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Sail Date: October 2014
Having been disappointed on other cruise lines sailing from Venice due to the chaotic and drawn out Embarkation / Disembarkation organisation this was an absolute pleasure. We handed in our bags at Birmingham and only saw them in our ... Read More
Having been disappointed on other cruise lines sailing from Venice due to the chaotic and drawn out Embarkation / Disembarkation organisation this was an absolute pleasure. We handed in our bags at Birmingham and only saw them in our cabin. The marshalling and transfer of passengers was totally excellent and there were ample check in staff. last time there was only 3 this time there must have been around 30. If all P&O fly cruises are this easy, even though I hate the airport part, I will definitely do it again. Maybe part of it was Birmingham departures as this is a great, well organised airport to go from. All the security desks were open even early and there were security personnel waiting for us. Very different. If you haven't sailed out of Venice do so whilst you can as it is spectacular . Forget dinner (though we had the new P&O version of freedom dining - set dining room but turn up when you want) as the view is much more important. Quite spectacular and this is the third time I have sailed out but previously always had a couple of days in Venice on the way out and the way back as well. Food overall was plentiful and very good. Entertainment was not the best as we only saw the Headlines Theatre company twice ( we would go to see them every night given a chance) but the other acts were more than exceptional, especially the Motown Queens. Guest speakers were good, bar prices reasonable (cheap by US lines prices), we got to all the ports, the organisation at each was great ad the staff with the exception of 1 surly waiter were fantastic. What's not to like? This is our 5th P&O cruise on various ships and the overall quality is consistently high and the cruise value equally so We are trying the new Costa Diadema in a few weeks and are hoping that the fly and embarkation parts of the trip are as good, but past experience tells us otherwise. Hope we are surprised Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
As a first time cruising couple travelling with a 2 year daughter we were a little sceptical about the entire holiday and what we would encounter on board the ship. We didn't need to worry however the staff bent over backwards to help ... Read More
As a first time cruising couple travelling with a 2 year daughter we were a little sceptical about the entire holiday and what we would encounter on board the ship. We didn't need to worry however the staff bent over backwards to help us and interact with our daughter at every step of the way. So lets break it down - We arrived in Venice and had a walk around having spent the night in a hotel and got on the ship around 2ish. The check in process and embarkation were a breeze, plenty of staff around and helpful dock workers taking our bags for loading. We explored the ship for a bit and made our way to the cabin for 3 o'clock and our bags were already there and waiting. Riviera deck inside cabin R744 Breakfast is a self service affair with a choice of fresh fruits, cereals, muffins, meats, cheeses, smoothies and full English breakfast and according to my wife a horrible porridge personally all porridge is horrible so….. There is a continental side at the aft of the ship with waffles apparently however this seemed to finish at 7.00am and we missed it every day. We mainly attended the mid section of the ship. This was the only time that you can get access to anything other than water coffee or tea free of charge with pure orange, apple and pineapple available. Lunch is the same sort of setup as breakfast with a mixture of hot and cold food and usually with a curry or something as well High tea - sandwiches, cakes, scones and cream……… all good………not for the waistline though…. Dinner - We ate at the Bay tree restaurant on the first sitting our waiters Mark and Sheldon were amazing and never stopped trying to play with Faye (our 2 year old) and make her smile. It took all week but eventually she was high fiving and laughing at them. The food here was rich and well presented with a standard classic menu that was always available and a menu that changed daily. It could have done with a little more variety by the end of the first week. The children s menu had a good selection of standard foods like fish fingers, burgers, chicken breast and you could pick and mix to create your meal with vegetables and potatoes etc. We only used the bay tree in the evenings and should have tried the buffet selection for the evening meal. As the first sitting meant we missed every sail away party and a few other events. The food arrives quickly and no sooner than one course is cleared the next is arriving which can make it feel a little rushed. On the first formal night we had a guest menu from Marco Pierre White - however we found it lackluster and the 2nd formal menu had nothing special about it which was disappointing as we had expected something from East. Speaking of which we booked a table there and included for our 2 year old - the food was simply spectacular. Everything we had hoped for the menu was varied and Atul actually visited each table chatted with guests and posed for photos. In hindsight we should have checked out the evening menus at the restaurants before deciding what to do for dinner. They were posted outside and its normally only a slight detour to check whats on or go for the buffet and then go play. Our daughter would have benefitted from this as she could have gone to play with Mr Bump or the family disco sooner. Entertainment - There was plenty to do on the ship had we ditched our daughter. Not much in the way of family events to get involved with at least not for a two year old. However she loved the Reef kids club and the staff there were brilliant with her. The events whilst not spectacular were definitely entertaining. Trying to keep track of what was going on was tricky. The horizon newsletter that is distributed each evening with the listings could be a bit better laid out as tracking what was going on was done by time rather than rooms and areas. There were plenty of bar areas to relax and unwind and the Tamarind and Havana were good places to sit and listen to different music acts and a cinema in the afternoon. Now we have done it once we would certainly have a better idea how to organise our time better the second time around. Cabin and service - Simply excellent, The cabin was always clean with fresh towels and we even got some jelly beans for the little one and a balloon on the first night which she loved. Every staff member from the backroom cabin crew,cleaners and the plumber that we met to the waiters, bar staff and officers were all friendly approachable and couldn’t do enough to help. I could write suggestions and improvements for ages but suffice to say we had a blast – it might not be as fancy as other cruises but we loved it and were already discussing another one on our trip home. One thing make time to visit the Spa the ladies and treatments were awesome - I would highly recommend the hot stone aromatherapy massage in particular (I had 2) when you go say hi to Edyta for me! :-) John, Kelly & Faye   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our second cruise, the first last year was on the Azura and we did not expect the Ventura to be as good. The cabin steward was excellent and couldn't do enough to make our cruise more enjoyable. We stayed in a 3 berth cabin, ... Read More
This was our second cruise, the first last year was on the Azura and we did not expect the Ventura to be as good. The cabin steward was excellent and couldn't do enough to make our cruise more enjoyable. We stayed in a 3 berth cabin, the last one on the starboard side. The extra berth was dropped down from the ceiling and was put down after we went out for the evening and put back up when we went for breakfast. We suffered a couple of bruises when going past to the loo in the night but nothing too bad. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed every port visited. My favourite excursion was the Herculaneum with a P & O excursion, the guide was extremely knowledgable and made the tour very interesting. Ports visited included Kotor, Corfu, Civitaveccia, Ajjaccio, Lisvorno, Naples. The younger people in our party enjoyed the water park in Corfu very much. Personally I'm not a fan of fly / cruise and prefer going from Southampton, especially when trying to pack enough clothes for 2 weeks, but it did give us 2 more days in the sun so shouldn't complain. I'd recommend this cruise whole heartedly however. There was a group of 13 of us altogether (family and outlaws) and we all enjoyed.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Great ship and excellent staff. Drinks well priced. It is a bit too big tho! even on the 14th day, many of us were still having to consult our deck maps, heaven help next years "Britannia" guests! Shows a bit variable, but some ... Read More
Great ship and excellent staff. Drinks well priced. It is a bit too big tho! even on the 14th day, many of us were still having to consult our deck maps, heaven help next years "Britannia" guests! Shows a bit variable, but some really excellent. Food really not too bad, only had two "iffies"-(both roast beef and yorkshires, not good). Its true what other reviewers say:- two sizes of trousers !! Kotor and Corfu good, Rome dissapointing, Piza and Florence good--tho' VERY wet, Naples ie Pompei Hmmm, went alone by train, NOT, NOT 15 mins walk to Station, try 50. and eventually there one brick wall looks like the other one. (OK, Phillistine !!) Ajaxio nice, Dubrovnik ankle deep in flood, hey ho, but will return. Venice, well its Venice, so good every time. President hotel in Mestre, DONT. Bar never open and the only food is a cold Brekky. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
My husband and I have just returned from our wonderful cruise on po cruise ship ventura. This was our first time with p o but it will not be our last. Staff throughout the ship were always happy to help from the officers to the bar and ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from our wonderful cruise on po cruise ship ventura. This was our first time with p o but it will not be our last. Staff throughout the ship were always happy to help from the officers to the bar and cabin staff . Entertainment was brilliant , something for all tastes throughout the whole day and into the night. The shore excursions were a little expensive but were really well organised and the guides were really pleasant and also very happy to answer any questions. Our cabin was perfect and our steward Patrick saw to our every need. We chose the freedom dining option which worked really well and we would recommend the Cinnamon resteraunts for fine dining or the Waterside for delicious buffet food. Thankyou Ventura for our WONDERFUL Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
This was our seventh cruise having previously been on 4 Royal Caribbean ships, P & O Aurora and Azamara Journey for a special occasion. The ports of call on this Ventura cruise appealed to us and despite some negative reviews we ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise having previously been on 4 Royal Caribbean ships, P & O Aurora and Azamara Journey for a special occasion. The ports of call on this Ventura cruise appealed to us and despite some negative reviews we thought we would try a larger P & O ship. As summarised above, we thought Ventura was in pretty good condition, our cabin on B deck had an un-overlooked balcony with loungers (we looked on to cabins below so lower deck balconies were not private) and was nicely furnished, bed comfortable and a very nice cabin steward Manoj who attended to everything for us. We ate in the Saffron restaurant on Freedom Dining and it worked well, the food was good. We also tried the White Room but did not think it was worth the extra £50.00. The Glass House wine bar was great, the wine was really good and the food and prices excellent. The problem for us on Ventura was the number of people on board and the lack of space both in places like the Waterside buffet (a real scrum to find a seat and food) and the outside decks especially on sea days. The loungers are packed together like sardines and there is just not enough room. We quite like to sit outside on a chair in the sun with a book in a quietish area but there was no availability of chairs or quiet. We probably should have booked the Retreat area but objected to the cost and on a 7 day cruise we just gave it a miss. Consequently we had a continental breakfast delivered to our room each day which was OK but not spectacular, and used our balcony on sea days when it was in the sun. Previous cruises have also been made up of varying nationalities and we prefer that mix of people on holiday. At times there is a Butlins on Sea feel about Ventura, a comment which has been made before. So its back to Royal Caribbean or possibly P&O Aurora for us - we really enjoyed the latter, more space, smaller boat. I think Ventura appeals to some Brits because it is so British, there was even Lancashire Hot Pot on the menu one lunchtime and a safe food menu generally with bread and butter pudding, roast dinners etc. The beer and wine is also very cheap which again is probably geared to us Brits who like a drink. Its horses for courses and you can't please everyone but regrettably we won't be back on Ventura or Azura again.   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
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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