Looking to escape the cold Lake District for some warmth, we'd spotted this cruise months before, and so we were able to choose the exact cabin in the right spot, 11 months before we sailed. Although we've tried quite a few lines, we always return to Ventura... not a glitzy ship, with an indoor pool (a must for us), and sensible guidance rules re: tipping... we don't choose lines which insist on offering low prices and then sneakily add vast amounts of tips on top these days. This would be our 5th cruise with Ventura, so it felt like returning home. The first week and a half had only one port, in beautiful Madeira, before heading to Barbados, 6 days away. Unfortunately, a medical emergency meant that the captain had to increase the speed, and so we arrived a day early so that the patient could be hospitalised. This gave us all an overnight in the port, which was a bonus to many. The next day we met forum friends who had flown in to meet Britannia from the UK. The Caribbean is not my favourite destination, but my husband likes to snorkel, so this part of the cruise was for him- and he revelled in every moment. Sadly, he'd not booked early enough for most of the snorkelling tours, and was left with beach excursions, which gave him plenty of swimming but little sea life to examine... it was on Martinique that he managed to take a local ferry to the best snorkelling of the cruise. Next time he'll book well in advance! I had wonderful days on board, after short strolls in the island ports. The manager of the Costa coffee bar knew my desire of coffee and Victoria sponge to go whenever he saw me leave the lift... I sat on deck 7, reading my kindle and sipping, and thought it was bliss! My days were the sea days... so full of activities that normally we missed lunch and headed for afternoon tea so that we could fit in so many, innovative things. I loved the raffle prize, which was to paint P&O's new colours on the funnel! We don't often visit the main dining room, except on formal nights.. the few times we ventured in, the food was very good, but there's too many courses for us. On the whole we ate in the buffet, which is decked for dining on an evening; each night has a speciality menu; the Indian night being always popular with passengers on P&O. The activities and entertainment was of a high standard, with fascinating lectures on each leg of the journey; The Headliners as always were so good, and the many guests who flew in or joined for part of the journey were superb ... there was a lot of appreciated classical music throughout, and not so much noisy music in parts of the ship, especially the Terrace bar on 15, which is now a silent bar (Hurray!) The very best port for me was the Azores, which we'd never visited before, and really expected another Madeira. What a wonderful place this is! We were completely captivated, and hope to have a short break there in the near future. Other than that port, most of the other islands were known to us, apart from St Lucia and St Maarten (where we notice next year's cruise has an overnight stay...) The best part of a long cruise is that you make genuine friends on board, and we're thinking about joining some of them on the same cruise in 2017...

A Month at Sea

Ventura Cruise Review by jocap

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Caribbean
Looking to escape the cold Lake District for some warmth, we'd spotted this cruise months before, and so we were able to choose the exact cabin in the right spot, 11 months before we sailed. Although we've tried quite a few lines, we always return to Ventura... not a glitzy ship, with an indoor pool (a must for us), and sensible guidance rules re: tipping... we don't choose lines which insist on offering low prices and then sneakily add vast amounts of tips on top these days.

This would be our 5th cruise with Ventura, so it felt like returning home.

The first week and a half had only one port, in beautiful Madeira, before heading to Barbados, 6 days away. Unfortunately, a medical emergency meant that the captain had to increase the speed, and so we arrived a day early so that the patient could be hospitalised. This gave us all an overnight in the port, which was a bonus to many. The next day we met forum friends who had flown in to meet Britannia from the UK.

The Caribbean is not my favourite destination, but my husband likes to snorkel, so this part of the cruise was for him- and he revelled in every moment. Sadly, he'd not booked early enough for most of the snorkelling tours, and was left with beach excursions, which gave him plenty of swimming but little sea life to examine... it was on Martinique that he managed to take a local ferry to the best snorkelling of the cruise. Next time he'll book well in advance!

I had wonderful days on board, after short strolls in the island ports. The manager of the Costa coffee bar knew my desire of coffee and Victoria sponge to go whenever he saw me leave the lift... I sat on deck 7, reading my kindle and sipping, and thought it was bliss!

My days were the sea days... so full of activities that normally we missed lunch and headed for afternoon tea so that we could fit in so many, innovative things. I loved the raffle prize, which was to paint P&O's new colours on the funnel!

We don't often visit the main dining room, except on formal nights.. the few times we ventured in, the food was very good, but there's too many courses for us. On the whole we ate in the buffet, which is decked for dining on an evening; each night has a speciality menu; the Indian night being always popular with passengers on P&O.

The activities and entertainment was of a high standard, with fascinating lectures on each leg of the journey; The Headliners as always were so good, and the many guests who flew in or joined for part of the journey were superb ... there was a lot of appreciated classical music throughout, and not so much noisy music in parts of the ship, especially the Terrace bar on 15, which is now a silent bar (Hurray!)

The very best port for me was the Azores, which we'd never visited before, and really expected another Madeira. What a wonderful place this is! We were completely captivated, and hope to have a short break there in the near future. Other than that port, most of the other islands were known to us, apart from St Lucia and St Maarten (where we notice next year's cruise has an overnight stay...)

The best part of a long cruise is that you make genuine friends on board, and we're thinking about joining some of them on the same cruise in 2017...
jocap’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get P&O Ventura price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Cabin 732
A typical Grand Class cabin, which makes the most of the space by having a separate dressing area. As always, the cabin gives a special welcome with the tea tray, biscuits, dish of sweets and the flower in the vase.
  Ventura Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews