My wife and I have just returned from two weeks on independence of the Seas and this was our 11th cruise and out 2nd cruise with RCCI and we enjoyed the experience. We stayed in Southampton, DeVere Hotel on the way out and this made a nice start to our cruise as the outlook was to see other ships in that day and when we got up next morning we could see our ship. Our check in was very quick as we ate breakfast in hotel then a ride around docks to see other ships in and then about 10:30 am we headed in to gate 10 and as we had free car park a tag put on the car and up to unload cases and the across road to the car park and only a short walk back and we were on the ship by 11 am. The rooms had lots of space and were very well designed. The staff were all very helpful and friendly and the shopping mall was just spectacular. The size of the whole ship was for us a bit awesome. The main dining areas was split over 3 floors and a more stunning setting we have never seen. On the down side, we were a bit disappoint with the standard and the presentation of the food. The plates were hot. The service in the dining areas was first class but the food did not live up to expectations.
Ports of Call: FRI 30 MAY HOTEL FOR OVERNIGHT SHIPS IN PORT 30 MAY ARTEMIS, NORWEGIAN JADE, VENTURA ARRIVE DEPART SAT 31 MAY Southampton Casual Attire 1700 SHIP IN PORT ORIANA, SEA PRINCESS Day one entertainment was John Evans (comedian) and featuring the Balancing act of Fulcrum in the Alhambra Theatre on deck 3 & 4. After show their was the Showband called "Rock the Boat" in the Pyramid Lounge on Deck 5. Very good band.
SUN 01 JUNE CRUISING Formal Attire -- -- Day Two entertainment was The American Drifters and the are as good as ever even only 2 of the original group. We also had the Captain's Welcome Reception at 7:30 - 8:05 in the Pyramid Lounge. You could also have your photo taken with Captain Teo Also their was a time change at 3:00 am
MON 02 JUNE CRUISING Casual Attire or '70s Attire -- -- Day Three entertainment was the ships group called Centre Stage as all their show were as god as you going to get. We also went to the first ICE SPECTACULAR which was a International Ice Cast and it was so good we booked another night for same show. At 10:40 they did Dancin' in the Street - '70s style. And the was down the Royal Promenade on deck 5.
TUE 03 JUNE Gibraltar Smart Casual Attire 0900 1600 Day Four entertainment was the ships crew and called Once upon a Time. Also was the start of the dance competition with Greg Carger and Orchestra and Professional Ballroom couple Ashley and Ryan Di Lello. On our cruise on the Jewel last year a couple on our table were from Gibraltar and we said we were doing this cruise so the said they would meet us and give us the grant tour of Gibraltar. They meet us off ship about 9:30 and we got back to ship about 3.20 as we were due back by 3:30. We seen on much that we would not have seen on a ship tour.
WED 04 JUNE Barcelona, Spain Smart Casual 1900 OVERNIGHT SHIPS IN PORT Norwegian JADE, CELEBRITY SUMMIT We did not get off ship when we arrived. Day Five entertainment was Andy Leach, Comedy, Mayhem, Magic and Madness.
THUR 05 JUNE Barcelona, Spain Formal Attire 1700 SHIPS IN PORT SEA PRINCESS, VENTURA We made our way off ship and got the shuttle bus as we docked farther away than last time in Barcelona. Then we got the open top bus and spent 2 hours on it and the to the Rambles for a bit of lunch and a drink. Day Six entertainment was Jonathan Kane, The only tribute act endorsed by Elton John. The repeat Ice show was very good. FRI 06 JUNE Villefranche , France Casual/Tropical Attire 0830 2000 At 9am we went on the ships tour to Nice, Eze for lunch and then to Monaco and Lunch This was a lot of walking but we enjoyed it. Day Seven They showed a Mo vie in the Theatre as we were in port till 8 pm.
SAT 07 JUNE Livorno (for Florence/Pisa), Italy Smart Casual 0700 1900 SHIPS IN PORT MSC MELODY, SUMMIT Again a early start on the ships tour at 7:35 to Florence and Pisa. Again it was a lot of walking but the wife loved it as I had been before I still liked it. Day Eight entertainment was Hilary O'Neil a Comedy Vocal Impressionist.
SUN 08 JUNE Cagliari, Sardinia Casual Attire 1200 1900 We got off the ship a found a taxi who gave us a good ride with another couple around the area, this was RCCI first time in port. It a very nice place to go again. Day Nine entertainment Crew Show Under the Big Top, This was a very good show.
MON 09 JUNE CRUISING Formal Attire -- -- Day Ten entertainment Gary Lovini who I have seen twice but hes does a very good show. We also went to a new Ice Show, some say it was better than the other one but I think both were very good.
TUE 10 JUNE Malaga, Spain Casual Attire 0700 1600 We were going to do a walk about as we have been a few times but we booked a ship tour to go to the Caves at Nerja. It was a very hot day but the caves keep the same temperature all the time. Day Eleven entertainment The Mr. & Mrs Game Show staring Cruise Director Graham Seymour also Mad Hatter's Ball Parade down Promenade Deck 5
WED 11 JUNE Lisbon, Portugal Casual Attire 1130 1630 SHIPS IN PORT ROYAL PRINCESS The ships tour was 12:30 Panoramic Lisbon , we think this was the best ship tour we had and we got back to the ship at 4:30.. Day twelve entertainment Starring Blackbeat Beatles which was very good show for my age as I can remember the start of the Beatles. Graham the Cruise Director did a 12:15 Adult show.
THUR 12 JUNE Vigo, Spain Smart Casual Attire 1000 1700 We walked around the town and up a lot of hills and steps. Then we stopped for a drink the the square. Day Thirteen entertainment by the cruise people called Invitation to Dance also another street party but not as good as the other ones.
FRI 13 JUNE CRUISING Casual Attire -- -- Day Fourteen entertainment Farewell Variety Show staring The Magic of Jamie Allen and guest stars Fulcrum.
SAT 14 JUNE Southampton 0515 SHIPS IN PORT ORIANA, SEA PRINCESS
We got up early and had breakfast and went to the bar and waited for our call, we were called at 7:15 then off ship and found our cases and out to the car by 7:30. We arrived home just after noon.
The cruise and the stops were very good. The food could have been better and the layout of the menu could have been better but you can choose what you like from it in any order as it not laid out as 1,23,+ courses. Walking from dinner to the show you walked or tried to through the casino. All rooms of the ship were very nice and the cabins were great and found very quite and room for everything. Yes we would go on her again and I think most would say that.
james/sheila June 2008