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8 P&O Cruises Ventura Spring Break Cruise Reviews

Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we ... Read More
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we thought.The first seven days were a bit rough as it was February and the North Atlantic after all. We enjoyed all the ports of call and some were first time visits.I,e Bermuda and the Bahamas,the later was a little bit disappointing as the last hurricane caused damage as yet not rectified. American immigration at New Orleans was extremely slow and took most of the first day to get the 3000 and also the crew members ashore.Weather in New Orleans was dull and foggy but we had a lovely time off the ship and will always make the most of these exciting places.Further American ports included Key West,Miami and port canavaral with a visit to the NASA Space Centre,all having a different appeal with lots to see and do. Then into the warm sunshine and Azure seas of the Caribbean including Grand Turk,St,Maarten.St Lucia And Barbados.All wonderful ports of call if a little overcrowded with so many cruise ships at this time of year.Our final port of call after five days at sea was the delightful island of Pria da Vitoria in the Azores,with perfect weather and a welcoming people we enjoyed probably the best day of the cruise.After this it was home to Southampton and because of threatened storms the captain got us back early and that was much appreciated. The fellow guests we got to know on our freedom dining option were stella and we made several new friends. The evening entertainment was also of high standard with little we did not enjoy.There is so much to do and they cater for all tastes from on board lectures,the latest movies,classical pianists ,we must mention the duo of pianists for Four Hands who are exceptional,comedians,etc etc.Dance classes ,night clubs,several bars with competitive prices compare to some cruise lines. Please could you move the dance instructor from the Atrium area twice a day as her constant instruction over the microphone is really annoying.Nit a place where people meet,have a coffee or go to reception or the shops.This is the on real gripe which I’m sorry to bring up as it bothered lots of us in that area and we would avoid it if she was there. Emarbed in good time and set off home. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Last minute bargain and thoroughly enjoyed. Food in buffet was pretty good although sometimes lukewarm but guess this is to be expected when such large quantities are being served. Meals in Baytree restaurant were really nice and ... Read More
Last minute bargain and thoroughly enjoyed. Food in buffet was pretty good although sometimes lukewarm but guess this is to be expected when such large quantities are being served. Meals in Baytree restaurant were really nice and service was prompt and friendly. Entertainment onboard was excellent. Ship was clean and all staff friendly and polite. We had an inside cabin which was fine but quite dated. Don’t think P&O should change for the shuttle service though, this should be included in the price. My only bugbear is people who don’t wash their hands after using the toilet nor using the sanitizer, I can never understand this and the lack of hygiene is pure laziness in my opinion! Surely it’s in everyone’s interest to keep sickness and diarrhoea bugs away so everyone can have a happy and healthy cruise. Embarkation at Southampton was quick, disembarkation a little slower but it was great not having to have the hassle of airports. Overall a great cruise and would definitely go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have recently returned from the 3 night Ventura cruise my feedback is both negative and positive. My negative comments mainly refer to our cabin. We were a group of 3. On arrival to our cabin we found only 2 of everything. We asked ... Read More
We have recently returned from the 3 night Ventura cruise my feedback is both negative and positive. My negative comments mainly refer to our cabin. We were a group of 3. On arrival to our cabin we found only 2 of everything. We asked and the 3rd items arrived in dribs and drabs. Also we left our dry cleaning out as instructed but it was not taken and therefore unable to get it done in time for the formal night.Fortunately they have a passenger lundrey room so we were able to do a DIY dress steam. My friends personal hair towel was taken by mistake and unable to be located. Our next observation was the cleanliness of the room. There were previous guest items on shelves and in draws.The carpet had clearly not been hoover and was not hoovered during our stay. I twice visited the public toilets to find no toilet paper and our drinks tables were not cleared of empty glasses or wiped over enough On a positive, embarkation very smooth and quick, we liked the ship, cabin spacious enough for 3, staff friendly , food excellent, mini break is great value.drinks prices very reasonable. As it's so reasonable it was extremely busy with families and groups, mainly hen parties so all areas were very busy. Pool bars packed but waiting staff walking round were great and quicker service. Loved the ' Great British Sail ' l away party. Also enjoyed the englishness.... like music and staff sense of humor. I have done 8 cruises on RCI and fancied trying P&O as a comparison. I feel RCI definitely have the edge regards dining service . I would happily do another P&O short cruise but choose RCI for longer duration's as service is something that is important to my cruise experience Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
P & O have improved their performance since my last cruise with them. Embarkation was a breeze and our bags arrived in the cabin shortly after we did. Best departure we have had. Cabin staff were polite and efficient and there ... Read More
P & O have improved their performance since my last cruise with them. Embarkation was a breeze and our bags arrived in the cabin shortly after we did. Best departure we have had. Cabin staff were polite and efficient and there were no problems in service standards or room service. The dining experience was much improved. We used the restaurants for nearly all our meals and found that the extra time spent dining was worth it to avoid the buffet. The choices were good and the Marco P White menus were very good indeed paticularly the Beef Wellington fayre. When we did use the buffet it was ok, but we did avoid peaks. There were three sea days from Southampton before we docked at Palma. A stop at Malaga/Cartagena or an alternative would have added a lot to the cruise. Entertainment was good and the theatre company were a vibrant talented troupe with great energy. The veteran comic Mickey Zany added his comic observations and (very dated, to us,as we were under 85) impressions. His gags went down well and there were also performances by Jimmy James who is still in good voice and a stylish vocalist who sang a number of Orbison and Hollies hits. Not Vegas but a good line up and worth the time and money The entertainment was spoilt at times by an inconsiderate passenger bringing her 14 month old daughter into every show. Almost on cue the child cried as soon as the show started and continued throughout the performance. Most would leave out of respect for the rest of the 700 people in the audience. But even when gently prodded by the comic when his punch line was interrupted, the passenger was determined that she would stay put and to hell with everyone else. It is difficult for P & O to correct rank bad manners, but even the broadest hint from the stage left this madam unmoved. That said it was a good cruise with most passengers being courteous and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Chose this cruise because of a 'big' birthday, wish we'd waited another 2/3 weeks because the weather wasn't too good in the ports, the sea was calm though even across the bay of Biscay. I've cruised around 10 ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of a 'big' birthday, wish we'd waited another 2/3 weeks because the weather wasn't too good in the ports, the sea was calm though even across the bay of Biscay. I've cruised around 10 times, not on a ship this big before - I couldn't understand why people said it was too big? Possibly because of the amount of passengers...but you do know this when you book. Overall we enjoyed it, I won't compare with other ships - I have rated on 'value for money' - which this is definitely in my view is a definite 4 star. Some people paid the equivalent of £70 a day for inside cabins! Shows in the theatre were good, we also enjoyed comedians, the resident band Dynamite Groove in the Havana bar. We had cabin with balcony which was good when the weather allowed us to use it. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening meals, lunch was a little bit repetitive but there was a large choice so there was always something different to choose. The cruise news always included some 'hard sell' seminars I.e. Come along to see how you can lose weight, or deal with arthritis, back pain etc. - too much in my opinion.... The exchange bar was a large area that included casino, slot machines, large screen tv, bingo playing, resembled a pub taproom - I didn't use it because it has no interest to me. When the weather allowed there was a 'sail away party' - not my thing at all, very crowded, very loud music, passengers walking around with pieces of pizza in their hands, cheese dripping everywhere. Lots of smokers huddled in the designated areas... These negatives wouldn't prevent me using the ship again though - I just don't use the areas that I dislike... I have to agree with a previous review though - the dress code of some of the passengers leaves a lot to be desired, football shirts and canvas pumps in the evening is not acceptable - particularly on black tie evening...obviously not allowed to use the main dining areas in such attire but it did 'lower the tone' .... Overall, staff very nice and pleasant, cabin/bed comfortable, public rooms attractive, evening meal (flexible dining) very good, getting on and off the ship at Southampton was well organised. I didn't use any shore excursions, we like to do our own thing and this was very easy in all the ports - Lisbon, Cadiz, Valencia, Ibiza, Cartagena, Gibraltor. These were quite expensive for those people unable to walk into town, I would suggest getting a taxi from the port area, there are plenty available. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Never used P&O Cruises before apart from their ferries. We like Thomson Cruises and were looking for something that would be along those lines or better than. P & O Ventura did not dissapoint on our first cruise with her . ... Read More
Never used P&O Cruises before apart from their ferries. We like Thomson Cruises and were looking for something that would be along those lines or better than. P & O Ventura did not dissapoint on our first cruise with her . We had booked an inside cabin deck A and was upgraded to a obstructed viewbon E Deck and was impressed by the space,clean,modern room with a vey comfy double bed and very quiet with no motion when at sea . The room fridge came with two bottles of water free and our cabin steward Prakash was great in re-supplying our teas,coffee and biscuits everyday and he always had time to make sure we were ok and ask how our day had been . The bathroom was very modern and everything worked , nothing faulty and came with toiletries that seemed decent. Although the ship was full we never felt over crowded and seemed plenty of staff to go around . We never had to wait long apart from our one night in the Bay tree Restaraunt, which to us was painfully slow service . We were first in the queue and and shown to our table ,despite this we and the table next to us had to wait 25 minutes for a menu our own waiter even managed to serve starters to some of his other tables before he even came back to us and it got no better. We used the Beach House & Waterside self service for the rest of our cruise and the food was hot ,tasty and well presented a lot of dishes served in individual pots and dishes , to be honest we looked forward to eating in these places ,so did not use any of the pay to eat restaraunts. We never had problems finding a table to eat our meals at and the views from up there through the large windows were great. Going for a drink the Ventura gave us eleven bars and a show bar to choose from and the service was fast and friendly and the staff were not stuffy as we had read on other forums. Just our opinion but unlike Thomson who seem to encourage staff to stop and chat , P& O want customers to be served asap ,so they move to the next waiting customer rather than stop and chat. All the bar staff we spoke to were friendly and would spend the odd moment chatting but then would be off serving or off doing other bar duties. We found them to be ok. The Headliners show team put on two very good shows and had the advantage of a high tech theatre and lighting plus sound system compared to Thomson ships we had used . This is one of the places where Thomson win hands down as their show teams put on two shows as well but at least six nights per week , the crew even do a show in the theatre. Having said that we were happy with the shows we saw with P&O . The first day on Ventura , we were no sooner on board and were pounced on with the big sell .. Photo's ,Spa's and drinks packages but to be fair we said no thanks and never was bothered again . Keeping tabs on your spending was easy with the interactive TV giving you an up to date balance and the TV gave a lot more ,ships web cam , captains log and map plus loads of TV programs some pay per view but loads are free. The ship on our week had a good mixture of passenger ages and the ones we met were friendly and considerate to their fellow passengers and used the hand gels at meal times. The ship was very stable even in bad weather ,you had to look out of a window at times to remind you that the ship was moving ,the chances of being sea sick should you suffer from it must be very remote . The ship has a promenade deck with plenty of chairs should you wish a stroll or sit and watch the world go by or go up to the sun deck should you wish to lay on a lounger . Given the chance we will be back on the Ventura it's a good family /couples and singles ship and everyone seems to have a good time with plenty to do on board . I hope we sail on her again and soon . Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Just returned from a Norwegian Fjords cruise for our anniversary. We have been told on numerous occasions to try P & O cruises, so that it what we decided to do on Ventura for 7 days, with an excellent offer of £499 for a weeks ... Read More
Just returned from a Norwegian Fjords cruise for our anniversary. We have been told on numerous occasions to try P & O cruises, so that it what we decided to do on Ventura for 7 days, with an excellent offer of £499 for a weeks cruise. We had never been in and inside cabin before and although apprehensive it was fine. Very small when you are used to Balconies but still livable. We noticed that we could not have bath robes because of the grade of cabin we were in and we didn't get any animal sculptures ( but that was okay by us). We did however have an excellent cabin steward Dipu who went out of his way to do anything for us and kept the cabin immaculate. Embarkation was good and we used P & O valet parking which although we had to wait for 20 mins was efficient. We didn't use shore excursions and were able to get off freely and explore ourselves. We did have very heavy rain in Stravanger and because of this people returned to the ship sooner, getting back on board was a joke and we got soaked in a 40 minute queue not impressed. The Headliner shows were very good but we found that there was just not enough time to see a lot of what was offered in the evening and it all seemed to be very good. We opted for fixed dining on a table of 8 on 8.30pm dining. This was our first experience of this and we were lucky and had a full table, some were only half full. We have eaten better food but it was okay, I think we expected better. The lack of Steak, Fish or a Pasta meal as an alternative to the daily recommendations was not to our liking but we didn't go hungry. Cheese boards are a joke so poor!!!!!!!!!!!! We had booked a celebration pack costing £60 this was well worth doing, apart from Champagne and chocolates on arrival we had the most incredible Champagne Breakfast delivered to our cabin and were able to have a photograph taken on our anniversary included in the package. We chose to self disembark and this was brilliant, easy and we were off the ship by 7.40am. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Ventura, 1st April Med cruise All started well with a B&B with parking and transfer at Chilworth Hilton, Transfer got us on the way before 12 and with an excellent check in we were having lunch on board soon after 1pm. We went to ... Read More
Ventura, 1st April Med cruise All started well with a B&B with parking and transfer at Chilworth Hilton, Transfer got us on the way before 12 and with an excellent check in we were having lunch on board soon after 1pm. We went to check out the cabin and we were told not to go in because it was being used as a show cabin (very abrupt). When we were let in our Superior Deluxe Balcony Stateroom, we were overcome with the smell of urine in the bathroom, the flowers in the cabin were dead, the white room pamper pack was missing, the carpet was stained, the settee was threadbare, the window was covered with children's hand prints and every flat surface was covered in thick dust. I ran my finger over one area and could have knitted a jumper with the fluff. On investigation of the bathroom we found the bath had black mould all round it as did the shower curtain, the toilet seat was badly chipped and ingrained with yellow stains, no guessing what that was. We reported the issues to reception who said it may not have been cleaned yet, so we left it for another hour and reported it again. The housekeeper came round had a look in the bathroom and said it was the ventilation. I explained to him it was due to the mould on the shower curtain and the state of the toilet. We left the matter with them and they changed the shower curtain. This did seem to reduce the smell, so my wife cleaned the room for them with ant-bacterial wipes and this got rid of most of the smell. The following day a man came to strip out the bath seal and replace it, at least this looked more inviting to have a shower or bath. The toilet seat was never changed and is still there for the next people, I just hope they notice and put paper on it. The cabin was never dusted in all the time we were there so I wrote DUST on every surface this was still ignored and will be there today. So that was the cabin but in general the ship is not very clean, the only parts are the bits you can see; but if you look if it does not move then no one will notice its not been done. The public don't help with leaving plates etc. anywhere on the floor, stair wells, lifts, but then there does not seem to be any member of staff willing to move them. If you want a real shock that should but does not shame P&O, then check out the floor in "Havana". Without exaggeration I have seen cleaner underpasses in city centres. It is the type of tiled floor you get in a shop and should be stripped and polished every week and buffed daily. It has less foot fall than a shopping centre and they seem to be able to keep them clean. This should be a dance floor but it is covered with chairs and never used for its original purpose. As expected for an Easter cruise there were a lot of children on board, in the main they seem to be catered for very well apart from the pool areas. Be aware if you have children this is a danger area in every sense of the word, it is unsupervised and they are allowed to "bomb" into the pool and even go in on very rough days when waves in the pool could have smashed a child's head on the side of the pool. They were allowed into the Jacuzzis unsupervised with adults, and it only needs the wrong sort of adult to be in with them and who knows what could happen. I did report this as a child protection issue as many adults had also expressed concern and no action had been taken. The entertainment in the theatre was first class and they worked very hard throughout the cruise, there were some low points with the one off acts but the show team, band and production staff put on some class shows. The food in the main dining room was very good and varied; we never felt the need to try the specialist venues due to the quality of fare. The staff who attended us were first class, and though the tips were now put on the bill it did not seem to affect the attitude and service we received. Yes we did have a lot of gripes but feel they were justified and put a damper on the cruise, we visited some very nice places and on the whole had good weather, apart from missing Laverno due to strong winds; but this was compensated for by moving quickly to our next port of Monte Carlo for an afternoon docking and an overnight and next day stay. The original port of Cadiz was also changed to Gibraltar, this did not bother us but had upset others who were meeting people in Cadiz. The disembarkation went quite smooth and again we were well looked after with the Hilton having the transfer waiting for a quick return to pick up the car. In summary far from being a superior deluxe cabin though it was a good size it was more "inferior". The ship looks impressive from the outside, but very dull on the inside, not very clean, a lot of "dead spots" during the evening away from the theatre, the entertainment just does not seem to flow. The tribute acts left a lot to be desired, Freddy Mercury looked like a cross between Bugs Bunny and Billy Bunter and Phil Collins tried to sing with a fake cockney accent and sounded more like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Our standard of cleanliness is as a minimum what we have at home, but if paying a lot of money expect this with extra touches. You get the latter but this does not cover up the dirt. Do not be fooled with the brochure or internet as it must have been done when the ship was new. Read Less
Sail Date April 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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