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3 Night Baltic Sea Cruise from Southampton

3 Night Baltic Sea Cruise from Southampton

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Independence of the Seas
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Itinerary


Independence of the Seas

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
4.5
1,522 reviews
Why Choose Independence of the Seas?

Pro

Strong entertainment lineup, including "Grease," the musical.

Con

Average food in main dining room and buffet might leave some unsatisfied.

Bottom Line

A good option for cruisers who enjoy great entertainment and a variety of dining options.


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: March 2018
We had a group of twelve Family members - including 4 generations. We selected this cruise due to dates, pricing and itinerary and the fact there were activities for the younger ones ages 4-15. Fun was had by all!!! All went smoothly, ... Read More
We had a group of twelve Family members - including 4 generations. We selected this cruise due to dates, pricing and itinerary and the fact there were activities for the younger ones ages 4-15. Fun was had by all!!! All went smoothly, embarkation, meals etc. Our only complaint was there were several 'misses ' on the meals in main dining room for dinner and occasionally very slow breakfast service in main dining room. Staff was always pleasant and there was never a lack of activities. The children loved their cruise and are anxious to cruise again! It was a wonderful way to spend time with extended family. Our shore excursions were not booked through the ship - we did love Dolphin Discovery - swim with the dolphins in Cozumel and in Grand Cayman we booked with Captain Marvin for Stingray City and snorkeling - another fantastic experience! We are looking forward to seeing the updates that Indy will be having! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
I led our extended family of eight on this cruise. We are all experienced cruisers with 1-10 cruises under our collective belts. We have cruised on HAL, RC, and Carnival in the past. This was the largest ship we have cruised on. ... Read More
I led our extended family of eight on this cruise. We are all experienced cruisers with 1-10 cruises under our collective belts. We have cruised on HAL, RC, and Carnival in the past. This was the largest ship we have cruised on. Embarkation was quick and relatively painless. We were starving from our car ride so it seemed worse than it was. In line about 15 minutes, then on to the boat. We were four adults and four children. Wife and I wanted to room together so we went to guests services to get our rooms fixed since each of us had to "room" with a child for booking. They could not correct it "officially" but willingly gave each of us extra keys to our rooms. This was used to make the switch. One child and I had to keep up with two room keys, but it was no big deal. This is good service in my book. We are used to cruising on the cheap - all had inside rooms near the back on Deck 6. No complaints about the rooms or stewards. Cabins were a little larger than our Carnival cruises, smaller than HAL. Our teens have varied interests but only one is truly active and engaged on the ship's active areas including the rock wall, flow rider, and sports court. He enjoyed all of these. Two spent much of the time in their rooms, but that made them happy so OK. You could see signs of ship wear here and there, but nothing bothered me. Carpet worn here or there, a few sign lights out on the Promenade, etc. We were the last cruise prior to a 35 day dry dock, so this review may not be too relevant since so much on the ship is changing before the next cruise to Europe. We did not do the extra fee restaurants. The one time we had dining room breakfast the server mixed up everyone's orders. I can't remember any other service issues. Dining room service was outstanding. Food was very good but not outstanding. Better than Carnival, not as good as HAL. Breakfast good, lunch very good, dinner outstanding. Same for service. The production shows on the ship were outstanding, clearly a step above all our other cruises. The ice show was also outstanding. Bands were good, but not as good as the BB KIngs Lounge on HAL which is outstanding. The pool deck was large as expected on a large ship, but very crowded on sea days with every chair taken much of the time in the peak afternoons. My only real complaint was the tender process on Grand Cayman. We got in line at 10:10 and had to be ashore for an 11:00 trip. I got off the tender at 11:00, ran to the meeting point to ask them to wait, then waited until the rest of my party got off. All this was 1.5 hours after the tender process started. With a numbering system like we used, it should not take 50 minutes to get from ship to shore. I have never had such a long tender process. However, this did not dampen our overall cruise experience. Debarkation was smooth and fast as well. We walked out of the terminal and on the street only about 30 minutes after we left our rooms. We chose the "carry your own luggage" option which suited our family and got us on the road quicker. Would recommend Indy if you are looking for a big ship with all the bells and whistles that go with it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Where to start.... Towards the end of January I got an offer for a cruise through MGM with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. I have never been on any of them and so I called and while speaking to the booking agent I asked what each one had as ... Read More
Where to start.... Towards the end of January I got an offer for a cruise through MGM with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. I have never been on any of them and so I called and while speaking to the booking agent I asked what each one had as far as entertainment and because there are alot of ships and cruises to choose from I decided to look online while he gave me my choices. I was told Independence of the seas was the best value so I pulled up the website and saw that it showed a ship thats in the pics I attached including the slides and big yellow circle thing plus a laser tag room and parade of holidays and flow rider ect ect. I said " oh cool it has lazer tag" the rep said yup its a great ship so I booked it. Then booked my flights which for some reason where extraordinary high. The cruise got closer and I wanted to start planning out what we would do. I went to the website again and started going through the activities and saw things that I didnt remeber being on the ship such as a thing called northstar and mystery dining theatre so I called and asked what was on the ship and if all these things were I was told no and a few of the things that were. Parade of holidays, mini gold, flow rider and rock wall so I then asked if I could find a full list online and she pointed me to the same page I was on so I said ok and went on with my day. 3 days before the cruise I saw a notice on the top of the independence of the seas page saying that the laser tag, slides, hibachi and trampoline thing would be added in the fall I was like what??? This notice was not there before. I called and asked and the ladie said oh yeah the slides are on there and then said well... wait can I put you on hold? I said sure she came back and said it would be added in April and I was like wait what? Why would you advertise a ship under false pretenses that it has certain things come to find out I even booked a easter cruise and only because I thought it already had all the main attractions I wanted. I told this to customer service and all zi got was im sorry but it has this... no mention to the [false advertisement] see pics for proof. I started thinking why is it ok to do that and I asked if I could block casino charges? I had to go so I was told that he would call me back with the answer he needed to check. I never got a call back. So I called customer service back and I also wanted to know if I could get a copie of the other activities on board and I was told only on the ship so the only way to use the "cruise planner" was for them to push you into buying more things. I did I purchased the Myan Ruines excursion (Also a review posted for this) First night dinner ( see chops review) , Grease insider view ( See Grease review) and finally a private Flow Rider lesson( see review) I called and spoke to the only nice person so far he told me that I needed to speak with club royal since it was booked through them and he understood the frustration plus he gave me most of the answers I needed which was I could take 2 7.5 ml of wine in carry on on the ship but no water. I would get juices for breakfast, water, lemonade and Icetea for other meals ect. And for sure thoses things would not be on the ship. Based on all the information I had I knew since thoses things were not on the ship that I would need internet. I Called back durring a small work break I had waited on hold 30 minutes and got this extremely rude and un carring representative. She told me too bad and that nothing could be done and then the call got disconnected and she called me back. I was working so didnt have a ton of time but wanted to get this taken care of and my issues noted because that is what the last guy told me. With attitude she told me that I would have to stay on hold while she contacts another department to see if she could do anything she came back a few times and demanded I stay on hold. Didnt ask me to hold said "you will have to hold" then I had to pick up a customer for work and I asked could she please call me back and leave a message or email me back she said " No! I was just doing this as a courtesy and i said well I have to work then she said" i can send you a no reply email, I dont even know if I have your email address is it xxxxxx?" I said yes and thank you she then said " Next time only call us when you have time!!" Wow rude rude rude. So needless to say this cruise started out very rocky. When arriving to the ship the first thing I did was go to guest services to explain the situation again because the email i got from here said we cant do anything but we will give you some champagne. I didnt ask for that. Anyway at guest services I also learned that the flow rider was only operating on 1 side the other was broke. Anyway I explained the rude service and the false advertising and was told that she would check with the manager and get back to me that day. I went to my room and it was fine except I found personal information from the last guest almost like the room wasn't completely cleaned and there was also mold in the corner of my room. There was only one power plug no where near the bed and the tv was fuzzy which i had to fix. I called and requested 3 more pillows and the beds to be seperated. We left and went to set up meals times which you must do on Royal unlike Norwegian where you can go anytime royal only had 2 dining time 530 and 8pm which was ok. We did 530 so we could catch the shows at 7 as most of the meals take about 1.5 to 2 hours. The first night dinner I decided to do Chops Grill I was not impressed. I felt like I would have got the same thing in the dining room the steak was alright but most of the sides didn't have good seasoning and the best thing they served was the grilled asparagus, I have eaten at other specialty restaurants on other ships and it was better. They didn't even have a chocolate souffle on the dessert menu only the same desserts the dining room not worth the $60 extra dollars. had We decided to go to the first show which was a comedian who was absolutely terrible I wanted to get up and walk out what a waste. I was very concerned after this show that it was going to a terrible cruise. We went back to our room and saw no pillows but the beds had been split. Went to bed and was woke up by the cruise director making an announcement of the day but utilizing the state room speaker not the hall and he did this at 8 am. They had a Sexy man alive contest and some good looking guys in it. But they chose to select for older women to judge it and they chose the obese older guy.. I felt this was a huge waste of time. This is just a small example. The following day was port in Cozumel. That morning I still had not heard from guest services about the internet or the false advertisement. I went back to guest services and spoke to mario who told me he was sorry and offered us some water since we had been lied to again. The port in Cozumel was great. I did the Mayan Ruins excursion and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done!!! Hands down the best part of the cruise. If you get a chance do this maybe on a diffrent ship. After Cozumel I had the grease show to see which was also very good the entertainers are top notch for the production shows. I did the insider view which gave me reserved seats in row 5 and a drink which was alright then after the show I got to meet the cast but it wasn't the whole cast only 6 of the 20 or so there are so I was a little disappointed in this. I did get a already taken signed picture by the whole cast so that was cool. Next day was Grand Cayman. We had to use other small boats to the beach side. I didn't get the water that was promised to me till 12 hours after I was told I would get it.. All room service was a service fee of almost $8 Including breakfast or water, Every cruise I have been on included free room service. They were also charging for spin class or yoga ect all they wanted to do was leach more money from everyone and everything.. Worst feeling ever.I eventually talked to mario again to check on what the "manager" said her name was sebena. Mario told me she wasn't available after going in the back room. I explained that I was going to be writing a review and all of a sudden she was available. While I was standing there there was another customer talking about a shaw that had been found and then stolen by a crew member and it belonged to their deceased family member but all she kept getting was excuses. There were alot of very unhappy customers. Everytime I went to the front desk someone was not happy and its easy to understand why. Sebena told me that they don't compensate on my claims and that my complaints where not really that bad. She told me that it wasn't false advertisement and the fact my room was not clean and all the other issues she could and would not give me internet. Finally after I told her about 9 things that were not the way they should be she offered a $50 credit to use on whatever I wanted. That was fair since there was nothing else anyone was going to do. I did use it for internet. It was also terrible always disconnecting and it actually messed up my location on my phone. Come to find out they were updating the system the whole cruise. Let me add a few more things The casino is a smoking area with no ventilation and in order to get to your room on deck 2 and not walk through a smoke filled casino you have to go up 2 decks .. what a bad design. The casino also has no regulations and if you are not a VIP they charge a 5% fee to just put the charge on your ship account .. like I said nickle and dime. Machines are tight and just take take take. Casino staff are rude. The quest game show is a blast dont miss this. Ice skating show was also pretty good. That's really all I have to say. Look for my other reviews on tripadvisor Read Less
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