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irun5k

Just off Indy - Best RCI cruise in a long while

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Just back from a 5 nighter to Labadee & Falmouth with our 11 yr old and 4 yr old- it was a great cruise:

 

Hits

  • Walked right on, around 12:45 PM
  • Enjoyed the Ben & Jerry's suite perks, mainly free drinks nightly at suite lounge, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, & upgraded buffet on Labadee
  • Got 2 connecting staterooms for less than the price of jamming all 4 of us in one
  • Ship condition very good inside and out
  • MDR food, every meal was very good
  • We're generally eating less these days and a full plate of buffet food is no longer how we want to start the day.  We stumbled upon breakfast sandwiches, made on demand, at Sorrentos which fit the bill for us all
  • The 2018 upgrades made a meaningful difference our family, including:
    • Water slides
    • Splashaway Bay
    • Playmakers
    • Sky Pad
    • Laser tag (must be 5yrs old, watch fine print)
    • Climbing lily pad things on sports deck for little ones
  • Good Hope Great House tour was really nice way to do something in Falmouth w/o excessive transit time (also "affordable" relatively speaking)
  • Shows were good, we enjoyed the Rock Tribute (Private Stock band.)
  • All the way around the outside of deck 4 is a great place for an ocean view walk and/or shuffleboard 
  • Deck chairs and quiet spots available even on sea days as long as you're willing to take a few steps away from pool perimeter
  • Aft sports area def. has an Oasis "neighborhood" feel esp. with the upgrades
  • Freedom class seems easier to get around on and we didn't find much we missed from Oasis class
  • Was a bit worried about spring break crowd getting too crazy.  Not an issue, generally a good crowd on board.
  • This was our first 5 nighter, having sailed 2 nighters, 4 nighters, and lots of 7 nighters.  5 nights was a really nice option!  Felt long enough and certainly worth the travel time from St Pete to Port Everglades, and we still have a full 3 day weekend to enjoy at home before going back to work/school

 

Misses

  • MTD needs work, a bit chaotic but doesn't have to be- would be easy enough to fix
  • Platinum coupons difficult to use, took 45 minutes/two visits to guest services to get corrected

 

Minor Meh (not major or temporary issues)

  • Would not book Promenade cabin again if not the Ben & Jerry's suite.  Promenade on this ship had loud music at what seems like all hours and it can be heard in Promenade staterooms.  (Some music may have been coming from Bolero's below up through centrum, was hard to tell.)
  • Aft sports area requires a little more navigation than usual to find, it is a major area of ship that feels like it should have prominent access
  • Navigation on deck 4 from Playmakers to Schooner Bar area requires a trip through the casino
  • Ironically the biggest issue I had with other passengers was not with crazy spring break kids but rather some company that had apparently booked a bunch of suites.  Adults at Labadee suite area loudly using f word, n word, etc. around kids.

 

Let me know if you have any questions about the ship!

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We were on Indy in January, and had a balcony cabin at the Promenade level.  The noise level from music was very loud, even there.  I can’t imagine how loud it was in the promenade cabins.  

 

Glad and we had a little buffer. 

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1 minute ago, h20skibum said:

We were on Indy in January, and had a balcony cabin at the Promenade level.  The noise level from music was very loud, even there.  I can’t imagine how loud it was in the promenade cabins.  

 

Glad and we had a little buffer. 

 

Wow, I was thinking that the row of interior rooms and hallway, etc. would have pretty much silenced it but I guess that shows how loud it really is.

 

I don't recall the Promenade being this loud on Voyager or Oasis class sailings I've been on.  I think it is cool that the Promenade is happening place, but yeah- it has an impact on cabins.  Old posts talk about a loud door noise in the Ben & Jerry's suite but to me that was a non-issue compared to the music.

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Previous cruiser of the Sweet here - we didn't have music noise in the cabin at the time, but we did get the door slam below us on the first night of the cruise.  This was a few years ago so maybe there is some new speakers in the promenade that are affecting the noise level.

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We were on Indy the week before you and had a similarly great cruise!  Agree on all counts her upgrades are good ones and she's a great ship!

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Our family of 5 are doing this same cruise in 3 weeks with other family. We are from Plant city. Did you take the Turnpike?

What was the cover charge for Johnny rockets or has it gone al a carte?

 

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10 hours ago, AndrewTH said:

Our family of 5 are doing this same cruise in 3 weeks with other family. We are from Plant city. Did you take the Turnpike?

What was the cover charge for Johnny rockets or has it gone al a carte?

 

 

From St. Pete we took the Skyway, 75 all the way down.   You're a good ways further east though so Turnpike would be your best bet I think.  Also the terminal 18 parking was filled so one of the police officers directing traffic recommended Park-n-Go which is just right around the corner and has a good shuttle.  Saved some money (they also have AAA discount) and as a bonus you may see the troop of monkeys that live in the woods by their parking lot.

 

We did not eat at Johnny Rockets but I don't think it is still just cover charge-based.  I believe cover charge may be somewhere between $7-$10 pp.

 

I think your family will have a great time!

Edited by irun5k

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7 minutes ago, irun5k said:

I think your family will have a great time!

We'd have to agree.  We took a similar 5-day cruise on Indy a few years ago and really enjoyed the ship itself, cabin, and staff on board.  

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We did not eat at Johnny Rockets but I don't think it is still just cover charge-based.  I believe cover charge may be somewhere between $7-$10 pp.
 



We had lunch at JR’s one day on Indy. It was $29.38 for the two of us, according to our final statement.



Past Reviews post 184

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This is our first cruise with our kids. Our last RCI cruise was Mariner on our honeymoon 15 years ago. Hoping it’s overall as good now.

irun5k what time did you arrive at the terminal?

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1 hour ago, AndrewTH said:

This is our first cruise with our kids. Our last RCI cruise was Mariner on our honeymoon 15 years ago. Hoping it’s overall as good now.

irun5k what time did you arrive at the terminal?

 

We left home around 8 AM and got to the terminal around 12:30 PM I think.  Only a few people were in line for security and after that no wait at all for an agent.  Very smooth.

 

There was a bit of a delay in calling the various luggage tag numbers to leave the ship, apparently not enough customs agents.  It wasn't horrible but if we had it to do again I'd probably get a lower luggage tag number- I think the first batch is self disembarkation (you carry your own luggage) along with tag #'s 1 - 14.

Edited by irun5k

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We sail on Indy this Saturday - whooo hoooo!

 

Did you happen to have the coffee card? Curious if it is one punch for the small cup, or if any size specialty coffee is one punch?  Did your kids go to Adventure Ocean? Asking for our 7 year old granddaughter...she's a little apprehensive about going because her sister (just turned 12 a couple of weeks ago) can't go in with her.

 

How do you get a lower luggage tag number? Our return flight is at 12:55 at FLL.

 

Thanks!

Terri

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On 3/17/2019 at 10:07 PM, JustUs275 said:

We sail on Indy this Saturday - whooo hoooo!

 

Did you happen to have the coffee card? Curious if it is one punch for the small cup, or if any size specialty coffee is one punch?  Did your kids go to Adventure Ocean? Asking for our 7 year old granddaughter...she's a little apprehensive about going because her sister (just turned 12 a couple of weeks ago) can't go in with her.

 

How do you get a lower luggage tag number? Our return flight is at 12:55 at FLL.

 

Thanks!

Terri

We did not get a coffee card this trip.  Since it was a shorter cruise we decided to just purchase coffee drinks as desired.

 

Our youngest went to Adventure Ocean just once, but she enjoyed it.  My son also enjoyed when he was younger.  Definitely worth giving it a shot, and let her stay long enough to see if she gets comfortable.  Most kids seem to relax within the first hour.

 

We got a lower luggage tag (very easily) by visiting guest services.  They seemed to have a stockpile and were happy to switch ours out with our exact request.

 

Have fun!

 

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We were on the exact same trip (disembarked 3/14/19, right?) and we felt the same way - best cruise in a long time!  Almost everything was terrific!  I left a review but I doubt it's posted yet.

 

Our meal experience in the MDR was excellent, too!  Food was incredible each time we ate there.  MTD was OK for us but we'd chosen 5:45 (so, early) and my mom has a cane - they singled her out and told her never to wait and we chose to use the same table/waiter each night so we just showed up at 5:30 (they hinted at that and we realized it'd help turn over tables for them instead of leaving ours empty for the first 15 minutes each night - fine for us with 6 and 4 year olds) and walked right to our table (didn't wait for anyone to seat us).  This might be a good strategy for people to avoid waiting but of course it requires you to basically choose the same time to eat each night, which isn't exactly the purpose of MTD!

 

My comments on the upgrades (for others who may have kids my age (6&4) that you listed are in RED:

The 2018 upgrades made a meaningful difference our family, including:

  • Water slides - our 6 year old had to push herself to get started again 3 times.  She weighs 50lb.  This was fine for me as it meant it was just "meh" to her and she wouldn't spend all of her time waiting in line for it!
  • Splashaway Bay - my kids really, really loved this!  It was great!  And it was enclosed enough to not panic when you don't see them for a few seconds.  Good lifeguards, too.  (Also great lifeguards at the pools - I love that cruise lines have lifeguards now!)
  • Playmakers
  • Sky Pad - also have to be 5 - it was clear in Compass but not on app (said min of 20 lb!) so we asked and 4 yo was disappointed
  • Laser tag (must be 5yrs old, watch fine print) (we didn't do this)
  • Climbing lily pad things on sports deck for little ones - my girls both loved this.  Especially great for smaller kids while they wait for older siblings to do rock wall or Sky Pad!

I also totally agree with this comment - it seemed weird to me that it was sort of hard to find this area!  And mini golf might has well have not even been there - unless you were looking it'd be hard to stumble across!

Aft sports area requires a little more navigation than usual to find, it is a major area of ship that feels like it should have prominent access

 

 

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On 3/15/2019 at 9:09 PM, AndrewTH said:

Our family of 5 are doing this same cruise in 3 weeks with other family. We are from Plant city. Did you take the Turnpike?

What was the cover charge for Johnny rockets or has it gone al a carte?

 

 

We took family of four (6 and 4 year olds) and they charged us $10 for each adult.  (They basically said they don't charge for kids.)  So that was a nice surprise for us!

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Nice feedback.  Glad you had such a great cruise.  We stayed in Ben &Jerry Sweet last year.  It has great perks (a yeah is near the bridge where they sing at night...but it's fun).  The new amenities are great too.

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On 3/17/2019 at 9:07 PM, JustUs275 said:

We sail on Indy this Saturday - whooo hoooo!

 

Did you happen to have the coffee card? Curious if it is one punch for the small cup, or if any size specialty coffee is one punch?  Did your kids go to Adventure Ocean? Asking for our 7 year old granddaughter...she's a little apprehensive about going because her sister (just turned 12 a couple of weeks ago) can't go in with her.

 

How do you get a lower luggage tag number? Our return flight is at 12:55 at FLL.

 

Thanks!

Terri

 

Not original poster but I was on the same cruise and I can answer a couple of these.

 

Didn't have coffee card, sorry!

 

My kids both went to Adventure Club and really enjoyed it.  I knew my 6 year old would as she'd gone two years ago and had great memories.  She loves meeting new kids.  I was worried about my 4 yo as she's more hesitant sometimes but she had a great time.  Six year old had one tough night, though - apparently there were some kids not listening and she was really upset, saying they were wasting everyone's time by not listening. (I think that's what she hears at school so that's why she phrased it that way.)  She did still want to go back the next night (even chose it over the pool, which was a TOTAL SHOCK to us, LOL!).  My 4 yo is a little shy but the staff is really welcoming and they do a lot of activities with the kids so even if the kids are too shy to strike up a friendship and do free-play, there are things for them to focus on so they're not hung up on that.  The first night we went back and checked on them after 30 minutes or so to be sure they wanted to stay and we were told to leave, LOL.   (To be clear, they were both in different rooms and I was worried about that - thought 4 yo might have a way easier time going if she could be with big sister).  I'd suggest telling your granddaughter that you'll be back in 30-60 minutes to see if she likes it.  (I'd probably wait more like 45 or an hour just so she can really get into it!)  That might help her feel better because there really is no way for them to get a hold of you if a kid is not having fun and she knows it won't last long if she doesn't want it to.  But I'd try to give her enough time to make a friend or join an activity.  Also - we were there over spring break and the kids areas were pretty full (one night we waited 30 minutes for someone to pick up a kid to get our 4 yo in as they were full) - hopefully your granddaughter won't run into any of those poor listeners!  🙂

 

For luggage - we just called "0" when we received our luggage tags as we needed to get a lower number.  We were listed as one of the last to get off (tag 46, think it went up to 48) and we had a 12:25 flight out of MIA.  Customs was slower than I've ever seen getting off a ship and I was really relieved to hear that our flight was delayed or I would have been freaking out.  The best we could get was tag 22 but it was still really backed up and took a long time.  We probably should have chosen to carry our luggage off and just get off right away due to our flight time but I've always had a quick breeze through luggage and customs so I wasn't expecting the wait.  My in-laws also changed to tag 22 (from 46) and they had a 1:05 flight out of FLL and they texted me that they were waiting at the gate at 10:12!  When they called to change luggage tags, the person suggested that they might be happier keeping the later tag as by 9:45 (the time listed for tag 46) people has really thinned out and it's a quick walk off the ship, easy to find your luggage (since most of it's gone already...) and a quick jaunt through customs.  So knowing that they made it to the airport, checked in, got through security and were sitting at their gate at almost 3 hours early I wouldn't worry too much about what luggage tag you have!  But if you will worry, then call right away when they come and request an earlier tag!

 

Have a great time - I'd love to hear how your granddaughter did in the kids club!

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Just now, Paris334 said:

 

Not original poster but I was on the same cruise and I can answer a couple of these.

 

Didn't have coffee card, sorry!

 

My kids both went to Adventure Club and really enjoyed it.  I knew my 6 year old would as she'd gone two years ago and had great memories.  She loves meeting new kids.  I was worried about my 4 yo as she's more hesitant sometimes but she had a great time.  Six year old had one tough night, though - apparently there were some kids not listening and she was really upset, saying they were wasting everyone's time by not listening. (I think that's what she hears at school so that's why she phrased it that way.)  She did still want to go back the next night (even chose it over the pool, which was a TOTAL SHOCK to us, LOL!).  My 4 yo is a little shy but the staff is really welcoming and they do a lot of activities with the kids so even if the kids are too shy to strike up a friendship and do free-play, there are things for them to focus on so they're not hung up on that.  The first night we went back and checked on them after 30 minutes or so to be sure they wanted to stay and we were told to leave, LOL.   (To be clear, they were both in different rooms and I was worried about that - thought 4 yo might have a way easier time going if she could be with big sister).  I'd suggest telling your granddaughter that you'll be back in 30-60 minutes to see if she likes it.  (I'd probably wait more like 45 or an hour just so she can really get into it!)  That might help her feel better because there really is no way for them to get a hold of you if a kid is not having fun and she knows it won't last long if she doesn't want it to.  But I'd try to give her enough time to make a friend or join an activity.  Also - we were there over spring break and the kids areas were pretty full (one night we waited 30 minutes for someone to pick up a kid to get our 4 yo in as they were full) - hopefully your granddaughter won't run into any of those poor listeners!  🙂

 

For luggage - we just called "0" when we received our luggage tags as we needed to get a lower number.  We were listed as one of the last to get off (tag 46, think it went up to 48) and we had a 12:25 flight out of MIA.  Customs was slower than I've ever seen getting off a ship and I was really relieved to hear that our flight was delayed or I would have been freaking out.  The best we could get was tag 22 but it was still really backed up and took a long time.  We probably should have chosen to carry our luggage off and just get off right away due to our flight time but I've always had a quick breeze through luggage and customs so I wasn't expecting the wait.  My in-laws also changed to tag 22 (from 46) and they had a 1:05 flight out of FLL and they texted me that they were waiting at the gate at 10:12!  When they called to change luggage tags, the person suggested that they might be happier keeping the later tag as by 9:45 (the time listed for tag 46) people has really thinned out and it's a quick walk off the ship, easy to find your luggage (since most of it's gone already...) and a quick jaunt through customs.  So knowing that they made it to the airport, checked in, got through security and were sitting at their gate at almost 3 hours early I wouldn't worry too much about what luggage tag you have!  But if you will worry, then call right away when they come and request an earlier tag!

 

Have a great time - I'd love to hear how your granddaughter did in the kids club!

 

Eek!  I just realized you're already back!  I'm behind and didn't read carefully!  How did you granddaughter do?  Did you make your flight OK?

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Great to hear that you had such a great time OP.  The Indy holds a special place for us as well.  Up until our cruise last week on the Navigator, or favorite to date was on the Indy, plus it was the first cruise ship our kids ever experienced.

 

Again, glad you had such a great time.  I'm with you that the "Amped" upgrades are awesome!

 

Dan

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We'll be on for the first time in December. Looking forward to it. It seems like a lot of families prefer this boat so as a couple with no children, we chose the weekend after Thanksgiving because the kids will be back in school. Hopefully that helps to control the crowd. Don't get me wrong, we don't hate kids, but everything must be done in moderation.  :)

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1 hour ago, CruisingNole said:

We'll be on for the first time in December. Looking forward to it. It seems like a lot of families prefer this boat so as a couple with no children, we chose the weekend after Thanksgiving because the kids will be back in school. Hopefully that helps to control the crowd. Don't get me wrong, we don't hate kids, but everything must be done in moderation.  🙂

 

 Funny, our first cruise on the Indy with our kids was the week after Thanksgiving 🙂

 

 The ship was not overrun with kids though 

 

Dan

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1 hour ago, CruisingNole said:

We'll be on for the first time in December. Looking forward to it. It seems like a lot of families prefer this boat so as a couple with no children, we chose the weekend after Thanksgiving because the kids will be back in school. Hopefully that helps to control the crowd. Don't get me wrong, we don't hate kids, but everything must be done in moderation.  🙂

We loved it - we went early March - not a ton of kids but plenty of college spring breakers so the bars were busier 🙂  I brought 2 of my own spring breakers but I also have to say they were all polite and well behaved and we really didn't see anything crazy!

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1 hour ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

 Funny, our first cruise on the Indy with our kids was the week after Thanksgiving

 

 The ship was not overrun with kids though 

 

Dan

 

34 minutes ago, ShillyShally said:

We loved it - we went early March - not a ton of kids but plenty of college spring breakers so the bars were busier   I brought 2 of my own spring breakers but I also have to say they were all polite and well behaved and we really didn't see anything crazy!

 

Can't wait! Love hearing the positive reviews. Thanks!

 

I feel like you never know what to expect. We were on Oasis the week after Thanksgiving in 2018 and we (couple in our mid-30s) felt like the youngest people on the ship! I even overheard a few of the crew talking about how old the crowd was.

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2 minutes ago, CruisingNole said:

 

 

Can't wait! Love hearing the positive reviews. Thanks!

 

I feel like you never know what to expect. We were on Oasis the week after Thanksgiving in 2018 and we (couple in our mid-30s) felt like the youngest people on the ship! I even overheard a few of the crew talking about how old the crowd was.

Ha, yep!  We went on Allure one year on January 2nd and the crowd was so different than usual - less kids overall and more from other countries.  Mine had fun getting to know other cultures but you could tell the crowds were completely different as most don't still have time off after January 1st in the US, and we had pulled the kids out as they didn't miss as many days that week and it was much cheaper than the holiday fares!

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Thank you for your review OP.  I’m super excited, first time on Indy and first time on a kid free vacation in about 18 years!  Although, it sounds like our kiddos would be very happy on this ship.  Glad your family enjoyed such a positive experience!!

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