A Wee trip to Ireland: Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Host EJNutz
Overall Member Rating
A Wee trip to Ireland
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
30th April 2011 - 4th May 2011
30th April 2011
We arrived at Dock gate 8 at 11am. The car par4king organisation was excellent. We were quickly directed to the drop off zone for luggage and then directed to our car park space. As soon as we entered the Terminal our Set Sail tickets were checked and then we were directed to Check in for Platinum members. Within 15 minutes we were onboard the ship. A very good and friendly check in system.
We had lunch in the Windjammer and then had a walk around the ship. Muster call was at 3.45pm. For the first time ever on a cruise I never had to take my life jacket with me. Unfortunately some people have to be disrespectful during the process, one gentleman was drinking a pint throughout and a lady was chatting to her mother on her mobile.
Dinner was in King Lear restaurant. We opted for My Time dining . Our waiter was Norbert who was very accommodating and helpful.
The Welcome show More was fairly good. The Comedian on show managed to make us laugh a few times.
Tonight we also experienced a rock parade on the Promenade. It was pretty good especially the atmosphere.
1st May 2011
The day was a bit overcast. So the pool areas were generally empty. That meant that all the lounge areas were busy. We ended up in Olive & Twist and read for a while with the aid of a drink. In the afternoon we went to The Screening Room and saw Salt. The cinema was small and cosy.
When we arrived in Cobh, Celebrity Eclipse was still in port, we had to wait until she left before we docked. A large crowd from the town came out to meet us.
The theatre production tonight was Once Upon A Time performed by the Resident crew. It was excellent with a few surprises thrown in which wowed the crowd.
Tonight was also The Quest night held in Studio B. Many participated and it was a fun. However I thought it was a bit tame and I put that down to the fact that there were children of all ages in attendance. It might be better in future to make it Adults only.
2nd May 2011
We had a full day trip booked with e-coaches to Blarney and Kinsale. We first stopped off at Blarney and went to the castle. I didn't climb the stairs to kiss the stone (I have a fear of heights). There isn't much left of the castle but the tower. We had a walk around the beautiful gardens one's of particular interest are The Poison Garden and Rock Close. In Rock Close we climbed up and down the Witches' Steps and made our wish.
After the castle it was shopping time at Blarney Woollen Mill Shop. Then we had a tea and scone in the Hotel cafe.
The next part of the tour was a drive around Cork learning some fascinating facts. Then we drove onto Kinsale. Unfortunately as we arrived in Kinsale the skies opened up and it was like that for the duration of our stay. We spent all our time running for cover. We had a delicious fish and chips lunch in a local family restaurant called Dino's.
Tonight was also Formal night. There was a welcome drink with the Captain in the Promenade. I was a little disappointed in this as it did not have the same atmosphere as previous RCI cruises.
The show tonight was a band called Zoots who played 60's & 70's music. They were excellent.
3rd May 2011
A day at sea.
We ended up in The Schooner Bar and took part in the Trivia. Unfortunately we let the side down. We had a lunch in Macbeth Restaurant for Crown & Anchor upper tier members. Unfortunately there was very little we could eat as it was mainly cheese based and we are allergic to cheese. All we were offered instead of the lunch was a side salad, So we had a drink and went to The Windjammer.
This afternoon we saw the Ice Show, Strings in Studio B. Very impressive. I could easily watch the show again (but will have my eyes closed when they do the head banger)
The show tonight was Centerstage and featured many of the ships entertainers. The music played was a good nix, I particularly liked the classical music and pop music. I was not keen on the swing/jazz type music.
The highlight of the night was Rock Britannia on the Promenade. It was a good hour of classic British music of singing and dancing as well as flag waving galore. There was a special appearance by Her Majesty the Queen. Everyone around us were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
4th May 2011
An early rise and an early breakfast. We only had to wait in the lounge for 10 minutes before we disembarked. From leaving the ship to getting to our car it took a total of 10 minutes. Very quick and efficient.
My Time Dining
We had booked our table for two and times online prior to the cruise. When I got onboard I checked that our bookings had got through and they had.
We were seated in King Lear Restaurant on Deck 5. We had table 94 and requested this for the duration of our cruise and they obliged. Our waiter Norbert and his assistant Emmanuel were excellent. They looked after us well and catered for our food allergies. They were funny and very friendly. If you get them serving you then you are very lucky.
As always the food was excellent with a great choice.
This was very big was interconnected with Jade. The seating area was spacious but the food islands were crowded which made it a bit hellish when it was busy. A couple of times it was hard to find a table. In fact one day Portofino's was opened up as an overflow.
The food was excellent. I missed the ice cream machine not being situated here.
This is the self service Frozen Yoghurt machine by the pool on Deck 11. I love the vanilla flavour.
The Schooner Bar
This was cosier than other RCI ships but it seemed smaller. It was often crowded and unless you were early you couldn't get a seat.
The Pyramid Lounge
This was a nice comfortable lounge were you could go dancing or listen to the rock band.
This was a popular place, mainly due to it being a designated smoking area. It is the discothèque which has a bit of an atmosphere. It is on to levels/ We didn't use this facility as it was too smoky for our liking.
This is an impressive facility let down by the one exit on each floor(unless you escape through the toilet entrances). There was always a log jam at the end of the shows. The Stage itself is big and very high tech.
The seating is rows of seats rather than the moveable table and chairs.
We saw the expects in action. It was a bit of fun. Be warned you could get splashed.
The Sports Bar which was good. The service here was the best on the ship from my experience. It is a bit dark and some of the chairs are a bit hard. As there were a few Premiership games on this weekend it was very busy.
It has the feel of a real street with a mixture of pubs, wine bars, shops, cafes. Pizzeria, barbers etc. It was the heart of the ship and where most people ended up. There was often entertainment of sorts taking place.
Independence of the Seas is a lovely ship, It has been well thought out. There is certainly a lot of space. Everywhere was clean and tidy. The staff were all attentive.
The only let down for me was at certain times certain areas were congested.
I would cruise on Independence of the Seas again but my preference would be the slightly smaller ships. Less
Cabin review: PR7609 Promenade Stateroom
Cabin 7609 This was on Deck 7 and had a window looking out onto the Promenade. The room was nice and spacious. It came with a mini fridge,kettle and hair dryer. One thing our cabin steward did not provide us with cups. There is plenty of staorage of space but it is lacking in drawers. The safe is modern and easy to use. The TV is big and the online account system was good to use. The bathroom was a reasonable size.Read All Promenade Stateroom (PR) Reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Independence of the Seas Review >>
Disappointed with P&O
Nice, but tired ship
Expected more from Cunard