Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Western Europe

Contributor Level: Purser

1 cruise (first)


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

First experience of using Royal Caribbean

Sail Date: October 26, 2016

Reviewed: 7 months ago

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Room Type: Oceanview

This trip was primarily to give my Grandchildren their first ever cruise at 1/2 term and for me to experience RC as a product having cruised with both P&O and Cunard. Most of the 1st day was spent locating myself and getting used to the lay out of the ship and understanding what was complimentary or what I would be charged for, given my budget was small. I also struggled with the dollar conversion so again was slightly apprehensive & cautious about any purchasing as I had not been allocated any onboard spending as part of the initial cruise price.

The ship was well appointed for children and there seemed to be enough room so that everyone could enjoy the experience.  I particularly enjoyed The Ice dancing performance which I thought was spectacular and both children enjoyed the theatre show Grease.  

It is natural to compare products and I guess if asked 'would I go again', I would consider it for the children but perhaps not for me which could only be down to becoming more familiar with RC and what it offers.  

All staff and the food choices (especially the free ice cream) were excellent.  




Cabin / Stateroom
Adequate - shower facility very small.
Two bunks above main double bed were fine other than there was frequent tendency to hit your head on the bunks when manovering on the bed below... The Cabin steward did offer to split the double bed into two twins, but it seemed a lot of trouble to go to for such a short trip. Any longer onboard I would certainly recommend having twin bed configuration - (which I thought I had originally asked for when booking the cruise) , to potentially prevent this occurring again.
I was surprised that there were no shower caps provided - this would have been helpful to my 9 year old grand daughter who had very long hair.. We adjusted the shower to prevent her hair having to be dried each day.
Our cabin steward looked after us very well each day and the children loved the towels being made into fun animals..
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Was very smooth. We kept to our embarkation time and were on board very quickly.. Got lost finding our way to the cabin due to I think to were we embarked and unfamiliar with entering at cabin level. However, eventually was quickly 'rescued' and an officer took us directly to our cabin, which was very appreciated.
Disembarkation was excellent and probably the best I have experienced.
Ship Quality
Parts of the ship seemed a little tired. But overall fine for the length of time on board.
Destinations and Excursions
It would have been nice to have taken the grandchildren to Brugge but too expensive. The alternative was fine and we enjoyed the shopping. Shame the weather was so bitterly cold.
Le Havre was enjoyable. The local bus driver was delightful and enjoyed speaking to the children in English..
Onboard Activities
It took a bit of getting used to how it all worked and we never did get a chance to do the 'kids club' which would have been ideal as a single grandparent with two grandchildren aged 9 & 12. It would have given me a little time and space to myself. Maybe next time. I think that due to the weather/wind being so bitterly cold it prevented the children perhaps enjoying the outside pools as much as they could have. So ideally choosing a ship with a covered inside pool may be beneficial in the future.
Children's Programs
Possibly may have been very good but never got to use them in the short time aboard.
Excellent shows. Particularly the Ice spectacular show & theatre. Brilliant performances from each.
Service and Staff
All staff very helpful and friendly.. Nothing seemed to be any trouble to them. Excellent.
Food and Dining
Children and I were very well looked after. Good selection on children menu. Food excellent.


Take shower caps and a travel iron.

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