1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Independence of the Seas
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising, so decided to cross the Atlantic to Florida, via the Caribbean, to enjoy some sunshine & heat. Embarking was straightforward, although there seemed to a be lot of people who apparently don't realise that the crew have a hard job getting the ship ready for pax. We actually saw from our hotel room, people arriving, expecting to board the ship at 09.15 ! The ship was very clean & well maintained. The additions will obviously appeal to families, but it was easy to avoid the top area. Being a TA cruise, we didn't expect to see any school aged children, but as usual, we were wrong. Captain Iv runs a very good ship, & the ambiance proved that the crew like him as much as the passengers do ! He is a very affable person, who interacts with people very well. Orlando, F&B Manager on our cruise, was very approachable & we gladly congratulated him, & his team, on the food presentation & quality. Regardless where, or when we ate, the food was consistently good. Our stateroom was maintained very well by Bhisom, who was aware from the start, that we are early risers, so the room was cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast. The first few days proved challenging, weather wise, but the Captain deviated from the usual course, to avoid the main part of the adverse weather, but the conditions were still quite rough. The health lectures were very interesting, conducted by an American Cardiologist, Dr K Sheikh, who was entertaining as well as being very informative. We were delighted that the casino was smoke free for the entire cruise, but smoking is still allowed on one side of deck 11, although we could avoid it, if we remembered ! The food in both Chops Grille & Giovanni's was as usual, excellent, but as I stated earlier, the food was good, regardless where we ate, including Barefoot beach club on Labadee. The only downside.....the vast numbers of Diamond & Diamond Plus members onboard. It meant that the Olive or Twist Lounge was filled to overflowing every evening, long before 5pm when the event commenced. Suites & Pinnacle guests could use the lovely airy Suite lounge, but as there is no bar set up in there, the servers had to prepare drinks either in the pantry, or at the bar in the main lounge. Wine was easy for them to serve, but mixed drinks took a while to get. We think that the C&A society will have to rethink their policy as it's too easy to reach D & DP status. It used to be that D's had an event consisting of wine, beer & Cava, now, those who have 70 points enjoy almost the same as those who have 700 !! Janice, lead bartender in the Crows Nest, Olive or Twist Lounge is delightful. She was always upbeat, friendly & eager to please. She ran an excellent bar, & was constantly aware people were waiting to be served. All crew we encountered were delightful, & those with whom we have cruised before, remembered us....for whatever reason, but we didn't ask !! We like the ID, but like the itineraries of other ships within the fleet, so it will be a while before we are back on her. Our experience on RCCL ships has always been enjoyable, & whenever we hear people complain about food, or the standard of cleanliness onboard, we have to shake our heads & wonder what kind of lifestyle they lead. It's easy to opt for healthy, nutritious food. On our return home, we weigh ourselves, & find that we have not gained weight. It's not because we haven't eaten or drunk anything, but have chosen wisely, exercised, & followed a regime which is sustainable, no matter where we are. Waste of food is abhorrent to us, but many plates we saw being removed from tables had food untouched by the person who had put it there. In a buffet situation, it's easy to opt for small portions, then return if more food is required. Some of the crew come from countries where food is not easy to obtain, so it must be depressing / annoying for them to see such unnecessary waste. Much media advertising coverage is given to plastic waste, but surely food waste should also be highlighted. Here endeth my rant !!

Crossing the pond!

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Janda7

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Junior Suite
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising, so decided to cross the Atlantic to Florida, via the Caribbean, to enjoy some sunshine & heat.

Embarking was straightforward, although there seemed to a be lot of people who apparently don't realise that the crew have a hard job getting the ship ready for pax. We actually saw from our hotel room, people arriving, expecting to board the ship at 09.15 !

The ship was very clean & well maintained. The additions will obviously appeal to families, but it was easy to avoid the top area.

Being a TA cruise, we didn't expect to see any school aged children, but as usual, we were wrong.

Captain Iv runs a very good ship, & the ambiance proved that the crew like him as much as the passengers do ! He is a very affable person, who interacts with people very well.

Orlando, F&B Manager on our cruise, was very approachable & we gladly congratulated him, & his team, on the food presentation & quality. Regardless where, or when we ate, the food was consistently good.

Our stateroom was maintained very well by Bhisom, who was aware from the start, that we are early risers, so the room was cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast.

The first few days proved challenging, weather wise, but the Captain deviated from the usual course, to avoid the main part of the adverse weather, but the conditions were still quite rough.

The health lectures were very interesting, conducted by an American Cardiologist, Dr K Sheikh, who was entertaining as well as being very informative.

We were delighted that the casino was smoke free for the entire cruise, but smoking is still allowed on one side of deck 11, although we could avoid it, if we remembered !

The food in both Chops Grille & Giovanni's was as usual, excellent, but as I stated earlier, the food was good, regardless where we ate, including Barefoot beach club on Labadee.

The only downside.....the vast numbers of Diamond & Diamond Plus members onboard. It meant that the Olive or Twist Lounge was filled to overflowing every evening, long before 5pm when the event commenced. Suites & Pinnacle guests could use the lovely airy Suite lounge, but as there is no bar set up in there, the servers had to prepare drinks either in the pantry, or at the bar in the main lounge. Wine was easy for them to serve, but mixed drinks took a while to get. We think that the C&A society will have to rethink their policy as it's too easy to reach D & DP status. It used to be that D's had an event consisting of wine, beer & Cava, now, those who have 70 points enjoy almost the same as those who have 700 !!

Janice, lead bartender in the Crows Nest, Olive or Twist Lounge is delightful. She was always upbeat, friendly & eager to please. She ran an excellent bar, & was constantly aware people were waiting to be served.

All crew we encountered were delightful, & those with whom we have cruised before, remembered us....for whatever reason, but we didn't ask !!

We like the ID, but like the itineraries of other ships within the fleet, so it will be a while before we are back on her.

Our experience on RCCL ships has always been enjoyable, & whenever we hear people complain about food, or the standard of cleanliness onboard, we have to shake our heads & wonder what kind of lifestyle they lead. It's easy to opt for healthy, nutritious food. On our return home, we weigh ourselves, & find that we have not gained weight. It's not because we haven't eaten or drunk anything, but have chosen wisely, exercised, & followed a regime which is sustainable, no matter where we are. Waste of food is abhorrent to us, but many plates we saw being removed from tables had food untouched by the person who had put it there. In a buffet situation, it's easy to opt for small portions, then return if more food is required. Some of the crew come from countries where food is not easy to obtain, so it must be depressing / annoying for them to see such unnecessary waste.

Much media advertising coverage is given to plastic waste, but surely food waste should also be highlighted.

Here endeth my rant !!
Janda7’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Junior Suite
Cabin J3 9544
Excellent JS. Well maintained, & enjoyed the sun loungers on the balcony, especially when the deck area was windy.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins