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We are experienced cruisers with 20 or more under our belts with a number of different lines including RCCL. Unfortunately our recent experience on the Independence was definitely not one of the better ones. Our booking was made in Florida approx 9 months ago in US$. We found very quickly that unless you climb walls, surf, try to play golf in the wind, skate or play trivia there is very little activity during sea days that does not cost extra. The selling and drinking of alcohol seemed to be more prevalent than on any other ship we have been on. We usually look forward to the port talks where you learn about the places of interest - not on the Independence - it is all about where and on what to spend your money. My husband calls me a shop-a-holic but even this was too much for me. This is also repeated on the cabin tv programme. Next comes the dining. We were in the Macbeth dining room - 2nd seating. The waiting staff were nothing short of excellent which is much more than I can say about the food. Mostly it arrived warm - never hot. On the first night out I asked for a jacket potato, the butter I put on top did not melt - not a good sign. The second night I ordered Salmon - this came up dry so I asked for some hollandaise sauce which is on the menu ,only to be told it was not available. I suggested Mayonnaise - for this the waiter went all the way to the 11th deck Windjammer restaurant - if I had known I would not have asked, they work hard enough without me sending him on a hike. The menu's themselves were over elaborate and did not come up to expectations - my husband is a fully qualified chef. I was looking forward to having a Kipper for breakfast, so on the first morning this is what I ordered. The waiter came back and told me that none had been put on board but that I could have Capers instead! I chose something else. The second morning I asked for the first item on the cereal menu - Shredded Wheat - quite right they had none! I settled for Cheerios. I complained to the Maitre'd about my experiences and he confirmed no Kippers but told me that they had Shreddies which are of course small Shredded Wheat but the waiting staff were not aware of this fact! There were a lot of Brit's on this sailing - I'm sure they were all as pleased as I was. I have to say that lunchtime dining in the Romeo & Juliet Restaurant was excellent, especially the salad bar. The shows in the theatre were excellent as was the ice show (although there were four ice shows they were all the same. We elected to take a promenade cabin so that we could see the 'parades' - big mistake unless it is mid-ship. If, like ours it is at the beginning/end you see nothing except your neighbor across the way as the cabins are face on. Therefore at any time of the day you have to have the curtains closed otherwise they can see right in. Now the best part - once onboard and mingling with the other passengers they start to tell you about the bargain they got in the pricing of the cruise as they only booked 3 - 4 days before sailing. One couple told us they had paid $600 for the two of them but did not say which grade cabin and another who had a promenade paid $371 each booking direct with RCCL. Like our price this did not of course include air. Ouch - this hurt big time, so it pays to wait for last minute bargains direct from the cruise company and not part with your money for months in advance.

Not for the 55+'s

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by pilates

Trip Details
We are experienced cruisers with 20 or more under our belts with a number of different lines including RCCL. Unfortunately our recent experience on the Independence was definitely not one of the better ones. Our booking was made in Florida approx 9 months ago in US$.
We found very quickly that unless you climb walls, surf, try to play golf in the wind, skate or play trivia there is very little activity during sea days that does not cost extra. The selling and drinking of alcohol seemed to be more prevalent than on any other ship we have been on.
We usually look forward to the port talks where you learn about the places of interest - not on the Independence - it is all about where and on what to spend your money. My husband calls me a shop-a-holic but even this was too much for me. This is also repeated on the cabin tv programme.
Next comes the dining. We were in the Macbeth dining room - 2nd seating. The waiting staff were nothing short of excellent which is much more than I can say about the food. Mostly it arrived warm - never hot. On the first night out I asked for a jacket potato, the butter I put on top did not melt - not a good sign. The second night I ordered Salmon - this came up dry so I asked for some hollandaise sauce which is on the menu ,only to be told it was not available. I suggested Mayonnaise - for this the waiter went all the way to the 11th deck Windjammer restaurant - if I had known I would not have asked, they work hard enough without me sending him on a hike. The menu's themselves were over elaborate and did not come up to expectations - my husband is a fully qualified chef.

I was looking forward to having a Kipper for breakfast, so on the first morning this is what I ordered. The waiter came back and told me that none had been put on board but that I could have Capers instead! I chose something else. The second morning I asked for the first item on the cereal menu - Shredded Wheat - quite right they had none! I settled for Cheerios.
I complained to the Maitre'd about my experiences and he confirmed no Kippers but told me that they had Shreddies which are of course small Shredded Wheat but the waiting staff were not aware of this fact! There were a lot of Brit's on this sailing - I'm sure they were all as pleased as I was.
I have to say that lunchtime dining in the Romeo & Juliet Restaurant was excellent, especially the salad bar.
The shows in the theatre were excellent as was the ice show (although there were four ice shows they were all the same.
We elected to take a promenade cabin so that we could see the 'parades' - big mistake unless it is mid-ship. If, like ours it is at the beginning/end you see nothing except your neighbor across the way as the cabins are face on. Therefore at any time of the day you have to have the curtains closed otherwise they can see right in.
Now the best part - once onboard and mingling with the other passengers they start to tell you about the bargain they got in the pricing of the cruise as they only booked 3 - 4 days before sailing. One couple told us they had paid $600 for the two of them but did not say which grade cabin and another who had a promenade paid $371 each booking direct with RCCL. Like our price this did not of course include air. Ouch - this hurt big time, so it pays to wait for last minute bargains direct from the cruise company and not part with your money for months in advance.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6323
Promenade - have to keep the curtains closed unless you want the people opposite to see right in. Only take this type of cabin if it is located mid-ship.
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