This was our second cruise. Our first was supposed to be a one off for our Golden Wedding. After the delays for Covid, we had enjoyed Britannia so much, that we checked our savings pot and decided to try Ventura. We had loved the Med so we thought we would experience the Canaries and Madeira.
The ships are strikingly similar as you might expect with a fleet but each has its own character. Ventura seems more laid back, with a style and charm that hints at a “classy” heritage. The food is at the same high standard and the ship is beautifully appointed. We booked fixed dining this time and were rewarded in two ways; the couples we ate with, were lovely people and excellent dining companions but never”cling-ons”; the same staff served us nightly and were efficient, friendly and amusing. The shortage of senior staff was apparent but did not affect the excellent service.
The entertainment was first class and bars/ lounges had an intimate feel, this was repeated in some of the deck areas in contrast to the larger, more open areas.
The balcony was twice as big but the shower smaller, with a curtain rather than glass.
It would be unfair to pick favourites as they both provide excellent cruising, Britannia has The Atrium and the Crows Nest; Ventura has an intimate feel and a very comfortable buffet. It was very enjoyable to see the “fleet” image done with a different style. We would happily recommend Ventura and Britannia, both if you can afford it.
It occurs to you in your seventies, that if you are putting money by for a rainy day, there may be a storm tomorrow. Covid has taught us that.
When we returned, we started looking again at the West Country. We were horrified at the cost. We contacted our friends at Bolsover Cruise Club and were offered 14 days on Arvia, for less money than 14 days B & B in Cornwall. This was further sweetened by a large amount of on-board spend. It also includes coach travel from Rotherham to the ship and back. No brainer.