Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by rimboron: First Time Silver Surfers
Overall Member Rating
First Time Silver Surfers
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Boarding was delayed due to the previous cruise being affected by an outbreak of a virus and the ship having to undergo a "deep-clean" but we were informed via email of this fact. Despite this boarding went smoothly and we were eventually allowed access to our cabin at about 4pm. The cabin itself was spacious with comfy beds and ample storage including space under the bed for the suitcases.
The excursions need to be studied very carefully, firstly they are not all as described, if of a senior nature. Like me. A lot of the trips unable to do because of the many steps and slopes involved. All the tour guides seem to disappear into the distance and finish their description by the time we caught up. After the first excursion we did our own thing and found it much more easier.
At most of the ports our berth was quite a way out, and shuttle buses laid on, and one had to pay either $10 or $15 per person, one of many hidden charges we found on board i.e. espresso More /cappuccino coffee had to be charged to onboard account. Only Tea , reg./decaf. coffee and ice water in the cafes were free.
The shops always had a "sale" on although having said that they seemed good value for money - jewellery, watches, perfume, etc. One thing people should be aware of is that although the cruise is a European one the ship itself is registered American and customs restrictions are 200 cigs and 1 litre of spirits per person. One chap got stopped at customs and had a case full of cigs because the ship had deals on packets of 400. When buying onboard, beware the ship will inform customs of those over the allocation.
Overall the cruise was an enjoyable and relaxing experience. There was never any pressure to attend shows, etc. Because we had early dinner sitting we had time to spare and get a seat alright, we saw both ice shows and a very good comedian who was great. There was also a very good Motown singer called Jimmy James at one of the shows.
We found all the staff very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Special mention must go to Suzette and Francis in the Romeo and Juliet dining room, both very attentive and obliging. That said we both felt that the menu in the dining room wasn't too imaginative and sometimes the food wasn't up to the spec we'd expected. Also most meals were of an american slant (I know RCI are US based but they are operating out of Europe).
Go again!!! Yes, but smaller ship, finally where can i get one of the beds,,,, so comfortable. Less
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