1st Cruise But Not The Last!: Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Ron

Independence of the Seas 5
Member Since 2000

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1st Cruise But Not The Last!

Sail Date: May 2009
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
As this was our first cruise we didnt know what to expect. We arrived at Southampton at about 12:15 & we were in our cabin luggage unpacked by shortly after 13:00 - how good is that.

The afternoon was spent exploring the floating city they call the Independance.  After going on deck to watch 4 other ships departing swiftly followed by our departure we decided to order room service after our days long drive.

The next day & a bit was spent cruising across the Bay of Biscay getting to know our way round the ship.

The food was excellent, breakfast in the main dining room was always very good. In the Windjammer I would reccomend finding a table prior to getting your food as at busy times it tended to be quite hectic.  Some people felt the Windjammer was too busy, but if you do as I suggest & get a table first you should never find it a problem. We chose to eat in the main dining room on a table of 8 & fortunately had great More company every night. Our waiters never stopped smiling & catered for our every need.

The shows were very slick with the ice show the best.

I used the golf simulator playing Pebble Beah & Torrey Pines, it is now quite an old simulator but still fun

Our cabin steward Dwight was excellent, always smiling & could not do enough to make our time on board a pleasure.

On returning to Southampton we self carried our luggage at 06:15, no customs no crowds - easy Less

Published 05/28/09
Helpful? Thank Ron

Cabin review: Bal8604

Great cabin with a midship location, well away from lifts so no noise at all

Port and Shore Excursions

Waking up to Barcelona we ate breakfast before getting the shuttle to Las Ramblas. We used the open top hop on hop off tourist bus to get around this very busy city - well worth 21 Euros.  We visited a few places, the half built cathedral, parc quell to see Gaudis work, the Nou Camp etc

An excelent day if somewhat tiring, I would highly recomend the bus tour.

Malaga followed Barcelona where we were pleasantly surprised by how attractive we found the town, more walking eating & drinking in the cafes before heading back to the ship 

Read 1726 Barcelona Reviews

We arrived in Cannes during the film festival & after getting the tender ashore spent the day amongst the crowds down on Canne promenade & later walked up to the old town where it was somewhat quieter. More spectacular views from the castle on the hill before heading back to the ship for more fod & drink.

Read 360 Cannes Reviews

After sailing overnight to Livorno we went by shuttle bus into town & found a taxi with 4 people from the Midlands area & drove for an hour into Florence with Stefano Zargani our driver. He was fantastic, drove around Florence pointing out all the sights before parking up. He stayed with the taxi while we spent about 6 hrs walking around Florence. After a wonderful day of sightseeing, eating &drinking we rejoined Stefano for the journey back. I would highly recommend this method of visiting Florence at a cost of about 50 Euros per person. For those who might fancy it his cell number is 3382037378 & his taxi number is 49

On arrival in Gib we walked off the ship to the nearest taxi rank & shared a taxi with 4 friendly people from the North East of England.  The driver was very friendly, spoke excellent English & was very proud to hold a British passport.

He took us on a 4 stop trip up the rock to see the pillars of Hercules for a photo stop, the apes den, visit St Michaels cave & the siege caves.

We then spent the rest of the day checking out the old town.

After a very interesting approach under a the Tagus bridge we embarked on our audio tour of Lisbon (the only tour we purchased). As you may have surmised we like to be independant so the I Pod audio tour was perfect. Armed with a map we set off for a few hours exploring the beautiful city of Lisbon.

Vigo was our last stop - the only stop we would not choose to visit again.  A nice enough place but not a lot to see

Read 626 Lisbon Reviews

After a day at sea we parked up in Cagliari, & took ourselves of for a walk to the highest point of the area, where there was some quite spectacular views.  Sampled some of the local brew & explored the town.
Read 189 Sardinia Reviews

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