870 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Cruise Reviews

This was our annual organizations cruise and we were not informed till about the day before that we were not going to our original destinations, Labadee and Falmouth but to Nassau and Coco Cay. I don't care for Nassau and that's ... Read More
This was our annual organizations cruise and we were not informed till about the day before that we were not going to our original destinations, Labadee and Falmouth but to Nassau and Coco Cay. I don't care for Nassau and that's not where I prefer to go. We had no choice. They told us it was due to the weather, though in hindsight it seems like that was not really the case but that Jamaica would not let us port there. All the shore excursions were cancelled and even when others, not us, rescheduled for the new destinations those were cancelled to, last minute. It was so windy the first few days we couldn't do much of anything on the decks and activities were cancelled. All this was extremely disappointing to all the nurses on this cruise with us. The food was also not as good as I remember it being on our previous cruises. The dining room staff were terrific but the food was just not very good. The Windjammer café was somewhat better but hot dogs were always my go to because they are always delicious and thick. We always love the trivia and music performances and the game shows. These are the highlights especially if everything else you want to do is a bust. Other's in our group have had trouble getting money back for their excursions or were charges double for something that was originally half the price. There were no apologies or compensation in any way from Royal Caribbean. This is disappointing because we have cruised with them before and been very happy. We did not have children with us but some of the other cruisers did and as it was a spring break week we had lots of families and young adults on the cruise. I know a lot of this was disappointing for them too. By the way, the cruise we were rerouted to and the cruise we paid for were hundreds of dollars different and we didn't get any of that back either. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our first time sailing this cruise line and I would have to say that value wise I rate it close to the top after 7 cruises. We are looking into a family cruise with grown children and grandchildren with Royal Caribbean in the ... Read More
This was our first time sailing this cruise line and I would have to say that value wise I rate it close to the top after 7 cruises. We are looking into a family cruise with grown children and grandchildren with Royal Caribbean in the near future. Embarkation went extremely smoothly, fast and efficient; the least painful of any cruise we have taken. Disembarkation was good, there was waiting in lines but that is to be expected. The staff on ship were very organized and were not in a hurry to get rid of us as has been our experience on previous cruises. There is so much to on the ship there really would be no need to leave while in port; for anyone with a family this is much cost effective. We were very pleased overall with the food on the Independence and the service in the dining room was great; thank you Mark and Arlan especially. Spent a fun filled day at the Labadee resort on Haiti. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my 6th cruise, my 1st with Royal Caribbean and definitely my LAST with them. The check in process went fairly well until we were told to wait to board in 3 different areas by 3 different people. We never were sure that we were ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise, my 1st with Royal Caribbean and definitely my LAST with them. The check in process went fairly well until we were told to wait to board in 3 different areas by 3 different people. We never were sure that we were where we needed to be. Once on board, I immediately noticed the cleanliness or lack thereof. It was obvious that attention to detail was missing here. The cabin was dark and dated, dirty carpeting, torn bed skirts, broken drain stopper in sink which remained that way the duration of the trip.Beds were terrible, like sleeping on bales of hay. Both sides of vanity lighting never came on at the same time. Not an actual mini fridge in cabin, it is a cooler. Overall just shoddy! My luggage wasn't delivered to my room so once I inquired, I learned that Security had it because I had packed a surge protected power strip. Apparently you aren't allowed to bring them yet there was no mention of them in the list of prohibited items.(Don't listen to any YouTubers that advise you to bring one on this line.) I had to surrender it to them and was given a claim check to pick up when disembarking. I ordered room service twice during the 5 days to enjoy a quiet breakfast on the balcony only to be disgusted when it arrived. First time it was a combo.....some items I ordered, others I didn't, some items I ordered I didn't get at all!!! The next time, my raw english muffin and coffee arrived on a filthy dirty tray with someone else's trash stuck to it and black grease on the edges of the tray.The cloth napkins were also stained and gross. The Windjammer buffet had a large selection but horrible service. You nearly had to beg for a straw (paper). They are not available anywhere so you can just help yourself. One night I asked 3 times for one and it never came. I also was turned off that they have trays of lemonade, iced tea and water already poured into glasses just sitting out. No telling for how long.....No one came by to refill drinks or coffee so you always had to navigate the lines and hope they wouldn't clear your plate and you'd lose your table.I saw it happen more than once. The common area restrooms were absolutely disgusting. Floors were always dirty, trash everywhere, nasty. The main Promenade appears to offer more than it actually does. Shopping on board was a fail. The gift shop offered 1 style tank top or tee shirt for ladies. I've never seen a shop with such a poor selection. The sale items were actually Christmas ornaments and ugly men's Christmas sweatshirts. Now if you wanted a designer handbag,there was a Michael Kors store,or an expensive cosmetics store. If you wanted jewelry, liquor or watches your selections were larger. Lots of up charges here too. While visiting the coffee shop, where food items were free but fancy coffees are not, my traveling companion asked the server for a particular pastry that she could see in the case. The server then reached down and took the 3 remaining pastries and put them in another case and told my friend there wasn't anymore!! We were shocked! It was very, very crowded otherwise I can assure you my friend would have demanded an explanation. Instead, she took the employees photograph including her badge and plans to address it with corporate. I plan on doing the same with my issues. Another night we were reading the nightly news letter that told of a one day special for wifi. When I called guest services to inquire about the pricing, I was told it was a misprint and that there was no special. On Formal night, we were speaking with a gentleman at Guest Services and he told us that open toed shoes were NOT allowed that evening. So we did not participate even though we had planned to. Only to see later on, lots and lots of ladies in open toed shoes! My friend and I took 1 photo together when we arrived at Grand Cayman with Royal's photographer yet somehow they never could find the photo.......... We were also told if one person in your party wanted to purchase the drink package, whoever else was in your room had to purchase it as well! Usually halfway through my cruise, I like to pay cash on my account so I don't have much of a balance at the end. I was told I could not do that. You just have to settle up before 11pm the night before you leave the ship. Overall, I put Royal Caribbean on the bottom of my list. It doesn't measure up to any of the other lines I have cruised on such as Carnival, Celebrity and Princess being my favorite.The attention to detail is just not there. Cleanliness is lacking in common areas. I can't tell you how often you would see dirty glasses and cups scattered all over the ship. Sometimes the room service trays would be in the hallways all day. I personally wouldn't recommend them and I feel bad since some fellow travelers were experiencing this as their first time cruising. If Independence of the Seas was recently rehabbed, I would hate to have seen it before. I don't like anything about the way this line operates. I guess the only thing I can recommend is the Jose Cuervo Tequila Tasting Tour in Cozumel. That truly was the only thing I enjoyed that Royal Caribbean offered. RCCL = Don't waste your money or lower your expectations. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I took this cruise as part of a small conference group. The expedited check in worked great. However, if someone had never cruised before, they could find it confusing as one does not receive information other than to keep walking. ... Read More
I took this cruise as part of a small conference group. The expedited check in worked great. However, if someone had never cruised before, they could find it confusing as one does not receive information other than to keep walking. Disembarkation was fine. I chose to book the $15 bus back to the airport, and we were off quickly. No concerns at all. Our group had the late dining. This is my preference when I cruise on vacations and enjoy the time. Our area was never set up when we sat down. I do not know how much of this was due to some early diners staying late, but I am not use to walking in and seeing piles of dirty dishes in the servers area as they tried to get certain tables set up (table 261 and others). The servers were wonderful. The cabin was clean and made up promptly each day. The activities, such as the trivia games were fun. There is a nice fitness center on board, walking area (deck 4), and the jogging area (deck 11). I did not take any shore excursions. One note. I am use to seeing cruise ship employees cleaning the ships nonstop. This ship seemed to have less of that than previous cruises, which surprised me. I prefer ships that are sparkling. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Dear potential, or currently booked Royal Caribbean guest, My original cruise itinerary was changed from a 3 day Bahama to a 5 day Mexican because of Hurricane Dorian last year, we couldn't get the extra time off, so Royal offered ... Read More
Dear potential, or currently booked Royal Caribbean guest, My original cruise itinerary was changed from a 3 day Bahama to a 5 day Mexican because of Hurricane Dorian last year, we couldn't get the extra time off, so Royal offered no refund, but rather future cruise credit that had to be booked and used within a year. It took several phone calls and emails to Royal "Executive Offices" before they finally applied the future cruise credit to my account, then had to wait, beg and demand a refund on the port taxes and other prepaid on board expenses we should have automatically received within days of the major itinerary change. It took over two months before they finally got the credits and refunds correct. I was certain they were attempting to keep our money and would have if I didn't persistently demand it. On a side note, if you were lucky enough to go with the 3 day turned to 5 day cruise, which was provided to guests with less than 24 hour notice of sailing, you got two extra days of cruising, all 3 day dinner, drinking, etc., packages were automatically extended to 5 days at no extra cost to guests, plus one extra future cruise day. Those who couldn't make the major itinerary change, got a future cruise credit to use within a year. What, Really???? nothing for the inconvenience we suffered. To add insult to injury, I bought a buy one, get 50% off second guest. That meant that future cruise credit had to be applied the same way, made it more difficult to use the credit without having the same type of offer on a future cruise. I also understood that all guests would get the “one day future cruise credit” and was actually told by a Royal Caribbean Customer Service representative that I would, but was then told later I must of heard wrong, or misunderstood, they were not offering the one day future cruise credit to guests that didn’t go on the extended 5 day itinerary. I was able to get them to listen to the recorded call (yes all calls are recorded) and they came back and admitted that they did hear the Customer Service representative tell me I would get the extra future cruise credit, but went on to say she shouldn’t have told me that and she would be getting additional training, rather than honor what I was told. This morning we returned from our "future" cruise, although we pre-ordered and paid for a case of water a month before the cruise, the water wasn't in the room upon our arrival, had to ask for it several times before it finally showed up later that evening. Upon disembarking this morning, I found a "Mini Bar" charge of $46.02 on our final statement. We didn't have a mini bar, but learned that "bottled water" is considered a mini bar item, so even though I prepaid $27.14 for 12 bottles (effectively 3.17 gals), Royal double charged me (understatement). I tried calling, but was told that customer service doesn't have a copy of my final statement yet, I have to wait 3-5 days before I can dispute this charge. I’m afraid the chase is on again. I'm done with Royal, the service used to be amazing, but not anymore. Less staff, means less service, Main Dining Room used to be an eventful experience, not anymore. I remember when the main dining room would not allow you in, unless you were wearing the appropriate attire, not anymore, tee shirts, shorts, flip flops, baseball caps are all "Smart Casual" now, even at Chops Grill. This review is based on my last four cruises on Royal, over the past couple of years, not just this most recent one. I’m currently a Platinum member of Royal Caribbean, they really used to be much better. I’m looking forward to booking with another cruise line in the near future. Before you book with Royal Caribbean, check other reviews and all options. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Well the excitement didnt last long. This was my children's first cruise and I feel that the independence of the seas was a let down. The food was poor quality. Unless I went to the the formal dining and I traded good food for poor ... Read More
Well the excitement didnt last long. This was my children's first cruise and I feel that the independence of the seas was a let down. The food was poor quality. Unless I went to the the formal dining and I traded good food for poor quality of cleanliness. Lipstick on my water glass, napkins that had lipstick on them and my husband's silverware had food still left on it when it was delivered. The staff from the dinning hall saved this unpleasant experience. THANK YOU FRANCISCO AND STEPHAN table 744 for being absolute gentleman to your guests. The constant alcohol cups left all over jacuzzis and night was disgusting. I would recommend checking your charges on your room bill. I was charged 50.00 for towles that I handed to concierge desk and they didnt deduct charges until I brought my itemized receipt back and corrected the staff. Then I put my luggage out @ 11:00pm the previous night of departure so we could have an easier time getting off the boat, only to find that the staff broke the wheel on my luggage bag. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
There were no outstanding anything on this cruise, as a matter of fact, we have decided to avoid cruising with RCI in the future. Starting with embarkation when we arrived on assigned time and were standing in line for over an hour; ... Read More
There were no outstanding anything on this cruise, as a matter of fact, we have decided to avoid cruising with RCI in the future. Starting with embarkation when we arrived on assigned time and were standing in line for over an hour; getting to the room which was dirty, had no tv remote, no ice, no glasses, no menus, no toiletries, and was never vacuumed or cleaned properly. It took asking multiple times to get anything from the room attendant and the beds were only made twice in 4 days, she could not accommodate the times when we were out of the room to clean it, it has not been vacuumed in 4 days, we finally got glasses on day 3, and bed was terrible, the mattress was lumpy with a deep in the middle, balcony was dirty. The service was very lacking in every public area, except for drinks, you were asked multiple times if you want to purchase drinks. The food was mediocre, tasteless, limited selection in the MDR; there was no service whatsoever in Windjammer, one time during the four days one person asked if we wanted something to drink, the rest of the time we were completely ignored. All entertainment options were for sale only, free entertainment included DJ on promenade, 70th disco, Caribbean and Latin band, Grease musical, and few stand up comedians, disco floor was jammed packed, there was no standing room there, shops were half empty, lines everywhere, people everywhere, kids were everywhere, no room on pool decks. and at the end the total disaster of the disembarkation that took over an hour and a half standing in line just to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
After 25+ years of cruising on a fairly regular basis on 4 different lines we finally found a ship we would try really hard to avoid in the future. And although even with the following it’s possible to have a good time, and no doubt many ... Read More
After 25+ years of cruising on a fairly regular basis on 4 different lines we finally found a ship we would try really hard to avoid in the future. And although even with the following it’s possible to have a good time, and no doubt many inexperienced cruisers will think a vacation on this ship was great, there are too many problems for us to go back any time soon. Ever experienced bacon that does not taste right? Too long in the freezer, too long sitting in its own fat, too long since it was cooked, who knows – but you will experience that at breakfast. How about shrimp cocktails – on the menu nightly – or prime rib – on the menu several nights - with no horseradish option on the sauce? Seems they ran out on day two. Beer drinker, but not enough to lay out $80 per day for the drink package – be prepared to pay $9.43 (inclusive of the required 18% “gratuity”) for your bottle of Bud. And don’t look too long for a price list of the liquor at any bar – they don’t have any ex the bar’s “specials”. Drinking on cruises use to involve drinking at reasonable prices. Not on this ship. Experience the fun of waiting too long for a towel at the pool when on a day at sea 4,200 of your new best friends want one also – and there’ only one towel station, and the one person manning it is trying to multi-task regarding various issues raised by those at the front of the line. Or how about showing up for second dinner seating at the scheduled time of 8pm, having a mob scene await you, wait for your table, wait for your water, wait for your waiter, and when the head waiter comes by he explains to you that if you show up at that time and the stage show has just let you, you have to wait? Or this last morning, you look forward to a nice sit-down breakfast with a tablecloth, but get turned away at 8am being told the formal dining area that was opened was “filled” so please try the 11th floor buffet? This is despite the fact the ship has two other identical formal dining areas. Oh, and it was buffet only, no ordering for this final breakfast please. But my favorite was, having convinced my wife to stay up for the 10.45 pool party, to be told when we showed up that it would not start till about 11.30. Seems they were playing a movie at the pool and they could not start the dancing till the movie was over. I’m sorry, you have the same schedule every week, how can you mess that up? Combined with the conspicuous absence of senior crew members (except for the Brit who is the beverage manager) – cruise long enough and you can spot them – they have the best uniforms and usually look the part – and the fact that in 4 days we never laid eyes on our cruise director (except on TV), it makes me think maybe they’ve gotten tired of having to personally deal with the customers. Certainly, we listened to a lot of our fellow customers who had things to say to them. Not good. On the positive side, lots of reggae music, very pleasant staff, good trivia contests – most of the time (but make sure that female on the staff shows up on time next time please), Graham?? The Scot was a hoot and a lot of fun, try the tenderloin at dinner when available, and you’ve got snails in garlic butter on the menu nightly. But simply too many people not handled in the right way. So don’t short the stock (yet), just try and find another ship if your plans allow. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I understand that nickle-and-diming guests is core to the cruise business now, but making drinking water hard to come by is unconscionable. Staff wanted a $9 value drink ticket for a bottle of water, or would stand there and pour it into a ... Read More
I understand that nickle-and-diming guests is core to the cruise business now, but making drinking water hard to come by is unconscionable. Staff wanted a $9 value drink ticket for a bottle of water, or would stand there and pour it into a cup for free. The only drinking fountain is hidden in the gym, with a 'no bottle filling' sign. Added one star to review because everything else was very good. Dining options for a gluten sensitive person were offered or available. Kid activities look good ( but were unutilized for this music-themed cruise). Planned shore excursions were a good value, well organized, and flexible for us when we missed the departure for one. Embarkation was pretty quick - facilities seem to be finally catching up with the size of the jumbo ships. Same with tenders at Belize and the pier at Cozumel. This trip did have a couple medevacs which were handled quickly, but with an oversize impact on running activities (it's actually better to keep people in the theater and out of the hallways when trying to move a stretcher). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
First, I don't understand the sub par reviews I read prior to our cruise. There are lines such as Disney that are superior, but at at least twice the cost. You know going in that at a discounted price you won't have Disney ... Read More
First, I don't understand the sub par reviews I read prior to our cruise. There are lines such as Disney that are superior, but at at least twice the cost. You know going in that at a discounted price you won't have Disney dining. That said, the food in the dining room was very good. The Tenderloin served on night two was on par with any fine dining restaurant, the service was excellent as well. We did not have long waits for our food, as the next course was served shortly after finishing the course served. The buffet was crowded, food was ok, but that's the way it is on every Windjammer in the fleet. The ship is big, we averaged 11,000 steps on sea days, but we did visit many areas of the ship. Putt Putt was a lot of fun, and on sea days was not crowded. The first sea day the pool area was very crowded, lots of folks saving chairs, but you could still find a chair. We had a balcony cabin, 7520, spacious and the balcony was nice. Some reviews spoke of worn and tired carpet, we did not get that impression at all, carpet wasn't new but the ship is 12 years old. Entertainment: First night saw the ice show, it is fantastic. These are world class skaters doing the jumps and spins on a pint size arena with a floor that may tend to pitch and roll! It was awesome. Grease was Awesome, the talent was as good as you would see on Broadway! Very high energy and flawless performance. The Las Vegas Tenors were very good also. The final night we had the magic of Puck! His act was spectacular! A "Wacky" Pianist played boogie woo give on an elevator at night, the door opens and there he his. That was fun! Our ports were grand Cayman and Cozumel. We had been to both in the past, so just went shopping and had a local lunch. We carried our luggage off the ship, arrived at the meeting point at 6:30am, and was off the boat and on the shuttle by 7:00am. Have never experienced a faster debarkation. Overall, we had a great time and will definitely cruise RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
First off, the Casino and Schooner Bar staff were amazing. Food was okay...MDR staff were great. Cabin stewards, not so great. Couldn't get simple things like ice. I am a Diamond member on RCI and this will be my last cruise with ... Read More
First off, the Casino and Schooner Bar staff were amazing. Food was okay...MDR staff were great. Cabin stewards, not so great. Couldn't get simple things like ice. I am a Diamond member on RCI and this will be my last cruise with them. The port terminal was overwhelmed, our balcony room was too small and we spent hours (over two days) trying to get moved to another room. We were told several different stories about room availability. We were told that everyone checked in for the cruise. However, the key cards were still in the door for a room near our other family members...on day TWO. Clearly, everyone did not show up. On Friday morning there was a medical emergency - apparently the captain pulled the stabilizers and kicked it into high gear so we could return to port early. First time ever I got seasick on a ship. No information was provided regarding the medical emergency. Three days after returning to port I got very ill. Flu/Covid-19 symptoms, but of course no "reason to believe it could be the virus" and with extremely limited testing available in the states I suffered through the illness at home. I am wondering if anyone else became ill after this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My daughter was going on this cruise and asked us to go. This was my 3rd time on Royal and my last. food was just ok, the windjammer café is crowded and hard to find a table and the food is the same everyday with just maybe 4 or 5 diff ... Read More
My daughter was going on this cruise and asked us to go. This was my 3rd time on Royal and my last. food was just ok, the windjammer café is crowded and hard to find a table and the food is the same everyday with just maybe 4 or 5 diff items. I wont go as far to say the food was terrible but it wasn't great either. The same goes for my other Royal Caribbean cruise, I was hoping this time would have improved. I have been on Norweigen the food was absolutely amazing the buffets were excellent not your typical buffet. For the dinning room service was good, servers were great but again the food wasn't. I had prime rib and it didn't taste like a real piece of meat. Others had chicken and it was dryed out, my Granddaughter order chicken nuggets they were terrible it was all break crumb cooked to a crisp no chicken in there at all. so for food I give it a 4 or 5...The rest of ship was great, the pool is your usual pool and if you don't get there early you will not find a chair. There was no games or anything going on but the music was blasted to the point where we had to leave because we couldn't even hear our selves it was that bad. Even in the dining room the speaker was right over my head and the music was so loud, I felt like I couldn't get away from the loud music and I love music. The casino, don't waste your money it is horrible no one person won a jackpot and all the jackpots were exactly the same from day 1 to day 5 not one person hit anything. One guy did win at black jack $25,000 he got lucky and pulled 2 queen of hearts at the same time the dealer hit Black Jack for a awesome payout. So bottom line is if you hate loud music and just okay food stay away. Oh I saw Greece and that was great good show, good voices it was entertaining. last but not least when we got to the caymen islands there was no space at all on the beach, we went to 7 mile beach and we literally turned around and got right back on the bust and enjoyed some quite time at the pool...In Mexico we never got off the boat... All in all I would rate it a 6... Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We went as part of a big group that reserved the entire ship for a 5 day cruise. This was the 6th cruise of my life so I feel I have some experience in cruising. Royal Caribbean has been a class act and they take of their ships. We ... Read More
We went as part of a big group that reserved the entire ship for a 5 day cruise. This was the 6th cruise of my life so I feel I have some experience in cruising. Royal Caribbean has been a class act and they take of their ships. We left from Ft. Lauderdale with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We got to watch Superbowl LIV on the ship. The ships can carry 3,500 or more passengers, that is a lot of people, never again for me, I will be looking for smaller ships to cruise on from now on. Here's why, the Windjammer which is the main cafeteria was a zoo, lots of people trying to eat all at the same time, not enough chairs for everyone. Long lines, food was just ok, a big variety but still cafeteria, the orange juice was watered down and was served at room temperature most of the time. No trays, so you had to make multiple trip to get your drinks, desserts, meanwhile you are awkwardly dodging people, not easy when the seas are rough and you are trying to maintain your balance. The sit down restaurant on level 3,4 and 5 was pretty good but the nicer meals, like lobster, filet mignon,...was an upcharge of $30, it used to be free. The staff are very nice, lacking in English language proficiency at times but they really wanted to please. The other problems with having 3,500+ passengers is that whenever the ship docked somewhere like Grand Cayman you have to wait in a line to get on the smaller boats to get to shore, at 50-100 people at a time this took a while. Multiple boats available but still lots of time wasted. In Cozumel The Independence docked right at the port thank fully. The 24/7 free pizza bar was nice, as well as the free snack bar. If you are Ok with lots of people and long lines to see performances, food, getting on elevators, disembarking,...then you will be fine. We had a bigger room so that made the trip better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was the best vacation my husband and I have ever taken together! The entertainment provided by Christian Radio Station K-Love was outstanding! The staff on ship as well as the K-Love staff were all amazing, helpful, and friendly! We ... Read More
This was the best vacation my husband and I have ever taken together! The entertainment provided by Christian Radio Station K-Love was outstanding! The staff on ship as well as the K-Love staff were all amazing, helpful, and friendly! We had concerts every night and got to spend our time on ship mingling with Christian music artists as well as comedians. It was amazing getting to have your pictures taken with people like Danny Gokey, and Joel and Luke from For King and Country. Our cabin was everything we needed. I have never been one to splurge on large fancy rooms because if you're on a good cruise you don't spend much time in your room. The islands we went to were amazing and so were the staff of the excursions we took. We visited Grand Cayman Islands and went snorkeling, swam with and fed stingray, and went to starfish point. In Cozumel we took a jeep excursion all over the island to private beaches, ate local cuisine, snorkeled, and visited historical Mayan Ruins. Everything was beautiful and we enjoyed all aspects of this Christian Cruise. We are already booked for 2021 K-Love cruise and are counting down the days! If you're a Christian, enjoy contemporary Christian music, and are looking for a cruise, then this is the one you want! klovecruise dot com for all the information! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
When I go on a cruise, I’m looking to get away and to fully relax and enjoy my vacation. I would like to express some reasons why I will think hard before I choose to cruise with RC again... -As we board the ship and begin to look ... Read More
When I go on a cruise, I’m looking to get away and to fully relax and enjoy my vacation. I would like to express some reasons why I will think hard before I choose to cruise with RC again... -As we board the ship and begin to look around, we are bombarded with cruise members approaching us at different areas, trying to sell us the EXTRA’S. This continued through the time on our cruise , and would be one of my biggest deciding factors, on not choosing RC again in the future... my time of relaxing became a time of trying to avoid these staff .... I know what they are offering ,and if I am interested ...I will approach them... -The Windjammer would be another reason that I would not choose to sail with RC again. The food was great and the staff were friendly , but there was not enough staff to provide the excellence of service that one expects when paying to cruise,and definitely not the level of excellence that I have found with other cruise lines. Finally on the very last cruise day, there were sufficient staff to clean tables and collect dirty dishes and to offer tea/juice to those seated. Makes me wonder if not purposely done, to boost positive reviews on the surveys. - when greeted at the main dining room for “my time dining”, on the first day , I was made to feel that I should be sitting with a shared table and was causing an inconvenience by requesting a table for two only. I certainly did not mind waiting for one to become available, and I had to ask about a pager system that I may be able to utilize ...to do so, - Another big reason why RC is not a line I will consider sailing with again, is the push for more Tips...and being made to feel that if you choose not to pay the extra tips, then you aren't recognizing those who provided service of excellence.... I HAVE already PRE PAID my gratuity for service of excellence. My experience with this RC cruise was great concerning the food , the dining room service , the ice show and theatre productions (though I feel the broadway show Grease was very vulgar for a family oriented ship).This ship has much to offer to families in regards of things to do,and that is great.However all that, is over clouded by the negative experiences that I encountered . Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I've read a bunch of the reviews on here and it seems that people are either looking through rosey (booze goggles) loving everything, or the person who's jaded by a negative experience and poo-poos on the rest of the whole ... Read More
I've read a bunch of the reviews on here and it seems that people are either looking through rosey (booze goggles) loving everything, or the person who's jaded by a negative experience and poo-poos on the rest of the whole cruise. This review is looking at some legit highlights, lowlights and the 'just ok' stuff with RCL independence of the seas. ***The Good: -Rooms: Constantly being cleaned and attended to. Room cleanliness and stewards were a focal point for keeping them servicing your needs through out the trip. -Entertainment Staff: The GREASE musical was well performed, although wouldn't recommend for kids. It was well put together and we enjoyed it. Same with the ice skating show. Top notch. -Escape Room: Well worth the extra $20/person to do this. Had a blast. -Rock Climbing Wall/ Wave Runner/Water Slides: All of those activities around the back of the ship, they're all great. You'll have a bit of a wait, but they're worth it. -Internet: Way better than I thought it would be for connection. Costs extra but worth it to stay in touch with the fam back home for emergencies and keep pictures updated. -Debarkation: Do the self service and walk off, you'll go from room to curb within 15 mins. Others were stuck in long lines for HOURS waiting for their bags. -Drink Package: Get one. Do it. Between $11/ coffees, $13 drinks. $4 waters. It adds up FAST. If you have the drink package the bartenders run it through the system and toss out the receipt just to account for inventory not for your account. In turn they pour heavy handed. Counted the liquor pour and got a consistent 7-8 second pour on liquor. Wow! ***The Bad: -Accountability: On my particular sailing, the ship was supposed to hit Haiti and Jamaica. Unfortunately, seas were too rough and we couldn't dock in Jamaica. This was a kill joy, but rather than get cracking on revising itinerary, or notifying passengers of how they'll 'make up for it' with refunding excursions and adding activities, the Cruise Director and Captain seemed to play "CYA" with the blame game of 'here's why this isn't my fault..." this was done at the sacrifice of filling the missed time or communicating what would be done. This caused tremendous lines at guest services, angry cruisers, and the little activities they did have were bottle necked. -Cruise Director: It may seem unfair to put this on the cruise director, but they are the one handling the entertainment side and it was poorly organized. It seemed the majority of things were put together to his liking rather than to appeasing the masses. For example -- the 'movie channel' on the TV played IT 2, and Downton Abbey on loop. An odd mix until you consider the CD hails from the UK. Seems like he might have a horror fixation? Def not appropriate for the masses and other channels did not provide anything for the down time when you're in the room. -Dining: I read reviews on this and took it with a grain of salt, but shouldn't have. Something is wrong with the food. For two younger people, healthy diets/appetites, in good physical shape -- the food EVERY night should not cause severe stomach issues. Not talking about the folks who over indulge either, just the small portions they had. And without fail.... -Outdoor Movies: The LED screen has taken a beating, it looks like hell and hard to see/hear anything. -Layout: Smoking area is RIGHT next to the kids area...... smart. -FLL Cruise Port Staff: There's no PA system for announcements and they tried with a consumer grade bull horn to make announcements to 6000 people and had 2 hour delays boarding. ***Just OK -Haiti: Ladadee is 'just ok' there's a reason why not much is told to you about the island or there aren't many videos on it out there. Drinks are poured too strong which doesn't sound like it would be a problem but 80/20 on liquor to mixer ratio made some drinks difficult to tollerate for the little food provided on the island. It's beautiful there, I'd recommend doing NOTHING there just relax and take it in. Beach chairs are FREE don't get suckered into an excursion to pay for one. Shoreline is rocky like Northeastern US beaches, nothing fancy. -Laser Tag: HUGE wait time on this, approximately 1 hour and you get 5 minute play time total for a group. It's fun, but not well organized causing the bottle necks. -Mini Golf: Steering into the wind with no wind protection, the course is heavily impacted by the velocity of the wind and makes it hard on the game, and the player. It's still fun, but not for competitive sport. Overall it was a decent cruise. We tried to stay optimistic and look at the bright side. Still got a vacation and time away together on the sea. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We we're looking forward to a fun, relaxing cruise. Instead we got 5 days on a B-level floating mini mall. Let's discuss 'refurbished'. There is nothing new about this ship. Our rooms were dated, musty and stained. ... Read More
We we're looking forward to a fun, relaxing cruise. Instead we got 5 days on a B-level floating mini mall. Let's discuss 'refurbished'. There is nothing new about this ship. Our rooms were dated, musty and stained. Likewise with the corridors, and facilities. We encountered mould problems in the bathroom, rock hard beds, and stained... everything. Some how the rooms are the highlight of the ship. The food was completely industrial, greasy, plastic, nasty, reheated. We mainly ate at the Windjammer, the main dining hall, where a heavy grease hung in the air due to poor ventilation. There was a respectful amount of reheated food to gorge yourself and try to salvage the trip. If the food, and rooms haven't scared you off, I'd invite you to the promenade. A boring and outdated bridge/entertainment area. Get ready for shopping at Michael Kors, boring pop/rock music from cover bands, and a selection of shows that where inspired by high school variety nights. We now arrive to the conclusion... For the price of our cruise, the never ending overinflated add-ons (resto's, internet, drinks, wine at dinner, arcade, shows, etc...), it's clear that Royal Caribbean is more interested in nickel and diming customers rather than providing a quality product. Full speed ahead away from this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It was a terrible cruise. It was awfully boring, and I had nothing to do the whole time. We were scheduled to go to Cayman Islands on Christmas Day but then it got cancelled!! We were stuck in the ship all day with no refund and a boring ... Read More
It was a terrible cruise. It was awfully boring, and I had nothing to do the whole time. We were scheduled to go to Cayman Islands on Christmas Day but then it got cancelled!! We were stuck in the ship all day with no refund and a boring cruise. The dining service is terrible and slow. The food is disgusting and they get all the orders wrong. The pools are legitimately unsanitary and gross. The ice skating, flowrider, and rock wall were terribly dangerous and not suitable for children. The level of service the restaurant crew put into their work was actually terrible. They didn’t bother to ask us if we wanted drinks or if the food was good. We had an awful dining experience. During the cruise somebody had thrown up all over the arcade but nobody came to clean it up. We had to call a janitor and it was disgusting. This is why I’m never cruising on this cruise line ever again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We arrived at the pier at 1230 after visiting Total Wine. Check in was a breeze as we had already done most of the work online. We met with the agent who scanned our passports and took a quick photo. We were walking onboard within 10 ... Read More
We arrived at the pier at 1230 after visiting Total Wine. Check in was a breeze as we had already done most of the work online. We met with the agent who scanned our passports and took a quick photo. We were walking onboard within 10 minutes of arrival. We headed straight to the Windjammer for lunch. Plenty of seats to be found. When they made the announcement for the cabins being ready, the place cleared out and we had a nice quiet lunch. We had a promenade view inside cabin on deck 8. Our room cards were outside the room. We purchased an vodka gift package from home and it was waiting in the room for us along with our tickets.for our shore excursion and information about wifi and crown and anchor bonuses. This room was worth the extra $100 we paid. We could hear the boom from the music, but it didn't bother us at night and the curtains kept the lights out. It was neat to see the events on the promenade. We watched them light the Christmas tree right below our window while we enjoyed a glass of wine. We got the drink of the day for $8 each everyday. The bartenders packed a punch in them, so we were satisfied with one each day. Note -you cannot take drinks to the muster drill. The food in the main dining room was excellent. They have a vegan menu that is delicious. I asked the staff for a menu when arriving at our table. The windjammer was repetitive, but always fresh. You can walk all the way to the back and get the same food everyone lines up for at the entrance. Juice, lemonade and iced tea were available each day. The coffee was pretty decent and available all over the ship Smoking is on the port side of the ship which is different from other cruise lines I've been on. I kept forgetting. The smoking section is really long and unpleasant. The pool areas are great and wide open. Chairs were always available, even in the sanctuary. We did the escape room and had a blast. We had 13 people in our group and solved the puzzles 5 min too late...but still under an hour, so we counted it as a win! Our ship had a medical emergency and had to turn back to dock in Miami our first day a sea. We were late getting into Cozumel the next day and had our excursion cancelled. We were offered a 20% discount for a different excursion. We chose snorkeling. The timing allowed us to visit Margaritaville for a signature drink before the boat ride. The Compass was packed with so many entertainment options. The shows were so great. Grease was likely the best performance on a cruise ship I have ever seen. The staff on this ship were exceptional. Disembarkation was a breeze as we walked off with our carry-on, hailed a cab and went to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We love to cruise on Celebrity but we had heard great things about Royal Caribbean and booked a 4-day cruise on the Independence of the Seas. What a disappointment! Biggest issue... the food. Whether you were eating in the dining room or ... Read More
We love to cruise on Celebrity but we had heard great things about Royal Caribbean and booked a 4-day cruise on the Independence of the Seas. What a disappointment! Biggest issue... the food. Whether you were eating in the dining room or at the Windjammer Buffet, the food was either FLAVORLESS or WAY TOO SALTY. Nothing in between. I honestly never ate a decent meal the entire time I was on the cruise. I left almost the entire meal on my plate. The food was awful. We had a reservation for dinner at 6:30 and arrived on time, but were told there were no tables. So we were put at a table with much older couples, which was not at all what we wanted. When we tried to get the issue resolved for the remaining nights, we were told that although we had a 6:30 reservation, the only way we could get a table for two was to arrive by 5:30. So, we ate dinner at 5:30 which certainly was not ideal. As for the ship, the rooms were clean and fairly spacious and the ship was nice. However, it was very crowded, especially when walking through The Promenade. The entertainment was good, the ice show and the comedian Kivi Rogers were both very good. Overall however, I would not recommended this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Terrible on almost all counts: Food: Main dinning room is horribly overcrowded, making it difficult, if not impossible to move around. The food is mediocre at best. The Windjammer buffet is actually better than the main dinning room, ... Read More
Terrible on almost all counts: Food: Main dinning room is horribly overcrowded, making it difficult, if not impossible to move around. The food is mediocre at best. The Windjammer buffet is actually better than the main dinning room, but just barely. Staff and servers are completely indifferent, with very few exceptions. Unlike every cruise I've ever taken, food was sparce. The buffet, which on other ships is open into the wee hours, closes at 9pm. After that, if you want food, you can get pizza at Sorrento's (if you're willing to wait on a ling line), or coffee at the Promenade Cafe. Entertainment: The main show (Grease) was excellent, as was the comedian. Everything else was amateurish, especially the "game shows" where it was obvious the staff was completely untrained. Casino: I went with the expectation of playing poker, but after looking at the game structure and prize for the ridiculous Hold'em Tournament, and the cash game rake (10% on a $2/$5 cash hold'em game), I decided to pass. Cabin: The restroom had a distinctive smell of urine (even after asking for it to be re-cleaned( and the public toilets had the same smell. Apparently, in order to save room, the public restrooms contained only 1 urinal, resulting in a line in the men's room! General Ship Layout - POOR. The main common area, know as the "Promenade" was lined with stores and bars on both sides, making it extremely crowded. Add to that special events going on, it became unpassable. Poor layout. Bars: Service was slow, but if you want to drink, and don't care about anything else, you may enjoy this cruise. Otherwise, find another cruise line. Summary - We were nickel and dimed at every turn, only to receive poor quality and service. We will NEVER AGAIN travel on a Royal Caribbean ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had a cruise certificate for a discount on a Royal Caribbean Cruise we had gotten from Hilton. Only RCL goes to Haiti, so we figured we'd make use of the certificate by going somewhere no one else goes to. The cruise also went to ... Read More
We had a cruise certificate for a discount on a Royal Caribbean Cruise we had gotten from Hilton. Only RCL goes to Haiti, so we figured we'd make use of the certificate by going somewhere no one else goes to. The cruise also went to Falmouth, Jamaica. Big Mistake. The moment we got onto the cruise ship, we went straight to our room. The trouble started immediately. People were smoking pot right down the hall from our room. The hall reeked of marijuana. I am extremely perceptible to marijuana odor and smoke. It has a debilitating impact on me. We immediately informed the staff, who couldn't have cared less. They made excuses not to deal with the issue. This went on for three days until the staff called us and said the couldn't figure out which room was responsible, so they would check the ventilation system. We spent the entire cruise going the long way away from our room, heading toward the aft of the ship and around the starboard corridor back forward to get anywhere as we could not walk down our corridor (port side). People walked around high, smelling of pot. Elevators smelled of pot, so we couldn't use certain ones. Again, the staff didn't care. Also, the ship was LOUD. The people were loud and obnoxious, the speakers were outrageously loud, everything was way too LOUD. The main dining hall was so loud we had to move on at least two different occasions. The were doors slamming, and thudding noises all week, starting at 6am and waking us up every morning. It turned out to be the room next to us (8705), where three young teenagers were allowed to be without their parents who were in a different room (8712 I think). The staff again didn't care, even though there is supposed to be an adult in the room with teenagers. When I politely asked this family not to go back and forth between their rooms slamming doors over and over again, they told me I was on a cruise and shouldn't expect to sleep. That was the most ridiculous and inconsiderate thing I had heard in quite a while from someone. These two things were the major issues with this cruise. I spent all five days sick with headaches and fatigue. It was a miserable time; a complete waste of money. When we debarked I decided to talk to someone to get some compensation. I was offered 20% of my expense as a credit towards a future cruise, which they immediately raised to 30%, but this turned out to be only $158 for me and $79 for my fiance (no clue why the numbers are different). This was hardly 30% of our expense. What am I going to do with $237 off of a RCL cruise within one year when RCL cruise cost more than that MORE than Carnival? To make things way worse, RCL customer service was HORRIBLE to me on the phones when I called about the small future credit they offered. Three different agents were rude to me and hung up on me, not caring what I went through whatsoever. And then an even worse insult, someone who said she was from corporate called me, just to reiterate that there was nothing more they would do. I asked her why she was calling me just to tell me this? We have been on four cruise in just over a year. Celebrity was the first, and it was wonderful. We did two more with Carnival, which were worth what we paid for them. This RCL cruise I wish I had never gone on. We have another cruise with Carnival in February. I will never cruise RCL again. The cruise itself was horrible. The staff allowed marijuana smoking and obnoxious behavior. The customer service was beyond horrible and treated me like utter trash. RCL - never ever again. We can afford to do whatever we like, and have no need for RCL or the pathetic future credit they offered me. If you do not want to be surrounded by the ghetto trash who yell and scream and smoke pot do not go on this cruise. If you value customer service and being treated with respect, forget RCL. A little more info......the entertainment was the worst we had ever seen. The food availability was also the worst. They actually only offered food in Labadee (Haiti) from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, and then after getting back on board at 4 pm, there was nothing to eat until 5:30pm. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had never been on a cruise before. Glad we went. Glad it was a big ship, seas were calm. 2 Ports, Haiti and Jamaica, both were interesting, worth it. We sat alone in the Main dining room, which was okay, but we sort of got ... Read More
We had never been on a cruise before. Glad we went. Glad it was a big ship, seas were calm. 2 Ports, Haiti and Jamaica, both were interesting, worth it. We sat alone in the Main dining room, which was okay, but we sort of got 'forgotten' due to the waiters being so busy with the larger tables. We ate at the buffet Windjammer mostly. Food was pretty good. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing really exciting or new to try though. A person would have to pay extra for that. Our room was tiny, on 6th floor overlooking the center of the ship. The bathroom even smaller. The bands were all good, our most enjoyable thing was on way back to room each night, we would sit and listen to a band at a lounge, there are several. The staff were all very nice, helpful. No amenities like shampoo/conditioner in room, just small bar soap or soap dispenser in shower. We did not get the 'drink package', we drank every day, and spent about $500 on alcohol, which was less than the pkg. Lots of walking, and waiting for elevators. We are on the fence about doing this again. The flights there and back from WI were 2/3 of the entire vacation. I want to mention some great staff members: Rommel sang at Windjammer, 'washy washy wash your hands. Was cute, and fun. Seenil our room caretaker was helpful, polite, and made us cute towel animals. Noel our last day at Windjammer, he stopped and talked to us for awhile. A very nice guy. Alexandr from the Main dining room, was sweet, polite, and smiled a lot. He only took care of our drinks etc. The other waiter forgot about us. So we never went back. The safety teach thing that all had to attend, should be on the side of the ship with shade, as we were all very close, and it was HOT. Took 45 min. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Fabulous entertainment. The nightly shows in the Royal Theatre were great.Comedy show was funny. Ice skating show was fun.. skaters were very talented. Once Upon A Time was my favorite..singers we’re amazing Food- breakfast was ... Read More
Fabulous entertainment. The nightly shows in the Royal Theatre were great.Comedy show was funny. Ice skating show was fun.. skaters were very talented. Once Upon A Time was my favorite..singers we’re amazing Food- breakfast was terrible.. lunch was good.. dinner was great! The wait staff in the dining areas were top notch. Room was clean attendant was readily available with a smile for anything we needed. This was our first booking with Royal Caribbean (2 others were with Carnival)and we were not disappointed. The ship seemed to be just the right size.. big enough for a lot of activities and not be worn out from too much walking. Do not really have any complaints but if I just had to have 1 it would be the muster drill.. it took longer than expected and could have been a little more organized. Probably more the passengers fault than the crew. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Overall Great experience!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Corporate should be embarrassed by this ship. Rooms are dated and worn-out as are the public areas. Our cabin steward Magda and Fernando at the Champagne Bar gave excellent service. The rest seemed disonnected, confused and uninformed. ... Read More
Corporate should be embarrassed by this ship. Rooms are dated and worn-out as are the public areas. Our cabin steward Magda and Fernando at the Champagne Bar gave excellent service. The rest seemed disonnected, confused and uninformed. Many public areas had off odor of sewage. Public area bathrooms were dirty and unkept. In one bathroom near Johnny Rockets wife had to hold her nose from the sewage smell. Rooms were dated, took me back to a 1980's Holiday Inn this is what they consider Amped up? Sink drain clogged and toilet overflowing into room. Holes in the couch and could someone please clean the A/C vents from all the dust. Food was mediocre at best. Windjammer is fine if you like curry's, mashed potatoes and stews. Who is eating this for lunch? No healthy selections? Main dining room is chaos. Johnny Rocket uniformed staff running around MDR & Chops Grill trying to set tables and waitstaff that seemed as if they were just going through the motions. Ate at Giovannis table on a Wednesday. Had the "signature dish" Osso Bucco. Found the same exact dish on the menu in the main dining room for free on Thursday I don't mind up-charging but I consider that a rip off. Did the Chef leave the ship? Chops Grill ordered the seafood tower did someone forget to order crab claws? Oh yes and the red wine by the glass you ordered we don't have that either. No half n half on the ship for coffee, did they forget to order this? Only milk. Asked for ketchup in MDR at breakfast server said they will see what they can do. Internet is a disgrace no Voom here. Ice skating show, comedian and hypnotist were all excellent shows. Not sure how RCCL corporate can say they AMPED up this ship? Is that by adding Playmakers? We were entertained by the bartenders arguing amongst themselves about who is in a training class? Returned home 15 minutes late no problem until it took 1 hour to get off ship and then Customs for another 1 hour. Two hours to get to curb from the time we got in line to get off. This has never happened in over 25 cruises we have taken. Only 4 people scanning Sea Pass to get off ship their excuse was the ship came in late, complete fiasco. Have they taken all the good staff and moved them up or are they only concentrating on new builds? Fully understand the difference between older vessels and newer vessels but when service standards aren't maintained, interiors aren't upgraded, food is subpar and staff is disorganized one has to wonder did I just get ripped off. My answer is yes. Corporate greed at its best. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Independence of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.2
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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