Two couples joined this P & O cruise on Ventura to various ports in Western Europe last April ( 2011 ). After a very smooth and stress free embarkation at Southampton we headed south and west towards higher temperatures and increased sunshine. Madeira was our first port of call via the Bay of Biscay which was a little lumpy, but nothing we couldn`t deal with. Two days at sea gave us then chance to explore the ship and make use of several of the excellent facilities. Pun quizzes, lectures, demonstrations and dance instruction were all undertaken. These were to a high standard and very enjoyable. The highlight was two lectures on the Jack The Ripper story. So many possible suspects - I may try some further research in the future. Our wives were very well entertained at the dance classes. They are keen to keep this pastime up. Our inside cabin / stateroom was spacious, comfortable and expertly looked after - it really was a home from home. Madeira was an interesting first port of call. We made our own way to the cable car and then experienced the thrill of a fast descent in a wicker basket - great fun! We called at Teneriffe, where we took a hop on hop off bus tour, the Gran Canaria where we hired sun loungers and had a chill out day. The entrance to Lisbon was spectacular and really interesting. Again we made use of the hop on hop off bus - a cheap an easy way to get a great flavour of the city. Next we visited Vigo where we berthed a mere 5 minute walk to the town...an interesting place with shops of all types and a lovely local market. Our final call was to La Coruna where we took advantage of a P & O organised excursion to Santiago De Compostela. We couldn`t recommend this trip highly enough. It was interesting, thought provoking and very well organised. We all knew we were in a very special place. You must visit this "must do" destination. We then headed back to Blighty. No weather or sea related problems and we were able to use Ventura as a hotel and holiday destination rolled into one. The food was excellent as was the service. We were particularly impressed with the menu choices. We even asked for a couple of items not on "today`s" menu and were accommodated very easily. Very impressed by this. The drinks in both the restaurant and the numerous bars were extensive and very fairly priced. The activities were well advertised and catered for a wide range of interests. We had a fantastic cruise and I wouldn`t hesitate to recommend this itinerary and ship in the highest possible terms. During the cruise 3 of us had a birthday. These were celebrated by our waiters at dinner and made for 3 unforgettable days. We travelled 3550 nautical miles, that`s just over 4000 real miles! - and we enjoyed every one of them.
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Times cruised before: 1-2 Sailed: April, 2011
Quality of Food
I the formal dining room. All food excellent.
Various West End style shows. Lecture on Jack The Ripper & Code-breaking.
The best was to Santiago De Compostela. Hop on hop off bus in Lisbon was also very good
Both our waiters and cabin staff were both excellent and very friendly.