86 Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Entertainment Cruise Reviews

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 A boring and outdated bridge/entertainment area.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
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
Wont be using RC again or recommending them. Needed something to fit in school holidays. I wanted plenty to occupy child and flexible enough to allow them to eat / play / explore without pressure. So we could all have a break. ... Read More
Wont be using RC again or recommending them. Needed something to fit in school holidays. I wanted plenty to occupy child and flexible enough to allow them to eat / play / explore without pressure. So we could all have a break. Unfortunately it didnt work like that. Boarding was straightforward having cruised before I expected to go straight to my room find cases outside,unpack, go exploring/ have snack etc. No, cant go to room til 1:30. But my access card is in my room not issued on admission to boat? When we did get in cases not there, in corridor about 100m away. Kids club was loved by our lo when it went to plan.It was closed for 2hrs between sessions so say 12-2. Too long for a meal but not long enough to do anything else. The pm session finished at 5pm. She could not eat until 6pm cue one hangry, frustrated disabled child. It closed at 10 so if she watched a late show she couldnt eat afterwards. I am used to being on cruises where you can eat complementary food at almost any time. Granted the selection is limited by time of day but you can get something...couldnt get anything unless prepared to pay. No poolside food or tables. Cant leave child unattended in pool so you have get them out back to room to get changed. Only one buffet on ship for 4000+ people, what are you thinking? They were stopping people going in for breakfast because it was becoming dangerous. Wet floor signage that we watched 3 people fall over in 45mins!! We cannot get breakfast on time so cannot join in morning activities. So much time wasted waiting for lifts a ship this size needs more although I accept you cant retro fit them. So many facilities closed or available to book only. When you book them no-one tells you they are now closed due to weather. So when you take your child there they tell them no. Even though you have booked. Cue upset child because 'I have booked it' to them means a promise its happening. Things advertised we never found like laser tag. Then on last day it was mentioned in on board brochure as a competition. Most of what was 'exciting' for children in clubs never actually happened. Says on todays agenda 'team ball sports' or whatever. Our lo would then get excited, she likes sport. ''No we played with playdough' or a game, she's nearly 11! This added to her anxiety and she wanted to go home after 3 days because of the lack of structure. So no-one enjoyed their holiday The only positives were staff were really kind and helpful right across the ship. The food when we could access it was nice. but we wont be travelling with you again. Cabin had very limited storage and balcony was obscured by the structure of the boat but they arent deal breakers Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We’ve just come back from a 14 night trip on the Independence which went to the western Mediterranean. It was a fantastic cruise and very little of our experience was anything like negative. However, a quick run down of the different ... Read More
We’ve just come back from a 14 night trip on the Independence which went to the western Mediterranean. It was a fantastic cruise and very little of our experience was anything like negative. However, a quick run down of the different bits we saw and did, follows! -- Windjammer -- We found the Windjammer a huge improvement on Vision of the Seas’s version. The seating is well spaced out and the furniture is nicer, meaning it’s an experience that’s generally nice, rather than a low quality fight for somewhere rubbish to sit to eat some food. We avoided it on Vision as much as we could. The guys with guitars singing for guests to wash their hands on the entrance were slightly amusing but completely unnecessary. Those who don’t wash their hands, won’t do so just because a couple of guys are singing at them. Also if you eat like a normal grown up human, you’ll use cutlery anyway! -- Izumi -- We were looking forward to some beautiful sushi (as we’d had on Vision) but this Izumi focuses far too much on Hibachi. Which essentially is a chef singing songs (expecting passenger participation) and flicking bits egg into guests’ mouths amongst other really “hilarious” things. My wife and I went on a formal night but we were sat around a chef with six others, none of whom were wearing anything smarter than t shirts. Made us feel awkwardly overdressed and we were completely unable to have a nice meal together. Izumi on Independence is very much expecting you to order their Hibachi combo meal. Don’t get me wrong, the chefs are very skilled but the food just tastes normal, like you’d expect for cooked Japanese food. Nothing special but $10 more than the dining package allows. We did order some sushi to have with the cooked food which was excellent but the atmosphere just didn’t fit with a nice meal out with your other half. In summary, don’t bother going to Izumi if you want a classy meal, don’t. It’s a slightly too expensive, too loud and too informal way to spend an evening eating what’s quite regular food. -- Chops Grille -- Fantastic - we ate there three times! Wonderful food and a really nice atmosphere and view. The seafood towers were great! Definitely worth every penny, especially as a package night. -- Main dining room -- The service was great, as is expected. We found that the menu was pretty boring though. Turns out that Royal Caribbean make the menu more British as the majority of the passengers are British. I’m sure it suited many but I don’t go on holiday to eat the same food as I make at home! By the way, they don’t have soup spoons. Eating soup with a dessert spoon takes ages and got boring! A strange lack of equipment for Royal Caribbean! I would say that the MDR is a nice dinner, but not special enough to look forward to. The food is great quality but not interesting - left me wondering whether I ought to have gone somewhere else (even Windjammer!) for dinner rather than spend 90 minutes eating unexciting food. -- Bars -- The bars were as expected, brilliant. Great staff and plentiful drinks. Schooner is a bit of a shame as it’s too much of a thoroughfare and seems to have a quiz on every half an hour. Our experience of Schooner on Vision of the Seas was a good one, but it was far more laid back and more music than quizzes (can’t remember any quizzes there actually). -- The pools -- Fantastic - facilities are brilliant. The rules about reserving beds aren’t worth the plastic they’re printed on though - nobody follows them and the staff don’t confiscate stuff left on them all day. People reserve beds at 7am on a sea day and don’t move all day. This is a huge issue that Royal Caribbean needs to sort out! -- The promenade -- We had loads of great evenings around the Promenade. The events and music make for a lovely evening atmosphere - and a party too some nights. We loved spending time here! -- Dress codes -- If you’re new to Royal Caribbean, the dress code for anything other than a formal night is anything from very informal to formal. On formal nights, if you wear a Tuxedo, you’ll be in a miniority - I reckon only 5% ish of passengers wear Tuxes. Generally most others makes an effort - but even so, don’t expect to be surrounded by those smarter people. Even in speciality restaurants, if you’re in shorts and a t shirt, you won’t be turned away on formal night. But if you are that person, do those of us who’ve made an effort a favour and stay in Windjammer please! -- The other passengers -- Generally, the (mainly British) passengers were fine. We did notice however fairly large groups from a certain northern city in England (not naming where, but you might be able to guess…) who unfortunately don’t travel with a lot of class - taking up huge areas of bars/pool areas with towels, getting drunker than is enjoyable for others nearby and being unable to maintain any eating manners or dress codes. These people yawped at each other (at one point, one group had a water/drinks fight in the pool bar…) and had little consideration for others. We found this description of group travellers to be in a surprising majority on the ship, maybe this city finished early for their school holidays. The serious point being that I’m not sure we’d sail from Southampton again because of it. The cruise wasn’t cheap but apparently price doesn’t guarantee any quality in fellow passengers! As advice for other travellers, think about whether this sort of group has a tendency to affect your enjoyment and plan your activities with this in mind. -- the destinations -- As with the other two cruises I’ve been on, I don’t really choose a cruise because of its destinations when it’s around Europe. Simply because European port cities can be a little samey. They were all pleasant (certainly Cagliari and Cadiz) but places like Naples were not good for those who aren’t great on their feet. We heard of injuries! -- overall -- I would happily do this cruise again. Nothing can be perfect and for a 14 night cruise, Royal Caribbean did an absolutely sterling job at it. My small observations are definitely only tiny issues. I will definitely be traveling with them again next time! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely ... Read More
Booked this cruise as had a money off certificate from the last RCI cruise. Embarkation took 10 minutes, we must have lucked out and arrived at the perfect time (1pm) Overall really enjoyed the cruise. Ship was clean with lovely decor. Stateroom was a good size (Balcony room) and the attendant did his thing every day very well. Dining. Food in the MDR was OK but nothing special, buffet was good with loads of different options. Had a choppes grill which was superb, highly recommend. Also the pizza at Sorrentos was absolutely delicious! We saw several of the shows (theatre and Ice) and they were all amazing. All the staff were really nice and friendly, but the bar staff seemed very busy in the evenings and they could do with more bar staff IMO My 2 gripes were that the ship felt a bit too busy/crowded at times, and that in the casino they literally want to screw you out of every last penny. The blackjack has the worst rules of any casino in the world coupled with 6/5 payoffs for a blackjack, which is an insult basically. Anyway if you are not a casino lover you will have a great time on Indy, but as we are gamblers my next cruise will be with NCL. Im sure they will be just as stingy but I feel I need to vote with my feet, Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We were offered a great deal on this 4 day cruise. We normally prefer the larger ships like Allure or Harmony, but this Freedom Class ship was excellent and a comfortable size. We opted for My Time dining but remained at the same table ... Read More
We were offered a great deal on this 4 day cruise. We normally prefer the larger ships like Allure or Harmony, but this Freedom Class ship was excellent and a comfortable size. We opted for My Time dining but remained at the same table every night because the waiter Hemanshu and his assistant Vijaysingh (VJ) were excellent. We are Casino Royale Prime members so drinks are free in the Casino for us. The bar was unusually busy due to the huge number of players in the casino--one of the bussiest I've seen in ages and we cruise a lot, like 5 times a year. Bartenders Hugo, Hugo2, and Elana could have used help--someone to schlep ice and glasses. They literally ran out of gin one night! Crazy! We only got off in Cozumel to buy vanilla and medical supplies. So much cheaper in Mexico. We are coming to Cozumel in June on the Allure with our grandkids, so we will do touristy stuff then. Independence premiered Grease on this cruise for the first time, and I have to say, it was as good if not better than the same show we saw last year on Harmony. The standing "O" lasted 5 minutes.There were 3 chances to see the Ice Show in 4 days, so it was not crowded. Another excellent show. I'm in awe of how RC books such great artists for such short cruises. As a side note, we were in the Sports Bar on Deck 4 when Tiger won the Masters. The crowd was out of their mind! Fun being in the middle of the chaos! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise with Carnival being the regular cruise line I go on every year. When I first got on the ship, they had a huge welcome cake in the Windjammer with two guys who were playing different songs getting ... Read More
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise with Carnival being the regular cruise line I go on every year. When I first got on the ship, they had a huge welcome cake in the Windjammer with two guys who were playing different songs getting you to wash your hands (really catchy and they could sing really well)! I was impressed by the amount of food they had although some of it was bland wish it had more flavor or was more sweeter ( red velvet cake). The activities they had on board were amazing and really fun to participate in. I went to the Living Room which is a teen club for teens ages 12-17 and it was way better than the Carnival teen club Club 02, with more people in it and a lot of activities. Although they didn't let you in if you were wet and you couldn't eat in there. The woman who cleaned my room always put my pajamas on my bed folded and was really nice when talking to her although I wasn't in the room often, I do wish I had a TV guide for when I was up late night and nothing was open. The ports we went to ( Labadee, Haiti & Falmouth, Jamaica) were beautiful and nice with music playing in Haiti and a shopping center in Jamaica. The excursion I did in Haiti was the Dragon roller coaster was very fun but scary at times going down fast on the turns. This is a very great family cruise for all ages including babies (my one year old went with my family and I). This is also great if you are wanting to do so much and learn so much from the activities. I definitely want to go on another Royal Caribbean cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I went on this cruise with adult family and we had a blast! I want to go again and take my 7 year old this time! The entertainment was absolutely amazing! We watched Greece and a Ice Show, the parade in the promenade, the promenade on this ... Read More
I went on this cruise with adult family and we had a blast! I want to go again and take my 7 year old this time! The entertainment was absolutely amazing! We watched Greece and a Ice Show, the parade in the promenade, the promenade on this ship is awesome!, the evening themed dances lol! My brother, who is 42 and has Down syndrome, loved all the contests! He did the sexiest man contest, and got 2nd place!, and the belly flop contest was too funny! We enjoyed the flow rider which I still can’t believe I did! We got and hour private lesson on this which is very worth the $! I loved that the buffet had a separate gluten free section and the pizza place in the promenade even had gluten free pizza! Oh and the coffee shop had gluten free cookies...it was easier to eat on the ship that going to a restaurant! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both ... Read More
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both got food poisoning from eggs Benedict and ruined the last day of our trip. We were sick in our room the rest of the day. They had the Grease show which was pretty good but the staff were very unorganized with keeping the guests waiting in an organized manner, making some wait at the top of the stairs while others lined up at the doors below in a separate line making people frustrated. The last part of the show had to stop due to technical difficulties so we left. The highlight of our trip was our Izumi sushi class and the Savannah Jack concert. There could have been more shows going on also as there was not much to choose from. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Amazing staff, amazing shows, amazing food, but please, please, please pay attention to dates of school breaks. The boat was overrun with barely dressed 12-16 year olds running wild. I'm amazed for a family ship they wont enforce a ... Read More
Amazing staff, amazing shows, amazing food, but please, please, please pay attention to dates of school breaks. The boat was overrun with barely dressed 12-16 year olds running wild. I'm amazed for a family ship they wont enforce a slight dress code and by slight I mean no side boobage from a 15 year old girl! And parents, watch your kids. We happened upon a fair share of kids on top of one another by the ping pong tables and back deck near the jogging track. Very awkward and shocking. I'm only 30 and was a bit caught off guard by the PDA of the teens. Onto the good....2 awesome water slides and a fun surfing simulator ride. But by far favorite was the entertainment. I cannot say enough how amazing Grease, Love and Marriage, and Crazy Quest were. Grease did cancel the first night so the crowd was a bit excessive the only other night it played but definitely worth it. Besides the mostly naked teens, the one other major disappointment was Coco Cay. The island beauty was overpowered by the construction. Right off the bat you are ferried from the boat through the middle of construction. While they try to separate the noise and chaos, it's just not possible as they were building cabanas right by the beach chairs. Overall, would do Royal again with my husband given there are no school breaks. As for family, so disappointed by the overly enthusiastic, hormone driven teens that we would go with Disney for family. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Independence of the Seas is definitely a ship that you should experience. The ship was updated, spacious, fun, and CLEAN! It never seemed busy, and you never had to wait for a drink. The staff was extremely friendly, and they seemed to ... Read More
Independence of the Seas is definitely a ship that you should experience. The ship was updated, spacious, fun, and CLEAN! It never seemed busy, and you never had to wait for a drink. The staff was extremely friendly, and they seemed to really enjoy their ship. CABIN: We originally booked an Ocean View room, but participated in the Royal Upgrade program. We were upgraded to an Ocean View Balcony and I will never book a room without a balcony again. The room was nice and clean. The room attendant was fantastic. I suggest ordering room service "complimentary" and enjoying it on the balcony. DINING: The food in the Main Dining Room was amazing, as always on a Royal Caribbean ship. The Windjammer Buffet is mediocre food, at best. Sorrento's has great pizza throughout the day and night. We did eat at Johnny Rocket's one day and it was not very good, so I do not recommend eating there. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment on this ship is the best I have seen on a cruise. The performers were all very talented and it was never cheesy like the other shows that I have seen. They did have an ABBA group perform and they were not very good. I enjoyed the Cruise Director because they were informative, but not in your face like on Carnival cruises. The announcements were brief and to the point. If you are ever to consider cruising on this ship, I would highly recommend it. It is great if you are a family or traveling as a couple. 5 out of 5 stars! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Pleasantly surprised by the size of the independence. Had been previously on oasis and found it overwhelming. Indy is the perfect size. The ship was not crowded at all and our cabin was one of the new ones on deck 12 and was extremely ... Read More
Pleasantly surprised by the size of the independence. Had been previously on oasis and found it overwhelming. Indy is the perfect size. The ship was not crowded at all and our cabin was one of the new ones on deck 12 and was extremely roomy. Enjoyed several movie night out on the deck under the stars. Grease was amazing however the theater itself was over crowded. Would have been nice if offered more than one night. The ice show was amazing also. We could have watched them skate for hours. The biggest complaint was dining room. Food bland, tables so close together the wait staff had to squeeze between and under staffed. The windjammer however was amazing! Are they trying to get you to pay more for the specialty dining?? The cruise overall was fun and relaxing. Decided 5 days too short. There needs to be s better way to disembark as the holding area was close to the casino and smelled terrible of cigarette smoke. All the bar tenders and wait staff were excellent and friendly around the ship. Going on the liberty in April and looking forward to comparing the two. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Took this cruise because the price was right. My issue of contention was the food in the windjammer and MDR. First off, the coffee was the worst i have ever had on the numerous cruises I have taken with CCL and RCCL. The food took too long ... Read More
Took this cruise because the price was right. My issue of contention was the food in the windjammer and MDR. First off, the coffee was the worst i have ever had on the numerous cruises I have taken with CCL and RCCL. The food took too long to be brougt to the table and no matter how many times i reminded the server that I wanted or had ordered a beverage, I neither got the chance to order and or received the beverage after meal had been consumed. The servers were friendly and pleasant. Don't know if they had staff shortages but the wait times were bad. The pool deck during the day had zero fun vibe. I might as well have been at a pool in a gated community. There was a band in Boleros whose song selection was extremely limited. I can honestly say that CCL with whom I also cruise has better bands, better, cruise directors, better comedians and better DJ's. The 70's party on the promenade was awesome. I did get a kick out of the traveling piano player. The 80's party was mediocre. Terrible song selection. Grease was good as was the ice skating show. Cruise Director Jamie while quite the dancer and mc/game show host was barely around. He was dynamic when hosting Quest and leading the 70's party. Apart from that,he was not heard from nor seen. The cabin steward was AWESOME. Can't say enough about her. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. ... Read More
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. Lots of complaints about this. It’s like Disney. You queue for everything. It’s as if this ship was over capicity.. it was mayhem. Good ok. Entertainment good. Anchour bar was good but the bar stank of sewage. But it was a good bar. Offered late checkout. Went to book it day before they said they had pulled it too and refunded the fee. It’s as if they where winging it. Rooms good space but tired. Had balcony. If you want to wait 10 minutes on a lift not know if things are happening after booking and be walking and walked upon go on this cruise. A glorified booze cruise. We where with our best friends another couple we made most of it and enjoyed it but more because of our friends who are seasoned cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I choose this cruise to try a different cruise company, we normally use P&O. The appearance of the ship was very nice inside and out, but we found it lacked activities. The weather wasn't the best which closed alot of the upper ... Read More
I choose this cruise to try a different cruise company, we normally use P&O. The appearance of the ship was very nice inside and out, but we found it lacked activities. The weather wasn't the best which closed alot of the upper deck activities, a pool and a couple of the hot tubes were closed for maintenance, we went below then found a bar closed for a private function. This made all other areas much fuller than they might have been. The standard of food at breakfast was poor, we struggled to find water that was hot enough to make a coffee. The evening meal and service was excellent, the waiter got to know us very quickly and made every evenings dinning experience a pleasure, probably the highlight of the cruise. The evening entertainment was okay but you had to be in early to get a seat, unfortunately a few technical issues kept letting things down. Generally the crew couldn't do enough for you, unfortunately it was the ship that let them and us down. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night cruise of Spain and the Canary Islands. It’s our second time on this ship and our fourth with RCI. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this holiday because I did, but there were a few issues that ... Read More
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night cruise of Spain and the Canary Islands. It’s our second time on this ship and our fourth with RCI. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this holiday because I did, but there were a few issues that prevent me from giving this a five star review. The ship and the staff are incredible. Despite being very busy we didn’t encounter any of the over-crowding problems mentioned in other reviews. It never took more than a couple of minutes to get a drink, even at busy times. The food was generally good. The main dining room seems to have slipped a little since last year, but it’s still good. The speciality restaurants are all excellent and not too expensive if you pre-book a dining package before you get on board. I enjoyed all the bars and felt we received great service from the staff right across the ship. The delux drinks package is well worth having, with a great selection of spirits and cocktails. What lets it down is the quality of the wines. The reds and whites are pretty poor and the “champagne” is awful. It’s a non-descript sparking French wine which smells like a clogged drain. Our cabin, a balcony on deck 6, was okay. It looked a little tired in the places and the carpets and curtains were outdated, but it was a good size and kept clean and tidy. I slept well every night, even in rough seas, so the bed was very comfortable. The entertainment was excellent. There’s a first-rate production of Grease and the ice shows are stunning. The themed nights on the promenade are good fun though they do get very crowded and hot. We had a party under the stars one night on the upper decks which was fun too. What let the holiday down for me was the large number of children and teenagers onboard. We deliberately went during school term time but this seemed to make no difference. I know the Scottish half term took place during this fortnight but most of the kids were English, meaning they’d been kept out school for this trip. It resulted in all the issues raised in previous reviews: kids running around unsupervised, playing in the lifts late at night, etc. We were also unfortunate to encounter a lot of Diamond class snobs on this cruise. They bragged about the Diamond lounge like it was the holy grail, then proceeded to moan about it: how small it is, how common it’s become, how there are too many diamond members on the ship and they were forced to mingle with the “riff raff”. We had four of these people on a table of eight at dinner and I found the constant moaning to be a drain, especially in the second week. Not RC’s fault, just the luck of draw for table seating. I wouldn’t like to think I’d ever go on a huge, beautiful ship and spend most of my time sitting in a single cafeteria-style room, not matter how many points I’d achieved, just to feel special. The itinerary was good, with a nice balance of sea and shore days. I always enjoy the sea days with plenty to do across the ship. We had a bit off iffy weather on the way back: 5 metre waves and 60 mph winds, but the ship handled it well and with the stabilizers engaged it wasn’t too bad at all. It took about six hours to get through the worst of it, which we spent on a low deck, midship with little to worry about. So, to summarise, Independence is a wonderful ship with lots of do and enjoy, let down by the odd issue here and there. But with the recent refit designed to appeal to families rather than couples, I don’t think I’ll be sailing on her, or any RC ship, anytime soon. I’d rather book with an adult only company and guarantee a child free, more relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
6th cruise with RCI, 2nd time on Independance and it will be the last. Standards have certainly slipped since the last time I sailed on her. Formal nights where guests are permitted into the Royal Dining room in track suit bottoms and polo ... Read More
6th cruise with RCI, 2nd time on Independance and it will be the last. Standards have certainly slipped since the last time I sailed on her. Formal nights where guests are permitted into the Royal Dining room in track suit bottoms and polo top ( I kid you not) plus an array of shorts, T-shirts etc. A few of us nic-named her Benidorm of the Seas and it seemed to fit the bill as many other people on board voiced the same concerns. The adition of extra cabins also had the effect of adding to an aleady crowded ship. This is the first cruise where I have had to queue for the Wind Jammer restaurant, on one ocassion for 20 minutes. Food standards have also slipped. After cruisng with Norweigan last year, RCI, are a long way behind in selection and quality of food served. A number of times, we had to send food back and wittnessed others do the same. Independance of the Seas has turned into somewhat of an 18-30s party ship full of fat beer swilling football fans complete with football shirts and in one case, a full Liverpool kit. Indy is in danger of being overtaken by Fred Olsen cruises in terms of class. We also crusied on Athem of the Seas 18 months ago and the difference in class is like chalk and cheese. Anthem is how a luxury cruise ship should be. We always buy the delux drink package which should cover most drinks to a value of $14 per drink, same as our previous cruises, however RCI have rasied the price of the drinks but not the limit on the drinks package which meant we were charged a few $ per glass in order to get a decent wine. On the plus side, Indy still has some of the best intertainment on the seas. Several well know comedians and great West End musical performances. Staff as ever are fansastic and can never do enough for you. I will still cruise with Royal Caribbean in the future, just not on Benidorm of the Seas Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First time on Indi -We chose the cruise for Norway Fjords Itinerary and were expecting a cold experience which we got ! however no struggle to get a sun bed ! ,the City ports were grey and disappointing so make sure you organise your ... Read More
First time on Indi -We chose the cruise for Norway Fjords Itinerary and were expecting a cold experience which we got ! however no struggle to get a sun bed ! ,the City ports were grey and disappointing so make sure you organise your excursions before you go or you will just wander around towns drinking coffee in Starbucks . On a positive note I found all crew very helpful and friendly and I genuinely did not have an issue the whole cruise , (something I have experienced before on a cruise )food was as expected good choice and quality ,service was a little slow in restaurant allow 1.5hrs + for all 3 courses ,we did My Time which never queued more than a couple of minutes to get a table -tip your waiters every night ! Big queues for breakfast in windjammer due to additional 105 cabins ,almost impossible to get a seat at any venue due to many people on ship (outside of schools term cannot imagine how busy it would be in summer) ,we found the quality and varied nature of entertainment to be fantastic and cruise director Joff an absolute hoot ! ,one issue is though all entertainment stops around 12-12.30 as star lounge cannot be used due to cabins above ,except Night club on deck 14,DJ was very good and did play requests ,no Karaoke venue ,half heated 30-40 minutes in Star Lounge -other guests commented this was removed to accommodate extra cabins ,also no soft-play for under 3's ,one other irritation RCI charging for what is free on NCL -Fish & Chips ,Burgers and nibbles in sports bar . Overall great cruise met loads of interesting people and would go on large RCI ships again but not to Fjords ! I am 3 stone heavier but less tanned than when I left Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We sailed onboard the ship for our 1st ever cruise on the Norway itinerary. We are in our early forties and always wanted to see the Fjords. Upon arrival at Southampton, the whole embarking process was flawless - having travelled by ... Read More
We sailed onboard the ship for our 1st ever cruise on the Norway itinerary. We are in our early forties and always wanted to see the Fjords. Upon arrival at Southampton, the whole embarking process was flawless - having travelled by air very frequently over the years, we found the whole process easy, pleasant and was on the ship within 30 minutes of getting out of our car next to the ship. Our experience of the ship was great - the staff were very attentive, helpful and really added to the trip. The decor was nice, we liked the amenities available (although we are not really into sun loungers or pools, so didn't use those facilities). The food standard was very good, the food in the MDR was good (although we generally either went to a speciality restaurant or the Windjammer most evenings). There were numerous bars are onboard with a variety of themes and acts that support them, The entrainment on the whole was good, we enjoyed the shows (Grease and the Ice Shows were the highlights). The street parties on the promenade were also enjoyable. The itinerary was fantastic - we was not disappointed with any of the port stops, although a lot was closed in Bergen (Sunday) however we wanted to go on the Funicular, so spend our time at the top then took a hop on - hop off bus round the area. The 8 nights were nothing short of excellent overall. Our only comment was the cabin whilst clean and maintained well by our cabin steward (special mention to Warner on Deck 7 - fantastic service and a credit to the ship), was showing signs of age (as were most, as the recent refurbishment only appears to have been done to cater for the incoming new cabins). Finally worth noting - many comments have been made on the subject of the changes causing overcrowding. Having not been onboard prior to this trip, it may be noticeable to previous guests, however on our trip we didn't feel this was the case. We did sail the last day of August, so not many children were on the ship compared too the previous several weeks and Norway isn't likely a family choice over the Med or the Canaries, so likely played a part in appearing to be lower in capacity. We liked our trip so much that within 4 days of being back - we have booked again for next year (to the Med - but out of school holidays). If the reviews gave you 2nd thoughts - our advice is give it a try. We are very glad we did. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Fifth and last time probably on this ship. Far to crowded and a very rough element now. A lot of people were evicted from the shp for bad behaviour, mainly brawling. MDR long wait for food and quality when it finally arrived not good. Far ... Read More
Fifth and last time probably on this ship. Far to crowded and a very rough element now. A lot of people were evicted from the shp for bad behaviour, mainly brawling. MDR long wait for food and quality when it finally arrived not good. Far to much asking us to applaud when they parade and tell us how wonderful they are. This is probably aimed at getting us to tip their poorly paid staff who are lovely and cant do enough for you. It really is aimed at extr acting aa much money as possible.from the passengers who are packed in like sardines and told they are having fun. Paying 18 dollars extra each for a shuttle bus to take us into a town which was advertised as the stop in the brochure ia not acceptable...Windjammer food very good if you are a meat and fish eater. We are not and lactose intolerant so we ate a lot of salad and pasta. The best part of our cruiae was Boleros where a latin band called Mattisse performed most nights. It was usually packed and no seats available unless we arrived early or were very lucky. We loved the dancing . We havw been cruising for over twenty years did overall enjoy ourselves but this was not the cruising we expected and paid for.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I LOVED this ship and was SO looking forward to going on her again. Imagine my disappointment to see all the negative changes. It made me very sad. Fewer common areas, replaced with many new cabins. Sadly, the infrastructure could ... Read More
I LOVED this ship and was SO looking forward to going on her again. Imagine my disappointment to see all the negative changes. It made me very sad. Fewer common areas, replaced with many new cabins. Sadly, the infrastructure could not accommodate the added passengers and service was severely sacrificed. I more often than not had to clear a table for myself in the Windjammer. Many more line ups were common. There was fighting in the bars and many teen age children were completely out of control. They were loud, disrespectful, fighting, knocking on doors late at night, dropping water bombs on passengers from several decks above, swearing at passengers, tossing pizza on the elevator floors, fighting with bar staff in trying to be served alcohol, spilling drinks and walking away.....etc. Neither parents or security were on top of it. It was like the kids were running the ship. Many older passengers were scared by them...it was disgusting!! No movie theatre for sea days. On the up side....the entertainment in the pub was GREAT!! We had lovely singalongs every night, made new friends, and Robbie knew every song ever written!! He sure knows how to entertain a crowd of multi ages and backgrounds!!! I saw Michael, in security, calm an explosive situation with grace and humour on more than one occassion. The Independece needs another Michael if they are going to continue letting grossly unruly kids run the ship! Crew staff were very friendly. The ship needed more staff. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect. The boarding was brilliant as my wife has mobility problems and we were fast tracked on the ship in 20 minutes from parking the car. However once we were on sea days we soon got ... Read More
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect. The boarding was brilliant as my wife has mobility problems and we were fast tracked on the ship in 20 minutes from parking the car. However once we were on sea days we soon got to see how overcrowded the ship was. only one evening were we able to get a seat in any of the bars and ended up taking drinks to our room, so lucky we had a balcony to enjoy. Sunbeds were also a dead loss, on sea days I gave up and just either had a drink in one of the bars or sat on our balcony. The entertainment was great with the highlight of the Grease show which was fantastic. Only one thing here, the bar staff make a noise with glasses at the back of the theatre which can be terrible if sitting at the back of the theatre. A sports bar has been added, and as it was world cup I thought this would be a good experience, but it caused nothing but trouble. Also it takes up far too much room which could have been addtional seating. I think if the ship wasn't so overcrowded it would have been a pleasant cruise, but I can't see Royal Carribean taking out those extra rooms so we can find a seat Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Covered some ports of call not previously visited. Marseille a bit of a disappointment. Food was more than adequate but trying to get a sharing table when on My Time Dining, proved very difficult. This is probably due to the extra 103 ... Read More
Covered some ports of call not previously visited. Marseille a bit of a disappointment. Food was more than adequate but trying to get a sharing table when on My Time Dining, proved very difficult. This is probably due to the extra 103 cabins included in the recent refit. This also showed in no sun beds available and every bar being crowded. We have been in this ship before but will not be doing so again. We enjoy the formal nights but so few people bother now it’s very uncomfortable for those that do try. Itinerary mentioned 3 formal nights and 3 smart casual with the remainder being casual. There were no smart casual so shorts could be seen in main dining rooms nightly; even on formal nights. Made friends with a couple where the wife was in a wheelchair. At times she was forced to be almost in the serving area to gain room for her chair. The whole ship is now aimed at young families and teenagers, who were continually running around the ship with little or no parental control. Walk around a corner in the evening and you were likely to encounter a small gang of feral kids. We don’t normally travel during school holidays and although English kids don’t break up until 18th or 19th, those in Scotland and Ireland appear to break up on the Friday before this cruise. RCI will lose many of its core customers as a result. Disembarkation was a mess. Had a time to leave the ship of 8.00 am. At 9am we were still sitting in the theatre waiting to be called. In the end we made our own way off by just joining the queue. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was my 3rd time on The Independence of the Seas, 6th time with Royal Caribbean and definitely my last. I was excited to see how they had renovated the ship as were the other 5 members of our party. How wrong we were. May I ... Read More
This was my 3rd time on The Independence of the Seas, 6th time with Royal Caribbean and definitely my last. I was excited to see how they had renovated the ship as were the other 5 members of our party. How wrong we were. May I point out I am usually not one to complain as I understand that sometimes things don't go to plan but we had a couple of main issues whilst onboard. -Drinks Packages & Shortage of Drinks Onboard Prior to setting sail I enquired about drinks packages, 4 of the party wished to purchase the Deluxe Package, myself the soda package and one of the party did not want a package at all. However, this is where the disappointment started. We were informed that due to new regulations it was either all or nothing. We did not want the drinks packages so that we could ‘drink excessively’ but more for the convenience of not having to sign for drinks on each purchase. Having being informed of new rules set by yourselves we ended up purchasing 4 Deluxe packages and 2 Royal Refreshment packages. This totalling £2821.84, £517.69 more than the package arrangement that we initially wanted. Further disappointment followed as on day 10 of the cruise, drinks began to run out. Only select beers, wines and sodas were available at the bars and pub. The pub eventually having no Peroni, San Miguel, Pinot Grigio, Tonic Water or Sprite Zero. Little alternatives were offered and we were left 4 days without our preferred drinks, which we had effectively paid for when we purchased our packages? -Overcrowding Another issue that was particularly apparent was the sheer overcrowding of the Independence during the 5 sea days. Having travelled before I understand that sea days are busier than those where we are in port. However, during this cruise it was noticeably worse than previous. Fellow guests began the reserving of sunbeds at 6:30am!!! This making it an unbeatable challenge to find any sunbeds after around 8:30am. Guests were sunbathing on the paths and sides of the pools and sunbeds were also so close that it was impossible to get onto them safely. I was extremely disappointed as for our party this holiday was about relaxing, which was impossible when we had to awake early to find a sunbed and there were no particularly peaceful areas to sunbathe. After speaking to fellow travellers we were not the only guests who found that the ship appeared overcrowded on this voyage. This overcrowding issue was also noted by guests in our party when trying to order speciality coffees at café promenade, with the wait being up to 25 minutes for a single coffee. A timeframe which I do not deem acceptable. The overcrowding issue also became apparent in the evenings before and after dinner, throughout all bars on the ship there was not one table or chair free for either before or after dinner drinks and the wait for being served was up to 30 minutes. From what we remember and understand about the Royal Caribbean brand this is not up to the usual standard, and it disappointed us, and was embarrassing with the first time cruisers. -The Stateroom Having staterooms located around the ship 7334, 7634 & 8220 we were disheartened to find that the cabins had not received any attention during the renovations earlier in the year. The same rusty bins, stained curtains and barely working TVs remained, issues which could’ve been resolved for little cost. This was slightly disappointing as stateroom 7334 could not use the TV, this was reported to guest services who later informed us that the TV was in working order, which it certainly was not. Our staterooms attendants for cabins 7334 & 7634 were also poor in comparison to previously cruises, leaving bins unemptied and tea making facilities were not replenished for up to 3 days at a time. This is not the usual standard and certainly not acceptable for Royal Caribbean. In summary, I have written to Royal Caribbean about the issues above, of which their response was 'Sorry but we have not broken any policies' and 'We never state when you purchase a drinks package that drinks will actually be available' I'm an emerald member and they can't even say 'Here's a free drink for those ones you missed out on' We paid £17,000+ for this cruise and left feeling extremely disappointed and sorry for those that have already booked to travel on this cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My 75th birthday treat and Bucket List "Go on a BIG SHIP". 4,128 passengers, 1,600 sunbeds. Overcrowded by about 1,000 passengers too many. Queues everywhere. Despite valiant staff service at bars is appalling that's if you ... Read More
My 75th birthday treat and Bucket List "Go on a BIG SHIP". 4,128 passengers, 1,600 sunbeds. Overcrowded by about 1,000 passengers too many. Queues everywhere. Despite valiant staff service at bars is appalling that's if you can get a seat. On non sun days there is an acute shortage of seats. Hence the high amount of scooters as this is the only way to guarantee a seat. The food in the MDR is mediocre as RCI want you in the premium restaurants. At meal times the MDR is less than half full as all are in Windjammer which is spacious and the food is quite good plus you can have as much as you like. The ship is beautiful and well appointed with good shows in the theatre. But the queues and lack of seating spoil everything. Plus the paying system at the bars takes longer than getting your drink. Cabin 1686 was lovely and well looked after by an attentive steward. In future will stick to a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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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