Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it. 2 adults & 1 teen Our Balcony Cabin was bigger than expected and equipped with everything we needed, a bit dated but clean and comfortable. Nice bedding and comfy beds Very ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it. 2 adults & 1 teen Our Balcony Cabin was bigger than expected and equipped with everything we needed, a bit dated but clean and comfortable. Nice bedding and comfy beds Very Happy with our room attendant Sugi who was always smiling and kept our cabin in good order. We had a little problem with the Pullman bed on the first evening and that was dealt within minutes followed by an apology letter. We opted for “my time dinning” although booked our time slots in the planner before we sailed this way we still could be allocated the same table and waiter each night. Our waiter Beemal was great kept us entertained and was very attentive. Could not fault the food in any of the restaurants, bars or Cafe’s. We mainly ate in the main restaurant for breakfast, lunch & dinner. We used the Windjammer a couple of time and found the food to be very good, huge choice and although it was busy we didn’t have a problem finding a table. Johnny Rockets was also really good, milkshakes were amazing and worth the additional $9.95 per person on there own. The pool areas were quite busy especially on sea days when it was more difficult to find a sun bed, also it was school holidays so ship was generally busy, it never seemed overly crowded and we liked the adult solarium. We never had much of a wait getting drinks around the pool bars, the sky bar was our favourite, the staff were the friendliest, not that you need to go to the bar as there are plenty of waiters walking round delivering directly to our sun beds. Ice show, dance shows and Grease were amazing. My partner used the gym which was well equipped and he had a great view when arriving a ports first thing. We had the Key package and I would recommend it, it come with quite a few perks including the reserved seating for all the shows and the internet. We also were allocated time slots for the climbing wall, flow rider, ice skating and trampolines (we didn’t get round to doing most of them) The first day lunch was served in the main dining room but used the chops grill menu, It was a lovely and relaxed way to start our cruise. It was also nice to leave the ship when we wanted to rather than waiting to be called. Overall for what we paid which was about £17 per per person per day it was good value and would get again if offered at the name price. The only thing I would say is that it’s not fully advertised on the ship and you have to ask when you go into the theatre and shows to be seated. We had to select a showing for the Grease performance and was advised to meet in the bar and would be taken to our seats, this didn't happen so we made our own way and was shown to our seats. We left the ship at both ports in Spain but just had a walk around did not do any trips but would consider on our next cruise (already booked) it’s a shame the independence is not sailing from the UK next year as we really loved it, just hoping Athem lives up to it. Overall we had a wonderful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We’ve just come back from a 14 night trip on the Independence which went to the western Mediterranean. It was a fantastic cruise and very little of our experience was anything like negative. However, a quick run down of the different ... Read More
We’ve just come back from a 14 night trip on the Independence which went to the western Mediterranean. It was a fantastic cruise and very little of our experience was anything like negative. However, a quick run down of the different bits we saw and did, follows! -- Windjammer -- We found the Windjammer a huge improvement on Vision of the Seas’s version. The seating is well spaced out and the furniture is nicer, meaning it’s an experience that’s generally nice, rather than a low quality fight for somewhere rubbish to sit to eat some food. We avoided it on Vision as much as we could. The guys with guitars singing for guests to wash their hands on the entrance were slightly amusing but completely unnecessary. Those who don’t wash their hands, won’t do so just because a couple of guys are singing at them. Also if you eat like a normal grown up human, you’ll use cutlery anyway! -- Izumi -- We were looking forward to some beautiful sushi (as we’d had on Vision) but this Izumi focuses far too much on Hibachi. Which essentially is a chef singing songs (expecting passenger participation) and flicking bits egg into guests’ mouths amongst other really “hilarious” things. My wife and I went on a formal night but we were sat around a chef with six others, none of whom were wearing anything smarter than t shirts. Made us feel awkwardly overdressed and we were completely unable to have a nice meal together. Izumi on Independence is very much expecting you to order their Hibachi combo meal. Don’t get me wrong, the chefs are very skilled but the food just tastes normal, like you’d expect for cooked Japanese food. Nothing special but $10 more than the dining package allows. We did order some sushi to have with the cooked food which was excellent but the atmosphere just didn’t fit with a nice meal out with your other half. In summary, don’t bother going to Izumi if you want a classy meal, don’t. It’s a slightly too expensive, too loud and too informal way to spend an evening eating what’s quite regular food. -- Chops Grille -- Fantastic - we ate there three times! Wonderful food and a really nice atmosphere and view. The seafood towers were great! Definitely worth every penny, especially as a package night. -- Main dining room -- The service was great, as is expected. We found that the menu was pretty boring though. Turns out that Royal Caribbean make the menu more British as the majority of the passengers are British. I’m sure it suited many but I don’t go on holiday to eat the same food as I make at home! By the way, they don’t have soup spoons. Eating soup with a dessert spoon takes ages and got boring! A strange lack of equipment for Royal Caribbean! I would say that the MDR is a nice dinner, but not special enough to look forward to. The food is great quality but not interesting - left me wondering whether I ought to have gone somewhere else (even Windjammer!) for dinner rather than spend 90 minutes eating unexciting food. -- Bars -- The bars were as expected, brilliant. Great staff and plentiful drinks. Schooner is a bit of a shame as it’s too much of a thoroughfare and seems to have a quiz on every half an hour. Our experience of Schooner on Vision of the Seas was a good one, but it was far more laid back and more music than quizzes (can’t remember any quizzes there actually). -- The pools -- Fantastic - facilities are brilliant. The rules about reserving beds aren’t worth the plastic they’re printed on though - nobody follows them and the staff don’t confiscate stuff left on them all day. People reserve beds at 7am on a sea day and don’t move all day. This is a huge issue that Royal Caribbean needs to sort out! -- The promenade -- We had loads of great evenings around the Promenade. The events and music make for a lovely evening atmosphere - and a party too some nights. We loved spending time here! -- Dress codes -- If you’re new to Royal Caribbean, the dress code for anything other than a formal night is anything from very informal to formal. On formal nights, if you wear a Tuxedo, you’ll be in a miniority - I reckon only 5% ish of passengers wear Tuxes. Generally most others makes an effort - but even so, don’t expect to be surrounded by those smarter people. Even in speciality restaurants, if you’re in shorts and a t shirt, you won’t be turned away on formal night. But if you are that person, do those of us who’ve made an effort a favour and stay in Windjammer please! -- The other passengers -- Generally, the (mainly British) passengers were fine. We did notice however fairly large groups from a certain northern city in England (not naming where, but you might be able to guess…) who unfortunately don’t travel with a lot of class - taking up huge areas of bars/pool areas with towels, getting drunker than is enjoyable for others nearby and being unable to maintain any eating manners or dress codes. These people yawped at each other (at one point, one group had a water/drinks fight in the pool bar…) and had little consideration for others. We found this description of group travellers to be in a surprising majority on the ship, maybe this city finished early for their school holidays. The serious point being that I’m not sure we’d sail from Southampton again because of it. The cruise wasn’t cheap but apparently price doesn’t guarantee any quality in fellow passengers! As advice for other travellers, think about whether this sort of group has a tendency to affect your enjoyment and plan your activities with this in mind. -- the destinations -- As with the other two cruises I’ve been on, I don’t really choose a cruise because of its destinations when it’s around Europe. Simply because European port cities can be a little samey. They were all pleasant (certainly Cagliari and Cadiz) but places like Naples were not good for those who aren’t great on their feet. We heard of injuries! -- overall -- I would happily do this cruise again. Nothing can be perfect and for a 14 night cruise, Royal Caribbean did an absolutely sterling job at it. My small observations are definitely only tiny issues. I will definitely be traveling with them again next time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
It's been a few years since we were last on an RC ship, onboard the Anthem, which was an amazing ship and experience. It was also one where most folk we spoke to would always say, "it's great, but it's not the ... Read More
It's been a few years since we were last on an RC ship, onboard the Anthem, which was an amazing ship and experience. It was also one where most folk we spoke to would always say, "it's great, but it's not the Indy". When we saw this year that Indy was doing a Canaries cruise, something we had wanted to do for a long time, we jumped at the chance to see if she was all that and more, especially after her recent refit and refurb, and hit or miss reviews here! Driving from Glasgow, thanks to FlyBe's exorbitant prices to fly direct to Southampton, our embarkation process from arriving at AB Parking to getting onto the ship probably took us no more than an hour from about 11am. The RC staff throughout were extremely helpful and ensured everyone was kept moving towards getting onto the ship. It was the same disembarking on our final day. It was all super slick, super efficient, and felt very well managed and controlled. Once onboard we had to wait about three hours for our cabin to be ready thanks to a deep cleanse of the ship due to an outbreak of the norovirus on the previous sailing. Again, on this point, I don't think I've ever seen a ship and her crew be so resolute in making sure everyone washed their hands, used hand sanitiser, or similar, be it getting on and off the ship or coming in or out of any areas with food and drink. Our cabin was starboard side mid-ships in the bow (7330). We weren't sure if it was a refurbed one or not, but it was certainly spacious when the sofa bed was away, with plenty room for my wife and I, along with our 11 year old boy. It also had a decent sized balcony, more than big enough for the three of us to be out on together. Our cabin steward did a decent enough job of keeping the room clean, although we had to put the sofa bed away ourselves after it was continuously left out for the first few days. After that, it was always put away during the day. The service felt perfunctory at best and nothing more compared to some previous experiences we've had. The ship itself, having spent a fortnight with her, isn't quite as grand as others would have us believe. She's a beautiful ship, but not quite in the same class as the Anthem (although I think we were spoiled sailing in her maiden year). The promenade is very nice, but you have absolutely no chance of getting any space or seats in the cafe, bars, or pub if you're on the 8.30pm dinner sitting. It's very disappointing after your meal to come down and see it crammed full with next to no space anywhere. Likewise, while we certainly never had any problems getting sunbeds or space at any time during the cruise, the poolside beds and those around the running track on deck 12 were very cramped and always busy with very little being done by staff to vacate empty loungers (there's supposed to be a maximum 30min limit). We always found space at the back of the ship towards the flowrider and beyond Johnny Rockets. Food wise, the Indy has definitely been one of the best ships for food I think we've been on. Both the Windjammer and Main Dining Room excelled in choice, quantity, and quality of food. Granted, the days at sea saw the Windjammer absolutely packed with very little room to get seats, but you prepare your best for this and try to schedule your eating time around when you feel it wouldn't be as busy. Johnny Rockets was never busy given it's a chargeable eatery ($10 per head for as much as you want), but the food was very tasty and I'm also sure ridiculously high on the calories. We also bought the three night dining package which we used in Giovanni's Table and twice in Chops Grille. Giovanni's is nice, but the food isn't a patch on Jamie's Italian on the Anthem, while our first experience of Chops on the ship wasn't great from a customer service point of view (this was rectified on our second visit and made up for the first one completely, plus the steaks are to die for in there). We used RC for two shore excursions, Lanzarote where we did the camels and timanfaya national park, and Madeira for the toboggan, cable car and wine tasting. While you are paying extra doing these through RC, we always feel it's better for piece of mind should any delays occur and you get left behind (as we saw several did during this cruise too). Both excursions were very enjoyable and professionally managed. We sadly only managed to see a few shows during our cruise; the brilliant Freeze Frame ice skating show, Frankie Valli and the Dreamers, and Grease. All very enjoyable, but you did need to be there about 30mins before to ensure you got a prime viewing seat. All highly recommended. Lastly, a special mention must go to our waiting team in the main dining room. Our sitting at 8.30pm was always brilliant thanks to Radu and Thommy who very quickly picked up on our needs every night. Nothing was too much trouble, any changes or requests were met with a swift response and resolution. Both were an absolute dream and played a huge part in making our holiday as enjoyable as it was. Radu in particular always had information to hand at the end of our meal regarding our next day on the ship. Both continually went above and beyond and were a pleasure from start to finish. We enjoyed our time on the Indy thoroughly, and while she maybe doesn't have the bling or glamour of the Anthem, we'd happily sail with her again in the future! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first ever cruise. We chose the cruise more for the ship than it’s destinations. On our arrival we were through check in and onto the ship in 10 minutes (although we did arrive an hour late on the coach due to traffic). The ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We chose the cruise more for the ship than it’s destinations. On our arrival we were through check in and onto the ship in 10 minutes (although we did arrive an hour late on the coach due to traffic). The ship is big but I expected more things on it. Our inside cabin (1697 on deck 10) was small (2 adults and 1 teen) but adequate and quiet. We didn’t eat in the main restaurant as it was a set menu and our son is autistic so has issues with food. Instead we ate at the Windjammer buffet (and once at Johnny Rockets). We could not find any fault with the food or cleanliness. Before entering you are encouraged to wash your hands (by the singing washy washy men) and use antibacterial gel. Johnny Rockets charges $10 per person as a supplement but you can then order as much as you want from the menu, plus the food was nice. Our cruise was from Southampton to the Mediterranean and back so the first 3 days and last 2 days were not great weather. The rest were fantastic but with only 2 sea days we didn’t use much. We used the swimming pool just once but sunbathed a couple of times. The flowrider was always busy with good surfers hogging it. The skypad was fun but the VR was a little disorientating. We went to plenty of quizzes and won one. The entertainment was fantastic with several top artists flown in Darren Day, Steve Hewlett, Jamie Allen plus others. We also had a stage show of Grease which was good but I found very disjointed and not in the correct sequence. The shops were expensive although they had many sales later in the cruise. The Market had some allergy tablets costing $15 but you can get them in Poundland for.......£1. The service throughout the ship was second to none, in fact I honestly don’t think I saw or heard any miserable staff. I need to pay particular praise on our stateroom attendant, Lionel King. He couldn’t do enough for you, and his standards exceeded our expectations. He came in a cleaned up twice a day. We didn’t do any ship excursions as they were extremely expensive. Instead we simply did our own thing. Getting on/off in port was always really easy. Our son has autism and he enjoyed the cruise but didn’t do any teen clubs. He struggled a few days with food choices but was fine most days. He particularly enjoyed the hot chocolate from the Cafe Promenade. Afterwards he said he would like to do another cruise but in the Caribbean next time. We will definitely do another cruise but next time we will choose it for the destinations more than the ship. My only disappointment was the cost of the shops, laundry (although they do a deal for $35), premium restaurants and excursions. Finally we would not get the soda drinks package again as in our view it’s not value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Wow what an amazing family holiday! This was our first RCCL Cruise & we will definitely be booking again. Absolutely everything was hassle free & brilliantly organised. We ranged in ages from 76 to 7 & everyone had a blast. ... Read More
Wow what an amazing family holiday! This was our first RCCL Cruise & we will definitely be booking again. Absolutely everything was hassle free & brilliantly organised. We ranged in ages from 76 to 7 & everyone had a blast. Our cabins were lovely & clean with connecting doors. The children adored this & loved the bible that flipped out of the ceiling. The food in the dining room & buffet was exceptional quality & the choice was awesome. There was one day when it was busy & we waited ten minutes to enter. This was no problem & we were happy to wait for a table. The attention to hand hygiene was great as I was worried about this. We also are at Izumi & this was INCREDIBLE. The staff ship wide were amazing. The sorts staff were great. Our girls tried every activity they could - loved the flow rider, the trampolines, the swimming, shuffleboard, bingo, ice skating, the shows, laser tag and all the silly napkin folding and crafting classes. I would recommend this cruise to anyone travelling as an extended family who wanted something for everyone. You won’t be disappointed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We picked Independence of the Seas out of Southampton for our first European Cruise. Embarkation with the new expedited boarding using the new app was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Junior Suite #7712. ... Read More
We picked Independence of the Seas out of Southampton for our first European Cruise. Embarkation with the new expedited boarding using the new app was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Junior Suite #7712. Room was ready at 1 and lunch was ready in the Windjammer. The cruise itself was smooth as the seas were flat. Fog in the North Sea didn't cause any issues. Entertainment and food on the ship were great, although I found the menu changed from the Caribbean cruises and the entertainment other that the normal shows (Grease) was more directed at the Brits as was the menu. Ports of call were Hamburg, Germany, Oslo, Norway, and Bruges in Belgium. The Fjord passage was great, and plenty of time in all the ports for sightseeing. We just walked off in Hamburg and Oslo and saw the port. We did a beer tasting Tour in Bruges with plenty of time after for lunch (Belgian Waffle of course) and chocolate buying. Upon return to Southampton we did the Windsor Castle Tour on the return to the Airport which did not disappoint. Debarkation for the tour was well planned and quick. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is our fourth trip on the Indy and first since the new refit of 2018. It was also our first cruise ship we traveled on back in 2008. It is our favourite ship along with the Navigator and Splendor (now gone to TUI). When I planned ... Read More
This is our fourth trip on the Indy and first since the new refit of 2018. It was also our first cruise ship we traveled on back in 2008. It is our favourite ship along with the Navigator and Splendor (now gone to TUI). When I planned this holiday for my wife's birthday I chose a Southampton cruiise to avoid flights as Brexit was blowing up at the time of booking and I did not want to do flights due to possible cancellations or additional costs such as visas etc. This is the first time my wife has driven to Southampton (as we normally would take the train and/or bus via London but these are becoming long and expensive) and we parked in the Yellow car park very close to the ship for £89 for the week. We stayed over the night before in Winchester as we had come from Nottingham and needed to be close to the port the following morning in case of any accidents or delays on the roads. As it happens, the roads were clear and we arrived at the port at 10am. The road near the docks had a digital sign that displayed "gate 8 for the Independence" which was very helpful as 2 other ships were also in that morning. It was also our first cruise with RCI as Diamond Plus members so we were right at the front of the queue for boarding and were in the Champagne Bar at 11am as we had the Deluxe Drinks package. This was well worth the extra money as there was 3 sea days and I knew I would not be outside much during them due to the location. One strange thing is that the "plus" on the seapass card is a + and not the word "plus" which would surely had made it easier to see for inspection where is was required (like for the reserved seating in the theatre and ice shows). The ship left on time and there were no issues. The Diamond Lounge is still on Deck 14 and they also used the Viking Crown Lounge as a overspill, so that area was closed off during the late afternoons. The chairs in the Diamond Lounge are not very comfortable and it was very busy and the nice settee chairs had gone (and there is no Concierge lounge for D+ members on this ship anymore so they all had to use the lounge as well). Also the coffee machine in the Diamond Lounge was broken for the first 4 days of the cruise as we normally nip up there after breakfast and lunch for a nice coffee and to get a better view of where we are. Now for the first bad thing - once again (as this happened 8 weeks ago on the Anthem), A single drink was added to our bill for $8.25 in the restaurant - even though we had the Deluxe Drinks Package (which is printed on the Seapass card and which covered beverages by the glass up to $14) and we both only had sparkling wine in there with our dinner and nothing else. Again we had not signed for anything and again Guest relations removed the fee and again, (like before on the Anthem) I asked Guest Relations how this had happened and again they could not answer why or how. I always thought that to incur a bill you had to sign a slip of paper at the time of purchase. The food in the main dining room was excellent and we dined there every night just after 6pm and had the same table and waiters throughout via My Time Dining. Also went in there for lunch on the 3 sea days and again enjoyed the fish and chips and also the salad from the middle of the room. Used the Windjammer a few times too. The food a really good and there was nothing to complain about. It was, however, a little full at certain times. The bars made us some nice drinks (had a few Kraken Coladas). The champagne bar was the place to be at night with a drinks package as there were all sorts of cocktails the barstaff would make you. Now the second and last problem was on my wife's birthday in Vintages where some very rude people pushed up to the bar and got served before my wife even though the staff had seen her waiting there for 10 minutes. It was a shame that the people who did this were British and this behaviour really lets us down especially when it is witnessed by Americans and Canadians. I think that since the refit some extra 500 plus cabin spaces have been created and therefore at certain times the bars and shows got really full really quickly. The shows were good. Got to see Grease again (last saw it in 2016). One showing was cancelled at the last minute for medical reasons but was put on 2 nights later. There was also the Take That Experience onboard and we got front row seats for it. It may be worth noting that the Diamond Plus and Pinnacle seats in both the Theatre and Ice Rink are only reserved and guarded by staff until 5 minutes before the show starts, so if you wait, you may get to sit in these seats at the last minute if no-one else takes them. The comedian on the first night told the same old jokes and seems a bit nervous and paced all over the stage. On the last night we got Mick Miller who had me in stitches with his jokes. The ice show was also excellent even though I have seen it many times before, I still enjoy it and this time we had 2 skaters off the TV in it. There were 2 large new waterslides that looked awesome, but I never got around to doing them (due to too many Kraken Coladas). The golf course has been moved from the back (where is was well sheltered from the elements) to the front where you get battered by the wind (although not too bad after a Kraken Colada or two!). It is a nicer course than before, but a shame it could not have been left where is was. Got my first Bridge tour with turning D+ so got to speak to Caption Teo. All I can say is that he is a very good Captain, but don't ask him if he will turn around and look for you if you fall overboard. Also, you get a bottle of wine in your stateroom upon arrival and they also offered is a free $34 laundry wash and fold. There were only 3 places to visit on this cruise. First was Hamburg. The ship sailed down the Elbe (effectively becoming our first river cruise) and docked right in the city centre. It was approx a 20 minute walk to the town hall and it was very well sign-posted. The return to the ship was not sign-posted and we had to remember which way we had come. Shame some "to the cruise terminal" signs could not be put up nearer to it. Next was Oslo. Again docked in the city and again a 20 minute walk to the cathedral. It was warmer than I was expecting as the north sea crossing was cold. Lastly, we docked at Zeebrugge and took the RCI trip for a sightseeing and canal trip of Bruges. Worth every penny. Well we had a onboard spend so used that to pay for most of the trip. The city was lovely and the weather was hot. One word of warning here is that there is a long walk involved and although it is flat, it takes a couple of hours and is more than the 2 miles RCI say it is and there is nowhere to stop if you are part of a guided tour. After the boat trip that lasted about 20 minutes, you did get about 45 minutes of your own time to get some chocolates and something to eat, but the city is very busy. This was the only trip we did via RCI as Bruges is quiet hard to get to in the time limit although there were some shuttle buses put on at the dock which were not advertised onboard beforehand other than "shuttle to the beach". Another strange thing here is that we were told we must take our actual passports off with us and not photocopies (as I have done elsewhere), but upon boarding only out seapass cards were inspected. I was told that Cruise Director Jamie Fentiman has left RCI. Marc (who I last saw on the Navigator) took over and did a very good job of filling in. The rest of the cruise director's staff were very entertaining but some did not speak good english which made it even funnier during some of the questions at the schooner bar quizzes. Yes there were still come very competitive people winning key chains and pens. It was a shame that the great "Name That Tune" from the Anthem had not been ported over as the prize on that was $300 of bed sheets (which I won back in march). The quest was also good, but they seem to have censored it down from years ago (if you know what I mean). Sadly the Indy is going to do the newly vamped Coco Cay run next year and may not be coming back to the UK. The Anthem is coming over as her replacement, and god help anyone going on it through the Bay Of Biscay to the Canneries! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
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
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
Sail Date: April 2019
We were offered a great deal on this 4 day cruise. We normally prefer the larger ships like Allure or Harmony, but this Freedom Class ship was excellent and a comfortable size. We opted for My Time dining but remained at the same table ... Read More
We were offered a great deal on this 4 day cruise. We normally prefer the larger ships like Allure or Harmony, but this Freedom Class ship was excellent and a comfortable size. We opted for My Time dining but remained at the same table every night because the waiter Hemanshu and his assistant Vijaysingh (VJ) were excellent. We are Casino Royale Prime members so drinks are free in the Casino for us. The bar was unusually busy due to the huge number of players in the casino--one of the bussiest I've seen in ages and we cruise a lot, like 5 times a year. Bartenders Hugo, Hugo2, and Elana could have used help--someone to schlep ice and glasses. They literally ran out of gin one night! Crazy! We only got off in Cozumel to buy vanilla and medical supplies. So much cheaper in Mexico. We are coming to Cozumel in June on the Allure with our grandkids, so we will do touristy stuff then. Independence premiered Grease on this cruise for the first time, and I have to say, it was as good if not better than the same show we saw last year on Harmony. The standing "O" lasted 5 minutes.There were 3 chances to see the Ice Show in 4 days, so it was not crowded. Another excellent show. I'm in awe of how RC books such great artists for such short cruises. As a side note, we were in the Sports Bar on Deck 4 when Tiger won the Masters. The crowd was out of their mind! Fun being in the middle of the chaos! 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: April 2019
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise with Carnival being the regular cruise line I go on every year. When I first got on the ship, they had a huge welcome cake in the Windjammer with two guys who were playing different songs getting ... Read More
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise with Carnival being the regular cruise line I go on every year. When I first got on the ship, they had a huge welcome cake in the Windjammer with two guys who were playing different songs getting you to wash your hands (really catchy and they could sing really well)! I was impressed by the amount of food they had although some of it was bland wish it had more flavor or was more sweeter ( red velvet cake). The activities they had on board were amazing and really fun to participate in. I went to the Living Room which is a teen club for teens ages 12-17 and it was way better than the Carnival teen club Club 02, with more people in it and a lot of activities. Although they didn't let you in if you were wet and you couldn't eat in there. The woman who cleaned my room always put my pajamas on my bed folded and was really nice when talking to her although I wasn't in the room often, I do wish I had a TV guide for when I was up late night and nothing was open. The ports we went to ( Labadee, Haiti & Falmouth, Jamaica) were beautiful and nice with music playing in Haiti and a shopping center in Jamaica. The excursion I did in Haiti was the Dragon roller coaster was very fun but scary at times going down fast on the turns. This is a very great family cruise for all ages including babies (my one year old went with my family and I). This is also great if you are wanting to do so much and learn so much from the activities. I definitely want to go on another Royal Caribbean cruise soon. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This is an excellent, clean, classy ship with excellent dining in a beautiful restaurant, nice facilities in the ship including work out areas, plenty of places to lounge (some private, if you look carefully), excellent shows and a staff ... Read More
This is an excellent, clean, classy ship with excellent dining in a beautiful restaurant, nice facilities in the ship including work out areas, plenty of places to lounge (some private, if you look carefully), excellent shows and a staff which cannot do enough for you while maintaining a great attitude. We had a balcony room which can actually be a bit noisy if you are next to party animals...I recommended the ship post "quiet please" signs on each balcony to see if that would help as the reason we are on the balcony in the first place is to get away from....the noise at the pools etc. The staff was really fine, especially our servers in the restaurant. Note, we did purchase "The Key" which allowed for easier on and off the ship as well as a nice sit down meal in the restaurant next to the chaotic buffet line both on the day of embarkation and on disembarkation day as well. I think the Key is worth the modest price as you also get priority seating at the shows as well as one high (eh) speed interned device Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I went on this cruise with adult family and we had a blast! I want to go again and take my 7 year old this time! The entertainment was absolutely amazing! We watched Greece and a Ice Show, the parade in the promenade, the promenade on this ... Read More
I went on this cruise with adult family and we had a blast! I want to go again and take my 7 year old this time! The entertainment was absolutely amazing! We watched Greece and a Ice Show, the parade in the promenade, the promenade on this ship is awesome!, the evening themed dances lol! My brother, who is 42 and has Down syndrome, loved all the contests! He did the sexiest man contest, and got 2nd place!, and the belly flop contest was too funny! We enjoyed the flow rider which I still can’t believe I did! We got and hour private lesson on this which is very worth the $! I loved that the buffet had a separate gluten free section and the pizza place in the promenade even had gluten free pizza! Oh and the coffee shop had gluten free cookies...it was easier to eat on the ship that going to a restaurant! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a birthday cruise for me. We stayed pre-cruise for one night at the Pier 66 Hotel which I have stayed at before. We had a nice time there and were sad to hear they are closing for two years starting in June for renovations. We ... Read More
This was a birthday cruise for me. We stayed pre-cruise for one night at the Pier 66 Hotel which I have stayed at before. We had a nice time there and were sad to hear they are closing for two years starting in June for renovations. We like to sail out of Fort Lauderdale as the airport, cruise port and hotels are within short distance of one another. The ship is amazing and you never want for anything to do. It was very clean and well laid out. The servers in the MDR and our room steward were outstanding! Very pleasant people. This cruise only had 1 port so we booked a shore excursion at Mr. Sanchos and we had an awesome time there! The only issue I had was with the return taxi; he dropped us off at Puerta Maya instead of International Pier ( I wasn't paying attention when he dropped us off). No big deal, we just had to walk a couple blocks. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. We ate most of our meals in the MDR and the food was excellent. Also Chops Grille was pretty yummy! The ice show, Grease and Journey tribute band were all top-notch and we enjoyed them thoroughly! Disembarkation was fairly quick. We went back to Pier 66 for the day and stored our luggage and enjoyed the pool as we had a later in the evening flight. I would go on this ship again in a heartbeat! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Our family of five really enjoyed this cruise. We have sailed on three Disney ships but this was our first with Royal Caribbean. We were very impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the crew. Our youngest son's food ... Read More
Our family of five really enjoyed this cruise. We have sailed on three Disney ships but this was our first with Royal Caribbean. We were very impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the crew. Our youngest son's food allergies were handled well by our servers and he had a safe and yummy dining experience. I only had two complaints. First, the weird hours of the teen and children's clubs. The clubs would close at dinner and sometimes open at 7 or sometimes 8. My teen checked into his club on 2 occasions and the staff said that activities would be starting later even though the club was supposed to be open. Everyone was very nice but it was confusing. We were used to Disney and the clubs being open for the whole day continuously. My middle and youngest son enjoyed going into Adventure Ocean but they only did it once. They did say that they enjoyed themselves just as much, and maybe even more, in Adventure Ocean than on Disney because of the attention from the staff. I am a big Disney fan but on some cruises, there was very little interaction with the staff and children in the clubs. It was more of a baby sitting while the kids were on video screens. We don't use the clubs a whole lot as we tend to do activities as a family, but they are nice options for the kids. My second complaint had to do with the amount of smoking areas on the ship. There were 4 areas and one was right next to the main pool. (Port side). This was a big problem with crowd control because most families (like us) would try and make our way through the starboard side of the pool area to avoid the smoking. I am not trying to "shame" people who smoke, I just feel in this day and age with all we know about the dangers of smoking, the smoking sections should be in less public places. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
RCI Independence of the Seas was one of the best cruise we have ever had! It was smaller than the Oasis Class (We sailed with Oasis, Harmony, and Symphony of the Seas before), yet the experience was the most memorable! The ship was ... Read More
RCI Independence of the Seas was one of the best cruise we have ever had! It was smaller than the Oasis Class (We sailed with Oasis, Harmony, and Symphony of the Seas before), yet the experience was the most memorable! The ship was recently refurnished, and it was beautiful and elegant! Throughout the ship, there were decorations and paintings with a theme that featured Grimm's fairytale stories in a classic, classy, and sophisticated way (not those kiddo, cheesy Disney style). Even my husband was impressed. Our Junior Suite was located on Deck 11, with a huge balcony, large walk-in close, lots of storage, and spacious room. It was next to the gym, so it made it very convenient for us to work out in the mornings. The room was sparkling clean, and our steward did a fantastic job in tidying up and cleaning every day. One thing that we noticed was that all the managers, supervisors, and crew members were very happy and pleasant on this sailing! It tells a lot about the management team. From the 1st to last day, everyone in all departments was very helpful, attentive, and friendly. We had My Time Dining, but since our reservation was at the same time every evening, we had the same servers. Our waiter was Serhii and Assistant Waiter was Yevhen. They were the best servers we had ever had! Our 2 young kids love them as well! We wished they could work on all of our future cruises. We love the Dining Rom décor, which was very elegant. The food was generally pretty good. On the last evening, the servers did a dance performance, which was cute. Lunch at the Dining Room was nice. We love the desserts, which were more European style (not too sweet). Our favorites were the daily fruit tortes, Royal chocolate cake, and custard tarts. We also love the food variety at the Windjammer. The servers were very helpful and friendly! While some people thought "Washy Washy" song performed by the band at the Windjammer entrance was kind of cheesy, our kids thought it was fun and they really followed the hand washing procedure. We never had a hard time finding a table, which was fantastic! A very kind crew member went out of his way to give my daughter a Hello Kitty hairclip just because my daughter gave the last balloon to a 2-year-old girl. We were very touched because this crew member's kind act encouraged my daughter to continue to be nice and generous to the others. We also love to visit the Windjammer after dinner and have their crepes as a late night snack. The crepes were made to order, and the texture was el donte and perfect. We also had Giovanni Italian for dinner, as this was our favorite restaurant when we were on Oasis of the Seas. All the dishes were amazing, and the staff from the receptionist to the servers were very attentive, professional, and friendly! The steak melted into our mouths and were better than the any steakhouse on land! The shrimps and beef carpaccio were phenomenal! Our 7-year-old son loved his clam linguine. The Chop Grille was a great experience too. The lobster bisque was a bit salty, but the Ribeye and filet mignon steaks were 5 stars! I loved my Grilled Branzino: very rich in flavor, flakey, tender, juicy, and not overcooked! The service was excellent! The on board activities were great for the kids. We had lots of fun doing the Laser Tag. Our kids also loved the kids pool. The Ice Skating show was beautiful. We enjoyed the production show, which featured different fairytale stories in a fun way. The promenade was full of energy. The retail shops offer a variety of merchandize from high-end handbags to cosmetic to affordable fun accessories. The gym was very spacious with all the equipment that we needed. Like our other RCI sailings, my son and I enjoyed the Piano Man who popped up anywhere and all types of songs. The Next Cruise rep was very helpful. She was very patient and nice to us from t the beginning, even when we lied to her that we were "just looking" at first. This told us that she was very professional. And yes, we booked our Next Cruise with her. We noticed that RCI has stepped up with their overall service this year, as our recent experience with Harmony of the Seas in May 2019 was also the same. We sailed with Harmony of the Seas twice, one in May 2019 and one in March 2018, and we also sailed with Oasis in Dec 2017 & July 2018, and Symphony (Mediterranean cruise) in May 2018. RCi had always been great, but the experiences this year was even much better!! There were a lot of WOW factors during this sailing. With a team of friendly and happy crew members, it really made a big difference! We will definitely sail with RCI again, and have a 3 future cruises with RCI lining up already! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Review of our independence of the seas trip 3/14-3/18(Platinum members, did the Ultimate dining Plan and deluxe beverage this trip) Promenade room 7329 Flew into FLL from STL, 5:45 am flight(ugh), in FLL around 9, at the Port, checked ... Read More
Review of our independence of the seas trip 3/14-3/18(Platinum members, did the Ultimate dining Plan and deluxe beverage this trip) Promenade room 7329 Flew into FLL from STL, 5:45 am flight(ugh), in FLL around 9, at the Port, checked in and in seats waiting to board by 10:15. at 11am they started calling people and we were on board and making our reservations for the week at Chops by 11:15. Boarding process was simple and easy. Food Got the hibachi the first night. I went down in the afternoon of the 1st day and played dumb asking about getting the hibachi with UDP. Lady said no, but since it was the first day and they weren't crowded she would let us. Meal was good, but we were charged $4 a piece for our meal(single meet, combo meat would have been $10 pp) that wasn't mentioned when the reservation was made. Not a huge deal, and I imagine if I had complained I could have gotten it waved, but it was $10, not worth the time. Ate at chops the 2nd and 4th night. Very good, service was really good and the food was excellent. Desserts were very eh in my opinion tho. Not very exciting at all. Ate at Giovanni's the 3rd night and had a similar experience to Chops, with a waitress that was a little better than the night before. Food was really good and the desserts were better than Chops. For lunch we got sandwiches from Cafe promenade pretty much every day and ate them poolside. Day 1(got an egg salad for a snack late afternoon) and 3 had great sandwiches. day 2 and 4 were eh. Pizza in Sorrentos was much better than previous trips. I noticed that with sorrentos the lines were much shorter at cafe promenade and Sorrentos than on navigator the year before with just cafe promenade. we got burgers from windjammer a couple of times as well. Room Not a big fan of the promenade rooms(we stayed in an inside room for our 1st 2 cruises, but the last 4 before this were all balconies). I wanted the window because the inside rooms feel to cave like to me, but my wife wanted the window curtains closed because you could see right in across from you, so it kind of defeated the purpose. Could have just gotten an inside room instead. Bed placement makes the room awkward to move around in. Bed was very hard in my opinion but didn't really bother us. Stateroom attendant was very good. Not really alot of sound from out on the promenade. Pools Solarium was pretty crowded and they've added chairs to the shelfs. This makes those much more crowded than they were previously. I'm an early riser, so I was out by the pool every day around 8/8:30, so we had our pick of chairs. Really could have had any chair we wanted until 9:30am probably. Bar service was pretty easy, sometimes crowded, but never very long to wait for a drink. One change I found this trip was alot more waiters than we've ever seen. I got more drinks from a waiter by the pool this trip than probably all others combined. Didn't use the regular pool, but it looked nice. Kid area was fairly crowded and looked like the kids were having fun. Didn't do the flow rider or the tubes. Bars and entertainment. we drank at playmakers and R bar alot of the cruise. Liked playmakers alot, great atmosphere. Didn't try any of the food, but it looked pretty good. Spent some time at the Schooner bar(piano guy was ok, woman last year was alot more fun) . The actor who played danny zucco in the Grease show was performing one night and we caught the end, looks like the show was fun and we enjoyed the few numbers we saw. stopped in the pub a couple times and the viking lounge, but didn't frequent these enough to give an opinion one way or another. Bar service was pretty good almost the entire trip. We saw Grease on night 2, Savannah Jack on night 3. Did not do the show the 1st night or the last. Grease was just ok, the leads could sing but it was just kind of eh. Enjoyed Saturday night Fever alot more on a previous cruise. Felt bad for Savannah Jack, the crowd was small and didn't' seem to get into it. We've seen them before with a larger crowd and they were great. so overall the entertainment was lacking this trip. Misc... The app sucks. Didn't show our dining reservations. Show times/changes never updated. pre cruise it had grease on night 2 and 4. The headliner in the app for night 3 was somebody else. Pretty much worthless if you were relying on it for any information. 4 days is too short. We've done 5 days the last 4 years and chose 4 days to save money because of an expensive disney trip coming up. It was fine, but 4 would have been better. Getting on and off the ship was really easy, we did self assist and walked down to the theater at 8:30 am with our luggage and didn't stop until we got in line at customs desk. I think we were in a cab by 8:45. Announcements are worthless, I'm hard of hearing in one ear, but even my wife couldn't make out most of them. Elevators are really slow. I took the stairs most times. Freestyle machines are pretty good and lines weren't long like I thought they might be. 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 were spoiled on this cruise as we were fortunate enough to stay in a suite and enjoy all of the perks and benefits that come along with that. That being said, this review will focus on the general ship amenities/experience. We went on a ... Read More
We were spoiled on this cruise as we were fortunate enough to stay in a suite and enjoy all of the perks and benefits that come along with that. That being said, this review will focus on the general ship amenities/experience. We went on a sold out/ nearly sold out cruise during a school break and I was nervous that the ship would be overrun with kids...it wasn't. I was worried that there wouldn't be capacity in Adventure Ocean for my kids, but there was room. I was worried that the ship would be trashed with ice cream cones and pizza plates, but it was clean. I had read reviews that the food in the Main Dining Room was bland and warned my family to have low expectations, but it was good. I knew that the rooms hadn't been updated with the recent refurbishment and expected the cabins to look tired, but the stateroom attendants and other staff work so hard to keep everything clean and polished it looked nice. I had read about long lines at bars and was expecting that too - but again, not the case. I never had to wait more than a few minutes, except at the swim-up bar in CocoCay, but that is a unique sort of a place. The Escape Room was fun too - I'd recommend it. My little one loved the new Splashaway Bay. I'd recommend this ship - very fun family cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I had a great time on this cruise. One of the things I liked was the washy-washy duo outside the Windjammer . RC made multiple sinks available to wash your hands prior to eating. Cleanliness is a must on a ship and these reminders were ... Read More
I had a great time on this cruise. One of the things I liked was the washy-washy duo outside the Windjammer . RC made multiple sinks available to wash your hands prior to eating. Cleanliness is a must on a ship and these reminders were important. I liked the pool entertainment: the belly flop contest, the sexy man contest, the men v women contest and I'm not the only one who was entertained - all contests had roaring, cheering crowds.The staff was polite and smiling. The food looked delicious and tasted the same. I took the bus tour in Ocho Rios Jamaica and the guide, Ann Mare, shared many interesting facts . In Labadee I snorkeled; saw lots of fish and aquatic vegetation. My stateroom attendant kept the place tidy. Really, the entire adventure was a blast. And while I was away, my hometown got hammered with snow. I had fun in the sun while my friends were digging out! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Got off of Independence of the Seas yesterday – 5 nights western Caribbean (Cozumel & Costa Maya) Feb. 4 – Feb. 9, 2019. Please feel free to ask any questions. Background: Just 2 of us – my DW and myself, mid-50s from ... Read More
Got off of Independence of the Seas yesterday – 5 nights western Caribbean (Cozumel & Costa Maya) Feb. 4 – Feb. 9, 2019. Please feel free to ask any questions. Background: Just 2 of us – my DW and myself, mid-50s from Connecticut. This was our third cruise, all on RCI. Our first 2 cruises were both on Anthem of the Seas (5 nights to Bermuda in Sept. 2017 and 7 nights to Port Canaveral / Nassau in Oct./Nov. 2018). We chose this cruise as a relatively quick escape in warmer climates and on a different ship. We flew to Fort Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott. We took an Uber from the airport to the hotel (I didn’t feel like waiting for the hotel’s shuttle), and took the free hotel shuttle to the port the morning of the cruise. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 11:30 and were quickly checked in (it helps to be a gold member). Boarding started at noon and we boarded at 12:30 (again, it helps to have gold status) and it was right up to one of the pool-side bars. Cabins were ready at 1:30. The previous cruise was the annual 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, so it took the crew a little longer to get everything ready (and I think they were a little worn out, but they still did a great job all cruise). Cabin: Balcony cabin on deck 9 aft/port. Cabin was fine – in fact it seemed slightly larger than what we’ve had on Anthem (both the cabin and balcony). Only 2 power outlets to charge things which we made do with, but Anthem is much better with additional outlets plus USB ports. Our steward Lennox was terrific and made the best towel animal we’ve seen – DW called it Oscar the orangutan – he was hanging from a hanger with was hanging on the half curtain in front of the bed. Dining & Bars: We had breakfast every day in the Windjammer which was fine – the usual for RCI. Consistency seemed to be a problem. First morning I got an eggs florentine which was ice cold. The remaining mornings I made my own version of eggs benedict by grabbing a toasted muffin or bagel and putting my own fried eggs on – all of which was hot and delicious. The scrambled eggs were delicious as well. One morning my orange juice (they pour it for you, unlike Anthem which was self-serve) was hot – I think they poured it into a glass that had just come out of the dishwasher. From then on it was ice-water every morning. We didn’t typically have lunch, but did have a few mid-day snacks of pizza at Sorrento’s. The pizza was decent – better than on Anthem (full disclaimer – I grew up eating Sally’s & Pepe’s in New Haven, so my standards for pizza are pretty high). We had dinner 4 of the 5 nights in the main dining room using My Time dining (7:30 each night). Because we booked these nights/times in advance, we had the same table and wait staff, and they were terrific (waiter Ionut and assistant waiter Yehven). Ionut would take the time each night to engage in some small conversation and made us feel very welcome, and both remembered our names after the first night. Overall the food was quite good and got better each night. All of the appetizers and desserts were excellent and the entrees were pretty decent except the first night when my prime rib was rubbery and drowned in a thick, brown gravy and DW’s strip steak was overcooked and seasoned very poorly (one end was extremely salty and the other end had no salt). We both had the spaghetti bolognese (on different nights) and it was excellent. The one night we didn’t eat in the MDR we ate at Chops. We had eaten at Chops on Anthem and had a terrific meal, so we thought we’d try it on Indy. It was just as good if not better. The waitress was great (I can’t remember her name, just that she’s Russian). And all of the food was excellent, including the steaks (we both had filets) being prepared perfectly. Clearly RCI knows what they’re doing with their steakhouse. We had the deluxe drink package and probably broke even. All of the bars were terrific and we never had to wait for service. The Olive Twist on deck 14 is a hidden gem. We had pre-dinner drinks there almost every night and there were only a few people there. It’s got a great view. Sadly the bartender there didn’t know how to mix drinks – I had the worst whiskey sour and worst gin & tonic I’ve ever had at this bar. All other bars and drinks were good, including the drinks of the day. Activities & Shows: We didn’t do too many of the activities. We would have done the escape room, but not for $20 per person (on Anthem there was no charge for the escape room – I didn’t understand why there was a charge on Indy). We did play 9 holes of mini-golf which was fun (my guess is the mini-golf course was installed during last year’s rehab as it was in excellent shape and seemed new). The water slides looked like great fun – always a small line but it never seemed like a long wait and everyone came out with a big smile on their face. We saw Grease and it was excellent (almost as good as We Will Rock You on Anthem). We also saw the ice-skating show which was amazing – Olympic and national champions from around the world doing amazing things on a very small rink (about a quarter the size of a hockey rink). Cruise director Daniel and the activities director (I can’t remember her name either, just that she’s from Scotland) were great. We saw them at the Love & Marriage show, belly-flop competition, lip-sync competition, and Quest game show and all were a lot of fun, thanks in large part to them. Ports: This was our first time in Mexico. We didn’t do any excursions. For both ports, we just walked around. In Cozumel we walked the immediate area off the ship, and then headed down to Sting Ray beach. I’d read other reviews that said to watch out for all of the shop keepers who get right in your face to sell you something and those reviews were dead on. In Costa Maya we just walked around the immediate port area with all of the shops and stuff. We did see the swim-with-dolphins attraction which was great – everyone looked to be having an amazing time. We also went into the aviary which was great fun. They give you a little plastic cup with bird seed and sunflower seeds to feed the birds, and the birds are not shy about landing on you and eating. It was very neat. And when in Mexico… we had a Mexican beer at the Mexican cantina just to say we did it. Disembarkation: As usual with RCI, this was easy. We stayed in our cabin on the balcony until we had to vacate at 8:30. We were scheduled to disembark at 9:45, but walked off at 9:15. Luggage was waiting for us, and clearing customs took only a couple of minutes – we were in a taxi heading to the airport by 9:30. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a last minute cruise to get out of the cold. It did not disappoint! While Mother Nature did not cooperate with a lot of sunshine we still enjoyed ourselves. We cruise once per year with a balcony cabin but wanted to go “on ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise to get out of the cold. It did not disappoint! While Mother Nature did not cooperate with a lot of sunshine we still enjoyed ourselves. We cruise once per year with a balcony cabin but wanted to go “on the cheap” this time. Even the inside cabin 3557 was more than adequate on this ship! Everything inside and out was clean and tidy. We took a galley tour which was fascinating! Quite an operation to get all of that food out to the cruisers. To be able to get all of the orders out including the “special” dietary requirements took a well coordinated team. Only issue was the Motown Trivia”. It was horrible! Being from Detroit, we know Motown and this trivia contest was really bad! The host had no idea what he was doing. They certainly had no idea what Motown was. Overall a great time was had by all! 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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