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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise as we were travelling with an extended family group (9 in total including 3 children) and wanted to depart from Southampton and visit somewhere sunny with beaches. I travelled with my husband and our children (age 1 ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were travelling with an extended family group (9 in total including 3 children) and wanted to depart from Southampton and visit somewhere sunny with beaches. I travelled with my husband and our children (age 1 and 2), my parents-in-law, and my sister-in-law, her partner and son (age 10). We have cruised many times but it was a first cruise for the rest of the group. We booked a Superior Deluxe Balcony cabin (DE) almost a year in advance on a Select fare, and 2 weeks before our departure noticed on the cruise personaliser that our cabin had changed - to a family suite (BE)! With much excitement we frantically researched suite perks and butlers as had never travelled in a suite before. The rest of our group were in standard balcony cabins. Priority embarkation was brilliant, we arrived at the terminal, used CPS for parking, and were directed straight into a VIP area to wait to board (coffee and cake provided), however within seconds of arriving we were immediately directed through security and straight onto the ship. We went to a priority boarders lunch in one of the main dining rooms, received a glass of fizz and chose a light lunch from a small but tasty buffet selection. It was very calm and a pleasant start to our holiday. We then went to find our cabin and were thrilled to find it was double the size of the DE cabin we had booked, and basically had an inside cabin set within its footprint which we used for our two children. The suite gave us 2 bathrooms and double the usual amount of storage in a regular cabin, which was fantastic for all the baby clutter we had with us. There was also a large lounge area with 2 sofas and a double size balcony. We have sailed Ventura twice before (in a balcony and a superior deluxe balcony) but always aft to mid ship. The family suite was however right at the front and we felt far more movement than we were used to, the only disadvantage of our otherwise very lucky upgrade. the balcony furniture banged and rattled against our doors in the bad weather as we sailed down through the Bay of Biscay. We then enrolled our children for kids club, our daughter was old enough to go to Splashers (age 2-4) and we signed both up for night nursery - however never used it in the end. It turned out that our daughter absolutely loved her club and spent a couple of hours there most days, usually whilst our son napped, giving us some free time either to relax in the cabin or on the balcony, or for family to babysit so we could go out and about. We were impressed by how many hours a day the kids club was open, but think this was just due to it being a school holiday cruise. My nephew enjoyed his age group's club too and the evening sessions there let his parents drop him off after dinner and have some grown up time in the bar and at shows etc. The ship had just had a refit when we boarded, with carpets replaced, some soft furnishings changed and a refresh of the shops. This smartened the ship up and it seemed in good shape and looked cleaner and tidier than when we had last sailed on her 4 months earlier. The only negative change was that the interactive TV function to check bills and order room service had gone. We had freedom dining however went for dinner about 6pm every day as a large group. We were very well looked after in the main dining room by very friendly and accommodating waiters, we asked to be seated in the same area every night as these staff looked after us so well. We hardly used the buffet on this cruise as we found it too hectic and tricky to navigate with 2 toddlers and a buggy. As suite guests we were able to have breakfast in the fantastic Epicurean restaurant each morning which was such a treat. Top notch service and cooked to order food in a beautiful and calm setting. The only select dining restaurant we used was Sindhi, once for a romantic dinner for two and on the last day for a special lunch for the 4 of us. Both were excellent and we really enjoyed the food and were well looked after. Our room steward was also excellent and coped with all our mess so well. The butler however did not seem to do much, we just saw him once every evening when he brought us canapes, menus and milk for our children. As we were travelling with our young children we didn't really see any of the entertainment or make use of many facilities on board, other than Splashers, the Nursery where we played with our son each day, and one afternoon we managed a soak in the hot tub by the adult only spa pool whilst we were child free. We played in the casino a couple of times and Metropolis was our favourite spot for a drink day or night due to the great views. We didn't book any excursions and only used the shuttle buses in Madeira and Lisbon, both fast and efficient, with no queues by the time we left the ship after a late breakfast. In each port we just went for a walk, visited a beach, had an ice cream and found a playground. It worked well for us and made it a cheap trip! We would then get back on board for a late lunch. We loved the idea of pizza by the pool but the pizza was very disappointing. To conclude, the suite was an amazing upgrade, although the location not very desirable. The ship suited us well as a family, and we will be sailing Ventura again in November due to a great price on a Spain & Portugal itinerary. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my third cruise, all being with P&O. This on was going to be different because it was the longest (28 days) and first time on Ventura. I feared that I was going to be a bit bored after a while. I was so so wrong !! ... Read More
This was my third cruise, all being with P&O. This on was going to be different because it was the longest (28 days) and first time on Ventura. I feared that I was going to be a bit bored after a while. I was so so wrong !! Firstly we had a delay at Southampton getting on-board, but these things happen, so whats the point of getting so upset. We were given £15 by P&O to cover the cost of refreshments while waiting. We were given free coffee and I spend my £15 on a packet of crisps !! As a solo traveler, I had a window solo cabin on level 6 (F330). I had always had a normal double cabin before but was pleasantly surprised how spacious the single cabin was, with a large comfortable bed. My cabin steward was wonderful. always a friendly greeting from him and the cabin was spotless, even after I had used it !! Freedom dining was excellent, good company (except for the occasional professional moaner which unfortunately can't always be avoided). Quality and quantity of food excellent. One person at dinner one evening did not fancy anything on the menu so jokingly asked for fried eggs and chips which was served to him a few minutes latter. What more can you ask for ? The entertainment on board was very good with the Entertainment Manager doing a wonderful job, and joined in the entertainment, especially when she could show off her legs in stockings and suspenders !! My only adverse comment is that the continuous dancing lessons should be in a room separated from the rest of us. To be on the 5th. floor of the Atrium meant that we all had to listen whether we wanted to or not, as we traveled around the ship. "One two three one two three" gets a bit monotonous while enjoying a coffee and cake while reading a book ! All the staff work so hard and are always smiling. I wish my staff smiled half as much !! The staff cannot be praised enough. The intercom system from the bridge is not very good. I'm sure Marcin Banach is a wonderful captain, but due to his accent he is most difficult to understand at times. A point noticed by a few of the comics who joked about it during their acts. The ship, like most of the passengers on this trip, has seen better times. Fortunately, unlike us, the ship can have a re-fit in March and I look forward to traveling again on Ventura after the re-fit. I am considering a short cruise in the next couple of months aboard Britannia however having read the reviews, I think I will rethink it. However anyone reading my review on Ventura, you can feel confident that you will have a wonderful cruise and don't listen to the nit-pickers who can't enjoy life without a complaint !! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Fantastic cruise yet again from P & O.Unfortunately this ship had been struck with the noro virus,which I suppose can happen to any cruise liner,just one of the hazzards,so we were somewhat delayed on getting onboard but we had been ... Read More
Fantastic cruise yet again from P & O.Unfortunately this ship had been struck with the noro virus,which I suppose can happen to any cruise liner,just one of the hazzards,so we were somewhat delayed on getting onboard but we had been pre warned of this via email but we were still allowed to arrive at our allotted time and sit and have a coffee and read papers etc,so no real upset. We embarked and were shown through to the champagne lunch reception which is such a nice touch and were immediately impressed again by the politeness of all the staff,they are second to none,don't believe some reviews telling you they stand and talk to one another and ignore you,utter rubbish!!!! Treat these hard working men and women with respect and you will get it returned. This was our first time on Ventura,previously sailing on Oceana and Azura,she is almost identical to the latter.I could not find any dirty areas,rust or tiredness which I had read about. Our cabin was spotless and I can't praise our steward Hadi high enough,he made the start of our day with a cheery "Hello" and always joking,what a star.Our butler Simon was fantastic also,nothing was too much trouble The food was of high standard also,although maybe just one more veggie option on the menu would be good,as one evening it was goats cheese for starter and main and I'm not a huge fan but we just went to the glass house and had a fab meal there at a very reasonable price. Not really into the ships entertainment,not our thing so can't comment There were only two niggles on this cruise,one was that we had to take a tender in Madeira which meant we had to be back on board very early and felt miffed that our day was cut short and I did feel so sorry for the disabled passengers who could not get ashore,hopefully they were compensated in some way.The other was that after passengers being told several times about hygiene due to the noro virus outbreak,we could still see them coming aboard and walking right past the had sanitizers,how selfish these people are but the staff were not enforcing it at the gangway,so we mentioned this to reception and they said they would pass on our information but nothing seemed to be done and folk were still ignoring the hand wash All ports were fantastic not as warm in past cruises but still nice enough to sit out and enjoy a beer or two or maybe four,can't remember. Well done P&O see you soon Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
As this was our first cruise we did not have anything to judge it by. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the cruise very, very much and absolutely have not one thing to complain about. We spoke to a lady and she complained that of all things she did ... Read More
As this was our first cruise we did not have anything to judge it by. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the cruise very, very much and absolutely have not one thing to complain about. We spoke to a lady and she complained that of all things she did not like the toast as the bread was to thin. To be honest if that is the only thing wrong then this is definitely looking for trouble. There was so much to do on board on sea days that we did not know what to try or go to first. The food was excellent in the Bay tree restaurant also we had breakfast there every morning except for two when we went into the buffet. Lunch time the buffet was again excellent with so much to choice from. The shows in the evenings were wonderful and also dancing which was also great. We are looking forward to our second cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Hello All, Well I must admit that was one of the quickest embarkations I’ve ever had. Arrived at the Ocean terminal at 12noon and in the arrivals lounge on the ship by 12:15pm sipping on a lovely glass of wine (even better when it’s ... Read More
Hello All, Well I must admit that was one of the quickest embarkations I’ve ever had. Arrived at the Ocean terminal at 12noon and in the arrivals lounge on the ship by 12:15pm sipping on a lovely glass of wine (even better when it’s free haha) and munching on the wonderful buffet. We were staying in cabin L106 (Valetta Suite) right at the front of the ship next to the bridge. We'd only been in the cabin 15 minutes and it was superb, couldn’t fault it (especially for the price we paid - nothing like a good bargain) awesome wrap around balcony, I prefer the aft suites myself but this is certainly much better than I expected as I was told the balcony was rather exposed but the views and size is brilliant. The food, service, entertainment and staff were absolutely outstanding as always. I can honestly say the food in the main dining room in which we dined every night on second sitting 8:30 - ‘Bay tree’ was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. The shows we saw from the headliners theatre company, The Brit Tones, and The Freddie Mercury tribute act were again some of the best I’ve ever seen at sea. We Met some fantastic people throughout the cruise as always, in our section of the restaurant there was 6 tables of two - by the third night of the cruise they had turned into 2 x 6 seated tables - it just goes to show how great friendships are formed on cruises combined with the outstanding service and food provided by the amazing staff on-board. We even had our own little cabin party with our new friends, fantastic. The weather we had (as most of you saw from my previous posts) was unbelievable for the middle/end of November.... an average of 20 degrees throughout!! Very lucky indeed, combine this with the fantastic prices of cruises in Oct/Nov/Dec you really can't fault it. We visited ; Lisbon, Valencia, Alicante, Gibraltar and Cadiz. I must recommend one thing that you must do - we paid £25 for the galley tour! WOW WOW WOW! Unbelievable, the attention to detail, the team work and HARD WORK, that all the staff give every day was shown first hand in this tour. A glass of champagne and a glass of wine, plus a 3 course buffet (all you can eat) of some of the finest food I’ve ever tasted was included. Watching the chefs cooking, the waiters doing the food and taking the orders and how it’s all processed and even down to the cleaning and food wastage was simply outstanding. I have never seen such a clean kitchen in all my life. A must do tour , worth every penny and more! We also participated in wine tasting with Olly Smith which was also fantastic- too much wine of course!! A brilliant chap who really does know a thing or two about wine and makes everyone feel welcome. There has been little changes made to glass house menu, the epicurean and the beach house which is being introduced across all the ships soon. For the first time we are doing a back to back cruise (11 nights followed by 3 nights) only because our cruise on Oceana has been cancelled in December as some of you may have seen my previous post about them offering an extra night for free if we could sail on these specific dates, we were Lucky enough to say yes so in other words we’ve had a 14 night cruise instead of an 11 night one and a free night from turning our cancelled 2 night cruise into a 3 night cruise. Can’t complain about that right?! Turnover Day (passengers in transit as the ships company call it) Well, I literally can’t commend them enough.... that’s all we had to do was pack our valuable personal belongings, leave all the cases and all the clothes (which were on hangers) and in the morning it would all be transferred to our new cabin.... that’s all we had to do was get up, leave the cabin by 8am, lounge around the ship or go off if we wanted to and our new cruise cards were waiting at reception at 8am. Now, how can you fault that hey? I certainly would recommend a back-to-back cruise with P&O for anyone who might be thinking about it, it really couldn't have been any easier.... although if you are lucky enough to be able to stay in the same cabin then it would be even easier.... you wouldn't have to do anything haha. It’s very weird being one of the only few people on this ship currently on turn around day haha. Onto the next cruise and the Christmas markets in Bruges - I think it’s going to be a bit colder than the last two weeks !! Thank you. Read Less
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
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
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
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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose the Ventura after going on a mini break in 2016 to Bruges. There was a group of six including three elderly people. The whole experience for all of us was first class from the time we arrived at the dock until we departed. ... Read More
We chose the Ventura after going on a mini break in 2016 to Bruges. There was a group of six including three elderly people. The whole experience for all of us was first class from the time we arrived at the dock until we departed. The food was first class as was the entertainment and the hospitaity we received was out of this world. Everyone was so attentive and helpful. The crossing was magical we were all blessed with a calm sea the whole trip. We had our dining at the first sitting then went to enjoy all the entertainment that was available at the time. First class on our first real cruise we will defiantly be returning in the future to cruise with the staff and the ship Ventura. If you want value for your money you will not beat this cruise. France Spain and Gurnsey WELL DONE VENTURA X Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise as we went on a 7 day cruise for the first time last August on P & O's Britannia and we decided there and then that we would do the Mediterranean this year and as we had such excellent treatment with P & O ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we went on a 7 day cruise for the first time last August on P & O's Britannia and we decided there and then that we would do the Mediterranean this year and as we had such excellent treatment with P & O Cruises, we would use them again. Our cruise had seven ports of call and seven sea days and every part of it was wonderful, from the crew, waiters and waitresses, entertainers, chefs, cabin steward and shore excursions, the whole deal was perfect! On our arrival back at Southampton, I said that I could gladly do the same cruise again as each of the ports of call, you could visit and see something totally new the next time. It was our first visit to Italy and our excursions to Rome, Sorrento and Pompeii were stunning. Our cabin steward, Ramesh was such a happy, cheerful guy, always greeting us every morning, before starting his long day. Then again in the evening Ramesh would wish us an enjoyable evening on our way to dine at the restaurant, it was a pleasure to have him looking after us throughout the cruise. Having now done two cruises with P & O I can honestly say that the entertainment on board their fleet is second to none and the Headliners dancers, singers and musicians are extremely talented and so pleasant. The entertainments team work so hard doubling up with various tasks throughout the cruise and are helpful, polite and fun loving. From comedians, shows, speakers, illusionists, singers, etc. our entire cruise was non-stop entertainment, and it didn't cost us a penny! We dined in the Bay Tree restaurant each evening and our waiters, Rally and Mario were so much fun and so hard-working - they never stopped. Our wine waiter Johnathan was also a hard-worker, I regularly saw him working the various parts of the ship during the day, our restaurant at night and in the clubs after the restaurants had closed. The Ventura is a family friendly ship and there were young families on board, yet it didn't impact on anyone's enjoyment, well not on ours anyway, in fact there is nothing better than the sound of youngsters enjoying themselves. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
The main reason for going on this cruise was the fact it was visiting Naples a port not often visited by P&O. Another attraction was a first time call at Oporto which where we took the courtesy bus into town and enjoyed a refreshing ... Read More
The main reason for going on this cruise was the fact it was visiting Naples a port not often visited by P&O. Another attraction was a first time call at Oporto which where we took the courtesy bus into town and enjoyed a refreshing beer in the city centre. We enjoyed an exhausting and extensive tour of the Vatican and an equally intensive trip to Sorrento and Pompeii. The weather was excellent and very hot in the Med. On leaving Gibraltar hundreds of Dolphins surrounded the ship giving us a great send off to Southampton. We have cruised with P&O since 2005 and the standards we have come to expect have been maintained and enhanced. The standard of food in the Cinnamon is excellent and there is a good range of choice. Our only gripe is that pre-booked excursions have to be paid in advance negating the benefit of the generous on board credit. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise as a taster, having wanted to go on one for a while. We went for a short break just to see what it would be like. I'm glad to say we were not disappointed. We had a fantastic time, the weather was much better than ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a taster, having wanted to go on one for a while. We went for a short break just to see what it would be like. I'm glad to say we were not disappointed. We had a fantastic time, the weather was much better than expected and Bruges was gorgeous. The ship itself even though one of the older ones (since learnt its due a refit) was great very clean, wonderful staff who couldn't do enough for you, food was fantastic as to was the entertainment. We had freedom dining which enabled us to go when we wanted and either sit on our own with a group. We decided to go for groups and met some great people of all walks of life, some seasoned cruisers and other like us first timers. One thing I must say is embarkation and disembarkation compared to flying how much more civilised and easy to do. Straight on then straight off. We were off the ship with luggage and outside the terminal within 15 - 20 mins. Overall a fantastic time was had by my wife and myself. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Excellent cruise 6th time with P&O, 2nd time on Ventura. A bit rough travelling through bay of Biscay but all well once we got into Mediterranean. Arrived in Palma after 4 days at sea where weather was sunny with a cold wind. Next stop ... Read More
Excellent cruise 6th time with P&O, 2nd time on Ventura. A bit rough travelling through bay of Biscay but all well once we got into Mediterranean. Arrived in Palma after 4 days at sea where weather was sunny with a cold wind. Next stop Marseilles where we went on P&O organised tour to the Basilica. This tour can be done cheaper by using transfer bus into centre and getting on "Noddy train" to Basilica. La Spezia next where we went to Pisa which again can be done a lot cheaper by arranging tour at port. Next port Ajaccio where ship docks right next to town. Did not do excursion here just walked around town. Last stop before Southampton was Gibraltar, been before so just went to town. Great value booze prices at duty free on dock next to ship. I have read some poor reviews about Ventura and P&O in general and cannot understand why. Food on Ventura was excellent in main dining room which is where we prefer to eat. We ate breakfast lunch and dinner in main dining room and found food served to be varied and tasty. Did not use buffet restaurant so will not comment. We had room service lunch twice which was excellent. Entertainment was varied with some good shows and some not so good. I am not a great fan of P&O Headliners. On the whole service in all areas was very good To sum up we had a very enjoyable cruise and fellow passengers very agreeable. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Yet another great cruise on Ventura. My third in 12 months on Ventura and a repeat of the itinerary I did 12 months ago. Due to an accident on the M3, it seemed that many passengers were delayed. This had the advantage of embarkation ... Read More
Yet another great cruise on Ventura. My third in 12 months on Ventura and a repeat of the itinerary I did 12 months ago. Due to an accident on the M3, it seemed that many passengers were delayed. This had the advantage of embarkation being very fast when I arrived with no queues. Less than 15 minutes to board and get to the cabin. Don't expect this every time. As usual, staff on board were very welcoming and friendly. As I usually go to the MDR for breakfast early, my cabin was always serviced before I got back to it. Weather not as good this time in that the ship was unable to berth in Cartagena and there was a delayed arrival at Malaga. Had booked an excursion to Ronda from Malaga but as the ship was around 3 hours late, it was cancelled. Have to say I was glad that the excursion was cancelled as there was very heavy rain and that would have spoilt what would have been a scenic trip. Some good entertainment with Jimmy James and a Kiwi tenor Ben. Other entertainment was the usual P&O standard which is OK for a few cruises, but after a while loses its appeal. Cruising is a great holiday, but unfortunately, you do get used to the entertainment and speakers on all cruise lines. There was usually entertainment in three venues every night in addition to the usual dance & piano music around the ship. Films were also shown most afternoons in the theatre and many were recent releases. The theatre can only hold about a quarter of the passengers at any time, so seats for the early shows were often all taken by 8:15. The later shows were easier to get seats, but some of the popular ones also filled up fast. This cruise was in term time so not many children on board. They were very rarely seen, so can only assume that their daytime entertainment was good as they weren't running around the ship. Ken Vard was the speaker who gave 7 talks - one more than planned due to the extra sea day when we missed Cartagena. His talks were held in Havana which isn't the best location, but all were well attending with many standing. I've seen Ken many times but his talks are always of interest. A pity a second speaker wasn't on board. This time, I decided not to use the main dining room for my evening meal, instead having 4 meals in Epicurean, 5 in Sindhu and 3 in the Glasshouse including the wine/food paired meal. One meal ashore as a late sailing from Cadiz and none another night due to having afternoon teat in Epicurean. For me, eating in these restaurants provided my evening entertainment most nights and I was able to try at least two dishes from each of Menus A&B. The afternoon tea (Menu B) in Epicurean may not be to everyone's taste as there were quite a few sweet cakes and little in the way of anything savoury but I did enjoy it. Due to a couple of medical cases there were additional calls to La Coruna on the way out and back. I didn't hear of any cases of norovirus on board and it was noticeable that staff were cleaning hand rails, lift controls, etc on a regular basis. I did manage a few excursions from Lisbon, Cadiz and Casablanca. For those visiting Casablanca, I'd suggest doing the Imperial Rabat excursion as I found it more interesting than any of those offered to see Casablanca. The planned excursion to Ronda from Malaga was cancelled due to bad weather. As this was booked before departure, P&O refund the cost a few days after returning to the UK rather than crediting your on board account. P&O are not a 5 star line and they do not claim to be, For me, they give good value for money and a good range of alternative dining venues if you wish to eat in places other than the MDR or self-service. So, would I book again on Ventura? Yes, and I booked for Feb 2019 in addition to the two further cruises I had already booked on Ventura and others on Azura and Arcadia. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Ship Lovely ship, great public areas, clean and pleasant. Cabin balcony cabin, a bit rattly when the winds blew hard at sea but otherwise good dining. The TV quality is a bit dated and is in need of updating but the on board ... Read More
Ship Lovely ship, great public areas, clean and pleasant. Cabin balcony cabin, a bit rattly when the winds blew hard at sea but otherwise good dining. The TV quality is a bit dated and is in need of updating but the on board information on them was good freedom dining, main dining rooms superb with excellent food, buffet food at times a bit dried up. entertainment some acts good, some i did not enjoy but other passengers did, depends on personal preference, main thing was there was always a choice. Theatre company superb services staff could not have been better, courteous, hard working, always happy to go the extra mile. ports good locations but shore excursions a little expensive compared to sorting an excursion ourselves. My main criticism is the disembarkation at Southampton which was a disgrace & dangerous. The warehouse was overfull with luggage, with a free for all with trolleys going into peoples ankles Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Last year's 28 day cruise to the Caribbean was so brilliant in every way, so we'd no hesitation, along with many others, about booking the same cruise for this January. Why, after so many different cruises with other ships and ... Read More
Last year's 28 day cruise to the Caribbean was so brilliant in every way, so we'd no hesitation, along with many others, about booking the same cruise for this January. Why, after so many different cruises with other ships and other lines, do we keep returning to Ventura? Because life is so easy. There's nothing to trip you up- no hard sell; no immense tipping; few announcements about expensive events; no bar on the alcohol you can take on board; plenty of activities and entertainment without pre-booking. Even small things count- a first timer on P&O asked how one paid for the launderettes... I replied that this was P&O, which is just so easy... and yes, even that is a free service. For some reason, the only port stop before Barbados was in A Coruna instead of Madeira, which did mean a lengthy number of sea days- but sea days are one reason for choosing this. My husband enjoys the crossing, but his delight is snorkelling on the islands, which he managed most of the time. Age is beginning to show, though, and he had to miss one of the precious days through sheer exhaustion. I'm not a fan of the Caribbean, so limited myself to a little shopping and spent time back on the ship in the air conditioning. Our cabin steward was on his first ever cruise, and was an absolute delight. He went out of his way to help us, and the cabin was always immaculate. We do enjoy the walk-in wardrobe style of the Grand Class ships. We had chosen an obstructed outside cabin, and were delighted to be upgraded to a less obstructed one- a lower style of lifeboat under the window, marring very little of the view. We're not big eaters, so chose the buffet for most meals, where the choice was good; our favourite places to eat were Beach House and the Glass House, although we had excellent, imaginative meals in Sindhu and Epicurean, with incredible service and attention. One pleasure of taking Ventura in the winter is having a covered pool, but it didn't take many days before the outside pools were in use. This is not the time of year when children are on board- we probably noticed a dozen or so- and the majority of people were probably retired or semi retired; this didn't seem to stop the evening activities such as dancing, but we possibly missed having younger people around. However, we had a large group of friends from the previous year, and made many more over the four weeks. There were certain niggles- the activities were not as numerous as last year, when we frequently missed lunch to fit them all in; the choice of films shown in the Arena wasn't very good, although I watched two memorable ones, and the Horizon Bar, as always, is a disaster if you want to see what's happening on the stage...it's hardly a live performance if you're simply watching a TV screen. The famous waterfall from deck 16 aft down on to the Terrace Bar made many appearances- we still have the photos from last year of people standing with umbrellas beneath it- but as we've known this since our first visit in 2009, it's become just a minor annoyance. As is the background music both in that bar and in the buffet- you're aware of a noisy beat and a screaming woman, but have no idea what actual music is being played. Minor niggles, not likely to put us off, and certainly nothing as major as on other lines we've used. Perhaps we'll do this again next January, although living in a remote place means a difficult journey- much aided this year by having our luggage collected earlier. Unfortunately, P&O only leaves from Southampton... our hope is that when little Adonia returns, she might be home ported somewhere in the North. Until then, we have a short cruise booked out of Newcastle, with easier journeys to and fro. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
My first cruise on Ventura was back in 2010 when I was not impressed with the ship, so it was with some in trepidation that I returned to her. However, I must say that I was most impressed with the improvements I found. I am a frequent ... Read More
My first cruise on Ventura was back in 2010 when I was not impressed with the ship, so it was with some in trepidation that I returned to her. However, I must say that I was most impressed with the improvements I found. I am a frequent cruiser having done over 50 cruises with more than 10 cruise lines. Ventura and Azura are the largest ships I have travelled on and now I am starting to recognise the benefits of a larger ship. I had priority boarding but there were a lot of frequent cruisers (Caribbean level and above) on this cruise. However, I was still on board within 20 minutes of arriving at the port. There have been many comments about the state of Ventura with the ship being tired and in need of a refit. Yes, there is some worn carpet but it took me two days to find one stair that had some threads showing. To be honest I didn’t look that hard as I was enjoying myself. Given reports of norovirus on many ships it was good to see that there were staff cleaning lift controls and stair banisters on a regular basis. I went on this cruise with the intention of having a rest and to get some sun. This was achieved as both crossings of the Bay of Biscay were smooth and once clear of the bay it was t-shirt and shorts weather. Good weather in the Canaries and Agadir. I only took the shuttle in port where available and the most surprising port was Agadir – so much nicer than Casablanca – and well worth getting off the ship to see. I was on club dining and had the second sitting with a table of singles. Service was very good with all courses being served in time to get to any of the 10:30 shows. Menus were very good and seem to be the new ones that P&O planned to introduce. A good choice of six starters, three soups plus a salad. Mains usually had a choice of six or seven plus a further three regional/regular ones. Deserts also had a good selection with a couple of ice cream choices. As usual there was cheese and stilton available and the waiters were keen to give a large portion. Entertainment can be a bit hit or miss but as the ship has three main entertainment areas, there was a good selection to choose from in addition to entertainment in various bars and atrium. Some shows were very well attending with standing room only if you arrived close to the starting time. One downside was that there was only one speaker who gave seven talks. These were of interest to me but may not appeal to everyone. Some days, a film was shown in the theatre in the afternoon. I never had any difficulty finding a seat on deck or in any of the bars with the exception of the coffee shop. I had booked an HF grade cabin which was upgraded to an HB one. This was mid-ships on R deck and apart from some noise with people walking on the deck above was fine. My cabin stewardess saw that I always took an early breakfast so always serviced the cabin by the time I had finished breakfast. Food in the alternative restaurants was very good and the menus changed for the second week of the cruise. There were some early dining offers where a bottle of wine was included if you booked for 6:30 or earlier. I also sampled the food/wine pairing meal in the Glasshouse which was good value compared to other lines. Staff in all areas of the ship were friendly and keen to help and many would say hello as you went around the ship. SO, would I go in Ventura again? Answer is yes and have a further three cruises booked on her. The ship met my expectations, not as elegant as say the Cunard Queens but more than adequate for a winter break. You can find issues on most ships, but none spoilt my enjoyment of this cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
First time sailing with P&O, but it will not be the last. We had to be on board at 2.30pm but we arrive at the dock at 1pm thought that we would have a long wait to get on board but we were told to join the line of people follow them ... Read More
First time sailing with P&O, but it will not be the last. We had to be on board at 2.30pm but we arrive at the dock at 1pm thought that we would have a long wait to get on board but we were told to join the line of people follow them to the main hall fill in the medial cards, when our number was called to go to the counter get our information put on record was given our cabin and accounts card and pass throw security and on to the ship all in 15 to 20 mins {not bad time in all}. The staff on board were most helpful as my husband suffers from IBF [Lactose intolerance to daily milk cheese & butter] the restaurants bent over backwards to have meals that he could eat. Room service most helpful in having Lactose free milk so we could enjoy the tea & coffee in our cabin. The only things about the cruise that we find off putting was the Black Tie and Evening wear nights [3 in 10 days cruise] which we find to much it also does not leave many place to eat if you do not want to dress up, also they must do something about the channels on the TV they are very poor in programmers. As we do not tend to go to the shows, this cruise we find they were some entertaining. When come to Disembarking the ship we find again no problem we had the choice of take our suit cases off ship yourself or wait and be called later in the morning to collect them in the warehouse. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We booked this cruise because of the 5 destinations we had never been to 4 of them: La Coruna, Cadiz, Gibraltar and Lisbon. Malaga we'd visited many times but nonetheless it was still great to go back. All the ports were excellent. ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the 5 destinations we had never been to 4 of them: La Coruna, Cadiz, Gibraltar and Lisbon. Malaga we'd visited many times but nonetheless it was still great to go back. All the ports were excellent. The cruise overall was an excellent value for money deal. Also, we've booked a 2017 cruise on the Ventura with an elderly relative and a wheelchair user so we used this opportunity to check out the ship's facilities which seemed excellent. I'll report back on how that trip goes in August 2017. We travelled by rail to Southampton - a dangerous thing to rely on in the current Southern Rail crisis as it turned out but we left a huge margin for delays and train cancellations. The Ventura is huge and we are relatively new to cruising but the ship felt spacious and, very occasionally, not particularly crowded. The public areas were clean and well presented. My greatest fear was getting caught up in lengthy embarkation and disembarkation queues, and thus wasting precious shore time, but, apart from Gibraltar, getting on and off was handled very efficiently throughout and many passengers seemed to stay on the ship in most ports anyway. There was only half a day in Gibraltar which was not enough by general passenger consensus. Most of the ship's population seemed to want to get off to grab some duty free. Port and ship staff just couldn't process everyone on and off before the scheduled departure time and the queue was nearly an hour to get back on. We had a basic balcony cabin B612 which was excellent. The double bed, apart from the annoying two singles pushed together scenario, was otherwise comfortable and our cabin steward superb. The TV access to our on-board account worked but was incredibly slow. WiFi was expensive at some £12 per day for the intermediate package (ie. no streaming) so we used that on sea days. Outbound, the ship rolled around quite extensively in the Bay of Biscay - surprisingly so (to me anyway) for such a big ship and it was not stormy by any stretch. That coincided unfortunately with our booking in the Sindhu restaurant which was a bit wasted. Yet the food there (and in the Epicurean) was mostly delicious although there was far too much of it. Most of the time we opted for freedom dining in the evening and sat at tables with 6 - 10 people rather than wait typically 40 minutes for a table for two; that proved enjoyable overall and it was nice to meet new people each evening. Freedom dining menus also made it easier to manage portion size compared to the speciality dining and the overall food quality was excellent; I really do not understand some of the reviews that criticise the choice and/or quality of the meals on this ship. Other meals we tended to go for the self service options which had some deliciously healthy salady things as well as mega-calorie options. I can quite believe the unashamedly blatant factoid in the Horizon newsletter that the average passenger gains 7 - 14 lbs on a cruise like this (and so should attend the exercise sessions!). I put on just 2 lbs which was a relief really. Service throughout the ship - in the bars and restaurants - was pretty faultless really given the scale of the operation and numbers of people involved. We went on a 'behind the scenes' tour of the ship which, although a tad expensive, was fascinating, awesome in parts, and most reassuring. A fascinating half hour on the bridge was the highlight of my time on the Ventura. The port excursion desk staff were friendly although not that helpful at enabling independent touring which was actually quite easy in the ports visited. The P&O port guide leaflets highlighted the key must-see sites in each location but generally omitted to show where they were on the map or explain how to get there. Other websites had provided us with the information needed to do our own thing. In La Coruna, for example, we took a (superbly efficient) train to Santiago de Compostela for 19 euros return (for two) rather than £72 for the coach excursion - far more thought and planning involved for sure, but fun also. We did book a P&O excursion for Gibraltar (Secrets of the Rock) which was absolutely superb and really helped make maximum use of the limited time there for us as first-time visitors. The Horizon daily newsletter and hotel team broadcast the huge variety of activities available. I particularly enjoyed the astronomy lecturer on sea days. I tried out a spa back and neck massage treatment which was excellent and my partner swore by the efficacy of a few acupuncture sessions. There were a number of free health related talks but you did need to be prepared for a hard sell should you opt for an individual follow up session. For example, we had some very dubious "body composition tests" carried out following one of the talks which, according to the 'professional', pointed to the urgent need need to invest in a course of detoxifying tablets costing many hundreds of pounds. As ever, it's always best to take results like these away and review what to do in the cold light of day. Not surprisingly, a large area of the ship seems solely geared towards shopping or otherwise extracting money from passengers. Entertainment was mixed and down to personal taste. So I'm not going to comment on it! Final disembarkation was fine for us - we weren't in a rush because Southern Rail had cancelled our train. We were off the ship and out of the terminal ahead of our notified disembarkation time. However, there was some chaos and visible frayed tempers in the Tamarind Bar during the process I think because the system for managing the large groups of passengers was a bit random and unfair. So, a most enjoyable trip and the first cruise for which I am delighted to award an overall excellent rating. This experience compared very favourably to a much less satisfactory short cruise on the P&O Oriana which I've also reviewed on this site. Read Less
49 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
First cruise and first time on the Ventura. Absolutely fantastic ship and we had a great time on the whole. It was all a bit mystifying initially. Embarkation was smooth but once on board it got totally confusing. Very few signs and ... Read More
First cruise and first time on the Ventura. Absolutely fantastic ship and we had a great time on the whole. It was all a bit mystifying initially. Embarkation was smooth but once on board it got totally confusing. Very few signs and port and starboard passageways were done in identical colours which didnt help. Some people tied ribbons at various parts of the ship as a landmark. Main signs were in grey/orange so unreadable. We had to help a few lost elderly people over the course of the trip and likewise others helped us. Having said all that the food was fantastic particularly at fine dining. We had 4 formal nights I think and dressing up was great fun. For those worried about formal nights I can only say Tuxedos are cheap and a bow ties cost little so dont worry and enjoy the experience. The remaining nights are smart casual which I dressed up for as well. Lots of people seem to worry about this but dont and dont miss out on the fine dining. For those that havnt been before there are washing machines,tumble dryers and ironing boards on each accommodation deck and they are free. Dont forget your washing liquid (detergent blocks x 2 for £.60 in shop). The food was amazing. We had everything from Lobster to Beef Wellington. You can go to the Buffet on deck 15 but its plain fare (lots of it) and I avoided this as much as I could. It was obvious that many people gave the fine dining a miss so I guess its whatever you feel comfortable with. You can have lunch in the Saffron restaurant and high tea there as well. This it waiter service also and yet again the food was fantastic. 15,000 meals provided each day by 165 chefs we were informed. The cabins are a decent size and spotless. Beds are amazingly comfortable. No need to bring toiletries as they are provided. You can buy them in Port if you run out. The cabin attendant will clean your room continuously so remember your do not disturb sign when necessary. We had a basic inside cabin. You could go for an outside but not sure its worth the cost. Entertainment was a mixed bag but overall it was enjoyed. Most of our group enjoyed what was provided. Theres several acts on each night so you are bound to find something that floats your boat. The decor was fantastic just like any top class hotel and better than most. Bar areas were nice and the the central area of deck 6 was great for pictures. The ships photographers were annoying ++++ Our Ports of call were good but there was never enough time such as you might have if you were staying over. The excursions are expensive so we didnt book any but if you have the money they are probably a good way to see more of the places visited plus the "not to miss " sights which are invariably out of town. Just a footnote here, the coaches to town are not worth the money in my opinion. For a 5 minute drive it was £4 each way so if your a couple thats £16. Most people walk and thats what I will be doing in future. Drinks wise a Pint is about £3.95 but a glass of wine is around £6. P&O allow you to bring a bottle of wine per person on board. That was handy. Most other cruise dont allow any alcohol and some even confiscate water. I was advised that NCL are one of the strictest so you will never catch me travelling with them as a matter of principle. Hats off to P&O on this one. Water can be bought on board at about £10 for 6 small bottles. Oh a litre of Teachers (duty free) was £8.50 on board. It was even cheaper in Gibralter. I bought a Litre of Bombay Saphire there for £7. Claymore whiskey was £3.40 a litre just to give you an idea. A decent btl of wine about 2.9 Euros. Our cruise did not experience any bad weather of note so most of the time it was hard to believe you were on a ship just in case you havnt been and are worried about that aspect of your trip. Met met lots of cruise addicts who were on their 40th 50th 60th cruise. One elderly chap had managed 66. All gave us helpful tips on what to do and not do (never leave your washing or ironing unattended or they could get stolen). I was a bit gobsmacked at that one but yes its true. With about 3000 people on board anything can happen. I should say here that fares booked in advance can be extremely cheap. This cruise was for us but others paid almost double what we did .Lastly gratuities are £5.50 per person per day. Its an awful way to be paying staff. We paid it and gave several staff tips on top. Its down to yourself as to how you want to manage that one. All that said a fantastic experience. We have already lined up our next 2 cruises. I hope this rather lengthy message is of help to anyone who are planning to go on their first cruise or are considering one. Read Less
40 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Do not pay any attention to poor reviews about this ship..... This was our 2nd cruise on Ventura,and there was nothing at all negative about our time onboard.Some people,it seems,just have to moan about something.P and O are a good ... Read More
Do not pay any attention to poor reviews about this ship..... This was our 2nd cruise on Ventura,and there was nothing at all negative about our time onboard.Some people,it seems,just have to moan about something.P and O are a good company,and Ventura a good ship.Book,go,and enjoy.Far from being "tired",or "in need of updating",the cabins,restuarants,bars,shops,and all public areas are very cosy and stylish.The food onboard,be it in the main dining rooms,self service buffet areas,or speciality restaurants is always of a high standard.The staff are all attentive,helpful,and above all,very good at what they do.And what they all do is ensure you have a wonderful holiday whilst onboard.The entertainment is high quality and varied,with something for everyone.I certainly never saw signs of boredom or dissatisfaction as mentioned in some reviews.Embarkation and disembarkation was extremely efficient,as were the procedures and facilities available for going ashore at ports of call.So to sum up,if you take any notice of the negative reviews and decide not to cruise on Ventura,you will deprive yourself the opportunity to enjoy a brilliant ship,and a wonderful holiday.I only returned home from the cruise yesterday,and this is an honest review,with no connection to P and O cruises,except from being a satisfied customer. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first time on Ventura for 3 years, and she remains one of our favourite ships. I was a bit wary of what the weather would be like in early November but it was much better than I feared. Embarkation in the refurbished ... Read More
This was our first time on Ventura for 3 years, and she remains one of our favourite ships. I was a bit wary of what the weather would be like in early November but it was much better than I feared. Embarkation in the refurbished Mayflower Terminal was excellent. Our check-in time was 15:30, but we arrived at 13:15 and had dropped car off, checked in, boarded and got to our cabin within 25 minutes, with luggage already there. There were some minor areas where Ventura could do with a bit of TLC, such as stains on the bed valance, carpets on stair edges and in buffet frayed, and the gold covering on panels in lifts peeling off - but these are just minor cosmetic issues. We chose this cruise because we had not yet been to three of ports: Valencia, Ibiza and Cartagena. And we loved all three ports. Valencia - lovely city, although shuttle bus needed as berth is on the outer limits of the port. Terminal was non-existent, just an empty tent, with no welcome at all. Got bus into city, about 4 miles and did own thing, someone to give maps out would have been nice, but nothing. Ibiza - the old town is beautiful. We walked from the berth, takes about 30 mins but pleasant walk past apartments and hotels. Port workers here were giving out maps but they were of the island, not the town centre, but the town is compact enough not to really need a map. Cartagena - ship berths in city centre, Roman Theatre was impressive and only 5 mins walk from the ship. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was only our second cruise, the first being on the Azura in May. We enjoyed that one so much we immediately booked this one. We began to have second thoughts on reading the negative reviews about the Ventura, we needn't have ... Read More
This was only our second cruise, the first being on the Azura in May. We enjoyed that one so much we immediately booked this one. We began to have second thoughts on reading the negative reviews about the Ventura, we needn't have worried. We were accompanied on the trip with our daughter, son in law and our seven year old grandson who were all first timers. The embarkation went smoothly and we boarded ship one hour earlier than expected. The ship itself was in very good order and the crew were efficient, helpful and polite. Our cabin was on D deck and was roomy with a decently sized balcony. The only slight negative was that the carpet had seen better days but that didn't affect our enjoyment of the cruise. Early on in the cruise one or two of the lifts weren't working but the problem was soon rectified. We were allocated freedom dining and when the restaurant was busy we were given a pager and the longest wait was about 15 minutes, just time for a quick pre- dinner drink. The food was of exceptional quality especially in the Epicurean and Sindhu and I would strongly recommend these two restaurants. The service was faultless and friendly. We avoided the buffet because most of the time it looked to be very busy with some of the passengers pushing and shoving their way to the food counters and piling their plates up in a way they would probably never do at home. We took in a couple of shows one of which featured a very good magician. I took part in the daily table tennis competitions with a really good bunch of people and even won a prize awarded at the end of the cruise. Our grandson really enjoyed the children's club and was in tears at the disembarkation. The ports of call were all excellent and would especially recommend the segways in Vigo. There was one memorable event in Lisbon and that was the sight of the azura and ventura side by side. We experienced some choppy seas for about 48 hours during which my wife felt somewhat under the weather but it hasn't put her off at all. Our daughter and son in law are already pestering us to book the next one!. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We are back from our first ever cruise on Ventura. We would definitely recommend Ventura for first timers. We had a really good time. We were apprehensive but needn't have worried. We chose Ventura as it seemed to have everything we ... Read More
We are back from our first ever cruise on Ventura. We would definitely recommend Ventura for first timers. We had a really good time. We were apprehensive but needn't have worried. We chose Ventura as it seemed to have everything we needed. We didn't want to go on a really big ship with other cruise lines. We didn't want to be overwhelmed. When we arrived at the terminal in Southampton everything went so smoothly. There were lots of people waiting to take our luggage, which they loaded on to trolleys immediately and efficiently. As we entered the terminal, there were people telling us where to go to check in. We were given a big coloured letter and told when the letter was called we would be able to check in. Lots of seats in the terminal and very busy. Our check in time was 15 30. No sooner had we completed the health declaration our letter was called to check in. It was only 13 30! We checked in which took about 5 seconds,and went through security in about 10 minutes and then onto the ship! It was so smooth. No problems whatsoever. No hassle, no discomfort. S well organized. As soon as we got on the ship we were welcomed by a very friendly, smiling crew member who directed us which way to the buffet and our cabins, which we found eventually, which was fun! Very impressed with the buffet. I had read that on embarkation days the buffet is always a mad rush, but it wasn't! It was very civilized. The food was very good as were all our meals all through the cruise. Our meals in the Bay Tree restaurant were excellent every single time and the service was always first class. We had club dining which was fine as there was four of us and we had our own table for four which I preferred. Our time was 18 30, which we felt was a little early for us. We may try freedom dining on our next cruise. Our cabin was a balcony cabin. The balcony was quite large. The cabin was surprisingly spacious and the bed was very comfortable. There was plenty of storage space. Bathroom and shower was small but adequate. We explored the ship which was big with plenty of bars and restaurants. Our favourite bars were Metropolis and the Terrace. The atrium was lovely with plenty of seats, Costa Coffee, library and Explorers where we booked an excursion very easily and quickly. Our excursion to The Heart of La Palma was excellent and very well organised, but expensive. The entertainment was very good. We went to the Havana Bar and the Arena a few times. We did find that it was sometimes a bit of a rush to get from our evening meal to the venues in time to get a good seat, but we managed it ok We went to the gym and to a few lectures which were good. We also used the spa which was a little overpriced, but very nice. We thought the daytime activities were good, but a bit repetitive towards the end of the cruise. You can only have so many quizzes! Disembarkation was quite smooth. We thought we were in for a long wait but we were kept informed as to what was happening. We all had our own area to wait to disembark and it was all quite orderly. We collected our luggage fairly easily. All in all we had a wonderful time and we are looking to book our next cruise very soon Read Less
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 3.9

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