Navigating the Iona’s Lifts

The Ups and Downs of Cruise Elevators

by Paul Hadley

Embarking on the P&O Iona for our Norwegian Fjords Cruise, my wife Kim and I were filled with excitement and a wee bit of bewilderment. No, not because of the unexpected bonus sea day on DAY 3 (thank you, high winds), but because of the fascinating lift system onboard.

A Lift for Every Occasion

The Iona boasts a generous number of lifts spread across three core areas: front, middle, and back. With eight lifts per zone, that’s 24 chances to avoid the stairs. Yet, considering there are 18 guest-accessible decks on the ship, these metal boxes are in high demand!

Button Press & The Waiting Game

After pressing that beckoning button, you might find yourself humming a tune or two while awaiting the lift’s arrival. When the doors eventually slide open, revealing a packed interior, you’ll face the age-old dilemma: to squeeze or not to squeeze? Patience becomes an essential part of the cruise experience, especially during peak hours. And if you’re with a larger group or require wheelchair access, a bit of strategic lift-catching might be in order.

The buttons are your guide to the Iona’s vastness. A quick glance will tell you where to go for dining, entertainment, or perhaps a quiet nook to relax. For the uninitiated, it’s a map, compass, and travel guide all in one.

Stairs: The Unsung Hero

The ship’s staircases aren’t just an afterthought. Admittedly, they’re quite the visual treat. But here’s a heads-up: residing on Deck 4, as Kim and I did, meant contemplating a 12-deck trek to Deck 16 when we fancied breakfast at the Horizon buffet. Let’s just say I’ve discovered muscles I didn’t know existed!

While the descent can be a breeze (gravity’s got your back), the climb can feel like an expedition. I confess: I often chose the convenience of a lift over the fitness challenge of the stairs, especially after indulging in Iona’s gastronomic delights. But on days the lift felt more like a waiting room, a couple of decks on foot was a fair compromise.

Balancing Patience with Fitness

To sum it up, the Iona offers ample options to move vertically. Whether you’re an elevator enthusiast or a staircase sprinter, there’s a route for you. My advice? Embrace both. Get those steps in when you can, but don’t shy away from the convenience of the lift. And if you find yourself waiting, remember, every journey – even the short ones between decks – is filled with its own little adventures. Happy cruising and elevating!

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