Jubilee weekend so we allowed plenty time for our journey and arrived at Southampton at around 10.15. Not RCI's fault but the luggage drop off was very badly organised. Once luggage had been dropped off we parked and check in was very quick, we went for a wander and then in Windjammer by 11.45. Yes it got busy but no problem finding a table there was so much choice of food. yes there are rude passengers the same as anywhere else but we just ignore them. We have stayed in some 5 star hotels and resorts and people are still rude. You will always find people who think rules don't apply to them.
Our cabin was ready at 1.30 and we had our cases by 3 so unpacked and were ready to enjoy sail away. We checked out our table in the dining room and were pleased that our request for a window table had been met. We shared with 2 other couples and had great service every night - thanks Denster and Iputu. The food was just as good as ever, plenty of choice and always hot - second helpings or 2 different starters or desserts was no problem. We didn't use any of the speciality restaurants as we had sch good food and service in the Macbeth dining room on 2nd seating.
This was our first cruise as Diamond members and the diamond lounge is a huge benefit. We enjoyed complimentary pre dinner drinks every night (shouldn't have bought a wine package!) Met some great people which added to the enjoyment.
Weather was a bit mixed with wind, fog, sun and a little rain. Corsica was our favourite port, very pretty and a lovely beach less than 10 minutes from the dock so even got a swim in the sea. We only did 3 excursions, full day in Rome, half day in Pisa including river trip, and Rock tour in Gibraltar. All were well organised, but I wish people wouldn't join tours that they have no interest in. on Pisa trip we had trouble listening to the guide on the coach as others were chatting and laughing. They had no interest in anything except the shopping stop.
We enjoyed all but one of the shows in the theatre - the girl violinist/vocalist was dreadful but we especially liked the MacDonald Brothers, Adrian Walsh and the Rat Pack.Again slightly spoiled by people who were not interested in anything except drinking and chatting at the bar. The theatre should not have bar service while the show is on to allow people to watch. It is only 45 minutes and there are plenty of other bars if people can't go that long without a drink.
The ice shows have to be seen to be believed, the speed they get on the ice in a small area is amazing,absolutely brilliant. I had 2 sessions on the ice when it was open to all and really enjoyed struggling round!!
The 2 weeks went all too fast and we are already looking at where to go next. Independence is still our favourite ship and apart from the little niggles mentioned here it was a wonderful holiday. I think some reviewers must have mistaken which ship they were on as we had brilliant service and smiling staff wherever we went.