Shame about the weather!!!: Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Twinkle85

Independence of the Seas 5
Member Since 2011
3 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Shame about the weather!!!

Sail Date: October 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Southampton
Ok so to start at the very beginning...check in...smooth as a babies' bum! Our main cases were taken off us as soon as we got out of the taxi at the port. there were plenty of people on hand to direct you to the right places etc. Yes there was a long zig zag line to check in and they did have "technical issues" at the time but all the staff kept you well informed and when you did get to the desk a few minutes and we were on the ship!

First impressions of the ship?....WOW much bigger than I expected...and completely spotless!

Our stateroom was comfortable, clean, and spacious, our balcony the same.

Staff...mostly they were friendly, accommodating and put across that nothing was too much trouble...they were a few individuals that let that side down but they work very hard..and they are human so it must be hard for them to be at their best everyday.

Food...windjammer...plenty of choice (too much i think) great for family's, it'll fill your tummy, but don't More expect it to rock your world (don't bother with the mushrooms at breakfast).
We were in the King Lear dining room and used this most nights and I have no complaints, the food was delicious every time, great choice (inc sugar free) and the waiters were helpful when you needed something altered. There was even a menu for those watching their curves!
Specialty dinning...we used Johnny Rockets it was great for a $4.95 cover charge per person (not including drinks) the food and service was great...what i will say is that a cover charge should mean "cover" drinks and all...but there you go...

On board activities...There was always something going on for varied ranges and interests....please stay away from the bingo it is expensive, its poorly run and very low value for money...

Drinks...quite expensive so if you do enjoy the tipple or three be prepared...but there is a good cocktail/liquor choice, not a great beer choice and they do vary between bars.

Royal promenade...a great place to waste some promenade...good coffee but needs to be bigger, not a space you could really relax in as there were people staring at you for your seat!! Items in shops are expensive...don't be fooled by the $10 dollar sales...there are what they say on the tin, don't bee line for your watches and handbags they will be sales so bide your time...the duty free shop is quite good for deals and the perfume house isn't too shop around in port though you could find a bargain! Generally the facilities are there that they say are they but they are not as good as RCI likes to think they are...

Entertainment...the ice show was lovely, various times to try and suit everyone but the ice rink was smaller than expected and at times you could tell the skaters were used to a bigger rink...
The shows...the entertainment team are talented but the "once upon a time" show I found to be childish and pantomime like...the last show was however age appropriate and fantastic!
There was also a singer they brought in for one night...she was ok but her speaking voice reminded me of sue off sooty and sweep (hehe). There was also a comedienne that was really funny.

Other notes, cruising from Southampton was a great option for the elderly and disabled passengers...and although the facilities on board were good for theses passengers and think RCI could do better, people on scooters often had to struggle to get around, resulting in frustration from their fellow passengers who often had injured toes and found their children often being victims of poor steering and lack of room for lots of scooters to be able to move around...the elderly often had to struggle to get their food and stay upright at the same time.

Also the weather and the roughness of the bay of bisque did detract from being able to fully enjoy all of indy's facilities (in fact 100 people disembarked in Madeira and flew home because they were tired of the weather)
The excursions were varied but quite expensive I felt sorry for families!

I also had to partake in the medical facility...beware a European health insurance card wont help you here so make sure you are fully insured! The medical facilities are quite impressive onboard, (thank godness)

So would I cruise with RCI again? Yes, definitely...service, experience and value for money is great (cant wait for the sunshine class to be launched)
I don't think I would do the same itinerary at the same time of year again but RCI doesnt control the weather.
But above all the cruise is what you make of it if you want an amazing holiday, regardless of everything RCI will give you problem. Less

Published 11/17/11

Cabin review: D19674 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

quiet location, sea facing when in port, great mix of sunrises and sunsets, spacious, comfortable, great balcony

Read All Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (D1) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Las Palmas..a pretty, clean and friendly island. We did another red bus tour around the port for 16e each, I personally didn't think it was worth the money as the tour was quite short but it was nice to go further than just the port. Las Palmas has a lovely beach and a pretty little harbor. It has some lovely markets so you can choose to shop or laze on the beach, all within easy reach from the port. There was also another nice shopping centre literally just across the road from the ship...overall a very enjoyable port.

A lot of the ports of call on this cruise were great if you were religious because they were close to a lot of religious sites/churches...i'm not religious.. Lisbon a nice capital city we did a red bus tour for 15e each which was quite good. It was some lovely shops (inc a hard rock cafe) and some very lovely gardens. Not as big or as a busy as I thought a capital city would be though. There were lovely pieces of graffiti art around the city,as well as some not so nice graffiti I would have thought the government would have taken a better stnace to keep the city free of this kind of graffiti to boost tourism. Also the fact that the shops close smack bang in the middle of the day can be annoying for cruisers as we get a limited time in port. Given the current state of the recession in the euro zone, one would think they would stay open to increase trade? Overall a nice port of call.
Read 626 Lisbon Reviews

This overall was my favorite port. The weather was gorgeous and the ocean views around the island were spectacular. We decided to do an excursion to Loro Parque at this port and I would thoroughly recommend this to everyone! Loro Parque is a animal park that also fights for the conservation of animals and their habitats. The dolphin and orca shows are well worth it on their own!
Read 390 Tenerife Reviews

Vigo...quite a pretty port for the architecture but other than that I really don't see the point of stopping here, there's a lot of steep hills to climb so not very good for the elderly or disabled. The market was small and the traders were aggressive and DID NOT like bartering AT ALL! The only thing going for this port is the shopping centre just as you step off the ship... Seriously RCI change this port!!!
Read 383 Vigo Reviews

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Member Since 2011
3 Forum Posts
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