Great Summer Cruise

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 19

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Independence of the Seas

14 Night Spanish Mediterranean (Southampton Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 10, 2019

Ship: Independence of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Overall our cruise was great. As it was in the school holidays, it was obviously going to be very busy with children of all ages. In the main we personally had no problems with anyone but I do feel that the 1am curfew is too late. My expanding waistline proves that the food was good! We go as a family with ages ranging from 84 to 9 with a teenager in between and find that there is more than enough to do for everyone.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Good It was very smooth booking in and boarding the ship. However, for some reason the staff at Southampton are now instructed to seat everyone in specific rows as they enter the hall and yet, when different Crown and Anchor tiers are called, it becomes a free for all as people scramble over one another.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
We usually eat in the Main Dining Room in the evening but after having a few bad meals (which we complained about at the time rather than slate it on our return) we decided each day to see what was on the menu each day before deciding where to eat. The food was better in the MDR the second week, and the service was excellent. The food in the Windjammer buffet was more to our taste this cruise and that was excellent and there was always plenty of choice. We didn’t use the speciality restaurants as there was always enough for us to choose from in the other complimentary ones.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We didn’t use the ‘back of ship’ activities this time, but stayed around the pool area. Our daughter did use Splashaway Bay and loved it. It was good to see the LifeGuards on duty all the time, adding that extra bit of safety.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
The guest acts were very good and included a group, a hypnotist and a well know ventriloquist. Yes, the ice shows are always exceptional, however as with the ships own shows, they are the same ones we have seen since 2009. It would be nice for the ‘in house’ shows to be updated.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
Our daughter only went to kids club a few times as she had friends on board so spent more time with them. The few times she went, she did enjoy it.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our stateroom attendant was excellent and if we had any queries re extra towels etc, he sorted them out immediately. The staff in the Ale and Anchor pub were very good as well. What always amazes me is that bearing in mind how many people they deal with week in week out, they always seem to recognise names and faces which adds that extra personal touch.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
We have been on the ship a number of times so we are used to the layout, even after the refurb in 2018. The staff try their best to keep on top of the tidying and cleaning which in our experience they did admirably.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
There were three of us and we had an aft cabin. We always book early to try and get this specific cabin. There is more than enough room for us in a position that we love which is quiet as there are few people walking past. People complain about the soot ending up on their balconies on aft cabins but I have to say we didn’t have any at all.

Ship tip

Take a picture of the day in the lift every day as it changes. There is so much going on that you will be taking copious amount of photos and they will all blend in together unless you can find a way to separate each day. I do this as my first photo every day.

Ports of call

Southampton (London), England

5 out of 5
It was embarkation day. We didn’t actually do the town, just boarded the ship.

Vigo, Spain

4 out of 5
Nice to get off and have a short walk. We didn’t do an excursion.

Lisbon, Portugal Did not visit port

We stayed on board as we’ve done it many times before.

Gibraltar (U.K.)

5 out of 5
This is one of our favourite ports. It’s easy to walk into the town and as it is part of the U.K. it is all very familiar. A nice relaxing port.

Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands Did not visit port

We stayed on board at this port.

Barcelona, Spain Did not visit port

We stayed on board at this port.

Ibiza, Balearic Islands

1 out of 5
Very easy to get into Ibiza town via coach. We had a walk around the harbour and it was nice not to be rushed as we were there until 11pm. Again, we didn’t do an excursion.

Valencia, Spain Did not visit port

We stayed on board at this port. The information in the Cruise Compass made it sound quite complicated to get into the town and we decided against it as we had my elderly parents, one in a wheelchair, with us. It was only as the day was going on that we discovered it would have been easy to get into town. By that time, it was too late to do the trip.

Malaga, Spain

5 out of 5
A lovely port. Within walking distance to the beach and the town. We had intended to do the horse and carriage ride, but there weren’t any available. There were many shops and bars within walking distance and it is a lovely clean port. Very accessible for wheelchairs.

Cadiz (Seville), Spain

4 out of 5
Very easy to get too. Once you get into the labyrinth of little streets, in the middle there is a little market and also the Cathedral which is lovely to see. There is a carousel in the square which is reasonably priced for the kids.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
We normally do self assist but decided on getting off a little later this year. It was a very smooth operation and easy enough to find out luggage. The only reason why I didn’t give this 5 stars, was because we had to wait for one of our bags as they’d been put in the wrong place.
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