Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by lostcastle
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Junior Suite
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!
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