We have sailed on a dozen occasions with P&O including three previous cruises on Ventura. We previously enjoyed our cruises on Ventura several years ago and wanted to cruise on the ship again.
We have been regular cruisers several times each year for 15 years and aware of the standards of service to be expected and normally provided.
We noticed a significant fall in standards in the dining room compared with our earlier Ventura cruises. Table clothes were often dirty and stained and not changed between diners. Butter dishes were left between consecutive diners with visible signs of part use and contamination. Cutlery was left on the tables between consecutive diners. On two occasions we asked for some items of cutlery to be replaced as these appeared to have already been used. On another occasion, the waiter openly removed a fork from my starter plate and replaced it on the table to be used for the next course.
We were shocked by how grubby the Ventura cabin was. The walls were covered in clearly visible hand prints and dirty marks. It was clear that these were not the result of a failure to clean following the departure of the previous guests but the result of several months of use. The balcony window had so many different hand prints that a forensic crime investigation would have resulted in several hundred suspects!
Although we had chosen the cabin due to its larger balcony we did not venture onto it for the entire voyage. Peering past the window dabs we could see worn out balcony furniture coated with accumulated bird droppings and rusty ironwork and dirty worn matting.
We quietly invited the Steward to our cabin and very politely explained our concerns. We were told that cabins were only subject to a “quick (minimal) clean between occupants but assured, in response to our complaint that, a more thorough clean would then be done.
When we returned to our cabin there was no noticeable improvement.