We booked this cruise over 2 years ago as a special birthday celebration and COVID delayed it. In the meantime, we did another Iona cruise in January this year and that was lovely, but there were only 2500 passengers on board.
This time, fares had been heavily discounted by P&O to fill the ship and there were a significant number of younger, louder party goers aboard. There were no masks required anywhere, although we understood that masks were to be worn in the theatre. I love a party, but not when it spoils the enjoyment of others. Aboard other ships, there is a dedicated disco, or a party by the pool, great! On Iona there was a far from ‘Silent Disco’ in the Atrium where the participants wore headphones. The yelling, screaming and out of tune singing was awful. The speaker and shows were very good, but they were the same as we had in January! Daily entertainment was fairly non existent, unless you are a fan of banal quiz shows or talks about things you can buy in the shops.
The self service areas on deck 16 and deck 8 looked nice, but were heaving with people so we did not use them, preferring the calmer Coral Dining Room. The Eggs Benedict was the meanest I have ever encountered on a cruise ship, obviously designed by a accountant rather than a chef, as it had a 5cm disc of wafer thin ham with a poached egg and a teaspoon of hollandaise! Would I go on Iona again - sorry NO.