We’re kicking off a new live blog this week on board Independence of the Seas and I promise that at least one of us is going to have a ton of fun (hint - it’s me, I’m the one going on a cruise). My name is Bill and you may recognize me from my site www.CruiseHabit.com, past RoyaCaribbeanBlog.com group cruises, episode 146 of the RoyalCaribbeanBlog Podcast, or as an extra in Any Given Sunday. This Thursday, Thanksgiving in the US, I’ll be embarking on a four night sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas.
Why This Sailing
Last year Matt enjoyed Brilliance of the Seas over Thanksgiving, and when the choice is between coordinating multiple family gatherings while suppressing remarks like, “Pilgrims didn’t have buckles on their hats!” and taking a cruise, it seemed clear. Further, cruising over Thanksgiving means that my spouse Larissa, nor I have to take use vacation time. A huge plus when you’re trying to pack in as many cruises as possible.
We looked at several sailings over the holiday, but ultimately the Independence was the only ship leaving out of Port Everglades (only 30 minutes from our home) on Thursday, and returning Monday morning, just in time for us to head back to work. Further, and a bit to my surprise, the price was right. Usually I expect to pay a premium for holiday sailings, but it seems Thanksgiving may be the exception. Lastly, we already enjoyed Freedom of the Seas on the September group cruise, and sailing her sister ship gives us the opportunity to check out her new broadway feature, Grease.
I often emphasize that some cruises are about exploring new places while others are about the shipboard experience. For us, this sailing is about doing a lot of nothing. With two full sea days to relax, and a day in Cozumel, one of our favorite ports, this will be a nice opportunity to just enjoy being away.
While in Cozumel we’ll enjoy our normal routine of a long walk through the city, just a block or two back from the touristy areas. Here we can enjoy the pleasant locals, find a nice place for a cheap meal, and maybe head to the grocery store to see what we can find (those who follow my adventures on social media know I fell in love with Chedraui Selecto in Cancun a few weeks ago). If we feel ambitious, we might even spend a few minutes exchanging for a different size a dress Larissa bought back in September. You may have even seen her purchase it on Periscope (check out the 10 minute mark at https://www.periscope.tv/CruiseHabit/1DXxyLrQOoYJM?).
On board we have a few items we’ll be researching (have a request, reach out to me on Twitter and I’ll see what we can do), there will be lots of over-indulgence, Grease, and by total accident, we’ll spend some time with friends that we found out are staying in the stateroom next door. I’ll also be keeping an eye out to identify differences between our recent sailing on Indy’s sister ship, Freedom of the Seas, and looking for anything special Royal Caribbean might be doing for the Thanksgiving holiday. If I had to guess where I’ll be spending most of my time, I’d say the Solarium and the Schooner bar.
First, be sure you follow me on social media. On Twitter and Periscope I’m @CruiseHabit, and you can bet I’ll be Periscoping quite a bit. On Thursday morning we’ll be arriving to the port at around 1000 EST. Be sure to follow along here for all of my live blogs.
Remember, you have to read them all to find out just how much cake and scotch I can handle before my daily reviews become nothing but crooked pictures of food and incoherent ramblings.