Guide to Iona’s Restaurants and Bars

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P&O Cruises’ newest cruise ship, Iona, features 30 bars and restaurants. Some of the restaurants on Iona are exclusive to this ship, so read on to find out what to expect when it comes to the dining options on Iona.

This guide to dining on P&O Iona shows which restaurants are included in your cruise fare and which have an extra charge. There are links to sample menus where these are available, but you should also check out my guide to P&O Cruises menus.

While you’re here, I also have detailed guides to P&O Iona cabins, family facilities and the first-ever gin distillery at sea.

What restaurants are on Iona?

Iona offers the following dining venues:

  • Main Dining Rooms – Coral, Opal, Aqua & Pearl
  • Horizon Buffet Restaurant
  • The Chef’s Table
  • Fusion
  • Hook, Line & Vinegar
  • Boardwalk Diner
  • Taste 360
  • Grab-and-Go Bar
  • The Olive Grove
  • Ripples
  • The Epicurean
  • The Beach House
  • The Keel & Cow
  • Sindhu
  • The Glass House
  • The Limelight Club
  • Vistas Café Bar

Included Dining Options on Iona

The Main Dining Rooms

✅ Included in the price

Iona has four main restaurants, named Coral, Opal, Aqua and Pearl. These restaurants, which are located on Decks Six and Seven, are open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and five-course dinners.

Main Dining Room Food on Iona
Main Dining Room Food on Iona

In a first for P&O Cruises, Iona offers all Freedom dining. This means that you can arrive at any of the main restaurants at any time you like and sit wherever you choose. There are no set dining times on this ship.

Each of the main dining rooms serves the same menus, although it changes every day. Even on a 14-night cruise we never ate the same meal twice. There are different menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Here’s an example of a dinner menu in one of the main dining rooms on Iona:

Iona main dining room example menu.

The Horizon Buffet

✅ Included in the price

The Horizon restaurant is the place to go for quick breakfasts and lunches, informal dinners and snacks outside of mealtimes. Located on the Lido Deck, between the SkyDome Pool and the Infinity Pool, it’s a great place to go when you don’t want to be away from the pool for too long.

In the buffet, each dish is clearly marked to show what allergens it contains. As a vegan, I did find that many of the dishes were shown to contain milk, even the veggie sausages and veggie bacon, which was a little annoying.

Iona buffet food

Each day at 5 pm, a corner of the buffet restaurant hosts a Children’s Tea where kids can enjoy dinner at around the same time as they do at home. This means that they can be well-fed on kids’ favourites before heading off to enjoy the entertainment of the kids’ club in the evening, while parents enjoy a romantic meal for two.

Children's tea on Iona

The Chef’s Table

✅ Included in the price

Iona offers a new way to enjoy the glamour of Gala Evenings – with dinner at The Chef’s Table.

Located in an area of the Horizon restaurant (which will be specially styled for the occasion), The Chef’s Table gives guests the opportunity to feast on a menu designed by ‘Food Heroes’ Marco Pierre White and Eric Lanlard. Wines are expertly paired to accompany each course by wine expert Olly Smith.

This included dining experience is very popular so sure to book your place before your cruise via the P&O Cruises cruise planner to ensure that you don’t miss out. On our cruise, I never saw any availability for it.

The Quays

✅ Included in the price

The Quays is Iona’s vibrant food hall where you’ll find three different restaurants offering street food and takeaways from all over the world. This lively hub offers the opportunity for indoor or outdoor dining, both with spectacular sea views.

The Quays features:

  • Hook, Line and Vinegar – A posh fish and chip shop which serves scampi, crab and other fancy seafood delights
  • The Boardwalk Diner – Serving American BBQ hot dogs, burgers and Southern soul food
  • Fusion – Offering a variety of Asian-inspired street food

Don’t miss the selection of side salads and desserts that are hidden around the corner.

You can also get a secret veggie burger. It’s not on the menu, but if you ask in the Boardwalk Diner they will make you one. If you’re vegan, they even do a special dairy-free brioche bun.

Veggie burger from the Quays
Vegan burger from the Quays

Taste 360

✅ Included in the price

Taste 360 offers a street food style dining experience on the Lido Deck. Here, you can enjoy flavours inspired by the destinations that Iona visits – whether that be Spanish dishes or traditional Norwegian favourites.

You’ll also find an abundance of burgers, chips, hot dogs and fresh oven-baked pizza to keep everyone happy. Pizza is served by the slice, but don’t be afraid to ask for a whole one – they come fresh out of the oven every few minutes!

Taste 360

Grab-and-Go Bar

✅ Included in the price

Take your pick from self-service snacks like packaged sandwiches, fresh salads, yoghurts and pots of chopped fruit.

Iona’s Grab-and-Go bar is located by the Infinity Pool, so you can just pick up what you want and take it back to your seat or sunlounger, without missing any time in the sunshine.

Grab & Go Bar

The Olive Grove

✅ Most dishes included in the price (supplement for others)

Located by The Quays food court, The Olive Grove is a Mediterranean restaurant serving antipasti, Spanish paella, Moroccan lamb tagines, grazing boards and sharing platters. Choose to eat inside or in the sunshine of the conservatory.

See example menu

Speciality Dining Options on Iona

The following dining options are all available for an extra charge…

Ripples

💷 For an extra charge

Iona’s has two ice cream parlours – one in the SkyDome and one in the Quays food court. In partnership with Snowflake Luxury Gelato, Ripples serves artisan sundaes, ice cream cookies and gelato afternoon tea.

The afternoon tea costs £12 but, as you can see, it has enough to feed the whole family so it’s great value for money.

Afternoon Tea at Ripples
Afternoon Tea at Ripples

Ice cream isn’t free on Iona, except for kids in the buffet at 5pm during the children’s tea. So, even if you don’t go to the children’s tea, I suggest that you still take the kids there for an afternoon treat to save you from paying for ice creams from Ripples.

The Epicurean

💷 From £28 per person

The Epicurean offers the most exquisite fine dining on Iona with flavours of the destinations that you visit during your cruise. On cruises to the Norwegian Fjords, guests can enjoy a six-course taster menu created by award-winning Norwegian chef, Kjartan Skjelde.

Example dishes at the Epicurean

  • Fillet of lightly smoked mountain trout with horseradish cream, pickled cucumber and puffed rye
  • Fillet of Jæren coastal lamb, potato cream mayonnaise, white onions, baby carrots, hispi cabbage, jus gras, butter emulsion and chive oil
  • White chocolate espuma and cloudberry sorbet with meringue, caramelised white chocolate and cloudberries

See example menu

Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea

💷 From £17.50 per person

An Afternoon Tea in the Epicurean is an indulgent treat featuring savoury porcini and pancetta éclairs, pistachio petit choux with red berries, marble swirls red velvet cake pops and orange blossom and bee pollen scones.

See example menu

The Beach House

💷 From £7.50 per person

Iona’s Beach House offers relaxed dining with families in mind. Enjoy Caribbean and South American classics such as hanging kebabs, hearty grills, seafood and chocolate fondues.

The Beach House food
Garlic mushroom starter at the Beach House

See example menu

The Keel & Cow

💷 Starters from £4, Mains from £5.50, Desserts from £3

The Keel & Cow is Iona’s gastropub where you can enjoy British classics such as the Prime Minister burger which is hailed as ‘the best burger at sea’.

The Prime Minister Burger

An 8oz dry-aged prime beef patty, Isle of Wight blue cheese, dry-cured bacon, beefsteak tomatoes, pancetta jam, onion marmalade, roasted garlic mayonnaise and pickled gherkins, all served in a salted bun.

The Best Burger at Sea on Iona
The Prime Minister Burger
Photo credit: P&O Cruises

Other pub favourites to order at Iona’s pub will include pie and mash, fish and chips and a choice of prince steaks.

See example menu

Sindhu

💷 Starters from £5.50, Mains from £9, Desserts from £3.50

Sindhu offers the very best in Indian cuisine. In the stylish surroundings of the conservatory, Sindhu’s expert chefs prepare tiffin-style lunches and delicious evening meals with countless courses.

Suggested read: Review of the vegetarian options at Sindhu

Sindhu food
Starter at Sindhu

See example menu

The Glass House

💷 Starters from £2.75, Mains from £8.00, Desserts from £4.50

The Glass House is a wine bar that is open for light bites, lunch and evening meals. Here, you can enjoy a glass of wine and watch aerial artists in the Grand Atrium.

Wine expert Olly Smith has hand-selected wines from around the world which are paired with food in a tapas menu designed by José Pizarro.

The Glass House on Iona

See example menu

The Limelight Club

💷 From £25 per person

In the adult-only Limelight Club, you can enjoy a three-course meal with entertainment by some of Britain’s best-loved celebrity performers.

This venue is adults-only. Although you enter at 7pm, the show doesn’t start until 9pm, so you’ll need to be mindful of this and check the opening hours for the kids’ clubs if you’re cruising with children.

Starter in the Limelight club
Starter in the Limelight Club

Example dishes at The Limelight Club

  • H. Forman & Son Mojito cured salmon with cucumber jelly, lemon aioli, pickled cucumber and nori crisps
  • Pavé of line-caught sea bass with a pancetta, broad bean, shallot and pea fricassée, lemon and herb gnocchi and white wine parmesan cream
  • Dark and white chocolate mascarpone bomba, raspberries and Amarula ice cream

See example menu

Vistas Cafe Bar

💷 For an extra charge

Located in the Grand Atrium with the most wonderful sea views, this cafe serves sweet treats from master pâtissier Eric Lanlard. Enjoy a Costa coffee or a Teapigs tea while you watch pop-up performances from street entertainers.

Vistas cafe bar
Vistas Cafe Bar

What bars are on Iona?

Iona has the following bars:

  • Beachcombers Bar
  • Panorama Bar
  • The Crow’s Nest
  • Sky Bar
  • Laguna Bar
  • Crystal Bar
  • Infinity Bar
  • The Keel & Cow Pub
  • Sindhu Bar
  • The Club House
  • Sunset Bar
  • Brodies
  • The Glass House
  • The Limelight Club
  • Vistas Café Bar
  • Emerald Bar
  • The 710 Club
  • Anderson’s Bar and Library

Suggested read: Iona’s gin distillery

Brodies Pub
Brodies Pub

FAQs about dining on Iona

Is Iona all Freedom dining?

Iona is the first P&O Cruises ship to offer only Freedom dining. This means that you can arrive at the Main Dining Room at any time. There are no set early and late dining times on Iona as there are on other ships.

Are there be formal nights on Iona?

Iona has one formal night on each seven-night cruise. Fourteen-night cruises have two formal nights. Formal wear is required in the Main Dining Room and speciality dining rooms but not in the Horizon Buffet on these nights.

Does Iona cater for special diets?

Like all P&O Cruises ships, people with special dietary needs such as vegan, gluten-free and food allergies are very well-catered for on Iona. You can meet with a chef on the first day of your cruise to ensure that your needs are met.

If you have a special dietary requirement, you should let P&O Cruises know before you cruise.

See example vegan/vegetarian menu

Do I need to book restaurants in advance on Iona?

Pre-booking is required for certain speciality dining venues on Iona. To pre-book, log in to your P&O Cruises planner within three months of your departure date. You can also book dining or join a virtual queue using your mobile phone on board.

Here’s what that looks like…

Iona MyHoliday app book restaurants on phone

What time can I dine on Iona?

These are the dining times in the main dining room on Iona:

  • Breakfast: 07:30 – 10:00
  • Lunch: 12:00 – 13:30
  • Afternoon Tea: 15:30 – 16:30
  • Dinner: 17:30 – 21:00

For speciality restaurants, the time varies depending on the restaurant.

What’s on the children’s menus on Iona?

A typical P&O Cruises kids’ menu will consist of:

Kids mains

  • Beef Burger in Buns
  • Pizza Margherita
  • Mini Minced Beef And Onion Pasty
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Poached Salmon
  • Pork Sausages
  • Fish Fingers
  • Pasta with Tomato Sauce
  • Hot Dog
  • Fried Egg
  • Omelette

Kids sides

  • Fresh Vegetables of the Day
  • French Fries
  • Grilled Stir-Fried Vegetables
  • Mashed Potato
  • Creamed Corn
  • Potato Smiley Faces
  • Spaghetti Hoops
  • Garden Peas
  • Carrots

Kids desserts

  • Selection of Ice Creams with Sweet Sauces
  • Sorbet of the Day
  • Fruit Jellies
  • Cupcake
  • Chocolate Cookies
  • Chocolate Brownies

Children can mix and match as many dishes as they want from this menu. A tip I would give is to specify how much you would like. Be sure to ask for two sausages or two fried eggs, otherwise, you’ll just get one and the portions can be quite small.

Iona kids menu

Conclusion

With 30 restaurants and bars, Iona offers an abundance of food and drink choices. Many of these options are included in the cruise fare so that guests can dine in a variety of different venues without paying any extra. For something special, Iona has speciality restaurants offering the finest cuisine from around the world.

People with special dietary requirements and parents of young children can relax knowing that there will always be plenty of options available when you choose to holiday with P&O Cruises.

For a closer look at the menus, take a look at my guide to P&O Cruises’ menus.

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23 thoughts on “Guide to Iona’s Restaurants and Bars”

  1. We have been allocated room 10211. Do you know if that’s a good cabin? Family of 4.

  2. Loving your site. So much valuable information for us first time cruisers.
    We have booked 14 nights on Iona Spain/Portugal/canaries departing 8/10/22.
    Travelling from Glasgow so need flights down to Southampton. Problem is we’ve been having difficulties finding out sail times. Any tips? Thanks

    • I’d advise flying down the day before. You’ll be given a check-in time that’s usually between 11am and 3pm, but always a risk flying on the same day as a cruise, I don’t like to do it. Jenni

  3. 1st time cruisers here and finding some really helpful information, thank you!
    We’re looking at – October, Northern Europe 7night cruise, cabin 12444 any good?
    Re the grab and go bar are you allowed to take anything back to your cabin or does it have to be eaten at the bar? Hubby likes to snack whilst watching tv!!
    Thanks again

    • Hi Jo. Check out my cabin guide for more info there: https://www.cruisemummy.co.uk/po-iona-cabins/

      And yes, you can take anything back to your cabin from the Grab & Go.

      I even took food from The Quays to eat in bed, haha.

      Enjoy!

      Jenni

  4. Thank you, so much info just what i wanted, we are off on our first Iona cruise end of May to Norway so your article has been a great help and best I have seen on the net.

    • Thanks so much! Have a great cruise! Jenni

  5. Hi have a Cruise booked for June 2022 on Iona for Norwegian fjords, trying to get info on what night gala night would be, we are on for 7 nights. Would you have an idea?? ty xx

    • Hi Roberta, sorry I don’t know which night it will be, although they are usually on sea days and not the first or last night. I hope that helps? Jenni

    • We are booked for 14 May, gala night is on the 2nd nugget, Sunday

  6. Booked Iona for may going to fyords don’t no which ports are best to do trips on if there isn’t much there,we are going for seven nights .not been here before .

  7. We are sailing on Iona for two weeks on January 29th
    How many formal nights will there be and is there a Black and white night?

    • Hi Lynda. There’s one formal night per week on Iona so you will have two – one Black and White night and one regular formal night. Jenni

  8. WHAT ARE THE SQUARE BOX ON THE SIDE OF THE NO OF THE CABIN I HAVE BEEN OFFERED. DO YOU KNOW IF 4454 IS A GOOD SIZED ROOM PLEASE.

    • Hiya!
      Thank you so much for your insight into the Iona. On board for 14 nights from the 27th November!
      Can’t wait;!
      Take care and be well 💕

  9. hi Jenni, lots of interesting info on your site, we have made late booking on Iona 30th October, looking forward to a fortnight on her, its our 1st P&O cruise so not sure what to expect, other than a “British” style cruise, we love to get dressed up for dinner, and looking forward to a few per dinner cocktails the gala nights. – David – “Old Sea Dog” p.s. any idea how we can find out about whats on at the theatre / Limelight club ?

    • Hi David. I hope you have a wonderful cruise. You should be able to find that info specific to your cruise by logging in to the P&O Cruises website here: https://my.pocruises.com/mycruise/login I hope that helps! Jenni

  10. Hey.
    Great information. Booked to go on the Iona end of October 2021, Spain/Portugal cruise. Not many cabins left. Have gone for 12737. Any thoughts on this cabin?
    Do you know whether capacity restrictions will still be in place?

    Thanks

    • Good choice, Wendy! I think you’ve got one of the best rooms on the ship there, the views will be fantastic! I’m not sure about capacity, sorry, everything is constantly changing so it’s hard to predict. Jenni

  11. Booked our first cruise on iona to Norwegian fjords and got cabin 16233. Might be high but should have a great view

  12. Booked on IONA September 2021 to Spain and Portugal. This article is really helpful

    • Thanks, Gary! Enjoy your cruise!

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