As a lover of all things nautical, a chance to spend a turnaround day on the newly refurbished Independence of the Seas was right up my street, and so when the invitation popped in my inbox it was a straight yes! Emma and I had opted to stay in Southampton the night before, but travelling to this lovely city is very convenient from London, should you wish to travel down the same day as your cruise ship departs.
As we arrived at Southampton’s City Cruise docks in the morning on a sunny day, we met the rest of the group before passing through security and boarding the Ship. She is a seriously stunning ship! Although I have been on a cruise before, I wholeheartedly love them and it was really nice to see a different ship and all the activities on offer.
In the morning Emma and I explored, finding great vantage points to relax in the sunshine all around the ship’s pools and hot tubs.
We had lots of fun playing mini golf too, which is a great activity, no matter your age! I loved the mini golf course, decked out in palm trees and decorated with snails and tortoises. Quirky and really enjoyable! We almost forgot that we were actually on a ship!
We then found some swings, and I of course had to have a go!
Meanwhile the kids were having tons of fun on the all-new Splashaway Bay. This interactive aqua park has wild waterslides, water cannons, fountains, pools and the infamous drench bucket. We could hear squeals of laughter and saw the joy amongst the kids faces as they cooled down in the summer sun here. This is fantastic for families as the parents can relax on the adjacent sun loungers while the kids play in the aqua park.
For the more adventurous, there is the FlowRider®., which is a 40-foot-long surf simulator where you can surf the waves to a fun soundtrack. You could almost close your eyes and imagine yourself surfing in the ocean! For those not wanting to take part it is great fun to watch and the music is really great!
The Perfect StormSM, a water slide duo that is three storeys high, offers an exhilarating ride with amazing views, to the bottom of the TyphoonSM and CycloneSM slides. Emma and I enjoyed watching people riding on these too!
The Rock Climing Wall is a signature feature of all Royal Caribbean ships, and if you make it to the top you are greeted with amazing views!
There are so many outdoor activities on this ship and I was amazed at the variety on offer! Not pictured, there was also ice skating onboard, various sports and a SkyPadSM.
Indoor activities include an arcade, casino, Spa and lots of lounge areas. There is also laser tag, various performances to watch, as well as lots of shops to browse and add to your holiday purchases, so you really have no chance of being bored whilst on a cruise on this ship, and can do a different activity every single day!
As a food and travel blogger, dining options always pique my curiosity and the range of dining options on MS Independence of the seas is incredible! From casual dining, poolside snacks to fine dining – the ship has it all. There are lots of bars on the ship with lounge areas adjacent to them, providing lovely spots to enjoy a cocktail or a chilled glass of wine.
Emma and I decided to have lunch in the Windjammer restaurant, which had the biggest buffet I have ever seen. Feeling slightly overwhelmed at having to choose, we decided to try a little of as much as we could whilst saving space for dessert.
Highlights included the seafood, which was super fresh, as well as the desserts. There was even a chocolate fountain, with lots of choices of treats to dip in it!
The food was incredible and other options onboard include Sorrento’s Pizza, Johnny Rockets, Fish and Ships, Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table, the main dining room, and of course in room dining! A big highlight is that there is free ice cream on tap – the dream!
Hot tub lovers will be pleased to find that there are lots of lovely Jacuzzis dotted around the ship, but this one which offered views of the sea was definitely my favourite!
We were treated to a sneak peek of some of the staterooms onboard and one of them was The Royal Suite, which is super spacious, and comes with its own hot tub on the balcony – sweet! What I love about the staterooms are that they are large, have everything you could need and you almost forget that you are out at sea as they are so luxurious.
All in all we had a fantastic day onboard Independence of the Seas, and having been on a cruise before, if you are thinking about it, just book it! It is amazing waking up somewhere new every day, and there is so many fun activities onboard to suit all ages and most of all it is a wonderful place to get that relaxation in as you simply just have to put your feet up and unwind! The Independence of the Seas is a fantastic ship and I highly recommend it, especially for families, and you can visit some incredible destinations.
For more details of the attractions on board The Independence of the Seas, the sailing schedule, prices and destinations, check out the Royal Caribbean website here.
Have you been on a cruise? I’d love to know in the comments below xx