Karon Burdett | April 9, 2023 | P&O Cruises | Iona
We boarded Iona from Southampton very smooth boarding. We only booked 20 days before cruising and could only get an inside stateroom only ever had a balcony before. We were impressed with the size and because of the time of year and travelling through the English Channel up to Madeira we didn’t miss it. To eat in any of the restaurants except for the horizon we had to book on an app on our phone. You couldn’t pre-book a specific time but had to go into a queue, you were then notified through the app when your table was ready you then had 15 minutes to turn up for your table. So you spend so much time keep checking your phone it takes the enjoyment out of your pre-dinner drinks. The app is also used to pre-book entertainment. We found that a lot of the entertainment was showing fully booked but were told by a staff member to try turning up because people book everything then decide on what they want to see. The Entertainment was amazing and we were even lucky enough to get to see Gary Barlow who did 2 charity performances. We found the food in the additional charge restaurants to be excellent but the food in the main dining rooms very poor and repetitive. We tried the retreat (for a extra charge of £40 per person a day ) which is a private lounging area on deck with 2 Jacuzzi’s which wasn’t a patch on any of the others we have used on other cruise lines.
Very inattentive staff and no explanation of how things worked. The ship was at full capacity but didn’t feel too busy. We had some rough weather on our return journey but the captain kept us updated and we felt assured by this.
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