I am very disappointed in this, my first (and last) Cruise. I was mistakenly confident, when booking my cruise with P&O, that I would spend a peaceful and relaxing time on board Ventura. My friend and I booked 2 separate cabins, and spent the first 2 days jostling the crowds, unable to obtain a table for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. We spent a long time carrying heavy trays, walking through the 24 hour restaurant and surrounding decks, searching for a table. Upon asking for assistance in finding a table, were told by deck staff "It is difficult - you have to share". After this experience, I spent the remainder of the holiday taking breakfast alone in my cabin, which I did not want to do.
(Our evening meals were prebooked at Bayside Restaurant, with the same table with no problems, and served by excellent staff, Jose and Arun).
During our 2 days spent at sea, we were hoping to relax on sun loungers, but other passengers had placed their blue P&O towels out early on the loungers in order to "book" them, so there were none free until late afternoon. Many of the sun loungers are so tightly crammed together, there is no space to walk around them. After quite some time searching and walking the many decks, we eventually found assistance from the ship staff, who directed us to the only remaining two sun loungers, tightly packed in a mass of bodies (with no view of the sea). To get on them, we had to climb up the loungers from the bottom. My friend has recently had a shoulder operation, so this was not easy.
Our days spent on board Ventura were stressful and not relaxing, similar to spending time in a busy Airport Terminal !!
If I book a holiday in a hotel, and experience difficulty in finding a table to dine at, or request a sun lounger, a hotel will be quick to provide me with the service I pay for. I am shocked and upset that P&O cannot cater for the 3000 plus passengers they have on board. There is a serious shortage of 2 seat tables, and they do not provide adequate sun loungers.
If you are looking for a relaxing peaceful cruise, then think carefully, because this is a glorified "Butlins" - with plenty of entertainment, activities and endless food, but please bear in mind that the Ventura carries over 3000 people all looking for the same things, within a confined space. Therefore, very poor value for money.
Standard basic cabin with shower and large bed (not sure if the cabin was OC or OG or other category ??) - Cabin very good - comfortable and well cleaned.