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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Caribbean Cruise Jan 2011 (P&O Ventura) Advice Please!

    Hi, my boyfriend and I have booked a 15 nt Caribbean cruise on 29th January 2011 on the P&O Ventura. We have never cruised before and would like to get some advice on best excursions, spending money needed etc.

    The cruise starts in Barbados with an overnight in port the first night. It then calls at Bonaire, Aruba, Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Grand Turk, St Maarten, Antigua, Dominica, St Lucia and then back to Barbados for the flight home.

    We were wondering if anyone has any advice about which excursions to do in the different ports? I was also wondering what there is in each port? Do you need transfers to the beach/ bars etc or are these within walking distance?

    We were also wondering whether anyone knows how much drinks cost onboard and how much spending money we should take? (We are both in our mid 20s and enjoy a drink!) Also, what currency should we take? I was advised by somebody that US dollars would be accepted in all of the ports but I'm not sure if this is right or not?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


    Last edited by Lucy, Cheshire (2); 16th November 2010 at 12:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Hi Lucy

    Welcome to the forum. You will find that the Caribbean is one of the easiest places to do your own thing with regard to excursions. There are always lot of taxis/minibuses at all the ports of call. They will take you wherever you want to go and are much cheaper than the ship's excursions. For example, you can take a half day tour of the island and be dropped off back at the ship, or they will drop you at a beach for the afternoon and even arrange to pick you up from there in order to get you back to the ship on time. The drivers are very knowledgeable and will normally give you a running commentry throughout the tour. It's well worth climbing Dunns River Falls when you are in Jamaica.

    US dollars are acceptable everywhere - just make sure you get any change in dollars rather than local currency, although we have never had a problem with this.

    Can't help you with the price of drinks as we have never been on Ventura, but I am sure someone will be able to give you some advice on this.

    Enjoy your cruise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hi Lucy and welcome to the forum.

    There is lots of information already on this site about Caribbean ports of call and excursions.

    If you click on the search facility at the top of the page in the dark blue section, put your port of call in the keyword section with a dash and excursions, you should find lots of info. come up.

    I haven't been to all the ports on your itinerary but certainly as far as St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada and Dominica are concerned, it's so easy to do your own thing.

    Although it is easy to get taxis that will take where you want to go, it's best to do lots of research on each port beforehand.

    If you google each port and get on to the tourist websites, you will find lots of private companies that offer excursions which are usually better and cheaper than the cruise ship offers.

    Happy surfing.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hi... I have been on the Ventura a few times though not on the cruise you are going on, so I cannot help you about ports etc. but I can advise you on the best buys and prices of drinks. The drink prices on Ventura are very low compared to some other cruise lines, about the same price as english pubs. What we have found though is if you like a drink in your cabin you can order 1 litre bottles of at very good prices through the interactive channel on your cabin t.v. it is very simple to do and is delivered within hours of ordering. example of prices:- Smirnoff vodka..9.50. ..6.50 on last day of cruise in the duty free shop,..Bells whisky 14.25,..Gordons Gin 12.00,..Malibu and Archers both about 10. You are allowed to take alcohol on board and if you want to take on wine to drink in the restaurant you have to pay a corkage fee. Hope this helps, Have a great cruise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Hi Lucy,

    We were in the Caribbean on Ventura early this year and had a wonderful time. It is a excellent ship although being so big does take a while to get used to. Take your time exploring. This is all part of the holiday.

    As has already been said, taxi's are a great way of getting about. It is so easy to use them. They can be found on the dock side and offer many trips. In some resorts water taxi's are also available. Enjoy.

    Can't be to specific about the drinks charges on board but I have to say that they did seem reasonable. I was told by fellow passengers that P&O charges are lower than Royal Caribbean but I do not know this for sure.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    what a tremendous picture of ventura
    don't happen to have a link to it anywhere in full resoltion do you
    i'd liek to send it to myself at work for my wallpaper :D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Thanks everyone for the info! I have just found a full price list for drinks on the ventura posted by somebody on one of the other message boards so thought I would post it here incase anybody else is trying to find out as well:

    Bombay Sapphire 2.30
    Gordon's 2.10
    Beefeater 2.00

    Stolichnaya 2.60
    Absolut Blue 2.35
    Smirnoff Red 2.15

    Bacardi Reserva 2.15
    Bacardi Carta Blanca, Captain Morgans 2.00

    Johnnie Walker Black Label, Chivas Regal 2.4o
    Teachers, Bells, Famous Grouse, Johnnie Walker Red Label 2.10
    Vat 69 2.0
    Highland Malt - Glenmorangie 2.60
    Speyside Malt -
    Glenfiddich, Glenlivet
    Islay Malt - Laphroaig, Bowmore
    Island Malt - Highland Park, Scapa
    Jim Beam 2.15
    Canadian Club 2.15
    Jameson 2.15
    Bristol Cream, Tio Pepe, Croft Original 2.10

    Brandy and Cognac
    Remy XO Premier Cru 5.50
    Cognac V.S.O.P 2.65
    Cognac*** 2.40
    Brandy 2.25
    Armagnac 2.40

    Late Bottled Vintage 2.15

    Liqueurs and Soeciality Spirits - 2.35

    Baileys, Drambuie, Cointreau, Archers Peach Schnapps, Tia Maria[Southern Comfort, Tequila, Amaretto, Sambuca and many more All measures 25 millilitres or multiples there of

    COLOR=blue]Beers and Lagers

    Draught Beers
    Lager Pint* 2.60
    Lager Shandy Pint* 2.50[
    Bitter Pint* 2.35
    Bitter Shandy Pint* 2.25
    Bitter 1/2 Pint* 1.20*Draught beers available in selected bars only


    Becks 330ml - Germany 2.35
    Grolsch 330ml - Holland 2.35
    Stella Artois 330ml - Belgium 2.35
    Budweiser 330ml - USA 2.35
    Carlsberg 330ml - Denmark 1.95
    Fosters 330ml - Australia 1.95
    Beck's Non-Alcoholic 330ml - Germany 1.95

    Ales and Bitters
    Old Speckled Hen 500ml 2.40
    Marston's Pedigree 500ml 2.35
    Boddingtons Draught 440ml 2.10
    Caffrey's Irish Ale 440ml 2.10
    John Smiths Extra Smooth 440ml 2.40
    Newcastle Brown Ale 440ml 2.10
    Bass Pale 330ml 1.85
    Guinness Draught Can 440ml 2.40
    Magners 568ml 3.45
    Strongbow 440ml 2.10

    Smirnoff Ice Red 275ml 2.50
    Bacardi Breezer 275ml 2.60

    Champagnes and Wines

    Mot & Chandon Brut Imperial NV
    Bottle 35.95
    Glass 125ml 6.00

    House Champagne
    Bottle 31.75
    Glass 125ml 5.30

    House Champagne Rose
    Bottle 37.95
    Glass 125ml 6.35

    White Wine (by the glass 175ml 250ml)
    Pinot Grigio, Italy 3.35 4.35
    Piesporter Michelsberg, Germany 4.00 5.00
    Sauvignon Blanc Overstone, New Zealand 4.15 5.15
    Chardonnay, Neales Flat Langhorne 4.60 5.60
    Creek, Australia
    Blush Wine (by the glass 175ml 250ml
    White Zinfandel Beringer 4.15 5.15

    Red Wine (by the glass 175ml 250ml
    Merlot Santa Monica, Chile 4.00 5.00
    Shiraz Tullumbra Estate, Australia 4.00 5.00
    Pinotage, Bergsig Estate, South Africa 4.15 5.15
    Cabernet Sauvignon Neales Flat 4.50 5.50
    Barossa, Australia
    Pinot Noir Overstone, New Zealand 4.70 5.70

    House Wine (by the glass 175ml 250ml)
    Californian Red, White, Blush 2.65 3.65
    Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, White Zinfandel
    Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
    Glass 1.95

    Exotic Cocktails

    Chocolate Banana - 3.50
    Kahula, Fresh Banana & Cream

    Blue Lagoon
    Vodka, Blue Curacao and Lemonade

    Bahama Mama
    Light and Dark Rum mixed with Banana Liqueur, Orange
    Pineapple Juice
    ]Hurricane - 3.75
    Equal shots of Light and Dark Rum, Gin, Amaretto
    Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine & Lime
    with dashes of Angostura Bitters

    Mai Tai
    Blend of Dark and Light Rum, Amaretto, Orange
    Pineapple Juice

    Long Beah Ice Tea
    Smirnoff Vodka, Gin, Tequila, White Rum and Cointreau
    topped with Cranberry Juice and a squeeze of Lime

    Pina Colada - 3.95:
    Blend of Rum with Pineapple Juice and Coconut Cream
    Caribbean Cruise
    Light Rum, Malibu, Blue Curacao and Sweet & Sour

    buried Treasure
    Crme de Cassis, Pineapple Juice and Coconut Cream

    Miami Vice on Ice
    Blend of Crme de Banana, Blackberry Brandy & Dark
    Rum with Pineapple Juice, Coconut Cream and Grenadine

    COLOR=blue]Contemporary Cocktails
    Sea Breeze Delight - 3.85:
    Vodka and Grapefruit Juice mixed with Cranberry
    Juice and Soda

    Dark Rum, Orange Juice, Lime Juice and Grenadine

    Double measure of Beefeater Gin, Lemon Juice
    Bay Breeze
    Absolut Citron Vodka, Pineapple and Cranberry Juice
    topped with Soda
    Peachtree Cooler - 4.10
    Peach Schnapps and Lemonade
    Fruit Daiquiris
    Strawberry Mix or Fresh Banana, blended together with
    Mount Gay White Rum, Sweet & Sour and Lime Juice

    Sloe Boat to Seville
    Sloe Gin, Southern Comfort, Vodka and Orange Juice

    Fun on the Beach
    Peach Schnapps and Vodka mixed with Orange &
    Cranberry Juice
    Tequila, Cointreau, Sweet & Sour and Lime, on
    the rocks or frozen

    Lynchburg Lemonade - 4.40
    Jack Daniels Bourbon topped with Sweet & Sour

    Cuba Libre
    Double shot of Havana Club Light Rum with cola and Lime
    Blue Bayou
    Blue Curacao, Malibu Rum Liqueur, Coconut Cream and
    Pineapple Juice

    Pimms Turbo
    Pimms & Lemonade with an extra shot of Gin

    Classic Cocktails

    Pimms No.1 - 2.95
    Gin Based Classic

    Tom Collins
    Gin or Vodka, Sweet and Sour topped with Soda

    Whisky Sour
    Bourbon topped with Sweet & Sour and Soda

    ]White Lady - 3.25
    Cointreau & Gin shaken with Sweet & Sour mix

    Jim Beam Bourbon, Cinzano and Angostura Bitters

    Vodka / Gin Martini
    Gin or Vodka mixed Dry Vermouth shaken or stirred
    straight up or on the rocks
    Pimms Misty
    Pimms, Pineapple Juice and Ginger Beer

    Screwdriver - 3.45
    Black Russian
    Kahlua and Vodka with Coca Cola

    Pimms Rose
    Pimms No1 with Cranberry Juice
    Brandy Alexander
    Brandy, Crme de Cacao, Nutmeg, Milk and Cream

    Harvey Wallbanger - 3.75
    FGalliano, Vodka and Orange Juice built over ice
    Singapore Sling
    Beefeater Gin and Cherry Brandy with Sweet & Sour

    [Bloody Mary
    Generous measure of Vodka mixed with Tomato Juice

    Advocaat, Lemonade & Lime Juice

    COLOR=blue]Martini Collection.

    Sapphire - 5.50
    Bombay Sapphire Gin and Dry Vermouth

    Stolichnaya Vodka, Tia Maria and a dash of Sweet Vermouth

    Le French
    Stolichnaya Vodka, Crme de Cassis, Cinzano Bianco and Pineapple Juice

    Apple Sour
    Absolut Vodka, Apple Juice and Lime
    Cherry Dream
    Stolichnaya Vodka, Dry Vermouth and Cherry Brandy

    Apple Cosmopolitan
    Absolut Vodka, Apple Juice and Pineapple Juice

    Absolutely Fabulous
    Absolut Vodka and Dry Vermouth

    Orange and Peach Delight
    Peach Schnapps, Absolut Vodka and Orange Juice

    COLOR=blue]Champagne Cocktails

    Bucks Fizz - 3.25
    Champagne & Orange Juice

    Kir Royale - 4.35
    Crme de Cassis topped with Champagne

    The Classic Champagne Cocktail - 5.10
    Cognac, white sugar, Angostura bitters, topped
    with Champagne
    Pimms Royal
    Pimms No.1 topped with Champagne

    Ritz Fizz

    Green Jade
    Midori Melon Liqueur, Crme de Banana topped
    with Champagne
    Peach Puree, Peach Schnapps, topped with Champagne


    Oriana Sea Breeze - 1.85
    Cranberry and Apple Juices mixed with Lime
    and Lemonade

    Orange, Apple and Lime Juices with a dash of Grenadine

    Surfers Paradise
    Orange, Pineapple and Apple Juice
    Longboat Fizz - 1.95
    Pussy Foot
    Pineapple, Orange Juice, Lemonade & Grenadine

    Cranapple Cooler - 2.05
    Cranberry and Apple Juices topped with Ginger Ale

    Cool Colada
    Blended Pineapple Juice, Cream, Colada mix and ice

    Strawberry mix, Fresh Banana and Pineapple Juice

    COLOR=blue]Soft Drinks

    J20 - various flavours - 275ml - 1.65
    ORANGE JUICE - 330ml - 1.40
    APPLE JUICE - 330ml - 1.40
    APPLETISE - 275ml - 1.40
    BOTTLEGREEN PRESSE - various flavours - 1.35
    ELDERFLOWER PRESSE - 250ml - 1.35
    FRUIT JUICES - 150ml - 1.25]
    GINGER BEER - 330ml - 1.
    LEMONADE & LIME - 250ml - 1.15

    COLOR=blue]Soft Drinks (Post MixCOLOR

    SPLASH - 100ml - 0.50
    COLOR=blue]Diet Drinks
    SPRITE LITE - 330ml - 1.10
    FANTA LITE - 330ml[/SIZE

    COLOR=blue]Mineral Waters

    STILL & SPARKLING - 11/2 litre - 1.65
    SPARKLING - 330ml - 1.30
    STILL - 330ml - 1.00
    RED BULL - 250ml - 1.90

    COLOR=blue]Soda Water
    SODA BY THE GLASS 250ml 0.40
    Postmix splash with spirits - no charge
    COLOR=blue]Coffee and Speciality Coffee

    FILTER COFFEE - 1.00
    CAPPUCCINO - * 1.50
    LATTE COFFEE - * 1.50
    MOCHA COFFEE - * 1.50
    POT OF TEA - 0.95
    ]HERBAL TEA - 1.30
    HOT CHOCOLATE - * 1.50
    Available in certain bars only
    ROYAL Cognac - 4.25
    CALYPSO Tia Maria - 4.15
    FRENCH Cointreau
    MURPHISIO Baileys & Amaretto
    MEXICAN Kahula
    O'REILLY Baileys
    BALMORAL Scotch - 3.65[
    IRISH Irish Whiskey

    Drinks and Ice cream packages

    On Ventura, Oceana, Aurora and Oriana, there is a soft drinks package which gives 20 refils of 330ml soft drinks from a soda fountain at a cost of 20. This is also available on Arcadia but not Artemis, though not advertised due to the lack of children.
    This can be combined with an similar ice cream package for 35. The ice cream package alone is also 20. There is not, however a soft ice cream (Mr Whippy) machine on Arcadia or Oriana.These can only be booked on board

    Thanks again for your help and it would be great to know any other tips anybody has

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Also- does anybody know whether you can pre-book the white room restaurant or do you have to wait until you are onboard? We really want to go there but have heard it gets booked up very quickly. Has anybody else eaten there?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    what a tremendous picture of ventura
    don't happen to have a link to it anywhere in full resoltion do you
    i'd liek to send it to myself at work for my wallpaper :D
    Hi, glad you like it, taken at Grand Turk earlier this year.

    PM sent.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    Also- does anybody know whether you can pre-book the white room restaurant or do you have to wait until you are onboard? We really want to go there but have heard it gets booked up very quickly. Has anybody else eaten there?
    Hi Lucy,

    The White Room is well worth a visit we loved it and managed to eat there twice. We booked as soon as we boarded using our cabin phone others on board didn't and couldn't get in. If you phone P & O I'm sure they'll tell you if you can pre-book, if so I would definately. East was excellant too but didn't seem to be as busy we didn't have a problem booking it a couple of days beforehand.

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