Just completed our 4th cruise with friends on the INDY. Having read other critics regarding this ship we went with open minds. this is the first time we have been on a big ship, previous ships have been Vision of the Seas, Splendor of the Seas, Oceana. we sailed from Southampton on the 22nd Sept. arriving at the Dock we were a little disappointed that we had to park our own car and trundle the suitcases across the huge car park, we were fortunate it was not raining, unlike P-O terminal, you arrive your cases are removed from your car, and your car is removed to its car park, all you have to do is walk undercover into the terminal, (wake up Royal Carrib) in mitigation our checking in once we arrived at the checking in area was well organised and we were on the ship within 20 minutes. What a site greeted us we all looked at each other and said this is going to be some holiday.
We made our way to the windjammer, it was busy, finding a table was no bother, as always the food selection was superb. anyone complaining that they cannot find food to their liking are complaining for the sake of it.
come three o clock we were told our cabins were ready for occupation, plenty of staff in attendance to show us were our cabins were. We had booked an outside cabin on the third deck Mid ship we chose not to have a balcony this time around as the last cruise (Oceana) we did not use one, we were never in there except for changing and sleeping. we chose this level and position as to alleviate any risk of being sea sick. cabin was spotless, plenty of space for our clothes, and the bathroom was OK.
We decided to explore around the ship to see what was on offer, the Promenade deck was a surprise, you look at the photos in the brochure, but the photos do not do it justice, we spent many a time having a coffee and a snack during the 14 days, yes you have to pay for the Seattle Coffee, at $4.50 a time you may think this is expensive, covert to the pound and its no more expensive than having a coffee in a Starbucks in the high street. Yes there is free coffee on tap along with tea (you make yourself with English tea bags) the promenade was where you can also find plenty of food snacks 24 hrs a day. Not so keen on the theme of an English pub very tacky and very popular with the drinking fraternity need i say more.
our favourite watering hole was the Schooner Bar, very handy to have a drink before going into the show, and where we stopped most evenings when leaving the show. Tony the pianist was great fun and his repertoire of songs was endless, if you ever read this Tony "happy holidays"
the theatre was impressive any local provincial town would love to have a theatre of this magnitude. The shows were OK, the best being the Rat Pack, and the Beatles great evening. I must congratulate Joff the Entertainment Director, very slick and professional, one outstanding day was when we were docked in Gibraltar, it was a hot day and along side us was the Oceana, we thought last year the Oceana was a reasonable size ship, well comparing her with the INDY its like a Mini next to a Range Rover. well Joff decided to have a party on the 12th deck of the INDY and to blast the Oceana with disco music, to look down on the Oceana was no exaggeration, Joff got all the passengers on the Oceana dancing and waving flags along with us on the Indy, great day, great fun, well done Joff. the Oceana sailed just before we did, what is it when ships leave port or pass each other every one waves and shout farewell and Bon voyage, if only we could capture this spirit in our every day lives.
Anyway move on, the Ice skating shows were superb ( i am not an ice skating show fan ) the costume changes were outstanding, if you are due to go on the INDY don't miss them.
The restaurant, we chose to have our evening meal at 8-30 and we dined in the Romeo and Juliet, there was not one evening where we did not have a choice from the menu, superb food and well done to Jim and Santos who served us over the 14 nights.
Breakfast could be taken in the Windjammer or the Romeo & Juliet restaurant, you had a choice if you wanted waiter service at breakfast you went to the upper floor of the restaurant, if you wanted part waiter service and help yourself you went to the lower floor of the restaurant, my tip use the upper floor very civilised.
We did not use the speciality restaurants, reason, the choice on the Evening menu in the Romeo & Juliet restaurant we thought could not be beat.
We did go Johny Rockets, you pay a supplement 0f $4.95 per person, we came away totally stuffed.
Days at sea were OK, we thought that having 3000 fellow passengers finding a seat or a sunbed would be difficult, not a bit, yes the decks were crowded on the hot days and they were all hot days, we fond a sunbed with no problem.
were thought the evenings would be the same in the bars etc, again not a major problem.
In previous reviews there has been criticism regarding children, we chose to go mid September to escape the child problem, yes we had children on board who should have been at school, was there a problem not a bit they were all well behaved and a credit to their parents. The main problem was the older generation, the older generation pushed you out of the queue, rushed into a lift before you could exit and generally ignored you when you stepped into a lift and said hello, where the younger passengers always said hello and made conversation.
Embarkation was well organised, take a tip if you are in no hurry have your bags removed for you on the night of embarkation, book your leaving the ship time for 9am and go and have a breakfast in the Romeo & Juliet great way to end the cruise, your bags will be waiting for you dockside.
Congratulations to the Captain and the crew for running an excellent Ship