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Ventura

7 of 9 P & O ships

At 115,000 tons and some 290 meters long, Ventura is the largest superliner ever built for the British market. Her vast scale and acres of deck space have allowed her designers a remarkable opportunity in which to introduce new features, new additions and new experiences, which will appeal to all the family.

187 Reviews

Traveller Rating

  • Excellent
    70
  • Very Good
    64
  • Good
    36
  • Average
    14
  • Poor
    3

Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
This month
Food was good, drinks service was bad and we waited 15 minutes for a drink most of the time. The entertainment very poor but, Jimmy James was the only good entertainment. Also, our cabin toilet got blocked!
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David Bird
Poor entertainment
1 year 5 months ago
We have been on many cruises with a number of companies, this was our first, and last with P&O.

We have found cruise entertainment 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. On one evening the entertainment was a film, yes that's correct, a film. On another day it was a Dusty Springfield tribute who later in the week returned as a Lulu tribute. She bore no comparison to either. To set a comparison the entertainment was at a level that would expect from a local town talent show.
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Patricia Graham
Wonderful
1 year 5 months ago
My friend and I both agree that this was a wonderful holiday. It was our first time cruising. The ship was first class as was the service, food and entertainment. The Carribean was lovely with so much to see and do. It was fantastic that suitcases were taken from the airport and we did not see them until they arrived on the ship - outside our cabin door and the same on the journey back home.

I have been raving about the holiday since getting back home and have told friends and family and whoever else would listen that cruising is the life. Thank you P&O.
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Recommended
Stephen Cassidy
Standards Have Plumetted
1 year 5 months ago
There is absolutely nothing special about a P&O Cruise anymore. The standards have plummeted to a low that it is unacceptable in view of the claims made in P&O Cruise Brochures. 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 blatantly 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.

Dress Codes are now ignored with people without shirts regularly ignored by Crew in Self Service Restaurants. Has anybody considered that a dress code requiring a shirt in a restaurant might actually have something to do with hygiene? I don't suppose for a minute that chefs are excused whites in the kitchens and are therefore allowed to drip sweat over food. Why then should a customer be allowed to visit the buffets without a shirt?

Claims in the brochure about Ventura having places where you can find peace and relaxation are simply untrue unless you retreat to your cabin. Firstly Agadoo type music is played all day on the top decks at such a high volume that it is difficult to talk and impossible to ignore. Secondly, you are hounded by up selling as soon as you sit down. Previously, the restaurants that require a supplement to be paid, were only sold by crew outside of these restaurants, now crew are patrolling the decks all day approaching customers that are attempting to relax quietly. On top of this drinks stewards are noticeably more pro-active sometimes approaching you before your empty glass even touches the table, and photographers approaching you three times as you leave the ship in port, within hearing of when you politely refused their colleague. Yes, you could simply say no but we go on holiday to relax and the brochure does claim that this is possible.

This is just a small part of a lengthy complaint that has been sent to P&O.
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Keith Bunn
Don't believe the moaners
2 years 5 months ago
We have just returned from our 1st cruise and I must admit when I read some of the reviews I wondered what we were letting ourselves in for. Well, as it turns out, we had a wonderful time and met people from all walks of life young, middle aged and old, no snobs ( perhaps those that complain of them bear their own complexes).

We booked quite late and could only get an inside cabin which was very nice, plenty of room, clean and comfortable and this is what we would chose next time as it was only a base for sleeping and showering.

The food was good and plentiful and always a good variety, catering for most dietary needs.

The entertainers work tirelessly as do all the staff and we can only commend the politeness of all the P&O staff we met. They are a credit to the Captain and his Senior Crew.

The transfers, embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. We flew on time in a good aircraft all making a perfect holiday experience.

So the moaners who say there is not enough food. How much can you eat?. Those that say the staff are miserable - treat them like equal human beings - it pays dividends.

Finally those that say it is like Butlins but on sea have never been to Butlins and anyway millions of people for many years have enjoyed that type of holiday so don't knock what you have no knowledge of.

In closing I would say that my wife tried for years to get me to try a cruise and based on this experience we have missed out, but not any more as this is the first of many. So our thanks go to the Crew and Staff of the Ventura for a really memorable time.
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Recommended
Ian Chapman
Great cruise for first timers
2 years 5 months ago
My wife, daughter (11) and I decided to treat ourselves to an Italian cruise aboard the Ventura in August 2014. It was our first cruise so we were a little naive to some things but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The good points;
The food was mostly excellent! We dined in the Cinnamon restaurant in the evening as we had excellent service from the friendly and efficient waiters and wine steward. We used the upper deck restaurants for breakfast and lunch, so we could stay dressed casual. The food here was very nice, but not as good as the formal restaurants. We are early risers so we did not find breakfast and lunch much of a busy hassle. The biggest problem at times was finding an empty table, once you had chosen what to eat. Juice is only served at breakfast, chilled water during the rest of the time. Of course there is coffee (very nice) and tea of all flavours served during all hours. I found all savoury dishes tasty, but some of the sweets were a little lack lustre.

We are not wealthy, but found the prices of wine, beer etc, reasonable to that what you would pay at home. Pint of beer £3.50 average, bottle of wine with evening meal £18-£20 and cocktails £5.50. We found the entertainment very good, especially the ventriloquist who was brilliant. All of the waiters around the pool and in the restaurants worked very hard and always there to get you a drink or take away dirty plates and glasses.

I found all of the guests, from all walks of life to be very friendly and respectable. We try our best not to be judgemental with other people and as such we found everyone friendly and easy to talk to. I just do not understand some people who deem to judge other people because of their appearance and who just seem to nit-pick at every minor point. If you want friendly and respectable company to accompany a family friendly cruise, the Ventura is for you. If you prefer a ship that is more geared to formality and peace and quiet, then maybe choose a smaller and a more expensive ship.

We visited Sorrento on the trip to the farm (we were the last to get on the trip). Well worth it and Sorrento is so picturesque. We did not pay for the excursion to Dubrovnik, just paid for the shuttle bus to get us there. It's a small town you can explore easily yourself. This is well worth visiting and for Game of Thrones fans, there is a guided tour showing you the locations of some scenes. Finally, Venice is a must and I was very pleased to manage to get places for this visit that included a ride on a gondola. However, it would have been much cheaper to just pay for the shuttle boat to get you onto land and make your own way around. As we entered St. Marks square, the bells began to ring and it was just magical. This is a memory that will stay with us forever.

Tips for a better cruise;
We had to wait a few hours for our luggage to be delivered to our cabin once on board, about 2-3 hours. Our cabin steward helped and brought them to us within half of an hour of asking him to find them. We will remember to pack our bathing costumes in our hand luggage next time, along with a few toiletries.

We struggled to get onto some of the excursions as we had not pre-booked online before the holiday. Florence and Pizza were completely sold out. We could have tried to make our own way, but Florence was over an hour away and we were a little nervous of getting back in time for the ships departure so we stayed on board. However, it was very relaxing during the day and plenty of room to relax and explore the ship.

We had an internal cabin, which was adequate with just enough room for the 3 of us. However I think we would get a bigger room for a 2 week cruise. We actually saved approx £500 in one week booking an internal cabin instead of getting a balcony and a bigger room, which we were pleased with. If you are booking a balcony room, ensure that it is not overlooked and a higher deck would give you better views. We were on the Riviera deck near the top of the ship, which was great as we were near the pool decks. Our cabin steward Angelo was very friendly and nothing was too much trouble.

Our extras including drinks, photos and excursions etc. came to approx £650 in one week. We only had 1 bottle of wine with our evening meal so we didn't bother with the drinks package and we had the benefit of ordering what wine, spirits or beer etc we wanted without sticking to a pre-ordered package. I think when you buy a package deal with wine, drinks ice cream etc it just makes to drink more.

Finally during the days at sea the pool area is naturally very congested. Get up early to get a bed near the pool or you will struggle. Yes the beds are placed close together, but they are comfortable and big enough for you not to be touching your neighbour. We slept in one day and found no beds by the pool, but an older couple near us gave up some of their beds that they were saving for the kids, which I thought was a very kind gesture. People do place towels on the beds, but the ships rules state that you can remove them if you wish.

I think my wife and I would like to cruise again as it is our silver wedding anniversary next year.
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Recommended
Christine Finch
Not up to our normal standard
2 years 5 months ago
We love cruises and have been on lots with different companies we went on Auzra last year so thought we would try Ventura this year. We soon got to our cabin, we had a balcony which was a bit small as we had three in our room. Staff morale was very low and no one had time to talk to you or joke with you. Other ships we have been on they always ask about your day but nothing here.

Your food was almost thrown at you. On the Gala night there was nothing on the menu I liked, on the first night we arrived we were told left hand side of menu was the same each night and the right hand side changes each night, but they forgot to say apart from Gala night. I told the waiter there was nothing I liked and could they cook me something easy from the kitchen to which I was told no. I asked to speak to the restaurant manger and again was told no we cannot cook you anything different, you can either use room service or go in self service restaurant. The problem was we were all dressed up in our posh frocks and suits, why would we want to sit around a plastic table with a tray and I was on two crutches so how would I get my food. I had nothing to eat that night. Also having paid a lot of money for the holiday why would I want to pay for room service and sit in my room and eat alone.

One night I saw cockroaches running around, another night half way thought eating my meal I moved my steak to find a human hair under it, I told the waiter and he never even offered me another meal, so that was now two nights I went hungry. Shall I go back with P&O, I don't think so, will I recommend them..I don't think so.

It is up to you make your own mind up but this has put me off using their company again as I felt they just did not care about my situation one bit. I wrote to P&O and the letter came back with it is not unusual to find a hair in your food it could happen anywhere, and it is right we do not offer alternative food on the Gala night. This is why I wrote this on here just to let you know before you go what you can expect.
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Fjords cruise May 2103
3 years 4 months ago
Just thought I would update P&O Ventura. Just got back from 7 day Fjords cruise on Ventura one word, Brilliant! Sailed from Southampton to Bergen, what a lovely place, the harbour area was very nice made better with a free transfer from ship to town.

Next was Olden docked within easy walking distance of shops took the road train for a 1hr tour of the area at a cost of about £12 each good value we thought. Our next stop was Olden, not much to say about this as it was raining so it was just a quick walk around the town and back to the ship for a dip in the covered pool for our granddaughter.

Stavanger was our last port of call docked right in the centre of town if you can believe that. We didn't do any paid trips on this cruise as it was just to be a relaxing break. The ship is excellent, plenty to do for everyone there was 4 adults and one 8year old girl, she was thoroughly entertained by the kids club for the whole week.

The food and cleanliness throughout the ship was 1st class, we ate at the saffron restaurant for our evening meal and it was truly 5*. The beer prices we feel were quite good £3 for a pint of John Smiths the only thing we thought was a bit expensive was wine at 4.75 a glass. Overall though it was a very good value break.
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Recommended
Miss Shorey
holiday club
3 years 4 months ago
Cleanliness of the ship was very good, the food was average. My disappointment was the children's club, well more the lack of it, they didn't have enough staff, booked the cruise with a promise that there was always a children's club. not so I have since complained but P&O wasn't interested so beware if you think they have a children's club every day.

The staff never smiled, on previous cruises I have found the staff very friendly not on this ship.

Royal Caribbean are far better for cruises, the staff, clubs and entertainment.

P&O isn't for me.
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G Connolly
so far up their own aft
3 years 4 months ago
Just spent 11 nights on Centura to the Canary Islands, great time had by wife and I but beware of black tie nights if you are not willing to dress as basil fawlty you will be turned away from some of the venues. Staff very helpful except white shirt brigade unless you are from the suites tours not up to cost best to take islands own tour buses ship looking dated in places good ship for the I'm better than you brigade
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