We joined the waiting line (from our Southampton hotel) for passengers at about 12.45 on Saturday 31 oct 2015 (embarkation time ~13.00). After initial formalities we were asked to go upstairs and sit in the waiting area. Upstairs we went and looked for a seat. None to be seen. Eventually a small table became available for my wife to sit down while we waited. It was while we were waiting that it dawned on us that a majority of passengers in the waiting hall were chancers. They arrived early on the off chance they could embark ahead of their embarkation time, thereby clogging up the system. For heavens sake; if you have an embarkation time then stick to it.
Found our cabin and introduced ourselves to our very capable and happy stewardess.
We had booked "THE EPICUREAN " for our wedding anniversary. This is what I found :-
!. The booking card clearly stated "Black Tie". On enquiring, it was a mistake and just smart casual would suffice.
2. I am a bit hard of hearing and found the restaurant extractor fans very loud.
3. We were given our menus and after a short while I said to my wife "I shall have salmon to start." "There is no salmon on the menu " she said. We had been given different menus.
4. As a gift from the chef were giver some tomato lollipops. They were pretty vile tasting.
5 Bread was brought to the table and I chose a twisted loaf with bacon pieces. Tough doesn't begin to describe it
6 Salmon was chosen as starters. Smoked and whiskey flavoured. The only difference was the colour
7. We were served by a waitress whose face could have launched a thousand ships; hardships that is. None of your happy to see you business with this one.
8. Main course was belly pork. Belly pork was of the long lasting variety. It was served with scallop and chicken skin. I kid you not; chicken skin was part of the main course.
9. Rest of the meal went O.K. including the Crepe Susette
10. On leaving the restaurant I asked the DRM for the comments book. He didn't know what a comment book was.
11. My wife an I made our way slowly back to our cabin at the bow , making a few stops on the way.. No sooner had we entered our cabin when there was a knock on the door and a waiter from The Epicurean presented us with two chocolates on a saucer.
Was it just coincidence that he arrived just as we had got back to our cabin or was big brother watching us. The latter I suspect
On the subject of meals, the layout of the dishes available at breakfast is deplorable. What passes for toast (more akin to terracotta tiles) is nowhere near the butter/flora bin or anywhere near the marmalade
Generally I felt that Ventura was getting old before its time. It wouldn't have suprised me to hear that a window had fallen out due to corrosion. There seems to be a lot of metal peckers about. I did enjoy the observation deck. Super place to spend time whale watching.
Stepped into cabin and saw the full length hanging rail. What a fantastic improvement. Even the smalls cupboard has been improved. I felt that the balcony was a bit on the small side
taxi from hotel to ship
took the ho.ho and then walked into town
took the ho.ho for a tour of the (almost) slums
plenty of cheap goods . you get what you pay for
great place for whale watching trips. At least half the price of PO
cakes a plenty