Ventura - Eastern Med: Ventura Cruise Review by jocap

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Ventura - Eastern Med

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Southampton
The main thing we learnt from our previous 2 trips on Ventura, was that there would be so much to do that we'd rarely be together as a couple. With a long cruise and many sea days such as this, we went our separate ways so often, that we must have seemed like a couple of singles. There were a number of lectures each sea days, which is my scene; art classes which clashed with the discussion group; films which clashed with the talks on navigation; choir rehearsals which clashed with the Concorde secrets....oh, the joy of being on a ship which had too much entertainment rather than nothing except over-priced ones, or selling talks!

The choir especially was fun...having 7 sea days meant lots of rehearsals, before our 2 performances in the atrium, in front of many passengers. We were also part of the bed-making comp, and OH had wins in bingo and poker!

The main purpose of the trip was to spend 2 days in Venice....OH's favourite city, and he spent every minute of both days More walking round the different areas, or riding the water buses. Cities are not for me, but it's always lovely to return to Venice, even if it's just for a drink next to a narrow canal. This time I wanted to spend a while in Vivaldi's church, which had his music pouring from a good sound system. The sail-in and out- accompanied by the best of Italian opera pouring over the sides of the ship- to some gondolier's joy- are one of the highlights, and moving moments.

The other reasons for taking this cruise were to be with friends....when we happened to find them in such a massive ship; to try both of Marco Pierre White's menus, and to go swimming- achieved in several places such as Corfu, Korkula, Kephalonia....and, this time, even on the ship....we don't often have a "warm" cruise, so the pools were put to good use. It's great that a ship sailing from Southampton has a covered pool; we'd be loath to travel on other ships sailing from that port, where you'd have to wait until Portugal for a dip....

The food was excellent in all places- and we did try all, except, this time, East....even the burger bar provided a tasty menu. We ate in the MD only twice, and were impressed by the choice and service....and the lobster...

The cabin was slightly smaller, and, being an inside, didn't work for me- I've only had an inside for 7 nights before, on Thomson and Louis cruises, and 17 nights inside was just too much- I was forever popping outside in the late evening. This wasn't helped by P&O's insistance that e-cigs could only be used in smokers' corners....the fact that you're not smoking, only using an inhaler, doesn't seem to have registered. It was my use of an e-cig which had made us choose an inside, but- rules is rules!!:( At least a number of crew came with questions about the inhaler.)

For OH, the best of the cruise would have to be Venice, and snorkelling in the Med; for me, it was the tiny ferry ride I took from one side of Kephalonia to the other little town, and the excursion to the Cies Isles, off Vigo- I think that's really my number one excursion of the cruise.

Everything- shows, activities, crew, food, ambience, were of high quality.

There's no constant begging for money on board- you can play a card of Bingo for the 5 games for a fiver, and do a wine tasting for the same amount. The tipping suggestions are sensible, and the bar drinks are the same- around pub prices.

I have added two of the best ports to the Port Review section; sadly, some of the better ones such as Kephalonia and Korkula aren't available on the pop-uplist, and I'm not enough of a techie to override them....All Greek Isles are fantastic, whilst anywhere in Croatia is the med as it once was....

A great holiday, and although I've many more cruise lines to try, this particular journey will take some beating!

Jo. Less

Published 06/30/11
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Cabin review: OFP330 Inside Twin with Shower

P330 is on deck 5, near to the atrium, but above all, near to the Costa coffee bar, which was enough for breakfast some mornings....a dark coffee, and the free pastry- try the Danish choc chip.... The cabin is smaller than the balcony ones we've had on Ventura before...the table ended up in the walk-in wardrobe.... No problems- near enough to the action, the disembarking for ports, and the launderette.

Read All Inside Twin with Shower (OF) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Venice was the main reason for choosing this cruise, and it's the ideal spot to wander about, trying to get lost..... There's a new People carrier from the port to the Piazzal Romana, where the water buses leave- try getting your 36 hr ticket on line...and validate it when getting on board. If, like me, you prefer to stroll around, not like OH covering 8 districts in 2 days- then there's many small bars and bistros to break up your meandering.

Read 1149 Venice Reviews

Vigo doesn't seem popular with many, perhaps because such a lot of cruises use it to break the journey to the Med/Canaries. There's 2 lots of ferries- one to the beaches across the Firth; the one we took was to the Cies islands, which turned out to be the highlight of the cruise. Rough and craggy on the Atlantic side, it's all white sand and turquoise sea on the Firth side. A nature reserve- there's no engines except for ferries- all water sports are self made, and the only activities are sea or well- marked trails to high viewpoints. To stay overnight you must camp; the only food is from 2 Spanish restaurants. Peaceful, and beautiful...

Read 385 Vigo Reviews
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