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80 Royal Caribbean Europe Cruise Reviews

Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that ... Read More
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that finding seats for groups of 2 or 3 becomes testing; for bigger groups often impossible. The food though is excellent & the staff, insufficient in number to cope with these events, are very good. The drink situation onboard is risible. Again, function rooms & bars often become filled for events because of the excessive passenger population, & only 1 or 2 waiters are left to cope with their demands. The selling of drinks on board is poor. Individual drinks bought effectively for cash are about twice as much as in U.K. bars; a glass of rose costing about $8 (£6.50). The onboard drinks package offered to my wife & me, both retired & living on pensions, cost £140 per day; really. The only time we bought alcohol on this cruise was during a port call at Cannes. We bought a bottle of Gin for our daughter principally because of the attractive bottle & its’ labelling. We declared this bottle on boarding the ship & handed it for safe keeping to security staff clearly explaining the reason for its purchase. When returned the labelling had tape stuck over it. The room service on this ship is the best I have ever experienced & is worthy of commendation. Hard working staff are the salvation of many rather cavalier management decisions on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
i chose this cruise because I fancied he list of ports to be visited. As a widow travelling alone I like cruising because I can sit at the same table every night with the same guests so I can get to know people without having to make ... Read More
i chose this cruise because I fancied he list of ports to be visited. As a widow travelling alone I like cruising because I can sit at the same table every night with the same guests so I can get to know people without having to make introductions every night. This has always worked well on previous cruises. On this occasion I got ready for the evening meal, spruced myself up ready to make new friends and found myself all alone. After two nights I spoke to the Maitre .D who said there were two other ladies due to be at my table but they had obviously decided not to use the dining room. There were no other tables with space I could move to apart from those occupied by family groups. As I didn’t want to intrude in families I went on every other night to the Windjammer. I have no complaints about the buffet food but this was not the holiday experience I had been hoping for. As I eat alone most nights of the year I find having company for my meal something I really look forward to. Obviously I pay double price as a single passengers to then have this disappointment over the meal was a real blow. Not RC’s fault but I will probably not ever book another cruise in case the same thing happens, The embarkation was wonderful. From being dropped off by taxi just over ten minutes to being in the buffet. Cabins ready within a couple of hours. Nice cabin, sofa a bonus, kettle which I wasn’t expecting. Comfortable bed, great shower. I had an aft cabin, no 8710. Disappointed that there was just a door with a high window so couldn’t easily see out. However the balcony itself was good with two armchairs and a sun bed. The ports of call were generally very good apart from Ibiza and Majorca which were not at all inspiring. Watch out in Cadiz. I had my purse stolen and I still don’t understand how that happened. I thought I might have a bit of advice from Guest Services about informing the police, etc., but they were completely disinterested and offered no help at all. I have enjoyed my days away but they could have been so much better after paying £3500. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We sailed from Southampton and because we are Elite status on Celebrity, we are Diamond on Royal. This meant that we had priority boarding. We were soon on the ship, but had to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our room was not yet ready. ... Read More
We sailed from Southampton and because we are Elite status on Celebrity, we are Diamond on Royal. This meant that we had priority boarding. We were soon on the ship, but had to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our room was not yet ready. I missed the welcome drink that we are given on embarkation by Celebrity. The room was ready just after 1.15. We were in 7314, which was starboard side. I was delighted to see that there was no lifeboat blocking our view. We unpacked our trolley bags and it was already obvious that storage space was going to be tight, no overhead locker as we have been used to on the Celebrity S class ships. Our main cases had not turned up by the time we went to Muster. We went in good time, so that we could get a seat. Not so on Royal, you queue up on an outside deck like school children waiting to go into class. The Captain made an announcement at the end of the proceedings and had to be prompted by someone as to which ship he was on. In fact we were led away as he was part way through his announcement. Really? As 5 pm was not far away, we went up on to deck 11 for Sail Away, which was delayed, so we enquired as to the whereabouts of the Diamond Lounge, so we could avail ourselves of the free drinks. These were constantly filled up and this remained so throughout the cruise. In fact we were one week into the cruise before we realised that we could ask for bottled water during Diamond hours. A fantastic perk for me as I use it to boil for my early morning cup of tea. We had booked Anytime dining and I had pre arranged 7 pm as our dining time. We were able to use our 3 free drinks loaded on to our card in the dining room until 20.30. A fantastic perk. We were seated at the same table every night except the first, as I am Dairy Intolerant, so this makes it easier for the waiter. Handy really looked after at table 321A. After our meal we found a seat in the Starlight Lounge, where we would spend 2 hours listening to Perry Grant. This was the one and only time that we were able to get a seat, as many passengers were still in the Theatre. We listened to him playing for 2 hours, but then I was weary of him asking guests the same questions, Do you have walk in wardrobes, do you have Formica in your kitchen, what colour is it etc.etc. We returned to our cabin to find that our cases had at last been delivered, but we left the unpacking until the next morning. I could certainly have done with the delivery being before the guaranteed 8 pm. We ate breakfasts in the Sapphire dining room on Deck 4 as it was waiter service. On the first morning we asked to be seated in the Diamond area. I was so pleased that we did this, as someone from our Roll Call group was also seated with us. We ‘hit it off’ and came across each other multiple times. We saw each other at the Meet & Mingle, where I was lucky enough to win the second raffle prize, which was a drinks container. Our new friend asked the CD why the ship was overbooked; they had been asked to give up their cabin by Royal, but as they had come over from Spain for the cruise and had an actual cabin, Royal told them they were OK to travel. Apparently there were 500 less guests than the previous week, which had still been the school holidays, where families had shared cabins. This week, most travellers were couples, and Royal had booked too many Guarantee cabins and I suspect not many guests had requested Royal Up ( we were still being sent e mails just one week before the cruise inviting us to apply). One feature of this cruise was the number of Alpha calls, ambulances met the ship at every port, even when the cruise ended someone fell down the escalators and had to be taken to hospital. We enjoyed the evening entertainment. The Barricade Boys, and Beatles Celebration were outstanding. The Starlight Lounge was overfull every night, so I was pleased that Perry Grant was invited to perform in 2 shows on stage, We also saw 2 Ice shows, one especially for Diamond members and Seasons which was performed for all guests. On the final evening the Guest Choir performed at 9 am in the Star Lounge. We just managed to get there on time, which was a good job, as my husband and our new friends had spent every Sea day rehearsing in Dizzy’s at lunch time. We were lucky with the weather, even the Bay if Biscay was calm and too soon we were back in Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby ... Read More
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby and some of the rest rooms left a lot to be desired..,. Broken door handles and fixtures missing....if you miss dinner and attempt to eat in the Winjammer it closed st 9pm do we were left to eat pizza at the small cafe on the promenade which was heaving with very loud teenagers. Great trip for families but some parents are oblivious to the antics of their offspring and we witnessed a good fight between some youngsters who were throwing ice cream at each other covering walls and floors on deck 11....bar staff were excellent as were the casino staff but the lack of quality isnd detail of cabins was very disappointing. we Are planning a cruise next spring and shall definitely be joining Celebrity again....maybe a little more expensive but extremely superior quality.... regards. Lynda Guy Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first cruise so we don’t really have anything to compare it to. We travelled in a party of 6, 5 adults and one teenager... Getting on the ship was stress free and so much easier than flying. The ship was very clean but this ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we don’t really have anything to compare it to. We travelled in a party of 6, 5 adults and one teenager... Getting on the ship was stress free and so much easier than flying. The ship was very clean but this could have been due to a norovirus outbreak on the cruise before us it was continuously cleaned all the time we were on the ship. The ship is enormous, I was still getting lost on day 13 !....we had a balcony room which was ideal for 2 people but I wouldn’t want anymore than 2 in there ! The bathrooms are tiny. Our room was cleaned every day, bed made and towels changed. We never used room service didn’t really need to. My son who is 16 said it was the best holiday he’s been on he made loads of friends and for teens it’s great, you can give them freedom knowing that they are safe on the ship. There’s a curfew of 1am and security are very strict, which is good. The main dining room was fantastic..lots of choice and food always hot. We had anytime dining but ended up booking for 8pm each night as we found two waiters that looked after us and were amazing. Formal nights book a table or you will queue for ever ! We ate in windjammer on sea days for lunch, food is great however it’s too much like a canteen for me and we always struggled to get a seat. We tried Izumi one of the nights, it’s entertaining and the food is amazingly tasty. The rest of the bars and cafes on the promenade were very good. We booked our own trips as the RC were far too expensive. The gym is well equipped and you can watch dolphins whilst on the treadmill ! Not everyday you experienced that !....All the ports we stayed in were lovely and most were a walk from the ship. The entertainment was good, the bands were excellent as were the dancers and singers. Grease was a good show. Negatives for us were the amount of people on the ship. Sea days you struggled to get a sunbed and had to wait for ever the get a drink in the pool bars. The champagne bar and balero bar were always full and we always struggled to get a drink before dinner. For me a holiday is all about dining al fresco but there’s no-where to eat outdoors at night and even if there was it would have been too windy. If you get the opportunity do the silent disco it’s great fun. I had a lovely time and glad I’ve experienced a cruise but I don’t think cruising is for me..too busy and noisy and I could get 3 five star holidays for the price we paid. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was the only cruise out of Southampton that fitted our time slot before returning to Australia. A beautiful ship but just too overwhelming with 4,500 passengers. Absolute chaos when docking at a tender port....expect a LONG wait ... Read More
This was the only cruise out of Southampton that fitted our time slot before returning to Australia. A beautiful ship but just too overwhelming with 4,500 passengers. Absolute chaos when docking at a tender port....expect a LONG wait to get off the ship. Almost impossible to find a sun bed. Despite written notifications not to leave belongings on chairs unattended for more than 30 minutes - this ruling was NEVER enforced to our knowledge. The Adult swimming pool stated the maximum depth was 4' 9" - I am 5' 5" and could not even stand in the water..... if towels are not returned at the end of the day - expect a $10 charge PER TOWEL added to your account. Have been cruising for over 35 years and have NEVER seen a ship charge for Fish and Chips on the deck ($10). Our main complaint was over the Sabbath service which was highlighted in the daily programme as being held in the Library. A few of us went along to this very public area where there were passengers on the internet, choosing books and doing jigsaw puzzles. There was NOTHING prepared for us and could not believe we would have been expected to carry on a service in a Public area. All other cruise lines have offered a private room and providing the necessary items. On reporting this to a Manager at the Customer Service Desk - she responded by saying 'IT WAS A SELF-LED SERVICE'!! My response was how could we do that without the 'tools'. Very disappointed with her attitude and dis-interest. We were second sitting in the Dining room and could not fault our waiters or the food. Probably the only two highlights of the cruise. The ship entertainers were lack lustre - the dancers out of sync - comedians average. The only worthy production was the Ice skating show. Shore excursions were too expensive so did our own thing. i wonder why cruise ships always stay shorter hours for a very interesting destination and much longer for a 'grotty' port. To sum up I can see that the INDY is all about 'MONEY'. Charging for every possible item they can. Cruising ethics have changed substantially over the years - so disappointing! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
No problem with the ship, cabin spacious and clean, food was very good. We had the premium drinks package but initially felt as though staff reluctant to serve your drinks particularly in the dining room but this was remedied over the ... Read More
No problem with the ship, cabin spacious and clean, food was very good. We had the premium drinks package but initially felt as though staff reluctant to serve your drinks particularly in the dining room but this was remedied over the cruise although shiraz was not included in a premium package but staff keen to sell you a bottle!. Dining room table allocated was poorly situated resulting in waiters squashing past and catching you with trays but after pointing this out we were moved to share a table which we didn't mind. Main dining room let down by serving tea and coffee in the evening in chunky mugs...not acceptable in a formal dining room. Windjammer buffet dated and canteen like but the food was varied and palatable Entertainment was good but not brilliant, not a patch on Norwegian cruise line the pianist was very repetitive after hearing him a couple of times. On board photos poor not proffesional standard. The main let down was the ports at Lanzarote (Arracefe) and Tennerife (Santa Cruz) as they are not attractive or interesting areas And the good places like Madeira were only half day stops docking late morning/early afternoon which left little time to take in the sights. Our cabin boy and dining room staff were good but felt overall that there was not enough staff and you were not getting that personal service as experienced on other cruises.staff didn't seem to know the basic info and contradicted each other when asking for advice. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We picked this cruise for the itinerary but as we’d cruised with RCI once before felt confident in our choice of cruise company too. We soon found that service & quality have gone downhill. Let’s start with the positives- ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary but as we’d cruised with RCI once before felt confident in our choice of cruise company too. We soon found that service & quality have gone downhill. Let’s start with the positives- Happy bar staff (most of them!) Wonderful cabin steward Pretty good shows & headline acts Good choice of food in buffet Negatives- Firstly “My time dinning” was never at my time, never enough tables/seating available even if we wanted to book night before & were always happy to share. So basically it was always their time dinning not our!! Very poor service in MDR, slow, Luke warm food at best, lack of speed when clearing for next course, never a waiter around to take drinks order, no such thing as a wine waiter anymore, vegetables to accompany the main meal non existent (& when asked for extra 9 times out of 10 they never arrived), never enough pool bar waiters around, poor value for money with trips, expensive drinks, & lastly rip off salon prices! Need to seriously up the standards as I think they’ll lose a lot of regular cruisers as nearly everyone we spoke to were extremely disappointed with RCI. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
husband and i got there early after staying in a hotel over night so had to be out by 10am so drove to ab parking great start took cases off and walked 1 minute to ship for our second cruise with rc ,embarking early as 10.40 am very ... Read More
husband and i got there early after staying in a hotel over night so had to be out by 10am so drove to ab parking great start took cases off and walked 1 minute to ship for our second cruise with rc ,embarking early as 10.40 am very smooth early signs ship looks very tired but had a lovely time cabin was 1888 the last cabin on the ship on the 12th floor very roomy balcony cabin everywhere clean lovely sheets very crisp ate in main dining room 10 out of 14 nights had my time dining beautiful food but slow at serving as they have a lot of tables to do but well worth it, ate breakfast some mornings on deck 3 in mdr as its help yourself which is fine, windjammer is lovely help yourselves lovely breakfast just wish they had trays so you could carry a few items at once, but finding a seat is pot luck its all about timing as to what time you go have to work out but views are lovely in there and presentation of food is great , shows are not to bad but not go wow factor, ice show is lovely well worth a look ,bingo some afternoons by pool and in star lounge of an evening ,plenty childrens karioke too much , went to meet and mingle on second day won shopping bag and baseball cap on raffle only about 30 came shame really as over 100 signed up, activities was good played crazy golf couple of times watched flow rider which was very good .casino was good very friendly, met plenty of friends on board mainly in smoking area on deck 11 also deck 4 otherwise you dont really meet the same people twice if you dont smoke ,we used adult pool and adult spar pools never over crowded pool very cool sea water some times a bit green but attendent said it was fine but ok daytime entertainment was hit and miss but theres a lot of everything for everyone read cruise planner that get delivered to your room every night tick off what suits you otherwise you miss things , bars are good quick serving you ,cabin steward yan was lovely cleaning all the time replacing tea and coffee all the time making towel animals every other night, staff are all chatty can not do enough for you nothing is too much trouble for any of them went on a few trips with rc and done our own thing on other stops ,great to sit on balcony with a drink and just look out at sea now for moans our room on deck 12 was lovely overall but during the night the cleaners are scraping sun loungers and chairs up on deck 13 waking us up so i would not go back to deck 12 again but would use rc again Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise mainly because it was going on the two weeks we were off and after a Baltic cruise on Celebrity Eclipse last year my wife fancied somewhere a bit hotter....so the Med fitted the bill perfectly and we liked the sound of ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because it was going on the two weeks we were off and after a Baltic cruise on Celebrity Eclipse last year my wife fancied somewhere a bit hotter....so the Med fitted the bill perfectly and we liked the sound of the places we were visiting. We also have an 11 year old daughter and so also liked the idea of RC being more ‘family friendly’. Little did we anticiapte this meant that children would either be left to roam the ship out of control....or be left to run around - or sometimes crawl around - the entertainement lounges while others were trying to enjoy an evenings entertainment. It wasnt all bad news though so in the time honoured tradition of reviews I will summarise the suggested areas: Embarkation: Excellent. Airlines could learn a lot from this. We arrived at Southampton, our luggage was taken from the boot of our car, there were 39 - yes, 39 - check in agents and we were walking up the tunnel on to the ship and were enjoying a welcome drink in the Playmakers Bar within less than 15 minutes. Ship: Cleanliness was outstanding, as was the service we received from our cabin steward who worked tirelessly every day and who was suitably rewarded at the end of the trip. Cabin: We had a balcony view which was fine, albeit a little smaller than our Celebrity cabin last year and I’m definitely not a van of the drop down bunk bed that seems to be about a foor above your nose when you go to bed at night..! Dining: We had anytime dining but we actually only ate in the main dining area a couple of evenings because it was difficult to pin down a specific time to eat each day depending on the trip we were on, and then if you hadn’t booked the queues were quite long. Once you were in the service was really slow as well which meant that, on the times we ate, it couldntake around an hour and a half to eat your meal....and that was without a pudding..! We preferred the Windjammer which gave a massive range of options which our daughter preferred as there was much more choice for her and she could pick and choose and then try something different if she didnt like her first choice..! The only problems with Windjammer was the difficulties getting a table. Sometimes you coud walk round the restaurant four times before finding a tabke, particularly for breakfast and lunch in sea days. Food was grat though....although the service, paritcularly from the drinks waiters was poor....but I’ll cover that later..! Entertainment and Activities: Plusses.....theatre entertainment was excellent. Brilliant 80’s band, Mick Miller the comic on the last night, Paul Zerdin that won Americas Got Talent, a great Grease show. And the shows put on by the cruise theatre company were of a good quality as well. Minuses.....silent discos were a shambles. One was at 2.45 in the afternoon...! The one in the main promenade took 30 minutes just to get a set of headphones, then there were only two tracks being played, and both seemed aimed at the teenagers. We stayed about half an hour and gave up. They would have been much better in one of the lounges as well rather than everyone being crammed in the promenade where you were also blocking people getting through. This was also the problem with the ‘promenade partys’ which looked great but again you were all crammed into the same area outside the shops. We were also really disappointed with the only ‘Party Under The Stars’ that they put on. It looks beautiful outside when its lit up but, again, most of the music we heard in the 45 minutes we spent outside was geared towards the 15-21 year olds who were the main ones on the dance floor while the older ones watched on. They have teen clubs....why were they not catered for there...? Service: This was the biggest difference between RC and Celebrity. I found that, on the vast majority of occasions, the staff on RC felt they were doing you a favour by serving you. There was rarely a smile and we both felt that it didnt make you feel welcome at all. There were a few exceptions however and these tended to be from either the Caribbean or Philippine waiters who were always smiling and always friendly. We found that the Asian waiters were the ones that were less than friendly. I would stress that there is no racial overtone to this...it is merely an observation from our experience. I must single out Marvin and Clive (who we nicknamed Trevor because of his amazing likeness to Trevor McDonald) who were outstanding and a pleasure to meet. A shame that it cant be said of many more of their counterparts. Ports and Shore Excursions: We only went on two excursions. Gibraltar and Malaga which was the dolphin cruise. Both were fine but expensive. On the other ports we chose to make our own arrangements but they were all enjoyable. Back to the main issue....children, of ALL ages. I have an 11 year old daughter so I have no problem with kids being on the boat and I understand that in the summer holidays it will have a large number (1300 on this trip we were told) but the way they were behaving left me shocked at times. Clearly the parents had no respect for other cruisers because they had no control over them at all. In the swimming pools it was down to the life guards to chastise them for doing everything that they weren’t supposed to. But it was in the lounges that were the problem, particullarly the Star Lounge where we would end most evenings because they had two great bands on, Vibes and Pulse. If you walked in at around 9 the place resembled a creche with kids running amok aroud the dance floor and also around the room where waiters were carrying trays of drinks. The parents just sat ignoring everything and carrying on drinking. The sort of behaviour that would associate more with Butlins rather than a cruise ship. We were also told by our cabin steward that the older children were getting into fights one the higher decks and that the security guards were working overtime to tray and gain control. I was flabbergasted at parents leaving children of 11 and 12 unaccompanied until 1am which was when the ‘curfew’ was supposed to start but which was hardly ever adhered to. Overall, we love cruising and whilst it didnt ruin what was a brilliant holiday, this was DESPITE Royal Caribbean and not because of them. I would never travel with them again and I would recommend to everyone that doesn’t like the sound of this type of experience to do the same. Go with Celebrity every day of the week.....which we will be doing next year..! Disembarkation: Brilliant again. We were sitting in the lounge waiting to be called at 7.45am and we were sitting in our kitchen havng a cup of tea, 90 miles away in Bushey, at 10.00am. Try that at Gatwick or Heathrow..! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We last sailed on Independence in July 2016, which we enjoyed thoroughly, hence the repeat visit. During the refurb in April 2018 RCCL added extra cabins to the ship, what a mistake! The ship is now cramped, the Windjammer is constantly ... Read More
We last sailed on Independence in July 2016, which we enjoyed thoroughly, hence the repeat visit. During the refurb in April 2018 RCCL added extra cabins to the ship, what a mistake! The ship is now cramped, the Windjammer is constantly overcrowded and you struggle to find a table at meal times. The gluten free section had reduced by half since our prior cruise. The standard of the dining room food has also deteriorated. Security guards have been employed to deal with the feral teens running (literally) around the ship. Public spaces are smaller, there are insufficient sun beds to meet demand, I waited 3 hours one day to get a subbed in the sun. The staff were amazing but the ship and facilities were overcrowded and wait times were like those you’d expect high season at Disney .. this is no longer a luxury holiday, more like a cheap all inclusive Spanish 2* resort! The entertainment was dated, the shows unchanged in 3 years (although still very good), the comedians came out of the 70’s with jokes unsuitable for the 21st century and for family audiences. The musical acts were poor. The only saving grace was the ports of call, which were fantastic. The tours via the ship were over priced and we didn’t do any organised tours. We did DIY tours with a bit of google help and were very successful, our spend for 2 adults and 2 young teens for a 2 week cruise was less than £800, not one penny of which was spent on the ship. We won’t be repeating with RCCL! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Staff - couldn't fault the staff for the most part they were exceptionally good. Drinks – Royal Caribbean do a drinks package that covers everything up to the value of $14 a glass I had copious varieties of cocktails and all ... Read More
Staff - couldn't fault the staff for the most part they were exceptionally good. Drinks – Royal Caribbean do a drinks package that covers everything up to the value of $14 a glass I had copious varieties of cocktails and all were included in my package. The system was very simple anything over the $14 they let you know in advance what it would cost and you just paid the top up. Swimming pools and recreation activities - They have a wealth of things to do including water slides, mini golf, VR trampolines, splash pool. You need to go to the activities while the ship is in port unless you enjoy crowds and even then they aren't always quiet. Some activities were only open for very short periods like the ice skating that opened twice a day for 45 minutes. The adult pool was for 16 years plus which although only 2 years younger than the other ships we have been on was very noticeable and not in a good way. As an excellent addition Independence of the seas has an escape room that was really well laid out and fun although perhaps aimed at more starter escape room people not the more experienced. Biggest upset with the escape room though they don’t let you privately book it so you could be in the room with an array of unknown others. Quizzes and shows - you need to turn up between 30 and 45 minutes early to these things if you want a good seat (or in some cases any seat at all) the broadway shows were excellent but many of the other shows were mediocre at best with 3 comedians repeating each others material and a very poor hypnotist. Photo's & other items to purchase - all your pictures $250 bit pricey for me. Bathrobes $100 for one again bit pricey for me. Anything extra you may want to pay for was very pricey on Independence. Food - Breakfast Breakfast in room awful, big queues for buffets and sit down breakfast not great either. Food - lunch, snacks and late night food. Buffet not too busy but quality of food on the poor end, very limited snack options and late night food non existent however mr whipy style ice cream up by pools included in cost. Food - dinner We struggled to find options either of us would eat at main dining room gave up by mid way through cruise and ate at buffet which was never super busy but array and quality of food not great. Food - room service Food was shockingly bad. In case you haven't spotted the theme yet the food on Independence was appalling. Complimentary drinks - Squash and juice available with your meals along side water, tea & coffee. For all the positives about Royal Caribbean the food was such a large negative we will avoid using them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It was a family cruise foe Eleven of us. The Ship was lovely and the staff were real friendly. Myself my partner and 14 year old daughter in cabin,was quite small not a lot of space when they put the sofa bed down. My brother had ... Read More
It was a family cruise foe Eleven of us. The Ship was lovely and the staff were real friendly. Myself my partner and 14 year old daughter in cabin,was quite small not a lot of space when they put the sofa bed down. My brother had an inside cabin with his wife and 2 daughters of 14 and 16, not enough space to swing a cat,really not suitable for a family room as they call it,o.k if your kids are 3 and 4 maybe. Be prepared to pay for your coach or bus transfer into the towns.a family of 4 can expect another 100 euros plus on top. Make sure you have a drinks package because the drinks are an extortionate price. if you have a room on deck ten be prepared for early morning call of people scrapping deck chairs and trolleys above you,also be prepared for the gangs of kids that think its fun to run up and down the corridors shouting and screaming knocking and kicking and ringing bells late at night.oh and on the last night they find it amusing to rip all your luggage labels off your bags,and lust basically run riot.please do not expect security to do anything they are totally inept at dealing with them.They are more interested in stopping anyone getting on the ship carrying any water or wine or spirits.my elderly parents were left traumatised and had their cruise totally ruined by the constant problems with kids. wouldn;t travel withrcc again stick with P.O. a class above. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Seventh cruise with RCCL and second on Navigator. Crew excellent as usual, but seemed overworked? Dining room was excellent, so saw no need to go to speciality restaurants. Windjammer usual Windjammer, although sweets and meats fewer? ... Read More
Seventh cruise with RCCL and second on Navigator. Crew excellent as usual, but seemed overworked? Dining room was excellent, so saw no need to go to speciality restaurants. Windjammer usual Windjammer, although sweets and meats fewer? Did not try for a sunbed as by 0930 they were covered in blue towels, and stayed that way.Something needs done about hogging the beds. The ship itself really needs refurbishment. Our balcony cabin deck 8 was very clean and kept donut the fabrics and fittings are faced and worn. There seems to be a combination of sell sell sell and more of the same in the Street The dining room etiquette has gone to the dogs, anything goes on any night especially formal evenings. If you wear smart casual or formal chances are that your eating companions will be interested shirt shorts and flipflops with optional baseball cap !!! Royal Caribbean are a great cruise line and I am due to go again with them,they are lucky that the crew are excellent in dining room and cabin cleaning and that they try everywhere to give good service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We cruise with RC quite regularly so it is very easy to notice the ever increasing evidence of cost cutting each time we go on board. It hasn't quite reached the point where I would consider going elsewhere but it's very close. ... Read More
We cruise with RC quite regularly so it is very easy to notice the ever increasing evidence of cost cutting each time we go on board. It hasn't quite reached the point where I would consider going elsewhere but it's very close. Firstly, the Main Dining Room. Vastly understaffed. Can't blame the wait staff. It's not their fault that there isn't enough of them. Result is a very long wait between courses and the food is always cold when it arrives. I don't really wish to make complaints when I am on holiday but after 3 or 4 visits of cold food and long waits, we found it was better just to go to the Windjammer and serve ourselves. We found the food in the Windjammer to be of really good quality so we didn't miss the MDR at all Secondly, the atmosphere on board had way too much, sell, sell, sell. I appreciate RC is a business and needs to make a profit but constantly making tannoy announcements for sales of this, sales of that, does start to get irritating. Adding 18% to any and all drinks is a bit cheeky. Especially as most of the time I had to go to the bar myself due to the shortage of waiters.There is also a shortage of bar staff. Doing away with providing shampoo and conditioners is a bit stingy. I would rather pay a bit extra and have these provided as opposed to having to bring my own. Also, the ship is beginning to look a bit worn and tired.. Lots of broken seats in the lounges and carpets with frayed edges getting caught on peoples shoes. And one common gripe, there are simply not enough loungers for the amount of passengers on board. We did see a few arguments caused by guests who left towels on loungers all day even when they weren't being used. On the plus side, the cabins are kept spotlessly clean by the stateroom attendants. Two of the headliner acts were good. The comedian and the ventriloquist . The singers and dancers seemed to be just going through the motions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Chose this cruise because it was the only one that fitted our itinerary and schedule and liked the fact we were in St Petersburg for two days. The staff were friendly and the service was excellent especially in the Minstral dining room. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was the only one that fitted our itinerary and schedule and liked the fact we were in St Petersburg for two days. The staff were friendly and the service was excellent especially in the Minstral dining room. The dress code was not adhered to and it was disappointing to see some men going into dinner wearing shorts, tee-shirts and sandals whereas the ladies made the effort to dress nicely. Many services which are standard on other cruise lines were either not available or carried additional charges for example, there were no tea/coffee making facilities in the cabin therefore incurring room service charges if you wanted an early morning cuppa before leaving the cabin. We appreciate that all cruise lines will attempt to sell you extras however we found that Royal Caribbean take this to the extreme with their constant hard sell of everything from drinks packages to holidays, many of which we felt were grossly overpriced. This, to a very large extent, took the shine off the holiday for us. We pre-booked our St Petersburg 2 day Grand Tour with Alla Tours through Trip Advisor and it was fantastic. It was very well organised and very reasonably priced compared with Royal Caribbean’s tours. Our tour guide Alexandra was amazingly knowledgable and friendly and we had a comfortable 16 seater bus which enabled our driver to park nearer to the places we were visiting. Our balcony cabin was adequate with good storage space. Overall a nice ship with friendly crew. Value for money? be prepared for your credit card to take a hit for what we considered to be the very high cost of compulsory gratuities and additional charges compared with some other cruise lines. It would have to be an amazing deal before we would even consider booking another cruise with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate the 70th birthday of my wife's aunt. Staff was fantastic. Could not fault them one bit. Food at Windjammer was good. Food at other restaurants was average to good. The ship is starting to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate the 70th birthday of my wife's aunt. Staff was fantastic. Could not fault them one bit. Food at Windjammer was good. Food at other restaurants was average to good. The ship is starting to show clear signs of age and being tired. And cruises like ours that was full of teenagers and kids doesn't help. The behavior of most teenagers was disgusting. Some were even having sex after dark on sunbeds. And kids would scream, run riot and press all the buttons in the lifts. Drunken or smoking Mums were ignoring their kids. It's a cruise, not a bloody creche. Ports and Shore Excursions were good. I went out on every port. We felt let down by the Spa a bit. They tried to charge us gratuity despite us having paid gratuity upfront. The entertainment and activities were good. Generally, the ship is starting to show some signs of age. Carpets need replacing. Wood in lifts needs changing in a few lifts. There are some areas with minor rust. I feel like I need another holiday to get over that one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
we have been regular cruisers with Royal Caribbean, indeed we were on Navigator in 2016, but this vessel has changed since then. It is long overdue it,s refit in January 2019, and gives the appearance of a well used 3 star hotel. The ... Read More
we have been regular cruisers with Royal Caribbean, indeed we were on Navigator in 2016, but this vessel has changed since then. It is long overdue it,s refit in January 2019, and gives the appearance of a well used 3 star hotel. The corridor and cabin carpets are worn to say the least and as there had been a virus outbreak on the previous cruise deck 7 and 8 had an interesting aroma of vomit as did our bathroom despite the deep clean. The dining was of the usual high standard as was the excellent service and friendliness of the hard working waiters and room stewards. The itinerary is excellent , although Palma on a Sunday is a ghost town. Entertainment and activities were the standard fare, the in house dancers and singers good. the visiting artistes , several of which we had seen before, were also very entertaining. The Ice show spectacular. The main problem is that there appears to have been a loss of "cruise Experience" the ship is tired, the dress code rubbish, high charges and blue towels spread on empty sunbeds. We had booked Navigator again in Autumn but are having serious doubts about stepping back on board. A pity such a great cruise line through cutbacks and money , money , has on this vessel gone too far? Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
BAD POINTS Cabin - misleading description and dated Entertainment - very poor overall Seating for party of 5 almost impossible especially in entertainment venues On board prices - ludicrous Return journey deliberately ... Read More
BAD POINTS Cabin - misleading description and dated Entertainment - very poor overall Seating for party of 5 almost impossible especially in entertainment venues On board prices - ludicrous Return journey deliberately made slower , if normal speed had been maintained it would be possible to fit in another stop . Lied to us about a compensation agreement and have even changed it again since . Very dissapointed overall as have always praised RC Going back to P&O for next cruise Not worth booking with RC again even with compensation voucher as we would have to spend almost double just to get a few quid knocked off . RC seem to have made everything about money rather than quality . Again , very dissapointed . GOOD POINTS The majority of the general Staff were excellent , The food was amazing as always and Dining Staff were phenomenal . Big Thank you to them Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
So our first ever cruise is over. Let me suggest, that cabin 8087 should never be rented out, other than to the deaf or those that plan on partying late. The Centrum area, to which only a thin wall separates is certainly not ... Read More
So our first ever cruise is over. Let me suggest, that cabin 8087 should never be rented out, other than to the deaf or those that plan on partying late. The Centrum area, to which only a thin wall separates is certainly not soundproof. So one is living as with a constant ghetto blaster radio turned up next door. The ship services alleviate this by closing the nearby fire door and limiting the party to 10:45 PM. This is not so great with 2 kids and rising at 5 AM for port excursions. A silent party (day 6 update) where guests partied with headphones afforded our first normal night of sleep). We have complained daily, but there was no real solution implemented. I am not sure why the party is not held in other areas of the ship designed for that purpose, but I read that the Centrum became an entertainment area during the 2013 refurbishment. The person responsible should certainly be invited to sleep in this room for a few weeks. I hope his helps someone, it seems to late for us, as the ship was full and no other cabins were available. I am not sure why the parties simply continued in the Centrum area, until 10:45 PM. 9 PM would have been ok as a time limit for me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose Independence of the Seas having been on the RCI previously and were really disappointed. We went on in June 2018 just after the re-fit. The re-fit was really just about putting more cabins into places which had previously been ... Read More
We chose Independence of the Seas having been on the RCI previously and were really disappointed. We went on in June 2018 just after the re-fit. The re-fit was really just about putting more cabins into places which had previously been public places so we found that there were a lot more people than there were seats, sunbeds, lunch tables, etc. You had to arrive at the shows 20 minutes before the show to be sure to get a seat (not a good one - just a seat!!!) The quizzes ran out of question sheets, even if you arrived well before the quiz was due to start. The photo gallery was such a hard sell that even though I wanted to buy photos I didn't as every time I went to view them I was pounced on by staff trying to sell things to me so I couldn't look at my photos. No self laundry service either and I had to ask our stateroom attendant for everything which we had previously been given as part of the service. The food was only average too, such a shame as previously RCI had been head and shoulders above Princess, I have now booked with Princess for 2019 and really looking forward to it. :) Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We choose this cruise having had a great time in 2016; however we were really disappointed.The ship has had a refit with the inclusion of new cabins which have had a detrimental impact on the service, the ambiance and the experience. The ... Read More
We choose this cruise having had a great time in 2016; however we were really disappointed.The ship has had a refit with the inclusion of new cabins which have had a detrimental impact on the service, the ambiance and the experience. The cabin was good, clean and as before. The cabin boy Hugh was a star. We chose anytime dining and ate early 6.15 each evening. The service was good however the food was a little hit and miss. We ate breakfast in there occasionally but gave up after queuing for 15 mins ! We did Windjammer for breakfast it was busy and a little hectic at times, the food here was great and so was the choice. The entertainment was the same as 2 years ago. The team were enthusiastic and Joff was his usual brilliant self. The headliner shows were poor apart from 3; which was a shame. There was absolutely nowhere and I mean nowhere to sit after the shows. We were wandering from one place to another looking for seats! No one wants to sit in their cabin when you’re on holiday. The Star lounge bar was on one occasion not open after dinner, the room was full of guests waiting to be served. The bar service here was slow, the waiters were great though really hardworking especially Marvin. Vintages was the same however again no seats to be had until 11.30ish Alexandra was lovely, super efficient and welcoming The ports were good but again getting on and off was a nightmare, queuing was the norm. We travelled with family who have cruised with RC more than 30 times and they were of the same opinion. We had booked for next year but are in the process of cancelling we will not be sailing on the Independence again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Just got off the Indy today from a 14 night Med cruise. This was our 3rd Indy cruise. We've done 20+ Royal Caribbean cruises, but the writing for us is on the wall. In the recent refit the ship has been seriously kiddified. ... Read More
Just got off the Indy today from a 14 night Med cruise. This was our 3rd Indy cruise. We've done 20+ Royal Caribbean cruises, but the writing for us is on the wall. In the recent refit the ship has been seriously kiddified. Waterslides, virtual reality trampolines and climbing frames have been added. The gym reduced in size and the deck 12 walkway around the front of the ship removed to add cabins. The deck 4 and 3 labyrinth disco has gone making way for Izumi and inside cabins. The chapel is now an escape room. In all 120+ cabins added with public areas reduced. On some evenings there wasn't a single seat in any public area to be had. If you are loyal to Royal, the concierge lounge is gone, with D and D+ trying to cram into the old D lounge. The old concierge lounge is now exclusive for top suite and Pinnacle guests. On the plus side Mihee Heo, the D concierge is delightful. The food quality and menus have improved dramatically and, without fail, the staff were superb. If you are travelling with children or teenagers, the Indy will fit the bill. However, for us, it's time to move on as every refit brings similar results. I would not sail on the Indy again. However I'm sure that many will love it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have been on this ship before , and I was anxious to see how much the refit had improved the experience ! It was immediately apparent that the ship had a few useful extras . As we already liked it as it was before , we were delighted ... Read More
I have been on this ship before , and I was anxious to see how much the refit had improved the experience ! It was immediately apparent that the ship had a few useful extras . As we already liked it as it was before , we were delighted with many of the improvements , but we missed the previously relaxing Champagne bar . Unfortunately it was also obvious that there had been many economies , particularly with the staff . The queues were everywhere . There was also an acute shortage of seating . It was impossible to get a seat anywhere after the show finished . Who wants to spend the evening in their cabin on holiday ? As for the food in the main dining room .... HORRENDOUS is an understatement ! The choice was very limited , the taste was akin to cardboard . Complaining was a complete waste of time . As an example , when we were served hard , tough , black jacket potatoes for the third day in a row , we complained to the head chef . We even showed him the standard of the one from that day . He said that it was not the fault of Royal Caaribbean , but the standard of potato that they got from the current supplier . I pointed out that you can get exactly the same result if you cook too many potatos for lunch , re cook it before the evening meal , and then reheat it before serving it up . Yet he still insisted it was the fault of the potatoes ...imagine ! Much of the food was warm rather than hot , much was barely cooked too . Both my wife and I lost weight ! Who on this earth wants to come back from a cruise and find that they have LOST WEIGHT ! ! ! I will never again travel on the Independence of the Sea . ! Unfortunately with the best will on this earth , I cannot recommend this lovely ( on the surface ) ship ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It was our first time on a cruise for a special occasion and was recommended the independence of the seas as it was child friendly. Unfortunately we were very disappointed as my daughter was only allowed in a very small part of the ... Read More
It was our first time on a cruise for a special occasion and was recommended the independence of the seas as it was child friendly. Unfortunately we were very disappointed as my daughter was only allowed in a very small part of the water park and not allowed in any of the swimming pools due to having a swim nappy on. My daughter who loves swimming was not allowed in a swimming pool for the whole 2 week holiday and for us that was difficult and uncomfortable when the temperature was 30c nearly everyday. There was no where to change a nappy om the entire ship which meant i had to change my daughter stood up in a toilet or on the floor of the toilets or go back to our cabin which wasnt always close by and the children's menu in the dining room was limited and never changed for the whole 2 weeks. The small room in fuel had a small amount of toys but my 21 month old soon grew tired of the limited toy selection. I would not recommend this ship for children under 3 years old and we certainly will not be re booking. It should be made clearer regarding facilities for young children and the fact that they are unable to go swimming which is ridiculous. The shows were very good but could have had more as there was only 3. Our cabin was very small but that is what an inside cabin is like and we expected this. Our room was always cleaned well. The entire ship was clean and staff were generally friendly apart from a very ride lifeguard regarding the pool situation and spoke to my husband very rudely. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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