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

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

8th June 2020 44 By Cruise Mummy
This post may contain affiliate links.

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 inside or standard inside
  • Outside cabins – Standard sea view
  • Balcony cabins – Single, standard or deluxe balcony
  • Suites – Conservatory mini-suite or suite

Inside cabins

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.

P&O Iona inside cabin

Iona’s inside cabins are between 101 and 213 square feet in size. Single inside cabins sleep only one passenger, whereas the standard inside cabins sleep up to four passengers with the third passenger on a single sofa bed and the fourth passenger in a pull-down bed.

Sea view cabins

Also known as outside cabins, sea view cabins are very similar to inside cabins except that they have a window and may be slightly larger. Sea view cabins are great as they enable you to check the weather before getting dressed in the morning. 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.

Iona’s sea view cabins are between 210 and 307 square feet in size. They sleep up to four passengers.

Balcony cabins

Iona has three sizes of balcony cabins – single, standard and deluxe. They 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 362 square feet for the deluxe balcony cabins which are larger than standard balcony cabins.

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

Conservatory cabins

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

P&O Iona conservatory cabin

P&O Iona conservatory cabins 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:


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 do not have balconies.

Each suite is between 434 and 530 square feet in size and sleeps two to four people with a separate living area.

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

Special cabin types

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.

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.

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
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 cabin sizes are as follows:

  • Inside single – 101 sq. ft.
  • Inside standard – 101-213 sq. ft.
  • Sea view – 210-307 sq. ft.
  • Balcony single – 107 sq. ft.
  • Balcony standard – 107-300 sq. ft.
  • Balcony deluxe – 226-362 sq. ft.
  • Conservatory Mini-suite – 274 sq. ft.
  • Suite – 434-530 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.

However, there are some balcony cabins on Iona which have much bigger balconies than others of the same grade. If you like a large balcony, these are definitely worth looking out for.

As Iona has an irregular shape, you’ll see on the deck plan that some balconies are very large indeed. In the image below, you can see that cabin 9236 has a balcony which is several times larger than 9234. These may be the best balcony cabins on Iona.

Iona large balcony on Deck Plan

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

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

Iona cabins 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

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?

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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