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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Friend checked for reviews of cabin f334 and it stated do not expect a good night's sleep. Absolutely correct as cabin creaked from set sail and reported many times, promised would be transfered to next available cabin. NOTHING ... Read More
Friend checked for reviews of cabin f334 and it stated do not expect a good night's sleep. Absolutely correct as cabin creaked from set sail and reported many times, promised would be transfered to next available cabin. NOTHING HAPPENED! Could not get cabin cool enough.Reported many times, kept getting cards left stating ventilation engineer had called but no change. Eventually met with engineer and was told that was impossible to reduce temperature as not individually cabin controlled. Why not told in first place? Food of poor standard, especially in Waterside where food frequently not hot. Staff tried their best in restaurant but not good. Lunchtime menu very poor. Duty free shop very expensive for cigarettes price up almost 50% since December on Oriana. Staff responded well to my special requirements and a big thank you to them. Cabin steward was excellent. Overall got impression staff were not well motivated which must reflect on ship's management. Disembarkation was a complete fiasco and whoever was responsible should be called to account. After over 20 years sailing with P & O this experience has confirmed my decision taken following a bad event on previous cruise that they do not not value their clients and they will get no more business from me. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itiniary and to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We could have not got it more wrong. The food was appaling , some of the staff were outright rude. There were big queues in the ports at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itiniary and to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We could have not got it more wrong. The food was appaling , some of the staff were outright rude. There were big queues in the ports at disembarkation and some of the fellow passengers had poor manners. I was pushed out of the way by a woman trying to get to a seat for the next talk in the theater as we were exiting following a previous talk. We felt totally unvalued as a customer and were only there to be exploited as much as possible. We spent over £8000 on this cruise (including onboard spend) and it was a waste of money - not good value at all. After 14 cruises with P&O we will not be cruising with them again.I am dissapointed to say this but standards have fallen to an unacceptable level for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We try to get away from the UK winter weather and, having sailed twice before on the Oriana on similar itineraries, we like the US ports, and although not great fans of the Caribbean islands, at least they're warm. We find the P&O ... Read More
We try to get away from the UK winter weather and, having sailed twice before on the Oriana on similar itineraries, we like the US ports, and although not great fans of the Caribbean islands, at least they're warm. We find the P&O service, dining and entertainment entirely adequate and sometimes exceptional and had no qualms about booking Ventura as a cruise of this length was likely to be child free and full of retired couples like ourselves. Unfortunately however, there was discordant modern "party" piped music played continually at a significant volume in all bars, lounges and public areas of the ship including around both top pools - the only quiet area was our cabin - it was impossible to relax, read or chat quietly to fellow passengers. Why on earth do P&O think that passengers in their 70s & 80s would want "shouty party" music for teens/ twenties blasted in their ears 24/7? The westbound crossing was a bit "bumpy" with the ship frequently noticeably heeled over due to a cross wind acting on the huge superstructure, not a problem for us, but not ideal. We enjoyed most ports, even in the rain in New Orleans, but found Key West, St Lucia and St Martin very overcrowded - St Martin had 7 huge cruise ships in port - around 25,000 people! In summary, we won't be going on Ventura or to those overcrowded ports again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we ... Read More
Embarked without trouble,outside cabin with picture window very satisfactory.As peninsular cruisers discounted price and on board spending money was a nice bonus. All meals were fine with plenty of choice but often a little bland we thought.The first seven days were a bit rough as it was February and the North Atlantic after all. We enjoyed all the ports of call and some were first time visits.I,e Bermuda and the Bahamas,the later was a little bit disappointing as the last hurricane caused damage as yet not rectified. American immigration at New Orleans was extremely slow and took most of the first day to get the 3000 and also the crew members ashore.Weather in New Orleans was dull and foggy but we had a lovely time off the ship and will always make the most of these exciting places.Further American ports included Key West,Miami and port canavaral with a visit to the NASA Space Centre,all having a different appeal with lots to see and do. Then into the warm sunshine and Azure seas of the Caribbean including Grand Turk,St,Maarten.St Lucia And Barbados.All wonderful ports of call if a little overcrowded with so many cruise ships at this time of year.Our final port of call after five days at sea was the delightful island of Pria da Vitoria in the Azores,with perfect weather and a welcoming people we enjoyed probably the best day of the cruise.After this it was home to Southampton and because of threatened storms the captain got us back early and that was much appreciated. The fellow guests we got to know on our freedom dining option were stella and we made several new friends. The evening entertainment was also of high standard with little we did not enjoy.There is so much to do and they cater for all tastes from on board lectures,the latest movies,classical pianists ,we must mention the duo of pianists for Four Hands who are exceptional,comedians,etc etc.Dance classes ,night clubs,several bars with competitive prices compare to some cruise lines. Please could you move the dance instructor from the Atrium area twice a day as her constant instruction over the microphone is really annoying.Nit a place where people meet,have a coffee or go to reception or the shops.This is the on real gripe which I’m sorry to bring up as it bothered lots of us in that area and we would avoid it if she was there. Emarbed in good time and set off home. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my second cruise.I did a Meditteranean cruise on Venturatoassess whether it was good for my elderly father. It was and so we booked a 28 day Caribbean cruise from Southampton and back. My son dropped us off but no porters ... Read More
This was my second cruise.I did a Meditteranean cruise on Venturatoassess whether it was good for my elderly father. It was and so we booked a 28 day Caribbean cruise from Southampton and back. My son dropped us off but no porters appeared to help with baggage but I quickly got around that. We had ordered special assistance for my dad and it was excellent, we were taken immediately to our cabin and our bags were waiting for us. The holiday began I was familiar with the ship and had asked for a cabin near the lift shaft to cut down on walking for my dad. We had a cabin next to the midship lifts. There was no noise, it was perfect. Our inside cabin was excellent , twin beds, spacious clothes hanging area and a small shower room, which was everything we could have wanted. John, our cabin steward was a delight, professional and conscientious. Dining at the Bay Tree was a real treat, the range and quality of the food was superb.I loved sea days best, changing for dinner, a cocktail, then sitting on deck 7 to watch the sun go down before dinner. That is the kind of 'entertainment ' that appeals to me and so I avoided much of the shows. The head barman in the Tamarind didn't t like me- I could never get served, he would look through me and never 'see' me. A loud 'Oi' one night had passing crew help me and a poor innocent bartender was sent to serve me. When I signed my 'autograph' I added, 'took far too long, I am complaining'. Poor man, he couldn; t serve me quickly enough when he saw me after that but it was never his fault.His boss obviously looked after big tippers and to hell with small potatoes like me ! There was none of this at any other bar, everyone was as special as everyone else/ There was a divide on board, the smokers v the non-smokers. The non-smokers won, easily, meaning the smokers were squeezed into the margins. Invariably, when the sun came out, non-smokers hogged seats in smoking areas or took the chairs away. Alas, it is not widely understood that smoking bans have resulted in a camaraderie that non-smokers and crew do not understand. Smokers are social animals, they form large social groups which P and O failed to benefit from, with often no bars open to quench their thirsts. Deck 14 was like a ghost town with very little custom at the bar now that smokers are banished. Apparently, this issue is at the discretion of the Captain and so the cruise I booked, with a smoking area on 14 was denied me! It is time to decide, if there is to be no smoking, then own it and declare ships as non-smoking vessels. Or treat smokers with a little more consideration. It is true to say that in some ways, smokers were 2nd class citizens. Although I was traveling with an elderly person, I was able to consider traveling alone and I am satisfied that I would easily enjoy this. It was easy to meet people, to chat and be invited into groups and it is a very safe environment. Access to ports was effortless but whilst P and O categorize their excursions, they fail to give information as to how easy it is to get to the starting point. I noticed some had a long walk, then long queues without shade to wait for buses. It was too unknowable to risk taking my dad. Besides, local taxis and buses and excursions did a brisk trade at far lower prices. Captain Andy Willard was very Hands On and I chatted with hm many times. He was frequently seen mingling with guests. He was a mean ballerina in the crews ' talent show too. I would definitely do this again, just to see the saphire blue of the sea and the many vivid rainbows I have never seen on land. My thanks to P and O, Captain, his excellent crew , fellow passengers, and the sun, sea and skies that I saw. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and the time of year. We always go to the Caribbean in January/February for some winter sun, and on the whole the weather didn't disappoint. Check in was a breeze, we arrived ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and the time of year. We always go to the Caribbean in January/February for some winter sun, and on the whole the weather didn't disappoint. Check in was a breeze, we arrived slightly later than our embarkation time because of a problem on the A34 but got straight on the ship. Our cabin was the same one we had last year and was clean and spacious as cabins go; the cabin steward Ramesh was friendly and helpful and couldn't do enough for us. The biggest let down was the dining experience, we chose Freedom dining in the Cinnamon restaurant; on the first night the food arrived lukewarm, which was a constant feature throughout the cruise. I got sick and tired of sending food back because it was cold, and to top it all I was served a soufflé for dessert which had not risen and was raw inside - totally unacceptable; I sent it back and the restaurant manager came over, apologised and asked if I wanted something else, I declined as my wife had finished eating and was ready to go. One thing we couldn't fault was the waiters, they were all friendly, polite and really helpful. The entertainment was average at best, some acts were outstanding, The Beatles Experience and Beautiful World (celebrating the music of Take That) were brilliant but some were dreadful. One so-called comedian was constantly looking at his watch and was only on for 30 minutes. We had one of the chasers on board from The Chase, Shaun Wallace, and he was really good, a lovely, humble man who was a pleasure to meet. He gave talks in the arena theatre about his life, and took part in P&O's version of The Chase called The Pursuit, he was a good sport and great fun. Some ports were nice, but some, if we never go there again it will be too soon. St Maarten is always good, as is Barbados; we did a P&O photography tour on Barbados and it was really good. The guide Ronnie Carrington was really good, he took us to some beautiful spots and was a pleasure to be with. St Vincent was a let down, the streets where the shops and markets are were dirty and smelly. A hidden gem was Praia de Vittoria, what a beautiful clean town, with plenty of shops and cafes which had very reasonable prices. Disembarkation was easy for us because we took our own cases off, but we heard later there were major problems with luggage not being in the correct place and arriving late; this doesn't surprise me, because when I took our cases down in the morning there was still cases in the corridors. This is probably the last time we will cruise with P&O, because the cuts they are making really showing. There used to be fresh orange at breakfast, that is now cheap orange squash; the biscuits in the cabin are plain and cheap, and anybody wanting decaffeinated tea bags at mealtimes had to ask for them as they were never put out. The chocolate afternoon has gone, and the prizes for the prize passports are vastly inferior to years gone by. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We thought it was very good value for a 28 night cruise. We had an inside cabin, it was perfectly ok. Very powerful shower, plenty of clothes storage and very comfortable queen size bed. Our cabin steward Jofran was a really nice guy, ... Read More
We thought it was very good value for a 28 night cruise. We had an inside cabin, it was perfectly ok. Very powerful shower, plenty of clothes storage and very comfortable queen size bed. Our cabin steward Jofran was a really nice guy, worked hard and made our cabin up at least twice a day. The staff in all the restuarants were excellent very friendly and always smiling ! We enjoyed the entertainment... Terry Brown ex- Detective provided some interesting talks and a murder mystery..... kept our minds active ha ha. The shows were top quality Dean as Freddie Mercury was excellent, as was Astonishing ! Thank you all the ship's company for a super holiday. Captain Andy Willard and his officers, Nathalie and the entertainment team, Dan, Anthony, Grace etc. Dominic from the headliners. Only comment we would have liked to have spent longer in the fantastic destinations. I heard some comments about chaos of disembarkation but to be fair it was snowing in Southampton AND there were about 3,000 passengers and their luggage (28 nights worth) to disembark. Overall great cruise I'd go again, same ship, same places tommorrow ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Having booked Oriana early, we then found ourselves rapidly making the best out of a bad job when P&O cancelled 5 weeks before sailing. Ventura had a similar itinerary sailing during the same timeframe. Many other cancelled guests did ... Read More
Having booked Oriana early, we then found ourselves rapidly making the best out of a bad job when P&O cancelled 5 weeks before sailing. Ventura had a similar itinerary sailing during the same timeframe. Many other cancelled guests did the same and we ended up on an overcrowded ship with pressure on every venue. In order to get a decent seat in the theatre people were queuing from 5.20 pm to get into the Freedom dining restaurant each evening. The Waterside buffet was impossible to get around at peak times. The choice of food everywhere was very good and the menus read as you would expect from fine dining but what a shame they couldn’t deliver! Generally, as food is cooked ahead of time except in eating places that charged extra, it was mostly below par. Overcooked fish, green beans every day even if it wasn’t incuded in your choice from the menu .. It amounted to a piece of meat or fish with veg and potatoes on the whole each day and even the mash was grey! One evening there was Coq au Vin actually on the menu which I chose. It was pan fried chicken and the sauce was made from lamb gravy (very easily detected flavour). Of course, lamb was also on the menu. Much has already been remarked on in other reviews about inadequacy of some venues and the shutting of the shops several days prior to the end of the cruise, the overpriced excursions and pressure on activities due to the volume of people etc etc. It would be easy to go on... but one thing that maybe needs saying is that the total debacle of the immigration process in New Orleans, losing us best part of a day, is being blamed on US immigration...according to a member of US staff, knowing how many passengers there were, Immigration were ready and waiting at 6.30am. The ship did not allow passengers off until nearly 2 hours later. By the time the process had gone on for an hour or so, their staff were needing to go off for breaks making the number of officers less. I can’t verify this, I only know what I was told but I have to say that it looked pretty feasible as why else would they be heading off for breaks an hour after starting work and why on earth did it take all day? We have cruised to US before and had a fairly easy and relatively quick process. Then to not be allowed off the ship after going through the process having returned from a tour because some poor folks were still waiting to get off to go through immigration, was disgraceful. Sadly, all in all it felt like there were lots of moaners on the ship but really P&O, you gave us so much ammunition! The hardworking Staff are pleasant and helpful, endeavouring to do their best for the guests.. they are an asset to the Company. After several very enjoyable cruises over the years, 2 previously with P&O albeit quite a few years ago, this was very disappointing, standards are seriously slipping so we will be looking to other Companies from now on. In particular,those with smaller ships. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Because we wanted to try cruising, we usually have seven weeks in Key Largo, we decided we needed a change. Because we wanted some sun a Caribbean cruise seemed a good option. Also the ship left and returned to Southampton. The cabin, ... Read More
Because we wanted to try cruising, we usually have seven weeks in Key Largo, we decided we needed a change. Because we wanted some sun a Caribbean cruise seemed a good option. Also the ship left and returned to Southampton. The cabin, food and entertainment suited us fine. I attended art classes every sea day, they were brilliant. As we were first time cruisers I was scared of missing boat and so we booked P and O trips in all the Caribbean Islands, New Orleans and Charleston. Apart from the kayaking and snorkleing in Antigua which was marvellous, the Dunnes Falls etc. In Jamacia and the Tea Plantatin visit (me) and Patriots Point (husband ) in Charleston the trips in Barbados and New Orleans were the biggest waste of time and money I've ever spent. The people who organise these trips for P and O need to get out and do them themselves before they charge the exorbitant prices they do. In New Orleans we booked ourselves onto a Mississippi Riverboat trip for $40 for two, P and O charged over $60 per person for exactly the same trip. This is a rip off and they should be ashamed. P and O also need to get into a discussion with US immigration and refuse to use American ports until they streamline the exit process for 4000 passengers and crew. It took us from docking and collecting our exit ticket at 7:15am until 12:45pm to leave the ship and it took other passengers a great deal longer. Therefore a day wasted. Take away the income these ships bring in and it will soon be sorted. Put a woman in charge!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
we picked the ventura because we had been on this ship severals years ago and all was ok, the day we set sail from southampton it soon became clear there was something very wrong the ship was performing like a row boat it was rolling ... Read More
we picked the ventura because we had been on this ship severals years ago and all was ok, the day we set sail from southampton it soon became clear there was something very wrong the ship was performing like a row boat it was rolling side to side very badly and as we were on the top deck it seemed even worse for us . i got talking to a engineer the 2nd night out at 2am because i could not sleep and he told me the stabilizers were not operating properly. hence 35 nights of no sleep being thrown from pillar to post not a good experience at all , one of the nights it was so bad that i got flung in to the corner of the bathroom wall and split the top of my eye open right to the bone. The ship was completely full because two other ships of p&o were completely unfit to sail as i think the ventura was, hench it was chaos on that ship lifts always full people coughing on you,both my wife and i got bad flue,in bed for 3-4 days, in the buffet dinning room it was crowded all the time pushing and shoving, one of the staff told me there were 2 old ladies trying to hit each other, it was total madness. I went on the internet for 2 mins and noticed a £16-25 price tab and rang down to complain,the liberian called gennifer just rang me up and said come down and i will show you that you were on for 25 mins, so i went down and all i got was a load of abuse and the lady behind me said that was her complaint as well, after getting to the customer service manager he checked and said sorry the computer was not logging people out this all tuck 2 days and a lot of phone calls lucky this manager called chai was very good at his job. The toilet in the cabin was out of action 4 times the tv kept going of, the air con gave every one a sore throat 1 man told me he had to put a wet towel around every night we were lucky we had a balcony we just left the door open, to top it all off the ship started listing about 30 degrees to the port and all the staff could that there were to many fat people on the port side , it has taken us both 2 weeks to get over this nightmare . We travel every year from portsmouth to bilbao on a ferry and have had some rough seas but never ever been tossed about as much. THAT SHIP SHOULD HAVE NEVER SET SAIL. P&O SHOULD REFUND EVERY PASSENGER. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We were cancelled off the Oriana and decided to go on this one, unfortunately, probably the worst cruise I have ever been on, and we have cruised a lot, the Cabin was a Superior De-Luxe Balcony, the carpets were dirty, the settee was was ... Read More
We were cancelled off the Oriana and decided to go on this one, unfortunately, probably the worst cruise I have ever been on, and we have cruised a lot, the Cabin was a Superior De-Luxe Balcony, the carpets were dirty, the settee was was awful, it was so old you sat on it and slid off, it needed replacing, the TVs were so old, and were secured on a shelf so that I IF you sat on the settee you only saw the top half, the bath had no mat or strips to stop you slipping, as I had just had a new hip I didn’t feel safe, I eventually got one after complaining. Apart from breakfast you now have to pay for Room service, Ice cream in the afternoon used to be free, it’s now £2.50. The food in the restaurant was adequate, if you wanted something better you had to pay £26 a head, There was no ballroom so the dancing took place in the Atrium next to the Costa coffee bar, so sitting there having a coffee meant you had to sit there and listen to ‘Cotton eyed Joe’ blaring out. There was no cinema, so any film shown was in the theatre in the afternoon. The theatre, called The Arena, held approx 850 people,with 3251 people you do the maths, you had to be in a seat at least 45 minutes before the show to get a seat. The shows that were in the Havana lounge were spoilt by firstly a terrible sound system, but also by some horrible big pillars and illuminated walls in front of the seats which meant all the artistes saw was heads, whoever designed this room was a novice, when we docked in New Orleans it was a total farce, no fault of P&O’s it was the immigration that was at fault. The entertainment was first class, as were the ‘Talks’. One other thing I found out from a passenger, if you are an ex serviceman you are given extra on board spending money, I would not have known this if it wasn’t for him, I would have thought that this could be put on the booking form. The staff were very good and our cabin steward, Jude, was excellent. We have been on the Aurora for a World Cruise, 106 nights in 2013 and it was brilliant, since the P & O’s standards have slipped and its all about how much money they can take of you and giving as little as possible in return, This cruise line USED to be one of the best in the world. Not now. One nice touch Dixon’s have a shop on board. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
There were several negative reviews of Ventura and P&0 in general before we stepped onboard. We booked end of the summer 2017,we wanted a winter cruise visiting some places we had not been before. Picked our cabin, balcony on A deck, ... Read More
There were several negative reviews of Ventura and P&0 in general before we stepped onboard. We booked end of the summer 2017,we wanted a winter cruise visiting some places we had not been before. Picked our cabin, balcony on A deck, received good onboard spend and free coach to and from Southampton. Because of the hurricane a couple of Caribbean islands were changed, but that could not be helped. Coach trip was fine, comfortable Ellison bus. We were quickly onboard, cases arrived and unpacked before muster! Cabin was clean and comfortable, well looked after by our cabin girl. My OH found the bed uncomfortable, happened to mention this to the hotel manager, within half an hour we had new mattress and a follow up phone call asking how the bed was. Then we came back from dinner to find a floral arrangement compliments of the deck manager for our inconvenience. Ate in Cinnamon restaurant on a freedom basis. Shared tables, but found if we went around 7.30pm the guests who queued for the restaurant opening at 6pm, were coming out and we often got a table for 2. Sometimes we had a bleeper,never had to wait long. Food was good, lots of choice, always got offered cheese and biscuits. Plates were hot. Waiters pleasant, remembered you even though you were not at their tables every night. Went 3 times to Beach House, and twice to Sindhu. All fantastic meals. Only went to buffet for occasional breakfasts and lunches, again food good, but could not be doing with the ‘scrum’. You had to pick your time. Used Costa for breakfasts, yogurt and fresh fruit. Entertainment is subjective, for our taste, we found it good. A range of excellent musicians,comedians, Headliner shows,and singers. If you are into quizzes and bingo, plenty to keep you entertained. We enjoyed interesting lectures, some good and nots so good films. We booked most of our shore excursions through P&O before we sailed. Very pleased that we did because a lot of excursions were waiting list only or sold out. Enjoyed them all. Especially Barbados, we had an excellent guide. Emigrated in New Orleans which took quite a while. We were lucky and had picked a morning excursion, we were only an hour and a half late, some passengers did not get off the ship until 4pm! Not so good points. There was a huge storm in the Atlantic which the captain quite rightly decided to avoid, this meant that we had 10 straight sea days back to Southampton. Missing out the Azores. Also a medical emergency. All praise to the crew on both the ship and Spanish helicopter who safely airlifted the passenger. The Havana lounge is a dreadful venue. Christened the ‘meerkat ‘ lounge ! Ventura is at this moment undergoing a refurbishment. It certainly was not as scruffy as portrayed in some reviews. Drinks are still reasonable with no service charge added. All the shops are being changed with Harding Bros. no longer have the franchise. Staff without exception are pleasant and helpful. P&O still have a good product, cruising has changed in the last few years, not for the better if you listen to the long time cruisers. Even though we have cruised with several other companies we still come back to P&O. Thank Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
A cruise chosen because of the itinerary (including New Orleans, Tortola and Amber Cove) but which was a little disappointing when Tortola and Amber Cove were changed to Antigua and Ocho Rios after Hurricane Irma. The ship itself was OK if ... Read More
A cruise chosen because of the itinerary (including New Orleans, Tortola and Amber Cove) but which was a little disappointing when Tortola and Amber Cove were changed to Antigua and Ocho Rios after Hurricane Irma. The ship itself was OK if not a little tired, it has gone in for a refit now. Have never heard so much moaning among fellow passengers about nearly everything. Food in main restaurants was pretty bland and nearly all overcooked. If you liked French beans you'd be OK because they were served with just about every meal!! However, the food in the specialty restaurants being Epicurean, Sindhu and the Glass House was superb and worth the extra money. They should give the waiting staff in the main restaurants lessons in the art of conversation (we are used to having conversations with the staff on Princess and building relationships but this was non existent on Ventura). Entertainment was excellent but I wish Spa staff would stop the hard sell tactics after a massage or gym class. We don't go on holiday to be at the receiving end of this kind of high pressure selling!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Original cruise cancelled by p and o ,this was a similar venue .Vastly overcrowded ,poor food quality ,not even enough sun beds available the company should be ashamed and offer compensation to everyone .A lot of damage to their reputation ... Read More
Original cruise cancelled by p and o ,this was a similar venue .Vastly overcrowded ,poor food quality ,not even enough sun beds available the company should be ashamed and offer compensation to everyone .A lot of damage to their reputation has occurred .We are looking at other companies for future travels. Lack of cleanliness too resulting in cleaning the bathroom / toilet myself ,toiletries and shower caps not provided unless we asked for them Dirty carpet in the cabin and dull lighting , Queuing for meals was tedious and when finally getting served the food was cold , burnt or tasteless !The desserts were the same .Should have complained but I felt sorry for the staff an impossibility catering for so many ,Entertainment was good but had to be in the Arena by 745 to be sure of having a seat Then a scramble to the Havana to get a decent view if not there were televisions dotted around for you to watch the shows ( Joke!)The exchange bar always full never managed to get seating in there .End of rant I was so happy to arrive in Southampton !! Not booking another cruise for this year will wait for much needed improvements Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise for my wife's 60th having used P&O before on a number of occasions, sadly things are not what they used to be. The dining experience is now average in terms of product and service, green beans with everything, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my wife's 60th having used P&O before on a number of occasions, sadly things are not what they used to be. The dining experience is now average in terms of product and service, green beans with everything, if they could serve them as a dessert I think they would! Waiters have had cutbacks and are overworked resulting in a poorer service which is not their fault. The dining room ceiling leaked form the air conditioning unit and we had this problem on 3 nights, eventually being moved table. The food was passable and you will not go hungry on the ship as there is always a buffet open somwhere on the ship. The ship is in need of the refurbishment it is currently getting in Brest,France. Our cabin was spacious as it was a deluxe cabin and it was also a bit tired, the grouting around the bath was black and carpets needed replaced. There was a leak in our balcony door which soaked the carpet. However saying all that the bed was very comfortable and cabin steward excellent always ensuring we had everything we need for a comfortable stay. The entertainment was of a good standard, other activities where geared for P&Os elderly clientele and was standard fair, is shuffledeck,table tennis, quizes, bridge clubs and not to mention the ballroom dancing classes in the atrium. The Atrium could be put to better use as it is the hub of the ship and we would have liked to see more live music in this area as it would have helped the atmosphere on the 3 floors which it serves. The Arena theatre is the main area for twice night shows and was very busy on our cruise as the ship was full, (in fact you needed to get to your seat 30 minutes before most shows to ensure a seat). The Havana lounge at the opposite end is a terrible venue and was known as the Meerkat lounge due to the high backed seats (the comedian mentioned he could only see the heads of the audience popping up and down like meerkats). The ports of call were good and excursions offered quite good but certainly not cheap. They do look after your safety though and tend to go a bit overboard sometimes, that was not a pun! Overall we did enjoy our cruise however would avoid going back on the Ventura even after the current refit it is undergoing. The ship is just not to our liking, the Arena's seats are to tight, Havana lounge enough said, no separate Cinema which should be a given on such a large ship. Carnival have striped bare much of the niceties of a P&O cruise and not replaced them with anything. We will try other lines in future to see if there is better value for money to be had. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
P & O VENTURA –NEVER AGAIN! Caribbean and USA cruise 2018 The Ventura is arguably an overcrowded, currently very dilapidated, nautical selling machine designed to milk every last penny from its on-board, captive, customer group. ... Read More
P & O VENTURA –NEVER AGAIN! Caribbean and USA cruise 2018 The Ventura is arguably an overcrowded, currently very dilapidated, nautical selling machine designed to milk every last penny from its on-board, captive, customer group. At base, the Ventura is a giant floating shopping mall. Ventura’s design, indeed its whole purpose, is to act as a selling and up-selling operation. That’s why this ship has three decks of retail outlets. Of course, P & O’s nonstop selling spreads well beyond the shops. Apart from the toilets, everywhere else, (public or private), that passengers go on the Ventura is exploited as a market place. If you like to queue, then the Ventura is the ship for you. You queue to get on board and you queue to get off. In the buffet you queue to get plates, bowls, and cutlery and then you queue to get to the service stations and the tea and coffee dispensers. The queues for the restaurants begin up to 45 minutes before they open. You queue to book a shore excursion. That queue actually starts weeks before the cruise departs. Some trips are fully booked before any passengers have even boarded. If you do get a place on an excursion then P & O likes to get you into multiple queues well before they let you board the bus. You even have to queue to get the ship’s newspaper and the daily crossword. Although the queuing on Ventura is indeed world class, two spectacular queuing events deserve special mention. Firstly there was P & O’s attempt at queuing-time record breaking in New Orleans where they organised an impressively long 9½ -hour disembarkation queue. By the way guys, your diffident announcement advising passengers that there was only a ‘slight delay’ was far too modest. Be proud of what you achieved! Even more impressive were the efforts of some passengers who camped outside the disembarkation ticket issuing office from 4.30 a.m. onwards to make sure that they were first in-line when it eventually opened. Unquestionably this was British queuing at its best. Such ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ dedication surely deserves a Q.V.C? Experienced cruisers have of course been aware of P & O’s rush downmarket over the last 10 years or so. In recent times, this rush has become a stampede. This shows in the ever declining standards to be encountered throughout P & O’s service delivery. On Ventura, dirty toilets, decrepit furniture, and defective facilities are to be found throughout the ship. The food has lost any hint of a ‘wow’ factor, (unless you like green beans – they were served at lunch and dinner everyday). Inevitably, when they build larger and larger ships, crowd on more and more punters, and worsen the crew/passenger ratio, something has to give. That something is the overall levels of the onboard facilities. The Ventura has no proper ballroom, no quiet spaces, and nothing like enough seating in its theatre, its cafeterias, or its lounges. Clearly, like the airports, P & O prefer to keep its customers on their feet. That way the passengers keep on moving and keep on buying. P & O’s marketing strategy hides the true cost of their cruises. More and more of what used to be included in the fare now has to be paid as extras by the passengers. Buying a P & O cruise is rather like buying a ticket from a budget airline. The headline cost does not tell you what the real cost of your holiday is. That is why, on the Ventura, everything above a core minimum has to be paid for. And pay you do – though the nose! Take for example two people sharing a cabin on a five week, out of season, trip. Buying a full service Wi-Fi package would cost them over £700. Add that to the suggested level of daily gratuities and they could be down over £1500 from Day 1. Assume that they each have a couple of drinks per day, some wine with their meals, a coffee or two, and go on say, four or five organised trips. That could easily set them back something between £1500 and £2000. Seriously exceeding this figure would be equally easy to do. Hairdressing, photos, spa, restaurants, they all cost – and how! What used to be standard is now charged for. Fancy an ice cream by the pool? Brace yourself - one small scoop costs nearly £2. Want some nibbles with your drinks - a few nuts and crisps will cost you £2.50. And so it goes on! These days P & O even charge extra for room service. Because Ventura is a noisy and crowded ship, even peace and quiet has a P & O price tag. Passengers wanting some tranquillity on this floating Benidorm will have to cough up another £20 per day to buy some ‘time out’ in Ventura’s ‘Retreat’. Not spent enough yet? No problem - there is always the casino and don’t forget the ever-open shops. However, let’s finish on a positive note. The Ventura is an exceptionally stable platform in a rough sea – very noisy, very creaky, lots of vibration, but stable. That is a comfort for its less robust passengers. Finally, let’s not forget the front-of-house service staff and the cabin stewards. As always, these unsung heroes are magnificent. Always patient, always helpful, always friendly, and always courteous, these are the people who brighten the passengers’ days on board. They do indeed ‘go the extra mile’. Without them, the institutionalised inadequacies of P & O’s operations would be glaringly exposed for all to see. Perhaps then, even the oh-so-reluctant-to-complain British might feel compelled to protest, (note to self – ‘dream on!’). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We love the Caribbean in Jan/ Feb to escape the UK winter. Ventura was late arriving in Southampton due to bad weather, thank goodness we weren’t on that cruise! P&O gave us all £15pp extra onboard spend to cover lunch on the way ... Read More
We love the Caribbean in Jan/ Feb to escape the UK winter. Ventura was late arriving in Southampton due to bad weather, thank goodness we weren’t on that cruise! P&O gave us all £15pp extra onboard spend to cover lunch on the way as we were advised to arrive later in the day to allow disembarkation. There was free tea and coffee at the terminal and we didn’t wait too long to be transferred to the ship. The sea was choppy for the first 2days at sea but soon improved ( or maybe we just found our sea legs quickly). Madeira was nice and sunny. Went to the gym on sea days to offset the extra food and actually rather enjoyed it! There was always something going on on board but same list most days. The talks are usually interesting. Did lots of sunbathing and actually used our sun beds for hours. We saw loads of beds though which were reserved for hours with no one on them. P &O need to take the bull by the horns and sort out this problem which causes so much anger. The entertainment was mostly good and especially ‘The Runaround Kids’ who got a standing ovation both nights. Metropolis was a nice place in the evenings and much quieter than other venues where the microphones were a bit too loud. Havana is the most ridiculous design and needs a complete overhaul. The half walls are too high, there are posts where they obstruct too much of the view and what on earth the two high tables are for at the front I can’t imagine. We didn’t come on holiday to have to watch acts on the tv screen! The staff were great as usual and cabin stewards very friendly. We had a few problems this cruise with excessive noise in cabin late at night (don’t book around inside cabin R717 ) and after being moved we had a water leak. We were unlucky because this was our 18th cruise with P&O and our first problematic one. The islands were great as normal and the people who moaned about the port of Guadeloupe should have done their research and travelled outside the port area. We had a lovely trip there to the beach and the nicest swimming conditions ever. All in all another successful cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my third cruise, all being with P&O. This on was going to be different because it was the longest (28 days) and first time on Ventura. I feared that I was going to be a bit bored after a while. I was so so wrong !! ... Read More
This was my third cruise, all being with P&O. This on was going to be different because it was the longest (28 days) and first time on Ventura. I feared that I was going to be a bit bored after a while. I was so so wrong !! Firstly we had a delay at Southampton getting on-board, but these things happen, so whats the point of getting so upset. We were given £15 by P&O to cover the cost of refreshments while waiting. We were given free coffee and I spend my £15 on a packet of crisps !! As a solo traveler, I had a window solo cabin on level 6 (F330). I had always had a normal double cabin before but was pleasantly surprised how spacious the single cabin was, with a large comfortable bed. My cabin steward was wonderful. always a friendly greeting from him and the cabin was spotless, even after I had used it !! Freedom dining was excellent, good company (except for the occasional professional moaner which unfortunately can't always be avoided). Quality and quantity of food excellent. One person at dinner one evening did not fancy anything on the menu so jokingly asked for fried eggs and chips which was served to him a few minutes latter. What more can you ask for ? The entertainment on board was very good with the Entertainment Manager doing a wonderful job, and joined in the entertainment, especially when she could show off her legs in stockings and suspenders !! My only adverse comment is that the continuous dancing lessons should be in a room separated from the rest of us. To be on the 5th. floor of the Atrium meant that we all had to listen whether we wanted to or not, as we traveled around the ship. "One two three one two three" gets a bit monotonous while enjoying a coffee and cake while reading a book ! All the staff work so hard and are always smiling. I wish my staff smiled half as much !! The staff cannot be praised enough. The intercom system from the bridge is not very good. I'm sure Marcin Banach is a wonderful captain, but due to his accent he is most difficult to understand at times. A point noticed by a few of the comics who joked about it during their acts. The ship, like most of the passengers on this trip, has seen better times. Fortunately, unlike us, the ship can have a re-fit in March and I look forward to traveling again on Ventura after the re-fit. I am considering a short cruise in the next couple of months aboard Britannia however having read the reviews, I think I will rethink it. However anyone reading my review on Ventura, you can feel confident that you will have a wonderful cruise and don't listen to the nit-pickers who can't enjoy life without a complaint !! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I have been cruising with P & O since the nineties, initially on the worn out Canberra, on the Oriana before and after they fixed the vibrations caused by the bent propellor shaft, on the 1990s Arcadia and three times now on the ... Read More
I have been cruising with P & O since the nineties, initially on the worn out Canberra, on the Oriana before and after they fixed the vibrations caused by the bent propellor shaft, on the 1990s Arcadia and three times now on the Ventura. This, my latest cruise on Ventura was 28 days to the Caribbean and back in January 2018. Welcome to the shabby, floating care home! The Good: The ‘hotel staff’, waiters, cabin stewards, reception and excursion staff are welcoming, helpful and cheerful. P & O have installed a discretionary service charge system so that gratuities or ‘tips’ are added to one’s on board account thus dispensing with the demeaning practice of tipping in cash. One can change or cancel completely this discretionary service charge. Drinks prices were not excessive, being commensurate with what one would pay in a pub or restaurant, but since they undoubtedly buy the stuff at duty free prices, there is a massive mark up. Best value are the P & O ‘House Wines’, very drinkable and priced at about £16.50 per bottle. The entertainment was generally of high quality (with a couple of exceptions) and nicely varied. The shows performed by the in-house theatre company were stunning, with superb vocals, costumes and well-executed dance routines. Audio and video recording of the shows is prohibited. It would not do to have people being able to prove that the shows were the same as the year before, the year before that..........etc. The Not So Good: Dinners in the included restaurants were uninspiring. Vegetables were bland, desserts were often tasteless and stodgy. Seven years ago, main courses were served individually with diners being able to choose their vegetables to be served by the waiter. These days, meals are served pre-plated. As from 1st February 2018, P & O have decided to limit the amount of take on alcohol to one litre per person. Fortunately, we just missed this change of rules. The policy of recycling clearly applies to the entertainment. The shows were good quality but they were the same shows as three years ago and some of the comedians recycled jokes from thirty years ago. The Bad: In these days of modern communications, the charges for internet connection were excessive and unreasonable. The “Browse” package (normal browsing but no audio or video streaming) cost a prohibitive 65p per minute on a pay as you go basis, £12.50 per 24 hours (one would hopefully be asleep for one third of that time and not able to use it) or £180 for the whole 28 day cruise. I accept the issues with satellite internet access, but useable one or two hour periods at a reasonable cost would be preferable. In the restaurant, the number of waiters has been decreased to the point that service has become very slow, doubtless a cost cutting exercise. It was usual to wait up to 15 minutes to give one’s order, and a further 15 minutes before the first item of food arrives. By contrast, the service from the wine waiters who provide chargeable drinks, and earn commission on those drinks, is much faster (quelle surprise). I hesitate to criticise my fellow passengers, but there was an element that was happy to walk rudely out of a show in the theatre en masse before it had actually completely finished and the house lights had been turned up, no doubt anxious not to miss out on some free food somewhere. The daily programme publication requested passengers to remain seated until the house lights went up, but few took any notice. The Ugly: The ship has become a bit shabby and is in dire need of a refit. The beds have stained headboards from doubtless hundreds of greasy heads resting against them. The menu covers in the restaurants were tatty. The upholstery on the chairs in the restaurants is grubby, some of them with the fabric covering worn through. The carpets in some of the public areas have the joints between two pieces of carpet coming apart, revealing bare, loose threads. I actually tripped when I caught my foot in one such exposed thread. The doors to the lifts all have multiple scuffs. The televisions in the cabins are the outdated 4:3 format as opposed to the modern widescreen 16:9. The treadmills in the gym are in need of replacement. Three were out of order at a peak time. Rumour has it that the ship is being refitted in March this year (2018), and not before time. However, P & O are clearly happy to continue taking the money in the meantime. Carnival plc appears to regard P & O as a cash cow with thousands of passengers coming back several times a year, year after year until they die. To me, P & O has lost its ‘mojo’ and I shall be unlikely to return. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Advised by P & O night before Cruise the Ship would be late arriving so if possible delay arriving by3 hours . This was impossible but Food and Drink would be provided , What they didn't say was they would be putting us in a ... Read More
Advised by P & O night before Cruise the Ship would be late arriving so if possible delay arriving by3 hours . This was impossible but Food and Drink would be provided , What they didn't say was they would be putting us in a derelict shed , Dock 101 for 6 hours with no Heating or Food , draughts and doors wide open and small coffees and 1 biscuit provided No information at all until 6 pm when busses were provided to talk us to Embarkation . This took 1 hour due to intermittent electric supply and 30 minutes trying to get authorised Debit Card , due to P & O being off line with electric problems . Eventually 8 hours after arriving , please board to get something to eat. Apologies everyone , Air Bridge has broken so we cannot let anyone on ship until repaired 40 minutes later we board get changed and go for Food , only to be told Muster is in 30 minutes so we had a starter , then they closed restaurant and didn't re open after Muster , P & O disaster Rest or Cruise was OK except we had 20 hours of " Essential Maintenance " on a Lifeboat which consisted of 2 men with Lump Hammers knocking old paint of it for 6 hours a day , I have 4 recordings which I will sent to a VP of Carnival Line to see if he would caa this essential maintenance. Food in Restaurant on Ventura where you pay extra were exceptional Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Got to Southampton to join ship to discover that there was a delay due to ship late docking due to windy conditions . We also found out later that the last two cruises has suffered from Novovirus outbreak . Most people had had texts , ... Read More
Got to Southampton to join ship to discover that there was a delay due to ship late docking due to windy conditions . We also found out later that the last two cruises has suffered from Novovirus outbreak . Most people had had texts , emails and phone calls advising them to arrive later than their allocated time but we received nothing and no apology. Eventually boarded after 7 when they rushed us for dinner before muster. There were no menus in bars , no cruet sets on tables, nothing I presume that could contribute to the spread o& the virus . These measures were relaxed after a few days . Biscay was a little rougher than normal but not as bad as the previous cruise from reading reviews . The ship is tired and the cabins a bit tatty , having travelled on the same ship the Christmas before last it is in need of a refurbished which is to happen in March I understand . There was a lot of disgruntled passengers on the ship who had had their Oriana cruise cancelled at last minute and came on Ventura instead which was a shorter cruise . This made the ship very full. The weathe4 throughout was not brilliant @nd the seas quite rough at times . The swimming pool seemed quite dangerous mos5 of the time . We had already had change of itinerary with Guadeloupe and Martinique replacing Tortola and St Marten. I personally did not like port of Guadeloupe and went after we called there to book trips to avoid being in the port areas on the other calls . The captain was unable to dock in Grenada due to winds again ( it was very windy at almost every port ) so we headed onto Barbados and arrived there late in the evening the day before scheduled. On this ship we didn’t have the previous experiences of the captain keeping us up to date with information and it was impossible to hear the announcements in the cabins as when we knew it was on it took too long to turn on the tv to hear it .many people were disappointed with the Captain. The staff on p and o are always good and helpful , the cabin steward was excellent and p and o should be proud of their staff and pay them better wages and not rely on customers tips .We did have ripped sheets on our bed and they are only changed weekly although the towels changed twice a day . Entertainment was plentiful and diverse some excellent , some not so good . The food was not consistent it depended where you chose to eat . The freedom dining was good and sitting at different tables with other people each night was entertaining listening to the majority of guests discussing how many days at sea they had each year and how many world cruises they have been on . I hope p and o realise what loyal customers they have . The buffet upstairs was consistently bad and breakfast was awful . Cold and hard fried eggs , nasty bacon with white greasy bits, tasteless mushrooms always over cooked , toast and fried bread which disintegrated when you tried to cut it . After one try on going to buffet for breakfast we had continental delivered to cabin which was satisfactory . The grill on deck was good and the pizzeria also ok . Tried all the speciality restaurants and Sindu excellent but the Epicurian was a real disappointment this time . The rib of beef which was brought to the table on a platter was so tough you couldn’t cut it and the crepes Suzette were awful as the girl couldn’t get them to flambé and after 15 minutes threw some more brandy on and served them . They were like eating cardboard with no sauce and melted ice cream . We sent a comment card to reception and never heard a word from them. Also in the back of the till was the target sheet which showed daily and cruise targets which is why they are always trying to sell you the meals as they charge extra for eating there. For me personally the Caribbean was a disappointment and I wouldn’t go back , I expect the weather didn’t help but that couldn’t be helped . Highlight tour was the dolphin watch in St Lucia and boys on the boats were fantastic and they did find the dolphins which were spectacular. The spa is far too expensive and about three times high street prices so didn’t use it . Explains why girls always on decks offering neck massages for a fee One real annoyance to me was if you were sat by the pool listening to the music playing in the background in the early afternoon the band came on and were so loud there was no pleasure staying by the pool . The sun beds are the most uncomfortable I have ever sat on , guaranteed you a bad back ,Azura has far better sun beds . I just wish they would match the entertainment on deck to the ages of their clientele as this was a 28 night cruise so very few children and no teenagers . The sail always were good as the entertainment staff put their all into making them enjoyable . One of the best things about p and o in comparison the ships that charge in dollars is the price if the drinks which are similar to pub prices . Even champagne is similar prices to supermarkets . And at least they don’t have 15 % surcharge on each drink . I understand that due to the refurbishment of the ship in March the same cruise next year had gone up by a considerable amount . I personally would not go on Ventura again but have booked to go with p and o again . Am very tempted to try celebrity which also has a drinks package available for purchase and sometimes can be included in the cost . One of the things I don’t like is that there is no separate ballroom for dancing and is always in the Atrium which is open , loud when lessons are taking place and I’m sure that people can be put off joining in if you aren’t good at it and there is very little space for popular lessons such as line dancing . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We take a 4 week cruise every January, this year we choose Ventura, a very big mistake. We had cabin D225, a Deluxe Bacony and booking over a year in advanced paid the full price. ( over 4 times the price P&O offered to last minute ... Read More
We take a 4 week cruise every January, this year we choose Ventura, a very big mistake. We had cabin D225, a Deluxe Bacony and booking over a year in advanced paid the full price. ( over 4 times the price P&O offered to last minute paseners for an inside cabin.) The cabin was a disgrace, a sette only fit for burning, dirty bed cover ( changed after complaining) discussing bath and overall a complete insult to the word ‘delux’ The Epicurian restaurant we chose to celebrate my Wife’s Birthday had a dirty table cloth and the food far from the standard you would expect to receive from a premium charging restaurant. Not a patch on the similar restaurant on Brittania. Our main restaurant for My Time Dinning, The Sinnerman, was again very disappointing, serving Green Beans with your main course nearly every night. This was our 37th Cruise and by far our worst. We were told by passengers in our adjoining cabin that they had been told that the same cruise next year had gone up 50%. Sorry P&O this will be our last cruise with you. We are away again in April on the Queen Mary and cannot wait. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
First the good - we went for a 'superior deluxe balcony cabin' (D232) which was spacious and comfortable, albeit a little 'tired' (the furniture and carpets had seen better days and the sheets had tears in them). And, ... Read More
First the good - we went for a 'superior deluxe balcony cabin' (D232) which was spacious and comfortable, albeit a little 'tired' (the furniture and carpets had seen better days and the sheets had tears in them). And, my comments about the venue notwithstanding, the ballroom and latin american dancing teachers (Andy and Victoria) were superb. Overall, we had a good holiday, but it could have been so much better... Our first significant disappointment was the venue for dancing. The dance floor on the Ventura is in the Atrium - the middle of a shopping mall, with hard, fluorescent, lighting. It is laughable to describe anything held in such a place as a 'ball' - it is like trying to hold a ball in Sainsbury's! During our final "black tie ball", me in my DJ, my wife in a long dress and bling, sat in Costa Coffee, we couldn't help but reflect on how ridiculous it all felt. Our other major disappointment was to observe just how far and fast standards have dropped and, I suspect, will continue to drop. I almost understand, although I don't sympathise with, the 'evening casual' dress for dinner (which actually means that, in the main, the ladies still dress well but we men slob around in casual clothes), but there is much more it than this: - Dining room staff have been cut by one third, and all food is served 'plated'. - The quality of the food, whilst still pretty good, has deteriorated markedly and some of the dinner options can best be described as 'pub food' (the enormous and tasteless lamb shank, for example). In the main, at dinner the starters, soups and deserts were better than the main courses. - The 'hi-dee-hi' announcements by the entertainments staff were just irritating, particularly as they contained only the same information as was provided in the 'Horizon' mag. - The constant selling is very wearing and pretty naff. Of course a profit has to be made, but the selling never seems to stop. For example, even the gym staff engage in pseudo-scientific 'seminars', peddling seaweed (!) tablets, rather than trying to provide a decent service in the gym. - There were some good elements to the 'entertainments programme' (both sets of classical musicians were excellent and we enjoyed a musician who played, amongst other things, flute, pan's pipes and a crutch!), but most entertainment consisted of singers imitating other singers, stand up comedians and sensationalised talks about aeroplanes falling out of the sky (which, in the main, they don't). 'Cheap and cheerful', describes it best. - To cap it all, 2 of the ports we visited were 'closed' - had we been informed, that, for example, we were to visit Bridgetown on a public holiday, we might have booked an excursion. Apart from causing us and many others irritation, failing to put a note about the public holiday in the Horizon mag meant that P&O missed an opportunity to sell, without all of the usual hard selling they now engage in. - And, surprisingly, both embarkation (due to weather, so understandable) and disembarkation were pretty chaotic. Our overall feeling was that we had a good holiday, despite P&O. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our third year running on this cruise to the Caribbean from Southampton and return, on Ventura. This time, departure was two weeks earlier than the two previous years and this seemed to have a considerable effect on the weather, ... Read More
This was our third year running on this cruise to the Caribbean from Southampton and return, on Ventura. This time, departure was two weeks earlier than the two previous years and this seemed to have a considerable effect on the weather, which was windier and wetter, even in the Caribbean, than previous voyages. Generally, the ship was in good condition, given the imminent refit (March) which is desperately needed. The crew work tirelessly to do what they can with failing technical issues, and maintain very good standards of attentiveness and service to their customers. Failing technical issues included automatic doors which no loner work, power failures, problems with rudder response and what seemed to us to be some very peculiar motion - an odd 'shimmy' which was especially noticeable on higher decks aft. This seemed to improve after an extended stay in Antigua to effect rudder repairs. On the way home, however, there was a period of some six or seven minutes during which the ship had a quite alarming six degree list to port. There was a strong wind onto the starboard side at the time, but it seemed that the usual automated stabiliser and/or ballast transfer corrective actions did not kick in. There was also an engine problem during the voyage home, though we did arrive in time. There were two late itinerary changes - an earlier than expected arrival in Antigua in the evening rather than morning, and an overnight to follow, due to the need to repair the rudders, and an inability to call in at Grenada due to strong winds, resulting in an evening arrival in Barbados rather than the following morning. Having said that staff were excellent, there were two major niggles, both with reception. First when the terrace bar closed at ten thirty instead of the advertised time of eleven thirty, and crew started hosing the aft terrace deck down at that time, we complained and were given a total cock and bull story that 'there hadn't been a quiz in the waterside buffet that was why the bar closed'. There had never on any occasion been a late evening quiz in the waterside but this disinformation came from the bar manager, who had clearly confused the terrace bar with the beachcomber bar. No explanation at all was offered as to who had ordered the deck crew to start hosing down the deck so early when customers were still using the space. The second niggle was that when my wife asked reception to find out what the odd six degree list had been, reception assured her they would ask the bridge and leave a message on our phone with the response. No message was ever left. One final niggle concerned the quality of berths in port. At two locations, the ship berthed with the stern immediately adjacent to unloading container vessels, with resulting noise, smell of diesel exhaust smoke, disturbance and unpleasant aspect. This seemed almost as though P&O were unwilling to pay for the better and more convenient berths that other lines used, but even if not the case, given that in each case the ship had to turn when leaving, it would have been far preferable to turn first and berth bow to container vessel rather than stern since there are no balconies, suites and open decks immediately adjacent to the bow and noise etc would therefore have been minimised. Generally, however, an excellent cruise with some very good friendships renewed, or made, including Amanda, Paul and Louisa and Jan and Dave. Food was, we felt, back to the standards of two years ago after a noticeable drop in quality in 2017. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
On arrival at the terminal you were herded by colour cards to your point of registration,as we were on our honeymoon and booked the cabin we wanted months in advance,we were shocked to be told our cabin had been changed to a cabin on the ... Read More
On arrival at the terminal you were herded by colour cards to your point of registration,as we were on our honeymoon and booked the cabin we wanted months in advance,we were shocked to be told our cabin had been changed to a cabin on the same deck,P&O staff said it was an up grade,not an upgrade to my wife who was upset at this change to a holiday she had been looking forward to.Once onboard we complained but staff did not give a reasonable explanation,later we found out P&O could move you if a person who had cruised with them on a lot of cruises and used that cabin before they could request it so first time cruise person could be moved.I was also informed that as an x serviceman I could claim £250 off the cruise price.The food at allocated dining room on this cruise was poor,potatoes were hard ,veg over and under cooked the toast at breakfast was thin and brittle fried bread was like a frisbee.The wine in the dining room was expensive you could purchase the same wine for a third of the price in a supermarket in the UK.The shops onboard where very good, but could be expensive.Shows onboard are okay if you could get a seat.Loungers around the pools where so close together it was difficult to get off them.,plus people leaving towels on bed then going of for lunch or to the bar for more than one hour so others could not relax around the two pools area.The overall cost of the cruise was not worth it,and we would not recormmend this P&O ship as it would be classed 3 star if it were a hotel.This was my wife first cruise,while I have been on a number of cruises. With my late wife. 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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