April 2014 - Independence of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
How about this. An extra day. An extra port. No extra charge. Now that's the makings of a great cruise. The Independence of the Seas is a great ship. It's a sister ship of the Freedom of the Seas, and equipped just as nicely. Our cruise had 3,660 passengers, but you never really felt the crowds, unless you arrived at the very last minute for a stage show. Then you would still be able to see the show but perhaps not sit together.
It's RCCL all the way, with lots of activities, lots of food, great service and a great first impression. The clientel can change on RCCL depending on the season, but traveling in late April almost assures one of a primarily adult passenger list. RCCL seems flexible enough to accommodate most needs. I've even seen a companion animal on board (a large golden retriever).
Food is fairly good, and if you want two appetizers, two entrees and two deserts, well, they will just keep on bringing them. I know... But I don't recommend it. When I got off the ship and passed through Customs, when they asked me what I had to declare, I replied "Eight pounds."
And, I had a new agency help me with the ticketing and they were simply delightful. Alexis at Cruises Only was my agent, and she has not only assisted me with all the pre-trip planning, but even called back post-trip to see how it went. That's service!!. I'll be back for more with that level of commitment to service. But not until I've shed that pesky eight pounds.
Right after this cruise, the ship headed for Europe so it won't be back for some months. As we were boarding, we enountered an English couple that were doing the eight day eastern Caribbean tour and then were carrying on for the thirteen day Transatlantic, docking in Dover. Now that's what I would call a "twenty-one pounder." It would take a real sense of dedication to survive that journey without porking up. Even the comedians in their stage acts joke about the volume of food consumed on the ship - one actual statistic 10,000 eggs per day are consumed onboard. Thank goodness for the Flow Rider where you can work off some of that heft.
Speaking of which, I'm proud to announce success in both the knee board and the stand up boarding. What a rush. Now, if there's any 13 year old kids reading this, you are wondering why this dude is so excited. But try doing it in your sixties. Entirely different experience but even more fun.
All in all, a very nice cruise, with all the bugs worked out by the agent before ever arriving at the dock.