We have sailed on the sister ship Azura before so we generally knew what to expect once onboard. I travelled with my partner and 2 children ages 8 and 2. I like that Ventura has the retractable roof over the pool, so if it is cool or raining, there is always somewhere to go on sea days. I love the amount of choice there is in the evenings on Ventura. You can spend your whole holiday in a different bar each night. The choice of evening entertainment was average; the singers were standard and a bit cheesy, but fun to watch. The food was not to be faulted as well as the service in the main restaurant. The waiters happily ordered whatever the kids wanted and fetched their meals out with our starters as we asked. I was impressed straight away with the kids clubs, on our embarkation day; we had an invitation to go and register the kids in the clubs and have a look around. The staff were so welcoming and friendly and showed Lacey and Freya the activities that they could join in with during the cruise. Lacey wanted to explore the ship so we both went on a bit of a self-guided tour and went on each deck, the Spa looked amazing and the prices were pretty reasonable too. Lacey was amazed at everything and so excited, I knew we were going to enjoy ourselves.
My impressions of the ship got better and better, and we loved everything about it. Being a big ship and during the school holidays i was worried about been over run with children and families but it wasn’t at all. I never felt there was overcrowding, we never had to queue to get in the restaurant, it was also never a problem trying to get sunbeds on sea days, something which people often mention. I couldn’t disagree more. The food in the buffet was always nice, plenty of choice especially for the kids, the waiters were always on hand to bring us a high chair. The bar staff were always friendly and efficient.One area that i was dissapointed in was the Glass House, this was Las Ramblas before it had the refurb. The Glass House on Azura is so nice and modern, light and a lovely wine bar but now its been revamped and put on Ventura its totally different. I expected it to be identical if not similar but its simply still Las Ramblas with a new name, so the whole feel is very mediteranean not as you would expect if you have been in the same bar but on Azura. Freya lost her favourite teddy after about 3 days, she was really upset so went spoke with reception to see if anyone had handed it in, the recpetion staff were very happy to look out for it and said they would let us know if they found it. The next day there was a Ventura Teddy bear in our cabin with a note from the receptionist saying 'I hope you can cuddle me until your teddy arrives home'. I thought that was a lovely touch and the fact that they made a real effort was extra special. 'Marny' the cat was found safe and well before we got off the ship.
We booked excursions with cruisingexcursions.com, a full day in Pompeii, Sorrento and Amalfi as well as a half day tour of Pisa. They were much more better value than booking direct with P&O and were brilliant, the guides were professional and I will definitely book them again.