Not the ship for us
Frances Meakin | October 16, 2022 | P&O Cruises | Iona
Our first cruise since Covid and we were looking forward to the new ship Iona, but have to say it was just too big for us. We have cruised several times before and my favourite is the Azura.
The Iona’s atrium is more like an airport lounge, huge, cavernous and no atmosphere. The highly promoted Skydome was great for the acrobats but not great as a music venue as too much echo and the seating wasn’t appropriate.
I did like using the ‘My Holiday’ app for booking theatre seats and dining, it ensured you got a seat, I know some guests had problems with it but ours worked well.
I couldn’t fault the cabin stewards or restaurant staff the service was excellent. There was a lack of bar staff at busy times in some areas. We felt there was a huge lack of choice of cocktails and no ‘Cocktail of the Day’ as previously enjoyed. We did find out this was due to problems with supplies.
On the whole the entertainment was good, although it felt like P&O had just gone round all the tv talent shows, it did feel a bit repetitive but with 5000 passengers to entertain it must be difficult to give everyone a chance to see the acts. We missed having the P&O orchestra/band playing for the artists in the theatre as they had pre-recorded music that was so loud you could barely hear the singer’s at times and there was a lot of feedback from the mikes. The guest speaker Diane giving the lectures in the daytime was fantastic, the best we’ve heard.
The food was good on the whole, if the menu in the Horizon buffet lacked variety I did like the addition of the Quays for something different (that you didn’t have to pay extra for!)
The organisation of getting people on and off the ship in the ports was excellent.
Standards of cleanliness were very good.
Finally we did miss the Captains welcome speech, he did speak to us every day over the tannoy system but it’s not quite the same as having a face to the voice, it made it feel more impersonal.
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