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This was our first cruise and I will never take another. I hated it; I'm not in their target demographic. And to think that I was worried that it may be too posh (I imagined men in cravats saying "Don't you know?" at the end of every sentence and women saying "Simply darling...") - I needn't have worried - it's quite the opposite. I didn't believe the stats that 25% of the population was obese until I went on this cruise. They are all permanently to be seen carrying a pint of lager in a brave attempt to drink the ten pints they need a day in order to make their booze passport pay off. Tattoos and big bellies everywhere - the men and the women. This is a large ship but the size is all about lots of cabins. There isn't enough communal area and so it felt very much like that famous photo of thousands on a beach - no room to move. On a nice day many people would like to sit on the top deck in the sun - but the ship doesn't have anywhere near enough loungers and chairs and so there are many people wandering around trying to find a space or sitting on the floor or just giving up. Similarly the dining area - you can walk around for 10 minutes trying to find a table. Generally I found our fellow passengers rather lacking in courtesy and they push through without any consideration for others - and there are children running about whilst people are carrying hot food - very dangerous. I took extreme care and gave way to everyone but even then my hot soup was spilled all over me once as someone rather drunk pushed from behind. We tried to vary our arrival times to avoid the crowds but the ship then just closes off half the restaurant so you cannot avoid it. And then there is sleeping. There was just one night where we slept all the way through without being disturbed in the early hours by drunk people returning: talking; arguing; shouting; banging doors and kids running up and down the corridors. Three times we were awoken by people knocking on our door in the middle of the night because they had the wrong cabin. The entertainment is old movies (occasionally) or very cheesy shows and entertainment. There was a belly flop competition; world's sexiest fat tattooed man; lots of bingo and shows with the person who came 15th in X Factor or Britain's Got Talent 10 years ago. There was a ventriloquist who loved Nina Conti so much that he simply stole her old scripts - but I know he was funny for he told me so himself! There is a huge casino with loads of slot machines with an average 10% take - I reckon that if you are betting $1 a go you will lose $1 a minute. I saw a guy pushing dollars into a machine - his wife asked him how much he had - "only $100" as he pushed one in after another each time saying "last go". The saddest sight was a guy pushing notes in, sat alone in the dim light one lovely sunny morning. But what I hated most of all is the hard sell. You cannot avoid crew walking around trying to sell everything under the sun - all of it tat. "Precious" goldette chains sold by the yard; photographs taken out of focus by kids with cheap SLRs; massage; very expensive drinks... The TV in your cabin has few channels just playing the same episodes of poor sitcoms over and over in a 3 hour cycle - other than that it's just more channels trying to sell you another cruise, or a sauna, or a excursion... But of the hard sell a special mention for the "art" gallery. A collection from the paint-by-numbers cheese movement - a load of worthless rubbish being talked up by the salespeople and sold for up to $40,000! "World Famous Artists" they say - well their paintings are on a ship so I guess they do go all around the world. I spoke to a salesperson with the intention of having a little fun and got her to admit that they are printed onto card/canvas and then someone daubs some paint on top. As soon as they sell one they replace with a near identical copy from their crate of cheese. To think I was worried about it being too posh! I've never been to Butlins - but this ship is what I imagine it to be.

Abandon Hope all Who Enter Here

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Mr Trench

33 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first cruise and I will never take another. I hated it; I'm not in their target demographic. And to think that I was worried that it may be too posh (I imagined men in cravats saying "Don't you know?" at the end of every sentence and women saying "Simply darling...") - I needn't have worried - it's quite the opposite. I didn't believe the stats that 25% of the population was obese until I went on this cruise. They are all permanently to be seen carrying a pint of lager in a brave attempt to drink the ten pints they need a day in order to make their booze passport pay off. Tattoos and big bellies everywhere - the men and the women.

This is a large ship but the size is all about lots of cabins. There isn't enough communal area and so it felt very much like that famous photo of thousands on a beach - no room to move. On a nice day many people would like to sit on the top deck in the sun - but the ship doesn't have anywhere near enough loungers and chairs and so there are many people wandering around trying to find a space or sitting on the floor or just giving up. Similarly the dining area - you can walk around for 10 minutes trying to find a table. Generally I found our fellow passengers rather lacking in courtesy and they push through without any consideration for others - and there are children running about whilst people are carrying hot food - very dangerous. I took extreme care and gave way to everyone but even then my hot soup was spilled all over me once as someone rather drunk pushed from behind. We tried to vary our arrival times to avoid the crowds but the ship then just closes off half the restaurant so you cannot avoid it.

And then there is sleeping. There was just one night where we slept all the way through without being disturbed in the early hours by drunk people returning: talking; arguing; shouting; banging doors and kids running up and down the corridors. Three times we were awoken by people knocking on our door in the middle of the night because they had the wrong cabin.

The entertainment is old movies (occasionally) or very cheesy shows and entertainment. There was a belly flop competition; world's sexiest fat tattooed man; lots of bingo and shows with the person who came 15th in X Factor or Britain's Got Talent 10 years ago. There was a ventriloquist who loved Nina Conti so much that he simply stole her old scripts - but I know he was funny for he told me so himself!

There is a huge casino with loads of slot machines with an average 10% take - I reckon that if you are betting $1 a go you will lose $1 a minute. I saw a guy pushing dollars into a machine - his wife asked him how much he had - "only $100" as he pushed one in after another each time saying "last go". The saddest sight was a guy pushing notes in, sat alone in the dim light one lovely sunny morning.

But what I hated most of all is the hard sell. You cannot avoid crew walking around trying to sell everything under the sun - all of it tat. "Precious" goldette chains sold by the yard; photographs taken out of focus by kids with cheap SLRs; massage; very expensive drinks... The TV in your cabin has few channels just playing the same episodes of poor sitcoms over and over in a 3 hour cycle - other than that it's just more channels trying to sell you another cruise, or a sauna, or a excursion... But of the hard sell a special mention for the "art" gallery. A collection from the paint-by-numbers cheese movement - a load of worthless rubbish being talked up by the salespeople and sold for up to $40,000! "World Famous Artists" they say - well their paintings are on a ship so I guess they do go all around the world. I spoke to a salesperson with the intention of having a little fun and got her to admit that they are printed onto card/canvas and then someone daubs some paint on top. As soon as they sell one they replace with a near identical copy from their crate of cheese.

To think I was worried about it being too posh! I've never been to Butlins - but this ship is what I imagine it to be.
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Small and dark.
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