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Iona Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
38 reviews

Iona, Nice ship but the P+O money making machine is out of control. Time for a change to another cruise line.

Review for Iona to Europe
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2021

First of all, we are / we're Loyal P+O cruisers so having last cruised in Jan 2020, we were desperate for a break so we booked the Iona southern short break down to northern Spain, up the coast of France and past the Channel Islands. The covid pre boarding testing drive through was fairly straightforward, a swab of the nose only and drive to the port to await a text of negative or if unlucky positive! Dump the luggage at the terminal with the porters and join the queue for entry to the terminal to jump through a series of hoops, being asked the same question each time. Time from testing to boarding 1.5hrs, not bad!

The ship is huge, you do need the map to find various venues but it is a fairly similar layout to most cruise ships, atrium in the middle, main dining restaurants at the back, theatre at the front etc.

I would not want to be on Iona when it is full, 5200 passengers because you would have nill chance in getting a sunbed, it would be hours to get into a freedom dining restaurant, so you'll have to go to one of the "extra charge" restaurants or the buffet! Some of the speciality restaurants were great like the olive Grove, epicurean, but the beach house was disappointing with a limited menu and poor quality food. Sindu had great food but was lacking in style and atmosphere, no Asian detailing to define it. The Keel and Cow was very disappointing nothing like a "gastro pub" and my food was luke warm and the equivalent of a weatherspoons, poor and cost £28.00. The price of drinks on board are about the same as a pub at home so no shocks there. The quality of P+O's food from a few years ago is POOR, they need to do much better or we're not sailing with them anymore. In my opinion the grand atrium was not that grand compared with Britannia, it did have a very open and light feel to it though, and the glass house didn't have that intimate feel about it, just an area with in the atrium "called the glass house" . Shame! The buffet restaurant was o.k , with plenty of seating so finding a seat at busy times was not a problem. The food selection was o.k but not its usual serve yourself but that is to be expected during the covid pandemic! On to the cabin, we had a standard balcony cabin on deck 15 and it was great. The bathroom had a nice size shower and plenty of storage for all the wife's toiletries but was let down by the lack of a shaver socket to charge the toothbrush! The balcony was of a decent size much bigger than Britannia with two recliner chairs and a table , it was totally secluded from the cabins either side. The TV was particularly disappointing as no ships current position, nearly non existent TV channels, no radio channels, and in my opinion a load of second rate films, continual freezing of the picture, and once again not a patch on some of the other ships in the fleet. Considering that this is a brand new state of the art ship they have penny pinched, such a shame. I was annoyed that the cabin service now has a delivery charge of £2.50 and almost all of the food available was chargeable, something else that was free has now gone! Tight wads P+O. Top of the ship is the Sky Dome which is a lovely arena which will be fab when travelling to colder climates, But the sound system coupled with the dome makes for TERRIBLE sound, I feel for the vocal acts. "Note" if you are going on Iona and plan to visit the Limelight club, Book this as the first thing you do when you get on the ship because by the end of the first day it will be fully booked for the whole week!!! "Note 2" the 710 club is small but brilliant and fills up instantly, so you have to queue at least 45mins before the show to be sure of a seat. The Headliners theatre shows are truly excellent but you have to book for a performance via the my holiday app on your own smartphone, so if you don't have one I don't know what you do?

Cabin Review

Nice and New.

Port Reviews


Local to us and familiar. Easy parking.

37 Helpful Votes
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