Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Mini Cruise
Day two of our mini cruise onboard Independence of the Seas started with clear blue skies and no sign of land as we sailed somewhere between England and France. That meant plenty of time for us to check out what the refurbished ship has to offer.
After an excellent buffet breakfast with an incredible selection of hot and cold, healthy and not-so-healthy options we headed to the sports deck to try our hand at some of the outdoor activities. But first a gentle sway on the giant swing.
The full-sized climbing wall looked a bit challenging, so we opted for the water slides of The Perfect Storm.
These were seriously fast and twisty slides, and perfect for adrenaline junkies. After several trips to the top of the tower and then plunging down through the slides we dried off on deck in the sun whilst watching people try out the wave rider.
We then moved on to the Skypad. This is one of the new attractions on the ship – a bungee trampoline experience with a difference. We were strapped into the bungee harnesses and then handed virtual reality headsets as we bounced on the trampolines. Not the most glamorous of looks but lots of fun.
One of the most appealing features of the Independence of the Seas is that there are so many things to do that none of them get busy, and you don’t have to wait too long in line before taking your turn. Even so, by now we were ready for some sunbathing, and so had to leave the wave rider for another day. There’s plenty of deck space so whether you want to be in among the party crowd, or enjoying some peace and quiet, there’s room for everyone.
Speaking of rooms, we took the opportunity to check out some of the cabins that were open for viewing. These included the Royal Suite, a Members’ Suite and some of the other luxurious staterooms on offer. All were well-furnished and spacious, with room for entertaining as well as sleeping, and offered extensive balconies to enjoy the sea views. The Royal Suite even had a grand piano, a hot tub on the balcony and walk-in closets.
As the day continued, we settled into cruise life, enjoying freshly made fish and chips at the Fish and Ships shack on the main deck; ordering cocktails from the deck bar and relaxing to the sounds of the house band pumping out a string of reggae classics. The early evening saw us back in the Fitness Centre – well we had to have another work out with those amazing views! – and then it was time to get ready for dinner and another evening of entertainment. We ate at the Windjammer Market, where even with our dietary requirements ( one vegetarian and one gluten-free) there was no shortage of delicious food available. We sat and watched the sun sink into the sea whilst sipping an excellent Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, and then it was off to see what further highlights the Independence of the Seas had to serve up.
An extra surprise was the party that was put on in the Promenade with the most amazing selection of chocolate sweets and desserts.
We caught the end of “Grease” in the theatre – a West End standard production with great singing and dancing enhanced by the enthusiastic audience.
Then, amazingly, we took in an ice dancing show. The nightclub from the night before had been transformed into a skating rink and we watched a troupe of international skaters portraying the story of a magical violin while performing multiple jumps and spins.
Finally, it was a trip to the Sportsmasters bar for a frame of pool and cocktails in an authentic American sports bar atmosphere.
There was also a band playing high above the walkway in the promenade as we made our way back to our cabin.
When we got back to our cabin at the end of the evening we were delighted by a departure gift of a Royal Caribbean themed Monopoly game to take home. There was also helpful information on how to have a straightforward departure.
Next morning came round too soon, and while we had been sleeping the ship had sailed back to Southampton. We were sad to be leaving the Independence of the Seas but received a very warm send-off from all of the staff, which left us with smiles on our faces and very fond memories as we returned to dry land.
If you think that cruises are just for “golden oldies” then the Independence of the Seas will make you think again. It combines the best of a luxury hotel with well-appointed rooms, an amazing array of fine food and drinks, with a range of activities that will appeal to the young and young at heart, topped off with an outstanding programme of entertainment. And remember, we only sailed out to the Channel and back. Independence of the Seas will be sailing on a range of European cruises this year. For a truly memorable holiday, why not take to the seas onboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas.
We were guests of Royal Caribbean on our first mini cruise and I can safely say we intend to take a cruise again and then we will sail to specific destinations!
For more about travelling and trying a mini cruise with Royal Caribbean, check their website.
Thinking of trying a mini cruise yourself or a longer trip with Royal Caribbean? Why not pin this post for later