We went with 2 friends and have been cruising with R.C. before and enjoyed it we were looking forward to going on the Independence. Embarking was easy and quick and we went to our cabins which were slightly bigger than previous ships and quite nice (although opening a cupboard and finding 2 stale biscuits didn't quite welcome me. On the first day we got a taste of what it would be like. We went to the Windjammer for lunch, it was chaos, not half as many astaff as previous ships and people walking in all directions looking for a table, (with little success). We asked for a bottle of wine and it took an hour for it to arrive. That night the ship went across to the Bay of Biscay and didn't we know it it was a force 9 and it was horrendous, we all had read reviews and understood that the stabilisers would protect us from this awful feeling. Most passengers did not make the dinner that night but instead went to their beds. Imagine another 3 days like this with everyone really ill and hardly able to stand. We couldn't understand why when the weather improved the rolling motion didn't. It was until we reached Grand Canaria and the rocking and rolling was still happening that some of the staff told us that the captain had not engaged the stabilisers as they cost money and he was on a bonus to save it. We all tried to complain, but you try to complain on a RC ship the Customer Relations were smug, patronising and generally rude, however we must have got somwhere as 4 that morning suddenly the ship was calm, the stablisers had been turned on. Bliss.
The next problem was getting a seat in the main public areas, impossible in the main. The bars were crowded and difficult to get seats, the Windjammer impossible full stop. The Romeo and Juliet opened for breakfast and lunch which offered some respite but the days when there were trips and everyone came back on board at the same time, the Romeo and Juliet was closed!!! Why? People despaired of getting a table. We were hurried by staff, put onto tables with others whether we wanted to or not, we gave up ordering wine as we were never allowed to stay on a table long enough to drink it. The only solace were the staff in the Champagne Bar and Dining Rooms. The rest seemed of low morale and totally disorganised. On previous ships I had been given ice in my room of an evening and the limited mini bar replenished, however to get this on this ship I had to find my cabin steward and request same, one night I was questioned to why I was drinking so much mineral water.
The trips we went on were good and informative and not too expensive. However little information was given if you wanted to explore by yourselves.
Dismebarking was easy and quick. Would I go back not in a million years what would help? Having a customer relations person who could even PRETEND to be bothered. Perhaps it was because most were English and previously they were US citizens. ARe RC bothered it wouldn't seem so as it is impossible to put in a complaint apart from your guest relations review and who knows what happens to them.