Not one of our better cruises! Kids everywhere!: Independence of the Seas Cruise Review by Flashbang
Overall Member Rating
Not one of our better cruises! Kids everywhere!
Destination: Baltic Sea
Our stateroom - Cabin 7246 was a balcony suite.
Nice large cabin with a table and two chairs on the balcony accessed via a sliding patio door.
First down side was the discovery of biscuit crumbs on the carpet by the small coffee table. Closely followed by the find of a celluloid new shirt collar stiffener band half under the settee! Clearly the cabin had not been cleaned correctly!. Within minutes my wife wanted a tissue and we looked everywhere including More the bathroom, where a special dispenser is located, and all the room drawers. No box of tissues anywhere. Outside the steward was working in the hallway. "Can we have a box of tissues please" I asked him. "They are in your room" came the reply!! "No, there ar e not any". "Look in the drawers" he said and stood over me watching as I went yet again through all the drawers in the cabin, he was like some teacher overseeing a naughty schoolboy! When none were found he said "Oh"! "Ill get you a box". Surely he should have said at the beginning... sorry, here's a box. I was going to mention the biscuit crumbs and shirt collar stiffener but just couldn't be bothered as clearly he wasn't in the slightest interested.
Lifeboat drill was attended and this is when it became very apparent about the large number of children on board. Why can't parents control their children?
We were allocated a 20:00 dining time which suited us and we had a table by the window which was excellent and the two waiters and the food served were first class.
We had a premium drinks package (Thankfully) as when you see the highly inflated drinks prices RC charge it would have cost a fortune. Not forgetting that any drinks purchased also have a hefty 18% service charge added too. Rip off is the best way of describing the drink prices. But as I've said we didn't have to pay. Cocktails mainly came in at the top of the packages allowance of $14 per drink. Glass of wine around $8-$10 and a beer at $8. Strange thing is a cocktail in the very nice Olive & Twist lounge/bar was within the package, but go down to the high street level cocktail bar area and ask for the same drink it was outside of the package and you would have to pay the extra plus service too!
Ports of call... Sunday 28th - Le Harve France. Easy walk of about 10 minutes into town. But unfortunately being a Sunday many shops were closed. But nice to stretch your legs for a couple of hours. Others took the three hour bus trip each way to Paris. Formal dinner evening.
Monday 29th was Cherbourg France. Free shuttle bus took us into the town or beyond to a modern shopping centre. Which is where we left the bus and had a quick look around then we walked over the pedestrian bridge into the town. After looking around we returned to the ship on foot which is about a 15 to 20 minute walk from the town centre.
Tuesday 30th was a day at sea and the second Formal dress evening too. Weather wasn't too special so it was mainly an indoors day. We didn't experience too much of a problem getting anywhere to sit but everywhere was of course busy. Shame that regardless of the RC comments that shorts are not permitted in the dining room they allowed a chap in on this a a formal evening wearing a polo sweater and shorts!
Wednesday 31st Bilbao Spain. Nice sunny day and while busses are available to take you into the city centre, its at an additional cost. Typically 10 euro each return. We decided to take a walk along the lovely beach front, which curves in a U shape from where the ship was docked.
Thursday 1st June. Gijon. We docked early morning and when we opened the curtains it was foggy/sea mist and very little could be seen. After breakfast we returned to the cabin to collect items for the day and looked out on the now visible dockside. What a dump! To the stern of the ship was a coal pile reminiscent of a Egyptian pyramid. In front and all along the side of the ship is what can only be described as a former sea bed of waste land. To the front of the ship set up on the key side as a tent for disembarkation etc. First thought was pyramid to the left, desert in front and Bedouin encampment to the right!! We decided not to take the shuttle bus into Gijon which again was an extra of 10Euro return. But instead we decided to just walk around outside. Waste of time. There is nothing there! Half a dozen market stalls selling over priced tourist gifts and that is it. Nice tall concrete wall all around the dock, so we never did see the area! Back on ship within ten minutes and drinks ordered!
Friday 2nd June Day at sea.
Pros. Easy access to ship. Nice food and friendly staff in the bars and restaurants. Large ship with plenty to do and places to sit.
Cons. Not very good ports of call. Guess they are cheap for RC to dock at? A large number of children on board. Discovered it was UK half term week! If you don't have a drinks package expect a large bill at the end of your cruise! Having to put your cases out by 23:00 the night before returning to S'hampton was a bit of a pain as you have to go to bed early or take you evening clothes off the ship in a separate bag.
Would I go on the RC Independence again.- No. Would I go with RC again on another ship.. Possibly? We were on the RC Vision of the Seas in November '16 sailing from Venice and while a smaller ship its far more comfortable and relaxing. Less
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