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Sailing On Iona: First Impressions

25 November 2021


After being delayed several months due to coronavirus, P&O Cruises newest fleet member, Iona, took to the sea for the first time in summer 2021. Hundreds of our customers and several staff members have been lucky enough to sail onboard this brand-new ship. Whether you've already booked your Iona cruise or you're thinking about doing so and would like to know what to expect, here's what our guests and staff thought.

1. Guests Loved The Ship's Atmosphere And Design

We have had resoundingly positive feedback about Iona's decor and interior design. Each of the public spaces has a unique design and atmosphere, and the Atrium is particularly popular with its vast picture windows offering stunning ocean views.

When it comes to accommodation, the cabins are well appointed with modern fresh decor, and are elegant and chic with ample storage. Watch the Balcony Cabin tour video below to see what we mean!

2. The Cuisine Is Varied And Of A High Standard

With 17 restaurants to choose from you really are spoiled for choice on P&O Cruises Iona. From the elegant Main Dining Rooms to all-day dining at the Horizon Restaurant or unforgettable meals at the ship's specialty restaurants, you'll be able to dine on something different every day.

P&O Iona main dining rooms
Dining Room

Special mentions must be given to The Prime Minister Burger in the Keel and Cow which is billed as ‘the best burger at sea’ and certainly lived up to the hype, and the ever-popular Sindhu Indian speciality restaurant which has more space than ever before.

There was also a particular thumbs up for the excellent range of gluten free options, while guests also found that vegetarians and vegans were well catered for on board.

3. On Board Entertainment Was A Highlight

No two nights are the same on P&O Cruises Iona. From the variety of bars to live entertainment to suit all tastes, you can spend your evenings however you choose on this fantastic ship. ‘Festival’, the show in Headliners Theatre, was a hit amongst guests, as was Triboo. A unique acrobatic show in Iona's SkyDome, this daring spectacle is a must-watch during your time on the ship.

P&O Iona theatre

As well as these live shows, guests also loved the live music on Iona. From the resident band and DJ's in The Club House to relaxing piano tunes in The Crow's Nest, guests were impressed by the variety of genres and venues on offer.

4. There Was Plenty Of Opportunity For Rest And Relaxation

Just like with dining and entertainment, there are so many different ways to relax during the day on Iona. It's no surprise that the Infinity pool was hugely popular amongst our guests who loved the uninterrupted views across the ocean. There are also 2 additional pools on Iona, providing a great selection of lounging areas and spots to take a dip.

P&O Iona pools

For the ultimate relaxation, guests loved The Retreat and the Oasis Spa. If you are looking to get away from it all, The Retreat is an exclusively for adults sundeck on deck 18. It has 2 whirlpools and luxury sun loungers and it is situated at the front of the ship. A charge applies for access to this area, but food and drinks are included.

Meanwhile, the Oasis Spa is stunning and offers a full range of treatments. It's worth looking out for the daily deals while you are onboard. There is also a Thermal Suite found on Deck 6 and here, for an extra charge, you can enjoy the hydrotherapy pool with massaging jets, heated loungers, experiential showers, therapeutic sauna and sensory steam rooms.

5. Sport and Fitness

As well as the variety of places to relax and unwind on Iona, guests also enjoyed the state-of-the-art gym with its spacious layout, all the latest equipment and a good range of classes, such as pilates and spin sessions. There is also a running track on deck 18 for those who like to be out in the fresh air.

P&O Iona sports courts
Sports Courts

As well as the gym and running track, the Sports Deck on deck 19 proved to be popular, and guests were impressed by the variety of sports on offer, including a multi-use pitch for football, basketball and more, as well as golf and archery.

6. New travel protocols

As well as the ship's offering when it came to on board facilities, guests also gave good reviews of the additional measures which have been put in place following the coronavirus pandemic. Covid testing at port was well managed and once on the ship, covid protocols such as mask wearing, cleaning and social distancing were strict and effective.

Now you know what to expect when it comes to a cruise on P&O Cruises latest ship, browse our fantastic Iona cruise deals and book your next holiday.

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