Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by adkchair: Cruise was all we expected and more. A fabulous vacation!
Overall Member Rating
Cruise was all we expected and more. A fabulous vacation!
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was my first cruise, and I couldn't be happier. The service was excellent, the food fabulous. I was impressed with cleanliness of the ship and the attention to detail paid by all crew members. The six-night cruise included stops in George Town, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Jamaica and Labadee, Haiti.
We booked excursions in Grand Cayman and Jamaica. They went off without a hitch. In Labadee, RCI's private island, the only difficultly we encountered was trying to decide which beautiful beach we would lounge on for the day.
The 11th deck pool area was our favorite place to spend the days, and we attended entertaining shows at night. The twenty-somethings in our group danced into the wee hours of the morning at the night clubs.
We ate breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer buffet. Food was always fresh, varied and plentiful. We ate dinners in the elegant main dining room where the head waiter, our table waiter (Vic) and assistant waiter (George) ensured we had a More memorable dining experience with each meal.
The Café promenade was our go-to place for afternoon coffee and a little snack.
Our stateroom attendant J.J. was marvelous.! She greeted us by name every time we passed her in the corridor and always checked to make sure we had everything we needed for a comfortable stay in our room.
I would highly recommend Royal Caribbean to anyone considering a cruise. Less
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Cabin review: 9587
I was worried an interior stateroom would seem claustrophobic and crowded, but the well-planned lighting and storage areas made it as comfortable as a much larger hotel room. The only issue we had was the narrow space along side the bed (we opted for the king size, single bed). We had to either walk side-ways to use the phone or crawl across the bed. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. The shower had excellent water pressure. There is limited space around the bathroom sink for toiletries, but a generous medicine cabinet held all our supplies for our 6-night stay.
Port and Shore Excursions
The bus ride from the port in Falmouth to Ocho Rios was about an hour long, but very enjoyable. The bus was clean, air conditioned and had large windows for viewing the scenery. Our tour guide Dayna, a young Jamaican woman, pointed out areas of note as we passed and gave us information about the history and economy of the country. She also passed on the Jamaican "No worries" philosophy.
At Bamboo Beach Club, we found lounge chairs on the beach, either shaded by palms or out in the sun. Our guide brought us a continual supply of food and beverages. Everything was delicious and the drinks were cold. Musicians and dancers performed on the beach and offered dance lessons. While guests had the option to get a massage $22, or purchase souvenirs, there was no pushy selling. Bamboo Beach is a private beach, which gave us a sense of security.
A short bus ride from the tender docks brought us to Tiki Beach where we were issued snorkel equipment, life jackets and fins. We were able to lock our possessions in a lockbox on the beach. We kayaked 3/4 of a mile along 7 mile beach to Governor's reef where we pulled our kayaks ashore and swam out to the reef to swim with the fish. I didn't see many colorful fish although other members of my party did. After about a half-hour of snorkeling, we swam back to the beach and kayaked back to Tiki Beach where we were served complimentary rum punch (very good!) and spent about an hour lounging on the beach, chairs provided. We were returned to the tender docks by bus with about 45 minutes left for shopping in George Town.
I enjoyed the excursion. I had to stop and rest my arms occasionally while kayaking in the ocean, but I don't think this excursion requires a tremendous amount of athleticism. An elderly man in our group, who had a young girl as a kayak partner, was unable to complete the kayaking portion. The tour company delivered them to the snorkeling spot via jet ski.
We did not book an excursion In Labadee. Most activities can be purchased on the island if you decide to try them once there. The beaches were beautiful. Note that the beaches on the pier side of the island have sandy bottoms, the other side the beaches were rocky. You can easily walk anywhere in Labadee or hop on a trolley. This is an inexpensive place for souvenir shopping. The indoor artisan market has a wide array of t-shirts, island wear, jewelry, and artwork. I did not venture into the outdoor market but understand that the sellers there are very aggressive. If you like to barter, you might want to check it out.
The BBQ lunch provide by RCI included hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs and sausage, assorted salads and fruit with punch, lemonade and ice tea to drink, all included in the price of the cruise.
This was a very relaxing way to spend the day.
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