We have just returned from our first Canary Island Cruise on the Independence of the Seas and to say I was a little nervous having read a couple of negative reviews I can honestly say that the negativity does not seem to be warranted. This was our first cruise and the experience has been truly wonderful.
On arrival at Southampton we were greeted by the largest ship I have ever seen and hard to imagine what it was going to be like. We arrived around 12pm in readiness for our departure at 4.30pm. We made our way to the Windjammer restaurant which became our choice restaurant for lunch. The food options were plentiful and all the food is fresh. The soft drinks were great too, with homemade lemonade, mixed fruit punch and the usual tea, coffee and water, plenty of it and always available.
Our stateroom which was on Deck 7 was very clean and our attendant Dumitru was a real sweety who was so pleasant and courteous and always asked if everything was ok and if we needed anything. The animal creations made with towels were a highlight most evenings on returning to our cabin and were in the form of elephants, penguins, monkeys etc. Very unusual. The only thing I would say is that when I cruise again I would definitely go for the port hole or balcony option purely for the light first thing in the morning as the cabin is very dark and you are not aware of the time. Other than that no complaints on comfort.
The Cruise Director, Joff Eaton, was brilliant very funny and very informative. Each evening we dined at 6pm in the King Lear restaurant on Deck 5 and our waiter Didi from Indonesia and our assistant waitress Ana Maria from Romania were so attentive and knew all our names by the 2nd evening. Nothing was too much trouble for them. I cannot highlight enough the cleanliness of the ship, everywhere you turned someone was cleaning the handrails on the stairs at each end of the ship. On entering the restaurants you were given an anti-bacterial handwipe which clearly helped with keeping the whole ship free of any viruses as on a previous cruise on this ship the Novo-Virus was passed to a number of passengers.
My son aged 14, my niece aged 15 and my 2 nephews both aged 11 were entertained from morning until night. The outside swimming pools were a great hit, even though the weather wasn't brilliant they had a great time. The flowrider at the back of the ship was enjoyed by them too. Each evening they'd just go off and entertain themselves in the arcade or to the adventure rooms allocated to the relevant age group 12-14 and 15-17. The evening shows in the Alhambra Theatre were great productions especially Pete Matthews the Comedy Juggler. Very funny and the Elton John tribute act. You did have to get into the theatre at least half an hour before the show to secure a seat but as there were 10 of us that was understandable. The ice show, Strings, is recommended but you do need to ensure you secure tickets which are on a first come first come basis.
All in all we had a wonderful time and we will be travelling with Royal Caribbean again. WELL DONE ROYAL CARIBBEAN AND THANKS TO ALL THE CREW ON THE IOTS FOR BEING SO FRIENDLY AND POLITE.