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Food and Drink on P&O’s Ventura

Continuing on from my last blog about my holiday on the Ventura.

Ventura Ariel

As I mentioned before I was recently on the Ventura in the Mediterranean for a week. Overall I had a great relaxing holiday, just what I wanted for my holiday, a little chilling, no chores, no work just 7 days of R&R !! We only got off twice, in Dubrovnik and Venice.

This blog I will be looking at the on board restaurants & bars.

With 12 places to eat, including 3 main restaurants, as well as a wine bar, the glass house that does amazing wines by the glass or bottle and yummy tapas, a fine dining restaurant by Marco Pierre White, another speciality restaurant East, which serves cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar, a family restaurant where you can dine whenever you choose, day or night. You’ll also find 16 places to drink, well 17 if you include your cabin!

What is included in your cruise fare?

P&O cruises are all full board whilst you are on the ship. Inclusive in your fare is breakfast, lunch and dinner in the restaurants, meals and snacks from 24 hour buffets offering a wide choice of high-quality cuisines from around the world, pizzerias, daytime grills, deck barbecues and informal pool-side restaurants. Room service and afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes and pastries are also included in the price of your holiday. So much choice 24 hours a day on board.

In addition to the main restaurants, Ventura  offer smaller speciality restaurants such as the White room by Marco Pierre White where a modest cover charge applies, this is about £25 per person and I think great for a special occasion, there is indoor and outdoor seating, at the rear of the ship with fabulous views.

White room inside

East with Atul Kochhar an Asian fusion restaurant is one of my favourite places on the Ventura, fabulous food, gorgeous venue and fabulous service, this carries a small surcharge for the evening of approx. £15, but if you are on a budget usually they offer a select menu on certain lunchtimes on the cruise for as little at £8, great value as the food is fabulous.

East Ventura

Ventura has either the set dining available, known as Club dining. With you being allocated the same table at the same time every evening, or Freedom dining a more flexible option allowing you to mix up your times and who if anyone you sit with.


With Club Dining you’ll enjoy the special ambience and sociable atmosphere of the main dining room, as well as a five-course menu (six-course on Gala Nights). This style of dining is a wonderful way to share your holiday experiences and meet new friends. By choosing Club Dining you’re opting for the cruising tradition of set sitting times. The same table will be reserved for you and your table companions every night for first or second sitting, at 6.30pm or 8.30pm. The restaurants on board are the Bay Tree and Saffron. Both are lovely restaurants with attentive waiters and menus changing daily, with a good choice of carefully planned dishes to choose from. Nice white linens and a great way to mix with other guests, a chance to dress up, with many people dressing up as they would for a restaurant even on casual night, P&O do ask people to adhere to the dress code of the evening so no swimwear in here!


The alternative to the set dining/club dining is Freedom dining. The restaurant is called Cinnamon, The difference from Club Dining is that this option allows you the flexibility to turn up at selected restaurants anytime you choose between 18:00 and 21:30, with whom you like, same 5 course dining (6 Courses on gala/formal nights).

I was lucky to have a galley tour when I was on before earlier in the year, wow what an experience. I recommend anyone on board to do the ships tour that they offer, there is a charge for this but it really is worth it, it shows you just what a slick operation they run behind the scenes, how clean, well planned and efficient the kitchens are.


Being on a saver fare on our cruise we were allocated dining by P&O, they allocated us the early dining, which was too early for us, we could of asked to see if we could change but never got round to it!  We were going to eat in there on Formal night but with so many other options we just never did get round to it, a great bonus with cruising you can plan your dining or just take each day as it comes.

We ate mainly in the buffet restaurant, a 24 hour dining option with relaxed seating and a huge range of food, this area also has themed nights such as Caribbean, Italian, Asian etc and if that does not grab your fancy there is always a roast or the day or huge range of pasta, salads, cold meats etc

P&O lay on a special children’s tea every night featuring all the food that children will enjoy: sausages, fish fingers and pizza to name just a few. In addition there are many healthy options, such as salads, soups, fruit, vegetables and pasta.


I had to laugh as around midnight in the Buffett one night it was quite busy and they ran out of fries for about 5 minutes, the look of panic on some of the guests faces, instead of catching the eye of one of the many crew members they all stood about moaning about how outrageous this was, I thought there was going to be a mutiny,   I had seen some of these people earlier in the evening having their dinner, so it was not like they had not eaten all day, a couple of minute later a huge fresh batch of fries came out and peace was restored!

The Beach house is an underrated option on board, it is located within the area of the waterside café (the buffet restaurant) but in the evenings is relaxed with waiters taking your order from menus, rather than the self-service of the buffet, the have many complimentary dishes but a few with a low cover charge, like steak on a hot lava stone for about £6. You have various table sizes here, with many by the windows for fabulous views.

beach house window view

On the deck area by the one of the pools is a grill bar where you can get burgers, fries etc and also a pizzeria, both of these are complimentary.

The room service menu, something I never get round to looking at, but as my travelling companion had a bad cold mid voyage, we thought about this and again great choice, complimentary, with a just couple of dishes for a small supplement.

Now one of the great bonuses with P&O is they have some of the best drinks costs at sea of any cruise line. Glasses of wine from £3, cocktails from £3, my kind of costs!

They have various bars to suit everyone, from the Metropolis an elegant cocktail bar, located at the rear of the ship with stunning views out to sea as well as inside as they show real time filmed landscape views from places like Sydney. This area is a great place for pre or post dinner drinks, they have a singer and band usually and ask guests to adhere to the dress code, which I like. To the various bars on the outdoor areas are great in the day and for sail away, with jugs of Pimms from just £15 and you get 4 huge glasses out of this, perhaps a little more but I like big measure on holiday!

Pimms oclock 2


Another bonus with P&O is they allow you to take on board for consumption in your cabin a bottle of your choice, as long as you don’t go silly and take 15 they run up and down the corridors causing a commotion. My friend and I took a bottle on Gin for pre-dinner drinks whilst we were getting ready in the cabin and just ordered mixers from room service, must have been because my poor friend had a cold that we didn’t finish the bottle in a week, we usually do!

The bars offer everything from a quiet place to sit and watch the world go by, the terrace bar at the rear of the ship, another favourite of mine. They also have my pet hate Karaoke in the English style pub on board, the exchange, there are piano bars, the Tamarind club is a nice venue, stunning colours, this area has guest speakers in the day to jazz bands, singers etc in the evenings. P&O show all the major sporting action so you won’t miss out, at the moment have the World cup and the Tennis showing. You can even lie on a sun lounger and not have to traipse to the bar to order your drinks as the waiters are floating about.

The Ventura also has a 2 tier theatre where there are compilations of West End and Broadway shows, as well as tributes to well-known stars. She also has a casino if you fancy your chances.


The on board cinemas show classic feature films and recent releases daily.

And for those with more energy than me the Havana bar has a nightclub vibe and dance floor, or in the central atrium area has live music for more classical dancing, great to watch the couples that can dance some right movers amongst the silver foxes on board!


I could go on and on about the various areas and facilities but I won’t ramble on further, if you have any questions about the Ventura then do not hesitate to ask, great ship, great crew, great food but not for everyone as with everything in life.

Ventura is still in the Mediterranean until October then she moves across to the Caribbean for the winter season, so to book on to her please call me on 0800 408 6197.

Cherry x

 Cherry Davies    July 19th, 2014     This entry was posted in Uncategorized

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