THE ALCOHOL AND SICKNESS RIP-OFF.: Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by anthony lowton

Independence of the Seas 3
anthony lowton

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Southampton
We both thought the food was quite good. We tried to arrive in the restaurant promptly. What a shame that the food was served on cold plates. We pointed this out to our head waiter. Things got better the next day, but then cold plates were re-introduced.The meal on the final day of the cruise was spoiled by this poor attention to detail and passenger complaints not being taken seriously. The Waiting staff were very professional and very helpful.Our waiter had always consulted with the chef as to his recommendation.The training of your staff in the restaurant reflects the high standards expected by R.C.

Why, oh why, is the alcoholic beverage so EXPENSIVE? For example,one wine available on the wine list is sold in Sainsburys for £4.35.(We bought two bottles for our Christmas Lunch last year).Why is the mark-up price $54.00?While you claim that a tot of whisky is a 'double' measure, we would query that statement because, in our experience on Independence, the whisky was More never measured as it was poured into the glass. and was seldom seen to measure up to our expectations. The cost of two double whiskies at $25 is incredibly excessive when you sell us Litre bottles for just about the same price at the end of the voyage.We found on our previous cruise experience that to have a bottle of whisky in our cabin was civilised.You infer that people in their seventies are not responsible drinkers by banning such availability.Either that or you want to make as much profit as possible on casual sales.Why call it a mini-bar when the only items available are water,($4.95 for ordinary still water),tins of carbonated drinks and incredibly expensive snacks.

I was unfortunate to have to visit the Medical Facility as I awoke to find I couldn't see because of swelling to my face one morning.(Sardinia). It was obviously an allergic reaction because I felt perfectly fit and normal otherwise. As I arrived my Wife completed the necessary documentation. The nurse then took my blood pressere/pulse which was unnecessary because I told her what they would be. I was 5mm out on the Systolic measurement. By then I was made to lay out on a paper covered trolley. Despite my protestations that I was feeling normal to the doctor and that I had no chest congestion etc, he made what I would consider to be a very cursory examination. The nurse then inserted a veinous catheter into my arm and I then received a Cortizone injection in order to relieve the swelling. This, with the medication supplied, was all that was needed. Why was the catheter needed? When it came to reviewing the Medical Report it all became very obvious - $100 for laying down on a trolley,$100 for the catheter procedure,$27 for the medication and the rest for 'professional' medical consultancy. A total of $341! This obvious rip-off, together with Royal Caribbean's very expensive and puerile alcohol policy put me in a very different mood as I reviewed our experiences of our cruise.

While the theatre is amazing, it was necessary for us to be seated one hour before the commencement of the shows because the seating is inadequate for the number of passengers aboard. The shows then lasted for one hour only. The entertainers can only be described as average and both female singers were much too 'screamy'and loud for our taste. The hypnotist was patronising to the extreme to his on-stage victims and we left the theatre after only 20 minutes. Joff Eaton was an excellent show host and we enjoyed his humour and professionalism. We took advantage of most facilities which suit us and we were very happy with the various hosts and entertainments. We will not be cruising with R.C again, feeling that other cruise companies have more mature policies. Yes, make a profit on alcohol sales, but don't rip the customer off. Provide a benevolent medical facility, but don't make it a means of ripping off the insurance companies and pushing up the premiums for the unfortunate victims of illness. Less

Published 02/17/11

Cabin review: D19658 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

We were pleasantly surprised at the facilities offered, but the tea making was limited to an awful brand of tea and the distemper type whitening liquid in capsules,served in cardboard cups. The resulting 'tea' is really revolting. This needs serious revision. Why not china cups or even mugs? Why no coffee or lemon tea sachets. The hair dryer was a bonus, but the thermal cutout operated after about ten seconds of use and a wait of two minutes was needed to start again. Very frustrating! Shower gel would have been a welcome addition to the inventory. Save the Ocean is a creditable policy, but our towels were changed after being used, despite hanging them up on the towel rails. Balcony a great bonus space.

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Port and Shore Excursions

The tour started at 3.00pm. The tour guide was spellbinding in his knowledge of the history and architecture of the Basilia Familia. We then headed for the Spanish Village, by which time it was dark and cold, which made it a waste of time. Start this tour two hours earlier!
Read 1754 Barcelona Reviews

Spoiled by the tour coach which was very rickety on the poor roads. My wife was left sitting on a seat above the wheel arch such that her knees were forced under her chin. The visit to an hotel for tea and 'stickies' was a nice break, and the driver/guide was interesting. As for Gibraltar itself, the Brits should give it back to the Spanish!

Expensive for what we actually did, but we were rushed from pillar to post by our tour guide because there 'wasn't time'. I thought that more emphasis should have been made to historical facts and longer explanations made for the unusual aspects of the tour.

Read 640 Lisbon Reviews

A very well researched tour, although the visit to the cameo factory was spoiled by a very noisy Japanese coachload of visitors such that nobody could hear what the centre manager was telling us. Herculeum was very,very interesting and will be even more so when it has been fully restored. The city of Naples was fortunately not on the schedule. Those who had gone there were disappointed.

Read 1173 Naples Reviews

Probably the worst of the tours. The tour guide was not the best of English speakers,stumbling through her facts with difficulty, pausing after every other word with 'etcetera' which became so 'wearing' that she lost the interest of most of her listeners who then carried out conversations with each other making it impossible to hear the guide. She led us all to a garden and then went through a very biassed tirade of why she was interested in the garden layout. It was pouring with rain at the time. She then led us to the rear door of the cathedral and told us that we would not be going inside. My Wife and I then jumped ship and we went through the entrance, paid our 4Euro entrance fee, and admired the very beautiful interior and relics on view to the public. We then rejoined the bus at the rendezvous point. We were then driven to a pearl 'factory',where expensive items of pearl jewellery were on sale. We were then invited to look around a run-down bullfighting arena, where vegetation was growing from the guttering,paint peeling from the walls and woodwork and where it was obvious that b ullfighting hadn't taken place for a very long time. This tour was a waste of money and time, apart from the interior of the cathedral, which wasn't a scheduled visit.

A tour made really interesting by a very knowledgeable guide. A pity that the stop of 45 minutes in St Peter's Square didn't allow enough time to visit the Basilica because of the security queue, but the rest of the tour was seen from the bus. Not really worth the expense,and three hours of the tour were spent driving to and from the city through not interesting scenery.

Please recommend hiring a taxi and asking for an English speaking driver. Ours was brilliant. We visited the interesting tourist spots and churches of the city. It cost the four of us 40 Euros,(plus a well-earned tip). Total of three hours was enough time.

Read 194 Sardinia Reviews

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anthony lowton
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