Wondering what life is like on ship with over 3000 other people? Astonishingly, it’s not actually as manic as I expected.
Sure, on embarkation day everything seemed busy as groups of people excitedly explore the ship, but for the rest of the cruise, there seemed to be plenty of space. There are areas that were always crowded: the main corridor that runs between most restaurants and bars; The Exchange “pub”; and, despite the rain, fog and temperatures below 10 degrees, the poolside bars and hot tubs. The central atrium is buzzing, with various a bar, coffee shop and seating arranged around it, but, again, it never felt too packed.
The one covered pool was busy with children, but that’s to be expected on a short cruise in cold weather. There is an adult’s only pool (the Oasis), but that remained closed on this voyage; two other outdoor pools were open, but devoid of swimmers.
Ventura does have an external promenade on Deck 5, aside from the February weather, this didn’t seem to be the most inviting space as it appears to have been re-purposed as a smoker’s ghetto - there aren’t many other places on the ship where lighting up is permitted.
While Ventura is never going to win any interior design awards, most of the ship is perfectly pleasant. The straight, seemingly endless, corridors are slightly off-putting. As our, wholly scientific, comparison above shows, the famous corridors from “The Shining” are considerably shorter.
Also disappointing are the ersatz finishes in some areas, particularly The Glasshouse wine bar and The Exchange pub. We know we’re on a ship, some plastic mouldings are never going to make us believe that we’re on a Tuscan terrace or, bizarrely, under some railway arches.
It’s also worth noting that I was never able to establish a WiFi connection. That wasn’t an issue on this cruise, as most of the time I could pick up regular 3G or 4G signals from the shore or in port, but would put me off a longer voyage if I needed to remain in contact.