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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise with P&O and we had both good and bad experiences. We would try P&O again but I think the experience we had this time was not the best. Positives Ship was excellent, really good condition. We loved ... Read More
This was our first cruise with P&O and we had both good and bad experiences. We would try P&O again but I think the experience we had this time was not the best. Positives Ship was excellent, really good condition. We loved the Metropolis and Tamarind bars. Evening dining was good considering the number of people they have to serve. Service was efficient but not particularly friendly. Cabins were good, well appointed and clean. Entertainment was of good quality (although sometimes not for us). Decent drinks prices. Negatives Both Embarkation and disembarkation were delayed. We missed Oporto so had our excursion cancelled. Evening and daytime entertainment were swapped around, cancelled and delayed (to be fair this was partly due to weather conditions). The Retreat & Oasis pool were unavailable for the whole cruise even though other pools were in use. As a couple of adults this was a disappointment. Buffet wasn't great... Dried food and plastic desserts. Bars were often crowded and loud and we had difficulty getting a seat. Theatre shows in the evening were also very busy. Outstanding We thought the on board comedy magician was naughty but great fun! Our room steward and our table waiters were also excellent, friendly and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the first cruise for our daughter and son in law with two children age nine and six. We as grandparents have been on Ventura before. Our daughter was impressed with how smart the ship was and we, since our last trip. have been ... Read More
This was the first cruise for our daughter and son in law with two children age nine and six. We as grandparents have been on Ventura before. Our daughter was impressed with how smart the ship was and we, since our last trip. have been with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity and agree the ship is not a let down. The family chose an extra large balcony cabin on Deck 9 (D728) and that was great for four people. We had a regular balcony on the same deck (D734) and we faced aft. We gained an extra large balcony, mostly shaded, but when ship was at sea the noise from the wake was loud. We had some moderately rough weather and did feel movement and vibration but nothing outrageous. Cabin service was good, our steward cleared the fridge for our bottles and made regular deliveries of ice and lemon. Breakfasts were delivered on time and accurately when we asked. We mostly ate in the main dining room and food was generally very good, only two or three dishes would have been sent back if we were paying by the dish!! The first formal night, with Captain's reception offering a choice of drinks (not just cheap fizz!!) and a special menu, was as as good as any gala night at sea in seven cruises. The disappointment came when the second black tie event did not have any extras and we chose uninspiring dishes from a rather ordinary menu. Our grandchildren appreciated the children's buffet but our daughter and son in law did not enjoy the atmosphere in the main buffet. Following our experience on the American lines the buffet choice is very limited with three counters of the same offering where as others have much greater variety, including free ice cream. Tables were cleared promptly and it felt clean. Entertainment around the ship was varied and generally of good quality. The entertainment manager took a low profile and we appreciated how this avoided a "holiday camp" atmosphere. Astonishing, the new magic and illusion show is brilliant and definitely as good as anything we have seen. The other acts in the main theatre, however, were aimed at the older age group which was a shame on what was intended to be a family cruise during the school holidays with more passengers under 50 that we have ever seen before. The company production of Burt Bacharach songs was well done, but the other four nights we had two shows from a Rock and Roll Band and two shows from a Tina Turner tribute act (All these dating back to the 1950/60s!!). We were not enthusiastic and our children did not even bother after the first night. There were disruptions from weather and other factors which were handled exceptionally poorly. We had an hour long queue in the car to drop off luggage- never known that before. Then, as ship was late in port and there were gangway problems, everyone was boarding at least an hour late. We were however well informed at this stage and seating was available. In Lisbon we were told the weather was too bad to get into Porto so we were staying another day in Lisbon. That second day we left at 11:30 in the morning and this was very limiting as we knew from the first day nothing was fully open before 10am. We reached Guernsey which we knew was a tendered port but the waits to get off ship were horrendous. It was suggested we join the queue late but it took from 10:45 to 1pm to get ashore. We were watching the queue to get back on the ship from about 3 pm and it was never shorter than an estimated two hours. We joined the last tender and got back to the ship 1h15 after it was due to leave. We spent more time waiting than exploring St Peter Port. We did hear there was an extra tender boat for hire but if this could not be used then there should have been a booking system,even a ballot for the popular times. The port arrangements at Vigo and Lisbon were fine both within walking distance of town. Returning to Southampton there was a delay notified the day before but we still had to vacate cabins by 8am and breakfast finished at 9am. We could not get ashore until ten to eleven but Anthony from the ents staff kept us informed as we waited in a restaurant. Our grandchildren really loved the children's clubs and children's entertainer Josh was excellent, but we would have enjoyed more enrichment for the adults to enjoy the free time. We found the drinks very good value and a meal at Sindhu was excellent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a ... Read More
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a feeding frenzy in buffet servery which is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Also, despite polite request notes on each table asking diners to vacate once finished eating, there are some who seem to camp there for an hour or two chatting, dozing or reading books while others search for seats. Some ignore hand sanitisers in restaurants. Thump of engines can be heard in main restaurant. We heard that P&O have made economies on several fronts and sometimes it shows compared with previous cruises by us. Cabin stewards now asked to service more cabins daily. Stage shows were very good/excellent. One comedian fared badly/gross with old folk with mime of him pretending to wipe his bottom, complained about weak P&O 2-ply toilet paper, said some elderly passengers "smelled like the homeless" and were infirm - among other grubby "jokes." Long wait to disembark because of tide change and positioning the bridge to terminal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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: December 2018
I chose this because it was one of a few that covered Christmas and the new year. The decorations were far below that of two greats ago. There was no Christmas atmosphere. Christmas jumper competition judged on the day of ... Read More
I chose this because it was one of a few that covered Christmas and the new year. The decorations were far below that of two greats ago. There was no Christmas atmosphere. Christmas jumper competition judged on the day of departure, before most passengers had received their luggage. Bar staff pandered to long time cruisers and other passengers had to wait for service. Passengers sat at the bar making it difficult to get service. Bar stools should be removed. Entertainers were always too loud. Food in the buffet was always cold, although a good choice. The cabin steward was, as always, excellent. There were a lot of mobility scooters to avoid. One lift was permanently out of order, while a second one was also sometimes out of order. Some Children were left to run around the ship instead of being supervised by parents, going up and down in lifts, while other passengers had to wait for them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation as always was good,as priority passengers we arrived early and sat in departures and had our complimentary coffee and biscuits,on ship by midday and straight through to champagne lunch,really is a fantastic start to the ... Read More
Embarkation as always was good,as priority passengers we arrived early and sat in departures and had our complimentary coffee and biscuits,on ship by midday and straight through to champagne lunch,really is a fantastic start to the cruise. We were in suite at back of ship,we always choose this as it's lovely sitting out in the huge balcony. The cabin is nice but 5*? no,not really,quite dirty looking,though that is nothing to do with our lovely cabin stewardess Rose,just years of build up dirt I suppose. I have to mention our butler Dinesh,we have sailed many times with P&O and he was by far the best butler we've ever had,he really couldn't do enough for us.An absolute credit to the company. Can't comment on entertainment as we've never really liked it and don't go to the shows etc. Service,yet again,second to none,I really really can't understand some reviews when they say the waiters are rude and surly,we have NEVER come across this at all,we always have the best laughs with them.The drinks waitress in the dining room came to serve us and when she took our name,she looked at us and said "Weren't you on this cruise last year" could not believe she remembered us.They are amazing,each and every one of them. Unfortunately though,we will not be sailing with P&O in the near future,after numerous cruises with them over the years,their standards are slipping,the food for me (vegetarian) was absolutely awful and it pains me to say it,as it used to be delicious in years gone by,last year I noticed it had gone down a notch but this year,was almost inedible,so my husband and I dined at the speciality restaurants most of the time,which you have to pay extra for but was worth it I have to agree with the other reviewer re the captain,he was fantastic,he should be a stand up comedian,he had the whole ship in hysterics,with his antics,Andrew Willard if I remember rightly,captain of Oceana usually All in all,we did enjoy ourselves but that is because we disappear into our suite half the time and enjoy our balcony and of course the destinations,especially Madeira We have decided to give Cunard a go,I go on a cruise to enjoy the specialness (is that a word)of it but alas these days it's all trainers and jogging bottoms,and people moaning that they have to get dressed up,for gods sake,it's only 4 times in the whole 14 day cruise. Also the rudeness of some people,also mentioned by other reviewers,PLEASE,why do you choose cruising,go for a booze up at Blackpool,where you don't need to dress up. P&O has lost it's way unfortunately,it needs to decide who it's catering for,is it the cheap holiday brigade,who eat more food than their body actually needs or is it the cruisers who enjoy the occasion.Anyway,not for us anymore.Such a shame Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Joined the Ventura on the 21st December 2018 in Southampton and I must say the embarkation process could not have been any quicker, from arrival to emabarkation 15 minutes. Our cabins became available at 2-00pm and our luggage had ... Read More
Joined the Ventura on the 21st December 2018 in Southampton and I must say the embarkation process could not have been any quicker, from arrival to emabarkation 15 minutes. Our cabins became available at 2-00pm and our luggage had already been delivered. So far so good. Overal condition of the cabin was good BUT on entering the bathroom it stank strongly of urine. Immediatly bought it to the attention of the cabin steward who also immediatly steam cleaned the complete cubicle and all was well again. A general tour around the ship indicated it was still looking good after the recent refit with the exception that 6 lifts were PERMANENTLY out of order for the complete cruise. I would expect it on the first day when they are delivering luggage but not for the whole cruise. At times this meant that there were long delays in getting lifts. The Freedom dining experience was good on the first evening but after this the quality of food seemed less appealing and the table stewards we had were not very talkable and we never saw a smile from them. The deck 15 buffet was of it's usual standard but I did not expect to see Thai green curry and paella on a "Best of British" theme night. The Captain appeared to carry out the role of both the master of the vessel as well as the Entertainments manager when ever he made announcements. He also counted down the 12 days of Christmas with all types of animal sounds. Quite amusing and as the cruise progressed the laughter got louder from the guests. The most popular area of the ship appeared to be the Exchange bar and Tamarrin bar. The shows were of an average standard wuth the exception of 2 young classical singers who were "Stars" and received a standing ovation at each show. Christmas Day came & went with no extra items laid on and as Father Christmas had visited the ship on Christmas Eve it appeared weird. The usual ports of call were ok although the weather was not the best it has been at this time of year. New Years Eve was spent in Funchal, Madeira and the Firework display was "FANTASTIC" We had the best berth available to view it and even the Queen Victoria had to anchor out. HOWEVER, immediatly the display was over everybody returned in to the inner areas of the ship only to find things closed. The atrium area was like the Maria Celeste. The only people there were crew members picking up the balloons that were dropped at 1145pm. The Tammarin bar was empty and the coffee bar area was closed. It was a big dissapointment for those of us who wanted to be inside the vessel and continue the evening. I must say that the Beach House restaurant was worth the extra charge but we were not overjoyed by the Epicurean. We were informed that the Flambee would be cooked in the galley and then they used a cigarette lighter with alcohol to light it at the table. Not like the last time when it was prepared at the tables. Overal Assessment: The cruise was nice but not memorable for the right things. The standards appear to have dropped slightly in my opinion and the friendlyness of the crew does not appear to have the zing it used to have. (Maybe its the long hours they are required to work?). I will travel with P&O again and have done many times but only if I am unable to obtain the same with its sister companies where in my opinion the standard is higher and morale is better. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
P & O's Ventura is a lovely ship with many good amenities, lovely caring staff and good food. We could fault nothing about the ship. However, we were amazed at the type of passenger that it seemed to attract. Perhaps we chose the ... Read More
P & O's Ventura is a lovely ship with many good amenities, lovely caring staff and good food. We could fault nothing about the ship. However, we were amazed at the type of passenger that it seemed to attract. Perhaps we chose the wrong cruise, going to the Canaries in the midst of Winter or getting away from it all over the Christmas period. There were a large number of people on board who would have been better suited to a few weeks in Benidorm or Blackpool rather than a luxury cruise. They had no manners, had foul language and many were covered in tattoos. They pushed and shoved in the eating areas and had no consideration for other people. I can only surmise that P & O must have had difficulty in selling this particular sailing and discounted many cabins to appeal to this low-life. I also think that this company should consider limiting how many wheelchairs and mobility scooters are allowed on their ships. I can appreciate that disabled people are entitled to a holiday but too many on one crowded vessel just causes problems. Many a time I came across arguments in lifts and I, personally, resorted to using the stairs. The users just barged through regardless of others and on one occasion a whole tray of food went up in the air and the contents spilt all down the wall. We paid for one of the best cabins on this ship, which was a blessing, as we could have some peace and quiet when required and had marvellous service from all the cabin staff. In future we will not be travelling from Southampton as this seems to attract the "Bargain Brits". Our next cruise will be a fly-cruise with Celebrity. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had a good cruise to Jersey with Aurora in June 2018, so booked again for Brugges with Ventura in November. The orginsation is good, luggage taken even before the entry hall and it arrives at your cabin door before you do. We had a ... Read More
We had a good cruise to Jersey with Aurora in June 2018, so booked again for Brugges with Ventura in November. The orginsation is good, luggage taken even before the entry hall and it arrives at your cabin door before you do. We had a balcony cabin which was really great. As we were on a two night cruise we didn't see much of the sea, none-the-less good to have. The ship was great in terms of communal spaces and decor, a real feeling of deluxe. The most disappointing part was the food, not the same standard as the Aurora, two meals of dried up fish, tasteless chicken stuffed with quail. The waiter couldn't tell me the names of cheeses offered. Brugges is 20 mins away from the dock gates by coach. This isn't for anyone with any sort of mobility problem as you are left at a bus stop about 1 mile walking from the centre. I didn't see anywhere this was explained in advance. Later came back on board early afternoon and went to the Glasshouse buffet on Deck 16. The salads for starters were all good, The main meals were not very appealingly presented. We eventually chose fish & chips, but the fish was dry and inededible, Something needs to be done about the help yourself chip tongs which produce about 3 chips a time with a long queue of people waiting behind you. We would have liked to go to the cinema as with Aurora, but told no cinema on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The embarkation process was very efficient and worked well. Our cabin was clean & comfortable, the food excellent, entertainment poor, communication by newsletter or PA not very helpful. There was no information about the Saturday ... Read More
The embarkation process was very efficient and worked well. Our cabin was clean & comfortable, the food excellent, entertainment poor, communication by newsletter or PA not very helpful. There was no information about the Saturday activities, only for the Sunday. We had wanted to to visit Brugge again but no such luck. At the last minute at 7am Sunday morning it was announced that ' too windy to dock at Zeeburgge ' the whole point of the trip! There was no rocking and rolling to be felt so we were very surprised! We just meandered along the English Channel by the White Cliffs of Dover all day and returned to Southampton. P&O must have made a packet!! If each passenger spent £50 on drinks or in the shops on board they would have made £150,000! When I cancelled the taxi I booked the taxi driver said it definitely not too windy. Wouldn't travel with P&O again after this experience. Read Less
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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