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Royal Caribbean arrives in Southampton to begin summer cruise season

13 May 2018
Matt Hochberg

Following a multi-million dollar renovation, Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas arrived in Southampton yesterday to begin offering cruises this summer season.

Photo by SBW Photos

Independence of the Seas received upgrades all over the ship that the cruise line believes with delight kids and adults alike.  

The changes to Independence of the Seas include:

  • Sky Pad, an out-of-this-world new virtual reality bungee trampoline experience
  • Splashaway Bay, interactive aqua park
  • The Perfect Storm, a duo of racing waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon
  • “Battle for Planet Z, ”glow-in-the-dark laser tag, an experience in Studio B
  • Escape Room: The Observatorium, a new escape room experience where competitors can put their minds to the test, working together to find hidden clues and solve a series of high-tech riddles to unravel a mystery. With only 60 minutes of play, the excitement builds with each tick of the clock. (Surcharge applies to this experience)
  • New lounges and Panoramic Oceanview staterooms 
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi
  • Fish & Ships, a poolside eatery where guests can grab quintessentially British seaside treats
  • Sugar Beach candy shop, a wondrous world of delicious delights, along with a few exciting surprises

Photos by SBW Photos

Royal Caribbean estimates Independence of the Seas will bring £44million a year into the local economy of Southampton.

Managing Director, Royal Caribbean International UK and Ireland, Ben Bouldin said “Holiday time is precious, and travellers today have higher expectations and more options than ever before. We don’t just want to meet these expectations, but smash them and redefine how to holiday. From our largest yet hibachi restaurant to a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, Independence of the Seas is set to be the most spectacular ship sailing out of Southampton this coming season.”

Guests will be welcomed onboard for her first new sailing on 15th May 2018 where she will embark on a two-night cruise to Paris from Southampton. Guests can dabble in modern art at the fabulous Musée d’Orsay, explore the Normandy coast, visit glorious Versailles or take in iconic sights such as the Paris Opera, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.

Following her inaugural sailing, Independence of the Seas will call at destinations across Europe and the Mediterranean until November 2018.


Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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