1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Ventura Review
  5. Ventura Cruise Reviews

4 P&O Cruises Ventura Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Canary Islands

This was our second P&O cruise having previously sailed on Oceana. We have also sailed with Thomson and Celebrity. Embarkation was well organized: we had been allocated a time of 3pm but arrived two hours earlier as the traffic was ... Read More
This was our second P&O cruise having previously sailed on Oceana. We have also sailed with Thomson and Celebrity. Embarkation was well organized: we had been allocated a time of 3pm but arrived two hours earlier as the traffic was light. We were given a card and we settled down expecting a long wait. However, 30 minutes later we had boarded and were in our cabin. First impressions were mixed. The cabin is a reasonable size (we had C314, a balcony cabin on the port side, floor 10) but the so-called bathroom was a disappointment. It has a total area that is about the size of a phone box and this includes the shower, which had a rather dirty plastic shower curtain. Interestingly, this was replaced on the day we were disembarking! The room needs refurbishing; the carpet looked dirty and the whole room just looked run down. There is plenty of hanging space for clothes but apart from the bedside tables, no drawers. The balcony was a good size though, roughly 2.5 by 3.0 meters I would guess. We were freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant and I have to say that the food was as good as any I have had on a cruise. It perhaps lacked the finesse of Celebrity and endless green beans got a little repetitive but overall the food was very good. The buffet was awful as they usually are in my experience, just a fight every day to find a table at breakfast, which was the only meal we ate in there. We didn’t try any of the specialty restaurants, as the food was more than satisfactory in Cinnamon. This was in spite of constantly being given the hard sell everyday by the staff. The entertainment was excellent. The Headliners theatre group was superb, as were the Ventura entertainment team. However, it was a bit like a holiday camp up on the pool decks were you are bombarded by constant noise. Talking of the pools, we didn’t venture in, as they were full of children, including the so-called adult only pool. Also, children were constantly occupying the Jacuzzis, in spite of notices prominently displayed saying that under 16s were no allowed. This was the only time children were, for us, a problem. Apparently there were 740 children on board but they all seemed well behaved and there were no problems as far as I know. As for the rest of the ship, well, it is in need of a full refurbishment. The public areas are decidedly tacky and mostly very dark. It could be a lovely ship and probably was many years ago but it looks and feels very dated now. The itinerary was what we had signed up for so no real complaints. This was Madeira, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Vigo and back to Southampton. My only grouch was that it took 3 long days to get to Madeira, an extra port could have been included to break this up. We heard a lot of people complaining about this. Many, many people removed or reduced their gratuities. We spoke to a lot of people over the 12 days and apart from one couple, everyone else had asked for gratuities to be removed. My only comment would be that within 2 hours of embarkation, I had been charged the full £144 in advance for service I had yet to receive. Service throughout the ship was on the whole efficient and cheerful although we did encounter some surly attitudes from some staff members but they were the minority. Finally, disembarkation was very well organized and we were able to leave the ship without a long wait or encountering any hassle. So all in all, an enjoyable cruise with some reservations regarding the décor and general state of the ship. I will cruise with P&O again, but not necessarily on Ventura. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
After a poor 2015 cruise on Aurora, we decided to give P&O another chance. Glad we did as the this was a very enjoyable cruise. Food, service and entertainment where excellent with a wide range of restaurants and bars to suit all ... Read More
After a poor 2015 cruise on Aurora, we decided to give P&O another chance. Glad we did as the this was a very enjoyable cruise. Food, service and entertainment where excellent with a wide range of restaurants and bars to suit all tastes and purses. Beach House was especially good and well worth the small surcharge, however we did miss the outside dining area which was tagged onto Beach House on Aurora, Sindhu was a disappointment with the food rather bland for a " Indian " restaurant. Classical pianist ( sorry i forgot her name and the singer Jenny, where both excellent ) After several disappointing cruises backed up by previous reviews it does appear that P&O have improved for which they must be praised. Only downside, not P&O fault was on disembarking at Southampton we sat on the coach at 8:45 which did not leave until 10:30 as we where waiting for passengers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I'm currently encounter home from our first P&O Cruise. We have cruised before with Celebrity and Thompsons. On arrival at the terminal we had to wait until our card was called, we only had a short wait and embarkation was ... Read More
I'm currently encounter home from our first P&O Cruise. We have cruised before with Celebrity and Thompsons. On arrival at the terminal we had to wait until our card was called, we only had a short wait and embarkation was pretty good. We boarded the ship there was nobody there to greet us and we had to find our way to our cabin, where our cases were sitting outside the door. Our inside cabin was on the 10th floor at the back of the boat. The cabin was spotless clean but not much room for manoeuvre. We had a double bed but the two upper singles folded into the wall meant we had to virtually crawl into and out of bed. There was loads of hanging and cupboard space but the toilet was small. We had bigger toilers in overnight ferries to France. There was a fridge that was handy, and tea/coffee making facilities which were replenished daily. Due to the location of the cabin, ever time the boat was docking, the noise was unbearable. There was heavy vibration throughout the room during the Is time. Due to having an atrium the ship was hard to get used to at first as you can only access areas at the front of the ship by going to certain floors. The ship was spotless clean throughout. We were assigned the Cinnamon restaurant but only ate there once as we prefer the buffet dining. The food was brilliant. There was something for everyone and it was always piping hot. The staff at the buffet and the restaurant were always friendly and chatty. The worked hard keeping the busy area clean. We had a meal in the Sindu Indian restaurant once, you pay £15 per head extra for this but I enjoyed it. We never tried the other restaurants. There is a pizzeria and burger bar at the pool. The food here was great however. There was no drinks machines around and you then needed to go back into the buffet restaurant for a tea/coffee. There is no drinks package like we have enjoyed on other cruises. Bar prices were not too bad. A vodka and mixer was £4.75 as was a glass of prosecco. A pint of peroni was about £3.75. We would still prefer the drink package to save continually checking our account for onboard spend. You are allowed to take your own drink onboard and also what you buy offshore but not what you buy on the ships duty free shop which is a little pointless. The entertainment was not the greatest. However a huge shout out to the Headliners who were fantastic. It we never seen enough of them, we also enjoyed the tribute acts to John Denver and Annie Lennox was amazing. The other acts were pianists, a violinist and a few comedians. There were also an ex policeman and jeweller speakers if that's your cup of tea. The quizzes in the Exchange we're good,with something for everyone. Andrea was a great hostess. The karaoke hostess, Lauren however was allowing the same singers singing the same songs and not allowing new singers up which was disappointing. We spent some time in the casino which was good fun. Croupiers Gypsy, Jemima were always happy to see us and gave friendly advice to us beginners to ensure we players with The proper table etiquette. The waiters around the exchange and Havana were brilliant. A special mention to Joel, Neil and Who were always laughing and happy to see us. There are shops onboard selling bags, jewellery, and a range of duty free items, plenty of choice however, I wouldn't buy anything for the first few days as there are normally special offers throughout the cruise on items. We bought a painting I the gallery after being assured there would be no further discounts on these only to find 10% sale the next day. A visit to tbd gallery to discuss this and the lady was happy to give us the discount retrospectively. The ports we stopped at were Lisbon, Lanzerote, Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, Gran CanariA, Madeira, Las Palmas, La Coruna. Madeira was our favourite. This was also the cheapest for the duty fee cigs and spirits, even cheaper than the ship. We never done any excursions as it was easy enough to get around independently however don't rely on too much help with this from the staff. Overall we had a great time, met loads of nice people too. The only thing was the weather which can't be helped I suppose. Out of our three cruises Celebrity still way way ahead for everything but P&O now 2nd with Thompsons third. Hope this helps you prepare for your trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
How lucky are these cruise companies to keep such loyal, hardworking crew ?! On this ship (as on Fred Olsen Boudicca my other review) almost to a "man" they worked hard for long hours regardless of start/finish time whilst ,no ... Read More
How lucky are these cruise companies to keep such loyal, hardworking crew ?! On this ship (as on Fred Olsen Boudicca my other review) almost to a "man" they worked hard for long hours regardless of start/finish time whilst ,no doubt as instructed, remaining energetic, cheerful and courteous. Without this elite standard of relentless service the cruise we've come home from would have sunk without trace. Political-correctness-gone-mad prevents me from penning comments about ethnic origins and contracts up for review versus permanent posts awarded to whatever ethnic group. I loath the gratuity loading system and, this time, opted out.I feel that, somehow, this is an underhand method of massaging the company's wage bill. Instead I generously tipped the many who afforded us special service, spending far more than would have been added to my on board spend. On the reverse side, these diligent crew who were drinks waiters seemed driven beyond the desire to provide a service. Could they be target/commission/threshold motivated ? They frequently chimed into conversations and company with an absence of the commonplace courtesy of their colleagues. However, no great problem. The standard of food was excellent. The menu was varied and imaginative. These people can cook and present fish dishes, by the way ! The restaurants, along with all the other venues, excepting the arena theater to a degree, just aren't commodious enough to COMFORTABLY accommodate all who wish to avail themselves of them. A great percentage of two seater accommodation in the restaurants were no more than multi seater tables split by inches. A squashy backrest served as one seat into the bargain. The seating arrangement in the Tamarind, Havana and red room was so ill designed it made attending the venues not uncomfortable exactly, but not as carefree as one would hope on holiday, let alone a cruise. It wouldn't take an interior designer of note to fathom out furnishing plans in what, otherwise, would do in the perfectly spacious rooms- simply someone with a bit of common sense. Mr. P&O has never tried to get a seat and remain comfortable in these venues, I'll bet. "Top line entertainment" heralds the blurb. It wasn't rubbish. Much of it one could easily turn up at the local or social club and get something akin. Some of it was astounding. There were musicians among the resident group and band who were punching well below their weight. It was a privilege to hear them. They were pushed into the distance by mediocre front artists. No one was urged to dance thanks to the flat atmosphere created by the rooms, stage presence and the entertainment management altogether. One group specialised in music that I love but were unbearable thanks to a terrible imbalance of the individual component musicians. However, entertainment was ever present throughout the day. I, personally, enjoy a lounge type of environment with, perhaps, a pianist or lounge entertainer. The metropolis seemed to be just the thing I was looking forward to. We tried it a couple of times and, whilst the furnishings weren't too badly arranged, the duo were so irritating, twice was sufficient. There's absolutely nothing to say about our balcony cabin nor the steward. If I spent all day in the cabin and on the balcony with the odd cabin serviced breakfast, down for mealtimes in my monkey suite and catch a couple of worthwhile shows-well-I've got my money's worth. I want my wife to be comfortable and treated like a lady. Thanks to my tipping regime, that's precisely what I got. My wife enjoys a swim on a cruise but, the pool areas were so uninviting she gave it a miss. One pool area caters for the smokers (if you enjoy passive smoking take a trip along deck 15) who were ever present and the other for the packed cafe's overflow. Going onto the deck above was somewhat more enjoyable and that is what we did. Take a tip from me. Go on the coach. We went by Cruise Connect. This is like a "get out of jail free card" when embarking and disembarking. I still can't believe the ease of arriving and leaving. Again, political-correctness-gone-mad prevents me from airing my true views. Suffice is to say, a percentage of our fellow passengers didn't seem to fully appreciate nor avail themselves of the high, professional class of service which could be achieved. Value for money ? Undeniably so. Compare this cruise to what would be available on land, considering the sum of all components, there's nothing to touch it. We've returned, however, not having not enjoyed our holiday. To say that would be silly. "Cruising", however, conjures up an impression of sophistication, panache,style, class and the zenith of luxury. I guess the cruise companies are actively working to dispel this profile in order to encourage all comers. I doubt we'll cruise again. Certainly not with P&O. Shame. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click