We have done may cruises before with many different cruise companies, I think P & O was the ninth different operator, so I think we have a wide range of experience. On the positive side, embarkation and disembarkation was good. The ship was better than we expected in terms of decor etc as I had read some reviews that said the ship was tired and shabby, we would not agree with this view at all. We had booked only a month before sailing but were very happy with our balcony cabin as it was clean, the bed was comfortable and it was quiet. What really let it down was the dining ! We did not pay to eat in any of the 'Select' dining restaurants as a matter of principle, as, to me cruising should go hand in hand with a 'Fine dining' experience. On P & O this was not the case. The food was mostly edible both in the Bay tree restaurant, and in the Waterside buffet but it was boring! Ok it all you want is 'meat & two veg'! Also I thought that the presentation of the food in the buffet was poor, more like a reasonable canteen, that what i have come to expect from a ship. We had a last minute break in a Tenerife hotel in January and the buffet dining experience there was far superior! The main restaurant dinner menu is principally just 3 courses, (except formal nights) although you could stretch it to 5 if you ordered a soup and another starter, and then a sweet and then the cheese. There was never a salad course. The food was always typicalyl British - , no curry, chilli or any other foreign cuisine. So dining ok if all you want is a full stomach! The other big disappointment, and really the most important, was the lack of hygiene precautions on the ship, - very lax compared to others we have sailed on and therefore no surprise that myself and many other passengers were struck down with norovirus or the like and confined to cabin for 48 hrs to endure room service meal options - dont get me started on that one!! Although there was gel near the gangways, initially nobody was interested in whether passengers used it when boarding after the port stops and it wasn't much better afterwards either, with passengers not even being asked to use the gel if they didn't voluntarily. It was available in the main restaurant and generally used but again I think it was initially easy for people to ignore it if they chose to. When it came to the Waterside buffet restaurant, there was gel available, if you entered to food selection service area, but not when you entered the restaurant seating area, so people could and did, help themselves to coffee, tea etc from the drinks dispensers and then sit at the table and drink them without there even being a bottle of gel in view for them to use. This was generally the case is all buffet areas, and for the pizza and grill options, in the beginning no gel available so it was possible to, for example have a pizza, pick up cutlery take it to a table and sit down and eat it without even looking at a bottle of gel! Is it any wonder there were problems. When we have sailed with other companies, hand hygiene was always much better. The entertainment on board was generally varied and good, some better than others, but it's a matter of personal taste so what some passengers liked, others less so. It was geared very much for the British market. We didn't bother with the photographer so can't comment. The shops were ok, the usual and mostly reasonably priced . They had a guest Marine biologist, Philip Price who did 6 lectures, and was excellent. They had the usual bingo, quizzes etc so pretty typical entertainment overall. We only did 2 shore excursions and the Trip to Seville was excellent while the Lisbon 3 stops one was ok except somehow we only had 2 stops. Value for money is probably average as shore excursions go. We were really interested in booking a World Cruise, and this trip was a try out for P & O but I'm afraid they failed miserably! There is no way I would want to spend 3 months with them! Back to the drawing board on that one!

So disappointed in P & O; no World cruise booking with them then!

Ventura Cruise Review by Proudgran

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have done may cruises before with many different cruise companies, I think P & O was the ninth different operator, so I think we have a wide range of experience.

On the positive side, embarkation and disembarkation was good. The ship was better than we expected in terms of decor etc as I had read some reviews that said the ship was tired and shabby, we would not agree with this view at all. We had booked only a month before sailing but were very happy with our balcony cabin as it was clean, the bed was comfortable and it was quiet.

What really let it down was the dining ! We did not pay to eat in any of the 'Select' dining restaurants as a matter of principle, as, to me cruising should go hand in hand with a 'Fine dining' experience. On P & O this was not the case. The food was mostly edible both in the Bay tree restaurant, and in the Waterside buffet but it was boring! Ok it all you want is 'meat & two veg'! Also I thought that the presentation of the food in the buffet was poor, more like a reasonable canteen, that what i have come to expect from a ship. We had a last minute break in a Tenerife hotel in January and the buffet dining experience there was far superior!

The main restaurant dinner menu is principally just 3 courses, (except formal nights) although you could stretch it to 5 if you ordered a soup and another starter, and then a sweet and then the cheese. There was never a salad course. The food was always typicalyl British - , no curry, chilli or any other foreign cuisine. So dining ok if all you want is a full stomach!

The other big disappointment, and really the most important, was the lack of hygiene precautions on the ship, - very lax compared to others we have sailed on and therefore no surprise that myself and many other passengers were struck down with norovirus or the like and confined to cabin for 48 hrs to endure room service meal options - dont get me started on that one!! Although there was gel near the gangways, initially nobody was interested in whether passengers used it when boarding after the port stops and it wasn't much better afterwards either, with passengers not even being asked to use the gel if they didn't voluntarily. It was available in the main restaurant and generally used but again I think it was initially easy for people to ignore it if they chose to. When it came to the Waterside buffet restaurant, there was gel available, if you entered to food selection service area, but not when you entered the restaurant seating area, so people could and did, help themselves to coffee, tea etc from the drinks dispensers and then sit at the table and drink them without there even being a bottle of gel in view for them to use. This was generally the case is all buffet areas, and for the pizza and grill options, in the beginning no gel available so it was possible to, for example have a pizza, pick up cutlery take it to a table and sit down and eat it without even looking at a bottle of gel! Is it any wonder there were problems. When we have sailed with other companies, hand hygiene was always much better.

The entertainment on board was generally varied and good, some better than others, but it's a matter of personal taste so what some passengers liked, others less so. It was geared very much for the British market. We didn't bother with the photographer so can't comment. The shops were ok, the usual and mostly reasonably priced . They had a guest Marine biologist, Philip Price who did 6 lectures, and was excellent. They had the usual bingo, quizzes etc so pretty typical entertainment overall. We only did 2 shore excursions and the Trip to Seville was excellent while the Lisbon 3 stops one was ok except somehow we only had 2 stops. Value for money is probably average as shore excursions go.

We were really interested in booking a World Cruise, and this trip was a try out for P & O but I'm afraid they failed miserably! There is no way I would want to spend 3 months with them! Back to the drawing board on that one!
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Cabin R231
Cabin was clean, tidy, bathroom was ok. Bed was made up as Queen bed and was very comfortable
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