1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to get across the Atlantic without flying. This ship has exceeded our expectations. I love that even though they refurbished it, they have preserved the deck where you can walk around the whole ship outside and the stream/sauna ... Read More
We wanted to get across the Atlantic without flying. This ship has exceeded our expectations. I love that even though they refurbished it, they have preserved the deck where you can walk around the whole ship outside and the stream/sauna changing room in the fitness center is still open to everyone. It doesn’t feel like the money grab that some do. The food has been consistently excellent, better than we expected, and the crew is always friendly and helpful. From what I have read about the Edge, which I never intend to cruise on, on this ship if you’re not in a suite you are not made to feel like a second class citizen. You have access to the bow and the balconies are still wonderful to step out on when you want to. Good for RCCL for keeping the good stuff and for their generous package of perks for frequent cruisers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Arriving at Lauderdale was a breeze. Parking lot closest was full so a little extra walk to lot 19 was in order... For some reason my RCL App went from my phone to the cloud and reloading took very long time to reload. It was ok because I ... Read More
Arriving at Lauderdale was a breeze. Parking lot closest was full so a little extra walk to lot 19 was in order... For some reason my RCL App went from my phone to the cloud and reloading took very long time to reload. It was ok because I had the set sail passes printed as well. Check in was a breeze. We are carry on people so we had no bags to check in. My dear GF and I selected Independence for the ship rather than itinerary. Lots of research went into finding just the right one and we weren't disappointed. To begin with she was "fresh" with a recent refit and "amped" upgrades. Though not Oasis Class shes still a really big comfortable layout. Ice rink deck three was home to great shows and family fun. Deck four Playmaker sports bar was very casual atmosphere and the casino nicely laid out. The promenade on deck five was breathtaking. We made our way to deck eleven for lunch at Windjammer which had me a little turned around on this ship being aft where the other RCL ships I had traveled previously were all forward. From there my very blonde GF made a reservation at the spa to have her hair lightened a little. This is where things went bad. It took twice as long as predicted (Making us very late for dinner) to begin with. Then the disaster unfolded when her hair dried. Instead of lightening it they darkened it countless shades to black in places! She went from Sondra Locke type hair to Lilly Munster in that ill fated visit. That's why I took one of the five stars I would have awarded had all gone right. We bit our tongues and moved forward. Opening night parade on the "street" of the promenade was very uplifting. Room was spotless and comfortable. Very good attendant. Our day at sea gave us a chance to check out the water slides, flowrider, golf course and explore. The "sky Pad" was closed I guess due to a mishap on another trip. Lunch again in Windjammer did not disappoint. Dinner was also excellent. That night we were treated to very spot on performance of "Grease". First stop was Costa Maya. We opted to do a ruins tour with Native Choice based on recommendation. Very detailed and informative! In that recommendation they said they would drop us at the beach where we snorkeled, had a great lunch, did some shopping for hammocks (got great deals) and had time to get GF a massage. Dinner aboard was again fantastic. Our next day found us in Cozumel. A few quick stops to pick up free trinkets then a stop at a recommended pharmacy for vanilla (which you can find everywhere) and some other deeply discounted medications (4 month supply of Omeprazole for what I pay for three week supply here). Our next stop took us off the beaten path to Kao Kao chocolate factory tour instead of the one being offered by RCL. We selected it after much research and again that research paid off with an extremely memorable hands on experience. From there it was off to Money Bar where we had an outstanding lunch of mixed nachos then some excellent snorkeling. Back aboard we joined in a fun "activity" cheering on and heckling those who were late returning to the ship. Dinner was good but the beef stroganoff did not resemble what I envision. More like oriental stir fried beef over buttered spaghetti. Still tasted good. We dabbled in the casino. I wound up $80 ahead playing craps and roulette. Gf wound up 35 cents ahead on the slots. Yesterday at sea we pretty much relaxed redoing some things we had done before. Dinner was fine. We went to Next cruise booking same Independence for next year but will be bringing her teens for that one. I went on my RCL app to check my expenses and noticed an odd $89 charge that was put on and taken off several times. At the service deck the attendant was rude and indifferent. No explanation . I then noticed that the same spa that destroyed my GF's hair took it upon themselves to "pad" the gratuity by quite a bit and unauthorized. Again the attendant was abrupt. "You need to take that up with them." They were closed and closed again for todays disembarkation! That's the second star removal reason. We did breakfast in the MDR and that was good. By then the line to get off was thinned out. Probably the fastest easiest disembarkation I have ever done. Its a shame that the spa incident(s) took place otherwise it would have been my pleasure to give it a full 5 star rating... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Royal Caribbean is remodeling its ships after which they are said to be "amplified". If there is one thing their ships don't need its to be amplified. The buffet on this ship had loud music from breakfast opening and ... Read More
Royal Caribbean is remodeling its ships after which they are said to be "amplified". If there is one thing their ships don't need its to be amplified. The buffet on this ship had loud music from breakfast opening and through the day, even though the few people there at seven am wanted nothing to do with loud music at that hour. The Royal Promenade had the same problem as well as the pool deck. Movies on the pool deck were ear splitting to the point of pain, even if you wanted to watch. Nearly impossible to get away and find a peaceful spot. Frequent cruising Crown and Anchor Society members say they complain at every survey, but nothing is done. This cruise had a large number of infants in strollers and elevator service was extremely slow. Elevators were packed all cruise long, like a sardine can. And slow! If you didn't get to the main dining room right at opening for breakfast be prepared to stand in an extremely long line. The schedule for bands in the lounges was pequiliar in that at times there was no entertainment at all except the piano in the Schooner bar. The show Grease was very good, however. But there was only one production show which is the same one on several other ships. The ice show was typically good, but there was only one set and the costumes were not as spectacular as other shows. It would have been good to have a meet the stars event like other ships, but not on this one. No captain's corner either. Couldn't tell you who the cruise director was. Heard him on the pa but never actually saw him, even at the "Top Tier" reception for RC's "best customers". Been on many RC cruises and never had that happen before. He seemed pretty detached from the guests. Food was generally good, but no lobster night and service at both breakfast and dinner was very slow, like two hours for dinner, after being seated. Breakfast servers seemed largely inexperienced and ordered items often never arrived, even after a long wait, such that eventually you just gave up. This is a nice class of ship but the experience was not as good as other Freedom class ships, such as Freedom and Liberty. Most of the staff were really good, like guest services crew, our cabin steward, and especially the loyalty ambassador. But at the top level there didn't seem to be a true commitment, but rather a kind of attitude of doing only the minimum level of effort required. And it showed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I are currently cruising on the RCCL Independence of the Seas. We have cruised over 20 times - Carnival, Disney, Princess but this is only our 2nd RCCL Cruise. WOW! We are so impressed. The check in process was so modern and ... Read More
My wife and I are currently cruising on the RCCL Independence of the Seas. We have cruised over 20 times - Carnival, Disney, Princess but this is only our 2nd RCCL Cruise. WOW! We are so impressed. The check in process was so modern and quick - our cabin was available at 1:00pm. The cabin felt large, modern, well layer out, smart. The staff have been incredible! The shio is elegant - from simple buffet dining to Specialty Dining options. The entertainment is top notch. The pools and outdoor options are amazing. The public areas are great. Love that everything is large - easy to walk around - easy to navigate. With such a large ship, it still does not feel crowded. Love the idea of elegance and no cheesy themes to deal with. We are so happy! Excited to book our next RCCL Cruise. Can’t wait to share with our teen daughter. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Wow - i don't know where to start. Traveled April 20, 2019 - April 25, 2019 from FLL. Porting at Labadee and Falmouth. BOARDING A+ amazing, i just can't express how different this was from our two Carnival cruises in 2018. No ... Read More
Wow - i don't know where to start. Traveled April 20, 2019 - April 25, 2019 from FLL. Porting at Labadee and Falmouth. BOARDING A+ amazing, i just can't express how different this was from our two Carnival cruises in 2018. No waiting in a "holding room" for hours on end to get on or off the ship. Attendants are outside waiting to take your luggage. Once luggage dropped and tagged, walk in and go through security, once through security check-in and then make your way to the ship. 10 minutes from the time we stepped out of the cab to the time we stepped onto the cruise ship - WOW SHIP A+ so many things to do on the ship; rock climbing, flow rider, arcade, laser tag, escape room, observatory, Grease Musical, Ice Skating show, sports bar, piano bar, night club, karaoke. We didn't have time to do everything we wanted to do on the ship. Advise, book escape room as soon as you get on the ship. The promenade was absolutely stunning. I also like the night club was on deck 14, away from the masses - you won't "stumble" on the night club - you have to be intentional about getting there. If I were traveling with my kids, I'd absolutely love this. CABIN A+ stayed in 7568 with Ocean View Balcony. The cabin was clean, bathroom was clean, our cabin attendant Martin was amazing. We'd take a few showers per day, each time come back with fresh towels. Unfortunately, we weren't port side, but we still had amazing views. The balcony felt bigger than our standard balcony on Carnival (Liberty), also felt more private, although I know folks were next door on either side, it didn't standout. FOOD A+ RCC takes hand washing very seriously and have gone to extreme pretty funny and creatively cool lengths to make sure the guest know washing your hands is VERY important - washy washy - this stood out as exceptional. I am vegetarian and there were plenty of options available. Everything I tasted was delicious. Had breakfast one morning at main dining hall but preferred buffet due to the # of options. Get to buffet for breakfast before 9am., after 9am gets pretty crowed. Ate dinner in the main dining hall every night and everything was AMAZING!!! Sorentos Pizza - was SO good..... All the food at the Coffee shop is complimentary, you only need to pay for the speciality coffees - but if you don't want pizza, go to the coffee cafe for wraps, sandwiches, deserts, etc. I like that there was an attendant managing the soft serve ice cream machine - keeps things clean! Ate at Izumi Japanese Steakhouse and it was DELICIOUS! We brought refillable water bottles on board, which worked out well. We went to the pop machine to refill on ice and water, no need to pay for water bottle on the ship. Did not use room service, there is a $9 service fee. SERVICE A+ RCC has customer service on lock, comparable to a Disney Park experience in terms of customer service. There was always an attendant manning a station, whether it be ice cream, or the numerous pools on the ship, or whatever - always someone available to assist with a friendly smile. You really feel like you get a royal treatment. ALCOHOL B+ for cost / A+ for not watering down the drinks. Alcohol package is too costly (in my opinion) $600 for two....ouch. Drinks on average were $10-$15 per, so if you are a heavy drinker you will likely benefit from purchasing the package. All the drinks that we purchased tasted good and were not watered down. PORTS Labadee A+ / Falmouth C - Labadee was great. We rented a cabana on Nelli's beach, however it really wasn't necessary (but we did enjoy and use the cabana). If you get off the ship early enough (we were off at 7:30) you can pretty much pick your perfect spot on the beach. Columbus Cove is great for views b/c you will have a perfect view of the ship from the beach and there are lots of options to put a lounge chair on the beach in shade. Nelli's beach was beautiful as well and where we spent majority of our time. Melli's Beach was probably the least crowed of the 3 beach options. The main beach, believe Dragon something - has the best sand, soft powdery sand, but waters were rougher - there are a ton of seating options here as well and the biggest of all the beaches. Bathrooms are clean with showers to rinse off. The "village" is an area where you can go to buy knick knacks from the local Haitians, they can get pretty aggressive, however I understood that comes from a place of desperation. I spoke with a worker who was pretty clear that without the cruise ships, the locals really don't have any time of employment opportunities. If you sternly but respectfully say "Not Interested" they will leave you be. If you don't go to the village, you won't encounter the "market" and can by-pass this experience all together. RCC really did a nice job of laying out the beach. There is plenty of seating options all over with lots to do. It's hot in Haiti, if you are fair skinned you'll definitely want sun screen and a hat. Also recommend water shoes - you'll be walking on rocks, our water shoes were very handy. Our friends did jet skies for 1 hr. 15 mins and had an amazing time. Falmouth - um....well........the port itself is nice with nice stores, however you almost have to do an excursion - nothing is within walking distance. Our excursion "Falmouth / Montego Bay at your Leisure" was $45 pp, however the tour is just not long enough. We left the port at 10:45 a.m. spent most of our time on the bus. Once in Montego Bay you have 2 hours to do whatever (shop, eat, beach), well 2 hrs. goes by real fast and just not enough time to do anything. Plus if you just want to shop, you can shop at the port - don't get an excursion for that. If you are going to do an excursion here - do one that starts bright and early. IMPORTANT NOTE - Jamaican time is one hour behind ship time, be mindful of that when returning from your excursion. Your phones will convert to Jamaican time. COMPLAINT - my one and only complaint is that there is no messaging system on the ship. We did not want to purchase the internet package and communicating with the other 2 couples we traveled with was impossible - this made it really hard to coordinate and/or check-in. I would NOT bring my children on a ship where I could not IM them and I would not want to buy an internet package for 5 folks (my family size) - that gets pricey. I hear The Oasis Class ships (Allure, Oasis, Harmony, Symphony) all have messaging capabilities on their RoyalQ app - but Independence did not. I've cruised RCC one time prior on Majesty of the Seas in 2008 (long time ago) and 2 Carnival Cruises, both on Liberty of the Seas, in 2018. In comparison, Independence of the Seas blew all the other ships away. I also must say, RCC has me reconsidering my Aug 2019 cruise on Carnival Horizon. We had such an amazing time that we've already booked our next RCC cruise in 2020. I did not come away from my Carnival Cruises feeling this well. However, I don't believe that Liberty is a fair comparison to Independence. I am hopeful that Carnival Horizon will allow me the opportunity to do a true comparison, right now Carnival has pretty big shoes to fill. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Went on cruise for a surprise birthday and i was very disappointed. Our room was by far the best experience, we had a junior suite, very spacious and comfortable. The ship itself was beautiful but overcrowded, In the dinning room, ... Read More
Went on cruise for a surprise birthday and i was very disappointed. Our room was by far the best experience, we had a junior suite, very spacious and comfortable. The ship itself was beautiful but overcrowded, In the dinning room, you could not even move from your table unless several people moved so you could get out. There were kids everywhere on this boat and the parents were nowhere to be seen, kids just ran wild. Also there is no such place as adults only on this boat, the adult only pool section was overwhelmed with kids, in the hot tubs and pools and the staff did nothing about it. I was on deck 10 and the kids basically ran down the hall kicking over all the plates and cups that were sitting outside the cabin doors and the steward yelled an me and my husband but not any of the other guests that did the same. The food was very bland. The buffet served the same food all week with no variation. The dinning room food consisted of items you could make yourself and home and was not very good. I sent plates back every night so my dinner consisted of Salmon for the duration of the trip. Entertainment was OK but finding seats was a no go unless you went to the event at least 30 minutes or more before it started. The staff I found not to be very friendly on this boat, me and my husband always take an abundance of tip money for the crew as we know they work very hard but found it very hard to tip anyone because they were so rude. Haiti was nice, just basically a beach with 4 sections. Falmouth Jamaica, we had a blast but had to drive over 40 minutes to get to any activities as they dock on the other side of the island This was my fourth cruise with this line and each time I was disappointed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The staff was amazing and they made every effort to accomodate our requests for food and other amenities. Cruise was overall fun for the whole family and this cruise is best if you have little children as it has arcade and other fun areas ... Read More
The staff was amazing and they made every effort to accomodate our requests for food and other amenities. Cruise was overall fun for the whole family and this cruise is best if you have little children as it has arcade and other fun areas that young kids will love. The shows and food were great. The pizza being available almost 24 hours a day and being included in your cruise price was definitely a plus. The jamaican and haiti port visits were great as well and the jamaican tour we took was awesome. Did not try the specialty restaurants but tried the lobster (paid extra) and it was really good. Would recommend people to book top floors as you are close to buffet and the pool areas. Since the elevators might get busy, you might want to take stairs to get to your destination quicker. Overall Experience: Excellent cruise for family Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were forced to go to Deck 5 to get between fore and aft parts of the ship. The casino on Deck 4 is so smoky that we got nauseous trying to cut through it. The non-smoking areas are tiny islands in a sea of cigarette smoke. Non-smoking ... Read More
We were forced to go to Deck 5 to get between fore and aft parts of the ship. The casino on Deck 4 is so smoky that we got nauseous trying to cut through it. The non-smoking areas are tiny islands in a sea of cigarette smoke. Non-smoking means there is "no smoking please" sign and no ashtrays. Three feet away from the no smoking sign there is a blackjack table. When I pointed out the no-smoking sign three feet away I was rudely told that the dealer handed him an ashtray when he took out a cigarette. Since my wife likes the casino, getting sick from trying to stay in it was a big disappointment. Breakfast in the dining room arrives at room temperature. Try the buffet or go to the Windjammer on deck 11. Internet was very fast and easy to switch devices and was useable throughout the ship. Kids activities were very good. The Diamond Lounge was excellent. Free drinks in the lounge from 4:30 to 8 pm, plus three vouchers loaded on Sea Pass card good even in the restaurants and MDR. Labadee was grossly overpriced for any purchases. It's owned by RCL and they know you have no choice. In Falmouth, there was a problem with the road to Montego Bay and three ships excursions were 90 minutes late getting back. Definitely best to get ship's shore excursions on a short stop at port. The smallest cabin we have ever been in. With the beds together, at the foot of the bed the bed was up against the cabinets so that it was impossible to walk to the head of the bed. You had to crawl over the bed to get to the head of the bed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Just returned from a 5 day cruise with my family (wife + 2 teen age kids) and wanted to share some immediate feedback for others. More later - but for those about to cruise here you go: 1. Overall we had a great experience and would ... Read More
Just returned from a 5 day cruise with my family (wife + 2 teen age kids) and wanted to share some immediate feedback for others. More later - but for those about to cruise here you go: 1. Overall we had a great experience and would do again. 2. If you use the Gym (good facility) be aware that almost No One cleans their equipment when done. I suggest you wipe down the equipment you use Before and After with the wipes that are provided and place all over the place. I truly can't believe that I saw people on treadmills/stair steppers/bike and eliptical machines for 30+ min and then just step off and walk away. I spent at least 1 hr in the gym each day an Never saw a cruise employee clean up anything. Oh - and last thing on the gym - there is No Water unless you want to buy it from the machine. Even if you have the drink package you have to walk outside to the pool bar. Suggest you bring water in with you before hand. 3. Drink machines (Soda and Water). There are very few of these machines on the ship and none on the outside deck by the pool. If you plan on getting drinks from these machines you best map out where they are on day 1 and figure it out. If you lay out by the pool you will stand in line just to get some water. 4. Drink Service. Everywhere on the ship (regardless of how much you tipped on Day 1) prepare to be frustrated by how slow the service is. It seems that each bar is severely understaffed. 5. Wait Staff in Dining room - "absolutely the best" on a scale of 1-10 they get a 12! Literally couldn't be nicer. 6. Hand Washing - signs are posted everywhere, but you'll still see people leaving the bathroom w/o washing their hands. Take advantage of the hand santizer stations all over the ship. Also you will get a kick out of the Washy Washy guy in the Windjammer buffet who sings songs about washing your hands. This guy always has a smile on his face and just plays a great roll. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are frequent cruisers and have done RCCL many times.Never being on the Independence before ,we thought we would try it. Embarkation was pretty confusing the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. had to show our ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers and have done RCCL many times.Never being on the Independence before ,we thought we would try it. Embarkation was pretty confusing the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. had to show our paperwork to 5 different people and each time being told "just go on and board" only to be stopped a little further down the line. Ordered potatoes from the menu at Chops Grill day 1 and was told they ran out, but amazing they were there on day 2 same with anchovies for my Caesar salad No to Chops Grill but available in dining room. Scrambled eggs were the worst for the morning dining room never tasted anything that bad . Coffee in the dining room is now being served with MILK and not the usual HALF & HALF which my wife caught immediately. Ship looks a little tired and things rattled at night and kept us up. Shows were mediocre and the same every night. Ran out of toilet paper in our cabin and steward told us they did not get any delivered and it was not his fault. Pool was SUPER Crowded and with everyone saving chairs with towels you almost had to stand. 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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