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Sail Date: April 2019
Had good responses from people using P & O. Having had Cruises with Royal Caribbean & Cunard, we thought we would see how they compared. Firstly, the boarding chaos was never explained by any P & O official. (It took over ... Read More
Had good responses from people using P & O. Having had Cruises with Royal Caribbean & Cunard, we thought we would see how they compared. Firstly, the boarding chaos was never explained by any P & O official. (It took over one hour & 30 mins TO check in). You were left in your car outside the dock for 45 mins WITH NO EXPLANATION before being herded into a chaotic receiving hall where we were given Numbers & told to take a seat (There were none) until your number was called. Cabin & Steward was excellent, & kept spotless during the voyage. Dining was very good in the Saffron Restaurant & waiters were brilliant. We also used the Self-service dining areas which were pleasant & fairly spacious & well staffed; However, the buffet area was quite small & crowded. There are activities but they are fairly low key & mostly appealing to children. One activity in the main Atrium was a display of how to make a Bed in under 2. 30 secs?! This actual drew a sizeable crowd, I think primarily because of disbelief that this could be a judged an 'activity.' People on holiday actually took part! The trips/excursions were a shambles. Oporto was called off because of rough seas, with the Captain sounding less than sympathetic! Spending an extra day in Lisbon. Then two full days at sea?! Until Our visit to Guernsey!! Where to begin... 21/2 hours queue to get a ticket to get into the 'Actual' queue for the Tender. 3hrs.20 mins set foot on Guernsey! Then, a 3-hour queue to come back. You couldn't invent it! The Ventura left 2 Hours later than the original 'back to the boat' They have no concept of how to organize any large gathering & Officers are nowhere to be seen. Finally, 2 hours to disembark! I shall leave the tale of Two ships there. Good Cabins & Good food vs laughable organization skills. I leave you with final Bon-Mot. An Illusionist was booked for the Area theater but couldn't be found? Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Embarkation. A bit chaotic, to say the least. We were due to check in at 15:30 but were still queuing to park the car at that time. Apparently there were issues with the airbridge connecting the ship to the terminal, although we were never ... Read More
Embarkation. A bit chaotic, to say the least. We were due to check in at 15:30 but were still queuing to park the car at that time. Apparently there were issues with the airbridge connecting the ship to the terminal, although we were never told officially. We eventually boarded at around 17:00, just in time to get to the emergency drill. Ship & cabin. It was our fifth time on the Ventura and the ship & cabin were spotless. She's a good ship with plenty of room and public spaces. Dining. Definitely gone downhill. First night's meal in the MDR was what I'd expect to be served in prison. It got better but not as good as it used to be. The food at the Sindhu was excellent, however, and well worth the £20 surcharge. The buffet is a bit of a bunfight; too much pushing and shoving in the queues and not enough seating. Entertainment. Singing and dancing is not our cup of tea but there’s plenty of it if you like that sort of thing. The comedian/magician was a bit amateurish and bordering on racist and didn’t get many laughs. The quizzes are good, though, and there’s a good atmosphere in the pub/bar (The Exchange). The Great British Sailaway was jingoistic and cringe-worthy. Ports. Vigo is not the most exciting port in Europe but we had a nice walk to the top of the hill and had a couple of drinks, getting back on board just before the heavens opened. Lisbon is a great city. We walked to the castle and had a good stroll around the squares. Sadly Porto had to be cancelled due to the rough seas. The captain was apologetic but one or two people were heard moaning. They’d have moaned even more if the ship had run into difficulties getting into port. Guernsey is a tender port and we decided to skip breakfast and get on an early tender. Luckily there was not much of a wait. A different story coming back, though. Some choppy seas slowed the tendering process down and we waited for 45 minutes to get back to our ship; a lot quicker than some people from what I heard. Disembarkation. A total shambles. We elected to self-disembark but so did half the ship apparently. They were totally unprepared and the queues were ridiculous. Took over an hour to get off of the ship. Nobody seemed to be organising anything and the crew just seemed to be helpless observers. Overall a good cruise but P&O are not what they used to be. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise with P&O and we had both good and bad experiences. We would try P&O again but I think the experience we had this time was not the best. Positives Ship was excellent, really good condition. We loved ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O and we had both good and bad experiences. We would try P&O again but I think the experience we had this time was not the best. Positives Ship was excellent, really good condition. We loved the Metropolis and Tamarind bars. Evening dining was good considering the number of people they have to serve. Service was efficient but not particularly friendly. Cabins were good, well appointed and clean. Entertainment was of good quality (although sometimes not for us). Decent drinks prices. Negatives Both Embarkation and disembarkation were delayed. We missed Oporto so had our excursion cancelled. Evening and daytime entertainment were swapped around, cancelled and delayed (to be fair this was partly due to weather conditions). The Retreat & Oasis pool were unavailable for the whole cruise even though other pools were in use. As a couple of adults this was a disappointment. Buffet wasn't great... Dried food and plastic desserts. Bars were often crowded and loud and we had difficulty getting a seat. Theatre shows in the evening were also very busy. Outstanding We thought the on board comedy magician was naughty but great fun! Our room steward and our table waiters were also excellent, friendly and efficient. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have taken over 35 cruises and this was the worst ever. We ate in the main dining room on a table of 8 at the 8.30 sitting. Waiters were friendly but rushed off their feet. Food was ok but lacked any sparkle. Gone are the days ... Read More
We have taken over 35 cruises and this was the worst ever. We ate in the main dining room on a table of 8 at the 8.30 sitting. Waiters were friendly but rushed off their feet. Food was ok but lacked any sparkle. Gone are the days when you would have lobster or a nice steak on the black tie nights- pretty standard fare. The evening shows were generally good with the runaround kids and the magic show being by far the best. Watched a few films during sea days- good choice. Waited over an hour to park the car at portside and a further one hour 20 mins to board ( we later found out that there were delays in disembarkation causing delays in boarding) no communication- it was a shambles Once on board we settled into our cabin - a superior delux balcony with a bath- which combined with our cabin stewardess was excellent. Visited the buffet once - pretty standard food with no imagination. We had coffee and some lovely cakes ( at a cost of £2.50 a cup) at the Costa bar. Service there was always polite although my wife was told that she couldn't have a cake or sandwich if she didn't buy a coffee , despite no signs advising us of this fact being present. Not handled by well by waitress - Very rude. First port was Vigo - took a Santiago de Castella on your own tour ie coach picked you up at port dropped you off and collected you £40 per person - what a rip off. 50 passengers at £40 gave P&O £2000 to hire a coach for 5 hours Next port was Lisbon. P&O provided a shuttle bus at £4 each way. We walked into the center square - took us around 20 minutes in a leasurely stroll and had a coffee / custard tart - lovely. Our call at Porto was cancelled due to "high swell" so we stayed in Lisbon for a further half day. Leaving for our next port at Guernsey early afternoon. Woken early on the Thursday morning by the noisy motors lowering the tender boats to go into St Peter Port. P&O kindly provided us with a detailed sheet on the tendering process and pointed out that there was an early morning rush to get off ( what a surprise) and if guests waited until 11.30 any wait would be small. We duly arrived at 11.30 to catch the tender to be met with chaos. Very upset Passengers who had been waiting, staff who didn't have a clue what was going on and no communication / apology from the bridge. Only 3 tender boats running although someone said they were trying to increase the number. We waited for 3 hours to get to the tender (2.30) and in the end didn't go as the last tender back was 5pm. Spoke to several passengers who said they had waited hours to return to the ship. Next problem was due to the late return of the tenders we left Guernsey late and hence returned to Southampton late. We always walk off early with our own cases. But instead of 7.15 ( when everything is quiet ) it was past 8 when all the lifts were full. Gangway was on same deck as breakfast que it was chaos , again angry passengers fed up of being pushed around by staff, and staff who just had no idea of how to communicate or organise - it was shameful. Finally got off the ship and picked up the car with no problem. P&O need to do a lot better - it's a very competitive cruise market with lots of choice. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the first cruise for our daughter and son in law with two children age nine and six. We as grandparents have been on Ventura before. Our daughter was impressed with how smart the ship was and we, since our last trip. have been ... Read More
This was the first cruise for our daughter and son in law with two children age nine and six. We as grandparents have been on Ventura before. Our daughter was impressed with how smart the ship was and we, since our last trip. have been with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity and agree the ship is not a let down. The family chose an extra large balcony cabin on Deck 9 (D728) and that was great for four people. We had a regular balcony on the same deck (D734) and we faced aft. We gained an extra large balcony, mostly shaded, but when ship was at sea the noise from the wake was loud. We had some moderately rough weather and did feel movement and vibration but nothing outrageous. Cabin service was good, our steward cleared the fridge for our bottles and made regular deliveries of ice and lemon. Breakfasts were delivered on time and accurately when we asked. We mostly ate in the main dining room and food was generally very good, only two or three dishes would have been sent back if we were paying by the dish!! The first formal night, with Captain's reception offering a choice of drinks (not just cheap fizz!!) and a special menu, was as as good as any gala night at sea in seven cruises. The disappointment came when the second black tie event did not have any extras and we chose uninspiring dishes from a rather ordinary menu. Our grandchildren appreciated the children's buffet but our daughter and son in law did not enjoy the atmosphere in the main buffet. Following our experience on the American lines the buffet choice is very limited with three counters of the same offering where as others have much greater variety, including free ice cream. Tables were cleared promptly and it felt clean. Entertainment around the ship was varied and generally of good quality. The entertainment manager took a low profile and we appreciated how this avoided a "holiday camp" atmosphere. Astonishing, the new magic and illusion show is brilliant and definitely as good as anything we have seen. The other acts in the main theatre, however, were aimed at the older age group which was a shame on what was intended to be a family cruise during the school holidays with more passengers under 50 that we have ever seen before. The company production of Burt Bacharach songs was well done, but the other four nights we had two shows from a Rock and Roll Band and two shows from a Tina Turner tribute act (All these dating back to the 1950/60s!!). We were not enthusiastic and our children did not even bother after the first night. There were disruptions from weather and other factors which were handled exceptionally poorly. We had an hour long queue in the car to drop off luggage- never known that before. Then, as ship was late in port and there were gangway problems, everyone was boarding at least an hour late. We were however well informed at this stage and seating was available. In Lisbon we were told the weather was too bad to get into Porto so we were staying another day in Lisbon. That second day we left at 11:30 in the morning and this was very limiting as we knew from the first day nothing was fully open before 10am. We reached Guernsey which we knew was a tendered port but the waits to get off ship were horrendous. It was suggested we join the queue late but it took from 10:45 to 1pm to get ashore. We were watching the queue to get back on the ship from about 3 pm and it was never shorter than an estimated two hours. We joined the last tender and got back to the ship 1h15 after it was due to leave. We spent more time waiting than exploring St Peter Port. We did hear there was an extra tender boat for hire but if this could not be used then there should have been a booking system,even a ballot for the popular times. The port arrangements at Vigo and Lisbon were fine both within walking distance of town. Returning to Southampton there was a delay notified the day before but we still had to vacate cabins by 8am and breakfast finished at 9am. We could not get ashore until ten to eleven but Anthony from the ents staff kept us informed as we waited in a restaurant. Our grandchildren really loved the children's clubs and children's entertainer Josh was excellent, but we would have enjoyed more enrichment for the adults to enjoy the free time. We found the drinks very good value and a meal at Sindhu was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Been on Ventura 5 times previously, always felt it was really good value but not this time. It was a 12 night cruise but in actual fact it was more like a 10 night cruise stretched out to 12 nights. The food has gone downhill badly. The ... Read More
Been on Ventura 5 times previously, always felt it was really good value but not this time. It was a 12 night cruise but in actual fact it was more like a 10 night cruise stretched out to 12 nights. The food has gone downhill badly. The first meal we ever had on a cruise was on Ventura 10 years ago, it was so good we still remember it. This time sadly some meals were good but most were of a lesser quality than we have at home. One example was a Vongole that came with over cooked spaghetti - it was totally tasteless, the £3 Iceland version is considerably better, which is ridiculous. Another big disappointment was the timing of the shows - the tribute acts started before the main show in the theatre ended - we have never known this before and it was a real big issue that shouldn't have been. Some people were suggesting they are doing everything they can to keep people in bars spending money, I have to say it did feel a lot more "inwardly looking" than previous cruises. Nice little touches like little bowls of sweets in the cabins have also gone. The entertainment was generally good but the cruise director - Tom was hopeless. Every night he would introduce the acts with the same tired jokes, he didn't even bother waiting for people to laugh - always seemed in a hurry and like he had better things to do. As usual the cabin steward was spot on, sadly the waiters were a bit annoying. Every time a meal was left they were at great pains to explain how it wasn't their fault, on one occasion 4 separate waiters came over, it got rather embarrassing in the end and it wasn't their fault that the so called Chefs weren't on the ball. The final annoyance was upon disembarkation when the sky bridge broke and we were 2 1/2 hours late getting off the ship. In fairness that wasn't P+O's fault but having had a rather non relaxing holiday it was the final straw that broke the camel's back. Oh, another thing that was rather annoying - we were only in Gibraltar for about 5 hours - nowhere near long enough. Also it didn't affect us but the trip to Santiago De Compostela was slated by other passengers. P+O knew the cathedral was being renovated but still took 60 odd quid per person to visit it!! Come on, you just can't do that, it's immoral. Anyway, we won't be going with P+O again, it's just not good value any more, which is a shame. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a 60th Birthday Cruise. I contacted P&O prior to sailing to arrange a few items and sure enough they were in the cabin waiting for us when we arrived. From Curbside to cabin took less than 10 minutes. Excellent Job. ... Read More
This was a 60th Birthday Cruise. I contacted P&O prior to sailing to arrange a few items and sure enough they were in the cabin waiting for us when we arrived. From Curbside to cabin took less than 10 minutes. Excellent Job. Luggage beat us to the cabin. The muster drill was very well organized and the crew did an exceptional job with the Guests. We were able to watch the sail away from our cabin in time. Jason our cabin steward was top notch. The ship was clean and we could see the hard wording staff cleaning and polishing every day and disinfecting all common areas. We ate at all the specialty Restaurants and each and everyone was very nice. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. We couldn't fault one member of staff. The entertainment staff and the Cruise Director were visible the entire trip. Disembarking in all ports of call were seamless. With the exception of our return to Southampton. The jetty was not functioning so we waited in the Havana Lounge for 3 hours before disembarking at 11:30 on Friday Morning. The only constructive suggestion would be maybe to designate two or 3 elevators to those with mobility scooters/walkers etc. As this took up most of the elevator space all over the ship. The only other issue we would mention is how miserable the majority of the older guests were especially to the hard working crew. There should be signage saying no abuse will be tolerated at anytime to any member of staff. They work too hard and long hours. We would sail P&O for sure but no longer than 7 days. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a ... Read More
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a feeding frenzy in buffet servery which is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Also, despite polite request notes on each table asking diners to vacate once finished eating, there are some who seem to camp there for an hour or two chatting, dozing or reading books while others search for seats. Some ignore hand sanitisers in restaurants. Thump of engines can be heard in main restaurant. We heard that P&O have made economies on several fronts and sometimes it shows compared with previous cruises by us. Cabin stewards now asked to service more cabins daily. Stage shows were very good/excellent. One comedian fared badly/gross with old folk with mime of him pretending to wipe his bottom, complained about weak P&O 2-ply toilet paper, said some elderly passengers "smelled like the homeless" and were infirm - among other grubby "jokes." Long wait to disembark because of tide change and positioning the bridge to terminal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Friend checked for reviews of cabin f334 and it stated do not expect a good night's sleep. Absolutely correct as cabin creaked from set sail and reported many times, promised would be transfered to next available cabin. NOTHING ... Read More
Friend checked for reviews of cabin f334 and it stated do not expect a good night's sleep. Absolutely correct as cabin creaked from set sail and reported many times, promised would be transfered to next available cabin. NOTHING HAPPENED! Could not get cabin cool enough.Reported many times, kept getting cards left stating ventilation engineer had called but no change. Eventually met with engineer and was told that was impossible to reduce temperature as not individually cabin controlled. Why not told in first place? Food of poor standard, especially in Waterside where food frequently not hot. Staff tried their best in restaurant but not good. Lunchtime menu very poor. Duty free shop very expensive for cigarettes price up almost 50% since December on Oriana. Staff responded well to my special requirements and a big thank you to them. Cabin steward was excellent. Overall got impression staff were not well motivated which must reflect on ship's management. Disembarkation was a complete fiasco and whoever was responsible should be called to account. After over 20 years sailing with P & O this experience has confirmed my decision taken following a bad event on previous cruise that they do not not value their clients and they will get no more business from me. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itiniary and to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We could have not got it more wrong. The food was appaling , some of the staff were outright rude. There were big queues in the ports at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itiniary and to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We could have not got it more wrong. The food was appaling , some of the staff were outright rude. There were big queues in the ports at disembarkation and some of the fellow passengers had poor manners. I was pushed out of the way by a woman trying to get to a seat for the next talk in the theater as we were exiting following a previous talk. We felt totally unvalued as a customer and were only there to be exploited as much as possible. We spent over £8000 on this cruise (including onboard spend) and it was a waste of money - not good value at all. After 14 cruises with P&O we will not be cruising with them again.I am dissapointed to say this but standards have fallen to an unacceptable level for us. Read Less
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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