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Looking at Summer 2021 Balitic cruise from UK and choice is either:

Carnival Legend 12 day out of Dover

P&O Ventura 14 day out of Southampton

 

Both visit same ports except Legend does Gothenburg but Ventura does Stockholm, all other ports the same just P&O have 2 extra sea days

By the time gratuities are added to Carnival prices the absolute and price per night is more expensive on Carnival but not by much.

 

Have previously cruised with Princess and v.happy with the experience so looking for thoughts on which experience would be best (food, entertainment etc) between Legend and Ventura and maybe which is closer to Princess.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Hello, I can't assist with a comparison sorry beyond saying that I have had good holidays on Ventura, but is there not a non-Carnival corp. alternative available for you to consider comparing with here also?

 

Obviously your choice if you definitely would like to travel with one of those lines, but I would have thought that other options were available for you to consider itinerary and prices too?

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Hi Thanks for the response.  Criteria is Baltic as that was were we had planned this year, school holidays due to job and out of UK due to any potential issues next year with Covid.  Pop all that into a cruise site and those are the only two available.

 

 

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Not sure if you like a drink, but P&O drink prices are very reasonable, and they are charged in GBP.  The way sterling is heading at the moment, I wouldn't book anywhere that required payment in $. By the time you come to cruise,  all your extra costs on Carnival could be very expensive. 

Edited by wowzz
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Celebrity silhouette is going from Southampton to Baltic departing from 15th may till 17th July 2021 including drinks and gratuities and port parking and unlimited WiFi but that part of the deal is finished (WiFi) but possibly a bit more expensive than the other two lines

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Ventura would be most similar to Princess. I did the Baltics on Carnival Legend from Dover about 7 years ago and it was a very different experience. The buffet set up was quite different and there were a lot of very friendly Americans onboard. The ship itself is quite garish!

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19 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

I have never found Ventura any busier than Azura or indeed Britannia, but most of our experiences have been on round trip Caribbean cruises.

Like most of these ships, if the weather is nice, there is ample quiet spaces. 

I don't dislike Ventura, but have had a couple of busy cold weather cruises where you queue for everything. 

Britannia doesn't feel as busy to me, even on cold cruises, despite more passengers. 

Andy 

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I havent' sailed on a Carnival ship before but have cruised with P and O and Princess(who you mention you like)Ventura and Azura are sister ships with similar layouts to Crown and Emerald Princess.P and O tends to be a bit more sedate than Princess but we like both cruise lines and have enjoyed a few nice cruises on Ventura.I think in the summer holidays the atmosphere is different on most ships.We cruised to the Baltics on Emerald Princess and had a great cruise.Drinks are a lot cheaper with P and o than most cruise companies and tips are included which makes quite a difference and means we can afford to dine in the speciality restaurants occasionally.

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Thanks Purdey16 - would consider that sailing but its just outside school hol so no good for us.

 

Some great comments from others, appreciate them all in helping me to choose.

 

Ardennais - see what you mean about Legend being garish.  Have watched a couple of you tube videos on Legend and it looks like it was designed by a pimp with unusually bad taste.  Have been to Graceland and the ship makes that place looks like a discreet model of interior decor. What gives with all those urns/vases all over the place ?

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10 hours ago, adam7392 said:

Thanks Purdey16 - would consider that sailing but its just outside school hol so no good for us.

 

Some great comments from others, appreciate them all in helping me to choose.

 

Ardennais - see what you mean about Legend being garish.  Have watched a couple of you tube videos on Legend and it looks like it was designed by a pimp with unusually bad taste.  Have been to Graceland and the ship makes that place looks like a discreet model of interior decor. What gives with all those urns/vases all over the place ?

The itinerary would clinch it for me.Gothenburg IMO was a bit pants.As long as Ventura sails thru the islands and docks in downtown Stockholm,it's a no brainer.We sailed in this way on the Emerald Princess which is the same class of ship as Ventura,so perfectly doable.The alternative is an industrial port 30 miles up the road and bypassing the islands,which sadly a lot of cruiselines are choosing.

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12 hours ago, adam7392 said:

Thanks Purdey16 - would consider that sailing but its just outside school hol so no good for us.

 

Some great comments from others, appreciate them all in helping me to choose.

 

Ardennais - see what you mean about Legend being garish.  Have watched a couple of you tube videos on Legend and it looks like it was designed by a pimp with unusually bad taste.  Have been to Graceland and the ship makes that place looks like a discreet model of interior decor. What gives with all those urns/vases all over the place ?

Joe Farcus, Carnival Cruise Line's architect/designer, could never be accused of taking a restrained approach to his ships...

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On 6/14/2020 at 10:43 AM, AndyMichelle said:

Like most of these ships, if the weather is nice, there is ample quiet spaces. 

I don't dislike Ventura, but have had a couple of busy cold weather cruises where you queue for everything. 

Britannia doesn't feel as busy to me, even on cold cruises, despite more passengers. 

Andy 

The problem with Ventura and Azura, and their Princess sister ships is that they were modelled on the Grand Princess but with an extra deck of cabins. This increased their passenger capacity by 20% from 2.6K to 3.1K, but without any additional public space. Which is why they feel overcrowded.

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53 minutes ago, Denarius said:

The problem with Ventura and Azura, and their Princess sister ships is that they were modelled on the Grand Princess but with an extra deck of cabins. This increased their passenger capacity by 20% from 2.6K to 3.1K, but without any additional public space. Which is why they feel overcrowded.

Absolutely agree Denarius. Princess built Grand, Golden and Star to pretty much the same template and then added the extra cabin deck to all the other 'Grand Class' ships. I've sailed on Azura twice and found her to feel very crowded both times.

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7 minutes ago, Britboys said:

Absolutely agree Denarius. Princess built Grand, Golden and Star to pretty much the same template and then added the extra cabin deck to all the other 'Grand Class' ships. I've sailed on Azura twice and found her to feel very crowded both times.

Diamond and Sapphire also have the lower passenger numbers, Caribbean Princess was the first  build with the extra deck.

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The Emerald is one of the "Super Grand" class but I still managed to bag the sunbed right at the back by the flag,sailing out of Stockholm in a heatwave watching the city diminish sailing thru the archepeligo,paradise,lol.

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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2020 at 6:56 AM, AndyMichelle said:

Thousands return every year, she must appeal to many. 

 

Naturally.  Lot's of people like the Butlin's environment and the particular demographic of society that the ship tends to attract.  Such will always be the case.  Hence my asking of the OP what kind of experience he was looking for.   

 

 

Quote

If you found the experience so bad, why did it take you 3/4 cruises to decide you 'probably' won't sail on her again? 

 

First was the maiden voyage.  So not remotely comparable.  Lot's of extra services and entertainment laid on for such a cruise.

It did highlight lots of Ventura's problems and numerous people remarked about them.  In the immediate years after that maiden cruise Ventura gained a bad reputation as the "cheap" / "chav" ship due to the lower pricing of cabins.    It would be years later that we decided to try her again in case things had improved but the kids were still unruly, no staff enforcing the rules and still very much an "anything goes" environment.      We later decided to try the ship out of school holiday periods which is essential to do if one wishes to objectively appraise a ship.  The experiences with and without kids on-board are markedly different on all ships.  The final voyage on her was a deliberate choice to introduce cruising for the first time to the MIL who is not remotely formal, not a black tie kind of person and so we chose to start her on Ventura as the most lax and informal in the fleet so that she would not feel uncomfortable. 

 

Again it all comes down to what one wants from a cruise.

 

Ventura is for me, Butlins at sea and the food in the MDR now little more than Weatherspoon's fare.  I find the entertainment team extremely immature,  generally irritating and very often an embarrassment to P&O.   The other staff are excellent as they are across the fleet but they are having to work under increasingly (imo) unacceptable pressures.  Their jobs have doubled up whilst their salaries have not.   Alternative dining venues have gone downhill in quality and some are doubling up as daytime dossing areas for passengers.

 

Each to their own.  All depends what you want, but for me that . . .  "is not the life", sorry Rob Bryden

 

 

Edited by KnowTheScore
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OP hear - thanks for continuing comments - all useful.

 

Regards what experience I'm looking for, the following would be priority:

1 - Itinary - Both similar but note Brian1's comments with the Stockholm/Gothenburg difference.  I too would prefer the P&O option of Strasbourg (I believe it is in the centre not Nyansham port so a great sail in/out)  so tick for P&O.  But Carnival Legend remains in Warenmunde til v.late so giving opportunity for Berlin trip whereas P&O leaves early evening -  tick Carnival.

 

2- Food/Service - want to feel like I'm getting a food experience but not at expense of having to go to speciality restaraunts to get it.  We like the Princess food/service in the MDR and buffet has been good, the afternoon teas are also great and I see P&O do that in the MDR.  We also like the level of formality on Princess formal nights - i.e. seems most people make an effort and DJ's are not out of place.   I haven't got a great feel for which line has the better food experience, always a personal thing I know.  I feel P&O may have a better formal night experience.

 

3- Entertainment - Decent headline shows, good comedians.  Definitely seems like headline shows Carnival smashes P&O, however for comedians I would imagine Carnival would provide mainly American comedians and my experience is they just aren't funny to me so expect P&O would win out on that.

 

4-Overall ship ambience.  One thing we love on Princess are the MUTS (movies under the stars) the large cinema screens on the pool deck.  Great to get some buffet food and lay back to watch a movie.  Unfortunately both ships don't seem to have a pool deck cinema.  Also in this category would be the general vibe on the ship, ability to get sun loungers etc on sea days, passenger mix etc.  Difficult area to pin down but I'm leaning more towards Carnival on this.

 

At least both are part of Carnival Inc so I'd get shareholder OBC either way!

 

Hope that gives a better idea of what we want.  I'm sure if Princess were sailing the Baltic out of UK next year we'd opt for that or if we could be more sure around the COVID situation we would risk flying to Copenhagen for the Sky Princess Baltic cruise as we had booked for this Summer.

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1 hour ago, KnowTheScore said:

 

Naturally.  Lot's of people like the Butlin's environment and the particular demographic of society that the ship tends to attract.  Such will always be the case.  Hence my asking of the OP what kind of experience he was looking for.   

 

 

 

First was the maiden voyage.  So not remotely comparable.  Lot's of extra services and entertainment laid on for such a cruise.

It did highlight lots of Ventura's problems and numerous people remarked about them.  In the immediate years after that maiden cruise Ventura gained a bad reputation as the "cheap" / "chav" ship due to the lower pricing of cabins.    It would be years later that we decided to try her again in case things had improved but the kids were still unruly, no staff enforcing the rules and still very much an "anything goes" environment.      We later decided to try the ship out of school holiday periods which is essential to do if one wishes to objectively appraise a ship.  The experiences with and without kids on-board are markedly different on all ships.  The final voyage on her was a deliberate choice to introduce cruising for the first time to the MIL who is not remotely formal, not a black tie kind of person and so we chose to start her on Ventura as the most lax and informal in the fleet so that she would not feel uncomfortable. 

 

Again it all comes down to what one wants from a cruise.

 

Ventura is for me, Butlins at sea and the food in the MDR now little more than Weatherspoon's fare.  I find the entertainment team extremely immature,  generally irritating and very often an embarrassment to P&O.   The other staff are excellent as they are across the fleet but they are having to work under increasingly (imo) unacceptable pressures.  Their jobs have doubled up whilst their salaries have not.   Alternative dining venues have gone downhill in quality and some are doubling up as daytime dossing areas for passengers.

 

Each to their own.  All depends what you want, but for me that . . .  "is not the life", sorry Rob Bryden

 

 

For some reason you do seem to have a problem with Ventura, however we always enjoy our cruises on her, despite its tendency to list badly in strong winds.

The food on all ships seems very dependant on the head chef, so it can and does change as they change.

We have never felt that the staff on Ventura were more rushed than on any ship.

The entertainment team change regularly, although there are normally the same 2 or sometimes 3 Ents managers on one ship, so that often affects the quality and variety of the daily entertainment.

I have never felt that Ventura was any less formal than other ships in the fleet, in fact Britannia during school holidays was probably the least formal experience we have had on P&O.

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1 hour ago, adam7392 said:

OP hear - thanks for continuing comments - all useful.

 

Regards what experience I'm looking for, the following would be priority:

 

2- Food/Service - want to feel like I'm getting a food experience but not at expense of having to go to speciality restaraunts to get it.  We like the Princess food/service in the MDR and buffet has been good, the afternoon teas are also great and I see P&O do that in the MDR. 

 

A fternoon teas are pretty rushed and nothing like they used to be on P&O, same as everything else.   A few small sandwiches and scones and if you are lucky teacakes and/or crumpets though I didn't see either of those on my last visit.  Trying to get hold of the waiter with the tea is a constant struggle.   The waiters imho really don't like this period, they want and need to get off and on with other duties and consequently you'll see them desperately trying to clear the tables as soon as they can.  Not a place you can keep sitting and chatting with table companions, you just feel awkward and that they want you out of there as quickly as possible.    I don't blame the waiters for a second.  They simply have too many duties now and so little time.

 

Quote

 

We also like the level of formality on Princess formal nights - i.e. seems most people make an effort and DJ's are not out of place.   I haven't got a great feel for which line has the better food experience, always a personal thing I know.  I feel P&O may have a better formal night experience.

 

I must warn you that the experience varies dramatically with the ship.  The P&O fleet has always been somewhat segregated in this way.   Aurora and Oriana were widely accepted to be the "glam" ships where people actively wanted to uphold strong dress code and create an ambience of elegance and formality.  Very much an ethos of wanting each night to seem special rather than just going down the local pub.   At the other end is Ventura which as I have said upthread is lax and nowhere near the same.  You will find on formal nights, young girls wearing dresses that barely cover their knickers and plenty of what are called "porn shoes" being worn all topped off with the obligatory long fake eyelashes and excess make-up.   Lots of gents on Ventura simply refuse to wear tuxedos and dickie bows and instead turn up as if they were going to the office in a drab grey suit.   All perfectly within the dumbed down P&O dress code of course.   You'll have to experience this for yourself to fully appreciate it.  If a black tie night to you is one of refined elegance, poise and suaveness then you'll be disappointed on Ventura with its cheap ticket cabins.    Sail on Aurora and you'll see a different style completely but then you'll pay for that experience in the ticket price.  Ventura is cheap for a reason

 

 

Quote

4-Overall ship ambience.  One thing we love on Princess are the MUTS (movies under the stars) the large cinema screens on the pool deck.  Great to get some buffet food and lay back to watch a movie.  Unfortunately both ships don't seem to have a pool deck cinema. 

 

 

Correct, no deck film screens.   Ventura does have a small film screen in one of its lounge areas called the Tamarind but as with just about all it's venues it is open plan and so there is a main walkway (one of the busiest on the ship) running right alongside it with people constantly talking and shouting as they go by.  The area as I said is also one of the main lounges so will constantly have people sitting there for drinks and chatting regardless of whether a film is being shown.  This is not imho a place to watch a relaxing film.   By comparison on Aurora there is a proper dedicated cinema, fully enclosed with proper tiered seating.  You get what you pay for.

 

Quote

Also in this category would be the general vibe on the ship, ability to get sun loungers etc on sea days, passenger mix etc.  Difficult area to pin down but I'm leaning more towards Carnival on this.

 

Already done my best to hint to you what the passenger demographic is like on Ventura.   A "cheap seats" business model has its impact.    On Ventura I find that people will frequently barge into your lift before you've had chance to get out.  On other ships they politely wait to see if anyone needs to get out.  On Ventura people will grab a seat in the limited coffee bar area and settle in for an entire afternoon reading or knitting instead of being mindful of others who want a coffee.  It's the little things. 

 

You get the experience you pay for. 

.

Edited by KnowTheScore
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1 hour ago, KnowTheScore said:

 

A fternoon teas are pretty rushed and nothing like they used to be on P&O, same as everything else.   A few small sandwiches and scones and if you are lucky teacakes and/or crumpets though I didn't see either of those on my last visit.  Trying to get hold of the waiter with the tea is a constant struggle.   The waiters imho really don't like this period, they want and need to get off and on with other duties and consequently you'll see them desperately trying to clear the tables as soon as they can.  Not a place you can keep sitting and chatting with table companions, you just feel awkward and that they want you out of there as quickly as possible.    I don't blame the waiters for a second.  They simply have too many duties now and so little time.

 

 

I must warn you that the experience varies dramatically with the ship.  The P&O fleet has always been somewhat segregated in this way.   Aurora and Oriana were widely accepted to be the "glam" ships where people actively wanted to uphold strong dress code and create an ambience of elegance and formality.  Very much an ethos of wanting each night to seem special rather than just going down the local pub.   At the other end is Ventura which as I have said upthread is lax and nowhere near the same.  You will find on formal nights, young girls wearing dresses that barely cover their knickers and plenty of what are called "porn shoes" being worn all topped off with the obligatory long fake eyelashes and excess make-up.   Lots of gents on Ventura simply refuse to wear tuxedos and dickie bows and instead turn up as if they were going to the office in a drab grey suit.   All perfectly within the dumbed down P&O dress code of course.   You'll have to experience this for yourself to fully appreciate it.  If a black tie night to you is one of refined elegance, poise and suaveness then you'll be disappointed on Ventura with its cheap ticket cabins.    Sail on Aurora and you'll see a different style completely but then you'll pay for that experience in the ticket price.  Ventura is cheap for a reason

 

 

 

Correct, no deck film screens.   Ventura does have a small film screen in one of its lounge areas called the Tamarind but as with just about all it's venues it is open plan and so there is a main walkway (one of the busiest on the ship) running right alongside it with people constantly talking and shouting as they go by.  The area as I said is also one of the main lounges so will constantly have people sitting there for drinks and chatting regardless of whether a film is being shown.  This is not imho a place to watch a relaxing film.   By comparison on Aurora there is a proper dedicated cinema, fully enclosed with proper tiered seating.  You get what you pay for.

 

 

Already done my best to hint to you what the passenger demographic is like on Ventura.   A "cheap seats" business model has its impact.    On Ventura I find that people will frequently barge into your lift before you've had chance to get out.  On other ships they politely wait to see if anyone needs to get out.  On Ventura people will grab a seat in the limited coffee bar area and settle in for an entire afternoon reading or knitting instead of being mindful of others who want a coffee.  It's the little things. 

 

You get the experience you pay for. 

.

You sound like you are describing 2 totally different cruise lines! We have sailed 3 times on Ventura and 3 times on Aurora as well as on other P and O ships(and with other cruise lines)It does make a difference that Ventura is a Family ship whereas Aurora is adult only but I think the Itinerary and length of cruise also make a difference.We would always choose the more interesting itinerary if it was a choice between the ships.I think one reason that Aurora is dearer is because there are fewer balcony cabins and I wouldn t want to go on a 3 or 4 day 'Party Cruise' on ANY ship but wouldn t have concerns about a longer cruise on Ventura- infact we have a 35 night cruise on her in Jan 2021!

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I totally agree with you Ann141 , never had a problem with Ventura and always found lots of people dressing up on formal nights , I suppose Everyone looks for something different on each ship and we also avoid the 2/3 days booze trips 

We are also on Ventura for 35 nights in Jan 2021 and looking forward to it 

 

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Never had a problem with Ventura and as a satisfied customer I suppose I must assume I am as described in a particular post. I think I have done all P&O ships and had a good holiday but didn't gel with Oceana unable to explain why. However this thread has set my amusement up for the day so very accurate (not) my word some folks need to get over themselves and no mistake.  

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6 hours ago, ccpm said:

Never had a problem with Ventura and as a satisfied customer I suppose I must assume I am as described in a particular post. I think I have done all P&O ships and had a good holiday but didn't gel with Oceana unable to explain why. However this thread has set my amusement up for the day so very accurate (not) my word some folks need to get over themselves and no mistake.  

Same thoughts here

Andy 

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Always make me chuckle when the same posters jump straight in to defend P&O when anyone makes any critique of it.

 

This whole site is dedicated to critiques of cruise lines and cruise reviews.  Those who post their views don't have agendas, they are posting their opinions.  Very poor show chaps.

 

 

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