.5 hours for dinner, so you then missed the first show time of any act.. The food in the Waterside Buffet was not of a very good standard and often tepid. At no time did I find at breakfast in 35 days and orange segments, peach segments, pear segments, I also never saw any tinned tomatoes ,or black pudding and only once did I see Hash Brown's. Other breakfast items were always available including appallingly cooked eggs and bacon, Daytime Activities If you like shuffleboard, Spa Treatments, Art, Bridge Craft Class, or quizzes you were inn for a treat, otherwise forget it. I attended an excellent Art Class taught by Debbie Arts which was excellent, however, again if you did not go 30 minutes earlier than scheduled you would find it difficult to get a seat. Ports of Call La Caruna then nothing for 5 days then a quick nod to Bermuda and Freeport in Grand Bahama than we were off at sea for days on end, until we reached Puerto Rico then it was port after port for 4 consecutive days, before leaving Barbados for the 10 long haul to Southampton - The Azores banned us from docking owing to the corona19 Scare, although luckily we had no cases on board. To Summarise This was in my opinion a 2Star Cruise paid for by 4Star Prices. Many, many passengers were deeply offended by the performance of P&O whether it be the appalling array of guest speakers, the varied entertainment, the lack of seating, the breaking gown of venues and dirty condition people were exposed to. An example being that no hand sanitisers were evident in the Pub, Casino, Theatre areas until over half way though the cruise and only then owing to the enhanced risks of novovirus or corona19 I feel cheated by P&O as did many other "seasoned and loyal P&O guests who have vowed never to go back P&O - for God's sake - stuff Carnival and get the Quality back into your operations before you become a cruising Pariah. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Made a mistake by booking Ventura - Very noisy ship especially in the atrium with dance classes going on all day so unable to relax in the bar or coffee lounge. This went on in the evening so instead of having a pianist we had blaring ... Read More
Made a mistake by booking Ventura - Very noisy ship especially in the atrium with dance classes going on all day so unable to relax in the bar or coffee lounge. This went on in the evening so instead of having a pianist we had blaring music to contend with -very unpleasant so went to Glasshouse. Excellent cabin and "Elvor" our cabin steward was very professional and did a excellent job. Waiters were excellent and always asked if everything was O.K. which it was. We even had the chief come round one evening and ask if everything was satisfactory. Entertainment and shows were a disgrace P&O must do better. Far too many people for size of ship. Could not get into shows talks or lectures. Had passengers playing cards in the restaurant at breakfast and no action taken by staff. Water bottles being filled from water machines while staff were watching and no action taken, Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was a 5 week cruise, having only undertaken a few shorter cruises before, unlike many well seasoned cruisers on board, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality, standard and presentation of everything. In a nut shell: on ... Read More
This was a 5 week cruise, having only undertaken a few shorter cruises before, unlike many well seasoned cruisers on board, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality, standard and presentation of everything. In a nut shell: on reading reviews (after we had paid a deposit) I started to get concerned! Fortunately a very level headed well travelled friend reassured me that the Ventura was ‘lovely’. How right she was. Readers, do not be put off by some highly critical reviews here, much of which I cannot say we witnessed or experienced and leave me baffled. The food was excellent, plentiful and exceptional choice for every palate. We tried every venue. We did not wish to put on weight and by choosing from the enormous range of fresh foods, salads and fish we came back at the same weight! The eggs had golden yolks, the fresh burgers on the deck had quality beef, the sea food kebabs in the Beach House were amazing and as for the food in the Epicurean - well wow wow wow. We particularly enjoyed the Beach House and Epicurean where an additional sum is paid for evening meals. We had one meal at Sindu but preferred the Epicurean on occasion (Black Tie nights) where the service and food is exceptional. We also enjoyed the Cinnamon and Saffron main freedom dining restaurants meeting a variety of well travelled and P&O regular cruisers. The 60s fancy dress night was not supported by the guests (we were tipped off about this so did not appear in our Amazon purchased 60s outfits - P&O may consider removing that one), however the Tropical and Black & White nights were. 8 Black Tie nights we found a bit much and dined in our suite on several nights for relaxation. We found The Retreat sun deck area (light breakfast, lunch and tea included) was a good investment to ensure a more peaceful relaxation area. An additional cost but we were glad we did this on the sea days between Caribbean Islands. Bearing in mind then age group that would be on a 5 week cruise in Feb/March the entertainment was fitting. Some of the acts were so good it was a shame they all did not have 2 nights across the venues. The Whitney Houston act was only on for one night and we were unable to get to it so missed it. Yes, you have to get to the theatre early to ensure a seat hence having acts in for 2 nights or in different venues on 2 nights would ensure everyone had a good chance to see them. The Havana Bar is indeed the ‘meerkat lounge’ due to the high dividing panels and subject to endless complaints. Now that the ship is docked due to the global pandemic maybe something can be done to reduce the high ‘wall dividers’? The guest speakers were a bit limited in variety and none of the speakers seemed to want to stand either in the spotlight or at the front of the stage floor area in Havana so you could see them or ensure everyone could hear them properly. We missed not having a retired detective as a speaker as they are always full of amazing tales. The staff are amazing, each and everyone of them. The rude and crass behaviour on board of some guests made us cringe. To find a lady room steward in tears was appalling and I would have enjoyed being left alone with the male guest culprit for bullying behaviour. Some guests behaviour towards staff made us ashamed and if we could counteract it at any point we did. Sneering comments by guests on trips when we were on hurricane damaged islands, that were fighting for survival, ruined one trip for us - we apologised to our taxi driver for such moronic hurtful and thoughtless behaviour by these guests. For what we paid we were very satisfied with what we got. For us 5 weeks was too long but it was quite an experience. The staff are amazing and it was a privilege to have met them. We did treat ourselves to a suite and very glad we did on such a long voyage. One of the perks was breakfast in the Epicurean which was just perfect. Again, the staff were exceptional and evening meals there would knock most top 5* London restaurants into a cocked hat. Speaking as a retired tourism inspector I was nicely surprised with it all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Whilst we agree with a lot of the comments made about the Ventura. Some of the guests hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. Ignoring hand sanatisers on many occasions. In the buffet restaurant we saw on many occasions passengers blowing ... Read More
Whilst we agree with a lot of the comments made about the Ventura. Some of the guests hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. Ignoring hand sanatisers on many occasions. In the buffet restaurant we saw on many occasions passengers blowing their nose & coughing into the blue serviettes & putting them back on the table. Men walking into the buffet area with no tops on. Filling water bottles from the dispenser, even though there is a large sign on the dispenser stating that this should not be done for hygiene reasons. All of this was happening when we knew coronavirus was beginning to get much worse worldwide. We have cruised with P &O on many occasions, but this is the 1st time on the Ventura & we were very disappointed with the ship. But all of the crew were excellent. Yes, P&O do need to up their game, but some of the faults are with the passengers & not the company. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The Ventura cruise departed on ,11the February for a USA/Caribbean cruise of some 35 days. Initial impressions of the ship were a bit mixed, some good, some less so. Our cabin was a balcony on deck 12, a reasonable size and a comfy bed. ... Read More
The Ventura cruise departed on ,11the February for a USA/Caribbean cruise of some 35 days. Initial impressions of the ship were a bit mixed, some good, some less so. Our cabin was a balcony on deck 12, a reasonable size and a comfy bed. Our cabin steward was good and he did his duties well. Our first port of call was La Corrina, we quite like this call and went ashore for a shop and some tapas. After this we aimed west to our USA/Caribbean calls. It was on this leg that the ships shortcomings came to light. Cabin - whilst the bed was comfy, the pillows were not. The entertainment on the TV was almost non-existent. No wonder they don't put a TV guide in the cabin, it would consist of one page of blank A4 paper. We had BBC and ITV, plus 2 prime channels. These had repeats and stuff that was on the whole very poor. Our TV broke down a few times, and there was a long wait for it to be repaired. These TV sets are very old, and offer square screens for films that need wide screens. As the theatre was put of bounds for a number of days, (the dance troupe were practicing) films were shown in other venues. Both the Havana and the Tamarind are rubbish venues when used as cinemas. The nickname for the Havana is The Meerkat Bar', you can guess why. Ships shops - in a word, poor !! The usual collection of overpriced stuff, the general store didn't even have decent souvenirs. Don't expect a fridge magnet, they didn't exist. Day after day they wheeled out the same stuff, but little sign of a good buy. BUT the drinks shop was the exception, they had a reasonable range at half decent prices. There is also a new rule that a bottle can be taken and enjoyed in your cabin. So a big old well done here. Food - the menu sounded good, but the stuff we were served was down market to say the least. I felt that sometimes the waiters were embarrassed to bring it. Tough steaks, and old lamb (or was it mutton dressed as) potatoes with eyes in, poor choice of veg, altogether not great. The ship did get some carrots in Miami (?), This made a change to the never ending dollop of runner beans we were given. The exception to the poor evening food in the MDR, was the breakfast in the MDR. It was fresh, tasty, and offered a good choice. The pay restaurants were on the whole good, we used the Epicurean once and we were "happy enough". We used the Glasshouse twice, and were very happy. Tea/coffee in self service - this setup is a bit rubbish. The decaffeinated coffee sachets are difficult to open, and the sweetener dispenser is not suitable for this. Getting a hot drink was a nightmare and it was easy to start a queue. I understand that P&O want to reduce plastics and waste in general, but can I suggest they consult a passenger who has to put up with this nonsense. Ships entertainment - for a 35 night cruise, it was as my teacher used to say to me "could/must do better'. I'm afraid the singers achieved the screatcher and screamers zone, could be that they were trying to hard if I'm being kind. The quizzes were good, but the prizes have deteriorated to "win a crappy badge" level. No wine? In the evening in the Havana the music offered prior to the main act had such delights as "How ,much is that doggy in the window,". What drivel, he (the entertainment guy) had the cheek to call it a classic. Well I guess you can get classical drivel? It's an insult to our intelligence. My wife did speak to the entertainment manager about having some "modern music", but his view was that this was what the passengers wanted. He did commit to getting the groups to up there game, and initially it worked. But not for long. The 3 groups were reasonably young, and I suspect they would have loved to offer better music. And by better, I mean something from this century. Just because we are "old", (I am 72) it doesn't mean I am into doggy drivel. We did the 28 day Caribbean cruise in January 2020, and the most popular show by miles was the Freddy Mercury show. The theatre was packed, do can I suggest that more of this please? And less doggy stuff. I will make one exception here. The ships crew did a show, it was very good and even the captain joined in. Guest entertainers - a mix of good, bad and indifferent. But the ones we chose to see were ok. Our favorite was David Copperfield, we walked out on the tap dancers. Well done to the acts that put on extra shows when new acts couldn't board on the Azores. Crew - generally a bit miserable, but after 'issues" in New Orleans when somone jumped ship, and shore leave was stopped. The morale dropped to new lows. This became more obvious when we shared a taxi to a mall in San Juan with crew off the Explorer of the Seas, they were 100% happier, and they actually had smiles on their faces. I will add a "but" here. It did seem that when Captain Willard took over, morale did get a bit better. The waiters were another mixed bunch, some would rather talk to each other than serve us. But some were ok as well. I.will single out 2 crew as outstanding. #1 - the young lady who stood outside the restaurant on deck 6 dispensing hand gel. A warm smile and hello is all it took for her to please. #2- the young lady in housekeeping doing toilet duty on deck 6 by the dining room. A warm smile, and hello, plus some very good singing at the crew show. Both the above are assets to P&O. Ships facilities - this ship on the face of it must need a refit. The worst facility by miles were the midship lifts. At one point some 3 out of 8 were non runners. One lift in particular had a habit of wiping the floors selected, and essentially doing its own thing. Ports of call - these are to a point out of P&O's control, but I will summerise. Bermuda - a very short call to an expensive port. Supposed to be an overnight stay, ended up at about 5 hours. This was due entirely to the weather. So not worth the time Freeport - this was a substitute for Nassau for refuelling. Usual port facilities, but passed a few hours at the Senor Frog bar. A good call. New Orleans - we did US immigration clearance here. It was supposed to be a 2 day trip, but by the time we had landing clearance it ended up as 1.5 days. The paddle boats were not running for whatever reason, and as we went the day after Mardi Gras the city was in need of a clean up. New Orleans is now off my bucket list forever. Just for info, if you are mobility impaired, then the distances involved in New Orleans to clear immigration are best avoided. Key West - the best call by far. A lively town, plenty to see and do and best of all. It was interesting. Miami - we decided to do the Sawgrass mill trip. A good excursion and price to a very busy mall. It was HUGE !!! We enjoyed the visit, and beat up our credit cards. We also sampled the key lime pie, it was excellent. San Juan - again we opted to visit a mall. It was quite good, and the cheesecake lunch was superb at the Cheesecake Factory. St Kitts - a typical Caribbean port with various shops selling the usual stuff. T shirts, souvenirs, very cheap drink, and of course the ever popular fridge magnets. Like this port, it's unpretentious, friendly and a nice way to spend a day. Dominica - we took a shore side trip to the waterfalls and sulpher pools. Our guide was a very pleasant girl called Ash who did an excellent job. After this we popped into the Ruined Rock bar. It's a 2 minute walk from the ship, and this place has real atmosphere. Look it up sometime, you won't be disappointed. Barbados - we usually go to the Boatyard, but for a change went to Accra beach. It was not crowded, the water was clean and warm (ish). We had a snack (fishcakes) and drink at one of the sheds, and it was cheap. We will do this again. Azores - due to the coronavirus issues, we were refused permission to dock. We did dissembark one sick pasenger, but we just bobbed around and used the free WiFi. In summary - after checking this review I thought I would do a brief summary. The trip had to few ports, and way to many sea days. The weather was generally poor, and the entertainment was dull. So we decided to book for the 2021 Caribbean only cruise. I know it sounds a bit 2 faced, but we love the Caribbean, so will continue our exploits to this area only. Should P&O wish to discuss. I was in cabin (not kennel) to 6240. Pardon my cynicism. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Shocking is the only work I would say after paying £25,000+ for a Suite cabin (no bigger than an Oceana Mini Suite) on the Ventura for 5 weeks to Central America and the Caribbean. The food was diabolical and reasonably sophisticated ... Read More
Shocking is the only work I would say after paying £25,000+ for a Suite cabin (no bigger than an Oceana Mini Suite) on the Ventura for 5 weeks to Central America and the Caribbean. The food was diabolical and reasonably sophisticated entertainment non- existent. The never ending daily amount of rubbish fed in the daily paper about commercial 'pamper parties' 'aches and pains parties' and the like was not what most passengers want. Especially when you have to buy something at the end of it!!!. There was only one classical pianist. He was wonderful and played to a packed house for only 4 nights. I was told by the Entertainments Manager that Ventura didn't do classical as it was a family ship!!!! What!! People were crying out for some decent classical concerts in the afternoon. No children on board in this cruise,!!! The shops had old and dirty stock, discontinued lines, and clothes that had all been well fingered over the last 4 cruises. The staff in the shops were unmotivated. Who would buy anything there???? The Chef Trevor Glass should be ashamed of himself to put his name to misrepresentation on the menus. I could go on forever but the food which looked so appetizing on the Menu Cards but when it arrived was no better than school cafeteria fodder. For instance the last Black Tie had 'lobster' on the menu. Anyone who ate it would know it wasn't 'lobster', but a mixture of pulverised 'prawns' and white fish stuffed into a lobster shell with breadcrumbs on the top. Are they allowed to con the food ignorant and unsophisticated people with food like this????? This sort of thing went on the whole cruise. This Company should be brought to book Trading Standards comes to mind. The wines are exorbitant for mediocre wines and most on the ship did not drink wine at dinner. I wonder why???? The Buffets also were like school food. Same, same and same all under different names!! Portuguese buffet ! what a laugh!! As a suite passenger we had the opportunity to breakfast in the White Room. We only did it once as it took 30 minutes to get overcooked black poached eggs and inedible dry hard bacon. There were absolutely no extras on a five week trip e.g.(a Captains/Officers reception etc) for passengers who paid 3 times the price of others. This is quite unacceptable if you want to look after your passengers. Our cabin was kept beautifully and we have no issue with quality of the sheets and towels and cleanliness from our excellent cabin attendant. Absolutely loved Cartegena, Curacao, Bonaire, Puerto Rico, Panama Canal (Colon) Fabulous places!! WOW. Pity the food on Ventura wasn't fabulous too, Will never travel P & O again. Treated like a 3rd class citizen. Predictable. Done and dusted ......for the next fools.......... Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Staff good other than our first waiter he was very very poor and sarcastic on one occasion throwing mince sauce all over my food.We asked to be moved and were. Our first cabin was rubbish as toilet kept blocking up air con was faulty the ... Read More
Staff good other than our first waiter he was very very poor and sarcastic on one occasion throwing mince sauce all over my food.We asked to be moved and were. Our first cabin was rubbish as toilet kept blocking up air con was faulty the fridge was warm and more. we were moved to another cabin and we were very well looked after. The air conditioning on this ship was bad nearly every passenger had a dry cough and some were quite ill. I had to move my bed away from the air con as it made me cough. The food in the dining room was not on par with the Oriana. The entertainment was poor and we didn't bother going half way through the cruise. The excursion team were very misleading on various subjects and even on the day of a tour had no idea what type of coach we were in which meant i could not take my wheelchair. I thought the ship was to big and poorly laid out as when i wanted a quiet costa coffee there were dancing lessons going on which could be heard on three decks. I struggled with the wheelchair due to not being able to get an adapted cabin. I won't be going on the Ventura again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed to be given a cabin on deck five ... Read More
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed to be given a cabin on deck five which was so small that the bed filled most of the space and there was nowhere to sit except the bed.The noise from the thrusters made sleeping difficult and after a complaint on our satisfaction form we were given in upgrade to a balcony cabin.We think the previous occupant must have been I’ll as in no time we cam down with the virus raging through the ship .Everywhere we went people were coughing and sneezing and at every port people were taken off either to hospital or home . The ports of call were great and the trips in Limon,Cartagena and Panama were worth the visit alone.Other carribean islands we have visited in the past and knew what to expect.This time we saw Grenada,St Vincent and Guadeloupe where we visited the death in paradise film location and had a lovely day.We have no complaints about the chosen ports of call or the P@O organised excursions.Well organised and all very interesting. The ship however is tired and furniture old and well worn.Entertainment on board was third class with poor quality singers,comedians etc.They even put on juggling on two evenings. The atrium is still used for the dance classes which only cater for about 30 to 40 couples while the rest of us have no choice.People hate the noise there twice a day when all you can hear is the instructor shouting the steps over and over. Meals were ok,the buffet offered the same fare every day and things ran out including sugar etc.Boring choices and obviously a cost cutting exercise. Evening meals were also sub standard we thought with poor quality meats,undercooked vegetables and very average. The arena theatre and public areas where people congregated is where the sound of coughs and sneezing filled the air,it is no wonder to us that so many fell ill,The guests are mostly over 65 and we suppose this accounts for the high illness count.The hospital on board was busy all the time. What with the lowering of standards in food,entertainment and the rising cost of taking a cruise we will now be more discerning and probably not take the longer cruises in future as it’s no fun coming home sick and disappointed The staff as always on PandO are the real jewels in the crown but it must be value for money and this was nit Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My experience on P and O cruises was a first however it sure will be my last. The buffet food is the same each night and is of a low standard. The entertainment onboard was next to none and they had an awful comedian who was on twice a ... Read More
My experience on P and O cruises was a first however it sure will be my last. The buffet food is the same each night and is of a low standard. The entertainment onboard was next to none and they had an awful comedian who was on twice a night and on, on more than one night. The drinks package is completely pointless unless you become friendly with the bar staff or walk from bar to bar as theres a 15 minute wait time on the drink and they serve the drinks in the smallest glasses possible it may as well be served neat. The customer service is appalling there is no Ps or Qs upon that ship and all the staff look unhappy except clifford in the Havana bar and he was the only one with any manor or able to crack a joke with you. Security dont know what day of the week it is let alone helping you out. Someone also made a noise complaint about me and my mate next thing there was two guys at 4am in the morning outside our cabin who came in arguing with us in relations to this and was very unprofessional. To top the entire experience of i was charged over £1300 when i got of the ship and had to get the bank to cancel payments as I was charged twice as well as that I was considerably over charged for the mini bar in the room. The toliet blocked over four times on the cruise and the last night we was informed it would be sorted but it never was.Overall would recommed celebrity, NCL or royal Caribbean. You get what you pay for on P&O and no more, if not less. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My Name is Steve Meredith. I have been in the catering service for 40 years and still going. I have worked in all aspects of the industry from five star hotels, Michelin star restaurants, private chef to deli & coffee shop. I ... Read More
My Name is Steve Meredith. I have been in the catering service for 40 years and still going. I have worked in all aspects of the industry from five star hotels, Michelin star restaurants, private chef to deli & coffee shop. I recently went on New Year Cruise UK Departure Date 29 Dec 19 Total Trip Nights: 5 I was very disappointed in the food and service. Food was of a very poor quality and standard, and presented like kids had prepared it. The service in all catering and bar areas was appalling. Enclose is a diary i kept. Day 1 29th Dec When we arrived at the terminal we were asked if we had checked in on line . We all had but then got told had we registered our credit card . No where did it say to do this . We was told no drink package on this cruise, every one moaned and you could feel tensions getting high. P O opened the exchange bar to purchase the drinks package, long que formed and took a hour to purchase . We went to buffet for lunch, small area and even smaller choice of food. Salads look like the end of the night at pizza hut and not much choice. Cheap food item were on offer. Went to room, this was good . First night dinner took 20 minutes to get in to restaurant, rolls were of a poor quality . Starters was good but main pork roast not so good, stuffing no taste, roast potatoes deep fried then roasted hard in middle and dark brown . Gravy had been left on hot plate to long. The steak pie that my father chose looked like a school meal, peas and carrots and a scoop of mash. Raspberry pavlova that i chose for dessert was not a pavlova. It was one of our guests 75th birthday . One of the head waiters I think white uniform ask who's Mark Acton . Mark said hello the head waiter just plonked this dry old cake by him and ran and I mean ran off . No candles or happy birthday singing . We went to the Havana bar it took 30 minutes to get a drink . Then ages for another. Day 2 Went to watch rocket man in the Havana bar no chairs out left to our own devices. Dinner took 42min to get a drink after I caught a head waiter sort of guy. Lamb steak full of bone tough and small portion. Sent it back another came, tougher then the first one. Powder mash, on other guests dinners the quality was poor . I had the Cheese and biscuits for sweet, says continental and British isles but all were British cheese . We did the elimination quiz they held it in the buffet restaurant. Only one drinks waiter on then was told the bar was closed at 1130 and could not get another drink. So we went with out. Day 3 Getting off to Hamburg we decided to get a take away tea. Was asked cold milk we said yes please . The lady asked the waiter to pass the cold milk. He ignored her and shook the hand of another waiter wished him happy new year. Wasnt new year yet. Lucky the pastry girl saw this and jumped in. Went to buffet once again small, poor choose and quality of food. News eve gala dinner . No one explained our menu and what we had to do. So we missed out on the sorbet course. The chicken soup should have had croutons none of us got croutons . The lobster tail on three of our plates were inedible had to be sent back. The creme brulee was definitely not a creme brulee but a mousse no egg custard or caramel to be seen. Cheese board had Parmesan cheese on. Not really a cheese for the cheese board but a cooking cheese. We sat out in the outside bar, for News Eve. No waiter service at all had to que to place our orders. Day 4 Machines in buffet restaurant only dispensing water no other drinks available. We booked the Afternoon tea in the white room. Was good but not enough savoury too much sweet stuff and very sweet. We waited once again ages for drinks at dinner . Only one wine waiter that we could see. Day 5 I chose the pork and sage roll to start at dinner . It was a two inch sausage roll not what i would call a starter. Mixed grill was small i asked for two. lamb cutlet was tiny over cooked steak and liver . No egg, gammon, sausage or onion rings that you would hope to find on a mixed grill. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise as we have been on Ventura before. I can't express how disappointed I and the rest of my party were. The headliners seemed under rehearsed, the special guests weren't special - comedians that weren't ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we have been on Ventura before. I can't express how disappointed I and the rest of my party were. The headliners seemed under rehearsed, the special guests weren't special - comedians that weren't suitable for a Christmas cruise, and a lack of entertainment during the day unless you are a fitness fanatic The dance lessons were in the central Atrium - who wants to learn with two left feet with people walking in and out I went to a talk in the Art Gallery - people were struggling to stand (if there were 40 chairs there were 60 people, not counting those that left!) - you couldn't lean on the walls or posts so people with zimmer frames and walking sticks struggling to stay. They did say it would be repeated for those that couldn't stay but no mention of when The same could be said for the Salsa class - got cancelled (understandably due to ship movement) after waiting in the room, to be rescheduled at a later time that never materialised (or wasn't made clear!) The cabin was fine, though again cut backs - no flannels, soap not being replaced when used, shampoo not being refilled. The bathrobes were available to buy, but as the threads were loose and "well worn" why wasn't the option to buy new ones? Also, considering it recently had a refit the area around the patio doors was less than acceptable The dining room and staff were excellent - food top notch in the restaurant, The buffet not so much, and you'd expect the same food to be in throughout the buffet - not so! Some things, like brown sauce and black pudding, were very difficult to find! Often there, but literally walking the full length of the buffet to find The gym was well equipped, but difficult to find - I went three times before realising I was in the right place due to pushy spa people wanting to sell a massage and what-not - you couldn't get to the gym without getting past them! Lastly, the route was ridiculous with the first port cancelled, it meant we didn't actually get to first port until the fifth day of a twelve-day cruise - four days, five nights at sea were slowly getting to us Would I use P&O again? Not this ship (The Arcadia trip I was on the previous year was fabulous - second to none!) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Where do I begin? The cruise was absolutely fantastic. Whoever faults this cruise needs there heads checking. The ship itself is beautiful, In fabulous condition. The rooms were cleaned every day and night. Our room cleaner even left ... Read More
Where do I begin? The cruise was absolutely fantastic. Whoever faults this cruise needs there heads checking. The ship itself is beautiful, In fabulous condition. The rooms were cleaned every day and night. Our room cleaner even left little chocolates on our pillows which went down very well with our children! There was jam packed entertainment on throughout the day! The theatre shows were like going to the west end every night! Most of all we couldn’t get over how amazing the food was. A 4 course sit down meal every night! It was Michelin star quality. Even breakfast was a sit down meal! You could go to a buffet that served fabulous food all day if u liked but the dining in the main restaurants was too good to miss! The main restaurants even did afternoon tea every day at 4pm which was incredible! We ate like kings on this holiday and were treated like royalty. I read someone has put the food was basic in the buffet?? Is this person joking? I don’t know where these people eat but the food in the buffet was the best buffet I’ve ever experienced! I don’t know how anybody could complain about this cruise, I read reviews before we went away and some people said they didn’t like the captains sense of humour and that the service was slipping? What is wrong with people? Do people want slaves??? Every single member on the cruise gave top class service and was a joy to come across! The waiters couldn’t do enough for you, we were greeted with smiles from all sorts of staff everywhere we went on the ship. Even the man who stood at the front of the restaurant giving people hand sanitizer was smiling non stop and happily joking with our children making them laugh hysterically! P & O should be very very proud of all their staff, because they were honestly top class. I can’t wait to book again! This is an honest review, by a real family who went on this cruise hoping for a nice time. What we got was a holiday of a lifetime. Thank you so much. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ventura N933 12 nights Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon, 17 to 29th November 2019 Embarkation at Southampton on the 17th November was quick and efficient. All the cabins were supposed to be ready for occupancy at 1.30pm, although we were in ... Read More
Ventura N933 12 nights Madeira, Canaries and Lisbon, 17 to 29th November 2019 Embarkation at Southampton on the 17th November was quick and efficient. All the cabins were supposed to be ready for occupancy at 1.30pm, although we were in E227 before then. Ferdinand the cabin steward was self-effacing and well worth the personal tip on the last day of the cruise. E227 is on Deck 8, just above the Promenade Deck starboard side a quarter of the way back. It is an Ocean View with no balcony and its window part obscured by the mechanics of the lifeboat davits. However, it is as big as a standard balcony cabin, albeit without the balcony, and at £812 pp with free parking was excellent value for this cruise. Since, apart from the mid-voyage part, it was generally cold and wet outside, not having a balcony was no disadvantage. P&O no longer do the bed ‘turndown’ service with free chocs’ on Day One, no face flannels are supplied unless requested and our fridge was 100% empty – in other words if we wanted drinks from it, we had to order and pay upfront. We never used the shipboard internet as our phones with data were included by the service provider when we were in the EU ports. Food? Main served restaurants were Holiday Inn ‘Plus’ standard I would say, as I have before about Britannia. Alternative dining? Sindhu is well worth the cover charge but it is best to go on Day One or Two of the cruise as they give either a free bottle of house wine for two or a third off the £20 pp charge. Glass House? On this cruise the service was diabolical. The food was excellent as always, but the service dismal. So dismal in fact that a group of us complained and we all got the food (eventually) for free. The deserts are to die for. A meal for two with drinks will be around £22<£30 total. Beach House? Huge portions and the basic cover charge is only £7.50pp. Drinks across the board on P&O are almost as low as Wetherspoon prices and if you have done 15 or more days or so with P&O then you get 5% discount as well. The other passengers? Michael Macintyre would have a field day! For example, in the Tamarind Club venue one morning they were having a talk about their Iceland and Norway cruises. We arrived, the venue was quite full and as usual couples (elderly usually) had selected the middle two of any four seats, clearly wanting to guard their individual space. Asking them nicely if they would mind moving up one seat this particular couple refused, so we sat either side and talked over them to their annoyance! They got the message and left soon after moaning about sub-standard passengers nowadays! The same sort of thing happened on disembarkation day when our meeting point was Deck 6 of the Arena Theatre for off-loading at 8.45. We arrived at approx. 8am to find without exception ALL the end couple of seats of the rows were occupied, no doubt so the inhabitants could be first out of the blocks to the gangway at the ‘call’ time. Since everyone had carry-on cases/coats/bags etc., it meant the ‘end sitters’ were climbed all over to their annoyance as 100’s more guests then arrived which served them right when the obvious thing to do was to move up the row to let in the new arrivals. As it so happened sitting at the end of a row also made no difference since we were, as always, called off by row and on this day to the opposite side of the ship! In other words, it seems to me that some people don’t like to be challenged and are inherently selfish. A final example of this was in the buffet one day, when an able but elderly lady, was peering at the offerings just as a new batch of omelettes were put out. She pushed in, grabbed the flat metal server, put it under an omelette, stepped back with it and then gasped ‘I have no plate’ looking at me as if it were my fault, and she then promptly dropped the selected fresh omelette on the floor! So, be prepared for a degree of selfishness amongst the passengers, many of whom were old(ish). Entertainment? The Turnaround Kids were good and Paul Stickler who gave six talks on unsolved or solved but possible miscarriages of justice murders, was good and he always had a full-house – lots of single seats either sides of couples until the entertainment staff told them to move. Ports of call? Lisbon it rained – we took a taxi to El Corte Ingles - a huge department store like Selfridges in London where you could stay all day if you wanted, and not that expensive either. Madeira it rained until lunchtime. Warning – if you want to use the cable car to see the botanical gardens etc., there are long queues. An organised trip might be better. Gran Canaria? The main city, Las Palmas which is where the cruise ships dock, is like a smaller version of Lisbon and good for quality shopping with big discounts. Lanzarote on a Sunday has little to commend it in Arrecife where the cruise ships dock, but the Mountains of Fire excursion into the Timanfaya Volcano National Park was very good with an excellent guide. You cannot do the drive around the volcanos by taxi or car, so an organised coach trip is best, Santa Cruz, De La Palma, can be easily walked from the cruise terminal. Quite a nice small naval museum, cathedral and a monastery if they interest you. Main street has a range of traditional shops and bars. Ventura as usual suffered a minor hiccup with her machinery on the way South from Southampton and on the way back we made an emergency unscheduled brief alongside stop at Vigo to offload an unfixable medical emergency. It was all a bit tasteless as passengers were standing four deep on Promenade Deck 7 to see the unfortunate lady being offloaded into an ambulance with local doctor, nurse and paramedics. In summary: Good value, decent enough cabin, adequate food (but you have to pay extra for something really special) and the drinks definitely won’t bankrupt you. No auto gratuities nowadays and if you book a future cruise but then want to change it before the balance deadline, there is also no £100 special charge. The other passengers if the cruise is from Southampton (and not in school holidays) will largely be from the older generation. Most are pleasant, but one or two can be quite inconsiderate. Although we did not use Scubas, the P&O childcare nursery facility, it looked good and seemed to be popular. P&O will NOT book more children on a cruise than it can accommodate. I know this because we are taking our entire family mob on Iona next year and the adviser confirmed this fact and we have also booked another cruise on Ventura just for us, which says it all I guess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hello !! We were sailing on the Ventura in November in the Canary islands and we have really enjoy it. The ship had everything that you needed.The room was spacious and always clean and tidy. the food could be better, I expected more ... Read More
Hello !! We were sailing on the Ventura in November in the Canary islands and we have really enjoy it. The ship had everything that you needed.The room was spacious and always clean and tidy. the food could be better, I expected more quality but there was enough variety. Making friends is easy on the boat and you never get bored. The ports where we arrive are quite accessible. without thier the reef is quite ugly, dirty. The city of Arrecife is far and not pretty. Unfortunatly the trips they offered we found to be expensiv. We came across a company by accident called Lanzarote experience tours, on their web site they offered their tours in small groups for cruise ships and only in English. What a discovery!! We were 8 in the group and only English. Truthfully if you are in the same situation I would recomend them 100% Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise having enjoyed a similar cruise in 2015.Same ship, same time of the year but very different. 6 of us travelled together to celebrate a significant birthday and, as a group, we could enjoy each other's company and ... Read More
We chose this cruise having enjoyed a similar cruise in 2015.Same ship, same time of the year but very different. 6 of us travelled together to celebrate a significant birthday and, as a group, we could enjoy each other's company and the facilities of the ship which made this a better experience than it would have been had we been on our own. The weather was pretty rough all the way to the Canaries and back tho' we did have enough good weather to enjoy each of the destinations.Many passengers (which included a lot of first timers) were sick on the sea days which made the public areas quieter than they might have been as everyone was 'trapped' inside the ship for most of the time spent at sea. The ship was very noisy with excessive background noise all the time and musicians who behaved as entertainers rather than cocktail artistes.We raised this with the hotel management who acknowledged our comments but had no success in changing things. Fortunately the Glass House bar was reasonably quiet. We were surprised that many of the passengers were elderly and/or infirm. In the past we only noticed this on longer P&O cruises. We suspect that the very competitive pricing and the short duration of the cruise may have influenced this. But we made some lovely contacts and there was always a buzz about the ship. Check in was very fast and efficient but the first day gave us some surprises. Firstly the room stewards went off duty for the evening after we sailed. We didn't mind this at all as the room was already made up and the stewards have a very heavy day in Southampton. However we were missing some items in the bathroom and despite our calling Reception, nothing happened until the morning. In the (Freedom Dining) restaurants the waiters now have tablets to take all orders, including drinks. The 'wine waiters' were therefore reduced to running around trying to find out who had ordered what. On shore, these arrangements are pretty standard but it doesn't work well in a big, busy ship's restaurant. We were told that Ventura was trialling these arrangements for Iona. In Club dining the original arrangements applied. Presumably this is because wine waiters are very busy at the beginning of each sitting in Club (while the load is spread in Freedom) and the same applies to the load in the Club galley. However the staff throughout the ship were very competent, efficient and cheerful and Captain Willard was engaging and 'led from the front'. We fully exploited the speciality restaurants - Glass House, Beach House, Sindu and Epicurean. The latter was exquisite and well worth the high cover charge. The tours provided at each port were quite adequate and we enjoyed several. The lecturer who talked on Air Accident Investigation was very good, as was the classical pianist (altho' the amplification did distort the piano's sound sadly). The weather truncated Headliner's shows unfortunately - they were very good. The craft instructor 'missed the ship' which upset the artist in our group. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose a last minute cheap offer 12nights around Canaries on Ventura....beautiful ship, good size inside cabin which was very clean and service from cabin steward top rate. Excellent entertainment every night and freedom dining the ... Read More
We chose a last minute cheap offer 12nights around Canaries on Ventura....beautiful ship, good size inside cabin which was very clean and service from cabin steward top rate. Excellent entertainment every night and freedom dining the best ever, but ding experience met our expectations especially Sindu. All the staff very attentive but not in your face which we like. I fell and banged my head in one of the ports, fortunately for me a shuttle bus on its way back to the ship stopped and radio messaged Ventura to say bringing an injured passenger back to port. Emergency staff were on quayside waiting for me and I was in medical centre with a Doctor within minutes. Excellent medical treatment given by all qualified medical team. We love all the P&O ships, they really cater well for the type of cruises we like. Plenty to do onboard day and night, typical entertainment not too loud and brash, good theatres and show lounges with an array of excellent singers, dancers, comedians and musicians. Dancing every evening for the energetic and lovel quiet bars with serene music for those who want to sit back and relax. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Give Ventura another try as this was only cruise from Southampton for Oct school holidays. This time not impressed with Ventura. Check in was quite slow Once on board we went to buffet, very poor selection available. Went to ... Read More
Give Ventura another try as this was only cruise from Southampton for Oct school holidays. This time not impressed with Ventura. Check in was quite slow Once on board we went to buffet, very poor selection available. Went to cabin which appeared to be ok visited buffet a few times, first occasion there was no cutlery available, once i can let go, twice and someone needs to say something, but this happened either no cutlery or no plates or no cups for tea and coffee 10 times which is inexcusable and shows standards are slipping. The Buffet itself is very poor, very little choice, poor layout, people going through exits and going wrong way causing problems. no-one to police this when entering buffet, first items you come across are the rolls and butter cut up into little blocks - put these little blocks onto your plate and in 30 seconds you have a big pool of melted butter on you plate. (will not put butter on tray as it could be dirty) Entertainment quite poor- we had 2 comedians. One was called Tucker, who came on with a song then spent the next 10 minutes talking to the late arrivals (in a 45 minute shoe this is not good) the second was Jack Ryan telling old jokes and basically dying on his feet. The Flyrights and Serious sounds were brilliant. Thank god for the Theatre showing some films. Quite a few quizzes and the Bingo - The Bingo is a major rip off, very high ticket prices £15 for a 6 strip book of 5 games £12 for a 3 strip book of 5 games Many people were paying the 6 strip approx 60-70 but the prizes only totalled £250 for all games (serious profit taking) Hardly saw anyone in the shops. On this cruise we has a man overboard and a few hours later we has to return to port for a medical evacuation. We missed a port of call to Cherborg due to high winds instead staying in the sea near devon seriously swaying all over the place for about 15 hours. Disembarking was a joke but not a bad a trying to get out of CPS car park (took over an hour) Clearly staff numbers have been cut which caused some of the problems will not be going on Ventura Again as not a lot to do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We love cruising and love P&O but standards seem to be slipping a bit. Embarkation/disembarkation: Emabarkation was very smoothe. Cases taken at Southampton and was on the ship within the hour. The same goes for disembarkation, ... Read More
We love cruising and love P&O but standards seem to be slipping a bit. Embarkation/disembarkation: Emabarkation was very smoothe. Cases taken at Southampton and was on the ship within the hour. The same goes for disembarkation, very smoothe. We chose to take our own cases off and was off the ship by 09:00. Food/Drink The drinks package was good value for money but had such a stupid policy (not allowed to order a soft drink at the same time as an alcoholic?). There was a large group of us (6) and ordering a round of drinks was a mission! It took about half an hour to order a round which was very annoying, especially at dinner! Each drink had to be ordered individually on an individual card, we know the drinks package is relitively new and staff are trying their hardest to get to grips with it but I feel P&O should take a leaf out of other cruise line’s books (RCL/MSC) as their systems are a lot more smoothe. The food in the main restaurants was very good, excellent choice and excellent quality. Sindhu was fantastic, service great and food spectacular. One note though we do miss the fish course in the main restaurant. Cabin: Cabin was very nice. The beds are amazing and our cabin steward worked very hard. The bathroom is small but that is expected. The only negative thing is P&O have removed the onboard account from the stateroom tv’s? This made it quite difficult having to keep getting print outs of the account at reception. Ship: We love Azura so had high hopes for Ventura. The entertainment onboard was great but the ship felt generally shabby. A lot of the rooms need a good face lift, the furntitre was battered in some places and it just felt a little dated. We noticed that the promenade deck was dirty in some areas as well throughout the whole duration of the cruise. Overall we had a nice cruise. The ports were great (especially Amsterdam) and the food was lovely. The ship however leaves something to be desired for. It needs a good refit to bring it back up to standards! We are sailing on Iona next year so hopefully the drinks package would have sorted itself out by then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having just completed our first P&O cruise (aboard the Ventura )I thought I’d post my comparison with the Celebrity Solstice class ships, as most of the cruises we have done were aboard Celebrity, the last one being on the Silhouette ... Read More
Having just completed our first P&O cruise (aboard the Ventura )I thought I’d post my comparison with the Celebrity Solstice class ships, as most of the cruises we have done were aboard Celebrity, the last one being on the Silhouette this time last year. The ships are roughly the same size in tonnage , but Ventura carries more passengers, and I believe has a higher ratio of crew to passenger. So on that score the Silhouette seems to come out on top. I would also say the Silhouette has a plusher interior, but that said the Ventura is still a nice interior just not as glitzy. On the Ventura we had a superior deluxe balcony cabin, because it had a bath. On the Silhouette we had a standard cabin; albeit in the past we have had an Aqua Class cabin. Again the Silhouette cabin has a bit plusher feel, but doesn’t compare in size and storage to the Ventura. Without doubt the Ventura cabin wins hands down. Can’t comment on standard cabins on Ventura, other than to say a few passengers remarked on how tight the shower was. Obviously food and drink are a big factor in any cruise. We’ve never had any complaints on a Celebrity boat about food. Quality, choice, service have always been consistently good. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Ventura. In the main food was ok, but never exceptional, and in a few cases quite bad. Both ships have specialty restaurants, for which you pay a premium; although quite a bit more on Celebrity. We tried them all on Ventura and found their top restaurant – The Epicurean to be passable but not memorable, but did enjoy Sindhu, the Indian themed restaurant, and the Beach House. There was, generally, a noticeable difference in the waiter service, with Ventura being very mixed, and at times not overly efficient, whilst Celebrity consistently good. If you are a foodie then, based on our experience, Ventura is not for you. Conversely, when it came to entertainment we think Ventura was much better. The ship had an excellent entertainment team and programme. The shows in the main theatre were of a good standard, and the final show on the last night – “Astonishing” – was probably the most enjoyable production we have had on any cruise. All round the entertainment team was more engaged with passengers; even at disembarkation they were high profile and involved with folk waiting to leave the ship. Passengers on Ventura were 99% Brits; whereas Celebrity has a more mixed nationality passenger base., but mainly American. So many features on Ventura were targeted to British taste, including prices in sterling and 3 pin plugs. Certainly the Brits made more of an effort about dressing up on formal nights; in contrast Celebrity and others appear to be moving to a more smart casual style throughout the cruise. In summary Celebrity is a bit more upmarket, but of course quite a bit more expensive. If I had a choice between a like for like cruise, at same price, I think I’d opt Celebrity, but the lure of the Ventura cabin, with its decent size, and bath, might be hard to resist. Best on Celebrity – the food Best on Ventura – cabin; closely followed by excellent entrainment team. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a last minute cruise booking because we had to cancel our earlier booking on Azura due to having to care for my mum. We have been cruising now for 4 years, my wife loves it. This is the third cruise with P 0 Cruises and second ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise booking because we had to cancel our earlier booking on Azura due to having to care for my mum. We have been cruising now for 4 years, my wife loves it. This is the third cruise with P 0 Cruises and second on Ventura. I have to say despite this bad review the staff and crew were always courteous and polite - could not fault that. Our issue started when we arrived at the docks - P O decided without forewarning any of its customers that no porters were available and you had to find trolleys and move the cases a couple of hundred yards and queue to drop off your cases. There were two places we finally got in the queue near the front, when we told them our cabin they told us we were in the wrong queue and ended up at the back of the midships queue no board or information stating which queue to be in. Our view, several customers who were older age struggled to load and push the trolleys, this was not the only time and many people were affected. Not a good experience when you have just driven for 4 hours to have to lug two trolleys as my wife couldn’t manage it. We get up to terminal and are given a card with a letter to wait (not like Royal Caribbean we got straight on board and far more efficient) we waited for over 2 hours, finally got on board. My wife wanted to go to Barcelona, the sail date was 6 October later than usual but that was my wife’s interest to see the famous church Sagrada Familia as we missed it last time. To be honest we did not look too much at the rest of the itinerary until we were on board but noticed that PO cruises had cut out a stop - instead of 7 ports we only had 6 - this was later confirmed on their 2020 bookings where cost cutting reducing a port seemed to be prevalent across even 19 day sailings. On our last cruise with Royal Caribbean we got a drinks package, we are not big drinkers but enjoy the occasional spirit or wine so we enquired about the drinks package we were shocked at the exorbitant prices £39.95 per day and my wife would have to have one too as we could not share it. So just under £80 per day for 14 days - you do the maths and is you do not use it up each day you loose the balance. So going offshore for the day could cost you £79.90 if you do not have a drink on board. Absolutely ridiculous and a ludicrous package. Next in the cabin we see cards about the footprint for the environment - yet PO decided to cancel the cabin tv log of your onboard spend and had to request a print out instead to see a statement - so much for being environmentally concerned. Over the course of the 14 days we became bored with the old fashioned, staid entertainment and activities and all the health and well-being talks ended up with a sell on expensive so called remedies. We got caught with this on our first cruise not again. The headliners singers were awful screechy female lead and the male lead was just as bad. The only decent act was comedian John Evans. There was nothing innovative nothing new - same old boring stuff. It is disappointing that no real effort had been made to change anything. How many people buy paintings on board none from any of the passengers we spoke to - why not put that enormous space to better use. Disembarkation - the biggest gripe by many, we wanted to get off early due to our long drive home, so we asked for 8-8.30, we were given 8-30.8.45 am. We arrived early around 7.30 as we had to vacate the cabin before 8 am. If we wanted to go earlier we had to carry all our cases down ourselves and we were booked with CPS which was some considerable distance from our car. We sat down on the Starboard side with many other early passengers. At around 8 am the so called manger responsible for our disembarkation arrived and started herding passengers to the port side, unbeknown to all the early birds, disembarkation was to be in sections port side first so all those who arrived after 8:30 am got off first. Not only that young and older passengers with prawns and wheelchairs had were given no consideration at all. It is not rocket science to organise the disembarkation more efficiently and give some credit to this passengers who ensured they were there on times during people with prams and disabled go off first. Get you act together PO. We planned to book the Greek islands next year with PO as that was the one we cancelled but PO are not running it next year in September and the one one in October only has 7 stops in the 19 day cruise. Overall there were many other niggles PO had cut over 500 crew on the cruise, and many times we had to wait for stragglers arriving back late after a day in port, there is no excuse for this yet PO do nothing to penalise these people. Overall we enjoyed the break but this cruise was lacklustre from all sides and we were very disappointed in this old fashioned boring cruise. We have decided to try other cruise lines who have been recommended as we were not the only ones who felt the same as us and we are pretty laid back but this time we had had enough. If you want to chill out and not drink, not participate in any of the activities then this is the cruise for you otherwise go elsewhere - we will not go again with PO until they improve. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have been with NCl and Royal Carribean before. This itinerary worked for us and just trying something new. So Disappointing.The positives first. Embarkation was easy and well organised. Cabin L224 inside was fine. Staff were ... Read More
We have been with NCl and Royal Carribean before. This itinerary worked for us and just trying something new. So Disappointing.The positives first. Embarkation was easy and well organised. Cabin L224 inside was fine. Staff were very nice. Nightly entertainment was good . Plenty of outside space and sunbeds. Food was seriously poor. The mdr was terrible and the 4 times we were at it always someone at the table sent it back.(this is people who i do not know) The buffet food tasted fine but the selection was poor.You had a choice of tea coffee or water to drink except in the morning where there was orange and apple juice. Bars were totally under staffed. There was times i had thought they were brewing the beer. The staff new this and asked for this to be put into the survey. You had to go to deck 15 for a tea or a coffee or deck 5 and buy it at costa. No atmosphere on this boat at all.This may not be the cruise lines fault but the live music at the pool was good but for sleeping to. Ballroom dancing or knitting day time activities. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
first time done a cruise and was not disappointed. When arrived at cruise terminal checked in was fast and once on the boat shown straight to cabin. Met so many nice people and everybody was friendly and spoke to each other which was ... Read More
first time done a cruise and was not disappointed. When arrived at cruise terminal checked in was fast and once on the boat shown straight to cabin. Met so many nice people and everybody was friendly and spoke to each other which was nice The food was excellent and different restaurants to eat at and bars to drink at and there was different entertainment every night. Lots of things to do gym centre and several swimming pools. The excursions were very good lots of choice. Staff very friendly and helpful and staff kept boat clean and tidy all the time. Reception staff and restaurant staff all excellent. The scenery of the Norwegian fjords are stunning so lovely to see when getting up everyday in a different port. Getting on and off the boat at every port the staff very friendly and helpful as you have to use your smart card to get on and off the boat and put bags through security and when leaving the cruise ship at the end of the cruise that went really smoothly no problems. Would go on a cruise again as had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise for convenience of date to fit in with our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations, As such we booked the Strathaird Suite C751 Boarding and welcome buffet absolutely first class plus. Our suitcase was waiting at ... Read More
Chose this cruise for convenience of date to fit in with our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations, As such we booked the Strathaird Suite C751 Boarding and welcome buffet absolutely first class plus. Our suitcase was waiting at the cabin door as expected. We entered the suite, first impression , dull drab and old looking furnishings looking very tired!! Gosh what have we done? Nearly £5K spent already just to get this far!! In due course the Butler arrived to explain what he could do for us but really was a passed master at explaining what he did not do.Frankly no need for this individual at all not even for the delivery of the stale canapes each evening The wash hand basin in the unheated bathroom was cracked, the sofa bed in the lounge area was so flat and uncomfortable the bottom on one side was falling away. Servicing by the cabin stewardess left a lot to be desired One excellent Perk of the suite is the invitation to breakfast every day in the White Room at the Epicurian fabulous service. Our special dinner there was exceptional. All in all a very disappointing cruise, the ship only actually sailed in and through the fjords at night and was either in port or at sea during the day Definitely NOT value for the money on this occasion Our dining experience in the Bay Tree restaurant was the food dull and uninspiring with 50% of the menu repeated every night Entertainment was quite good with Comedy from Tucker on two great nights and Magic from the Astonishing show Overall onboard was just ok but we have already cancelled our Christmas cruise on Ventura and booked on another P&O ship We found the public rooms a little too cool and the Costa area needing a good clean, eg The back of the chairs had coffee spillages on them and needed wiping and cleaning Service was just ok but we have seen better Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
I'll get my moan out of the way first ! We booked the cruise last January, specifically for the overnight stop in the centre of Amsterdam, to allow us to easily come and go from the ship, and venture back into the city for the ... Read More
I'll get my moan out of the way first ! We booked the cruise last January, specifically for the overnight stop in the centre of Amsterdam, to allow us to easily come and go from the ship, and venture back into the city for the "night life". A month after our booking, we were told that for "operational reasons" we would now be stopping at Ijmuiden overnight Instead, and being coached in an hour each way. A few months later we were told the schedule had changed, and we would not sail the first day but rather go straight to Ijmuiden, so we didn't arrive at 8am but rather at 10.30am, so we didn't get into Amsterdam until 12 noon. This cocked up our plans and we were given the option to cancel but lose our deposit, and not given the option to pay the tax ourselves. A bit of investigation identified that the operational reason was that Amsterdam have introduced an €8 per person tax, and they aren't willing to be dictated to, but despite repeated e mails and calls they aren't willing to admit this. There is no way that the fuel used sailing there faster, the coaches through the night, and the 385 nautical miles sailed before our next port ( 100 miles away) make this a good decision for anyone. Now that I have got that off my chest, the rest of the break was excellent ! We went on Ventura a couple of years ago, and it has had a refit since, so all the public areas are well maintained. We have been on a couple of TUI cruises since we last went on P&O a year ago, so have something to compare them to. Without any doubt the decor and the food quality / choice on P&O is better, with more in the way of activities. However, the standard of service is far below that of TUI, and has dropped since we last sailed P&O (since the dropped the tipping?). It's not that it's poor service, it's more that it is just functional, and there is no attempt to interact with passengers, which does have a big impact on the atmosphere onboard. The show team at night of drama school kids were of as high a standard as we have seen at sea, and all their shows were excellent. I can't say the same for the other entertainment that came an left the ship, who unfortunately appeared more than once, especially the comedienne. Our stop at Bruges was very good, but unfortunately our stop at Guernsey was cancelled due to high winds preventing the launch of the tenders. I can't vouch for its accuracy, but other passengers said that it was the fifth time this year that they have aborted the port, which makes you ask why they bother if this is the case. Embarkation at Southampton was speedy, as was our disembarkation which went very smoothly an hour ahead of schedule. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.0
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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