1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Ventura Review
  5. Ventura Cruise Reviews

101 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews

Give Ventura another try as this was only cruise from Southampton for Oct school holidays. This time not impressed with Ventura. Check in was quite slow Once on board we went to buffet, very poor selection available. Went to ... Read More
Give Ventura another try as this was only cruise from Southampton for Oct school holidays. This time not impressed with Ventura. Check in was quite slow Once on board we went to buffet, very poor selection available. Went to cabin which appeared to be ok visited buffet a few times, first occasion there was no cutlery available, once i can let go, twice and someone needs to say something, but this happened either no cutlery or no plates or no cups for tea and coffee 10 times which is inexcusable and shows standards are slipping. The Buffet itself is very poor, very little choice, poor layout, people going through exits and going wrong way causing problems. no-one to police this when entering buffet, first items you come across are the rolls and butter cut up into little blocks - put these little blocks onto your plate and in 30 seconds you have a big pool of melted butter on you plate. (will not put butter on tray as it could be dirty) Entertainment quite poor- we had 2 comedians. One was called Tucker, who came on with a song then spent the next 10 minutes talking to the late arrivals (in a 45 minute shoe this is not good) the second was Jack Ryan telling old jokes and basically dying on his feet. The Flyrights and Serious sounds were brilliant. Thank god for the Theatre showing some films. Quite a few quizzes and the Bingo - The Bingo is a major rip off, very high ticket prices £15 for a 6 strip book of 5 games £12 for a 3 strip book of 5 games Many people were paying the 6 strip approx 60-70 but the prizes only totalled £250 for all games (serious profit taking) Hardly saw anyone in the shops. On this cruise we has a man overboard and a few hours later we has to return to port for a medical evacuation. We missed a port of call to Cherborg due to high winds instead staying in the sea near devon seriously swaying all over the place for about 15 hours. Disembarking was a joke but not a bad a trying to get out of CPS car park (took over an hour) Clearly staff numbers have been cut which caused some of the problems will not be going on Ventura Again as not a lot to do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a last minute cruise booking because we had to cancel our earlier booking on Azura due to having to care for my mum. We have been cruising now for 4 years, my wife loves it. This is the third cruise with P 0 Cruises and second ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise booking because we had to cancel our earlier booking on Azura due to having to care for my mum. We have been cruising now for 4 years, my wife loves it. This is the third cruise with P 0 Cruises and second on Ventura. I have to say despite this bad review the staff and crew were always courteous and polite - could not fault that. Our issue started when we arrived at the docks - P O decided without forewarning any of its customers that no porters were available and you had to find trolleys and move the cases a couple of hundred yards and queue to drop off your cases. There were two places we finally got in the queue near the front, when we told them our cabin they told us we were in the wrong queue and ended up at the back of the midships queue no board or information stating which queue to be in. Our view, several customers who were older age struggled to load and push the trolleys, this was not the only time and many people were affected. Not a good experience when you have just driven for 4 hours to have to lug two trolleys as my wife couldn’t manage it. We get up to terminal and are given a card with a letter to wait (not like Royal Caribbean we got straight on board and far more efficient) we waited for over 2 hours, finally got on board. My wife wanted to go to Barcelona, the sail date was 6 October later than usual but that was my wife’s interest to see the famous church Sagrada Familia as we missed it last time. To be honest we did not look too much at the rest of the itinerary until we were on board but noticed that PO cruises had cut out a stop - instead of 7 ports we only had 6 - this was later confirmed on their 2020 bookings where cost cutting reducing a port seemed to be prevalent across even 19 day sailings. On our last cruise with Royal Caribbean we got a drinks package, we are not big drinkers but enjoy the occasional spirit or wine so we enquired about the drinks package we were shocked at the exorbitant prices £39.95 per day and my wife would have to have one too as we could not share it. So just under £80 per day for 14 days - you do the maths and is you do not use it up each day you loose the balance. So going offshore for the day could cost you £79.90 if you do not have a drink on board. Absolutely ridiculous and a ludicrous package. Next in the cabin we see cards about the footprint for the environment - yet PO decided to cancel the cabin tv log of your onboard spend and had to request a print out instead to see a statement - so much for being environmentally concerned. Over the course of the 14 days we became bored with the old fashioned, staid entertainment and activities and all the health and well-being talks ended up with a sell on expensive so called remedies. We got caught with this on our first cruise not again. The headliners singers were awful screechy female lead and the male lead was just as bad. The only decent act was comedian John Evans. There was nothing innovative nothing new - same old boring stuff. It is disappointing that no real effort had been made to change anything. How many people buy paintings on board none from any of the passengers we spoke to - why not put that enormous space to better use. Disembarkation - the biggest gripe by many, we wanted to get off early due to our long drive home, so we asked for 8-8.30, we were given 8-30.8.45 am. We arrived early around 7.30 as we had to vacate the cabin before 8 am. If we wanted to go earlier we had to carry all our cases down ourselves and we were booked with CPS which was some considerable distance from our car. We sat down on the Starboard side with many other early passengers. At around 8 am the so called manger responsible for our disembarkation arrived and started herding passengers to the port side, unbeknown to all the early birds, disembarkation was to be in sections port side first so all those who arrived after 8:30 am got off first. Not only that young and older passengers with prawns and wheelchairs had were given no consideration at all. It is not rocket science to organise the disembarkation more efficiently and give some credit to this passengers who ensured they were there on times during people with prams and disabled go off first. Get you act together PO. We planned to book the Greek islands next year with PO as that was the one we cancelled but PO are not running it next year in September and the one one in October only has 7 stops in the 19 day cruise. Overall there were many other niggles PO had cut over 500 crew on the cruise, and many times we had to wait for stragglers arriving back late after a day in port, there is no excuse for this yet PO do nothing to penalise these people. Overall we enjoyed the break but this cruise was lacklustre from all sides and we were very disappointed in this old fashioned boring cruise. We have decided to try other cruise lines who have been recommended as we were not the only ones who felt the same as us and we are pretty laid back but this time we had had enough. If you want to chill out and not drink, not participate in any of the activities then this is the cruise for you otherwise go elsewhere - we will not go again with PO until they improve. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have been with NCl and Royal Carribean before. This itinerary worked for us and just trying something new. So Disappointing.The positives first. Embarkation was easy and well organised. Cabin L224 inside was fine. Staff were ... Read More
We have been with NCl and Royal Carribean before. This itinerary worked for us and just trying something new. So Disappointing.The positives first. Embarkation was easy and well organised. Cabin L224 inside was fine. Staff were very nice. Nightly entertainment was good . Plenty of outside space and sunbeds. Food was seriously poor. The mdr was terrible and the 4 times we were at it always someone at the table sent it back.(this is people who i do not know) The buffet food tasted fine but the selection was poor.You had a choice of tea coffee or water to drink except in the morning where there was orange and apple juice. Bars were totally under staffed. There was times i had thought they were brewing the beer. The staff new this and asked for this to be put into the survey. You had to go to deck 15 for a tea or a coffee or deck 5 and buy it at costa. No atmosphere on this boat at all.This may not be the cruise lines fault but the live music at the pool was good but for sleeping to. Ballroom dancing or knitting day time activities. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise for convenience of date to fit in with our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations, As such we booked the Strathaird Suite C751 Boarding and welcome buffet absolutely first class plus. Our suitcase was waiting at ... Read More
Chose this cruise for convenience of date to fit in with our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations, As such we booked the Strathaird Suite C751 Boarding and welcome buffet absolutely first class plus. Our suitcase was waiting at the cabin door as expected. We entered the suite, first impression , dull drab and old looking furnishings looking very tired!! Gosh what have we done? Nearly £5K spent already just to get this far!! In due course the Butler arrived to explain what he could do for us but really was a passed master at explaining what he did not do.Frankly no need for this individual at all not even for the delivery of the stale canapes each evening The wash hand basin in the unheated bathroom was cracked, the sofa bed in the lounge area was so flat and uncomfortable the bottom on one side was falling away. Servicing by the cabin stewardess left a lot to be desired One excellent Perk of the suite is the invitation to breakfast every day in the White Room at the Epicurian fabulous service. Our special dinner there was exceptional. All in all a very disappointing cruise, the ship only actually sailed in and through the fjords at night and was either in port or at sea during the day Definitely NOT value for the money on this occasion Our dining experience in the Bay Tree restaurant was the food dull and uninspiring with 50% of the menu repeated every night Entertainment was quite good with Comedy from Tucker on two great nights and Magic from the Astonishing show Overall onboard was just ok but we have already cancelled our Christmas cruise on Ventura and booked on another P&O ship We found the public rooms a little too cool and the Costa area needing a good clean, eg The back of the chairs had coffee spillages on them and needed wiping and cleaning Service was just ok but we have seen better Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was the second time that we’d cruised on this ship. Standards have certainly dropped. Firstly the good points. Embarkation at Southampton was excellent and totally stress free. The cabin was ready as soon as we walked onboard and ... Read More
This was the second time that we’d cruised on this ship. Standards have certainly dropped. Firstly the good points. Embarkation at Southampton was excellent and totally stress free. The cabin was ready as soon as we walked onboard and our room was very good. The ship has recently been upgraded and is very nice.Our cabin attendant was also very good throughout our holiday. Entertainment was also generally good. The bad points. The food was very poor in the main dining rooms and buffet areas. With the choice in the Waterside very limited. The payable restaurants were much better. The catering staff didn’t have any interest in the passengers and appeared sullen and unhelpful. I wonder if this is anything to do with the discontinuance of gratuities . I think that P&O need to ‘up their game’ to keep up with Celebrity and others. The overall experience has certainly put us off another P&O cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have sailed on a dozen occasions with P&O including three previous cruises on Ventura. We previously enjoyed our cruises on Ventura several years ago and wanted to cruise on the ship again. We have been regular cruisers several ... Read More
We have sailed on a dozen occasions with P&O including three previous cruises on Ventura. We previously enjoyed our cruises on Ventura several years ago and wanted to cruise on the ship again. We have been regular cruisers several times each year for 15 years and aware of the standards of service to be expected and normally provided. We noticed a significant fall in standards in the dining room compared with our earlier Ventura cruises. Table clothes were often dirty and stained and not changed between diners. Butter dishes were left between consecutive diners with visible signs of part use and contamination. Cutlery was left on the tables between consecutive diners. On two occasions we asked for some items of cutlery to be replaced as these appeared to have already been used. On another occasion, the waiter openly removed a fork from my starter plate and replaced it on the table to be used for the next course. On day three, we arrived at “Amsterdam” - the port had been changed since our booking was made to somewhere an hours coach journey from Amsterdam. We were informed that Amsterdam had introduced a new passenger charge for the original port which P&O had decided not to pay. The result was an extra two hours of inconvenient coach travel for passengers to get to and from the destination. Far worse, was that when we finally reached the places we wished to visit, entrance tickets for the whole day had been sold out. We returned to the shuttle bus stop early afternoon to find a queue 203 passengers (I had time to count them) and no sign of coaches. When coaches finally began to arrive (after approaching an hour queuing) it was clear that no planning had gone in to managing loading passengers. The hour wait meant the queue now had 400 passengers in a queue. Many passengers had arrived during the wait who had disability challenges. Six empty coaches arrived together and staff concentrated on first loading those with disabilities on all six coaches before loading passengers from the queue on to any of the coaches. This was completely illogical given that once wheelchair users had boarded the first coach other passengers could have boarded and the coach made its way and so on. We waited an hour and 44 minutes in the queue before leaving on the coach. Having to stand (unnecessarily) for such a period led to my knee being injured and I’m certain caused harm to others. We had been looking forward to the cruise itinerary of “two days overnight” stay in Amsterdam” but the next day my wife had to obtain a wheelchair for me as I could not walk and, like many others would not have wished to repeat the shuttle debacle of the previous day. I complained about the shuttle arrangements at the excursions desk. I was told that this was a new arrangement and it was being trialled by them to see if it worked! No apology was offered by P&O staff to the many customers unknowingly submitted to this disastrous experiment. After three days of using a wheelchair ( I’ve never previously had mobility difficulties), my wife explained to the excursions desk that we could not do the excursion we had booked. The staff member informed us there would not be a refund unless I obtained a certificate from the ships doctor (at an equivalent cost of the tour we had booked)! We paid an additional charge to use the Oasis quiet area and steam rooms to relax. Steam rooms were out of order (being painted). Infusers in the relaxation area were not topped up and working and... the disabled toilet facilities had visible faeces present for two days! The Oasis quiet area did not have its no mobile phones rule enforced by staff who stood by whilst an element shouted at their phones using Skype. The theatre entertainment and other performers also held little to write home about and were considerably poorer quality than the high standards we’ve seen before on P&O. Our many previous cruises with P&O spread over five of their ships have been enjoyable but this one was simply awful. Customer service, cleanliness and standards are extremely low on Ventura and I would not recommend this ship which fails miserably to live up to the standards which are expected of P&O . We have booked a suite on Iona in 2020 with roughly the same itinerary which hopefully, will restore our faith in P&O. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are veterans of twenty cruises and this was our first time with P&O, we chose a seven night trip to the Norwegian Fjords leaving from Southampton. Parking was superb, boarding efficient our bags were outside our cabin by the ... Read More
We are veterans of twenty cruises and this was our first time with P&O, we chose a seven night trip to the Norwegian Fjords leaving from Southampton. Parking was superb, boarding efficient our bags were outside our cabin by the time we got there, room attendant excellent and beyond reproach. The ship itself was just dull, no wow factors at all everything Brown and beige. The shops were likewise dull with low end products nothing exciting on show. Food in the main dining room just not good same menu every day with a couple of changes not well presented and everything was just bland. The waiters were indifferent to rude, never introduced themselves just took orders and slapped the food in front of you. The buffet option was so small and cramped to be a joke the food simply dreadful. The late night snack options a joke. Entertainment was a mixed bag, one funny comedian one that should have been sent home. A couple of good tribute bands and an excellent rock headliner show. Day time offerings poor. Drink prices very attractive compared with RCL and Celebrity around £5 to £6 for a cocktail. Staff generally just not helpful or up to the standard we have learned to expect. We heard to of them chatting about passengers and laughing at them, to my mind totally unacceptable. Our first and last trip with P&O Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Not impressed with the food. Had breakfast in the main restaurant. Bacon was very fatty. toast was cold, and hard. Also not very much choice of daily dinner choices in the main restaurant. Four items were always on the menu. Had eggs ... Read More
Not impressed with the food. Had breakfast in the main restaurant. Bacon was very fatty. toast was cold, and hard. Also not very much choice of daily dinner choices in the main restaurant. Four items were always on the menu. Had eggs benedict one morning in the buffet restaurant, the muffin was very hard and dry. Had to pay extra in The Beach House for our evening meal to get food that you usually get on a cruise ship. Attitude of some of the staff where not what you normally get a on a cruise. Bit rude, and not very helpful. Not very much going on at the day at sea. Was looking forward to hear one of the guest speakers. Which we have experienced on previous P & O cruises. That did not happen. The entertainment was very good. We were very disappointed. Will not be cruising with P & O again Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Family getaway over the Easter hols. Boarding was OK and smooth. Cabin was ok (inside twin with 2 bunks) but too small for four people. Service for food and drink was painfully slow, no fault of the staff, just not enough of them ... Read More
Family getaway over the Easter hols. Boarding was OK and smooth. Cabin was ok (inside twin with 2 bunks) but too small for four people. Service for food and drink was painfully slow, no fault of the staff, just not enough of them for the amount of passengers, of which there were far too many; one couldn't move in any of the swimming pools! We ate in the buffett restaurant, Saffron and cinnamon restaurants and the poolside grill. All food was OK but nothing really stood out, not even on the formal nights; A cheese board consists of 2 tiny bits of cheese and a couple of jacobs crackers! The ship is generally clean and tidy and in a good state of repair. P&O are the Ryannair of the ocean...EVERYTHING is extra! P&O need to stop being so greedy and bring the luxury back to cruising or they wont be around for much longer. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Had good responses from people using P & O. Having had Cruises with Royal Caribbean & Cunard, we thought we would see how they compared. Firstly, the boarding chaos was never explained by any P & O official. (It took over ... Read More
Had good responses from people using P & O. Having had Cruises with Royal Caribbean & Cunard, we thought we would see how they compared. Firstly, the boarding chaos was never explained by any P & O official. (It took over one hour & 30 mins TO check in). You were left in your car outside the dock for 45 mins WITH NO EXPLANATION before being herded into a chaotic receiving hall where we were given Numbers & told to take a seat (There were none) until your number was called. Cabin & Steward was excellent, & kept spotless during the voyage. Dining was very good in the Saffron Restaurant & waiters were brilliant. We also used the Self-service dining areas which were pleasant & fairly spacious & well staffed; However, the buffet area was quite small & crowded. There are activities but they are fairly low key & mostly appealing to children. One activity in the main Atrium was a display of how to make a Bed in under 2. 30 secs?! This actual drew a sizeable crowd, I think primarily because of disbelief that this could be a judged an 'activity.' People on holiday actually took part! The trips/excursions were a shambles. Oporto was called off because of rough seas, with the Captain sounding less than sympathetic! Spending an extra day in Lisbon. Then two full days at sea?! Until Our visit to Guernsey!! Where to begin... 21/2 hours queue to get a ticket to get into the 'Actual' queue for the Tender. 3hrs.20 mins set foot on Guernsey! Then, a 3-hour queue to come back. You couldn't invent it! The Ventura left 2 Hours later than the original 'back to the boat' They have no concept of how to organize any large gathering & Officers are nowhere to be seen. Finally, 2 hours to disembark! I shall leave the tale of Two ships there. Good Cabins & Good food vs laughable organization skills. I leave you with final Bon-Mot. An Illusionist was booked for the Area theater but couldn't be found? Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Been on Ventura 5 times previously, always felt it was really good value but not this time. It was a 12 night cruise but in actual fact it was more like a 10 night cruise stretched out to 12 nights. The food has gone downhill badly. The ... Read More
Been on Ventura 5 times previously, always felt it was really good value but not this time. It was a 12 night cruise but in actual fact it was more like a 10 night cruise stretched out to 12 nights. The food has gone downhill badly. The first meal we ever had on a cruise was on Ventura 10 years ago, it was so good we still remember it. This time sadly some meals were good but most were of a lesser quality than we have at home. One example was a Vongole that came with over cooked spaghetti - it was totally tasteless, the £3 Iceland version is considerably better, which is ridiculous. Another big disappointment was the timing of the shows - the tribute acts started before the main show in the theatre ended - we have never known this before and it was a real big issue that shouldn't have been. Some people were suggesting they are doing everything they can to keep people in bars spending money, I have to say it did feel a lot more "inwardly looking" than previous cruises. Nice little touches like little bowls of sweets in the cabins have also gone. The entertainment was generally good but the cruise director - Tom was hopeless. Every night he would introduce the acts with the same tired jokes, he didn't even bother waiting for people to laugh - always seemed in a hurry and like he had better things to do. As usual the cabin steward was spot on, sadly the waiters were a bit annoying. Every time a meal was left they were at great pains to explain how it wasn't their fault, on one occasion 4 separate waiters came over, it got rather embarrassing in the end and it wasn't their fault that the so called Chefs weren't on the ball. The final annoyance was upon disembarkation when the sky bridge broke and we were 2 1/2 hours late getting off the ship. In fairness that wasn't P+O's fault but having had a rather non relaxing holiday it was the final straw that broke the camel's back. Oh, another thing that was rather annoying - we were only in Gibraltar for about 5 hours - nowhere near long enough. Also it didn't affect us but the trip to Santiago De Compostela was slated by other passengers. P+O knew the cathedral was being renovated but still took 60 odd quid per person to visit it!! Come on, you just can't do that, it's immoral. Anyway, we won't be going with P+O again, it's just not good value any more, which is a shame. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itiniary and to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We could have not got it more wrong. The food was appaling , some of the staff were outright rude. There were big queues in the ports at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itiniary and to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We could have not got it more wrong. The food was appaling , some of the staff were outright rude. There were big queues in the ports at disembarkation and some of the fellow passengers had poor manners. I was pushed out of the way by a woman trying to get to a seat for the next talk in the theater as we were exiting following a previous talk. We felt totally unvalued as a customer and were only there to be exploited as much as possible. We spent over £8000 on this cruise (including onboard spend) and it was a waste of money - not good value at all. After 14 cruises with P&O we will not be cruising with them again.I am dissapointed to say this but standards have fallen to an unacceptable level for us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We try to get away from the UK winter weather and, having sailed twice before on the Oriana on similar itineraries, we like the US ports, and although not great fans of the Caribbean islands, at least they're warm. We find the P&O ... Read More
We try to get away from the UK winter weather and, having sailed twice before on the Oriana on similar itineraries, we like the US ports, and although not great fans of the Caribbean islands, at least they're warm. We find the P&O service, dining and entertainment entirely adequate and sometimes exceptional and had no qualms about booking Ventura as a cruise of this length was likely to be child free and full of retired couples like ourselves. Unfortunately however, there was discordant modern "party" piped music played continually at a significant volume in all bars, lounges and public areas of the ship including around both top pools - the only quiet area was our cabin - it was impossible to relax, read or chat quietly to fellow passengers. Why on earth do P&O think that passengers in their 70s & 80s would want "shouty party" music for teens/ twenties blasted in their ears 24/7? The westbound crossing was a bit "bumpy" with the ship frequently noticeably heeled over due to a cross wind acting on the huge superstructure, not a problem for us, but not ideal. We enjoyed most ports, even in the rain in New Orleans, but found Key West, St Lucia and St Martin very overcrowded - St Martin had 7 huge cruise ships in port - around 25,000 people! In summary, we won't be going on Ventura or to those overcrowded ports again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Booked this cruise as a way of seeing Bruges, fat chance! This was a weekend two night cruise with one port of call Zeebrugge from which we could visit Bruges. On the morning we were due to dock in Zeebrugge announcement was made saying ... Read More
Booked this cruise as a way of seeing Bruges, fat chance! This was a weekend two night cruise with one port of call Zeebrugge from which we could visit Bruges. On the morning we were due to dock in Zeebrugge announcement was made saying it was too windy to dock and we would spend the day at sea! The sea was not rough and there was no movement on the ship. The announcement was very low key in fact 2 hours later at 9.05am there were still a lot of people having breakfast who were still unaware we were not going to dock! I feel we were treated very badly, with very little communication about the situation. The entertainment on board was very average. There were long waits to get a table in the restaurants in the evening but I'm sure P&O are very happy with the extra revenue they made by having everyone onboard all day! We have cruised with P&O several times but certainly won't be booking with them any time soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
P+O have certainly dropped their standards no doubt in search of greater profits that come at the expense of their passengers. We have been on several P+O cruises before and was always reasonably satisfied but this one was bad from ... Read More
P+O have certainly dropped their standards no doubt in search of greater profits that come at the expense of their passengers. We have been on several P+O cruises before and was always reasonably satisfied but this one was bad from start to finish. We missed three ports out of the seven scheduled stops and had only half a day instead of a full day in Zante, I appreciate that the weather was bad but my complaint is that P+O didn't tell us untill onboard and at the very last minute, plus inspite of the very substanial and additional savings they must have made, offered only a glass of wine as compensation stating repeatedly that we had signed their terms and conditions and health and safety as excuses. When I say their standards have dropped I really do mean it, this was very expensive cruise by P+O standards and we were expecting a little bit more than usual but almost emediately we could see the changes and shortfalls. 1 Large flying/crawling insects all over the ship 2 Dirty and greasey tide marks around the pools 3 Slashed seating and stained dining chairs 4 No cushions on the outside wicker chairs or glass tops on wicker tables 5 Theadbare carpets in various areas 6 No proper wine waiter / waiter service at meal times was well below previous standards 7 Dirty smelly cigarette/ash bins in smoking areas 8 Room service now charged for Plus many more We have comlained to P+O has did many more of the passengers but apart from a standard acknowledgement we havent had any other reply. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I’m a well seasoned cruise traveller with over 25 completed to date ranging from Princess, RCI, Celebrity and P&O. I’ve never felt compelled to write a review until now. Having cruised similar with P&O, my partner and I, ... Read More
I’m a well seasoned cruise traveller with over 25 completed to date ranging from Princess, RCI, Celebrity and P&O. I’ve never felt compelled to write a review until now. Having cruised similar with P&O, my partner and I, along with two other friends booked a weekend cruise on Ventura to Guernsey over August Bank Holiday. We sailed on Ventura previously to Brugges, and as Platinum club members with Princess we know the layout of Ventura and Azura mirror their ships, so we were well aware of the ship and what lay ahead – or so we had thought. Firstly upon arrival at Southampton I have to say this was the worst I have experienced to date. Complete chaos. Guests were called in sequence order A-Z depending on what you are given when you arrive at the top of the stairs of the terminal. Waited for approximately 1.5hours to check in (1pm arrival). Terrible. Once onboard we were impressed with the ship layout and how bright and clean it appeared. We had an inside cabin, which was very clean, and enough room for two adults sharing. The bed was probably one of the most comfortable of all liners we have sailed on. The cleanliness is evident throughout from the bars to the pool area, and restaurants. However, in the evenings the majority of toilets throughout the ship smelt really badly – urine quite evident on the floors of several, and also quite a few blockages with no toilet attendant/cleaners in sight (few and far between). On the first evening in the MDR, we had a lovely table for 4. With no introductions or personal welcomes from the waiting staff, we were presented with the main menu - the waiter returned very promptly (in space of 5 minutes) to take the orders. I ordered a lamb shank for my main course and asked the waiter if it was possible to have some mash potato – to which he said he would ask the chef. No drinks, or wine on offer and within 5 minutes our starters arrived. My partner at this point asked was it possible to see a wine list as we felt it was more appropriate to take a drinks order before going full steam ahead and presenting us with our starters! It did feel like a conveyor belt, they wanted us “fed watered and out” with minimal interaction. The bread rolls were dire. Soft rolls, think tesco value on a small scale with zero choice, and put on the side plate with no second offerings. My lamb shank arrived and the waiter took off. I waited whilst my 3 companions tucked into their mains; I assumed the waiter was going to get my potato for the lamb. Again within 5 minutes he returned to clear the plates at which point I asked him did he get the mash as I hadn’t even started to my main yet. He was quick to inform me “no sir there is no mash”. I wasn't happy and I asked why hadn’t he told me this when he presented the plate to begin with. He said he was sorry he had just checked – this itself was a lie as I could see him directly in front of me fiddling with cutlery and the likes. If mash is offered in the buffet, and various other potatoes offered to top that, I didn't quite understand. I again repeated the question you’re telling me there is no mash available, to which he said “sorry no”. I then asked him to fetch me the Maitre’D. when he arrived I asked him if it was possible to have mash – his reply “anything is possible sir”. I told him I was informed mash wasn't available – he seemed surprised. I went on to explain I wasn't very happy at all nor were the others in my party. The lack of wanting to serve us, no drinks menu, orders etc”. I actually handed my main course, untouched, back as I was disappointed by the whole episode. I would like to add to this “Yes this might be a weekend cruise, but you should not treat all guests as first timers on a weekend break whom you assume will probably never return”. We were appalled by the lack of interaction and the lack of personal touch from the MDR waiting staff, their behaviour was definitely the lowest I’ve witnessed. It was quite the contrary in the buffet. Food in the buffet area was lovely, plenty of choice this is one area where the company excel. There were a few hen parties on board who were enjoying themselves Port of Call Guernsey: Tender required. What can I say…….. we docked at 8am – all guests required back on ship for 5pm. We had breakfast and went downstairs to the tender around 11am thinking it will be straight forward as we have tendering numerous times before at other locations worldwide. No - how wrong where we. We were told to join a queue for a ticket to join the tenders. The queue for this alone wrapped around the foyer area back to the art gallery – we waited in line for 1 hour and given tickets to tender. We were then moved into the restaurant, where we waited a further 1.5 hours. With 6 tenders operating, we felt this would have been quicker and should have been better managed. We spoke briefly to the lady (I use loosely as she was abrupt) this was taking forever, she replied by saying “no this is normal”. If this is normal for P&O I would be sacking the management in charge of this process. It was awful. We have experienced several tenders over the years with OTHER liners and never waited longer than 15 mins to disembark the ship, and that also involved a ticket and call by number! Perhaps the ship is too big for tendering to the port, but you've definitely got this so wrong P&O. Guernsey is beautiful, a lovely little place full of charm and very walkable. We had an afternoon tea and stroll, however we felt we should return to the ship around 3 (after just 1 hour on land) to avoid a possible mayhem like the disembarkation to tender earlier . Walking downhill towards the port and tendering area at 3pm, we could see a queue as long as anything with people waiting around. It took us 1 hour 10 mins to board and get back on ship. The whole experience is quite exhausting and not one I will repeat with P&O again. In conclusion, I feel P&O should use smaller ships for the weekend breaks and clearly advertise it involve tendering. Also, other cruise critic members do mention tendering by P&O at Guernsey being the worst experiences witnessed – trust me these people are not telling lies. I for one will NEVER return to P&O on a mini cruise again that involves tendering unless they drastically change their ways - not to mention their manner. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Was a on a 2 night Cruise from Southampton on P&O Ventura . Ship embark and debark procedures were smooth and polished. Once on board the ship the bars and public area lounges were nicely appointed bar staff was wonderful and ... Read More
Was a on a 2 night Cruise from Southampton on P&O Ventura . Ship embark and debark procedures were smooth and polished. Once on board the ship the bars and public area lounges were nicely appointed bar staff was wonderful and service was excellent . Our balcony cabin was lovely and had most everything we needed except enough regular ( with caffeine) coffee sachets for 2 people. there was only one. However the Dining Room experience was a far different matter , The late seating dinner at 2030 dining staff was unorganised and dinner was chaotic. We had a table to 7 and a vegetarian customer. The Dinner menu was not exciting and the fish that I had was overcooked and dry. The portion size was smaller than expected. I left the dinner not very amazed by the experience. But I did take into account it was only a 2 night cruise, so my expectations were not as high as if I had been on a 7 day cruise. In cabin Dining Breakfast ordering on Phone to kitchen at 7am We should have had an in room breakfast menu in our cabin, which we did not. We called to order in cabin breakfast and had to spend 20 min on phone speaking to 2 people. It seemed like they did not have a menu check list to fill in for our order and were struggling to know what was offered for Breakfast for in room dining. it was a very painful process to order breakfast on the phone. In the end we got our breakfast but no regular ( with caffeine coffee sachets) On the second dinner it only got worse. Our vegetarian was only given a choice between a Goats cheese appetiser and a Goats cheese main course dinner. Why did the chef only only offer goats cheese for a vegetarian? When we asked for something else they brought a plate of penne pasta with canned tinned tomatoes on top, a children's dinner , which were sent back to kitchen. This was unacceptable. Then only later did the waiter bring a Curry cauliflower and lentils, which made up for the insult of the children's pasta dinner. Please make accommodation for vegetarian guests and have your dining staff more organised to make the evening More seamless. Bar staff was excellent Embark Debark and security staff excellent Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We are regular P&O cruisers and had a party of 12 for a much and long awaited cruise with family. Embarkation was great and we were excited about the widely reported refurbishment - couldn't find anything different I have to say!! ... Read More
We are regular P&O cruisers and had a party of 12 for a much and long awaited cruise with family. Embarkation was great and we were excited about the widely reported refurbishment - couldn't find anything different I have to say!! Started to unpack and found a used sanitary towel in a bed side drawer - that was awful !!!!!!!. The toilet smelt strongly of urine and so did our daughters cabin on another floor - so this wasnt an isolated issue. The showers overflowed every time we used it and the dreaded awful shower curtains remained - the plastic panelling was also cracked in the shower which cant be hygienic. The cabin steward wasnt friendly nor did he clean the bathroom well each day. The toilet often didnt flush and we difinately hadnt put anything down them we shouldn't. The entertainment was awful at times - a duo - the girl just cant sing - heard better buskers - she was totally disinterested and its an insult to field such poor acts. Pulse was also poor - lead singer. Comedian was poor and we saw the same shows as we have done in the past 2 years - so we missed a few this cruise as we have seen them several times before. The Astonishing Show was great - very professional. Serious sounds were fanbtastic as they have been for the last 2 years - didnt tire of hearing the same act for the 3rd year running !! Entertainment Team unprofessional - had a total disregard for their passengers and seemed to be constantly having in jokes with themselves during their evenings with us - not particularly great to listen to and it got tedious. P and O and definately losing it - their focus is on selling Specialist restaurants and trips on board - if only their energies could be spent on getting the basics right. Having people on Reception who can actually help or communicate effectively once a complaint / issue had been raised. The queue for photos last night was over an hour wait and then when we got to the front desk finally they told us they hadnt managed to sort our order out and to come back later!! Not a great way to have to spend your last night - absolutely no customer care or valuing the passengers what so ever. Very rushed at times at breakfast times - Baytree Restaurant - Toast hard as rock and stone cold. When are they going to sort the milk jugs out the milk spilt all over EVERYTIME they were used. My husband paid £80 to see Marco Pierre White yesterday to watch him cook and to sample his dishes - everyone was fish based (no prior warning) and my husband hates fish so he couldnt try any of Marco's food - which was a massive shame and an expensive 2 hours ! I am so sad that P and O wont be the cruise of choice next time, we feel we cant recommend them to anyone again - we will retry Celebrity / Royal Carribean or Princess cruise liners next time in the hope their focus on the customer care and high standards have remained.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was a last minute booking which had to take place during school holidays,my daughter works in a school, There were many families with children of all ages but we saw no bad behaviour at any time and some of them were charming. The ... Read More
This was a last minute booking which had to take place during school holidays,my daughter works in a school, There were many families with children of all ages but we saw no bad behaviour at any time and some of them were charming. The ship was clean and very well looked after and our cabin (outside double) was spotless and attended to twice a day. So what was the problem? Food, breakfast very good lunch very good, evening meal served in Bay-Tree very poor, usually cold undercooked veg, fish, my favourite had it three times each time 2/10 so did not choose it again, fillet steak unable to cut it others on our table had the same problems, a waste of good food. However the waiters were 1st class, we also enjoyed some good which was reasonably priced. My main gripe is the entertainment - line dance classes which could be heared on the main decks all over the ship each day Films we watched The Darkest Hour - one of our favourite films - although we had seen it twice before - Shows what shows !! A ventriloquist who had an obsession with “farting” I have been on many cruises in the past and this one is the worst. The main reason we booked a cruise was for the evening entertainment a big failure on my part. However we had very good company at dinner and have some good memories. Shirley and Pam. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Have been doing a few cruises with different companies trying to find the best to become loyal to. I have to say, in my opinion, P&O has been the worse experience so far. Although Ventura is one of their larger vessels, it was easy to ... Read More
Have been doing a few cruises with different companies trying to find the best to become loyal to. I have to say, in my opinion, P&O has been the worse experience so far. Although Ventura is one of their larger vessels, it was easy to navigate and numerous bars and venues, however, they were all relatively small in comparison and entertainment not spread out enough meaning everyone trying to get seats in one or two places. Same scenario with the sun decks, bit of a mare trying to find a bed or seat on the decks on sea days. As a solo traveller I felt as if I had an invisibility cloak on most of the time, would be ignored or bypassed by most waiting staff on the open decks and in venues. This was not the case on ‘Black Tie’ night when I was frog marched out of the restaurant, in front of everyone, for not having a jacket. Boarding at Southampton was very smooth along with valet parking. Cabin was kept very clean and well attended. Mediocre entertainment, although shoes in the theatre were really good (although technical difficulties on the last night meaning cancelled half way through). I did one excursion in Vigo which was really nice and well organised. Getting on and off the ship in port was also seamless experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
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
My wife and I booked with Sovereign Cruyise Club at ' Last Call ' price. 2 weeks later it was advertised again as ' Last Call ', almost £400 cheaper. We felt cheated. We had been on this ship the previous year. This ... Read More
My wife and I booked with Sovereign Cruyise Club at ' Last Call ' price. 2 weeks later it was advertised again as ' Last Call ', almost £400 cheaper. We felt cheated. We had been on this ship the previous year. This time, the food was not as good, never really warm and not a lot of acceptable choice. The entertainment was very poor indeed, either highbrow or screaming female singers. Nothing middle of the road, such as music from the great Hollywood musicals, Sinatra, Streisand, Ella, etc. We were given a very high cabin at the very rear of the ship and suffered bandly from motion sicness. Request to move cabin was refused. In all, the cruise was not as good as the last one on this ship. We will have to carefully consider whether or not to cruise with P&O and will certainly not book through the same agent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Service in restaurant was very hurried manic at times food was hit or miss menus ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous steaks were appalling and most evenings food was cold -lunch however much better than dinner food on buffet ... Read More
Service in restaurant was very hurried manic at times food was hit or miss menus ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous steaks were appalling and most evenings food was cold -lunch however much better than dinner food on buffet terrible and cold every time we tried it.we spent a lot of time up on lido deck and the outside tables were never washed down they were periodically tidied and dirty crockery removed but by the and of the cruise they were sticky ugh! They had new carpets fitted just before we cruised and they didn’t fit very well at all in the deck corridors and the off cuts and trimmings were still on the floor of the lifts up to last day! On the other hand the entertainment was good! But dress code for dinner non existent t shirts with rude slogans allowed come on!Would I cruise with p&o again I don’t think I would we sailed on Ventura on her maiden voyage and can honestly say that things have gone downhill since then the interactive tv screens we enjoyed all those years age eg cabin service /account accessibility no longer available Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Original cruise cancelled by p and o ,this was a similar venue .Vastly overcrowded ,poor food quality ,not even enough sun beds available the company should be ashamed and offer compensation to everyone .A lot of damage to their reputation ... Read More
Original cruise cancelled by p and o ,this was a similar venue .Vastly overcrowded ,poor food quality ,not even enough sun beds available the company should be ashamed and offer compensation to everyone .A lot of damage to their reputation has occurred .We are looking at other companies for future travels. Lack of cleanliness too resulting in cleaning the bathroom / toilet myself ,toiletries and shower caps not provided unless we asked for them Dirty carpet in the cabin and dull lighting , Queuing for meals was tedious and when finally getting served the food was cold , burnt or tasteless !The desserts were the same .Should have complained but I felt sorry for the staff an impossibility catering for so many ,Entertainment was good but had to be in the Arena by 745 to be sure of having a seat Then a scramble to the Havana to get a decent view if not there were televisions dotted around for you to watch the shows ( Joke!)The exchange bar always full never managed to get seating in there .End of rant I was so happy to arrive in Southampton !! Not booking another cruise for this year will wait for much needed improvements Read Less
Sail Date February 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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click