We were fortunate enough to sail on the 2nd May Inaugural Sailing of the Independence. It was a 4 night Sailing out of Southampton to Cobh (Cork, Ireland). We have never sailed with Royal Caribbean before and were travelling with two other couples who have never cruised before. We have been on 6 cruises (Celebrity, HAL and Cunard and are all in our early 50's). We booked an E1 balcony on Deck 8 midships, with one set of friends in the cabin next door, and the other couple were in an E2 on Deck 7 on the Hump. I've gone into a fair bit of detail here, so apologize if you fall asleep whilst reading. You will see I have been both negative and positive about our trip.
We arrived in Southampton at around 12.15, but then spent over an hour queuing to get to the ship parking. We followed the sign for the Independence of the Seas, only to be sent around a totally different way when we got to the front of the queue. There displays were wrong! The new P&O ship, the Vistana was sailing and also the Queen Victoria, so it was all pretty busy.
Eventually, when we got to the right dock (8) for those with pre paid parking, we were directed to the luggage drop off area. From there we drove through pretty easily, unloaded to a Porter and then parked our car in our reserved parking which was right next to the ship.