Thought you were on the Maiden Ventura Cruise? Oh no your not

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#1
1 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
My Parents have booked to go on the Ventura Maiden cruise in April. They booked it becasue it was the maiden cruise and would be special.

They have just had their hopes shattered because P&O are now offering a weekend cruise called the Welcom Party the weekend before.

To say they are upset is an understatement - I wonder what P&O have to say about this.
#4
Fife Scotland
2,464 Posts
Joined May 2000
All the agencies have been sending out emails today about it ....goes on sail at the end of the month
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#5
Sheffield, UK
4,315 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I've jut heard about this one as well, and I had been wondering how people booked on the 'Maiden' would feel.

The other thing is that the prices I've seen are not generous: £199pp for an inside cabin, £250pp for an outside, and £396pp (!) for a balcony. These may be 'full brochure prices' however. I guess things will become clearer later in the week.
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MSC Sinfonia (2005), Norwegian Jewel (2005), Galaxy (2006 & 2007), Braemar (2007), Oriana (2008 & 2012), Ventura (2008, 2010, 2011 & 2013), Celebrity Solstice (2009), Arcadia (2010, 2012 & 2014), Black Watch (2011), Azura (2014), Britannnia (2016)

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#6
Hampshire, Old England
361 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
When is a Maiden not a Maiden

When P&O market the Ventura Maiden cruise for April 2008 early in 2007 (selling out on the first day) and then a few days ago offer a 2 nighter party cruise to the public BEFORE the "Maiden"

This is all rather like virginity with a maiden. One prick and it's gone!
#7
Midlands U.K.
269 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Oh c'mon every cruise line does this nowadays. It's called the 'shakedown' & I have been on 2 or 3 over the last ten years. It's away of testing all their services before the big day & the ones I've been on, you sign away your rights to any compensation should things not go according to plan. That is normally reflected in the 'special offer' price you pay for this type of deal.
#8
South East, England
1,355 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
It does seem true that other cruise lines do this too. I'm booked to go on the 3 night prelude cruise on HAL's new MS Eurodam in July. This was recently introduced ahead of the maiden voyage. For me it seems a great way to experience what other cruise lines have to offer.

The 'Weekend Party' on Ventura appeals too as it is a long time since I last sailed with P&O.

That said, I can understand that those booked on what they thought was going to be the inaugural sailing will be a bit cheesed off.

Laura
#9
London
21,825 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Wilba
Oh c'mon every cruise line does this nowadays. It's called the 'shakedown' & I have been on 2 or 3 over the last ten years. It's away of testing all their services before the big day & the ones I've been on, you sign away your rights to any compensation should things not go according to plan. That is normally reflected in the 'special offer' price you pay for this type of deal.
Yes, exactly. This really is not a big deal. Just about every ship has shakedown cruises. Some are sold to the public, some are offered only to the trade and the press as promotional activities, and some are just cruise line junkets. And they have a habit of being cancelled and mucked about with at short notice, depending on the state of the ship and the problems encountered in the final stages of building.
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#11
Edinburgh, Scotland
864 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Royal Carribbean have just announced that Independence of the Seas will be ready 3 weeks ahead of schedule. As a result the inaugural sailing has been brought forward. RCI have given everyone booked on the original one a chance to transfer to the 'new' inaugural saling FOC. Surely at the very least P&O should give those people booked on the Maiden Cruise the first chance to book this one?

Eddie
#12
Hampshire, Old England
361 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Shakedowns of 1 or 2 nights for Travel Agents and "The Great and the Good" fine.

But when I book a Maiden Cruise I expect it to be the first cruise on that ship for paying passengers.

There will be a lot of loyal, miffed P&O passengers ncluding me.
#13
Kent, UK
1,771 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
If you buy a brand new car there is always 50 odd miles on clock so someone has driven it before you to check it's OK.

2 days is hardly what I would call a cruise.

I'm probably wrong but "snobbery" comes to mind. "Oh we're on the Ventura maiden cruise dont you know".

Regardless of all that I'm very interested. Could save me a fortune by not booking a full cruise because I may conclude the Grand class Princess ships are better.
#14
Midlands U.K.
269 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Do you really consider a 'ferry crossing' to Zebrugge an inaugural cruise.
I'm sorry but your complaints are petty. My experiences on these trips have been, on the whole, not good. My last was the Norwegian Sun 'shakedown' & my thoughts on disembarkation was 'God help the Maiden' which was taking place about 6 hours after I walked down the gangplank. Restaurants opening 40 minutes late (pre Freestyle), cold food in Main DR, Deck Buffet & Specialty Dining. All round, a shambles, so if I were you, I would stick with your original booking & hope that someone else has been the Guinea pig on your behalf.
#15
109 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
In my humble opinion you are both wrong!

Firstly a maiden should just be that, but i think people's anger comes from the fact that they feel that they are now not sailing on the maiden cruise which is in fact wrong. On the other hand anyone that sneaks on to the so called party cruise is a little bit of a late comer trying to steal the limelight and then attacking the people that are going on the maiden. A case of pot calling comes to mind. The sort that always tries out a "Shakedown cruise” 1st then complains about them after mmmmmm.

In my experience as a long time cruiser, i would not touch a ship in its maiden year. I will always leave it a year before in venture on the Ventura . If your place in life is to boast about being on the maiden I guess you are going to have to opt for the party time cruise with all the drunks under the sun on board!!!! Only a joke fellow POSH club members.
#16
Hampshire, Old England
361 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
My usual main driver for choosing a cruise is usually book late in the day, itinerary (Venice or Black Sea, duration (16n+) and cost (low).

Back early last year when the Ventura bookings opened I choose the Maiden because it was the Maiden and I wanted to experience a full maiden, after the curtailment of the Aurora maiden in 2000.

If the Maiden cruise had been originally a party cruise I would not have booked it but instead plumped for a cruise under my normal drivers. I have never hid my distate for the party cruises although I can undersand why P&O do them, but they are not my cup of tea, from my experience (4 in all, 3 with P&O, 2 were awful and 1 with Cunard, which was excellent).

We have also been on the Maiden cruise of the previous incarnation of Arcadia and accepted and understood that it was an ex.Princess ship.

We also had booked the Maiden Crossings of the QM2 in 2004 and understood that she had already cruised to Rio from Southampton and did the winter in the Caribbean before coming back to Southampton for us.

It was not unreasonable for me to assume that there would have been travel agent and "the great & the good" 1 or 2 nighters in the days leading up to our Maiden voyage on Ventura.

This additional cruise, available for anyone to book, prior to the Maiden cruises is a slap on the face to loyal P&O customers, and, probably for the first time, coloured my view of the company,which up to now I have always felt was virtually unimpeachable.
#17
Walton on Thames
296 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by tom_uk
I've jut heard about this one as well, and I had been wondering how people booked on the 'Maiden' would feel.

The other thing is that the prices I've seen are not generous: £199pp for an inside cabin, £250pp for an outside, and £396pp (!) for a balcony. These may be 'full brochure prices' however. I guess things will become clearer later in the week.
While the prices you have seen are no doubt valid they are more for some of the grades than I have seen in the emails sent to me by at least 3 cruise agents. What is very keen, however, is the single suppliment at just 25%.

I have made enquiries about booking this cruise with my usual agent and have been told they are waiting for final pricings from P&O before calculating their agency discounts so will not, at this point give a price but have added me to their advance registration list and will get in touch with the price as soon as it comes through to them.

This is a list of the prices being offered by P&O (although it is impossible to check this on the P&O site as they haven't got the cruise listed on their official website yet so we, as passengers, are reliant on the prices being advertised by the cruise agents out there. I have listed those prices from the email sent to me by one agency.

Feebee_71

Brand New Cruise
Join Ventura’s two-night “Welcome Party”

N802Y - 11th April – The Welcome Party – 2nts
Southampton, Zeebrugge, Southampton
Inside from £199pp
Outside from £249pp
Balcony from £299pp
Junior mini suite from £399pp
Suite from £499pp
Single supplement from only 25%

Goes on sale Monday, 28th Jan at 8.30am
#18
Lincolnshire, UK
891 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Thanks for the heads up everyone.

We were going to go for it, got home and there was the email.

Spolit sports or not but we are looking forward to being the first into bed

Our only regret, looking at what is on offer, is not enough time.

As for booking a Maiden for a fortnight of more we see this as a potential pig-in-the-poke. We sailed on Arcadia in her maiden year (Dec 05) and had to get our uncontrollable cabin air con damped down - it howled.

There were other features too - my shoe was ripped open by a piece of sharp metal in the theatre. What made it worse was they made no attempt to fix it until I buttonholed the theatre manager, during a performance, and said FIX THIS.

The two-day cruise will help the true Maiden passengers as it gives the crew a practise run through. It may help with fixing a few bugs. It will not result in a wholly trouble free cruise.
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#19
12 Posts
Joined May 2007
For those of you waiting for this sailing to appear on the P&O website, you'll have to wait a long time. It won't be appearing on there because (you'll like this) it isn't actually a cruise!

Yep - it's actually a 'Welcome Party'. Not a cruise at all. So it *technically* isn't a maiden cruise.

So, despite the fact it sails out of Southampton, with paying passengers, stops in Zebrugge and sails back (one could almost say "cruises back") to Southampton, it isn't actually on a cruise at all. So the Maiden Cruise will still be the Maiden Cruise. This is just a party. At sea. But not cruising. Floating, maybe. Sailing, even. But not cruising.

But to be totally honest, you really can't compare a 14 Night Mediterranean Cruise to a 2 Night jolly to Belgium. I for one would much rather be on a 14 night cruise that isn't *technically* a Maiden Cruise compared to a 2 night sailing that isn't *technically* a cruise at all.

So, to those of you booked on the *REAL* Maiden cruise on 18 April, firstly, I am very, very jealous and secondly, forget the fact it has been at sea with paying passengers a little bit before you and ENJOY IT!
#20
London
21,825 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by supered
Surely at the very least P&O should give those people booked on the Maiden Cruise the first chance to book this one?
Actually, I have to say that I think this a very good idea - it would certainly have been courteous, even if many people couldn't have managed it.
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