Paul Hornby | September 20, 2021 | P&O Cruises | Iona
Having cruised with P&O amongst others for over 20 years, we were looking forward to sailing on Iona for the first time. Arriving at Southampton she looked magnificent. Boarding was relatively trouble free and the first impressions were good. We were immediately directed to the Coral Restaurant where we had our Baltic welcome back reception. The staff as always were welcoming and helpful.
Then we started our journey of discovery. First impressions were. “This ship is BIG.”
First impression of our room was “Spacious” however, on looking around there were no drawers, the wardrobes were too close to the bed making it difficult to get into them, there was no light on the balcony and there was no shaving socket in the bathroom.
The good side was the bed was very comfortable.
There would appear to be lots of choice with specialist dining venues however if you do not book on the first day you will be disappointed as we were.
The Coral and Pearl dining rooms were very spacious, the food was good and the service excellent providing the technology was working correctly.
The Horizon food was ok but should be avoided if you don’t like crowds.
We were too late to book the Olive Grove, but the Keel and Cow had great food.
The Quays had a good range of food and looked to be well used.
The Theatre was comfortable and the two new shows by the Headliners were spectacular. The Club House had great entertainment, but we always had difficulty in getting a seat.
The one big disappointment for us was the upper decks and the Skydome.
Bearing in mind that the ship was not full due to Covid, it was always difficult to get a sunbed after 9.30am and all areas felt cramped.
The Skydome had the atmosphere of an indoor swimming pool and would have benefited from a roof which opened. On an evening the poor acoustics made listening to the entertainment difficult.
Our favourite destination later in the evening has always been the Crow’s Nest
where we could sit in comfortable chairs, have a good Malt and a glass of the superb house red wine listening to a first-class pianist. Disappointingly on Iona, the ratio of comfortable chairs available to really relax in was poor, no decent Malts and House Red is not available. Andersons, which has always been the height of luxury have the same poor standard.
For younger people and those new to cruising, Iona will be spectacular and provide everything they might need however, for those of us who have experienced the older ships might have their expectations dampened by Iona where everything seems to be plastic, even the handrails.
The weeks cruise was not wasted as we had a good time for the price.
The Staff as always were brilliant, entertainment and food was good and the weather was a bonus however, we will be unlikely to book Iona in the future and stick to the smaller ships.
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