First timer views: Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by John Nightingale

Independence of the Seas 5
John Nightingale

Overall Member Rating

First timer views

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Southampton
Turning up at Southampton was smooth. Lined up and then got to drop off bags before parking no more than 200 yards from Ship. Amazed at size of ship and after passing through registration controls started using the onboard ships pass to gain access to facilities. Obligatory photographs taken and took refuge in Sky Bar as we left the Solent. Two days later arrived early morning in Gibralter. Cruise berths are invariably in large docks so don't expect pretty sea side beaches straight away!! Reasonable time in Gibraltar though had to leave quickly as Oil tank on berth next door caught on fire following welding work. Sadly one worker died a few days later. Top marks to skipper and crew for quick exit with only minor casualties treated onboard.

Ports of call Cannes (Rain), Barcelona (overcast), Palma (Great). Worth hiring a car if you get the full two days in Palma and RC could help arrange car hire firms. We hired vehicle and explored island and beaches at Magaluf and Palma Nova. More Best stop of all. Sailed on to Alicante which was good with nearby beach and town. Next stop was Lisbon with extra charge for trip into city. Probably most disappointing place for us. Final stop Vigo was good and weather improved.

Food was good and varied. Breakfast options available and Windjammer proved useful alternative to more formal option at times. Entertainment was good though more effort needed on quizzes as some repeated later in cruise? Nothing to compare to, as yet, but great first cruise. Drinks prices could be cheaper though, again, minor issue for us. Would I use RC again? Most certainly. Beds were so so comfortable Less

Published 06/18/11

Cabin review: E29540 Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

Very , very good. Beds were lovely and most comfortable I've ever slept on. Will be buying similar for home. All other aspects good and maid service was excellent

Read All Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (E2) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Second visit to Barca and very much as expected. Lots to do such as the bus tours and Nou Camp. We opted for Gaudi's Familie Sangrit (wrong spelling)and the Ramblas. Enjoyed the Aquarium in harbour before getting back onboard

Read 1749 Barcelona Reviews

Arrived after rough seas throughout the night and were met by pouring rain. Tourist train took us around Cannes for 10 Euros which was great value and gave us shelter along with Cafes. Went on foot to Film Festival venue and spent over an hour looking at the hand prints of the stars. Looked around harbour and the luxury yachts. Some people just have too much money on their hands!! Lovely location and tenders worked well

Read 366 Cannes Reviews

The events of the Oil explosion spoilt a great first stop. We walked through the town and up to the cable cars which took us to the top of the Rock. From there we descended to the Caves which were superb. Apes were either on off day or over rated. Nice stop in Town centre before walking back to ship.

From a Health and Safety point of view the welding of an oil tank situated next door to the Ship was in hindsight regretable. The Captain and crew managed to get us away within minutes.

There was panic on the top deck and parents were trying to locate their children. It may, in the future, be worth asking all passengers to return to their cabins as door ways were blocked while things calmed down.

No free shuttle and town too far away from ship. Obviously Portugal is in financial straights at present but my feeling was they could do a lot more with their capital city. Too much graffiti on all buildings. Would prefer to miss out on future cruises

Read 638 Lisbon Reviews

Lovely - Buzzing and hired a car for the two days. Royal Caribbean could make contact with car hire firms as this allowed us to explore the island more even in the rain which followed us on day one. Day two we went to Palma Nova and found lovely beach. I would recommend a two day overnight in the future

A very pleasant last port of call and shops and bargains galore if you needed them. Shopping Centre not up to much yet local band and interesting side streets made it a good stop. Harbour area has been rebuilt I understand and lovely to walk through the market sellers and cafe prices very reasonable. Would recommend for any itinery
Read 384 Vigo Reviews

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John Nightingale
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