Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by sleeky
- Sail Date: October 2012
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom
Parking at Southampton was very easy -- just make sure you print out your boarding pass before you arrive. We arrived at the port at about 11am
Embarkation was OK. As we are Platinum we tried to join the Priority line but our set sail pass didn't show our status and the lady at the entrance to the line wanted proof. Luckily I still had our last sea pass card on me (I had noticed that the docs didn't state Platinum anywhere and while I wasn't too bothered by the boarding issue I definately wanted the vouchers with the $7.50 internet access). After this there was a mix up at the check-in desk as the clerk was calling us by a different name. Once this was sorted out we were nearly on board when I realised I had left my coat in the scanner. Even allowing for all of this we were on board by 12.
Cabin. Inside 8123. This is a long was forward and we did feel more motion than we have before. The cabin was a guarantee and was fine for our needs. James our steward took care of a problem with the bed and everything was much as expected.
Ship -- Excellent. In better condition than we left her in April when some damage had been done during a storm in the Bay of Biscay. There was a lot of maintainance being carried out -- lots of painting and also repairs to the running track.
Food -- Improved! Although we have always enjoyed the food this time everything was hotter. Breakfast in the Windjammer was all hot and not left lukewarm. The dining room was also excellent and maybe we were closer to the kitchen as everything there was hotter than before. We tried Chops Grill and were very impressed. Well worth the cover charge although it would be nice to have the same standard of food and service in the main dining room. Johnny Rockets was also better this time. The staff looked as though they were enjoying themselves and it was a nice experience. The apple pie was delicious.
Drinks -- We are not big drinkers so the expensive prices don't matter. The only comment would be that in April the cocktail of the day was in a lovely glass hurricane glass -- a lovely souvenir but this time the souvenir glass was plastic.
Entertainment -- Enjoyable. Another improvement! Christopher caress the hypnotist was excellent, Berni Flint was a big surprise -- was expecting a bloke with an ostrich but it was the man from Opportunity Knocks! Thoroughly enjoyed his act and would love to see him again. The motown tribute band was also excellent. The ice shows were stunning -- also better than in April. The Quest was also v funny. The Trivia on board was enjoyable but we were outclassed and didn't win at all. A few moans were heard about the same people winning everything but if they know more than you that's just tough!
Weather -- warm enough to swim nearly every day but it did rain heavily in Lisbon and Barcelona. Will try to go a bit earlier next year (hopefully)
Wildlife -- we saw a lot of dolphin as we arrived in Gibraltar and on the last day as we left the Bay of Biscay we saw Whales -- what a thrill for us. The monkeys in Gibraltar were very photogenic and seemed quite tame.
Disembarkation -- v easy. We were woken early by the noise of the bow thrusters so got up, had breakfast and were off by 7.30. Customs stopped us going through the green channel but we hadn' t bought any booze or cigs so they had a short chat and then let us go.
Overall -- an excellent cruise and we hope to be able to go again next year.
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