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195 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

We chose this company because we were told that P & O were the best around so we booked a 16 day holiday around the Canary Islands in celebration of my wife,s birthday.Getting on the ship was fairly quick and easy,with plenty of ... Read More
We chose this company because we were told that P & O were the best around so we booked a 16 day holiday around the Canary Islands in celebration of my wife,s birthday.Getting on the ship was fairly quick and easy,with plenty of helpful and friendly staff to assist with embarkation.We had booked a room with a balcony,which we found to be ok in size with lots of room for all our clothes etc.We found the cabin steward,Suresh,was always friendly and helpful,nothing was too much trouble. We were allocated "Freedom Dining" in the Cinammon Restaurant which meant we could go in there at any time in the evening.The trouble was that if we wanted a table for two there was almost always a wait of anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes.The staff in the restaurant were great and nothing was too much trouble but the food was repetative with not too much choiceAlso on other cruises we have been on the food was delivered to your table with dishes of vegetables served seperately but here everything was plated and then delivered to your table.In the mornings we had breakfast in the buffets on Platform 15.This was always packed and more often than not we had trouble finding a table Often there were people just sitting at the window seats just reading books obviousely that was their seat for the day.There were queues for everything.Also the food was almost everytime cold,and during the whole holiday I never once had a soft yolked egg There wasn't a great deal of choice either.In the end we never bothered about breakfast.We ate at lunchtimes at the pool grill but even the burger and chips were frequently cold The onboard entertainment was great especially the staff with the only reservation was that people were rushing in the venues approx.two hours before the shows to make sure they got their seats,making it sometimes impossible to get into the show you wanted to see. At the various ports it was always easy to get on and off the ship with the staff being friendly helpful and professional in their efforts. We only went on one excursion which was to Benfica Football Stadium in Lisbon.That was well run with friendly and knowledgeable staff,even giving us a tour of the city on the way back We found that the staff were great with nothing being too much trouble On the whole the ship was good,the staff great ,the food OK but not great.It was just that we were expecting something very special and it did not reach those heights Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have just come back from a cruise on the Ventura. We were on it in April 2016 and everything was ok. They seem to have cut costs on the food. Used to get 4 - 5 king prawns with a prawn cocktail now lots of little ones with no taste. ... Read More
We have just come back from a cruise on the Ventura. We were on it in April 2016 and everything was ok. They seem to have cut costs on the food. Used to get 4 - 5 king prawns with a prawn cocktail now lots of little ones with no taste. Steaks have shrunk to half the size and depth also lacking taste. Breakfasts are good except for the toast. Tea time in the waterside buffet was not worth going to tasteless sandwiches. Curled up toasties. Hard Teacakes. The cabin was good (De luxe balcony). They have also increased the cost of using the internet. Its now £12 for 24hours for browsing and we used to get 120 mins for £35. I had already booked to go on the Azura in april 2017 and i hope its not the same as ventura or we shall be going to another cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Thought we would give P&O a try as they are held in such high esteem by their past customers, maybe I set my expectations too high? We selected a 10 day Iberia cruise in an outside unobstructed cabin The departure port was Southampton ... Read More
Thought we would give P&O a try as they are held in such high esteem by their past customers, maybe I set my expectations too high? We selected a 10 day Iberia cruise in an outside unobstructed cabin The departure port was Southampton which was a first for us. Here are my thoughts about my 14th cruise but first with P&O. I have cruised with 5 other cruise lines. Positives - It was a reasonable price for a 10 day cruise, the entertainment was good and the staff on the whole were efficient, hard working and polite but not over friendly (which suits me). The itinerary was good (except Gibraltar) and the bar/entertainment areas were nice to visit in the evening. We really enjoyed all the entertainment and drinks prices were reasonable. There were quite a few negatives however which will put me off cruising with P&O again. The cabin was dated and small, the age profile of the other guests was extremely old (I am in my 50's and felt young) Everyone was British so on board, it was like a sketch from Little Britain and didn't feel like a med cruise when returning on board each day. The dining room experience was extremely rushed and the 2 person tables were very very close to the next table so no privacy at all. The food in the dining room was uninspiring, I felt that they were working to a budget. Mains such as pies, fish, cornish pasty etc cropping up more than once. Boring food, very disappointing and just the 3 courses! My starter was virtually removed while I was still chewing and replaced immediately by my main course so the dining experience was around 30 minutes in total most nights. The staff worked hard but the ratio of staff to cruisers meant that they had no time to chat and build a rapport which is a first for me on a cruise Apart from a couple of Indian nights in the buffet we felt that the choice and availability of food was the worst we had seen on any cruise. A roast dinner and one other choice plus a very sad salad and desert bar. It closes very early and by around 9 pm there was a tiny station still left open. Pizza bases were not even freshly made on board, a minor thing but summed up the lack of effort for me. Lastly, I felt that the rigorous enforcement of the dress code was very out dated when compared to up market lines such as Celebrity or Holland America. They were happy for you to wear a cheap black suit and tie but not to wear an expensive smart outfit? Why? Consequently I think it attracts its fair share of "twopence ha'penny millionaires" which is quite amusing to watch but sad for P&O as surely they won't survive. Its a package holiday remember and only a 3* at that so they need to improve and move with the times. I am British but will not be selecting P&O again sadly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Went on the trip as a birthday gift from my parents, they love cruises but it didn't really suit me. I enjoyed the evenings in the casino, meals in the waiter staffed restaurants and the shows. Maxine Mazunda was brilliant as Dusty ... Read More
Went on the trip as a birthday gift from my parents, they love cruises but it didn't really suit me. I enjoyed the evenings in the casino, meals in the waiter staffed restaurants and the shows. Maxine Mazunda was brilliant as Dusty Springfield and she does Adele. I struggled with the day times as the weather wasn't great so I got bored. The day time entertainment was more for older people, dance lessons, crafts, bingo. I ended up eating too much to pass the time. The food was good, plenty of shops to look around. Service was a bit up and down depending on the waiter. The casino guys were brilliant, really good fun. The rooms were well kept, mine was quite small but big enough for me. I had a large port hole and good view. I didn't try the spa as seemed v expensive but there were offers throughout the week if you hold off long enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was my 12th cruise and the first with P&O. We were looking for a short break and have friends in La Rochelle, so this one looked perfect to us. Plus it was a good price so booked it just a few weeks before the sailing. Also liked ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise and the first with P&O. We were looking for a short break and have friends in La Rochelle, so this one looked perfect to us. Plus it was a good price so booked it just a few weeks before the sailing. Also liked the idea of being able to drive to the embarkation port. Embarkation was fine and we were allowed on earlier than the 3.30 time slot. Just as well really, as the luggage tags that P&O sent us had the wrong cabin numbers on them (they were the right numbers in the wrong order. We failed to notice this (our bad) and so our luggage didn't get delivered to our cabin but we found it in reception but by that time it was very late and so we couldn't be bothered to change for dinner. We had an inside cabin, which was clean and comfortable but the aircon was ridiculous. Even at the lowest setting, it was boiling hot and so made for uncomfortable nights. We had a problem with the water in the bathroom - only hot, no cold! We told the steward and the problem was fixed. Shower was good though and steward was great. The ship itself was quite nice and seemed in good condition. Good selection of shops but didn't use the other facilities such as gym or spa so can't comment. The food was quite disappointing. We did freestyle dining and always managed to get a shared table straight away. The food in the dining room was good, but unlike other ships we've been on, they didn't offer the 'regular favourites' which you could order if nothing on the day's menu was fancied. Service was good and the chef's specials were quite nice. The buffet (Waterside) was horrible. Breakfast was appalling with toast (in the words of the comedian who performed) was like shrapnel. Everything was just lukewarm and not very tasty. Lunch/dinner not really any better. I found brown bits of lettuce in the salad and watery dressings. Apart from 'theme' nights (Italian, Indian), there was very little choice of interesting foods. The smaller, Beachcomber, buffet was slightly better. Only water and coffee/tea available during the day (no decaff, asked in the restaurant and got instant!) I guess to encourage you to purchase drinks from the bar or Costa. Never experienced that on any other cruise lines. We did have a very good meal at the fine dining Indian restaurant - well worth the £20 surcharge. Evening entertainment was ok - the ukelle band was fantastic - but didn't start until 8.30 pm so nothing much happening in the ship except loads of quizzes, until then. Would have been nice to have some music entertainment from about 6ish just to enjoy pre dinner drinks or whatever. During the day I found it quite boring on board. Just more quizzes, some dance lessons or table tennis tournaments. On both sea days there was a very good speaker on ship history - would have been good to have more things like this, as well as demonstrations like food carving etc. Although you could get free films in the cabin (on a very slow TV) they only showed one (family) film on one sea day, so would have been nice to have more choice. The 'backstage' tour was £75!! so didn't bother with that. Enjoyed all the ports and shuttle buses were free and frequent. We didn't have any problems with getting to ports, although we did meet some people who had to wait 90 minutes to get onto a tender at Guernsey. This was a very traditional sort of cruise, with 2 formal nights out of six. I noticed that a lot of people didn't bother with the second one, could have been because we all got soaking wet in Bilbao and didn't fancy dressing up when we got back. I know a lot of people love the formal nights but it is strictly adhered to in all the restaurants except the buffet. This seems a bit unfair to those who don't want to dress up and they should have allowed people to go smart casual in the fine dining restaurants. Overall, it was a good value trip but I don't think I could do a longer cruise if this is what it's like. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Overall enjoyed our cruise but improvement needed on the interior of the Ventura. In our cabin the one chair was all frayed and looked very worn ,electric socket was hanging from the wall ,the sheets were torn in both beds and below the ... Read More
Overall enjoyed our cruise but improvement needed on the interior of the Ventura. In our cabin the one chair was all frayed and looked very worn ,electric socket was hanging from the wall ,the sheets were torn in both beds and below the mirror in toilet the damp had corroded the wall. Wi Fi charges for a day was exorbitant. The staff in the hairdressers at the spa were extremely overpowering with their attempts to sell products. Food on the whole was very good in all the restaurants and the staff were very courteous. The tannoy system was not working in our cabin and we had to open the bedroom door to hear any messages. The majority of staff at reception were helpful with just a couple of exceptions. We previously cruised with Celebrity X and would have to give them the edge when coming to a decision on our next cruise. Finally P and O spend a few pounds on the inside of Ventura to attempt to get return customers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Having just returned from a cruise on the Ventura I thought I would contribute here. Embarkation - this really could not have been better. We arrived at the dock about 30 minutes before our allocated time (13:30) and were put in a small ... Read More
Having just returned from a cruise on the Ventura I thought I would contribute here. Embarkation - this really could not have been better. We arrived at the dock about 30 minutes before our allocated time (13:30) and were put in a small queue to await unloading our cases and the car was then taken from us for parking. In the hall we checked in and sat to await boarding but we had hardly taken a seat before we were called. On board we soon found our cabin and our bags arrived within 30 minutes - an excellent start. Life on board - We had lovely fellow guests at our dinner table and this always makes such a big difference to the dining experience. There was plenty of choice from the menu and no-one had a bad meal all week. Breakfast, lunch etc. was taken in the 'Water front' buffet style restaurant. A reasonable selection but nothing too exciting. The evening shows in the 'Arena' theatre were all very good with a good mix of entertainment. The same entertainers were performing in the other bars/rooms when not in the Arena. These were all very popular and you had to get to them early to get a seat - this was a problem everywhere except the main theatre. Drinks were reasonably priced for a cruise ship. Our room and the communal areas were all very clean and well maintained, some other reviews have mentioned 'tired' looking areas but we never experienced this anyway throughout the ship. Ports of Call - Guernsey was the only port requiring a tender and this this was very slick with minimum delay in getting off, or back on, the ship - well done to all the crew for this. At La Rochelle the port buses were waiting and whisked us into town and although there was a long queue to get the bus back we were only waiting about 10 minutes due to the number of buses picking up. Bilbao. Again quick and easy boarding of buses soon got us into town. Sadly we cut of visit short due to heavy rain but again there was no delay in getting a bus back. The staff we came into contact with were all as we would expect, polite, friendly and informative. Disembarking - Went very smoothly and we were off before our allotted time. From all the above you would guess we had a good week on the Ventura, and we did. Sadly there was something lacking. I should say we have experienced many cruises and different cruise lines. The ship is clean with good staff and entertainment but there was just nothing special about any of it in comparison to our other holidays. The afternoon tea was just buffet style, as was the midnight meal. We have never eaten at midnight but on other ships we have stayed up just to witness the displays and effort the staff had put into them i.e. ice statues, themed events like all chocolate feast etc. Lack of evening seating in the bars around the ship. Word of warning - like others, P&O reserve funds on your credit/debit card during the cruise but rather than take those reserved funds at the end of the cruise they charge the full amount of your on board account. This means that you pay roughly double for about a week until the reserved funds are released. Don't let us put you off if you are new to cruising, you will be happy. But if like us you are more experienced cruisers then maybe look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We are seasoned cruisers having chosen this holiday for the last 15 years. This cruise saw us reach Mediterranean level on the Penisular Club so we have long experienced P&O over this time. Embarkation was civilised and reasonably ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers having chosen this holiday for the last 15 years. This cruise saw us reach Mediterranean level on the Penisular Club so we have long experienced P&O over this time. Embarkation was civilised and reasonably speedy but not as quick as Royal Caribbean from the same cruise terminal in April on a bigger ship. We arrived at the port at 12.45 and set foot on Ventura at 2.15 so not too bad. We had a deluxe balcony cabin on deck 9 which could politely be described as 'tired'. I don't know when Ventura is having a refurbishment but if this cabin is anything to go by it should be next week. The carpets were stained and threadbare, the furniture stained heavily and the bathroom tiles covered in mound. The shower curtain was equally stained and the bathroom floor had several areas of grouting missing. Not what I would class as deluxe. The balcony furniture was also in need of a makeover. I can never understand how some cabin wear and tear occurs. There were dents in the walls seven foot from the floor and gouges in the bathroom sink area that couldn't possibly have been accidental such was their depth. The public areas of the ship were in rather better condition and having sailed on Acura the layout was familiar. We were allocated second sitting in the main restaurant but as my wife was diabetic 8.30 was too late for her main meal. We were told by the travel agent that this could be changed on board. It couldn't. After going to the restaurant manager station we were told first sitting and freedom was oversubscribed. Even after discussing my wife's medical requirements there was nothing they could offer. As a result we were unable to use the main dining room and used the buffet and speciality restaurants instead. We embarked for Guernsey and arrived the following morning for tender transportation to St Peter Port. Allocation was from one of the restaurants and when we arrived our ticket number was 1024 whilst tickets 400 were being called. We waited about an hour before tender to port. The return journey was easier with a wait of about ten minutes. The next day was a sea day en route to La Rochelle. We had afternoon tea booked in Epicurean for Eric Lanlards signature tea. It was most disappointing. Obviously prepared well in advance and kept chilled the savoury fare was almost on the point of being stale. The sweet cakes and Eton mess was exceptionally sweet to appoint of sicklyness and there was no balance. On arrival I confirmed that my wife was vegetarian, something done on booking but was told there was no vegetarian alternative but there were two savoury Brie eclairs to eat as part of the tea. These were propped up against the beef brioche so were not suitable for a vegetarian. Very poor. The scones were solid and cold, indeed the mass produced afternoon tea scones in the buffet were superior in every respect. For a cover charge of £15/head I would suggest Mr Landlard intervenes to correct that which is served in his name. That night we ate in Sindhu at East and the meal was exceptional. Worth every penny of the cover charge and couldn't be faulted. At La Rochelle the port authority shuttle transport was totally inadequate and a queue soon formed of several hundred people. The wait was well over an hour. The return wait was just as long. On our last night we ate at the Beach Club which was very good and excellent value for money. There is no booking for this restaurant but we didn't have to wait. The food was excellent and plentiful. Too plentiful in fact and I couldn't do it justice. We found the standard of food in the buffet to be somewhat lower than our previous experience on P&O but I'm not sure if this is fleetwide or if we were unlucky. I have noticed before that as a cruise goes by the fruit/ salad tends to deteriorate in standard over time. Our cruise was preceded by a three day cruise so perhaps supplies were loaded for 9 days and fruit was already three days old on our first day. Brown salad leaves are not very appetising. So our overall view of the cruise was distinctly average. Over the years the reduction in expectation has relentlessly marched on and things which were taken for granted a few years ago such as chocoholics and ice sculptures are now sadly missing. The chasing of the customer dollar has never been more obvious and it really shows. P&O have recently introduced new WiFi charges and for full streaming access you now pay £24.99 for twenty four hours. That is a lot of money for a two week cruise. There are other reduced access fees of £7.50 and £12.99 for limited WiFi connectivity. Having finally made the middle tier of loyalty I think we have come to the conclusion that we have come to the end of the road with P&O. So much detrimental to the holiday has changed in the cruise experience and so much that needs to change hasn't. Is it really suitable or even acceptable to have a sail away party blasting out Second World War songs? A long way to Tipperary? Pack up your troubles? Really P&O? I feel that the brand needs to be dragged into the 21st century and quickly before P&O become the BHS of the cruise industry. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise as a lovely weekend away and to celebrate my friends birthday. As we had a suite we had priority boarding which was very quick, 15 minutes from arriving at the port to being onboard. When on board we had a fabulous ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a lovely weekend away and to celebrate my friends birthday. As we had a suite we had priority boarding which was very quick, 15 minutes from arriving at the port to being onboard. When on board we had a fabulous lunch in the cinammon restaurant with complimentary drinks. The suite was lovely and large with lots of extras. Only downside was it was a disabled cabin with no bath only shower, we had not requested that cabin but were on a guarantee cabin. The suite was very large but i was really looking forward to a long luxurious bath . Dinner was in the bay tree second sitting. The food was of a very poor quality. The main was luke warm and the meal was very rushed. We ordered soft drinks and a bottle of wine also extra ice. After 6 requests the drinks arrived after the main course!! The ice arrived in a pint glass with no tonges not even a spoon, no ice bucket for the wine which was dumped on the table. I complained to the wine waitress who was very aggressive and said it was a party ship and they were very busy! I also complained at the desk again no response only he would look into the complaint, we never heard back. The last night we ate at the beach house were the staff were very good. The wine arrived at the table from the bay tree restaurant with half of it missing, i know because i marked the bottle. The major issue was the continued filthy state of the main pool and bar area, overflowing ashtrays, glasses on the floor, towels not picked up. Tables not cleared. It did not matter what time you went to that area it was always filthy. The staff on the ship did not seem happy to be there also they were reluctant to serve you or even smile. This is something i found highly unusual. We normally go with celebrity or holland america and i would not be in a rush to change to p&o. Having said all the above we did enjoy the cruise but iwould not travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We recently returned from our two day trip on Ventura and thought we would try out a ship which we hadn't cruised on before. We now mostly sail with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. We didn't expect the same experience as ... Read More
We recently returned from our two day trip on Ventura and thought we would try out a ship which we hadn't cruised on before. We now mostly sail with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. We didn't expect the same experience as Royal as we appreciated the fact that P&O is a lower star rating. First impressions - The ship was your typical P&O cruise vessel dominated by brass, wood, beige coloured staterooms. P&O obviously likes to stick to the classics! Our stateroom was clean and functional yet it had the smallest TV we have had on a cruise ship but it did offer a good selection of free films via a basic but very slow and tedious aged interactive system. The air conditioning did not function correctly and despite being turned down to the lowest setting it still made for quite an uncomfortable nights sleep despite keeping the patio door ajar to allow some air to circulate around the cabin. Other passengers also stated air con problems. The fridge equally had cooling problems. Other aspects of the stateroom were o.k. and I was expecting the bathroom to be on the petite size - unlike our grand suite we had a few months back on Harmony of the Seas. There were no surprises here coming back to P&O and nothing changes! Still only water offered throughout the day with no squash drinks for example. The ship in general was o.k. but we noticed parts of the ship looked scuffed and the paneling along the corridors were marked through age and usage and what was clearly a lack of care and maintenance. e.g. one lift door was badly scratched and had some dents along the leading trim. The ship itself is typical P&O which exhibits a much cheaper look to its finish than its competitors particularly the classic gaudy brass, plastic looking metal and fablon sticky backed plastic wood looking interior. We did like the the enclosed glass roof in the solarium and this was a nice touch and like Arcadia it was good to see that P&O had decided to make use of this feature unlike Britannia last year where we found this missing and the whole area exposed to the elements - both harsh sun and then on other days to be completely unusable due to bad weather. Our first gripe was to do with a lack of parent supervision and kids using the hot tubs where it clearly stated no young kids however this rule was not enforced by any of the P&O staff on board. Kids were also allowed to run around unchallenged by P&O staff. Quite a few of the fellow passengers on board just treated the cruise as a booze weekend! Lots of swearing and shouting in the public areas. Again these were not challenged by P&O staff. Our second and most annoying gripe of the trip involved the second evening where despite this only being a two day cruise, P&O had decided to include a formal Black Tie night. This was the last night prior to disembarkation the following day and we had never experienced this before. When we booked the cruise there was no mention of this and checking the documentation we couldn't find evidence of this either. We therefore packed lightly and I decided to take along a smart jacket, shirt, trousers and shoes in the event that a semi-formal night was possible - assuming this was more than acceptable. I am not a novice cruiser and this formal style of dress was easily accepted by Royal and Celebrity on their formal nights. Of course with P&O, Black Tie meant Black Tie. As a result we were unable to dine in the main dining room and we had to resort to using the buffet restaurant on Deck 15. On previous cruises I found this to be o.k. considering the formal nature of that evening and with Royal and Celebrity this was never a problem as the food on offer was in abundance both in quantity and variety. We were very dissapointed and surprised to discover that the theme for the buffet was Indian and that was mostly it aside from a few slices of Lamb that was remaining along with over cooked carrots, rock hard broccoli and potatoes. Due to dietary requirements this caused problems. We decided to take a visit to reception to make a complaint on the food that was available for those passengers like ourselves who were unable to make use of the main dining room. The response we had was quite dismissive! Instead of asking 'How can we help to accommodate you?' It was more the response 'oh British people like to dress up!' In other words.. You haven't so tough! It was later suggested to us that we could have had the option of in room dining. We checked and found nothing suitable except for a nice selection of sandwiches! Wow! This is really a cruising experience setting a very high standard. Perhaps this is what P&O refers to in their TV ads as "This is the life.."?? We later spoke to several other passengers who were equally as annoyed as we were and P&O never fails to amaze me in their sheer disregard for accommodating any problems on board and how inflexible they are when it comes to formal evenings unlike their competitors. Never have we experienced this with Royal or Celebrity. Whilst I appreciate that formal night involves Black Tie and a certain level of formality I wasn't exactly dressed in a t-shirt and jeans either! and if my dress code is acceptable for a 4 and 5 star cruise company such as Royal and Celebrity then surely its good enough for a formal night on 3 star P&O! I was surprised that the buffet was soo restricted on the formal night and surely for such an evening why didn't the buffet have more of a traditional varied menu? Alternatively offer the Indian theme on the port side and then offer a more general buffet on the starboard side. Not exactly rocket science! Clearly P&O couldn't be bothered and was more interested in its cost saving exercise! Why can't they provide some of the same food in the buffet as in the dining room. Royal and Celebrity does! They have cooked the food so why not make use of it? This will be the last voyage with P&O and we will be concentrating our future cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises where we have found them to offer exceptional facilities, hugely innovative, providing excellent choice in eating options and a professional service without the drawbacks as we have constantly experienced with P&O over the years. We did contact customer services in regards to the above issue over formal night and again they were quite dismissive. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Wanted a convenient short break before the nights began to draw in and thought this offered the ideal chance for a weekend away.The trip to Southampton was a road well travelled by us over the years as seasoned cruisers and parking and ... Read More
Wanted a convenient short break before the nights began to draw in and thought this offered the ideal chance for a weekend away.The trip to Southampton was a road well travelled by us over the years as seasoned cruisers and parking and embarkation was smooth enough. We have sailed a number of times before with P and O although Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are our favourites as they offer a higher standard of entertainment and facilities. Being such a short cruise we took just enough luggage for what was being offered or so we thought. All was well until the Sunday, cabin was fine with a good location. Food in the restaurant was good although the buffet fare in the evening was somewhat limited akin to school dinner levels. To our surprise we were informed that Sunday was termed a formal black tie night which meant that many of us were unprepared and knew the only option for us was the Waterside buffet which in itself was would not have posed a problem if the food on offer had not been restricted to an Indian buffet with the alternative being lamb dinner with very limited veg and roast potatoes. Sadly none of these suited myself and I was left with picking at cheese and salad. Speaking to others they too were were far from impressed with the state of affairs being excluded from the restaurant while the rest of the passengers enjoyed a 3 course meal while paying the same price as ourselves. Reception were rather dismissive and unperturbed by our situation. P and O did not mention the black tie night when we booked as we would never have entertained the break in the first place. We will not be booking with P and O again as they are so inflexible and traditional to the point of ridiculousness at the expense of some of their passengers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Embarkation at Southampton was awful. I am disabled & reliant on my female P.A & there was no guidance or assistance in unloading the car with our luggage. We were told to put our suit/dress holders in our suitcases yet we saw ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton was awful. I am disabled & reliant on my female P.A & there was no guidance or assistance in unloading the car with our luggage. We were told to put our suit/dress holders in our suitcases yet we saw other people carrying theirs. Upon entering the terminal we were given a fast track card, what a joke! We were waiting more than 1 hour! We were quickly rushed on to the ship, shown our cabin & straight to the life jacket drill. My cabin was B302 an accessible cabin which was very roomy & quiet despite being close to the staircases & lifts. Access to the balcony was excellent. The wet room floor was slippy, the toilet not raised & the grab rails were not in a good position. The staff on main reception were useless, unhelpful & bad mannered! We asked 2 questions & both times were told to look at our newsletter. When we disembarked the bill was wrong. I had been mis-sold some treatments in the spa costing £112 which I returned the same day & was told by the spa reception that mŷ account would be credited within 2 hours which it hadn't. Be careful with the spa receptionists as they sold me a treatment which I did not ask for that was £30 more expensive without telling me the cost. They also added a 10% gratuity cost without telling me before the treatment. Also, my partner nearly ate a piece of plastic in her desert in The Sindhu Restaurant which they said they would deduct the cost of the wine of £19 from the cost of our meal due to the chef's mistake. Main reception were so unhelpful, it felt like 'we have got your money, now leave the ship'! I did not leave the ship until the bill had been altered & yet when I got home I checked my credit card statement they had debited the wrong amount including the £112! I had to phone P & O customer services & miraculously the £112 was credited to my credit card the next day! Main reception told us the night before disembarkation to phone them the next day so they could arrange for my wheelchair, bed post, walking frame & shower chair to be collected. We were then told by reception that we should have left all the equipment outside my cabin the night before! They then said that they could not arrange for the equipment to be bought down from my cabin! They expected my female partner to carry all that equipment & 3 bags of hand luggage by herself! Disgraceful P & O!! Fortunately I had read on a piece of paper that assistance was available in the bar next to the casino & they were very helpful. Incidentally they were not P&O staff! What a surprise! Apart, from all that we had a great time but that was down to ourselves, the entertainment I.e Paul Emanuelle (great singer), the karaoke night, sail aways, and not to mention the food & service in The Epicurian Restaurant (fantastic). Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Can only compare to the Britannia and it is my personal opinion. Embarkation was quite smooth but we arrived around our allocated time of 3pm.Car parked with CPS who are excellent. A very large ship with very nicely renovated public areas ... Read More
Can only compare to the Britannia and it is my personal opinion. Embarkation was quite smooth but we arrived around our allocated time of 3pm.Car parked with CPS who are excellent. A very large ship with very nicely renovated public areas and the atrium forms the hub. Its more glitzy than the Britannia which is more like a boutique hotel. There was always a bit of a buzz around the hub with lots of people enjoying coffee or a drink and lots of shops to peruse plus the library and future cruise sales. I found the upper deck with the pools quite spartan especially the covered pool which was reminiscent of a public pool. This area was always crowded with plenty of bed hoggers as the weather wasn't too good. The aft terrace pool was a lovely sunny spot but sadly spoilt by the smokers. The smoke clung around the surrounding areas including the corridors which isn't too great if you don't smoke. Cabin was a superior deluxe on D deck and was quite large and spacious with a balcony that jutted out. We didn't find many people hanging over their balcony's looking down onto ours and were happy with the position mid aft. Sucurro our room steward was very nice and did an excellent job looking after us. Relatively quiet. Inside the cabin, however, was in need of a makeover. The carpets and furnishing were shabby and worn. The bed was really comfy. The TV system dire .It took ages to boot up and quite frustrating. It was handy to have the onboard account visible to check. The bathroom again seemed ancient but the shower was powerful and although not a fan of the shower curtain there was enough space. We had freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant and found the staff attentive and courteous. We had to wait on average about 30 mins for a table for two. The meals were generally very nice and with a good choice. The fish was excellent as were the soups. The waterside buffet ,however was not our favourite. Not enough room in the food area and people queued a lot. If you wanted a simple bowl of soup and salad for lunch you seemed to have to queue with everyone else . On Britannia there was much more room in the buffet with a better flow and a better choice of food. There seemed to be lots of elbows and trays pushing around. Lots of filthy manners like helping remove food with fingers, licking them and diving in again. Saw someone with his nose almost in the milk jug stretching across. Gross! Where were the staff to check on things? My other half actually stopped someone manhandling food.The table hoggers were out in force and it was frustrating trying to find a table. In bad weather people wouldn't move after their meals, couples would sit diagonally on a table for four or drape bags/ clothes on chairs to stop others sitting down. I moved a couple of times earlier than I would have wanted to let wheelchair users have the table. The afternoon tea at 4pm was a lovely treat in the main dining room. The Beach House very pleasant but the portions huge and not enough choice in my opinion. The Epicurean nice for an indulgent evening but not as nice as the Britannia. The theatre filled up very quickly at night an if you weren't in for 8pm you would struggle for a seat. The Headliners troop were very good especially the movie type show. No famous names on our ship like jimmy James, Kiki Dee etc... or celebrity chefs. We didn't find much else that we enjoyed. Lots of anti wrinkle/ swollen leg lectures. The gym was well equipped but lacking in instructors for advice. There were three computerised bikes but only one worked properly. There was a Cuban comedian who was very funny and a good Tina Turner impersonator. We found the Ventura a nice friendly ship. We didn't find one grumpy member of staff. The waiters, room stewards, bar people etc... very pleasant. The ports were very clean and interesting to walk around. The fortress tour of Gibraltar was excellent especially the guide. We had a very nice holiday but wouldn't go on Ventura again. We like the Britannia too much. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Went with friends to celebrate special birthday on Iberian cruise. Weather pretty awful and very rough in Bay of Biscay. First two ports ruined by heavy rain, but weather improved after that. Although perfectly clean the ship looked quite ... Read More
Went with friends to celebrate special birthday on Iberian cruise. Weather pretty awful and very rough in Bay of Biscay. First two ports ruined by heavy rain, but weather improved after that. Although perfectly clean the ship looked quite tired with dirty carpets and bathroom looked in need of refurb. All staff were excellent and food was good in restaurants we used although evening buffet was a bit boring. Special mention for Headliners theatre company who were fantastic and filled the theatre every night, so much so that you needed to get there at least three quarters of an hour early to get a seat. Other entertainment was variable, but not bad. Not all to our taste. Main complaint was that the facilities were inadequate for the number of passengers and the ship felt very overcrowded and noisy, particularly on sea days. Frustrated to have only half days in Cartagena and Gibralter when ship seemed to travel very slowly after leaving them. This is the only cruise we have been on where we felt overcrowded and also slept badly as beds felt uncomfortable. Probably would not travel with P&O again, particularly from Southampton as there were too many sea days. Have travelled with other cruise lines and very much enjoyed it, particularly in Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our third cruise with P&O in less than 12 months and the previous two on different ships were faultless. We could not praise them enough. Unfortunately Ventura let them down. In one of the bars we were served drinks in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with P&O in less than 12 months and the previous two on different ships were faultless. We could not praise them enough. Unfortunately Ventura let them down. In one of the bars we were served drinks in FILTHY glasses. We did tell the bar staff and all they did was pour the drinks into other glasses . We did report them to Reception and were told someone would be in touch the next day at the latest. Two days later nobody had bothered so we complained to reception, When we went back to the cabin there was a message on the phone but we never heard from him again. We did go on a tour which was a long day and when we got back there was another message from a different person.As it was late I left a message at reception that we could be contacted the next sea day, Never heard from him again. This was not the only problem in the buffet restaurant there were dirty cups and broken plastic glasses. Although hand washes were available and passengers were encouraged to use them which we agree with, not once did we see any of the staff use them, even when stacking glasses and cups. Also the majority of the restaurant waiters were miserable. We always tried to get to a certain part of the restaurant where the waiters were fantastic. Since returning home I have written to P&O and last contact we were told they were contacting the ship. Today 1/616 I was told that they did not think I want feed back. In other words sames as on the ship if we ignore you will go away. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Firstly arriving at Southampton to embark our time was 3pm arrived at 2pm sat there until 4.30pm. Once onboard had to go straight to Safety Procedure at Muster Station. We have been on 6 cruises and this was the most disorganised one have ... Read More
Firstly arriving at Southampton to embark our time was 3pm arrived at 2pm sat there until 4.30pm. Once onboard had to go straight to Safety Procedure at Muster Station. We have been on 6 cruises and this was the most disorganised one have ever seen. Not on deck but inside, no checks of people attending, most people didn't bother attending. Due to weather conditions dread to think what would have happened in real emergency. We were unfortunate to hit Storm Katie next day which was very frightening Tannoy system so muffled could' not understand most of announcements. Waterside Buffet was like Motorway Cafe apart from Freshly made omelette, bacon hard, eggs like plastic. Would have used restaurant for breakfast but this closed at 9am which is fine if weather good but no good when no rush to go for breakfast in pouring rain and cold. Unless you want to pay extra. Entertainment mostly 2nd rate, also not enough seats to accommodate everyone in bars etc for shows. No contingency plan during day for inclement weather. Smoking areas Deck 7 (mostly closed due to weather) and 15 starboard side (only ship we have been on where smoking not permitted on balconies) Deck 15 very rarely cleaned . We chose P & O thinking it may be a bit upmarket from some cruises but very disappointed it was Butlins on Sea. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Revisited Ventura as I liked the itinerary but unfortunately the weather was poor in the Canaries which is unusual. The food in the restaurants was good. A bit boring in the buffet restaurant. On the plus side the service of the staff ... Read More
Revisited Ventura as I liked the itinerary but unfortunately the weather was poor in the Canaries which is unusual. The food in the restaurants was good. A bit boring in the buffet restaurant. On the plus side the service of the staff is excellent and entertainment was good. I have sailed with P&O for fourteen years and the standard has definitely dropped. In the Exchange bar it is a bit like Butlins at sea. The standard of dress there with a lot of passengers are football shirts and shorts in the evenings which never used to be. With regards to daytime activities there always seemed to be a sales pitch to the senimars such as talks on Beauty I.e skincare, hairstyles etc. This is for them making more money. I will probably sail with P&O again but it will be on one of their smaller ships, there is more character to them. Ventura don't provide enough seating for the amount of passengers that it carries. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was a last minute decision. We always wanted to try P&O have heard some wonderful reviews from others we had met aboard other lines. We got to the port in plenty of time but were unfortunately turned away at the gate as we were ... Read More
This was a last minute decision. We always wanted to try P&O have heard some wonderful reviews from others we had met aboard other lines. We got to the port in plenty of time but were unfortunately turned away at the gate as we were told that there was an IT issue and that boarding was to be delayed by at least an hour. Could not park up just had to venture in to Southampton on football match day. Not raining so we parked up and waited. When the time came we went in as usual and parked up and had the luggage taken away. This was a new ship for us so we took our time getting to know where everything was. Sailed on time but we could sense that all was not well. No condiments on the table and had to ask for these which were then promptly taken away. So what really had happened was that there was a very large outbreak of Norovirus at the end of the last cruise and the crew were playing catch up to get everything clean. OK these things happen but it was surprising to be given misinformation by the gate security and also when I phoned up the day before asking what time to arrive - some passengers had been sent texts but for whatever reason we were not. This is the start of a series of lack luster efforts to contain what must have been a serious situation. Consistency is the clue here and unfortunately the crew and their managers did not have a single one between them. Condiments off the table but sugar bowl on the table. Sometimes you had to cleanse your hands others times not. Anyway it settled down later in the cruise and normal service was restored - eventually. Only 4 ports and the weather was great so we enjoyed them all especially Oporto. Looking forward to going to Cherbourg where we had booked a trip. Unfortunately the Captain had a bit of the jitters and we could not dock as there was a light shower mid Atlantic - refund given no problem. OK better safe than sorry but I have certainly seen and docked in worse weather. That said we were looking forward to the promenade deck. Unfortunately this was only open at the bow when we left Vigo - every other time it was closed due to high winds - never heard such rubbish but there again this kind of summed up the Captains attitude - lax on some things like hygiene but over cautious on others. Dined in the Bay-tree restaurant which like the other restaurants is a single deck affair. Got the impression I was going to the back of a shelf and found it quite claustrophobic. Food was OK nothing spectacular and generally 3 star service. We had ordered a wine pack. Very difficult to get the sommelier to understand this and service was on the poor side. Table for 10 and we enjoyed the company of everyone good blend of people pretty much on the same wave length. Tried Whites and the Asian fusion restaurant which were well worth it as was the premium afternoon teas which really was sumptuous. Cost more but we wanted to test the water so to speak. Self service was a disappointment and more of a motorway cafe than a 4 star cruise ship but there was plenty of it and you were not going to starve. The coffee shop on the lower deck was also a bit of a shambles and again resembled a cheap motorway cafe. Always packed and keeping it clean was an impossible task. I searched the ship but could not find a single comfortable seat that I could relax in - all seemed to be small club chairs designed for size 10 models! Entertainment was first class and the shows put on by the ships own singers and dancers was one of the best we had seen at sea. Overall we had a good time but would not go again unless it was a give away price. Met a lot of people who were really good company but there were some who were overly defensive about P&O and really could not see the issues. Not up to the standards we had been lead to expect and fell well below Celebrity - which is our usual line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
What we thought would be a pleasant spring break on a 7 night cruise along the Iberian coast turned into a rather stressful experience. The dreaded norovirus had struck the ship prior to sailing so was being deep cleaned,hence a two and ... Read More
What we thought would be a pleasant spring break on a 7 night cruise along the Iberian coast turned into a rather stressful experience. The dreaded norovirus had struck the ship prior to sailing so was being deep cleaned,hence a two and a half hour delay in the departure lounge not enough seating ,bored children, and large queues even to get a coffee, wasn't the greatest start.However we understand health at sea is of paramount importance so had to grin and bear it.They lost our boarding cards so we stood like idiots at the desk for fifteen minutes till they were found. And eventually made it on. Rarely book an inside cabin and now I know why, a tiny mirrored box, with a tired bathroom and a leaking shower,saved only by our charming cabin steward Colin,who did everything he could to make our cruise enjoyable. We prefer a combination of buffet and select dining,however due to the fact that every scrap of food had to be served by hand in the waterside buffet for the first five days as the clean up continued the element of enjoyment was lost.Often not understanding your requirements I had either twenty slices of cucumber or two slices dumped unceremoniously on my plate in the haste to move you along, continual queues, it was not a pleasant experience surely under the circumstances opening up more counters may have helped.? Poor sea day activities programmes, same old sake old, evening entertainment saved by Mike Doyle the rest were tribute acts and the usual Headliners shows we've seen time and time again.Select dining good,though why do we have to pay so much for some venues on top of the holiday cost ? Enjoyed the Glass House but service slow on times, cocktails up in price tasted watered down on times and at £13 for 2 you expect more, oh and cocktail of the day has now apparently ceased to exist along with aperitif of the day.Bottle of drinkable white wine almost £20 not for the faint hearted. The only excursion we booked was cancelled as high winds meant we couldn't dock at Cherbourg.OK these things happen, but a poorly hastily arranged activities programme saw most of us milling around the ship like lemmings looking for things to do.We gave up headed back to the cabin for a film on the smallest TV we have ever had, but it passed a couple of hours. All in all a disappointing cruise,and whilst some elements are beyond everyone's control l do think P&O really need to up their game as we felt like cash cows rather than valued customers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
When we first seen Ventura we was in awe.it took us a few days to get our orientation right. We found the ship too big in our opinion,we felt you did not get that personnel touch compared with the oceana last year.the ship in parts are ... Read More
When we first seen Ventura we was in awe.it took us a few days to get our orientation right. We found the ship too big in our opinion,we felt you did not get that personnel touch compared with the oceana last year.the ship in parts are a bit tatty with mainly worn carpets.cabin never hoovered.never seen any entertainment at the 8.30pm show due to getting filled up at 7.00pm.half way through the cruise there was an outbreak of some kind of virus.in the self service restaurants you were served by the staff,even the hot drinks etc,staff washing down chairs in the bars etc soaking wet!this was a pain in the backside.most days the buffet restaurant was that busy you had to carry your tray to another restaurant to get a seat!the positives,the freedom dining worked a treat.the covered swimming pool I enjoyed for a early morning swim before breakfast. Going back on the oceana in May but I am reading some negative reviews lately especially the standard of the food which we mostly enjoyed last year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have done may cruises before with many different cruise companies, I think P & O was the ninth different operator, so I think we have a wide range of experience. On the positive side, embarkation and disembarkation was good. The ... Read More
We have done may cruises before with many different cruise companies, I think P & O was the ninth different operator, so I think we have a wide range of experience. On the positive side, embarkation and disembarkation was good. The ship was better than we expected in terms of decor etc as I had read some reviews that said the ship was tired and shabby, we would not agree with this view at all. We had booked only a month before sailing but were very happy with our balcony cabin as it was clean, the bed was comfortable and it was quiet. What really let it down was the dining ! We did not pay to eat in any of the 'Select' dining restaurants as a matter of principle, as, to me cruising should go hand in hand with a 'Fine dining' experience. On P & O this was not the case. The food was mostly edible both in the Bay tree restaurant, and in the Waterside buffet but it was boring! Ok it all you want is 'meat & two veg'! Also I thought that the presentation of the food in the buffet was poor, more like a reasonable canteen, that what i have come to expect from a ship. We had a last minute break in a Tenerife hotel in January and the buffet dining experience there was far superior! The main restaurant dinner menu is principally just 3 courses, (except formal nights) although you could stretch it to 5 if you ordered a soup and another starter, and then a sweet and then the cheese. There was never a salad course. The food was always typicalyl British - , no curry, chilli or any other foreign cuisine. So dining ok if all you want is a full stomach! The other big disappointment, and really the most important, was the lack of hygiene precautions on the ship, - very lax compared to others we have sailed on and therefore no surprise that myself and many other passengers were struck down with norovirus or the like and confined to cabin for 48 hrs to endure room service meal options - dont get me started on that one!! Although there was gel near the gangways, initially nobody was interested in whether passengers used it when boarding after the port stops and it wasn't much better afterwards either, with passengers not even being asked to use the gel if they didn't voluntarily. It was available in the main restaurant and generally used but again I think it was initially easy for people to ignore it if they chose to. When it came to the Waterside buffet restaurant, there was gel available, if you entered to food selection service area, but not when you entered the restaurant seating area, so people could and did, help themselves to coffee, tea etc from the drinks dispensers and then sit at the table and drink them without there even being a bottle of gel in view for them to use. This was generally the case is all buffet areas, and for the pizza and grill options, in the beginning no gel available so it was possible to, for example have a pizza, pick up cutlery take it to a table and sit down and eat it without even looking at a bottle of gel! Is it any wonder there were problems. When we have sailed with other companies, hand hygiene was always much better. The entertainment on board was generally varied and good, some better than others, but it's a matter of personal taste so what some passengers liked, others less so. It was geared very much for the British market. We didn't bother with the photographer so can't comment. The shops were ok, the usual and mostly reasonably priced . They had a guest Marine biologist, Philip Price who did 6 lectures, and was excellent. They had the usual bingo, quizzes etc so pretty typical entertainment overall. We only did 2 shore excursions and the Trip to Seville was excellent while the Lisbon 3 stops one was ok except somehow we only had 2 stops. Value for money is probably average as shore excursions go. We were really interested in booking a World Cruise, and this trip was a try out for P & O but I'm afraid they failed miserably! There is no way I would want to spend 3 months with them! Back to the drawing board on that one! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our first cruise and we were both nervous and excited about our trip from Southampton to Bruges on P&O Ventura. Below is our review and some of the things that we would do differently should we decide to do another cruise that ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were both nervous and excited about our trip from Southampton to Bruges on P&O Ventura. Below is our review and some of the things that we would do differently should we decide to do another cruise that may be useful to other fist time cruisers. Parking and transfers - we used ACP (Alternative Cruise Parking) and the service was excellent from start to finish. All questions that we asked prior to arrival were responded to promptly. Upon arrival we parked our car and was on our way to the Cruise terminal within 10 minutes. The driver offered lots of useful information as well as trying to put nervous 1st time cruisers minds at rest. We were told when we got back and dis-embarked to call the office number and a vehicle would be there to collect us within 15 minutes and that was exactly what happened. Upon arrival back at the car park the lady that we dealt with (Sue) seemed genuinely interested as to how we got on. What a pleasure to deal with a company that actually delivers on it's promises. We would have no hesitation in recommending ACP to friends and family. Arrival and embarkation at the Mayflower Terminal Southampton - Our arrival time was 3pm and we arrived at 12:30pm. This was our first mistake as we sat for 2 hours having to listen constantly to a women making announcements every couple of minutes which although might be necessary did get on our nerves! Lesson learnt next time we will aim to arrive close to our embarkation time. Drinks and toilets were available in the "holding area". Cabin - once on board we arrived at our room to find our cases were already at the door. We had a balcony cabin on deck 12 situated in the mid aft section of the ship which was quiet with no noise from the above deck. The living / sleeping area was nice with plenty of storage space for clothes a decent sized safe and a very comfortable queen size bed. The balcony was nice with good quality recliner chairs and a table. The bathroom was disappointing. The shower was very small although the water pressure was good and always hot. The worst part was every time we lifted the seat on the toilet we were greeted with an unpleasant smell of stale urine. A special mention to our Cabin steward who kept our cabin spotlessly clean and tidy, thank you. Emergency Drill - Due at 16:15 but delayed until 16:45 due to inconsiderate individuals that feel that they are exempt! Although irritating this is a requirement by law. In our opinion anyone late should be given a heavy fine (suggest the cost of their cruise) or better still ejected from the ship unless a very good reason is given for being late! Bars - We tried the following bars:- Breakers bar, good fun nice pint but drinks served in plastic beakers. Exchange bar, good service, entertainment and nice drinks. Tamarind, rude miserable staff. Metropolis, flat beer and weak coffee! Restaurants - We tried the following restaurants:- Bay Tree - The first night we were greeted with an enormous queue going up the stairs at 20:25 for our 20:30 sitting. The 2nd night we arrived at 20:45 and walked straight in, another lesson learned! The food was hit and miss as the first night was awful i.e. prawn cocktail served with wilting salad and beef that was tough and tasteless! The 2nd night however was excellent. The service was excellent on both nights. Waterside, excellent buffet breakfasts, lunch & desserts. Frankie's Pizzeria, awful pizza's friendly staff. Frankie's Grill, nice food miserable lady chef! Disembarkation - we chose to self disembark which requires you to carry your own baggage off the ship. The ship docked at about 07:10 and we were off the ship by approximately 07:35 which worked well for us. Final thoughts - We were told by numerous people before going that we would not even know that the ship was moving. We found this to be untrue as the ship could be heard / felt shaking and rolling during our crossing. We experienced queuing on board but this can be avoided with a little planning. However in our experience there was always a considerable wait to get drinks from the bars but we found the prices were very reasonable and in line with what you would expect to pay in an average pub / restaurant. We found that this mini cruise gave us a very good insight as to what a cruise would be like. We enjoyed our first cruise but are still undecided as to whether to go on another. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I could not believe that they tell us to book early for the best deals and it dropped £500 pound per person as well as it being very cold most of the way over the Atlantic and having being told when I was sat in the pool area late at ... Read More
I could not believe that they tell us to book early for the best deals and it dropped £500 pound per person as well as it being very cold most of the way over the Atlantic and having being told when I was sat in the pool area late at night that I would have to travel 2 floors up to get a calIipso coffee I could have any other alcoholic drink but not a coffee with alcohol so much for service on a cruise ship Shall think twice to tervel with this company again that's 2 in the last 12 months that have disserpointed me with p/o cruises I will be looking at Fred Olsen I have heared good things with them they will not con me out of £500 pounds per person and I am sure they will fall over backwards for there clients Watch this space for me booking else where. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was the second time we have cruised with P&O . We did a previous cruise on the Oriana six years ago . Embarkation was quick and trouble free and we were pleased with our cabin which was kept immaculately by our very efficient ... Read More
This was the second time we have cruised with P&O . We did a previous cruise on the Oriana six years ago . Embarkation was quick and trouble free and we were pleased with our cabin which was kept immaculately by our very efficient stewardess . We had freedom dining and enjoyed the flexibility of this and the excellent food . The restaurant staff were courteous and efficient . There was virtually no waiting time . There were some negative aspects however . We were never able to see any evening entertainment (for the 8.30 show) because it was impossible to obtain a seat . Passengers were waiting in the theater up to 45 minutes before the show started and we never managed to get there in time . The 10.30 show was too late for us . This was disappointing . Obviously there is not enough seating available . The library facilities were particularly poor . Not enough space , not enough books not enough seating , far inferior to the Oriana library . Day time entertainment while at sea was dire and could have been so much better . The lifeboat speaker was very good but had exhausted all his material by the second talk and from then on was scraping the barrel . The best entertainment was provided by other passengers eg. Speaker`s Corner . We were often disturbed by excessive noise- loud music etc . This was because of the location of our cabin on Lido deck . Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
How lucky are these cruise companies to keep such loyal, hardworking crew ?! On this ship (as on Fred Olsen Boudicca my other review) almost to a "man" they worked hard for long hours regardless of start/finish time whilst ,no ... Read More
How lucky are these cruise companies to keep such loyal, hardworking crew ?! On this ship (as on Fred Olsen Boudicca my other review) almost to a "man" they worked hard for long hours regardless of start/finish time whilst ,no doubt as instructed, remaining energetic, cheerful and courteous. Without this elite standard of relentless service the cruise we've come home from would have sunk without trace. Political-correctness-gone-mad prevents me from penning comments about ethnic origins and contracts up for review versus permanent posts awarded to whatever ethnic group. I loath the gratuity loading system and, this time, opted out.I feel that, somehow, this is an underhand method of massaging the company's wage bill. Instead I generously tipped the many who afforded us special service, spending far more than would have been added to my on board spend. On the reverse side, these diligent crew who were drinks waiters seemed driven beyond the desire to provide a service. Could they be target/commission/threshold motivated ? They frequently chimed into conversations and company with an absence of the commonplace courtesy of their colleagues. However, no great problem. The standard of food was excellent. The menu was varied and imaginative. These people can cook and present fish dishes, by the way ! The restaurants, along with all the other venues, excepting the arena theater to a degree, just aren't commodious enough to COMFORTABLY accommodate all who wish to avail themselves of them. A great percentage of two seater accommodation in the restaurants were no more than multi seater tables split by inches. A squashy backrest served as one seat into the bargain. The seating arrangement in the Tamarind, Havana and red room was so ill designed it made attending the venues not uncomfortable exactly, but not as carefree as one would hope on holiday, let alone a cruise. It wouldn't take an interior designer of note to fathom out furnishing plans in what, otherwise, would do in the perfectly spacious rooms- simply someone with a bit of common sense. Mr. P&O has never tried to get a seat and remain comfortable in these venues, I'll bet. "Top line entertainment" heralds the blurb. It wasn't rubbish. Much of it one could easily turn up at the local or social club and get something akin. Some of it was astounding. There were musicians among the resident group and band who were punching well below their weight. It was a privilege to hear them. They were pushed into the distance by mediocre front artists. No one was urged to dance thanks to the flat atmosphere created by the rooms, stage presence and the entertainment management altogether. One group specialised in music that I love but were unbearable thanks to a terrible imbalance of the individual component musicians. However, entertainment was ever present throughout the day. I, personally, enjoy a lounge type of environment with, perhaps, a pianist or lounge entertainer. The metropolis seemed to be just the thing I was looking forward to. We tried it a couple of times and, whilst the furnishings weren't too badly arranged, the duo were so irritating, twice was sufficient. There's absolutely nothing to say about our balcony cabin nor the steward. If I spent all day in the cabin and on the balcony with the odd cabin serviced breakfast, down for mealtimes in my monkey suite and catch a couple of worthwhile shows-well-I've got my money's worth. I want my wife to be comfortable and treated like a lady. Thanks to my tipping regime, that's precisely what I got. My wife enjoys a swim on a cruise but, the pool areas were so uninviting she gave it a miss. One pool area caters for the smokers (if you enjoy passive smoking take a trip along deck 15) who were ever present and the other for the packed cafe's overflow. Going onto the deck above was somewhat more enjoyable and that is what we did. Take a tip from me. Go on the coach. We went by Cruise Connect. This is like a "get out of jail free card" when embarking and disembarking. I still can't believe the ease of arriving and leaving. Again, political-correctness-gone-mad prevents me from airing my true views. Suffice is to say, a percentage of our fellow passengers didn't seem to fully appreciate nor avail themselves of the high, professional class of service which could be achieved. Value for money ? Undeniably so. Compare this cruise to what would be available on land, considering the sum of all components, there's nothing to touch it. We've returned, however, not having not enjoyed our holiday. To say that would be silly. "Cruising", however, conjures up an impression of sophistication, panache,style, class and the zenith of luxury. I guess the cruise companies are actively working to dispel this profile in order to encourage all comers. I doubt we'll cruise again. Certainly not with P&O. Shame. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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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