Good itinerary, beautiful ship, but mediocre food and entertainment
Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Western Europe
Review summaryThe main thing Royal has going for it is their ships. They are absolutely beautiful, especially the new ones. Their promenades are something that no other cruise line offers and I absolutely love it. IT's a place to shop, for the entertainers to perform and it's just a great use of ship space. The staff are all friendly, helpful and kind. But that's where the raves stop. Royal nickels and dimes you on EVERYTHING. Everything is literally extra money - even their escape room. The entertainment was not diverse enough. Standup comedian after standup comedian. The ice shows were AMAZING however. The food is a disappointment, even in their specialty restaurants. I work in a restaurant so of course I'm more picky than most, but that said, I enjoy a good chain restaurant on land from time to time, and their food is not even as good as a chain restaurant. And it's almost never hot. The Windjammer Cafe food is always lukewarm! I work many private events at my own restaurant and we always make sure all of our food is hot for our guests. Royal doesn't seem to care about this. They also broke down their specialty pancake grill a half hour early one morning. And it was on a day at sea where no one had anywhere to be. That is completely unacceptable. When you tell your guests breakfast ends at 11, that means 11. It doesn't mean 10:30, 10:45 or 10:55. It means 11. When I complained, the staff did everything to accommodate me, so kudos to them for that. But it doesn't outweigh all the problems I saw during my cruise. I had a wonderful time, because that's who I am. I make the best of wherever I am and enjoy the situation. However, I'm not sure if I'll cruise with Royal anytime soon.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Be prepared for mediocre food that is often served tepid. I think this is a problem with all of Royal Caribbean, as I've sailed on other Royal ships and never found the food to be anything other than average at best. The specialty restaurants need a lot of work too. Giovanni's Table needs to be retired or completely revamped. The food was worse than in the dining room.