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Found 122 results

  1. I'm torn between the Brilliance, which does a 4 night out of Tampa, and a 5 night on the Independence. We live in NY, so plan to fly in the day before. Therefore, the 4 night actually works better as we don't want to be gone too long from the kids. But the Brillance looks kind of old and boring. I looked at pictures on cruise critic and the ship seems very dated. The Independence looks much more updated with cool features like the ice show, laser tag, and cantilevered hot tubs. My husband and I are looking for a short cruise in January while my in-laws watch our 2 year old twins. We have about 10 cruises under our belt. We have mainly cruised celebrity and love the S-class ships, but have done rccl (Serenade of the seas), princess (Grand), NCL (Breakway), and Carnival (Valor). We are looking to try something new! I tend to be disappointed with older ships (Grand Princess two years ago was a little disappointing). I love a special feature on a ship, such as the lawn on the celebrity ships, or the dueling pianos and improv club on NCL. Specialty restaurants are not important to us, as we typically find the included food to be fine (except on NCL). Does Independence feel more updated? Is the Brillance really as old as it looks in the pictures? Any cruise is a good cruise, but I'm really torn about this decision. The Brillance cruise works better for us, I'm just worried that there seems to be nothing exciting about the ship and I will be disappointed. Sent from my SM-G930V using Forums mobile app
  2. Just got an e-mail from RCCL. Seems our USCG wants to conduct a "routine inspection" . They adjusted boarding time to 12:00 to 3:30. Not sure what it was before. They asked that people arrive no earlier than noon now. We were reserved to check in 11:30 before. Do we just up that a half hour?
  3. Does anyone happen to have copies of the 4 day recent daily activities papers?
  4. 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!
  5. Anyone know what make of pods the machines take in the suites on the Brilliance and Independence so I can take my own, I drink a lot of coffee. I've tried and tried but can't find the information anywhere, thanks.
  6. Hi everyone! I am looking for some input on your FAVORITE Junior Suites or Grand Suites on Independence of the Seas? My BF (C&A Diamond status) and I are looking to plan a short 4 night cruise (destination TBD) in late 2020 or early 2021. Balcony is really what is most important to us as we enjoy spending out there relaxing, reading, drinking our morning coffee or pre-dinner cocktails. Trying to decide on which Junior Suite or Grand Suite might work best for us. We plan on booking pretty far out and from what I am seeing, the cost difference between the JS and GS isn't that obscene on some of the itineraries. For a 4 night cruise, some of the perks of the GS (cocktail hour) may help minimize our bar tab -vs- if we chose going the JS route. We don't do a drink package, but do enjoy our cocktails! Our preferences: Cabin location; AFT/MID/FWD are all up for consideration Balcony SIZE & some SUN is priority Unobstructed view is preferred We typically take the STAIRS to move between floors (our rationalization for dessert!) No physical limitations, so proximity to elevators is NOT a concern I've seen other threads for other ships with folks weighing in on their favorite JS and GS suites, so I am looking for help here narrowing down room selections. Would appreciate any insight and also any photos of your balconies on Independence to help with our booking decisions! Thanks in advance 🙂
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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!
  10. DW and I have cruised twice, both times on Anthem in the past 18 months. We're sailing on Independence of the Seas in February 2019 and I have a few questions: Our set-sail time on both of the Anthem cruises was 3:00 pm, and the cabins were ready by 1:00. Our cruise on Independence has a set-sail time of 4:30 pm. Does this mean the cabins won't be ready until 2:30, or will they be ready earlier? Will the Royal IQ app work on Independence? Is there a charge for the Escape room? Thank you in advance to anyone who can provide any answers.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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!
  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. Hi all! Just curious - what sorts of things can be found at the Windjammer for dinner? For example, I sailed on the Harmony last year - at dinner time there was a pasta station, mongolian station, etc. Anything like that?
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. Hi everyone! So we boarded Indy yesterday with The Key but I didnt get to post til now. We stayed at Hilton Garden Inn at Airport/cruiseport. They provide a free shuttle from Ft. Lauderdale airport and they picked us up within 15 minutes. The ride to the hotel was about 15 minutes and we enjoyed the pool and breakfast while we waited for our room. They have a shuttle to the cruise port but its $10 per person and they pack a ton of people on board. We opted for a $12 Uber and split the cost. Typically I like to get to the ship by 11:30 but we ran late. We got out of our uber at 11:55 and followed signs for The Key which directed us to the Suite, Diamond, etc line. It was far shorter than the other line. We whisked right through the line and through bag check. We then went to get our seapass cards and were thrilled that there was a bypass line just for The Key and no one else was in it. We went directly to a window and got paper boarding passes. We were told they would have our seapass cards on our door with Key information. From there we walked directly on the ship with our bags. As soon as we entered the inside doors of deck 4 there was a sign for The Key luggage drop off. We gave him our bags and they took them directly to our cabin. From there we went up to Chops. We were seated immediately. It was about half full, plenty of space and service remained wonderful. It was a limited menu but very good. From the time we arrived to enjoying a glass of wine at Chops only 31 minutes had lapsed. The Key has been great so far!
  22. Hi! Did a search but no luck. Are there USB ports on Indy in cabins?
  23. 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!
  24. We are onboard INDY in a 2 bed GS, this was formally the royal suite and this year was split into 2 x 2 bed grand suites, I couldn't find any pics or videos before sailing so thought I would post these for anyone else. its pretty amazing and the balcony is huge
  25. HI I have a few questions about the package. Can I visit the same restaurant twice and I was wondering if "IZUMI HIBACHI EXPERIENCE" is also included in a 3 night package? Thank you
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