Independence of the Seas joined the Royal Caribbean fleet in May 2008 and underwent a multi-million makeover in April 2018. New features added include Perfect Storm's two wild waterslides, Splashaway Bay water park, an Escape Room, Sky Pad Trampoline Bungee Dome, and Izumi Japanese restaurant; not forgetting the new panoramic staterooms, all-new Fish & Ships eatery, Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade, Laser Tag, and Sugar Beach Candy and Ice Cream Store. This all-in-one floating resort now really does have something for everyone - from the shops and bars on the Royal Promenade to some of the best dining venues, activity facilities, and entertainment shows at sea. On top of all this, Independence of the Seas sets sail a great selection of cruise itineraries from Southampton again in 2018 and also visits some fascinating ports of call where you can enjoy sightseeing and adventures galore ashore.
The King Lear and Romeo & Juliet Dining Rooms offer the option of traditional two-sitting dining or you can dine at a time to suit with My Time Dining; both venues feature daily-changing, multi-course dinner menus. Windjammer Cafe is the ship's casual, serve-yourself dining venue or you can sit outside and tuck into fresh fish and chips at Fish & Ships. Savour sweet treats and speciality coffees in the 24/7 Cafe Promenade, indulge in freshly baked cupcakes at Cupcake Cupboard, or choose your favourite sweets, confectionery, and homemade ice cream at Sugar Beach Candy & Ice Cream Store. A selection of speciality restaurants enhances your culinary journey - fries, milkshakes, and gourmet burgers are served in the 1950s-style American diner Johnny Rockets, take your seat for perfect pizza and a selection of daily specials at Sorrento's Pizzeria, or savour fresh seafood and premium steaks in Chops Grille. Feast on Italian, home-style cuisine in Giovanni's Table or Asian-inspired dining and teppanyaki at Izumi.
Quench your thirst with a refreshing drink at Squeeze juice bar or order waterside cocktails at the Pool Bar and Plaza Bar. Burgers, ice-cold beers, live sports, and arcade games are on the menu at Playmakers Sports Bar. Celebrate that special occasion with a glass of bubbly in the Champagne Bar or savour imported ales in the informal setting of the Ale and Anchor Pub. Indulge in exotic signature cocktails at Schooner Bar, while wine lovers can enjoy their favourite glass of Chardonnay or Shiraz at Vintages wine bar. Sip exotic mojitos and caipirinhas and shake your hips to the Latin music in Boleros Lounge.
By day, discover water-based family fun at Splashaway Bay and The Perfect Storm or bounce on the trampolines at Sky Pad. Learn to surf on the FlowRider surf simulator or glide around like Torvill & Dean on the ice skating rink. Meet the challenge of the rock climbing wall or the Escape Room, or simply indulge in a hot stone massage in Vitality at Sea Spa. There's fun for tots or teens at the Adventure Ocean, Video Arcade, The Living Room or Fuel Teen Club. After dinner, thrilling musical extravaganzas and production shows light up the stage in the Royal Theatre. Live music, dancing, and entertainment set the scene at both Star Lounge and Sky Lounge or show off your vocals in the funky and fun On Air Club karaoke bar. If you're feeling lucky, dice with Lady Luck at the blackjack tables and slot machines in Casino Royale.
Day 1: Southampton, UK
Arrive in Southampton and board Independence of the Seas for your fourteen-night cruise.
Day 10: Philipsburg, St. Maarten
The ship drops anchor today at St Maarten's Dutch capital city - Philipsburg. Stroll along the shops on bustling Front Street or enjoy a couple of hours’ beach time on Great Bay beach. Fly through the trees at the Fly Zone at Loterie Farm or explore the island by quad bike. See local plant and animal life at St Maarten Zoological and Botanical Garden, and caterpillars and butterflies at the Butterfly Farm. You can also swim with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery Anguilla or admire heart-stopping views in the Pic du Paradis hills.
Day 11: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Charlotte Amalie is the capital of St. Thomas, an idyllic paradise island with beautiful bays, equally gorgeous golden-sand beaches and stunning, busy harbours that are perfect for wiling away the hours under the baking Caribbean sunshine. Charlotte Amalie – the island’s most popular tourist destination – is typically Caribbean, a city packed with wonderful sights and local delights to seek out and enjoy. The city is renowned for its fine examples of Danish colonial architecture and the St. Thomas Synagogue – the second oldest Synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, 17th century Blackbeard’s Castle – a U.S. National Historic Landmark – and Fort Christian – the Virgin Island’s oldest standing structure – are all not to be missed. There is also an abundance of shops to indulge in some retail therapy, where locally-made crafts and gifts are sold, as well as a number of bars and restaurants serving delicious Caribbean treats.
Day 12: San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan is the capital of and the largest city on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Explore the cobblestoned buildings of Old San Juan with its 16th-century El Morro and La Fortaleza fortresses, San Juan National Historic Site and Spanish colonial buildings. New San Juan is awash with tropical beaches, luxury hotels, world-class dining and designer shopping. Pay a visit to Casa Blanca Museum, Museo del Nino and Galeria National. Make a whistle-stop tour of the sights on the free trolley bus or take a scenic stroll along Paseo de La Princesa. Learn about the art of rum making on the Bacardi Distillery Tour or enjoy the tranquillity of San Juan Botanical Garden.
Day 13: Labadee, Haiti
Labadee is situated on the north coast of Hispaniola. This 260-acre private beach resort is just waiting to be explored; discover the coastline on a jet ski, see the spectacular views from the sky on the thrilling Dragon's Breath Flight Line, or ride through the dense island foliage on the Dragon's Tail Coaster alpine coaster. Enjoy water-based fun galore at Arawak Aqua Park and on the Dragon's Splash Waterslide or simply relax on the beach or in a private cabana.
Day 15: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Today your cruise comes to an end. Disembark and be transferred to Miami airport for your return flight back to the UK.