Having returned today from a 14 night cruise of the Med. I wanted to share my thoughts in the hope that others might find them helpful. I travelled with my young son and husband (not so young!) and friends who also had a young daughter. My comments are observations made during the trip - we all look forward to our holidays and have certain levels of expectations so if this helps i am glad. I also made the same comments to Royal Caribbean in my feedback so this won't be a surprise to them.
Pros - the staff, food and the ship itself are exceptional. From the waiters to the cabin staff, to the maintenance staff to the bar staff - all are friendly, polite and cannot do enough to help. The food is brilliant - the menu each night is different and well planned to accommodate any taste or allergy. The ship is beautiful and well maintained. From the moment one walks on board it oozes glamour and class.
The Cons - sun loungers. To say there are not enough or at least there might be if More
people were made to give them up if they are not on them for a certain amount of time - is critical. I spent two days wandering around in the vain hope that I might get the chance to sit on a sun lounger. I got seriously fed up trying to find one and I wasn"t the only one. Top tip - go out early or send a child to secure some!!! My second oh dear moment is the entertainment - I can sum this up as 'Butlins on sea'. If you like belly flop contests or quizzes, towel folding or bingo then you will love it. If like me you find the whole thing horrendous then you might not be a happy bunny. And decide to go to the bar...where you will pay above and beyond and then some, with a 15% tip to boot, for a drink. Drinks are outrageously priced. If that gives you an anxiety attack...dont move to the spa as all treatments here are overpriced and also incur a 15% service charge....
Lets move on to the excursions - my only comments here are that if you can afford them good luck to you. If not - you can take taxis and trains to local stations and for less than half if not more, of the price of the excursions, can enjoy a trip under your on steam. Simple to do with a little pre planning and the help of mr Google. Try 'go italy,com' and others. We saved a fortune walking to the station from the port and then catching a train into Rome and Florence for eg. Finally don assume that the excursion teams know their onions - we went to the desk of details of shopping areas in Lisbon only to get to Lisbon and find that it was a bank holiday and all was shut. So top tip - do your research before you go!
Overall , a lovely holiday - but armed with the right info and you can have a brilliant holiday. Less
Independence of the Seas Cruises to the Western Mediterranean