Independence of the Seas joined the Royal Caribbean fleet in May 2008. This incredible cruise ship will astound you from the time you step on-board - whether it's the shops and bars on the Royal Promenade or the H20 Zone water park and surf simulator on the amazing Pool Deck. With some of the best dining venues, activity facilities and entertainment shows at sea, this really is an all-in-one floating resort with something for everyone.
Inside or outside, Independence of the Seas has abundant facilities to amuse from dawn until dusk. Learn to surf like a professional on the FlowRider surf simulator, glide around like Torvill & Dean on the ice skating rink, meet the challenge of the rock climbing wall, or just splash around in the H20 Zone water park. You can safely send your tot or teen to the Adventure Youth Programme clubs, while you take an exercise class in the fitness centre or indulge in a hot stone massage in Vitality at Sea Spa. Independence of the Seas docks at some incredibly exciting ports with stunning sightseeing and amazing adventures galore.
There's plenty to tempt your taste buds in the on-board restaurants and eateries. The King Lear and Romeo & Juliet Dining Rooms present formal, two-sitting dining for a sophisticated evening of fine cuisine. On the other hand, you can dine any time you wish with My Time Dining, which features daily-changing five course menus. Windjammer Cafe is the ship's casual, serve-yourself dining venue, whereas the adjoining Jade eatery offers Asian-themed dinner buffets. Enjoy a quick sandwich or a leisurely salad in the Park Cafe, savour breakfast pastries, mini sandwiches, desserts and speciality coffees in the 24/7 Cafe Promenade, or indulge in freshly baked gourmet cupcakes at 1940s-style Cupcake Cupboard. Even better, you can sit outside and breathe in ocean views as you enjoy a light-snack at Seven Hearts on Deck 14.
A selection of speciality restaurants enhances the on-board culinary journey. Johnny Rockets, a 1950s-style American diner, serves up hamburgers, sides, milkshakes and desserts, or you can head for a perfect pizza and selection of daily specials at Sorrento's Pizzeria. Savour filet mignon and mesquite-grilled salmon in Chops Grille or tuck into Italian, home-style cuisine in Giovanni's Table.
From beers and fruit juices poolside to champagne and cocktails after dark, the plethora of bars and lounges on-board Independence of the Seas meets all your needs and desires. Quench your thirst with a refreshing drink at Squeeze juice bar, or order a mocktail at the Pool Bar. Celebrate that special occasion with a glass of bubbly in the Champagne Bar or savour imported ales in the informal setting of the Dog & Partridge Pub. Wine lovers can sip their favourite glass of Chardonnay or Shiraz at the relaxed Vintages wine bar, while the Viking Crown Lounge is a relaxing venue with panoramic scenery by day, and a lively dance club at night.
The evening scene on Independence of the Seas can't fail to impress. Thrilling musical extravaganzas and production shows hit the stage each night in the Alhambra Theatre. Live music, dancing and game shows entertain you at Pyramid Lounge or you can discover evening jazz sessions, dancing and classical recitals at Olive & Twist on Deck 14. Sip exotic mojitos and caipirinhas and shake your hips to the Latin music in Boleros Lounge or dance until late at the Gothic-style, two-storey nightclub The Raven. But if you're feeling lucky, dice with Lady Luck at the blackjack tables and slot machines in Casino Royale.
Day 1: Southampton, UK
Arrive at Southampton where you will board Independence of the Seas and sail onwards to Belgium.
Day 2: Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium
Step ashore today at the Belgian port of Zeebrugge - gateway to the 'Venice of the North', Bruges. Float along Bruges’ network of canals, admiring the heritage buildings that line the shore. Take a stroll around the Markt Square with its towering Belfry or admire Michelangelo's marble Madonna and Child at the Church of Our Lady. Get up-close views of glittering jewels at the Diamond Museum, discover the world of chocolate making at the Choco-Story and learn the art of lace making at the Lace Centre. Visit the tranquil Beguinage commune before stepping round the corner to tour the De Halve Maan Brewery.
Day 3: Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), France
Independence of the Seas drops anchor today at the Normandy port of Le Havre. Join an excursion to France's capital city and take in iconic sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe. Visit the famous Mona Lisa at the Louvre or enjoy a scenic ride on a bateau mouche along the River Seine. Visit Monet's Garden at Giverny or Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles. Paris is also known as the fashion capital of the world. You can shop to your heart's content on the Champs Elysee, Rue Saint-Honore and Place Vendôme.
Day 4: Southampton, UK
The cruise comes to an end in Southampton, where you disembark and make your way home.