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2 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Baltic Sea

We chose P&O from family recommendations and Ventura as she was going to the Fjords at the right time for us. We also wanted to ensure we had lots of choice aboard ship as we hadn't cruised before and wanted to give ourselves ... Read More
We chose P&O from family recommendations and Ventura as she was going to the Fjords at the right time for us. We also wanted to ensure we had lots of choice aboard ship as we hadn't cruised before and wanted to give ourselves options for dining and entertainment. Embarkation was surprisingly quick, from leaving the car with the CPR rep to walking on board took less than half an hour. We were very lucky with the weather most of the week, but were glad of being allowed lots of luggage as we had to cover all options for Norway plus formalwear. The swift embarkation plus no luggage limit scores highly against flying to a holiday in my book. We enjoyed all the ports, however found Stavanger less interesting than the others. The drizzle that day may have had something to do with this of course and we did try to fill our time, visiting two museums. We usually did our own thing, heavily researched online beforehand, but did the tour to the Stave Church in Andalsnes, where we found the local guide on the bus very personable and knowledgeable. Onboard we found 99% of the staff were friendly and approachable. Service was usually excellent in all areas of the ship. The main dining room dinners ranged from OK to good (usually the latter); we also tried the silver service cream tea which was nice, plus had a good evening in Whites, where the service was fantastic (thought they could have done more with the decor). I can't comment on the refit as the ship is new to me, but my one gripe would be the public area toilets. Apart from the ridiculousness of having only two cubicles in the ladies loos nearest the enourmous theatre, many of the loo seats were stained/clearly old and really let the standard down. They were clean, no problems there, just didn't look great. The entertainment was great, a good mix (and of course not everything is for everyone). I enjoyed filling my time on the two seadays, though there were times when we would have appreciated a few more things aimed at the younger end of the market. I enjoyed the tribute acts more than I expected to, in fact we often gravitated to Havana in the evenings and watched the entertainment there. The video wall in Metropolis was broken for most of the week; we saw it doing Hong Kong but weren't overly impressed gven the hype around it. Enjoyed meeting other passengers, usually when it was necessary to share tables (eg at afternoon tea or sometimes when the buffet got full) and had a table for two for dinner. The first night I felt queasy eating in The Bay Tree as you can feel the vibrations underneath you, however I got used to it. Cabin (balcony) was a good size and the bed very comfy. On C Deck the balcony is twice the usual length and is partly shaded, so it's a good one to choose. All in all, I would go back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
From start to finish this cruise was amazing. I will break it down into different areas for easy reading: Embarkation- Faster than any airport you will check into. Arrived and boarded the ship all in 15 minutes! Our luggage was even ... Read More
From start to finish this cruise was amazing. I will break it down into different areas for easy reading: Embarkation- Faster than any airport you will check into. Arrived and boarded the ship all in 15 minutes! Our luggage was even taken to the room for us. Very organised, P & O staff readily available to help. Cabin- Basic but had everything needed. Impressed with it considering it was an inside cabin, a good size! The room attendant came in to see to tidy the room twice each day. once to have a general tidy up and once to prepare the bed for you to sleep in it! Also we were each given a chocolate mint was given each night- a nice touch! Dining- It was possible to choose between two dining slots, one which was at 6.30 and one at 8.30pm. On entering the restaurant we went to our allotted table. The waiter came over straight away, I think it was something like 1 waiter per three tables, so good service. The waiters would do anything they could to help you. The choice of food was great. The food tasted fantastic, all cooked to perfection. It was possible to mix and match if there were certain things that you didn't like. We chose to sit on our own, but we got chatting to the people next to us and have even kept in touch with them! Entertainment- The entertainment was fantastic, great things to choose from, the Headliners theatre company being the highlight, there were other great acts too. The only problem really was if you were going to something that was really popular you had to be there half an hour before to guarantee a seat, some performance times being more popular than others. On one of the days at sea the entertainment wasn't fantastic, but there are always plenty of things to do. Fitness and recreation- There were some sport tournaments on, we took part in a couple of them. There was adults football and table tennis which were good fun. There were plenty of pools, however the children were good at invading them! The best one to go to was the spa one where no kids were allowed. Service- Wherever you went on the ship the staff were great, there were always waiters around to ask if you wanted a drink. Shore excursions- The excursions on offer were great, not cheap, but it was Norway! The only sad thing was that most people had booked their excursions online in advance. We felt sorry for the older people who were trying to book trips as nearly all the spaces were gone. Some people were on a waiting list right from the start. We booked one of ours on the Internet before travelling and the second one we booked on the ship, we did get on a waiting list to start with though as there were no spaces, but we did get on it in the end. Value for money- It was good value for money. The drinks package was a bit disappointing, £30 for 20 fizzy drinks. We only bought one as I don't drink fizzy drinks. There was always free water and tea and coffee in the one buffet bar. It was good to be able to keep track of on board spending on the TV in our room, stopped us getting too carried away! Overall- It being our first cruise we didn't know what to expect. We were totally amazed and this was probably our best holiday yet, and we have been to a few countries now! We would definitely recommend the Ventura, what a truly amazing ship. Disembarking- A bit annoying having to sit round with your bags, we were given a disembarkation card and we had to wait for it to be called. All the luggage was laid out according to what deck you were on which was very convenient, no looking out for your luggage like at airports! Again a very fast disembarkation once the card was called. In summary we look forward to doing another cruise! We would be happy to travel on Ventura again anytime! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
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 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.9

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