I hadn’t had a holiday for fifteen years, so I decided to treat myself to a cruise. I found doing the research a very steep learning curve, but eventually decided on P&O. I was restricted on the dates I could go due to set work holidays so the best fit for me was 7 nights on Ventura to Spain, Portugal and Guernsey from Southampton. As I was travelling from Newcastle upon Tyne I decided to travel down by train the day before embarkation and stayed at the Grand Harbour Hotel the night before. The train journey (1st class) was very enjoyable and relaxing, however I did not enjoy my stay at the hotel and won’t be staying there again. I was due to embark at 2:40pm and although I arrived an hour early I went straight through check in and security and was on board by 2pm. My cabin (B509) was clean and presentable. I had twin beds, plenty of storage, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, bathroom with shower, and balcony. The steward (Sanford) was very efficient without being intrusive. The ship is very well laid out and immaculately clean, and I spent a good few hours exploring and getting my bearings. The shops looked good but the prices were high to exorbitant and certainly well out of my price range. Service in all parts of the ship was extraordinarily high and couldn’t be faulted. I used the buffet for breakfast and there was a very large choice of food of very high quality (I had read poor reports about the buffet before I sailed, but these were totally unfounded), and there are self service machines for tea, coffee, and various fruit juices. I dined in The Bay Tree restaurant on first sitting on a table for ten. I had some wonderful dining companions and we often went on to an entertainment venue together after our meal. The menus were varied and I can’t fault the food, it was fantastic, the service was excellent as well. I didn’t make full use of the entertainment however I really enjoyed the Ventura orchestra, particularly their Glen Miller night. One slight criticism is that the quizzes were so popular that it was often very hard to find a seat, and a larger venue for these would be more appropriate. I only went on one shore excursion (Lisbon by land and river), and found it a little boring and not very good value for money. We weren’t able to tender at Guernsey due to high winds, but that suited me fine as I enjoyed being on the ship more than the ports, so we cruised slowly in the English Channel for the final 24 hours. Disembarkation was very smooth and well organised, and I was off the ship about an hour before my time. In summary, this was my first cruise and I didn’t really know what to expect. I had a great time, but would I go on another cruise with P&O? You bet I would, I can’t wait for my next!

Fantastic first cruise, and as a solo passenger as well!

Ventura Cruise Review by Les_ldh

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Europe
I hadn’t had a holiday for fifteen years, so I decided to treat myself to a cruise. I found doing the research a very steep learning curve, but eventually decided on P&O. I was restricted on the dates I could go due to set work holidays so the best fit for me was 7 nights on Ventura to Spain, Portugal and Guernsey from Southampton. As I was travelling from Newcastle upon Tyne I decided to travel down by train the day before embarkation and stayed at the Grand Harbour Hotel the night before. The train journey (1st class) was very enjoyable and relaxing, however I did not enjoy my stay at the hotel and won’t be staying there again.

I was due to embark at 2:40pm and although I arrived an hour early I went straight through check in and security and was on board by 2pm.

My cabin (B509) was clean and presentable. I had twin beds, plenty of storage, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, bathroom with shower, and balcony. The steward (Sanford) was very efficient without being intrusive.

The ship is very well laid out and immaculately clean, and I spent a good few hours exploring and getting my bearings. The shops looked good but the prices were high to exorbitant and certainly well out of my price range. Service in all parts of the ship was extraordinarily high and couldn’t be faulted.

I used the buffet for breakfast and there was a very large choice of food of very high quality (I had read poor reports about the buffet before I sailed, but these were totally unfounded), and there are self service machines for tea, coffee, and various fruit juices. I dined in The Bay Tree restaurant on first sitting on a table for ten. I had some wonderful dining companions and we often went on to an entertainment venue together after our meal. The menus were varied and I can’t fault the food, it was fantastic, the service was excellent as well.

I didn’t make full use of the entertainment however I really enjoyed the Ventura orchestra, particularly their Glen Miller night. One slight criticism is that the quizzes were so popular that it was often very hard to find a seat, and a larger venue for these would be more appropriate.

I only went on one shore excursion (Lisbon by land and river), and found it a little boring and not very good value for money.

We weren’t able to tender at Guernsey due to high winds, but that suited me fine as I enjoyed being on the ship more than the ports, so we cruised slowly in the English Channel for the final 24 hours.

Disembarkation was very smooth and well organised, and I was off the ship about an hour before my time.

In summary, this was my first cruise and I didn’t really know what to expect. I had a great time, but would I go on another cruise with P&O? You bet I would, I can’t wait for my next!
Les_ldh’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin B509
The cabin was clean and presentable. I had twin beds, plenty of storage, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, bathroom with shower, and balcony. The steward (Sanford) was very efficient without being intrusive.
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