Sail Date: September 2018
We have travelled on 'Independence' before and always found it to be a lovely experience all round. Third time this year. Staff excellent, food superb, and lovely rooms. Our attentive waiters were as always 100% ! Cabin steward delightful ... Read More
We have travelled on 'Independence' before and always found it to be a lovely experience all round. Third time this year. Staff excellent, food superb, and lovely rooms. Our attentive waiters were as always 100% ! Cabin steward delightful and diligent. My husband has certain health issues including bad sight but everyone was helpful and polite. Especially in the dining room and in the lifts.The food just gets better and better and we made new friends at our evening table who we are still keeping in touch with.Our last formal night's photo shoot was taken with all of us and many thanks to the head waiter who arranged for us to 'kidnap' our two favorite waiters Alan and Mark for 10 minutes! I do hope to be travelling with RC in the future. we have sailed the Mediterranean twice before but would maybe like to try different places next time. Thank you again RC ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Just needed to write this review after our 2 week cruise on board the beautiful Indy - previously I had read a lot of reviews and was slightly nervous as some of them were pretty poor BUT after witnessing various people who were ... Read More
Just needed to write this review after our 2 week cruise on board the beautiful Indy - previously I had read a lot of reviews and was slightly nervous as some of them were pretty poor BUT after witnessing various people who were ‘complaining’ while on board I now understand that some people are just down right rude and picky and want to moan just for either show or attention with one gentleman actually ranting to customer services that there was no brown bread served with his shrimp cocktail!! even though at the beginning of EVERY meal is a huge basket of bread which can be refilled on request!! I will try and alleviate anyone’s fears who may have read the previous reviews and hopefully put there mind at rest - the food is excellent period, there are huge choices and you only have to ask for anything you fancy and it will be made for you. Sometimes the windjammer can be busy at times but we never once couldn’t find a table or plenty of choice and on one busy morning we were even seated in the speciality restaurant Yes on sea days there may be a search for beds in the sun but again we never ever didnt get 4 beds together The ships cabins are slightly dated but spotlessly cleaned and looked after impeccably by the amazing cabin staff The shows were good and easy to find decent seats every time, the Ice show deserves a special mention There were a few guests that went a little bit to far on the drinks packages but they seemed to be dealt with very quickly by security and sadly bing drinking seems to be a very bad British habit Overall we had an amazing time there were only small queues at times and these were quick to be addressed So all in all I really struggled to see why anyone would have a problem on this wonderful ship with excellent food and fantastic staff and service WELL DONE INDY WE MISS YOU ALREADY BUT WE’LL BE BACK Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
6th cruise with RCI, 2nd time on Independance and it will be the last. Standards have certainly slipped since the last time I sailed on her. Formal nights where guests are permitted into the Royal Dining room in track suit bottoms and polo ... Read More
6th cruise with RCI, 2nd time on Independance and it will be the last. Standards have certainly slipped since the last time I sailed on her. Formal nights where guests are permitted into the Royal Dining room in track suit bottoms and polo top ( I kid you not) plus an array of shorts, T-shirts etc. A few of us nic-named her Benidorm of the Seas and it seemed to fit the bill as many other people on board voiced the same concerns. The adition of extra cabins also had the effect of adding to an aleady crowded ship. This is the first cruise where I have had to queue for the Wind Jammer restaurant, on one ocassion for 20 minutes. Food standards have also slipped. After cruisng with Norweigan last year, RCI, are a long way behind in selection and quality of food served. A number of times, we had to send food back and wittnessed others do the same. Independance of the Seas has turned into somewhat of an 18-30s party ship full of fat beer swilling football fans complete with football shirts and in one case, a full Liverpool kit. Indy is in danger of being overtaken by Fred Olsen cruises in terms of class. We also crusied on Athem of the Seas 18 months ago and the difference in class is like chalk and cheese. Anthem is how a luxury cruise ship should be. We always buy the delux drink package which should cover most drinks to a value of $14 per drink, same as our previous cruises, however RCI have rasied the price of the drinks but not the limit on the drinks package which meant we were charged a few $ per glass in order to get a decent wine. On the plus side, Indy still has some of the best intertainment on the seas. Several well know comedians and great West End musical performances. Staff as ever are fansastic and can never do enough for you. I will still cruise with Royal Caribbean in the future, just not on Benidorm of the Seas Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
First time on Indy and highly impressed. Embarkation was seamless as was all service once aboard. After the recent refurb, the ship was radiant and fun to explore. Was told cabins had not been refreshed but ours was as good as new, ... Read More
First time on Indy and highly impressed. Embarkation was seamless as was all service once aboard. After the recent refurb, the ship was radiant and fun to explore. Was told cabins had not been refreshed but ours was as good as new, spacious, spotless and with a deep balcony. Had been a bit worried with some reviews...kids running round, drunken antics, overcrowded...but this was not the case on our September cruise. A good mix of passengers and came across no problems. I have not given 5 stars because I did feel there was a lack of queit space/coffee shop options and had the ship been any fuller ( school holidays?), I would call it overcrowded. Think the extra cabins installed during the refit are not in the interest of overall passenger comfort/experience. Staff were brilliant, friendly without being overbearing. Never came across the selling hype. Main dining room food and that it the Windjammer was good, but certainly not exceptional. We had My Time dining but in reality had to book a fixed time as there was not availability between 6.30 and 8.00. Only had lunch in The Winjammer. Breakfasted in MDR buffet and never waited more than 5 minutes for a table for two. Often straight in and that was always between 8.30 and 9.15. Entertainment was very good. The 90 minute Grease show and The Bohemians Queen tribute band stood out....as did the 9 piece orchestra. Loved the music in the different bars too e.g. Mattiz in Boleros Latin bar. Joff Eaton was briiliant as the Entertainment Director...especially in whipping up the crowds on the two Royal Promenade street parties. Joff is both highly professional and approachable. I do think Sailaways could be more of an occasion as they are on some other lines. We had the deluxe drinks package which probably meant we drank a fair bit more than we would otherwise...and often resulted in a late night tasty slice of pizza from Sorrento's! Always good service across the bars. Normal bar prices are expensive. Many of the new additions are aimed at children/youngsters which we did not use much. Did enjoy watching the surfers on the Flowrider at the stern. Loved the Independence Dunes mini golf at the front of the ship. Indy has an excellent promenade deck on Deck 4 and you can get to the bow of the ship on Deck 5. We didn't use the sunbeds..hundreds of them. However, if you looked around there were always some free. Would liked to have seen more upright chairs on deck. The itinerary was excellent. Nine ports over 15 days. All lovely and easily accessible from the ship. We went on 2 ship excursions (farm and Agaete on Gran Canaria and Teide volcanoes walk on Tenerife) and the guides excelled with their knowledge and humour on both trips. The whole RCI and Indy experience proved better than what we had envisaged. If RCI can positively address the issues which seem to have dogged the school holiday cruises, Indy will continue to be a real winner with families. Outside of these times, Indy is a busy, lively cruise ship that has much to offer...but don't choose this ship for a quiet retreat! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first cruise holiday so unable to give comparisons with other companies but will give what I regard as a fair review. The cabin overall was very good with Ricardo our attendant keeping it clean twice daily. The cabin with ... Read More
This was our first cruise holiday so unable to give comparisons with other companies but will give what I regard as a fair review. The cabin overall was very good with Ricardo our attendant keeping it clean twice daily. The cabin with balcony was a good size for 2 people and comfortable. There were a couple of niggly points that prevented an excellent score but not really worth mentioning. The jewel in the crown for Royal Caribbean are their staff. From the managers down to the general cleaners, everyone was friendly and went out of their way to be helpful and cheerful. So an excellent score for service. We had my time dining on deck 3 for dinner and always asked for sharing tables so we could meet other guests. I don’t recognise the queues other people mention never having to wait more than a couple of minutes to be seated but then again we went when all the kids were back to school, so the amount of guests was probably far fewer. All the waiters and assistants were attentive and gave great service. Apart from one evening the food was also excellent. We used windjammer for breakfast and lunch (when onboard) and although not up to the dinning room standard, the food was of a good standard. Boarding and disembarkation was also first rate and far far easier than an airport. Some of the excursions were poor value for money. With up to 2 hours ‘free time’ on a 4.5 hour trip we felt the guides not doing a good job. On one trip the main reason for going was a visit to a volcano, after setting off we were told we could not go there with no explanation, only to find on returning to the ship that another tour with disabled guests had visited it as planned. On another trip we arrived back to the meeting point after some more ‘free time’ 5 minutes early to find the coach doors closed and about to drive off without us. Had we been on time we would have been left stranded. The shows were either good or excellent although difficult to get a seat unless you were at least half an hour early. The entertainment and activities on ‘at sea days’ was very limited for older (not elderly) guests. Now the reason for a 3 star rating rather than a 5. Practically everything on board was geared to squeezing more money out of you, even some of the shopping promotions were listed as entertainment. Far and away our biggest disappointment was the overcrowded feel of the ship. It was difficult at best and impossible most times to get a seat at any of the bars of an evening when you want to just sit and have a drink. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the only places you could get a seat at times was in the restaurants where you have to pay or in the casino. The sun loungers are packed tightly together and it is practically impossible to get near the pool for a dip so we gave that a miss. In peak season with over a thousand additional kids on board it must be a nightmare. Overall the cruise left us feeling that we couldn’t understand why people rave about cruise holidays, it was good but could have been a lot better had the passenger / facility ratio been a lot better. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We sailed onboard the ship for our 1st ever cruise on the Norway itinerary. We are in our early forties and always wanted to see the Fjords. Upon arrival at Southampton, the whole embarking process was flawless - having travelled by ... Read More
We sailed onboard the ship for our 1st ever cruise on the Norway itinerary. We are in our early forties and always wanted to see the Fjords. Upon arrival at Southampton, the whole embarking process was flawless - having travelled by air very frequently over the years, we found the whole process easy, pleasant and was on the ship within 30 minutes of getting out of our car next to the ship. Our experience of the ship was great - the staff were very attentive, helpful and really added to the trip. The decor was nice, we liked the amenities available (although we are not really into sun loungers or pools, so didn't use those facilities). The food standard was very good, the food in the MDR was good (although we generally either went to a speciality restaurant or the Windjammer most evenings). There were numerous bars are onboard with a variety of themes and acts that support them, The entrainment on the whole was good, we enjoyed the shows (Grease and the Ice Shows were the highlights). The street parties on the promenade were also enjoyable. The itinerary was fantastic - we was not disappointed with any of the port stops, although a lot was closed in Bergen (Sunday) however we wanted to go on the Funicular, so spend our time at the top then took a hop on - hop off bus round the area. The 8 nights were nothing short of excellent overall. Our only comment was the cabin whilst clean and maintained well by our cabin steward (special mention to Warner on Deck 7 - fantastic service and a credit to the ship), was showing signs of age (as were most, as the recent refurbishment only appears to have been done to cater for the incoming new cabins). Finally worth noting - many comments have been made on the subject of the changes causing overcrowding. Having not been onboard prior to this trip, it may be noticeable to previous guests, however on our trip we didn't feel this was the case. We did sail the last day of August, so not many children were on the ship compared too the previous several weeks and Norway isn't likely a family choice over the Med or the Canaries, so likely played a part in appearing to be lower in capacity. We liked our trip so much that within 4 days of being back - we have booked again for next year (to the Med - but out of school holidays). If the reviews gave you 2nd thoughts - our advice is give it a try. We are very glad we did. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
When booking I enquired at length about the kid's club and whether the children were confined to a room or if they were taken out to use the many facilities on-board. I wouldn't have booked had I known that it was basically a babysitting ... Read More
When booking I enquired at length about the kid's club and whether the children were confined to a room or if they were taken out to use the many facilities on-board. I wouldn't have booked had I known that it was basically a babysitting service in a dedicated room. The staff were pleasant but the overall concept of the program is poor. All sessions were in the room and it was always some dodge-ball type games, some arts and crafts and sometimes a video. Such a shame when there was a whole boat of interesting and exciting things they could have been doing. It meant that I was not able to book long excursions because it wasn't fair on the children. In Club Med resorts they can't wait to ditch us and get to the kids club but this was more like a creche than an enjoyable holiday activity. Service is sometimes pushy rather than genuinely and appropriately friendly. My impression is that the staff are terrified of negative feedback, under orders to be friendly at all costs and desperate for tips so they launch into their prepared patter or present you with extra (unasked for) food items rather than taking their lead from their guest. There's an air of desperation as well about keeping the bosses happy which takes priority over the guest experience. Some people may like this service style but I didn't enjoy being stalked at breakfast each day and cornered into a lengthy conversation when I was trying to eat, chat to my family, get my children fed and get out to get the day started. Even when I thought we were making it pretty obvious that we just wanted to get on with our meal it persisted and was very awkward. Many of the staff are genuinely friendly in a nice way and it was lovely to get to know them a little bit, but the pushy over-familiarity of some really had a negative effect on the trip. I think it's probably a cultural thing - it's a very American service style but taken to extremes by some staff members. Buffet was decent. Main dining room food was OK - a bit patchy and no frills but as expected given the numbers they cater for. Desserts weren't great in comparison to other courses (the ice creams were particularly cheap and nasty but the free ice cream from the machine out by the kids pool was much better). Ate in all the speciality restaurants. Wine lists were a joke - it seemed that more of the wines were unavailable than available. I was told that many of the wines by the glass hadn't been available for weeks - they are not long lists so why not reprint them and keep them current? On a number of occasions the wine I ordered by the glass was definitely not the one I was served - mostly it was a similar style of wine and I didn't say anything, but on one occasion I was given a glass of red and assured it was the albarino I had ordered. Chops and Giovanni's were decent but Izumi was very disappointing - for the price and given the decent raw ingredients they use the finished food was terrible and the production very gimmicky. My Family Time dining (another reason we booked) was unavailable with hundreds of people already on the closed waitlist when we tried to change our Main Dining Room late sitting allocation. The ship is spectacular with lots to do. Information in the daily bulletin (on your bed at night) is sometimes too late to allow for planning of activities. Shows are of a high quality. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We booked this cruise after seeing advertisements on board our last cruise which shown the ship sailing through all these fjords which looked fantastic. Highlight of the whole cruise was the port of Geranger which was fantastic to sail ... Read More
We booked this cruise after seeing advertisements on board our last cruise which shown the ship sailing through all these fjords which looked fantastic. Highlight of the whole cruise was the port of Geranger which was fantastic to sail through to and really nice scenery once there. Regarding the ship, having cruised on this ship many times we thought the recent refurbishments were catering for the younger generation and the inclusion of additional cabins resulting in approximately an additional 400 guests the ship seemed overcrowded on sea days with queues for the windjammer cafe and promenade cafe a common site. Being diamond plus members we felt that now the concierge lounge which used to be on deck 9 has been taken away this has resulted in the diamond lounge on deck 14 was overcrowed most nights. Dining room menu's were not that great a selection and rather bland on some nights. Staff were very good throughout the ship as usual. Our view and talking to other diamond plus guests was that there is too big a gap to pinnacle staus from diamond plus and not much more recogition between diamond and diamond plus status. First time cruisers (and pinnacle members) who purchase a grand suite or above are allowed to use the "Suite Lounge" on deck 14 but not diamond plus members who have spent far more that first time cruisers but are excluded from using this facility. Although we will always sail with RCCL we would'nt come back on Independence again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
First time on Indi -We chose the cruise for Norway Fjords Itinerary and were expecting a cold experience which we got ! however no struggle to get a sun bed ! ,the City ports were grey and disappointing so make sure you organise your ... Read More
First time on Indi -We chose the cruise for Norway Fjords Itinerary and were expecting a cold experience which we got ! however no struggle to get a sun bed ! ,the City ports were grey and disappointing so make sure you organise your excursions before you go or you will just wander around towns drinking coffee in Starbucks . On a positive note I found all crew very helpful and friendly and I genuinely did not have an issue the whole cruise , (something I have experienced before on a cruise )food was as expected good choice and quality ,service was a little slow in restaurant allow 1.5hrs + for all 3 courses ,we did My Time which never queued more than a couple of minutes to get a table -tip your waiters every night ! Big queues for breakfast in windjammer due to additional 105 cabins ,almost impossible to get a seat at any venue due to many people on ship (outside of schools term cannot imagine how busy it would be in summer) ,we found the quality and varied nature of entertainment to be fantastic and cruise director Joff an absolute hoot ! ,one issue is though all entertainment stops around 12-12.30 as star lounge cannot be used due to cabins above ,except Night club on deck 14,DJ was very good and did play requests ,no Karaoke venue ,half heated 30-40 minutes in Star Lounge -other guests commented this was removed to accommodate extra cabins ,also no soft-play for under 3's ,one other irritation RCI charging for what is free on NCL -Fish & Chips ,Burgers and nibbles in sports bar . Overall great cruise met loads of interesting people and would go on large RCI ships again but not to Fjords ! I am 3 stone heavier but less tanned than when I left Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I've only cruised P&O up to now so wanted to try something different - hence a 3 night taster cruise on 'Indy' as I am told I should refer to the ship!! I've travelled on Britannia, Aurora & Ventura so far and don't get me ... Read More
I've only cruised P&O up to now so wanted to try something different - hence a 3 night taster cruise on 'Indy' as I am told I should refer to the ship!! I've travelled on Britannia, Aurora & Ventura so far and don't get me wrong, they are all nice ships [in their own ways] but none of them had the WOW factor that Indy has. The Royal Promenade was v impressive, the on deck facilities [pools, slides etc] put P&O to shame, and the entertainment was fab - Ice Show, Grease Musical, Magician & Take That Tribute band - all outstanding. Don't get me wrong, P&O entertainment was good, but no WOW factor and not memorable. The Grease Show was West End standard [IMHO]. On my last Cruise on Britannia I felt getting around the boat was boring/uninteresting, but on Indy whichever Deck you were on, there was always something to see/look at, making the whole experience of getting around [I easily did my 10,000 steps a day!!] an enjoyable one! With these ships getting bigger and bigger, its amazing how much time you spend getting yourself around on deck! The Self Serve Restaurant [Windjammer], other than being a 'bun-fight' on a couple of occasions, was excellent and far better than P&O's Horizon. The choice was amazing, the staff extremely polite and helpful, and the whole experience great. We had two ports of call - Rotterdam and Bruges. Having been to Bruges before [and being one of the few people it seems who thinks it was overpriced and crawling with bloomin Tourists], I stayed onboard and enjoyed the Ships facilities [interesting talk on RC, Live Big Band Music and a read of my book]. Rotterdam was a v. pleasant surprise. Only just had a wander around the city centre, but v clean and tidy, service was excellent, and not too overcrowded. We queued for the Shuttle Bus, but had we had a little more confidence, it was easily walkable in to the City Centre [we walked back]. Now for the negatives i'm afraid!! They have just spent a fortune on Indy with a makeover, or whatever they call it, so a shame they didn't spend a bit more updating the cabins. We only had an inside [3 sharing] but it was tiny, rather outdated décor and quite dingy. As we literally use the cabin for sleeping its not a major deal, but have to say P&O win here. We had one breakfast [self-service] in the Dining Room which was chaos. They laid all the hot food out on tables making it square in shape. The idea being that you queued from the corner where the dining plates were and slowly made you way round. Being with a load of brits, who couldn't work this out, and with no one from RC helping, chaos ensued. People were getting so irate - god knows what they're like everyday if they're like that on their holiday!! We also had one evening dinner in the Dining Room [we were onfreedom dining, which worked well]. The menu choice was average, the service was average, the food was average - very average overall!! P&O get my vote here. I'm not a big drinker, and would reckon on 3 or 4 bar drinks a day, plus a glass of wine at dinner. The drink prices were OK but not on a par with P&O. Saying that, if it was $1.50 to the £, I guess it would be. Minimum stake in the Casino was $5 which I think is awful. P&O's is much lower. It actually stopped me having a flutter, which I would normally do on P&O! Read Less
Independence of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates N/A 3.8

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