Not knowing just what to expect we were pleasantly surprised at the ease at which we were gently but efficiently led through check-in and passport checks -the staff were so welcoming and obliging. There was no pressure or stress
involved and it was a pleasurable experience - so easy compared to airport procedures!
Once on board the if became apparent that we were going to have a great time. Exploring all the facilities and services - finding the restaurants etc.
The storm! Oh yes the storm on the Bay of Biscay! Wow! We were lucky and were not sick in anyway but we made a concerted effort to keep ourselves occupied and moving about (other than staggering from the ship being tossed about that is!). The ship - Independence of the Seas was tossed about like a matchbox but it was built to withstand force 10-12 winds etc. It was a great experience and we were not worried at all. You go on the sea you must be prepared for things like this and accept it just may happen to you - if you didnt like it dont go on the seas!
Once over this the cruise went well - we did miss Madera but it was not the end of the world - one of those things - there was plenty to keep you occupied on ship. The facilities offered on this ship are outstanding and accessible to all - there is no reason to be bored! The shows were fantastic and varied, the Ice show Strings was outstanding. The staff were so polite, charming and obliging - nothing was too much trouble. The formal nights were lovely - nice to see that people can meet a dress code and it made you feel good to make the effort - it wasnt compulsory but most joined in. There was something for everyone - the gym was outstanding and offered seminars on interesting subjects, the Spa offered a variety of excellant services.
The towel animals left in your cabin at the end of the day by your cabin attendant was a nice touch and very clever. It made it just that bit special that someone would take the time to do it. Our cabin was kept spotless by our cabin attendant - very helpful - if you needed anything special she would assist us. Excellent service.
The restaurant staff were excellent - always keen to please and knowledgeable about wines etc. They worked their socks off serving 4000 guests throughout the day - they seemed tireless. Talented - could sing well!
The cruise director made sure that everyone enjoyed themselves - he was constantly conspicuous and made sure the variety of entertainment was available to everyone.
I have two disappointments however - one being room service - we had two bad experiences with room service - cold food and not meeting our order, and the other was the Internet - it was terrible - especially as the advertising promotes the state-of-the art service - it certainly was not and very expensive to boot!
But this did not interrupt our cruise and we still enjoyed every minute of it - would have and have done so recommend it to anyone, we will do another soon.
YOU DONT KNOW TILL YOU GIVE IT A GO!