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 the port of Southampton where you will board Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for your journey onwards to the Mediterranean.
Day 4: Malaga, Spain
Nestling at the heart of Spain's Costa del Sol, Málaga is a chic and cosmopolitan city. From its lively port and historical buildings to the mouth-watering cuisine and stylish shopping streets, Malaga offers something for everyone. Enjoy the panoramic vistas from Gibralfaro Castle and explore Picasso's birthplace, found in Plaza de la Merced. Unwind in the idyllic Jardin Botanico Historico La Concepcion, or view the paintings at the Picasso Museum. Explore the majestic cathedral or shop on the traffic-free Calle Marques de Larios. Relax with a coffee at Plaza de la Constitucion or spend the morning on La Malagueta beach. Venture further afield and admire the stunning Alhambra Palace in Granada or the amazing underground caves in Nerja.
Day 6: Cannes, France
The resort town of Cannes sits at the heart of the French Riviera. Stroll along Boulevard de la Croisette and admire the Palais des Festival et des Congres - home to Cannes Film Festival - and the handprints of famous movie stars at nearby Allee des Etoiles. Pay a visit to the impressive 17th-century Madonna on the high altar at Notre-Dame de l'Esperance church. Explore the antiquities, artworks, and musical instruments on display at Musee de la Castre or discover contemporary art at Le Malmaison Museum. Shopping is a pleasure in Cannes - whether it's at the daily Forville Market or the boutiques on La Croisette, Rue D'Antibes, and Rue Meynardier. Venture up Mont Chevalier to enjoy the old world charm of Le Suquet with Eglise du Suquet and Tour du Mont Chavalier just waiting to be admired too.
Day 7: Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is one of the most famous cities in the world. Located between the gleaming Mediterranean Sea and the Serra de Collserola hills, this cosmopolitan Spanish city is known for its diverse art and architecture. Walk the iconic Las Ramblas promenade and see quirky street entertainers or stop for a coffee at a pavement cafe. View some of Antoni Gaudi's most famous works including the Sagrada Família Church and the mosaic wall in Park Güell. Explore the winding streets of the Gothic quarter and sample tapas in a traditional bar or relax in the city's biggest green space — Park Ciutadel.
Day 8: Palma, Majorca
Palma sits on the south coast of Balearic island of Majorca and is the island's capital city. The streets of this vibrant port city are lined with an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, galleries, shops, and heritage buildings. Explore the narrow alleys and lanes of the old town, before spending time at the impressive Palma Cathedral. Indulge in retail therapy on Avenida Jaume III, Passeig de Born, and the streets around the Placa Major. Palma Aquarium, Bellver Castle and the Joan Miro Foundation are well worth a visit, too. The dolphin, sea lion and parrot shows at Marineland and Poble Espanyol — a collection of Spain's famous buildings in miniature — are great for family times. Or why not take a scenic train ride to the town of Soller or travel inland to the Caves of Drach?
Day 10: Lisbon, Portugal
Spread across seven hills on the shores of River Tagus is Portugal's capital city, Lisbon. Pavement cafes, bustling squares and serene gardens sit alongside palaces, bridges and castles in this waterside city.
Day 11: Vigo, Spain
Spain's Atlantic coastline is home to the Galician town of Vigo and its many attractions. Explore the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Vigo and Plaza Constitucion in Casco Vella, before admiring the views from Castro Fortress. Immerse yourself in culture at Museo do Mar de Galicia, Museo Municipal de Vigo, and Museum of Contemporary Art. Discover the El Sireno sculpture at Porta do Sol or go shopping on Rua do Principe. Watch the fisherman at O Berbes and spend some time on Playa de Samil beach. Venture further afield to Santiago de Compostela and Pontevedra or even take a boat trip around the Cíes Islands.
Day 13: Southampton, UK
Your cruise comes to an end at Southampton, where you disembark and make your way home.