Neil & Ida Down - Answered a Question by Young (04 Feb 09 14:48)

I'm glad that you are excited because it will add to your first cruising experience so..... I haven't been on Independence but have been on Explorer and then the cafes are free in the main unless they are selling alcohol or speciality coffees etc. Not sure about the ice rink times but they are open when a show is not coming up or, of course on. The pools are often closed, netted over when there are only a few people around and in bad weather and, I believe ever night. You will have to wait to see what the ship's policy will be for a late night or "bedtime" swim but I would doubt it. The wall has it's opening times in the daily news as are the operating times of most things on the ship, most people mark the items of interest so that they don't miss out on what they most want to do. The fee drinks stations serve, fruit punch type, lemonade, iced water and ice teas and at certain times orange juice and tea and coffee and these are all free, all the time. I'm sure you'll get one or two more clarifications, Lisa, just as I'm sure that you are going to love it.

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frost - Answered a Question by Young (04 Feb 09 15:05)

Hi lisa myself and wife are doing the independence of the seas cruise on the 9th may for 14 nights if you go later than that will find all things out for you .

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young - replied to frost (04 Feb 09 21:55)

Hi we will be on the same cruise! We too are going on May 9th. Thanks to everyone who has responded to my question.It is very much appreciated.Lisa.

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Tunks - replied to young (09 Feb 09 20:18)

We are also on 9th May. Have you registered for the Meet & Mingle???? There are about 14 of us so far. We were on Indy last June so, provided nothing has changed in the meantime, here is some of the information you require: Yes you can swim until quite late - I think it's about 11.00 unless there is a poolside party going on which, of course, is dependent on the weather. The skating sessionsare usually everyday but at certain times. The other times the skaters are rehearsing for the shows. Climbing wall has restricted times. It will be in Cruise Compass. Same for The Flowrider. Golf is 24/7!! The cafes are all free - tea, coffee and hot chocolate. If you want a "speciality" coffee you will have to pay (eg cappucino. latte etc). Some soft drinks are free - iced water, lemonade, fruit punch - you will have to pay for coke or something like J2O. There will be a kettle and tea bags in your cabin. A good idea is to take either your own mug or a mug from the Cafe Promenade to use - otherwise they give you paper cups! Take milk from the Windjammer at breakfast and put it in your fridge and, hey presto, you can have a hot drink any time you want. They're a bit mean on the number of tea-bags and coffee sachets in the cabin so, again, take what you want from the Cafe or the Windjammer and store them. Wash your own mugs and hide them in the cabin cupboard or else your steward will "helpfully" take them back to the cafe! There are also free ice creams available from the side of the pool on Deck 11 during the day. This stops around 7-8 in the evening, depending on the weather (ie later if it's warmer). There is also free fruit at various stations on the pool deck - apples, bananas, oranges etc. However there is always something available either in the Windjammer or at the Cafe Promenade virtually 24/7. See you on board - Alison & Jack.

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Young - replied to Tunks (09 Feb 09 21:53)

Hi, Thankyou for answering every part of our question, it's difficult to find out little things like this from RCI's website. Our daughter has asked about a midnight chocolate feast in the windjammer,does this actually happen?!? I think she may have dreamt this one up! 13 weeks and counting - very excited. I dont know if you have any kids, ours are 11, 8 and 1 years old. If you have any hints or tips on cruising with kids it would be much appreciated. Lisa.

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Tunks - replied to Young (10 Feb 09 14:16)

We have never had a midnight chocolate feast, although I too had heard about them. There is usually one midnight buffet at least (depending on the weather) but I have heard that they are considering dropping them because so much food is wasted. I personally don't think they give you enough notice so that you don't stuff yourself silly during the day! Too old for small children now. Just waiting for the grand-kids - and waiting, and waiting, and waiting!! However the people we have met on board have said the facilities are wonderful. I think there is a ruling that your 1-year old cannot go in the swimming pool unless potty-trained. I'm not sure they even allow those swim-trainer pants. Worthing checking the RCI website on that one. I certainly believe that if you register your older two in the Club, you won't see them for the whole fortnight! Enjoy.

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Amoss - replied to Tunks (10 Feb 09 11:01)

Hi, snap we are also going on the 9th May which just happens to be my husband's 50th birthday, hence the cruise. This is our first ever cruise and we are excited and also apprehensive about what to expect. We will definately have to look into the meet and mingle. Heather.

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Ritchie - Answered a Question by Young (04 Feb 09 16:51)

Lisa I was on the Independence in June and we did the 14 night Italian Mediterranean itinary, We loved everything about this cruise and everything about the ship. The ice rink is not open all the time but the times will be listed in the Cruise Compass when it is open. During the two week cruise there were two different ice shows and they are most definately a must see. Tickets are given out for these shows which are free , the tickets are issued simply because of the large amount of passengers on board and Studio B where the ice shows are held can only seat a limited amount of people. Neil has answered your other questions. I do have a dvd of The Independence which I bought on the ship if you would like to have a look at it let me know. We lvoed this ship so much we have again booked to go on her in May to the Canary Islands.

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Neil & Ida Down - replied to Ritchie (04 Feb 09 20:10)

If you are going to communicate with each other please don't put any addresses on here but do it via the agents above. ( sorry if this is superfluous information) .... Neil.

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Brown - Answered a Question by Young (04 Feb 09 20:09)

Hi Lisa, we are going on Independence in July and have been a short cruise on Voyager. Not sure if you have been on the RCI website, but if not, then do have a look - there is mountains of information there. Check out all the drop down boxes under the various headings at the top of the screen e..g "before you go", "on board esperience" etc Enjoy!

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