Ventura Cruise Review by jocap
- Sail Date: January 2017
- Destination: Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Outside Twin with Shower (Part-obstructed View)
Why, after so many different cruises with other ships and other lines, do we keep returning to Ventura?
Because life is so easy. There's nothing to trip you up- no hard sell; no immense tipping; few announcements about expensive events; no bar on the alcohol you can take on board; plenty of activities and entertainment without pre-booking. Even small things count- a first timer on P&O asked how one paid for the launderettes... I replied that this was P&O, which is just so easy... and yes, even that is a free service.
For some reason, the only port stop before Barbados was in A Coruna instead of Madeira, which did mean a lengthy number of sea days- but sea days are one reason for choosing this. My husband enjoys the crossing, but his delight is snorkelling on the islands, which he managed most of the time. Age is beginning to show, though, and he had to miss one of the precious days through sheer exhaustion. I'm not a fan of the Caribbean, so limited myself to a little shopping and spent time back on the ship in the air conditioning.
Our cabin steward was on his first ever cruise, and was an absolute delight. He went out of his way to help us, and the cabin was always immaculate. We do enjoy the walk-in wardrobe style of the Grand Class ships. We had chosen an obstructed outside cabin, and were delighted to be upgraded to a less obstructed one- a lower style of lifeboat under the window, marring very little of the view.
We're not big eaters, so chose the buffet for most meals, where the choice was good; our favourite places to eat were Beach House and the Glass House, although we had excellent, imaginative meals in Sindhu and Epicurean, with incredible service and attention.
One pleasure of taking Ventura in the winter is having a covered pool, but it didn't take many days before the outside pools were in use. This is not the time of year when children are on board- we probably noticed a dozen or so- and the majority of people were probably retired or semi retired; this didn't seem to stop the evening activities such as dancing, but we possibly missed having younger people around. However, we had a large group of friends from the previous year, and made many more over the four weeks.
There were certain niggles- the activities were not as numerous as last year, when we frequently missed lunch to fit them all in; the choice of films shown in the Arena wasn't very good, although I watched two memorable ones, and the Horizon Bar, as always, is a disaster if you want to see what's happening on the stage...it's hardly a live performance if you're simply watching a TV screen. The famous waterfall from deck 16 aft down on to the Terrace Bar made many appearances- we still have the photos from last year of people standing with umbrellas beneath it- but as we've known this since our first visit in 2009, it's become just a minor annoyance. As is the background music both in that bar and in the buffet- you're aware of a noisy beat and a screaming woman, but have no idea what actual music is being played.
Minor niggles, not likely to put us off, and certainly nothing as major as on other lines we've used.
Perhaps we'll do this again next January, although living in a remote place means a difficult journey- much aided this year by having our luggage collected earlier. Unfortunately, P&O only leaves from Southampton... our hope is that when little Adonia returns, she might be home ported somewhere in the North. Until then, we have a short cruise booked out of Newcastle, with easier journeys to and fro.
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