Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by cot427: Independence of the Seas - Everything I Hoped and MORE!
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Independence of the Seas - Everything I Hoped and MORE!
The cruise was a 6 night cruise out of Fort Lauderdale visiting Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel with 2 sea days. Weather was perfect on 1st sea day and port days, and the last sea day approaching Florida was very windy and chilly.
Sunday - Welcome Dinner - Casual Monday - Captains Dinner - Formal - Had yummy Grand Mariner Souffle Tuesday - don't remember, ill look on compass Wednesday - don't remember, ill look on compass Thursday - Chefs Dinner - Formal - LOBSTER (we could get more than one) Friday - Farewell Dinner - (Blah worst menu)
Day 1 - Fort Lauderdale - Weather was 82 (as per compass)
Embarkation: I'd have to say this was the easiest embarkation EVER. We got off the plane in Fort Lauderdale at around 10:00, and we were in Port Everglades at 10:30, and checkin was a breeze. We got out of the cab and a guy came to take our luggage, and then we walked right into security, which was no line at all. Then to checkin, which was no line, and More finally to the waiting area. My grandma is a diamond so we got to go upstairs and wait with a smaller crowd who got to go on first. We waited til about 11:30 or a little after and they let everybody on. Windjammer for lunch, then we walked around and the muster drill. After that we watched sail away and dinner.
Dining: Windjammer for lunch was as usual. They had the usual welcome aboard lunch with Honey Stung Chicken, French Fries, etc. And the same usual desserts. Service though was good, the food was hot and they were constantly taking our plates. Dinner was a little leery at first. First we wanted a small table, but it worked out. We had a table for 7, with another family from Canada, they had to small kids, both under 6. But they were very well behaved, for the most part. We did ask to switch, but they didn't have any more tables. It ended up being a good thing at the end. Our service though was a little leery on the first night. They didn't introduce themselves and it took a while for the food. But they improved 100% later.
Activities/Highlights: Indy Expo 1:45-3:15; Olympus rocks parade 11:00 (we missed it) and then Karaoke stars at 11:15-12:30. The welcome aboard show was Comedy Impressions of Mike Wilson, 7:45 for all guests, and he was great.
Day 2 - At Sea - Weather was 80
Morning/Afternoon Activities/Highlights: After breakfast we went by the pool and man, were there chair hogs galore. Every chair in the solarium was full. So we asked the solarium pool attendant if he could get us 3 chairs to use, and he said yes, and took a bag and two towels of chairs. It was nice until the ladies who had it came over and had a fit, as I thought, and they ended up sitting in the rest of the chairs they reserved. Now they were there for about an hour and a half, but he didn't do anything to the rest of the chairs. **They are more strict with the chairs on the Indy. They do the stickers and right down the time, either a half an hour after u left, or the time starting when you had a half hour to get back. We left the chairs before lunch, because it did rain for about 20 minutes, only lightly.
After lunch I went to the gym, then stayed on the deck 12 and read til dinner. There was the sexy legs contest and bingo as well as art show and tons of other stuff during this time. Also, there was 2 ice shows, one at 2:00 and one at 4:00 during this sea day.
Dining: We ate breakfast & lunch in the dining room, and it seemed like service lacked a little. I mean yes they did get the job done, but there wasn't that wow factor from the Liberty. We did ask for a small table each time we went to the dining room and got it every time, because we didn't wanna eat in day care like dinner. Dinner was formal, the Captain's Gala dinner, and as I said, dinner was 6:00-6:30 for main or 8:30-9:00 for second, which was strange. I think I had some sort of beef this night, and then we had Grand Mariner SoufflE tonight, which was awesome, my favorite dessert ever.
Night Activities/Highlights: After dinner, there was the Captains Reception in the promenade, when he spoke for a couple minutes, and there was also pictures. The main show was at 9:00 for early seating (11:00 for late) and it was invitation to dance, the production show, which was very good. After the show they had the millionaire game show (just like tv show who wants to be a millionaire)in the pyramid lounge. They had to contestants and they got every question right. They did give small prices for each question and worked their way up to big prizes. After that was adult karaoke and the late night stuff.
Day 3 - Belize - Weather was 83 *Captain Teo did not change the ships time to central, he stayed eastern all cruise.**
We arrived in Belize at 7:00, and the tender was 20 minutes, as they said, but it was more like 10 or 15. After breakfast, we got off at around 9:00 ship which was 8:00 local, because we had a tour for 9:15 local, and we wanted to shop around the dock area a few minutes. We walked around the dock area, DI, local shops, etc and the tour started early around 9:00 (local). We booked the Altun Ha tour through Belizeshoreexcurions.com (Xtreme tours) and our tour guide was Gus Heredia. He was by far one of the best tour guides ever. As a tour companion said, he is a great ambassador to his country. He knew everything there is to know about Belize. We drove in his van, there were 3 of us, another family of 4, then him in his van which was pretty big. The ride to altun ha was interesting, on very bumpy roads, and it took about an hour to an hour and a half. Altun Ha was very interesting, they are ruins, and they are beautiful. I will post the pictures after the review. He also gave us the city tour of the north part of belize city before the ruins, then drove back through the south side of belize city on the way back to the ship. (I thought lunch was to be included, but it was not, but have been a typo on the website. It was such a great tour, we did not argue)
Dining: Breakfast was in the dining room and got better than the day before, better food and service. Since we missed lunch, we went to the Windjammer at about 3:30 for afternoon snacks (3:00-5:00) and it was good. They had a large variety of food and desserts and it was empty when we got there, but more and more people we coming in as the ship left at 4:00. Dinner was Casual/70s, and I can't remember what was for dinner, I never do. But It was good lol.
Night Activities/Highlights: (Bingo at 4:30, just to mention) After dinner was the headliner show featuring the ultimate entertainer, Finis Henderson at 9:00 (second seating was 7:00). He did many impressions of song artists and preformed that way, and he was extremely awesome. After the show there was the British invasion, at 10:45 where everything was british obviously. This is compared to the 70s dancing the streets on Liberty. Then there was karaoke again 11:30 - 12:00.
Day 4 - Costa Maya - Weather was 82
As I said in Costa Maya (arrived at 10:30), you could do a few select ship tours, go into downtown 'Majuhal' (sp) which I heard is a nice beach, but only a sort of board walk and then a few restaurants with chairs and lounge chairs. We stayed by the ship. From the ship they have a tram to the dock area with the shops. There were a lot of shops selling the same things over and over, and then DI, a few jewelry stores, liquor, and that was it. In that area, they had a few shows that the mayans preformed, music and dancing in costumes. There was also 2 pools and a beach area with a rocky beach that nobody could go into. We got lounge chairs and ordered drinks from the restaurant. I ordered a yard drink or something like that, which was 10 dollars and some chips and salsa. This is also where I got most of my sun. We got back to the ship around 4:00, and I went to the gym and then dinner. (leaving CM at 6:30ish)
Dining: Breakfast was again in the dining room, and then we missed lunch again, and we ate chip and salsa on the 'beach' so we stopped in the cafe and got a few snacks. Dinner was casual/Caribbean, and again I forget what I had, actually I think it was the garlic tiger shrimp. It was great.
Night Activities/Highlights: After dinner was the Ice show at 9:00, (7:00 or second seating) and it was called Freeze Frame. It went through the decades 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, and they did a great job with the music and the costumes corresponding to the decade. It was a great show, but it didn't have any of the special flying in the air or the WOW. After the ice show, there was the Love and Marriage Game Show. It was hosted by the CD Graham Seymour, and I have to say it was hiiiiilarious. Probably the best funniest one ever. He did it differently though. He did not ask the guys or the girls to leave, but had them write answers on the note pad. After that was the Mad Hatters Parade, the second of two, and it was actually a good parade. Very fun. Then there was dancing under the stars deck party and the surfs up buffet. The buffet was a lot smaller than the liberty's last year. I;m not sure if this is fleet wide now, but there was little to no fruits or extras, only a breads/salads table, meat, tacos, that sort of stuff, then desserts. On the Liberty they had chocolate strawberry dip and more carvings, etc.
Day 5 - Cozumel - Weather was 79 Arriving in Cozumel at 7:30, we waited to get off for a while. There were 6 ships in port, 3 carnivals, NCL Pearl, and the Grandeur and Indy. We got the free taxi ride to the Istanbul place because my grandma wanted to look at the rugs, and they said they would pay the taxi fare if you looked. They also gave us drinks. After that we walked around the town and went to DI. Now the ship recommends the forum shops, but we didn't make it all the way down there. We got rooked by the Wyndham people and well I guess it was a good deal. First we said beach, but he talked us into the timeshare thing. We thought it was 30 minutes, but it ended up being 90, then finally 60. We only wanted to pay 10 dollars pp, instead of the 30pp at the Wyndham so the taxi took us to El Cid,right by the ship, but a guy there said, I talked to Jorge, and he wants you to go to Wyndham for the same price. So we drove up another 10 minutes to there and it was ok. The initial Wyndham area was ok ,but then there were other areas like Sabores where it was 18+ we toured and it was beautiful. There were slides from the initial condo to the main pool and the swim up bar. After the timeshare talk was lunch, either bbq grill or buffet, and I could never stay here. I would take cruise any day because the food was nasty. Beach again was rocky but we did lay on the beach and I walked to me knees in the water, and we went back to the port area around 3:00. We shopped til about 3:45 around the dock area and went back on the ship. All aboard was 4:30, but we didn't' leave til about 5:00 or a little after because there were a couple late people that can't tell time. They even pulled the gangway up once then put it back for them. It was formal night so I got ready at 5:00 and then dinner was LOBSTER tonight. The service tonight went downhill as I think our assistant waiter was covering for another person and our waiter because he was running all over the place.
Night Activities/Highlights: The ship was extra rocky tonight. I usually don't feel it as I go every year once or twice, but tonight I did. I think that's when I started not feel well too. I went to bed early that night, after the Once upon a time production show which we saw on the Freedom. I thought it looked familiar but I knew when I saw the Pinocchio part that we saw it already. There was also Studio 84 dance party in the pyramid lounge at 10:00, then the famous quest after that at 11:00, then adult late night comedy with the CRUISE DIRECTOR GRAHAM SEYMOUR at 12:00.
Day 6 - At Sea - Weather was the coldest, at 72, but it felt like 60s because it was WINDY (Very) ALL DAY
Morning/Afternoon Activities/Highlights: Before breakfast I went to climb the rock wall and did it twice. Once I ate lunch and the others came back to the solarium, I went to watch the belly flop contest and then the flowrider after finishing my 700 page book YAY. The flowrider was not busy at all because it was extremely windy and cold. I waited for like 5 minutes and did it twice. They do not want you to lay there, they want you to try something to keep the line moving. After the thawed out, I went ice skating, lol. It was actually pretty busy, the busiest session I ever saw on a ship. Then we went to Bingo, but did not win : (. ALL of the winners had the electronic games, which were 80 dollars. After bingo was dinner.
Dining: Breakfast was good, I ate in the Windjammer for lunch and brought it over to the solarium to save our seats while the others ate in the dining room. It was sort of shifts. We had lunch in the dining room., but lunch service was horrible. It was very slow and I didn't even get asked about drink or dessert or anything, so I left early. Dinner was the farewell night and it's the worst menu all the time. They have turkey, or what I ordered the Salmon Vodka pasta, and it was horrible. I tried someones mahi mahi and it was pretty good actually, next time I will order it.
Night Activities/Highlights: After dinner was the farewell show of Max Oliveira, who was the acrobat who climbs and hangs on ropes etc. Then we had rock star juggler Mike Price, who was extremely strange, but he did an awesome show. Truly amazing. Then the CD Graham sang Chasing Cars but Snow Patrol and he did a great job. That was unexpected. They also showed the DVD. After the show we shopped and packed and then I saw the last karaoke. (there was also finish that lyric at 10:15) Then it was time for sleep, last night on Indy.
Day 7 - Fort Lauderdale - Don't know weather, but it was probably 60s or 70s.
Dining: Last breakfast in the dining room, and it seemed they were preoccupied because service was bad and food was cold. Once we had breakfast we went back to the room to get backs and went to the theater. Since we had a flight at 6:30, we waited to get off the ship til 9:30, which was orange. They did it differently where the new program is they don't announce the colors out loud, but only in the area where you color meets. (SEE COMPASS) Once orange was called at 9:15, we were off and went to deck 4,all the way to the back of the ship, then down to one. Exited the ship, then get your backs all the way in a building across from the front of the ship, and it was crowded. They had barely any porters because I even heard them complain about the process. The bags were laid in areas, not conveyor belts, but we did find the bags easily but getting them out is the hard part because you have to get around other bags and people looking for their bags. Then you go through a zig zagged line to customs, and all they do is look at your paper and passports. All in all it took about 30 minutes from when we were called til we got a taxi, and we were in the taxi about 9:50ish and airport by 10:00. We then decided to change our flight til 1:00, which incurred a 50 dollar charge pp but it was worth it not to wait. It was Delta btw. Fort Lauderdale airport was busy, but the security the delta terminal was about 5-10 minutes, not bad at all. Our flight from FLL-ATL was one time, and then ATL-PIT was on time and we even got home early!
All in all it was a fantastic trip onboard indy, and now I can say I have been on all 3 Freedom class ships! Less
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