Independence of the Seas

Royal Caribbean cruise ship rescues Cubans on raft at sea


Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas rescued a group of Cubans that were spotted at sea on Sunday morning.

Daily Mail reports the Cubans were spotted in a makeshift raft and taken onboard until the US Coast Guard arrived to take custody of them.

Independence of the Seas is on a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise that left Port Everglades, Florida on Saturday.

Photo tour of Junior Suite on Independence of the Seas


Lots of Royal Caribbean fans relish a stay in a Junior Suite (JS) and today, we have a look at one of the Junior Suites from Independence of the Seas to give you an idea of what to expect if you book a similar stateroom.

Susan Tady Widdowson took photos of her Junior Suite, which was stateroom 9568 on Independence of the Seas during her recent September 20, 2015 sailing.

Junior Suites on Independence of the Seas offer guests 297 square feet of space and a balcony that is 94 square feet.

Junior Suites on Independence of the Seas include minibar, vanity area, hair-dryer, TV, phone, vanity table with an extendable working surface for laptop computers and 110/220 electrical outlets. Some have sofa beds and can accommodate 3-4 guests.

Some can also accommodate a rollaway bed or Play Yard. (Junior Suites located in the aft of the ship cannot accommodate a rollaway bed.) 

All photos by Susan Tady Widdowson

Tropical Storm Erika forces Royal Caribbean to change Independence of the Seas itinerary


Royal Caribbean announced today a change in the itinerary for Independence of the Seas due to the anticipated path of Tropical Storm Erika.

Independence of the Seas will now depart Port Everglades at 3:00 p.m. Check in and boarding will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Royal Caribbean also indicated they are monitoring Erika's path and changes could be coming to Adventure of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean will announce any further changes, with the next update coming on August 28 at 5pm.

Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas seized due to unpaid fees


Norwegian authorities temporarily seized Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas after the cruise ship did not pay its port fees.

Independence of the Seas was placed under arrest until the cruise line paid about $101,000 in unpaid piloting and security fees from 2013 to the government.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports the fees should have been paid last year but had not done so.

Royal Caribbean made restitutions to the government and the ship was released.

In a statement on its website, the administration noted delayed payments from certain cruise lines has been a problem. “There’s a lot of work for us in following up these cases,” Dimmen said. “The ships are often based overseas, and it is dependent on the season when they visit our area. It’s an advantage for us that we can make use of the maritime liens regime. Then we can secure the payment.”

Southampton welcomes back Independence and Adventure of the Seas


Southampton, England is welcoming back two Royal Caribbean ships for the summer 2014 season, Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas.  Their arrival kicks off the 2014 summer seasons for the second year in a row.

Adventure of the Seas arrived back on May 4th while Independence of the Seas will return on May 17.

Adventure of the Seas returns with new upgrades and features, including flat screen TVs in every stateroom. Giovanni's Table, Wi-Fi throughout the ship, a new Concierge Lounge for suite guests, a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society members and digital signage throughout the ship.

Adventure of the Seas will offer 7 to 16-night cruises around the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, in addition to shorter sailings closer to home.

Independence of the Seas will offer new itineraries, including more, shorter sailings such as  three-night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and four night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and Zeebrugge for Bruges.

The ship will also offer six night cruises to France and Spain, an eight-night cruise to Norway, various 14-night Mediterranean cruises, plus 11 and 12-night Canary Islands cruises as part of its 2014 summer season.

Man reported missing from Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas cruise


Authorities in the Cayman Islands are looking for a Royal Caribbean passenger who was reported missing from Independence of the Seas early Tuesday morning.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Force said a 65-year-old  passenger from Canada was reported missing by his wife before Independence of the Seas docked in Grand Cayman. 

A search of the 15-deck Independence of the Seas and closed-circuit camera footage has turned up nothing so far.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Tracy Quan said the missing 65-year-old Canadian was last seen entering his room on the Independence of the Seas just before midnight.

According to police, the man’s wife said they went to bed at about 1 a.m. Tuesday but when she awoke some seven hours later he was gone.

If the man is missing, it's the second passenger to be reported missing this week after a different passenger jumped off Adventure of the Seas and was pronounced presumed dead.

Royal Caribbean set to upgrade Independence of the Seas


As part of Royal Caribbean's Revitalization program to upgrade all of its cruise ships to include amenities first introduced on the Oasis of the Seas, Independence o the Seas has recently been scheduled to have its upgrade take place in April 2013.

Independence of the Seas will receive

  • Outdoor movie screen
  • Cupcake Cupboard
  • Digital Signage
  • Pervasive Wi-Fi
  • Nursery 
  • Giovanni’s Table specialty restaurant

The $7 million refurbishment will take two weeks, at which point Royal Caribbean will deploy Independence of the Seas to Southampton, England where on May 2, 2013 she will begin her summer season.  Some of the itineraries offered include some new shorter sailings such as a two-night cruise to Le Havre for Paris and three-night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and Zeebrugge for Bruges. 

Strikes in Europe force Royal Caribbean to change Independence of the Seas itinerary


To avoid its cruise ships running into issues related to labor strikes that are scheduled to occur in Spain, Portugal and Greece, Royal Caribbean has altered itineraries for Independence of the Seas.

Independence of the Seas will skip a stop in Lisbon, Portugal on November 14 and will instead call upon Lanzarote, Spain.

Royal Caribbean spokesperson Cynthia Martinez commented on the changes, "We were aware of the upcoming strikes and proactively made changes to some itineraries."

The general strikes are expected to last three days and disrupt air travel as well as public transportation.