Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by lolo3535: A good cruise despite a decline in standards
Overall Member Rating
A good cruise despite a decline in standards
We cruised on IOTS in 2009 and loved it, so when we wanted to book a trip for a large family group ages ranging from 7 to 78, we thought it would be a good bet.
We did have a great time, but noticed a sad decline in standards.
The ship is still in good condition, still looking good, but some of the newer additions, such as the 'Cupcake Cupboard (always empty) and the big pool screen (evening movie screenings could not be heard above the kids in the pool) did not live up to expectations.
Our cabin, was immaculate, with a good sized size balcony and a small clean fully functioning bathroom. And this was repeated across 4 cabins we had booked.
The cruise started with a quick embarkation, and despite a rather aggressive email from RC sent 3 days prior to sailing, warning us we wouldn't be able to board until 2.15pm, we were checked in and allowed to board at 11.30am.
The food quality in both the main dining room and the windjammer buffet More restaurant has dropped since 2009, with a lack of variety to the dinner menu. Service in the main dining room - we dined in Romeo & Juliet - was excellent, but the servers in the windjammer were slow to clean tables and offer drinks.
Most of the staff are as great as they were in 2009, but there were a minority who looked as if they would rather be somewhere else, and a few who were just downright rude.
There seems to be a greater emphasis being placed on selling drinks packages and shore excursions than before, and sometimes the information given at guest services and the shore excursions desk could be inaccurate. For example, the shore excursions staff told fellow cruisers that they would have to buy a shore excursion if they wanted to be able to get to a beach in Ajaccio, when even our 78 year old could walk to the local beach in 10 minutes.
The kids in our group loved the cruise, and we could not fault the kids clubs and activities available on the ship.
The two shore excursions we chose to take were reasonably priced and well organised.
The evening shows in the Alhambra Theatre ranged from OK to dreadful, and at times it felt more like a floating holiday camp than a cruise. And some of the little luxury touches have gone - no more chocolates on your pillow at turndown & no late night buffet.
We still had a good time, but it did feel as if standards had slipped... Less
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