Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Nix111: Fabulous family holiday
Overall Member Rating
Fabulous family holiday
We sailed on Independence of the Seas, Spanish Med itinerary in July 2014 with our six year old son. This was our tenth cruise to date and our third with Royal Caribbean. Previously we've always flown to meet our cruise ships but we absolutely loved the simplicity and ease of sailing from Southampton with no airport misery and unlimited luggage allowance! We bboked the car park at the port, a 5 minute stroll from the ship and we were checked in and onboard within 15 minutes - an absolute joy.
The Indy is an impressive Freedom Class ship and as we’d previously sailed on Oasis of the Seas we knew what to expect, basically Oasis without the boardwalk and park. The ship entered service in 2008 so some of the decor or colours were perhaps a little dated in parts but the general quality and finish of the ship is excellent. We loved the Royal Promenade, the central mall that runs the length of the ship and is lined with bars, cafés and shops.
We booked a More guaranteed balcony but were lucky enough to be allocated a gorgeous corner aft. It was absolutely huge, had a beautiful dual perspective and we spent many a happy hour enjoying the Mediterranean sun and the peace and quiet at the rear of the ship. This was a real bonus as we were sailing in the height of summer holidays so top deck was incredibly busy on sea days. The balcony really made the holiday special and I'll definitely be booking afts where possible in future. It was room 7408, so do book it if you can.
That said we did enjoy the facilities on the top deck, my little boy loved the H2O zone, basically a massive spray-ground pool area specifically for the children onboard. We also loved watching the flow rider, playing crazy golf and eating al fresco at Johnny Rockets, the 50s style diner where you pay a small supplement to dine.
For our main meals we booked mytime dining and we ate around 6.30pm each night on deck 5 in the main dining room. The food and service were exceptional. It was a surprisingly varied menu with plenty of English classics such as beef and Yorkshire pudding and steak and kidney pie and there was also a steak, a curry and a pasta option available each night in addition to a generous main menu. We enjoyed every single meal and our waiters were attentive, friendly and quickly learnt our drinks preferences, providing red wine on arrival.
We also ate at the paid for fine dining restaurant Chops Grill one evening but unfortunately had a disappointing experience with poor service. We did raise this on the mid cruise survey which resulted in a call from the restaurant manager offering us a complimentary dinner at Giovanni's which we happily accepted enjoying a delicious Italian meal with fabulous service. It was good to see RCI showing their commitment to customer service and dealing with the issue we had. That was literally the only hiccup on the holiday, standards and service elsewhere were exceptional.
My little boy absolutely loved the kids club and insisted on attending a session each day. The youth staff were excellent, offering a packed programme of varied activities and he made lots of friend. As every parent knows a happy child makes for a happy holiday and as a result my husband and I even managed some quality ‘us time’!
The Spanish Med itinerary was wonderful and each port we visited is easy to enjoy independently. If you are interested in learning more about the ship or the ports on this route (Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Valencia, Barcelona, Palma, Ibiza and Cadiz) I live blogged our trip at the time and subsequently posted the whole 14 day cruise diary along with photos on my blog www.cruisemuses.blog.co.uk
In summary it was a fabulous family holiday, 14 nights of absolute bliss. We were blessed with amazing weather and the Indy has so much to offer for the price you pay. Would I sail with her again? - yes in a heartbeat however she's heading back to the Caribbean soon. We have therefore booked Adventure of the Seas for October half term to help with the inevitable post cruise blues! Less
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