Just a little background: my wife and I have done about a dozen cruises over the past 20 years on a number of lines, including 3 previously on P&O, but our largest ship previously was Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas so Iona was a step up in size. We were also travelling with my parents, this was their very first cruise, so I’ve brought some of their impressions into my review below.
Covid Restrictions: The Covid protocols which the UK cruise lines are working to obviously affect the current cruise experience (including embarkation) but not to such an extent that it overly diminished the holiday.
Wearing masks whilst moving around inside becomes second nature, and compliance amongst the passengers was 100%. (The rule about wearing one in the theatre seems somewhat perverse as it is a large high-ceilinged location which I would have though was better from a ventilation and close-contact perspective than other venues such as the 710 club or the Limelight club where masks are not required. But hey-ho those are the current rules and I’m sure they will be relaxed over the coming months).
Cabins: We both had external staterooms on Deck 5. This was by far the largest standard Seaview cabin we’ve had and had (almost) everything you could want. Also very handy for the restaurants on 6 & 7 and the promenade on 8. (And most of the lifts start on 4 or 5 so never any trouble getting one, useful when tempted by another snack from the Horizon on Deck 16!)
Loved the window seat, the variety of lighting and the large well designed bathroom. Less good was the lack of a 2 pin socket, and the very poor selection of channel offerings on the TV. Still no location map (particularly missed on this kind of voyage) and no radio/music offerings either. (NOTE: I believe a location map has now been added to the meagre list of TV channels so hurrah for that. Still no physical chart on display anyway in the public areas though - surely space could be found for one somewhere?)