P&O IONA – the ultimate ship tour of this huge ship – and the My Holiday App

The My Holiday app is not just going to happen, it is here. The large ships have to be controlled by science and the apps book the restaurants, order the drinks and help the ship re-stock as the passengers empty it. The tour is complete, it goes from bottom to top, and covers each area.

At the moment My Holiday help staff are based in the atrium. They will help those who are having difficulties. Both people and technology are having teething problems, but each day something new is learnt. On most occasions, the switch-on-switch-off answer is all it takes, or, log out of the WiFi, forget the WiFi, refind it, re-insert your details and you are off…  The restaurant staff in some venues can be sympathetic, but when there is a queue of people who booked using the app and have a set time or have been called to their table being ready, they are not happy if those in front of them are trying to wing it. Also, at the moment there is a chance to dial 7070 and book. So, the app is here, and it will expand. At the moment the app books many restaurants and some entertainment venues. It can also book spa and help with other actions.

If you like jazz-rock and music in small venues by great musicians, then the 710 Club is for you. The tunes and the programme are both repeated, so there is no need to book every night… it might be Gary Barlow’s club, but he does not play there. The 1215am is normally available, but that is in the next day’s programme, as it has gone midnight; that feels odd.

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Not everyone will be able to enjoy everything on the ship. Gary Barlow might play twice in the theatre, but that is only 900 seats x 2 = 1800 off 5200 guests. There are similar queues for restaurants and the Olive Grove is often the first to get fully booked. Our favourite foods were at the Glass House, the Beach House and the free fish and chips from Hook Line and Vinegar in the Quays. It is worth booking restaurants and entertainment as early as you can.

In 2022 there was no need to book the Clubhouse, the Keel and Cow steak house is often a walk up, and there may be queues for the late-night karaoke at the Limelight and the 4-screen cinema Ocean Studios. These are proper cinemas of screening room quality. Booking was required for the formal night in the Horizon buffet set as Chef’s Table.

Gary Barlow in concert up close and personal, if you are lucky enough to win a ticket in the charity raffle, is something that is hard to find anywhere else. It was with his band, there were no corners cut.

People do dress in the Iona. There is no need to dress in Brodie’s or the Casino. It is not the daunting ship we thought it might be. It could be argued that it is different to old-style cruising, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and met people who had been multiple times. We will go again, and we will go on the Queen Mary 2 again, they are two very different holidays. This ship is a huge hit, and the age group is mixed, but out of school holidays, it is more over fifty than under.

▬ Contents of this video ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

  • 00:00 In Lisbon
  • 00:10 Gary Barlow
  • 00:25 Medical Centre (3)
  • 00:35 Standard Cabin (4)
  • 00:52 Gym (5)
  • 01:02 Scene Teens (6)
  • 01:18 Headliners Theatre (6)
  • 01:32 Spa & Whitewall Gallery (6)
  • 01:45 Limelight Club (6)
  • 02:15 Atrium (6)
  • 02:22 Emerald Bar (6)
  • 02:32 My Holiday App ***
  • 03:15 Silent Disco (6)
  • 03:25 Vistas Coffee / Crossword (6)
  • 03:45 Emerald Bar Formal (6)
  • 04:11 7/10 Club (6)
  • 04:29 Harbour Shop (6)
  • 04:40 Andersons bar & Library (6)
  • 05:00 Ocean Studios 4 Screen Cinema (6)
  • 05:32 Aqua Restaurant (6)
  • 05:42 Opal Restaurant (6)
  • 06:10 Pearl Restaurant (6)
  • 06:31 Coral Restaurant (7)
  • 06:47 Loyalty Future Bookings (7)
  • 06:58 Excursion Desks (7)
  • 07:08 Shopping Mall (7)
  • 07:18 Iona T-Shirt ***
  • 08:01 Atrium Glass House (7)
  • 08:35 Reception (7)
  • 08:46 Photo Hub (7)
  • 08:56 Back Stage (7)
  • 09:06 Headliners Theatre (7)
  • 09:19 Brodie’s (7)
  • 09:49 Casino (7)
  • 10:01 Iona from rear (Exterior)
  • 10:11 Sunset Bar (8)
  • 10:24 Clubhouse (8)
  • 10:52 Bingo (8)
  • 11:16 Olive Restaurant (8)
  • 11:34 The Quays Food Hall (8)
  • 11:54 Fish and Chips (8)
  • 12:18 Sindhu (8)
  • 12:56 Ripples (8)
  • 13:17 Atrium Keel & Cow (8)
  • 13:56 Water Bootle fillers (8)
  • 14:07 Toilet Doors – automatic
  • 14:18 Pizza (Sky Dome) (16)
  • 14:32 Sky Dome (16)
  • 15:19 Beach House (16)
  • 15:57 Horizon Restaurant (Buffet) (16)
  • 16:24 Chef’s Table (Formal Served Buffet) (16)
  • 16:50 Grab & Go (16)
  • 17:00 Infinity Pool (16)
  • 17:34 Sundeck (17)
  • 17:51 Sail Away Busker Party (16)
  • 18:11 Epicurean (17)
  • 18:26 Crow’s Nest (17)
  • 18:48 Ref (17)
  • 19:03 Surfers (17)
  • 19:47 Deck Quoits & Table Tennis (17)
  • 20:01 Sun Terrace (19)
  • 20:19 Beachcomber Pool & Bar (18)
  • 20:51 Retreat (18)
  • 21:00 Sports Court (19) & Splash Zone (18)
  • 21:36 Jogging Track (18)
  • 21:51 Giant Chess (18)