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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
chose this cruise as it was a British ship 11 nights on the Ventura first time with p&o. We had a fabulous time really enjoyed it nice inside cabin cabin steward was fantastic. Food was very good nice venues plenty to do. The captain ... Read More
chose this cruise as it was a British ship 11 nights on the Ventura first time with p&o. We had a fabulous time really enjoyed it nice inside cabin cabin steward was fantastic. Food was very good nice venues plenty to do. The captain was very nice and entertainment was good. Excellent sail away parties and very good entertainment. Drinks prices were OK and lots of nice shopping. Time ashore was very good. Only one we did not like was Vigo but that was our choice did not go onnany of the excursion so can not comment on them but all ports were eassy accessible. Embarkation and de embarkation was very well organization. Very bimpressed traveled by coach from Washington. Lots of elderly people on board but children's facilities were very good. We did not use the spar at all. Went to see some of the films shown on the afternoon Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our second cruise and we had previously been on the ventura about 11 years ago (the first trip after its maiden voyage). We went back to the ventura as for only two nights we didn't want to spend most of the cruise looking ... Read More
This was our second cruise and we had previously been on the ventura about 11 years ago (the first trip after its maiden voyage). We went back to the ventura as for only two nights we didn't want to spend most of the cruise looking for facilities. After reading the reviews I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy it as much and ruin my memories of our first cruise with our children, but Im glad to say it was all excellent. Embarkation Although our embarkation time was 1:30pm we arrived at the terminal early so were prepared to wait until our allotted time, but we were quickly checked in and by about 12:15pm were onboard. We decided at the last minute to check our small cases through rather than carry them, to be honest it did take a long time to receive our luggage to our room, and one small case didn't initially arrive. However, our cabin steward was very helpful and located the luggage within 15 minutes of enquiring about it. The Cabin We had room E501, a large double room, outside. We knew the window was restricted as we had been advised on booking, we were on the floor where the life rafts were situated outside, however we could still see through gaps where we were and for two nights we didn't mind at all. It was all as expected. Plenty of hanging space for two nights and cupboard storage. Tea and coffee facilities in the room if required and a fridge. The television showed a range of films at no extra cost, and regular channels, it was a bit slow in operating but worked well. Bathroom facilities were adequate, powerful shower, lovely big mirror and lighting. All towels and pool towels provided. Plenty of mirrors in the main cabin giving a good sense of space. Thee was plenty of space around the bed, a dressing/writing table with a chair and an extra chair placed under the window. All very spacious. Dining We chose freedom dining allowing us to dine in the evening in the Saffron or the Cinnamon restaurants, any time between 6:30pm and 9:30pm. We only wanted a table for two and on the first night there was a little wait so we were given a little box that lit up when our table was ready. In the meantime we went for a drink at the bar nearby. within half an hour our table was ready and waiting. The second night, black tie evening, we were escorted directly to a table no waiting. Could not fault the food in the restaurants. The portions are relatively small compared to high street chain restaurants but after starter, main, dessert, cheeseboard and coffee it was plenty for us. For breakfast you could choose either waitress service in one of the restaurants or the buffet style dining options, we tried both and both served a varied menu which was all nice. Lunch time we chose buffet style, plenty of choices, a curry, other hot selections, salads, a cold fish counter, cold meat counter, cheese selection, desserts and plenty of other items. Afternoon tea was slightly different from how I remember it, cakes used to be available in the buffet dining area but now afternoon tea is served between 4pm and 5:30pm. We didn't try this and we just couldn't eat anything else. The Black tie evening menu was mix and match between marco pierre white choices and the cruise line choices. I had all three from the marco pierre white menu, mushroom soup, half a lobster and prosecco jelly and strawberries which was all delicious whilst my husband chose a couple of dishes from the main menu, again all delicious. Entertainment Entertainment was fantastic especially on the black tie evening, brilliant band in the atrium, Badness Hull, madness tribute band in the Arena and plenty of other entertainment across the ship. A brilliant evening catering for all tastes. Photos Plenty of opportunities to have your photos taken. Did speak to one of the photographers about the fact that it all seem a bit old fashioned to print out every single picture for people to view. All prints were in colour but he was very helpful and did say if we wanted anything in black and white they could reprint them. I understand that on the newer ships however this area has now been updated and all photos are viewed online and ordered online. We didn't purchase any photos, but they all seemed quite nice, priced at £11.50 per sheet of prints, normally consisted of two regular sized prints and a couple of smaller ones. Disembarkation All went smoothly, needed to be out of our cabins by 8am and off the ship by 9am. We left at just after 8 taking our cases with us. No queuing to get off. Walked straight through to CPS and collected our car from the CPS car park just outside the terminal. All in all a brilliant cruise, very relaxing and organised from start to finish. Want already to book another trip. Thanks Ventura for a great weekend. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Third time on Ventura and 5th cruise with P&O, chose for the ports of call, and enjoy exploring on ones own which these destinations offered. This ship is now 8 years old, and yes some signs of wear here and there, but standards are ... Read More
Third time on Ventura and 5th cruise with P&O, chose for the ports of call, and enjoy exploring on ones own which these destinations offered. This ship is now 8 years old, and yes some signs of wear here and there, but standards are maintained. We had an inside cabin mid ship, which having had one before, for six nights was just right. Suggest if a longer cruise and in the med when warm and sunny a balcony would be one to go for. Cabin Steward as always on P&O courteous and kept the cabin ship shape, it was clean and no wear in our cabin. Food......... I cannot believe some of the comments on these forums, the cuisine was superb, amazing choice - we had Freedom Dining in the Cinnamon - waiters attentive, and always smiled, good choice of wine. Used the Waterside buffet once for lunch, again choice good, and one evening in the Glass house for a change of scene, again perfect for me. Breakfast I prefer the waiter service and the choice there too , breakfast was in the Saffron, and again could not fault the food or the service. Entertainment - Just one ' Headliners show ' Reel to Reel ' easy to get a seat in the theatre on the first performance ( I think though it was not a full ship ) - I have found on each ship the cast work very hard, and the changes of costume so quick is amazing. Maxine Mazumber - as Dusty have enjoyed on Britannia and did so again on Ventura, along with Jai McDowell. Maxine was given the Theatre on Britannia, which she deserves, here is was the Havana Did attend a talk on ' Titanic ' by a knowledgeable speaker, who was brought up in Belfast where the ship was built. Guernsey - Interesting St Peter Port, we did our won coastal walk. La Rochelle - Blue sky and warm, did the three towers climb and walked around this beautiful town. Bilbao- Took the ship's shuttle bus to the city, then walked.. to see the Guggenheim, do not miss the ' huge dog ' floral display, took the funicular to the highest point with good views, then the ' metro ' to Areeta to see the Getzo Suspension Bridge... it's then a lovely walk back to the ship around 2.6km... past old mansions, you can see the ship from the bridge, so no problem getting lost- sadly it was drizzle but warm... In the evening we have always liked and still do the Metropolis Bar at the aft for pre dinner and after dinner drinks. Would a cruise P&O again - certainly yes, in fact Oceana changes her itinery for 2017 which looks good. I somehow feel many who write reviews are in the 1950's !! who think cruise is for the few, we have moved on.... Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We would not normally travel during the school holidays but due to circumstances it was now or wait until November which we did not want to do. However, any concerns we had about children running riot were soon dispelled as those we came ... Read More
We would not normally travel during the school holidays but due to circumstances it was now or wait until November which we did not want to do. However, any concerns we had about children running riot were soon dispelled as those we came across were very well behaved and we loved seeing them all dressed up in their little DJs and sparkly dresses on the formal nights. Didn't see one tantrum during the whole fortnight! Don't get me wrong, we are not anti children but don't particularly want screaming kids running around out of control when we are trying to relax. The greater age range this enabled was also good. On some cruises we have come out of the late show to find that everyone appears to have gone to bed. It was great to have a bit of a buzz later at night! Embarkation was excellent. From parking the car to being in our cabin took about 45 minutes. More or less walked straight on. We were blessed with beautiful weather and saw some truly amazing sunsets. Also lots of pods of dolphins. Reading a previous review, someone commented that the fruit juice at breakfast was made from powder. I can reassure readers that this is not the case as I saw the dispensers being topped up several times from juice cartons. We enjoyed the entertainment we saw. On a personal note, it really annoys me that some people will stay for 10 minutes, decide it is not for them and then disrupt everyone around them by walking out. The shows only last about 40 mins so even if it is not for you, please, have a little respect and wait until the end. It's not like you have to sit through something 3 hours long. If you're not sure you will like it, please stand at the back thereby not disturbing other peoples' enjoyment. So rude! Rant over. Didn't do any ships tours as we prefer to do our own thing, so cannot comment. Found the food to be very good. Always a good choice in the Waterfall buffet and in the Bay Tree where, incidentally, we were very well looked after by Ketan and Sudesh. I don't know how they manage to keep so cheerful with all the work they have to do. The Waterfall can get busy at lunchtime on sea days but we never had a problem finding a seat as the staff were very efficient at clearing tables and we got to talk to lots of different, lovely people. Someone mentioned that curry was on the menu every day. I have to say that I never noticed that this was the case and I'm not particularly a curry fan. All the staff were cheerful. The only point I would make is that they could do with more staff in Tamarind as on some nights it took some time to get a drink even though the waiters were working so hard. Overall, an excellent cruise and we would definitely do school holidays on the Ventura again. OK, there was some very minor wear and tear in places but with that many people passing through it is never going to stay pristine. There are always some people who will find fault but, hey, you're on holiday, if it does not cause a major impact to you, just enjoy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our 1st cruise, we had an open mind & didnt know what to expect what we got was just about perfect as you could get. Friendly crew who go out of their way to help, clean cabins could not fault the ship in any way. Dining ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise, we had an open mind & didnt know what to expect what we got was just about perfect as you could get. Friendly crew who go out of their way to help, clean cabins could not fault the ship in any way. Dining what a choice so many restaurants buffets, burger bar, pizza bar ice cream bar. For drinkers they were spoilt with the amount of bars & choice of drinks. Entertainment was every where something for all, old n young alike. Shops were very good with plenty of stock. Shore excursions were great a bit slow but with the amount of passengers its understandable. Disembarkation was a little long winded but with 3000+ passengers its also understandable. The passengers were kept up to spec with regular messages over the tannoy. To sum this cruise up all I can say is Fantastic would do it again. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise as an 'initial' taster for our friends (2 couples) who had not cruised since us three 'boys' had served in the Royal Navy together in the late 70's. My wife and I have previously cruised three ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an 'initial' taster for our friends (2 couples) who had not cruised since us three 'boys' had served in the Royal Navy together in the late 70's. My wife and I have previously cruised three times, Island (Star/Escape) and Cunard (Queen Elizabeth). We were unsure what to expect on this occasion as all the reading/research we had carried out was 'on how big the ship was'. Yes, Venturer is big and yes, there are a lot of people and yes, there were 722 children onboard for our trip to the Iberian coast, but the ships timings (shows, meals, all round entertainment) was so well managed we soon found our way aroun, we never really became aware of large crowds and we were never aware of the large amount number of children. So to start, our embarkation went so smoothly, within twenty minutes from dropping off our bags, walking into the hall, presenting our passports, filling in the health sheet, having our photographs taken for the on board I.D. And proceeding through security we were on board Venturer. Plenty of staff directing us to our cabins, so within thirty minutes we were in our cabin (R748) a very well appointed cabin with a window to the rear of the ship, great view. Departing Southampton happened so quickly, thinking back we actually don't remember leaving port and we were all sat down, suited and booted for our evening meal Food - on the 6.30 sitting in the Bay Tree sat as a table of six (49) with two waiters Jamson and Sudesh looking after our every need. The meals were 4/5 courses, and were placed in front of us as very much 'pictures on a plate' none of the six of us like waste, good job we cleared our plates at every sitting. The food was well cooked, different choices every night and a menus to delight every taste and choice, the offer of portion size was available but we never took advantage as the plate sizes were sufficient. Entertainment - The 8.30 show was our sitting, and we were not disappointed, the 'house' entertainers were very professional, the shows ensured the audience were both entertained and were fully involved within the show, singing along, joining in, clapping etc. We also had a comedian (John Martin) who it was a delight to hear, both funny and up to date, he also didn't have to swear to get a cheap laugh. We were also entertained by 'Showmaddymaddy' on night four, obviously a tribute band but so funny and musical, we decided to see them again at the later show. The highlighters appeared every other night, very slick, very musical and gave their rendition of current musicals, our favourite on the night being 'Wicked'. On the sixth night we sat through 'Badness' (spoiler alert, previously Showmaddymaddy) who on this occasion were, guess..... Yes Madness, brilliant group and superb audience participation. Everyone to their own, we also sat through a show at midnight with a comedian called Josh Daniels, his midnight appearance supposed to be adult humour cos the children would be in bed! Well I remember he swore a lot, modern humour, swear and the audience laugh, not for us I'm afraid. Two really good singers had sets, Kurtis Ray White and Paul Emmanuel who was really very good, especially when covering Nat King Cole. Visits ashore - Vigo, was our first stop, along side we went ashore and was convinced to use the coach trip with an independent company called 'tours4cruisers' a very professional and especially knowledgable tour guide and very good driver. We made three stops and all the experts were able to point us all in the Right Direction Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I have read some reviews of the Greek Island cruise I was on and clearly I was on a different ship to some of these poor reviews. This was my third cruise and funnily enough all on Ventura. I certainly agree that it does need a bit of a ... Read More
I have read some reviews of the Greek Island cruise I was on and clearly I was on a different ship to some of these poor reviews. This was my third cruise and funnily enough all on Ventura. I certainly agree that it does need a bit of a refit and new carpets as some of cabins and areas are looking slightly tired. However on the whole the cruise was superb and one of my best yet. We met some lovely people and on the whole everyone had a good time. The staff worked tirelessly and we met some really nice staff who are a credit to P&O and still makes me feel slightly uncomfortable at how hard they are worked. It staggers me and how many people have the daily charge removed from their bill and do not leave any tips whatsoever. They are usually the same people who are rude and obnoxious to the staff and they wonder why staff come across rude to them. I am always friendly and pleasant to staff and it goes a long way to getting a friendly service back. I constantly saw such rudeness and superior attitude from passengers towards staff and it is unacceptable. It was a very busy ship as was a school holidays cruise as clearly advertised so again if you compain about kids on a boat knowing this then more fool you. There was never a problem getting sun beds unless you wanted to sit right on top of the pool which we did not. Food was top class once again in Baytree and also Sindhu, Epicurean and Glasshouse was some top class service from staff. All the staff in Metropolis were amazing and miss them already as we were in there until late most nights and they always looked after us. We did arrive in Gibraltar 6 hours late but this was explained by the Cpt and we did really well thanks to the staff to make up time and make Gib at all. Clearly with 3000 people wanting to get off the boat at the same time at 1pm it was chaotic but not sure what P&O could have done about this and there was a short delay getting back on board but we gave ourselves plenty of time to return to the boat and got straight on. Others who came back 30 mins before departuer quite reasonably found themselves in a longish queue to get back on board. Entertainment was superb even though I have seen a few of the Headliners shows now but enjoyed them again and they put so much effort into their shows. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was our third cruise it was my husbands retirement cruise .we visited the Parma the Greek islands and Gibraltar,it was amazing.the ship was stunning,the balcony cabin was big and kept spotless by Kathy who was loverly.and could not do ... Read More
This was our third cruise it was my husbands retirement cruise .we visited the Parma the Greek islands and Gibraltar,it was amazing.the ship was stunning,the balcony cabin was big and kept spotless by Kathy who was loverly.and could not do enough for us.all the staff were amazing kind friendly and would do anything for you.we ate in the bay tree restaurant.it was loverly,the food was first class,I am a picky eater,and lactos intolerant but everyday the head water gave my a menu for the next day that was catered for me,pedro our waiter was wonderful he never stopped making sure we were happy with the food and made sure there was nothing on my menu that contained milk if there was he arranged with the chef to get me something milk free.i can not praise the staff enough.the entertainment was as good if not better than you can see in the westend of London.the entertainment team were amazing and made the cruise great.the pools were loverly and there was loads of sun beds.i must congratulate p&o for their staff who they should be very proud of .i can't wait to book my next cruise and will be going on the Ventura. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Having perused the reviews before we left, I was a bit unsure as to whether my best mate had made the right choice for this one......How wrong I was!!!! A fantastic ship, with the staff being more than helpful, even when I had an ... Read More
Having perused the reviews before we left, I was a bit unsure as to whether my best mate had made the right choice for this one......How wrong I was!!!! A fantastic ship, with the staff being more than helpful, even when I had an accident and ended up in a wheelchair for the weekend! The food and service for the whole duration, was second to none, and the prices were more than reasonable. Our check in was swift and slick, and nothing was too much trouble for our cabin steward. I stayed in a balcony room (5th deck, I think) and it was immaculate from start to finish. Didn't go ashore in Bruges, as I've been there before. Still, plenty to do on board. Disembarkation was smooth, and the food was excellent! It shows that the ship has undergone a major refurb since 2013, and I wouldn't hesitate to go again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Looking to escape the cold Lake District for some warmth, we'd spotted this cruise months before, and so we were able to choose the exact cabin in the right spot, 11 months before we sailed. Although we've tried quite a few ... Read More
Looking to escape the cold Lake District for some warmth, we'd spotted this cruise months before, and so we were able to choose the exact cabin in the right spot, 11 months before we sailed. Although we've tried quite a few lines, we always return to Ventura... not a glitzy ship, with an indoor pool (a must for us), and sensible guidance rules re: tipping... we don't choose lines which insist on offering low prices and then sneakily add vast amounts of tips on top these days. This would be our 5th cruise with Ventura, so it felt like returning home. The first week and a half had only one port, in beautiful Madeira, before heading to Barbados, 6 days away. Unfortunately, a medical emergency meant that the captain had to increase the speed, and so we arrived a day early so that the patient could be hospitalised. This gave us all an overnight in the port, which was a bonus to many. The next day we met forum friends who had flown in to meet Britannia from the UK. The Caribbean is not my favourite destination, but my husband likes to snorkel, so this part of the cruise was for him- and he revelled in every moment. Sadly, he'd not booked early enough for most of the snorkelling tours, and was left with beach excursions, which gave him plenty of swimming but little sea life to examine... it was on Martinique that he managed to take a local ferry to the best snorkelling of the cruise. Next time he'll book well in advance! I had wonderful days on board, after short strolls in the island ports. The manager of the Costa coffee bar knew my desire of coffee and Victoria sponge to go whenever he saw me leave the lift... I sat on deck 7, reading my kindle and sipping, and thought it was bliss! My days were the sea days... so full of activities that normally we missed lunch and headed for afternoon tea so that we could fit in so many, innovative things. I loved the raffle prize, which was to paint P&O's new colours on the funnel! We don't often visit the main dining room, except on formal nights.. the few times we ventured in, the food was very good, but there's too many courses for us. On the whole we ate in the buffet, which is decked for dining on an evening; each night has a speciality menu; the Indian night being always popular with passengers on P&O. The activities and entertainment was of a high standard, with fascinating lectures on each leg of the journey; The Headliners as always were so good, and the many guests who flew in or joined for part of the journey were superb ... there was a lot of appreciated classical music throughout, and not so much noisy music in parts of the ship, especially the Terrace bar on 15, which is now a silent bar (Hurray!) The very best port for me was the Azores, which we'd never visited before, and really expected another Madeira. What a wonderful place this is! We were completely captivated, and hope to have a short break there in the near future. Other than that port, most of the other islands were known to us, apart from St Lucia and St Maarten (where we notice next year's cruise has an overnight stay...) The best part of a long cruise is that you make genuine friends on board, and we're thinking about joining some of them on the same cruise in 2017... Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Ventura sailed on the 18th of January from Southampton for the Caribbean, returning to Southampton on 15th February. The itinerary took in Madeira, then a string of Caribbean Islands including Barbados, St Lucia, Martinique, St Kitts, ... Read More
Ventura sailed on the 18th of January from Southampton for the Caribbean, returning to Southampton on 15th February. The itinerary took in Madeira, then a string of Caribbean Islands including Barbados, St Lucia, Martinique, St Kitts, Antigua, Tortola and Sint Maarten before crossing back via Ponta Delgada in The Azores. Embarkation was smooth and painless at the Mayflower Terminal (a strong contrast to the chaos of our last visit to the Queen Elizabeth Terminal!) and we found our bags delivered very quickly to the cabin. We choose to take meals in the second sitting fixed dining 'Bay Tree' restaurant and quickly made friends with our four table companions Brian and Anthea, and Mike and Tracey. The craic round the table was exceptional and most entertaining and later in the journey we took part in the quiz sessions (the eight o'clock challenge), one of many the others took part in, and made up a table team of six that proved to be almost invincible - well, eight wins out of 26 days wasn't bad going and provided wine for the table. Meals were always acceptably good and on occasion memorably so, and food was hot, though additional culinary expertise would have been useful in the soup making department, where the regular Tomato Soup was thin flavoured. On the final formal night, an alleged 'Baked Alaska' was served up which could only described as an offence under the trades descriptions act as it had weary never seem any form of baking. It consisted of a half centimetre thick sort of soft biscuit, with a scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream on top, topped finally with a piped swirl of sugared egg white (meringue mix) which did not remotely cover the ice cream, and was then blow torched, leaving the bulk of the egg white completely raw. The was the only really serious affront to the culinary arts in what was otherwise a very good and constantly changing menu - though with 28 nights, some items did reappear once or twice, but never with a completely repeated menu. We dined in the 'Beach House' restaurant on three occasions - an 'American Diner' style menu with a small cover charge of just £5 and additional charges for a handful of options - mine was the totally outstanding Cook it yourself 6oz Fillet Steak on Lava Rock which was exceptional and came with an additional charge of just £2.95. There were many activities available on sea days, though I chose to find a sheltered table outside on deck 15 aft on the Terrace Bar, where I painted (six oils ad six watercolours were the product of the voyage in total. Ports were very good generally, though Martinique was a disappointment. Ponta Delgada was excellent with an excursion to the delightful town of Ribeira Grande and Fire Lake. We also took in excursions on Sint Maarten and St Lucia but did our own thing on the other islands. The excursions were generally fair value for ship bought excursions and actually compared well to the external competition from cruisingexcursions.com Waiters in the dining rooms (Edvon and Manoj were ours and well worth a mention) and the in the breakfast buffet were always helpful and efficient as was our Cabin Steward Vimal, who went out of his way to be helpful and deserves special mention. Bar waiters were also good in our view. We met many people whilst sitting out on deck on sea days including the very special Jo and Gavin and the subtle humour of Colin, who was on a first time cruise and ready to fly back from Madeira until he met Jo, Gavin and ourselves, along with others who made up a genuinely sociable crowd which was one of the best aspects of the cruise. Overall, the balance between sea days crossing the Atlantic in both directions and island destinations worked out very well indeed for us, though it would not be to everybody's taste. There was a good range of entertainment on offer, though we did to personally attend all that many shows, especially with our late dining and too much table chatter! All in all, an excellent cruise which sees us back home relaxed and ready to go again. On the particular point we have already booked the same voyage next year (wth a couple of port variations) securing a pretty decent £400 each on board spend by booking whilst on board. Disembarkation was a bit of a mess as we had a train booked for 09.30 from Southampton Central to meet our train at noon from Kings Cross to Inverness. We had to fight long and hard to get a disembarkation time of 08.30 and then got stuck with a bunch of jobs worths who refused to allow us access to the baggage 'until all the coach passengers had been allowed through. With everything clearly running late, when they next shouted that coach passengers only could go through, we fooled the system by saying we were coach passengers. We then had to beg someone to reach our cases, but at least they were helpful and we made our train. Had we not done so, with 540 miles to go we would have been unable to reach home until the next day. Not, perhaps, the best way to end the cruise, but we will know better next time and will self disembark, carrying our own cases, which allowed disembarkation between 7am and 8am. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was a thoroughly enjoyable cruise from start to finish. The embarkation and disembarkation were efficient and well managed. The ship was clean and well maintained. The cabin was fine and well serviced by the cabin stewardess whom ... Read More
This was a thoroughly enjoyable cruise from start to finish. The embarkation and disembarkation were efficient and well managed. The ship was clean and well maintained. The cabin was fine and well serviced by the cabin stewardess whom nothing was too much trouble. The food was good and service excellent. Ewe went for the freedom dining which is now our normal choice where available as we like the flexibility this offers. The buffet was fine but we preferred the restaurant as the former could be a bit crowded and a "bit of a free for all". The choice of food was excellent and quality good. The entertainment was good with a reasonable variety of choice. The theatre viewing was excellent although sometimes a little on the warm side. The gym was excellent with good quality equipment. The Captain was excellent keeping us well informed without being intrusive. He altered coarse and speed several times to optimise stability. The weather as expected in the Caribbean was excellent. The shore excursions we took were Ok if a bit expensive. Overall an excellent experience and would travel on ship and P&O again. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
After reading previous reviews of the Ventura we had the impression that we would be having a month long dose of Hell and being fed nothing more than pig swill by a load of ignorant and lazy scruffy slobs. All done onboard an rusting old ... Read More
After reading previous reviews of the Ventura we had the impression that we would be having a month long dose of Hell and being fed nothing more than pig swill by a load of ignorant and lazy scruffy slobs. All done onboard an rusting old tramp steamer. Nothing could be further from the truth. We had a fantastic time onboard, the food was great and we never had a bad meal in 28 days. It was all well presented and well served by very friendly and capable waiters. Yes there was a small wait sometimes, but there are over other 3000 people onboard too. The new embarkation process went extremely well and we were called well ahead of our appointed time. Once on we could go straight to the cabin and the luggage was all there. We have never been able to get onboard, unpack and have lunch in plenty of time before muster. Our cabin was mid ships deck 9. It was clean and tidy, spacious and with loads of wardrobe and cupboard space. The bathroom was excellent with a full sized bath as well as the over the bath shower. Our Cabin Steward keep us all clean and tidy and gave us everything we asked for. When the seas were choppy , the cabin was a bit creaky but that is how ships are. Maybe people should realise that a little more. The overall state of the ship itself was very good , although there were signs of wear and tear. But again with over 3000 passengers every week it is unreasonable to expect total perfection. In places she is a little tired but nothing that would cause problems. Entertainment wise, we were given a very broad spectrum of genres to suit all tastes. Of course there were people on board that selfishly expected their own favourites ALL of the time. But we chose what we wanted to see and left out the ones we didn't. Simple really. The entertainment staff were very good and the Entertainments Manager Paul was brilliant. He was informative but not intrusive. His own Cabaret set was very good and of high quality. Our route was very good . However if you don't like sea days then this is probably not the cruise for you. The islands we visited gave a broad insight into the different cultures of the Caribbean. There were plenty of ship excursions to suit all. Maybe a little pricey but we were very very happy with the ones we did and have no complaints. We found the ships company extremely friendly and hardworking. Nothing like some of the reviews we had previously read. The high quality of service undoubtably contributed to our enjoyment of the cruise. Disembarkation is always a busy time and this was no exception. However we were off the ship within 15 minutes of our due time, found our bags easily and were on our way with no problems at all. This was our 17 cruise, not all with P&O, and it was probably one of our best. We have no problems or complaints whatsoever. Although no doubt the freeloaders will be out in force moaning and groaning about very small, or even non existent problems, trying to get something for nothing as they do. If P&O can maintain the quality and high standard that we experienced then we will have no hesitation whatsoever in making future bookings with them. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Excellent holiday with plenty of hot sunny days. Embarkation and disembarkation was excellently organised and finding our luggage on disembarking was easy. Our cabins were ready when we embarked and luggage was delivered while we had ... Read More
Excellent holiday with plenty of hot sunny days. Embarkation and disembarkation was excellently organised and finding our luggage on disembarking was easy. Our cabins were ready when we embarked and luggage was delivered while we had lunch. Cabin was clean with a good balcony. Cabin stewardess was excellent and provided everything required on demand. We used freedom dining as has been our normal when available. we were happy with this . Service in the dining room was excellent and the water were very attentive . Food choice and quality were excellent. The buffet restaurant was OK but with the number on board could be a bit of a "free for all" and best avoided at busy times like 9.00am and 12.00. the ship has an excellent gym with a good choice of state of the art equipment. Entertainment was good with a decent variety. The only thing was the theatre sometimes was a bit warm. there was a reasonable choice of things to do on sea days. The Captain and officers were good at keeping us informed without being intrusive. The captain made several deviations in coarse and speed to minimise ship movement and the ships movement was minimal for the duration of the cruise. The shore excursions we took were Ok if a bit pricy. Overall a good experience and would travel with P&O again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I booked this as a treat after a busy X mas for myself and my husband , I was sceptical about the whole thing , a lot of reading about cruising there seems a element of snobbery, well I loved it yes a mini cruise was for us anyway a bit ... Read More
I booked this as a treat after a busy X mas for myself and my husband , I was sceptical about the whole thing , a lot of reading about cruising there seems a element of snobbery, well I loved it yes a mini cruise was for us anyway a bit booze cruise not what I'd do on a week (my days of partying every night unfortunatly have gone,but after a hectic X mas at work just what the doctor ordered ) good food and decent priced drinks, all kinds of people from fun groups of stag parties to hen dos , and everything else in between , everyone I spoke to were lovely , something for everyone I think. Formal nights were fab we dressed up both nights , my husband is def more jeans and t shirt but even he loved it, so yay more dress shopping for me, entertainment was fab though I didn't see everything , food was good from buffet to more formal resturant, my husband loved the food to and from a ex army chef that's good. We ate one night in the glass house was very nice, next night we missed the saffron rest so ate in the buffet , no complaints at all , It was so smooth on our trip to Brugge I didn't realise we were moving though perhaps that was a mix of fizz and cocktails, return trip slightly noticed it, I shall defiantly cruise again , I did see some negative comments I in all honesty think you basically just can't keep the amount of passengers on board happy. Staff were really good attentive , our room attendant was great , I'd recommend this type of holiday to all, from ease of parking , having our bags taken in to getting on board all easy and organised well. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
my husband and I took our first ever cruise on board P/O VENTURA on the 2 January 2016. we stayed overnight on the 1 jan at wetherby service hotel, and cruise connect picked us up the following morning at 7.30. we had a good run down to ... Read More
my husband and I took our first ever cruise on board P/O VENTURA on the 2 January 2016. we stayed overnight on the 1 jan at wetherby service hotel, and cruise connect picked us up the following morning at 7.30. we had a good run down to Southampton, arriving about 2pm. we embarked onto the ship. (I WAS IN AWE OF THE SIZE OF THE SHIP) had our pic taken, then onto reception to collect our card etc. we then caught the lift to our cabin. not disappointed, we had a balcony, the room was spotless. our cabin attendant introduced himself. a charming young man, by the name of REVLON. I did some of our unpacking, then proceded to the MUSTER STATION for the drill of safety. I wont go on too long with my review, only to say that we really enjoyed every aspect of the cruise. down to our room, the cleanliness of the ship, we ate in waterside for breakfast and Bay Tree for select dining, and no complaints over the food, everything was good. I know we can not compare with any other ship, but our first experienceon this ship, we ENJOYED it very much, and are looking forward to booking our next one for next year, as it will be our 70th and golden wedding. some people moan over the least little thing, but I would like to say, there is something to do for everyone on this ship. I even got my pic taken with TOM O CONNER!!!!!! we will probably book with P/O for the next one. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We decided to have a change for Christmas so booked a 12 night holiday on the Ventura one of the P&O line, we have sailed on this ship previously so we were expecting great things from P&O because all the cruises we have been on ... Read More
We decided to have a change for Christmas so booked a 12 night holiday on the Ventura one of the P&O line, we have sailed on this ship previously so we were expecting great things from P&O because all the cruises we have been on with them have been excellent. We were not disappointed, even Santa joined us at the delight of all concerned. As expected the staff, food, entertainment etc all were of top quality and the holiday was perfect except for the problems below. Embarkation was different from the last time we sailed, we arrived early and had to wait some 2 hours plus before we were called to the front desk for our photo's and clearance before boarding. Disembarkation was a pain in the neck we must have walked around half the ship with people taking short cuts and jumping the queue. If P&O keep this procedure they need to block off all other access points to make sure that that used is the one they are using. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Embarkation was busy, but without to much fuss, we were in our cabin by 1445, so a good start!! This was our first P&O cruise (previous two on Princess) and I think Ventura was perfect for us!! So many negatives have been voiced ... Read More
Embarkation was busy, but without to much fuss, we were in our cabin by 1445, so a good start!! This was our first P&O cruise (previous two on Princess) and I think Ventura was perfect for us!! So many negatives have been voiced about this ship and crew, its about time the other side of the story was heard too!! We found EVERY member of staff helpful, friendly and fun to be around!!....We did have one or two small problem's to begin with (TV remote, safe locked etc), But all were dealt with swiftly and with a smile!! The food was of a very good standard all round, maybe could have had a little more choice, but hey, small points!! Cleanliness and hygiene was first rate as well. Bonus....We had fantastic weather for November (sun on all 14 days and temperatures between 20-25'c) Loved all the places visited (all within walking distance for moderately active people) The entertainment in the day was below average....but at night was generally very good, with The Theatre Company "The Headliners" pulling off some great shows, superb entertainment!! The tributes and comedians were good too...Mike Doyle especially!! Overall, we can't really fault many things and think P&O are worth every penny we paid, We will return!! One final point!!......Not once did we have a single problem finding a sun-lounger or seat in the dining rooms or theatre......enough said!! Superb cruise, superb vacation, Thank you P&O and Ventura! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Having gotten married in Bristol on the 26th Sep my wife and I were very excited when the taxi collected us from our hotel at 11am on the 27th to take us to Southampton. The journey was due to take a couple of hours but was a little over ... Read More
Having gotten married in Bristol on the 26th Sep my wife and I were very excited when the taxi collected us from our hotel at 11am on the 27th to take us to Southampton. The journey was due to take a couple of hours but was a little over three due to all three lanes of the M4 being closed near Newbury. Fortunately the motorway reopened pretty quickly. We arrived in Southampton at about 3pm. We got out of the taxi to be met by porters who took our suitcases and we walked into the departure lounge. We were given our embarkation card which was then called immediately so we walked upto registration, then through security and onto the ship. We literally walked straight from the taxi to out cabin with no delay at all – perfect! Once onboard we swiftly opened a bottle of champagne as we settled into our C deck, forward, port side cabin. It’s true – the balconies on C deck are huge! I measured it at one point and it was 10 foot x 10 foot. More than big enough for our needs. I had prebooked a welcome on board package of champagne, flowers and chocolates. I was a little disappointed that the champagne was in the fridge rather than in an ice bucket, also we had no champagne glasses. We called room service but didn’t get them until 3 hours later (I accept it was busy on embarkation day) so we drank champagne from the tumblers! After the muster drill we finished unpacking, relaxed on the balcony and then got ready for dinner. We were on freedom dining and were allocated Saffron. We asked for a table for two and were given a buzzer so we went to the Exchange for a drink and were bussed within 10 minutes. Incidentally this was the only time that we had to wait for a table for 2, although most nights we were happy to share a table. The quality of the food on the first night was perfectly ok but not great. Of more concern was the attitude of the waiting staff. They weren’t rude but certainly weren’t friendly. Both my wife and I have cruised before but this was our first cruise together and we both remarked that we had not experienced this attitude before. Fortunately this was the only time that we experienced this. Every other evening we were served by friendly, helpful staff in both Saffron and Cinnamon (we ate in Cinnamon one night to see how it compared to Saffron). Before reiting for the evening we had a couple of drinks in the Red Bar and then went to the Glass House where we booked a food & wine pairing evening for later in the holiday. The following morning we decided to have breakfast in the MDR so went to Bay Tree at about 9:15. We were sat right at the back and had a wonderful view of the wake of the ship as we ate breakfast – what a great start to the honeymoon!. After breakfast we explored the ship before meeting up with Cruise Critic Roll Call members in the Exchange for a few drinks. It was lovely to meet people in person. Then it was off to the Waterside buffet for lunch. Now I read A LOT of reviews before going on Ventura (either my wife or I have sailed on her before) and I was a little anxious about how busy it might be. Well, I needn’t have worried. We walked straight in, picked up a tray, selected our food and then sat down. No waiting and certainly no ‘bun fight’. The food was warm rather than hot but was pretty much what I would expect from a buffet in a large hotel/resort. There was plenty of it and it was tasty. After lunch I explored the ship some more and took lots of photos. After which it was time for a quick bite of afternoon tea in the Waterside, again no queueing and plenty of food available. After a snooze it was time for our first formal night. We went to the Atrium for about 8am and were quickly provided with complimentary drinks for the Captains gala reception (Whisky & lemonade for me and wine for my wife). The captain gave a great speech which was a little overshadowed by two emergency medical messages. We had our photo taken with the captain and I was amazed to hear that there were over 3,000 people on board. It never felt cramped or busy to me. We sat on a shared table for the first black tie night and met some great people. The food was well presented, hot, tasty and service was friendly. As far as I’m concerned that’s all that matters. The next day we spent relaxing on the balcony, exploring the ship (it really is big!) and of course, eating! We visited the Glass House for a wine flight. This was fantastic value for money. Three glasses of wine with tasting notes for about a tenner. A lovely way to spend the afternoon. We had afternoon tea in Saffron and evening meal in Cinnamon. Afternoon tea in Saffron was very polite, a little slow perhaps but very pleasant. Evening meal was excellent. A haggis and potato tartlet for starter was fantastic. We spent in the evening in the Metropolis bar. After an hour or so we managed to get the seats on the port side overlooking the front of the ship. What a view! We could have stayed there forever! At this point I would like to mention the P&O ‘moaners’! Now I accept that my wife and I were excited because we were on honeymoon and therefore perhaps we were more willing to overlook issues that other, more regular cruisers, may take exception with however there is a limit. Whilst we were in the Metropolis an elderly gentlemen came and stood next to us to admire the view over the front of the ship (as I said the view was fantastic). I mentioned that it was a lovey view to which there was no reply. Then after a pause he replied “there’s not much in the way of other shipping”. I didn’t know what to say. If your response to such a wonderful view is the lack of other shipping then I think that belies a mindset that suggests you will always find something to complain about it. Still, that phrase has now become a running joke with my wife and I..!! On another occasion I overheard 3 couples moaning about almost everything imaginable. After half an hour one of the couples left at which point one of the ladies said that she had really enjoyed meeting them and thoroughly enjoyed their chat, yet all they did was moan for half an hour. At this point I began to accept that some people actually enjoy moaning!! Anyway, after Metropolis we headed back to the buffet for a midnight snack. My wife said she couldn’t eat a thing…until she saw the pizza!! The following day we got up early and went to one of the Jacuzzi’s and had a swim. The weather had warmed up so we spent the day sunbathing (although I did visit the gym in the afternoon) and drinking cocktails. I was a little disappointed that P&O don’t seem to do cocktail of the day anymore but that just meant we could explorer cocktails on our own!! This evening we attended the food and wine pairing event in the Glass House. We were seated with another couple who were great company and easy to talk with. The meal consisted of 4 courses accompanied by 5 different wines. Each course was presented with a short talk from the waiter about the food followed by a short talk about the wine from the wine waiter. The quality of both food and wine was excellent. We really enjoyed the expertise of the waiters and the opportunity to learn a bit more about wine. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I would recommend it to anyone who is even remotely curious about trying different wines. The next day was our first port of call (Barcelona). The weather overnight was very bad and we didn’t get much sleep. We didn’t go on an organised tour preferring to go on HopOnHopOff bus. We had tickets for Sagrada Familia but didn’t use them as there were just too many people. That night we ate at Sindhu. It was simply excellent. The food was gorgeous, the service and attention to detail was remarkable. Very much worth the surcharge. The next day we were due to visit Monte Carlo however due to the weather the captain was unable to use the tenders. There was then a technical fault with retrieving the tender meaning that we spent a few hours in the Metropolis bar looking at Monte Carlo. Perhaps not as good as being in Monte Carlo but a close second!! The next day we were in Livorno and we took the P&O coach to Florence. We had a great time although again Florence was very busy. We didn’t try to go into any museums due to queues but did walk around the main centre of Florence and had a lovely lunch in a small restaurant off the Ponte Vecchio and in fact we sat next to another couple on the same cruise as us!. Once we were back on board we very very tired and decided to eat in the Waterside so that we wouldn’t have to get changed out of shorts/t-shirts. I really appreciate this kind of flexibility. The food was hot and plentiful and we had no problem getting a table. The next day we were due to go on a P&O coach to Rome from Civitavecchia however given that it was the first Sunday of the month (meaning that the Colosseum would be free) and there were 5 cruise ships in port we decided to avoid the crowds and stay in Civitavecchia. It reminded me of a slightly run down seaside town but was pleasant for the day and was certainly quieter than Rome would have been. The next day was another sea day and we decided to go to the Retreat. We had no problem getting day passes (there were only about 6 people in the Retreat). The sunloungers are much more comfortable than elsewhere on the ship and are worth the £20 per person fee alone! The lunch provided left something to be desired though but that was easily remedied by a trip to the poolside grill and bringing back a burger and chips! The two stewards in the Retreat were nowhere to be seen however meaning that we couldn’t get a drink (other than water) – we could have gone to the bar of course but we were busy relaxing! The Endless Pool feature of the Oasis Pool is brilliant. It’s like a treadmill in the water. Great for working off some of those cooked breakfasts! And so onto Alicante. Again we didn’t have a P&O trip booked so caught a tourist bus up to the castle and got off by the market. We strolled through the town and made our way to the beach before having lunch on the promenade (along with some sangria) before heading back to the ship. This evening was tropical night and thanks to cruise critic I had managed to get a truly awful £4 ebay purchase before we left. It was great to join in on the tropical fun. In fact more than one person asked where I got my shirt from and one chap even complained that he had a great shirt at home but that he didn’t know about tropical night. It seems that P&O don’t tell people in advance, in fact I only knew from reading reviews. Our final stop was in Gibraltar where we went on a P&O dolphin watching tour which was one of the highlights of the trip. We saw literally hundreds of dolphins. We walked back to the ship from the marina stopping off for ice cream and a bit of cuty free shopping. All too soon we were leaving Gibraltar and the (infamous) great british sailaway. Neither my wife nor I wished to partake so we stayed on our balcony. Ventura was docked opposite the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas and the sound from the party bounced off the ship and we could hear it all. I have to say that it was actually good fun. People on Explorer were waving and there was lots of singing. Perhaps it was all aided by the champagne that we were drinking and the room service sandwiches – hey we were on honeymoon! We were booked into Epicurean this evening and although it was a casual dress code we decided to dress up. The restaurant is simply fantastic. Easily the best meal of the holiday, which is saying something. The food was outstanding. The staff were very attentive and friendly. The restaurant location is great. I had prebooked (and prepaid) this dinner so was a little put out to find that we had been charged again on the evening but this was soon rectified. For the cost of the surcharge we simply had no complaints whatsoever. It was a wonderful evening which we both thoroughly enjoyed and have wonderful memories (and photos) of the evening. The last two days were spent relaxing and enjoying the ships facilities, particularly the Glass House before packing and preparing to go home. I wont mention in detail the incident on the last night where a passenger went overboard as this has already been covered both in reviews and in the media. Needless to say it was a sad ending to the holiday but nothing we could do about it other than choose not to dwell on it. I would like to make a few general comments about certain things. First the food. Having read some very poor reviews I was concerned about what we had let ourselves in for. This concern was truly unfounded. Each morning we had breakfast in the Waterside, other than 2 MDR breakfasts and 2 in the cabin. I wouldn’t recommend breakfast in the cabin however I really enjoyed breakfast in the Waterside. I love a cooked breakfast so being able to have it every day on holiday is a real treat. The waterside could be busy in the mornings and we often asked people if we could share their table however we never spent more than perhaps 60 seconds looking for a table. The staff were helpful and friendly although the arrangements for getting tea/coffee seem a little convoluted. The quality of the food at breakfast, and indeed throughout the cruise ranged from very good to excellent. The main restaurants could be very busy at times but never too busy (for us) and we were always seated promptly (other than the very first night). Flexible dining was certainly the best option for us. Yes we did have lots of ‘have you cruised before’ conversations but we also had lots of other conversations too. We met some really great people both in the dining rooms and across the ship. The select restaurants were simply outstanding. Thoroughly enjoyable and were (culinary) highlights of the cruise for us. I can remember one poor quality meal in Saffron but in reality this was just overcooked chicken. The rest of the meal was fine so perhaps I’m being a little picky but I am trying to give a fair review. As regards entertainment we saw two BlueJays shows (50’s rock n roll) which were outstanding. Easily the best entertainment of the holiday. They had a standing ovation after the second show! We never had a problem getting a seat in the Arena theatre although we did usually arrive 20-30 minutes early for the second show. We only saw one Headliners act which was Paradise City. This was easily the worst show of the cruise. It was truly awful! It was so bad that it gave us plenty to laugh about! We saw a mind reader who did two shows. The first was very good but he had a few issues with the second show and it didn’t really flow. We also saw a Cuban comedian who had an uncomfortable mixture of being very funny combined with an unpleasant trait of making fun of certain members of the audience. That’s not my idea of entertainment. There were films shown each day. I went to see one film in the Arena. The quality of the picture was truly awful. It was embarrassing and reminded me of an illegally downloaded film from the internet. It was literally unwatchable. Dark scenes were just a mess. No definition of picture at all. I left after half an hour as the picture was that bad. I’m a big fan of real ale and was aware before booking the cruise that P&O would only have Marstons, Pedigree, Old Thumper and a couple of others on board. Whilst this was OK with me it was certainly an area for improvement especially considering the dedicated beer menu that is now available on Britannia. After a couple of days I discovered that the Exchange sold a beer called Jaipur from Thornbridge brewery. This is one of my favourite beers and was indeed good news but why was it not advertised – anywhere? Also it was only available in the Exchange which unfortunately is also the place for bingo and quizzes etc. All of which involved too much noise for us! Such a shame that the best beer was only available in the worst bar. I though in general the prices were reasonable given that we are a captive audience on the ship. Beer was approx.. £4 a bottle, not cheap but certainly not expensive (to me). I thought the cocktails were a little steep but then I don’t really have much experience of buying cocktails! They were around the £6 mark. Wine was reasonable. We had a bottle of wine with dinner each evening, usually choosing the recommended white and we paid around £16-18 a bottle. One night we tried their ‘bin ends’ wine and had a bottle of Spanish white for £13. It wasn’t very nice! In terms of facilities I think it’s fantastic that Ventura has 4 swimming pools. Unfortunately one of the 2 main pools is also where they play loud music all day so we didn’t stay there very long but then I guess this is what teenagers want. We preferred the Oasis Pool which, although small, was never crowded and has the great ‘endless pool’ feature. Perhaps the most frequently annoying aspect of the cruise, and in fairness it wasn’t that annoying, was the constant waiting for lifts. There just aren’t enough of them and people became rather protective about making sure that they got in the lift before anyone else. At one point a today actually physically barred me from getting into the lift until her family had all got in. The lifts seemed to be a constant source of complaint amongst passengers. Finding our way around Ventura was helped enormously by the map that we were given an embarkation. This, combined with the useful fact that whenever you exit a lift on Ventura you are facing forwards (with the exception of the glass elevators in the Atrium). Even so, we still managed to go the ‘wrong’ way more than once. I was a little disappointed by the lack of speakers/talks on board especially on sea days. There was a single speaker who, although a good speaker, only spoke about military aviation. One or two talks were fine but not every day. Almost everything else seemed to be a thinly disguised attempt to get you to spend more money. I had pre-booked an internet package however when we got to our cabin there was no gift receipt with internet access details. We spoke to reception the next day who said they had no record of the booking and said they needed to check with HQ which would take upto 2 days! Given that our first 3 days were at sea we had wanted the internet access for those days. Anyway, two days later reception told us that they had no record of the purchase. We decided not to purchase any internet access in the end and relied on wifi and data roaming when in port. We didn’t miss wifi at all but it was a little annoying that I now need to check my credit card to make sure that I wasn’t charged. Finally disembarkation was delayed by about 6 hours due to the incident of the overboard passenger. P&O allowed us to stay in our cabin until gone 1pm. We waited in the Arena theatre until our colour was called at about 3pm. Once we were called (waiting to be called was the worst bit) we were off the ship, reunited with our luggage and in the taxi within 45 minutes. That seems pretty fair to me. So, in summary it was an almost perfect honeymoon. The very small issues were just that, small issues that could happen on any ship or at any holiday resort and I have only included them here in order to try to help inform fellow cruisers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We arrived at the Mayflower terminal at 2.00 p.m. for a 3.30 boarding and waited inside the terminal for around 30 minutes and were inside our cabin by 3.00 p.m. Our cases, which had been sent a few days before with The Baggage Handling ... Read More
We arrived at the Mayflower terminal at 2.00 p.m. for a 3.30 boarding and waited inside the terminal for around 30 minutes and were inside our cabin by 3.00 p.m. Our cases, which had been sent a few days before with The Baggage Handling Company were waiting outside the cabin on our arrival, shortly followed by the luggage which we had taken with us. This was our first time on Ventura having previously cruised twice on Oceana and once on Independence of the Seas. We were a party of five, myself, husband, my 23 year old son, 19 year old son and his girlfriend. This was her first cruise and to say she enjoyed it was an understatement (unfortunately for her, in only a week it was impossible to do everything she wanted to do onboard, but she had a good try). We had three balcony cabins on deck C, mid-ship and had all balcony doors opened, so we could access all three cabins, where we had large balconies, but were overlooked from above, but it was definitely a bonus having a larger balcony. Our cabin steward Edward, was very efficient, and serviced our cabins when we went to breakfast and at dinner in the evening. White Company Toiletries enough for a week were provided. We all felt the entertainment onboard was the best we have witnessed with something always going on, we had been put off the ships Headliners shows in the past but were very impressed by the shows that we were able to see. Other acts we saw were Gary Ryan as Neil Diamond, Gareth Oliver- ventriloquist, Andrew Browning as George Michael and Manuel Martinez comedy magician, all these were excellent in our opinion. We mostly ate in the Saffron restaurant as we were freedom dining, where we all agreed the food was excellent and all the waiters were very efficient. We did have a bit of a wait for the wine waiter on the first night, but each night after he always came to get our order early. We ate twice in the buffet at night, the Asian and Indian night and although my husband and I aren’t lovers of the buffet, we could not fault anything. We also did something we have never done before and that was being persuaded to go to the midnight buffet (just the once), which my son and his girlfriend did every night. Ports of call we visited were Vigo where we all went on Segways which were great fun (once you got the hang of it), Lisbon, Porto and Cherbourg. We went to the Aquarium in Cherbourg which is situated at the port; this also has a Titanic exhibition and an interactive area. We didn’t have great weather all week, but when the sun did decide to come out it was very warm. We all thoroughly enjoyed Ventura and all she offered and thought there was a great mix of ages on-board and entertainment offered and are looking to cruise again on Ventura for 2016. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
i arranged this cruise for my wife and it was a birthday surprise for her. This was our first cruise but i knew what i wanted with regards to service had talked to seasoned cruisers on what was to be expected. We made our own way to ... Read More
i arranged this cruise for my wife and it was a birthday surprise for her. This was our first cruise but i knew what i wanted with regards to service had talked to seasoned cruisers on what was to be expected. We made our own way to Southampton but when we got there, it was all well organised and efficient. From the moment my wife and i boarded, we were treated with respect, nothing was too much trouble. the suite i had booked was spacious and the steward was attentive but inconspicuous. The food was out of this world, as was the service at the first set dinner times.The balcony was a great add on as we could sit out there ion the evening and soak up the ambiance. The shows laid on were of the highest standards, I've paid to see shows that were not as good as these ones. The port excursions were not on interest to us as we went via taxi's at a better rate, we thought, than the excursions laid on. Dis-embarkation at all the ports we visited, were well thought out and very efficient. The acts ranged from a comedian to a 60's band who were extraordinary. There were things to do on board all the time, you would never be bored, filling your time was easy. Although there was very few children on board when we traveled, There were a lot of activities available for the little one's should you have needed them. One issue was at dinner, everyone was trying to use the lifts and get into the restaurants at the set time, causing bottle necks. The foyer for our dining room, "The Bay tree" was tiny so trying to get out of the lifts and away from the doors, was interesting at times. The various entertainment areas were very pleasant, waiters would wonder about, keeping out of the way, but was always there to supply your orders quickly and without fuss. The duty free shopping would have to be carefully done as you can pay more than you would on shore. They do offer a price match service that we took advantage of with two spirits we bought on board. We were not able to get a letter form the duty free shop on Gibraltar, but took a photo of the spirits concerned, the price label and the outside of the shop and showed it to the on board shop. they gave us an immediate credit for the difference. Very impressed with that. on a downside, the ship's gift shop staff could be distracted with joking with each other whilst processing your purchase, There should have been more attentiveness to the Passenger rather than chuckles with their fellow assistance, it was only in this store though and all other sales assistants, were professional and attentive We could not leave the ship when arriving at Monti Carlo because of weather conditions as it was too rough, a correct decision given the state of the sea, the captain gave his reasons which let us all know where we stood. Everything else was brilliant. This voyage of enlightenment was marred only by the tragic incident involving a man who went overboard on our return to Southampton, our thoughts go out to the man's family. The captain was totally professional in his handling of this sad event. Both He and his officers did everything they could to locate this poor man, but to no avail.All passengers were kept fully up - dated as to how things were progressing and he and his officers were calm and responsive to the situation even as this was a dreadful, but thankfully, rare occurrence. in conclusion, i can honestly say that this was a wonderful experience and one we will both be doing again given every opportunity. I think you would be very unfair to mark this in any other way than almost perfection. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We arrived in Southampton at around half 12, and weren't supposed to embark until about half 3, but only had to wait about 10 minutes in the lounge area before we were called. Had picture taken, gave credit card details, and went ... Read More
We arrived in Southampton at around half 12, and weren't supposed to embark until about half 3, but only had to wait about 10 minutes in the lounge area before we were called. Had picture taken, gave credit card details, and went through customs all very smoothly, the whole process took less than 20 minutes. When we got on the ship we were told that we would not be able to go to our cabins until around 2pm, but that wasn't a problem, as we only had our hand luggage and a couple of suit bags. We made our way up to deck 15 where the buffets, bars and pools were and as soon as we sat down we were approached by a member of the bar staff, who was extremely helpful and service was with a massive smile, which is what you want to see on your holidays. When we got to our balcony cabin, we were pretty surprised at how roomy it was and the balcony was very spacious too. We asked our cabin steward for an ice bucket and glasses, as we had brought champagne on board with us. Nothing was too much trouble for the cabin steward, who turned our beds down each night and left a chocolate. I could get used to this lifestyle. Although the sail away was a little late, we were very lucky with the weather and able to go onto the open deck 15 and listen to the band, and watch everyone / join in the party. We ate in Saffron, one of the freedom dining restaurants on both nights, where we had the choice to wait for a table for two, or share. We chose to share, and met some really lovely people. We also went to the Arena theatre on the first night, although I wasn't overly impressed with the comedian. Then off to the Havana nightclub, first night was a Take That tribute and second night was a Tina Turner tribute, the club was packed both nights, but this didn't present a problem for the bar staff, who were really hard working and efficient. We also had breakfast and afternoon tea in one of the buffet restaurants, which we were happy with. We had breakfast on the second morning in Saffron, and the quality was excellent, as was the service, always with a smile. The only complaint we had about the breakfast was that the toast was hard and cold, and had obviously been pre prepared. However, this didn't spoil our breakfast at all. We didn't get to see all the areas of the ship in the two days, it just wasn't enough time, but what we did see was fab. We went on a coach trip excursion on Guernsey, which wasn't very good, and didn't leave a great impression of the island, its probably not somewhere we would choose to visit to be honest, and we have decided not to bother with any more excursions when we go on future cruises. We weren't due to disembark until half 3, but as we were ready at around half 9, we were allowed to leave the ship and collect our luggage, which was waiting for us. A very smooth disembarkation. Fantastic weekend, we are already looking at booking our next cruise with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We went with 2 other couples on this 2 days to Guernsey. This was our first cruise and it will not be our last. We were so impressed with how efficient the whole process was. Everything about the experience was first class, the food was ... Read More
We went with 2 other couples on this 2 days to Guernsey. This was our first cruise and it will not be our last. We were so impressed with how efficient the whole process was. Everything about the experience was first class, the food was fantastic the service was superb and friendly in the restaurant, we went for freedom dining which suited us better. The bars were busy and not too long await for drinks. Also very reasonably priced. The trip to Guernsey was superb also. Cruising is defiantly an option for the future. The cabin was clean and well stocked. Thank you Ventura for our first experience but defiantly not our last. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our second cruise and first on Ventura. Having cruised on Azura three years ago we were looking forward to Ventura especially as it now has an Olly Smith Glasshouse venue which we loved on Azura. We booked the select price as ... Read More
This was our second cruise and first on Ventura. Having cruised on Azura three years ago we were looking forward to Ventura especially as it now has an Olly Smith Glasshouse venue which we loved on Azura. We booked the select price as it included coach travel from Edinburgh to Southampton. We have looked at other cruise lines such as RC and Celebrity but feel not only are their prices for similar itineraries a little bit more expensive, the additional cost of finding our way from Edinburgh to Southampton on those lines makes P&O very attractive from a cost point of view. First for the negatives - Coach to Southampton - Was a very long journey made worse by an accident on the M6 in Birmingham. This meant we were promptly checked in and went straight to the muster point instead of being on board at around 2pm with time to relax over some lunch and a cocktail prior to sail away. Weather - Not much P&O can do about it but crossing the Bay of Biscay was an experience! Fortunately things were greatly improved after Lisbon. Other Passengers - Seriously, I think some of the passengers were at there happiest when finding something to complain about! It appeared to me that most of the complaints were of their own creation! The best example of this was the constant gripping about waiting for a lift, a problem entirely of the passengers creating, instead of waiting for a lift going in the right direction they would just get on the first one regardless of its direction of travel meaning when the lift they called for arrived it would stop only for no-one to get on it. No wonder the lifts were slow! just wait for the lift you called for! Positives - friendly helpful staff. Especially our cabin Seward Colin and Glasshouse Manager Chris and his team. Dining - We dined in the main dinning room on 6 of the 12 nights and found the food to be good with plenty of menu changes. Select Restaurants Sindhu - Ate here 3 times during the cruise and loved it every time. Wonderful staff and really delicious food, highly recommended. The Epicurian - We managed to get a table out on the Terrace the evening we dined there. Having dined in Seventeen when on Azura we can definately say Marco Pierre White has lifted the standard up a notch. Fantastic meal and well worth the £28 p/head surcharge. The Glasshouse - We dined here on the first evening and also had lunch a couple of times. Staff were always able to recommend the right wine to go with your order. The Glasshouse also offered a Food and Wine Pairing evening twice on the cruise and would highly recommend it but numbers are limited. Entertainment - We didn't go in for the entertainment much as we like to dine late and take our time over a meal however there are 3 acts we enjoyed. A show called "Paradise City" in the Arena one evening was quite funny. Essentially it was a parody of Rock of Ages but was well done. Seen a magician Comedian called Mandy Mudan in the Havana Show bar and enjoyed her show Serious Sounds were a Barbados Band with a rubbish name but a great setlist. Always able to get the crowd going whether at the sailaway parties, Havana or the Arena. Activities - A good range of activities on board. We enjoyed (and won) a couple of quzzies, went to a couple of talks in the Art Gallery and Really enjoyed the Wine Tasting in the Glasshouse by Manager Chris. Overall we would have no issues booking on Ventura again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Apprehensive after reading all the negative reviews of Ventura but very pleasantly surprised. Arrived at cruise terminal two hours before appointed time of 2.30 but sent straight to check-in and then onto ship, so we were in the ... Read More
Apprehensive after reading all the negative reviews of Ventura but very pleasantly surprised. Arrived at cruise terminal two hours before appointed time of 2.30 but sent straight to check-in and then onto ship, so we were in the Waterside buffet by 1pm. Announcements were made that cabins wouldn't be ready until 2pm but this was no problem as we sat in the restaurant and enjoyed our first meal on board. When we were able to take over our cabin we found it to be well equipped with everything we needed. The Bay of Biscay was rough so not the most enjoyable start to the cruise, then we had heavy rain in Vigo, the first port of call but, of course, nobody can do anything about the weather. Pleased to say that we arrived in Lisbon in sunshine and from then on the weather was lovely and the sea calm for the rest of the cruise. We dined first sitting in the Bay Tree and enjoyed the food, always attractively served by friendly, efficient waiters. In fact, all of the crew that we encountered were polite and helpful at all times. Most of the entertainment was first class, particularly Adrian Walsh, Tony Wallace, Viva Voce, Elias Hendricks; The Headliners were also good but would be better if the volume was turned down slightly as they seemed to be louder than the other acts. The Arena theatre is spacious and comfortable. The sail-aways seem to be a bit like "Butlins-on-Sea" as some reviews have mentioned but, on such a huge ship, there is always somewhere quieter to retreat to and we enjoyed the sail-aways from our balcony. I have rated the cruise as "excellent" but would give 9.5 out of 10; the only negatives were that the Oasis pool was supposed to be an "endless" pool but the jets didn't work at all and the dance floor in the Atrium is too small - more than 6 couples dancing and it becomes crowded - a separate area for ballroom dancing would work better. At the end of the cruise disembarkation went smoothly. Read Less
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 3.9

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