Sail Date: June 2019
went to great ports , food was very good in all areas, entertainment was ongoing, ship was in very good condition , many return passengers onboard, diamond club was of a high standard, just the interior rooms are a bit on the small side ... Read More
went to great ports , food was very good in all areas, entertainment was ongoing, ship was in very good condition , many return passengers onboard, diamond club was of a high standard, just the interior rooms are a bit on the small side (but there only to sleep in), anyone complains about this cruise then they should stay at home. the only thing that they should look at is handing out cruise cards to passengers as they embark not leave them at the cabin door (new system) as a few were forgotten by cabin stewards and this caused issues having to chase them up so you could get into room. the ship has been upgraded in some areas and there is a lot of new furniture around the place, as usual the jets in some of the spas were not working , they also cracked down on CHAIR HOGS as many selfish passengers were witnessed by us (early spa people) reserving seats then disappearing for ages (we took pleasure in pointing these out to deck supervisors and having them removed)Ha Ha Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 3rd cruise on Indy and our first since it was refurbished. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with very little to complain about. I would say though that I preferred the ship before all the added whistles and bells. The ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on Indy and our first since it was refurbished. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with very little to complain about. I would say though that I preferred the ship before all the added whistles and bells. The overall condition of the ship was very good. The food in Windjammer and the MDR was some of the best we have had on any of our cruises and our waiting staff in the restaurant couldn't be faulted. Our balcony cabin was fine although the storage was limited and the wardrobe was badly set out. It was clean and functional. We rarely saw our cabin steward as we had nothing to ask him for as it was all there. We found a sun bed easily every day without resorting to getting up at the crack of dawn and in spite of reading in a recent review that people are charged $10.00 if the towels aren't returned at night this is simply not true. The only time you are charged is at the end of the cruise if the towels aren't returned. We never returned a towel at the end of the day merely changed them without showing our passes. We were served fairly quickly in all the bars we went to and also found a seat at all the shows.. Grease was particularly good and also The Jersey Boys show. The Cruise Director Cubby was just OK. We wish they would change the shows along the Promenade as they have been doing the same thing down Main Street for years now. The shops were a major disappointment on his cruise.. Normally there are carts with different items along Main Street but most nights there was one or none. Overall a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely ... Read More
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely decor. Stateroom was a good size (Balcony room) and the attendant did his thing every day very well. Dining. Food in the MDR was OK but nothing special, buffet was good with loads of different options. Had a choppes grill which was superb, highly recommend. Also the pizza at Sorrentos was absolutely delicious! We saw several of the shows (theatre and Ice) and they were all amazing. All the staff were really nice and friendly, but the bar staff seemed very busy in the evenings and they could do with more bar staff IMO My 2 gripes were that the ship felt a bit too busy/crowded at times, and that in the casino they literally want to screw you out of every last penny. The blackjack has the worst rules of any casino in the world coupled with 6/5 payoffs for a blackjack, which is an insult basically. Anyway if you are not a casino lover you will have a great time on Indy, but as we are gamblers my next cruise will be with NCL. Im sure they will be just as stingy but I feel I need to vote with my feet, Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - ... Read More
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - staff generally unhappy. Miss the American service from 5+ years ago where they couldn’t do enough for you. With the staff on here everything was to much trouble. - have turned into a company where they are constantly looking to upsell to you. Perks or small gestures for returning to them, such as little gifts in your room have disappeared. - all the little things add up to disappointment. Can’t get lemon slices in your drinks, room curtains were old and had holes in them so light came through, constantly rammed in the windjammer, massive queues constantly to guest services, booked anytime dining and couldn’t get in for a meal at 6.30am, 5% charge for casino spends, the amazing if daytime activities has dramatically reduced, waited for room service for some toast for 90 minutes. The service and attitude of staff has changed dramatically and for that reason we won’t be booking again. Princess are much better!! Don’t waste your money!!! Read Less
4 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
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I are currently cruising on the RCCL Independence of the Seas. We have cruised over 20 times - Carnival, Disney, Princess but this is only our 2nd RCCL Cruise. WOW! We are so impressed. The check in process was so modern and ... Read More
My wife and I are currently cruising on the RCCL Independence of the Seas. We have cruised over 20 times - Carnival, Disney, Princess but this is only our 2nd RCCL Cruise. WOW! We are so impressed. The check in process was so modern and quick - our cabin was available at 1:00pm. The cabin felt large, modern, well layer out, smart. The staff have been incredible! The shio is elegant - from simple buffet dining to Specialty Dining options. The entertainment is top notch. The pools and outdoor options are amazing. The public areas are great. Love that everything is large - easy to walk around - easy to navigate. With such a large ship, it still does not feel crowded. Love the idea of elegance and no cheesy themes to deal with. We are so happy! Excited to book our next RCCL Cruise. Can’t wait to share with our teen daughter. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were forced to go to Deck 5 to get between fore and aft parts of the ship. The casino on Deck 4 is so smoky that we got nauseous trying to cut through it. The non-smoking areas are tiny islands in a sea of cigarette smoke. Non-smoking ... Read More
We were forced to go to Deck 5 to get between fore and aft parts of the ship. The casino on Deck 4 is so smoky that we got nauseous trying to cut through it. The non-smoking areas are tiny islands in a sea of cigarette smoke. Non-smoking means there is "no smoking please" sign and no ashtrays. Three feet away from the no smoking sign there is a blackjack table. When I pointed out the no-smoking sign three feet away I was rudely told that the dealer handed him an ashtray when he took out a cigarette. Since my wife likes the casino, getting sick from trying to stay in it was a big disappointment. Breakfast in the dining room arrives at room temperature. Try the buffet or go to the Windjammer on deck 11. Internet was very fast and easy to switch devices and was useable throughout the ship. Kids activities were very good. The Diamond Lounge was excellent. Free drinks in the lounge from 4:30 to 8 pm, plus three vouchers loaded on Sea Pass card good even in the restaurants and MDR. Labadee was grossly overpriced for any purchases. It's owned by RCL and they know you have no choice. In Falmouth, there was a problem with the road to Montego Bay and three ships excursions were 90 minutes late getting back. Definitely best to get ship's shore excursions on a short stop at port. The smallest cabin we have ever been in. With the beds together, at the foot of the bed the bed was up against the cabinets so that it was impossible to walk to the head of the bed. You had to crawl over the bed to get to the head of the bed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Wow - i don't know where to start. Traveled April 20, 2019 - April 25, 2019 from FLL. Porting at Labadee and Falmouth. BOARDING A+ amazing, i just can't express how different this was from our two Carnival cruises in 2018. No ... Read More
Wow - i don't know where to start. Traveled April 20, 2019 - April 25, 2019 from FLL. Porting at Labadee and Falmouth. BOARDING A+ amazing, i just can't express how different this was from our two Carnival cruises in 2018. No waiting in a "holding room" for hours on end to get on or off the ship. Attendants are outside waiting to take your luggage. Once luggage dropped and tagged, walk in and go through security, once through security check-in and then make your way to the ship. 10 minutes from the time we stepped out of the cab to the time we stepped onto the cruise ship - WOW SHIP A+ so many things to do on the ship; rock climbing, flow rider, arcade, laser tag, escape room, observatory, Grease Musical, Ice Skating show, sports bar, piano bar, night club, karaoke. We didn't have time to do everything we wanted to do on the ship. Advise, book escape room as soon as you get on the ship. The promenade was absolutely stunning. I also like the night club was on deck 14, away from the masses - you won't "stumble" on the night club - you have to be intentional about getting there. If I were traveling with my kids, I'd absolutely love this. CABIN A+ stayed in 7568 with Ocean View Balcony. The cabin was clean, bathroom was clean, our cabin attendant Martin was amazing. We'd take a few showers per day, each time come back with fresh towels. Unfortunately, we weren't port side, but we still had amazing views. The balcony felt bigger than our standard balcony on Carnival (Liberty), also felt more private, although I know folks were next door on either side, it didn't standout. FOOD A+ RCC takes hand washing very seriously and have gone to extreme pretty funny and creatively cool lengths to make sure the guest know washing your hands is VERY important - washy washy - this stood out as exceptional. I am vegetarian and there were plenty of options available. Everything I tasted was delicious. Had breakfast one morning at main dining hall but preferred buffet due to the # of options. Get to buffet for breakfast before 9am., after 9am gets pretty crowed. Ate dinner in the main dining hall every night and everything was AMAZING!!! Sorentos Pizza - was SO good..... All the food at the Coffee shop is complimentary, you only need to pay for the speciality coffees - but if you don't want pizza, go to the coffee cafe for wraps, sandwiches, deserts, etc. I like that there was an attendant managing the soft serve ice cream machine - keeps things clean! Ate at Izumi Japanese Steakhouse and it was DELICIOUS! We brought refillable water bottles on board, which worked out well. We went to the pop machine to refill on ice and water, no need to pay for water bottle on the ship. Did not use room service, there is a $9 service fee. SERVICE A+ RCC has customer service on lock, comparable to a Disney Park experience in terms of customer service. There was always an attendant manning a station, whether it be ice cream, or the numerous pools on the ship, or whatever - always someone available to assist with a friendly smile. You really feel like you get a royal treatment. ALCOHOL B+ for cost / A+ for not watering down the drinks. Alcohol package is too costly (in my opinion) $600 for two....ouch. Drinks on average were $10-$15 per, so if you are a heavy drinker you will likely benefit from purchasing the package. All the drinks that we purchased tasted good and were not watered down. PORTS Labadee A+ / Falmouth C - Labadee was great. We rented a cabana on Nelli's beach, however it really wasn't necessary (but we did enjoy and use the cabana). If you get off the ship early enough (we were off at 7:30) you can pretty much pick your perfect spot on the beach. Columbus Cove is great for views b/c you will have a perfect view of the ship from the beach and there are lots of options to put a lounge chair on the beach in shade. Nelli's beach was beautiful as well and where we spent majority of our time. Melli's Beach was probably the least crowed of the 3 beach options. The main beach, believe Dragon something - has the best sand, soft powdery sand, but waters were rougher - there are a ton of seating options here as well and the biggest of all the beaches. Bathrooms are clean with showers to rinse off. The "village" is an area where you can go to buy knick knacks from the local Haitians, they can get pretty aggressive, however I understood that comes from a place of desperation. I spoke with a worker who was pretty clear that without the cruise ships, the locals really don't have any time of employment opportunities. If you sternly but respectfully say "Not Interested" they will leave you be. If you don't go to the village, you won't encounter the "market" and can by-pass this experience all together. RCC really did a nice job of laying out the beach. There is plenty of seating options all over with lots to do. It's hot in Haiti, if you are fair skinned you'll definitely want sun screen and a hat. Also recommend water shoes - you'll be walking on rocks, our water shoes were very handy. Our friends did jet skies for 1 hr. 15 mins and had an amazing time. Falmouth - um....well........the port itself is nice with nice stores, however you almost have to do an excursion - nothing is within walking distance. Our excursion "Falmouth / Montego Bay at your Leisure" was $45 pp, however the tour is just not long enough. We left the port at 10:45 a.m. spent most of our time on the bus. Once in Montego Bay you have 2 hours to do whatever (shop, eat, beach), well 2 hrs. goes by real fast and just not enough time to do anything. Plus if you just want to shop, you can shop at the port - don't get an excursion for that. If you are going to do an excursion here - do one that starts bright and early. IMPORTANT NOTE - Jamaican time is one hour behind ship time, be mindful of that when returning from your excursion. Your phones will convert to Jamaican time. COMPLAINT - my one and only complaint is that there is no messaging system on the ship. We did not want to purchase the internet package and communicating with the other 2 couples we traveled with was impossible - this made it really hard to coordinate and/or check-in. I would NOT bring my children on a ship where I could not IM them and I would not want to buy an internet package for 5 folks (my family size) - that gets pricey. I hear The Oasis Class ships (Allure, Oasis, Harmony, Symphony) all have messaging capabilities on their RoyalQ app - but Independence did not. I've cruised RCC one time prior on Majesty of the Seas in 2008 (long time ago) and 2 Carnival Cruises, both on Liberty of the Seas, in 2018. In comparison, Independence of the Seas blew all the other ships away. I also must say, RCC has me reconsidering my Aug 2019 cruise on Carnival Horizon. We had such an amazing time that we've already booked our next RCC cruise in 2020. I did not come away from my Carnival Cruises feeling this well. However, I don't believe that Liberty is a fair comparison to Independence. I am hopeful that Carnival Horizon will allow me the opportunity to do a true comparison, right now Carnival has pretty big shoes to fill. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on Independence 3 times, great ship and service! We arrived at the port at 11:15 am and 11:30 on board. The process is fantastic compared to years ago when you stood in line for hours, much improved. We were offered an ... Read More
We have cruised on Independence 3 times, great ship and service! We arrived at the port at 11:15 am and 11:30 on board. The process is fantastic compared to years ago when you stood in line for hours, much improved. We were offered an up-grade prior sailing but didn't when the bid... Oh well, we still enjoyed our balcony ocean view. Deck 7 is an ideal floor only 2 floors above the Royal Promenade so no need for elevators. I always want the high decks but seriously re-thinking decks 6 and 7 the best! We had my time dining, made our reservations and each night went very smooth. Food in main dining room was okay to good, nothing special. We actually had dinner in the Windjammer one night ( do to a late excursion) and it was fantastic! Tons of choices , from the appetizers to the desserts, anything you could want was available. Breakfast- We prefer the MDR less crowded, tables available, your choice of buffet or ordering from menu all good. Much less crazy than Windjammer. Lunch- MDR by far is the best!! again menu or buffet. Cabin_ Very nice plenty of space and storage no complaints. Ava kept it neat and tidy all week. Entertainment- All good, Grease was great , headliners awesome and the farewell show was the best. Only complaint is the one excusrion we took in Falmouth, we picked A place in the Sun, located in Montego Bay. , Sat in the parking lot for 1 hour waiting for2 people, stop at a store that was over priced for 1 hour, headed to beach very crowded and we had to pay for our chairs and umbrella. No welcome drink NOTHING!! Got back to ship late very disappointed . We are now Diamond Plus members with RCI and hope to sail with them many years ahead. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only ... Read More
Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only good things and we will definitely do it again and again Hopefully on Royal Caribbean as well We loved the show grease The staff the costumes the cleaning of the ship. The embarkation in Cozumel was super easy and the check out as well. Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only good things and we will definitely do it again and again Hopefully on Royal Caribbean as well We loved the show grease The staff the costumes the cleaning of the ship. The embarkation in Cozumel was super easy and the check out as well. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the largest ship I've been on for my fifth cruise. The category of "Very Good" fit this ship, the service, the activities, and just everything across the board. I have had "Excellent" or ... Read More
This was the largest ship I've been on for my fifth cruise. The category of "Very Good" fit this ship, the service, the activities, and just everything across the board. I have had "Excellent" or "Exceptional" experiences in each of these categories on other Royal Caribbean ships or with other cruise lines on various occasions. While nothing was "wrong" in any of these categories on this cruise, nothing rose to the level of "Excellent" either. Do not take the above to mean that we were displeased. Not at all. It was a wonderful cruise and well worth the time and money. If I were to rate anything as "Excellent", it would be the itinerary. I'm a HUGE fan of having an immediate Sea Day before you reach your ports and then a Sea Day after. It really gave us an opportunity to settle in on the ship and get in "cruise mode". Then, after the hustle and bustle of excursions in port, it was wonderful to have that final Sea Day to wind down, get back into "cruise mode", and enjoy the ship and just... cruising! Again, this was the largest ship we had been on and the first of this class with RCCL. The promenade truly was a wonderful experience and just a terrific way to get from end to end of the ship while having food, drink, and shopping opportunities. We were very pleased with the private island, Labadee, Haiti. SO many areas to explore and enjoy. It was very easy to take advantage of the drink package, which extended to the private island. SO many places to relax and enjoy the various beaches or just relax in the shade. We did the Green Grotto Caves and Dunn's River Falls excursion in Falmouth, Jamaica. The caves were nice, with great guides. However, the experience at Dunn's River Falls was just SO much more amazing, we wish we would have done an all-day excursion at just Dunn's River Falls. For those planning the Dunn's River Falls excursion, while you can certainly take stairs along the falls to enjoy its beauty, the excursion itself has you joining hands with your group to go UP and THROUGH the falls. You will get beyond soaked and it does take a bit of strength and sureness of footing. It is completely doable by most able-bodied individuals, but if you have ANY infirmities, heed the warnings. And... be sure to bring a quality "dry bag" to keep anything you don't want to get wet. The scenery and experience has made Dunn's River Falls my all-time favorite excursion to date. I'm relatively new to cruising and am totally hooked. I will be taking one to three cruises a year for the rest of my life. I just LOVE it. While I am enjoying becoming VERY familiar with some ports that are commonly hit, like Nassau, in general, I like to always go somewhere new. However, I will say that the locations, offerings, and itinerary of this particular cruise (Sea Day; Labadee, Haiti; Falmounth, Jamaica; Sea Day) make this one that I would sincerely consider doing again. THAT is probably the best testimonial for this ship, the itinerary, the ports, and the available excursions!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Great overall! The service in the Schooner bar (Igusti, Joy, Mc John, Von) really made the trip personal! Igusti called us over before we had even gone to our room, and had a big, welcoming smile and asked us if we wanted a drink! Joy ... Read More
Great overall! The service in the Schooner bar (Igusti, Joy, Mc John, Von) really made the trip personal! Igusti called us over before we had even gone to our room, and had a big, welcoming smile and asked us if we wanted a drink! Joy introduced us to a new drink- and the duo remembered us from the first minute and gave us great service the whole trip. Mc John and Von entertained us, and Von even brought out his guitar to sing with me when I found out he and Mc John were performers as well! The main restaurant is the place to eat! The buffet has a ton of options, but was always so busy, and it was really hard to find seating for larger groups (we only had 6). The main dining room is opened limited times but well worth fitting it into your schedule over the buffet. We did our own time dining for dinner, and found a great duo ( Birendra and Sandy) and asked if they could serve us for the rest of the week. They set it up for us to come each night at 745, and have the same waiters. We went to Izumi to celebrate our anniversary, and although all the food was great on the ship, this meal went above and beyond! So worth the extra money!! Donald was so entertaining and the whole experience was great! As far as the room goes, we got a balcony room and it was totally spacious, the balcony was great, and the shower had great water pressure! Down sides: Tough to get a drink outside at the pools. Bartenders definitely not as pleasant as indoor ones- and really didn't seem to care how long you had to wait to get a drink. Very limited wait staff walking around as well. When you did get one, it would be a long time before you ever saw them again. Pools were crowded, but you could usually sit along side the pool, but not on a chair in the sun. The adult pool was nice but there was no music- it was completely boring. So you went from either "spring break" at the main pool, to adults reading and sleeping by the adult pool. Too drastic. The piano guy was not my taste. He was a comic I think, and never really got through a song in its entirety, he just played and talked and it was a lot of instrumental strange stuff. We loved the bartenders there so we spent a ton of time there in the evenings, but we love a piano bar- and this was not it at all!! We did love the cruise though, and would recommend it for sure!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We are experienced cruisers but have not been on Royal Caribbean for many years. Things have changed. We were greeted to over 1000 children as we tried to eat lunch on day one. I expected Walt Disney to arrive at any moment. We just ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers but have not been on Royal Caribbean for many years. Things have changed. We were greeted to over 1000 children as we tried to eat lunch on day one. I expected Walt Disney to arrive at any moment. We just didn’t expect that so many children would be on a cruise during school days and were not told to expect. Had a nice table by the window for dining however after the second night of a table of 12 next to us having a party we ate dinner at the buffet after. BTW—no dress code in the dining room. Food was so so at best. Royal Caribbean allows smoking in certain public areas including the casino. The problem is that in order to get to the theatre you must walk through the casino—our clothes smelled like smoke. Second hand smoke also drifts in the sports bar next door as well as the adjoining lounge. I think Royal Caribbean needs to re-think the customer base they really want. Looks like they are trying to be Carnival and Disney all in one but the two don’t mix well in our opinion. Read Less
Meh
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 16th cruise on Royal Caribbean and our 2nd time on Independence. Sadly, it was rather a disappointment overall; for me to give a cruise a 3 star rating is a first. In fairness, not everything was disappointing about this ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise on Royal Caribbean and our 2nd time on Independence. Sadly, it was rather a disappointment overall; for me to give a cruise a 3 star rating is a first. In fairness, not everything was disappointing about this cruise and not everything about the vacation was a problem with Royal Caribbean. I'll try and delineate in my full review below. Pre Cruise Stay We drove to Ft. Lauderdale the day prior to our cruise and stayed at The Quality Inn and Suites on Stirling Rd, roughly 15 to 20 minutes from Port Everglades. NEVER AGAIN. Our room in this "hotel" were dingy and dirty. The price for the room plus five nights parking was close to $200. It included a free shuttle to/from the port, however, there was so much confusion at the time we were supposed to leave regarding who was going where in the shuttle that we decided to take an Uber instead (about $20 plus tip; we shared the Uber with another couple also not happy with the shuttle situation). Our car was fine when we returned, so, that's a good thing! Embarkation Good marks for this. We arrived at the port around 10:30 and were through security, check-in, and sitting in the Diamond embarkation area by 10:50 or so. They boarded not too long after, and we were on the ship a bit after 11. Ship Indy has received a huge overhaul since the last time we were on her (December 2015) with the vast majority of the changes being to "kidify" her (water slide, bungee jumping thing, other stuff) plus add venues that younger adults would find more interesting (Play Makers Sports Bar/Arcade (this in essence cut the casino back by a third)). I'm sure there were other differences as well, but these were the most obvious. Not upgraded were the staterooms; still the old light green/pink drapes, carpets, etc. in them. The ship itself seemed in good shape; very clean, no obvious signs of wear and tear, carpet stains, etc. I'm also impressed by the looks of the main dining room on Freedom Class ships. Oh, and they added hand wash stations at the entrance to the Windjammer. Dining We pre ordered the Ultimate Dining Package so had all four meals in one of the specialty restaurants (which would be Giovanni's Table or Chops Grille since the package wasn't good for Izumi). There were significant issues with making RSVPs. Our first RSVP was made for us at 6:30 embarkation night at Gio's, which was ok; however, we prefer eating at 7:30. Absolutely none of these time slots available at either restaurant when we checked with the Diamond Concierge that first evening. So, we ended up eating very late the 2nd night (8:30 RSVP (more on that evening later) and 6:30 the 3rd and 4th nights. It seems to me they oversell these packages and it's very hard to get the time slot you want. I wouldn't do this again. Also, the food was just, in general, "meh"; some stand-outs here and there, but not what you'd expect for paying extra. People seem to complain about the food in the main dining room (which I can't really comment on this cruise since we only ate breakfast in there one morning and it was fine), however, you'd really expect the food in restaurants you have to pay extra for would be superior. It wasn't. The wine list was also pathetic. Only a few wine by the glass selections available, and fewer of these within the limit of the drink package (which we had). For the first time ever, we did not step foot into the Windjammer (other than to visit the bar), nor did we order room service. The food available in the Diamond Lounge was quite good, especially what they laid out for lunch/afternoon. We found ourselves in there more often than not eating several small wraps, sandwiches, fruit, etc. Drinks As mentioned, we had the drink package having secured a pretty good deal on it during the Black Friday sales. Most of the bars/bartenders were very accommodating and helpful as we attempted to navigate through the issue of why there was a $12 per drink limit, yet, many of the menus listed drinks at $13 each. Only one bar, The Champagne Bar, were sticklers for this (telling us the only glass of champagne we could get there would cost us $8 over the drink package price; very confusing since Chandon Champagne was widely available every other place and included). Come to think of it, we had an issue at Indy's Champagne Bar the last time we were on this ship! Service in the pub, Boleros, Schooner Bar, Viking Crown (Olive or Twist), the bar in Windjammer, and the Diamond Lounge was excellent. As an aside, we paid $52 per person per day for the drink package. On board it was $70!!!!! Service In general, ok. A few folks were just so friendly and helpful. Most were ok; a few were not very helpful at all. This was not a cruise where I'd say "The crew made this cruise", however. Entertainment We saw two shows; the ventriloquist and Royal's Love and Marriage. The former was excellent; I laughed so hard I cried. The latter was ok. Same questions, so, I am thinking people come prepared to answer them "correctly", which isn't very interesting. The Scottish guitar player/singer in the pub was good. As an aside, there were a lot of kids at shows that were not really kid appropriate. And, speaking of which. PAX Kids! Kids! More kids! I've never seen so many kids on a cruise before EVER. Why were they not in school? LOL. Kids, teens, young adults (20s) overran the pool areas so we didn't even bother trying to hand out in our usual spot The Solarium. Kids running around the hallways, up and down the stairs, in and out of the elevators. Even kids in the Diamond Lounge during cocktail hour (thankfully they were well behaved). So, yeah. I've nothing against kids but this was a bit much. Which leads me to believe Royal Caribbean is really upping the game on the kid/family market, which means we'll probably jump ship to Celebrity. There were your usual party animals on this cruise, not surprising as it was over a long weekend. Booze Cruisers. Thankfully, though, no real issues with PAX except one evening in Gio's when there was a huge snafu with RSVPs. People with RSVPs were waiting long past their time slot. Some were getting very irate and extremely rude, both to employees and other PAXs waiting in line. I know it's not unusual to run into rude people here and there on a cruise, but this situation was boarding on uncomfortable. Stateroom Junior Suite 9338 starboard in the middle of the hump. Very close to Centrum (aft) elevators. Oversized (long) balcony (large enough for two chairs, a small round table, and two loungers). Quiet stateroom with tons of space, a walk-in closet, lots of drawers, and a good-sized bathroom with a shower/tub. As previously mentioned, the furnishings were a bit dated. Our stateroom attendant, Ultra, was sweet and efficient (although we hardly saw her; not that we needed to; she responded to our few requests promptly). Diamond Lounge One of the best experiences we've had. Hailey was the concierge and she was very helpful. Because it is up on Deck 14 close to The Viking Crown, the views are quite nice. We stayed in there frequently when we just wanted to sit, read, or chat. Disembarkation Another "meh"; I don't think folks were following instructions. Heck, there were no instructions where we were told to go and wait for our number to be called. We saw some people we knew go by while we were waiting for our number to be called; there number was our number so we just jumped in with them. A very long line at the terminal to get through security. Thankfully, it moved quickly. A bit of a zoo getting our Uber back to the hotel. Summary Maybe we're just getting old, but, for the first time, I didn't feel quite at home on this cruise. Everything seemed to be catering to kids, families, and first time cruisers. Even the magnet that you put on your stateroom door (magnet itself a vast improvement over the thing you put on the door handle) was geared at younger people. "Out catching more thrills. Please make up my room". PLEASE! The fact that we hung out in the Diamond Lounge (and other very quiet places) as opposed to the pool area or some of our favorite bars told me that we felt we needed to "hide" from all the craziness. Thankfully we found a few nice places, including our own balcony, so we did have some positive moments. 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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose to cruise as a celebration for my 50th birthday. I had never cruised before and my primary hesitation was fear of seasickness. But now I am hooked and can't wait to cruise again. Admittedly, I sought out the best deal - ... Read More
We chose to cruise as a celebration for my 50th birthday. I had never cruised before and my primary hesitation was fear of seasickness. But now I am hooked and can't wait to cruise again. Admittedly, I sought out the best deal - based on value. I ignored small ships. I ignored ships with poor reviews. But I looked for a good price. I was willing to sail out of anywhere in Fla. We tested our luck (successfully) and flew in from Toronto to FLL the day of sailing. Although we made it with a couple of hours to spare, maybe we won't test our luck again. We got to the port around 1:30pm and it was a very manageable line. We were through security, checked-in and on-board within 20 minutes. The ship itself was wonderful. Of course, I have no experience to draw upon - but it seemed big and well-appointed, without being so big that you got lost. We paid for the guaranteed ocean view and got a 2nd deck room about 3/4 towards the front of the ship, but it was great. Bigger than we expected, lots of places to store your things, and the cabin steward was fantastic. Actually, just about every single staff we encountered were great. Smiles, sometimes singing and joking with you. If they don't love their job, they know how to hide it very well. The food was good. Probably our biggest disappointment, only because we always hear how amazing the food is. Admittedly, we may be more "foodies" than most and had a higher expectation, but some meals were excellent - while a couple were at best just decent. We dined on our own time on the 3rd deck, and were very happy with that choice. Most evenings, we didn't go to eat until after 8pm so we could enjoy the ship. We did hit the buffet for lunch or breakfast a couple of times. It is huge in there, and you really need to walk around a few times to see all the choices. The food was good in there, but we avoided it because tables were a bit hard to find. We saw the comedian on the first night during the late show (11:30pm). It was adults-only, but there were several families with young kids. While I was fine with that, that does lead to a thought that it was hard to find staff at times to help enforce the rules (we were on a smoke-free sundeck one day and some guys came up and vaped a few feet from us - it took me 10 minutes to find someone to ask them to stop). But the comedian was amazing. Truly. Comedy can be hit-or-miss, and this was a hit. Morning. Day-2. We must have been in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico and we woke up to the ship rocking. I thought: this is my worst nightmare. But I was worried for no reason. So long as I didn't look out at the water, the movement didn't bother me. Yay! Many of the experienced cruisers we met said that while it CAN get worse, this was not normal for cruising and you typically don't feel the swells that much. We saw Grease on night-2. It was good. Better than what you might expect a cheesy cruise show to be, but far from Broadway. My biggest surprise was that the show was one-night-only. I expected to be able to go any night that worked for us, but we had to change our plans in order to see it. That was about it for entertainment for us, though. They did have cheesy things like DJs throwing light-up necklaces in the main mall, and game show activities, but no more comedians or more formal shows. But that was okay - we were always busy. Admittedly, we didn't get to do a lot of the things on the ship. The days went so fast on a 5-night cruise. We spent a lot of time in the adults-only hot tub and the people were a lot of fun. Overall, the other cruisers were excellent. Time wasters: the art auction - we thought it would be fun, but bidding starts at just 10% below retail value (and who knows who is responsible for assessing that value!), and the auction takes a couple of hours. Blech! Also, we entered the slot tournament - fun, but once again we spent an hour in the awfully-smoky casino in the middle of the day, when we should have been up on deck. Ports: Costa Maya - basically an outdoor shopping mall. We took advantage of an empty ship and didn't debark until after lunch. Did some shopping, had a beer on the fake beach and was back on board two hours later. Experience was about a 4 out of 10. Cozumel was fun, but also so touristy. We decided to avoid the outdoor mall at the port and take a taxi into town. Good luck getting out. It's set up like a casino, making it hard to get out. The ride was safe, 10 minutes and cost about $8. The main strip in town (about 6-7 blocks) was similar to the tourist trap shopping mall, but at least there was a mix of locals with the big-name stores. And once you walked beyond the strip, or away from the beach inland, you got to experience more of what you'd expect from Mexico. We found a mom-and-pop restaurant for lunch a few blocks inland, and it was great. I had a steak - my girlfriend had seafood. Came with soup. Nachos and their homemade salsa and guac. We each had a beer. And the bill was $16. Amazing. Back on the ship, we enjoyed our sail back to FLL and felt like the trip flew by way too quickly. I will cruise again. Most likely with RC. I would certainly recommend this ship for just about anyone. I just wish we had a couple more days. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Sailed Independence of the Seas Nov 22 through Nov 26 to Cozumel Mexico out of Ft. Lauderdale. PROS: What a beautiful ship. Staff was lovely and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. They had a great sense of humor and ... Read More
Sailed Independence of the Seas Nov 22 through Nov 26 to Cozumel Mexico out of Ft. Lauderdale. PROS: What a beautiful ship. Staff was lovely and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. They had a great sense of humor and took the time to get to know you individually. They learned your names which is amazing. Activities were great and they had tons to do. Embarkation and Disembarkation both went smoothly. Food was delicious and they had A LOT of variety. The sushi at Izumi (extra fee) was AMAZING. We did the sushi making class on board (extra fee). Not only did they teach us step by step how to make sushi and roll it; they also gave us recipe cards for all the sushi we made and we got to eat ALL of it. They even provides us with a certificate for completing the sushi class. The Bottomless mimosa and galley brunch tour on board (extra fee) was AMAZING and the brunch items included lobster, shrimp, sushi from Izumi, eggs Benedict, burgers, bbq wings, salmon and other things. All of it was delicious. MIMOSAS GALLORE!!!! YUM! The night club in the sky lounge on the 14th floor was Booming with great music. Awesome atmosphere and the DJ played various songs to meet a variety of cultural backgrounds. The casino was clean and had a variety of slot machines. The restrooms were ALWAYS clean. The drinks were delicious. Do yourself a favor and spend the few extra bucks and GET THE DRINK PACKAGE!!! If you plan on getting alcohol it is well worth the money and it will pay for itself in a day or two considering the prices of individual drinks range from $9.50 to $14. The beverage package gives you access to sodas and specialty coffees also and you get a cup to take home. Dining was difficult because everything was so good. The meals on Deck 5 at the main dining room were delicious. The Windjammer on deck 11 was delicious and offered a ton of variety. Remember to wash your hands before Mr. Washy Washy sings you to death and beats you with the handsoap LOL. He was also AMAZING. So I guess it all depends on whether you want to sit down or have a variety of choices. Our room attendant Ava was also AMAZING. We had a leak in our toilet when it flushed on day 1. Called maintenance and within 3 minutes they were knocking on our door. They came in and in a matter of 5 minutes had it fixed. The maintenance staff was AMAZING. Go to the art gallery. They have amazing works of art up for auction. And for a great laugh go to the comedy shows and The Quest games how on the last night of cruising. CONS: The excursion we went on was the all day Tulum Ruins and beach break. For future cruises I say pass on this tour. It was wonderful and the tour guides were friendly. However, we barely had any time to shop at Tulum as the tour ran all day, the tour guide was doing his job (talking away) and we had to get back on the boat. There were so many great shops I missed out on sadly. Lesson learned for me. We literally had 15 minutes to shop upon returning to port before having to get back on the ship. Next time shorter tour so we can have time to shop. The bartenders are BUSY ALL THE TIME. They seem to be short staffed in that area and could benefit for hiring a few more. They are however very friendly and if you treat them the same and have patience they hook you up with great service. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was the worst time we ever had. The service was terrible and understaffed at every bar. The pregratuty only showed staff didnt have to do anything to show you a good time but rather a feeling that we didnt deserve anything ... Read More
This cruise was the worst time we ever had. The service was terrible and understaffed at every bar. The pregratuty only showed staff didnt have to do anything to show you a good time but rather a feeling that we didnt deserve anything either. The promenade felt like a shopping mall and it felt like everyone just wanted our money anyplace we went to. The fine dining felt like microwaved and specialty restaurants costing more just didnt impress us. Asking for mushrooms for a steak and was told they dont do that. Asked for chef to come out and he or she refused. Service was horrible. Never saw our cabin boy. Lugagge came seperated both to cabin and upon diembarcation we had to search as it wasn't left together but rather set into several other piles. They didn't handle it with care and broke our one nice case we had. Whirlpool to be open 24/7 and yet we tried using one each morning only to find they are closed for cleaning. All of them rather than as we suggested to rotate cleaning times to leave at least one of several open. We suggested it first day and they ignored us. Saw bar server refuse to give water to one guest prefering to keep going to guest who pay for drinks. Orange juice was always hidden so that if you had purchased tge drink package ( we did ) we had to ask for it special and they didnt return to refill any drinks at any meals. I actually got up and left to go to another bar and still returned before our waiter did. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night cruise of Spain and the Canary Islands. It’s our second time on this ship and our fourth with RCI. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this holiday because I did, but there were a few issues that ... Read More
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night cruise of Spain and the Canary Islands. It’s our second time on this ship and our fourth with RCI. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this holiday because I did, but there were a few issues that prevent me from giving this a five star review. The ship and the staff are incredible. Despite being very busy we didn’t encounter any of the over-crowding problems mentioned in other reviews. It never took more than a couple of minutes to get a drink, even at busy times. The food was generally good. The main dining room seems to have slipped a little since last year, but it’s still good. The speciality restaurants are all excellent and not too expensive if you pre-book a dining package before you get on board. I enjoyed all the bars and felt we received great service from the staff right across the ship. The delux drinks package is well worth having, with a great selection of spirits and cocktails. What lets it down is the quality of the wines. The reds and whites are pretty poor and the “champagne” is awful. It’s a non-descript sparking French wine which smells like a clogged drain. Our cabin, a balcony on deck 6, was okay. It looked a little tired in the places and the carpets and curtains were outdated, but it was a good size and kept clean and tidy. I slept well every night, even in rough seas, so the bed was very comfortable. The entertainment was excellent. There’s a first-rate production of Grease and the ice shows are stunning. The themed nights on the promenade are good fun though they do get very crowded and hot. We had a party under the stars one night on the upper decks which was fun too. What let the holiday down for me was the large number of children and teenagers onboard. We deliberately went during school term time but this seemed to make no difference. I know the Scottish half term took place during this fortnight but most of the kids were English, meaning they’d been kept out school for this trip. It resulted in all the issues raised in previous reviews: kids running around unsupervised, playing in the lifts late at night, etc. We were also unfortunate to encounter a lot of Diamond class snobs on this cruise. They bragged about the Diamond lounge like it was the holy grail, then proceeded to moan about it: how small it is, how common it’s become, how there are too many diamond members on the ship and they were forced to mingle with the “riff raff”. We had four of these people on a table of eight at dinner and I found the constant moaning to be a drain, especially in the second week. Not RC’s fault, just the luck of draw for table seating. I wouldn’t like to think I’d ever go on a huge, beautiful ship and spend most of my time sitting in a single cafeteria-style room, not matter how many points I’d achieved, just to feel special. The itinerary was good, with a nice balance of sea and shore days. I always enjoy the sea days with plenty to do across the ship. We had a bit off iffy weather on the way back: 5 metre waves and 60 mph winds, but the ship handled it well and with the stabilizers engaged it wasn’t too bad at all. It took about six hours to get through the worst of it, which we spent on a low deck, midship with little to worry about. So, to summarise, Independence is a wonderful ship with lots of do and enjoy, let down by the odd issue here and there. But with the recent refit designed to appeal to families rather than couples, I don’t think I’ll be sailing on her, or any RC ship, anytime soon. I’d rather book with an adult only company and guarantee a child free, more relaxing cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
For my wife and I this was our very first cruise. We went to the Norwegian Fjords aboard Independence of the Seas. We booked this cruise as we were told that it was a great trip and the Independence had, according to the Royal Caribbean ... Read More
For my wife and I this was our very first cruise. We went to the Norwegian Fjords aboard Independence of the Seas. We booked this cruise as we were told that it was a great trip and the Independence had, according to the Royal Caribbean brochure "been given a makeover from stern to bow". This is not true, parts of the ship may have been changed, BUT our room certainly had not seen any makeover. I have included a cabin review in the separate section. We spoke to some other passengers and they indicated there cabins were OK but had not been madeover as they had been led to believe. The boarding process was pretty good but we had to wait to get into the cabin, as this was our first cruise we did not really know what to expect. It became the norm to have to queue to get into the dining room. We were on "anytime" dining and we reserved times for dining for particular times. The food generally is good with service to match, although at times it seemed a little rushed. So we started to ask for a short wait between courses. We complained to guest relations on our return, sending them a number of photographs. At first they were helpful enough. Now, however it is a different matter. For 4 weeks I have been trying by e mail and telephone to get some clarification about an our issue and I can get a verbal statement from them, but they refuse to confirm in writing as "we do not" reply to E mails. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We sailed onboard the ship for our 1st ever cruise on the Norway itinerary. We are in our early forties and always wanted to see the Fjords. Upon arrival at Southampton, the whole embarking process was flawless - having travelled by ... Read More
We sailed onboard the ship for our 1st ever cruise on the Norway itinerary. We are in our early forties and always wanted to see the Fjords. Upon arrival at Southampton, the whole embarking process was flawless - having travelled by air very frequently over the years, we found the whole process easy, pleasant and was on the ship within 30 minutes of getting out of our car next to the ship. Our experience of the ship was great - the staff were very attentive, helpful and really added to the trip. The decor was nice, we liked the amenities available (although we are not really into sun loungers or pools, so didn't use those facilities). The food standard was very good, the food in the MDR was good (although we generally either went to a speciality restaurant or the Windjammer most evenings). There were numerous bars are onboard with a variety of themes and acts that support them, The entrainment on the whole was good, we enjoyed the shows (Grease and the Ice Shows were the highlights). The street parties on the promenade were also enjoyable. The itinerary was fantastic - we was not disappointed with any of the port stops, although a lot was closed in Bergen (Sunday) however we wanted to go on the Funicular, so spend our time at the top then took a hop on - hop off bus round the area. The 8 nights were nothing short of excellent overall. Our only comment was the cabin whilst clean and maintained well by our cabin steward (special mention to Warner on Deck 7 - fantastic service and a credit to the ship), was showing signs of age (as were most, as the recent refurbishment only appears to have been done to cater for the incoming new cabins). Finally worth noting - many comments have been made on the subject of the changes causing overcrowding. Having not been onboard prior to this trip, it may be noticeable to previous guests, however on our trip we didn't feel this was the case. We did sail the last day of August, so not many children were on the ship compared too the previous several weeks and Norway isn't likely a family choice over the Med or the Canaries, so likely played a part in appearing to be lower in capacity. We liked our trip so much that within 4 days of being back - we have booked again for next year (to the Med - but out of school holidays). If the reviews gave you 2nd thoughts - our advice is give it a try. We are very glad we did. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first cruise and I’m so excited to say how amazing it was from the staff taking our suitcases out of the car to them going back in . So very helpful and friendly . Staff at the terminal so smiley and excited for everyone ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I’m so excited to say how amazing it was from the staff taking our suitcases out of the car to them going back in . So very helpful and friendly . Staff at the terminal so smiley and excited for everyone going on the cruise . The food was to die for , the rooms had everything you wanted . The shoe Grease was out of this world as was Tge Beatles show . I could go on forever as it was the best holiday ever and I didn’t want to come home . Who would when you’re treat like royalty . The ship was immaculate throughout . The lifts were fast so no hanging around waiting . Plenty to do all day long or on an evening . Shops had lots to choose from and were open until late . Altogether a truly amazing experience . Thank you Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Staff - couldn't fault the staff for the most part they were exceptionally good. Drinks – Royal Caribbean do a drinks package that covers everything up to the value of $14 a glass I had copious varieties of cocktails and all ... Read More
Staff - couldn't fault the staff for the most part they were exceptionally good. Drinks – Royal Caribbean do a drinks package that covers everything up to the value of $14 a glass I had copious varieties of cocktails and all were included in my package. The system was very simple anything over the $14 they let you know in advance what it would cost and you just paid the top up. Swimming pools and recreation activities - They have a wealth of things to do including water slides, mini golf, VR trampolines, splash pool. You need to go to the activities while the ship is in port unless you enjoy crowds and even then they aren't always quiet. Some activities were only open for very short periods like the ice skating that opened twice a day for 45 minutes. The adult pool was for 16 years plus which although only 2 years younger than the other ships we have been on was very noticeable and not in a good way. As an excellent addition Independence of the seas has an escape room that was really well laid out and fun although perhaps aimed at more starter escape room people not the more experienced. Biggest upset with the escape room though they don’t let you privately book it so you could be in the room with an array of unknown others. Quizzes and shows - you need to turn up between 30 and 45 minutes early to these things if you want a good seat (or in some cases any seat at all) the broadway shows were excellent but many of the other shows were mediocre at best with 3 comedians repeating each others material and a very poor hypnotist. Photo's & other items to purchase - all your pictures $250 bit pricey for me. Bathrobes $100 for one again bit pricey for me. Anything extra you may want to pay for was very pricey on Independence. Food - Breakfast Breakfast in room awful, big queues for buffets and sit down breakfast not great either. Food - lunch, snacks and late night food. Buffet not too busy but quality of food on the poor end, very limited snack options and late night food non existent however mr whipy style ice cream up by pools included in cost. Food - dinner We struggled to find options either of us would eat at main dining room gave up by mid way through cruise and ate at buffet which was never super busy but array and quality of food not great. Food - room service Food was shockingly bad. In case you haven't spotted the theme yet the food on Independence was appalling. Complimentary drinks - Squash and juice available with your meals along side water, tea & coffee. For all the positives about Royal Caribbean the food was such a large negative we will avoid using them again in the future. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was my 3rd time on The Independence of the Seas, 6th time with Royal Caribbean and definitely my last. I was excited to see how they had renovated the ship as were the other 5 members of our party. How wrong we were. May I ... Read More
This was my 3rd time on The Independence of the Seas, 6th time with Royal Caribbean and definitely my last. I was excited to see how they had renovated the ship as were the other 5 members of our party. How wrong we were. May I point out I am usually not one to complain as I understand that sometimes things don't go to plan but we had a couple of main issues whilst onboard. -Drinks Packages & Shortage of Drinks Onboard Prior to setting sail I enquired about drinks packages, 4 of the party wished to purchase the Deluxe Package, myself the soda package and one of the party did not want a package at all. However, this is where the disappointment started. We were informed that due to new regulations it was either all or nothing. We did not want the drinks packages so that we could ‘drink excessively’ but more for the convenience of not having to sign for drinks on each purchase. Having being informed of new rules set by yourselves we ended up purchasing 4 Deluxe packages and 2 Royal Refreshment packages. This totalling £2821.84, £517.69 more than the package arrangement that we initially wanted. Further disappointment followed as on day 10 of the cruise, drinks began to run out. Only select beers, wines and sodas were available at the bars and pub. The pub eventually having no Peroni, San Miguel, Pinot Grigio, Tonic Water or Sprite Zero. Little alternatives were offered and we were left 4 days without our preferred drinks, which we had effectively paid for when we purchased our packages? -Overcrowding Another issue that was particularly apparent was the sheer overcrowding of the Independence during the 5 sea days. Having travelled before I understand that sea days are busier than those where we are in port. However, during this cruise it was noticeably worse than previous. Fellow guests began the reserving of sunbeds at 6:30am!!! This making it an unbeatable challenge to find any sunbeds after around 8:30am. Guests were sunbathing on the paths and sides of the pools and sunbeds were also so close that it was impossible to get onto them safely. I was extremely disappointed as for our party this holiday was about relaxing, which was impossible when we had to awake early to find a sunbed and there were no particularly peaceful areas to sunbathe. After speaking to fellow travellers we were not the only guests who found that the ship appeared overcrowded on this voyage. This overcrowding issue was also noted by guests in our party when trying to order speciality coffees at café promenade, with the wait being up to 25 minutes for a single coffee. A timeframe which I do not deem acceptable. The overcrowding issue also became apparent in the evenings before and after dinner, throughout all bars on the ship there was not one table or chair free for either before or after dinner drinks and the wait for being served was up to 30 minutes. From what we remember and understand about the Royal Caribbean brand this is not up to the usual standard, and it disappointed us, and was embarrassing with the first time cruisers. -The Stateroom Having staterooms located around the ship 7334, 7634 & 8220 we were disheartened to find that the cabins had not received any attention during the renovations earlier in the year. The same rusty bins, stained curtains and barely working TVs remained, issues which could’ve been resolved for little cost. This was slightly disappointing as stateroom 7334 could not use the TV, this was reported to guest services who later informed us that the TV was in working order, which it certainly was not. Our staterooms attendants for cabins 7334 & 7634 were also poor in comparison to previously cruises, leaving bins unemptied and tea making facilities were not replenished for up to 3 days at a time. This is not the usual standard and certainly not acceptable for Royal Caribbean. In summary, I have written to Royal Caribbean about the issues above, of which their response was 'Sorry but we have not broken any policies' and 'We never state when you purchase a drinks package that drinks will actually be available' I'm an emerald member and they can't even say 'Here's a free drink for those ones you missed out on' We paid £17,000+ for this cruise and left feeling extremely disappointed and sorry for those that have already booked to travel on this cruise in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Booked this cruise last year while on Navigator of the Seas. We were really excited after all the hype about the changes The ship is lovely with lots to explore. However it is very noticeable that there is limited seating in ALL areas. ... Read More
Booked this cruise last year while on Navigator of the Seas. We were really excited after all the hype about the changes The ship is lovely with lots to explore. However it is very noticeable that there is limited seating in ALL areas. Our cabin (6596) was a balcony but there was an awful noise that was constant when the ship was moving.Complained 3 times, had 2 supervisors and 3 workman come out to try and fix the issue but was told by the last workman that it was "Normal noise"! After 6 nights and a few tears at customer service desk we were eventually moved to another cabin, 5 doors downed also a balcony but it was quiet....no noise.....so NOT NORMAL!!! After this issue we started to enjoy ourselves a bit more even though we were still trying to catch up on sleep!! Playmakers is an amazing addition to the ship. This bar has a great atmosphere and hard working staff who were constantly busy but always smiling!! Service in all areas were a little slow but the ship was allegedly fully booked. Food was gorgeous and a great selection for even the most fussiest of eaters and always saw plates of chips in the main dining room! Shops were pointless to me as i refuse to spend more than £50 on a handbag let alone £200++ and I don't go on holiday to spend that type of money! The casino staff were great. We had never taken part in anything like that before but they were willing to show you how each table game works. Evening entertainment was hit or miss Grease was fantastic but Darren Day meh! The destinations themselves were stunning all local attractions were within walking distance or free shuttle buses were available. Read Less
Independence of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates N/A 3.8

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