My Wife with Independence of the Seas, Labadee, Haiti
I recently completed an exciting Independence of the Seas cruise vacation. This cruise was more impressive than my previous sailing with Royal Caribbean.
In 2010, I joined a group of friends on a 4-night Royal Caribbean cruise the Bahamas aboard Monarch of the Seas. I came back enjoying the cruise – my first love – but was not impressed with Royal Caribbean.
Seven (7) years later, my sailing with Independence of the Seas has changed my perspective.
With My Wife On Royal Promenade - Independence of the Seas
As I travel agent, I promote and sell Royal Caribbean cruises.
However, I had only experienced the cruise line once. In addition to that experience, I have attended webinars and have done some training on Royal Caribbean’s travel agent portal.
Before my second Royal Caribbean cruise vacation this winter (2017), I was aware of the innovative amenities being added to Royal’s newest ships and the excitement surrounding the new builds.
I was eager to sail with Royal Caribbean again, to get a better feel for the experience.
I am glad that I did.
While I will not seek to cover everything about my recent cruise getaway on this webpage, I will share enough to let you know that cruising with Royal Caribbean is a great idea for your family vacation.
Royal Caribbean makes great looking ships and the Independence of the Seas is no exception.
This vessel is among Royal’s biggest ships, but falls short of the Quantum and Oasis Classes in size.
I was impressed with the many areas onboard for adults, children and families to enjoy.
The ship is nicely arranged in different areas, so that everyone does not need to be in the same area at once.
There is the Royal Promenade with shops and restaurants.
There is the pool deck with pools, hot-tubs, a buffet restaurant, a giant movie screen, specialty restaurants and more.
There is a sports area with a surf simulator, basketball court, rock climbing and more.
There’s also the spa area and a top-notch fitness center.
There’s even a solarium for adults only – pool and hot-tubs. The children also have their own play areas.
In addition to the major partitions, there are other areas such as a beautiful library, a hangout spot for past guests, an ice-skating rink, a grand theater and lounges.
There is simply enough for everyone to enjoy.
Pool Deck On Independence of the Seas
Many people enjoy the food onboard cruise ships and are wowed by the many choices and of course the various tastes and food arrangements.
Independence of the Seas did not disappoint.
In addition to the main dining rooms – beautifully decorated – the Independence offers specialty dining at a cover charge.
You will have the option of a steakhouse (Chop’s Grille), Italian cuisine (Giovanni’s) and the Chef’s Table (exclusive dining with wine pairing).
In addition to the above specialty dining options, there are other popular eateries including Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream, Sorrento’s Pizzeria, Johnny Rockets (nominal charge), the Café Promenade and others.
My family chose to have dinner in the main dining room each evening and was very happy with the professionalism of the staff and the food choices.
We used the buffet restaurant (Windjammer Cafe) for breakfast and lunch. Even there we were pleased with the arrangement of each food station and the willingness of the staff to assist us.
Dinner at Romeo & Juliet Dining Room
I mentioned that there are many areas on the ship to get lost and enjoy things. Some things to watch for include:
1. The Adult-only area
2. Soothing moments with music around a piano
3. Exciting shows at the ice-skating rink
4. Test your skills moments at the flow-rider
5. Amazing production shows in the main theater
6. Very funny comedians, and much more.
Labadee, Haiti from Independence of the Seas
My 5-day Western Caribbean cruise aboard Independence of the Seas took us to two beautiful ports of call: Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica.
Labadee happens to be one of Royal Caribbean’s private beach resorts in the Caribbean.
On the other hand, the Falmouth Cruise Terminal was recently built to host large ships such as Royal’s Oasis Class vessels: Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and the next one in the series: Symphony of the Seas.
Labadee is largely a beach stop, with many sea-based activities and the longest zipline over water. There is also the highly anticipated barbecue lunch, comprising of island dishes and more familiar food items from the United States.
At this port of call we spent the day on the beach and then did some shopping.
Falmouth is relatively new, with opportunities to visit neighboring Montego Bay and Ocho Rios – well-known hotspots in Jamaica.
Our stop in Falmouth was split between completing our cruise pack mission and visiting the Blue Waters Beach. Our main focus was the former, but we appreciated visiting a clean and beautiful beach.
Some shore excursion options include:
*Labadee Speedboat and Snorkel
*Arawak Aqua Park
*Luxury Sailing Yacht Experience
*Chukka River Tubing Safari
*Green Grotto Caves & Dunn’s River Falls
*The Flavors of Reggae Hill and Bobsled
*Dolphin Cove Swim
Cruise Pack Mission Jamaica On Independence of the Seas
By now, you have noticed that I have many good things to say
about my inclusive cruise vacation aboard the beautiful Independence of the
I want to end this narrative with a few things which stood out:
1. Our room steward – We had a dear lady from Trinidad as our steward and she was a blast. She was quite attentive and made every effort to ensure that all was well.
2. Finder – An interactive video screen used for finding “things” around the ship: your stateroom, restrooms, current activities, etc. These screens are strategically located near elevator lobbies.
3. Dinner – I have nothing but high praise for the chefs onboard Independence of the Seas. I enjoyed my choice or choices of dinner each evening.
4. Comedy shows – I attended two family comedy shows and was pleased. The guys had me laughing and that made a big difference.
5. Royal Promenade – I loved that area. It is such a wonderful place to sit with relatives or friends to chat or to grab a quick bite at the Promenade Café or Sorrento’s Pizzeria.
If you wish to pay for something, you can stop in at Ben & Jerry’s Ice-Cream or the Cupcake Cupboard.
There you have a small taste of my exciting Independence of the Seas cruise vacation. I am now ready to sail with Royal Caribbean International again.
If fact, my family wants to experience a cruise getaway aboard one of the Oasis Class ships - the biggest cruise ships at sea.
Our next family cruise vacation will be aboard the Allure of the Seas, which is currently the second largest ship on the high seas.
I know that it will be as great or even better than my exciting Independence of the Seas cruise vacation.