The holiday got off to a dissapointing start when our flight was delayed because of an outage with the baggage belt supply at Gatwick.
After just over 2 hours we finally took off.
The service was very slow on Thomas Cook flight. As usual they do not regard themselves as in the service industry but are "inflight safety officers".
The temperature on the aircraft was very cold to suit the cabin crew working, and not the passengers.
Upon arrival at the Venturer, we were impressed with the efficency of the check in, also the transfer from the aircraft.
The Venturer is a very big well kept ship.
The big let down is the staff on the whole of the ship. There is one nationality which is prevalent throughout the ship and they just do not pay attention, are very slow, and walk about in pairs talking to each other.
The one exeption was the cabin steward, Martin. He excelled in his work and was always happy if sometimes a little tired.
The mixed fruit at breakfast always ran out quickly and was never replenished quick enough. When I asked one of the supervisors in a white uniform to do something about it his attitude was not what it should have been.
The edges of the dining room in the breakfast buffet were never clean. Maybe the staff are used to living like it but the officers should inspect it better and educate them
The entertainment during the day was dire. The guest speaker could send you to sleep every afternoon with his monotonous droning from a book.
The quiz prizes were a joke. nothing usefull like a bottle of wine. Just silly stars like a child at primary school would receive for merit. As in other reviews, trying to get a drink in the Exchange bar was very difficult.
The staff also played some dreadfull rock music which they must have liked, but could not have suited the average age group of the people using the bar.
We booked freedom dining, but when we got there, we were told we HAD to got to Saffron restaurant at 18.30 as too many people wanted freedom dining.
When we booked by telephone with P&O we were not told there was a possibility we would be changed. When we complained, the reception staff pointed out a very small "wl" next Freedom dining on the booking form which denoted wait listed.Because of this, were restricted to that restaurant or the buffet which was always very full.
There were other venues to dine which P&O unbelievably wanted you to pay for.The food must have been the same, so you had to pay for better service.
One of the venues, East, was Asian food. Now, the curries in the buffet did not seem authentic,(surprising as they were cooked by Indians) so I didnt think it would be a good idea to pay and be disappointed.
On the transatlantic crossing, the ship took a detour to the Azores instead of calling at Tenerife. The captain told us this was to avoid bad weather. I rather suspect this was to save a massive amount of fuel,and of course, money.
On other cruises, the majority of staff seemed to be Phillipino, who were a delightful race of people, always so happy, and more importantly, good at the job. This ship needs a complete crew change.
P&O staff were not good at the job,and sometimes surly.
I suggest the people running P&O try a little "undercover boss" trips on their own ships and then on other cruise lines to see where they are going wrong.
I think I'll give P&O a miss in future.
St lucia is a dirty dump. Do not go for a walk around the port. Avoid it at all costs, and take trip and see some of the islands better points.
This is a very nice place with nice people, as most of the Carribean used to be. You can shop safely around the abundance of shops or get a taxi to one of the good beaches which are not far at all at a reasonably cheap cost.
I wish we could have had longer there.
The port itself is not very nice, but there are some good trips to be taken. We opted for a catermaran sail, with snorkelling and beach visit. It was well worth it. The staff on the cat were fun and friendly, and the fish were amazing.