Ventura – a Day Visit

My wife and I were fortunate enough to be recently invited to spend a day visiting P&O’s cruise ship Ventura. The kind invitation came through our travel agent  in conjunction with P&O Cruises.

Ventura has a capacity for 3096 passengers and has 14 passenger decks. We last visited Ventura as guests of P&O when she first arrived at Southampton in April 2008. We were very interested to see the changes that had been made during a recent refit. A number of changes have been introduced following their  success on Ventura’s younger sister ship, Azura.

On boarding, the first change we noticed on boarding was the dance floor that is now a feature on the lower level of the Atrium…

Ironically, with dancing in mind, the cruise departing later in the day was to feature a selection of BBC One’s  ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Judges and Dancers during the 12 night cruise to the Canary Islands.

Without any doubt the biggest change has been the introduction of ‘The Retreat’…

An open-air spa terrace located on forward on Deck 17,  it is exclusively for adults. It features luxurious  sun loungers, private cabanas for spa treatments,  the Oasis adult only Pool, and complimentary ‘healthy Living’ snacks and drinks. A pass for The Retreat is approximately  £12 on port days and £20 on sea days.

Oasis ‘Adult Only’ Pool

Guaranteed to prove popular with single travellers, Ventura now has 18 ‘single cabins, 12 outside and 6 inside cabins.

Outside Single Cabin

Inside Single Cabin

Two changes have been made to alternative dining venues. Out has gone the Spanish tapas bar ‘Ramblas’, to be replaced by ‘The Glass House’. Now offering a  range of fine wines from across the globe selected by wine expert Olly Smith the bar also features an enomatic wine system where you can buy premium wines by the glass.

In addition there is now a relaxed menu of dishes as an alternative to lunch and dinner that are designed compliment each type of wine.

The Glass House Bar

One style of Glass House seating area

…and a sample of the ‘smoked Cheese Burger on one of the two alternating menus…

…a snip at a £4.95 supplement.

East retains its name but the dining has changed.  A brand new menu designed by the ‘master of spices’ Atul Kochhar is now in place and, though the  restaurant  remains an Asian-Oriental style restaurant  the menu now features more  Asian Fusion dishes created by Atul and with influences from Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Japan.

East – now featuring the creations of Atul Kutchhar

The cover charge is £30.00 per person but does include Canapes and a Martini on arrival and half a carafe of wine with the meal.

That effectively covers the changes that have taken place so the remainder of our day we looked at what else Ventura had to offer.

Accommodation:

There is a wide range of accommodation starting with Suites

…to Standard Balcony Cabins…

…to Outside Doubles and Twins

…to a large Inside Double cabin…

…and a smaller Inside Twin

Ventura also has a number of disability/mobility cabins that have wider access doors…

In common with all P&O ships Ventura has a number of self service laundrettes

Dining:

There are three main restaurants on board Ventura. One which operates on an ‘anytime’ dining principle and two that operate a two seating traditional dining system.

Bay Tree Restaurant

Saffron Restaurant

There are two self service buffet style restaurants, The Waterside

…and the Beach House

 

 

In addition to the two speciality restaurants mentioned in the opening paragraphs, there is Ventura’s signature restaurant, The White Room: by none other than Marco Pierre White…

White Room

( Apologies for the above photograph but the restaurant had not been laid up for evening service at the time of my visit)

 

which does have its own nicely appointed waiting/sitting area

 

 

Deck Side:

 

On the Deck  side there are 4 pools, the Oasis which is   designated adult only…

The Terrace Pool

The Laguna

Laguna Pool

and the Beachcomber Pool

Beachcomber pool

There are a number of on deck bars and eateries for warmer climates, including The Laguna Pool Bar and Frankie’s Grill

 

 

as well as Frankie’s Pizza and Ice Cream Parlour

 

Frankie’s Pizza and Ice Cream Parlour

 

On to entertainment:

Ventura has as its centre of entertainment the Arena Theatre

Arena Theatre

and two show lounges, Havana…

Havana Show Lounge

…and The Tamarind Club

The Tamarind Club

There is a traditional English pub, Exchange…

…where Quizzes and  karaoke evenings are held.

There is also the Metropolis Bar which also features live music and,  in addition,  a 20 metre plasma video wall…

Metropolis

 

Situated on Promenade Deck, with commanding views over the Atrium, is another attractive bar that provides cocktail piano music, The Red Bar…

 

The Red Bar.

 

That basically concludes this tour of Ventura. We had an excellent lunch in the Bay Tree Restaurant  and I would like to sincerely thank our outstanding P&O host,  Zoe Scott, for a comprehensive and informative visit that will hopefully be enjoyed by the readers of this blog. Thank you Zoe.

 

 

Summary: Blog readers will know that Ventura’s sister ship Azura has been one of our favourite P&O ships. As a result of this visit my wife and I would have little hesitancy in also sailing on Ventura if the itinerary suited us.

 

For anyone interested in a similar visit to any of the P&O fleet the 2014 visit programme can be found at…

 

http://www.pocruises.com/join-us-for-a-guided-tour/

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