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Sail Date: December 2011
This was our first cruise and had been booked 18 months in advance, so we had had plenty of opportunities to research our chosen ship and read lots of reviews, some of which were great and some not so good. So our cruise has finally ... Read More
This was our first cruise and had been booked 18 months in advance, so we had had plenty of opportunities to research our chosen ship and read lots of reviews, some of which were great and some not so good. So our cruise has finally come and gone and what did we think of the P&O Ventura?.....Wonderful, beautiful, amazing. We both found it very difficult to fault this lovely ship in any way, and thought the P&O experience and service in general was excellent. A very enjoyable flight with Thompson delivered us safely to Barbados, and the only unpleasant part of the trip followed, a very tedious and congested bus route to the dock itself followed by a VERY hot check in 'shed' Nic fainted in the heat but quickly recovered as we had our first view of Ventura, She is a very large ship and quite a sight when you see her for the first time. Accomadation:We had selected cabin E721 (Superior deluxe balcony CC) and we were not disappointed. A lovely spacious cabin with chocolates and champagne awaiting us..Nice, The suitcases arrived and then we were off to explore, I have never seen so many people looking lost at once, The ship is a maze of corridors, stairways and public spaces and we were still getting lost after a week on board. The mix of passengers was mainly over 50 with some 30-50 and a relatively small number of children (probably less than 100) Food: We had been looking forward to dining on board and can honestly say we never had a bad meal. We ate in the Bay Tree but later swopped to the Saffron to join some friends. The service from the largely Indian team was very good indeed and we were amazed at how the waiters would remember your favourite choice of bread or favourite wine choice. We also ate in THE WHITE ROOM on the evening of Nics birthday and this was a really lovely meal, the service was again very good, the only disappointment being that the outside terrace was closed due to light rain. The other speciality restaurant is EAST, an asian style restaurant and this was the biggest surprise of the cruise, The food was sensational, we loved every mouthfull, especially washed down with a nice bottle of Champagne. Dont be put off by the small cover charge for these restaurants as they are both very worthy of a visit. The buffet breakfast was excellent with wide variety and choice and there are several smaller snack bars around the ship to try, And of course you must not miss out on afternoon tea, sandwiches, crumpets, scones and lovely tea at 4pm each day if you had room for it. We also used room service several times for breakfast and it always arrived bang on time. Entertainment: Ventura is a family ship and very much aimed at the mass market, and this was reflected in the range of entertainment on board, from truly excellent stage productions to comedians, magicans and singers, there was something for everyone, If Kareoke in the pub wasnt your cup of tea, then a short stroll to the lovely Tamarind club would find the Orchestra and talented West End Singer (Anna Stolli)performing classic songs. We also enjoyed visiting the casino a few times and even managed to make a profit !! Nic enjoyed the Spa facilities on several occasions although they are fairly expensive and the bills can soon add up. Speaking of bills, the cashless system works well and is very convenient, and overall we were pleasantly surprised at the reasonable cost of drinks etc on board. We saved up for this trip for a long time and are very pleased to have brought a fair ammount home (a deposit for the next one maybe) Dressing up for formal nights was a great experience which we both enjoyed, although in the heat of the Caribbean four formal nights is enough, The only irritation I began to feel was the endless photograph opportunities, although we did spend £100 on a very nice souvenir album so I cant complain too much. In conclusion we thought Ventura was a wonderful ship and really could not fault her or her helpful staff in any way. This was backed up by the many many people we spoke to travelling on her for the fourth or fith time. So well done P&O and well done Thompson. I have deliberately avoided talking about the destinations we visited as we wanted to describe our experience of the ship itself, But there where nine Caribbean Islands (Missed Grand Turk due to being unable to dock) and the only one we did not like was Jamaica where we felt very threatened, pestered and intimidated by the locals. So if you are new to cruising give Ventura a try, you wont be disappointed Steve & Nicola Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2010
well what can I say. A beautiful ship. so big. We had a the greatest meal in Sindhu a must if you go on this ship. Brodie's English pub a must. we went in that much the staff got to know us. Manhattans and Malabar the two show ... Read More
well what can I say. A beautiful ship. so big. We had a the greatest meal in Sindhu a must if you go on this ship. Brodie's English pub a must. we went in that much the staff got to know us. Manhattans and Malabar the two show lounges. You have to get in early to get a seat. or standing room only and the night we went in so hot and on the single high seats so uncomfortable. We were on first sitting for dinner and peninsula restaurant is a must. great lads peter and Avascus waiters and Austin the head waiter and Chris the martyrdom so great people .Chris went out of his way to help us one night. Oasis spa package for the retreat, forget it. we bought the spa package and the day paying customers got the same deal as we did. People were queuing up before 8am for the sunbeds in the retreat. We went normally ofr breakfast and when we went in the retreat we were lucky to get a sunbed. one couple did not. This area is not organized and because we booked the package before we set off and paid for it,the talks in the ivory suite clashed with our treatments. The talks on beauty just a selling point to get you to buy something that's very expensive. treatments expensive. Although the staff in the retreat give a brilliant service. Mo communication with the package. The retreat under the stars package what a joke. we were taken into a room and given a hand massage and glass of champagne that was it. no tour around the spa as said on the letter and definitely no stars. just room lights. big rip off. We will not go on the Azura again as it was too big for us. and there were no special touches like we got on the Oriana 15years ago. po seem to be losing that side of things. making money on board for them has replaced it. all sell sell sell. The Atrium nothing special. did not get the wow factor like i did on the Oriana when I boarded. one lady said from the outside as you looked up it was like a block of flats.The captain not very sociable and we were ignored after saying good morning to an officer . found that when you rarely did see them they did not want to chat. Sindhu meal and experience made our cruise, but in Seventeen we were treated disgustingly by the restaurant manager as soon as we walked in. His manner and verbal comments were very uncomfortable and unnecessary. spoilt our 40th wedding anniversary,and the last night of the cruise and my husband does not want to cruise with po again because of it. bad manners. At one point the manager asked me if I was tired, all because I left some food which was terrible, not cuisine food in seventeen, very over rated, just like we have at home, not presented as top cuisine food. I politely said i was a little tired after his shocked remarks and he told me to go and walk round the decks? why we never will know as we had sat quietly all night holding hands and trying to celebrate our anniversary. he kept sending the staff to comment, particularly to me. why we do not know? as we never said anything impolite to anyone. strange experience. I complained to the reception the next day and she never even took my name or cabin number. it had spoilt our holiday. just took our money and did not care about the customer. so be aware you do not get what you pay for. Also we found out that people got suites cheaper than we got our state room, which we booked a year early on the po cruise web site. so be careful and look around .like we will do in future. so wrong. and on being invited to a special captain cocktails we asked a young officer why we few were the elite, to be chosen, was it because we had spent the most money. she said yes. wow. what a shock to the system. one lady never even met the captain like she did on other cruises. She probable did not spend enough on board? Read Less
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