Conflicting emotions about my second cruise on Royal....
Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: January 17, 2015
Cabin Type: Inside
Cabin Number: 7689
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 2 years ago
After having completed a wonderful Alaskan cruise with Royal in July 2014, this cruise left something to be desired. I found the several theatrical productions to be much smaller (boat size?); although, the ice show was a nice addition. We found that things scheduled for kids did not run on schedule most of the time (movies poolside, activities in the kid's/teen areas, etc...), which was frustrating for parents and kids. Members of our group had a near-death experience on the SNUBA tour offered by Royal. If my son-in-law had not been a certified diver and known what to do in the situation presented, both my 11- and 13-year-old grandsons and son-in-law would have been killed by the extremely unprofessional SNUBA attendant assigned to their group (since fired). This is not an exaggeration. Fortunately, after being able to save his sons from disaster, he himself recovered after several hours in the ship's emergency department. This impacted all of our party, of course, as we were shaken and concerned for all involved. Many statements taken by ship, port authorities, insurance, etc., and some compensation given (more expected to come).
On a lighter note, our room attendant, waiter, and dining room assistant were great! The food was great some nights and less so other nights, but overall satisfying. The gym was superb! Clean, up-to-date equipment! The FlowRider was a hit with our teenage grandchildren. There was plenty to do on-board during sea days. The food in the cafes around the boat that was included in the price of the ticket was good, plentiful, and easily accessed. The variety in the Windjammer buffet was excellent. There were plentiful deck chairs available if only the enforcement of not saving seats with towels had been enforced. I guess that's just a common courtesy thing people should police on their own out of respect for taking turns, especially when not really using them. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and will probably book another with Royal at some point in the future.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
If wanting to play trivia at the bar areas, get there early. However, they are usually running 2-for-1 drinks the hour before, so it's hard to get a seat if you're not drinking. In Labadee, hard to find water after buffet closes at 2. Take some off the boat if you get the water package.