Review of our independence of the seas trip 3/14-3/18(Platinum members, did the Ultimate dining Plan and deluxe beverage this trip) Promenade room 7329
Flew into FLL from STL, 5:45 am flight(ugh), in FLL around 9, at the Port, checked in and in seats waiting to board by 10:15. at 11am they started calling people and we were on board and making our reservations for the week at Chops by 11:15. Boarding process was simple and easy.
Got the hibachi the first night. I went down in the afternoon of the 1st day and played dumb asking about getting the hibachi with UDP. Lady said no, but since it was the first day and they weren't crowded she would let us. Meal was good, but we were charged $4 a piece for our meal(single meet, combo meat would have been $10 pp) that wasn't mentioned when the reservation was made. Not a huge deal, and I imagine if I had complained I could have gotten it waved, but it was $10, not worth the time.
Ate at chops the 2nd and 4th night. Very good, service was really good and the food was excellent. Desserts were very eh in my opinion tho. Not very exciting at all.
Ate at Giovanni's the 3rd night and had a similar experience to Chops, with a waitress that was a little better than the night before. Food was really good and the desserts were better than Chops.
For lunch we got sandwiches from Cafe promenade pretty much every day and ate them poolside. Day 1(got an egg salad for a snack late afternoon) and 3 had great sandwiches. day 2 and 4 were eh. Pizza in Sorrentos was much better than previous trips. I noticed that with sorrentos the lines were much shorter at cafe promenade and Sorrentos than on navigator the year before with just cafe promenade. we got burgers from windjammer a couple of times as well.
Not a big fan of the promenade rooms(we stayed in an inside room for our 1st 2 cruises, but the last 4 before this were all balconies). I wanted the window because the inside rooms feel to cave like to me, but my wife wanted the window curtains closed because you could see right in across from you, so it kind of defeated the purpose. Could have just gotten an inside room instead. Bed placement makes the room awkward to move around in. Bed was very hard in my opinion but didn't really bother us. Stateroom attendant was very good. Not really alot of sound from out on the promenade.
Solarium was pretty crowded and they've added chairs to the shelfs. This makes those much more crowded than they were previously. I'm an early riser, so I was out by the pool every day around 8/8:30, so we had our pick of chairs. Really could have had any chair we wanted until 9:30am probably. Bar service was pretty easy, sometimes crowded, but never very long to wait for a drink. One change I found this trip was alot more waiters than we've ever seen. I got more drinks from a waiter by the pool this trip than probably all others combined.
Didn't use the regular pool, but it looked nice. Kid area was fairly crowded and looked like the kids were having fun.
Didn't do the flow rider or the tubes.
Bars and entertainment.
we drank at playmakers and R bar alot of the cruise. Liked playmakers alot, great atmosphere. Didn't try any of the food, but it looked pretty good. Spent some time at the Schooner bar(piano guy was ok, woman last year was alot more fun) . The actor who played danny zucco in the Grease show was performing one night and we caught the end, looks like the show was fun and we enjoyed the few numbers we saw. stopped in the pub a couple times and the viking lounge, but didn't frequent these enough to give an opinion one way or another. Bar service was pretty good almost the entire trip.
We saw Grease on night 2, Savannah Jack on night 3. Did not do the show the 1st night or the last. Grease was just ok, the leads could sing but it was just kind of eh. Enjoyed Saturday night Fever alot more on a previous cruise. Felt bad for Savannah Jack, the crowd was small and didn't' seem to get into it. We've seen them before with a larger crowd and they were great. so overall the entertainment was lacking this trip.
The app sucks. Didn't show our dining reservations. Show times/changes never updated. pre cruise it had grease on night 2 and 4. The headliner in the app for night 3 was somebody else. Pretty much worthless if you were relying on it for any information.
4 days is too short. We've done 5 days the last 4 years and chose 4 days to save money because of an expensive disney trip coming up. It was fine, but 4 would have been better.
Getting on and off the ship was really easy, we did self assist and walked down to the theater at 8:30 am with our luggage and didn't stop until we got in line at customs desk. I think we were in a cab by 8:45.
Announcements are worthless, I'm hard of hearing in one ear, but even my wife couldn't make out most of them.
Elevators are really slow. I took the stairs most times.
Freestyle machines are pretty good and lines weren't long like I thought they might be.
If you've got any questions, ask.