My husband and I have just spent 10 nights on the Independence of the Seas sailing from Southampton. When we arrived in Southamptn it was raining, we handed our cases to a porter who put the cases on a soaking wet trolley. There was a canvas on the trolley but was not over the top. When our cases eventually arrived at our cabin some time later the cases were wet and opening the cases some of our clothes were wet, I did mention it to our cabin attendant but obviously it is nothing to do with her. So, there were clothes we could not wear on the cruise.
The ship itself is brilliant, lots of things to do, however, some of the people on the cruise were sssssoooooo very rude and ignorant especially in the Windjammer restaurant, they did not mind who they pushed out of the way me included, one other guest even made an oooooooooooo noise when she saw an Italian woman body push me to one side and one of the staff said something in his own language whilst looking at her, obviously saying something about what he had just witnessed.
The food in the Windjammer is quite good but a bit "samey" not much difference Romeo and Juliet Restaurant, our waiters Alfredo and Antonio were very nice and very professional only too willing to help with any queries. The food in the Romeo and Juliet was lovely and there was always steak and chicken for people who are not so adventurous. The staff sang in three nights and was really nice, the atmosphere was lovely. We were fortunate enough to sit with two lovely couples on our table and hope to keep in touch.
Now to the excursions off the ship, I felt I wished I had not booked all the tours, we loved the beach tour to Lanzarote, the Loro park tour in Trenerife and the site seeing tour in Madeira BUT DO NOT do the Shop Till You Drop excursion in Gran Canaria or the Site seeing tour in Vigo, we found the Gran Canaria tour boring, we were dumped for an hour in the old part of Gran Canaria with no shops to see and did not have enough time to walk round to find any, next we were taken to a shopping centre just like one we can find in any city in the UK. The final place was a city with lots of very expensive shops, nothing to buy unless you wanted to spend a fortune. I think if we do another cruise we will make enquiries as to what the tour consists of. The shops in Vigo were closed for a holiday so for anyone who had decided to stroll around would be dissapointed if they wanted to look around shops.
The ship has lots of things for children to do with their own special pools on deck 11 and there is definately lots of things to do for adults.
all in all I would say I would cruise with Royal Caribbean again but must add that, we had done a cruise with P & O on the Ventura back in 2010 and out of the two I would give the Ventura 100% and Independence of the Seas 94%.