Welcome to our honest review of the P&O 1 Week Iona Norwegian Fjords Cruise.
In this article, we review the various aspects of our cruise experience, offering insights and firsthand experiences to help you make an educated decision about your future voyage. From the culinary offerings and accommodations to the onboard entertainment and shore excursions, we provide an unbiased account of what you can expect during your time aboard P&O Iona in 2024.
Let us be your guide as we navigate through the remarkable landscapes, experiences, and memories that await on this incredible journey through the Norwegian Fjords.
Food: Satisfactory Selection, Familiar Menus
The food onboard the P&O cruise ship provided a satisfactory dining experience, though nothing truly exceptional stood out. It is important to note that four of the restaurants aboard the ship had identical menus, despite their varied settings. Therefore, while you may be seated at different venues throughout the ship, the food options remained the same.
Among the dining options, the Keel & Kow Steakhouse restaurant stood out as our favorite onboard. This restaurant required an additional fee, but the delicious steak offerings made it well worth the extra expense.
Additionally, the Beachhouse and Olive Grove restaurants were two hidden gems that demanded an extra charge but were undoubtedly worth every penny. The Beachhouse offered a tasty array of American and Caribbean dishes, while the Olive Grove showcased the rich flavors of Mediterranean cuisine.
While the overall food experience was satisfactory, it would have been more enjoyable to have greater diversity in menu options and unique dining experiences across the ship. Nonetheless, the presence of standout restaurants like the Keel & Kow, Beachhouse, and Olive Grove ensured that culinary delights were never far away for those willing to explore beyond the standard fare.
Rooms: Exceeding Expectations in Comfort and Amenities
The accommodations on the P&O cruise ship were a pleasant surprise, exceeding our expectations. Opting for a standard balcony room provides ample space and comfort.
The rooms were well-equipped, featuring a minifridge, television, sofa, and a desk area. Ample wardrobe space allowed for easy organization, and the wide selection of movies on the television ensured entertainment during the downtime. The beds were comfortable, and we had a good night’s sleep throughout the journey.
Additionally, it is worth noting that the televisions in the rooms did not have access to Netflix or other streaming services. However, this wasn’t a significant drawback, considering the wide range of movies available on the television, which provided ample entertainment options. For those who desired a more personalized selection, we would recommend downloading movies onto your laptop before embarking on the cruise. This way, you can enjoy your preferred movies at your leisure.
Onboard Entertainment: Few Options with Room for Improvement
While the entertainment onboard the ship may not have been specifically tailored for young adults, this was something we expected and were prepared for. However, we really enjoyed the top deck. Here, we found a selection of sports and games that catered to everybody. Whether it was a friendly basketball match, a competitive game of table tennis, testing our skills on the giant chessboard, going for a run, or practicing our swing on the golf simulator, there was no shortage of fun activities to partake in.
Additionally, the ship’s gym proved to be a welcomed addition for those looking to maintain their fitness routines while cruising. Fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, the gym offered everything one needed for a comprehensive workout. What made the experience even more enjoyable was the breathtaking sea views that could be enjoyed while using the cardio machines.
For those seeking relaxation and pampering, the onboard spa provided a sanctuary of tranquility. While the prices were a little on the higher side, the spa treatments were still a pleasant indulgence. However, it’s worth mentioning that the staff could be quite pushy when it came to upselling additional products during our treatments. Despite this, the thermal spa onboard the ship was a standout feature that we highly recommend. This oasis of relaxation included a sauna, steam room, salt room, and jacuzzi, providing a rejuvenating and soothing experience after a day of exploration.
Shore Excursions: A Key Highlight, Planning is Key
The shore excursions stood out as some of the best experiences during our trip. However, we quickly learned that planning these excursions in advance is crucial to making the most of your time ashore. By avoiding booking directly with P&O and instead opting to book with tour operators when disembarking from the ship, you are able to save money and have more flexibility in selecting your preferred tours.
It’s important to note that the availability of these direct bookings is subject to the tour operators’ schedules, but rest assured, there are always options available for those who are not too particular about which tours to take. While some ports may offer limited activities beyond leisurely strolling around the towns, booking shore excursions provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the local culture, history, and natural wonders.
One of our most memorable excursions took place in the port of Olden. Here, we embarked on an awe-inspiring adventure by taking a skylift ride on one of the steepest lifts in the world. The ascent offered breathtaking views of the surrounding Norwegian Fjords, showcasing the sheer grandeur and magnificence of the landscape. It was a truly enjoyable experience that left a lasting impression and added a touch of adrenaline to our journey.
Staff & Service: Friendly and Helpful
One of our favourite aspects of our P&O 1 Week Iona Norwegian Cruise was the exceptional staff members onboard. From the moment we stepped foot on the ship, it was clear that the crew was dedicated to ensuring a pleasant experience for every guest. They consistently went above and beyond, working tirelessly to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of passengers.
The staff’s friendly and approachable nature created a warm and welcoming atmosphere throughout the ship. From the dining venues to the cabins and common areas, their genuine smiles and willingness to assist made us feel valued and appreciated as guests. No matter the request or inquiry, they were always quick to respond and provide helpful assistance.
While tipping is not mandatory on P&O cruises, we would strongly encourage leaving a gratuity for the hardworking staff. Their dedication and commitment to providing exceptional service deserve recognition and appreciation. Tipping is a personal decision, but it can be a meaningful gesture to express gratitude for the outstanding efforts put forth by the staff members who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a smooth and enjoyable cruise experience for everyone.
Price: Good Value for a Unforgettable Journey
Considering the overall experience, the P&O cruise offers exceptional value for money. While additional expenses such as water, snacks, dining at specialty restaurants, and extras like photographs are to be expected, the initial price of the cruise itself, coupled with the quality of the accommodations, dining options, shore excursions, and fantastic service, make the investment worthwhile.
Guests should budget accordingly and prepare for the added expenses, but rest assured that the overall value received far exceeds the additional costs. The memories and experiences gained from a P&O cruise are truly priceless.
The P&O 7-day Iona Norwegian Fjords Cruise offers a satisfying and memorable journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Norwegian Fjords. With comfortable accommodations, standout dining options like the Keel & Kow steakhouse, and a range of onboard activities including sports on the top deck and a well-equipped gym, there is plenty to enjoy.
Planning shore excursions in advance and booking directly with tour operators proves to be a money-saving strategy, while the helpful and friendly staff adds to the overall experience.
Although some minor drawbacks exist, the cruise provides excellent value for money, allowing guests to indulge in relaxation, exploration, and unforgettable moments amidst the stunning scenery of the Norwegian Fjords.