P&O Cruises Iona - The Olive Grove
Updated: May 8
After 3 cruises onboard P&O Cruises Iona, we now feel qualified to decide that The Olive Grove is our favourite restaurant onboard. We've managed to squeeze in 6 visits, so we've explored a good chunk of the menu too. One of the best parts about it is that most of the items on offer are included in your cruise fare, with just a few small surcharges. There's a great range in there, from pizzas and pasta dishes, through to piri piri chicken and gyros.
On our first Iona cruise in August 2021, we weren't sure what to expect of The Olive Grove as it was a new concept to P&O ships. This was only Iona's second ever cruise, so we'd seen menus but not very many reviews yet. The menu looked right up our street, so we made two reservations using the My Holiday system as soon as we boarded and we're very pleased that we did. We enjoyed every item that we ordered and quickly established some favourites. The venue itself also has a lovely ambience, food is cooked to order so its a slower paced meal than in the MDR which can be great for a sea day lunch.
We both have a different favourite dish onboard, Lizzy loves the piri piri chicken, and Laura is a big fan of the torta gianduia. We also both enjoy the Mediterranean trio starter, and can't visit without ordering it! We're yet to try the pizzas, but when we cruised with our family in October 2021 our dad did and he gave his a big thumbs up. There's a proper pizza oven in Iona's Olive Grove so you know the pizzas are going to be good.
The Olive Grove also features onboard Arvia. We haven't cruised on Arvia yet but from what we've seen there are differences to the menu. The main one looks to be that there are no pizzas or lasagne on Arvia. It remains to be seen if this is a limited menu whilst the crew get up to speed or if this will be the permanent menu onboard Arvia.
If you are keen to try The Olive Grove its well worth booking as soon as you are able to. Recent booking changes mean that you can now prebook online before boarding, this isn't consistent, but if you get this option we'd recommend you do it. One of the problems with staggered boarding times is that if you do end up with a later boarding time it can mean that lots of the speciality dining has been booked by the time you board. Naturally, as there are very few extra charges, The Olive Grove is a very popular option. If you do find that you can't get booked in either in advance or via My Holiday, its always worth physically visiting the restaurant to see if they can fit you in. You never know!