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We went on the Navigator of the seas 2 years ago, it was great. Last year went on the Sea Princess, nowhere near as good, cabins smaller, less choice of food, never got to see a show always jam packed to the doors. we are hopeful that Independence will be as good as the Navigator when we cruise the med in sept.
We have been on many of the RCI ships, but have always steered clear of the big ships.
RCI standards have been droping over the years, belitza guide to cruising now only give them a 4 star rating, 9 years ago they were 5 star
if you have sailed on the ocean vilage, then your standards can only go up, you actualy have your food served to you on all rci ships instead of geting a plastic tray and joining a queue.
RCI have a sister company called "celebrity" they are the highest rated large ships on the oceans, but again their standards are droping each cruise we go on, and i am not just talking about the standard cabins, evan the suits standards are droping, we had the penthouse suite on the summit, over 2,500sq feet, and a list of defects as long as your arm
brilliance of the sea is a very good option though.
Hiya, yes i have many postives, good food, excellent staff, fabulous ship, brilliant entertainment and much more. She is huge however you never feel that you are on a ship with over 3500+ people the most we saw together was before and after dinner on the royal promenade. Many people do not like her size and prefer smaller ships so may be it comes across in their reviews or comments but surely this is a personal thing, i am sure we will have a great time. only the weather and wind at start of holiday spolit it for us as some of party had motion sickness. i did write a review around the 16th oct if you fancy reading it. go with an open mind and you will love it, take care byeee.
What on earth is wrong with Independence - she gets the majority of glowing reviews.....now if you had written 'have I made a mistake booking Ventura' I would understand your dilemma. She is big, she is glittery and she is beautiful. She takes several thousand people - but of course you knew all this before you booked her.
Of course she is a gigantic step up from OV - the service is excellent, and the speciality restaurants are sublime. You can swap over to Celebrity or Azamara but that is even a bigger step. Avoid half term and you will have a fantastic time.
Well said Aldrich my thumbs are up.
We are going on 21st October with two very well behaved young teens, which is part half term!! I knew she was a big ship, with lots of people but am surprised at the comments about overcrowding, exorbitant prices and plastic plates in the Windjammer. Even Ocean Village had china plates and cups in all eating venues! Hopefully we will be able to use main dining room for each meal or even room service. Thanks for you comments.
Plastic Plates and No TRAYS are my pet hates about the WindJammer and I rarely eat there. The main dining room has a great lunch menu called Bistro 30 on sea days.
Have just returned from Canaries on Indpendence, staff are great, yes plastic plates are dissapointing, and paper cups are very disappointing in your room with very cheap tea and coffee, prices for drinks are expensive, I suggest if your teens love fizzy drinks that you purchase the drinks package for them, it was $50 dollars and then they can drink as much as they want, otherwise it is $2.25 each drink and that soon mounts up. The ship itself is spectacular and the food is plentiful any time of day or night, and there are plenty of other options other than the windjammer but apart from the themed restaurants or main dining room all the plates are plastic, and the glasses and the cups (well melamine anyway!) But other than that you should be suitably impressed and very well looked after! Enjoy!
As stated to Dunscombe, there is nothing wrong with Independence, however I do not agree with your comment about Ventura, I would certainly pick it over the Independence, we had a lovely balcony cabin, with lovely fresh ground coffee pack in our room with china cups etc. I think that the formal dining was far superior on Ventura than on Indy, less rushed and more courses. If the weather was bad at least there was a covered pool area, and the drinks are soooo expensive on Indy, and the restrictions re bringing drink on board are sooooo over the top, unlike Ventura. Travelled on Ventura and Independence in half term and my only comment on Ventura was that they did not have a dedicated adult pool and Independence did. Other than that, really the children were not the issue.
We cruised on Independence in August 2008. This was our second RCI cruise - our first one being on Legend of the Seas in 2006. Independence is a fantastic ship, on the overcrowding issue - at times, it is busy in the bars, but this is generally as the restaurants are emptying, and when the theatre empties, within 20 minutes or so, you usually find that you can get a seat. Even though it can be busy at times, it does not affect the service. We had an absolutely fantastic holiday, so much so that we arrived home at 1pm on the Saturday, and by 2pm had re-booked Independence for June 2009. Doesn't that speak for itself??