315 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Cruise Reviews

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
We have a varied cruising history choosing destinations rather than a particular company. However this cruise has on one hand fulfilled two really good destinations in Italy. At the same disappointing us on several levels. One as we have ... Read More
We have a varied cruising history choosing destinations rather than a particular company. However this cruise has on one hand fulfilled two really good destinations in Italy. At the same disappointing us on several levels. One as we have mentioned above witnessed quite a few people in shorts and uncollared t shirts in the main dining venues at night. This was unfair on the people who follow the dress code stated in the brochure. Two RCI are using every opportunity to squeeze every penny out of the fare paying passengers who have already paid a fare price for the service expected. Three it seems to me that the ship was overcrowded because the company are inviting guests to pay a very small amount for cruising losing the ethos of how a cruise should be. The extra rooms have lead to overcrowding in all public areas.we were really looking forward to going on independence having heard lots of good reports but sadly was let down by the above combination of events. Therefore next time we will bypass the independence and any other refurbished ships with more rooms added. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The check in at Southampton was flawless and smooth. We quickly boarded the ship and as usual had to wait for our room to be ready. We were in an inside room overlooking the Royal Promenade and it was good. The Cruise Director Marc just ... Read More
The check in at Southampton was flawless and smooth. We quickly boarded the ship and as usual had to wait for our room to be ready. We were in an inside room overlooking the Royal Promenade and it was good. The Cruise Director Marc just "seemed to be going through the motions" of his job. We NEVER saw him other than at events, and even then. he was too busy to spend time with passengers. The captain was HEARD at noon and evening announcements., but never seen except at the Captain's Corner. We are used to CD's being out and about and greeting guests, but not Marc. We are used to seeing Captains of the ship in the lounges, but not our captain. This was just a mediocre cruise. Going thru the motions! Dining was the usual only the beef was just average. No taste, no texture. "Just going through the motions". I cannot tell you HOW many times we have seen that singer who imitates Celine Dion, but she was just average. There were 2 comedians who were good, but the others were flat. The ice skaters were FABULOUS! Our dining waiter, Malachi, and his assistant waiter Mr. Thomas were GREAT! Their section manager Carmen was also friendly and visited our table almost every night. VERY good. The reason that we took this cruise was the ports. We had not been to Lisbon, Gibraltar or Toulon, and these were nice ports and tours. The other ports we had visited, and we enjoyed them too. Other CC members have said that the ship looked old.........it DOES. It goes into dry dock next year and will be updated. Sad to see the shape of this ship today versus 7 years ago! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First, Southampton is fabulous for the easy of embarkation! Great job!!! So easy. We boarded early and it was about 8 GBP (pounds) fare from Southampton Central Station to the ship. Easy to get on and reacquaint ourselves with Indy. We had ... Read More
First, Southampton is fabulous for the easy of embarkation! Great job!!! So easy. We boarded early and it was about 8 GBP (pounds) fare from Southampton Central Station to the ship. Easy to get on and reacquaint ourselves with Indy. We had an inside cabin overlooking the Royal Promenade which saved us hundreds off the original balcony room that we had. Guest Relations was FANTASTIC! They teased us (and vice versa) with their Unicorn (the mascot who has her own crew badge) and our Petunia (a hippopotamus) and Eeyore (a donkey). Our waiter was the ultimate GREAT buddy every evening. Malachi and Mr. Thomas (the back waiter) were Fantastic. Now - -for the grim news. WHERE was our Captain?? Absent without leave??? We NEVER saw him except for the mandated appearance (Captain's Corner and photo night). Marc the Cruise Director???Toooooo busy to talk with us mortals! Almost EVERY RCI ship that we've been on has either the CD or Captain visit the lounges, walk the ship or just say "hi" but NOT these two! The entertainment was quite good. The Ice Shows were utterly fantastic and scared many of us old cruisers. Wonderful Talent and we THANK THEM for sharing their talent with us. The stand up comedian was hilarious. The rest - - we've seen. We have been to most of the ports before and had our own tour of Fatima with a private vendor. ONE OF THE BEST TOURS OF OUR LIFE! Many of the crew on the ship were "just going through the motions". There was very little spontaneity. While on this cruise we asked ourselves "after almost 300 nights with RCI, is THIS the best that they can provide??" Just so-so, check the box, and say that the job is done. I've seen other reviews, many from early cruisers, and I am VERY glad to see that they loved the ship, but for experienced cruisers - - - "Eh?". Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Ticked all the boxes including free drinks package when booking. Not enough daytime lectures/talks (Lady who delivered talks on pop stars had a poor delivery style). There were a number of quizzes but the venues got so full that it ... Read More
Ticked all the boxes including free drinks package when booking. Not enough daytime lectures/talks (Lady who delivered talks on pop stars had a poor delivery style). There were a number of quizzes but the venues got so full that it was very difficult to find seats. Great service by restaurant and bar staff who, for me, went out of their way to be pleasant and helpful. Some good entertainment - ?ice Skating and cast shows (Grease for example) were excellent, but too many comedians? It needed more variety. Health and fitness talks were merely a 'front' for hooking you in to buy their products. Once you are aware of this then you can deal with it - but it can be a hard sell and when you reject their first attempt, they try keep going with alternatives. Beware! 4,000 passengers seemed to mean that it was always full in all the public areas. Overall, good weather in Med in autumn and a reasonable experience made it worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is our 10th Cruise, predominantly on RCL and Celebrity, but we have done Princess and P&O. as well. Went with friends who wanted to take lots of luggage, hence we chose a Southampton Sailing, to be honest, to Ports we had mostly ... Read More
This is our 10th Cruise, predominantly on RCL and Celebrity, but we have done Princess and P&O. as well. Went with friends who wanted to take lots of luggage, hence we chose a Southampton Sailing, to be honest, to Ports we had mostly done before. So a little apprehensive, we love the standard of Celebrity so a lot to live up to. Firstly embarkation was quick, although it was after two when the Eavesway coach got us there. We had a Balcony cabin on Deck 6 which was good, plenty of space and a decent balcony, clean and tidy. The Ship is ready for its re-fit next year and the wear and tear is staring to show, it won't spoil your Cruise but you can see it needs refreshing in places. The worst part about a Southampton sailing, especially in October is the Bay of Biscay, which was quite choppy on the way out, making us all feel a little queezy and too cold to sunbathe, so we felt the first couple of days were a little wasted, same coming home. DINING: We were in the queue for My Time Dining which is ideal but we were given a 8.30 Set Dining. We asked to change to MTD but we were told there was a long waiting list so chose to go for a 6pm Sitting. This is the first time we have had a set sitting and it dictates your day. 8.30pm is too late and 6pm too early, especially if your have been out on a trip all day. The food was very good, although the portions can be a little small at times, 4 Breaded Mushrooms as a starter on the last night was a joke. As the two weeks went on less and less people used the Dining Room, either they wanted a greater choice, larger portions or the flexibility to dine when they wanted, hence they ended up in the Windjammer, which did have excellent food all the time. We ate in Chops Grille one night, the portions were huge, the Steak was amazing, we were so full after this meal, well worth the extra money. I suggest you insist on MTD when you book, that way you can please yourself when you eat. ENTERTAINMENT Outstanding Cruise Director Mark and his team, outstanding shows from the Singers and Dancers and great acts throughout. A number of Comedians, a Ventriloquist, an outstanding Hypnotist and the "Grease" Show was amazing. Would be hard to beat the standard of entertainment on any Ship. The shows were 7 and 9 most night but you needed to be an half hour early for the 9pm show as it filled up to capacity. The ICE Shows were also extremely good. Only complaint may be that if you have done INDY before then you will have probably seen the main shows and the ICE Show before. But overall excellent. The "Love and Marriage " Game Show was memorable, even the Cruise Director said he had not experienced anything like that before, so funny, but a little naughty, least said !! Daytime activities were ok, we were a little disappointed they had de-commissioned the Golf Simulator as we are keen Golfers and was looking forward to using this. The Parties on the promenade were excellent, great fun singing along and dancing to the Cruise entertainment team, they worked really hard. PORTS. Malaga and Cartagena, just walked ashore, both lovely places to look round. Rome- 1.5 hours on the Coach to Rome, then had 5 hours free time, worked well as we had done Rome before, so we could wander where we wanted this time. Livorno, just did a Wine Tasting trip in the afternoon, very nice, and lots of Wine. Provence- went to Cassis, lovely fishing village, and on route the Bus goes up the mountain, spectacular views and amazing photos at the top. Gibraltar and Lisbon, both are easy to walk in and look around. DRESS CODE/PEOPLE The Cruise was just into the new School term so very few children on board, the demographic was mainly over 60, a lot of Wheelchairs and motorised chairs but it was still a good atmosphere. The majority of people dressed smart for Dinner in the Dining Room and surprisingly for the Formal nights which we always enjoy. Maybe in summer with a 1000 kids on board it would be different ! Overall, as regular Celebrity Cruisers, we really couldnt find much fault with "Indy", the staff were outstanding, the entertainment was excellent, main Dining Room food could have been a bit more varied and bigger portions but we always had enough, and the sun shone (once out of Biscay), just a cracking Cruise ! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
it had been over 4 years since i last cruised with RC and over 5 with the Inde who is due for a refit later this year, apart a few bits of wear and tear the ship still looked good. the independence is popular with both guests and crew ... Read More
it had been over 4 years since i last cruised with RC and over 5 with the Inde who is due for a refit later this year, apart a few bits of wear and tear the ship still looked good. the independence is popular with both guests and crew and feels like a happy ship. the cabin, we had a balcony which puts most other popular lines to shame, bigger balcony, more room inside and in the bathroom and very well laid out the food was better than i remember and better than ncl, princess, holland & america, celebrity,and a lot better than P&O the entertainment, the shows were very good - a couple were not my cup of tea but were good and only one was a bit poor, the day time activities were a good variety and the quizzes were a lot better than other cruise lines i have used the staff were excellent and overall the best i have cruised with, RC i had forgotten how good you are or have you improved ? it wasn't all perfect, a couple of evening meals were disappointing and IF you have to play music in the gym and windjammer restaurant do you have to play it that loud and if you do then why play kids music to an audience whose average age is around 50 not 20 ???? shore excursions are not cheap, i tend to do my own thing but i had a lot of on board credit to use so i had 3 excursions - 2 were very good and one was poor - wine tasting, only 3 wines and only very small measures - i wonder why they didn't sell much wine ?? Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and found them to be of good quality and good value. Not this time. Prices have gone up and standards have gone down dramatically. The main restaurant where food has always been good now ... Read More
We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and found them to be of good quality and good value. Not this time. Prices have gone up and standards have gone down dramatically. The main restaurant where food has always been good now resembles school dinners with such delicacies as mince and onions making an unwelcome appearance. I ordered scallops au gratin. The scallop had been diced into tiny cubes and served in an escargot dish, I suspect so that you had a chance of finding the minuscule pieces in the dimples designed for snails. I ordered spiced prawns, it arrived, there were two prawns and one half of a lobster tail. This was supposed to be a main course it would have been inadequate as an appetiser. Whilst I appreciate that not everyone likes formal dining there were however people arriving for dinner dressed in shorts, vests and football shirts. This was not challenged by staff. The unlimited drinks package is not all it seems, I’ve never seen so many drunk people, on going for breakfast at 9.00 am one morning we had to report vomit in the lift it had clearly been there for some time. Excursions have always been pricey however we opted for the Florence by train trip priced at $63. We were advised we would be in a private carriage with charging points etc. We were on the public train from Livorno, no private carriage. The only reason we got seats was that we were first on. By the first stop we were inundated with people and luggage in our ‘private’ carriage. This would have cost about €10 had we booked ourselves. It was a complete rip off. Cabin staff and dining room staff are without exception superb, sadly the same can’t be said for those working in guest services and future cruises. We found them to be both rude and dismissive. when we were charged twice for an excursion and questioned it the person who dealt with us was woeful. He waved us away from his desk when the questions became too difficult. The ship itself is shabby, I understand that the refit deals only with public areas and not staterooms. Simple things like missing curtain hooks meaning that curtains don’t close properly. This type of issue could be rectified at minimal cost. She needs a bit of TLC. I appreciate this review is largely negative but when paying top price for something and receiving mediocre in return it leaves a bad taste. We will not be using Roya Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We arrived into Southampton on the 30th September 2017 and getting on the ship was easy and very efficient. To get off the ship was just as easy as well. The ship was massive with so much to do. From Football, quizzes, movies under the ... Read More
We arrived into Southampton on the 30th September 2017 and getting on the ship was easy and very efficient. To get off the ship was just as easy as well. The ship was massive with so much to do. From Football, quizzes, movies under the stars, bands and shows and so much more. The cabin was fairly small but very clean and our cabin attendant was excellent. Well done Maruke. The food was superb with so many choices. The only downside sometimes the food could of been a little warmer. But we can forgive that as there is so many people to cater for. Windjammer & Jade got crowded at times. The main dining room was quiet at times. Johnny Rockets was superb and burgers were amazing and so were the milkshakes. There are loads to do if you want to do it. One of my favourites was the map quiz in the Schooner Bar on deck 4. Special recognition for service from assistant waiter Raymond in Romeo & Juliet. What a lovely man you are and were so kind to me and my son. We miss you. Also George head waiter of Romeo & Juliet. Miss you George. You were so kind to us as well as your supervisor. Miss you too. We also like to thank Elena in Schooner Bar who was outstanding and looked after us so well. Will miss you a lot. She always got me my favourite grey goose and diet coke. Thank you sweetheart. Got of the ship. Done a couple of excursions. Not too bad. Read Less
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 September 2017
Just liked the look of it!!! The only real drawback was the main dining room on a formal night at 6.00 pm. we had a designated table number but found a very awkward older lady already at the table who was not for moving!! The manager ... Read More
Just liked the look of it!!! The only real drawback was the main dining room on a formal night at 6.00 pm. we had a designated table number but found a very awkward older lady already at the table who was not for moving!! The manager checked our table number and we were proved correct but he put us with others who were not good mixers and without any hint of an apology, however the food was brilliant, This was Macbeth dining room and we felt pushed out, We did not use again as the same problem would have happened again!!!!!!!! The rest of the cruise was really good and the staff on the state rooms and the windjammer dining room were first rate in fact all the crew were very good..We used the theatre most nights and was very enjoyable. Over all we would go on again but with a different dining option.!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Still a great all round cruise experience. The 2018 refit which will be the biggest in RCCI's history is much overdue. Hopefully the refit will include all new beds and other furniture. Not sure how adding extra cabins will improve ... Read More
Still a great all round cruise experience. The 2018 refit which will be the biggest in RCCI's history is much overdue. Hopefully the refit will include all new beds and other furniture. Not sure how adding extra cabins will improve the overall experience. Now if only they would fit a roof on the Solarium it would be almost pefect. Dining was much better than last year. All the staff were execellent. Able bodied guests should show more consideration to those in wheelchairs especially when leaving the theatre - it can often take wheelchair users 30 minutes to get from deck 3 to deck 5 as the lifts are full of ablebodied guests just using the lifts to get up 2 decks. The same problems occur when wheel chair guests need to travel from deck 5 down to the ice rink. Overall still excellent value and a firm favourite with all the family. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Great staff, lovely ship. The only downside of this cruise was the temperature of ALL of the food! Cold cooked breakfasts are not nice. Everything else was super!! The Boleros bar was a favourite - the entertainment in that bar was ... Read More
Great staff, lovely ship. The only downside of this cruise was the temperature of ALL of the food! Cold cooked breakfasts are not nice. Everything else was super!! The Boleros bar was a favourite - the entertainment in that bar was great - Latin music most nights. The two main evening bar staff were very entertaining also. The entertainment was superb, the cruise director (Joff) is absolutely brilliant. They ice shows are tremendous! The guest comedians did not disappoint either, real quality stuff! The quizzes are good fun also. The sunbeds were always reserved by people with their towels which was very annoying - even though Royal Carribbean say they don't allow this, it happens! Grrrrr!! The ice cream from the pool area is lovely - how I didn't have two or three a day is amazing!!! The Olive& Twist bar had the BEST views of all the bars, wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted to visit Rome and Florence to see the cities, I am a fan of proper architecture not this glass and mirrors they use everywhere these days. The ship does need a refurb but considering it's done something like 348 cruises ... Read More
We wanted to visit Rome and Florence to see the cities, I am a fan of proper architecture not this glass and mirrors they use everywhere these days. The ship does need a refurb but considering it's done something like 348 cruises since its launch its in very reasonable condition. The theatre shows did not come up to scratch, who would book a comedian and a piano on one night then a different comedian and a piano the following night, seems like poor planning to me. They also had a magician doing card tricks on stage so if your are not in the front row you couldn't see what was happening. The food was fantastic no complaints from me. Staff worked really hard and should be congratulated on their efforts, nothing was to much trouble, special mention to our room attendant Oka and our waiters Miller and Yefgenny (sorry if I have spelt this incorrectly). Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Know we have nothing to compare this cruise with as our first time on any cruise ship, but loved it and so impressed with everything. Parking at Southampton and getting through security was so quick and boarding very easy and ... Read More
Know we have nothing to compare this cruise with as our first time on any cruise ship, but loved it and so impressed with everything. Parking at Southampton and getting through security was so quick and boarding very easy and straightforward. Amazed at how much was on offer on ship. Stateroom spacious and had everything we needed. Staff were amazing, so friendly and couldn't do enough for you. Food fantastic in every venue and just so much choice, all well presented. Entertainment was great. Ice skating shows were amazing, as was the show Grease and the other entertainment in Alhambra theatre was also very high standard. Found other people on cruise very friendly. Hot tub lovely place to warm up and pool great place to cool off. Ice cream very welcome on hot days sitting by the pool. Great selection of cocktails and speciality coffees. Loved the party nights on Promenade, the quizzes, and watching rock climbing etc. Getting off ship in ports very quick and getting back on also very easy. Lovely to be met with cold water and lemonade and a cold flannel when returning to ship after day on excursions. Loved seeing the Apes in Gibraltar and views from Rock amazing. Also very exciting seeing dolphins swimming near ship on our arrival in Gibraltar. Great trip to Aux de Provence in Marseille, pretty town and great place to have coffee and people watch. Rome was also great excursion for seeing all the sights, although tiring due to crowds and heat. Lisbon was also very interesting and great place to visit. Shuttle from ports takes you into town if you wish to walk around, or alternatively there are trams and tour buses. Would have liked more time to explore Lisbon. We didn't get off ship at every port and had some restful days on board instead, which suited us fine. Some small children on ship and a few older kids but not so many as school holidays over. Rest of passengers were mixed ages and quite a few family groups and couples. Even if you didn't go in a group, it was always easy to meet people as everyone so friendly. We ate in Romeo and Juliet dining room every evening and our waiter Ricky and assistant waitress Laiza were amazing people. They really cared about the passengers and went over and beyond to ensure everything was perfect for you. Such lovely people and we felt quite sad when it came time to say goodbye to them. Never had that on a holiday before. The ship was clean and had everything you could possibly want and would happily recommend this cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The ship is stunning. I loved it this time as much as the first time and can't wait to see it after its refurb. The staff are friendly and the entertainment caters for all age groups. The food is excellent. The dining room is ... Read More
The ship is stunning. I loved it this time as much as the first time and can't wait to see it after its refurb. The staff are friendly and the entertainment caters for all age groups. The food is excellent. The dining room is beautiful with its chandeliers and grand stair case. The dining staff can't do enough for you and are so polite. The food onboard was first class. I enjoyed every mouthful of the half stone I put on in weight... however, there's really no need to put weight on as you can have all the excercise you need onboard. The gym is excellent with a variety of machines to use. There's also a running track on deck 12 which goes around the entire deck, as well as the sports courts where you can play a number of sports. There's the flow rider and crazy golf if you like something less energetic. Entertainment was excellent with a variety of shows. Comedians, singers, musicals, musicians. You name it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Great cruise good ports and lovely sea days. Had a balcony cabin which was good even with three of us in there. Staff great ready to chat with you. Easy to get around and found things easy. The dinning rooms were great and staff helpful. ... Read More
Great cruise good ports and lovely sea days. Had a balcony cabin which was good even with three of us in there. Staff great ready to chat with you. Easy to get around and found things easy. The dinning rooms were great and staff helpful. The food was good and varied to suit most tastes and always looked good. The entertainment was good good shows guest entertainers with lots of laughfter. At times there was too much on at the same time so had to choose waht to go to. The two shore excursions we took were good and the information was helpful to us. Other ports we did our own thing and went ashore and looked around found some lovely places to just sit and people watch. The ice shows as always were great and well worth going to see. Look forward to sailing on the ship next year after refit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise mostly because of the itinery, we had been with Celebrity previously and wanted to compare the two. Celebrity was a quieter cruise and didn't have the promenade where everyone gathered so didn't have the same ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly because of the itinery, we had been with Celebrity previously and wanted to compare the two. Celebrity was a quieter cruise and didn't have the promenade where everyone gathered so didn't have the same atmosphere as RC. We arrived at the port around the time we had been given for boarding and this is the only place we had to queue, once on board we went for a quick drink before going to our cabin. After dropping the bags off it was time to explore and we were surprised by what we found, so much to take in and it took a while to get our bearings but we enjoyed the experience of ending up somewhere different to where we had planned. The service from the staff couldn't be faulted, we never saw one grumpy face and I am sure there were some tired people on there as they work such long hours. We ate in the main dining room each evening, we were going to try the other restaurants but the food we were given was such good quality that we didn't feel the need. One tip is that for some reason they are not big on vegetables so order extra and after a couple of days your waiter will remember even if you forget. All in all a fabulous holiday and great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted it because it fitted in with our holiday dates. The crew were all very happy, helpful always smiling and an occasional song as well. The Independence was very clean overall and lots to do, even on a sea day it didn't feel ... Read More
We wanted it because it fitted in with our holiday dates. The crew were all very happy, helpful always smiling and an occasional song as well. The Independence was very clean overall and lots to do, even on a sea day it didn't feel crowded. You were spoilt for choice on dining experiences. We had the deluxe drinks package and every drink we asked for was free so very contented with it. The atmosphere in the casino was great. If you just wanted to watch others gambling you could and if you just wanted a small flutter that was OK as well. The food in the main dining rooms and windjammer was tasty and hot with a great variety to choose from. The public areas were clearly marked, and clean and spacious. The only negatives we found were the lack of seating in the bars on Sea days and evenings. The rule regarding the reserving of sunbeds was not fully enforced. The overall experience was fantastic for us though. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was a our second cruise with RC - prior to that we sailed on the newly fitted Anthem of the Seas. Then we had a loft Suite - This time we chose the Independence of the Seas because she also sailed from Southampton - meaning we had no ... Read More
This was a our second cruise with RC - prior to that we sailed on the newly fitted Anthem of the Seas. Then we had a loft Suite - This time we chose the Independence of the Seas because she also sailed from Southampton - meaning we had no luggage allowance. Parking was easy and the ship called at ports that were of interest to us. As this was a special occasion - we decided to book the ROYAL SUITE 1640 deck 10 We were met once we got through passport control by Patricia one of the two concierge who personally escorted us onboard and to the Pinnacle Lounge - Throughout the cruise she was impeccable in her service advice and professionalism. THE SHIP As we stepped foot on to the ship - we did notice that there were a number of tired looking areas - The Pinnacle and Concierge lounges although impeccably clean, had a dated look in terms of its decor and furniture. Furniture in the Romeo and Juliet dining room had stained chairs and a carpet that was well trodden. Undercover Pool deck areas seem to be cluttered dark and a bit dingy. Deck carpets on the flow rider deck were curling on the edges and looked somewhat grubby. The ship is in need of a decor facelift. Some areas like the St Tropez deck are quite soulless. Gold card guests and above have the privilege sitting in of a roped off terraced area of sun loungers - however the loungers are “standard” deck loungers and are crammed tightly together; whereas guests who frequented the quieter adults pool section had padded larger loungers. We were fully aware that being an August sailing that the ship would have a significant number of children on board - For the main part the majority of younger children were well behaved - well entertained by the ships kids club and enjoyed the water themed pool decks. Regrettably, there seemed to be a significant number of ferrel 13+ youths who were all too frequently, seen sitting on, and blocking stairwells, play fighting over sofas in the Pyramid Lounge, running along deck 10 ringing doorbells and making prank call to suite rooms. This was not acceptable behaviour. DINING We have mixed views on our dining experience onboard. We thought that he ultimate dining and drinks packages we signed up for prior, was excellent value for money. We were very disappointed with our “MyTime Dining” experience in the main Romeo and Juliet dining room. We only ate there 5/13 nights. At best the food was adequate - at its worst we sent back our grilled chicken as it was so tough the knife and fork wouldn't even cut through the poultry! Front desk and restaurant management were apologetic - however we were past eating and waiting for a second main to arrive - we left un happy unable to eat at Windjammers as it was after 9pm and had pizza and wrap in Sorrento’s. We did return the following night and were offered and accepted (at no extra cost) a lobster that was cooked perfectly - Service in the main dining room was all too often rushed, prescriptive and somewhat erratic. Our best dining experiences were with out doubt at Giovanni’s, Chops Grill and Chef’s Table. We were invited on one occasion to dine with the Captain - this was a superb dining experience with a lovely group of guests; good wine ad a excellent food. Our breakfasts were taken in Chops Grill - excellent buffet choice and hot food selection served by warm friendly waiters who genuinely cared. Windjammers, despite, at hi peak times, was a chaotic feeding frenzy - It however, provided fresh well prepared and cooked food. Eating early or late gave us less people, good food, and sea view tables. Our biggest issue re: our on board dining - was the tokenistic nod towards catering for guests with gluten intolerance. GF bread was readily available There was a GF food station in Windjammers - only distinction was the provision of GF bread apart from that it offered the same food as the salad bar + carvery and hot plate food. There was a distinct lack of Gluten Free dessert pastry and confectionary options - it was either chocolate mousse or ice cream - Even more disappointing came on the penultimate evening when guests were offered a wide selection of amazing cakes on the Main Promenade - and nothing apart from mousse was available - Similarly so, on the last day of sailing at lunch time, guests who ate at Windjammers were given a large slices of celebration cake. Nothing apart from mousse was available.Even that had to be brought from the food station BARS/DRINKS/ENTERTAINMENT The ultimate drinks package is a great deal - We had drinks in every bar apart from the Dog and Badger pub - which was a bit like a Benidorm Brit pub - (each to their own). We loved the view, music and ambiance Olive and Twist, Boleros being split seemed a little fractured and cramped especially when the latin group played. Liked Schooners - Always a good place to stop off at after a show!. Our favourite bar by far (apart from the Concierge bars) was the Champagne bar. it always had a great vibe excellent waiter service and top marks to RC - who Earmarked in its daily Compass mag that this was the bar for LGBTQ meet ups. Our pool bar attendant John was one of the best who kept us well hydrated and plied with mudslides with a friendly smile and a happy disposition. similarly so - the concierge bar staff were the best! We thought the entertainment onboard provided everyone with some form of enjoyment and happiness - we particularly loved the tribute shows of soul and Motown - the RC band is an exceptional group of musicians. Grease was an exceptional on board production. We also loved their jazz, big band and show tune sets that were performed in Olive and Twist. The resident DJ in the Labyrinth needs to work on his mixing and keep the dance floor full at all times! PORTS/EXCURSIONS We chose not to take any of the RC organised excursions, as shore time although ample was limited. We wanted to explore each city on foot. We did take advantage of the ship’s shuttle service when we docked in Barcelona and Lisbon - good value. We were impressed as to how swiftly we got on and off the ship. Being RS guests we were given priority tender boarding. Our tender trip to Cannes exciting being ferried there. Due care and attention was given to guests’ safety and security. Loved each port we sailed in to. CLOSING THOUGHTS We had mixed views on onboard the Independence of the Seas - we made and talked to some amazing friendly people who made our holiday. We were served by dedicated diligent members of crew. We hope when the ship has its much needed refit and that the issues and concerns raised in this review will be addressed. Not sure whether or not we’ll sail with her again?? Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Food was lovely but a serious lack of vegetables and starters were not great for my quite conservative husband 3days he had Cesar salad. Service is fantastic you said something and it appeared. Shows were ok grease fantastic and ice shows ... Read More
Food was lovely but a serious lack of vegetables and starters were not great for my quite conservative husband 3days he had Cesar salad. Service is fantastic you said something and it appeared. Shows were ok grease fantastic and ice shows wonderful but too many comics promenade shows are fantastic .We didn't do any tours as I am disabled and can't keep up with them but the hop on buses are fabulous. Loved Lisbon beautiful city and under the bridge is a must see for all.Hired a scooter for the ship from Mobility at sea it was a great idea when I got off the ship I was much more able to walk. It is a relaxing holiday with lots of lovely places to see things to do big decision is whether to go for swim or hot tub lol. Cabin needs a bit of a refurb but plenty space even with the scooter in .All in all beautiful places to see and wonderful care and great food loved it Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The cruise was good and very good ports visited.The ship is looking a bit tired and its planned refurbishment is clearly due.RCCL seem to be cutting back on the little extras and this is noticeable to people who have cruised before..Food ... Read More
The cruise was good and very good ports visited.The ship is looking a bit tired and its planned refurbishment is clearly due.RCCL seem to be cutting back on the little extras and this is noticeable to people who have cruised before..Food was generally good,although very similar with little variety.Having said that food is plentiful in the Windjammer.The Main Dining room offers less variety and a few weird choices. The entertainment especially the Headliners was poor.There was plenty going on with Joff the Cruise Director doing a good job. Favourite places visited included Malaga,Gibraltar,Barcelona,Palma and Cadiz. It was frustrating to find out once on board that some items ie Golf Simulator were not availableAs ever the Sea days felt crowded and finding a sun bed around the pool was difficult especially as people reserved them for hours without using them (its supposed to be 30 mins).The bands playing at the pool and in the bars were good except for one band that played Latin type music and this was very boring. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We liked the ports in the brochure and I had enjoyed over a dozen cruises with Royal Caribbean in the past; however I had always booked my air and transfers myself. I am a Senior now and I am changing the way I travel to let others do some ... Read More
We liked the ports in the brochure and I had enjoyed over a dozen cruises with Royal Caribbean in the past; however I had always booked my air and transfers myself. I am a Senior now and I am changing the way I travel to let others do some of the booking chores. We had Royal Caribbean do the Air and Sea Program for us, that is handle the flights from California to London and return, also all transfers to the hotel in London for the day before the cruise and transfers to and from the ship from London to Southampton before and after the cruise. We had one stop in Dallas from California before we would fly to London; the plane was delayed due to air traffic in Dallas and unable to land so when we should have been getting our connecting flight we were circling Dallas and missed the connecting flight that the pilot told us would be waiting for us! This should have been no big deal, we did the footwork and got another flight to London. We had planned to sight see in London and the plane we re-scheduled with would have allowed for that. We got to the airport in London, looked for our Royal Caribbean prepaid transfer service Representative and found none. We waited, still no one, there were representatives from two other cruise lines but no one from Royal Caribbean. We did not have a phone number on our voucher in case of a mix up. There were no phone numbers on any of our paperwork to call if transfer personnel did not show up. The tourist information assistants tried to call a number we had for the cruise line but they could not get through (it would have been about 5:00 A.M. U.S. time.) Travelers Assistance told us just wait, they will show up; we waited over three hours. No one showed up. Travelers Assistance finally suggested we take a cab at our expense to the hotel and follow up with cruise line personnel later which we did however that took another two hours, so we got to our hotel in London too late to do any sightseeing; we just had dinner at the hotel, a Holiday Inn Express. Had we chosen a hotel it would not have been the Holiday Inn Express in London. We told the hotel personnel our transfer from the cruise line never showed up to transport us, they told us they have nothing to do with that to contact the cruise line. Our van to Southampton showed up on time the next morning, we showed our vouchers and they took six of us packed like sardines in a small van with luggage in the back seat; they acted like there was a mix up but did not share the reason for that with us; I suspect the van was really for 4 people and we actually had no ship scheduled reservation but we had the prepaid vouchers in hand so they took us to the ship. Once on board I went to Passenger Services and asked why we had to re book and re pay to get to the hotel from the airport after no one showed up from the cruise line to take us. to take us. They asked for all documentation and receipts, the vouchers for everything, air, hotel, all transfers, etc. which I produced. They told me I had to contact the hotel about the airport transfer, it was their shuttle that didn't show up. I had already spoke to the hotel personnel and they told me to talk to Royal Caribbean staff, they don't shuttle people from the airport. The ship Representative asked me to wait while she contacted a manager. The manager said we did not have a reservation to get from the ship after the cruise to the London airport, we were on a wait list and they said they had better get that straightened out before working on the airport transfers; they told me they had not received the money for the transfers, I provided a receipt for those and everything else including the cruise. I asked for the money we had paid for the transfers (2) we did not receive. It took them 4 days and 5 trips to the service desk for them to acknowledge they had made the errors. I refused to let this upset me and I enjoyed the time on board regardless of their errors however it did consume some time I could have been doing more enjoyable things. On board things looked very nice, the ship is showing some slight age but the layout is so fantastic we happily overlooked the rust and aging signs. It was crowded beyond belief on the pool decks, promenade, shows, and there were times we went into the Windjammer and just walked out due to crowds. There is a rule about saving lounges at the pools but they were not enforced so you seldom got a place at the pools. We were on the ship while the European "children and young adults" were still on summer vacation. This created quite a nightmare for us; the teens and preteens ran in groups, they attended shows that they were required to have an adult present and no adult was with them. Somehow they manipulated the elevators so that it would not stop on your floor, so we spent some extra time on elevators. They ran up and down the halls and elevators not only all day but from 1:00 a.m. (curfew time) until after 4 a.m. in the morning, I didn't sleep much the first 3 nights so I complained. Again very little if anything was done, it continued throughout the cruise. Prior to booking the length of the Ships port tours are given but not the hours they depart and return; The shore trips seemed to be planned at the worst times possible. If we were in port from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the tour would start at 10:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 or 2:30 p.m. This created way too much "dead time." This did not leave any time before or after the ship tour to see the port; we canceled about half of our ship port excursions because of the poor times they chose to do them and explored on our own in ports and had a much better time. We left feeling we had seen more than the ship tours showed us. It would have been better to have more time in port or even dock over night in a couple of ports like some do in Mexico. We had early dining and the Waiter and his assistant were very good however many of the breakfasts were changed from regular dining room breakfast to "breakfast buffet" style dining which was nothing like a normal dining room breakfast. The Windjammer buffet was very crowded, the food was mediocre. There was ample seating with excellent views however due to the crowds we seldom got to enjoy that feature of the ship. We ate every meal we could in the dining room, it was better quality, hot or at least warm as compared to cold "hot food" at the buffet. They did come around with non alcohol buffet liquids once in awhile which was nice since they provide no trays for your plates, bowls and cups or glasses of liquids. Food on the Promenade was varied, some good some not so good, it was a great place to get water, I kept a pitcher in our cabin and used the small bottles of drink enhancers I had brought with us because we don't drink much soda, alcohol or high acid drinks (like orange juice). We could drink some lemon water or mango water that was available free in a couple of places, however for taste I would rate it a two on a one to five scale. Getting on and off the ship was good. The shore excursion staff was very good but the reason I will not cruise with this line again soon (if ever) is because of the crowds, lack of action by security, lack of action by passenger services with options and assistance on issues such as being stranded at the airport in a Foreign Country and shoddy reaction to problems with set rules that are not enforced. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I choose this cruise because it was recommended to me. I would like to thank Igusti Praganda stateroom attendant housekeeper who kept my room on deck 9 cabin number 9489 in prime order and every evening a lovely animal made out of towels ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it was recommended to me. I would like to thank Igusti Praganda stateroom attendant housekeeper who kept my room on deck 9 cabin number 9489 in prime order and every evening a lovely animal made out of towels on my bed he was pleasant and always greeted me with a smile. Food was excellent and waiters came around to see what drinks we wanted. The pool was delightful with plenty of seating and you didn't have to walk to the bar the waiters brought your drink to you. The shows at night time were very entertaining and they had two shows each evening. It was easy to get on and off the ship when we arrived to our destinations and waiters were waiting for each guest with a cool towel and a iced drink which was fantastic. Overall it was a fantastic cruise and both myself and my husband enjoyed it immensely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Independence of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates N/A 3.8

Find an Independence of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click