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854 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date May 2018
This was only our second cruise, having went on our first one with Royal Caribbean last year. Booking onto ship was easy. Cabin was B311 which was next door to service area, so at 0600 every morning was awoken by the cabin staff starting ... Read More
This was only our second cruise, having went on our first one with Royal Caribbean last year. Booking onto ship was easy. Cabin was B311 which was next door to service area, so at 0600 every morning was awoken by the cabin staff starting their day. A smoke detector on Deck 15 exploded on the first day, which meant that maintenance staff were working on starboard side for the whole week, which was a pain. On the second day the Captain said that due to issues we would not calling into Porto. No other communication was given. This was very disappointing, both because the visit was cancelled, and an alternative was not on offer, but also because apart from that initial pipe, no other info was given. Even on the Bridge Report at the end of the trip, it was not mentioned. Vigo was nice, Lisbon lovely. Guernsey too, an age to get off and back on the ship due to tenders being needed. All in all 3 hours was spent getting on and off. Again not a good experience. Cabin (inside) was fine. Overall the ship seemed rocky to me. Cabin staff were brilliant. Food was good, although service in the restaurants was a bit slow, due to staff cutbacks I am guessing. Entertainment was not good, maybe catering for the majority of 9lder folk on board. I loved my first cruise with RC, not so much with P&O. Probably not recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
1. Food excellent, 2. Disabled cabin and bathroom perfect. 3. Crew fantastic, friendly and attentive 4. Bars, restaurants, entertainment venues very good but some are very “dated”. 5. Embarkation and disembarkation very well ... Read More
1. Food excellent, 2. Disabled cabin and bathroom perfect. 3. Crew fantastic, friendly and attentive 4. Bars, restaurants, entertainment venues very good but some are very “dated”. 5. Embarkation and disembarkation very well organised and easy to cope with. 6. Lift system is random at best and inadequate at busy times.7. Signage is still poor. On the last day of our cruise there were still people wandering round trying to find which deck things were on. Now for the bad stuff... 1. One announcement from the bridge saying there were “ technical issues” so we would not be going to Oporto. No further explanations given. There was a suggestion that a longer stop in Lisbon would fix the “issue” (what was it - there seemed to be an engine problem???) It was no benefit to the aging and disabled population on board to stay in Lisbon until 3’oclock in the morning. EVERYONE I spoke with wanted to go to Oporto.To miss it out was appalling. So our first stop was Vigo where almost everything was closed as it was Sunday so that was rubbish. Our second stop was Lisbon - wonderful entrance and beautiful City. However as I had been there before it was of course Oporto I wanted to go to. Oh and then the last stop at Guernsey I had to stay on board as I couldn’t take my scooter with me.. So I paid all that money to see a town that was closed, to visit a town I had seen before and NOT to go to Oporto or Guernsey.( obviously I knew Guernsey might be difficult but I hoped...) But not Oporto. I see no benefit of the rearrangement - we could have left Lisbon an hour earlier than stated and sailed to Oporto (even for an hour less than stated) 2, You must change Vigo as that was really poor. 3. You must also do something with your intercom. Not audible in the cabin - had to rush to the corridor to catch the end of it. 4. Too much maintenance going on - painting, hammering, areas roped off. The ceiling panels were changed for new ones at the Waterside area. So less places to sit. The discarded panels, metal rods and other debris was left on either side of the area by the doors for the restt of the cruise 5. Shops were limited and poor unless you wanted posh handbags or perfume! Overall having spent 6 days on board and only visited one place that was ‘open’ and interesting, I couldn’t wait to get off the ship. This mini-cruise was to let us see if we would like cruising (we had only been on the QE2 before) but our experience was actually DREADFUL> Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have just returned from this cruise and were somewhat disappointed because we did not stop in Oporto because of problems with the ship. The ports we visited were Vigo which was lovely, then Lisbon where the stay was extended in ... Read More
We have just returned from this cruise and were somewhat disappointed because we did not stop in Oporto because of problems with the ship. The ports we visited were Vigo which was lovely, then Lisbon where the stay was extended in order, I believe, for repairs to be made to the ship. We should have left at 5 pm but infact the visit was extended until the early hours of the following morning and we left at about 5 am. Because of this we had an extra day at sea, which was not ideal bearing in mind the following day was also a sea day, and as it was only a 7 day cruise I did not book to be at sea for two consecutive days. The visit to Guernsey was lovely, apart from waiting for nearly one and a half hours for the tender to get into port. Coming back although there was a long queue the tenders seemed to be operating much quicker. Putting our disappointment aside the holiday was fine. Our cabin was well looked after, the entertainment good and the food was well served although someone did comment that it seems P and O are catering more for fish eaters than meat eaters these days. Having said that there was also plenty of choice and the meal was always finished off with coffee or tea. We did not use of the shore excursions advertised by P and O but instead did our own thing. We find using local services and hop on hop off buses suits us fine. All in all it was a good break but must say there was something missing although neither myself nor my husband can pinpoint what it was as except to say there did not seem to be the same sparkle as on previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We are reasonably well travelled ‘cruisers’ having done 120+ days on Cunard, 7 on MSC and 14 on P&O Britannia last year. The Britannia cruise, repositioning from the Caribbean to the UK in March 2017 was 100% fine and indeed we ... Read More
We are reasonably well travelled ‘cruisers’ having done 120+ days on Cunard, 7 on MSC and 14 on P&O Britannia last year. The Britannia cruise, repositioning from the Caribbean to the UK in March 2017 was 100% fine and indeed we have booked the same cruise for 2019. Anyway, this current P&O 7-day cruise was not quite what we and everyone else expected. Itinerary to be: Southampton (Friday), Sea Day (Saturday), Vigo, Lisbon, Oporto, Sea Day (Wednesday), Guernsey (Thursday), Southampton (Friday). The good points: Embarkation on the 4th was speedy at 12.30 and bags outside cabin by 1.30pm. Obstructed Outside View Cabin E502 (on deck 8) was 100% okay for this short cruise and kept very clean and neat by our unobtrusive cabin steward, Angelo. Food in Saffron Restaurant (Freedom Dining in the evening) was fine and as good as, and perhaps better, than that in Cunard’s Britannia restaurants. Alcohol is much cheaper than Cunard, as are speciality coffees etc., and all WITHOUT the disgraceful 15% auto service charge added. For example, a bottle of Californian Rose wine is £17.95 net on P&O, whereas it is 36$US + 15% on Cunard – exactly the same wine! Service was quick enough in the restaurant. Alternative dining? Sindu is first class for £20 per head and Glass House likewise, but cheaper. Did not try the Epicurean or Beach House on this voyage. Self-Service Buffet had a decent selection throughout the day – cheeses were better than on Cunard(!) according to Mrs F. and no problem with finding a seat, if one was prepared to walk a bit. Entertainment – standard cruise line stuff – guests including Berni Flint, Tony Wallace etc. Disembarkation on Friday 11th – rapid – we were in the car at 8.46am and on our way. The bad points! On Saturday 5th at around 9am the captain announced that the ship had ‘technical’ issues. As a result, Ventura would arrive in Vigo at noon rather than 9am on Sunday 6th, but leave later in the evening to compensate. All rather useless as it was a Sunday and Vigo is hardly the shopping and food capital of Europe. It then got rather more interesting as we would arrive in Lisbon on Monday 7th at noon, but now leave at 3am on Tuesday 8th as this would help compensate for missing Oporto completely on the Tuesday 8th. Now, apart from a very brief slow period on Saturday morning, Ventura managed to get up to 20 knots quite happily as Saturday went on! The 3am departure from Lisbon did not result in the majority of passengers tasting the dubious night delights of Lisbon, as you would expect, and was therefore a total waste of time, although the crew liked it as they disappeared off the ship at 10pm all heading for God knows where. Now for the exciting bit: Costa Mediterranea docked next to Ventura in Lisbon on the Monday shortly after our arrival at noon. It left early that evening after a half-day stop (probably more than enough for most passengers) and then proceeded to Guernsey arriving shortly after us on Thursday morning at 8am, having done another port call in between – could that have been Oporto we all wondered? Ventura then managed to arrive at Southampton, after leaving Guernsey on the Thursday afternoon), bright and early at 6am on Friday 11th ready for the turnaround and yes, closely followed by Costa Mediterranea again. So, in summary most of us poor souls reckoned Ventura never had any intention of going to Oporto and if they had announced that fact before departure, many passengers would have demanded their money back and cancelled. As to what the problem really was? A deadly silence, and rather noticeably the officers were conspicuous by their absence from the public rooms over the 7 days. In summary – a poor effort by P&O, poor communication & no recompense in any form offered such as a free drinks session or whatever. On the plus side, at under £100 per day each, it was a bargain, but no excuse for not going where P&O advertised. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Oporto and Lisbon - well meant to have been. On the first sea day we were advised no Oporto due to technical failure which would be rectified in Lisbon. A late arrival in Vigo and evening departure ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was visiting Oporto and Lisbon - well meant to have been. On the first sea day we were advised no Oporto due to technical failure which would be rectified in Lisbon. A late arrival in Vigo and evening departure From Lisbon to compensate! However with the speed we travelled on departure from Lisbon we are sure an earlier departure would have enabled a half day call at Oporto. Two sea days with little to do on board were rather tedious and we would not have booked a weeks cruise to have three sea days out of the 6 full days, Otherwise we were pleasantly pleased with the cabin HA Balcony on C deck with a 10ft deep balcony. We had travelled in January on the Celebrity Millenium and the cabin on there was dreadful by comparison. The food on board was of a high quality again unlike the Millenium, and the service from the restaurant staff and waiters on board was very good. Would I travel on the Ventura again? I very much doubt it. The ship has 3,500 pax capacity far too many people when endeavouring to disembark/embark by tender with 3 hours total spent queuing in Guernsey. I much prefer smaller ships such as a Queen Victoria and Oosterdam/Nieuw Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise was my 70th birthday celebration, a short cruise with 4 destinations. Because of the engine problems we were late getting to Vigo in Spain, Late to Lisbon and missed out Oporto in Portugal altogether. Very disapointed with ... Read More
This cruise was my 70th birthday celebration, a short cruise with 4 destinations. Because of the engine problems we were late getting to Vigo in Spain, Late to Lisbon and missed out Oporto in Portugal altogether. Very disapointed with this spent an extra day at sea, 4 days out of 7.The cabin we had had broken lampshades with holes in them and a chair that was threadbear with holes in the arms. We complained but only our cabin stewardess was interested and she fetched light shades from another cabin to replace the ones with holes. The food is definitely going down hill with P& O we have been on many cruises and this is noticable. The entertainment was average we spent an extra day at sea with not much to do.At Guernsey we waited 90 minutes to get on a tender ashore and an hour in the harbour to get back. Put us off cruising for good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We left Southampton a little later than planned and as it was our first cruise we were unsure as to what to expect but we were impressed with the ship. We fell behind schedule which the passengers were told was due to a 'technical ... Read More
We left Southampton a little later than planned and as it was our first cruise we were unsure as to what to expect but we were impressed with the ship. We fell behind schedule which the passengers were told was due to a 'technical issue' we lost the Oporto stop. We would have preferred P&O to be honest and not gloss over the issue and then forget it happened. We found out that one of the engines had broken down putting us three hours behind. As a result we had to stay in Lisbon longer for it to be fixed. I was horrified to read the reviews that said the same thing happened again a week later! It seems to be a common theme. The safety drill on the first day was a farce, 4 different crew members giving out different instructions and no-one knew what to do. We didn't know what to do but stand in a corner and watch but all we could think was, f this was a real emergency.... The service is mostly fantastic but a few people really let it down. We thought well everyone has a bad day but by the end we were raging at the way we were treated as it continued throughout the week. This included an attitude of 'well that's your problem' to simple queries. 'That's what it says on the sheet' in regards to asking about changes to the entertainment. If you like Bingo - be there in plenty of time. They refused to allow us to join in the bingo as they had too many people in the queue to buy tickets. We ran downstairs to the casino where they would sell us tickets and race back again before it starts - I really couldn't see the difference - it just caused bad feelings. Photography We had a few photos from the team, you take them off the shelf and they scan your card and everyone is happy....until the last black tie event. The queues go back down the corridor waiting for your orders and you don't just queue the once. You have to log into the machine, find your photo, add it to the basket and order it then come back a couple of hours later. We needed help at the machine but the photographer walked off halfway through and helped someone else so we went ahead and ordered the photo. I came back around an hour and a half later as I was worried we hadn't added the payment to the bill. I waited over half an hour in the queue to be told everything is fine and to come back in an hour and a half and the order will be ready and they will scan the card then. So I did this, the third time in the queue for 45 mins this time to be told there was no order and we'd missed a step at the machines. I was furious, that was our last evening this completely ruined it. Tips If this is your first time, prepare to get lost on board a lot!!! Everyone crowds around an A4 plan of the ship and not every lift goes to every deck. Avoid Costa at all costs - it's so bad, my grandmother got burnt on the hand by their stupidity and the next time we tried to use them, they scolded us, for causing them to bring the wrong order over to us- we were stunned! The restaurant food is fantastic, be warned if you share your table with others you will have to wait until everyone is seated and then ordered so your meal time could be a lot longer but then again we enjoyed doing this once or twice. The buffet food was a little limited on one night and I was hungry when I left but this was the exception. Avoid going at the same time as other people if you can as it's like a mad scrum for seats and food. It's a much more relaxed atmosphere but there is no in between of very formal or very casual. Guernsey/Tender Leaving the ship was very smooth, controlled and we felt safe, we had a senior member of the team driving and a member of the entertainment team keeping us informed. I actually quite enjoyed it. Coming back however.......the complete opposite as above, it was frightening and dangerous - we decided we'll never take a tender on a cruise again and I'm not nervous with water. The adrenaline and shaking afterwards took a while to subside. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was a first time cruise for us and the main reason for this choice was to be able to visit 4 ports. Apparently there was a technical issue with the ship, which meant that we would not be stopping at Oporto in Portugal. We also ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for us and the main reason for this choice was to be able to visit 4 ports. Apparently there was a technical issue with the ship, which meant that we would not be stopping at Oporto in Portugal. We also didn't go ashore in Guernsey, this was because of the ridiculous amount of time waiting for a Tender. We still have not had any clear answer of what the technical issue was and I am presently waiting for a reply from P&O. I wrote to them to ask why no compensation has been offered for the missed port. Pretty sure I will either get no reply or if they do reply, they will simply fob me off with some small print from their terms and conditions and will state that they don't ever give refunds or compensation. As this was out first ever cruise, we didn't know what to expect. However, before we booked the cruise I did read lots of reviews about various cruise ships. On nearly all the reviews people were saying that being on such big ships we would hardly notice any movement. We were really shocked by the amount of rolling around while we were at sea. It was quite bizarre because the sea was so calm. I can't believe that this was a normal amount of movement and I wonder if it could have been due to the technical issue the ship had. The movement was so strong that most of the swimming pools were closed a good number of times during the cruise. this was a bit of a spoiler for me because I wanted to go for a swim every day. I did take some video footage showing the swimming pools sloshing about and being covered with nets to stop people using them. I would love to be able to speak to some seasoned cruisers that travelled on this particular cruise to find out if they felt this was normal. My girlfriend really suffered with sea sickness during our cruise and it has put her off ever going on another cruise. I am trying to convince her that perhaps this wasn't how it would be next time (unless of course the sea is rough). If anyone can shed any light on this matter or even if anyone knows exactly what the technical issue was, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to email me: chris.lewis143@ntlworld.com During our cruise we had an inside cabin which was very adequate for us. The cabin was very clean and we were well looked after by our cabin steward Colin. We choose freedon dining, which again was perfect for us and it meant that we could plan our dining around all the entertainment. The food was really nice in the main buffet with loyts of variety and we also enjoyed the lovely food and excellent service in Saffron, which we used on two of our nights. The entertainment was superb. The singers and dancers obviously worked extremely hard every night putting on two shows each night. The visiting acts were also very good. Our overall experience of the service was excellent. Everyone seemed to be very polite and always had a smile for us. Would we go on this ship or another cruise? Not sure at this stage because we need to determine if we would experience the same amount of movement that we did on Ventura or whether this was an abnormal amount of movement due to the technical issue, bearing in mind that the sea was very calm. Obviously we would expect to feel some movement if the sea was rough. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my wife and I's first cruise and thought it best to start with a short 7 day cruise to see if we liked it. Our friends and family who have been on cruises have been raving about them and saying that once you do one you will ... Read More
This was my wife and I's first cruise and thought it best to start with a short 7 day cruise to see if we liked it. Our friends and family who have been on cruises have been raving about them and saying that once you do one you will be hooked. We travelled as a party of 5 with my wife's sister and brother in law as well as her dad First the positives all of the staff on the ship were without doubt some of the most pleasant and helpful we have come across from our cabin steward (Anil) to our waiters in the Bay Tree restaurant and all the entertainment team. The dancing instructors (Roanna and Goran) were great and very helpful with beginners like us. We managed to do quite a few of their classes and saw their evening shows. It was a real highlight of the cruise. We went for the select dining option and had the bay tree first sitting at 6:30 which meant that we didn't have to wait for a table. The food was of good quality and the wine package was a good deal so worth considering. The prices were in line with high street restaurants with a very good selection and quality. The selection of food changed every night with some choices always available. The evening entertainment shows were excellent from the comedians to the dancing and singing shows. The standard was very high and you would have to pay a great deal for these in your local theatre. there were loads of day time entertainment options and even a large children's area which we didn't visit but seemed well organised. The negatives the other passengers were on the whole the complete opposite of the staff i.e. rude and didn't seem to be enjoying their holiday the ship seemed to have some technical problems which meant that it could not call at Oporto as planned and seemed to more unsteady than we had been led to believe. This led to the pools being out of action some of the time as well as an additional day at sea which could have been the cause of the issue with our fellow passengers the air conditioning in the cabin made it quite stuffy even with the thermostat turned down to the minimum. It was great to have a balcony so that we could open this to get fresh air the food in the buffet restaurant could be a little sloppy and not very hot, this was not helped by our fellow passengers who insisted on piling their plates so high and taking lots of food. For breakfast its probably best to go for something cooked to order e.g. an omelette or poached eggs to ensure you get piping hot food Overall Would we cruise again - definitely but probably try a different cruise line like Cunard or a river cruise Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It seems fashionable today to rubbish the Carnival Corporation for incrementally dismantling and destroying the P&O brand. Sadly, this trend continues apace. In its race to reach the lowest common denominator, Carnival continues to ... Read More
It seems fashionable today to rubbish the Carnival Corporation for incrementally dismantling and destroying the P&O brand. Sadly, this trend continues apace. In its race to reach the lowest common denominator, Carnival continues to provoke negative comment from its unmerited loyal customers. Often with considerable justification. There is no point itemising P&O's death by a thousand cuts...much too painful...besides, Carnival is not remotely interested. As they say in Yorkshire - you cannot educate pork! Do not believe the advertising hyperbole, reduce your expectations, prepare to be underwhelmed, don't be surprised if the ship's engines break down resulting in a missed port, do not expect the advertised celebrity chef to appear on board and despite all of the preceding observations, you just might have a reasonable holiday. We did, but then we are part of Carnival's gang of unmerited loyal customers...no one to blame but ourselves! As they say in Yorkshire.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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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