Just returned from an 11 night cruise on the Independence of the Seas from Southampton and was pleasantly surprised. It did not start off well as there were very long delays at the port because they were deep cleaning the ship following a virus on the previous cruise, and to add to that the computers broke down and we had to wait outside for at least a couple of hours. Because of the virus the cabins were missing various things but this was soon rectified after 24 hours and the cleaning process continued throughout the cruise so it remained very clean.
We had a Superior Cabin on deck 9 with a very attentive steward Hilman who was unobtrusive but always available. There are no toiletries in the bathroom except a bar of soap and shampoo in a dispense r. I think if you ask you get but those little touches were missed. Asked for robes and got them.
The layout of the ship is quite easy to grasp and although it is big you don't feel too overwhelmed. Entertainment was very good especially some of the shows and parades on the Promenade which are really something to see. The Ice show is something definitely something not to be missed. You can be quiet if you wish away from the razz-a-taz with lovely bars and even an english pub.
Normally we have fixed late seating but this time we chose MyTime dining in King Lear, this can be a little confusing at the beginning because you can book your time to eat during the day or just take your chance, which just seemed to defeat the object. We ended up booking the same time each night of the cruise at the beginning of the week but you could always walk in 10 minutes either way. We chose to share tables and met a lot of interesting people. But beware we did end up on a table for 10 just one night and no other guests, this was noted and we had all the attention from the staff including the Maitre-de, after that they certainly made sure we were looked after. Food was good and if you ask they will get you anything if it is available. We personally never had any problems with staff they were all excellent and remembered your name and preferences. Drinks can be pricey but ask for the wine package in the restaurant you can get a good deal.
The Windjammer was the buffet restaurant nice seating,can get busy and we have had better choice, no complaints. We had breakfast in Macbeth and chose to be served by the staff, can be slow but you are on holiday.
Our only disappointing thing was there was no inside or covered pool and that we missed very much. Although the jacuzzi that hangs out over the sea is brilliant. Plenty of space to find quiet sun beds on sea days.
We chose to self disembark it was brilliant if you can manage your own cases breakfast was at 6.00am onwards and you get to leave the ship anytime after 6.15am we had breakfast and were in our car by 6.45am would chose this option again.
La Coruna port in Spain was lovely but there is very little information on this port available. We walked off the ship and straight ahead to the beach and then walked to the right on the promenade round the bay it was lovely seeing all the historical sights and took about two hours well worth doing if you do not want to shop.