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Hello, thanks for reading! A return to Indy for us (we visited in 2012)... and it was so lovely to return to the first ship I cruised on - "where it all started"! This WAS the first time I've returned to a ship and it was the first 5 night cruise we've been on. Have you been on Independence yet? You may understand what I mean when I say that she isn't too big, and isn't too small either. The size is just right to give that WOW factor without being too much. ( 8 night Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Dec 16) Departure was a breeze, and by breeze I mean the usual anarchy at the check in desks, with every line vying to be next like greyhounds in the traps. For us, a no-fly cruise which was great. Cruising within the EU however so VAT applies at all times. We were onboard nice and early so predictably up to the Windjammer for a lovely lunch. The announcement for access to the cabins was early and was exciting - for the first time we had a Deck 8 Promenade View cabin. They've largely passed under my radar but they're an interior with a large size window at one end looking down onto the Promenade. Amusingly my partner was very concerned that we wouldn't be able to sleep with the noise, but we were never overly disturbed by goings-on in the Promenade. Normally, a cruise is an "experience" holiday for us, but this time we just needed a holiday. With every day a "port" day we only booked two excursions giving us a great balance between time on and off the ship. We had second sitting dining which meant we were lucky enough to meet a great couple and frequently went on a bar crawl together afterwards. The waiters were as usual absolutely superb and truly looked after us creating a wonderful vibe for us to relax and enjoy the dining experience to the point where dinner was something you looked forward to. 5 Night cruises are pretty much ideal - they're cheaper and less popular but still give a "proper" break. The ports of call - Rotterdam, what an amazing city to look at as you drive through to Amsterdam. Enjoy walking through the city, explore the culture, more museums per square km than any other city in Europe, along with bicycles and trams it's a beautiful place. Bruges - always so beautiful and so much to look at, well worth taking a tour if you haven't been there before, and if you have, take time to enjoy walking round the city. And please do a canal tour at least once. Along with chocolate purchases! Cherbourg - Nuclear Submarine. The end. Le Havre - perfect for Paris or if you're wanting to visit WW2 sites, a great opportunity to go to several from this port. The entertainment laid on was as always superb, the show, Grease... well this leads me on to my main complaint and I'm not sure it's justified. It seemed that every time anything good was happening, we were at dinner (2nd sitting, 8:30pm). We missed the Grease shows due to either being at dinner or at a competition where we completely failed to win a marker pen. Consequently we are returning to MyTime dining for our next cruises so we can work around what we want to take part in. While onboard we accidentally booked to go back onboard next May just after the refurb is completed. And this was without visiting any speciality restaurants ... we normally make a point of Chops Grille at least but we didn't miss it at all. The room was kept brilliantly, the waiters were great fun, everything was so good about this cruise that we thoroughly enjoyed returning to the Indy. Can't wait to get back!

Do we need to go to speciality restaurants?

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by StueyJay

Trip Details
Hello, thanks for reading! A return to Indy for us (we visited in 2012)... and it was so lovely to return to the first ship I cruised on - "where it all started"!

This WAS the first time I've returned to a ship and it was the first 5 night cruise we've been on.

Have you been on Independence yet? You may understand what I mean when I say that she isn't too big, and isn't too small either. The size is just right to give that WOW factor without being too much. ( 8 night Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Dec 16)

Departure was a breeze, and by breeze I mean the usual anarchy at the check in desks, with every line vying to be next like greyhounds in the traps. For us, a no-fly cruise which was great. Cruising within the EU however so VAT applies at all times.

We were onboard nice and early so predictably up to the Windjammer for a lovely lunch. The announcement for access to the cabins was early and was exciting - for the first time we had a Deck 8 Promenade View cabin. They've largely passed under my radar but they're an interior with a large size window at one end looking down onto the Promenade. Amusingly my partner was very concerned that we wouldn't be able to sleep with the noise, but we were never overly disturbed by goings-on in the Promenade.

Normally, a cruise is an "experience" holiday for us, but this time we just needed a holiday. With every day a "port" day we only booked two excursions giving us a great balance between time on and off the ship.

We had second sitting dining which meant we were lucky enough to meet a great couple and frequently went on a bar crawl together afterwards. The waiters were as usual absolutely superb and truly looked after us creating a wonderful vibe for us to relax and enjoy the dining experience to the point where dinner was something you looked forward to.

5 Night cruises are pretty much ideal - they're cheaper and less popular but still give a "proper" break.

The ports of call - Rotterdam, what an amazing city to look at as you drive through to Amsterdam. Enjoy walking through the city, explore the culture, more museums per square km than any other city in Europe, along with bicycles and trams it's a beautiful place.

Bruges - always so beautiful and so much to look at, well worth taking a tour if you haven't been there before, and if you have, take time to enjoy walking round the city. And please do a canal tour at least once. Along with chocolate purchases!

Cherbourg - Nuclear Submarine. The end.

Le Havre - perfect for Paris or if you're wanting to visit WW2 sites, a great opportunity to go to several from this port.

The entertainment laid on was as always superb, the show, Grease... well this leads me on to my main complaint and I'm not sure it's justified. It seemed that every time anything good was happening, we were at dinner (2nd sitting, 8:30pm). We missed the Grease shows due to either being at dinner or at a competition where we completely failed to win a marker pen. Consequently we are returning to MyTime dining for our next cruises so we can work around what we want to take part in.

While onboard we accidentally booked to go back onboard next May just after the refurb is completed.

And this was without visiting any speciality restaurants ... we normally make a point of Chops Grille at least but we didn't miss it at all.

The room was kept brilliantly, the waiters were great fun, everything was so good about this cruise that we thoroughly enjoyed returning to the Indy.

Can't wait to get back!
StueyJay’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8259
Beautifully kept, spacious, with two sofas and perfectly adequate bathroom facilities. This is an interconnecting room with 8257.
  Independence of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews