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I’ve heard again from Phil Brown who got off Ventura this morn ing. Here are his comments of the cruise, Ventura’s first post-refit:

I’m back home from the cruise now – an interesting time overall. Force 10 gales while going south over the Bay of Biscay. The stop at Oporto was cancelled as the port was closed due to bad weather – ironically, later that day we had the best weather of the whole cruise. Marco Pierre White also cancelled (according to the staff at the White Room) which is a shame as I was really looking forward to meeting/hearing from him.

The Waterside looks like it had new carpets as they were creating a lot of fluff as people walked over them – having never cruised on Ventura before I can’t be certain. I didn’t see anyone using the self-service wine machines and didn’t realise that they were new. The starboard side of the waterside was closed for 3-4 days as it flooded shortly after leaving Southampton – the ship turned quite sharply and the movement of the ship caused the indoor swimming pool to empty and spill into that side of the restaurant. Looked perfect when it reopened though – just made buffet times quite busy as there was limited seating.
Service in the Bay Tree Restaurant was a bit hit-and-miss – on more than one occasion the waiter cleared away the plates for the starters before my son had finished eating – it felt quite rushed at times. This was 2nd sitting, which also started late on at least 3 occasions (doors didn’t open until 8.50pm on the 1st night).

The Headliners shows were okay, but they were new to the ship for this cruise – I could tell that the shows were being performed for the 1st time as they lacked a bit of flow at times.

I liked the ship overall, but didn’t think the overall service matched up to my two previous Oceana cruises. 103 days until Azura…..

Phil also sent me a few more pictures. Here are three that I think will interest people: ther Glass House food menu, and a picture of the Retreat entrance. Many thanks, Phil. (And these pictures are his copyright, of course.)

5 Responses to “Ventura post-refit – more pictures, and a short review”

  1. Ian says:

    The Boogie nights show was exactly the same as last years on the Azura (song for song), more or less the same entertainers (at least six), very disappointing. However, Peter Grant was superb.
    Our cabin (c-deck balcony) was not refurbished at all. Signs of updates here and there throughout the ship.
    Good cruise on the whole. Swimming pool incident flooding the Buffet was avoidable.

    • SJ says:

      Oh no, saw that show on Azura a couple of years ago and twice since on Ventura. I thought with the Headliners leaving the ship on 22nd Mar, the new ones would’ve brought different shows with them!!

  2. Al says:

    Just back from Ventura Cruise. Here are some of my comments:-

    Refit, New cabins on F Deck. One of my party had a new cabin but was ‘Upgraded’ to a cabin on A Deck. Looks like the new cabins were not quite ready. We chose our own cabin (on P deck) to be close to the one on F deck, so inconvenient for us. Olly Smith’s Glasshouse replaced the Tapas Bar. Worse of all though was the new Retreat (similar to the one on Azura). This to me was a retrograde step and the original area (highest forward facing part of the ship) used quite a lot on my last cruise on Ventura. As I had an inside cabin this time was expecting to use it quite a lot, but do not see why I now have to pay to use it. (to be fair though, I probably wouldn’t have used it very much because of the weather). Air Conditioning. seemed very inefficient compared to my last cruise on Ventura and Azura. Cabin was too warm most of the time, and Arena Theatre was very hot all the time I used it. Not sure if they had changed the way it operates during the re-fit.

    Cruise:- Weather was very bad for most of the cruise. Up to force 8 on the Bay of Biscay (outward), many passengers (lucky none of my party) were sea-sick. Boat took a list to port during the evening which was corrected by adjusting the ballast. Mention was made that wind may gust to 80 mph (although unsure if it actually reached that speed. Sea was too bad to dock in Oporto – port was closed, although that afternoon was warm and cloudless for some time. One side of the Waterside Restaurant was closed for several days because of flooding from the pool, causing queues for seating at meal times. Additional entertainment was put on for the extra day at sea. There were a number of recent films shown during the cruise, Skyfall, Lincoln, Hitchcock being some of them. Cabins didn’t seem to be given as much attention as during previous cruises, cups and glasses not changed until evening, so have to use dirty ones during the day. Possibly P&O cutting back on Hotel Staff to save money.

    Advantage/Getaway Fares. From next year some changes being made. Getaway people will not be able to choose dining at all (not sure if that is the case at the moment). 6 of the liners will be having Freedom Dining from next year (Oriana May, Aurora December). Shuttle buses (when available) will only be free to Advantage customers, Getaway will have to pay to use them. On the other hand Getaway Fares can be much lower. For instance Cruise N310 Lowest Advantage Fare £1129, Getaway fare starts at £599. Eavesway driver stated (unconfirmed) that passengers will have to book directly with them (I assume that means they won’t be taking the free Advantage passengers) mention was made that P&O wanted too big a discount. This may mean less comfortable coaches for Advantage Passengers.

  3. Al says:

    Further to my earlier comments I’ve had a bad cold all week which started near the end of the Ventura Cruise, I’m convinced it was because of the air-conditioning not working as well as it used to.

    Very hot in the Arena Theatre, too warm in other parts of the ship and even the cabin. Previous cruises in Ventura and Azura had Air-con setting roughly near (or just below the middle) to have cabin at reasonable temperature. This cruise, even at lowest setting was too warm.

    • Tom says:

      Sorry to hear that, Al.

      In my experience there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to whether or not I’ll get a cold. Some cruises I’ve ended it with a real stinker, others I haven’t had a sniffle at all. I suppose it all depends on what strains of virus other people bring on board, and whether you’ve been exposed to them before.

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