We booked our holiday over a year ago for a birthday celebration, we looked forward to our holiday and over the months read reviews on our particular cruise, and I must say they were very mixed so we were a little bit concerned, however as it turns out we had nothing to worry about at all.
We left the north east and were transferred to Southampton via inter cruise coaches the coach was great very spacious and comfortable arrived after 6 hours, which we thought very quick, after 30 mins at terminal we were standing on our balcony, fantastic minus luggage though that was transported to us by cruise line shortly after - no carrying of luggage which my husband appreciated - 4 cases - after all no luggage allowance so why not!!!
We left Southampton in good weather but that soon changed after a couple of hours, apparently there were 79 mile per hour winds, the ship did roll a bit but we were both fine took travel pills just in case. the captain said that 2 ships did not leave Southampton because of weather but as Independence is so large and can go quickly he did exactly that and we missed worst of bad weather.
We arrived first port Gibraltar 2 days later, good weather we just got off and wandered around good shops very cheap for duty free purchases lot cheaper than on board.
Next day was sea day we tried out all the amenities the ship had 3,500 people would never have known no problem at all getting a sun lounger, all pool areas were very good children's specific area, family pool and then the adults only Solarium, lovely padded sun beds.
We had a premium drinks package which cost us £1016 we thought worth it as we could have any drink we liked any time and we did!!!
We had my time dining as we pre paid our gratuities, the King Lear restaurant was beautiful and our waiters Sandip and Rosario were very professional but also very good fun we never had one bad meal absolutely loads of choice for everyone with any taste they always remembered what drinks you liked and how you liked your steak for example.
We also tried Giovannis or Portafinos as it was called and Chops grill we preferred Giovanis, we had scallops, huge longastines, fillet steak all for small extra charge well worth it for a change of scene.
Next stop was Toulon, we visited St Tropez very nice, then Florence and Pisa, we loved this loads of character but easy to get about yourself, then Rome
we went on air conditioned train fantastic took 35 mins to centre of Rome we went straight to front of the queue at the Vatican as we had pre booked our tickets on line very good idea and half price to tours. We then wandered around Rome taking in the atmosphere, next was a sea day, then again stopped at cartagena this was a lovely place and unexpected, then off to Vigo again lovely place tapas and wine were very reasonable,
The entertainment on the ship was great ice shows, main theatre huge and spacious, champagne bar, vintages wine bar, dog and badger, the schooner bar,few more we tried them all, well you have too dont you!!! all great service.
We tried the casino never won but didn't expect too really, flowrider excellent great to watch but never tried, rock climbing wall again good to watch, ooh nearly forgot Johnny Rockets fantastic, you come out so full and also a surprise worth it for extra 4,95 each dollar charge,
All in all we had a wonderful time would love to have another holiday on this wonderful clean spacious ship, not one complaint at all, loved it!!!!!