Question by jennifer: royal caribbean independance of the seas cruise?
im going on the independance of the seas cruise ship with the family,
never been on a cruise before, whats it like and any tips for a great holiday???
Answer by TINKERTOY ….. the 1 & only
I have not cruised on the Independence but have cruised on both of its identical twin sister ships, the Freedom in November of 2006 and the Liberty last November. The Freedom class ships are identical but have different names and color schemes and decor. They are the exact same size, and all have the same features.
All three ships have the rock climbing wall, the “flowrider” where you can surf right on ship, an ice skating rink, a fabulous free Ice Capades type ice show that you should not miss (tickets are free), a mini-golf course, a H2O Zone water park for kids, the best gymnasium on any ship, several pools and hot tubs on the pool deck, and a solarium (covered area) for adults only. The ship has a mall down its center with shops and eating places, a casino, a show room, and a bunch of lounges with a variety of music, and a disco that’s really unusual because its in an unusual location.
We enjoyed our cruise on it and do recommend it The ship is huge but even with 4,000 passengers it doesn’t seem crowded. A couple good things as far as crowds are concerned is the H2O Zone is a kids water park area where the youngsters can enjoy the water. Then there is the regular pool and then an adults only pool and hot tubs. The kids also have Adventure Ocean which is an area of the ship just for them that has a professionally trained staff person to supervise them in activities. It includes a teen disco that is open until 2:00 AM for all of the teens to use. The kids programs are free and staffed by professionally trained personnel.
When you check in at the pier each member of the family get receive a cruise card which serves as your cabin key, pass to get off and back on the ship and charge card for anything you buy on ship. Small kids generally get a wrist band instead of a key card. Everything on the ship is cashless; anything you buy goes on the on-board charge account established for you. You pay your tab by credit card, or cash, at the end of the cruise. The price of your cruise includes your cabin, all meals (including breakfast, lunch dinner, snacks and free room service), free admissions to all shows, disco, and entertainment, and free use of all facilities (except spa services) on ship like the pools, hot tubs, gym, and recreation activities, except you do have to pay if you want to use the golf simulator, or to play video games. The things that you will have to pay for over and above your fare are:
GRATUITIES: They will amount to about per person in your cabin per day,
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS AND SOFT DRINKS: Coffee, tea, milk, juice, and lemonade and punch will be provided FREE but you must pay for soft drinks and alcoholic beverages and they will add a 15 percent gratuity to each alcoholic drink and soft drink order.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Cruise ship employees will take plenty of photographs of you all over the ship, in the dining room, and as you exit the ship in ports. These will cost a lot, between to for most and the cost of them goes on your on-board tab
TOURS/EXCURSIONS: You are not required to book any tours and you can get off and on in the ports as much as you want. But the cruise line will offer a lot of tours and these are NOT included and are expensive.
SOUVENIRS: Anything you buy on ship from a gift shop or duty free shop goes on your on board account.
CASINO: If you plan to gamble on ship you will need cash for that.
SPA SERVICES: If you want/need to have your hair done, get a massage or wrap, or any services from the spa, you will have to pay for them.
INTERNET SVCS: the ship has an internet cafe and WiFi but the there is a fee for internet access and it is very expensive (about an hour, a little less if you buy a plan).
ROOM SERVICE/MINI-BAR: You cabin will have a minibar with soft drinks and munchies; you have to pay for anything you take out of the mini-bar. You will have free room service; there is a delivery fee of .95 per order between 1:00AM and 5:00 AM.
There are two specialty restaurants where there IS a gratuity/service charge of between and per person per visit.
Each evening you will receive a newsletter in your cabin spelling out the time and location of all of the activities on the ship the next day. There will be plenty to do.