1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to get across the Atlantic without flying. This ship has exceeded our expectations. I love that even though they refurbished it, they have preserved the deck where you can walk around the whole ship outside and the stream/sauna ... Read More
We wanted to get across the Atlantic without flying. This ship has exceeded our expectations. I love that even though they refurbished it, they have preserved the deck where you can walk around the whole ship outside and the stream/sauna changing room in the fitness center is still open to everyone. It doesn’t feel like the money grab that some do. The food has been consistently excellent, better than we expected, and the crew is always friendly and helpful. From what I have read about the Edge, which I never intend to cruise on, on this ship if you’re not in a suite you are not made to feel like a second class citizen. You have access to the bow and the balconies are still wonderful to step out on when you want to. Good for RCCL for keeping the good stuff and for their generous package of perks for frequent cruisers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I are currently cruising on the RCCL Independence of the Seas. We have cruised over 20 times - Carnival, Disney, Princess but this is only our 2nd RCCL Cruise. WOW! We are so impressed. The check in process was so modern and ... Read More
My wife and I are currently cruising on the RCCL Independence of the Seas. We have cruised over 20 times - Carnival, Disney, Princess but this is only our 2nd RCCL Cruise. WOW! We are so impressed. The check in process was so modern and quick - our cabin was available at 1:00pm. The cabin felt large, modern, well layer out, smart. The staff have been incredible! The shio is elegant - from simple buffet dining to Specialty Dining options. The entertainment is top notch. The pools and outdoor options are amazing. The public areas are great. Love that everything is large - easy to walk around - easy to navigate. With such a large ship, it still does not feel crowded. Love the idea of elegance and no cheesy themes to deal with. We are so happy! Excited to book our next RCCL Cruise. Can’t wait to share with our teen daughter. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Wow - i don't know where to start. Traveled April 20, 2019 - April 25, 2019 from FLL. Porting at Labadee and Falmouth. BOARDING A+ amazing, i just can't express how different this was from our two Carnival cruises in 2018. No ... Read More
Wow - i don't know where to start. Traveled April 20, 2019 - April 25, 2019 from FLL. Porting at Labadee and Falmouth. BOARDING A+ amazing, i just can't express how different this was from our two Carnival cruises in 2018. No waiting in a "holding room" for hours on end to get on or off the ship. Attendants are outside waiting to take your luggage. Once luggage dropped and tagged, walk in and go through security, once through security check-in and then make your way to the ship. 10 minutes from the time we stepped out of the cab to the time we stepped onto the cruise ship - WOW SHIP A+ so many things to do on the ship; rock climbing, flow rider, arcade, laser tag, escape room, observatory, Grease Musical, Ice Skating show, sports bar, piano bar, night club, karaoke. We didn't have time to do everything we wanted to do on the ship. Advise, book escape room as soon as you get on the ship. The promenade was absolutely stunning. I also like the night club was on deck 14, away from the masses - you won't "stumble" on the night club - you have to be intentional about getting there. If I were traveling with my kids, I'd absolutely love this. CABIN A+ stayed in 7568 with Ocean View Balcony. The cabin was clean, bathroom was clean, our cabin attendant Martin was amazing. We'd take a few showers per day, each time come back with fresh towels. Unfortunately, we weren't port side, but we still had amazing views. The balcony felt bigger than our standard balcony on Carnival (Liberty), also felt more private, although I know folks were next door on either side, it didn't standout. FOOD A+ RCC takes hand washing very seriously and have gone to extreme pretty funny and creatively cool lengths to make sure the guest know washing your hands is VERY important - washy washy - this stood out as exceptional. I am vegetarian and there were plenty of options available. Everything I tasted was delicious. Had breakfast one morning at main dining hall but preferred buffet due to the # of options. Get to buffet for breakfast before 9am., after 9am gets pretty crowed. Ate dinner in the main dining hall every night and everything was AMAZING!!! Sorentos Pizza - was SO good..... All the food at the Coffee shop is complimentary, you only need to pay for the speciality coffees - but if you don't want pizza, go to the coffee cafe for wraps, sandwiches, deserts, etc. I like that there was an attendant managing the soft serve ice cream machine - keeps things clean! Ate at Izumi Japanese Steakhouse and it was DELICIOUS! We brought refillable water bottles on board, which worked out well. We went to the pop machine to refill on ice and water, no need to pay for water bottle on the ship. Did not use room service, there is a $9 service fee. SERVICE A+ RCC has customer service on lock, comparable to a Disney Park experience in terms of customer service. There was always an attendant manning a station, whether it be ice cream, or the numerous pools on the ship, or whatever - always someone available to assist with a friendly smile. You really feel like you get a royal treatment. ALCOHOL B+ for cost / A+ for not watering down the drinks. Alcohol package is too costly (in my opinion) $600 for two....ouch. Drinks on average were $10-$15 per, so if you are a heavy drinker you will likely benefit from purchasing the package. All the drinks that we purchased tasted good and were not watered down. PORTS Labadee A+ / Falmouth C - Labadee was great. We rented a cabana on Nelli's beach, however it really wasn't necessary (but we did enjoy and use the cabana). If you get off the ship early enough (we were off at 7:30) you can pretty much pick your perfect spot on the beach. Columbus Cove is great for views b/c you will have a perfect view of the ship from the beach and there are lots of options to put a lounge chair on the beach in shade. Nelli's beach was beautiful as well and where we spent majority of our time. Melli's Beach was probably the least crowed of the 3 beach options. The main beach, believe Dragon something - has the best sand, soft powdery sand, but waters were rougher - there are a ton of seating options here as well and the biggest of all the beaches. Bathrooms are clean with showers to rinse off. The "village" is an area where you can go to buy knick knacks from the local Haitians, they can get pretty aggressive, however I understood that comes from a place of desperation. I spoke with a worker who was pretty clear that without the cruise ships, the locals really don't have any time of employment opportunities. If you sternly but respectfully say "Not Interested" they will leave you be. If you don't go to the village, you won't encounter the "market" and can by-pass this experience all together. RCC really did a nice job of laying out the beach. There is plenty of seating options all over with lots to do. It's hot in Haiti, if you are fair skinned you'll definitely want sun screen and a hat. Also recommend water shoes - you'll be walking on rocks, our water shoes were very handy. Our friends did jet skies for 1 hr. 15 mins and had an amazing time. Falmouth - um....well........the port itself is nice with nice stores, however you almost have to do an excursion - nothing is within walking distance. Our excursion "Falmouth / Montego Bay at your Leisure" was $45 pp, however the tour is just not long enough. We left the port at 10:45 a.m. spent most of our time on the bus. Once in Montego Bay you have 2 hours to do whatever (shop, eat, beach), well 2 hrs. goes by real fast and just not enough time to do anything. Plus if you just want to shop, you can shop at the port - don't get an excursion for that. If you are going to do an excursion here - do one that starts bright and early. IMPORTANT NOTE - Jamaican time is one hour behind ship time, be mindful of that when returning from your excursion. Your phones will convert to Jamaican time. COMPLAINT - my one and only complaint is that there is no messaging system on the ship. We did not want to purchase the internet package and communicating with the other 2 couples we traveled with was impossible - this made it really hard to coordinate and/or check-in. I would NOT bring my children on a ship where I could not IM them and I would not want to buy an internet package for 5 folks (my family size) - that gets pricey. I hear The Oasis Class ships (Allure, Oasis, Harmony, Symphony) all have messaging capabilities on their RoyalQ app - but Independence did not. I've cruised RCC one time prior on Majesty of the Seas in 2008 (long time ago) and 2 Carnival Cruises, both on Liberty of the Seas, in 2018. In comparison, Independence of the Seas blew all the other ships away. I also must say, RCC has me reconsidering my Aug 2019 cruise on Carnival Horizon. We had such an amazing time that we've already booked our next RCC cruise in 2020. I did not come away from my Carnival Cruises feeling this well. However, I don't believe that Liberty is a fair comparison to Independence. I am hopeful that Carnival Horizon will allow me the opportunity to do a true comparison, right now Carnival has pretty big shoes to fill. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We were offered a great deal on this 4 day cruise. We normally prefer the larger ships like Allure or Harmony, but this Freedom Class ship was excellent and a comfortable size. We opted for My Time dining but remained at the same table ... Read More
We were offered a great deal on this 4 day cruise. We normally prefer the larger ships like Allure or Harmony, but this Freedom Class ship was excellent and a comfortable size. We opted for My Time dining but remained at the same table every night because the waiter Hemanshu and his assistant Vijaysingh (VJ) were excellent. We are Casino Royale Prime members so drinks are free in the Casino for us. The bar was unusually busy due to the huge number of players in the casino--one of the bussiest I've seen in ages and we cruise a lot, like 5 times a year. Bartenders Hugo, Hugo2, and Elana could have used help--someone to schlep ice and glasses. They literally ran out of gin one night! Crazy! We only got off in Cozumel to buy vanilla and medical supplies. So much cheaper in Mexico. We are coming to Cozumel in June on the Allure with our grandkids, so we will do touristy stuff then. Independence premiered Grease on this cruise for the first time, and I have to say, it was as good if not better than the same show we saw last year on Harmony. The standing "O" lasted 5 minutes.There were 3 chances to see the Ice Show in 4 days, so it was not crowded. Another excellent show. I'm in awe of how RC books such great artists for such short cruises. As a side note, we were in the Sports Bar on Deck 4 when Tiger won the Masters. The crowd was out of their mind! Fun being in the middle of the chaos! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on Independence 3 times, great ship and service! We arrived at the port at 11:15 am and 11:30 on board. The process is fantastic compared to years ago when you stood in line for hours, much improved. We were offered an ... Read More
We have cruised on Independence 3 times, great ship and service! We arrived at the port at 11:15 am and 11:30 on board. The process is fantastic compared to years ago when you stood in line for hours, much improved. We were offered an up-grade prior sailing but didn't when the bid... Oh well, we still enjoyed our balcony ocean view. Deck 7 is an ideal floor only 2 floors above the Royal Promenade so no need for elevators. I always want the high decks but seriously re-thinking decks 6 and 7 the best! We had my time dining, made our reservations and each night went very smooth. Food in main dining room was okay to good, nothing special. We actually had dinner in the Windjammer one night ( do to a late excursion) and it was fantastic! Tons of choices , from the appetizers to the desserts, anything you could want was available. Breakfast- We prefer the MDR less crowded, tables available, your choice of buffet or ordering from menu all good. Much less crazy than Windjammer. Lunch- MDR by far is the best!! again menu or buffet. Cabin_ Very nice plenty of space and storage no complaints. Ava kept it neat and tidy all week. Entertainment- All good, Grease was great , headliners awesome and the farewell show was the best. Only complaint is the one excusrion we took in Falmouth, we picked A place in the Sun, located in Montego Bay. , Sat in the parking lot for 1 hour waiting for2 people, stop at a store that was over priced for 1 hour, headed to beach very crowded and we had to pay for our chairs and umbrella. No welcome drink NOTHING!! Got back to ship late very disappointed . We are now Diamond Plus members with RCI and hope to sail with them many years ahead. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise with Carnival being the regular cruise line I go on every year. When I first got on the ship, they had a huge welcome cake in the Windjammer with two guys who were playing different songs getting ... Read More
This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise with Carnival being the regular cruise line I go on every year. When I first got on the ship, they had a huge welcome cake in the Windjammer with two guys who were playing different songs getting you to wash your hands (really catchy and they could sing really well)! I was impressed by the amount of food they had although some of it was bland wish it had more flavor or was more sweeter ( red velvet cake). The activities they had on board were amazing and really fun to participate in. I went to the Living Room which is a teen club for teens ages 12-17 and it was way better than the Carnival teen club Club 02, with more people in it and a lot of activities. Although they didn't let you in if you were wet and you couldn't eat in there. The woman who cleaned my room always put my pajamas on my bed folded and was really nice when talking to her although I wasn't in the room often, I do wish I had a TV guide for when I was up late night and nothing was open. The ports we went to ( Labadee, Haiti & Falmouth, Jamaica) were beautiful and nice with music playing in Haiti and a shopping center in Jamaica. The excursion I did in Haiti was the Dragon roller coaster was very fun but scary at times going down fast on the turns. This is a very great family cruise for all ages including babies (my one year old went with my family and I). This is also great if you are wanting to do so much and learn so much from the activities. I definitely want to go on another Royal Caribbean cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only ... Read More
Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only good things and we will definitely do it again and again Hopefully on Royal Caribbean as well We loved the show grease The staff the costumes the cleaning of the ship. The embarkation in Cozumel was super easy and the check out as well. Excellent service Food Entertaining Staff incredible The kids enjoyed everting from the kids club to the late night shows and we had a blast as well Besides the fact that is expensive We have nothing bad to say Only good things and we will definitely do it again and again Hopefully on Royal Caribbean as well We loved the show grease The staff the costumes the cleaning of the ship. The embarkation in Cozumel was super easy and the check out as well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This is an excellent, clean, classy ship with excellent dining in a beautiful restaurant, nice facilities in the ship including work out areas, plenty of places to lounge (some private, if you look carefully), excellent shows and a staff ... Read More
This is an excellent, clean, classy ship with excellent dining in a beautiful restaurant, nice facilities in the ship including work out areas, plenty of places to lounge (some private, if you look carefully), excellent shows and a staff which cannot do enough for you while maintaining a great attitude. We had a balcony room which can actually be a bit noisy if you are next to party animals...I recommended the ship post "quiet please" signs on each balcony to see if that would help as the reason we are on the balcony in the first place is to get away from....the noise at the pools etc. The staff was really fine, especially our servers in the restaurant. Note, we did purchase "The Key" which allowed for easier on and off the ship as well as a nice sit down meal in the restaurant next to the chaotic buffet line both on the day of embarkation and on disembarkation day as well. I think the Key is worth the modest price as you also get priority seating at the shows as well as one high (eh) speed interned device Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a birthday cruise for me. We stayed pre-cruise for one night at the Pier 66 Hotel which I have stayed at before. We had a nice time there and were sad to hear they are closing for two years starting in June for renovations. We ... Read More
This was a birthday cruise for me. We stayed pre-cruise for one night at the Pier 66 Hotel which I have stayed at before. We had a nice time there and were sad to hear they are closing for two years starting in June for renovations. We like to sail out of Fort Lauderdale as the airport, cruise port and hotels are within short distance of one another. The ship is amazing and you never want for anything to do. It was very clean and well laid out. The servers in the MDR and our room steward were outstanding! Very pleasant people. This cruise only had 1 port so we booked a shore excursion at Mr. Sanchos and we had an awesome time there! The only issue I had was with the return taxi; he dropped us off at Puerta Maya instead of International Pier ( I wasn't paying attention when he dropped us off). No big deal, we just had to walk a couple blocks. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. We ate most of our meals in the MDR and the food was excellent. Also Chops Grille was pretty yummy! The ice show, Grease and Journey tribute band were all top-notch and we enjoyed them thoroughly! Disembarkation was fairly quick. We went back to Pier 66 for the day and stored our luggage and enjoyed the pool as we had a later in the evening flight. I would go on this ship again in a heartbeat! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Our family of five really enjoyed this cruise. We have sailed on three Disney ships but this was our first with Royal Caribbean. We were very impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the crew. Our youngest son's food ... Read More
Our family of five really enjoyed this cruise. We have sailed on three Disney ships but this was our first with Royal Caribbean. We were very impressed with the professionalism and friendliness of the crew. Our youngest son's food allergies were handled well by our servers and he had a safe and yummy dining experience. I only had two complaints. First, the weird hours of the teen and children's clubs. The clubs would close at dinner and sometimes open at 7 or sometimes 8. My teen checked into his club on 2 occasions and the staff said that activities would be starting later even though the club was supposed to be open. Everyone was very nice but it was confusing. We were used to Disney and the clubs being open for the whole day continuously. My middle and youngest son enjoyed going into Adventure Ocean but they only did it once. They did say that they enjoyed themselves just as much, and maybe even more, in Adventure Ocean than on Disney because of the attention from the staff. I am a big Disney fan but on some cruises, there was very little interaction with the staff and children in the clubs. It was more of a baby sitting while the kids were on video screens. We don't use the clubs a whole lot as we tend to do activities as a family, but they are nice options for the kids. My second complaint had to do with the amount of smoking areas on the ship. There were 4 areas and one was right next to the main pool. (Port side). This was a big problem with crowd control because most families (like us) would try and make our way through the starboard side of the pool area to avoid the smoking. I am not trying to "shame" people who smoke, I just feel in this day and age with all we know about the dangers of smoking, the smoking sections should be in less public places. 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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