September 2015 - Independence of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
We arrived at about 11:15 am and was in the Winjammer by 11:45. The cabins were released/open at exactly 1:00pm. Luggage arrived hours later. The arrival/check-in process went very smooth. Very pleased with my cabin. Two things that I did not discover on the first day that might help others is: room temp thermostat is next to bathroom door, and to hear announcements, have your intercom turned on (you can adjust the sound). It is located between dresser and mirror. I kept mine on the lowest volume. It will play music all the time. Our cruise went to Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Labadee Tip: There is a shuttle that will take you to the far end to the water toy area if you choose to go to that area. I think there were 3 areas for the BBQ/eating pavillion. We made the mistake of not really knowing where to go even tho we looked at a map and followed signs. We were escorted to the area we wanted to be which was the farthest area, which was helpful. I did not take any money with me, but I think they would like tips. Our stop in Jamaica didn't start out well when we were told that we needed a picture ID. They really didn't check for it when we got off the ship... I think for your own protection if you "needed it for some reason" while off ship? Dunn's River Falls does have restrooms at both the top and bottom, which I think is helpful info to have in planning. We snorkeled in Grand Cayman and also swam and petted the stingrays, which I had done before at a Bahamian island on my own with friendly stingrays in shallow waters in the wild (so to speak). I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Snorkeling in Cozumel was absolutely awesome with the exception of being with beginners and having to stay with group and moving at a slow pace, but there are currents which I am very familiar with and understand why they have inexperienced snorkelers strictly follow instructions. It would be better to go out on a smaller private boat for people wanting to be a little more 'free'. I have snorkeled a lot in my lifetime, living in FL, and snorkeling the FL Keys and Bahamas and Conzumel had the clearest water with visibility of 120+ ft! Of course weather affects visibility to some degree. We enjoyed the shows onboard. The main dining room was nice and I enjoyed the food. I have heard others say they have had better, but it was adequate. Our servers were Allan and Dagim, and they were a delight!