We just returned from the February 1 2014 sailing of the Independance of the Seas. RCCL really did deliver the WOW.
The ship was amazing and all the staff was friendly and helpful. We have sailed on Oasis, Allure and Liberty, and although we had no issues with service on any of those ships, the Indie staff and crew were just that much more outstanding. We were in Grand Suite 1582 and had the suite amenities (concierge, private dining room for breakfast, MDH menu for room service etc..) and we're impressed with every aspect of this. Our only complaint is that we are now spoiled and will probably book this from now on. We normally booked Jr Suites, and for the small upgrade for two of us, it's worth it. Every morning we had our breakfast in Chops and the service by Godwin, Maria, Filip and Roy was always fast and friendly. We felt like this was a family event and we looked forward to this each day. We had dinner twice at Chops in the evening and had the same great service, with Filip as our waiter both times. As usual the food in Chops was great, always the best steaks we have had. We had dinner on our balcony twice, using the large patio set and really enjoyed this. With the exception of one other dinner at Giovanni,s (great food but a limited menu for an Italian eatery) we ate our other dinner meals after 8:00 in Windjammer. Yes it is a cafeteria, so expect cafeteria quality food. Late at night you have no crowds and can sit anywhere.
We avoided the MDR after checking out our table for 2. The location was terrible, but we didn't really plan to eat there anyway, so no big deal.
Raj our concierge was terrific, and looked after all our needs. In the private Concierge Lounge he knew everyone by name and what we were up to that day. Raj arranged for a bridge tour and it was extremely interesting, with a Apprentice Officer giving a great explanation of their equipment and safety systems.
It was obvious the RCCL took great measures to ensure the health and safety of the passengers and crew with sanitizes everywhere. Staff and crew stood by at every main food entrance to also dispense sanitizer personally for those who still insist on walking past the dispensers.
All our excursions were great with the exception of the Old And New San Juan tour. We spent most of the time stuck in traffic, and our tour guide focused on all the fast food and Box Store chains they have. He also spent too much time on his political views. I think these types of excursions can be hit or miss, depending on the guide, and for us this one was a miss. I can't fault RCCL as their part was well organized and it was well scheduled. San Juan is not our favourite place, and next time we'll just shop.
The on board entertainment was very good, except the comedian on the last night. Joff Eaton was much funnier and should have done the performance. Our private seating was a nice perk, and it allowed us to leave without any distraction to others.
I have read some of the less than favourable reviews of others on this same cruise and all we can say is that they were either on some other ship or their expectations can never be met. We go on vacation to relax, not to obsess about small things.
The vacation for us ended all too soon, but we did book our next one while on board.
My wife and I had a wonderful relaxing vacation. We are "Loyal to Royal" and only sail with them or Celebrity.
We would STRONGLY recommend the 8 day cruise if you want to avoid the party crowd. Yes we did have a more "mature" crowd on the cruise, but we enjoy this and this was probably the first cruise where we didn't see some idiot making an ass of themselves.
The Revitalized Indie is a great ship, with a great crew and we also recommend her.
Great job RCCL.
We will be back!