Martin Axon | July 15, 2019 | P&O Cruises | Ventura
Ventura and her sister Azura are our favourite P&O ships, been on them all except the now “departing” Oriana and all are good.
Embarkation was excellent, parked car (Parking 4 Cruises) at 1pm through check-in/security and on-board in 15 minutes, and cabins were immediately available. Luggage arrived quickly also. Cabin E730, it’s no where as noisy as some make out, especially on this school time cruise so not as many night-clubbers, and the balcony is big and not overlooked, stern thrusters do rattle but it’s only c5-10 minutes when docking/un-docking and didn’t wake us if we were still in our beds.
TV’s seemed easier to use with a new (to us) channel/film guide. Wimbledon on one screen and Mast camera on the other.
Great service in Freedom Dining from the Desk who always gave us our requested table for two at dinner at our requested time, and most breakfasts in the same section of the restaurant with the two Waiters we loved. Food good and plentiful, with extras offered, no problem asking for the Lobster as a starter, and was given two! Some new dishes on the menu cycle as well, plenty of choice for vegetables – not the often criticised “green beans” We normally have a suite but prices were sky high on this cruise so we didn’t take one this time. We missed the suites Epicurean breakfast but the breakfast in MDR was very good. Buffet lunches were also good, plenty of variety, never a problem getting a table, why do some able bodied people get a table first and then go off to the Buffet separately, takes more time and often you see some have finished their meal before the last one(s) have come back?
Epicurean of their own volition cancelled our earlier pre-paid bookings for dinner and refunded the money and charged us the on-board offer price inc. a bottle of wine, also had a good offer on Sindhu which we took.
New to us was the MDR Waiters taking the wine orders on their computer tablets (also new to us) and then the Wine Waitress brought the wine. These two changes appear to have improved service.
We have always tipped personally and the “charged tips”, and had wondered if the removal of tips would affect service but it did not.
Some new entertainment which was good, the “comedy classical quartet were very good and the Astronomy Professor was excellent, he spoke to packed houses every time and his talk on the top deck pointing out the planets, stars etc with his laser pointer in the night sky was fascinating. Very thought provoking and with a nice touch of humour, and was not afraid to “we don’t know” to some questions on the origins of the universe/galaxy(s). The kids magician was also very good, as there were not many kids on this cruise he manged to pitch his show to both kids and adults.
Chatting to people there appeared to be some of the usual cruise bores/braggers doing the rounds but fortunately we avoided them and people we met were very pleasant. We were told of one chap who bored the entire table of eight with his tales of 51 cruises and then complained when he was not offered the Gluten Free meal that one lady had booked the previous evening.
We were so lucky with the weather, Arctic Circle in t-shirts. Golden Circle tour was excellent although a bit pricey even for Iceland although an excellent lunch with wine was included. Saw lots of Whales, Puffins, Horses (and they also appear on Icelandic menus!).
Ventura was looking very trim and clean, Cleaners visible and working and ships Decorator tidying up internal paintwork/varnish during quiet times in port.
This was a cracking cruise, Faroe Islands, 4 days Iceland, Glasgow and Belfast and close cruised Lands End and Cornwall all in brilliant sun-shine (except slight drizzle at Giants Causeway). Did two P&O excursions (bit pricey) and two independently Belfast ( excellent value & service with Allens) & Glasgow, frequent good service from Greenock to Glasgow Central £14 return for two, P&O wanted £30 each for coach transfer and advised against using the train.
Perfume shops on-board seem more expensive now than the High Street/Internet, Duty Free was very reasonable Gordon’s litre full strength gin £12 less 15% (later in the cruise) and less your Peninsular discount came to just over £9.
All staff/crew were friendly and greeted you if all you did was pass them as you moved around the ship. The Captain and his officers were often seen around the ship and spoke to you. Nice to be remembered by some Crew who we have met previously.
Pleasant Dance Instructors/Hosts, and we danced most nights, with a nice crowd
No complaints, as good as ever.
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