181 Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Cruise Reviews

This was our annual organizations cruise and we were not informed till about the day before that we were not going to our original destinations, Labadee and Falmouth but to Nassau and Coco Cay. I don't care for Nassau and that's ... Read More
This was our annual organizations cruise and we were not informed till about the day before that we were not going to our original destinations, Labadee and Falmouth but to Nassau and Coco Cay. I don't care for Nassau and that's not where I prefer to go. We had no choice. They told us it was due to the weather, though in hindsight it seems like that was not really the case but that Jamaica would not let us port there. All the shore excursions were cancelled and even when others, not us, rescheduled for the new destinations those were cancelled to, last minute. It was so windy the first few days we couldn't do much of anything on the decks and activities were cancelled. All this was extremely disappointing to all the nurses on this cruise with us. The food was also not as good as I remember it being on our previous cruises. The dining room staff were terrific but the food was just not very good. The Windjammer café was somewhat better but hot dogs were always my go to because they are always delicious and thick. We always love the trivia and music performances and the game shows. These are the highlights especially if everything else you want to do is a bust. Other's in our group have had trouble getting money back for their excursions or were charges double for something that was originally half the price. There were no apologies or compensation in any way from Royal Caribbean. This is disappointing because we have cruised with them before and been very happy. We did not have children with us but some of the other cruisers did and as it was a spring break week we had lots of families and young adults on the cruise. I know a lot of this was disappointing for them too. By the way, the cruise we were rerouted to and the cruise we paid for were hundreds of dollars different and we didn't get any of that back either. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was my 6th cruise, my 1st with Royal Caribbean and definitely my LAST with them. The check in process went fairly well until we were told to wait to board in 3 different areas by 3 different people. We never were sure that we were ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise, my 1st with Royal Caribbean and definitely my LAST with them. The check in process went fairly well until we were told to wait to board in 3 different areas by 3 different people. We never were sure that we were where we needed to be. Once on board, I immediately noticed the cleanliness or lack thereof. It was obvious that attention to detail was missing here. The cabin was dark and dated, dirty carpeting, torn bed skirts, broken drain stopper in sink which remained that way the duration of the trip.Beds were terrible, like sleeping on bales of hay. Both sides of vanity lighting never came on at the same time. Not an actual mini fridge in cabin, it is a cooler. Overall just shoddy! My luggage wasn't delivered to my room so once I inquired, I learned that Security had it because I had packed a surge protected power strip. Apparently you aren't allowed to bring them yet there was no mention of them in the list of prohibited items.(Don't listen to any YouTubers that advise you to bring one on this line.) I had to surrender it to them and was given a claim check to pick up when disembarking. I ordered room service twice during the 5 days to enjoy a quiet breakfast on the balcony only to be disgusted when it arrived. First time it was a combo.....some items I ordered, others I didn't, some items I ordered I didn't get at all!!! The next time, my raw english muffin and coffee arrived on a filthy dirty tray with someone else's trash stuck to it and black grease on the edges of the tray.The cloth napkins were also stained and gross. The Windjammer buffet had a large selection but horrible service. You nearly had to beg for a straw (paper). They are not available anywhere so you can just help yourself. One night I asked 3 times for one and it never came. I also was turned off that they have trays of lemonade, iced tea and water already poured into glasses just sitting out. No telling for how long.....No one came by to refill drinks or coffee so you always had to navigate the lines and hope they wouldn't clear your plate and you'd lose your table.I saw it happen more than once. The common area restrooms were absolutely disgusting. Floors were always dirty, trash everywhere, nasty. The main Promenade appears to offer more than it actually does. Shopping on board was a fail. The gift shop offered 1 style tank top or tee shirt for ladies. I've never seen a shop with such a poor selection. The sale items were actually Christmas ornaments and ugly men's Christmas sweatshirts. Now if you wanted a designer handbag,there was a Michael Kors store,or an expensive cosmetics store. If you wanted jewelry, liquor or watches your selections were larger. Lots of up charges here too. While visiting the coffee shop, where food items were free but fancy coffees are not, my traveling companion asked the server for a particular pastry that she could see in the case. The server then reached down and took the 3 remaining pastries and put them in another case and told my friend there wasn't anymore!! We were shocked! It was very, very crowded otherwise I can assure you my friend would have demanded an explanation. Instead, she took the employees photograph including her badge and plans to address it with corporate. I plan on doing the same with my issues. Another night we were reading the nightly news letter that told of a one day special for wifi. When I called guest services to inquire about the pricing, I was told it was a misprint and that there was no special. On Formal night, we were speaking with a gentleman at Guest Services and he told us that open toed shoes were NOT allowed that evening. So we did not participate even though we had planned to. Only to see later on, lots and lots of ladies in open toed shoes! My friend and I took 1 photo together when we arrived at Grand Cayman with Royal's photographer yet somehow they never could find the photo.......... We were also told if one person in your party wanted to purchase the drink package, whoever else was in your room had to purchase it as well! Usually halfway through my cruise, I like to pay cash on my account so I don't have much of a balance at the end. I was told I could not do that. You just have to settle up before 11pm the night before you leave the ship. Overall, I put Royal Caribbean on the bottom of my list. It doesn't measure up to any of the other lines I have cruised on such as Carnival, Celebrity and Princess being my favorite.The attention to detail is just not there. Cleanliness is lacking in common areas. I can't tell you how often you would see dirty glasses and cups scattered all over the ship. Sometimes the room service trays would be in the hallways all day. I personally wouldn't recommend them and I feel bad since some fellow travelers were experiencing this as their first time cruising. If Independence of the Seas was recently rehabbed, I would hate to have seen it before. I don't like anything about the way this line operates. I guess the only thing I can recommend is the Jose Cuervo Tequila Tasting Tour in Cozumel. That truly was the only thing I enjoyed that Royal Caribbean offered. RCCL = Don't waste your money or lower your expectations. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Well the excitement didnt last long. This was my children's first cruise and I feel that the independence of the seas was a let down. The food was poor quality. Unless I went to the the formal dining and I traded good food for poor ... Read More
Well the excitement didnt last long. This was my children's first cruise and I feel that the independence of the seas was a let down. The food was poor quality. Unless I went to the the formal dining and I traded good food for poor quality of cleanliness. Lipstick on my water glass, napkins that had lipstick on them and my husband's silverware had food still left on it when it was delivered. The staff from the dinning hall saved this unpleasant experience. THANK YOU FRANCISCO AND STEPHAN table 744 for being absolute gentleman to your guests. The constant alcohol cups left all over jacuzzis and night was disgusting. I would recommend checking your charges on your room bill. I was charged 50.00 for towles that I handed to concierge desk and they didnt deduct charges until I brought my itemized receipt back and corrected the staff. Then I put my luggage out @ 11:00pm the previous night of departure so we could have an easier time getting off the boat, only to find that the staff broke the wheel on my luggage bag. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
There were no outstanding anything on this cruise, as a matter of fact, we have decided to avoid cruising with RCI in the future. Starting with embarkation when we arrived on assigned time and were standing in line for over an hour; ... Read More
There were no outstanding anything on this cruise, as a matter of fact, we have decided to avoid cruising with RCI in the future. Starting with embarkation when we arrived on assigned time and were standing in line for over an hour; getting to the room which was dirty, had no tv remote, no ice, no glasses, no menus, no toiletries, and was never vacuumed or cleaned properly. It took asking multiple times to get anything from the room attendant and the beds were only made twice in 4 days, she could not accommodate the times when we were out of the room to clean it, it has not been vacuumed in 4 days, we finally got glasses on day 3, and bed was terrible, the mattress was lumpy with a deep in the middle, balcony was dirty. The service was very lacking in every public area, except for drinks, you were asked multiple times if you want to purchase drinks. The food was mediocre, tasteless, limited selection in the MDR; there was no service whatsoever in Windjammer, one time during the four days one person asked if we wanted something to drink, the rest of the time we were completely ignored. All entertainment options were for sale only, free entertainment included DJ on promenade, 70th disco, Caribbean and Latin band, Grease musical, and few stand up comedians, disco floor was jammed packed, there was no standing room there, shops were half empty, lines everywhere, people everywhere, kids were everywhere, no room on pool decks. and at the end the total disaster of the disembarkation that took over an hour and a half standing in line just to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
After 25+ years of cruising on a fairly regular basis on 4 different lines we finally found a ship we would try really hard to avoid in the future. And although even with the following it’s possible to have a good time, and no doubt many ... Read More
After 25+ years of cruising on a fairly regular basis on 4 different lines we finally found a ship we would try really hard to avoid in the future. And although even with the following it’s possible to have a good time, and no doubt many inexperienced cruisers will think a vacation on this ship was great, there are too many problems for us to go back any time soon. Ever experienced bacon that does not taste right? Too long in the freezer, too long sitting in its own fat, too long since it was cooked, who knows – but you will experience that at breakfast. How about shrimp cocktails – on the menu nightly – or prime rib – on the menu several nights - with no horseradish option on the sauce? Seems they ran out on day two. Beer drinker, but not enough to lay out $80 per day for the drink package – be prepared to pay $9.43 (inclusive of the required 18% “gratuity”) for your bottle of Bud. And don’t look too long for a price list of the liquor at any bar – they don’t have any ex the bar’s “specials”. Drinking on cruises use to involve drinking at reasonable prices. Not on this ship. Experience the fun of waiting too long for a towel at the pool when on a day at sea 4,200 of your new best friends want one also – and there’ only one towel station, and the one person manning it is trying to multi-task regarding various issues raised by those at the front of the line. Or how about showing up for second dinner seating at the scheduled time of 8pm, having a mob scene await you, wait for your table, wait for your water, wait for your waiter, and when the head waiter comes by he explains to you that if you show up at that time and the stage show has just let you, you have to wait? Or this last morning, you look forward to a nice sit-down breakfast with a tablecloth, but get turned away at 8am being told the formal dining area that was opened was “filled” so please try the 11th floor buffet? This is despite the fact the ship has two other identical formal dining areas. Oh, and it was buffet only, no ordering for this final breakfast please. But my favorite was, having convinced my wife to stay up for the 10.45 pool party, to be told when we showed up that it would not start till about 11.30. Seems they were playing a movie at the pool and they could not start the dancing till the movie was over. I’m sorry, you have the same schedule every week, how can you mess that up? Combined with the conspicuous absence of senior crew members (except for the Brit who is the beverage manager) – cruise long enough and you can spot them – they have the best uniforms and usually look the part – and the fact that in 4 days we never laid eyes on our cruise director (except on TV), it makes me think maybe they’ve gotten tired of having to personally deal with the customers. Certainly, we listened to a lot of our fellow customers who had things to say to them. Not good. On the positive side, lots of reggae music, very pleasant staff, good trivia contests – most of the time (but make sure that female on the staff shows up on time next time please), Graham?? The Scot was a hoot and a lot of fun, try the tenderloin at dinner when available, and you’ve got snails in garlic butter on the menu nightly. But simply too many people not handled in the right way. So don’t short the stock (yet), just try and find another ship if your plans allow. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I understand that nickle-and-diming guests is core to the cruise business now, but making drinking water hard to come by is unconscionable. Staff wanted a $9 value drink ticket for a bottle of water, or would stand there and pour it into a ... Read More
I understand that nickle-and-diming guests is core to the cruise business now, but making drinking water hard to come by is unconscionable. Staff wanted a $9 value drink ticket for a bottle of water, or would stand there and pour it into a cup for free. The only drinking fountain is hidden in the gym, with a 'no bottle filling' sign. Added one star to review because everything else was very good. Dining options for a gluten sensitive person were offered or available. Kid activities look good ( but were unutilized for this music-themed cruise). Planned shore excursions were a good value, well organized, and flexible for us when we missed the departure for one. Embarkation was pretty quick - facilities seem to be finally catching up with the size of the jumbo ships. Same with tenders at Belize and the pier at Cozumel. This trip did have a couple medevacs which were handled quickly, but with an oversize impact on running activities (it's actually better to keep people in the theater and out of the hallways when trying to move a stretcher). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
When I go on a cruise, I’m looking to get away and to fully relax and enjoy my vacation. I would like to express some reasons why I will think hard before I choose to cruise with RC again... -As we board the ship and begin to look ... Read More
When I go on a cruise, I’m looking to get away and to fully relax and enjoy my vacation. I would like to express some reasons why I will think hard before I choose to cruise with RC again... -As we board the ship and begin to look around, we are bombarded with cruise members approaching us at different areas, trying to sell us the EXTRA’S. This continued through the time on our cruise , and would be one of my biggest deciding factors, on not choosing RC again in the future... my time of relaxing became a time of trying to avoid these staff .... I know what they are offering ,and if I am interested ...I will approach them... -The Windjammer would be another reason that I would not choose to sail with RC again. The food was great and the staff were friendly , but there was not enough staff to provide the excellence of service that one expects when paying to cruise,and definitely not the level of excellence that I have found with other cruise lines. Finally on the very last cruise day, there were sufficient staff to clean tables and collect dirty dishes and to offer tea/juice to those seated. Makes me wonder if not purposely done, to boost positive reviews on the surveys. - when greeted at the main dining room for “my time dining”, on the first day , I was made to feel that I should be sitting with a shared table and was causing an inconvenience by requesting a table for two only. I certainly did not mind waiting for one to become available, and I had to ask about a pager system that I may be able to utilize ...to do so, - Another big reason why RC is not a line I will consider sailing with again, is the push for more Tips...and being made to feel that if you choose not to pay the extra tips, then you aren't recognizing those who provided service of excellence.... I HAVE already PRE PAID my gratuity for service of excellence. My experience with this RC cruise was great concerning the food , the dining room service , the ice show and theatre productions (though I feel the broadway show Grease was very vulgar for a family oriented ship).This ship has much to offer to families in regards of things to do,and that is great.However all that, is over clouded by the negative experiences that I encountered . Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We love to cruise on Celebrity but we had heard great things about Royal Caribbean and booked a 4-day cruise on the Independence of the Seas. What a disappointment! Biggest issue... the food. Whether you were eating in the dining room or ... Read More
We love to cruise on Celebrity but we had heard great things about Royal Caribbean and booked a 4-day cruise on the Independence of the Seas. What a disappointment! Biggest issue... the food. Whether you were eating in the dining room or at the Windjammer Buffet, the food was either FLAVORLESS or WAY TOO SALTY. Nothing in between. I honestly never ate a decent meal the entire time I was on the cruise. I left almost the entire meal on my plate. The food was awful. We had a reservation for dinner at 6:30 and arrived on time, but were told there were no tables. So we were put at a table with much older couples, which was not at all what we wanted. When we tried to get the issue resolved for the remaining nights, we were told that although we had a 6:30 reservation, the only way we could get a table for two was to arrive by 5:30. So, we ate dinner at 5:30 which certainly was not ideal. As for the ship, the rooms were clean and fairly spacious and the ship was nice. However, it was very crowded, especially when walking through The Promenade. The entertainment was good, the ice show and the comedian Kivi Rogers were both very good. Overall however, I would not recommended this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Corporate should be embarrassed by this ship. Rooms are dated and worn-out as are the public areas. Our cabin steward Magda and Fernando at the Champagne Bar gave excellent service. The rest seemed disonnected, confused and uninformed. ... Read More
Corporate should be embarrassed by this ship. Rooms are dated and worn-out as are the public areas. Our cabin steward Magda and Fernando at the Champagne Bar gave excellent service. The rest seemed disonnected, confused and uninformed. Many public areas had off odor of sewage. Public area bathrooms were dirty and unkept. In one bathroom near Johnny Rockets wife had to hold her nose from the sewage smell. Rooms were dated, took me back to a 1980's Holiday Inn this is what they consider Amped up? Sink drain clogged and toilet overflowing into room. Holes in the couch and could someone please clean the A/C vents from all the dust. Food was mediocre at best. Windjammer is fine if you like curry's, mashed potatoes and stews. Who is eating this for lunch? No healthy selections? Main dining room is chaos. Johnny Rocket uniformed staff running around MDR & Chops Grill trying to set tables and waitstaff that seemed as if they were just going through the motions. Ate at Giovannis table on a Wednesday. Had the "signature dish" Osso Bucco. Found the same exact dish on the menu in the main dining room for free on Thursday I don't mind up-charging but I consider that a rip off. Did the Chef leave the ship? Chops Grill ordered the seafood tower did someone forget to order crab claws? Oh yes and the red wine by the glass you ordered we don't have that either. No half n half on the ship for coffee, did they forget to order this? Only milk. Asked for ketchup in MDR at breakfast server said they will see what they can do. Internet is a disgrace no Voom here. Ice skating show, comedian and hypnotist were all excellent shows. Not sure how RCCL corporate can say they AMPED up this ship? Is that by adding Playmakers? We were entertained by the bartenders arguing amongst themselves about who is in a training class? Returned home 15 minutes late no problem until it took 1 hour to get off ship and then Customs for another 1 hour. Two hours to get to curb from the time we got in line to get off. This has never happened in over 25 cruises we have taken. Only 4 people scanning Sea Pass to get off ship their excuse was the ship came in late, complete fiasco. Have they taken all the good staff and moved them up or are they only concentrating on new builds? Fully understand the difference between older vessels and newer vessels but when service standards aren't maintained, interiors aren't upgraded, food is subpar and staff is disorganized one has to wonder did I just get ripped off. My answer is yes. Corporate greed at its best. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I'm wring after just returning a couple of days ago from a 5 night cruise on Independence of the Seas. This was our 2nd cruise this year on this ship and our 3rd cruise this year with your cruise lines.  We choose Independence ... Read More
I'm wring after just returning a couple of days ago from a 5 night cruise on Independence of the Seas. This was our 2nd cruise this year on this ship and our 3rd cruise this year with your cruise lines.  We choose Independence because we had a remarkably great time in February and it was not the same experience at all this time, which was sad because we choose to book 3 rooms and bring our children and grandchildren.  There were several instances that were disturbing and one in particular that caused my adult daughter to file a formal complaint because of comments made by a very unprofessional bartender to her.  Getting on the ship was difficult and chaotic even with expedited arrival but getting off was ridiculous and took almost 2 hours.  We had a much better experience on the Allure in September which was a much larger ship.  It seemed like many of the crew we encountered on this ship were disengaging from the guests.  We had problems in the dining room the first evening and dinner took over 2 hours. My daughter and her 3 children never returned to dinner with us because of this.  We did talk to guest services about this and tried to have our dining time switched to anytime dining but they refused to allow us to do that.   The remaining 4 dinners were served more efficiently (usually 1 to 1/2 hours) but it was too much for my daughter to not know how long we'd be sitting so sadly she ate in Windjammer every night (with her 3 kids) which was not well run and was very hard to get service for drinks in this venue (or anything else you might need after sitting down with your plate). We also had difficulty at breakfast getting service in the Windjammer and in the main dining room (which took over an hour for 2 people - so we didn't go back to that dining room for breakfast again.) If we wanted fresh squeezed orange juice which we paid for with our package, we had to literally flag down a waiter.  The only one of the 9 of us who seemed to get good service was our beautiful tattooed body builder daughter who had waiters tripping over each other to serve her. There was barely any afternoon pool side service at the kids pool for most of the trip.  This is extremely important since parents with young children can't just venture to a bar whenever they want to.   The one employee who did shine on this ship and that we want to recognize was our stateroom attendant, Byron who was exemplary in every way. Friendly,efficient and helpful with much information.  In fact, he was the best employee of RCCL that we've encountered on the 3 cruises we've done this year.  Sadly we would not recommend this ship again to anyone or cruise on it.  It was wonderful in February but not so on this trip. We are planning to cruise again in summer 2020 on the Oasis, Harmony or Anthem and hope to be doing it with RCCL but many look into another cruise line as well. We are new to Royal but would like to continue with the brand. My husband and I typically vacation 4 times annually.  Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were really looking forward to this cruise. There were too many people on this ship. Our first evening we realised that there were not enough seating in-social areas for the amount of people on board. Every evening after dinner it ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise. There were too many people on this ship. Our first evening we realised that there were not enough seating in-social areas for the amount of people on board. Every evening after dinner it was three deep at the bar to get a drink there was no seating available to enjoy a drink, we ended up walking aimlessly around with drink in our hand , which was difficult when crossing the Bay of Biscay in a choppy sea. The sports bar was twice a big then any other seating area , and half empty . I also did not like the fact that children were in the jacuzzis with out parents and used them as swimming pools. People in the jacuzzis fully clothed is also a new one on me !! . The sun bed situation was horrendous far too close together, and very difficult to get on. I can not fault the service in dining room and cabin, the food was mostly ok. The windjammer was a nightmare,very chaotic walking round and round trying to find what you wanted, ( why can’t they put butter next to toast ) . We have been on Royal Caribbean 5 times this is by far the worst. They have made a massive mistake with the refreb of this ship The only good thing was how quick we disembarked no problem. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date June 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
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
Sail Date May 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
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
Sail Date April 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
Sail Date February 2019
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
Sail Date December 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
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
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date August 2018
Independence of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.2
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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