Not a fan of RC after the first try

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 76

Overall rating:

3.5 out of 5
Independence of the Seas

5 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 26, 2018

Ship: Independence of the Seas

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 6451

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

We decided to try RC after NCL and Carnival thinking it'll be yet another step up, but were rather disappointed. Even going across the atlantic with 95% of people on the ship being >55 years old was more fun than Mexico and Bahamas on a supposedly party boat. We might try it again, depending on the destination, but the lack of personal touches, secondary entertainment (other than main shows), buffet size and options prevents me from recommending RC (Independence, specifically) over NCL (Epic) or even Carnival (way cheaper).


5 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
MDR was great - good food and good options. Buffet was underwhelming - even Carnival had better options. Drinks @ $13 while the deluxe package covers up to $12 is ridiculous, imo. You pay at least $300pp up front and then have to pay more for each drink..

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The sports court Really needs to be completely covered with a net, similar to how NCL does it. I saw multiple pieces of equipment fly overboard.. and they care about the ocean by not giving you straws with your drinks? Silly.


3 out of 5
Main shows were pretty good, although cannot reserve or see in advance what they are. Ice show was good as well. Music is just ok, comedians were pretty bad, and there was very little Other going on.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Mixed bag for staff. We were so spoiled with NCL and Carnival room staff, we still remember their names. RC guy showed up on day 1 and we barely saw him after that. There was no set time for room cleaning, we only got 2 towel animals during the whole trip, even though we saw others with new ones every day. And yes, we tipped the guy every day, but at the end I wondered - why bother?

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
One thing I noticed about Independence is that it's very long, but only when you walk the hallways. Promenade is pretty short, top decks feel short, and overall there just don't seem to be a lot of things going on. I feel as RC got greedy and stuffed this ship with too many rooms instead of open areas...

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
You'll notice a trend here - I'm comparing this ship to NCL Epic, and it's again, just OK. Shower and toilet is in the same area so 2 people cannot use it at the same time. Only 1 sink. Ventilation is Awful. Storage space is limited mostly due to poor design. I'm ok with a small size of the cabin, when there is so little space to put away your clothing for only 5 days, then it's definitely an issue; especially when other companies do it so much better.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5

Cococay (Cruise Line's Private Island)

4 out of 5
Construction covers more than half of the island, and from the looks of it, it's going to last a while. They have some grand plans for it, which looks really cool, but as of December 2018, it's pretty terrible. Overall it's a nice spot to hangout for a day though. We had a good time.


5 out of 5
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