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Sail Date: January 2014
The cruise was a good value, winter holiday, the carribean ports and weather were great, but I would not cruise P and O again primarily due to their shoody and lax attitude to safety. I.E I don't want to risk being in a fire, or being ... Read More
The cruise was a good value, winter holiday, the carribean ports and weather were great, but I would not cruise P and O again primarily due to their shoody and lax attitude to safety. I.E I don't want to risk being in a fire, or being unable to evacuate the ship at short notice in an emergency due to drunken passengers. It is lucky that there was no fire on the ship as passengers openly smoked over the railings both on their balcolnies and deck 7 and numerous stubbed out cigs on the deck floor. I have never seen such a thing on other cruise lines such as Fred Olsen or Celebrity which take fire safety more seriously. I alerted the crew and passengers to the fire risk, and advised passengers to smoke more responsibly but my complaint was ignored. Passengers drunken behaviour was also treated as a joke and tolerated. For example some people were so drunk after a rum rhunner trip, that one fell down the stairs of the catamaran, and several had to be escorted by the ship's crew to board the ship so that they did not fall into the sea. Two even had to be escorted by wheelchair as they could not walk. Passengers watched and took photos of this walk of shame. Surely it is against international maritime law to allow people who are so drunk that they can barely walk, back onto a cruise ship. In addition to that there were virtually no sunbeds in the shade, which is not ideal for fair skinned people at increased risk of skin cancer. A passenger complained about the skin cancer risk, but the complaint was ignored. I don't really understand why the ship constantly served boring English food as if people were not on holiday and were in britain. The Indian food on the ship was excellent due to many of the staff being from india, but the ships attempts at cooking Carribean food were a disaster. The food was so dull in the main restaurants that we mainly ate at the buffet, where the food was a bit better. There was little peace and quiet on the ship, with the same tape being constantly played even when no-one was there. The embarrasing 50s style sailaway entertainment was cringeworthy and the entertainers treated passengers like children who needed to be entertained. I.E The staff did not appear to understand that the aim of going on holiday is to escape the UK, rather than pretend to be in Britain. The crew were overworked due to cutbacks in staff, as the cabin stewards worked from about 7am to 10 pm. Accessing your cabin was quite difficult due to cabin staff wishing to clean it at strange times such as 12:00 or 9pm.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Having just read recent reviews about Ventura, I felt I had to add my experience of my husband and I's recent cruise with P&O. We have cruised many times before with several other cruise lines and this was our first (and last) ... Read More
Having just read recent reviews about Ventura, I felt I had to add my experience of my husband and I's recent cruise with P&O. We have cruised many times before with several other cruise lines and this was our first (and last) with P&O which unfortunately did not compare very favourably. A previous reviewer wrote 'Butlins at sea serving canteen food' and this describes it perfectly. Food quality and choice was very poor, not to mention the abysmal portions served up for dinner in the main restaurants. One evening we eagerly awaited our prime rib to be utterly deflated with one very thin (you could almost see through it) slice accompanied by tasteless vegetables. The starters and desserts were unimaginative and we gave up on the soup after two nights of floury, bland efforts. This was to be the norm every evening and on complaining to the food and beverage manager, we were told they are "catering for the British market!" Lunch times were worse with a choice of 5 different ways with potatoes, boring salad combinations, curry, mince and possibly another sloppy casserole on the menu day after day. We did try the speciality restaurants which were good but we felt this was the food quality and service which other cruise lines serve in their main dining rooms without extra charge. Apart from Headliner Shows which were professional if a little too loud, there were few entertainers on board beyond solo artists who sang (screeched in most cases) in other venues and were so loud that you couldn't hold a conversation. The atrium had a keyboard and drums set up the duration of the cruise but they were never used and just gathered dust - what a waste! On Royal Caribbean ships, the atrium is a gathering place for passengers to have a drink, observe, dance or listen to live music, thus giving the whole ship a great ambiance throughout the day and evening. Ventura had no ambiance at all - the atrium was soulless and more akin to a shopping mall and when the shops were closed, there were few people about. We found the Glass House bar to be the best for a quiet drink but even that was a main route to the theatre with many people walking back and forth. Sailaways were loud and raucous featuring the entertainment team dancing to disco 'hits', so loud we couldn't even enjoy a peaceful seat on our balcony six decks below. Sadly there wasn't a hint of Caribbean/steel band music during the 2 weeks. To end on a positive note - we enjoyed the ports of call and our cabin was spacious, comfortable and kept tidy by our friendly cabin steward. The Caribbean is undoubtedly the place to be in January to escape the weather in the UK but our next trip will definitely NOT be with P&O.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We had a marvelous time the Ventura transtlantic- would have liked a few more warm days but thats just the luck of the draw. enjoyed the hassle free flight and journey to join the ship. CABIN- It was smaller than on RCI and beds seemed ... Read More
We had a marvelous time the Ventura transtlantic- would have liked a few more warm days but thats just the luck of the draw. enjoyed the hassle free flight and journey to join the ship. CABIN- It was smaller than on RCI and beds seemed smaller too but as you don't spend too much time in there it didn't matter. i enjoy sea days and sitting on the balcony listening to the waves and reading is most important to me, so as long as i can put my feet up and relax, then I'm happy! wardrobe area good size and toilet fine but wish p and o would get rid of the shower curtain. FOOD- You would have to be very picky not to find something you like to eat on this ship. we were on freedom dining and most days we would pop down and look at the menu for that evening and if nothing whetted our appetite we either had a buffet or went to the section of The Beach House that was converted in the evenings to waiter service. our meals also varied depending on what shows/entertainment we wanted to see.Also being on freedom dining as we had already paid our tips on our on board account we didn't feel the waiters/maitre de would worry if we didn't eat there as they knew their tips were safe. when we did eat in cinnamon they were always attentive and nice. ENTERTAINMENT- We enjoyed all the entertainment. we only saw the Headliners Theatre Co a few times but liked what we saw. The comedians and singers were all really good Rob Linacre we thought shone but CLEM CURTIS was simply brilliant. A mention too for The Ventura Orchestra, these were very good and certainly complimented the singers. TOURS- cant comment on here as did our own, will post review on port of call board. A lot of the crew were quiet, but that's not a complaint, rather that than 'over the top'!they were friendly and always said hello. LAUNDERETTE- this was really useful as I'm one of those who hates lots of dirty clothes around. its just a shame about some of the people who use them, a bit like the sun bed savers! A few occasions witnessed people being totally self centred. like the lady who put her washing in one machine and saw the next machine empty, so took one item out and put it in the empty machine to 'save' it while she went back to her cabin to get another load but in the meantime there were other people who came in to use the facility and couldn't. now my only gripe is the medical services- don't get me wrong i expect they do a good service for those in real need, but there should be a way to buy 'over the counter' medicines on board. i had a troublesome rash/prickly heat which started on 3rd day of holiday. i managed to get some calamine lotion in the shop which didn't do much good but as i thought it was the heat i thought i would have to grin and bear it. i only realised after we left the azures and it got cooler that my rash didn't change and as we were then constantly at sea i had to go and ask at medical centre about it and nurse told me to get anti histamine cream from on board shop but they said they don't sell it, went back to medical s]centre and was told is wanted any cream would have to pay £50 to see doc. needless to say i didn't bother. i was also annoyed as i feel it is either the air con or strong detergent being used on laundry as rash disappeared once home even though its been very warm here. ignoring my gripe with the medical centre i still had a great holiday if i could find out what caused the rash i would be back on board in no time. the ship and crew are great so get on board! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
As first time cruisers we were fortunate enough to experience the Carribbean for my partners 60th/retirement celebrations. We decided that as we often visit the Med, that we wanted something special.And.....special it was!! However it ... Read More
As first time cruisers we were fortunate enough to experience the Carribbean for my partners 60th/retirement celebrations. We decided that as we often visit the Med, that we wanted something special.And.....special it was!! However it would have been equally special if we had sailed around in circles!!The ship definately made the holiday, what a fantastic experience. The size of the ship was the first shock, nothing could have prepared us for how vast it is. Secondly the security/organisation/and speed of boarding etc was amazing for almost 3500 passengers. No amout of reviews or photographs could prepare you for the facilities on board and the excellent staff who assisted our every need. The web site will tell you of all the restaurants/ bars/ entertainment available so I will just try to elaborate with some of our experiences. we had a super deluxe cabin which was far more somfortable than some expensive hotels we have stayed in. To sit on the balcony wearing our complimentary bathrobes, sipping complimentary champagne, overlooking the most fantastic sunsets I have seen conributed to the most relaxing holiday we have experienced. We chose to pre book 6 trips with P and O and were relly glad that we did. Yes, we could have had excursions in port that were cheaper , or taken local taxi's to a local beach etc, but I defy anyone to prove that they would provide such good value. We took one local trip with another group of people and had to agree that you need to be very careful about confirming what is included in the price. We specifically wanted to visit the live volcano in St Lucia...which we went to with the tour guide.However he omitted to inform us that the entrance fee for that and a botanical garden were not included!!!! So unless you merely want to visit a beach I would be wary. Our trips included swimming with Turtles and Stingrays which was a fantastic opportunity and experience, tubing down the Pagua river which was really good fun,a fantastice scenic trip on the Sugar Train,and a cycling trip around St Maarten which was probably the only trip we thought was overpriced. The onboard entertainment was amazing and our daily newspaper helped us to plan the day to suit ourselves.We usually opted for the early showing in the theatre before dinner, so that we could also manage to visit Havana for one of the tribute singers/ comedy acts. Each to their own but being bored was never an option. The restaurants are exceptional, and we personally preferred the buffet restaurants for breakfast or lunch only as the fine dining restaurants made the holiday even more special. The White room is a MUST to visit and East was a lovely change with beautifully presented food. My only criticism was that the 'towels on sunbed malarky' still existed and it was often very difficult to get near to the swimming pools. It is a good idea to enjoy the peace and quiet on 'Port ' days. I could go on and on about how fantastic it was but if I simply said that we very reluctantly left our cabin at the end of the trip vowing to return ASAP!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We have just returned from a wonderful caribbean / transatlantic cruise on the beautiful P & O Ventura.We had read all the criticisms but it was a trip that we wanted to do and the price was right!!What a lovely ship - it is vast with ... Read More
We have just returned from a wonderful caribbean / transatlantic cruise on the beautiful P & O Ventura.We had read all the criticisms but it was a trip that we wanted to do and the price was right!!What a lovely ship - it is vast with so many facilities - we particularly enjoyed the cocktails in the superb Metropolis bar, the sangria and tapas in the Ramblas and the choice of restaurants. We were second sitting in Saffron and the food and service were both excellent. We also loved the steaks in the Beach House and thought East was super and the buffet in the Waterside offered so many choices. Yes, the buffet can be busy, but you choose to book on a ship with 3,000+ passengers, and we never failed to find a table or ever thought the shortage of teaspoons a problem (they disappear in our house too).Despite numerous complaints, there was absolutely no shortage of sun loungers.Of course there is limited space around pools but there are so many areas which are so much quieter and we sunbathed and read all the way across the Atlantic. We loved all the sea days and the relaxation they offered. We bought spa passes for £40 each and loved the thermal suite. We have come home rested and feel as if we have really had a holiday. If you like being on the go everyday, this is not the type of cruise for you.There are loads of activities - dance classes, the gym, talks, films etc and the evening entertainment offered something for everyone from top west end singers to "club" acts.The value for money is excellent, far better than a land based holiday.There was a wide cross section of passengers and all age groups. I would not go on a family ship on or around school holidays, so those who moaned about the type of passengers and the few children that were on board should use adult only ships.Altogether a fantastic relaxing holiday on a lovely ship. Now looking forward to a trip on Adonia in October. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Just back from Barbados with Ventura and excellent holiday with good company. Many good things about the ship-food ,beer ,entertainment all first class. Put on about 7 lb due to over eating and tried to miss meals out.Evening ... Read More
Just back from Barbados with Ventura and excellent holiday with good company. Many good things about the ship-food ,beer ,entertainment all first class. Put on about 7 lb due to over eating and tried to miss meals out.Evening meal was first class silver service which lasted 2 hours but on a table with good company. Drank good English real ale mostly in bottles at pub prices- Greene King IPA, Bass, Spitfire,Old Speckled hen and Boddies on draught. Saw 2 shows most nights and all but 1 very good -Adrian Walsh comedian brilliant. Opera singer also very good.Used the gym and wife did Pilates a few times. Went offshore every day on trips usually taking local mini buses sightseeing and beach later.3 trips booked via P & O or locally. No bad stomach and even drank ships water all holiday after chilling in fridge. Only bad thing was the Thomson flight very bumpy and hours late but P & O gave us another cabin for the day and all meals. One of my best holidays ever but I never have a bad one and will be booking again soon. Where next?? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
There is absolutely nothing ‘Special’ about a P&O Cruise anymore. Standards have plummeted to ‘lows’ that are unacceptable in view of the claims made in P&O Cruise Brochures. For a company that sells its cruises on ‘The ... Read More
There is absolutely nothing ‘Special’ about a P&O Cruise anymore. Standards have plummeted to ‘lows’ that are unacceptable in view of the claims made in P&O Cruise Brochures. For a company that sells its cruises on ‘The Fine Dining’ experience. Silver Service has gone, but they won’t tell you. – You have to find out for yourself. – Wine waiters have an impossible work load, not leaving their previous duty until they are already required for Dinner Service and then too many tables. – It’s blatantly obvious then that most tables are not even going to get their wine order taken until after they have started eating and most will not get their wine until they have started main course. – This is far from ‘Fine Dining’ and nothing like the claims made in the brochure about “attention to detail to the whole food and beverage experience.” Dress Codes are now ignored with people without shirts regularly ignored by Crew in Self Service Restaurants. – Has anybody considered that a dress code requiring a shirt in a restaurant might actually have something to do with hygiene? – I don’t suppose for a minute that chefs are excused ‘whites’ in the kitchens and are therefore allowed to drip sweat over food. – Why then should a customer be allowed to visit the buffets without a shirt? Claims in the brochure about Ventura “having places where you can find peace and relaxation” are simply untrue unless you retreat to your cabin. Firstly ‘Agadoo’ type Music is played all day on the top decks at such a high volume that it is difficult to talk and impossible to ignore. Secondly, you are hounded by ‘upselling’ as soon as you sit down. – Previously, the Restaurants that require a supplement to be paid, were only sold by crew outside of these restaurants, now crew are ‘patrolling’ the decks all day approaching customers that are attempting to relax quietly. On top of this drinks stewards are noticeably more pro-active sometimes approaching you before your empty glass even touches the table, and photographers approaching you three times as you leave the ship in port, within hearing of when you politely refused their colleague. – Yes, you could simply say “no,” but we go on holiday to relax and the brochure does claim that this is possible. – Well it isn’t! This is just a small part of a lengthy complaint that has been sent to P&O.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Just returned from a Ventura cruise and was hugely disappointed. The staff are delightful and very caring but the standards have dropped rock bottom. No silver service in the dining rooms which we were not aware of until we were on board, ... Read More
Just returned from a Ventura cruise and was hugely disappointed. The staff are delightful and very caring but the standards have dropped rock bottom. No silver service in the dining rooms which we were not aware of until we were on board, no mention of this in the brochure. Bay Tree restaurant the food was awful we only ate there three times out of the whole cruise. Self service was okay but people walking in with bathing costumes and no shirts is not acceptable. Where were the staff to stop them? People pushing and shoving to get food was terrible. The children on board during term time was amazing and their behaviour was awful the parents didn't seem to worry about them. Jacuzzi was full of very young children without supervision could have been a nasty accident but no crew to bring order to the situation, children jumping and splashing in the pools which is not supposed to be allowed. Entertainment same old same old tribute acts awful. Should have kept Ocean Village or turn Ventura into an Ocean Village. We have cruised many times with P.O but I feel this was the last time. Move like a floating Butlins Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Went on our first cruise on P&O Ventura .What a disappointment! The Entertainment very poor . After sailing for two nights and one day we were due to land at Grand Turk but the captain said it was to dangerous to land,nobody could ... Read More
Went on our first cruise on P&O Ventura .What a disappointment! The Entertainment very poor . After sailing for two nights and one day we were due to land at Grand Turk but the captain said it was to dangerous to land,nobody could understand why he didn't take us somewhere else away from the bad weather or to another island instead of just cruising around for another two days and two nights! I booked the cruise 18months before we went and was told by Thomson that the cruise would sell out very quick and we wouldn't get a better price.  We were then very surprised to see the same cruise being advertised for nearly £1800 cheaper 3 weeks before we sailed. Thought it would be a scam, but loads of Regular cruisers on board said they always leave it to approx 3 weeks before P&O sail and you will always get a better deal!.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
Booked this for my husbands 50th birthday first time with P and O , not impressed , Done 6 Cunard voyages in different ships including QE2 and Thomson Celebration once which was better than expected . But very disappointed with Ventura the ... Read More
Booked this for my husbands 50th birthday first time with P and O , not impressed , Done 6 Cunard voyages in different ships including QE2 and Thomson Celebration once which was better than expected . But very disappointed with Ventura the ship was shabby , service was slow , trips was very expensive , Food was average nothing special in the Waterside if you don't like variety then ok but got boring having same things day after day , main restaurant was a little better , the cabin was dusty and am sure the carpet was not hovered in the two weeks we was on board ,as we spilt some sugar on the first day and it was still there on our last day , bedding was changed only three times in fourteen days , we ordered room service which took 30 minutes and put the tray outside our cabin on the hallway floor as you do for collection at 4pm and it was still there at midnight , also beer prices was enough at £3.75 for pint of lager , husband drinks lager with lemonade top P and O charge 50p for an eggcup of lemonade in a pint of larger which seemed short of a pint anyway , wine very expensive £6.75 for a small glass of cheap rose , spa treatments expensive with hidden service charge on top , Told P and O at time of booking this was a special event husbands 50th birthday , he got money of offer letter from spa and jewellery stores but not a lot but did not even get a 50p card from P and 0 , had to pay £10 for a birthday cake 6 inch sponge which was nothing special and got told could only put happy birthday so even the cake was not special , overall very disappointed a £5,000 holiday been saving for two years , not worth the money expected more from P and O , I do not rate them being a top rate cruise liner , I don't even think the captain knew how to use the stabilizers as the ship was rocking badly and we even experienced a power cut with complete engine failure and was drifting for an hour in open waters , and was assured there was nothing to worry about , sorry but felt ripped off my money is with cunard any time or Thomson ships , Best part was flying on Thomson Dreamliner very impressive , would not go with P and O again as they should stick to ferry crossings only Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We flew out from Gatwick on a Thompson dream liner plane,dont know what dream was as my wife had her foot trod on by the steward,no apology and then had her seat yanked forward because she did not push the button quick enough,when we ... Read More
We flew out from Gatwick on a Thompson dream liner plane,dont know what dream was as my wife had her foot trod on by the steward,no apology and then had her seat yanked forward because she did not push the button quick enough,when we complained were told our names were being taken,for what we do not know,you had an excuse of a meal and a cup of t or coffee ,no refills and one hour before touch down received a roll and further cup of t or coffee,if you wanted any thing else you had to pay for it,great on a long houl flight,on reaching Barbados and checking in boarded the ship and went to our cabins,no f414,it was clean and tidy,was in port overnight and then set sail,while at sea the entertainment was a quiz,hello,is this Butlins,during the two weeks we had three comedians the one from Cuba was ok but the other two people were getting up and waliking out then we had to suffer them a second time so did not bother,the headliners did a show that was good,my doughter had her dress stolen from the laundry and when we reported it were told it was lost property,I wanted a theft report but only got a lost property one,terrible service for the money. Most mornings at breakfast they ran out of cups and glasses and you were queing for 15 minutes waiting for them to arrive,then the glasses were hot to put cold drinks in. I have been on this ship before and the standards have droped to what they were,even the food was not what it used to be,. The ports and countrys we visited were great but sadly let down by the VENTURA,P&O have contacted me and offered me £50 each person to come off the next cruise and £69 for my doughters dress to come off the next cruise,big deal for a ruined cruise,many we spoke to were not happy with things. In finishing I can say I will not be back. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Just returned from Christmas Cruise on Ventura. First with P&O and will be last. Flight and check in was fine and embarkation excellent as no immigration. As we boarded the ship via the Atrium we were all expecting the wow factor. ... Read More
Just returned from Christmas Cruise on Ventura. First with P&O and will be last. Flight and check in was fine and embarkation excellent as no immigration. As we boarded the ship via the Atrium we were all expecting the wow factor. How disappointing is was. Very small and plain and non descript really. We had booked a superior deluxe balcony cabin which was quite expensive. On arrival cabin was tatty bath was very chipped which had gone black and there was black mould on the tiles above the bath. Bedding was worn with holes in and voiles on patio window were torn. Carpet was stained and soiled. I complained but to no avail as ship was full. Housekeeper was promised to cpme and look at cabin but this never happened. Then I learned that some people had been upgraded to a cabin equivalent to ours without extra charge What a joke. Food in dining room each evening was good and the service was excellent and waiters really friendly and professionall.Food at lunchtime in buffet was poor repetitive andToo many curries every day especially as we were in the Caribbean. Cottage Pie nearlyevery day and stew which was then a cobblers pie the day after.It was certainly not luxurious cruise food more like canteen food. We had to pay for ice cream which I have never done before on any ship I have been on and queued for 20 minutes each time as only one person serving. Entertainment was good overall. The clientel left a lot to be desired and the behaviour of some of the guests was unacceptable. We were told by returning passengers that the standards had really dropped. Two toilets on the outer decks for 3,000 passengers were inadequate for a ship of that size and on sea days and New years eve the sea became a toilet for the men due to the lengthy queues. There were teenagers lying around really drunk on New Years Eve with no parental control. Having said that some teenagers just hung around in groups and did no harm to no one. They were just young people having a good time. On disembarkation day we decided to go on the Farewell to Barbados excursion as we would be dropped off at the airport at 2.30pm. The excursion included lunch which was disgraceful and following lunch we were taken straight to the airport and dropped off at 1.00pm. We then had a five hour wait in the airport before our 5.55pm flight home. To summarise this cruise is an overpriced Butlins at Sea experience. I shall stick to Princess and Royal Caribbean for future cruises as both are far superior to P&O. Just because we are British doesn't mean we have to stay British on holiday.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
1st time cruise and expected the holiday of a life time. Sadly didn't get that. Booking a year in advance it cost me and my wife just shy of £5000 for a super deluxe balcony cabin on deck D. First sea day and we had to contend with ... Read More
1st time cruise and expected the holiday of a life time. Sadly didn't get that. Booking a year in advance it cost me and my wife just shy of £5000 for a super deluxe balcony cabin on deck D. First sea day and we had to contend with trying to squeeze 3500 (approx.) passengers on the deck - scrammed in like sardines whilst having to put up the larger louts who thought they could be as loud and obnoxious as they wanted without a care for anyone else. So we paid our £300 pounds to use the Retreat. That's where we discovered that some people had only paid £999 for the same holiday in the same cabin level. Now I don't mind someone getting a bargain but a £3000 price comparison is not really acceptable. Went to collect our pre brought wine from the restaurant - only to be told that they hadn't stocked that wine for the last season. - don't even start about the price alterations and argument I had with the customer services department on purchasing this. The food, was very repetitive in the Bay Tree but reasonably good, I can however recommend the Glass House and East - both very good. Wifi - is free locally in many a port and we had no problem contacting home - However P&O try to charge you £35 for the use of wifi on board. Staff on board - generally excellent, friendly, helpful - low paid, under valued and P&O should be ashamed to treat them so poorly. On our return to the UK - put a wee complaint in to P&O in writing and via email. Even though they acknowledged receipt of the email, they haven't replied to it. No one wants to know, they've had your money and now dismiss you and your opinions. Sadly having spoken to many people on board ship, the common trend does appear to be that standards are getting lower and lower, many people have been put ever cruising again with P&O. Cant see at this rate how they're going to fill Britannia in a couple of years time - mind way they're going they'll probably be in administration by then. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
2nd time cruiser and was totally disappointed in level of service , but what got me more than anything was that some people payed less than half of what we paid for a balcony cabin.... We had booked everything so we could have the ... Read More
2nd time cruiser and was totally disappointed in level of service , but what got me more than anything was that some people payed less than half of what we paid for a balcony cabin.... We had booked everything so we could have the 'holiday of a lifetime' and to be honest, we would have been better going back to Egypt to our favourite resort - we could have been there 5 times for what we paid. Food not so good, got food poisoning, the only good thing about this ship was the weather and the people we met....fantastic and 6 out of 8 ports were superb,but never again will I cruise a British cruise line. As a nation we really do have a lower expectation than the Americans. I spoke to other on board who were shocked , discussed and disappointed who said that they could only use the experience to never cruise P&O again, but highly recommend Princess cruises and Royal Carrbean. Totally agree - I went on Royal Carribean before and spent £2k less for 2 wks and was in a similar sized tom, but the food, people and the ship were absolutely 1st class, staff were excellent.....if only we could turn the clock back...so very disappointed in this holiday. Would never recommend this cruise to anyone - use another cruise line........ Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
2nd time cruiser and was totally disappointed in level of service , but what got me more than anything was that some people payed less than half of what we paid for a balcony cabin.... We had booked everything so we could have the ... Read More
2nd time cruiser and was totally disappointed in level of service , but what got me more than anything was that some people payed less than half of what we paid for a balcony cabin.... We had booked everything so we could have the 'holiday of a lifetime' and to be honest, we would have been better going back to Egypt to our favourite resort - we could have been there 5 times for what we paid. Food not so good, got food poisoning, the only good thing about this ship was the weather and the people we met....fantastic and 6 out of 8 ports were superb,but never again will I cruise a British cruise line. As a nation we really do have a lower expectation than the Americans. I spoke to other on board who were shocked , discussed and disappointed who said that they could only use the experience to never cruise P&O again, but highly recommend Princess cruises and Royal Carrbean. Totally agree - I went on Royal Carribean before and spent £2k less for 2 wks and was in a similar sized tom, but the food, people and the ship were absolutely 1st class, staff were excellent.....if only we could turn the clock back...so very disappointed in this holiday. Would never recommend this cruise to anyone - use another cruise line........ Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We did the same Ventura repositionong cruise in March 2010 and been highly satisfied and accordingly booked the same cruise for 2011, whilst on board. We again flew to Barbados to cruise the Caribbean and return to Southampton.What a great ... Read More
We did the same Ventura repositionong cruise in March 2010 and been highly satisfied and accordingly booked the same cruise for 2011, whilst on board. We again flew to Barbados to cruise the Caribbean and return to Southampton.What a great disappointment this turned out to be! Standards had greatly dropped.We had opted for Freedom dining - which worked well, and the food was of a good standard. Some staff generally lacked training, with indifferent and sullen table service. We are angry that P&O had drastically reduced cabin prices to sell off cabins. By adopting the present pricing policy P&O will lose the loyalty of long-standing passengers who still wish their cruises to be of a high standard and special event. By booking early, we ourselves had paid nearly £1000 more than the latest sell-off price. We understand that P&O must be profit making but the cabin sell off attracted the wrong type of passenger and those that we would not wish to associate with and many passengers expressed these views. Tattoos,body piercings and drunken behaviour seemed to be quite the norm.Parents had obviously taken children off school - for the free kids' places, and on some afternoons these older children took over the swimming pools - jumping in and diving - albeit supervised by P&O staff, who took no regard to the pool rules. Obviously quick profits are more important to P&O than long term customer loyalty.In view of the above we feel that our future cruises will not be with P&O. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
After thoroughly enjoying a month long Christmas and New Year cruise last year on Oceana we decided to book the similar cruise on Ventura this year. What a huge mistake that proved to be. After only a couple of days it seemed as though the ... Read More
After thoroughly enjoying a month long Christmas and New Year cruise last year on Oceana we decided to book the similar cruise on Ventura this year. What a huge mistake that proved to be. After only a couple of days it seemed as though the ship was being run by an entirely different cruise line. Yes, the ship is large and we expected that. What we did not expect was that many parts of the sip were downright grubby - dirty marks on carpeting, really dirty tiled areas in the Waterside buffet and on one occasion chips were left lying on a staircase in the Beachcombers pool area for over 2 weeks. In the same Beachcombers pool area some birds had defaecated on sun loungers whilst the roof was open in port during the first week of the cruise and these were never cleaned during the remainder of the cruise. There are inadequate toilet facilities on the pool decks. In fact there are only 2 ladies cubicles and 1 disabled between the Laguna and Beachcomber pools and these have to be reached by walking in the smoking area and consequently they reek of cigarette smoke. The only other toilets are situated between the Beach House and Waterside buffet areas. One of our main complaints was the quality and choice of food. In the Waterside and Beach House buffets, the layout is very poor and it is necessary to wander with a laden tray to negotiate various foodstuffs. There does not seem to be a logical pattern to where the various food is located. Often the trays, bowls and plates were too hot to handle but this was obviously to help warm up the mediocre, often barely warm food. At breakfast fresh fried eggs were put out and I found that they were cold. Presumably they then have to warm up under the lights. During the second half of the cruise American type streaky bacon was provided but unfortunately not served in the American style i.e. crispy so it turned out to be greasy. The toast resembled re-cycled cardboard. The choice of fresh fruit at breakfast was very limited and repetitive. The even sliced the grapefruit into thin slices to make it go further! Bananas, when they appeared were of a quality that would not even have been sold as seconds in a supermarket. By the second week the honey in the little containers had solidified. It was almost as though they had not prepared for the fact that this cruise was of a month's duration and not the usual two weeks. Steak, which is usually on the always available part of the menu appeared most nights on the main menu. There was no way anyone could opt for a healthy eating option as many of the vegetables served were of the frozen variety. We endured the freedom dining on only 4 occasions as each time the service was extremely slow and when the food finally arrived it was not piping hot. The waiters had a tendency to try to get all the tables they were saving to catch up so that they could serve each table with the main course simultaneously. The quality of the meat and vegetables was second rate. The Christmas dinner was one of the worst I have ever had on a cruise ship - the turkey tasted more like something that had been artificially produced, sprouts as hard as bullets, roasted potatoes that my have 'visited' an oven briefly to give them some colour but no crispness. Dry Christmas pudding to follow with a brandy sauce that seemed to be alcohol free! We gave the New Years Eve dinner a miss and used room service! The only redeeming factor regarding the food was that there was a Beach House diner open every evening except Christmas Day and New Years Eve (unfortunately). Here there was a limited menu but the food was cooked to order and was excellent in comparison to the rest of the ship. It was interesting to note that as the cruise progressed the queues for this facility started earlier each night and there were many regulars using it, who like ourselves had given up on their regular dining room for similar reasons to ourselves. There was obviously some form of respiratory virus going round the ship as included on the usual letter about Norwalk virus it also included coughs and colds and requested people contact the medical centre if they were suffering from these. Everywhere you went on the ship people were coughing and full of colds. It was not surprising as this started on the outbound flight where someone behind us coughed constantly for the whole 9 hour flight! To make matters worse, the public rooms in the ship were extremely cold. It is the first time on a Caribbean cruise ( and we have done over 30 of these) when we have had to turn the air conditioning in our cabin up from the lowest setting. The only time the ship's interior felt comfortable was during the last two days in Barbados when normal Caribbean temperatures resumed. The first week of the cruise the weather was cool and cloudy in the Caribbean and then we headed north towards New Orleans, which was a further ordeal. P and O provided all passengers with the green immigration forms to complete (which have not been used for almost 2 years) only for the immigration officers to throw them away! The immigration ordeal started at 7.15 a.m. and only finished just after 6 p.m. as there were only 8 booths operating on the quayside. Interestingly though, the crew seemed to complete all their immigration procedures in order to start their crew drills and coast guard inspection by 10.30 a.m. Passengers who were only on the 2 week cruse hardly saw anything of New Orleans as they left early the next day for their return flights. Again it is not the first time P and O have been to New Orleans - in fact Azura was there the previous week so why wasn't there communication between the two ships as they must have encountered the same problem. We have been there on Oriana and it took til 2 p.m. for the ship to be cleared then and they only had half the number of passengers. St. Thomas, too, was a disappointment as we docked at Crown Bay which has very little in the way of facilities as the one at Havensight. In fact one shop owner remarked it was the first time they had had such a large ship in there before. It is obviously a cheaper option in the way of port charges etc. for P and O. It was impossible to walk into Charlotte Amalie and the open 'taxis' were charging $8 per person for the return trip. P and O provided shuttle buses in Port Everglades and Port Canaveral but nothing in St. Thomas. The entertainment was the usual mix of shows, comedians and tribute acts although we did have Tom O Connor appearing in the second half of the cruise. Cabin TV was showing the usual range of Christmas films the first two weeks but did not replace these with any additional films for the second two weeks. In fact the interactive TV was quite annoying as it took time to load and you had to get the remote in a certain position to operate it only to find that most of the films on offer were pay per view (not mentioned in any of the brochures). We did not even get a cruise log for the first two weeks and when we asked at Reception we were told that one had not been issued. Untrue as we had seen them in other pigeon holes. Likewise we did not receive any disembarkation information and were told we should have had one. There was no cruise overview issued for the second two weeks and the excuse given was that the entertainment had not yet been finalised! Were they working on a day to day basis and hoping that it would be 'alright on the night' and that passengers would not notice that some of the shows were repeated from the first half of the cruise. Many of the entertainment venues were not suitable especially the Tamarind where they had the classical artistes performing. There is a thoroughfare through this venue and we had to endure the kids club with their supervisors marching through and other passengers having quite loud conversations whilst walking through which is very distracting when trying to listen to classical music. The Exchange Bar and Casino were other walk through areas and there were often queues in the former waiting for the second performance in the Arena Theatre. There were very few quiet areas on the ship to sit and have a drink as there seems to be a necessity to have bands in most public areas. The library was quite small for the size of ship and had a very poor selection of fiction. Many of the books were old and in need of repair/replacing. It was almost as though all the other ships belonging to P and O had donated their oldest and tattiest books to Ventura.The librarian was not always at her post at the times stipulated which meant people left their returned books lying on her desk and others then picked them up without having to have them recorded. It just seemed pointless having the cabinets locked and specific opening times for the library when it could not be supervised adequately. Despite the fact that the Captain, Hamish Reid is quite a character and was on last year's Oceana cruise, he did not appear to be enjoying his sojourn on Ventura. We never saw him walking round the decks. He also seemed to be taking on the role of Cruise Director announcing all the evening entertainment and the shopping events when he was informing passengers that we were due to leave port. He also did not seem to be able to operate the public address system as most mornings in port we were woken by his voice in the cabin announcing that we had docked in such and such a port. He might just as well have started with "Hi de hi cruisers" to reflect the kind of ship he was running. There has obviously been a lot of cost cutting, changes and directives from Head Office since last year and standards have certainly dropped. I wonder, too, why there was a P and O director on board in Barbados on the last Friday? My advice to discerning cruisers avoid Ventura at all costs unless you want to experience how a cruise ship should not be run. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We have cruised over 15 times and have previously cruised with: NCL Princess Royal Caribbean Holland and America Costa This cruise was by far the worst cruising experience that we have had for the following ... Read More
We have cruised over 15 times and have previously cruised with: NCL Princess Royal Caribbean Holland and America Costa This cruise was by far the worst cruising experience that we have had for the following reasons Pre Flight information This was some what lacking, I opted for paper free but information was not available until very late on and the information about the trips available was very limited so it was very difficult to establish what the trip would cover. There was no information provided in respect of what would happen in the event of the adverse weather conditions. Flight This was misleading as the information in your brochure at the time of booking stated that a scheduled flight via British Airways would be used, but instead a charter flight was provided with Thomas Cook. Our flight was due to leave at 8.30am 18/1/11. When we arrived at our hotel the night before the hotel informed us that we were delayed until 12.30. When we checked in at the terminal at 5.30am we were not advised of a delay, there was no bad weather at this point. Information provided was very poor. We spent 6 hours in the terminal, 2 hours at the departure gate (which had no facilities and was extremely cold) and another 4 hours on the plane during which time we were only offered 1 cup of water and a bag of pretzels, and the air conditioning needed to be turned off for de-icing so it became very hot. During this "11hours 55 minutes" we were only provided with one £5 voucher for refreshments. You notice that I have stated this "11hours 55 minutes" this is because we managed to take off just before any compensation claims would need to be paid. We finally made it to our cabin at 3.30am the following day. Cabin Whilst the layout of the cabin was good there was less space than we are used to with similar grade cabins with other providers. Our cabin did his best to keep the cabin clean but the carpet was filthy and every night the cushions were put under the bed on the filthy carpet before being put on the bed again the following day. We had to request more shampoo and soap and we were told that the shampoo could not be replaced until he could hand the empty bottle in, which was not convenient when two female are on board for a month and wash their hair every day. Food Your promotions state the following which is misleading: Dining P&O Cruises is passionate about food - so prepare your taste buds for a treat. All of our chefs have been inducted into the Chaine des Rôtisseurs and the cuisine they create has been inspired from around the globe. They use only the finest ingredients in their kitchens and will keep your holiday full of mouth-watering flavour. Each of our superliners has a tempting medley of venues for you try and culinary adventures for you to experience. This is just a quick overview of the level of dining available on board, for full details of our dining options click on the link. Breakfast - Selection limited - Food cold - Plates often unavailable and dirty - Cups often unavailable and dirty - Cutlery often unavailable and dirty - No service - Tables not cleaned regularly - Pastries were not edible - Fruit was often not ripe - First two weeks we had back bacon second to weeks only very fatty streaky Dinner - Selection limited - Food cold & tasteless - Cutlery often dirty - Service not professional - no recommendations made, often couldn't remember who had ordered what - Not sure how they could make potatoes taste so poor We eventually learned that if we wanted hot food in the dining room you had to order the steak as this would be cooked to order, and if you wanted food that wasn't bland overcooked or cold that you paid extra and ate in the speciality restaurants. The speciality restaurants food and service were of a standard that I would have expected in the main dining room - Wine service - Service not professional - no recommendations made, and on the first evening I was asked to choose my wine for the second days meal. When I replied that I didn't know what that I would be eating I was provided with the next days menu and told that it would be better if I ordered it then as he was very busy! Your promotion states: We wouldn't be where we are today, Britain's favourite cruiseline, if it wasn't for our team. Regardless of how impressive our ships are, if we didn't have the high levels of service that we do on board, our passengers wouldn't come back, but they do. Time is invested in our carefully selected staff. Before they step on board, they are inducted into P&O Cruises through a comprehensive on shore training programme. Once on board the training continues with On Board Trainers visiting each ship for up to a month at a time to ensure your holiday cruises with us are truly special. You will find a passenger to staff ratio of 2:1 on board equalling an intuitive, but unobtrusive service at all times. From our British Officers to skilled galley staff, all are completely professional and nothing is ever too much trouble. This is misleading most of the staff could not speak good English. They are on 9 month contracts and work 12 hours a day 6 days a week. Bearing in mind we were sailing for 28 days, they didn't remember our names or drinks and I think we got 3 Merry Christmases and no Happy New Years! If the ratio was 2:1 some people must have had 20:1 as staff were no where to be seen and we spent most of our time getting out of there way as we were made to feel we were inconveniencing them by asking for anything. Your promotion was misleading as it states: An eye for detail With so many companies offering holiday cruises, what makes P&O Cruises a cut above the rest? Maybe it's because we think the little things are just as important as the big ones: • Providing personal in cabin pamper treats - Not sure what you mean by this - there was a chocolate on our pillow but nothing more than this! • Ensuring your glass is never empty at dinner - We had to serve ourselves a lot of the time as the wine waiter was too busy • Producing a daily ship's newspaper with the latest headlining stories - this was often not available and we usually had to go back 3 times during the day to try and obtain it • Stewards who remember your favourite drink - Never happened as the staff e=were not interested • Turning your bed down every evening - Yippee this one is true! When you combine these with our other unique touches we hope that you will agree our service is second to none.- totally disagree - I don't believe we received any more service that you get at MacDonalds Your promotion states the following which is misleading: Cruise entertainment P&O Cruises offer the very best in cruise entertainment. Evenings are the social highlight of the day when you are on board a P&O Cruises superliner. When the sun goes down your ship begins to come alive with the hum of conversation and music, and you can be sure you are in for a memorable night with our on board cruise ship entertainment. Our fleet presents an exciting range of venues and cruise ship entertainment: Cocktail bars, nightclubs, casinos and theatres; Live bands, dramatic musicals and deck parties; Cabarets singers, comedians and speciality acts; Classical recitals and concerts; Quizzes and panel games to play, with prizes to be won; Special theme evenings including tropical, 60's & 70's or Black and White Ball themes; Cinemas and games rooms. Diverse and fun, each ship has its own distinctive signature venues and experiences. So chat into the small hours or hit the dance floor. The special ambience of evenings on board will ensure your nights will be sociable and filled with entertaining fun. There was no nightclub - someone played records after the cabaret finished so there was no atmosphere at all The tribute bands were very poor The casino was so small and was tacked on to the end of a bar that held quizzes and karaoke so there was no glamour and no atmosphere There was no cinema - a film was played in the cabaret lounge - this was delayed for an hour as they couldn't get the "projector" to work - not very 21st century You bill this cruise as "sophisticated" several times we heard passengers refer to it as Butlins at sea which is much closer to the mark. To say that we were very disappointed would be an understatement. My sister and I are both self employed, so to take a month off meant that this was a very expensive bad experience. I have read the comments from other "customers" and the comments seem to be very similar to those I have made and yet somehow you have recorded them as 5 stars. Most of the people we spoke to, like us, were so disappointed they may never cruise again. We made several complaints on board ship and to date no one has responded therefore at this stage I am copying in the Advertising Standards and Watchdog in the hope that other people do not get the same disappointing experience Read Less
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
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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