I am going on Ventura in January for he first time
I have also seen the reviews
I have done 8 previous cruises and usually write lengthy reviews about them
I try to be balanced but all reviews are a matter of opinion-for example my last cruise on Boudicca was disappointing in many respects but read other reviews and you would think it the best ship afloat
The main criticisms I have read about Ventura is that it is big (tells you that in the brochure)and there are kids on board (tells you that as well)
My point is simply this-make your own mind up-I have criticisms of every ship I have been on but overall the experience is great which is why I keep going back
We have just returned from the Ventura were we for the first time choose freedom dining. There were no problems in getting a table at the time you wanted provided you are prepared to sit at a table with others i.e. table of 4,6, 8 etc. If you want a table for 2 then you will struggle a little in the peak times i.e. between 7-9pm. You book your table usually a day in advance but there no problems.