Although the title may give it away I am going to try & give a fair assessment of our holiday as well as address some of the negative comments a minority of travelers - reviewers seem compelled to make. We have cruised the Caribbean in Feb for the last 6 years as 2 couples on ocean village, Thompson, princess & the last 3 years with P&O Azura & twice on the Ventura. Between the 4 of us we have also sailed with Royal Caribbean, Holland America & even the Island Escape. What some companies lack in catering they make up for in entertainment say & on the more luxurious ships the drinks are expensive & so on but they all have their merits, we have always enjoyed our cruise holiday & since our first one we have taken no other type of vacation. We travelled to manchester on the 12th feb from the northeast & stayed at the raddison for the night before our early morning flight on Friday. I like this hotel, although pricey you can comfortably walk along the skyway to check in, a lot better than shuttle busses. It would be nice to have more Newcastle flights though. We were on the Thomas Cook flight in the premium cabin which was fine, good seats, free drinks & good movies. After the 8 hour flight 40mins later we were at the Barbados port check in, 1/2 an hour after that we were on board enjoying a beer at Breakers Bar having dropped our hand luggage at our immaculate cabin. There really is nothing to complain about with this process & don't forget you check you're luggage in at departure & then it is at the state room on the ship, on what other type of holiday would that happen? With our flight being on the 1st day of the 2 day check in we spent our 1st days holiday on the beach at sandy lane in glorious sunshine while the rest of the flights checked in (these holiday makers have their day in Barbados on the return) Moving on quickly to the 1st sea day on Ventura which is where the next area of cotroversy arises, the sun bed saga! Yes young families like to have the beds next to the kids' pool so there' up earl,y other people like shade, others have their preferences, one thing for sure you're never going to get a lounger of you're choice wandering the decks at 10-30 am after a leisurely breakfast! We've never had a problem getting 4 beds together so honestly nothing to moan about here. I have to admit that just for a change we booked the retreat this time at £350 per couple for the trip & made good use of it & we perhaps trimmed a bit off our usual on board spend to justify that, you will all have worked out by now that we don't fill empty bottles at the water stations or smuggle gin & vodka back on board in water bottles, some people still do! Moving onto the islands in general & addressing what to do on shore days, you either go it alone, stay on the ship or have a P&O organized trip, the latter is mentioned in various reviews as being overly expensive, however everybody we have spoken to about their trips results in positivity, we've always enjoyed the rare organized trips we have been on. The alternative to this is a tour or journey by local taxi services, dependent on the wealth of the island in question the trip can be a 'hairy' ride in a van that wouldn't pass an M O T test in this country, to an ok ride in a mini bus, the choice is yours. Basically you get what you pay for. Food on this floating 5 star hotel attracts various forms of comment, all I can say is, every boat I have been on from so called 3 star to 5 has been in my opinion of a very high standard, putting a very high percentage of onshore establishments too total shame, the Ventura is no exception, this trip we enjoyed freedom dining in the cinnamon restaurant for dinner, also the glass house & white room, great service & meals, the buffets on deck 15 more than adequate, I find the whole dining logistics for 3,000 guests totally fascinating, how people can find fault with any of this is staggering. I have to say at this point that as 2 couples we are proud to each have up & coming young chefs as sons, both have worked in Michelin star kitchens & this year one made the final stages of professional master chef, take my word for it, the catering is just fine! We enjoyed the entertainment on board, good comedian Paul Eastwood, the ventriloquist Gareth Oliver, magician & Tom O'Connor ( a bit past it but hey, it's only an hour out of your evening!) In general, life on board the ventura is all you would want for a great vacation, predominantly British tourists from all walks of life, a good mix of young couples, families, teenagers, middle aged & elderly all getting along with one another, this trip I thought was especially sociable, all the bars busy & bustling just ideal, again some people can find fault with this, reading other reviews about 'undesirables' & paying more to avoid this, come on! There is no doubt that when chatting to some 'seasoned' cruisers you get the impression of missing the old days, ways & traditions, but times & passengers have changed thankfully, plus the fact the modern ships are bigger, better equipped & cope with the rigures of the oceans far better, (stabilizers, thrusters etc.) No matter which modern day ship you are on you would never know you were in the company of 3, 5 or now even 7,000 passengers. I have to say the final sail away from St Maartin was classic Brit nostalgia, moored next to the gigantic Oasis of the Seas, the entertainment crew did an amazing job as we sailed off, fab. Yet previous reviewers compare this to Butlins, honestly! Personally I have to say you will never see more of the world other than by cruising, I couldn't spend 2 weeks on any Caribbean island, a day is enough. We would never have been able to go to all the amazing capital cities of Europe if we had not done it by cruise ship, so all in all a most marvelous way to holiday & is it so wrong that it is becoming more available to more & more people? Of course not, you can't go wrong with this type of vacation, give it a go you won't regret it.

Another great holiday on Ventura

Ventura Cruise Review by eddieonetruck

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2015
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Outside Twin with Shower (Part-obstructed View)
Although the title may give it away I am going to try & give a fair assessment of our holiday as well as address some of the negative comments a minority of travelers - reviewers seem compelled to make. We have cruised the Caribbean in Feb for the last 6 years as 2 couples on ocean village, Thompson, princess & the last 3 years with P&O Azura & twice on the Ventura. Between the 4 of us we have also sailed with Royal Caribbean, Holland America & even the Island Escape. What some companies lack in catering they make up for in entertainment say & on the more luxurious ships the drinks are expensive & so on but they all have their merits, we have always enjoyed our cruise holiday & since our first one we have taken no other type of vacation.
We travelled to manchester on the 12th feb from the northeast & stayed at the raddison for the night before our early morning flight on Friday. I like this hotel, although pricey you can comfortably walk along the skyway to check in, a lot better than shuttle busses. It would be nice to have more Newcastle flights though. We were on the Thomas Cook flight in the premium cabin which was fine, good seats, free drinks & good movies. After the 8 hour flight 40mins later we were at the Barbados port check in, 1/2 an hour after that we were on board enjoying a beer at Breakers Bar having dropped our hand luggage at our immaculate cabin. There really is nothing to complain about with this process & don't forget you check you're luggage in at departure & then it is at the state room on the ship, on what other type of holiday would that happen?
With our flight being on the 1st day of the 2 day check in we spent our 1st days holiday on the beach at sandy lane in glorious sunshine while the rest of the flights checked in (these holiday makers have their day in Barbados on the return) Moving on quickly to the 1st sea day on Ventura which is where the next area of cotroversy arises, the sun bed saga! Yes young families like to have the beds next to the kids' pool so there' up earl,y other people like shade, others have their preferences, one thing for sure you're never going to get a lounger of you're choice wandering the decks at 10-30 am after a leisurely breakfast! We've never had a problem getting 4 beds together so honestly nothing to moan about here. I have to admit that just for a change we booked the retreat this time at £350 per couple for the trip & made good use of it & we perhaps trimmed a bit off our usual on board spend to justify that, you will all have worked out by now that we don't fill empty bottles at the water stations or smuggle gin & vodka back on board in water bottles, some people still do!
Moving onto the islands in general & addressing what to do on shore days, you either go it alone, stay on the ship or have a P&O organized trip, the latter is mentioned in various reviews as being overly expensive, however everybody we have spoken to about their trips results in positivity, we've always enjoyed the rare organized trips we have been on. The alternative to this is a tour or journey by local taxi services, dependent on the wealth of the island in question the trip can be a 'hairy' ride in a van that wouldn't pass an M O T test in this country, to an ok ride in a mini bus, the choice is yours. Basically you get what you pay for.
Food on this floating 5 star hotel attracts various forms of comment, all I can say is, every boat I have been on from so called 3 star to 5 has been in my opinion of a very high standard, putting a very high percentage of onshore establishments too total shame, the Ventura is no exception, this trip we enjoyed freedom dining in the cinnamon restaurant for dinner, also the glass house & white room, great service & meals, the buffets on deck 15 more than adequate, I find the whole dining logistics for 3,000 guests totally fascinating, how people can find fault with any of this is staggering. I have to say at this point that as 2 couples we are proud to each have up & coming young chefs as sons, both have worked in Michelin star kitchens & this year one made the final stages of professional master chef, take my word for it, the catering is just fine!
We enjoyed the entertainment on board, good comedian Paul Eastwood, the ventriloquist Gareth Oliver, magician & Tom O'Connor ( a bit past it but hey, it's only an hour out of your evening!)
In general, life on board the ventura is all you would want for a great vacation, predominantly British tourists from all walks of life, a good mix of young couples, families, teenagers, middle aged & elderly all getting along with one another, this trip I thought was especially sociable, all the bars busy & bustling just ideal, again some people can find fault with this, reading other reviews about 'undesirables' & paying more to avoid this, come on! There is no doubt that when chatting to some 'seasoned' cruisers you get the impression of missing the old days, ways & traditions, but times & passengers have changed thankfully, plus the fact the modern ships are bigger, better equipped & cope with the rigures of the oceans far better, (stabilizers, thrusters etc.) No matter which modern day ship you are on you would never know you were in the company of 3, 5 or now even 7,000 passengers. I have to say the final sail away from St Maartin was classic Brit nostalgia, moored next to the gigantic Oasis of the Seas, the entertainment crew did an amazing job as we sailed off, fab. Yet previous reviewers compare this to Butlins, honestly!
Personally I have to say you will never see more of the world other than by cruising, I couldn't spend 2 weeks on any Caribbean island, a day is enough. We would never have been able to go to all the amazing capital cities of Europe if we had not done it by cruise ship, so all in all a most marvelous way to holiday & is it so wrong that it is becoming more available to more & more people? Of course not, you can't go wrong with this type of vacation, give it a go you won't regret it.
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Cabin Review

Outside Twin with Shower (Part-obstructed View)
Cabin MA E 217
We only sleep in our room so not bothered about tv, balcony etc. always kept immaculately by Menino our steward.
  Ventura Deck Plans