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P&O Ventura refit

I’ve had an email from P&O about the refit that their ship Ventura is currently undergoing at a shipyard in France. Having read it, I have to report that there’s nothing terribly exciting going to happen. Most of the work seems to be the fitting of new carpeting to all cabins and suites, plus a number of the public areas: the Atrium, the Oasis Spa and salon, the Saffron restaurant, the Glasshouse, the Waterside and Beach House buffets/casual dining areas, and the Red Bar and Havana lounge. The Waterside and Beach House buffets will also get new tiling and new furniture.

More excitingly, the theatre will get a new LED screen. Apparently Britannia and Azura (Ventura’s sister-ship – already have these, so this is just bringing Ventura into line with them. P&O’s Senior Vice President Paul Ludlow says “…it will really add some wow-factor to stage shows” and “it creates a spectacular experience for the guests”. I’m not quite sure what it will actually, do, however….

But it’s the remaining part of the refit that seems to be exciting P&O the most, and that’s changes to the ‘retail experience’ – i.e., the shops. We’re told that “the ship’s retail area is undergoing a complete upgrade”, and that there will be new brands available. These will include Italian luggage specialists Bric’s, fashion brand Liu Jo, the Swiss watch brand Longines, and others. There will also be changes along the big passageway on deck 7, including an improved, larger Dixons Travel by the photo gallery which will stock “leading brands such as Amazon (?), Apple, Bose, Canon, Fitbit, GoPro and more”. This area will also be recarpeted and the Photo Now digital screen will be moved further aft.

As far as I can work out this is Ventura’s second refit, the first being in March 2013 when she was about five years old – she’s been in service for ten years now. That first refit was a major exercise – it was when the single cabins were installed and The Exchange was reduced in size, The Sanctuary was created, and Ramblas was converted to The Glasshouse. So this year’s exercise seems to be much more minor, at least in terms of major changes.

That said, I can imagine that changing the carpets in *all* cabins and suites (which is what they say they’re doing) must be a huge task. In fact, other than repair and maintenance, it will be the first time that carpets will have been laid in the cabins since they were in situ on the ship. Initially, the carpets are laid in the cabins when they’re constructed in the factory, and the cabins are then furnished, delivered, and installed. So recarpeting the cabins is a serious amount of work.

There is one similarity to the time of Ventura’s refit. I was astonished to see the photo I included with one of the posts at that time, which was an aside about delayed spring time – I’d forgotten. Five years on, another Ventura refit, and another snowy March!


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