1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Ventura Review
  5. Ventura Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: May 2014
We loved the fact we did not see our luggage after booking in at Gatwick until we arrived in our cabin to find our brilliant cabin steward Roosevelt getting them ready for us in our cabin. An early flight from Gatwick and upon arrival in ... Read More
We loved the fact we did not see our luggage after booking in at Gatwick until we arrived in our cabin to find our brilliant cabin steward Roosevelt getting them ready for us in our cabin. An early flight from Gatwick and upon arrival in Venice greeted by P&O staff who guided us to our coaches. On arrival at the port the normal process of being given a number and preparing to board when your number is called. All very efficient. Once on board we were told cabins would be available from 1pm but we were able to get into our cabin by 12.30. A lovely cabin deluxe balcony cabin aft. Greater by Roosevelt with champagne and chocolates. The cabin was always as was the rest of the ship very clean and tidy. The ship was we were sold out but we at no point during the week struggled to find a sunlonger. The food in the buffet and Cinnamon restaurant was always excellent and the waiters always very attentive. The entertainment was brilliant from the shows in the arena theather to the shows in the other bars. The highlight had to be the 4tunes two brilliant shows from them. First full day was at sea with th he first port of call being Kotor. A very beautiful sail into the port it is worth waking up early to see the views on voyage in. We did a P&O tour which was excellent to Kotor and Bush is. The guide was very good and funny. Next day was Corfu which we did on our own followed by another sea day and then to Rome. We stayed on board as we have been to Rome several times before.The ship was half full on this day but the crew were just as attentive. Then to Corsica again we did this on our ownan. The Great British Callaway was brilliant with everybody joining in the flag waving and singing along. The sadly the journey to Genoa. Captain Charlie Carr was brilliant in his announcements to passengers he has a great sense of humour. The entertainments team were really good. The journey home was good after leaving our luggage outside our cabin we did not see it again until Gatwick. We are back on board with our two sons (20&24) and one of their partners for the return leg Genoa to Venice on 23rd July and we cannot wait. I have a few tweets and photos on Rob Gearing@Rob Gearing. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
The cruise was a good value, winter holiday, the carribean ports and weather were great, but I would not cruise P and O again primarily due to their shoody and lax attitude to safety. I.E I don't want to risk being in a fire, or being ... Read More
The cruise was a good value, winter holiday, the carribean ports and weather were great, but I would not cruise P and O again primarily due to their shoody and lax attitude to safety. I.E I don't want to risk being in a fire, or being unable to evacuate the ship at short notice in an emergency due to drunken passengers. It is lucky that there was no fire on the ship as passengers openly smoked over the railings both on their balcolnies and deck 7 and numerous stubbed out cigs on the deck floor. I have never seen such a thing on other cruise lines such as Fred Olsen or Celebrity which take fire safety more seriously. I alerted the crew and passengers to the fire risk, and advised passengers to smoke more responsibly but my complaint was ignored. Passengers drunken behaviour was also treated as a joke and tolerated. For example some people were so drunk after a rum rhunner trip, that one fell down the stairs of the catamaran, and several had to be escorted by the ship's crew to board the ship so that they did not fall into the sea. Two even had to be escorted by wheelchair as they could not walk. Passengers watched and took photos of this walk of shame. Surely it is against international maritime law to allow people who are so drunk that they can barely walk, back onto a cruise ship. In addition to that there were virtually no sunbeds in the shade, which is not ideal for fair skinned people at increased risk of skin cancer. A passenger complained about the skin cancer risk, but the complaint was ignored. I don't really understand why the ship constantly served boring English food as if people were not on holiday and were in britain. The Indian food on the ship was excellent due to many of the staff being from india, but the ships attempts at cooking Carribean food were a disaster. The food was so dull in the main restaurants that we mainly ate at the buffet, where the food was a bit better. There was little peace and quiet on the ship, with the same tape being constantly played even when no-one was there. The embarrasing 50s style sailaway entertainment was cringeworthy and the entertainers treated passengers like children who needed to be entertained. I.E The staff did not appear to understand that the aim of going on holiday is to escape the UK, rather than pretend to be in Britain. The crew were overworked due to cutbacks in staff, as the cabin stewards worked from about 7am to 10 pm. Accessing your cabin was quite difficult due to cabin staff wishing to clean it at strange times such as 12:00 or 9pm.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Having just read recent reviews about Ventura, I felt I had to add my experience of my husband and I's recent cruise with P&O. We have cruised many times before with several other cruise lines and this was our first (and last) ... Read More
Having just read recent reviews about Ventura, I felt I had to add my experience of my husband and I's recent cruise with P&O. We have cruised many times before with several other cruise lines and this was our first (and last) with P&O which unfortunately did not compare very favourably. A previous reviewer wrote 'Butlins at sea serving canteen food' and this describes it perfectly. Food quality and choice was very poor, not to mention the abysmal portions served up for dinner in the main restaurants. One evening we eagerly awaited our prime rib to be utterly deflated with one very thin (you could almost see through it) slice accompanied by tasteless vegetables. The starters and desserts were unimaginative and we gave up on the soup after two nights of floury, bland efforts. This was to be the norm every evening and on complaining to the food and beverage manager, we were told they are "catering for the British market!" Lunch times were worse with a choice of 5 different ways with potatoes, boring salad combinations, curry, mince and possibly another sloppy casserole on the menu day after day. We did try the speciality restaurants which were good but we felt this was the food quality and service which other cruise lines serve in their main dining rooms without extra charge. Apart from Headliner Shows which were professional if a little too loud, there were few entertainers on board beyond solo artists who sang (screeched in most cases) in other venues and were so loud that you couldn't hold a conversation. The atrium had a keyboard and drums set up the duration of the cruise but they were never used and just gathered dust - what a waste! On Royal Caribbean ships, the atrium is a gathering place for passengers to have a drink, observe, dance or listen to live music, thus giving the whole ship a great ambiance throughout the day and evening. Ventura had no ambiance at all - the atrium was soulless and more akin to a shopping mall and when the shops were closed, there were few people about. We found the Glass House bar to be the best for a quiet drink but even that was a main route to the theatre with many people walking back and forth. Sailaways were loud and raucous featuring the entertainment team dancing to disco 'hits', so loud we couldn't even enjoy a peaceful seat on our balcony six decks below. Sadly there wasn't a hint of Caribbean/steel band music during the 2 weeks. To end on a positive note - we enjoyed the ports of call and our cabin was spacious, comfortable and kept tidy by our friendly cabin steward. The Caribbean is undoubtedly the place to be in January to escape the weather in the UK but our next trip will definitely NOT be with P&O.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Oh Dear! P & O seem to have lost the plot. I’ve recently returned from a 15 day cruise to the Caribbean on board P & O Ventura. I’ve cruised with P & O previously as well as with other Cruise Lines. I feel that since their ... Read More
Oh Dear! P & O seem to have lost the plot. I’ve recently returned from a 15 day cruise to the Caribbean on board P & O Ventura. I’ve cruised with P & O previously as well as with other Cruise Lines. I feel that since their amalgamation with Carnival Lines, P & O’s standards have fallen drastically in all areas. The sorry story begins at the online booking stage when, for a period of time, our arrival by air back at Gatwick seemed to alternate between North and South Terminals resulting in my having to change my parking arrangements several times. At Southampton, I was advised there was a computer failure and check-in was severely delayed. Fortunately, I had priority boarding and was not affected. Many other passengers were severely delayed with some still boarding after the advised time of departure. I learned also that many passengers had to leave their passports at the check-in terminal and retrieve them the following day on board. A worrying fact for some I would imagine in these times of identity theft. I also spoke to one passenger in possession of a Canadian passport who had done the responsible thing and checked his Visa requirements. When he tried to retrieve his passport from Reception he was abruptly (And incorrectly) informed that he did require a Visa, that he would not be able to leave the ship at any port of call and that his passport would be retained until his return to Southampton. It was only after several heated discussions and his final insistence that he speak with the Captain that the error was admitted and his passport returned. Our cabin was really very nice and apart from the stained carpet together with ripped and stained bed sheets was very comfortable. Our literature advised that in addition to Champagne and chocolates we would be met with a luxurious bouquet of flowers. This amounted to a single bloom in a specimen vase, although there was an attractive display of artificial flowers. On the plus side, our cabin Stewardess was wonderful; always smiling, helpful and pleasant. Nothing was too much trouble for her. This was even more remarkable towards the end of our cruise as she had no doubt heard about the Typhoon which had devastated many parts of her country. The cabin televisions worked well even if the interactive system was painfully slow. I was astonished to find however that if I wanted to watch a movie in my cabin I would be charged £1.99 on each occasion. Not a huge sum, but outrageous to think that on previous cruises the movie channel was complimentary. The interactive system also provided a messaging system and messages appeared in my inbox on a daily basis. However, without exception these messages were purely inviting me to buy something or the other. I had arranged fixed time dining and had confirmed I would be seated on a table for four (Myself and the three others in my party). On the first evening in the Bay Tree restaurant we were placed on a table for eight with four perfect strangers. It was only after a great deal of wrangling that we finally managed to secure a table for four even though our requested arrangement was confirmed to me at time of booking. I was looking forward to the “Dining Experience” as previously on P & O cruises the food in the dining rooms had been excellent. Sadly, each dish seemed to be prepared en masse, served and cleared very quickly without ceremony in an apparent attempt to clear the dining room as quickly as possible. The food itself was, for the most part, quite bland. Wines were reasonably priced but the wine was poured quickly in one visit by the Wine Waiter and the bottle swept away. What should have been a leisurely fine dining event was in fact a hurried, second rate disappointment. The dining room was very noisy, due to a large extent that P & O seem to prefer a greater number of tables seating six, eight or ten rather than tables for two or four. Our table seemed to be located in a particularly noisy area and I had noticed another table for four in a quieter spot that had been occupied only once in the entire cruise. We asked if we could move to that table but were told it would not be possible as the original occupants might at some stage choose to dine there. In addition, there was one table which had eight occupants on the first evening but after three or four evenings one passenger was left to eat entirely alone. This may have been his preference but I did think that he should at least have been approached to see if he would like to move to another table. I noticed that the Dining Room was becoming progressively less busy as the cruise went on. It seems that other passengers too were avoiding the “Fine Dining Experience”. One evening I thought we should try the Dinner Menu in one of the buffet restaurants on Deck 15. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised as the food here seemed to be freshly cooked to order and a definite improvement on that served in the Dining Room. At Breakfast, my preference with one other of my party was to eat in the Saffron Restaurant. Each morning we requested a table for two and each morning we were told none was available and we would have to wait. Generally, after a few minutes we were shown to a table for two only to observe that there were at least twelve tables for two available. I can only guess at the reason for this and conclude it was more convenient for the Waiters to serve large, rather than smaller tables. Breakfast was generally good if you excuse the bullet proof toast that was supplied and Waiters seeming to misunderstand or ignore requests. “One croissant please” generally resulted in two being served. There were also many inconstancies in service; for example one day baked beans would be served directly on the plate and the next day in a ramekin. Not the end of the world I know but typical of the niggling little differences in service I experienced. Having met and had conversations with many fellow passengers, I was left reeling with regard to the discrepancies in pricing. Leaning over the balcony one day and talking to my next door neighbours I learned they had paid more than double the amount I had paid for an identical cabin and had one night less on board than me. I feel what I paid was reasonable but was shocked to find another set of passengers in the same grade of cabin had paid considerably less than I had. I also spoke to one couple who had booked an inside cabin at a much lower price but were able to upgrade to a Superior Deluxe cabin for a nominal charge. I would advise anyone considering a P & O Cruise in the future to monitor online how bookings are going and to leave making a reservation until a few weeks or even a few days before departure. The cruise was marred, in part, by some of the passengers. There seemed to be quite a lot of less than good behaviour. The rule about reserving Sun Loungers was totally ignored with towels and books etc., being left on loungers from early in the morning. One night I couldn’t sleep and went for a stroll around the ship at 4.30 a.m. I was amazed to see that as early as 5a.m. there were passengers reserving the loungers in the best spots. This isn’t the fault of P & O but they do nothing to enforce the rule as is the practice on other cruise lines. On one occasion the Sun Lounger issue led to an altercation between two female passengers which at one stage it seemed was about to degenerate to the physical. Also, there were several instances where quite young children were playing in and around the pools late at night, unsupervised. Again this was not acted upon by any member of staff. I have to add this is the first time I have seen paper cups, glasses and food wrappers left in the lifts and on stairways. The pools didn’t appear to be heated and the forward adults only “Endless Pool” seemed to be working for a short while on the first day but didn’t function again after that. I’ve never been a great fan of the shows on board so I’m in no position to criticise them either way. However, when we are promised “Gentle Calypso music under the stars on a warm Caribbean evening”, that is what I expect. I had the stars and the warm evening, but the gentle calypso was the resident reggae band belting out the same numbers at ear splitting decibels; there is a limit to how many times in fifteen days you can listen to a poor rendition of “I shot the Sheriff”. This band frequently went into “Jam” sessions where a repetitive rhythm was played for an extensive period of time. It seemed as though the band were playing for their own enjoyment rather than that of the passengers. Communication seemed to be an ongoing difficulty. One day when leaving the ship, passengers were advised to disembark forward, Deck 4. We attempted to do so but were told by the gangway staff that instead we would have go back up to Deck 5 and use the exit by the Coffee Shop. This exit was closed and we were advised to go back down to Deck4 where once again we were instructed to go back up to Deck 5. At this point, I used an internal ‘phone to call reception and ask where exactly we should disembark. I was told that we should definitely exit up on Deck 5. On arriving there we found the exit still closed. By this time, we had collected a group of twelve or so people who had also been going back and forth between Decks 4 and 5. I spoke to a Reception Officer and explained our dilemma. She herself called Reception to tell them they should stop sending passengers to Deck 5 for disembarkation. As a group, we insisted this Officer accompany us back to Deck 4. When we arrived and were this time allowed to disembark those Officers who had refused us earlier had now miraculously disappeared. One morning I was standing out on my balcony when I was drenched with water. I thought it was a sudden and heavy rain shower but looking up I saw someone hosing down part of the ship. I had to shout at him to stop as my clothes and books on the balcony table were saturated. Half an hour later, a message broadcast from the Bridge advised passengers that cleaning of outside areas was due to take place and we were requested not to use our balconies for a short while; a reasonable request, but in my case thirty minutes late. All passengers were required to complete several forms for “Landing” in Barbados. The forms were delivered to our cabin in an envelope. One of the forms was a luggage declaration form. As there were two sets of every other form in the envelope but only one luggage declaration I called reception to ask if a separate form was needed for each passenger and was advised assuredly that only one of these forms was needed per cabin. Only when I had almost finished completing the form did I see that if passengers were of different surnames, a separate form would be required for each passenger so I had completed the form incorrectly regarding the amount of luggage. I called reception to say that I had been given incorrect information and they said two forms would be sent up. The forms didn’t arrive so I went to collect them myself. I said quite clearly to the Reception Officer that I needed two forms. He went off and after a short while came back with one! This is only one more example of where I felt I was not being listened to. On our final day we had to vacate our cabin by 9a.m. We rose at 7a.m. in time for breakfast and to give our cabin a final check etc. We disembarked at 1.15p.m. and were transported to the Airport. Security checks were carried out quite quickly so we had quite a long wait for our flight at 4.45p.m. The flight time was about eight hours, arriving back at Gatwick at approximately 5.30a.m. U.K. time. Being so early in the morning, our passage through Gatwick was quite swift. We then had a drive home of about an hour and a half. All in all a very long day. I appreciate it’s difficult to strike a happy balance between those passengers departing and those arriving but I do consider to eject us from our cabins so early is unreasonable given our flight departure was not for almost eight hours (Some passengers were booked on flights later than this). The flight home with Thomas Cook airlines was the worst I have ever experienced. I don’t expect Business Class standards on a charter flight but a rock hard seat is unacceptable for a flight of this duration. My upper thighs were aching for days afterwards even though I did manage to stand up and move around several times during the flight. In addition, as soon as we took off and began to climb, water started to pour down in our laps. It was flooding out of a light diffuser above our heads. We called the Flight Attendant as soon as possible who responded by offering us a tissue. I pointed out my concern was more about where the water was coming from. She told us it was from the air conditioning and that the Flight Engineer had checked it and deemed it to be safe. I asked her if the Flight Engineer had checked it and was aware of the situation why hadn’t he done something about it. She then replied “I feel like you’re having a go at me”, offered me another tissue and looked as though she was about to burst into tears. I dread to think how she might react in a true emergency. The aircraft looked dirty and generally well worn. Whilst on the ship, the subject of hygiene was addressed strongly (And quite rightly), although there were inconstancies in procedures here. Sometimes at restaurant entry points a waiter would dispense anti-bacterial gel into everyone’s hands. On other occasions this didn’t happen and the bottles of gel that were present were empty. It was somewhat disconcerting therefore to see one of the flight attendants rub her hands across her nostrils and mouth, across her hair then position her hands around the spout of a teapot while she spoke to a colleague. Needless to say, I declined the offer of tea and coffee for the duration of the flight. It’s sufficient to say the food on this flight was disgusting. Cruising with P & O used to be a delightful and memorable experience. It’s still memorable, but for the wrong reasons. If you’re happy with Benidorm on sea then choose a P & O cruise. If you’re looking for something special forget P & O. Choose instead one of the Cruise companies that still know how to provide a memorable experience. They may cost more of course but perhaps that’s the price of civilised company, professionalism and real service.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
My sister and I have just come back from a two-week cruise of the Western Mediterranean on the P&O ship Ventura, and although it was generally a good experience, we did not enjoy it as much as other cruises we have taken on the Oceana, ... Read More
My sister and I have just come back from a two-week cruise of the Western Mediterranean on the P&O ship Ventura, and although it was generally a good experience, we did not enjoy it as much as other cruises we have taken on the Oceana, the Aurora and the Adonia. The Good The ship itself was fine, and all the crew we met were quite outstanding: we had two wonderful waiters, Romeo and Deepak, at our table in the Saffron restaurant, and our wine steward Angel was also very pleasant. We did not see much of our cabin steward Sidney, but he kept our cabin immaculate. We often went to the Red Bar in the evenings for pre-dinner cocktails, sitting at the bar, and the staff there were always very friendly. We went to The Glass House several times there for both lunch and dinner (and also once for a wine-tasting event), and the staff there were always excellent: both friendly and knowledgeable about wine. On the second evening we had dinner there I noticed that the restaurant manager took my dessert from the waiter as he was carrying it towards our table so that he could serve it to me personally. We also had both dinner and lunch in the East restaurant: both the food and the staff were excellent. We can not understand why some reviewers say bad things about the P&O staff; we suspect that those people must behave in an offhand or rude manner towards the staff, and so receive minimal service in return. We were amazed to hear one woman say that she had been to Reception and demanded that the tips be taken off her account; in contrast, we gave additional tips in cash to our waiters and stewards, as we thought they were so good. The food was generally of a high standard, and the entertainment was mostly good: we saw several excellent shows in the Arena theatre put on by the 'Headliners' company, and there was a very good duo called 'Into The Drift' to whom we listened a number of times in the Atrium and the Metropolis. There were also two reasonable pop groups, 'Supastition' and 'Dynamite Groove', and a singer who was good as long as she was singing - but her "patter" between songs was dire! The Bad The passengers, on the other hand, left much to be desired. Here are some of the things we encountered: An old (and grossly fat) woman sat by the Oasis pool sounding off at the top of her shrill voice, who then said "There's some ignorant people on this ship!" Ah, the irony of it! People wandering the decks (and even the lifts) with plates of food from the buffet. A woman at afternoon tea in the restaurant who swigged Lucozade straight from the plastic bottle, and kept saying "Ta, luv" to the waiters. Two women, complete strangers both to each other and everyone else at the table, who exchanged intimate details of their respective daughters' pregnancies over the breakfast table in loud voices. A bearded, pony-tailed, hippy type who, on a smart casual evening, was seated in the Atrium wearing a pair of scruffy jeans with a large tear across one knee. A woman at lunch who thought that four formal nights (out of fourteen) was "a lot", though she supposed that it was all right for those people who liked to dress for dinner. She then said that the previous night (one of those formal nights) she had felt unwell, so her husband had gone to the restaurant by himself - and since he was on his own he thought he could just "slip down in shirt and trousers", despite the dress code being "black tie". Overall We thought the general standard of dress was poor: some of these people could manage to dress for "black tie" nights acceptably, but did not understand that "black and white" should still be tasteful - and turned up looking like Hollywood's idea of mafiosi, with white jackets, black shirts, white ties and spats; and they seemed to have no understanding of "smart casual" for the non-formal nights. We can only imagine what it must have been like in the 'Waterside' self-service buffet, if the people who actually troubled to go to the restaurants were like that. There were also a lot of tattoos on display - far more than we have seen on other P&O cruises - and a surprising number of people smoking. In general, the passengers seemed rather uncouth. We encountered very few people whom we considered to be nice, and with whom it was possible to have a pleasant conversation (again, very different from our other cruises). There must be something wrong when by far the nicest people on a ship are the crew, not the passengers! Next time we cruise, we will try the Oceana again; but if we find that it has gone down-market, and is now the same as the Ventura, we think that in future we will have to go up-market to another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
This was our 10th cruise and the first with P&O we looked forward with great expectation to this cruise. Our booking was made on the 16th Sept 2012 outside twin grade LC with freedom dining,sailing date 21st October. We booked a ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise and the first with P&O we looked forward with great expectation to this cruise. Our booking was made on the 16th Sept 2012 outside twin grade LC with freedom dining,sailing date 21st October. We booked a overnight stay with parking for the duration of the cruise and a taxi to the port and back,it makes it a little less stressful than traveling the 300+ miles we have to travel on the sail-away day. Embarcation was swift and well organised and after a cup of coffee in the Waterside we found our cabin ready for use though the luggage was still to be delivered it wasn't long before it arrived. The cabin was as we expected it to be twin beds plenty of hanging space and good decor typical of most cruise ships of this size,on the bed were the ships daily information paper and a letter addressed to my wife and I which I eagerly opened only to be disappointedly informed we were allocated 2nd sitting dining on a table of 8 and that freedom dining had been full since July,how can this be possible we booked in September surely they could have told us,so we went in search of the Restaurant's Manager to try and resolve the issue and found him in the Saffron dining room ,when eventually we were let through to see him (we were just one of many couples queuing to see him)we explained that late dining was not something we can handle as it affects both our sleeping patterns,he was not in the least interested his attitude was like it or lump it and if you want to eat early you can eat in the Waterside.We have in the past sailed with Ocean Village and this was a relaxed freestyle type of cruising where we eat buffet meals and very good they were so we resigned ourselves to eating in the Waterside. only one night did we have any thing that resembled a decent British meal of Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, nearly every other meal was a Theme Night consisting of spiced dishes and rice with a few exceptions,by the half way stage we were living on salad and ham and sick of the sight of it. Entertainment was pretty good especially the singers and resident dancers and a couple of guest tribute artists, a guest speaker in shape of Ray Clemence gave us a insight into his life with Liverpool and Spurs. On board activities were very poor unless you were into losing pounds of your waist and pocket,not forgetting deck quoits and shuffle board. Ports of call were what we expected having spent holidays in all the Canary Islands but Lisbon and Virgo were worth the visit. To sum up we had as good a time as we could make of it but its not looking good for any future P&O cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We this cruise on the Ventura and spent one week on 'Atlantic Coast' cruise in Mrach where the weather was surprisingly warm and generally good! We have cruised before a couple of times (Ocean Village and RCL Voyager of the ... Read More
We this cruise on the Ventura and spent one week on 'Atlantic Coast' cruise in Mrach where the weather was surprisingly warm and generally good! We have cruised before a couple of times (Ocean Village and RCL Voyager of the Seas) and wanted to try out a no-fly cruise and also see what P&O was like. It started off very well, getting to Southampton from Norfolk was about the same as getting to Gatwick and the embarkation was very well handled plus the cabin was ready early! The cabin, a balcony on B deck was fine, a little tired perhaps, but the Tea-making facilities made up for that, and the cabin steward was very welcoming. We had a quick explore of the ship (not as impressively glitzy as Voyager but fine for us), and as we were tired a relaxing meal in the Waterside. We'd had lunch there (limited selection) but assumed that the evening meal would be more impressive. Wrong! The was very limited choice of mains, they were presented in school-meals style and tasted as if they had been prepared days ago. Also, it may be a small thing but the hand-sanitizers were on the wall and there was no attempt to get you to use them. It was down-right depressing all the staff seems dour-faced and there under sufferance. In fact we seemed to be in the way as staff pushed past to slop more food into the waiting troughs. Where were the friendly welcoming faces of the other boats who seemed pleased to see us? When we tried the main dining room (Freedom dining) we had a half-hour wait (shorter than we expected and we had the buzzer to tell us when a table was ready), but the service was impersonal and rushed -- we were asked for drink preferences only when we were waiting for our sweets and then hassled out at the earliest convenience (for the staff that is). And we were expected to wear a Tuxido/Suite on formal nights for this? We were lucky to discover the Beach House (evenings only -- free but some items had a supplement attached) and East (charged £20pp) both of which had friendly, attentive staff who seemed interested in ensuring that you had an enjoyable meal. The main dining room (served) and Waterside (buffet) which were the only two options for breakfast, saw equally poor quality food. Almost certainly kept hot for ages, rubbery rolls and toast, with second rate coffee. Although, to be fair, dining room coffee had been only slightly better on the other boats -- I wonder what it is, this was sub-instant by a long chalk. And on that subject (coffee) we did try Tazzine but the 'Costa' coffee there, despite the long wait (waiter had loooong chat with mate at bar) just tasted of diluted milk. Other passengers seemed to find the food OK or even enjoying it with plates piled high with salads, curries, roasts (yes all on the same plate) which they attacked with gusto. Also there seemed a good take-up of the Tuxedo standard on formal nights (Lobster Tails (1st) and Sirloin Steak(2nd)) but in general I felt that this was people on a very ordinary cruise trying to pretend that they were on a 'Posh' boat. Both of us got 'tummy trouble' which we put down perhaps unfairly (?) to poor food standards when lunching in Waterside, so we changed to Pizza on deck (although the burgers did look OK too) not bad but I should mention that the Diavola was one day so chilli-hot as to be almost inedible and the next not a trace of heat to be found-strange. The shows appeared to be of a high standard (selections from West End x 3, Beatles Tribute) and the films were all recent and popular (P&O get good marks in this area). The ports of calls were fine and probably good choices for the Atlantic Coast (Corunna, Bilbao, St Rochelle & Le Havre), shuttles were free even when the town centre was distant (Bilbao), we didn't do any of the P&O trips preferring a leisurely walk round the towns and a much needed (decent) local coffee. What we found was that whole ship's staff was generally unfriendly/disinterested with some oasis's of good service (Cabin Steward, East, Beach House, Metropolis). Would we sail again with P&O? Probably not Ventura, due to the two main issues food and staff, but maybe one of the other smaller ships. We would be very careful to read the reviews first, we had though that P&O was a premium brand (which it isn't!) and be tempted by an exciting itinerary. Having said that, as there are a lot of cruise lines offering similar trips on genuinely 4* ships and with service/food to match and I think that we would want to try these before giving P&O a another chance. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We had a marvelous time the Ventura transtlantic- would have liked a few more warm days but thats just the luck of the draw. enjoyed the hassle free flight and journey to join the ship. CABIN- It was smaller than on RCI and beds seemed ... Read More
We had a marvelous time the Ventura transtlantic- would have liked a few more warm days but thats just the luck of the draw. enjoyed the hassle free flight and journey to join the ship. CABIN- It was smaller than on RCI and beds seemed smaller too but as you don't spend too much time in there it didn't matter. i enjoy sea days and sitting on the balcony listening to the waves and reading is most important to me, so as long as i can put my feet up and relax, then I'm happy! wardrobe area good size and toilet fine but wish p and o would get rid of the shower curtain. FOOD- You would have to be very picky not to find something you like to eat on this ship. we were on freedom dining and most days we would pop down and look at the menu for that evening and if nothing whetted our appetite we either had a buffet or went to the section of The Beach House that was converted in the evenings to waiter service. our meals also varied depending on what shows/entertainment we wanted to see.Also being on freedom dining as we had already paid our tips on our on board account we didn't feel the waiters/maitre de would worry if we didn't eat there as they knew their tips were safe. when we did eat in cinnamon they were always attentive and nice. ENTERTAINMENT- We enjoyed all the entertainment. we only saw the Headliners Theatre Co a few times but liked what we saw. The comedians and singers were all really good Rob Linacre we thought shone but CLEM CURTIS was simply brilliant. A mention too for The Ventura Orchestra, these were very good and certainly complimented the singers. TOURS- cant comment on here as did our own, will post review on port of call board. A lot of the crew were quiet, but that's not a complaint, rather that than 'over the top'!they were friendly and always said hello. LAUNDERETTE- this was really useful as I'm one of those who hates lots of dirty clothes around. its just a shame about some of the people who use them, a bit like the sun bed savers! A few occasions witnessed people being totally self centred. like the lady who put her washing in one machine and saw the next machine empty, so took one item out and put it in the empty machine to 'save' it while she went back to her cabin to get another load but in the meantime there were other people who came in to use the facility and couldn't. now my only gripe is the medical services- don't get me wrong i expect they do a good service for those in real need, but there should be a way to buy 'over the counter' medicines on board. i had a troublesome rash/prickly heat which started on 3rd day of holiday. i managed to get some calamine lotion in the shop which didn't do much good but as i thought it was the heat i thought i would have to grin and bear it. i only realised after we left the azures and it got cooler that my rash didn't change and as we were then constantly at sea i had to go and ask at medical centre about it and nurse told me to get anti histamine cream from on board shop but they said they don't sell it, went back to medical s]centre and was told is wanted any cream would have to pay £50 to see doc. needless to say i didn't bother. i was also annoyed as i feel it is either the air con or strong detergent being used on laundry as rash disappeared once home even though its been very warm here. ignoring my gripe with the medical centre i still had a great holiday if i could find out what caused the rash i would be back on board in no time. the ship and crew are great so get on board! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
As first time cruisers we were fortunate enough to experience the Carribbean for my partners 60th/retirement celebrations. We decided that as we often visit the Med, that we wanted something special.And.....special it was!! However it ... Read More
As first time cruisers we were fortunate enough to experience the Carribbean for my partners 60th/retirement celebrations. We decided that as we often visit the Med, that we wanted something special.And.....special it was!! However it would have been equally special if we had sailed around in circles!!The ship definately made the holiday, what a fantastic experience. The size of the ship was the first shock, nothing could have prepared us for how vast it is. Secondly the security/organisation/and speed of boarding etc was amazing for almost 3500 passengers. No amout of reviews or photographs could prepare you for the facilities on board and the excellent staff who assisted our every need. The web site will tell you of all the restaurants/ bars/ entertainment available so I will just try to elaborate with some of our experiences. we had a super deluxe cabin which was far more somfortable than some expensive hotels we have stayed in. To sit on the balcony wearing our complimentary bathrobes, sipping complimentary champagne, overlooking the most fantastic sunsets I have seen conributed to the most relaxing holiday we have experienced. We chose to pre book 6 trips with P and O and were relly glad that we did. Yes, we could have had excursions in port that were cheaper , or taken local taxi's to a local beach etc, but I defy anyone to prove that they would provide such good value. We took one local trip with another group of people and had to agree that you need to be very careful about confirming what is included in the price. We specifically wanted to visit the live volcano in St Lucia...which we went to with the tour guide.However he omitted to inform us that the entrance fee for that and a botanical garden were not included!!!! So unless you merely want to visit a beach I would be wary. Our trips included swimming with Turtles and Stingrays which was a fantastic opportunity and experience, tubing down the Pagua river which was really good fun,a fantastice scenic trip on the Sugar Train,and a cycling trip around St Maarten which was probably the only trip we thought was overpriced. The onboard entertainment was amazing and our daily newspaper helped us to plan the day to suit ourselves.We usually opted for the early showing in the theatre before dinner, so that we could also manage to visit Havana for one of the tribute singers/ comedy acts. Each to their own but being bored was never an option. The restaurants are exceptional, and we personally preferred the buffet restaurants for breakfast or lunch only as the fine dining restaurants made the holiday even more special. The White room is a MUST to visit and East was a lovely change with beautifully presented food. My only criticism was that the 'towels on sunbed malarky' still existed and it was often very difficult to get near to the swimming pools. It is a good idea to enjoy the peace and quiet on 'Port ' days. I could go on and on about how fantastic it was but if I simply said that we very reluctantly left our cabin at the end of the trip vowing to return ASAP!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We were a little concerned that the hassle finding the correct coach from our service station pickup point, would have been how the holiday would continue...how wrong were we. The usual efficient check in at Southampton, we travelled as a ... Read More
We were a little concerned that the hassle finding the correct coach from our service station pickup point, would have been how the holiday would continue...how wrong were we. The usual efficient check in at Southampton, we travelled as a group of five including our five year old granddaughter. She had dairy free diet which was discussed with head waiter who took care of everything on the first evening, also check every day to ensure she was happy, actually hunting us out wherever we were on the ship. Bay of biscay was rough, forcing me to medical room for injection, this worked very quickly after a nap and was back to myself within the day and eating normally. Weather was glorious every day, sometimes too hot. Not trouble getting sun beds, but then we were up early. We used the jacuzzi several times beside oasis pool, plus the pool itself. There were a few snooty so and so's that think they own the ship, stating kids under sixteen not allowed in the pool, she was 4 years old for god's sake causing no harm to anyone plus the pool was empty. Barcelona we did on our own, knowing the ropes from a previous visit, really enjoyed this yet again. Monaco and monte Carlo did excursion from ship, again really enjoyed this including the guide. Had loads of free time to ourselves which suited, spent loads of time in gardens which we missed last time due to the walking tour not visiting this area. Civitavecia we did the Bracciano tour, rather than Rome. still full day tour but well worth every penny. Visiting castle where Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes, spectacular views over volcanic lake. Plenty of free time again, but sadly no souvenir shops, just restaurants and coffee bars. In fact we said it was so beautiful we could set up a souvenir stall and make a killing. Great photo opportunities at castle and lake and on journey back to the port. Corsica was wonderful, not at all like our first experience some years ago, streets were dirty, dog poo everywhere. This time completely opposite, spotless..lovely Market great bargains spent loads! Visited the tortoise park a must for everyone, taxi cost 80 euros driver waited an hour for us and took us back to the Market area, far cheaper than P&O. Gibraltor lovely although quiet due to festival the weekend before, most shops don't open till 11am, you have to be back on board at 1.30, so it was a sprint to get the excellent duty free's a good opportunity to stock up on cigs, tobacco, spirits, jewellery etc..some real bargains here good opportunity to get rid of the remaining euros left too but also take sterling which is good, very friendly shops and cafes. Back on board for the dreaded sail back to southampton and again the bay of biscay rough again, suffering the tail end of hurricane katia, confined to cabin again, next time I will be prepared with ginger as that seemed to help. Now for the ship...cabin excellent bit of mechanical noisy but to be expected on deck 5. We liked the proximity to Atrium and cinnamon restaurant so happy to put up with noise. Cabin Steward Martin polite and efficient, kept cabin spotless as expected. spent most of our evening meal times at Cinnamon which made our holiday, food again excellent, they made a great fuss of our granddaughter and nothing was too much trouble. Went to Beach house and although service is a bit slower than Cinnamon it was still lovely and didn't feel rushed to finish. Breakfasts and lunches to our satisfaction having the freedom to eat when you want and where, on deck mostly, pizzas and burgers from Frankies regularly, plus the ice cream to finish off lunch. entertainment excellent west end style, all shows we attended were excellent and hats off to the production even during the bad swells. Visited most of the bars where my granddaughter enjoyed dancing on an empty floor, really cheering up some of the oldies who started looking out for her change of outfits. the photo crew have been given a bad rep on most reviews, if you don't want a photo politely say no and they leave you along, but on the plus side we wanted some nice holiday photos of Grace and our group, one of the photographers kindly obliged when we collared him one evening, when he was on his way to a different area, he could have said no but didn't. To sum up, apart from a couple of days with sea swells this holiday was brilliant, nice and hot and enough ports to allow a relaxing holiday. Cannot wait for next July for 7 ships sail away already booked. Had an excellent time and hats off again to P&O, well done !!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Departed from Southampton after a lengthy rail trip from Edinburgh. Arrived around 2 pm and were on board an hour later without any hassle. Loved our balcony cabin and the option to smoke outside. We were on A deck so completely private. ... Read More
Departed from Southampton after a lengthy rail trip from Edinburgh. Arrived around 2 pm and were on board an hour later without any hassle. Loved our balcony cabin and the option to smoke outside. We were on A deck so completely private. Our steward was Virag, but as he said at the end of the cruise "sorry I was not able to do much for you". We had to keep phoning up for ice, not once did they offer it.We were on Freedom Dining at the Cinnamon Restaurant. Myself, partner and 12 year old sulk-bag. He does not eat much, so requested the chicken breast on several occasions. This was served to him whilst we were being served starters, not ideal as he then wanted to leave before our main meals had been served. We stopped using this restaurant as, to be honest, the portions were tiny and not enough to fill us up. We requested that the £22 per person which had been added on as gratuities be deducted, and this was done without question. When being served a champagne sorbet, my partner uttered "where is it?" and a waiter came to explain it was champagne sorbet, an in-between course. It was tiny and over in 2-3 mouthfuls.We tried the "afternoon tea" once. Nothing special, and no indication that there was anything vegetarian available.We did enjoy the Indian night in the buffet, plenty for the vegetarian and meat eating amongst us. Though I'm still confused why they had to make the spinach soup from fish stock?All the Headliners shows were magnificent. I ended up going to these shows alone. The only comment I would make is that they did "Reflex" an 80s-themed night and forgot about the most influential band of the 80s - The Smiths.We attended most of the quizzes i.e. Name That Tune and were quite successful - I won a torch and a bookmark light and felt right pleased with myself. We also took part in the Afternoon at the Races, made comical with the West Country bird and her sexes. And Bingo, though I never won anything at that.I had read about the sun lounger complaints on this site and was expecting never to find a free sunbed. Though I did take it upon myself to move towels from sunbeds and nobody challenged me on their return (very late in the day!) We had fabulous weather for most of the cruise and by the time it turned cloudy I had had enough of the sun anyway! I am currently peeling away to pre-holiday whiteness.Our last port of call was supposed to be Gibraltar, but it was decided not to call here as it was "too windy". I had been looking forward to this stop and was well disappointed that whoever it was had taken this decision. No compensation offered, but they did play "The King's Speech" in the Arena Theatre. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
This was our second cruise with p&o. Both med cruises. Service was exceptional, food always lived up to expectations. Entertainmet varied and of good quality. Headliners presented broadway style musicals and deserved to be introduced ... Read More
This was our second cruise with p&o. Both med cruises. Service was exceptional, food always lived up to expectations. Entertainmet varied and of good quality. Headliners presented broadway style musicals and deserved to be introduced as such, spectacular and brilliantly choreographed, Beegee tribute was fun and entertaining. Martin Daniels and his comedy magic show amazed and amused us. George King and his gardening jokes, jept it clean and family orientated.However, the stars of the cruise, from our families point of view, were the tireless and patent childrens entertainers. Each age range have their own group of reef rangers with activities throughout the day. Crackers and Cheese entertained with funny and wow factor magic hows and fun houses. Most days they were in the buffet for childrens noddy tea with balloons and magic. They were genuinely interested in the children, who inevitably stopped them around the ship. Even when they were off duty and wondering around the port stops, they always took the time to chat and have some fun with the children. Genuinely nice couple as well!! Adults being entertained is one thing, but when children feel like they are safe and entertained then everyone can relax and enjoy them selves. Well done P&o and well done reef rangers and especially Crackers and Cheese!!! We will travel again with you Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
We are just back from the Ventura's three night short cruise and have been more then pleased after reading some of the negative reviews here beforehand.Our inside aft cabin (B721) was nicely decorated and more roomy than expected. We ... Read More
We are just back from the Ventura's three night short cruise and have been more then pleased after reading some of the negative reviews here beforehand.Our inside aft cabin (B721) was nicely decorated and more roomy than expected. We were woken by the engines as the ship was docking, but soon went back off to sleep. If you are a very light sleeper you may want to consider another location on the ship. The food was fantastic, not one complaint. The buffet was fresh and plentiful, we didn't have to que once. Dinner in the main dining room was outstanding, from the food to the service, to the surroundings, just perfect. We also ate one evening in the Beach House and had another very enjoyable meal. The menu in there doesn't change, we both had Buffalo wings to start and ribs for main, with a side of Bruchetta. Although it's not fine dining its was all cooked and presented beautifully, we had a window table overlooking the ocean watching the sun set - what more could you ask for?Service throughout the ship was second to none, we didn't go to the bar for our own drinks once. There are plenty of bar waiters to bring your drinks to the table and they keep an eye on your drinks for refills.Everything was well organised apart from disembarking. Luckily we were one of the first off but can imagine the chaos that we left behind. People were queuing up the stairwells and the whole atrium area was packed.Brugge was lovely and very easy to get to on the train, there is no need to pay the £28pp excursion fee. Le Havre was like a ghost town because it was a Sunday and everything was shut.On formal night it seemed everyone made the effort, we didn't see anyone under dressed. Many people were dressing in suits and smart dresses for the smart casual night too.There were a couple of hen parties, but they certainly didn't make a nuisance of themselves. All in all a good trip. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We have just returned from a wonderful caribbean / transatlantic cruise on the beautiful P & O Ventura.We had read all the criticisms but it was a trip that we wanted to do and the price was right!!What a lovely ship - it is vast with ... Read More
We have just returned from a wonderful caribbean / transatlantic cruise on the beautiful P & O Ventura.We had read all the criticisms but it was a trip that we wanted to do and the price was right!!What a lovely ship - it is vast with so many facilities - we particularly enjoyed the cocktails in the superb Metropolis bar, the sangria and tapas in the Ramblas and the choice of restaurants. We were second sitting in Saffron and the food and service were both excellent. We also loved the steaks in the Beach House and thought East was super and the buffet in the Waterside offered so many choices. Yes, the buffet can be busy, but you choose to book on a ship with 3,000+ passengers, and we never failed to find a table or ever thought the shortage of teaspoons a problem (they disappear in our house too).Despite numerous complaints, there was absolutely no shortage of sun loungers.Of course there is limited space around pools but there are so many areas which are so much quieter and we sunbathed and read all the way across the Atlantic. We loved all the sea days and the relaxation they offered. We bought spa passes for £40 each and loved the thermal suite. We have come home rested and feel as if we have really had a holiday. If you like being on the go everyday, this is not the type of cruise for you.There are loads of activities - dance classes, the gym, talks, films etc and the evening entertainment offered something for everyone from top west end singers to "club" acts.The value for money is excellent, far better than a land based holiday.There was a wide cross section of passengers and all age groups. I would not go on a family ship on or around school holidays, so those who moaned about the type of passengers and the few children that were on board should use adult only ships.Altogether a fantastic relaxing holiday on a lovely ship. Now looking forward to a trip on Adonia in October. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Just back from Barbados with Ventura and excellent holiday with good company. Many good things about the ship-food ,beer ,entertainment all first class. Put on about 7 lb due to over eating and tried to miss meals out.Evening ... Read More
Just back from Barbados with Ventura and excellent holiday with good company. Many good things about the ship-food ,beer ,entertainment all first class. Put on about 7 lb due to over eating and tried to miss meals out.Evening meal was first class silver service which lasted 2 hours but on a table with good company. Drank good English real ale mostly in bottles at pub prices- Greene King IPA, Bass, Spitfire,Old Speckled hen and Boddies on draught. Saw 2 shows most nights and all but 1 very good -Adrian Walsh comedian brilliant. Opera singer also very good.Used the gym and wife did Pilates a few times. Went offshore every day on trips usually taking local mini buses sightseeing and beach later.3 trips booked via P & O or locally. No bad stomach and even drank ships water all holiday after chilling in fridge. Only bad thing was the Thomson flight very bumpy and hours late but P & O gave us another cabin for the day and all meals. One of my best holidays ever but I never have a bad one and will be booking again soon. Where next?? Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Our very first P&O cruise taken recently on the Venturs was a mixed bag of reactions. First of all it is the very first time we have ever had a delay in sailing and the 15 hours we spent on board before sailing was spent trying to find ... Read More
Our very first P&O cruise taken recently on the Venturs was a mixed bag of reactions. First of all it is the very first time we have ever had a delay in sailing and the 15 hours we spent on board before sailing was spent trying to find our way in this huge vessel. This was certainly the very best cabin with the most comfortable bed we have ever had on any cruise. The cabin was immaculate and well planned so that we had room to move and our clothes were easy to unpack and store in the roomy wardrobe area. The cabin steward did a first class job every day witrh clean fresh towels and no sooner we left the room for breakfast in the morning and our room was cleaned and replenished immediately, we never came back to an unprepared cabin. The service in this respect was first class. The food also was of a superior standard and the choices were varied and numerouos. Quality was first class although the waiters did not provide much more than an adequate service. We had to ask the waiter on a number of occasions for things we expected to be on the table, e.g. NO steak knives - apparently this ship does not carry steak knives. As each course was served, the waiter had to place soup spoons, knives etc in relation to what was ordered. Why can't the tables be set up to provide all the required cutery? The formal nights were also something of a disappointment, out of the four we attended only one had a pre-dinner reception. The other nights had no reception or after dinner show, so why were they classed as special nights? they were exactly the same as all other nights (except we had taken care to dress extra special). We enjoyed the cruise, despite having to miss out one port of call due to the delayed sailing but we have decided that the ship was too big for us, and we prefer the smaller ships with a more intimate atmosphere and more organisation on the gala nighhts. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
First of all let me say that the negative reviews we have read nearly put us off booking the ventura, thank goodness we didn't listen to the doom mongers! From arriving at the terminal to eating lunch at the waterside was 45 ... Read More
First of all let me say that the negative reviews we have read nearly put us off booking the ventura, thank goodness we didn't listen to the doom mongers! From arriving at the terminal to eating lunch at the waterside was 45 minutes. 30 Minutes later our cabin A309 was ready, all our luggage arrived 30 minutes later. Our balcony cabin was surprisingly spacious and there was lots of storage for all of our clothes and three large suitcases plus 2 carry on bags etc.. We had a table for 8 late sitting and all of our dining companions were lovely, we used to spend our evenings all together as the week went on. The food was good, the waiters were attentive and the wine list was surprisingly good. A decent bottle could be had for £17, dessert wine £9. Had the internet package in the cabin 250 minutes plus 30 free for £65. The ship was full and apparently there were 700+ children on board, however we never really noticed the ship was full and we didn't see many children milling about and the ones we did see were very sweet and polite, so P&O kids clubs must be good. Didn't have too much trouble finding a sun bed, although around the pool area was very busy and had we wanted to sit there I think we would have to get there early. We took two trips to Florence and Rome, we enjoyed both and thought they were reasonably priced. The only complaint we have was the attitude of one miserable old bloke on the last day as we we self disembarked we were directed to the queue by the crew and told to join the queue towards the front of the ship and the miserable old boy decided we were pushing in and tried to start an argument, you know the type the same ones that think it is OK to push their way to the front of the lifts, however we had had such a good time we just laughed at him and let it go over our heads.. For anyone thinking twice about booking Ventura because of the negative reviews, don't worry and book asap. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second cruise with P and O, the first being last year on Britannia, which was disappointing. We have cruised with different companies previously so do have some idea of expectations! We returned from a cruise to Norway on ... Read More
This was our second cruise with P and O, the first being last year on Britannia, which was disappointing. We have cruised with different companies previously so do have some idea of expectations! We returned from a cruise to Norway on Ventura yesterday we were disappointed to find that there was a lack of activities during the cruise. The tables in some of the bars and on the tables on deck 15 were not cleaned after use. There didn't seem to be enough staff to serve guests in any of the bars and we were not the only ones who failed to be served in the exchange or on deck 15. Some staff we found to be rude. This was not what we expected. We ate in the restaurant and in the Glass house. The Glass house was excellent, it is a shame that the same can not be said for the main restaurant, we were either rushed through courses and left with the menu for desserts for a cknsiderable period, on some occasions we were asked if we wanted cheese and coffee and others not and felt that although we were asked, we shouldnt have said yes we wanted both, there didnt seem any consistency within the restaurants Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have taken over 35 cruises and this was the worst ever. We ate in the main dining room on a table of 8 at the 8.30 sitting. Waiters were friendly but rushed off their feet. Food was ok but lacked any sparkle. Gone are the days ... Read More
We have taken over 35 cruises and this was the worst ever. We ate in the main dining room on a table of 8 at the 8.30 sitting. Waiters were friendly but rushed off their feet. Food was ok but lacked any sparkle. Gone are the days when you would have lobster or a nice steak on the black tie nights- pretty standard fare. The evening shows were generally good with the runaround kids and the magic show being by far the best. Watched a few films during sea days- good choice. Waited over an hour to park the car at portside and a further one hour 20 mins to board ( we later found out that there were delays in disembarkation causing delays in boarding) no communication- it was a shambles Once on board we settled into our cabin - a superior delux balcony with a bath- which combined with our cabin stewardess was excellent. Visited the buffet once - pretty standard food with no imagination. We had coffee and some lovely cakes ( at a cost of £2.50 a cup) at the Costa bar. Service there was always polite although my wife was told that she couldn't have a cake or sandwich if she didn't buy a coffee , despite no signs advising us of this fact being present. Not handled by well by waitress - Very rude. First port was Vigo - took a Santiago de Castella on your own tour ie coach picked you up at port dropped you off and collected you £40 per person - what a rip off. 50 passengers at £40 gave P&O £2000 to hire a coach for 5 hours Next port was Lisbon. P&O provided a shuttle bus at £4 each way. We walked into the center square - took us around 20 minutes in a leasurely stroll and had a coffee / custard tart - lovely. Our call at Porto was cancelled due to "high swell" so we stayed in Lisbon for a further half day. Leaving for our next port at Guernsey early afternoon. Woken early on the Thursday morning by the noisy motors lowering the tender boats to go into St Peter Port. P&O kindly provided us with a detailed sheet on the tendering process and pointed out that there was an early morning rush to get off ( what a surprise) and if guests waited until 11.30 any wait would be small. We duly arrived at 11.30 to catch the tender to be met with chaos. Very upset Passengers who had been waiting, staff who didn't have a clue what was going on and no communication / apology from the bridge. Only 3 tender boats running although someone said they were trying to increase the number. We waited for 3 hours to get to the tender (2.30) and in the end didn't go as the last tender back was 5pm. Spoke to several passengers who said they had waited hours to return to the ship. Next problem was due to the late return of the tenders we left Guernsey late and hence returned to Southampton late. We always walk off early with our own cases. But instead of 7.15 ( when everything is quiet ) it was past 8 when all the lifts were full. Gangway was on same deck as breakfast que it was chaos , again angry passengers fed up of being pushed around by staff, and staff who just had no idea of how to communicate or organise - it was shameful. Finally got off the ship and picked up the car with no problem. P&O need to do a lot better - it's a very competitive cruise market with lots of choice. 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 3.3
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
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise