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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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
We have travelled several times with P and O and have always enjoyed it . The Ventura is a large ship with lots of separate areas . Our cabin was on C deck which has extra large balconies . This is really useful in the Caribbean heat as ... Read More
We have travelled several times with P and O and have always enjoyed it . The Ventura is a large ship with lots of separate areas . Our cabin was on C deck which has extra large balconies . This is really useful in the Caribbean heat as it gives an area of shade and it's possible to stretch out comfortably . All the staff on P and O work tirelessly and are very polite and welcoming . Each cabin has normal plug settings so there is no need to take any adapters . A good tip however is to take an electrical strip if you have lots of things that need charging . There are white products , shampoo and shower gel available in the cabin in small bottles so these can add to your supplies . We travel in premium seats on long journeys due to medical problems and the extra that this costs is well worth it especially as you get a 28 kg luggage allowance. The extra on board credit covered most of our costs this year and this was excellent as you don't want an extra large bill after a holiday . P and O has always been one of our favourite cruise lines but from a personal opinion we were a bit dissapointed with a few aspects . The time to put suitcases out on the last evening at 11pm is very early especially if you are on the late dinner sitting . This would be much better if it was extended to 1.00am . We were very compliant with trying to keep our hand luggage on the return journey to the recommended 5 kegs but then watched in amazement as other passengers had two to three large bags and even largish suitcases that were way over the allowance . . If you don't need to keep to the limit then this should be very clear or somone should monitor it . Meals in the main dining room were not delivered with silver service but came plated up and the portions . were quite large . This can be too much at times and seems wasteful . P And O also seems to be stuck in using their tried and tested format . This might be fine for first time cruisers or those who don't like change but we were dissapointed that you could predict the day time and evening entertainment . We can't understand why this always has to be the same , the same type of talks, shows , comedians etc . No one offering an entertainment service on shore would get away with reproducing the same material and artists year on year especially when there is such a variety to choose from . P and O need to just make sure that there are a few new aspects to each cruise to keep everyone's interest or like us we will be tempted to look at other cruise lines so that we do get a different experience . This would be shame as everything else is very good Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
We booked this cruise last time we were on board in April last year to maximise our on board credit. This was a fly cruise and the flight with Thomas Cook airlines was the worst part of our holiday, we will seriously consider scheduled ... Read More
We booked this cruise last time we were on board in April last year to maximise our on board credit. This was a fly cruise and the flight with Thomas Cook airlines was the worst part of our holiday, we will seriously consider scheduled flights if we do the trip again. There were obvious queues to check in in a less than luxurious shed but you were offered water while you waited. Once check in was complete we boarded the ship and went in search of our cabin. I was so excited because two weeks prior to departure I had had an email from P & O offering us an upgrade to a suite for an additional £250 per person. This seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity so we took it and were given the Penthouse Suite on the back of the ship. It was amazing, so much space, a butler and the opportunity to have breakfast in the White Room each morning. If you ever get the chance to upgrade I would highly recommend it. The crew as always were friendly, polite, courteous and eager to please. We ate in the Bay Tree each night and the food was always good if not excellent. Lunch was usually eaten in Saffron and again was good or excellent. We ate one evening in the White Room and the food was delicious, I was so full I could hardly manage a pudding. I'm not sure it was worth £25 each but the experience of eating under the stars was great. We used the buffet a couple of times, usually when we had missed lunch and the quality was good and plenty of hand gel in evidence. Pizza was a naughty treat occaisonally as was afternoon tea. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the Metropolis most nights, although sometimes it was hard to get served if they were very busy, this was also the case in the Red Bar. We thought that staff numbers had probably been cut since our last trip. The Glasshouse seemed to lack atmosphere whereas when it was Las Ramblas we thought it had a definite buzz in it but maybe that was to do with the different show times. Shows are not really for us although we did go to one which was fine and we saw Tom O'Connor too. My husband when to a few talks from the guest speaker. In an effort to burn off some calories we visited the gym several times and as usual there were pieces of equipment out of action. One of the rowing machines only required a new battery in the display but despite mentioning this on the first day, two weeks later it was still out of action. We had an excellent holiday once again and would highly recommend this trip to anyone.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
my husband and i took our first cruise 2 years ago on an american cruise liner and my husband hated it.. He reluctantly agreed to make the "sacrifice to take me on a P&O cruise to the Carribean for my 60th birthday on the ... Read More
my husband and i took our first cruise 2 years ago on an american cruise liner and my husband hated it.. He reluctantly agreed to make the "sacrifice to take me on a P&O cruise to the Carribean for my 60th birthday on the uinderstanding that if he disliked it again the word cruise would not pass my lips again - Well given he would have been prepared to stay on the ship for another 2 weeks at the end of the trip I can safely say this cruise was a great success. Firstly it really helped that this was a British cruise ship and everything about it was very British, from the entertainment to the sail away parties, games on deck, talks on Nelson in the Carribean and the absolutely fabulous afternoon teas, with warm scones and teacakes and jam and cream and dainty little cakes. Secondly it is essential to choose the right area to cruise in. We are very active people and not sunbathers. so it was great that we spent very little time at sea, arrived at 7.am at most destinations and were able to disembark as early as 8.15am We then toured each island by local taxi's and hit the beaches for swimmimg before heading back to the ship at 4 p.m to get afternoon tea. It is wrong to assume cruising is for the feeble oldies. We did so much each day we actually looked forward to a day on board to recuperate ready for the next landing. When we had a day on board we chatted to other passengers and took in the entertainment. Formal dining took place on the 3 days we were at sea so I also took the opportunity to spend a little time getting my hair back into shape. We were never bored. The carribean is a delight but I wouldn't have wanted to spend more than a few days in each destination so the cruise was a perfect way to do it. For many on the cruise this was their second, 3rd or even 4th time cruising the Carribean and they suggested on the first cruise you should take the opportunity to tour the islands to get a feel for each destination and then take the cruise a second time and just hit the best beaches. That's an idea we may take up.in 2014/15. The Ventura may not be the most spectacular ship on the ocean but we found it spacious and dined well in the Bay Tree Restaurant. There were some interesting and fun people on our table so we chose to dine there each evening to catch up but had that not been the case we could have chosen freedom dining instead. The food was excellent in the Bay Tree and our waiters a joy to be with each night. In general we found all the staff friendly and anxious to please (excluding security staff, whether on the ship or at the airport - are these people specifically selected to have no sense of humour) The entertainment particularly from the inhouse theatre group was very good - west end style shows lasting about 45 minutes and then on to one of the bars to see tribute acts and comedians. Generally all very good. The casino was a little small and we had difficulty in getting on the tables after 10pm. One great thing about P&O above other cruise lines is they will allow you to bring your own drink on board and take it to your room . I believe most cruise ships take it off you and return it at the end of the cruise We didn't do it because we are not drinkers but many were bringing cheap liquor on board from the duty free shops. The only thing which spoiled our cruise was finding out that people in better cabins had paid a lot less than us because they had booked only two weeks before sailing - some people they had paid substantially less than others and caused a great deal of resentment . P.O need to find some way of avoiding this You don't have to take the ships tours at any of the islands visited. The local taxi's are brilliant, well organised and reliable. You don't pay until you get back so they always pick you up and anyway there are hundreds of them touting for your business. They are now controlled by the tourist boards and prices are more or less fixed. The only cruise ship trip we did was swimming with turtles in Barbados. We were a bit surprised to find our catamaran stopped off a beach in view of the cruise ship and others swam with the turtles under there own steam by paying 8 dollars for a taxi whilst we paid £64 on the boat - we did get to snorkel over a shipwreck and cruise to another beach and it was very nice but next time we would do it on our own. Always get talking to people on the boat you would be amazed how many times some people have been and how much they know. Having seen the Carribean for the first time I know why they keep coming back. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
As two first time cruisers, celebrating 3 special occasions in 2013, we were so excited to be heading for the Caribbean in January 2013 on the P&O Ventura. We had planned and prepared for this cruise for 18 months and it was such a big ... Read More
As two first time cruisers, celebrating 3 special occasions in 2013, we were so excited to be heading for the Caribbean in January 2013 on the P&O Ventura. We had planned and prepared for this cruise for 18 months and it was such a big disappointment. I would recommend that anyone thinking of going on their first cruise to research yourself thoroughly before you jump on board. We had gone to a specialist cruise shop in Liverpool and the advice given to us failed in the first instance as the wrong cruise company was recommended. We wanted a ship with the “wow” factor, including the wave pool, rock wall, indoor mall, but P&O ships don’t offer these services… We now know we should have chosen a Royal Caribbean ship for a number of factors. The beginning of the holiday started well as we boarded our charter at Liverpool Airport (this was a test schedule). The flight to Barbados airport was ideal and the transfer from plane to ship went smoothly bypassing Barbados customs to transfer directly to the ship. Upon boarding we didn’t experience the WOW factor and our first impression of Ventura lasted with us the whole cruise as other experiences didn’t come upto the expected standard. The general area furnishings were outdated, tired and worn and within our room (B326), the carpet was dirty, the towels threadbare and yellowed, the sheets in need of renewing as we found a hole in the duvet upon one of the changes and the balcony furniture was stained. Whilst on board we found that the ship was due for refit in March so we would it would be interested to see if passengers cruising after that refit report a significant change. Other passengers on board felt the standard against price paid was very poor. Having paid extra for a balcony and checked the brochure before hand for any restrictions, we found that our balcony was completely covered, the canopy being the floor of the balcony above. So beware of B deck balconies as this canopy stretches a good proportion of the ship. We have since raised this mis information with P&O (the fact that according to the brochure, our balcony wasn’t “restricted” in any way) and their customer service dept are not willing to accept this fact. I would recommend that if you do have a problem whilst on board then persist with the in- house team to rectify any problem, as once home, the UK based Customer Service Centre are not interested in listening to you regarding your concerns. There were four days at sea during the 15 night holiday and we expected to take full advantage of these relaxing on a sun-lounger. This was not the case as the sun-loungers filled up by 9 am with customers reserving them from sunrise. The in-house literature requested that passengers do not reserve beds and if they are moving away from their bed for half an hour then it be freed up. Policing this request was none existent as staff weren’t interested in the distress of some customers who searched the ship and were unable to obtain a sun-lounger. Some selfish customers went as far as reserving one each in the shade and one in the sun and swapped between the two periodically throughout the day. The feedback from P&O customer services reported that “they had provided the facility to sunbathe and were not obligated to find passengers a bed!!” This issue with beds has been a major problem with other passengers on Cruise Critic Sites and has been reported since 2009 and yet P&O have made no attempt to implement a procedure for the comfort of their passengers. I wonder if this is the norm with all cruise ships but it is certainly off-putting and a bad mark against P&O for their lack of interest to rectify this problem. I have some good aspects to report. The itinery with the variety of islands covered and the length of daily stay in port (normally arriving 7 am and departing 5 pm) was ideal. Booking P&O organised excursions is recommended as it alleviates the worry that you may get left behind if you are delayed. These excursions do seem expensive but the island tours give you a good overview of beach and town. The evening entertainment content was of a high standard but that did prove a disadvantage in itself as seating was unobtainable unless you left your meal early and reserved your seat in the cabaret lounge and theatre. The food was of a high quality in all of the ship restaurants and the waiting and bar staff attentive and helpful. We dined in Saffron on the first sitting and the organisation was excellent. I would recommend eating in the waiter service restaurants than fending for yourself in the buffet restaurant which at times was like a free for all at a holiday camp as some passengers chose to queue jump and many were disrespectful of the waiting staff. The bar prices were on par with UK hotels and the fact that you paid in £ Sterling was a bonus. The soft drinks and ice cream package was good value for money. Ship’s passengers are 90 % British and for us Brits that like our tea available in the room, all rooms had tea making facilities and a fridge. I believe P&O advertising is bringing in a different clientel and the traditional standards of cruising are being left behind. The Captain’s Gala on the second night was a let down as the Captain appeared for a five minute slot at the beginning of the evening and was never spotted again for the rest of the evening. There was no Captain’s table at which he was dining and he wasn’t "Meeting and Greeting" the passengers as we expected. In fact passengers wanting to approach him were queuing to have their photo taken with him to which they would then be asked to pay for this official photo. Official photographers were in abundance but the price charged was expensive and there were no offers for those wishing to purchase more than one photo. I can only guess at the amount of photos that were wasted and it surely would have been more cost effective to have reduced prices and put packages together. The “Spa” didn’t give the ambiance of privacy and restfulness expected and the prices for spa treatments and prices in the hairdressers were far too expensive. Therapists were under pressure to attract the customers themselves, however, appointments were always available when requested and the daily specials provided the best deals. Disembarkation was straightforward and smooth running. All in all this cruise didn’t give us the excitement, elegance and luxury we expected to get for a special holiday and as such it left a lot to be desired. After my experience I wouldn’t recommend a P&O as a company to cruise with. Many customers on my cruise that had travelled with P&O previously highlighted the lowering in standards they believed because P&O are attracting a different group of passengers, those cruising on a budget and choosing to travel at the lowest category available. The late deal prices are now comparable to an all inclusive resort in Benidorm. There was a wide assortment of tattoos on display and a number of passengers chose not to participate in the formal evenings and were wondering the ship in shorts and T shirts in the evening. A shame as the formal evenings were good fun and what cruising used to be about. The glamour and extras are being discarded to the detriment of those passengers wanting a traditional cruise experience.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2011
After a christmas cruise on the arcadia 5 years ago which was superb we decided to try P&O again and booked the christmas cruise on the Ventura. This being our 18th cruise on various cruise lines, we do know the standard to expect. ... Read More
After a christmas cruise on the arcadia 5 years ago which was superb we decided to try P&O again and booked the christmas cruise on the Ventura. This being our 18th cruise on various cruise lines, we do know the standard to expect. After a good flight all be it delayed we arrived in Barbados early evening.We were transferred immediately from the airport but had a long delay sat at the port on the coach, not what you want after a long flight. To our surprise when eventually on board we find out we have been upgraded to a balcony cabin from an inside cabin.Very nice thank you, but we found out later people had paid for 4 weeks what we had for 2 weeks as we booked 20 months in advance. The ship itself was fine although due to its different layout from other ships took a while to work out.The entertainment we found was okay although as in our previous cruise their were no well known celebrities.. The ports of call were fine but there were too many days at sea. The ship seemed to be cleaned early morning and then never again, one of the dirtiest ship's we have ever been on. Toilets not cleaned and by evening the paper hand towels were all over the floor. Trays of food left in the corridors all day. On deck the tables were not cleared quick enough. Dirty carpets all around the ship. Days at sea were very stressful as 50% of sun beds had towels left on them at 7am for most of the day which no staff ever moved' Our major problem was the food. The main restaurant was an experience you would want to forget. We had the worst Christmas dinner we have ever had. The standard of food was pub grub at best, not what you'd expect Poor quality and badly cooked. The buffet had theme nights but had very little choice, lunch or dinner but the breakfast buffet was very good if what you wanted was a traditional English breakfast.We tried the White Room and found very nice but not worth the £20 cover charge. If you travel with Celebrity or Holland and America you would get this as standard every night. We enjoyed EAST but would have liked a little more choice. This to me proved they could cook quality if you paid extra for it. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Just returned from a 2 week western carribean cruise on Ventura and although overall enjoyed the trip a few aspects were not up to a 4 star standard. Flights - Thomas Cook Premium Cabin, Gatwick to Barbados. Speedy check in and ... Read More
Just returned from a 2 week western carribean cruise on Ventura and although overall enjoyed the trip a few aspects were not up to a 4 star standard. Flights - Thomas Cook Premium Cabin, Gatwick to Barbados. Speedy check in and excellent flight with good service. Well organised transfer from airport to ship and in cabin within short period of time. Cabin - Clean and well presented and excellent Cabin Steward, Melicio, who could not do enough for us. Entertainment - Theatre shows excellent but found remainder of entertainment quite average with the outdoor entertainment team being dire to say the least. Food- Found this to the biggest disappointment. Breakfast Buffet average. Lunch buffet - below average standard, very repetitive with lack of imagination. We opted for freedom dining in the Cinnamon restuarant which again was below standard. Beachhouse restuarant was excellent but unless you were willing to queue for at least half an hour before opening you stood of obtaining a table. Marco Pierre White and East Restuarants were also excellent but unfair that to get the expected 4 star food you had to pay a subsidy. Pools and Sunbeds - After reading previous reviews of lack of sunbeds reckon more had been provided but were jammed so close together it was a joke,with towels reserving sunbeds from early morning. The main pool area being a cross between Butlins and one of the cheaper Costa Hotels. Port of Calls - Excellent choice of ports, all good in their own right. Through chatting with fellow passengers got the impression that there were a few grips as some people had paid less for a 4 week cruise than others had done for a 2 week trip. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Our flight to Barbados was with Thomsons & we had booked premier class we were very happy with the flight & service. Had read that premier class was not worth the extra money but we felt the £99.00 each way represented good value ... Read More
Our flight to Barbados was with Thomsons & we had booked premier class we were very happy with the flight & service. Had read that premier class was not worth the extra money but we felt the £99.00 each way represented good value for money, with only 35 seats in premier it was much quieter and felt less cramped the service was very good, good choice of entertainment blankets & pillows provided along with a small amenity pack.Despite the snow our flight left slightly early. Really nice to leave your luggage at Manchester and not have to collect it in Barbados.check in staff at Manchester very strict on weight allowance, we saw people having to repack and throw things away just for being 1kg over weight. Couldn't believe how big Ventura was when we first saw her. We were on one of the last coaches from the airport so had to wait for a while in the immigration sheds at Barbados. Found our cabin easily and surprisingly we found our way around the ship without too many problems. I found it helpful to remember that if I was on brown coloured carpet I was at the front of the ship, red mid ship & grey rear of the ship. Very happy with our cabin mid ship on deck ten C deck, no noise or vibration and C deck have double size balconies half of which is shaded and private and half that you can enjoy some sunbathing on although this part is overlooked. Decent size cabin clean & comfortable with tea & coffee making facilities replenished daily.We had requested a double bed & found this a bit uncomfortable as it was two singles joined together. Powerful shower complimentary shower gel, shampoo conditioner & body lotion provided. We had chosen freedom dining & found this worked well for us we prefer to eat early & were allocated a table for two whenever requested. Had breakfast & lunch in the Saffron food & service very good. Tried the buffet at breakfast & lunch on a couple of occasions & while the food was good sometimes the tables, trays & cutlery were not as clean as they could have been. In the evening we went to either the Cinnamon or the Beach House the service in the Beach House was very good. The entertainment was mixed some good some not so good but there is so much choice I think most people would find something that they would enjoy. Captain Hamish Reid was was, friendly & entertained people on a daily basis with his dry sense of humour. All the public areas were clean, bright & modern & ventura is a lovely ship. The majority of the crew were kind & helpful. We met people from all walks of life & found everyone to be friendly & there just to enjoy their own holiday. The sail away parties were fun especially when other ships were leaving port around the same time.With the exception of the weather which was poor at times we could not fault all that Ventura offered.Would I cruise again no but that had nothing to do with Ventura cruising was simply not for me although we had calm seas I did not enjoy the movement of the ship & will probably not cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
I booked this cruise after being made redundant and wanting to do something nice with the money. When I printed the e-ticket 48 hours before we left, I found we had been upgraded to cabin D307, from L311. We arrived at Manchester ... Read More
I booked this cruise after being made redundant and wanting to do something nice with the money. When I printed the e-ticket 48 hours before we left, I found we had been upgraded to cabin D307, from L311. We arrived at Manchester airport early to find that the check in had also opened early. We were through check in within 15 minutes and checked into the airport lounge. On arrival at Barbados we were straight off the plane and onto a bus which took us straight to the ship's embarkation sheds (like a large hangar). Although the queues were long, this took about 20 minutes and we were on board. We found we had been upgraded to a mini suite with a king size bed, a bath and shower, a pamper pack and waiting for us was a bottle of champagne on ice, chocolates and a flower arrangement. The only slight downside was that we had to wait 3.5 hours for our luggage to be delivered to the cabin, something we had not anticipated. But, wearing bathrobes and sipping champagne while we waited was not hard! At St Lucia, Marco Pierre White joined the cruise, much to hubby's surprise as he thought that although there was fine dining, Marco would never actually be on the ship. We were booked on Freedom Dining and so ate when we felt like it. The pager system used by the Cinnamon restaurant if they were full was a bonus as we could go for a drink or relax in our room until a table was ready. We also liked the Waterside buffet, although finding a seat was not always easy. The bar and restaurant staff were fabulous, attentive and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for our room steward and he was so quick at sorting out our room that we joked he must hide under the bed and clean up as soon as we went out! The ship is beautifully decorated throughout and although we got lost a few times, there were plenty of signs to redirect us. Hubby especially liked the well equipped gym. Ventura is so large that although they were nearly at capacity, we could always find a quiet spot to sunbathe and read if we wanted to. Some of the shows we found a little disappointing. One comedian was quite unfunny and some of the productions were slightly amateur (especially the background displays) but then again, we were not in the West end of London. The entertainment staff were brilliant, especially Greer and Jenny who smiled all day and really engaged the passengers without being pushy. I was really sad to leave Ventura and the Caribbean and would love to go back but we have decided to try out other P&O ships and different destinations first to see if they are as good as our first cruise. We weren't sure if cruising was for us but now that we have tried it, I can honestly say that it's the way forward if you want better than 5 star pampering with top notch food and brilliant destinations. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
last year we were not very impressed with Ventura and felt that food quality and service were not to the standard we expected. The improvements were very noticeable with better menu choices and the food quality was certainly to a better ... Read More
last year we were not very impressed with Ventura and felt that food quality and service were not to the standard we expected. The improvements were very noticeable with better menu choices and the food quality was certainly to a better standard. The ship was efficiently managed and the raucous sailaway parties had been moderated. This time round we had a balcony cabin - so much better and we would never cruise again without having a balcony. Finding our way around the ship was much easier having been aboard before and having a cabin at the bow end meant we always knew which direction to walk! Others felt differently, one lady brought her husband to a talk just so he could help her find her way back to their cabin!! One plus as far as we were concerned was that Catalina Island was missed out and Grenada substituted - P&O said this was due to berthing difficulties but various other reasons were bandied about. We still feel that some shore excursions were poor value and preferred to use local taxis. At St Vincent we used the Sea Breeze ( look for the bearded skipper and green sun shade ) water taxi to reach the beach as this seemed the most substantial boat available as the sea was quite rough. Being on Freedom Dining also worked for us but even so we were often too late to find a seat in the arena theatre fro the 9 o'clock shows - you need to be there at least 15 minutes before they start. There was an outbreak of norovirus halfway through the trip but stricter hygene procedures were swiftly implemented and the spread was contained. All in all a very satisfactory cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
We have just being on a two week Caribbean cruise on P & O Venture. This being our first cruise meant we went with an open mind and few expectations. Right from the start we were very impressed with the professionalism of P & O. As ... Read More
We have just being on a two week Caribbean cruise on P & O Venture. This being our first cruise meant we went with an open mind and few expectations. Right from the start we were very impressed with the professionalism of P & O. As on landing at Barbados, there was no waiting for our luggage and we went straight to the ship. We were processed very quickly and given assistance to our cabin. After a few hours our luggage was waiting for us outside of our cabin. We were very pleased with the size of our cabin, (Stateroom with Balcony). It was plenty big enough for us, it was very clean and well presented. Our steward maintained the same standard throughout the criuse. The Venture is a very large ship and it took some time to get round it, and even at the end of the cruise we were still getting lost. We had paid for Freedom Dinning which lived up to expectations. As this gave us the flexibility we wanted. We were very pleased with the quality and presentation of the meals which were excellent. The waiters were very good and gave excellent attention, plus they never rushed us. The costs of the drinks was very reasonable, and compared favourably to the cost of drinks at home. We eat breakfast mainly in Shaffron Restaurant and again found this to be an excellent restaurant. We visited a lot of the bars throughout the ship and found the cost of the drinks to be very good. Even though there was sometimes a delay in receiving our drinks after ordering them. We liked the Breakers bar in the day and in the evening used the Metropolis Bar. The only bar we didn't like much, was the Havana as the design of it was not good for watching a show, plus it got very busy on some nights, to the degree people were standing in front of the audience. P and O should look at redesigning this room, removing the barriers which would give more seating. We saw a lot of the enterainment mainly in the Arena Theatre, which was a good theatre. Some of the entertainment was excellent, this included the Venture Theatre Company, plus there were some excellent comedians. The singers were however hit and miss, even so we enjoyed the Robby Williams and Freddie Murcery Tributes acts. There was plently going on all day and night on the ship, and in reality it is impossible to do everything. We found the daily Horison newsletter and the Island information leafletreally helpful. As these enabled us to plan what we wanted to do the next day. Most of the islands we visited were excellent, and varied enough to make each stop different. The only island I was not impressed with was St Vincent, and if we had not gone on a fast boat ride from the dock side, we would have stayed on the ship. We however loved Grand Turk as this was our idea of a desert island, Antigua was beautiful and Nelson's Dockyard was a must see. If we had more time we would have gone to a beach as well. At St Lucia we took a bus trip to see the Piton's which was a hike however it was well worth it, as the view of them was a must see. Next time if I went to St Lucia, I would go to one of beaches as Rodney Beach is excellent. St Marteen had a great beach right by where the water taxi comes in and only cost 6 dollars both ways. On all of the islands we used US Dollars, and found most gave us change in US Dollars. On the advice of others we did not arrange any trips on the ship, and on each Island, local taxi's or minibuses were there to offer very similar trips at half the cost. However, I would advice us negotiate the cost of the trip and only pay at the end. If you want to do a particular trip such as swimming with the stingrays or going on a helicopter ride then book these with P & O. We found the Island people very helpful and informative. We had no trouble when on the islands. When on the ship we found there was plenty of sun beds and could find one even on a busy sailing day. Overall we have no complaints regarding our cruise which we thoroughly enjoyed. We would recommend the Venture to others, and gained the impression from speaking to others who had already being on the Venture, the initial problems appear to be addressed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
This ship was much larger but did not feel as crowded as Navigator and there was a more sedate atmosphere. However, there were plenty of people in their 20s and thirties aboard and several weddings. There were only about 60 children and we ... Read More
This ship was much larger but did not feel as crowded as Navigator and there was a more sedate atmosphere. However, there were plenty of people in their 20s and thirties aboard and several weddings. There were only about 60 children and we sailed out of school holidays, so I appreciate it is different in those periods.The cabins are clean and spacious with good facilities. All still looking new and nice touches such as the tea service and fridge. The bathrooms are small but the hanging space instead of wardrobes, is a good idea. We had a balcony for the first time and would recommend if the price is right. We had a last minute upgrade so only paid £100 more than an inside. The cabin steward was very efficient although rarely seen. The ship has many bars and cabaret areas. Our favourites were the Ramblas and the Metropolis. The dining venues were great and we tried all the restaurants except the white room which was always booked. A great asset was the Freedom Dining option. We enjoyed being able to eat at any time from 6-9.30 and having a table size of our choice. There were no queues and the food was excellent. The gym and spa area were well utilized and we booked the thermal spa package for the fortnight. The pool areas were clean but I would agree that the sun beds were rather packed together. However finding a bed was not a problem for us. The areas near the Oasis pool were usually less crowded and there is also plenty of shade behind the sports court. The islands are all very enjoyable and it is easy to book an island tour with one of the many local taxi drivers who congegrate at the port. Most offer 2 or 3 hour tours for about $25 and often have minibuses. They usually wait until about 8-10 passengers are available and then set off. We only took one ship tour which was in St Vincent. It would probably be possible to book your own there, but it was a Sunday and our first port, so we pre booked.St Marten was our favourite with Antigua coming a close second. The flights to Barbados and back were all with First Choice. We were lucky that they were on time and there is reasonable leg room and good in flight entertainment. Free drinks were offered and the transfers were all very smooth. I would not hesitate to recommend this ship and company. However, the entertainment did let down the overall experience and there was also a lack of activities, lectures, concerts etc which we have experienced on other ships. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
Arriving at Barbados Airport, we were hit by the heat and the wonderful welcome. We were then escorted quickly and efficiently to a bus which took us to our Ship, The Ventura, along charming country lanes. Our first glimpse at the Ship ... Read More
Arriving at Barbados Airport, we were hit by the heat and the wonderful welcome. We were then escorted quickly and efficiently to a bus which took us to our Ship, The Ventura, along charming country lanes. Our first glimpse at the Ship left us with mouths wide open. It was enormous and so impressive. The embarkation process was swift and before we knew it, we boarded the vessel with our account cards. The ship was very easy to navigate and we were soon in our cabin. The cabin was beautifully appointed with a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, and dressing table, lit bedside tables and a balcony, from which we enjoyed the views of the Bridgetown harbor and a wonderful sunset. We did find that the cabin was made up with twin beds, but we informed our cabin steward, Angel, and she said that during dinner she would remake the bed into a double. We didn't even have to worry about our bags, as we were told they would be brought directly to our door. So we took the opportunity to explore the ship and have some dinner in our allocated restaurant, Cinnamon. We had chosen the option of Freedom dining, which meant that you weren't restricted to a certain time, this for us was by far the best way, as it allowed us to make the most of the plentiful activities available. The Cinnamon restaurant provided a diverse range of dishes, along with an extensive wine list. The food was always delicious and served in a very prompt and professional manner. There were tables of two available as well as larger tables, giving you the choice of an intimate meal or an opportunity to meet fellow passengers. For a more informal meal, at any time of the day or night, there were the buffet style restaurants, Waterside and Beach House. Again, the standard of cuisine was very high, and was a good option for varying appetites, as it is self service. A must are the Select Dining restaurants, Marco Pierre White's 'White Room', and East, serving Pacific Rim cuisine. We enjoyed dinner at each and the food was of the highest quality. There are many activities available throughout the day and night, including dance lessons, circus workshops, quizzes, fitness programmes, computing classes, golfing tuition, concerts... the list is endless, and it is just up to you as to the level of involvement. For us, we didn't do masses but it was always easy to join in, as a list of the daily schedule was published in the on board newspaper, Horizon. For those passengers concerned about the presence of children on board, there are equally as many activities organized for them, so much so that we hardly noticed them at all. There were a wide variety of shore excursions, tailored to the needs of every age group. We only did a few but they were very well organized and meant that you didn't have to worry about the time and when you had to be back on board. We visited Virgin Gorda whilst in the British Virgin Islands, a trip that we can both highly recommend. The beaches here were idyllic and we really didn't want to leave. Another benefit of the shore excursions organized through Ventura was that they are cost effective due to the transport being provided for you to and from the venue, similar trips can be taken but will usually mean more money, and again, no guarantee that you will be returned to the ship in a timely fashion. For quieter days, especially those spent at sea, we chose to make use of the deck areas for sunbathing and swimming. There is always someone at hand to serve you a refreshing cocktail or two! The service provided by the crew is first rate. You never want for anything. When it came to disembarkation, the process was very easy, all bags were taken straight from your cabin door to the plane and left you with a very relaxed trip back. All in all, the cruise was totally different from how we had anticipated, and dispelled our stereotypical ideas. We really enjoyed it, the first class service, a wonderful ship and a great climate. For a first time cruise, we hit the jackpot and would recommend it to anyone of any age. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
From the moment we checked in it was so well organized and easy. Straight off the plane, into a coach and to the ship. The check in staff were really friendly. We had never been on a cruise ship before and it was amazing from the moment ... Read More
From the moment we checked in it was so well organized and easy. Straight off the plane, into a coach and to the ship. The check in staff were really friendly. We had never been on a cruise ship before and it was amazing from the moment we stepped on board. We were told were we would find our cabin and it was so easy to find. My wife and I spent the first hour walking around with our mouths open in amazement! The cabin was spacious and clean with lovely furniture. The beds are so comfortable with big fluffy pillows. We had tea & coffee facilities, an amazing bathroom (the wife loved the shower as it was so powerful!), nice shower gel which meant we didn't need to use our own. We had a balcony with table and two chairs (I sat there every morning with my binoculars as we sailed into a new port). The first night we were put on first sitting dining but we wanted to change to late or freedom. The staff were so helpful and told us that if we went on the first sitting that night (which was fine as we wanted an early night) then we could go on freedom the following night. And the next night we moved to freedom. It worked very well for us. Most night we shared tables of either 6 or 8 and we met some really nice people, this made dining a very social event. The food was excellent - all courses were great. Mrs G never had the soup as she found it too much buy I often went for all courses. If there was not a main course that you wanted then you could ask for a steak - which I did once and it was good! Water was always available on the table so you don't need to buy a bottle. We went to both the White Room and East - these were something else. We both felt very treated and looked after. On port days we went for breakfast in the buffet. A good choice, I always had a fry up but the wife went for the fruit and cereal. On days at sea we ordered breakfast in the cabin which was free and delivered to the balcony for us. There was lots of entertainment. We never went in to the Tamarind Club for dancing as I have two left feet! But people at dinner said it was good. We tended to go to the Arena every night and watch either a show by the Ventura dance group (the Andrew Lloyd Webber night was out of this world)or a comedian - Peter Piper had the place in up roar - brilliant! Went in Havana a couple of nights for a disco and one night was a crew talent show (this was very funny and some really good singers).Our last late night drink was always in Metropolis - very relaxed. The staff could not do enough for you, our cabin stewards was a lovely man. On one day when we were sea all day we decided to spend the day sitting on the balcony reading - our cabin steward did not want to come in and disturb us so he telephoned us and asked when would be suitable for him to clean the room - very good service. He was always busy and always around incase we needed him. We never did a planned excursion and always went out to explore alone. This was our first ever cruise and always thought it would be an expensive holiday but we were shocked that it wasn't when you look at what you get for your money. We have been all inclusive hotels before but this was on another level. We are hooked and are all set for another cruise. It was one of the best holidays we have ever been on and were completely treated for two weeks. One word - Fantastic! 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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