Cruising Mates Forum: Cruise reviews, chat, answers and information. cruisingmates.co.uk • View topic - Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby keith6400 » 31 May 2015 11:14

Took this short break on Ventura during the half-term school break. We had booked a forward facing cabin with window "Outside (Part Obstructed View) with Shower." This was the smallest cabin on the ship L102 but I thought I should give it a try on a short break. The front observation deck is just around the corner and when you go through the discreet door you come out on deck and are then walking about on the roof of the bridge in front of these cabins' windows. A very heavy mirror glass on the outside means that you cannot see inside these cabins. We had twin beds across the ship with one under the window and the other parallel next to bathroom door. The cabin steward was a female and we did not see her a great deal but she did a good job.

The number of children was very high and before embarking someone advised P&O were no longer accepting booking including 9 - 12 year olds. My daughter (12) was appalled that she was now required to be signed in/out of club and this proved problematic insofar as if you wanted to do a quiz and sign daughter in to club you will miss the start and many entertainments were programmed to start at same time as club opened.

When I looked at our dining card we had been allocated first sitting as requested on a large table; 72 in the Bay Tree Restaurant. This was a table for 10. Unfortunately I had noticed that our dining card was addressed to my daughter which seemed a bit odd. However when we got to the first meal 5 welsh ladies were at the table who we joined. After a while we were questioned by Maitre'd and he inspected our card and confirmed we were travelling in the same cabin. Shortly thereafter A mother and daughter arrived at table with two teenage boys. An extra chair was brought in and an extra place laid for the eleven of us. It was a squeeze and second night the four had gone and been treplaced by two older men. It did seen a bit disorganised.

First port was Zeebrugge and we did not get off the ship at all. It was a very pleasant hot sunny day and swimming and relaxing was all we did.

At Guernsey we did get off to ride the RIB an inflatable boat tour looking at wildlife and also doing a thrilling spinning boat weaving about all over the place. Again too many people were on the boat and one person had to be put back on the quayside. Excellent tour sea very calm we saw an anti aircraft installation and a seal plus a greater number of sea birds. The weaving about was exciting with spinning in tight circles with the water nearly coming over the sides of the boat. I cannot swim but we were all wearing provided rain jackets and lifebelts with a rip cord to inflate. The narration by the guide was good, informative and humorous. After returning to shore we visited Claire's Accessories for half an hour and went on to Beales Department Store. Upstairs in Beales is a lovely snack bar and a verandah so we had tea and cakes in the sun outside. Tables were a bit scarce but we got the last one after ten minutes our male table mates turned up by chance and we invited them to join us.

The entertainment was a bit surprising; the ubiquitous tribute act did "Shawaddy waddy" (Shabaddy baddy) and to be honest I would not have gone if I had known but I did not and found myself third row having done the sneaking down the fire exit on deck 6 trick to avoid the crush. They were brilliant and did a comedy act and did not restrict themselves to Shawaddy waddy top 10 hits! They had the full tuxedos on did all the moves and at the end removed their wigs to rounds of applause revealing about five old bald men. Later on in the cruise they did Madness (Badness) and were even better with the comedy and what turned out to be a lot of joining in thoroughly enjoyed these guys.

The other act I really enjoyed was the ventriloquist, he was on that talent programme and was thrown out in the latter stages by Simon Cowell and returned on a wild card listing to reparticipate. He was very good with characters like Arthur Lager who got a bit excited at a lady in the middle, Simon Cowell and various other animal puppets.

Last evening two swimming pools shut down and the water went a bit black in them. I do not know if it was deliberate but the rumour was someone had spoilt them both and they were drained and scrubbed down for the next cruise.

Embarkation went well even though we were last off. A major change P&O are doing is final day breakfast arrangements, pleas note this if you want a MDR waiter service breakfast last day. Breakfast Doors open at MDR at 06.45 and close at 07.00 locking everyone out who is late. Then they re-open at 07.45 and close at 08.00 again locking everyone out again. This two sitting arrangement works well if you have read your Horizon but catches some experienced cruisers who have not cruised recently.

Overall a good cruise with nice weather.

Regards Keith
keith6400
Commander
Commander
 
Posts: 471
Joined: 14 Jul 2014 08:44

Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby Dave » 31 May 2015 13:45

Thanks for that Keith. By coincidence, my wife's friend was on the same cruise as you and she was looking at her Facebook photos from Ventura while we were on Eclipse.
Dave
Image
Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
Booked walking holidays: Easter: Cotswolds; Summer: Kintyre & Islay
User avatar
Dave
Mutineer
Mutineer
 
Posts: 12585
Joined: 24 Feb 2011 15:25
Location: Whitstable
National Flag:
United Kingdom

Re: Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby tomvet » 31 May 2015 13:50

Thanks Keith! Interesting review. When you say that P&O were not taking booking with 9-12 y.o. - is this because they had reached their quota for that particular cruise?
Image
October 18 - MSC Opera - Marseille - Mahon - Cagliari - Valetta - Messina - Naples - Genoa
December 18 - A-ROSA Aqua - Cologne - Mannheim - Kehl (Strasbourg) - Mainz - Cologne
October 19 - A-ROSA Luna - Lyon- Viviers - Arles - Avignon - Vienne - Lyon
tomvet
Admiral
Admiral
 
Posts: 13658
Joined: 01 May 2011 13:15
National Flag:
Ireland

Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby adogap » 31 May 2015 15:21

Thank you Keith. Your tour in Guernsey sounds exhilarating and great fun :o :D I have never sailed with P&O but read so many positive comments about them on our forum.

Chris
Baltic Cities, Balmoral, June 2018
User avatar
adogap
Commodore
Commodore
 
Posts: 1374
Joined: 25 Oct 2012 15:09
Location: Bangor Co. Down
National Flag:
United Kingdom

Re: Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby keith6400 » 31 May 2015 16:18

tomvet wrote:Thanks Keith! Interesting review. When you say that P&O were not taking booking with 9-12 y.o. - is this because they had reached their quota for that particular cruise?


Yes Tom, no additional bookings were being taken for this particular cruise from a couple of months out if you had 9 - 12 yo in your attempted booking. I assume children's numbers had reached a very high level due to it being UK half term for most schools and it was a cheaper itinerary of short duration. They can only handle so many before it becomes a nightmare.

It was also noticeable that when you booked in at the children's clubs that a tally was taking place. Whether this is standard practice to ensure no children went missing or whether it was to say "sorry full up on this session", I do not know. I was surprised that the 9/12 club had a high exit button and handle but they seemed to let children out to use the toilet on opposite side of that deck. I think younger ones might have been escorted if they did not have an integral facility in their club section.

Regards Keith
keith6400
Commander
Commander
 
Posts: 471
Joined: 14 Jul 2014 08:44

Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby Wansbrough » 31 May 2015 20:12

There seems to be a bit of an X Factor theme going at the moment, Dave with Ben Mills, me with the Tenors of Rock and now you with your ventriloquist and not to mention Gill thinking I looked like Simon Cowell :shock:

Glad you enjoyed yourself :thumbup:
Image
User avatar
Wansbrough
Bar Steward
Bar Steward
 
Posts: 4957
Joined: 13 Mar 2011 07:55
Location: North Somerset
National Flag:
United Kingdom

Re: Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby sevenseascoaster » 31 May 2015 21:40

Interesting review Keith, good to read another side of life on board P & O.
Wen

Image

Tried 19 different Ships and many many cruises, and hopefully more to come!
I haven't been everywhere, but its on my list!
User avatar
sevenseascoaster
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
 
Posts: 5482
Joined: 18 Apr 2011 22:18
Location: Hampshire
National Flag:
England

Re: Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby jocap » 01 Jun 2015 19:15

Thanks, Keith...I've seen comments before about P&O ships reaching their top numbers of children, and heard disgruntled parents remark, but it seems to be the club numbers which are counted.
Jo.

19 Cruises; 10 ships; 7 lines; 89 ports
User avatar
jocap
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
 
Posts: 6880
Joined: 08 Mar 2011 22:11
Location: Seascale, Cumbria
National Flag:
United Kingdom

Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby Mungo » 02 Jun 2015 16:02

Thanks for sharing. :D
Image
User avatar
Mungo
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
 
Posts: 6855
Joined: 28 Feb 2011 17:41

Re: Ventura Short Break Bruges & Guernsey May 2015

Postby keith6400 » 02 Jun 2015 21:51

An element of Irony was presented to the children during the cruise. Firstly; (Just remembered the name of the ventriloquist) Steve Hewlett said he had got a Justin Bieber puppet, which the younger element in the audience seemed very keen to see. After Steve had walked backstage and returned he announced Justin had not bothered to turn up. Well I did laugh at the time.

Secondly on picking my daughter up from the children's club; having arrived mid "Special Snap" card game, I had to stay to the end as dd had not been knocked out. In fact she had two cards left and was holding a prize. There were four prizes; numbered 1,2,3 and 4 and when you had a playing card which matched the youth leader's displayed card you surrendered it. Your choice then was to "steal" a card from one of your opponents or one of the prizes in their possession. At this point dd had prize number 2 but had it stolen soon thereafter and looked very sad. Shortly after that she had lost all her cards too and eventually just the prizes lay with the lucky winners. Final situation all the prizes were opened in front of everybody, presumably some sort of gloating display in front of the disgruntled. The boy holding prize number 1 opened his prize which was a Pampers Nappy, the youth leader said the prize was inside the nappy but fortunately it was empty. The next boy unwrapped prize number 2 (my daughters "lost" prize) and found it contained an interesting cardboard carton with a cross on it. He seemed bewildered at this treasure until the Youth Leader exclaimed "You've won an x-box" and all seemed clear. Then we left.

Regards Keith
keith6400
Commander
Commander
 
Posts: 471
Joined: 14 Jul 2014 08:44


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to P&O



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests