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