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Sail Date: June 2014
I am very disappointed in this, my first (and last) Cruise. I was mistakenly confident, when booking my cruise with P&O, that I would spend a peaceful and relaxing time on board Ventura. My friend and I booked 2 separate cabins, and ... Read More
I am very disappointed in this, my first (and last) Cruise. I was mistakenly confident, when booking my cruise with P&O, that I would spend a peaceful and relaxing time on board Ventura. My friend and I booked 2 separate cabins, and spent the first 2 days jostling the crowds, unable to obtain a table for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. We spent a long time carrying heavy trays, walking through the 24 hour restaurant and surrounding decks, searching for a table. Upon asking for assistance in finding a table, were told by deck staff "It is difficult - you have to share". After this experience, I spent the remainder of the holiday taking breakfast alone in my cabin, which I did not want to do. (Our evening meals were prebooked at Bayside Restaurant, with the same table with no problems, and served by excellent staff, Jose and Arun). During our 2 days spent at sea, we were hoping to relax on sun loungers, but other passengers had placed their blue P&O towels out early on the loungers in order to "book" them, so there were none free until late afternoon. Many of the sun loungers are so tightly crammed together, there is no space to walk around them. After quite some time searching and walking the many decks, we eventually found assistance from the ship staff, who directed us to the only remaining two sun loungers, tightly packed in a mass of bodies (with no view of the sea). To get on them, we had to climb up the loungers from the bottom. My friend has recently had a shoulder operation, so this was not easy. Our days spent on board Ventura were stressful and not relaxing, similar to spending time in a busy Airport Terminal !! If I book a holiday in a hotel, and experience difficulty in finding a table to dine at, or request a sun lounger, a hotel will be quick to provide me with the service I pay for. I am shocked and upset that P&O cannot cater for the 3000 plus passengers they have on board. There is a serious shortage of 2 seat tables, and they do not provide adequate sun loungers. If you are looking for a relaxing peaceful cruise, then think carefully, because this is a glorified "Butlins" - with plenty of entertainment, activities and endless food, but please bear in mind that the Ventura carries over 3000 people all looking for the same things, within a confined space. Therefore, very poor value for money.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
After a very early start getting to Manchester airport for 3.30am checking in the car and for the flight went very smoothly, the flight at a ridicules time of 6.20am. The charter flight with Thomson left on time .I did feel that as this ... Read More
After a very early start getting to Manchester airport for 3.30am checking in the car and for the flight went very smoothly, the flight at a ridicules time of 6.20am. The charter flight with Thomson left on time .I did feel that as this was the start of my holiday with P.O they could have laid on at least a cup of tea/ coffee instead of having to pay £2.50. On arrival in Venice P.O were vey organised and soon we were on coaches for the short journey to the Ventura, that is when the chaos started with so many flights arriving together nobody seemed to be charge and it took over an hour to embark. Having been on the Ventura before we thought that the evening entertainment would be good, that first night proved the opposite in most of the venues around the ship tables and chairs had been placed on the dance floors making it difficult to dance and enjoy the bands this was I presume to sell more booze. Ports of call were good again if you had taken the early bird saver you were on your own with regards to any shuttle service except when they docked in a nasty part of the docks otherwise they tried to rip you off. Good points. Sea day dance classes with Penny and Ian teaching basic routines and putting a lot of effort into the evening entertainment in the atrium. A couple of the party nights with resident bands were very good. Bad points. All evening entertainment seemed to stop for breaks at the same time . Dining in the main dining room was a bit rushed and tables not always prepared properly. The buffet was a bit of hit and miss with tables not cleared food was not labelled (for vegetarians ) .No fresh fruit was readily available and begrudged when asked for. I felt that the staff were not trained to the high standard that you expect . So would I cruise again with P.O having cruised with Carnival. R.C.I and Princess there would have to be a marked improvement in quality and less cutting corners. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
We went on board with mixed views after reading previous poor reviews of a similar cruise in the Western Med. Not being a stranger on the Ventura I took a discerning look on my embarkation. We were told the cabin wouldn't be ready ... Read More
We went on board with mixed views after reading previous poor reviews of a similar cruise in the Western Med. Not being a stranger on the Ventura I took a discerning look on my embarkation. We were told the cabin wouldn't be ready until 1 pm but were beckoned by our steward to come into the cabin as it was ready. He introduced himself and was very informative advising us of our dinner booking and provision of other services he was able to provide. The cabin was spotless. When disembarking to spend time in Venice I noticed that the ship and it's fabric were clean and of a high standard. The meals on board were excellent and our waiter was extremely attentive and informative. We always had a leisurely dinner. We lunched and breakfasted both in Waterside and Baytree finding the food to be of high standard. Some of the courses offered in the Baytree for lunch I would have liked for dinner. The shows were good catering for all tastes, and especially liked the Liverpudlian comedian. Ports of call were good, we prefer to go on our own no disrespect to the tours P&O provided, our fellow diners did a couple of P&O tours and were very impressed. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
I am sure some of the views on these forums, reflect what some might have thought a cruise today would be the same as in the 1950's!!! Today the ships are on a huge scale, and the clientele far removed from that era. The flights to ... Read More
I am sure some of the views on these forums, reflect what some might have thought a cruise today would be the same as in the 1950's!!! Today the ships are on a huge scale, and the clientele far removed from that era. The flights to Venice and from Genoa were on time, and the P&O team at each end were superb, baggage checked in and then the next one sees it - it is in the cabin. Cabin steward was good, polite, although we kept it tidy so all he had to do was re-arrange / new towels etc. There were two beach towels in the cabin, and more available in the ' spa ' changing room - which would answer a previous complaint in a review- that persom did not look far enough. We dined in the Cinnamon Restaurant, and thought the choice and standard high.We did try the White Room, and yes £25 cover charge, was it worth it, YES for a one off experience, as we were able to dine outside, the ambiece was superb, and a few foodie extras thrown in too, service was brilliant, the food was exceptional, really enyoyed it, we lingered and whay not. The ship is big and it took the week to find one's way around, the ' observation deck ' at the front front on Lido deck was not listed in the leaflet, found it by chance - and a great viewing area. The Theatre is very good, on two deck levels, ( far better than on the Oceana- just a minor point ) we went to the two ' Headliner shows' good singers, and how they change the costumes so many times in seconds is beyond me !!! well done. The '' 4 Tunes '' four guys singing in harmony were outstanding, again we managed their two shows. Ports of call - Kotor by tender- and a trip up the mountain, the 25 bends are NOT for the faint hearted. Rome - we did the Tuscania village trip, beautiful countryside, a very relaxing morning, good wine too at the olive grove farm, and olive oil to purchase too. Corfu & Corsica - suggest just go on foot around the towns, the walk up to the old fort in Corfu, and lunch there was a highlight. P&O do offer very good value for money, the prices on board are in £'s and in my opinion the drinks prices are very reasonable, this is my 2nd P&O cruise. My suggestion - avoid the buffet restaurants, just people not knowing where they are going or what they want- food quality fine though. We did NOT enjoy a might in the Beach House resaurant- menu disappointing. We chose freedon dining- which is ideal, and usually had a table for two, but no problemd sharing as we did from time to time. Afternoon tea in the Saffron was of a high standard. We did use the ' adults ' only oasis pool - although as slightly out of school holidays few children on the ship. The sun loungers are close together and there IS the towel on the sunbed syndrome, which P&O DO need to address. Would I use P&O again - certainly yes, would like to try the Britannia when she comes on stream.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
We loved the fact we did not see our luggage after booking in at Gatwick until we arrived in our cabin to find our brilliant cabin steward Roosevelt getting them ready for us in our cabin. An early flight from Gatwick and upon arrival in ... Read More
We loved the fact we did not see our luggage after booking in at Gatwick until we arrived in our cabin to find our brilliant cabin steward Roosevelt getting them ready for us in our cabin. An early flight from Gatwick and upon arrival in Venice greeted by P&O staff who guided us to our coaches. On arrival at the port the normal process of being given a number and preparing to board when your number is called. All very efficient. Once on board we were told cabins would be available from 1pm but we were able to get into our cabin by 12.30. A lovely cabin deluxe balcony cabin aft. Greater by Roosevelt with champagne and chocolates. The cabin was always as was the rest of the ship very clean and tidy. The ship was we were sold out but we at no point during the week struggled to find a sunlonger. The food in the buffet and Cinnamon restaurant was always excellent and the waiters always very attentive. The entertainment was brilliant from the shows in the arena theather to the shows in the other bars. The highlight had to be the 4tunes two brilliant shows from them. First full day was at sea with th he first port of call being Kotor. A very beautiful sail into the port it is worth waking up early to see the views on voyage in. We did a P&O tour which was excellent to Kotor and Bush is. The guide was very good and funny. Next day was Corfu which we did on our own followed by another sea day and then to Rome. We stayed on board as we have been to Rome several times before.The ship was half full on this day but the crew were just as attentive. Then to Corsica again we did this on our ownan. The Great British Callaway was brilliant with everybody joining in the flag waving and singing along. The sadly the journey to Genoa. Captain Charlie Carr was brilliant in his announcements to passengers he has a great sense of humour. The entertainments team were really good. The journey home was good after leaving our luggage outside our cabin we did not see it again until Gatwick. We are back on board with our two sons (20&24) and one of their partners for the return leg Genoa to Venice on 23rd July and we cannot wait. I have a few tweets and photos on Rob Gearing@Rob Gearing. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
When I booked this cruise I had low expectations and so was not disappointed. The check in was wonderful and not having to claim our luggage on arrival was a real bonus. Transfers and embarkation were smooth and efficient and at this point ... Read More
When I booked this cruise I had low expectations and so was not disappointed. The check in was wonderful and not having to claim our luggage on arrival was a real bonus. Transfers and embarkation were smooth and efficient and at this point i was beginning to think that I was wrong to have low expectations. However, my thoughts were soon shattered. As our cabin was not ready we made our way to the Lido deck 15. Having been travelling for some time I needed a comfort break and this is the point where things started to go downhill. The ladies toilet to say the least were dirty and bearing in mind norovirus they were a health hazard and I chose not to use them, my husband said the gents were also dirty. Our Cabin... on arrival I pleasantly surprised it was roomy with plenty of hanging space, the bathroom was small but this was not an issue and the kettle was a definite bonus. Again I was in for disappointment I opened the cupboard by the dressing table to find hairs in it!!!! not acceptable and when I ran my fingers over the surfaces there was a layer of dust everywhere. Food... this was not outstanding and lacked in choice as for the eating area on the Lido deck this was small and cramped. At no one time were all the machines at any of the coffee stations working, and there was no ice for your water. In the evening we ate in Cinamon but we were never asked if the meal was ok or if they could get us anything else, most nights I had to ask for my water glass to be refilled. Ice cream was charged for I did not like this Shows were on the whole good but the comedian was excellent. Sunbathing again I was glad I had low expectations only 1 towel per person in the cabin and no towels on deck. I am a swimmer and swim at 7am each morning so before the day started my towel was wet!! Our Cabin steward Gnash did get us extra towels because of this but i did not like the fact I had to ask for this. The sunloungers were packed so close together you need to be a contortionist to get on & off them The shops were uninspiring and this is the first cruise I have been on and not bought anything from the shops. Disembarkation this again was a plus as we did not see our cases from when we put them out on the last night until we landed in the UK On the whole PO you could do better especially in the cleanliness but we would consider sailing with you again   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
We have just come back off a cruise on the ventura the actual cruise was excellent,the cabin steward kept the cabin spotless,we was lucky enough to be on board when the opera boys sang,they did 4 shows all full houses,what amazing singers ... Read More
We have just come back off a cruise on the ventura the actual cruise was excellent,the cabin steward kept the cabin spotless,we was lucky enough to be on board when the opera boys sang,they did 4 shows all full houses,what amazing singers a fantastic show,overall the entertainment on board was excellent the headliner dancers was west end standard,we was on freedom dining which suited us the only drawback was if we wanted a table for 2 we had to have dinner at 18.00 or wait about 1to 2 hours but had no waiting to sit on larger tables,such a shame the restaurant staff was not keen with the hand sanitizer people was walking in without sanitizing there hands with staff watching not only the saffron but other eating places,come on p and o get this health issue sorted. The disembarkation of the ship we found was stressful not enough time ieaving ship to flight time,not enough time if any delays,the coach had accident on ramp leading to departures,Genoa airport is not the best very busy and small,overall a great holiday and enjoyed very much,we have booked 13 night cruise next year on the ventura transatlantic. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Just returned from a 14 night cruise around Italy taking in Kotor,Corfu and Dubrovnik This was our first cruise onboard Ventura having previously had two cruises onboard Oceana in the carribean, sadly we found Ventura to be very ... Read More
Just returned from a 14 night cruise around Italy taking in Kotor,Corfu and Dubrovnik This was our first cruise onboard Ventura having previously had two cruises onboard Oceana in the carribean, sadly we found Ventura to be very dissapointing, shambolic embarkation and disembarkation the attitude of the gangway staff was extreamly poor as if given a job the would rather not be doing The ship its self has a problem with vibration through all decks at the rear of the ship as if the prop is out of balance or a bearing issue holding the prop shaft, this was mentioned by many of the passengers in conversation, but came to a head when sailing from Dubrivnik to Venice, the speed was the highest of the cruise and the vibration through our cabin on deck 14 was horrendous, I even tried calling reception at 3am to ask if the bridge was aware of the problem, to be told there was no vibration! and that I was the only person to complain, which when speaking to other passengers in Venice that this was not the case Food in the Bay Tree Restaurant was not what I would expect of a P&O Cruise and more akin to canteen food and as for the Waterfront Restaurant which has 4 counters but not enough seating, the food can only be discribed as basic, I could go on but all I can say is never again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Went on this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday, and my husband's birthday. The cabin was a Superior Deluxe balcony, which could have done with a carpet shampoo. The bathroom was ideal as my husband can't use a shower, so the ... Read More
Went on this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday, and my husband's birthday. The cabin was a Superior Deluxe balcony, which could have done with a carpet shampoo. The bathroom was ideal as my husband can't use a shower, so the bath was great. The wardrobe was open..unusual for any I had seen before. The balcony looked as though it never gets cleaned, as we could hardly see through it. My husband started to clean it, and the people up above asked him to do theirs as well!!! Room service proved to be a bit of a problem, as we were not told when they were going to come to the cabin, and we waited in most of the day! The entertainment was 80% good, apart from a stand up comedian who managed to get rid of the audience faster than fill it! The food was not particularly great. If you don't mind what you eat, then you'd be ok with it. One night it was Antipasti, and we got three types of Italian meat just rolled up and put on the plate with a few small bits of bread! Cock-a-leekie soup seemed to contain prunes! Dining room staff and cabin staff were great. If you love to have your photo taken then you'll love this ship. Personally they were a pain in the neck. They jumped in front of my husband, knowing he had a walking stick, and tried to stop him. When he didn't we got a remark from one, which should never have come from anyone in the crew. Some of the trips were expensive for what you actually got. The restaurants were not ideally laid out, as people were putting towels and bags on the seats to book them in order to be able to sit down after getting their meal. The theatre was not easy to get a seat in, as people were again putting bags on the seats next to them, to book them for their friends. On the days where formal dress was required, we went to the restaurant to have our dinner, and afterwards to a show. as it was packed, my husband being disabled took his jacket and bow tie off as he was extremely hot. We went from there to the 'Red Bar' and went and sat down next to another couple, due to lack of seats. We got our drinks, then about 30mins later, the waiter came up to my husband to tell him that someone had complained my husband was not wearing his jacket. He told the waiter that because of having an artificial leg, he gets very warm and had to take his jacket off, although he still had it with him. He told him he would have to put his jacket on, and my husband refused. The bar manager then came over to tell him he needed to put on his jacket, and my husband reitterated what he had tol the waiter, adding that there was a person sitting across from us with a T shirt and jeans. He left it at that saying that they had not served that person. My husband went to the cabin and I went to complain at reception, whereby I met the bar manager, who apologized profusely about the situation. He said that he had a word with his staff and it would not happen again. Friends of ours were on free dining, therefore did not need to wear formal clothes, and went to the 'Red Bar' and were served, then after a short time were told to drink up as they were not suitably dressed. The sign entering the bar was very small, and insignificant. Some of the trips appeared to be overly expensive for what you got. As we got to the end of our trip, we went to the gangway at 7.30am on the morning we were leaving as we had to vacate our cabin at that time, and as independent travellers we had our taxi the same as a number of others, booked for 8am. We were told by Security that we would need to leave after 9-9.30am after all the others waiting on bus transfers had gone. We went to reception, where they said we would need to wait on the announcement. The ship had been docked since the day before, so all quarantine checks etc had been done, so nothing should have stopped us getting off the ship. After quite a number of people were getting quite distraught at possibly missing their taxi transfer to the airport, we were told that we could get off the ship. It was a good cruise, but I would give P&O a miss in the future, as it was not my type of ship. Read Less
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 3.9

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