Sail Date: April 2019
We were offered a great deal on this 4 day cruise. We normally prefer the larger ships like Allure or Harmony, but this Freedom Class ship was excellent and a comfortable size. We opted for My Time dining but remained at the same table ... Read More
We were offered a great deal on this 4 day cruise. We normally prefer the larger ships like Allure or Harmony, but this Freedom Class ship was excellent and a comfortable size. We opted for My Time dining but remained at the same table every night because the waiter Hemanshu and his assistant Vijaysingh (VJ) were excellent. We are Casino Royale Prime members so drinks are free in the Casino for us. The bar was unusually busy due to the huge number of players in the casino--one of the bussiest I've seen in ages and we cruise a lot, like 5 times a year. Bartenders Hugo, Hugo2, and Elana could have used help--someone to schlep ice and glasses. They literally ran out of gin one night! Crazy! We only got off in Cozumel to buy vanilla and medical supplies. So much cheaper in Mexico. We are coming to Cozumel in June on the Allure with our grandkids, so we will do touristy stuff then. Independence premiered Grease on this cruise for the first time, and I have to say, it was as good if not better than the same show we saw last year on Harmony. The standing "O" lasted 5 minutes.There were 3 chances to see the Ice Show in 4 days, so it was not crowded. Another excellent show. I'm in awe of how RC books such great artists for such short cruises. As a side note, we were in the Sports Bar on Deck 4 when Tiger won the Masters. The crowd was out of their mind! Fun being in the middle of the chaos! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on Independence 3 times, great ship and service! We arrived at the port at 11:15 am and 11:30 on board. The process is fantastic compared to years ago when you stood in line for hours, much improved. We were offered an ... Read More
We have cruised on Independence 3 times, great ship and service! We arrived at the port at 11:15 am and 11:30 on board. The process is fantastic compared to years ago when you stood in line for hours, much improved. We were offered an up-grade prior sailing but didn't when the bid... Oh well, we still enjoyed our balcony ocean view. Deck 7 is an ideal floor only 2 floors above the Royal Promenade so no need for elevators. I always want the high decks but seriously re-thinking decks 6 and 7 the best! We had my time dining, made our reservations and each night went very smooth. Food in main dining room was okay to good, nothing special. We actually had dinner in the Windjammer one night ( do to a late excursion) and it was fantastic! Tons of choices , from the appetizers to the desserts, anything you could want was available. Breakfast- We prefer the MDR less crowded, tables available, your choice of buffet or ordering from menu all good. Much less crazy than Windjammer. Lunch- MDR by far is the best!! again menu or buffet. Cabin_ Very nice plenty of space and storage no complaints. Ava kept it neat and tidy all week. Entertainment- All good, Grease was great , headliners awesome and the farewell show was the best. Only complaint is the one excusrion we took in Falmouth, we picked A place in the Sun, located in Montego Bay. , Sat in the parking lot for 1 hour waiting for2 people, stop at a store that was over priced for 1 hour, headed to beach very crowded and we had to pay for our chairs and umbrella. No welcome drink NOTHING!! Got back to ship late very disappointed . We are now Diamond Plus members with RCI and hope to sail with them many years ahead. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a birthday cruise for me. We stayed pre-cruise for one night at the Pier 66 Hotel which I have stayed at before. We had a nice time there and were sad to hear they are closing for two years starting in June for renovations. We ... Read More
This was a birthday cruise for me. We stayed pre-cruise for one night at the Pier 66 Hotel which I have stayed at before. We had a nice time there and were sad to hear they are closing for two years starting in June for renovations. We like to sail out of Fort Lauderdale as the airport, cruise port and hotels are within short distance of one another. The ship is amazing and you never want for anything to do. It was very clean and well laid out. The servers in the MDR and our room steward were outstanding! Very pleasant people. This cruise only had 1 port so we booked a shore excursion at Mr. Sanchos and we had an awesome time there! The only issue I had was with the return taxi; he dropped us off at Puerta Maya instead of International Pier ( I wasn't paying attention when he dropped us off). No big deal, we just had to walk a couple blocks. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. We ate most of our meals in the MDR and the food was excellent. Also Chops Grille was pretty yummy! The ice show, Grease and Journey tribute band were all top-notch and we enjoyed them thoroughly! Disembarkation was fairly quick. We went back to Pier 66 for the day and stored our luggage and enjoyed the pool as we had a later in the evening flight. I would go on this ship again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only ... Read More
Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only good things and we will definitely do it again and again Hopefully on Royal Caribbean as well We loved the show grease The staff the costumes the cleaning of the ship. The embarkation in Cozumel was super easy and the check out as well. Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only good things and we will definitely do it again and again Hopefully on Royal Caribbean as well We loved the show grease The staff the costumes the cleaning of the ship. The embarkation in Cozumel was super easy and the check out as well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This is an excellent, clean, classy ship with excellent dining in a beautiful restaurant, nice facilities in the ship including work out areas, plenty of places to lounge (some private, if you look carefully), excellent shows and a staff ... Read More
This is an excellent, clean, classy ship with excellent dining in a beautiful restaurant, nice facilities in the ship including work out areas, plenty of places to lounge (some private, if you look carefully), excellent shows and a staff which cannot do enough for you while maintaining a great attitude. We had a balcony room which can actually be a bit noisy if you are next to party animals...I recommended the ship post "quiet please" signs on each balcony to see if that would help as the reason we are on the balcony in the first place is to get away from....the noise at the pools etc. The staff was really fine, especially our servers in the restaurant. Note, we did purchase "The Key" which allowed for easier on and off the ship as well as a nice sit down meal in the restaurant next to the chaotic buffet line both on the day of embarkation and on disembarkation day as well. I think the Key is worth the modest price as you also get priority seating at the shows as well as one high (eh) speed interned device Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Our family of five really enjoyed this cruise. We have sailed on three Disney ships but this was our first with Royal Caribbean. We were very impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the crew. Our youngest son's food ... Read More
Our family of five really enjoyed this cruise. We have sailed on three Disney ships but this was our first with Royal Caribbean. We were very impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the crew. Our youngest son's food allergies were handled well by our servers and he had a safe and yummy dining experience. I only had two complaints. First, the weird hours of the teen and children's clubs. The clubs would close at dinner and sometimes open at 7 or sometimes 8. My teen checked into his club on 2 occasions and the staff said that activities would be starting later even though the club was supposed to be open. Everyone was very nice but it was confusing. We were used to Disney and the clubs being open for the whole day continuously. My middle and youngest son enjoyed going into Adventure Ocean but they only did it once. They did say that they enjoyed themselves just as much, and maybe even more, in Adventure Ocean than on Disney because of the attention from the staff. I am a big Disney fan but on some cruises, there was very little interaction with the staff and children in the clubs. It was more of a baby sitting while the kids were on video screens. We don't use the clubs a whole lot as we tend to do activities as a family, but they are nice options for the kids. My second complaint had to do with the amount of smoking areas on the ship. There were 4 areas and one was right next to the main pool. (Port side). This was a big problem with crowd control because most families (like us) would try and make our way through the starboard side of the pool area to avoid the smoking. I am not trying to "shame" people who smoke, I just feel in this day and age with all we know about the dangers of smoking, the smoking sections should be in less public places. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the largest ship I've been on for my fifth cruise. The category of "Very Good" fit this ship, the service, the activities, and just everything across the board. I have had "Excellent" or ... Read More
This was the largest ship I've been on for my fifth cruise. The category of "Very Good" fit this ship, the service, the activities, and just everything across the board. I have had "Excellent" or "Exceptional" experiences in each of these categories on other Royal Caribbean ships or with other cruise lines on various occasions. While nothing was "wrong" in any of these categories on this cruise, nothing rose to the level of "Excellent" either. Do not take the above to mean that we were displeased. Not at all. It was a wonderful cruise and well worth the time and money. If I were to rate anything as "Excellent", it would be the itinerary. I'm a HUGE fan of having an immediate Sea Day before you reach your ports and then a Sea Day after. It really gave us an opportunity to settle in on the ship and get in "cruise mode". Then, after the hustle and bustle of excursions in port, it was wonderful to have that final Sea Day to wind down, get back into "cruise mode", and enjoy the ship and just... cruising! Again, this was the largest ship we had been on and the first of this class with RCCL. The promenade truly was a wonderful experience and just a terrific way to get from end to end of the ship while having food, drink, and shopping opportunities. We were very pleased with the private island, Labadee, Haiti. SO many areas to explore and enjoy. It was very easy to take advantage of the drink package, which extended to the private island. SO many places to relax and enjoy the various beaches or just relax in the shade. We did the Green Grotto Caves and Dunn's River Falls excursion in Falmouth, Jamaica. The caves were nice, with great guides. However, the experience at Dunn's River Falls was just SO much more amazing, we wish we would have done an all-day excursion at just Dunn's River Falls. For those planning the Dunn's River Falls excursion, while you can certainly take stairs along the falls to enjoy its beauty, the excursion itself has you joining hands with your group to go UP and THROUGH the falls. You will get beyond soaked and it does take a bit of strength and sureness of footing. It is completely doable by most able-bodied individuals, but if you have ANY infirmities, heed the warnings. And... be sure to bring a quality "dry bag" to keep anything you don't want to get wet. The scenery and experience has made Dunn's River Falls my all-time favorite excursion to date. I'm relatively new to cruising and am totally hooked. I will be taking one to three cruises a year for the rest of my life. I just LOVE it. While I am enjoying becoming VERY familiar with some ports that are commonly hit, like Nassau, in general, I like to always go somewhere new. However, I will say that the locations, offerings, and itinerary of this particular cruise (Sea Day; Labadee, Haiti; Falmounth, Jamaica; Sea Day) make this one that I would sincerely consider doing again. THAT is probably the best testimonial for this ship, the itinerary, the ports, and the available excursions!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our second Royal Caribbean cruise so we were looking forward to it. The positives: The RC staff were excellent, always smiling and helpful. We loved our cabin steward. The spa massages were fantastic! The dining room food was ... Read More
This was our second Royal Caribbean cruise so we were looking forward to it. The positives: The RC staff were excellent, always smiling and helpful. We loved our cabin steward. The spa massages were fantastic! The dining room food was good. The wait staff was excellent. The ship was clean. The breakfast at the pizza place was delicious, cooked fresh sandwiches - highly recommend it. The Promenade Oatmeal cookies were great. Johnny Rockets fries and onion rings were cold and bad but the sandwiches were very good. The negatives: the crowds at the pools were crazy - it was almost impossible to get two chairs together near the pools. The food at the Windjammer was bad and was repeated each day item for item. The afternoon snacks were mostly mediocre leftover lunch desserts. You could only get iced tea at lunch and dinner - not at breakfast. This was the first time that we had an inside room and it was fine - plenty of space. We even had shelves that we left empty. We had booked a 10 night cruise before leaving the ship but cancelled it once we got home -just couldn't get excited about that food for 10 days straight. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Review of our independence of the seas trip 3/14-3/18(Platinum members, did the Ultimate dining Plan and deluxe beverage this trip) Promenade room 7329 Flew into FLL from STL, 5:45 am flight(ugh), in FLL around 9, at the Port, checked ... Read More
Review of our independence of the seas trip 3/14-3/18(Platinum members, did the Ultimate dining Plan and deluxe beverage this trip) Promenade room 7329 Flew into FLL from STL, 5:45 am flight(ugh), in FLL around 9, at the Port, checked in and in seats waiting to board by 10:15. at 11am they started calling people and we were on board and making our reservations for the week at Chops by 11:15. Boarding process was simple and easy. Food Got the hibachi the first night. I went down in the afternoon of the 1st day and played dumb asking about getting the hibachi with UDP. Lady said no, but since it was the first day and they weren't crowded she would let us. Meal was good, but we were charged $4 a piece for our meal(single meet, combo meat would have been $10 pp) that wasn't mentioned when the reservation was made. Not a huge deal, and I imagine if I had complained I could have gotten it waved, but it was $10, not worth the time. Ate at chops the 2nd and 4th night. Very good, service was really good and the food was excellent. Desserts were very eh in my opinion tho. Not very exciting at all. Ate at Giovanni's the 3rd night and had a similar experience to Chops, with a waitress that was a little better than the night before. Food was really good and the desserts were better than Chops. For lunch we got sandwiches from Cafe promenade pretty much every day and ate them poolside. Day 1(got an egg salad for a snack late afternoon) and 3 had great sandwiches. day 2 and 4 were eh. Pizza in Sorrentos was much better than previous trips. I noticed that with sorrentos the lines were much shorter at cafe promenade and Sorrentos than on navigator the year before with just cafe promenade. we got burgers from windjammer a couple of times as well. Room Not a big fan of the promenade rooms(we stayed in an inside room for our 1st 2 cruises, but the last 4 before this were all balconies). I wanted the window because the inside rooms feel to cave like to me, but my wife wanted the window curtains closed because you could see right in across from you, so it kind of defeated the purpose. Could have just gotten an inside room instead. Bed placement makes the room awkward to move around in. Bed was very hard in my opinion but didn't really bother us. Stateroom attendant was very good. Not really alot of sound from out on the promenade. Pools Solarium was pretty crowded and they've added chairs to the shelfs. This makes those much more crowded than they were previously. I'm an early riser, so I was out by the pool every day around 8/8:30, so we had our pick of chairs. Really could have had any chair we wanted until 9:30am probably. Bar service was pretty easy, sometimes crowded, but never very long to wait for a drink. One change I found this trip was alot more waiters than we've ever seen. I got more drinks from a waiter by the pool this trip than probably all others combined. Didn't use the regular pool, but it looked nice. Kid area was fairly crowded and looked like the kids were having fun. Didn't do the flow rider or the tubes. Bars and entertainment. we drank at playmakers and R bar alot of the cruise. Liked playmakers alot, great atmosphere. Didn't try any of the food, but it looked pretty good. Spent some time at the Schooner bar(piano guy was ok, woman last year was alot more fun) . The actor who played danny zucco in the Grease show was performing one night and we caught the end, looks like the show was fun and we enjoyed the few numbers we saw. stopped in the pub a couple times and the viking lounge, but didn't frequent these enough to give an opinion one way or another. Bar service was pretty good almost the entire trip. We saw Grease on night 2, Savannah Jack on night 3. Did not do the show the 1st night or the last. Grease was just ok, the leads could sing but it was just kind of eh. Enjoyed Saturday night Fever alot more on a previous cruise. Felt bad for Savannah Jack, the crowd was small and didn't' seem to get into it. We've seen them before with a larger crowd and they were great. so overall the entertainment was lacking this trip. Misc... The app sucks. Didn't show our dining reservations. Show times/changes never updated. pre cruise it had grease on night 2 and 4. The headliner in the app for night 3 was somebody else. Pretty much worthless if you were relying on it for any information. 4 days is too short. We've done 5 days the last 4 years and chose 4 days to save money because of an expensive disney trip coming up. It was fine, but 4 would have been better. Getting on and off the ship was really easy, we did self assist and walked down to the theater at 8:30 am with our luggage and didn't stop until we got in line at customs desk. I think we were in a cab by 8:45. Announcements are worthless, I'm hard of hearing in one ear, but even my wife couldn't make out most of them. Elevators are really slow. I took the stairs most times. Freestyle machines are pretty good and lines weren't long like I thought they might be. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both ... Read More
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both got food poisoning from eggs Benedict and ruined the last day of our trip. We were sick in our room the rest of the day. They had the Grease show which was pretty good but the staff were very unorganized with keeping the guests waiting in an organized manner, making some wait at the top of the stairs while others lined up at the doors below in a separate line making people frustrated. The last part of the show had to stop due to technical difficulties so we left. The highlight of our trip was our Izumi sushi class and the Savannah Jack concert. There could have been more shows going on also as there was not much to choose from. Read Less
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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