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
3 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Where to start.... Towards the end of January I got an offer for a cruise through MGM with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. I have never been on any of them and so I called and while speaking to the booking agent I asked what each one had as ... Read More
Where to start.... Towards the end of January I got an offer for a cruise through MGM with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. I have never been on any of them and so I called and while speaking to the booking agent I asked what each one had as far as entertainment and because there are alot of ships and cruises to choose from I decided to look online while he gave me my choices. I was told Independence of the seas was the best value so I pulled up the website and saw that it showed a ship thats in the pics I attached including the slides and big yellow circle thing plus a laser tag room and parade of holidays and flow rider ect ect. I said " oh cool it has lazer tag" the rep said yup its a great ship so I booked it. Then booked my flights which for some reason where extraordinary high. The cruise got closer and I wanted to start planning out what we would do. I went to the website again and started going through the activities and saw things that I didnt remeber being on the ship such as a thing called northstar and mystery dining theatre so I called and asked what was on the ship and if all these things were I was told no and a few of the things that were. Parade of holidays, mini gold, flow rider and rock wall so I then asked if I could find a full list online and she pointed me to the same page I was on so I said ok and went on with my day. 3 days before the cruise I saw a notice on the top of the independence of the seas page saying that the laser tag, slides, hibachi and trampoline thing would be added in the fall I was like what??? This notice was not there before. I called and asked and the ladie said oh yeah the slides are on there and then said well... wait can I put you on hold? I said sure she came back and said it would be added in April and I was like wait what? Why would you advertise a ship under false pretenses that it has certain things come to find out I even booked a easter cruise and only because I thought it already had all the main attractions I wanted. I told this to customer service and all zi got was im sorry but it has this... no mention to the [false advertisement] see pics for proof. I started thinking why is it ok to do that and I asked if I could block casino charges? I had to go so I was told that he would call me back with the answer he needed to check. I never got a call back. So I called customer service back and I also wanted to know if I could get a copie of the other activities on board and I was told only on the ship so the only way to use the "cruise planner" was for them to push you into buying more things. I did I purchased the Myan Ruines excursion (Also a review posted for this) First night dinner ( see chops review) , Grease insider view ( See Grease review) and finally a private Flow Rider lesson( see review) I called and spoke to the only nice person so far he told me that I needed to speak with club royal since it was booked through them and he understood the frustration plus he gave me most of the answers I needed which was I could take 2 7.5 ml of wine in carry on on the ship but no water. I would get juices for breakfast, water, lemonade and Icetea for other meals ect. And for sure thoses things would not be on the ship. Based on all the information I had I knew since thoses things were not on the ship that I would need internet. I Called back durring a small work break I had waited on hold 30 minutes and got this extremely rude and un carring representative. She told me too bad and that nothing could be done and then the call got disconnected and she called me back. I was working so didnt have a ton of time but wanted to get this taken care of and my issues noted because that is what the last guy told me. With attitude she told me that I would have to stay on hold while she contacts another department to see if she could do anything she came back a few times and demanded I stay on hold. Didnt ask me to hold said "you will have to hold" then I had to pick up a customer for work and I asked could she please call me back and leave a message or email me back she said " No! I was just doing this as a courtesy and i said well I have to work then she said" i can send you a no reply email, I dont even know if I have your email address is it xxxxxx?" I said yes and thank you she then said " Next time only call us when you have time!!" Wow rude rude rude. So needless to say this cruise started out very rocky. When arriving to the ship the first thing I did was go to guest services to explain the situation again because the email i got from here said we cant do anything but we will give you some champagne. I didnt ask for that. Anyway at guest services I also learned that the flow rider was only operating on 1 side the other was broke. Anyway I explained the rude service and the false advertising and was told that she would check with the manager and get back to me that day. I went to my room and it was fine except I found personal information from the last guest almost like the room wasn't completely cleaned and there was also mold in the corner of my room. There was only one power plug no where near the bed and the tv was fuzzy which i had to fix. I called and requested 3 more pillows and the beds to be seperated. We left and went to set up meals times which you must do on Royal unlike Norwegian where you can go anytime royal only had 2 dining time 530 and 8pm which was ok. We did 530 so we could catch the shows at 7 as most of the meals take about 1.5 to 2 hours. The first night dinner I decided to do Chops Grill I was not impressed. I felt like I would have got the same thing in the dining room the steak was alright but most of the sides didn't have good seasoning and the best thing they served was the grilled asparagus, I have eaten at other specialty restaurants on other ships and it was better. They didn't even have a chocolate souffle on the dessert menu only the same desserts the dining room not worth the $60 extra dollars. had We decided to go to the first show which was a comedian who was absolutely terrible I wanted to get up and walk out what a waste. I was very concerned after this show that it was going to a terrible cruise. We went back to our room and saw no pillows but the beds had been split. Went to bed and was woke up by the cruise director making an announcement of the day but utilizing the state room speaker not the hall and he did this at 8 am. They had a Sexy man alive contest and some good looking guys in it. But they chose to select for older women to judge it and they chose the obese older guy.. I felt this was a huge waste of time. This is just a small example. The following day was port in Cozumel. That morning I still had not heard from guest services about the internet or the false advertisement. I went back to guest services and spoke to mario who told me he was sorry and offered us some water since we had been lied to again. The port in Cozumel was great. I did the Mayan Ruins excursion and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done!!! Hands down the best part of the cruise. If you get a chance do this maybe on a diffrent ship. After Cozumel I had the grease show to see which was also very good the entertainers are top notch for the production shows. I did the insider view which gave me reserved seats in row 5 and a drink which was alright then after the show I got to meet the cast but it wasn't the whole cast only 6 of the 20 or so there are so I was a little disappointed in this. I did get a already taken signed picture by the whole cast so that was cool. Next day was Grand Cayman. We had to use other small boats to the beach side. I didn't get the water that was promised to me till 12 hours after I was told I would get it.. All room service was a service fee of almost $8 Including breakfast or water, Every cruise I have been on included free room service. They were also charging for spin class or yoga ect all they wanted to do was leach more money from everyone and everything.. Worst feeling ever.I eventually talked to mario again to check on what the "manager" said her name was sebena. Mario told me she wasn't available after going in the back room. I explained that I was going to be writing a review and all of a sudden she was available. While I was standing there there was another customer talking about a shaw that had been found and then stolen by a crew member and it belonged to their deceased family member but all she kept getting was excuses. There were alot of very unhappy customers. Everytime I went to the front desk someone was not happy and its easy to understand why. Sebena told me that they don't compensate on my claims and that my complaints where not really that bad. She told me that it wasn't false advertisement and the fact my room was not clean and all the other issues she could and would not give me internet. Finally after I told her about 9 things that were not the way they should be she offered a $50 credit to use on whatever I wanted. That was fair since there was nothing else anyone was going to do. I did use it for internet. It was also terrible always disconnecting and it actually messed up my location on my phone. Come to find out they were updating the system the whole cruise. Let me add a few more things The casino is a smoking area with no ventilation and in order to get to your room on deck 2 and not walk through a smoke filled casino you have to go up 2 decks .. what a bad design. The casino also has no regulations and if you are not a VIP they charge a 5% fee to just put the charge on your ship account .. like I said nickle and dime. Machines are tight and just take take take. Casino staff are rude. The quest game show is a blast dont miss this. Ice skating show was also pretty good. That's really all I have to say. Look for my other reviews on tripadvisor Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
It had been 8 years since we had taken our first ever cruise which was on Independence Of The Seas on a Mediterranean trip from Southampton. So this trip was a bit of a nostalgia visit on a similar itinerary with the same participants, ... Read More
It had been 8 years since we had taken our first ever cruise which was on Independence Of The Seas on a Mediterranean trip from Southampton. So this trip was a bit of a nostalgia visit on a similar itinerary with the same participants, me, my husband, Mum and Sister. This isn't a port review, there is a lot of port info elsewhere for those needing it. Boarding We arrived at Southampton at about 11am and used the official car parking service. We were onboard within 10 minutes mainly as Mum was in a wheelchair with dedicated check in desks however the other lines were pretty short as well. We were greeted with champagne on boarding, something we've only experienced on Celebrity before. We went straight out on deck as the weather was very pleasant and sat and had our first drink. We got the free Deluxe Drinks package as a perk and started to test it out....... We got a few small plates of food from the windjammer which included the first plate, of many on this cruise, of delicious large shrimp and took them back outside with us. Cabin Cabins were ready at 1pm and we had two Deluxe Balcony cabins close to the centrum lifts on deck 6 (6626/6628). These were classed as interconnecting but strangely the sofa in one cabin blocked the interconnecting door and it had been taped up on the other side, not that we wanted to use it. Having been on Anthem and Oasis since our first Indy cruise the decor struck us as a little more dated however in practice the cabin layout works very well. There is a good circulation space, lots of storage, a good sized balcony and all round the cabin was well maintained. After the first night however I realised the bed was way too soft and I took a look and found an old sagging mattress with egg crate foam on top and two mattress toppers. If you like to sink into a bed you would love it but it offered no support. Anyway we got this swapped out for a brand new mattress on day 2. The location was super convenient for the lifts and stairs and was probably the quietest cabin we have ever had. No creaks or rattles at all. Dining We had Mytime Dining in the King Lear level of the main dining room. It is nice to enter this big impressive space with the huge Chandelier. I had pre reserved 7.30 times for each night in advance online. In practice this worked out really well. We could have pre dinner drinks just after people had vacated the bars for early dining then arrive back into the bars after dinner whilst early diners were at the show and late diners were still eating. This gave us a free choice of where to have a drink and we mixed it up every night though the bars all became packed later. Our favourite place was the Olive or Twist bar up in the Viking Crown lounge with its superb views. We had booked the BOGO dining offer for the first two nights and chose Chops for both evenings. This was extremely good value and made a nice start to the holiday. It was a shame the menu had been changed recently and had less choice (no scallops for instance). After these first two nights we took up our reservations in the MDR. On the first night we were seated on a table for 4 at the back near the exit from the kitchens. This wasn't great as there was a constant stream of waiters passing by and it felt uncomfortable and less than relaxing. When we exited I mentioned this to the Maitre D' who said he would seat us somewhere else the next night. The next night he did seat us somewhere else, on the next table to the one on the previous night, by the corridor for the waiters and next to a serving station. I returned to the Maitre D', had a moan and we got a table in the centre of the floor from that night onwards. Our waiters were superb. Nothing was too much trouble and on the whole we were fairly picky eaters. I asked for some extra vegetables on the first night and the sharing vegetable plate they provided grew larger each night with lovely snow peas, asparagus and French beans. The menus were less interesting than our experience on Oasis in Feb/Mar which was trialling the new menus which were a lot better in our opinion. The choice was wide but there were some strange combinations (who needs a choice of 2 onion soups on one nights' menu). The food overall was nicely presented but we had several instances of cold food, some sauces that had no taste at all and some deserts that sounded nice but in reality were not great (pecan pie for instance was very dry and hard and Crewe caramel that wasn't crisp but was runny). However we enjoyed the experience more than the food and our service made up for the menu/food issues. I have to mention breakfast. I don't know if we missed this 8 years ago and on our Anthem and Oasis trips, but the choice was excellent. Of course there was the windjammer which had a great choice of options but we struggled to find a table easily. On Deck 5 they had the waiter service a la carte breakfast which we tried once. Very nice but a bit lengthy for us. Then on Deck 3 they had a buffet breakfast but with waiter served drinks. This suited us very well. No problem getting a table. A much more relaxed environment and a good choice of options, though of course less than in the windjammer. To have a choice of full a la carte in the MDR, buffet breakfast in the MDR and full buffet breakfast in the windjammer is a great feature. For lunch we ate in the Windjammer each day apart from one sea day in the MDR where we had the buffet lunch which was excellent. My Mum loves shrimp and the windjammer had shrimp about every third day and lobster 4 times during the cruise. This was such a treat. There was a good choice of curries (for the Brits) which were excellent. Lots of roast meats, the usual burgers and hot dogs and delicious chicken burgers. The choices changed each day and you would have to be very fussy not to have enjoyed a great choice and nice food up here. On the next to last day we had the bottomless brunch. This was a freebie because of an issue we experienced onboard. You gathered on the deck 4 dining room, had a glass of champagne, signed a health waiver and then were taken into the galley in groups of 20. The tour made me realise that any switches we requested via our waiters each night must have added a lot of hassle for them when selecting our choices in the waiter line up. After the tour we sat at tables with antipasto laid out and then a three course menu option. However they said they also had (off menu) a surf and turf of lobster and fillet minion which the majority went for. The champagne was free flowing. A lovely lunch and would actually be worth the fee if you want to enjoy a galley tour and a hearty brunch. To add one note that affects all Dining onboard, any dish marked as vegetarian suitable but which contains cheese isn't vegetarian as the cheese used contains animal rennet. This is common across American cruise lines but for any UK cruisers used to relying on vegetarian symbols on menus being accurate this might be an issue that affects you. Drinks. We had the free Deluxe Drinks package included and we made good use of it. From Coffees in the Promenade Cafe and fresh orange juice with breakfast to bottles of water for trips ashore and of course pre dinner cocktails and wine with dinner. The choices were varied and bar service was very good. I would say over 75% of the passengers had the 'free' package but that didn't impact on the service. On deck by the pool the service was amazing. Not a minute went by without a waiter passing. Clearly Royal have incentivised the waiters to provide drinks (albeit free) and it shows. We've never had such good poolside bar service. Being an ex UK cruise the Dog and Badger pub was the busiest venue, pretty much all day and even served potato chips on football match days. We had a bit of an issue with canned soda as some venues said it was included, others said they had to open the can before they gave it to you and others said the package only included fountain soda. A conversation with someone from food and beverage confirmed sealed, canned soda was included in the package so eventually we managed to get just that (useful for the mini bar fridge and trips ashore) Pools We had great weather on this cruise. Apart from the first and last days. The decks got busy, especially the prime spots, but we got up early and grabbed good positions. There were warnings in the cruise compass advising not to leave sunbeds for more than 30 mins and we did see them logging reserved beds and even removing some belongings. I would say they seemed more proactive earlier on when the beds were filling up but less visible when the pool decks were full. They had films on the outdoor screen twice a day. There were 160 kids on this cruise which was a pretty low number and we didn't see them at all, presumably the kids clubs kept them entertained. As a consequence the H2O pool area was the quietest area on deck, no kids and no bands playing. The pool sunbeds looked pretty new and were much better than the rubber strap type that they previously had. In fact the balcony furniture looked pretty new too as did the chairs on the deck 4 outside Promenade deck. They had a couple of poolside buffets, one was a massive paella dish with so much meat and seafood and another had shrimp, lobster, burgers etc. A nice addition but as they were not in the compass it was pot luck if you happened to spot them, luckily we did. Lifeguards at every pool must be reassuring for families. On a couple of hot sea days staff came round the outside decks with melon and strawberries. Don't remember this previously and it's a nice little touch. Entertainment It's been our view for a while that Royal has good entertainment. From a packed programme of quizzes and talks to golf, climbing walls, flowrider. The cruise director was Joff Eaton. Perfect for a U.K market and this cruise was 95% British. His Quest hosting was about the best we've seen and his morning tv shows were very quirky but fun. We didn't see a lot of the theatre shows. We went to a magician but from the upper tier you couldn't see a thing. Joff said the act didn't like cameras and tv screens and perhaps then they shouldn't book him if half the audience cannot see his tricks. Royal seem to have stolen The Liars club idea from Celebrity and we went to that. Instead of crew members on Celebrity it was the entertainment staff and was fun. Grease was on twice on the third to last evening and on the last sea day as a matinee. It was excellent. Perfectly suited to a cruise ship performance. Great vocals with outstanding dance routines. We went to the 6 o'clock show and when we exited at 7.30 there were queues for the 9 o'clock show. We went to both ice shows, although the fast forward show was the same as 8 years ago (really?). Very good, professional and a great choice of music to accompany the skating. Disembarkation. We had requested the earliest disembarkation slot and got it. We exited exactly on our 7am slot and were in our car by 7.10. Very smooth and easy. So how to summarise our return to the Independence. Overall we enjoyed it. Lots to do, friendly staff, great bar service, great entertainment, good dining room service, variable dining room evening food, excellent windjammer options, great breakfast dining choices, good sized cabins but slightly dated and a 10 yr old ship which is being kept in good shape. However, having been on Oasis, and more so Anthem, Indy feels slightly less sparkly and modern. It was lovely to sail on her again but I'm not sure we will be back onboard again. Also whilst we like the Royal Promenade, you are made to feel the volume of passengers onboard when using this thoroughfare and Celebrity's S Class ships spread the passenger load out much more efficiently. Indeed evenOasis with its massive passenger load felt less crowded. This was also a very British cruise. This may sound strange from a Brit but we have come to enjoy meeting people from elsewhere on our cruises and like a mix of cultures but clearly Indy is very much loved by Brits and there were so many repeat guests with some who have only ever cruised on her and never wanted to try another ship or cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We (my Wife and I + 2 first time cruiser friends) have just returned from our 3rd, and most enjoyable RCI cruise to date. Firstly I'd like to mention how good the staff were,  our cruise director Marc was the most active, most ... Read More
We (my Wife and I + 2 first time cruiser friends) have just returned from our 3rd, and most enjoyable RCI cruise to date. Firstly I'd like to mention how good the staff were,  our cruise director Marc was the most active, most pleasant and happiest cruise director we have ever come across.  He was absolutely brilliant. The sports entertainment team on the sports deck were again fantastic, some great sporting events in the sports court organised and any of they that could precipitate did (we would have enjoyed more Quik-Cricket - we met some great guys to spend our evenings with each time we played) Secondly, food, after reading reviews on CC we were very pleasantly surprised how good the food in all the restaurants on the ship were - after being on Anthem with 4 free MDR restaurants and then being a little disappointed when on Serenade with just 1 MDR I Wrongly assumed that The Independence had 3 MDRs (King Lear, Romeo & Juliet etc) we realised that the names were just the different floors of the same MDR.  but, even so, the food was, good-very good on our 6 visits over the 14 nights. Chops Grille - 4 times - Very Good, just as we expected from our other two RCI sailings Giovanni's Table - 4 times - on this ship Exceptional!  Brilliant staff, brilliant manager, fantastic food - one point well worthly a mention - my Wife's favourite dish is Spaghetti Carbonara,  sadly this is not on the menu, nor is my favourite spaghetti Bolognese, after having our favourite meals in Rome we asked the manager of Giovani's why it wasn't on the menu - to our delight he said "just ask'.  We have all the ingredients on ship, We can make you anything if you ask for it - so, the next night, we did.  It was the best carbonara we had ever tasted! Even better that the meal we had in Rome the day before! Our cabin, 3608 was just as we expected inside, I was a little worried that the proximity to the OnAir Karaoke bar would have been audible, but it wasn't at all,  one slight inconvenience worth mentioning for deck 3 is, due to the ice rink in studio B means you cannot travel the length of the ship (front to back) on deck 3  this was annoying on the 1st day, but because of this our corridor was not used as a thoroughfare for other passengers which was great. The entertainment was very good,  Grease was brilliant, the ice shows were very good, Darren Day was great,  2 comedians were good too. -  the staff run game shows were, as always brilliant, but Tom and Polly made them even better (The Quest and Love and Marriage my personal favourite) The shore excision choices on this cruise were a little disappointing from what we are used too in the Caribbean, but we booked 5 anyway, they were organised well, however annoyingly after a 2 hour coach ride to the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo we were told trainers were not allowed (this was not printed on the ticket).  Also my wife is a massive Dressage fan and was really looking forward to the Horse Dressage rehearsal,  this was cancelled by the ship on our first day,  we assumed it was due to lack of participation, however the day we visited Cadiz the rehearsals were not on. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my third RCL ship and my first Transatlantic crossing, I really have to say that it met all my expectations, Having just come back from a Baltic cruise on Norwegian as well, I give RCL higher points all around. The ship is ... Read More
This was my third RCL ship and my first Transatlantic crossing, I really have to say that it met all my expectations, Having just come back from a Baltic cruise on Norwegian as well, I give RCL higher points all around. The ship is beautiful and spacious and while we were not sailing at full passenger capacity, there were waits for dining at both seatings, common in most cruise ships. Food I think the overall quality was very good, better in the ships main dining room, but more than adequate in the Windjammer cafe where I had breakfast and lunch most days. There were always healthy choices to eat, and for me that was great as I tend to eat salads and lighter meals for lunch. Dining room service was excellent, quick and attentive, Dining Room staff were friendly and fun as well. The Romeo and Juliet Dining Room is beautiful and spacious. Overall food quality was superior to my experience with NCL, but the "My Time" dining option is really "There Time", meaning we had to agree to dine at the same time every evening o order to avoid a wait for a table. Sort of defeats the purpose. The specialty restaurant Giovanni's was good and good bargain with a 25 dollar cover charge added for a 3 course meal in a very spacious room and unhurried setting. Excursions Shore excursions were ok, again we only had 3 ports of call as this was a TA cruise, I have been to the caribbean many timers and wasn't really looking for a fantastic island experience as that is difficult when port stops are 8 hours or less. Entertainment This is one area where I felt the ship could improve, only 1 big full cast production in 14 days, and while very good, would have been nice to have more choice. Comedy act were just ok, I did not attend any ice shows. Ship layout Not everyone is going to love the Royal Promenade but for folks with a disability it actually can work well, as the main street style of venues and shopping make it easier to visit without constantly changing decks. The soaring atrium is spectacular and alleviates any claustrophobia while on board. The boat deck is wide and spacious on decks 4 and 5 and became my exercise venue of choice for deck walks. The fitness center is excellent and the equipment is plentiful in good working order. The ship had an outdoor jogging track as well. My cabin was an inside stateroom on Deck 7 and my friends cabin was an ocean view stateroom on Deck 3, both of us had plenty of room and liked the amenities. We locked out on our weather and we only had 1 day of rough seas but the ship used the stabilizers to keep rocking to a minimum. 9 sea days won't work for everyone, but for me it was heaven, got to read 2 entire books sitting on deck chairs or curled up in a nook in the ship and the IOTS has many such spaces to get away form fellow passengers including a library. The internet was ridiculously overpriced and not worth it but for the 1 or 2 emails I needed to send to confirm UK travel arrangements. Disembarkation was flawless in Southampton and we were literally in London in 1.5 hours by car. I had a fantastic experience on the IOTS overall, would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my fifteenth cruise overall, my second cruise with Royal Caribbean. The ship was beautiful and appeared to be well kept. High points were many of the staff, particularly the bartending staff in the Champagne Lounge. The ... Read More
This was my fifteenth cruise overall, my second cruise with Royal Caribbean. The ship was beautiful and appeared to be well kept. High points were many of the staff, particularly the bartending staff in the Champagne Lounge. The dining week started off in the Main Dining Room. The first couple of nights the food was OK, but nothing exciting. Menu options were limited and as the week went on, the quality of the food in the main dining room decreased. I was seated at a table for 14. The table was too large for conversation and despite the best efforts of the waiter and the asst. waiter, it took quite a while to receive our dinners. Many people at the other tables had left prior to our getting our dinner. Final conclusion - a table of 14 is much too large for a pleasant dining experience. The Windjammer Buffet selection was OK. It would have been nice to have had condiments on the tables instead of in McDonald's-like dispensers at various locations, perhaps not having the large dispensers would have eased some of the traffic congestion in the buffet area. Food was delicious and service was superior in both Chops and Giovanni's Table, while Johnny Rockets was a great time with great burgers! I would have liked to have had a place where I could enjoy my breakfast or lunch outside. The lack of outside dining opportunities on this ship was definitely noticeable. I was part of a large group with private events. The first event we had in Studio B, had the bar set up in the front door, which became a major obstacle getting in and out of the venue. They ran out of ice and ran out of some liquors. Once one of the passengers (who works in the Hotel and Bar Industry) contacted the Food and Beverage Manager on the ship, most of the issues were taken care of. Even after the phone call, the bar in the venue was still was missing a number of commonly used fruit juices, which limited drink choices. Services in the salon were good, but as with all Ship salons, extremely overpriced. The biggest issue that affected me was the number of dirty dishes left about in the hallways. It seemed that dishes from Room Service sat on the floor outside of cabins for hours. There was one alcove on Deck 8 on the starboard side, where I know that dirty dishes sat for at least 48 hours. Overall, I will have to give this cruise a 3. The cruise was neither exceptional nor was it unacceptable. The few instances of great service were brought down by so many instances of poor service. Sadly, after about day three I remembered why it had been eight years since my last Royal Caribbean Cruise. It is highly doubtful whether I will cruise with Royal Caribbean in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Embarkation was very smooth, as we stayed in the Presidential Suite, and had priority boarding.the room was ready when we got on board, and luggage was delivered soon after. We were part of the concierge club, which was a great bonus, as ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth, as we stayed in the Presidential Suite, and had priority boarding.the room was ready when we got on board, and luggage was delivered soon after. We were part of the concierge club, which was a great bonus, as we had access to exclusive services and evening access to appetizers and beverages. The boat was beautiful, well maintained and the staff were very friendly. The food was delicious in all venues, especially Giovanni's the Italian family style restaurant. We had access to the dining room menu for room service which was great, since traveling with small children. The pools were great, and the h2o zone was awesome for adults and kids, as it had the only heated pool on the ship. The adults only solarium was very relaxing and had the cantilevered hot tub-awesome! The shows were great, had very talented performers and the ice shows were great as well. Our room was 6414 the presidential suite. It has 2 master bedrooms, one slightly larger than the other, both with bathrooms including tubs. Also had 2 regular bedrooms with 2 upper bunks in each and hall bathrooms as well. All rooms were very spacious and comfortable. The living room had plenty of seating and dining table. The balcony was very large with a huge table and several lounge chairs and regular chairs with side tables. There was a bar with sink and sub zero fridge as well as a 6 person hot tub - amazing!!! Our steward Eunice was amazing and our concierge Raj was so helpful. In all, we had a great time with 6 adults and 3 kids in this suite, plenty of room and things to do! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Royal Caribbean International is not my favorite CRUISE LINE by far at the moment AND YOU SHOULD KNOW WHY SO YOU ARE AWARE! We left Port Everglades out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The first 3 days were GREAT, Fun and loved our Excursions. We ... Read More
Royal Caribbean International is not my favorite CRUISE LINE by far at the moment AND YOU SHOULD KNOW WHY SO YOU ARE AWARE! We left Port Everglades out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The first 3 days were GREAT, Fun and loved our Excursions. We were on a 6 day Cruise. Dining appeared good. Good food and even the buffet was easy to get to and yummy food. We were put in Isolation for Norovirus from the ship's Doctor for 24 hours although remained sick for 3 days, bound to the Stateroom. So 3 days good/3 days evil. The Cruise cost us $931.00 each. The amount they sent us as a Cruise Credit was $112. Upon calling I was told this was the actual time told to stay in your room, (told 24 hours & they posted a man outside our door for that time). The time you were treated in the Infirmary doesn't count, nor your sick days, we were told. Also, she informed me this must be used within a year, through a travel agent, towards a full fare no discounts or double dipping from an agent. Would you say I just received a useless piece of paper? All the "WOW" Factors they advertise, just went down the toilet for me & thought you should know too. When they make a promise to reimburse you, DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH! p.s. We were informed on the side by the Doctor's Staff that they had us all do a log of everything we ate, where we received food from and where we sat, etc. They tracked the Virus to a lot of Bad Fish brought on board. It happens, but would you think maybe an upgrade or on-board credit would have been better than $112 that becomes unwanted if you have to pay a full fare and no discounts or you could not use their $112 piece of paper? humm. p.s.s. Due to our illness the Disembarkation was a breeze. No one wanted to touch us or our luggage and we were escorted separately. Our luggage and us were marked with White Tags. I would probably try Celebrity but have a BAD Feeling for RCL. Read Less
Independence of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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