March 2014 - Independence of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
We booked this cruise for our honeymoon, i have cruised with royal before but my wife hadn't cruised at all, in fact she though she would be afraid and get sick. She had the greatest time of her life.
Flight from JFK was delayed due to airport traffic.
Cab rides from FLL airport are very expensive so beware if staying a day early or late. Renassaince hotel was awesome. Took a cab to cruise port around 12pm, we were on the ship by 1230ish. Lucky to get a table at windjammer. We hung out at the pool drinking until the drill and while we waited for our luggage. Our bags showed up at about 5pm although they were down the hall and not in front of our room. Drill was a lot smoother than i remember last time. We went back to the room to shower, Delvin, our stateroom attendant introduced himself, he was awesome the entire week.
Water was choppy from Ft Lauderdale to St Maarten and from San Juan to Labadee. The latter was bad to a point my wife had to take a nap because she was feeling woozy. My only real complaint was that the woman at the cruise port asked us if it was a special occasion and even though we told her it was our honeymoon, nothing special was done. They even sat us at a table of 8. The dining room staff sang "happy honeymoon" but that the waiter's doing as he was told by our tablemates that it was our honeymoon. The rest of the ship experience was awesome. Next time i think i will not opt for a drink package. I got the soda package and don't think i drank $56 worth of soda in 8 days. The drink specials to me aren't worth it either, we drank a decent amount but the drinks are relatively cheap compared to most bars in New York. We spent a total of $350 between us on drinks.
St. Maarten is awesome, good shopping, got a Michael Kors watch cheaper than the store on the ship. Beaches were beautiful. Ate at the barefoot restaurant, solid food, cheap beer. Got 2 beach chairs, and a bucket of Presidente beer for $20.
St. Kitts was cool, did the train tour. If you like sight seeing, it is great. A lot of brush fires and hurricane destruction on the island. Good place for cheap liquor, cigars and cigs. While leaving the cruise port, the ship knocked over one of the boats that tie/untie the ropes to the dock. Both men were killed. It took about 4 hours to recover their bodies. After the announcement, the night was very quiet for the most part. However most people moved on pretty quick, kind of weird but i guess when you are drinking and partying you tend to forget.
San Juan was ok, to me it is just a US city and no different then going to Baltimore. We opted for the Bacardi tour, it was cool, the bus ride over was more interesting then the acutal factory. Bacardi bottles are only $10 at the gift shop though.
Labadee was disappointing, if you aren't jet skiing or zip lining you might as well stay on the boat, which i think i will do next time. The beaches are rocky and the bbq isn't as good as the windjammer.
The dining room was great, food was good, Romeo, our waiter was amazing. We ate at Chopps one night and it was probably the best overall meal ive had in my life, especially for $30. I work at a Johnny Rockets so of course i had to check it out. It was good for what it was.
Ice show was awesome, Mike the cruise director was great with the Love and Marriage game show. the last the day the Wave runner crew did a demonstration which was a lot of fun.
The flight was home was a disaster, our first plane almost crashed and had to go back to FLL, 2nd plane was unfit to fly then the 3rd plane had to wait for a new pilot. Beware of Jet Blue out of FLL. Their planes have some serious mtc issues.
All in all great cruise and we hope to be back for our anniversary.