Dear mummy, I’m still in shock over the sheer scale of the Independence of the Seas, a wonderful Royal Caribbean ship we had the pleasure of visiting recently.
Not one to be gobsmacked, I was in awe as we drove towards Southampton City Cruise Terminal as the ship cast its huge shadow over surrounding buildings. I gasped when I saw the colourful water slides poke out from the top deck, like a colourful feather in a very stylish hat.
We were invited onboard the Independence of the Seas to see what the ship could offer families willing to set sail to see the world. The idea of traveling onboard a large floating hotel, stopping at exotic ports has always intrigued my folks. Imaging waking up in a different country each day and being exposed to a wealth of diverse cultures and languages just in one trip?!
The ship had recently undergone a multi-million pound makeover and has re-launched with some popular routes and destinations from Southampton, which is perfect for us as we live nearby. The size of the ship is a little overwhelming for little ones like me but it was definitely easier and quicker than boarding a flight. With 3 night taster sessions to Paris & Bruges we could also escape for a long weekend!
The interior was very grand with lots of marble, shiny mirrors with plush carpets and I couldn’t resist putting my little fingers over all the shiny surfaces (sorry cleaning crew). It felt like a holiday as soon as we walked through security.
The staff were super friendly onboard and everyone we came across from check-in officers to Mr Washy (a singer reminding people to wash their hands before dining), the lifeguards to the chefs were super friendly and accommodating. It was like having the VIP treatment and we certainly could get used to the high life on the high seas.
Watch our vlog to see some of the fun onboard.
Talking about the VIP treatment, I certainly felt like a star as I basked in the sun on the top deck. With amazing views over the Solent and Splashaway Bay it felt like heaven here. Even my folks started to dream about a cruise onboard the Independence of the Seas.
There were also plenty of sun loungers so no need to throw your ‘towel in’ on the Independence of the Seas to find your spot. Even though the ship can accommodate 4,370 passengers and 1,360 crew you can still be on your own gazing out to sea quite easily.
We spent the majority of our time on the top deck enjoying the sunshine. I loved my time playing in Splashaway Bay, while my folks enjoyed drinks from Fish & Ships, a poolside eatery with quintessentially British seaside treats. When the opportunity to play laser tag and get some respite from the sun was announced we jumped at the chance to explored some of the lower decks.
After a quick game of Laser Tag, my little heart was pumping with adrenaline and I was desperate to explore the rest of the ship looking for adventure. With an ice skating rink, theatre, large TV screens, rock climbing, sports courts, spa and Escape Room it would be easy to stay out on ship and not disembark at each destination! One activity I was desperate to try was FlowRider – a wave simulator. I jealously looked on at the older children having a go which looked like fun.
Another activity I wish I tried out was the SkyPad – a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience. It was very popular with the other families and I shrieked in delight as I watched them bounce around. Not one to miss an opportunity I hunted out adventure further up the deck when I spotted an awesome climbing structure.
Along with The Perfect Storm, a duo of racing waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon, we’d seen from far away there’s more than enough to keep kids entertained while the adults sip cocktails. (Well that’s the dream!) One of my mummy’s highlights was watching my reaction as glass elevators took us through the layers of the ship, past grand staterooms, casinos and luxurious lounges. I squealed in delight and you can catch it on my little vlog. We saw loads of breakout areas onboard to avoid cabin fever.
I loved the bustling heart of ship called the Royal Promenade which had cafes, shops and entertainment venues dotted along fake streets, my favourite was a large sweet shop called Sugar Beach candy shop with jars full of rainbows – like something from Willy Wonka. My folks could imagine sitting out in the evenings enjoying a drink and watching the people go by.
With so many places to grab a bite to eat, you could travel the world with your taste buds and get any dish you wanted. Even for fussy eaters like me! We enjoyed a delicious meal in a restaurant called the Windjammer. With counters full of fresh food, from noddles to burgers, Sunday roast to salads.
Italian, fish and chips and pizza would have kept me happy for weeks! And let’s not forget the chocolate fountain and all the CAKES!! My mummy would have loved the Izumi sushi bar and drinking milkshakes in Jonny Rockets. While my daddy would have enjoyed the new American themed Playmakers Sports Bar showing all the action on loads of TV screens and the new Arcade and Casino. I’m not sure what that was but Daddy seemed to get excited about someone called Black Jack?
Towards the end of our day onboard the Independence of the Seas (we fondly adopted her nickname Indy) we took the time to just chill and relax in the hammocks and be as a family together. Because this is what #MyIndy is all about – quality family time. Holidays are precious and it begins as soon as you board the ship.
What would you do onboard #MyIndy? Visit the activities page on the Independence of the Seas website to find out about all the fun things to do. Would you recommend a cruise for families? We certainly would!
Disclosure: We were invited onboard the ship in order to review, all thoughts, pictures and shrieks of laughter are our own.
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