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Independence of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1621 reviews
23 Awards

First time cruise

Review for Independence of the Seas to the Western Mediterranean
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First Time Cruiser • Age 40s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Aug 2008
Traveled with children

This was first time most of our group had been on a cruise and found it a thoroughly enjoyable experience, in fact we are already looking at booking our next one and won't even consider another cruise line or ship except the OASIS! Arrival in southampton and boarding ship was so easy compared to flying anywhere these days, your holiday starts immediately once on board, just a shame about the British weather. We had a inside cabin as prefer to save our money to go on more holidays and although room was smaller than I thought it would be was amazed how I managed to unpack everything (3 suitcases and a large hold all)!! The facilities onboard were amazing, so well catered for every age group except the under 3's, there was 10 people in our group aged from 2 to over 60 and there was enough for everyone to do, my partner especially enjoyed the flowrider and the rock climbing wall. Could be a struggle on Sea days to find a sun bed but then this has to be expected, we just enjoyed staying on board when in port for the quietness.

We ate in the macbeth dining room every night on the late sitting, which suited us perfectly as had more time to get ready on an evening after watching the sail off, on which note the sail off from Lisbon was spectacular - not to be missed still not sure how the ship sailed beneath the bridge, we were all waiting for the inevitable crash!!! The majority of the shows were amazing, in particular the ice shows incorporating the Headbanger in both shows, some of the evening shows were better than other but this again is to be expected when catering for all ages.

The only fault I found with this cruise in the lack of facilities for the under 3's. We had our recently turned 2 year old daughter with us who paid the same as her 13 year old cousin also travelling with us! Luckily I had spent some time reading other member reviews before we went so managed to toilet train her just before going as otherwise we would of really struggled with what to do with her during the day. Children who are not fully toilet trained are only allowed in a very small splash pool and those wearing swim nappies are not allowed anywhere near the H2O zone or the other swimming pools, some mums were even asked to leave when just walking through it with their babies/toddlers, so if you're thinking like I was before I went no-one will be checking, they do! The kids program for her age group was also non existent considering she had paid the same price as any other child on the cruise, one session in the morning 9 til 10 (too early for us, especially enjoying the lie in's the best privilege an inside cabin allows), a coloring session every lunch time and a activity session later in the afternoon which were OK, also a session in the evening but didn't really fit in with meal or show times especially as one parent has to be with toddler for all activities. The other thing that really annoyed me was that there was no where safe where you could just take you toddler to run off steam, the room for babies and toddlers was only open during session times but could of probably be a lot better utilized if it was open all day for parents with young children to use as they need. Our late dining option was no problem for our daughter as she just had a late nap in the day and was raring to go for the evening dinner and show (she loved the shows) the portable dvd player we brought along was a lifesaver during dining though, our waitress Pia was amazing she just brought our daughter her dinner with our starter then she sat happily watching a dvd whilst we had our main course. The only excursion we did was the trip to rome which was really good although it depended on which bus you got on to how long you had in Rome, my parents ended up on a different bus to us and they got twice as long at the Coliseum as we did and also longer in Rome (something to do with the unnecessary toilet stop we made on the way to Rome for our tour guide to have a cigarette) at least our bus was the first bus back and prevented us from the lengthy queues getting back on the ship which my parent had.

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