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Sunday, 4 July 2010

Independence of the Seas..............

I was recently given the opportunity to visit Independence of the Seas on a turn around day down in Southampton. If I ignore Oasis of the Seas, this was the ship I have most wanted to see in the flesh, not having had a chance to sail on her yet.

I wasn't disappointed.
The ship is amazing.
Absolutely huge.
I know that a large ship isn't for everyone but for families, or someone like me who gets bored easy it was unbelievable.
I could go on and on here about the Royal Promenade, the numbers of bars, restaurants or nightclubs available. The entertainments and activates offered onboard, but I've tried writing this blog a couple of times now and it always ends up feeling a little hollow. You can get a brochure and fine out about the gross tonnage of the ship or the exact amount of bathrooms it has, instead what I have decided to do is upload all the pictures and let you try and see exactly what kept me amazed.
This wont be easy.
To start with words or pictures will never do this lady proud. You really do need to be there. See it in 360 degrees, experience it for yourself. Plus I had lost my camera so had to borrow a friends so some of these pictures could be politely described as awful.
My best advice really would be to book yourself on board; you will have a great time!
By the way, try and ignore the date stamp on the pictures saying 2007, I forgot to set the date and time before I started snapping, (again sorry about the new camera).
So here goes...........................

Not the most interesting pictures I took I'll admit, but I really did want to give you an idea of the sheer size of the ship from the outside. It really does feel like you’re on a floating city once you’re onboard.

An ice rink at sea. Nuff said.
A random corridor. I think this was the bit where I got lost and started taking lots of random pictures as a point of reference. I did try leaving a trail of breadcrumbs but they kept getting cleaned up behind me.
The Boleros Lounge. There is one on either side of the deck with a corridor inbetween. At night the floor your looking at is used as a dance floor. Not even one of the main bars, just a nice respite between bars if you fancy a bit of a dance.
The casino. Not exactly a unique feature to the Independence I'll admit, but what ships complete without one?

The labyrinth. A gothic style nightclub with a very medieval style feel inside.

The glass staircase inside Labyrinth. No, I didn't shatter it walking down, it was designed like this. Just one of the small features that really highlight the attention to detail Royal Caribbean showed when putting her together.
An inside shot of Labyrinth to show you the gothic/medieval theme.
A shot of the far end of the royal promenade. I'm trying to give you an idea here how big the ship felt from the inside.
This is a picture of some of the staterooms with windows overlooking the Royal promenade. Here you can either while away your time people watching or enjoy the processions that Royal Caribbean put on every few days.
The Alhambra theatre. Truly huge inside with another tier of seats just above my head. Sadly I didn't have enough time to view any of the shows, so I will have to take our reps word for it that "they're alright I supose'.
No I'm only joking I'm sure there spectacular, but I would love for anyone who has experienced them first hand to leave a quick comment here and let us all know what they thought.
I love this. All the lifts have these and they're changed every day at midnight so you don't forget what day it is. How's that for attention to detail?
The full, albeit blurry, view of the Royal promenade. You really do need to be there yourself to really appreciate the true scope of it though.
The Pyramid lounge. A smaller more intimate theatre for those who don't fancy the Alhambra for any reason.
One of the many restaurants dotted around the ship with no cover charge. Open till late in the evening to cater for anyone coming out of the nightclubs.
The Dog and Badger. The American idea of a 'traditional Irish pub'. Still as long as the lagers cold and the kids are having a good time in the kids clubs, right?
Live musicians above the promenade playing a selection of classic and modern songs for the enjoyment of those below. Trust me it beats piped in muzac hands down!
The Clean Shave. A traditional 19th century mens barbers where the gents can go and be shaved each morning with a cutthroat razor. Probably best avoided during choppy waters.
Completely random. Royal Caribbean think they make the ship look more 'funky'. You'll find objects like this dotted all over the ship. Answers on a post card to the usual address if you agree with them or not.
The Viking crown lounge. With 360degree windows you get some amazing views. Trust me.
The H2O Zone. Only kids allowed, sorry folks i Know it looks fun, but it's for the wee ones only.
Another touch of attention to detail here. All the glass behind the fences leans inwards so even if a child were to climb it they can only fall backwards, not out to sea.
Mini golf at sea.Even of you don't fancy it you have to love the idea.

Again, another activity I didn't have time to have a go at, but at 220feet above sea level if you can make it to the top you'll get a great view.
Johhny Rockets, one of the cafes you have to pay a small cover charge for, but how cool's this? The waitress will bring you a bowl of curly fries with your menus, for you to munch on whilst your deciding what to eat!
An inside stateroom, set up as a twin. Not huge I'll grant you but bear in mind I'm halfway into the room to take the picture, and after everything you've seen here how much time are you going to be spending in your room?
An Ocean view stateroom.
A balcony stateroom. The doors to the balcony were locked so I didn't get a chance to photograph that for you, sorry.

Still not sure about these. Whats everyone else think?
The main dining room really was stupendous. Really luxurious and tasteful, with no pink dogs in sight.
My free lunch, provided for by Royal Caribbean. New York strip steak in a peppercorn sauce with mascapone mash. Mwah! Absolutely delicious, and to give you an idea of the level of service to expect whilst your onboard, when one of the people I was visiting the ship with couldn't decide between the steak and the fish they brought her both!

So that was my day of adventure aboard the Independence of the Seas and I can't wait to get back on her. If any of you have any questions about her you can ask them below, or if this has made up your mind and you want to book yourself a cabin onboard, you know how to reach me.

                                                            Happy Cruising.