Ventura Review

Better Than Expected From P&O

Review for the British Isles & Western Europe Cruise on Ventura
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Sussex Duo
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Value for Money
Public Rooms

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Sail Date: Dec 2023

We booked this pre- Christmas cruise to Portugal and Spain because it was as cheap as a B&B and we were missing the sunshine. From our previous experience with P&O, we had low expectations but the Ventura is a nice mid-sized ship and we had a good time. The crew were good and the entertainment was acceptable but it was evident that P&O had "cut everything to the bone". In particular, the food was fairly basic but was well cooked and there were no treats or pleasant surprises. P&O had done an excellent job of decorating the Ventura for Christmas and it looked very welcoming.

We were offered no choice of cabin or dining preference with our discounted booking. We watched the safety video but there was no practice drill and we were not asked to provide any details about insurance or emergency contacts. Embarkation was poor with passengers given an allocated time and left to queue outside in the cold weather. Disembarkation was worse because the ship was late returning to Southampton and passengers were faced with a mass of luggage at the port, which delayed our departure to 10 am.

As with many other cruise lines, cabins are only serviced once per day (since Covid) and don't expect any chocolates on your pillow! The captain was never seen and there were no signs of any welcome drinks or sail away celebrations. We had three formal nights but they were nothing special apart from a slightly better menu in the dining rooms.

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