I was quite disappointed with this cruise. I’d been on 2 cruises prior to this one,both on IOS also I was with my wife.
Checked in at Southampton was quite normal for us slow but considering there was over 4,000 passengers, we were all on-board in pretty good time. We had 1 inside stateroom . Just big enough and all very clean and modern.(Bring back the Milk,creamer is no good in tea.
The Independence of the Seas is an impressive ship to be sure. The organisation was pretty much flawless and the Cruise Director Joff Eaton does a pretty good job. The staff were very attentive and mostly friendly, no complaints there. There is a huge central area called the Royal Promenade with lots of shops and a few places to eat and drink. Unfortunately it felt more like a shopping arcade than anything else. Sometimes they held street parties in this area but because there were so many shops most people had to stand.
Our dining room was the Macbeth this time,and the food was first class this time and service was 6*.
Personally I felt the Windjammer Buffet was far below standard of other years the food was varied and certain dishes pretty good but it got very busy and it was closed off during certain times which I’ve not experienced before.
I had high hopes of this but it fell a long way short for me. The acts they had at the Alhambra Theatre were a bit random. There was a Liverpool comedian who spoke too fast and was hard to understand at first. Also a mind reader chap, a female gymnast whose act was competent but hardly breath-taking and a BMX biker who fairly bored me so much i went to the Casino. The best by a long way was a foursome act called Graffiti Classics. The ships own singers and dancers were professional but their shows were all safe, steril and a bit loud it spoilt the act. In my opinion ,nothing racy or edgy at all.
There were other places with live music, mostly soft rock and reggae but the music sets were quite repetitive.
There was one evening pool party on deck 11 during the first week which we loved, but it didn’t happen again for some reason.
Overall the entertainment was either aimed at the 0-20 group or the over 50s. Nothing much for those in between.
I was in two minds about purchasing a beverage package but glad I didn’t. The premium package is $55 per person per day but doesn’t include everything.As my wife is tea-total this proved far to expensive for my needs,I would have been permanently drunk having to drink my wives share.
Very expensive, Also not much variety in the type of excursion offered,the descriptions certainly need some work being done on them,to assist the elderly steps and hills are rarely mentioned.
Very busy of course during the good weather we had, deck was crammed with sun loungers with barely 6 inches gap between each.The live music (if you can call it that) was designed i believe to keep everyone awake.
At the end they also offered envelopes to allow you to tip those extra special staff directly with cash.
Overall impression: Professional, very expensive, and the trimmings that have been made to save a few dollars have had the wrong effect and were very noticeable by many onboard saying the same thing..