Good to be back cruising
Andrew Fox | November 1, 2022 | P&O Cruises | Iona
First cruise post-covid so we were expecting a few minor changes and irritants. Check in was as swift as ever: taking a photo at home for security a minor hassle, but it speeded check in.
Iona is an excellent ship, but some aspects of its running could be better…
…the extra dining venues (compared to Britannia), Olive Grove and The Quays were excellent, but the main buffet area,Horizon, seemed to offer less choice than before. The MDRs were ok, but as there are four, couldn’t one be reserved for those that like more formality? Similarly for groups? Like Horizon, the menus seemed lacking compared to 2019 and earlier. Also, formal nights seemed somewhat subdued: could something be done to make formal nights (now down to just two) more special? Hopefully this, and the toned down sail aways will improve as covid becomes fully accepted.
Cabins were as expected. Small but adequate. Cleaning frequency was reduced due to CV, but not to the detriment of cleanliness.
Entertainment, especially the Headliners, was much improved on previous experience (quality has declined noticeably through the 2010s) and the new 710 club was excellent. Skydome, a welcome additional venue.
Unlike Britannia, there are plenty of lifts. Rarely experienced much of a delay getting one.
I’m not convinced with the myHoliday app and the need to book just about anything. That said, it was simple to use and we didn’t miss out on anything we wanted to see. I suspect that in future that might not be the case.
Overall, Iona is a great ship. Being big allows for additional facilities and more to do on a sea day. The main negatives could be down to covid protocols or cost cutting, hopefully it’s the former.
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