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Independence of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,776 Reviews

Great Ship, so so dining, good entertainment.

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Hogie119

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2019
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Spacious Ocean View Balcony

Well just got back from 7 night Caribbean cruise on Independence of the seas and it was great. Cabin was spacious and clean. Entire ship was updated with something for everyone. Huge ship but not the size of the Oasis class. Smooth sailing as well, hardly felt any motion. Plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. Ports of call were good. Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica,and Labadee, Beach day at Labadee was great and the Dragons Fire Zipline was amazing, hard to justify the cost but it was an experience I'm glad I did. Very good Snorkeling in Grand Cayman and Swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel. I do recommend some excursions since the ports are basically just port of call shops with locals begging you to look at their goods. Except Labadee which is probably like a scaled down Perfect day at Coco Cay, with their own private beaches and water park, and activities. The food at Labadee was kinda crappy though and you could not get a margarita or pina colada. But the experience was good, In the Evenings Comedy shows and Grease were very good as well as their trivia and game shows, we had some good laughs.

Main dining room was a beautiful 3 level huge room. We had a party of 6 most nights and freestyle dining and were usually seated right away around 6 pm. That was a pleasant surprise but the food quality was hit and miss. Some of the dishes were good but some just plain bad. My main problem was the inconsistency of service. Night one we were in and out in under 2 hours and other nites the pace was painfully slow approaching 3 hour stays, causing us to miss some of our plans. May have been a bit of a language barrier with some of the waiters as no one was from the US or UK. Mostly Indian and Asian. Gluten free dining was a challenge, although the manager appeared accommodating it was mostly lip service as they continually brought out wrong meals and had long delays. Vegan's had there own special menu with decent selections, I feel they need to do the same for gluten free people. Dinner portions were very small (mainly the sides) and most times you would have to order two entrees to fill you up. Dessert was good especially the Royal chocolate cake if you like chocolate. Specialty dining: Chops was a nice quiet change of pace but understaffed as we waited 45 minutes for coffee and dessert at the end of our meal. Giovanni's was our best dining experience With finally great service by Mario in a nice setting and great food. The Windjammer is a well stocked buffet, if you like buffets you are all set. The promenade had a cafe and sorrentos pizza that was always open for a snack or light quick breakfast. Did not use Johnny Rockets or Ben and Jerrys. I don't understand why you have to pay for these places when every place else is included and there are places to get soft serve ice cream all day. Room service is available, tried it twice for breakfast. Came so lte I had to leave once and the second time food was not great All in all Disney was a far better dining experience,

The casino was lively in the evenings if you could tolerate the smokey smell (which I was able to). Thoroughly enjoyed evenings of craps and black jack, staff was solid. Playmakers nice bar for sports enthusiasts, great crowd for Sunday NFL. Never had to wait too long for a drink at poolside or in the bars. Lounges tried to accommodate the older crowd it seemed. Promenade nite shows were a bit corny with B-rate talent.

Plenty of recreational activities that were well staffed and short lines if you time it right. Did the rock wall, Sky Pad, Waterslides. .

The Gym: I used it 3 times, well stocked, incredible views, lots of treadmills, weights, cycles, rowing classes.. Clean, could use a little more ventilation though.

Spa: well we all know these are overpriced and this is no exception. Got a massage since I won $100 raffle and it still cost me $130 more between gratuity and taxes. They double charged me for the gratuity. I was a very good massage though. Wife got a $125 mani-pedi that we get at home for $50.

Guest services could have used more staffing at certain times the lines were very long but once you were being helped they spent the time you needed, Up selling was not as bad as others made it out to be. It's up to you how much you want to spend. you can have a great vacay without spending up at all. Our room steward was wonderful as we always walked into a fresh room and were always greeted happily. Embarkation seemed pretty smooth, just show up early because the buffet gets packed quickly. Disembarkation is a sad day made sadder by a decent wait but there is nothing RC could do about that. All in all it was a great vacation and I would recommend this ship. Though we did not travel with children there was definitely a lot for them to do at all ages. When we traveled there were not too many children on board, thankfully. Cabin notes on cabin review

Hogie119's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Spacious Ocean View Balcony

Fairly spacious for the price. Great views from balcony. Running down one flight of steps near room to grab anything from the promenade was a plus vs. being higher up. Very quiet and comfortable. Bathroom was tight but functional and clean, Next time may up it to a junior suite. Great value vs. an interior cabin.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Close to port, nice lunch great views. A bit like herding us around but well done and a great experience

View All undefined undefined Reviews

Through Don Foster's snorkeling. Well run, walking distance to port. Safe and very cool. Not the best ever but really good.

View All 340 Snorkeling Reviews

Amazing. Dragons Fire face first. Worth the view alone.

View All 233 Ziplining Reviews

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