As you saw in the video, there are simply so many activities. I don’t rock climb and you won’t find me on the Flowrider, but you will see my wife on deck in the Zumba class. We are not big on pools per se, but we love the adult Solarium’s pool because it was heated to just the right temperature for us.
The chaise lounges in the Solarium are also heavily padded for added comfort and we joined some other guest in the hot tubs too. This was my simple moment of relaxation. Relaxation for my wife however came when she went to the spa for a facial and a relaxing massage.
If you really want to add some excitement to your cruise, there are many opportunities to do just that. The Spa and Fitness Center on this ship was the biggest one I have seen on land or sea. The Fitness Center has a boxing ring and they even offer boxing lessons.
I watched as one of their instructors was talking to a group of women about proper nutrition. So the Fitness Center is not only about sweating, it is about health and proper nutrition too.
Now if you like to gamble, Las Vegas style, then their casino is the place to go. Lots of modern slots, games of chance and some of those strange Caribbean card games, that I never understood.
During the day you could have a quiet, relaxing moment in some of the lounges on board the ship. Their library is a wonderful restful spot and you can borrow any book there, while on board. If you want to check your email, their internet cafe has loads of computers and internet access too. Expect to pay a hefty fee for this satellite access to the web, and don’t expect broadband speed that we have become used to, but for those of us that simply need to be in touch it may be a necessity.
If you want to ice skate or just watch others, go to Studio B on Deck 3 and you can Disco skate, family skate or teen skate there too.
Each day you receive their Independence of the Seas Cruise Compass, that is the schedule of things going on both day and night for that day.
If you have children or teens, this is a great ship for them too. You have seen the H2O water park, the miniature golf course and the many activities and lounges for the children from the young ones through the teens. Their arcade reminds me of some I have been to at Point Pleasant, New Jersey, complete with their Skee Ball alleys. There is something for every age group and we were told, in the very near future the program will even include infants from six months up. Imagine taking a cruise with the entire family and never having to worry about the children. That’s a vacation.
The People You Meet and Our Visit To Labadee
Cruising is also about the people you meet. Because we were on an assignment, most of the people we met were the officers and crew on the ship. They all new us and we got to know many of them. What a delightful group. I can truly see that working for RCL is not such a bad life. I understood why so many loved their jobs and kept renewing their work contracts as each one would expire.
If we had our choice we would have selected Any Time Dining as opposed to the two set dining options. On our first night on the ship my wife and I were the only two at our dinner table. The next night they added another couple and then we dined alone for two nights at the specialty restaurants and when we returned to the main dining room on night five, they had moved a family to our table, so we at least got to know them and interview them for our video.
Now on anytime dining you can go to the King Lear dining room anytime they are serving. King Lear is on deck 5, overlooking Romeo and Juliet’s main dining area on Deck 3. When you arrive at King Lear, you will get shown to an available table with other people. You can meet new people each night, or if you like the people you were with on a previous meal, you can arrange to sit with them on the other nights too. It does offer you the best opportunity to meet new people and have the flexibility to dine when you want.
You will meet people at the pools, in the hot tubs at the Fitness Center, just about anywhere on the ship. Remember, there are 4,000 guests on the ship, find a few and make new friends.
Our third stop on the itinerary was Labadee is a port located on the northern coast of Haiti. It is a private resort leased to Royal Caribbean International until 2050. The ship set up a huge picnic for all the passengers on the island. When we were there another RCL ship had also docked and there had to be at least 5,000 plus guests on the beach and eating lunch there. Was a windy day on the ocean side of the beach, but we found a really nice little cove that was protected on three sides and we spent the rest of the day there.
If you love to dance or just sit around having a cocktail and listen sing along a piano bar or maybe even try your hand at Karaoke, you can. There are so many places and night clubs on the ship, it is hard not to have a great time or meet people, anytime of the day or night.