Ventura Cruise Ship

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Ventura Cruise Ship
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If you like queuing you'll love this ship!

"This was our first time on a cruise and were really looking forward to it. We went during the half term holidays and yes expected it to be busy but what we didn't expect was spending four days in horrendous disorganized queues. The whole ship seemed in utter chaos from the moment we boarded at Southampton.

Queues to get on the ship, queues to get off the ship, queues for the buffet, queues for the toilets, queues for the lifts, queues for the entertainment with people spilling out onto the corridors (a tip, get there at least an hour early or you will be disappointed), I wore the soles off my shoes walking round the buffet looking for an empty table. Half the buffet appeared shut at busy periods (madness?!), a complete bun fight for food in the buffet with trays in your back. When you eventually did find a seat low and behold you get up again to get a drink because someone else would be in it.

The food in the saffron restaurant was very disappointing. I'm not a food snob but I've had better meals in my local Wetherspoons. Meat was dry with shriveled peas etc. Not what I expected to be honest. Buffet restaurant food was very much BHS canteen. Really nothing special with very little choice. Scrambled eggs were lovely though....

We were bitterly disappointed with the overall experience. I could go on and on but we felt the only time we could honestly relax was in our cabin (to avoid the queues) and the only memory I will take away with me was queues. Found it very stressful.

It seems to me that if you travel in this ship when it's not fully occupied you may well get a better experience. However when it's full there are just not enough staff and facilities to cope with the amount of people. I've complained to P&O who have batted me off with a "what did you expect it was half term" response and you make your own enjoyment. We are not miserable people but we don't expect to pay the best part of two grand to spend four days queuing. It's not the relaxing "This is The Life" holiday they portray on their website.

  • Holiday details: May 2015, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Get to the shows as early as possible to get a seat. Avoid avoid avoid the buffet restaurants.
4 / 10

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Taster Cruise for 2 Friends

"Have just been on a 4 Night Cruise on Ventura and took 2 friends who had not Cruised before, when we initially booked we had an Balcony at the front of the Ship we where then upgraded to Midship and 20 mins before we left home we got upgraded again to a Deluxe cabin which was fantastic and spoilt our friends as we normally have a Basic Balcony, our friends loved the ship although 1 down side was the place where they have the casino and pub like area tends to attract all the rough necks (I am not a snob)but we avoided this area Food was really good in all areas but especially in the East restaurant which you do have to pay extra for but it was well worth, 1 of our friends needs Glutten free food and everyone was really helpful, the Restaurant manager even came to the east restaurant to take our friends order for the next night.

A small problem did occur when we arrived in Amsterdam as we thought we would be staying there all day but we had to leave by 11.30am, this was a little disappointing.

But the major complaint I have with Cruise P & O is we booked well in advance for this holiday and yet nearer the sailing date the cruise could be bought for £100 less instead of upgrading us why didn't P & O give us this reduction.

  • Holiday details: May 2015, booked with Bolsover Cruise Club
  • Advice: Try out the east restaurant and pay for a Balcony is well worth it
  • Good For: , City Breaks
9 / 10

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Ventura ship . Never again

"My husband an I went on Ventura for my birthday treat. .we had already been on the Azura and Oceania and aurora . They were not too bad . The Ventura was awful . The cabin girl was rude and off hand never once smiled and couldn't be bothered although to her advantage she did keep the cabin very clean and tidy . The food wasn't very good most nights . The menu was much the same and certainly not a lot of choice and some of the vegetables were hard and cold . The staff in the restaurants were ok but nothing to write home about . We always do freedom dining as it gives us the flexibility that we like .

The entertainment was very good as in the Headliners in the theater . In fact they were excellent . We saw the girl who pretended to Whitney Houston was dreadful she just shouted and screamed her way through so much so we left after 15 minutes and didn't even sound like her . Gary Barlow was very good as were the The Octaves 4 young men who sang there hearts out . They were excellent . Costa Coffee yet again was awful I placed an order at the counter and selected some cakes and was told to find a table and the drinks would be brought to the table . We waited and waited after 6-7 minutes I asked the waiter where my drinks were and he said in a very loud voice that I hadn't placed the order . He stood behind the counter and argued and was very off hand . When I asked him how I managed to get served with the cakes if I hadn't placed the order he didn't quite know what to say . He should have said I'm very sorry I forgot the order but instead decide to put the blame on me . I must also add I had a similar experience with Costa on the Oceania .

We have already booked to go on the Brittania in September with our daughter and son in law and have fingers crossed that it will be a much better experience .

As for the Ventura . Never never again will we board that ship .

6 / 10

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Very Pleasent 1st cruise

"Booked a short 4 night cruise aboard the Ventura to get a taste.

Found the staff very helpful & Pleasant. Food was to a very good quality and standard.

First port of call should have been St Peters Port, but due to high swells, they were unable to use the Tenders, so had to abandon the stop. The Captain was very informative with regular updates, and we managed to call at La Harve the following day instead.

Comments regarding the smoking are a bit misleading as smoking is only allowed on the Starboard side, of 3 decks, and you can easily use the Port side on the same levels to access all areas.

Formal nights, and dress codes for each evening is made clear over 24hrs in advance, and alternatives are available for those not wishing to participate, including room service.

Not all films are chargeable, if you did decide to stay in your room.

I used the Internet at a seemingly high cost, but was able to use video calling with great success, so £35 for 140 minutes peace of mind, making sure the kids had not burned the house down, was worth it.

I personally only felt the photographs were over priced, but bought a couple, for the memories.

As I say, this was my first cruise, so can not compare to other companies, but I would try P&O again, and would recommend them.

8 / 10

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Good until I got home

"My husband and I enjoyed a 13 night cruise on Ventura April 2015, but since we

returned have been totally inconvenienced trying to find out if our debit cards

had been used other than ourselves as our balance showed discrepancy.

In a nutshell it appears that we were charged twice for on our on board spend.

Our bank could not help as the debits were coming from an unknown source

We contacted P&O and customer services said they would investigate, as now

our bank was ready to stop our cards in case it was fraud.

Four days later we are still waiting for P&O to ring us, so it leaves no other option

Other than to take legal advice.

  • Holiday details: Apr 2015, Booked Independently
6 / 10

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes


"A once in a lifetime experience to have a Caribbean cruise on 5th to 14th December 2014. The Cruise and food was wonderful and it was great to see a part of the world I had never been to. I was disappointed with the cabin allocation as I had paid for an "upgrade" for an outside cabin. The final nail in the coffin was on the morning arriving at St Maarten at 4am our bathroom flooded and everything was soaked including clothing still in our suitcases. After the initial shock we were moved from P201 to identical P202 and made it clear we were not happy with this and later moved further up the boat. Our soggy clothing was laundered and returned 36 hours later. The housekeeping Manager was apologetic and offered us £25 each compensation which I refused, since then P&O offered £200 again refused and now to stop any more hassle I have reluctantly accepted £300."

  • Holiday details: Dec 2014, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Stay clear of cabins P201/2
  • Good For: Beach
5 / 10

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Ventura March 2015 P & O? Never again

"We have cruised many times over the years, various cruise lines. We had not used P & O for 3 years and were astonished at the deterioration in standards and reduction in service. The flight was chartered solely for the cruise but any drinks you wanted on the 9 hour flight you had to pay for apart from a complimentary one with the meal.

The ship was tatty and dirty, smoking areas seemed to be everywhere and in places where as a non smoker you had to walk through to get anywhere.

Dress code was not enforced on formal nights, and men in vest tops and shorts were frequently seen in restaurants eating, women in denim shorts and skirts, with shirts and fleeces accompanied them in restaurants and clubs.

The atmosphere and many entertainments, was one of a Butlins holiday camp and not of a ship advertised as a four star rating and experience. Photographs were very poor and expensive, meals were interrupted frequently by photographers. Many jumble type sales in the atrium on a daily basis. Shops were very expensive. The gratuity was £102 for the 13 nights, only pence cheaper than the five star Cunard superb service.

The saffron restaurant was appalling service, slow and tables for 8 and 10 only ever available, it was an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes to be served a meal and several times we sent the meals back. Silver service has gone, replaced by plated meals of smaller quantities and cheaper meal components. Meaning you would miss much entertainment whilst waiting to be served. We gave up and instead ended up eating most meals in the self service,. We certainly won't ever be

using P & O again. Many passengers could be over heard saying the same thing, but whether they do or not is not for me to know.

  • Holiday details: Mar 2015, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Don't book one
1 / 10

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes


"First time on p&o and deft the last having been on over 30cruises this boat is the worse ever they charge you for everything that is free on other cruise lines even to watch a film on the telly which are over 20 years old £2 peanuts £1:50 ice cream£3 the shops are way over the top went to buy 4 mac3 razors until looked at £13 these are just snippets of the over pricing on board then our cabin steward all he done was make the bed he'd pick the dirty towels up and put them back to use truly shocking the entertainment team was truly awful there is no cruise director on board the sail always are but lines at best ,the good points were the food and the West Indian band truly a shocking ship."

  • Holiday details: Mar 2015
  • Advice: Take plenty of money as all the things that are free on other cruise lines you have to pay for and the shops are a complete rip off
3 / 10

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

P&O Have Become Greedy in The Extreme!

"We have just come back from our most expensive yet worst holiday we've ever had thanks to P&O Cruises! Numerous and various complaints. One of which;- Greedy P&O wanted a 'seat reservation fee' for our return flights on top of the considerable amount that we had already paid for Premium Upgrade Flights! This is contrary to Thomson (The Flight Provider's) Policy that they never ask for a seat reservation fee as they consider that if you have paid for an upgrade, you have already paid enough! As it was a P&O Charter Flight, P&O can of course do what they like and are happy to confirm both verbally and in writing that they will not consider Medical Reasons for specific seating requests unless you pay their fee! Whilst I am sure that P&O’s Legal Advisers will have dotted the i's and crossed the t's on this document, 'morally' this policy is indefensible! This holiday was intended to relax and recuperate from Carol's fight against Breast Cancer and the very specific reasons for 'needing' to sit together on the flight that were;- A) She is still having psychological counseling and prone to sudden bouts of crying. - Clearly if this happened on a Long Haul Flight back from the Caribbean, she could not cry on the shoulder of a complete stranger! B) A possible side effect of Tamoxifen is increased risk of DVT (as is a Long Haul Flight). - We wanted to remind each other to do the relevant exercises regularly during the flight as we did when we sat together on the Outbound Flight! Despite being given these very specific and extraordinary reasons for 'needing' to sit together, Venture's Flight Manager would not budge unless we had paid the fee! Interestingly at least two other couples who refused to pay the fee did not get the same seats/preferred seats as on the outbound flight despite one of the couples specifically wanting to be separated as they both wanted an aisle seat!(They were sat together). - I hasten to add that we were not traveling against Medical Advice and in fact were told to go away and try to relax and recuperate following Carol's battle against Breast Cancer and our long and hard work in organizing the recent and successful Breast Cancer Fund Raising Event! In 35 years of being together we have never sat apart once on a flight as we are the sort of people that are always in good time and so always get sat together despite there being no guarantees. - Strange that the first time that we have ever paid to upgrade (for very good reasons) we get separated for the first time on a flight all because of P&Os greed!"

  • Holiday details: Feb 2015, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Avoid P&O. Standards Continue to Fall Whilst P&O's Greed and Relentless Pestering with Attempts to Upsell Ruin The Holiday!
2 / 10

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes


"We cruised 19th December / 3rd January on the Xmas cruise to Barbados and Islands . Deck 9 Dominica , we thought we would have a superior stateroom and balcony . Stateroom looked nice except the a/ c didn't work properly , the balcony was a absolute disgrace and was no way superior , paint splashed all over the glass door , over the side screens , over the lounge chairs , birds mess over the side screens , coffee table with more rings on it than the Olympic symbol you could see the like in local charity shop . The rail all along the balcony was two tone with varnish on balcony side and stripped off sea side , the glass wall under the rail was filthy you couldn't see through it . it wasn't a case of asking the steward to wipe the glass , it needed a complete overhaul to make it look half decent . When you pay so much for the Xmas/ new year cruise you expect perfection for the price you pay , and this was certainly not fit for purpose . on the TV the films were a few old films free the ones nobody really wanted to watch and the rest were £1.99 it's not the money it's the principal of paying all that much for the stateroom and the being ripped off for films like ET from the 1980,s and Bond from the 1960,s all in all felt ripped off ."

  • Holiday details: Dec 2014, booked with Thomas Cook
  • Advice: Upgrade the balcony as what's the point in having a nice stateroom and crap balcony
  • Good For: Beach
5 / 10

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Great Value and Good Service

"This is our third cruise (1st on Oceana 2011 with P&O to Caribbean Fab)but second time we have cruised on this ship. We cruised on the Ventura to the Caribbean in Feb 2013 which we enjoyed but thought the food at times left a lot to be desired in the main restaurants. We felt that there were problems in the dining rooms in Feb 2013 and staff seemed under the cosh a bit although very pleasant to guests at all times. This did not spoil our enjoyment so this time we tried the fly med cruise Genoa/Venice and the itinerary was excellent and had to cruise Ventura to get local flight.

Flew from Cardiff and as usual with P&O from check in to arrival at terminal for embarkation the whole process is top notch and the next time you see your baggage is when it arrives outside your cabin. Great in my book.

Cabin was an outside obstructed E521 which I did not realize was a Pullman cabin with bunks flat against the walls which made it difficult to get in and out of bed and I would avoid this type of cabin in future. We managed ok and the room was well kept by our cabin steward Antonio. The rooms are looking a little tired now and the carpets could do with a good steam clean or replacement but overall everything else was kept clean & tidy twice daily.

This time we noticed a big improvement in the choice and quality of food in the dining rooms compared to our our first Trip in 2013 and felt there was better atmosphere with the staff who were all friendly and very efficient. It was appreciated that they had decided to re-introduce the availability of steak, salmon or chicken if there was nothing on their evening menu that you liked as we did not have this option with them in 2013. The food in the waterside has always been of an excellent standard with plenty of choice. I agree that at times particularly sea days it is difficult to always find a table and would advise to use the dining rooms for lunch and breakfast on sea days if possible.

I have noticed that the price of drinks have risen a little but they are still a lot cheaper than other cruises and I believe the gratuities are the best of any cruise line at £3.75 per person per day and for the standard of service throughout the holiday would not dream of having them removed from my on board account as all the staff work hard for their money.

The entertainment provided was excellent and more than enough for us. Tom Jones tribute brilliant as was Jersey Boys, Neil Diamond tribute, Frank Sinatra, Phil Collins etc. The nature of our cruises means only 4 sea days so plenty to keep us occupied as off ship a lot of day. Sea days are busy for sun chairs but we always managed to find one eventually.

I do not understand the people who moan about dressing up for Black tie night. It is only 4 times in the 2 week period and is clearly advertised throughout all the literature and on their website. It is also clearly stated that for people with special diets to notify P&O and they will accommodate you and from what I have heard extremely well too.

I think that when you book a cruise it is a good idea to do a bit of research and read all the information you are supplied with then you are less likely to be disappointed.

We are cruising the Caribbean again in a few weeks back on the Ventura and then in Dec 2015 Caribbean again on the Britannia. I don't know where else you can visit so many places, be provided with such good service accommodation, good quality food and non stop entertainment at such reasonable prices.

Can't comment on other lines as flying the flag for good old P&O however never say never as we have the cruising bug.

  • Holiday details: Sep 2014, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Relax even if things aren't always quite right as you are on holiday. If there is a problem deal with it nicely you usually get a better result.
  • Good For: Beach, City Breaks
8 / 10

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

amazing ship

"me and my husband did a fly cruise on Ventura on 6 August -20 round the med for our 40 wedding anniversary it was a amazing trip from checking our bags at Manchester airport to embankment the ship is beautiful the food out of this world entertainment west end shows staff the most polite and friendly people i have ever meet our cabin steward ana p deck p322 was lovely kept our cabin spotless waiters in cinnamon restaurant Wilson -Ronald section 23 could not do enough for you and our little friend Raymond wine waiter helped us choose lovely wines we would definitely travel on Ventura again people who give bad reviews on this ship live to moan cant wait to go on Ventura again Caribbean next time thank you p-o cruisers."

  • Holiday details: Aug 2014, booked with Thomas Cook
  • Advice: enjoy take it all in
10 / 10

13 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

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Average rating

7 / 10
(84 reviews)
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Ratings summary


Rating by feature

Room: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 7.5/10
Value: 6.5/10
Cleanliness: 7.5/10
Location: 8.5/10

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Top traveller tips for Ventura Cruise Ship
  • by Domar

    " Book a room woth a balcony as it is worth the extra money and you don't have to worry about getting a sunbed. Also choose the freedom dining as it fits in better with your day "

  • by Alison Thompson

    " Make sure you are aware of the Waiter service a la carte in the Beach House in the evenings...Fantastic views and service "

  • by G Hill

    " enjoy the food,its all wonderful! "

  • by Jan Bradley

    " Go to the Metropolis Bar, entertainment is first class. "

  • by bigdendahat

    " keep a regular check on your on board spending at reception....3-4 times per week "

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