N529 - The Weekender

Reports about cruises on Ventura
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MicheleW
Second Officer
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Joined: January 2013
Location: Wales

N529 - The Weekender

Post by MicheleW » 30 Oct 2015, 22:43

Tried to keep this short.......and failed miserably!

Saturday 10th October
At last the day had arrived and having dropped the dogs off and loaded up the car with our luggage (including my 18 pairs of shoes) we set out at about 9.30, aiming to arrive at 1.30pm – in plenty of time for our 2.30pm embarkation time. About an hour into the journey we received a text message from P&O saying that Ventura was delayed arriving into Southampton and that check-in would be delayed by 3 hours. (We saw on Facebook that this was due to a passenger going overboard in the early hours of the morning). Due to road works on the A34, we didn’t get to Southampton until 2.30, when we found a car-park and had a wander round the shops. At 4.30 we headed to the docks where we were directed straight to the CPS car-park. We let them know that we were staying on for the following cruise too and were directed to a different parking area. On entering Ocean Terminal we were given green ‘U’ cards and they were currently calling for red ‘M’, so we found a couple of spare seats and made ourselves as comfortable as we could. It was very busy and we eventually got on board at about 6.00pm and went straight to our cabin. (B733) We booked this short trip quite a few weeks after booking N530 and decided to go for an inside cabin on an early saver fare, hoping we might get an upgrade (which didn’t happen), but as it was only for 2 nights we weren’t too bothered. The bathroom and dressing/storage area were on the right hand side with a dressing table and the fridge against this wall and the beds were straight ahead. We had opted for twin beds for the 2 nights, knowing that this would give us a little more floor space. I unpacked the suit carriers and a few other bits and pieces and then it was muster time which was held at 7.00pm. There were still a lot of people boarding at this time and they were being sent straight to the muster stations, without going to their cabins. Once completed, everyone on early sitting had to go to dinner and for some reason the first evening was the formal night. There were some fairly casually dressed people as well and I think that they weren’t enforcing the dress code too much, due to the lateness of sailing. There were still people embarking and they held an extra muster later in the theatre for all the latecomers. When booking we had registered our dining preference (a table on the second sitting) but we had been allocated Freedom Dining – again we weren’t too bothered as it was a short cruise, and after a drink in the Glasshouse went to the Saffron Restaurant and asked for a table for 2. We were given a pager, so went to the Red Bar for another drink (well, P&O had given us £20.00 OBC each because of the delay, on top of the £25.00 each we already had). It wasn’t long before our pager went off and we were soon enjoying the first dinner of our holiday. After a fairly long day, we headed straight to bed after dinner.

Sunday 11th – Zeebrugge

We had breakfast at 8.45 in the Bay Tree Restaurant and due to the delayed departure didn’t arrive in Zeebrugge until 10.30am, which was the time our tour ‘Ypres – In Flanders Fields’ was re-scheduled to depart. The queues to get off the ship went round the atrium and down the corridors and we eventually set off at 11.30am. It was an amazing trip and our guide was absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately, due to all the delays and even in spite of the fact that our stay in Zeebrugge was extended, it was all a bit rushed and we did not really get much time at each venue, but we still thoroughly enjoyed it. A lot of the trips seemed to arrive back at a similar time and there was another huge queue to get back on the ship and a lot of the people were supposed to be on the first sitting for dinner! After getting ready for dinner, we went straight to the Saffron Restaurant and asked for a table for 2 and were given a pager. When we said “no hurry, we’ll go and get a drink”, we were told that we would probably have time for 3 or 4! This being the case, we headed all the way up to Metropolis for an aperitif, but we didn’t really like this venue as there was very little atmosphere, though it was fairly quiet. After one drink we decided to head to the Red Bar, so as to be a bit nearer to the restaurant and the pager went off! When we got to the Saffron restaurant, we were informed that they didn’t have a table for us there, but were sending us to the Bay Tree (The Club Dining Restaurant) as they had a table there for us – obviously they were just sending people to wherever they had space to ensure that everyone got fed! After dinner we went to the theatre to see Badness – a Madness, Bad Manners and ska tribute band and what a fantastic performance they gave! The best show I have seen at sea – everyone was singing and clapping along and dancing in the aisles – fantastic! After this we spent the last of our OBC in the shops and retired to bed.

Monday 12th

We had breakfast in the Bay Tree at 8.00am and couldn’t help feeling smug when people asked if we had far to go and we replied “We’re staying on for the next cruise!” It was one couple’s first ever cruise and in spite of the slightly chaotic nature of the trip, they had thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were definitely going to book another one – took me right back to our first ever cruise, which was also a weekender! After breakfast we waited in our cabin for Housekeeping to inform us when our new cabin would be ready. They called at 10.00am and came to help us move to C250 and we exchanged our cruise cards for new ones at reception before heading ashore for a couple of hours, returning to the ship via the crew entrance.

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oldbluefox
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Re: N529 - The Weekender

Post by oldbluefox » 31 Oct 2015, 12:38

MicheleW wrote: We had opted for twin beds for the 2 nights, knowing that this would give us a little more floor space.
..................................... you mean more space for Michele's shoes!!!! :lol:
Thanks for the report, looking forward to Part 2.
(Kind regards to you and OH. Hope you are both keeping well :wave: ).

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MicheleW
Second Officer
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Posts: 221
Joined: January 2013
Location: Wales

Re: N529 - The Weekender

Post by MicheleW » 31 Oct 2015, 23:02

Very well thanks, OBF.

Rest of the cruise to follow soon........

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