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I have a back injury and am temporarily unable to fly, so as regular cruisers my wife and I had heard good things about this ship and it was sailing from Southampton so we booked it. I will say that this is the first time we have sailed from This port and embarkation was very good and quick. The first thing we noted on boarding was an awful raw sewage smell on deck 4 on the port side at the front of the ship, we assumed it was coming from the dock where sewage tanks were being emptied, this was not the case however and the smell got worse as the cruise went on, if you walked into it by mistake it would make you heave, dont know what is causing it but Royal Caribbean need to sort it out. We booked one of the new "panoramic" cabins as the balcony cabins had all sold out and we were told that these were the next best cabins, and as they had recently been added they would be the best on the ship we wre in cabin no 1886. Apparently the ones we were in were converted from the old Gym (this may not be correct but frequent cruisers on the ship told us this). One thing they were correct about was they were very spacious and bright, this was the only good thing about them as anyone wishing to play crazy golf had to walk over the top of the cabin, this happened at all hours of the night and most of the time they were running or stomping across. Aditionally the area is also used for sunbathing and the crew think it is a good idea to start setting sunbeds up at 4am, and this was not done quietly! The dividing walls were paper thin which meant any noise from adjoining cabins could be heard clearly. We did not get one undisturbed nights sleep in 14 days! The ship was overcrowded and most of the time was spent trying to find somewhere to sit as there are not enough chairs to go around. The buffet restaurant was particularly stressful, one morning we walked around 3 times looking for a table with no joy, we ended up sitting on some padded benches by the handwashing area with the food on our laps, as we were awake anyway because of the noisy cabin we started going for breakfast at 7am and tables were not a problem, however lunch was an ongoing nightmare. Personally I think Royal Caribbean puposely created this problem so people would buy food from the many specialist and fast food offerings which you have to pay extra for. The world cup was on and so we thought we would watch it in the sports bar, however to get a seat people had started drinking and reserving seats four hours before games started, not all games were shown on the open deck screen and when they were that was heaving too, so we ended up watching games in our cabin. Due to the lack of sunbeds and the sheer number of guests people were walking around and around the ship with a little bundle of towels looking for a sunbed, it reminded me of homeless people in london looking for somewhere to sleep. I have never seen so many mobility scooters in one place and a lot of people using them couldn't drive them (especially after imbibing large quantities of alcohol) as people were frequently getting bruised shins, in a lot of cases I am sceptical that there was a real disability need and felt it was more laziness on the part of the people who hired them. We paid for the drinks package which had a very good selection on the menu but a lot of the drinks were not available, I asked the bar staff and was told they had run out and were to get stock in the next port, this did not happen though. We purposely went in the school term time, however there gangs of teenagers hanging around in the evenings playing loud music on their portable speakers, I dont have a problem with this but the ship was also playing music and you ended up with just a horrible din going on. Occasionally they did get over rowdy and were throwing chairs about. While I understand the price goes up during the school holidays which means that to make it affordable kids are taken out of school, however the parents were nowhere to be seen and the ships security seemed to be scared to tackle the problem. I understood that a Med cruise from Southampton would involve a lot of days at sea, however all of the above was much more of a problem because of this. The ship mostly docked in ports which were very distant from the actual places advertised, this is understandable due to the ships size, however every other cruise we have been on complimentary coaches were laid on to transfer you, not Royal Caribbean however, they chaged between 5-10 Euros for the privilege! If there is a purgatory I should think it would be something like spending eternity on this ship and I can safely say that this was my first and last voyage with Royal Caribbean. Funnily however I did complain on board particularly about the cabin and was offered 20% of the cruise cost as a refund. This was in the form of a voucher which, guess what?? Can only be used against the cost of another cruise with Royal Caribbean!!!!

Benidorm at sea and avoid the panoramic cabins

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by ms12345

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I have a back injury and am temporarily unable to fly, so as regular cruisers my wife and I had heard good things about this ship and it was sailing from Southampton so we booked it. I will say that this is the first time we have sailed from This port and embarkation was very good and quick.

The first thing we noted on boarding was an awful raw sewage smell on deck 4 on the port side at the front of the ship, we assumed it was coming from the dock where sewage tanks were being emptied, this was not the case however and the smell got worse as the cruise went on, if you walked into it by mistake it would make you heave, dont know what is causing it but Royal Caribbean need to sort it out.

We booked one of the new "panoramic" cabins as the balcony cabins had all sold out and we were told that these were the next best cabins, and as they had recently been added they would be the best on the ship we wre in cabin no 1886. Apparently the ones we were in were converted from the old Gym (this may not be correct but frequent cruisers on the ship told us this). One thing they were correct about was they were very spacious and bright, this was the only good thing about them as anyone wishing to play crazy golf had to walk over the top of the cabin, this happened at all hours of the night and most of the time they were running or stomping across. Aditionally the area is also used for sunbathing and the crew think it is a good idea to start setting sunbeds up at 4am, and this was not done quietly! The dividing walls were paper thin which meant any noise from adjoining cabins could be heard clearly. We did not get one undisturbed nights sleep in 14 days!

The ship was overcrowded and most of the time was spent trying to find somewhere to sit as there are not enough chairs to go around. The buffet restaurant was particularly stressful, one morning we walked around 3 times looking for a table with no joy, we ended up sitting on some padded benches by the handwashing area with the food on our laps, as we were awake anyway because of the noisy cabin we started going for breakfast at 7am and tables were not a problem, however lunch was an ongoing nightmare. Personally I think Royal Caribbean puposely created this problem so people would buy food from the many specialist and fast food offerings which you have to pay extra for.

The world cup was on and so we thought we would watch it in the sports bar, however to get a seat people had started drinking and reserving seats four hours before games started, not all games were shown on the open deck screen and when they were that was heaving too, so we ended up watching games in our cabin.

Due to the lack of sunbeds and the sheer number of guests people were walking around and around the ship with a little bundle of towels looking for a sunbed, it reminded me of homeless people in london looking for somewhere to sleep.

I have never seen so many mobility scooters in one place and a lot of people using them couldn't drive them (especially after imbibing large quantities of alcohol) as people were frequently getting bruised shins, in a lot of cases I am sceptical that there was a real disability need and felt it was more laziness on the part of the people who hired them.

We paid for the drinks package which had a very good selection on the menu but a lot of the drinks were not available, I asked the bar staff and was told they had run out and were to get stock in the next port, this did not happen though.

We purposely went in the school term time, however there gangs of teenagers hanging around in the evenings playing loud music on their portable speakers, I dont have a problem with this but the ship was also playing music and you ended up with just a horrible din going on. Occasionally they did get over rowdy and were throwing chairs about. While I understand the price goes up during the school holidays which means that to make it affordable kids are taken out of school, however the parents were nowhere to be seen and the ships security seemed to be scared to tackle the problem.

I understood that a Med cruise from Southampton would involve a lot of days at sea, however all of the above was much more of a problem because of this.

The ship mostly docked in ports which were very distant from the actual places advertised, this is understandable due to the ships size, however every other cruise we have been on complimentary coaches were laid on to transfer you, not Royal Caribbean however, they chaged between 5-10 Euros for the privilege!

If there is a purgatory I should think it would be something like spending eternity on this ship and I can safely say that this was my first and last voyage with Royal Caribbean. Funnily however I did complain on board particularly about the cabin and was offered 20% of the cruise cost as a refund. This was in the form of a voucher which, guess what?? Can only be used against the cost of another cruise with Royal Caribbean!!!!
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Cabin Review

Panoramic Ocean View
Cabin 1L 1886
We booked one of the new "panoramic" cabins as the balcony cabins had all sold out and we were told that these were the next best cabins, and as they had recently been added they would be the best on the ship we wre in cabin no 1886. Apparently the ones we were in were converted from the old Gym (this may not be correct but frequent cruisers on the ship told us this). One thing they were correct about was they were very spacious and bright, this was the only good thing about them as anyone wishing to play crazy golf had to walk over the top of the cabin, this happened at all hours of the night and most of the time they were running or stomping across. Aditionally the area is also used for sunbathing and the crew think it is a good idea to start setting sunbeds up at 4am, and this was not done quietly! The dividing walls were paper thin which meant any noise from adjoining cabins could be heard clearly. We did not get one undisturbed nights sleep in 14 days!
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins