Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Contributor Level: Purser

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

Excellent experience

Sail Date: January 19, 2013

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Inside

Being our first cruise, we found this exceeded our expectations. From the stateroom to the dining room and everything between, the Royal Caribbean knows how to provide the best travelling experience. Now we know why people say they are hooked on cruising! Our stateroom attendant kept our room tidied each morning and evening, and left a towel creation that impressed us each day. The meals we had at the Windjammer were so varied we never had to eat the same thing twice, but because it was so good, we did! The meals in the dining room were exceptional - and made only more special by the people who waited on us, and made every evening a magical time. These crew members went above and beyond to provide a personalized and caring experience, sharing tidbits of their lives and making us all feel so special! The entertainment was enjoyable, but it was challenging to find seats unless you could arrive at least a half hour before showtime. The Royal Promenade was always fun to stroll, and there was delicious baked goods at Cafe Promenade and an awesome pizza/salad bar at Sorrento's. The activities available are endless and in 8 days we still didn't get around to doing all we wanted to. An ample library provides plenty of reading material while sunbathing. The days we docked were also exceptionally enlightening; tried to do a tour of each island stop when possible to get a feel for the local culture. We chose the "My time" dining and that worked out very well for never having to wait for our reservation. We would definitely consider a cruise again and would definitely travel Royal Caribbean again.
Ship Quality
Everything was kept immaculately clean.
Food and Dining
The staff works extremely hard to provide excellent food & service.
Cabin / Stateroom
Tip your stateroom attendant well! They deserve the highest praise.
Service and Staff
Everyone is smiling and friendly and goes out their way to be helpful.
Could not find enough time to do it all!
Children's Programs
Onboard Activities
We wished some of the game-shows were earlier, some don't start until 10:30 or later so were not able to partake in as many as we would have liked.
Destinations and Excursions
We didn't purchase cruise excursions but had a very enjoyable time with the ones we found after docking.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
It can take a couple hours from hotel to boarding ship, so leave early.
Basseterre, St. Kitts
Beware of the hagglers--- hold out for the best deal to take tours, etc. A beautiful island! Venture beyond main shopping area to find interesting and better deals.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten Things here seemed over-priced. We would have liked to tour beyond the main beach but the water taxi was the limit we could spend. Everything else too costly.
San Juan, Puerto Rico Take a bus tour of the old area then walk to explore the streets. So fascinating!
Labadee (Cruiseline Private Island) Excursions are over-priced here. Save your money and explore what you can on foot and spend the rest of the time on the beach.


Board the ship early the first day. Even though the cruise didn't leave Ft. Lauderdale until 5:30 we were on in time to have lunch and get a chance to explore where everything is before the actual cruise began. Once our cabins were ready and luggage had arrived, we were able to start unpacking. Make every minute count! Get to the ice-show and Alhambra theatre early, the shows fill up quickly.

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