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Review: Independence of the Seas

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

First but not last

  • By SilverTraveller Susie14

    1 review

  • Nov 2013
  • Husband
  • Regular holiday
  • Inside

100 people found this review helpful

It took me a while to persuade my husband that we would enjoy a cruise holiday, he felt it would be his worst nightmare so there was a lot riding on our first voyage.

He picked a transatlantic cruise leaving the UK from Southampton in November for the Caribbean, stopping at St Maarten, San Juan and CocoCay before disembarking at Fort Lauderdale then on to Miami and New York. It didn't start too well as the UK had severe weather warnings days before we left and I developed a middle ear infection which combined with terrible sea sickness meant I saw a lot of the cabin for the first four days. This wasn't what I had in mind but the kindness of fellow passengers together with antibiotics and anti sickness pills soon ensured I could enjoy this fabulous ship and all it had to offer.

There were 9 nine sea days before we were able to put our feet on solid land and it did seem overwhelming at times but that feeling soon passed, especially as we sailed on and into better weather. During the sea days we took part in the daily quiz and despite 78 teams, managed a top ten position. The cruise director Joff Eaton was our quiz master and whilst the jokes weren't necessarily new, everybody laughed along and had a good time. In the final sea days, there was barely standing room for the quiz. Joff seemed to thoroughly enjoy his job and this enthusiasm was infectious. I can still picture him now in his white John Travolta suit for the 70's party.

There were some aspects of the ship that we simply didn't get a chance to explore such as the spa or gym which looked fabulous but we were on holiday after all.

We had booked quite late and our choice of cabin was therefore somewhat limited and friends who had cruised previously warned against an inside cabin. Our inside cabin overlooked the promenade so we had a window on everything happening which when I wasn't well which proved useful as I didn't feel that I was missing out entirely. The cabin was adequate but compact and having seen the cabins with a balcony I would definitely opt for one of those next time.

I wasn't very taken with the Windjammer cafe but for the odd snack or lunch, it was fine. On boarding day, all passengers were encouraged to head there first and it was very busy and noisy but it has its place on the ship for casual dining.

We found the food in the main dining room fabulous as well as the service which we couldn't fault. In the evenings we chose to dine mainly on our own but enjoyed the company of our fellow passengers during breakfast and lunch and that really enhanced our holiday. It seemed many of our fellow passengers were regulars on this particular voyage probably due to the great price as the ship makes its way to the Caribbean for the season there.

We half expected the entertainment on board to be cringe worthy but that's wasn't the case at all and Joff, the cruise director really made the difference.. It is very difficult to please everybody from teens to those in the 80's and some for whom English wasn't their first language. The ice shows were spectacular and well worth it, if you had to queue for a while for a ticket.

I would recommend trying the Independence of the Sea, we both really enjoyed our time on board.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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