March 2016 - Independence of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
My husband and I just returned from our 5 day cruise on the Independence of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale. We sailed March 7th-12th.
We were very disappointed to find thousands of "spring breakers" on this cruise. I wasn't aware that our cruise was an advertised party cruise for college students by a third party travel group. I think this should of been conveyed to all passengers or been a charted cruise.
Bars were five or six people deep most of the time. We purchased the drink package and spent most of our cruise/vacation waiting in a 30 minute line just to get a drink. We tried going to other bars on the ship and the college kids had taken over every single bar. Even way up in Oliver or Twist lounge. Because of the packed pool deck, we didn't even have waiters coming around asking if we wanted cocktails. We had to physically go to a bar each time, and wait 30 minutes to get one drink! Ridiculous!
We witnessed multiple incidents of young peoplebeing disrespectful with very loud conversations with cursing and filthy language. We had college kids two cabins down with a loud bomb box, although that did stop after day 2 of the cruise (I'm sure security came and shut them down). These same kids somehow figured out how to open the dividers between balconies. They opened them all the way down, banging on our balcony door from the outside. Scared me to death hearing someone knocking on my glass door. I wasn't worried about pulling the curtains because we were out to sea and I knew nobody could see in my cabin. Not true the 1st night of sailing! Our cabin was 7626.
Our stop in Labadee was no better, we were not even able to get a drink on the island. The college kids took over the couple bars there and after ordering their drink, would not leave the bar itself. They would just stand there so as not to give up their spot in line. They would just drink there until they were ready to order another!
We finally decided to go back on the ship to enjoy the pool area and have a few cocktails without all the crowd. Totally not fair that we had to sacrifice our beach day because of a bunch of drunken kids.
They also took over the casino bar once the other bars on the ship were closed. The $572 we spent on the drink package (one select and one premium) was not worth it because of the hassle to get a drink. We also never once saw a cocktail waiter coming around for service.
The worst part was, I tried two weeks before sailing to change my cruise to the Oasis, leaving the same port a day earlier. Not because of the spring breakers, because we didn't know about them until we got on the ship. I tried to get a longer cruise because our scheduled allowed it last minute. I really wanted to transfer my fare over to the Oasis and then dish out more money for the additional days. I was told that could not be done, even though the Oasis had availability and the Independence was fully booked. Whey wouldn't RCCL want the addition money with us paying a higher fare and put us on the Oasis? If a cabin is going to sit empty, why not on the 5 days cruise.
Very disappointed in the the 2,000 drunks on the ship. With that said, the ship was one of the most beautiful we have ever been on. The Main Dining Room food was acceptable, but nothing to write home about. The lobster was very good on night 4. I have to say the wait staff was excellent in the Main Dining Room. Our cabin steward was very good and the bartenders did as well as can be expected with the volume they had on that cruise.