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I found some of the negative reviews on this site really surprising and felt that I had to add my comments as my husband and I had such a good experience on the Independence of the Seas cruise round the Canaries for 11 nights from 22nd January. As we entered the dock at Southampton and saw the ship our first impression was "wow". The ship was absolutely stunning. The embarkation process was rather slow, but I understand there were technical problems with some of the scanners and with almost 4000 passengers to get on board it was always going to be a logistical problem. Cabin: We had a Promenade Room, with a bay window overlooking the Royal Promenade. Our initial concern was that there would be a lot of noise from the promendade, but this proved not to be the case as the soundproofing was superb. The cabin was spacious, spotlessly clean, and the best use had been made of the space available. Enough storage space and hangers, and adequate size shower/toilet facilities. Superb bed with plenty of space underneath to store empty suitcases. Tea making facilities, hairdryer and fridge provided. Cabin Attendant: Mola was very hardworking and friendly. She kept our cabin immaculate throughout the trip. Food: We opted for My Time Dining and ate most nights in King Lear. We never had a problem getting a table, and thought the standard of food was excellent. The waiters were all friendly (particularly Rocky) and we had some lovely table mates (95% of whom said they loved the ship and were having a fabulous time - you always get the odd moaner). We occasionally had breakfast or lunch in the Windjammer and, while it was always busy with people consuming mountains of food, we never once had to wait for a table, and again found the food to be of a very good standard. We ate once at each of the speciality restaurants (Chops Grill and Portofino) and didn't grudge a penny of the supplement paid as the food was superb. We also enjoyed the odd free snack or coffee at the Promenade Cafe or at Sorrentos, and the free ice-cream and coffees on the top decks. Drink: There were soft drinks, water and coffee available free with meals. So, no real need to buy a water or soda package. We bought a wine package for the dining room. Packages were available for 5, 7 or 11 bottles of wine. These worked in at around 33 dollars a bottle - about what you would expect to pay in a good restaurant at home. I often had the cocktail of the day which at 6.75 dollars was in line with cocktail prices at home. Entertainment: We went to shows in the Alhambra Theatre every night and have paid a lot of money to see worse shows in London Theatres. Really professional shows. The Ice Show was spectacular. I should also mention Joff, the Cruise Director, who did a superb job morning, noon and night. Fitness: We made good use of the walking/jogging track, and of the wonderful gym facilities, sauna, steam room and cantilever whirlpools. On Deck: On days when the sun was shining we sunbathed on the top deck. We never had a problem finding a sunlounger. Shore Trips: We did one organised trip (Lisbon/Estoril) and thought it was excellent value for money. At other stops we simply walked ashore and explored the area on foot, or paid around 12 euros for the city bus tour. Disembarkation: Left cases outside door on the night before departure and picked them up on shore. Very smooth operation. To summarise: Good value for money cruise, on a superb ship, which certainly exceeded our expectations. However, travelling in January there were not a lot of children on board and I think that at the ages of 63 and 69 we would have reservations about booking during the school holidays when the pool areas might be over-run by children. We would definitely cruise again with Royal Csribbean, and would be happy to choose Independence of the Seas. I must compliment RCI on their commitment to ensuring hygiene standards on board.

Exceeded our Expectations

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Barbara Marson

Trip Details
I found some of the negative reviews on this site really surprising and felt that I had to add my comments as my husband and I had such a good experience on the Independence of the Seas cruise round the Canaries for 11 nights from 22nd January.

As we entered the dock at Southampton and saw the ship our first impression was "wow". The ship was absolutely stunning.

The embarkation process was rather slow, but I understand there were technical problems with some of the scanners and with almost 4000 passengers to get on board it was always going to be a logistical problem.

Cabin: We had a Promenade Room, with a bay window overlooking the Royal Promenade. Our initial concern was that there would be a lot of noise from the promendade, but this proved not to be the case as the soundproofing was superb. The cabin was spacious, spotlessly clean, and the best use had been made of the space available. Enough storage space and hangers, and adequate size shower/toilet facilities. Superb bed with plenty of space underneath to store empty suitcases. Tea making facilities, hairdryer and fridge provided.

Cabin Attendant: Mola was very hardworking and friendly. She kept our cabin immaculate throughout the trip.

Food: We opted for My Time Dining and ate most nights in King Lear. We never had a problem getting a table, and thought the standard of food was excellent. The waiters were all friendly (particularly Rocky) and we had some lovely table mates (95% of whom said they loved the ship and were having a fabulous time - you always get the odd moaner). We occasionally had breakfast or lunch in the Windjammer and, while it was always busy with people consuming mountains of food, we never once had to wait for a table, and again found the food to be of a very good standard. We ate once at each of the speciality restaurants (Chops Grill and Portofino) and didn't grudge a penny of the supplement paid as the food was superb. We also enjoyed the odd free snack or coffee at the Promenade Cafe or at Sorrentos, and the free ice-cream and coffees on the top decks.

Drink: There were soft drinks, water and coffee available free with meals. So, no real need to buy a water or soda package. We bought a wine package for the dining room. Packages were available for 5, 7 or 11 bottles of wine. These worked in at around 33 dollars a bottle - about what you would expect to pay in a good restaurant at home. I often had the cocktail of the day which at 6.75 dollars was in line with cocktail prices at home.

Entertainment: We went to shows in the Alhambra Theatre every night and have paid a lot of money to see worse shows in London Theatres. Really professional shows. The Ice Show was spectacular. I should also mention Joff, the Cruise Director, who did a superb job morning, noon and night.

Fitness: We made good use of the walking/jogging track, and of the wonderful gym facilities, sauna, steam room and cantilever whirlpools.

On Deck: On days when the sun was shining we sunbathed on the top deck. We never had a problem finding a sunlounger.

Shore Trips: We did one organised trip (Lisbon/Estoril) and thought it was excellent value for money. At other stops we simply walked ashore and explored the area on foot, or paid around 12 euros for the city bus tour.

Disembarkation: Left cases outside door on the night before departure and picked them up on shore. Very smooth operation.

To summarise: Good value for money cruise, on a superb ship, which certainly exceeded our expectations. However, travelling in January there were not a lot of children on board and I think that at the ages of 63 and 69 we would have reservations about booking during the school holidays when the pool areas might be over-run by children.

We would definitely cruise again with Royal Csribbean, and would be happy to choose Independence of the Seas.

I must compliment RCI on their commitment to ensuring hygiene standards on board.
Barbara Marson’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7563
Spacious, great bed, fair size closet, quiet location.
  Independence of the Seas Deck Plans