N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

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N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by CaroleF » 04 Jan 2017, 11:53

Our first time on Ventura, after being on Azura several times. This is also the first time we've had two cruises in quick succession which means we can't help contrasting this one with the Christmas Markets Cruise we did in December. Very quick, very smooth boarding, John, me and my scooter and I still managed not to run over anyone's toes. We left home about 11am, were at the port by 11.30 and were on board by 12 noon - how's that for quick embarkation! We were shown to the Cinnamon Restaurant for the priority lunch - we are Caribbean and we have a suite this time! Very good hot canapes, although when we went to collect the dessert ones it looked like a plague of locusts had been there! New ones soon arrived though.

We were told about lpm that the suites were ready and to our amazement when we got to the cabin all our cases were there! Managed to get unpacked before muster drill. That seemed to go on for ages, waiting for people to arrive, people being told not to put their life jackets on etc. It was freezing outside so we didn't bother to go outside for Sailaway - by the time the drill was finished Ventura had set sail. We went past Arcadia all lit up waiting to depart on her world. She has been behind us ever since and we both go to the same first destination - Madeira.

As we've been on Azura we more or less knew the layout of Ventura. We've been several times on Azura because she was the ship going to where we wanted to go - the Caribbean. We are on this ship for the same reason - we wanted some sun in January - we are hoping! There are things about Ventura we like - the perk of having breakfast in The Epicurean is the major one. Yesterday we went up to the buffet at lunch time as John likes that - I don't - but it was heaving with people so we decided to go back down to the main restaurant. Amazingly that was quite full too! One thing I'd not seen before is that one of the Freedom Dining Restaurants serves a Carvery at lunch time - we haven't tried that yet.

One thing we are missing on this ship is a really nice lounge to have a drink after dinner. We loved Anderson's on Aurora - and on Adonia - but here there is not anywhere similar. We went up to Metropolis (Planet Bar on Azura) but it was flooded with blue light, it was cold anyway and that made it seem colder and there just wasn't a good cosy feeling but we will go up there again.

So far all has been well, no sign of any bugs, hope Arcadia is now clear. Food very good, service excellent. More later.

Carole

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by GillD46 » 04 Jan 2017, 12:56

Looking forward to reading all about your trip, Carole x
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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Happydays » 04 Jan 2017, 15:32

I Like to read about peoples experiences. I'm glad you seem to have passed the scooter test;)


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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by CaroleF » 05 Jan 2017, 10:29

Today is our final sea day before Madeira. Can't see Arcadia behind us but I assume she is unless she did a sneaky pass in the night. We are now getting to know Ventura a little better - it's fairly easy for us to negotiate as we remember Azura. What we have found is that for some reason the ship seems very crowded. I don't remember this as much on Azura - may just be my memory. I was in the atrium yesterday browsing the shops - yes just browsing and it seemed there were people everywhere. I wouldn't even try to get a coffee as all the seats in the various lounges seemed to be taken. I know this happens on a sea day but it just seems worse here. One thing that doesn't seem to change is how impatient some people can be when waiting for a lift. After the muster drill when the Captain had asked passengers to be considerate to people with walking difficulties and those in wheelchairs etc. I was waiting for a lift using my walking stick, not the scooter - heaven knows what that would have been like. Just behind me also waiting was a man pushing a lady in a wheelchair. When the lift arrived, empty amazingly, I stood back and beckoned him to go ahead into the lift. Then I received a shove from behind and a woman saying "Are you going in this lift or not?" I said I was waiting for the man with the wheelchair and she said, "Well I need to be in this lift and edged in behind me. Amazing!

We went to the show for the first time last night - Headliners performing Stage Door, the one about all the old musicals. John thought it was the best production by a Headliners group we have seen. They were amazing - one particular sequence where they ran one musical into another at amazing speed, it was certainly very slick and professional. Also they all seemed to be good singers which isn't always the case.

One thing we've never seen before, on the TV when the channel for the ship's announcements, maps etc. is on there is also a list of all the ports with our exact arrival and departure times on which is very useful. There's also a list of sunrise and sunset times. The inter-active tv does work but oh is it slow! The other morning I put the tv on, tried to get it to the ordinary channels wouldn't work, went and washed my hair, came back and it still didn't work. Later in the day it was ok.

Well I only have about 5 minutes left of my internet time left so I'll finish off. Food continues to be good. We did have Room Service lunch yesterday and very good it was too. More later.

Carole

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Raybosailor » 05 Jan 2017, 11:49

Enjoy Carole, we have just returned from the Canaries and it was a comfortable 20-22 degrees, looking forward to reading your review, I have just started mine.

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by qbman1 » 05 Jan 2017, 16:48

Raybosailor wrote:Enjoy Carole, we have just returned from the Canaries and it was a comfortable 20-22 degrees, looking forward to reading your review, I have just started mine.
Does it feature Tom O'Connor ? Mine does !!

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Raybosailor » 05 Jan 2017, 20:18

qbman1 wrote:
Raybosailor wrote:Enjoy Carole, we have just returned from the Canaries and it was a comfortable 20-22 degrees, looking forward to reading your review, I have just started mine.
Does it feature Tom O'Connor ? Mine does !!
Hi Cubie, no we didn't get Tom we had the Beatles but nothing our cabin steward couldn't handle with her can of DDT

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by qbman1 » 06 Jan 2017, 09:14

We had them too but only once in the Pacific Lounge on the penultimate night. I think they just bummed a lift back to Southampton after your gig


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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by CaroleF » 07 Jan 2017, 11:39

Well it's another day at sea before we get to The Canaries. Yesterday was Madeira and when we arrived, just before 9am we discovered that Sue on Arcadia had snuck(?) past us in the night and got in before we did. The temperature was certainly a little warmer - about 16 degrees but apart from an early appearance from the sun it remained fairly cloudy for the rest of the day. We were due to stay until 12.30am so were able to see Arcadia depart about 5.30 with much yelling, music blaring, lots of horns tooting and much waving. Hope Sue saw us waving madly from our aft balcony. John has just come back from Shuffleboard - he won - and suggested we go for a coffee, so more later.

Carole


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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by CaroleF » 07 Jan 2017, 12:30

That was a good cup of coffee in The Red Bar. The only way I can have a coffee which comes close to my Nespresso that I have at home is to ask for a double espresso with a side small jug of hot milk - hopefully frothy and that's what I can usually get in the Costa outlets. Of course on a Sea Day it's not always easy to get a seat in any of the bars that serve coffee as the seats tend to be taken with those reading or just sleeping! I know people have to sit somewhere, particularly those who have inside cabins but it's hard when all you want is a cup of coffee. I've been reading a thread on Cruise Critic about someone on this cruise complaining about the noise that two young children are making in the cabin next door to them. It does sound awful from the times he has listed and says he and his wife have not had a decent night's sleep so far. We have a family with two children, one a baby, in a cabin along our corridor and one thing they do is to leave the buggy in the corridor. There was a notice in Horizon yesterday asking people not to leave buggies, scooters, wheelchairs etc. in corridors. I was very surprised when I walked along the corridor the other afternoon to see that the buggy was outside with the baby in it who had woken up and was starting to cry! I can't believe someone would leave a baby in a buggy asleep outside their cabin - yes they are probably quite safe but I certainly wouldn't risk it.

As I said we bid farewell to Arcadia yesterday afternoon. Her top decks were crowded with people waving furiously at us as they set off on their 5 day journey to Barbados and hence to the Panama Canal and onwards on their World Cruise. As I said we didn't leave until half past midnight and I know some people went ashore to eat or just to see the lights. We ate in The Epicurean last night - it's our Wedding Anniversary today - 39th! - and as it's a formal night tonight we decided we'd rather eat in the main dining room so we had our celebration a night early. The menu changes tomorrow in Epicurean and I preferred the current menu. The meal was excellent. The two stand out courses I thought were the amuse bouche we had at the start and the pre-dessert offering. The amuse bouche looked just like a lollipop, on a lolly stick which was in a holder which had a sucker to fix it to the plate. The lolly had two circles fixed to it with what turned out to be part of an olive. The circles, pink, were a Blood Mary cocktail, not ice hard but hard enough to stay in place. It was served with some celery salt on the plate. The flavour was incredibly intense - almost too spicy for me but it was certainly an experience that something so small could have such a strong flavour. The other surprise was the pre-dessert offering. We both had something different. Mine looked just like a lipstick in a perspex case stood up on the plate with a deep raspberry lipstick inside. You took the top off, then twisted the bottom of the lipstick and up came this raspberry stick, just looking like a lipstick. It wasn't as solid as jelly, quite soft but again again an intense flavour of raspberry. John's pre-dessert looked like a fried egg on a piece of slate. The yolk was mango and the white surrounding it was coconut flavour - again very intense flavour - glad I didn't have his as I don't like coconut! The rest of the meal was excellent although again the coffee was the usual offering, very disappointing. As we have a suite we are lucky to be able to have breakfast in The Epicurean and the coffee then is no better. When we've used what was Seventeen on Azura the coffee used to be so much better than the rest of the ship but it seems no more.

One other thing that was announced to day was the venue for showing films. The tend to be shown in the Tamarind club - the one where people are walking through all the time and where some people are sat by the windows. This means there's a constant chatter in the background, very disturbing if you are trying to follow a film. This morning the Entertainments Manager - Mark Guy - announced that whenever possible the films would be shown in the Arena Theatre. A couple of days ago we had a card in our cabin asking for any initial comments on the cruise - anything that would improve the cruise for us so I think that may have been something that people mentioned. I mentioned about the quality of the coffee but I can't see that changing in the near future. The Baltic/Ligurian lunch has happened but no sign of the Caribbean one yet.

Tomorrow it's La Palma and John has a long trip there so I may well not get ashore but definitely will in Gran Canaria, a day later. From what I've been able to find out there is quite a good flat terrain so I can get into the town on my scoooter, hopefully in the sun! More later.

Carole

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Dennis The Menace » 07 Jan 2017, 12:34

Sounds a good start Carole. Had hoped to get on this one ourselves so am following you with interest with a view to perhaps doing similar another year.

Enjoy :)

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by GillD46 » 07 Jan 2017, 16:18

Like you, we are Nespresso fans and find the on board coffee a great trial. The coffee in Cafe Carinthia on board the Cunard ships isn't bad - though not as good as we are used to.

Your meal in Epicurean sounds enjoyable. Hope your anniversary day is special for you - we celebrated our 39th a few days ago and have booked some of QM2's World Voyage for our 40th.
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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by CaroleF » 15 Jan 2017, 12:59

Well, second attempt. We've been having a few problems with electrics as well as other things. An eventful few days on Ventura, one event very sad. To go back, on Friday 13th it was the Caribbean Lunch. I was alone in my cabin about 15 minutes before we were due to go down to the lunch, me wondering where on earth John had got to after going down at 10.30 to play Shuffleboard. Then there was a Crew Alert announcement for a stretcher party to go to Deck 4, nothing about a practice, and then a minute or so later the 7 beeps of the emergency signal sounded. I wasn't sure what to do so I went out in the corridor and saw the steward there still going about his business. So I went back into the cabin. The next thing was an announcement for all crew to go to their emergency stations and for all parents to collect their children from the Kids Clubs, smartly followed by an announcement for all passengers to return to their cabins. It seemed that the last bit about passengers returning to their cabins was cut off short and it was followed not long after by the Captain on the tannoy saying that there had been a problem in the engine room, a gas leak and it did not affect passengers in any way and they could go about their business - somewhat of a relief. John then appeared and we didn't know whether the lunch would carry on or not. So we decided to carry on and got ready to go down. Before we got to the lift to go down the Captain was on again, apologising for the announcement that passengers should return to their cabins and it was an error. Crew were stood down and everything was back to normal. He said that there was a small gas leak in the engine room which triggered the alarm. Well, as you can imagine it was the main topic of conversation. A woman in the lift as we went down to lunch was moaning about the Captain over reacting. I said I'd much rather he over reacted than under reacted = and it wasn't him who made the first announcement.
Lunch was a little delayed but not too much and we were sat at a table with Sam, the Port Presenter who, I might add gives the best Port Presentations that I've heard. The Captain then came to our table and explained what had been going on. The gas leak triggered the call for the medical team and the crew alert alarm. He said that the leak was minor, something about a valve. He also said that he would always over react rather than under react to any alarm. He also said that he would always tell passengers exactly what has happened and what procedures are being taken, no good at lying to passengers he said. We felt that he had dealt very positively with the whole situation. We had a very pleasant lunch and it became apparent at how enthusiastic Sam was for his job.
When we met out table companions at dinner that night some of them had been in the atrium when the Emergency Signal sounded and they said it was chaotic, people not sure what to do, some running for the stairs, not using the lifts - this passenger said she hoped the Captain knew she had gone from Deck 5 to her cabin on Deck 10 and was exhausted when she got there - she's in her eighties! The consensus of opinion was that the Captain had dealt with the whole thing well and we felt sorry for the officer who had gone on to tell Passengers to return to their cabins which was what the Captain had said had been in error.

I'm going to post this now before the internet goes down again as it did earlier. More in a moment.

Carole


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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by CaroleF » 15 Jan 2017, 13:15

Well it's still working. On Friday evening before we went down to dinner there was an announcement from the Captain to say we may have noticed the ship had speeded up - we had noticed it had become a little bumpy - and that one of the passengers had been taken ill and required hospital treatment so we were heading for Cadiz as quickly as possible. We weren't due to arrive until Saturday 8am but he thought we would get there by around 3am. We did, I only know because we are at the back of the ship and the thrusters were on while we docked. The Captain came on again yesterday evening and said he had some sad news that unfortunately although they got the female passenger to hospital she had subsequently died. He offered condolences to the family concerned and then went on to praise the efforts of those involved in getting the lady off the ship and to hospital and to the medical team who had worked through the night trying to save her life. Again, it showed that the Captain does believe in telling passengers the truth rather than allowing rumours to spread, which as we know, happens easily.

Then today about 11.30 all the electrics went on the ship and the emergency lighting came on. I only noticed as I had the tv on at the time. The Captain told us that some routine work was being done and while this was happening something cut out and was being dealt with an apologised for this interruption. It seems all fine now although I did lose about 15 minutes internet time, which I'm sure will be added on to our plan. I think the Captain has had enough for this cruise and will be hoping for a smooth sail to the Caribbean on the cruise after this one.

Cadiz was very sunny but chilly compared to the temperatures we'd been used to but in the afternoon it was so sheltered on our balcony which was in full sun that it got too hot to sit out there for a while! Cadiz is a lovely looking port and we dock right in the middle of the city. I hope to return here when I have my new knee and I can go and explore. I haven't been off the ship for the last few days as my knee is too painful, even to bother with using the scooter. This morning I had to use to scooter to go to breakfast in The Epicurean which is the first time I've had to do this, but it is a little easier now. We are in Lisbon, a very sunny morning but a bit chilly first thing. I've been here several times before so I don't mind not getting off. John has taken the shuttle bus in - we have docked much further down the river than we have in the past. He has a commission to buy something for our Grandaughter and to bring back some Portuguese Custard Tarts!

We're on the last lap now. After today we have 2 sea days before we return home. A couple on our table taught me the intricacies of the game of Crib the other day and we had a very pleasant afternoon with them in our cabin over some delicious sandwiches and cakes! We are having a return match with them tomorrow - the men are winning at the moment but that's a bit unfair as my partner has to cope with me being a novice whereas John has played before although a long time ago.

So life on board has been a little hectic. We haven't been to many of the entertainments. There were a couple of men on pianos in the theatre - can't remember what they are called. We didn't go but two couples on our table did and one couple thought they were really good and the other couple didn't like it at all - just goes to show you can't please everyone.

I'll write a conclusion when I get home. Have mixed feelings about Ventura, she wouldn't be my first choice of ship but we've had a good cruise, even allowing for my walking problems.

Carole

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Kenmo1 » 15 Jan 2017, 13:27

CaroleF wrote:So life on board has been a little hectic.
Well you can't say it was boring - it should give you something to talk about for a long time.

Hope your knee gets better soon.

Maureen
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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by towny44 » 15 Jan 2017, 14:30

Over on CC is a thread about the family from hell on this same cruise, and the passengers either side of them being moved to get away from the noise.
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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 Jan 2017, 12:24

towny44 wrote:Over on CC is a thread about the family from hell on this same cruise, and the passengers either side of them being moved to get away from the noise.
Not seen it but that is bizarre. The solution is not to move the passengers either side. The solution is to move the problem family........ onto the quayside at the next port.

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by barney » 16 Jan 2017, 16:14

I found that thread on CC and it sounds horrendous for the poor people affected.

Bad neighbours are bad neighbours where ever you are.

I agree that maybe P&O should have taken quicker action, but just like at home, there is not an awful lot anyone can do if that is their 'normal' behaviour.

My in laws suffered at the hands of bad neighbours for about three years, until they were eventually evicted.
The street turned out to wave them off when they eventually moved on.
Only on to some other poor unsuspecting soul though.

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 Jan 2017, 18:48

I'd disagree that there's not a lot anyone can do. It's more difficult at home but on board, normal behaviour or not, it's very clear in the T's and C's that disruptive behaviour can mean end of cruise. And should do. One warning and if nothing changes off.
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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by towny44 » 16 Jan 2017, 19:01

Mervyn and Trish wrote:I'd disagree that there's not a lot anyone can do. It's more difficult at home but on board, normal behaviour or not, it's very clear in the T's and C's that disruptive behaviour can mean end of cruise. And should do. One warning and if nothing changes off.
Comment on CC is that they were members of the Travelling community, maybe the Captain feared retribution if he turfed them off?
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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 Jan 2017, 22:08

Whoever they were if they were disruptive they should be gone. And never allowed back on another ship ever. No excuses


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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by anniec » 21 Jan 2017, 17:59

Hello Carole, greatly enjoying your review.

Did you type it on the desktops in the library? If so, I think we had a little chat in there when the internet broke on the 15th.

We encountered the family from hell several times and can only imagine what it must have been to have them living next door. It was bad enough being in the same (large) room.


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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Whynd1 » 21 Jan 2017, 18:08

We encountered ten members of the travelling community on Oceana a couple of years ago. They all stayed together at the back of the ship and took over the whole section at the rear of the ship including the small pool. One lady who tried using the pool told us they were most unpleasant to her .

They were overheard saying they had paid over £3000 for this holiday for all of them.

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by Happydays » 21 Jan 2017, 21:04

Whynd1 wrote:We encountered ten members of the travelling community on Oceana a couple of years ago. They all stayed together at the back of the ship and took over the whole section at the rear of the ship including the small pool. One lady who tried using the pool told us they were most unpleasant to her .

They were overheard saying they had paid over £3000 for this holiday for all of them.

Lindsey
Where can I get that deal?!!


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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by CaroleF » 22 Jan 2017, 09:33

AnnieC - yes I remember in the library - not sure that I didn't lose about 25 minutes of my time but as it's over 24 hours it didn't really matter and quite honestly I couldn't be bothered to do anything about it. We did enjoy the cruise, will write my thoughts later. I think I know the family in question - did one of the women have long black hair all ties up in long dangly braids? I think I saw her accompanied by several children who were yelling and screaming one evening as I was going back to out cabin. It certainly seems strange if in fact the families either side were moved. Maybe there's more to the story than we know. I was certainly impressed by Simon Terry as Captain, particularly how he dealt with the emergency in the engine room, he told it how it was and told us he didn't believe in lying to passengers. I would have thought he was more than capable of turfing people off the ship if he thought it necessary.

Carole


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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by anniec » 22 Jan 2017, 10:22

Carole, I have no idea how I knew it was you, but the timing of your post on the 15th was about right, so thought it may have been. I'm not keen on the new system as dislike tablets, so only use t'internet when I go the library, and then just for keeping in touch with home for about 15 minutes per day. It worked out horrendously expensive just for that.

I think you encountered the family we called the Von Trapps - we ran into them several times, and they were very boisterous but pleasant, as were all the other families (bar one) we met on board.

Agree with you about Captain Terry - mingled a lot and kept us informed.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, that the washing is all done, and thanks again for your lovely review.

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Re: N701 Canaries Cruise 2nd-18th January 2017

Post by GillD46 » 22 Jan 2017, 13:38

What an eventful time you had Carole, but I am glad that all was well, apart from the poor passenger that lost her life.

Hopefully your recovery will be smooth, following your surgery and that your next cruise will be more comfortable.

Thanks for posting.
Gill

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