My mother is now 84 and although mobile, following heart ops etc. not really up to flying. Last year my brother and I took her on the Britannia, our first P&O cruise (my wife and I have cruised plenty of times before). That was out of Southampton un up the Norwegian Fjords. Such a successful trip that we agreed to do another and with the weak Pound another P&O cruise (rather than any other line) out of Southampton seemed the thing to do. Choices of destinations that can be reached in a max of one week are limited to an itinerary that included Vigo, Lisbon, Porto and Guernsey seemed ideal. of those only I had been to Guernsey before (cruise stop) so plenty to look forward to. Our agent ensured that we got good adjoining large inside cabins on the Riviera deck, close to midship. We decided that the significant extra cost of even just one balcony cabin wasn't worth it (unlike on the Fjords). Mum has pay pay almost double (single supplement) but we had some onboard spend and free parking so all seemed good. Being in Hertfordshire our drive to Southampton and the parking was as perfect as could be and it was probably less than three hours from home to lunch onboard. Cabins were better than expected, our attendant did a great job (bucket of ice every day for my carry-on drinks) and only issue was that the A/C didn't get the cabin as cool as we would have liked. P&O offered numerous excursions, cheap by comparison to other cruises in my experience and our trips to Bayana (Vigo) and Obidos (Lisbon) were excellent and back to the ship in time for a bite to eat and off the ship for another hour or so before back for sailaway. At Porto I had booked a classical walking tour privately and that turned out to be a real highlight. Not for us the trips to the wineries as bruv doesn't drink. Sadly our stop at Guernsey was abandoned due to Storm Hector so it was a slow steam home to Southampton and a very efficient and relaxed disembarkation (unlike some lines where they seem to shoo you off like vermin on the last morning). Food was ample, tasty and varied. Wines that we sampled were excellent in all respects and service very good, as you would expect. Only issue, if I'm being picky, was that sometimes the food looked and tasted as if it was prepared hours ago (which it generally is of course). The entertainment team worked very hard and there was numerous things going on, especially on sea days. The big headliner shows were amazing and, even if it's not generally your cup of tea, worth watching and a great highlight to our holiday. So why the slight negative in my title and score. I guess this council estate boy is getting snobbish in his old age as it did seem like Butlins at sea sometimes. Perhaps not a surprise on a cruise but the number of morbidly obese people did make me feel guilty about my second slice of cake. I think I just like the more global mix found on other cruises...this was 95% Brits and that limited conversation at times. I still can't decide if I preferred the newer Britannia but it doesn't really matter as they both delivered everything expected. Will we do another P&O? Probably not unless we can't find a suitable cruise next year on NCL for example. Might have to drag the old girl to a European port after all. I love my fellow countrymen and women but, for holidays, want to broaden my horizons.

Good value but not always 'This is the life'

Ventura Cruise Review by vacuman

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My mother is now 84 and although mobile, following heart ops etc. not really up to flying. Last year my brother and I took her on the Britannia, our first P&O cruise (my wife and I have cruised plenty of times before). That was out of Southampton un up the Norwegian Fjords. Such a successful trip that we agreed to do another and with the weak Pound another P&O cruise (rather than any other line) out of Southampton seemed the thing to do.

Choices of destinations that can be reached in a max of one week are limited to an itinerary that included Vigo, Lisbon, Porto and Guernsey seemed ideal. of those only I had been to Guernsey before (cruise stop) so plenty to look forward to.

Our agent ensured that we got good adjoining large inside cabins on the Riviera deck, close to midship. We decided that the significant extra cost of even just one balcony cabin wasn't worth it (unlike on the Fjords). Mum has pay pay almost double (single supplement) but we had some onboard spend and free parking so all seemed good.

Being in Hertfordshire our drive to Southampton and the parking was as perfect as could be and it was probably less than three hours from home to lunch onboard. Cabins were better than expected, our attendant did a great job (bucket of ice every day for my carry-on drinks) and only issue was that the A/C didn't get the cabin as cool as we would have liked.

P&O offered numerous excursions, cheap by comparison to other cruises in my experience and our trips to Bayana (Vigo) and Obidos (Lisbon) were excellent and back to the ship in time for a bite to eat and off the ship for another hour or so before back for sailaway. At Porto I had booked a classical walking tour privately and that turned out to be a real highlight. Not for us the trips to the wineries as bruv doesn't drink.

Sadly our stop at Guernsey was abandoned due to Storm Hector so it was a slow steam home to Southampton and a very efficient and relaxed disembarkation (unlike some lines where they seem to shoo you off like vermin on the last morning).

Food was ample, tasty and varied. Wines that we sampled were excellent in all respects and service very good, as you would expect. Only issue, if I'm being picky, was that sometimes the food looked and tasted as if it was prepared hours ago (which it generally is of course).

The entertainment team worked very hard and there was numerous things going on, especially on sea days. The big headliner shows were amazing and, even if it's not generally your cup of tea, worth watching and a great highlight to our holiday.

So why the slight negative in my title and score. I guess this council estate boy is getting snobbish in his old age as it did seem like Butlins at sea sometimes. Perhaps not a surprise on a cruise but the number of morbidly obese people did make me feel guilty about my second slice of cake. I think I just like the more global mix found on other cruises...this was 95% Brits and that limited conversation at times.

I still can't decide if I preferred the newer Britannia but it doesn't really matter as they both delivered everything expected. Will we do another P&O? Probably not unless we can't find a suitable cruise next year on NCL for example. Might have to drag the old girl to a European port after all. I love my fellow countrymen and women but, for holidays, want to broaden my horizons.
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Cabin Review

Inside Twin with Shower
Cabin OB R403
Plenty of space, comfortable but little of note except some news on the TV, not even our account. A/C didn't get it cool enough but otherwise perfect.
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