3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were forced to go to Deck 5 to get between fore and aft parts of the ship. The casino on Deck 4 is so smoky that we got nauseous trying to cut through it. The non-smoking areas are tiny islands in a sea of cigarette smoke. Non-smoking ... Read More
We were forced to go to Deck 5 to get between fore and aft parts of the ship. The casino on Deck 4 is so smoky that we got nauseous trying to cut through it. The non-smoking areas are tiny islands in a sea of cigarette smoke. Non-smoking means there is "no smoking please" sign and no ashtrays. Three feet away from the no smoking sign there is a blackjack table. When I pointed out the no-smoking sign three feet away I was rudely told that the dealer handed him an ashtray when he took out a cigarette. Since my wife likes the casino, getting sick from trying to stay in it was a big disappointment. Breakfast in the dining room arrives at room temperature. Try the buffet or go to the Windjammer on deck 11. Internet was very fast and easy to switch devices and was useable throughout the ship. Kids activities were very good. The Diamond Lounge was excellent. Free drinks in the lounge from 4:30 to 8 pm, plus three vouchers loaded on Sea Pass card good even in the restaurants and MDR. Labadee was grossly overpriced for any purchases. It's owned by RCL and they know you have no choice. In Falmouth, there was a problem with the road to Montego Bay and three ships excursions were 90 minutes late getting back. Definitely best to get ship's shore excursions on a short stop at port. The smallest cabin we have ever been in. With the beds together, at the foot of the bed the bed was up against the cabinets so that it was impossible to walk to the head of the bed. You had to crawl over the bed to get to the head of the bed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both ... Read More
First off the food wasn't good period. Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean was much better. This cruise screwed up my girlfriend's dessert after making her order a special gluten free meal for her allergy. The final day we both got food poisoning from eggs Benedict and ruined the last day of our trip. We were sick in our room the rest of the day. They had the Grease show which was pretty good but the staff were very unorganized with keeping the guests waiting in an organized manner, making some wait at the top of the stairs while others lined up at the doors below in a separate line making people frustrated. The last part of the show had to stop due to technical difficulties so we left. The highlight of our trip was our Izumi sushi class and the Savannah Jack concert. There could have been more shows going on also as there was not much to choose from. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Not "us". We did the Celebrity Edge the week prior. So we went looking for a cruise that left FLL or MIA on Sun or Mon. There were 3. (HAL, CCL, and RCCL). We had never done an RCCL. We have put many clients on them, and ... Read More
Not "us". We did the Celebrity Edge the week prior. So we went looking for a cruise that left FLL or MIA on Sun or Mon. There were 3. (HAL, CCL, and RCCL). We had never done an RCCL. We have put many clients on them, and they ALL love it. So for us this was research into the brand, and what it is like. It was well worth it for that alone. My personal take-aways: - Food was Good to Very Good. Buffet was HUGH, one of the most diverse we have ever seen. But it was CROWDED, and we just are NOT buffet people. MD was nice. Late seating. GREAT waitress. Food selections in MD were just OK. Not great, or diverse, but tasty. Portions were BIG (for us). Pizza (we eat glueten free) was one of the best crusts we have ever had. Other GF options were VERY hard to come by. - Entertainment was not what we like. The BIG show was Grease. A re-re-re-off-off-off Broadway thing. Well done. HUGH cast, but we MUCH prefered CEL's unique Edge type entertainment. The ice show was SPECTACULAR. Two really good bar bands. The Piano Bar was NOT Great - just OK. He was a bit goofey (Billed as comedy piano). Never finished a song - like he had adult ADHD. - The jumpie thing was broken. We both enjoyed the water slides. I did the wave thing. The adult pool was too full for us to even consider, and the hot tubs even worse. I can see where this fits multi-generational as kids pool looked really fun from the upper (granpa) lounge. - Room was ÖK". We had a last min. assignment (booked 3 weeks before sailing). Inside up front. Got what we got. Not a ton of storage. Only one receptacle. Room steward was good, but not great. Room seemed a bit small. Two BIG negatives. 1) The quantity of people. Ship was FULL FULL FULL. Not just kids, but I don't know where another 1,000 adults would have gone. Just too many people. And the NOISE and hub-bub were impossible to get away from. I realize this is a personal choice, and some LOVE all this action, so not going to call this a RCCL problem. 2) This IS an RCCL problem: Ship was FILTY. We boarded, and public areas were not clean. ie: lime on the deck from previous cruise. Carpet was visibally dirty in many public areas, and in the room. They really need to empty the ship one day every month or so and do a deep cleaning. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
After taking close to 30 cruises I can honestly say that this was the worst food and service I have ever experienced at sea. We were a group of 12, and every night we ate in the main dining room multiple people either sent back what they ... Read More
After taking close to 30 cruises I can honestly say that this was the worst food and service I have ever experienced at sea. We were a group of 12, and every night we ate in the main dining room multiple people either sent back what they ordered or simply left it on their plate after taking only one or two bites. The service at dinner was not good, and at breakfast and lunch in the main dining room it as atrocious. I am not sure what the main ingredient was in the Johnny Rockets hamburger, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't beef. Desserts are clearly made with vegetable shortening, not butter. The pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving did not have any pumpkin in it. The shrimp cocktail was served at room temperature as was the cannoli in the Italian restaurant, which was filled at least a day before they served it. The entire food experience is poorly managed and there is a complete lack of competence from top to bottom. The public men's bathrooms all smell of urine and have either water or urine on the floors. In four days on board I only saw them being cleaned once. Compare that with Celebrity, where they are constantly being cleaned. The worst part of the cruise was having the director of food operations continue to argue with me after I pointed out the problems we were having. On the plus side, both Grease and the Ice Show were entertaining, and the cabin steward was great (if not for these 2 factors I would have rated them 0 stars. And to top it off, one of us came home with either bedbug bites or scabies! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was the worst time we ever had. The service was terrible and understaffed at every bar. The pregratuty only showed staff didnt have to do anything to show you a good time but rather a feeling that we didnt deserve anything ... Read More
This cruise was the worst time we ever had. The service was terrible and understaffed at every bar. The pregratuty only showed staff didnt have to do anything to show you a good time but rather a feeling that we didnt deserve anything either. The promenade felt like a shopping mall and it felt like everyone just wanted our money anyplace we went to. The fine dining felt like microwaved and specialty restaurants costing more just didnt impress us. Asking for mushrooms for a steak and was told they dont do that. Asked for chef to come out and he or she refused. Service was horrible. Never saw our cabin boy. Lugagge came seperated both to cabin and upon diembarcation we had to search as it wasn't left together but rather set into several other piles. They didn't handle it with care and broke our one nice case we had. Whirlpool to be open 24/7 and yet we tried using one each morning only to find they are closed for cleaning. All of them rather than as we suggested to rotate cleaning times to leave at least one of several open. We suggested it first day and they ignored us. Saw bar server refuse to give water to one guest prefering to keep going to guest who pay for drinks. Orange juice was always hidden so that if you had purchased tge drink package ( we did ) we had to ask for it special and they didnt return to refill any drinks at any meals. I actually got up and left to go to another bar and still returned before our waiter did. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The ship appeared cleaner, more modern and spacious. The staff made this trip frustrating and uneventful. Food items were always at a shortage as were staff in attaining drinks as promised with the drink package. The pressure sales ... Read More
The ship appeared cleaner, more modern and spacious. The staff made this trip frustrating and uneventful. Food items were always at a shortage as were staff in attaining drinks as promised with the drink package. The pressure sales personnel in labidee were a an noxious and frightening. Made racist comments regarding “white people” when purchases were not made. In Jamaica, the bus broke down and staff had promised some restitution and to notify the ship of our late arrival, none were done. Very disappointing. The game shows were entertaining as were the variety shows and grease. The cruise director was friendly and interactive. The bartenders would ignore you as you were standing there and make you wait 15 minutes before obtaining an order. Overall, our group of 24 was very unimpressed and frustrated. We don’t think we will be considering royal Caribbean for our next annual family cruise adventure trip. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. ... Read More
Joined Indy in Southampton for 3 day taster cruise. Having cruised twice this year with Msc thought will try RC. Told drinks package can be bought onboard. They had sold 200 drinks packages then decided to not sell anymore. Arrived on. Lots of complaints about this. It’s like Disney. You queue for everything. It’s as if this ship was over capicity.. it was mayhem. Good ok. Entertainment good. Anchour bar was good but the bar stank of sewage. But it was a good bar. Offered late checkout. Went to book it day before they said they had pulled it too and refunded the fee. It’s as if they where winging it. Rooms good space but tired. Had balcony. If you want to wait 10 minutes on a lift not know if things are happening after booking and be walking and walked upon go on this cruise. A glorified booze cruise. We where with our best friends another couple we made most of it and enjoyed it but more because of our friends who are seasoned cruisers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean and never again if this sailing was anything to go by! A lot of passengers were very rude, foul mouthed, invariably drunk and looking for trouble. I believe there was quite a bit of trouble ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean and never again if this sailing was anything to go by! A lot of passengers were very rude, foul mouthed, invariably drunk and looking for trouble. I believe there was quite a bit of trouble on the ship during this sailing and a number of passengers were thrown off at various ports throughout the two week cruise. There were a lot of large groups who were quite intimidating, especially when I was wondering around the ship on my own. The number of security guards on the ship was also quite off putting. I do not know if Royal Caribbean have any restrictions with their drinks package but I believe they should have and I think our cruise would have been so much more enjoyable and relaxing (like we have been used to on previous cruises). Apart from the passengers we also had some issues with the My Time Dining, the Maitre D's, the air conditioning in the cabin and a cabin steward that wasn't the best. However, on the plus side the ports we visited were excellent, the trips very well handled and some lovely staff in the bar areas one the ship. I cannot believe this is the norm for Royal Caribbean and I think we were incredibly unlucky but we would never book with them again and spend all that money just in case. Such a shame. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I never do reviews but feel people need to be aware of this one. I have been on many cruises and decided to try Royal Caribbean for a change. Massive mistake. It was like a Ferry booze cruise to Calais. Too many people squeezed on. ... Read More
I never do reviews but feel people need to be aware of this one. I have been on many cruises and decided to try Royal Caribbean for a change. Massive mistake. It was like a Ferry booze cruise to Calais. Too many people squeezed on. Food was generally cold and tasteless. Families fighting and three families were evicted off of the Ship. Staff trying to force drink on you and calling it “medication”!! made you feel like a geriatric alcoholic. Evening entertainment rubbish and you couldn’t get a seat anywhere. Couldn’t go for a swim as pools were rammed. Shore excursions were laughable. Only good point was the cabin and seeing Southampton at the end. Would never go on Royal Caribbean again - absolutely shocking. Not everybody wants to be force fed cocktails every ten minutes. If this had been my first cruise I would never go on another one Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was my 3rd time on The Independence of the Seas, 6th time with Royal Caribbean and definitely my last. I was excited to see how they had renovated the ship as were the other 5 members of our party. How wrong we were. May I ... Read More
This was my 3rd time on The Independence of the Seas, 6th time with Royal Caribbean and definitely my last. I was excited to see how they had renovated the ship as were the other 5 members of our party. How wrong we were. May I point out I am usually not one to complain as I understand that sometimes things don't go to plan but we had a couple of main issues whilst onboard. -Drinks Packages & Shortage of Drinks Onboard Prior to setting sail I enquired about drinks packages, 4 of the party wished to purchase the Deluxe Package, myself the soda package and one of the party did not want a package at all. However, this is where the disappointment started. We were informed that due to new regulations it was either all or nothing. We did not want the drinks packages so that we could ‘drink excessively’ but more for the convenience of not having to sign for drinks on each purchase. Having being informed of new rules set by yourselves we ended up purchasing 4 Deluxe packages and 2 Royal Refreshment packages. This totalling £2821.84, £517.69 more than the package arrangement that we initially wanted. Further disappointment followed as on day 10 of the cruise, drinks began to run out. Only select beers, wines and sodas were available at the bars and pub. The pub eventually having no Peroni, San Miguel, Pinot Grigio, Tonic Water or Sprite Zero. Little alternatives were offered and we were left 4 days without our preferred drinks, which we had effectively paid for when we purchased our packages? -Overcrowding Another issue that was particularly apparent was the sheer overcrowding of the Independence during the 5 sea days. Having travelled before I understand that sea days are busier than those where we are in port. However, during this cruise it was noticeably worse than previous. Fellow guests began the reserving of sunbeds at 6:30am!!! This making it an unbeatable challenge to find any sunbeds after around 8:30am. Guests were sunbathing on the paths and sides of the pools and sunbeds were also so close that it was impossible to get onto them safely. I was extremely disappointed as for our party this holiday was about relaxing, which was impossible when we had to awake early to find a sunbed and there were no particularly peaceful areas to sunbathe. After speaking to fellow travellers we were not the only guests who found that the ship appeared overcrowded on this voyage. This overcrowding issue was also noted by guests in our party when trying to order speciality coffees at café promenade, with the wait being up to 25 minutes for a single coffee. A timeframe which I do not deem acceptable. The overcrowding issue also became apparent in the evenings before and after dinner, throughout all bars on the ship there was not one table or chair free for either before or after dinner drinks and the wait for being served was up to 30 minutes. From what we remember and understand about the Royal Caribbean brand this is not up to the usual standard, and it disappointed us, and was embarrassing with the first time cruisers. -The Stateroom Having staterooms located around the ship 7334, 7634 & 8220 we were disheartened to find that the cabins had not received any attention during the renovations earlier in the year. The same rusty bins, stained curtains and barely working TVs remained, issues which could’ve been resolved for little cost. This was slightly disappointing as stateroom 7334 could not use the TV, this was reported to guest services who later informed us that the TV was in working order, which it certainly was not. Our staterooms attendants for cabins 7334 & 7634 were also poor in comparison to previously cruises, leaving bins unemptied and tea making facilities were not replenished for up to 3 days at a time. This is not the usual standard and certainly not acceptable for Royal Caribbean. In summary, I have written to Royal Caribbean about the issues above, of which their response was 'Sorry but we have not broken any policies' and 'We never state when you purchase a drinks package that drinks will actually be available' I'm an emerald member and they can't even say 'Here's a free drink for those ones you missed out on' We paid £17,000+ for this cruise and left feeling extremely disappointed and sorry for those that have already booked to travel on this cruise in the future. Read Less
Independence of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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