This was our first cruise and we chose to go to the Italian Med on Independence of the Seas with another couple.
Staff were friendly and food was good. The entertainment was good with a couple of exceptions. Joff Eaton (Cruise Director) was very good and thoroughly entertaining. The trips were well organised but would have liked to spent longer at some destinations.
1. Not being able to use the pools due to many families with children hogging them. It would have been nice to have a swim after the hot trip days but we were only able to have a cool shower. I think there must have been a few Germans on board because there were many towels left on recliners which apparently was not allowed but this was not followed through. I would suggest that people who do not have children holiday during school times and then you might get a look in.
2. Paying extra for bottles of water, cappuccinos etc.
3. The lifts had a mind of their own and we had to wait a long time if we wanted to go to the top of the ship. It usually meant that we had to climb the stairs and take some time out to recover.
4. Reading their suggestions for tips was very amusing which if we followed these suggestions would have put a further 400 dollars on to our bill. A big TIP is as soon as you embark, go to the passenger services on deck 5 and ask for the gratuities to be removed from your final invoice as you will tip at the end of the cruise. We handed cash to the people who we felt deserved a tip at the end. Tips have to be earned not be automatically added.
5. Drinks prices were astronomical so beware.
6. Tiny closet in the cabin which means your clothes are crushed. Irons are not included in the cabins so you have to pay to have your clothes ironed and this is by no means cheap. Take enough underwear with you because a pair of pants costs $1.95 to be laundered.
7. Photographers seemed to follow us wherever we went. Before we went into dinner, the full length of the promenade and every time we disembarked. Be careful as the pictures are again very expensive to purchase.
8. We requested (on line when we booked the cruise) to be seated with our friends at the dining table. This was ignored and we had to queue at the passenger services desk to resolve this.
There are a few more negatives but I think this is enough.
It has not put us off cruising again but we will probably go with P & O who our friends have been with and could not fault. We will not cruise on this ship again.