December 2013 - Independence of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
The ship is huge, but we didn't feel like we were on a marathon to get from one place to another...the design is good.
The entertainment was fantastic....each night 2 shows for early & late seating...singers & dancers every night (not just for the production shows). Atrium parades also great.
The food was good. The Windjammer area wasn't cleaned up quickly enough & some tables were left that way for a long time. That was a turn-off, since people needed tables. It wasn't as clean as I like.
In general, the ship needs refurbishing. Some carpeting was stained, upholstered items had stains & some furniture had chips & discoloration. Time for a facelift!
Having been on 35+ cruises, Princess Cruises is cleaner...there's always a crew doing work, polishing, vacuuming, dusting, etc. Didn't see much of that on the Independence.
However, this ship had shows that made Princess look like a beginner. Actually, while in San Juan, the Emerald Princess was alongside us & their passengers were on the balconies & decks, dancing & singing to our pool deck event. I've never seen anything like this & I think our cruise director is one of the absolute BEST!
The pool deck tables & area wasn't kept clean & with so many people, this was unacceptable, especially on a holiday cruise.
Princess has a good system with pool towels. Each cabin has these towels, so there's no need to wait in line & to sign in/out. The cabin steward knows immediately when they've been used or are missing.