If you haven’t booked a Royal Caribbean Cruise do NOT book one. As a seasoned traveler and a 5 time cruiser, 3 times to Europr and living over seas in Japn for 3 years---I am telling you DO NOT BOOK ROYAL CARIBBEAN—OR-- cancel your cruise if you are unfortunate enough to have already booked the Independence of the Seas.
Here is why:
•The Worst Food worst food of any cruise I have ever sailed
•No 24 food service in the Windjammer
•The Windjammer doesn’t’ have enough tables so you must get a table before you get your food if you can find a table--sometimes we just left
•Food police guard the Windjammer so even if you wanted an apple around 5 pm the cops are there to stop you and direct 6 floors below to the pizza place.
•They shut down the Windjammer from 5 pm until 6:30 and then again at 9 pm so forget a late night snack
•Unhappy people serving the food All of them wanted to get off the ship
•Nothing special on the Buffet EVER—Hamburgers, Hot dogs and then slop that was bland enough to cater to the over 80 crowd and let them gum it down without their teeth
•Overcrowded and horrible first day boarding and last day departing procedures
•Over priced drinks and watered down cocktails
•Any alcohol brought onto the ship is taken off you and given back on the last day
•Automatic gratuities and then the servers try to get you to tip extra on top of the 18% saying they don’t get all of the tip themselves
•NO FOOD SERVICE at the pools so even if you wanted some of the slop you have to go back to the Windjammer and tote it out yourself
•Don't purchase their drinking water packages. It costs about $4.50 for a bottle of water.
•They try to ding you for every minor thing as if they built the ship and now YOU have to pay for it every nickel dime they can extract or coerce from you. All the time we were on the ship, Royal Caribbean employees are incessantly attempting to fleece the last penny from your pockets. Like “official” photographs at $20 a photo, overpriced watered down cocktails at the pool side, art auctions, Bingo cards, junk watches, junk costume jewelry, duty free cigarettes (can't smoke them until you leave) duty free alcohol (again can't drink it on board) paying for fitness classes, paying for the shuttle buses at some of the Ports that convey you from the boat into the local town
So you say –Well what was good:
•Our Jr. Suite was wonderful
•Spending time with my wife
•Sleeping with the door open so you could hear the waves
•The Entertainment Director Goff was hilarious!
Final word---Book anything but this BIG ship the Independence of the Seas or you will HATE it- they built this behemoth and you will pay for this BIG Loser of a ship every day with the nickel dime fleecing and Royal Caribbean's missing food availability, lousy food quality and watered down drinks.