Posts Tagged ‘P&O cruises’

Iona’s Maiden Cruise Almost Sold Out

September 12, 2018

Iona’s stylish inside cabin (Courtesy P&O)

P&O’s latest ship, Iona, has almost sold out for her maiden 9 night cruise to the Fjords on the 14th May 2019.

I say ‘almost’ because there are still some ‘Inside’ cabins available at the time of writing, but there are no sea-view, balcony or suites left.

Having said that I note that Iona has approximately 250 inside cabins, although I cannot be bothered to actually count (anyone?)

An inside cabin for the maiden cruise will currently cost from £2,114  for a couple (£117 pp, per night) – so hardly cheap. (And a room without a view in the picturesque Fjords is far from ideal).

Maiden cruises often sell out and this is potentially a very exciting big new ship. However I’d be very surprised in the other 18  Fjord itineraries (7 nights) sell out so quickly. Norway is very beautiful, but It’s hardly a mass-market/family-friendly/sunshine destination.

Malcolm

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Iona Deckplans Released

September 10, 2018

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P&O have just revealed the deckplans for their new ship, Iona, entering service in 2020.

The design of the ship is not particularly revolutionary, apart from being very big and having lots of cabins (for up to 6,600 passengers). In fact some aspects of the design are quite traditional.

The public decks span form 4 to 18, with no deck 13.

Iona has no real ‘gimmicks’, unlike RCI, NCL and MSC vessels which often do have.  P&O fans will welcome this.

Many of the public spaces are exactly what you might expect and are located where you might expect to find them.  However there is no single main restaurant, in keeping with P&O’s total adoption of ‘freedom-dining’ on-board this ship.

Here are a few initial observations:

  • There are four main restaurants: the ‘Pearl’ is at the stern of deck 7, on deck 6, directly below is the ‘Coral’ with the ‘Aqua’ and ‘Opal’ just forward of the Coral, located on the port and starboard sides. The latter two look smaller than the former two.
  • Horizon, the buffet, is located on deck 16.
  • There is one main theatre, located at the bow of deck 6/7, although I suspect other public spaces (Grand Atrium and maybe the Dome) will also host some entertainment.
  • Ocean Studios (deck 6) is a four screen cinema.
  • The Crows Nest, on deck 17 gives a forward over-the bow-view, which P&O regulars will enjoy.
  • The Dome on deck 18 (covered pool/public space) is a very impressive glass roof over a pool area. It will be ideal for the unpredictable UK climate.
  • Iona has an infinity pool aft on deck 16 (the Lido deck) which sister-ship, AIDAnova, doesn’t have. However I can imagine the demand will create some big queues.
  • Deck 8, (the Promenade deck) does feature a complete wrap-round promenade, always very popular with us Brits. It shows some outside dining – NCL ‘Waterfront’ style?
  • I’m told that there will be a Library somewhere (deck 7?) but it’s not on the plans.
  • I note that’s that the balcony sizes is not the same for all cabins in a given class. For example, the decks between the Promenade and the Lido – decks 9 to 15 inclusive, is wider in some and narrower in others, and balcony sizes can vary between these locations. You’ll need to be aware of this when booking.
  • I also note that there are some front facing smaller-balcony cabins (GE grade) located right the bow, overlooking it, on decks 10 11, 12 and 14. Such accommodation is often reserved for premium grade cabins on many ships. However I suspect that the balconies would often be too windy to use, even on a summers day, due to the forward movement of the ship.
  • There are a lot of inside cabins. I’ve not counted them properly, but there must be around 250, I estimate.  It would be nice to see a big ship that has none, but the opportunities for extra income generation is too tempting for the designers and the cruise line.

Malcolm

See Iona Deck plans HERE