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12 Night Europe Cruise from Southampton

12 Night Europe Cruise from Southampton

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Independence of the Seas
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Southampton
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Vigo
  • Day 4
    Lisbon
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Lanzarote
  • Day 7
    Gran Canaria
  • Day 8
    Tenerife
  • Day 9
    Madeira (Funchal)
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    La Coruna
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Southampton

Independence of the Seas

Independence of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

Outstanding entertainment including "Grease," the musical; vast number of daytime activities

Cons

Food quality varies considerably; upcharging for certain activities can be wearing

Bottom Line

2018 refurb has reaffirmed the ship as one of the best family-friendly cruise ships afloat


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: May 2019
It pains us to say that this was the worst cruise experience encountered and we have used 5 cruise lines and are Diamond Members with RCCL. Thr cruise was meant to be special for us but was simply a disappointment from day one which ... Read More
It pains us to say that this was the worst cruise experience encountered and we have used 5 cruise lines and are Diamond Members with RCCL. Thr cruise was meant to be special for us but was simply a disappointment from day one which then just got worse. The ship looks fine from outside and a joy to look at. Day one emabarkation was excellent, however and accident on day one due to the poor handling of equipment of staff on borad injured my wife and myself. The cruise after this then got worse. The room is dated and needs a make over, curtains do not cover length of balcony window and therefore light penetrates early waking you up. The curtaind are hanging on threads and the blackout broken in so many places that anyone else would have replaced. The cabin steward was not very friendly and had to be reminded to fill up on basics. Main dining room was quite good and the best service in years thatnks to Jean and Allan on floor 4. The food was hit and miss with some really good and others mediocre. That said this was big improvement on past cruises. The Windjammer is as normal busy at certain times, but if avoided then there is plenty of room. The food was better than on normal european cruises but often hot food was cold. We never went hungry and there was plenty of choice. Annoying issue is ice cream. A staff member rolls a cart along the whole area, with absolutely no chance of serving people at the right ime for them, not his fault but is RCCLs fault. The shows in the main theatre were excellent to very poor. We liked Once Upon A Time, though we had seen it before. We liked Invitation To Dance performed with the cast from Grease, though we had seen that before. We also loved Grease though we had seen that on Harmony, the show still retained the magic. The only Ice Show was Freeze Frame which although we had seen before, still enjoyed it. RCCL need to bring in new shows and have two ice shows on a two week cruise. The support guest stars were excellent (David Copperfield) but others we walked out on, one being a violinist and the other a magician. We never walk out on a show, so this says it all. Diamond Lounge was packed due to volume of Diamond members, however we did not really use in the night due to the noise. You could not hear a conversation. In the day it was also manic due to the poor arrangement. The filter coffee machine is place right by the door effectively causing rael conjestion wehen entering, leaving or waiting to get yoursef a coffee. It then broke down for a few days, very poor. Boleros bar on deck 4 was fine for most of the cruise except the noise when music started, which spoiled any conversation. Wilbert was a great bar tender and remembered us every time. Howvere Boleros turned into a very cold area in the latter days of the cruise due to doors being opened. We could not sit there and other guests wore coats. The SPA and Rides added were not used by us due to the accident already suffered so we cannot evaluate. the ship was clean and orderly but we did notice that staff members would push trolleys towards you instead of waiting for us to pass which is unusual on RCCL. The staff were also very flat compared to RCCL normal cruises. Two issues really irritated us, the noise in the bars was excessive with music blasting out stopping conversation and the excessive charges for drinks. Bacardi $9.99 Coke $3-4, Sevice Charge 18% on top of this. Te cruise across the Atlantic was boring except for making new fantastic friends, Iain, Margaret, Carol, Shelly, Stan and Elizabeth. The ship coud have docked at the Azores to break up 8 days at sea, Would we cross the Atlantic agan, Never. Would we use RCCL again, very much in doubt as other lines are now better. A very disapponting cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to get across the Atlantic without flying. This ship has exceeded our expectations. I love that even though they refurbished it, they have preserved the deck where you can walk around the whole ship outside and the stream/sauna ... Read More
We wanted to get across the Atlantic without flying. This ship has exceeded our expectations. I love that even though they refurbished it, they have preserved the deck where you can walk around the whole ship outside and the stream/sauna changing room in the fitness center is still open to everyone. It doesn’t feel like the money grab that some do. The food has been consistently excellent, better than we expected, and the crew is always friendly and helpful. From what I have read about the Edge, which I never intend to cruise on, on this ship if you’re not in a suite you are not made to feel like a second class citizen. You have access to the bow and the balconies are still wonderful to step out on when you want to. Good for RCCL for keeping the good stuff and for their generous package of perks for frequent cruisers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Arriving at Lauderdale was a breeze. Parking lot closest was full so a little extra walk to lot 19 was in order... For some reason my RCL App went from my phone to the cloud and reloading took very long time to reload. It was ok because I ... Read More
Arriving at Lauderdale was a breeze. Parking lot closest was full so a little extra walk to lot 19 was in order... For some reason my RCL App went from my phone to the cloud and reloading took very long time to reload. It was ok because I had the set sail passes printed as well. Check in was a breeze. We are carry on people so we had no bags to check in. My dear GF and I selected Independence for the ship rather than itinerary. Lots of research went into finding just the right one and we weren't disappointed. To begin with she was "fresh" with a recent refit and "amped" upgrades. Though not Oasis Class shes still a really big comfortable layout. Ice rink deck three was home to great shows and family fun. Deck four Playmaker sports bar was very casual atmosphere and the casino nicely laid out. The promenade on deck five was breathtaking. We made our way to deck eleven for lunch at Windjammer which had me a little turned around on this ship being aft where the other RCL ships I had traveled previously were all forward. From there my very blonde GF made a reservation at the spa to have her hair lightened a little. This is where things went bad. It took twice as long as predicted (Making us very late for dinner) to begin with. Then the disaster unfolded when her hair dried. Instead of lightening it they darkened it countless shades to black in places! She went from Sondra Locke type hair to Lilly Munster in that ill fated visit. That's why I took one of the five stars I would have awarded had all gone right. We bit our tongues and moved forward. Opening night parade on the "street" of the promenade was very uplifting. Room was spotless and comfortable. Very good attendant. Our day at sea gave us a chance to check out the water slides, flowrider, golf course and explore. The "sky Pad" was closed I guess due to a mishap on another trip. Lunch again in Windjammer did not disappoint. Dinner was also excellent. That night we were treated to very spot on performance of "Grease". First stop was Costa Maya. We opted to do a ruins tour with Native Choice based on recommendation. Very detailed and informative! In that recommendation they said they would drop us at the beach where we snorkeled, had a great lunch, did some shopping for hammocks (got great deals) and had time to get GF a massage. Dinner aboard was again fantastic. Our next day found us in Cozumel. A few quick stops to pick up free trinkets then a stop at a recommended pharmacy for vanilla (which you can find everywhere) and some other deeply discounted medications (4 month supply of Omeprazole for what I pay for three week supply here). Our next stop took us off the beaten path to Kao Kao chocolate factory tour instead of the one being offered by RCL. We selected it after much research and again that research paid off with an extremely memorable hands on experience. From there it was off to Money Bar where we had an outstanding lunch of mixed nachos then some excellent snorkeling. Back aboard we joined in a fun "activity" cheering on and heckling those who were late returning to the ship. Dinner was good but the beef stroganoff did not resemble what I envision. More like oriental stir fried beef over buttered spaghetti. Still tasted good. We dabbled in the casino. I wound up $80 ahead playing craps and roulette. Gf wound up 35 cents ahead on the slots. Yesterday at sea we pretty much relaxed redoing some things we had done before. Dinner was fine. We went to Next cruise booking same Independence for next year but will be bringing her teens for that one. I went on my RCL app to check my expenses and noticed an odd $89 charge that was put on and taken off several times. At the service deck the attendant was rude and indifferent. No explanation . I then noticed that the same spa that destroyed my GF's hair took it upon themselves to "pad" the gratuity by quite a bit and unauthorized. Again the attendant was abrupt. "You need to take that up with them." They were closed and closed again for todays disembarkation! That's the second star removal reason. We did breakfast in the MDR and that was good. By then the line to get off was thinned out. Probably the fastest easiest disembarkation I have ever done. Its a shame that the spa incident(s) took place otherwise it would have been my pleasure to give it a full 5 star rating... Read Less
View All Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Reviews
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