Independence of the Seas

Royal Caribbean expands new smartphone app to Independence of the Seas

In:
02Sep2018

Royal Caribbean has added Independence of the Seas to the list of ships supported by the cruise line's new smart phone app.

While the app store updates do not list Independence of the Seas, the app itself lists Independence among the list of supported ships.  

Independence is the seventh Royal Caribbean ship to be added to the list of ships that can take advantage of the new smart phone app, following Mariner of the Seas, which was added in August.

The new smart phone app is still under development, which new features rolling out periodically.  In addition, not all ships have the same features supported quite yet.  Expedited arrival, folio management, deck plans and Cruise Planner are just a few of the features the new app provides.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Video: Independence of the Seas Sky Pad Installation

In:
15May2018

The first virtual reality bungee trampoline experience at sea, Sky Pad is installed on board Independence of the Seas as part of Royal Caribbean’s bold, new adventures.

8 things to love about Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas

In:
14May2018

Independence of the Seas is an impressive Royal Caribbean cruise ship that completed a massive refurbishment in 2018 to offer all new experiences and features onboard.

There is a lot to love about this ship, and we have eight important facts you should be aware of before your cruise on Independence of the Seas.

8. Largest hibachi at sea

Photo by Travis Kamiyama

Ever since Royal Caribbean added a teppanyaki style dining option to Izumi locations on Oasis Class ships, they have become extremely popular with guests.  As a result, Royal Caribbean opted to add the first Izumi location to a Freedom Class ship and offer the biggest hibachi in the entire fleet.

Izumi Japanese specialty restaurant has been among the fastest spreading restaurants across Royal Caribbean ships, and Independence of the Seas is now home to the twenty-first location.  It is not only the first Izumi location on a Freedom Class ship, but also the largest capacity for the popular hibachi side.

7. Water slides and water fun

Families are sure to love the addition of the Perfect Storm water slides and Splashaway Bay to Independence of the Seas. 

Independence of the Seas offers two racer slides, Cyclone and Typhoon, which offer guests an exhilarating ride down each slide for a wet and wild finish.

In addition, Splasahway Bay has replaced the H2O Zone to bring the next level of aquatic park fun for families.  Splashaway Bay features water slides, fountains, pools and a really large drench bucket.

6. Laser tag

At special laser tag sessions, Royal Caribbean transforms Studio B into a glow-in-the-dark arena that invites everyone to see if they can conquer the, "Battle for Planet Z".

Guests can don special laser tag vests, grab a laser tag gun and head into the arena for a fast-paced team-game that rewards the group that works well together and coordinates their efforts.  Just like laser tag on land, Battle for Planet Z is a high-energy race with bragging rights for the rest of the cruise on the line!

5. Grease

In 2016, Royal Caribbean added the Broadway musical, Grease, to Independence of the Seas and it is available to enjoy on your cruise with no additional cost.

This stage production of Grease was specially adapted by Royal Caribbean Productions and features all of your favorite songs, such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Born to Hand-Jive,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more.

The best news about Grease on Independence of the Seas, is that the show is included in the cost of your cruise fare, so you can enjoy a Broadway show while onboard for absolutely no additional cost.

4. Views from the helipad

Independence of the Seas has a large helipad at the bow of the ship, which is a great venue for guests to enjoy during most times.  The helipad is the perfect spot for sailaway, stargazing, enjoying a view of the ocean or just a spot to sit down on one of the benches and relax.

To access the helicopter pad, go outside on deck 4 and then walk forward, climb up a set of stairs and continue walking forward until you reach the helicopter pad.

If you want to go out to the helipad and avoid the flight of stairs out on deck 4, you can cut through Pyramid Lounge on deck 5 at the front of the ship. Walk in and you'll see a DJ booth on the right. Walk past that booth and you'll see a set of doors that look like they're crew only, but they're not. They lead right out to the entrance to the helipad. Only a short flight of stairs and you are there.

3. Cantilever hot tubs

Hot tub Jacuzzis are always a great way to relax and forget all of your worries, and on Independence of the Seas, there are cantilever hot tubs that offer as wonderful a view as they are comfortable.

The hot tubs on Independence of the Seas are 16-person, half-moon whirlpools that cantilever out 12 feet over the ship's side, to offer some incredible views of the ocean below.  And oh yea, they are super relaxing too.

2. FlowRider

One of the more popular features on Independence of the Seas is the FlowRider surf simulator on deck 13.

The FlowRider is a simulator that sends water a very high speed across a small area that mimics what it is like to surf on the ocean. Guests can try their hand at stand-up traditional surfing or boogie boarding.

The FlowRider is included in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare, and you may try your hand at surfing as many times as you like. Just hop back in line and wait for a turn.

There is the opportunity to book private lessons for an additional cost.  At last check, private lessons cost $60 per person and lasts about an hour. Each lesson will have six to eight guests.

Private lessons can be booked onboard the ship and is sometimes available via the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner.

1. Sky Pad

Looking to try something completely different that offers thrills, high-tech and a humble brag worthy message to friends back home?  The Sky Pad on Independence of the Seas is perfect for you!

Royal Caribbean offers guests an opportunity to try a virtual reality bungee trampoline experience.  Guests have the option to put on a virtual reality headset, and then strap into a bungee trampoline experience.

Your favorite

What is your favorite thing about Independence of the Seas?  Is it on our list or do you have something you think is worth the cruise fare alone? Tell us about in this blog post's comments!

Royal Caribbean arrives in Southampton to begin summer cruise season

In:
13May2018

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.

 

Independence of the Seas completes shipwide refurbishment

In:
04May2018

Royal Caribbean's first cruise ship to undergo a refurbishment as part of the Royal Amplified program, Independence of the Seas, has emerged from dry dock and is ready for guests to enjoy the fun new features onboard.

Royal Caribbean completed the multimillion-dollar upgrades on Independence of the Seas, which resulted in the addition of a number of new features onboard, including:

  • A larger interactive aqua park, Splashaway Bay, featuring wild waterslides, water cannons, fountains, pools and drench bucket
  • Addition of Izumi specialty restaurant (with table side Teppanyaki grills)
  • New lounges
  • Panoramic Ocean View staterooms to be added
  • Improved ice rink
  • Revamped Royal Theater
  • Trampoline Park
  • Escape room
  • Laser Tag

Photo by Travis Kamiyama

Photo by Travis Kamiyama

Independence of the Seas is headed to Europe, where she will spend the summer offering cruises out of Southampton before heading back to Fort Lauderdale in fall 2018.

Royal Caribbean will add trampoline virtual reality experience to Independence of the Seas

In:
01Feb2018

Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to receive the Skypad virtual reality trampoline during her Spring refurbishment.

According to TTG, Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley announced that Independence of the Seas will have a Skypad, which is made up of four trampolines that have guests don VR headsets while in a bungee harness.

In a press release about the Skypad coming to Mariner of the Seas, the experience is described as, "Guests will strap in and don their virtual reality headset to transport them to another time and planet to bounce over moon craters or compete in intergalactic games. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages, and also can be enjoyed without virtual reality headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky."

The addition of Skypad will take place during an April 2018 refurbishment, and is part of Royal Caribbean's Royal Amplified fleet-wide modernization initiative.

Gastrointestinal virus hits Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas

In:
18Dec2017

More than 300 passengers Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas experienced an onset of gastrointestinal illness on the most recent 5-night Caribbean cruise.

Many news outlets are reporting on the incident, in which the passengers affected reported symptoms that included bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Royal Caribbean said in statements to media outlets that 332 of the 5,547 passengers and crew became ill.

Photo by Mike Dinsmore

Guests were notified of the incidents during the sailing, with over-the-counter medicine provided to treat symptoms. Guests onboard also reported round the clock work by the crew to sanitize the ship throughout the duration of the sailing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 20 million people are infected with Norovirus each year with less than 1 percent of out breaks occurring on cruise ships.

Photo tour of Category 6B Spacious Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony on Independence of the Seas

In:
02Dec2017

Here is a look at the category 6B Spacious Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony Stateroom, which will take you through the cabin to provide an idea of what to expect if you book this category stateroom.

On Independence of the Seas, we reviewed stateroom 7234, which is located on Deck 7 near the forward elevator bank.  The distance to the elevators is quite short, so it made for an easy walk whenever we were forward.  Moreover, it was only two decks from the Royal Promenade, so we were able to do a lot of stairs instead of relying on the elevators.

Entry to the stateroom is by magnetic key card, which is above the door handle.

The room also has a rather large sofa to sit on during the day.

The bed is joined together but can be split apart if need be. There is a large, flat screen television across from it and two night stands on opposite sides of the bed. Access to the balcony is also on the other side of the bed.

This stateroom features a 65 square foot private balcony.

A 6B stateroom features a full bathroom, including a stand up shower.

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