Chose this cruise as we had only been to lanzarote of the Canary Islands before and non of the other ports except Lisbon ( and then only on a business trip) the fact we had been on Ventura before (back in 2010 for our first cruise) and that it had just been spruced up was also an attraction as we would know the ship and hopefully be chilled from the start. This was also the first time our son (16) had had his own cabin, though for the last 6 years we have had Suites on various ships as they worked well for the three of us so we were prepared for some drop in perks etc offsetting the benefit of the fully seperate space. As it turned out the perks loss was no big deal as they are pretty thin on the ground with P&O anyways we did not mi. Boarding was quick and easy, we arrived about 30 mins before our allotted time but were on the ship before it having hardly sat down before our letter card was called. So other than a couple of hours on board, we did not miss the priority boarding. Breakfast in epicurean was missed as it would have been great to welcome the day on the external terrace but the MDR breakfast was ok ( Note that Bay Tree seems to be less crowded and a slightly better atmosphere for breakfast than Saffron - not sure why) Entertainment was a bit hit and miss but that is situation normal for us. We saw a couple of very good headliners shows, an excellent Adele tribute, an interesting cocktail pianist with the most individual timing and the worst duo we have ever seen on a ship. The latter were however so bad it was amusing. The chap was not a bad guitarist but his patter was like the worst of a local radio DJ and his partner was the most disinterested detached performer I have ever witnessed. She always looked like she was on the point of yawning. The music was so weak and laid back and the repertoire was seriously odd. When one night in Metropolis they suddenly broke into AC DC’s ‘highway to hell’ I honestly thought I had fallen asleep and was dreaming it. The mix of bars and performance spaces is good though it was a mistake to reduce the size of the Exchange (pub) to add cabins since our last trip as this space is clearly more popular and hence crowded by the mostly British clientele than the Glass House on the deck above which was often empty despite the excellent wines and food on offer. The pool areas were always crowded and this was exacerbated by the windy conditions which often caused the upper sun decks to be closed. We retreated to a combination of our balconies ( which the steward opened up to connect) and the Retreat which my wife had booked along with some spa treatments. The mix of ports was good though 12 days is an odd period and it would have been nice to throw in another Spanish or Portuguese or even a channel island port to pad it out to 14. Crew and service were almost all excellent with the exception of one rather grumpy sommelier. The drink prices especially the wine are very reasonable compared to other cruise lines and although it was disappointing to see that all of the room service menu was now chargeable generally the on board additional cost items including the speciality restaurants were reasonable. We tried Sindhu and Epicurean and whilst they do not quite have the atmosphere of those on Britannia ( possibly due to the fact that the decor has been adapted from the original fit outs rather than refitted) the food was excellent and the service very good. Generally we found the MDR food pretty good at dinner given the banquet nature of the cooking and the freedom dining and our willingness to share tables led to some great and often hilarious conversation over dinner. Thanks to all that we shared with! We never had to have a pager throughout the cruise which is a major advantage of being willing to share a table. ( at lunch the food was less successful and they would be better concentrating on salads and light bites similar to those in the Glass House rather than a traditional three course meal which boardered on school dinner standards at times). It’s always difficult to go back to any hotel or ship where you have had a great time in the past and as Ventura was the first ship we ever sailed on, and which triggered a year after year cruising habit since, then it was never likely to come up to the heady standards of our first cruise. Overall though we had a great time and would return to Ventura again for the right itinerary without much thought. It’s a very easy ship to enjoy.

2nd timers on Ventura find it mostly lives up to our memories.

Ventura Cruise Review by scifimonkey

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Canary Islands
  • Cabin Type: Junior Mini Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Chose this cruise as we had only been to lanzarote of the Canary Islands before and non of the other ports except Lisbon ( and then only on a business trip) the fact we had been on Ventura before (back in 2010 for our first cruise) and that it had just been spruced up was also an attraction as we would know the ship and hopefully be chilled from the start.

This was also the first time our son (16) had had his own cabin, though for the last 6 years we have had Suites on various ships as they worked well for the three of us so we were prepared for some drop in perks etc offsetting the benefit of the fully seperate space.

As it turned out the perks loss was no big deal as they are pretty thin on the ground with P&O anyways we did not mi.

Boarding was quick and easy, we arrived about 30 mins before our allotted time but were on the ship before it having hardly sat down before our letter card was called. So other than a couple of hours on board, we did not miss the priority boarding.

Breakfast in epicurean was missed as it would have been great to welcome the day on the external terrace but the MDR breakfast was ok ( Note that Bay Tree seems to be less crowded and a slightly better atmosphere for breakfast than Saffron - not sure why)

Entertainment was a bit hit and miss but that is situation normal for us. We saw a couple of very good headliners shows, an excellent Adele tribute, an interesting cocktail pianist with the most individual timing and the worst duo we have ever seen on a ship. The latter were however so bad it was amusing. The chap was not a bad guitarist but his patter was like the worst of a local radio DJ and his partner was the most disinterested detached performer I have ever witnessed. She always looked like she was on the point of yawning. The music was so weak and laid back and the repertoire was seriously odd. When one night in Metropolis they suddenly broke into AC DC’s ‘highway to hell’ I honestly thought I had fallen asleep and was dreaming it.

The mix of bars and performance spaces is good though it was a mistake to reduce the size of the Exchange (pub) to add cabins since our last trip as this space is clearly more popular and hence crowded by the mostly British clientele than the Glass House on the deck above which was often empty despite the excellent wines and food on offer.

The pool areas were always crowded and this was exacerbated by the windy conditions which often caused the upper sun decks to be closed. We retreated to a combination of our balconies ( which the steward opened up to connect) and the Retreat which my wife had booked along with some spa treatments.

The mix of ports was good though 12 days is an odd period and it would have been nice to throw in another Spanish or Portuguese or even a channel island port to pad it out to 14.

Crew and service were almost all excellent with the exception of one rather grumpy sommelier. The drink prices especially the wine are very reasonable compared to other cruise lines and although it was disappointing to see that all of the room service menu was now chargeable generally the on board additional cost items including the speciality restaurants were reasonable. We tried Sindhu and Epicurean and whilst they do not quite have the atmosphere of those on Britannia ( possibly due to the fact that the decor has been adapted from the original fit outs rather than refitted) the food was excellent and the service very good. Generally we found the MDR food pretty good at dinner given the banquet nature of the cooking and the freedom dining and our willingness to share tables led to some great and often hilarious conversation over dinner. Thanks to all that we shared with! We never had to have a pager throughout the cruise which is a major advantage of being willing to share a table. ( at lunch the food was less successful and they would be better concentrating on salads and light bites similar to those in the Glass House rather than a traditional three course meal which boardered on school dinner standards at times).

It’s always difficult to go back to any hotel or ship where you have had a great time in the past and as Ventura was the first ship we ever sailed on, and which triggered a year after year cruising habit since, then it was never likely to come up to the heady standards of our first cruise. Overall though we had a great time and would return to Ventura again for the right itinerary without much thought. It’s a very easy ship to enjoy.
scifimonkey’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Junior Mini Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Cabin CA D 510&514
Cabin was clean and reasonably well appointed although the TVs are looking the 10 years old that they are and need replacing and the inclusion of a shower curtain makes the bathroom look dated. Seems like D514 inspires people to write reviews - Maybe it’s Edwin the steward who was polite, hard working and gloriously unobtrusive yet always seemed to be on hand when wanted.
  Ventura Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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  • Lanzarote
    Great tour of great sights create by a great artist and architect. Only criticism is that it could have been longer and taken in more of this amazing mans work.
    Whether you go with this tour or not, any visit to Lanzerote should take in Jameos del agua and the monument to the farmers with its amazing restaurant/ banquet space and the artists house including underground living spaces in lava bubbles were also a truly Magic. Highly recommended to art and architecture lovers.
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  • Las Palmas (Gran Canaria)
    Good tour if very bouncy and very dusty in the off road sections. Special mention to the most un PC tour guide ever who really pushed the boundaries between informing and insulting his guests. Lunch was Ok and the tour did what it said it would.
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  • Lisbon
    Fabulous city and the cruise dock is in easy walking distance of the city centre.
    Great sail in, past the Belem tower and under the Tagus bridge and sail out looking the other way to Lisbon’s version of the Christo Rei.
    Had a great self guided walking tour which took us to most of the main sites and sill left time for a leisurely coffee in the main waterside square and a fabulous lunch in the Petit Cafe, (highly recommended ) which is on the route from the Castle to the Cathedral.
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  • Madeira (Funchal)
    Broke all my own rules and bought the patter of a taxi driver and what an amazing decision that turned out to be.
    Had a great tour including
    - The church above the basket ride and a drive down the ride behind one of the baskets ( which confirmed us in the view that we were right to give it a miss- the smoke from the ‘ basketeers’ heels as they struggled to control it was a bit scary.)
    The Christo Rei statue,
    The botanical gardens
    The glass bridge viewpoint at Cabo Gireao
    The fishing village at Camera de Lobos
    And after he dropped us in the centre of Funchal there was still time to walk around the centre of this pretty town and get a great late lunch at the Museo Cafe.
    Brilliant day and Thanks Mauro.
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    Interesting tour of the observatory, cable car was cancelled due to high winds (refunded £20 per head) replaced by trip extension into lower crater which was interesting but not what we booked. Lunch was so so but usually is on these tours. Plus the bus broke down on the way back and we had to wait 2hrs to be rescued. Just made it back before the ship was due to leave......... Still a reasonably good day and the issues led to a good cameraderie amongst the group which reprised through the cruise.
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