Sail Date: March 2019
The crew was very nice and welcoming. Embarkation was lightning fast. It was the start of spring break so there were a few more college kids than normal which made the pool area busier than other cruises. The pool bar and drink ... Read More
The crew was very nice and welcoming. Embarkation was lightning fast. It was the start of spring break so there were a few more college kids than normal which made the pool area busier than other cruises. The pool bar and drink service was very slow. The Windjammer food was not great during lunch time, but breakfast was good. The breakfast sandwiches in the Pizza restaurant were the best. Dinner in the main dining room was hit or miss. Grease was great and Mo5ac was fantastic. The ice show is a must see! There was not as much live music on this cruise as previous ones. There seemed to be less activities compared to previous RC cruises, but this was our first cruise under 7 days on RC. The ship still is in great shape and clean. You would never guess it’s 11 years old. We are cruising on the Independence again in 10 months with our whole family and are excited to go back on the Independence. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was mine and my husbands first every cruise!!! This is a beautiful, well-designed ship. There is a lot to do aboard this ship, the music and shows were amazing. The ice skating show was spectacular. The Escape Room was super ... Read More
This was mine and my husbands first every cruise!!! This is a beautiful, well-designed ship. There is a lot to do aboard this ship, the music and shows were amazing. The ice skating show was spectacular. The Escape Room was super fun!!! The Washy Washy Guys that greet you upon every entrance to the Windjammer Café were very fun and entertaining!!!! The crew was so friendly and attentive to their guests. Our room was always very tidy and stocked with clean towels and washrags. We purchased the drink package (highly recommend) which was well worth the money. You could drink as much as you wanted just about anywhere on the ship. This package included, tea, coffee, soda, water and your adult beverages. It would be nice if they had more soda fountains located throughout the ship. The ports were a lot of fun, we actually enjoyed Costa Maya more than Cozumel. We enjoyed the pool w/ swim up bar in Costa Maya and the folks there were super friendly and fun. We purchased the Playa Mia Deluxe Beach Day in Cozumel which was well worth it, but the shop owners in Cozumel are a little pushy with their products. The only negative thing that I feel I need to mention is not RC's fault but we chose our vacation during Spring Break 2019 and there were so many young college students on the cruise and they were barely clothed. They overcrowded the pools and their bathing suits had very little material!!! So be careful of the date you choose to sail! Other than that....I would sail on the Independence of the Seas again and again and again!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We are experienced cruisers but have not been on Royal Caribbean for many years. Things have changed. We were greeted to over 1000 children as we tried to eat lunch on day one. I expected Walt Disney to arrive at any moment. We just ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers but have not been on Royal Caribbean for many years. Things have changed. We were greeted to over 1000 children as we tried to eat lunch on day one. I expected Walt Disney to arrive at any moment. We just didn’t expect that so many children would be on a cruise during school days and were not told to expect. Had a nice table by the window for dining however after the second night of a table of 12 next to us having a party we ate dinner at the buffet after. BTW—no dress code in the dining room. Food was so so at best. Royal Caribbean allows smoking in certain public areas including the casino. The problem is that in order to get to the theatre you must walk through the casino—our clothes smelled like smoke. Second hand smoke also drifts in the sports bar next door as well as the adjoining lounge. I think Royal Caribbean needs to re-think the customer base they really want. Looks like they are trying to be Carnival and Disney all in one but the two don’t mix well in our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Not "us". We did the Celebrity Edge the week prior. So we went looking for a cruise that left FLL or MIA on Sun or Mon. There were 3. (HAL, CCL, and RCCL). We had never done an RCCL. We have put many clients on them, and ... Read More
Not "us". We did the Celebrity Edge the week prior. So we went looking for a cruise that left FLL or MIA on Sun or Mon. There were 3. (HAL, CCL, and RCCL). We had never done an RCCL. We have put many clients on them, and they ALL love it. So for us this was research into the brand, and what it is like. It was well worth it for that alone. My personal take-aways: - Food was Good to Very Good. Buffet was HUGH, one of the most diverse we have ever seen. But it was CROWDED, and we just are NOT buffet people. MD was nice. Late seating. GREAT waitress. Food selections in MD were just OK. Not great, or diverse, but tasty. Portions were BIG (for us). Pizza (we eat glueten free) was one of the best crusts we have ever had. Other GF options were VERY hard to come by. - Entertainment was not what we like. The BIG show was Grease. A re-re-re-off-off-off Broadway thing. Well done. HUGH cast, but we MUCH prefered CEL's unique Edge type entertainment. The ice show was SPECTACULAR. Two really good bar bands. The Piano Bar was NOT Great - just OK. He was a bit goofey (Billed as comedy piano). Never finished a song - like he had adult ADHD. - The jumpie thing was broken. We both enjoyed the water slides. I did the wave thing. The adult pool was too full for us to even consider, and the hot tubs even worse. I can see where this fits multi-generational as kids pool looked really fun from the upper (granpa) lounge. - Room was ÖK". We had a last min. assignment (booked 3 weeks before sailing). Inside up front. Got what we got. Not a ton of storage. Only one receptacle. Room steward was good, but not great. Room seemed a bit small. Two BIG negatives. 1) The quantity of people. Ship was FULL FULL FULL. Not just kids, but I don't know where another 1,000 adults would have gone. Just too many people. And the NOISE and hub-bub were impossible to get away from. I realize this is a personal choice, and some LOVE all this action, so not going to call this a RCCL problem. 2) This IS an RCCL problem: Ship was FILTY. We boarded, and public areas were not clean. ie: lime on the deck from previous cruise. Carpet was visibally dirty in many public areas, and in the room. They really need to empty the ship one day every month or so and do a deep cleaning. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We just sailed on the Indy Feb 2019. Myself, my husband, and two sons (7-10yrs) had an absolute blast. The ship was beautiful. The washy washy guys at the entrance of the windjammer literally made everyone smile every day. The food was ... Read More
We just sailed on the Indy Feb 2019. Myself, my husband, and two sons (7-10yrs) had an absolute blast. The ship was beautiful. The washy washy guys at the entrance of the windjammer literally made everyone smile every day. The food was good. However... The Sky Pad (The thing my kids COULD NOT WAIT TO DO) was broken for the whole cruise. There is a "clothesline" in your shower to hold wet bathing suits. The one in our cabin was literally black with mold on it. The "my time dining" really ended up being a reservation due to the crew pushing you to keep a set time and table. The Grease show was postponed "due to medical issues" And the frozen drinks... I never remember them making the frozen drink and then just pouring the alcohol on the top?? Cococay was not done yet so the trip there was pretty boring. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We were spoiled on this cruise as we were fortunate enough to stay in a suite and enjoy all of the perks and benefits that come along with that. That being said, this review will focus on the general ship amenities/experience. We went on a ... Read More
We were spoiled on this cruise as we were fortunate enough to stay in a suite and enjoy all of the perks and benefits that come along with that. That being said, this review will focus on the general ship amenities/experience. We went on a sold out/ nearly sold out cruise during a school break and I was nervous that the ship would be overrun with kids...it wasn't. I was worried that there wouldn't be capacity in Adventure Ocean for my kids, but there was room. I was worried that the ship would be trashed with ice cream cones and pizza plates, but it was clean. I had read reviews that the food in the Main Dining Room was bland and warned my family to have low expectations, but it was good. I knew that the rooms hadn't been updated with the recent refurbishment and expected the cabins to look tired, but the stateroom attendants and other staff work so hard to keep everything clean and polished it looked nice. I had read about long lines at bars and was expecting that too - but again, not the case. I never had to wait more than a few minutes, except at the swim-up bar in CocoCay, but that is a unique sort of a place. The Escape Room was fun too - I'd recommend it. My little one loved the new Splashaway Bay. I'd recommend this ship - very fun family cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Amazing staff, amazing shows, amazing food, but please, please, please pay attention to dates of school breaks. The boat was overrun with barely dressed 12-16 year olds running wild. I'm amazed for a family ship they wont enforce a ... Read More
Amazing staff, amazing shows, amazing food, but please, please, please pay attention to dates of school breaks. The boat was overrun with barely dressed 12-16 year olds running wild. I'm amazed for a family ship they wont enforce a slight dress code and by slight I mean no side boobage from a 15 year old girl! And parents, watch your kids. We happened upon a fair share of kids on top of one another by the ping pong tables and back deck near the jogging track. Very awkward and shocking. I'm only 30 and was a bit caught off guard by the PDA of the teens. Onto the good....2 awesome water slides and a fun surfing simulator ride. But by far favorite was the entertainment. I cannot say enough how amazing Grease, Love and Marriage, and Crazy Quest were. Grease did cancel the first night so the crowd was a bit excessive the only other night it played but definitely worth it. Besides the mostly naked teens, the one other major disappointment was Coco Cay. The island beauty was overpowered by the construction. Right off the bat you are ferried from the boat through the middle of construction. While they try to separate the noise and chaos, it's just not possible as they were building cabanas right by the beach chairs. Overall, would do Royal again with my husband given there are no school breaks. As for family, so disappointed by the overly enthusiastic, hormone driven teens that we would go with Disney for family. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I had a great time on this cruise. One of the things I liked was the washy-washy duo outside the Windjammer . RC made multiple sinks available to wash your hands prior to eating. Cleanliness is a must on a ship and these reminders were ... Read More
I had a great time on this cruise. One of the things I liked was the washy-washy duo outside the Windjammer . RC made multiple sinks available to wash your hands prior to eating. Cleanliness is a must on a ship and these reminders were important. I liked the pool entertainment: the belly flop contest, the sexy man contest, the men v women contest and I'm not the only one who was entertained - all contests had roaring, cheering crowds.The staff was polite and smiling. The food looked delicious and tasted the same. I took the bus tour in Ocho Rios Jamaica and the guide, Ann Mare, shared many interesting facts . In Labadee I snorkeled; saw lots of fish and aquatic vegetation. My stateroom attendant kept the place tidy. Really, the entire adventure was a blast. And while I was away, my hometown got hammered with snow. I had fun in the sun while my friends were digging out! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Got off of Independence of the Seas yesterday – 5 nights western Caribbean (Cozumel & Costa Maya) Feb. 4 – Feb. 9, 2019. Please feel free to ask any questions. Background: Just 2 of us – my DW and myself, mid-50s from ... Read More
Got off of Independence of the Seas yesterday – 5 nights western Caribbean (Cozumel & Costa Maya) Feb. 4 – Feb. 9, 2019. Please feel free to ask any questions. Background: Just 2 of us – my DW and myself, mid-50s from Connecticut. This was our third cruise, all on RCI. Our first 2 cruises were both on Anthem of the Seas (5 nights to Bermuda in Sept. 2017 and 7 nights to Port Canaveral / Nassau in Oct./Nov. 2018). We chose this cruise as a relatively quick escape in warmer climates and on a different ship. We flew to Fort Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott. We took an Uber from the airport to the hotel (I didn’t feel like waiting for the hotel’s shuttle), and took the free hotel shuttle to the port the morning of the cruise. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 11:30 and were quickly checked in (it helps to be a gold member). Boarding started at noon and we boarded at 12:30 (again, it helps to have gold status) and it was right up to one of the pool-side bars. Cabins were ready at 1:30. The previous cruise was the annual 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, so it took the crew a little longer to get everything ready (and I think they were a little worn out, but they still did a great job all cruise). Cabin: Balcony cabin on deck 9 aft/port. Cabin was fine – in fact it seemed slightly larger than what we’ve had on Anthem (both the cabin and balcony). Only 2 power outlets to charge things which we made do with, but Anthem is much better with additional outlets plus USB ports. Our steward Lennox was terrific and made the best towel animal we’ve seen – DW called it Oscar the orangutan – he was hanging from a hanger with was hanging on the half curtain in front of the bed. Dining & Bars: We had breakfast every day in the Windjammer which was fine – the usual for RCI. Consistency seemed to be a problem. First morning I got an eggs florentine which was ice cold. The remaining mornings I made my own version of eggs benedict by grabbing a toasted muffin or bagel and putting my own fried eggs on – all of which was hot and delicious. The scrambled eggs were delicious as well. One morning my orange juice (they pour it for you, unlike Anthem which was self-serve) was hot – I think they poured it into a glass that had just come out of the dishwasher. From then on it was ice-water every morning. We didn’t typically have lunch, but did have a few mid-day snacks of pizza at Sorrento’s. The pizza was decent – better than on Anthem (full disclaimer – I grew up eating Sally’s & Pepe’s in New Haven, so my standards for pizza are pretty high). We had dinner 4 of the 5 nights in the main dining room using My Time dining (7:30 each night). Because we booked these nights/times in advance, we had the same table and wait staff, and they were terrific (waiter Ionut and assistant waiter Yehven). Ionut would take the time each night to engage in some small conversation and made us feel very welcome, and both remembered our names after the first night. Overall the food was quite good and got better each night. All of the appetizers and desserts were excellent and the entrees were pretty decent except the first night when my prime rib was rubbery and drowned in a thick, brown gravy and DW’s strip steak was overcooked and seasoned very poorly (one end was extremely salty and the other end had no salt). We both had the spaghetti bolognese (on different nights) and it was excellent. The one night we didn’t eat in the MDR we ate at Chops. We had eaten at Chops on Anthem and had a terrific meal, so we thought we’d try it on Indy. It was just as good if not better. The waitress was great (I can’t remember her name, just that she’s Russian). And all of the food was excellent, including the steaks (we both had filets) being prepared perfectly. Clearly RCI knows what they’re doing with their steakhouse. We had the deluxe drink package and probably broke even. All of the bars were terrific and we never had to wait for service. The Olive Twist on deck 14 is a hidden gem. We had pre-dinner drinks there almost every night and there were only a few people there. It’s got a great view. Sadly the bartender there didn’t know how to mix drinks – I had the worst whiskey sour and worst gin & tonic I’ve ever had at this bar. All other bars and drinks were good, including the drinks of the day. Activities & Shows: We didn’t do too many of the activities. We would have done the escape room, but not for $20 per person (on Anthem there was no charge for the escape room – I didn’t understand why there was a charge on Indy). We did play 9 holes of mini-golf which was fun (my guess is the mini-golf course was installed during last year’s rehab as it was in excellent shape and seemed new). The water slides looked like great fun – always a small line but it never seemed like a long wait and everyone came out with a big smile on their face. We saw Grease and it was excellent (almost as good as We Will Rock You on Anthem). We also saw the ice-skating show which was amazing – Olympic and national champions from around the world doing amazing things on a very small rink (about a quarter the size of a hockey rink). Cruise director Daniel and the activities director (I can’t remember her name either, just that she’s from Scotland) were great. We saw them at the Love & Marriage show, belly-flop competition, lip-sync competition, and Quest game show and all were a lot of fun, thanks in large part to them. Ports: This was our first time in Mexico. We didn’t do any excursions. For both ports, we just walked around. In Cozumel we walked the immediate area off the ship, and then headed down to Sting Ray beach. I’d read other reviews that said to watch out for all of the shop keepers who get right in your face to sell you something and those reviews were dead on. In Costa Maya we just walked around the immediate port area with all of the shops and stuff. We did see the swim-with-dolphins attraction which was great – everyone looked to be having an amazing time. We also went into the aviary which was great fun. They give you a little plastic cup with bird seed and sunflower seeds to feed the birds, and the birds are not shy about landing on you and eating. It was very neat. And when in Mexico… we had a Mexican beer at the Mexican cantina just to say we did it. Disembarkation: As usual with RCI, this was easy. We stayed in our cabin on the balcony until we had to vacate at 8:30. We were scheduled to disembark at 9:45, but walked off at 9:15. Luggage was waiting for us, and clearing customs took only a couple of minutes – we were in a taxi heading to the airport by 9:30. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I traveled on the newly amped Indy the last week of January with my kids and we had the time of our lives. I’d like to touch on some things that I couldn’t find in reviews, specifically for parents traveling with kids. Embarkation ... Read More
I traveled on the newly amped Indy the last week of January with my kids and we had the time of our lives. I’d like to touch on some things that I couldn’t find in reviews, specifically for parents traveling with kids. Embarkation from Ft Lauderdale was extremely organized and I was thankful for the large play structure for the kids to run around on while we waited. My kids were ages 3 and almost 7 and both loved Adventure Ocean. They were in different groups, which was actually good because they got a break from each other. The camp hours were 9-12, 2-5 and 7-10. The youngest age group, ages 3-5, filled up quickly at night. Capacity is 30 kids and they were always at capacity after dinner. Also, the rate after 10pm is extremely reasonable at $7 per child per hour. They also prorated it, so one evening I picked up at 10:40 and they charged me $3.50 per child. The kids activities on this ship were great and there was so much to do. The kids Splashaway Bay was great for both kids and the 2 feet deep kids pool was where my 3 year old spent so much time. It was nice that Fish and Ships had a bar to utilize, the free ice cream was right near by, and the main pools were just around the corner. So many hot tubs to use in that general area. It was a great set up. Also, Windjammer being right through the door was great, the kids could get food and get right back to the pool. I checked my younger one into kids camp and was able to do laser tag, the big water slides and sky pad with my older child. He loved all these activities. Both kids loved ice skating and the large climbing structure near the Flow Rider. We never got a chance to do the rock wall or mini golf. As far as the ice skating goes, they have blocks of time to skate. So if they’re open for skating from 5-8, go sign up for a block of time. The schedule was weird and we didn’t get as much skating time in because of it. I saw a comedy/magic show which in my opinion, was terrible. I also saw Grease, which was fantastic, not cheesy at all, I really enjoyed it and the theater was packed. I arrived 40 minutes before the show and it’s a good thing I did. People had a hard time finding seats. We did my time dining in the MDR on deck 3 at 5:30 every night. It was the earliest dining which I wanted for my kids but we had the same table by the window every night. Food was great, kids menu got kind of boring for my kids by the end of the week. I wish they would have had a grilled chicken or steak option, different pasta dishes, veggies choices like corn on the cob, etc. They basically served them “kid food” which they definitely got tired of because they ate it for lunch as well. For extras, Sugar Beach was an inexpensive fun treat for the kids. I let them get a few pieces here and there and it was well worth the small cost to treat them. The kids arcade was a complete and total ripoff. The was the only thing on the entire ship that had me rolling my eyes at the pricing. $2-3 for ONE GAME?!? At home these games are at most $.50 each. My kids begged to play in the arcade and I refused. Nope, no way. Not paying $50 for them to each play 10 games. Just no. The music on the Royal Prom was fun for all ages, the kids loved dancing. I really enjoyed the layout of this ship. Service was good, food was good, and I’ve sold my kids on cruising. Read Less
Independence of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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