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kimberlym4

Independence of the Seas - What an amazing trip

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We just returned and I wanted to weigh in on a couple of things that I scoured these boards for before I went.

* It was NOT too crowded.  There were a lot of people but this ship is huge and laid out really well.  Never had trouble getting a chair at the pool - maybe not exactly poolside, though that was possible into the 10am hour - but tons of chairs on the deck above overlooking the pool.  We were able to easily get into every show we wanted to see by showing up 15 minutes before.  Once the show started, latecomers were sometimes without a seat.  Even the Quest - which people waited in line for over 30 minutes to get into the venue for - had seats left in it when the game started.

* No problems getting drinks even though we had the drink package.  Bars had enough bartenders and I never waited long for a server in the venues. The most time consuming thing is how many buttons the bartender has to push to make a "sale" on their register.  I counted 9 different taps on the screen that had to be made for each drink I ordered.  The good thing is that since my last trip a few years ago there were no receipts printed out to sign.  This made things go faster though it also made it more difficult to add an extra gratuity if you wanted.

* Playmakers Sports Bar is really cool.  Fun "cheap" tip - there are a few arcade games that you can pay to play but also a lonely foosball machine that was free to play.  My young adult kids got a kick out of playing it.

* The VOOM internet worked really well.  There were 6 of us.  I got a three device plan and we just took turns logging off and on. Tip: you have to actually log out by entering something like "logout.com" in your browser.  Then someone else can use the code they give you to log on with their device.  If I had to do it over, I would just get it for everyone because our texting worked with it.  I don't understand these things but we were all on airplane mode but when logged in could text each other or even people at home.  I didn't think that would be possible - I had planned on using Facebook messenger but didn't need to.

* I don't like the new way they do the Quest.  It was more fun with smaller teams vs. dividing up the venue by section.  But I guess they had to rein it in somehow.

* The ice skating rink was great both to skate on and to watch the ice show.  This show did fill up 

* Skylab was cool to try but not worth the pain that dang harness causes!

* Service and food was very good to excellent. Lobster was available for a charge every night but it was a free entree item on the 4th night. 

* Sorrentos pizza is great!

* I wish RCCL would consider a dedicated comedy club like Carnival.  The shows are good enough but we really enjoyed the comedian on the last night (couldn't stay up for the one on the first night) and would have gone every night if is was offered. 

* We flew in the day of (which I have never done) because of my kids finals schedules.  It worked out fine though I did take out $6000 worth of travel insurance for $200 because I was so anxious about possible bad weather in December.  I wouldn't do it that way again if I didn't have to but it did work fine....just a tiring day.

* Both Labadee and Falmouth were good.  Labadee is beautiful though disconcerting because you know there is a different world beyond the RCCL gates. We did a walking tour and had an amazing and knowledge guide that gave us the history of Haiti.  We also walked up to Dragon Lookout which I had never read about on here.  It was a very beautiful view totally worth the short climb.  We did a walking tour in Jamaica too (my son is a history major) and that guide was also knowledgeable. It was more authentic as you got to walk around the actual city and view both the good and the bad of it.

Overall, had a blast with my husband and our young adult kids.  Didn't feel nickeled and dimed as much this time with the flo rider, rock wall, skylab, skating, watching sports in the sports bar, and of course that rogue foosball table all being free.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!  

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Thanks for the review! We will be sailing on the INDY in March on a 5 night Mexican cruise. Really glad you had a good time.😎

 

 

 

Mike

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4 hours ago, kimberlym4 said:

Skylab was cool to try but not worth the pain that dang harness causes!

 

So what kind of pain did the harness cause?  Was thinking of trying it out.

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Great review.  Glad you had a good time.  We were on Independence a couple weeks ago and loved it too. Also no issues with overcrowding including seeing loungers around (unlike on Mariner where it was impossible finding a free one on a sea day).  Crew was great, entertainment was excellent.  The Cruise director Jamie-something was very funny, although we didn't 'see him until day 3.  How do they normally do Quest?  For us , they split us up into groups by section where we were seating.

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Glad you enjoyed Indy. We have had several excellent cruises on the ship. I just wish she was still doing the 8 night itinerary out of Ft. Lauderdale.

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9 hours ago, kimberlym4 said:

Tip: you have to actually log out by entering something like "logout.com" in your browser.  Then someone else can use the code they give you to log on with their device.  If I had to do it over, I would just get it for everyone because our texting worked with it.  I don't understand these things but we were all on airplane mode but when logged in could text each other or even people at home.  I didn't think that would be possible - I had planned on using Facebook messenger but didn't need to. WiFi calling allows for texting over WiFi when in airplane mode. On some ships you don't have to logout, the next device to login simply bumps the last device. Eventually Indy will get the free chat function within the RCI app.

 

* I don't like the new way they do the Quest.  It was more fun with smaller teams vs. dividing up the venue by section. The CD seems to control this and it varies.

 

* Skylab (I assume Skypad? - Skylab crashed in '79) was cool to try but not worth the pain that dang harness causes! 

 

Some comments.

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4 hours ago, LuCruise said:

How do they normally do Quest?  For us , they split us up into groups by section where we were seating.

 

I think the comments about the quest are big ship vs. smaller ship.  

 

On the larger ships, they typically have it in Studio B, and teams are grouped by the section you set in. 

 

On smaller ships, they use a lounge, and people put together their own teams of 6 to compete. I like the way it is done on the smaller ships, since it is more intimate.  

 

They just have to accommodate larger groups on the larger ships. 

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we are going to Labadee too in Feb, where do you find the dragon lookout, been there before and never knew

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5 hours ago, Ocean Boy said:

Glad you enjoyed Indy. We have had several excellent cruises on the ship. I just wish she was still doing the 8 night itinerary out of Ft. Lauderdale.

 

Agreed.  One of the most solid itineraries out of Florida

 

I think a Voyager class ship may be taking those over in the future?

 

Edit:  Just checked.  It's the Adventure of the seas spring 2019 and 2020

 

Dan

Edited by The Fun Researcher

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1 hour ago, kimlet said:

we are going to Labadee too in Feb, where do you find the dragon lookout, been there before and never knew

 

The entrance is thru the gate near the end of the zip line.  It looks like this. 

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2531424-surviving-2000-kids-on-allure-western-spring-break/?do=findComment&comment=54629216

 

Edited by h20skibum

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Thank you, last  year I felt independence was a little disappointing but it was right before the dry dock I felt employees were tired and ready for the dry dock. 

Edited by mcatmcat

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5 hours ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

Agreed.  One of the most solid itineraries out of Florida

 

I think a Voyager class ship may be taking those over in the future?

 

Edit:  Just checked.  It's the Adventure of the seas spring 2019 and 2020

 

Dan

Yes, Adventure, I'll be aboard in about four weeks.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We board Indy in 12 days and it will be our first time on her. 

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Thank you for sharing we will be sailing on her in April 2019 and can’t wait, it’ll be our second cruise and a friends first cruise so hoping she will like it 

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We had one of our best cruises on Indy....that was when they had the special setup outside of Studio B for karaoke called OnAir.  When Indy went in for a refurb they did away with that area and added more cabins.  The CD and their team have a lot to do with how Quest runs.   As much as I like going to Quest....a lot can be said for the way they do it on the smaller ships in a smaller venue than Studio B.  I am almost getting tired of it, since we have gone to it so many times, done it quite a few.....but at least in the bigger venues, if you really only want to be a 'watcher' it is more easy to accomplish.

 

If someone has been on Indy recently, who was your Activity Manager working in partnership with the CD?

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On 12/21/2018 at 3:28 AM, h20skibum said:

 

So what kind of pain did the harness cause?  Was thinking of trying it out.

Yes, Biker - Skypad - thank you.  The harness fastens around your pelvic area and it cuts into you a bit as you bounce on the thing.  They only let you bounce for a couple of minutes but it still hurts.  I think the guys have an even more sensitive experience with it!  I am still glad I tried it.

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On 12/21/2018 at 5:11 AM, Canadian Mom Cruiser said:

As a family who eagerly looks forward to the Quest, can you please explain how it's changed?

As others have explained already, instead of you forming your own groups of 6 to 8 people it was in Studio B and whole seating sections made up a group.  Not near as much audience interaction.  I didn't think about this being due to the larger ship but that makes total sense.  AND after 3 or 4 more Quests now, I must confess that I may be getting too old for it anyway...haha

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