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4 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews for Group and Theme Cruises to Europe - British Isles & Western

I’m a well seasoned cruise traveller with over 25 completed to date ranging from Princess, RCI, Celebrity and P&O. I’ve never felt compelled to write a review until now. Having cruised similar with P&O, my partner and I, ... Read More
I’m a well seasoned cruise traveller with over 25 completed to date ranging from Princess, RCI, Celebrity and P&O. I’ve never felt compelled to write a review until now. Having cruised similar with P&O, my partner and I, along with two other friends booked a weekend cruise on Ventura to Guernsey over August Bank Holiday. We sailed on Ventura previously to Brugges, and as Platinum club members with Princess we know the layout of Ventura and Azura mirror their ships, so we were well aware of the ship and what lay ahead – or so we had thought. Firstly upon arrival at Southampton I have to say this was the worst I have experienced to date. Complete chaos. Guests were called in sequence order A-Z depending on what you are given when you arrive at the top of the stairs of the terminal. Waited for approximately 1.5hours to check in (1pm arrival). Terrible. Once onboard we were impressed with the ship layout and how bright and clean it appeared. We had an inside cabin, which was very clean, and enough room for two adults sharing. The bed was probably one of the most comfortable of all liners we have sailed on. The cleanliness is evident throughout from the bars to the pool area, and restaurants. However, in the evenings the majority of toilets throughout the ship smelt really badly – urine quite evident on the floors of several, and also quite a few blockages with no toilet attendant/cleaners in sight (few and far between). On the first evening in the MDR, we had a lovely table for 4. With no introductions or personal welcomes from the waiting staff, we were presented with the main menu - the waiter returned very promptly (in space of 5 minutes) to take the orders. I ordered a lamb shank for my main course and asked the waiter if it was possible to have some mash potato – to which he said he would ask the chef. No drinks, or wine on offer and within 5 minutes our starters arrived. My partner at this point asked was it possible to see a wine list as we felt it was more appropriate to take a drinks order before going full steam ahead and presenting us with our starters! It did feel like a conveyor belt, they wanted us “fed watered and out” with minimal interaction. The bread rolls were dire. Soft rolls, think tesco value on a small scale with zero choice, and put on the side plate with no second offerings. My lamb shank arrived and the waiter took off. I waited whilst my 3 companions tucked into their mains; I assumed the waiter was going to get my potato for the lamb. Again within 5 minutes he returned to clear the plates at which point I asked him did he get the mash as I hadn’t even started to my main yet. He was quick to inform me “no sir there is no mash”. I wasn't happy and I asked why hadn’t he told me this when he presented the plate to begin with. He said he was sorry he had just checked – this itself was a lie as I could see him directly in front of me fiddling with cutlery and the likes. If mash is offered in the buffet, and various other potatoes offered to top that, I didn't quite understand. I again repeated the question you’re telling me there is no mash available, to which he said “sorry no”. I then asked him to fetch me the Maitre’D. when he arrived I asked him if it was possible to have mash – his reply “anything is possible sir”. I told him I was informed mash wasn't available – he seemed surprised. I went on to explain I wasn't very happy at all nor were the others in my party. The lack of wanting to serve us, no drinks menu, orders etc”. I actually handed my main course, untouched, back as I was disappointed by the whole episode. I would like to add to this “Yes this might be a weekend cruise, but you should not treat all guests as first timers on a weekend break whom you assume will probably never return”. We were appalled by the lack of interaction and the lack of personal touch from the MDR waiting staff, their behaviour was definitely the lowest I’ve witnessed. It was quite the contrary in the buffet. Food in the buffet area was lovely, plenty of choice this is one area where the company excel. There were a few hen parties on board who were enjoying themselves Port of Call Guernsey: Tender required. What can I say…….. we docked at 8am – all guests required back on ship for 5pm. We had breakfast and went downstairs to the tender around 11am thinking it will be straight forward as we have tendering numerous times before at other locations worldwide. No - how wrong where we. We were told to join a queue for a ticket to join the tenders. The queue for this alone wrapped around the foyer area back to the art gallery – we waited in line for 1 hour and given tickets to tender. We were then moved into the restaurant, where we waited a further 1.5 hours. With 6 tenders operating, we felt this would have been quicker and should have been better managed. We spoke briefly to the lady (I use loosely as she was abrupt) this was taking forever, she replied by saying “no this is normal”. If this is normal for P&O I would be sacking the management in charge of this process. It was awful. We have experienced several tenders over the years with OTHER liners and never waited longer than 15 mins to disembark the ship, and that also involved a ticket and call by number! Perhaps the ship is too big for tendering to the port, but you've definitely got this so wrong P&O. Guernsey is beautiful, a lovely little place full of charm and very walkable. We had an afternoon tea and stroll, however we felt we should return to the ship around 3 (after just 1 hour on land) to avoid a possible mayhem like the disembarkation to tender earlier . Walking downhill towards the port and tendering area at 3pm, we could see a queue as long as anything with people waiting around. It took us 1 hour 10 mins to board and get back on ship. The whole experience is quite exhausting and not one I will repeat with P&O again. In conclusion, I feel P&O should use smaller ships for the weekend breaks and clearly advertise it involve tendering. Also, other cruise critic members do mention tendering by P&O at Guernsey being the worst experiences witnessed – trust me these people are not telling lies. I for one will NEVER return to P&O on a mini cruise again that involves tendering unless they drastically change their ways - not to mention their manner. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Overall enjoyed our cruise but improvement needed on the interior of the Ventura. In our cabin the one chair was all frayed and looked very worn ,electric socket was hanging from the wall ,the sheets were torn in both beds and below the ... Read More
Overall enjoyed our cruise but improvement needed on the interior of the Ventura. In our cabin the one chair was all frayed and looked very worn ,electric socket was hanging from the wall ,the sheets were torn in both beds and below the mirror in toilet the damp had corroded the wall. Wi Fi charges for a day was exorbitant. The staff in the hairdressers at the spa were extremely overpowering with their attempts to sell products. Food on the whole was very good in all the restaurants and the staff were very courteous. The tannoy system was not working in our cabin and we had to open the bedroom door to hear any messages. The majority of staff at reception were helpful with just a couple of exceptions. We previously cruised with Celebrity X and would have to give them the edge when coming to a decision on our next cruise. Finally P and O spend a few pounds on the inside of Ventura to attempt to get return customers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Very second rate Compared to Carnival and Royal Caribbean, the staff could barely speak English and were nowhere near as friendly or professional, the food, entertainment, organisation, embarking and disembarking for trips etc was nowhere ... Read More
Very second rate Compared to Carnival and Royal Caribbean, the staff could barely speak English and were nowhere near as friendly or professional, the food, entertainment, organisation, embarking and disembarking for trips etc was nowhere near as good. Next time I am looking to book a cruise it will not be with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Just returned from a 2 night Mini Cruise from Southampton to Zeebrugee. We booked the mini cruise as a surprise for our friends 40th Birthday. 6 of us travelling all on C Deck (floor 10) in a Balcony room. Check in was swift and ... Read More
Just returned from a 2 night Mini Cruise from Southampton to Zeebrugee. We booked the mini cruise as a surprise for our friends 40th Birthday. 6 of us travelling all on C Deck (floor 10) in a Balcony room. Check in was swift and effortless -- we were only waiting half an hour and were called in groups to check in. Within 15 mins we were on board and heading to the buffet. Food: Lovely -- Buffet's were hot and plentiful with loads of options. However in the buffet rooms the ceilings felt quite low and therefore due to the layout did feel small. There were 4 sections -- 2 on each side of the ship. Main restaurants always seemed busy, we ate in Cinnamon on both nights on the Freeway dining option. On both nights we had to wait to be seated but were offered a buzzer so we could drink in the Antrium whilst waiting. The food in here was again very nice with 5 courses served. The portion sizes were spot on albeit the service was a tad slow (due to how busy it was). Other place to eat was by the pool bar which served burgers and hot dogs. Very nice again. All in all couldn't fault the food at all. Drinks: Cheap -- in fact cheaper then UK Pub prices, Cocktail of the day was £3.95 (normal price £4.75). Pint of Stella at £3.65 and wine @ £4.25. Excellent again. No service charge on drinks and no VAT added. Service: Every time you sat down a waiter asked what drink you wanted. They were quick and pleasant. Well Done. Service in Restaurant was equally pleasant. Everyone, down to the cleaners were friendly and smiling. Room: Having sailed on NCL Epic and RC Independence we weren't expecting to be blown away by the rooms, but, they were adequate and mighty comfortable. Loads of storage space and loads of coat hangers to use. Beds were twin beds and so so soft. Individual Air Con in room. Fridge and coffee/Tea making also. Large free electronic safe. Fresh towels changed twice a day along with turn down service at night. Bliss. Entertainment: Hit and miss to be honest. Just your normal cruise type of entertainment. Live show twice a night in the Theatre and various live singers in different bars. All very professional though. Casino was awful though -- right next to the very loud Karaoke bar. Full of drunk guests and deafening..... They need to sort this part out. To summarise: A lovely 2 night cruise on o lovely large ship. But, doing 2 nights really does tire you out. Not a negative but P&O should change it to a 3 night Cruise with 1 night in Port to allow its guests to do and see everything. The 4 other people in our party had never been on a Cruise. Now they have, they are ready to book their next one. No negatives about the whole cruise, Well Done P&O. Spot on!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
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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