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We decided to go on this cruise as it was out with school holidays, or so we thought, and the ship had just had a major refit. Not everything had been revamped, but several outdoor areas are now catering for the young, & Young at heart ! We are not interested in children's activities, and would prefer that children are limited to their pool area, or at least have the use on only one of the main pools. Too often adults were unable to use the pools as children were splashing around, both in the pools & hot tubs. It must be horrendous during school holiday season... Our SRA, Gloria was a fantastic girl, always pleasant, & kept the room very well maintained. She knew that we were early risers, so our room was always done first. As we are experienced C&A members, we used deck 14. The lounges were pleasant, & the Suite lounge now also on 14, is a nice change from the cupboard that used to be the Concierge Lounge. Junior, Concierge, was efficient & very personable, as was Elaine, the D Concierge when we were on, but now on vacation. The Olive or Twist bar / Viking Lounge, was used as an overflow for all the D,D+ members, only on the first couple of nights, with food available. However, this was stopped as too many non high tier passengers complained that they could not get seats in here to enjoy the views. This meant that if your seapass was shown, drinks could be obtained if D or above, but canapés could only be obtained by entering the D Lounge...no big problem. The bar tenders in this bar were all excellent..Zoltan,Janice,Ohla & Eduardo ( lead barman in the pub, but helped out early evenings ) The waiters were also very attentive & friendly. We ate in the MDR to begin with, but later opted for the WJ, as that meant we could sample small amounts of different food without overloading our plates, or stomachs ! The quality & quantity of food in the newly revamped WJ was fine, absolutely no complaints at all. We liked the area which is now modern,more open than before & nicely decorated. A special mention to John, a junior supervisor in the WJ, who remembered us from previous cruises & always had a smile & warm welcome whenever we met. Chop's Grille was very good for breakfast, fresh juice & berries, served by excellent staff..Randy, Louis, Edmun & the girls, not forgetting Adriana, greeter at the desk. One man who certainly should not be forgotten....Chef, from Mexico, but his name eludes me as I type this..sorry. He knew the order after a couple of days, before it was given him ! Christopher, in charge of this restaurant, leads a very good team, so kudos to him for a good atmosphere here. The hand washing stations at the entrance were more than adequate, & we never had to queue, but did notice some people just walked in without washing or sanitising their hands ! The new Sports Bar, Playmakers, seemed well appointed, but think it could be very noisy. That said, the servers were good, especially Stephan from Dominica, who was very outgoing & pleasant. We were pleased that the casino is now smoke free...What a big difference, & meant we could go in at anytime, without having to cover our mouths & noses to avoid inhaling smoke. It's taken a long time for this to happen, but well done for making this change. It's obvious that RCCL is aiming their cruises to cater for families with young children, but wish they would take a leaf out of some of other cruise lines books, who have adult only cruises. Outwith school holidays, this should not be a problem, & would prove very popular with older, experienced, more discerning people. Many hotels are also leaning towards adult only clientele & they are normally fully booked. The Solarium area on this ship is full from early morning, so this should be an indication that child free zones are popular. The only entertainment we attended was towards the end of the cruise, when the Beatles Celebration came onboard. They are an excellent group, & certainly had the theatre bouncing to their music. Almost everyone, young & old, stood up at one point to join in with their foot tapping songs. We didn't attend the ice shows as we have seen them several times before, but believe as usual, they were very good. The Next Cruise team, led by Aleks, assisted by Matt, and the lovely Carina & Emma, with whom we dealt, but alas do not have the names of the rest of the super team. This group must be the happiest,most pleasant team we have ever encountered. They all seemed to be genuinely happy to be working onboard, so good leadership & teamwork must be the answer. The Loyalty Ambassador, Daniella, is very good, but now she is based on deck 2, so you have to make a point of seeing her, not just speak with her on passing, if of course you are on a higher deck ! Finally, the weather on this cruise was very mixed, not at all in keeping with the usual temperatures associated with the Canary Islands. We hadn't done this entire itinerary before, & doubt we would repeat it,preferring the Mediterranean & other European ports. We enjoy visiting ports of call filled with history & interesting places to see & explore. This itinerary is more for beach & sunbathing, which is not really our scene. Judging by the number of sun loungers reserved with pool towels each day, as we went for breakfast, convinced us that not many people left the ship on a daily basis !

After the revamp !

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Janda7

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
We decided to go on this cruise as it was out with school holidays, or so we thought, and the ship had just had a major refit. Not everything had been revamped, but several outdoor areas are now catering for the young, & Young at heart !

We are not interested in children's activities, and would prefer that children are limited to their pool area, or at least have the use on only one of the main pools. Too often adults were unable to use the pools as children were splashing around, both in the pools & hot tubs. It must be horrendous during school holiday season...

Our SRA, Gloria was a fantastic girl, always pleasant, & kept the room very well maintained. She knew that we were early risers, so our room was always done first.

As we are experienced C&A members, we used deck 14. The lounges were pleasant, & the Suite lounge now also on 14, is a nice change from the cupboard that used to be the Concierge Lounge. Junior, Concierge, was efficient & very personable, as was Elaine, the D Concierge when we were on, but now on vacation.

The Olive or Twist bar / Viking Lounge, was used as an overflow for all the D,D+ members, only on the first couple of nights, with food available. However, this was stopped as too many non high tier passengers complained that they could not get seats in here to enjoy the views.

This meant that if your seapass was shown, drinks could be obtained if D or above, but canapés could only be obtained by entering the D Lounge...no big problem.

The bar tenders in this bar were all excellent..Zoltan,Janice,Ohla & Eduardo ( lead barman in the pub, but helped out early evenings ) The waiters were also very attentive & friendly.

We ate in the MDR to begin with, but later opted for the WJ, as that meant we could sample small amounts of different food without overloading our plates, or stomachs ! The quality & quantity of food in the newly revamped WJ was fine, absolutely no complaints at all. We liked the area which is now modern,more open than before & nicely decorated. A special mention to John, a junior supervisor in the WJ, who remembered us from previous cruises & always had a smile & warm welcome whenever we met.

Chop's Grille was very good for breakfast, fresh juice & berries, served by excellent staff..Randy, Louis, Edmun & the girls, not forgetting Adriana, greeter at the desk. One man who certainly should not be forgotten....Chef, from Mexico, but his name eludes me as I type this..sorry. He knew the order after a couple of days, before it was given him ! Christopher, in charge of this restaurant, leads a very good team, so kudos to him for a good atmosphere here.

The hand washing stations at the entrance were more than adequate, & we never had to queue, but did notice some people just walked in without washing or sanitising their hands !

The new Sports Bar, Playmakers, seemed well appointed, but think it could be very noisy. That said, the servers were good, especially Stephan from Dominica, who was very outgoing & pleasant.

We were pleased that the casino is now smoke free...What a big difference, & meant we could go in at anytime, without having to cover our mouths & noses to avoid inhaling smoke.

It's taken a long time for this to happen, but well done for making this change.

It's obvious that RCCL is aiming their cruises to cater for families with young children, but wish they would take a leaf out of some of other cruise lines books, who have adult only cruises. Outwith school holidays, this should not be a problem, & would prove very popular with older, experienced, more discerning people.

Many hotels are also leaning towards adult only clientele & they are normally fully booked.

The Solarium area on this ship is full from early morning, so this should be an indication that child free zones are popular.

The only entertainment we attended was towards the end of the cruise, when the Beatles Celebration came onboard. They are an excellent group, & certainly had the theatre bouncing to their music. Almost everyone, young & old, stood up at one point to join in with their foot tapping songs.

We didn't attend the ice shows as we have seen them several times before, but believe as usual, they were very good.

The Next Cruise team, led by Aleks, assisted by Matt, and the lovely Carina & Emma, with whom we dealt, but alas do not have the names of the rest of the super team. This group must be the happiest,most pleasant team we have ever encountered. They all seemed to be genuinely happy to be working onboard, so good leadership & teamwork must be the answer.

The Loyalty Ambassador, Daniella, is very good, but now she is based on deck 2, so you have to make a point of seeing her, not just speak with her on passing, if of course you are on a higher deck !

Finally, the weather on this cruise was very mixed, not at all in keeping with the usual temperatures associated with the Canary Islands. We hadn't done this entire itinerary before, & doubt we would repeat it,preferring the Mediterranean & other European ports. We enjoy visiting ports of call filled with history & interesting places to see & explore. This itinerary is more for beach & sunbathing, which is not really our scene. Judging by the number of sun loungers reserved with pool towels each day, as we went for breakfast, convinced us that not many people left the ship on a daily basis !
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 6D
Gloria maintained this room very well. She is an absolute star...the apple of our eye, as we told her !!
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins