Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Purser

7+ cruises


Helpful Vote

3 out of 5

Not our usual experience

Sail Date: December 19, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Inside

It takes a very bad experience to be a bad cruise!  Afterall, you're not cooking, cleaning, and everyone is there to serve you during your time aboard.  The entertainment was the best we had ever experienced, and the variety was appreciated!  Finis was amazing, the comedian was a great way to start That said, this cruise was lacking a bit compared to others we have been on.  The tendering process at Belize was not acceptable, and it was not appropriate to emphasize that the self-carry/early disembarkation process would not include elevator service, only to have large groups exit the elevator was irritating.  The ice rink was only available during one of the two "at sea" days, and it would have been nice if they had let you know in a cruise compass that the second day of the cruise would be the "last chance" for the ice rink!  The cruise director was the best we'd experienced yet though. 

Embarkation and Disembarkation
Embarkation was a breeze, and very pleasant. Disembarkation? Disappointing. The port of Ft. Lauderdale is not pleasant. The authorities there were rude. While waiting in the disembark area for my children, after we were separated because they were held by the cruise officials so that the ramp could clear before more people were released to go down, the port officials kept barking at my husband and I to keep moving. I cannot go off and leave my children, nor could my children go through customs without their parents. I was barked at by 3 different officials to "keep moving" "you cannot stop here" but I can assure you without doubt that the disorganization of their processes and separation of families was not the reason their lines were slowed. On the cruise itself? It was especially irritating to have the cruise director announce the elevators would not be available for those choosing to self-carry their bags. Yet, we had two large groups come off the elevators right in front of us.
Ship Quality
It's worn a bit, but clean!
Destinations and Excursions
Cozumel was great. Belize was also very good, very different than Cozumel, but good. The disappointment was the tendering process at Belize. In port from 9-4, it is not acceptable to be in line for a tender ticket by 7:30am, and not arrive ashore until 11:30am. They only operated the water taxi's out of port, and they were not keeping up well at all. Very disappointing, and a waste of time to sit around waiting for your tender ticket number to be called. I have tendered on other ships and never found it to be as slow as this one.
Onboard Activities
The ship was full of opportunities, but the lines were long for things like the flow-rider. Also, disappointed that the ice skating rink was only open twice for the public--one of which was during our dining time. Seemed appropriate to be open during both "at sea" days.
Children's Programs My children didn't participate.
Amazing entertainment. Great variety--high quality--from skaters, to dancers, to comedians. Finis was especially a highlight.
Service and Staff
Santana and Rose, at table 266 were very good. I will say that we didn't see our cabin steward as much as in previous cruises, but things were always in order. I don't know the name of the gentleman who helped us on the night my child got sick? But he came quickly, helped us get the sheets changed and we were very appreciative.
Food and Dining
Very good.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
See comments about disembarkation.
Cozumel, Mexico
We enjoy just getting off the ship, grabbing a taxi, and finding a beach. We did not know there would be SEVEN ships in port that day, and that we should have reservations even at public beaches like Mr. Sanchos. Reservations!!! Get a reservation.

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