This was a 5 week cruise, having only undertaken a few shorter cruises before, unlike many well seasoned cruisers on board, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality, standard and presentation of everything. In a nut shell: on reading reviews (after we had paid a deposit) I started to get concerned! Fortunately a very level headed well travelled friend reassured me that the Ventura was ‘lovely’. How right she was. Readers, do not be put off by some highly critical reviews here, much of which I cannot say we witnessed or experienced and leave me baffled. The food was excellent, plentiful and exceptional choice for every palate. We tried every venue. We did not wish to put on weight and by choosing from the enormous range of fresh foods, salads and fish we came back at the same weight! The eggs had golden yolks, the fresh burgers on the deck had quality beef, the sea food kebabs in the Beach House were amazing and as for the food in the Epicurean - well wow wow wow. We particularly enjoyed the Beach House and Epicurean where an additional sum is paid for evening meals. We had one meal at Sindu but preferred the Epicurean on occasion (Black Tie nights) where the service and food is exceptional. We also enjoyed the Cinnamon and Saffron main freedom dining restaurants meeting a variety of well travelled and P&O regular cruisers. The 60s fancy dress night was not supported by the guests (we were tipped off about this so did not appear in our Amazon purchased 60s outfits - P&O may consider removing that one), however the Tropical and Black & White nights were. 8 Black Tie nights we found a bit much and dined in our suite on several nights for relaxation. We found The Retreat sun deck area (light breakfast, lunch and tea included) was a good investment to ensure a more peaceful relaxation area. An additional cost but we were glad we did this on the sea days between Caribbean Islands. Bearing in mind then age group that would be on a 5 week cruise in Feb/March the entertainment was fitting. Some of the acts were so good it was a shame they all did not have 2 nights across the venues. The Whitney Houston act was only on for one night and we were unable to get to it so missed it. Yes, you have to get to the theatre early to ensure a seat hence having acts in for 2 nights or in different venues on 2 nights would ensure everyone had a good chance to see them. The Havana Bar is indeed the ‘meerkat lounge’ due to the high dividing panels and subject to endless complaints. Now that the ship is docked due to the global pandemic maybe something can be done to reduce the high ‘wall dividers’? The guest speakers were a bit limited in variety and none of the speakers seemed to want to stand either in the spotlight or at the front of the stage floor area in Havana so you could see them or ensure everyone could hear them properly. We missed not having a retired detective as a speaker as they are always full of amazing tales. The staff are amazing, each and everyone of them. The rude and crass behaviour on board of some guests made us cringe. To find a lady room steward in tears was appalling and I would have enjoyed being left alone with the male guest culprit for bullying behaviour. Some guests behaviour towards staff made us ashamed and if we could counteract it at any point we did. Sneering comments by guests on trips when we were on hurricane damaged islands, that were fighting for survival, ruined one trip for us - we apologised to our taxi driver for such moronic hurtful and thoughtless behaviour by these guests. For what we paid we were very satisfied with what we got. For us 5 weeks was too long but it was quite an experience. The staff are amazing and it was a privilege to have met them. We did treat ourselves to a suite and very glad we did on such a long voyage. One of the perks was breakfast in the Epicurean which was just perfect. Again, the staff were exceptional and evening meals there would knock most top 5* London restaurants into a cocked hat. Speaking as a retired tourism inspector I was nicely surprised with it all.

Superb - highly recommend

Ventura Cruise Review by Devoniantrecker

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
This was a 5 week cruise, having only undertaken a few shorter cruises before, unlike many well seasoned cruisers on board, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality, standard and presentation of everything.

In a nut shell: on reading reviews (after we had paid a deposit) I started to get concerned! Fortunately a very level headed well travelled friend reassured me that the Ventura was ‘lovely’. How right she was. Readers, do not be put off by some highly critical reviews here, much of which I cannot say we witnessed or experienced and leave me baffled.

The food was excellent, plentiful and exceptional choice for every palate. We tried every venue. We did not wish to put on weight and by choosing from the enormous range of fresh foods, salads and fish we came back at the same weight! The eggs had golden yolks, the fresh burgers on the deck had quality beef, the sea food kebabs in the Beach House were amazing and as for the food in the Epicurean - well wow wow wow.

We particularly enjoyed the Beach House and Epicurean where an additional sum is paid for evening meals. We had one meal at Sindu but preferred the Epicurean on occasion (Black Tie nights) where the service and food is exceptional. We also enjoyed the Cinnamon and Saffron main freedom dining restaurants meeting a variety of well travelled and P&O regular cruisers.

The 60s fancy dress night was not supported by the guests (we were tipped off about this so did not appear in our Amazon purchased 60s outfits - P&O may consider removing that one), however the Tropical and Black & White nights were. 8 Black Tie nights we found a bit much and dined in our suite on several nights for relaxation.

We found The Retreat sun deck area (light breakfast, lunch and tea included) was a good investment to ensure a more peaceful relaxation area. An additional cost but we were glad we did this on the sea days between Caribbean Islands.

Bearing in mind then age group that would be on a 5 week cruise in Feb/March the entertainment was fitting. Some of the acts were so good it was a shame they all did not have 2 nights across the venues. The Whitney Houston act was only on for one night and we were unable to get to it so missed it. Yes, you have to get to the theatre early to ensure a seat hence having acts in for 2 nights or in different venues on 2 nights would ensure everyone had a good chance to see them.

The Havana Bar is indeed the ‘meerkat lounge’ due to the high dividing panels and subject to endless complaints. Now that the ship is docked due to the global pandemic maybe something can be done to reduce the high ‘wall dividers’? The guest speakers were a bit limited in variety and none of the speakers seemed to want to stand either in the spotlight or at the front of the stage floor area in Havana so you could see them or ensure everyone could hear them properly. We missed not having a retired detective as a speaker as they are always full of amazing tales.

The staff are amazing, each and everyone of them. The rude and crass behaviour on board of some guests made us cringe. To find a lady room steward in tears was appalling and I would have enjoyed being left alone with the male guest culprit for bullying behaviour.

Some guests behaviour towards staff made us ashamed and if we could counteract it at any point we did. Sneering comments by guests on trips when we were on hurricane damaged islands, that were fighting for survival, ruined one trip for us - we apologised to our taxi driver for such moronic hurtful and thoughtless behaviour by these guests.

For what we paid we were very satisfied with what we got. For us 5 weeks was too long but it was quite an experience. The staff are amazing and it was a privilege to have met them.

We did treat ourselves to a suite and very glad we did on such a long voyage. One of the perks was breakfast in the Epicurean which was just perfect. Again, the staff were exceptional and evening meals there would knock most top 5* London restaurants into a cocked hat.

Speaking as a retired tourism inspector I was nicely surprised with it all.
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Cabin Review

Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Cabin AB
Immaculate condition, spacious with excellent double sized bathroom and large glass door cubicle shower and spa bath. Room Decor somewhat mixed (orange, blue, grey, violet) not our taste in room wall art but certainly acceptable. Everything thought of and simple the most fantastic butler (both butlers we met were exceptional) and fantastic steward.
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