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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I was only aboard the Ventura for a weekend cruise - less than 40 hours. We were celebrating a birthday, and as such for us the trip was really more about making use of the ship's various, delightful-sounding bar and restaurant facilities. ... Read More
I was only aboard the Ventura for a weekend cruise - less than 40 hours. We were celebrating a birthday, and as such for us the trip was really more about making use of the ship's various, delightful-sounding bar and restaurant facilities. I would heartily recommend this ship for fans of queuing and waiting. If you're into those, you are in for a treat! Huge lines to get into restaurants - queuing all the way up the stairs to the next deck. Huge queues for the formal photographs. Queues are reception, as one person mans the desk and phones ring off the hook around them. Chaos, basically. A typical interaction with a member of the serving staff on board the Ventura might look something like this: You approach a bar, behind which are two or three people frantically preparing drinks. A waiter dashes up to you, to intercept your attempt to order at the bar. The waiter takes your order. Five minutes later, the waiter returns to take your cruise card. Around 10 minutes later, your drinks arrive. This might sound like an exaggeration, but at one point I waited 25 minutes for a coffee. In a deserted bar. The restaurants were no better - one person assigned to take drinks for a restaurant full with 100+ people. The wine waitress was so stressed and busy that at one point rather than topping up my wine, she just emptied the bottle into it. The fundamental problem seems to me that they were attempting to provide a silver service experience, with greasy-spoon levels of staff training. The food itself was fine, nothing special. The Beach House was absolutely not worth the additional supplements (a cover charge AND supplements on the food), particularly considering its decor and vibe - think school canteen. The ventura has the potential to be a great experience, and perhaps on longer cruises there are more staff laid on. But if this cruise had been any longer than two nights, I'd have found myself wanting to abandon ship halfway through. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Having sworn never to cruise again with P&O and especially not on Oceana again, we found an itinerary that attracted us and decided to bite the bullet, and try Oceana again. I am very glad that we made that decision, as this cruise ... Read More
Having sworn never to cruise again with P&O and especially not on Oceana again, we found an itinerary that attracted us and decided to bite the bullet, and try Oceana again. I am very glad that we made that decision, as this cruise was a completely different experience to our last one! This was a 7 day cruise out of Malta, travelling up the Croatian coast to Venice and return. The itinerary was interesting, and in spite of some inclement weather, we enjoyed our ports of call and the overall cruise experience. Green beans were still the vegetable of choice in the dining room, but at least there was a slight change in that they mixed the beans with peas, but having said that, food in the dining room and buffet were improved from our last cruise in February 2016. Entertainment this time was great, with good variety and a positive attitude by the entertainment staff. The overall age of guests was much younger than on our last trip, and so we learned that an extended cruise out of Southampton is not for us, but we may even return to Malta next year and continue where we left off. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were attracted by the itinerary and reasonable pricing but the cruise was a bit of a let down. The ship (and some of the staff) seemed tired and the entertainment was modest when compared to other cruise lines. The Cafe Jardin was ... Read More
We were attracted by the itinerary and reasonable pricing but the cruise was a bit of a let down. The ship (and some of the staff) seemed tired and the entertainment was modest when compared to other cruise lines. The Cafe Jardin was a big dissapointment. Not worth paying extra for and in all honesty best avoided. This cruise line seems stuck in the past. The staff were polite enough but no one seemed to have any zip about them. Embarkation in Malta was quick and efficient. Staff in casino were friendly enough and the couple of tournaments organised were good value, well run, and not intimidating for novices like me. However, the casino is small and the slot machines (like the rest of the ship) were very dated. If you pick a cruise which includes Sibenik please note you need to get a tender and a coach to get there. Not really worth the effort and P&O should look at other ports in the area instead e.g. Split. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Me and the Mr's are in our early 20's although there was limited day time activities to do the night shows made up for it, Beer is expensive but we brought alcohol from each port and had a pre drink before we went out for the night. Food ... Read More
Me and the Mr's are in our early 20's although there was limited day time activities to do the night shows made up for it, Beer is expensive but we brought alcohol from each port and had a pre drink before we went out for the night. Food is amazing all cooked to high standards and if you like a midnight snack not a problem the buffet is open until half 1 every morning. We were looked after like you wouldnt believe, in the food outlets the waitiers get to know you and 3 days in we'd sit down for dinner and he would have our drinks on the way without having to ask. The sail away parties are mad and every one gets involved and has a dance. All in all P&O delivered and we have just got back from Western europe 02/09/17 - 09/09/17 and weather was brill. Thank you to everyone and we will be booking up in december again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were a family of five travelling in three balcony cabins, R303 - accessible cabin, A254 and A251. Embarkation was a farce, chaotic and not helped by rude and unhelpful G4S staff. Didn't see the point of being given an embarkation ... Read More
We were a family of five travelling in three balcony cabins, R303 - accessible cabin, A254 and A251. Embarkation was a farce, chaotic and not helped by rude and unhelpful G4S staff. Didn't see the point of being given an embarkation time as this was totally ignored and we were waved disdainfully towards the queue. As a first timer any questions we asked were ignored. All very pleased with our cabins, the accessible cabin was large and well thought out for use by a disbabled guest. Buffet - this was very busy on the first couple of days and choice was not great. Improved greatly over the rest of the cruise and we used daily for breakfast and late lunch. Main Dining Room Saffron - food and choice excellent, service excellent. My daughter, a vegetarian, was given exemplary service with advance orders taken for the following days menu. Sindhu - the only select restaurant we visited and the meal was well worth the additional cover charge. Entertainment- varied and good, house bands were excellent, a couple of the 'tribute' acts bordering on mediocre. 'Gary Barlow' looked like the man himself, didn't sound like him at all. 'Shania Twain' didn't look like or sound like the singer at all. The headline act was Bernie Flint who I'm sure would be unknown to at least half of the passengers. Plenty to do on board, very busy on inside decks when weather not too good though. Service - generally good with staff bordering on indifferent to excellent. Drinks could be slow at times particularly in The Exchange. All of our cabin stewards were excellent. Please beware of the advertised unlimited photos for £99 offer, this is not what it seems. We had an issue over this which to be fair was resolved to our satisfaction. If you are looking to take advantage of this speak to one of the photo team first to make sure you are aware of the numerous, unadvertised, terms and conditions. We had excursions at most ports between us and all were pleased with guides, content and value for money. Special mention for the FC Barcelona, Rome on your own and Pompeii tours. Dress codes - not adhered to in some instances. Would appear that a jacket isn't required on Black Tie, saw one female passenger in main dining room wearing white jeans as part of her outfit. Evening casual, again in dining room saw a female passenger wearing a frayed denim miniskirt. If you're going to have a dress code at least police it so the rest of us who have made an effort don't feel hard done by. Unable to visit Cagliari due to adverse weather leading to an unexpected, rough, additional day at sea. I thought that the ship would cope better with the rough seas, overall we had a couple of days of uncomfortable ship movement. We enjoyed the convenience of no fly but not the four sea days of dull/inclement weather and when looking a Med cruise again would take this into account. All enjoyed our overall P&O Ventura experience and would cruise on her again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We've cruised with p and o before and enjoyed the experience so decided to do a 5 day cruise to Amsterdam and le harve _ first time on azura and certainly the last, in fact we may decide not to sale with p and o again! Dirty conditions ... Read More
We've cruised with p and o before and enjoyed the experience so decided to do a 5 day cruise to Amsterdam and le harve _ first time on azura and certainly the last, in fact we may decide not to sale with p and o again! Dirty conditions on board including public areas and some toilets. Boring food choices, not always particularly cooked well and the queues in the self service restaurants were unreal. Most of the staff were fantastic and couldn't do enough for you and then there were other staff who were indifferent and seemed very unhappy in their work. This wasn't by any means a cheap cruise but it certainly was a disappointing one and one we hope to forget really soon. We know other people on board were disappointed as we were and they were going to complain direct to P&O. The entertainment was second rate and the shows poor .P&O are going to have to up there game to keep people cruising on Azura Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This P&O ship was very British, very " organised fun" and seemingly very popular. It's what you make it ; I did enjoy it but the amount of obese, loud, badly dressed Brits on board was slightly depressing. Embarkation was ... Read More
This P&O ship was very British, very " organised fun" and seemingly very popular. It's what you make it ; I did enjoy it but the amount of obese, loud, badly dressed Brits on board was slightly depressing. Embarkation was fine once someone explained where to drop our main bag and we were on before our 1pm designated slot. Rooms weren't ready till 2pm so we had lunch in the buffet which was ( as we came to find out) relatively quiet. I was initially pleased to find whole prawns, mussels and mixed seafood in the cold section to have with salad although by the end of the week I was fed up of looking at them. The hot sections do change daily though and these were pretty tasty. Roasts, chili, curry, noodles etc. You do have to watch for which side of the ship is " open" as both sides are indentical and at less busy times only one side serves food. Our balcony cabin L226 ( port side forward) was good I thought. We were on a Saver fare so had no choice on deck. I had orginally ticked for " upgrades" but I learnt this meant position on boat and I was worried about getting a different cabin under the main service areas, so emailed and requested " no upgrades". There is an overhang but this was useful in the rain we had on a couple of days. Handy in windy day too as although it does cut a lot of sun out it stayed warm, unlike on deck that was sunny but freezing in the wind. Being on the Lido deck also made it super easy to get to and from the bar and pool food areas. The buffet was often full up so being close to pizza or chips to take back to the cabin was brilliant. Also close to Spa and I think less cabins than lower decks so quieter. The pools were heaving and quite small. The adult pool is a handy 1m deep.. The cinema is on the SeaScreen outside and has seen better days with sections missing pixels We did love the main dining room. We were allocated Freedom dining in the Peninsular restaurant. We were sat at a lovely table of eight in the first and fourth night with interesting people - not fat or badly dressed - and did a table for two the other nights. Menus have up to five courses with popular items like the sirloin steak and chicken available every evening (comes with same sauce and veg too). Service was efficient and friendly. Iced water served and topped up frequently which is great if you aren't ordering from the bar. I watched a few shows. The comedian Paul Eastwood was generally funny but taking the mickey out of the foreign accents of the ships staff is from another time. So was Badness a Madness tribute and the house dance show. Felt a it like the entertainment at a second wedding really. There was only two ports, with two nights scheduled in Amsterdam. However we left Amsterdam at 2.30 am on the second night which was a bit cheeky and gave us a sea day we weren't down to have. We had fun in both ports despite poor weather and did both easily.without ships excursions. So basically, if you normally like to holiday by driving to somewhere in France, staying in an authentic gite with a nice pool, living on charcuterie, tomato salad and crusty bread ...well this holiday is the very antithesis of that. Good for the money but nothing like the ads on telly. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Sailed on Azura many times, with different ports of call over the years. The price was good for a balcony, but not the best position under the walkway to the buffet from the pool, so much noise above. The cabin was assigned to us by ... Read More
Sailed on Azura many times, with different ports of call over the years. The price was good for a balcony, but not the best position under the walkway to the buffet from the pool, so much noise above. The cabin was assigned to us by the booking agent, so we knew it would be a cabin of 'luck on position' Nice passengers and a good mixture of all ages.......so that went well. But we could not understand why the staff in the speciality restaurants was really happy and it all went well.....but in the main dining rooms the staff was so unhappy and it made you feel that you did not want to be there........ Deck quoits are positioned in the perfect place at the back on deck 19, cinema in the open deck works really well........amazing food in Sindhi, Badness the Tribute group was brilliant in the theatre...............but morning, lunch and dinner in the main restaurants with staff who just did not want to be there had a impact on us and many other passengers. We have sailed on many other cruise lines as well as P & O.....so we are going to go back to the other lines and see how the overall experience will be.....compared. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
You do sometimes have to wonder if you were on the same cruise as some of the reviewers.Anyway, we had a great time on this 5 night short break. Friendly staff throughout the ship. We enjoyed lovely food in the main dining room and my ... Read More
You do sometimes have to wonder if you were on the same cruise as some of the reviewers.Anyway, we had a great time on this 5 night short break. Friendly staff throughout the ship. We enjoyed lovely food in the main dining room and my gluten free husband had excellent service from the head waiter helping with his choices for the following night. Lovely meal in Sindhu, with excellent staff, a great evening.We didn't go to all of the entertainment and think that Headliners need some new shows as we had seen all of them before. However, there is plenty going on, we enjoyed the Badness tribute band and the live music and the show offs dancing in the atrium each night Enjoyed Amsterdam, the Van Gogh museum was well worth visiting we pre-booked tickets before travelling and that worked very well to jump a large queue. Caught a bus to Honfleur from Le Havre and had a lovely afternoon in this pretty town. All in all a lovely relaxing break. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Chose this as a family holiday to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The excursions were brilliant and great value for money. On board our suite was lovely but the balcony door was stiff and hard to open and close. Also we had ... Read More
Chose this as a family holiday to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The excursions were brilliant and great value for money. On board our suite was lovely but the balcony door was stiff and hard to open and close. Also we had problems with the blinds that took over a day to sort out. Service in the dining area was very hit and miss with dinner taking between 1h15m on a good day and over two hours on a bad one. Menus were over complicated and when staff were asked about dishes on the menu they were unable to explain them. Food was also hit and miss with some meals being fantastic and others being unedible. Service was similar around the ship with either staff falling over themselves to serve you or just ignoring you. Quizzes on board were good. The on board dance troupe were good but the actual shows, bar one, were unusual and not to my taste. The highlight was Sam Bailey singing. The gym was way too warm and although it said that there was an instructor available no body was ever around to help or explain the equipment. Jacuzzi facilities were way too small for a ship of this size as were the swimming pools. The lifts were a lottery with people waiting an age some times to go up and down. Luckily I'm fit enough to take the stairs, which 9 times out of 10, was quicker. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine, though I didn't understand why,as we were at the front of the ship on floor 11, we were told to disembark at the back of the ship on floor 5. My 18 year old son enjoyed the late night disco but if this wasn't your scene and you wanted a quiet drink after midnight then you were out of luck as everything shut down. This won't put me off cruising it will just put me off ever using P and O again. Read Less
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