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Found 8 results

  1. “Into the Unknown” … Independence OTS (Holiday sailing) – 12/29/2018-1/3/2019 Let me start by explaining this quote. Stepping outside my comfort zone…this is the theme surrounding this cruise… The Backstory One evening, near the end of September, Hubby, the girls, and I were sitting at the kitchen table eating a bland dinner. Tired and weary from lack of sleep, and the usual craziness of September (I’m a teacher), we looked at each other in silence. Out of nowhere, Hubby tells us that he really wished we were eating at La Bamba, our favourite pre-cruise restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. To the cruise junkie in me, that only meant one thing…YOLO moment! I half jokingly mentioned to him that we could eat there sooner if we went on a cruise out of Port Everglades. Wait a minute…we are cruising out of Port Everglades…in March 2019! That 6-month wait from Sept-March seemed almost unbearable at the time, so I gently proposed the idea of taking a cruise on my next available break, which is New Years. We tossed around the idea of a short sailing over the holidays and it just so happen that Indy fit the bill. Never sailed her before, so good for Hubby. Kids loved the newly amped Mariner, so Indy should be similar. And for myself, I’ll take any cruise, so Indy looked great! Still not totally serious yet, I sent a quick email to my TA “just to price it out”. First shocker…expensive! Second shocker…. Suites…Sold Out. I have never paid attention to holiday sailings in the past so this was new to me. I have never priced out a cruise so close to sailing either. We are usually the “book when itineraries get released” type. Our choices for cabins (for 2 adults; 2 kids) were: Interior, Oceanview, Balcony, no connecting rooms available. At that point, I told Hubby, “forget it”. I even polled the Insiders and asked if they would cram 4 people in one of those cabins. The suite snob in me was cringing at the thought, the kids were saying book it, and Hubby looked on in half amusement and half in fear for his bank account. I tried to explain to them what sailing in one of those cabins would mean…one small washroom for all 4 of us, you can likely reach the sink while sitting on the toilet, telephone booth shower, must share a bed, small space. All outside of our (my) comfort zone! Here is where things took a surprising turn…Hubby was the one who said YOLO, we should book it. Wait? What?! Those of you reading this who are rolling your eyes at this point should probably stop reading and stop following this blog. It’s about to get worse. Those of you who know me well and are not taking my slightly sarcastic, embrace the suite snob tone too seriously, or are curious or are amused, read on. Here was Hubby’s rationale for booking it: a) We have never done a holiday sailing or sailed Freedom class. Hubby is all for doing things that are new. b) He could tell that we, me especially, needed a getaway sooner rather than later. If you read my previous blog, I mentioned that I am “Blessed by God and Spoiled by my Husband”. This still holds true. c) The most ridiculous and logical reason…we are sailing Star Class on Harmony in 74 days. Our kids have never sailed without a balcony in anything less than 300 square feet with at least 1 ½ bath. It was time to “rough it” and “teach them a lesson” so that they could appreciate Star Class more when March rolls around. I’m still laughing at this one! d) The most important (according to Hubby) and comical reason (according to me), and the reason for the quote choice above: It has been so long since we have sailed in a regular cabin. Hubby hopes that we (he means me) might like it and we will no longer need to book suites in the future. In turn, that will save him money. If this is what Hubby needs to say, “YOLO and Book It!”, then so be it. So, with that, we said YOLO, and booked ourselves on Indy for New Years. In what? Read on.
  2. We are sailing on Independence of the Seas 12/6-12/10...we are going with friends...while we all chose My Time Dining, are we supposed to "pre-book" our times? or can we just walk up to the dining room when we're ready to eat? I cannot remember what we did on the last cruise...
  3. C minus 1 day One day before we embark upon our second RC cruise on Independence of the Seas. Packing’s all done, documents are good to go, so I thought I’d kick off my first Live Blog with a bit of a pre-amble: Our History I’ll be sailing with my husband, we’re both in our 30s (just about for one of us!), from England and this will be our third cruise in total. My husband used to be in the Royal Navy and loves being at sea, but since leaving the Navy, had always fancied sailing in a bit more luxury than on a warship. My mum had always wanted to try a cruise so we booked a family one – me, husband, mum, step-dad – for her 60th in 2016 on Navigator of the Seas doing a 14 Night Western Med from Southampton. Long and short of it, we all loved it! Husband and I loved it so much we went on another family cruise in 2017, this time with my dad, his wife, my sister and my auntie. It was a 7 night Scandinavian itinerary on Crown Princess from Southampton. It too was a great cruise and whilst there were some things we felt were better on Princess (pool deck layout, rooms ready on arrival at 11am, more large lounges), overall, my husband and I preferred the experience on RC. We have this cruise booked on IoS and then we have another family cruise, this time with mother-in-law booked for next year on P&O’s Azura.
  4. Hello, Does anyone have experience with the cabins on Deck 10 AFT, D1 category, 1380-1392 or 1680-1692 on the Freedom class of ships? We have the option for a D1 cabin in that area of the ship but are a bit concerned being directly under the windjammer. It is appealing however because its on deck 10 in not such a busy area, away from elevators and more suites on this deck so maybe a bit quieter. The other options would be similar D1 cabin on deck 7 that would have cabins above and below us instead of the windjammer. Tried searching pictures of these cabins but can't seem to find any. Also, is there a way to figure out the bed arrangements on Freedom class ships? Is the bed always by the balcony or does it swap between being close to the balcony or close to the bathroom? Thanks for any help / advice.
  5. Hi all! Brand new to the forum, and a junior cruiser. (Will reach Platinum (30 days) this coming cruise) On the 29th of October, I'll embark my 3rd ever cruise. Two of them with the Allure, and this time, with the Independence. This will be a 15 night transatlantic cruise (my 2nd) departing from Southampton, England, arriving in Fort Lauderdale. I have a couple of questions that my travel agent could not answer for me, so I hope that some of you can help! 1. The Connoisseur Club: is it still operational? Can I trust that they sell cigars, or should I bring my own? 2. Hurricanes Irma and now Maria: It's truly tragic and devastating to see the destruction that the Irma did. I got to know a lot of really good people when I went to St. Thomas, St. Martin and the Bahamas. This time, the original plan was to go to St. Martin-St.Kitts-Puerto Rico-St.Thomas-Labadee. Which of these ports do you think will be out of the question? And which ports do you think will be the replacements? It sounds and feels terrible that I worry about trivial things such as these when the people on the islands are so affected by this. 3. The shows: On the Allure, I got to see the Mamma Mia musical. It was fantastic. I have seen that Grease is the show on the Independence, and I'm wondering if this is some kind of rotating show, or will it always be Grease? 4. When do you thing that the weather will transition from grey English weather to lovely mid-atlantic summer? Day 2? Day 5? Last time, we went from Barcelona, and had very nice temperatures all the way.
  6. I know we're a glutton for punishment, but does anyone know if an interior stateroom on Independence with 4 people can have the lower bed pushed together (queen/full size) with the two bunks pulled out of the ceiling? The only pictures i could find have the lower beds separated. if you have a picture please post. Thanks!
  7. Need a sounding board hear and some feedback especially after my wife stated that the Freedom-class (Liberty) is her favorite ship so far. She really liked the features and the Royal Promenade. As a result, we booked a back-to-back on the Independence of the Seas for Summer 2017 out of Southampton with stops in Stavanger, Norway, Oslo, Norway (Overnight), Copenhagen, Denmakr, and Skagen, Denmark, followed by Brussels, Oslo, Hamburg, Le Havre. This amounts to 5 sea days in 16 nights, something my wife is not a fan of in general. Now, the Vision is offering a 12 night British Isles cruise with the following ports and 3 sea days: Bruges (Belgium), Edinburgh (overnight), Loch Ness, Glasgow, Dublin, Cork, and St. Peter Port. On a per night basis, the cruises are about the same, but we'd be in a panoramic ocean view on the Vision as opposed to an inside on the Independence. However, the Inde is the better ship in my opinion. The other big difference is that the Vision leaves from Amsterdam, some place I've never visited, as opposed to England. Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated.
  8. We are thinking about booking spring 2016 on the independence of the seas 4 day to Cozumel. I had seen some stuff about the cabin last year and for some reason it popped into my head last night. We need a short cruise for spring and we had already sailed the Enchantment so I didn't think royal would have much to offer But luckily the Independence is sailing some 3 and 4 night trips in 2016. I mentioned this to my travel agent to see if she had previously had any guests stay in the room or heard much about it. Well, I checked my email today and she had run a booking for me to hold the room on April 14, 2016! Awesome agent! Anyway what are your thoughts on the Independence and the cabin if you have stayed in it?
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