Do a serch on this site Re ventura and make your mind up .
There is a report on the 'other site' that P&O are altering some things on Ventura following feedback on problems. P&O's changes to Ventura are said to focus on dining (especially the line's Freedom Dining, eat-when-you-like plan), entertainment and deck chairs! So things may be better next year. Also I think you should only cruise on this ship in August if you are going with children as people's complaints seem to focus on the large number of these in school holiday time.
Just found the same report on this site, here:
Ask away ..and I will try and give you honest answers....we have just returned from the transatlantic on Ventura and are also experienced cruisers.
Our main concerns relate to things we have read or been told ie food not so good, restaurant problems mainly timing issues in restaurant, sunbeds or lack of, one review commented on stability of the ship and said it was quite creeky i find this strange as i have sailed on princess ships before that are identical to the ventura and built at the same ship yard. We are considering bringing the cruise forward to July to try and avoid school holidays.
There were sunbed problems early on and P&O added loads more. No problem in October and it was hot and sunny in the Med. We had a force 11 gale off Portugal on the way back forcing the Captain to reduce speed. It did move a bit but no more than other ships and did not see any glasses sliding off which we had on Oriana last year in a force 12. Food was same as other P&O ships, generally very good. We were going to try the speciality (pay) restaurants but we were quite happy with main restaurant so we stayed put.
August = children. Avoid at all costs (even Indie is ghastly at this time).
We did two weeks on Ventura in October and there were over 300 children on board although you hardly ever saw them, although it is very likely there will be more in August although P&O do put a limit on the numbers they can handle. We enjoyed the cruise very much, our 11th, and thought that the food, entertainment and organisation was much better than on our previous cruise earlier in the year on the QE2. Despite the large number of passengers (3400 we were told), there were never any queues for embarkation or disembarkation and that included two tender ports and never had a problem finding a sunbed. As there are many lounge areas inside we never had a problem finding a table for a drink, which are very reasonably priced now compared to US dollar ships. It felt no more crowded, possibly less, than we have experienced on smaller (70-90,000 ton) ships. However, bear in mind it is being marketed as a family ship, so in August many will be people with young families rather the the traditional cruisers .
We had our breakfast and dinner in the Baytree Restaurant and it was cooked and served well ..apart from occasional blip at breakfast! We always found something we liked on the menu ...there was always steak and chicken if nothing took your fancy! We ate in the buffet at Lunchtime and some days there was a struggle to find a hot meal we liked so had salad on those days! tables always available somewhere in the buffets.
I was surprised that the ship did move quite a bit when we were in choppy seas but never had to resort to my Stugeron! It also creaked a bit in our cabin but not bad enough to keep us awake....in our experience ships always creak.
the sunbeds were an issue with some of the passengers and were very close together...it depends whether you like to be in full sun or partial shade..we don't like full sun and found an area at the front in the sports area with a crescent of empty sun beds under 'sail' type canopy which was quite pleasant. There were also recliner chairs on the promenade deck which was quite sunny to sit on with your feet on the railings which we liked.
The central area of the upper decks was pretty busy with children (24 Oct - 8 Nov so half term for some) and it did get noisy but not really much of a problem for us we just kept away!! We did have a balcony but they only have upright chairs and I did suggest they put reclining chairs on balconies which are big enough and then fewer people would use up all the sunbeds!!! It now seems this will happen later next year according to latest news from P and O!!!
Why not look up reviews on this site and also Cruise News has some new info.