I’ve been looking forward to this cruise for so long ever since I got my confirmation through but I have to admit I was a little nervous. Having never sailed before I didn’t really know what to expect, everyone at the office talked me through it and told me how much I would love it but I don’t think you ever really know how your going to feel until you experience it first-hand. One thing I can honestly admit is that although I’ve looked at countless brochures and could easily tell you the gross tonnage of Ventura (115,000 tons) I still found myself blown away by the sheer size when we pulled up to the ship, it’s unbelievable and you just kind of get the feeling, am I really going on that? It straight away feels special. I’ve been on a lot of holidays and seen a lot of places and everyone always gets that excitement when you arrive at an airport and your waiting for your flight but with this it’s something different altogether. I’ve never been more excited about a holiday than when we pulled up in front of the ship, it’s incredible. Talking about getting on a flight, I now definitely understand why people consider a cruise from Southampton to be so good. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything so simple, from the time we arrived at the terminal it took fifteen minutes till we were onboard, which I thought was great, especially when they handed me a card with a letter V on it when we walked to check in. They have an alphabetical system to break down passengers into groups stopping mass queues which worked really well but when you see a card with the letter V on it you can’t help think, I’m gonna be here ages! Then to my surprise we were called almost straight away, it was amazing, like the whole crowd that was first there just disappeared within minutes before we were on and being directed to our cabin.
I think a lot of people come to book a cruise and then see the amount of decisions and things to think about in front of them and because of that decide to book a land based holiday instead. I can understand that as before I worked for Bolsover Cruise Club. I’d done the exact same thing. It’s not until I worked here and began to understand more that you realise it is unbelievably simple. What looks so complicated at first is actually really simple. It was easy, choose ship and date, choose what cabin I’d like, choose when I’d like to dine and done, sorted, booked, let’s go!
I heard so many people say before I went that if we were lucky enough to get sunshine we’d never get a sunbed on Ventura. Well we did get sunshine, 30 degrees in fact and whoever started that rumour is way off the mark. The whole time we sat on deck we never once struggled to get a sun lounger and we actually never even had anyone at the side of us once. It was easy, the first day we rushed up thinking we better hurry and could have taken our time, let it be known people that if you are looking to book Ventura she’s a great ship and I can speak from my experience now and definitely say that I’ve never had a holiday like it, I loved it.
The size of the ship was amazing, there’s just so so much to do its unreal. I actually loved the amount of people on their as well, it felt good and gave it a really good atmosphere, especially at sail-aways when we left port, everyone got involved and had a good time.
As for dining we did first sitting, I was dubious at first as I didn’t know whether I’d like the same table each night but I have to say, it turned out great. The waiters were brilliant, always looked after us and the people on the table were brilliant, had a really good laugh which made the cruise. The first sitting time as well worked out really good, it gave us plenty of time in the evening after our meal to just relax, maybe see a show or just chill out which was great, we felt like we didn’t miss out on anything. Speaking of evening entertainment, it was really really good, I’d heard mixed reports before I went but like I say I like to make my own mind up and I’m glad I did because I liked it a lot. The Boogie Nights theatre show was by far our favourite and well worth a watch if you get the chance. The entertainment round the pool as well was great, loved it. Lot of music from different genres and loads of things just going on to involve everyone. You had the choice really, if you wanted to just lay back and listen to the music then fine but if you wanted to get up and get involved in loads of poolside games and challenges things like that, you could. We enjoyed doing a bit of both as there’s so many different pools its nice just to have a walk round and see what’s going on.
I will admit the one thing that did worry me was if we had a tender for one of the ports we visited. I purposely didn’t look so I didn’t think about it but low and behold we arrived in Guernsey and there it was. I did wonder what it would be like but when I got down there I don’t know why I worried, it was simple, I’m not sure what I expected really, had this image of a huge gap between the ship and the tender thinking you almost had to jump but it was nothing like that. The crew are constantly there helping you get between the two and you barely had to take half a step to get on the tender it was so easy. Within two minutes we were off and on our way. We had to wait about ten minutes for a tender back to the ship later in the day but what can you expect I guess, they go as quick as they can and overall we thought it flowed pretty well.
Overall I loved doing this cruise, it was amazing, I’ve tried to put it across the best way I know how but I could write all day and it still wouldn’t do it justice. I guarantee anyone that has never cruised before, you will love it, just give it a chance, it was a big thing for me, especially when you have the safety net of taking the easy way out again by booking a land based holiday. If you do just book it though and go with it, it’s incredible. The food is just ridiculously good, especially the choice and when it comes to service, P&O were amazing, I would run back to Southampton to get back on Ventura it was that good.
I hope I’ve helped anyone that’s never cruised before to just get out there, give us a call or come visit us and let us get you booked to because having sailed myself now I’m going to find it really difficult not to want to do it every year!
Senior Sales Executive