Independence of the Seas has only five genuine types of cabins: insides, promenade views, outsides, balconies and suites. A handful of cabins across all categories are particularly designed for families. Cabins are outfitted in a very pleasant nautical/natural blue-and-green color scheme. All standards, from insides to balconies, come with features like interactive flat-screen televisions, telephones, desks/vanities and easy chairs or couches. Beds, covered with duvets, can be configured as twins (narrower than American-style single beds) or as a queen. Closet space is more than adequate.
Bathrooms are pocket-sized and shower-only (though, fortunately, there are doors instead of the dreaded clingy curtain) and feature those odd bath towels that feel really soft but don't really do the job of drying. The only toiletries provided are a bar of soap for hand-washing and dispensers in the shower for shampoo and shower gel. Bring your own lotion!
Mini-fridges, stocked with for-fee items, are tucked into one side of each vanity. Tea-making facilities are tucked away in a closet. Cabin measurements are as follows:
Interior and promenade-view cabins measure 152 square feet and 149 square feet, respectively -- quite small for a new ship.
Ranging from 161 to 200 square feet, outside cabins feature a large porthole-style windows.
Balcony cabins come in two varieties. Deluxe is 177 square feet (balcony adds another 74 square feet) and Superior is slightly larger at 180 square feet (though, ironically, the balcony is slightly smaller at 68 square feet). Balcony furnishings are made of mesh and metal; there's room for two chairs and a small table.
Family options include 300-square-foot inside cabins with room for up to six. Family oceanview cabins are 293 square feet. Four Royal Family Suites (610 square feet, balcony 234 square feet) hold up to eight and feature a living area with a double sofa bed and two bedrooms with two twin beds that convert to queens. (One also features third and fourth bunks.) Also included are verandahs and two bathrooms with showers (one with a tub).
The Presidential Family Suite (1,215 square feet, balcony 810 square feet), which also exists on Independence of the Seas' sister ships Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, is unique in the industry. The suite sleeps up to 14 and is made up of two master bedrooms with private baths, as well as two smaller bedrooms, each with two Pullman beds and two twin beds that convert to a queen. Moreover, there are two additional shower-only bathrooms (the same as you'd see in standard accommodations). The 810-square-foot private balcony is a destination in its own right and is outfitted with a hot tub, teak dining set (table and chairs) and padded loungers.
A variety of suite choices include Junior Suites (287 square feet with tubs, walk-in closets and 101-square-foot balconies), Grand Suites (387 square feet with tubs, walk-in closets and 126-square-foot balconies) and Owner's Suites (614 square feet with tubs, walk-in closets, separate sitting areas and 209-square-foot balconies). The one Royal Suite (1,406 square feet with a 377-square-foot balcony) also has a whirlpool marble tub and shower, entertainment center, king-sized bed, baby grand piano and a private hot tub on the balcony.
Grand, Owner's and Royal Suite guests have access to the Concierge Club lounge (Deck 10, midship, open 24 hours, but manned for only about half of that time), where they can enjoy complimentary pre- and post-dinner canapes and cocktails. You can also use the concierge that's on call to book your shore excursions, dining reservations, spa appointments, etc.
Like its Freedom-class brethren, Independence of the Seas also features the B & J cabin. This promenade-view stateroom overlooks the backsides of two cows that stand atop the Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor (just underneath). Cruisers who end up in this obstructed view cabin receive complimentary ice cream at Ben & Jerry's every day of their cruise.