In September 2023, I was lucky enough to enjoy a 7-night Fjords cruise onboard P&O Iona, so I thought I’d share with you some of my hints and tips so you can make the most of your time on this fabulous ship!

She’s a big ship!

This may sound like I’m stating the obvious a little bit, but Iona is one of the biggest ships to sail from Southampton, with over 30 bars and restaurants to choose from. Therefore, try as you might, you’ll never get to do everything in one 7-night cruise! As a result, I’d recommend doing some research before your P&O Cruise to prioritise what you’d love to do and book them in advance or as soon as you embark.

Dining options such as Sindhu, Olive Grove and the Chef’s Table are incredibly popular. As are early theatre shows or the 710 Club as a whole. This is not to say you won’t get a chance to enjoy these if you’re not proactive, but your choices may be limited somewhat or you may have to adjust your schedules a little!

Try the Olive Grove

Situated on deck 8, this is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and although it’s classed as an extra charge speciality restaurant, most of the food options are included within your cruise fare. Open at both lunch and dinner, it offers a fabulous array of sharing platters, pizzas and grill options with some equally tempting dessert options too! It offers a fun alternative to lunch or dinner, so I’d recommend giving it a go when you’re onboard! 

See aerial shows in the Sky Dome 

By day, the Sky Dome is Iona’s all-weather pool but at night, it transforms into an incredible space with standout performances by the Creativa. These talented aerial and acrobatic performers treat you to some stunning shows featuring some jaw-dropping choreography and set design! I’d recommend choosing the later showings when it’s pitch black outside as it really helps the special effects stand out.

Dine in Quays

Situated on deck 8, this is an alternative informal dining venue to the ship’s Buffet and is included within your fare.

Here you can enjoy the following;

  • Boardwalk Diner – serving Burgers and Hot Dogs
  • Hook Line and Vinegar – offering Fish and Chips
  • Asian Fusion – serving a range of Asian-inspired dishes

Now Asian Fusion was a personal favourite of mine as it offered something a little different to what I’d normally have at home! Breakfast is also served here and included a full-cooked breakfast, a pancake and waffle station as well as the chance to order freshly made omelettes too. This was perfect for those with cabins lower down in the ship so you didn’t have to go all the way up to Deck 16 for food

See the Limelights after hours

Now the Limelight Club is already a popular speciality restaurant offering a 3-course meal and then a performance from visiting entertainers however following this, you can enjoy a performance by the resident band ‘The Limelights’ as they cover a wide range of genres in their own style. I found it to be a great way to end the evening so I’d recommend visiting as it’s included within your fare!

Try the Chef’s Table

On Iona’s only formal ‘Celebration’ night, there’s the opportunity to dine at the Chef’s Table. This is an inclusive dining option which gives you the chance to enjoy some different dishes from what you get offered in the main dining rooms. This is held in a portion of the Horizon Buffet dressed appropriately for the occasion and I felt it was really fancy! The service was fantastic and was a great alternative if you’ve had a few celebration night dinners in the main dining rooms of a P&O Ship. I’d thoroughly recommend booking as it was lots of fun and the food tasted so good – especially the Beef Wellington…

Thank you!

So, there’s a section of my hints and tips for P&O Iona and I hope you found them useful! A massive thank you to for featuring me and I hope that you have a fantastic cruise on Iona, whatever you get up to!

Hey everyone and welcome to Cruising with Matthew! I've loved cruises from an early age. The ability to wake up every day in a new destination, whilst being on the most amazing of ships has kept me coming back year on year. Yet when I told people about my adventures, they seemed surprised as they thought cruises were ‘boring’ or ‘only for old people’. Therefore, the aim of Cruising with Matthew is to share ship tours as well the hints and tips I've learnt so people can have an idea as to what you can expect on these fabulous ships! I firmly believe that there’s a ship and cruise to suit every person’s style and budget so hopefully you find my posts useful!

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