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  1. Does anyone happen to have copies of the 4 day recent daily activities papers?
  2. My favourite was Nino - he worked in the Schooner Bar on the Independence in May 2017 and then was in the Champagne Bar in October of the same year. He makes the best strawberry daiquiris and always made sure we were well looked after 😊😊
  3. Hi everyone! My first cruise in 12 years...crazy! Going on a spring break cruise with my 13 year old- her first time. I had a few questions for the regulars: we are booked in a JS on deck 9- I was reading last night that this is directly under a cantilevered hot tub...is this a bad thing? What to do in Coco Cay? I’m assuming water park won’t be open yet? Was thinking of renting a cabana or beach spot for some much needed sun..how does food and drink work on the beach there? Flying into FLL very early...my docs say arrive noon. I figured we would have breakfast at the airport and then head over to the port. Should I arrange private ground transportation or is uber at FLL a fine way to go? Does anyone have a transportation company they recommend? i guess I last cruised prior to the ultra digital age...I saw luggage tags I could print out with my docs...I guess I just tape that flat on our luggage?? thank you!
  4. I'm from the US and here's my letter: Dear Guest, We are reaching out to let you know that, regrettably, we must cancel our Independence of the Seas September 12, 2020 cruise. We sincerely apologize for the impact to your vacation and understand your disappointment. Please know, when we have to make these difficult decisions, we explore all options. In this case, our main priority was to share this news with you as soon as possible to ensure that we give you as much time to find an alternate sailing. As a cruise line, we constantly look at where we deploy our ships to give guests the most desired destinations and experiences. This led us to keep Independence of the Seas in the Caribbean in 2020, due to her large success there and the evolution of our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Nevertheless, we’re happy to share that the beautiful Anthem of the Seas will be back in Southampton sailing to many extraordinary European destinations! Anthem of the Seas has something for everyone; from thrill-seeking adventures to perfect epicurean delights, this ship offers cutting edge experiences for everyone in your party. And, Allure of the Seas & Explorer of the Seas will also be in Europe sailing out of Barcelona and Rome, respectively. Due to this cancellation, we will process a full refund of all monies paid to the original form of payment, including any non-refundable deposits. We will begin processing refunds today, and depending on your banking institution or method of payment, you should start seeing these refunds by May 17th, 2019 or sooner. Also, to help make up for this inconvenience, we’d like to provide all of our guests with the following compensation offer: A Future Cruise Credit valued at 25% of your cruise fare paid on your cancelled sailing. You can expect to receive your Future Cruise Credit via email by May 13th, 2019 in hopes you’ll come sail with us on another cruise. In addition, if you already booked your air, you’ll be reimbursed for non-refundable airline charges with receipts (up to $200 per guest for Domestic flights and up to $400 per guest for International flights). Please email your airline receipts and booking information to RoyalGuestRelations@rccl.com for review and reimbursement. Click here to view some alternate Anthem of the Seas 2020 itineraries that are most similar to what you originally booked. If you prefer a different itinerary and ship, you’re welcome to select any Royal Caribbean International sailing and use your Future Cruise Credit. And, don’t forget, Independence of the Seas will be sailing out of Southampton this summer, if you want to catch her before she moves to the Caribbean. Click here to view Independence of the Seas 2019 summer itineraries. It’s important to us that you find the best vacation option. We kindly ask that you call us at (800) 256-6649 by May 16th 2019 to advise which sail date you’d like to be rebooked on. Our teams are standing by to assist you with finding the perfect cruise. Lastly, any pre-paid amenities, packages, or shore excursions will be refunded to the original form of payment within 7-10 business days. Thank you for understanding. We hope you find another cruise vacation with us. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or looking to explore, relax, and recharge – we have no doubt your time with us will be nothing short of amazing. We look forward to welcoming you onboard. Sincerely, Here are some helpful answers to questions you may have. Why is my sailing being cancelled? Your sailing is being cancelled because we’re making changes to our 2020 season that require the Independence of the Seas to remain in the Caribbean, instead of sailing to Southampton. Our goal is provide our guests with the best itineraries that take you to exclusive parts of the world and have decided to make these changes for the 2020 season to maximize our capacity in the Caribbean. We are terribly sorry. We know this news is disappointing. We do hope you find an alternate vacation option with us. Do you think you’ll stop operating ships out of the UK? Absolutely not – the UK is a key market for us. Where will Independence of the Seas sail from? Independence of the Seas will continue to sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Is it true that Anthem of the Seas will replace Independence of the Seas in Southampton? Anthem of the Seas is actually already sailing out of Southampton next year, so she isn’t replacing Independence of the Seas. And, Allure of the Seas & Explorer of the Seas will also be in Europe sailing out of Barcelona and Rome, respectively. What kind of itineraries will Anthem of the Seas be sailing? She will be sailing Transatlantic, Spain & Portugal, France & Spain, Northern Europe, Italy, plus more! Why aren’t you moving me to an Anthem of the Seas sailing? We want to make sure you find the perfect cruise. So, whether you choose to sail on a similar itinerary on Anthem of the Seas, or you decide you want to do a completely different itinerary, we want it to be your choice. Are any other ships doing European itineraries? Yes, Allure of the Seas will sail out of Barcelona & Explorer of the Seas will sail out of Rome in 2020. What if my reservation had Future Cruise Credits applied? Your FCC will be reinstated and once you are ready to apply it to a new reservation we will be happy to do so. What if my cancelled sailing was a NextCruise booking? NextCruise OBCs applied for Independence cancelled sailings can be reapplied to new bookings.
  5. We just got off Independence of the Seas and I just wanted to say wonderful things about our experience at Izumi! We're vegan but can always find things to survive on while onboard. I even had heard Indy is one of the RCCL ships with the vegan menu in the main dining room and was excited to find out and try it BUT we never made it to the MDR 🙂 We were travelling with son and his GF (22 & 21) and we just never made it to the MDR and often just did the WJ or had eaten lunch late so snacked. One night husband and I were hungry but not up for the WJ so we asked at Izumi if we could just do sushi a la carte. They seated us at the sushi bar and we asked if they could do vegan sushi for us - we've usually found when travelling that chefs are happy to do this and love to get creative. Orlando ROCKED - he made us a ton of food and we were shocked it only came to $12 before tip (sushi was $6 per person for veggie sushi). We also loved the edamame though I would have eaten another bowl if that was also on the menu. We raved about it so much we came back 2 nights later with son and his GF (they had seen the picture I took from night one and wanted to try it too and they are not vegan) - that time the bar was full but they didn't have any more reservations for the hibachi stations so sat us at one and Orlando went even above what he did before! We tipped generously both nights and told him how much we loved it. My son couldn't believe they didn't have this sushi on the menu. Here are the pics I took - this is 2 orders on one plate as my husband and I happily let him put it all on one plate!
  6. I would like you to tell me how you are seeing prices as being up, these prices for one year from now seem steady or lower. columns are inside, oceanview and balcony and suites. 05APR2021 5 RCC Independence Of The Seas Western Caribbean FLL 458.50 523.50 635.50 848.00 05APR2021 5 CEL Celebrity Infinity Western Caribbean MIA 802.00150 OBC 847.00150 OBC 1,077.00 1,749.00 05APR2021 4 RCC Mariner Of The Seas Bahamas PCN 570.50 650.00 730.00 964.50 05APR2021 4 RCC Navigator Of The Seas Bahamas MIA 534.00 613.50 704.00 994.00 05APR2021 10 RCC Quantum Of The Seas Far East NRT 807.50 870.50 996.50 1,528.50 07APR2021 5 RCC Adventure Of The Seas Western Caribbean GAL 385.50 503.00 639.50 1,091.00 07APR2021 9 RCC Jewel Of The Seas Western Mediterranean BCN 1,248.50 1,348.50 1,698.50 2,578.50 07APR2021 12 CEL Celebrity Silhouette Transatlantic GIG 1,609.00 1,759.00 2,409.00 4,999.00 08APR2021 4 RCC Brilliance Of The Seas Western Caribbean TPA 468.00 515.50 698.50 1,082.50 08APR2021Closed 5 RCC Quantum Of The Seas Far East SIN N/A N/A N/A N/A
  7. I think that the ships going to Coco Cay (especially the 3-4 nighters on Mariner) would be the first to sail, assuming Royal has enough control of the island to make that decision. We would be perfectly happy to be on the water, with meals provided, and a day (or even two) at Coco Cay. Our first and third scheduled cruises are on the Mariner, with the Independence scheduled in between because of the Coco Cay/Labadee itinerary. I think Royal could negotiate with the Bahamas and Haiti and make those ports possible by agreeing to have no locals in close contact with guests (Royal providing lifeguards, equipment rental personnel, etc.). It might not be possible to provide excursions on those first cruises to avoid contact between guests and locals, but I don’t think we are alone in being willing to take that kind of a modified cruise. Edited to add: We aren’t unrealistic and fully expect to have at least some cruises cancelled, but have enough booked to hopefully cruise sooner or later.
  8. I would think Independence would fit in the first category.
  9. March 9th we opted for the CWC program and cancelled our March 12th Independence sailing which included a refreshment package for 1 passenger. We were told that a refund for taxes and port charges as well as the refreshment package would take 7-10 business days. Received FCC's for cruise fare on March 18th and finally received refund credit to my Celebrity CC today.
  10. Hi, Has anyone any experience staying in a Grand Suite on deck 10 on the Indpendance OTS? We are wondering about any noise disturbance etc from deck 11. thanks
  11. please post corrections Adventure OTS - Capt Krzyszthof Szymkarczuk (started rotation 12-1-19) Adventure OTS - Capt Carl Graucob Allure OTS - Capt Tore Grimstad (started rotation 1-12-20) Allure OTS - Capt Ron Holmes Anthem OTS - Capt Felix Srecko Ban (started rotation 1-5-20) Anthem OTS - Capt Henrik Loft Sørensen Brilliance OTS - Capt Ante Cavala (started rotation 1-10-20) Brilliance OTS - Capt Ole-Johan Gronhaug Empress OTS - Capt Shawn McDuff (started rotation 2-2-20) Empress OTS - Capt Diego Lombardic Enchantment OTS - Capt Malvin Bardnes (started rotation 1-6-20) Enchantment OTS - Capt Arild Hansen Explorer OTS - Capt Toni Tomljanovic (started rotation 1-14-20) Explorer OTS - Capt Kjetil Gjerstad Freedom OTS - Capt Thomas Busto (started rotation 12-29-19) Freedom OTS - Capt Frank Martinsen Grandeur OTS - Capt Patrik Jukes (started rotation 2-1-20) Grandeur OTS - Capt Pehr Pehrsson Harmony OTS - Capt Johnny Faevelen (started rotation 1-5-20) Harmony OTS - Capt Gus Andersson Independence OTS - Capt Teo Strazicic (started rotation 1-25-20) Independence OTS - Capt Iv Vidos Jewel OTS - Capt Trym Selvag (started rotation 1-12-20) Jewel OTS - Capt Anders Ingebrigtsen Liberty OTS - Capt James MacDonald (started rotation 1-5-20) Liberty OTS - Capt Dustin Castelsky Majesty OTS - Capt Daniel Budzelewskiis (started rotation 2-3-20) Majesty OTS - Capt Per Kristoffersen Mariner OTS - Capt Tobias Oster (started rotation 1-10-20) Mariner OTS - Capt Aris Medina Navigator OTS - Capt Angel Oviol (started rotation 1-10-20) Navigator OTS - Capt Mattias Persson Oasis OTS - Capt Göran Peterson (started rotation 12-1-19) Oasis OTS - Capt Claus Andersen Ovation OTS - Capt Sverre Ryan (started rotation 12-15-19) Ovation OTS - Capt Henrik W Loy Quantum OTS - Capt Sindre Borsheim (started rotation 1-24-20) Quantum OTS - Capt Erik Standahl Radiance OTS - Capt Espen Been (started rotation 1-4-20) Radiance OTS - Capt Marek Slaby Rhapsody OTS - Capt Trond Holm (started rotation 12-28-19) Rhapsody OTS - Capt Toni Calne Serenade OTS - Capt Stig Nilsen (started rotation 1-19-20) Serenade OTS - Capt Kjell Nordmo Spectrum OTS - Capt Charles Teige (started rotation 1-18-20) Spectrum OTS - Capt Flemming Nielsen Symphony OTS - Capt Rob Hempstead (started rotation 12-7-19) Symphony OTS - Capt Rick Sullivan Vision OTS - Capt Juan Luis Caranti (started rotation 1-18-20) Vision OTS - Capt Michael Lindberg Voyager OTS - Capt Thordur Thorsson (started rotation 12-15-19) Voyager OTS - Capt Huimin Wu
  12. Will be on the Indy Sept 11 in Cádiz. Does anyone know if the Indy will offer a transfer to Seville without doing one of their shore excursions? Many thanks, Roseanna
  13. I just went through this yesterday as well. Our Mar 16 Independence sailing was cancelled. I had used an FCC for partial payment. I had received that FCC because I sailed on the Enchantment in 2019 shortly before refurbishment and the air conditioning was barely working for the aft cabins. I was in an aft JS to accommodate myself, my daughter, and son's girlfriend. It was so hot we were literally dripping with sweat and could barely sleep the first night. The head steward acknowledged that it had been broken for the past month and that everyone had been complaining. When you walked down the hall towards the back of the ship you could just feel the wall of heat. He gave us a box fan which helped but since we were using both the couch and the bed, we could only point it at one or the other. The Hotel Director gave us a 40% FCC as compensation. It said we must sail by July 6, 2020. So they got another cruise out of the three of us, except we booked three separate cabins this time. My son had decided to propose on this cruise so we spent a lot on Cruise Planner items as well, over $2700. I called RCCL Guest Experience Management yesterday to ask about how the original FCC would be handled since all I read about on CC was the Cruise with Confidence FCC. She said management made the decision that they would extend the expiration date on FCC's (no matter how you were issued it) to 10/31/20. I said it would be nice if they would extend it to 12/31/2021 to match the rest of the purchase price but she said no. As the previous poster said, it doesn't cost RCCL anything to extend our FCC's. We chose our original sailing date to comply with the expiration date of the FCC. While my husband and I are a little more flexible financially and with PTO, our kids are not. When this cruise was cancelled we were 12 hours away from leaving for Florida. Because this was a big event for my son, we decided to jump in the car and make it a driving vacation so he could still get engaged in a special way. One in our group is in college and can't sail past the second week of August so our time to use this FCC is even further limited, and that's assuming they can all get the time off. For those of us who are willing to take a FCC for the cancelled cruise, who are willing to keep our money committed to RCCL and not ask for a cash refund at this time, I think they need to seriously reconsider their policy about our existing FCC's and allow us the same extension to the end of 2021. I hope they are listening.
  14. Hi, we were able to get one of the forward balconies on our upcoming transatlantic sailing on the independence of the seas. I know the cabin might be a bit more rocky, but we wanted it for the forward and sideways view on the ocean. Since there is no longer the noise problem with the fitness area above, we felt lucky to get 1230 Now I have some questions that previous cruisers in these cabins will be able to answer: - can the bridge crew look right into the balcony from their outside bridge stand? - is there a way to fix a hammock on the railing around the balcony? - is the balcony smaller or lager or the same as the balconies on deck 10? Any picture or opinion of the cabin / balcony would greatly be appreciated. Thank you for your help
  15. I have been searching for answers to a few questions that are turning up either no answer or conflicting answers. Can anyone who has been on independence recently tell me: 1) Are there ice skates for toddlers? (My girls wear toddler size 6. They are just turning 3 years old. So, pretty tiny feet.) I’ve heard mixed reports on this. 2) If two people want to do the Observatorium (escape room), will we be forced to share the time with other groups, or are we able to reserve the room for just the two of us? (I assume this depends on demand, but i was surprised I couldn’t find a discussion on this anywhere.) 3) I’ve only been on smaller ships, never one of this size. I hear they don’t rock and sway as much. My husband gets motion sickness and my girls have shown signs of it too. Should we bring Dramamine or sea bands or is that unnecessary on indy? Thanks in advance!
  16. If anyone is interested, I'll post a review of this cruise. Only because I had a lot of the questions I'm answering here and searched in vain for these topics prior to the cruise. I realize most of the people on this blog cruise all the time and are well-versed in RCCL - but I assume newcomers could benefit from the info. These are my personal opinions of this cruise only so please take it as such - I understand some may differ. Background: Experienced cruiser on different lines but not constantly. Have cruised RCCL 3 times in the last 4 years. Embarkation Southampton: Extremely fast and smooth, one of the easiest ports ever. Total time maybe 10 minutes. Ditto on Disembarkation (we carry off our own luggage). There's a nice little kiosk outside that sells breakfast sandwiches, crisps and drinks. If you are commuting from London, I highly recommend Silver Fleet transfers. They may be a bit more expensive but the personal service is well worth it. Pick up at your hotel, constant communication and super easy online booking and payment. Bay of Biscay: We had 2 sea days to get down to the Western Med from Southampton and I naively thought they would be warm pool days, especially in August. I was wrong. The passage through this part of the Atlantic is blustery, rainy, windy and sometimes even cold. The waters can be a bit rocky (but nothing requiring dramamine). You can maybe get one afternoon of sun. Perhaps this was unique weather but I don't think so. Not a big deal, and if you live in the British Isles you have no choice, but I might not have chosen this itinerary (coming from the U.S.) had I known. Once in the Med, however, everything was sunny, calm and hot. And wonderful. Shipboard Entertainment: The ice shows were nothing short of spectacular. I can't even believe a cruise line has this kind of talent. They were really phenomenal. On Independence, you can't reserve seats on the Cruise Planner ahead of the cruise. You have to stand in line on the first day (first thing in the morning) to get free tickets - which is not well publicized. I'm on vacation - so no way I'm getting up at the crack of dawn on the first day to stand in line, even if I'd known about it (which I didn't). We were kinda worried, but we appeared at show times and had no trouble getting in and getting good seats after the ticket-holders were let in. Grease was also really, really great (no tickets required for this one) and very professional. The rest of the shows were mediocre at best. The lounge bands were ok. Pulse was the best and liveliest with a varied repertoire. Vibes had a great lead singer but they looked half asleep most of the time. Refurbishment: The best refurb was the addition of the giant sports bar next to the casino. Lots of big screen TVs, open seating, bar food, games, etc. A very good change to all those old-fashioned lounge bars. We don't do flow rider, rock climbing or slides - but I thought the addition of a virtual reality trampoline ball that can hold only 3 to 4 at a time was a waste. What a long wait for so few at a time. Adding a lot of new inside cabins just compounded the crowding problem (more on that later). Adding hand-washing stations before the Windjammer was very good - they are fast and easy. A couple of RCCl staff near the stations sing and joke and play with the kids and remind you to wash (great idea). Coming Next (if you want): Food, ports of call and more
  17. I know breakfast is available from Room Service, the MDR, and the Windjammer. Are there any other venues on Independence to get breakfast? Thanks.
  18. rotation on Majesty, Empress, Grandeur Adventure OTS - Capt Krzyszthof Szymkarczuk (started rotation 12-1-19) Adventure OTS - Capt Carl Graucob Allure OTS - Capt Tore Grimstad (started rotation 1-12-20) Allure OTS - Capt Ron Holmes Anthem OTS - Capt Felix Srecko Ban (started rotation 1-5-20) Anthem OTS - Capt Henrik Loft Sørensen Brilliance OTS - Capt Ante Cavala (started rotation 1-10-20) Brilliance OTS - Capt Ole-Johan Gronhaug Empress OTS - Capt Shawn McDuff (started rotation 2-2-20) Empress OTS - Capt Diego Lombardic Enchantment OTS - Capt Malvin Bardnes (started rotation 1-6-20) Enchantment OTS - Capt Arild Hansen Explorer OTS - Capt Toni Tomljanovic (started rotation 1-14-20) Explorer OTS - Capt Kjetil Gjerstad Freedom OTS - Capt Thomas Busto (started rotation 12-29-19) Freedom OTS - Capt Frank Martinsen Grandeur OTS - Capt Patrik Jukes (started rotation 2-1-20) Grandeur OTS - Capt Pehr Pehrsson Harmony OTS - Capt Johnny Faevelen (started rotation 1-5-20) Harmony OTS - Capt Gus Andersson Independence OTS - Capt Teo Strazicic (started rotation 1-25-20) Independence OTS - Capt Iv Vidos Jewel OTS - Capt Trym Selvag (started rotation 1-12-20) Jewel OTS - Capt Anders Ingebrigtsen Liberty OTS - Capt James MacDonald (started rotation 1-5-20) Liberty OTS - Capt Dustin Castelsky Majesty OTS - Capt Daniel Budzelewskiis (started rotation 2-3-20) Majesty OTS - Capt Per Kristoffersen Mariner OTS - Capt Tobias Oster (started rotation 1-10-20) Mariner OTS - Capt Aris Medina Navigator OTS - Capt Angel Oviol (started rotation 1-10-20) Navigator OTS - Capt Mattias Persson Oasis OTS - Capt Göran Peterson (started rotation 12-1-19) Oasis OTS - Capt Claus Andersen Ovation OTS - Capt Sverre Ryan (started rotation 12-15-19) Ovation OTS - Capt Henrik W Loy Quantum OTS - Capt Sindre Borsheim (started rotation 1-24-20) Quantum OTS - Capt Erik Standahl Radiance OTS - Capt Espen Been (started rotation 1-4-20) Radiance OTS - Capt Marek Slaby Rhapsody OTS - Capt Trond Holm (started rotation 12-28-19) Rhapsody OTS - Capt Toni Calne Serenade OTS - Capt Stig Nilsen (started rotation 1-19-20) Serenade OTS - Capt Kjell Nordmo Spectrum OTS - Capt Charles Teige (started rotation 1-18-20) Spectrum OTS - Capt Flemming Nielsen Symphony OTS - Capt Rob Hempstead (started rotation 12-7-19) Symphony OTS - Capt Rick Sullivan Vision OTS - Capt Juan Luis Caranti (started rotation 1-18-20) Vision OTS - Capt Michael Lindberg Voyager OTS - Capt Thordur Thorsson (started rotation 12-15-19) Voyager OTS - Capt Huimin Wu
  19. Hi we're going on a 3 night cruise the end of August sailing from Southampton to bridges and France, taking grandson whose 17 would he be allowed a alcohol drink in the restaurants? What drinks can we take on to the ship? Like wine, beer soft drinks. Anyone know any prices of onboard drinks, glass wine, coke/pepsi , pint larger? Thanks
  20. Got off of Independence of the Seas yesterday – 5 nights western Caribbean (Cozumel & Costa Maya) Feb. 4 – Feb. 9, 2019. Please feel free to ask any questions. Background: Just 2 of us – my DW and myself, mid-50s from Connecticut. This was our third cruise, all on RCI. Our first 2 cruises were both on Anthem of the Seas (5 nights to Bermuda in Sept. 2017 and 7 nights to Port Canaveral / Nassau in Oct./Nov. 2018). We chose this cruise as a relatively quick escape in warmer climates and on a different ship. We flew to Fort Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott. We took an Uber from the airport to the hotel (I didn’t feel like waiting for the hotel’s shuttle), and took the free hotel shuttle to the port the morning of the cruise. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 11:30 and were quickly checked in (it helps to be a gold member). Boarding started at noon and we boarded at 12:30 (again, it helps to have gold status) and it was right up to one of the pool-side bars. Cabins were ready at 1:30. The previous cruise was the annual 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, so it took the crew a little longer to get everything ready (and I think they were a little worn out, but they still did a great job all cruise). Cabin: Balcony cabin on deck 9 aft/port. Cabin was fine – in fact it seemed slightly larger than what we’ve had on Anthem (both the cabin and balcony). Only 2 power outlets to charge things which we made do with, but Anthem is much better with additional outlets plus USB ports. Our steward Lennox was terrific and made the best towel animal we’ve seen – DW called it Oscar the orangutan – he was hanging from a hanger with was hanging on the half curtain in front of the bed. Dining & Bars: We had breakfast every day in the Windjammer which was fine – the usual for RCI. Consistency seemed to be a problem. First morning I got an eggs florentine which was ice cold. The remaining mornings I made my own version of eggs benedict by grabbing a toasted muffin or bagel and putting my own fried eggs on – all of which was hot and delicious. The scrambled eggs were delicious as well. One morning my orange juice (they pour it for you, unlike Anthem which was self-serve) was hot – I think they poured it into a glass that had just come out of the dishwasher. From then on it was ice-water every morning. We didn’t typically have lunch, but did have a few mid-day snacks of pizza at Sorrento’s. The pizza was decent – better than on Anthem (full disclaimer – I grew up eating Sally’s & Pepe’s in New Haven, so my standards for pizza are pretty high). We had dinner 4 of the 5 nights in the main dining room using My Time dining (7:30 each night). Because we booked these nights/times in advance, we had the same table and wait staff, and they were terrific (waiter Ionut and assistant waiter Yehven). Ionut would take the time each night to engage in some small conversation and made us feel very welcome, and both remembered our names after the first night. Overall the food was quite good and got better each night. All of the appetizers and desserts were excellent and the entrees were pretty decent except the first night when my prime rib was rubbery and drowned in a thick, brown gravy and DW’s strip steak was overcooked and seasoned very poorly (one end was extremely salty and the other end had no salt). We both had the spaghetti bolognese (on different nights) and it was excellent. The one night we didn’t eat in the MDR we ate at Chops. We had eaten at Chops on Anthem and had a terrific meal, so we thought we’d try it on Indy. It was just as good if not better. The waitress was great (I can’t remember her name, just that she’s Russian). And all of the food was excellent, including the steaks (we both had filets) being prepared perfectly. Clearly RCI knows what they’re doing with their steakhouse. We had the deluxe drink package and probably broke even. All of the bars were terrific and we never had to wait for service. The Olive Twist on deck 14 is a hidden gem. We had pre-dinner drinks there almost every night and there were only a few people there. It’s got a great view. Sadly the bartender there didn’t know how to mix drinks – I had the worst whiskey sour and worst gin & tonic I’ve ever had at this bar. All other bars and drinks were good, including the drinks of the day. Activities & Shows: We didn’t do too many of the activities. We would have done the escape room, but not for $20 per person (on Anthem there was no charge for the escape room – I didn’t understand why there was a charge on Indy). We did play 9 holes of mini-golf which was fun (my guess is the mini-golf course was installed during last year’s rehab as it was in excellent shape and seemed new). The water slides looked like great fun – always a small line but it never seemed like a long wait and everyone came out with a big smile on their face. We saw Grease and it was excellent (almost as good as We Will Rock You on Anthem). We also saw the ice-skating show which was amazing – Olympic and national champions from around the world doing amazing things on a very small rink (about a quarter the size of a hockey rink). Cruise director Daniel and the activities director (I can’t remember her name either, just that she’s from Scotland) were great. We saw them at the Love & Marriage show, belly-flop competition, lip-sync competition, and Quest game show and all were a lot of fun, thanks in large part to them. Ports: This was our first time in Mexico. We didn’t do any excursions. For both ports, we just walked around. In Cozumel we walked the immediate area off the ship, and then headed down to Sting Ray beach. I’d read other reviews that said to watch out for all of the shop keepers who get right in your face to sell you something and those reviews were dead on. In Costa Maya we just walked around the immediate port area with all of the shops and stuff. We did see the swim-with-dolphins attraction which was great – everyone looked to be having an amazing time. We also went into the aviary which was great fun. They give you a little plastic cup with bird seed and sunflower seeds to feed the birds, and the birds are not shy about landing on you and eating. It was very neat. And when in Mexico… we had a Mexican beer at the Mexican cantina just to say we did it. Disembarkation: As usual with RCI, this was easy. We stayed in our cabin on the balcony until we had to vacate at 8:30. We were scheduled to disembark at 9:45, but walked off at 9:15. Luggage was waiting for us, and clearing customs took only a couple of minutes – we were in a taxi heading to the airport by 9:30.
  21. I'm going to taking a cruise in March 2019 on the Independence of the Seas. I wanted to know if anyone has any information on the ship and if it as a steam room or sauna in the spa. Also, I will be staying in cabin 1688. It is on the deck 10 in AFT port side. Any additional insight on the room would also be appreciated. Thanx Trepidatiously_Cruising
  22. What are the operating hours of the basketball court? My 11 year old & I get up pretty early in the morning, as early as 5am, and would like to take advantage of the courts early to avoid crowds.
  23. Lost it for my Apr 27 cruise on Independence, if I booked it now being from Canada it was 78.47
  24. Can anyone tell me when they have the laser tag court open on the 4 day western caribbean? I looked in old cruise compasses, but couldn't find out. Thanks!
  25. We are first time cruisers, and we'll be on Independence this April. My daughter will be 17, but her friend traveling with us will be 18. She really wants to check out the teen area, but we're not sure if they'll let her friend in. Any idea on how this might work out? Thanks!
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