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Marmaduke

overcrowding on Indy?

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Hello, we are/were very much looking forward to our first every cruise next year on Independence of the seas, but are becoming concerned at recent reviews that suggest the ship is suffering from overcrowding since the addition of extra cabins earlier this year. Some reviews say it is almost impossible to find a quiet spot to relax and have a drink. We are now worrying and even considering cancelling our holiday. Any views from you cruisers out there who may have cruised recently on this ship. Many thanks.

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I have read very similar things to what you are referring to and I am not worried.  In fact, I have two cruises booked on Indy already.  You will find that those who like to complain will always find something to complain about.  And I have feeling that a lot of those "bad" reviews are coming from those who were devoted to Indy before her revitalization.  There are quite a few of those out there.  Point is, you will never know until you try it.  Don't just take someone else's word for it.  And read all reviews with a grain of salt.  For all the bad ones I have read post revitalization, I have also read many good ones.  I personally would not cancel over that.  By the way, welcome to the message boards! 

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Thank you! "Lovetocruise2002". You have given me some peace of mind. We chose Indy because we have 2 boys aged 9 and 10 and we wanted to make sure there was lots for them to do. (So we can get a break) so we are fully expecting an action packed holiday for them but were alarmed that we may not be able to find anywhere on the ship for us to relax! Thank you for putting my mind at rest!! 

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1 minute ago, Marmaduke said:

Thank you! "Lovetocruise2002". You have given me some peace of mind. We chose Indy because we have 2 boys aged 9 and 10 and we wanted to make sure there was lots for them to do. (So we can get a break) so we are fully expecting an action packed holiday for them but were alarmed that we may not be able to find anywhere on the ship for us to relax! Thank you for putting my mind at rest!! 

When are you sailing?  @melski94 is sailing Indy in about a month and she has 4 kids so she can probably give some good feedback.  And I am sailing December 29 with 2 kids (ages 10/12) and I'll be blogging so if you are after that I'll be happy to "investigate" the crowding situation for you 😉

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We were on Indy for a 14 night cruise in August, I too read all of the reviews and started to panic about the overcrowding but common sense prevailed and as it was our first cruise I boarded with both a bit of apprehension and tried to have an open mind trying not to think too much about the bad reviews.  By day 3 we had already been to next cruise and booked another one for next year as we were enjoying ourselves so much.  I can highly recommend this ship it seems to suit all ages and you will find all of the quiet spots and when to go where. It was. Amazing to see how all of the bars emptied just before the late dining began.  Our cruise was fully booked so expected the worse and was pleasantly surprised 

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I recall the pre-revitalization naysayers all claiming doom and gloom before she went in for her dry dock.  With those seeds planted, glass-half-empty minded folks will find everything they were determined to find before they boarded.

In reality, it represents somewhere around a 5% difference.  All ships seem crowded during the muster drill, yet the naysayers will claim it was never like that before.  All ships have crowded elevators when the main theater lets out, yet the naysayers will claim it's only that way now.  All ships have lines at times, all bars (even on land) have a small wait at times, yet the naysayers...

In a recent 'Captain's Corner' where guests can ask questions one cruiser voiced his dismay they shrunk the cabins to fit more in.  He was convinced they moved all the walls and made existing cabins smaller.  You could not convince him otherwise.  They never did that.  In a few places that used to be open space they have added some new cabins and in so doing they raised the total cabin count.  Yet this man was convinced all cabins had shrunk.  They have welded metal walls, it would be impossible to do what he claimed, moving all the walls, electrical and plumbing would require gutting the whole ship.  It would be cheaper to build a new ship.

Years ago ships didn't sail full.  Years ago airplanes didn't fly full either.  That's all changed in this day and age.  There are a lot of unhappy cruisers who are convinced their negative review will cause the cruise lines to re-think everything they don't like, right or wrong.  Not long ago the internet and cruise ship reviews didn't exist.  Like watching the evening news it's easy to find the bad in things while there is plenty of good as well, but we have to look harder to find it despite it being right in front of us.

I have sailed all the Freedom class ships including including Indy just before her upgrades and very soon after Libery after she received new cabins (I stayed in one).  I didn't notice any difference despite "all those extra people on board"  (including me).

Seek and you will find, but that works both ways.  

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Just to add a couple of concrete examples of places you almost certainly can get a quiet spot to relax and have a drink:

  • Go to Vintages. Yes, they serve only wine, but there is nothing stopping you from getting a drink at another bar that's to your liking, then going over to Vintages and taking a seat inside while you relax, read a book, people watch, or whatever (maybe even chat up the staff and try a few new wines!). When I was on sister ship Freedom this past April, Vintages could always be counted on to be relatively empty and quiet, even though it's right in the middle of the Promenade.
  • Another surprising place that I found on Freedom, which should also be there on Indy even after her refurb, is on the pool deck (deck 11). Go into the Solarium on the starboard (right) side, and go by the door leading to the elevator bank; you'll see another mostly-glass door by the side of the ship, which opens onto a long hallway with a bunch of loungers and another door at the far end that goes into the gym. That hallway was almost always empty and quiet, and had a great view of the ocean; I spent an entire afternoon there one of our sea days, enjoying a couple of drinks and going through the photos I'd taken in port.

There were plenty more, but those are the two that immediately pop into my head. If you just wander around the ship and open random doors, you'll be surprised at the little nooks and interesting bits you'll find.

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Many thanks to you all for your comments, advice and tips!  Not only am I new to cruising but also to Forums such as this so wasn't sure what to expect.

FYI we are not cruising until October 2019. 

I can now look forward to our holiday again!!  THANKS EVERYONE!

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We took our first ever cruise on Indy this summer. All 11 of us had a blast and our ages ranged from 6 to 70+. The ship was full and yes it was busy at times, but did i consider it overcrowded, no not at all. I found the main 'busy' times were around breakfast and lunch around the Windjammer, especially the later you left it for at each sitting, however a quick wander around and a 'hover' whilst a table was being cleared and you was good to go. 

We enjoyed it so much we've another two booked up already!  

And..this forum is amazingly helpful and friendly so any questions you have just ask away!        

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14 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

When are you sailing?  @melski94 is sailing Indy in about a month and she has 4 kids so she can probably give some good feedback.  And I am sailing December 29 with 2 kids (ages 10/12) and I'll be blogging so if you are after that I'll be happy to "investigate" the crowding situation for you 😉

I'm not worried.  I've been on Liberty after the dry dock and there is plenty for the kids to do.  I am on the first normal Caribbean sailing so will try to do a semi live blog and will email Matt the cruise compasses and menus.  

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It just dawned on me... Mariner, Adventure and Explorer had similar new cabins added, same area.  Panoramic ocean view suites, a couple of Junior Suites, some spacious ocean view cabins with floor to ceiling windows.  I think @Lovetocruise2002 stayed in one on Mariner.  

These Voyager class ships are smaller than Freedom class ships and the total passenger count is lower, so adding the same cabins represents a greater total increase in passengers on a percentage basis.

Yet all received rave reviews post-dry dock.  Not a word about over crowding.  I've sailed all three recently and didn't find any crowding.  (I'm on Adventure now as I write this)

Mariner knocked it out the park with it's AMPED upgrades.  Everyone loves it.

I think this proves the rumors of over crowding on Indy are false, just some glass-half-empty people looking to complain about something.  

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Do yourself a favor, don't read online reviews. They are at best entertainment, but overall are not a good source of reliable information. 

Here's a good overview of why "I read ____ of the Seas has problems" is not helpful: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2018/07/24/trying-answer-the-most-common-royal-caribbean-question

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My Wife and I along with my 11 YO Grandson sailed on Liberty on July 22nd, I was arguing the opposite with the Concierge, I told him we had sailed on Liberty when she was sold out and this cruise felt about half that. He swore to me that the ship was at capacity, but that the CD was using a new crowd management strategy and moving the crowds around the ship so that not everyone was in one place at the same time (except for Muster). The only time I ever felt crowed was when we happened to be close to the doors of the MDR when the first seating let out. We did have to wait some fairly long waits on the elevators at times.

I know the O class ship are using a similar strategy but had never seen it on a Freedom class, if this is indeed what they are doing and it makes it's way around the fleet, I like it.

I still say Liberty wasn't at capacity...

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Don’t listen to the negative reviews. We’ve sailed on Indy pre and post the dry dock in August and had a fab time :) regardless of what time we wanted a sun lounger we always found one. Does it seem or feel any busier than before the dry dock.... I didn’t notice any change personally and very much looking forward to long back on next Saturday 

 

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