Review: Independence of the Seas
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
Independence of the Seas
124 people found this review helpful
When reading cruise reviews I have found many featuring a great number of negative elements, which can be enlightening, so long as they're taken with a pinch of salt and the understanding that they were probably written by people who are inherently extremely hard to please.
My wife and I escaped the UK weather after securing an exceptional price reduction on Royal Caribbean – Independence of the Seas – leaving Southampton on the 10th December for the warmth of the Canaries.
We like to think of ourselves as experienced cruisers but this was our first cruise with RCC and was booked before I had looked at any reviews. After reading the first couple of reviews, I realised that I may have been too hasty in making the booking before doing the usual checks. One such review stated that there were 800 children on board, some creating havoc, with not a parent in sight, but that shouldn’t detract from the many that, I am sure, had a fabulous time. With an obvious emphasis on families it may be tempting to believe that child free cruisers will be overrun by children. However, as you would expect on a ship of this size there are the peaceful areas, and as this cruise was just prior to Christmas children were not in abundance and those on the cruise were in the main well behaved For youngsters there is a range of age related activities and facilities – Babies & Tots (6 to 36 months) – Adventure Ocean (3 groups covering 3 to 11years) – Teens (2 groups covering 12 to 17years) Independence of the Seas went into service in May 2008, has a 154407 GRT, is 1112 feet long and 185 feet wide with a cruising speed of 21.6 knots. It has 1817 staterooms of which 1084 are Ocean View (842 with balconies), 733 Interior staterooms (172 Promenade View) Embarkation The embarkation was trouble free and was the most efficient we have experienced. We arrived at the terminal at around 12 noon, dropped our cases at the luggage point, then went and parked the car, after which we had a short walk back to the departure lounge. A friendly welcome at check-in, then straight through security and we were on the ship. Cabins We were advised on arrival that cabins were not available until 2.00pm, so whilst waiting we had lunch in the Windjammer restaurant. Our roomy balcony cabin was on deck 9, it was spotlessly clean and extremely well designed and had a spacious open wardrobe, flat screen TV and a small but adequate en suite bathroom. Whilst cabins have kettles, only tea bags are supplied, but having read the reviews, we were aware of this and brought our own coffee – and the teabags were so weak you felt like giving them the kiss of life, they were totally flavourless.
Food and Beverages There are three main restaurants, King Lear, Romeo & Juliet and Othello with the Windjammer Café for breakfast and lunch, but it also opens for dinner for the non-conformists. King Lear dining was to very high standard with excellent service. Other eateries are available, but with a small cover charge.
The centrepiece is the Royal Promenade on deck 5 with its Café Promenade (open 24 hours a day), Sorrento’s pizza, Dog and Badger Pub, Wine Bar, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Parlour and much more. The Promenade Café is and can be a relaxing area to have morning coffee or afternoon tea, whilst ‘people watching’. Also along the Royal Promenade are several shops, including Clean Shave barbers shop, Clothes and Souvenir shops plus a General Store,
Johnny Rockets, a 50s style diner, boasts a menu of favourites including juicy hamburgers, classic sandwiches, and milk shakes. Cruisers also enjoy that all-American look with tabletop jukeboxes and authentic decor.
There are many bars and lounges around the ship, our favourite being Olive and Twist, terrific views and great music.
Entertainment The entertainment was excellent – considering there are families across the age range, the balance was good. Special mention to Mr Joff Eaton (Cruise Director) who was excellent The Royal Promenade is also the place to be for the fun of the big parade – some of the biggest smiles and obvious enjoyment during the Disney type parade were on the faces of the oldies. The entertainment in the theatre was always good but the ice shows are a must, get your tickets early as they are limited. There were quiz sessions, 'keep fit', aerobics, and dance instruction. Oh yes, I can’t forget the Bingo, in fact the American assistant Cruise Director wouldn’t allow you to forget it, with his constant “Hi De Hi” announcements – I can feel a complaint coming on! Cruising can be relaxing, but if you prefer to be more active on your cruise, Independence of the Seas has a great many options for sport and recreation. There is an ice skating rink, a rock climbing wall, a fitness centre, a full-size boxing ring and a day spa and fitness centre as well as the Flowrider, (onboard surfing). Other entertainments include a nine-hole miniature golf course and a casino. With Royal Caribbean we had an exceptional cruise and there is virtually nothing really negative to be reported from our 11 day cruise. The Crown & Anchor® Society is Royal Caribbean’s way of recognising and rewarding their most loyal guests. As a member, you'll receive exclusive benefits and privileges to make your cruise experiences with Royal Caribbean even more spectacular. As from the 21st January two further tiers have been added to their loyalty club programme Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Something for everyone is practically guaranteed on RCC Independence of the Seas…. remember it’s not the cruise it’s the cruisers that can be the problem.
124 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.