We drove from Orlando which was cold and rainy to sunny 82 degrees Fort Lauderdale. Boarding the ship was very speedy. They are very organized. Loved our inside cabin 9561. Beds were very comfortable and ample storage and closet space. Had a nice table for 2 at the 6 p.m. seating. Our waiters, LAVI and LEO were excellent. The ship is beautiful and I loved the promenade. Got coffee every morning at the coffee shop in the promenade (which is open 24 hours) for coffee, cookies, and sandwiches. Usually ate all meals in the Romeo and Juliet dining room. Windjammer was just okay if you like buffets. While the service in the dining room was excellent, the food did not WOW me as it has on other RCCL ships. I love cheesecake, but it was only offered one night.The pool in the solarium was so warm and relaxing-almost like bath water-loved it.
Loved watching passengers of all ages attempt the flowrider and the rock climbing wall. I have always thought that RCCL has much better shows than Carnival and the same is true for this cruise. The ice show was excellent, but you have to be in the promenade on the morning of the 3rd day at 8am to get tickets for all four shows offered on the cruise, The most amazing show was Finis Henderson. He is a singer/impressionist. His renditions of Michael Jackson, Elvis, Celo Green, Tom Jones and many others were spot on. The Independence of the Seas dancers were very good-singers, not so much. First port of call was St Maarten and is one of my favorites with a beautiful beach and lots of shopping. St Kitts was okay. San Juan was okay, toured the Cristobel Fort. Labadee was just okay. FYI: if you are going swimming, be sure to head to the Caribbean beach (where the waverunners and kayaks are) The beach towards the zipline and rollercoaster is aweful. Huge rocks at the shoreline that you have to traverse to make it into the ocean. Loved the casino. Saw a woman actually win $20,000 jackpot with a royal flush on a poker machine. All in all a great cruise and I would definitely do it again!