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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I travelled with my Daughter , her husband and two Grand Daughters aged 4yrs and 6 months We had read some damning reviews and were honestly quite worried Boarding was quick and we entered the ship to a friendly greeting, and ... Read More
I travelled with my Daughter , her husband and two Grand Daughters aged 4yrs and 6 months We had read some damning reviews and were honestly quite worried Boarding was quick and we entered the ship to a friendly greeting, and glancing around first base my daughter and i looked at each other and both remarked that it was So Far So Good as everything appeared clean Our cabins were ready and we Loved them I was in P225 and my family were in a Family cabin a few doors down At this point i would happily stay in that cabin again , it was spacious and very clean ( the antic bac spray i bought with me was not needed, Jinty my cabin steward was brilliant , efficient and friendly We went to eat in the Self Service on arrival , there was so much choice there , my daughter and i are vegetarians and it wasn't a problem I could talk so much about this Beautiful ship , but seriously where do the bad reviews come from ? Ventura is so clean , we were up early with the baby and saw Staff hoovering and washing carpets , polishing lifts at all times of the day , antibacing the padded tables and chairs and so on The 4 yr old went to kids club , its so amazing there and she loved it , again everything was wiped clean for the afternoon session and the youth staff were Fantastic We ate in Saffron , loved the food and again our waiters were Brilliant , cannot fault the food or choice I had early morning breakfast delivered by a friendly young man , faultless, and then ate later breakfast with my Daughter and the children in Saffron , all beautifully served and lovely food ( My son in law ate a lot in self service as he could pile his plate up , at this point i will remark that he put on 20lbs , say no more ) The staff were nothing short of Amazing , they spoke to the children , made the baby smile all the time and cheered her up when she was having a moan Yes Amazing is a word i am using a lot , but it sums up everything about this Wonderful ship and her crew We have never sailed with P&O before and we are now Fans . I would love to sail on Ventura again . Yes she is having a refit soon but to my mind you cannot improve on perfection !!!!!!! A special thank you to the Captain who helped us when we needed it x Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Having previously cruised with P&O were expecting more of the same , unfortunately it was not to be . The ship is looking tired in places ,mainly carpeting in the public areas,also some fixtures ie damage in the lifts. Our balcony ... Read More
Having previously cruised with P&O were expecting more of the same , unfortunately it was not to be . The ship is looking tired in places ,mainly carpeting in the public areas,also some fixtures ie damage in the lifts. Our balcony cabin was large and comfortable Food in the main dining room was not as good with less variety and smaller portions ,as a result of which we took most of our meals in the Waterside and Beach house self service cafe . The entertainment was very good both in the Arena and the various bars . Service is as always very good . Excursions were well organised and informative . Would not cruise with P&O again until their dress code is smart casual on non black tie nights and it is adhered to and enforced . Jeans,trainers,walking shoes and crocs. have no place in the dining room ,but apparently this is "smart casual" Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this review as the ship was visiting Ports we hadn't had a chance to visit. Embarkation was extremely good. I am a part time wheelchair user and help was on hand to help us onto the ship. Our cabin was spacious and the ... Read More
We chose this review as the ship was visiting Ports we hadn't had a chance to visit. Embarkation was extremely good. I am a part time wheelchair user and help was on hand to help us onto the ship. Our cabin was spacious and the wheelchair slotted under the wardrobe very neatly. The cabin was clean and the bed comfortable, we had a good deal of wardrobe space, but could have done with a few more hangers so we didn't have to double or triple up. The bathroom was adequate although the shower curtain was too short and too narrow to contain the water inside the shower, hence a few puddles. I had requested a disabled toilet and was pleased to see a higher than normal loo. The ship was very pleasant, the halls, public areas, bars and restaurants immaculate. However the basket weave furniture on the pool deck was awful with ingrained food making it too unpleasant to sit at. The furniture either needs a good scrub or replacing. Perhaps basket weave isn't such a good idea with so many people using it? We had chosen second sitting dinner and the food was delicious with at least 4 choices for each course. Our waiters were lovely, friendly and chatted, we liked that rather than just serving us food and not talking. Breakfast again had a good choice if rather small portions. I had cheese omelette which was obviously made with one egg and my husband had a kipper, well half of one side of a kipper actually. There weren't any pastries or croissants offered they had to be requested which hasn't been my experience before. The fruit juice was WATERED down!!!! P&O surely a Cruise costing well over two and a half thousand pounds deserves proper fruit juice please, it was horrible to drink. Also the milk jugs were a nuisance as the lip isn't long enough and the milk pours into the saucer and over the table!!!! The entertainment was good however the price of a soft drink was so over priced it was offputting. A Mocktail well over £5?? Come on P&O play fair. I had promised myself a massage in the Oasis Spa, one look at the exorbitant prices put me right off. I can and do get a facial, eyebrow wax etc much cheaper at my home salon than on the ship. What a shame. We have booked two more cruises in March and October 2018 so I do hope the things I have pointed out will be rectified as although they may sound insignificant to us they were important and we would be prepared to look at other cruise lines. We chose 3 tours with little walking as the wheelchair is a nuisance. Our first was to Cadiz to see Flamenco dancing, it was extremely good and we loved it. The courier was very knowledgable and after the dancing we did a tour of Cadiz. Our second tour was to Barcelona and included the Sagrada Familia which I had longed to see. I wasn't disappointed and although we didn't have time to go in I was elated to sit in the park and just drink in the beauty of the Cathedral. Our third tour was in Gibralter to see the dolphins. A very good tour and we did see dolphins, so were happy. All tours were easy walking and the couriers took great care to ensure we were all together. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first ever cruise and we really had no idea what to expect. Reading some of the reviews; I was fairly concerned, particularly about the food. Our embarkation couldn't have been easier. We queued for ages in traffic ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we really had no idea what to expect. Reading some of the reviews; I was fairly concerned, particularly about the food. Our embarkation couldn't have been easier. We queued for ages in traffic coming through Southampton assuming it was because Ventura was in dock; the queues ended up being for IKEA, so we will circumnavigate this on our next drive in. We turned into the dock and instantly saw a member of the car parking valet team; it really couldn't have been easier. We unloaded our 65kgs of luggage out onto the pavement, handed ver the keys and unbelievably... we were on board inside 20 minutes. We arrived inside the Terminal at our Embarkation time and were fast-tracked all the way through. Once on board it took us maybe 10 minutes to get our bearings; but a member of the team told us our cabin was available so we went there straight away - our luggage was already waiting outside. We were stunned by how easy and smooth it was. Ventura is a large ship, particularly for first timers. We did spend most of the first week getting lost; but we loved every minute on board. It wasn't as glitzy or as glamourous as I expected; but our cabin was well appointed with tons of storage space, very clean, the bed was extremely comfortable, and there was no scuffed areas of carpet and knocks and bashes like I'd read about on reviews. The bathroom and shower is small; but it didn't cause us any problems. We only booked an inside cabin for our first cruise and we slept so well in it that we will probably always book inside cabin going forwards! Food-wise; we ate on the late sitting every night in the main dining room, apart from one night when we ate in the Epicurean. We had asked for a table of 10 booking; deciding to throw ourselves right in at the deep end with the whole cruising experience and be sociable... yet we spent the first 4 nights with that big empty table all to ourselves. After 4 nights of this; other tables had taken to feeling sorry for us and asked them to join us which we did and we enjoyed our dinners with another couple. We looked forward to our evening meals immensley and on the whole found the food to be very good. Desserts were a bit hit and miss, rather lacking in wow factor, particularly for the lady on our table who wanted a simple fruit salad and simply couldnt get one with anything other than oranges and apples in it! Breakfast and lunch we ate in the buffet; I will admit I came to hate trying to get through the narrow buffet aisles which just seemed badly designed; and particularly hated that I even had to fetch my own tea and coffee in what seemed the tiniest mugs on earth - but it didn't spoil our holiday. We also had pizza from the Pizzeria on deck 17/18? - which was alright. I did order room service on a couple of afternoons and was astonished how good it was. Far better than the buffet; although I can't fault the buffet on choice, it was always good. Entertainment; pretty good all round; we never made it into the Arena for an evening show prefering the bars and clubs on board; but everything we saw was pretty good. We did particularly enjoy late evenings upstairs in the Metropolis bar; absolutely beautiful being right at the top of the ship. The service we had throughout the whole cruise was wonderful. Nobody could do enough for us; we couldn't fault it, from the stewards to the waiters to the bar staff. Halfway through the cruise we found out that we could turn off the automatic staff gratuity; and we did this on the Reception desk, preferring to tip those that had given us good service. I will say the gentleman on the Reception desk that did this for us was fairly unsmiling and taciturn about doing so but this was the only time we encountered anything like this on board. We tended to do our on thing at each Port; apart from when we docked a journeys distance from the likes of Rome etc. Rome was one of the trips we did by coach; and the transfers worked well and it was comforting to know P&O had us booked onto the excursion and were looking after us. Each port is what you make it; oddly enough places we were immensely looking forward to visiting (Barcelona and Rome) we found to be loud, noisy, dirty - we will definitely be doing excursions to these locations next time and concentrating on one highlight such as Sagrada Familia or the Vatican rather than wandering round the streets by ourselves. Villefrance was a beautiful little place, we walked the length of the front and sat and had drinks with friends and just enjoyed the place. Cartegena and Cadiz were lovely, but in all spanish ports we found there to be alot of beggars. The formal nights were an unexpected highlight for us - i could barely persuade my husband into a black suit before we went but in the end he was not only wearing his dickie bow but really enjoying the formal nights. I would never have thought he'd have enjoyed it so much; but he was a real convert to it and even wants us to colour-coordinate on the next cruise. On our last day; we booked a cruise for 2018 on Britiannia, and shortly afterwards booked for 2019 on Azura. This is pretty much the best compliment I can give P&O. I would advise you to go with an open mind if you're a first timer; the things you don't like won't spoil your holiday, and the things you do will make it a worthwhile experience and you'll have lots of lovely memories. Tip: if you're sailing from Southampton, do not worry about your baggage. I panicked and split everything into smalller suitcases so that no bag was over the limit stated in the brochure. Apparently this is a non-issue as the baggage handlers simply stick a "heavy" baggage label on. Tip: When you're booking, pay attention to the location of the laundrettes. The machines are so easy to use and wash and dry in record time. We washed all our clothes the last day when the weather was miserable and brought home everything clean. We also did 2 washes of underwear etc during the holiday and it was super easy. Tip: If you have an inside cabin; put your tv on at night with the ships camera showing. At night when you go to bed you will have a dark screen; but when you wake in the absolute blackout; the screen gives you an idea of time - and also its' lovely to lie in bed and watch the ports get closer and closer on port days! Tip: Larger ladies need to be aware that all the dining rooms (with the exception of the epicurean) have narrow chairs with wooden sides and handles. I am a size 24/26 and i found sitting in the chairs absolute agony. I was fortunate in the main dining room that we were on a large table (these tables do not have chairs with arms) but in the buffet i could only sit on one of the bench seats. The chairs are ridiculously narrow. I hope that this is something that P&O will improve when refurbishing - it looks like Britannia is better. This is reflected in my 3/5 star marking for the dining experience. It didnt spoil my cruise but it would have done had i been seated at a smaller table. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The itinerary was the main reason for choosing this cruise particularly for excursions to Florence and Rome. Embarkation was swift and well organised as was disembarkation and our excursion to Rome was enjoyable and hassle free if a little ... Read More
The itinerary was the main reason for choosing this cruise particularly for excursions to Florence and Rome. Embarkation was swift and well organised as was disembarkation and our excursion to Rome was enjoyable and hassle free if a little rushed. So to the ship itself, we were expecting it to be a little shabby in places as she is due to have a major refit but we were pleasantly surprised by the cabin which although an inside was relatively spacious and spotlessly clean . Our cabin steward did an excellent job and was able to source a mattress topper and comfortable pillows for my partner who suffered a back problem two days into the cruise. The overall service by the hard working staff was very good, both in the restaurant and the bars but unable to comment on the service in the speciality dining areas as we did not use them. We found the food was generally good in the main dining Room ( we were on freedom dining in Saffron ) but a little hit and miss in the buffet though we could always find something to eat, all be it was not always hot. Occasionally it felt like a bun fight when passengers were entering the food area from both directions and some people were acting as if it was going to be their last meal... enough said. Entertainment was varied and the Headliners were as good as always however we found the music generally not to our taste and would have appreciated more live bands and perhaps some classical musicians playing in the main Arena theatre. The Ventura orchestra should be applauded though as they helped to show off the speciality acts to their best advantage. One of the main criticisms we had was even though Ventura is a large ship, there seemed to be a lot of wasted space. Not many passengers used the Sindhu , Glass house or the Epicurean and these are large areas which we feel could be put to better use . The Atrium dance floor was used only for dance lessons and Ballroom and there was just a complete lack of atmosphere generally in the evenings around the Ship. I personally would not choose Ventura again but I can see that She has appeal for the more senior travellers. All that said, we still enjoyed the cruise and would go with P & O again in the future but perhaps on one of the smaller ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have cruised with P&O many times; this would be our second two night cruise break, it came up to expectations! Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the Ocean Terminal in Southampton. The terminal works very well at ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O many times; this would be our second two night cruise break, it came up to expectations! Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the Ocean Terminal in Southampton. The terminal works very well at getting people through as quickly as possible. Most people were carrying on the luggage which simplified things. The terminal was particularly noisy, and had a party atmosphere, we even saw a chap dressed as a bride with boots on! The only slight hold up is having to complete the health questionnaire on arrival, why not offer it for download from the Cruise Personaliser. P&O complicate this by giving you a boarding time, ours is 15:30, it is always a late time whatever P&O cruise we take! We decided to aim for 13:30, and only had to wait around until 14:00 before being called to check-in. We arrived at our cabin by 14:15. Disembarkation is equally efficient. Instructions are dropped off at your cabin on Saturday. We went to the open seating breakfast (served between 07:00 and 09:00), getting in there before the eight o’clock rush. After breakfast, back to the cabin to pick up the bags, then join the queue to get off This moved fairly quickly and we were off 08:20, and joined the queue for a local taxi to the train station. Dining On the first night we ate in Sindhu, had a really good meal in there, soft shell crab to start and then a selection of curies to follow. The service in there is particularly good. We had opted for Freedom Dining which gives great flexibility, but it can get busy at peak times, the best strategy is to be prepared to share a table (requesting a table for two will probably result in being given a pager). We ate in the Saffron Restaurant; we also used it for breakfast. On the second night we met up with friends and shared a table for four. The Saffron Restaurant is very big, but the service is good. The breakfast choices in the MDR are comprehensive, but I don’t think the choice has changed in the 10 years we have been sailing with P&O. Bars Lots of bars as you would expect, some with an emphasis on gin. There is a wide selection of craft gins available in the Red Bar. Most drinks at pub prices, but if you want more than two glasses of wine a bottle of the house (white in our case) is an economical option at £16. Breakers Bar on the Sun Deck was always busy, and on this cruise some of the passengers were shouting at the staff for service. The Glasshouse offers a quieter venue. Cabin Our cabin was port rear on deck 10 (C510), it was a good size; it is described as a superior balcony. The décor and fittings were in reasonable shape. Between the bathroom and main room is a spacious hanging area that really works well. The beds are high enough to take some pretty big suitcases underneath. The balcony is a good size and does have an overhang. Our steward was very cheerful, but we did not have time to get to know her. This cabin was very quiet, nothing rattled. If we had been on a longer cruise we would have asked for the pillows to be changed, they were like paving slabs. Entertainment There was plenty going on, but we stuck to the bars! Photography We went to a reception in Tamarind and the photographers went to great trouble to get a good group photograph which we purchased fro £12. Ports of Call Zeebrugge – Belgium Nothing in particular planned for this day. We caught the shuttle bus into Blankenberge, walked to the marina, then out along the pier and back along the sea front to the top of the main shopping street. Lunch was moules and bread; there was a problem with the fries! Next we bought some chocolate and went back to the ship. Anything Else? Much as expected these cruises breaks are intense and lively, it helped that we had been on the ship before and knew where everything was. There were lots of groups on board, not just stag and hen parties, but birthdays and anniversaries as well. We even got to meet Poppy from Bolsover Cruise Club (our TA) at a get together! We had expected the formal night to be the second night, but it was the first (apparently so the photographers could take and sell more formal prints). It is nice to be able to carry on and off your bags; it makes embarkation and disembarkation much quicker. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was my third cruise with P and O but first time on Ventura,I have to say that I am finished with P and O .The Ventura is so dated very tired looking furnishings the superior balcony was terrible 2 small televisions that you had to ... Read More
This was my third cruise with P and O but first time on Ventura,I have to say that I am finished with P and O .The Ventura is so dated very tired looking furnishings the superior balcony was terrible 2 small televisions that you had to strain your neck to seethe very poor quality films that were on offer,the deck-chairs on the so called superior balcony were a disgrace old and filthy.The cushions on the settee were flat dead, shower was good. Food in restaurant was ok nothing special Ollys Glass House was fantastic as was Sindhu.Staff were so glum especially at Pizza outlet no smiles no hellos or welcomes.Marks out of 5 Food 3 Entertainment 2 Superior cabin 1 Overall Ventura experience 1. The captain was not evident on ship ,movies on ship shown in a make shift theatre so if someone sat in front of you then its quite literally curtains. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Booked as a surprise treat for my friend who was 60 in August. Outside cabin was spacious and bed was very comfortable. All the staff very welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. Drinks reasonably priced and food was of excellent ... Read More
Booked as a surprise treat for my friend who was 60 in August. Outside cabin was spacious and bed was very comfortable. All the staff very welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. Drinks reasonably priced and food was of excellent quality. You could not fault the service on this boat and it is beautifully clean with hand sanitisers everywhere. Would definitely go on this boat again. Varied evening entertainment for all tastes. Older people and the infirm where looked after well. I booked this cruise through a local agent friend of mine and it was everything that I expected. The cost was excellent value as you have a choice of a la carte and buffet style dining. The staff made this cruise as very efficient friendly and well presented. On talking to them it is obvious that they are very well looked after by P&O and I think that makes that difference. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We went to celebrate a friends 50th birthday, far too impersonal everywhere you went there was constant queuing. The food was not good at all, some completely inedible....We had an inside cabin, so you get what you pay for I suppose, but ... Read More
We went to celebrate a friends 50th birthday, far too impersonal everywhere you went there was constant queuing. The food was not good at all, some completely inedible....We had an inside cabin, so you get what you pay for I suppose, but the Wifi didn't work, the TV was erratic, the air conditioning was appalling.....For such a big ship it feels very claustrophobic, the lifts take forever and are very small, the onboard entertainment was awful, the staff are helpful enough....The shore trip was the best part of the trip, as we left the ship!! Getting off upon reaching Southampton was nothing short of chaotic....Everyone trying to eat and leave at the same time is ridiculous. I tried to upgrade my cabin but no one seemed interested in assisting me with this...This was the first cruise I'd been on and probably the last...For the Ventura to be the P&O 'flagship' the rest of them must be awful..that's it really. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I was only aboard the Ventura for a weekend cruise - less than 40 hours. We were celebrating a birthday, and as such for us the trip was really more about making use of the ship's various, delightful-sounding bar and restaurant ... Read More
I was only aboard the Ventura for a weekend cruise - less than 40 hours. We were celebrating a birthday, and as such for us the trip was really more about making use of the ship's various, delightful-sounding bar and restaurant facilities. I would heartily recommend this ship for fans of queuing and waiting. If you're into those, you are in for a treat! Huge lines to get into restaurants - queuing all the way up the stairs to the next deck. Huge queues for the formal photographs. Queues are reception, as one person mans the desk and phones ring off the hook around them. Chaos, basically. A typical interaction with a member of the serving staff on board the Ventura might look something like this: You approach a bar, behind which are two or three people frantically preparing drinks. A waiter dashes up to you, to intercept your attempt to order at the bar. The waiter takes your order. Five minutes later, the waiter returns to take your cruise card. Around 10 minutes later, your drinks arrive. This might sound like an exaggeration, but at one point I waited 25 minutes for a coffee. In a deserted bar. The restaurants were no better - one person assigned to take drinks for a restaurant full with 100+ people. The wine waitress was so stressed and busy that at one point rather than topping up my wine, she just emptied the bottle into it. The fundamental problem seems to me that they were attempting to provide a silver service experience, with greasy-spoon levels of staff training. The food itself was fine, nothing special. The Beach House was absolutely not worth the additional supplements (a cover charge AND supplements on the food), particularly considering its decor and vibe - think school canteen. The ventura has the potential to be a great experience, and perhaps on longer cruises there are more staff laid on. But if this cruise had been any longer than two nights, I'd have found myself wanting to abandon ship halfway through. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was a 2 night mini cruise to Guernsey from Southampton. i have been on other cruises and this 2 night one was billed as a break or a taster and it was a booze cruise and nothing else!!! the staff were rude and surly, I asked for ... Read More
This was a 2 night mini cruise to Guernsey from Southampton. i have been on other cruises and this 2 night one was billed as a break or a taster and it was a booze cruise and nothing else!!! the staff were rude and surly, I asked for help in the cabin and was told the deck manager would come and he never did, the telly didnt work and the food was dreadful. I am gluten free and my option one day was jelly or a minuscule meringue. There were no cups for breakfast Sunday morning so had to have water. I was so hungry Friday night I had to buy some chocolate to tide me to breakfast as nothing gluten free on offer. The muster was hampered by drunks shouting and yelling and blowing whistles. the only saving grace was the theater company who were excellent, great show. so if you want to drink lots then its the cruise for you but beware its poor beyond belief shame on you P and O Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were a family of five travelling in three balcony cabins, R303 - accessible cabin, A254 and A251. Embarkation was a farce, chaotic and not helped by rude and unhelpful G4S staff. Didn't see the point of being given an ... Read More
We were a family of five travelling in three balcony cabins, R303 - accessible cabin, A254 and A251. Embarkation was a farce, chaotic and not helped by rude and unhelpful G4S staff. Didn't see the point of being given an embarkation time as this was totally ignored and we were waved disdainfully towards the queue. As a first timer any questions we asked were ignored. All very pleased with our cabins, the accessible cabin was large and well thought out for use by a disbabled guest. Buffet - this was very busy on the first couple of days and choice was not great. Improved greatly over the rest of the cruise and we used daily for breakfast and late lunch. Main Dining Room Saffron - food and choice excellent, service excellent. My daughter, a vegetarian, was given exemplary service with advance orders taken for the following days menu. Sindhu - the only select restaurant we visited and the meal was well worth the additional cover charge. Entertainment- varied and good, house bands were excellent, a couple of the 'tribute' acts bordering on mediocre. 'Gary Barlow' looked like the man himself, didn't sound like him at all. 'Shania Twain' didn't look like or sound like the singer at all. The headline act was Bernie Flint who I'm sure would be unknown to at least half of the passengers. Plenty to do on board, very busy on inside decks when weather not too good though. Service - generally good with staff bordering on indifferent to excellent. Drinks could be slow at times particularly in The Exchange. All of our cabin stewards were excellent. Please beware of the advertised unlimited photos for £99 offer, this is not what it seems. We had an issue over this which to be fair was resolved to our satisfaction. If you are looking to take advantage of this speak to one of the photo team first to make sure you are aware of the numerous, unadvertised, terms and conditions. We had excursions at most ports between us and all were pleased with guides, content and value for money. Special mention for the FC Barcelona, Rome on your own and Pompeii tours. Dress codes - not adhered to in some instances. Would appear that a jacket isn't required on Black Tie, saw one female passenger in main dining room wearing white jeans as part of her outfit. Evening casual, again in dining room saw a female passenger wearing a frayed denim miniskirt. If you're going to have a dress code at least police it so the rest of us who have made an effort don't feel hard done by. Unable to visit Cagliari due to adverse weather leading to an unexpected, rough, additional day at sea. I thought that the ship would cope better with the rough seas, overall we had a couple of days of uncomfortable ship movement. We enjoyed the convenience of no fly but not the four sea days of dull/inclement weather and when looking a Med cruise again would take this into account. All enjoyed our overall P&O Ventura experience and would cruise on her again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
5th cruise first time with P&O (Previous with Celebrity, RCL and Princess). Mixed bag this cruise some things were really good, The entertainment squarely aimed at the brits (comedians, tribute acts) was of a really good quality we ... Read More
5th cruise first time with P&O (Previous with Celebrity, RCL and Princess). Mixed bag this cruise some things were really good, The entertainment squarely aimed at the brits (comedians, tribute acts) was of a really good quality we went to the shows more on this cruise then ever before. Embarkation was a breeze and the ports were good, The Cabin bed was really comfortable and the Art class brilliant, However the food in the MDR was really samey basically meat (or fish), potatoes and two veg. With repeats on the mains and deserts. Once you took out the always available, todays roast and from the grill it was probably only about 3 mains per night that were new. Virtually no pasta, curry etc (when they did do lasagne it came with 3 veg). The veg was pretty much always mange toute, green beans and carrots (Not sure is they got a job lot) but it is going to be a while till i eat them again (14 nights....). I think there was roast beef at least 5 times. The buffet was also pretty poor as an alternatve (uninspired). My real gripe was the MDR meals are 5 courses (well there are if you want to make everyone else on your table wait). The menu is written so soups and salads appear with starters so most people order either a starter, soup or salad, a main and a desert or cheese (The cheeseboard often took ages to arrive, often had 3 - 4 small bits of cheese left on it and maybe a choice of 2 crackers). Service was woefully slow (Waiters seem to have too much todo). When a fellow passenger didn't like the soup that seemed to be of no interest (on other cruises the waiters would have at least offered something else). I made the mistake of one night trying to order a san pellogreno lemonade in the MDR - sorry can't have that here. Service in the bars was poor mocktail taking 20 minutes (so was watery), and running out of drink menu items (But i'm not a big drinking so i just didn't bother after that). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
"We have cruised with P&O over 20 times and have been loyal clients since 2000. We feel that P&O are no longer interested in return clients and just want to attract new ones. The whole experience was very shabby. We have ... Read More
"We have cruised with P&O over 20 times and have been loyal clients since 2000. We feel that P&O are no longer interested in return clients and just want to attract new ones. The whole experience was very shabby. We have already booked, prior to going on this cruise with Azura in the Caribbean in 2018 unfortunately I will not go with P&O again after this next cruise as they are cutting back drastically on quality of food, entertainment and service. The shows were all old hat which we had seen over many years on P&O the select dining which we used a lot as the main restaurant was poor, the menus only changed twice in the whole cruise and were practically identical to the menus that we have had in the Epicurean , Beach House and Glass house over the last 5 years I would also note that these menus are the same on Azure Boring !! The commercial that P&O show on TV is not what you experience. IT is Now very amateur and down market. NEVER AGAIN. shame. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Having sailed on Oceana and Britannia we decided to give Ventura a go on a 17 day cruise to the Greek Islands. We were worried before we went, having read some pretty grim reviews of the ship but came away having enjoyed our cruise ... Read More
Having sailed on Oceana and Britannia we decided to give Ventura a go on a 17 day cruise to the Greek Islands. We were worried before we went, having read some pretty grim reviews of the ship but came away having enjoyed our cruise overall. Here are the plus points and areas that we felt needed some attention. Plus points: • The staff overall were probably the friendliest bunch we have ever sailed with on any cruise line. They were happy, professional, helpful and polite bar none. • The ship, though looking tired (and ready for a refit) was kept immaculately clean and all of the public areas were fine. The cabin was looking tired, but nothing major and it was comfortable. No sign of that nasty Norovirus! • The cabin steward, Collin, was exceptional and couldn’t do enough for us. Any issues we had with the cabin t.v.s were sorted within minutes. • The superior deluxe cabin was very spacious and had a lovely sitting area and it was good to have a bath as well as a shower for once. We were right at the front and it was very quiet despite there being 680 children on the ship • The select dining areas were varied and excellent value. We had a lovely meal in the Epicurean and it was great to sit outside and watch the sunset as we ate our meal. The glass house was probably my favourite and the food faultless and excellent value for money. Sindhu’s was good too – and that was a surprise for me as I dislike spicy food. • The food in the Saffron Restaurant was very good and we enjoyed the freedom dining experience again. There were always plenty of tables for 2, though we sometimes had to wait. They told us that the peak time was between 7.30 and 8.30pm if anyone wants to avoid it. • We loved the Greek Island ports in particular and the excursions we did with P&O were superb value for money. We did ‘Ancient Corinth and the Corinth Canal’, ‘Mykonos and Wine Tasting’, ‘Olympia and a Beach Excursion’ , the transfer to Taormina and ‘Secrets of the Rock’ in Gibraltar. They were all excellent and good value. Didn’t like Mallorca much at all and were disappointed with the ‘Formentor and Pollensor’ excursion as it bore no relation to the description we were given. • We only went to one sailaway party – the Great British sailaway – and we enjoyed this as we hadn’t been for a number of years. All good fun! The children were all well behaved so credit to them and their parents. • Our fellow passengers were a mixed bunch from lots of different backgrounds. Everyone we met (bar one snooty, obnoxious lady) was great company and we made many new friends. • There seem to be more sunbeds available on this cruise than on any other cruise we have been on mid school holidays. There were small spaces everywhere and it was lovely to enjoy a dip in the adults only pool at the back. Incidentally, we never saw anyone misusing the pools – i.e. children in adult only pools as had been reported else where. • Embarkation was very good and we were on within 20 minutes – far better at the Mayflower terminal than the Ocean Terminal and the whole experience was stress free. • For anyone who enjoys a drink we would say that prices were very fair and way lower than on American cruise lines. The alcohol policy is still very generous and we took on board a box of wine and purchased some additional bottles in the various ports for use in the cabin. • We found that there was plenty to do and you could make of the cruise what you wanted. ON one evening we noticed that there were some people on top deck drinking by the pool, others in the bar / disco area, others just enjoying the ballroom dancing. There was something for everyone. • We don’t tend to go to the shows though we saw one singer (who was excellent) • The buffet food in the afternoon was more varied than on Oceana • We LOVED the wrap around promenade deck – nice to see on a larger ship • Some people moaned that there were a lot of elderly passengers on the ship. We loved the mix of ages and find this an unfair criticism. Good on the elderly for wanting to go on holiday either alone or on their families – we all get old and we met some delightful 70 / 80 somethings. • Most people dressed up for the formal nights and looked stunning – all ages and backgrounds. We had 5 formal nights and for once gave one a miss as we had 3 in just 6 nights! We ate in the buffet that night, in smart casuals so fail to see why people moan about formal nights. There are plenty of places to go if you don’t want to dress up. • The photograph package seems better value now – 10 photos for £70 which is far better than when it was £20 per photo years ago Not so good points: • Though not P&O’s fault the weather was a bit hit and miss and lots of gloomy, cloudy sea days meant that we couldn’t use our balcony as much as we had liked. Disappointed too that we hardly docked on port side (twice I think) and we were always in the shade at every port. For us this was a shame as we prefer to return from a day out and then chill in the sunshine on the balcony occasionally when returning. If you go for this cruise and like the sunshine then either book starboard or an aft cabin. • We didn’t feel that the ship handled the waves as well as Britannia or Oceana – we always sail at the very front or very back in all ships and found Ventura to be the most ‘bumpy’ even in calmer waters. If you get sea sick go for the middle. We also found that she was at a tilt a lot of the time – the crew told us that this was because of the windy weather. • We had booked a cabin on the no smoking side but discovered that the smell of smoke on our balcony on occasions was from the crew smoking room vent that was just in front of our balcony, off the promenade deck. Why they don’t make port side the smoking side we have no idea so that folk like us, who had chosen the non smoking side (port side) wouldn’t be affected. Would not have cabin D114 again for this reason. • We also found this cabin balcony very windy. The weather was windy anyway, but from talking to others it seemed worse as the balcony was more open. We also had the bridge above us so on a rare sunny day for us (our side) the bridge cast a shadow for a time. Something for any sun worshippers to take note of! • We did not find the Captain to be very obvious and, without going in to details have suggested that he takes lessons from some of the other P&O Captains who appear to value their customers / passengers more. Shame. • Disembarkation was not handled as well as in the other ships. We were sent to a theatre and a number of rude passengers jumped the queue which caused ill feeling and could have caused mayhem. They would be better using the dining rooms as on other ships. • The cabin T.V. was terrible and had a limited choice and I hope that they will be replacing this soon when she has her refurb. • This cruise was 17 days from Southampton, with 9 sea days and 7 ports. There were too many sea days for us and hated the journey back to Southampton as we just wanted to get off and get home as we knew that we were on the way home (and it was miserable weather). We will stick to fly cruising in the future for August. To be fair to P&O other folk enjoyed it and we knew what we were getting in to before we booked. We decided to give it a try though. I suppose this isn’t a negative about the cruise / ship, just something for others to think about when they book. All in all, an enjoyable cruise and, surprisingly for me, we would not hesitate to book this ship again. She is lovely and am sure will be even better when she has had her refurb. Don’t let others put you off with reviews – go and give her a chance. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I had been on the venturer before and I wanted to visit Guernsey. Very nice staff and food lots to do , very busy as in school holidays we were informed there was two adult only pools but did not find one without children I love children ... Read More
I had been on the venturer before and I wanted to visit Guernsey. Very nice staff and food lots to do , very busy as in school holidays we were informed there was two adult only pools but did not find one without children I love children but someone I was travelling with is autistic and can become anxious around children but they like to swim however this did not spoil the holiday. Really good entertainment but no room in the theatre for one of the shows we wanted to see. very good reception staff the waiters and cabin stewards were lovely too.shops were good and good prices on drink and perfume .lots of choice of food and different places to eat .the prices of the formal night for photos were too expenditure £16 a photo !!!! Was very impressed getting back off the ship in Southampton no sitting about however was not happy that we birthed in a different place to when we left we had to get a taxi back to our car park luckily one of us had some cash on us Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Having sailed on Ventura before I was not expecting very much as I had been disappointed before, but being a sucker for a bargain I booked a last minute cruise. The ship is still quite dull compared with some other lines but seemed to have ... Read More
Having sailed on Ventura before I was not expecting very much as I had been disappointed before, but being a sucker for a bargain I booked a last minute cruise. The ship is still quite dull compared with some other lines but seemed to have been cleaned up a lot. The food was good and there never seemed to be a issue with finding a seat in the buffet. We were on freedom dining not by choice but it did prove to work well. Each night we were given a table for two next to the window and served with the same staff each day. The entertainment was quite good though the Headliners shows were still the same ones we have seen on other ships over a period of years. The same ongoing issue of dead spots between acts is still the same so people walk out of venues ruining the atmosphere when the next session starts. The big problem we found was with the people in the next cabin smoking on the balcony making our balcony totally unusable. My wife is in remission from breast cancer and we did not want to jeopardise her recovery. We reported the matter on the first day to reception who said "we take this very seriously" but nothing was done. I spoke to the cabin steward who said she could also smell it but could not get in the room because they put the do not disturb sign on the door when they are smoking, but she would tell her deck manager. The smoking still continued on the second day and again I reported this at reception. This time I was told by the lady that ther is nothing they could do unless they actually saw them smoking. (I can only presume that P&O staff are now trained to absail down the side of the ship to witness elicit smoking). As you may imagine I left reception realising that they do not take the matter seriously. On day three the smoking was still going on and again I reported the matter at reception, this time I explained that if nothing was done I would expect a significant refund for being unable to use the balcony. The gentleman said he would report the matter to the deck manager; again nothing happened. On day 4 I began to realise that there was more going on than just smoking, because there seemed to be a constant stream of young men knocking on the door; I will leave you to make up your own mind what was going on. By chance I noticed a three ring officer on deck and I reported the whole matter to him, a short while later the deck manager came to see me and said she had spoken to the people next door and told them to stop smoking on the balcony because the people next door had complained. This put us in a very precarious situation as we did not know how they would react towards us. The smoking continued for the rest of the cruise but we had now got to the point of giving up as staff do not seem to be bothered to take the matter seriously. On another somewhat linked matter I was speaking with a school boy who was with an acquaintance I had met on the ship and the lad told me he had been smoking cannabis on deck with his friends, I did witness this going on but felt with the reaction of the other matter I would be wasting my time reporting it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We choose this cruise mainly because we only had a small window of time which we could take a cruise, The ports were places we had not been to so they appealed to us. Embarkation was extremely smooth and our cabin was good. The cabin ... Read More
We choose this cruise mainly because we only had a small window of time which we could take a cruise, The ports were places we had not been to so they appealed to us. Embarkation was extremely smooth and our cabin was good. The cabin steward was most helpful and could not fault him in anyway. The rest of the staff, dining room, reception,and other services on the ship were just plain rude. There is no atmosphere on the ship at all. we have been on a number of cruises with different lines and this was the worst . The food in the dining room and at the buffet was just average and most of the time it was just warm. Just a small mention about the toast it was as hard as rocks and so thin that you could nearly see through it. One good point was the free washing machines and dries there was plenty of them on each floor and they were appreciated. Entertainment was good but there were a double up of the same artists Overall we were disappointed with the cruise and having brought two friends with us that had not cruised before it was a let down Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Our second cruise on this ship since November 2016, this time with elderly and wheelchair using relatives. Initial embarkation and final disembarkation could not have been easier or smoother. Absolutely brilliant checkin, checkout and ... Read More
Our second cruise on this ship since November 2016, this time with elderly and wheelchair using relatives. Initial embarkation and final disembarkation could not have been easier or smoother. Absolutely brilliant checkin, checkout and security staff at Southampton. The ship overall had a completely different feel to it compared to the November trip on a similar sort of route - not surprisingly. The holiday camp feel of the summer holiday crowd was all pervasive and the entertainment, whilst complete torture to me, was clearly enjoyed by many. Other reviewers have mentioned visible wear and tear on the ship - we didn't see much sign, but then again we saw numerous ongoing maintenance eg. new carpet sections being glued in place which explained the odd bubble gum smell in some of the stairwells. The enrichment activities included a speaker whose talk was entitled: "Serial Killers" plus an added "bonus talk" about the Yorkshire Ripper. Wasn't expecting that! We had 2 cabins for 4 of us - an accessible, balcony cabin - excellent, spacious and well designed for the wheelchair user. Ours was a nearby inside cabin - enough space given it was the cheapest type of accommodation and it served its purpose. But the loud creaking noises apparent during the crossing of the Bay of Biscay were disturbing on many levels, especially since reading a previous review where a crack appeared in the structure of this ship during a storm. The weather was fine throughout our trip and yet the roll and sway of this mega-sized ship at times kept one of our group in bed. I got some time lapse video of the swimming pools sloshing all over the place! With Freedom Dining the waiting time for a table for four was sometimes about an hour and that meant wasting loads of time during the rest of those evenings with the resulting logistical show-starting-time dilemmas. Everything took so much longer, and needed more planning, with a wheelchair user. We imagined, wrongly, that Freedom Dining would provide greater flexibility for us. It actually tied us into eating much earlier than we wanted. The food quality and choice in Freedom Dining had reduced since my last trip I guess because there were so many empty tables in the select dining restaurants that incentives are needed. Eating fish and chips whilst being required to wear black tie was faintly ridiculous. The one night with decent quality food was when the celebrity chef came aboard and created a signature set of dishes of the same quality that I had experienced previously. The self service buffets were fine and staff were really helpful with assisting our wheelchair user access the food. Finding a seat was sometimes something of a scrummage and not easy with a wheelchair. Our group didn't receive an individual safety briefing at the start of the cruise (which we expected because of the wheelchair user who is totally unable to walk). In preparation for the emergency drill we were told to take the lift to deck 7 rather than attempt to simulate a real evac. In the event of a real emergency I do not actually know what we would have done. Disembarkation during the stop at Guernsey was incompetently managed. Due to wind/choppy conditions the tender service could not operate during the morning of arrival and all morning excursions were cancelled. But when the weather improved at lunchtime, the crew announced the tenders were running. However, they failed to manage the queuing system as over 1,500 passengers wanted to get off the ship all at once. A queue zig zagged chaotically around the atrium and whole central section of the ship and the crew disappeared rather than attempt to manage the aggressive outbursts which occurred. It was a vile experience. It took 2 hours to get off and a further hour to queue to get back on leaving 2 hours in St Peter Port. Contrast this experience with final disembarkation which was superbly handled and phased to perfection. Ship WiFi at £12 per 24 hours for the medium package was not good value. I measured download speeds of between 0.16 and 0.40 Mbps. With free mobile data packages now available on many UK mobile phone tariffs I waited till port to catch up with home. Ports were good: Vigo - did an accessible P&O excursion to Baiona - well organised and very talkative and informative guide. Lisbon - accessible transfer vehicle to the centre only takes one carer per wheelchair user - so the group was split. We walked back to the ship rather than use the shuttle. Oporto - there was no accessible shuttle transfer to the town so we got one to the port gates and walked along the huge beach. St Peter Port - garden tour of Guernsey was cancelled sadly. On balance won't be going with P&O again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because it started and finished in Southampton, and because it went to Portugal, and because it was well reviewed. Food on the cruise was very good, although we would have liked more local dishes (Spanish, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it started and finished in Southampton, and because it went to Portugal, and because it was well reviewed. Food on the cruise was very good, although we would have liked more local dishes (Spanish, Portuguese) to have been included on the menus. We were very happy with the freedom dining, and would definitely choose this again. Of the bars, we liked the Glass House best (we bought a bit of food there too, which was excellent). We were slightly disappointed with the entertainment, with the exception of an outstanding 50s/60s band, the Bluejays. Vigo and St Peter Port were nice enough, but we wouldn't rush back there. Lisbon and Porto were GREAT! We booked our own tours in Lisbon and Porto. For Lisbon, we booked the “Pirates of the Cruise Ships” tour from We Hate Tourism, where they pick you up and drop you off at the cruise terminal. What a great decision that was! We saw lots of different aspects of Lisbon and its surrounding towns and scenery, as well as having a great lunch with plenty of wine. And all the time we were engaged in lively conversation with our guide – not just the standard tour guide lecture, but getting real insight into Lisbon life and Portugal as a whole. A really excellent day. Back on the ship, everyone we told about our day was impressed and envious. For Porto, we booked the Downtown Food Tour from Taste Porto. Food tours can be a great way to see a city and understand its influences, its culture and its pride. We’ve done food tours in several cities before, but this was the best yet. It includes a generous selection of varied and interesting food and drink, and gave us a real sense of the passion behind great Portuguese food. The old market was particularly special and memorable – full of long-established family shops with obvious pride in the quality of their products. Our guide was excellent. We were delighted with our choice of how to spend the day, and we definitely want to go back to Porto for longer. Embarkation and disembarkation were both very slick. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
When I opened the door to cabin R 751 on the 14th floor Riviera deck, my heart jumped with joy.Why was this cabin still available when I booked the cruise just a few days before departure,I asked myself.What can be wrong with it?The ... Read More
When I opened the door to cabin R 751 on the 14th floor Riviera deck, my heart jumped with joy.Why was this cabin still available when I booked the cruise just a few days before departure,I asked myself.What can be wrong with it?The balcony in the very corner of the starboard side with the whole of the ship spread ahead,utter perfection.Now, I always book a cabin with a balcony,whether I travel alone or with a friend, as I love sunbathing in the nude.Seeing quite a substantial overhang I knew the sun would not be on the balcony much,but nothing could spoil my delight.Knowing I would be able to "freedom dine" and get a little table to myself every evening,the cabin was the cherry on the proverbial cake.And what a cake, what a cherry.Mary,a trainee room attendant,did her best to make me happy,but as long as I have a comfortable bed [and it was] ,cleanliness around me [and there was],the food is well prepared and nicely presented [ and neither the cooks nor the waiters disappoint],I am happy.True, the ship is in need of refurbishment, the towels are threadbare, often stained,as is the carpet throughout,but nothing could spoil the overwhelming sense of contentment.Sitting in the evenings with my chromebook near atrium ,listening to music,drinking non-alcoholic coctails was wonderful.I chose the cruise because I wanted to see the lovely Oporto again and the always enjoyable Lisbon,with Guernsey thrown i for good measure,feeling disappointed our first stop was Vigo.But this time in Vigo I stayed near the port and walked in the shopping centre.There I discovered the best little pastry shop I have ever been to on a cruise - it is by the elevator going up to the first floor.The pastries there are divine.Vigo, I take back everything unbecoming I have said about you in the past!Yes, I had a lovely,lovely time on Ventura. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our second P&O cruise having previously sailed on Oceana. We have also sailed with Thomson and Celebrity. Embarkation was well organized: we had been allocated a time of 3pm but arrived two hours earlier as the traffic was ... Read More
This was our second P&O cruise having previously sailed on Oceana. We have also sailed with Thomson and Celebrity. Embarkation was well organized: we had been allocated a time of 3pm but arrived two hours earlier as the traffic was light. We were given a card and we settled down expecting a long wait. However, 30 minutes later we had boarded and were in our cabin. First impressions were mixed. The cabin is a reasonable size (we had C314, a balcony cabin on the port side, floor 10) but the so-called bathroom was a disappointment. It has a total area that is about the size of a phone box and this includes the shower, which had a rather dirty plastic shower curtain. Interestingly, this was replaced on the day we were disembarking! The room needs refurbishing; the carpet looked dirty and the whole room just looked run down. There is plenty of hanging space for clothes but apart from the bedside tables, no drawers. The balcony was a good size though, roughly 2.5 by 3.0 meters I would guess. We were freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant and I have to say that the food was as good as any I have had on a cruise. It perhaps lacked the finesse of Celebrity and endless green beans got a little repetitive but overall the food was very good. The buffet was awful as they usually are in my experience, just a fight every day to find a table at breakfast, which was the only meal we ate in there. We didn’t try any of the specialty restaurants, as the food was more than satisfactory in Cinnamon. This was in spite of constantly being given the hard sell everyday by the staff. The entertainment was excellent. The Headliners theatre group was superb, as were the Ventura entertainment team. However, it was a bit like a holiday camp up on the pool decks were you are bombarded by constant noise. Talking of the pools, we didn’t venture in, as they were full of children, including the so-called adult only pool. Also, children were constantly occupying the Jacuzzis, in spite of notices prominently displayed saying that under 16s were no allowed. This was the only time children were, for us, a problem. Apparently there were 740 children on board but they all seemed well behaved and there were no problems as far as I know. As for the rest of the ship, well, it is in need of a full refurbishment. The public areas are decidedly tacky and mostly very dark. It could be a lovely ship and probably was many years ago but it looks and feels very dated now. The itinerary was what we had signed up for so no real complaints. This was Madeira, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Vigo and back to Southampton. My only grouch was that it took 3 long days to get to Madeira, an extra port could have been included to break this up. We heard a lot of people complaining about this. Many, many people removed or reduced their gratuities. We spoke to a lot of people over the 12 days and apart from one couple, everyone else had asked for gratuities to be removed. My only comment would be that within 2 hours of embarkation, I had been charged the full £144 in advance for service I had yet to receive. Service throughout the ship was on the whole efficient and cheerful although we did encounter some surly attitudes from some staff members but they were the minority. Finally, disembarkation was very well organized and we were able to leave the ship without a long wait or encountering any hassle. So all in all, an enjoyable cruise with some reservations regarding the décor and general state of the ship. I will cruise with P&O again, but not necessarily on Ventura. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
we chose this cruise because we thought it would make a great change to sail to the Canary Islands instead of the med, our usual destination. We chose to sail with P & O having sailed on Britannia last year and absolutely loving her. ... Read More
we chose this cruise because we thought it would make a great change to sail to the Canary Islands instead of the med, our usual destination. We chose to sail with P & O having sailed on Britannia last year and absolutely loving her. Last year we holidayed with our daughter and grandson but this year we travelled as a couple. Because I have quite severe walking/disability issues we need to be near middle of ship for ease of getting about. Embarkation was quite smooth. Just as well because we had travelled down to Southampton, by coach from Co Durham which was an uncomfortable and tiring experience this year. Once at Southampton I had assisted boarding which is a lifesaver and I take my hat off to the people who provide this amazing service. Once we arrived in our cabin we immediately looked at each other with real disappointment, We had a superior deluxe cabin, but compared to same cabin on Britannia it looked so very shabby. Yes the balcony is bigger than the same one on Britannia but Ventura cabin looks in need of a refit and a good scrub. Bathroom is a good size but looks as though everything needs replacing. Really everything in our cabin needed to be spruced up, replaced or repaired. Sadly, this was the same right throughout ship. The worst aspect of the cruise, however, was the food we had freedom dining and ate mainly in the formal dining room, whilst, we only twice had to wait for a table with the famous 'buzzer', once seated we quickly found the food to be a huge disappointment. Quality of the food was very poor apart from breakfast which was very good. However, all of the staff on Ventura were all amazing, helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. We enjoyed the entertainment though, and thought prices of drinks were very reasonable. In conclusion the ship desperately needs a refit but can be very proud of staff. Would like to mention Edwin in Glasshouse who is a gem, smile to light up any room, and who served us with the best meal we had on Ventura which sadly we had to pay extra for because of it being a speciality restaurant Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
10-23rd July 2017 Madiera Canaries Lisbon round trip Southampton Ship was looking good I thought if slightly tired bit in no way was that an issue. Good cruise it has been 5 years since I was last on P&O and I thought that certain ... Read More
10-23rd July 2017 Madiera Canaries Lisbon round trip Southampton Ship was looking good I thought if slightly tired bit in no way was that an issue. Good cruise it has been 5 years since I was last on P&O and I thought that certain things had improved, such as three always available menu items including a Steak. Our travelling companions thought that the desserts had reduced in number since last year, but Im not a dessert person anyway. Sindhu absolutely fantastic food and service, they ask you if you want it hotter than the 'norm' we just had standard spiced and it was fine and tasty, wanted to go back but ran out of time! The ship I thought was better than the Emerald Princess last year, it was helped by the lack of riotous 8-14 year old though this year as they hadnt finished school yet!, except for a few Scots who were well behaved! Hahahahaha. Would go again! The ports of call not too spectacular but what is there to see on volcanic islands, enjoyed Maderia and Lisbon particularly when we did our own thing. Entertainment Ships dance and singing troupe (Headliners) put in loads and loads of effort, and in general kept me entertained. Visiting artists well patchy to say the least, Peter Piper not really funny after the first joke, didnt bother with his second show. The Bourbon Street Boys, didnt realise that it was a comedy act until the third song,total rubbish, many people left during the show. Didnt bother for the second night.Rietta Austin, average singer. Again didnt bother with the second show. Now the highlight, save the best until last! Gareth Oliver was fantastic, saw both shows and this guy is funny loved the way even he slagged off the Bourbon Street Boys, although perhaps his joke about getting your feet wet with Costa was a little insensitive. He lost to Susan Boyle on Britains got Talent you know! Remembered Charlie the monkey Im only 4 years old !!!, even though I know that he is a least 20! Need more acts like Gareth, I guess though that at 72 cruises in a year he must be good. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I've cruised many times before as a solo passenger so had a pretty good idea as to what to expect - but what a disappointment! Embarkation was straightforward and easy, although I had to pretty much beg a porter to take my suitcase! ... Read More
I've cruised many times before as a solo passenger so had a pretty good idea as to what to expect - but what a disappointment! Embarkation was straightforward and easy, although I had to pretty much beg a porter to take my suitcase! On board the cabin was absolutely fine (Balcony cabin on A deck mid-ship), and yes the ship is looking tired in areas, but on the whole no complaints there. I'm sad to say it was the very poor attitude of the staff which really let this cruise down. It started with breakfast at the buffet on the first morning, a handful of passengers, me included, were waiting for cups to be brought out to the drinks station when we were approached by the head manager, he asked a lady what she was doing and she just said that we were waiting for more cups, not complaining just stating the fact. He got very irate and told her to go to the other drinks stations to get a cup, when she said that her table was close to this one he was incredibly rude and told her to just to walk to another station and that "it wasn't difficult!" and then he walked off. We were all speechless, I've never heard anyone be spoken to like that on a cruise. No one was complaining, we were all quietly waiting and bearing in mind this was the first morning and we were still trying to get to grips with the layout of the ship. Later that day I had to go to the Reception desk as the tv in my room was still showing the names of the previous passengers and so I was blocked from certain things as it still had their settings. When I asked a lady at Reception about this she bit my head off stating that they knew that they had an issue and were trying to sort it out! I understand that she may have been asked that question a few times that day but there was no need to be so rude about it. They could have had a notice up on the reception desk or made an announcement if they didn't want to be constantly asked the question. Unfortunately I had to make a further trip to Reception a day later, same woman, same appalling attitude! The waiting/bar staff did not smile, there was no friendly greeting, I felt like it was an imposition on them by my being there, they genuinely seemed to hate having to be there. The only person who was actually friendly was my cabin steward, however when I passed other stewards they all ignored me or just grunted a response to my greeting. The ports of call and the excursions which I went on were fine, no issues there. Getting on and off the ship in port was very straightforward. Entertainment - hit and miss really. I saw some of the shows in the Arena by the ships' entertainers and they were very good. There was an extraordinarily good young male singer (I can't remember his name but he disembarked at Lisbon), and 3 comics - two of which made me laugh, but the third one (who played in the Arena Theatre), well I thought that we have gone back to the 70s and 80s, his jokes were sexist and xenophobic, I cringed the whole way through and would have left early if I hadn't been in the centre of a row. My experience was so poor that I seriously considered disembarking in Lanzarote and spending the last 5 days of my holiday there - in hindsight I really wish that I had. Needless to say I will never sail with P&O again. Read Less
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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