2 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Ahhh this is so disappointing for us to have to write a bad review but it seems to follow a current trend of recent Indy reviews and we felt this would be useful for other young couples thinking of booking. We have raised our issues with ... Read More
Ahhh this is so disappointing for us to have to write a bad review but it seems to follow a current trend of recent Indy reviews and we felt this would be useful for other young couples thinking of booking. We have raised our issues with RCI and are awaiting a response to their thoughts on the matter. Bit of background, this is my 5th cruise (2nd with RCI, last cruise being with them and was 4/5 years ago) and this was my partners 1st cruise, and 1st holiday in 13 years so needless to say we were both very excited for this and had high hopes. We are both young and wanted to get away for a while, saw the itinerary for Italian Med and jumped at the chance to go. We went big, drunks package, excursions, balcony room etc as we wanted the best experience we would get and not have to worry about money or other costs. On that last note, 'other costs'. RC seem to love charging you for everything. They are like the EA of cruises. Room service, $8, 2 coke's with your room service order, $8 ( I am not kidding it was $8 for 2 cans of coke), go to Jonny Rockets, just under $10 a head, fish & ships, playmakers etc, charges for any food. If you do not want to spend anything extra THIS IS NOT THE CRUISE LINER FOR YOU as you will not enjoy it as much! Then of course the specialty restaurants which are standard across most big liners. For the length of the cruise we were not able to get a seat at any bar after dinner (8.30pm sitting), or in any of the shows/productions etc either which meant we had to stand for hours or retire back to our room at about 11pm/12am every night as we were fed up with how busy it was. We missed out on some exciting shows like Grease, as if we were able to get a seat during the evening we were stuck there otherwise we would loose it, leaving most of the content of the of the cruise compass obsolete for us. No matter what time we went to the windjammer or on what day, we would have to do numerous laps to find a table (we are only a party of 2) which I have never seen before on any cruise liner. When we managed to get a seat, it was only to have sub par overcooked food that wasn't worth the wait. Sun loungers are like gold dust, no matter where we went. One morning we got up at 7.45am to go and get a lounger in a good spot only to find EVERY SINGLE ONE on the boat had been 'reserved' ie there were personal belongings or towels on the beds even though there was an apparent strict 'no reserving' policy enforced which we never saw being implemented once. When you are unable to get a sun lounger on a sea day, or get a table in the windjammer for lunch there is very little to do during the day for a young couple that just wish to relax. We booked 4 excursions, all of which were a total waste of time and money. In Gibraltar we waited for 45 minutes in 30 degree sun for the bus to decide to pick us up after the meeting time, and spend a further 45 in traffic which resulted in being burnt. In Pisa for Portovenre this was not as described, being a public use boat for 45 minutes that was over-packed to reach the town with rude locals and other tourists and a lengthy walk with a group of people should have been advised this is not accessible for wheelchairs etc and lots of lines and waiting. When waiting for the above as well as 2 other excursions, none of the coaches were ready so we were called to leave the ship only to wait beside the boat for 20/30 minutes for our coach to turn up and for us to get on which is a small thing but makes a massive impact on how we enjoyed the excursions. When it came to our last one, Pompeii, we didn't even want to go as we were that fed up and disappointed with the last 3 all being a total disaster. To top it all off, I had food poisoning the 2nd last night of the cruise, and was confined to my room from the night of day 13, through the whole day of day 14 unable to eat or drink along with a lot of other travelers that dined in the main dining room so a great way to end things. Most of the staff were brilliant, especially in the dining room so this managed to salvage our overall experience for the 2 weeks. It's clear they have not adjusted the social spaces since the refurb as there is just not enough space for everyone to really enjoy themselves. This would probably be a more enjoyable cruise for children and couples with children as it seems well catered for them so this would be our bad for booking this liner as a nice relaxing getaway but live and learn. There have been rumors of Indy trying to extort the UK market this season before it repositions over to the Carribbean where it will then sail from, and sadly I would believe this. The spa, art and gym staff all were very pushy to make an extra sale which rivaled with the looky looky men plaguing Rome. Most public areas were not cleaned, we saw plasters next to pools for a few days and dirty table cloths not being changed with a thick layer of dust in lost of common areas. We will in the future look to try RC again, but definitely not this ship. As I said, this is our experience and others have had a good time so I am in no way trying to say avoid, but please think carefully about the party you are traveling and what you are looking for with your holiday before booking on this ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - ... Read More
Having cruised with rccl many times and other cruise lines, this cruise has made me question ever booking with rccl again. It’s become very similar to the reasons why we don’t travel with p&o which is a shame. Main issues: - staff generally unhappy. Miss the American service from 5+ years ago where they couldn’t do enough for you. With the staff on here everything was to much trouble. - have turned into a company where they are constantly looking to upsell to you. Perks or small gestures for returning to them, such as little gifts in your room have disappeared. - all the little things add up to disappointment. Can’t get lemon slices in your drinks, room curtains were old and had holes in them so light came through, constantly rammed in the windjammer, massive queues constantly to guest services, booked anytime dining and couldn’t get in for a meal at 6.30am, 5% charge for casino spends, the amazing if daytime activities has dramatically reduced, waited for room service for some toast for 90 minutes. The service and attitude of staff has changed dramatically and for that reason we won’t be booking again. Princess are much better!! Don’t waste your money!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It pains us to say that this was the worst cruise experience encountered and we have used 5 cruise lines and are Diamond Members with RCCL. Thr cruise was meant to be special for us but was simply a disappointment from day one which ... Read More
It pains us to say that this was the worst cruise experience encountered and we have used 5 cruise lines and are Diamond Members with RCCL. Thr cruise was meant to be special for us but was simply a disappointment from day one which then just got worse. The ship looks fine from outside and a joy to look at. Day one emabarkation was excellent, however and accident on day one due to the poor handling of equipment of staff on borad injured my wife and myself. The cruise after this then got worse. The room is dated and needs a make over, curtains do not cover length of balcony window and therefore light penetrates early waking you up. The curtaind are hanging on threads and the blackout broken in so many places that anyone else would have replaced. The cabin steward was not very friendly and had to be reminded to fill up on basics. Main dining room was quite good and the best service in years thatnks to Jean and Allan on floor 4. The food was hit and miss with some really good and others mediocre. That said this was big improvement on past cruises. The Windjammer is as normal busy at certain times, but if avoided then there is plenty of room. The food was better than on normal european cruises but often hot food was cold. We never went hungry and there was plenty of choice. Annoying issue is ice cream. A staff member rolls a cart along the whole area, with absolutely no chance of serving people at the right ime for them, not his fault but is RCCLs fault. The shows in the main theatre were excellent to very poor. We liked Once Upon A Time, though we had seen it before. We liked Invitation To Dance performed with the cast from Grease, though we had seen that before. We also loved Grease though we had seen that on Harmony, the show still retained the magic. The only Ice Show was Freeze Frame which although we had seen before, still enjoyed it. RCCL need to bring in new shows and have two ice shows on a two week cruise. The support guest stars were excellent (David Copperfield) but others we walked out on, one being a violinist and the other a magician. We never walk out on a show, so this says it all. Diamond Lounge was packed due to volume of Diamond members, however we did not really use in the night due to the noise. You could not hear a conversation. In the day it was also manic due to the poor arrangement. The filter coffee machine is place right by the door effectively causing rael conjestion wehen entering, leaving or waiting to get yoursef a coffee. It then broke down for a few days, very poor. Boleros bar on deck 4 was fine for most of the cruise except the noise when music started, which spoiled any conversation. Wilbert was a great bar tender and remembered us every time. Howvere Boleros turned into a very cold area in the latter days of the cruise due to doors being opened. We could not sit there and other guests wore coats. The SPA and Rides added were not used by us due to the accident already suffered so we cannot evaluate. the ship was clean and orderly but we did notice that staff members would push trolleys towards you instead of waiting for us to pass which is unusual on RCCL. The staff were also very flat compared to RCCL normal cruises. Two issues really irritated us, the noise in the bars was excessive with music blasting out stopping conversation and the excessive charges for drinks. Bacardi $9.99 Coke $3-4, Sevice Charge 18% on top of this. Te cruise across the Atlantic was boring except for making new fantastic friends, Iain, Margaret, Carol, Shelly, Stan and Elizabeth. The ship coud have docked at the Azores to break up 8 days at sea, Would we cross the Atlantic agan, Never. Would we use RCCL again, very much in doubt as other lines are now better. A very disapponting cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Went on cruise for a surprise birthday and i was very disappointed. Our room was by far the best experience, we had a junior suite, very spacious and comfortable. The ship itself was beautiful but overcrowded, In the dinning room, ... Read More
Went on cruise for a surprise birthday and i was very disappointed. Our room was by far the best experience, we had a junior suite, very spacious and comfortable. The ship itself was beautiful but overcrowded, In the dinning room, you could not even move from your table unless several people moved so you could get out. There were kids everywhere on this boat and the parents were nowhere to be seen, kids just ran wild. Also there is no such place as adults only on this boat, the adult only pool section was overwhelmed with kids, in the hot tubs and pools and the staff did nothing about it. I was on deck 10 and the kids basically ran down the hall kicking over all the plates and cups that were sitting outside the cabin doors and the steward yelled an me and my husband but not any of the other guests that did the same. The food was very bland. The buffet served the same food all week with no variation. The dinning room food consisted of items you could make yourself and home and was not very good. I sent plates back every night so my dinner consisted of Salmon for the duration of the trip. Entertainment was OK but finding seats was a no go unless you went to the event at least 30 minutes or more before it started. The staff I found not to be very friendly on this boat, me and my husband always take an abundance of tip money for the crew as we know they work very hard but found it very hard to tip anyone because they were so rude. Haiti was nice, just basically a beach with 4 sections. Falmouth Jamaica, we had a blast but had to drive over 40 minutes to get to any activities as they dock on the other side of the island This was my fourth cruise with this line and each time I was disappointed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are frequent cruisers and have done RCCL many times.Never being on the Independence before ,we thought we would try it. Embarkation was pretty confusing the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. had to show our ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers and have done RCCL many times.Never being on the Independence before ,we thought we would try it. Embarkation was pretty confusing the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. had to show our paperwork to 5 different people and each time being told "just go on and board" only to be stopped a little further down the line. Ordered potatoes from the menu at Chops Grill day 1 and was told they ran out, but amazing they were there on day 2 same with anchovies for my Caesar salad No to Chops Grill but available in dining room. Scrambled eggs were the worst for the morning dining room never tasted anything that bad . Coffee in the dining room is now being served with MILK and not the usual HALF & HALF which my wife caught immediately. Ship looks a little tired and things rattled at night and kept us up. Shows were mediocre and the same every night. Ran out of toilet paper in our cabin and steward told us they did not get any delivered and it was not his fault. Pool was SUPER Crowded and with everyone saving chairs with towels you almost had to stand. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We are experienced cruisers but have not been on Royal Caribbean for many years. Things have changed. We were greeted to over 1000 children as we tried to eat lunch on day one. I expected Walt Disney to arrive at any moment. We just ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers but have not been on Royal Caribbean for many years. Things have changed. We were greeted to over 1000 children as we tried to eat lunch on day one. I expected Walt Disney to arrive at any moment. We just didn’t expect that so many children would be on a cruise during school days and were not told to expect. Had a nice table by the window for dining however after the second night of a table of 12 next to us having a party we ate dinner at the buffet after. BTW—no dress code in the dining room. Food was so so at best. Royal Caribbean allows smoking in certain public areas including the casino. The problem is that in order to get to the theatre you must walk through the casino—our clothes smelled like smoke. Second hand smoke also drifts in the sports bar next door as well as the adjoining lounge. I think Royal Caribbean needs to re-think the customer base they really want. Looks like they are trying to be Carnival and Disney all in one but the two don’t mix well in our opinion. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have taken a dozen cruises on Carnival and enjoyed each one. With the kids getting older we thought we'd try out Royal Caribbean with all the additional activities they offer. The kids did enjoy the waverider and rock climbing ... Read More
We have taken a dozen cruises on Carnival and enjoyed each one. With the kids getting older we thought we'd try out Royal Caribbean with all the additional activities they offer. The kids did enjoy the waverider and rock climbing wall but overall everyone was disappointed. Believe it or not, the kids (ages 9, 12, and 14) said they still prefer Carnival. Here's why: The beds on the Independence were TERRIBLE. I woke up each morning upset (and throughout the night!) with my back and hip bothering me. I spoke to numerous other guest and over heard other people's conversations on this. One family said they were in a JR suite and had the same issues. Such low hanging fruit!!! I respectfully let guest services know and they kept adding duvet covers that did not help. It was like sleeping on plywood, definitely not what we we're looking forward to on vacation! Additionally, with the exception of the dining room staff, customer service was aweful! I am very sensitive to culture given the organization I work for has struggled with this and it appeared to me the employees were not friendly or happy, and at times down right rude. More than not the casino dealers were grumpy which does not make it fun to "donate" your money and we tend to donate more than win!!! Lastly, there were limited take and go dining options. Carnival has Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana which are wonderful but we were surprised to find Royal does not offer a grill of sorts, only the dining room buffet. The kids did not appreciate someone making their ice cream cones as well. We really wanted to switch given the amenities but sadly we will not cruise with Royal again and may try other cruise lines (maybe NCL?) or stay with Carnival. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
In the past five years we have done two transatlantic cruises per year on the Navigator of the Seas. It was not available (supposedly being refurbished - hopefully better than the supposed refurbishment they just completed on the ... Read More
In the past five years we have done two transatlantic cruises per year on the Navigator of the Seas. It was not available (supposedly being refurbished - hopefully better than the supposed refurbishment they just completed on the Independence of the Seas). 1. The food in the main Dining room was mediocre at best. Length of time for overall service resulted in missing some of the evening entertainment. Much of the time the food was barely warm. 2. Our cabin attendant – took two days to get tissues after they had been requested, we had to ask for soap to use by the sink to wash our hands (never got any but fortunately I did have some in my toilet articles), we were in a disabled cabin and so asked for a wedge for the door for us to use but each time he gave us one it would disappear the next time he came. 3. Despite being told that this ship had been recently refurbished it was obvious that the carpet in our cabin had been patched together. Our last night on board my toe caught in one of the areas where the carpet was coming apart causing me to fall injuring my shoulder. 4. The trivia’s were held in the Schooner Bar which has very limited access for people in wheelchairs or scooters. 5. Only one shore excursion was available for disabled people. Inexcusable! 6. We never could get a run down of our charges on our TV screen so we had to wait in line at Customer Service (very long lines most of the time because of the number of people onboard). 7. Space for the disabled in the Theatre were reserved only on deck 3 rather than on 3 and 4 like on the Navigator. Lots of disabled people on board. 8. Trying to get through the Royal Promenade was extremely difficult with all of the tables for the different shops selling things and with the amount of people it became even more of a bottleneck. The definition of Promenade is a leisurely walk taken for pleasure, to display one’s finery, etc; a public place for such a walk as an avenue, the deck of a ship, etc. There was no chance of a relaxing or leisurely walk along the “Promenade” as busy as it was most of the morning, afternoon and evening. Zumba on the Promenade – seriously! I / We feel that Royal Caribbean was ill equipped to deal with the amount of people on board. This includes the wait for the elevators – same amount of elevators as on the Navigator but substantially more people on board and a considerable number of people on board were disabled. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
I choose this cruise to try a different cruise company, we normally use P&O. The appearance of the ship was very nice inside and out, but we found it lacked activities. The weather wasn't the best which closed alot of the upper ... Read More
I choose this cruise to try a different cruise company, we normally use P&O. The appearance of the ship was very nice inside and out, but we found it lacked activities. The weather wasn't the best which closed alot of the upper deck activities, a pool and a couple of the hot tubes were closed for maintenance, we went below then found a bar closed for a private function. This made all other areas much fuller than they might have been. The standard of food at breakfast was poor, we struggled to find water that was hot enough to make a coffee. The evening meal and service was excellent, the waiter got to know us very quickly and made every evenings dinning experience a pleasure, probably the highlight of the cruise. The evening entertainment was okay but you had to be in early to get a seat, unfortunately a few technical issues kept letting things down. Generally the crew couldn't do enough for you, unfortunately it was the ship that let them and us down. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
For my wife and I this was our very first cruise. We went to the Norwegian Fjords aboard Independence of the Seas. We booked this cruise as we were told that it was a great trip and the Independence had, according to the Royal Caribbean ... Read More
For my wife and I this was our very first cruise. We went to the Norwegian Fjords aboard Independence of the Seas. We booked this cruise as we were told that it was a great trip and the Independence had, according to the Royal Caribbean brochure "been given a makeover from stern to bow". This is not true, parts of the ship may have been changed, BUT our room certainly had not seen any makeover. I have included a cabin review in the separate section. We spoke to some other passengers and they indicated there cabins were OK but had not been madeover as they had been led to believe. The boarding process was pretty good but we had to wait to get into the cabin, as this was our first cruise we did not really know what to expect. It became the norm to have to queue to get into the dining room. We were on "anytime" dining and we reserved times for dining for particular times. The food generally is good with service to match, although at times it seemed a little rushed. So we started to ask for a short wait between courses. We complained to guest relations on our return, sending them a number of photographs. At first they were helpful enough. Now, however it is a different matter. For 4 weeks I have been trying by e mail and telephone to get some clarification about an our issue and I can get a verbal statement from them, but they refuse to confirm in writing as "we do not" reply to E mails. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise last September, 2017, to fit in with our kids school holidays and to celebrate our 55th Wedding Anniversary we took all l7 of our family for a memorable trip instead of a party. We had nothing but agravation from ... Read More
We chose this cruise last September, 2017, to fit in with our kids school holidays and to celebrate our 55th Wedding Anniversary we took all l7 of our family for a memorable trip instead of a party. We had nothing but agravation from beginning to end. Firstly we used Cruise Kings, who were the worst company to deal with, incompetence, useless, and difficult from the very beginning, they did not listen to our requests re cabins etc., and the more we spoke to them about bed configurations the more confused they got. We asked for cabins on one day, keeping in mind we booked a year ago, and they gave us cabins from deck 2 to deck, so we were all over the place, we argument of argument, but got nowhere. That was our first gripe. Now on to the Indepence of the Seas, we chose this ship because our grandchildren range in age from 7 to 28, and this ship seemed to have something for everybody, we have been on 30 cruises, and know the ropes by now. The cabins were minute in some cases, one daughter had to climb over a sofa bed to get out of the cabin this was a hazard had there have been an emergency. Our cabin steward on deck 8 was worse than useless, there were 4 people in our cabin, and every day we had to ask for 4 towels, 4 face flannels etc., very poor show. Now to the restaurant arrangements and food. We asked at the time of booking for two large tables next to one another, on the first night having arrived at the restaurant for dinner we were told that we had been split into 3 tables, in all different parts of the dining room, of course they was argument, and after half an hour they managed to find two table immediately next to one another. We sat down, ordered our food, and when it arrived some 40 minutes later, the food was inedable, and the goats cheese was off, the rest of the food was dried up and tasteless and very poorly presented. We complained and were assured that the next night it would be better. The second night was a formal night so we were all dressed up and had intended have some photos taken, but our dismay we ordered our food, the first course was stale, and had to be sent back. One of the grandchildren asked for a piece of salmon, and was told by the waitress that there was non available. Eventually after my grandson ending up in tears because he was hungry, the salmon arrived, my daughter cut it up for him and to her horror it was raw inside I hate to think what might have happened had he have eaten it. My eldest grandaughter was served with a meal with a bar code label stuck on it, everything was cold, the service was apalling, and two of us had to wait for an hour for our meal to be served which when it arrived was inedable, we entered the dining room at 8.30 and did not leave until 10.30, my grandsons piece of salmon arrived some 45 minutes after ordering it. The Chef came out and the hotel manager, and maitre D, and when we questioned the Chef about the health risks, he did have an answer, and so it went on. The last night was an improvement as they pulled out all stops to try to make things better, but it was too little too late. My Husband and I were terribly distressed over the whole matter and instead of being a great celebration it was a great aggravation. Never will we cruise with Royal Caribbean again, avoid them at all costs, it was like Butlins on Sea. Very disgruntled passengers, oh and by the way they offered us 5% off another cruise what an insult having ruined what should have been a lovely and enjoyable celebration. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
after being on allure and anthem for previous cruises, independance was a true downgrade. We were so excited to experience Indy but didn’t realise what a difference the class of ship would mean. The teenagers took over hot tubs, ... Read More
after being on allure and anthem for previous cruises, independance was a true downgrade. We were so excited to experience Indy but didn’t realise what a difference the class of ship would mean. The teenagers took over hot tubs, drunk and swearing, groups loitering by stairwells, charging phones in hallways and being loud and intimidating. 6-8 yr old kids club was put in with 9-11 year olds which didn’t work at all. New trampolines are good, water slides and kids splashaway bay is excellent. Unfortunately staff don’t allow you to change pools, if you set up on a lounger and decide to walk be in there for more than 30 mins or hi to the hot tub or the other area 20 steps away they take your stuff and give it to customer services. When you have kids they don’t want to be in the 1 pool, they change pools and comecand get to the loungers. Apparently this isn’t allowed. 30 mins of no returns means your things are taken to customer service. False nails of last guest found on carpet of grand suite. Bar tenders refusing to give more than 2 bottles of water at the same time. Annoying when 4 Of u want a bottle of water. Had to get my husband to come and get another 2 as they wouldn’t serve me. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have been on many cruises over the years. The independence was a great ship ruined by corporate greed to introduce hundreds of new cabins at the expense of passenger enjoyment. It is now far far too crowded. Also the teenagers on ... Read More
I have been on many cruises over the years. The independence was a great ship ruined by corporate greed to introduce hundreds of new cabins at the expense of passenger enjoyment. It is now far far too crowded. Also the teenagers on board were not well controlled. They were throwing food around and were rowdy at night even putting plates outside a lift doors to try and trip people up. Bad idea to get rid of the Labyrinth nightclub which now means the disco is in the viking crown lounge which removes another nice public room for people to enjoy a quiet chat. In fact there are no places on board to have a dignified evening without bumping into hundreds of other people and having nowhere to sit. The Royal promenade reminds me of a bustling shopping centre without any where to sit. Far far too busy now. Do not recommend it I am sorry. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Very disappointed with this cruise ship.Having high expectations after such a good time on the navigator last time as a family , this time not the case,from the time we got on the ship you could see that there was too many people on the ... Read More
Very disappointed with this cruise ship.Having high expectations after such a good time on the navigator last time as a family , this time not the case,from the time we got on the ship you could see that there was too many people on the ship,my first disappointment was the SWIMMING POOL AREA,Not enough sunbeds to cater for everyone which meant you either got up early to put your towels down or you did not have one, in fairness to the staff they were trying to prevent this happening but was an impossible task.SUN BEDS WERE CRAMMED IN, VERY DIFFICULT TO MOVE EITHER SIDE and has we have physical disabilities this made it very near impossible to get in or out. on sea days the pools was overcrowded , although there was a sign stating only 29 in pool at one time, I counted 45 numerous times in the pool, and obviously there was no room to move, this was also the case after people came back from excursions.SMOKING AREA there was a smoking area around the pool next to the fish and ships eating area, on the days the chef had barbeques paella and indian meals around by the swimming pool they would be cooking by the smoking area where children and non smokers were passing through ,as a non smoker I felt that this was not appropriate,also when we had the outside meal we had nowhere to sit as it was all smokers area,I have no issue with smoking areas, but surely they should be where it is more isolated than in a VERY BUSY ENVIRONMENT,no room in the pubs in the evening our dining times was 8.30 pm which meant by the time we had our meal no room to have a drink.WINDJAMMERS - the windjammers is a great restaurant with a varied menu daily and excellent staff but unfortunately once again due to overcrowding we could not eat a meal as a family, every morning it took us 10 minutes at least to get a seat then one of us had to stay there while the rest went to get their meal complete CHAOS, it was like a cattle market.very disappointed.when we booked this ship we did not realise that due to refurbishment you were putting in more cabins rather than adding more space for the guests ,on deck 13 where you had the new facilities the flowrider was exactly the same size as last year which meant longer queues, I feel you compromised comfort for greed,by overcrowding on the facilities that you already had ,last year we were on the navigator and had the best holiday ever it was wonderful, this year not the case felt more like an holiday camp,not knocking holiday camps but when you pay £8600 for two weeks you would expect better,we saved all year for this holiday and was glad to come home.Having had this experience on the independence and have been told you are refurbishing the Navigator for next year it looks like I will need to be looking at a cruise with another company that will not be commercialised and overcrowded,to ensure a restful break.I have to state that the staff across the ship were great could'nt do enough for you. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect. The boarding was brilliant as my wife has mobility problems and we were fast tracked on the ship in 20 minutes from parking the car. However once we were on sea days we soon got ... Read More
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect. The boarding was brilliant as my wife has mobility problems and we were fast tracked on the ship in 20 minutes from parking the car. However once we were on sea days we soon got to see how overcrowded the ship was. only one evening were we able to get a seat in any of the bars and ended up taking drinks to our room, so lucky we had a balcony to enjoy. Sunbeds were also a dead loss, on sea days I gave up and just either had a drink in one of the bars or sat on our balcony. The entertainment was great with the highlight of the Grease show which was fantastic. Only one thing here, the bar staff make a noise with glasses at the back of the theatre which can be terrible if sitting at the back of the theatre. A sports bar has been added, and as it was world cup I thought this would be a good experience, but it caused nothing but trouble. Also it takes up far too much room which could have been addtional seating. I think if the ship wasn't so overcrowded it would have been a pleasant cruise, but I can't see Royal Carribean taking out those extra rooms so we can find a seat Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Fifth and last time probably on this ship. Far to crowded and a very rough element now. A lot of people were evicted from the shp for bad behaviour, mainly brawling. MDR long wait for food and quality when it finally arrived not good. Far ... Read More
Fifth and last time probably on this ship. Far to crowded and a very rough element now. A lot of people were evicted from the shp for bad behaviour, mainly brawling. MDR long wait for food and quality when it finally arrived not good. Far to much asking us to applaud when they parade and tell us how wonderful they are. This is probably aimed at getting us to tip their poorly paid staff who are lovely and cant do enough for you. It really is aimed at extr acting aa much money as possible.from the passengers who are packed in like sardines and told they are having fun. Paying 18 dollars extra each for a shuttle bus to take us into a town which was advertised as the stop in the brochure ia not acceptable...Windjammer food very good if you are a meat and fish eater. We are not and lactose intolerant so we ate a lot of salad and pasta. The best part of our cruiae was Boleros where a latin band called Mattisse performed most nights. It was usually packed and no seats available unless we arrived early or were very lucky. We loved the dancing . We havw been cruising for over twenty years did overall enjoy ourselves but this was not the cruising we expected and paid for.. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this ship as we enjoyed it so much last June. If the booking agent on ship had told us of the changes to accommodate more of families and teenagers we would not have booked. Not only has the ship got lots of entertainment for ... Read More
We chose this ship as we enjoyed it so much last June. If the booking agent on ship had told us of the changes to accommodate more of families and teenagers we would not have booked. Not only has the ship got lots of entertainment for families but have increased the number of cabins but not increased the seating in the bars or general seating areas. In fact one night we wanted a drink before our evening meal but couldn't find a seat anywhere. Was disappointed that the library and computer room have gone(these are now extra cabins) and are relegated to one room but the library books are just a small selection all mixed up not the good selection that there used to be. On sea days it is very hard to find a lounger as people still hog them. You see towels and books etc. left for hours. Have never seen as much food wasted as on this holiday, I put a lot of this down to unsupervised kids helping themselves to food they don't really want. After all that I would like to say that the shows were very good in the evening but one night we couldn't get a seat in the theatre and had to stand all through. This is the first time on any cruise this has happened. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I LOVED this ship and was SO looking forward to going on her again. Imagine my disappointment to see all the negative changes. It made me very sad. Fewer common areas, replaced with many new cabins. Sadly, the infrastructure could ... Read More
I LOVED this ship and was SO looking forward to going on her again. Imagine my disappointment to see all the negative changes. It made me very sad. Fewer common areas, replaced with many new cabins. Sadly, the infrastructure could not accommodate the added passengers and service was severely sacrificed. I more often than not had to clear a table for myself in the Windjammer. Many more line ups were common. There was fighting in the bars and many teen age children were completely out of control. They were loud, disrespectful, fighting, knocking on doors late at night, dropping water bombs on passengers from several decks above, swearing at passengers, tossing pizza on the elevator floors, fighting with bar staff in trying to be served alcohol, spilling drinks and walking away.....etc. Neither parents or security were on top of it. It was like the kids were running the ship. Many older passengers were scared by them...it was disgusting!! No movie theatre for sea days. On the up side....the entertainment in the pub was GREAT!! We had lovely singalongs every night, made new friends, and Robbie knew every song ever written!! He sure knows how to entertain a crowd of multi ages and backgrounds!!! I saw Michael, in security, calm an explosive situation with grace and humour on more than one occassion. The Independece needs another Michael if they are going to continue letting grossly unruly kids run the ship! Crew staff were very friendly. The ship needed more staff. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have cruised on Independence of the Seas on a number of occasions and are Diamond level members of the Crown and Anchor Society loyalty programme. Previously we have always been satisfied with the experience but this cruise was very ... Read More
We have cruised on Independence of the Seas on a number of occasions and are Diamond level members of the Crown and Anchor Society loyalty programme. Previously we have always been satisfied with the experience but this cruise was very disappointing. The ship has just had a major refit and we have seen it described as “enhancing the family activity”. To us the result was most unsatisfactory. It was quite clear that RCCL has acted to increase revenue stream by increasing passenger capacity without being able to increase the basic passenger facilities. The ship was therefore very overcrowded and uncomfortable. On sea days there was a considerable shortage of sun loungers with passengers spending long periods of time trying to find somewhere to sit. Heard a rumour that RCCL were considering adopting a policy whereby they require that two passengers should share each lounger. ( not sure whether this would be at the same time, or in shifts). The lounge space for Diamond and Diamond plus members of the loyalty club has been reduced by more than 50% and now consists of one very crowded area containing 55 seats. As there were said to be more than 750 Diamond level members on board it was not possible to use the lounge without extreme discomfort. Less than 30% of the passengers paid any heed to the concept of "Formal Night". It is well past the time when RCCL should either require passengers to stick by the rules or they should abandon the concept of formal night. As yet, the staff on board are maintaining a high level of service under extreme difficulty. It is however clear that they realise that they are being dragged down by the deteriorating circumstances on board. It can only be a matter of time before they break. We have been on this ship a number of times before but there is little chance that we will repeat the experience again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My 75th birthday treat and Bucket List "Go on a BIG SHIP". 4,128 passengers, 1,600 sunbeds. Overcrowded by about 1,000 passengers too many. Queues everywhere. Despite valiant staff service at bars is appalling that's if you ... Read More
My 75th birthday treat and Bucket List "Go on a BIG SHIP". 4,128 passengers, 1,600 sunbeds. Overcrowded by about 1,000 passengers too many. Queues everywhere. Despite valiant staff service at bars is appalling that's if you can get a seat. On non sun days there is an acute shortage of seats. Hence the high amount of scooters as this is the only way to guarantee a seat. The food in the MDR is mediocre as RCI want you in the premium restaurants. At meal times the MDR is less than half full as all are in Windjammer which is spacious and the food is quite good plus you can have as much as you like. The ship is beautiful and well appointed with good shows in the theatre. But the queues and lack of seating spoil everything. Plus the paying system at the bars takes longer than getting your drink. Cabin 1686 was lovely and well looked after by an attentive steward. In future will stick to a smaller ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
booked in january to see what the refurb looked like and to try a shorter cruise,, couple days away!!! full of hens and stag chasing around the ship, drunk on top deck, loud... ordering rounds of drinks at the bar for around 15 people at a ... Read More
booked in january to see what the refurb looked like and to try a shorter cruise,, couple days away!!! full of hens and stag chasing around the ship, drunk on top deck, loud... ordering rounds of drinks at the bar for around 15 people at a time.. couldnt get to the bars, not enough staff, service terrible, food warm in fine dining restaurants... long waits to be seated although time slot booked.. one man came out shouting he had waited over an hour and the service was disgraceful... at times i agreed!!! if your going to cruise.. book yourself a 5 day + break where i am sure you will get the service and quality that RC are typically used to delivering.. certainly wouldnt recommend 2 day tasters... was a waste of money and not a pleasant experience!! we also had a cabin on deck 7 which i though had been refurb.. very old fasioned ,. def needs a makeover! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I am not one to normally pen a review following a bad experience, however after my vacation last week aboard the MS Independence of the Seas, I felt it necessary to voice my concerns. Let me begin by saying that I have cruised fairly ... Read More
I am not one to normally pen a review following a bad experience, however after my vacation last week aboard the MS Independence of the Seas, I felt it necessary to voice my concerns. Let me begin by saying that I have cruised fairly regularly since childhood. I have seen numerous changes (some good/some bad) across the board within the cruise industry. I would have to say that Celebrity, up to this point, has been my preferred cruise line, however having children has driven me to consider CCL, NCL, and RCCL over the past several years. This most recent cruise was not chosen because my good friend and colleague and his wife (RCCL Diamond members) had booked this cruise. We had all vacationed together once before and had such an enjoyable time cruising together, we figured we’d join them. With that said, allow me to detail the events that occurred on our sailing: • Shortly after departing Port Everglades, my 2 sons and I went up to the FlowRider on Aft, Deck 13. One of my sons noticed a pile of pink emesis (vomit) that was simply roped off in an area directly across from the sign in area. How long it had been there is anyone’s guess, but no one seemed to be attending to it nor was it covered with anything. Considering all the issues you worry about with disease, etc., it surely cannot comply with current health standards aboard cruise ships • We only saw our stateroom attendant 3 or 4 times throughout the week. We did request a roll-a-way on the first day when I first met him. He was diligent about keeping the room clean, which was good, however he only made the beds daily and did not fold up the roll-a-way daily nor did he fold the couch bed back to a usable couch daily. Both were just made up beds that took up a lot of room in our cabin. We figured it was just the first day, thus we gave it a chance, but we really never got an opportunity to ask him after that. Is that not a given? Perhaps not. In hindsight, I guess should have called, but really never gave it thought as on past cruises, I usually saw my stateroom attendant regularly. • The food temperature and quality in the main dining room was not very good at all. I understand feeding the masses can be an arduous task, but on all but one night did food ever come out hot. At best, the food was luke warm. My wife had ordered a cheese and fruit platter and the grapes that came out were all shriveled and offensive looking as well as the carrots. (SEE PHOTO). In addition, on the second night I had ordered French Onion Soup that came out burnt with the cheese being hard as a rock and just cracked. I asked the waiter for another and she ARGUED with me trying to tell me that that is how it is made. I tried explaining to her it is not, but she persisted! After going back and forth, I finally asked her to simply please bring me another soup. The second soup had cheese that was not completely melted and was semi-hot. (At least this one was edible!) The crème brulee in the dining room all week was AWFUL! It was watery and lumpy and some nights the sugar on top was grainy. The morning of disembarkation, I had ordered a salmon plate which was served to me with half rotted lettuce (and the salmon was COLD, not warm). (SEE PHOTO) I really don’t know what to say here except that food, in my opinion, drives people to return to a cruise. (Being a “foodie” myself, I know I weigh it heavily.) My friends (who are big fans of RCCL) felt the same way here. The food quality in the Windjammer buffet was much better than the dining room (or so we thought). We both ate in Chops our second to last night of the cruise and thought the food was FABULOUS! THAT is the quality and temperature we have had in the past, not what took place in the main dining room on this sailing. HORRIBLE! • My son ordered a banana split (SEE PHOTO) from Ben & Jerry’s on the promenade. It was OK. It wasn’t even served in a bowl, but on plastic plate tho. You’d think for $7+ you could at least make it presentable! • The majority of service on board this ship was HORRENDOUS! Never have I had cruise stuff come down a deck with a cart yelling “Coming through”, “Watch out”, “Move to the side.” What happened to manners and “excuse me?” I rarely witnessed an officer or staff member walking and stop to let someone pass. Many times I observed them push their way through people instead of waiting and being courteous. The waiter arguing with me in the dining room over the soup. (Noted above) Just poor manners/behavior!! • There was a lot of small trash noted on the ship, especially in the pool area. Lights were not kept up with (SEE PHOTO). Again, no excuse! Just gave an overall impression of "we don't care!" • On Labadee, we shared a cabana with our friends. We were surprised to learn that no frozen drinks were served on the island except for some unknown pink cocktail. There were no Pina Coladas or Daiquiris! Is it really that difficult to put a blender, ice, and mixers at the bars? UNACCEPTABLE for a Caribbean Vacation! • At disembarkation, our bag tag was #7. Upon vacating the ship, it took us close to 30-40 minutes to locate our luggage because our tags (for whatever reason) were removed from both our suitcases. One bag was located at luggage services in the terminal, the other was found in section #10. Again, I have ZERO EXPLANATION as to why this happened. • The icing on the cake (and probably what really prompted to me to pen this letter) was an incident at the FlowRider. Regularly, music was played while the FlowRider was open. A little girl had been injured and they had shut the FlowRider down in order to tend to her. At that time, the music was louder and clearer and I noticed they were playing “Killing in the Name of” by Rage Against the Machine. This is not exactly the most family friendly song as it contains a lot of expletives, however I figured this was a censored version. (Perhaps!) Nope, clear as day you could hear the lyrics, “F**K you, I won’t do what your tell me” (repetitive)…then it ends with “Mother F**ker.” (I have Video of this!) I was APPALLED! (As were other people) There were several young children around who heard this as well as their parents. I noted some familiar had left after this. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS! Is this the branding that RCCL desires? This, but far, has got to be ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING CRUISES THAT I HAVE BEEN ON! After putting a lot of thought into it, one of the few things I could surmise was “gratuities.” The cruise staff gets tipped no matter what. Whether they do a good job or a bad job, they get rewarded. What incentive do they have to want to get better? I would suggest going back to the old school way of gratuities. Another possible solution is in today’s world of “my time/my way” cruising, have gratuity slips at ideal locations of the ship so exceptional service can be rewarded there on the spot and then put that onto the passengers charges as they occur. That or allow the gratuities to be adjusted. A gratuity is just that, a reward for providing exceptional service. It should be suggested, not obligatory. If you’re going to make it obligatory, do away with gratuities and just upcharge the cruise and be done with it. On a positive note, I do have to give kudos to one crew member who did provide exceptional service, Andrew in Vintages Wine Bar. He was always friendly and had a smile. He provided excellent service and certainly knew his wines. He was the ONLY ONE who made a great lasting impression on our vacation. In closing, I challenge RCCL to GET BETTER! There is much work that needs to get done on this ship! I truly hope the rest of the fleet is not like this!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
My husband and I have been on many cruises, but this was our first on Royal Caribbean. RCL would easily rank at the bottom of the list. Luggage: We found our luggage down the hall from our room when we boarded. When we got off the ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many cruises, but this was our first on Royal Caribbean. RCL would easily rank at the bottom of the list. Luggage: We found our luggage down the hall from our room when we boarded. When we got off the ship, our luggage should have been in area 24 but it wasn't there. We asked an employee and they told us to look around. We found it in are 42. Cabin: Our cabin was as expected but we never saw or met or cabin steward. There were things we needed but couldn't get since we never saw him/her. We would have liked to order breakfast but didn't have an order form and couldn't find one. Communication: There was little communication from the ship. For example, we were suppose to meet our shore excursion at 9:15 on the pier but the ship was scheduled to arrive at 9:30. There was no announcement when we could get off the ship and 3000 people on the pier trying to find their shore excursion group. Shore Excursions: At one port, the driver took us to the wrong place. At another port, the driver took us to a restaurant to eat where the service was horrible. My husband and I were the first to arrive but the last to get our food. Some were back on the bus before we got our food. Dining Room: We do not like their open seating. We had different wait staff every night so they didn't get to know what we like or don't like. Some waiters were wonderful and some were horrible. But they all get equal tip. One night my husband asked for coffee twice with his dessert but never got it. The food is so-so. Who puts gravy on prime rib? It ruins it! Beverages: Don't by the all you can drink soda package thinking that you can use the Coca Cola Freestyle machines they advertise to get you to purchase it. They don't have them. Internet: Only works in certain places. They don't give you all the info that you need for mutiple devices and we had to go back twice to get it to work. Restrooms: The morning the cruise ended, we needed to be out of our cabin by 8 or 8:30 but we couldn't get off the ship until 9:30 or 10. All of the restrooms were closed for cleaning. Read Less
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 4.3
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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