Ventura N110 7 days. The view from below Well we set off on Wednesday for our Good Friday departure, (we have a very slow car). Luckily we got to Reading in time to check in to the Crowne Plaza. Very nice location by the Thames, with a park by the river, to walk along. (well in my case ride) The weather was great and sun tan stuff was required. We had dinner in the hotel which was very quiet leading up to Easter. I think the normal clientele are of the business variety. The next day we set off into Reading town centre to look around the shops, a few things to buy. Very pleasant, with the sun again very hot. Coffee was taken. The vital ingredients for our in cabin G&T's were purchased in Sainsbugs. (I had found out about the non in cabin alcohol sales due to no port outside the EU). Dinner that evening was taken at an Indian Restaurant on the river bank near the hotel. Very good and having had a chat to the manager two drinks appeared at the end of the meal, an excellent gesture. We left just before 10 the next day after having a good breakfast. The run down was fine until we came to the back of the queue on the M3. This wasted a half an hour. We got to Southampton to realise we had not put the labels on the cases. So stop and put it right. Then on to dock gate 10, which we approached from the town end. ????? It was about 11.35 and we joined a queue of cars waiting for a space to unload. At that point we could see there were people still getting off the ship. At about 11.50 we moved off parked and got unloaded, cases, scooter, hats and medical equipment. None of the luggage had gone in the hole as we walked to the door. On to the entrance, over to the right sir, was the cry as we came through the door, I think not I said, we are gold (pompous or what). So to the left it was, with an empty queue and instructions to come forward. Smile for the photo and all the other formalities over, through the door to the right and the baggage check. As I do not go through the scanners I am frisked. It is then up the lift and into the ship. Gold sir, that will be deck 7 the Tamarind. What would you like to drink that will be a G&T then and a plate of sarnies. We looked at the time and it was 12.10 so 20 minutes from car stopping, to drink in hand, not bad. Very few get to the club and we are told that there are few gold members on board. 13.30 comes and the nice lady comes and informs us that our cabins are ready. Off we go up to deck 9(D) and find our cabin near the lift. Shock horror our cases are already there. Never had that before So unpack and out for a look around. Safety chat over and out on to deck 7 for sail away, no cheap champers!!!!! Is this another EU only port thing. Band good and loud but only 5 of them, a Jazz band. Back to the cabin to get ready for the off, we go out onto the balcony and who should we see above us ....Sharon. Do you know she pestered us all week for a drink.....no chance. We ran out by Wednesday as it was!! Off to dinner to meet our table companions, a very sedate and quiet table little conversation and banter. Well for 5 minutes anyway, after that it was a riot. We started laughing in six minutes and did not finish until 10.30 on the last night. There were 3 couples and a mother and daughter combo, certainly on of the best yet. At 10.30 I could feel the casino calling, it was a long time since Oceana in October. The cruise followed and we had a fantastic time. Our table continued in the same vein with a week of laughing and good banter. Of course I missed all the shows in the theatre and the show lounges as the casino kept calling me. The casino was as busy as I have ever seen on any ship, with 5/6 tables in constant use and many people using the 'bandits'. Quite a community builds up and the banter improves as the week progresses. Wins are greeted by cheers from all as your luck ebbs and flows. Over the week I was only just down, with plenty money for our tips. With regard to the ship it was much as we had remembered it from January 09. The food was excellent and the staff were equally as good. Our wait staff were very efficient and friendly. One of them thought our table must have known each other before we came on board and was quite surprised when we said we had just met. We had a Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin which the reception called a mini-suite. It was excellent for my scooter as I could drive it up to the balcony end of the cabin and park it out of the way. It was very comfortable with plenty of storage. Our cabin steward Jackson was excellent, with towel animals every night on our bed. The ice and lemon were always there and the cabin was spotless. The one difference we noted was in the Ramblas bar. On our first cruise on Ventura, the bar seemed cold and uninviting, this time there was a totally different atmosphere. We had some tapas at lunch time, which was very good and the bar was warm & very inviting. In the evening it was a great place for pre dinner drinks with a very good guitarist playing a range of tunes from classical to pop. Not a clue what they did to make the change apart from turning off the air conditioning. The bar staff were excellent always cheerful and attentive. The Ports (for me and my scooter) La Coruna Off at about 10.30,a warm and sunny day. Saw a lot more of the town than I have before with having the scooter. After having a coffee we walked along the promenade and into the town again, making our way to the main square. We found a bar selling tapas and settled down for a spell of people watching. The tapas was very good and we had ordered far too much, so we needed a couple of beers to wash it down. The ship is only 5 minutes from this square so we returned at about 3.00 and went directly to Costa. Bilbao Here there was a problem, because of the tide I could not get off the ship as it was going to be difficult to get back on. Although disappointed I spent a very relaxing day on board ship and my wife had a good day mainly going to the Guggenheim, which she loved. La Rochelle Excellent port, helped by the fabulous weather. We wandered around the old port and marina and then moved into the town with its narrow pedestrianised streets and excellent small shops. We stopped on a few occasions for coffee, beer and then food. The food was Croque Madame and omelette overlooking the old harbour. The sun was high and hot, wonderful. We then wandered over to the information centre to get the shuttle bus. It was about 15.00 and we feared a long queue. There was not at all. The bendy bus came in, leaned over and I scootered on ...... excellent. On the way back we had to stop and the bus was boarded and we had to show our passports. This was the first time ever for us on over 15 cruises. When we left there were over 15 security staff standing in a line waving us off. This was in contrast to the next port Brest when I only saw 2 security and they just waved at the buses as they passed. Brest We have been before so we did not go into the town. However we took the trip to Quimper (Kemper) and did our own thing. A delightful small old town to wander around with an excellent cathedral which had the most wonderful stained glass windows. In the centre there was a small market Les Halles which was very pleasant, however we did notice the high prices especially for vegetables. Just by the market was a bread shop so we got some cheese and then bought a warm baguette, straight out of the oven. We found a seat in the sun and had a simple lunch. What bread!!!! In all we had a wonderful cruise with an excellent table, good banter at the tables in the casino, an excellent pre-dinner location in Ramblas and good ports. We thoroughly enjoyed Ventura. It is an excellent ship and well worth another cruise. That will be next April then. On to Azura in September. Dai

Ventura a Fantastic Cruise

Ventura Cruise Review by daiB

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2011
  • Destination: Western Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Junior Mini Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Ventura N110 7 days.



The view from below



Well we set off on Wednesday for our Good Friday departure, (we have a very slow car). Luckily we got to Reading in time to check in to the Crowne Plaza. Very nice location by the Thames, with a park by the river, to walk along. (well in my case ride) The weather was great and sun tan stuff was required. We had dinner in the hotel which was very quiet leading up to Easter. I think the normal clientele are of the business variety.



The next day we set off into Reading town centre to look around the shops, a few things to buy. Very pleasant, with the sun again very hot. Coffee was taken. The vital ingredients for our in cabin G&T's were purchased in Sainsbugs. (I had found out about the non in cabin alcohol sales due to no port outside the EU). Dinner that evening was taken at an Indian Restaurant on the river bank near the hotel. Very good and having had a chat to the manager two drinks appeared at the end of the meal, an excellent gesture.



We left just before 10 the next day after having a good breakfast. The run down was fine until we came to the back of the queue on the M3. This wasted a half an hour. We got to Southampton to realise we had not put the labels on the cases. So stop and put it right. Then on to dock gate 10, which we approached from the town end. ?????



It was about 11.35 and we joined a queue of cars waiting for a space to unload. At that point we could see there were people still getting off the ship. At about 11.50 we moved off parked and got unloaded, cases, scooter, hats and medical equipment. None of the luggage had gone in the hole as we walked to the door.



On to the entrance, over to the right sir, was the cry as we came through the door, I think not I said, we are gold (pompous or what). So to the left it was, with an empty queue and instructions to come forward. Smile for the photo and all the other formalities over, through the door to the right and the baggage check. As I do not go through the scanners I am frisked. It is then up the lift and into the ship.



Gold sir, that will be deck 7 the Tamarind. What would you like to drink that will be a G&T then and a plate of sarnies. We looked at the time and it was 12.10 so 20 minutes from car stopping, to drink in hand, not bad.



Very few get to the club and we are told that there are few gold members on board. 13.30 comes and the nice lady comes and informs us that our cabins are ready. Off we go up to deck 9(D) and find our cabin near the lift. Shock horror our cases are already there. Never had that before So unpack and out for a look around.



Safety chat over and out on to deck 7 for sail away, no cheap champers!!!!! Is this another EU only port thing. Band good and loud but only 5 of them, a Jazz band.



Back to the cabin to get ready for the off, we go out onto the balcony and who should we see above us ....Sharon. Do you know she pestered us all week for a drink.....no chance. We ran out by Wednesday as it was!!



Off to dinner to meet our table companions, a very sedate and quiet table little conversation and banter. Well for 5 minutes anyway, after that it was a riot. We started laughing in six minutes and did not finish until 10.30 on the last night. There were 3 couples and a mother and daughter combo, certainly on of the best yet.



At 10.30 I could feel the casino calling, it was a long time since Oceana in October.



The cruise followed and we had a fantastic time. Our table continued in the same vein with a week of laughing and good banter. Of course I missed all the shows in the theatre and the show lounges as the casino kept calling me. The casino was as busy as I have ever seen on any ship, with 5/6 tables in constant use and many people using the 'bandits'. Quite a community builds up and the banter improves as the week progresses. Wins are greeted by cheers from all as your luck ebbs and flows. Over the week I was only just down, with plenty money for our tips.



With regard to the ship it was much as we had remembered it from January 09. The food was excellent and the staff were equally as good. Our wait staff were very efficient and friendly. One of them thought our table must have known each other before we came on board and was quite surprised when we said we had just met.



We had a Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin which the reception called a mini-suite. It was excellent for my scooter as I could drive it up to the balcony end of the cabin and park it out of the way. It was very comfortable with plenty of storage. Our cabin steward Jackson was excellent, with towel animals every night on our bed. The ice and lemon were always there and the cabin was spotless.



The one difference we noted was in the Ramblas bar. On our first cruise on Ventura, the bar seemed cold and uninviting, this time there was a totally different atmosphere. We had some tapas at lunch time, which was very good and the bar was warm & very inviting. In the evening it was a great place for pre dinner drinks with a very good guitarist playing a range of tunes from classical to pop. Not a clue what they did to make the change apart from turning off the air conditioning. The bar staff were excellent always cheerful and attentive.



The Ports (for me and my scooter)



La Coruna



Off at about 10.30,a warm and sunny day. Saw a lot more of the town than I have before with having the scooter. After having a coffee we walked along the promenade and into the town again, making our way to the main square. We found a bar selling tapas and settled down for a spell of people watching. The tapas was very good and we had ordered far too much, so we needed a couple of beers to wash it down. The ship is only 5 minutes from this square so we returned at about 3.00 and went directly to Costa.



Bilbao



Here there was a problem, because of the tide I could not get off the ship as it was going to be difficult to get back on. Although disappointed I spent a very relaxing day on board ship and my wife had a good day mainly going to the Guggenheim, which she loved.



La Rochelle



Excellent port, helped by the fabulous weather. We wandered around the old port and marina and then moved into the town with its narrow pedestrianised streets and excellent small shops. We stopped on a few occasions for coffee, beer and then food. The food was Croque Madame and omelette overlooking the old harbour. The sun was high and hot, wonderful. We then wandered over to the information centre to get the shuttle bus. It was about 15.00 and we feared a long queue. There was not at all. The bendy bus came in, leaned over and I scootered on ...... excellent. On the way back we had to stop and the bus was boarded and we had to show our passports. This was the first time ever for us on over 15 cruises.



When we left there were over 15 security staff standing in a line waving us off. This was in contrast to the next port Brest when I only saw 2 security and they just waved at the buses as they passed.



Brest



We have been before so we did not go into the town. However we took the trip to Quimper (Kemper) and did our own thing. A delightful small old town to wander around with an excellent cathedral which had the most wonderful stained glass windows. In the centre there was a small market Les Halles which was very pleasant, however we did notice the high prices especially for vegetables. Just by the market was a bread shop so we got some cheese and then bought a warm baguette, straight out of the oven. We found a seat in the sun and had a simple lunch. What bread!!!!



In all we had a wonderful cruise with an excellent table, good banter at the tables in the casino, an excellent pre-dinner location in Ramblas and good ports. We thoroughly enjoyed Ventura. It is an excellent ship and well worth another cruise. That will be next April then.



On to Azura in September.





Dai
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Cabin Review

Junior Mini Suite with Balcony and Bath/Shower
Cabin CA D421
Excellent Cabin close to lifts no noise.

I am a scooter user and there was plenty of room for it.
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