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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
Would like to inform everyone interested in P&O and Ventura specifically that we have just had an excellent two week cruise in the Mediterranean. We had the odd complaint about specifics as usual but, overall, the holiday was extremely ... Read More
Would like to inform everyone interested in P&O and Ventura specifically that we have just had an excellent two week cruise in the Mediterranean. We had the odd complaint about specifics as usual but, overall, the holiday was extremely enjoyable. We took friends with us who had never cruised before and they had a wonderful time and want to do it again. We had been on the same ship in the Caribbean in 2009 and we found it much the same. The cabins were very comfortable with an almost complete lack of noise from neighbours either side. The cabin steward (Savio) was excellent and our room was kept lovely and clean and our towels refreshed whenever required. The food in the main restaurants was very good. We think the evening meals in Cinammon were possibly better than 6 years ago. The buffets for breakfast and lunch are always excellent. Very geared to the British taste. We did not dine in the speciality restaurants. How much food does anyone need, after all? We did not have any trouble finding a sunbed on the 4 sea days (all of which were sunny). Considering there were 4 in our party I consider this an indication that some of the claims about being unable to find a space are somewhat exaggerated. Maybe not in your most idea location but still in the sun!! People still seem to have to rush upstairs at 7am to get their towels out though! I like a short swim every morning and had no problems with the Spa swimming pool which is child free. I can see that in the height of the season the main pools would be a nightmare with too many children. Our main gripes were the prices of the drinks - which of course are ridiculous on all cruise ships nowadays and P&O's excursions and lack of information about ports for anyone wanting to "do their own thing". We went on one excursion and it was, to put it plainly, awful. £41 each for about 2 plus hours travelling in a coach and no time to look around the town we wanted to see. Heard others making similar complaints. So, my advice is - don't book excursions. Do research on the destinations before you go and use the "Hop on Hop Off" buses. Altogether a pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
A pretty good cruise on the whole, embarking in Venice through to Montenegro, off to Greece's Corfu island, back to Italy for the Rome trip, then to Corsica and finally Genoa for the flight home. The weather was fine throughout and ... Read More
A pretty good cruise on the whole, embarking in Venice through to Montenegro, off to Greece's Corfu island, back to Italy for the Rome trip, then to Corsica and finally Genoa for the flight home. The weather was fine throughout and temperatures never really dropped below 70 deg F. Saw some fabulous sights from our outside balcony including night time lightning at sea, a moody volcanic island and some fantastic port destinations. Food on board was good on the whole in the standard restaurants with plenty of choice beyond the staples. The trips we booked were OK - from the wonderful mountain views of Montenegro to the olive groves of Italy - though they all began to get a little samey. Judging from the comments we have heard from others, the trip to avoid was the extremely long drive into Rome from the nearest port town. In retrospect I wish that we had researched the trips a little more, and checked out some of these reviews, before we, errrm, took the plunge as it were and booked every single available trip! The "rest" days, which were days at sea, while enjoyable in themselves, we not sufficiently restful between port trips to recover properly, so I would advise to go it alone more often on the port visits rather than take group trips all of the time. The evening shows on board, while of a high quality, were really not my cup of proverbial tea. The shows were spectacular, while being mimed, visually stunning while seeing "tap dancing" without taps, so again entirely mimed to such an extent that you kept wandering what it was you were actually being entertained by. Another slight point of contention with P&O was the penny pinching and up selling you come across on board, all of the time. An example of the former being when we were sitting down, as a group of six, just before the show and the canapes came round.... but we were ignored because we did not buy any drinks! Given that we were a relatively large group paying thousands of pounds between us, we felt second class citizens at that moment! And an example of of upselling is the constant "sales" on board of jewelry, clothing etc in the shops, all at special discounts, though you can easily buy the same things onshore at even cheaper prices (in Euros) that the ship's sale prices (in pounds). Having said all that, would we do it again? Probably, but with more pre cruise research.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We have just returned from our first cruise aboard Ventura. Having read some of the negative reviews I was apprehensive about what to expect - I need not have worried. The first day went smoothly from the airport to the ship (a very early ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise aboard Ventura. Having read some of the negative reviews I was apprehensive about what to expect - I need not have worried. The first day went smoothly from the airport to the ship (a very early start unfortunately). After checking in, the hold luggage was not seen again until we were on board the ship. P & O staff were positioned all along the route through Venice Marco Polo Airport directing everyone quickly to waiting coaches for the transfer. Security checks inside the port building were reassuringly efficient and at around midday we had enjoyed a buffet (Waterside) before accessing our cabin at 12.45 p.m. (after getting lost in corridors a few times - see below!) For this cruise we had chosen an outside cabin with balcony, which turned out to be a perfect choice given the wonderful ‘sail ins’ and ‘sail aways’ to follow. The luggage arrived shortly afterwards, so we unpacked essentials before exploring the glories of Venice for a few hours (using the “People Mover” near the port entrance and on foot). This was a very pleasant start to the holiday before our return to the ship in time for the emergency muster drill. We had been allocated a Club Dining late sitting in the Bay Tree Restaurant (9.0 p.m. first day then 8.30 or 8.45 after that) Not ideal dinner times for us, but we soon adapted to this, as there are plenty of daytime food options to fill the gaps, including afternoon tea. This was also convenient if, as on a few occasions, shore excursions finished late afternoon. The restaurant staff, mostly from India or the Philippines, were friendly and attentive, especially the waiters in dealing with my wife’s special dietary requirements. We were directed to a table for two, which would have suited some couples, but (for variety of company!) the head waiter accommodated our moving to a table for six at the beginning of our second week. In the Bay Tree there was enough variety in the dinner menus for most tastes and a standard grill menu every night. We were very happy with both the quality and quantity of the fare on offer. On this cruise there were four formal nights and two ‘theme’ nights, one 60s and 70s the other Tropical. There was a nice buzz around the ship for these special nights - our fellow passengers liked to dress up on the black tie and black and white nights, but were less inclined on the ‘theme’ nights. We wore some 60s and tropical attire to get into the spirit but evening casual was the norm. We stuck with the Bay Tree Club Dining on this cruise except for one night in the White Room on Deck 19. The food and service here was exceptional - in our view well worth the cover charge for that special occasion. On the second morning at (waiter-served) breakfast in the Bay Tree, we heard stories from passengers about the storm and high winds the previous week. The ship had listed alarmingly for a couple of hours before righting itself due to the water emptying the swimming pools on the open deck to one side of the ship. Disconcerting on only the second day! They lived to tell the tale, and again we need not have worried - on our cruise it was rather choppy between Corfu and the Straits of Messina (Day 5), but by then we had our sea legs. After the horror story in the Bay Tree on the 2nd day we decided to go for buffet breakfast and lunches in either the Waterside or the Beach House. These areas were very busy on some port days, but we found it interesting sharing a table and chatting. We are not sun worshippers, but there seemed to be enough sunbeds for those so inclined. There is plenty on board Ventura to keep non-sun-worshippers occupied on sea days, quizzes, films, ballroom dance classes, some retail therapy - and more food. The library is quite small but has a reasonable stock of fiction/reference for days at sea - there are quieter parts of the ship (and balcony if you have one) to just sit and chill with a book. Drinks prices (and wine packages) are comparable with the UK. The Oasis Spa treatments were high quality, but expensive. The evening entertainment it must be said was not always to our taste, very middle-of-the-road, but passengers who went to the theatre and Havana bar we spoke to enjoyed the high energy shows with the Headliners, the 4 Tunes, and some tribute acts. We caught the tail end of some shows after the quizzes in the Exchange which we went to most evenings. The entertainment staff were energetic and funny - but some passengers did take quiz nights a bit too seriously! The ports visited, the main reason we chose this particular cruise, were varied and interesting. Having previously visited Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Rome we booked organised shore excursions for places not yet seen. These were somewhat pricey, but guaranteed to return to the ship on time. More confident cruisers went ashore independently and most we spoke to had no difficulties getting around. The guides on our “Best of” Corfu, Ajaccio, Dubrovnik (sadly, the only day of rain) were very informative. The highlight trips for us were Paradise Gulf (boat trip to Portofino) and Herculaneum, which was outstanding. Apart from Dubrovnik (sadly the only day of rain), we were blessed with fine weather - there were some unforgettable moments, including wonderful scenery around Kotor (a hidden gem), sailing by Stromboli, sunrise over Vesuvius, and sailing into Venice. Ventura is a large ship and rather daunting for first time cruisers. We were provided with a “side view’ deck plan when we first went on board, but no plan views of the decks. Apart from reception staff, there were no crew members directing people to the different parts of the ship. The geography of Ventura takes some getting used to, and the signage in the public areas is limited (come on P & O, you can do this!) This said, we thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise and can recommend this itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
Had a week on Ventura for our honeymoon in september 2014. Embarkation was really quick and very easy at Venice and after a seamless journey from Manchester we were in our cabin by lunchtime enjoying the view from our C deck large ... Read More
Had a week on Ventura for our honeymoon in september 2014. Embarkation was really quick and very easy at Venice and after a seamless journey from Manchester we were in our cabin by lunchtime enjoying the view from our C deck large balcony. After a good look around skipped lunch and went for afternoon tea, in the main restaurant which was nice. Lovely slightly late sail away from Venice which I think changes soon with the cruise ports being moved so appreciated the view of St Marks etc weather little rainy next day but at sea so did cookery demonstration and chilled! Enjoyed all of the ports, stayed on the ship at Rome as been before and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Sunbeds busy on sea days but getting up and out to breakfast by 8-30 meant we were able to get tow no problem at the back of the ship just above the pool. Nice spot as fab views and cool breeze. Do think in the very busy areas it should be up to P and O staff to remove towels left for more than say two hours. We tended to have breakfast and lunch in the MDR as enjoyed the service and choices were good. Had dinner in MDR most evenings - food good, but would say no better than a good pub / gastro pub at home. Did try the white room, lovely view sat outside - little dark...hard to see the menu....service good but again not overwhelmed by the food. ordered the scallops, prawn and oyster dish and asked for no oysters as don't like...waiter had to go and ask chef if he was allowed to serve without..same for my husbands request for no snails with his steak...which i found a little strange..who is the customer? Didn't realise that all of the dish was tempura battered with a risotto that tasted floury so not really anything to cut through the tempura batter. Strawberry soufflé desert ok! Wouldn't go back for the food but lovely first week wedding anniversary location wise in the open air at the back of the ship. Really enjoyed the balcony cabin on C deck with covered area then part where yes others can see down into. This meant lots of chats with neighbours and a social atmosphere. All in all nice ship, I liked the size as always something to do..would have liked a comedian one night which there wasn't. Nice bar and couple singing / guitar at the metropolis bar on deck 18 after dinner. Ship not as glitzy as say RC or Royal Princess but a nice and friendly atmosphere. Waiters in MDR not a patch on RC didn't feel as though I could recognise ours other than they were near our table. Rest of staff lovely. Heading back onto Ventura for Caribbean in March, drinks prices good and liked the fact you could bring something yourself so much better than the american ships and you don't feel so......ripped off?? all in all benefits of P and O outweigh the slight negatives in my view. Looking forward to our next cruise and as a cruise convert form skiing and non cruise holidays previously....love the fact that its like a floating island where you go to your favourite restaurants each night, there is always loads to do with mixed age ranges and you wake up somewhere different most days. If in doubt try it!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
As a “first-time” cruise experience, we feared it may be somewhat of a disaster (with 2,998 too many other passengers on board) and we were proved right. However we took a punt, and a “last minute” whizz-bang deal + a small ... Read More
As a “first-time” cruise experience, we feared it may be somewhat of a disaster (with 2,998 too many other passengers on board) and we were proved right. However we took a punt, and a “last minute” whizz-bang deal + a small surcharge secured us a cabin with a balcony (thank goodness). Catering on board was OK if you are looking for an efficient dining experience without much graciousness, and almost no hint of “local Mediterranean” flavours. Expect to be processed in and out of the restaurant of your choice (at least, within the provisions of ‘Freedom’ dining), in around 40 mins flat. And if you want to catch some rays, get to the sun decks early and beware the unedifying sight of oiled bodies lining-up in parallel, resembling for all the world the tuna at a Japanese fish market struggling for space. On board entertainment included a number of tribute acts who had evidently taken the view that leaving the U.K. was a good career move. On board shopping was expensive, and even at the on-board Costalot there was no “proper” decaff. The shore excursions were also expensive by anyone’s standards, and don’t think you’ll get to tour the entire island/city; expect an abbreviated trip which will include at least one ‘concession’ where you will be relived of your ££/Euros. And will someone PLEASE explain to local tour guides about the 100ml security requirement at Airports – Corfu must be awash with discarded litre bottles of cumquat liqueur (which is about the best thing to do with it anyhow). There’s a curious expectation that everyone deserves a tip – standard practice is for the operator to bill you automatically – I asked for mine to be rescinded in view of some sub-optimal experiences, but that never happened. Think about it: when was the last time you tipped the train driver/pilot/chambermaid in in a UK holiday experience ? The best part was undoubtedly disembarking but the honeypots and tourist tat did little to enhance our appreciation of destinations we had already previously visited at our own pace and on our own terms. And if you want to sample yet another grubby Italian port, do opt against the “Rome in a day” experience, and explore Civitavecchia….. The last two days were a complete waste of time – we even thought of flying home from Ajaccio and I wish we had. Disembarking at Genoa offered no local sightseeing, instead we had a 2hr 20mins coach transfer to Nice (yes, a whole nother country). 'Nice' views out of the windows though. A couple of plus-points: the baggage handling from Gatwick to Venice (the bags made it safely straight to our cabin); seeing Venice and Kotor glide by in the evening light; and the views of the dolphins accompanying us and as viewed from the tranquillity of our balcony. If you like getting to Gatwick for silly-o-clock; and if an enforced sense of bonhomie on board the ship appeals -- then this is for you. But if you want something other than dumbed-down tourism for the masses, then head for the Alps.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Never been on a cruise before (of any sort), so unsure how it would compare to normal holidays(I normally arrange flights, hotels, transport, restaurants, etc, independently to pick the best that suits my needs). Allocated a balcony cabin ... Read More
Never been on a cruise before (of any sort), so unsure how it would compare to normal holidays(I normally arrange flights, hotels, transport, restaurants, etc, independently to pick the best that suits my needs). Allocated a balcony cabin on the Lido deck, which was not bad, apart from the overweight joggers who thought it fun to get red and out of puff using deck 16 above at 6:30am for their morning run. I soon put to a stop to that by getting the Night Manager to rope off that section of deck until 8am. The cabin itself - Travelodge circa 1985, even down to an open hanging rail rather than a wardrobe. Bed comfortable enough. Air-conditioning not up to the task, and room always too warm. Pointless mini-TV and a 'fridge' that was really a chiller that tried but wasn't up to the task. The bathroom had insufficient ventilation, thus nothing dried properly resulting in a mouldy shower curtain.The lack of drying meant that the cabin steward ended up needing to supply clean (dry) towels twice a day, every day. Food onboard was very patchy. - In the self-service cafeterias (Waterside and the Beach House) quantity over quality seemed the aim of the customers, who didn't seem to mind the luke warm food (chef measured the temperature and told me 65c was fine), noise, and the struggle to find a table. - Frankies Grill - Cheap burgers served on plastic plates. I would say more McDonalds than Byron, I that would be disparaging McDonalds. - Cinnamon and Saffron - Staff friendly and willing, and mostly efficient (apart from all the wine waiters), but the food? The problem was that the menu was overambitious, and they just kept failing to deliver. If somebody offers me a good meal, and they occasionally surprise by producing an excellent meal, I am happy. But if somebody promises me an excellent meal, but most often produces just a good meal, with the occasional rubbish, then I am unhappy. Unfortunately P&O fits into the latter category. The issue seemed to mainly occur in the evenings with the hot food. Cold starters were always perfect, but hot... utterly random. I can only assume an insufficient number of staff in the kitchen. I could also see why the older customers were happy with the food, because the menus seemed about 20 or 30 years out of date. It was certainly not the sort of interesting menu that you would have seen in London this millennium, even in an unambitious restaurant. Freedom dining, fine if you want to share. If not, be prepared to be asked to wait every night for up to an hour. Or they tell you a minimum of half an hour, so you get a drink, and then two minutes later call you. Random, and again not anything seen in any normal restaurant. Dress code, hmm. Take what P&O say with a pinch of salt. Casual evenings translated as "wear anything you like", including a few adult men wearing shorts in the main dining rooms in the evening. Formal evenings, the vast majority (95%+) were wearing dinner jackets and bow ties. The 'dark suit' option was chosen by very few, and I thought they stood out more than those who hadn't changed their dress style from the casual evenings, looking like they had just stumbled in from the office. Bars - Something to suit everyone, from the Metropolis cocktail bar down to the Exchange station Pub (I didn't think downmarket station pubs from the 80's still existed until I saw that one), but the prices were not bad. Entertainment - Much better than expected. Shows usually about 45 minutes, and clearly a lot of money and effort thrown at the productions. Also pleasantly surprised to see that there is a rotation of shows, so you won't see the same acts/shows repeated on a 14 night cruise. One poor entertainment point was the quality of the film projection on the films that were shown. P&O have spent a huge amount on the rest of the entertainment and insufficient on the film projection equipment*. If you want to see a film in TV standard definition quality, blown up onto a cinema size screen, so everything is fuzzy (or if they are showing it in one of the bars, on a 4:3 screen not widescreen), then this is for you. *When I asked, I was told that the equipment that they use to show the films was not intended to do so, but was only intended to show backdrops, etc as part of the stage show. It shows. And a final point on entertainment. If you know that a show is going to be full, what sort of idiot leaves a single spare seat between them and the next group, so that you have two or three empty seats on their own in a row. So don't be shocked when someone asks you to move up. Swimming pools and deck chairs. People were out at 6:30am, especially on sea days, putting out towels to reserve chairs. Their tactics were successful as P&O were utterly ineffectual about doing anything about it, other than to print a small bit in occasionally the newspaper. Port stops, mostly good, but excursions were completely extortionate. And I thought that the captain seemed to express just a little to much pleasure in announcing for several days running, that some people who had gone ashore to Rome had been left behind, especially as he then went straight into a sales pitch for the excursions. Venice - You would have thought that for people travelling independently to the ship, P&O would appreciate that they may need some information such as the berth number and automatically provide it. Alas no. You may also think that they would tell you when check in opens, not just a suggested arrival time. Alas no. You may also think that they would tell boarding passengers which restaurants were open at lunch time, so everyone is not queuing at Waterside. Alas no. Kotor - A long 20 minute tender ashore for a pleasant morning stroll, but not much there. I suspect it is lovely about 8pm in the evening with a cold beer, but of course we had left by then. Corfu - A free port shuttle bus ride to the port gate, and then change to a second (possibly chargeable) P&O shuttle bus ride to the town gate, for a pleasant morning stroll. I know from previous visits Corfu town is lovely about 8pm, but of course we had left by then. Rome - From Civitavecchia, a free port shuttle bus ride to the port gate, and then a second chargeable town bus ride to the station, followed by a train to Rome. Absolute chaos at Civitavecchia railway station on the return, as everybody arrived back on the same train, all wanting to catch the single bus that would get them back to the ship before it sailed. Made worse by American's who struggled with the concept of public transport, and had never experienced the joy of the Northern Line on the tube in the morning peak. A nice day seeing the sights, but, and there is theme developing here, I know from previous visits it is lovely about 8pm, but of course we had left by then. Ajaccio - France, very definitely France, even down to the dog on the pavements. But nice all the same. I suspect even nicer about 8pm, but of course we had left by then. Ajaccio to Genoa - Force 8 winds, so the sick bags were out and being filled. However as I don't get sea sick, after an interesting show where the cast were struggling to stay upright, up to Metropolis to watch the front of the ship going up, up, up and then down, down, down crashing through the waves. Lots of carpets being cleaned around the public toilets the next morning. Genoa - A stroll into town down a street that would have made the Kings Cross area in the 90's feel upmarket. At 9am it was interesting. At 9pm I suspect it is very interesting. A pleasant morning spent strolling the more upmarket areas of Genoa and using the funiculars and lifts to see the views, before returning to the ship for lunch. I used the bus to get back to town in the afternoon, as I had seen enough tattoo parlours and shifty people selling other "goods" and "services" for the day. Livorno - Been to both Pisa and Florence before (and been able to stay past 4pm), so opted to stroll around Livorno, which is a surprisingly pleasant port town without the "interesting" characteristics of Genoa. Naples - Easy day trip out to Herculaneum on the tram and train. Enlivened by pickpockets on the tram on the way back, necessitating a trip to the Naples central Police Station (the cruise port police dealing with people off the cruise ships don't speak anything other than Italian, why would they?). The building and police detective who offered to assist were straight out of the casting for Hill Street Blues. Really helpful guy and worth the hassle going there, as the insurance paid up without question. So the pickpockets did me a favour by getting me a shiny new phone. On the way back to the ship from the police station, a bloke sticks his head around a street corner and says "psst, want to buy an iPhone or an iPad". Dubrovnik - A (possibly chargeable) shuttle bus ride to the town gate. At 9am up on the city walls there were half a dozen people, including a guy running laps of the wall. By 11am, Dubrovnik was full. Completely full. I can understand the desire to rebuild after the 1991-92 conflict, but the whole effect now is rather Disney, except I suspect Disney would do it better. The whole city within the walls now only exists for tourists, with every place being a museum, a bar, a restaurant, or a shop selling tourist tat (catering for all ends of the scale from cheap to expensive tat). And what was amusing was that Croatia uses the Kuna not the Euro, so lots of signs saying "No Euros". Or the sneaky bars not saying whether they did or didn't, but you could be sure it wouldn't be to your advantage if you only had Euros to pay. Hot as hades, by early afternoon, so a nice long queue in the sun to get a shuttle back to the ship. Definitely a place that is nicer at 8pm. Venice again - As the ship stays overnight, then we were able to go into the city late afternoon, and be able to stay into the evening after all the day trippers had left. Much, much more pleasant riding a vaporetto back up the Grand Canal as the sun is setting. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
OMG!! I LOVED THIS CRUISE!!! This is our third cruise line company, having previously experienced Carnival and Royal Caribbean, it was SUCH a delight to board a luxury ship aimed at the British customer. UK airport check in was smooth and ... Read More
OMG!! I LOVED THIS CRUISE!!! This is our third cruise line company, having previously experienced Carnival and Royal Caribbean, it was SUCH a delight to board a luxury ship aimed at the British customer. UK airport check in was smooth and painless with a P&O Rep to quickly guide us through. The plane was sub-contracted specifically for the cruise passengers, so everyone onboard was excited to be experiencing the same holiday, especially as you can see the ship as you come in to land, (if you are lucky enough to be seated on the right hand side of the plane). Transfer from Venice airport to the cruise port was reasonably swift, and a fairly easy check in and embarkation. You are immediately bombarded by the cheery photographers who constantly take your photos throughout the cruise, (bless them they have a job to do). Luggage delivery to the cabin was slow, but gives you plenty of time to explore the unbelievably amazing ship. We had 7 days to explore, and still didnt see everything. To be really honest, I actually cant find anything negative to say about this cruise. The food was completely amazing, truly delicious, varied and plentiful. The chefs and Maitre D are so helpful if you have an allergy and make every effort to provide safely prepared dishes every night. ALL the public areas are immaculate, with staff constantly (but discreetly) tidying, painting, cleaning. The decor is beautiful, the evening entertainment is superb, all British entertainers. The 4Tunes quartet were West End quality, dance shows great, and two fantastic northern comedians, we almost split our sides laughing. Daytime entertainment is really good, you have GOT to participate in the sail away party, that really is a blast. Loads of shore excursions to choose from, (a bit pricy but that's standard on cruises). Staff are so helpful and happy, nothing is too much trouble. Cabin was kept immaculate and was of a high standard. Fortunately we only encountered one rough night where there were a lot of poorly tummies onboard! Provisions were made for these people and any mess swiftly cleared up!! I was SOOOOOO pleased with P&O, compared to the majority of other ships that are much more focused on American passengers, that I booked another P&O cruise whilst onboard for the new Britannia launching next year. All in all, a fabulous holiday, cant wait til next year! Well done P&O. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed our Cruise, the organisation onboard and disembarking for the Shore, was fantastic and the ship appeared spotless in all areas. Our Cabin Steward was exceptional, quiet and unobtrusive, but twice a day our cabin was ... Read More
Thoroughly enjoyed our Cruise, the organisation onboard and disembarking for the Shore, was fantastic and the ship appeared spotless in all areas. Our Cabin Steward was exceptional, quiet and unobtrusive, but twice a day our cabin was serviced with nice little touches like towel animals. We were sorry that he, Altivey, finished his stint, before our trip was over. We found the Buffet food good, a different theme each night and if you didn't like that Genre, there was always a Roast on offer. There have been some niggles by other critics about how quickly/ slowly the food is served in the Saffron or Cinnamon Restaurants, how can the waiters please every one? Some cruisers are in a rush to get to the first Show, others want to linger. We thought the Four Tunes and the Headliners provided excellent shows and we liked the Comedians. We found you couldn't have a leisurely meal and make the first show, the alternative was waiting around till 1030pm for the second show. The Musical Director and his Team were mostly good , but perhaps could have showed their talents more often, besides the Sailaways. Having your photo taken so often was nice and gave you a great variety of shots to choose from, but it was too expensive for you to buy most of them. I found the Guides on some of the Tours quite tedious and often hard to listen to or understand. I felt English people with Local Knowledge would have been more interesting, I didn't want to hear the history of almost every building I passed or the geneology of everyones ancestors. Facts I forgot in most cases as soon as I heard them. A bit of current local knowledge would have been preferable. The Excursions were of course pushed and it would have been good if the Ship gave more information on visiting the ports independently. We would have loved to see behind the Scenes of the Ventura but at 75 Euros per person for the privilege, we, and most others, declined, thank you. In common with most people, we could not get a Sun Lounger because they were claimed by the Towels and Belongings of their, usually absent, owners. P and O saying this is not allowed, is NO deterrent. Despite the few niggles, would I cruise with P and O again, definitely.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
My wife and I decided to experience a fly/ cruise with P&O and made our way to Venice to join the Ventura cruise ship as she sailed to various destinations over 14 days. Pour only previous experience with P&O had cruises departing ... Read More
My wife and I decided to experience a fly/ cruise with P&O and made our way to Venice to join the Ventura cruise ship as she sailed to various destinations over 14 days. Pour only previous experience with P&O had cruises departing from Southampton and it was a bit of a trek for us as we made our way from our home in Belfast to Venice via London gatwick. This would be our main negative in that it took is almost 12 hours to complete this journey on the outbound leg and 10 hours on our return. More departures from Belfast airports would encourage a lot of new business for P&O. When we eventually made it to Venice to board the ship we were pleasantly surprised at how easy the whole process was, because it was a fly/cruise passengers were arriving at different times of the day and this prevented any large build up and the need to wait in queues. It only took us about 10 minutes from we entered the terminal & completed paperwork until we boarded the ship. Quick and painless. The Ventura is one of the largest ships in P&O,s fleet and at first we were a bit daunted by its size and the numbers on board but to be honest we never experienced any feeling of being crowded of had any delays when visiting any of the shows, shops, theatres, restaurants or bars. We were also told that there were up to 600 children on this cruise but thanks to a great children,s entertainment programme we hardly ever saw any of them and could not say one negative thing about them. Our cabin was spacious and was kept spotless by our cabin steward Sorcorro, it had all the necessary requirements, ample wardrobe space, fridge, free safe, interactive tv & tea & coffee making facilities, there was also the essential daily copy of the Horizon which detailed all the events happening on board on a daily basis. The various restaurants were excellent and the food and service were of the highest quality, we had opted for the newly introduced "Freedom Dining" which allowed us to dine in the formal dining rooms anytime between 6pm and 9.30pm, we could also give our preferred table size each day from dining in a romantic twosome (it was our 40th wedding anniversary) to dining with up to 8 other guests. We varied this over the cruise and met some lovely people from all parts of the UK and also has some time on our own. The entertainment overall was very good with some acts being excellent and some being good, our favourites were the comedians and special mention must go to Carl Scofield in week 1 and to Tucker in week 2, both should be on tv, we were in stitches. We also really enjoyed the Beatles experience, Vocalist Laura Carter and ex-Brooksider Sam Kane. There were also some individual tribute acts and these were good without being great. The highlight of any evening had On to be the main theatre shows and here the Headliners Theatre Group stole the show, all the performances over the cruise were outstanding, singing, dancing, storytelling, fantastic sets & customer changes, superb. Our only complaint was that they were not on every night and only occurred on about 6 occasions furring the cruise. Casino facilities were very good and easy to follow and we had a little flutter or two , almost breaking even at the end of our stay. There were a number of organised tours in each destination and while they looked quite good they seemed to be pretty expensive, being experienced cruisers we tended to do our own thing and on occasions combined with other guests to make up the number and use the taxi buses waiting at most of the ports. Using this transport we managed to visit Rome and see all the sights (St Peters, Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Colosseum, Roman ruins etc) at our leisure and all for 35 Euros each. In other poets we also used this transport to visit Pisa, Florence, Pompeii & Dubrovnik. We would highly recommend this cruise to anyone interested in seeing a lot of places in a relatively short time.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
A little late but here we go, disappointed with the Ventura the transfers were good from Manchester to Venice then to ship, when on the ship had to go first to the waterside Buffett talk about manic what a ridiculous set up no room for ... Read More
A little late but here we go, disappointed with the Ventura the transfers were good from Manchester to Venice then to ship, when on the ship had to go first to the waterside Buffett talk about manic what a ridiculous set up no room for movement everyone in each other way and no tables also no squashes only tea coffee or water to drink like a bun fight. Eventually got our cabin on B deck with balcony very spacious and clean changed towels twice a day and sheets once a week, decided to go on water taxi into Venice cost £15 from reception, left ship went outside a bus was there asked rep was told that only people in wheelchairs could use this. I am registered disabled but only use sticks he was quite adamant that I could not get on.Eventually he relented and let me on,he came with me how ridiculous other people were struggling along on foot what a waste of resources. The one saving grace was another gent at the waterside helped me on and off boat and directed me to a shop when back to get bottles of coke much cheaper than on the boat. Afternoon tea that day was a bit of a joke all over the place cakes first etc,also the staff could not get rid of you quick enough very surly.We found the cruise to be anything but relaxing no sun beds all week unless up at crack of dawn, late dinner which we asked to changed to be earlier but catagorically told No so time dinner finished no shows as to tired Been with Royal Carribean and so much more relaxing better food and more room to relax. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
My girlfriend and I have just returned from a 7 night cruise around Italy on the P&O Ventura and had a FANTASTIC time. From start to finish P&O were faultless and everything was catered for from the moment we arrived at Gatwick ... Read More
My girlfriend and I have just returned from a 7 night cruise around Italy on the P&O Ventura and had a FANTASTIC time. From start to finish P&O were faultless and everything was catered for from the moment we arrived at Gatwick airport until the moment we touched back down. The organisation was absolutely exceptional and the embarkation, disembarkation, booking in and all the organised trips we went on ran incredibly smoothly and like a well-oiled machine. The itinerary was well thought out and had something for everyone with a range of different ‘stop-offs’ including cultural visits such as Venice and Rome and more relaxing beach destinations such as Corfu and Corsica. Initially my girlfriend and I toyed with the idea of booking a balcony cabin before deciding on an external cabin with a partially obstructed view (this option was a few hundred pounds cheaper). On hindsight we are now very pleased that we went with the chosen option as for the minimal amount of time we were in the cabin it would have been a waste of money as there are plenty of quiet places on and around the outside decks to sit and relax/enjoy a drink. The money that we saved by having an external cabin was better off going towards our final bill! The cabin was extremely clean and more than spacious enough for ourselves and although there was a lifeboat outside our window, we still had a nice view of the sea/ports when we looked out. The bathroom was small (as expected) but more than adequate for the both of us and the shower pressure/temperature was better than most hotels we have been to. The bed was unexpectedly huge and very comfortable and relaxing. The interactive TV was excellent and we loved the room service facility/up-to-date bill page and captains log channel. There were fresh towels every day for both the cabin and the pool and fresh bedding at request. The staff were fantastic and could not have done enough for us. The food was equally impressive and the five course menus were varied with more than enough options to suit everyone. We dined at Marco’s restaurant on one of the evenings and couldn’t believe the value for money, it was exceptional. The 24hr buffets were also faultless and there was always a massive selection of both hot and cold food to choose from. On one of the sea days the staff did a BBQ on the top deck with burgers, hot dogs, chicken pieces, massive salads and fresh fruit and once again this was delicious. To summarise P&O excelled themselves and the Ventura was a lovely ship with so much on offer for everyone, whatever their tastes. We will definitely be returning.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Before I write my review I’d just like to say that we are a married couple in our late 20's doing their second cruise. We cruised last year with Royal Caribbean and said that we would never do a cruise again. We hated it, ... Read More
Before I write my review I’d just like to say that we are a married couple in our late 20's doing their second cruise. We cruised last year with Royal Caribbean and said that we would never do a cruise again. We hated it, "Butlins at Sea" "Hi-De-Hi Campers" and "what have we done?" where all said on our first day. However we saw this cruise come up which gave us a very good deal and allowed us to visit a lot of the places on our "places to see list". We booked the cruise with the approach of let's just put up with the ship, enjoy the abundance of food and enjoy the excursions. The service was fantastic, we checked out bags in at Gatwick next time we saw them they were outside our cabin on the ship. The Thomas Cook charter flight was as you would expect nothing to write home about but good enough for the two hour flight to Venice. On arrival in Venice we went straight though immigration and were guide to the bus waiting for us. After a short wait we were off for the short drive to the port. There was a bit of a queue at the port the check onto the ship but considering we landed less than an hour ago it wasn’t an issue. There are thousands of passengers turning up all wanting to get on board, what else would you expect. I did notice there where a few passengers who were arriving with their own luggage so it may only be people who book to travel on the P&O Charter flight who get the smooth airport service. We were on board by about 11:30 and were told our cabins would be ready by 1. We milled around and explored the ship while we waited for our cabin. It was ready before the time they gave us which was good so we promptly headed to our cabin and got changed. We hadn’t received our main luggage yet but had shorts etc in hand luggage to cover us for the first day. I’m not surprised we had to wait for our luggage we were probably at the ship before it had even left the airport. We heard some people complaining that the didn’t have their luggage but if you think realistically about the logistics of getting several hundred suitcases from the airport to the ship and then delivering them to the cabins it’s going to take time, I personally wasn’t expecting to have mine until 7ish that evening. We got a water bus into Venice for the afternoon and when we returned at about 5:30 our luggage was waiting for us outside our cabin. The process was similar on the return we were given our boarding passes and luggage tags a day or two before departure. We placed our bags outside our cabin the night before we departed and didn’t see them again until we collected them at Gatwick. People where again head complain that you had to be out of you cabin by 7 the morning of departure but if you think about the logistics, all the cabins need to be cleaned at prepared by 1 that afternoon for when the new passengers turn up. Yes it’s an inconvenience to be out of your cabin at 7 and have to wait around until your specified departure time but cruise ships aren’t like ordinary hotels as all of the guest turn up at the same time on a cruise ship. Except the process that the crew have to go through and realise the world doesn’t revolve around yourself and you won’t have to many problems Now to the nitty gritty of the cruise, it was mainly older passengers and there were very few younger people and hardly any children. We did find a lot of the older passengers looked at us with a “what are you doing on here?” and wouldn’t sit next to us in the bars even if the only seats left where next to us. In the second week when more passengers arrived there were more children and families but they didn’t cause any problems and in general everyone on the ship was very friendly, you get the odd rude person but you get them everywhere. The Ports where in general very good, like I said earlier there were lots of places to visit that where on our “list” however some of the transfers from the ports to the cities you where docked to visit where long so you didn’t get a great deal of time to explore i.e. Civitavecchia to Rome is about 1 hour 30 minutes, Livorno to Florence is about 1 hour. The highlight of the trip for me was Kotor, a lovely little medieval walled city with fantastic views of the bay from the top of the mountains. You had to pay for all shuttle buses into the towns which where about £3 per person each way so even if you didn’t do any organised excursions and just wanted to explore on your own it could become very costly. There was nothing to stop you walking or getting a local taxi in most ports though. The entertainment was poor, there where good acts that I could watch over and over but most of them once was more than enough. The tribute acts where pretty good, we saw Gary Barlow, Phil Collins, Whitney Huston and Tom Jones. Gary Barlow was by far the best, he looked and sounded just like the real deal. The comedians where in general poor in the first week Manuel Martinez did two shows which were hilarious the second week we saw two comedians and both where awful. One even managed to empty the room he was performing in. For a company that says it gets some of the best performers out there this should not happen. The Theatre Company put on a very good production but if you are a fan of West End musicals or have done Latin & Ballroom dancing you will be very disappointed with the dancers. However the bars where very nice each has a different feel, so you will be able to find one that suits your taste. Some of the venues which they have evening entertainment on in could do with being better laid out. There are a few places which have restricted views. I would say that the rooms were designed for their feel and their use was an afterthought. The bar staff did a good job of taking your drinks orders. The amount of order they take at a time I’m surprised they manage to get the right drinks to the right people. The venues do fill up so we would always get a seat no later than 30 minutes before the show would start. All that can be said about the food is fantastic, Breakfast, lunch and dinner can either be in a formal sit down served restaurant or from the buffet. We always had breakfast from the buffet as we like to eat and get on the go rather than have a leisurely breakfast. Selection was great cooked breakfast, cereals, pasties, hams & cheese and fruit and quality was fantastic. Lunch again from the buffet was fantastic with a good selection of very tasty food. We sometimes ate at the poolside grill and pizzeria if we didn’t fancy a meal at lunch and again the food was great. The only thing that I would say is seating in the buffet restaurants is a bit of a premium especially if you are there during the peak times we did occasional spend a little while trying to find a table and a couple of times we had people ask to join us. I think the restaurant could be laid out better to utilise the space available. For dinner we were on Freedom Dining. We were assigned a restaurant and could just turn up any time between 6 & 9.30 and be given a table either a table for two or sharing with others. If there isn’t a table available they give you a pager and call you when a table is available. We would go and get a drink whilst waiting and never had to wait more than 30 minutes. The Club dinning has sittings at 6.30 or 8.30, 6.30 I believe is too earlier as we often got back to the ship around 5.30 so unless you can get ready for dinner pretty quick I don’t think it leave enough time to get ready and the 8.30 sitting would only give you one hour to eat you dinner before the evening shows start at 9.30, especially as the whole restaurant has sat down at the same time to have up to 5 courses I don’t think this would be regularly achievable. The food like everywhere else on the ship was fantastic but did get a bit repetitive over the two weeks, each night was a variation of meat and two veg. don’t get me wrong the food was fantastic and wasn’t just pork, chicken and beef. My only gripe would be that there weren’t enough sun loungers around the pools. Around the ship as a whole there were plenty but not around the pools especially on sea days. In summary this cruise was fantastic and if viewed as a floating hotel which takes you to lots of different destinations you will have an amazing holiday which can be as relaxing or tiring as you want. This has changed our opinion of cruising and we are already looking at other cruise that will visit places on our list.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I have cruised twice before with NCL - the Epic (fabulous) and the Jade (very good). However I chose P&O this time as my 80 year old mum was coming with us and I thought the british slant on the ship would be more preferable for her. ... Read More
I have cruised twice before with NCL - the Epic (fabulous) and the Jade (very good). However I chose P&O this time as my 80 year old mum was coming with us and I thought the british slant on the ship would be more preferable for her. My overall comments are that going with P&O was the right choice for this reason. The passengers were mostly british and lovely, the dining room food was good, the boat was beautifully clean, absolutely loved the entertainment on stage and in the show bar (comedians especially - Peter Piper!!) and there was little to moan about. However, in my short holiday career in cruising, i know I am still up for a good time, to live it up a little, and see a bit of glitz and glam on board as well as the stop-off's. So this is where Ventura was lacking for me. It was clearly targetted towards the 'older' cruisers. The other bug-bear was the formal dining. I totally understand two of the nights were for dinner jackets and long dresses, but those who chose not to dress up were forced to eat in the buffet - which was basically a good canteen. The ship should at least put aside one dining room for those not wanting the pomp. Finally - the bar staff. They were miserable. No attempt was made to strike up any guest chit chat / relationship etc with regular customers - they just served the drinks with an 'i'm at work' face. To conclude, for the young and younger at heart, I would stick with NCL and (so I understand) RCL and Carnival. As a couple, we were just 10 - 15 years too early for P&O, but it was great for my mum at 80. However I would consider sailing with them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
My wife and I have done a number of cruises all over the world and congratulate P and O Ventura and the entire staff for getting it right ----- here's why. a) Once we checked in our baggage at Gatwick airport we did not see it again ... Read More
My wife and I have done a number of cruises all over the world and congratulate P and O Ventura and the entire staff for getting it right ----- here's why. a) Once we checked in our baggage at Gatwick airport we did not see it again until it arrived outside our cabin door, and at the end of our cruise the cases where left outside of our cabin to be collected later on the baggage carousel at Gatwick. b) Tea making facilities in the room. c) Complimentary water offered in the restaurant automatically. d) Alcohol can be brought onto the ship. e) We chose freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant and the food and service was 5 star. f) The evening shows were excellent and the 'Headliners' equalled the best that Broadway can offer. g) All the ports of call were excellent and not chosen to make up the numbers. h) Hygiene was taken seriously and everytime you visited a restaurant you were requested to apply antiseptic hand gel. i) You could eat outside in the buffet restaurant. j) Good choice of food in the buffet late at night k) The condition of the ship was immaculate and clean. l) The majority of passengers were English so announcements were not made in six languages ---- believe me after a few days that can be really irritating. j) Our cabin was near the back of the ship and there was no vibration. There is always going to be something not right but for that we have to go to heaven but Ventura is not far behind, so stay happy and enjoy yourself, and remember if you want to see Venice from a big ship do it now because by the end of the year they will be banned, and when you are sipping your 6th Gin and tonic you will realise that the logistics of running ships like this is staggering. Best wishes to you all, Chris and Anne Our rating 5 plus. Read Less
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 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: 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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