Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Vote
1

5 out of 5

Fantastic Weather and Calm Seas!

Sail Date: September 20, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

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!

Cabin / Stateroom
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. Donnus our room steward was pleasant and took good care of us.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Embarkation was a cinch, arriving early. Disembarkation was not good. We were given numbers to put on our suitcases that were to be put out in hallway by 11 pm the night before. We were assigned to go to the dining room at a certain time, and they called the number (ours was 19). They called 1-10, quickly moved to 1-12, then 1-14, then said "We will be calling 1-16 shortly.... we waited another 15-30 minutes, and it was never called. It became evident that at that point it was a "free for all".... everyone was lining up with no regard to your number. We got into line and it was a long line, wear comfortable shoes. Once in the terminal it is a long wait, and there is a restroom in there. I noticed that the area that had luggage tags 18 and above were mostly still there, ... poor people still waiting for their number to be called. If you have too much luggage to handle on your own, go ahead and get a porter right away. We were happy we did this as he really helped us, and we gave him a good tip as he walked us through the whole thing and to our car. I think disembarkation could be accomplished in a more organized way. People who have early flights should be able to get off first, and others need a "pass with a number" to get off in an organized way perhaps. They did have coffe/tea/juice and danish in the main dining in the 'waiting area', but we had already had breakfast at the Winjammer. I don't think it can be totally organized with that many people, but it needs improvement.
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Onboard Activities
Children's Programs
Entertainment
Service and Staff
Food and Dining


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