We booked a 14 night cruise on the Independence prior to reading the reviews on here and I must admit that I thought I had made a monumental mistake with stories of over crowding, poor food, disinterested staff etc.
The reality was very different.
The ship was completely full and there was very little overcrowding, occasionally we had queues but never more than a few minutes, mainly in the Windjammer buffet for seats and when we got off on port days.
Food : Overall pretty good. If you don't like something: Change it. The waiters will always bring you something else. Room service (free) when the kitchens have finished doing main meals ( eg post 9pm) is great as everything is cooked just for you...
Entertainment : Some of it excellent other times OK.
Staff : They really were excellent for 95% of the time. My wife is vegan and both the HEAD chef and the Head waiter personally, and I mean personally, came straight over and helped when they saw her and took time to make sure she had something nice, even making one off meals for her. And they make 20,000 meals a day on this ship. The odd staff member was having a bad 5 minutes, but that really was very much the exception. They work 7 days a week, for months on end so how they manage it I really don't know. Much better service than is the norm in the UK.
Ship itself : Amazing. The sheer size of it is breathtaking, and it is kept clean and tidy ALL the time.
Entertainment : Lots to do, we tried most things on offer from the Flowrider to the shows, quizzes etc and they ranged from moderately entertaining to really good fun . The art 'auction' was a bit questionable ( I don't know why RCCL allow an' auction' where in the terms and conditions they admit they have stooges bidding the prices up) but we only really went for the free champagne anyway :)
Cabins: We went for the cheapest, and they were absolutely fine. Enough room, not loads but we only slept in them mostly.
In conclusion : We had a great holiday at a very reasonable price. Other than 1 episode with a lost wallet the whole family ( 12 to 49) agreed it was a great holiday. Wish I was still on it actually.
Queued for ages to get a cable car, then was approached by what seemed to be a tout and in desperation to do something other than stand in a long slow moving line for 3 hours we risked it and got in his cab, and I am glad we did !
88 euros for 4 to go to the apes at the top of the rock and visit the caves with the stalagmites. That included 10 euros a head admission ( I think that he got it a bit cheaper but it is what it would have cost us). Informative funny typical cabbie had us in stitches with stories of what the monkeys get up too.
It's pretty unlikely you would get our driver but other people we chatted to whilst trying to stop the monkeys nick our belongings had similar experiences.
Better than a coach ? Upto you really
Italian Trains !!!!!!!!!!!!!
We thought we would have enough time to get the train to Rome, see a few sights and have lunch and then get back with plenty of time to the port.
The trains were slow, disorganised, delayed etc etc.
We arrived late in Rome, which was very very hot and very very busy ( July 14) and hardly any time so just went to the Pantheon, had a tourist rip off pizza ( 4 of us, inc drinks 90 euros, it was cr*p), then rushed back to get train, which was so delayed we actually thought we would be standing on the quay side watching the ship sail away.
My advice, don't believe the timetables, seriously consider a tour by road.
Vigo hasn't got all that much to offer so we took a segway tour ( segmovi vigo will find it on google). Had a great time, friendly guide, reasonable cost, bit hairy in places ( my wife fell off but then again you should see her trying to park a car) but great fun.
Other than that Vigo is OK, not great, just a bit port like if you know what I mean