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  • Writer's pictureMelvin Denton

Cruising in Style: My Unforgettable Experience Aboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas

Updated: Dec 31, 2023




Recently, I went on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Labadee, Haiti. The cruise aboard the Independence of the Seas was beautiful and relaxing, at least for me. Except one thing put a damper on the fun, and it was my fault. I’ll explain later.

Independence of the Seas is the biggest ship I have been on, and there have only been three others: the Carnival Sensation, RCL Grandeur of the Seas, and Carnival Conquest.

The Independence of the Seas, owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International, was built in 2008 and is part of the Freedom Class of ships. It has a maximum capacity of 4370 passengers and 1360 crew members. It did not seem to be over 3000 people, but I don’t have the official count. The ship has 15 decks and features a variety of amenities, including a casino, spa, adult spa, and multiple pools with one area just for kids. There are various restaurants and many other activities, including rock climbing, ice skating, and a FlowRider surf simulator.

The massive ship had plenty of bars and loads of space to lounge around and enjoy conversation with other cruise mates. I found myself sitting in the café, people-watching. I am not a Starbucks fan, but it is served there at an additional cost; you can also serve yourself with the free-standing coffee. I found the house coffee to be rich, bold, and strong, whether regular brew or decaf.

The buffet was your standard fare, with a themed offering each night, such as American, Italian, and French. Windjammer is the main dining room (all three floors!), although I decided to forego that dining option. The menu looked delicious. I also didn’t go to any of the premium dining venues, but I had eaten at Chops Grille on Grandeur of the Seas in the past and found the food fantastic.

On the last night, I ate at Johnny Rockets, which is just a fast food place. At first, I thought it was a little pricey, but it came with big onion rings and dessert. Plus, my food was hot off the grill, so I have no complaints.

Our stop at Labadee was fine. I am not a beach person, and I wasn’t interested in doing any excursions. The weather was excellent, and I will have a video about the area later this week.

All in all, I had a good time. But I did something I should not have done. What was it? I checked my work email from my part-time job. Without getting into it, enough STUFF got into my head and put a damper on my fun. But not enough to keep me down. When you are out and about, LEAVE THE EMAILS ALONE! They will be there when you get back.

My next cruise scheduled is next December on board the Utopia of the Seas, one of the newest Royal Caribbean ships. I’ll post about this ship and other new ships coming out next year.

Also, I still love my theme parks, so expect more from Orlando and locations in Virginia. I also plan to expand my travels to the museums and other sites around Northern Virginia, where I live.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope to see you all out on your journeys!

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