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Iona Deckplans

P&O have just revealed the deckplans for their 2020 new ship, Iona – I’ve attached the PDF below.

As I’ve been saying for a while, they are very similar to those for AIDAnova, the first of the big LNG ships to go into service (in a couple of months or so, I believe). Of course there are detailed differences – the names and styles of leisure areas (bars, restaurants, etc) will differ between the two. But here’s a list of what I’ve spotted so far as being major differences, or points of interest:

  • Iona has an infinity pool aft on deck 16 (the Lido deck) that AIDAnova doesn’t have. That will be a cool feature, I think. The problem will be getting your turn in it. The marketing material will probably feature an attractive-looking couple all alone in it, of course, enjoying the view, but when actual passengers use it it’ll be full – you’ll probably have to queue to get your two minutes looking at the view!
  • there are some differences on deck 8, which on the Iona deck plans is named as the Promenade deck and which does indeed show a complete wrap-round promenade! The differences are that on Iona the whole of that deck aft of the Atrium is devoted to public spaces – the forward part (of the Atrium) will be cabins. On AIDAnova the public space is shifted forwards a bit – there are some cabins in the very forward area, and also some right aft. On Iona that aft area is occupied by the Clubhouse and, right at the stern, the Sunset Bar which looks as if it’s open – a widening of the wrap-round promenade, in fact, as it crosses the stern. There are also a couple of whirlpools in that area;
  • On Iona the Conservatory Mini-Suites seem to be on both the Promenade deck (in that area forward of the Atrium with the cabins), and also on Deck 9 above, whereas on AIDAnova they’re only on deck 9. However, given that the Promenade deck has a wrap-round promenade, that means that the actual balcony area for all balcony cabins will be set back from the edge of the ship – the promenade itself will be outside these cabins. Not sure how much I’d fancy that….
  • and finally for the comparison, there appear to be a number of detailed differences on the top decks – deck 16, 17 and 18. AIDAnova has a series of waterslides ranging across these decks – it looks as if you can start at deck 18 and be delivered into a pool (I assume – or perhaps it’s just a dry slide) on deck 16. In Iona’s case there are no slides, although there is another aft pool on deck 18, the Panorama Pool and Bar.

Finally something I’ve spotted which is common to both ships, and that’s that balcony sizes won’t be the same for all cabins in a given class. The decks between the Promenade and the Lido – decks 9 to 15 inclusive, in other words – is quite ‘moulded’; that is, it isn’t a single long slab of cabins in the style of Ventura, Azura or Britannia. Instead, it’s wider in some places and narrower in others, and balcony sizes can vary between these locations. Have a look at the graphic alongside which shows a block of Standard balcony cabins in grade GZ on deck 10. As you can see, ten of these cabins (10.702 to 10.710) appear to have a good-sized balcony; then the next cabin on each side (10.711 & 10.712) has a bigger balcony; and finally the remaining balcony cabins in the block, 10.714 to 10.735, have smaller balconies, smaller even on the first set. But these cabins are all the same grade and would therefore cost the same!

The same sort of issue arises with Deluxe balcony cabins. They’re mostly on a midships ‘hump’, and the graphic alongside is taken from the deck plan for Deck 9. The cabins are indeed larger than those shown in the previous graphic, and that’s right – they’re Deluxe cabins as against Standard. But look at the size of the balconies. I think those for 9.418, 9.421, 9.448 & 9.451 look very small and awkward. As you get close to the apex of the hump they get bigger, so those for 9.432, 9.435, 9.434 & 9.437 look to be ok. Again, though, these are all the same class of cabin for the same price even though i would suggest that their attractiveness varies quite a bit.

There are quite a lot of examples of varying balcony sizes in the same class of cabin, so you’ll need to be aware of this. In fact, this is an argument in favour of paying the Select fare – that’s the only way you can choose your cabin at the time of booking and thus bag one with a good-sized balcony.

Here’s the deck plan PDF.


4 Responses to “Iona Deckplans”

  1. Des Parry says:

    Evidently, there is a post on one of the P&O Facebook forums about the promenade balcony cabins. A contributor had spoken to P&O as they had booked one of these and were concerned about the people on the promenade deck walking past their cabin. P&O told them that the balconys were at a higher level than the Prom deck so couldn’t be looked into.
    Not sure how that works.

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment, Des.

      Thanks also for the information about the way the balcony cabins on the Prom deck will work. I think I have seen something like this, on Fred’s Black Watch. There, they’re called ‘Terrace Balcony Cabins’, and IIRC they were indeed raised up above the level of the open promenade. But not by much – 30 cms or so? – so you can still onto the balcony and into much of the cabin. There was some sort of rail between the balcony and the promenade, as I recall.

  2. Neil Ringan says:

    Hi Tom
    We booked the Iona maiden cruise and the one after it, or rather pre-registered for them, whilst we were on Aurora, but when the cabin allocations came through there had been a bit of a cock-up with the maiden one and we were allocated one of the Prom deck balconies rather than one of the cabins we had opted for (which we were allocated for the second cruise). Looking at some of the Facebook fora there seem to be quite a few people, especially in higher Peninsular tiers, whose pre-registration has been missed and have either not been allocated the cabin / type they wanted, or even been allocated a cabin at all.

    Anyway we were told a few bits of info on Aurora when we asked about the Prom deck balconies as we really didn’t want to be in one of them. So what we have been told is

    1) The floors of the balconies are approx. 50cm above the level of the Prom deck
    2) There is one-way privacy glass between the balcony and the prom deck. This is approx 1.75m high, but we don’t know if that is in addition to the 50cm (so 2.25m in total) or including the 50cm. If it is 1.75m high in total that’s a height where it is easily possible for people walking past to look over the top of the glass into the balcony and cabin, especially if the door is open.

    In our opinion, a balcony should look out over the side of the ship over the sea, not looking out onto a public area of the ship. Irrespective of the privacy glass, there would be nothing to stop people putting deckchairs etc in front of the glass, so your view of a morning wouldn’t be the wonder of the fjords, but the back side (or possible even backside !) of a fellow passenger). We also don’t know what the smoking policy will be on Iona (hopefully none anywhere on the ship), but again potentially you could be on your balcony with someone exhaling their fumes a few cm from you.

    Thankfully we have heard today we have been moved to a real balcony on Deck 16 for G003, even though we’re in the cabin we chose on Deck 9 for G004.

    I think P&O have made a massive error of judgement putting these cabins in. Certainly they should not be called balconies and they should not be the same grade (GF) as “real” balconies. I’m happy to be proved wrong when I see them but I can’t help but feel that (a) they won’t be able to give these cabins away after the maiden cruise, and (b) by the time of the next brochure they will have been regraded as something else – perhaps mirroring the HAL verandah prom deck cabins.

    Also noticed today that AIDAnova is running 7 night fly cruises in the Canaries this winter, with 2 embarkation options in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, so there must be an LNG bunkering facility in one or other of those. So my money would be on Iona operating a 14 night diagram of cruises ex SOU to the Canaries after the Norway season finishes


    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment. I’m away at the moment – in Malta, and embarking Oceana tomorrow – so I’ll respond more fully when I get home.

      PS – the first post did get through!

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