Ventura ReviewsView Cruise Deals
As usual the food and entertainment on P&O was extremely good however the cruise was spoilt a bit by the large number of hen/stag parties who do not know how to behave properly and do not respect other passengers. I am surprised P&O allow all female/male large group parties.
Comfortable cabin, some tired deco. All staff and crew very polite. Excellent service. Food and range of restaurants very good. Spacious feel inside. Plenty of sun beds. Entertainment varied and very good. Plenty of daily activities on offer. Excursions pricey.
Booking our first ever cruise through Iglu was efficient and stress-free with P&O our chosen cruise line, and with an exciting 14 night cruise of the Mediterranean aboard Ventura, we eagerly awaited the day of our departure from Southampton. Arriving by car we were swiftly transferred to this magnificent ship along with the other 3,200 passengers (but not overwhelmed by the numbers) and we were quickly settled into our balcony cabin situated on the 15th deck. Not having any previous experience of cruising, our first concern was getting around this fabulous ship. We soon located all the important facilities aboard and settled into our first night at sea, a day later braving the notorious Bay of Biscay.....just. We were so impressed with the standard of hygiene throughout Ventura, the staff efficient and always smiling. The choice of food in the numerous restaurants we found to be excellent, the service first-class, well appointed cabins made our cruise comfortable with magnificent views from our 15th deck balcony. There was plenty to keep us occupied during the days at sea with wall-to-wall entertainment programmes from breakfast to the early hours of the morning. One of the highlights of this fantastic 14 day cruise was the exciting ports of call Barcelona, Lisbon, Monaco, Vigo, Palma, Gibraltar and Ciivitavecchia. Taking the onshore organised trips makes a nice break and gives a brief insight into places which you might like to visit at greater length at a later date, but these trips come at a price.....very expensive, which seems to be the general opinion of other passengers who we spoke to. This is a magnificent ship and we could not fault any aspect of our first cruise. We are now seriously thinking of doing it all again, maybe on another P & O ship, though we will always remember our love for Ventura. Thanks P&O and the entire crew on Ventura, our first-ever cruise was one to savour.
We had a nice experience on our first cruise. It did seem very rushed and a whirlwind visit though. We felt absolutely shattered after getting back, and needed a holiday. Having to board, then do a safety drill, then get ready for dinner at half six was quite stressful. We had a decent time in Bruges but then had to get ready for the evening meal again then to be told that we had to have our bags packed ready for collection 'that night' Well this did kind of ruin the atmosphere as people were already out and then the group had to split and go back to their rooms to pack bags. A few didn't bother coming back out after packing as they had lost the enjoyment and were also shattered. We did love our room with a window and the staff were very helpful. The schedule was very stressful though and we slept the whole of sunday after getting back so early. 6am starts each day doesn't really make you relax in the evening as you know you have to get up so early. One more thing was charging for everything on the ship and the drinks certainly added up quickly. Thanks Tim
Ventura is a very big beautiful ship. Family friendly and well catered for disabled and not so abled bodied older clients Excellent service in all areas around the ship. Freedom dining is not to everyones taste ,we were very lucky. some diners were not so and had to wait at times up to 45mts to 60mts,so out goes the freedom.Busy times between6.30pm to 8.00pm. Food very good indeed. When booking forgot it was around Easter time so the ship was full, too full at times in the buffet areas, around 500 children on board no trouble expect the main pools were taken over by them. There is an adults only smaller pool at the very front of the ship but it feels so isolated and because of this very few use it. Not as dressy as I would have liked, casual was too casual although we did have 4 x formal nights, the Captains night was when people made the effort to dress up. Entertainment two shows very good indeed Mark Walker comedian and Walk like a Man tribute to The Jersey boys. Would cruise with P&O again but on a smaller ship. For us the Ventura Enjoyable, Excellent service, but Too Big. Too Full
Overall the cruise was enjoyable. Things needing attention. The dining arrangements on board favour free dining, we had no choice and would have preferred a fixed time and table. The in cabin TV service is abysmal, not worth having. Internet service is too expensive, they shoul charge by the minute. The plus side. Entertainment was first class. Generally service was very good and we had a superb cabin steward, Euston Fenandez. Overall good value for money.
A great cruise, above all expectations and staff were all polite and food excellent.
Loved the Caribbean and the Ventura has lots to do onboard. Had an inside cabin which was very nice and comfortable beds. The staff on board are all very friendly and helpful. Can't fault the entertainment, who more can you ask for, go to see a film, stand up comedy or a show all in the same evening. Plenty of different bars a with entertainment at all of them. Was lucky to have been given 6.30pm dining which allowed us to watch two evening shows, one in the Havana and another in the Arena. One thing I would say, or rather two. . Think a cruise is better suited to couples. Very cold sailing back to Southampton from the Caribbean, in March. If I was ever to cruise again, I would book the 14 days and fly to and back from Barbados. At least that way you get 12 days of sun and view some gorgeous Caribbean Islands. All in all we only had 5-6 warm sunny days and the rest were too cold to sit on deck, let alone sunbath. Still glad I had the experience.
Ventura is a big ship and I would not recommend it if you have any mobility issues. Due to the layout, ie food facilities at one end and entertainment venues at the other, this can involve be a great deal of walking. For example, a couple of ladies booked a cabin near the centre of the ship hoping that this would make easy access for all the facilities but after only one trip to the main resteraunt, the Bay Tree, they asked to be given an alternative. At first this was refused until one of the ladies said, "I just won't be able to eat then!" Trying to find the disembarkation areas on decks 4 and 5 also proved to be problematic to many people when the blue arrows indicating the route off the ship failed to be displayed. Having said all this, I enjoyed my trip very much after I met and made friends and got used to the ships complicated layout. I don't know if this is normal on the bigger ships but there were many shops and bars trying to encourage you to spend and no quiet spaces to sit and watch the world (the Atlantic) go by. The library was, well, not a library, and there was no proper dance floor. This is a ship for families and younger people, not for the core of cruisers of an older age.
I enjoyed my cruise however it would be useful prior to booking to know that the average age was 69 on the cruise . I myself was celebrating my 50th and not much passengers around my age group. Ship very clean staff helpful cabin stewards very helpful. It would be very helpful if passenger had the chance to dine with friends they met on the ship In stead of feeling isolated dinning with strangers who you have nothing in common to discuss over a nice meal. A different choice of menu in a all the restaurants instead of all having the same menu daily in all. I would recommend this holiday experience to my elders they would enjoy it due to more age aproperate. The bars close at 1pm so not much chance of having a late drink with friends after all your on holiday. Well done to all the staff keep up the good work especially Suneesh cabin steward who looked after us very well and always had a smile and went out his way to accommodate passengers.