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DamianG

Live On-Board Ventura N921

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For a change I thought that I’d try a blog so here goes…

We drove into the Mayflower terminal drop-off area at 11:55am and thanks to some slick work by a friendly porter and Parking4Cruises along with our priority embarkation status we were seated in the Cinnamon restaurant by 12:25pm ready for the welcome on board lunch. Some snacks and 2 glasses of sparkling wine later and our cabin was ready.

We are aft in D733 which features a huge balcony as per the photo. It’s a good size cabin with the all-important sofa bed for our son but the décor is looking dated and the balcony furniture is quite grubby. Our lovely cabin steward Lea has advised that there is no turn-down service for this evening only but she will return to make up the sofa bed after the safety drill. Talking of which we have been advised that we do not have to take our life jackets so hopefully that will make the whole operation swifter. We just need to get that out of the way and then we can enjoy the sail down the Solent.

 

 

IMG_0845.JPG

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Have a fantastic time Damian.

Thank you for posting, I love these threads.

From a very jealous Andy & Michelle

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Posted (edited)

Hello Damian,

 

We are in the same cabin in October and have been in it before.

Did you ask for the sun beds or were they already there as we have always commented to each other that you found easily get 2 sun beds on the balcony.

have a fab cruise.

Edited by Alan & Giselle
Spelling mistake

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Posted (edited)

I do a blog too and really enjoy reading them. We'll be on Ventura in February again so will particularly enjoy reading this blog.  

 

I agree about the balcony furniture. I don't blame the stewards but they should really get a scrub down at the end of every cruise.  

Edited by tartanexile81

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We are on our first cruise in a few weeks so new to the cabin layouts etc. After reading that you have a sofa-bed for your son, i'm slightly jealous as we have balcony cabin which apparently has a bed for our son suspended from the ceiling meaning my husband and I have to have the beds on the floor made up into two singles.....not idea. I think if we are to cruise again, I will make sure I stipulate the bed layouts. I just assumed that a couple plus child would be in a cabin with a double bed and sofa/childs bed!

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Enjoy whatever you do. I highly recommend going to watch "The Pursuit" game show when Ent Host Louis (the one that looks like Hagrid from Harry Potter) is the Pursuer. Heckle him, I've never seen anyone get the hump and throw a tantrum like he can 🤣

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3 minutes ago, MrandMrsCoz said:

We are on our first cruise in a few weeks so new to the cabin layouts etc. After reading that you have a sofa-bed for your son, i'm slightly jealous as we have balcony cabin which apparently has a bed for our son suspended from the ceiling meaning my husband and I have to have the beds on the floor made up into two singles.....not idea. I think if we are to cruise again, I will make sure I stipulate the bed layouts. I just assumed that a couple plus child would be in a cabin with a double bed and sofa/childs bed!

You can always push the lower beds together once he's up there if he goes to bed before or at the same time as you. You can position the ladder at the end of the bed provided you are careful. The only reason the steward will insist on single beds is due to health and safety as the ladder has to be attached on the bed in a certain place. Once (s)he's done you can reset the cabin how YOU want it, bit of a pain, but at least you get to sleep together.

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4 hours ago, MrandMrsCoz said:

We are on our first cruise in a few weeks so new to the cabin layouts etc. After reading that you have a sofa-bed for your son, i'm slightly jealous as we have balcony cabin which apparently has a bed for our son suspended from the ceiling meaning my husband and I have to have the beds on the floor made up into two singles.....not idea. I think if we are to cruise again, I will make sure I stipulate the bed layouts. I just assumed that a couple plus child would be in a cabin with a double bed and sofa/childs bed!

 

It does depend on the ship you are sailing on but on the Ventura and Azura a sofa bed as the third bed is only available in cabins above a standard balcony. The OPs cabin is a Superior Deluxe Balcony and a Suite will also have a similar arrangement.

 

I understand your frustration. If you booked through a travel agent who did not explain the sleeping arrangements to you I would be tempted to share my frustration with them in the form of a strongly worded complaint. After all as a new cruiser you are paying for their expertise to ensure your holiday meets your requirements.

 

Having said that you live and learn. Our first cruise was in a tiny outside cabin with just a small window and our two daughters in bunk beds above our single beds. It was a bit of a shock when we saw it but we still had an absolutely fantastic time and have not stopped cruising since.

 

Go with an open mind and a positive attitude. After all you may not have wanted to pay the premium for a larger cabin for your first cruise.

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15 hours ago, Alan & Giselle said:

Hello Damian,

 

We are in the same cabin in October and have been in it before.

Did you ask for the sun beds or were they already there as we have always commented to each other that you found easily get 2 sun beds on the balcony.

have a fab cruise.

Hi A&G

The loungers were already on the balcony which is a first for us.

Cheers

Damian

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18 hours ago, AndyMichelle said:

Have a fantastic time Damian.

Thank you for posting, I love these threads.

From a very jealous Andy & Michelle

Thanks, up the 'Ammers.

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Posted (edited)

Monday morning on a P&O Cruise ship, that can only mean one thing: Eggs Benedict for breakfast. Woo-hoo!

 

Thanks for all the kind comments, now to conclude yesterday’s action.

 

The safety drill took about 25 minutes, not bad considering a few hitches scanning cruise cards getting in and the PA system breaking down for 7 minutes. After they showed us how to put on a life jacket there was a round of applause and the lady demonstrating in our corner looked suitably bemused. She should have taken a bow (or “should of” for younger readers).

 

After the safety drill we opened the complimentary bottle of champagne and sat on the balcony for the sail down the Solent. I didn’t think it was that hot outdoors but before we knew it the whole bottle had been finished so there must have been some serious evaporation.

 

My in-laws are travelling with us and I thought we’d given them the slip when we couldn’t get through to them on the cabin phone. However, they tracked us down via reception who took the trouble to call and check that we knew them before divulging our cabin details. GDPR and all that.

 

We went to the Cinnamon restaurant for dinner and were greeted by a smiling waitress who introduced herself as “Queen Mary” and indeed, a quick check of her name badge showed that to be her chosen name. We’ve met a few celebrity-named waiters over the years, in particular several Elvis’, but never royalty. She took our drink order on an electronic tablet (which is a first for us) and then used the same gadget for the food order.

 

Our son wanted 2 courses for dinner like everyone else so chose French fries as a starter and pasta as a main. Someone in the kitchen got creative and this was delivered by the other waiter (name unknown) as a circle of chips on large plate with a small bowl of pasta in the middle. Queen Mary immediately spotted the error and swooped in, replacing the bowl of pasta with a ramekin of ketchup and re-assuring our son that she would get him a nice fresh bowl of pasta with the main courses. Well played Your Majesty.

 

I had cannon of lamb as a main course which was superb and my wife had swordfish which she pronounced as “Better than Gino’s” (our local Italian restaurant). Sorry Gino (P&O Cruises 1 v 0 Gino d’Acampo). After dinner we had one drink in Metropolis then retired early as we were tired after a poor night’s sleep the previous night in a stuffy hotel room with a duvet that felt like it was 1000 togs.

 

I was just dozing off around 11pm when there was a call for a medical emergency. There was nothing further and we all fell asleep only to be woken by a further announcement in the cabin around 12:10am that there would be an emergency air evac and outside decks and balconies would be out of bounds. We were quite startled to be woken and my heart was racing so I was struggling to get back to sleep when there was a further announcement around 12:45am that the ship would be turning to head back to the UK coastline to assist the air evac. There was one final announcement that some upper cabins aft would need to be evacuated to accommodate the air evac. Our cabin is aft but luckily not high enough to be affected and I felt really sorry for those disturbed. Needless to say we had another poor night’s sleep though to be fair I am a lousy, light sleeper at the best of times. More importantly our son slept through the whole thing thank goodness.

IMG_0559.JPG

Edited by DamianG

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Thanks for this live report from Ventura, we are considering a Canary Island Cruise on Ventura this November and look forward to your comments...

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Goodness, what a dramatic start to your cruise.  Hope things calm down for you!  That ham in your Eggs Benedict definitely looks better than the stuff I had on Coral Princess recently.

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An interesting and nicely written blog, DamianG. Thank you for taking the time to report back.

 

Hope things settle down for you - plenty of time to catch up the schedule before you reach beautiful Madeira.

 

You look to be enjoying the food as much as we did on Azura. Epicurean perhaps?

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27 minutes ago, Harry Peterson said:

An interesting and nicely written blog, DamianG. Thank you for taking the time to report back.

 

Hope things settle down for you - plenty of time to catch up the schedule before you reach beautiful Madeira.

 

You look to be enjoying the food as much as we did on Azura. Epicurean perhaps?

Thanks Harry, just sampled the standard MDR food so far.

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2 minutes ago, DamianG said:

Thanks Harry, just sampled the standard MDR food so far.

Sorry - missed the fact that Cinnamon's the MDR. Looks good!

We tried Epicurean a few times. Exceptional and theatrical, but your son's probably a little too young yet!

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7 hours ago, DamianG said:

Monday morning on a P&O Cruise ship, that can only mean one thing: Eggs Benedict for breakfast. Woo-hoo!

 

Thanks for all the kind comments, now to conclude yesterday’s action.

 

The safety drill took about 25 minutes, not bad considering a few hitches scanning cruise cards getting in and the PA system breaking down for 7 minutes. After they showed us how to put on a life jacket there was a round of applause and the lady demonstrating in our corner looked suitably bemused. She should have taken a bow (or “should of” for younger readers).

 

After the safety drill we opened the complimentary bottle of champagne and sat on the balcony for the sail down the Solent. I didn’t think it was that hot outdoors but before we knew it the whole bottle had been finished so there must have been some serious evaporation.

 

My in-laws are travelling with us and I thought we’d given them the slip when we couldn’t get through to them on the cabin phone. However, they tracked us down via reception who took the trouble to call and check that we knew them before divulging our cabin details. GDPR and all that.

 

We went to the Cinnamon restaurant for dinner and were greeted by a smiling waitress who introduced herself as “Queen Mary” and indeed, a quick check of her name badge showed that to be her chosen name. We’ve met a few celebrity-named waiters over the years, in particular several Elvis’, but never royalty. She took our drink order on an electronic tablet (which is a first for us) and then used the same gadget for the food order.

 

Our son wanted 2 courses for dinner like everyone else so chose French fries as a starter and pasta as a main. Someone in the kitchen got creative and this was delivered by the other waiter (name unknown) as a circle of chips on large plate with a small bowl of pasta in the middle. Queen Mary immediately spotted the error and swooped in, replacing the bowl of pasta with a ramekin of ketchup and re-assuring our son that she would get him a nice fresh bowl of pasta with the main courses. Well played Your Majesty.

 

I had cannon of lamb as a main course which was superb and my wife had swordfish which she pronounced as “Better than Gino’s” (our local Italian restaurant). Sorry Gino (P&O Cruises 1 v 0 Gino d’Acampo). After dinner we had one drink in Metropolis then retired early as we were tired after a poor night’s sleep the previous night in a stuffy hotel room with a duvet that felt like it was 1000 togs.

 

I was just dozing off around 11pm when there was a call for a medical emergency. There was nothing further and we all fell asleep only to be woken by a further announcement in the cabin around 12:10am that there would be an emergency air evac and outside decks and balconies would be out of bounds. We were quite startled to be woken and my heart was racing so I was struggling to get back to sleep when there was a further announcement around 12:45am that the ship would be turning to head back to the UK coastline to assist the air evac. There was one final announcement that some upper cabins aft would need to be evacuated to accommodate the air evac. Our cabin is aft but luckily not high enough to be affected and I felt really sorry for those disturbed. Needless to say we had another poor night’s sleep though to be fair I am a lousy, light sleeper at the best of times. More importantly our son slept through the whole thing thank goodness.

IMG_0559.JPG

I would complain about the evaporating Champagne Damian, obviously a faulty bottle...😀

Hope you sleep better tonight. I find a few Hendricks perfect serves helps...

Loving the posts.

Andy

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16 hours ago, AndyMichelle said:

I would complain about the evaporating Champagne Damian, obviously a faulty bottle...😀

Hope you sleep better tonight. I find a few Hendricks perfect serves helps...

Loving the posts.

Andy

I wish I liked gin Andy, I really do. The menus fascinate me but my hopeless palate won't have it!

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Tuesday 5th August

 

Another day, another medical emergency. This time it was 4:10am but I was half awake anyway so it was not such a shock and there was only one announcement. I hope the patient isn’t too bad.

 

It was very much a lazy cabin day yesterday as our son wanted to stay in and watch movies. That said my phone shows that I still managed 6350 steps / 4.1 km so using the stairs and mostly avoiding the lifts paid off.

 

It was the Captain’s Gala Reception at 6pm and we secured some seats in the Red Bar without too much difficulty. A waitress took a shine to our son so without asking or being pushy we ended up having 3 glasses of sparkling wine each as she kept returning to our table to see us. We couldn’t see the proceedings from our position but Captain Derek Gray was very entertaining, a few of the usual jokes and observations mixed in with some that were new to us.

 

After the reception there was the inevitable huge queue for freedom dining and for once we agreed to share a table as the restaurant manager advised that we would have a long wait if we didn’t. Before becoming parents, we were always happy to share but now as a group of 5 we generally get a table to ourselves. Anyway, our luck was in as we were joined by a lovely couple from Gloucestershire and as the lady was a teacher’s assistant she easily engaged with our son so he was included in conversation as much as possible.

 

My wife and I had Beef Wellington which was good but perhaps slightly overcooked for medium rare. My wife suggested that we should ask for rare next time and see how it turns out so that’s a plan. Service was pretty slow due to the sheer volume of passengers but it wasn’t a problem and we had a pleasant leisurely meal.

 

We had planned to see the show Paradise City by the Headliners but didn’t finish dinner in time so instead we went to The Tamarind Club for party night with The Waves. They are a very professional group with a good lead vocalist and they played well. However, I thought it significant that they got a better response for a more recent song by Snow Patrol than they did for a whole series of 60’s/70’s/80’s smooth numbers. They finished their 1st set around 10pm and our son called time so that he could catch part of another movie before lights out.

 

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38 minutes ago, DamianG said:

Tuesday 5th August

 

 

 

Another day, another medical emergency. This time it was 4:10am but I was half awake anyway so it was not such a shock and there was only one announcement. I hope the patient isn’t too bad.

 

 

 

It was very much a lazy cabin day yesterday as our son wanted to stay in and watch movies. That said my phone shows that I still managed 6350 steps / 4.1 km so using the stairs and mostly avoiding the lifts paid off.

 

 

 

It was the Captain’s Gala Reception at 6pm and we secured some seats in the Red Bar without too much difficulty. A waitress took a shine to our son so without asking or being pushy we ended up having 3 glasses of sparkling wine each as she kept returning to our table to see us. We couldn’t see the proceedings from our position but Captain Derek Gray was very entertaining, a few of the usual jokes and observations mixed in with some that were new to us.

 

 

 

After the reception there was the inevitable huge queue for freedom dining and for once we agreed to share a table as the restaurant manager advised that we would have a long wait if we didn’t. Before becoming parents, we were always happy to share but now as a group of 5 we generally get a table to ourselves. Anyway, our luck was in as we were joined by a lovely couple from Gloucestershire and as the lady was a teacher’s assistant she easily engaged with our son so he was included in conversation as much as possible.

 

 

 

My wife and I had Beef Wellington which was good but perhaps slightly overcooked for medium rare. My wife suggested that we should ask for rare next time and see how it turns out so that’s a plan. Service was pretty slow due to the sheer volume of passengers but it wasn’t a problem and we had a pleasant leisurely meal.

 

 

 

We had planned to see the show Paradise City by the Headliners but didn’t finish dinner in time so instead we went to The Tamarind Club for party night with The Waves. They are a very professional group with a good lead vocalist and they played well. However, I thought it significant that they got a better response for a more recent song by Snow Patrol than they did for a whole series of 60’s/70’s/80’s smooth numbers. They finished their 1st set around 10pm and our son called time so that he could catch part of another movie before lights out.

 

 

 

That Derek Gray gets around a few weeks ago he was on a Cunard ship.

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Posted (edited)

The Captain has just announced that there is a 12 year old who is in a critical condition and cannot be air evacuated. We are therefore diverting to Vigo to get them to hospital. Truly awful news & I feel for the family.

Edited by DamianG

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This is a great idea for a blog to update day by day as it gives cruise-newcomers like us a real feel for how the days and nights can be spent. Thanks DamianG.

Hope the 12 year old is ok! every parents' nightmare 😞

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14 hours ago, DamianG said:

The Captain has just announced that there is a 12 year old who is in a critical condition and cannot be air evacuated. We are therefore diverting to Vigo to get them to hospital. Truly awful news & I feel for the family.

 

How awful, hope they are ok 

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