Your ultimate family cruises guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship

Two weeks cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon with children on Ventura with P&O cruises - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

We’ve travelled on Ventura a couple of times now on family cruises (and also her sister ship Azura) and have really explored the ship. On our last cruise to the Canaries on Ventura we set out to write an ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship with everything you need to know before you get on board.

Cabins
Food & drink
Pools
On board activities
Entertainment
kids clubs
Services
Shops
Themed Cruises

Everything mentioned here is included in the price of your cruise unless specified.

Your ultimate family cruises guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: cabins

We have stayed in a number of cabins on Ventura.

On our most recent trip that was in their balcony cabin.  This had a really nice sized bedroom area with a very comfortable double bed –

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: cabins - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

A seating area with drawers and space to sit

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

And a corner area with fridge under, kettle and tea and coffee-making facilities on the top and television above that.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

There was also a chair to sit on.

For families travelling with one child there was a bunk bed that your cabin steward would pull down at night to create another bed over the top.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: cabins - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

There was a really nice sized dressing / wardrobe area with shelves and lots of hanging space and room for suitcases.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

The bathroom is off the dressing area with a lovely, powerful shower and lots of The White Company products.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

The bedroom has French doors out to a really nice sized balcony with two chairs, a footrest and small table.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

For families this balcony can interconnect to another balcony that leads in to a second bedroom.

Two weeks cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon with children on Ventura with P&O cruises - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Superior Balcony Cabin rooms are similar to the balcony room above but have a larger seating area

Which can turn in to a sofa bed which is ideal if you’re travelling with more than one child.

The bathroom has the benefit of a bath as well as the shower over

P&O cruises Azura Mediterranean - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com
The balcony is also slightly bigger than in the standard balcony room.

Indoor Cabins are similar to the balcony cabins in terms of size.

These can have beds over to accommodate up to four passengers.

Ventura also has a limited number of suites which we stayed in on our first cruise around Italy and Croatia.

These are a wonderful space for families with the main bedroom area –

P&O ventura - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

A large lounge with another television, fridge, sofa and other seating –

P&O ventura - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

That interconnects through to a children’s bedroom with two single beds and the option of two bunk beds over so can accommodate four.

P&O ventura - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

There are two bathrooms, one with a shower and one with a bath and the lounge opens on to a large balcony.

P&O ventura - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

It’s a wonderful way to travel if you’re with more than two children or extended family. With the suites you also get added perks such as an option to have breakfast in the Epicurean at the White Room.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: food & drink

We love the food on Ventura, as with all P&O cruises it’s of a very high standard.

For your main meals – breakfast and dinner, you can choose between fixed dining (at a set time each day – either 6.30pm or 8.30pm and for a table of your own or shared with others) or freedom dining where you are allocated to Cinnamon or Saffron restaurant and can turn up any time between 8 and 9 in the morning (or 9.30 on sea days) and 6 and 9.30 in the evening. Both of these options serve the same food which in the evening  is a sit down three course meal and is all included in the price of your cruise.

The food in these restaurants is outstanding with plenty of choice and always of the highest standard. We all really looked forward to dinner on board.

Two weeks cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon with children on Ventura with P&O cruises - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

There are plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options but vegetarians also have their own menu they can also order from and there are lots of vegan choices here too. If you are on a special diet, for example dairy free, P&O have dedicated special diet chefs so if you let them know in advance this can all be catered for.

There is a children’s menu which over two weeks of this can feel a bit monotonous but luckily there are many other child-friendly alternatives though, see below. Children can also choose from the adult menu.

 

10 reasons kids will love P&O cruises: Kids tea at 5pm - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Breakfast can also be in your allocated restaurant and is again of really high quality. You can choose from fresh fruits, pastries, toasts and jam, porridge and pancakes.

There are specials each day such as smoked salmon and scrambled egg on a Sunday and Eggs Benedict on a Monday and the children loved the smoothie of the day.

10 reasons kids will love P&O Cruises: Smoothie of the day - Ventura smoothie breakfast - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

There’s also a full hot menu to order from which includes bacon, sausages, sautéed potatoes, mushrooms, baked beans and even vegetarian bacon and sausages.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Outside of those set places to eat you can choose from a wide range of other options if you don’t feel like sitting down to the full meal.

To start with there is the main buffet restaurant Waterside which is open from 6.30am – 11am for breakfast, noon – 2.30pm for lunch, 6pm – 9.30pm for dinner and 9.30pm – 2am for late night snacks. The evening meal is themed each day with food including for example British specialities and Indian buffet but there are always plenty of other options.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

We really enjoyed the food at Waterside, it was a relaxed way to eat with the kids with everyone able to choose exactly what they wanted to eat and opportunities to have a little bit more of what you really love (like the carrot cake!).

Waterside also offer a wonderful kids tea between 5 and 6pm. Our children loved this as way to go and pick up some of their favourites such as pasta, fish and sandwiches. There were jugs of squash and plenty of ice cream for afterwards and they loved the cookies (as did I…shhhh!).

The benefit of the kids tea in particular was for the children to eat and then go off to kids club at 6pm when we would go off to dinner and get to chat and relax for an hour while they played upstairs. It worked so well for us.

There were a couple of other lunch time and early dinner options with the Poolside Grill which serves up burgers, hotdogs, salads and chips between 11.30 and 7pm.

And the Poolside Pizzeria also open between 11.30 and 7pm.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

On top of all of these complimentary options there are also a number of restaurants you could pay a little more to visit. While it might seem crazy to spend money on food on board when so much amazing food is provided in the cost of your cruise these restaurants really are well worth splashing out on. The Epicurean and Sindhu for example are led by Marco Pierre White and Kochhar so to be able to eat their food at the price it is on board is a really wonderful opportunity. It’s worth noting that the menu changes halfway through a two-week cruise so you can visit twice and get a totally different choice of food – so if there’s something you spot and fancy trying, get it booked in and check it will be on the menu the day you want to visit.

The Epicurean at the White Room is Marco Pierre White’s restaurant on board and is really special. With dishes such as oak smoked salmon carved at your table and fillet of Turbot it is somewhere to really enjoy and savour. Children are welcome here – we took the kids – but it would also make a wonderful romantic meal for a couple and worth spending the money on. Charge applies {£28pp at time of writing, half price for kids}.

Two weeks cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon with children on Ventura with P&O cruises - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Sindhu is Atul Kocchur’s restaurant on board and personally my favourite as I absolutely adore his food. With dishes including pan-fried sea bass with garlic mash & coconut sauce, lavender chicken korma and a great selection of veggie curries it’s a fantastic evening meal. Charge applies {£20pp at time of writing}.

Two weeks cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon with children on Ventura with P&O cruises - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

If you’re looking for more of a casual meal but one that’s a bit different then The Beach House is a great lunchtime choice. It has American themed food such as Nachos, Mac n Cheese and a variety of burgers and we love it. It’s also really well priced as an add-on and a great treat for days at sea. Charge applies {£7.50pp at time of writing}.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com
Black bean burger and sweet potato fries at The Beach House

The Glass House is Olly Smith’s wine bar which also has food on offer including a host of small plates such as Garlic mushrooms in a crisp panko crumb, risottos, burgers and desserts. Charge applies {Various prices}.

Another wonderful treat when you are on board, particularly on sea days is Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea. Eric makes the world’s best cakes and his afternoon tea is an imaginative touch of taste and sensation and feels really decadent and a great place to spend a sea day afternoon. Charge applies.

Launching Eric Lanlard’s ‘Afternoon Tea’ on board P&Os Britannia

If you’re feeling like you just want to stay in your cabin and watch a film in the evening you can also order room service. There’s a menu filled with sandwiches and hot dishes such as lasagne or chicken tikka masala for example which all have a small charge but are ideal if you just want to stay in. You can also order breakfast to your room at no charge.

Drinks on board Ventura are charged, you can order them by the glass or pick up drinks cards, for example a card for 20 soft drinks, or a wine package, all of which are charged but a great way to keep track of your spending.

There are some lovely bars on board Ventura from the Laguna Bar to Olly Smith’s Glass House and my favourite, the Breakers Bar at the top of the ship with wonderful views which is the perfect place to enjoy a strawberry daiquiri.

If you are more of a coffee shop connoisseur there’s a lovely Costa Coffee cafe at the bottom of the atrium where again you can buy a card to offer you a certain number of coffees at a set price. The children loved heading here for iced smoothies and I came down to work a couple of times and order a herbal tea and piece of cake to keep me company.

Two weeks cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon with children on Ventura with P&O cruises - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: pools

There are four pools on board Ventura.

There’s an adult only Oasis pool at the gym and spa,

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

A family pool in the middle of the ship which has a retractable roof for all weathers,

Two weeks cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon with children on Ventura with P&O cruises - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

the outdoor Laguna pool where much of the on deck entertainment takes places and a kids terrace pool at the rear of the ship.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: on board activities

There are plenty of other activities on board Ventura that it’s hard to know where to start.

On deck fifteen there’s a gym which is so well kitted out. It’s packed full of running machines, exercise bikes and weights, with beautiful views out to sea. It’s the perfect place to get motivated. They have lots of classes here too.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

There’s a lovely little library and internet cafe which has a selection of books you can check out for the duration of the cruise.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Oasis Spa has all the treatments you could want including a hairdressers if you feel like pampering yourself while on board. There’s also fun activities around the ship including table tennis and one of my favourites, shuffleboard.

Travelogue – our daily diary on board P&O cruises Ventura around Madeira, the Canary Islands and Lisbon - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

For adults there’s Fortunes Casino open from noon until late.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: entertainment

Entertainment is so varied on board Ventura. There are lots of events going on every single day from bowling and art classes to digital camera classes and salsa. I love that they have lots for families to do including craft sessions and Arsenal football club.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

In the evenings there are quizzes, comedians and pre-dinner tunes. There is something going on every minute of the day and you can get involved as much or as little as you choose.

Two weeks cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon with children on Ventura with P&O cruises - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: kids clubs

Kids Clubs are really not something we used much before travelling on Ventura and then on board they went along to try them out and didn’t look back. Ventura’s Reef Club is split up according to age groups and is the perfect space for children to make friends and have fun.

The Reef is open from 9am – 1pm / 2pm – 5pm / 6pm – midnight. It is divided up in to the following age groups:

Splashers – (age 2-4s) – this is a lovely area filled with slides and soft play and age appropriate toys  like mini play kitchens and creative play spaces. Our then three year old loved this area.

P&O cruise ventura - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Surfers – (age 5-8s) – my daughter’s favourite area on board, Surfers organise everything from discos to art sessions and there are plenty of toys for free play too.

Scubas – (age  9-12s) – my ten year old really enjoyed coming up to Scubas where they have plenty of Play stations with all the latest games, theme days and chill out times.

H2O – (13-17s) – a dedicated space for teenagers to watch movies, play games and take part in talent shows and parties.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: shops

There are some great shops on board Ventura and almost everything you could need will be covered.

Chic Boutique is the main shop for all of your day to day needs and there’s everything here from toothpaste to bars of chocolate. You can also pick up souvenirs of your time on Ventura.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Emporium has a range of tobacco and liquor options.

Regalia Shopping is perfect for adding some bits to your wardrobe and has a great range of Crew Clothing, Tommy Hilfiger and Joules. They have flip flops, smarter clothes for the black tie nights and a range of designs perfect for life on board or day trips off the ship.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

The Shopping Centre is full of beautiful jewellery and I was really pleased to see Pandora being one of the options being sold here at prices cheaper than I could find on the High Street. I couldn’t resist picking up a little cruise ship pendant to go on my bracelet.

Wardrobe Clothing is jam-packed full of beautiful bags and wallets.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Eternity Jewellery is full of the latest designs from house hold names and have a variety of price tags to suit all budgets for him and her.

There’s also a great gallery when you pick up art at a huge range of prices and styles.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: services

There are a number of services on board Ventura which you may choose to use –

Every evening your steward will turn down the bedroom and leave your copy of Horizon for you to read. This invaluable magazine has a list of everything going on the following day and the times, details of port stops, any theme for the day (such as black tie), the weather etc. It’s a great way to keep track of everything going on.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

The Launderette – If we’re on a cruise for two weeks or more I like to be able to wash our clothes half way in. It means I don’t have to pack as much and just keeps on top of everything. The launderette on Ventura is free to use but you will need to bring your own detergent which can be purchased on board in Chic Boutique or you can bring some with you. It’s easy to just put the clothes in and head off and enjoy an activity and come back to collect it.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

The Medical Centre – hopefully this isn’t somewhere you will need to make use of but in case you do there’s a fully equipped medical centre which is available around the clock.

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: themed cruises

Like many of P&O’s cruises Ventura has a number of themed cruises from Strictly Come Dancing where dancers from the show are on board to showcase some of the dances you will have seen on TV, to ships that have their food heroes on board. Our cruise around the Canary Islands had Olly Smith on Ventura, signing books, giving talks and with speciality port stops you could take with him.

10 reasons kids will love P&O cruises: Themed cruises Noddy Ventura - copyright: www.globalmousetravels.com

Your ultimate guide to Ventura P&Os cruise ship: read more

Find out more with our reviews of P&O Ventura here –

A cruise around Italy and Croatia on Ventura

A cruise around the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon on Ventura

Read our travelogue of our cruise to the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon on Ventura

What my kids say about our P&O cruise on Ventura to Italy and Croatia

What my kids say about our P&O cruise on Ventura to the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon

Find out more about P&O’s Ventura here and some of the places you can sail on her – http://www.pocruises.com/cruise-ships/ventura/

We were guests of P&O for the purposes of this guide to Ventura but all opinions are our own.

Written By
More from globalmouse

Great family time and tasty dishes at Frankie & Benny’s, Bristol Aspects Leisure Park

We love coming together as a family at the weekends, when we...
Read More

11 Comments

Leave a Reply