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Iona's Maiden Voyage, App problems and Booking Speciality Dining


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There were obvious problems on the Shakedown Cruise but that is excusable. From reports on social media it seems that there are still problems to be sorted out.

The App obviously needs attention, passengers are saying you have to pay constant attention to your mobile or a booking slot can be missed, also it was crashing and people were giving up trying to eat in the main dining, instead opting for The Quays.

 

Another issue is that passengers boarding later could not book Speciality Dining, not just for yesterday evening but the whole cruise. Early boarders had first pickings and there was nothing left.

 

We are onboard in three weeks and I am pleased I know of these issues, nothing is going to spoil our cruise, we have waited too long to be disappointed, but it is our 25th wedding anniversary and I had hoped it would be celebrated in the Epicurian, not much chance it would appear.

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47 minutes ago, bobstheboy said:

There were obvious problems on the Shakedown Cruise but that is excusable. From reports on social media it seems that there are still problems to be sorted out.

The App obviously needs attention, passengers are saying you have to pay constant attention to your mobile or a booking slot can be missed, also it was crashing and people were giving up trying to eat in the main dining, instead opting for The Quays.

 

Another issue is that passengers boarding later could not book Speciality Dining, not just for yesterday evening but the whole cruise. Early boarders had first pickings and there was nothing left.

 

We are onboard in three weeks and I am pleased I know of these issues, nothing is going to spoil our cruise, we have waited too long to be disappointed, but it is our 25th wedding anniversary and I had hoped it would be celebrated in the Epicurian, not much chance it would appear.

Can't you book online before boarding?

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10 minutes ago, brian1 said:

Can't you book online before boarding?

 For Brittania, only the entertainment in the Headlines Theatre & the films can be pre-booked. Everything else has to be booked on board. I presume the same is for Iona as well.

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I have used the app on Britannia and I have written about the pros and cons elsewhere but when we go on Iona we booked particular dates so we could enjoy 2 celebarations on board as we did pre pandemic. We have 4 pm boarding and if the speciality restaurants are full by the time we board we will not be having the holiday we booked. I could really do without all this stress and I'm seriously thinking of moving the cruise to another date. I don't want to get on board on my wedding anniversary and then have a row with the staff if we can't get ito Sindhu that night.

I know this is a first world problem but the last year has been very tough and I am trying to keep my shop afloat so I really don't need this aggro. Please P&O sort out these problems!

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I'm a bit surprised that the speciality dining booked up so quickly for the whole cruise.  On the few occasions that we've done speciality dining there have been loads of empty tables. 

 

Could it be that they are not filling up the speciality dining venues due to social distancing etc?  Or is there simply more demand than usual?

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Son of Anarchy said:

I'm a bit surprised that the speciality dining booked up so quickly for the whole cruise.  On the few occasions that we've done speciality dining there have been loads of empty tables. 

 

Could it be that they are not filling up the speciality dining venues due to social distancing etc?  Or is there simply more demand than usual?

It could be the reduced capacity combined with the disfunctional App. Where all the speciality venues that required reservations open? I read somewhere that the Beach House was not.

 

I would expect dining venues requiring booking on Iona would include Epicurean, Sindhu, Beach House and perhaps the Olive Grove?

 

Maybe for this staycation cruise I will move my main meal to lunchtime to save some hassle

Edited by davecttr
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Posted (edited)

Hoping this will be addressed as more cruises get underway: well, assuming passengers do feed back to P and O if they have issues (and positives) and P and O choose not to wear blindfolds!

 

Am looking forward to Iona this Christmas and, if this new booking set-up is running properly and fairly (it was not great on our Britannia staycation the other week), with a sprinkling of speciality restaurant meals. These meals add SO much more to the experience. And meals should be looked forward to, rather than just be almost a non-event with what I often find to be the case with the functional, beige food in the dining rooms.

 

 

 

Edited by Camberley
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30 minutes ago, Cathygh said:

I suspect people have booked them 'just in case' and might not actually show up, which would be very annoying for those who can't get in

 

It could be a good idea to charge at the moment of booking and a small cancelation charge

should stop people booking just incase they fancy going , leaving seats/tables for those who

would really like to attend .

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, kalos said:

It could be a good idea to charge at the moment of booking and a small cancelation charge

should stop people booking just incase they fancy going , leaving seats/tables for those who

would really like to attend .

Yes 100%. I would definitely slap a hefty fee on them if they cancel so close to the booking and more if they fail to turn up. It’s just rude, arrogant and self-centred of that sort of person.

Edited by Camberley
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Maybe they could also realise the table availability gradually so people boarding later get a better chance? I like the idea of a hefty deposit though, not refundable except in extreme cases with medical verification 😈

 

Thinks, you forfeit your £10pp deposit so the people who get your table get a £10pp discount 👍

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The Princess method, whereby you can reserve months in advance, but you have to pay at the time, is the way to go.

Having said that, Princess are having major problems with their app at the moment, but that's another story!

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Digressing, I know but the other thing I have seen posted is that people wanting to book the drinks package on board have been told they can't because only a certain number are sold and they have reached the maximum...

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Perhaps bookings should only apply for a limited period?  For example if they have booked a table for 7:30pm then they should arrive by 7:45pm, otherwise they lose their reservation and it becomes open to all.

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1 hour ago, PJL1973 said:

Perhaps bookings should only apply for a limited period?  For example if they have booked a table for 7:30pm then they should arrive by 7:45pm, otherwise they lose their reservation and it becomes open to all.

The problem with that is by the time the table becomes available,  most people will already have decided where to eat. Also, how would you alert people to the fact that there was a table free?   

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I am assuming that speciality dining numbers are being reduced from normal pre covid levels, and the fact that the current covid limitations on MDR dining are reducing demand, as well as the fact that speciality demand may be higher because of the long hiatus in cruising, are causing the reported problems.

Once the novelty of returning to cruising wears off I imagine that demand will revert to normal levels. If not by the time we sail in October, then hopefully by our following cruise in February.

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5 hours ago, Britboys said:

Digressing, I know but the other thing I have seen posted is that people wanting to book the drinks package on board have been told they can't because only a certain number are sold and they have reached the maximum...

Apparently P&O did a U turn quite quickly, and the website does say you can buy the package on board......

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I have read of problems with bookings but I have also read of people who’ve gone to reception and managed to book through them rather than the app.Hope these problems get ironed out as I don’t want to spend half my time fiddling with my phone!

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7 hours ago, wowzz said:

The Princess method, whereby you can reserve months in advance, but you have to pay at the time, is the way to go.

Having said that, Princess are having major problems with their app at the moment, but that's another story!

Don't mention the princess app it was a nightmare along with the food.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, delgirl said:

Don't mention the princess app it was a nightmare along with the food.

Although the app was an issue, the vast majority of posters thought the food was great.

A discussion for the Princess forum I think.

Edited by wowzz
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Not sure who said the speciality restaurants were all booked.  We had an arrival time of 2.15, boarded around 2.45 and still managed to book the Beach House for yesterday evening and Sindhu for tomorrow. When I look now there are still places available to book.

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