Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Contributor Level: Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

Transatlantic Southern Route

Sail Date: May 01, 2016

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

This was our 2nd Transatlantic cruise during the same time of year, late April, and by far a much better one than the 2015 cruise. That year we went northern route departing Boston and never saw the sun the whole sea time of 8 days. We expected cooler to cold weather but for almost the entire 14 days which included port stops we experienced rain. This time the weather for the first 8 days was warm to almost hot. Sea conditions where unbelievable calm for the entire 13 transit days expect for one; which was bearable. Should note that the captain took a longer route, 150 miles more to avoid some turbulent weather that we would have experienced if we followed the intended route.


We had concerns on what time to book a departing flight out of Heathrow, not knowing what to expect once we arrived Southampton.  We booked our transfer with the cruise line, which cost us $101.00 ea. We where off the ship at 7:30 leaving the port at 7:45 and arriving at Heathrow at 9:05 A.M. Everything at the port was very well organized and the check in at Heathrow was a breeze.  We booked our flight with our travel agent and got a much much better price than if we booked it ourselves. We flew British Airways back and where very much pleased with their service. Professional and gracious are only 2 words that can describe the service that where given to use. We landed in Boston in the early evening and off the plane and through customs in less than an hour.

Cabin / Stateroom
Standard balcony room. Room attendant (Dahny) kept room well supplied. Balcony bigger ( 8 x 8) than most ships we have been on. Everything worked fine in the room. We thought being on level 7 would not be as good as being on the upper decks that we normally choose, but were surprised at how centrally we where located. Recommend having a room in the middle of the ship if possible. Felt no waves when there was some.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Outstanding. So well organized at both ends. 10 stars.
Ship Quality
Ship is updated every 5 years, but seemed a bit rough for undergoing renovation just 3 years ago. Some seats in the theater and main dining room where worn, containers in the room where showing wear, faucets could use replacements.
One thing though, they where very serious about making you use sanitizers before entering into any eating facility. They also had quite a few people wiping down hand rails, table tops, gym equipment almost continuously. Didn't seem they wanted to take any chances with having any virus outbreak. A+ on their efforts.
Destinations and Excursions
Took one that was called Sea Trek where you are taken out into a bay area and are given a helmet that has air pumped into it while you are walking in 20 ft. deep water hanging onto a hand rail. Didn't know that I was claustrophobic until I went down into the water and had to come right back up. For the short amount of time that I was down there it seemed pretty cool and everyone one else seemed to have a good and enjoyable experience. You were also given time to snorkel before or after doing the walk. I think the excursion was worth the $100 even though I had a rough time of it. Not recommended if have ear or nose issues.
Onboard Activities
I have to almost give a half frown here. Seemed that the ship focused on a lot of facial and body improvement talks along with your typical jewelry b.s . Should have had more movies shown and at better times than were scheduled. At least one more lecturer. Some of the events seemed unorganized, starting late. For the last 7 days of the cruise we were without knowing what was going on back in the states. It was explained to us that the cost of providing any CNN/MSN type of coverage was quite expensive; however if they could just do a highlight of news/sports it would be better than listening to someone talk about jewelry and body sculpturing.
Children's Programs
not affected
A few hit and misses here but we were treated to some great entertainers. One disappointment was with the cruise dancers and singers. They only did 2 shows and one was a rehash of one that we saw on another ship. Also I don't think they were as good as some of the other dancers we have seen in the past.
Service and Staff
The staff for the entire 13 days where great. Everyone seemed to always greet you with a smile, even though you knew that it was required of them. But they made you feel welcomed. Our Assistant waiter Adam Yanis delivered exceptional service at dinner time and even when he was working in the Windjammer he would take time to joke and have a conversation. Another waiter, Collins Fernendos, who filled in for ours one day came back every night after and recommended meals for the following day. He even brought different deserts that he thought we would enjoy. If there is any complaints about dining it's not with the food or staff, it's with other cruisers who just seem to forget they are not the only ones on the ship.
Food and Dining
There were hit and misses. Supposedly since the ship was staying in Europe the menu had more of European flavor than if it was sailing the Caribbean for the last 3 or 4 days. Since my standards aren't very high I just enjoyed it all.

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