This is our 8th cruise 4 on carnival 1 on princess and 3rd on royal carribbean.
let me start by saying if your driving to port everglades this is the most ridiculous port ever, you must first drive up to ship find out where to check in your luggage , drop it off, than drive back to parking garage which seems like 3 blocks away! park your car ( $15.00 a day) than wait for shuttle to take you back where you just checked your own luggage in!
as far as independence of the seas, what can i say we had fun! the ship itself was huge with the royal promenade and all its luster, the windjammer cafe food was normal to bad, no outside seating which i enjoy as far as stateroom this is our first with an inside cabin as we got a really good deal on a last minute special, it was small and cramped but very comfortable bed, i found that this size ship really rocks and sways more than the other radiance class ships ive been on, as my wife really noticed it! the adults only solarium was the same size pool area as it was on the radiance class ships and made things really tight! i really enjoy the smaller radiance class ships better, i mean 15 decks is crazy, but to each his own and this is my opinion.
as far as dining my time dining is the way to go ! sign up for it! and dont bother with the reservation option as it really doesnt matter , you just go give your card and they escort you to your table REALLY GREAT! as far as food im not one for all the fru fru- cruise lines in my opinion are making a mistake when they think this is what the passengers want! i didnt want to mess up the artistic presentation, however the food itself was just okay, but i really enjoyed the lemon tart! seems they have a lot of vegetarian and indian options , didnt see many people ordering though! ports as usual were great and had a wonderful time, but last on the huge ships back to radiance class for me, enjoy!