Only our second cruise (previously on RCI Brilliance of the Seas) but we were happier with P&O and Ventura in most aspects.
Entertainment was superb with highly competent resident bands and excellent theatre shows, on some sea days there were up to 3 different shows in addition to usual residents.
We enjoyed the quizzes, the visiting expert was talking on sea mammals so regrettably did not catch our interest, I joined the sea days choir which was enthusiastically run, great ents team stirring things up at all times especially sailaways.
One specific criticism is that the live music is relentlessly aimed at the over 60s and I do not think I heard a single song released since 1985!! Come on P&O we love the likes of Adele even if we are not the rap generation.
Cabins good, like the long wardrobe rail and dressing area, nothing missed out. Perhaps Brilliance ots felt more luxurious. (Outside cabin - part restricted view Deck E looking over lifeboat)
Food in main restaurant excellent at all times. We were very impressed by Marco Pierre White designed seven course menu on last black tie night. (Four black tie nights in 14 day cruise with dress code "Strictly enforced" according to notices). Lunch in buffet got a bit boring but we had a possible virus outbreak and self service was abandoned and staff brought in to serve which did restrict some options (Burger and Pizza bars closed for a couple of days).
Bar service was good- always available but never overbearing or hinting for tips.
Ports were mostly new to us and access in to town was easy from all of them so we did not take any excursions. Excellent selection other than Casablanca which everyone had warned us not to get excited about.
Ship was fully booked but rarely felt crowded, plenty of seating available in most areas with reasonable (if not home sofa) comfort. Everywhere was clean and well looked after with design and furnishings up to four star standard.
P&O are trying to organise embarkation and disembarkation but still involved long queues and waiting well after scheduled times.
Would be happy to go back on Ventura anytime.
We were a party of four so took a taxi into town centre at less than shuttle bus cost. We had found a "free" (tips only) walking tour on the internet and spent 3 hours in company of a very entertaining local guide with a stop for custard tars and aperitifs. Late lunch and then back to ship.
Ship is is in the old city harbour so everything was very close. Tourist office has leaflet with walks where you just follow a coloured line on the pavement to see much of the town. Do not miss the tower with the camera obscura. Also saw a free archeological site in the new theatre building (need to book but only on the day)
Cannot see Gib is worth more than the half day we had. If you are homesick for English pubs or want a lot of duty free shopping then maybe but the fixed price taxi tour of the high rock was all that attracted us. This takes two hours and is well worth the price especially if you get a good driver when you can learn a lot about local life and attitudes.
Super place, ship moored close in, walk into town, lots of Roman ruins well presented and great tapas for lunch
Took another free walking tour with a local- great day- much better than expected. Yes there was a strike on by bin men but we accepted this and there was nothing dire!! We are planning to go back as we had eliminated this area as tacky tourist resort but we were wrong.
We had been to Funchal for a week a few years ago so we hired a car for 40 Euros (all in no excess) from a local car hire firm 10/20 minutes walk from the ship. Went to far end of island, had a great lunch in a cafe overlooking the sea, in bright sun, being serenaded by classical guitarist. Fabulous island- do not miss the glass floored balcony over the second highest cliff in the world!