Have always loved cruising on the Independence with family including grandchildren. Excited to be back after 2 years, but very disappointed to find standards have slipped so badly. Other reviews have cited poor food quality in the main dining room. That was our experience too. Menu choices were bizarre - cottage pie for dinner is hardly fine dining! With two to three curry choices each evening main courses were very limited, and some were repeated every other night. Evening dining room dress code was never enforced: cruisers regularly appeared for dinner wearing shorts and tops barely appropriate for the deck.
Although there is a policy of removing belongings from sunbeds left empty for more than 30 minutes, this was not done. When challenged, a deck attendant told us he could not touch personal belongings! The over sixteen policy in the solarium was never enforced.
A policy of adding 12 dollars per day tips to all accounts in now in force. This includes the accounts of children who have been given fixed spending limits. We asked for tips to be removed, preferring to give gratuities personally in the traditional manner. Removing tips took 3 days and six visits to guest services. Staff there were rude and unhelpful.
The ship has apparently undergone a multi-million dollar refit but it didn't include new mattresses.
The same production shows and ice shows are still showing six years on. We were told there are no plans to change them.
Every evening, large gangs of teenagers and youths rampaged around the ship unchecked, while younger children played in the lifts.
Brand loyalty obviously means nothing to RCI.I have been a diamond plus member since 2006, and now not far away from pinnacle. Privileges I previously enjoyed have mostly been withdrawn. I will not cruise with RCI again. Falling standards have reduced a once great ship to little better that a floating holiday camp.