P&O Iona cabins: How to choose the best one

P&O Iona cabins: How to choose the best one

8th June 2020 71 By Cruise Mummy
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Choosing the right cabin for your cruise is always an important decision. If you’re booking a cruise on P&O Cruises’ new ship, read on for all the information you need to choose the best cabins on Iona.

Iona cabin types

There are four main cabin types to choose from on Iona:

  • Inside cabins – Single, standard or larger
  • Outside cabins – Standard
  • Balcony cabins – Single, smaller, standard or deluxe
  • Suites – Conservatory mini-suite, family sea view suite or suite

Inside cabins

Iona has three types of inside cabin:

  • Single inside – 101 sq. ft. (1 person)
  • Standard inside – 135 sq. ft. (2 to 4 people)
  • Larger inside – 190 sq. ft. (2 to 4 people)
P&O Iona inside cabin

Inside cabins are the cheapest cabins and are perfect for those on a budget or who prefer to spend their time experiencing the ship rather than being in their cabin.

Iona’s inside cabins are between 101 and 190 square feet in size, with accessible inside cabins being 213 square feet in size.

Single inside cabins sleep only one passenger. The standard and larger inside cabins each sleep up to four passengers, with the third passenger on a single sofa bed and the fourth passenger in a Pullman bed.

Sugested read: What is a Pullman bed on a cruise ship?

Sea view cabins

Also known as outside cabins, the sea view cabins on Iona are a great choice because, at 210 square feet, they are larger than both the standard inside and standard balcony cabins.

The accessible sea view cabins on Iona are 307 square feet, providing ample space for a wheelchair.

Sea view cabins have a window which allows you to check the weather before getting dressed in the morning. P&O Cruises have not yet released any photos of the sea view cabins on Iona, so we do not know how larger the window is. Some cruise ships have porthole windows, others have large picture windows.

If you’re on a budget but are worried about feeling claustrophobic, a sea view cabin is a good compromise between a cheap inside cabin and a pricier balcony room.

Balcony cabins

Iona has four sizes of balcony cabins:

  • Single balcony – 107 sq. ft. (1 person)
  • Smaller balcony – 150 sq. ft. (1 or 2 people)
  • Standard balcony – 170 sq. ft. (2 to 4 people)
  • Deluxe balcony – 226 sq. ft. (2 to 4 people)

Please note that these are approximate sizes. If you book an accessible cabin, it will be larger and there will be enough space to accommodate a wheelchair.

Iona’s balcony cabins all have patio-style doors leading on to a private balcony where you can watch the world go by.

P&O Iona balcony cabin

Iona balcony cabins range in size from 107 square feet for single balcony cabins up to 226 square feet for deluxe balcony cabins and 362 square feet for accessible cabins.

Single balcony cabins accommodate one passenger, smaller balcony cabins accommodate two passengers, whilst standard and deluxe balcony cabins sleep two to four passengers.

Conservatory mini-suites

Conservatory mini-suites are only available on Iona. This exciting new cabin option includes a conservatory area with an L-shaped sofa in between the bedroom and the balcony.

P&O Iona conservatory cabin

Iona has 95 of these conservatory cabins which are approximately 274 square feet in size and sleep up to four passengers.

Take a look at this video to see more of a conservatory mini-suite:

What’s inclued in a mini-suite?

The conservatory mini-suites on Iona do not come with any of the benefits or perks that you get with a P&O Cruises suite, so in this sense, they are more like larger balcony cabins rather than suites. If you want to be treated like a VIP, you should go for a suite rather than a conservatory mini-suite.


Suites on Iona are located on the corner of decks 9 to 15, offering large wraparound balconies with views from the front or rear of the ship.

Iona has two Family Sea View Suites which are on the Promenade Deck. These are a little smaller than the other forward suites and they do not have balconies.

Each of Iona’s suites is between 434 and 530 square feet in size and sleeps two to four people with a separate living area.

As well as the larger size, booking a suite comes with a whole host of perks including priority boarding, butler service and lots of fresh fruit, chocolates and canapes.

You can read more about Iona’s suites in this article from CruisewithAmber.co.uk

Special cabin types on Iona

Family cabins

Each cabin on Iona sleeps between one and four people. Three berth cabins have a single sofa bed. Four berth cabins have a single sofa bed and a Pullman bed which comes down from the ceiling.

Families of five or more must be accommodated in two cabins on Iona. Connecting cabins are available. These have a door between them so that families of five to eight people or those who require a little more space can move easily between the cabins.

Children under the age of 16 years must share a cabin with an adult. You cannot put children in their own cabin unless it is interconnecting.

The best cabins for families on Iona are:

  • Larger inside cabins
  • Sea view cabins
  • Deluxe balcony cabins
  • Conservatory mini-suites
  • Family sea view suites

Single cabins

The single cabins on Iona can be found in various locations across the ship. Whilst some ships place all the single cabins together to make it easier for solo travellers to meet, on Iona this is not the case.

Suggested read: P&O Cruises with no single supplement

Accessible cabins

Iona has several adapted cabins which are suitable for wheelchair users. There’s a choice of all cabin types and these are often located close to the lifts. These cabins are always in high demand so if you require a disabled cabin you should book your cruise as early as possible.

Choosing the best cabin

I’ve created a handy checklist to help you know what to look our for when picking a cruise cabin. Just pop your email in the form below to get a copy delivered to your inbox straight away.

Iona cabin grades

Cabin grades are used to group similar cabins together for pricing purposes. Each P&O Cruises cabin is assigned a two-letter cabin grade code (e.g. GF). The cabin grades are shown in different colours on the deck plan.

Click to see Iona deck plan (opens in a new window)

The key to decoding the Iona cabin grades is to know that the first letter refers to the type of cabin (e.g. standard balcony) and the second letter refers to the location of that cabin on the ship (e.g. high deck, towards the front).

Note that decks may be high, mid or low. On each deck, cabins may be located forward, mid-forward, midship, mid-aft or aft (at the rear).

Table of P&O Iona cabin grades:

Cabin Type1st Letter of Grade
Conservatory Mini-suiteC
Deluxe BalconyE
Balcony / Smaller BalconyG
Sea ViewL
Larger InsideO
Single BalconyQ
Single InsideS

Cabin Location2nd Digit of Grade
Mid decks. Midship location.A
All decks. Mid-forward, mid or mid-aft locationB or V
High or low decks. Mid-forward or mid-aft location.C or W
Mid decks. Aft location.D or 4
All decks. Forward or aft locationE, Y or 5
High or low decks. Forward location.F, Z or 6

Iona cabin sizes

Iona has a cabin for everyone, with sizes ranging from inside cabins that are a little over one hundred square feet to suites which are more than five times as large. For reference, it may help to know that a king size mattress is 42 square feet.

The approximate sizes of Iona cabins are:

  • Inside single – 101 sq. ft.
  • Inside standard – 135 sq. ft.
  • Inside larger – 190 sq. ft.
  • Sea view standard – 210 sq. ft.
  • Balcony single – 107 sq. ft.
  • Balcony smaller – 150 sq. ft.
  • Balcony standard – 170 sq. ft.
  • Balcony deluxe – 226 sq. ft.
  • Conservatory mini-suite – 274 sq. ft.
  • Family sea view suite – 330 sq. ft.
  • Suite – 434 to 530 sq. ft.

The best cabins on Iona

Everybody has different priorities when choosing a cabin. For some, the cheapest cabin is the best. Others want the biggest cabin or the cabin in the best location so that they don’t have to walk too far. It’s very much a personal choice.

The best balcony cabins on Iona

There are some balcony cabins on Iona which have much bigger balconies than others of the same grade (and therefore the same price). If you like a large balcony, these are definitely worth looking out for.

In the image below, the pink and purple cabins are standard balcony cabins. Some of these have much bigger balconies than others, for the same price. In fact, 17219 will be cheaper than 17305 because it is further forward, even though the balcony is five times as large!

best balcony cabins on Iona

Click here to see the Iona Deck Plan (opens in a new window)

Here is a list of the cabins on Iona which have the largest balconies:

  • 9236
  • 9239
  • 9320 (sleeps 3)
  • 9321
  • 10238
  • 10245 (sleeps 3)
  • 10320
  • 10321
  • 10509 (sleeps 3)
  • 10514 (sleeps 4)
  • 11242 (sleeps 4)
  • 11243
  • 11320
  • 11321
  • 11514 (accessible)
  • 11515 (sleeps 3)
  • 11711
  • 11712
  • 12242
  • 12255
  • 12320
  • 12321
  • 12514 (accessible)
  • 12515 (sleeps 3)
  • 12711
  • 12712
  • 14242
  • 14255
  • 14320
  • 14321
  • 14512
  • 14515 (sleeps 3)
  • 14711
  • 14712
  • 15242
  • 15253
  • 15316
  • 15317 (sleeps 4)
  • 15514
  • 15515
  • 15711
  • 15712
  • 16242
  • 16253
  • 16320
  • 16321 (sleeps 4)
  • 17317
  • 17320

The best inside cabins on Iona

Inside cabins on Iona are either square or rectangular. The rectangular cabins sleep only two people whereas most of the square cabins sleep for or five.

If there are only two people in your cabin, it’s a good idea to book a cabin that sleep two so that you won’t have the Pullman bed. This also leaves these cabins free for families who need them.

Similarly, if you don’t need interconnecting cabins then try not to book one. The door between the two cabins is never quite as soundproof as a wall. Plus, having an interconnecting cabin could be a big deal for a larger family.

Iona cabins to avoid

There are some also cabins on Iona which you may want to avoid…

1. Noisy cabins on Iona

The main thing which is likely to annoy cruisers on any ship is noise when they are trying to sleep.

If you like an early night, you’ll want to avoid any cabins which are directly above the Headliners Theatre. These are numbered 8140 – 8235. Shows are on until around 11.30 pm so avoid booking one of these cabins if you like to go to sleep before this time.

The Club House is Iona’s nightclub which is likely to be playing music until the early hours. Cabins directly above the nightclub are numbered 9701 – 9744 .

2. Cabins with overlooked balconies

Promenade Deck cabins on Iona are most unusual and you may wish to avoid them.

The Promenade Deck is located on Deck 8 and enables passengers to walk all the way around the outside of the ship. On the Promenade Deck, you’ll find outside dining areas, bars, hot tubs… and cabin balconies!

The image below shows part of Deck 8. The light brown striped area is the deck where people can walk in between the balconies and the edge of the ship.

It’s not obvious from the deck plan how the balconies on Iona’s Promenade Deck will work. Most of them have a V symbol which states that they are overlooked from the Promenade Deck, but I believe that they may be raised higher than the deck so that people are not walking right past and spoiling your view of the sea. If you want privacy on your balcony, I’d avoid Deck 8 on Iona.

All balconies on forward-facing cabins are overlooked by the bridge (where the officers see out of to manoeuvre the ship). That’s cabins 15101-15108, 14101-14110, 12103-12110, 11101-11108, 10101-10108, 9102-9109 and 8181-8108.

I would imagine that the ship’s officers are more concerned about navigating than looking down onto anyone’s balcony, but if you’d rather not be overlooked you might prefer to opt for an aft balcony cabin rather than a forward one.

3. Balcony cabins with obstructed views

Another oddity of the Deck 8 balcony cabins on Iona is that some of them are located right across from the infinity whirlpools. These have obstructed views because the whirlpool is between your cabin and the ocean! These cabin numbers are 8309-8312 and 8322-8330.

Imagine looking forward to sitting on your balcony looking out over the Norwegian Fjords, only to find that there’s a hot tub full of people blocking your view! Whilst it might be nice to be able to hop in the jacuzzi whenever you like, I’d probably avoid these cabins, unless you really enjoy people-watching.

4. The worst cabins for seasickness on Iona

If you’re worried about feeling queasy on-board your cruise, you should aim to book a cabin that’s on a low deck, in a mid-ship location as this is where you’ll feel the movement the least.

That said, Iona is a very large and modern ship, so you’re much less likely to suffer from seasickness on-board than you might be on a smaller, older ship.

Read more: Do big ships rock less?

Cabins on high decks at the front of the ship are often the worst for seasickness as the movement can be felt the most here. That means you’ll want to avoid cabins numbered 17201 – 17217 and 16201 – 16240.

5. Cabins that are a long walk from anything

Anyone with mobility issue or young children should aim to book a cabin close to places that they are likely to visit frequently, such as the pool, buffet or kids’ club.

The Reef kids’ club is located on Deck 17 towards the back of the ship. Therefore, the worst locations for families would be on a low deck at the front of the ship, as it would be a long walk to the kids’ club. You may wish to avoid cabins numbered 4201 – 4250.

Suggested read: P&O Iona’s family facilities: Kids’ clubs, restaurants and excursions

Choosing your cabin on Iona

When choosing a cabin for your cruise, it’s always a good idea to study the ship’s deck plan carefully. You can view the Iona deck plans on the P&O Cruises website or by clicking here.

To be able to choose your own cabin number on your P&O cruise you’ll need to book a Select Fare. If you book a Saver Fare or an Early Saver Fare your cabin number will be allocated for you at some point between booking and departure. This is also known as a ‘guarantee cabin’ as you are guaranteed a cabin of the type you select (or possibly better if you’re lucky enough to be upgraded).

Booking a Select Fare does cost a little more, but you’ll also get some extra benefits such as free shuttle buses in ports, the first choice of dining times and some money to spend on-board the ship.

Iona cabin amenities

In each cabin you’ll find:

  • En-suite bathroom
  • Wardrobe space
  • Desk and chair
  • Air conditioning
  • Toiletries from The White Company
  • TV
  • Telephone
  • Hairdryer
  • British plug sockets
  • Safe
  • Mini-bar (chargeable)
  • Kettle with tea, coffee and biscuits
  • Mineral water on arrival
  • Daily steward service

If you book a suite you’ll also enjoy:

  • Separate bedroom and lounge area
  • Bathroom with a bath, shower and dual sinks
  • Walk-in dressing area
  • Butler service

If you’d like to know what facilities Iona has on the ship for families, you’ll find that info here: What facilities does Iona have for families?

Iona cabin layout

P&O Cruises hasn’t released any floor plans showing the layout of cabins on Iona. It’s therefore not possible to know where exactly the bed, sofa and desk will be located in the inside, outside and balcony cabins or the suites.

Iona has a near-identical design to two other ships which were also constructed by shipbuilding company Meyer Werft – AIDA Nova and Costa Smeralda. You can look at the AIDA Nova cabin floor plans to get an idea of what cabins on Iona might look like, although there are no guarantees that they will be identical.

Also, AIDA Nova and Costa Smeralda do not have conservatory mini-suites so we do not yet know what Iona’s conservatory mini-suite floor plan is like. The nearest thing on these ships would be a junior suite.

Have you booked to cruise on Iona? Do you have any questions about Iona cabins? Let me know in the comments below.

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