Independence of the Seas entered service with Royal Caribbean in April 2008. Her initial sailings where from Southampton and we actually sailed on her 3rd ever cruise. Previously we have sailed to both the Canaries and the Mediterranean on board Independence.
The ship was the 3rd and last Freedom Class ship. On launch it was the biggest cruise ship in world and held the record until the launch of Oasis of the Seas. She weighs 154,407 GT & carries up to 4,370 passengers and 1,360 crew. Highlights include the Royal Promenade, an adult only solarium, 2 whirlpools which extend from the ship’s sides, a children’s waterpark, ice skating rink & the two-story Alhambra theatre. The Alhambra theatre seats 1200 and current star attraction is the musical Grease.
In April 2013 the ship underwent a $7 million upgrade receiving new digital signage, Wi-Fi and a large screen by the main pool. During the upgrade a children’s nursery for user 3s was added but unlike Adventure Ocean is not complimentary.
The ship sails from Southampton, U.K in the summer and Port Everglades, Florida in the winter. In 2015 she was temporarily replaced by Anthem of the Seas in Southampton before returning in 2016. Previously she did sail year round from Southampton but these have not been offered for several years.
Independence of the Seas is very popular with families and away from the Kid’s Clubs(Adventure Ocean) the is plenty of additional activities including a water park, ice skating, mini-golf & rock climbing. The Dream Works Experience is not available on Independence of the Seas. However; the are also plenty of areas for adults including some excellent bars, a large casino & an adult only solarium.
Dining options on Independence of the seas including the 3 level Main Dining Room and the casual Windjammer. The are 2 speciality restaurants an American Grille called Chops Grille and the Italian Giovanni’s Table. For a fun experience the is a Johnny Rockets diner which carries a small extra charge. Away from the main dining options the are a selection of cafes for snacks. Room service is available 24 hours.
Entertainment includes parades, the musical Grease, bar entertainers, Headline Acts, ice shows and several Royal Caribbean productions.
Independence of the Seas offers a great family cruising experience but is enjoyed by cruisers of all ages. The video below if from October 2016 and shows many of the ships highlights.
Visit Cruise Modern Life is Good to read more about family cruising.