We chose this cruise as an ‘initial’ taster for our friends (2 couples) who had not cruised since us three ‘boys’ had served in the Royal Navy together in the late 70’s. My wife and I have previously cruised three times, Island (Star/Escape) and Cunard (Queen Elizabeth). We were unsure what to expect on this occasion as all the reading/research we had carried out was ‘on how big the ship was’. Yes, Venturer is big and yes, there are a lot of people and yes, there were 722 children onboard for our trip to the Iberian coast, but the ships timings (shows, meals, all round entertainment) was so well managed we soon found our way aroun, we never really became aware of large crowds and we were never aware of the large amount number of children.
So to start, our embarkation went so smoothly, within twenty minutes from dropping off our bags, walking into the hall, presenting our passports, filling in the health sheet, having our photographs taken for the on board I.D. And proceeding through security we were on board Venturer. Plenty of staff directing us to our cabins, so within thirty minutes we were in our cabin (R748) a very well appointed cabin with a window to the rear of the ship, great view. We also received £60 a cabin on board spend as a result of being ex servicemen.
Departing Southampton happened so quickly, thinking back we actually don’t remember leaving port and we were all sat down, suited and booted for our evening meal
Food – on the 6.30 sitting in the Bay Tree sat as a table of six (49) with two waiters Jamson and Sudesh looking after our every need. The meals were 4/5 courses, and were placed in front of us as very much ‘pictures on a plate’ none of the six of us like waste, good job we cleared our plates at every sitting. The food was well cooked, different choices every night and a menus to delight every taste and choice, the offer of portion size was available but we never took advantage as the plate sizes were sufficient.
Entertainment – The 8.30 show was our sitting, and we were not disappointed, the ‘house’ entertainers were very professional, the shows ensured the audience were both entertained and were fully involved within the show, singing along, joining in, clapping etc. We also had a comedian (John Martin) who it was a delight to hear, both funny and up to date, he also didn’t have to swear to get a cheap laugh. We were also entertained by ‘Showmaddymaddy’ on night four, obviously a tribute band but so funny and musical, we decided to see them again at the later show. The highlighters appeared every other night, very slick, very musical and gave their rendition of current musicals, our favourite on the night being ‘Wicked’.
On the sixth night we sat through ‘Badness’ (spoiler alert, previously Showmaddymaddy) who on this occasion were, guess….. Yes Madness, brilliant group and superb audience participation. Everyone to their own, we also sat through a show at midnight with a comedian called Josh Daniels, his midnight appearance supposed to be adult humour cos the children would be in bed! Well I remember he swore a lot, modern humour, swear and the audience laugh, not for us I’m afraid. Two really good singers had sets, Kurtis Ray White and Paul Emmanuel who was really very good, especially when covering Nat King Cole.
Visits ashore – Vigo, was our first stop, along side we went ashore and was convinced to use the coach trip with an independent company called ‘tours4cruisers’ a very professional and especially knowledgable tour guide and very good driver. We made three stops and all the experts were able to point us all in the Right Direction Less.