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    1st time cruiser

    Hi, we're cruising to the Norwegian Fjords in June, this is our first cruise and on the new P&O Iona - has anyone got any top tips, such as trips ashore (pre book or book in port), booking shows on board etc etc? Thanks

    #2
    I’m sure an expert on P&O will be along shortly but in the meantime, a big welcome to the forum. Try and stick around as there’s lots to learn, especially if you’re a first timer.

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      #3
      Originally posted by sacree, East Preston West Sussex View Post
      Hi, we're cruising to the Norwegian Fjords in June, this is our first cruise and on the new P&O Iona - has anyone got any top tips, such as trips ashore (pre book or book in port), booking shows on board etc etc? Thanks
      Welcome to the forum.

      I would suggest that you look at the P & O excursions carefully. Depending on what your aims are, depends on whether you book an excursion or not. If you want to see the most of the area you are going to then an excursion would be a suitable start. Whether you are confident to book in port, or would prefer the safety of an organised P & O tour, depends on lots of thing. The P & O excursions are a bit expensive, but if anything happens in port and your tour bus is delayed,then the ship will wait for your return. If you are travelling on an independent excursion and you have booked this yourself, then if you are late back, the ship will have gone without you, they will not wait.

      On our first cruise we selected a couple of excursions to see how they were and we were glad we did. Until you get to grips with how it all works, then an organised cruise tour is way to start. If you feel more adventurous and confident ashore, then you could book an independent tour and make sure you get the timings right, especially if the clocks are moving backwards or forwards in port.

      You don't have to book any shows on Iona, only on the rare occasion it is a special cruise with special entertainment booked and in this case, they will let you know what the arrangements are and may have booked you a seat on one of the sessions, early or late. Iona has anytime dining, so you can eat in the main restaurant when you like, just turn up and they will seat you. You will likely be seated with different people every night, unless you make friends and turn up together. There is one night per week when it is formal, dress up night, but you can avoid this if wanted, by going to the self serve buffet and eating there instead.

      If you experience a bit of motion on the ocean, then you can get sea sick tablets onboard or if severe, then the doctor can give you an injection. My advice is to go to your Pharmacist before you sail and ask their advice on what you could take, just in case, as the shop bought tablets will be very expensive and you can get some before you sail much cheaper. I am not saying you will experience this, especially in June, but better to be prepared if you do take other medication and need advice before you sail on what might be suitable to take along with your other medication. Otherwise, you would need a Doctor's advice onboard and that is extortionately expensive. Someone we met on the last cruise and was on our dinner table said when she felt unwell when the sea was a bit rocky, saw the doctor who ran all the tests and she ended up with a £1200 bill, when really she was just suffering a bit of sea sickness. We have rarely suffered any sea sickness even in very rough seas because the ships are very stable and built to withstand this sort of weather, so all this is very much a precaution. In June you are very unlikely to experience rough seas, so you are going at the best time, however, I know that Iona is spending much of her time up in the fjords so sometimes, the North sea can be a bit unpredictable.

      P & O are traditional in their cruising style so cater for British tastes much of the time, as they mostly sail out of Southampton.

      Once you have had the experience of your first cruise, then you have learned the ropes, so to speak and will be ready to book another. We have been cruising for the last 15 years and cruise a few times each year. We have done around 32 cruises on P & O and sailed on all the fleet. We are booked on Iona in October this year.

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        #4
        Not sure of your itinerary, but most include Bergen. It rains a lot in Bergen and the art galleries are well worth getting out of the wet. If you fancy the funicular up Mt Florentine’s, get there early before the queues. When you get to the top station if you walk 200 yards in any direction you lose the crowds. If you walk far enough there is an ice cream kiosk and picnic area with WC. There will be a queue for the decending train, but it is a nice walk.

        if you go to Geiranger I would say take the ship’s excursion up Mt Dibbna. The views are stunning. Failing that, walk up top the church for lesser views.

        you’ll love it!

        Comment


          #5
          Firstly welcome, we are also going to the Fjords on Iona in June for our 2nd visit to the Fjords.

          Dont know if you have logged onto your your PandO cruise personaliser yet, but all the Excursions for June are now available for booking. There are dozens of Excursions to choose from or also if you wish It is easy in each port to do your own thing especially if you like walking. Personally because of my wife's limited mobility we have chosen excursions with minimal activity. As Cooke, Ashby posted I can recommend the all day excursion to Mount Dalsnibba at Geiranger, we did it last time and have booked it again.

          If you are on Facebook there are a number of pages dedicated to Iona, one with nearly 8,000 members, have also found a page for our cruise in June with over 100 members, just type Iona in the search facility.

          If there are any specific questions just ask.
          Last edited by Delboy, Essex; 2nd February 2020, 06:21 PM.
          Delboy


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            #6
            Hi, Welcome to the forum

            I'm on Iona's maiden, and have cruised with P&O a number of times. We've not heard anything about entertainment on Iona, so as it holds a lot more people than the other P&O ships, they may change the way things are done. On the other P&O ships you just turn up where you want to go, and other than the Limelight Club (which includes dinner and a show), you don't pay extra for the entertainment, just for the speciality restaurants.

            The Fjords are all easy to get off the ship and wander around on your own, it depends what you want to do................................................ ......Carol

            Comment


              #7
              Firstly Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of cruising Sacree.

              you will have to complete your profile etc on your P&O planner ASAP. At the dock you will have to complete a health questionnaire. Remember you’ll also need to have your passport and credit card handy to show the check in staff prior to boarding. Your room key (card) is also your card for paying for drinks, shop purchases etc. Anything you buy will be added to your onboard ship account and payment will be taken from your credit card.

              on your first day onboard I’d advise you to take lift to top deck to explore then work your way down. This will give you a feeling of the ship and hopefully get your bearings.

              the Fjords cruise is a relaxing cruise with stunning scenery. June is a great month to visit as it can be light 24/7. If you tell us What ports are you visiting we can give more specific about port tours and what to see/do. Lots of the Fjord ports are easy to do yourself.

              food will be served in buffet, main dining room (MDR), pool grill, room service and speciality restaurants (fee). afternoon tea will be served at about 4pm in buffet. All this means you will never go hungry. 😂

              Free tea, coffee, water and ice are available 24/7 in buffet, also with all meals. Kettles will be in cabin and cabin steward will top up daily and you’ll be able to take sachets from buffet. Hot chocolate is available at breakfast but if you want some in the evening just ask servers in buffet. You can also drink the water from your bathroom sink tap.

              there will be entertainment day and night from pool volleyball to quizzes to theatre shows to comedians. Something for everyone but there will be plenty of quieter places and bars to sit and just chill. Entertainment on P&O is very British and evening entertainment is of a high quality.

              your cabin steward will clean your cabin in the morning then turn down your bed and tidy bathroom in the evening. If there’s anything you need for your cabin just ask them, they will supply it if they can.

              remember if you have any questions just ask us as someone will be able to answer it.

              we are on Iona in October with Gary Barlow! 😀 😍
              Last edited by Issyalex, Glasgow; 2nd February 2020, 06:36 PM.
              don't want to work, just want to cruise.

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                #8
                This may also help in regards to PandO check in.

                IMG_5702.JPG
                Delboy


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                or

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                  #9
                  Do you really need excursions on your first visit to a port? Why not take a gentle stroll around the town and get the “feel” of the town and the country. If an excursion is a must check out the duration and the activity level. Some are long and some have a high activity level. Sometimes the guides will spend 10 - 15 minutes describing a feature when your poor old brain can only take in and retain a couple of sentences.

                  If you book an excursion on board the cost can come out of any on board spend you might have. You also have the advantage of being closer to the excursion date and can check the likely weather. Norway can be grey and wet even in June . It was last year! The daily world weather forecast on Sky news on your cabin tv gives a broad indication up to 2 days in advance.

                  Shows on board P and O are not bookable in advance and it is very rare not to be able to get a seat, certainly for the first show of the evening.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    T




                    This is a copy of the beer and wine prices on board, might help you decide if the drinks package is worth it for you or not. The prices are very reasonable .......................................Carol

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No photo description available.


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                        #12
                        Originally posted by carol, welwyn garden city View Post
                        T




                        This is a copy of the beer and wine prices on board, might help you decide if the drinks package is worth it for you or not. The prices are very reasonable .......................................Carol
                        As mentioned above the drinks prices on P&O are very reasonable.

                        The drinks package at £39.95 for each person in the cabin*, i.e. £80 a day or £560 for 7 days equates to 8+ pints of beer or 6+ large glasses of wine or cocktails each, every single day!

                        * It is not possible to buy a drinks package for only 1 person in the cabin.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by carol, welwyn garden city View Post
                          T




                          This is a copy of the beer and wine prices on board, might help you decide if the drinks package is worth it for you or not. The prices are very reasonable .......................................Carol
                          Yep, saw this posted on Facebook and even with these prices, it still would not pay for us to take out a drinks package, especially as both of us would have to take the package.
                          Delboy


                          Photo Albums

                          https://www.flickriver.com/photos/delboyalbums/sets/

                          or

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Delboy, Essex View Post

                            Yep, saw this posted on Facebook and even with these prices, it still would not pay for us to take out a drinks package, especially as both of us would have to take the package.
                            Yes us too, I could probably manage a couple of days, but wouldn't be able to drink the amount needed every single day ......................................Carol

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by carol, welwyn garden city View Post

                              Yes us too, I could probably manage a couple of days, but wouldn't be able to drink the amount needed every single day ......................................Carol
                              My liver would be pickled if I drank the amount you need to just to break even everyday. Hic, hic,
                              don't want to work, just want to cruise.

                              Comment


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