This summer I cruised for the first time on the independence with Royal Caribbean. I picked this ship because of it's size and facilities, and thought that there would be something to suit everyone's taste on board.
I'm not going to go into a huge minute by minute account of my holiday, but I will say what I liked and disliked.
The ship! The ship really is amazing. The size, facilities, beautifully clean and maintained - couldn't fault it.
The staff. The staff generally were very attentive and really looked after us, both in the dining room (where I have never been treted so well) and in the bars.
The ports. Nice selection of ports, had no trouble getting on and off the ship - were always welcomed back.
The food. Generally the food was good. Had no trouble at all in the main dining room, didn't feel the need to use the speciality dining options.
The people. We made many good friends who we will stay in touch with.
The entertainment. was mostly good with fantastic ice shows. Oh and if you dont queue up for the tickets because your sleeping in (err, I was on holiday) you just go along and you can get in after the poeple with tickets.
The adult solarium. I was amazed how much quieter it was than the kids areas/pools.
Olive or Twist. My favourite place on the ship. The staff were amazing Mapula,Chris,Chistopher, Faye, Ramesh, Mimi) and its a wonderful place to watch sailing in and out of ports.
Kids activities. We didn' have any kids in our party, but as we were going during August, we thought there would be loads if issues - noise/playing in lifts etc. This wasn't the case. For the most part, they are on or around deck 13 - where the sports court, climbing wall, flow rider are. If you dont go up there, you nevere see them - great.
Final Bill. We thought it would be hugh, but were pleasently surprised, drinks were'nt as pricy as we thought they would be.
There is a good mix of formal and informal evenings. If you don't want to take part, you dont have to either.
Dislikes: Toilet paper is single ply - didn;t realise they still made stuff like that!
Tea but no coffee in rooms.
Another casual dining option for breakfast would be good. Saying that, we only once strugglesd to find seats in the wind jammer and you can have breakfast in your rooms.
We had a promonade room which was lovely... but you end up with the curtains closed most of the time as people can see in.
Complaints. This was good until we has a serious insident. On one of the evenings, a very drunk man verbally attacked my gay partner and I and then proceeded to threaten one of our female companions. When we reported this, we were listened to, told to avoid the man, and inform staff if anything else happened. I just felt that this required more action, but tried to not let it ruin our holiday as everyone alse we had met were really supportive.
The entertainment. I did say this was mosly good, but one comedian used farely poor racist material, and many guests walked out.
Night life. DJ Donovan was poor. He didn't always take requests, and had the ability to completely empty a full dance floor in 10 seconds of playing a new record. If there is only one night club, it helps if it plays the music you like!
Overall. We had a good holiday, most of which is still sinking in. We will cruise again, but probably not for next holiday.