Ventura 3 December 2016

2 Night Festive cruise

Southampton, Bruges, Southampton 

Our eighth cruise

Ventura was our two night cruise sailing the rough seas in December.


P326 – Interior cabin at the ….. (……) of the ship.

Royal King Size bed, TV, telephone, minibar, bathroom with shower, vanity area and a hair-dryer.

This cabin even though it was an interior cabin it was quite spacious. Located near the stairs and lifts.

As we was on deck …… we had cabins situated above us and below us making this a great quite interrupted stateroom.


Our cruise adventure log    

We chose to go on a festive cruise as I have always wanted to see a Christmas tree on-board and decorations.  Plus it is nice going to Christmas Markets abroad.  Alas though I did not get my dreams fulfilled on this adventure as there was no Christmas tree on-board and no decorations apart from a little flourish in the photographers area. As you can imagine we plus many other holiday makers were extremely disappointed. However the cruise itself and the time we did have on-board and off was still fun.

Day 1 – boarding the ship at Southampton

Upon arriving at Southampton terminal spirits were high.  Yes it is December and here is my first and second tree upon arriving and going through the terminal.  So festive.  I could not wait to see the one on-board.

To my disappointment though alas there was no Christmas trees on board at all and no decorations well apart from the photographers area.  What a disappointment not only for me and Jason but everyone else on-board was as well. However the decor and the areas on-board Ventura was stunning.  I love these stairs how they are lit up and the see through lifts on-board.

Swap of jumper to red to get into the festive spirits and on with my life jacket as it was that time for a fire drill as this is mandatory for any first day of boarding a cruise.

Here is me dawning my life jacket ready for action.


After having the drill me and Jason went around to explore the Ventura.  I was quite surprised how spacious the rooms and ship was on-board considering she is one of P&O’s oldest fleets.  I particularly loved the chess playing area out in the open deck. Those chess pieces though are heavy.

Where shall I move this pawn to?


I also discovered a Juke Box in Broadies that was free and some of the songs included their music video’s which played in the bar area, result.  So I played my favourite band let’s say a little too often and that is Right Said Fred. I love Richard Fairbrass.

In the evening we went to the main dining room to eat which is included in the price of the cruise.  Usually we would eat in one of the speciality restaurants at an extra cost as I love freshly cooked hot food but as we was only on-board for two nights there was no point.  However I must admit the food was in fact quite good in what I ate during the cruise especially the desserts as you can see I had to have two desserts this night.

If you had to choose which would you pick
Sticky Toffee Pudding or Meringue Trio?

After the sugar rush we rushed to go and watch Badness perform in the theatre.  We have watched them before on P&O’s Britannia in 2015 and as usual they did not disappoint. Watch the video to see how good they are as he really does sound so much like Suggs.

Then afterwards we went to have a little flutter at the casino before heading back to the cabin as have a long day ahead tomorrow as we are going on an excrusion to Brussels.

Day 2 – Bruges

So today even though we are harboured near Bruges we decided to take an excursion into Brussels as we have been Bruges before. As Brussels is the capital of Belgium it was a must. Brussels is known for it’s famous chocolate and beers, there are also around 90 museums, many beautiful parks, architecture, bars and much more to see in Brussels.

Our first stop was a photo stop with the Atomium. It is beautiful and I do highly recommend in seeing this abstract building even and if you get time go inside it.

On the rest of the journey to Brussels we saw amazing buildings one which looked like it has come from Japan, a house that looked like a castle, a stunning church and many statues plus art sculptures.

Once we arrived we walked down a beautiful undercover shopping parade. As you can imagine practically every shop sold chocolate. When we arrived at the square we was taken back by it’s stunning architecture. The buildings though all around and in Brussels are amazing though.  Plus to my delight there was a Christmas tree within the square.  Shame I could not take it back on-board to make the cruise feel more festive.

So as Brussels is known for it’s chocolates, me and Jason just had to go and buy some.  We went back through to the under covered shopping parade to the most famous chocolate shop of them all Neuhaus which has been around since 1857.  Once bought and back on-board needless to say the chocolates did not last long. They were creamy, nutty and absolutely delicious.  I highly recommend anyone to buy chocolates from Neuhaus when in Brussels.

We then adventured around the Christmas markets.  Unfortunately though the Christmas market did not have many Christmas baubles or any other Christmas related items to buy and keep as most of the stalls sold food and drink so it was a disappointment. However it was lovely to see the festive joy on peoples faces as well as seeing the big wheel which they called The View.

Also there was these two delightful and very arty carousels.  Watch both videos to see the generous and uniqueness of the metal structures which were all so different and moved.  I especially loved the rocket which kept on going up an down.   There was even a cruise ship on one.

Plus in the market area there was even Santa Claus and his reindeer and a polar bear.

Once we got back on-board after our long day in Brussels it was straight back to our room to get tuxed and dolled up for as it was formal night.


The food again did not disappoint and I was highly delighted to see Beef Wellington on the menu.  It was delicious and service was top class so I just had to get my photo with our waiter. We both hope that we may see him another time on another cruise in the future.

Afterwards we went and played a quiz in Broadies area which the lovely Wez who we have met a number of times when sailing Britannia.  The quiz was fun as Wez always makes it a laugh with his humour.

Then onto a quick flutter at the casino then it was time to retreat back to the cabin.

Day 3 – disembarking the ship at Southampton

So after yet another rough nights sleep as the sea was particularly rough on this cruise it was up and off back to home.

I will miss Ventura even though there was no Christmas tree and decorations.  Even though she is the oldest P&O cruise in the fleet she was lovely and she was very spacious.

Highlights and negatives


  • The Juke Box as was free to use and some of the music came with music video’s.
  • Wez as he is one of the most entertaining entertainment staff.
  • Badness as they are brilliant.
  • Neuhaus as it is the most famous chocolate shop in Brussels and was great to be able to visit it and buy chocolates from there.
  • The carousels in the market area as they were like no other I have ever seen.


  • The sea as was rough throughout the cruise but not P&O’s fault
  • The lack of Christmas decorations and no tree.


Check before booking a Christmas cruise to find out if a tree and decorations will be up and ready if that is what you are wanting to see on-board.

Take some sickness tablets if you sail around Europe from November to February as the sea tends to be rough.


As we took this cruise few years back and we was not writing a blog back then we have not got a complete log of our trip as this is all written by memory.

Have you sailed on a festive cruise before?


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