Just back from an excellent 11 night cruise onboard Independence of the Seas to the Canaries during October half term- 2 adults and a 14 year old boy. Excellent ship and great facilities - takes a couple of days to get used to purely because of sheer size, but surprisingly easy to find your way around. Great crossing of Biscay despite time of year and couldn't believe we would be sitting in the sun last day of October returning across Biscay - have had worse crossings in the Summer.
Balcony cabin excellent -plenty of space for 3 of us and very good steward. The staff were all without exception exceptionally friendly and very helpful and a special mention to the Guest Services Manager -Sue Yates- who we dealt with, who was absolutely first class in her customer service and attention to detail -sorting out relatively minor issues with a great smile and fantastic attitude. It's no surprise that the staff are so friendly and efficient if she is typical of the leadership that they are getting.
The food has moved on a bit from our earlier experience on Legend when RCI first entered the UK market - now have a wider choice and have included english bacon and sausages at breakfast. The food is very good and as always US beef and in particular steaks are extremely good quality. Windjammer can get a bit busy at peak time sbut staff were always very helpful in trying to find a table - and anyway why not have room service on the balcony - we never made breakfast preferring to have R/S which worked really well for us and was always impressively delivered on the dot- they ring you just before they set off to make sure you are awake and half decent !!
This ship definately has the edge on recent P+O cruises including Ventura last year - (OK) , and previously Oriana-(like an old peoples home at Sea). Lots of activities on Ind , absolutely great Gym - plenty of brand new equipment in it, loads of machines, punch bags, aerobic space and not very busy!! Pools were fine - not particularly busy considering school hols - always empty first thing and around 5pm for a bit of a decent swim. Great running track which was fine later on in day
The Entertainment Director works really hard to get it going and can't fault his enthusiasm - maybe the quality of the shows could do with a bit of an upgrade- I guess it depends on your taste - tribute to Four Tops show very popular and great fun others less so. Ice skating show was spectacular- quite unbelievable the speed and agility i nthe space and Flowrider excellent. Plenty of loungers on deck and free self serve ice cream machine!. Quickest check in ever on any cruise ship - really impressive. Would definately recommend and plan to go again - hopefully longer next time.