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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this as our first ever cruise as destinations and length of time ( 7 days) seemed to suit. I really cannot fault anything about our experience. We had a superior deluxe cabin on Deck 9, it was spotless and our cabin steward kept it ... Read More
Chose this as our first ever cruise as destinations and length of time ( 7 days) seemed to suit. I really cannot fault anything about our experience. We had a superior deluxe cabin on Deck 9, it was spotless and our cabin steward kept it that way for the whole 7 days. The whole trip ran to schedule and the seas were smooth, which always helps Guernsey was lovely, although it took an hour to queue for the tender Porto is old and unappealing but Lisbon more than made up for it, fabulous city Vigo surprised me as it was far more appealing and attractive than I had thought it would be We had freedom dining and were lucky to sit with some lovely people every night and had some great banter We also sampled the buffet dining on Waterside and have to say the varied menu every night was brilliant, breakfast is very good there but seats are hard to get hold of. We saw shows in the Arena and Havana and were thoroughly entertained A couple of downsides 1 The smoking rules are largely ignored, especially on the top deck and on the balconies. It needs to be enforced 2 On sea days the top decks get very crowded and sunbeds are hard to get hold of However, all in all we struck lucky and had a great time Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were celebrating a significant wedding anniversary. The cabin was fine (we always choose an inside because we sleep better and it is cheaper). The staff on the ship were excellent as was the catering.Entertainment was first class. ... Read More
We were celebrating a significant wedding anniversary. The cabin was fine (we always choose an inside because we sleep better and it is cheaper). The staff on the ship were excellent as was the catering.Entertainment was first class. Points that were not so good. Smoking. There are rules about where but largely ignored by the smokers. Staff not enforcing the rule. In the end we just referred to going out on the open deck as visiting 'cancer corner'! Children. Again rules regarding supervision in and around the ship ignored by some parents but not enforced. The ship. Possible the worst laid out cruise ship I have been on. Even after nearly 2 weeks many passengers were getting lost trying to find places they had visited before. Plus I have never been on a ship that groans and creaks as much as Ventura and we hardly encountered any waves at all on the trip. heaven knows what it would sound like in any type of sea. That and the vibration from the propellers especially the manoeuvring ones which when used for docking the serving staff stand with their backs to the cupboards to stop all the crockery falling out! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have been on around 15 cruises but this was our first on P & O. We chose the cruise for the itinerary. We found the embarkation the best we have experienced. We were processed within 30 mins and on the ship. We had a superior ... Read More
We have been on around 15 cruises but this was our first on P & O. We chose the cruise for the itinerary. We found the embarkation the best we have experienced. We were processed within 30 mins and on the ship. We had a superior balcony D cabin. it was a decent size with a nice size bathroom and balcony. The steward was very good. The ship while a mid size is the most confusing layout of any ship we have been on. The pub area is too small for the number of people using it and the casino is very small. The main theatre is good and we never had trouble getting a seat for the shows which were pretty good. There were two comedians onboard but they had to change their acts in the late show because people had small kids with them even at midnight which we thought was unacceptable. Service in the bars is terrible with the farcical situation of not been able to order directly from the bar tender. The buffet is average with some good British choices although finding a seat can be a challenge. The pools were good although did not see the 30 minute rule for reserving a sunbed been enforced at all. The bar entertainment was not good with one pretty awful band with a woman lead singer who was pitchy to say the least and thought she was great. her band was far to loud. The due as per a previous review I saw were I agree probably the worst due on any cruise ship ever. He had a weak voice and she - when she showed up - was terrible. We went to some good talks although we could not understand why there was zero live entertainment on the last sea day. The main restaurant was fine and the food was good. Service was a little rushed however. We were onboard during the world cup and they made adequate provision to show the games. We had not been to the Canaries before and enjoyed all the trips except one in Tenerefe. Madiera and Lisbon were great. Not sure why they cant add a port on the way back to Southampton as ending with 2 sea days is a little strange. Overall a 3/5 experience. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this cruise as we had only been to lanzarote of the Canary Islands before and non of the other ports except Lisbon ( and then only on a business trip) the fact we had been on Ventura before (back in 2010 for our first cruise) and ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we had only been to lanzarote of the Canary Islands before and non of the other ports except Lisbon ( and then only on a business trip) the fact we had been on Ventura before (back in 2010 for our first cruise) and that it had just been spruced up was also an attraction as we would know the ship and hopefully be chilled from the start. This was also the first time our son (16) had had his own cabin, though for the last 6 years we have had Suites on various ships as they worked well for the three of us so we were prepared for some drop in perks etc offsetting the benefit of the fully seperate space. As it turned out the perks loss was no big deal as they are pretty thin on the ground with P&O anyways we did not mi. Boarding was quick and easy, we arrived about 30 mins before our allotted time but were on the ship before it having hardly sat down before our letter card was called. So other than a couple of hours on board, we did not miss the priority boarding. Breakfast in epicurean was missed as it would have been great to welcome the day on the external terrace but the MDR breakfast was ok ( Note that Bay Tree seems to be less crowded and a slightly better atmosphere for breakfast than Saffron - not sure why) Entertainment was a bit hit and miss but that is situation normal for us. We saw a couple of very good headliners shows, an excellent Adele tribute, an interesting cocktail pianist with the most individual timing and the worst duo we have ever seen on a ship. The latter were however so bad it was amusing. The chap was not a bad guitarist but his patter was like the worst of a local radio DJ and his partner was the most disinterested detached performer I have ever witnessed. She always looked like she was on the point of yawning. The music was so weak and laid back and the repertoire was seriously odd. When one night in Metropolis they suddenly broke into AC DC’s ‘highway to hell’ I honestly thought I had fallen asleep and was dreaming it. The mix of bars and performance spaces is good though it was a mistake to reduce the size of the Exchange (pub) to add cabins since our last trip as this space is clearly more popular and hence crowded by the mostly British clientele than the Glass House on the deck above which was often empty despite the excellent wines and food on offer. The pool areas were always crowded and this was exacerbated by the windy conditions which often caused the upper sun decks to be closed. We retreated to a combination of our balconies ( which the steward opened up to connect) and the Retreat which my wife had booked along with some spa treatments. The mix of ports was good though 12 days is an odd period and it would have been nice to throw in another Spanish or Portuguese or even a channel island port to pad it out to 14. Crew and service were almost all excellent with the exception of one rather grumpy sommelier. The drink prices especially the wine are very reasonable compared to other cruise lines and although it was disappointing to see that all of the room service menu was now chargeable generally the on board additional cost items including the speciality restaurants were reasonable. We tried Sindhu and Epicurean and whilst they do not quite have the atmosphere of those on Britannia ( possibly due to the fact that the decor has been adapted from the original fit outs rather than refitted) the food was excellent and the service very good. Generally we found the MDR food pretty good at dinner given the banquet nature of the cooking and the freedom dining and our willingness to share tables led to some great and often hilarious conversation over dinner. Thanks to all that we shared with! We never had to have a pager throughout the cruise which is a major advantage of being willing to share a table. ( at lunch the food was less successful and they would be better concentrating on salads and light bites similar to those in the Glass House rather than a traditional three course meal which boardered on school dinner standards at times). It’s always difficult to go back to any hotel or ship where you have had a great time in the past and as Ventura was the first ship we ever sailed on, and which triggered a year after year cruising habit since, then it was never likely to come up to the heady standards of our first cruise. Overall though we had a great time and would return to Ventura again for the right itinerary without much thought. It’s a very easy ship to enjoy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We choose this cruise, because of the Itinerary? I can’t fly, we have been on 8 previous cruises, once before on the Ventura, we vowed not to go with P&O again,? But the itinerary swayed us? Let me start with the main problem??? If ... Read More
We choose this cruise, because of the Itinerary? I can’t fly, we have been on 8 previous cruises, once before on the Ventura, we vowed not to go with P&O again,? But the itinerary swayed us? Let me start with the main problem??? If you board the Ventura and they give you room C403? RUN!! Do not take it!! It’s by the lift shaft,? And all through the night, we were kept awake by a constant, very loud banging noise! This room is fit for storage purposes only!! We asked to be moved the second day,? But it was full, so we had to endure 12 nights of hell! The food was okay,? My husband and I enjoy curries? Which is just as well? As they were served daily? But we’re good. The entertainment at night was very good, but during the day,? We could either attend a knitting club, a craft club a model boat building club, or a talk on engines? My husband attended this s, but fell asleep 10 minuets after it started?? I had to go find him, after he still hadn’t returned after 2 hours,? He was the only one left in the arena, snoring his head off! I’m sure it was through lack of sleep, and not bordum?? We certainly aunty will be sticking with RCI or NCL in future,? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have previously sailed twice on Princess ships and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the holidays. We chose this P&O cruise as the dates were ideal and it was a short break away from work to visit some new places. As cruise ... Read More
I have previously sailed twice on Princess ships and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the holidays. We chose this P&O cruise as the dates were ideal and it was a short break away from work to visit some new places. As cruise holiday expectations are a completely personal thing, I will instead run down some of the good bits we loved about the cruise and some bits we thought could be improved on. Good stuff: Embarkation was smooth and pretty quick! Didn't have to wait in a long queue with the number system they used. The cabin (D514) a deluxe balcony room, was fantastic. Well cared for, tidy and spacious. The balcony was large and the bed very comfy. The bathroom seemed much larger than on Princess, with a bath. The cabin steward Edwin was good, and seemed to work incredibly hard each day. Dinner was fantastic every day in the Bay Tree restaurant (more on this topic to come). The waiters were pretty good and friendly. A wide range of options each day and everything cooked perfectly. Excursions: we did a couple of P&O shore excursions which were well organised, and enjoyable. Catered for young and old with a good range of options for different interests. We particularly enjoyed the Tapas Trail in La Coruna which was brilliant. Speciality restaurants: Sindhu was a lovely choice for a meal at dinner time, with a friendly waitress and plenty of food for your money. Tasty and interesting without being too "out there". Epicurean was good for people with an adventurous streak... Drinks were reasonably priced and there was a good range of choices for both alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. Tasty cocktails and we liked the "wine flights" in the Glass House as a way to try different wines relatively cheaply. Not so good, but could be improved: Food at breakfast and lunch in the main dining rooms (Bay Tree or Saffron) was poor - it was certainly not at the same standard as the dinner meals. Breakfast seemed to be identical to that served in the buffet, and lunch was a little bit like school dinners. The afternoon tea could have been nicer if we weren't all squashed into a tiny section of the dining room. The amount of things which were not included in the fare was very different to the other cruises I have been on - ice cream at the poolside is not included in the fare, nor are cakes/biscuits at the costa cafe. Room service is also chargeable on P&O. This ship felt very crowded from the outset. On the website it says the capacity is 3078 guests, however we found out at the end of the cruise that we had sailed with nearly 3400 guests on board - a lot more people squeezed in! Entertainment was a bit hit and miss on this cruise - we weren't that excited by the theatre shows but the comedy act Mark Walker was really good. There were not many onboard activities which were not aimed at families and children, with only a few quiz type things on offer for adults. The music around the pool, although varied, was incredibly loud - could hear the ship for miles when at port! The coffee shop was a bit of a nightmare as they were not really set up to handle both sit down customers and those looking to grab a takeaway coffee - the waiters and staff got confused easily about who was waiting to order etc so queues of people formed pretty quickly. They need to decide whether they only want sit down customers, or only want takeaway ones in that small space. Decor on the ship was nice, however it didn't seem to have a common theme running through. Some areas looked really plain and others were lovely. The Glass House was the nicest spot we thought, with the Metropolis bar also a nice place to relax. On the whole this was an enjoyable cruise, with a heavy emphasis on families and children (even though it was outside of school holiday time). Would sail with P&O again on either an adults only ship, or for a longer cruise to get more of a quieter time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose it after not enjoying hard sell on last celebrity cruise. Rude oppo initially when trying to sort car out...but luggage in cabin once on board.... Ship,difficult,to,find way around as no logical flow Cabin adequate but miss ... Read More
Chose it after not enjoying hard sell on last celebrity cruise. Rude oppo initially when trying to sort car out...but luggage in cabin once on board.... Ship,difficult,to,find way around as no logical flow Cabin adequate but miss having a balcony.... Freedom dining good in Saffron or Cinnamon and other options good for cover charge - Sindhi -Indian/Thai and The Glass house for seafood.... Entertainment patchy but some excellent - e.g Mark Walker but other options rather lack lustre. Service good generally - excellent cabin steward and spa staff good, as are,bar and restaurant staff... Excursions also patchy but Gaudi tour excellent Staff paid commission only on drinks and disclosure of bullying by member of spa staff, juxtaposed,with huge,price,hikes for 2019, Dumbing down in terms of customers including hogging of sun beds and poor supervision of children -,signage not observed in terms of not jumping in pool,and poor behaviour in dining rooms DOUBT IF WOULD GO AGAIN Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Thought I ought to write a review as I did look on this site for reviews prior to going so only fair really. So in our opinion: PRO's Check in at Southampton took 15 mins and was very straightforward. Compared to boarding a ... Read More
Thought I ought to write a review as I did look on this site for reviews prior to going so only fair really. So in our opinion: PRO's Check in at Southampton took 15 mins and was very straightforward. Compared to boarding a flight from Heathrow its just magical. Staff are very good and often very sweet (must do it because they enjoy it as I expect the wages are terrible) We were on deck 15 (Lido) cabin was ok for size & we had a little balcony although it never saw the sun due to the ship design but nice to get some fresh air sometimes. Cabin attendant (Nora) was super efficient & friendly We found the food to be good or very good in the restaurants and were also very surprised by the choice & quality of the food in the carvery style buffets Always plenty of waiters around so you didn't even need to get up off your sunbed to get a drink, they come straight to you most of the time and you just use your cruise card to pay. Shows we saw were generally very good Enjoyed visiting numerous countries all in the one holiday Thought the cabin insulation was very good, we barely heard a sound at any time but this may of course be due to cabin location. We did the do it yourself disembarkation and were off the ship in 10 mins no problem CON's We found the ship to be very busy & often felt overcrowded but better on port days if you stayed on board Main theatre for evening shows seated about 350 but with around 3000 guests on board roughly a 10 to 1 chance of getting a seat. Show were re-run at 10.30pm but too late for us. Often difficult to disembark at ports of call as you would expect if over 2000 people are trying to go thru one door. Often very difficult to get a seat / sunbed on decks 15/16 Drinks expensive in our opinion, scotch & mixer around £8 Selection of classy shops on board which was nice but couldn't afford to buy anything in them most of the time but nice to brose I guess. Tip: if your looking for drink / tobacco then don't buy on board buy in Gibraltar if its one of your ports (just under half the price) Adult swimming pool could only hold 12 guests, wasn't expecting Olympic sized but could have been bigger when you consider number of guests. Choose excursions carefully, we went on 4 and found them poor & expensive. It would appear most seasoned cruisers do their own thing. If you smoke get a cabin on deck 15, you can smoke there in the evening and on deck 16 during the day but its not always straightforward but better than no smoking. We were fairly careful about spending and total on board bill after 14 nights was around £1000. Didn't think there were many activities during the day, not that interested us anyway Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Having been on Ventura twice before, thought we would be ok in E112, deck 8 , (affectionately now named "roller coaster" deck), bad mistake - which was admittedly our own fault. After 5 days was unbearable, P&O duty managers ... Read More
Having been on Ventura twice before, thought we would be ok in E112, deck 8 , (affectionately now named "roller coaster" deck), bad mistake - which was admittedly our own fault. After 5 days was unbearable, P&O duty managers excellent and very understanding and changed our cabin to C424, which was so much better. Were told interactive service in cabin was not working for this cruise, however it appears to have been removed long ago. Both cabins were clean, stewards were good. Had freedom dining, which was good as always (saffron), buffet was better than before, lots of choice, only rude passengers pushing in spoilt this. The staff in the buffet and the bars were excellent. Could have a better design in the tea/coffee area, always ends up as a bottleneck trying to get a coffee. Didn't see any evidence of the 30 mins sunbed towel removal rule, but we don't really spend all day sunbathing so not really an issue for us. Disembarkation in ports was good, not in Oporto though and some passengers couldn't get off as shuttle buses were a problem. Tours to Rome and Sorrento & Pompeii really good value for money, tender in Alghero was well organised and not much waiting time. The evening entertainment wasn't as good as on previous cruises but there was enough choice. Overall we love this ship, yes there are some things that may not be as good as previous cruises, but P&O still really good. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We were very excited to go on our first cruise, since lots of our friends cruise all the time and recommend them. I'm not sure if we just picked the wrong trip but its really not my thing. The Ventura is very big and busy. The 2 ... Read More
We were very excited to go on our first cruise, since lots of our friends cruise all the time and recommend them. I'm not sure if we just picked the wrong trip but its really not my thing. The Ventura is very big and busy. The 2 worst things were: 1. The meals - mass catered low quality food, even if you opt for a restaurant rather than a buffet 2. The tender transfers. We waited upwards of 90 mins to leave the ship to go to Guernsey and probably 45 mins in a queue to re-board. Just awful! Everyone was moaning. Our cabin was pleasant enough. We got upgraded to one on C deck which had a big balcony, but we couldn't use it on the 2nd day because it rained. I thought the entertainment would be better, but it was a load of tribute acts which my husband called "Butlins at sea". Overall a bit disappointed and don't think I would cruise again anytime soon. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Have been doing a few cruises with different companies trying to find the best to become loyal to. I have to say, in my opinion, P&O has been the worse experience so far. Although Ventura is one of their larger vessels, it was easy to ... Read More
Have been doing a few cruises with different companies trying to find the best to become loyal to. I have to say, in my opinion, P&O has been the worse experience so far. Although Ventura is one of their larger vessels, it was easy to navigate and numerous bars and venues, however, they were all relatively small in comparison and entertainment not spread out enough meaning everyone trying to get seats in one or two places. Same scenario with the sun decks, bit of a mare trying to find a bed or seat on the decks on sea days. As a solo traveller I felt as if I had an invisibility cloak on most of the time, would be ignored or bypassed by most waiting staff on the open decks and in venues. This was not the case on ‘Black Tie’ night when I was frog marched out of the restaurant, in front of everyone, for not having a jacket. Boarding at Southampton was very smooth along with valet parking. Cabin was kept very clean and well attended. Mediocre entertainment, although shoes in the theatre were really good (although technical difficulties on the last night meaning cancelled half way through). I did one excursion in Vigo which was really nice and well organised. Getting on and off the ship in port was also seamless experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My mother is now 84 and although mobile, following heart ops etc. not really up to flying. Last year my brother and I took her on the Britannia, our first P&O cruise (my wife and I have cruised plenty of times before). That was out of ... Read More
My mother is now 84 and although mobile, following heart ops etc. not really up to flying. Last year my brother and I took her on the Britannia, our first P&O cruise (my wife and I have cruised plenty of times before). That was out of Southampton un up the Norwegian Fjords. Such a successful trip that we agreed to do another and with the weak Pound another P&O cruise (rather than any other line) out of Southampton seemed the thing to do. Choices of destinations that can be reached in a max of one week are limited to an itinerary that included Vigo, Lisbon, Porto and Guernsey seemed ideal. of those only I had been to Guernsey before (cruise stop) so plenty to look forward to. Our agent ensured that we got good adjoining large inside cabins on the Riviera deck, close to midship. We decided that the significant extra cost of even just one balcony cabin wasn't worth it (unlike on the Fjords). Mum has pay pay almost double (single supplement) but we had some onboard spend and free parking so all seemed good. Being in Hertfordshire our drive to Southampton and the parking was as perfect as could be and it was probably less than three hours from home to lunch onboard. Cabins were better than expected, our attendant did a great job (bucket of ice every day for my carry-on drinks) and only issue was that the A/C didn't get the cabin as cool as we would have liked. P&O offered numerous excursions, cheap by comparison to other cruises in my experience and our trips to Bayana (Vigo) and Obidos (Lisbon) were excellent and back to the ship in time for a bite to eat and off the ship for another hour or so before back for sailaway. At Porto I had booked a classical walking tour privately and that turned out to be a real highlight. Not for us the trips to the wineries as bruv doesn't drink. Sadly our stop at Guernsey was abandoned due to Storm Hector so it was a slow steam home to Southampton and a very efficient and relaxed disembarkation (unlike some lines where they seem to shoo you off like vermin on the last morning). Food was ample, tasty and varied. Wines that we sampled were excellent in all respects and service very good, as you would expect. Only issue, if I'm being picky, was that sometimes the food looked and tasted as if it was prepared hours ago (which it generally is of course). The entertainment team worked very hard and there was numerous things going on, especially on sea days. The big headliner shows were amazing and, even if it's not generally your cup of tea, worth watching and a great highlight to our holiday. So why the slight negative in my title and score. I guess this council estate boy is getting snobbish in his old age as it did seem like Butlins at sea sometimes. Perhaps not a surprise on a cruise but the number of morbidly obese people did make me feel guilty about my second slice of cake. I think I just like the more global mix found on other cruises...this was 95% Brits and that limited conversation at times. I still can't decide if I preferred the newer Britannia but it doesn't really matter as they both delivered everything expected. Will we do another P&O? Probably not unless we can't find a suitable cruise next year on NCL for example. Might have to drag the old girl to a European port after all. I love my fellow countrymen and women but, for holidays, want to broaden my horizons. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I hadn’t had a holiday for fifteen years, so I decided to treat myself to a cruise. I found doing the research a very steep learning curve, but eventually decided on P&O. I was restricted on the dates I could go due to set work ... Read More
I hadn’t had a holiday for fifteen years, so I decided to treat myself to a cruise. I found doing the research a very steep learning curve, but eventually decided on P&O. I was restricted on the dates I could go due to set work holidays so the best fit for me was 7 nights on Ventura to Spain, Portugal and Guernsey from Southampton. As I was travelling from Newcastle upon Tyne I decided to travel down by train the day before embarkation and stayed at the Grand Harbour Hotel the night before. The train journey (1st class) was very enjoyable and relaxing, however I did not enjoy my stay at the hotel and won’t be staying there again. I was due to embark at 2:40pm and although I arrived an hour early I went straight through check in and security and was on board by 2pm. My cabin (B509) was clean and presentable. I had twin beds, plenty of storage, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, bathroom with shower, and balcony. The steward (Sanford) was very efficient without being intrusive. The ship is very well laid out and immaculately clean, and I spent a good few hours exploring and getting my bearings. The shops looked good but the prices were high to exorbitant and certainly well out of my price range. Service in all parts of the ship was extraordinarily high and couldn’t be faulted. I used the buffet for breakfast and there was a very large choice of food of very high quality (I had read poor reports about the buffet before I sailed, but these were totally unfounded), and there are self service machines for tea, coffee, and various fruit juices. I dined in The Bay Tree restaurant on first sitting on a table for ten. I had some wonderful dining companions and we often went on to an entertainment venue together after our meal. The menus were varied and I can’t fault the food, it was fantastic, the service was excellent as well. I didn’t make full use of the entertainment however I really enjoyed the Ventura orchestra, particularly their Glen Miller night. One slight criticism is that the quizzes were so popular that it was often very hard to find a seat, and a larger venue for these would be more appropriate. I only went on one shore excursion (Lisbon by land and river), and found it a little boring and not very good value for money. We weren’t able to tender at Guernsey due to high winds, but that suited me fine as I enjoyed being on the ship more than the ports, so we cruised slowly in the English Channel for the final 24 hours. Disembarkation was very smooth and well organised, and I was off the ship about an hour before my time. In summary, this was my first cruise and I didn’t really know what to expect. I had a great time, but would I go on another cruise with P&O? You bet I would, I can’t wait for my next! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for the destinations. We stayed in Southampton for a few night previous to the cruise to get over jetlag. Getting to Southampton is not the easiest we have done and was very laborious. We did not need transfers to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations. We stayed in Southampton for a few night previous to the cruise to get over jetlag. Getting to Southampton is not the easiest we have done and was very laborious. We did not need transfers to the port as we had a car. The ship was a great ship, one of their medium size ships. The cabins are very similar to Princess ships, although you are able to have a kettle in your cabin which is fantastic. The activities on the ship were better than most, but the entertainment was not as good and could be improved. The ports are the reason that we picked this cruise. The shore excursions were also better than most. The dining to me was more refined and what cruising dining in the dining rooms should be. The service was outstanding. The staff were very helpful. Embarkation and dis-embarkation was a breeze and very easy to do, wish they were all like that. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose P & O as we have sailed with them before, we chose the Ventura as we wanted to go to the Canaries,Madeira and LIsbon also thought the weather would be good, unfortunately it was not as good as we hoped, but that's not P ... Read More
We chose P & O as we have sailed with them before, we chose the Ventura as we wanted to go to the Canaries,Madeira and LIsbon also thought the weather would be good, unfortunately it was not as good as we hoped, but that's not P & O's fault. Boarding at Southampton went really smoothly and we were in our cabin quite quickly. We had a balcony cabin on deck 11 which was lovely and clean, the cases arrived soon after and we met out steward a lovely young lady called Sunting, hopefully I got that right. Then came the life jacket drill at your muster station which you find on the back of the door, our was at the Glass House. The beds were made as soon as you left the cabin for breakfast and then turned down at night whilst you were out and the towels and flannels changed. The tea/coffee gets refilled all the time in your cabin which is nice if you want to make a drink and sit on your balcony. Meals: We decided to go Select so we had dinner and some breakfasts in the Bay Tree Restaurant nice knowing your table was reserved at night and you had the same waiters, ours were William and Rodell, who were absolutely brilliant and so pleasant and helpful. The dinner menus were excellent and such a variety, the deserts were out of this world. Breakfast we occasionally took in the Waterside buffet especially if we wanted to ashore early, you could not fault the selection, every thing you could possible want. Make sure you get a table first as it is very busy. Sindu at East is a beautiful restaurant there is a cover charge of £20 pp but well worth it, the service is first rate and the food is excellent, we booked a table before we left the UK but you can book on the ship. Entertainment what can I say there was so much to do if you felt inclined, my wife joined the Line dancing class on sea days with Abby, who she said was so much fun the dance floor was packed, very popular. There is also talks, demonstrations the list is endless, when you get the Horizon paper every evening in your cabin, trying to fit everything in is impossible. The Headliners shows are very professional make sure you see everyone, the Arena gets packed each night, but the seats are well spaced so you can get a good view where ever you sit. Make sure you see the show called "Astonishing" you will certain be amazed. Stephen Mulhern came aboard in Lisbon to see the show, as it was the first time it had been shown and he had produced it. Overall the shows in the Tamarind,Havana and all over the ship were very good. Will say that both of these bars get very busy and it is sometime hard to find a seat, but the entertainment is worth it. Also the Arena shows up to date films, we saw the Greatest Showman, Black Panther and Darkest Hour, good it the weather is not sunbathing weather. On this cruise we called at La Coruna, Madeira, La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lisbon. We only went on 1 excursion which was to the Medieval Walled Village of Obidos thoroughly enjoyed it and if you go you must try their local drink called Ginja, a cherry liquor in a chocolate cup, you drink it, then eat the cup only 1 euro what a brilliant idea. We found the service from every member of staff was polite and always very helpful you could not ask for more. You dock in the ports and in a couple of ports there is a shuttle bus to take you to the town and back, running frequently, but you can walk . There are always Hop on and off buses in the cities if you want to see around. Overall apart from the weather I could not fault this cruise and will certainly be booking another. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise appealed to us because flights were not involved and the itinerary covered a few Canarian islands we hadn't visited before. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, all credit to the staff on board the boat and ... Read More
This cruise appealed to us because flights were not involved and the itinerary covered a few Canarian islands we hadn't visited before. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, all credit to the staff on board the boat and in Southampton port. We've cruised with Celebrity before and found their ships to be more modern and in a better condition but of course, their cruises are also more expensive. On Ventura we were impressed with the many different bars and clubs and the day time entertainment was ok. We saw several excellent acts, Nya King - a Whitney Houston impersonator, Paul Emmanuel, a great vocalist, Mark Walker and Josh Daniels, both great comedians. One of the boat bands was called Serious Sounds they were fab and Matt and Sarah, a married duet, he was a great guitarist. Our steward, Poly, did an excellent job, in fact we found all of the staff to be very pleasant and hard working. The food in the main restaurants, Saffron and Cinammon, was to a reasonable standard but the buffet food in the Waterside could be disappointing. The afternoon tea was good but they were obsessed with crab salad sandwiches, there were always loads of these left but they couldn't take a hint, they'd be there again the following day but and still no egg mayonnaise, my favourite. There were too many sea days for us. They should think of leaving La Palma off and make Lisbon an overnight stay instead. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
A wonderful first time cruise for my family on the cruise ship Ventura sailing from Southampton to the Canary Islands. We all had a wonderful time, food was very good most of the time, waiter service & cabin crew service was excellent. ... Read More
A wonderful first time cruise for my family on the cruise ship Ventura sailing from Southampton to the Canary Islands. We all had a wonderful time, food was very good most of the time, waiter service & cabin crew service was excellent. The ship had been recently refurbished & we could not fault it. The theatre was a nice size & excellent lighting & sound. Our cabin steward Freddie was fantastic, my special needs nine year old son also called Freddie found a new best mate onboard in him. All the restaurant staff were excellent, they made sure our specials needs child was catered for as he could not eat most of the items on the menu. There were a couple of very minor issues onboard, but nothing at all to spoil the wonderful time we had, weather could have been hotter, but P & O can't do anything about that. Reception staff could have been a bit more approachable & helpful. The balcony cabin we stayed in was really nice, well worth paying the extra, would have been even better if we could have had ITV & BBC channels on the tv, the WIFI we paid so much for was very very poor, not worth the money at all. We purchased the top photo package where you are given all photo's taken on a usb stick, and 12 photo's in an album, we took full advantage and ended up with about 90 photo's, the black tie night one's were really good, we can look back at these in years to come. Our favourite P & O excursion was a trip to Loro Parque in Tenerife, we also had a great day out on Maderia which we organised ourselves by a private tour taxi. Overall we loved it and my wife & myself would book another cruise without hesitation. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Friday 11th May. Departure delay due to ‘technical difficulties’ which I have now seen from various forums was experienced by the previous cruise. ‘Sail away’ party abruptly cancelled and finally left Southampton without ceremony ... Read More
Friday 11th May. Departure delay due to ‘technical difficulties’ which I have now seen from various forums was experienced by the previous cruise. ‘Sail away’ party abruptly cancelled and finally left Southampton without ceremony at 23:00. First port (Cadiz) due to be visited on Monday 14th May replaced by Vigo on Sunday at 17:00. Pointless stop for passengers as the port was closed except for a Burger King and street sellers displaying fake designer bags on the pavement 200 yards from the ship. I can only presume the stop was to fix the ship as the captain announced that night “the problem with the thruster has now been resolved”. The ship was so unsteady from Southampton to Vigo a large majority of passengers were unable to leave their cabins due to severe sea sickness. Myself and daughter included. Passengers are shoulder to shoulder on sunbathing on deck and around the pools. The adult pool was not open until Tuesday. Any entertainment worth seeing was overcrowded. Tickets given for Strictly Come Dancing Show clash with set dinner time. While all staff were very helpful throughout I can honestly say the whole experience has put me and my daughter off cruises for life. We were so unhappy we decided to fly home at the next available port (Barcelona). The ship was so unstable during the journey from Southampton to Vigo, particularly at night, we were genuinely scared. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Birthday gift for daughter absolutely ruined the ventura should be taken out of service missed port entertainment puerile I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy I cannot believe p&o decided to set sail with an unstable ship it ... Read More
Birthday gift for daughter absolutely ruined the ventura should be taken out of service missed port entertainment puerile I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy I cannot believe p&o decided to set sail with an unstable ship it was like substandard holiday camp and no this was not my 1st cruise we have cruised for the last 15 years and to top it all they were reluctant to give us a letter stating there was a technical problem so we could claim for missed port of call The ship was so unstable and my daughter was so seasick she flew home early when booking we were not told it was a strictly come dancing cruise or that most of the entertainment would be on that theme shame on p&o for ruining my daughter's holiday of a lifetime they have had problems on the ventura since February but they still took our money Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Apart from the delayed start at Southampton for engine troubles and the aborted trip to Cadiz (instead it was a port stop at Virgo on a Sunday afternoon -that was poor),the rest of the cruise was very good.we choose freedom dining and ate ... Read More
Apart from the delayed start at Southampton for engine troubles and the aborted trip to Cadiz (instead it was a port stop at Virgo on a Sunday afternoon -that was poor),the rest of the cruise was very good.we choose freedom dining and ate mainly in the buffet resturants.we found the food and its variety very good. the entertainment was first class, had to get to the venues a little early though ,but that was no problem. the ship was always clean and tidy and the ships crew did thier utmost to please you and with a smile.the shore excursions were well organised. Embarkation and dis-embarkation went smoothly. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and have booked a further cuise with P and O for May of next year. We done the Stickly Come dancing theme and found it brillient. the dancing team put themselves about the ship and they were all happy and polite. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Just back from a wonderful fortnight cruise on this beautiful ship. It was just myself and my Mum who has walking difficulties, so spends a large amount of time in a wheelchair. I’ve cruised before, but it was my first with P&O, and ... Read More
Just back from a wonderful fortnight cruise on this beautiful ship. It was just myself and my Mum who has walking difficulties, so spends a large amount of time in a wheelchair. I’ve cruised before, but it was my first with P&O, and it was Mums first ever cruise. I wanted it to be perfect for her, and boy it was amazing. Embarking was easy, quick and hassle free. We were sat eating lunch in the buffet by 1-30pm, and in the cabin by 2-30pm, luggage unpacked. A lovely balcony cabin on deck 12. We left Southampton late as there was a problem with the ship, but hey ho, we were onboard, an amazing hotel at sea and were not gonna let that annoy us. We had to miss our first port of call, Cadiz which was of course a shame, but these things happen at times. The ship was kept spotlessly clean, the staff, every single one had a genuine happiness about them, were so helpful polite and extremely hard working. From our lovely cabin steward, to the young ladies checking and keeping the toilet facilities so clean. A big shout out to each and every one of them. The entertainment was tremendously good, the shows put on by The Headliners,,, wow! We could of been in the West End. The stage settings, the standard of dancing and singing was brilliant. The dance teachers were so lovely, I even got to dance Salsa (the only dance I can do lol) with Andy in the Atrium. I loved that. My Mum being in a wheelchair, and a first time cruiser was so worried that a cruise would be difficult, but with such fantastic staff on the ship it’s made her realise that I was right in knowing it was an experience she would treasure and love. The fact that this cruise was a Strictly Come Dancing cruise added to her enjoyment. The Strictly cast onboard were stunning, friendly and humble. Even Craig lol. I can’t comment on shore excursions, Mum was having such a good time onboard, we pleased ourselves in port, in fact we only got off twice. Mum said in Rome that if the Pope wanted to see her, he could visit her on the ship!! The food, well what can I say. It was wonderful. Tasty, plentiful and full of variety. The waiters in Cinnamon were attentive. We had freedom dining, and met some lovely people each evening. Good conversations. I was a little worried knowing that we would be sharing tables with other guests, I needn’t of worried because we really enjoyed everybody’s company. The buffet option was also very good in our opinion. The tables kept spotlessly clean, and the staff willing to help at any given opportunity. Ok now just a couple of niggles. Firstly I wish the TVs in the cabins were replaced with slightly larger newer ones, and the pool with the steps rather than ladders going into them were not in areas surrounded by steps, as it made it difficult for Mum to easily swim. I know you have a hoist at the main pool but it’s not ideal using that. I had to have a winger about something before I finished my review. To round off my I’d like to say to anybody thinking of cruising on this ship please take no notice of bad reviews you may read on here. I’m well travelled, have cruised on other ships, and I can honestly say this is a beautiful happy ship that I would cruise on again. It was my first P&O and it won’t be my last, or my Mums who is already talking about a Caribbean cruise next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Very smooth and efficient embarkation at Southampton. Our luggage was outside our cabins when we got there. We were disappointed that the late departure meant missing Cadiz, and if P and O were aware of this problem, then surely they ... Read More
Very smooth and efficient embarkation at Southampton. Our luggage was outside our cabins when we got there. We were disappointed that the late departure meant missing Cadiz, and if P and O were aware of this problem, then surely they should have sorted it. The visit to Vigo in Sunday was a non event, my husband stayed on the ship, my son and I got off. The place was dead apart from some Africans selling handbags. We were only ashore about half an hour and spent nearly as long as that in the queue to get back on board. Very rough sailing on the second night but didn't bother us. I don't understand the comments from people saying they were so ill they got off at Barcelona as by then it was calm anyway and surely if anyone was that poorly they would have gone to the ships doctor for an injection. We had freedom dining in Cinnamon which we used for breakfast and dinner every day. We always managed to get a table for 3 and only needed the pager once. We all thought the food was delicious and the waiter service friendly and efficient. We also enjoyed the pizzas and burgers on deck at lunchtimes and the great cakes. The bars were lovely, especially the Metropole, very relaxing, but we did think the drinks were expensive and think an all-inclusive drinks package should be offered. We also felt the waiters were rather intrusive, asking all the time if we wanted more drinks but I guess this is due to pressure from the management. Entertainment was very good, I enjoyed the Strictly shows and liked seeing the beautiful dresses on display. We also enjoyed the interesting series of talks on air crashes from Ricky Bastin and I liked the art talks by Alice from Whitehall galleries. Our cabins were spotlessly clean and Emily, the Steward, was friendly and hardworking. The port excursions were all brilliant with knowledgeable and helpful guides. On a negative note, I think free WiFi would be good. We also do not like P and O gratuity charge, and a lot of other passengers were also angry about this. We compromised and paid half but I know some people refused to pay anything in protest. Also, we feel very strongly that the use of plastic bottles should be reduced. For that reason we took our own water bottle with us in the expectation that drinking water would be provided in the cabins and that there would be water fountains around the ship. It was very disappointing to find that this was not the case, apart from one small bottle. We had to pay £10 for 6 bottles, plastic unfortunately, just to have some drinking water. We felt very sad to think that some of that plastic could end up in the throats of some of the dolphins we could see swimming around, in addition to having to pay for a basic requirement which should be included. Please take note P and O. Disembarkation was efficient and would have even more so had it not been for some inconsiderate people blocking the doorways. We will definitely cruise again, but maybe a fly cruise next time with fewer sea days. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
The itinerary and the dates. Worst cruise I have been on engine problems late embarking and Cadiz not visited called in to Vigo on a Sunday at 5pm more for P and O benefit. Terrible crossing at sea with many I’ll, food poor, ... Read More
The itinerary and the dates. Worst cruise I have been on engine problems late embarking and Cadiz not visited called in to Vigo on a Sunday at 5pm more for P and O benefit. Terrible crossing at sea with many I’ll, food poor, entertainment poor, overcrowded. We did not get off ship at Vigo as people were going ashore and coming straight back, so was at sea from Friday to Weds morning. Should have left ship in Barcelona and flown home. Will never cruise again with P and O. All the staff on board were great apart from sickly entertainment manager. We had planned this trip carefully as we do not like too many sea days wow what a disaster that turned out to be. Coach journey down great but coming back we waited for 2 passengers that we later found out got off the ship in Italy due to medical grounds. You would have thought that p and o would have notified the coach company. We then waited for 5 passengers from Cunard to be bussed over hence left at 10am after sitting on coach going nowhere for an hour. NEVER AGAIN P and O. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
I am amazed with a history of technical difficulties even limping into port on our day of sailing P&O decide to put nearly 3,000 souls to sea on a craft with historical mechanical problems, and this time being a malfunction with the ... Read More
I am amazed with a history of technical difficulties even limping into port on our day of sailing P&O decide to put nearly 3,000 souls to sea on a craft with historical mechanical problems, and this time being a malfunction with the ability to steer properly. Shocking. Positives. Staff as usual were very good, although on a few occasions I was taken aback when I was referred to directly as Gareth and (Believe it or not) on two occasions as 'thanks handsome' and my partner being referred to as 'hi Beautiful '. Negatives. Any issues were responded to by reception staff as 'well it's in the small print'. Late return from P&O booked excursion meant missed first sitting of dinner so went to Freedom dining. Told as we were not booked as Freedom dining we could not dine there. Arena theatre patrons seen openly keeping seats for latecomers where others had to stand or sit on the steps. Sat in Red Bar and saw a lady in designer jeans being refused service due to wearing jeans even though men were sat there in 'ordinary' jeans. The Strictly Come Dancing Theme was not part of the cruise but completely overtook everything. Limited shows in the theatre, stairs in the Atrium roped off while dance classes conducted. (Many aged and I firmed then had to battle for lifts to get to the lower floor) Overall not a very nice cruise. Ventura may be a sister hip of Azura but is way behind in all aspects of customer service. With the the continual ongoing technical difficulties of the Venture, should there be a serious incident (especially at sea) would the passengers be told to read the small print. I'll not cruise with Ventura again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We selected this cruise as it was one of the only ships that had a suite with two bedrooms and was traveling to Monaco between the two Grand Prixs and the track was set up; Our cabin was the Oriana Suite with a balcony Situated at the ... Read More
We selected this cruise as it was one of the only ships that had a suite with two bedrooms and was traveling to Monaco between the two Grand Prixs and the track was set up; Our cabin was the Oriana Suite with a balcony Situated at the front Port side of the ship;There are two bedrooms which we had set up as two king beds; There were two Pulman beds in the second bedroom which we did not use, we also noticed that the two sofas in the living room were also sofa beds; both rooms had a dressing area, ample storage and hanging space, dressing table in each room with hair dryer, three small TVs and BOSE sound system; Bathroom in main suite area had a bath and overhead shower, the second bedroom had a shower room. Both rooms had a connecting door and each cabin had its own door and key; the second cabin would be considered an Interior cabin as it did not have window; Ample space for four adults; The Butler service was not really necessary as he was lazy and tardy, All talk and no action; However our cabin Steward Vincent, was amazing and picked up the chores that Butler was meant to be doing; However we spoke to lead steward and explained what was happening and they immediately addressed and things improved; The food was amazing we took breakfast in The White Room (Epicurean) each morning and sat outside on the rear deck the food and service were amazing in this restaurant, We also enjoyed the Champagne afternoon tea in this restaurant and ate our Evening Meal several times also in this fantastic restaurant; The Sindu Restaurant was also very good and again the food quality was excellent; Small Cover charges apply in these two restaurants but well worth it; We were also surprised at the quality of the food served in the Cinnamon and Saffron restaurants, three of our cruise nights we spent in these and again the food was very good; The Glass house was also excellent, lovely staff, we did not eat in the buffet so we are not able to comment on this food. The staff all over the ship were so happy and helpful and minor glitches were sorted instantly along with a complimentary drink or bottle of wine so nothing to grumble about as any issue was sorted immediately along with care and consideration Unfortunately we delayed with a propeller issue before we left port, but we were kept fully informed and eventually sailed at 11.30pm but we were not too bothered as we had been able to start our holiday have a lovely leisurely lunch explored the ship, had a facial and lovely evening meal before we left Port; Had we had a flight delay we would have been stuck in airport searching for meals and listening to frustrated passengers demanding information from service desk; We missed the port of Cadiz as the captain had to divert to Vigo but again we were offered excellent trips in Vigo and our own Cruise Insurance refunded £150.00 each for the schedule Change and having paid an extra £12.00 to cover the excess we received the full amount of £300.00. The P&O excursions were also very good although we had a small glitch in Livorno whereby the river trip was cancelled; BUT by that evening after telling the excursion desk when we returned we missed the river trip due to the boat breakdown, our on board account received a 25% credit for each person and a letter of apology; Amazing after sales service; A couple of the P&O excurisions were fully booked and we used a company called www.cruisingexcursions.com this company was excellent and amazing value for money; The Entertainment on this cruise was mostly around Strictly Come Dancing which was well advertised before we booked and we knew this was going to be on board, we did not realise that a lot of the normal entertainment shows would not be available, although alternative entertainment was available in the Havanah and Tamerind Clubs; The two on board Guest Speakers were very good; The ship itself was very tidy and clean, Our cabin recently had a new carpet installed and again the service was excellent; I have read through other reports and notice some very disappointing feed back, I have to say having been on several cruise lines, Cunard, Regent Seven Seas, P&O and Royal Caribbean, thus far, this was fantastic Value for money and exceed our expectations for the money we paid; We felt we received far more than we paid for, would definitely book this ship again and recommend this ship without hesitation; My advice is IF THERE IS ANYTHING you are disappointed with speak to any of the Managers at the time you are experiencing the problem and they will help / explain and ensure you understand what is going on; This was the best customer service we have received in a long time; 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 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.9

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