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'Azura-izing' Ventura

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    'Azura-izing' Ventura

    I know, it doesn't have the same ring to it as 'Solsticizing' but there you go.

    Having sailed on a pre and post-refit Ventura as well as on Azura, I'm pleased to say that I can still differentiate between the two ships.

    Not being a user of The Exchange (Pub), where they have reduced the size to accommodate the single cabins, or the Retreat (where you pay for a better standard of outdoor leisure space), my main concern was what would happen to the Asian (Pacific Rim?) restaurant East and the Spanish-themed bar and restaurant Ramblas. Although, there still looked like there was ample space in the Exchange I have to say.

    I'm pleased to say that East is still East but with a menu by Atul Kocher, and Ramblas, although re-named The Glass House, still looks like Ramblas. You can still get three delicious tapas-style dishes for a little over £5 as well as other larger dishes of steaks and fish etc.......



    There is also a wide selection of wines available by the glass which have been selected by 'wine buff' Olly Smith. You can choose from a selection of three glass 'wine flites' should it take your fancy.....



    One venue that was unchanged was The White Room. If P&O's intention was to re-create Azura's venues on Ventura, I wonder why they didn't change this restaurant to XVII. I enjoyed both of these restaurants but thought XVII had the edge.

    Another useful addition was the enomatic wine dispenser in The Waterside buffet restaurant. A pre-paid card allows you a choice of a white, a red and a rose wine at £3.50 for a 150ml glass (as I recall).........



    For anyone who prefers Ventura to Azura then I wouldn't worry about the changes brought about by the refit as, for me in any case, they made little difference. Others may disagree of course.

    One thing that puzzles me is that Ventura will be based in the Med next year whilst Azura will remain sailing from Southampton. As Ventura has a covered swimming pool, would it not have been better to keep her in Southampton and send Azura to the Med?

    Anyone got any thoughts on the refit or the choice of ship to base in The Med for fly-cruises?

    Bob

    #2
    The choice of location for the two ships does seem very puzzling especially as there is no difference in capacity.

    Pleased to hear that there is, at least, the spirit of Ramblas as this was a favourite. I cannot understand the need of many of the lines making all ships from the same design, to have identical features.

    With the formation of the retreat on Ventura, have they left the Oasis pool open to non fee payers?

    Comment


      #3
      I was on Azura in December last year and Ventura last week. I really could have been on either of them - not much difference between them. Neither are my favourite layout of ships but still very nice indeed. The one issue I have with the design is that lectures/talks and classical recitals are held in the Malabar & Tamarind lounges (they also double up as the cinema). These are open to the main corridor and also a side entrance which takes people almost past the stage. Very distracting. They are the most unsuitable places for such events.

      cheers
      Harvey

      PS Ventura gets a lot of bad press re dress code adherence etc. - on both formal nights I saw no more than half a dozen 'gentlemen' not in dinner jacket or suit.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by bobbybuoy, peterborough View Post
        I know, it doesn't have the same ring to it as 'Solsticizing' but there you go.

        Having sailed on a pre and post-refit Ventura as well as on Azura, I'm pleased to say that I can still differentiate between the two ships.

        Not being a user of The Exchange (Pub), where they have reduced the size to accommodate the single cabins, or the Retreat (where you pay for a better standard of outdoor leisure space), my main concern was what would happen to the Asian (Pacific Rim?) restaurant East and the Spanish-themed bar and restaurant Ramblas. Although, there still looked like there was ample space in the Exchange I have to say.

        I'm pleased to say that East is still East but with a menu by Atul Kocher, and Ramblas, although re-named The Glass House, still looks like Ramblas. You can still get three delicious tapas-style dishes for a little over £5 as well as other larger dishes of steaks and fish etc.......





        Bob

        Spot the difference...



        except for the fact that Mr and Mrs SR had a bigger appetite.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Harvey, Bristol upon Cream View Post
          I was on Azura in December last year and Ventura last week. I really could have been on either of them - not much difference between them. Neither are my favourite layout of ships but still very nice indeed. The one issue I have with the design is that lectures/talks and classical recitals are held in the Malabar & Tamarind lounges (they also double up as the cinema). These are open to the main corridor and also a side entrance which takes people almost past the stage. Very distracting. They are the most unsuitable places for such events.


          cheers
          Harvey

          PS Ventura gets a lot of bad press re dress code adherence etc. - on both formal nights I saw no more than half a dozen 'gentlemen' not in dinner jacket or suit.
          Good afternoon Harvey.

          Just goes to show what you can and shouldn't believe.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Solent Richard, Lee on the Solent View Post
            Spot the difference...



            except for the fact that Mr and Mrs SR had a bigger appetite.

            much prefer Bobs selection

            ,and in reply to an earlier post ,yes the oasis pool is open to the public.

            Jim
            Last edited by jimtheoldsalt, felixstowe; 18th June 2013, 07:45 AM.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jimtheoldsalt, felixstowe View Post
              much prefer Harvey's selection,and in reply to an earlier post ,yes the oasis pool is open to the public.

              Jim
              Hi Jim,

              I'm presuming you meant 'Bob's selection' as Harvey hasn't posted a photo. In any case, we enjoyed it so much we ordered the exact same dishes again.............on another day, of course

              Bob

              Comment


                #8
                Sorry,I,did mean Bob,s selection,and the original has been corrected.

                Jim

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Harry, Hastings View Post
                  The choice of location for the two ships does seem very puzzling especially as there is no difference in capacity.

                  Pleased to hear that there is, at least, the spirit of Ramblas as this was a favourite. I cannot understand the need of many of the lines making all ships from the same design, to have identical features.

                  With the formation of the retreat on Ventura, have they left the Oasis pool open to non fee payers?
                  as for Ventura being changed inot a clone of Azura. the reason is profit!.

                  Why are the ships the 'wrong way round' next summer?

                  I think it is because of the dress codes. Ventura does not have 'smart' nights and Ventura cruisers expect this to be the case wherever the ship cruises. Azura does have 'smarts' and the same applies. The more relaxed code on Ventura is more suitable for warm weather fly cruises as you don't need to pack as much!.

                  Any attempt to adjust the dress codes would result in total confusion and a lot of irate customers. The problems can be illustrated by Oceana which has the 'smarts' in the winter season and drops them in the summer. This makes Oceana P&O's most relaxed ship as you don't have many venues where the 'black-tie' code applies. Last year they tried to bring in 'smarts' for this summer AFTER people had booked their cruises. The result was a lot of complaints. They reverted back to 'no smarts' but now find they have to have a check box on Oceana bookings to make sure every potential customer knows there are no smart-jacket required evenings.

                  With Ventura/Azura the hardware is mismatched to the location but the dress codes match. Changing the dress codes is a dangerous thing to do.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by davecttr, gillingham View Post
                    as for Ventura being changed inot a clone of Azura. the reason is profit!.

                    Why are the ships the 'wrong way round' next summer?

                    I think it is because of the dress codes. Ventura does not have 'smart' nights and Ventura cruisers expect this to be the case wherever the ship cruises. Azura does have 'smarts' and the same applies. The more relaxed code on Ventura is more suitable for warm weather fly cruises as you don't need to pack as much!.

                    Any attempt to adjust the dress codes would result in total confusion and a lot of irate customers. The problems can be illustrated by Oceana which has the 'smarts' in the winter season and drops them in the summer. This makes Oceana P&O's most relaxed ship as you don't have many venues where the 'black-tie' code applies. Last year they tried to bring in 'smarts' for this summer AFTER people had booked their cruises. The result was a lot of complaints. They reverted back to 'no smarts' but now find they have to have a check box on Oceana bookings to make sure every potential customer knows there are no smart-jacket required evenings.

                    With Ventura/Azura the hardware is mismatched to the location but the dress codes match. Changing the dress codes is a dangerous thing to do.
                    Hi Dave,

                    I'm sure P&O said the changes to Ventura were made because of customer feedback. I guess they wouldn't have changed things if they thought they'd make a loss as a result though.

                    As to the dress code theory, I hadn't even considered that as a reason to put Ventura in the Med instead of Azura. Being similar ships they could have just swapped dress codes and those who didn't want to wear a jacket on some evenings could have chosen Azura instead of Ventura. A lot of things upset passengers but we still keep going back for more.

                    Maybe we'll never know for sure.

                    Bob

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I was really annoyed when I found out the Ventura had introduced the pay retreat area. I enjoyed lying in the quiet and peaceful front part of the ship.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Bob,
                        I am pleased to hear that Ventura has not changed that much post refit. Do you have any photos of the exchange with the new accommodation?
                        Also glad to hear you can still get the tapas dishes.
                        Harvey,
                        Agree the Tamarind can be distracting with the walk through area heading towards the photo section. It's also a depressing area when you are waiting in there for your transport to the airport to come home!
                        PM
                        CANBERRA (STUFT) May 1982
                        OCEANA 7-21 Aug 2010
                        VENTURA 4-19 Nov 2011
                        VENTURA Feb 2014

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Trish, sudbury View Post
                          I was really annoyed when I found out the Ventura had introduced the pay retreat area. I enjoyed lying in the quiet and peaceful front part of the ship.
                          Hey, don't worry Trish, you still can .....

                          ... you just have to pay for it

                          Bob

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by PM, SW View Post
                            Bob,
                            I am pleased to hear that Ventura has not changed that much post refit. Do you have any photos of the exchange with the new accommodation?
                            Also glad to hear you can still get the tapas dishes.
                            Harvey,
                            Agree the Tamarind can be distracting with the walk through area heading towards the photo section. It's also a depressing area when you are waiting in there for your transport to the airport to come home!
                            PM
                            Hi PM,

                            To be honest, I haven't used The Exchange save for one beer at the bar (under the 'Peterborough' railway station sign) about three years ago, so can't remember how big it actually used to be. I did have a look in this time but didn't take any photos, I'm afraid.

                            The best I can tell you is that to me it still looked pretty much the same as it was. The bar looks unchanged, ie. U-shaped with the model railway above it (I've never seen that train move yet). The large screen monitors were still there and had videos of football showing when I walked through. Clearly the new cabins have eaten into the room but I gather the casino has been reduced in size to compensate for that a bit.

                            You would never know the cabins are there as the entrance to the corridor is through a door outside of The Exchange.

                            Sorry I can't be of more help.

                            Bob

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by bobbybuoy, peterborough View Post
                              Hi PM,

                              To be honest, I haven't used The Exchange save for one beer at the bar (under the 'Peterborough' railway station sign) about three years ago, so can't remember how big it actually used to be. I did have a look in this time but didn't take any photos, I'm afraid.

                              The best I can tell you is that to me it still looked pretty much the same as it was. The bar looks unchanged, ie. U-shaped with the model railway above it (I've never seen that train move yet). The large screen monitors were still there and had videos of football showing when I walked through. Clearly the new cabins have eaten into the room but I gather the casino has been reduced in size to compensate for that a bit.

                              You would never know the cabins are there as the entrance to the corridor is through a door outside of The Exchange.

                              Sorry I can't be of more help.

                              Bob
                              Thats great Bob, thanks for the info. The train has always been on the go when we have been in there, you must have been unlucky. (Unless they were on strike eh JC??????)

                              Regards
                              PM
                              CANBERRA (STUFT) May 1982
                              OCEANA 7-21 Aug 2010
                              VENTURA 4-19 Nov 2011
                              VENTURA Feb 2014

                              Comment


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