After 17 years in the travel industry last weekend saw me step on board a Royal Caribbean ship for the very first time and wow, what a difference it has made to my outlook on cruising. Had you asked me a month ago if it was worth paying that bit extra for Royal Caribbean I would have said a few hundred pounds possibly, a thousand or more no way. Ask me now and I would say absolutely.
For families I have no doubt that Independence of the Seas should be on the top of the list for your next cruise if you have children. I will go into why in more detail over my next few blogs. I have to admit that I didn’t have a ‘favourite’ cruise line or favourite ship. I have yet to find a cruise I haven’t enjoyed, but I have enjoyed them all for different reasons. Perhaps the whole package wasn’t quite there to suit me and my family but I think I can now honestly say I have a favourite.
Independence of the Seas has recently undergone a multi million dollar refurbishment which saw the addition of the new eating venues such as ‘Fish & Chips’ and the sports bar Play makers. The Sky Pad – a virtual reality trampoline pad and an escape room to name but a few. I was lucky enough to try out the ship for 2 nights before she went back to her loyal fans who year on year sail on her out of Southampton out to the canaries, Mediterranean, European cities, the Fjords and finally her transatlantic to the States.
My first impression was just how well she looked for her age, the staterooms were a great size and the decor wasn’t old fashioned like some ships of a similar age. I had a spacious ocean view with balcony and it was by far the biggest balcony i have had and a very comfy bed. I wandered through the WindJammer buffet restaurant and was surprised at the choice. Make your own burgers, pizzas, pasta, roast dinners, lasagne, cottage pie, salads, cold meats and the biggest cake you have ever seen in your life. I think I was already sold….
But then I stepped outside on to the main deck and was faced with Splashaway Bay. The water park for the little ones. Although to be honest the adults seemed to be enjoying it just as much. My kids would have LOVED it. I wish I could have taken them to see the look on their faces.
I have so much to tell you that I couldnt possibly get it all in on one blog. So over the next month or so I will break down my experience and go into further detail on staterooms, facilities, eateries and of course the entertainment. In the mean time Id love to hear from any of you that have been on Independence over the last week and what you thought.