First time cruisers (Both aged 28)
Embarkation -- Was simply brilliant within 30 minutes of leaving our luggage we was boarding the ship and ahead of the stated embarkation time, how they manage to get a sold out ship (4000 + passengers) boarded with such efficiency is truly remarkable.
Even though the ship was full we only really noticed it when going to the Windjammer at peak times, even then we always managed to get a seat to eat, even when single passengers take up a table for 4 which I thought was really ignorant given the abundance of single seats around the cafe although these seats can be a little high there was also smaller table for 2 that they could have sat at but insisted of taking a bigger table for no good reason.
I can't fault the ship one bit she is amazing
Dragos and Shetty in the King Lear restaurant where major highlights great service and great fun to boot a credit to the company.
In fact all the staff where friendly and always smiling and saying hi our stateroom attendant was really efficient he was like a ninja go out for 30 mins and we would come back to a made bed and animal towel brilliant
I don't agree with the lady below the entertainment was not "Butlins at sea" that is utter garbage, we had 14 different shows every night what that means is you're not going to like them all and just because you either didn't go or didn't like them doesn't make it "Butlins at sea" the 2 ice shows on top of this where outstanding and all but one show (Bertie Bow -- Terrible violinist and worse singer) in the theatre where great
The daytime entertainment for the kids was brilliant and maybe the daytime entertainment for adults was a little less thought through but you should be out in the sun or in port most days so I don't really see the issue I don't want to be entertained 24/7 just because I chose a cruise ship I can entertain my self
A few niggles
Scooters have right of way anywhere even if you have been queuing patiently and they just came zoooom they are filling the lift before you not a huge niggle and I would give way to any disabled person and do but it's quite annoying to not be given that chance rather they just push in and don't mind running your foot over to boot. A lot of old people go on cruises and I don't mind saying that the old people on this cruise have terrible manners the worst of any age category it's like they used up their manners as they have been on the planet so long, so watch out for this and give no quarter because you will receive non in return
I thought alcohol prices where good to be honest if you see a $ sign and treat it as a Â£ sign you will get a shock like the lady below me stated, in actual fact they are no more expensive than your local city pub/bar in England
What I did have issue with is having to pay for soda and at every turn they are trying to fleece you, an example at the first evening meal, Do you want any "Special Water" this evening at $4.50 a bottle. All the while running around with nice cool ice water for everyone else refilling at every turn for free!!, I didn't fall for it but the couple next to us did and they were put in a really awkward position when asked to pay for it, once committed you can't really go back and say hold on stuff that I'll take the free stuff.
I did however get whacked at breakfast the next morning, same position but asked would you like some freshly squeezed orange juice? , yes please 2 my reply and by the time I had it in hand I was been charged $5.25 each all the while watching the non mugs get constant free orange juice refills which once I tried it found it was much better than the "Special Juice" anyways
We got some truly memorable photos taken by the great professional photographers it's a shame that they want Â£12 a photo unless you buy a decent package, the unlimited package if you took a load of photos would be value for money but the others are not it's really sad that I couldn't afford to get my wife some really memorable photos of our holiday in the end I gave her a surprise by getting her 2 favourites printed and placed in a nice folder of the ship as a memento but I just didn't budget to be able to blow over Â£250 on photos as well as all the other spending we did
We had an amazing holiday aboard Indy and would do the same trip all over again as this was our first cruise we will at least now know the ins and outs of cruising and budget a little better, we never went without though it's just the photos that was disheartening looking at all your memories and realising we just didn't budget enough as we would have liked.
Independence is one amazing ship if you can't enjoy this ship I really don't know why you would want to cruise at all.
As a first time cruiser this holiday as made me want to cruise as standard now I'm hooked