Ventura in the Port of Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy
|Port of registry:||Bermuda|
|Yard number:||6132, Monfalcone|
|Laid down:||29 August 2006|
|Launched:||8 June 2007|
|Christened:||16 April 2008
by Dame Helen Mirren
|Acquired:||31 March 2008|
|Maiden voyage:||18 April 2008|
|In service:||April 2008|
|Identification:||Call sign: ZCDT2
IMO number: 9333175
MMSI no.: 310562000
|Class and type:||Grand class cruise ship|
|Length:||291.4 m (956 ft)|
|Beam:||36 m (118 ft)|
|Draught:||8 m (26 ft)|
|Depth:||36 m (118 ft)|
|Decks:||19 (14 passenger decks)|
|Deck clearance:||27.55 m (90.4 ft)|
|Propulsion:||6 × Wärtsilä diesel engines|
MV Ventura is a Grand-class cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet. The ship was built by Fincantieri at their shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. At 116,017 tonnes and 291.4 m (956 ft), Ventura is the second largest of eight ships currently in service with P&O Cruises. She is the sister ship of MS Azura. She officially entered service with the company in April 2008 and was named by Helen Mirren.Ventura underwent a refit at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, during March and April 2013, and re-entered service on 7 April 2013 with a voyage to Spain and Portugal.
MS Ventura is owned by Carnival UK and operated by P&O Cruises. The ship entered service in April 2008, and is one of the largest cruise ships built for the British market, at 116,017 tonnes. Ventura can accommodate 3,192 passengers, and has 1,550 cabins, of which about 60% possess private balconies. It has fourteen public decks, eight restaurants, six boutiques, five pools and three show lounges, including the largest theatre on a British ship. Passengers are able to walk to the bow, which is not possible on any other P&O ship except Azura.
The ship is intended to be family-friendly; facilities include The Reef youth club, and appearances by the children's character Noddy. The ship includes outdoor children's play areas and two pools specifically for families.
British actress Dame Helen Mirren officially christened Ventura and became the ship's "Godmother", prior to its maiden cruise to the Mediterranean Sea. In a break with tradition, Dame Helen commanded a team of Royal Marine Commandos to assist her in naming Ventura in a dramatic abseil.
Decks and dining
Ventura features three main dining rooms. The largest is the Bay Tree Restaurant, with the Saffron and Cinnamon restaurants being two similar sized smaller restaurants. Both the Bay Tree and Saffron restaurants feature traditional set time dining, whereas the Cinnamon restaurant features freedom dining, allowing passengers to choose which time to eat.
Ventura has several alternative restaurants that passengers have to pay extra to eat in. East is an Asian-styled restaurant offering Asian and Pacific cuisine. The Glasshouse is a winebar and restaurant, which replaced Ramblas (an informal Spanish themed restaurant) from April 2013. The Beach House, part of the main buffet area during the day, becomes an informal family restaurant in the evening. Frankie's Pizzeria and Grill are located by the Laguna pool and are inspired by the informal restaurant chain created by Marco Pierre White and Frankie Dettori. The White Room, located on Deck 17, is a restaurant also created by Marco Pierre White, and serves Mediterranean style fine cuisine. Tazzine, located on Deck 5, is an Italian-style coffee bar.
- Cirque deck
Both the sports court and golf nets are situated on Cirque Deck. This is the ships highest deck that is available to passengers.
- Sky Deck
Sky Deck is the location of Metropolis, a bar and observation lounge at the stern of the ship. Also an access point to the Cirque deck.
- Sports deck
Marco Pierre White's restaurant The White Room is situated at the aft end of Sports Deck, and the Oasis Pool is located forward.
- Sun deck
The ships gymnasium and spa are located forward on Sun Deck, along with The Reef youth center at the stern of the ship.
- Lido Deck
The Lido Deck is the main pool deck on Ventura, with the Beachcomber and Laguna pools situated midships. At the aft of Lido Deck are the Waterside and Beach House self-service restaurants. Forward of the pool deck are suites, balcony and inside cabins.
- Riviera Deck
The Terrace Pool is located on Riviera Deck at the stern of the ship. This deck also has suites, balconies, and inside cabins.
- A Deck
A Deck (Australia Deck) is a passenger cabin deck, with suites, balconies and inside cabins.
- B Deck
B (Barbados Deck) Deck is a passenger cabin deck, with balconies and inside cabins.
- C Deck
C (Canada Deck) Deck is a passenger cabin deck, with suites, balconies and inside cabins.
- D Deck
D (Dominica Deck) Deck is a passenger cabin deck, with suites, deluxe and regular balconies and inside cabins.
- E Deck
E (Ecuador Deck) Deck is a passenger cabin deck, with suites, deluxe and regular balconies, outside and inside cabins.
- Promenade Deck
Promenade Deck is the ships main entertainment deck, with several bars, shops, restaurants and lounges, along with the top level of the atrium. The upper tier of the Arena Theater and the wrap-around outdoor promenade are also located on Promenade Deck.
- F Deck
F (Fiji Deck) Deck is the location of the casino and the lower tier of the Arena Theater, as well as the middle level of the atrium, which is the location of several shops and the guest services desk. Two of the main restaurants, the Bay Tree and Saffron are situated on this deck.
- P Deck
P (Panama Deck) Deck is the lowest passenger deck on the ship, and is the location of the bottom level of the atrium, which is surrounded by the library, internet lounge, art gallery, Tazzine cafe and the Cinnamon restaurant.
Family orientated activities
Ventura was the first P&O Cruises ship to feature the lines youth program, The Reef. It features 4 age groups, 2-4, 5-8, 9-12 and 13-17, all of which have a dedicated area of the ship, located on Deck 16. The facilities also include an outdoor play area and splash pool, and appearances by the children's characters Noddy and Mr. Bump.
Accidents and incidents
During the Christmas 2008/New Year 2009 period in the Caribbean, there were reports of loutish behaviour on board, culminating in a rift between passengers who had paid the full fare and those who had not, described by the media as a passenger "rebellion" As a result of the problems, two passengers were ejected from the ship and three scheduled ports of call were omitted from the itinerary.
Bay of Biscay damage
After experiencing bad weather on 18 October 2012 in the Bay of Biscay, Ventura suffered slight damage to the aluminium deck high up on the ship. Ventura underwent repairs in Southampton on 19 October 2012. P&O stated that this had no structural strength or safety implications. Some passengers were ordered not to use their balconies.
Shortly after leaving the southern tip of Tenerife, on 25 October 2014 at around 6.15pm, the Ventura experienced a fault with two of its six engines. As a result, power was lost. Once generators were working again and providing power to the ship, the engines restarted, around 40 minutes later. It then proceeded onwards, completing its further itinerary with no further issues. It was, however, reported by passengers that the same thing had happened on departure from Genoa, a week earlier.
- "Ventura leaves on maiden voyage". BBC News. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Advanced Masterdata for the Vessel Ventura". VesselTracker. 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- "Keel Laying for the Superliner Ventura" (Press release). Fincantieri. 29 August 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- Micke Asklander. "M/S Ventura (2008)". Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- "Ship statistics: Ventura". P&O Cruises. 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- Carnival to present new ship to P&O, South Florida Business Journal, 22 September 2005, accessed 2007-02-20
- Cut prices and upgrades lure us to more cruises, The Scotsman, accessed 2007-02-20
- Ventura handed over to P&O Cruises, Travelmole, accessed 2008-04-08
- "Marines help Dame Helen name ship". BBC News. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- "Caribbean cruise ends in rebellion", Telegraph, 11 Jan 2009. Accessed 17 Oct 2014
- Staff writers (19 October 2012). "P&O Cruises' Ventura to have crack repaired". TravelWeekly. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ventura (ship, 2008).|
- Ventura P&O website
- Paul Critchley
- "You're guaranteed to have a whale of a time on a Caribbean cruise" – review by Fran Goodman on Mirror Online of a cruise on Ventura around the Caribbean