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Rick Crompton

Age: 62

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Independence Of The Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-09-25

Itinerary: Western Mediterranean

The Independence of the Seas is a remarkable vessel with something for everyone. The entertainment was top drawer, especially the skating revue (akin to the Ice Capades) produced on the ship's very own ice rink. The excellent exercise/spa facility opens at 6:00, giving early risers the opportunity to clear their heads and keep fit throughout the entre cruise. The service was outstanding, especially our cabin steward who was very accommodating of each and every request.. Ditto the dining room waiters. Smoking in rooms is of course, prohibited, but a the port side decks are designated for smokers. Non-smokers should reserve starboard side rooms if they want to avoid drifting smoke. Inside cabins on decks 6 to 10 all face an open atrium. It is important for those booking these rooms to remember to keep their shades/blinds closed for privacy since the opposite inside staterooms on each deck are but 50 feet away. Food in the dining rooms was all right. Starters and desserts were were exceptionally good but the entrees fell short of our expectation. The three adult pools were well positioned but deck reclining space was somewhat inadequate for the 4,200 passengers. Transfers in and out of Southhampton were very thoroughly and professionally handled and security at certain ports of call was very tight..

As above. The Windjammer buffet was too small to handle the number of passengers. On certain days, the dining rooms were left open for breakfast. The buffet food was acceptable but not so good as that offered on the Coral Princess a few years ago. The location of certain foodstuffs was hard to find -- not always logically placed with other corresponding foods.

Small but well appointed. A large outside balcony; a good shower; lots of hot water -- never had a
lukewarm washdown.

Very good. Sommething for everyone. There were two entertainment co-ordinators -- one American and one British who conducted a television programme outlining what was happening that day.

Land excursions are better when they are at least four hours long. Those "trimmed-down" excursions tended to be confined to the bus with no or few stops for photos. Pay a little more for the longer tours and have time to walk/stretch and take in the scenery from your own perspective.

14 days from Southhampton to Gibraltar, Villefranche (Nice), Livorno (Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome), Cagliari (Sardinia), Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo and return to Southhampton. Relatively smooth sailing (under 8 foot swells) with only one day having a rough sea warning. Very few got seasick though the predictable spread of colds was evident. Wash your hands regularly with the hand sanitizers to prevent disease spread.

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