Sunday 13 May 2018

Sail Away on Ventura with P&O Cruises

Living in Southampton, you see cruise ships almost daily. They're a big part of life in Southampton and something I find fascinating, I've always been a cruise ship nerd. My family have sailed on various ships over the years and some of my earliest memories are from playing in the children's soft play on ships while family are docked in the city so spending the day on-board Ventura with P&O Cruises was my idea of fun. 

The day started at 9.30am and after handing over our passports in return for ship passes, we made our way through security and on to the ship. Ventura weighs 116,017 tonnes, towers at 956ft and recently celebrated her 10th birthday. She was officially christened by Dame Helen Mirren who is also the ships Godmother. Ventura has not long come back from refit and so it was our chance to go on-board, see what was new and explore the new shopping experience which is now being provided by Dufry and World Duty-Free. My kinda day out. 

We were met by Sonny who gave us a tour of each of the shops across the different decks, starting in the perfumerie which featured a beautifully mirrored table adorned with various fragrances. We then went from perfume to beauty to fashion. The clothing store featured some familiar British brands such as Ted Baker, Joules and Radley as well as some bits for the guys too. It's not all beauty and clothing though, you can take your pick from various bottle of whiskey, gin and bottles of champagne to really make your cruise go off with a bang. I could've shopped to my heart's content.

After our tour, we spent some time with the team at Kallati, an exquisite jeweller based in New York which can be found on P&O Cruises. The diamond manufacturers have been in the business for forty years and have gained worldwide recognition due to the drive, passion and determination shown in their stunning pieces of jewellery. Drinking mimosas while trying on beautiful diamonds and trying not to wince at the price was a world way from baby sick and formula, I can tell you although I did come away with my very own piece of Kallati jewellery. You cannot buy Kallati in the UK but do a little Google because the pieces are incredible, you'll soon understand why I'm so in awe.

Following our date with Kallati we were met by Stevie who then showed us around the rest of the ship. The weather was beautiful so heading out on to the decks to the open bars and swimming pools was exactly where I wanted to be. We then headed back through the ship to see the various bars, restaurants and lounges as well as the casino area and kids club.

I was so impressed with how much they had for children, even for little bubbas as young as Joshua. We're yet to go on our first family holiday and the thought of taking him on a plane terrifies me a little but a cruise would be much less hassle, especially as we're ten minutes from the docks and we wouldn't have to worry about how much we took with us.

As P&O Cruises are a British brand, cruising with them means you aren't far from your home comforts. You can have your favourite cup of tea while reading the latest bestseller or have a go at bingo and win your cruise money back. You may be sailing away from home, but home is much closer than you think which I'm sure is so comforting for many even if you are waking up in a different dock every morning.

After our tour, we found our way back to one of the restaurants, where we would be having lunch together. The Glass House was launched onboard by Olly Smith, it is ideal for a light lunch or leisurely dinner. As well as delicious food you can find a selection of around 40 wines from all over the world which are handpicked by wine expert Olly so you can discover the perfect tipple to accompany your food. I opted for the steak which was absolutely delicious and the perfect choice after walking all over Ventura. The menu is great and if I were to go back on P&O Cruises, The Glass House would be my first stop mainly because the trio of sliders is calling my name.

Before we knew it, it was time to disembark but not before we climbed our way to the very top then peered over gingerly. I'm pretty good with heights but there's something about being a few hundred feet in the air over water that makes me go a little funny, doesn't stop me looking over though.

I had such an enjoyable day and as someone who has always wanted to go on a cruise, this has just made me want to go even more. We also have so much more to think about where Joshua is concerned when travelling and I think this would take away a lot of the panic I have away especially as there are so many baby-friendly options. 

The night nursery definitely appeals for if we want to wander off for a meal for two one evening with the ease of being given a pager if anything happens. There are just so many options, I'm sure Arran is sick of me talking about it.

Have you ever been on a cruise before? 

I was invited on-board for the day by P&O Cruises - see disclaimer.
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