Review: P&O Ventura
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
Canaries, Lisbon and Madeira
This was our first cruise, and perhaps not the best ship to start off with. Several things that happened indicated that the ship itself is ailing – clanging pipes in the night, a steam escape explosion necessitating an emergency call to the whole ship at 4 am, breakdown of theater equipment cancelling a show part way through; inability to print off final bill due to IT failure. However the staff were wonderful and service great. We were unprepared to how many ‘extras’ would be extracted from us during the cruise and ended up with a £400 bill for such things as eating in surcharged restaurants on board; coffees (free coffee during the day only available in your cabin or on 15th floor); wifi (which is poor at best); photos; excursion costs etc etc. We don’t drink much and drinks were not expensive so this wasn’t an issue. We were on freedom dining and found that unless you were prepared to queue for half an hour or more before the dining room opened at 6pm you needed to share a table or wait for a ‘second sitting’ some time later. We loved Madeira, cable car is a must as is the old town, and a fab lunch of garlic prawns. Of the three islands we visited in the Canaries, Lanzarote was the best one, however in Gran Canaria and here the ship docks in the main towns which are not very indicative of the resorts. We would definitely not recommend the open top bus trip in Gran Canaria – there is nothing to see of any note in the town, much better just to get a taxi to the old town if not going further afield. We booked an excursion for Lisbon having been warned about pick pockets and over-zealous taxi drivers, but unfortunately the one we choose only took us to the Belem area (Monastery, custard pie shop and Discoveries monument) and to the town center through horrendous and slow traffic. As a point of note where the bus stopped by the Monastery we were told the custard tart shop was a short walk, but it was too far for my husband to manage so we grabbed a coffee at the nearest cafe right by the bus and got some lovely custard tarts there – saving the long trek! Lisbon shops were great, and similarly lovely lunch. We had a Superior Balcony Cabin and this was great, and worth the extra cost to have the space and a larger balcony. All in all we enjoyed the cruise and would do it again, but probably not on Ventura.
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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.