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Ventura Review

2018 Best for Families
2015 Best for Fitness
2015 Best for Shore Excursions
View More

Find a Ventura Cruise from £243

4.0 / 5.0
870 reviews

Bottom Line




Passenger to Crew


Shore Excursions
Sails To
Mediterranean, British Isles & Western Europe, Caribbean, Western Mediterranean, Baltic Sea
P&O Cruises Cruise Deals
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

Ventura Overview

Ventura, which launched in 2008, and sister ship Azura (2010), aimed to break the mould for P&O Cruises' ships -- bigger, contemporary and family-friendly. The idea was to transform what many people consider P&O Cruises' somewhat stuffy ambience to one more in tune with the times -- as well as making a play for the market all UK cruise lines are chasing: new to cruise. By popular consensus, they appear to have succeeded.

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Firstly, Ventura is significantly larger -- by 30 percent -- than any other ship in the fleet (bar Britannia, the flagship). This means there's more room for contemporary amenities such as expanded kids' facilities, a vast spa, numerous dining venues, and lots of recreational activities (three pools, sports court, golf nets). There is also a significant change in décor: the walls are covered in contemporary art and the decor is a combination of rich burgundy carpets and cream-coloured walls: reminiscent of a five-star London hotel.

In fact, it is hard to find signs of traditional P&O Cruises in the hardware -- no card room for example (a mainstay on the older, smaller adults-only ships), no faux fireplaces or trompe d'oeil artwork to be found anywhere. There are also no art auctions, just a gallery with discreetly priced artwork. There's a casino onboard as well, albeit a small one.

The passengers make up is also markedly different. Yes, there are still the over-60s that P&O is known for attracting, but also lots of families with children, especially in the school holidays.

The ship has all the popular mainstays onboard most of the rest of the fleet including wine guru Olly Smith's The Glass House and superb contemporary Indian restaurant Sindhu; as well as adults-only sundeck area The Retreat and a large kids club called The Reef.

The line has had two refits since it first went into service, and one minor one. The most recent, in April 2018, saw the following upgrades: the Arena Theatre was fitted with a brand new LED wall installation, similar to the one found on flagship Britannia and sister Azura. The shopping area was spruced up with a large glass window display and a number of new brands were introduced for sale including Longines and Liu Jo. The Waterside and The Beach House had new flooring, tiling carpets and furniture. Carpets were replaced in many restaurants and public space and Dixons the retail store was expanded.

A mini-refit in 2015 saw Marco Pierre White's The White Room replaced by The Epicurean, a molecular gastronomy restaurant which debuted on Britannia. 

Overall, Ventura does a good job of catering to families in holiday times and the classic P&O Cruises passenger outside of those times. The line has also done a good job of keeping the ship contemporary, despite it moving into its 11th year of service.



Top Ventura Itineraries


Southampton, Seville, Barcelona, Barcelona, Naples, Sardinia, Gibraltar, Southampton

View All P&O Ventura Itineraries (26)

Fellow Passengers

In school holidays expect a large number of families with young children with the average age hovering around the early- to mid-40s. Outside of these times and on longer cruises, the average age rises to a more traditional P&O crowd: over-60s and no kids.

Ventura is also popular with solo passengers thanks to its 18 purpose-built single cabins and activities for single travellers, including a number of solo afternoon tea parties and regular get-togethers with crew and officers for those travelling alone.

Note that passengers are almost exclusively British, with many so loyal they would not dream of cruising with another line.

P&O Ventura Dress Code

A typical two-week cruise will have four formal nights and the rest will be 'evening casual', which is defined as open necked shirt and 'tailored trousers' or smart jeans for men; dress or casual separates for women. Most passengers err on the side of smart.

Note that even though this ship is family friendly and has a more relaxed vibe -- formal still means full black tie in the public rooms. Ventura might break many of P&O Cruises' traditions, but dress code still rules -- and that also applies to older children.

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Ventura Ratings

Public Rooms4.04
Fitness Recreation4.03.8
Value For Money4.03.6

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More about P&O Ventura

Where does P&O Ventura sail from?

P&O Ventura departs from Southampton and Southampton

How much does it cost to go on P&O Ventura?

Cruises on P&O Ventura start from £243 per person.

Is P&O Ventura a good ship to cruise on?

P&O Ventura won 11 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2018 Best for Families
  • 2015 Best for Fitness
  • 2015 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2015 Best for Families
  • 2014 Best for Cabins
  • 2014 Best for Embarkation
  • 2014 Best for Entertainment
  • 2014 Best for Fitness
  • 2014 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2014 Best for Value
  • 2014 Best for Families
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P&O Ventura Member Reviews

Sail Date: Oct 2019
Again the Silhouette cabin has a bit plusher feel, but doesn’t compare in size and storage to the Ventura. Without doubt the Ventura cabin wins hands down.... Read More
Sail Date: Aug 2019
This was my first time on Ventura and I was stunned. Glamorous and opulent, it was a beautiful sight. It was clean, bright and well kept, the decor sumptuous.... Read More
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Having used the Ventura last year for a 35 day cruise we were looking forward to a repeat cruise which this time included some South American ports of call.We booked a outside cabin but were disappointed... Read More
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Ventura is a beautiful ship, loved the interior, the entertainment venues, the casual dining was great and the actual entertainment was absolutely outstanding.... Read More

P&O Cruises Fleet

323 reviews

In November 2016, Oriana underwent a refurbishment which included a complete makeover of cabins, restaurants, bars, entertainment areas and public spaces.

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4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Aurora is one of the oldest ships in the P&O Cruises fleet (launched in 2000), and had a 26 million pound refurbishment at the end of 2014 which included the line's new livery.

Aurora Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean Aurora Cruises to the Baltic Sea View All Aurora Cruises
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

This family-friendly ship carries 2,016 passengers, and has five dining venues, nine bars and lounges, age-specific kids' club, three pools and five whirlpools. 

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Mid-sized cruise ship carrying 2,094 passengers; features five dining venues, three-tier theatre and cinema, nine bars and lounges and three swimming pools.

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Ventura is the joint second-largest ship in the P&O Cruises' fleet, with the largest kids club.

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Carries 3,100 passengers and has 12 bars, five entertainment venues, age-specific kids' clubs, adults-only areas and open-air cinema.

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The first ship purpose-built for the U.K. market offering 3,647 passengers seven entertainment venues, 13 dining venues, a luxurious spa and a kids' splash zone.


P&O Cruises newest ship, Iona, launches in May 2020 and will be the biggest ship built for the U.K. market, weighing 180,000 tons and carrying 5,200 passengers.

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