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5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale

5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

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Independence of the Seas
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Falmouth
  • Day 4
    Labadee
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

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

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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Royal Caribbean is remodeling its ships after which they are said to be "amplified". If there is one thing their ships don't need its to be amplified. The buffet on this ship had loud music from breakfast opening and ... Read More
Royal Caribbean is remodeling its ships after which they are said to be "amplified". If there is one thing their ships don't need its to be amplified. The buffet on this ship had loud music from breakfast opening and through the day, even though the few people there at seven am wanted nothing to do with loud music at that hour. The Royal Promenade had the same problem as well as the pool deck. Movies on the pool deck were ear splitting to the point of pain, even if you wanted to watch. Nearly impossible to get away and find a peaceful spot. Frequent cruising Crown and Anchor Society members say they complain at every survey, but nothing is done. This cruise had a large number of infants in strollers and elevator service was extremely slow. Elevators were packed all cruise long, like a sardine can. And slow! If you didn't get to the main dining room right at opening for breakfast be prepared to stand in an extremely long line. The schedule for bands in the lounges was pequiliar in that at times there was no entertainment at all except the piano in the Schooner bar. The show Grease was very good, however. But there was only one production show which is the same one on several other ships. The ice show was typically good, but there was only one set and the costumes were not as spectacular as other shows. It would have been good to have a meet the stars event like other ships, but not on this one. No captain's corner either. Couldn't tell you who the cruise director was. Heard him on the pa but never actually saw him, even at the "Top Tier" reception for RC's "best customers". Been on many RC cruises and never had that happen before. He seemed pretty detached from the guests. Food was generally good, but no lobster night and service at both breakfast and dinner was very slow, like two hours for dinner, after being seated. Breakfast servers seemed largely inexperienced and ordered items often never arrived, even after a long wait, such that eventually you just gave up. This is a nice class of ship but the experience was not as good as other Freedom class ships, such as Freedom and Liberty. Most of the staff were really good, like guest services crew, our cabin steward, and especially the loyalty ambassador. But at the top level there didn't seem to be a true commitment, but rather a kind of attitude of doing only the minimum level of effort required. And it showed. Read Less
View All Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Reviews
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