7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We read positive reviews about this ship and the stops before we booked in April. Wow, I’d like to know who’s writing these reviews. We haven’t made it to one stop yet and I have no idea how we’re going to make it 12 more days. ... Read More
We read positive reviews about this ship and the stops before we booked in April. Wow, I’d like to know who’s writing these reviews. We haven’t made it to one stop yet and I have no idea how we’re going to make it 12 more days. We’ve been on Disney to the Bahamas, Carnaval both to the Caribbean and Mexico and Princess to Alaska. All these cruises have been in the last few years and the food, entertainment, and overall service were a lot better. I’m so disappointed so far. Our room is average but is obviously not maintained that well as there are scuff marks all over the walls especially near the patio door. Our front door doesn’t close well and sometimes stays unlocked because we didn’t realize that it did not close and lock. But back to the food, the buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner is among the worst I’ve ever had both on the ocean or on land. The other cruise lines buffet food was of this much higher quality. I feel like Royal Caribbean is trying to get its customers to pay for the restaurants that are more upscale or even just better like Johnny Rockets or the fish and chips place near the pool. I resent that after spending as much money as we’ve had to travel to Europe and the cruise it’s self. My family and I are just looking forward to the excursions to Gibraltar, Nice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sardinia, and southern Spain and hopefully making it back home without getting sick. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both ... Read More
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both got food poisoning from eggs Benedict and ruined the last day of our trip. We were sick in our room the rest of the day. They had the Grease show which was pretty good but the staff were very unorganized with keeping the guests waiting in an organized manner, making some wait at the top of the stairs while others lined up at the doors below in a separate line making people frustrated. The last part of the show had to stop due to technical difficulties so we left. The highlight of our trip was our Izumi sushi class and the Savannah Jack concert. There could have been more shows going on also as there was not much to choose from. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Not "us". We did the Celebrity Edge the week prior. So we went looking for a cruise that left FLL or MIA on Sun or Mon. There were 3. (HAL, CCL, and RCCL). We had never done an RCCL. We have put many clients on them, and ... Read More
Not "us". We did the Celebrity Edge the week prior. So we went looking for a cruise that left FLL or MIA on Sun or Mon. There were 3. (HAL, CCL, and RCCL). We had never done an RCCL. We have put many clients on them, and they ALL love it. So for us this was research into the brand, and what it is like. It was well worth it for that alone. My personal take-aways: - Food was Good to Very Good. Buffet was HUGH, one of the most diverse we have ever seen. But it was CROWDED, and we just are NOT buffet people. MD was nice. Late seating. GREAT waitress. Food selections in MD were just OK. Not great, or diverse, but tasty. Portions were BIG (for us). Pizza (we eat glueten free) was one of the best crusts we have ever had. Other GF options were VERY hard to come by. - Entertainment was not what we like. The BIG show was Grease. A re-re-re-off-off-off Broadway thing. Well done. HUGH cast, but we MUCH prefered CEL's unique Edge type entertainment. The ice show was SPECTACULAR. Two really good bar bands. The Piano Bar was NOT Great - just OK. He was a bit goofey (Billed as comedy piano). Never finished a song - like he had adult ADHD. - The jumpie thing was broken. We both enjoyed the water slides. I did the wave thing. The adult pool was too full for us to even consider, and the hot tubs even worse. I can see where this fits multi-generational as kids pool looked really fun from the upper (granpa) lounge. - Room was ÖK". We had a last min. assignment (booked 3 weeks before sailing). Inside up front. Got what we got. Not a ton of storage. Only one receptacle. Room steward was good, but not great. Room seemed a bit small. Two BIG negatives. 1) The quantity of people. Ship was FULL FULL FULL. Not just kids, but I don't know where another 1,000 adults would have gone. Just too many people. And the NOISE and hub-bub were impossible to get away from. I realize this is a personal choice, and some LOVE all this action, so not going to call this a RCCL problem. 2) This IS an RCCL problem: Ship was FILTY. We boarded, and public areas were not clean. ie: lime on the deck from previous cruise. Carpet was visibally dirty in many public areas, and in the room. They really need to empty the ship one day every month or so and do a deep cleaning. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
After taking close to 30 cruises I can honestly say that this was the worst food and service I have ever experienced at sea. We were a group of 12, and every night we ate in the main dining room multiple people either sent back what they ... Read More
After taking close to 30 cruises I can honestly say that this was the worst food and service I have ever experienced at sea. We were a group of 12, and every night we ate in the main dining room multiple people either sent back what they ordered or simply left it on their plate after taking only one or two bites. The service at dinner was not good, and at breakfast and lunch in the main dining room it as atrocious. I am not sure what the main ingredient was in the Johnny Rockets hamburger, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't beef. Desserts are clearly made with vegetable shortening, not butter. The pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving did not have any pumpkin in it. The shrimp cocktail was served at room temperature as was the cannoli in the Italian restaurant, which was filled at least a day before they served it. The entire food experience is poorly managed and there is a complete lack of competence from top to bottom. The public men's bathrooms all smell of urine and have either water or urine on the floors. In four days on board I only saw them being cleaned once. Compare that with Celebrity, where they are constantly being cleaned. The worst part of the cruise was having the director of food operations continue to argue with me after I pointed out the problems we were having. On the plus side, both Grease and the Ice Show were entertaining, and the cabin steward was great (if not for these 2 factors I would have rated them 0 stars. And to top it off, one of us came home with either bedbug bites or scabies! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The ship appeared cleaner, more modern and spacious. The staff made this trip frustrating and uneventful. Food items were always at a shortage as were staff in attaining drinks as promised with the drink package. The pressure sales ... Read More
The ship appeared cleaner, more modern and spacious. The staff made this trip frustrating and uneventful. Food items were always at a shortage as were staff in attaining drinks as promised with the drink package. The pressure sales personnel in labidee were a an noxious and frightening. Made racist comments regarding “white people” when purchases were not made. In Jamaica, the bus broke down and staff had promised some restitution and to notify the ship of our late arrival, none were done. Very disappointing. The game shows were entertaining as were the variety shows and grease. The cruise director was friendly and interactive. The bartenders would ignore you as you were standing there and make you wait 15 minutes before obtaining an order. Overall, our group of 24 was very unimpressed and frustrated. We don’t think we will be considering royal Caribbean for our next annual family cruise adventure trip. 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. ... Read More
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. Lots of complaints about this. It’s like Disney. You queue for everything. It’s as if this ship was over capicity.. it was mayhem. Good ok. Entertainment good. Anchour bar was good but the bar stank of sewage. But it was a good bar. Offered late checkout. Went to book it day before they said they had pulled it too and refunded the fee. It’s as if they where winging it. Rooms good space but tired. Had balcony. If you want to wait 10 minutes on a lift not know if things are happening after booking and be walking and walked upon go on this cruise. A glorified booze cruise. We where with our best friends another couple we made most of it and enjoyed it but more because of our friends who are seasoned cruisers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean and never again if this sailing was anything to go by! A lot of passengers were very rude, foul mouthed, invariably drunk and looking for trouble. I believe there was quite a bit of trouble ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean and never again if this sailing was anything to go by! A lot of passengers were very rude, foul mouthed, invariably drunk and looking for trouble. I believe there was quite a bit of trouble on the ship during this sailing and a number of passengers were thrown off at various ports throughout the two week cruise. There were a lot of large groups who were quite intimidating, especially when I was wondering around the ship on my own. The number of security guards on the ship was also quite off putting. I do not know if Royal Caribbean have any restrictions with their drinks package but I believe they should have and I think our cruise would have been so much more enjoyable and relaxing (like we have been used to on previous cruises). Apart from the passengers we also had some issues with the My Time Dining, the Maitre D's, the air conditioning in the cabin and a cabin steward that wasn't the best. However, on the plus side the ports we visited were excellent, the trips very well handled and some lovely staff in the bar areas one the ship. I cannot believe this is the norm for Royal Caribbean and I think we were incredibly unlucky but we would never book with them again and spend all that money just in case. Such a shame. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I never do reviews but feel people need to be aware of this one. I have been on many cruises and decided to try Royal Caribbean for a change. Massive mistake. It was like a Ferry booze cruise to Calais. Too many people squeezed on. ... Read More
I never do reviews but feel people need to be aware of this one. I have been on many cruises and decided to try Royal Caribbean for a change. Massive mistake. It was like a Ferry booze cruise to Calais. Too many people squeezed on. Food was generally cold and tasteless. Families fighting and three families were evicted off of the Ship. Staff trying to force drink on you and calling it “medication”!! made you feel like a geriatric alcoholic. Evening entertainment rubbish and you couldn’t get a seat anywhere. Couldn’t go for a swim as pools were rammed. Shore excursions were laughable. Only good point was the cabin and seeing Southampton at the end. Would never go on Royal Caribbean again - absolutely shocking. Not everybody wants to be force fed cocktails every ten minutes. If this had been my first cruise I would never go on another one Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have a back injury and am temporarily unable to fly, so as regular cruisers my wife and I had heard good things about this ship and it was sailing from Southampton so we booked it. I will say that this is the first time we have sailed ... Read More
I have a back injury and am temporarily unable to fly, so as regular cruisers my wife and I had heard good things about this ship and it was sailing from Southampton so we booked it. I will say that this is the first time we have sailed from This port and embarkation was very good and quick. The first thing we noted on boarding was an awful raw sewage smell on deck 4 on the port side at the front of the ship, we assumed it was coming from the dock where sewage tanks were being emptied, this was not the case however and the smell got worse as the cruise went on, if you walked into it by mistake it would make you heave, dont know what is causing it but Royal Caribbean need to sort it out. We booked one of the new "panoramic" cabins as the balcony cabins had all sold out and we were told that these were the next best cabins, and as they had recently been added they would be the best on the ship we wre in cabin no 1886. Apparently the ones we were in were converted from the old Gym (this may not be correct but frequent cruisers on the ship told us this). One thing they were correct about was they were very spacious and bright, this was the only good thing about them as anyone wishing to play crazy golf had to walk over the top of the cabin, this happened at all hours of the night and most of the time they were running or stomping across. Aditionally the area is also used for sunbathing and the crew think it is a good idea to start setting sunbeds up at 4am, and this was not done quietly! The dividing walls were paper thin which meant any noise from adjoining cabins could be heard clearly. We did not get one undisturbed nights sleep in 14 days! The ship was overcrowded and most of the time was spent trying to find somewhere to sit as there are not enough chairs to go around. The buffet restaurant was particularly stressful, one morning we walked around 3 times looking for a table with no joy, we ended up sitting on some padded benches by the handwashing area with the food on our laps, as we were awake anyway because of the noisy cabin we started going for breakfast at 7am and tables were not a problem, however lunch was an ongoing nightmare. Personally I think Royal Caribbean puposely created this problem so people would buy food from the many specialist and fast food offerings which you have to pay extra for. The world cup was on and so we thought we would watch it in the sports bar, however to get a seat people had started drinking and reserving seats four hours before games started, not all games were shown on the open deck screen and when they were that was heaving too, so we ended up watching games in our cabin. Due to the lack of sunbeds and the sheer number of guests people were walking around and around the ship with a little bundle of towels looking for a sunbed, it reminded me of homeless people in london looking for somewhere to sleep. I have never seen so many mobility scooters in one place and a lot of people using them couldn't drive them (especially after imbibing large quantities of alcohol) as people were frequently getting bruised shins, in a lot of cases I am sceptical that there was a real disability need and felt it was more laziness on the part of the people who hired them. We paid for the drinks package which had a very good selection on the menu but a lot of the drinks were not available, I asked the bar staff and was told they had run out and were to get stock in the next port, this did not happen though. We purposely went in the school term time, however there gangs of teenagers hanging around in the evenings playing loud music on their portable speakers, I dont have a problem with this but the ship was also playing music and you ended up with just a horrible din going on. Occasionally they did get over rowdy and were throwing chairs about. While I understand the price goes up during the school holidays which means that to make it affordable kids are taken out of school, however the parents were nowhere to be seen and the ships security seemed to be scared to tackle the problem. I understood that a Med cruise from Southampton would involve a lot of days at sea, however all of the above was much more of a problem because of this. The ship mostly docked in ports which were very distant from the actual places advertised, this is understandable due to the ships size, however every other cruise we have been on complimentary coaches were laid on to transfer you, not Royal Caribbean however, they chaged between 5-10 Euros for the privilege! If there is a purgatory I should think it would be something like spending eternity on this ship and I can safely say that this was my first and last voyage with Royal Caribbean. Funnily however I did complain on board particularly about the cabin and was offered 20% of the cruise cost as a refund. This was in the form of a voucher which, guess what?? Can only be used against the cost of another cruise with Royal Caribbean!!!! 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
this cruise was for a 50 wedding anniversary , and because we did not want to fly we sailed from Southhampton that was probably the only plus . Once onboard its to late damage is done ,for a ship that's had a multi million pound ... Read More
this cruise was for a 50 wedding anniversary , and because we did not want to fly we sailed from Southhampton that was probably the only plus . Once onboard its to late damage is done ,for a ship that's had a multi million pound refit its hard to see were they spent the money .Then after a couple of days you find out ,cabin was a balcony quite shabby really towels were all hard like carboard and fraying round edges .Then comes meal times queuing sometimes 20 mins or more .Ask for a table for 2 almost imposible ,tables were so close together we had trouble walking around and it was like sitting at table for 6.Then comes after dinner problems if you would like to sit and have coffee or drink ,no chance never any seating any were .All lounges and bars were full over 4000 people on board 1 coffee shop .We spent most evenings in cabin .Try to see ice show or any show again no seats left .All Royal Caribbean have done is gone for Dollars instead of customer service .Put more cabins on board more people, more Dollars, service in decline .We would never travel with Royal Caribbean again if you want to cruise I recommend Carnival or Norwegian if you want to throw your money away try RCL you will learn the hard way.Our cruise was 14 nights Canaries Adventure.A better name would be Canaries Disaster Two EX RCL passengers David Budd Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Mother in law booked a family cruise on this floating nightmare. Checking in and boarding in Southampton was a joke. Rude miserable staff who did not want to be there and a terminal far too small for this ship. We waited in line for an ... Read More
Mother in law booked a family cruise on this floating nightmare. Checking in and boarding in Southampton was a joke. Rude miserable staff who did not want to be there and a terminal far too small for this ship. We waited in line for an hour and we had not even moved 20 meters. We ended up walking out of the terminal to get something to eat and drink and we can back at 2 to finally get onboard. At this time there was no buffet open so of you want to eat at this time tough luck. We decided as a family to go for dinner at 7 pm. We were told we could get a table for 8.15pm. With little other choice we went for a drink. We returned to the dining room at 8.15 to be met with a huge line waiting for their table. We were finally seated at almost 8.45. To say that the service was avarage would be generous. We had our order taken at almost 9pm. The food served to us was more inline with what I expect from a chain public house. The portion of calamari served to one of our party was 4 small rings of cheap frozen rubbish. The onion soup we were served had to go back to the kitchen to be microwaved as it was only warm. How I wish I had not ordered the soup as it was so salty it was almost repugnant. I would say this soup comes out of a package as I feel most of the food does. The server was very rude the way she spoke to the girl (9 years old) I really had to bite my tongue to not have a right go back at here. The service was rushed ( not our fault if you are late seating guests live with in ). Hot food was left sitting on the waiters station next to stacks of dirty plates and left over food. Breakfast the next morning was a joke. They close the restaurant at 9am so they then had everyone who wanted breakfast hitting the buffet. You were faced with empty counters and filthy tables and staff who did not seem to care. All I will say is Royal Carribbean you have managed something no other cruise line has managed with me. I have cancelled my tips on the first morning of the cruise. Stateroom was ok until you looked closer and it was very dirty and dusty and from the looks of some of the fittings in the room it had not had a good clean in a long time with a thick layer of dust on almost every surface. Staff onboard were abrupt almost to the point of rudeness. If you want a cruise where you have to line up and wait for everything then this floating slum is the one for you. Too many guests and not enough room to feed them. Dusty rooms and rude staff. We were on this ship just after her "refit" it felt like they have only added a few things but not the infrastructure to deal with the amount of guests she can carry. Never again Royal Carribbean Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Where to start.... Towards the end of January I got an offer for a cruise through MGM with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. I have never been on any of them and so I called and while speaking to the booking agent I asked what each one had as ... Read More
Where to start.... Towards the end of January I got an offer for a cruise through MGM with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. I have never been on any of them and so I called and while speaking to the booking agent I asked what each one had as far as entertainment and because there are alot of ships and cruises to choose from I decided to look online while he gave me my choices. I was told Independence of the seas was the best value so I pulled up the website and saw that it showed a ship thats in the pics I attached including the slides and big yellow circle thing plus a laser tag room and parade of holidays and flow rider ect ect. I said " oh cool it has lazer tag" the rep said yup its a great ship so I booked it. Then booked my flights which for some reason where extraordinary high. The cruise got closer and I wanted to start planning out what we would do. I went to the website again and started going through the activities and saw things that I didnt remeber being on the ship such as a thing called northstar and mystery dining theatre so I called and asked what was on the ship and if all these things were I was told no and a few of the things that were. Parade of holidays, mini gold, flow rider and rock wall so I then asked if I could find a full list online and she pointed me to the same page I was on so I said ok and went on with my day. 3 days before the cruise I saw a notice on the top of the independence of the seas page saying that the laser tag, slides, hibachi and trampoline thing would be added in the fall I was like what??? This notice was not there before. I called and asked and the ladie said oh yeah the slides are on there and then said well... wait can I put you on hold? I said sure she came back and said it would be added in April and I was like wait what? Why would you advertise a ship under false pretenses that it has certain things come to find out I even booked a easter cruise and only because I thought it already had all the main attractions I wanted. I told this to customer service and all zi got was im sorry but it has this... no mention to the [false advertisement] see pics for proof. I started thinking why is it ok to do that and I asked if I could block casino charges? I had to go so I was told that he would call me back with the answer he needed to check. I never got a call back. So I called customer service back and I also wanted to know if I could get a copie of the other activities on board and I was told only on the ship so the only way to use the "cruise planner" was for them to push you into buying more things. I did I purchased the Myan Ruines excursion (Also a review posted for this) First night dinner ( see chops review) , Grease insider view ( See Grease review) and finally a private Flow Rider lesson( see review) I called and spoke to the only nice person so far he told me that I needed to speak with club royal since it was booked through them and he understood the frustration plus he gave me most of the answers I needed which was I could take 2 7.5 ml of wine in carry on on the ship but no water. I would get juices for breakfast, water, lemonade and Icetea for other meals ect. And for sure thoses things would not be on the ship. Based on all the information I had I knew since thoses things were not on the ship that I would need internet. I Called back durring a small work break I had waited on hold 30 minutes and got this extremely rude and un carring representative. She told me too bad and that nothing could be done and then the call got disconnected and she called me back. I was working so didnt have a ton of time but wanted to get this taken care of and my issues noted because that is what the last guy told me. With attitude she told me that I would have to stay on hold while she contacts another department to see if she could do anything she came back a few times and demanded I stay on hold. Didnt ask me to hold said "you will have to hold" then I had to pick up a customer for work and I asked could she please call me back and leave a message or email me back she said " No! I was just doing this as a courtesy and i said well I have to work then she said" i can send you a no reply email, I dont even know if I have your email address is it xxxxxx?" I said yes and thank you she then said " Next time only call us when you have time!!" Wow rude rude rude. So needless to say this cruise started out very rocky. When arriving to the ship the first thing I did was go to guest services to explain the situation again because the email i got from here said we cant do anything but we will give you some champagne. I didnt ask for that. Anyway at guest services I also learned that the flow rider was only operating on 1 side the other was broke. Anyway I explained the rude service and the false advertising and was told that she would check with the manager and get back to me that day. I went to my room and it was fine except I found personal information from the last guest almost like the room wasn't completely cleaned and there was also mold in the corner of my room. There was only one power plug no where near the bed and the tv was fuzzy which i had to fix. I called and requested 3 more pillows and the beds to be seperated. We left and went to set up meals times which you must do on Royal unlike Norwegian where you can go anytime royal only had 2 dining time 530 and 8pm which was ok. We did 530 so we could catch the shows at 7 as most of the meals take about 1.5 to 2 hours. The first night dinner I decided to do Chops Grill I was not impressed. I felt like I would have got the same thing in the dining room the steak was alright but most of the sides didn't have good seasoning and the best thing they served was the grilled asparagus, I have eaten at other specialty restaurants on other ships and it was better. They didn't even have a chocolate souffle on the dessert menu only the same desserts the dining room not worth the $60 extra dollars. had We decided to go to the first show which was a comedian who was absolutely terrible I wanted to get up and walk out what a waste. I was very concerned after this show that it was going to a terrible cruise. We went back to our room and saw no pillows but the beds had been split. Went to bed and was woke up by the cruise director making an announcement of the day but utilizing the state room speaker not the hall and he did this at 8 am. They had a Sexy man alive contest and some good looking guys in it. But they chose to select for older women to judge it and they chose the obese older guy.. I felt this was a huge waste of time. This is just a small example. The following day was port in Cozumel. That morning I still had not heard from guest services about the internet or the false advertisement. I went back to guest services and spoke to mario who told me he was sorry and offered us some water since we had been lied to again. The port in Cozumel was great. I did the Mayan Ruins excursion and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done!!! Hands down the best part of the cruise. If you get a chance do this maybe on a diffrent ship. After Cozumel I had the grease show to see which was also very good the entertainers are top notch for the production shows. I did the insider view which gave me reserved seats in row 5 and a drink which was alright then after the show I got to meet the cast but it wasn't the whole cast only 6 of the 20 or so there are so I was a little disappointed in this. I did get a already taken signed picture by the whole cast so that was cool. Next day was Grand Cayman. We had to use other small boats to the beach side. I didn't get the water that was promised to me till 12 hours after I was told I would get it.. All room service was a service fee of almost $8 Including breakfast or water, Every cruise I have been on included free room service. They were also charging for spin class or yoga ect all they wanted to do was leach more money from everyone and everything.. Worst feeling ever.I eventually talked to mario again to check on what the "manager" said her name was sebena. Mario told me she wasn't available after going in the back room. I explained that I was going to be writing a review and all of a sudden she was available. While I was standing there there was another customer talking about a shaw that had been found and then stolen by a crew member and it belonged to their deceased family member but all she kept getting was excuses. There were alot of very unhappy customers. Everytime I went to the front desk someone was not happy and its easy to understand why. Sebena told me that they don't compensate on my claims and that my complaints where not really that bad. She told me that it wasn't false advertisement and the fact my room was not clean and all the other issues she could and would not give me internet. Finally after I told her about 9 things that were not the way they should be she offered a $50 credit to use on whatever I wanted. That was fair since there was nothing else anyone was going to do. I did use it for internet. It was also terrible always disconnecting and it actually messed up my location on my phone. Come to find out they were updating the system the whole cruise. Let me add a few more things The casino is a smoking area with no ventilation and in order to get to your room on deck 2 and not walk through a smoke filled casino you have to go up 2 decks .. what a bad design. The casino also has no regulations and if you are not a VIP they charge a 5% fee to just put the charge on your ship account .. like I said nickle and dime. Machines are tight and just take take take. Casino staff are rude. The quest game show is a blast dont miss this. Ice skating show was also pretty good. That's really all I have to say. Look for my other reviews on tripadvisor Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our third cruise with RCI. After two wonderful cruise on the Allure and the Oasis, we decided to try a "smaller" ship. First, service everywhere on the ship was bad. Food was ok. It was unfortunately spring break and ... Read More
This was our third cruise with RCI. After two wonderful cruise on the Allure and the Oasis, we decided to try a "smaller" ship. First, service everywhere on the ship was bad. Food was ok. It was unfortunately spring break and lots of students were everywhere screaming and waking us at night. Security were nowhere to be found. They were even misbehaving in public places half naked and no one said something. The ship wasn't very clean and food at the windjammer was always the same. Nobody was cleaning the tables....we had to ask to clean the table to be able to sit! Even at the dining room, it was very difficult, despite our beverage package to get a glass of wine, you can imagine two! And impossible to get coffee or tea after our meals.... Well staff weren't great and despite the presence of spring break college students, no one manage to give us relaxing and unforgettable vacation. We are very disappointed. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This ship's condition, stained, shabby, broken furniture in public rooms, worn carpets, chipped, damaged walls, statues, ugly falling apart plastic flower arrangements displays a very worn out ship, long overdue for dry-dock and ... Read More
This ship's condition, stained, shabby, broken furniture in public rooms, worn carpets, chipped, damaged walls, statues, ugly falling apart plastic flower arrangements displays a very worn out ship, long overdue for dry-dock and refurbishment. Worst of all was The Pyramid Lounge. It's absolutely disgusting and overrides the service by staff and any of the positive aspects onboard, like entertainment. Most annoying were items that would seem to be easy fixes, like lights out, The Promenaded Café sign, dirty areas and carpets that seemed to never be vacuumed. My cabin was OK, carpet stained but overall kept clean and was in acceptable condition compared to the public rooms. The food was institutional tasting and very bland except for dependable breakfast and the very tasty Indian Food. The "Jade" restaurant which is part of the Windjammer buffet area is, I suppose, to offer Asian inspired foods; never saw any. The Sports deck was also very tired looking...please get this ship to dry-dock for a complete refurbishment!!! Its long overdue! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
MAJOR (wasted 2 days just fighting for our right) The food and its service. a. Chick peas all the time only as an option for vegetarian folks b. Insensitive statements (which sounded discriminating) were given to us like “I ... Read More
MAJOR (wasted 2 days just fighting for our right) The food and its service. a. Chick peas all the time only as an option for vegetarian folks b. Insensitive statements (which sounded discriminating) were given to us like “I have 3000 Americans to take care of” when asked why do you serve us chickpeas all the time. c. Out of food all the time (1. were out of strawberries when asked, 2. out of potato paratha during breakfast and when asked they offered us chickpeas; 3. were out of paneer in the paneer curry and hence replaced it with potato without even changing the name) d. They lie about the food names - Serving potato curry claiming it is paneer (cottage cheese) curry – when asked this is not paneer – they said we were out of it!! Don’t lie then e. Felt like we were begging for food all the time – Since there were totally no options given to us, we would always go to the waiter and ask if we can get anything – and then he would talk time to get back and serve us something which should be there at first place – wasting more than an hour or so for something we should be entitled for – oh and yes – he would get back to us with chickpeas f. Waiters running away without answering – Once we asked Arun the waiter, to check if they had puri to serve along with potato vegetable (you cannot just eat potato vegetable you need something with that and there was nothing on the counter), he said he will get back AND HE NEVER GOT BACK. We ended up eating just potato vegetable which dint taste great either g. Can you eat just hummus without pita or just salsa without nachos? No right? This is what was done to us with Indian food. WE were given vegetable curries without roti or Indian bread. Sometimes even vegetable curry would not be there. IT would be just daal. Any Indian knows that nobody eats daal as main course with rice (which was not even basmati). There has to be at least one vegetable curry and roti. WE as customers were not asking for anything special. All we were asking was basic roti, curry, rice and daal. We were not even served that. h. Not only Indian cuisine – we are even open to eat other cuisine like Italian or Mexican but they never had it on their menu. They had Mexican only for one day and pasta for one night. (which is pasta and sauce only) no veggies or cheese in it. MINOR The activities - Whatever the activities were listed on each day’s itinerary (which were not great by the way except for one show everyday which was exceptional), were half the time cancelled without any announcement at least on first two days. Because of that, the other activity which was there at the same time was already missed as we were at some other location at that time looking for a cancelled activity. Oh, and giving a pen as a prize to any games (which were more than an hour) we played is really stingy and funny on RC part which is such a big company, but that shows their class. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The food is terrible,the windjammer cafe does not have eggbeaters even though the main dining room does.The windjammer food is tasteless,overcooked,horrible food.The bakery at breakfast is store bought and frozen,the cookies are stale ... Read More
The food is terrible,the windjammer cafe does not have eggbeaters even though the main dining room does.The windjammer food is tasteless,overcooked,horrible food.The bakery at breakfast is store bought and frozen,the cookies are stale store bought and tastes terrible,same selection daily and most is overcooked and salty.We have to ask for skim milk 10 minutes before breakfast so someone can go find some for us.The staff are not cleaning and disinfecting tables even though there was 2 outbreaks of norovirus recently.The staff are mostly rude and lazy,took us 3 days to get decent pillows after getting flat old pillows,and bedsheets are not being changed.They have fresh baked cookies but do not put them out,you have to go to coffee shop and ask for secret stash of fresh choc chip cookies.The music at warm pool is so very loud that it literally hurts your ears,the adult pool is no longer covered and the water is freezing,the hot tubs are only warm.You need to check out pool towels and will be charged $25 for each towel not checked back in with attendant.We thought that for our 40th anniversary we would go on a Christmas cruise,but there is only one Christmas tree and no decorations other than a gingerbread village in windjammer waiting area.Families are very upset with no Christmas cheer on board and food in windjammer was still the same boring horrible food.At last port we were not told to take seapass and picture ID and almost did not get past port security.Wish now that we had gone with a different cruise line,but had been on here 4 years ago and this was a 5 star ship with 5 star food but now barely makes it to a one star ship and point 5 food.Not much to do on ship,ice shows were great,but the 2 shows of live on stage "Grease" only could hold about half the people that wanted to see it,and was first come first seated.We have been deceived,lied to and taken advantage of,staff seemed as if unhappy working here.Please consider carefully before cruising on Independence. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Needed a stress free vacation.Anything but. It started with a filthy bathroom and a toilet that they said couldn't be fixed. It was. I had to have the cabin cleaned twice, including sticky cabinets and dirty floors. On another ... Read More
Needed a stress free vacation.Anything but. It started with a filthy bathroom and a toilet that they said couldn't be fixed. It was. I had to have the cabin cleaned twice, including sticky cabinets and dirty floors. On another occasion, the toilet stopped working because of a clogged line and the heat had to be fixed. The toilet paper is like sand paper and not even plastic bags in the baskets. No wonder the virus spread through the ship! The table in the main dining room was changed 3 times to accommodate other people. Really makes you feel important. The food for the most part was sub standard. They try to pass off Caribbean lobster as Maine lobster. Guest services is not very friendly..when the phone is answered. You just have to wait in a long line. Good service does not exist. If you need stress, this is the ship for you. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Oh my (as I shake my head), where do I begin to describe how awful that this Royal Caribbean cruise experience was for my husband and I??? Let me begin by saying that there was one great thing about this cruise and that was the quality of ... Read More
Oh my (as I shake my head), where do I begin to describe how awful that this Royal Caribbean cruise experience was for my husband and I??? Let me begin by saying that there was one great thing about this cruise and that was the quality of the headliner shows on the March 25th sailing of the Independence of the Seas. The dance show was great and it got better and better after that with the comedy of Kivi Rogers, the sensational sounds of a men's acapella group called the Edge Effect and what can I say about the amazing production of Grease? We absolutely loved these shows but unfortunately, that is ALL we loved about any of this cruise experience and when I say ALL I mean all. We had such bright expectations too, you know?! I had not been cruising since 2002 and I was really looking forward to the entire experience on the high seas. Actually, my experience in 1997, twenty years ago on Carnival Cruise Lines, was very good. I thought that Royal Caribbean was going to be a huge upgrade but instead it was a huge precipitous downgrade in all aspects. We had done so much research about this ship and had actually watched a bunch of YouTube videos that different people had made of their experience. Needless to say that we were so excited! The ship seemed huge and spacious but now looking back I realize why they made the ship so massive. It was simply to jam as many people into every available corner of the vessel that they possibly could. Except for when the ship was docked Costa Maya or in Cozumel (our two stops), this ship felt like a sardine can most of the time. Going to the pools on the 11th deck was not a very satisfying nor sanitary experience whatsoever. We actually had to present our SeaPass card in order to "check out" two pool towels and get this, if you did not check it back in you were charged a whopping $25.00 per towel! Can you believe that??? They actually would charge you a fee for not bringing a common pool towel back to the staff??? I could not believe it? Couldn't they have just provided towels in the room instead? It just added to the overall lack of customer service that came to symbolize RCCL the best. Oh yeah, I almost forgot one more thing that was great was the fitness center. It was very nice and provided a great workout experience for sure. But again, if not for the shows and the gym, this would have rated a big fat zero in my book. Getting onboard was quite the hassle because it seemed like you had to go through a million doors before you got onboard the ship and it was getting onboard that presented the most discomfort of all. I was caught up in the euphoria and taking video of getting onto the ship and after clearing Customs and security, I thought that we were all clear. Well, as I was soon to find out in a rude manner by an RCCL crew member, I was not yet through all of the security hoops. I presented my SeaPass card and she went to scan it but noticed that I was still recording video. She immediately made me stop my camera and told me that I needed to delete the footage because I was in US port security zone. I tried to show her that I did not know but she was just rude and held me up. I thought that she was going to confiscate my little GoPro camera. First of all, why did she have to make me feel like I was a criminal? There was absolutely no need for that kind of treatment at all. She was not a US government official or anything. She had the RCCL crew uniform on and should have been nicer. Yet she wasn't. To top it all off, the ship never did a Bon Voyage moment at all and just started to pull away from port without telling the passengers. I don't know about you but my memories go back to the days of the "Love Boat" and Captain Steubing but this was nothing at all like that, not even close! I noticed that as we were leaving that there was this US Coast Guard ship escorting us out to sea. It had a person on it who was standing there on that vessel manning a machine gun!? I kid you not, wow we have come a long way from innocence have we not??? Why in the world would that even be necessary? Of all the things that were disappointing, the foods was definitely at the top of the list. First of all, mu husband and I are vegan and I put on a little over ten pounds in five days and that was even after trying to eat healthily. Let me say this, apart from eating apples, oranges, bananas and melons, there is NOTHING healthy about any of the food aboard this ship! It is drenched with oils and fats, high fructose corn syrup and way too much sodium. I did not expect to lose weight on this cruise but I certainly did not expect to put on ten pounds! The Windjammer was like a visit to Golden Corral or Ryan's. The quality of the food was awful and the amount fo people hoarding after food was disgusting to say the least. Oh and the help? They were of no help at all whatsoever. Some were actually quite rude and mean, to be honest. I was very much disappointed with most of all the crew members that we got into contact with. Oh and forget thinking that you have a table if you get up to get seconds. On several occasions, we were made to go searching for another table to eat our meal because as soon as we got up, our table would get cleared off and when we came back there would be someone else there at our spot. It was discouraging and annoying. I highly recommend that you NOT bother with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, believe me there must be others that are better out there. Any one of the others is a huge improvement. Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My wife and I are long time and frequent cruisers, having taken cruises on 4 different cruise lines. For the past 8 years, we have been "Loyal to Royal" as Crown and Anchor Diamond members, and have taken as many as 4 cruises ... Read More
My wife and I are long time and frequent cruisers, having taken cruises on 4 different cruise lines. For the past 8 years, we have been "Loyal to Royal" as Crown and Anchor Diamond members, and have taken as many as 4 cruises with RCCL in a single year. We were looking forward to our 5 day cruise to Mexico this March, which was the fourth time we have had a March sailing, and was our first time onboard the Independence. We were booked in a Junior Suite on the 10th deck. Up until now, we have never complained or even had a bad experience on an RCCL ship. As soon as we arrived onboard, we were confronted with large numbers of college students on spring break. They were lined up at the bars, sometimes 5 deep, all had unlimited beverage packages, and all were being served as many as 5 drinks at a time. We were unable to get a drink after a 30 minute wait. One of the students, who was standing next to us at the muster drill, was bragging that he had already had a dozen drinks in the past two hours. By 9pm that first night, there were college students vomiting in the passageways and in the casino. Night after night, we witnessed girls dancing naked in the public areas of the ship, with one (with her skirt hiked up and no underwear) giving a lap dance to the producer of the onboard entertainment (Grease) in the Schooner bar. We even saw crewmembers in the Schooner bar (wearing name tags), with one male having his hand inside the skirt of another (female) crewmember. We saw open drug use onboard this ship, with passengers distributing Xanax and pot to other passengers. The parties were so loud at night, that many passengers onboard were calling security multiple times at night to stop the loud yelling and pounding on the walls and doors at 3 in the morning. Passengers who were not part of the Frat parties were being bombarded with food thrown from higher levels of the ship. We have video and pictures of many of these events, but cannot post them because they are NOT family friendly. We were onboard with my wife's brother (his second RCCL cruise), his girlfriend (first time cruiser), as well as a couple and their 7 year old child (first time cruisers). They were having trouble explaining all of the out of control behavior to their young daughter. During breakfast in the Windjammer, the waiters would ignore tables that did not have scantily clad college girls sitting at them. No matter how drunk or crazy things got, the crew kept serving them alcohol. We complained to the staff, as did my wife's brother, and the Guest Services Manager offered us a 30% refund in the form of a future cruise certificate. Without being asked, she said that she wished she could do more but that was all she could do under company policy, and recommended that we contact shore side guest relations. That was when things got interesting. Our calls resulted in the following comments from post cruise relations, the guest loyalty office, and the executive office: - RCCL can't control what other passengers do - They paid for the cruise, just as you did - This is March, and you have to expect this sort of thing - Yes, we have a guest code of conduct, but there is little we can do to enforce it - We are sorry this upset you, but this is to be expected when college students are aboard. Maybe you should book cruises during other times of the year After these calls, my wife's brother received a total of 75% as a future cruise certificate AND a beverage package. My wife and I called and were told that, per corporate policy 30% was the best they could do. We told them that we knew this was a lie, and then they said that each guest's experience was unique and they could not comment on other guests, and when I pointed out that he had just told me that corporate policy restricted the certificate offer to 30%, and that he was obviously lying and that we felt like our continued loyalty was not valued and that it seemed like RCCL wanted us to cruise elsewhere in favor of spring breakers, he said that it was our prerogative to go with other cruise lines. To say that I was appalled would be an understatement. If this is what RCCL is seeking, and going to promote during their March sailings, then passengers (especially those travelling with small children) should be warned at the time of booking. I think that we are going to complete the June Alaska cruise (our third in the past 12 months) that we have already paid in full, and then realizing that we are no longer the type of cruisers that RCCL is targeting, will move on to another cruise line, one that is more family oriented. Read Less
47 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We are diamond and have sailed a lot of different lines mostly staying loyal to Royal. We booked this cruise to sail with a freshman in high school. So imagine my surprise when we quickly realized that this ship was Girls gone wild with ... Read More
We are diamond and have sailed a lot of different lines mostly staying loyal to Royal. We booked this cruise to sail with a freshman in high school. So imagine my surprise when we quickly realized that this ship was Girls gone wild with 2300 college students. Turns out a travel agent at the end of January- after final payment was due ... took all remaining rooms and took them to Florida State University- and sold it as a charter. But, no one told the regular people on board. Now I know that sailing at Spring break means that you will have more kids and could include college kids. What this was is not even describable. Vomit in the pool ... closed the pool. Vomit in the hallways... the elevator. Girls hanging out of their suits with dental floss in their bums... being allowed to look like that in every venue..Windjammer, Viking lounge, promenade bar and sorrentos etc. It truly was a parents nightmare because they were drunk, rude and had horrible language. There were issues with weed. There were issues with fighting. There were issues with fraternities chanting back in forth in the dining room at dinner... issues with bare feet on the table at dinner.. I mean you really can not make this up. The crew called it a charter. The stores sold special college spring break t-shirts. The cruise director called it a college fest and pointed out all these different competing colleges. The only people who seemed to not get the memo were the ones that were on board not part of this "charter." Turns out they are making the Independence a party boat. Several crew said that. No dreamwork experiences. Pop up bars. Burgers at a table at the pool. Not the WOW experience you were expecting. Not the quality you expect. In fact, it was a Carnival crowd and honestly the first time I have sailed that I wondered why I just did not pay Carnival rates because at least then I knew what I was getting. There were so many kids at the pools- you could not get anywhere near them unless you wanted to be in the toddler pool. No chairs. Screaming... yelling... chanting... loud scream singing .... and do not even get me started how out of control these kids were when they came back from spending the day at Señor Frogs in Cozumel. Royal this was an epic fail. You want to charter a sail for college kids- then you need to tell everyone else. It is unfair to tell your female 14 yr old that she can not: 1) get on an elevator if there is no adult on board 2) go to areas with excessive college kids in it 3) go to the pool area without an adult 4) walk the hallway without someone with them I mean come on Royal ... seriously? Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
First, to be clear, the ship 1000% has a bed bug infestation. I was bitten multiple times almost every night, my significant other was bitten multiple times, and the couple traveling with us in different staterooms on different floors was ... Read More
First, to be clear, the ship 1000% has a bed bug infestation. I was bitten multiple times almost every night, my significant other was bitten multiple times, and the couple traveling with us in different staterooms on different floors was bitten. Anyone traveling on this ship should be concerned because if a single bed bug is taken home with you in your clothes, bag, etc. that means thousands ($1000+) of exterminator costs, dry cleaning, mattress replacement, etc. Second, as many others have mentioned, the ship is rundown and the furniture and interiors are in desperate need of renovation. There’s holes, fading, out of order signs, etc. across the ship. I thought it was one of the older ships in the fleet but it was built only in 2008 so it just looks old due to neglect and disrepair. Third, the ship smells like sewage and there’s a plumbing issue. The ship was delayed departure for 4 hours from Ft Lauderdale due to a “mechanical issue” . I assume it was pipe related because certain areas of the ship smelled of raw sewage so bad (gaming area and sports area), and whole sections of the ship would lose plumbing. At one point, my toiler didn’t flush, told my stateroom attendant who responded by saying the whole side of the floor does not have plumbing. Fourth, which I find most egregious, the staff – principally the management – were really of low quality and did not act up to standards. I assume this is because the ship ranks lower in RCL’s priorities behind the Oasis and Quantum, and this is primarily (in $$) a European cruising vessel. The Cruise Director seemed mean spirited and self-promoting. A dining manager made insensitive, offensive, racially probing question to my significant other and another couple. And worst, a certain entertainer onboard did what clearly would constitute sexual harassment by making crude and lewd remarks to me and my significant other as we were exiting a lounge. This was not a stand-up comedian or anything. Like seriously Royal Caribbean, I do not want or need that. In general, the lounge and main theater entertainment was much worse that Oasis class ships, with the ship’s main comedian act making fun of how it “looked nothing like the commercials” This ship is a clear AVOID. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
It's really sad how far the Royal Caribbean brand has fallen in 10 years. It's now pretty much a low end cruise. This is our second cruise on Royal Caribbean this year. We took this exact same New Years Eve cruise ten years ... Read More
It's really sad how far the Royal Caribbean brand has fallen in 10 years. It's now pretty much a low end cruise. This is our second cruise on Royal Caribbean this year. We took this exact same New Years Eve cruise ten years ago. It was very disappointing. Gone is the awesome food, dancing waiters, sculptured butter, midnight buffet and true formal night. The best thing about cruises is the food. Royal Caribbean was the best for my parents generation. On this cruise, there wasn't one dinner that was decent. Seriously, If you were in a nice restaurant at home and were served the "filet mignon" that you got on this cruise, you would have called over the waiter and said, "Something's wrong with this. It's REALLY tough.". Same with the fish plates, lobster and shrimps. We opted for the safe pasta one night. It was very undercooked. The famous lobster night offered very small and mushy lobsters (on two RC cruises this year). You had to ask for butter and lemon. Caesar Salad came with no dressing; just some oil and a dusting of cheese. I asked and was given a small cup of Caesar dressing which was fairly tasteless. It just seems that the lowest quality meats, fish and other items are now being used. Few sauces or condiments are included. You have to ask for every basic add on you would expect. Even if cooked well, the food would be tasteless. The breakfast and lunch buffet was equally low quality. If you've eaten at a "Golden Corral" you know that these low end buffet restaurants offer you all you can eat of fairly low quality foods but generally it's a great place to take the kids and you can always find a few really good items. This cruise ship offering wasn't half as good. I don't know what's going on at RC. It's pretty much a low quality floating Golden Corral. This cruise and the previous RC, there wasn't one dinner that was memorable (well... not in a good way.) Really sad. Every meal on an RC cruise use to be such a treat. It seems that they no longer have any interest in the food. I don't know why. The service was really good and the waiters were constantly apologizing for the food. (Same thing on the other RC cruise we took this year.) I mentioned to the staff a few time, politely, that the food quality seem to be poor. They all agreed that it had dropped off without saying much. Funny, when the waiter came to ask about my steak, I wasn't going to say anything but he read it on my face. "A little tough?". Really sad, because I have fond memories of my parents and in-laws taking us on RC cruises ten years about and earlier. All we talked about was the food. As "older adults" we decided to start cruising on our own. We started with low end Carnival Cruises and now a couple of Royal Carib. Frankly, the Carnival experience was much better. The RC cruises ships are superior, especially the cabins, but the total experience was far better on Carnival. Any recommendations? Higher quality, food to rave about? Other stuff - This cruise line really stinks at people flow. Embarking was a breeze but every other time they try to move people it's a cluster. For example, after the muster drill, people want to flow back off the deck to their rooms or the pools. For some reason, the only way out is through revolving doors. It slowed everything. Simple things like coffee don't flow well. You expect to walk up to the table pick up a cup, get your coffee, tea or decaf and then go to the sugar, milk, spoons etc. No. You walk up to sugar and milk. There are then coffee urns. Where are the coffee cups? Behind the Urns. Literally. Every station is like that. Bagel? By the breads right? No. Off by the sweets. Cream cheese? Back by the coffee. Salmon? Got to go ask for that. Most of their big parties are in the promenade which is basically a mall in a hallway that runs the length of the ship. Elevators at each end. So basically there are only two ways out and then that stops because people want to go up in elevators. Scary part was near midnight a lady was trying to get her ill husband out of this long hall and back to his room. She was about mid way down this big hall stuck in the crowd. We helped clear a path till she got to the elevators, but it wasn't easy. Never saw a staff member in the crowd who could help. Last time I did a Royal Carb New Years cruise, it was done on the top deck with big screens for the count down. Plenty of room to party and move and if someone got ill it would be easy to get them out of there. Speaking of the deck, the nice thing was there was an "adults only" section, a "kids section" and the usual party section. Nice but they put the noisy party section in the middle so the "solarium" (quiet adults only section) was not. Lastly - If it's electronic it doesn't work well. That includes the internet, cabin TV, treadmills in the gym, fridge in room and interactive menus in your cabin. This is no longer in the "Luxury Cruise" category. Switch this to "Low end cruising". 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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