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This was myself and my BF's third cruise. We are in our late 30's/early 40's and took our first cruise 3 years ago and are now hooked! This was our second time on Royal Caribbean and we have also sailed with Princess. We live just outside of London so the journey down to Southampton didn't take us too long. We arrived early so drove straight in to Mayflower Park where we caught our first glimpse of the ship - WOW! It is huge and looks fantastic - we were so excited to get on! We parked at the port at 11:30 - we had pre booked a parking space. Embarkation could not have been better - we dropped our luggage off with the porters, parked and were on the ship by about 11:45. I went and checked our table assignment in the main dining room and as per our request had been given a table for 2. We went up to the Windjammer for some lunch and relaxed until our room was ready at 13:00. Stateroom - We had a cabin with a balcony on deck 9. It was great! Balcony was roomy. Bed was wonderful. The mattress topper and bedding made it so comfortable. Having the tea and coffee making facilities was a big plus! I had read about this just before we left so we took a jar of our favorite coffee with us so we could have a cup whenever we wanted. The bathroom was fine, shower really good, the fact that it had the wrap around doors rather than a shower curtain is so much better. Just a note, there is no body lotion or conditioner in the bathroom - I always take my own but thought I would let others know just incase! They do provide shampoo and bars of soap though. It was also nice to have a flat screen tv - it took up less room. Our stateroom attendant was OK and if we needed anything he would get it for us. Dining - the food in the Windjammer was fine. I always really enjoy the breakfasts and there was a good selection. We ate lunch in the Windjammer most days and Dinner a couple of times. Having the Jade section there was really good as I had some lovely rice and curry dishes from there! As always in the buffet, peak times are really heaving and it is quite difficult to get a seat - we always located somewhere to sit first so that our food wasn't cold by the time we got to a table! We ate in Johnny Rockets once - we really enjoyed it - burgers,fries and onion rings were all good. It was a fun atmosphere and they play music and dance for you! We were in the Macbeth level of the dining room on deck four. Our Waiters were fine. The food in the dining room although good, and I certainly have no complaints, was not quite as good as our first time with RCI - although there were a couple of main courses that we thought were exceptional. We did not book the speciality restaurants on this cruise. We had room service a couple of times - used the TV to order and the service and food were both good. Entertainment - The shows that we went to were mostly very good and the theatre itself is lovely - we particularly enjoyed the Motown Band and David Copperfield (not the illusionist!) The Ice Skating shows were fantastic - much better than I had imagined they would be. Also, the parades down the Royal Promenade were a lot of fun. There were so many bars and lounges to choose from that we did not manage to get to all of them! The Pyramid Lounge was really nice and the live band that they had there most nights were very good. They played a varied selection of music and had a different theme each night - 50's and 60's, Blues, Country, 70's etc. They also had a Big Band night one night. We went in to the Labyrinth nightclub and I loved the decor! It was really gothic with big crushed velvet chairs, dark booths with curtains, gargoyles etc. The music was quite a good selection as well although I never saw it really busy in there. I think that this may be have been because the average age on this cruise was a little higher than the last two that I have been on? In various other bars around the ship they had Jazz, Latin American music - the Bar with the Pianist seemed particularly popular and there was also an entertainer in the dog and badger pub who was great fun! There really is something to suit everyones taste. The Ship itself is beautiful. I know that it helps that it is brand new, but really, we thought the way that it has been designed and furnished is just lovely. For us it was the perfect blend of being fun with lots to do without being tacky. i loved the Royal Promenade. The fact that you can just go and get a coffee and a slice of pizza or pastry or a drink in the pub and look round the shops is brilliant. They had free coffee/hot chocolate and tea in both the Cafe and Sorrentos as well as the for fee lattes etc. The Casino had a good selection of slots and I did go in there a few times - I tried to limit myself to the low 1c bets though! The pool areas are great and I thought it was good that there is a whole separate area where kids can have fun. The solarium pool was nice and looked great lit up at night. It is a shame that we could not make more use of the pool deck at night but unfortunately it was a bit cold! I loved the cantilevered whirlpools. We played mini golf - great fun and also shot a few hoops in the basket ball court. My BF wanted to have a go on the flowrider, but we just never got a chance - it did look good though. Itinerary - we liked Madeira - it was very pretty. We didn't care much for either Tenerife or Gran Canaria - as we had never been to either of these places we just opted to get off the ship and walk around - if I ever did go back I think I would opt for a shore excursion. In Lanzarote we went on a camel ride and then a drive through the Timanfaya national park - we really enjoyed this! I just wish that we could have got off the coach a bit more and actually had a walk through the park as it was stunning! We had been to Lisbon and Vigo before and like both of these ports. The weather wasn't that great, but that was the only downside. Disembarking was just as easy as embarking. All in all we both loved this ship! I remember the first time that my BF said that he had booked us a cruise - I was really worried and thought it would be a big mistake and that I would hate it -how wrong I was - I am addicted, and am now busy trying to persuade him to book the short break to Cork for later in the year! If any one has any questions that I can help with please let me know.

Independence of the Seas - Canary Islands - 6th - 17th May

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Kroozchick

Trip Details
This was myself and my BF's third cruise. We are in our late 30's/early 40's and took our first cruise 3 years ago and are now hooked! This was our second time on Royal Caribbean and we have also sailed with Princess.
We live just outside of London so the journey down to Southampton didn't take us too long. We arrived early so drove straight in to Mayflower Park where we caught our first glimpse of the ship - WOW! It is huge and looks fantastic - we were so excited to get on!
We parked at the port at 11:30 - we had pre booked a parking space. Embarkation could not have been better - we dropped our luggage off with the porters, parked and were on the ship by about 11:45. I went and checked our table assignment in the main dining room and as per our request had been given a table for 2.
We went up to the Windjammer for some lunch and relaxed until our room was ready at 13:00.
Stateroom - We had a cabin with a balcony on deck 9. It was great! Balcony was roomy. Bed was wonderful. The mattress topper and bedding made it so comfortable. Having the tea and coffee making facilities was a big plus! I had read about this just before we left so we took a jar of our favorite coffee with us so we could have a cup whenever we wanted. The bathroom was fine, shower really good, the fact that it had the wrap around doors rather than a shower curtain is so much better. Just a note, there is no body lotion or conditioner in the bathroom - I always take my own but thought I would let others know just incase! They do provide shampoo and bars of soap though. It was also nice to have a flat screen tv - it took up less room. Our stateroom attendant was OK and if we needed anything he would get it for us.
Dining - the food in the Windjammer was fine. I always really enjoy the breakfasts and there was a good selection. We ate lunch in the Windjammer most days and Dinner a couple of times. Having the Jade section there was really good as I had some lovely rice and curry dishes from there! As always in the buffet, peak times are really heaving and it is quite difficult to get a seat - we always located somewhere to sit first so that our food wasn't cold by the time we got to a table!
We ate in Johnny Rockets once - we really enjoyed it - burgers,fries and onion rings were all good. It was a fun atmosphere and they play music and dance for you!
We were in the Macbeth level of the dining room on deck four. Our Waiters were fine. The food in the dining room although good, and I certainly have no complaints, was not quite as good as our first time with RCI - although there were a couple of main courses that we thought were exceptional.
We did not book the speciality restaurants on this cruise.
We had room service a couple of times - used the TV to order and the service and food were both good.
Entertainment - The shows that we went to were mostly very good and the theatre itself is lovely - we particularly enjoyed the Motown Band and David Copperfield (not the illusionist!) The Ice Skating shows were fantastic - much better than I had imagined they would be. Also, the parades down the Royal Promenade were a lot of fun.
There were so many bars and lounges to choose from that we did not manage to get to all of them! The Pyramid Lounge was really nice and the live band that they had there most nights were very good. They played a varied selection of music and had a different theme each night - 50's and 60's, Blues, Country, 70's etc. They also had a Big Band night one night.
We went in to the Labyrinth nightclub and I loved the decor! It was really gothic with big crushed velvet chairs, dark booths with curtains, gargoyles etc. The music was quite a good selection as well although I never saw it really busy in there. I think that this may be have been because the average age on this cruise was a little higher than the last two that I have been on?
In various other bars around the ship they had Jazz, Latin American music - the Bar with the Pianist seemed particularly popular and there was also an entertainer in the dog and badger pub who was great fun! There really is something to suit everyones taste.
The Ship itself is beautiful. I know that it helps that it is brand new, but really, we thought the way that it has been designed and furnished is just lovely. For us it was the perfect blend of being fun with lots to do without being tacky. i loved the Royal Promenade. The fact that you can just go and get a coffee and a slice of pizza or pastry or a drink in the pub and look round the shops is brilliant. They had free coffee/hot chocolate and tea in both the Cafe and Sorrentos as well as the for fee lattes etc.
The Casino had a good selection of slots and I did go in there a few times - I tried to limit myself to the low 1c bets though!
The pool areas are great and I thought it was good that there is a whole separate area where kids can have fun. The solarium pool was nice and looked great lit up at night. It is a shame that we could not make more use of the pool deck at night but unfortunately it was a bit cold! I loved the cantilevered whirlpools.
We played mini golf - great fun and also shot a few hoops in the basket ball court. My BF wanted to have a go on the flowrider, but we just never got a chance - it did look good though. Itinerary - we liked Madeira - it was very pretty. We didn't care much for either Tenerife or Gran Canaria - as we had never been to either of these places we just opted to get off the ship and walk around - if I ever did go back I think I would opt for a shore excursion. In Lanzarote we went on a camel ride and then a drive through the Timanfaya national park - we really enjoyed this! I just wish that we could have got off the coach a bit more and actually had a walk through the park as it was stunning!
We had been to Lisbon and Vigo before and like both of these ports. The weather wasn't that great, but that was the only downside.
Disembarking was just as easy as embarking. All in all we both loved this ship! I remember the first time that my BF said that he had booked us a cruise - I was really worried and thought it would be a big mistake and that I would hate it -how wrong I was - I am addicted, and am now busy trying to persuade him to book the short break to Cork for later in the year!
If any one has any questions that I can help with please let me know.
Kroozchick’s Full Rating Summary
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