We have already made arrangements for the 'after Christmas' part of our British Winter getaway by arranging a land tour of the whole of India, after we enjoyed our brief visits there earlier this year for both of us, and also during Autumn last year for Margaret and our daughter, who was working there at the time. The flights are booked, the itinerary is arranged with our Indian agent, and our daughter is now just putting in the final touches by finalizing outstanding hotel bookings with the Vivanta by Taj group, see: http://www.vivantabytaj.com/. After some less than perfect experiences relating to quality that we felt we had experienced on our Winter getaway last year, we decided to try something different than ocean cruising, and we both liked the idea of India again.
However, after a couple of months spent communicating with the company, we have now made our peace with P+O Cruises. We have concluded that, like all UK based companies at present, they may be experiencing very difficult trading conditions, and it is our belief that this may have been a major factor in what we believed happened to us. At the end of my world cruise review I stated that although we probably wouldn't book another one of those until the market had settled down, we would consider one of the very reasonable offers that are currently available, again, probably due to the current state of the market. This is exactly what we have now done. We have decided to choose a completely different ship this time, one that is much larger than Oriana, (69,000 tonnes). Also the duration is completely different to our other Winter cruises, and takes place during October, before Christmas, and should be a very different experience.
|P+O Cruises Ventura at Civitaveccia, Rome. Image courtesy of 'Rapidfire', Wikipedia.|
Ventura was built in Italy, and at 116,017 tonnes and 291.4 metres long, she is the largest of the current 7 ships in the P+O fleet, the sister ship of Azura. Her maiden voyage was on 18th April 2008, after being named by Dame Helen Mirren. The itinerary for this trip will be Southampton-Barcelona-Monte-Carlo-Isle of Elba-Rome, from Civitaveccia-Naples-Alicante-Gibralter-Southampton. Excursions have already been booked for classical Rome, and Pompeii.
I hope to be able to update a port diary here, just as I did between January and April this year.