A beautiful ship but will not be sailing on Iona again
Lyn Bowley | December 6, 2021 | P&O Cruises | Iona
We booked Iona with friends specially to experience this new ship, travelling to the Canaries 13/11.
We were impressed with our cabin(standard balcony) very roomy and lovely comfortable bed and pillows.
All staff excellent, particularly in the Freedom Dining room Pearl, there was a distinct lack of officer presence around the ship and there was no relationship with the Entertainment Officer at all. We appreciate this was possibly due to covid rules but it meant there was a definite lack of atmosphere around the ship.
Our meals in Pearl were excellent but unfortunately for anyone who like us are Glass House and Sindhu regulars they were a big disappointment.
The Glass House only serves Tapas(which was delicious on the night we visited), there was a limited choice of wines which was again really disappointing. To be fair choice of wines was poor in all the bars, Sindhu had drastically changed, only one menu, separate prices for every course but for 3 courses it was approx £30 per person with no little extras. (Drinks on top)
The staff member serving us said they were aiming for a more contemporary choice obviously assuming that us four 69 year olds were not the client group they were aiming for. It wasn’t the usual Sindhu experience we were looking forward to.
We did not try the Epicurean on this cruise, just to add about the situation of the Glass House and Keel and Cow in the Atrium on two levels felt very Cafeteria-ish and was very noisy on all 3 levels due to a very noisy pianist so conversation was limited.
Entertainment in the Headliners Theatre was generally really good but the App created a lot of problems for people because it would say fully booked when in fact there was always plenty of free spaces. We went to the sky dome on two occasions which really looks spectacular but the acoustics for singers was appalling, we could not recognise the songs even though it was very loud and unfortunately left the venue feeling sorry for the acts.
The App had to be used for everything so we felt The Freedom of a cruise holiday was taken away because everyone was either walking around checking their phone or sat checking for restaurant availability.
We feel this will now be a permanent fixture, P&O will think it’s great but there weren’t many passengers we spoke to who felt it was great.
We are very capable of using the My Cruises App but many weren’t and found the experience stressful.
To summarise, we are sure lots of people will love the Iona for many reasons but we did not feel as loyal P&O passengers that we were actually on a P&O ship.
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