First European cruise: Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by dadababa

Independence of the Seas 3
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

First European cruise

Sail Date: August 2014
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
Me and 3 other family members sailed on RCI 'Independence of the Seas a couple of weeks ago. The best part of our cruse were all the excursions that we were able to book. I was fascinated by the sights in Rome. Im glad we didn't take our two young kids who usually travel with us because this was a more adult type cruise.

We visited ports in Spain, Italy and France. As beautiful as these countries were, the people we met there were not so friendly. Especially towards us because were are black. I would love to go visit other ports in Europe like Greece. However, we are skeptical to do so because of all the racial overtones.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed with the ship. I was told by RCI customer service rep when booking the reservations that gratuities were now mandatory by everyone and no longer optional. This was of course a lie. The ship advertised a new flowrider on board. But when we got on the ship, they were still in the process of completing the ride. More The flowrider was not ready until the 6th day of cruising. I asked for a discount as a result but of course was turned down.

The food on board was practically the same every single day. As a fan of RCI, I have to give Norwegian a big edge on this one. Towards the end of our cruise we saw a bunch of people on long lines. After investigating, we found out that we could get a tax refund from all our purchases on board the ship. This made us extremely angry of course because no one had informed us about this prior. Most of us had already discarded our receipts. When we tried going back to the stores that we purchased from there were long lines everywhere so we didn't even bother. I believe RCI neglected to inform us about this on purpose.

I purchased a $175 CD of 10 photos. When I got home the disc couldn't work on my computer. I called RCI and they gave me the runaround. They informed me that all the stores on their ships are not part of RCI and are independent operators. This was a shock to me. I realized that once you are done cruising, the cruise companies couldn't care less about you because they already have your money. Lastly, when debarking the ship the crew was rude and rushed everyone off the ship so that they can bring in new money on board. PS, I don't think I will ever cruise with RCI again. Even though all the cruise lines basically share the same practices. Less

Published 08/13/14

Cabin review:

Compare Prices on Independence of the Seas Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Member Since 2011
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See Independence of the Seas deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
Independence of the Seas 70% Loved It

14 Night Canaries Adventure Cruise
See all Independence of the Seas Deals >>