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Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second cruise with P and O, the first being last year on Britannia, which was disappointing. We have cruised with different companies previously so do have some idea of expectations! We returned from a cruise to Norway on ... Read More
This was our second cruise with P and O, the first being last year on Britannia, which was disappointing. We have cruised with different companies previously so do have some idea of expectations! We returned from a cruise to Norway on Ventura yesterday we were disappointed to find that there was a lack of activities during the cruise. The tables in some of the bars and on the tables on deck 15 were not cleaned after use. There didn't seem to be enough staff to serve guests in any of the bars and we were not the only ones who failed to be served in the exchange or on deck 15. Some staff we found to be rude. This was not what we expected. We ate in the restaurant and in the Glass house. The Glass house was excellent, it is a shame that the same can not be said for the main restaurant, we were either rushed through courses and left with the menu for desserts for a cknsiderable period, on some occasions we were asked if we wanted cheese and coffee and others not and felt that although we were asked, we shouldnt have said yes we wanted both, there didnt seem any consistency within the restaurants Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have taken over 35 cruises and this was the worst ever. We ate in the main dining room on a table of 8 at the 8.30 sitting. Waiters were friendly but rushed off their feet. Food was ok but lacked any sparkle. Gone are the days ... Read More
We have taken over 35 cruises and this was the worst ever. We ate in the main dining room on a table of 8 at the 8.30 sitting. Waiters were friendly but rushed off their feet. Food was ok but lacked any sparkle. Gone are the days when you would have lobster or a nice steak on the black tie nights- pretty standard fare. The evening shows were generally good with the runaround kids and the magic show being by far the best. Watched a few films during sea days- good choice. Waited over an hour to park the car at portside and a further one hour 20 mins to board ( we later found out that there were delays in disembarkation causing delays in boarding) no communication- it was a shambles Once on board we settled into our cabin - a superior delux balcony with a bath- which combined with our cabin stewardess was excellent. Visited the buffet once - pretty standard food with no imagination. We had coffee and some lovely cakes ( at a cost of £2.50 a cup) at the Costa bar. Service there was always polite although my wife was told that she couldn't have a cake or sandwich if she didn't buy a coffee , despite no signs advising us of this fact being present. Not handled by well by waitress - Very rude. First port was Vigo - took a Santiago de Castella on your own tour ie coach picked you up at port dropped you off and collected you £40 per person - what a rip off. 50 passengers at £40 gave P&O £2000 to hire a coach for 5 hours Next port was Lisbon. P&O provided a shuttle bus at £4 each way. We walked into the center square - took us around 20 minutes in a leasurely stroll and had a coffee / custard tart - lovely. Our call at Porto was cancelled due to "high swell" so we stayed in Lisbon for a further half day. Leaving for our next port at Guernsey early afternoon. Woken early on the Thursday morning by the noisy motors lowering the tender boats to go into St Peter Port. P&O kindly provided us with a detailed sheet on the tendering process and pointed out that there was an early morning rush to get off ( what a surprise) and if guests waited until 11.30 any wait would be small. We duly arrived at 11.30 to catch the tender to be met with chaos. Very upset Passengers who had been waiting, staff who didn't have a clue what was going on and no communication / apology from the bridge. Only 3 tender boats running although someone said they were trying to increase the number. We waited for 3 hours to get to the tender (2.30) and in the end didn't go as the last tender back was 5pm. Spoke to several passengers who said they had waited hours to return to the ship. Next problem was due to the late return of the tenders we left Guernsey late and hence returned to Southampton late. We always walk off early with our own cases. But instead of 7.15 ( when everything is quiet ) it was past 8 when all the lifts were full. Gangway was on same deck as breakfast que it was chaos , again angry passengers fed up of being pushed around by staff, and staff who just had no idea of how to communicate or organise - it was shameful. Finally got off the ship and picked up the car with no problem. P&O need to do a lot better - it's a very competitive cruise market with lots of choice. Read Less
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I thought cruises were meant to be classy but this one was full of chavs with football shirts and tattoos! I was very surprised. Also I wasn’t expecting to find a hen do on board. Maybe I picked the wrong cruise! It’s very low ... Read More
I thought cruises were meant to be classy but this one was full of chavs with football shirts and tattoos! I was very surprised. Also I wasn’t expecting to find a hen do on board. Maybe I picked the wrong cruise! It’s very low brow! The room is ok, the balcony is very nice. Shame we were next door to a rowdy bunch though! I know people will think I’m being moany but so far this is not what I was expecting from a cruise. I can imagine by 9pm the whole ship will be smashed and balconing! (Just so you get an idea of what I mean). I hope someone can recommend a more old fashioned and classy cruise, I would very much appreciate it. I’m actually now quite glad this is only a 2 night stay. Anyway hope it somehow gets better. May end up just staying in the cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
this was my first and last cruise with p and o drinks very expensive the draft beer tasted discusting ... Read More
this was my first and last cruise with p and o drinks very expensive the draft beer tasted discusting this was like butlins at sea and the bars and public areas were uncomfatable i bought a pint of peronni and it tasted like dish water in the bar in the casino on formal nights there was karioke on as i said this was like butlins at sea. we did set dinning every night and when you came out you was still hungry as the posions were very pitaful the cheese board only had a selection of four cheeses and most times did not contain blue cheese. there were no extra touches on a night in the cabin like you get on other cruise lines. on a afternoon at 5pm you could not get anything to eat as they shut the full area for childrens tea there was three children in there. i would never go with p and o again and i would not recomment them to anyone Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this short cruise to take our two Granddaughters on to see if they would like a longer cruise with us at a later date. Big mistake!! We have cruised with P&O before and had a great time but this was a disaster. The booking in ... Read More
We chose this short cruise to take our two Granddaughters on to see if they would like a longer cruise with us at a later date. Big mistake!! We have cruised with P&O before and had a great time but this was a disaster. The booking in was fine and the cabins were good but the stewards seemed a little confused! As we moved out from Southampton we became aware that we had booked on a 'booze cruise' with the number of Hen and Stag parties on board. The food in the restaurants for adults was fine but very restrictive for young teenagers.. Evening entertainments were good. We only had one stop at Guernsey but the following morning this was cancelled due to weather and the fact that we needed to transfere by tender. My granddaughters were so disappointed. Had we been informed that transfers were subject to weather we would have booked a different cruise where we would have had a definite berthing so they could enjoy the experience of 'going ashore' We were told by the Captain we would have an enjoyable day at sea. It may have been enjoyable for the parties that dominated the pools and hot tubs but for two young girls it was not. I am not a prude but I don't want them subjected to the language we heard. When we finally got into a hot tub just after 6pm it was littered with half eaten food and half empty plastic drink glasses.At this point the crew started to clear all the sun loungers away so we got out. I do not blame the crew for the mess, this was due some selfish passengers. Final point...dining..It was 'hunt the vacant table' time.We ordered drinks with our meals on three occasions and each time they arrived at the end of our meals.Due to the lack on empty tables it felt we were rushed to eat and leave but all of the catering staff. I know that these mini cruises are used to help train the staff but we paid a lot of money for this trip and were all looking forward to it but at the end both granddaughters said thanks but never again,which is a shame as my wife and I have had good cruises with P&O.If your going to take a mini cruise with P&O then be prepared..( I submitted a request to review the cruise with them and to complain but they still haven't replied to date)..We will continue cruising but not with P&O Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We choose this cruise, because of the Itinerary? I can’t fly, we have been on 8 previous cruises, once before on the Ventura, we vowed not to go with P&O again,? But the itinerary swayed us? Let me start with the main problem??? If ... Read More
We choose this cruise, because of the Itinerary? I can’t fly, we have been on 8 previous cruises, once before on the Ventura, we vowed not to go with P&O again,? But the itinerary swayed us? Let me start with the main problem??? If you board the Ventura and they give you room C403? RUN!! Do not take it!! It’s by the lift shaft,? And all through the night, we were kept awake by a constant, very loud banging noise! This room is fit for storage purposes only!! We asked to be moved the second day,? But it was full, so we had to endure 12 nights of hell! The food was okay,? My husband and I enjoy curries? Which is just as well? As they were served daily? But we’re good. The entertainment at night was very good, but during the day,? We could either attend a knitting club, a craft club a model boat building club, or a talk on engines? My husband attended this s, but fell asleep 10 minuets after it started?? I had to go find him, after he still hadn’t returned after 2 hours,? He was the only one left in the arena, snoring his head off! I’m sure it was through lack of sleep, and not bordum?? We certainly aunty will be sticking with RCI or NCL in future,? Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Friday 11th May. Departure delay due to ‘technical difficulties’ which I have now seen from various forums was experienced by the previous cruise. ‘Sail away’ party abruptly cancelled and finally left Southampton without ceremony ... Read More
Friday 11th May. Departure delay due to ‘technical difficulties’ which I have now seen from various forums was experienced by the previous cruise. ‘Sail away’ party abruptly cancelled and finally left Southampton without ceremony at 23:00. First port (Cadiz) due to be visited on Monday 14th May replaced by Vigo on Sunday at 17:00. Pointless stop for passengers as the port was closed except for a Burger King and street sellers displaying fake designer bags on the pavement 200 yards from the ship. I can only presume the stop was to fix the ship as the captain announced that night “the problem with the thruster has now been resolved”. The ship was so unsteady from Southampton to Vigo a large majority of passengers were unable to leave their cabins due to severe sea sickness. Myself and daughter included. Passengers are shoulder to shoulder on sunbathing on deck and around the pools. The adult pool was not open until Tuesday. Any entertainment worth seeing was overcrowded. Tickets given for Strictly Come Dancing Show clash with set dinner time. While all staff were very helpful throughout I can honestly say the whole experience has put me and my daughter off cruises for life. We were so unhappy we decided to fly home at the next available port (Barcelona). The ship was so unstable during the journey from Southampton to Vigo, particularly at night, we were genuinely scared. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Birthday gift for daughter absolutely ruined the ventura should be taken out of service missed port entertainment puerile I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy I cannot believe p&o decided to set sail with an unstable ship it ... Read More
Birthday gift for daughter absolutely ruined the ventura should be taken out of service missed port entertainment puerile I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy I cannot believe p&o decided to set sail with an unstable ship it was like substandard holiday camp and no this was not my 1st cruise we have cruised for the last 15 years and to top it all they were reluctant to give us a letter stating there was a technical problem so we could claim for missed port of call The ship was so unstable and my daughter was so seasick she flew home early when booking we were not told it was a strictly come dancing cruise or that most of the entertainment would be on that theme shame on p&o for ruining my daughter's holiday of a lifetime they have had problems on the ventura since February but they still took our money Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
The itinerary and the dates. Worst cruise I have been on engine problems late embarking and Cadiz not visited called in to Vigo on a Sunday at 5pm more for P and O benefit. Terrible crossing at sea with many I’ll, food poor, ... Read More
The itinerary and the dates. Worst cruise I have been on engine problems late embarking and Cadiz not visited called in to Vigo on a Sunday at 5pm more for P and O benefit. Terrible crossing at sea with many I’ll, food poor, entertainment poor, overcrowded. We did not get off ship at Vigo as people were going ashore and coming straight back, so was at sea from Friday to Weds morning. Should have left ship in Barcelona and flown home. Will never cruise again with P and O. All the staff on board were great apart from sickly entertainment manager. We had planned this trip carefully as we do not like too many sea days wow what a disaster that turned out to be. Coach journey down great but coming back we waited for 2 passengers that we later found out got off the ship in Italy due to medical grounds. You would have thought that p and o would have notified the coach company. We then waited for 5 passengers from Cunard to be bussed over hence left at 10am after sitting on coach going nowhere for an hour. NEVER AGAIN P and O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was my 70th birthday celebration, a short cruise with 4 destinations. Because of the engine problems we were late getting to Vigo in Spain, Late to Lisbon and missed out Oporto in Portugal altogether. Very disapointed with ... Read More
This cruise was my 70th birthday celebration, a short cruise with 4 destinations. Because of the engine problems we were late getting to Vigo in Spain, Late to Lisbon and missed out Oporto in Portugal altogether. Very disapointed with this spent an extra day at sea, 4 days out of 7.The cabin we had had broken lampshades with holes in them and a chair that was threadbear with holes in the arms. We complained but only our cabin stewardess was interested and she fetched light shades from another cabin to replace the ones with holes. The food is definitely going down hill with P& O we have been on many cruises and this is noticable. The entertainment was average we spent an extra day at sea with not much to do.At Guernsey we waited 90 minutes to get on a tender ashore and an hour in the harbour to get back. Put us off cruising for good. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Pool was closed for all but one day of the holiday. Understaffed. Ran out of most drinks on board. So much was broken, lifts, toilets, etc. Activities scheduled on deck, knowing there was bad weather - massive cop out. Staff were so ... Read More
Pool was closed for all but one day of the holiday. Understaffed. Ran out of most drinks on board. So much was broken, lifts, toilets, etc. Activities scheduled on deck, knowing there was bad weather - massive cop out. Staff were so unhappy - you could see it throughout the ship. Numerous staff were criticizing P&O, telling us how tight they are and disgusting how they dont even give customers correct reasons for problems. The captain rarely made any announcements on board about the journey, weather etc. Reception queues for over an hour. and wa sonly way to get a bill. (Just what you want to do on your holiday!). Some entertainment was like watching a school play! Having cruised 10+ times, it is back to RC we go! We have never had problems with the American service. Was offered a part-refund for part of our holiday, to be told one day before we left the ship that it would be given as onboard credit, once again lied to and fobbed off by them. Gym equipment was broke. Computer systems were down for last three days, so we couldn't access our bills. High level management are protected by low level staff. PLEASE NOTE: Not one customer (I spoke to close to 100) was happy with this cruise!!! This cruise was a reflection of where P&O is going, ie, eventually nowhere! STEER CLEAR! SPEND YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY SOMEWHERE ELSE!!! 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
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose P&O as we wanted the Christmas and New Year cruise to be special and we wanted the best service, entertainment and food but that is not what we got. First we arrive to the news the last cruise had Norovirus and the ship was ... Read More
We chose P&O as we wanted the Christmas and New Year cruise to be special and we wanted the best service, entertainment and food but that is not what we got. First we arrive to the news the last cruise had Norovirus and the ship was getting a deep clean. That would not have been an issue if the standards on the ship were of a good but it was not, I had to make a formal complaint before we saw any improvements and I was not the only one to complain - tables not cleared or cleaned, staff standing around talking when you are trying to get some service. Customers made to constantly clean their hands which was required as the virus broke out again, but staff were joining the ship from port not doing so and they were never pulled up on it and let on board -double standards. The food was very hit and miss tbe breakfasts were good but the evening meals were poor as standards seem to have gone down dramatically with poor quality produce and flavourless meals, again we complained constantly, I did not have a vegetable that you could call satisfactory and the potatoes were appalling. The rooms now only get a sheet change once a week - what is that all about for a so called 4 star cruise, just cost cutting and our room was not hovered once and when I asked why I was told they had been instructed not to Hoover due to the Norovirus- have you ever heard anything so ridiculous! We had the cheapest of crackers and party poppers, it was embarrassing and the entertainment was poor for such a special time, lots of tribute artist's and nothing special done for either Xmas or the new year, we had to make our own entertainment. The New year party on deck saw no staff in attendance getting the fun going no canopies or a glass of bubbly, just the DJ coming up around 11pm, it was a joke. I have never been so disappointed and will never use P&O again they are just not the same. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this ship as we had previously cruised in it. In addition we have sailed on 10 other occasions with P & O over a period of 25 years. But NEVER AGAIN. We paid nearly £6,000 for this cruise and it was the worst value for ... Read More
We chose this ship as we had previously cruised in it. In addition we have sailed on 10 other occasions with P & O over a period of 25 years. But NEVER AGAIN. We paid nearly £6,000 for this cruise and it was the worst value for money ever experienced. If you are planning a cruise please read this with care. We had a nice cabin on Deck 14 (R5??) but that is about the good side of things. Food was far from the quality it was 4 years ago - maybe the taking over P&O by the American Co. Carnival had a lot to do with it. I am a vegetarian but I would bet wager that McDonald's serve better. One would have thought that they would have pushed the boat out on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve but NO - just bog standard grub. Oh! sorry we were given some very cheap and nasty Christmas crackers and a party popper each. By the way I guess I am speaking on behalf of the majority of passengers as we had chosen 'freedom'dining meaning that we sat at a different table each evening - thus sitting with about 90 different people during the cruise. Nearly all said they would not cruise with P&O again. In fact a couple said they were going to cancel their next booked cruise. Christmas day each cabin was given a signed (by the captain) card and each passenger got a lovely present of a child's snow globe of a P*O ship - not even Ventura. Bet you can all guess where they ended up (waste bin - not the sea!!!!) After a calm crossing of the Bay of Biscay our first port of call was Lisbon. But where did we berth? at a container terminal - from our balcony we looked out on what must have been some two thousand containers!!! In the past we have berthed near the rail/road bridge opposite the statue of Christ the King. All we can assume is that Carnival will not pay for good berths. My wife usually indulges in beauty treatments - but not on this ship where they were some 2 1/2 times the high street cost. However she was overcharged i the shop selling cosmetics and when she returned to point this out - no apology - no apology! This friends is called service. Carnival's influence is clear to see money, Money MONEY all the time. One thing which really annoyed me was that in the daily newsletter they were advertising lessons in how to play Blackjack, Roulette, 'one arm bandits'. We have a serious gambling problem in UK and to see this really got my back up. How irresponsible can an organisation be? So immoral. Courtesy coaches were available at some of the ports. In most cases they did not take passengers to the main area of the port - but partway so we had to walk the rest. This has never been the case in or experiences.1 In the past orange juice has been available at most meal times - not on this ship - only at breakfast. My wife attended a Russian classical piano concert which was held in the Tamrind Bar which is open to drinkers ans the general public walking by to other parts of the ship. On other vessels such a concert would have been held in the theatre where doors could be closed where the music could be appreciated without distraction. I felt it such an insult to the pianist. One of the few good things was that a pint of Fosters was about £4.15 - little more than UK. However one of the saddest things was that the itinerary was changed at the last minute. Many passengers were planning to go ashore at Funchal, following the glorious firework display, to join in the New Year festivities with the locals and maybe friends/relatives who may live or be holidaying in Madeira. This was because the original itinerary stated that the ship would leave Funchal at 09.30 new Years Day morning. However the tenders (we were at anchor in the bay) stopped running at 17.30 New Years Eve. Such a disappointment for many we spoke with. On all the cruises I have attended lectures by interesting people on a variety of topics. Not on Ventura all that was offered was a guy boringly taking about 'pop' music - on about 8 different occasions - oh! and he tried to sing some of the songs - enough said. The other speaker was the Ship's Chief Engineer. Being an engineer myself I thought the content was rather too technical , with due respects to other listeners. The slides he projected were in the main terrible. There you are my friends - do hope you have found this information helpful in deciding that Ventura is not for you. PS On board gratuities was over £80 per passenger. This, it is said, to give equally to all service crew members. But this we found is not the case. Speaking to a few bar waiters this money is shared between cabin stewards and ding-room waiters. Bar waiters (who work a 12 hour day 7 days a week) get £210 a month plus 6% of any orders they take per month. I wonder in what other walk of life does this happen. If they paid these hard workers a living wage all this gratuity business would not be necessary. Employing these guys from the Philippines etc in this way is a total injustice. In all extremely disappointing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first and and definitely our last, cruise on P&O. Had we not cruised before, we might never have cruised again. I have worked hard all my life in the NHS and retired last September. I wanted a cruise that would help me ... Read More
This was our first and and definitely our last, cruise on P&O. Had we not cruised before, we might never have cruised again. I have worked hard all my life in the NHS and retired last September. I wanted a cruise that would help me celebrate that. The christmas cruise on Ventura sounded ideal because it would take us to Lisbon for Xmas Eve and Madeira for the NY fireworks. Both of these cities we love. The canaries were new territory. I paid £7000 for a SUPERIOR DELUXE BALCONY out of my retirement fund. "This is the life" they promised. It most certainly was not. Our cabin was filthy dirty with mould on the bathroom tiles, and the floor tiles. The dressing gowns were thin; one had holes in it, the other had stains. The Bath was chipped (its a Villeroy & Boch for heaven's sake), the loo was black throughout and our sink was badly scratched with some deep grooves. Carpets were filthy dirty, furnishings were definitely sub-standard and fit for throwing out. Our sofa bed was shiny and stained through age and wear and tear and there were evident greasy head marks on the bedhead. Our balcony was a rust bucket and the furniture was old, stained and unfit for purpose. The binoculars were broken as was the hairdryer, and an electric socket was hanging off the wall. Our biggest frustration was getting it sorted whilst on board. The deck housekeeper (Mr Chai Gadgill) was nothing short of useless and we couldn't get past him to complain to anyone senior. Management were invisible. Holidaying with guests more akin to my patients and competing for spaces in the public areas was frustrating to say the least. I have never holidayed with such a bunch of moaning minnies. We were happy to share tables initially, but got fed up listening to people moan about slipping standards, pill popping and insulin injecting - yes at the dining table! I lost count how many times I stubbed my toe on someone's walking stick or frame. Then we had Norovirus - as a Nurse who recognises the importance of good hand hygiene practice and other preventative measures, I can only say that P&O staff who worked tirelessly to clean were not being supported properly by managers and in effect, all they were doing was spreading it. Very disappointing. Entertainment was poor (OK if you like Butlins' standards). We ate in the Saffron MDR mostly and I credit Reggie and his crew for the humour and courtesy they offered but when Norovirus struck, being served by waiters wearing blue plastic gloves was not exactly superior standards. We enjoyed the Glass House and Sindhu, but the Epicurean was a rip off at Christmas. Paid £105 for dinner in all our finery including the wine package. But we left after the second course, because we felt we were sat on an engine with all the vibrations and they could not find us another table. And then finally trying to get off our ship was the last straw - it took 5 hours competing with all the wheel chairs and other mobility devices. Never again. WE have formally complained and they have accepted liability but their offer of compensation is ridiculously poor and we are now taking the matter further. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
3 Nt cruise from Southampton to Zebrugger November 24th to 27th 2017. My partner and I have returned from a short cruise. I enjoy cruising and this was about my 20th cruise in 10 years. I felt the need to write this review as we felt ... Read More
3 Nt cruise from Southampton to Zebrugger November 24th to 27th 2017. My partner and I have returned from a short cruise. I enjoy cruising and this was about my 20th cruise in 10 years. I felt the need to write this review as we felt the service on board was sub standard. The ship itself is very tired looking but what really let us down was the service. I appreciate P & O do not offer a drinks package and advise drinks are of "pub" prices. If these are Pub prices than there that of London prices! We were charged £9.95 for a bloody Mary cocktail. The queues to be served in most of the bars were long. At lunchtime in the Buffet we had to search out and ask for a waiter to be served or offerred drinks. The tables around the swimming area on Deck 15 were often full of empty plates/cups, I seldom saw any member of staff cleaning as I have on other ships. The crew staff were not friendly, it was a rare occasion when any of them would say good morning/evening exc..... Disembarkment was a nightmare, we were advised to wait on deck 6 when we got there they said to go to deck 5 and then when we went down to deck 5 they said to go back up to Deck 6...this happened again and then finally we were told to go to the Cinimon restuarant to wait further instructions. When we did finally swipe our card leaving the ship we were asked by security to return to Reception. We had no idea why we were being recalled and unable to leave. We returned to the reception area to find out there was a computer glitch with there payment systems and although I had cleared our account with cash the night before, the system had deleted our payment card details which they required us to complete again. I questioned why this was being asked as we had paid our bill off night before but was advised the system lost a few members accounts...a computer glitch and they required this information before we could leave????. The ship was due to dock Southampton at 6am we did not dock due to ill weather until 10am. My partner suffered sea sickness in the night due to bad weather, this was mentioned to one of the staff members when we were asked to move downstairs to deck 5 from Deck 6 a second time. As soon as this was mentioned we were advised we HAD to go back to our rooms and contact the Nurse/Doctor because it could be the Nero virus. We did as instructed and waited for half hour for a nurse to contact the room when she decided to give us the all clear and allow us to leave the ship. In the end we were very thankful the cruise was only 3 nights and glad leave. Usually when I finish a cruise I look forward to planning the next one.......not this time. We will never sail with P & O again. Unhappy P & O customer From Swansea Wales Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was my third cruise with P and O but first time on Ventura,I have to say that I am finished with P and O .The Ventura is so dated very tired looking furnishings the superior balcony was terrible 2 small televisions that you had to ... Read More
This was my third cruise with P and O but first time on Ventura,I have to say that I am finished with P and O .The Ventura is so dated very tired looking furnishings the superior balcony was terrible 2 small televisions that you had to strain your neck to seethe very poor quality films that were on offer,the deck-chairs on the so called superior balcony were a disgrace old and filthy.The cushions on the settee were flat dead, shower was good. Food in restaurant was ok nothing special Ollys Glass House was fantastic as was Sindhu.Staff were so glum especially at Pizza outlet no smiles no hellos or welcomes.Marks out of 5 Food 3 Entertainment 2 Superior cabin 1 Overall Ventura experience 1. The captain was not evident on ship ,movies on ship shown in a make shift theatre so if someone sat in front of you then its quite literally curtains. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We went to celebrate a friends 50th birthday, far too impersonal everywhere you went there was constant queuing. The food was not good at all, some completely inedible....We had an inside cabin, so you get what you pay for I suppose, but ... Read More
We went to celebrate a friends 50th birthday, far too impersonal everywhere you went there was constant queuing. The food was not good at all, some completely inedible....We had an inside cabin, so you get what you pay for I suppose, but the Wifi didn't work, the TV was erratic, the air conditioning was appalling.....For such a big ship it feels very claustrophobic, the lifts take forever and are very small, the onboard entertainment was awful, the staff are helpful enough....The shore trip was the best part of the trip, as we left the ship!! Getting off upon reaching Southampton was nothing short of chaotic....Everyone trying to eat and leave at the same time is ridiculous. I tried to upgrade my cabin but no one seemed interested in assisting me with this...This was the first cruise I'd been on and probably the last...For the Ventura to be the P&O 'flagship' the rest of them must be awful..that's it really. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I've cruised many times before as a solo passenger so had a pretty good idea as to what to expect - but what a disappointment! Embarkation was straightforward and easy, although I had to pretty much beg a porter to take my suitcase! ... Read More
I've cruised many times before as a solo passenger so had a pretty good idea as to what to expect - but what a disappointment! Embarkation was straightforward and easy, although I had to pretty much beg a porter to take my suitcase! On board the cabin was absolutely fine (Balcony cabin on A deck mid-ship), and yes the ship is looking tired in areas, but on the whole no complaints there. I'm sad to say it was the very poor attitude of the staff which really let this cruise down. It started with breakfast at the buffet on the first morning, a handful of passengers, me included, were waiting for cups to be brought out to the drinks station when we were approached by the head manager, he asked a lady what she was doing and she just said that we were waiting for more cups, not complaining just stating the fact. He got very irate and told her to go to the other drinks stations to get a cup, when she said that her table was close to this one he was incredibly rude and told her to just to walk to another station and that "it wasn't difficult!" and then he walked off. We were all speechless, I've never heard anyone be spoken to like that on a cruise. No one was complaining, we were all quietly waiting and bearing in mind this was the first morning and we were still trying to get to grips with the layout of the ship. Later that day I had to go to the Reception desk as the tv in my room was still showing the names of the previous passengers and so I was blocked from certain things as it still had their settings. When I asked a lady at Reception about this she bit my head off stating that they knew that they had an issue and were trying to sort it out! I understand that she may have been asked that question a few times that day but there was no need to be so rude about it. They could have had a notice up on the reception desk or made an announcement if they didn't want to be constantly asked the question. Unfortunately I had to make a further trip to Reception a day later, same woman, same appalling attitude! The waiting/bar staff did not smile, there was no friendly greeting, I felt like it was an imposition on them by my being there, they genuinely seemed to hate having to be there. The only person who was actually friendly was my cabin steward, however when I passed other stewards they all ignored me or just grunted a response to my greeting. The ports of call and the excursions which I went on were fine, no issues there. Getting on and off the ship in port was very straightforward. Entertainment - hit and miss really. I saw some of the shows in the Arena by the ships' entertainers and they were very good. There was an extraordinarily good young male singer (I can't remember his name but he disembarked at Lisbon), and 3 comics - two of which made me laugh, but the third one (who played in the Arena Theatre), well I thought that we have gone back to the 70s and 80s, his jokes were sexist and xenophobic, I cringed the whole way through and would have left early if I hadn't been in the centre of a row. My experience was so poor that I seriously considered disembarking in Lanzarote and spending the last 5 days of my holiday there - in hindsight I really wish that I had. Needless to say I will never sail with P&O again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This cruise was to see the winter out with a friend, a nice break. The ship looked tired and worn. The cabin was fine, there were no towels, tissues in the bathroom. Dining was okay though most of the food was cold, dried up except the ... Read More
This cruise was to see the winter out with a friend, a nice break. The ship looked tired and worn. The cabin was fine, there were no towels, tissues in the bathroom. Dining was okay though most of the food was cold, dried up except the desserts which were fine. Entertainment was fine and activities to suit all ages. The service was not up to the usual standard. There seemed to be a lack of smiles and banter in most of the ships company. I have been on this ship before and was very disappointed by this aspect of the cruise. The shore excursions were fine, no problems and seemed to run very smoothly. Embarking and disembarking was efficient especially for the amount of passengers that were on this cruise that the staff were dealing with. Despite the positive aspects of this short break we would not go with the line again in the near future . Very disappointed. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Been on Azura 3 Times decided to try Ventura Food was Terrible in Buffet Indian and Asian food for 12 days, Food was always barely warm if not cold, if you wanted a salad,forget Ham or Prawns were only out twice complained to ... Read More
Been on Azura 3 Times decided to try Ventura Food was Terrible in Buffet Indian and Asian food for 12 days, Food was always barely warm if not cold, if you wanted a salad,forget Ham or Prawns were only out twice complained to Management only to be told it was exactly the same on all their ships!! What a load of rubbish could not fault anything on Azura, entertainment everything was brilliant . Unlike Ventura entertainment was poor, 1 band was on every night for 12 days ! We had a luxury executive room with balcony, sofa looked like it needed a good clean stained and faded as we're the curtains,. Will never go on his ship ever again, They say you pay for what you get well that's not true cost nearly £5000 for 3 of us for 12 days, don't feel I want to use P O ever again Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We spent New Year 2015/2016 on P&O VENTURA on a 4 day cruise going to Zeebrugge and Amsterdam. And the bad outcome was my fault 100%. Of course the question is “why did I choose P&O ?”. Two main reasons: 1) Never been on it and ... Read More
We spent New Year 2015/2016 on P&O VENTURA on a 4 day cruise going to Zeebrugge and Amsterdam. And the bad outcome was my fault 100%. Of course the question is “why did I choose P&O ?”. Two main reasons: 1) Never been on it and I just wanted to try and 2) Previous year I was on Queen Victoria on the same type of cruise and itinerary and I was thinking that being under the same corporate umbrella the experience will be more or less the same. On top of that my favourite cabin was not available on QV so I choose Ventura to spend the longest night of the year. BIG MISTAKE ! Why ? Ventura, which launched in 2008, aimed apparently to transform what many people consider P&O's somewhat stuffy ambience to one more in tune with the times. The result was a floating pub resembling more a ferry than a cruise liner. As I read, in April 2013, the ship had a multi-million pound makeover including new soft furnishings in the cabins and new carpets throughout but the result is a ferry pretending to be posh and taking you back in ’70 cheap all-inclusive sea side resorts. Embarkation/Disembarkation Even if a fast track embarkation and a dedicated check-in desk are promised for suites on our arrival in Southampton a “charming lady” sent us in a line shouting that P&O don’t do dedicated check-in….”maybe only for the Cpt”. On disembarkation we were queuing on stairs, in a very well organised chaotic way ignoring any safety rules but having an “intellectual touch” as the queue was passing twice the Art Gallery. Quite happy when we reach the shore ! Accommodation Ventura has 1,555 cabins, of which 434 are inside, 1,103 are outside and 881 have a balcony. Aiming for the best experience we choose the most expensive cabin on board (£2000/person/4 days) – ORIENTAL SUITE. There are two of this kind on Ventura, side by side on Deck 12 right at the aft of the ship, 742 square feet (with a 216 square foot balcony). And the Penthouse was the first shock on board. The living area and the bedroom were very generous from the living space point of view, with a lot of storage space and big balcony and bathroom. The deco was what made us scream; a lot of unused space, with furniture that reminds me of a ‘70s all-inclusive cheap resort in Spain with some random paintings who seems to come directly from a B&Q sales. When spending a quite afternoon in the living room I had the feeling that the deco was the result of a “choose the ugliest and the cheapest stuff you can find” competition. According to P&O website a Penthouse includes some “special touches: Butler service, daily canapes, and a Senseo coffee machine with complimentary pods included”. The reality was a little bit different: the coffee machine was replaced with a kettle and the coffee pods with some instant coffee sachets, the daily canapes were randomly selected from the yesterday buffet’s leftovers. The Butler was like a drop of fresh water in the seat: very kind, polite and excellent manners. “Fortunately” his first class service was “well balanced” by the rudest steward I ever meet who has as a main duty to moan every day, sometimes twice a day about almost everything. Even the tip (50 Euros for 4 days) wasn’t good enough for him and he told us off after we had a little cocktail party with some friends in our room. Looking again at P&O website I can see that is mentioned for Penthouse “a flat screen TV, MP3 compatible music player, an iron and ironing board and trouser press plus White Company amenities”. And again … 25% correct! The TV hand an excellent free movies selection but the system didn’t work most of the time and the “play&pause” option was a non-sense. The music system was indeed Bose (wow, wow, wow!!!!!) but didn’t work (still pretty as a piece of furniture) and the iron was probably recuperated from Titanic after staying on the bottom of the Ocean for couple of decades. Initially I was very happy with the amenities as the 4 bottles (shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion) of White Company were a bonus for the cabin. The surprise was that after 2 days when we requested an replacement we were told by the “nice” steward that we are not entitled to get new ones – “only one set per cabin per cruise”. I was checking the P&O website again and didn’t find any information about 2 mandatory showers/cabin/cruise … maybe I missed the page! Dinning P&O’s marketing blurb claims there are 10 restaurants. There aren’t. There are five genuine restaurants (Bay Tree, Cinnamon, Saffron, The White Room, and East); the rest are more casual eateries. Having a penthouse we were entitled to have our dinner in Cinnamon (Deck 5, midships) on a freestyle basis. No difference in the menu between this restaurant and the main one - Bay Tree and to be honest I don’t believe that Marco Pierre White, the creator of the menu, apparently, will be happy with the “corner pub” style of food or “whatever, I aint bovvered” rushed service style. I think for those who will be brave enough to try P&O in the future and eat in the main restaurants the safest option is a salad and a “eat quick and run” dinner style. I manage to take a photo of the “delicious” petit fours at the end but unfortunately I missed the “alien” lamb served that night. For a company that sells its cruises on The Fine Dining experience. Silver Service has gone, but they won't tell you. Wine waiters have an impossible work load, not leaving their previous duty until they are already required for Dinner Service and then too many tables. It's obvious then that most tables are not even going to get their wine order taken until after they have started eating and most will not get ... their wine until they have started main course. This is far from Fine Dining and nothing like the claims made in the brochure about attention to detail to the whole food and beverage experience. In the Cinnamon the portions were a bit mean - one floret of cauliflower and broccoli as vegetables on one occasion (no opportunity to reach '5-a-day!). We had dinner twice here and we decided to try our luck in the speciality restaurants. And there was a different story. Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to be awarded the coveted Michelin star, brought his highly sought-after talent and years of experience to Sindhu, a fine dining restaurant where you can experience modern Indian cuisine with a British twist. Fabulous service, elegant deco and amazing food mad worth it the fee that you pay for dinner there. Dinner menus are changed twice a cruise and are drawn from dishes in Kochhar's Benares Restaurant in London. For starters expect shammi kebab (spiced lamb cakes), jai tarang (pan-fried hand-dived scallops) and gosht ke dhuandhar soole (marinated smoked beef skewers). For mains we had Atul's signature plate of lamb rogan josh, chicken murgh and cod jai pari which was sublime .And Sindhu was actually the best dinner we had on board. For New Year Dinner we opted for The Epicurean, positioned right at the back of the ship high up on Deck 17. The former White Room now is an elegant space, with plush carpets and dark furnishings; the menu for kind of imaginative, creative cuisine - molecular gastronomy type - which has style as well as content. The menu presents as traditional but the dishes are re-interpreted for today's modern palates. The New Year dinner, which has a double price than a normal one, included different types of wine with each course and lots of other fun touches: Bloody Mary lollipops to start with a dash of Worcestershire sauce in the centre; salt and pepper oyster and jumbo prawn tempura that comes with an artist's 'paint tube' of sweet pimento sauce; a sorbet designed as a tube of lipstick or a 'poached egg' with a 'yolk' of mango and a 'white' of coconut milk. Again a great decision to spend the night there. One of the few drops of style and class on Ventura. Entertainment I always believe that cruise entertainment attempt to be generally of high quality but this is clearly where P&O cut costs. Very little entertainment during the day and the quality and choice in the evening was not much better. P&O doesn't go in for the huge West End-style productions the big US ships have popularised. Instead, expect British comedy; revue-type shows where the emphasis is on the singing talents of the performer rather than what's going on behind her; and magicians, ventriloquists and tribute acts. On two evenings the entertainment was a film, yes that's correct, a film. On another day a young artist called Karl Lewis was an Olly Murs (!!!) tribute who later in the week returned as himself. He bore no comparison to either. The band called “The Flyrights” were more interested in “chatting up the chicks and having some booze” than performing on stage. Havana, the main nightclub and entertainment venue, where movies are sometimes shown, is an activities room by day and a sultry Cuban-inspired club by night, but sight lines are extremely poor from many seats. Lucky the band “Serious Souls” performed time to time there making the venue more attractive. A video wall in the Cosmopolitan club lounge screens real-time footage of the world’s seven most famous city skylines – Sydney, Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and London but in the evening reminds me a pub in Crawley Friday night. P&O claims the 785-seat Arena Theatre, at the front of the ship and spanning two decks, is the largest show lounge aboard a UK-based cruise ship but in fact the show lounge aboard Queen Mary 2 is larger, with 1,094 seats, as is the Show lounge aboard Independence of the Seas. But that was the place were we have a surprise. “Destination Dance” was the only real entertainment during our 4 days on Ventura. Excellent choreography and performance, amazing lighting and costume, fantastic choice of music and vocals made this show even better than the same production seen couple days later on Queen Victoria. But in general to set a comparison the entertainment was at a level that would expect from a local town talent show. Ventura Fellow Passengers That’s a very delicate point because, based only on what I experienced on board Ventura between 29th december to 2nd of January, I think P&O build its business model around the crowd on board. Food, entertainment, service style (a lot of “All right mate ?!” and “Cheers mate !” in the staff vocabulary) are created for fans of “let’s get pissed in the pub” kind of fun. A typical short cruise will have one formal night and the rest will be 'evening casual', which is defined as open necked shirt and 'tailored trousers' or smart jeans for men; dress or casual separates for women. Forget the rules don’t expect something like that on board. Ventura during this New Year Celebration Cruise was an invasion of bad hair extensions, massive fake eyelashes, cocktail dresses two size smaller when the dress code was formal and of course jackets, ties and bow ties removed and abandoned on chairs, sofas or necks after 5 minutes of wearing. Class or style can hardly find a place on corridors or decks full of ladies collapsed on the floor and crying for lost love around 1.00AM, having in one hand a glass with Echo Falls and in the other the shoes. Was like they were filming a new episode of Benidorm on board! By the way Ventura is the first cruise ship where I saw in the buffet an “Enomatic wine dispenser system” … and that’s says all! Of course reading P&O Facebook page and other sites I realised that P&O and Ventura in particular have a big army of fans. From this point a view P&O scored big time as they created a product for a certain type of market. However if you look for style, class, service standards, elegance and enchanted experience for sure you have to look somewhere else. Is nobody to blame….P&O do the right thing for the right market. Was me who booked the cruise! But at the end of the day our journey was part of a learning curve. Fortunately for us after 4 days on board P&O Ventura we board Cunard Queen Victoria for a 7 days cruise. And, like in the L’Oréal advert, that will smooth the wrinkles of Ventura’s experience! 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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