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Independence Just Out of Refurb

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So, Independence just came out of a massive refurbishment in May and I've looked at the first few weeks of reviews. Almost everyone complains about the poor quality of the food and overcrowding in the Windjammer and MDR (because 400 more rooms were added with no additional space in those dining venues). I guess I can (maybe) understand some growing pains, although I would think the crew would already be experienced. Why would the food quality go down after a refurb? Was that part of the plan to cut costs? Does anyone have newer info? Sailing in August and not happy. Thanks

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Sailing in August and not happy.

 

Wait until after you actually sail before determining whether or not you're unhappy. Because if you walk onto the ship unhappy, you're going to leave unhappy. That's no way to spend a vacation...

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Looks like 115 cabins were added, possibly adding 230+ more pax based on double occupancy.

When we were on her several years ago, the food and service were abysmal-so much so that we ate only in the WJ or specialty restaurants. A turn over in staff or even ineffective management (Hotel Director, F&B Manager, etc.) on the ship can make huge differences on the cruise experience.

Go on with an open mind, that can make all the difference!

:)

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I remember when Voyager class was coming out 20 yrs ago a selling point was a significant increase in public square feet per passenger compared to older ships. .Something like 42sqft on her compared to 20-something square on Sovereign. Even with these added cabins I bet there is still more then the older ships Sovereign/Majesty and or possibly even Vision class ships. But it's after midnite, too late to look it up/figure sq ft.... I'm Curious though...

Edited by ONECRUISER

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I remember when Voyager class was coming out 20 yrs ago a selling point was a significant increase in public square feet per passenger compared to older ships. .Something like 42sqft on her compared to 20-something square on Sovereign. Even with these added cabins I bet there is still more then the older ships Sovereign/Majesty and or possibly even Vision class ships. But it's after midnite, too late to look it up/figure sq ft.... I'm Curious though...

 

 

 

Does public square foot mean non cabin space? I’d like to measure empty public space, hard to do maybe but exclude dodgems and trampolines and the like. That’s why I feel more crowded on larger ships I think, less empty deck per person.

 

 

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We just got off Indy this morning and had a wonderful cruise. We commented several times between ourselves on the quality of the food particularly

In the WJ. It was very crowded on embarkation day and one other lunchtime when everyone was in a rush to eat at the same time to get to see Grease but otherwise we never had an issue getting a table quickly. I think it was probably one of our best cruises ever

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We just got off Indy this morning and had a wonderful cruise. We commented several times between ourselves on the quality of the food particularly

In the WJ. It was very crowded on embarkation day and one other lunchtime when everyone was in a rush to eat at the same time to get to see Grease but otherwise we never had an issue getting a table quickly. I think it was probably one of our best cruises ever

Glad to hear the good review, thanks. First one I’ve seen

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We’re just off Independence this morning too! Thought the food was very good in the Windjammer and loved it’s new look ...and the handwashing stations as you go in.

 

However, with the additional cabins and their passengers it has made the ship very busy and I’m not sure we will book her again. This is a great shame as we loved the ship when we sailed on her last September but then we managed to get a seat to enjoy a drink after the show in the theatre. This time it was mostly impossible.

 

The staff and service were as good as ever.

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So, Independence just came out of a massive refurbishment in May and I've looked at the first few weeks of reviews. Almost everyone complains about the poor quality of the food and overcrowding in the Windjammer and MDR (because 400 more rooms were added with no additional space in those dining venues). I guess I can (maybe) understand some growing pains, although I would think the crew would already be experienced. Why would the food quality go down after a refurb? Was that part of the plan to cut costs? Does anyone have newer info? Sailing in August and not happy. Thanks

The kitchen is all Microwaves now! :eek::(

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Glad to hear the good review, thanks. First one I’ve seen

Welcome to Cruise Critic where critical reviews out number positive ones by at least 10-1 - it says very little of what is actually like on the ship.

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We just got off Indy this morning and had a wonderful cruise. We commented several times between ourselves on the quality of the food particularly

In the WJ. It was very crowded on embarkation day and one other lunchtime when everyone was in a rush to eat at the same time to get to see Grease but otherwise we never had an issue getting a table quickly. I think it was probably one of our best cruises ever

 

Just goes to show that different people have different experiences . :)

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Does public square foot mean non cabin space? I’d like to measure empty public space, hard to do maybe but exclude dodgems and trampolines and the like. That’s why I feel more crowded on larger ships I think, less empty deck per person.

 

 

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We’ve done Indy twice and Oasis class twice. Although bigger we would choose the bigger sisters anytime as it feels way more spacious. Passenger ratio measures don’t take into account outside space which Oasis class has in abundance. So on paper Oasis class looks like it has an average passenger ratio but in reality there is an awful lot of space. Bigger is better when it come to Royal for me.

 

 

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I agree about the Oasis class. It feels less crowded than any other class of RCCL or any other ship we've been on, regardless of size.

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I’d be interested to try Oasis class again - we did it as a TA with bad weather and it was awful. It was so crowded as nobody was outside at all

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We’re just off Independence this morning too! Thought the food was very good in the Windjammer and loved it’s new look ...and the handwashing stations as you go in.

The staff and service were as good as ever.





was lucky to be invited to the pre release cruise,

I agree with the handwash station pity no low ones for children and wheel chair users

we were told 104 cabins added but no extra crew.

Food was excellent and the menu had been tweeked for the British market.

It is smaller in choice than before, no Caesar's salad every day but prawn cocktail and snails were. Alway a steak on the menu

lobster tails are back.

the English Executive Chef has done a great job on the food side in the MDR and Windjammers.





the additional features on board are great for families.





We liked the Sports bar not impressed with Fish and ships

will miss the second Diamond lounge which is now Suite only





it is all a matter of taste

will we go back probably if the price is right but prefer smaller ships

j

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I’m not one to take pictures of the ship so can’t help there but if you search the #myindy on Instagram you should see quite a few from the press cruise post-refurb.

 

We also liked the sports bar, it had a nice vibe to it, didn’t feel like the usual cruise ship bar at all.

 

The chips in Fish & Ships were grand, not sure I’d bother with it again though.

 

Grease was very good, well worth going to

 

The new area on the sports deck with swing, climber and hammocks is a nice addition.

 

I’ve often had the issue of not getting a seat in certain bars after dinner/before a show on all the ships we’ve been on. It wasn’t such a big deal this time as we were travelling with a preschooler but it did seem busy

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was lucky to be invited to the pre release cruise,

I agree with the handwash station pity no low ones for children and wheel chair users

we were told 104 cabins added but no extra crew.

Food was excellent and the menu had been tweeked for the British market.

It is smaller in choice than before, no Caesar's salad every day but prawn cocktail and snails were. Alway a steak on the menu

lobster tails are back.

the English Executive Chef has done a great job on the food side in the MDR and Windjammers.





the additional features on board are great for families.





We liked the Sports bar not impressed with Fish and ships

will miss the second Diamond lounge which is now Suite only





it is all a matter of taste

will we go back probably if the price is right but prefer smaller ships

j

Thanks for a very good review! Most helpful!

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I really appreciate all the replies but I'd like to hear from others who have sailed Indy in the last few weeks. I assume there are growing pains but I keep hearing (also on other blogs) that overcrowding is an issue and people can't find seats in WJ. That's a pretty big problem if you can't sit down to eat. What is RCCL doing to remedy this? Were the first cruises out of dry dock super full and the later ones maybe not so?

 

Honestly, we've never been on a crowded RCCL ship before and we have always sailed Freedom class. The reports of overcrowding on Indy have me worried because I paid a LOT for this 2 week cruise (plus overseas air) and obviously don't want to be disappointed. We usually spend our Sea Days in the shade in the Solarium (with no problem finding seats). I'm hoping that August means family travelers and the Solarium seats will still be available. Thanks.

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My family also just returned from our fourteen day Canary Islands Cruise. The ship was in great shape from its recent forty five day drydock and as usual the crew was wonderful. The ship received the new water slides and approximately one hundred fifteen rooms were added on Deck Three. A new sports bar, Playmakers was added on Deck Four where the Photo Shop was previously located. All rugs were replaced in public areas and new furniture was added in the Main Dining Rooms and in the Windjammer Buffet. You would never know that he ship was over ten years old. As usual, the Windjammer was extremely crowded on Embarkation Day and the food,especially for breakfast was basically the same. We also noticed that a hand wash washing station was added at the entrance to the Windjammer to combat the problem ships are having to contain norovirius. We had My Time Dining on Deck Three and reserved the same table for thirteen of the fourteen nights. We sat at Table 335 and had excellent service from Waiter Poophendra from Mauritius and Assistant Waiter Dennis from India. The food served was always hot and I loved the French Onion Soup. My wife loved the fish dishes and had it almost every night. The voyage was outstanding and I would recommend it to everyone. Head Waiter Tyrone from Trinidad and Tobago was great and also made time to chat with passengers in his section. I told him that he definitely would move up the ladder within the company due to his exceptional work ethic.

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There was no problem getting a lounger in either the Solarium or near the main pools because during most of the voyage it was cooler than normal. Because the voyage was port intensive many passengers left the ship at most stops so if you decided to stay onboard you had the ship to yourself. This sailing had the least amount of chair hogs in my more than thirty five cruise ship sailings since I got hooked way back in May 1983.

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I really appreciate all the replies but I'd like to hear from others who have sailed Indy in the last few weeks. I assume there are growing pains but I keep hearing (also on other blogs) that overcrowding is an issue and people can't find seats in WJ. That's a pretty big problem if you can't sit down to eat. What is RCCL doing to remedy this? Were the first cruises out of dry dock super full and the later ones maybe not so?

What do you expect Royal to do? There are only so many tables and chairs. Every Windjammer on every ship can get crowded. There is no Windjammer in the fleet that can sit all passengers at the same time. It’s all about timing when you go or eat elsewhere.

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They have got rid of the laybrinth nightclub and the Pyramid Lounge as well replacing it with a sports bar. Studo b doubles up as the laser tag room somehow not sure how. Late night venue is the viking crown which is full of kids taking seats away from adults. All in all a mess. They should have took it out of service for 6 months and turned into a quantum class type ship and give themselves more room for more cabins and facilities.

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