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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions
Eddie Roberts

Age: 59

Occupation:Finance Manager

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Independence Of The Seas

Sailing Date: 2009-06-20

Itinerary: Western Mediterranean

This is a magnificent ship packed with things to do and to entertain. Sadly I have found it necessary to write to the company regarding passengers failing to maintain health standards and crew failure to enforce cleaning of hands when entering dining rooms. Although gel hand clean is available many guests choose to ignore the need to clean their hands and staff fail to enforce this - allowing passengers ro walk by.

The bar waiters hover over you like flies to take an order - often before you have even sat down - just to earn the extra bucks through tips. The prices on board for drinks are in my opinion grossly overpriced. Royal Caribbean automatically adds 15% to the drink cost hidden in cost of drink price and then you are invited to pay tips on top. Don't get me wrong - I was happy to tip because these kids rely on them for a decent wage. In addition Royal Caribbean charges guests appx $4.25 in some ports to get from the dock to the town, and that is per person each way - $18 when required.

The food is excellent we did not have a bad meal in either the Romeo and Juliry dining rooms or indeed in the Windjammer Cafeteria. The Windjammer gets very busy for all meals but I never failed to get a table even though the ship was full. The dining room staff are attentive for the most part and also try to entertain guests with some singing.

We had a balcony stateroom on Deck 6 Starboard side. It was spotlessly clean and our cabin steward was very attentive to needs. If you required anything it was brought. Make sure you take some decent teabags and coffee. You don't get coffee in your stateroom, only tea, and the teabags were so weak you felt like giving them the kiss of life, totally flavorless.

You can look at your ship charge account as you spend. I would recommend this strongly as many guests including ourselves had several charging errors.

Facilities on board are excellent. There is always something going on - boy do they plug the bingo. There were quiz sessions, 'keep fit', aerobics, dance and spanish lessons which we went to. The entertainment in the theatre and in the Pyramid Lounge was always good if a bit cheesy at times, and the ice shows are a must, but get there early for a ticket they are limited. One word of caution - if you want to get a seat get to a bar early and stay - move and you will find your seat gone in a second - many quests had to stand - that is my only complaint.

Excursions we did were - Cagliar - Amphitheatre and Botanical Gardens - this was a complete rip off - avoid at all cost! It is expensive and the guide was not impresssive - lead to formal complaint to RC. FLorence - Good trip marred by bad weather. Malaga - Panoramic and Cathedral - pleasant and interesting with excellent guide. Lisbon - Sitges and Cascais - Fantastic - lovely coach outing with excellent guide and time in both locations to look around. Vigo - The boarder Country - trip to Valenca across boarder in Portugal - again excellent ans excllent guide. Southampton - Gibraltar - Cagliari - Livorno for FLorence/Pisa - Cannes - Barcelona - Malaga - Lisbon - Vigo - Southampton. Excellent weather apart from Florence and a great ship apart from comments made. Would I go with RC again - probably but would need assurances on standards of germ protection being radically improved.

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