Ventura N833

Reports about cruises on Ventura
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barney
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Ventura N833

Post by barney » 24 Nov 2018, 15:53

A brief review on our very recent cruise on Ventura. 11 nights. Med.

The regulars on here may recall that we didn't intend to take a holiday this year due to major building work that ran through the summer.
Anyway, I got a flyer from P&O advertising extra discount on certain cruises if booked withn a certain time.
I took a look and decided on this particular one, contacted our usual agent and the rest is history.

We drove to Southampton the day before and stayed in the Mecure in the city centre which was fine and had a car park.
That evening we ended up in a Greek restaurant which was great.
We had the full Greek experience including Baclava that made your teeth squeak and the extra strong coffee, finishing with ouzo.

We had a 1.00pm boarding so after a breakfast in West Quay, headed to the Mayflower about 12.00 and the car was parked with Parking4Cruises at 12.20.
Emabrkation was brilliant and we were having lunch in the Glass House at 13.15.

Now this was our first trip on Ventura although we have been on Azura a few times.
We were impressed by the standard of the ship, given some of the things that I've read.


So, to the cruise.

Well, as usual, we enjoyed pretty much every minute of it.
We are very much into doing our own thing, where and when it suits us.

We attended a couple of the Headliner shows that were... well, Headliner shows.
When you've seen most of them, they tend to roll into one.
We did really enjoy the Astonishing show with the chap from TV who's name escapes me.
That was very good.

Of the speciality acts, we very much enjoyed The Opera Boys and Bernie Flint.
There was also a virtuoso pianist lady who was excellent.
A couple of half decent singers as well but the Freddie Mercury Tribute was Kareoke at best.
We were lucky to be seated near the back and made a sneaky escape in the dark.


The food was by and large very, very good.
We ate in the MDR a few times and it was good.
We took the pager option for a table for two and that suited us.
We particularly liked the atmosphere and staff in the Glass House, so that was our main venue of choice. The food was very good.

We didn't do any excursions on this trip, but simply did our own thing at each port.
Lisbon, 21 and sunny. Custard tarts and coffee.

Valancia, 19 and cloudy with odd sunshine. Tapas & vino for luch. Excellent!

Cartagena, 18 and cloudy with odd sunshine. Half Marathon day so very busy and buzzing.
It was great. Various Tapas bars with a bit too much vino :-)

Gibraltar, 18 and rainy. Wandered up the Marina and High Street.
A nice day but walked miles. (and spent a few bob)
I fell asleep at half five and woke up at eight. We ended up having room service at 11.30

Cadiz, 17 and cloudy with some sun. Best day for us as we love Cadiz.
We had a nice stroll around and had various tapas and wine.
We finished with a big plate of fried fish in a restaurant near the Market and again, it was excellent.

There were two sea days back and the first was a bit rough in the morning but settled down and the secong through the BoB was like a mill pond.

So, overall, it was another success on P&O.
The vast majority of folk that we spoke to were lovely and we had some very nice chats.
We have a private signal if we accidently come across serial moaners and only needed to use it once.
That was a lady who prefered Cunard. This was her thrid P&O trip of the year and none of them were as good as Cunard.
I did eventually ask the obvous question but was nudged and Mrs B decided it was time to move on.

Would we use Ventura again?
You bet we would !
We had a great holiday.

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david63
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Re: Ventura N833

Post by david63 » 24 Nov 2018, 16:10

barney wrote:
24 Nov 2018, 15:53
Now this was our first trip on Ventura although we have been on Azura a few times.
We were impressed by the standard of the ship, given some of the things that I've read.
That was our impression when we were on Ventura last year.

For some inexplainable reason we actually prefer Ventura to Azura

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towny44
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Re: Ventura N833

Post by towny44 » 24 Nov 2018, 16:26

david63 wrote:
24 Nov 2018, 16:10
barney wrote:
24 Nov 2018, 15:53
Now this was our first trip on Ventura although we have been on Azura a few times.
We were impressed by the standard of the ship, given some of the things that I've read.
That was our impression when we were on Ventura last year.

For some inexplainable reason we actually prefer Ventura to Azura
For us its the Las Ramblas decor in glass house, and the covered pool area and no noisy sea screen.
John

Trainee Pensioner since 2000


Grando
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Re: Ventura N833

Post by Grando » 24 Nov 2018, 17:07

Thankyou Barney for your review, we had friends who were on the cruise and they had nothing but praise for everything Ventura. Her only complaint was that the shop didn't have any hairspray as she had run out! We are boarding on Monday so was pleased to hear the good reports as we are taking friends who have only been on Oceana. Just hope its not too rough going down to Madeira, really looking forward to it.
Doreen

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Re: Ventura N833

Post by Happydays » 24 Nov 2018, 23:58

Thanks for your review. We agree with what you have said about Ventura. We prefer Ventura to Azura, we felt that on Azura things were done to suit the entertainment staff rather than the passengers. Our last Azura cruise in February was not as good as usual, we still enjoyed ourselves but that was due to the company we had rather than the entertainment staff!

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GillD46
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Re: Ventura N833

Post by GillD46 » 25 Nov 2018, 07:14

It is interesting to read what has been said about Ventura, as it the absolute polar opposite of what our good friends (P&O regulars) reported from the Canaries cruise a couple of weeks ago. Whilst on board they cancelled the 35 nighter they - and we - had booked for 2020, they felt 35 nights on her was totally unthinkable. And later, only PARTLY, due to them cancelling, we did the same - we transferred our deposit to QE Sydney to Hong Kong, and feel very comfortable with our decision, as it ticks so many more boxes for us.

Glad to read, things aren’t as bad as we imagined.
Gill

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barney
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Re: Ventura N833

Post by barney » 25 Nov 2018, 13:04

Like everything else, a cruise is subjective.
As Happydays says, if your enjoyment is governed by the level of the entertainment staff, then your experience will be different to someone else.
We join in with what we fancy but don't let the Horizon dictate our day.
Mrs B has always enjoyed the line dancing and I quite like the speakers as long as it's a subject that interests me.
On this cruise it was about the RAF so I gave them a miss.
We'll do a quiz if it happens to be on where we are but have never deliberately gone to one.
The same with the on board bands. They are much of a muchness to me.

We've been very lucky over the years and have never had a bad cruise holiday.
We've enjoyed all of the ships we've been on, many more than once.
They all seem to have their own personality in a strange way.

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Lynda and David
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Re: Ventura N833

Post by Lynda and David » 27 Nov 2018, 01:22

I have to agree with everything barney says about Ventura. We were on her 20th to 29th October and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The ship was very clean and the staff friendly.

We were given a boarding time of 3.30pm but arrived at 1.50 and were in our cabin by 2.10 (and that included booking a table in Sindhu on our way up to our cabin). All our cases were waiting for us outside the cabin, very impressive we thought.

We also tended to drink mostly in the Glasshouse. A couple of the staff there remembered us from our Aurora cruise back in March and came over and said hello.

We were on Freedom dining and found the food very good, we also ate in Sindhu twice and enjoyed both visits. We used the buffet one evening and most days for breakfast, there was a good choice of food in the buffet and we could always find a table. The tables were cleared and cleaned very quickly.

We booked Eric Lanyards afternoon tea in Epicure for our second sea day and can recommend it.

Our only complaint about the holiday was getting off the ship in port. Our itinerary meant that we had to use shuttle buses to get out of the ports. Ventura have introduced a traffic light system to get off the ship where they suggest times that will be busy Red, may be busy Amber and when you should be able to walk off the ship without any wait Green. Unfortunately it seemed a lot of people waited until the Green slot (from 11am) thinking they would be able to just walk straight off the ship. On a couple of days it took us over 20 minutes to get off the ship and on a shuttle bus. Getting back on the ship wasn't a problem, only getting off.

On this cruise (which sailed to Gijon, Bilbao, La Rochelle and Cherbourg) we decided to stock up on wine. In the end we accumulated quite a few bottles of wine and 2 bottles of liqueurs and not one of those bottles was taken off us when we got back on the ship.

We'd both happily sail on Ventura again.

Lynda

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Mervyn and Trish
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Re: Ventura N833

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 27 Nov 2018, 09:09

Azura remains probably our favourite P&O ship. Our first cruise on Ventura was an awful two nighter soon after she was launched to try her out. But we returned to do 28 nights last year and loved her. In reality now the choice between the two would come down to dates and itinerary.

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Re: Ventura N833

Post by oldbluefox » 27 Nov 2018, 10:04

Thanks for your review barney. I like the idea of your private signal. I presume it is not used indiscriminately and serves to distinguish a moaner by night as well as by day if you know what I mean. Usually I get a crafty kick under the table which is my signal not to say anything. You can always recognise me. I'm the one with the bruised ankles!!!

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barney
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Re: Ventura N833

Post by barney » 27 Nov 2018, 10:22

:lol: Foxy !! - We also have our own cabin knock !

To follow on from Lynda's point about the alcohol, we didn't hand in when we bought a couple of bottles in Gibraltar.
There was a table adjacent to the security scanners and some folk were ptting their bottles there but many just strolled past.
We simply took our bottles back to the cabin and put them in the hand luggage case.
The following day we were in Cadiz and bought a bottle of bubbly back.
This time there was nobody manning the table.

As I thought at the time of introduction, this was implemented primarily for the short cruise situation of folks overdoing it.
On longer cruises, they don't seem so bothered.

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