Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by dkbrig: Very Enjoyable!
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
There is a lot to cover on a ship this size. You can read many reviews and get a different take from a very different perspective based on each individual's expectations. I will try to be brief and honest. We had a great time! I was however, quite disappointed in the WOW of entering the ship. I felt that entering a hallway on deck 4 was lame. I was hoping to enter in the middle of the Royal Promanade, but that is not the case. We were traveling with several people who had never cruised before and I think it was a let down...at least until they walked the Promanade. The service was outstanding for us. Each employee really held a high standard in every interaction we had with them. The food was wonderful! Our waiters were just unbelievable! They remembered us and welcomed us each night! The MDR is a beautiful venue! We ate there every night and we were never disappointed. I did have some minor.....more personal let downs. Again, minor and my personal preference. There were no limes...I More
guess a shortage or something. Each bar specializes in drinks. It was difficult to get a drink in one bar and have it duplicated in another. They would look at you and tell you they can't make those. A Mojito is a classic example. The saving of deck chairs is totally crazy on this ship! I watched it happen over and over, all day long! If I could offer a suggestion on how to fix it, I would. I don't know the solution. We actually left our towels on the deck chairs around 1:00p.m. after being there since 10:00a.m. to go get a bite to eat. Everyone else did it and so we thought, "why not". When we returned, our seats were taken! I guess if you see a toweled chair and nobody is around....take it!
The music on the pool deck was weak and non-existent. I spent 6 days on this ship and never heard calypso! The Calypso band only played 45 min twice a day on both sea days, during mid afternoon. Nothing before 1:00p.m. There were activities going on in the center part of the pool deck at times throughout the day (hip hop aerobics, etc) so that is what you heard. It stinks to be laying there, floating on the Caribbean ocean, enjoying the view...only to hear the same voice yelling...."to the left - three four, to the right - one two! Touch your toes and two!" I personally think those things should be held somewhere else. At least put a band or some relaxing music of some sort in the Solarium! There was no music playing in the Solarium at all! Last beef with deck 12. The running track! They put it right there, so people are trying to run, most are walking. It was crazy! Not ideal at all. There are NO dance venues on this ship, except for the Labyrinth disco which is techo/teen dancing. There was a live classic rock band where you could dance in the Pyramid lounge. That is just awkward trying to dance to "Hotel California". No jazz lounge per se, or places where you could swing dance! The nightly main shows were decent. The juggler was fantastic. We walked out of the comedian. He knew only one word and it starts with an "F'! It is needless to say...not funny! The 70's parade was great! Our excursions were cancelled in Labadee and the ship immediately credited our account. That was very much appreciated. Dennis in the Campaign lounge was a pleasure. I love the freedom class, but would probably go back to the Oasis class. I just liked the availability of more things to do. There were times on this ship where we actually didn't have something we wanted to do. That is not always a bad thing, but just surprising for us overall.
Our cabin was room 8410 on the very back of the ship. We loved it! There was a pullman bed that came down from the ceiling for our son who was traveling with us. It was totally adequate. The view from our balcony was priceless. We spent way more time there then previous cruises. The room was very quite and very comfortable.
Debarkation was smooth and overall what we expected. We really did enjoy this ship. It was very clean and very nicely done. We had very rough seas toward the end of the cruise and we could really feel the waves. I started seeing the wrist bands come out. However, it still was not so rough that we were sick. Two in our party did the ship tour for $150. It was almost 4 hours and they loved it! We did the Zip Line in Jamaica and it was fantastic. A little more intense than what I had expected, but fun none the less. The drive to Rosehill is very interesting. I know I complained a little, but that was just my personal complaints, not really a negative against Royal Caribbean. The ship and crew is fantastic. The ports were great. We will be back! Less
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Cabin review: 8410
This room is slightly smaller then a regular ocean view room. There is a single door to the deck. The deck is a very nice size that came with two chairs, a small drink table and two lounge chairs. The room has a Pullman style bed that drops down from the ceiling directly over the heads of the queen bed. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom had tons of water pressure. There was no room noise at all! The worst part is the walk to the room, but you are at the very back of the ship directly over the main dining room and below the wind jammer. So, the only "long" walk was to the theater in the front of the ship. We loved the room and would stay here again!
Port and Shore Excursions
Loved the port! Very safe and secure. The drive to Rose Hill was very interesting. The staff at Rose Hill was great. Several young guys and one gal led us through the zip course. It was intense!!! They did little things like tell you to go, then put their hand out and stop you. Or just as you take off, tell you to stop. They thought it was funny, but it was a little annoying. Our stuff was secure in a locker. We ordered 10 pics for 30 bucks. They put them on a CD for us. To get there, you turn up a dirt road off of the main road. It is rough and steep. Once you get some training, you jump on an open air truck that has a cover over it and drive even further up the hillside on rough and steep terrain. It was dusty but not too bad. Overall, a very good time!
We took a taxi down to Sea Grape beach. The taxi was $5 per person. The drive was very nice and the city is very clean! The beach is fantastic and also clean. It was however, very, very crowded! Despite the people, we loved it! We had a lunch at Calico Jacks. It was good. We rented lounge chairs and three umbrellas. The umbrellas were 10 per day. The chairs were 5 per day. The view was amazing! Very hot day, but the water cooled you right off!
This port was a surprise! Very clean and interesting. All of our excursions were canx due to weather. (windy day). Even the zip line was not operating. That left a lot of people on the ground inside the port. Still, we were able to get some lounge chairs and enjoy the local drinks! The labadoosie! The worst part is walking at the back of the port where all the local vendors are. They harass you like crazy. They all sell the same stuff and they are packed back there. It was a little freaky, I won't lie! But, there is a lot of security there and once we were passed it, it was fine. We found our chairs at Nellies's beach. Very nice! Close to the bar and too the restrooms. The food at the BBQ was just ok. Still a nice port and we did enjoy it!
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