We sent Andy a member of our Marketing Team on P&O Cruises Ventura with his family, after leaving Genoa they visited Livorno (Pisa & Florence) and Naples (Capri) as well as having a sea day – Andy’s blog post about the first 4 days of their cruise can be read here.
Here is Andy’s account of the remaining 4 days;
Day 5 – Sea Day
Another relaxation day and it was certainly a hot one! We settled for a table and chairs at Breakers Bar which overlooks the pool area. With our daughter being a permanent resident in the pool we were in an ideal spot, close to the bar, close to the pool and at lunchtime close to the barbeque too!
The great thing about being on a cruise ship on a sea day is that there is almost always a welcome breeze and a short stroll from our table took us around the front of the ship (desperately looking for dolphins in the Med!) where we could cool down and get a little bit of exercise!
Lunch as mentioned was an open deck barbeque with burgers sausages, chicken, fish and salad – considering it was cooked for a lot of people the food was remarkably good.
Our afternoon was spent lazing in the (very hot) sunshine with occasional walks, swims and shaded area visits!
Because tonight is another formal evening we decided to get ready a little earlier so that we could make the most of our evening. We also decided to try the Saffron restaurant and opted for a ‘shared’ table, which turned out to be a great decision as we met a lovely family and enjoyed some great conversation over dinner.
We were also keen to get good seats in the Arena Theatre for a show called ‘Reel to Reel’ performed by the very talented Headliners Theatre Company. Tonight’s performance was ‘film’ based and it didn’t disappoint – we just wish they went on for longer!
Day 5 Highlight – Relaxing at sea, great company at dinner and another fabulous show!
Day 6 – Dubrovnik – Croatia
I was realy looking forward to Dubrovnik and so after breakfast disembarked and decided to get a taxi into the Old Town at a cost of 10 euros – the local currency is the Kuna but taxi drivers also accept euros!
My wife and daughter decided to stay on the ship mainly because the weather wasn’t great and my daughter also wanted to sample the Beachcomber pool with its retractable roof – perfect for a day like today!
I, on the other hand, was determined to see this beautiful walled city and so with my ‘showerproof’ attire on I set off to explore!
Within a couple of hours the sun began to poke through and Dubrovnik began to sparkle, this place is wonderful!
The walk around the walls takes about an hour and costs 100 Kuna (about £10). The ‘walls walk’ takes you above the old town and so the views (and photo opportunities) are fantastic!
The sun was now very hot and so a sunhat and sunscreen was required. There are a few places to stop for a drink or an ice cream on the walk and you can certainly do it at your own pace.
I opted for a taxi back to the ship and arrived around 4pm just in time for the ‘Great British’ sail away party. Ventura began to leave port around 5pm.
Our evening consisted of a visit to The White Room, which is the restaurant concept inspired by Marco Pierre White. We were seated on the outside terrace, which was a wonderful setting; the food and service were exemplary.
After we left the restaurant we headed for the Tamarind Lounge where my daughter was singing as part of the ‘Ventura’s Got Talent’ contest. A family disco then followed this.
Day 6 Highlight – Dubrovnik despite the early rain is a truly memorable place and one I will certainly return to! The White Room is a fabulous dining experience and of course seeing my daughter singing in The Tamarind Lounge!
Day 7 – Venice, Italy
The approach to Venice began around 11.30am. As you begin to enter the canal system you sail past St. Marks Square (Piazza San Marco) with thousands of people watching you watching them!
We finally docked around 1.30pm and there was a tinge of sadness along with the excitement of being in Venice, as we were to leave the ship the next day and so there were no more ‘sail aways’ or warm sea days to enjoy…
After disembarking, we used the ‘People Mover’ monorail to Piazzale Roma where we boarded the Vaporetto (water bus) to St. Marks Square. The route takes you down the Grand Canal and it is a great way to see Venice.
Piazza San Marco is amazing, with its elegant buildings, expensive cafes and designer shops; it really is a sight to behold. We also visited the Rialto Bridge on route back to the ship – our visit to Venice had been brief but we had seen enough to want to visit again!
Back on ship we decided to eat in the Beach House that changes from a buffet restaurant in the daytime to a grill in the evening. If you order steak (as we all did) it is served on a (very) hot lava stone and continues to cook at your table!
After dinner we watched another performance from the Headliners Theatre Company. This performance was called ‘Reflex’ and was based around 1980’s music. It was fantastic but the long day had finally beaten my daughter and despite being seated on the front row, she fell asleep (on my shoulder) just before the end!
Day 7 Highlight – Venice is an enthralling and captivating place, somewhere we will not forget and certainly look to return to!
Day 8 Venice, Italy – Home… 🙁
It was an early start and so after breakfast we checked our on board account with reception before disembarking the ship and boarding the coach to Venice airport.
We had enjoyed a most wonderful time on board Ventura and on our flight back to Manchester we were already holding a family discussion about where we want to cruise to in 2015!
Thank you P&O Cruises!