Just returned from an 11nights cruise on Independence of the seas. Last year we cruised on the Thomson Dream and loved it, so it was with some trepidation that we decided to try Independence. I read a lot of reviews some good, some bad so decided to go with an open mind after all a holiday is what you make it. All I can say is there was absolutely no need to worry as the ship is quite simply magnificent.
We were in stateroom 8607 which was a family room overlooking the promenade. It was extremely roomy we had a super king sized bed, 3 sofas, even a walk in wardrobe. The kids had bunk beds in an alcove around the corner from our bed so there was some privacy. I was concerned that it would be noisy as I am a light sleeper but I slept like a baby.
We ate breakfast and lunch in the windjammer and dinner in the main dining room. The food was superb with plenty of choice. My husband particularly enjoyed the Asian cuisine and the Sushi selection was excellent.
The kids had the soda package which we booked online before we went which turned out to be good value. We decided not to take the drinks package as I do not drink alcohol. This turned out to be the right decision as apple juice, orange juice, American style lemonade and fruit punch were all free in the windjammer. After we had finished our meals I just took one out of the restaurant with me, nothing was ever said. When the windjammer was closed I drank lime cordial with water and was never charged so our total drinks bill was around 600 dollars. As my husband likes to drink I don't feel this is too bad after 11 days and yes the beers are more expensive but so what, you are on holiday after all.
There is so much to do on this ship, quizzes, bingo, dance classes, shows etc. For me the highlight was "The Quest" and the themed parties on the royal promenade. Also we took part in the thriller dance classes and performance- great fun. I went to all of the shows bar one and they were all excellent especially guest performer Paul Zerdin.
In summary some people like to moan and find fault with everything. To these I would say stick to Cunard then. If you do your research and book the right ship for your needs you should have a great holiday. I would thoroughly recommend this ship especially if you like to have a good time. My 2 teenage children said it was their best holiday ever and you know how hard to please teenagers are.