The Quays is new to P&O Cruises on Iona and in our opinion it's a great addition. It is an informal eating venue that operates as counter service, so its ideal for a quick lunch on a port day but also works as a good evening venue if you've got hungry children that need to be fed fast. It's included in your cruise fare so there aren't any additional fees to eat here and it works really well as a buffet alternative.
There are three different counters giving a good variety of options. The first is Hook, Line and Vinegar which services traditional fish and chips, and all the sides you'd expect. This one is very popular and you'll be hard pressed to find an Iona cruiser who's tried this that didn't love it. The next counter along is Fusion Asian Kitchen, which as the name suggests offers Asian inspired dishes. The popular option from this counter seems to be the chicken katsu curry and we can both confirm it is very tasty. The last counter is the Boardwalk Diner which serves a range of burgers and southern fried chicken. If you turn the corner after the counter you'll also find a selection of preprepared salads and desserts, and some water stations.
The menus rotate over the week giving you some different options so that it doesn't feel too repetitive. For example, the burger toppings change and the side options in Fusion Asian Kitchen switch between rice and noodles. Laura's go to is the Southern Fried Chicken in the Boardwalk Diner, it's even become a bit of a tradition on embarkation day! Lizzy is braver than Laura and likes trying a few different options over the week. The fish and chips, chicken katsu curry and burgers are all firm favourites.
The Quays also opens for breakfast offering a traditional full English as well as some options not available in the buffet. The Asian Fusion Kitchen is transformed into an omelette station with your choice made to order and Hook, Line and Vinegar serves pancakes and waffles with a variety of toppings.
Whilst The Quays is a fantastic option, it does have its flaws. The main one as I'm sure you can guess is that at peak times it gets very busy with long queues for the counters. On a positive note, regardless of how busy the counters have been we've never struggled to find seating in this area, there is plenty available and there is also a nice outdoor area if weather permits. Staff are also always quick to clear tables ready for the next guests to use. The other slightly annoying thing we've experienced here is that drinks service can be quite slow. On a few occasions when eating in this area we'd finished our meals before drinks we'd ordered had arrived. There are self service stations available which would be handy but unfortunately you can't use any of these if you have purchased a drinks package.
Overall for us, The Quays is a fantastic addition to the P&O Cruises fleet. It's a great alternative to the buffet and takes a bit of pressure off the busy buffet area at peak times. We enjoy all of the food options available, and whilst neither of us have any dietary restrictions or requirements it was also good to see that there are vegan/vegetarian and gluten free options available too. It's clear that we're not the only ones who enjoy The Quays as it is making a return on Arvia, but this time with an additional carvary counter.