We spent a week away on our first Cruise on board the Ventura. Its not the first time I've been on a long sea journey, as I travelled with my family on the Union Castle ships from Mauritius via South Africa to the UK, a couple of times before the BOAC flights started in the early 1960's, so thereafter the journeys were made by plane .
Our car journey went smoothly, and we were truly impressed by the car parking arrangements. As we came to a halt just outside the embarkation point, we were met by the car parking company, driver and checker, and a porter appeared and all our luggage was taken away. Twenty minutes later we were on board! As our cases would not be at our room for an hour or so, we went exploring. We went and had a look at the swimming pools, both inside and outside.
By the time we had found our accommodation for the journey, our cases were by our door, and after unpacking, we make ourselves a coffee.
We were delighted by the spaciousness of our suite, which had a large living room as well as a balcony, and we loved the flowers, chocolates and champagne too.
We sat on our balcony as we left Southampton, and waved as we overtook Queen Mary as we sailed between the mainland and the Isle of Wight.
After a wonderful nights rest, no noise of any engines, no fumes, and very little motion, we spent the day exploring the ship, and getting used to what was going on in different areas. We also got ready for our first formal evening. Here I am in my white lace dress with hand knitted shawl. I ended up wearing the wrong dress to the wrong evening! We were to have two formal nights, and later that week we had our black and white theme, but I was not the only one not in white on the second evening, and Mr S said I looked lovely anyway.
We had elected for 'freedom' dining, which meant we turned up to our restaurant when it suited us. If we wanted a table to ourselves and had to wait, we were given a bleeper, and after a little while at a cabaret, our bleeper let us know that we could go into dinner. Otherwise we accepted to share and met some great fellow diners, each time sitting with different people.
The staff were very courteous, efficient and seemed to read our minds as to what would please us. The meals were better than I could have hoped for, and the entertainment was better than most I have enjoyed during my whole life. Our cabin was 'seen' to several times a day, and although we could have had a full choice of meals brought to our room, we elected to 'walk out'. Each evening we went to the theatre, as well as some dancing and cabaret...we were really spoilt.