Ventura USA & Caribbean cruise by Yorkshire Phil

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Yorkshire Phil
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Ventura USA & Caribbean cruise by Yorkshire Phil

Post by Yorkshire Phil » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:35 pm

I have tried to keep it short and sweet, please ask if any info is required.

Yorkshire Phil's USA & Caribbean 35 night Ventura.

This was our first cruise on Ventura which we had booked onboard during our 35 night cruise in 2017, the main reason was the itinerary as we had not been to Bermuda, Bahamas, Key West, New Orleans, Miami and Port Canaveral and Praia Vitoria. Plus the little fact that it was cheap with a fair wedge of OBC.

We travelled down to Southampton the night before the cruise, we stayed at the New Place where we had a package which cost us £260 for bed, breakfast and evening meal with 36 nights parking. We enjoyed the stay and would stay again.

Embarkation was a bit messy as there were problems with the computer system which had to be rebooted so we were sat about for a good hour before boarding at 15:30, some of the coaches were held back as the waiting room was full. The lady had a problem finding our cruise cards as we had been upgraded from inside to obstructed view outside, this was a pleasant surprise as we had no prior knowledge. This did hold up delivery of the luggage as it had to be re-labelled. The cabin was 3 decks lower and more central than our allotted cabin so a good result.

We were a little late setting sail, not sure why. The sea was quite choppy so we had taken the pills which we took for the following 2 nights while we got our sea legs. The following 4 nights were bumpy but nothing drastic, we did notice that Ventura vibrated when hitting larger waves.

I will summarise the cruise to try and avoid dragging the review out too much.

The food around the ship was very good, with a fair choice, we were 1st sitting on a table for 8. We had 1 good waiter and 1 poor one, rumour had it that they were training up new staff for Iona?

The staff were mainly Filipino, Indonesian, Indian plus a few Eastern Europeans. They were all very good and friendly and loved to chat when it was quiet in their area. Ava and Clive in the red bar were very good, I don't normally tip bar waiters unless they are very good.

We were not impressed with Headliners and only went to 2 shows of theirs. We felt that there were too many old comedians telling old jokes during the cruise and tended not to go to the second show.
Two acts that did impress were Rats in the kitchen (UB40) and Badness (Madness) tributes. The rest were OK, we tended to go to Havana more than the Arena theatre as there were 6 of us which made it easier to sit around a table and get a drink.

I went to several talks which were very informative. We also went to a few quizzes if we were in the lounge when they were run. The resident bands and singers were generally good.

The highlights of the cruise were New Orleans (once we got through customs) where we spent a considerable time in jazz clubs, Bourbon st was amazing after 10:00 pm, a great place to visit. We had a full day tour to Kennedy space station which was brilliant. Key West was very nice and great to explore. We enjoyed Praia Vitoria in the Azores as this was our first visit to Terceira island, it was picturesque, it was a nice easy walk back to the ship (2.5 miles). We had an airboat trip on the Everglades which was very good. Bermuda (mega expensive) and Bahamas were OK a bit like many Caribbean islands. St Maarten, St Lucia, Barbados and Grand Turk were also OK as we have visited these islands many times. If anyone wants any info on the ports please feel free to ask.

The weather was kind to us with just New Orleans being damp and foggy at times, we had a couple of showers in the Caribbean, one about 9 ish one sea day morning, it was amusing seeing the sunbed hogger's coming back to their soaked belongings (some people never learn) and then moaning. We were able to sit out from day 3 of the Atlantic crossing out and every day coming back, even as we were cruising into the English channel it was pleasant in the sun. We docked at 21:00 hrs on Monday night as there was a storm brewing across the UK, the Captain played a blinder get us in early.

Disembarkation was a shambles, there were only 3 coloured labels use and the storeroom was packed with cases, it was clear that P&O just wanted to get everybody off the ship, people were literally falling over each other, the porters couldn't get to people who needed assistance luggage. It took us nearly an hour to find our cases which are quite distinctive with large coloured tags on them. I hate to think what time some people got away.

Overall this was a good cruise which we really enjoyed, we met some great people, some of who we had met on previous cruises. I did not think Ventura was the best P&O ship we have cruise on, the Arena theatre is not big enough for the number of pax and unless you missed tea/coffee at dinner you could not get into the early show. There were not many quiet places where you could read or play cards/games. I am not sure why P&O have swapped to Ventura for the 35 nigh cruises as she doesn't seem to handle the sea as well as Oceana did, pus she is too wide for the Panama canal old locks.
Yorkshire Phil from Yorkshire Pudding land. :D

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Re: Ventura USA & Caribbean cruise by Yorkshire Phil

Post by Batwoman » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:08 pm

Thanks for your review YP, 4 of my friends were also on this cruise and apart from the food in the MDR had a great time. I must say that last September on Ventura I had no problem with the menus or quality of the meals but maybe there's been a change in the executive chef either that or as we know everyone's tastes are different.
Pleased that the bouncy ride out didn't cause you any problems!
Lizzie x

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Re: Ventura USA & Caribbean cruise by Yorkshire Phil

Post by barnsfield » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:41 am

Thanks for the review Phil. I had two lots of friends on this cruise - 4 who were unhappy with the food and 2 who thought it was excellent so there's no accounting for taste. I heard about the luggage chaos too which was a shame after such a great cruise. Glad you enjoyed overall though.
Sandra :lol:

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Re: Ventura USA & Caribbean cruise by Yorkshire Phil

Post by silkworm » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:08 pm

Hello YP

We are on same cruise next year. Would be really helpful if we could PM on some arrangements.

We really want to do the Everglades , was it a P and O excursion or was it a private one? If so, who with?

How long was immigration in New Orleans, dreading it. Seems such a shame to waste so much time.

How about, Bahamas and Bermuda? Suggestions please.
Thanks in anticipation


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Re: Ventura USA & Caribbean cruise by Yorkshire Phil

Post by mikef » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:17 pm

When I did New Orleans it was actually quite quick and started about 7am by deck order

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Re: Ventura USA & Caribbean cruise by Yorkshire Phil

Post by tail of the bank » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:24 pm

Thanks for the report Phil, sounds like a good trip and perhaps disembarkation the biggest negative - and at that point everyone just wants to get home!

Well done for keeping it brief, something I aspire to but never achieve!

Re the training staff for Iona rumour, perhaps a case of training staff for the other ships whilst the more experienced staff go to Iona.

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