This was the first time on Freedom Class for us, we've been on Jewel of the Seas, which we thought was wonderful and we were a bit sceptical that Independence would be a bit too big.
The check-in at Southampton was really quick and hassle free, about 10mins, no long queues. Got on board and had a quick look round, it is an ENORMOUS ship, very impressive. Went to our cabin and unpacked. We had a promenade view which was nice and it was spotlessly clean.
Everything on board was excellent, no complaints at all. We liked the Olive and Twist bar at the top for a pre-dinner drink, then went to Romeo & Juliet dining room for our dinner. The food was faultless, perhaps too much on a plate sometimes, but the choice and quality was first class. Our waiters were excellent and very attentive too.
We went to the theatre on 2 nights and both shows were very good and professional. The Ice Show was spectacular, they ran out of tickets, but we managed to get in as some people didn't turn up.
The Royal Promenade was certainly different, just like being in a small town with all the shops, cafes and bars. We liked Vintages wine bar and the Dog and Badger pub was very popular.
There was so much choice for things to do in the evening that it was quite difficult deciding.
We stopped at Cobh near Cork for a day and a half which was pretty, but not really much to do. A couple of hours walking round and you've seen it all. Lovely atmosphere though, they had a band playing and a little market outside the dock gates. We did a trip with Butlers coaches (very informative) on the second day which went to Blarney Castle, Cork and Kinsale. Kinsale was pretty, but again, a couple of hours and you've seen it all. If you go to Kinsale splash out for lunch at Fishy Fishy Cafe it is well worth it. We had seen the comments/reviews on the website so thought we'd go and the food was excellent and it was very busy, so that says a lot. The weather was dire that day, so we didn't see Ireland in the best of lights. What we saw of Cork City looked nice, lots of shops and little streets, but we didn't stop there.
Disembarkation was quick and easy too.
All in all a fantastic cruise, spotlessly clean everywhere, the food in all the outlets we ate in was 100%, there was something for everyone entertainment wise, all the staff without fail were friendly and helpful and the ship was very impressive. We couldn't find one thing to complain about.