1,786 Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that ... Read More
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that finding seats for groups of 2 or 3 becomes testing; for bigger groups often impossible. The food though is excellent & the staff, insufficient in number to cope with these events, are very good. The drink situation onboard is risible. Again, function rooms & bars often become filled for events because of the excessive passenger population, & only 1 or 2 waiters are left to cope with their demands. The selling of drinks on board is poor. Individual drinks bought effectively for cash are about twice as much as in U.K. bars; a glass of rose costing about $8 (£6.50). The onboard drinks package offered to my wife & me, both retired & living on pensions, cost £140 per day; really. The only time we bought alcohol on this cruise was during a port call at Cannes. We bought a bottle of Gin for our daughter principally because of the attractive bottle & its’ labelling. We declared this bottle on boarding the ship & handed it for safe keeping to security staff clearly explaining the reason for its purchase. When returned the labelling had tape stuck over it. The room service on this ship is the best I have ever experienced & is worthy of commendation. Hard working staff are the salvation of many rather cavalier management decisions on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just home after a cruise to the Portugal and the Canary islands departed from Southampton. Firstly, RCC never miss a trick to make money !! Always book a drinks package and a dining package - we did both and it was excellent value for ... Read More
Just home after a cruise to the Portugal and the Canary islands departed from Southampton. Firstly, RCC never miss a trick to make money !! Always book a drinks package and a dining package - we did both and it was excellent value for money. Sea days = Hell days just too many people . The sundeck was just awful peop!e packed in like sardines roasting in the sun. No room between lounger and literally no room to move and angle to face the sun. Food - good quality and tasty in the main dinning room. The Italian was excellent the steak much, much better than Chops !! Chops - the maitre D would make a great team in a funeral parlour , no smiles and no finesse a rather lack lustre dinner . Wind jammer my least favourite restaurant on board like a canteen and an unpleasant experience defiantly not relaxing or fine dinining. Best bit.... The washy hand man always singing and always smiling. Our cabin - Deck Ten 1402 very clean, large balcony although we never got any sun on it. Bathroom very compact but useable . Towels were tiny and a bit thread beard. Staff - all without exception very nice, helpful and genuinely like to look after you. Would we go again with RCC - NO !!!! This cruise is not "select " or luxurious and the price reflects the calibre of their guest - We will stick to Regent Seven Seas in future. I have in all honesty never seen so many mobility scooters , tattoos and chavs in all my life. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Second cruise with RC, first one was on the Navigator (pre refurbishment) and that was so much better, as my wife is in a wheelchair there were many issues that we feel should be addressed:- -Lack of unisex accessible toilets, only one ... Read More
Second cruise with RC, first one was on the Navigator (pre refurbishment) and that was so much better, as my wife is in a wheelchair there were many issues that we feel should be addressed:- -Lack of unisex accessible toilets, only one on deck 12, or its back to your room. - Great idea to put a piano in a lift at peak times which in effect made lift unusable, and yes they put a piano in a lift.....great idea that was - Sun beds rammed in side by side with no access from the sides unless you spend 30 mins dragging other ones out of the way - Apart from deck 4, there were no Sun lounges available - State rooms were shabby and need updating - The so called multi million pound refurbishment was obviously not spent on interior decoration - Windjammer menus seemed to repeated every other day and food was on many occasions cold - It was like a treasure hunt most days in the Windjammer to find the vegetables, which again were cold - On the other extreme you would get second degree burns from the utensils that were kept under the lamps In summary, RC seems to be focusing on quantity and not quality, can we please have the ship's back as they were..... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
i chose this cruise because I fancied he list of ports to be visited. As a widow travelling alone I like cruising because I can sit at the same table every night with the same guests so I can get to know people without having to make ... Read More
i chose this cruise because I fancied he list of ports to be visited. As a widow travelling alone I like cruising because I can sit at the same table every night with the same guests so I can get to know people without having to make introductions every night. This has always worked well on previous cruises. On this occasion I got ready for the evening meal, spruced myself up ready to make new friends and found myself all alone. After two nights I spoke to the Maitre .D who said there were two other ladies due to be at my table but they had obviously decided not to use the dining room. There were no other tables with space I could move to apart from those occupied by family groups. As I didn’t want to intrude in families I went on every other night to the Windjammer. I have no complaints about the buffet food but this was not the holiday experience I had been hoping for. As I eat alone most nights of the year I find having company for my meal something I really look forward to. Obviously I pay double price as a single passengers to then have this disappointment over the meal was a real blow. Not RC’s fault but I will probably not ever book another cruise in case the same thing happens, The embarkation was wonderful. From being dropped off by taxi just over ten minutes to being in the buffet. Cabins ready within a couple of hours. Nice cabin, sofa a bonus, kettle which I wasn’t expecting. Comfortable bed, great shower. I had an aft cabin, no 8710. Disappointed that there was just a door with a high window so couldn’t easily see out. However the balcony itself was good with two armchairs and a sun bed. The ports of call were generally very good apart from Ibiza and Majorca which were not at all inspiring. Watch out in Cadiz. I had my purse stolen and I still don’t understand how that happened. I thought I might have a bit of advice from Guest Services about informing the police, etc., but they were completely disinterested and offered no help at all. I have enjoyed my days away but they could have been so much better after paying £3500. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had wanted to go on IOS for a long time and although wasn't disappointed, wasn't for us. Several reasons really, far too big, twice the size of others we have been on and this was our 10th. Firstly when we arrived on the ... Read More
We had wanted to go on IOS for a long time and although wasn't disappointed, wasn't for us. Several reasons really, far too big, twice the size of others we have been on and this was our 10th. Firstly when we arrived on the ship, we couldn't find our cabin, it didn't matter who we asked and was sent in one direction, once arriving there, was told it was another so initially very frustrating. Eventually after three quarters of an hour, one of the staff requested someone to take us to Cabin 3309. Unfortunately the chap who was taking us couldn't find it either. However, eventually after a couple of days we were able to find the cabin ok - as long as you knew which end you were!!! Secondly, due to excessive noise above our cabin (3309 Deck 3), on the third night with very little sleep, I rang Guest Services and in turn Security came to see us. At first the lady couldn't hear anything, blaming it on the "rocking of the ship" and then heard what we did. Unfortunately for us, and obviously didn't know this when booking, the Playmakers Bar was above us (and affected other passengers on that deck). It wasn't passengers, but the cleaners and basically having a "party" by rolling the trolleys around, thumping on the floor and talking/screaming loudly. I was told by the Security that I would get a phone call from Guest Services within half an hour to inform us what was happening. Still at this time wasn't aware of "Playmakers Bar" above. I didn't receive the phone call but the noise did stop and didn't know any of the above until I went to Guest Services the following morning to discuss and make sure that the complaint had been logged. The next couple of nights were quieter but then started again on about the 5th night and carried on, and each morning I went up to complain. Although Guest Services are very nice and apologetic it didn't bode well at all. A lady at Guest Service's asked me if I'd booked direct with RCI. I explained that we booked through our travel agent, but that should make no difference, as clearly if they - whoever you booked with - explained that this Bar is above the cabins, no one would book them, which she didn't comment on. There was a wedding family on board which made themselves known day and night and also drank as much as they possibly could and actually thought the cruise was just for them. We sat and tried to watch the "movie under the stars" but in all honesty couldn't hear anything due to the noise they were making so left. They didn't talk, just shouted and screamed. On another occasion one of the children was seen running around on the stairs and messing about with the lift buttons. A gentleman asked him to behave to which he had a torrent of swearing and abuse thrown at him from this child. On another occasion, two children were in the "hot tub" on their own, jumping in and out. I did ask the Lifeguard if it was safe and actually were they allowed in there on their own. He did go and ask them to get out but they didn't. Another lifeguard came over and spoke to us and said "I can't ask them to get out as they are allowed in there on their own (??) and when I asked where the parents supervising them, he said "parents are up at the bar" at the other end of the pool !! On a plus, the entertainment was excellent, especially the ice shows which were fabulous. Grease was ok, but personally still prefer the film and maybe the actors are a little tired of doing it all too, just my opinion of course. The entertainment on the Promenade is brilliant too, although there isn't enough seating area for passengers but not sure how they could make this different. The food was excellent, both in the MDR and Windjammer. The Windjammer having far more choice though. The staff are amazing and cannot do enough for you, whether it's housekeeping (Maria Deck 3), the waiters in MDR (Table 442) and also in the Windjammer - they work so hard and nothing is too much trouble whatever you ask for. All the staff deserve this praise and more. The places we visited were great too. We just did our own thing, apart from Cadiz when we took an excursion to the beach. Well worth the money as you wouldn't be able to walk to it from the ship. Didn't see much of the Captain (nor his Crew) and to be honest, was a man of very few words whilst speaking over the tannoy. Whilst we didn't expect to meet him personally it would have been nice to have a few more sentences from him!! All of the above is obviously just our opinion, as everyone has their own. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation was great, we were on the ship 5 minutes after entering the terminal. The refurbished part of the ship is great, it’s a shame they didn’t update the staterooms. Ours was quite shabby with stained and faded sofas, old net ... Read More
Embarkation was great, we were on the ship 5 minutes after entering the terminal. The refurbished part of the ship is great, it’s a shame they didn’t update the staterooms. Ours was quite shabby with stained and faded sofas, old net curtains which didn’t meet in the middle and filthy curtain liners. Come on RCI. Our cabin was kept clean though, so no problems there, it just felt grubby because it was tatty. The food in Windjammers and the MDR was very good, plenty of choice. We had the lovely Amit and Heman (Table 755) looking after us, who were so lovely, friendly and helpful. We had My Time dining and had the same table and time every night. The shows in the theatre were very good, but the last couple of nights they changed the time to 7pm or 9pm, which was no good with our dinner time, so missed 2 shows. Grease was ok, but they had a few hiccups. Both the ice shows were great. I don’t think the groups/bands were as good this year, but that’s just my personal opinion. Bar service was generally good, but they could do with more staff in Boleros, as most days there was only one serving and if they had to go and get more bottles it was left unmanned. Quite a bit of queuing most of the time. Katerina, the waitress was brilliant there, friendly and smiling. All the ports of call were great, as was getting on and off the ship each time. We had the usual kids running around and playing in the lifts, but that’s down to the parents who obviously didn’t care. I was a bit worried after reading previous reviews about getting a seat anywhere, but we always managed to find a seat in Windjammers and a sun lounger every day. The bars were quite busy and if we couldn’t get a seat in one we always found one in another (except the Schooner bar, which was always rammed). I do wish everyone would wash their hands in the restaurants, as every day we saw people just walking straight in and we have to go and use the tongs they have used. Instead of the lovely singing waiters singing to wash your hands as you go in, they should be making people do it who walk straight by. Great cruise, lovely ports of call, glorious weather and no real complaints, only the tatty stateroom. Cannot wait until the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were already vacationing in London prior. We really enjoyed the ice show “Strings.” The violinist was phenomenal and the choreography of the skaters was great. We ate in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were already vacationing in London prior. We really enjoyed the ice show “Strings.” The violinist was phenomenal and the choreography of the skaters was great. We ate in the main dining room the first two nights. The food was good, portions could have been bigger but the service was very slow. Izumi was good but it was an hour until we ate. I understand there is a show involved with dining in a hibachi restaurant but it just took too long. The balcony room was in a great location mid ship on Deck 7. I liked the size of the ship. Not too big and not too small. The ship excursion to Brugge was very good. We did the half day guided tour with free time. Overall a very nice ship and we would travel on her again if the opportunity arose. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised with P&O and NCL and decided to do a Royal Caribbean taster cruise before we committed to booking a full cruise for us and our children. We travelled with our 2 and a half year old, we have found it very difficult ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O and NCL and decided to do a Royal Caribbean taster cruise before we committed to booking a full cruise for us and our children. We travelled with our 2 and a half year old, we have found it very difficult to get the right level of entertainment for him on previous cruises as he’s not a baby but still too little to go into any clubs/groups. There was a fantastic aqua park for him with a baby area which was great. The water was heated too which was a brilliant idea. There wasn’t much else going on for him though, there were a few toys laid out in a nightclub area in the day but very limited. We could pay $6 an hour to put him in a under 3’s club which we didn’t do. The food was comparable to NCL, a good standard and plenty to chose from. However, there were strict times on when food was available. On previous ships there was always food available in the buffet but it closed in the day for 3 hours and at 9:00pm in the evening which seems a bit early considering there is nearly 5k guests on board and there was a wait for a table. The only other option if you missed the buffet or dining room was pizza which is very limited, especially if you have dietary requests. We ate in the main dining room every night which we do on every cruise, A manager came to the table every night to ask how our dinning experience was which was great. We love the formalities of cruising and were disappointed when the waiters started doing the Macarena in the middle of dinner service, it really wasn’t great. Also on formal night, a guy wearing jeans and muddy running trainers was sat next to us in the main dining room while we were wearing a tuxedo and a cocktail dress. It’s disappointing that people can’t make the effort but also respect that people don’t always want to however, I feel on formal nights especially, trousers and shoes should be worn as a minimum to get into the main dining room. We decided to have an inside cabin as we were only sailing for 3 days. When we got to the cabin I was so disappointed. It was very dated, even though the independence had apparently had a refurb recently, the carpet was grubby and the sofa had stains on it. The cabin wasn’t cleaned properly with stains on the mirrors and marks on the walls. The cabin was really knocked about, dents in the wood work, paint chipped and just really dated. We did feel the need to complain about the cleanliness and someone was sent to shampoo the carpet and sofa but I feel for the price of a RC cruise, this shouldn’t be happening and I expected a much better standard. The toilets in the public areas were not cleaned all the time like on other ships. Bins were over flowing in the toilets and no toilet paper. The main promenade was dated too, i don’t understand where on this ship there has been a refurb. There were plenty of lifts which meant the wait time for one wasn’t too long, this is a plus when you have a buggy. For a taster cruise, I thought all the stops would be pulled out to ensure further bookings on RC but I felt it wasn’t, I think it was a true representation of RC. Would I sail with them again? Yes but only on a new ship which I think would be completely out of my price bracket. For the price of RC I think the standard should be a lot higher and couldn’t help but think it was a bit ‘butlins at sea’. I would definitely pick other lines over RC especially for the price of them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Being frequent sailors on NCL, we had some trepidation in dipping our toe back into RCCL's offerings. We were pleasantly surprised on many, but not all, points. The ship was large, but unlike the NCL Breakaway, it never felt crowded ... Read More
Being frequent sailors on NCL, we had some trepidation in dipping our toe back into RCCL's offerings. We were pleasantly surprised on many, but not all, points. The ship was large, but unlike the NCL Breakaway, it never felt crowded except on sail away. We never encountered the long lines that were common on the Breakaway. We never had a problem finding a deck chair, as long as being right next to the pool was not a goal. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze in Southampton and at every port. We had a large balcony and it felt spacious for two people. The shower was the only thing that was very small. You couldn't bend in the shower without opening the doors. RCCL provides a bar of soap and a soap liquid that serves as BOTH soap and shampoo. There was an electric tea kettle because this was a cruise out of England. The outlets in the cabin were both American and European. It would be better if they also provided conditioner, like NCL does. Overall, NCL has larger bathrooms, more room in the shower and better amenities for bathroom products. I also believe that NCL provides robes that are not a condition of your cruising status. The balcony was very roomy, with two chairs and a large circular table and plenty of room to move about. We got two towels animals during our 6 day cruise. I think on NCL we got a towel animal almost every day. We ate at the Italian restaurant, Giovanni's. It was average. NCL does a better job with specialty restaurants. I had grilled shrimp, which was fine, but it should not have been served on a bed of mashed potatoes at an Italian restaurant. The desserts also were not well presented and looked very sloppy and not gourmet. The waiters in the main dining room were very good and attentive. They accommodated my lactose intolerance by having me order one day in advance each night. The food overall was between good and average. Some meals were better than others. I did not have dairy in my meals, so perhaps they were blander than the standard fare. We found the choices at the Windjammer buffet very good. We ate breakfast, lunch and tea in the Windjammer. It was fun to experiment with some British foods we never heard of like the meat pie and Scottish egg. The scones at tea time were very good and they offered strawberries, jam and cream to go with the scones. The entertainment was good too. We enjoyed the ice skating show, Strings. I wish they had showcased the ice dancing headliners more, as they were excellent. I also wish they had more than one ice show. Grease was just ok. It was a cut above a school play. However, the cast was very talented. It is just that Grease did not showcase their talent. We saw the woman that played Rizzo sing Rocky Horror at the Rocky Horror sing a long. She was exceptional. You could not appreciate her exceptional talent in Grease. Also, cast member J.P. did a guest set at the piano bar and he was absolutely exceptional and talented. He did a Jerry Lee Lewis rendition that was outstanding. Again, the play and show offerings did not show the breadth of his talent. NCL wins in the entertainment division. They have better quality shows. We enjoyed trivia, although the questions were geared towards the almost exclusively British crowd. The Britannia dance party was great fun as well. The ports were fun: Normandy, Bilbao and La Coruna, Spain. It was easy getting both on and off the ship. We booked an expensive semi private tour of the D Day landing beaches. I probably would not recommend that. They tour quality was fine but the guide, Christopher, was persnickety and scolded me for opening a ginger candy in the van when I felt motion sick. Also, we had a group of older, petty people who made the trip unpleasant, with comments about where they sat in the van. I think the anonymity of being in a larger tour is better. Our large tour of Santiago de Compostela was excellent. We took a ship shuttle to Bilbao and spent they day at our own pace. We would probably try RCCL again, but the food and entertainment on NCL is better. We did like the Independence much better than NCL Breakaway. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it. 2 adults & 1 teen Our Balcony Cabin was bigger than expected and equipped with everything we needed, a bit dated but clean and comfortable. Nice bedding and comfy beds Very ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it. 2 adults & 1 teen Our Balcony Cabin was bigger than expected and equipped with everything we needed, a bit dated but clean and comfortable. Nice bedding and comfy beds Very Happy with our room attendant Sugi who was always smiling and kept our cabin in good order. We had a little problem with the Pullman bed on the first evening and that was dealt within minutes followed by an apology letter. We opted for “my time dinning” although booked our time slots in the planner before we sailed this way we still could be allocated the same table and waiter each night. Our waiter Beemal was great kept us entertained and was very attentive. Could not fault the food in any of the restaurants, bars or Cafe’s. We mainly ate in the main restaurant for breakfast, lunch & dinner. We used the Windjammer a couple of time and found the food to be very good, huge choice and although it was busy we didn’t have a problem finding a table. Johnny Rockets was also really good, milkshakes were amazing and worth the additional $9.95 per person on there own. The pool areas were quite busy especially on sea days when it was more difficult to find a sun bed, also it was school holidays so ship was generally busy, it never seemed overly crowded and we liked the adult solarium. We never had much of a wait getting drinks around the pool bars, the sky bar was our favourite, the staff were the friendliest, not that you need to go to the bar as there are plenty of waiters walking round delivering directly to our sun beds. Ice show, dance shows and Grease were amazing. My partner used the gym which was well equipped and he had a great view when arriving a ports first thing. We had the Key package and I would recommend it, it come with quite a few perks including the reserved seating for all the shows and the internet. We also were allocated time slots for the climbing wall, flow rider, ice skating and trampolines (we didn’t get round to doing most of them) The first day lunch was served in the main dining room but used the chops grill menu, It was a lovely and relaxed way to start our cruise. It was also nice to leave the ship when we wanted to rather than waiting to be called. Overall for what we paid which was about £17 per per person per day it was good value and would get again if offered at the name price. The only thing I would say is that it’s not fully advertised on the ship and you have to ask when you go into the theatre and shows to be seated. We had to select a showing for the Grease performance and was advised to meet in the bar and would be taken to our seats, this didn't happen so we made our own way and was shown to our seats. We left the ship at both ports in Spain but just had a walk around did not do any trips but would consider on our next cruise (already booked) it’s a shame the independence is not sailing from the UK next year as we really loved it, just hoping Athem lives up to it. Overall we had a wonderful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Had great time , took my 12 year old daughter did not know what to expect after reading the last review. (Did notice dents in the lift doors and did hear about the young man who was tazered and the 39 passengers that had to leave the ship ... Read More
Had great time , took my 12 year old daughter did not know what to expect after reading the last review. (Did notice dents in the lift doors and did hear about the young man who was tazered and the 39 passengers that had to leave the ship from the week before we sailed) But thankfully we only experienced well behaved children and young adults on our cruise . Totally overwhelmed by the sheer size of this ship . Went on and explored at approximately 11am . Our time was 1-30 pm to embark but it really doesn’t matter what time you get there. The facilities are outstanding , from the pools to the flow rider to the theatres and dining rooms unbelievable ship . A couple of negatives , 1) the windjammer is an ‘buffet type diner’ I just personally found it stressful , just too busy , but the food was fantastic. Brilliant choice. 2) I didn’t have drink package for myself just my daughter and sometimes I felt like that I had took the cheap way to cruise when occasionally bar person would say ‘oh just a soda package ‘ 3) My room , nothing wrong with it but my daughter got chocolate on the cover the first night and it was not change throughout our stay , and even be night her sheet was missing so I found a trolley in the corridor and took one of it. Maybe I should have said something? Also I love the animal towels they put on your bed but we only got one , my daughter was so excited wish they could have done more has a friend she met had three, but I do understand they are busy. But all small things compared to the rest of the positives . Pool fantastic my daughter loved the jacuzzis Entertainment absolutely brilliant loved it all , went to grease , comedians , brilliant ice show, best night was silent disco we had great time , it was all just fab! Loads to do on ship , never got chance in the 6 nights to do it all and relax and we only left the ship once in Spain for couple of hours. My daughter loved the quiz at 8 pm every night even though we were not too good at it, then we did the family game show and then watched whatever was in that evening in the theatre fantastic! We also ordered the complimentary continental breakfast 2 days to our room , we loved it , what a treat. But the best experience we had on our holiday, was the dining . Our waiter and waitress was fantastic Lisele and Remidios . They made us feel so special catering to our every needs.. going out of there way to please us . We had great view of the sea from our table absolutely loved going down for dinner. Fantastic food, from duck to steaks to lamb chops and large shrimps !! We had an internal room which had plenty of space for the two of us and I loved it was so dark so slept later. Brilliant time we just want to go again . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have just returned from 2 weeks on the Indy, departing Southampton on the 10th August, calling at ports in Portugal and Spain. It turned out to be a cruise of 2 parts, the bits we expected to be good were as always excellent, Crew, ... Read More
We have just returned from 2 weeks on the Indy, departing Southampton on the 10th August, calling at ports in Portugal and Spain. It turned out to be a cruise of 2 parts, the bits we expected to be good were as always excellent, Crew, superb, entertainment, superb, buffet food, good, MDR food, much improved over the last cruise on Oasis, where the food was really awful in the MDR, so perhaps RCCL have listened. Ship, looking a bit tired but still very nice, cabin, good, we had a Junior suite at the stern on deck 10, and it was large and pleasant to stay in for 2 weeks. Then there was the unexpected part, which in 30 years of cruising with many different lines I haven’t experienced. Groups of unsupervised teens running amok on the ship at all hours, up to 3am. Balls thrown from 4 floors up onto the main concourse, pizza thrown about in lifts, lift doors getting progressively more and more dented as the cruise progressed, elderly people knocked over in corridors, and the meagre numbers of security staff struggling to cope with what I would assume they do not normally have to deal with, Culminating in a full on fist fight, with a teenager tazered by security to stop a violent assault on security staff, and as the ports went by, more and more people were “Offloaded” another thing I am pleased to say I have not experienced before. So I’m sure the Indy crew were pleased to see Southampton on the 24th August, and I hope for their sakes that they don’t get a repeat on the next cruise. So for us this will be the last RCCL cruise, and probably the last peak school holiday cruise full stop. I think that possibly the AI drinks package may have left a lot of parents in the bars not really worrying what their kids were up to, and thus the issues I have highlighted occurring, we as parents certainly want to know where our son is and what he is up to, and supervised his 1am curfew religiously. So to summarise the cruise, nice ship, ok ports (But we have done the med to death over the years) great crew, friendly attentive and always helpful, Great shows, and good food. Just maybe not in the height of the holidays for us again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Where do I begin .... or should I just say wow I'm glad i'm off this ship. We have sailed with many companies down the years including Royal Caribbean and always had wonderful experiences with excellent ports of call, lovely ... Read More
Where do I begin .... or should I just say wow I'm glad i'm off this ship. We have sailed with many companies down the years including Royal Caribbean and always had wonderful experiences with excellent ports of call, lovely fellow passengers and fantastic service. However, we have never sailed from a UK port in the height of the holiday season and I have to say we will NEVER do this again. I really do not have words to use to describe this latest experience but disastrous might be the best expression. What happened to manners, courtesy, politeness and general awareness amongst the British public. It is obviously a lost art. The clientele that Royal Caribbean are obviously trying to attract on this ship is not what you would expect on a cruise ship. During out 14 day cruise we had numerous families removed from the ship at various ports, fighting in the lifts which caused the lifts to be closed to clean up the blood, numerous random acts of nudity, severe drunken behaviour and one incident of a youth being detained in the ships cells for the last 2 days of the cruise. Even our comedian commented that the price of cruising has obviously gone down due to the clientele on board. People would stampede into the lifts before allowing anyone to get out and the entire ship just became survival of the fittest. Even on quiet day when there was an abundance of sunbeds available there were certain families from the North West of England who would hover around the consierge sunbed area and wait for the deck patrol members to walk away before charging on mass into the area to occupy as many sunbeds as possible then argue and refuse to move when advised they were not allowed to stay there due to the fact they had not paid for this service. It was all about taking as many 'selfies' as possible in this area for bragging rights when they got home. They constantly threatened the staff that if any of their property was removed they would claim against the company for theft and damage so the staff just gave up. This was the general attitude around the ship so in the end most of the service staff just gave up due to the way they were being treated and the whole ship just ended up looking dirty and untidy with plates, glasses and food left lying around all day. It was a real shame for the genuine passengers on board who had manners and thoughtfulness and polite children with manners. The other major problem on board is that this ship has been refitted to accommodate a further 500 passengers without any increase in facilities or deck space. This just makes the whole ship tight for room and again the waiting staff in the dining rooms had to pass food over tables, aisles and squeeze between tables like i have never seen before. Our ports of call were very good and we did enjoy getting away from the football style hooligans on board for the long days in port. Embarkation and disembarkation was always smooth and swift even if we always avoided the thought of getting back on board fr as long as possible. So to sum up if you want to feel like you are on a cheap holiday camp with rude and obnoxious passengers who think the world owes them a living then spend 14 days aboard this cruise from hell. If not I would suggest you sail with another cruise company out of any port that is not in the UK. We, and many other passengers we spoke to, will never sail on this cruise ship again from Southampton in the summer holidays. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having been on a cruise with my wife on freedom of the seas and really enjoying it I got together with freinds 19 in tottal and we all decided to go on independence of the seas and after the great re fit was looking forward to this. I can ... Read More
Having been on a cruise with my wife on freedom of the seas and really enjoying it I got together with freinds 19 in tottal and we all decided to go on independence of the seas and after the great re fit was looking forward to this. I can honestly say what a great ship the staff work so hard to keep it clean and the service they give is outstanding food is superb aswell. The thing that lets it down is far too many people on this boat during re fit they also added more cabins a lot more this results in over 700 plus more people on the same size ship as the last ship I went on freedom of the seas.... the obvious reason for this is to make more money but it is at the exspence of people enjoying there time on board. Sea days where awful it was like butlins holiday camp people reserved there sun beds early on and despite the so called 30 min rule for unattended beds this was never enforced. I had a balcony cabin for myself and wife and internal for my children also drinks packages I paid a small fortune for this and was not happy at some of the people on board and they ha e far too many teenagers on board there seamed to be gangs of them running around till early hours. I wish I had read the reviews before hand as everyone says the same thing. Shame on you royal carabian for putting profit before customers Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My comments are my own personal view on how I found the Cruise,This will be my 5th Cruise in all and possibly my last. Having sailed on this ship 2 years previous I found it a lot more crowded and not as pleasant, probably due to the ... Read More
My comments are my own personal view on how I found the Cruise,This will be my 5th Cruise in all and possibly my last. Having sailed on this ship 2 years previous I found it a lot more crowded and not as pleasant, probably due to the extra rooms added but hey it’s around an extra £150,000 per 14 night cruise for Royal Caribbean. Firstly my bad points: 1 Most Sun beds were reserved by 8:30am on sea days. Guests were putting towels out then going for breakfast, Royal Caribbean didn’t seem to be policing their own policy. 2 Dress code not upheld in main dining, many sleeves about both arms and legs but not the material kind I noted. I asked about this and was told they didn’t want to upset guests. (probably not start a fight I think) 3 Buffet windjammer dining like a cramped motor way service station. 4 Guest Rooms were not Part of the refurbishment and are showing there age. 5 Many people taking advantage of their drinks package noticed lots of foul language, in front of children as well. 6 Trips were over crowded and rushed very hustle bustle. 7 Loads of extras to pay for fish & chips and specialty dining restaurants which I think should be included in the price. 8 Bars busy and difficult to get a seat unless you got in early and stayed put. Good Points 1 Great friendly staff always helpful 2 Bar staff on the ball when serving as there are the ones who try and push in. 3 Also met some very nice people on board, as usual it’s the few that spoil it for the many. With the recent P & O incident I can see the potential of it been a regular occurrence on cruise ships, they seem to be taking over from the all inclusive Benidorm type package holiday. It can be quite a social mix when you have such a vast range of pricing for cabins. I paid a 5 star resort price for my cabin and I think that’s where my next holiday will be, where everyone pays similar and are in the same frame of mind. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Wow !! My 8th time on Indie and possibly the busiest & worst cruise I have ever been on , no seats in the bars, no seats on the sun deck, bodies lying in every corner possible !! an absolute shambles !!, food in the MDR poor and ... Read More
Wow !! My 8th time on Indie and possibly the busiest & worst cruise I have ever been on , no seats in the bars, no seats on the sun deck, bodies lying in every corner possible !! an absolute shambles !!, food in the MDR poor and tasteless, and Windjammer not much better with bun fights every day just to sit down - No fun and certainly NOT relaxing as it should be. Queing for everything even a seat on deck 4 !!!! Since the refit the extra 500 people onboard this ship have absolutely ruined it , very dissapointed and every cent or nickle has been pushed to the limit by RCL. Sorry to say I am Diamond Plus and I will not be going back on this ship anymore, and have already booked a different line for only the second time in 25yrs as we do not like the Quantum Class as it is too claustrophobic in the lower decks and has no deck 4. Suite Class is the only way of guaranteeing a seat anywhere !! On a positive note, the bar/room & serving staff were fantastic and worked really hard, but were let down by poor chefs, poor meat quality and cheap cuts, lukewarm food. I could not understand the huge drop in food quality ?? The only places to eat with good quality WAS the speciality dining which we increased dramatically after getting served some terrible food in the MDR & Windjammer. Chops was excellent, Giovanis was the best by far followed by Izumi Hibachi which was fun and Chefs table which reminded me how Royal Caribbean use to be years ago. Sorry RCL you have got this refit totally wrong with the increased cabins and cut backs on quality. In fact I have had much better food on a cross channel ferry other than speciality. Goodbye Indie loved the way you were originally built ... but not now... Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We read positive reviews about this ship and the stops before we booked in April. Wow, I’d like to know who’s writing these reviews. We haven’t made it to one stop yet and I have no idea how we’re going to make it 12 more days. ... Read More
We read positive reviews about this ship and the stops before we booked in April. Wow, I’d like to know who’s writing these reviews. We haven’t made it to one stop yet and I have no idea how we’re going to make it 12 more days. We’ve been on Disney to the Bahamas, Carnaval both to the Caribbean and Mexico and Princess to Alaska. All these cruises have been in the last few years and the food, entertainment, and overall service were a lot better. I’m so disappointed so far. Our room is average but is obviously not maintained that well as there are scuff marks all over the walls especially near the patio door. Our front door doesn’t close well and sometimes stays unlocked because we didn’t realize that it did not close and lock. But back to the food, the buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner is among the worst I’ve ever had both on the ocean or on land. The other cruise lines buffet food was of this much higher quality. I feel like Royal Caribbean is trying to get its customers to pay for the restaurants that are more upscale or even just better like Johnny Rockets or the fish and chips place near the pool. I resent that after spending as much money as we’ve had to travel to Europe and the cruise it’s self. My family and I are just looking forward to the excursions to Gibraltar, Nice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sardinia, and southern Spain and hopefully making it back home without getting sick. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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 sailed on the Independence six years ago and had a great time which prompted us to re-book for the 14 night Italian Mediterranean cruise in July. The coach journey to the port was perfect and embarkation was quick and friendly. When ... Read More
We sailed on the Independence six years ago and had a great time which prompted us to re-book for the 14 night Italian Mediterranean cruise in July. The coach journey to the port was perfect and embarkation was quick and friendly. When we boarded the ship we sat on the top deck with a drink in the sun as we left Southampton looking forward to our fortnights break. Around four o'clock we decided to check out our rooms, as a party of five we booked two superior balcony staterooms on deck 7. First impressions were how tired the rooms were. Picture frames had chunks out of them, bedding had dirty marks on it, pillows were stained, the list went on. The worst issue in one room was the tea tray which was filthy and had somebody's false eyelash stuck to tray. We complained twice asking for a replacement tray (for obvious hygiene reasons) the gentlemen at customer services was very apologetic both times but this never happened and we ended up washing it in the bathroom sink ourselves. As the cruise went on we noticed how packed the ship was. It was a constant struggle to find a table for five most evenings in any of the bars and I likened getting a meal in Windjammers to shopping at a supermarket at Christmas, not a pleasurable experience. We opted for anytime dining but on three occasions were told that there were no tables available (hence Windjammers) on the times we did dine in the main dining room the food and service were excellent. The ship was roamed by gangs of teenagers who on two occasions we saw getting amorous with each other (much to the horror of some of the passengers) and young children running around chasing each other around the lifts and promenade. Our one fine dining experience was at the 'Murder Mystery' night at Giovanni's Table. The whole experience for $60 a head was terrible. We had to wipe food off two chairs before sitting down, some of the cutlery wasn't clean and the food and acting was very bad. As soon as we were told that the ordeal was over the restaurant emptied in about five seconds. On a positive note service from all of the staff on board was excellent especially from the waiters in Schooners bar and Made our room attendant who was always really friendly and helpful. All of the excursions we went on were great especially Rome with our guide Judy and Seville with Iesus who was fantastic. In conclusion, we found the ship run down and very disappointing. It was over crowded and there were too many children running around un-supervised which could be quite dangerous for the older passengers. Without the excellent shore excursions we would have had a very poor holiday. Sorry Royal Caribbean but I think we'll be choosing a different cruise line next time which is a real shame. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our first cruise was a short one on Indy in April 2017, so we were excited to be sailing on her again last month to the Canary Islands. What we didn’t know was that during its ‘refit’ last year they also added more cabins. We were ... Read More
Our first cruise was a short one on Indy in April 2017, so we were excited to be sailing on her again last month to the Canary Islands. What we didn’t know was that during its ‘refit’ last year they also added more cabins. We were informed there were 4500 passengers (an extra 500 people) on our sailing, the ship was full to bursting point. I am disabled and therefore used a walking stick and mobility scooter, but there was no where to sit in the evenings all the bars were constantly over full. We missed so much evening entertainment due to the lack of seating, we ended up back in our cabin after our 8.30 dinner sitting most nights. We could never get a sun bed around the pools and if you are not up early on a sea day there was no chance of getting a sun bed anywhere. Particularly if you’re disabled and cannot climb up a bed crammed along side other beds. We feel RCI have crammed far too many passengers on the lovely Indy yet not added extra bar lounges or seating to cope with it. We loved the many ports we visited, the itinerary was great, but being back on a very over crowded ship by all aboard time soon lowered our mood. We felt it was dirty too, the balconies didn’t get cleaned the whole cruise, and Chops Grill was dusty, the blinds all lopsided and tatty, the floor was grubby and looked like it needed a good deep clean. We booked it to celebrate our anniversary but sadly I can’t even say the meal there was great as my meal kept going back as my steak wasn’t cooked how I asked for, by the time I got mine, my hubby had finished his and my side orders were cold. It’s true RCI charge extra for everything my hubby had commented on it more than once. It’s a shame because we were really looking forward to cruising with her, but we paid a whole of money for a cruise and then couldn’t enjoy it to the max because of RCI’s greed. There were some good points, the staff in the main restaurants were always amazing, they couldn’t do enough for us. Also if you did manage to get a seat in a bar (during the day) the bar staff were great, we never waited long to be served. If you are happy to get up at 6am, plonk yourself on a sun bed and then not move all day, or you love to stand in or near a bar all evening with no chance of a seat, enjoy sitting in the theatre an hour before the show starts to ensure you get a seat, and money is no object then this is the cruise line for you. For us, no, I don’t think we will be cruising on any of the ships that have had a ‘refit’ in future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were first time cruisers, family of 5 trip including Gran and daughters 22 & 3. The ship is lovely and cabins are clean and comfortable we were well looked after by our steward. Food in both dining room & buffet restaurant ... Read More
We were first time cruisers, family of 5 trip including Gran and daughters 22 & 3. The ship is lovely and cabins are clean and comfortable we were well looked after by our steward. Food in both dining room & buffet restaurant was very good with a good selection. The ports were all excellent with plenty of time in each. However as with most things on this ship Royal Caribbean only seemed interested in getting you to spend spend spend. Shore excursions were hideously expensive so we arranged our own. Two ports were a good distance from the town and for one RC had a courtesy bus but for Madeira they were charging €19pp!! Given the amount of disabled, elderly and children this was not good customer relations. Most of the staff were friendly apart from customer services who must be so fed up with complaints they barely acknowledge you - very poor! However our main issue was this ship is not conducive to under fives. Yes there is a kids club but it’s inside away from pools etc most of the young kids wouldn’t go in. If they didn’t that was it for entertainment in the evening. There was the occasional family disco at 6pm but this was poor. As for the pools if you have a child still in nappies/diapers they can only use a small area which has a slide with water but nowhere to swim which is beyond strange. If they don’t wear nappies they are not allowed in this area. Therefore if you have children who are in both categories the family cannot be in the pool together. This was a massive issue for many families we spoke to. It must be impossible for single parent families. The sunbeds are comfortable but too many packed together no space in between the veritable sardines! We probably will cruise again but not with Royal Caribbean as one person we spoke to who had cruised with them before told us “the refurbishment has resulted in more cabins therefore more cruisers and less space plus many things that were previously included in the cost were no longer and the subsequent charges were over the top”. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our 3rd cruise on Indy and our first since it was refurbished. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with very little to complain about. I would say though that I preferred the ship before all the added whistles and bells. The ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on Indy and our first since it was refurbished. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with very little to complain about. I would say though that I preferred the ship before all the added whistles and bells. The overall condition of the ship was very good. The food in Windjammer and the MDR was some of the best we have had on any of our cruises and our waiting staff in the restaurant couldn't be faulted. Our balcony cabin was fine although the storage was limited and the wardrobe was badly set out. It was clean and functional. We rarely saw our cabin steward as we had nothing to ask him for as it was all there. We found a sun bed easily every day without resorting to getting up at the crack of dawn and in spite of reading in a recent review that people are charged $10.00 if the towels aren't returned at night this is simply not true. The only time you are charged is at the end of the cruise if the towels aren't returned. We never returned a towel at the end of the day merely changed them without showing our passes. We were served fairly quickly in all the bars we went to and also found a seat at all the shows.. Grease was particularly good and also The Jersey Boys show. The Cruise Director Cubby was just OK. We wish they would change the shows along the Promenade as they have been doing the same thing down Main Street for years now. The shops were a major disappointment on his cruise.. Normally there are carts with different items along Main Street but most nights there was one or none. Overall a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
went to great ports , food was very good in all areas, entertainment was ongoing, ship was in very good condition , many return passengers onboard, diamond club was of a high standard, just the interior rooms are a bit on the small side ... Read More
went to great ports , food was very good in all areas, entertainment was ongoing, ship was in very good condition , many return passengers onboard, diamond club was of a high standard, just the interior rooms are a bit on the small side (but there only to sleep in), anyone complains about this cruise then they should stay at home. the only thing that they should look at is handing out cruise cards to passengers as they embark not leave them at the cabin door (new system) as a few were forgotten by cabin stewards and this caused issues having to chase them up so you could get into room. the ship has been upgraded in some areas and there is a lot of new furniture around the place, as usual the jets in some of the spas were not working , they also cracked down on CHAIR HOGS as many selfish passengers were witnessed by us (early spa people) reserving seats then disappearing for ages (we took pleasure in pointing these out to deck supervisors and having them removed)Ha Ha Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise so we don’t really have anything to compare it to. We travelled in a party of 6, 5 adults and one teenager... Getting on the ship was stress free and so much easier than flying. The ship was very clean but this ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we don’t really have anything to compare it to. We travelled in a party of 6, 5 adults and one teenager... Getting on the ship was stress free and so much easier than flying. The ship was very clean but this could have been due to a norovirus outbreak on the cruise before us it was continuously cleaned all the time we were on the ship. The ship is enormous, I was still getting lost on day 13 !....we had a balcony room which was ideal for 2 people but I wouldn’t want anymore than 2 in there ! The bathrooms are tiny. Our room was cleaned every day, bed made and towels changed. We never used room service didn’t really need to. My son who is 16 said it was the best holiday he’s been on he made loads of friends and for teens it’s great, you can give them freedom knowing that they are safe on the ship. There’s a curfew of 1am and security are very strict, which is good. The main dining room was fantastic..lots of choice and food always hot. We had anytime dining but ended up booking for 8pm each night as we found two waiters that looked after us and were amazing. Formal nights book a table or you will queue for ever ! We ate in windjammer on sea days for lunch, food is great however it’s too much like a canteen for me and we always struggled to get a seat. We tried Izumi one of the nights, it’s entertaining and the food is amazingly tasty. The rest of the bars and cafes on the promenade were very good. We booked our own trips as the RC were far too expensive. The gym is well equipped and you can watch dolphins whilst on the treadmill ! Not everyday you experienced that !....All the ports we stayed in were lovely and most were a walk from the ship. The entertainment was good, the bands were excellent as were the dancers and singers. Grease was a good show. Negatives for us were the amount of people on the ship. Sea days you struggled to get a sunbed and had to wait for ever the get a drink in the pool bars. The champagne bar and balero bar were always full and we always struggled to get a drink before dinner. For me a holiday is all about dining al fresco but there’s no-where to eat outdoors at night and even if there was it would have been too windy. If you get the opportunity do the silent disco it’s great fun. I had a lovely time and glad I’ve experienced a cruise but I don’t think cruising is for me..too busy and noisy and I could get 3 five star holidays for the price we paid. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
It's been a few years since we were last on an RC ship, onboard the Anthem, which was an amazing ship and experience. It was also one where most folk we spoke to would always say, "it's great, but it's not the ... Read More
It's been a few years since we were last on an RC ship, onboard the Anthem, which was an amazing ship and experience. It was also one where most folk we spoke to would always say, "it's great, but it's not the Indy". When we saw this year that Indy was doing a Canaries cruise, something we had wanted to do for a long time, we jumped at the chance to see if she was all that and more, especially after her recent refit and refurb, and hit or miss reviews here! Driving from Glasgow, thanks to FlyBe's exorbitant prices to fly direct to Southampton, our embarkation process from arriving at AB Parking to getting onto the ship probably took us no more than an hour from about 11am. The RC staff throughout were extremely helpful and ensured everyone was kept moving towards getting onto the ship. It was the same disembarking on our final day. It was all super slick, super efficient, and felt very well managed and controlled. Once onboard we had to wait about three hours for our cabin to be ready thanks to a deep cleanse of the ship due to an outbreak of the norovirus on the previous sailing. Again, on this point, I don't think I've ever seen a ship and her crew be so resolute in making sure everyone washed their hands, used hand sanitiser, or similar, be it getting on and off the ship or coming in or out of any areas with food and drink. Our cabin was starboard side mid-ships in the bow (7330). We weren't sure if it was a refurbed one or not, but it was certainly spacious when the sofa bed was away, with plenty room for my wife and I, along with our 11 year old boy. It also had a decent sized balcony, more than big enough for the three of us to be out on together. Our cabin steward did a decent enough job of keeping the room clean, although we had to put the sofa bed away ourselves after it was continuously left out for the first few days. After that, it was always put away during the day. The service felt perfunctory at best and nothing more compared to some previous experiences we've had. The ship itself, having spent a fortnight with her, isn't quite as grand as others would have us believe. She's a beautiful ship, but not quite in the same class as the Anthem (although I think we were spoiled sailing in her maiden year). The promenade is very nice, but you have absolutely no chance of getting any space or seats in the cafe, bars, or pub if you're on the 8.30pm dinner sitting. It's very disappointing after your meal to come down and see it crammed full with next to no space anywhere. Likewise, while we certainly never had any problems getting sunbeds or space at any time during the cruise, the poolside beds and those around the running track on deck 12 were very cramped and always busy with very little being done by staff to vacate empty loungers (there's supposed to be a maximum 30min limit). We always found space at the back of the ship towards the flowrider and beyond Johnny Rockets. Food wise, the Indy has definitely been one of the best ships for food I think we've been on. Both the Windjammer and Main Dining Room excelled in choice, quantity, and quality of food. Granted, the days at sea saw the Windjammer absolutely packed with very little room to get seats, but you prepare your best for this and try to schedule your eating time around when you feel it wouldn't be as busy. Johnny Rockets was never busy given it's a chargeable eatery ($10 per head for as much as you want), but the food was very tasty and I'm also sure ridiculously high on the calories. We also bought the three night dining package which we used in Giovanni's Table and twice in Chops Grille. Giovanni's is nice, but the food isn't a patch on Jamie's Italian on the Anthem, while our first experience of Chops on the ship wasn't great from a customer service point of view (this was rectified on our second visit and made up for the first one completely, plus the steaks are to die for in there). We used RC for two shore excursions, Lanzarote where we did the camels and timanfaya national park, and Madeira for the toboggan, cable car and wine tasting. While you are paying extra doing these through RC, we always feel it's better for piece of mind should any delays occur and you get left behind (as we saw several did during this cruise too). Both excursions were very enjoyable and professionally managed. We sadly only managed to see a few shows during our cruise; the brilliant Freeze Frame ice skating show, Frankie Valli and the Dreamers, and Grease. All very enjoyable, but you did need to be there about 30mins before to ensure you got a prime viewing seat. All highly recommended. Lastly, a special mention must go to our waiting team in the main dining room. Our sitting at 8.30pm was always brilliant thanks to Radu and Thommy who very quickly picked up on our needs every night. Nothing was too much trouble, any changes or requests were met with a swift response and resolution. Both were an absolute dream and played a huge part in making our holiday as enjoyable as it was. Radu in particular always had information to hand at the end of our meal regarding our next day on the ship. Both continually went above and beyond and were a pleasure from start to finish. We enjoyed our time on the Indy thoroughly, and while she maybe doesn't have the bling or glamour of the Anthem, we'd happily sail with her again in the future! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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

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