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Independence of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,776 Reviews

My kids loved it more than Disney World

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Shelbs97

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean

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.

Shelbs97's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin Interior 9375

Deck 9, between the elevator and back of the ship. On the end before a hallway, quiet and couldn't hear anything outside. Two pulldown beds and two twins which convert into a queen/king.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Labadee was gorgeous with numerous beaches and clear water. It was the kid's favorite port of call. The bar was a disappointment. Only one kind of frozen drink and warm soda from bottles as mixers.

Blue Water Beach was okay, the transfer and admission into the beach was $34 for adults and $24 for kids. I booked at the last minute after getting rained out in Nassau. Kids didn't like this beach because as they walked through the water the sand swirled up and they couldn't see under water.

A man from our ship had a heart attack in the water and the lifeguard was nowhere ot be found. Thankfully some men from the ship who were enjoying the beach rushed to help.

For a beach transfer it was okay for the price but I wouldn't do the all inclusive. My kids acutally asked to leave after a couple of hours.

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Nassau is busy, there were 6 ships in port when we were there and the weather wasn't great. We walked to nearby Junkanoo beach, and paid $10 for two chairs. It started raining shortly thereafter. We went to nearby Bamboo Tiki Hut and paid $72 for 6 mozzarella sticks, some spinach dip and 3 small rum punches.

We took a cab back to the port and he wanted to charge $28 for less than a mile (seven passengers in the van).

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