Iona Review

Too Big for Us

Review for Europe Cruise on Iona
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2-5 Cruises • Age 70s

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Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

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Sail Date: Sep 2022

The idea of booking Iona was that we wanted a two-week cruise and the ship offered so much to see and do. What we failed to realize was of course, a ship that size takes a lot of passengers. Initially 5000 passengers have to disembark at more or less the same time as 5000 want to embark. The problem starts with traffic congestion for half a mile to the terminal and when you eventually get to the terminal, there are so many people with luggage and less than helpful porters this time. It is a scrum to get your luggage on your own to the conveyor belts. Once this is done boarding wasn't too bad. The Iona is a beautiful ship and is quite breath-taking walking round exploring for the first time. Lots of great restaurants and bars and the food was usually great. We felt the service was good but could have been better at times, but this was because of a shortage of staff. All the staff were excellent, but they were hard pushed to cope. Staff ratio to passengers could be improved. We didn't like the Freedom Dining experience much. Everything has to be pre booked on the app which at times didn't cope very well and it was hard to get a booking. All the specialty restaurants were excellent especially the Limelight and Sindhu. The worst is The Chefs Table. On Black Tie nights a section of the Beach House/Horizon Buffet is converted to the so-called special Chefs Table for a gourmet experience. Not so. You felt you were dressed up to the nines in a cafe. The food and service were better in the other restaurants. Here other passengers were walking up and down in their shorts or swimwear looking for the buffet. Waiters were slopping out on the table behind ours. Avoid! The Crow's nest is the best bar for Black Tie nights as it is Black Tie only. The Sky Dome was OK but almost impossible to get a seat unless you arrived an hour early. The Headliners in the theatre an absolutely stunning professional entertaining act. Better than the West End. Bravo! The Atrium offers amazing sea views in comfort but is all chrome and ceramic with little atmosphere and very little in the way of entertainment. The cabins were good, and we found them to be very comfortable. Thank you to our cabin steward who looked after us without any trouble. Please be aware if you are a jogger and you want to use the special track designed for you, that passengers who want to sunbathe will pull the sunloungers all across the track so you can't use it! Also, lots of reserving of loungers with towels for up to 4 hours before inconsiderate passengers actually using them. Lots of children on this ship despite not being half term because P&O are now targeting family cruising. Stick to the smaller fleet if you want peace and relaxation. Once again, a lovely ship, but too big and too many passengers for us personally.

Cabin Review

Very comfortable with a great bed and balcony. En suite good with a good shower unit.

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