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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
Although we have cruised a couple of other times with different cruise lines, and we really should have known better than to take to much notice of the bad reviews, we were a touch apprehensive when holiday time arrived.The check in at ... Read More
Although we have cruised a couple of other times with different cruise lines, and we really should have known better than to take to much notice of the bad reviews, we were a touch apprehensive when holiday time arrived.The check in at Birmingham Airport was smooth and the flight on the new Dreamliner was ok with the exception of the meals which at best can only be described as filling.We arrived in Barbados on time,and were quickly shown onto buses which took us straight to the cruise terminal ( no waiting around for luggage and going through immigration etc ).The embarkation was quite quick and slick and we were on board in the cabin, and changed within 1/2 an hour. The balcony cabin on Riviera deck aft was not enormous but lovely and clean and perfectly adequate for a 2 week cruise ,the walk in shower was large enough with an ever ready supply of hot water and plenty of clean towels and toiletries supplied.We spent the first full day on the beach at the Boatyard and had a very good day.We were allocated freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant and can honestly say we enjoyed every meal,we had a very good choice on the menu and always received first class service from the waiters.We breakfasted at the Saffron restraunt or in the Waterside Buffet and there was always seating available or we were seated straight away. The entertainment from the Headliners and the various Solo artists , duos etc through to Tom O Connor were first class and i can honestly say that we enjoyed all the shows tremendously.A special mention to Tom O Conner who packed the theatre 4 times any delivered very funny shows without a swear word or rude joke. Ponta del Garda gave us the opportunity to visit the Crater Lakes and a Pineapple Plantation along with some beautiful gardens and was a welcome break during the atlantic crossing. This brings me to the only slight negative on the trip for us and it was that we thought there could have been more variety with the daytime activities that were offered ,but this is personal and i am sure a lot of the cruisers were more than happy with what was offered.To sum up,far better that we expected and certainly not as bad as a lot of reviews made out we had a fantastic time and will certainly travel with P & O again.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
After a problem with my parents having to cancel britannia maiden voyage they had a huge deposit outstanding so the 4 of us ended up on Ventura if I am honest not our first choice !!! But do not be put off please ! A relaxed ship with a ... Read More
After a problem with my parents having to cancel britannia maiden voyage they had a huge deposit outstanding so the 4 of us ended up on Ventura if I am honest not our first choice !!! But do not be put off please ! A relaxed ship with a friendly crew and fab entertainment (do not miss the 2 boys from headliners doing solo set amazing ) But the most fantastic revelation was the food WOW WOW as a proper foodie we have eaten in some great restaurant s I cannot believe the quality and presentation of the food in the saffron restaurant !!!! Along with the wine package it was like eating in a 5/star hotel every night ☺ so if you want to be wowed go on ventura ..... The young lady who runs the waiters is fab wonderful unexpected cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our first P& O cruise and it was a near hit , but had too many misses! We booked a deluxe superior balcony cabin. We were promised little extras such as a bottle of champagne, dressing gown, canapés, fruit basket and flower ... Read More
This was our first P& O cruise and it was a near hit , but had too many misses! We booked a deluxe superior balcony cabin. We were promised little extras such as a bottle of champagne, dressing gown, canapés, fruit basket and flower display. The flight down was fabulous from Gatwick a Dreamliner ands embarkation onto the ship faultless. We got our luggage in under 1 hour as well. The cabin was fine, E720 on deck 8 aft, not huge and the balcony was in permanent shade as the floor above extends to the balcony rail. The champagne was in the fridge, not on ice. No fruit, a box of chocolates was on the coffe table, no canapés or fruit bowl. It took 3 days to get the fruit bowl. 1 Apple, 1 orange. 1 bannana and 6 individual grapes.  Then saucer of 5 revolting canapés. The flowered didn't ever materialise. The ship is beautiful with lovely facilities, however she is abysmally let down by dreadful customer service at many levels. Freedom dining is a problem. Although it's good to have the freedom it means that Gala nights are a waste of time and absolute let down. As nothing is put on for them. There are not any special presentation . Ice or fruit carvings - no songs or ceremony. You put on your finery, eat as normal and that's it. The waiters on the whole were extremely rude, unpleasant and poorly trained. They lean across you in front of you. The service in Saffron was chaotic and hit and miss. Yes there were a few who were lovely but on the main it wasnt a good experience. It's clear that P& O have taken the majority of their best staff for Brittania and left the dross behind on Ventura The room service menu, is tiny and you have to pay extra for many items. The bar prices are good. The White room is excellent. The entertainment was good, if you could Eve get a seat.  P&O have waiters galore selling booze, but can't invest in stewards to look after passages on the sun decks, theatres or have a customer relation desks, staffed by senior managers, who have first hand In depth knowledge and experience of the standards offered to and expected by British & American passengers at 4&5* resorts and cruises. It would seem unfair to expect us a fare paying passengers to put up with such shoddy and laughable service for a premium fare!   Also this cruise had 8 sea days, with the exception of a quiz, lectures on murders and the occasional free film, nearly every additional leisure activity such as painting had tone paid for! The TV is a disgrace - sky news, bbc news Sky sportthsts it. Previous passengers were saying last year they had 48 free handles. The chi late buffet is no more.  Most of the buffets have curry.  In fact it's hard to get things without curry! I love curry but from time to time. The afternoon tea sandwiches were weird combinatiins as well. All in all we had fantastic weather, a comfortable cabin and a relaxing g time. But if P&O want to retain a decent reputation they need to listen and learn some customer relations lessons from their bosses at Carnival or even better celebrity &princess Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We booked the cruise through P&O and their after sales service was very good, the few questions we had were answered promptly, booking the shore excursions on line was easy and we did this in early December to make sure we got the ones ... Read More
We booked the cruise through P&O and their after sales service was very good, the few questions we had were answered promptly, booking the shore excursions on line was easy and we did this in early December to make sure we got the ones we wanted. For car parking we used CPS at Southampton and then got the train to Gatwick to fly out, this was easier for us on returning to the UK and the service we got from CPS was very good and we would recommend them. For money changing we used Travelex on line a few weeks before going, the rates onboard are not that good. There seemed some confusion onboard as to what currency was used where. The port guidance P&O issued for some ports said that it was the US Dollar whereas it was the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, though to be fair USD are accepted in most places but this confusion didn’t help as we had lots of ECD. The flight out was a Thompsons charter flight and we couldn’t fault the service, the crew were helpful, the food not bad for in flight catering and the drinks and snacks not too badly priced. Steer clear of the movies unless you take your own headphones, we couldn’t hear a thing. Also we book seats towards the back of the plane and the overhead lockers here are used by the crew. Embarkation was not good. We landed at about quarter to three in Barbados and didn’t get onboard until after 6. Perhaps the prior experience with NCL had soiled us but the process was very very slow with P&O seeming unable to cope with the number of passengers that were embarking, they must have know how many were coming? We were also only given one map of the ship between two with ‘not enough’ for one each, I presume we were supposed to get lost together or only the person with the map could get lost. We knew what to expect onboard as we had visited the ship on one of the open days that P&O hold. The bags made it from the Gatwick to the cabin without us seeing them, full marks to P&O for this service, the bags probably got onboard quicker than we did. After the two weeks onboard we still couldn’t fault how clean and well kept the ship was, the public areas are very busy on sea days but were spotless the next morning. For excursions we went to Grand Anse Beach which was a fantastic way to spend the first morning, the rainforest tour in St Lucia, this was interesting but you wont see much wildlife, swimming with Stingrays in Antigua which was very good, and a boat and coach tour in Tortola, well worth doing. Shopping was ok, duty free alcohol prices are good and if you want a drink in your cabin do not buy at Gatwick, wait until you get too the Caribbean, its much cheaper! Would we go back, well we’ve already booked for next year on the Azura as the Ventura isn’t coming back to Southampton and we liked the fact that we didn’t have to worry about shopping and weight restrictions when we were on holiday! Overall it was a great experience, a few gripes about the entertainment as are set out below but P&O work very hard to make your holiday complete. The entertainment was mixed. The bad points first; you have to get to a venue early for a show or act, nearly an hour early in some cases, and then the set is no longer than 40 minutes which leaves you then going to the next venue and waiting for an hour. This was even worse on formal nights as there seemed to be no purpose to dressing up, other than to dress up! We watched Headlines once and they were dire, the show was called ‘Relax’ and was set to 80’s music. Given the 80’s was one of the most diverse time musically and for dance a handful of songs with the same dance moves to them was little better than a school play. Of better quality was Steve Larkins as Mercury Rising, one of the best tribute acts we had seen. The Tom Jones impersonator was ok, though he seem more nervous than anything, Jimmy Love as Elton John was worth the wait. On the more variety/comedy side Matt Edwards did some good magic, Steve Tandy was pretty funny while Peter Piper was fantastic. Dynamite Grove did several turns and for a young group had a huge range of music, full credit to them, while Into the Drift were very slick and worth the listen. Overall the entertainment was well below what we had experienced on NCL but the waiting times and the short sets was the most frustrating and P&O should note not all of their passengers are over 70. For general entertainment on the sea days it was, again frustratingly, the same formula each day, we wanted to learn bridge but this started at 10 every morning, which meant we would have to get up at 8. Come one P&O, people are on holiday and how much effort would it take to move the times around a little! Bar prices onboard were good a round costing only 5p more than at home! The variety of drinks was more than wide enough and while we did some damage to the list of cocktails I’m not sure we finished them all. Shopping was ok though some prices were mind bogglingly high. They do special promotion days at sea and these are worth looking out for. We read mixed reviews about the dining before we left and we spoke to a few people who complained about the food while we were onboard, I can only presume they were eating somewhere we never found. The food was great, we ate in the Cinnamon Restaurant 3 times, and had one bad meal which was when my partner asked for the light choice to be served chicken and chips! Otherwise the food was excellent, East just about worth the cover charge, Las Ramblas (now gone) well worth the charge and the buffet restaurant we couldn’t fault. Chips and tomato sauce are just what you need at 1.30am, and we were the only ones to think that! I was amused to see some people fair sprint for the buffet when it opened, perhaps they were burning calories, but there is no need to hurry, we always got a seat and we ate well every meal, with the one exception, not bad for four meals a day for two weeks. As for the moaners, do you really eat better than that at home? The cabin was well laid out with ample storage. The pictures on the wall were of St Ives and we wondered if P&O put pictures on the wall where all the guests are from to make them feel at home. Our cabin steward, Cristos, was attentive but not in your face and he must have got fed up waiting for us to surface on sea days. The tea and coffee making facilities are good and well stocked, nice to have a brew when you want one. We had limited towel animals, 2 in two weeks, perhaps because we go up late we were being punished, but the cabin was always clean. The service was the best we have ever received any where we have been. We could not fault it. All of the crew were helpful, smiling and attentive, the Captain, a G&T man, was amusing, and clearly proud of his crew. We heard one passenger call them all useless as there were no spoons in the buffet one morning, we’d been at sea for 5 days at this point and I’m sure Columbus had these problems, and one chap at supper moaned about the service but we just couldn’t see it. Top marks here P&O.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We thought the price, including flight to Barbados too good to miss and booked, "on a whim." We were not to be disappointed as our travel arrangements(even allowing for the fact that we had to start from Toulouse)were completely ... Read More
We thought the price, including flight to Barbados too good to miss and booked, "on a whim." We were not to be disappointed as our travel arrangements(even allowing for the fact that we had to start from Toulouse)were completely hassle-free. The Thomson Charter Flight was far better than expected as the highly professional cabin staff looked after our comfort very well. What a treat it was to be met at the aircraft steps and be driven directly to the Cruise Terminal and our luggage being delivered to our cabin. There we met our smiling Goan steward, Leslie Fernandez and spent some time reminiscing about Goa, where we have spent many happy holidays. We found the Ventura very traditional in design and layout, very much always a SHIP, compared to NCL Epic which is a floating hotel. We chose Freedom dining and ate in the Cinnamon Restaurant most nights where we found the food to be brilliant with plenty of choice for the pickiest of diners. The rest of the time we ate in the Buffet Restaurants which served appetising breakfasts until noon and had themed Dinner Buffets eg.Tandoori, Thai, Mexican, etc. We didn't try the White Restaurant as we felt that £50 p.p.was going a tad too far and hardly a cover charge. We did eat in Ramblas one evening and although the food was OK and served hot I found it to be very characterless, with no attempt at a Spanish atmosphere. Where were the Spanish guitars? How difficult would it be to find a CD? Anyway, Ramblas is being removed during the re-fit. Sunloungers? It's all been said! No change, I'm afraid. The Islands lived up to all expectations, the British heritage very much in evidence and English spoken everywhere. We tried the well-equipped gym this year and had a foot and ankle massage(bliss). Our only complaints are about the timing of the shows. You can't go directly from one show to another, like on the Epic and often we couldn't be bothered waiting till 10.30pm for the 2nd show. Also, husband grumbled about the cost of Internet as the signal was often very weak. To answer my question at the beginning: Yes, 21 days is too long at this time of year and coming from W.I. to UK as for the last week or so it started to get cold and sun-seeking lost it's charm. Unfortunately we found not very much to do apart from one excellent lady explorer who gave an inspiring talk in the theatre one day. All the films I'd seen already. All the staff work extremely hard and are polite and charming. Would we do it again? We are still undecided as we think we prefer the more cosmopolitan atmosphere of some other cruise lines. Living in France we are used to being in the minority and found the Britishness a bit over-powering. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We had previously cruised with NCL, Princess and Celebrity and were really looking forward to sampling P & O but unfortunately we were rather disappointed with some aspects of this cruise. Our flight was a Thomas Cook charter to ... Read More
We had previously cruised with NCL, Princess and Celebrity and were really looking forward to sampling P & O but unfortunately we were rather disappointed with some aspects of this cruise. Our flight was a Thomas Cook charter to Barbados, and it was as good, if not better than many schedule flights, with plenty of legroom and attentive cabin crew. Ventura is a large ship, chosen by us as I do not have the best sea legs and we thought it would be good to choose a large ship as we were crossing the Atlantic. Our cabin was very nice, well equipped with a very helpful cabin steward. However, the public rooms were not as grand as we had previously encountered, no impressive atrium or quiet reading rooms. The dining room (Bay Tree) was well appointed and we were pleased to have a table for two, our two waiters were very attentive and pleasant but the food was not up to the usual cruise ship standard and the menu was not very varied. The drinks however were very reasonably prices, both the wine and the bar drinks, in some instances half the price of other cruises which was naturally a real plus. We went on three shore excursions which we thoroughly enjoyed, our first was a tour of St Kitts where our guide was very knowledgeable and made the trip a joy. We then did a snorkeling trip on Tortola with two snorkeling sites, again our guides were very professional with the snorkeling being best off 'Treasure' Norman Island. Finally, we did a tour on the Azores, which again was very good with a lovely local guide. The Azores was an unscheduled stop but a real gem and far preferable to Tenerife. Unfortunately there were two aspects of this cruise which really spoilt our holiday; the first was the attitude of the Shore Excursions and shop staff on board ship, we found they lacked any social skills and had total apathy when you expressed any interest in any port of call or any shop items. The second was the number of places on the ship where smoking was permitted. As people who like to take a stroll along the Promenade Deck you had to walk through the 'fog' every time on the Starboard side. Additionally, smoking was also permitted in one of the outside bars, near one of the pools and on the balconies, one of our neighbours was a smoker which spoilt our use of our balcony. Indeed, the smoking issue was a real down side for us, we will seriously have to consider whether we would cruise with P & O again if they continue to give preference to smokers over non smokers. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This is our 5th cruise and third with P&0. The others were on Oceana (which we loved ) and Azura (which was good, but not quite up to Oceana standards). Although we enjoyed ourselves overall, on this cruise we found that a) food in ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise and third with P&0. The others were on Oceana (which we loved ) and Azura (which was good, but not quite up to Oceana standards). Although we enjoyed ourselves overall, on this cruise we found that a) food in the buffet restaurants was not as good b)dress codes were not adhered to (bare backs in the Atrium, polo shirts and jeans in the restaurants on formal nights, even when officers were present) c) harassment from the waiters in some of the bars (one after another, they would be on you to buy another drink almost before you had taken a sip from the first drink) d)poor service at breakfast in the main restaurant (25 minutes from order to service and then the eggs were cold !) P&O used to have a good reputation, but we wonder if their chase for profit means that they are willing to let standards slip. Probably, we will try Oceana again, but we'll be switching to Celebrity X or Caribbean if things don't improve. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
My wife and I have cruised 6 times in all with RCI, Celebrity, Holland America and P&O - must say that the last offers best value for money, plus good food, service and staterooms Of course, since prices have dropped the Ventura ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 6 times in all with RCI, Celebrity, Holland America and P&O - must say that the last offers best value for money, plus good food, service and staterooms Of course, since prices have dropped the Ventura attracts a small number of "Jeremy Kyle" style guests, but they tend to stick to the Waterside buffet and Exchange Bar - so if you eat all meals in one of the waiter service restaurants and pick your bars carefully, you will avoid them almost all of the time. Must recommend The White Room - excellent value for an additional '£25, so much so that we went twice! Duty Free prices excellent - where else can you buy two litre bottles of Navy Dark Rum for '£12 to drink in your stateroom? Freedom Dining in the Cinnamon Restaurant is a must - four of us did not wait once for a table in 2 weeks The 8 sea days were very relaxing and I highly recommend this cruise to anyone who wants good food, service and realises that times have changed and that a wider range of the public will now be around - get used to it and chill out! 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
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: March 2012
This was our first ever cruise and we really enjoyed it. Flight with Thomsons was superb and we came down the steps of the plane straight onto a coach which took us to the ship. Check in was very quick and hey presto we were on holiday. ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we really enjoyed it. Flight with Thomsons was superb and we came down the steps of the plane straight onto a coach which took us to the ship. Check in was very quick and hey presto we were on holiday. We had a beautiful balcony cabin on the starboard side and our view the first day was onto the Carribean and another cruise ships and a couple of tall masted yachts...beautiful! Plenty of hanging and cupboard space and Edwin our Steward did a fabulous job of looking after our every need. We found the food in all the restaurants to be very good. We went for Freedom dining and it worked out perfectly for us. Drinks were very reasonable and we couldn't believe how cheap the duty free drinks were (£12for two litres of dark rum.) We kept a bottle of Cointreau in our room for a relaxed 'sundowner' each evening. The entertainment was very good with something for everyone I think. We had no problem what so ever with sunbeds. We ad a relaxed breakfast and then went up on deck and always got a sunbed without a problem but people were reserving and going away for hours and on a couple of days we saw two older ladies reserving both sunny and shade beds which is really a bit selfish. We were supposed to go to Tenerife but ended up in the Azores which we really enjoyed. Started to get a bit bored with the formal nights....three might have been enough but five days with none and then four formals very close to each other was a bit off balance. We had not one single complaint with this holiday apart from the fact that you had to be in the secret service to find a toilet. come on P&O some indication in the public rooms as to where they might be would be helpful. Enjoyed it and would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
The flight to Barbados was comfortable and passed by so quickly, the service on board was excellent. On arrival to the Ventura check in was friendly and fast, the ship looked magnificent in the sunshine. We had an inside stateroom and it ... Read More
The flight to Barbados was comfortable and passed by so quickly, the service on board was excellent. On arrival to the Ventura check in was friendly and fast, the ship looked magnificent in the sunshine. We had an inside stateroom and it was spacious and spotlessly clean, our steward introduced himself straight away and asked if he could do anything to help us settle in. Our cases arrived outside the room within the hour. We had our meals in the Baytree our waiters Mangesh and Daniel were great and met our every need. We had a meal in the White Room to celebrate a birthday I can not praise them enough, the food was amazing and the service second to none. The entertainment was good, the headliners theatre company were amazing the shows they delivered were professional high quality. The only grump I have was the Havana club shows were so well attended that it was impossible to get a seat after second sitting. The end of the cruise there were three performances in the theatre to ensure all the passengers could see the shows, I feel that it should have happened sooner so that everyone had the same opportunity to see the performances by The singers and comedians. On reflection I would opt for freedom dining on a future cruise to allow more time for planning my entertainment on board. Many thanks to Captain Charlie Carr and his Staff for a wonderful cruise Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We tried our first cruise last year from Dubai with Royal Caribbean. We were unsure if we liked it or not, so tried P&O this year, Transatlantic from Barbados to Southampton. We booked late and got a great deal. Had to fly from ... Read More
We tried our first cruise last year from Dubai with Royal Caribbean. We were unsure if we liked it or not, so tried P&O this year, Transatlantic from Barbados to Southampton. We booked late and got a great deal. Had to fly from Manchester, but only 2 hours away. The Thomson flight was fine. left early, arrived on time. Bus to Ship from the bottom of plane steps (great)direct tothe port. Registration in no time, very efficient. (by-passed the photographer!) Found cabin which was excellent (twice the size of last years BOS balcony cabin!) Savio, our Steward, led us in and explained everything to us, he was excellent the whole cruise. We downed our Champagne and chose the Buffet and an early night. Surprise 1 - Last year a bottle of wine started at $40 this year £9 for house white, everything else normal pub prices. The buffet was good and fresh/warm. Yes there are 3000 passengers, but Ventura is a big ship, and you can find a quiet bar (10 to choose from)and somewhere to sit/lay, We never bothered round the pools, as it wasn't worth the hastle, but there are many places to relax, from comfortable chairs on the Promenade deck 7 to beds always available over the Spa at the front (adult only!) Children were not a problem, only 126 on board, and never caused us any heartache.3 Islands 3 days in the Caribbean then 5 days to cross the Atlantic to Tenerife then 3 days to Southampton. Too many sea-days, we got a little bored. There are activities throughout the day, but we stuck to relaxing in the sun and the Spa.Everyone was so friendly on board both Crew and Passengers. Some passengers left a little to be desired and surprised us but hey they paid for their holiday the same as everyone else and so they have the same rights.We ate in every restaurant (9 but 3 formal/allocated ones, so 7 to choose from)Whites was superb, as was the Asian one, East and Ramblas (Spanish) The Bay House was turned into an American diner each night and the buffet had a theme night each night (all good)in fact the food was excellent everywhere.We enjoyed the evening entertainment and went nightly to the TheatreNegatives - The 4 formal evenings became tiresome, and the photographers also everywhere, but looking at the queues waiting for their picture proves there is a need both to dress up and have their photo's taken, so who are we to complain!and we could avoid them. It is a big ship, you could meet someone at lunchtime, and never see them again! likewise the entertainment bars could not cope with demand. If there was a good entertainer on you had to go early for a seat. As said before Sea days became boring, but we just did not appreciate the distance across the Atlantic at 19knotsOverall, much better this year. I fear over capacity will lead to more last minute "deals" and attract the wrong clientele. We will have another go, but either a smaller ship, or a larger with less passengers 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: 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: March 2010
We had a last minute booking on Ventura for her March Trans Atlantic crossing. The journey from East Midlands Airport was seamless as was the embarkation. Well done P&O, MSC could learn a lot from you. Now for the niggles. The food ... Read More
We had a last minute booking on Ventura for her March Trans Atlantic crossing. The journey from East Midlands Airport was seamless as was the embarkation. Well done P&O, MSC could learn a lot from you. Now for the niggles. The food was not the usual high standard expected of P&O. Rating: Could have done better. Lack of Managerial control in Marco White's restuarant. I object to paying £56 supplement for a special meal on a special occasion, my wife's birthday on a Formal evening to sit opposite people sitting in their shirt sleeves whilst others displayed red braces, their Dinner Jackets hung on the back of the chair. There is a dress code and it should be enforced. We had opted for set dining and it was impossible to get a seat in Havanah or any other bars where entertainment was in progress after the second sitting so missed out on most of the evening entertainment. . We thought the Theater shows were sub standard and although the cast gave of their best the singing left a lot to be desired. However the Guest speakers were great, especially those from the Tate Gallery and the chap who spoke on Naval history. Ventura is a lovely ship, just a few too many passengers for total comfort and despite the niggles we would sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Started the cruise by selecting a Thompson flight upgrade to premium seating UK to Barbados. This was money well spent as the holiday really started with the dedicated service offered by the airline crew, the 10 hours or so seemed to pass ... Read More
Started the cruise by selecting a Thompson flight upgrade to premium seating UK to Barbados. This was money well spent as the holiday really started with the dedicated service offered by the airline crew, the 10 hours or so seemed to pass in fairly reasonable comfort, one small gripe was if you wished to put your seat right back for sleeping, the person behind me complained that she could not sit and read properly. Transfer to Ventura was done in style, straight from the aircraft to coach and through a fast check in at the port, with our baggage not being seen until we got to our cabin. We had a balcony suite with a separate room for sleeping and a comfortable lounge with sliding doors to the spacious balcony. On arrival we opened the door to fresh flowers, fresh fruit and a bottle of very cold champagne. The cruise was as good as any we have been on, the food in all of the ships many restaurant's was above the quality found in most UK eating out places. We paid £15 extra each for a meal in P&O's famous Marco Pierre White restaurant and reckon this to be as good as eating gets, much better value than the £150 you can spend in a down town Chelsea eatery. The evening entertainment in the ships theatre was very good apart from one night when the a 'comedian' invited in from Cunard tried to invent his own form of flat sailing jokes, we followed the queue of early departures after 20 minutes. The bars on Ventura offer all cocktails and beers at reasonable prices,I recommend the cocktail of the day, for the price of a pint of beer you can enjoy a drink that would cost a fortune on land. Our big gripe on the cruise was the terrible British habit of guests placing towels on the sun deck chairs, most mornings after breakfast we found that by 9am all places were taken with more towels than people on deck. P&O staff seem to be of the opinion that this is normal on all P&O cruises. We have cruised with other Cruise Lines and found that after 15 minutes the deck staff remove personal effects from deck chairs not being used. Day time entertainment on deck was available in the two main pools to much cheering and banter, we elected to find a quieter and more relaxing pool at the front of the ship. On the whole we found Ventura an exellent ship and would book again if my wife elects to 'towel up' at 6am every morning and reserve our deck chairs. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Flight 9 hrs, leg space sufficient although quite narrow. Complimentary bar throughout flight. Disembark aircraft straight onto coach then within 30 mins arrive at barbados port and first breath-taking sight of the ventura. Following ... Read More
Flight 9 hrs, leg space sufficient although quite narrow. Complimentary bar throughout flight. Disembark aircraft straight onto coach then within 30 mins arrive at barbados port and first breath-taking sight of the ventura. Following security and credit card registration we were let loose on the biggest ship I've ever seen. We flew out on friday so had overnight in port then all day saturday in barbados plus half empty ship. All port reviews follow. Cabin was clean, and comfortable, with clean cotton sheets and duvet covers, the mattress was soooo comfy. Clean towels when required and of good quality and size. Food at all the standard restaurants was nice, always found much than than I needed to eat (and gained 10 pounds) Most of passengers on board appeared pleasant, courteous and enjoying themselves but in a well behaved way. I did unfortunately encounter one woman who 'hated everything and every minute' of being aboard, so gave her a wide berth! We always managed to get a sunbed 4 together most times, even on sea days, so I was happy about that famous complaint. The only few negative points of my experience are: Lack of ladies toilets, 1- unable to find them! 2- when found, always in a queue due to there only being 2 or 3. Also the entertainment, I felt terribly disappointed with the shows in the arena theatre, the dancers talent varies greatly, therefore poor co ordination with each other, also fed up with storyless type performances, it felt like a talent show most of the time. Other venues entertainment also poor, guest acts are all take off acts eg elton john, robbie williams, bee gees and some MIME! Also resident acts- appalling quality, especially a 'duo' of guys -ve personality and no audience command, singing to backing track (although could of sworn every third song was 'sweet caroline') very disappointing PO! Thank god for the comedians, but why some only get to perform in havana baffles me ???? Standing room only for foggy flax both nights. Fortunately we had and good company for this not to spoil our holiday 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 3.4
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 3.0 3.9

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