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Sail Date: February 2015
P&O first of all made a mess of our cabin choice, we booked a cabin on the back of the ship on deck C when I tried to open the cabin door it would not open so I called reception and was told that I had been upgraded which at first I ... Read More
P&O first of all made a mess of our cabin choice, we booked a cabin on the back of the ship on deck C when I tried to open the cabin door it would not open so I called reception and was told that I had been upgraded which at first I thought was good until I saw the cabin which was on the lido deck midships it was so much smaller with a much smaller balcony and very high, we were told that because it was midships it was an upgrade and no cabins where available on deck C. after a very stressful encounter with the reception team we where asked to stay in the cabin and they would look into getting us moved, at which point I asked if we could get a flight back to Manchester (which I wished we had) as we could not accept this cabin for to weeks, eventually we where given a more suitable cabin on the back of the ship. The entertainments team on the ship where so unorganised and did not inform passengers of the change of program for the evening entertainment. The waiters in the restaurant we rude and did not appear to be interested maybe because the gratuities had been paid from onboard accounts. Also the food in the restaurants on many occasions was cold having been brought so far from the kitcen. The waiters on the open decks where not interested if you only wanted water and actually turned their backs on us. We paid nearly £600 to upgrade our flights but were told that if we wanted to sit together we would have to pay a further fee to do so.The outward flight was not to bad as we where sat directly behind one another but the inbound flight we were a few rows apart. I contacted P&O on my return and complained about all this however they as usual only offered excuses and no offer of any refund which I would have expected. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
It's my first time with P&O with a direct charter flight from Newcastle. However, the flight, operated by Thomsons was a complete rip off. I was handed a letter at check-in advising the entertainment system didn't work. The ... Read More
It's my first time with P&O with a direct charter flight from Newcastle. However, the flight, operated by Thomsons was a complete rip off. I was handed a letter at check-in advising the entertainment system didn't work. The premium economy seat I'd paid £299 return extra for was appaling. The I was elbow to elbow with my fellow passenger and the recline offer any other comfort for such a long flight (8.5 hrs). Main meal choice consisted of Chicken Tikka or Bangers N Mash.. Even with free drinks inluded it didn't warrant the extortianate charge. I was able to change my seat for an economy seat on the return journey and received a part refund. Apart from paying for a soft a coffee, this is included with the economy meal (only 1 choice). The one toilet in the premium section was blocked on the return journey and could not be used and there was doubt as to whether or not there was enough headsets for economy passengers. An hour into the flight I was handed a set of headsets from the premium section. I booked a single inside cabin which are on deck 6. The cabin itself was spacious with a 4ft bed and tea/coffe making facilities. However what it doesn't mention in the brochure or internet is the inside single cabins back onto The Exchange Bar which has nightly entertainment from 10.30 pm until late. This started with Karaoke the second night. You also get the noise from the Atrium which has dancing to music until late. When I complained I was offerd EAR PLUGS. When I spoke to the night manager he asked why I hadn't know the cabins were in such a noisy location. This wasn't mentioned in P&O literature so I assumed that they would be properly sound-proofed. The bathroom mirror hadn't been installed properly hence marks were noticable. As this issue couldn't be resolved I was evenutally moved to another quiter cabin P205, an O/S twin, which I was advised I wouldn't be charged for. As this bathroom had cracks in the bathroom sink I should think not. I have sent a complaint via my travel agent. I was on 2nd sitting in the Baytree restaurant for dining. The table however was right underneath the Havana club and the entertainment came thumping through every night. Therefore not a quiet dining experience I'm used to. On 2nd sitting there wasn't always any seats available in any of the entertainment area. NB: If you cancel an excusion, even in good time there is a 10% charge On a positive note P&O did offer taxi's for disabled passenger's, myself included from the airport - port and return. Once you've checked in at the airport your luggage is delivered directly to your cabin and finally on the outward journey buses / taxis were waiting when on the tarmac   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
first of all I must mention the flights although its a Thomson flight it is chartered by p.o.Flying from Glasgow on 15th of January we were told there was a problem with our plane so had to wait for one to come from Manchester.It was so ... Read More
first of all I must mention the flights although its a Thomson flight it is chartered by p.o.Flying from Glasgow on 15th of January we were told there was a problem with our plane so had to wait for one to come from Manchester.It was so old I think they borrowed it fron the museum of flight at east fortune .There was no entertainment not even music .Coming back we were on the Dreamliner which I was told was luxury but we were crushed in the 4 seatsin the centre no room to move AND three hours late . Having said that the transfer from the plane to the ship was excellent everyone very efficient and so friendly .Our cabin on b deck with a balcony which we had to pay extra for was lovely we had everything we wanted .Plus cleaned and tidied twice a day Thanks to our hard working cabin steward Bruno .We.were shocked at having to pay £35 for 20 glasses of flat pepsi from the dash dispenser no cans .A real rip off.Very little choice of food at buffet went there for breakfast and lunch as waited too long to be served in freedom dining in restaurants plus tea and coffee cold The staff at reception were so helpful and friendly I cannot say the same of most of waiters& bar staff .When I cruise again I will go back to Thomson cruises I will get a lot more for my money.disappointed with p.o Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
After my experience, all show and no substance. The Ship cruised beautifully, but the staff let her down, especially the restaurant staff. They lacked training and even some meals appeared that were not as described. A "Caribbean ... Read More
After my experience, all show and no substance. The Ship cruised beautifully, but the staff let her down, especially the restaurant staff. They lacked training and even some meals appeared that were not as described. A "Caribbean Pork" was actually in Hoi Sin sauce which I suspected was left over from the Duck a couple of nights before. A "fillet steak" was actually Sirloin. When we asked for cream for our coffee, we were presented with milk in a ramekin dish and assured it was cream (whipped cream). The head waiter was called and cream in a jug appeared. A stroppy waiter slammed down a jar of brown sugar after we explained to him "Canderel " was not Demerara sugar and would he please bring us brown sugar? The food was not special (on Princess you feel as though you are eating out in a nice restaurant every night, whereas on Ventura, we felt as though we were just eating food we would cook at home every night. We paid extra to eat in the Marco Pierre "White Room" on 3 occasions (£60 per couple) in order to get the food and service we wanted. The constant hard selling of drinks spoiled what should have been a relaxing holiday and even when my husband still had a drink in front of him it was "Can I get you another drink?" The staff in the restaurant did not smile, and I wondered if someone had died, so different from the wonderfully friendly and happy Princess cruises staff. I felt the staff did not respect the passengers and did not want to be there Generally, it was not a slick operation and I'll be returning to Princess where I hopefully will not be made to feel like one in a herd of cattle. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
My wife and I have cruised 30 + times mostly with Celebrity, RCL, Princess and Airtours when they were operating. Having read lots of good reviews we decided to try P and O. but oh dear what a mistake. How Ventura as a ship can rate ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 30 + times mostly with Celebrity, RCL, Princess and Airtours when they were operating. Having read lots of good reviews we decided to try P and O. but oh dear what a mistake. How Ventura as a ship can rate highly in the Berlitz guide totally baffles me. We did enjoy the ports of call and the itinerary after all what's not to like in the Caribbean in January. Ship. We found the ship very poorly laid out with dead ends causing one to back track, Sun decks are poorly set out over too many levels and not enough sun beds. This is made a lot worse by people reserving them and not using them all day. Theatre. Poor sight lines throughout, difficult to find seats but the headliner shows were good. Cabin. This was well set out and spacious, I do take exception to being sold a restricted view cabin to find that it was an outside cabin with daylight but no view what so ever. My wife does like the walk in wardrobe and storage space. Restaurants. The beach house and waterside eateries are very poorly designed and the choice of food throughout the day was poor especially the breakfast buffet which did not change once . We ate in the Saffron restaurant in the evening and the menus although varied were mostly a total disappointment. E.g. Duck breast was on the menu on night on arrival I received two slices 7cm long which consisted mainly of the outside skin. The service was good but the food was only two star. Shore Excursions. We booked four shore excursions three of which were excellent and the other was a total disaster but the desk was not interested in any complaints although 8 out of 10 people on the bus complained. Bars and service. Why can't you order a drink at the Bar ? Drinks with mixers very expensive 90p for a tiny can of coke or lemonade. With the exception of the cabin stewards who were fantastic I found the crew to be indifferent to the passengers as if it were a chore Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My husband and myself have just returned from a very disappointing Christmas & New Year cruise on Ventura. Disappointing to the point that we also will never cruise with P & O again. This is our fourth Caribbean cruise. We ... Read More
My husband and myself have just returned from a very disappointing Christmas & New Year cruise on Ventura. Disappointing to the point that we also will never cruise with P & O again. This is our fourth Caribbean cruise. We stupidly booked through P & O and we were totally ripped off - we booked "the last cabin" (14 months ago) which unfortunately was inside and were assured that because we had booked directly with them we would certainly be upgraded. Of course it didn't happen. We were told that there were no upgrades and yet we met many people who had been upgraded without requesting it on embarkation day. So the choice of having a relaxing time watching the world go by was denied to us. The buffet lunches were very monotonous curry, curry or curry with the odd stew now and then. The self service area itself is very small and cramped. We ate in the cinnamon restaurant every night and the choice of food was ok, steaks were cooked exactly as we requested and the service was excellent. The main thing that ruined our holiday was the gangs of teenagers ( who's parents obviously couldn't care less where they were or what they were up to ) it was like being thrown onto the set of TOWIE or Made in Chelsea. Kids lying around drunk, throwing each other in the pool after one too many cocktails and gypsy wedding type girls crying because NYE was a disaster for them as they hadn't pulled ! We avoided the top decks because of all this but we still had to step over the occasional body on the stairs !! There was never any security present and I am amazed none of these out of control teens didn't end up over board to be honest. We were also disappointed with the service on deck 7 which was non-existent until disembarkation day when half a dozen crew sit in the arena chatting and popped out now and then to make sure they get the last bit of money they can from you. We certainly didn't have to fetch our own drinks that day! There was even a nice cream man - we hadn't seen him at all during the cruise ! Smokers were definitely catered for - we had a job to find anywhere to relax without having smoke blown in our faces - deck 7 at least had one side which was non smoking. We tried to go up to the oasis spa exclusive area for peace without cigarette smoke but although it was empty, we were told it was completely booked out ! We never found out what the extra cost was for peace and quiet ! Also, If you do decide to try Ventura don't expect much from the onboard shops they are truly basic and vastly overpriced. Announcements from the bridge were regular, Captain Carr is a marvelous delegator - I'm not sure he ever docked or sailed away (which always included a reference to 'winding up the big elastic band' and encouraging us all to grab a gin and tonic) but I for one always felt safe. The highlight of the whole on board experience was the Panto which the crew put on for us - absolutely fab! Unfortunately, we will be looking at other cruise companies for our next cruise - we paid for a luxury christmas cruise which fell short of our expectations on many levels. You can't beat cruising the Caribbean - the majority of the Islands are amazingly beautiful but apart from the locations We could have spent the festive season at The Blue Water Centre still surrounded by chavs and chavettes but at least the shopping choice would have been better. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My family and I have not long returned from our 4th P&O Cruise on board Ventura from 21st Dec-5th Jan 2014 and unfortunately our expectations were not met and sadly we will not be back on a P&O Cruise. I would like to let you know ... Read More
My family and I have not long returned from our 4th P&O Cruise on board Ventura from 21st Dec-5th Jan 2014 and unfortunately our expectations were not met and sadly we will not be back on a P&O Cruise. I would like to let you know on how disappointed we all were and of how much the standards have dropped overall from our past visits onboard. The overall interior of the appearance of Ventura is now a bit of a let down, looking shabby, with carpets fraying and with stains and soiled marks. The service from bar and waiter staff was very poor. They were extremely slow, unenthusiastic, and clearly not enough workers to comply to the amount of passengers onboard. On one occasion we waited fifty minutes to receive our drinks, we were in the theatre this evening and got our order in sharp but clearly were last to receive our drinks after I had to complain to the bar man. He brought my husbands and two daughters drinks but forgot my wine and had to run back to the bar to get it. By this point the Headliners Theatre Group were on there last song of the show…absolutely ridiculous! On a whole the food at the Bay Tree over the two weeks cruise was average. On past cruises we have always came home and said the food was amazing, but unfortunately this was not to be this time. My family and I could really only say we enjoyed a couple of dinners throughout our two weeks. The removal of the silver service and the portion sizes were shocking, i.e six chips or two potatoes of which was one whole one but had been cut in half to serve on the plate or four sprouts etc. people with big appetites would never survive. The buffet lunches were very monotonous, salad, curry, or stew. After two to three days we ended up eating from the pizza and burger bar. Our cabin cleaner ‘Ana’ was not up to scratch either, when we went to our muster training and took down the lifejackets from the top shelf in our cabin a black dirty sock fell down from the shelf. This was clearly from a previous holiday maker. We also had to ask for a new bar of soap for washing our hands. The small bar was finished in a few days and we had nothing thereafter until I went and asked her for another one, toilet paper and tissues were also an issue. Ana definitely did not have high expectations as the standards were of something you would expect from a basic hotel, not a luxury cruise liner! My two girls registered and attended the H20 kids club while on Ventura. The workers there were really very rude and unsociable. And after several visits to the club my girls still went unrecognised, were never asked their names, or asked to take part in any activities. My girls used to love going to the kids club onboard Ventura and would talk endlessly about things they had gotten up to, however the result was the total opposite on this cruise. Both were bored to say the least! This also seems to be the case for others as gangs of teenagers were hanging about on Deck 19, being rowdy and a bit out of control as there was not anything running in the kids club. Apart from the resident Headliner Theatre Group who all work very hard and put on some spectacular shows, there was not much more of interest entertainment wise. This on a whole was very disappointing as we found ourselves in bed early most nights and we were on holiday supposed to be living it up. Christmas and New Year onboard this cruise to us was a real let down and know for sure that we would have had better celebrations if we’d been in either Benidorm or Tenerife at half the price! Finally would like to take this point to praise Nico and Michael, our two waiters from the Bay Tree restaurant. They were top class, very friendly, chatty, enthusiastic and very hard working. Made dinner time enjoyable! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We sailed on the Ventura five years ago and loved it. We loved the british feeling with no brash americans being pushy, fantastic ship. Boy were we dissapointed when we went back on it again. Although we paid slightly less as we booked a ... Read More
We sailed on the Ventura five years ago and loved it. We loved the british feeling with no brash americans being pushy, fantastic ship. Boy were we dissapointed when we went back on it again. Although we paid slightly less as we booked a late booking, we found it had seriously gone downhill. Big parties of loud drunk men and and foul mouthed women were all over the ship. Possibly due to the fact the price has come down it is now encouraging people who would normally holiday in Benidorm. Although the food in the main restaurants is passable, sirloin where there once was fillet, mostly lacking taste, the Lido is nothing short of poor. Big displays have been replaced by a few odd trays here and there. If for some reason you were confined to your cabin then room service, free on this ship before and on every ship we have sailed on, is now being charged for. £4 for a burger, absolutely disgusted. The tv system used to be very good and was all free, now most films are chargeable. A tour of the ship, free again before, now costs the princely sum of £75 per person. It seems that P&O are penny pinching on silly things. Completely put us off sailing on P&O and you cannot believe that they are owned by the same people who own Cunard. There really is no comparison. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
As two first time cruisers, celebrating 3 special occasions in 2013, we were so excited to be heading for the Caribbean in January 2013 on the P&O Ventura. We had planned and prepared for this cruise for 18 months and it was such a big ... Read More
As two first time cruisers, celebrating 3 special occasions in 2013, we were so excited to be heading for the Caribbean in January 2013 on the P&O Ventura. We had planned and prepared for this cruise for 18 months and it was such a big disappointment. I would recommend that anyone thinking of going on their first cruise to research yourself thoroughly before you jump on board. We had gone to a specialist cruise shop in Liverpool and the advice given to us failed in the first instance as the wrong cruise company was recommended. We wanted a ship with the “wow” factor, including the wave pool, rock wall, indoor mall, but P&O ships don’t offer these services… We now know we should have chosen a Royal Caribbean ship for a number of factors. The beginning of the holiday started well as we boarded our charter at Liverpool Airport (this was a test schedule). The flight to Barbados airport was ideal and the transfer from plane to ship went smoothly bypassing Barbados customs to transfer directly to the ship. Upon boarding we didn’t experience the WOW factor and our first impression of Ventura lasted with us the whole cruise as other experiences didn’t come upto the expected standard. The general area furnishings were outdated, tired and worn and within our room (B326), the carpet was dirty, the towels threadbare and yellowed, the sheets in need of renewing as we found a hole in the duvet upon one of the changes and the balcony furniture was stained. Whilst on board we found that the ship was due for refit in March so we would it would be interested to see if passengers cruising after that refit report a significant change. Other passengers on board felt the standard against price paid was very poor. Having paid extra for a balcony and checked the brochure before hand for any restrictions, we found that our balcony was completely covered, the canopy being the floor of the balcony above. So beware of B deck balconies as this canopy stretches a good proportion of the ship. We have since raised this mis information with P&O (the fact that according to the brochure, our balcony wasn’t “restricted” in any way) and their customer service dept are not willing to accept this fact. I would recommend that if you do have a problem whilst on board then persist with the in- house team to rectify any problem, as once home, the UK based Customer Service Centre are not interested in listening to you regarding your concerns. There were four days at sea during the 15 night holiday and we expected to take full advantage of these relaxing on a sun-lounger. This was not the case as the sun-loungers filled up by 9 am with customers reserving them from sunrise. The in-house literature requested that passengers do not reserve beds and if they are moving away from their bed for half an hour then it be freed up. Policing this request was none existent as staff weren’t interested in the distress of some customers who searched the ship and were unable to obtain a sun-lounger. Some selfish customers went as far as reserving one each in the shade and one in the sun and swapped between the two periodically throughout the day. The feedback from P&O customer services reported that “they had provided the facility to sunbathe and were not obligated to find passengers a bed!!” This issue with beds has been a major problem with other passengers on Cruise Critic Sites and has been reported since 2009 and yet P&O have made no attempt to implement a procedure for the comfort of their passengers. I wonder if this is the norm with all cruise ships but it is certainly off-putting and a bad mark against P&O for their lack of interest to rectify this problem. I have some good aspects to report. The itinery with the variety of islands covered and the length of daily stay in port (normally arriving 7 am and departing 5 pm) was ideal. Booking P&O organised excursions is recommended as it alleviates the worry that you may get left behind if you are delayed. These excursions do seem expensive but the island tours give you a good overview of beach and town. The evening entertainment content was of a high standard but that did prove a disadvantage in itself as seating was unobtainable unless you left your meal early and reserved your seat in the cabaret lounge and theatre. The food was of a high quality in all of the ship restaurants and the waiting and bar staff attentive and helpful. We dined in Saffron on the first sitting and the organisation was excellent. I would recommend eating in the waiter service restaurants than fending for yourself in the buffet restaurant which at times was like a free for all at a holiday camp as some passengers chose to queue jump and many were disrespectful of the waiting staff. The bar prices were on par with UK hotels and the fact that you paid in £ Sterling was a bonus. The soft drinks and ice cream package was good value for money. Ship’s passengers are 90 % British and for us Brits that like our tea available in the room, all rooms had tea making facilities and a fridge. I believe P&O advertising is bringing in a different clientel and the traditional standards of cruising are being left behind. The Captain’s Gala on the second night was a let down as the Captain appeared for a five minute slot at the beginning of the evening and was never spotted again for the rest of the evening. There was no Captain’s table at which he was dining and he wasn’t "Meeting and Greeting" the passengers as we expected. In fact passengers wanting to approach him were queuing to have their photo taken with him to which they would then be asked to pay for this official photo. Official photographers were in abundance but the price charged was expensive and there were no offers for those wishing to purchase more than one photo. I can only guess at the amount of photos that were wasted and it surely would have been more cost effective to have reduced prices and put packages together. The “Spa” didn’t give the ambiance of privacy and restfulness expected and the prices for spa treatments and prices in the hairdressers were far too expensive. Therapists were under pressure to attract the customers themselves, however, appointments were always available when requested and the daily specials provided the best deals. Disembarkation was straightforward and smooth running. All in all this cruise didn’t give us the excitement, elegance and luxury we expected to get for a special holiday and as such it left a lot to be desired. After my experience I wouldn’t recommend a P&O as a company to cruise with. Many customers on my cruise that had travelled with P&O previously highlighted the lowering in standards they believed because P&O are attracting a different group of passengers, those cruising on a budget and choosing to travel at the lowest category available. The late deal prices are now comparable to an all inclusive resort in Benidorm. There was a wide assortment of tattoos on display and a number of passengers chose not to participate in the formal evenings and were wondering the ship in shorts and T shirts in the evening. A shame as the formal evenings were good fun and what cruising used to be about. The glamour and extras are being discarded to the detriment of those passengers wanting a traditional cruise experience.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2012
The holiday got off to a dissapointing start when our flight was delayed because of an outage with the baggage belt supply at Gatwick. After just over 2 hours we finally took off. The service was very slow on Thomas Cook flight. As ... Read More
The holiday got off to a dissapointing start when our flight was delayed because of an outage with the baggage belt supply at Gatwick. After just over 2 hours we finally took off. The service was very slow on Thomas Cook flight. As usual they do not regard themselves as in the service industry but are "inflight safety officers". The temperature on the aircraft was very cold to suit the cabin crew working, and not the passengers. Upon arrival at the Venturer, we were impressed with the efficency of the check in, also the transfer from the aircraft. The Venturer is a very big well kept ship. The big let down is the staff on the whole of the ship. There is one nationality which is prevalent throughout the ship and they just do not pay attention, are very slow, and walk about in pairs talking to each other. The one exeption was the cabin steward, Martin. He excelled in his work and was always happy if sometimes a little tired. The mixed fruit at breakfast always ran out quickly and was never replenished quick enough. When I asked one of the supervisors in a white uniform to do something about it his attitude was not what it should have been. The edges of the dining room in the breakfast buffet were never clean. Maybe the staff are used to living like it but the officers should inspect it better and educate them The entertainment during the day was dire. The guest speaker could send you to sleep every afternoon with his monotonous droning from a book. The quiz prizes were a joke. nothing usefull like a bottle of wine. Just silly stars like a child at primary school would receive for merit. As in other reviews, trying to get a drink in the Exchange bar was very difficult. The staff also played some dreadfull rock music which they must have liked, but could not have suited the average age group of the people using the bar. We booked freedom dining, but when we got there, we were told we HAD to got to Saffron restaurant at 18.30 as too many people wanted freedom dining. When we booked by telephone with P&O we were not told there was a possibility we would be changed. When we complained, the reception staff pointed out a very small "wl" next Freedom dining on the booking form which denoted wait listed.Because of this, were restricted to that restaurant or the buffet which was always very full. There were other venues to dine which P&O unbelievably wanted you to pay for.The food must have been the same, so you had to pay for better service. One of the venues, East, was Asian food. Now, the curries in the buffet did not seem authentic,(surprising as they were cooked by Indians) so I didnt think it would be a good idea to pay and be disappointed. On the transatlantic crossing, the ship took a detour to the Azores instead of calling at Tenerife. The captain told us this was to avoid bad weather. I rather suspect this was to save a massive amount of fuel,and of course, money. On other cruises, the majority of staff seemed to be Phillipino, who were a delightful race of people, always so happy, and more importantly, good at the job. This ship needs a complete crew change. P&O staff were not good at the job,and sometimes surly. I suggest the people running P&O try a little "undercover boss" trips on their own ships and then on other cruise lines to see where they are going wrong. I think I'll give P&O a miss in future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2011
After a christmas cruise on the arcadia 5 years ago which was superb we decided to try P&O again and booked the christmas cruise on the Ventura. This being our 18th cruise on various cruise lines, we do know the standard to expect. ... Read More
After a christmas cruise on the arcadia 5 years ago which was superb we decided to try P&O again and booked the christmas cruise on the Ventura. This being our 18th cruise on various cruise lines, we do know the standard to expect. After a good flight all be it delayed we arrived in Barbados early evening.We were transferred immediately from the airport but had a long delay sat at the port on the coach, not what you want after a long flight. To our surprise when eventually on board we find out we have been upgraded to a balcony cabin from an inside cabin.Very nice thank you, but we found out later people had paid for 4 weeks what we had for 2 weeks as we booked 20 months in advance. The ship itself was fine although due to its different layout from other ships took a while to work out.The entertainment we found was okay although as in our previous cruise their were no well known celebrities.. The ports of call were fine but there were too many days at sea. The ship seemed to be cleaned early morning and then never again, one of the dirtiest ship's we have ever been on. Toilets not cleaned and by evening the paper hand towels were all over the floor. Trays of food left in the corridors all day. On deck the tables were not cleared quick enough. Dirty carpets all around the ship. Days at sea were very stressful as 50% of sun beds had towels left on them at 7am for most of the day which no staff ever moved' Our major problem was the food. The main restaurant was an experience you would want to forget. We had the worst Christmas dinner we have ever had. The standard of food was pub grub at best, not what you'd expect Poor quality and badly cooked. The buffet had theme nights but had very little choice, lunch or dinner but the breakfast buffet was very good if what you wanted was a traditional English breakfast.We tried the White Room and found very nice but not worth the £20 cover charge. If you travel with Celebrity or Holland and America you would get this as standard every night. We enjoyed EAST but would have liked a little more choice. This to me proved they could cook quality if you paid extra for it. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We have been with P and O before but have been on an assortment of other cruise ships since. So we decided that Ventura would be a good choice for Christmas in the sun departing and returning from Barbados. I regret that we found the ... Read More
We have been with P and O before but have been on an assortment of other cruise ships since. So we decided that Ventura would be a good choice for Christmas in the sun departing and returning from Barbados. I regret that we found the ship dirty, many of the public areas were simply not cleaned often enough, the floors were not hoovered and glass work and handles not polished, some of the public toilets do not have a very good smell. We found the entertainment to be low quality although the 'Headliners' stage shows were good. Although a very nice man perhaps the cruise director need replacing with a younger one with new ideas and energy but I suspect the problem was more with the budget allocated to him. The food was okay in main restaurant but the quality had dropped drastically since we last sailed with P and O. The food in the buffet was very poor. Very little choice and mostly English type meals, cottage pie, pasty etc. One of the things we enjoy about cruising is the choice in the buffet of worldwide cuisine. This was real Butlins type food. The East Restaurant (which had a surcharge) had little choice and not very exciting food. The White Room, again an extra charge was quite good. We found the crew across the ship to be lazy and we thought that they had little interest in doing their job. The crew in the casino were the worst. We will never touch P and O again and I know that many more of the passengers on Ventura felt the same. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
This was our first time with P&O. Found Ventura a bit grubby. Ate in East on first nite, nothing special! We were allocating dining in the Baytree restaurant so ate there on the second nite and found hair in my food. So that put us ... Read More
This was our first time with P&O. Found Ventura a bit grubby. Ate in East on first nite, nothing special! We were allocating dining in the Baytree restaurant so ate there on the second nite and found hair in my food. So that put us off. We then ate mostly in the buffett or Waterside, the food there was very nice. On the second week we gave the Baytree another try, and guess, found hair in my food again! I was sent two letters of apology to our stateroom saying they had written to head office in Southhampton to 'investigate' how hair could have ended up in the food. Come on, it came off someones head in the kitchen. The staff on board do work very hard although there was an air of discontent, the Philopino staff are being paid in dollors and the Indian staff are getting British pounds. Not very fair. Do review your on board account frequently as we had been billed for room service we did not receive. Whilst chatting with one of the hospitality managers, I mentioned that housekeeping of public areas, ie: the pool areas, decks, toilets, casino was lacking, especially the smoking areas, ashtrays never emptied, banana and orange peels lying about for hours and staff just walking past them. Tissue paper and hand towels covered the floor of toilets. Yes the dirty, iresponsibe passengers were guilty of this but I still expect it to be cleaned for the rest of us. Found the spa very nice and used it frequently, until one day I seen 4 male crew shaving in the steam room and tapping the razors against the seats. Disgusting. We booked 3 trips, snorkling with turtles in Barbados, Bob Sleigh at Mystic mountain in Jamaica and the helicopter trip in St Lucia. Really enjoyed each. We did our own thing via local taxi's at the other stops. One took us to Hawksbill resort in Antigua, would really recommend this. For $40 you can have a day pass, including all drinks, food and water sports. Also the beach to yourself. Bonaire was a waste of time. Missed Grand Turk as the captain could not dock ship, if he had been American the ship would have docked. This meant 3 days at sea, not happy! Entertainment was so so, but I do expect this on cruise ships. Try getting the attention of the waiters for a drink, they spent most of the time watching the entertainment. The main let down on this cruise were the fellow passengers, hard faced and very rough. I had spoke with guests who had sailed on Ventura previously, some 4 times, but they agreed that standards had slipped and would not travel on her again. Was led to beleive this was a 4* ship, maybe a 3* with 2* service. Would I travel on P&O's Ventura again? No never Would I recommend P&O. No, we shall stick with Cunard or Fred Olsen Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Arrived in Barbados after a 9 hour flight without inflight entertainment(TOM194)out of Manchester.Everyone on the flight had blankets around them it was that cold.From airport to ship was excellent no waiting about.We checked into the ... Read More
Arrived in Barbados after a 9 hour flight without inflight entertainment(TOM194)out of Manchester.Everyone on the flight had blankets around them it was that cold.From airport to ship was excellent no waiting about.We checked into the boarding sheds very quickly and then we were held up by the bain of the whole cruise yes a PHOTOGRAPHER. Reached cabin D729 VERY NICE INDEED,there was champagne, chocolates and fruit waiting great start on board. The Ventura is a beautiful ship even though we hadn't cruised before to compare it with.The main entertainment centre was the Arena theatre which holds approx 900 and is very comfortable.Las Ramblas is a very comfortable meeting place for a drink it could be a room in any top class hotel. The Tamarind bar is a beautiful room but unfortunately is the centre for the Ballroom dancers and therefore is only fully utilized if there is entertainment on following the dancing.Nightclub Havanna is at the stern of the ship and is a very poorly shaped room so much so that there is numerous TV screens around the room in order to see the entertainment. This is also where LIBBY and her cronies entertain themselves dancing the night away when supposedly working. We were booked first sitting 6.30pm in the BAY TREE restaurant, all the food we had was of a very good standard the only drawback was that the food was not very warm when it reached our table which was the furthest from the galley.We also dined in the WHITE ROOM on two ocassions which for the extra £20pp was well worth the experience.During the day we used the Waterside restaurant the self service food was edible but on board it was known as the CANTEEN.Not only are the plates red hot but also the trays are the hottest anywhere. After our day in Barbados we set sail for BONAIRE 36 hours away.This is when we found out about the squealing screaming kids on board who are allowed by their parents and staff alike to do as they please and ruin everyone elses relaxation. If you require a nice relaxing holiday after 12 months hard graft DO NOT GO ON THE VENTURA.Not only are there young children, roaming the ship at will are teenagers who sit on stairs or anywhere they want to which is not very nice on a beautiful cruise ship. On the Islands visited I can honestly say that there is not a lot to choose between any of them they all have the same shops/sheds selling alot of junk, they all have taxi drivers trying to rip you off with island tours if you haven't been ripped off by P&O who are even dearer.The only Islands I would reccommend is ST MAARTEN and maybe GRAND TURK the latter is only 1x7 miles. On the cruise there are 4 formal nights which if your are a normal guy like me will have you heaving as the dolled up snobs who stroll round licking a--e as if they are really someone.On the first formal evening the Captain greeted his subjects like the pope by standing on a balcony in the Atrium, pass me a bucket.This is where the most annoying thing apart from the screaming kids on Ventura starts in earnest and never stops until you leave the ship THE PHOTOGRAPHERS believe me they never leave you alone whether you are walking eating drinking they are there it is pathetic, i now know why famous people hate the paparazzi they are in your face all the time. Entertainment is worse than any working mens club that i have visited.To save time i will just give examples from both ends of the spectrum, the best which both came on the last two days were Martin Daniels a comedian/magician and a Neil Diamond tribute act who was very good.At the other end for adult entertainment in the night club we had Mr Biscuit who made dogs from balloons and a so called comedian by the name of ANDY FORD who emptied the room in 15minutes flat they were an absolute disgrace. So there you have it folks don't be fooled by all the hype about cruise ships,if you want to spend a fortune on what is basically a captive holiday go, if not steer clear because for what you will pay out you could do at least 3 holidays a year al a carte virtually anywhere.Finally do not be fooled by the on board spend offered it does not last 5 minutes and we did not purchase any photographs at £15 a time.If you have booked this ship just pray that all the kids are at school if not take some big earplugs. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Thank you Paul Woodman for your cruise review. My wife and I agree with almopst everything that you have said. We were on the same cruise. We didn't opt for Freedom dining. Instead we had first sitting, 6.30 p.m. on a table for ... Read More
Thank you Paul Woodman for your cruise review. My wife and I agree with almopst everything that you have said. We were on the same cruise. We didn't opt for Freedom dining. Instead we had first sitting, 6.30 p.m. on a table for six. We were most fortunate to have four interesting and interested companions.However, one couple had paid £2000 per head less than we had paid.In addition our total "on spend" money was £200, those with the cheap fare had £900 per couple.It certainly makes one think about Booking ahead. Our two waiters were excellent, both were from India and obviously took pride in their work. In the main restaurant most of the meals were just "OK". Generally very bland and no more than 2* or 3*. An exception was the alternative option each night of a steak. These were always excellent and were often ordered in lieu of the Main Menu. We were without a TV in our cabin for almost 72 hours. I reported this fault to Reception by phone and in person on at least 6 occasions. On the third day without TV I left reception with a P & O complaint form in my hand and told the Receptionist that if the set wasn't working on my return to the ship I would make a written complaint. Of course it was then fixed and only made me cross that I hadn't gone down that route earlier. A large number of passengers had taken advantage of the low fares and their dress and general behavior left much to be desired. A high number of passengers were equally disenchanted with the cruise overall and many said they would write to Head Office and complain. It's my experience that very few actually write. Finally, I think P & O are shooting themselves in the foot by offering such cheap fares. I've just read that three Cruise Lines are promising to give back the difference to any passengers if the cruise they have booked is reduced. Paul has already said how poor the entertainment was. We went almost every night thinking "tonight may be better". There were 2 or 3 good shows, best of all was comedian Tom O'Connor; so good in fact that he was asked, and did, another show. I'll conclude by saying that I will look long and hard before I book another P & O cruise. It's a shame, we have such wonderful memories of our days on the "Oceana" Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
We have just returned from a 15 night cruise around the caribbean..its was me [26] partner [31] and daughter [3]...the flight with thomsons was great loads of leg room and had TV's in back on seats so you could choose what you wanted ... Read More
We have just returned from a 15 night cruise around the caribbean..its was me [26] partner [31] and daughter [3]...the flight with thomsons was great loads of leg room and had TV's in back on seats so you could choose what you wanted to watch or play games..flew to barbados and took about 30 mins from barbados airport to the ship...got though really quick and straight onto Ventura..the ships massive and took couple days to find way around.The only decks you can walk from one end of the boat to other is decks 7 and 15...the room was small ok just about for us [stayed inside cabin] but a family of 4 would of been tight.the cabin steward forgot to do our room twice..the cabin steward was ok didnt smile much or talk..the pools where nice but all very deep even the kids pool only had small ledge for daughter to stand..kids clubs where great but it was kids looking after kids...the drink prices where good £2.60 for pint and cocktails where around £3.50-£4.50 cocktail of the days £2.65 couldnt taste acahol tho..All the staff from servers in resurants to the ones serving drinks on deck and in bars where so misserable never smilled and where sometimes very rude...The main thing i would like to complain about Ventura is the ENTERTAINMENT or lack of it for our age group..one formal night we where all dressed up in our long dress's and dinner suits [which everyone wore on those nights] in one bar the had mr and mrs Ventura and another bar [which was supost to be the club] Deal or know deal on at 11pm..there was no discos and when DJ NEIL did come on he only played really old music my whole family [mainly my mum and dad who are in early 50's] complained to DJ NEIL and he would be very rude back saying he had to cater for everyone be he never played any modrn music until we requested a few songs they where sometimes played...This boat is good if your only going on the ship to get around to the islands...So the boats lovely,They need a pool thats shallower,better entertainment a club with modern music or live music for 18-30's,SMILING STAFF,helpful friendly staff...we enjoyed the cruise overall but i will defantly pay more and go on the american ships next years the service on them is ten to one and the service and staff on Ventura need to learn a lesson from the american ships.. Read Less
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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