April 2014 - Independence of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
This was a first time experience for my fiancé and I. I had only been on a 3 day Ensenada cruise on Carnival prior to this. It was a blast and I highly recommend it.
- Dinner in the main dining room was absolutely fantastic every night. We felt no need to pay extra for the specialty restaurants. We had my time dining, which we recommend since it let us be on our own schedule.
- So much to do! The ship is unbelievable. We were never bored that's for sure.
- The people. We met so many wonderful people on board. And the staff were all so nice and helpful.
- The shows! Go to the shows! I loved every single one of them. Especially the farewell show the last night....it was a full on high quality broadway production.
Not so favorite things:
- Pool was crowded. We never got to go in the pool because it was so ridiculously crowded. We waited till the late evening to use the jacuzzi when no one was there.
-Lots of teens on board, I don't know if it was because it was close to Spring Break (probably was), but the teens were everywhere. It kept us from using the Rockwell or wave runner because the lines were just too long.
- Not as all inclusive as it seems. We spent another $700 on the ship....plus all the money we spent at the ports. Wasn't as cheap of a vacation as we expected.
-Getting back on the shop from port- I'm sure there are reasons we don't know, but we thought the times to get back on the ship from Port were so arbitrary. One day was 3:30..another 4... Another 5:30. Didn't give us as much time as we would've liked.
Cayman Islands- We went scuba diving with a private group and it was the best scuba diving I've ever done. The only down side is that we didn't have time for much else. We grabbed a quick bite on our way back to the ship. I highly recommend you do not eat on the island if you can help it. It is outrageously expensive. But if you're going to, try the conch..it's their thing.
Jamaica- we decided to venture on our own which we quickly learned was a bad idea. Right after you exit the port gates, it gets really shady and all the Jamaican people hound you. So we went back to the port and rented a taxi. It cost $150 split between 4 of us (cheer than any excursion), and we had a fantastic time! It was my favorite day of the cruise. Our driver took us wherever we wanted. He pulled sugar cane right out of the ground and carved it for us to suck on. We bought some native fruit from a little old lady on the side of the road. Saw a sugar cane plantation. Went to local jerk chicken place where they were bbqing up a ton of meat. It was the real Jamaica experience where you get to see culture which is what we really wanted. Couldn't see all that on any of the excursions. Highly recommend this.
Labadee, Haiti- this was our least favorite port because it just seemed like a great way for the cruise line to get you to spend money on excursions. There was no was to go into town or anything. It was just a beach day. We had our masks from scuba so we were able to snorkel a bit on our own, but they would yell at you if you went out too far which is where the good stuff was. Otherwise, we just laid on the beach. I really wanted to go parasailing but it was $150 for 6 min of air time! Are you kidding me? So plan on spending money, or laying out.
Days at Sea- good times. We tried to take advantage of everything. If you do that, you'll have a great time.
Overall, I'd highly recommend it. It is what you make it. The ship was gorgeous, the food was good, there was plenty to do. It's not a relaxing vacation by any means haha....but lots of fun.