Good itinerary, beautiful ship, but mediocre food and entertainment

Independence of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Western Europe

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 16

Overall rating:

4.2 out of 5
Verified Review
Independence of the Seas

12 Night Canaries Adventure (Southampton Roundtrip)

Sail date: September 14, 2019

Ship: Independence of the Seas

Cabin number: 9612

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

The 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.

Embarkation

5 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5

Entertainment

3 out of 5
Too many stand up comedians! Can't they get some dance troupes or bands for the MainStage shows?

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Everyone was super friendly and hospitable.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The size was perfect and our cabin steward always made sure it was tidy!

Ship tip

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.

Ports of call

Southampton (London), England

4 out of 5

Vigo, Spain

3 out of 5
Not much to do. The beach is really pretty but you can't swim because the water is too cold!

Lisbon, Portugal

5 out of 5
So much to do and see! Wish I had more time.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

5 out of 5
My favorite island on the whole cruise. The beaches are amazing! Papagayo is awesome. We did a catamaran in the morning and then took a private tour in a van around the island and it was incredible. Just breathtaking views! Neither excursion was through the ship. We used Viator.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

4 out of 5
There wasn't much I wanted to do, so we went to the beach but what more could you want to do on a tropical island anyway?

Tenerife, Canary Islands

4 out of 5
Another beach day for me... can you see a theme with me?

Funchal, Madeira

5 out of 5
I feel like we could've used more time here. Do the toboggan ride! We did a combo tour through the ship and it was worded poorly. It made it sound like we were going to the botanical gardens which we didn't. We had a wonderful lunch near the ship. Great day and would definitely go back here.

La Coruna, Spain

3 out of 5
Nothing to do here. Don't know why the ship stops here. We walked around and saw the Tower of Hercules, but honestly, this should not be a stop on a cruise.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
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