Independence of the Seas

Royal Caribbean will add trampoline virtual reality experience to Independence of the Seas


Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to receive the Skypad virtual reality trampoline during her Spring refurbishment.

According to TTG, Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley announced that Independence of the Seas will have a Skypad, which is made up of four trampolines that have guests don VR headsets while in a bungee harness.

In a press release about the Skypad coming to Mariner of the Seas, the experience is described as, "Guests will strap in and don their virtual reality headset to transport them to another time and planet to bounce over moon craters or compete in intergalactic games. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages, and also can be enjoyed without virtual reality headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky."

The addition of Skypad will take place during an April 2018 refurbishment, and is part of Royal Caribbean's Royal Amplified fleet-wide modernization initiative.

Gastrointestinal virus hits Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas


More than 300 passengers Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas experienced an onset of gastrointestinal illness on the most recent 5-night Caribbean cruise.

Many news outlets are reporting on the incident, in which the passengers affected reported symptoms that included bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Royal Caribbean said in statements to media outlets that 332 of the 5,547 passengers and crew became ill.

Photo by Mike Dinsmore

Guests were notified of the incidents during the sailing, with over-the-counter medicine provided to treat symptoms. Guests onboard also reported round the clock work by the crew to sanitize the ship throughout the duration of the sailing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 20 million people are infected with Norovirus each year with less than 1 percent of out breaks occurring on cruise ships.

Photo tour of Category 6B Spacious Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony on Independence of the Seas


Here is a look at the category 6B Spacious Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony Stateroom, which will take you through the cabin to provide an idea of what to expect if you book this category stateroom.

On Independence of the Seas, we reviewed stateroom 7234, which is located on Deck 7 near the forward elevator bank.  The distance to the elevators is quite short, so it made for an easy walk whenever we were forward.  Moreover, it was only two decks from the Royal Promenade, so we were able to do a lot of stairs instead of relying on the elevators.

Entry to the stateroom is by magnetic key card, which is above the door handle.

The room also has a rather large sofa to sit on during the day.

The bed is joined together but can be split apart if need be. There is a large, flat screen television across from it and two night stands on opposite sides of the bed. Access to the balcony is also on the other side of the bed.

This stateroom features a 65 square foot private balcony.

A 6B stateroom features a full bathroom, including a stand up shower.

Royal Caribbean announces additional features coming to Independence of the Seas


Royal Caribbean UK announced additional features coming to Independence of the Seas that will be added during a major refurbishment in 2018.

In addition to the features previously announced, Independence of the Seas will receive

  • A larger interactive aqua park, Splashaway Bay, featuring wild waterslides, water cannons, fountains, pools and drench bucket
  • Addition of Izumi specialty restaurant (with table side Teppanyaki grills)
  • New lounges
  • Panoramic Ocean View staterooms to be added
  • Improved ice rink
  • Revamped Royal Theater

These announced changes are in addition to new features announced coming to Independence of the Seas earlier this summer.

Royal Caribbean announces refurbishment details for Independence of the Seas


Royal Caribbean announced a list of changes coming to Independence of the Seas that will be added in an upcoming refurbishment.

Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society confirmed the list of changes that will occur in April 2018. During the revitalization the ship will receive several new features including

  • a trampoline park
  • water slides
  • escape rooms
  • laser tag

These ideas were proposed by travel agents in the UK and Ireland as part of a contest held with Travel Weekly UK. 

Passenger jumps off Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas


A passenger jumped off Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas early this morning, prompting a search by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Local news is reporting the passenger is a 22-year-old man, who jumped off deck 12 of Independence of the Seas just before a.m. when it was 33 miles southeast of Key Largo.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement regarding the event,

"We are saddened to report a guest onboard Independence of the Seas was witnessed intentionally going overboard from deck 12 at 1:45 a.m.

The ship immediately alerted local authorities and turned around to help search for our guest. Two of the ship’s lifeboats and the U.S. Coast Guard conducted a search."

The Coast Guard is searching for the man.

5 things to love about Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas


Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas is a popular ship that offers cruises in Europe and North America throughout the year.  There is a lot to love about this ship, and we have five important facts you should be aware of before your next cruise on Independence of the Seas.

5. Grease

In 2016, Royal Caribbean added the Broadway musical, Grease, to Independence of the Seas and it is available to enjoy on your cruise with no additional cost.

This stage production of Grease was specially adapted by Royal Caribbean Productions and features all of your favorite songs, such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Born to Hand-Jive,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more.

The best news about Grease on Independence of the Seas, is that the show is included in the cost of your cruise fare, so you can enjoy a Broadway show while onboard for absolutely no additional cost.

4. Views from the helipad

Independence of the Seas has a large helipad at the bow of the ship, which is a great venue for guests to enjoy during most times.  The helipad is the perfect spot for sailaway, stargazing, enjoying a view of the ocean or just a spot to sit down on one of the benches and relax.

To access the helicopter pad, go outside on deck 4 and then walk forward, climb up a set of stairs and continue walking forward until you reach the helicopter pad.

If you want to go out to the helipad and avoid the flight of stairs out on deck 4, you can cut through Pyramid Lounge on deck 5 at the front of the ship. Walk in and you'll see a DJ booth on the right. Walk past that booth and you'll see a set of doors that look like they're crew only, but they're not. They lead right out to the entrance to the helipad. Only a short flight of stairs and you are there.

3. Cantilever hot tubs

Hot tub Jacuzzis are always a great way to relax and forget all of your worries, and on Independence of the Seas, there are cantilever hot tubs that offer as wonderful a view as they are comfortable.

The hot tubs on Independence of the Seas are 16-person, half-moon whirlpools that cantilever out 12 feet over the ship's side, to offer some incredible views of the ocean below.  And oh yea, they are super relaxing too.

2. Five bars to visit late at night

If your idea of a fun cruise is staying up late and enjoying drinks while perhaps dancing, talking or relaxing into the late hours of the evening, then there are a few bars you will find open later than others.

On Independence of the Seas, the Casino Bar, Boleros, Schooner Bar, The Raven and the Connoisseurs Club remain open later than other bars.  

Guests who want to avoid an (earlier) last call notice, should head to one (or a few) of these locations to enjoy uninterrupted late-night beverages.

1. FlowRider

One of the more popular features on Independence of the Seas is the FlowRider surf simulator on deck 13.

The FlowRider is a simulator that sends water a very high speed across a small area that mimics what it is like to surf on the ocean. Guests can try their hand at stand-up traditional surfing or boogie boarding.

The FlowRider is included in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare, and you may try your hand at surfing as many times as you like. Just hop back in line and wait for a turn.

There is the opportunity to book private lessons for an additional cost.  At last check, private lessons cost $60 per person and lasts about an hour. Each lesson will have six to eight guests.

Private lessons can be booked onboard the ship and is sometimes available via the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner.

Your favorite

What is your favorite thing about Independence of the Seas?  Is it on our list or do you have something you think is worth the cruise fare alone? Tell us about in this blog post's comments!

New photos from all over Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas


Royal Caribbean released a new batch of photos from its Freedom-class cruise ship, Independence of the Seas.

Independence of the Seas is based in Southampton, England and sailing mostly 10- to 14-night Mediterranean or Canary Island cruises.  In the winter, Independence of the Seas will follow a sequence of four- and five-night short Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades.

Photo tour of Junior Suite stateroom on Independence of the Seas


Lots of Royal Caribbean fans relish a stay in a Junior Suite (JS) and today, we have a look at one of the Junior Suites from Independence of the Seas to give you an idea of what to expect if you book a similar stateroom.

Brian Robinson took photos of his stateroom on Independence of the Seas while on a sailing in February 2016.

Junior Suites on Independence of the Seas offer guests 297 square feet of space and a balcony that is 94 square feet.

Junior Suites on Independence of the Seas include minibar, vanity area, hair-dryer, TV, phone, vanity table with an extendable working surface for laptop computers and 110/220 electrical outlets. Some have sofa beds and can accommodate 3-4 guests.

Some can also accommodate a rollaway bed or Play Yard. (Junior Suites located in the aft of the ship cannot accommodate a rollaway bed.)