Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
1 cruise (first)

Review
1

Helpful Vote
1

3 out of 5

Great service, but they shouldn't accept chartered cruises

Sail Date: February 08, 2016

Reviewed: 9 months ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Oceanview

The ship and staff were fantastic, food was awesome, and the entertainment was fabulous. Our cruise was late to start due to a prior death metal cruise that they had chartered the week before. The ship and boarding process was a wreck due to the damage control from the prior cruise. Our cruise was over 4 hours late to leave port due to unloading scaffolding from the heavy metal concert platforms; and the morale of the customers did not lighten until the 3rd day. It is sad that other customers have to suffer due to other charter cruises' mishaps.

Cabin / Stateroom
Very clean and more spacious than we expected. The room service and staff are very friendly and pleasant. They do a great job.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Issues with 3 hour delay getting on the boat with LITTLE communication on why we were being corralled like cattle into different holding rooms. Also when we got back to the US there were only 2 Customs officers for almost 4,000 people. Customs should have better staffing so that we don't have to wait over 2 hours in line to get off the boat.
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Haiti was nice, but the vendors on the island are very pushy. Some of the workers will give you a hard time and tried to get additional money out of us that we already paid for in our packages/excursions. It is sad when your employees are trying to rip off your customers.
Onboard Activities
Children's Programs
Entertainment
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
Our waiter Fernando was absolutely fantastic! He even brought his guitar one night and sang us Happy Birthday and other songs. Truly a selfless person and made our eating experience at Table 555 fantastic.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
Labadee (Cruiseline Private Island)
The gentleman working the desk for the water park gave us a hard time about not having tickets (although we had a wristband that proved we bought the water park/roller coaster combo). He also tried to get us to pay more money since we didn't have tickets (although our names were on the list for paying and the coaster took our tickets). The rest of the excursion staff was fine, but it isn't nice that the local Haitian staff try to scam you out of money and make you feel like an idiot (when you know they are just giving you a hard time). Outside of the cruise compound is very sketchy and poverty ridden. We saw truck loads of people being shipped to the cruise port to join us for lunch which was nice, but I didn't feel safe walking around without a RC employee.
Falmouth, Jamaica
There are NO beaches near by to lounge at. You have to PAY for a sketchy shuttle bus to take you to a near by beach, but the town itself is in a high poverty area. I did not feel safe outside of the cruise compound and wouldn't go back to Falmouth. The vendors are very pushy and not friendly.

Tip

If it is raining on your port day there aren't many things open on the boat to do to fill time (e.g.- the casino and bars are closed, shops are closed, etc.). Bring your own entertainment or just know that you may be limited on things to do in the event you are rained out of an excursion.



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