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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I'd never fancied a cruise - this was a friend's choice for a "girly weekend away" for us 2 older ladies. I expected to hate every minute - but actually really enjoyed it. Our cabin was spotless and the beds were ... Read More
I'd never fancied a cruise - this was a friend's choice for a "girly weekend away" for us 2 older ladies. I expected to hate every minute - but actually really enjoyed it. Our cabin was spotless and the beds were really comfortable. The whole experience was so good that we have booked another cruise for the Autumn. I simply don't understand the poor reviews given by some people regarding the staff/food/bars, etc. All the staff were fantastic: always helpful and cheerful. There were a number of bars, all with different atmospheres. If you don't want karaoke, then there's a lot more to choose from! (We liked The Red Bar, which was quiet and uncrowded.) The food was amazing, considering they were catering for 3,000 people! High-quality food in the restaurant at dinner. The Waterside buffet was busy at peak times, but what do people expect? We did joke that you could probably eat yourself to death if you wanted to - and some people seemed to be trying. We had a late lunch and watched one family finish their (huge) lunches and then go straight on to afternoon tea with mounds of sandwiches and platefuls of cakes! There was one hen-party group on board who were a bit of a pain during the emergency drill, but we never saw them again and we were told that hen parties weren't being accepted in future. Overall, we thought we got excellent value for money and would certainly recommend. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
this was our 9th. cruise cruise having tried fred olson and r.c.i. we felt r.c.i. where getting to be to pushy so thought we would give P&O a go .our embarkation was good and we found our cabin to be 1st class on deck d extra large ... Read More
this was our 9th. cruise cruise having tried fred olson and r.c.i. we felt r.c.i. where getting to be to pushy so thought we would give P&O a go .our embarkation was good and we found our cabin to be 1st class on deck d extra large balconey very nice The ship was just the right size no problems getting about we booked 1830hrs meals in M.D.R. all very nice allways good choice and plenty of good food, service also very good some of the shows where not to our liking however we allways found somewhere to go. Frankie Gliksman was a realy talented entertianer and realy made up for any short falls on the show side staff where very help full in partcular the young lady on recieption who found a small screw driver to fix my glasses we did shore trips at every port with P&O all where very good in fact we hade such a good time we have booked P&O agian for next year book early for good on board spend money and to make sure you get the cabin you want Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Wanted to cruise and wanted to see Norway, what a super experience for my first Cruise. Ventura is a well appointed, spotlessly clean. Staff lovely, nothing too much trouble. Food in Bay Tree Restaurant exceptional, waiters lovely, ... Read More
Wanted to cruise and wanted to see Norway, what a super experience for my first Cruise. Ventura is a well appointed, spotlessly clean. Staff lovely, nothing too much trouble. Food in Bay Tree Restaurant exceptional, waiters lovely, service excellent. Plenty of choice, can honestly say enjoyed everything I ate. Buffet good for breakfast and lunch, great choices, tea and coffee always available. Entertainment was really good, shows very professional, comedian very funny. Cabin very comfortable, staff lovely, thank you.Bed made up and towels changed, nothing at all to complain about. Had wonderful company on table 23, hard to say goodbye. All in all recommend it to anyone, I was a solo traveller, felt special, would go again in a flash, have to start saving up. Norway Fjiords were stunning,just as expected, scenery out of this world. Saw glaciers, snow capped mountains, museums, you will have njoy it very much, believe me. 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
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Absolutely excellent cruise. Went with my parents and grandma. I'm 16 and love cruising. A great way to get away from the mayhem of a modern Christmas and enjoy a traditional Christmas with grandparents and friends. The itinary was ... Read More
Absolutely excellent cruise. Went with my parents and grandma. I'm 16 and love cruising. A great way to get away from the mayhem of a modern Christmas and enjoy a traditional Christmas with grandparents and friends. The itinary was great despite the first and last days being bitterly cold in the Bay of Biscay. We called at a number of ports: Lisbon (Xmas Eve-warning hop on hop off bus red route great (blue less so)but stops at three on Xmas Eve) , Lanzarote (we did the fire Mountains tour well worth it sutable for all ages as not much walking needed highly recommend esspecially if you have young children or are a person that wants to do something different but can't walk far), Gran Canaria ( hop on bus good but nice just to walk around the streets- old town quite away from ship so shuttle required. Going up the cathedral town is a must...alift is in side), La Palma( mountain hike tour well worth it if your like a good hike. It is down hill but the views at spectacular and there's a cafe at the bottom by a light house which serves excellent canarian potatoes), Tenerife ( went to Siam Park great day out good for all ages something for everyone from little slides to a wave machine to big slides), Madera ( despite the rain it was an excellent day rounded off with the fire works for New year's Eve which were spectacular they definitely didn't dissapoint. We had a berth in Madera so got the best views). Despite what people say P&O still have very high standards all the staff cherry and nothing to much bother . Food excellent a d great variety but some dishes do lack a little flavor. The buffet is small,too small compared to the open plan one on Aurora and Britannia but despite this food variety was good and the afternoon tea and late night snacks good especially the roulard. Hot chocolate is on offer but needs to be asked for. Had breakfast in both venues equally good and on Christmas day they served buxfizz in the main dinner room so well worth going there on the big day. Food variety was a little samey for breakfast but generally good and always served with a smile. Didn't have lunch in the dinning room so can't comment but lunch in the buffet was always different and nice especially the deserts and meat. Our cabin was C518 with a bunk. Excellent service from our steward Sanjo nothing too much trouble and always said hello when he saw us. One little niggle is was a bit small for two adults and a 16 year old son so a superior Dulux is worth it but the bunk was very confy. Balcony very large bigger than cabins above at same price so C deck cabins are well worth it. And extra special treat was meeting our cabin steward from a cruise 18 months ago who remembered us istantly remembering our names and talked with us for a good 40 mins. That's personal service! Our captain was the delightful Andrew Willard whos morning announcement was fab. Over the cruise he worked through the sounds of the twelve days of Christmas and always had a thought for the day. He was obsest with his gesse whos recording kept squaking at the wrong time. Also in Madera and at the peninsula club cocktail party he sarcastically talked about Queen Victoria's Madera disaster which was very amusing as we're all his announcements. Great captain and easy to talk to as he wondered around the ship. Ventura her self was well kept apart from a few areas her decks are nice and you can even walk round the bow on the prom when the wind isn't too high. Some parts of the deck were closed at times but after asking and officer it was for H&S as the wind was too strong to open doors safly and spray was coming on the deck. The other side was open however. Embarking was quick wasn't on priority but were onboard with in 30 mins of arrring at the terminal the quickest emarkation we have ever had. Disembarking was a little slow but were off with in out timed slow. Overall the cruise was great and I and my family would do it again. If you are looking for a cruise for the festive period this is a great trip with warm weather. A cruise not to be mist! And don't believe what people say about p&o they are top class we have sailed on a few other lines and p&o are top of the charts as they are truly British. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
For years we've met fellow travellers extolling the virtues of P & O and we decided to give them a go with Britannia. Not for us we thought... Well, Ventura was an absolute delight. Some of those supposedly high end cruise ... Read More
For years we've met fellow travellers extolling the virtues of P & O and we decided to give them a go with Britannia. Not for us we thought... Well, Ventura was an absolute delight. Some of those supposedly high end cruise companies (I'm looking at you Aszamara) could learn an awful lot from Andy Willard and his crew on how to give good service. Captain Andy Willard is an out and out gem, a veritable nautical Terry Wogan; with all the excellence that implies. Pryesh our steward was marvellous - again the premium cruise lines could learn a LOT from his example. Friendly, hard working but not intrusive - perfect! The food was excellent, the cruise itself marvellous. For the first time ever I even enjoyed some of the onboard entertainment (we usually don't go). Better still there was little of the 'gracious living' claptrap that some of the other cruise lines indulge in. Excellent all round and a very pleasant surprise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Having cruised before on smaller ships, we thought we would try one of the 'biggies' and as we wanted a Christmas and New Year cruise to somewhere warm, we chose P & O's Ventura cruise to The Canaries and Madeira. The ... Read More
Having cruised before on smaller ships, we thought we would try one of the 'biggies' and as we wanted a Christmas and New Year cruise to somewhere warm, we chose P & O's Ventura cruise to The Canaries and Madeira. The weather couldn't have been kinder with just a bit or rain in Madeira (didn't spoil the wonderful New Year fireworks display though). Both ways across the Bay of Biscay were really smooth which was a real bonus. As for the cruise itself, the service and food was very good; most of the entertainment was excellent; our cabin was fine and our cabin steward was first class. My only disappointment was that apart from a watercolour painting course (which would have cost an extra £21) there were no craft courses - which we've had on previous P & O cruises. Embarkation and disembarkation in Southampton went really smoothly. The various excursions we went on were all great. So all in all we were very pleased with our holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had our first experience of a cruise 5 years ago with MSC, and I wasn't totally sold on cruises at all. Hence 5 years before taking this one. We liked the idea of sailing out of Southampton without any airport faffing, so went ... Read More
We had our first experience of a cruise 5 years ago with MSC, and I wasn't totally sold on cruises at all. Hence 5 years before taking this one. We liked the idea of sailing out of Southampton without any airport faffing, so went on the 9-21 December trip to Iberian Peninsula. Cabin:- Our inside cabin (B536) was an upgrade to mid ship & was great. Larger than I was expecting, and perfectly adequate for a 12 night cruise. Our Steward was a delight (thank you Nithesh). The only downside of an inside cabin is obviously no window, no natural light - so it's easy to sleep in (without setting an alarm), and a couple of times we'd dress, get up on deck and realise we needed another layer of clothing - but, in our opinion Inside cabins are well worth the money you save on an Outside or Balcony. Public areas:- I can't speak highly enough of Ventura as a ship, her crew, all the staff and the areas. A good range of bars and lounges to suit most tastes. The theatre shows were very good. The Headliners were brilliant, as were the visiting 'cabaret' acts, only one comedian was a bit underpar in my opinion (TR), but you don't have to go, and there are plenty of other things to do and entertainment to see. We were very fortunate to have a table for 2 at dinner in the Baytree (perferable to us, rather than being on a table for 8). We thought the meals were fantastic, with a good choice, and 4-5 star quality. Our waiting staff were lovely (thank you Willam, Rohit and Revino). We used the Buffet a couple of times. The food was good, but it was mostly a bunfight at busy times - so to be avoided at peak times. Gym was huge with a wonderful outlook. We went on excursions at each of the Ports with Valencia being favourite. Unfortunately the Cadiz tour, was death by facts and figures, and turned what looked like an interesting old town with a lot of history into a bit of a snooze fest. My only suggestion to P&O would be to have more accessible drinking water on the ship e.g. a couple of drinking taps on board, so guests can fill their water bottles without bothering staff, or increasing plastic bottle waste. The bathroom water is apparently drinkable but was too chlorinated for me, and the only way to fill up drinking bottles is to ask a member of staff to do it for you - & even then (at Costa) they aren't allowed to just fill it up from the tap, but need to put water in a glass & then you fill up your bottle. We met some lovely people on board, and also a few of the enevitable serial moaners (we had been warned by friends who cruise alot). It amazes me that some people, on holiday, seem to spend a large portion of their time moaning about it, then go on to tell you this is their 100th cruise and that they are already booked onto the next one. So not that bad then eh?. ;-) Overall a fantastic trip, and we are looking at booking our next one. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Just back from a cruise to The Canaries, rough seas at the beginning but then the sun came out in Madeira and the Canaries. We did freedom dining and could never fault a meal, always hot and served efficiently, the waiters were ... Read More
Just back from a cruise to The Canaries, rough seas at the beginning but then the sun came out in Madeira and the Canaries. We did freedom dining and could never fault a meal, always hot and served efficiently, the waiters were extremely kind and friendly. We also dined in Sindhu and the Epicurean, again both lovely dining venues. Shows onboard the ship were excellent and well produced. Our cabin steward worked tirelessly as did all of the staff on the ship. I am writing this review as whe we were leaving there was one lady complaining very loudly about the cruise, nobody around her was agreeing with her but she still kept complaining, finally saying she was going to Fred Olsen, I loved the cruise for many reasons and so did many other passengers. We already have another 3 cruises booked and can’t wait for them. We really enjoyed the dancing classes with Graham and Margaret, we also met some lovely people Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise for a 3 night break. Never cruised with p and o before and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We chose a balcony cabin which was kept immaculate by jay our steward with plenty of hanging and storage ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a 3 night break. Never cruised with p and o before and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We chose a balcony cabin which was kept immaculate by jay our steward with plenty of hanging and storage space . The restaurants offered a varied selection of food which was always hot or cold depending on your choice. Hand cleanser was compulsory on entering especially in self service. Entertainment was of high quality. Bar prices where the same as hotel prices with a large selection of drinks. Embarkation and disembarktion were incredilbly easy . We visited the historic town of Bruges with its cobbled streets and canals. Plenty of bars and chocolate shops to occupy your time with a horse drawn carriage ride to take you to exquisite small areas is really a must. A fantastic time and ready to book another 3 night break..or longer........! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Good itinerary inc. Rome/Naples/Sardinia, and whilst we are not anti-kids this was the first one outside the school holidays. Usually take a suite but prices were crazy, typically double what we normally pay, and P&O were still ... Read More
Good itinerary inc. Rome/Naples/Sardinia, and whilst we are not anti-kids this was the first one outside the school holidays. Usually take a suite but prices were crazy, typically double what we normally pay, and P&O were still offering a suite at top price on the morning we sailed. Opted for E730 Superior Deluxe and it was great with the big end/corner balcony, and none of the horror stories about noise from the nightclub below or engine vibrations - there must be some very picky light sleepers who find this cabin a problem. Lots of familiar friendly faces in the crew who remembered us from previous cruises and were genuinely pleased to see us and chat and update us on the families, lovely. Food was generally good in MDR and Buffet at lunch, and lots of veg. choice, not all green beans as some so often point out. Galley tour and Brunch was good. Buffet not as frenetic as it can be and far less table reserving whilst one goes to the Buffet and one stays holding table - which takes too much time if tables are busy. MDR menu cycles are a bit repetitive, same cycle for a number of years, but with ten main course choices at dinner not an issue. Epicurean continues to be a delight, and on day one excellent value at £17 per person. Did three shows all good, "Phantom" singer, comedy pianist, and Astonish which was amazing, OK you can work out some of the illusions but not all, and I'm still trying to work out the 4 card trick you all take part in! WW2 talks are same/similar as in all previous cruises over the years, and are getting a bit long in the tooth, you will be c90 now to have been in service in WW2. Some new topics perhaps, still military, what about Falklands, and current armed forces? Dancing is not my love although the Leader of the Opposition loves it and I can get round the dance floor. Goran and Roanna who we have been with before are excellent, and with Roanna even I thought I could Cha Cha. Met some nice fellow dancers and "watchers". Wheelchair/scooters not as many as can be sometimes, and none were demanding special service/queue/lift jumping. Second time on Ventura this year and 6/7 times overall. Been on other P&O ships and all good but we like Ventura and Azura best - big enough to have everything but not too big, mind you we will give Iona a try. Booked two cruises on Board - best value. Took one P&O excursion to Amalfi coast and Pompeii excellent, two through Cruise Excursions Barcelona Gaudi and Rome under our own steam - dropped off at the Colosseum and picked up at St Peters, easy and Rome done leisurely. Captain was quite visible around the ship and approachable. Rescued three migrants halfway between Africa/Spain, an increasing issue I suspect, well done to passengers and Bridge spotting them. Embarkation and disembarkation seemed to be further tweaked and improved, very little waiting around or big queues. An excellent cruise as ever. Martin Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Always use Penguin Parking, their service is outstanding. From our luggage being taken at the quay, we were on the ship in 10 minutes, and enjoying coffee and cake in the Waterside buffet. This was our fourth Ventura cruise and our 7th ... Read More
Always use Penguin Parking, their service is outstanding. From our luggage being taken at the quay, we were on the ship in 10 minutes, and enjoying coffee and cake in the Waterside buffet. This was our fourth Ventura cruise and our 7th P&O ( Oceana & Britannia previously. Chose an inside cabin forward, on deck 12 (A) very quiet, new carpets and throughout the ship too on it's re-fit last spring. The bathroom had had a makeover too, new shower curtain-as Ventura is 10 years old don't expect the glass screen , ship design has come a long way since then, so it you want it up to date choose a newer ship. Cabin steward Malou worked tirelessly, pure delight, always had great service on P&O. Freedom dining is always our choice ( the Iona will be that throughout ) hope all the other ships can be changed too. Food in the Saffron was excellent, always a choice, the Glass house is also good - a small cover charge- amazing fish and chips there. Waterside buffet, again good, tended to go there for lunch, just a salad as so easy to over eat on a cruise !!!. Preferred breakfast in the Saffron. As the cruise was outside the school holidays, it was virtually adults only. Entertainment was good , The Headliners shows are well put together, their new show is '' Astonishing ''' and it really was, I will not give anything away, but DO DO the card trick exactly as directed. X factor winner Sam Bailey was excellent. Just had a slight question mark on the ' Hi Tones ' a 60's tribute band- it may have been a hic-up with the sound, but the lead was maybe slightly off key. There were more than enough sunbeds, just one or two passengers did the ' towel syndrome ' !!! Captain Marcin Banach was informative, the best one we have had so far, he dealt with the two problems professionally and courteously, picking up three young guys on a stranded jet ski !!! and a medical emergency. Ports :- Barcelona - Did the Nou Camp tour- a brilliant guide - amazing tour even if you are not into football. Naples - Did the Capri tour - Capri on your own - and did the boat trip round the island, it was busy as a saints day - that Sunday... Civitavecchia - Did Lake Marta... and the winery, superb views all the way but the wine was not to our taste - too acidic. Monte Carlo- As were were delayed due to the emergency, out tour had to be cancelled so be just wondered up to the Cathedral in Monte Carlo... harbour full of the most expensive yachts you could ever see. Cagliari- Dis our own thing exploring the town, do climb up to the to near the Cathedral for the views . Gibraltar - really just main street for real duty free shopping !!!!, the rock was in cloud so we have the cable car a miss.( not particularly attractive the town ) Disembarkation was quick and efficient, and Penguin Parking there in minutes. A cruise from Southampton beats any waiting in an airport!!!!, we booked Iona whilst on board- and can transfer the booking to ones own travel agent - also two further cruises booked, Britannia & Azura. Yes I feel P& O get things right, and the bar prices are not overboard. Dining experience excellent, yes you will get the moaners, but they should book a different cruise line !!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I had read some reviews after booking and was a bit concerned that we had made a mistake but we cannot fault the service we had or the quality of the food. We used the coach service and were on board very quickly. We had an outside cabin ... Read More
I had read some reviews after booking and was a bit concerned that we had made a mistake but we cannot fault the service we had or the quality of the food. We used the coach service and were on board very quickly. We had an outside cabin which was very clean on level 8. The soundproofing was better than I expected as I didn't hear other people and I am a light sleeper. We opted for second sitting and ate in The Bay Tree where the service was excellent. We also ate at the same restaurant for breakfast. All the food we ate was lovely and my husband is a picky eater but they made everything that he requested. The entertainment was not really to my taste, but I don't have mainstream music taste. There were plenty of bars to choose from so somewhere for everyone. The pool area wasn't somewhere I spent much time, too many noisy kids but it was school holidays so at other times it would be quieter. We had mixed weather, not what we expected for the time of year but you cannot do anything about that. My husband doesn't like flying so we gave it ago, but we won't rush to book another. I think we prefer the Eurostar with longer on land. Too much sea time for us. If you like cruising I have nothing negative to say. I thought the ship was kept spotless and the carpets looked clean everywhere. All the staff worked very hard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
So this is the first P&O cruise that we've been on (Others include NCL, RCI, MSC, Princess, HAL and Costa) so we weren't sure what to expect. Plus it was a 2night cruise during school holidays. In short it was a great ... Read More
So this is the first P&O cruise that we've been on (Others include NCL, RCI, MSC, Princess, HAL and Costa) so we weren't sure what to expect. Plus it was a 2night cruise during school holidays. In short it was a great cruise, everything went well and would 100% cruise with P&O again! So the cruise itself: - Identical ship to the Sapphire Princess which we've been on before, just slightly understated. - Great pools and hot tubs (more than normal cruise ships) - It was perfectly clean, well kept and plenty to do - Loads of bars and plenty of places to eat - Evening meals at the Cinnamon restaurant were perfect! Good food and good choice, plus great service - Buffet was good quality, but lacked choice compared to NCL and Princess and wasn't well arranged - We watched the Whitney tribute act which was fantastic. Better than any other singer I've seen on a cruise before. - Service and staff were great - Tender service to Guernsey was efficient and we didn't have to wait long. I would say it was a cross between HAL and Princess, but maybe not quite as good quality. But we will definitely sail with them again! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Despite some reservations in view of some reviews the dates worked for us and the Fjords was somewhere we had not previously visited. After speaking to a Travel Agent we went for an early saver fare, guaranteed cabin style but cabin and ... Read More
Despite some reservations in view of some reviews the dates worked for us and the Fjords was somewhere we had not previously visited. After speaking to a Travel Agent we went for an early saver fare, guaranteed cabin style but cabin and dining arrangements advised later / on board. Used CPS for parking - very smooth service would recommend. Embarkation very smooth although we were around one hour early against allocated check in this was not a problem. Within 20 mins we were in our cabin. We booked a deluxe balcony cabin and it was great a bit of a wow factor when you enter and the fizz and chocs made for a great start to our holiday. We were near the back of the ship and I don’t know where I would chose to be, you get a cabin selection option with the select fare but I guess I would always just take what was available in the cabin grade desired. Although I am an inexperienced cruiser. Freedom dining is what it says in the evening you turn up at what time you wish there may be a table available or you will have a wait until one becomes free ( they provide you with a buzzer). The food was fine but for us the service was a little rushed and they pack the tables in - one evening we had a table for 2 but the table next to us was very close. I also think they squeeze 10 onto a 8 seat table.So, we used the specialty dining venues on 5 of the 7 nights which were excellent and represented excellent value. Breakfast and lunch were good we tried both waiter and self service breakfast probably preferred the latter - the waiters are stretched and the wait for coffee can go on a bit but if asked the waiters are very responsive. Self service choice very good. Good selection of bars and we liked the fact they were in different areas of the ship and each one had its own feel. Again waiters can be stretched but if asked / reminded respond positively. Prices we thought were fair and there is no pressure for tips (although a service charge is added per day we were happy with this ) and much better than the more American Royal Carribean approach. Entertainment is personal taste, for us it was a bit hit and miss the venues however are good. Overall and I only have one Royal Carribean cruise to compare to I felt the entertainment could be better. Management of stops was fine and overall the service and facilities were good - we would certainly return to the more British P & O approach before Royal Carribean. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I hadn’t had a holiday for fifteen years, so I decided to treat myself to a cruise. I found doing the research a very steep learning curve, but eventually decided on P&O. I was restricted on the dates I could go due to set work ... Read More
I hadn’t had a holiday for fifteen years, so I decided to treat myself to a cruise. I found doing the research a very steep learning curve, but eventually decided on P&O. I was restricted on the dates I could go due to set work holidays so the best fit for me was 7 nights on Ventura to Spain, Portugal and Guernsey from Southampton. As I was travelling from Newcastle upon Tyne I decided to travel down by train the day before embarkation and stayed at the Grand Harbour Hotel the night before. The train journey (1st class) was very enjoyable and relaxing, however I did not enjoy my stay at the hotel and won’t be staying there again. I was due to embark at 2:40pm and although I arrived an hour early I went straight through check in and security and was on board by 2pm. My cabin (B509) was clean and presentable. I had twin beds, plenty of storage, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, bathroom with shower, and balcony. The steward (Sanford) was very efficient without being intrusive. The ship is very well laid out and immaculately clean, and I spent a good few hours exploring and getting my bearings. The shops looked good but the prices were high to exorbitant and certainly well out of my price range. Service in all parts of the ship was extraordinarily high and couldn’t be faulted. I used the buffet for breakfast and there was a very large choice of food of very high quality (I had read poor reports about the buffet before I sailed, but these were totally unfounded), and there are self service machines for tea, coffee, and various fruit juices. I dined in The Bay Tree restaurant on first sitting on a table for ten. I had some wonderful dining companions and we often went on to an entertainment venue together after our meal. The menus were varied and I can’t fault the food, it was fantastic, the service was excellent as well. I didn’t make full use of the entertainment however I really enjoyed the Ventura orchestra, particularly their Glen Miller night. One slight criticism is that the quizzes were so popular that it was often very hard to find a seat, and a larger venue for these would be more appropriate. I only went on one shore excursion (Lisbon by land and river), and found it a little boring and not very good value for money. We weren’t able to tender at Guernsey due to high winds, but that suited me fine as I enjoyed being on the ship more than the ports, so we cruised slowly in the English Channel for the final 24 hours. Disembarkation was very smooth and well organised, and I was off the ship about an hour before my time. In summary, this was my first cruise and I didn’t really know what to expect. I had a great time, but would I go on another cruise with P&O? You bet I would, I can’t wait for my next! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for the destinations. We stayed in Southampton for a few night previous to the cruise to get over jetlag. Getting to Southampton is not the easiest we have done and was very laborious. We did not need transfers to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations. We stayed in Southampton for a few night previous to the cruise to get over jetlag. Getting to Southampton is not the easiest we have done and was very laborious. We did not need transfers to the port as we had a car. The ship was a great ship, one of their medium size ships. The cabins are very similar to Princess ships, although you are able to have a kettle in your cabin which is fantastic. The activities on the ship were better than most, but the entertainment was not as good and could be improved. The ports are the reason that we picked this cruise. The shore excursions were also better than most. The dining to me was more refined and what cruising dining in the dining rooms should be. The service was outstanding. The staff were very helpful. Embarkation and dis-embarkation was a breeze and very easy to do, wish they were all like that. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose P & O as we have sailed with them before, we chose the Ventura as we wanted to go to the Canaries,Madeira and LIsbon also thought the weather would be good, unfortunately it was not as good as we hoped, but that's not P ... Read More
We chose P & O as we have sailed with them before, we chose the Ventura as we wanted to go to the Canaries,Madeira and LIsbon also thought the weather would be good, unfortunately it was not as good as we hoped, but that's not P & O's fault. Boarding at Southampton went really smoothly and we were in our cabin quite quickly. We had a balcony cabin on deck 11 which was lovely and clean, the cases arrived soon after and we met out steward a lovely young lady called Sunting, hopefully I got that right. Then came the life jacket drill at your muster station which you find on the back of the door, our was at the Glass House. The beds were made as soon as you left the cabin for breakfast and then turned down at night whilst you were out and the towels and flannels changed. The tea/coffee gets refilled all the time in your cabin which is nice if you want to make a drink and sit on your balcony. Meals: We decided to go Select so we had dinner and some breakfasts in the Bay Tree Restaurant nice knowing your table was reserved at night and you had the same waiters, ours were William and Rodell, who were absolutely brilliant and so pleasant and helpful. The dinner menus were excellent and such a variety, the deserts were out of this world. Breakfast we occasionally took in the Waterside buffet especially if we wanted to ashore early, you could not fault the selection, every thing you could possible want. Make sure you get a table first as it is very busy. Sindu at East is a beautiful restaurant there is a cover charge of £20 pp but well worth it, the service is first rate and the food is excellent, we booked a table before we left the UK but you can book on the ship. Entertainment what can I say there was so much to do if you felt inclined, my wife joined the Line dancing class on sea days with Abby, who she said was so much fun the dance floor was packed, very popular. There is also talks, demonstrations the list is endless, when you get the Horizon paper every evening in your cabin, trying to fit everything in is impossible. The Headliners shows are very professional make sure you see everyone, the Arena gets packed each night, but the seats are well spaced so you can get a good view where ever you sit. Make sure you see the show called "Astonishing" you will certain be amazed. Stephen Mulhern came aboard in Lisbon to see the show, as it was the first time it had been shown and he had produced it. Overall the shows in the Tamarind,Havana and all over the ship were very good. Will say that both of these bars get very busy and it is sometime hard to find a seat, but the entertainment is worth it. Also the Arena shows up to date films, we saw the Greatest Showman, Black Panther and Darkest Hour, good it the weather is not sunbathing weather. On this cruise we called at La Coruna, Madeira, La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lisbon. We only went on 1 excursion which was to the Medieval Walled Village of Obidos thoroughly enjoyed it and if you go you must try their local drink called Ginja, a cherry liquor in a chocolate cup, you drink it, then eat the cup only 1 euro what a brilliant idea. We found the service from every member of staff was polite and always very helpful you could not ask for more. You dock in the ports and in a couple of ports there is a shuttle bus to take you to the town and back, running frequently, but you can walk . There are always Hop on and off buses in the cities if you want to see around. Overall apart from the weather I could not fault this cruise and will certainly be booking another. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
A wonderful first time cruise for my family on the cruise ship Ventura sailing from Southampton to the Canary Islands. We all had a wonderful time, food was very good most of the time, waiter service & cabin crew service was excellent. ... Read More
A wonderful first time cruise for my family on the cruise ship Ventura sailing from Southampton to the Canary Islands. We all had a wonderful time, food was very good most of the time, waiter service & cabin crew service was excellent. The ship had been recently refurbished & we could not fault it. The theatre was a nice size & excellent lighting & sound. Our cabin steward Freddie was fantastic, my special needs nine year old son also called Freddie found a new best mate onboard in him. All the restaurant staff were excellent, they made sure our specials needs child was catered for as he could not eat most of the items on the menu. There were a couple of very minor issues onboard, but nothing at all to spoil the wonderful time we had, weather could have been hotter, but P & O can't do anything about that. Reception staff could have been a bit more approachable & helpful. The balcony cabin we stayed in was really nice, well worth paying the extra, would have been even better if we could have had ITV & BBC channels on the tv, the WIFI we paid so much for was very very poor, not worth the money at all. We purchased the top photo package where you are given all photo's taken on a usb stick, and 12 photo's in an album, we took full advantage and ended up with about 90 photo's, the black tie night one's were really good, we can look back at these in years to come. Our favourite P & O excursion was a trip to Loro Parque in Tenerife, we also had a great day out on Maderia which we organised ourselves by a private tour taxi. Overall we loved it and my wife & myself would book another cruise without hesitation. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Just back from a wonderful fortnight cruise on this beautiful ship. It was just myself and my Mum who has walking difficulties, so spends a large amount of time in a wheelchair. I’ve cruised before, but it was my first with P&O, and ... Read More
Just back from a wonderful fortnight cruise on this beautiful ship. It was just myself and my Mum who has walking difficulties, so spends a large amount of time in a wheelchair. I’ve cruised before, but it was my first with P&O, and it was Mums first ever cruise. I wanted it to be perfect for her, and boy it was amazing. Embarking was easy, quick and hassle free. We were sat eating lunch in the buffet by 1-30pm, and in the cabin by 2-30pm, luggage unpacked. A lovely balcony cabin on deck 12. We left Southampton late as there was a problem with the ship, but hey ho, we were onboard, an amazing hotel at sea and were not gonna let that annoy us. We had to miss our first port of call, Cadiz which was of course a shame, but these things happen at times. The ship was kept spotlessly clean, the staff, every single one had a genuine happiness about them, were so helpful polite and extremely hard working. From our lovely cabin steward, to the young ladies checking and keeping the toilet facilities so clean. A big shout out to each and every one of them. The entertainment was tremendously good, the shows put on by The Headliners,,, wow! We could of been in the West End. The stage settings, the standard of dancing and singing was brilliant. The dance teachers were so lovely, I even got to dance Salsa (the only dance I can do lol) with Andy in the Atrium. I loved that. My Mum being in a wheelchair, and a first time cruiser was so worried that a cruise would be difficult, but with such fantastic staff on the ship it’s made her realise that I was right in knowing it was an experience she would treasure and love. The fact that this cruise was a Strictly Come Dancing cruise added to her enjoyment. The Strictly cast onboard were stunning, friendly and humble. Even Craig lol. I can’t comment on shore excursions, Mum was having such a good time onboard, we pleased ourselves in port, in fact we only got off twice. Mum said in Rome that if the Pope wanted to see her, he could visit her on the ship!! The food, well what can I say. It was wonderful. Tasty, plentiful and full of variety. The waiters in Cinnamon were attentive. We had freedom dining, and met some lovely people each evening. Good conversations. I was a little worried knowing that we would be sharing tables with other guests, I needn’t of worried because we really enjoyed everybody’s company. The buffet option was also very good in our opinion. The tables kept spotlessly clean, and the staff willing to help at any given opportunity. Ok now just a couple of niggles. Firstly I wish the TVs in the cabins were replaced with slightly larger newer ones, and the pool with the steps rather than ladders going into them were not in areas surrounded by steps, as it made it difficult for Mum to easily swim. I know you have a hoist at the main pool but it’s not ideal using that. I had to have a winger about something before I finished my review. To round off my I’d like to say to anybody thinking of cruising on this ship please take no notice of bad reviews you may read on here. I’m well travelled, have cruised on other ships, and I can honestly say this is a beautiful happy ship that I would cruise on again. It was my first P&O and it won’t be my last, or my Mums who is already talking about a Caribbean cruise next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We were aboard 25 minutes after arriving at the terminal, excellent service. Food was very good, except when we ate dinner in the cafeteria twice, which we felt was not quite up to P & O's usual high standard. Black tie nights ... Read More
We were aboard 25 minutes after arriving at the terminal, excellent service. Food was very good, except when we ate dinner in the cafeteria twice, which we felt was not quite up to P & O's usual high standard. Black tie nights were very special, but we wish that the staff could remind some passengers to dress accordingly. If people do not want to join in these events dressed correctly, they should stay in their cabins. The entertainment was as good as usual, although we did see three acts we saw on our 2016 cruise, but they were all worth seeing again. We had not cruised the Canaries before, and felt that several of the ports of call did not offer much of interest in the town.We really enjoyed Madeira and La coruna where there was more to see. Leaving the ship at the end of the cruise was very efficient. A very relaxing holiday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise as we were travelling with an extended family group (9 in total including 3 children) and wanted to depart from Southampton and visit somewhere sunny with beaches. I travelled with my husband and our children (age 1 ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were travelling with an extended family group (9 in total including 3 children) and wanted to depart from Southampton and visit somewhere sunny with beaches. I travelled with my husband and our children (age 1 and 2), my parents-in-law, and my sister-in-law, her partner and son (age 10). We have cruised many times but it was a first cruise for the rest of the group. We booked a Superior Deluxe Balcony cabin (DE) almost a year in advance on a Select fare, and 2 weeks before our departure noticed on the cruise personaliser that our cabin had changed - to a family suite (BE)! With much excitement we frantically researched suite perks and butlers as had never travelled in a suite before. The rest of our group were in standard balcony cabins. Priority embarkation was brilliant, we arrived at the terminal, used CPS for parking, and were directed straight into a VIP area to wait to board (coffee and cake provided), however within seconds of arriving we were immediately directed through security and straight onto the ship. We went to a priority boarders lunch in one of the main dining rooms, received a glass of fizz and chose a light lunch from a small but tasty buffet selection. It was very calm and a pleasant start to our holiday. We then went to find our cabin and were thrilled to find it was double the size of the DE cabin we had booked, and basically had an inside cabin set within its footprint which we used for our two children. The suite gave us 2 bathrooms and double the usual amount of storage in a regular cabin, which was fantastic for all the baby clutter we had with us. There was also a large lounge area with 2 sofas and a double size balcony. We have sailed Ventura twice before (in a balcony and a superior deluxe balcony) but always aft to mid ship. The family suite was however right at the front and we felt far more movement than we were used to, the only disadvantage of our otherwise very lucky upgrade. the balcony furniture banged and rattled against our doors in the bad weather as we sailed down through the Bay of Biscay. We then enrolled our children for kids club, our daughter was old enough to go to Splashers (age 2-4) and we signed both up for night nursery - however never used it in the end. It turned out that our daughter absolutely loved her club and spent a couple of hours there most days, usually whilst our son napped, giving us some free time either to relax in the cabin or on the balcony, or for family to babysit so we could go out and about. We were impressed by how many hours a day the kids club was open, but think this was just due to it being a school holiday cruise. My nephew enjoyed his age group's club too and the evening sessions there let his parents drop him off after dinner and have some grown up time in the bar and at shows etc. The ship had just had a refit when we boarded, with carpets replaced, some soft furnishings changed and a refresh of the shops. This smartened the ship up and it seemed in good shape and looked cleaner and tidier than when we had last sailed on her 4 months earlier. The only negative change was that the interactive TV function to check bills and order room service had gone. We had freedom dining however went for dinner about 6pm every day as a large group. We were very well looked after in the main dining room by very friendly and accommodating waiters, we asked to be seated in the same area every night as these staff looked after us so well. We hardly used the buffet on this cruise as we found it too hectic and tricky to navigate with 2 toddlers and a buggy. As suite guests we were able to have breakfast in the fantastic Epicurean restaurant each morning which was such a treat. Top notch service and cooked to order food in a beautiful and calm setting. The only select dining restaurant we used was Sindhi, once for a romantic dinner for two and on the last day for a special lunch for the 4 of us. Both were excellent and we really enjoyed the food and were well looked after. Our room steward was also excellent and coped with all our mess so well. The butler however did not seem to do much, we just saw him once every evening when he brought us canapes, menus and milk for our children. As we were travelling with our young children we didn't really see any of the entertainment or make use of many facilities on board, other than Splashers, the Nursery where we played with our son each day, and one afternoon we managed a soak in the hot tub by the adult only spa pool whilst we were child free. We played in the casino a couple of times and Metropolis was our favourite spot for a drink day or night due to the great views. We didn't book any excursions and only used the shuttle buses in Madeira and Lisbon, both fast and efficient, with no queues by the time we left the ship after a late breakfast. In each port we just went for a walk, visited a beach, had an ice cream and found a playground. It worked well for us and made it a cheap trip! We would then get back on board for a late lunch. We loved the idea of pizza by the pool but the pizza was very disappointing. To conclude, the suite was an amazing upgrade, although the location not very desirable. The ship suited us well as a family, and we will be sailing Ventura again in November due to a great price on a Spain & Portugal itinerary. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Fantastic cruise yet again from P & O.Unfortunately this ship had been struck with the noro virus,which I suppose can happen to any cruise liner,just one of the hazzards,so we were somewhat delayed on getting onboard but we had been ... Read More
Fantastic cruise yet again from P & O.Unfortunately this ship had been struck with the noro virus,which I suppose can happen to any cruise liner,just one of the hazzards,so we were somewhat delayed on getting onboard but we had been pre warned of this via email but we were still allowed to arrive at our allotted time and sit and have a coffee and read papers etc,so no real upset. We embarked and were shown through to the champagne lunch reception which is such a nice touch and were immediately impressed again by the politeness of all the staff,they are second to none,don't believe some reviews telling you they stand and talk to one another and ignore you,utter rubbish!!!! Treat these hard working men and women with respect and you will get it returned. This was our first time on Ventura,previously sailing on Oceana and Azura,she is almost identical to the latter.I could not find any dirty areas,rust or tiredness which I had read about. Our cabin was spotless and I can't praise our steward Hadi high enough,he made the start of our day with a cheery "Hello" and always joking,what a star.Our butler Simon was fantastic also,nothing was too much trouble The food was of high standard also,although maybe just one more veggie option on the menu would be good,as one evening it was goats cheese for starter and main and I'm not a huge fan but we just went to the glass house and had a fab meal there at a very reasonable price. Not really into the ships entertainment,not our thing so can't comment There were only two niggles on this cruise,one was that we had to take a tender in Madeira which meant we had to be back on board very early and felt miffed that our day was cut short and I did feel so sorry for the disabled passengers who could not get ashore,hopefully they were compensated in some way.The other was that after passengers being told several times about hygiene due to the noro virus outbreak,we could still see them coming aboard and walking right past the had sanitizers,how selfish these people are but the staff were not enforcing it at the gangway,so we mentioned this to reception and they said they would pass on our information but nothing seemed to be done and folk were still ignoring the hand wash All ports were fantastic not as warm in past cruises but still nice enough to sit out and enjoy a beer or two or maybe four,can't remember. Well done P&O see you soon Read Less
Ventura Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.9

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