Max Adams | April 12, 2023 | P&O Cruises | Iona
My partner and I recently went on a cruise on Iona to the Canaries. As a new cruiser I was amazed at the design and detail on the ship plus the sheer size. What a vessel. It performed brilliantly and had so many innovative features.
The staff were very attentive and helpful and the communication from the Bridge good. Some of the items on the television were very informative but not as good as they could have been. Where are the menus for the many restaurants?
My partner has been on 14 other P&O cruises and advised what a fabulous time we were to have on this one. Sadly, I was underwhelmed by some obvious omissions. For instance: the unwelcome “Freedom Dining” app does not work. I could not load onto my phone and was one of many that experienced a similar difficulty. A very helpful staff member loaded our phones for us and then we had to book a restaurant! What a fiasco! Having requested a sitting for 6pm the app kept advising our booking was for 9pm. We went to the booking desk and lo and behold, we had a booking for 6pm almost immediately. This was not a one-off event.
Why not get the system working correctly? Why is there not a search bar into which you place your request, and the app accurately tells you which establishments have a vacancy at the required time. Much more user friendly.
A major disappointment I had, were the charges made for drinks: a can of Coke £3.25, a bottle of Pinot Grigio£26.00. These are amounts not charged in some London hotels. All alcohol is tax free as it has gone through the bonded warehouses. Why exhort such prices from a captive audience?
We heard the Captain but never saw him!
Disembarkation was another disappointing event. To place 5000 people all at once with up to 20,000 bags into a warehouse and expect no frustrated passengers is particularly annoying. Releasing passengers by deck would be more sensible.
A suggested list of improvements:
• No bathrobes (we purchased some at £20.00 each!)
• Not enough glasses (we had to ask for more)
• No storage for cases
• No electric shaver point
• No shower mat
• No ice bucket or provision for ice on corridors
• Couch so large that wardrobe doors kept hitting.
• We were advised 4 Gala Nights (in fact only one per week).
Sadly, I do not think I shall book another P&O cruise despite the beautiful ship and helpful staff. I certainly came away with the feeling that I had been ripped off.
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