October 2015 - Independence of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
I was very excited to go on our Caribbean Cruise on Independence of the Seas. The reviews for the ship had me expecting a fun-filled cruise with lots of entertainment and activity. It was not our first cruise, but it was or first with Royal Caribbean. While I enjoyed the amenities like a movie screen in front of the pool and 7 hot tubs on the pool deck - the lack of available service because of the ship catering to so many different private groups was more than frustrating. We constantly had to hunt down service for things from drinks, to activities, to even getting our food and drink refills at dinner in the main dining room. In our past cruising experience, I've never had these issues, I've always felt catered to on my vacation.
The other big issue on this cruise was lack of entertainment. Everyday the lounges were primarily closed with "Private Functions", even going so far as to not have a show one night in the main theater. I understand that there is probably a huge benefit to booking private groups on the ship, but for the first time on a cruise, I felt bored.
Royal Caribbean really dropped the ball on overall customer service. I'm sure the private groups had a great time, but I'm doubtful I'll return, hot tubs or not.