Having just read recent reviews about Ventura, I felt I had to add my experience of my husband and I's recent cruise with P&O. We have cruised many times before with several other cruise lines and this was our first (and last) with P&O which unfortunately did not compare very favourably. A previous reviewer wrote 'Butlins at sea serving canteen food' and this describes it perfectly. Food quality and choice was very poor, not to mention the abysmal portions served up for dinner in the main restaurants. One evening we eagerly awaited our prime rib to be utterly deflated with one very thin (you could almost see through it) slice accompanied by tasteless vegetables. The starters and desserts were unimaginative and we gave up on the soup after two nights of floury, bland efforts. This was to be the norm every evening and on complaining to the food and beverage manager, we were told they are "catering for the British market!" Lunch times were worse with a choice of 5 different ways with potatoes, boring salad combinations, curry, mince and possibly another sloppy casserole on the menu day after day. We did try the speciality restaurants which were good but we felt this was the food quality and service which other cruise lines serve in their main dining rooms without extra charge. Apart from Headliner Shows which were professional if a little too loud, there were few entertainers on board beyond solo artists who sang (screeched in most cases) in other venues and were so loud that you couldn't hold a conversation. The atrium had a keyboard and drums set up the duration of the cruise but they were never used and just gathered dust - what a waste! On Royal Caribbean ships, the atrium is a gathering place for passengers to have a drink, observe, dance or listen to live music, thus giving the whole ship a great ambiance throughout the day and evening. Ventura had no ambiance at all - the atrium was soulless and more akin to a shopping mall and when the shops were closed, there were few people about. We found the Glass House bar to be the best for a quiet drink but even that was a main route to the theatre with many people walking back and forth. Sailaways were loud and raucous featuring the entertainment team dancing to disco 'hits', so loud we couldn't even enjoy a peaceful seat on our balcony six decks below. Sadly there wasn't a hint of Caribbean/steel band music during the 2 weeks. To end on a positive note - we enjoyed the ports of call and our cabin was spacious, comfortable and kept tidy by our friendly cabin steward. The Caribbean is undoubtedly the place to be in January to escape the weather in the UK but our next trip will definitely NOT be with P&O.  

If you like quality food, try another ship!

Ventura Cruise Review by Tartanbuster

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
Having just read recent reviews about Ventura, I felt I had to add my experience of my husband and I's recent cruise with P&O. We have cruised many times before with several other cruise lines and this was our first (and last) with P&O which unfortunately did not compare very favourably.
A previous reviewer wrote 'Butlins at sea serving canteen food' and this describes it perfectly.
Food quality and choice was very poor, not to mention the abysmal portions served up for dinner in the main restaurants. One evening we eagerly awaited our prime rib to be utterly deflated with one very thin (you could almost see through it) slice accompanied by tasteless vegetables. The starters and desserts were unimaginative and we gave up on the soup after two nights of floury, bland efforts. This was to be the norm every evening and on complaining to the food and beverage manager, we were told they are "catering for the British market!" Lunch times were worse with a choice of 5 different ways with potatoes, boring salad combinations, curry, mince and possibly another sloppy casserole on the menu day after day. We did try the speciality restaurants which were good but we felt this was the food quality and service which other cruise lines serve in their main dining rooms without extra charge.
Apart from Headliner Shows which were professional if a little too loud, there were few entertainers on board beyond solo artists who sang (screeched in most cases) in other venues and were so loud that you couldn't hold a conversation. The atrium had a keyboard and drums set up the duration of the cruise but they were never used and just gathered dust - what a waste! On Royal Caribbean ships, the atrium is a gathering place for passengers to have a drink, observe, dance or listen to live music, thus giving the whole ship a great ambiance throughout the day and evening. Ventura had no ambiance at all - the atrium was soulless and more akin to a shopping mall and when the shops were closed, there were few people about. We found the Glass House bar to be the best for a quiet drink but even that was a main route to the theatre with many people walking back and forth.
Sailaways were loud and raucous featuring the entertainment team dancing to disco 'hits', so loud we couldn't even enjoy a peaceful seat on our balcony six decks below. Sadly there wasn't a hint of Caribbean/steel band music during the 2 weeks.
To end on a positive note - we enjoyed the ports of call and our cabin was spacious, comfortable and kept tidy by our friendly cabin steward. The Caribbean is undoubtedly the place to be in January to escape the weather in the UK but our next trip will definitely NOT be with P&O.
 
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